HBO Programming President Talks Greenlighting Game of Thrones Season 8

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The TCA press tour has come around again for 2017, with shows and networks touching base with the media and dropping scoops this week. Today it was HBO’s turn, and programming president Casey Bloys shared new info about plans for Game of Thrones season eight.

According to TVLine, Bloys says, “The only thing we’re working out is how many episodes they want to do.” Season eight has not yet been officially greenlit only because of this detail- obviously the eighth and final season of GoT is unofficially a go. There will be seven episodes in the seventh season, and rumors have thrown around a variety of figures for the total number of episodes in the last season. Bloys tells TVLine that he “hopes” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will opt for more than six episodes for season eight.

“They’re still figuring it out because I think they’re trying to get a shape of the season…They always do what they think [will yield] the best version of the show. It’s all about how many they’re comfortable [with]. But I’ll always take more.”

At this point, season eight is a no-brainer, but everyone wants to know how much more Game of Thrones we can look forward to, in these last couple years. Though “more!” seems like the obvious answer from fans, with no final books from the Song of Ice and Fire series to guide the show, and the writers only working from George R.R. Martin’s hints and conversations with them, a smaller order of episodes may be the right decision in the end.

69 responses

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    1. According to TVLine, Bloys says, “The only thing we’re working out is how many episodes they want to do.”

      I suspect Bloys could more honestly phrase that statement as “we’re arguing with the producers over how many episodes there will be.”

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    2. mau,

      I initially wondered the same thing since they work on a subscription model so it’s not like they’re losing ad sales, but I gather the episode counts do have greater monetary significance for their licensing outside the USA.

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    3. I so desperately want there to be an event where the last episode is played on 9pm on Sunday in movie theaters worldwide. They could make so much money and I’d be first in line to attend.

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    4. HBO obviously want as many episodes as possible, D&D will do as many as they think necessary. They kind of have every HBO executeve over the barrel. They’re producing HBO’s most popular and internationally successful show ever. A show that has expanded HBO subscriprions outside the US.

      I just wish D&D finish the series in style. Even by now, they’ve done an amazing job in this golden era of television.

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    5. Am I the only one who’s concerned about the amount of time there is left to wrap this up? I know that most of the cast are now consolidated so required screen time will be less yaddah yaddah yaddah, but from what we can gather at the end of season 7 there’s still a LOT of stuff to resolve.

      I really don’t wanna see the final battle with the WWs confined to one battle that spans just one episode (ep 5 season 8). I want the LONG night. The war that’ll last for years (according to Melisandre). I want mothers strangling their babies while their tears freeze on their cheeks. I want kings freezing in their beds at night. I want major characters killed and coming back as wights to kill other main characters…. everything that we’ve been teased with for 20 years.

      6 episodes don’t seem enough for this somehow ?

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    6. Sean C.,

      The way it works in my country, every episode is available online 24 hrs or less after the first airing in the US. I feel for the poor translators who have to provide subtites, do a work normally of 2 to 3 working days in less than 24 hours.

      I never even watch it with subtitles, I know English well enough and subtitles are a distraction. Though I’m interested in how the poor, beleagured translaror dealt with the hold the door -hodor thing (because it doesn’t work in my language quite as neatly as it works in English.)

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    7. Apollo,

      I’m not concerned because no one forced them to do anything. They wanted 8 seasons and 13-15 more episodes.

      They know how much time they need to tell the story they want. It’s not like they wanted 10 seasons and HBO forced them to do 8.

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    8. I think that there will be 2 big battle scenes in S8. One when the WW win and (IMO) take Winterfell and everything will seem lost and the other somewhere near KL where they will be defeated.

      I think that the WW have to take one place that we really care about and WF is the perfect option.

      I expect more action scenes with them in S8 but on the level of Benjen scene from S6 or Bran’s scene from S4.

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    9. Apollo,

      Well I don’t think we’ll get a Long Night that’ll last for years but I do think we’re in for a number of “horror” scenes and at least 2 major battles. Could go something like this:

      Episode 1: White walkers overrun much of the North; plenty of room for atmosphere and horror. The country peasants and Wildlings will be the first to go.
      Episode 2: Battle for Winterfell. White Walkers win; the surviviving humans retreat south.
      Episode 3: The White Walkers cross The Neck. This doesn’t need to be a battle scene.
      Episode 4: The Long Night falls all across the Riverlands, the Westerlands and the Vale. Again, many more opportunities for horrific moments.
      Episode 5: Final Epic Battle with Winter raging in King’s Landing. Night King might meet Cersei. Wildfire will play a role.

