Gwendoline Christie reflects on working with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; Sophie Turner reveals final season is “bloodier than ever”

Brienne and Jaime last saw each other in the season seven finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf."

Brienne of Tarth has survived sword fights, a bear attack, and a brutal duel with the Hound. Her character has grown stronger not only physically, but emotionally throughout it all. In an interview posted to the BAFTA Guru Youtube channel, Gwendoline Christine reminisces about her time working on Game of Thrones, and how costar Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has been just as much of a positive influence in her life as Jaime and Brienne have been for each other.

Christie remembers hearing about her name being discussed on Game of Thrones fan forums back in 2011. She then googled the character of Brienne because she couldn’t wait to learn more about her, and says, “That really blew my mind. The idea that there might be this portrayal of a woman in mainstream entertainment who was entirely unconventional;” not only physically, but also in her “extreme sensitivity and vulnerability.”

What Christie loved about Brienne’s arc “wasn’t just about being mocked for being outside of society, but about overcoming that obstacle and changing attitudes, and that made me want to play the part so badly.” She confesses she read the first three books of A Song of Ice and Fire and trained hard physically before she auditioned to ensure she’d have the best chance at the role.

Brienne Jaime Season 6 No One

A key component of Brienne’s journey is her relationship with Jaime, and Christie admits, “The storyline with Jaime Lannister has been incredible, and the scenes I’ve loved best have been my scenes with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau because he’s taught me so much about acting.” She jokes, “I know you’re gonna love me saying that, but he has…mainly how not to do it.” Kidding aside, Christie is grateful to have worked with him. “It’s been amazing to have that sort of play going on, but also to work with an actor who’s so committed, and so generous and so caring towards you and wants to make sure that you are safe.”

Despite the physical and emotional stress of being on such a demanding series, Christie has no regrets. “It’s very difficult for me to talk about the most challenging aspects of being on the show because I am hugely lucky to have done such a thing, and I truly am grateful and it has changed my life. You know that kind of overrides everything else because you’re aware of how privileged you are to be in that position.”

Watch the full interview below:


Sansa The Dragon and the Wolf

In other news, Just Jared brings us an interview excerpt from Sophie Turner’s cover story in the latest issue of 1883 magazine. Turner discusses the Game of Thrones fandom, and how it can be a bit…obsessive when it comes to the show. She doesn’t mind it, however. “It doesn’t get frustrating; I mean it’s entertaining. It does happen. I remember when I dyed my hair blonde, and everyone thought Sansa was a Targaryen.”

Turner recently got a tattoo of the House Stark direwolf sigil and the words “The pack survives,” which has caused people to speculate if she is spoiling the fate of the remaining Starks. “Everyone reads very much into what we do in our personal lives. Obviously, you know the tattoo is related to the show. It’s just a quote from last season,” she explains. “I think the die-hard fans know that but we like the speculation…the more off the mark, the better for our season. So you know, I’ll throw them off with anything. I’m going to get a tattoo of completely wrong hints on my forehead.”

Speaking of spoilers, Turner refuses to reveal details about Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season. “What can you know…this season is bloodier than ever. It’s full of betrayal, full of war, full of danger. That’s all I can say without giving too much away.” Hopefully it’s not all doom and gloom, but I suppose we’ll have to bide our time until the 2019 premiere to find out!

300 responses

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    1. Does anyone else feel like there is some innuendo going on when Gwen talks about the bath scene, or is it just me? 😂

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    2. KG:
      I hope there is some kind of resolution with Jaime/Brienne; no hanging questions to bother us forever.

      Ha! I feel the opposite. After watching the Leftovers I have a new found appreciation for ambiguity in my storytelling.

      I like how Sophie Turner just admitted she enjoys trolling peoole who read too much into things.

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    3. Well, Sophie says the last season is full of betrayal… interestiiiiing. I could potentially see this with any backdoor politics that could have gone on between Cersei and Tyrion, but then she also says, “So you know, I’ll throw them off with anything.” Hahaha, dammit Sophie!

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    4. A few things of note.

      First of all Brienne and Jaime’s relationship is one of my absolute favorites not just in this series but also in fiction in general, so I really hope they get some meaningful scenes with some sort of resolution in Season 8.

      I don’t need or want anything romantic between them though. To me, a lot of people have always sort of missed the forest for the trees with them. Yes there has been sexual tension, yes Gwendoline Christie plays it like Brienne has some degree of romantic affection for Jaime, yes they had that scene in Season 4 where Brienne looks like she’s been “caught” when Cersei accuses her of “loving” Jaime, but honestly, the most remarkable and beautiful thing about their relationship is the respect.

      Brienne starts off loathing Jaime. Jaime in the novels is, like basically all men of that setting, fairly misogynistic. He repeatedly refers to her as a “wench”, and is always noting how ugly she is. The fact that he grows to value and respect her so much, and to even consider her a more honorable and worthy “knight” than he is, is what I love most.

      So I don’t need or want romance. Just let their beautiful friendship come to a close in a nice way.

      Second, with respect to what Sophie said, her comments about “a lot of betrayal” were a little unexpected to me, even though I guess it was to be expected that the final season would not be a straightforward Team A vs Team B.

      There are only 6 episodes left, and much of that time (most ?) will be devoted to the WW, and let’s be real, there probably won’t be much betrayal or back-stabbing in that storyline.

      I’m wondering if we will see a Stark family betrayal after all (though I really hope not, and have zero faith that it would be well handled given the writing for the Jon v Sansa conflict in S6 and the Arya v Sansa conflict in Season 7). And with so few episodes, I just don’t see how it could be done in a satisfying way (to me).

      Finally, I think we all knew the final season would be very bloody, so no surprise there, I just hope it won’t be too over-the-top violent just for the sake of it. I don’t want them to feel like they “have” to kill tons and tons and tons of characters just for the season to have impact.

      I want what deaths there are to be meaningful, to serve the story and the character arcs, and also, to be able to breathe. When a major character dies, I want to be able to process it, to feel the weight of it. I want to be able to mourn the character, and I want to see the characters mourning.

      The way death has been handled in recent years isn’t encouraging in my opinion. The Seasons 4, 5, and 6 finales strike me as having been episodes filled to the brim with major deaths, with little to no time for us to fully feel the emotional weight of what was happening (Tywin, Stannis, Myrcella, Margaery, etc…).

      Big deaths were dropped on us and we had all of two seconds to process before moving on to the next plot point. And let’s not even speak of Rickon who I don’t believe has even been mentioned once since the episode in which he died. They even had Arya visiting Ned in the crypts without showing us her reaction to Rickon being there as well (Jon had him buried next to Ned in Episode 6.09).

      I need this final season, as jam-packed as it’s going to be, to take a little more time with its big emotional moments.

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    5. Dark Sister,

      There’s no way Tyrion would ever side with Cersei, especially in an endgame scenario that is presumably at least somewhat akin to GRRM’s outline for the story. Especially since Cersei already betrayed them.

      I suspect this will be the Varys story that was heavily foreshadowed last season.

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    6. Nick20,

      Totally agree! Some of the deaths were quickly forgotten as they were steamrolled by the fast pace and time jumps of the last two seasons. I thought for sure Sansa and Arya were briefly show respect and sadness for their little brother…nope. Move on to the next story thread…cut to Tyrion drinking a glass of wine, wondering where his wit and wisdom went in Season 7.

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    7. Sean C.:
      Dark Sister,

      I suspect this will be the Varys story that was heavily foreshadowed last season.

      I can certainly see Varys getting off the Dragonqueen juggernaut, but I have trouble figuring which other side he’d betray her to, unless there’s a big Jon/Dany split. He’s not going back to Team Cersei; Cersei would have him killed for his role in freeing Tyrion and facilitating Tywin’s murder. Plus, it’s reasonable to assume that King’s Landing isn’t a big enough town for both Varys and Qyburn. And there’s no Young Griff alternative. I suppose the Ironborn are the wild card, since, as was pointed out on another recent thread, Dany hasn’t really come through on anything she promised yet, by way of supporting Yara’s claim.

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    8. Firannion: unless there’s a big Jon/Dany split

      I think this will be the biggest piece of political drama in S8. And if so pretty sure Varys would go over to Jon, especially once his Targaryen heritage is revealed.

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    9. Gwidhiel: I think this will be the biggest piece of political drama in S8. And if so pretty sure Varys would go over to Jon, especially once his Targaryen heritage is revealed.

      I disagree with the premise but just going along.. Would Jon have Varys? I don’t see why he would.

      And besides, while Jon is probably more morally sound than Daenerys, he’s also arguably more rash/impulsive. And it doesn’t seem as if he’s as willing to seek out advise as Daenerys is, which would essentially leave Varys out of a position in Jon’s “council”.

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    10. Nick20,

      “So I don’t need or want romance. Just let their beautiful friendship come to a close in a nice way.”

      _____________
      Ann Landers once defined the best romantic love as “friendship caught fire.” Wouldn’t a little romance be a nice way for the beautiful friendship of Jaime & Brienne to come to a close?

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    11. Jay Targ: Would Jon have Varys? I don’t see why he would.

      Excellent question. On this one I don’t have an intuition, and I’m very curious! Varys has always been one of my favorite characters – in the books and in the show – but I must admit that I didn’t see his purpose in S7, he was just hanging out on the sidelines. He’d created Dany’s alliance with Dorne and Olenna Tyrell, but those are finished. Melisandre was pretty sure he had a part yet to play, so it’ll be interesting to see what it is. Assuming she knew what she was talking about.

      Or the show might just leave that thread dangling, or tie it up in an off-handed way, which would be disappointing to me.

      Jay Targ: And besides, while Jon is probably more morally sound than Daenerys, he’s also arguably more rash/impulsive. And it doesn’t seem as if he’s as willing to seek out advise as Daenerys is, which would essentially leave Varys out of a position in Jon’s “council”.

      I think both Jon and Daenerys are terribly rash and impulsive, but I do agree with you that so far she’s been more willing to be counseled than he has. I don’t know if/why Jon would trust him, and feel pretty sure that Sansa and Arya would be suspicious of his intentions.

      I’m very curious about Varys’s final fate, because I’ve always found him to be an intriguing mystery. The only thing that seems clear to me is that he’s got some serious doubts about Daenerys – and she doesn’t really trust him, either.

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    12. Jay Targ,

      Hm, this just occurred to me about Varys: he’s one of the few remaining characters who can give insight into what was going on 20 years earlier, when Rhaegar disappeared for a while and Robert’s Rebellion began.

      Perhaps that’s irrelevant – the show might decide to treat Bran’s testimony and Sam’s book as sufficient evidence of Jon’s (legitimate) Targaryen heritage. And although he was in the thick of things in King’s Landing, Varys served Aerys and wasn’t one of Rhaegar’s confidantes, so his insight into what Rhaegar was up to might be very limited.

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    13. Nick20,

      Big deaths were dropped on us and we had all of two seconds to process before moving on to the next plot point. And let’s not even speak of Rickon who I don’t believe has even been mentioned once since the episode in which he died. They even had Arya visiting Ned in the crypts without showing us her reaction to Rickon being there as well (Jon had him buried next to Ned in Episode 6.09).

      I need this final season, as jam-packed as it’s going to be, to take a little more time with its big emotional moments.

      I heartily agree. Rickon probably does not have a marker. In any case, Sansa should have told her Rickon was dead and didn’t. Probably prudent–Arya would have questioned her. Considering the grin Arya broke into just hearing that Bran was home, I think she would have been upset about Rickon.

      Your point about deaths being forgotten is very apt. Only Ned and Tywin’s deaths still get recognition, though Ned’s been mentioned by many characters over the years. Many of us still mourn other characters. I know some fans who can’t get over Selmy or Stannis (that child-burner!!!).

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    14. Clob: So is the ground she landed on with her face.

      LOL! We watched that scene a couple of weeks ago and it was tremendously satisfying.

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    15. Firannion: I can certainly see Varys getting off the Dragonqueen juggernaut, but I have trouble figuring which other side he’d betray her to, unless there’s a big Jon/Dany split.

      My view is that Jon doesn’t need to split from Daenerys to have Varys back Jon over Dany. Varys would conclude that Jon would be a better solo ruler (and, after his heritage is out, would at least have the potential to control the dragons), and try to assassinate Dany to make it happen.

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    16. Sean C.: My view is that Jon doesn’t need to split from Daenerys to have Varys back Jon over Dany. Varys would conclude that Jon would be a better solo ruler (and, after his heritage is out, would at least have the potential to control the dragons), and try to assassinate Dany to make it happen.

      Oh that’s an interesting theory. And that would fit with how cagey Melisandre was when speaking with Dany about D’s role in the coming war and about being the PWWP.

      ETA: And that would kind of complete Varys’s own arc: he sat by and allowed Aerys to behave monstrously without intervening. An adolescent Jaime Lannister had to do the dirty work back then. So if Varys sees another Mad Targaryen threatening destruction and this time intervenes – probably also sacrificing himself in the process – that would be a very fitting ending.

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    17. I love Gwen. And Brienne and Jaime’s relationship throughout – it’s been one of the best dynamics on the show.

      Sophie Turner talks about blah blah blah blah blah…..more blah blah than ever blah blah.

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    18. I definitely need a romantic conclusion to Brienne and Jaime’s relationship. One, because it’s been heavily hinted and foreshadowed and it needs to reach a natural conclusion. Two, because Jaime has only ever experienced a toxic romantic relationship and Brienne has been denied a right to romance and treated unworthy of it, whilst being major romantics at heart. The fact that their love is built on respect is what makes their love for each other so incredible and precious, especially in a world such as Westeros.

      Gwen and Nik’s chemistry on screen is amazing, and I love how enthusiastic the two are about the show and the ship.

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    19. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Just because you don’t see Sansa telling Arya of Rickons death, doesn’t mean she didn’t. It’s pretty obvious that the conversation happened offscreen (just like may other conversations as both sisters knew what the other had gone through by the S7 finale).

      Arya learning of Rickons death doesn’t move the plot forward, so it wasn’t necessary to include on screen, in the same way Bran never even mentions the death of his closest sibling.

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    20. Vanessa:
      Does anyone else feel like there is some innuendo going on when Gwen talks about the bath scene, or is it just me? 😂

      It’s not just you! When she talks about that scene and working with NCW at 5:30 – 6:30 of that clip, I could swear that her face gets a bit flushed… Or maybe I’m just imagining it.

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    21. Ten Bears:
      _____________ Ann Landers once defined the best romantic love as “friendship caught fire.” Wouldn’t a little romance be a nice way for the beautiful friendship of Jaime & Brienne to come to a close?

      Wow, that’s really beautiful! I love that. I certainly wouldn’t mind a bit of romance between them either prior to whatever fate awaits them. We don’t need a steaming sex scene or anything, but Jamie professing his love for her would be wonderful.

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    22. Stranger’s Pooper Scooper:
      Ten Bears,

      You lost me at Ann Landers…

      What’s that mean? You don’t know who she was?

      Ann Landers “was the pen name of Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer (née Friedman; July 4, 1918 – June 22, 2002), an advice columnist and eventually a nationwide media celebrity. She began writing the “Ask Ann Landers” column in 1955 and continued for 47 years, by which time its readership was 90 million people. A 1978 World Almanac survey named her the most influential woman in the United States. She was the identical twin sister of Pauline Phillips, who wrote the “Dear Abby” advice column as Abigail Van Buren.” – Wikipedia.

      If you’ve never read her columns, you ought to. Very sage advice.

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    23. Nick20,

      Sadly, with their track record, on display in the points you referenced, I’m not going to expect it. If it happens, wonderful, but if not I won’t be too disappointed then.

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    24. Sophie is a known troll however the comment about S8 being full of betrayal is interesting. Some sort of conflict between Sansa & Jon or Dany & Jon is probably the only ones I can think of. Of course Tyrion/Varys could switch from Dany to Jon too.

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    25. Gwidhiel,

      It all comes back to the question of what would be the point of Jon’s secret parentage if it has no consequences?

      I often read people insisting that it will temporarily cause a problem between Jon and Dany, before they smooth things over.

      What would the point of that be? Jon’s parentage has been the dramatic linchpin of two season finales in a row. Yet once it finally becomes common knowledge, it’s not going to have a meaningful impact on anybody or their relationships?

      If that were the case, it’d be tragically silly.

      Of all the potential consequences, are they really going to choose a temporary bump in the road over a devastating schism between lovers, would-be rulers and their followers?

      – Varys’ potential betrayal “for the people” has already been telegraphed.
      – The Northern Lords’ disgruntlement with Jon’s decisions is already primed to be exacerbated by his parentage.
      – They’ve teased Jon’s possible connection to the dragons.
      – They’ve built up Dany’s “faith” in herself and that she was “born to rule the Seven Kingdoms”, which is all that “kept me standing though all those years in exile”.

      Anything more that they’ve already prepped which will turn out to be practically irrelevant once Jon’s parentage is revealed?

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    26. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Oh I’m in complete agreement with you. I’m quite convinced that Dany has already gone dark and will go darker in S8, and that Jon’s parentage reveal and the ensuing rift between them will be instrumental in her tragic fall. (And let me emphasize tragic – I see a lot to admire and a lot to pity in Daenerys; I don’t imagine a scenario in which I’ll enjoy her demise any more than I’ll enjoy Jaime’s death (which I also think is pretty likely to happen)). I know that’s an unpopular view and it’s not one I feel a need to dwell on in conversations with folks who are rankled by it. I might not be right about Dany going dark, after all. 🙂

      Either way will Varys act against Daenerys? It seems likely given what they set up for his character vis a vis Daenerys in S7. Also, if that’s not his purpose in this phase of the story, then what is? I do think that Sean C’s. guess, above, about Varys moving to assassinate or otherwise take Daenerys off the board is quite plausible. Sean C doesn’t think that a split between D & J will be necessary for that to happen, but really the hypothesis about Varys backing Jon against Daenerys is agnostic about whether or not there’s already a rift between J & D.

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    27. Gwidhiel,

      I agree that Varys betraying Dany in some way is quite likely given what was set up in season 7, and would be a pretty ironic (and fitting as you put it) end for him given how he has devoted himself to restoring a Targaryen to the throne only to betray and be killed by Dany. It strangely parallels Melisandre in a way, in that they both put their faith in the wrong person (in Varys’ case, the wrong Targaryen).

      However, will Dany go even darker than this in season 8? (Killing Varys for betraying her isn’t really worse than anything she’s done previously). I’m not so sure to be honest. The thing I keep coming back to is the rather obvious case of Dany becoming pregnant and giving birth to a child with Jon. Like many others are predicting, she will lose all of her dragons, but be “gifted” with an actual child. I think her pregnancy/child will keep her from plunging into greater darkness. What that means for her eventual fate, however, I don’t know.. Will she survive? Will she take the throne? Or something else..?

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    28. There’s some interesting potential for conflict in Jorah following the revelation of Jon’s parentage. Could Ser Loyal-to-the-Death conceivably switch allegiances? He already respects Jon based on Jeor tapping him for leadership and giving him the family sword. They seem to be willing to let bygones be bygones re: Ned exiling Jorah for slave trading. There would be tremendous irony and tragedy in Jorah, of all people, losing faith in Dany.

      More likely, it seems, is a scenario in which he tries to assassinate Jon, or kills Varys or his catspaw who is trying to assassinate Dany. Having to execute Jorah would just tear Jon up more inside than he is already. Oh, the drama!

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    29. Gwidhiel,

      I agree. A Varys betrayal could work either as a result of a rift between Jon and Dany or to feed into it.

      Dany threatened to burn Varys alive if he betrayed her. We know Jon ain’t down for that. And once he’s heard about the Tarlys, I imagine he’d already have serious concerns about Dany’s brand of justice. A Varys barbecue would surely be the last straw for Tyrion too.

      However, it’s possible that Jon and Dany could have already gone their separate ways by the time Varys decides to jump ship. Perhaps, for example, they could part ways on their approaches to dealing with Cersei and King’s Landing and Varys sides with Jon.

      And bear in mind that Jon has bent the knee to Dany. He can’t defy her now without effectively rebelling. If she wants to torch King’s Landing, for example, then he has to get on board otherwise he’s a traitor just like Varys would be. Except Jon has that “heir to the Iron Throne” card in his back pocket. I wonder what it would take for him to use it?

      The thing about those who disagree with the possibility of Dany going “dark” is that they refuse to accept that she’s already been mirroring the actions of people like Stannis and Cersei, whose actions and motives no-one would think twice about questioning. She doesn’t necessarily have to go “mad” to do bad things or to be perceived as a tyrant. Nor to get carried away by her quest to fulfil her destiny or her own sense of righteousness. A “that was necessary” mentality is different from a “burn them all” one, even if the results end up being similar.

      Last season, they clearly stated that the difference between Cersei and Dany is that Dany “knows herself” and employs advisers to keep her impulses in check. We also saw the influence of her advisers waning, usurped in the meantime by that of Jon… who just happens to have a better claim to the throne than her. Is this all just a coincidence?

      I’m not even going to get into the parallels between her and the Night King and their armies. (Although, I did only just realise that both the White Walkers and the Unsullied were taken as children to be turned into soldiers. As if that parallel wasn’t enough, the Unsullied each had to sacrifice a newborn baby to become an Unsullied. How did I not spot that before? ).

      Anyway, if I were to accept that there are not major problems on the horizon for Jon and Dany, then I would have to ignore a hell of a lot of stuff (dialogue, imagery, parallels, foreshadowing, etc) that has already been established and which has been built up in some cases for years.

      Maybe it will all come to nothing. But I hope not. The final season is loaded with potential that doesn’t just revolve around teaming up to beat the bad guys and living happily ever after. There’s potential for some proper Game of Thrones style shocks, betrayals and tragedy. And that’s what I want to see.

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    30. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Yup – to everything you wrote. ✅ My two cents, to be followed by a question (if anyone knows the answer)

      • For me, the Father & Son Tarly BBQ in S7e4 and Tyrion and Varys bemoaning Tyrion’s inability to get Dany to listen to his advice in S7e5 has set up a likely betrayal by Varys – and conflict for Tyrion. Especially after Tyrion told Cersei in S7e7 why he’s supporting Dany….

      Tyrion: “Because I think she will make the world a better place.”
      Cersei: “You said she’d destroy King’s Landing.”
      Tyrion: “She knows herself. She chose an advisor who would check her worst impulses instead of feeding them. That’s the difference between you.”

      • Varys has twice declared his motives and loyalties. First, in S5e1:

      Tyrion: “What is it you want exactly?”
      Varys: “Peace. Prosperity. A land where the powerful do not prey on the powerless.”
      Tyrion: “Where the castles are made of gingerbread and the moats are filled with blackberry wine. The powerful have always preyed on the powerless. That’s how they became powerful in the first place.”
      Varys: “Perhaps. And perhaps we’ve grown so used to horror, we assume there’s no other way. If you sat on the Iron Throne, would you spread misery throughout the land?”
      Tyrion: “I will never sit on the Iron Throne.”
      Varys: “No, you won’t. But you could help another climb those steps and take that seat. The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen, but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who can intimidate the high lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.”

