GRRM reveals who’s to blame for so many ‘Thrones’ deaths, and Maisie Williams is taking home a souvenir

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Arguably the first, though certainly not the last, jaw-dropping moment on ‘Game of Thrones.’

So you thought George R.R. Martin kills off some of Game of Thrones‘ most favorite characters just to toy with emotions of his readers, did you? Well, that’s not exactly true, even though it feels like it at times. There’s a reason why he embraces shocking twists and sending favorite characters like Ned Stark to an early grave, and it’s pretty simple: because J.R.R. Tolkein did it to a young and impressionable Martin.

Gizmodo posted about a recent interview with Martin about the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series being added to PBS’ “The Great American Read” collection, in which Martin revealed that when reading Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings for the first time as a teenager, the stunning blow of Gandalf’s death in the Mines of Moria left a deep and lasting impression on him and his future writings.

“And then Gandalf dies! I can’t explain the impact that had on me at 13,” Martin told PBS. “You can’t kill Gandalf. I mean, Conan didn’t die in the Conan books, you know? Tolkien just broke that rule, and I’ll love him forever for it.

“The minute you kill Gandalf, the suspense of everything that follows is a thousand times greater, because now anybody could die,” Martin continued. “Of course, that’s had a profound impact on my own willingness to kill characters off at the drop of a hat.”

Interestingly — although perhaps not surprisingly — Martin is a much bigger fan of leaving a dead character, well, dead than he is finding a reason to bring them back (obvious exceptions like Lady Stoneheart and Beric Dondarrion aside). In a 2011 interview, Martin said that while he loved Tolkein’s choice to kill off Gandalf, he was less enthused that he returned as Gandalf the White later in the novel.

“What power that had, how that grabbed me. And then he comes back as Gandalf the White, and if anything he’s sort of improved,” Martin said. “I never liked Gandalf the White as much as Gandalf the Grey, and I never liked him coming back. I think it would have been an even stronger story if Tolkien had left him dead.”

Speaking of killing, Insider recently posted that Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) spoke with BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw on Grimshaw’s Breakfast Show about Thrones coming to an end and what she’ll have to remember her time in Westeros: the brown leather jacket Arya wore in Season 7 (and will presumably wear in Season 8) that, in its remarkable similarity to something her father Ned would have worn, signified her return to her rightful home and the culmination of her long, hard journey back to Winterfell.

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Arya ‘Ned’ Stark in Season 7.

“I can imagine it being something that I’m like, ‘Oh, I was on this show once upon a time and this was the jacket I wore,’ ” Williams told Grimshaw. “And my grandkids being like, ‘Please stop.’ ”

But what of Needle, the sword Arya so cherished and never stopped trying to recover after it was taken from her by Lannister soldiers early in the series? Williams didn’t mention taking home the prop sword in the Grimshaw interview, but we can imagine it was discussed with the props department — especially if previous comments made by Kit Harington (Jon Snow) about how badly he wants to take home Longclaw are any indication. Harington told Entertainment Tonight in 2017, ahead of the Season 7 premiere, that the “only [prop]” he ever wanted was his sword.

“The first season they were like, ‘Yeah yeah yeah of course,’ and as the seasons went on and the show became more and more popular and that sword’s value went up, they became slowly quieter about it,” he said. “And that’s why I’m hinting more and more. I’m like ‘No seriously I want that sword.’ I’m just gonna steal it.”

It wouldn’t be the first thing Harington stole from the Thrones set — the first being the heart of his co-star, Rose Leslie (haha see what I did there?), whom he married earlier this year — but will he actually be able to spirit away his beloved Longclaw? We’ll have to wait and see, but now that Season 8 filming is finished for good and all, maybe we’ll know sooner rather than later.

 

189 responses

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    1. I gotta say the “Tolkien” interview, which isn’t really new and yet is resurfacing yet again, has always rubbed me the wrong way.
      Saying Gandalf should’ve stayed dead is missing the point of Gandalf the White. Not to mention that you can’t argue that LOTR would’ve been a better story without Gandalf’s “resurrection” and then go and revive some of your own characters.
      Catelyn’s revival did diminish some of the impact of the Red Wedding and turned a beloved character into a tormented monster, and we all know Jon’s resurrection is coming too, so it’s a contradictory statement to say the least. Coming from a writer as talented as Martin – it bugs me.
      It’s just my opinion of course.

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    2. Morgoth,

      It’s not actually a contradiction. Martin has specifically talked about Lady Stoneheart as a response, of sorts, to Gandalf’s return. Stoneheart isn’t really Catelyn, and she returns as a monstrous shadow of her former self. As quoted in the above article, he didn’t like that Gandalf came back basically improved. I don’t see that Stoneheart diminishes the Red Wedding — if anything, she exacerbates the horror of it.

      As for Jon, well, we’re still waiting to see how GRRM handles that (both in terms of the metaphysics and how it affects Jon’s character).

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    3. • Forget the jacket. Give Maisie Williams Needle and the VS dagger.

      Speaking only for myself, I’m more emotionally invested in Needle than most of the human characters.

      • Come to think of it, all of the actors deserve iconic objects or garments with which they’re identified to keep as souvenirs for posterity:
      – Sansa: Hoodie from S7e7
      – Sandor: S1e1 hound’s helm (because it looked so cool); disembowling axe from S6e7&e8; or S8 Lightbringer
      – Jon: Longclaw, obviously
      – Sam: Illustrated Citadel book(s)
      – Jaime: Golden hand
      – Brienne: Oathkeeper
      – Dany: Snow White Frozen Lake flight suit
      – Beric: Eye patch or flaming sword
      – Thoros: Rum flask
      – Hot Pie: Wolf bread 2.0
      – Cersei: Wine glass or carafe
      – Septa Unella: Shame Bell
      – Theon: His favorite toy 🍆
      – Davos: Shireen’s burnt wooden stag [too soon?]
      – Melisandre: Maroon robe
      – Lyanna Mormont: Note she sent to Stannis
      – Varys: ?
      – Ghost: Photocopy of FX budget
      – Walder: His face
      – Waif: Her face
      – Lady Crane: Cersei wig
      – Olly: F*ck Olly
      – Janos Slynt: Severed head prop
      – Tormund: ?
      – Edd: NW Lord Commander’s cloak
      – Meera: WW-killing spear
      – Bran: Sled?
      – Hodor: ?
      – Captured Wight: Head bag
      – Missandei: Any of her fabulous outfits
      – Margaery: Renly (attempted) seduction dress, or rose drawing slipped to Olenna
      – Olenna: Tywin’s snapped quill?
      – Tywin: ?
      – Tyrion: Shield used to pummel Hill Tribe attacker; Blackwater axe; Hand of the Queen badge; crossbow; or shipping crate
      – Ned: Ice
      – Lyanna Stark: Wedding gown or whatever that silver necklace thing was;
      – Jorah: Yellow shirt; or fighting pit spear
      – Ygritte: Bow (I think RL already got it)
      – Viserys: Solidified gold death head prop
      – Khal Drogo: Gold professional wrestling belt

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    4. Ten Bears,

      Varys: a pair of his nice slippers?
      Tormund: one of Brienne’s gloves?
      Hodor: a list of Hodors, that apperared as first comment on WotW?
      Tywin: the knife, that he used to section the stag?

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    5. Ten Bears,

      I think Rory has his sword from the first time he ‘died’, he said something about putting it above his door. It’s possible I just read that he wanted it back then though…I’d love him to have a pet chicken and go on sailing adventures with it, like that french man and his chicken Monique who sail the world. 😂🐔

      And I think Carice has her hexagonal choker.

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    6. Aryamad,

      i hope that kit has the brains to get his mate to make a replica of longclaw and leave the replica behind in its’ stead. seems to me to be the best way to appease all.

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    7. Maisie loves fashion, so it makes sense to me that she would want to keep the jacket even more than needle. I was surprised by what she kept when I first heard the report, but it makes more sense to me now that she would go with the fashion.

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    8. Ten Bears,

      I think Sophie should get either the hoodie or her Raven dress with necklace.
      Arya Needle, Bran the Dagger, Jon Longclaw. and they each get a direwolf broach.

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    9. I think I remember Maisie mentioning in another interview that she got the coin Jaqen gave her back in season 2, so I reckon she has at least a couple of souvenirs from the show.

      For all the fighters and warriors on the show, who wouldn’t want their sword? Though I can definitely see HBO wanting to hang on to them for a number of reasons, especially considering how valuable they must be.

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    10. Sean C.,

      Exactly. I remember Martin saying previously that one of the things he wanted to say with LS is that death changes a person. We can see that in Beric as well, though not nearly as drastic as that of LS. Essentially for Martin, if he’s going to resurrect someone, there will be a cost to it or some consequence so that the death still has a weight to it.

      It will be very interesting indeed to see how GRRM handles Jon’s resurrection. My feeling is that it won’t be quite as “neat” as the show version, but I don’t think it will be anything near as extreme as LS.

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    11. Tron79,

      Yes, Maisie loves fashion. However, the end-of-filming photograph she recently posted of her bloody sneakers made an appropriate fashion statement. 👸🏻

      Looking ahead to (what I hope is) the final scene of the final episode, somethings like this would be more appropriate than a drab jacket:

      https://i.imgur.com/Wk6lyQ7.jpg

      #LastWomanStanding
      #ASNAWQ

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    12. Enharmony1625:
      Sean C.,

      Exactly. I remember Martin saying previously that one of the things he wanted to say with LS is that death changes a person. We can see that in Beric as well, though not nearly as drastic as that of LS. Essentially for Martin, if he’s going to resurrect someone, there will be a cost to it or some consequence so that the death still has a weight to it.

      Re: Consequences…
      Though I have not read the books yet, on the show at least there’s the running theme that: “Only death can pay for life.”.

      I’m not sure how that calculus works; is the price of resurrection that someone has to die? It seems there should be no freebies, though we haven’t been shown any equalizing deaths to pay for Beric’s six new lives,

      I’m also unsure of the “rules” of resurrections – and apparently so are the characters: Beric admitted to Sandor in S7e1 that he doesn’t know why the Lord of Light keeps bringing him back; Melisandre’s resurrection of Jon Snow was essentially a “Hail Mary” that worked but she doesn’t really know why. And aside from Rickon being a dispensable tertiary character. it was perplexing to me that nobody even suggested trying to revivify him after Battle of the Bastards.

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    13. Fascinating interview with GRRM and a resounding pint glass* clink to Samantha for a most wonderful article.

      And Maisie’s leather jacket was indeed truly awe-inspiring in its badassery.

      *Brooklyn East IPA, in case you were wondering.

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    14. I wondered, that Rickon became a “dispensable tertiary character”, because he was the other one of the Starksiblings, who got the gift of visions. He was (as a child) built up little strange, his direwolf was differnet from his direwolfsiblings, both were little “wild”. I thought, they would do something with it. We don’t know, what has happend to him, since he and Osha were caught by*xyz*-Ramsey; meanwhile he grew up from a child to a young man (in Westerosian sight). And finally we saw Rickon awfully die and set free Jon’s hopeless will to fight. – was is that for?
      The whole time he seemed to me like a lost child.

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    15. cos alpha,

      Poor Rickon. He didn’t even have a single line of dialogue upon his return, did he?

      And first, Sansa implored Jon, “a monster has our brother! We have to save him!”… but then a couple of episodes later, she wrote him off, i.e., “F*ck it. Rickon’s as good as dead.”

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    16. Looking ahead to (what I hope is) the final scene of the final episode, somethings like this would be more appropriate than a drab jacket:

      https://i.imgur.com/Wk6lyQ7.jpg

      #LastWomanStanding
      #ASNAWQ

      Striking photo…alot more color than what the Stark’s wear! I could see Arya end up #LastWomanStanding with Gendry, but I could never see her sticking around a castle for very long. They both may end up rowing!! It would be on a large ship though heading east of Essos…that would be a cool ending foreshadowed by one of my favorite scenes of Arya at the end of “the children” season 4 finale as the music rises and she looks off in the distance heading to bravos… love that scene.

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    17. Tron79,

      “…. cool ending foreshadowed by one of my favorite scenes of Arya at the end of “the children” season 4 finale as the music rises and she looks off in the distance heading to bravos… love that scene.”
      ————
      I too love that scene.
      Though I’d be disappointed if Arya sails away at the end of S8, you’re certainly right as to foreshadowing.

      In addition to that scene of Arya on the deck of the Braavos-bound ship (the Titan’s Daughter) that concluded S4e10, there was the following exchange between Arya and Lady Crane in S6e8, “No One”, in which Arya talked about where she’d like to go…

      Lady Crane: “The company is moving on to Pentos soon. You should come with us.”
      Arya: “I can’t.”
      Lady Crane: “Why not? I’ve got a feeling you’d be good at this sort of work. And besides, we need a new actress.”
      Arya: “I don’t think I could remember all of the lines.”
      Lady Crane: “Come with us. What’s left for you here?”
      Arya: “You wouldn’t be safe. Not while she’s looking for me.”
      Lady Crane: “Who?”
      Arya. “She doesn’t have a name.”
      [Nor will she have a face by the end of the episode – Editor’s Note]
      Lady Crane: “Where will you go?”
      Arya: “Essos is east and Westeros is west. But what’s west of Westeros?”
      Lady Crane: “I don’t know.”
      Arya: “Nobody does. That’s where all the maps stop. The edge of the world, maybe. I’d like to see that.”

      BTW: Now that is a sequel I’d love to see someday. If 78 year-old Patrick Stewart can return as Captain Picard in an all-new Star Trek: The Next Generation spin-off series 25 years after the original show’s eight season run (1987 – 1994), then surely it’s only a matter of time before someone pitches a series based on the voyages of Arya Stark exploring the final frontier: “to boldly go where no woman has gone before.”

      I figure after Maisie Williams has a few years to decompress and tackle new stage, TV and film projects, some HBO producer would try to entice her to star in a spinoff by showing up at her door with a polished pilot script and two Brink’s trucks: one filled with $10 million cash for her, and the other with $10 million more earmarked for dolphin rescue and other charities she fervently supports.

      GoT has a built-in fan base. Maisie Williams as Arya is arguably the most popular character and has a huge following. As much as I’m looking forward to the Jane Goldman-scripted “Long Night” prequel, my inner fanboy would be totally on board with Maisie reprising her role as Arya as she seeks out new life and new civilizations in the great unknown beyond where “all the maps stop.”

      After a cold open paying homage to the final scene in S4e10e.g., panning the deck of the Titan’s Daughter and then zooming in to reveal “all grown up” Arya at the helm, the rest would be limited only by the scriptwriters’ imagination.

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    18. Ten Bears: Re: Consequences…
      Though I have not read the books yet, on the show at least there’s the running theme that: “Only death can pay for life.”.

      That is one theme, yes, but I’m not sure it’s widespread among all religions/cultures in the story. As far as I can remember, only two people in the show have said this: Mirri Maz Durr and Jaqen. So we could intuit that perhaps it’s different when it comes to the Lord of Light and the Red Priests/Priestesses.

      The consequence for Beric’s resurrections (which is briefly mentioned in the show in season 3) is that he loses a bit of himself each time he’s brought back. “Pieces of me get chipped away,” he says. No one died to bring Beric back, although he in turn did sacrifice himself to raise LS. That wasn’t the Lord of Light’s doing though. And no one died to bring Jon back, unless that happens somehow in the books. Or that we find out that Mel’s sacrifice of Shireen in the show enabled her to raise Jon (although I doubt it).

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    19. Sean C.:
      Morgoth,

      It’s not actually a contradiction.Martin has specifically talked about Lady Stoneheart as a response, of sorts, to Gandalf’s return.Stoneheart isn’t really Catelyn, and she returns as a monstrous shadow of her former self.As quoted in the above article, he didn’t like that Gandalf came back basically improved.I don’t see that Stoneheart diminishes the Red Wedding — if anything, she exacerbates the horror of it.

      Yeah, Stoneheart was sorta like Pet Sematary-Catelyn. >.>’ “Sometimes dead is better…”

      Kit deserves Longclaw! Sure hope everybody got to keep at least one item, whether it was a prop associated with their character (if they had one), or a piece of their now-iconic costume.
      Except Olly. Fvck Olly.

      Hunh, wonder whether there might be an auction of some stuff. They did two for the Hunger Games movies; I won the complete uniforms worn by Elizabeth Banks & Woody Harrelson as Effie Trinket & Haymitch Abernathy in District 13. How awesome would it be to be able to snag some wee thing off one of the sets…x-}

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    20. Ten Bears: And first, Sansa implored Jon, “a monster has our brother! We have to save him!”… but then a couple of episodes later, she wrote him off, i.e., “F*ck it. Rickon’s as good as dead.”

      This is another thing that keeps me from liking Sansa. It’s clear she’s been manipulating The Bastard Jon Snow® to get him to win Winterfell back for her. Sansa is, by then, no longer innocent or naive – but just as selfish, and with increasing skills in using people.

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    21. Ten Bears,

      – Davos: Shireen’s burnt wooden stag [too soon?]

      Ian Cunningham said in the season 6 The winds of winter dvd commentary that he already took Princess Shireen’s burnt wooden stag home and gave it to his daughter and she had it in her hand when Ian and his daughter watched the season 6 final episode The Winds of Winter.

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    22. Interesting about the Gandalf comparison especially as GRRM has pretty much done the same thing with Jon having him come back and become King of the North (yes I know Winds isn’t published yet but it’s a given to be in there).

      Anyone else hoping for a teaser sometime around now confirming the month S8 will premiere at least?

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    23. Ten Bears,

      I don’t think she wrote him off, I think her knowing Ramsey, her brother was already dead, or if they won, they find him in the WF courtyard on a X dead, or damn close to it.
      I had people in the house for that episode and all of them said the same in one form or another, they all were surprised when Ramsey dragged him out, me included.
      Sansa saw with shaggy’s head tossed the future, it just never occurred to her he use her brother as it.
      It would have been interesting if she was at the battle to see her reaction or suggestions to Jon, would she trade herself for Rickon??

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    24. Grail King,

      People always ignore what happened between Sansa saying that they need to rescue Rickon and the night before the battle where she points out that they’re unlikely to get him back.

      In 6×04 she tells Jon, “you’re the son of the last true Warden of the North. Northern families are loyal. They’ll fight for you if you ask”.

      In the following episode 6×05 she tells Ser Davos and the war council, “My father always said Northerners are different. More loyal” and “The North remembers. They remember the Stark name. People will still risk everything for it, from White Harbor to Ramsay’s own door”.

      It’s clear that when she implores Jon to save their brother she is filled with optimism that would be pretty brutally crushed over the next few episodes. The Mormonts begrudgingly agreed to fight, but could offer minimal assistance. The Glovers refused and declared House Stark “dead”. The Tullys could offer no assistance. She and Jon were left vastly outnumbered.

      Now this is the point where people bring up the fact that she didn’t tell Jon about the Knights of the Vale. Well, what can you say about that?

      It’s pretty clear now that the producers failed to convey a clear motivation for her actions. Her character was essentially sacrificed for the desired Rohirrim moment at the climax of the BotB.

      Obviously she was reluctant to get mixed up with Littlefinger again and intended to take back The North with Jon alone: “Go back to Moat Cailin. My brother and I will take back The North on our own. I never want to see you again”. It’s only once they have failed to raise a substantial enough army that her motives for not telling Jon become confused. And I think it’s pretty clear by now that there’s no conclusive answer.

