Glass Candle Dialogue Season 7, Episode 3: “The Queen’s Justice”

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This week Luka and I discuss “The Queen’s Justice.” We chat about that most highly anticipated of character crossovers, weigh in on the possibility that certain characters may own jet packs and try to figure out what the hell is going on with Jaime.


Luka: Want to start at the beginning?

Petra: With Ice and Fire finally meeting?

Luka: Sure.

Petra: I thoroughly enjoyed watching Jon and Daenerys meet for the first time. It felt like one of those crossovers in the Arrowverse, when Supergirl teams up with The Flash or the Legends of Tomorrow meet Oliver Queen. There was this wonderful playfulness to the writing: Davos attempting polite smalltalk with Missandei; the list of Daenerys’ many, many titles being followed by “This is Jon Snow.” I got the sense that the writers were having fun.

Luka: I think that reaction was Kit Harington’s best comedy acting on the show to date, when he looks back at Davos and gives him a look like, “There has to be more than that.” So Davos adds, “He’s king in the North.”

Petra: [Laughs] And I like how the conflict between them developed. We kind of knew that they were going to clash. The assumption was that they were either going to fulfill all of the fan fiction prophesies and bang on the spot – which they didn’t – or else that they were going to disagree.

Luka: They clashed about completely reasonable things. And I very much like that in the following scene between Tyrion and Jon brooding on the cliffs Tyrion rightly pointed out that Daenerys has absolutely no reason to believe him: Jon’s an unknown quantity from the North telling her about ice zombies. It’s not a believable story without evidence. There was a reaction amongst fans, like, “Come on, believe him! Believe him!” People seem to think that just because she has dragons that she has to believe in every kind of magic and I don’t think that’s reasonable.

Petra: I also like how the tone of their first conversation shifted the moment she said, “On behalf of House Targaryen I ask your forgiveness for the crimes [my father] committed against your family and I ask you not to judge a daughter by the sins of her father.” There was some degree of give and take in that conversation. Neither of them entered into it with the intention to be pig-headed and stubborn. They were two people being brutally honest with each other with conflicting priorities. And I like how their respective personalities were brought out in who did the most talking. Davos spoke for Jon and built him up with that stirring monologue but Daenerys monologued for herself. I love that.

Luka: It’s always been Davos’ job to speak up for people who aren’t very talkative. First Stannis and now Jon.

Petra: He’s a great PR guy.

Luka: There were a lot of references to previous episodes in “The Queen’s Justice.” In no particular order:

  • Jon and Tyrion addressed each other as “bastard” and “dwarf,” as they did more derisively in the pilot.
  • Davos and Tyrion referred to their former enmity at the Battle of the Blackwater, though they haven’t acknowledged that Tyrion indirectly killed Davos’ son, Matthos… yet
  • Tyrion checked up on Sansa because … of course he would
  • Jon and Daenerys defended their decisions to each other by appealing to historical predecessors like Torrhen Stark and the Mad King
  • Jon and Daenerys commiserated over losing two brothers
  • Jon agreed not to hold Aerys II’s actions against Daenerys just as he refused to hold Alys Karstark and Ned Umber accountable for their fathers’ crimes.
  • When Daenerys said, “We all enjoy what we’re good at” and Jon said “I don’t” – presuming that what Jon is good at is killing and being a warrior – it felt very reminiscent of that final conversation between Daenerys and Barristan in season 5 in which Barristan corrected Viserys’ old assertions about Rhaegar and stated that Rhaegar may have been great at killing but he didn’t like it at all. It was, perhaps, a “like father like son” moment.

The reason I’m pointing out all these callbacks is because we tend to take the emotional impact of these meetings and reunions for granted. But the only reason we care so much about these moments is because we’ve had six seasons of television leading up to them. I don’t think these callbacks are just reminders of past events or opportunities for exposition. I think they’re intended to demonstrate what a show with such a rich history is built upon.

Petra: That it’s all a culmination, that’s when we reach the end it’ll have meant something. There was actually one callback to a previous season that you didn’t mention that relates to the King’s Landing storyline.

ellariatyene

Petra: I thought it was interesting that when Cersei learned that Myrcella had been killed at the beginning of season 6, what haunted her was the thought that her daughter was decaying little by little every day and that is exactly what she subjected Ellaria to. She took her own worst nightmare and imposed it on someone else. That is Aerys II territory.

Luka: That makes that scene even worse to watch.

Petra: It does, doesn’t it? I had to rewatch that scene to prepare for this dialogue and I never want to watch it again. It’s just too horrifying.

Luka: I’d watch it a thousand more times just for the acting. It was fucking amazing.

Petra: There was one line that Lena Headey delivered in particular that got me. She said, “You took her away from me. Why did you do that?” There’s this odd vulnerability, this odd child-like sincerity to the way she asked that question.

Luka: It’s strangely innocent for Cersei.

Petra: I expected that Ellaria, Tyene and Yara would suffer this episode but I thought that their torture would have a different impact on Jaime. I thought it would mark the beginning of Jaime finally breaking away from Cersei, that she would have too much fun killing them and Jaime would finally start valonqar-ing up. Then he let her suck him off instead. And I was like, “Ok.”

Luka: I think it’s implied that Jaime doesn’t know what she’s doing in the dungeons.

Petra: How can he not figure it out? Considering he talked her out of torturing Olenna to death, he has to know those women didn’t die peacefully.

Luka: But that’s not the same thing as knowing what actually happened. What Cersei did is worse than anything Jaime could ever imagine.

Petra: Maybe. I guess I just expected Jaime to have more of a moral compass at this point than he seems to. I think a lot of people, myself included, had started to think of him as a fully redeemed hero who only had a tangential connection to his sister left. We were very much wrong. Regardless of whether he knows the full extent of what Cersei did to Ellaria and Tyene, he’s still … I don’t know the right way to put it.

Luka: He’s under her spell.

Petra: Exactly! That’s how he sounded when he was speaking to Olenna and she told him “[Cersei]’s a monster. You do know that?” And he more or less answered, “To you, I’m sure. To others as well. But after we’ve won and there’s no one left to fight and she’s killed all of our enemies and we’re living in peace everything will be fine!” That’s more or less what Daenerys said to Olenna last episode and Olenna was like, “No, sweetheart. That’s never going to happen.” So, I thought it was interesting to hear this much older man expressing the same naïve outlook as Daenerys to the very same person. He still has this bizarre, idealistic image of Cersei in spite of everything he’s learned to the contrary.

Luka: I don’t see it as an idealistic image of Cersei. I see it as Jaime trying to convince himself that Cersei is worth saving. Because the alternative is to kill her, the woman he loves.

Petra: I like the parallel between Cersei and Jaime poisoning people who killed their children. Cersei did it in the most horrendous way imaginable while Jaime – who didn’t know that Olenna killed Joffrey at the time, but still – went out of his way to make sure it was as painless as possible. So, whatever Jaime may think, he’s still fundamentally different from Cersei.

Luka: I want to address the criticism that Jaime’s character development has been frozen for three seasons. I see this mostly from book readers and I think I know why. The last time we saw Jaime in the books, he burned Cersei’s letter calling for aid but we’re way beyond that point in the show, now. Assuming that Jaime survives whatever happens between him and Lady Stoneheart and assuming that he’s the one who ends Cersei’s reign of terror, he’ll have to meet with Cersei again. I wonder if people seriously think he’ll just arrive back at King’s Landing and dispatch Cersei immediately, that there won’t be any more relational development between them before their inevitable end. If that is, indeed, what ends up happening in ASOIAF, then I’ll probably prefer the show’s version. Moreover, just because Jaime’s intermittently with Cersei doesn’t mean he isn’t a character in his own right. He’s still under her spell but he’s also the protagonist of his own subplots. He had a storyline exploring fatherhood with Myrcella, of living up to the family name in Tywin’s shadow, and this season, of course, of trying to make the best out of the shitty situation that is Cersei’s mad reign.

Petra: I just want to say that I am really enjoying King’s Landing, now. It is batshit crazy and I love it. Cersei’s servants have styled themselves after her Vulcan haircut. She’s painting on the floor. She’s got Euron Greyjoy riding into the Great Hall on a horse. She’s openly fucking her brother. She’s having so much fun and I am feeding off of her joy. Between her and Euron … they’re such happy bad people!

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Luka: I never thought I’d hear Euron say, “What a twat” or “a finger in the bum,” but I’m delightfully surprised.

Petra: Yeah, he’s one of those bad guys who has fun doing what he does. He’s just so free. And the juxtaposition of his joy with Yara’s despair adds to the madness.

Luka: Do you want to move up North and talk about the Winterfell scene?

Petra: Watching Sansa rule gives me life. She finally has power and she’s utilizing it to make good decisions. I feel such palpable relief hearing her give an order and watching people obey her.

Luka: She balanced making decisions with acknowledging that she doesn’t know everything and heeding others people’s counsel.

Petra: It’s what Tywin told Tommen in season 4, “Wisdom is knowing what you know and what you don’t know.” That’s Sansa. She knows what she doesn’t know and she defers to those around her.

Luka: And the Citadel?

Petra: Maester Ebrose got this close to awarding 100 points to Gryffindor

Luka: [Laughs]

Petra: And you got more Jorah.

Luka: I got my Jorah. That handshake …

Petra: That was precious.

Luka: One of the most understated emotional moments in the history of the show, for me. Iain Glen really sold what it means to Jorah to be touched again. And Sam didn’t even hesitate. He’s the best guy in Westeros.

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Luka: I also want to mention Casterly Rock, which you might appreciate because I’m comparing that sequence to something involving the Greyjoys.

Petra: Aww!

Luka: I’m not so fond of narrated battle montages and I think that’s partially because of Yara’s failed attempt to rescue Theon in season 4 which, to me, only had one problem: editing. I would have loved to see Yara read Ramsay’s letter to her men and give her motivational speech and then head into her rescue attempt. But instead, we’ve got Yara’s angry speech intermixed with the ironborn stealthily approaching the Dreadfort and Ramsay having sex with Myranda, none of which make tonal sense with each other. So when Tyrion began narrating the siege of Casterly Rock I was worried. But the editing won me over because the narration actually complimented what it was playing over. First we got the fakeout with the Unsullied failing to climb the walls as Tyrion recalls Tywin’s assurances that the castle would always stand. And then there’s Grey Worm’s reveal just as Tyrion mentions that his degrading job with the sewers is finally paying off after so many years, which, by the way makes Tywin indirectly responsible for the fall of Casterly Rock.

Petra: I fully expected Grey Worm to die this episode. When he took off his helmet, I was 100% prepared for an arrow to stick him in the neck. I genuinely didn’t know what was going to happen in that scene. Minute-by-minute that sequence had me guessing and it’s a testament to the writing that, seven seasons in, Game of Thrones can still be so unpredictable.

Luka: Speaking of unpredictability and Casterly Rock and Highgarden, we should probably address the passage of time this season.

Petra: It does not bother me. There’s my two-cents right there.

Luka: I don’t understand why people have a problem with it. It would be one thing if it were something new to the show but months pass between scenes and chapters – often out of linear order – in the very first season and book. Do you remember when, in season one, in the fraction of a second, we cut from the news that Robert was heading North to the actual day of his arrival? Or when Tyrion traveled from the Wall to the Riverlands in a single episode off-screen, just as Catelyn did from Winterfell to King’s Landing. This isn’t new. It has nothing to do with jet packs. Time just passes, as it does in any work of fiction.