      Then, in S7e2….

      Tyrion: “Lord Varys has proven himself a loyal servant.”
      Dany: “Proven himself loyal? Quite the opposite. If he dislikes one monarch, he conspires to crown the next one. What king of a servant is that?”
      Varys: “The kind the realm needs. Incompetence should not be rewarded with blind loyalty. As long as I have my eyes, I’ll use them. I wasn’t born into a great house. I came from nothing….
      … You wish to know where my true loyalties lie? Not with any king or queen, but with the people. The people who suffer under despots and prosper under just rule. The people whose hearts you aim to win. If you demand blind allegiance, I respect your wishes. Grey Worm can behead me or your dragons can devour me. But if you let me live, I will serve you well. I will dedicate myself to seeing you on the Iron Throne because I choose you. Because I know the people have no better chance than you.”
      Dany: “Swear this to me, Varys. If you ever think I’m failing the people, you won’t conspire behind my back. You’ll look me in the eye as you have done today, and you’ll tell me how I’m failing them.”
      Varys: “I swear it, my queen.”
      Dany: “And I swear this–if you ever betray me, I’ll burn you alive.”

      …………………
      • Question(s):

      1. After the apparent decimation of the Tyrells and Dornish forces early in S7, do we know Dany’s troop strength (Dothraki + Unsullied) compared to Jon’s followers + House Stark’s North’s allies (Wildlings + Northerners + Vale)?

      2. I’m thinking (hoping) that even if the North abandons knee-bender Jon Snow n/k/a Aegon Targaryen, Sansa Stark & Arya Stark will keep their fragile alliance together. After all, the Northern lords and Lord Royce already had second thoughts and told Sansa maybe they should’ve picked her in the first place; and nobody would want to f*ck with No One.
      I guess my question is, all other things being equal as far as troop strength (and the possibility that Jon’s real father’s dragon namesake Rhaegal will imprint on him, so that he’s got his own bonded dragon), who would best fit Varys’s description of the ruler the realm needs: Dany or Jon?

      Varys: “The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen, but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who can intimidate the high lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.”

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    31. Ten Bears:

      2. I’m thinking (hoping) that even if the North abandons knee-bender Jon Snow n/k/a Aegon Targaryen, Sansa Stark & Arya Stark will keep their fragile alliance together. After all, the Northern lords and Lord Royce already had second thoughts and told Sansa maybe they should’ve picked her in the first place; and nobody would want to f*ck with No One.I guess my question is, all other things being equal as far as troop strength (and the possibility that Jon’s real father’s dragon namesake Rhaegal will imprint on him, so that he’s got his own bonded dragon), who would best fit Varys’s description of the ruler the realm needs: Dany or Jon?

      Varys: “The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen, but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who can intimidate the high lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.”

      Based of Varys’ description, the answer seems to be quite easy.. it’s Daenerys. It’s fairly obvious they’re both good at inspiring the people but Jon seems to be lacking in the “intimidate the high lords” department. Whereas Dany killing the Tarly’s or the Slave Masters could serve as an example of her doing that. But who knows, perhaps we’ll see Jon intimidating the “high lords” in S8…

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    32. PS A few days ago, another commenter suggested that Theon might defeat Euron, rescue Yara, intercept the gold shipment to the Iron Bank (or was it the gold from the new loan?), and thereby commandeer the 20,000-strong Golden Company.

      I was not under the impression that Euron was responsible for either shipping the gold to the Iron Bank, or that Cersei would trust him with gold to retain the Golden Company. Did I miss something?

      Anyway, such a scenario could set up a true “redemption” for Theon: If he were to arrive at WF with 20,000 fresh soldiers as reinforcements for the undermanned, battle-weary Jon + Stark army, that would go a long way towards making up for his betrayal of Robb.

      Otherwise – as I’ve suggested before – merely rescuing Yara would do nothing to absolve him of his guilt over betraying his “real” family. Besides, narratively speaking, at this point who cares if Theon rescues Yara?

      On the other hand, getting rid of Euron and coming North with the Iron Fleet along with a 20,000-strong contingency of soldiers would f*ck up Cersei’s plans and provide a satisfying conclusion to Theon’s story.

      (*Removes tinfoil hat*)

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    33. Enharmony1625: The thing I keep coming back to is the rather obvious case of Dany becoming pregnant and giving birth to a child with Jon. Like many others are predicting, she will lose all of her dragons, but be “gifted” with an actual child.

      So obviously this is only my opinion, but I don’t think there will be a BoatBaby. Yup, there was some heavy hinting about it, but the logic that people are using – that if characters say X could never happen, then X is going to happen – can also be applied to Dany going mad. Even just sticking to S7 (although there were many mentions in earlier seasons), we’ve had Tyrion, Varys, and Daenerys herself assert that she is not like her father. So it seems to me that folks who use the S7 hints to predict Daenerys’s pregnancy should also be predicting her fall into madness.

      Again just my opinion, but I feel like the show has been trolling the audience about alleged pregnancies that were supposedly impossible or would have been problematic (Sansa w/Ramsay’s child in S6, and Cersei’s supposed pregnancy in S7). There doesn’t need to be a BoatBaby to have Ice & Fire united – Jon already is that. So my read – just mine – is that the possibility is a misdirect. I could totally be wrong about that.

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    34. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      “She doesn’t necessarily have to go “mad” to do bad things or to be perceived as a tyrant.”
      ———————-
      For sure. Perceptions are critical.

      • Frying thousands of Lannister soldiers on the battlefield meant “fewer enemies” for Dany, but (to me) the scene in S7e1 with Arya and the friendly Lannister soldiers was a reminder that most of those immolated soldiers were conscripts – someone’s sons and husbands – just boys forced to “fight in someone else’s war.”

      • People who don’t “know” her, will react just like Jon did when he met her in S7e3:

      Jon: “I mean no offense, Your Grace, but I don’t know you. As far as I can tell, your claim to the throne rests entirely on your father’s name, and my own father fought to overthrow the Mad King.”

      • Cersei’s (wonderfully written) fact-based propaganda speech in S7e2 about the threat posed by “the Mad King’s daughter” would only have been reinforced in people’s minds by reports of Field of Fire 2.0 and the ensuing Tarly BBQ

      (From S7e2, Cersei to assembled lords)
      Cersei. “If the Mad King’s daughter takes the Iron Throne, she’ll destroy the realm as we know it.
      Some of you are bannermen of House Tyrell. But House Tyrell is in open rebellion against the crown. With their help, the Mad King’s daughter has ferried an army of savages to our shores: Mindless Unsullied soldiers who will destroy your castles and your holdfasts; Dothraki heathens who will burn your villages to the ground, rape and enslave your women, and butcher your children without a second thought. This is how Olenna Tyrell rewards centuries of service and loyalty.
      You all remember the Mad King. You remember the horrors he inflicted upon his people. His daughter is no different. In Essos, her brutality is already legendary. She crucified hundreds of noblemen in Slaver’s Bay. And when she grew bored of that, she fed them to her dragons.
      It is my solemn duty to protect the people, and I will. But I need your help, my lords. We must stand together, all of us if we hope to stop her.”

      • Dany has quite a bit of advance negative publicity to overcome. She’s not being greeted as the “Breaker of Chains”, but condemned as the tyrannical, pyromaniacal “Mad King’s daughter.”

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    35. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      There’s plenty that I don’t feel like I can make a strong predictions about, but my intuitions are aligned with what you’ve laid out.

      And then this – wow!

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: both the White Walkers and the Unsullied were taken as children to be turned into soldiers. As if that parallel wasn’t enough, the Unsullied each had to sacrifice a newborn baby to become an Unsullied. How did I not spot that before?

      The poor Unsullied. Sigh. Since we don’t know what “life” is like for the White Walkers hanging out with the Night King, there’s room to imagine that it might not be as bad as it would have been to grow up under Craster’s roof.

      I’m mostly kidding about Craster’s sons. But the Unsullied …

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    36. Gwidhiel:

      Again just my opinion, but I feel like the show has been trolling the audience about alleged pregnancies that were supposedly impossible or would have been problematic (Sansa w/Ramsay’s child in S6, and Cersei’s supposed pregnancy in S7).There doesn’t need to be a BoatBaby to have Ice & Fire united – Jon already is that. So my read – just mine – is that the possibility is a misdirect. I could totally be wrong about that.

      Well the Ice and Fire thing is debatable. The union of Stark and Targaryen may be very well be one way to interpret Ice and Fire coming together, but in neither the books nor the show, are Lyanna and Rhaegar as linked to Ice and Fire the way Jon and Daenerys are. Our info on them is quite limited. And besides, we have quotes from the showrunners, directors, and even characters within the story stating that Jon and Daenerys are Ice and Fire. So I have no idea about whether Boatbaby will be a thing or not, but the conclusion that Jon and Daenerys are Ice and Fire seems to be at least as credible as the conclusion that Jon is that by himself.

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    37. Ten Bears,

      At face value, you would have to say it’s probably Daenerys. But it’s not quite so clear cut…

      Dany is undoubtedly stronger than Tommen, but at what point does her ability to intimidate the high lords cross the line into Stannis territory? In my opinion, she’s already crossed that line – “Convince him to bend the knee, or he burns” is unsettlingly similar to “Bend the knee and join me… Or refuse and die”. (She wasn’t just threatening the lords with that one, btw. That ultimatum was for the ordinary soldiers too) – and she’s occasionally mimicked some of the show’s cruellest characters in her brand of “justice”.

      She is loved by millions… in Essos. She currently has almost zero loyalty from the Westerosi. She can inspire the people, but that’s yet to be seen among the Westerosi. Perhaps next season.

      Does she have the right family name when it comes to Westerosi politics? Hmm…

      Jon meanwhile is unquestionably stronger than Tommen.

      He’s undoubtedly gentler than Stannis – e.g. stopping Mance Rayder’s execution, the Umber/Karstark forgiveness, mercy for Melisandre, etc.

      Jon may not be loved by millions but he can inspire people, although not universally. However, he usually inspires key figures who can cast the winning vote in his favour, as it were. This was literally in the case of Maester Aemon when elected Lord Commander, but also with Lyanna Mormont in the KitN scene, with Tormund and the Wildlings (“I’ll never trust a crow. But I trust you Tormund”), with Tyrion (“I like Jon Snow and I trusted him… If he does rule The North he would make a valuable ally”)… as things stand, Jon has a broader connection to (potential) key allies within Westeros. Dany’s all died or got captured last season.

      Can he intimidate the high lords? Debatable. Does he have a powerful army? Not currently. But it’s possible things could change in Season 8.

      Finally, does he have the right family name? Well, he’s at least on a par with Daenerys once his parentage is revealed. However, he has the advantage of having been raised by the Starks.

      In summary, it’s obviously supposed to apply to both. But I think ultimately it will be Jon to whom it refers.

      Remember that Varys said that in S5E1. Before Jon’s parentage reveal, but in the same season where he would go on to defy Stannis’s cruelty, be elected Lord Commander, lay down the law to Janos Slynt, rally the Freefolk… basically illustrate that Varys’ description equally applies to him. That’s obviously not coincidence.

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    38. Ten Bears,

      At face value, you would have to say it’s probably Daenerys. But it’s not quite so clear cut…

      Dany is undoubtedly stronger than Tommen, but at what point does her ability to intimidate the high lords cross the line into Stannis territory? In my opinion, she’s already crossed that line – “Convince him to bend the knee, or he burns” is unsettlingly similar to “Bend the knee and join me… Or refuse and die”. (She wasn’t just threatening the lords with that one, btw. That ultimatum was for the ordinary soldiers too) – and she’s occasionally mimicked some of the show’s cruellest characters in her brand of “justice”.

      She is loved by millions… in Essos. She currently has almost zero loyalty from the Westerosi. She can inspire the people, but that’s yet to be seen among the Westerosi. Perhaps next season.

      Does she have the right family name when it comes to Westerosi politics? Hmm…

      (to be continued…)

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    39. Ten Bears,

      (cont…)

      Jon meanwhile is unquestionably stronger than Tommen.

      He’s undoubtedly gentler than Stannis – e.g. stopping Mance Rayder’s execution, the Umber/Karstark forgiveness, mercy for Melisandre, etc.

      Jon may not be loved by millions but he can inspire people, although not universally. However, he usually inspires key figures who can cast the winning vote in his favour, as it were. This was literally in the case of Maester Aemon when elected Lord Commander, but also with Lyanna Mormont in the KitN scene, with Tormund and the Wildlings (“I’ll never trust a crow. But I trust you Tormund”), with Tyrion (“I like Jon Snow and I trusted him… If he does rule The North he would make a valuable ally”)… as things stand, Jon has a broader connection to (potential) key allies within Westeros. Dany’s all died or got captured last season.

      Can he intimidate the high lords? Debatable. Does he have a powerful army? Not currently. But it’s possible things could change in Season 8.

      Finally, does he have the right family name? Well, he’s at least on a par with Daenerys once his parentage is revealed. However, he has the advantage of having been raised by the Starks.

      In summary, it’s obviously supposed to apply to both. But I think ultimately it will be Jon to whom it refers.

      Remember that Varys said that in S5E1. Before Jon’s parentage reveal, but in the same season where he would go on to defy Stannis’s cruelty, be elected Lord Commander, lay down the law to Janos Slynt, rally the Freefolk… basically illustrate that Varys’ description equally applies to him. That’s obviously not coincidence.

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    40. Jay Targ: Well the Ice and Fire thing is debatable. The union of Stark and Targaryen may be very well be one way to interpret Ice and Fire coming together, but in neither the books nor the show, are Lyanna and Rhaegar as linked to Ice and Fire the way Jon and Daenerys are. Our info on them is quite limited. And besides, we have quotes from the showrunners, directors, and even characters within the story stating that Jon and Daenerys are Ice and Fire.

      Well … maybe? This logic feels a bit labored, to me, and it ignores the Night King, who in the show is indisputably Ice. I have to agree that it’s possible, but it feels like a hail mary pass to hang onto the possibility of a happy ending of some kind for Daenerys.

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    41. Ten Bears,

      *Sigh*

      The second half of my response is stuck in moderation hell.

      In summary, it’s obviously supposed to apply to both. But I think ultimately it will be Jon to whom it refers.

      Remember that Varys said that in S5E1. Before Jon’s parentage reveal, but in the same season where he would go on to defy Stannis’s cruelty, be elected Lord Commander, lay down the law to Janos Slynt, rally the Freefolk… basically illustrate that Varys’ description equally applies to him. That’s obviously not coincidence.

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    42. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Well Jon hasn’t really been shown to intimidate the high lords.

      And as it pertains to inspiring and being loved by the people, Jon is pretty much in the same boat as Daenerys. The Wildings are the only group of people that I’d say are completely devoted to Jon. The lords of North don’t seem to be all the loyal to the Stark name as has been shown these past two seasons. The Blackfish (Tully’s) didn’t seem to be all that eager to fight for the Starks in S6 either. The Knights of the Vale showed up I guess, but that seemed more due to Littlefinger and his influence on Sweetrobin. If anything, the Lannister army seems to be the most loyal bunch lol.

      I suppose one could argue that Jon inspired Dany to join him in the fight against the dead.. Same as Dany with Jon pledging to her but we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out.

      And what would the “right family name” be? We’ve seen there wasn’t really a movement to restore the Starks back to Winterfell.. Likewise, there hasn’t been a movement to restore House Targaryen either.. The Lannisters?

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    43. Gwidhiel,

      Perhaps.. To me that logic doesn’t seem to be anymore labored than the alternative. You say the NK is indisputedly “Ice”, which sort of suggests that Jon isn’t “Ice and Fire”.

      And I would ask what a happy ending for Dany is? Even if she were to become Queen, I’d say Daario is correct in questioning that it will bring her happiness. I suspect her ending will be bittersweet, not happy but not tragic either.

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    44. Gwidhiel,

      Perfectly valid points, and the possibility of Dany going mad is not without merit. As for BoatBaby, the hints from last season aren’t the only ones I’m considering. On a broader scale, what is the point of bringing Jon and Dany together? If it was so that they would join in the fight against the AotD, there’s no real need for a romance. Same goes for the inherent drama in their claims to the throne. Sure, them being in love adds an extra layer to the drama, but I’m not convinced it wouldn’t be as effective if they weren’t in love. I could really see it going either way, but my feeling is that there will be a BoatBaby that will carry on their legacy if either or both of them die (not that I in any way want either of them to die, but you know.. GoT and all..). Of course, like you said yourself, I could be totally be wrong too. 🙂

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    45. Jay Targ,

      Well, lots to wonder about for Season 8, certainly. I like learning about your take on things, even if we don’t see eye to eye. Thanks for being such a thoughtful contributor.

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    46. Enharmony1625,

      Arrgh your thoughtful questions are like sirens to my argumentative nature … can’t … avoid … the whirlpool of controversy …

      Enharmony1625: a broader scale, what is the point of bringing Jon and Dany together? If it was so that they would join in the fight against the AotD, there’s no real need for a romance.

      I think it’s to get Jon on Rhaegel. My guess is that will happen before the parentage reveal. I think that Dany believes that the connection between them is so strong & significant that the dragons will accept him as an extension of her, and that that’s why Drogon allowed Jon to pet him. I think she’ll encourage Jon to try to ride Rhaegel, and when it’s shown that he can, in her mind it’ll be confirmation that he’s the one for her, not realizing that she’s just given one of her two remaining dragons to someone whose claim to the Iron Throne is better than – in fact negates – hers.

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    47. Gwidhiel,

      “Again just my opinion, but I feel like the show has been trolling the audience about alleged pregnancies that were supposedly impossible or would have been problematic (Sansa w/Ramsay’s child in S6, and Cersei’s supposed pregnancy in S7). There doesn’t need to be a BoatBaby to have Ice & Fire united – Jon already is that. So my read – just mine – is that the possibility is a misdirect. I could totally be wrong about that.”

      ——-
      I pray that it’s all a misdirect. Cersei pregnant? Dany pregnant? Jon Snow’s turbocharged magic spermatozoa? (One dose is all it takes to wake any sleeping ovum.)

      If S8 comes down to Incest Bastard Baby Bowl, I’m gonna puke.

      #NoBabyDramas

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    48. Gwidhiel:
      Again just my opinion, but I feel like the show has been trolling the audience about alleged pregnancies that were supposedly impossible or would have been problematic (Sansa w/Ramsay’s child in S6, and Cersei’s supposed pregnancy in S7).There doesn’t need to be a BoatBaby to have Ice & Fire united – Jon already is that. So my read – just mine – is that the possibility is a misdirect. I could totally be wrong about that.

      Absolutely nothing in the show ever hinted at Sansa being pregnant. That was purely fan speculation based on the angle of one BTS photo (and a fair amount of “well, it could happen…”).

      Cersei, meanwhile, is pregnant.

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Dany threatened to burn Varys alive if he betrayed her. We know Jon ain’t down for that. And once he’s heard about the Tarlys, I imagine he’d already have serious concerns about Dany’s brand of justice. A Varys barbecue would surely be the last straw for Tyrion too.

      Jon was fine with Sansa feeding Ramsay to the hounds, so on what basis would he object to executing a regicide by burning?

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    49. I sometimes wonder if I’d have different theories about this character or that character and how I see the story ending if I hadn’t read the books and was guessing entirely off of the show alone. I think I may a little bit, maybe even more than that. The show characters have done some thing they didn’t do, won’t do and might not beyond the books that some use as major points for theories. Some of those things may not be important whatsoever on the endgame but just felt like good ideas at the time by D&D. Even though it’s a lot of fun not knowing the ending and having all the conversations and debates, I still do wish ASoIaF was already completed so I’d know if the direction and interpretations of things since I read the published books are accurate. I do a lot of internal head shaking when I read some ideas and theories because to me they just don’t mesh well with what I’ve gotten out of the characters while blending both mediums.

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    50. Sean C.: Absolutely nothing in the show ever hinted at Sansa being pregnant. That was purely fan speculation based on the angle of one BTS photo (and a fair amount of “well, it could happen…”).

      Cersei, meanwhile, is pregnant.

      Is Cersei pregnant? I don’t know that I entirely believe she is. I’m really puzzled about that plot development. Maybe she is, but it really doesn’t make sense to me at all. Cersei is already crazy, so losing a baby (as I’ve heard speculated) isn’t going to make her any worse than she already is – she’s murdered thousands of people! She’s paranoid! She’s got a zombie bodyguard and has made a bargain with a wild-eyed demonic pirate, and lies left and right. She really doesn’t need anything to push her over the edge – she went over a while ago.

      Re the imagined Sansa pregnancy: yes, just (crazy) fan speculation. But they do pay attention to what the fans are saying and S7 had some nods to the audience (e.g. Gendry rowing). I could very well be off-base in thinking that the Cersei pregnancy will turn out to have been a red herring, a deception she used to try to keep Jaime by her side and to trick Tyrion into thinking she’d play along with a cease-fire. And if she is really pregnant, I can’t see what the show would do with 2!Surprise!Pregnancies! in its final season. Super soapy.

      I guess for me the bottom line is that if they’re going with BoatBaby, the Cersei pregnancy makes even less sense. And that’s why I think they’re trolling us. But that’s just me, and I’m definitely prepared to be wrong about either or both.

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    51. Sean C.: Jon was fine with Sansa feeding Ramsay to the hounds, so on what basis would he object to executing a regicide by burning?

      Well, we don’t know for what crime Dany may have Varys executed.

      But I’d imagine Jon would object on the same basis that he objected to Mance Rayder, Shireen and his grandfather being burned at the stake.

      Feel free to argue the inconsistency of his morals if/when it happens. But given the precedent it’s pretty much inevitable that he would object.

      And they didn’t leave the fallout from the Tarly execution hanging over into Season 8 if it wasn’t likely to impact his impression of Daenerys and exacerbate any further exhibitions of her pyromaniacal tendencies.

      If I had to play devil’s advocate, I think you could possibly argue that Ramsay’s was an exceptional punishment for someone guilty of exceptional crimes. Whereas it’s clear at this point that Daenerys considers burning people alive a routine execution method and a means to exert control over people through fear.

      It may be legitimate for viewers to question Jon’s right to take the moral high ground given the cruel and unusual execution undertaken on his watch. But I doubt it will become relevant on the show, since they will make it abundantly clear if Dany does do something morally questionable and Jon probably won’t be the only one to object.