      What we do know, however, is that when she tells Jon that they’re unlikely to free Rickon it is the night before the battle, she’s heard nothing from Littlefinger, they are vastly outnumbered and Jon is clearly underestimating Ramsay’s cunning and deviousness.

      What she says about Rickon is entirely sensible and realistic given their current circumstances. And realistically, even if the Vale suddenly appeared that evening or she convinced Jon to hold off until they (possibly) arrived, Rickon’s chances of survival wouldn’t improve.

      Knowing Ramsay as she does, she probably could’ve predicted Rickon’s slim chance of survival the moment they heard he was in Ramsay’s clutches. But at that point, they still had hope and the odds were not so definitively against them yet.

      By the night before the battle, however, they face a situation where unless the battle goes exactly as they plan and they manage to somehow defy the terrible odds, then they are lost. They all die.

      Prioritising Rickon’s survival at that point would be suicidally naive. And Jon goes ahead and proves that by ignoring her warning and sabotaging their battle plans to (understandably) try and save his little brother.

      It’s all about the context. The circumstances in which she first states that they have to try and save Rickon and those in which she abandons hope are vastly different.

      And bear in mind that Ramsay had threatened to slaughter all of the Wildlings and feed Rickon to his dogs if Sansa wasn’t returned to him. So it’s not like they didn’t have ample reason to try and defeat Ramsay anyway. The notion that Sansa was manipulating Jon by imploring him to try to save Rickon is more than a little far-fetched considering the ultimatum they had been given. What was the alternative?

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    25. Ten Bears:
      cos alpha,

      Poor Rickon. He didn’t even have a single line of dialogue upon his return, did he?

      And first, Sansa implored Jon,“a monster has our brother! We have to save him!”… but then a couple of episodes later,she wrote him off, i.e., “F*ck it. Rickon’s as good as dead.”

      But Rickon was as good as dead. So your problem with Sansa is that she was a realist, even though she spelled out the exact equation that led to her conclusion – that Rickon was a greater threat to Ramsay than either Jon or Sansa? Even if Sansa had offered to return to Ramsay in exchange for her brother’s life and well-being, do you really think for one minute that Ramsay would have made that exchange? So how was she wrong? Is it that you don’t like that she reflected on her initial impulse to save Rickon when she heard that Ramsay had him, that you’d have preferred that she continued to believe that saving Rickon was possible? I mean, yeah, it was a hard, cold conclusion to reach. But since Ramsay was a monster, it was also correct.

      The Blackfish made the same calculation when the Freys were threatening to hang Edmure. Brynden Tully cared enough about his home and family and people to gather Tully loyalists and retake Riverrun from the despicable Freys. Surely some of the Tully loyalists died when taking the castle. And yet everyone cheers BT for his bravery and honor, and savviness for recognizing that when the Freys paraded Edmure with a noose around his neck in front of Riverrun, it didn’t matter whether Edmure lived or died, because he’d been reduced to being a tool of the Freys and would be killed sooner or later. So the Blackfish declined to save his nephew from the threat of death by hanging.

      Hm. Two different people using the exact same logic. One is widely admired by the audience, the other condemned by many in the audience. It’s interesting.

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    26. Anyone ever catch that in Battle of Bastards when Ramsay is in cell and his hounds come out that Sansa says “you haven’t fed them for 7 days, you said so yourself”.
      BUT
      When Ramsay did say that line at the parlay before the actual battle, Sansa had already rode off before he said he hadn’t fed his dogs. She had already made her exit with her bold line “your gonna die tomorrow Lord Bolton…Sleep well”.
      I found this sloppy and it has always bothered me.

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    27. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Great points all around. So many fans are just unable to get over their dislike of Sansa, a dislike that D&D have fostered and encouraged, for all that they might disclaim. If they didn’t want people to dislike and mistrust Sansa, why give us 2 seasons of her behaving in ways that are poorly explained and certainly raise questions about her motives and intentions? If they had to have her keep the Vale a secret so that they could have a Rohirrim-like charge at the end of BotB, why not have her explain herself to Jon afterwards?

      For a long time I’ve wondered why the show made a POV character so unlikable, and continued that trend even after learning later from GRRM that she’s got an important part to play through the end of the story (so they couldn’t just get rid of her )? They stopped making Sansa petulant and bratty, and instead made her conniving and untrustworthy. But she never actually does anything treacherous to Jon or Arya or the North, they’ve just taken pains to present her as someone the audience should mistrust. Why?

      In another recent thread here someone shared that they didn’t think Sansa was capable of true, deep love – I’d be astonished if this was someone who has read the books, because the notion that gentle, kind Sansa Stark is incapable of love is … just … not at all what her character is like in the books. But I feel like this view of Sansa isn’t entirely unreasonable if you’re just going on how the show has presented her.

      As we were discussing in another thread, that’s why I’ve found the possibility of Sansa + Jon post-parentage reveal to be unlikely, because why would D&D have the final romantic pairing for the widely loved hero be one that would be so unpalatable to a big portion of the audience? So many people would howl in protest. But as I’ve observed the tenacity of people’s default dislike of Show!Sansa, I can’t help but wonder if that’s exactly why D&D have gone out of their way to present this character as someone that so many people have misgivings about – misgivings that D&D brush off with feigned surprise as they point out that actually Sansa has been very loyal to Jon, etc. I’m starting to wonder if the enduring dislike that so many audience members have for Sansa is what exactly what D&D are banking on for a big surprise in Season 8. I guess we’ll see.

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    28. Theons Richard:
      Anyone ever catch that in Battle of Bastards when Ramsay is in cell and his hounds come out that Sansa says “you haven’t fed them for 7 days, you said so yourself”.
      BUT
      When Ramsay did say that line at the parlay before the actual battle, Sansa had already rode off before he said he hadn’t fed his dogs.She had already made her exit with her bold line “your gonna die tomorrow Lord Bolton…Sleep well”.
      I found this sloppy and it has always bothered me.

      It’s been brought up many times.

      Some say it’s sloppy writing, while some say it could’ve been communicated to her off-screen. It’s a debate that will probably never end.

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    29. Theons Richard: I found this sloppy and it has always bothered me.

      Yes, I noticed that too, and while it irked me you could imagine a scenario in which someone informed had Sansa of what Ramsay had said.

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    30. with all understanding for people who hate Olly, giving him at least what’s been left of his parents as a souvenir won’t be too much, right?

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    31. Gwidhiel,

      No. I just didn’t see the change in Sansa’s thought processes from “we gotta save Rickon!” to “forget Rickon; we can’t save him.”

      As you and Ramsey’s 20th Good Man point out, there are good reasons for Sansa’s change of heart. They just weren’t shown to us.

      The same can be said about Sansa’s concealment of the KotV. I’ve got my own “head canon” explanation for that – but like other fans” hypotheses, the motives behind Sansa’s silence were not even hinted at. So she came off as self-centered or shortsighted. Not fair to Sophie Turner the actress or Sansa Stark the character.

      (I felt especially bad for Sophie when she had to answer questions at interviews about Sansa’s motivations – and she was left to twist in the wind and conjure up explanations like “Jon’s a dummy” or “Sansa wanted the credit and glory.”)

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    32. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      “It’s pretty clear now that the producers failed to convey a clear motivation for her actions. Her character was essentially sacrificed for the desired Rohirrim moment at the climax of the BotB.”

      I had scribbled our a long-winded “in-universe” justification for Sansa’s concealment of the KotV a while back, but I think it got lost in the ether. *

      Yes, I agree with you that Sansa was reluctant to get involved with LF (again) after his stupid marriage plan and subsequent abandonment left her emotionally scarred and physically brutalized.

      * The gist of it was I thought the show could have portrayed Sansa’s decision in the context of arranged marriages, similar to Catelyn and Robb agreeing to marry off Arya to a Frey in their desperation to secure passage over a f*cking bridge in wartime.

      Sansa could have foreseen that if Jon himself or through an emissary went to coordinate a battle plan with the KotV, LF would condition their assistance on marriage to Sansa as soon as she became a widow (similar to Lysa’s assurance to Sansa that she’d be “free” to marry Robyn once Tyrion was executed for Joffrey’s assassination).

      Girls in the GoT universe were used as bargaining chips for political and military alliances. They had no say in the matter: Either get married to whomever your father or guardian selected (eg, Cersei to Robert; Sansa to Tyrion) or run away (eg Lyanna Stark).

      So I posited that Sansa knew full well not only that LF would request her hand in marriage, but that Jon would readily agree. After all, Jon’s outnumbered army was facing likely defeat. Sansa marrying WeaselFinger would be a small price to pay.

      However, Sansa also knew full well that LF would use that brokered marriage to take control of WF and the North – just as he married and killed Lysa to take control of the Vale. (Even Tyrion told Bronn – in S4e7 I think – that his marriage to Sansa would enable him to “rule the North in her name”).

      Sansa, knowing LF all too well, could’ve reasonably foreseen that an alliance with LF secured through an arranged marriage would put the King in the North at imminent risk of an “accidental” death orchestrated by LF – who would then effectively rule the North through Sansa or any heir he could produce with her. (No doubt at that point, Sansa herself would become dispensable, as my beloved Myranda reminded Sansa just before Theon tossed Myranda over the railing.)

      In a nutshell, Sansa could foresee that making a pact with an untrustworthy serial killer would endanger her family and the North. Moreover, knowing LF, despite any promises he made, Sansa could easily foresee LF waiting until both sides had decimated each other before showing up and becoming de facto king or warden (an outcome he proposed to Cersei when it looked like Stannis would attack the Boltons); or waiting to see which side was winning and choosing to aid the likely victor.

      Precluding even the possibility of a marriage alliance would’ve been justifiable. If LF showed up in response to her note, great. But telling Jon in advance would’ve meant a likely demand by LF for a promise of marriage – and all the power-grabbing murders that Sansa knew LF would commit based on his track record.

      That was sort of my tinfoil head canon..

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    33. Ten Bears,

      I love the Battle of the Bastards episode, but the withholding of the Vale forces thing just annoys the hell out of me every time I see it to the point where I don’t watch that episode very much on rewatch. It was conjured up for cheap drama so the Vale forces could ride in and save the day at the last second. Nothing more. Game of Thrones is good enough that cheap drama should be unnecessary. They did the same thing with Sansa and Arya in season 7. Drama for the sake of drama. I hope they use Sansa for a more legitimate and sensible storyline for season 8 instead of what they’ve done with her the last couple of seasons.

        Quote  Reply

    34. I supposed, that Sansa didn’t tsay a word to Jon about the KotV, because she wasn’t sure, whether they would come at all or respectively arrive in time, and wouldn’t cause hope, where there perhaps is no hope.
      Really, a bit like Gandalf, as he rode away without explanations in a very critical situation, to seek for the dispersed Rohirrim…

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    35. death by chickenfire:
      with all understanding for people who hate Olly, giving him at least what’s been left of his parents as a souvenir won’t be too much, right?

      Ummm…fertilizer? I thought the Thenns ate his parents.

      As a souvenir, I say they give Olly the noose around his neck from the hanging scene. Blue-faced dead Olly swinging from the rope has become so many fans’ screensaver [not mine!] that Olly’s actor should be able to auction off that souvenir for a big-time payday if he doesn’t want to keep it.

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    36. cos alpha:
      I supposed, that Sansa didn’t tsay a word to Jon about the KotV, because she wasn’t sure, whether they would come at all or respectively arrive in time, and wouldn’t cause hope, where there perhaps is no hope.
      Really, a bit like Gandalf, as he rode away without explanations in a very critical situation, to seek for the dispersed Rohirrim…

      Wasn’t that when Gandalf told Aragorn “Look to my coming, at first light, on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East.”?

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    37. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Add to that, there is nothing showing LF even replied to her plea, and if he received it, where does he send the reply? There is nothing showing Sansa got a reply.
      She had no good info to tell Jon, to reassure him the Vale is coming; and Ramsey would force the issue as he had Rickon.
      It’s 350 miles from Deepwood Mote to Winterfell and they be going through the Wolfwoods to get there, ravens, go castle to castle, not to field camps.
      Jon’s plans depends on him staying put, Ramsey had a trump card and used it to pull Jon out of his plan.
      LF plan was to arrive late, Jon’s and his men are alive because Sansa decided to go looking for them .
      Trust is a big issue for 3 of the remaining Starks all from the years they suffered, it’s not coming back in a day, week maybe months.
      People can approve or disapprove of the way she did things, but her reasons were more valid then not.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Ten Bears: They just weren’t shown to us.

      But that was one time that Sansa actually did explain her thinking! She explained the hard truth to Jon the night before the battle, to get him to realize that Ramsay was not someone he’d encountered before, that a happy ending wasn’t possible for Rickon. Did we see the thought process through which Sansa made that realization herself? No, because the show has rarely if ever (never?) shown characters’ internal monologues. But her logic is laid out in plain view. And she was right.

      Jon: All right, tell me. What should we do, how do we get Rickon back?
      Sansa: We’ll never get him back. Rickon is Ned Stark’s true-born son, which makes him more of a threat than you or me. As long as he lives, Ramsay’s claim will be contested. He won’t live long.

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    39. Mr Derp: They did the same thing with Sansa and Arya in season 7. Drama for the sake of drama.

      Drama for dram sake?
      I don’t think so, the bread crumbs were dropped in S1 and S2, add LF into the mix, and it wasn’t drama for drama’s sake.
      GRRM himself stated the sisters have issues to get over.
      For the most part Sansa got past her issues with Arya, Arya on the other hand was still stuck in S1 & B1 mode, emotionally stunted, and anger and revenge having more control than maturity,and understanding.Now add the fact all her memories based on no facts, and rejecting what she saw and heard. WRG to Sansa, she was missing info she didn’t know about, hence it left a fulcrum that LF could use.
      Worse we can say it was rushed and could have befitted with 10 or 13 episodes to flesh it out.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Gwidhiel,

      I think that’s precisely the problem. If Sansa knew that a happy ending wasn’t possible for Rickon then she shouldn’t have used rescuing Rickon as a way to convince Jon to join the fight in the first place. i assume that’s what TB meant, but I could certainly be misinterpreting.

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    41. Ten Bears: I felt especially bad for Sophie when she had to answer questions at interviews about Sansa’s motivations – and she was left to twist in the wind and conjure up explanations like “Jon’s a dummy” or “Sansa wanted the credit and glory.”

      Ugh, yeah. Sometimes it seems like Sophie enjoys deliberately trolling viewers about her character, but she certainly has been stuck at various times having to explain things that really just don’t make much sense.

      I used to think that the show’s depiction of Sansa was just cluelessness or carelessness about a traditionally feminine character that D&D just didn’t really “get” and didn’t really care about because they couldn’t plausibly put her in action scenes or make her a sex siren ala Margaery Tyrell – and that mundane reason that could indeed be the case. But I’ve started to suspect that the S6 & S7 ambiguities in Sansa’s depiction have all been very deliberate, intended to pull the wool over the audience’s eyes. I could be completely wrong, of course.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Mr Derp: I think that’s precisely the problem. If Sansa knew that a happy ending wasn’t possible for Rickon then she shouldn’t have used rescuing Rickon as a way to convince Jon to join the fight in the first place

      Huh, so if I’m following you (and by extension TB), the problem isn’t that Sansa reflected on her initial impulse to save Rickon (Sansa was crying when they first got that letter, her concern wasn’t feigned), it’s that we weren’t privy to the moment when she changed her mind? I’m puzzled by this objection, because the show never shows us characters’ thoughts. It’s one of the format’s biggest drawbacks compared to the books, IMHO.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Gwidhiel,

      I was attempting to interpret what TB was saying. It’s not my objection, but if I’m speaking for myself, if she knew Ramsey as well as she said then she should’ve known from the start that Rickon was as good as dead. A 180 degree change in thinking shouldnt have taken place at all.

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    44. Grail King,

      I think you’re right. We could actually view S7 Arya in Winterfell as the audience’s proxy in being predisposed to suspect the worst of Sansa, while Littlefinger’s interactions with Arya can be viewed as a proxy for D&D, using pre-existing resentment/dislike of Sansa to misdirect [Arya/the audience] about her intentions. If Arya had just stopped for a moment to consider that LF would have burned the scroll upon receiving it if his goal was really to get rid of incriminating evidence of Sansa’s supposed loyalty to the Lannisters, Arya would have seen through LF’s machinations. But Arya fell for LF’s ploy because she was all too ready to believe that Sansa would betray her family. Her inaccurate understanding of Sansa led her to misconstrue what she saw. As D.B. Weiss explained in the post S7e5 commentary, “Arya is very used to being more clever and more stealthy, and smarter than any of the people she’s up against, but she hasn’t dealt with Littlefinger for a while. She gets roped into spying on somebody who’s actually leading her by the nose to something that he wants her to have.”

      Whether or not they intended to have Arya serve as a proxy for the section of the audience that still viewed Sansa with mistrust, they really did her character a disservice with the Winterfell subplot.

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    45. Mr Derp,

      Well even if the show is limited in its ability to show the development/change of a characters’ thoughts, I think this is one case where they did a reasonably good job. Sansa’s immediate response to the news that Ramsay had Rickon was horror and a wish to save Rickon. She knew Ramsay was a monster but that didn’t immediately translate into there being absolutely no way to save Rickon, not enough to quell her initial impulse. That only came with reflection.

      Theon had been so mutilated and warped by Ramsay that he would have known immediately that there was no hope for Rickon. Sansa got out before Ramsay could fully leave his mark on her.

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    46. Ten Bears: In a nutshell, Sansa could foresee that making a pact with an untrustworthy serial killer would endanger her family and the North. Moreover, knowing LF, despite any promises he made, Sansa could easily foresee LF waiting until both sides had decimated each other before showing up and becoming de facto king or warden (an outcome he proposed to Cersei when it looked like Stannis would attack the Boltons); or waiting to see which side was winning and choosing to aid the likely victor.

      That’s a very solid piece of tinfoil!

        Quote  Reply

    47. Mr Derp:
      Gwidhiel,

      I was attempting to interpret what TB was saying.It’s not my objection, but if I’m speaking for myself, if she knew Ramsey as well as she said then she should’ve known from the start that Rickon was as good as dead.A 180 degree change in thinking shouldnt have taken place at all.

      This. Exactly this. And the whole “If you won’t, I’ll do it myself!” Not particularly realistic. There was never any prospect of saving Rickon from the start. Ramsay would never have traded him, either.

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    48. Gwidhiel,

      • But for the site’s moderation policy (“Additionally, we ask that commenters choose one screenname and stay with it, as using multiple screennames often is connected to trolling activity“) and my respect for copyrights, I would’ve changed my screen name from Ten Bears to “Reynolds Wrap®️Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil ©️” a long time ago.

      ©️2012 Reynolds Consumer Products, Inc.

      • In all seriousness, it’s unfortunate that the show does so many things so well so consistently, that the infrequent misfires stick out like a sore thumb. It’s also unfortunate that Sophie Turner and her character Sansa Stark have borne the brunt of criticism emanating from show-only, books-deviations to Sansa’s story lines that do not provide logical explanations or motivations for her character’s (in-)actions. Maybe the objective was to manufacture “drama” from character conflicts; maybe the showrunners” attempts to fill the gap between where the source materials leaves off and where they know the characters are to be positioned when the endgame begins forced them to come up with “filler” subplots to keep some of the characters “busy.” However, the Sansa vs. Jon squabble followed by the Sansa vs. Arya vs. LF conflict left many viewers scratching their heads, and arguably did a disservice to Sophie Turner the actress and left many with a less than favorable impression of Sansa.