Petra: It just doesn’t hurt my suspension of disbelief to see Jaime in King’s Landing and then have him show up at Highgarden in the same episode. It just doesn’t. Bryan Cogman addressed this on Twitter, pretty good-heartedly, I think.

Luka: I suspect the reason book readers specifically (though not exclusively) have an issue with the time jumps is because of the way ASOIAF’s narration used to fill in the gaps, back when the show and the books paralleled each other more closely. I think in the earlier seasons, book readers were sort of supplementing the time jumps with the description in the books.

Petra: Well, we never actually “see” Jaime lose his hand in ASOIAF. Jaime only thinks about it afterwards. Similarly, Catelyn, Arya and Sansa only ever reflect on those earth-shattering moments they learned about their loved ones deaths. We don’t notice those time jumps  because we reorganize the events into a linear timeline in our heads. But that’s not how the books are actually written.

Luka: This week the criticism was especially strange to me. Sometimes I understand how a time jump can feel abrupt but in “The Queen’s Justice” they were all absolutely necessary. Jaime and Euron’s actions were intended to surprise us.

Highgarden Siege 7x03 (2)

Petra: I wouldn’t want anything to replace that extraordinary shot of Jaime and the Lannister army outside of Highgarden. If you had to build up to that moment for two episodes it would have lost impact.

Luka: There was a Forbes article published recently that suggested that we should have seen Euron and Jaime departing for Casterly Rock and Highgarden to make their arrivals less abrupt … which would have ruined the surprise … which was the entire point!

Petra: Yeah, that really doesn’t make sense.

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Luka: Any thoughts for next episode?

Petra: I’m really excited for “The Spoils of War,” though it’s probably going to be brutal. Like I said, I fully expected Grey Worm to die this episode so however many scenes he has left feels like borrowed time to me. Though I am curious to watch Euron battle an entire army of eunuchs. Given his previous strategy, I wonder if he’ll just spew dick jokes the whole time, if he’ll be incapable of doing much more than listing all the body parts he has that they don’t.

Luka: Did you ever play Monkey Island as a kid? It’s a computer game from the Stone Age about a boy who wants to be a pirate. There’s sword fighting involved but instead of actually fighting with swords you exchange insults. Maybe that’s what we’ll get next week, in which case Euron will probably win since the Unsullied don’t really have a sense of humor … though maybe Grey Worm may have learnt something from Tyrion. Maybe that drinking scene in season 6 wasn’t useless after all!

Petra: Just a duel of words between Euron and Grey Worm next episode? I’m alright with that.

140 responses

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    1. “we should have seen Euron and Jaime departing for Casterly Rock and Highgarden to make their arrivals less abrupt … which would have ruined the surprise … which was the entire point!”

      This
      This
      This
      This
      🙂

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    2. It would be funny if Jaime accidentally grabbed the wrong vile and he just ended up squirting milk of the poppy into Olenna’s drink instead of poison.

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    3. Still no 7.05 title. I wonder if they’ll wait until after 7.04 to release the next two titles.

      I bet HBO is a little sore about the leaks which is holding them back.

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    4. When Daenerys said, “We all enjoy what we’re good at” and Jon said “I don’t” – presuming that what Jon is good at is killing and being a warrior – it felt very reminiscent of that final conversation between Daenerys and Barristan in season 5 in which Barristan corrected Viserys’ old assertions about Rhaegar and stated that Rhaegar may have been great at killing but he didn’t like it at all. It was, perhaps, a “like father like son” moment.

      I completely agree with this. Some people took this to mean that Jon was saying he doesn’t like ruling,but I think what he was talking about was exactly what he had told Sansa last season, that he was tired of fighting, of killing. And it was a call back to Rhaegar, as also the brooding in Dragonstone. How many times must Rhaegar have brooded at the very spot Jon was lol. In the books, Barristan Selmy says something like it was not in Rhaegar to be happy, that he was born in grief. The same holds true for Jon as well. Last season was all about how much of Ned’s influence could be seen in him, this season could be about how similar he naturally is to his birth father.

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    5. ghost of winterfell,

      This intrigues me as well. Since Rhaegar is Jon’s father, it would be awesome to start noticing some similarities between the two instead of trying to make Jon into Ned Stark 2.0

      I can’t wait to see the show finally make it public knowledge within the show’s universe that Jon is a Targaryen.

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    6. Monkey island ftw! I know now where they got the idea of making Euron so bad mouthed! Pirates being pirates!
      Very nice review guys. I just disagree with the Grey Worm part, maybe he’ll survive…
      Discussing time gaps is not necessary anymore, if someone complains about it, it’s just because they don’t understand the story structure…

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    7. the LONE thing about dany and jon meeting i didnt like is the conversation was exactly the opposite of how dany said she was gonna be with her “break the wheel” diatribe. she’s smart enough of a character to get when tyrion is trying to get her to be nicer and she just goes full on dominating emperor to jon who is the first westerosi leader she’s met. seemed way too ham-fisted of her. i loved the comedy of it, but why giver her these monologues only to have her go against them in action often?

      if she’s goes full bore mad queen by the end of the show then all of that will be understandable. i guess i am hoping she stays the cool character she’s been all these years is all.

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    8. Flayed Potatoes,

      Cersei’s scene with Ellaria and Tyene was one of my favorite Cersei scenes so far. It was the worst punishment she could give Ellaria and it was brutal. Cersei has probably put in a lot of thought into how she would like to torture each one of her enemies lol. Lena Headey played it to perfection, as did Indira.

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    9. I don’t think Greyworm will die anytime soon, but of course, who knows. I think they are setting up the Unsullied army to make it back to the fray just in time to turn the tide of a battle this season or next.

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    10. Mr Derp,

      Yeah I think the show went a bit overboard in turning Jon into Ned 2.0 . Ned’s influence on him can’t be denied, but Jon has his own personality, which I want to see more of.

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    11. ManderlyPieCompany,

      It’s about intimidation
      Aegon did the same thing
      He landed in westerns and sent letters to everyone demanding the lords bend the knee.

      And dany is always a character who skirts on the thin line. Remember, this is a woman who was toppled civilizations and seen 100s of thousands of people fall on their knees in front of her. She has a very earned inflated sense of self, whether we like it or not.
      It doesn’t change the good things she stood for, but it’s a very real part of her character.

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    12. Jaime’s character arc on the show in respect of his relationship with Cersei and the Lannister regime has pretty much been in neutral since the end of Season 3.

      HelloThere:
      Remember, this is a woman who was toppled civilizations and seen 100s of thousands of people fall on their knees in front of her. She has a very earned inflated sense of self, whether we like it or not.

      One might argue that having toppled civilizations and brought thousands to their knees in worship is a fairly solid basis for an expansive sense of one’s worth.

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    13. A most enjoyable read Petra and Luka… Thanks for that 🙂

      Ah, the time differences between scenes don’t bother me either. I find it incredible that some posters have an issue with this.

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    14. Sean C.,

      Yes, but that’s because Cersei is a different character in the show in some ways.

      To have him break up with her when their child was in danger, or when she died, or when Cersei went through WoS and they had HS as a big enemy didn’t make much sense in the context of the show.

      He started feeling conflicted over her at the end of S6. And for different reasons than her sex life.

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    15. Sean C.:

      One might argue that having toppled civilizations and brought thousands to their knees in worship is a fairly solid basis for an expansive sense of one’s worth.

      Sean C.,

      Everyone’s opinion is different, but in my opinion, there’s never a justifiable reason to “expand sense of one’s worth”.

      To me, a good leader considers him/herself no more important than their most disenfranchised subjects.

      I find it somewhat strange that someone who spends their life freeing slaves would then subsequently require those former slaves as well as others to “bend the knee”.

      Think about how fucked up it would be if Abraham Lincoln required freed slaves to “bend the knee” to him after the Civil War.

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    16. ghost of winterfell:

      I completely agree with this. Some people took this to mean that Jon was saying he doesn’t like ruling,but I think what he was talking about was exactly what he had told Sansa last season, that he was tired of fighting, of killing. And it was a call back to Rhaegar, as also the brooding in Dragonstone. How many times must Rhaegar have brooded at the very spot Jon was lol. In the books, Barristan Selmy says something like it was not in Rhaegar to be happy, that he was born in grief. The same holds true for Jon as well. Last season was all about how much of Ned’s influence could be seen in him, this season could be about how similar he naturally is to his birth father.

      Given he has now met up with Daenerys, I think it fitting that we start to explore the similarities between Jon and Rhaegar and the Targaryen side of his heritage. There were a number of such references in this episode.

      With the Dragonstone sequence as a whole, I think it was handled correctly. It was unrealistic to have them on the same page on everything after a single scene – the way it evolved was far more realistic and more in keeping with their characters. The writing and acting were both great, and it was clear D&D and Kit & Emilia had been waiting for this moment for years. That build up to this moment made it so worthwhile.

      As for Jaime, he seems to have something akin to Stockholm’s Syndrome regarding Cersei. He is captivated by her, and it is going to take something big to make him snap. I kind of understand the Ellaria/Tyene thing, though. As far as Jaime was concerned I think what happened in the dungeons had an out of sight, sort of out of mind quality to it. And how ever much I think Cersei’s actions in this episode were racking up the Mad Queen points, Myrcella was Jaime’s daughter and she died in his arms. As a parent, it is natural for him to want them to be punished soundly for what they did to her.

      And I’m going to add my name to those not bothered by the time jumps. As has been pointed out, this is nothing new.

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    17. As far as Book Jaime vs. Show Jaime, the one thing they’ve given Show Jaime is a sense of fatherhood.

      Joffrey is nothing to him in the books. He says it out loud. Just a squirt of seed at the wrong time of the month. And he’s not there when Joffrey dies. He has very little contact (that I recall) with Tommen or Myrcella.

      But Show Jaime watched Joffrey die. He had Myrcella die in his arms. And he didn’t see Tommen before he died, but Tommen is clearly on his mind in the season opener.

      So, Show Jaime IS more developed. And I think his sense of loyalty is not just to his love and passion for Cersei, but as a father grieving and wanting to be there while a mother grieves.

      I’m really beginning to wonder if Jaime actually does turn on Cersei. What if his last best chance at redemption rowed away from Riverrun last year and he’s all in now?

      And it would be so George and, by extension, the show, to let us come up with a bunch of other theories about “Little Brother” and then have it still be Tyrion.

      And I’m sorry, but if the choice is accepting a few bits of light-speed travel with a shrug and spreading stuff over episodes or inserting goofy dialogue like “Well, Jaime Fooking Lannister, that was sure a hard three-week march” and “Yes, Bronn. I know. But we had to give Euron a chance to get in position” then I’m taking the light-speed.

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    18. Just wanted to say I appreciate your articulation of callbacks and parallels. They really do add to the richness of the story. Thank you for pointing them out.

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    19. Great discussion of a great episode!

      But, I have to say that I’m a little disappointed with all the skepticism from Team Daenerys… How many times do they have to hear about Azor Ahai, the One that was Promised, and the Great War to Come, before it starts to make sense to them?

      Melisandre “begged” them to summon Jon, hear what he had seen and done, and still they doubt.

      It smells a bit too much like a plot device to me… Jon has to have some reason to go north of the wall again.