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    52. Gwidhiel:
      Enharmony1625,
      Arrgh your thoughtful questions are like sirens to my argumentative nature … can’t … avoid … the whirlpool of controversy …

      Ha! I do what I can. 🙂

      Gwidhiel:
      Enharmony1625,
      I think it’s to get Jon on Rhaegel. My guess is that will happen before the parentage reveal. I think that Dany believes that the connection between them is so strong & significant that the dragons will accept him as an extension of her, and that that’s why Drogon allowed Jon to pet him. I think she’ll encourage Jon to try to ride Rhaegel, and when it’s shown that he can, in her mind it’ll be confirmation that he’s the one for her, not realizing that she’s just given one of her two remaining dragons to someone whose claim to the Iron Throne is better than – in fact negates – hers.

      Yeah, that certainly makes sense.

      Sean C.:
      Cersei, meanwhile, is pregnant.

      I would have to agree with this. While there are some good arguments against it, using a pregnancy for manipulation seems a bit.. odd, as it clearly has an expiration date. And it’s not like she just told Jamie. She also told Tyrion and Quyburn. If she were lying about it, I think Quyburn would have to be in on the deception given that he would find out about the lie far sooner than anyone else. It just seems like an odd plan for the two of them to hatch in order to manipulate Jamie and Tyrion.

      It does make me a tad nervous about Cersei’s IncestBaby however, as Cersei is almost certainly not making it out of this alive. What that means for IncestBaby I don’t know.. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favour of any baby drama next season, I’m just being realistic.

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    53. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Giving prisoners of war the ultimatum, “Switch sides or fry”, is not the best recipe for convincing people you’re going to be a humane, compassionate ruler. It played right into Cersei’s “Mad Queen’s Daughter” narrative.

      Even a cold-hearted, pragmatic sh*t like Tywin put a stop to torturing and executing prisoners at Harrenhal: better to put them to work than to kill them.

      It’s one thing to sentence someone to death for particular crimes. It’s something else entirely to execute them for refusing to betray their countrymen and take up arms against them. I thought Dany’s justification (something about not coming over to put people in chains) was pretty lame.

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    54. I can’t imagine not getting a satisfactory conclusion to the Jaime/Brienne plot…doesn’t necessarily NEED to be sexy/romantic, although at this point I’m basically counting on him dying in her arms.

      I also don’t imagine Varys breaking his promise and betraying Dany unless she somehow becomes too far gone to reason with…which I also don’t foresee. At least, if she were to “go mad,” I’d expect it as a result of some external force. (Like, I dunno, an inescapable Targaryen curse or some such thing. XD) I suppose if a Jon/Dany rift forms that it’s possible Varys might wind up gravitating toward Jon, but all I feel sure about is his having something important to do…I sense I can trust the “new-and-improved” Melisandre (whom I’ve almost always liked, despite suspecting that she was barking up the wrong tree with Stannis), & I took her statement to mean that they’ve both got major stuff coming up.

      I do expect Daenerys to at least be pregnant, if not have a baby…but I’m torn as to whether Cersei also will (perhaps dying in childbirth), or was lying to further manipulate and control her brother.
      And I’m definitely still mourning Selmy. >,.,<

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    55. Ten Bears,

      “Because I know the people have no better chance than you.”

      Why does Varys believe this exactly? He doesn’t know her well at that point and she has dragons and backing of red priestesses while he is averse to magic. Is it because of her reputation of freeing slaves? Does that really prove anything when she’s gathered them as an army because she wants to “rule” so badly? Varys is all good with fire and blood conquer and rule yet his goal is peaceful realm and what’s good for the common people, well how are three dragons and a foreign army supposed to bring peace and magically make everything wonderful in Westeros? I know there’s some key piece of logic that I’m forgetting here lol. It seems Varys is looking for revenge, same reason Tyrion joins her side in the beginning.

      Also I don’t see how in 6 episodes they’ll be able to have a plot of major betrayal or reversal within the Jon/Dany alliance and the ensuing fallout plus wrapping up the defeat of WW’s, Cercei and Euron and all the side characters adequately.

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    56. Ten Bears,

      Fight for me and bow to me (even though you don’t know me and I just incinerated many of your friends) or die. I get how a conqueror cannot just leave enemies alive to amass and fight another day. But. Couldn’t she have made a more convincing speech, explaining how she is against absolute rule, a form of master and slave relationship, (Oh wait…wellll)

      Dany spoke about “breaking the wheel.” If she believes in a sort of soft democracy, as evidenced in that phrase (depending if you want to interpret it as planting the seed) and some of her past like in freeing slaves and also her interaction with Yara, why didn’t she preach this philosophy to her captive audience on the field. Tell them she’s taking control on their behalf, to “free” them from the tyrant usurper Cercei. Surely she should have listened to Tyrion about trying to present herself as something different from her father like she did with Jon. See, here’s the thing with Dany, they have presented her on the one hand as righteous, for the people, breaker of chains with a good heart but on the surface she could be described as power hungry, entitled, wanna-be ruler of all. The key difference is it appears to stem from a faith in herself and her ideals as the best candidate for the job. An attribute Cercei does not have. She doesn’t care about what’s best for the people one whit. The common people probably don’t know all Cercei has done. How terrible she truly is. Yet, they don’t know the decent person Dany is because thus far they’ve only heard rumors of ill repute. Dany is still bit of a wild card to me. Season 8 will be fascinating to watch. Man, I hope it isn’t too rushed.

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    57. There is some great discussion in this thread:)

      One question if Dany s going to burn or kill Varys when do we think it would happen? I am guessing this must be episode 3 or 4 to allow the consequences to play out. I would guess Jon’s parentage comes out in episode 1 maybe 2 so Varys can act and move to support Jon.

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    58. Sean C.,

      I agree they can’t possibly fill all 6 episodes with being pursued or pursuing the Night King. There have to be some betrayals and I’m inclined to believe that while Cersei betraying them is a no brainer, there have to be some surprises. That’s why I’ve focused on Tyrion.

      Tyrion knows Cersei is pregnant. Tyrion has demonstrated his concern about the succession to Dany more than once be cause both Dany, and he are laboring under the assumption that as Dany has said, she can’t have children.

      So how far fetched would it be for Tyrion to suggest to Cersei ( in the meeting we didn’t see) that her unborn child could rule Westeros? Maybe not an actual betrayal from Tyrion’s point of view, just a “negotiation” to gain Cersei’s support. In doing so, he does in fact betray Dany if he tells Cersei Dany will not have kids, and there is no plan in place for a succession. That’s way too much information to give an adversary.

      I also get the impression that Tyrion is very ambitious. He likes power. So I have to wonder if his discussions with Varys about Dany’s “impulsive behavior” are setting the stage for Tyrion to decide he can be as good as if not much better than anyone else as a ruler, so why not offer himself to Cersei as the “regent” for Cersei’s unborn kid? This is my own speculation and opinions based on what I’ve observed in the series.

      We know Cersei is going to betray the North with her Gold Cloaks. The other possible betrayal I see is, of course Euron betraying Cersei. I’m almost convinced he will, and my only question is how he would do it. Does he do it with the Gold Clokes or with a Faceless Man? O does he do it himself?

      There is also the possibility that it will be Varys betraying Tyrion, not Varys betraying Dany. If, and this is a big IF, Tyrion does betray Dany, he’d very likely enlist Varys, and it is just as likely that Varys will turn on him. Varys is not a fool and he definitely keeps his options open.

      Anyway, it’s the Lannister side I’m watching. I don’t see any betrayals on the Stark side. They are too close to real danger, no time for betrayals. I could be wrong of course. In any event, Bran will know what’s going on, and he will protect and forewarn the Starks. That’s my assumption. Bran’s eyes are on the larger threats, so efforts to undermine Jon (and Dany ) and Arya and Sansa’s ability to deal with the Night King and his Ao tD won’t get traction.

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    59. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      “She is loved by millions… in Essos. She currently has almost zero loyalty from the Westerosi. She can inspire the people, but that’s yet to be seen among the Westerosi…”
      ——-
      To reiterate a point I think you made a few days ago in another thread, Dany’s big claim to fame (besides dragons) is that she’s the Great Emancipator who freed slaves in Essos. That won’t score many points in justifying her invasion of a country where slavery is outlawed.

      P.S. I’m not a “Dany hater.” I just don’t understand the whole “break the wheel” concept, i.e., how her invasion is making people’s lives better.

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    60. ygritte,

      After her victory over the Lannisters/Tarlys the flimsy justification they offered for her ‘bend the knee or die’ ultimatum was that she refused to put men in chains. So subjugating them upon pain of death is better somehow?

      These men were prisoners of war, not slaves. Their imprisonment wouldn’t have been permanent. And their standard of treatment would be up to her.

      Another alternative would have been to set them free. It may seem counter-intuitive during conquest, but if she truly wanted to show that she’s different from Cersei and other rulers, then allowing the defeated soldiers (aside from their lords/commanders) to return to their families could have proven that she was merciful and would only kill those who continued to take up arms against her. Surely that’s a better message to send to the people of Westeros.

      She could even have taken Randyll hostage and left Dickon in charge of House Tarly, or vice versa, on the basis that they refrain from taking up arms against her again.

      The fact that the producers chose for her to take the ‘bend the knee or die’ approach rather than a more benevolent and PR-friendly one was obviously done for a reason.

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that ‘bend the knee or die’, or more specifically ‘burn’, was Stannis’s approach to dealing with his enemies and fulfilling his destiny.

      I don’t think it’s coincidence that in the previous episode Cersei was also depicted killing/punishing a rebellious mother and daughter.

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in the previous episode Dany asked Jon not judge her by her father’s crimes, specifically burning his uncle and grandfather alive, only for her to go ahead and burn a father and son alive herself in the very next episode.

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that two episodes earlier, Jon was depicted going out of his way to show mercy to the children of traitors.

      It is hard to picture the exact circumstances of any sort of shocks and betrayals next season, especially with only 6 episodes left. But I think when you take the events of Season 7 into account, then they have laid enough potential groundwork for things to change quite quickly and credibly.

      I think a person has to be wearing the rosiest of rose tinted spectacles to still believe that there’s nothing problematic about Dany and her quest for power in Westeros. Nor that the alliance between Jon and Dany is built on shaky foundations.

      Already in the pipeline we have Cersei’s betrayal; Jon’s parentage; a potential Varys betrayal; the potential for more dead dragons; the potential for a bunch of pyromaniac religious zealots who think she’s their saviour to arrive in Westeros; a possible pregnancy that could complicate her priorities, etc.

      I also pray that the conclusion isn’t rushed. That’s been my biggest concern since they announced before Season 7 that only 13 episodes remained. But I believe that a lot of the drama for the final season has already been primed. They just have to get the execution right. If it all comes to nothing, then it’d be a huge disappointment.

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    61. Gwidhiel,

      Argh. It seems my reply is stuck in moderation for now, but in short, Jon riding Rhaegal is a compelling reason indeed for their union. I’ve felt that that is pretty much inevitable for the past few seasons.

      Regarding Cersei, my feeling is that she is pregnant. While there are good arguments to be made that it’s a misdirect, or that Cersei would use whatever is at her disposal for manipulation, it just seems like faking a pregnancy is a very odd way to go about it given it has an obvious expiration date. And it’s not like she just told Jamie. Tyrion and Quyburn also know. Quyburn, moreover, would have to be in on the deception I think, which makes it even more strange that the two of them would hatch this kind of scheme (and stage that scene where Quyburn asks her if he can get her anything for the nausea).

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    62. Roz’s Ghost,

      …setting the stage for Tyrion to decide he can be as good as if not much better than anyone else as a ruler, so why not offer himself to Cersei as the “regent” for Cersei’s unborn kid? This is my own speculation and opinions based on what I’ve observed in the series.”

      ———
      From discussions here about the books (I haven’t read them yet), it’s my impression that GRRM is enamored with “baby-switching” subplots. So far, thankfully, the show has not resorted to that device.

      I sure hope that the show is not saving that trick for a Tyrion-orchestrated baby-switch….

      #NoBabyDrama

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    63. Enharmony1625,

      • If Euron is still in the picture and becomes aware Cersei is knocked up, there’s no way in the world he lets that baby come to term. In their fictional world, the benefit of marrying a queen is to produce an heir who will someday rule. (That was Walder Frey’s expectation in extracting a marriage promise from Robb via Catelyn.) So, either Euron gets taken out early in S8… or bye bye Baby Tyvek.

      • I’ve restrained myself thus far. Is it time yet for Arya thread derailment? 👸🏻🚂⚠️

        Quote  Reply

    64. Ten Bears: I’ve restrained myself thus far. Is it time yet for Arya thread derailment? 👸🏻🚂⚠️

      What if you use a “Beetlejuice” rule, wherein her name must be said 3x (not by you) before you can pop up and derail the discussion? 😉

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    65. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      ….”I don’t think it’s a coincidence that ‘bend the knee or die’, or more specifically ‘burn’, was Stannis’s approach to dealing with his enemies and fulfilling his destiny.

      I don’t think it’s coincidence that in the previous episode Cersei was also depicted killing/punishing a rebellious mother and daughter.

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in the previous episode Dany asked Jon not judge her by her father’s crimes, specifically burning his uncle and grandfather alive, only for her to go ahead and burn a father and son alive herself in the very next episode.

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that two episodes earlier, Jon was depicted going out of his way to show mercy to the children of traitors.….”
      ___________
      Good spot(s)! I hadn’t noticed some of these juxtapositions.
      Incidentally, I’m curious how Sam – Jon’s BFF – will react to the news that Dany flame broiled his brother. (Randyll was a d*ck; Dickon wasn’t.) Maester Ebrose had hidden that news from Sam before Sam left the Citadel, so he will undoubtedly learn about it soon enough in S8.

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    66. Gwidhiel: What if you use a “Beetlejuice” rule, wherein her name must be said 3x (not by you) before you can pop up and derail the discussion? 😉

      I accept your terms. 🆗

        Quote  Reply

    67. Enharmony1625: Jon riding Rhaegal is a compelling reason indeed for their union. I’ve felt that that is pretty much inevitable for the past few seasons.

      Right because the weapons of mass destruction can’t be concentrated in one person’s control if there’s going to be any kind of suspense in the story. The ridiculous wight expedition served to “even” the odds a bit for the showdown with the NK (and conveniently get him past The Wall). But they can’t let Dany be the only living person with a dragon, so I feel like it’s a pretty sure thing that Jon will get Rhaegel.

      Enharmony1625: Quyburn, moreover, would have to be in on the deception I think, which makes it even more strange that the two of them would hatch this kind of scheme (and stage that scene where Quyburn asks her if he can get her anything for the nausea).

      I agree that’s hard to swallow. Although I just watched S7e1 yesterday and Cersei’s discussion with Jaime focused on the fact that there is no “dynasty” possible for them anymore, because all their children were dead. She didn’t mention her pregnancy then, and you’d think she would have, even if it was only a suspicion on her part. I’m baffled either way.

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    68. Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,
      • If Euron is still in the picture and becomes aware Cersei is knocked up, there’s no way in the world he lets that baby come to term. In their fictional world, the benefit of marrying a queen is to produce an heir who will someday rule. (That was Walder Frey’s expectation in extracting a marriage promise from Robb via Catelyn.) So, either Euron gets taken out early in S8… or bye bye Baby Tyvek.

      Very good point! My feeling though, is that Euron will get taken out sooner rather than later. I just don’t see him as a major villain when all is said and done, and they’re going to save the big stuff for the end so they’re going to have to prune away some characters in the first half of the season. If Cersei is pregnant, it does fill me with some apprehension because one way or another, I don’t see that baby coming to term like you said. At least in the case of Dany, her child with Jon would inevitably be a symbol for the new world — the bringing of the dawn so-to-speak, and of a better world for a new generation.

      Speaking of Walder Frey, I just got done watching season 3 of my rewatch, and it’s striking how petty and spiteful he was. Yes, he was “robbed” (pun intended) of one of his daughters becoming a queen, but his treason was deeply rooted in his shame and humiliation of being snickered and laughed at. What a small, pathetic sh*t he was. Well, he got what he deserved, that’s for sure! ASNAWP!

      Which leads me to..

      Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,
      • I’ve restrained myself thus far. Is it time yet for Arya thread derailment? 👸🏻🚂⚠️

      Why yes. Yes it is!

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    69. Ten Bears,

      I think that was part of the point of the Tarly defection. To illustrate that as awful as we viewers know Cersei to be, there are those in Westeros who would still consider her the lesser of two evils.

      You will obviously remember the scene between Hot Pie and Arya at the inn. Everybody in the inn seemed content enough. There were the two traders heading to King’s Landing, sceptical about the existence of Dany’s dragons and hoping to profit from any conflict. Hot Pie doesn’t exactly sound too pressed by Cersei’s destruction of the Sept. People are getting on with their lives.

      Previously, we’d seen the homesick, war-weary Lannister soldiers. And when Jon announces to the Northern and Vale Lords that Dany has three dragons, they all groan and roll their eyes, almost out of frustration more than anything else. They’ve already declared their independence. Dany is just another complication.

      The Westerosi weren’t crying out to be liberated. This conquest is all about what Dany wants. Remember that she would’ve still invaded had Tommen and Margaery ruled, had Renly Baratheon ruled, had Robb Stark liberated Westeros from Joffrey’s rule and installed a just ruler to the Iron Throne….

      She was faced with Jon Snow, ruler of an independent kingdom, chosen by its people, and she looked him in the eye and insisted that she was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms. What are we supposed to take from that?

      At this point, the only way that Dany is likely to win the hearts of the Westerosi is by saving them from the White Walkers. But personally, I doubt that it’s going to be anywhere near that straightforward.

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    70. ygritte:
      Ten Bears,

      “Because I know the people have no better chance than you.”

      Why does Varys believe this exactly? He doesn’t know her well at that point… I know there’s some key piece of logic that I’m forgetting here lol.

      Perhaps what you are forgetting is that Varys is in close cahoots with Illyrio, and that together through their Essosi agents they have been closely tracking Dany’s whereabouts and progress since she was an infant. Even if he has not met her in person until recently, he is heavily invested in her (especially since Viserys flamed out) being the one to come to Westeros and shake things up.

      Also, although Varys’ actual longterm agenda is less murky in the show than it is in the books, taking what he says about his priorities at face value probably isn’t wise. He is a subtle Spider and his webs are many.

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    71. I honestly see how realistically Euron is taken out early though. I am almost certain he will die but his only threat is Theon and a handful of iron born, whilst he has an Armada and the golden company so by rights it shouldn’t happen.

      I do agree he will not be happy Cersei is pregnant though and perhaps that is the drama in the South during the first few episodes.

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    72. Ten Bears,

      Gah! My reply went straight into moderation. You’d think after so many posts the algorithm would be like “This Enharmony dude seems decent. A bit obsessed with something called ‘ASNAWP’, and makes the occasional horrible pun, but otherwise seems quite alright”..

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    73. Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,

      • If Euron is still in the picture and becomes aware Cersei is knocked up, there’s no way in the world he lets that baby come to term. In their fictional world, the benefit of marrying a queen is to produce an heir who will someday rule…. So, either Euron gets taken out early in S8… or bye bye Baby Tyvek.

      As someone who is convinced that ‘I, Claudius’ played a significant role among GRRM’s influences in dreaming up this world of ambitious backstabbers, my mind immediately zips to the scene in which Caligula eviscerates his ‘divine’ sister/wife when she informs him that she is pregnant with a baby who might turn out to be more ‘divine’ and powerful than both of them put together. Joffrey might have been the more obvious Caligula-cognate in ASoIaF/GoT, but Euron is also Caligula-level crazy. (He’s also a ‘little brother,’ and thus a plausible Valonqar candidate.)

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    74. Ten Bears:
      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      P.S. I’m not a “Dany hater.” I just don’t understand the whole “break the wheel” concept, i.e., how her invasion is making people’s lives better.

      Know what’s especially nice about this thread? That sort of disclaimer no longer seems to be necessary. We can talk about a variety of possible outcomes for Dany’s arc without being hijacked by a certain someone who used a succession of names but whose typing style was always recognizable. Props to the mods for whatever they did to rein in those once-inevitable disruptions!

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    75. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Another alternative would have been to set them free. It may seem counter-intuitive during conquest, but if she truly wanted to show that she’s different from Cersei and other rulers, then allowing the defeated soldiers (aside from their lords/commanders) to return to their families could have proven that she was merciful and would only kill those who continued to take up arms against her. Surely that’s a better message to send to the people of Westeros.”
      ———–
      What you wrote about this alternative to Dany’s “Bend the Knee or Fry” ultimatum reminded me that allowing enemy soldiers to return to their families is exactly the choice she (through Grey Worm) gave the Masters’ soldiers in S6e9 after seeing Dany and her dragons incinerate the ship.

      Grey Worm told them: “You men have a choice. Fight and die for masters who would never fight and die for you. Or go home to your families.” Of course, the soldiers laid down their weapons and skeedaddled.

      I’m left to wonder why the Lannister soldiers weren’t given the same option.

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    76. Firannion: As someone who is convinced that ‘I, Claudius’ played a significant role among GRRM’s influences in dreaming up this world of ambitious backstabbers, my mind immediately zips to the scene in which Caligula eviscerates his ‘divine’ sister/wife when she informs him that she is pregnant with a baby who might turn out to be more ‘divine’ and powerful than both of them put together. Joffrey might have been the more obvious Caligula-cognate in ASoIaF/GoT, but Euron is also Caligula-level crazy. (He’s also a ‘little brother,’ and thus a plausible Valonqar candidate.)

      Totally agree about “I Claudius” which was as groundbreaking in the 70s UK and US as GoT is now. And GRRM is the right age to have been influenced by it. BTW, I’ve seen it in both countries. PBS slightly bowdlerised it. The original Caligula scene is quite graphic. ‘Claudius’ was certainly my introduction to the concept of sister/wives. GoT makes some subtle connections with its predecessor. Joffrey is a blonde version of the famous painted marble bust of Caligula https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caligula Also, the pose of Ros shot full of arrows resembles that of Caligula’s sister. It also evokes art historical depictions of St Sebastian.

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    77. Roz’s Ghost: So how far fetched would it be for Tyrion to suggest to Cersei ( in the meeting we didn’t see) that her unborn child could rule Westeros? Maybe not an actual betrayal from Tyrion’s point of view, just a “negotiation” to gain Cersei’s support. In doing so, he does in fact betray Dany if he tells Cersei Dany will not have kids, and there is no plan in place for a succession. That’s way too much information to give an adversary.

      I also get the impression that Tyrion is very ambitious. He likes power. So I have to wonder if his discussions with Varys about Dany’s “impulsive behavior” are setting the stage for Tyrion to decide he can be as good as if not much better than anyone else as a ruler, so why not offer himself to Cersei as the “regent” for Cersei’s unborn kid? This is my own speculation and opinions based on what I’ve observed in the series

      This is interesting, especially when you consider Tyrion’s numerous failings in S7. I’ve wondered why he didn’t seem to feel it necessary to instruct Daenerys about how things work in Westeros, vis a vis the lord-vassal relationship, and the importance of honor. Perhaps the latter didn’t occur to him because his family has focused on power over honor (ironically except Jaime). But I wonder what would have happened to the Tarlys if Jorah had been at Dany’s side rather than Tyrion. Perhaps I’m giving Jorah too much credit, but I feel like he might have explained to Dany that Randyll Tarly adhering to his oath of loyalty to Cersei was a matter of honor, and that that was something that she, as a righteous feudal ruler, should recognize and respect. That’s what Tyrion should have done, rather than wring his hands and mumble that burning them alive wasn’t a very nice thing to do. Daenerys was taking the Tarlys’ refusal to bend the knee as a personal affront, and it wasn’t. I really don’t think she understood that.