      • GoT is at its best when twists and turns are foreshadowed by previous, analogous events, and character motivations and actions are consistent with the culture of the fictional universe. (E.g., setting up “guest right” as an immutable law, the violation of which can’t be excused and warrants the harshest penalty). That’s why I was looking for some rationalization in my own mind, based on the in-universe mindset of a young girl, that would make sense of Sansa’s actions. Absent any portrayal of justifications in the show for Sansa’s concealment of the KotV, viewers were left to fill in the blanks or attribute her silence to selfishness, stupidity or even malice. (Vague allusions to “trust issues” by the showrunners after the fact didn’t help.)

      • Again, I have to stress that it couldn’t have been easy for the showrunners, after unexpectedly running out of source material, to fashion credible storylines of their own with so many moving parts and interconnected subplots. (I for one suspect that GRRM hadn’t mapped out Arya’s post-Braavos storyline, so the showrunners “borrowed” book! Manderly’s “Frey Pie” subplot and the Lady Stoneheart “Freyicide”, and grafted them into Arya’s story – but that only provided two episodes’ worth of material. After that, injecting Arya into the last act of the Sansa-LF storyline forced her to act out of character, made her seem like an extraneous secondary player for most of S7, and did not please many fans.) For Sansa, after the ambiguity of her S6-early S7 tensions with Jon, having her feud with Arya “Hannibal Lecter” Stark and running back to confide in LF after she’d already announced at the end of S6 that “only a fool would trust Littlefinger”, evoked the ire of fans (again).

      Sorry for rambling. I guess I would have preferred something – even a few lines of dialogue or unmistakable facial expressions – to show us what Sansa was thinking, rather than telling us afterwards.

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    49. Pigeon,

      So in your view Sansa was faking her horror while reading Ramsay’s threats to Rickon in the letter to Jon? Or is it that you think she ought to have approached Jon the night before the battle by saying something more humble, like, “I was stupid to not have realized this sooner but Rickon’s a goner”?

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    50. Ten Bears: But for the site’s moderation policy (“Additionally, we ask that commenters choose one screenname and stay with it, as using multiple screennames often is connected to trolling activity“) and my respect for copyrights, I would’ve changed my screen name from Ten Bears to “Reynolds Wrap®️Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil ©️” a long time ago.

      ©️2012 Reynolds Consumer Products, Inc.

      And the prize for best comment in this thread goes to: Ten Bears! 🤖
      🤖🤖

      Ten Bears: However, the Sansa vs. Jon squabble followed by the Sansa vs. Arya vs. LF conflict left many viewers scratching their heads, and arguably did a disservice to Sophie Turner the actress and left many with a less than favorable impression of Sansa

      Obviously I couldn’t agree more.

      Ten Bears: I for one suspect that GRRM hadn’t mapped out Arya’s post-Braavos storyline, so the showrunners “borrowed” book! Manderly’s “Frey Pie” subplot and the Lady Stoneheart “Freyicide”, and grafted them into Arya’s story – but that only provided two episodes’ worth of material. After that, injecting Arya into the last act of the Sansa-LF storyline forced her to act out of character, made her seem like an extraneous secondary player for most of S7, and did not please many fans.

      Agree, agree, agree!

      Ten Bears: Sorry for rambling. I guess I would have preferred something – even a few lines of dialogue or unmistakable facial expressions – to show us what Sansa was thinking, rather than telling us afterwards.

      Not a ramble at all – I agree with every word in your post, and certainly share your wish that they’d been more forthcoming about Sansa’s motives. I truly do agree with your view that the show has generally done a superb job in adapting the books, and to be honest I’ve appreciated some of the character changes they’ve made – notably the smarter, badder Cersei that we got.

      And while I observed the modifications to Sansa right from the start, it didn’t initially seem so very significant because it didn’t really affect Sansa’s story arc in the first few seasons, because she had so little agency in the first few seasons. I understood why they gave her Jeyne Poole’s storyline in S5, and I believe that the show has returned her to Winterfell because that’s where her book character will eventually go, too – if not by the same path. But their choice to depict Sansa as a cold, selfish, schemer is very disappointing and weird, to me.

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    51. Mr Derp,

      Yeah, that’s kind of what I was trying to convey. Whether Jon had 2,000 men or 200,000 men, according to Sansa’s reasoning Rickon was a dead man walking no matter what; Ramsay could not let Rickon live.

      As you aptly put it: “if she knew Ramsey as well as she said then she should’ve known from the start that Rickon was as good as dead. A 180 degree change in thinking shouldnt have taken place at all.”

      Her change in attitude didn’t seem to reflect evolved thinking based on changed circumstances. It just made it seem like she induced a reluctant, recently murdered
      Jon “I’m tired of fighting!” Snow to fight to re-take WF to rescue their brother – when she knew or should’ve known all along that Rickon was a lost cause.

      BTW: As illustrated in S6e7, I thought the premise for going into battle against the Boltons changed somewhat, from retaking the Stark ancestral home and trying to free Rickon, to the objective voiced by Davos: so long as the Boltons held WF the North would be divided and stood no chance against the NK; and then, enlisting the Wildlings to fight alongside them since the Boltons, Umbers and Karstarks would be coming after the Free Folk. Those were better sales pitches than expecting people to risk their lives so the Starks could reclaim their home and brother, ie, those Stark-centric objectives constituted “someone else’s war” from the perspective of reluctant allies. (Impressing on those prospective allies that their own survival was at stake had more resonance than “We want our castle! We want our brother! We know Robb screwed up and your family members died, but you swore your allegiance to House Stark!”)

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    52. Ten Bears,

      Oops – I wrote a long reply that’s stuck in moderation, probably either due to the number of quotes or the number of 🤖, but to sum it up in case it takes a while to appear: I agree with you entirely.

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    53. Ten Bears: Her change in attitude didn’t seem to reflect evolved thinking based on changed circumstances. It just made it seem like she induced a reluctant, recently murdered
      Jon “I’m tired of fighting!” Snow to fight to re-take WF to rescue their brother – when she knew or should’ve known all along that Rickon was a lost cause.

      I’ve already said my piece (many times) about my interpretation of where Sansa was coming from. Different question: if Sansa had just started to openly weep in response to Ramsay’s letter, or if she had said nothing at all, for how long do you think Jon would have remained unwilling to fight, knowing that Ramsay had Rickon? And knowing that Ramsay intended to march on the Wildlings? I for one don’t think he’d have carried on packing his bags to head for a warmer climate.

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    54. Ten Bears: Impressing on those prospective allies that their own survival was at stake had more resonance than “We want our castle! We want our brother! We know Robb screwed up and your family members died, but you swore your allegiance to House Stark!”

      Absolutely. And I agree with you that the rationale evolved, in part due to Davos’s influence I imagine, and also once Sansa’s naive belief that the North would just rise immediately for the Starks had been dampened by reality.

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    55. Ten Bears:
      (I for one suspect that GRRM hadn’t mapped out Arya’s post-Braavos storyline, so the showrunners “borrowed” book! Manderly’s “Frey Pie” subplot and the Lady Stoneheart “Freyicide”, and grafted them into Arya’s story – but that only provided two episodes’ worth of material. After that, injecting Arya into the last act of the Sansa-LF storyline forced her to act out of character, made her seem like an extraneous secondary player for most of S7, and did not please many fans.)

      GRRM has made various comments about Arya and/or connected characters that give a pretty strong indication of where her storyline in TWOW is headed post-Braavos.

      We know she reunites with Gendry at some point in the book, which most likely means she goes back to the Riverlands. That’s also where Nymeria is, and that reunion has been built up for some time. And encountering Gendry would logically mean learning of Lady Stoneheart’s existence, which likely means, in turn, that Arya will confront Stoneheart and probably be the one to return her to the grave (since Arya was the one who dragged her out of the river and enabled her to be “born” in the first place; symbolism!). Optional features would also include encounters with the Hound and/or Jaime and Brienne, who are also going to be in that general vicinity.

      So I’d say that it’s less that GRRM doesn’t know so much as D&D cut the key stuff and had to send her somewhere else. But reuniting with Sansa and working out their issues has also been very strongly set up as part of Arya’s storyline — even though the TV version didn’t actually do that.

      Gwidhiel: Huh, so if I’m following you (and by extension TB), the problem isn’t that Sansa reflected on her initial impulse to save Rickon (Sansa was crying when they first got that letter, her concern wasn’t feigned), it’s that we weren’t privy to the moment when she changed her mind? I’m puzzled by this objection, because the show never shows us characters’ thoughts. It’s one of the format’s biggest drawbacks compared to the books, IMHO.

      You don’t have to have a character literally narrate their thoughts to show a character’s evolving thinking.

      And this is an instance where I think the writers actually did have a throughline in mind (like some others have suggested, I think the scene with Shaggydog’s head is meant to be the turning point), but they don’t convey it properly at all.

      Like, if nothing else, having Jon ask why she’s so convinced Rickon is dead when she initially wanted to save him, and she can explain how things have changed.

      It’s like that scene in Season 7 where Jon says he thought Arya and Bran were dead, despite the fact that the Sansa/Jon scene in episode 604 rather strongly suggested they thought the two were still out there (Sansa, at least, and Jon made no argument). There’s any number of reasons Jon could plausibly have come to believe that they were dead, but the show didn’t do anything to show that transition, so it jarred a lot of people.

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    56. Sean C.,

      “But reuniting with Sansa and working out their issues has also been very strongly set up as part of Arya’s storyline — even though the TV version didn’t actually do that.”

      ——–
      I would not have minded – and I think I would have enjoyed – watching the sisters work out their lingering resentments. I absolutely loved their reconciliation scene on the battlements at the end of S7e7. It kind of made me wish we had seen how over the course of one episode they went from [paraphrasing]

      (S7e6)
      Sansa: “You never would’ve survived what I survived.”
      Arya: “I guess we’ll never know”

      to

      (S7e7)
      Arya: “I never would’ve survived what you survived”
      Sansa. “You would have. You’re the strongest person I know.”
      Arya: “I believe that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”
      Sansa: “We’ll, don’t get used to it. You’re still very strange and annoying,”

      Somewhere along the way between Arya Lecter pointing a knife at Sansa and musing about cutting off her face and wearing her dress to see how it would feel to be Lady of WF, and RealArya accepting Sansa as Lady of Winterfell and accepting her own warrior princess identity, the sisters “worked out their issues.” But all of that happened off-screen.

      Personally, I would’ve preferred one bitchathon screaming match, followed by a heart to heart talks recounting what each had gone through – and straightforward answers to simple questions like “Where did you get that letter?” instead of evasive non-answers. (Why Little Miss Lie Detector couldn’t see through LF’s charade with Maester Wolkan in which he lied about Sansa asking him to retrieve that stupid letter is another matter. So much for two seasons of getting whacked with sticks in the Game of Faces to learn to lie and spot lies.)

      There had been so much that (I thought) had been set up in prior seasons for the sisters to hash out, including encounters with the same characters albeit at different times: The Hound (who even told Arya about saving Sansa from gang rape and murder during the KL riot, and challenged Arya: “Ask her, if you ever see her again. Ask her who came back for her….”); and Meryn F. Trant (who liked to beat and punch Sansa, and later beat and punched Arya – right before she aspirated his eyeballs and punctured his spleen, liver, lungs and kidneys).
      As shown in Sansa’s conversation with Tyrion when he tried to console her, Sansa was utterly distraught when she learned how her mother had her throat cut (by one of Walder Frey’s “damn moron” sons). and her body thrown on a river, and how Robb had been killed and his body mutilated by the Freys. Arya had her own encounters with the Freys (including devising an especially creative fate for his damn moron son) which surely would have interested Sansa.
      When they first reunited in the WF crypts, they each said their their experiences leading to their return to WF were “not very pleasant” ones, without going into detail at the time.

      So, they had lots to talk about – and lots to bond over. They concluded S7 by repeating their father’s words about looking after and protecting one another. There was so much material for what Thronetender described as “high thread count” scenes, and yet, it appeared the showrunners made the decision to forego portraying the sister’s reconciliation (and realization that LF was duping them) for the sake of one “Gotcha!” moment in LF’s so-called “trial,”

      It’s not for me to second-guess the showrunners” decision. I know lots of fans liked that “fist-pump” moment when Sansa said “You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges…Lord Baelish?”. I just felt it was somewhat manipulative (as one of the directors described it) to convey the impression that the sisters might really try to kill each other, all to set up one “dramatic” turnabout, instead of scripting real, believable interactions between the sisters resolving their differences and coming together as a team.

      PS. Though I’m no social justice warrior, too often I sense shows resorting to a “default setting” of two female characters at odds with each other instead of allying with each other. That’s not how I see sisters acting in real life. Is it just me? I’ve seen sisters argue, but they always circle the wagons and defend each other when someone else attacks either one of them.

      – End unintentionally lengthy pseudo-rant –

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    57. Sean C.:
      Morgoth,

      It’s not actually a contradiction.Martin has specifically talked about Lady Stoneheart as a response, of sorts, to Gandalf’s return.Stoneheart isn’t really Catelyn, and she returns as a monstrous shadow of her former self.As quoted in the above article, he didn’t like that Gandalf came back basically improved.I don’t see that Stoneheart diminishes the Red Wedding — if anything, she exacerbates the horror of it.

      As for Jon, well, we’re still waiting to see how GRRM handles that (both in terms of the metaphysics and how it affects Jon’s character).

      Good point, I had talked about this in a previous article but it seems like ASOIAF is GRRM’s response to the stuff he didn’t like in LoTR or at the very least the stuff he wanted to improve upon. He mentioned years ago that Dany ruling in Essos is a response to the presumption that Aragorn, the “good guy” equates to a just ruler. Also in another interview, he talked about how magic is different for Tolkien to his interpretation.

      “In Tolkien, Aragorn’s sword is magical because it just is; not because we regularly see it helping him win fights. In these books, magic is always dangerous and difficult, and has a price and risks. The whole point of the scene in A Game of Thrones where Daenerys hatches the dragons is that she makes the magic up as she goes along; she is someone who really might do anything,” GRRM from an interview he gave on Amazon.

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    58. Give Jon Snow whatever he wants, he’s been through enough already. I also concur that Maisie should be able to take needle home. I hope Lena gets to keep Cersei’s Winds of Winter outfit and her wine glass, also wine glass plus the hand of the queen pin for Peter Dinklage. One thing is for sure though, that iron throne ain’t going nowhere(if not melted by series end), HBO would want to keep that one.

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    59. Ten Bears: too often I sense shows resorting to a “default setting” of two female characters at odds with each other instead of allying with each other. That’s not how I see sisters acting in real life. Is it just me? I’ve seen sisters argue, but they always circle the wagons and defend each other when someone else attacks either one of them.

      I agree re how many sisters behave in real life – perhaps the majority in healthy families. There are always exceptions, of course. And I agree with you that frequently female characters get placed in one of a few different stereotyped boxes from which they’re rarely allowed to stray. I think male writers often believe that if they include some “gender atypical” female characters – e.g. a Rebellious Tomboy – they’ve fulfilled their duty towards inclusiveness.

      Finally I’m with you in wishing to have seen more genuine, meaningful rapprochement between Arya and Sansa in S7. It would have done much to rehabilitate their characters from the deviations D&D introduced (perhaps needfully, perhaps just carelessly). And it would have given time to a theme that is very much present in GRRM’s writing – the influence of siblings on each other and the importance of having peers that can call you on your shit when you veer too much in one direction. We all need that from time to time, and it doesn’t have to come from blood siblings – it can come from good friends. But it can only come from someone who’s an equal.

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    60. River: Good point, I had talked about this in a previous article but it seems like ASOIAF is GRRM’s response to the stuff he didn’t like in LoTR or at the very least the stuff he wanted to improve upon. He mentioned years ago that Dany ruling in Essos is a response to the presumption that Aragorn, the “good guy” equates to a just ruler.

      I think this oversimplifies the differences between Aragorn and Daenerys. It’s not merely that having good intentions isn’t enough, by itself, to be a just ruler (although that is obviously true). It’s also that having the right bloodline and name are insufficient, and are in fact just as likely to be irrelevant for the capacity to be a good ruler. Tolkien was a social conservative who grew up in the late Victorian period – he didn’t question England’s class structure and he believed that lineage was an important factor in an individual’s destiny. With Daenerys, GRRM is subjecting those assumptions to close scrutiny.

      1) Aragorn grew up in exile.
      2) His identity as Isildur’s heir was hidden.
      3) He was raised very carefully by a wise guardian.
      4) He was trained to his duty to his people.
      5) He spent his youth serving his country and people, not using his own illustrious name, but under assumed names like Strider.
      6) He worked hard to learn about his land and its people, and the threats they faced.
      7) He didn’t presume to use his true name and his heritage to pursue the throne that he believed was his right until he’d proven himself worthy by actually fighting the evil forces that threatened the existence of the kingdom he aspired to rule.

      Daenerys only has #1 in common with Aragorn. So far in the story Jon has #2-6 in common with Aragorn and one could make the case for him having #1 in common with him too, since both were raised hidden in the northern parts of the kingdoms to which they are heirs. I think Daenerys and Jon together are GRRM’s response to Tolkien’s Aragorn: the former as a cautionary tale about what you might get if you just rely on lineage and good intentions to decide who ought to rule, and the latter as the explicit break-down of why Aragorn might have been suited to be a good ruler – i.e. not because of his inherited privilege, but almost despite it.

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    61. mau:
      Martin’s argument about Gandalf was always pure BS.

      Right?

      When Martin comments on LOTR, he often expresses how he would have done it better had he written the series.

      “Hmmm,” Martin reflects having nearly finished writing the breakfast scene at Bilbo’s home. “What if … instead of washing and putting away the dishes, Thorin and the dwarves just fuck the hobbit? Yeah, that’s gold right there.”

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    62. Gwidhiel,

      I mean I can see how Daenerys would only tick one of those boxes if one were solely going by the show. But if one goes off the bookDany, she, at minimum, ticks 3 or 4 of those boxes. A lot also depends on if you’re comparing her to Tolkien’s Aragorn or Jackson’s Aragorn, whom is a fairly different character depending on the medium.

      Some of Aragorn’s theatrics and epithets would put Dany’s to shame. 😂 Just see when he first meets Eomer

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    63. Jay Targ: But if one goes off the bookDany, she, at minimum, ticks 3 or 4 of those boxes.

      Huh …I can’t think of which ones she’d hit, besides being raised in exile. She was not raised by a wise guardian who trained her to her duties to her people. She’s spent no time getting to know the people she claims a right to rule over (since in the books she’s still in Essos). What are the qualities that you see?

      Jay Targ: Some of Aragorn’s theatrics and epithets would put Dany’s to shame. 😂 Just see when he first meets Eomer

      Very true. So there’s something they do have in common!

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    64. Gwidhiel,

      Honestly, I think fAegon ticks off most of these boxes out of anyone… and fits the bill a bit more the Jon. GRRM probably did this on purpose too, since fAegon will most likely ultimately be a red herring.

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    65. Jaehaerys:
      Gwidhiel,

      Honestly, I think fAegon ticks off most of these boxes out of anyone… and fits the bill a bit more the Jon.GRRM probably did this on purpose too, since fAegon will most likely ultimately be a red herring.

