Glass Candle Dialogue Season 7, Episode 5: “Eastwatch”

4 705 - Reach - Daenerys, Drogon 1

The team-up of the unusually named Luka & Petra return to discuss a rather special episode of Game of Thrones — at least special for this season, which lacked any table-setting episodes up until now. The following dialogue includes a discussion on Bronn’s surprising triple-life as Aquaman and, perhaps more surprisingly, Jiminy Cricket; the enlightened rulers Daenerys and Sam could become together; the emotional depth we were surprised to find in a character who may as well be named Cock-on; the new and improved King in the North; Sansa slaying it as the best (sort of) queen of Westeros; this episode being the first in which we suffered the effects of the compressed season; and, of course, the Magnificent Seven‘s quest beyond the Wall. So let’s get to it!

Petra: This entire dialogue could be a bunch of emoticons. It could just be smiley faces, and dragon emojis and fireworks. That’s what this episode felt like. It was extremely emotionally evocative, but it wasn’t one of the most thought-provoking episodes — which is fine; that’s not a criticism. It was a real “fuck yeah!” episode.

Luka: That sounds like a good start for the dialogue.

Petra: Oh, I thought about this.

Luka: Really?! It sounded totally organic, like you just came up with it, so good job!

Petra: [Breaks out into maniacal laughter]

2 705 - Reach - Jaime, Bronn 1

Luka: Shall we begin with the only teleporting that has ever bothered me in the show?

Petra: Jaime and his floating armor.

Luka: They don’t imply his armor floats. They imply Bronn is a freaking superhuman!

Petra: [Laughs] That was really cheap, wasn’t it? We’re positive about the show but it was lazy to resolve that cliffhanger by simply having him magically appear at the opposite river bank. The whole point of the last shot in “The Spoils of War” was that the armor was weighing him down, but that was never addressed. I had resigned myself to a somewhat disappointing resolution since I knew Jaime wasn’t going to drown, but even then I didn’t expect him to just pop up out of the water, fully conscious and a-okay.

Luka: The cliffhanger worked. It just didn’t work in continuity with what happened afterwards. I don’t have a problem with Jaime surviving; the thing I don’t find believable is that Bronn managed to drag him so far, apparently underwater, while Dany or her forces didn’t even see them. What’s unbelievable is that Jaime is not a prisoner.

Petra: It was a daring, stupid choice he made, but it had no consequences.

Luka: Logistics aside, though, I liked their scene together very much.

Petra: Their dialogue was really good. Their camaraderie.

Luka: Jaime’s still in denial about Cersei, and Bronn’s acting as his conscience, as he has ever since they became sparring partners in season 4. Bronn serves as the one who airs the deepest thoughts Jaime doesn’t allow himself to voice. He prompted Jaime to talk to Tyrion in his cell. He’s forced Jaime to face Cersei’s true nature on multiple occasions. It works, but it’s curious, isn’t it? Bronn doesn’t seem to have much of a conscience himself. He seems to be more worried about Jaime’s morality than his own.

Petra: He’s the amoral Jiminy Cricket to Jaime’s fucked-up Pinocchio.

3 705 - Reach - Tyrion 1

Luka: On the other side of the battlefield, any thoughts on Tyrion’s dilemma?

Petra: I found his conflict with Daenerys compelling. When he and Varys were drinking later back in Dragonstone, Tyrion rationalized (and he’s not wrong) that she’s a ruler, she has to do certain things, but that she didn’t have to burn a father and son alive. That’s a red flag for them. I thought they handled a storyline I was worried about quite well.

Luka: Daenerys burning men alive, a father and a son no less, is obviously meant to evoke her father. Tyrion and Varys aren’t coy about it. But, as you pointed out last week, Dany isn’t mad. Coldness and insanity aren’t the same thing. She executed a lord who refused to bend the knee. We saw Ned Stark execute a deserter in the very first episode of the show; we didn’t flinch, even though we knew the deserter ran away for good reason. It’s cold, and cruel and despotic by our standards, but it’s what rulers are “supposed to do” in that world. The compelling question, to me, is not whether she’s the Mad Queen (she isn’t; she doesn’t hear voices or get excited by burning people alive), or whether she’s as bad as Cersei (she isn’t; Cersei killed hundreds of civilians, and didn’t give anyone a choice.) The compelling question is whether she should do better, precisely because she has the chance and the willingness to be a different kind of ruler.

15 Highgarden Field of Fire 7x05 (1) - Drogon, Daenerys

Luka: The issue with Dany executing people is that she wants to be something else, something better, and this is a digression away from her achieving her to plan to “break the wheel.” That said, she did bring that metaphor up again, which I appreciated. Many people misremember what that speech was all about, because the season five trailer omitted House Targaryen from the spokes of the wheel she intended to break. In the actual episode, she included her own House. She’s a monarch, but she’s what we’d call an enlightened despot. It’s nowhere near a democratic system, but it’s at least three centuries ahead of medieval times. Cersei recently accused her of being a revolutionary to scare the Lords of the Reach and the Iron Bank, but Daenerys hasn’t talked about these ideas much herself this season. She was treating with a self-proclaimed King in the North, and would-be Warden of the North, so she understandably focused on her right to the throne, more than what she would do when seated on it. Still, as of this latest episode, I’m happy she hasn’t forgotten, and neither have the writers.

Petra: This is why I find Daenerys frustrating but also engaging. On the one hand, she has this enlightened sense of morality she’s intent on codifying. On the other hand, she very much insists on her biological right to rule. The dichotomy in Daenerys is what I find interesting about her, when it is intentional on the part of the writers.

5 705 - Reach - Randyll, Dickon 1

Luka: Still at the Field of Fire (the name better fucking stick, I’m still not calling it… that), let’s talk about poor Dickon. Who would’ve thought that we’d get so much pathos from Randyll and Dickon? When they were cast for season six we all expected them, but especially Dickon, to be a foil for Sam and little else. So, I found it strangely refreshing that they were written as fully formed characters with their own mini-arc.

Petra: Tom Hopper fleshed out Dickon Tarly well with very little screen time. Last week you mentioned how Dickon feared being perceived as vulnerable because of his father’s aggression. And here, when push came to shove, he stood by what Randyll had taught him, what he believed was right. And that turned him into ash. There’s a message there.

Luka: Randyll taught his son to be a “macho man.” So Dickon’s death is on his hands. Still, I was pleasantly surprised that Randyll wasn’t a total monster. He tried to convince his son to bend the knee and even lovingly touched his hand before they were burnt to a crisp. I’m pretty sure that was the first time he’d ever done that. And the last, sadly.

Petra: When Dickon refused his father’s order to bend the knee, there was this little smile at the corner of Randyll’s mouth. He was proud of his son. He wanted him to live, but he was proud of Dickon too, in that moment. That was a really subtle touch.

6 705 - King's Landing - Jaime, Tyrion 1

Petra: And speaking of subtle acting moments, Tyrion’s and Jaime’s reunion had some of Dinklage and Coster-Waldau’s best acting on the entire show. When Tyrion joked that it would take a while for Jaime to kill him with a sparring sword, Jaime gave him this look. He was heartbroken and angry, but… oh goddammit, Tyrion’s still his brother.

Luka: At the same time, his reaction was very much like “don’t you dare try to be funny.” By the way, you deviously skipped this entirely, but I do want to discuss Jon and Dany.

Petra: Oh, yeah, go ahead! Absolutely! I wasn’t avoiding it deliberately. It’s perfectly fine.

7 705 - Dragonstone - Daenerys, Jon 1

Luka: [Laughs] There’s a romantic side to this relationship, more explicit each episode, but I’m really enjoying how their bond is developing generally. Aside from the Targaryen implications for the audience, Drogon accepting Jon meant a great deal to Dany.

Petra: It was an “oh, my kids like you” sort of moment.

Luka: She also cares about what he thinks, or else she wouldn’t have reasoned with him about the necessity of the recent battle. She asked him about Davos’ comment of “taking a knife to the heart,” so she wanted to know more about him. And she tried to stop him from going on that suicide mission, and made it clear she wants him back. They’ve developed this affinity between the characters really well in a short span of time. I’m also really enjoying Jon as the Great Uniter of People. He’s becoming one my favorite characters. I’m aware Jon’s always been a popular choice, but for me it’s been a journey. He’s grown on me since season four. I find his relentless focus on the mission inspiring.

Petra: What makes Jon work, even for cold-hearted me, is that he does what’s right when doing the right thing is difficult in a world in which actions have consequences. I have a knee-jerk reaction against old-fashioned heroes because there’s a presumed safety net under them. Their goodness doesn’t cost them. On Game of Thrones, though, we know how much courage and integrity it takes to fill the archetypal heroic role.

20 Dragonstone Jorah Daenerys

Petra: Talking a bit about Jorah … he looks really good in that black, first of all. It’s not the V-neck yellow shirt anymore but he works that black cape very well.

Luka: [Lascivious mutterings] And they did something with his hair. It looks better.

Petra: Oh, I didn’t notice!

Luka: I did.

Petra: [Laughs] I appreciate Jorah more now because of you. I never thought much about him, but now I’m like “Oh, his voice really is like melted chocolate.” And the writers are having a little fun with Jorah’s friendzoned status. The way Dany called him “an old friend” and hesitated before she went in for that hug felt like an inside joke.

Luka: It didn’t to me, to be honest. I felt it was completely earnest. There was certainly a meta intrusion in the editing, though: that shot of Jon between Jorah and Dany on the beach. It wasn’t necessarily jokey but self-aware and self-referential.

Petra: In the same way Davos told Gendry “I thought you’d still be rowing.” So did we!

9 705 - Oldtown - Citadel - Sam 1

Luka: Swiftly moving south to Oldtown: Sam got tired of everyone’s shit.