      Nor did she understand that agreeing to join in the war against the NK was her duty if she views herself as the sovereign of the Seven Kingdoms. It wasn’t a favor that she was doing Jon, or the North as a whole, it was her duty. Especially once she’d witnessed the NK herself. If she’d understood that being queen carries inherent responsibilities, she wouldn’t have insisted on the farce of the dragonpit meeting. Stannis had understood the obligation to protect the North from the Wildling invasion. But Daenerys pretty obviously doesn’t view it that way – even at the dragonpit she was worried about Cersei and the throne, instead of being laser focused on the existential threat to the kingdom. If we’d seen Tyrion try to explain her duty to her, we could let him off the hook if she simply disregarded that information and continued to pursue her personal agenda. But we’ve seen no indication that he ever provided her with that instruction.

      I’m frustrated and disappointed in Tyrion because I feel like that’s Daenerys’s Achilles heel – she’s uneducated and undisciplined. I admired her for getting as far as she has by figuring stuff out on her own, but that’s only going to get her so far. She even …somewhat … recognizes that herself – that’s why she took Tyrion into her service. But so far he himself has been overly focused on taking out Cersei, rather than looking at the larger situation and the role that the would-be ruler of the Seven Kingdoms should be playing.

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    78. Ten Bears,

      Very good point. I’d forgotten about that.

      I wonder what that says about her perceptions of the Westerosi compared to the people of Slaver’s Bay?

      It certainly reinforces her differing roles as liberator and conqueror.

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    79. Ten Bears:
      I’m left to wonder why the Lannister soldiers weren’t given the same option.

      Because it isn’t an option. Dany is claiming the Westerlands as part of her realm.

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    80. Gwidhiel,

      You’ve made some excellent points ! Thank you! Your observation about Dany taking the Tarly’s refusal to bend the knee as a personal affront instead of being about honor, really resonated with me. The whole notion of honor and duty and Dany ‘s lack of understanding of the Westerosi in this regard is very important. And yes, I too wonder, now that you’ve pointed it out, what would have happened if Ser Jorah had been at her side instead of Tyrion, to argue on behalf of sparing the Tarlys. This post also makes me reconsider her conversation at her first meeting with Jon. She took his refusal as an affront as well and it wasn’t. it wasn’t even about the Night King as much as it was about his commitment to his people in the North and not betraying their trust. Tyrion is for all his protestations still very much a Lannister, and still so preoccupied with his family, and with out maneuvering Cersei he’s neglected his first duty to Dany: Not properly instructing her about who and what she’s dealing with in Westeros and why and how they do things.

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    81. Roz’s Ghost,

      Yes, exactly. And viewed in that light, in a way – not deliberately, and I think without realizing it – Tyrion has already betrayed Daenerys. He hasn’t set aside his personal grudges and his Lannister self-importance to help her become the queen she wishes to be. As a means of persuading Cersei to agree to a cease-fire the wight expedition was the stupidest idea ever, because anyone who knows Cersei would know that she’d never hold to a cease-fire. And it cost Daenerys one of her dragons.

      It’s funny that of the 3 Lannister siblings, the one that Tywin valued the most, Jaime, is the one who is the least like him, and has at various times risked the most to do the right thing (he cannot have known at the time that he wouldn’t be sentenced to death for slaying Aerys). Don’t get me wrong, Jaime has done dreadful things, too. But Cersei has called him “the stupidest Lannister,” and while she and Tyrion each pride themselves on their intelligence and what they learned from their father, neither of them seem to be able to go beyond themselves to see the bigger picture. Jaime sees the bigger picture. Tyrion can only be of real assistance to Daenerys if he sees what she is (and is not) and what she needs, rather than what she represents to him – a path to vengeance and power.

      Olenna’s advice to Daenerys – “be a dragon” – was self-serving because at that point Olenna’s only wish was to see Cersei destroyed. She didn’t care if everyone in King’s Landing burned along with Cersei, she didn’t even really care about what her own fate was. Tyrion, as you’ve observed, wants power. Daenerys offers him a path to power and influence, and the advice that he has offered her has been in service of his goals.

      I wonder what Varys thinks about it all.

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    82. Sean C.,

      She also claimed the rebelling cities of Astapor and Yunkai as part of her realm, yet at the point of victory she did not demand that their soldiers all bend the knee. She allowed them to lay down their arms and return to their families with no conditions attached. She even allowed Yezzan zo Qaggaz to live, to tell others of her might and her mercy.

      Dany would not expect every person from the Westerlands to come and pledge fealty to her. Only their liege lords.

      And the oaths she forced out of those soldiers were practically worthless since, having refused to hold them as prisoners of war, they could simply be conscripted back into their respective armies the moment they get home.

      Demanding that they all bend the knee or die was an exercise in ruling by fear and intimidation, despite having already given an unequivocal demonstration of her might. This was an opportunity to illustrate her mercy. Instead, she chose to burn a father and son alive while, to quote Jaime Lannister, “five hundred men just stood there and watched” out of fear.

      For somebody who wishes to be seen as better than the rulers she intends to replace, this wasn’t the way to go about convincing people. The story those soldiers would tell to anyone who cares to listen is one of the Mad King’s daughter burning a father and son alive with her dragon and threatening defeated prisoners of war with the same fate if they didn’t submit to her.

      It’s inconsistent with the ruler she claims to be and her actions in similar circumstances in Essos.

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    83. That was a great insight into acting from Gwen and playing her part as Brienne. Certainly sounds like she put a lot of hard work and physical training in to get the part. She’s great and a lovely person in all respects. I really hope Brienne makes it through to the end 🙂

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    84. May have been said but:-
      I can certainly see Sansa (and the Northern Lords) Betraying Jon when he becomes Aegon Targaryaen.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Colin Armfield,

      Lol, I must be the only one who has NEVER though Sansa would betray Jon, she may want power but she only wants it to be safe, not out of blind ambition, she would never betray her kin, not anymore.

      I actually see Sansa being key when it comes to “negotiate” with the nothern Lords, they respect her, she will be able to convince them that Jon and Daenerys are the leaders that the north needs.

      She may be able to speak to Tyrion and convince him that a marriage alliance between Jon and Daenerys would be just what Westeros needs, but I may be reaching too far.

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    86. MaxYronwood: Lol, I must be the only one who has NEVER though Sansa would betray Jon

      Nope, you’re not the only one. I’ve never believed that Sansa would betray anyone in her family.

      MaxYronwood: she may want power but she only wants it to be safe, not out of blind ambition, she would never betray her kin, not anymore.

      Exactly. But the show really did a number on her character, IMHO to have an unlikable Stark early on, and to stoke S6 and S7 dramatic tension. They’ve never really made her likable, though, and lots of people will continue to suspect her of various possible treacheries. It’s inevitable.

      It’s one of the strongest examples of what Clob had mentioned earlier in this thread, that having read the books has influenced how I perceive certain characters and their likely narratives. The book version of Sansa is a goody two-shoes, certainly capable of brattiness at times and tremendously naive, but really more of a rule-following teacher’s pet than a mean girl.

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    87. Colin Armfield,

      That ship has sailed and crashed into the rocks already. It was never going to happen. It was all just hype that wasn’t ever convincingly sold on screen, even as a red herring. Having Sansa immediately recognise Bran’s claim to Winterfell and constantly long for Jon to return didn’t exactly scream betrayal.

      The Northern Lords may abandon their support for Jon. There’s an outside chance they may even betray him and the Starks for some reason. But I’d be more inclined to believe that Sansa (along with Bran and Arya) will end up being key to retaining the support of the Northerners, as illustrated by their already shifting loyalties last season and her display of authority in executing Littlefinger.

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    88. MaxYronwood

      Yes, then Sansa would really be the ‘key to the north’ and the politician we’ve been primed for.

      On other matters…

      Morning sickness cure? I clearly wasn’t paying attention, as I thought Qyburn was offering Cersi an abortive draft. Bit different.

      I love Gwen. As Brienne was inspired by Joan of Arc I’m hoping she gets to lead a force at some point, but not be burnt alive. Maybe Lord Tarth will send forces once the Citadel calls all the lords to battle – wasn’t Sam told the Masters could do that at some point?

      Talking of inspiration, given the Stark/ Lannister conflict was inspired by the York/ Lancaster wars, I’m wondering if there will be a marriage between the houses to seal the truce like their historical counterparts. At this point, I really can’t see that happening, but if it did Sansa and Jamie are the heirs and they would be a beautiful couple… but he belongs to Brienne.

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    89. PS. by Sansa becoming the ‘ politician we’ve been primed for’ I mean how the production has framed the conversation of character’s development at times, rather than necessarily what was shown on screen, but it makes sense for Sansa’s arc were this to occur.

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    90. Northstar: if it did Sansa and Jamie are the heirs and they would be a beautiful couple

      Hm … would Tyrion be dead in this scenario? Because Sansa’s pre-existing marriage to Jaime’s brother would make that rather awkward. And as you say, there’s Brienne.

      It’s hard to imagine Sansa being keen or even willing to marry anyone at this point.

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    91. Northstar: Talking of inspiration, given the Stark/ Lannister conflict was inspired by the York/ Lancaster wars, I’m wondering if there will be a marriage between the houses to seal the truce like their historical counterparts. At this point, I really can’t see that happening, but if it did Sansa and Jamie are the heirs and they would be a beautiful couple… but he belongs to Brienne.

      Gwidhiel: Hm … would Tyrion be dead in this scenario? Because Sansa’s pre-existing marriage to Jaime’s brother would make that rather awkward. And as you say, there’s Brienne.

      It’s hard to imagine Sansa being keen or even willing to marry anyone at this point.

      I think the show could make a convincing case for Sansa and Tyrion getting back together. They would actually have to remarry, since it has been established that their prior marriage had to be annulled (on the basis of never having been consummated) in order for her to marry Ramsay. This works only if they allow Sansa and Tyrion enough time together throughout the remaining episodes for us to see her warming up to him, appreciating his positive qualities now that she has learned what a truly terrible marriage is like. Tyrion might need to save a Stark’s life or something. I think that Sansa would have to be the one to pop the question, but I think it might be kind of cute to see them (gasp!) flirting.

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    92. #NoWeddings
      #NoJaneAustenDoubleWeddings
      #NoPairingOff*
      #NoBabyDramas

      *…. Except Jaime & Brienne need to hook up. Even if just once.

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    93. Jon Snow, Stark illegitimate offspring is the rallying point for the north.
      “There is no king but the King in the North and his name is Stark!”

      Aegon Targaryaen is definitly not a Stark and is from a disliked / hated family.
      Sansa will very much be Lady Stark and will side with the Northern lords, not the Danny faction.
      I.M.H.O.

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    94. I think Sansa will be the person to bring both factions together rather than exacerbate the conflict, but that’s just my guess. Or, maybe Arya will be the one. Either way, i think there will be conflict but it won’t last once the AOTD comes knockin

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    95. Gwidhiel:
      Jay Targ,

      Hm, this just occurred to me about Varys: he’s one of the few remaining characters who can give insight into what was going on 20 years earlier, when Rhaegar disappeared for a while and Robert’s Rebellion began.

      Perhaps that’s irrelevant – the show might decide to treat Bran’s testimony and Sam’s book as sufficient evidence of Jon’s (legitimate) Targaryen heritage…

      I’ve been wondering about that too. I’m not sure the entry in the Septon’s diary Gilly found [did Sam even take that diary with them?] about Rhaegar’s annulment & remarriage to Lyanna, along with Bran’s “visions” of the ToJ baby handoff will be enough to convince people that Jon Snow is really Aegon Targaryen.

      Even if Sam has the Septon’s diary, at most it proves Rhaegar & Lyanna were married – and might refute Robert’s “rape and kidnap” story. It doesn’t say anything about a pregnancy.

      I dunno. Will people accept as gospel truth Bran’s story that he’s a magical bird who “saw” into the past and heard Lyanna tell Ned “his name… is Aegon Targaryen”? Would Jon himself accept that without question?

      Then, of course, there’s Dany: In S7e3, she and Missandei repeatedly announced that she’s the “rightful heir”; the “rightful queen of the Andals and First Men”; the “last Targaryen”; and was “born to rule.” Much of her identity is wrapped up in that entitlement-by-name. I doubt she will be receptive to Bran Stark’s narrative that she is not really the “rightful heir” or the “last Targaryen.”

      (And how will she take it when Rhaegal meets Jon…and starts wagging his tail and licking Jon’s face?)

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    96. Honestly cannot see Sansa and Tyrion getting together, there is some respect between the two but no chance of love or political will to marry the two houses.

      I doubt we will see any of the Starks marry in the remainder of the show but if they did Gendry would be the obvious groom.

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    97. Gwidhiel: What if you use a “Beetlejuice” rule, wherein her name must be said 3x (not by you) before you can pop up and derail the discussion? 😉

      Jon Snowed:
      “I doubt we will see any of the Starks marry in the remainder of the show but if they did Gendry would be the obvious groom.”

      Gwidhiel: Does this count as 1x?

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    98. Ten Bears,
      People, including J&D doubting his lineage despite words and what ‘proof’ they have is a reason for that fanfic-ish idea of mine where Daenerys tests if he’s a “dragon” with fire. Even Jon wouldn’t think fire can’t burn him but that’s not something he’s tested since his resurrection.

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    99. Ten Bears: Much of her identity is wrapped up in that entitlement-by-name. I doubt she will be receptive to Bran Stark’s narrative that she is not really the “rightful heir” or the “last Targaryen.”

      Yeah, she is not going to be receptive at all – at least not at first. I think that Bran can dispel doubts about his veracity by recounting for various people things that Bran couldn’t possibly know about them unless he possesses the powers he claims to have – private conversations that Dany had with Drogo or Viserys, Missandei’s mother’s name, what Jorah’s former wife’s last words to him were, etc.

      I’ll be rolling my eyes if Sam & Gilly just happen to have brought the old septon’s diary with them, given that it has no information about the Long Night or White Walkers in it. So perhaps Varys could be useful there to be able to say something like, “Oh right, it was so strange that Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia Martell a few months before he was killed in the Trident. That news just made Aerys even more paranoid and incensed than he already was.”

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    100. Firannion: I think the show could make a convincing case for Sansa and Tyrion getting back together.

      For what it’s worth I don’t see this as a likely outcome. My view is certainly informed by my impression of characters based on their book versions; Tyrion is a much better person on the show than he is in the books, but even so that outcome just feels, to me, like an unsavory prospect for Sansa. Just my intuition though and I could certainly be wrong about it. I guess they could develop it in the show so that it didn’t feel pretty yucky for Sansa, but it’s hard to envision right now.

      Strangely enough I still like Tyrion, even in the books, although obviously I have lots of misgivings about him.

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    101. Gwidhiel: Bran couldn’t possibly know about them unless he possesses the powers he claims to have – private conversations that Dany had with Drogo or Viserys, Missandei’s mother’s name….

      Would he be able to see those things though? It’s thought that greensight is linked to the weirwood trees – a network of sorts. The weirwoods didn’t exist where and when those mentioned things could be seen. *shrug*

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    102. Gwidhiel: I’ll be rolling my eyes if Sam & Gilly just happen to have brought the old septon’s diary with them

      I’m guessing he will have. They only showed him ‘borrowing’ more books after that scene of Gilly reading the diary. I figure whatever books he had at the time he’d take with them.

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    103. Clob: Would he be able to see those things though?It’s thought that greensight is linked to the weirwood trees – a network of sorts.The weirwoods didn’t exist where and when those mentioned things could be seen.*shrug*

      I know – I doubt that in the books Bran’s powers will be so boundless. But the show doesn’t seem to feel the need to be specific about how Bran’s powers are connected (if they are) to weirwood networks in Westeros – his S6 rapid past/present/future visions montage showed Drogo’s funeral pyre and the birth of the dragons in Essos. He knew Daenerys had set sail for Westeros. So they’ve already dispensed with that limitation on his powers.

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    104. Gwidhiel: Tyrion is a much better person on the show than he is in the books, but even so that outcome just feels, to me, like an unsavory prospect for Sansa… I guess they could develop it in the show so that it didn’t feel pretty yucky for Sansa, but it’s hard to envision right now.

      Agreed. Book Tyrion engages in some pretty bad behavior during his post-escape-from-Death-Row slump. But even with sanitized TV Tyrion, any such reconciliation would absolutely have to be Sansa’s idea in order to override the ‘ick factor.’ Her never wanting another man to touch her in any sort of sexual way ever again is quite a plausible resolution to her marriageability arc. I just don’t think it’s the only possible windup. An aristocratic lady in her society would be expected to try to make heirs, regardless of prior trauma, and that will be difficult for someone with her upbringing to reject altogether. Even better would be a scenario in which she eventually finds healing in the company of a man (or woman) who treats her with full respect, gentleness and consideration.

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    105. I’m sure Jon will have an identity crisis next season once he finds out that he’s not Ned’s son, but I’m equally sure that someone will talk him out of it, similar to the way Jon told Theon that he’s both a Stark and a Greyjoy. I’m just not sure who will do it. Sam? Arya? Sansa? Theon? Dany?

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    106. Firannion: I just don’t think it’s the only possible windup. An aristocratic lady in her society would be expected to try to make heirs, regardless of prior trauma, and that will be difficult for someone with her upbringing to reject altogether. Even better would be a scenario in which she eventually finds healing in the company of a man (or woman) who treats her with full respect, gentleness and consideration.

      I agree. I’m not at all sure the show will go so far into spring as to show us that development, but if they do I hope it’s justified and not a hastily assembled “btw, here’s the wrap-up to Sansa’s storyline.”

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    107. Mr Derp:
      I’m sure Jon will have an identity crisis next season once he finds out that he’s not Ned’s son, but I’m equally sure that someone will talk him out of it, similar to the way Jon told Theon that he’s both a Stark and a Greyjoy.I’m just not sure who will do it.Sam?Arya?Sansa?Theon?Dany?

      My guess is Sansa will be instrumental there – she’s been the one constantly reassuring him that he’s a Stark and I think the crux of his identity crisis, besides the general shock, will pertain to the fact that the man he’d believed was his father wasn’t actually, and all of the weirdness that attached to that lie (including Catelyn’s resentment of Jon). Her sister (<– nope, Ten Bears 😉 ) might also be important in conveying that to their cousin and helping him reconcile the new information with his existing identity.

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    108. Firannion,

      “Even better would be a scenario in which she eventually finds healing in the company of a man (or woman) who treats her with full respect, gentleness and consideration.”

      “Good luck finding him.”
      “Who said anything about ‘him’?”

      Seriously, if the show were going to do a concluding coupling for Sansa, wouldn’t they have set that up already? Besides, the only candidates who’d qualify to treat her the way you suggest are Pod and Hot Pie.

      I thought Sansa has abandoned her daydreams of marrying a prince and having his babies. By S7e7, she seemed content being the Lady of Winterfell, and no longer needs to be some clown’s human incubator.

      #NoWeddings
      #NoBabyDramas
      #NoPairingOffs

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    109. Gwidhiel,

      Well, the whole family – especially Sansa – is going to have to have a reckoning about their Aunt Lyanna. Ned didn’t talk about her, and Sansa especially is going to have to come to terms with the revelation that their family “history” was a cover-up: Aunt Lyanna wasn’t “kidnapped and raped” – she eloped with the man she loved, and then snookered Ned into joining in a grand deception to keep her son safe from the wrath of Robert the Manwhore.

      And when all is said and done, Jon is still half Stark. When Ned told Jon: “You may not have my name, but you have my blood”, he was telling the truth – though he perpetuated, or allowed everyone to believe, the false story that he was bastard Jon’s dad to protect the little brother Aegon 2.0 from the same fate as his big brother Aegon 1.0.

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    110. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      Well, the whole family – especially Sansa – is going to have to have a reckoning about their Aunt Lyanna. Ned didn’t talk about her, and Sansa especially is going to have to come to terms with the revelation that their family “history” was a cover-up: Aunt Lyanna wasn’t “kidnapped and raped” – she eloped with the man she loved, and then snookered Ned into joining in a grand deception to keep her son safe from the wrath of Robert the Manwhore.

      And when all is said and done, Jon is still half Stark. When Ned told Jon: “You may not have my name, but you have my blood”, he was telling the truth – though he perpetuated, or allowed everyone to believe, the false story that he was bastard Jon’s dad to protect the little brother Aegon 2.0 from the same fate as his big brother Aegon 1.0.

      Yup – and I think the Stark sisters will process it with Jon (I assume they’ll continue to have Bran being very detached from his personal history & Stark identity; plus he’s known about this for a while now), and help him feel that he does indeed have a meaningful claim to a Stark identity. I think this will make them feel even more protective of Jon’s standing as part of the Stark clan than they were when he was just their bastard/half-brother.

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    111. Ten Bears,

      In fact, Sansa can point out that her connection to the Knights of the Vale is through her Tully side – that maternal lineage is widely recognized and respected in Westeros.

      I think we’ve seen signs that Edmure Tully will be appearing in S8, and if so he’s likely to support his nieces; further evidence of the importance of maternal kinship in that society.

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    112. But Jon is half Stark and grew up in Winterfell, I cannot believe he will suddenly be hated by the Northerners. That said, turning up with a foreign invader will not be very popular I am sure.

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    113. I think a split between Dany and Jon is coming it’s only a matter how big that divide will be. Dany is not going to like the fact she’s not the rightful heir but with the Army of the Dead coming they may have to get over things quickly.

      I am guessing the drama between Jon and Dany is also what Emilia was talking about when she expressed concern how her character will be percieved after the end.

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    114. Mr Derp:
      I’m sure Jon will have an identity crisis next season once he finds out that he’s not Ned’s son, but I’m equally sure that someone will talk him out of it, similar to the way Jon told Theon that he’s both a Stark and a Greyjoy.I’m just not sure who will do it.Sam?Arya?Sansa?Theon?Dany?

      I think Sansa would make the most narrative sense. Back when she was a child, she was raised to be of the mindset that Jon was a bastard and not a full Stark, hearing her claim that he’s still her brother and a Stark would pack far more of a punch than hearing it from Arya or Bran. It would also highlight Sansa’s growth as a person since it’ll show she truly no longer views him as a half-brother anymore, it would also be a good callback to the moment she said he’s a Stark and not a Snow.