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    20. mau:
      He started feeling conflicted over her at the end of S6. And for different reasons than her sex life.

      There hasn’t been much evidence of that.

      Mr Derp:
      To me, a good leader considers him/herself no more important than their most disenfranchised subjects.

      I find it somewhat strange that someone who spends their life freeing slaves would then subsequently require those former slaves as well as others to “bend the knee”.

      Think about how fucked up it would be if Abraham Lincoln required freed slaves to “bend the knee” to him after the Civil War.

      Abraham Lincoln certainly expected freed slaves to afford him whatever respect he was due as President of the United States.

      Westeros runs on a monarchic political model. That whole system is premised on the idea that the people up top are more important; indeed, I don’t think any main character in the series would disagree with that premise.

      Daenerys is the heir of House Targaryen, and according to the political theory of the period, she is owed the fealty of the houses of Westeros. Demanding that people acknowledge that by bending the knee is part and parcel of the whole system.

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    21. The only issue with the meeting with Daenarys & Jon is they did not touch much on the common ground they have. Meaning Daenarys should focus on revenge against Cersei for Ned’s death, Red Wedding, etc and Jon could’ve been like hey come with me to save the realm (a la Stannis’s intent in going North) and the rest of the country will flock to you.

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    22. Mr Derp: Since Rhaegar is Jon’s father, it would be awesome to start noticing some similarities between the two

      That gave me an image of Jon sitting down by the beach at Dragonstone playing a ukulele and singing sad songs.

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    23. Mr Derp,

      These are modern morals, that don’t coincide with a feudal society where kings and queens are treated as second to god.

      This is why many had a problem with the Talisa Rob dynamic, because in that kind of society, Talisa would’ve had her tongue ripped out for speaking against him.

      Crater,
      It would’ve been a plot device for them to believe Jon.

      Dragons are not the same as ice zombies. Dragons are accepted as being part of the world. There are real stories, real legends, named Dragons, dragon skulls, a dragon pit in kings landing.
      Comparing Dragons to Ice zombies is like comparing a real extinct animal to big foot. People in the 7 kingdoms know dragons existed. Most don’t believe white walkers ever existed.

      Her believing in dragons should not extend to white walkers. That would’ve been exceedingly stupid if it went down like that.

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    24. Yeah, I don’t have trouble with the time jumps. Just takes a while before I make sense of it sometimes. What was harder to believe was the perceived ease with which Highgarden was taken. Yes, time can explain it somewhat as well, but it would have been so much smoother if we had seen some siege weapons or remains of them in the aftermath or something. Oh, and Highgarden didn’t look too flowery either…

      About Davos and Tyrion: They definitely aren’t friendly with each other, but when it comes to blaming for Matthos’ death, didn’t Davos openly put that on Melisandre’s shoulders before? I mean, people die in war, in battle. Davos is definitely blaming himself he wasn’t able to protect his son. But he also blames Melisandre for turning Matthos in a fanatic for R’hllor.

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    25. Sean C.,

      Part of Lincoln’s decision to free the slaves was certainly about getting an edge in the war, but I don’t recall that he required any specific form of loyalty or gratitude from former slaves afterwards. Though, he died a bit too quickly after the war for anyone to really know what he would’ve wanted or not.

      And I agree that the politics of the GoT world are certainly different than today’s, for the most part, but Daenerys is all about breaking the wheel anyway, not keeping it going, so we should expect some major change in philosophy from her that distinguishes herself from her contemporaries. If she truly wants to break the wheel then she needs to stop with the bending the knee crap and give power to the people of Westeros to determine their own lives.

      I think Dany has done more good for people than anyone else has in the show, which is why I find the “Bend the knee” stuff from her kind of hypocritical. Giving someone their freedom only to require blind loyalty in return is a confusing proposition. If you give someone freedom, then that means you provide them with the power to make their own decisions and go their own way. “Bending the knee” is not allowing someone to go their own way or make their own decisions. It’s freedom with a heavy burden attached to it.

      Just my two cents.

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    26. The timeline complaints are entirely valid. Yes, obviously, days or weeks pass between scenes, but the problem is that the show doesn’t take this into account when two stories intersect. The show has rarely established the passage of time properly in both stories.

      For example, it would appear, based on the preview for episode 4, that Theon returns to Dragonstone after Dany has already learned of what happened at Highgarden and the Rock.

      This makes no sense. The sea battle would have happened weeks earlier. Yara and the Unsullied left around the same time. After the sea battle, Euron has time to return to KL and go to Casterly Rock, or at any rate, send his ships there.

      Theon should have been returning to Dragonstone around the same time that Euron made it back to King’s Landing.

      If, as I suspect, Theon does indeed make it back to Dragonstone after news of Highgarden and Casterly Rock’s respective sieges reaches Dany, it will be a time inconsistency, no question about it. Is it a big deal ? Not really, but it’s definitely illogical and for some people ruins immersion.

      It would mean Theon took weeks to get back for some reason, while Euron did not. It would also mean Jon has been on Dragonstone for weeks, as he was already there when Dany learned of the sea battle.

      Passage of time needs to be consistent between intersecting stories. When the show just fast forwards ahead weeks or even months and does not take that into account for intersecting stories, it is committing an inconsistency.

      If weeks passed for Euron, Jaime, and the Unsullied, then weeks should also have passed for Theon, Dany, Tyrion and Jon.

      Furthermore, the show’s established timelines rarely makes any sense.

      Cersei tells Tycho Nestoris to give her a fortnight. We know that Jaime is in KL when Tycho arrives, because Cersei’s handmaiden announces it to her while Jaime is right there in bed.

      So Cersei expects Jaime to ride to Highgarden, take it, take the gold, and ride back within two weeks.

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    27. I am not saying this to be a contrarian: I don’t think Cersei’s revenge against Ellaria was so horrible.

      After all, what Ellaria did to innocent Myrcella in (“We don’t hurt little girls in”) Dorne was inexcusable. Pick a fight, start a war: fine. Massacre some soldiers, okay. But to cruelly assassinate a girl just to piss off her parents? I don’t blame Cersei for wanting to know “Why did you do that to me?”

      And again, Ellaria’s venom originated in Oberyn’s enthusiastic voluntary decision to be Tyrion’s champion to try to kill the Mountain. The Lannisters didn’t “slaughter” Oberyn: they made him one of the three judges at Tyrion’s otherwise rigged trial. As just about everyone has observed, if Oberyn hadn’t spiked the ball before crossing the goal line and started showboating, he would have succeeded in killing Gregor and exposing Tywin as the one who gave the order to have Ellia killed.

      Tyene could’ve suffered a worse fate than a relatively painless death by nosebleed (judging by Myrcea’s rather quick “I’m glad you’re my dad…Oops I’m dead” shipboard scene). When Cersei was commenting on Tyene’s beautiful face, I was bracing myself for something truly horrible to happen to that face.

      On the spectrum of transgressions and commensurate torture, I’m not so sure Ellaria didn’t get off rather easy compared to dear Septa Unella. (Initially, I thought Cersei was going to introduce Ser Gregor as Ellaria’s new boyfriend for some dungeon S&M role playing. )
      Finally, what did Ellaria think would happen to her and her own daughter if the war SHE instigated by murdering another mother’s daughter went sour? Arguably, she should’ve kept her own daughter safe and secure, far away from the battle zone.

      Disclaimer: I just love Lena Headey. That automatically makes me sympathize with and rationalize the behavior of her character.

      #LongMaySheReign

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    28. emilyred:
      I agree with everything in here. I can’t believe the timeline criticisms. Are people really that idiotic?

      There’s nothing idiotic about noticing time inconsistencies.

      Everyone knows that days, weeks, or even months can pass between scenes. The problem is that the show often states how much time has passed, and it often doesn’t make sense based on what we know happened during that time.

      It’s also sometimes possible, based on converging stories’ respective timelines, to understand how much time has passed in each of those stories, and therefore when the two stories in question intersect, it sometimes becomes apparent that more time would have logically passed for one character than the other, which does not make sense.

      The point is, the show often mentions time, how much time it’ll take to do something, how much time it’ll take to travel, etc…, and when you take the time to think about it, you realize that the timeline the show establishes makes very little sense at all.

      That’s it. They only have 10 episodes left, so they are obviously not capable of making the different stories all line up properly, at this point they just want to advance the story, I understand that, but it’s perfectly legitimate to point out the flaws.

      Nothing “idiotic” about it.

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    29. •Davos and Tyrion referred to their former enmity at the Battle of the Blackwater, though they haven’t acknowledged that Tyrion indirectly killed Davos’ son, Matthos… yet

      I don’t think this should be addressed. It was war.

      I absolutely love this conversation today… especially your thoughts on Sansa, the Time Jumping, and the call backs to previous seasons.

      You’ve also made me really nervous about next episode… calling it brutal.. I don’t know if that’s based on knowledge of what will happen but I am scared AS FUCK LOL

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    30. JAS,

      What did Cersei have to do with the Red Wedding? And as for Ned, she outmaneuvered him, and was okay with the false treason confession/exile to the Wall deal — that Joffrey unilaterally and unexpectedly vetoed because he was a sick f*ck.

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    31. Dee Stark,

      Yea, I agree about Davos and Tyrion. They fought a war against each other. One won, the other lost. Period.

      Tyrion was defending his home against an invasion by Stannis/Davos and had every right to protect it

      Besides, from a show watcher standpoint, I wasn’t exactly upset to never see Mathos again. He was kind of a douche.

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    32. Mr Derp,

      I took the “break the wheel” speech to mean that she was going to end the musical chairs of power and firmly establish the Targaryens as the rightful monarchs. As Tywin would say, “a dynasty that will last a thousand years.”

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    33. Crater: Melisandre “begged” them to summon Jon, hear what he had seen and done, and still they doubt.

      But yet again he didn’t really say what he had seen!

      We’ve had this type of scene several times now, where all he seems to think he needs to say to convince people is “The dead are coming”. By now we should have had a scene where he actually describes the White Walkers, the Night King and the wights, and spells out what he saw happen at Hardhome.

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    34. Mr Derp,

      I thought Davos and Tyrion treated each other with respect, as mutually worthy adversaries in a bygone war. There’s no reason for either one to hold a grudge against the other, and they now have so much in common, eg, admiration for Jon Snow – and as Tyrion conceded, an awareness of the reality of the existential threat posed by the WW, which many others are dismissing as imaginary creatures from children’s fairy tales.

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    35. Markus Stark,

      I agree. The time jumps are inconsistent for the very reason you mention. But I am personally fine with overlooking it. The same way I overlooked Jon and the wildlings returning from Hardhome by marching to Castle Black instead of sailing back to Eastwatch. Even if they encountered storms and had to go to shore, Eastwatch would still be much closer than CB and would be the obvious place to return to. In both cases, the show prefers drama over common sense.

      As you said, with 10 episodes left, they are more interested in wrapping up the story than worrying about timelines making sense. It’s a main difference between the show and books and a big reason it takes GRRM so long to write, IMO. The whole Meereenese Knot comes to mind.

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    36. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      But in a way D&D are really consistent with that inconsistency LOL. It’s not something new in S7.

      This is a season where characters are interacting more than ever, so maybe it is more obvious now.