Petra: Literally, yes.

Luka: I don’t have much to say about this except that he referenced what Randyll told him at dinner when he said, “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men.”

Petra: It was an interesting decision for him to leave the Citadel. As we’ve talked about before, I saw his future in the Citadel, while you foresaw him as Lord of the Reach. He’s a badass who can kill a White Walker but his love for academia is what really defines him. His decision to become a Maester felt like an act of self-acceptance to me (like Neville Longbottom becoming a Herbology professor in Harry Potter after being a bit of a badass too). So I don’t know where his arc is headed, now that he’s rejected the Citadel.

Luka: He said that he’s tired of reading about the achievements of better men. So, he’s going to become one of those better men. But that doesn’t mean he has to be a macho White Walker-slayer. He’s just going to do what the maesters are unwilling to do and apply his new knowledge towards fighting the Long Night. I do see him as a lord but not the traditional kind. He will continue his relentless pursuit of knowledge, and put it to great use as a ruler. If Daenerys also happens to survive, I could see him in her small council as a new kind of adviser: not an old, stuffy Grand Maester, or a scheming Master of Whisperer, but a more kind of modern academic, scientific adviser. He’d make a good Hand for the right monarch, if there’s still one when this is all over.

Petra: If we ignore the fact that Daenerys just executed his father and brother (that’s so gonna come back,) they could make a really good team. He and Dany are similar, in a way. They’re both pretty enlightened thinkers, especially for the times.

Luka: They seem to be a few centuries ahead of the rest of Westeros.

10 705 - King's Landing - Jaime, Cersei 1

Petra: I don’t really have anything new to say about Cersei and Jaime but … my God, that relationship is fucked up! I keep thinking Jaime’s finally going to break away from her, but then he crawls right back. I loved the look on his face when she said “So we fight and die or we submit and die.” He gave her this look like “What are you doing?” And yet, at the end, when Cersei revealed she’s pregnant, he was putty again.

Luka: I love how much like a classic romance that scene played — the actors, the editing and the music came together to be almost cheesy … only for the rug to be pulled from under both us and Jaime when Cersei darkly whispered, “NEVER BETRAY ME AGAIN.” That was wonderful. Jaime was as happy as a puppy (though maybe a conflicted puppy) right up until that line. He’s waking up from his denial only to realize that he’s trapped.

11 705 - Winterfell - Sansa, Arya 1

Petra: Cersei wasn’t doing much politicking this episode but I did think there was some interesting political talk between Sansa and Arya about how to deal with one’s enemies, which is normally what Cersei harps on about. Can I just say, I’m so happy to like Sansa again. It’s like a physical weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Luka: The best way to put the characters of Sansa and Arya into perspective is to put them in a scene together. For years, I identified more with Arya, for the reasons most people do — you know, she’s the little badass tomboy, she’s fun. But now Sansa is 100% more functional in civilized society. Arya is just waaay too eager to kill people.

Petra: She thinks short-term. Sansa, by necessity, is a long-term problem solver.

Luka: Sansa knows she needs to please everyone as best she can to make it all work. That certainly precludes executing men left and right for raising their voices against Jon.

Petra: And the lords do have a point. Arya’s been so fixated on avenging her family that she’s cultivated a very black and white view of the world. For the most part, it’s: “if you hurt my family, you deserve to die” with her. That’s extremely dualist morality. Sansa, by virtue of politicking for seven seasons, knows that’s not the way. The lords have their own points, and you can’t just cut off heads to solve all of your problems.

12 705 - Winterfell - Sansa, Arya 2

Luka: That’s not to say Arya’s arguments and suspicions are irrational, especially in regard to Littlefinger, but Sansa was the clear winner of that argument. For all the emphasis placed on comparing Cersei and Daenerys, Sansa is coming up on top.

Petra: Maybe it’s because she’s learned to balance what she’s learnt and with who she was as a little girl. Catelyn said she was “a lady at three” in A Clash of Kings and she hasn’t lost that sense of decorum. She had the patience to say, “Yes, they were insulting Jon, but it’s my job to listen to them and hear them out.”

Luka: Of course, there’s that malignant tumor clawing at Sansa’s mind…

13 705 - Winterfell - Littlefinger 1

Luka: Petyr’s been so focused on mentoring Sansa and trying to manipulate her for a few seasons that we’ve haven’t had much of his old machinations. So it was refreshing to see Littlefinger littlefingering again, in his element, with that Spy vs. Spy montage.

Petra: And Arya’s a very good stalker. She’s got the dead-eyed stare.

Luka: So does Littlefinger, in the end!

Petra: Maybe this will end with a dead-eyed stare-off.

Luka: The straight reading of the scene, with which I agree, is that Littlefinger was letting himself be stalked in order to throw suspicion at Sansa and create an incident. There’s this idea going around that Arya knows that Littlefinger knows that Arya knows, if you follow me, which I find entirely unconvincing, for many reasons.

Petra: Agreed. In this particular case, I believe Littlefinger’s got the up on her.

Luka: Which was refreshing, after four episodes of being put down by the Stark kids. I don’t like Littlefinger, but I enjoy seeing him be good at what he does. Ever since he revealed his end goal to Sansa in last year’s finale and she refused his advances, I’ve considered him a dead man walking. So, it was nice for him to have a “last hurrah.”

Petra: I have to assume his goal is to drive a wedge between the sisters, and so he planted the letter in which Sansa seems to be supporting the Lannister side. Arya probably doesn’t have the wherewithal to think it through fully.

Luka: Not only because she’s more short-sighted, but because she doesn’t have the context we do about that letter. And, of course, it was quite clever of Littlefinger to thank Maester Wolkan for finding and delivering the letter on behalf of Lady Stark, to make it appear as if Sansa asked him to do it. To be honest, it would make sense for Sansa to destroy a letter like that because it does make her look bad. I would do it!

16 705 - Dragonstone - Jon 3

Petra: Let’s address the elephant in the room before we go. A downside of this fast-paced season is that, when more attention is paid to one storyline than another (particularly one that involves a lot of time skips), the secondary plot really gets left behind. Grey Worm’s been stranded at Casterly Rock for months now and, apparently, Theon returned to Dragonstone just to crawl into the fetal position under his bed.

Luka: This was the first episode in which I noticed the shortened season. It moved around a lot of chess pieces. Though, the last two episodes will be the longest in Game of Thrones history, so “Eastwatch” will probably be the only episode that feels that way.

Petra: They’re doing a good job balancing the break-neck pace of the plot with quiet character beats — little jokes and references, aphrosiac fermented crab, stuff like that. But still, everyone’s on a mission, everyone’s racing to their spots.

Luka: I’m not greedy. I’m not asking for three more episodes. I just needed “Eastwatch” to be a few minutes longer so the reunions and introductions could breathe a bit more. Granted, some of my complaints may be addressed next episode. The Magnificent Seven are on a quest together, so Jon may talk about Arya with Gendry and Sandor; Jon may bring up Longclaw to Jorah; Beric and Jon may exchange “resurrection stories.” Still, there were a few moments I wish had been longer. More than anything else, I wanted to see Jon’s private reaction to the news that his siblings are alive, especially Arya.

17 705 - King's Landing - Gendry 1

Luka: This was a great episode, but we’d get more out of it here if our format focused on trivia. There were lots of references, not only to the show itself but to ASOIAF lore as well. But that’s not the kind of thing we do here. Anyway, we’ve gotten so spoiled this season. Every episode has been worth a deep dive. And it’s been a spectacle, throughout!

Petra: “I need a battle! I need a dragon!”

Luka: “Eastwatch” felt like an episode seven or eight. Just before the shit hits the fan.

Petra: It felt like the transitory episode.

Luka: The problem is that it’s the only transitory episode in the entire season so it needed to pull a lot of weight. The weight of about three episodes, I’d say.

Petra: That’s probably it! It felt a bit like they were running around shouting, “Shit, we’ve got to get Gendry back! We’ve got to get all these characters in place for the big finale! You know where your Xs are, everyone! Run to your Xs! Go! Go! Go!”

8 705 - Dragonstone - Daenerys, Jorah 1

Luka: I don’t care that characters are traveling far within an episode so long as there’re no obvious contradictions, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have liked to see more of Jorah with Daenerys, for example. We saw him arrive and then go away again, basically. If Jorah dies the next episode, I’m officially pissed. Of course, we got the fond farewell not only between Jorah and Dany but between him and Tyrion, which was enough to worry us that he’ll be killed, but not enough to satisfy me if he isn’t coming back.

Petra: The trouble with having so many characters in a show is that every one of them is probably somebody’s favorite. The writers need to craft satisfying conclusions for all of them. As we said last week, Meera’s final scene with Bran might have been beautiful but she didn’t get a proper send-off. Maybe something similar will happen with Jorah.

Luka: But unlike Meera, Jorah is a main character. And we’ve just gotten through a very intense and painful journey to get him back. Setting aside greyscale, he’s been exiled twice. So if he dies next episode… No, he can’t. He can’t. He CAN’T. [Laughs]. The same goes for Gendry. You can’t bring him back one episode and kill him the next, can you?

Petra: Can you fucking imagine if they did that?

Luka: [Laughs uproariously] Well, they did it with Osha!

Petra: Oh, they did, didn’t they?! Oh, man…

17 Wall - Eastwatch 7x05 (1)

Petra: I was surprised they called this episode “Eastwatch” when we got so little of it. That felt like a tease. But I love all these men coming together, not getting along, and Jon giving the briefest of motivational speeches: “We’re all breathing.” Short and to the point. As you said, the uniter of men unites the men. That was a great final scene.

Luka: Beric wanted to give a longer speech. But Sandor wouldn’t have it.

Petra: [Laughs] That was nice!