      Plus, it’ll finally kill any doubt that the Starks are fully united and ready to work together, or that Sansa is somehow operating against him after the reveal.

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    115. Jon Snowed:
      I think a split between Dany and Jon is coming it’s only a matter how big that divide will be. Dany is not going to like the fact she’s not the rightful heir but with the Army of the Dead coming they may have to get over things quickly.

      I am guessing the drama between Jon and Dany is also what Emilia was talking about when she expressed concern how her character will be percieved after the end.

      The Dany v Jon arc will begin before the assault of the AOTD but go on a temp truce while they attack. It will come to a head with the showdown with Cersei.

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    116. This sort of makes sense minor filming spoiler

      as we know Jon will return to Kings Landing and he doesn’t appear to be with Dany at this point

      .

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    117. Gwidhiel,

      “…I think this will make them feel even more protective of Jon’s standing as part of the Stark clan than they were when he was just their bastard/half-brother.”
      ——-
      I think so too. And even though Sansa apologized to Jon for treating him like sh*t growing up, it’s apparent Catelyn’s resentment of Jon as a reminder of her husband’s (supposed) infidelity rubbed off on Sansa. Now, Jon is a reminder of Ned’s love for his sister, and the sacrifices he made to keep his promise to her.

      BTW… As far as proof of Jon’s paternity: If “visions” of a magic bird aren’t enough to convince skeptics, I wonder if mystery man Howland Reed might make a surprise appearance in S8. They did name-drop him in the ToJ fight scene… Plus, I’d like to see Meera again. If the Reeds get wind that people are doubting Bran & Sam and it’s causing dissension at the worst possible time, might Howland feel compelled to show up to dispel their doubts? He’s the only direct witness left alive who can confirm Bran’s story, isn’t he?

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    118. BeardedOnion: she was raised to be of the mindset that Jon was a bastard and not a full Stark

      That’s not quite right: the other Stark children called Jon their “bastard brother” on a regular basis. Once Sansa was old enough to perceive that the “bastard” label bothered Jon, she took to using “half-brother” instead. No denying that Sansa wasn’t close to Jon in their childhood, but she very specifically did not refer to Jon as “bastard.”

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    119. Do we know if Meera will be appearing in season 8 or not? If so, I would think that Howland will make an appearance, but if Meera isn’t in season 8 then I doubt Howland will appear. IMO, it would be a strange choice to have Howland show up at WF without Meera.

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    120. Gwidhiel: That’s not quite right: the other Stark children called Jon their “bastard brother” on a regular basis. Once Sansa was old enough to perceive that the “bastard” label bothered Jon, she took to using “half-brother” instead. No denying that Sansa wasn’t close to Jon in their childhood, but she very specifically did not refer to Jon as “bastard.”

      My bad, you are quite right. Sansa was never mean, distant sure but not mean.

      But even so, the old Sansa who follows every expectation of society is gone, she doesn’t care about Jon’s heritage and it’ll be a great time for her to show she truly does view him as a brother, even if he technically isn’t anymore. It wouldn’t be nearly as reassuring to Jon to hear how he’s still a Stark from Arya or Bran since they always thought so, hearing it from the closest thing to Cat (even if she was never as mean) would be liberating at that moment.

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    121. BeardedOnion: But even so, the old Sansa who follows every expectation of society is gone, she doesn’t care about Jon’s heritage and it’ll be a great time for her to show she truly does view him as a brother, even if he technically isn’t anymore. It wouldn’t be nearly as reassuring to Jon to hear how he’s still a Stark from Arya or Bran since they always thought so, hearing it from the closest thing to Cat (even if she was never as mean) would be liberating at that moment.

      I agree.

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    122. I can’t see Jon betraying Daenerys, or taking part in betraying her. He is true to his word/oath. Bran and Sam will reveal the truth to Jon, and Jon will tell both to keep his true lineage a secret. Varys would eventually learn this information and work behind the scenes to get Jon the iron throne. Unfortunately, I can see Jon dying before this unfolds probably in episode 5 at that massive KL battle. Dany would learn of Varys’ betrayal, and Dany also true to her word will burn Varys alive, her last words onscreen would be “dracarys.” Dany and Jon ruling together would be awesome but going by GoT tragic logic, one might die, hopefully I’m wrong as Jon has grown on me but his arc has always been tragic and full of loss, his and Arya.

      Plus using the Lord of the Rings as comparison, since the series is a huge inspiration to GRRM. Daenerys has Aragorn’s rightful heir, return of the King(in her case Queen) arc, while Jon has Frodo, this is pretty obvious given that both Jon and Frodo’s best friend have the same name “Sam.”

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    123. River: Daenerys has Aragorn’s rightful heir, return of the King(in her case Queen) arc

      But she’s not the rightful heir – that’s the whole point of the parentage reveal that includes an annulment of Rhaegar’s first marriage.

      ETA: The differences between Aragorn and Daenerys are many, but the most important one may be that Aragorn was very well-taught and trained to his duties. He had excellent role models and he certainly had a stable home throughout his childhood. Daenerys has had none of those advantages.

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    124. Also that Cersei kidnaps Jon rumor might be true, I can see Cersei doing something like that, with Jaime probably dead in episode 3, in that white walker battle. Cersei might send someone, a Lannister soldier masquerading as Stark to kidnap Jon. If Jon dies at the hands of Cersei, that would make Dany go apesh*t on Cersei in KL.

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    125. Gwidhiel,

      Dany and casual viewers have long assumed that she is the “rightful heir,” I was talking about which character arc fits or is faithful to their LoTR counterpart. GRRM said in an interview once that Dany ruling in Meereen is his answer to Tolkien’s Aragorn ruled wisely presumption. Daenerys in his vision, is what Aragorn should have been or how his rule would have looked like if it played out fully in the books.

      This is GRRM in an earlier interview, “Seeing someone like Dany actually trying to deal with the vestments of being a queen and [dealing with] factions and guilds and the economy. They burnt all the fields [in Meereen]. They’ve got nothing to import anymore. They’re not getting any money. I find this stuff interesting. And fortunately, enough of my readers who love the books do as well.”

      Jon also fits the Aragorn arc very well, but his overall arc is very much like Frodo, off to strange lands to fight something mystical, accompanied by his buddy Sam. I could be wrong, but this I am sure of; Samwell Tarly is GRRM’s Samwise Gamgee 😀

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    126. River: Daenerys in his vision, is what Aragorn should have been or how his rule would have looked like if it played out fully in the books.

      Hm, I don’t think I agree with your interpretation of the Daenerys-Aragorn connection, but if it works for you I won’t argue!

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    127. I think there was an article at the back end of 2017 by the actress stating she wasn’t sure if she would be back or not.

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    128. I’m not sure I see Jon betraying Dany more either he will disagree with her and her ways or she will turn on him because he is the rightful heir. Jon and Bran keeping quiet also makes zero sense given Bran said at the end of S7 Jon must be told.

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    129. Jon being kidnapped was a fan rumour but there is nothing to support it and neither is it logical in my eyes. I think this was all based upon the fact that we know minor spoiler from filming articles

      Jon will be in Kings Landing and is also involved in a battle there

      .

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    130. Gwidhiel: Hm, I don’t think I agree with your interpretation of the Daenerys-Aragorn connection, but if it works for you I won’t argue!

      Jon also fits the role nicely, he is the rightful heir but I do find Dany’s overall arc from the beginning till now to be quite faithful to Aragorn.

      GRRM himself said this, “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. I wanted magic to be something barely under control and half instinctive.”

      The author himself keeps comparing Dany to Aragorn both in ruling and magical abilities. I’m not saying GoT will end up exactly like LoTR, I don’t expect that but it’s hard to deny the parallels, I prefer GoT over LoTR. GoT is GRRM working out all the chinks in Tolkien’s armour/story.

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    131. BeardedOnion: Plus, it’ll finally kill any doubt that the Starks are fully united and ready to work together, or that Sansa is somehow operating against him after the reveal.

      Haha, I don’t think anything could kill all of the doubt about Hillary Clinton Sansa Stark. Years from now some people will still be grumbling about Sansa being power-hungry and treacherous, still searching for proof that she’s going to usurp Jon’s kingship or collude with Cersei.

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    132. Jon Snowed:
      Jon being kidnapped was a fan rumour but there is nothing to support it and neither is it logical in my eyes.I think this was all based upon the fact that we know minor spoiler from filming articles

      .

      I hope so, but I wouldn’t put it past Cersei. If not Jon then it might be Sansa. Cersei is cunning and with Jaime gone, she might pull off something like that. Cersei will meet her end, probably in that map room of hers, with Drogon surprising her from above.

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    133. Jon Snowed:
      I’m not sure I see Jon betraying Dany more either he will disagree with her and her ways or she will turn on him because he is the rightful heir.Jon and Bran keeping quiet also makes zero sense given Bran said at the end of S7 Jon must be told.

      I agree.

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    134. We can’t rule it out but I do feel it’s unlikely I mean how could she realistically kidnap anyone and bring them down South she has no army to do it and it’s a ton of risk. I do agree she is going to die before the end though.

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    135. Jon Snowed:
      We can’t rule it out but I do feel it’s unlikely I mean how could she realistically kidnap anyone and bring them down South she has no army to do it and it’s a ton of risk. I do agree she is going to die before the end though.

      She’s very smart, as evident in all of S7. I can see her striking after the episode 3 fight, while everyone is still distracted. She might send 3 to 4 men, Lannister men masquerading as Stark men to kidnap whoever is vulnerable and brought to KL. She is the big bad, the white walkers are scary and all but they got nothing on Cersei. She is creative as hell, I expect her to pull off something like that.

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    136. Gwidhiel: Haha, I don’t think anything could kill all of the doubt about Hillary Clinton Sansa Stark. Years from now some people will still be grumbling about Sansa being power-hungry and treacherous, still searching for proof that she’s going to usurp Jon’s kingship or collude with Cersei.

      But…but…her chain-mails!

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    137. Firannion: But…but…her chain-mails!

      Yeah that damning raven scroll, there’s gotta be more to it than we know.

      I mean, it’s just not possible that someone got the wrong end of the stick about a female character they were predisposed to dislike because she reminded them of their bratty sister or mean girls at school. Nah. It’s much more likely that even though in Season 6 and Season 7 Sansa held steady for Jon and the rest of her family, in Season 8 she will show her true colors and Betray Them All.

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    138. Ten Bears,

      Personally, I think it’d be a rather depressing end to Sansa’s arc if she was left with no hint of marriage and children, bearing in mind quite how integral that was to all her childhood dreams and just how brutally they were smashed to pieces.

      I understand the whole ‘independent woman’ angle, but to me it seems rather bleak that this character who was once so invested in the thought of a fairytale ending would end the show having known only forced marriages, abuse, manipulation, psychopaths, bullies…

      We’ve had the character growth. She’s realised her naivety and misplaced priorities. Now would be the moment for the glimmer of hope for the future.

      The problem as you point out is the dearth of viable candidates to provide that glimmer. The pickings could be even slimmer once the Night King is finished.

      I have my own thoughts on the matter, but I dare not get into that.

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    139. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: I have my own thoughts on the matter, but I dare not get into that.

      Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?
      Pinky: I think so, Brain. But if I put on two tutu’s, would I really be wearing a four-by-four?
      Brain: Why do I even bother asking?
      Pinky: I dunno, Brain. Maybe it’s all part of some huge, cosmic plot formula!

      If you’re suggesting what I think you’re suggesting, it might be plausible but is surely better left unsaid. 😉

      Arya! Arya! Arya!

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    140. I’m sure Varys’ whispers conveyed that Dany was compassionate and humane, concerned with the rights and welfare of all. Especially relative to other options. I can’t even compare her with Cersei. Yes, she wants to be queen, but it’s important to her to “break the wheel” and be a fair and just ruler. She freed the Unsullied, who then CHOSE to fight for her…everyone in her army chose to fight for her because they believe in her, not because she forced them.
      Maybe she does need to better communicate her intentions to the people of Westeros.
      I hadn’t had that much issue with Dany carrying out the defeated Tarlys’ choice (execution)—trying not to be influenced by my negative view of Randyll…but there’s surely a case for it not having been the best move.
      I love Tyrion and Varys, but maybe instead of talking to each other they ought to do a better job of advising their queen as to how things work in Westeros, how best to convey her whole platform to the people, etc. She can’t improve lives before gaining the throne, and maybe she was afraid of losing everything she’d achieved so far by being too soft, or holding off on executions rather than just getting them over with.
      She wants to change the way people live for the better, but if the people are content enough with Cersei because they can only focus on their day-to-day struggles…they may simply buy Cersei’s rhetoric about foreign invaders come to wreak havoc. You have to effectively communicate your innovative new vision. ;p I more than understand the desire to just take down Cersei, but some who’ve counseled Dany have indeed been perhaps a bit too obsessed with that.

      Oooooh, what is Sansa is one of the shocking “betrayals” Sophie teased…x-> Hard to see happening at this point, though I could’ve imagined it more easily earlier. Guess almost anything could happen though…8|

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    141. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Re: Sansa…
      “….The problem as you point out is the dearth of viable candidates to provide that glimmer. The pickings could be even slimmer once the Night King is finished.
      I have my own thoughts on the matter, but I dare not get into that.”

      ——–
      Might your own thoughts on the matter have anything to do with a certain poultry connoisseur?

        Quote  Reply

    142. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Psst, while everyone’s watching the dancing bears … if you are suggesting what I think you’re suggesting I think you might be onto something, although I’m far from convinced about it. I think they’ve laid the groundwork for it on one side, but it’s far less clear to me that it’s reciprocated.

      Sansa seemed very tightly drawn in S7, and I really had the impression that she’s not interested in romance with anyone.

        Quote  Reply

    143. Gwidhiel,

      Sansa seemed very tightly drawn in S7, and I really had the impression that she’s not interested in romance with anyone.”
      ……..
      True. But that may be because she’s under the mistaken impression her knight in shining armor perished years ago.

        Quote  Reply

    144. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      Sansa seemed very tightly drawn in S7, and I really had the impression that she’s not interested in romance with anyone.”
      …….. True. But that may be because she’s under the mistaken impression her knight in shining armor perished years ago.

      Good point, although he’s adamantly not a knight. And of course for most of S7 she was trying to keep Littlefinger at arm’s length without alienating him. Although I suppose the death sentence was a bit alienating.

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    145. Shelle: I love Tyrion and Varys, but maybe instead of talking to each other they ought to do a better job of advising their queen as to how things work in Westeros, how best to convey her whole platform to the people

      That’s a big part of my problem with certain characters having major issues with war-like actions she makes. The plans made for her by some of those same characters have been poor to begin with and in execution turned out to be devastating. Tyrion kicked himself for being outsmarted and severely weakening Daenerys forces yet later doesn’t like her ambush that killed so many and admonishes her for the Tarly execution(s) (no need to discuss the method of that any further). That was the type of overpowering offensive assault that is necessary to win, without killing civilians.

      While I agree with Tyrion advising her not to directly attack King’s Landing, all of his plans were slow developing, would have taken time to be effective and in no way did they include methods to earn support of the people. Would it have been any worse to do a direct attack on the Red Keep itself through the air or with just soldiers through the various tunnels we saw Arya and Tyrion exit? THREE times (on the show) her forces have effectively infiltrated through the “back door” to defeat a city/castle!! Yunkai, Meereen and Casterly Rock were all taken using that method yet it’s not even considered for the Red Keep!? I guess that belongs in the too-quick-of-an-ending category like “why didn’t the eagles just fly Frodo to Mordor/Mount Doom.”

      If she wasn’t going to attack KL I don’t think sitting at Dragonstone and sending out demanding letters was going to do much, especially in the way of earning the support of the people. I’d have personally advised her to land her entire army in the allied areas of the Reach or Dorne and moved it as far as Highgarden. It would have eliminated Euron’s fleet and Cersei wouldn’t have had the power to attack her full forces so Daenerys could have peacefully (as possible) moved across the country speaking with Houses and the people to gain support. That is if she ditched the demanding posture they made her have. She’s quite good at earning respect if the writing allows her to. I suppose none of that would make for quite as an exciting watch though so instead they went with nonsensical and disastrous ideas that probably wouldn’t have been made if this were real.

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    146. Clob: While I agree with Tyrion advising her not to directly attack King’s Landing, all of his plans were slow developing, would have taken time to be effective and in no way did they include methods to earn support of the people. Would it have been any worse to do a direct attack on the Red Keep itself through the air or with just soldiers through the various tunnels we saw Arya and Tyrion exit?

      I agree; but I think the invasion plans were what they were not merely because of poor writing, but because the person advising Daenerys has been focused on getting to Cersei, rather than on a wider charge of getting Daenerys well-situated in Westeros.

        Quote  Reply

    147. Gwidhiel,

      I think I am suggesting what you think I’m suggesting.

      To me, it makes perfectly reasonable sense narratively, thematically, politically, emotionally and it would be entirely in keeping with GRRM’s style.

      That doesn’t mean it will happen. It doesn’t mean there aren’t entirely valid arguments against it. And I think the biggest problem would be selling it to an audience already so heavily invested in the most obvious coupling, for whom the potential groundwork you speak of has likely completely passed them by.

      Although that would obviously be entirely in keeping with all the major dramatic turns of events on this show.

      It is an option, as far as I’m concerned.

      Ten Bears,

      I’m afraid not. As much as I love The Hound, I just can’t envision the circumstances in which that would become a viable match. In truth I think their relationship, much like his with Arya too, was simply meant to aid in both their character developments. I don’t believe it was ever supposed to lead anywhere. Not on the show anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    148. Gwidhiel: the person advising Daenerys has been focused on getting to Cersei

      Correct. All of the focus has become entirely about dethroning Cersei, as it concerns the war of the living. Daenerys did what she did in Essos initially to build an army but eventually it became equally as important to help the people and stop slavery. She was fighting for the people as opposed to having a desire to take a throne. Her goal was never to rule over those people, just stop the oppression. Her actions helped earn support and build her army, some of it with very little force. Tyrion and everyone else advising her needed to do more to remind her that the people are what she is or should be fighting for, not defeating one person for a chair.

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    149. Ramsay's 20th Good Man: I think I am suggesting what you think I’m suggesting.

      To me, it makes perfectly reasonable sense narratively, thematically, politically, emotionally and it would be entirely in keeping with GRRM’s style.

      That doesn’t mean it will happen. It doesn’t mean there aren’t entirely valid arguments against it. And I think the biggest problem would be selling it to an audience already so heavily invested in the most obvious coupling, for whom the potential groundwork you speak of has likely completely passed them by.

      Although that would obviously be entirely in keeping with all the major dramatic turns of events on this show.

      It is an option, as far as I’m concerned.

      I agree that it is an option – a good option, even, for all the reasons you’ve stated here. One of the biggest obstacles that I see for it in the show is how they’ve handled Sansa’s character so far – by lopping off her more appealing traits and encouraging the audience to mistrust and dislike her, that pairing would be a pretty hard sell for a sizable chunk of the audience. They’ve made Sansa more sympathetic, but they still haven’t made her very likable. Perhaps they’ll manage to remedy that in S8, but if not (and I suspect they won’t) then that outcome would feel very unsatisfying to many people.

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    150. Clob,

      Clob: People, including J&D doubting his lineage despite words and what ‘proof’ they have is a reason for that fanfic-ish idea of mine where Daenerys tests if he’s a “dragon” with fire. Even Jon wouldn’t think fire can’t burn him but that’s not something he’s tested since his resurrection

      I can’t see Jon as now fireproof, even if he was resurrected. Viserys was not, and and Jon has already shown that fire causes him pain when he protected Jeor Mormont from the first wight. He grabbed the lantern Jeor was holding and audibly yells out before he throws it at the wight.

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    151. Clob,

      Yea, I think Tyrion’s strategy was to conquer Westeros by asking nicely, like Olenna criticized him for during the war council. You can’t conquer Westeros without significant casualties, whether it’s from a prolonged siege or a blitzkrieg attack. It’s easy to say now that we have the benefit of hindsight, but Tyrion should’ve taken Yara’s advice to attack KL with their entire force and end things quickly. A blitzkrieg would also not give Cersei all kinds of time to scheme and come up with better defenses.

      Tyrion should’ve realized that a prolonged siege would NOT exactly be a more humane alternative. A prolonged siege will starve the commoners out and force them to loot and riot to fend for themselves, not to mention the disease a prolonged siege would create. Plus, whatever food and/or resources are available would be so much more expensive to the point that no commoner could afford to buy any. This is not a more humane way to conquer Westeros. It just makes you indirectly responsible for deaths rather than being directly responsible.

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    152. Mr Derp: This is not a more humane way to conquer Westeros. It just makes you indirectly responsible for deaths rather than being directly responsible.

      So true. And you know what else Tyrion’s plan apparently failed to take into account? Cersei had already opted to use a weapon of mass destruction rather than submit to someone else’s authority. Tyrion knows first hand how much wildfire she’s got at her disposal, and he knows she didn’t hesitate to use it to take out enemies less formidable than Daernerys Targaryen. So why would he think that a siege would force Cersei to surrender?

      Tyrion’s strategic planning is like a man playing chess against himself.

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    153. Ramsay's 20th Good Man:
      Gwidhiel,

      Ten Bears,

      I’m afraid not. As much as I love The Hound, I just can’t envision the circumstances in which that would become a viable match. In truth I think their relationship, much like his with Arya too, was simply meant to aid in both their character developments. I don’t believe it was ever supposed to lead anywhere. Not on the show anyway.

      👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

        Quote  Reply

    154. Ramsay's 20th Good Man,

      I think I am suggesting what you think I’m suggesting.
      ——-
      Alright. I give up. Who or what are you suggesting, if not the chivalrous knight in the guise of a half-burned ham?

      #You’reAlrightLittleBird 🧚‍♀️

        Quote  Reply

    155. Viz:
      Clob,

      I can’t see Jon as now fireproof, even if he was resurrected. Viserys was not, and and Jon has already shown that fire causes him pain when he protected Jeor Mormont from the first wight….

      That lantern scene was the reason why I mentioned the resurrection since not everyone read my description of this fireproof-Jon scenario I proposed several months ago. Most people are going to point to that instance of Jon burning himself to disprove the possibility. In my scenario Jon himself would believe himself to not be from that experience at least. What I’m suggesting is that it he could possibly now unknowingly possess that trait due to a couple of things; it is something gained through maturation or his death and resurrection has given it to him.

      It is true that Viserys did not have the trait. Daenerys pointed it out specifically, “He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” I’m not suggesting that every Targaryen has the trait on the show. Perhaps just the strong ones, or possibly it’s unique to just Daenerys and Jon/Aegon for whatever purpose is yet to come.