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    37. My current feeling is that Jaime’s decision to burn Cersei’s letter is going to turn out to be a mistake. In a sense it has already, since he could have avoided Lady Stoneheart by riding posthaste back to KL. The big difference in the show isn’t their relationship, it’s the removal of Tommen from the picture, and Jaime’s dismissal from the Kingsguard. With Sansa and Arya both safe, this makes things very simple because it means that literally Jaime’s only wordly obligation is to Cersei.

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    38. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      The only thing that looked a bit iffy in the Teleporting Department was Euron managing to sail all around the continent in time to catch the Unsullied fleet. Then again, we don’t know if Euron was with that fleet. He may have returned to King’s Landing to parade Ellaria around the city while the rest of the fleet went in pursuit of the Unsullied. I don’t particularly buy it (would Euron really leave his ship?), but it’s not that important to me.

      As for Markus Stark’s point on Jaime reaching Highgarden and returning to KL in a fortnight, I don’t see a problem there. For one, TV Westeros is considerably smaller than book Westeros. We know that from several sources, chief being Roose Bolton’s nice little geography lesson to his son in Season 4. Two, army may have gathered and started marching south from the Westerlands before Jaime left King’s Landing. Without being slowed down by a huge army, I don’t think it implausible he could’ve reached Highgarden in a week’s time.

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    39. These Glass Candle dialogues continue to be the gift that keeps on giving. Fantastic discussion as always!

      I’m in cpmplete agreement with Luka’s analysis of Jaime’s relationship with Cersei, and to be perfectly honest, I also prefer how the show is approaching Jaime’s story. I find the point-of-view that sees Jaime’s character arc solely through his connection to Cersei to be far too narrow and constricting. Over the past several seasons, I’ve loved seeing the show explore Jaime’s guilt over his role in Tywin’s death and his complicated feelings of fatherhood, as well as the loss that accompanies it (his utter disregard for his children in the books always annoyed me). That’s all been very interesting to me, and in that respect, I’ve seen Jaime face constant challenges and evolve (one of the reasons why I like Jaime’s sojourn to Dorne more than most is because I see it as Jaime’s story, not Dorne’s story – a story about him grappling with his feelings about being a father to Myrcella, gaining her love and acknowledgment, and ultimately losing her. I’ve expressed how much I love their final scene together multiple times, so I won’t repeat it here). In short, I don’t see him as being static or stuck in neutral at all.

      Regardless of the medium, Cersei holds a strong hold over Jaime – even when he’s separated from her, he thinks about her constantly. That hold is strengthened in the show because Cersei is a smarter, more emotionally well-rounded character, and her love for Jaime appears to be – while still not entirely pure – less selfish and more genuine than it is the novels. Her myriad, wanton infidelities have been significantly reduced – the Kettleblacks don’t exist, so the only other man she’s slept with is Lancel (aka Knockoff Jaime) which she only while Jaime was gone. When Cersei in the show says to Jaime that they’re the “only two people in the world”, I believe her far more than I do on the page. I’m not saying they aren’t doomed – I’m saying that the show clearly has a plan, and they’re keeping their powder dry for when the final break comes, and it actually matters.

      Furthermore, I don’t believe that Jaime is forever done with Cersei in the novels either. Unless Jaime dies early in TWOW, he has a large amount of story left, and last we saw Jaime in ADWD, Brienne – a woman he respects and perhaps unconsciously loves – was leading him under false pretenses into the clutches of an undead murder zombie. If he survives that nightmarish experience, I imagine he might rethink a few things – like perhaps the fact that he’s sad that his sister cheated on him with a worthless pawn who doesn’t matter ultimately isn’t the end of his world and everything he thought he knew. He is still a Lannister, after all. When Cersei and his family face a danger that isn’t of her own making – whether that danger takes the form of Dany or fAegon and his crew – I’m hard-pressed to believe that he’ll continue to waltz around the Riverlands on his tour of self-pity and self-discovery. Jaime’s “redemption arc” is not and never has been a clean straight line, and I don’t think burning the letter isn’t the end-all be-all that some want it to be.

      And for everyone who loves to tout both the “Jaime is free of Cersei forever in the books” AND the “Jaime is the valonqar” theory … if Jaime shows up merely to fulfill the prophecy and kill his sister after not interacting with her at all for several books, I’ll be annoyed my very core. That’s a cheap way out, and I’d like to believe that GRRM is better than that.

      WorfWWorfington,

      Well said.

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    40. I accidentally posted leaks with my link but really take a look at that reddit post about the time lines. They are not at all wrong. Just saying.

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    41. Grandmaester Flash,

      Agreed. Jon has been holding back the details, for sure. “The army of the dead is real!” is not very persuasive.

      You’d think, with so much at stake, they’d do a full presentation, with visual aides and some somber background music!

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    42. On to other topics!

      I really enjoyed Petra and Luka’s analysis of Jon and Dany’s initial meeting, especially the focus on the two character’s superficially different yet thematically similar perspectives, their distinct objectives, and the way that history – both the show’s own and events that took place long before – weighed heavily on their conversations. I particularly love the subtle callback to Barristan’s conversation with Dany about Rhaegar in Season 5 – he never loved killing, and his son doesn’t either, even though they’re both very good at it. Dany was quite taken by that story about her brother, and while she obviously doesn’t know about Jon’s relationship to Rhaegar, the look that she shoots him after he makes that confession suggests that she recognizes something similarly intriguing about the King in the North, even if she can’t quite consciously place it.

      As for the fast travel and this season’s more rapid pace, I have absolutely no problems with it, and in fact I’m quite enjoying it. In many respects, I prefer it. I understand why people have issues with it, but it’s an issue on which we will never see eye-to-eye, because true-to-life temporal logistics are not a primary value that I require from this story. I don’t need establishing scenes of characters arriving, departing, and traveling, like that Forbes article suggests, so that I can create a neat orderly timeline in my head. My mind can always find a way to justify how the characters got where they got when they got there. I don’t need the show to spell it out for me.

      If I want Planetos travelogues, I know where to find them. I would much rather that the show devote more of its remaining screentime to dynamite character interactions like the ones we got this week between Jon and Dany, Cersei and Ellaria, and Jaime and Olenna. Emotionally potent scenes like that are why I love this story, and why I watch this show. In the 10 short episodes of Game of Thrones that we have left, I want as many of those scenes as possible. It’s need not be an either-or proposition, but if so much as one such scene needs to be sacrificed in order to show characters riding horses through a field or whiling away their time on a ship, that’s a sacrifice that I am not willing to make.

      If that means jetpacks, well then … I guess I love jetpacks! I kiss jetpacks. I write the name “Jetpacks” on the corner of my school notebook and surround it with a hundred bright red hearts. I want to take jetpacks to the prom and slow-dance the night away. I want to be Mr. Jared Jetpack.

      Jetpacks forever!

        Quote  Reply

    43. I now look forward to these more than almost any other regular feature on the site. Love these.

      Couple thoughts on Jaime…

      Jaime may not know exactly what is happening to Ellaria and Tyene, but he probably has some idea that it is awful and I doubt he cares too much. He might personally rather kill them swiftly and semi-honorably, but he hates Ellaria after what happened to Myrcella and probably doesn’t mind her going through any physical or emotional torture. He is okay with Cersei letting out some rage on some deserving victims, whereas he didn’t have any hatred towards Ollena so advocated for a more merciful death.

      I really appreciated Luka’s comments on Jaime. Agree with him completely.

      My understanding of his arc is that, since S3, he has tried to be the hero – he saved Tyrion, tried to save Myrcella. But those actions either backfired or failed spectacularly. He has fewer and fewer people he cares about, and once again his love for Cersei pushes him down a darker path paved by his growing nihilism. In S6 they signaled his regression in that great scene with Edmure with that line “the things we do for love,” as he threatens to murder a child so he can get back to Cersei. Great callback to his initial act of evil, justified by his desire to protect Cersei.

      Now, there are even fewer people Jaime cares about. Cersei is almosy all he has left. He feels duty-bound and love-bound to obey her and protect her. He can see her flaws and be disturbed by them, he may know that he will end up dying for her, but his love is unconditional. His feelings are complex but so far I find it more interesting than Jaime dumping Cersei (even as she faces possible death!) after learning she cheated on him.

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    44. Petra and Luka:

      Thank so much for this. I really enjoy your conversations and your take on each weeks’ episode.

      This time in particular, thank you for addressing the time issue!!! The lack of originality many people exhibit in regards to this show is so wearisome!

      I totally agree with both of you on this. It’s puzzling to me that people are bitching about time travel in a wonderfully written and acted series, that keeps us on our toes every Sunday (or Monday for some poor people), where there are dragons, direwolves, wargs, greenseers, three-eyed-ravens, people coming back form the dead, an army of the dead, unburnt people, half-dead people, priests and priestesses who see visions and hear voices in the flames, shadow babies, assasins who can put on the face of another person they killed and instantly adopt their voice, height, looks, body shape and mannerisms, seasons that last for years… uf! (and the series falls short from the books that talk additionally of ice spiders, glass candles…!!). Seriously!

      I always remember a screenwriting book I once read, where the author said that in any show or film there is an unwritten contract with the audience. You are going to see magic, so open your mind to what this entails. This is an action movie, so expect your hero to survive almost unscathed from every obstacle that comes his/her way… and so on and so forth.

      The thing is some series suck, so you don’t buy it. But GoT has proven to be so good as to wish the time travel issue to be one more of the contractual clauses. Many of us signed for it and so we can move forward. Every time I read the complaints, it reminds me of the Batman and Robin show from the sixties where to show the passage of time and a change of place, a rotating logo appeared in the screen accompanied by a particular tune. It’s hilarious, but it reminds me of the early times in TV when you needed to be very literal.

      I am particularly glad to see how the show is tackling the different storylines and how it is moving between them this season. This year it seems like they are gliding instead of jumping from one scenario to the other.

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    45. Jared,

      A perfect analysis of Jaime. Congrats to both you and WorfWWorfington. Jaime and Cersei are quite a bit different characters than in the books, and for the better I think. More nuanced, layered, less cartoonish (this last remark especially concerns Cersei as her over-the-top batshit crazy seductress villainy always bothered me a bit).

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    46. Ten Bears:
      I am not saying this to be a contrarian: I don’t think Cersei’s revenge against Ellaria was so horrible.

      After all, what Ellaria did to innocentMyrcella in (“We don’t hurt little girls in”) Dorne was inexcusable. Pick a fight, start a war: fine. Massacre some soldiers, okay.But to cruelly assassinate a girl just to piss off her parents? I don’t blame Cersei for wanting to know “Why did you do that to me?”

      And again, Ellaria’s venom originated in Oberyn’s enthusiastic voluntary decision to be Tyrion’s champion to try to kill the Mountain. The Lannisters didn’t “slaughter” Oberyn: they made him one of the three judges at Tyrion’s otherwise rigged trial. As just about everyone has observed, if Oberyn hadn’t spiked the ball before crossing the goal line and started showboating, he would have succeeded in killing Gregor and exposing Tywin as the one who gave the order to have Ellia killed.

      Tyene could’ve suffered a worse fate than a relatively painless death by nosebleed (judging by Myrcea’s rather quick “I’m glad you’re my dad…Oops I’m dead” shipboard scene). When Cersei was commenting on Tyene’s beautiful face, I was bracing myself for something truly horrible to happen to that face.