Luka: Honestly, I was like “Come on, that’s the thousandth time you’ve said this,” so Sandor’s interruption was appreciated, I’m ashamed to admit. I love Beric, and I could listen to Richard Dormer reading the phone book, but still…

Petra: Him and Iain Glen could take turns.

Luka: Oh! Wow. No, that’s too much [Laughs]

19 705 - Eastwatch - Jon, Gendry, Jorah, Tormund, Sandor, Beric, Thoros 1

Petra: I suspect we’re getting a lot of curtain calls soon. It doesn’t make sense to get all these characters assembled as if they were Avengers and immediately cut them all down, but at the same time it wouldn’t be Game of Thrones if they all made it out.

Luka: To be fair, most of next episode will involve their quest, so there’ll be plenty of time for us to get used to the relationship dynamics. It won’t feel like they’re killing them immediately. It’s going to be 70 minutes long, after all. Any one of them could die!

Petra: 😭

100 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. To be fair, I think the shows could creep along real-time and Theon would still be in a fetal position under his bed.

        Quote  Reply

    2. That was a great write up Petra and Luka… A most enjoyable read 🙂

      I agree with your closing comments. Seeing the ‘Magnificent Seven’ venturing out beyond the wall, I very much doubt they will all be coming back!

        Quote  Reply

    3. If we ignore the fact that Daenerys just executed his father and brother (that’s so gonna come back,) they could make a really good team.

      I was hoping that Jorah would have mentioned Sam by name to Dany. When Dany asked something along the lines of “I trust you found a cure” and Jorah responded with “I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t” I was really wanting Jorah to briefly continue on with “I went to the Citadel and a maester-in-training, a Samwell Tarly, cured me.”

      Dany’s reaction would’ve been priceless. The realization that she literally just roasted alive the father and brother of the man who saved her beloved Jorah would be intense especially since she has no idea of the damaged relationship Sam has with his male family members (for all she knows they could’ve been extremely close). I was actually half expecting Jorah to actually mention Sam simply because that’s the kind of thing GoT does – demonstrate the consequences of decisions and actions in that gray zone area. In other words, Dany would likely still have felt justified in executing Randyll and “Cock-on”, but it would have messed with her mind a bit. She would’ve had second thoughts/doubts for sure. It would have made for a great scene.

      However, I understand (kind of) why the writers couldn’t do that – because that exchange of knowledge could have driven a wedge between Jon and Dany when clearly they are inching their way to a collaborative partnership. Meaning, if Jon would’ve discovered Dany roasted his best bud’s dad and bro, he might’ve been upset with her and that wouldn’t really work with where the story line is currently going.

      Still would’ve been cool, in my opinion.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Of all the “magnificent seven” going on this ill-conceived special ops mission, I think the Hound is least likely to perish. Yes, that includes even Jon.

      Why? Because the Hound’s story line would be extremely incomplete without some sort of reunion with Arya and/or Sansa. And while I don’t know if the series will go there, it seems the Hound could/should have a part in taking down his brother, the Mountain, because if he doesn’t do it, who will? I mean, the Mountain doesn’t have any other nemesis currently out there anymore and it would anti-climatic for the Mountain to die any other way.

      But, Jon has “plot armor” right? He does. But, I could envision a scenario where Jon dies in the coming skirmish…because Thoros is there and could revive him. After all, he’s brought Beric back multiple times (maybe Beric will die too and while Thoros is trying to revive Beric, Jon comes back instead which would surprise the “lord of light” out of Thoros). Now, I don’t think Jon will die yet again. I’m just saying it could happen and I see that scenario as a smidge higher than the Hound dying.

      All that said, watch me be wrong!

        Quote  Reply

    5. I think Jorah will come back because of the coin Tyrion gave him. Every time a show/movie does that, the giftee usually returns to the gifter. At least, a man can hope.

      And I think if Jorah dies he’ll have to do it with Daenerys there. I can’t imagine him dying without her in the scene.

        Quote  Reply

    6. At this point, I wouldn’t mind a “24” styled GOT episode where we see each hour pass in real time. I would be up for watching a 6 hour long walk by the mag-7 beyond the wall where they just discuss pecker sizes, how to seduce a bear, life after death, favorite fishing spots beyond the wall, best restaurants outside westeros etc..

        Quote  Reply

    7. Great conversation as always! I particularly enjoyed the discussion about the burgeoning relationship between Jon and Daenerys, and the analysis of the conflict between Arya and Sansa. While I agree that “Eastwatch” had to bear the burden of what in a traditional season would be about two or three “setup” episodes, I thought that it handled that burden rather magnificently. I’ve watched the episode four times now, and I’ve loved even more each time. It’s a hour that I’m very much looking forward to revisiting as part of my periodic full-series rewatch. Its density really rewards close inspection and repeat viewings.

      In terms of the sonorous quality of his vocal timbre, Iain Glen’s seven-season crown as the best voice on the show must be respected. But Richard Dormer has risen to a strong second place, and is drawing closer with every badass speech that he gets to deliver. Shout out to the since-departed Michael McElhatton, who held that silver-medal position throughout his tenure and held it well.

      Finally, this isn’t related to the discussion, but that still image of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea is almost unspeakably epic, as are the shots of Drogon resting on the hill above the defeated Lannister army and the one of the Magnificent Seven/Westerosi Avengers/Seal Team Snow bravely heading north into the frozen wilds of hell. Matt Shakman and Robert McLachlan deservedly received all of the acclaim for the visual feast they rendered in last week’s episode, but even without a spectacular dragon battle as its centerpiece, “Eastwatch” was every bit as gorgeous.

        Quote  Reply

    8. I also found the jaime/bronn swim sort of like the show crying wolf. there was no payoff to the cliffhanger. one of the draws of this show is that anyone can supposedly die at any moment and scenes like that diminish the show’s strength in that area by crying wolf.

      it was an entertaining episode that had pacing issues, poor writing in some areas, and head scratching character decisions. it’s a testament to the show that i found it to be the worst of the season so far and i still think it was entertaining. with so few episodes left, i hope that’s the last time that happens though. in GoT terms, it was a bad episode for sure.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Jared: Finally, this isn’t related to the discussion, but that still image of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea is almost unspeakably epic, as are the shots of Drogon resting on the hill above the defeated Lannister army and the one of the Magnificent Seven/Westerosi Avengers/Seal Team Snow bravely heading north into the frozen wilds of hell. Matt Shakman and Robert McLachlan deservedly received all of the acclaim for the visual feast they rendered in last week’s episode, but even without a spectacular dragon battle as its centerpiece, “Eastwatch” was every bit as gorgeous.

      My greatest regret is what we couldn’t really find a way to fit in a discussion about the cinematography this episode (I had to confine myself to adding those beautiful screen captures you mentioned, and others too.) So please do so in the comments! It’s not off-topic at all, don’t worry. This was one of the most beautifully shot episodes in the entire show, and that’s saying something.

        Quote  Reply

    10. They’ll all be catching their deaths of cold if they don’t cover their heads. And then none of them will come back.
      Seriously, now that Winter Has Come the hatlessness is ridiculous.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Jorah will never die because I refuse to accept it. *LALALALALALA* Iain Glen just gets better looking every year. The memes of Jon’s face when Dany and Jorah hug each other are pretty dang funny.

      The shot of Sandor side-eyeing Thoros and his flask was a nice little light moment as they stared out into the storm at the gate. Jorah looked like Wolverine. Jon looked like “Uh…why the hell am I doing this again?” And Gendry is maybe rethinking his priorities. 😆

      Surely they could have just included a brief background shot of Missandei and Theon making sandcastles on the beach?

        Quote  Reply

    12. The opening sequence was a bit disappointing… If they had skipped the “you owe me a castle” dialog, and thrown in a few action shots of them struggling to get to the surface, it would have made more sense.

      Then, if the next shot of Tyrion walking through the ashes had been done from a different POV, they could have shown him catching a glimpse of Jaime and Bronn downstream… That would have explained how he knew Jaime was still alive later in the show.

      Who knows… Maybe they tried all that, and it ended up on the cutting room floor.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Tamwell Sarly: Dany’s reaction would’ve been priceless. The realization that she literally just roasted alive the father and brother of the man who saved her beloved Jorah would be intense especially since she has no idea of the damaged relationship Sam has with his male family members…. if Jon would’ve discovered Dany roasted his best bud’s dad and bro, he might’ve been upset with her

      I would’ve enjoyed seeing where that convo would have gone as well. Very bittersweet. Maybe there is still time for some Jorah-Jon gossip and heart-to-heart. So many opportunities for unique bittersweet conversation between characters with interesting journeys who are coming together.

      I hope Bronn leaves Jaime and KL soon. Still scratching my head why Tyrion-Bronn heart-to-heart didn’t happen.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Grandmaester Flash:
      They’ll all be catching their deaths of cold if they don’t cover their heads.And then none of them will come back.
      Seriously, now that Winter Has Come the hatlessness is ridiculous.

      You just have to make sure that your feet don’t get wet! That’s what Grandma used to say…

        Quote  Reply

    15. Luka Nieto,

      After “The Spoils of War” had aired, Robert McLachlan gave an interview in which he stated that when he was watching a rough cut of the two episodes that he worked on this season, it was actually a shot from Episode 5 that he found to be the most satisfying (Here’s the link to said interview – http://watchersonthewall.com/cinematographer-robert-mclachlan-talks-about-the-challenges-and-processes-behind-the-spoils-of-war/ )

      I thought that I would be able to identify said shot immediately once I had seen the episode, but there were so many great ones that I didn’t even know where to start. My best guess is that he was referring to the breathtaking sequence in which Bran wargs into the ravens and sends them flying over Eastwatch, beyond the Wall, and above the Night King’s army. But the episode’s cinematography was so stunning that there are perhaps twenty equally viable possibilities!