      Oh totally agree. I think that the show has reduced the Aragorn comparison to two characters – Jon and Daenerys – so the contrast is binary. FAegon makes the examination much more interesting, because in him you have someone who has had the training that Daenerys lacks, has lived humbly, learning lots of everyday skills even while understanding that he’s destined for greater things. With fAegon you almost have Illyrio and Varys responding to Tolkien’s belief that lineage determines destiny to say “Nope, doesn’t matter. Just give us a plausible heir whose upbringing we can control and we’ll give you a worthy leader. The family name is window dressing for people who don’t know any better.”

      In the real world this idea was most famously put forward by the American founder of the behavioral movement in psychology, John Watson, “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.”

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    66. Shelle: Nurture over nature—that’s a good point.

      It does seem to be a theme in the books. I think it’s a central part of Theon’s story, for example. As far as Jon goes, I can’t guess if in the books GRRM will have his status turn out to be legitimate son/heir, as it is in the show. I kind of hope that won’t happen. The 3-way comparison of Daenerys-fAegon-Jon to Aragorn would be more interesting if Jon remains a bastard (ie R+L=J but R&L never married), because I imagine that Tolkien’s general prudishness and strict, Catholic view of marriage are also things that GRRM finds irritating. If the final unifying leader to emerge is neither the legitimate but untrained daughter of the fallen ruling house, nor the well-trained imposter (both of whom display a brash sense of entitlement based on their beliefs about who they are), but instead proves to be the well-trained illegitimate offspring of the fallen ruling house, who never aspired to the throne, that seems like a nice response to some of Tolkien’s assumptions about the making of a great ruler.

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    67. ^ I definitely see your points there.
      I’ve actually been hoping that the books, if they’re ever published, are essentially the same conclusion as whatever the show’s will be (provided it’s good)…mostly because I’ve never really liked having more than one version of something, or multiple “canons.”
      I do like Dany as a ruler, although she needs a good deal of aid, counseling, and guidance. Jon could balance her nicely, but the odds of both surviving aren’t great!

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    68. Jay Targ:
      Gwidhiel,

      I mean I can see how Daenerys would only tick one of those boxes if one were solely going by the show.But if one goes off the bookDany, she, at minimum, ticks 3 or 4 of those boxes.A lot also depends on if you’re comparing her to Tolkien’s Aragorn or Jackson’s Aragorn, whom is a fairly different character depending on the medium.

      Some of Aragorn’s theatrics and epithets would put Dany’s to shame.Just see when he first meets Eomer

      Mine would be Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Aragorn, admittedly I’m not a huge LoTR book series fan. Gwidhiel, you might be referring to my older posts in another article comparing Dany to Aragorn but the intention of my post here was to illustrate how GRRM’s continued fascination with LoTR bleeds into his work on ASOIAF, particularly in Daenerys. As he in verbatim, pointed out the similarities in Dany and Aragorn i.e. quote about ruling and the magic the two characters possess.

      I do like the list you’ve made, especially #4 he was trained to his duty to his people. I did say like 5 articles back, that I believe if Dany truly wants to break the wheel, she should go back to Essos. She’s Mhysa back there, breaker of chains. The people in Essos understands who she is, what she stands for. The people of Westeros might not, that is why there is such a disconnect, they see her as a conqueror and/or a threat.

      Essos needs Daenerys more than Westeros, after you know she deals with the WW. I don’t for a second, buy that Daario and whoever are left in Essos would be able to maintain what Dany and her dragons had accomplished. Democracy is the only thing missing in Westeros while Essos remains vulnerable to slave masters. Anyway I’m off topic here haha but I care for Essos, we spent 6 seasons there and it would be a shame if there’d be no update on the goings-on in Essos.

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    69. River: As he in verbatim, pointed out the similarities in Dany and Aragorn i.e. quote about ruling and the magic the two characters possess.

      Oh yes, I see GRRM making a contrast between Aragorn and Daenerys vis a vis ruling and magic. I think that the differences between them are greater than the similarities, by design. And the things that they do have in common – e.g. the fondness for epithets that Jay Targ pointed out above, or the belief that their heritage is the basis of their right to rule – are not necessarily so admirable.

      River, in another thread I think you already spelled out the difference between magic in Tolkien’s world (more predictable although obviously the mechanics go unexplained because it’s magic) vs GRRM’s (chaotic, unpredictable even for those that wield it). So far it does seem that both tie the ability to use magic to genetic heritage, and I wonder if that will be (one of) fAegon’s ultimately fatal shortcomings. He thinks he’s a Targaryen, he might have Targaryen or at least Old Valyrian blood – will that be enough to ride a dragon? If not, he’ll likely go as Quentyn did

      River: I believe if Dany truly wants to break the wheel, she should go back to Essos. She’s Mhysa back there, breaker of chains. The people in Essos understands who she is, what she stands for.

      I’m on the fence about this idea. I do see what you mean, and I agree that she’s got a more meaningful connection to Meereen and the other slave cities than she has to Westeros. But her rule in Meereen hasn’t really been that successful – she can enforce a tense peace with her dragons, that’s it. She doesn’t have the patience or skill to build strong coalitions, she doesn’t have a vision that people can come together to work towards – “breaker of chains/the wheel” is a good revolutionary slogan, but what comes after? Some of her shortcomings could be tied to her general lack of training and understanding of what successful leadership looks like, some of it might be her own temperament. That a young, unschooled girl thinks she should rule over others just because her ancestors were rulers (and she’s got dragons) is kind of an abhorrent idea to modern readers, no? (I know, I know, many people think Daenerys could be a good ruler. I don’t think GRRM does).

      I do agree that if she’d settled permanently somewhere in Essos, she might have learned more about the people she ruled, and she might have slowly found her way to building a lasting peace that’s based on more than dragonfire. But as it is right now in the books (as it was in the show), she’s still very much an outsider in Meereen. She did a better job assimilating with the Dothraki, I think out of necessity: by going full Dothraki, bloody horse heart and all, she strengthened her bond with Khal Drogo and put distance between herself and her abusive brother. She really became one of the Dothraki, although after Khal Drogo’s death she did step away from that culture by not retreating to the Dosh Khaleen as their tradition dictated. But she didn’t really do much to assimilate into Meerenese society, despite the loveless and short-lived political marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq. Daenerys ruled in Meereen remotely, from on high, as an outsider. She understood some of the people’s wishes, but was very far from understanding the society, and its needs, holistically. Could she have become a worthy ruler, meeting more of the criteria that Aragorn fulfilled, had she stayed? Maybe. But the irony is that her sense of entitlement to rule Westeros will pull her away from a place where she’d at least started to make some inroads.

      Everyone loves “you know nothing Jon Snow.” You know who knows even less? Daenerys Targaryen. But no one dares to tell her that directly.

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    70. Gwidhiel:

      Everyone loves “you know nothing Jon Snow.” You know who knows even less? Daenerys Targaryen.But no one dares to tell her that directly.

      I don’t agree that Dany knows even less, but also just wanted to say that line does not define who Jon Snow is or has become. That line was Ygritte’s catchphrase and nothing more. Dany still has a lot of learning to do, she said it herself in S7E3, she never did receive any proper education and someone at Winterfell did. Sansa learned a great deal from some of the best in the game. With Sansa, Tyrion and Jon around her, Dany will learn and grow as a leader.

      Dany has shown that she was willing to compromise back in Meereen by marrying that dude, I can’t remember his name. I’ve said this before but what worries me about Dany is her answer injustice with justice rule which is basically an eye for an eye, and that is not how you get people to work with you. Again its all about picking the right counsel, Jon was fortunate to have had Ned as his father and a family that was there for him, mainly Robb, Arya, Benjen but still he had great influences growing up. All Dany had was this pervy brother who sold her to be raped just to get his army.

      Considering all the sh*t Daenerys has been through, sure she can do better and I trust that she can. But that would take a stable environment without people plotting against her, ever since her handmaid betrayed her in S2, she’s been paranoid. She needs honest people to remind her that there is a better way. So Varys better watch out, or he’ll have a very painful death.

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    71. River: Dany still has a lot of learning to do, she said it herself in S7E3, she never did receive any proper education

      She said it in that episode as a sneering aside while asserting her right to Jon’s allegiance by virtue of the fact that Torrhen Stark had bent the knee to Aegon Targaryen – i.e., in her mind it was so clearly the case that Jon was her vassal that even she, with no formal education, knew it. That was not someone humbling acknowledging that she had a lot to learn.

      River: Considering all the sh*t Daenerys has been through, sure she can do better and I trust that she can.

      I don’t share your optimism about Daenerys’s potential to do better. She doesn’t listen to her chosen advisors, she doesn’t listen to anyone she doesn’t want to listen to. It’s yet another way that she’s disadvantaged relative to Jon – she doesn’t have any friends or siblings to call her on her shit. She only has subordinates. She doesn’t really know how to relate to people as equals – she’s so sold on her uniqueness and superiority that the best she can muster is benevolence. But most often she is remotely imperious, expecting people to be in awe of her.

      And the thing is, once Jon’s parentage is revealed, Daenerys will no longer be the rightful claimant to the Iron Throne. She’s a girl with 2 dragons (and I suspect by the time of the parentage reveal she’ll be down to one dragon, having given Rhaegel to Jon), and 2 armies (for the time being – I suspect neither the Unsullied nor the Dothraki will last long in the Northern winter – ala Napoleon’s or Hitler’s troops in Russia. No matter how impressive your forces, if they’re not dressed for winter, they’re useless). So her ability to grow into being a good ruler will be irrelevant. That is the tragedy of her story. She certainly has been through a lot of sh*t and has accomplished some really impressive things. It’s too bad that she’s been so singularly focused on attaining the Iron Throne for herself, given that she’s so ill-qualified (again, Aragorn’s list). She could have made a lasting legacy for herself if she’d settled in Meereen and actually learned to rule, instead of just conquering. There’s a better candidate in Westeros, and in the show, at least, his claim to rule is better than hers.

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    72. Gwidhiel: It’s yet another way that she’s disadvantaged relative to Jon – she doesn’t have any friends or siblings to call her on her shit. She only has subordinates. But most often she is remotely imperious, expecting people to be in awe of her.

      She’s exactly that, she is at a disadvantage relative to Jon. Try as she might she had no control over stuff like how pervy the only brother she ever knew was or how unhealthy her relationship with Drogo started (Momoa likability aside), that was clearly rape. I view her rise to be necessary. She had to become this strong, this imperious if you will because she was used for most of her life. As a prop to her brother’s ambition. I hope that Jon will provide that personal connection she’s longed for, not physical but emotional. A Targaryen alone in the world is an awful thing right? finally she’s not alone.

      Gwidhiel: And the thing is, once Jon’s parentage is revealed, Daenerys will no longer be the rightful claimant to the Iron Throne. She’s a girl with 2 dragons (and I suspect by the time of the parentage reveal she’ll be down to one dragon, having given Rhaegel to Jon), and 2 armies (for the time being – I suspect neither the Unsullied nor the Dothraki will last long in the Northern winter – ala Napoleon’s or Hitler’s troops in Russia. No matter how impressive your forces, if they’re not dressed for winter, they’re useless). So her ability to grow into being a good ruler will be irrelevant. That is the tragedy of her story.

      Davos mentioned in S7E3 the Jon-Dany meeting that destiny has brought Daenerys Targaryen back to our shores. Picture this, if Dany hadn’t cross the narrow sea, still at Meereen going about her business. Westeros would be screwed, no dragons, no armies and busy infighting. If Dany ignored the raven and left Jon and his group to die in that frozen lake they’d have no wight to show to Cersei, again screwed. She’s more than just a girl with 2 dragons, also Jon bonding with Rhaegal in 6 short episodes won’t erase Dany’s connection/shared bond with him and that lasted for 7 seasons. Dany will always be Rhaegal’s mother no matter what. My point is Westeros without Dany and dragons = WW chow.

      Gwidhiel: She could have made a lasting legacy for herself if she’d settled in Meereen and actually learned to rule, instead of just conquering. There’s a better candidate in Westeros, and in the show, at least, his claim to rule is better than hers.

      I don’t agree that Jon is the better candidate to govern. Jon has mostly dealt with Northern rulers and they’re faithful to House Stark not Jon necessarily. As you’ve said Dany during her time in Meereen was an outsider but she was able to accomplish a great deal for an outsider. Dany had nobody in Essos again not her fault but a disadvantage compared to Jon who has Stark banner men willing to fight for House Stark.

      This reminder from Quaithe in the books “To go north, you must journey south, to reach the west you must go east. To go forward you must go back and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.” Essos before Westeros, before she went forward to sail to Westeros she had to go back to Vaes Dothrak(where it kind of started for her), then although dragonstone is not really south south but she’s heading north now. This is her journey, whichever it may lead her. Maybe it will end tragically for Dany but going North to fight for Jon is part of it.

      Also Dany’s always been a foreigner, either in Essos or Westeros but when she was walking on Westeros for the 1st time last season and then began to touch the sand. That to me was not coming home but finally finding home.

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    73. When Daenerys surprised Kraznys by answering in (High) Valyrian, saying it was her mother tongue, I thought actually Daenerys belongs here. I mean not literally in Astapor but in that region. It’s the region of her ancestors, the region of Valyria where the Targaryens used to live until the doom. She never lived in Westeros. The Targaryens invaded Westeros, but they never really assimilated in Westeros. They always remained something different.
      It’s different with Jon Snow who is really a northerner. Apart from maybe riding Rhaegal I see nothing Targaryen in him. He belongs to the north.
      But then who will sit on the Iron Throne or whatever remains of it? I have no idea: Tyrion, Sansa, … ?

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    74. She’s exactly that, she is at a disadvantage relative to Jon. Try as she might she had no control over stuff like how pervy the only brother she ever knew was or how unhealthy her relationship with Drogo started (Momoa likability aside), that was clearly rape. I view her rise to be necessary. She had to become this strong, this imperious if you will because she was used for most of her life. As a prop to her brother’s ambition. I hope that Jon will provide that personal connection she’s longed for, not physical but emotional. A Targaryen alone in the world is an awful thing right? finally she’s not alone.

      Davos mentioned in S7E3 the Jon-Dany meeting that destiny has brought Daenerys Targaryen back to our shores. Picture this, if Dany hadn’t cross the narrow sea, still at Meereen going about her business. Westeros would be screwed, no dragons, no armies and busy infighting. If Dany ignored the raven and left Jon and his group to die in that frozen lake they’d have no wight to show to Cersei, again screwed. She’s more than just a girl with 2 dragons, also Jon bonding with Rhaegal in 6 short episodes won’t erase Dany’s connection/shared bond with him and that lasted for 7 seasons. Dany will always be Rhaegal’s mother no matter what. My point is Westeros without Dany and dragons = WW chow.

      I don’t agree that Jon is the better candidate to govern. Jon has mostly dealt with Northern rulers and they’re faithful to House Stark not Jon necessarily. As you’ve said Dany during her time in Meereen was an outsider but she was able to accomplish a great deal for an outsider. Dany had nobody in Essos again not her fault but a disadvantage compared to Jon who has Stark banner men willing to fight for House Stark.

      This reminder from Quaithe in the books “To go north, you must journey south, to reach the west you must go east. To go forward you must go back and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.” Essos before Westeros, before she went forward to sail to Westeros she had to go back to Vaes Dothrak(where it kind of started for her), then although dragonstone is not really south south but she’s heading north now. This is her journey, whichever it may lead her. Maybe it will end tragically for Dany but going North to fight for Jon is part of it.

      Also Dany’s always been a foreigner, either in Essos or Westeros but when she was walking on Westeros for the 1st time last season and then began to touch the sand. That to me was not coming home but finally finding home.

      Hi moderators, been having some trouble with quoting and stuff could you please delete the one I posted prior to this one? Sorry for the double post if ever.

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    75. River: if Dany hadn’t cross the narrow sea, still at Meereen going about her business. Westeros would be screwed, no dragons, no armies and busy infighting. If Dany ignored the raven and left Jon and his group to die in that frozen lake they’d have no wight to show to Cersei, again screwed.

      But the NK & AotD would still be stuck north of the wall. Daenerys’s participation gave the NK the opening he needed – thanks for the dragon!

      River: Also Dany’s always been a foreigner, either in Essos or Westeros but when she was walking on Westeros for the 1st time last season and then began to touch the sand. That to me was not coming home but finally finding home.

      I understand your perspective and don’t think it’s unreasonable, but it’s not one I share.

      Note that I’m not for a moment suggesting that Daenerys’s shortcomings are her fault, at least not their roots. It’s not her fault that her eldest brother chose to conduct himself mysteriously and seemingly dishonorably by running off with a young highborn woman and abandoning his wife and young children, setting off a series of calamaties that led to death and exile for her family. It’s not her fault that her father was insane. It’s not her fault that her remaining brother was a megalomaniac who Illyrio and Varys didn’t deem worth investing in (and in the books they chose to invest in an imposter). It’s not her fault that she and Viserys had a peripatetic, impoverished childhood, knowing no home, receiving no education, and having no family but each other. That’s her background, beyond her control, and it sucks for her that those circumstances have so profoundly shaped her. She’s a very lonely figure.

      You think that Jon will be the family she’s never had. Do you think she could accept being the aunt of the king, a part of the family but not on the throne, with no opportunity to rule in Westeros? I think that’s the biggest challenge she’ll face in S8.

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    76. Chilli: When Daenerys surprised Kraznys by answering in (High) Valyrian, saying it was her mother tongue, I thought actually Daenerys belongs here. I mean not literally in Astapor but in that region. It’s the region of her ancestors, the region of Valyria where the Targaryens used to live until the doom. She never lived in Westeros. The Targaryens invaded Westeros, but they never really assimilated in Westeros. They always remained something different.

      This is such a good point. I agree.

      Chilli: But then who will sit on the Iron Throne or whatever remains of it? I have no idea: Tyrion, Sansa, … ?

      Perhaps there won’t be an Iron Throne when all is said and done? One thing I feel reasonably sure about is that it won’t be Sansa Stark. She’s as committed to the North as Jon is at this point.

      How about Ser Bronn of the Blackwater? Self-made man who won his first title in Kings Landing, has been promised castles by both Jaime and Tyrion.

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    77. I’m not sure the Iron Throne will exist anymore by the show’s end either. Especially if you take Dany’s vision in “Valar Morghulis” literally. The IT will be nothing more than ashes.

      How does it turn to ashes though? Is it from wildfire? Dragons? Another Doom scenario, but this time it’s in Westeros? They never really said what specifically caused the Doom of Valyria did they? I haven’t read the books. Perhaps there will be another Doom, but this time in Westeros and that’s what will prompt Arya to “see what’s West of Westeros”?

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    78. Mr Derp,

      But someone still has to rule Westeros, if not on the Iron Throne it will be on another Throne. But will that Throne be somewhere in Kingslanding, Dragonstone, Lannisport, Riverlands, The North, … ? Depending on who will rule in the end I guess?

      Or will they all become independent kingdoms like before Aegon the Conqueror? Will all what the Targaryens have done be unmade? Like a throwback in time? And will Daenerys raise a new family of Targaryens somewhere in Essos?

      I love it that there are still so many questions. Really looking forward how it all will be resolved.

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    79. Gwidhiel: But the NK & AotD would still be stuck north of the wall.Daenerys’s participation gave the NK the opening he needed – thanks for the dragon!

      You think that Jon will be the family she’s never had. Do you think she could accept being the aunt of the king, a part of the family but not on the throne, with no opportunity to rule in Westeros? I think that’s the biggest challenge she’ll face in S8.