      That’d be satisfactory enough. 5 or 6 full hours of the Long Night.

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    10. Apollo,

      I think the Long Night 2.0 is a misdirection. The books or the show do not have time enough to have a proper “Long Night”. It’ll be a terrible, harsh winter but it’ll end with a dream of spring in S8… So about 1/2 -1 year winter. Not “long” by Westerosi standards.

      I mean, be real, GoT isn’t going to be going on and on for years and years for 25 or 50 years of the Long Night until someone finally figures out how to defeat the White Walkers.

      The pieces are being set to figure out the important shit sooner than after generations of people dying ignorant in the long, cold, dark night, and this “long night” might actually be quite short.

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    11. I just think that this “long night” will actually be quite short. Long Night 1.0 happened thousands of years ago. The Children had bone and stone (some of them obsidian/dragonglass) weapons, the First Men only had bronze.

      Technological development in GRRM’s world seems incredibly slow but nevertheless, men have gained steel, even Valyrian steel, in the 8000 years since the Long Night. So it stands to reason that this “long night” will be shorter. Unless the Others have made technological gains as well, ha ha!

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    12. talvikorppi:
      I just think that this “long night” will actually be quite short. Long Night 1.0 happened thousands of years ago. The Children had bone and stone (some of them obsidian/dragonglass) weapons, the First Men only had bronze.

      Technological development in GRRM’s world seems incredibly slow but nevertheless, men have gained steel, even Valyrian steel, in the 8000 years since the Long Night. So it stands to reason that this “longnight” will be shorter. Unless the Others have made technological gains as well, ha ha!

      I agree it will be relatively short, but it could still last up to a year.

      It’s important to remember that by season 8 we’ll have all the characters in one place. So it will be relatively easy to pretend that weeks or months passed from one episode to the other.

      Anyway, if we take Episode 6 of Season 7 as the beginning of the “Long Night”, and Episode 5 of Season 8 as its likely ending, that’s still 7 episodes of it. Which constitutes a full (shorter) season of the show.

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    13. Sean C.:
      mau,

      I initially wondered the same thing since they work on a subscription model so it’s not like they’re losing ad sales, but I gather the episode counts do have greater monetary significance for their licensing outside the USA.

      Yep.

      The only reason HBO hasn’t officially “greenlighted” season eight is that HBO and D&D are still negotiating how many episodes there will be in the season. My guess HBO wants 8 or 9 episodes vs. D&D’s dictum of 6…My best guess is that there will be seven, just like in season 7.

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    14. To me this seems like such a rare thing these days… the “network” wanting more while the showrunners don’t. Remember the early days when we sat around waiting and hoping for a renewal? It has to be a producer’s dream to be begged for more.

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    15. Bergey:
      I so desperately want there to be an event where the last episode is played on 9pm on Sunday in movie theaters worldwide. They could make so much money and I’d be first in line to attend.

      No thank you. I don’t want to be forced to change my series long viewing method and sit in a smelly theater with a bunch of morons for the very last episode ever. My luck it would be sold out anyway.

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    16. I’m curious what D&D have outlined when they’re thinking 6 episodes, or 6-7 hours left. Are they planning a finale that ends with the climax or are they considering a long enough aftermath to give us a good idea of how life continues on? I really do hate the typical abbreviated endings that leave one with practically no idea. That’s not what I want for closure.

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    17. Clob,

      I don’t think they’re suggesting it not air on TV (which HBO would never do, anyway, that would piss off their subscribers), just that there be a live theatrical option too.

      Aemon,

      Winterfell is far more important to the endgame of the series than King’s Landing, I would have to imagine. It’s the seat of Stark power, constructed by Bran the Builder, and possibly the place where the White Walkers were defeated the last time. And it’s probably, with its Heart Tree, where Bran will be operating going forward. The Starks were already driven out of Winterfell once in the series, I don’t think that’s happening again.

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    18. Aemon: That’d be satisfactory enough. 5 or 6 full hours of the Long Night.

      That would just be a lot of action without much story! At some point, we need to see Jon, Daeny, etc., wrestle with themselves about what to do concerning the White Walkers and make plain why all of the options are unsavory in one way or another.