        Quote  Reply

    16. Crater: You just have to make sure that your feet don’t get wet!That’s what Grandma used to say…

      Like Sansa and Theon fleeing from Ramsay’s “good men” and dogs?

        Quote  Reply

    17. I think it’s the real sign of how much was packed into this episode that you never thought to discuss Gilly’s mention of Prince ‘Ragger’ getting an annulment. Or did you just decide to skip it?

        Quote  Reply

    18. Lord of Coffee:
      I think it’s the real sign of how much was packed into this episode that you never thought to discuss Gilly’s mention of Prince ‘Ragger’ getting an annulment. Or did you just decide to skip it?

      Skipped it. We didn’t really have much to say about it, except to wonder about Rhaegar’s true nature, which JoeMagician already did wonderfully here.

        Quote  Reply

    19. ManderlyPieCompany:
      I also found the jaime/bronn swim sort of like the show crying wolf. there was no payoffto the cliffhanger. one of the draws of this show is that anyone can supposedly die at any moment and scenes like that diminish the show’s strength in that area by crying wolf.

      it was an entertaining episode that had pacing issues, poor writing in some areas, and head scratching character decisions. it’s a testament to the show that i found it to be the worst of the season so far and i still think it was entertaining. with so few episodes left, i hope that’s the last time that happens though. in GoT terms, it was a bad episode for sure.

      It’s weird how the series was known for killing off main/big characters, but now they all seem kind of safe until Season 8. The deaths this season have all been secondary characters like the Sand Snakes, Olenna, Freys, and the Tarly’s. It’s like they are afraid of killing main characters now. They didn’t even give Grey Worm the axe. Just left him stranded. With only 8 episodes left there’s way too many characters and storylines to tie up. Dany’s team is too big with Missandei, Grey Worm, Varys, Tyrion, Jorah, Theon etc and the North has Jon, Arya, Sansa, Bran, LF, Royce, Lyanna, Tormund, Hound, BwB, Davos, Gendry, Brienne, Pod etc. Even Robin Arryn is still out there somewhere. KL is trimmed the most but still has Cersei, Jaime, Bronn, Qyburn, Mountain, Euron/Yara. Melisandre is still out there as well.

        Quote  Reply

    20. “We saw Ned Stark execute a deserter in the very first episode of the show; we didn’t flinch, even though we knew the deserter ran away for good reason. It’s cold, and cruel and despotic by our standards, but it’s what rulers are “supposed to do” in that world.”

      You nailed it with this!
      Even if they want to be “good” it’s difficult to do so without some “bad”. Yes in an ideal world, you don’t need to use fear. But these kingdoms are not in the state of “let’s liberate them and they will be okay”. Reform takes time, it takes tough love, making those tough decisions, it takes educating the masses, it takes patience. Dany is still learning how to do that. Should she have executed them? Maybe not. Did she execute them to instill fear? Maybe. But she is still giving them a choice. So I think she is trying to figure out how to do that and still exert some sort of power or rule over people. Is the choice “follow me or I’ll execute you” the way to do it? Maybe. It kinda worked in Essos. How else would you suggest she grab a hold of the 7 Kingdoms in order to bring reform? Isn’t that what happens in reality? Isn’t that the biggest struggle we face politically? Executing two men to save many is a massive improvement to what is currently being done in our world today, in my opinion. It’s tough choice.


      “I found his conflict with Daenerys compelling. When he and Varys were drinking later back in Dragonstone, Tyrion rationalized (and he’s not wrong) that she’s a ruler, she has to do certain things, but that she didn’t have to burn a father and son alive. That’s a red flag for them. I thought they handled a storyline I was worried about quite well.”

      I don’t think they handled it well. They left me feeling like they were more in doubt and more worried….where I would have liked to see them reach the same conclusion I reached. Because I don’t think either Varys or Tyrion have a good idea or effective solution to what Dany is trying to achieve. They are counselling her by reminding her what she is about, by consistently bringing her back to her moral ground, but neither of them have presented her with a solution. So I would have liked to see them come to the conclusion that they recognize that Dany is in a very difficult situation

        Quote  Reply

    21. Luka Nieto: Skipped it. We didn’t really have much to say about it, except to wonder about Rhaegar’s true nature, which JoeMagician already did wonderfully here.

      Makes sense. Thanks!

        Quote  Reply

    22. Tamwell Sarly,

      IMO, the showrunners are saving the twist for S8 and it may be a major one. Sam is now primed to figure out Jon’s true status and based on how he pushed Jon into the position of the Lord Commander we can expect him to push him onto the throne too. Dany has just burned his father and brother, so she will have every reason to take Sam’s story as an attempt to undemine her, not to mention that Sam may indeed have this motive after what she has done (say what you want but IMO deep in his heart Sam respected his father and he had a pretty big influece on him: the words he spoke leaving the Old Town is a clear hint to that). Therefore, it’s quite possible that if (or rather when) Sam reveals Jon’s status Dany will go full DRACARYS and Jorah will be required to save Sam from dragon flames.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Luka: Still at the Field of Fire (the name better fucking stick, I’m still not calling it… that),

      I’ve been wondering if maybe they called it…that because they have other plans for Field of Fire.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Jared: My best guess is that he was referring to the breathtaking sequence in which Bran wargs into the ravens and sends them flying over Eastwatch, beyond the Wall, and above the Night King’s army. But the episode’s cinematography was so stunning that there are perhaps twenty equally viable possibilities!

      Hmmm, my guess would be that cinematographer talked about some other scene? Maybe? From his interview, I got the sense that he’s an old-school kinda guy who most enjoys “give me a room, a couple of actors, and I’ll make it shine” scenes. So, something not that CGI-heavy is what I’m thinking. (Un)fortunately, there are so many gorgeously shot scenes, I don’t have a clue what particular scene he’s talking about.

      Having said that, Luka and Petra, you did a wonderful feature once again. Very satisfying to read and compare to my own opinions.

      Let me conclude thus: if I was editor-in-chief of this fine site, I would definitely consider adding a Curtain Call for Jorah’s Yellow Shirt. That thing deserves no less.

        Quote  Reply

    25. I believe the show would bring a character back just to kill him in the next episode, so that puts Jorah and Gendry at risk. Between the two, I think Gendry is superfluous. I know he’s the last person with Baratheon blood, but with so many other contenders for the Throne (Jon, Dany, Cersei, even Sansa) I don’t think the show really needs him.

      I think it would be within GOT’s sense of humor to cure Jorah only to kill him right after that, but I’m also thinking about the Valyrian swords. There are only a handful, and they are wasted in the hands of someone who doesn’t fight well. Sam probably knows that, and I’ve convinced myself that Sam will give his sword to Jorah at some point. (As for Jaime’s sword, I don’t know — Bronn? The Hound?).

      So of the group of 7, my pick to die is Gendry.

        Quote  Reply

    26. The loot train just sounds so….silly. It makes me think of old westerns when the whole plot of the movie is to rob a stagecoach or something like that. I can even see a hint of 1920’s-30’s corny stereotypical gangster talk in there somewhere.

      “Myeah see?!?………..Watch out for that bearcat glommin’ all the loot, see?!? Must be some blind tigah jerkin some suds on the side, seee?!?!?”

        Quote  Reply

    27. Dee Stark,

      I think Dany’s actions are better than Tyrion’s. Dany hit an army that was away from the city, with no civilian casualties. That’s better than Tyrion’s plan of starving the populace.

      And Dany gave the Tarleys a choice. THEY chose not to bend the knee or take the black (which are very generous terms to offer the general who betrayed the house he was sworn to, in support of mass-murderer Cersei). I don’t see why Varys and Tyrion should be concerned. At this point, I question every bit of “advice” Tyrion is giving Dany. As for alternatives, I agree with you that Tyrion isn’t giving Dany any, other than “starve the people.”

        Quote  Reply

    28. Pigeon,

      Emilia is a treasure. We don’t deserve her. 🙂 She and Kit clearly had a blast filming together. May her Instagram feed continue to delight us!

      I will say that while that particular image is great fun, it did remind me that I’ve now heard several accounts about just how dangerous the winds were while they were filming on that cliff, particularly for Kit in his heavy billowing cloak. Reportedly he had to be strapped in a harness for the scene with Drogon so he wouldn’t blow away over the edge. That would have been an ignominious end for our King in the North. Safety first, now and always!

      Ten Bears,

      It was the first nickname that popped into my head when I saw that badass crew lined up in formation, heading north! The Magnificent Seven seems to have emerged as the consensus designation, and I really like that one as well, because the visual and thematic influence of old Western films on this particular mission are easily apparent. I’m less personally attached to the Suicide Squad and Avengers monikers (although the comparisons between Gendry with his warhammer and Thor with Mjolnir are quite to choice). But you really can’t go wrong. The memes that have been drawn up in homage to this squad of beloved characters have been absolutely fantastic.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Mr Fixit,

      Perhaps you’re right, although capturing the natural beauty of those Icelandic glaciers seems like it would be a treat for any cinematographer, CGI elements or not. As you say, there are so many beautiful scenes in this episode, it’s really impossible to identity which one he was referring to.

      I don’t know if Jorah’s yellow shirt will get a Curtain Call, but I like to think that the production gave it a proper Viking funeral, as befits a warrior of legend.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Enjoyed the discussion. Agree with the evaluation of Dany’s decision to kill the two Tarleys, although I wish Dickon bent the knee. Agree with your thoughts on Sansa playing the long game and Arya being new to the world of politics (although skilled in other ways). I am trying to imagine what needs to happen for Arya to see Sansa’s approach to things has a lot of value, maybe a chat with Bran or even Brienne? But I hope that the two sisters get on the same wave length soon so they can deal with LF.