      On the spectrum of transgressions and commensurate torture, I’m not so sure Ellaria didn’t get off rather easy compared to dear Septa Unella. (Initially, I thought Cersei was going to introduce Ser Gregor as Ellaria’s new boyfriend for some dungeon S&M role playing. )Finally, what did Ellaria think would happen to her and her own daughterif the war SHE instigated by murdering another mother’s daughter went sour? Arguably, she should’ve kept her own daughter safe and secure,far away from the battle zone.

      Disclaimer: I just love Lena Headey. That automatically makes me sympathize with and rationalize the behavior of her character.

      #LongMaySheReign

      Yup yup!

      I loved how Cersei finally called out Oberyn for getting his damn self killed. Oberyn being one of my absolute favourites, but honestly….Ellaria going full personality switch because of his dumb lapse of judgement is one of the things that irked me to no end. To quote Radiohead: “You do it to yourself, yeah, and that’s what really hurts.”

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    47. To: Jedi Master of Jetpacks Jared

      Yes! The “emotionally potent scenes” are why I love this story too.
      Watching people riding horsies or sitting in wagons for ten minutes per show just to establish distances traveled and passage of time would squander precious minutes.

      I was thinking similar thoughts to those you expressed when the episode opened with Jon + Davos disembarking from their boat on the beach of Dragonstone: What purpose would it serve to show them leaving the port at White Harbor and sailing on the ocean? None. I enjoyed the playful greetings exchanges between “The Bastard of Winterfell” and “The Dwarf of Casterly Rock” so much more then a bunch of scenes showing how Jon went from Point A to Point B on a fictional map of a fictional continent.

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    48. IF……Jamie somehow did not know what Cersei intended to do with Tyene and Ellaria, then he, without doubt, engaged in the practice of willful ignorance. He knows they’re there, he knows something shit is going to occur. He chooses to not intervene.

      Personally, I think he knew about everything Cersei had planned for them. Thus his troubled countenance.

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    49. If I may chime in on the Ellaria scene on purely personal grounds… it hit me way, way harder than I expected, and not just because of Indira Varma’s phenomenal acting chops. Varma has a striking resemblance to my aunt in her younger days. I have a photo in the family album… it’s uncanny.

      Ellaria and Olenna’s final scenes really shook me, I must admit. I can’t remember the last time deaths (or implied deaths) had such an impact on me… Damn, this show is brutal… and so good.

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    50. Assuming that Jaime survives whatever happens between him and Lady Stoneheart and assuming that he’s the one who ends Cersei’s reign of terror, he’ll have to meet with Cersei again. I wonder if people seriously think he’ll just arrive back at King’s Landing and dispatch Cersei immediately, that there won’t be any more relational development between them before their inevitable end.

      Luka well said. I’m confused what people think that Jaime is going to do after LSH…

      I just don’t understand how or why people say that Jaime has changed so much from the books when in fact it is Cersei that is different. For Jaime to abandon Cersei with the information he has would be unrealistic and actually would blacken his character. Cersei in the books is a complete b**** to Jaime. She emasculates and viciously mocks him. Cersei is actually kind to Jaime in the show. She does exactly what she needs to do to make him believe he matters to her.

      I’d argue that Jaime is more noble in the show than his book 4/5 character. Book Jaime offered to murder Arya. Book Jaime still doesn’t care about his own children (he’s vaguely fond of Tommen I guess). Show Jaime was devastated by Myrcella’s death. Book 4 Jaime spends most of the pages obsessing about Cersei & having a little snit because she cheated on him. Would book Jaime have tried to rescue Margaery from the high septon? I doubt it. Book Jaime threatened to have Edmure’s kid murdered so he could prove he was like Tywin. Show Jaime threatened to have Edmure’s kid murdered so he could protect Brienne.

      Finally, in her hour of greatest need, about to face a mysoginistic punishment for actions that are also his fault, Book Jaime turned against Cersei. All because she cheated on him.

      Can someone please explain to me what exactly Book Jaime has done that is so redemptive that Show Jaime has not?! Because I don’t see a single action that supports that line of reasoning.

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    51. Mr Fixit,

      “Ellaria and Olenna’s final scenes really shook me, I must admit. I can’t remember the last time deaths (or implied deaths) had such an impact on me”

      Me too. Similarly, Tommen’s death hit me in the same way.

      I knew each of these characters were ill-fated but was still unexpectedly moved by both scenes.

      Coincidentally, I’ve a aunt who looks exactly like Kinarva circa 1980s. Really! It’s unnerving.

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    52. Ice and fire has already met – embodied within Jon Snow, that is if we’re talking genetics.
      That is Jon’s superpower.

      If were talking math, Dany and Jon meeting represents ice+fire+ice, using the distributive law.

      Dany is so doggone impressive, and Jon so uncommunicative, that it’s hard to fathom that he’s THE guy.

      Can’t take Euron or any Ironborn seriously. If producers wanted me to, they should have omitted the kraken fireplace that looks suspiciously like a vulva, and the old man crouched before it warming his hands. I’ve picked up many pieces of driftwood in my life, but never have I thought to place a piece atop my head. Cue the wacky Benny Hill soundtrack!

      Dany believes Jon; however, she’s wrestling with her obligations and shifting course. She is obligated to her allies and to her armies. She cannot simply turn her back to Cersai and head north. That would require deep thought..and planning.
      Good writeup.

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    53. ramses,

      Jaime knew they are rotting in a dungeon, which is better than they deserve. B****es visciously murdered an innocent girl & boy to start a war.

      If Cersei had made this execution public then I have little doubt jaime would be having mad king – Starks flashbacks and it would seriously undermine his supporting Cersei. Cersei was wise to do this privately.

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    54. QueenofThrones,

      So, you’re saying all that Jamie knew about Tyene’s and Ellaria’s fate was that they were locked in a dungeon? By Cersei. Cersei locked the women who killed her only daughter in a dungeon and that’s it.

      No way Jamie is naive enough to think that is all Cersei would do to them.

      *My initial comment was not about Ellaria and Tyene’s eye for an eye punishment. It was a comment about Jamie’s continued moral ambiguity*

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    55. The Jetpacks, teleporting, secret flying vehicles are getting old. If you don’t get that there’s some sort of time passage on both the show and books and some events take place at different times and some at the same time then I’ll think you’re slow. We’re seven seasons in and if you didn’t see how Jaime and Cersie got from Kings Landing to Winterfell the same episode or Cat from Winterfell to Kings Landing in 2 episodes than I don’t know what to tell you.

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    56. Grandmaester Flash,

      I really wish they’d give Jon better dialogue. They make him repeat the same talking points, fine, but they need to throw in some colorful descriptions. Or are they trying to make the “enemy” as nondescript and boring as possible?

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    57. King Podrick,

      It’s good to separate the complaints into two groups..

      There are people who complain about scenes jumping ahead without showing a stately passage of time, and those people are wrong. If nothing eventful happens, as in “How was the trip?” “The winds were kind.”, then there’s no reason to put them onscreen.

      There are people who complain about scenes being needlessly presented out of order from when they logically occurred, and those people are right. It’s a simple error to have caught and corrected, and beneath the quality of the show that we expect.

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    58. ramses,

      WHy not? Cersei hasn’t tortured anyone that Jaime knows about. She demanded Jaime kill Tyrion and bring His head back for killing Joffery. She didn’t demand he be tortured.

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    59. Mr Fixit,

      You talking about how Ellaria looks just like your aunt reminds me of Littlefinger. Every time the man pops up on screen I’m thinking of the resemblance he has to my uncle when he was a bit younger. Aiden Gillen does not much look like him but LF really does for some reason lol.

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    60. Mr Derp,

      I agree entirely with your philosophy on power and individual freedom, but within the context of Westeros, rebellion and feuding among the lords mean suffering for the commoners. Uniting under a strong leader means one kind of freedom, the kind that comes with relative peace – even if it doesn’t equate to individual autonomy, at least people are “free” to survive and raise their families and do the business that they are capable of pursuing (fundamentally different from slavery, in which enslaved people are denied even these basic freedoms.)

      I worked for many years in post-conflict zones and was always troubled by the attraction that many people in these countries had to leaders who were basically dictators – but the attraction had to do with peace after years of turmoil, losing family members, starving, etc. When you don’t have a precedent for functional democracy, peace under a strong but dictatorial leader may be the best you can envision. And Dany is fumbling towards something bigger than that, but she doesn’t have a precedent for anything different either, and she needs the Seven Kingdoms unified before she can enact reforms. Imagine that she “breaks the wheel” for three or four of the Seven Kingdoms but then the North or the Riverlands or the Westerlands are still under feudal rule – she’s a liberator, she’s not going to rest, especially if those rulers are bad. On top of that, whoever is ruling in these places will (potentially) see her example as a threat to their own legitimacy, so there is still going to be conflict, which will make her people suffer, and also make the people in these other kingdoms suffer. So to me, the emphasis on bending the knee makes sense within the context of a feudal leader who wants to enact reform.

      Neither Dany nor Jon see power as an end in itself – they see power as a means to ends. This is in stark contrast to Cersei, for whom power is the end. Dany feels entitled to the throne and she uses strong language about her rights, but she wants to change things. Jon is more extreme in this regard – he doesn’t even really want the power, he only takes it to accomplish specific ends. Cersei just wants to be on the throne, and if the common folk (or anyone else) suffer so that she can rule, she doesn’t care. I don’t see much discussion of this distinction but to me it’s key.

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    61. And by the way, I really enjoy these Glass Candle posts. I love the discussions and the flow of ideas. Nice work, guys!

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    62. Queenofthrones,

      To me, that’s not a believably adequate knowledge base for Jamie to have regarding Cersei. He knows she blew up the sept which means he knows she killed countless innocents to take out their/her enemies.

      I think Cersei is picking up on his apprehension as well.

      Also, Cersei did torture Septa Unella. Does Jamie know this though?

      A simple stroll through the dungeon or a few conversations with certain people in the red keep would reveal all if he wanted to know. Willful ignorance and moral ambiguity.

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    63. Thanks Luka and Petra, I enjoyed reading this and the posts for other episodes.

      As you two pointed out so well, we are reaping the benefits of the history of characters and events with scenes that convey so much in one or two lines of dialog. I feel like we are all being rewarded for our investment of time and attention in this series with these great characters meeting and forces either coming together or clashing.

      On the time jumps, it doesn’t bother me, I’m just going along for the ride! But if it is a concern for others, I respect that and hope they can still enjoy the TV series.

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    64. Jared,

      There’s a difference between Jaime never seeing Cersei again and what the show has done, namely, doing whatever she wants and even breezing past things like her using wildfire as a weapon of mass destruction, something even NCW said he expected there to be more of a reaction to. Jaime at the end of his AFFC/ADWD arc is contemplating playing more of a role in Tommen’s life and trying to fix the way things are going in King’s Landing.

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    65. ygritte:
      Grandmaester Flash,

      I really wish they’d give Jon better dialogue. They make him repeat the same talking points, fine, but they need to throw in some colorful descriptions. Or are they trying to make the “enemy” as nondescript and boring as possible?

      I think it’s fine the way Jon is trying to convince Danny about the White Walkers. It fits Jon as the character and I don’t expect him to transform into a phone salesman. Jon is not much of a talker. He leads by action.
      He doesn’t need to go into full detail about how many dead men he has sliced. That’s more crazy than convincing Dead men actually exist. You start slow and warm them up to it. Jon and Tyrion had a conversation about his selling point in the same episode.