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    19. Wimsey: That would just be a lot of action without much story!At some point, we need to see Jon, Daeny, etc., wrestle with themselves about what to do concerning the White Walkers and make plain why all of the options are unsavory in one way or another.

      Call me a mindless brute, but I’d be surprised if they don’t come to the conclusion of “kill them with dragonfire/obsidian/valyrian steel” quite soon. That’s the sole reason Sam exists in the narrative and

      Dany’s advisor Jorah will trust him for obvious reasons, and thus Dany and Jon are alligned.

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    20. Apollo,

      I think that is exactly what they are so scared to get into and the reason why Cersei´s arc has been extended through season 7. Let´s say the major characters arrive at Winterfell and the Wall by episode 1 season 8- the WW have already crossed. With six episodes, it will be a series of battles spanning at least 3 episodes I think-starting on episode 2. Episode 5 would be the ” War for the Dawn” ad Episode 6 “Dream of Spring”. I suspect Sansa and Arya would be dominating the resistance in Winterfell , Jon and his team running from Castle to Castle, the NW being dizimated etc…
      All things considered, it would be doable in six, extended episodes, heavy CGI and even higher costs on post production.

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    21. Wimsey,

      I don’t see that at all. Bran is the one that is supposed to ‘be ready for them when they come’. Who cares if Jon is a bastard or his parents were married or if his mother was raped or went willingly? That’s just irrelevant at this point with 13 episodes left. This isn’t a Harlequin Romance – which seems to be where most fan faction is going with this story, that part is just a side story. The real story is about humanity and preventing it’s end, it’s about the petty in-fighting while the real danger looms and threatens them all. How in 13 episodes is Bran going to learn about what makes the NK tick? How is he going to develop enough skill to stand up to the NK or to help Dany et al stay alive to defeat them? Given how little we’ve seen of Bran, I don’t see how they’re going to give his story the proper depth and conclusion that it deserves.

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    22. Sean C.,

      I would think that Bran the Builder put some protective spells there as well. It probably has to do with “there must always be a Stark at Winterfell” for it to work. That’s my guess.

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    23. Apollo:
      Am I the only one who’s concerned about the amount of time there is left to wrap this up? I know that most of the cast are now consolidated so required screen time will be less yaddah yaddah yaddah, but from what we can gather at the end of season 7 there’s still a LOT of stuff to resolve.

      I really don’t wanna see the final battle with the WWs confined to one battle that spans just one episode (ep 5 season 8). I want the LONG night. The war that’lllast for years (according to Melisandre). I want mothers strangling their babies while their tears freeze on their cheeks. I want kings freezing in their beds at night. I want major characters killed and coming back as wights to kill other main characters…. everything that we’ve been teased with for 20 years.

      6 episodes don’t seem enough for this somehow

      In Star Wars Episode III, the Republic turned into The Empire in a little over an hour and it was done wonderfully.

      Ending a series should always take much less time then the build up. All of the characters will be in one or two locations together which will greatly quicken the pace.

      We don’t need to see a long night of suffering. That would be boring. It just takes one really cold episode to show how bad the conditions got.

      I think the number of episodes for Season 8 has more to do with how they want to break up the story. Do they want to do all 1 hour episodes, or does the story dictate some 90 minute episodes.

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    24. Bergey,

      Hi ? there ?

      Considering what D&D have stated a movie MIGHT be a possibility. The how/what/where is open to guessing. I honestly would love it if a movie eventuated. A “conclusion” would be sweet ?

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    25. Mostly taking parts from the entire S6, I condensed it down to around 3 episodes 🙁

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    26. (grins)

      They never knew how long the TV show would be. They act like they did because they think it’s embarrassing not to know.

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    27. The Dragon Demands,

      Lol they have repeatedly said that the original plan was to wrap up the series within 70 to 75 hours. Do you have a personal vendetta or something? Frankly, bashing them all the time for the stupidest reasons is a bit immature of you.

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    28. Rhaenys Stark,

      70 to 80, originally, actually. But your point stands.

      And yes, he does have a personal vendetta. It’s all very sad. He thinks people changing their minds or negotiating means they were LYING TO US.

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    29. Jon’s Mom: It probably has to do with “there must always be a Stark at Winterfell” for it to work. That’s my guess.