      Yes the cinematography and special effects were outstanding! That wide shot of Jon on the cliff with DS in the background and the wind blowing his cape around – WOW! And the warm light in many of the interiors (not at Eastwatch, but down south) was beautiful. The raven flying sequence was stunning. Of course…Jon and Drogon – all of it ! Cat (and dog) people will recognize that blink by Drogon has meaning ranging from “I trust you” to “I love you.”

      I’m enjoying the ride and for all the wonder conversations we are not getting in the show, maybe GRRM will have a version with more conversations to give us in the books (pray to the Seven they do come out eventually) or we can have fun writing up “all the scenes we wanted to see but did not make the series” when it is all said and done. That could be a panel at a Con of Thrones in the future, people could act them out or just do dramatic readings. Oh well…enjoyed to post!

        Quote  Reply

    31. Mr Derp:
      The loot train just sounds so….silly.It makes me think of old westerns when the whole plot of the movie is to rob a stagecoach or something like that.I can even see a hint of 1920’s-30’s corny stereotypical gangster talk in there somewhere.

      “Myeah see?!?………..Watch out for that bearcat glommin’ all the loot, see?!?Must be some blind tigah jerkin some suds on the side, seee?!?!?”

      LOL!!!!!! Jaime and Bronn in fedoras….

        Quote  Reply

    32. Pigeon,

      A classic look no doubt. Gotta be clutching a cigar too. Oh and please do not skip on the pinstripe suit. You cannot skip on the pinstripe suit.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Jared:
      Pigeon,

      Emilia is a treasure. We don’t deserve her. 🙂 She and Kit clearly had a blast filming together. May her Instagram feed continue to delight us!

      I will say that while that particular image is great fun, it did remind me that I’ve now heard several accounts about just how dangerous the winds were while they were filming on that cliff, particularly for Kit in his heavy billowing cloak. Reportedly he had to be strapped in a harness for the scene with Drogon so he wouldn’t blow away over the edge. That would have been an ignominious end for our King in the North. Safety first, now and always!

      Well his costume must weigh a ton, and he’s not a big guy – it would be like flying a large kite on a windy day! 😂 The dangers you wouldn’t consider for Jon Snow. For that matter, standing on top of the Wall would have been a bit risky as well (character-wise)!

        Quote  Reply

    34. Mr Derp:
      Pigeon,

      A classic look no doubt.Gotta be clutching a cigar too.Oh and please do not skip on the pinstripe suit.You cannot skip on the pinstripe suit.

      Get some bourbon, a classy dame or two…

        Quote  Reply

    35. Lord of Coffee:
      Pigeon,

      That’s fantastic, especially with the tags she put on it!

      Dee Stark:
      Pigeon,

      HAHAHA!!!

      I know, right? *flappy flappy flappy* 🤣

        Quote  Reply

    36. Inga,

      On the other hand, Sam may fault his father and brother for supporting Cersei after she destroyed the Tyrells, in addition to being glad to see his father dead and being resentful of Dickon for supplanting him. Sam is an honorable man. Also, if Jon is seriously attached to Dany (either as potential wife or relative), Sam will think twice about getting in the middle of them, especially after Jon tells her about her good qualities.

        Quote  Reply

    37. The wind picks up and Jon Snow starts to fly away towards the coastline.

      Dany standing at the cliffside looking up at Jon all proud, a la Free Willy style.

      “Go KITN, you’re free now!!”

        Quote  Reply

    38. Dee Stark,

      I’m affraid you don’t get what kind of reform Dany is bringing. Her intent is to exterminate all the great houses which used to work as a system of checks and balances in a traditional feudal system of government and to establish her absolute rule. And there is no other agenda. In Essos she had that great goal to abolish the slavery and that kind of justified the atrocities. But as for Westeros she simply thinks that her absolute rule will be simply better than feudal power division and as a historian I can’t agree on that because even enlightened absolutism used to turn into tyrany every time it emerged. So, I am really worried about Dany’s future arch because so far it’s the arch of Nero and many other monsters all of which started as likeable underdog revolutionaries. I can only hope that she dies before this ach is completed.

        Quote  Reply

    39. MoaKaka:
      Dee Stark,

      I think Dany’s actions are better than Tyrion’s.Dany hit an army that was away from the city, with no civilian casualties.That’s better than Tyrion’s plan of starving the populace.

      And Dany gave the Tarleys a choice.THEY chose not to bend the knee or take the black (which are very generous terms to offer the general who betrayed the house he was sworn to, in support of mass-murderer Cersei).I don’t see why Varys and Tyrion should be concerned.At this point, I question every bit of “advice” Tyrion is giving Dany.As for alternatives, I agree with you that Tyrion isn’t giving Dany any, other than “starve the people.”

      My thoughts exactly. I really don’t get why the show is going in the direction of casting doubt on whether Dany was correct to execute a lord who betrayed the House he was pledged to.

      What if Cersei had sent Randyll Tarly north to attack Winterfell and Jon then defeated him and beheaded him? Would there have been the same handwringing about it? I doubt it. But Dany rightfully executes him and now Tyrion and Varys are appalled. Why? Because she used fire instead of beheading? She doesn’t swing a sword so using dragonfire is her way of carrying out the sentence herself. And Tyrion burned people alive with wildfire at the Blackwater. And it was his plan they followed in Meereen when Dany used the dragons to burn the ships (and their crews) that were attacking the city. And Varys recruited Lady Olenna by promising the Targaryen ‘fire and blood’. But now they’re suddenly squeamish about her using her greatest strengths?

      Lady Olenna saw that Tyrion was holding Dany back and that it was going to weaken her so advised her to ignore Tyrion’s war plan. Well, she didn’t and his plan totally failed. She then followed her own instincts and won a big victory.

      But now the show is giving the impression she is going to face some repercussions ahead for executing a traitorous lord who was nothing but abusive to his oldest son Sam? I really hope they don’t go that route because it would be dumb.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Tamwell Sarly,

      I’ve had the same thought and I would have love to see that. I hope we still do.
      But I think Danny has had a plethora of scenes like that and she didn’t change. Scenes showing how her Manicheist approach is naive and the temptation to do good is dangerous when you don’t have a full context.
      That’s what happened when the witch betrayed her and made clear that she wasn’t being as kind as she thought, or when Hizdahr Zo Loraq talked about his dad, crucified with no chance of defending himself.
      I’m not implying she’s mad here, but just too self-righteous. Tyrion’s reaction to the massacre makes him human, because even someone who believes the massacre was justified can self-doubt when seeing these Pompeii-style corpses. I wish we saw more of that from her, not only the recognition that you have to be brutal to win, but some unease with that – like Robb’s reactions after beheading lord Karstark, or Jon’s look just before beheading Slynt. Specially if she wants to be different.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Lord of Coffee,

      I don’t really get it either. I mean, I understand that killing with dragonfire can evoke images of the Mad King, and Dany’s crew is particularly trying to avoid the comparisons, however, the current Queen, which the people of King’s Landing apparently support, just killed a bunch of people with wildfire.

      So, their cool with murder by wildfire, but not dragonfire? Hmmmm, ok. That makes sense. Derp!

        Quote  Reply

    42. Inga: (say what you want but IMO deep in his heart Sam respected his father and he had a pretty big influece on him: the words he spoke leaving the Old Town is a clear hint to that)

      I have to disagree with your take on Sam. His body language during the dinner with his parents suggested fear and submission to his overbearing father. The words he spoke when leaving Old Town were not out of respect for Randyll, but rather as one of those things parents say that cut deeper than a knife, and tend to remain in the back of one’s head for the rest of one’s life.

      I don’t see Sam getting all revengeful on Dany when he finds out about his brother’s and father’s fate. I’m not saying he will be glad about it either (if I recall correctly, he didn’t have a particularly bad relationship with Dickon.)

        Quote  Reply

    43. Inga,

      I don’t think we really know what “break the wheel” means. It remains to be seen what sort of society she has in mind. She certainly didn’t pursue a socialist or communist agenda in Meereen. I wish she would explain herself.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Rightful Queen,

      I don’t have much time to elaborate right now, but nothing about Sam’s character indicates he would be glad about the death of his father and brother. Perhaps the story will quickly move past this personal dilemma for Sam though. This seems to be the case.

      IDK about other book readers, but after this past episode, I’m chomping at the bit for a new book! I love the show, I love the books, and I want more convergences of these beloved characters 🙂
      Also, <3 Glass Candle Dialogue, Petra and Luka. I wish you two could delve deeper into each episode.

        Quote  Reply

    45. ramses: Also, <3 Glass Candle Dialogue, Petra and Luka. I wish you two could delve deeper into each episode.

      I wish we could too, but transcribing more than an hour of dialogue and trimming it down to a manageable 4000 words is quite a challenge already 😉

        Quote  Reply

    46. Tamwell Sarly,

      But Jorah telling Dany where he got healed and giving the name of the healer wouldn’t necessarily have meant that she would at that point feel obliged to blurt out “Hey I just had Drogon roast a couple of Tarleys.” She would keep that to herself for now, just us seeing her have a thought about it would have been good enough.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Gosh, you two are always so thought provoking. I especially appreciate your analysis of the slow kindling (!) of Jon and Dany’s love. I think the organic process will mollify some of the fans who cry “INCEST!” at the very thought. It seems inevitable their love is meant to be, as Rhaegar must surely have known. That might go some way to muffling the naysayers. And you were spot-on about Sam. Other than being irked that he man-splained Gilly, I think he’s a hero of bookish mastery. Once he bonded with Gilly and Baby Sam, I never thought he’d become a maester. I wager he’ll loan/give Heartsbane to a more martial hero, Jorah or Sandor perhaps. I’m now convinced the whole Sansa-Arya tiff is their charade to ‘play’ Littlefinger via an elaborate plan to trap him like Arya’s complex plan trapped the Waif. Arya would never advocate casual beheading, and Sansa would not make the cutting (!) response she did. Sansa must know LF has spies, so the door is conveniently open. I don’t look forward to their sham spat excalating, but it must for LF to be neutralised until: SNAP!! em>Perhaps LF counter-intelligencing Arya was even part of it. I agree the fast pace has downsides, primarily curtailing emotional moments. And logic is secondary, but it often has been. Bronn and Jaime ending up in a distant spot where they can evade Dany recalls Jorah and Tyrion emerging from the water miles from the Valyrian ruins.