      I might be the only one but I think it would fit very well with what we’ve seen before, to very much include Viserys’ golden crown. Show!Daenerys believes that this trait proves a Targaryen as a true “dragon.” The viewers would understand her asking to test Jon with fire to see if it burns him. If he does not burn she would instantly believe that he is in fact her brother’s son. I think it may be even better if he’s trapped in a burning structure and she (and others) witness him walk out naked and unburnt like she has. Some viewers may enjoy that more than others as well. 😉

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    156. Gwidhiel:
      Ten Bears,

      Hint: it’s not her half-brother.

      If not Tyrion nor the Hound nor Jon then the only other suggestion I’ve seen tossed around seriously is Gendry. I don’t think that’s a good personality fit, but they could make it work in writing I suppose.

        Quote  Reply

    157. Ten Bears,

      Hint: he’s not her half-brother

      Clob: If not Tyrion nor the Hound nor Jon then the only other suggestion I’ve seen tossed around seriously is Gendry.

      I myself don’t think either Tyrion or the Hound are plausible, and Sansa’s never met Gendry.

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    158. Guys, it’s obviously Brienne 😉 The knight in shining armor that Sansa’s always wanted!

      Seriously, I assumed the references were about Gendry too.

      It doesn’t really seem like a good fit to me either, but then again, they’ve never met, so who knows.

      Perhaps when Robin grows up and stops being a douche Sansa will take to him, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Just one look at him and Sansa will probably clutch her nipples and shudder.

        Quote  Reply

    159. Mr Derp: Seriously, I assumed the references were about Gendry too.

      So I think this is one thing in favor of the hypothesis (which btw is Jon, because he’s not Sansa’s half-brother): it’s not on most people’s radars as even possible, which from a Show Shocker perspective is great.

      My doubts hinge on my read of Sansa in S7 as not being romantically interested at all in anyone. For it to work I think they’d have to allot some time, post parentage reveal, to Jon and Sansa interacting. Can they find time for that with all the ground they have to cover? Maybe. But there’s also the widespread dislike of Sansa to overcome. Can they do that, too? I’m not so sure. So … right now to me it just doesn’t feel like they’ve really set it up to work. But it seems possible.

        Quote  Reply

    160. Mr Derp: Sansa will probably clutch her nipples and shudder.

      You’re going just stop your erotica there!?!? 😛

      If I was forced to make a choice for pairing Sansa, for the show version of the characters I would choose Tyrion. In a time of peace I think they’d make a wonderful couple with interests that would probably blend better, not to mention both having the capability to manage things like running a Great House and lands. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    161. Gwidhiel,

      I suppose it’s possible, but Sansa and Jon would still be cousins, which really doesn’t make it any less weird.

      I’ll just blissfully fantasize about a Sansa/Margaery pairing until I face the reality that Margaery is gone and it will never happen.

        Quote  Reply

    162. Mr Derp: I’ll just blissfully fantasize about a Sansa/Margaery pairing until I face the reality that Margaery is gone and it will never happen.

      Well, there’s still Brienne. I do hope she’ll get a shot at some satisfying time with Jaime, but since I’m pretty sure he’s going to die sometime next season, that would leave Brienne free to fully devote herself to Sansa’s happiness.

        Quote  Reply

    163. Clob,

      I think Tyrion would absolutely be a good pairing, at least, someone who would treat Sansa right. I just don’t think Tyrion is Sansa’s type. Though, to be fair, it’s hard to know what she wants at this point.

      Hmmm…GoT erotica? That sounds like a relatively untapped resource that needs to be exploited asap 🙂 Part of me assumes it’s already out there and I just haven’t looked for it.

        Quote  Reply

    164. Gwidhiel: Well, there’s still Brienne. I do hope she’ll get a shot at some satisfying time with Jaime, but since I’m pretty sure he’s going to die sometime next season, that would leave Brienne free to fully devote herself to Sansa’s happiness.

      For all that I love Sansa, no. Just no. When did Sansa show any sign that she cares for Brienne’s happiness? Brienne deserves better than to spend the rest of her life loving and caring for someone who can’t give a monkey about her.

        Quote  Reply

    165. whateverdgaf,

      I think she was joking about Brienne and Sansa. I suppose it’s my fault. I was the one who was jokingly pairing them together to start with. We’re just spit-balling trying to figure out who Sansa would give a monkey for the most.

        Quote  Reply

    166. whateverdgaf: For all that I love Sansa, no. Just no. When did Sansa show any sign that she cares for Brienne’s happiness? Brienne deserves better than to spend the rest of her life loving and caring for someone who can’t give a monkey about her.

      If there were html code for tongue-in-cheek I’d have used it. I don’t think that Sansa doesn’t care about Brienne but neither do I think they have that kind of chemistry. 😉

        Quote  Reply

    167. I don’t even mean romantically, just for Brienne to end up serving sansa for the rest of her life when I can’t recall a single scene where it seemd like Sansa had any affection or loyalty towards Brienne would be sickening.

        Quote  Reply

    168. Gwidhiel,

      Yeah, they could’ve done more to soften her image in the last couple of seasons.

      In Season 8, with Jon’s possible identity crisis, with Winterfell probably facing a siege, a reunion with Tyrion and The Hound and with a few deaths here and there, there may still be some opportunities to endear her to the audience a little more before the conclusion.

      I won’t hold my breath. But there’s an outside chance they could do it justice.

        Quote  Reply

    169. Mr Derp:
      Clob,

      Yea, I think Tyrion’s strategy was to conquer Westeros by asking nicely, like Olenna criticized him for during the war council.You can’t conquer Westeros without significant casualties, whether it’s from a prolonged siege or a blitzkrieg attack.It’s easy to say now that we have the benefit of hindsight, but Tyrion should’ve taken Yara’s advice to attack KL with their entire force and end things quickly.A blitzkrieg would also not give Cersei all kinds of time to scheme and come up with better defenses.

      Part of it was Tyrion underestimating Cersei and in effect overestimating Dany. I understand why he did what he did, considering all the losses team Dany has absorbed, she’s still pretty formidable. As long as Drogon and Rhaegal are still alive at the end of the WW battle in episode 3, she could take Cersei out easily. That could change though if Rhaegal has bonded with Jon as his rider, and if Dany and Jon are on the outs.

      Dany should have listened to Olenna’s “you’re a dragon, be a dragon.” She did exactly that at the battle in Meereen, while Tyrion negotiated with the slave masters. Goes to show that she could have both, attacking KL does not necessarily mean obliterating it. At this point, it seems that the writers decision to wait till the final season to show us that is to add more drama.

      If Cersei had been dealt with at the end of S7, then S8 would be less exciting to watch, it would only be the WW battle and some forced drama between Jon and Dany. As I’ve said earlier I really can’t see Jon betraying Dany, it would be so out of character as Jon is noble, true to his oath and I guess, is in love with Dany. The betrayal would have to come from other people either Varys or Tyrion(though I hope not). There is when Littlefinger is missed, he is despicable but a great player of the game.

        Quote  Reply

    170. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: Yeah, they could’ve done more to soften her image in the last couple of seasons.

      But then what would they have done for dramatic suspense in the North last season? I suspect that they think they’ve been very clever in how they’ve handled Sansa – trailers edited to look like she’s conniving with LF or planning to have Arya killed, actors (esp Sophie Turner) spouting nonsense about Sansa on the Iron Throne, or at least Queen in the North. SMH. And most of the audience lapped it right up. If they’re hoping that most of the audience will be glad to see Sansa survive to the end and even find happiness, well they’ve got their work cut out for them.

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    171. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: In Season 8, with Jon’s possible identity crisis, with Winterfell probably facing a siege, a reunion with Tyrion and The Hound and with a few deaths here and there, there may still be some opportunities to endear her to the audience a little more before the conclusion.

      I won’t hold my breath.

      Me neither.

        Quote  Reply

    172. A Jon/Sansa marriage would keep the North in the fold. And this is GRRM, so the symmetry of the story starting with Twincest and ending with the Stark ‘siblings’ marrying is possible.

      As for Dany, if she truly believes in the ‘divine right of kings’, not just herself, it would actually be in keeping with her beliefs to support Jon’s right to the rule. Getting there would be a hell of an internal struggle! And not involve Dragons, so the show probably won’t go that way.

      In this world of House alliances and inherited rule marriage is so important but there is only one I actually want to see – Tarth and Lannister !!! Imagine their children. Won’t somebody think of the children?

        Quote  Reply

    173. Northstar: As for Dany, if she truly believes in the ‘divine right of kings’, not just herself, it would actually be in keeping with her beliefs to support Jon’s right to the rule. Getting there would be a hell of an internal struggle! And not involve Dragons, so the show probably won’t go that way.

      Excellent logic, but I would be astonished if Dany graciously yielded to Jon. And in fact we’ve seen very specifically that in Dany’s mind, her queenship is inextricably intertwined with herself – the Iron Throne is her stolen possession, not a role that carries inherent responsibilities. I just re-watched S7e3 and wow was she full of herself. The speech she gave to Jon about why she believes in herself was amazing in its hubris. She has suffered, a lot. She has accomplished incredible things! But neither of those things, in and of themselves, are the makings of a good ruler. In her early interactions with Jon she seems to think that he should just be bowled over by her magnificence and automatically bend the knee.

      And you know what, now that I think of it, that scene was yet another instance of Tyrion dropping the ball. When the idea of inviting Jon Snow to Dragonstone was first raised, Daenerys was very clear that she expected him to bend the knee. Tyrion conveniently left that out of his missive to Jon. But he could have explained in the meantime to Dany that she shouldn’t necessarily expect immediate submission. She was such a jerk in her first meeting with Jon! Unnecessarily so – and some of that was, I think, because she was caught off guard. Tyrion could have prepared her better than he did, even if it was just by saying, “Yes, we expect him to acknowledge you as his queen, but I didn’t mention that when I wrote to him. Might be something to work up to – let him meet you first and then see where things go.”

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    174. Northstar: In this world of House alliances and inherited rule marriage is so important but there is only one I actually want to see – Tarth and Lannister !!! Imagine their children. Won’t somebody think of the children?

      Lovely thought.

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    175. Mr Derp:
      whateverdgaf,

      I think she was joking about Brienne and Sansa.I suppose it’s my fault.I was the one who was jokingly pairing them together to start with.We’re just spit-balling trying to figure out who Sansa would give a monkey for the most.

      Good question. I don’t think Sansa is capable of true, deep love. She is certainly capable of great affection. But her world
      revolves around her.

      ARYA: are you all right?
      SANSA: it’s strange. In his own horrible way I think he loved me.

      In essence, she has basically looked down upon everyone she’s known (including her father), though admired qualities of many. Ned certainly, but also Littlefinger, Margaery. Olenna, and Cersei. Remember the scene with the doll and how after he was gone and she felt so alone the doll meant something to her. I think the only hope she has to give love AND respect is Tyrion. He treated her kindly in difficult circumstances and he can give her power and position. She will show great personal development if she gets over his appearance.

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    176. Gwidhiel: So I think this is one thing in favor of the hypothesis (which btw is Jon, because he’s not Sansa’s half-brother): it’s not on most people’s radars as even possible, which from a Show Shocker perspective is great.

      My doubts hinge on my read of Sansa in S7 as not being romantically interested at all in anyone. For it to work I think they’d have to allot some time, post parentage reveal, to Jon and Sansa interacting. Can they find time for that with all the ground they have to cover? Maybe. But there’s also the widespread dislike of Sansa to overcome. Can they do that, too? I’m not so sure. So … right now to me it just doesn’t feel like they’ve really set it up to work. But it seems possible.

      We also have widespread love for Arya AND her strong bond with Gendry, their ideological compatibility, etc to consider. D&D won’t care much, but many fans would be outraged at that sort of bait and switch. And in terms of her unwavering loyalty to friends and family, Arya deserves to finally end up with the one chap she ever liked: “I can be your family” and “No, you’ll be my lady” has double meanings. Clionha pointed out a while back that Gendry had three verbal echoes last season of lines Arya spoke about him in Season 3. Between book and show foreshadowing, personal affection, and those lines seasons later, those two are already tied together. Sansa will get someone else or stay single.

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    177. ^ I agree with that stuff re: Sansa.

      And yeah, Dany feels entitled to the Throne like Stannis oranybody else with a strong claim as heir believed it was theirs by right…she has great aims for what she’d do with it, but did start off S7 a little too cocky, a little too high and mighty. Definitely agree that her counselors should’ve done a better job preparing her for dealing with the Westerosi, especially since she is receptive to good advice. Clob, Gwidhiel, River, & others made good points regarding how Team Dany probably should’ve been handling things; they had one heck of a rough season last time. ><

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    178. Stark Raven’ Rad: We also have widespread love for AryaAND her strong bond with Gendry, their ideological compatibility, etc to consider. D&D won’t care much, but many fans would be outraged at that sort of bait and switch. And in terms of her unwavering loyalty to friends and family, Arya deserves to finally end up with the one chap she ever liked: “I can be your family” and “No, you’ll be my lady” has double meanings. Clionha pointed out a while back that Gendry had three verbal echoes last season of lines Arya spoke about him in Season 3. Between book and show foreshadowing, personal affection, and those lines seasons later, those two are already tied together. Sansa will get someone else or stay single.

      Is there anyone who thinks Sansa would end up with Gendry? Certainly not me. And the negative view of her that you and many other (thoughtful, reasonable) show viewers have is why I think pairing Sansa with her cousin Jon will be a very tough sell for the show in Season 8.

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    179. Stark Raven’ Rad: Good question. I don’t think Sansais capable of true, deep love. She is certainly capable of great affection. But her world
      revolves around her.

      ARYA:are you all right?
      SANSA:it’s strange. In his own horrible way I think he loved me.

      In essence, she has basically looked down uponeveryone she’s known (including her father), though admired qualities of many. Ned certainly, but also Littlefinger, Margaery. Olenna, and Cersei. Remember the scene with the doll and how after he was gone and she felt so alone the doll meant something to her. I think the only hope she hasto give love ANDrespect is Tyrion.He treated her kindly in difficult circumstances and he can give her power and position. She will show great personal development if she gets over his appearance.

      I feel like you sell Sansa short, everyone you said she looks down on has fucked her over in some way or the other, including her father by basically selling her an entire lie on what life is really like. Everyone she’s come across, even those who have helped her, have deep flaws that deserve to be called out. She basically gave unconditional love to people like Cersei and Joffrey simply because she was taught to do so and it badly screwed her. Then she had false friends like the Tyrells and Dontos, not to mention LF. She’s had no one but Tyrion and Sandor for genuine protectors since S1, the former was an enemy who aided in the destruction of her family indirectly or otherwise, the latter a murdering drunkard who has told her to basically be cold-hearted and not trust anyone.

      She was basically the lonest character for a long long time with only enemies for company, even Arya had people who genuinely cared and protected her and didn’t come with a giant asterisk above their heads, such as Hot pie, Gendry, Thoros, the Crane and some others I’ve forgotten.

      But despite everything, she;s still shown deep, undying love for her father as seen in the S7 finale. Calling out her father’s dumbass lessons isn’t her not loving him, it’s just straight up reality. He set her up in a really shitty way simply because she wasn’t born with a dick.

        Quote  Reply

    180. Clob,

      I actually thought they have been foreshadowing this exact scenario pretty heavily in the books. I know GRRM said that the fireproof trait is not a Targ trait but a Dany specific trait, which makes sense because I can’t remember any other Targ described this way… but just the fact that in every Jon chapter they refer to him opening and closing his burned hand and its always on his mind, makes me think that they have an important reason to keep putting it in there. GRRM wants to keep reminding us that Jon has been burned, and I’ve always thought for some reason it would be because later on we will find that he can no longer be burned (likely caused by his death and resurrection). I really thought before S6 that there was a good chance that the Night’s Watch would burn Jon’s body like they normally do, but instead of burning he would resurrect this way. Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if this season we find out that he can’t be burned now.

        Quote  Reply

    181. Stark Raven’ Rad: Good question. I don’t think Sansais capable of true, deep love. She is certainly capable of great affection. But her world
      revolves around her.

      ARYA:are you all right?
      SANSA:it’s strange. In his own horrible way I think he loved me.

      From their comments, the writers agree with Sansa’s sentiment there. It’s meant to be a recognition of the complexity of his character, and the relationship between the two. I’m not sure why you think that shows she’s incapable of loving others.

      In essence, she has basically looked down uponeveryone she’s known (including her father), though admired qualities of many.

      Utterly baseless. If anything, Sansa’s character in the beginning was one for uncritical admiration of people. Learning to understand nuance is the whole point of her character development. None of that means she looked down on her loved ones.

      Remember the scene with the doll and how after he was gone and she felt so alone the doll meant something to her.

      The initial scene with the doll shows that Ned, while well-meaning, had picked a gift that was both trivial compared to the hurt he was trying to remedy (killing Lady) and, especially, accidentally conveyed that he doesn’t know much about who she is or what she likes (since it’s a gift that is five years out of date).

      Once Ned is dead, it takes on a different significance.

        Quote  Reply

    182. I think Sansa and Tyrion marrying makes perfect sense in this story. It joins houses Stark (York) and Lannister (Lancaster).
      It reunites Sansa with Tyrion, the man who has been good to her (as opposed to Joffrey, Littlefinger, Ramsey).
      It makes Sansa the younger more beautiful queen who casts down Cersei if Tyrion ends up as king (which I think will happen).

      Other matches don’t make sense for either of them.

        Quote  Reply

    183. JPatch,

      However nice their relationship was depicted in the show, it doesn’t reflect the point of their book interactions, so it’s unlikely to factor into the endgame, assuming the show’s main character resolutions reflect the bullet points of GRRM’s ideas.

        Quote  Reply

    184. BeardedOnion,

      Sandor is a “murdering drunkard who has told her to basically be cold-hearted and not trust anyone.”
      ———-
      Blasphemy, I tell you, blasphemy!
      Judge Sandor not on his words but his actions. At great risk to himself, he braved the mob and saved Sansa from gang rape and certain death when nobody else would. He offered to take her home.
      He protected her when even her own father couldn’t.

      – SCADL
      (Sandor Clegane Anti-Defamation League)

      🐓
      🐓🐓
      🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓

        Quote  Reply

    185. BeardedOnion,

      I think you’re being a tad hard on Ned.
      My take on him, he’s like most dads, slow to realizes their daughter is maturing emotionally fast and not knowing how to handle it.
      WRG to the doll, a very normal response, my dad had to put down my sister’s cat, he bought her a gift to ease the pain, it didn’t, it took some time for my sister to understand; just like the meaning of Sansa’s doll later as you stated.

        Quote  Reply

    186. Sean C.:
      JPatch,

      However nice their relationship was depicted in the show, it doesn’t reflect the point of their book interactions, so it’s unlikely to factor into the endgame, assuming the show’s main character resolutions reflect the bullet points of GRRM’s ideas.

      ^^ This^^

        Quote  Reply

    187. Stark Raven’ Rad: n essence, she has basically looked down upon everyone she’s known (including her father), though admired qualities of many. Ned certainly, but also Littlefinger, Margaery. Olenna, and Cersei. Remember the scene with the doll and how after he was gone and she felt so alone the doll meant something to her. I think the only hope she has to give love AND respect is Tyrion. He treated her kindly in difficult circumstances and he can give her power and position. She will show great personal development if she gets over his appearance.

      No she hasn’t, everything you’re stating is normal tween behavior, you also discount her compassion for Lancel, Sandor, Tyrion ( doesn’t love him his family is killing hers ), the starving small folk, her occasional lying FOR Arya, her not so many interactions with Jon.
      She was brought up to understand the status differences, just like the boys were brought up that they can’t be on friendly terms with their own men and Lords.
      They may have to sit in judgement of them.

        Quote  Reply

    188. Grail King: No she hasn’t, everything you’re stating is normal tween behavior, you also discount her compassion for Lancel, Sandor, Tyrion ( doesn’t love him his family is killing hers ), the starving small folk, her occasional lying FOR Arya, her not so many interactions with Jon.
      She was brought up to understand the status differences, just like the boys were brought up that they can’t be on friendly terms with their own men and Lords.
      They may have to sit in judgement of them.

      I always wonder how Ned would view his daughters now? You would assume he would be proud, but something tells me he’ll feel very mixed.

        Quote  Reply

    189. Grail King: her occasional lying FOR Arya,

      The problem is that they don’t show stuff like this on the show. The Sansa they showed us in Season 1 was a modern trope of an entitled teenage mean girl. They made her relationship with Arya much more adversarial than it is in the books.

      We weren’t supposed to like Season 1 Sansa. I didn’t. At first I just thought they’d miscast Sophie Turner, who is very attractive in a long-legged, modern way, but isn’t the charming, head-turning beauty that is described in the books. In addition to not really being a good physical match for Sansa, I thought Sophie just couldn’t act. But having re-watched Season 1 and seeing Sophie’s acting in later seasons, I think the problem with Show!Sansa is how the show chose to depict her, especially in Season 1.

        Quote  Reply

    190. Gwidhiel: The problem is that they don’t show stuff like this on the show. The Sansa they showed us in Season 1 was a modern trope of an entitled teenage mean girl. They made her relationship with Arya much more adversarial than it is in the books.

      I’ll say this is not true. She is more horrible (by the standards of children of course) to Arya in book 1 than S1, she compares her to Hodor, calls her horse faced, reminds Jon of his heritage to Arya and tells Cersei of their plans, none of this show Sansa did. They don’t get long in S1, true, but the last scene they interact was when Arya was grabbing her to go get her things ready to leave KL with Sansa being upset, a MUCH more friendly exit to their book 1 relationship.

      I feel she was more sympathetic in S1 than Book 1. She never told Cersei the plans (D&D said she would be 2 years older than book Sansa and thus less naive), tried everything she honestly could to save her father and never insulted Arya in a mean way.

        Quote  Reply

    191. Gwidhiel: I’ve been admiring your restraint after I opened the door for you. 🙂

      Don’t be too hasty. ASNAWP fanfic scenes are on their way. 👸🏻 (Alas, real world responsibilities have delayed their rollout. Don’t you hate that?)

        Quote  Reply

    192. Grail King,

      Re: Sansa’s doll. When she’s alone in her room clutching the doll thinking about her father… Who walks in and offers to do what Ned couldn’t, ie take her back home?

        Quote  Reply

    193. BeardedOnion: She is more horrible (by the standards of children of course) to Arya in book 1 than S1, she compares her to Hodor, calls her horse faced

      I don’t recall the Hodor comparison (if you can find it in the text please share!), but it wasn’t Sansa who called Arya horseface, it was book-only character Jeyne Poole. From Arya I: “Jeyne used to call her Arya Horseface, and neigh whenever she came near.”

        Quote  Reply

    194. BeardedOnion: I always wonder how Ned would view his daughters now? You would assume he would be proud, but something tells me he’ll feel very mixed.

      Why? He told Arya [paraphrasing]: “If you’re going to own a sword, you’d better learn how to use it.”