      It is much too late to set up something like that. Moreover, it would be a very arbitrary Deus ex Machina type of thing to do.

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    30. Kathy: The real story is about humanity and preventing it’s end, it’s about the petty in-fighting while the real danger looms and threatens them all.

      The stories are about the main characters coming to grips with how they cannot have things 2+ ways, and that one ideal must give way to another in many situations. You can provide an episode of drawn-out fighting that stems from what main characters have decided, but not a string of episodes.

      What the show has yet to clarify is what the final damned-if-I-do-or-don’t situations will be concerning the White Walkers and Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, etc. We have our first hint: we now know that the White Walkers actually are analogous to the Unsullied in that they were weaponized against their will. That narrows the field, but the remaining field is still vast.

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    31. I doubt the WW ever make it past Winterfell. My belief is this was the main battle ground the first time and will be now the second time as well. It is, in my opinion, the location where winter fell the first time, hence “Winterfell”. I doubt the hot springs, hidden tunnels, deeper level of the crypts are all coincidental storytelling. This will be the location of the final battle. Kings Landing is not irrelevant in this story, but not as important as Winterfell.

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    32. Wimsey,

      The show sets up plot elements only just before it needs them. The magical legacy of Bran the Builder is an important part of the Stark history and the Long Night.

      orange,

      I personally think it’s more likely they go around Winterfell (it’s a big country, after all).

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    33. Kathy,

      Obviously Jon’s parentage is somehow important not just for the characters but also regarding white walkers. Why else would Bran have visions or if it? Why including this in the story if it doesn’t matter? He saw Hodor’s origins, birth of white walkers and Jon. It’s all about white walkers and they somehow play a role in this.

      I agree that how Benjen said how important Bran is, how are they going to do it because Bran is the ultimate wildcard. Most powerful weapon along with dragons, if he can warg into a dragon maybe even more powerful. 3ER said to him the he’ll fly. His part of the story is interesting.

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    34. Regardless of the number of episodes, they need to do a two hour series finale. I need them to! I don’t care if they consider it two episodes run back-to-back, the show is too big to sign off in 55-65 minutes. As an example, the Star Trek: TNG finale “All Good Things” is listed/coded as two episodes but it was aired on its final night as a single 105 minute episode. It ended up being an award winning episode and is considered one of the best in the entire series… This is what GoT should do. I’d like to see it go out BIG but also have enough time to set the pieces and set the tone that is desired when it fades to black.

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    35. I think its pretty simple to see what is going on here.

      D&D know the final season will have to be epic with all the climatic battles and dragons and The Others. So they want the same budget but for less episodes so they can make every episode kind of like an episode 9 of previous seasons. You know, those amazing Hollywood quality episodes.

      So if HBO wants more episodes D&D can counter and be like “okay but we need the scale of these episodes to fit what we have planned so we will need a bigger budget to accomplish this”.

      Of course I am way oversimplifying this but I can see this being the gest of it.

      D&D want GoT to go out with a massive amazing final season and with the budget they have this means they would have to shorten it to pay for the scale of each episode. Of course they can say they only had “X” amount of hours planned but I think D&D are highly intelligent and want to bring us a last season that every episode is on par with their traditional episode 9 scale.

      This is my opinion on what is happening and we will either get the 6 episodes D&D already have planned or HBO will throw even more money at it and D&D will use it to bring us more episodes.

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    36. Clob:
      Regardless of the number of episodes, they need to do a two hour series finale.I need them to!I don’t care if they consider it two episodes run back-to-back, the show is too big to sign off in 55-65 minutes.As an example, the Star Trek: TNG finale “All Good Things” is listed/coded as two episodes but it was aired on its final night as a single 105 minute episode.It ended up being an award winning episode and is considered one of the best in the entire series…This is what GoT should do.I’d like to see it go out BIG but also have enough time to set the pieces and set the tone that is desired when it fades to black.

      Agreed. This way they would have the climax of the story and the denouement in the same episode, or well, in the same viewing at least.

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    37. Sean C.: The show sets up plot elements only just before it needs them. The magical legacy of Bran the Builder is an important part of the Stark history and the Long Night.

      1) No, the show has hung the important guns long before they are fired. It often has rehung them before the major firings, and we can expect a few “rehangings.” However, as we are at the zenith of the over-arching story, this is the time for rehangings and firings, not hangings of novel plot elements.