        Quote  Reply

    48. A Dornish Tyrell,

      I don’t think that Sam is getting revengeful on Dany either: if he ever reveals Jon’s true status, he will be doing that to get justice for his best friend primarily. But Dany will have every reason to see this reveal as Tarlys’ vengeance and therefore dismiss it. On the other hand if I were Samwell I wouldn’t be quite OK with someone who would have burned my father (and yes – I had big issues with my father too). So, it should be complicated – as almost everything in GoT and the showrunners are clearly setting the news about his father and brother to be a big tragedy to Samwell Tarly.
      That’s why I think why all this Tarly incineration was done clumsy on purpose. Basically Dany had a legit reason to sentence Randyl to death (through dragonfire or otherwise), but she shoudn’t have given him a choice to bend the knee: he was a traitor, his treason led to Ollena’s death, so Dany had a duty to avenge her vassal. Giving Randyl an opportunity to bend the knee ment that she didn’t care about Ollena. So, paraphrasing my favourite quote of Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, burning Tarlys was not a crime – it was far worse, it was a MISTAKE. Dany gave old Randyl a word and he beated her moraly just like Ollena beated Jaime.

        Quote  Reply

    49. This is only on topic as it relates to people burning, sorry.

      I was reading comments in a GoT thread on a non-GoT forum and the discussion included show!Daenerys’ fire immunity and whether or not Jon may be as well.

      The scene when Jon burns his hand in season 1 is good proof that he is not immune to fire and/or heat burning. Although, is it just proof that he wasn’t immune at that time? The show has taken some liberties with Daenerys’ immunity according to George. Even so, she was shown to be ‘fire proof’ prior to the Drogo pyre scene so whatever sacrifice/magic/rebirth happened in there didn’t start it. However, perhaps it’s possible that Jon’s ability was dormant until his death and resurrection… People were expecting some kind of change in Jon after coming back and there really hasn’t been one.

      When Viserys was killed Daeny said, “He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” Viserys shared the same bloodlines completely with Daenerys so there’s the question why she would be immune and he was not. That of course would mean that Jon doesn’t have to be immune either just because he has Targaryen blood. There is a difference between Jon and Viserys though… Jon is a primary protagonist while Viserys was not. It makes sense for Jon to also prove that he’s a ‘dragon.’

      The show could actually use this as part of Jon finding out about his lineage. While some of the characters and the viewers would know he’s part Targaryen, before he’s told perhaps he could be blasted with flames or be trapped in a burning structure yet come out of it naked but unharmed. Everyone would be amazed and shocked but if Daenerys witnesses it she would figure out what it means. OR Maybe after he’s told about his father he doesn’t believe it and Daenerys tests him with fire and he doesn’t burn.

      I don’t know… none of that may even be a part of the show the rest of the way. Still, ancient astronaut theorists say it’s possible. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    50. I’m sorry but I see the Sansa/Arya dynamic completely different. I don’t see Sansa showing any true political knowledge. She’s still the selfish spoiled brat that she always was… And Arya sees it. What she’s been through hasn’t changed her for the better. The majority of her actions have been about self. You can count on a few fingers the times she did for others at the expense of herself. Yet people say she’s a more fit Queen than Dany… That’s laughable.

      If given the opportunity, Sansa can easily be manipulated to turn on Jon & seize control of the North for herself. Littlefinger knows it and so does Arya. Sansa may have learned to be a better schemer & schmoozer & more selfish from the likes of Littlefinger & Cersei. Fine, let’s say she passed those tests (even though I’d give her an incomplete at best), she still has one more test to pass. And that’s the loyalty test.

      That test is being administered by Arya. She’s failed that test every time in the past. So Arya is being hard on her like she damn well should be. Arya has learned how to read people to learn their heart’s true desires. And Sansa is easy to read (except for by Sansa fans of course…). The end is near and as GRRM originally stated, it’s a TIME FOR WOLVES. Not lying political schemers.

      If Sansa fails this test by trying to usurp Jon or siding with Littlefinger & the Vale, she’ll die alongside Baelish… Luckily for her, her truly “Stark loyal” little brother and sister are their to help her pass her final exam and “officially” welcome her back into the pack. Because the lone wolf does indeed die while the pack survives.

      So Sansa, take your medicine (well deserved criticism) & tough love and learn some Stark values to balance the Snake values (you’ve learned from Baelish & Cersei) & do the right thing. Family first: even if that means dying or giving up the thing you desire most.

        Quote  Reply

    51. ygritte:
      Tamwell Sarly,

      But Jorah telling Dany where he got healed and giving the name of the healer wouldn’t necessarily have meant that she would at that point feel obliged to blurt out “Hey I just had Drogon roast a couple of Tarleys.” She would keep that to herself for now, just us seeing her have a thought about it would have been good enough.

      Yes, that’s true, which is why I said I “sort of” understand why the writers chose not to go that route. If Jorah had mentioned Sam with Jon standing there, I’m sure Jon would have said “that’s my boy!” That actually could have intensified the second guessing she’d feel since she’s obviously growing quite fond of Jon. But that’s where it gets tricky…sure, Jon didn’t have to find out that Sam’s dad and brother were just roasted by Dany. But, if Dany knew how important Sam is to Jon and she kept that bit of info to herself only for Jon to find out later, that could throw a wrench in their developing relationship and the writers may not have wanted to go that direction. I’m just guessing, I still really wish the scene would’ve unfolded as I described.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Aegon the Icedragon,

      Amen. That’s how I see the Arya-Sansa dynamic too.

      (I just wish they hadn’t shown Arya and LF lurking behind corners and peeking at each other. That was kind of soap opera-ish.)

      As for Sansa: As soon as spineless Lord Glover and his cronies started whining about Jon’s absence, she should’ve reminded Glover: “I watched you pledge
      ‘I will stand behind Jon Snow: the King in the North!'”
      “So shut your hole or I’ll have you taken to the kennels and fed to the dogs.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Luka, Petra, as usual thanks for this. I look forward to reading your post on Thursdays!

      I have the feeling that Jorah will not make it, sorry! I think in the next episode there will be enough time to say goodbye to him, though. I expect several members of this band of brothers to fall during the mission. My numbers are on Thoros and Beric. Tormund could be another casualty, but I really, really would not like it to happen, because he’s one of the guys that provide comedic relief on this grim show. I mean… the “which queen are you trying to convince: the one with dragons or the one who fucks her brother?” was a gem!

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think there is much more left for Jorah to do. Him coming back to Dragonstone and telling Dany about the WW and then staying friendzoned for the third time? I think his death would be increadibly compelling for Dany and will probably make her understand that there really is a huge threat to the North (the Night King killed my Jorah!! You know how Dany gets when someone steals something from her…! )

      Many people have criticized Tyrion’s plan and seen ulterior motivations in it. I think it is not a great one, but as Jon said to Sam before he went after Mance, … It’s a bad plan. Do you have another? I’m not sure that Jon thinks that he might convince Cersei, but he definitely needs to convince Dany to back him up with her men and specially, with her dragons. Maybe she will realize that as she had to go East to go West, she needs to go North to South…

      I don’t think Sandor will die, because he still has a lot of interesting potential interactions with other characters in the show (Arya, Brienne, Sansa, Gregor… Cleganebowl!), and because… nobody touches him, OK?! He’s one of my favorite characters from the books and the show. We need him to say “Shut your hole!” when somebody is talking a lot of BS or “What the fuck is a Lommy?” or demand his chicken, damn it!

      And I don’t think Gendry will die, just because his presence will help make matters much more complicated in the end. He is a long shot, but he is the son of a King, plus he hates Cersei, so he might end up helping Arya with her list. He and Jon are bonding now, but later on, when some facts come to the light, their friendship can hit a rough spot…

      Coming to think of it, this show is becoming a lot about the son’s and daughter’s abilities to be better people/ leaders / rulers than their parents. Can they? Or are Dany, Cersei, Sam, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Theon, heck, even Robyn Arryn destined to repeat their errors and keep the cycle alive?

      The Arya-Sansa thing bothers me a lot. I realize they never got along and it is OK that they don’t portray them being a portrait of sisterly love. But I feel this is as painful and dumb as watching her walking all carefree in Braavos while the Waif was obviously looking for her. Ugh! She had sort of a plan, but it almost cost her her life…

      The other thing is that after all is said and done, Westeros will really need a superb psychologist to treat all those toasted people. Maybe Gilly can become one… she could have lots of clients since there are so many people with a grudge towards so many other people! I thought that could be Sam’s role in the aftermath, but after Dany roasted her father and brother, I think he has become a potential client!

      Take Jon, for example. He grew up as a bastard when he actually has the best claim for a throne that probably he never seeked or wanted. He assumes responsibility, but he reacts always as it is a huge burden for him. It’s not like he enjoys having power. He lived all his life desperately trying to emulate his supposed father Ned, just to find out that he’s the son of the man who for years was believed to be Lyanna’s abductor and rapist. He was betrayed by his brothers of the NW and stabbed to death, and then he was resurrected. He is falling in love with a woman who is his aunt. One of his grandfathers roasted the other one + one of his uncles… He is friends with the uncle of the stupid king who beheaded Ned and also with the son of the man who killed his real father…. Pretty fucked up, huh?