      Meeting Jon, later saving Jon is part of her, as Mel would put it “role to play,” she had to save Jon, she didn’t have to. Tyrion was practically begging her to do nothing. She took the risk and lost Viserion. It shows a lot of character, Jon knew that. He gave Dany his word because she did the right thing.

      Jon as King would be strange, he never showed any interest in ruling in KL. The only way he becomes king is if Dany dies, or collectively they let people decide by way of voting and he wins. He is so humble and it comes to a point where he downplays the good he’s done for the realm.

      Dany on the other hand, has experience(Queen in Meereen), is interested in ruling, and not at all humble. For all her faults, Dany has years of experience in ruling, in GRRM’s own words “Seeing someone like Dany actually trying to deal with the vestments of being a queen and getting factions and guilds and [managing the] economy. They burnt all the fields in Meereen.” Jon is good at diplomacy and battles, but in other aspects like the economy, only Sansa has shown potential in S7. I’ve yet to see Jon tackle anything other than war-related matters.

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    80. Mr Derp:
      I’m not sure the Iron Throne will exist anymore by the show’s end either.Especially if you take Dany’s vision in “Valar Morghulis” literally.The IT will be nothing more than ashes.

      How does it turn to ashes though?Is it from wildfire?Dragons?Another Doom scenario, but this time it’s in Westeros?They never really said what specifically caused the Doom of Valyria did they?I haven’t read the books.Perhaps there will be another Doom, but this time in Westeros and that’s what will prompt Arya to “see what’s West of Westeros”?

      What will we find when we head to what’s west of Westeros? Arya and her quest, finding new places to explore and finding love with Gendry, its too good to be true 🙁 Someone would have to rule over Westeros, KL might be wrecked when all is over but I agree with Chili ^ you gotta have someone ruling somewhere, maybe the North is the new capital of Westeros? Time for wolves right? If so, then the northerners would definitely be on board with Jon ruling.

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    81. River: Jon as King would be strange, he never showed any interest in ruling in KL. The only way he becomes king is if Dany dies, or collectively they let people decide by way of voting and he wins. He is so humble and it comes to a point where he downplays the good he’s done for the realm.

      Dany on the other hand, has experience(Queen in Meereen), is interested in ruling, and not at all humble. For all her faults, Dany has years of experience in ruling, in GRRM’s own words “Seeing someone like Dany actually trying to deal with the vestments of being a queen and getting factions and guilds and [managing the] economy. They burnt all the fields in Meereen.”

      River, for what it’s worth, I think that you’ve again over-simplified the LotR/Aragorn contrast that Martin was making with Daenerys. Being interested in ruling and not humble are not traits predictive of being a good ruler. You acknowledge on the one hand that Daenerys isn’t well-trained or well-suited to being a just ruler but you believe that she really seems like a ruler and wants to be a ruler, so maybe it could work out. To me the fact that Jon is a reluctant ruler is what makes him an attractive candidate – he doesn’t think he’s entitled to it, and he has been chosen to lead, twice, because he inspired confidence in the people who chose him.

      I understand that you believe that Daenerys has Aragorn’s story arc of the return of the exiled king. I fundamentally disagree – I believe Daenerys is a cautionary tale of what you could end up with if you think that lineage, entitlement, and a wish to rule are the things that determine who should rule. But that’s just my view. I believe you and I both are sympathetic to Daenerys’s struggles, but we differ in what we think the point of her character in this story is.

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    82. Gwidhiel: I understand that you believe that Daenerys has Aragorn’s story arc of the return of the exiled king. I fundamentally disagree – I believe Daenerys is a cautionary tale of what you could end up with if you think that lineage, entitlement, and a wish to rule are the things that determine who should rule. But that’s just my view. I believe you and I both are sympathetic to Daenerys’s struggles, but we differ in what we think the point of her character in this story is.

      But if Daenerys is a cautionary tale if, as you’ve said we go by lineage alone, that’s also true for Jon. The whole point of the Jon is Aegon reveal is that now he has a stronger claim than Dany which means he’s entitled to the iron throne because of his lineage. Jon at least in the show has always been selfless, humble and true to his word, if he breaks his oath to Dany just because he has a stronger claim that would betray his portrayal throughout the show. Again, the only way he ends up ruling is if Dany dies or Dany decides she doesn’t want the throne anymore.

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    83. Mr Derp: That’s what the inevitable postquel will be for.

      Yes, I’d love more Maisie please. Arya’s my favorite, she can do no wrong. She better survive or there will be blood D&D lol haha

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    84. River,

      Hi River,

      I think we’re talking at cross purposes at this point, but I’ll sum up what I believe is the intended contrast between Jon and Daenerys (we’ll leave fAegon out since he’s irrelevant for the show).

      Repeating the list of aspects of Aragorn’s story arc, with one important addition

      1) Aragorn grew up in exile.
      2) His identity as Isildur’s heir was hidden.
      3) He was raised very carefully by a wise guardian.
      4) He was trained to his duty to his people.
      5) He spent his youth serving his country and people, not using his own illustrious name, but under assumed names like Strider.
      6) He worked hard to learn about his land and its people, and the threats they faced.
      7) He didn’t presume to use his true name and his heritage to pursue the throne that he believed was his right until he’d proven himself worthy by actually fighting the evil forces that threatened the existence of the kingdom he aspired to rule.
      8) He believed that the crown was his by right.

      Daenerys has #1 and #8 in common with Aragorn. So far in the show Jon has 1-6. Daenerys does have other things in common with Aragorn, e.g. a fondness for adopting many titles. I don’t think either GRRM or D&D view this characteristic as a positive thing – by S7 D&D had turned it into a bit of a joke.

      Do you really think that #8 is a trait that’s predictive of being a good ruler?

      The point that you seem to have missed in your last response to me is that Jon and Daenerys both have the right heritage to ride a dragon – to use the magic of GRRM’s world. But Jon has other qualities in addition to heritage, qualities that Aragorn possessed in addition to heritage and that Daenerys does not have, and it’s those qualities – knowing the people he would rule, believing that serving them and their best interests was his on-going duty, not a choice that he sometimes indulged in, if he felt like it – that allow us to hope/believe that Aragorn’s rule was just, that he did set reasonable tax policies, and administered the law fairly. Wanting to rule, believing that it’s your right, are no indication that you’re suited to rule. Heritage alone is no guarantee that you’re fit to rule (hello, Viserys!, hello, Aerys!). In a world where magic is connected to ruling and it’s also connected to genetic heritage, you do need the right heritage. But you need other things besides heritage in order to be fit to rule. That is the point.

      If you believe that Daenerys is a more likely, more worthy ruler than Jon that’s great! You could totally turn out to be right in thinking that she’s going to end the show on the Iron Throne one way or another. But Martin contrasting Daenerys’s unsuccessful attempt at effective ruling in Meereen with Aragorn’s post-LotR reunification of Arnor and Gondor and subsequent successful rule does not provide a basis for your view.

      A final, parting note from me on this topic: you can certainly prefer the Jackson/Mortensen version of Aragorn over the book version, in fact I think I share that preference. But GRRM was definitely using the book version when he started writing the series (AGoT pub date: 1996; The Fellowship of the Rings release date: 2001).

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    85. Tensor the Mage, Who Was Actually a Cartographer's Apprentice Until Assigned to Draw the East Coastline of Dorne says:

      Arya need not sail west of Westeros. Every map I’ve seen shows the continent trailing off into the northwest, in to the unknown past the Land of Always Winter. But after the NK’s defeat, the Lands Beyond the Wall should revert to having the same weather as the rest of Westeros. (Recall that when 3ER showed Bran the making of the NK, the spiral megalith was in a lush, green area. Every time we’ve seen it in modern times, it has been covered in snow and ice.) She should be able to walk “west of Westeros” and see just how far it really goes.

      I don’t believe there will be an Iron Throne (in the sense of a ruling office) at the end of the story. Almost the entire human population of Westeros will have been killed or forced to flee by the War of the Living Versus the Dead. With the Wall down and the lands beyond thawing nicely, there will be little incentive to re-create the feudal dystopia which was the Seven Kingdoms. An Age of Exploration may await adventuresome folks like Arya.

      I believe Bronn will get his pick of castles — only to find there is no population in “his” lands to sustain a Lord Bronn. (Maybe Dolorous Edd will have some comforting words of wisdom for him.)

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    86. Gwidhiel:
      River,

      ~snip

      The point that you seem to have missed in your last response to meis that Jon and Daenerys both have the right heritage to ride a dragon – to use the magic of GRRM’s world. But Jon has other qualities in addition to heritage, qualities that Aragorn possessed in addition to heritage and that Daenerys does not have, and it’s those qualities– knowing the people he would rule, believing that serving them and their best interests was his on-going duty, not a choice that he sometimes indulged in, if he felt like it – that allow us to hope/believe that Aragorn’s rule was just, that he did set reasonable tax policies, and administered the law fairly. Wanting to rule, believing that it’s your right, are no indication that you’re suited to rule. Heritage alone is no guarantee that you’re fit to rule (hello, Viserys!, hello, Aerys!). In a world where magic is connected to ruling and it’s also connected to genetic heritage, you do need the right heritage. But you need other things besides heritage in order to be fit to rule. That is the point.

      But there’s nothing that indicates that Daenerys believes heritage alone suggests that she’s fit to rule. The opposite really. And this applies to both the show and the books. It’s a large part of the reason she chose to stay in Meereen.

      From the show (4×05, Weiss also explains it in link)

      How can I rule seven kingdoms if I can’t control Slaver’s Bay? Why should anyone trust me? Why should anyone follow me?
      You’re a Targaryen. You’re the Mother of Dragons.
      I need to be more than that.

      She also wouldn’t have told Jon that she “hopes she deserves it”, when he pledged himself to her, if she believed that heritage alone was enough.

      Now I currently don’t how the time to add the book quotes which show this but perhaps later I will make a post. But I fear it may get stuck in moderation.

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    87. Jon/Aegon is every bit as worthy as Daenerys to rule Westeros, I prefer Dany a little bit more because she has experience albeit unsuccessful to some, still experience is experience. I brought up that quote from George because Jon has shown that he is effective in getting people to work together, much like a diplomat but I’ve yet to see him tackle anything relating to the northern economy. While Jon was away, Sansa had to take care of that and in that brief scene in S7 she was on point with everything that they’d be needing during the great war.

      Jon is good in battle but I’m not convinced he’s a better overall ruler, when factoring in economic knowledge, experience, Dany and Sansa are more reliable. The war would have to end sometime, the hard part is how you recover from the destruction caused by it? How would you recover economically? This is where GRRM’s point about the importance of having tax policies etc. come into play, for example Robert Baratheon was better suited for war than for ruling. Jon seems capable but I don’t recall him having a particular scene in the books or the show where he dealt with anything other than diplomacy or war-related matters.

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    88. Jay Targ: But there’s nothing that indicates that Daenerys believes heritage alone suggests that she’s fit to rule. The opposite really.

      Oh goodness, it’s not about what Daenerys believes about the importance of lineage in determining who should rule! You’re conflating what characters do/believe and what their creators do/believe/intend in having them do & believe things. GRRM was using Daenerys (and fAegon and Jon) as characters to examine and respond authorially to Tolkien’s apparent assumption that lineage is what made Aragorn a good ruler.

      You could argue – as many Tolkien scholars probably do – that GRRM doesn’t understand Tolkien, that Tolkien didn’t believe that lineage is destiny. One could argue that Feanor is a good example of having excellent lineage and very strong magic and belief in one’s right to lead and still mucking it all up, although that’s in the Silmarillion.

      But although what Daenerys believes about the philosophical question of inherited right to rule is very much beside the point of GRRM’s contrasting her with Tolkien’s Aragorn, she does, in fact, believe that her lineage gives her an exclusive claim to the Iron Throne. That, and dragons, are all she’s got. And before she had the dragons, she was perfectly content to have Khal Drogo’s promise to bring his hordes across to Westeros to take back the Iron Throne for her. Because she absolutely thinks it’s hers by right. If Khal Drogo had lived to fulfill his promise to her, and her dragons had therefore never been born, what kind of ruler would Daenerys have been (assuming she and Khal Drogo were successful)?

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    89. Just wanted to say I was in agreement with nearly everything you said, River (and some of what Gwidhiel did; I now see what the point was there!)

      I’m sure it’ll be very difficult for Daenerys to accept that the one most important thing of which she’s been so certain all this time, upon which she’s amassed all these accomplishments and come all this way…the idea that the throne is destined to be hers…wasn’t even true. And now she seems to be falling in love with the legitimate heir. Of course, he would likely not be interested in becoming king at this point anyway. I could see him simply handing it over to the next in line. ;p Often it is people with no interest in or chance at leading who seem like the most ideal leaders, but Jon’s been forced into such positions already. To actually be *king*? Might be a bit too much for the resurrected guy. You’ve got to have some change of mind and develop some desire/interest in ruling if you’re going to.
      If Westeros were a democracy already, I’d strongly consider giving Dany my vote. Yes, she belives the throne is rightfully hers and that in itself doesn’t mean you’d make a good monarch, but she genuinely wants to do good with it. She’s achieved a great deal already. People have thrown their support behind her and chosen to follow and serve her, because she has touched and inspired them. She’s definitely not perfect, but is capable of admitting mistakes, taking good advice, etc. Perhaps ultimately the wheel will truly be broken to the point where there’s no throne, and leaders are elected based on the kinds of people they are instead of given power due to who their parents were. Following the established laws, Dany has a good claim (until Jon’s identity is revealed, anyway)–but in both their cases it’s who they are as people, their ideas and virtues and goals rather than just ancestry, that actually make them decent choices. Jon unintentionally rose to power through his actions and others’ responses to them.
      Not to say that there aren’t other potentially even better picks within the cast or elsewhere on the continent, but I dunno that you should start taking totally open nominations and let give everybody a fair and equal shot at campaigning to be ruler. I’m sure they’ll continue placing some importance on birth/lineage and titles and ranks and whatnot. Maybe you could limit the qualified people to ones with a certain amount of education, even though you might need to have been privileged in the first place to have had that opportunity.

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    90. Shelle,

      Exactly, Daenerys is qualified to rule, experience is experience and so what if she’s ambitious. It all comes down to what she would do with all that power. As mentioned by Jay, that conversation between Dany and Jon with her saying “I hope I deserve it.” That to me shows humility but to be fair she was vulnerable during that conversation, having just lost Viserion. Dany is not as humble as Jon but she’s not power hungry either, she’s in the middle. Her temper though might need to be reeled in from time to time.

      That Targaryen/love connection that Dany feels for Jon, I wish it finally brings her a sense of security knowing that she’s not alone in the world. At first, the Jon Targaryen reveal would surprise her but eventually she will understand, Jon is the only family she has left. That has to mean something to Dany.

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    91. I agree 1000%. And while she may have been a bit cocky and overconfident at the start of S7, by the end she’s definitely quite humbled.

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    92. River: …and so what if she’s ambitious.

      Well, it matters if thousands have to die to fulfil her ambition.

      It all comes down to what she would do with all that power.

      And what would she do with that power? All we have are these vague notions of “breaking the wheel” and “building a better world”. When Tyrion tried to press her on how she intended to ensure a lasting legacy, she went into a paranoid funk.

      And bear in mind that if everybody just laid down their arms and bent the knee, life would probably be pretty peaceful under Cersei too. In fact, we see life carrying on as usual in the kingdoms that she rules during Season 7.

      Cersei is ambitious, paranoid, authoritarian, murderous, etc… but there’s no evidence that she would be particularly tyrannical toward a peaceful realm.

      But, guess what? Dany has exhibited all of those bad qualities too in her quest to rule and establish her authority. So why does the fact that Dany would rule the Seven Kingdoms peacefully, once everybody has been made to submit to her, negate her bad qualities but not Cersei’s?

      Remember Jaime in 7×03: “But after we’ve won and there’s no-one left to oppose us, when people are living peacefully in the world she built, do you really think they’ll wring their hands over the way she built it?”

      That line was quite clearly supposed to draw parallels between Cersei and Dany.

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    93. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I’ve been thinking about this lately. What exactly is Dany going to do that’s so different from those who occupied the Iron Throne before her? How specifically does she plan on breaking the wheel? Why should the Westerosi want her in charge? I honestly don’t have any answers to those questions right now. I suppose we’ll find out in season 8, but I think Dany would’ve been wise to have those details ironed out before heading to Westeros.

      She’s obviously a better human being than Cersei, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to being a good ruler and it certainly doesn’t signify anything wheel-breaking.

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    94. Mr Derp: She’s obviously a better human being than Cersei, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to being a good ruler and it certainly doesn’t signify anything wheel-breaking.

      This.

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    95. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: Remember Jaime in 7×03: “But after we’ve won and there’s no-one left to oppose us, when people are living peacefully in the world she built, do you really think they’ll wring their hands over the way she built it?”

      That line was quite clearly supposed to draw parallels between Cersei and Dany.

      I initially found Jaime’s S7 storyline to be frustrating and dull until the very end when he finally broke with Cersei. But on my recent re-watch I noticed that he offers a lot of food for thought. One particularly salient take-away was his anticipation of Tyrion/Dany’s move to hit Casterly Rock, and his explicit call-out to the lesson he’d learned from Robb Stark.

      Lessons are everywhere for the taking, but you do have to be able to recognize which are applicable in a given situation. (Another interesting thing I noticed on the re-watch, although I think this detail is book-only, is that the strategy Team Cersei used against Team Dany had Euron reprising the role he’d played 15-odd years earlier in the Ironborn uprising, by sailing into the bay at Casterly Rock and burning the anchored fleet).

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    96. Mr Derp,

      This is one of the major reasons I feel like Daenerys is doomed. Her own self-professed ending to her arc is a dead end, the details of which we are still none-the-wiser about with only 6 episodes remaining.

      And one of the biggest mistakes she made in Meereen was the failure to prepare for what comes after the conquest. For somebody who doesn’t believe they’re capable of producing children in order to continue their legacy (such a major theme in GoT), she really should have her plans for the future nailed down by now. So why doesn’t she?

      I get the feeling that rather than “break the wheel” herself, she will indirectly lead to the reformation of Westeros. Either by saving the realm from destruction, allowing it to be rebuilt. Or by destroying King’s Landing and the Iron Throne, thereby forcing change. But I don’t think she’ll be around to see it through.

      Her apparent ambivalence to the details of the new world she’s supposed to be creating and the prospect of a pregnancy on the horizon imply the possibility of her losing sight of her original aims.

      I’m not sure why the viewers are supposed to trust that she still intends to build this new world when she refuses to even address the details with her closest adviser and instead starts throwing paranoid accusations at him.

      I just can’t see it happening.

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    97. Gwidhiel,

      Actually, Jaime mentions Euron burning the Lannister fleet when they meet in 7×01.

      I really hope they do Jaime justice in Season 8 and don’t sacrifice him at the altar of the cult of Daenerys.

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    98. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: Actually, Jaime mentions Euron burning the Lannister fleet when they meet in 7×01.

      Oh really? I’ll have to go back and look for that – another S7 instance of Jaime taking advantage of the lessons offered by negative experiences. Thanks! 🙂

      And I agree about high hopes for Jaime’s storyline in S8. There are a number of ways they could muck it up, as I admit that I’d felt they’d done in S7 until I watched it again. For what it’s worth I do expect him to die by the end. But I’m quite invested in his story, so fingers crossed that they do it justice.