      2) Given that the Stark History and the Long Night are not apt to be important for the overall story or even plot, Bran the Builder’s legacy is just trivial world-building.

      orange: I doubt the WW ever make it past Winterfell. My belief is this was the main battle ground the first time and will be now the second time as well.

      The WW almost have to make it much further south than that. Only that would get the Westerosi to actually accept that they are real.

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    38. Wimsey:
      1) No, the show has hung the important guns long before they are fired.It often has rehung them before the major firings, and we can expect a few “rehangings.”However, as we are at the zenith of the over-arching story, this is the time for rehangings and firings, not hangings of novel plot elements.

      2) Given that the Stark History and the Long Night are not apt to be important for the overall story or even plot, Bran the Builder’s legacy is just trivial world-building.

      The show introduces some elements in advance, but in many instances, no, it doesn’t. The fact that the Wall has spells in it that keep the White Walkers at bay wasn’t mentioned until episode 610.

      I have a hard time imagining Bran the Builder isn’t relevant to the story, seeing as he was there to defeat the White Walkers the first time around. The Stark’s heritage is suggested to be very important. Moreover, Bran the Builder is indicated by legend to have constructed three notable places: the Wall, Winterfell, and (in some tellings) Storm’s End. Two of those three have already been identified in the narrative as having powerful magics woven into them, in the first case magic that keep the White Walkers away. It’s no particular leap that Bran the Builder took similar precautions with his own home.

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    39. Sean C.:

      I have a hard time imagining Bran the Builder isn’t relevant to the story, seeing as he was there to defeat the White Walkers the first time around.The Stark’s heritage is suggested to be very important.Moreover, Bran the Builder is indicated by legend to have constructed three notable places:the Wall, Winterfell, and (in some tellings) Storm’s End.Two of those three have already been identified in the narrative as having powerful magics woven into them, in the first case magic that keep the White Walkers away.It’s no particular leap that Bran the Builder took similar precautions with his own home.

      I agree that BTB does have some significance (albeit perhaps more so in the books). I also have a fairly wild theory that Bran is in fact Bran the builder, passing his current/future knowledge back by means of some Hodor-esque temporal warging.

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    40. At the beginning of the final episode, Jon, Dany, and Jaime’s combined forces will trap the Knight King and his White Walker minions in Dorne, where they will be quickly bored to death. The other fifty-five minutes will be Tyrion, Bronn, and Yara cracking jokes and swilling wine in a whorehouse, intercut with a montage of Arya on an endless killing spree.

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    41. Luka Nieto,
      This. There will have to be some runtime dedicated to the reestablishment of the social order in the last episode. Two back-to-back episodes would afford it best.

      On this note… Black Sails is ending this year, and its showrunners were as insistent as DnD not to drag it out beyond the necessary runtime. I can see this becoming a (worthwhile!) trend!

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    42. Yaga: On this note… Black Sails is ending this year, and its showrunners were as insistent as DnD not to drag it out beyond the necessary runtime. I can see this becoming a (worthwhile!) trend

      Ah, I didn’t know that!

      I just finished season 3… waiting for season 4 to start. I think it starts soon.

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    43. I hope whatever amount of episodes D&D write, it’s the right amount for the story so nothing feels rushed and it ends with no loose ties we will forever be wondering about.

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    44. Yaga: There will have to be some runtime dedicated to the reestablishment of the social order in the last episode.

      But, again: why? Yes, the fans (or a subgroup of them) want to know “what happened next?” But then they will ask: “What happened after that?” What the show needs is what every story needs: denouement. We do not need to see social order restored: we need to see who will be left to restore it.

      Like any over-arching story, this is all leading up to some set of big decisions by the main characters towards which these characters have been evolving for (in this case) years. That’s the big payoff. After that, and after the key events (or even just event) that ensues, the story is over. And the TV audience’s interest is now ended. They are not going to want to tune in to see what looks like the prologue to some undefined sequel.

      (Again, we must not make the mistake of thinking that what fans want is what the audience wants; fans always want more, whereas general audiences rarely want more than what is necessary.)

      Sean C.: The fact that the Wall has spells in it that keep the White Walkers at bay wasn’t mentioned until episode 610.

      Which means that this gun is being hung well-before it is relevant. (It probably will become relevant this season.)

      Sean C.: I have a hard time imagining Bran the Builder isn’t relevant to the story, seeing as he was there to defeat the White Walkers the first time around.

      How does that affect Jon’s or Daeny’s or Tyrion’s or any of the other character’s evolution? The stuff we need to know about the past concerns the why of the Walkers. We’ve gotten a big chunk of it: they were weaponized to fight a great evil (humans) but turned against their creators (the Children). The other big part of the “why” that we need is: why have they come back? That could have a strong effect on how Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, etc., perceive the situation. If that, too, puts humans in a bad light, then the decisions that they have to make might be (like most big decisions in this series) quite paradoxical for them.

      Again, if this were the usual fantasy drivel that people knock off in imitation of Tolkien, then it might be important: there would have to be some big quest to find some relic to destroy the Walkers or something like that. Of course, character development never is important in those sorts of stories: most of them (with Tolkien’s work being the classic example) have none at all, relying completely on archetypes. SoI&F is a very different sort of story (the sort that Tolkien hated!) in which the story comes entirely from how the characters change from how they are initially developed. We’ve seen very strong parallels in how Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, etc., have evolved, and we can already start to make informed predictions about how they will react when they learn what Bran knows. We don’t know why the Walkers are back, and thus we cannot predict how they will learn to that truth: but surely we’ve seen (or read) enough by now to know that Jon et al. are not going to like their options in light of those truths.

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    45. Catspaw Assassin:
      At the beginning of the final episode, Jon, Dany, and Jaime’s combined forces will trap the Knight King and his White Walker minions in Dorne, where they will be quickly bored to death.The other fifty-five minutes will be Tyrion, Bronn, and Yara cracking jokes and swilling wine in a whorehouse, intercut with a montage of Arya on an endless killing spree.

      Uhh….I’d totally watch that. 😀

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    46. Priscila,

      Yes, the long night and the characters’ aftermath is what D&D want to avoid. Dramatic battles and spectacular CGI is what is left, and that only takes six episodes.

      The depth of the long night, the cruelties of the battles, and the bitterness after the battles will have to be narrated in the books.

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    47. Geralt of Rivia: Bran is the ultimate wildcard. Most powerful weapon along with dragons, if he can warg into a dragon maybe even more powerful

      Mayhaps Bran can win the battle by warging into ice dragons or even the wights. If he could wrest control of the wights from the WW King, he could cause them to self destruct like lemmings. Then dragon fire could destroy the WWs and no more dead mammals would be resurrected into wights.

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    48. Even if they do 5 episodes and it ends well, all storylines clear and wrapped, that’s fine with me. But if they pull some 6 episode BS and don’t wrap up everything they will ruin their legacy. Whatever it takes to finish it well is what they should do for the final season. No more no less.

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    49. Wimsey: But, again: why?Yes, the fans (or a subgroup of them) want to know “what happened next?”But then they will ask: “What happened after that?”What the show needs is what every story needs: denouement. We do not need to see social order restored: we need to see who will be left to restore it.

      Nope, can’t agree with you on that. We’ve spent several seasons on Daenerys claiming that she will start some reforms in Westeros. Whether she personally lives or whether she dies, if (and I do mean, if – it *is* possible that, disappointing as that may be, this will all come to nothing) these reforms are at least started, I want to see that. Even so symbolic an act as drawing up a constitution would suffice.

      Even LOTR had Aragorn’s coronation at the end. That’s more than just a personal denouement. That’s the promise of a new social and political order. And in the case of Westeros, it’s as necessary as in LOTR, given that we’ve spent so much time on the Westeros politics that it’s become almost a character in the series of its own.

      (To make matters clear, I hope that Jon dies in the end – or, better yet, is shown to have been just a magic-powered golem since his death – in order to avoid his coronation and the Aragorn ending. That would, as far as I’m concerned, in the long term probably lead to the restoration of the misogynistic status quo just as we’ve gotten some Queens and female warriors and leaders.)

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    50. When I learned that the final episode of season 7 would involve a fight on an island in the middle of a frozen lake, my thoughts went to the Isle of Faces near Harrenhall. My theory is that in the books that fight will be on the Isle of Faces, but in D&D “Readers Digest” condensed adaption they move the fight to the north, to shorten the war for the dawn, otherwise the show would go ten or more seasons. By the way, there are nine actors in that spy pick, not seven as in the leak, so who are the other two.

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    51. Yaga,

      As far as I can recall Dany has spoken about making some reforms in Westeros – once, when she made her “break the wheel” speech, if indeed that speech was about reforming Westeros for the better (I do think so). Other than that, I don’t recall any. It’s a bit of a stretch to say we have spent seasons with Daenerys talking of reforming Westeros. Has she been involved in reforming Slaver’s Bay? Yes. Will she bring about reforms if she comes into power in Westeros? Probably yes again. But so far she hasn’t really given us any of her thoughts in this matter.

      On the other hand, I also don’t agree with the assumption that Jon coming into power will mean the resumption of status quo. We do not know yet what Jon’s thoughts on ruling are, since he only just came into power (and the show has basically omitted the ruling part of his arc as LC). However, we do know that he is not afraid to break thousand year old traditions, he broke an 8,000 year old one by letting Wildlings into Westeros. And in S7,

      leaks

      he will go against tradition once more by refusing to punish children for the crimes of their fathers

      .

      I find it hard to believe that he will be happy to continue the feudal system that has been in place all this time. That is not Jon. And I am very interested in finding out his thoughts on ruling.

      The male-centric society of Westeros is not going to change overnight, even if a female ends up on the throne. Improvement of women’s rights would require years and years of social reforms, for which some sort of a foundation can be laid I guess. But none of the characters so far, including Dany, have shown much interest in this subject. They have been basically been fighting for themselves. So an assumption that a female on the throne will make some impact in this aspect is just that – an assumption. The ascent of Elizabeth I did not end the system of male preference primogeniture, it took hundreds of years more for that to happen.

      Basically, I guess a female on the IT would represent a symbolic change, if not necessarily a real one and I don’t mind Dany ending up on the IT. However, I do disagree with the idea that Dany on the IT will bring about change, but Jon won’t.

      I think no matter which of these two will end up ruling, they will bring about important changes. And it will be one of these two on the IT at the end, it won’t be anybody else.

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    52. ghost of winterfell: I think no matter which of these two will end up ruling, they will bring about important changes. And it will be one of these two on the IT at the end, it won’t be anybody else.

      I think “Both Dany and Jon die to save the world” is a real possibility. Maybe they have a kid and Tyrion rules in hir stead until zhe grows up (Dany went through a complete pregnancy in like 5 episodes already so it’s not THAT crazy). Or there is no IT in the end. These ideas aren’t too nuts.

      I agree with your sentiment that Jon is also a reformer, that is to say that very like Dany, he cares more about the well being of people than about any particular power structure or about advancing his own power.

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    53. QueenofThrones,

      The reason I think the story will end with at least one of them ruling is the extensive “learning to rule” arc GRRM gave both of them, which would seem kinda pointless if they both ended up dying. The theory that both will die and Tyrion will end up ruling as regent for their child is also a popular one. It is possible I guess.

      I think GRRM has said that there will be an IT at the end? I remember reading something like that.

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    54. Wimsey:
      Which means that this gun is being hung well-before it is relevant.(It probably will become relevant this season.)

      Ergo, more stuff can be set up to pay off going forward. We still have very little information about how the Long Night is going to go, so the notion that there aren’t going to be any new plot elements introduced seems rather unlikely.

      How does that affect Jon’s or Daeny’s or Tyrion’s or any of the other character’s evolution? The stuff we need to know about the past concerns the why of the Walkers.We’ve gotten a big chunk of it: they were weaponized to fight a great evil (humans) but turned against their creators (the Children).The other big part of the “why” that we need is: why have they come back?That could have a strong effect on how Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, etc., perceive the situation.If that, too, puts humans in a bad light, then the decisions that they have to make might be (like most big decisions in this series) quite paradoxical for them.

      I know you habitually disregard anything about the series other than your conception of the leads interlinked evolution, but GRRM’s work has, y’know, themes and mythology, and those thing are not there for no reason. They’re plot-relevant, if nothing else. At a time when murderous zombies are flooding the land, safe refuge from them is pretty damn relevant.

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    55. ghost of winterfell,
      I don’t want to dispute the details of why exactly it’s important to have women in visible positions of power. It is important, but a thread on a piece of fiction isn’t exactly the place for it.

      My point is more – if reforming Westeros is an important part of the narrative, it should be shown on screen at least symbolically. If it’s not, and it’s back to the Game after the WW have been repelled… well, that’s very realistic, of course, but also very nihilistic and sad.

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