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    66. ramses,

      Unlike in the books, Cersei does not take Jaime’s support for granted.
      Based on his reaction, Cersei obviously knows Jaime did not approve of the Sept thing and would not approve of her use of sadistic torture so she keeps that hidden from him. I don’t think it would be hard to hide Unella and Elaria/Tyene away in part of the Black Cells that only she and Qyburn have access to. She also hid her plans to use wildfire from Jaime during S6.

      I agree absolutely that Jaime rationalizes some of Cersei’s actions (principally the sept thing) – because it is convenient to do so. He pushes back about that – now, I wish he would push back harder and the fact he doens’t does demonstrate moral ambiguity. That’s what makes Jaime a compelling character – IMO the best case in the series for “The human heart in conflict with itself”. If he really knew about Cersei getting off on Torturing people – like if it was done in front of him – and he still supported Cersei… that wouldn’t be ambiguous at all.

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    67. Mr Derp:
      Part of Lincoln’s decision to free the slaves was certainly about getting an edge in the war, but I don’t recall that he required any specific form of loyalty or gratitude from former slaves afterwards.Though, he died a bit too quickly after the war for anyone to really know what he would’ve wanted or not.

      I didn’t say that he wanted some specific form of loyalty or gratitude. But he expected the slaves to abide by the established US political system, which would include acknowledging and respecting his authority as POTUS.

      And I agree that the politics of the GoT world are certainly different than today’s, for the most part, but Daenerys is all about breaking the wheel anyway, not keeping it going, so we should expect some major change in philosophy from her that distinguishes herself from her contemporaries.If she truly wants to break the wheel then she needs to stop with the bending the knee crap and give power to the people of Westeros to determine their own lives.

      People attach way, way too much significance to the “break the wheel” quote. Dany has, from Day 1, been quite clear about her position regarding Westeros: she is its rightful queen. That is an end unto itself, something she is by birthright entitled to, as she understands it. “Breaking the wheel” means putting an end to the civil wars and restoring the Targaryen dynasty with herself as unchallenged and supreme autocrat. She “broke the wheel” among the Dothraki by massacring the khals and putting the whole horde under her leadership.

      I think Dany has done more good for people than anyone else has in the show, which is why I find the “Bend the knee” stuff from her kind of hypocritical. Giving someone their freedom only to require blind loyalty in return is a confusing proposition. If you give someone freedom, then that means you provide them with the power to make their own decisions and go their own way. “Bending the knee” is not allowing someone to go their own way or make their own decisions. It’s freedom with a heavy burden attached to it.

      You’re conflating two different situations, and different types of freedom. The people she gave freedom to were the slaves in Slaver’s Bay, who (presumably) gained the sort of individual economic and social rights that a free person in Westeros (presumably) has. She then administered Slaver’s Bay as an autocrat until she was ready to leave and resume her quest to retake Westeros. Since she didn’t want to retain Slaver’s Bay, she left its governance and sovereignty to some vague group of citizens to figure out.

      Dany has never said anything about giving freedom to people in Westeros. There’s no slavery in Westeros. Her conquest of Westeros is, and has always been, about restoring her birthright as the heir of House Targaryen. Once she’s queen, one imagines she intends to be a just and benevolent one, but that’s not inconsistent with her avowed program. Dany’s opposition to slavery doesn’t mean she wanted to abolish feudalism or create a democracy, a system she’s never had any interest in or experience with — nor does anyone else in Westeros for that matter, including the Starks, who are every bit as autocratic as Dany by inclination.

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    68. Hodor Targaryen: he threatens to murder a child so he can get back to Cersei.

      He said that because if he did not get Edmure to surrender, then his army would storm the castle and Brienne would probably be killed (B:”Honor compels me to fight for Sansa’s Kin – to fight you” J: “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that”), not to mention thousands of others. He said some hateful shit but he did it for the greater good.

      (Blackfish is the worst by the way)

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    69. QueenofThrones,

      Jaime was trying to avoid killing the defenders in both scenarios. I don’t see that one is any different from the other, beyond that in the show he knows one of the defenders personally, and he’s sincere about wanting to go back to Cersei.

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    70. QueenofThrones,

      ” I don’t think it would be hard to hide Unella and Elaria/Tyene away in part of the Black Cells that only she and Qyburn have access to. “

      I think it would be hard to keep this from Jamie. That is to say, a Jamie who was interested in knowing.

      “She also hid her plans to use wildfire from Jaime during S6.”

      Jamie was conveniently out of town for the planning and execution of the sept explosion.

      ” I wish he would push back harder and the fact he doens’t does demonstrate moral ambiguity. That’s what makes Jaime a compelling character”

      For sure agree. I believe Jamie’s inactions this season are a display of willful ignorance. This aligns directly with his character arc. Jamie is complicated.

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    71. Re-watching the Jon/Dany meeting scene, and I picked up on an interesting contrast in how Jon and Dany view their roles.

      The lords of the North placed their trust in me to lead them and I will continue to do so as well as I can.

      I have always seen Jon as more of a leader than a ruler, and he uses this terminology himself. There is almost an idea of Jon as an elected leader in this – yes, his Stark blood is hugely significant, but the lords of the North chose him. They proclaimed him King in the North.

      I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms. And I will.

      Dany talks instead of a birthright and destiny. She speaks of running a nation rather than leading one.

      It is interesting to use their words as part of a wider comparison on their leadership styles.

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    72. Sean C.,
      The main point is that he didn’t do it “so he could get back to Cersei”. he did it so that he could save thousands of lives. Also, in the show getting back to his siter quickly actually mattered, since he had good reason to suppose she was in trouble.

      Prior to that, and in the show only he intended to allow the Blackfish to leave with his army which is completely anti the Lannister cause and Cersei would 100% not approve.

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    73. Jamie is so layered that I would be surprised if we the viewers/readers were given a satisfactory redemption arc for him.

      This guy literally pushed a stark angel out of the window in the first episode, and now I love him.

      I’m not against a redemption arc for him. In fact there are two, which I deem most plausible, I can see happening.

      …bullshit bullshit bullshit …BUT I wouldn’t be surprised if Jamie’s story left me unfulfilled so to speak.

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    74. ramses:
      QueenofThrones,
      I think it would be hard to keep this from Jamie. That is to say, a Jamie who was interested in knowing.

      Only the king and the master of whisperers have access to the deepest of the Black Cells. Why would Jaime go there? And in the case of Elaria/Tyene, again, why would he not be satisfied with the idea that they’re rotting in a cell, soon to be executed? It’s again exactly what they both deserve.

      Jamie was conveniently out of town for the planning and execution of the sept explosion.

      Not exactly – when Cersei questions Qyburn about wildfire (after her TBC is deemed illegal), it is clear that asked him about it long ago – most crtainly before Jaime left. Secondly, she commanded Jaime to leave (he wasn’t only “conveniently” out of town – he was engineered to be out of town). Ergo, Cersei was planning to use the wildfire and kept this information from Jaime.

      For sure agree. I believe Jamie’s inactions this season are a display of willful ignorance. This aligns directly with his character arc. Jamie is complicated.

      Jaime definitely has a hard time being convincing in his conversation with Olenna about why a good person would support Cersei. He’s grasping at straws with his “well it will be better, surely, after the war…” Hello no, she’s going to be WAY worse when she doens’t have a war to fight… He was 100% rattled by the Sept.

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    75. Mr Fixit,

      You know, I thought “Gosh he’s (Euron’s) got there quickly” when Grey Worm looked down from the ramparts of Casterly Rock and saw the ironborn fleet. I did look to see if any of the ironborn ships were rowed by galley slaves but I don’t think so, so presumably they (the ships) had had favourable winds on the journey. I’m not that perturbed by the possible discrepancy. I’m still enjoying the show – I liked the ASOIAF books as a “good read” (or should that be “good reads” plural) rather than as a work of literature. I’ve said before it must be something of a poisoned chalice to adapt an unfinished written work (especially if the author is still living).

      (This paragraph isn’t aimed at you, Mr Fixit). There are a few “rant” videos cropping up on YouTube re: GoT these days but to be honest I’m happier that those who are discontented with the way the storyline in the show is now headed express their feelings in such videos – rather that than they come to fansites such as this to expand upon their displeasure. I have no beef with people who are unhappy with the later seasons of the show per se; whether one likes or dislikes something is instinctive anyhow.

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    76. Im sure that Grey Worm and the Unsullied will be fine,if you go by the story logic most of if not all Lannister forces are with Jamie and Kl so they can eventually fight their way back , Euron wont assult Casterly Rock he would lose to many men.

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    77. “Only the king and the master of whisperers have access to the deepest of the Black Cells. “

      What is “the deepest of the Black Cells”? I don’t remember this distinction being made on the show.

      “Secondly, she commanded Jaime to leave (he wasn’t only “conveniently” out of town – he was engineered to be out of town”

      Totally. Tommen, Cersei, and the general story engineered Jamie to be out of town.

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    78. QueenofThrones,

      You responded to my statement of:

      “For sure agree. I believe Jamie’s inactions this season are a display of willful ignorance. This aligns directly with his character arc. Jamie is complicated.”

      With this statement:

      “Jaime definitely has a hard time being convincing in his conversation with Olenna about why a good person would support Cersei. He’s grasping at straws with his “well it will be better, surely, after the war…” Hello no, she’s going to be WAY worse when she doens’t have a war to fight… He was 100% rattled by the Sept.”

      I don’t know how to fully respond to this retort because I’ve failed at conveying my point.
      Jamie’s conversation with Olenna was not his only moment of self delusion.
      I wish we could verbally communicate in this instance because I think we in essence agree. 🙂

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    79. Mr Fixit: Markus

      The more implausible part is the taking of Highgarden happening in a day, and Cersei knowing that would be the case.

      Sieges take a long time, weeks or months, sometimes years, even with a shitty garrison. There is no reason why Cersei should have been so confident that the whole thing was doable in two weeks. It hinges upon Highgarden falling in a day, which is just silly.

      The other issue is that Euron is in KL the day before Tycho Nestoris arrives. Cersei kills Tyene and then goes to have sex with Jaime. They wake up the next morning and Cersei’s handmaiden tells her that the visitor from Braavos has arrived.

      Cersei then meets with him and gives the promise to pay in two weeks time. We later see that the events of Casterly Rock are happening roughly around the same time as those in Highgarden, based on Jaime’s dialogue, and the way the scenes were cut.

      That means Euron made it all the way to the Rock from KL in about a week, give or take.

      It’s just silly. And we know he was there, as the Silence was present.

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    80. Ten Bears,

      This. Cersei’s justice was indeed proportional. One can say that killing a daugter in the eyes of her mother was cruel, but Tyenne Sand was not an inocent chick. She plotted to kill Myrcella (whom she should have known ad who did her no harm; she plotted to kill her uncle and cousin – despite of all those talks about revenge for Oberyn, I think that the lust for power was the true motive of the Sand Snakes’ coup. So, in short Tyenne got what she deserved for being a bastard girl willing to play at war – same as her sisters and her mother. And it was pretty disgusting to watch how those murderers were so not ready to die themselves: other people dying it’s always abstract, right?
      As for Cersei, there was almost nothing mad in her actions. She gave Tyenne a much easier death tha she deserved and put all the blame on Ellaria. The only sigh of madness so to say was Cersei’s desire to put another mother into her own situation making her to watch her child die for the choices she had maid. But on a second thought people do that all the time.