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    99. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: I get the feeling that rather than “break the wheel” herself, she will indirectly lead to the reformation of Westeros. Either by saving the realm from destruction, allowing it to be rebuilt. Or by destroying King’s Landing and the Iron Throne, thereby forcing change. But I don’t think she’ll be around to see it through.

      I had a long post written out that agreed with this, which ended up being deleted as spam when I tried to edit a misplaced comma. Probably just as well. But anyway, I entirely agree with you.

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    100. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Thousands will inevitably die, Cersei and Dany are at war, is there another viable option for the two to co-exist?

      Cersei is clearly tyrannical if we go by your list of her traits. Especially murderous that stood out to me, how would that make her a good and just ruler? Dany is ambitious yes, paranoid yes ever since her handmaid betrayed her in S2. Authoritarian? not yet, in S7E2, her war council – Ellaria, Yara and Olenna urged her to attack KL, she chose not to because she listened to Tyrion. She chose what she thought was the better way, not knowing that all her efforts would eventually lead to war anyway. She listens and we if we go back to the battle in Meereen in S6E9, she listened to Tyrion even after Tyrion screwed up.

      Now I agree that her “breaking the wheel” and “building a better world,” campaign promises were vague. But I ask you this, has anyone on the show aside from Daenerys cared enough to actually think about how they could shake things up in Westeros? has anyone even pretended to care? Margaery probably comes close but she’s dead. Jon has never said anything resembling Dany’s vision but his successful pact with the wildlings is a good start. Tyrion only ever thought of it after he met Dany.

      There are two points I’d like to make in defense of Dany. First is, I’d appreciate if y’all would look at her track record. She promised the people in Essos there’d be no more slaves and she did exactly that. Secondly, just because Dany hasn’t shared her plans to break the wheel to anyone, that doesn’t mean she does not have any. Tyrion and Varys have repeatedly said that they believe in her and the world she’d like to build. Maybe she already shared her plan off-screen? Whether she delivers on her big promises or gets a shot to even try is up to GRRM and D&D. Again consider her track record, if anyone is capable of breaking the wheel, whatever that may be, Dany is the best candidate to do so. She’s done more good than harm is what I’m saying. Goodness I feel like I’m campaigning for her or something lol

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    101. 100% agree with River again. I like that Dany’s aims are noble and righteous. She simply wants to make life in Westeros good for all residents. She wants things to be fairer than they’ve been for…ever? Sadly there proves to be no peaceful way to make such a thing happen. I don’t see how one could liken her to Cersei “Feed the leftovers to the dogs” Lannister. And I think Varys (one of my criminally underrated favorites) may have been the only one who’s truly had similar ideas to this outside-the-box/revolutionary “bright new world” vision for a long time. Of course, he’s looking for someone besides himself who may be able to make it happen. Margaery likely would’ve been a pretty good queen, but alas didn’t get to be one for long.

      I did think she was being a bit too hostile when Tyrion suggested thinking about who would continue her new world order into the future–as if it sounded to her too much like he was getting at her imminent demise or something. She wanted to focus on securing the throne in the first place before worrying about the further-flung future, while I thought they both had points and should probably split around 70/30 between “snag the throne so you can start building your vision”+”plan ahead/think about the future & succession.” Especially since she doesn’t believe she can actually give birth to a successor.

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    102. She needs to have a vision of what she specifically plans to do to improve the conditions in Westeros and she needs to find a way to share that vision with the people of Westeros if she wants them to be on her side. She can’t just take the throne and iron out those details later. If she does she’ll have to drag the citizens along with her kicking and screaming the entire time. Dany is obviously a better person than Cersei, but why should thousands of innocent people die just to switch Cersei for Dany when Dany hasn’t even given anyone in Westeros any motivation to embrace her or feel that such a massive change is worth the cost?

      Again, it’s obvious Dany would be a better Queen than Cersei, but so much death and destruction has to take place in order for that change to happen. Dany NEEDS to make it known to ALL why such a massive change is worth the cost. We as viewers have seen Dany’s journey for 7 seasons, so we KNOW she’d be a better Queen. If the citizens of KL knew that then maybe they’d be more open for change and could even help facilitate that change. I think some sort of P.R. campaign prior to her arrival in Westeros would’ve been a better start than simply invading and going into default conquering mode, but it’s impossible to do that since Dany hasn’t shared her vision with anyone that we know of.

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    103. Mr Derp,

      I get your point about how Dany needs to communicate better with the citizens of Westeros, I would imagine she’d be able to do so after the war. It’s difficult to prioritize that above other matters especially when you’ve got white walkers attacking from the north, and Cersei/Euron to deal with. She did educate the Lannister soldiers a bit in S7E5 just before she BBQ the Tarlys.

      Whoever ends up on the iron throne if the throne survives at all till the end, he or she would have to reach out to the public and usher in a new era.

      Also would like to ask if anybody here believes that GRRM is inspired by the events of Wars of the Roses because I’ve read somewhere that the Stark/Lannister feud was based on the York/Lancaster civil war. Plus did GRRM draw inspiration from Elizabeth I in writing for Daenerys, Elizabeth was the last monarch of the House of Tudor, and Dany claims she is the last Targaryen, but we all know that’s not true but at least at the beginning of the story they share that distinction.

      And also Elizabeth’s predecessor is the infamous Mary I “bloody mary,” known for burning dissenters. Question is could Cersei be Mary and Dany, Elizabeth? or is Dany Mary and if so, who is Elizabeth? Elizabeth’s reign did usher in an era of stability and was called the “golden era.” So if GRRM stays true to his inspiration, the ruler in the end might follow the same path with his or her own version of the golden era.

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    104. River: Thousands will inevitably die, Cersei and Dany are at war, is there another viable option for the two to co-exist?

      But they are only at war because of Dany’s ambition! She would have invaded regardless of who was on the throne. She would condemn tens, if not hundreds, of thousands to their deaths in order to service her ambition. That’s the point! Just because she believes she would be a better ruler does not negate her responsibility for all the death and misery necessary to reach that point!

      It’s clear from the rest of your comment that you’re unwilling to assess Daenerys’ behaviour based on what’s actually been conveyed on-screen.

      Saying things like “just because Dany hasn’t shared her plans to break the wheel to anyone, that doesn’t mean she does not have any… maybe she shared her plan off-screen” is just obtuse.

      Tyrion specifically pressed her on what her plans were and she responded by accusing him of wanting her dead and refused to discuss it. It’s quite clear that we’re supposed to consider that she has no plan for life AD (After Daenerys) and her refusal to even discuss the matter is supposed to be a red flag. What narrative purpose is there to withhold her plans from the viewer?

      Arguing that nobody else has cared about reforming Westeros is also irrelevant in assessing Dany’s behaviour. So what if nobody else has sought to reform Westeros? Every conqueror believes their motives for ruling are righteous!

      Stannis was adamant that he would be a just ruler under the current system and that he would ensure that those that had “made the realm bleed” would be punished. As you point out, Margaery would have intended to be a good and just queen. If Robb had won the war, do you think he would’ve made a good king? Probably. Why would the system need reform if Robb had ruled the Seven Kingdoms the way Ned taught him to rule The North?

      The Seven Kingdoms can go through decades, even centuries, of (relatively) peaceful rule under the current system, under a good king/queen/dynasty. Dany doesn’t get points simply for proffering vague notions of reforming the kingdoms. Especially since her quest to reform Westeros just so happens to align with her own ambition for the throne that she considers stolen from her (family), or since she requires thousands to die to ensure her rule in the first place.

      Nor since she fails to articulate any plan for those alleged reforms and the future of Westeros, despite not being able to produce heirs to maintain her legacy. Tyrion asked her pointedly, “How do we ensure your vision endures? After you break the wheel, how do we make sure it stays broken?” and her response was more than a little disconcerting. You don’t get to dismiss that offhand and say, “I’m sure she has a plan”, ignoring what was conveyed on-screen because it’s inconvenient to your desired impression of the character.

      As for her track record, abolishing slavery was like shooting fish in a barrel. Of course we credit her for it – (although it shouldn’t be ignored that it also conveniently helped her gather lands, wealth, armies, followers, etc). But simply because she righted a glaring injustice elsewhere does not automatically justify her actions in Westeros.

      There are no slaves in Westeros. There are no Masters. Nobody is truly crying out for reform or begging for her to sit on the Iron Throne (she admits that herself). The righteousness of her conquest is entirely reliant on her claim to be a better ruler than those that went before. Yet she offers zero practical basis for those claims!

      As I said in my earlier comment, as articulated by the quote from Jaime, in essence Dany and Cersei’s approaches are the same – once I rule, peace will reign. And both expect thousands to die, surrender and submit in order to reach that conclusion.

      The parallels exist for a reason; and, despite what some might wish, it’s not simply to highlight how great she is in comparison. Because they don’t!

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    105. River,

      GRRM did draw inspiration for the initial Stark/Lannister conflict from the War of the Roses. He actually draws a ton of his inspiration from the books/show on real life history and also mythology. I’m not sure he specifically says in any interviews which characters draw inspiration from which real-life monarchs, but many comparisons have been made between Dany and Elizabeth. He also tends to blend real-life monarchs/people together to form his characters, so it is more like Dany is similar to Elizabeth but also has traits from others.

      I don’t know too much about real history to draw my own comparisons, but I’ve watched lots of YouTube videos about this stuff and it is very interesting. I know GreyArea has some good videos discussing which GoT characters emulate which real-life monarchs and she talks a lot about these characters getting blended between a couple of different people. You should check it out! The videos are relatively short too.

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    106. Mr Derp: Dany hasn’t shared her vision with anyone that we know of.

      This is one of Daenerys’s biggest problems and it’s what I was trying to address in my post yesterday that got lost somehow.

      From the start of the story, Daenerys has had only one central aim – a Targaryen restoration on the Iron Throne. Her own role in pursuit of that aim has changed: when we met her she was basically being sold into sexual slavery to Khal Drogo by Viserys, so the latter could get an army to invade and re-take the Iron Throne for their family. That didn’t work out for Viserys, so Dany took up the mantle of Targaryen heir and adopted her brother’s quest, relying on Khal Drogo to make it happen. That didn’t work out as planned and Dany lost KD but gained dragons, so she pushed forward with the quest (now hers) for the Iron Throne. Along the way she picked up followers, and she tried to do well by them. Her path in Essos was very adaptable to the circumstances she encountered – e.g. she won Khal Drogo over by going full Dothraki, she won her Unsullied army by deciding that, actually, slavery was immoral and therefore she was right to trick and kill the masters in Astapor. To her credit she tried her best to live up to her newly discovered opposition to slavery, even when it would have been easier to stand down in the face of opposition from the Sons of the Harpy in Meereen.

      Since gaining her independence from her brother and then from her husband, Daenerys has always only had one goal – the Iron Throne. Everything else was secondary – even her opposition to slavery in Essos. She cared enough to do something to correct that injustice, but pursuing the Iron Throne was more important than staying in Slaver’s Bay to ensure there was lasting change. She’s been making it up as she goes, because she doesn’t have a political philosophy. I think her willingness to be flexible in Meereen, to try to compromise and to accommodate local customs might have because her time in Slavers Bay was, in her mind, a stepping stone to her primary goal – the thing that she believes is her right, and that she is unwilling to compromise on (sorry, Tarlys!).

      Confronting and trying to correct injustice is admirable. I disagree with anyone who claims that Daenerys’s rule in Meereen was a success, but I did admire her for trying. However the only “injustice” we’ve ever heard her speak against in Westeros is the overthrow of her family from power. I can get why that’s personally motivating for her, but why does she think it would be for anyone else? There is no slavery in Westeros, so “Breaker of Chains” doesn’t resonate there the way it did in Slaver’s Bay. “Breaking the Wheel” is an empty slogan without specifics about what that means (ala Make America Great Again). And “Mother of Dragons” is a threat.

      Daenerys’s lack of a political philosophy isn’t only a problem because it means she doesn’t have a vision to communicate to anyone besides “Daenerys 4 Queen”; it’s also a problem because she has never reconciled her stance against slavery, on the one hand, with her embrace of and use of Dothraki hordes, who are themselves slavers (and rapists). In her rousing speech to them in S6 when she won their support to invade Westeros, she commanded them to tear down Westerosi stone houses … not really aligned with making lives better in Westeros. I’ve mentioned before that I think sending the Dothraki up the Kings Road will terrify the countryside, even if they behave themselves. And that’s a big “if.”

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    107. Speaking of PR in Westeros, and Kings Landing in particular, it occurs to me that Cersei’s apparent lack of consequence for blowing up the Sept could be ascribed to the fact that The Sparrows were becoming increasingly violent themselves, imposing their rigid code on the general population. While The Sparrows could put on some popular spectacles, like Cersei’s walk of shame, I gather from the scenes we saw of them beating prostitutes, destroying barrels of ale, and showing no compunction about using iron cudgels for crowd control, that they themselves might have been increasingly unpopular. And while undoubtedly plenty of common folks died in the destruction of the Sept, the people who were actually inside to witness the scheduled trial seemed to be more well-dressed, upper-class people. So there might not have been so many tears shed among the common folk in the aftermath of the Sept’s destruction.

      I don’t recall the maesters in the Citadel seeming too troubled by Cersei’s attack on the church, either.

      I suspect the real reason we haven’t seen much fallout for Cersei after blowing up the Sept is that the writers couldn’t be bothered to address it. But as I think about how different leaders’ actions have been and might be perceived by various groups within Westeros, it occurs to me that Cersei might have shrewdly guessed that most people would be glad to be rid of The Sparrows, and that the main population would shrug if some wealthy lords and merchants were also blown to smithereens along the way.

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    108. Jaehaerys,

      So Dany could be Elizabeth + another real-life monarch, that’s cool. I’ve yet to see that YouTube channel, the Dany, Elizabeth connection I got that mostly from reddit. Could Cersei be at least 50% Mary I? she blew up the Great Sept of Baelor (where religious ceremonies were held) while Mary I burned religious dissenters. I guess we’ll have to wait till 2019 to find out who is Mary and who is Elizabeth on the show.

      I’ve always assumed that Maggy the frog’s prophecy about a younger, more beautiful queen who will be Cersei’s downfall to be Daenerys and not Margaery so I can’t wait for S8.

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    109. The younger, more beautiful queen could also be Sansa. Jaime has gone off to fight in the north which means the cause has taken him away from Cersei, this could be the “and take all you hold dear,” part of the prophecy. Its either Dany or Sansa or Arya or Brienne, they’re all beautiful queens in our eyes so any one could take down Cersei and it would satisfying to watch.

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    110. I’d also wondered about the apparent skimming-over of any prepercussions from that little sept incident…:/
      Very interesting historical comparisons, yep. (Speaking of history, I’ve just heard the “World of Ice & Fire” audiobook; Westeros & Essos really seem just about as rich and vivid and complex as our own world, it’s kind of amazing.)

      It would’ve been good if Dany could’ve done some campaigning in Westeros to better explain to people why she’s their best choice. Maybe gain some support in KL and among the poor, struggling common folk (the ones who get “crushed on the ground” while the great houses trade power and shift positions, even if they aren’t slaves.) She may have failed to realize that potentially good leaders did and do exist within Westeros already–people like Margaery or Robb or even Jon.
      Unfortunately wars seem inevitable regardless, especially now that the biggest one of all is looming. ><
      One does get the sense that Dany isn't a huge planner and intends to kind of deal with things as they come. She did tell the Lannister soldiers what she was about after their defeat and gave them the opportunity to join her. I think she knows she'll need to somehow demonstrate to the people a genuine desire to better their world beyond what any Lannister/Stark/Baratheon/Tyrell/whomever would do, because they aren't going to automatically cheer and support her. I assumed she was referring to tearing down the buildings of people who opposed them, rather than those of random innocents. There might've been a metaphorical element to it too (not that Dothraki would turn down a chance to actually tear something down. xD) I suppose her willingness to align with and lead the Dothraki is sort of like Yara with the Ironborn, wanting to change the worst of the culture's behaviors…

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    111. Shelle: I suppose her willingness to align with and lead the Dothraki is sort of like Yara with the Ironborn, wanting to change the worst of the culture’s behaviors…

      Huh? Yara agreed to Daenerys’s demand that the Ironborn under her leadership would cease raiding, etc., as a condition for her support (I’m still confused on this point – her support for Yara on the Salt Throne would mean the Iron Islands would have been independent, no? Moot point now). Yara agreed reluctantly – she didn’t want to change the Ironborn’s ways herself but had to agree in order to ally herself with Daenerys.

      And I can’t think of where/when Daenerys has ever tried to reform the Dothraki. She lashed out against the Khals who would have confined her to the Dosh Khaleen (or worse). But when she lived among them as Khaleesi she was perfectly content to have her own household slaves (who she treated well, generally, unless they betrayed her, but still – they were slaves). I take Missandei at her word that she is free to leave Daenerys’s service whenever she pleases, so it appears that by S7 no one directly connected to Daenerys herself is enslaved. But I’ve never seen anyone communicate anything to the Dothraki riders about changing their behavior – in fact the one thing we did see was Daenerys encouraging them to use their violent ways against the Westerosi. Is there something I’ve missed?

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    112. Gwidhiel: her support for Yara on the Salt Throne would mean the Iron Islands would have been independent, no?

      This is where I tend to get a little bit confused as to what the end game is supposed to be as far as Dany’s plans for Westeros are concerned. Dany said that she would support Yara’s claim to be Queen of the Ironborn in return for the use of the 100 ships. Tyrion seemed concerned that everyone will start asking for independence and Dany replied to that by saying “the others are free to ask as well”.

      Based on that conversation, it sounds like Dany is planning on ruling the 7 kingdoms, but allowing said kingdoms to govern themselves as long as they recognize Dany as the ultimate authority. Isn’t that what they currently have under Cersei though?

      I’ve been spending some time over the last few weeks really trying to understand how Dany is going to rule differently than her predecessors and I just can’t figure it out. At least, not yet.

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    113. Mr Derp: Based on that conversation, it sounds like Dany is planning on ruling the 7 kingdoms, but allowing said kingdoms to govern themselves as long as they recognize Dany as the ultimate authority.

      In that scene with Yara, Theon, and Tyrion Daenerys never actually said that they’d have independence, and she emphasized that, in addition to ceasing the Ironborn lifestyle of reaving and raping, Yara must agree to “respect the integrity of the Seven Kingdoms.”

      I don’t think she has a plan, beyond herself ruling over the Seven Kingdoms. In that conversation she emphasized that both Aerys and Balon were evil men who left the world worse than they’d found it. She recognizes that she needs to differentiate herself from her father, and so her solution is to claim that, unlike Aerys, she’s going to make the world better, rather than worse. But there are never any specifics. She knows enough to know that Aerys is a non-starter in Westeros (although ironically she can’t entirely dissociate herself from him, because it’s through him that she’s making her claim to the throne). But we’ve never heard her spell out what made him such a terrible king, and therefore we don’t know how, in her mind, she is different. I think it’s very significant that it’s not just that the people of Westeros don’t know yet that Daenerys has better intentions than Cersei. We the viewers also do not know what her plans are, her advisers don’t know what her plans are, and the evidence suggests that she herself doesn’t know what the plan is … because there isn’t one. There’s no guiding principle other than herself – an uneducated girl with a lot of firepower.

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    114. River: So Dany could be Elizabeth + another real-life monarch, that’s cool.

      Again, though, there are substantial differences. For starters, Elizabeth was extremely well-educated, and even though her childhood was chaotic and her future uncertain, she grew up in England, among the people she would rule. She knew the people and the country and its issues very, very well.