      I bet one can do a similar long list of terrible shit for each of the remaining main characters… So Gilly… stop reading history books and go the Westerosi school of psychology!

        Quote  Reply

    54. Ten Bears,

      Exactly. That’s what a truly loyal person does. You put that treasonous fire out immediately. Suffocate it. Don’t leave any oxygen for the fire to grow and spread. Sansa’s hesitation to shut them down immediately left the door open to there being a possibility of her usurping Jon…

      Arya has seen flaky Sansa pull that crap in the past. It got Lady killed, Nymeria outcast, Ned captured, & if Robb was dumb enough to come to Kings Landng like Sansa’s letter suggested, he’d have been beheaded much sooner due to Sansa’s capitulation. Little Sis is gonna get her right though. She won’t fail her Northern Stark test again. He little brother and sister will see to that. At least I hope so anyway. This Sunday should be very interesting to see which way Arya, Sansa, & Littlefinger are leaning.

        Quote  Reply

    55. A Dornish Tyrell,

      You are right.
      And wasn’t Randall Tarly the great dad who told Sam (his heir) to renounce his titles, inheritance, and property rights and join the Night’s Watch – or he’d be found dead in a hunting “accident”?

      And then after all those years at CB when Sam came for a visit all Randall could do was glare at him and fat shame him at dinner?

      Also… I thought Randall T earned his reputation during Robert’s Rebellion as a Targ loyalist, and the only one ever to beat Robert in a battle. Since then, he’s “bent the knee” to Robert; to Joffrey; to Tommen; and then to Cersei, who orchestrated the mass murder of the Tyrells, to whom Tarly had sworn fealty. So Tyrion was absolutely right about Randall’s “flexibility” in loyalties.

      But what bothered me is that as a Targ loyalist, Randall would know that Dany was forced into exile, and had to grow up in in one foreign la d after another, one step ahead of assassins. It’s not like she chose to abandon her own home country.
      Randall should’ve been honored to welcome Dany home. He should’ve reaffirmed his allegiance to her family – just like Barristan Selmy did.

      PS I’ve got to say that Dickon 2.0 (Tom Hopper?) did a great job in limited screen time. He built up lots of empathy for Dickon, making his (pointless) self-sacrifice that much more poignant.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Ten Bears,

      Indeed. Everything you said is absolutely correct. Randyll was Team Targ in the past. I guess he forgot all of that. Just like The Golden Company is Team Targ (Blackfyre edition). So if the “real” Golden Company came to Westeros it’d be to kill Cersei & put a Blackfyre Targ on the throne. Not strengthen her claim.

      I have a great question. Is there any chance D&D bring the Blackfyres in next season (definitely a major part of the books) to give us a Targ mini civil war to go along with the Long Night as a way of laying some groundwork for a Blackfyre Rebellion prequel???? Or has there not been enough setup to do that in only 6 longer than normal episodes?

        Quote  Reply

    57. Ten Bears:
      Aegon the Icedragon,

      Amen. That’s how I see the Arya-Sansa dynamic too.

      (I just wish they hadn’t shown Arya and LF lurking behind corners and peeking at each other. That was kind of soap opera-ish.)

      As for Sansa: As soon as spineless Lord Glover and his cronies started whining about Jon’s absence, she should’ve reminded Glover: “I watched you pledge
      ‘I will stand behind Jon Snow: the King in the North!’” “So shut your hole or I’ll have you taken to the kennels and fed to the dogs.

      Yup, yup, yup. Agree with both of you. And I think Maisie and Sophie have been killing it this season!

      I also wouldn’t trust the Northern Lords with much if they were to want me to be their leader…we’ve seen how fickle they are in regards to Jon, why would they be any different to Sansa? The minute she made an unpopular decision, they’d probably start muttering and look for someone else!

        Quote  Reply

    58. Ten Bears,

      Randyll fought for the Targaryen side in Robert’s Rebellion, but I never saw him as any kind fervent Targaryen loyalist who was loyal to that house because he was specifically devoted to Aerys and his children (including Dany). Randyll was a bannerman of House Tyrell, and House Tyrell stayed loyal to the Crown in that particular war. Randyll followed his liege lord in that conflict, and when House Tyrell bent the knee to Robert, he did as well. Later, when House Tyrell declared for Renly Baratheon over Joffrey and Stannis, Randyll followed his liege lord yet again. When Renly died, and the Tyrells entered into an alliance with the Baratheons/Lannisters, Randyll followed suit yet again. His loyalty was always to his direct liege lords, the Tyrells. Where they led, he followed.

      What ultimately changed after Cersei’s ascension to the Iron Throne and House Tyrell declaring for Daenerys was that House Tyrell lost its future. Olenna was the sole surviving member, and too old to have any more children. The Tyrells were effectively finished as a long-term power in Westeros, even if Olenna had survived for a few more years of war. She was in it solely for revenge, and to get that revenge, she allied with a woman who brought Dothraki and Unsullied to Westeros – something that clearly troubled Randyll, whose deep xenophobia was well-established last season with his hatred of Gilly and the wildlings. Perhaps if House Tyrell had more of a future, Randyll would have followed them, as he had before (especially since it was Cersei who stole that future). But that future was gone, and there was no bringing it back. And so Randyll’s unquestioning loyalty was gone as well.

      Despite this, Randyll was clearly conflicted about which side to choose – we saw him lay out this dilemma to Jaime in “Stormborn”. But ultimately, he made his choice. He chose loyalty to his country as he saw it (fueled in no small part by prejudice) and the opportunity for his own house to ascend politically over loyalty to Olenna, the woman that he had known since he was a child and her noble but ultimately empty quest for vengeance.

      I’m not saying that Randyll was right in any of this. But I disagree that he should have or would have welcomed Dany with open arms solely because of her Targaryen name. Other things were more important to him. We’ve seen multiple examples throughout the show of houses who were once allies becoming enemies (and vice versa) because they saw an opportunity, or because political realities had changed. Randyll was no different in that respect. His loyalty was indeed flexible … to a point. His pride and his hatred of foreigners, however, proved inflexible, – and so once he made the hard choice to back Cersei, he stuck to it. It cost him his life, and the life of his son as well.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Petra:
      Pigeon,

      Omg thank you!

      We knew he had a brooding cliff, apparently he has an arm-flapping cliff too! 😄 Maybe the dragons think he’s a fledgling and are trying to teach him. 😊

        Quote  Reply

    60. Pigeon,

      I’m on vaca and using my mother-in-law’s ancient* XP and only see the still photo, and I want to see this!!!!

      *Not complaining, it’s great for playing old skool games like Age of Empires and Space Quest.

        Quote  Reply

    61. MoaKaka,

      Since Jon is the Prince that Was Promised and Gendry is Azor Asai, they cannot die! I think Thormund and Thoros would make more logical choices. I don’t see what else those two could do that would be important to the story. I think they will keep Deric a little while longer…just to have him say something smart at the proper moment (he is so much Quote material), but he will die soon. Jorah and The Hound always contributes to the story so they will keep them.

      I do loved the Sansa-Arya interaction as well. With what LF did, they may become antagonist. However, the most interesting things about them two is how they were so different, grow with such difficult yet totally different experiences and have grown to become very powerful in their own way….and they still despise each other personality and yet, I see them gaining so much by learning from each other and developping respect for one another. How much will they clash until they finally see the other’s worth? I don’t know but I really do hope they don’t become enemy. But with GoT, you never know. I don’t like that everything is set for Sansa to clash with Arya and Jon and to eventually become an antagonist in season 8. One whom we would cheer for and be conflicted about (which isn’t the case with Cersei).

      And I wonder a lot about Gendry. Not only do I think he is back because he is Azor Asai…making dragon glass from dragonstone and forging Lightbringer. But he also bring the Baratheon dynasty into the mix. I believe Gendry, as the last Baratheon, still has a claim because we never knew what was on the scroll that Robert wrote before he died. I actually see Sansa trying to marry Gendry for his claim to the Throne. Pushing the Baratheon claim against the Targaryen one is too much out there not to use it as a plot. But Gendry himself would never even think of claiming it, so it feels like Sansa could marry him for his claim (power-angry Sansa!!!) and love? Nah…no love, only claim (hello Lyanna). And we need Azor’s wife death to be a tragedy and since Gendry cannot marry Daenarys… then Sansa is the only one else left to marry and get killed tragically in a romantic scene.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Aegon the Icedragon: Luckily for her, her truly “Stark loyal” little brother and sister are their to help her pass her final exam and “officially” welcome her back into the pack. Because the lone wolf does indeed die while the pack survives.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees Sansa, at the moment, as the “lone wolf.” The rest of the pack seem to have a little more connection with each other. Bran seems to connect with Arya more than Sansa, and Arya is still 100% loyal to Jon, and although we haven’t seen Jon and Bran together yet, Bran is anxious to discuss the zombies with Jon. Where does Sansa fit in? She doesn’t. At least, not yet — but I think eventually she will turn into a real Stark and bond with her siblings.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Pigeon,

      Lord “I’ll Sit This One Out” Glover is heading to the top of my S*it List with a bullet. Why the hell is post-up Jorah schlepping up to Eastwatch with the Suicide Squad, while Glover camps out in WF and whines about King Jon behind his back?

      What happened to:

      “I did not fight beside you on the field, and I will regret that until my dying day. A man can only admit when he was wrong. and ask forgiveness….
      “There will be more fights to come! House Glover will stand behind House Stark as we have for a thousand years. And I will stand behind Jon Snow: the King in the North!”

      If he regretted not fighting beside Jon so much and wanted to demonstrate his sincerity, he shouldn’t be gossiping with his Mean Girls buddies; he should be marching out into the sh*storm with his King.