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    81. Markus Stark: The more implausible part is the taking of Highgarden happening in a day, and Cersei knowing that would be the case.

      Sieges take a long time, weeks or months, sometimes years, even with a shitty garrison. There is no reason why Cersei should have been so confident that the whole thing was doable in two weeks. It hinges upon Highgarden falling in a day, which is just silly.

      The other issue is that Euron is in KL the day before Tycho Nestoris arrives. Cersei kills Tyene and then goes to have sex with Jaime. They wake up the next morning and Cersei’s handmaiden tells her that the visitor from Braavos has arrived.

      Cersei then meets with him and gives the promise to pay in two weeks time. We later see that the events of Casterly Rock are happening roughly around the same time as those in Highgarden, based on Jaime’s dialogue, and the way the scenes were cut.

      That means Euron made it all the way to the Rock from KL in about a week, give or take.

      It’s just silly. And we know he was there, as the Silence was present.

      Use your imagination. You don’t know when Tyrion was at the war council when he was explaining the battle was the same day. For all you know a lot of time has passed.
      Let’s see how many idiots here didn’t know In the Wonder Woman movie time passed between kid Diana to Diana In the present.
      My point, these moves happen a lot in movies and shows. It’s not just GoT with this “Mysterious” jet packs. Bet u didn’t complain the jet packing in season one until it became a meme

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    82. ramses,

      The Black Cells are detailed more in the books. Basically it’s a labyrinth that almost no one except Varys (and presumably who ever is master of whisperers, now Qyburn) can navigate. You’re right in show they haven’t talked in as much detail about it.

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    83. Inga: The only sigh of madness so to say was Cersei’s desire to put another mother into her own situation

      Biggest sign of Cersei being mad in the sense of King Aerys (that is, cruel and sadistic) is that she gets sexually aroused by torturing people. She is doing it “because it feels good”. Not because it’s justice.

      making her to watch her child die for the choices she had maid. But on a second thought people do that all the time.

      people force others to watch their children die “all the time”? huh?

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    84. QueenofThrones: he didn’t do it “so he could get back to Cersei”. he did it so that he could save thousands of lives.

      In both books and show, my takeaway about Jaime’s primary motivation for his handling of the taking of Riverrun was that it was neither of the above. It was because Brienne had challenged him to keep a vow for once in his life, and he wanted to prove that he could – in this instance, his vow to Catelyn to harm no Starks or Tullys ever again if she set him free.

      At this point in his life, Jaime is starting to think about his legacy. He has seen how skimpy his page in the White Book is, compared to his predecessors in the Kingsguard. His legacy does not lie in any children he can publicly acknowledge as his own. Nor will he be able to win any further renown for his prowess with a sword, now that his right hand is gone. He is sick to death of ‘Kingslayer’ and ‘Oathbreaker’ being people’s default associations with him. He wants to recoup some honor before he dies, and his bathtub conversation with Brienne made him realize how that might be achieved: He has to exercise a bit of his brother’s cunning and figure out a way to make Riverrun fall without bloodshed. His concern for the actual lives of its defenders is pretty abstract, but he has something to prove about his own character. What he says in the show to Edmure about getting back to Cersei ASAP and firing babies from trebuchets is all merely macho bluster, IMO – acting the cynic that (most) people believe him to be.

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    85. Sean C.: in the show he knows one of the defenders personally,

      Minor quibble, but in the books he knows a different one personally: the Blackfish. He reminisces about how much he admired him in his youth, and how they met at Riverrun and talked battle talk when someone was trying to arrange a marriage between Jaime and Lysa.

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    86. “Petra: Maester Ebrose got this close to awarding 100 points to Gryffindor”

      Samwell is clearly the Neville Longbottom of Westeros: the awkward, timid kid everyone expected to go straight to Hufflepuff, who ends up being sorted into Gryffindor instead and rises to the occasion.

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    87. I seem to recall having read somewhere that GRRM has acknowledged greyscale to be, on some level, a metaphor for the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. That scene where Sam reached out to shake Jorah’s hand brought that home to me in a very moving way. Not to be treated as a pariah: That has to be a big turning point.

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    88. Inga:
      Ten Bears,

      “This. Cersei’s justice was indeed proportional … Tyene Sand was not an inocent chick. She plotted to kill Myrcella (whom she should have known ad who did her no harm; she plotted to kill her uncle and cousin – despite of all those talks about revenge for Oberyn, I think that the lust for power was the true motive of the Sand Snakes’ coup. So, in short Tyenne got what she deserved for being a bastard girl willing to play at war – same as her sisters and her mother. And it was pretty disgusting to watch how those murderers were so not ready to die themselves: other people dying it’s always abstract, right? ….

      …As for Cersei, there was almost nothing mad in her actions. She gave Tyenne a much easier death tha she deserved and put all the blame on Ellaria.”

      Exactly right: a bastard girl “willing to play at war.”
      First of all, they were all unnecessarily cruel: Ellaria and the Sand Snakes could’ve achieved the same objective – and would’ve been justified – by killing Jaime. After all, he tried to infiltrate the Watet Gardens and mount a commando raid. Under the “laws of war” execution would’ve been appropriate for espionage.

      But what was Myrcella’s offense according to Ellaria? “Breathing our air.” Huh? The worst thing that poor girl did was sneak a little private time to make out with her smitten fiancé (and fellow murder victim) Tristane.

      The way the SS “played at war” with all that bravado and boasting, made it sound like it was all fun and games – like you (and Tyrion) observed, death is always abstract when it’s other people who are dying – and suffering.

      There have been lots of other scenes showing what “war” is really about: innocent girls crucified as mike markers; that virtually catatonic woman in the “holding pen” with other prisoners in Harrenhall who’d had to watch as one of her family members got rat-bucket tortured and decapitated each day; and that mortally wounded farmer (the old man Arya and Sandor came upon in the Riverlands) dying a slow agonizing death.
      That’s the real “face” of war and violence. Ellaria and the SS were so cavalier about dishing it out; so yes it was disgusting how these murderers weren’t so ready to die themselves.

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    89. Obara and Nymeria went out fighting, which was nice. As much as a nutbar Cersei is, I still remember Ellaria murdering a kid and stabbing a defenceless dude in a wheelchair, and Tyene sneaking up and stabbing a guy in the back. The dungeon scene was well acted by all, but I can’t say I’m sorry to see them go. I also don’t get why Bronn would particularly care – he might have a moment of “Shame, she was a fiery one…”, but it was hardly a romance. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    90. Regarding Jon and hints of Rhaegar, another I’ve heard or seen mentioned is Davos talking up how Jon inspires support/loyalty – that his men/people believe in him…similar to Dany convo with Barristan and Jorah, where Barristan is arguing against Unsullied, and notes that men fought for Rhaegar because they believed in him.
      Seems like the Spider would get curious about this guy and start to wonder, or notice a resemblance, something.

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    91. Ten Bears: Watching people riding horsies or sitting in wagons for ten minutes per show just to establish distances traveled and passage of time would squander precious minutes.

      I don’t want to belabor the arguments about passage of time in the show much further, as I can see both sides and don’t regard it as an issue worth devoting a lot more breath to. But I do take exception to this particular kind of argument, because I find it very exaggerated. Ten minutes per show? Not at all necessary to keep the viewers happy who like things linear. Geographic transitions can be neatly rendered in 15 or 20 seconds of montage. It’s one of the strengths of visual media.

      Don’t believe me? Try this exercise: Close your eyes, picturing a character in the place we last saw them. Count the seconds, “One one-thousand, two one-thousand…” up to, say, 16. Meanwhile, picture two or three landscapes that character could be moving through. I’ll bet you can get them to their next destination by the end. When there’s no dialogue going on, screentime for “establishing shots” can be very economical indeed.

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    92. Jaime told Lady Olenna that the fleet that brought the Unsullied to Casterly Rock was being destroyed in order to strand them there with little food and force them to have to march back across Westeros where they would be vulnerable to ambush. There was no intention for Euron’s men to go ashore and fight the Unsullied.

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    93. Firannion,

      That’s true, very good point and well said. I do think it was more than the vow though – I believe he actually does think that killing a lot of people (especially Brienne!) should be avoided.

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    94. Re: Davos meeting Tyrion: I’m much more interested to see how Davos responds when Dany starts threatening to torch uncooperative or disloyal people within earshot of him. Burning people to death is not going to sit well with him at all, at all.

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    95. I’ve been wondering if there’s significance (beyond a shout-out to Aragorn’s arrival at Edoras) to Jon’s party having to surrender their weapons upon arrival at Dragonstone. We have reason to believe that Jorah is headed that way post-haste. Will he get there before Jon leaves? Will he see his family’s heirloom sword before he encounters Jon himself? And if so, will he recognize it with a new pommel?

      I don’t think this ever made it into the show, but in the books, when Jorah pledges himself to Dany as the first of her Queensguard, she promises to give him a sword worthy of the office, eventually. Will she confiscate Longclaw and hand it over to Jorah? If some other blade in the story is actually Lightbringer, it might be necessary for Jon to be needing a new one. Will Sam leave Oldtown and bring him Heartsbane? Or is the MacGuffin in the crypts of Winterfell actually Dawn, which Ned somehow smuggled in, instead of giving it back to the Dayne family as reported?

      So many questions…

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    96. Sean C.:
      Dany has never said anything about giving freedom to people in Westeros.There’s no slavery in Westeros.Her conquest of Westeros is, and has always been, about restoring her birthright as the heir of House Targaryen.Once she’s queen, one imagines she intends to be a just and benevolent one, but that’s not inconsistent with her avowed program.Dany’s opposition to slavery doesn’t mean she wanted to abolish feudalism or create a democracy, a system she’s never had any interest in or experience with — nor does anyone else in Westeros for that matter, including the Starks, who are every bit as autocratic as Dany by inclination.

      You have a point here.

      That I think is one of the main differences between Jon and Dany as leaders and we saw it in there first meeting: Dany asserts her birth right Davos says Jon has been chosen twice to lead over a bunch of tough SOBs, he has no birth right (at least he does not know anything different). He has lived among people who do not kneel, and who choose their leaders based on whatever criteria each one has. Jon told Dany: why should I follow you because you are someone’s daughter. She has done good things regarding slavery, but still, she’s not saying I will lead if you choose me… her message is kneel because I am the rightful queen.

      It will be interesting to see, if Jon survives, how will knowing he actually is the rightful king of Westeros (if what many of us suspect is true) will affect him, if at all.

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    97. ManderlyPieCompany,

      I don’t think Danerys was that hard on John. It’s how you would expect a monarch to act. She’s been through hell and back to get to Westeros and she doesn’t know him. What kind of a queen which she seem like if she was just soft. Would you expect that from Cercei?

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    98. Markus Stark,

      Markus Stark: The more implausible part is the taking of Highgarden happening in a day, and Cersei knowing that would be the case.

      Sieges take a long time, weeks or months, sometimes years, even with a shitty garrison. There is no reason why Cersei should have been so confident that the whole thing was doable in two weeks. It hinges upon Highgarden falling in a day, which is just silly.

      Yeah, but you’re forgetting a couple of things that might have helped resolving the situation quicker:

      1) Many Tyrell soldiers were in King’s Landing at the time the Sept blew up. I suppose many soldiers and military leaders were alongside the lord of Highgarden and died there, were imprisoned or received incentives to jump to the other side.