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    115. Gwidhiel: In that scene with Yara, Theon, and Tyrion Daenerys never actually said that they’d have independence, and she emphasized that, in addition to ceasing the Ironborn lifestyle of reaving and raping, Yara must agree to “respect the integrity of the Seven Kingdoms.”

      I think you’re parsing words a bit. Dany obviously didn’t say “you will have independence” in some declarative statement for all to hear. I also wasn’t implying complete independence from Dany’s rule at all. The fact that Dany is willing to support Yara’s claim to be Queen of the IB certainly implies that Dany is open minded to allow the individual kingdoms to rule themselves as long as they respect Dany’s authority and rules. If Dany wasn;t interested in letting the IB be somewhat independent then I would think the idea of having a Queen of the IB presented to her would be an insult at best and treasonous at worst. That’s about as close as one can get to having independence in Westeros. Besides, why would Tyrion mention the word independence if that’s not what they were talking about?

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    116. Gwidhiel: And I can’t think of where/when Daenerys has ever tried to reform the Dothraki. She lashed out against the Khals who would have confined her to the Dosh Khaleen (or worse). But when she lived among them as Khaleesi she was perfectly content to have her own household slaves (who she treated well, generally, unless they betrayed her, but still – they were slaves).

      When she lived as Khaleesi, she took the group of women that included Mirri Maz Duur as slaves because that was the only manner in which she could give them protection. She didn’t really have the power to reform.

      Gwidhiel: I take Missandei at her word that she is free to leave Daenerys’s service whenever she pleases, so it appears that by S7 no one directly connected to Daenerys herself is enslaved.

      Well Daenerys outright asks her if she’s got any family or anywhere to go when Missandei first comes into her services. In Dance, she also offers to send Missandei home if she wishes

      Dany stroked the girl’s hair. “Say the word, my sweet, and I will send you from this awful place. I will find a ship somehow and send you home. To Naath.”

      “I would sooner stay with you. On Naath I’d be afraid. What if the slavers came again? I feel safe when I’m with you.”

      Safe. The word made Dany’s eyes fill up with tears. “I want to keep you safe.” Missandei was only a child. With her, she felt as if she could be a child too. “No one ever kept me safe when I was little. Well, Ser Willem did, but then he died, and Viserys … I want to protect you but … it is so hard. To be strong. I don’t always know what I should do. I must know, though. I am all they have. I am the queen … the … the …”

      “… mother,” whispered Missandei.

      “Mother to dragons.” Dany shivered.

      “No. Mother to us all.” Missandei hugged her tighter. “Your Grace should sleep. Dawn will be here soon, and court.”

      – ADWD Daenerys II

      So I see no reason why we shouldn’t take Missandei at her word.

      Gwidhiel: But I’ve never seen anyone communicate anything to the Dothraki riders about changing their behavior – in fact the one thing we did see was Daenerys encouraging them to use their violent ways against the Westerosi. Is there something I’ve missed?

      We have this scene in which Daenerys stops them from stealing in Qarth

      https://youtu.be/eCFbOVUaGyk?t=25s

      The Drogo-esque rallying speech she gives them in 6×06 also notably leaves out the “raping” part. Add the fact that she told Yara no more raping, and I think it very clearly implies that the same applies to the Dothraki.

      The group of Dothraki followers (who are still alive unlike in the TV show) she has in the books have also not caused Daenerys any problems in regards to their behavior.

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    117. Gwidhiel: We the viewers also do not know what her plans are, her advisers don’t know what her plans are, and the evidence suggests that she herself doesn’t know what the plan is … because there isn’t one. There’s no guiding principle other than herself – an uneducated girl with a lot of firepower.

      I think it’s implied that her advisers do know what her plans are. Tyrion outright says that he believes in the world she wants to build. Succession seems to be the only part that’s unclear.

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    118. Mr Derp,

      Good points. But it’s difficult to reconcile the possibility you’ve suggested – which is certainly plausible – with her obstinate insistence in S7 about bending the knee. So did she change her mind between meeting Yara and meeting Jon? If she was cool with Yara considering herself Queen of the Ironborn, provided Yara recognized D’s authority as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, why did she refuse to acknowledge Jon as King in the North? Why not offer him the same deal? TBH, I suspect the answer lies not in Daernerys’s mind, or anywhere else in the actual world of the story, but in inconsistent writing.

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    119. Gwidhiel,

      Inconsistent indeed. The only thing I can think of is that Dany was supposed to get something out of the deal with Yara (100 ships, a navy to bring her to Westeros). Whereas Jon never really offered her anything. Quite the opposite. He wanted her resources to fight a war that she didn’t understand at first. Maybe now that he’s willing to bend the knee she’ll allow a King/Queen in the North? Perhaps that’s why? I have no idea, but I think you’re right. It’s very inconsistent.

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    120. Mr Derp,

      Again, good points. The hitch there, though, is that Daenerys summoned Jon to Dragonstone, at Melisandre’s suggestion. He had his own reason for going, and you’re right that he wasn’t offering her anything. But she expressed a very direct intention to see him bend the knee before she’d even met him, and before he’d asked for anything.

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    121. Gwidhiel,

      Yea, it’s probably just for cheap dramatic tension between Jon and Dany, but it’s hard to say right now. Perhaps something happens in season 8 that will make sense of all this, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Her treatment of Yara vs. Jon is certainly inconsistent. Maybe it has to do with Dany holding Jon to his ancestors’ vows whereas the IB weren’t beholden to such vows to begin with? Again, no idea, just trying to come up with an explanation in vain 🙂

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    122. Mr Derp,

      I’m willing to attribute a substantial portion of this inconsistency to the writing. But I do think that some of this is the inevitable result of Dany’s lack of a coherent plan and her habit of just making it up as she goes along, based on whatever she feels is right in that moment.

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    123. Gwidhiel,

      Dany holds the Starks responsible for overthrowing the Targaryens. Ned Stark was Robert Baratheon’s best friend and Hand. And Jon is believed to be Ned’s son. She doesn’t have such history with the Greyjoy’s, so she’s more neutral to them. That’s what I believe.

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    124. None of us here can say for certain what Daenerys means when she talks about “breaking the wheel.” Well unless someone here works for the show and knows how this will all end 🙂

      But one way to truly break the wheel is to grant the kingdoms the freedom to ask for independence from the throne. Dany’s ancestor, Aegon was a conqueror but Daenerys at least from seasons 1 through 4 is a liberator, breaker of chains and all. What could be more fitting than Aegon’s ancestor either Dany or Jon, demolishing what he built hundreds of years ago?

      Jon and Tyrion had a mini-conversation on their way to KL in the S7 finale. Jon observed that KL is overpopulated, while Tyrion noted that it’s because most of the work come from the capital. Decentralization is another way of breaking the wheel, the kingdoms aren’t really independent but each would have more influence over policies concerning their kingdom. There are several ways in which Dany or Jon or Sansa, or Tyrion could break the wheel. I wish they show this thoroughly on the show because this is what GRRM would have liked to see from Aragorn’s rule in LoTR. He wanted to see how Aragorn’s reign would have played out.

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    125. Chilli:
      Gwidhiel,

      Dany holds the Starks responsible for overthrowing the Targaryens. Ned Stark was Robert Baratheon’s best friend and Hand. And Jon is believed to be Ned’s son. She doesn’t have such history with the Greyjoy’s, so she’s more neutral to them. That’s what I believe.

      Oh good point! That does make sense, certainly for her initial attitude towards the Starks vs the Greyjoys. And on that note, in the Greyjoy’s first meeting with Daenerys, Tyrion’s remarks to Theon about the difficulties Theon faced growing up among the Starks in Winterfell, and the crimes Theon committed against the Stark family may have actually predisposed Daenerys to the Greyjoys (the enemy of my enemy…). ALSO the fact that both Yara and she were females aspiring to rule might also have made her more open to Yara’s proposed queenship over the Ironborn.

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    126. Chilli: She doesn’t have such history with the Greyjoy’s, so she’s more neutral to them.

      That, and I think a simple answer is that the conditions for Daenerys were different between the two meetings.

      Short version:
      Thousands of miles from and with no footing in Westeros being offered assistance getting ‘home’ and defeating her enemies by two non-threatening people from a rather worthless, small group of rocky islands
      – versus –
      Actually sitting on a throne in her Westerosi family castle after she’d made it known she’s back to claim her rightful seat as queen and being approached by Jon, introduced as the king of a massive part of the land area of contiguous Westeros, not offering anything nor yielding in any fashion. That was bound to become argumentative quickly.

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    127. Jay Targ: I think it’s implied that her advisers do know what her plans are.Tyrion outright says that he believes in the world she wants to build.Succession seems to be the only part that’s unclear.

      Well that’s an assumption that isn’t entirely unreasonable, but in that case it’s funny that we’ve never heard Tyrion give specifics either— not to try to convince Jon to bend the knee, nor even in his high-stakes discussion with Cersei. Just vague “better world” promises. Tyrion loves to talk and look smart, you’d think he’d be promoting a great plan left and right if there was one.

      And come to think of it, in Tyrion’s anxious conversation with Varys about Daenerys needing to listen to her Hand, you’d think they’d discuss how she’s veering from the plan, or jeopardizing the plan, if they knew what the plan was.

      I really don’t think there’s a plan. There’s no evidence of one.

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    128. Jay Targ: So I see no reason why we shouldn’t take Missandei at her word.

      Yes, I agree .

      Jay Targ: Add the fact that she told Yara no more raping, and I think it very clearly implies that the same applies to the Dothraki.

      That’s quite a leap in logic and is supported by nothing we have seen. You could be right … but there’s no evidence right now to back up your belief.

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    129. Gwidhiel: That’s quite a leap in logic and is supported by nothing we have seen. You could be right … but there’s no evidence right now to back up your belief.

      But it is supported by what we’ve seen. In S1, Dany stops the Dothraki from raping. In S3, Jorah tells Dany that the Unsullied do not rape. In S6, Dany tells Yara that the Ironborn are to stop raping. Dany also repeats Drogo’s S1 speech almost verbatim, but notably leaving out the raping part. And as of yet, there has not been one instance of any of Dany’s followers raping anyone. What more evidence would be needed?

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    130. Gwidhiel,

      Yes, it’s also possible that you are correct and that there is no plan. It would make Tyrion look unbelievably dumb.

      But it’s also possible that the show runners are purposely keeping the audience in dark because some of it may have to do with the conclusion of the story.

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    131. Jay Targ: But it is supported by what we’ve seen.In S1, Dany stops the Dothraki from raping.In S3, Jorah tells Dany that the Unsullied do not rape.In S6, Dany tells Yara that the Ironborn are to stop raping.Dany also repeats Drogo’s S1 speech almost verbatim, but notably leaving out the raping part.And as of yet, there has not been one instance of any of Dany’s followers raping anyone.What more evidence would be needed?

      Exactly, you’ve always been able to provide sufficient evidence to support your opinions. And I think it’s safe to assume that someone who was raped when she was very young would understand how horrific that must feel like. Dany had no choice but to ally herself to the Dothraki, yes they’re barbaric but she needs them to win the throne. But that does not mean she condones their raping. It wasn’t shown on the show, there was not a single scene in S7 where the Dothraki did any raping or murdering outside of that loot train attack.

      It will be interesting how the northerners deal with the Dothraki, and much more interesting to see how the Dothraki interact with the Wildlings, they’re not that different, the Wildlings were kind of savage back in S4, some were fine with cannibalism.

      One other thing Jon and Dany have in common, Jon has Wildlings and Dany has the Dothraki. Both groups are savage and tough.

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    132. “Yara agreed to Daenerys’ demand that the Ironborn under her leadership would cease raiding, etc., as a condition for her support”

      ^ Yes. I might’ve misworded or even briefly misremembered the scene; I was looking at it very late. xD
      Anyway, ditto what everybody else said. I don’t see why we’d be expected to think that Dany would accept one group continuing to be rapists and not another. All the explanations offered for her seeming inconsistency in dealing with Yara and Jon were very good.
      And I think two rulers can govern in completely different styles, and with very different results, within the same setup.
      Maybe my distaste for Randyll Tarly had a slight effect on my having had minimal issue with Dany’s unwillingness to take prisoners…though I can see why her advisors would wish her to.

      Honestly, the “better world” of which Dany, Tyrion, Varys, etc., speak has been sufficient for me to envision it and generally imagine the probable details, based upon her storyline thus far. They seem to be picturing a relative utopia, peaceful and widley prosperous. But I don’t necessarily need a specific point-by-point outline of the plan to achieve that to be gone over onscreen (too much more than I needed to see her individually deal with aaallll those people who’d been lined up to have an audience with her…hah.)

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    133. Jay Targ: But it’s also possible that the show runners are purposely keeping the audience in dark because some of it may have to do with the conclusion of the story.

      That’s hard to believe from a narrative perspective.

      Whatever Dany has planned to “break the wheel” doesn’t need to be some major twist or particularly predictive of the ending. It should simply be Dany’s plan to break the wheel.

      If it eventually bears fruit, either by her hand or by someone else’s then, so be it. That would make the conclusion narratively satisfying.

      Or alternatively it could be used to subvert expectations. Have her propose a viable case for reform, or an extreme one, and then subvert it in the conclusion.

      Unless her plan is particularly radical, such as lopping the heads off all the rulers of the Great Houses and dissolving their kingdoms, then there’s no particular need for secrecy. Certainly not from Tyrion, who would welcome any practical vision and help her implement it.

      This is the point in the story where they should be setting up her vision for the future of Westeros, only to have it crumble due to circumstances out of her hand or to have it fulfilled despite terrible adversity.

      Instead, they’ve chosen to present her closest adviser challenging her on her plans and for her to not only come up short, but to actually react troublingly to the question.

      At this point the viewer shouldn’t have to still be taking it on faith that she actually has a plan for achieving what she claims to wish to achieve. Nor should they be having to overlook her contradictory behaviour in order to justify that faith.

      The viewer should be worried by her lack of specifics and her refusal to discuss the matter.

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    134. Jay Targ,

      I’m not surprised to see that we’ve got different interpretations of what the show has told us about Daenerys so far and what that portends for her in S8. I wish you well in the wars to come! 🙂

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    135. The parallels between Jon and Dany cannot be overlooked. There’s an insane amount of similarities in their journeys up to this point in the story. I think we might be able to piece together what could happen with both of them in season 8 if we take a deep dive into that. Perhaps something has happened to Dany that hasn’t happened to Jon yet and vice versa. Here are the similarities between the two of them that I could think of. Feel free to post others that I have not thought of.

      *Both were orphans who’s parents died in Robert’s Rebellion
      *Both parents died in childbirth
      *Both lived in the shadow of their brother (Viserys and Robb)
      *Both have a connection to magical animals (dragon and wolf)
      *Dany lived with the “savages” in Essos (Dothraki) while Jon lived with the “savages” of Westeros (Wildlings). They more or less both ended up leading these groups.
      *Both had a romantic relationship with someone from those cultures and both of them died in their arms (Drogo and Ygritte)
      *Both mentored by a Mormont (Jorah and Jeor)
      *Dany freed the slaves while Jon allowed the WIldlings to pass through the Wall
      *Both have been considered TPTWP by red priestesses
      *Both have said “isn’t their survival more important than your pride?”
      *Ser Alliser to Jon “You have a good heart”
      *Jorah to Dany “You have a gentle heart”
      *Jon to Ramsey “will your men want to fight for you when they hear you wouldn’t fight for them?”
      *Dany to Tyrion “what kind of a queen am I if I’m not willing to risk my life to fight for them?”
      *The most obvious of them all, Jon is Ice and Dany is Fire. THough, Jon is both Ice and Fire I suppose.

      Any other parallels I’m missing?

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    136. Mr Derp: *Both have a connection to magical animals (dragon and wolf)

      The direwolves aren’t technically “magical,” just a rare species. I can accept the point though since the connection the Starks have with them is magical (warging). 😀

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    137. Mr Derp,

      Very interesting. I love the shared Mormont connection! I think we can add:

      *When the story opens, neither Jon nor Daenerys appear to be destined for much greatness, due to their positions as bastard and younger sister, respectively.

      *When the story opens, both Daenerys and Jon are being relegated to the margins of the worlds their respective families occupy – Daenerys being essentially sold to Khal Drogo and expected to live out her life with the Dothraki, and Jon volunteering to take the black and spend his life on the Wall.

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    138. Gwidhiel,

      Yep, and they both currently have some issues with having children. Dany doesn’t believe that she can physically have any while Jon doesn’t want a child that would be relegated as a bastard like he was.

      I assume Jon and Dany will marry once they find out Dany is pregnant (allegedly). Jon won’t want to father a bastard, so my assumption is that they will marry and it will be Jon’s idea. I would also assume this will happen under tragic circumstances/consequences not unlike Rhaegar and Lyanna.

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    139. Oh another that occurs to me is that both Dany and Jon have used deception to their tactical advantage at times: there are at least two times that Daenerys allowed foes (the Unsullied’s masters and the Khal Moro’s horde) to believe that she didn’t understand their language, listening to gather intel as they heedlessly showed their true plans/selves and then revealing herself, and their underestimation of her. Obviously Jon went undercover to infiltrate the Wildlings and learn what they were up to.

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    140. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: Instead, they’ve chosen to present her closest adviser challenging her on her plans and for her to not only come up short, but to actually react troublingly to the question.

      At this point the viewer shouldn’t have to still be taking it on faith that she actually has a plan for achieving what she claims to wish to achieve. Nor should they be having to overlook her contradictory behaviour in order to justify that faith.

      The viewer should be worried by her lack of specifics and her refusal to discuss the matter.

      The lack of specifics is specifically about “how to ensure her vision continues once she dies”. That’s what Tyrion questions; succession.

      Tyrion seems to completely buy into the whole “break the wheel” stuff and whatever that entails. It’s to the point where he wants it to continue for generations. It must be a hell of a plan lol.

      We’re not privy to the details, but surely, to avoid the character assassination of two characters, we’re supposed to believe there’s some plan post-conquest. Now whether Dany comes up short or not is a different discussion.

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    141. Mr Derp: I assume Jon and Dany will marry once they find out Dany is pregnant (allegedly).

      Not an adherent of the proposed pregnancy plot development myself – as I’ve said elsewhere, if you believe it’s been so strongly foreshadowed that it’s a given for S8, then logic demands that you also believe that Daenerys is going to descend into madness, since that’s been even more strongly and consistently foreshadowed. I’m wary of what the show sets us up to expect at the end of each season. But that’s just me.

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    142. Mr Derp:
      Gwidhiel,

      So let me get this straight.

      You believe that the show has not foreshadowed that Dany will get pregnant?

      Oh no, I think they have. But they’ve also foreshadowed her following in her father’s footsteps on a dark descent into madness. So is it both, is it neither? The show’s stock-in-trade is to set the audience up to expect one thing, and then smash those expectations. They have an established track record of misdirection, and they’re quite good at recognizing plot developments that appeal to people’s established likes and dislikes e.g. dangling the possibility of Sansa betraying Jon/her family/the North, and then feigning surprise that anyone thought that was possible. D&D are telling a story; they’re also playing games with the audience’s expectations.

      Re the pregnancy, I’m not saying that I’m sure it’s not going to happen, since I don’t know what will happen. I’m pointing out the logical inconsistency of cherry-picking some details that the show has provided while conveniently ignoring others that are just as present. (Full disclosure: I personally will find it very distasteful and soapy if the show uses pregnancy as a mechanism for a female character to go crazy. That goes for Cersei, too. So, because I’m quite convinced that Daenerys’s story has already taken a dark turn and will go darker in S8, I personally hope that there isn’t a pregnancy involved in her S8 story. Because although I think her ultimate fate will be unhappy, I dislike the thought of it involving stereotypes of female “weakness.”)