      Oh my, did she ever…

      #StickEmWithThePointyEnd

        Quote  Reply

    195. Ten Bears,

      Not really. Jeyne Poole called Arya “horseface” because Arya has the long face that is common in the Stark family. Maisie’s got more of a heart-shaped face.

      I’d say casting-wise that Maisie is prettier than Arya is supposed to be, and Sophie’s attractiveness is not in the same vein as Sansa’s.

        Quote  Reply

    196. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      Do these photos of young Sophie T and Maisie W match their book descriptions?

      https://i.redd.it/vfnvg9ybfvez.jpg

      Arya has a long face in the books, Maisie’s round face is firmly against it. Sophie’s also missing book Sansa’s height, where she is supposedly over 6 ft at 13-14 already.

      I think at this point though, Sophie and Maisie are the definitive looks of Arya and Sansa.

      Also they look super adorable there.

        Quote  Reply

    197. Gwidhiel:
      Ten Bears,

      Not really. Jeyne Poole called Arya “horseface” because Arya has the long face that is common in the Stark family. Maisie’s got more of a heart-shaped face.

      I’d say casting-wise that Maisie is prettier than Arya is supposed to be, and Sophie’s attractiveness is not in the same vein as Sansa’s.

      Arya is described as pretty later on in the books too, even suggestions she could later join (eeeeew) that super glorified whore house where very attractive women go, I’ve forgotten the name of it though, it’s in Braavos. Maisie is also attractive of course.

        Quote  Reply

    198. BeardedOnion: Sophie’s also missing book Sansa’s height, where she is supposedly over 6 ft at 13-14 already.

      Really? I didn’t know that. In fact I thought that Sansa was not especially tall. I recall that somewhere in the books she’s described as having developed a “womanly” figure, but I interpreted that as breasts & hips, not necessarily height.

        Quote  Reply

    199. Gwidhiel: Really? I didn’t know that. In fact I thought that Sansa was not especially tall. I recall that somewhere in the books she’s described as having developed a “womanly” figure, but I interpreted that as breasts & hips, not necessarily height.

      When she is in the vale, none of her aunt’s clothes fit her because it’s too small, despite it being tailored to an adult and Sansa is still only around 13 or 14.

        Quote  Reply

    200. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      “We also have widespread love for Arya.”

      😄 Yes. Yes we do. 👸🏻

      That’s only because she’s the absolute best!! 😁

      Ten Bears: Don’t be too hasty. ASNAWP fanfic scenes are on their way. 👸🏻 (Alas, real world responsibilities have delayed their rollout. Don’t you hate that?)

      Same..

        Quote  Reply

    201. BeardedOnion:
      Sophie’s also missing book Sansa’s height, where she is supposedly over 6 ft at 13-14 already.

      Book Sansa is definitely not 6 feet tall.

      Gwidhiel: Really? I didn’t know that. In fact I thought that Sansa was not especially tall. I recall that somewhere in the books she’s described as having developed a “womanly” figure, but I interpreted that as breasts & hips, not necessarily height.

      Book Sansa is tall, both in her own description and as described by others. She’s not six feet tall, though. Some of the fan estimates based on book details, the known heights of other characters, etc. suggest she may be in the 5’7 or 5’8 range.

        Quote  Reply

    202. Sean C.: Book Sansa is tall, both in her own description and as described by others. She’s not six feet tall, though. Some of the fan estimates based on book details, the known heights of other characters, etc. suggest she may be in the 5’7 or 5’8 range.

      Ah thanks for the clarification, that’s more how I’ve imagined her.

        Quote  Reply

    203. Ten Bears:
      BeardedOnion,

      But Sophie is well over 6′ tall. I remember the scene in S4 when she was standing next to LF. She made him look like a pre-schooler. She’s much taller now.

      I think Sophie is a few inches under 6ft, she just surrounds herself with little people like Arya, LF, Jon, Tyrion (sorry!), Ramsay (even shorter as dogshit), Joffery and soon Dany. She will look like a tower when she greets the tiny Dany, who is roughly Arya’s height.

      Sean C.: Book Sansa is definitely not 6 feet tall.

      I’m really bad with height estimations lmao

      Still, book Sansa seems well on her way to being 6 ft or around that, which i reckon she would be by show Sansa’s age.

        Quote  Reply

    204. Gwidhiel,

      True, they took too much of her book story out in the beginning, so people who don’t know the books, won’t believe what they are trying to do with her.

        Quote  Reply

    205. Ten Bears,

      Sophie is 5’9. Decidedly above average for a woman, though it’s especially pronounced on the show because her scene partners tend to either be dudes of below-average height (Aidan, Peter, Kit, Alfie, Iwan, among others) or women of average or below-average height (particularly Maisie and Sibel). The main exceptions have been Rory and Gwen, who were both specifically cast to be tall.

        Quote  Reply

    206. Ten Bears:
      Grail King,

      Re: Sansa’s doll. When she’s alone in her room clutching the doll thinking about her father… Who walks in and offers to do what Ned couldn’t, ie take her back home?

      That doll is everything to her as needle is to Arya.
      I don’t fualt her for not going with Sandor, with the info she had, it’s like our kids in a active shooting scenario.

        Quote  Reply

    207. Gwidhiel: I’ve been admiring your restraint after I opened the door for you. 🙂

      S8e1, Opening Scene, at WF

      Jon: “Arya, I’ve been hearing rumors you wiped out all the Freys who slaughtered our family at the Red Wedding…and a bunch of other villains.”

      Sandor: “Poison. Poison’s a woman’s weapon.”

      Arya: “Damn straight.”

      Lord Royce (to Jon): “You should’ve been here when she executed Littlefinger. Sheer artistry. Sliced through his carotid artery so fast her dagger was back in its sheath before his arterial spray hit the floor.”

      Sansa: “Is it true you took out that vicious sadist Ser Meryn? He liked to hit me and punch me in the stomach.”

      Arya: “He hit me and punched me in the stomach too. Five minutes before I exsanguinated his ass.”

      Sansa: “What does that mean?”

      Arya: “I poked him full of so many holes all of his blood leaked out.”

      Sandor: “Meryn Trant? You killed Meryn F*cking Trant? Trant had armor and a big f*cking sword. How’d you manage to do that?”

      Arya: “He didn’t have a sword. Or armor. Only a stick.
      He was beating up little girls in Braavos to get his rocks off. So I gouged out his eyes with a pocket knife and turned his chest into Swiss cheese. I tried to have a little chat with him but he wasn’t much of a talker – well, not with the blood filling his lungs. I punctured his liver, then his kidney, and sliced his throat from ear to ear.”

      Sandor (beaming with pride): “The Hound has taught you well, young Padawan. Wonder what your kill count is up to now?”

      Lyanna Mormont: “62!”

      Jon: “62?”

      Lord Glover: “I thought it was less.”

      Hooded Spectator: “Fewer.”

      Lord Glover (looks around): “What?”

      Hooded Spectator: “Nothing.”

      Gendry: “It’s 66 if you count the 4 deaths for the price of 3 she wheedled out of Jaqen to free me and Hot Pie from the Lannisters’ concentration camp.”

      Dany (to Tyrion): “She sounds like quite a woman. I don’t think we have to worry about naming my heir anymore.”

      Jon: “What about me?”

      Dany: “You’ve helped bring fire and ice together. Now go do that “shield that guards the realms of men” thing you’re always talking about. The Princess and I have work to do. Run along now. Capisce?”

      Jon: (broods)

      Dany: “Just kidding! Wait for me in the bedroom. I won’t be long.”

      (Sam wheels in Bran)
      Sam: “About that ‘heir to the throne’ thing….”

        Quote  Reply

    208. – SCADL
      (Sandor Clegane Anti-Defamation League)

      🐓
      🐓🐓
      🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓

      Let me join!

        Quote  Reply

    209. Grail King:
      Gwidhiel,

      True, they took too much of her book story out in the beginning, so people who don’t know the books, won’t believe what they are trying to do with her.

      Yup, that’s really my beef with the show’s depiction of Sansa. If pairing her with Jon is the endgame that they’ve known about for years, then they shouldn’t have indulged in the misdirects they used in S6 & S7 to generate drama and foster doubt about Sansa’s integrity and intentions. If that is in fact where they’ll take her character in S8, then they’ve compromised the long game in favor of short-term “wins.”

      If pairing Sansa with Jon is not their endgame, then the unflattering modifications to her character in the show matter less for the most part.

        Quote  Reply

    210. cos alpha: Let me join!

      Glad to have you!

      – SCADL
      🐓
      🐓🐓
      🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓*

      * For the uninitiated, SCADL logo =
      • “Bring me one of those chickens”
      • “Think I’ll take two chickens”
      • “…Every f*cking chicken in this room”

        Quote  Reply

    211. Gwidhiel: it was book-only character Jeyne Poole

      Jeyne was on technically on the show, although it was barely and she didn’t have any dialogue. She sat by Sansa at the feast in the first episode and Sansa mentioned her by name to Septa Mordane while in King’s Landing. It is not much more than not being a show character though, especially since they put Sansa in Jeyne’s story with Ramsay.

        Quote  Reply

    212. Clob: Jeyne was on technically on the show, although it was barely and she didn’t have any dialogue. She sat by Sansa at the feast in the first episode and Sansa mentioned her by name to Septa Mordane while in King’s Landing.

      Oh nice catches!

        Quote  Reply

    213. Sorry I disagree, they have zero romantic interest and I cannot imagine for a moment that who ever ends up ruling (most likely Jon but could be Dany) would push for a political marriage between those two houses. If there are any more weddings then I can only see it being Jon & Dany and that feels very unlikely given the revelations which are coming.

        Quote  Reply

    214. Gwidhiel,

      I have a sense that there’s a definite possibility that Sansa and Gendry might bond and be attracted to one another. Arya may be conflicted about that, but she may accept it since in her mind, maybe she feels like Gendry “betrayed” her . I also think that in the war to come, Arya is going to be a warrior, solely dedicated to Jon (and eventually Dany) .

      I know this is not a popular theory, but if something were to happen to Jaime, if he is killed off, I can definitely see Brienne being consoled by The Hound. There are so many “loose ends” out there and so many different tracks it can take. Tormund, Bronn, Podrick, Lady Lyanna Mormont, Ser Jorah, Robynn Arryn, Karstarks, Umbers, Glovers, etc.etc.

      No one has mentioned them, but I sincerely hope Grey Worm and Missandei, and Sam and Gilly survive, even though I’m thinking that of that grouping, Grey Worm is probably least likely to survive. As for Meera Reed, I think it will be awful if D&D simply write her out, with her final scene in Season 7 being the last we see of her.

        Quote  Reply

    215. Gwidhiel,

      Oh, that’s interesting. I assume that’s where they got Margaery’s claim on the show to have been called ‘pig-face’ by her cousin, who would oink when she passed.

        Quote  Reply

    216. Roz’s Ghost: I have a sense that there’s a definite possibility that Sansa and Gendry might bond and be attracted to one another. Arya may be conflicted about that, but she may accept it since in her mind, maybe she feels like Gendry “betrayed” her .

      IIRC you and I have pretty similar views about Sansa generally but I myself just don’t see this happening. To be honest – and this is perhaps just me injecting my own values about sisterhood and female friendship into Sansa – I can’t imagine that Sansa would give Gendry a second look if she thought for a minute that Arya was interested in him. There’s a bit of evidence for this in S7: we saw Sansa readily acknowledge to Arya that Jon would be even happier to be reunited with her than he was when he first saw Sansa. So if Sansa perceived that Arya cared about Gendry, she wouldn’t intrude. But that’s just my take.

      Roz’s Ghost: I also think that in the war to come, Arya is going to be a warrior, solely dedicated to Jon (and eventually Dany) .

      I agree with everything but the parenthetical. Mine is not a popular view but I think that Arya will not like Jon’s relationship with Dany, especially if Dany shows any possessiveness for Jon’s attention or affection. And then once the parentage reveal happens – which I believe will result in an irreparable split between Jon and Daenerys – Arya will be entirely on her cousin’s side. I think Arya will be very impressed by the dragons, but not so much with their mother. Daenerys isn’t a trained fighter like Arya is – sure, she can overwhelm adversaries when she’s on Drogon’s back, but without her dragons she’s as useless a fighter as Sansa or Gilly. Just my opinion, but I don’t expect that egalitarian Arya, who’s never cared at all for titles, will be impressed by Daenerys’s reliance on her string of epithets to awe and cow everyone she meets.

      If Davos’s “This is Jon Snow. He’s King of the North” response to Missandei rattling off Daenerys’s titles got lots of laughs, imagine how funny it would be if Daenerys introduced herself to Arya as the Blah Blah Blah Blah and Arya replied with “I’m No One.”

        Quote  Reply

    217. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Gwidhiel,

      Oh, that’s interesting. I assume that’s where they got Margaery’s claim on the show to have been called ‘pig-face’ by her cousin, who would oink when she passed.

      Yes – that scene is show-only. Margaery in the books is a cipher: not nearly as sexy or interesting as Natalie Dormer made her (in part because, as with so many characters, she’s much younger than her show counterpart).

        Quote  Reply

    218. Gwidhiel,

      imagine how funny it would be if Daenerys introduced herself to Arya as the Blah Blah Blah Blah and Arya replied with “I’m No One.”
      …………
      I’d like that!

      Missandei: “You stand before Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne, rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains.”

      Arya: “I’m No One. What else you got?”

        Quote  Reply

    219. Ten Bears,

      I’m impressed that you had the patience to look up and copy down that interminable string of titles.

      That said, in poor Daenery’s defense, she first used her titles as a shield. When we first met her she was an abused child thrown into a culture that respects raw physical strength above all else but affords some respect to the wife of a ruler. Once she became a ruling Khaleesi and the Targaryen aspirant to the Iron Throne, she had to continue to assert herself via her titles to gain the attention of people who could help her. When she was captured by the Dothraki and taken to Vaes Dothrak, they initially threatened and insulted her, but showed much more respect and restraint once she revealed she was Khal Drogo’s widow. She has needed to use her titles at various times in order to survive and to succeed. But … whew, they can be tiresome.

        Quote  Reply

    220. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      imagine how funny it would be if Daenerys introduced herself to Arya as the Blah Blah Blah Blah and Arya replied with “I’m No One.”
      …………I’d like that!

      Missandei: “You stand before Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne, rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains.”

      Arya: “I’m No One. What else you got?”

      Even better trolling would be Arya responding with a recitation of all the names she’s been known by. In the books, that’s quite long indeed – more titles than Dany’s altogether, though fewer actual words. That would go something like:

      ‘Arya Underfoot of House Stark, the Horseface, Arry, Lumpyhead, Nymeria, Nan, Weasel, Squab, Salty, Cat of the Canals, Blind Beth, the Ugly Girl, Mercy… No One.’ I know I left a few out.

      It would be quite Aryalike to argue the case that the life of any commoner without even a surname has as much value as that of a multi-titled scion of some Great House.

        Quote  Reply

    221. Gwidhiel: I can’t imagine that Sansa would give Gendry a second look if she thought for a minute that Arya was interested in him.

      On the other hand, if ASNAWP does show romantic interest and Sansa does as well, even if Gendry does the same toward Sansa, that is going to raise the level of Sansa hate in the fandom immensely.

        Quote  Reply

    222. Clob: On the other hand, if ASNAWP does show romantic interest and Sansa does as well, even if Gendry does the same toward Sansa, that is going to raise the level of Sansa hate in the fandom immensely.

      Like it needs a boost.

        Quote  Reply

    223. Firannion: ‘Arya Underfoot of House Stark, the Horseface, Arry, Lumpyhead, Nymeria, Nan, Weasel, Squab, Salty, Cat of the Canals, Blind Beth, the Ugly Girl, Mercy… No One.’ I know I left a few out.

      LOL

      Firannion: It would be quite Aryalike to argue the case that the life of any commoner without even a surname has as much value as that of a multi-titled scion of some Great House.

      Yeah, good point!

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    224. Clob: On the other hand, if ASNAWP does show romantic interest and Sansa does as well, even if Gendry does the same toward Sansa, that is going to raise the level of Sansa hate in the fandom immensely.

      Nah, David and Dan will just tell us how the scene is supposed to be interpreted, instead of how it’s shown. 😜

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    225. Ten Bears,
      I haven’t concerned myself with Arya’s thoughts about the titles. We may have heard our last formal Daenerys introduction anyway. I don’t imagine that’s the way they’ll want to greet those at Winterfell anyway. As I’ve said before though, with book stuff in mind, I’ve wanted Arya to greet Daenerys speaking Valyrian. I thought that would be cool and a surprise to Jon, Sansa, etc. akin to Daenerys busting it out in Astapor. I get the feeling though that D&D won’t give me that since they skipped her languages training at HoBaW entirely. 🙁

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    226. Clob: We may have heard our last formal Daenerys introduction anyway.

      Oh please let it be so. I have to restrain my husband from fast-forwarding through that because he finds it so irritating.

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    227. Roz’s Ghost:
      Gwidhiel,

      I know this is not a popular theory, but if something were to happen to Jaime, if he is killed off, I can definitely see Brienne being consoled by The Hound.

      I see zero setup for a pairing of Sansa with Gendry. They’ve never even met, so with the time we have left, it would essentially be an arranged marriage of political expedience. And I think Sansa is done with those. Neither Jon nor Arya would push such a thing on her.

      Brienne + Sandor seems much more plausible. It has been established onscreen that they have a grudging respect for one another, are both better models of true knighthood than those who can claim the title of knight officially, and are both outcasts, shamed all their lives for their unorthodox looks. Sandor has heard Tormund kvelling about how hot she is. There is additional foreshadowing in the books, arguably, in the fact that Brienne has had half her face chewed off by Biter and is now as disfigured as Sandor.

      Biggest argument against this happening: the unlikelihood of both surviving the War for the Dawn. Sandor seems set up for self-sacrifice.

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    228. Firannion,

      Very interesting thoughts about Brienne & Sandor. I think your point about how they each lack the formal title of “Ser” while (now at least, for Sandor) being some of the best exemplars of a “true knight” is very insightful. I don’t know if I can envision them together as a couple, but I appreciate the parallels. Good stuff!

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    229. Firannion: Even better trolling would be Arya responding with a recitation of all the names she’s been known by. In the books, that’s quite long indeed – more titles than Dany’s altogether, though fewer actual words. That would go something like:

      ‘Arya Underfoot of House Stark, the Horseface, Arry, Lumpyhead, Nymeria, Nan, Weasel, Squab, Salty, Cat of the Canals, Blind Beth, the Ugly Girl, Mercy… No One.’ I know I left a few out.

      It would be quite Aryalike to argue the case that the life of any commoner without even a surname has as much value as that of a multi-titled scion of some Great House.

      As a pre-books fan, I’m not familiar with all of those books! names for Arya. On the show at least, we can add to that list:

      Lana; Cupbearer; “Little S*it”*; Lady Stark**; M’Lady and My Lady ***; Little Sister (from books! ‘Needle was Jon Snow’s Smile’ internal monologue); Wolf Girl and the Stark Bitch (by Sandor); A Girl, Lovely Girl and Lovely Boy (by Jaqen), Girl (by Tywin)…

      * S3e10 Frey soldier seconds before Arya went ballistic on his neck.
      ** by the Waif
      *** by Gendry; and by Brienne

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    230. Clob,

      Only if jittery Gendry doesn’t grind his teeth like his late Uncle Stannis. I swear, S7 Gendry reminded me of a tweaked out meth head.

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    231. A Sam and Gilly marriage is a good shout, could certainly see that happening.

      I don’t share your thoughts on Greyworm though, one of the more boring and bland characters in my view, kind of wish he would have died off in S7 but see why he’s needed whilst the Unsullied are still around.

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    232. Gwidhiel,

      Agreed. ✅

      Sansa and Arya vying for the affections of the same boy? No. Just no. That’d be wight hunt/Bolton marriage plan-level silly.

      For all the wonkiness of the contrived LF “letter” plot in S7, and the Sansa vs. Jon and Sansa vs. Arya manufactured “drama” in S6 and S7, I understood S7e7 to be the culmination of Sansa’s inner conflicts in recognizing LF’s modus operandi was “turning sister against sister”; and I interpreted the sisters’ final scene to be getting past any lingering childhood resentments, fully accepting each other’s strengths, and coming together as an indivisible team:

      (S7e7 Arya & Sansa, WF Battlements)
      Arya. “Are you all right?”
      Sansa: “It’s just strange. In his own horrible way, I believe he loved me.”
      Arya: “You did the right thing.”
      Sansa: “You did it.”
      Arya: “I’m just the executioner. You passed the sentence. You’re the Lady of Winterfell.”
      Sansa: “Does that bother you?”
      Arya: “I was never going to be as good a lady as you. So I had to be something else. I never could have 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: “Well, don’t get used to it. You’re still very strange and annoying.”
      Arya: “‘In winter, we must protect ourselves. Look after one another.'”
      Sansa: “Father. ‘When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.'”
      Arya: “I miss him
      Sansa. “Me too.”

      Arya’s repetition of her father’s words from S1e3 indicated (to me) that she’s now fully reconciled with Sansa:

      S1e3 (Arya & Ned)
      Ned: “You’re a Stark of Winterfell. You know our words.”
      Arya: “Winter is coming.”
      Ned: “You were born in the long summer. You’ve never known anything else. But now winter is truly coming. And in the winter, we must protect ourselves, look after one another. Sansa is your sister…”
      ….
      “We cannot fight a war amongst ourselves.”

      At this juncture, a “love triangle” would constitute an out-of-left field character regression for both Sansa and Arya.

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    233. Ten Bears: At this juncture, a “love triangle” would constitute an out-of-left field character regression for both Sansa and Arya.

      Yeah … I just don’t know why anyone would want to see that. 🤢

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    234. Ten Bears,

      Haha! Awesome. This genuinely made me laugh. Especially this bit:

      Lord Royce (to Jon): “You should’ve been here when she executed Littlefinger. Sheer artistry. Sliced through his carotid artery so fast her dagger was back in its sheath before his arterial spray hit the floor.”

      Also, I never picked up on the parallel with Arya killing MFT when he only had a stick given Sandor’s earlier advice about armor and a big f-ing sword. So cool!

      I also read an interview with Rory just a day or two ago, and he said (insisting that he’s not giving anything away) that he thinks Arya can now defeat The Hound. “I taught her too well!” 🙂

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    235. Enharmony1625:
      Ten Bears,

      Haha! Awesome. This genuinely made me laugh. Especially this bit:

      Also, I never picked up on the parallel with Arya killing MFT when he only had a stick given Sandor’s earlier advice about armor and a big f-ing sword. So cool!