      2) The Tarlys, the best fighters of the region and presumably loyal bannermen of the Tyrells, as well as other lords of the Reach, turned against Highgarden and marched with the Lannisters. As soon as the Tyrell soldiers looked over the castle walls, they realized that they were pretty much on their own, defending an old woman who was probably going to die soon.

      It is very possible they soon decided it was better to stay alive.

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    99. Of the old gods:
      Regarding Jon and hints of Rhaegar, another I’ve heard or seen mentioned is Davos talking up how Jon inspires support/loyalty – that his men/people believe in him…similar to Dany convo with Barristan and Jorah, where Barristan is arguing against Unsullied, and notes that men fought for Rhaegar because they believed in him.
      Seems like the Spider would get curious about this guy and start to wonder, or notice a resemblance, something.

      There is another hint: Barristan told Dany that Rhaegar was very good at killing but that he didn’t enjoy it. When Dany told Jon that everyone enjoys what they are good at, he said “I don’t”. Presumably he was talking about killing, but he could also be talking about leading. If I remember correctly, Rhaegar spent a lot of time reading and studying as a child, and pretty much avoiding the princely duties, until he found something in the books (a prophecy?) so he started training and became a good warrior and leader. He loved to sing sad songs and poetry…

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    100. Mr Derp,

      I think the Abraham Lincoln comparison would be more in keeping if the freed slaves were required to swear allegiance to the flag. Isn’t that what all Americans do?

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    101. Inga,

      I don’t know if Ellaria’s & SS’ motive was misguided revenge, lust for power, or just impatience. I do know that targeting Myrcella when they had infiltrator Jaime in their crosshairs was reprehensible.

      Also, I saw the hit on Myrcella as a possible (deliberate?) example of the absurdity of imputing grievances against parents to their children and the cycle of violence and retribution that creates.
      (As alluded to by Luka), Jon Snow and Dany recognize the immorality of punishing children for their parents’ transgressions, eg assassinating Myrcella merely because her last name is “Lannister.”
      That it turn made me think of the Brotherhood’s litany of accusations against Sandor (in Season 3, episode 4) based on Gregor’s crimes, which prompted Sandor to protest: “Is being born Glegane a crime??? ”

      Anyway, I compared the dialog of the three characters to try to determine if the similarities were intentional. In case you’re curious, here are some excerpts from S7e1, S7e3, and S3e4:

      ……………..

      7×1: Jon Snow argues with Sansa re: Karstarks and Umbers:

      Jon: “…I will not punish a son for his father’s sins.”

      …………….
      7×3: Dany meets with Jon

      Dany: “And I ask you not to judge a daughter by the sins of her father.”
      ***
      Jon: “You’re right. You’re not guilty of your father’s crimes…”
      …………….

      3×4 Sandor faces accusations by Brotherhood without Banners (“Is being born Clegane a crime?”)

      Anguy: “At the Mummer’s Ford, girls of seven years were raped and babes still on the breast were cut in two while their mothers watched.”

      Sandor: “I wasn’t at the Mummer’s Ford. Dump your dead children at some other door. ”

      Thoros: “House Clegane was built upon dead children. I saw them lay Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaenys before the Iron Throne.”

      Sandor: “Do you take me for my brother? Is being born Clegane a crime?”

      Anguy: “Murder is a crime.”

      Sandor: “I never touched the Targaryen babes. I never saw them, never smelled them, never heard them bawling. You want to cut my throat, get on with it! But don’t call me a murderer and pretend that you’re not.”

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    102. GhostCR,

      I buy Highgarden going down quickly. I mean, Stannis almost took down King’s Landing in an evening (both books and show). Even after losing a significant number of men in the wildfire explosion he was the favorite to win until Tywin showed up. Combination of the attack being unexpected + possible weakness of the Highgarden castle (it’s not like every castle is an impregnable fortress like Casterly Rock) and Jaime’s one day takeovèr makes sense, at least to me.

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    103. Mr Fixit:
      Tyrion Pimpslap,

      The only thing that looked a bit iffy in the Teleporting Department was Euron managing to sail all around the continent in time to catch the Unsullied fleet. Then again, we don’t know if Euron was with that fleet. He may have returned to King’s Landing to parade Ellaria around the city while the rest of the fleet went in pursuit of the Unsullied. I don’t particularly buy it (would Euron really leave his ship?), but it’s not that important to me.

      As for Markus Stark’s point on Jaime reaching Highgarden and returning to KL in a fortnight, I don’t see a problem there. For one, TV Westeros is considerably smaller than book Westeros. We know that from several sources, chief being Roose Bolton’s nice little geography lesson to his son in Season 4. Two, army may have gathered and started marching south from the Westerlands before Jaime left King’s Landing. Without being slowed down by a huge army, I don’t think it implausible he could’ve reached Highgarden in a week’s time.

      Interesting. I hadn’t really paid much attention to Roose & Ramsay’s geography lesson before, but based on that it seems like Show!Westeros is approximately 2/3 scale compared to Book!Westeros. This gives us some approximate distances:
      Casterly Rock to Highgarden: 700 book miles, 467 show miles
      King’s Landing to Highgarden: 825 book miles, 550 show miles

      I assumed that the Lannister army started packing up all the supplies in Casterly Rock and marching for Highgarden after Cersei & Jaime had their Ep1 conversation, before Daenerys even landed on Dragonstone. To fight a war they need to feed their army, and Highgarden has the best food supply.

      They call the Reach bannermen to King’s Landing to hopefully gain their allegiance, or if that fails, at least ensure that Randyll Tarly isn’t there to lead a defense of Highgarden when the Lannister Army arrives. Once they have Randyll on their side, the send a raven to Horn Hill to prepare the Tarly army, which meets up with the Lannister army that’s already on the way. If the Lannister army traveled 25 miles per day, it would take them about 19 days to reach Highgarden.

      Jaime & Randyll could ride hard from King’s Landing to join their armies before the battle. If they could commandeer fresh horses along the way and take minimal rest breaks, they could cover that distance pretty quickly. There are real world extreme examples of Pony Express riders covering 322 miles in under 22 hours, but that was with a lightweight rider, and a fresh horse about every hour. Heavier riders with armor, and fewer horse changes might still be able to keep up a pace of 185 miles per day though, which would cover the 550 mile trip from King’s Landing to Highgarden in 3 days.

      If the Tarly forces arrived first, pretended to be there to help defend, and then attacked once the gates were open (like Tywin’s sack of King’s Landing during Robert’s Rebellion), they could avoid a long siege, and take the castle quickly. Take it and loot it within a day, and they have 10 days left to cart the gold back to King’s Landing within a fortnight. That would require the gold convoy to travel 55 miles per day, which seems like an aggressive, but not impossible pace, since they have a decent road. Knowing that there are hostile dragons in the region, I’d want to move that gold as quickly as possible anyway, even without the Iron Bank’s deadline.

      It’s an impressive feat of logistics, but not impossible. At full Book!Westeros scale, it would have been a legendary feat of logistics and endurance, probably requiring a lot of sleep deprivation and probably some dead horses along the way, but might still have been just barely possible.

      As for Euron traveling quickly from King’s Landing to Casterly Rock, it’s likely that the Casterly Rock battle actually happened after the Highgarden battle, but they showed them out of order to preserve our surprise. Assuming Euron’s ships are fast (which they certainly seem to be), and this assumption of non-chronological presentation, I think a plausible time line could be constructed.

      The fact that travel times can vary significantly depending on conditions (and how hard the travelers are pushing) gives us some wiggle room for reconciling time lines. People with resources (like Jaime or Littlefinger) can probably get fresh horses in a lot of circumstances that other people wouldn’t be able to, and thus travel faster. People traveling on roads can travel faster than those going off road. In populated areas they can buy food rather than stopping to hunt.

      For myself, I don’t worry about whether the time line is immediately obvious as I’m watching, but instead I just enjoy the drama in the moment, and only later see whether I can come up with a time line that’s plausible. I like maps, so figuring out a reasonable explanation for the scenes depicted is a fun post-episode exercise for me.

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    104. Every time I hear someone complaining about travel time on Game of Thrones, all I can think of is that Allen Iverson quote “Practice? We’re talkin’ about practice?!?”

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    105. I enjoyed the decent amount of historic references and callbacks in this episode as well. However, the dialogue took a turn for the ridiculous when Dany asserted that Westeros had “peace for centuries” under Targ rule. Hah! *facepalm* Did Dany say that with a straight face, with Tyrion present??? Glass Candle, what say you? Less braiding, more reading, Dany!

      Then Jon had to be reminded by Tyrion as to why he was at Dragonstone. And Sam read the book and followed the instructions and 12 hours later, Voila!….Ugh. Too much unnecessary head-scratching for me.

      As much fun as this show is visually, this season does require a high tolerance factor. I’m reading a lot of humorous “forced connecting of the dots” analysis rather than an appreciation of the story’s rationale.

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    106. Dee Stark: who are the free folk

      The wildlings.
      Good question. Tormund was taking them to be in charge of Eastwatch last we heard. I suppose having a home that’s essentially a castle would be a lot sweeter than a shack in the woods.

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    107. Clob: The wildlings.
      Good question.Tormund was taking them to be in charge of Eastwatch last we heard.I suppose having a home that’s essentially a castle would be a lot sweeter than a shack in the woods.

      Oh duh! *WHOOSH* It went over my head until just now. It was about the reddit “Free Folk” having a blast discussing the episode.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Hodors Bastard:
      I enjoyed the decent amount of historic references and callbacks in this episode as well. However, the dialogue took a turn for the ridiculous when Dany asserted that Westeros had “peace for centuries” under Targ rule. Hah! *facepalm* Did Dany say that with a straight face, with Tyrion present???Glass Candle, what say you? Less braiding, more reading, Dany!

      One thing I did love about what Dany said in her first meeting with Jon was that it reflected a lot of what Jon himself said at Winterfell in episode 1 – the idea of not punishing a child for the crimes of their parents, of the importance of continuity in feudal relationships. There are different outcomes – Alys Karstark and Ned Umber bend the knee while Jon does not – but it is always interesting to compare any lines/themes/visuals in Jon and Dany’s arcs.

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    109. About Jaime… character evolution and all, he may still very well know of Ellaria’s and Tyene’s fate and be absolutely fine with it. After all, he was the one Ellaria made watch Myrcella die. Myrcella being the only one of his children that had aknowledged him as her father and had forgiven gim. So he may be somehow angry at her, no?Whereas Olenna, he didn’t know she was behind Joffrey’s murder. Plus he reckoned his son was a real jackass.

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    110. Alba Stark: the idea of not punishing a child for the crimes of their parents,

      Indeed. That was well done between Jon & Dany. I’m glad that’s being stated repeatedly this season. I don’t think I have enough fingers and toes to count the number of child-parent comparisons and contrasts in the episode, let alone this season! Just wait until Jon discovers his true parentage!!!

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    111. Late to the party as ever, but I just wanted to express how much I enjoy this Glass Candle feature. Well done, Petra and Luka!

      Also, thank you to all commenters. I especially enjoyed all the Jaime discussion. Very good points being made.

      ETA: Also, I’m not bothered about “timeline issues” either. GoT isn’t rolling real-time news, it’s a visual story.

        Quote  Reply

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