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    143. Gwidhiel: I’m pointing out the logical inconsistency of cherry-picking some details that the show has provided while conveniently ignoring others that are just as present.

      What details have I specifically cherry picked or ignored?

      The show is certainly trying to make it look like Dany will go mad, which, honestly, I’m not convinced of. At least not yet. After all she’s been through and learned, she’s just going to say fuck it and blow KL to smithereens in the end? Maybe she will I don’t know, but it would be a strange end to her character’s arc. I think, in the end, she will fulfill a greater purpose that may require self sacrifice. “Take a knife in the heart for the people” as she discussed with Jon last season.

      As you yourself said, sometimes D&D like to misdirect. Right now I believe the teasing of her going mad is misdirection whereas the pregnancy is not. Just my opinion for now.

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    144. Gwidhiel: Oh no, I think they have. But they’ve also foreshadowed her following in her father’s footsteps on a dark descent into madness. So is it both, is it neither?

      There is no reason why it needs be all or none. They can hint all they want and then have or not have something happen.

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    145. Mr Derp: As you yourself said, sometimes D&D like to misdirect. Right now I believe the teasing of her going mad is misdirection whereas the pregnancy is not. Just my opinion for now.

      Sure – that makes sense. When it comes to S8, opinions are all any of us have got. I can certainly appreciate the wish to focus on positive possibilities for Daenerys and not dwell on the negatives. We won’t know until the final season airs, so why think about something unpleasant that might not come to pass? That’s why I prefer to discount the likelihood that Daenerys will end up pregnant with Jon’s child. If it comes to pass, I’ll be groaning and grimacing – but I’ll still be watching. 😉

      Anyway, I do like your list of the parallels between Daenerys and Jon.

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    146. Gwidhiel,

      The show is CLEARLY trying to tell us something about Jon, Dany, and children. You’d have to go pretty far out of your way to miss it.

      Jon to Sam in season 1:
      “What if I got her pregnant and she had a child? Another bastard named Snow. It’s not a good life for a child.”

      Jorah to Jon in season 7 episode 6 when Jon tries to give Longclaw back to Jorah:
      “May it serve you well and your children after you.”

      What about the lengthy conversation that Dany had with Tyion about succession in the same exact episode? They just threw that in there for no reason?

      Dany told Jon in season 7 episode 7:
      “The dragons are my children. They are the only children I will ever have.”

      She says this all the time. To me, this should be seen as blatant ironic foreshadowing that Dany THINKS she cannot have children, but the fact that she mentions this so many times throughout the past 7 seasons should make it obvious that she’s wrong and that she will in fact have children. In fact, it would be stranger if she DIDN’t have a child at this point.

      Finally…“Only death can pay for life” is a famous phrase from this show. Perhaps the death of Viserion has now opened the door for Dany to get pregnant?

      Perhaps IF Dany gets pregnant, the fact that she has a child to look after will be the one thing that stops her from going full on mad Queen? I don’t know, but it’s fun to try and piece the puzzle together.

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    147. Mr Derp,

      Sure, maybe.

      I’ve explained elsewhere why I’m skeptical and uneasy about the surprise pregnancy plotlines – both Cersei and Daenerys are going to have supposedly impossible pregnancies, with one or both possibly miscarrying and going crazy as a result? Ugh. I just don’t see why the show would go in such a soapy direction. Show!Cersei has deviated dramatically from the book character, and I think that most viewers – myself included – believe that she’s not going to bear another living child. So the biggest source of my resistance to the idea of Daenerys getting pregnant is why have a surprise pregnancy plotline for Cersei, too, when that is almost certainly not drawing from anything that will happen in the books? The Cersei pregnancy plotline turns what might have been a weird, wonderful surprise for Daenerys into just a cheap plot device.

      ETA: Reasonable, intelligent people can reach different conclusions when assessing the likelihood of this or that. I don’t think your belief about Daenerys getting pregnant is unreasonable; I simply don’t share it.

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    148. Gwidhiel,

      The show has gone out of it’s way to show that the only thing holding Cersei back from complete madness was her love for her children. She now doesn’t have any. IF she is pregnant and miscarries then to me it would make complete sense for that to be Cersei’s last straw being going off the deep end. It would also make Cersei realize that the prophecy was true all along that she was told as a little girl. I’m sure a part of her was hoping that the prophesy was a bunch of bull, but losing that unborn child would probably crush the last of those hopes. Make of that what you will, but it makes sense to me.

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    149. Gwidhiel: So the biggest source of my resistance to the idea of Daenerys getting pregnant is why have a surprise pregnancy plotline for Cersei, too, when that is almost certainly not drawing from anything that will happen in the books?

      I suppose that rationale can be applied to the mad queen theories as well. Will the story really have or need two mad queens, and is that necessary? None of us know if some of the things Daenerys has done on the show are suppose to be an indicator of her path or just the way D&D are showing that she’s inexperienced and a bit impulsive in showing her power, or even simpler, just scenes they thought were cool and fit the story. We do know already that in the book she doesn’t publicly execute a show!Mossador’s equivalent in front of throngs of former slaves. I’ll wager a guess that she doesn’t do the same thing to win over the Dothraki either or even roast Randall and Dickon the way she did on the show.

      If Daenerys does in fact become pregnant I find it difficult to jump to the “she’ll die in childbirth” scenario though. THAT is too cliche and mundane for her ending I would say. Almost every incident or mention of childbirth that pertains to the main characters in the story has had either the mother or child die, including once already for Daenerys. I guess that’s why so many just assume that’s what would happen. I also think there’s an overabundance of people that just truly want shitty stuff to happen…

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    150. Cersei will go mad because of her failed pregnancy while Dany will steer away from going mad because of the baby she’ll have. That’s going to be the juxtaposition between the two Queens in season 8. That’s kind of the way I see it right now, but my opinion can always change. I could be completely wrong in my assumptions, but that’s where I think we’re headed.

      Dany having a child with Jon and marrying the two together could potentially resolve some of the political animosity that will surely take place once Dany and Jon get to Winterfell in season 8.

      I don’t know if Dany will die in childbirth or not. I agree that would be a rather anti-climactic end for her, but I also see it as a realistic possibility since this show likes to repeat history. Right now, I don’t think she’ll die in childbirth, but I do think she’ll die in some sacrificial way by the end that will be for the greater good.

      There are no slaves in Westeros, but the AOTD are kind of like slaves. Perhaps she does one more thing in the end to free the “slaves” which will also cause her death, making her the savior of Westeros.

      In other words, I have no freaking idea 🙂

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    151. Jay Targ: We’re not privy to the details, but surely, to avoid the character assassination of two characters, we’re supposed to believe there’s some plan post-conquest.

      Why? Why can’t Dany’s failure to plan for the future and Tyrion’s baseless faith just be valid criticisms?

      As I explained, there’s no narrative reason for them not to have revealed the plan, if there was one.

      If anything, they’re provoking character assassination by constantly painting Dany as this great reformer and having Tyrion fawning over the notion of her “building a better world” without providing any tangible basis for this assumption.

      Meanwhile, what they actually show us, rather than tell us, is her exhibiting and being susceptible to all the same shortcomings as her rivals/predecessors.

      If you’re interested in foreboding parallels…

      Talisa: “Are you going to kill Joffrey?”
      Robb: “If the gods give me strength”
      Talisa: “And then what?”
      Robb: “I don’t know. We’ll go back to Winterfell. I have no desire to sit on the Iron Throne”
      Talisa: “So who will?”
      Robb: “I don’t know”
      Talisa: “You’re fighting to overthrow a king, and yet you have no plan for what comes after?”
      Robb: “First we have to win the war”

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    152. Mr Derp: Dany having a child with Jon and marrying the two together could potentially resolve some of the political animosity that will surely take place once Dany and Jon get to Winterfell in season 8.

      I have to disagree on this point. The likely grounds for animosity will be:

      1. Jon surrendering The North to the hated Targaryens
      2. Jon seeming to have repeated Robb’s mistake of putting romance ahead of his oaths and duties to The North
      3. The revelation that Jon is not Ned Stark’s son after all and is in fact a Targaryen; and the product of the relationship that prompted Robert’s Rebellion, which led The North to despise the Targaryens in the first place.

      I can’t see how Jon having a baby with and marrying Daenerys would resolve any of those issues. On the contrary, I can only see matters being inflamed by sucha turn of events.

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    153. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: I can’t see how Jon having a baby with and marrying Daenerys would resolve any of those issues. On the contrary, I can only see matters being inflamed by sucha turn of events.

      This is how I see it, too (surprise!).

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    154. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I think either way they’re all fucked 🙂

      You could be right. It’ll probably make things worse, but I wonder if this is where Sansa and Arya and perhaps Bran will step in and convince the North that Jon is still a Stark and that a Targaryen Stark partnership could be affective against the AOTD.

      However, If the North isn’t convinced to join together then I think what’ll happen is the North will have to fight the AOTD divided, meaning they’ll lose, and the North falls to the AOTD. The survivors then flee to KL with the AOTD close behind.

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    155. Mr Derp:
      The parallels between Jon and Dany cannot be overlooked.There’s an insane amount of similarities in their journeys up to this point in the story.I think we might be able to piece together what could happen with both of them in season 8 if we take a deep dive into that.Perhaps something has happened to Dany that hasn’t happened to Jon yet and vice versa.Here are the similarities between the two of them that I could think of.Feel free to post others that I have not thought of.

      *Both were orphans who’s parents died in Robert’s Rebellion
      *Both parents died in childbirth
      *Both lived in the shadow of their brother (Viserys and Robb)
      *Both have a connection to magical animals (dragon and wolf)
      *Dany lived with the “savages” in Essos (Dothraki) while Jon lived with the “savages” of Westeros (Wildlings).They more or less both ended up leading these groups.
      *Both had a romantic relationship with someone from those cultures and both of them died in their arms (Drogo and Ygritte)
      *Both mentored by a Mormont (Jorah and Jeor)
      *Dany freed the slaves while Jon allowed the WIldlings to pass through the Wall
      *Both have been considered TPTWP by red priestesses
      *Both have said “isn’t their survival more important than your pride?”
      *Ser Alliser to Jon “You have a good heart”
      *Jorah to Dany “You have a gentle heart”
      *Jon to Ramsey “will your men want to fight for you when they hear you wouldn’t fight for them?”
      *Dany to Tyrion “what kind of a queen am I if I’m not willing to risk my life to fight for them?”
      *The most obvious of them all, Jon is Ice and Dany is Fire.THough, Jon is both Ice and Fire I suppose.

      Any other parallels I’m missing?

      This is everything! well done 🙂 They’re the two leads of the story so this all makes sense. We have Mel to thank for their meet-up, in her own words, she brought “ice and fire together.”

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    156. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      “The viewer should be worried by her lack of specifics and her refusal to discuss the matter.”

      Should they really? For starters as I’ve mentioned a few posts back, nobody in Westeros has shown any interest in “breaking the wheel,” or present any change aside from Daenerys. Sure Dany hasn’t shared the specifics of what that means for the seven kingdoms but its safe to assume its for the good of the people. I’ve said this before and allow me to reiterate that if we go by Dany’s track record on the show. She has always been good to/for the people, to the marginalized, she cares and she has shown time and time again that all she wants for them is to lead a better life.

      All the slaves in Essos are free. Dany changed their way of life and I’d say that’s pretty significant. If she ends up as the queen of the seven kingdoms, I’d imagine she’d do something similar to removing shackles from slaves. Like removing the “shackles” from the kingdoms who’d rather be independent or some form of decentralization of power.

      If we look back to the previous iron throne occupants, Aerys II, Robert, Joffrey, Tommen, now Cersei, I don’t recall any of them even giving a crap about how they could make life better for the inhabitants of Westeros. Margaery was the exception but she didn’t have anything specific planned out.

      Tyrion and Varys believe in Dany’s vision as vague as it may seem to some, because they’ve seen firsthand what she’s capable of. The purpose of the audience chamber in the great pyramid is to better understand the needs of her people. Dany both on the show and the books, has spent long hours listening to their complaints. She doesn’t need to but Dany insisted on carrying on that duty.

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    157. Rather impressive when you list out all the Dany/Jon parallels. Good stuff.

      I expect Dany to be pregnant, but not to go mad (unless, as I’ve said, it were caused by something outside her control.)

      Love your thoughts once again, River. To me an expectation to have heard Dany’s plans verbally detailed feels kind of unrealistic. Nobody with whom I watch and discuss the show irl or anywhere else seems to have been hung up on or confused by this matter. Everything we’ve seen of her rulership style and code of ethics so far basically answers the question for me. I assume she’d take things one step at a time and make decisions based on fairness, justice, and advice regarding differences between the two continents. She actually gives a dang about the welfare of all the people, and seems more determined to wipe out injustices and abuses than anyone else who’s occupied the throne or been a contender in recent memory.

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    158. River: Should they really?

      Yes, they should. Because the producers wrote a scene and inserted it into the show, in which she was challenged on her plans and was found wanting. One which drew parallels with previous contenders for the throne, including one whose campaign died under a lack of direction.

      Your unwillingness to consider what’s actually being presented in front of you and why, preferring instead a headcanon where characters are elaborating on their crucial plans off-screen, is telling.

      Saying “look at her track record” or “she freed the slaves” doesn’t explain what we saw in Season 7 either. If anything, her track record gives greater cause for concern since, as I mentioned previously, one of her biggest mistakes in Essos was the failure to plan for how things would function once she’d abolished slavery and conquered all these cities.

      Yet in Season 7 we are presented with the impression that she has failed to learn from her experiences in Slaver’s Bay.

      Of course that should be of concern to the viewer.

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    159. Shelle: To me an expectation to have heard Dany’s plans verbally detailed feels kind of unrealistic.

      Despite the fact that one of her closest advisers asked about her plans on-screen and she refused point blank and instead accused him of conspiring against her?

      You think it’s unrealistic to expect a credible response to a question she was directly asked on the show by one of her closest advisers?

      Nobody with whom I watch and discuss the show irl or anywhere else seems to have been hung up on or confused by this matter.

      Echo chambers are bad. I see it discussed all the time. To paraphrase Tywin Lannister, “We are discussing it at this very moment”.

      Everything we’ve seen of her rulership style and code of ethics so far basically answers the question for me. I assume she’d take things one step at a time and make decisions based on fairness, justice, and advice regarding differences between the two continents.

      Did you watch seasons 4, 5 and 6? Where Meereen and the other former slave cities fell into armed revolt and destitution due to her one step at a time approach?

      As for making decisions based on advice… again, Tyrion directly asks her about her plans so as to advise her. She indignantly rejects his efforts to assist her in formulating a plan for the future.

      I mean…

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    160. Shelle:
      Rather impressive when you list out all the Dany/Jon parallels. Good stuff.

      I expect Dany to be pregnant, but not to go mad (unless, as I’ve said, it were caused by something outside her control.)

      Love your thoughts once again, River. To me an expectation to have heard Dany’s plans verbally detailed feels kind of unrealistic. Nobody with whom I watch and discuss the show irl or anywhere else seems to have been hung up on or confused by this matter. Everything we’ve seen of her rulership style and code of ethics so far basically answers the question for me. I assume she’d take things one step at a time and make decisions based on fairness, justice, and advice regarding differences between the two continents. She actually gives a dang about the welfare of all the people, and seems more determined to wipe out injustices and abuses than anyone else who’s occupied the throne or been a contender in recent memory.

      Thanks Shelle, I enjoy reading your opinions as well. Wholeheartedly agree with what you pointed out.

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    161. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      You said it yourself the “producers” inserted that scene, yes they did but more accurately the showrunners/producers inserted that scene. The scene in question with her not giving anything away to Tyrion didn’t really bother me. My interpretation is that Tyrion is already thinking way ahead of the future, thinking about life after her death or taking precautionary measures if she dies in battle. That annoyed Dany, I don’t think she thinks about that at all, not yet at least. She’s in the moment and all she wants to talk about is how she could take back the throne which at that time she was failing to do, and hugely because of Tyrion’s miscalculations.

      Dany answered back didn’t she? Because in that scene she was frustrated at Tyrion. He was questioning her on her own death and that might have been unpleasant for her because who likes thinking about their mortality? Who likes being confronted like that, he basically was telling her “you might die without having your ultimate goal realized.” That was a rude awakening for Dany and Tyrion was right to ask her but it wasn’t the right time. The right time which I agree with Dany, is after she wears the crown.

      I doubt Robert Baratheon or Stannis had an extensive plan to revitalize Westeros back when they were busy planning for war. I don’t understand why you and Gwidhiel are so hard on Dany and insistent on her plans while you both seem to be forgetting that she has not won the war, not yet. She’s in the thick of it, her immediate concern is the great war. They have all the time in the world to discuss “succession,” “breaking the wheel,” after they’ve won the war. I expect them to do that and only that because what else is there to accomplish after they’ve defeated the WW and Cersei?

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    162. River: The right time which I agree with Dany, is after she wears the crown.

      The show has already gone to great lengths to establish that that is a mistake, as I have repeatedly tried to explain.

      Daenerys herself made that mistake in Meereen. That was a major part of her story in Essos and one which her devotees insist she has learnt from, despite evidence to the contrary.

      I gave you the example of Robb. You’ve kindly provided another – Robert Baratheon – described by Tywin Lannister as “a man who thinks that winning and ruling are the same thing” when counselling Tommen on what makes a poor ruler.

      And Robb, Robert and Stannis only intended on ruling or choosing the right person to rule the Iron Throne. None of them claimed to want to revolutionise Westerosi politics which, you’d think, would take a lot more planning and a clear vision.

      Gwidhiel and I are analysing Daenerys’ character and actions in the context of what has transpired on the show and what the producers may be intending to convey in her scenes. Something you are clearly unwilling to do.

      Your explanations for her behaviour in that scene are nothing but sympathetic headcanon – she was frustrated, it wasn’t nice being confronted with her own mortality, maybe she’s explained her plan off-screen, etc – none of which is relevant to analysing the intent behind the scene.

      Dany’s conquest of Westeros has been framed around the notion that she will “break the wheel” and be a better ruler than those that went before. So when the producers write a scene where she is confronted on her plans for the future of Westeros and she reacts poorly, then you can’t simply dismiss it offhand. Otherwise what was the point of including the scene at all?

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    163. I was just saying this is the first time I’ve seen/heard people claiming so much confusion as to her goals; I’m definitely not in any Dany-worshiping echo chamber. I think I like her the most in my immediate group, but never meant to sound as if she’s flawless and can do no wrong, or that her plans have always gone without a hitch (to say the least.) I do like the idea of a ruler who takes the time to listen to people’s problems and complaints, and does her best to rectify them. All the same, I have agreed that she got a little too defensive when questioned about succession and carrying her new world on into the future. However, as River (thank you too!) explained, I can understand why she acted that way. She thought he was putting the cart before the horse. I thought they both had important points and wished they’d think short- and long-term simultaneously, even though winning the throne at all was the most crucial thing to focus on at the time.
      Dany does need to be able to learn from mistakes and to communicate to her intended subjects that she doesn’t aim to be just another status-quo monarch. I just don’t think she’s a horrible queen with absolutely no clue what she’s doing.

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