      I also read an interview with Rory just a day or two ago, and he said (insisting that he’s not giving anything away) that he thinks Arya can now defeat The Hound. “I taught her too well!” 🙂

      And of course he talked about one of the best scenes ever! 😊
      https://www.google.ca/amp/s/metro.co.uk/2018/08/07/game-thrones-rory-mccann-details-hounds-emotional-scene-far-7808104/amp/

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    236. Firannion: I see zero setup for a pairing of Sansa with Gendry. They’ve never even met, so with the time we have left, it would essentially be an arranged marriage of political expedience. And I think Sansa is done with those. Neither Jon nor Arya would push such a thing on her.

      Exactly! I think it would be a huge disservice to Sansa’s development after all she’s been through to have her suddenly fall for someone in such a short period of time, and with whom she has absolutely zero history with. To me it really makes her arc primarily concerned about what guy she’s with. I understand what some are saying in that it would be sad if she didn’t end up with someone given her initial hopes and dreams on the matter, but if she survives (which I think she will), I think we can assume that eventually she will find someone good to marry. But perhaps that isn’t important to this story of her being told.

      Like others have pointed out as well, the last thing we need to see in season 8 is a sister-on-sister boy feud. Just.. NO!

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    237. Pigeon,

      Yes! Such a wonderful scene.

      I watched 4×01 just a couple of days ago, first without commentary, then with commentary, and D&D couldn’t stop gushing over how they love these two together! Benioff also said that Arya’s reaction to Sandor’s “Fuck the king!” is one of his favourites of the whole series (up to that point).

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    238. Enharmony1625: I think we can assume that eventually she will find someone good to marry. But perhaps that isn’t important to this story of her being told.

      Yes, I’m not sure that the show needs to encompass surviving characters’ romantic pairings to end on a satisfying note. I’d rather they leave that out than squeeze something in that feels rushed or unjustified.

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    239. Gwidhiel,

      Yes, I think at first Arya will resent Dany. A lot. But if Jon loves Dany, Arya will find a way to accept it. My own take on Jon & Dany’s relationship is this: I don’t think the big reveal will do irreparable damage to their relationship. It will definitely have a negative effect on their relationship short term, but I believe they will overcome it.

      They will figure out a way to deal with the change in Jon’s status from Bastard King in the North, to the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne, maybe by agreeing to jointly rule, or I can even see Jon volunteering to step aside since he seems to not covet a throne. He wears his title lightly as it is.

      The fact that they are related will take an adjustment too, but it won’t permanently rupture their relationship. I think it will bother Jon more that he is not Ned’s son than the fact that Dany is his Aunt. At least I’m hopeful about that.

      As for Brienne, if Sandor is killed, and Jaime is killed, I hope Tormund will finally get his shot at happiness. : )

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    240. Enharmony1625,

      Yeah, I don’t know if it was intentional or not. I just couldn’t help noticing that in S4, when Sandor couldn’t believe that the so-called “greatest swordsman who ever lived” could be killed by Meryn F*cking Trant, Arya tried to explain that Syrio “didn’t have a sword; or armor; just a stick.” Sandor, reinforced by a smack to the face, taught Arya that Syrio was dead and MFT’s not only because Trant had armor and a big f*cking sword.

      Fast forward to S5 and Arya encounters MFT in Braavos… and waits until MFT didn’t have a sword, or armor: just a stick.

      I look for symmetry like that. Deliberate or not, it was apt revenge “for killing Syrio Forel.”

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    241. Pigeon,

      Thanks for that link to Rory’s interview (or was it an answer to a question at Tampa ComicCon?):

      “When asked what the ‘most emotionally demanding scene’ has been during his time on the show, McCann responded: ‘I would say when the Hound went on the road trip with Arya and he started opening up about what happened to him with his burned face.’ “

      That is my all-time favorite Sandor scene (narrowly edging out “every f*cking chicken in this room” i.e., the last nine minutes of S4e1 “Two Swords”), and one of the reasons S4e7 is my favorite episode.

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    242. Roz’s Ghost: My own take on Jon & Dany’s relationship is this: I don’t think the big reveal will do irreparable damage to their relationship. It will definitely have a negative effect on their relationship short term, but I believe they will overcome it.

      Well on this we definitely have different views – but as always, I’m aware that my guesses could be wrong!

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    243. Enharmony1625: Also, I never picked up on the parallel with Arya killing MFT when he only had a stick given Sandor’s earlier advice about armor and a big f-ing sword. So cool!

      That’s marvelous – I hadn’t caught that, either.

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    244. Enharmony1625:
      Ten Bears,

      I also read an interview with Rory just a day or two ago, and he said (insisting that he’s not giving anything away) that he thinks Arya can now defeat The Hound. “I taught her too well!” 🙂

      I wonder if we’ll get to see Arya and Sandor fighting back to back in a wight battle. Fan-service, perhaps, but we can dream…

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    245. Gwidhiel: Yes, I’m not sure that the show needs to encompass surviving characters’ romantic pairings to end on a satisfying note. I’d rather they leave that out than squeeze something in that feels rushed or unjustified.

      Absolutely!

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    246. Sean C.,

      ARYA: Are you all right?
      SANSA : It’s strange. In his own horrible way I think he loved me.

      “From their comments, the writers agree with Sansa’s sentiment there. It’s meant to be a recognition of the complexity of his character, and the relationship between the two. I’m not sure why you think that shows she’s incapable of loving others.

      Deeply loving, where you put the other person’s wants in front of yours. The dialogue quote does not prove it, but does illustrate it. Arya asks a question that shows she cares about Sansa’s feelings or state of mind. Sansa doesn’t answer directly, but instead dwells on whether a man loved her or not. Even after knowing what this monster had done to her family. In S1, Ned tells the girls he’s sending them home. Sansa says, “What? What about Joffrey?” Arya says, “Are you dying, because of your leg?” They’re both kids and shallow, but Sansa is for Sansa. Her tattling to Cersei in the books proves that. On the Trident, Joffrey takes vicious swings at Arya with a real sword shouting, “I’ll gut you, you little cunt!” while Sansa’s saying “Stop it! You’re spoiling it! You;re spoiling everything!” Years later, though she knew nothing about battle, she decided Jon was too stupid, unreliable, or whatever and kept the Vale cavalry secret from him. She wasn’t mean, evil, etc, just thought she knew better for some reason, and of course didnt’ think in terms of who would die and all possible consequences of what she did v what might have happened had she shared the information. She (understandably) wanted Ramsay dead. That all gives some idea of what I was alluding to.

      “If anything, Sansa’s character in the beginning was one for uncritical admiration of people. Learning to understand nuance is the whole point of her character development. None of that means she looked down on her loved ones.”

      She did indeed have uncritical admiration of Southrons of higher status or accomplishment than her. But the way she wheedled her mother to persuade her father to let her marry Joffrey, and treated Ned and Septa Mordane before they were dead does indicated she didn’t care much about their feelings. She wanted to be queen and felt entitled to it. She didn’t want someone brave, gentle and strong, she wanted Joffrey! As I said, she puts herself first. Most people do. But who has she deeply loved, without question, thought, or whinging? She loved Ned and Robb, but they made “stupid mistakes” that got them killed. Unquestionably accurate, but a wee bit judgmental and superior.

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    247. Firannion: I wonder if we’ll get to see Arya and Sandor fighting back to back in a wight battle. Fan-service, perhaps, but we can dream…

      Given D&D’s love of these two together, as well as the fandom, I say the chances are somewhat decent. I honestly don’t care if it is fan-service or not, it would be awesome (and at least good fan-service)!

      I just want to see the look on Sandor’s face when he realizes how skilled she’s become. Gendry too, actually. The last time he saw her even attempt to fight she got disarmed by Thoros faster than you could say “Hot Pie”. Fast-forward to season 8 and she’ll show them all how it’s done! 🙂

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    248. With respect to Dany’s so-called “entitlement,” and issues that have surfaced because of it. I’ve never had a problem with that as she’s earned each and every title but what was different during S7E3 was that she was talking to Jon who is probably the humblest character on the show. Her perceived cockiness is glaring in that meet-up because of Jon.

      Dany grew up with only one goal and that is to take back the throne, plus she gave “birth” to dragons and she can walk through fire. Stannis had such a God complex thing going on and he didn’t even have dragons or the ability to survive fire. Of course it is realistic for someone like Dany to act the way she’s acting on the show.

      Jon on the other hand, grew up believing that he has no birthright, and while he did come back to life. I think that is all Melisandre. I would say that if Dany still wants to break the wheel, she needs to become more like Jon because Jon is someone who has been going up against the system/the “wheel” because of what it did to his family. Arya and Sansa probably feels the same way.

      I believe Daenerys is fundamentally good but her righteousness is worrisome, I always go back to her interpretation of justice with what she said to Barristan Selmy “I will answer injustice with justice.” To her justice is an eye for an eye, crucifying slave masters for the slave children that were murdered because of her cause. Dany is good but as Jon Snow has shown, she could be better if she truly wants to break that freaking wheel, she needs to.

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    249. Roz’s Ghost: As for Brienne, if Sandor is killed, and Jaime is killed, I hope Tormund will finally get his shot at happiness. : )

      That would be the worst ending for Brienne. Even worse than Brienne stuck being Sansa’s bodyguard, at least Brienne likes Sansa. As though the world needs another ‘wear her down until she says yes’ ‘romantic’ storyline.

      Brienne and Jaime’s reltationship has been built up since season 2. It is one of the longest running love stories on the show and as of yet, has not reached a conclusion. However it ends, even if Jaime does die, Brienne isn’t suddenly going to be thrust into the arms of another man. Not Sandor, (who she at least respects), and certainly not Tormund who for the last two seasons has been a thorn in her side.

      Jaime is Brienne’s love. Whatever her endgame is, it is Jaime who is going to have a major impact. If the series was going to last longer Brienne might have a chance of hooking up with someone else, but Brienne/Jaime has had far too much build up for it to be thrown away by pairing Brienne with someone she has barely interacted with at the last minute. It would be terrible writing and Brienne deserves far better.

      Never mind how utterly wrong for her Tormund is. If after two seasons he is incapable of treating Brienne in a manner that does not make her grossed out or uncomfortable, then he clearly doens’t respect or care for her. Or is jsut an idiot. Either way, not right for Brienne.

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    250. ^ Agree w/ River.
      I loved the Hound & Brienne’s little moment in S7 on the way to the dragonpit, and the respect they showed for each other and Arya…though I’m still hoping for a) Jaime to die in her arms and b) her to survive and give Tormund a chance. ;p I see no reason whatever that she couldn’t change her mind if she actually got to know him.
      I think it’ll be very difficult for Dany to accept that Jon is the true heir, but she will…of course, Jon may not be interested anyway, or they could partner up. As far as the romantic relationship, she’s not really a typical Targaryen and I’d expect him to be even less “okay whatever who cares doesn’t matter” about it.
      Arya & Dany, I’d expect to get along quite well. Sure, the earned titles would impress Arya more than the inherited ones.
      Sansa+Gendry never actually occurred to me (never really shipped him with Arya either though), & I wouldn’t see it happening. Likely if she survives, she’ll later on fulfill her dream of finding a good man to marry and have kids with…I hope the series ends with hints as to the futures of the survivors’ (should there be any!)

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    251. Shelle,

      She won’t change her mind because we are down to the final season. Hooking the two of them up would be very last minute and go completely against Brienne’s established character as someone who is slow to trust and slow to love. The writers had two season to make T/B anything other thank a joke about a man repeatedly hitting on a woman who has made it clear she is is not interested. they could have established some trust and friendship, but they have not. Meanwhile Brienne and Jaime’s relationship has been carefully developed from season 2 and however it ends is not going to be cheapend by suddenly pushing Brienne at another man.

      Tormund’s infactuation with Brienne is a joke thrown in by the writers. They are not going to reduce Brienne’s arc and endgame to a joke, especially one that revolves around her being made to feel uncomfortable by a man who cannot be abothered ot notice that his behaviour is unwelcome.

      Trying to pair Brienne with Sandor is bad enough, but at least there is some genuine and mutuallrespect between the two. Again, this pairing would be rushed and cheapening to Brienne and Jaime’s storyline. But pairing Brienne with Tormund would be an insult. He doens’t respect her. He may lust over her, but that isn’t repect. He had two seasons to talk to her about something othet than the time he had sex with a bear. He had two seasons to learn to treat her in a way that doesn’t make her skin crawl. He had two seasons to see her as a person as opposed to a lust object and he hasn’t. Brienne doens’t need to give him a chance. He has already had a chance and he certainly isn’t entitled to another one.

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    252. Gwidhiel,

      I would somewhat agree. I thought it was cute the first time, but then it turned into a “thing” and started to be taken a bit too far by some people.

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    253. Mr Derp:
      Gwidhiel,

      I would somewhat agree.I thought it was cute the first time, but then it turned into a “thing” and started to be taken a bit too far by some people.

      Yes, and also while I love Tormund’s character, his persistence in the face of Brienne’s unambiguous lack of interest reminds me of times when I was encouraged to give a “nice guy” a break. Not trying to turn either the show or this discussion into a #MeToo moment, but well I suppose the point of that movement is that examples abound.

      And also, why should Brienne have to be paired with anyone if Jaime dies? Love doesn’t have to be consummated to be real, and it can endure past death – that doesn’t mean the survivor is doomed to a life of misery. I loved the depiction of the relationship between Chow Yun-Fat’s and Michelle Yeoh’s characters in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

      If I notice that the show has suggested feelings/chemistry between characters who aren’t yet romantically involved, ala Brienne and Jaime, then I find myself interested in seeing what will come of it. But I’m also okay with stories that end without a romantic pairing for female protagonists. To insist that they should have one just feels to me like a violation of their agency, and their worth as people in their own right.

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    254. Re: ‘Tormienne’…yeah, it started as a gag, but I thought it had the potential to become the very cute story of a “rough” girl who’s mostly been associated with high-born “pretty boys,” and a rugged wildling whose flirting skills could use some polish. xD He obviously has no idea how to successfully relate to her, which I think is mostly kind of a culture-shock thing. It would’ve been nice to have gotten more interactions between them, to show him attempting to properly get to know her, or maybe seeking lessons from someone…but I guess we’re supposed to assume that they didn’t spend much time together aside from what was seen. As it is there’s not much development to let the Tormienne ship compete with the well-established Braime (and I like both, which is why I’m hoping for a satisfying resolution one way or another…have a feeling Jaime’s not gonna make it out alive, and it’d be just too fitting for him to die in her arms, fulfilling his wish.) I could see Brienne beginning to warm up to Tormund after seeing him in action somehow, rather than gawking at her. She’s unused to receiving attention from a man who genuinely finds her attractive and desirable. It’s just something I could imagine working. If it doesn’t turn into anything serious (and true, there’s not a whole lot of time left to depict that happening), it’s not the end of the world. I wish them both happiness (and survival) nonetheless. ;p (Sandor would be my third choice if she were going to end up with a man.)

      No, certainly not everyone needs romantic love to be happy. I’m happily single and would only be interested in that if I found the absolute perfect guy (whom I’m not quite sure actually exists anyway.) Still, for characters I think it’s…nice, if they can have it with someone who’s good for them. I’m not really a diehard shipper of anybody in GoT (although it’d be tragic if a sweet canon couple like Sam & Gilly were to be separated by death.)

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    255. Stark Raven' Rad:
      Deeply loving, where you put the other person’s wants in front of yours. The dialogue quote does not prove it, but does illustrate it. Arya asks a question that shows she cares about Sansa’s feelings or state of mind. Sansa doesn’t answer directly, but instead dwells on whether a man loved her or not.

      Sansa responds by trying to explain why she’s troubled.

      Even after knowing what this monster had done to her family.

      Yes, that’s the complexity of the situation, as the writers noted. And whatever else the writers may do, that’s actually consistent with GRRM’s writing, not just for Sansa but for other characters, as far as giving people conflicted, ranging emotions even in situations where they might prefer or expect to feel only one way (as when both sisters don’t feel any satisfaction at Joffrey’s death).

      She did indeed have uncritical admiration of Southrons of higher status or accomplishment than her. But the way she wheedled her mother to persuade her father to let her marry Joffrey, and treated Ned and Septa Mordane before they were dead does indicated she didn’t care much about their feelings.

      That’s absurd. Being excited at the prospect of marrying Joffrey doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about her mother’s feelings. She wasn’t in a particularly good place in King’s Landing and certainly wasn’t well-disposed toward Ned at the time, but that was also a product of some rather obvious circumstances, including the death of Lady. As for Mordane, Sansa was rude, but Mordane was needling her about her fashion choices, so she pretty much invited that.

      But who has she deeply loved, without question, thought, or whinging? She loved Ned and Robb, but they made “stupid mistakes” that got them killed. Unquestionably accurate, but a wee bit judgmental and superior.

      Unquestionably loving somebody is not the same thing as being blind to mistakes they made. She deeply loved both Ned and Robb.

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    256. Gwidhiel,

      I suspect that Gwendoline Christie shares our reservations about the B/T ship. Every time someone brings it up she points out that Brienne has shown no interest in Tormund and is quick to assert its status as a mere joke.
      I suppose it must be somewhat disenheartening for her that after all these years on the show, all this effort she puts into a character who is wonderful in that she is a warrior who is not sexualised for being a warrior woman, some people reduce her character to Tormund’s lust object and misunderstand her character so greatly that they think he actually has a chance for her.

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    257. I’ve never seen anyone reduce Brienne to Tormund’s lust object. I don’t think anybody’s that invested in the ship. (Some Braime shippers might be primarily interested in her as a mate for Jaime, Idk.) Everyone knows she’s a non-sexualized warrior, and that’s great. That’s awesome. It’s also not incompatible with relationships (whether or not you immediately took to the person.) I certainly do not misunderstand her. Anybody who thinks she NEEDS a man is wrong. Not actively seeking a relationship because you’re confident and complete unto yourself doesn’t mean it’d be wrong of you to wind up in one. Again, I’d be pleased if it happened that way, but I don’t know that it’s something I’d be prepared to bet a lot of money on.

      I agreed with what SRR said about Sansa, except that acknowledging Ned’s & Robb’s stupid mistakes is more than fair, and wouldn’t necessarily indicate that you love them less or feel superior to them.

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    258. Shelle:
      I’ve never seen anyone reduce Brienne to Tormund’s lust object. I don’t think anybody’s that invested in the ship. (Some Braime shippers might be primarily interested in her as a mate for Jaime, Idk.) Everyone knows she’s a non-sexualized warrior, and that’s great. That’s awesome. It’s also not incompatible with relationships (whether or not you immediately took to the person.) I certainly do not misunderstand her. Anybody who thinks she NEEDS a man is wrong. Not actively seeking a relationship because you’re confident and complete unto yourself doesn’t mean it’d be wrong of you to wind up in one. Again, I’d be pleased if it happened that way, but I don’t know that it’s something I’d be prepared to bet a lot of money on.

      Tormund sees Brienne as nothing but a lust object. He thinks of her in no other terms than as a lust object. He thinks of her as such because of her skills as a fighter. He is sexualising her because she is a warrior and the fans are cheering him on. Two seasons have past since they first met and he is still incapable or unwilling of treating her in a way that does not cause her discomfort. Either way he shows a distinct lack of care towards her as anything other than a lust object.

      When fan thinks that his behaviour towards her is somehow sweet or something that can be encouraged, they brush aside her discomfort and dislike for him. Her rejection is treated as insignificant and something that she needs to just get over. Tormund’s desries are made paramount and Brienne’s a trivialised.

      When Gwen’s interviews about her character are hijacked by people bringing up Tormund’s creepy obsession with her and treating it as though it could ever have a serious impct on her character, they are reducing her to a joke.

      And it would be utterly out of character for loyal and devoted Brienne to suddenly get over Jaime and hook up with another man in one season, let alone another man who is utterly wrong for her. She fell for Renly because he treated her with respect and acknowledged her as both a woman and a warrior. She intially disliked Jaime and his crude behaviour only made it worse, but she opened her heart to him because he revealed a deeper, more intimate side. He too has come to see her as a lady and a warrior. Tormund is crude and vulgar and for him to ever get together with Brienne he would have to change himself completely. And whereas the other men Brienne has come to care for were able to recognise Brienne’s feelings, Tormund is utterly oblivious or otherwise does not care for them. If he did, he would have seen that his behaviour is reprehensible and discomforting to her and would have changed accordingly. He did not.

      Fans love Brienne’s relationship with Jaime because it emcompasses all sides of Brienne’s character, both the brave knight and the romantic lady. It also plays a major part in her character developement and arc. And most of all, it is something she wants. Their relationship is built on mutal respect and affection and that is why it is important to Brienne and her arc. Brienne does not want a romance for the sake of a romance. And hooking her up with Tormund at the last minute would be exactly that.

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    259. Stark Raven' Rad: She did indeed have uncritical admiration of Southrons of higher status or accomplishment than her. But the way she wheedled her mother to persuade her father to let her marry Joffrey, and treated Ned and Septa Mordane before they were dead does indicated she didn’t care much about their feelings. She wanted to be queen and felt entitled to it. She didn’t want someone brave, gentle and strong, she wanted Joffrey! As I said, she puts herself first. Most people do. But who has she deeply loved, without question, thought, or whinging? She loved Ned and Robb, but they made “stupid mistakes” that got them killed. Unquestionably accurate, but a wee bit judgmental and superior.

      Didn’t care about their feelings??
      Everything Sansa did in S1 and B1 was normal tween stuff, all of it.
      The Queen orders the wolf killed Ned did it himself, at 11-13 years old that would be a betrayal to Sansa, and a major hurt, we know why Ned did it, but Sansa would not. The reason I say this; our dad had to put my sister’s cat down ( cat leukemia )when she was young 12 or 14 to try and soften the blow he brought her a gift, my sister was pissed at him for months before she understood the why.
      Sansa being rude to septa is an extension of the Ned episode, not saying right or wrong but quite accurate for her age.
      Judgmental?
      It took tragedy, years of beatings, rape and finally a 1200-1500 mile trek looking for help to take back their home that she understood how bad Ned was at the game, and Robb’s breaking of vows and not listening to others that caused the North’s fall.
      That’s called understanding where her house went wrong, it’s growth and she intends to play a bit differently; she’s giving Jon wise and accurate information.
      Let’s not forget, it was actually Cat who pushed Ned, in show it was more Lewin.

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    260. Well, I’ll just agree to disagree (somewhat.) I don’t think it would be impossible for Tormund to change enough to show respect for things other than her size, her strength, her fighting prowess. He’d need to be able to display a deeper side to his attraction as well to have a chance. He’s not just a comic character there for laughs, so I can imagine him being capable of that. Eventually, anyhow. Obviously it’d have to be a genuine change of her mind. I don’t think Gwen’s interviews all need to include questions about him, or ships in general (although I guess there’s only so many times you can say she’s a strong female character who eschews traditional ideals of femininity and beauty…)

      I wouldn’t see Brienne just moving on from Jaime and falling into Tormund’s arms, certainly. At most I’d expect a small hint that, in time, if enough changed between them, it might go somewhere. Brienne “The Beauty” and the Beast. ;p

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