      (*End weekly Anti-Lord Glover rant*)

        Quote  Reply

    64. Ten Bears: If he regretted not fighting beside Jon so much and wanted to demonstrate his sincerity, he shouldn’t be gossiping with his Mean Girls buddies; he should be marching out into the sh*storm with his King.

      The raven that carried the message from Bran should still be around. Before they left for Eastwatch, Jon (with Dany/Tyrion’s permission) should have sent a status message to WF, plus a damn “Hello!” to Bran and Arya would be in order. His mining of obsidian and the mission north don’t have to be clandestine info, right? Then again, maybe Bran is observing from the weirnet and giving play-by-play.

      I agree that LG is a borderline hypocrite. He should be reporting on the status of his granddaughter’s sword-fighting training instead.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Ten Bears,

      I loved Lord Glover in Season 6 – his initial appearance in “The Broken Man” was excellent, and his declaration for Jon as “The King in the North!” is an integral part of one of my favorite scenes in the history of the show. Tim McInnerny’s performance remains great, but this year, I have to agree – his constant questioning of Jon is starting to get on my nerves.

      To be clear, I’m not saying that the character’s position is an invalid one for him to be holding. His somewhat fickle nature has been well-established, and his point of view a necessary one for someone in the story to be articulating. Glover’s serving that role ably. It just so happens that because I strongly disagree with his point of view, every time he stands up to speak I find myself wishing that either Lyanna Mormont or Arya would intervene and compel him to shut his mouth. Arya’s insinuation that perhaps he should lose his head was extreme, but more than most characters at Winterfell, Glover needs to get a look at the White Walkers so that he can understand why his King is taking such unconventional measures to save his people. Maybe then his chastening will stick.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, while I absolutely loved his dressing-down of Sansa’s attitude in his first appearance (because he pointed out to us the cost of what people who stand behind their lords really risk losing) he’s pretty much an asshat now and can stop anytime.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Catspaw Assassin:
      Pigeon,

      I’m on vaca and using my mother-in-law’s ancient* XP and only see the still photo, and I want to see this!!!!

      *Not complaining, it’s great for playing old skool games like Age of Empires and Space Quest.

      Space Quest!!!!! That takes me back! About 18 floppy discs to change every time you moved a scene? Or maybe that was just King’s Quest. Ah I feel like I’m a member of 3 different virtual generations. Lol.

      I don’t know if you can see this, but I tried! Lol.

      https://images.hellogiggles.com/uploads/2017/08/17062636/kit.gif

        Quote  Reply

    68. Jaime’s girl,

      Thank you so much! 🙂

      And thank you to everyone else for having these conversations with us. The Dialogue itself is only the beginning! Half of the fun is the comment section, and Petra and I couldn’t be happier with the weekly turnout.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Flayed Potatoes,

      I don’t understand why she is getting so much hate

      But I also don’t think Sansa’s fully in the wrong, except she should have defended Jon to the Northern Lords.
      Will be interesting to see what happens.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Inga,

      I do understand the reform Dany is bringing. I didn’t say I agreed with it and I didn’t say it is the solution to Westeros. I was merely stating that what she did is not as bad as Tyrion and Varys made it out to be.

      But let’s talk about Dany’s politics. She is a revolutionary. Every revolutionary begins with a great idea and genuine good intention. In hindsight, we know that often these revolutionaries realize that they need absolute power in order to achieve the “utopia” they hope for. If we take that and go back to the show, I think Dany’s in a good situation. She is surrounded by people (Jon included) that will help her realize what is best for the realm. Breaking the wheel isn’t a bad idea. Abolishing monarchies is not a bad idea (ex: Mad King, Joff, even Cersei). But you can’t replace one extreme with another. I think her advisors (especially Jon) will help her realize that democracy is the way to go.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Inga,

      Dee Stark,

      I would also like to add that I don’t think comparing Dany to Nero is fair. She doesn’t have the same selfish agendas that he had. She’s an amalgamation of several historical figures, but I wouldn’t say Nero at all.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Honestly, the setup for this wight hunt is quite nonsensical, so Its going to take a lot to get me truly invested in episode 6.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Dee Stark,

      I guess I am simply cautious about revolutionaries and in case of Dany it’s even more complicated because the only programme she pursues is breaking the wheel of competition between great houses. And we haven’t seen anyone in Westeros any support to this idea, because, although the wheel crashes many, it gives the lift for others – mostly cripples and bastards and broken things. So, although I can agree that some sort of democracy would be better (or at least less harmful) competition system, it would be the same wheel reinvented, because the wheel of competition/fortune is the circle of life per se. And even if Dany accepts some ideas of parliamentarism eventually, it won’t be her programme – it will be Tyrion’s programme or Jon’s programme, which will make Dany a very poor leader or not a leader at all. So, basicly Dany is a person with power (dargons, Dothraki) who is on the quest of acquiring more power (the Iron Throne) but no-one really knows what she intents to do with this power – Dany may not know that herself – and that’s the straight way to hell paved with good intentions. You don’t like the comparison to Nero but you should remember that Nero also had a lot of good intents and was a pretty successful reformist: his first five years under Seneca’s mentorship were golden etc. And I could provide you give you a bunch of other excamples of well-intended reformists who ended up as tyrants, not to mention revolutionaries who are tyrants per se. Best rulers have always been those who simply wanted to defend their country from the enemies because that forced them to compromise and accept different oppinions rather than seek absolute power which always corrupts.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Dee Stark:
      I think her advisors (especially Jon) will help her realize that democracy is the way to go.

      Neither of those two have any knowledge of or interest in democracy.

      Westeros also doesn’t have the civic institutions to support democracy, anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Thanks for a great read once more. It’s always interesting to see what others think of this great show and the impression others have about various characters and situations.

      On the topic of Dany, I agree that she is not her dad or even Cersei, however I’d say that at least with regards to Cersei, she is a lot closer to her in character than many realize.

      Much like Cersei, from the very first season Dany’s first instinct when considering what to do with those who she thinks or knows have wronged her (or others she cares about), or those who stand in her way has always been to punish/kill them, often in the most brutal way possible. What can be seen as somewhat troubling is that for most of these decisions she had the opportunity to think things through before deciding on something. While some decisions have been justified, others have been more morally troubling, like when she decided to crucify the masters in Mereen, even though as was later shown not all the masters supported the slavery system. Same when she decided to let her dragons burn one of the masters without being certain if the man had anything to do with the sons of the harpy or not. That showed that she is not above killing innocents if it suits her interests, as when she was thinking about burning King’s Landing to the ground with the help of her dragons.

      Where she differs greatly from Cersei is in the fact that she is very open to listening to others, and that those she relies for advice tend to be fairly morally sound characters. It is their advice what has regularly brought her back from the brink of going full tyrant, which is why Tyrion and Varys now show some concern wondering what would happen if she is left to her own instincts or if she suddenly stops listening to her council. No matter how lofty the goals, if the means are brutal it would still be more of the same.

      To contrast with for example Ned or Jon when they executed people, is that both Ned and Jon did so not because they wanted to, or because they thought it was just, or because it was the right thing to do, they did so because it is what the laws of the land dictated to be done in that circumstance, what they were sworn to do. They had no choice or alternative but to do so. That has not been the case with most if not all decisions Dany has taken. It has always been up to her to decide what course of action to take and it hasn’t always been pretty.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Sean C.,

      That’s not quite true. Jon is rex electus and the North has just reinvented democracy, and it seems that the Ironborn have always elected their kings in the show. So, there are at least two precedents and the rest of Westeros can easily go back to the roots. Of course, it’s a bit hard to argue about Westeros and its civil institutions, but it’s worth to admit that civil institutions of Medieval Europe facilitated royal elections quite nicely – at least eastwards from the Rhine startng with the Holy Roman Empire. But that said, it’s also worth so mention that royal elections didn’t establish an efficient system of governement and very few elected monarchs were better than hereditary ones. And in case of Westeros we can name Euron LOL. Hoewever, it doesn’t look like the show is going towards claiming that democracy is good good good or at least the lesser evil. It’s all about interests and personal choices of the players of the game of thrones.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Inga,

      Jon is an elected autocrat. Democracy is more than electing the top dog, it’s a belief in the government being accountable to the people. Jon pointedly does not consider himself answerable to either the council that elected him or some broader polity.

      Converting Westeros into a democracy would mean transferring power to a government that was accountable to whatever electorate chose it.

      Further, it would mean an end to Stark rule in the North, etc. (it doesn’t matter if the head of government is elected if the regional governments remain hereditary).

        Quote  Reply

    78. Sean C.,

      Well, IMO Jon has this inner feeling that he is accountable to his electorate even when he is making unpopular decisions. He addresses insecurities of his vassals, he tries to clarify his choices, even if sometimes he forgets to send a raven to inform them about recent developments (but IMO we should blame the writers for that).
      And as for the possibility of elected regional governments it looks like the only option for Westeros now when most of the great houses are gone.
      But in general I agree with you: democracy is more than elections; democracy needs a community sharing at least a minimal consensus on what is the problem and who is the enemy. Communities who had that functioned pretty well even under the limitations of the Middle Ages; and for those who had none democracy became a disaster. The problem of Westeros is that there is no pan-Westerosi community and only the war against the WW may lead to its development.

        Quote  Reply

    79. After the episode, I wondered if Sam has understood the implications of Gilly’s annulment discovery, so I looked at the scene again. Sam listens intently to her reading… and he then goes off on the Citadel and its maesters… but then as the scene closes, Sam shuts a book and carries it off: he has taken the book that Gilly was reading, not the book in front of him… it is clear in the final shot of the scene… So Sam leaves the Citadel abruptly not solely because of his frustration w the maesters, but to inform and show Jon who his parents are

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *