UPDATED! Iain Glen on location as Game of Thrones season seven filming resumes

Jorah

As 2016 ended so did filming in Spain and Croatia for season seven. However, the Game of Thrones production will not remain cloistered in their Northern Ireland headquarters: They have yet again ventured out into the world to film in a gorgeous country familiar to those who followed behind the scenes news from the early seasons; and Iain Glen, Ser Jorah Mormont himself, has been spotted on location there, with another castmate. Below the cut, you will find photos to corroborate this and our first look at the shoot.

As it is to be expected with filming photos, there are major spoilers below the cut!

At first there were rumors, later strong indications, and finally the clincher, when cast members started to appear —Iceland will become Westeros once again. Kit Harington (King Jon Snow), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), and Paul Kaye (Thoros of Myr) are now joined by Iain Glen, whose dulcet tones as Ser Jorah Mormont always make my brain tingle:

When you are on the presence of #royalty #got #omg #gameofthrones

Una foto publicada por Rebecca Louise (@becky_d_1985) el

If previous spoiler reports are to be believed, we should expect a few other actors to be sighted in Iceland, as their characters are supposed to travel with Jon and the others beyond the Wall, to the True North of the Free Folk… and the White Walkers.

This quest is directed by Alan Taylor, who is in charge of episode six. That may not seem important, but this is a shortened season, so the sixth episode will be the pre-finale, traditionally the ninth episode in which the “big stuff” happens —Whether it be a large battle or a shocking death. So many main characters traveling together through such a hostile land, with a mission this dangerous yet crucial, directed by a Game of Thrones veteran director, in the pre-finale climax… The stakes are high, as are the expectations.

Surely, the Frostfangs will look just as breathtaking as they did in the past, yet we must wonder which particular locations we will get to see this year, as there are many to choose from; Iceland may be small, but it’s also a treasure trove of geographic features. Now, we might just have an idea of they are looking for this time: The costume team was first spotted at the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, and soon after Iain Glen was sighted there too. It could be a coincidence… Or perhaps Jökulsárlón is one of their locations.

If that is true, it will not be the only Icelandic region we’ll get to see in season seven: Kearstin Patterson shared the following photo from the shoot, which just started today, and it’s at Svínafellsjökull. Besides the beautiful vistas of the glacier, we can see nine largely indistinguishable characters, most of them dressed in typical wildling clothing:

UPDATE #1: Patterson provided a few more pictures, identifying Jon Snow:

A closer look at the photos and this tweet (as well as, you know, common sense) tells us one of them is Jon Snow. The other confirmed characters for these particular Icelandic scenes are Gendry, Thoros and Jorah. Since the Wolf Hill shoot where Kristofer Hivju and Rory McCann were sighted is part of the same sequence, we should expect Tormund and the Hound as well. There is also Beric, who remains unseen but should be with Thoros and Sandor, as leader of the Brotherhood. This leaves two unknown persons, but please don’t go crazy over it, as they could well be random wildlings.

129 responses

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    1. I have to wonder how this expedition will differ from Hardhome. I’m very curious about how another battle in the far North with the WW could occur at this point in the story when it seems like so much of the narrative has moved South.

      I wonder if they simply felt they “needed” another big epic battle and could not afford to leave all the WW stuff for the final season.
      I’m just hoping this battle will actually be significant in a way that Hardhome wasn’t and won’t feel like added in spectacle for the sake of spectacle.

      If someone has info about the purpose of this expedition, I’m open to hearing it (unless it comes directly from the supposed leaked scripts).

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    2. OMG someone actual got a picture of them filming in Iceland!! She is my hero, lol. Anyway, does the second person from the front look like Jon in his Stark armor?? That would be rather dumb considering everyone else is in Wildling furs. Also, 9 people, huh? That’s a couple more than had been reported…maybe they take a couple of Wildling redshirts??

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    3. Gravemaster,

      Thank you, we got tipped off soon enough via email. The article is now updated. Literally seconds after I published this with the Glen pic, the filming photo appears. The timing couldn’t have been better, or, well, worse 😛

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    4. Luka Nieto:
      Gravemaster,

      Thank you, we saw it soon enough on Twitter and the article is now updated. Literally seconds after I published this with the Glen picture, the first filming photo appears. The timing couldn’t have been better, or, well, worse

      Let’s hope that PAP4U is in mood for some glacier climbing!

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    5. They’re most likely filming at the Vatnajökull Glacier, same place they shot ygritte/jon scenes in season 2, since the crew is staying in a hotel near that glacier.

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    6. Seven companions for the Last Hero.

      Tormund, the Father
      Jorah, the Warrior
      Gendry, the Smith
      Sandor, the Stranger
      Brienne, the Maiden
      Dany, the Mother (of Dragons)
      Melisandre, the Crone

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    7. phantomcloud,

      To add to what Flayed Potatoes said

      Leaks:

      Jon was not really taking that huge a risk by going on this mission since it looks like he only takes around 7 to 8 other men with him. The biggest tragedy from this expedition was Viserion’s death and it doesn’t look like Jon had anything to do with the dragons’ arrival north of the Wall. It seems to be a last minute rescue by Dany.
      So basically Jon was risking the lives of 8 men to convince the rest of Westeros about the real threat, which seems a reasonable risk to take IMO.

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    8. Aguero,

      lol you’re just some random poster, who do you think you are to tell people they can’t post here? If you’re so bothered, then scroll past and ignore.

      And this spoiler is the only one we actually have a context for.

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    9. Markus Stark: I wonder if they simply felt they “needed” another big epic battle and could not afford to leave all the WW stuff for the final season.

      Flayed Potatoes: He’s doing this to get everyone on Westeros focused on the WW. Not just Cersei, but all the other lords and ladies need to be on the same page and all the conflict in the south needs to cease.

      These could be linked. Jon cannot go around rallying people against the White Walkers: not only does almost nobody in Westeros think that White Walkers exist, most of them think that White Walkers never existed in the first place. Until the Walkers actually breach the Wall or make themselves a threat in some manner in which it is impossible for the Westerosi to deny that there is some sort of threat from beyond the Wall (WW or otherwise), Jon’s (or anyone else’s) claims will be dismissed as not just propaganda and fear-mongering: and childish propaganda and fear-mongering at that.

      “Wait!” one might say: “Won’t they listen to the Wildlings?” No. The show (and the books) have developed two things. 1) Westerosi hate the Wildlings: not just the Northerners, but people in the Reach and the Vale do, too. 2) Northerners themselves are considered backwards, superstitious and less-than-intelligent by the rest of the world, and the Wildlings basically are the Northerner’s trash kin. People might accept that the Northerners and Wildlings think that White Walkers are coming: but in the same way that we accept that 6 year olds think that Santa is coming. (Only, more like Futurama Santa than current Santa!)

      Now, Daeny herself might be willing to take heed that there is some sort of threat for two reasons. First, she has had visions of herself beyond the Wall (in both media). Second, she is growing to trust Tyrion, and Tyrion felt that Mormont’s warnings were not entirely baseless when everyone else laughed off those warnings. (That does not mean that Tyrion thinks that there really are White Walkers: only that he thinks that Mormont recognized some major threat that he was identifying as White Walkers.) However, getting what will be a fragile alliance organized to take on some enemy that does not seem to directly threaten them at that point would be politically unfeasible: the Westerosi have lost too many people and resources to incessant war and now have to worry about surviving winter; it would be no time for expeditionary assaults on possible future threats.

      Indeed, the WW threat still needs to be addressed in the North. Given that some of the Northerners seemed to think that returning to their individual strongholds to wait out the winter, and given that Jon didn’t actually name the threat that was the oncoming storm, it seems that they do not yet generally accept that White Walkers are coming. Until that happens, the wheels for uniting the Westerosi against the WW cannot even start.

      Flayed Potatoes: Do they even have cigars in Westeros?

      Is there any smoking at all? I do not recall even seeing pipes of any sort.

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    10. phantomcloud: Can they shoot something in a glacial ice cave? The visual would be striking

      That almost certainly would violate lots of rules, both for the permits allowing where they can shoot, and also for safety of actors, camera-people, etc. Moreover, they probably could get a better visual inside of a studio.

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    11. Flayed Potatoes:
      Sean C.,

      Do they even have cigars in Westeros? ?

      Ahh… I doubt it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the actors and crew off camera have a ‘spliff up’ or ‘take a hit’ from the bong – LMAO 😀

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    12. If the second guy on the left is Jon, I wonder if the reason he’s not wearing furs or his Stark cloak is because he doesn’t feel cold anymore like he used to. Melisandre told him once that she doesn’t feel cold because the Lord’s fire lives within her. Could it be since his resurrection the same could be said for Jon? Though, post-resurrection, he did continue to rock the Stark cloak, so maybe not feeling cold isn’t the answer for him not bundling up north of the Wall in S7. Of course, when the moment this photo was taken it could have just been rehearsal and Kit wasn’t wearing the cloak or furs.

      Leaks

      I notice there are no horses to be seen. I know there was speculation that maybe the wight hunters would make their escape on horseback after shit hits the fan, rather than on dragonback. So, either dragonback is back in play or they’ll make a run for it on foot. Also, no green ball to indicate Ghost’s presence. I know the leaks said he stays in WF all season but I was holding out hope that Jon would send for him before they journeyed beyond the Wall. But, alas, that hope is dashed now.

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    13. BunBunStark: Could it be since his resurrection the same could be said for Jon? Though, post-resurrection, he did continue to rock the Stark cloak, so maybe not feeling cold isn’t the answer for him not bundling up north of the Wall in S7.

      I think that you’ve just falsified your own conjecture! As my icon was wont to say, don’t multiply explanations without need: going with “Jon still can feel cold just like anybody else” is by far the simplest explanation for what we’ve seen.

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    14. Wimsey,

      Yes, it seems Jon’s main goal this season is to get people to believe in the WW threat no matter what. We’ve already seen that raven messages don’t work to even get recruits to the NW, let alone secure armies to fight with them. Not to mention these people would need to be willing to abandon whatever plans they have set to focus on that threat (hibernating in their strongholds, fighting over iron chairs etc.). It’s a difficult job and almost impossible to accomplish. The show did a good job of hammering in just how much Westeros hates Wildlings.

      I’m sure Qyburn is hard at work inventing Westeros’ first bong as we speak. 😛

      BunBunStark,

      Maybe it’s the costume designer’s decision to dress Jon in his armor so he’ll be more noticeable when shooting. It would set him apart from other characters and extras I guess. Though to be fair, I don’t expect much from costuming as far as Jon/the North is concerned.

      I wonder about the horses as well, but maybe the showrunners thought it would be easier to shoot without them. The weather isn’t exactly great for animals.

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    15. Flayed Potatoes: I’m sure Qyburn is hard at work inventing Westeros’ first bong as we speak.

      Just imagine how much more Littlefinger could have learned if he’d had hash dens as well as brothels! If men talk when they are happy, then…..

      A related note to your spoilered point regarding horses is important: dragging them into glacial areas would be difficult to do while still adhering to industry standards about the treatment of animals. What you really would want are trained mammoths: but, sadly, we ate the last of those 8K years ago….

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    16. Firstly can I just say, look at that scenery. wow. These scenes are gonna be spectacular with those vistas, the low sunlight and (possibly) the Northern lights, if they have some night scenes.

      The mention of Beric has got me thinking. I’m wondering what his over-arching purpose will be as far as the show is concerned. If he is truly an instrument of R’hllor then the big ol Red dude must surely have some hugely significant destiny in mind for him….

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    17. Is anyone aware of any Ben (Dolorous Edd) Crompton sightings? I want to see the next season end with him saying “Aye, we live another day, hoorah” at least once more.

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    18. Apollo:
      Firstly can I just say, look at that scenery. wow. These scenes are gonna be spectacular with those vistas, the low sunlight and (possibly) the Northern lights, if they have some night scenes.

      The mention of Beric has got me thinking. I’m wondering what his over-arching purpose will be as far as the show is concerned. If he is truly an instrument of R’hllor then the big ol Red dude must surely have some hugely significant destiny in mind for him….

      No, for the simple fact Beric is already permanently dead in canon. In the books, he died for good giving the kiss of life to Catelyn. Beric still being ‘alive’ and doing things is entirely D&D’s fanfiction. Which means nothing will come out of his character anyway. There’s no destiny awaiting him. D&D simply decided to keep him around for a little longer than GRRM did.

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    19. phantomcloud,

      Or maybe they keep him alive so he can give the kiss of live to someone else? Maybe this is D&D way of adapting a storyline from the book like they did with Tyrion/Quentyn (different outcome obviously) or Sansa/Jeyne Poole, etc.

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    20. phantomcloud,

      Or maybe they keep him alive so he can give the kiss of live to someone else? Maybe this is D&D way of adapting a storyline from the book like they did with Tyrion/quentyn(different outcome obviously) or Sansa/Jeyne Poole

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    21. phantomcloud: Beric still being ‘alive’ and doing things is entirely D&D’s fanfiction.

      For the googleth time: ADAPTATION != FANFICTION. This is a story, not a documentary: and minor elements like Beric can be substituted for one another in adaptations of the same story just as different anatomical homologies can substitute for each other to maintain the same functional biology.

      Again: sharks & T. rex….

      That stated, the real evidence that Beric is not there for some “larger purpose” is that he is a very minor character. What he represents is the hanging of the “R’hllor will revive the dead if you ask it nicely” gun. That gun was hung to be fired after Jon is assassinated. In stories (unlike documentaries!), major plot elements must be set up before they become relevant: otherwise, the storytellers commit the crime of Deus ex Machina.

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    22. phantomcloud:
      Here’s the reason why season 8 hasn’t been renewed yet

      http://tvline.com/2017/01/14/game-of-thrones-season-8-episode-count-premiere-date/

      Thanks for the link. So, if true, it seems D&D might not be sure they’ll be able to squueze everything in just six more episodes… Or do they think they don’t have enough story for six??

      Considering that at the Golden Globes, Iain Glen mentioned 15 more hours remaining (S7+S8), I’m hopeful for more than 6 episodes in S8.

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    23. I hope we will see Benjen filming on set. Would be heartbreaking to see Jon and Benjen together for a moment.

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    24. Masterofthrones,

      It would be spectacular closure, though. And come to think of it… Doesn’t it seem strange that Benjen would have successfully tracked and rescued Bran and Meera, but is conspicuously absent when a party of well-known warriors, his beloved nephew among them, ventures north? Hmmm…

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    25. Gotta love that wine bottle in the pocket of Iain’s suit jacket. Yeah, I know the feeling: away from home in a boring hotel, ditched by your co-workers who can’t stand the sight of you, eventually waking up in the gutter. Been there, dude, been there.

      Wait, did I just say that out loud?

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    26. talvikorppi

      I think it can only be more than six.

      They obviously have a general outline for S8, but when they start to actually write the season it could be that some parts will “grow in telling”.

      It is the last season. There are so many deaths, reunions and climaxes that need to happen in the last season.

      Maybe 7 or 8 episodes then for S8?

      With 8 episodes it would be almost like a normal season.

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    27. Apollo,

      Beric is a cool character, played by a great actor and they wanted to tie a loose ends.

      And it will be interesting to see Jon and Beric in the same scene talking about their experience.

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    28. BunBunStark,

      As to Kit Harington’s Jon Snow costuming… It’s really difficult to make out who’s who in that grainy picture (why aren’t remote Icelandic glaciers in the dead of winter as full of professional paps with long lenses as easily accessible urban areas in the Basque country in the mild autumn… oh.) but it makes sense to have the “main guy” stand out visually.

      One of the problems I had with that infamous Dorne fight scene in S5 was that it was really difficult to tell Jaime and Bronn apart because they were dressed exactly the same, so you had to look at – in fractions of seconds – which hand is he using. They should’ve had Jaime ditch/lose the headgear so he’d be recognisable.

      TV/movie costuming isn’t completely realistic. Nobody would really go into battle without a helmet, yet most of the recognisable cast of GoT do, just so they can be recognised.

      As to the cold conditions beyond the Wall. Realistically, you loose a lot of body heat through the head, yet after the S1 cold open, Qhorin Halfhand was the only Nightswatchman I can remember actually wearing a hat. I remember watching that scene on the Fist of the First Men in a near blizzard, the Old Bear, Jon, Sam, everybody except Qhorin Halfhand bare-headed, and yelling at the screen “cover up, you’ll get hypothermia!” Heh, maybe that’s why Qhorin was the best ranger!

      However, as to Jon’s attire, wasn’t there this picture from the Wolf Hill Quarry shoot of Kit apparently resting between takes, wearing Wildling-type furs? And that’s supposedly part of this same sequence, no?

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    29. phantomcloud: No, for the simple fact Beric is already permanently dead in canon. In the books, he died for good giving the kiss of life to Catelyn. Beric still being ‘alive’ and doing things is entirely D&D’s fanfiction. Which means nothing will come out of his character anyway. There’s no destiny awaiting him. D&D simply decided to keep him around for a little longer than GRRM did.

      Balderdash.

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    30. mau,

      Yeah, I also think it can only mean more than six, I was just covering my bases with the “what if it’s less?” comment.

      HBO would probably love as many episodes as possible and I suspect they’re willing to throw quite a lot of money at their most successful show ever. So it comes down to writing. D&D and the rest of the writing team will have been outlining and plotting, if not downright writing S8 by now, and they might’ve realised 6 episodes is not enough. Is 7, or do they even need 8? Keeping in mind Iain Glen’s comment “15 hours”, which probably is a vague estimate, but it’s two hours more the production was talking about a year ago.

      I don’t want hours and hours more for the sake of it, but I want enough hours to wrap up the story properly. I think D&D want it, too. Whatever the go on to do, GoT is going to be the thing they’ll be remembered for. They won’t want to fall at the last hurdle, they want GoT (and their careers this far) to go out on a high, go out with a bang, not a whimper.

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    31. Flayed Potatoes: I want a CGI wight mammoth.

      I want a real one! Sadly, even though we have some DNA, our ability to clone things is nowhere near up to that ability. (A wight mammoth would just be rubbing salt into the wounds….)

      Sadly, my experiments with smearing normal elephants with Rogaines from head-to-toes didn’t work out as planned…..

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    32. talvikorppi,

      They are still not writing S8. Every year they start the writing after the filming is done.

      I also don’t want t hours and hours more for the sake of it.S8 is the climax. There is no need to slowthings down at that point.

      There are some things that I thought would happen in S7, but I learned from the leaks that they are pushimg those events to S8. So as I said there are many big battles,deaths and character moments that has to happen in S8, that even 8 episodes doesn’t seem too much to me.

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    33. Catspaw Assassin:
      Is anyone aware of any Ben (Dolorous Edd) Crompton sightings?I want to see the next season end with him saying “Aye, we live another day, hoorah” at least once more.

      I think in the books it’s pretty clear (well, foreshadowed) that poor Dolorous Edd will become the Lord Commander of the Nightswatch. The timeframe isn’t sure. The show even made him the effective LC, after the previous LC (Jon) declared “my watch is ended”, gave Edd his NW cloak and told him to not knock it (the Wall/Castle Black) down.

      It’s all Dolorous Edd never wanted, but we readers/watchers know that he’s a true, brave and wonderfully sarcastic man of the Nightswatch.

      (Gods, I love Dolorous Edd! And Ben Compton has been perfect in that role!)

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    34. Edith: Or maybe they keep him alive so he can give the kiss of live to someone else?

      Yes, Edith. If someone becomes undead a second time, what does that say about the Red religion and its powers? And what does it say about the mental powers and emotional capacity of the serially undead person?

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    35. Wolfish:
      Masterofthrones,

      It would be spectacular closure, though. And come to think of it… Doesn’t it seem strange that Benjen would have successfully tracked and rescued Bran and Meera, but is conspicuously absent when a party of well-known warriors, his beloved nephew among them, ventures north? Hmmm…

      Benjen was guided by crows directed from the CoF cave. What is left to direct Benjen now? Whatever beings remain to commune with Benjen would be interesting to know.

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    36. mau:
      talvikorppi,

      They are still not writing S8. Every year they start the writing after the filming is done.
      (snip)

      I confess I have no professional experience of TV screenwriting or producing, but it just seems to me that with filming starting in September 2017, you’d need to have a reasonable outline and plan by now, to secure actor contracts, CGI teams, scout for locations, all kinds of back-office stuff. For the people who make GoT happen (the producers, including D&D) it’s a year-round job. Or take Michelle Clapton and the wardrobe department. They need to know early on to have time to produce the amazing costumes. Wildling furs for 50, Dothraki get-up for 50, armour for 50 Westerosi extras of different houses… They’re working on S8 even as we speak.

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    37. talvikorppi,

      In the past they would start working on an outline in January, after the filming had been done in December and from January to April, they would also work on post-production. The shooting would start in July.

      This year filming will be over in Feb. So they have 6 months, like always.

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    38. Marlana: Benjen was guided by crows directed from the CoF cave.What is left to direct Benjen now?Whatever beings remain to commune with Benjen would be interesting to know.

      Crows? Do you mean wights? In the scene where Benjen rescues Bran and Meera, nothing moving is seen other than the wights, and Benjen subsequently tells B&M he was acting on orders from the Three-Eyed Raven—to which Meera says “The Three-Eyed Raven is dead,” and Benjen replies “Now there’s a new Three-Eyed Raven.” If anything, I would expect Benjen to develop the same sort of (telepathic?) relationship with Bran that he apparently had with the first Three-Eyed Raven.

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    39. Sean C.,

      Or the survivors will head to the Winchester for a nice cold pint where they’ll wait for the whole Long Night thing to blow over.

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    40. Why is Gendry with them, I wonder? Are we supposed to believe that he threw his hat in with the rest of them just for the sake of it?

      Or do we think he’s been nominated for this task for some reason? Or has he somehow managed to end up in somebody’s (e.g. Jon’s) debt?

      I see no mention of Davos being along for this ride, so it’s not like he’s there to repay his debt to Davos.

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    41. Wolfish: Crows? Do you mean wights?

      Benjen was originally guided to the CoF cave by crows/ravens. 3ER used crows to carry out orders and report back to him after each day.

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    42. So, @Kearstin99 posted 2 more photos & said that Kit is “the one in the slightly different colored coat and black hair”. Also, said “maybe you can spot the Hound?”. Meaning, Rory is in Iceland (no surprise, really) even if he hasn’t been spotted yet.

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    43. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      My vague recollection from other posts is that

      Davos is with Jon when Jon meets Daenerys & Co. in the south. Meanwhile, Gendry has somehow materialized in King’s Landing. If Gendry makes it to the Stargaryen meeting point and is reunited with Davos at that point, then it stands to reason that he might feel compelled to join Jon’s cause (and mission).

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    44. Wolfish,

      Leaks:

      Davos and Tyrion sneak into KL undercover, from Dragonstone, because Tyrion wants to have a chat with Jaime, to pursuade him to surrender to Dany. There while Tyrion is chatting up big bro, Davos runs into Gendry somewhere within KL. When they go back, they take Gendry with them, to Dragonstone.

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    45. Wolfish,

      I want to see Gendry and Jon discuss Arya. We have barely seen Jon and Arya talk about/ remember each other. I hope next season they will finally indicate the closeness of their relationship!

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    46. ghost of winterfell,

      Yes!!! Virtually all of the comments we’ve seen about this particular group of people getting together has pointed to conversations between

      Jon/Beric, Jon/Jorah, and Tormund/Hound. And now, come to think of it… when it comes to Arya, Jon/Hound is going to be awesome too! Between the three of them, they can piece together the entire continuum of her life up to the point when she left for Braavos. 🙂

      Not that there will be that much time in S7 to delve into such detailed conversations, but it would be nice if viewers are given some indication they have occurred.

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    47. Apollo,

      He will be the Azor Ahai people are least expecting. The red god inhabit the man physically to be of help to Jon, the PTWP, during the long night. This is why he’s been resurrected so many times. He HAS to live for a time such as this.

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    48. ygritte,

      As someone else already pointed out, though, in the books he’s already permanently dead. Even though the TV adaptation has changed or eliminated many things (mostly well, imo), D&D haven’t done anything that would fundamentally alter GRRM’s endgame. Changing Azor Ahai would do that, and, I think, be far too radical a departure from the source.

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    49. Wolfish,

      Benjen is a fascinating character & the only person who is (possibly?) half-wight. Just going by his appearance (greyish mottled skin) & the fact that he appears to use those exploding fireballs on chains to defend Bran & Meera shows he’s somehow been prevented from turning into a full wight – and also has some connection with magic. One wonders if his transformation will be fully ’rounded’ by the next season into a full on wight, or, he manages to stay in stasis until his probable (heroic) death. We’ll see.

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    50. talvikorppi,

      I thought so too. But in the other photo showing Jon, Gendry and Davos sailing away he is wearing the Stark clothing. Maybe they stop somewhere where the above photo is taken and he changes into the furs?
      In the first twitter photo that Kearstin posted I can see Tormund and his red hair against the rock.

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    51. ghost of winterfell: We have barely seen Jon and Arya talk about/ remember each other. I hope next season they will finally indicate the closeness of their relationship!

      There have not been situations where it really is meaningful. Moreover, a lot of that in the book might be a vestige from when GRRM had very different plans concerning the two of them!

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    52. Wimsey,

      The closeness of their relationship did not change even after Grrm scrapped his plans. After being tempted to do it multiple times, Jon finally broke his vows – for Arya, in Adwd.
      The show so far has not even given a hint of any of this unfortunately. Now with Jon meeting Gendry and

      Arya meeting her other siblings

      they finally have an opportunity where they can organically show the special nature of their relationship IMO.

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    53. ghost of winterfell:
      Wimsey,

      The closeness of their relationship did not change even after Grrm scrapped his plans. After being tempted to do it multiple times, Jon finally broke his vows – for Arya, in Adwd.
      The show so far has not even given a hint of any of this unfortunately. Now with Jon meeting Gendry and

      they finally have an opportunity where they can organically show the special nature of their relationship IMO.

      I feel like Arya’s scene in Braavos where she debates letting go of Needle really shows her still-strong connection with Jon and her ‘Stark’ness quite beautifully. It’s one of my favourite scenes of the series, to be honest. Although as I’ve read the books, I could almost hear the words whereas I suppose to show watchers only it may not be quite as blatantly clear:

      Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her
      father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.

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    54. Sansas lemon cakes,

      I think he’ll stay as he is. He told Bran and Meera the CotF used the same magic used to create the wights to *stop* his conversion into wighthood; I simply assumed that when they found him, they propped him up against the nearest heart tree and Leaf drove a dragonglass dagger into his heart. I also assumed they knew who he was when they found him, else they would have simply destroyed him.

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    55. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Why is Gendry with them, I wonder? Are we supposed to believe that he threw his hat in with the rest of them just for the sake of it?

      Or do we think he’s been nominated for this task for some reason? Or has he somehow managed to end up in somebody’s (e.g. Jon’s) debt?

      I see no mention of Davos being along for this ride, so it’s not like he’s there to repay his debt to Davos.

      I’m personally just going to assume that as an honorable, hardworking young man that wants to do what’s right, he’ll simply decide to help them when he hears what they’re doing. He does have a debt to Davos though, and he also has a bit of one to Arya, so helping Jon is helping both of them in a way. If he’s accepted his Baratheon lineage, which he may have judging by his hammer on the beach, he may also feel he should help House Stark just as they did House Baratheon for so many years.

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    56. Pigeon: Although as I’ve read the books, I could almost hear the words whereas I suppose to show watchers only it may not be quite as blatantly clear

      This the one thing that books can do better than cinema: communicate thoughts. Of course, they could have Arya break into a Shakespearesque soliloquy: “Alas! Yon Needle! In who’s glean shines the light of my brothers’ eyes: broken Bran; dead Robb; what’s-his-name, the little brat… and Jon, the tousler of my hair, and the only brother mine to coincidently resemble both myself and our dead aunt…. To toss, or not to toss: that tis the question….”

      It really is so good that I only write science papers…..

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    57. ghost of winterfell: After being tempted to do it multiple times, Jon finally broke his vows

      Jon broke his vows before then by letting the Wildlings into Westeros: Bowden Marsh reminds him (and us) of that numerous times in the book, flatly stating that Jon is committing treason by doing this. Moreover, Jon was under no vows to stop Melisandre from becoming involved in Westerosi affairs.

      Flayed Potatoes: They are thinking about each other even in ADWD, when George’s plans have already changed though.

      True. However, even Sansa thinks of Jon at least once in the books: that just shows that people will think of each other. The issue is whether the bond between Arya & Jon is going to be important in the story. At this point, I doubt that it will be in either telling, and the build up that we got in the first book was basically the remnant of a gun that GRRM was hanging that he no longer intended to fire.

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    58. Wimsey: This the one thing that books can do better than cinema: communicate thoughts.Of course, they could have Arya break into a Shakespearesque soliloquy: “Alas!Yon Needle!In who’s glean shines the light of my brothers’ eyes: broken Bran; dead Robb; what’s-his-name, the little brat… and Jon, the tousler of my hair, and the only brother mine to coincidently resemble both myself and our dead aunt….To toss, or not to toss: that tis the question….”

      It really is so good that I only write science papers…..

      I know the pain somewhat – my degrees are in Classics AND Biology, so although on occasion the 2 may meet, it isn’t often. ?

      I think Maisie acted those emotions wonderfully, and as many…er….less than profound phrases that GRRM comes up with, I really liked that bit! Too bad even Morgan Freeman couldn’t do a narrative over a scene in Thrones without it being just wrong!

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    59. Marlana,

      No, but your explanation assumes that Coldhands is Benjen, which in regards to the books is only a theory. And the raven stuff only happened in the books. Not really pertinent to what may happen in the future in the show.

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    60. Wimsey:

      It really is so good that I only write science papers…..

      Oh, good. You can help with the science-ish paper I’m editing right now, before it can be published in a peer-reviewed journal. 😉

      Seriously, though: With phrases like “basically the remnant of a gun that GRRM was hanging that he no longer intended to fire,” you’d do much better than the vast majority of English majors I’ve met… starry-eyed 20somethings who truly believe they’re destined! to be great writers.

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    61. Wolfish: starry-eyed 20somethings who truly believe they’re destined! to be great writers.

      I certainly know that pain: I have to read what grad students write when they are first starting! And I certainly induced much pain for my advisors with my awful writing when I was a 20-something grad student with !Destiny! (To be honest, my writing still sucks: it’s better than it was, but it’s gone from putrid to bad….) But, the simple truth is that writing is effin’ hard. I truly envy those rare people who can write fluidly and coherently.

      The one thing that I lament is that I cannot inject my humor into my technical papers. Still, I am told that I do a good job of that in my talks!

      (And as for the peer-review part, I just finished reviewing a paper in which I got to laud the authors for their very clear writing! Would that I could always do that….)

      Pigeon: I know the pain somewhat – my degrees are in Classics AND Biology, so although on occasion the 2 may meet, it isn’t often.

      Yes, there really is a big difference between technical writing and creative writing. Technical papers should be the opposite of subtle: you are expected to state and restate the main thesis repeatedly when justifying why everything is included in the paper. That would be considered crass in storytelling: no author would ever include something stressing how (say) Daeny’s current crisis is just like Jon’s in ways A, B & C. Instead, you have all of the protagonists go through the same types of crises (or one protagonists go through some type of crisis repeatedly), and let the audience thread the eye of the needle.

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    62. Clob,

      Yes, yes, and yes.

      Luka Nieto,

      Thank you for the refresher. Having recently re-watched the series and re-read the books, my mind is one giant scramble of story details. I’ve been driving my non-book reader daughter bananas.

      Wimsey,

      Agreed on all points. Full disclosure: I was a teenage parent and recently earned my first bachelor’s degree at 46, so it’s my own paper I’m editing after reviewers’ comments. But I’ve done my share of creative writing (as a student), technical writing (as a former newspaper reporter), and editing (as my husband’s recent editor and cartographer for a book). At this point I’d much rather do the latter, and I have little patience for people who believe in the concept of “being a natural writer.” Ain’t no such thing! Writing really is “effin’ hard,” and this is one of the reasons that, as frustrated as I am with GRRM, I also forgive him his forays into his complex and increasingly unwieldy world.

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    63. Wolfish: I was a teenage parent and recently earned my first bachelor’s degree at 46, so it’s my own paper I’m editing after reviewers’ comments.

      Ah, there is nothing so potentially ego-crushing as reviewer comments! One colleague of mine described each paper as being like a Horcrux: you put of piece of yourself into it, and then some snooty punk pokes holes in it. Even when the comments are generally favorable, they still point out the imperfections: and each one always makes me feel like a total dolt!

      It’s probably also made me less tolerant of GRRM’s over-indulgence rather than more so. He just reminds me too much of dealing with new scientists who try to stick too much into a paper, and wind up obscuring the main point. It is the same problem, I think: you do all of these neat analyses leading up to the ones that really prove your point, and you want the world to see them, even if they are not strictly germane to the topic! (Hereafter, I shall dub them “The Dorne Tests.”) However (and as at least one reviewer will tell you): once you make your point, then the world does not care about the rest of it. ‘Tis a cold, cold world…..

      (Oh, and I am impressed that you have managed to overcome all the downsides of being a teenage parent and gone on to get a bachelor’s and do research. That’s actually quite inspiring: Good on you.)

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    64. Wimsey,

      Iirc Sansa thinks about him once when she hears he’s lord commander, whereas Jon and Arya are thinking about each other pretty much repeatedly/constantly in both the early and the last novels. There’s really no comparison. It’s obvious who he is closest to.

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    65. Wimsey,

      Excellent observations, and thank you for your kind comments.

      Flayed Potatoes,

      I would add that Jon and Arya are the two siblings (I obviously use the term loosely, as neither knows yet that they’re cousins) most personally invested, at the beginning of the series, in their identity as Northerners and little else. Robb expects to be Lord of Winterfell; Sansa has her head full of fantasies about glamorous southron courts; and Bran and Rickon are still little boys, blissfully ignorant of the true weight of the Stark name. It really is incredible how deeply our early-childhood experiences shape us, and I do wonder

      whether Arya’s unwavering love and support of Jon will somehow factor into the reputed confrontations between her and Sansa in S7.

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    66. Wolfish,

      Leaks:

      The leaks did say that Jon will be one of the topics they will clash over. Sansa starts wondering if she will make a better ruler for the North, which will lead Arya to question her loyalty to Jon.
      Arya standing up for Jon is something I am so looking forward to!

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    67. ghost of winterfell,

      Whoohoo! Something to look forward to, as long as D&D don’t turn it into a prototypical older-sibling vs. younger-sibling or girl vs. girl conflict. To be honest, at this point I’m both intrigued and frightened by where this storyline will go,

      because I’d really like to see Arya’s and Sansa’s disparate strengths—the former’s resolute sense of right vs. wrong and incredible ability to both empathize with and essentially “become” one of the common people, and the latter’s ability to play The Game according to the rules of high society—be forged into an alliance based on more than shared parenthood or forced loyalty to lands or lords.

      Siblinghood alone does not confer love, warmth, or loyalty, as seen in the cases of Viserys/Daenerys and Gregor/Sandor (to name just two), and forced loyalty to lands or lords can be superficial or toxic, as seen in the cases of the Tullys and the Freys (exhibit A) and the Starks and the Boltons (exhibit B). Lots and lots to speculate about between now and summer!

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    68. Wolfish,

      There is enough meat in the history between the Stark sisters and their disparate personalities to make for interesting confrontations between them, even though I am not thrilled with

      the old letter written by Sansa to Robb way back in S1, under duress, being used as a point of conflict.

      Their interactions have potential to be interesting definitely, let’s see how it goes.

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    69. ghost of winterfell,

      There’s the part of me that really isn’t thrilled about that, and there’s the part of me that recognizes that, far too often, such incidents are held over people’s heads for years after the fact. I’m reminded of an argument years ago between my ex-husband and one of his younger brothers, someone I always thought of as really easy-going, where the latter suddenly exploded into rage… and started going off on “that one time” when aforementioned ex-husband stole his Tonka truck and, apparently, inflicted an irreparable wound. (No, I’m not making this up.) Now, imagine that same sort of childhood/adolescent memory and mentality applied to an adult-world situation with actual lives at stake. Alas, I imagine that happens far more often than most of us would like to believe it does.

      And yes, I have a love/hate relationship with Sansa, that formerly superficial little girl with a head full of childish fantasies of silks, satins, gallant knights, and dining tables full of lemon cakes. I pity her for all of the terrible decisions she has made in all of her naïve moments (in both the books and the show)… from not recognizing the stark (pun intended) beauty of the North, to lying about what happened with Mycah, to staying in KL instead of escaping with the Hound, to staying with Littlefinger even after he killed Dontos, to refusing Brienne’s service the first time it was offered, to marring Ramsay, to withholding information about the Vale’s army from Jon. I must attribute said love/hate relationship to Sophie Turner’s acting, because heaven knows, IRL it would have been pure “WTF are you thinking?,” and I would have strangled the girl by now.

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    70. ghost of winterfell,
      Leaks:

      Arya doesn’t know the context in which the letter was written. On paper, it doesn’t look good for Sansa, especially given Arya’s prejudices and suspicions regarding her sister. I think it could play well. Anyhow, if the leaks are correct, it’s not like Littleginer’s plan with the letter will be ultimately successful.

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    71. Luka Nieto,

      Leaks:

      Arya is supposed to be trained in differentiating lies from the truth, in detecting lies and BS. She would know that Sansa was telling her the truth that she was forced to write that letter, unless Sansa never bothers to clarify her pov, which is also pretty stupid imo.
      Yeah Arya and Sansa have differences in perspective, but at the same time, Arya has also undergone certain experiences and training which should make her more aware, and whom she should believe.
      The leaks were pretty vague about the WF plot anyways. On the one hand, the leaks said that LF realizes that Arya is hard to fool, on the other hand he seems to have played her quite easily with this letter. Maybe things will make sense when we actually see the episodes, let’s see.

      Flayed Potatoes,

      Yeah good point.

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    72. Pigeon,

      I agree. In the show, that Needle scene, was more related to Jon because he gave her Needle. And Jon in the scene is the representation of her family and life at Winterfell. And she can’t let go of that ??

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    73. ghost of winterfell,

      Late to the party, I don’t think I need spoilers as I’m talking about something from way back in S1. But I’m pretty sure Sansa was still all “yes, I want to marry Joff and be the Queen” then wasn’t she? When Cersei asked her to write the letter to Robb, it’s not like Joff had been anything other then…”her prince” at the time. A few episodes later though…yeah, Joff showed his true colors.

      Wimsey: Jon broke his vows before then by letting the Wildlings into Westeros: Bowden Marsh reminds him (and us) of that numerous times in the book, flatly stating that Jon is committing treason by doing this.Moreover, Jon was under no vows to stop Melisandre from becoming involved in Westerosi affairs.

      True.However, even Sansa thinks of Jon at least once in the books: that just shows that people will think of each other.The issue is whether the bond between Arya & Jon is going to be important in the story.At this point, I doubt that it will be in either telling, and the build up that we got in the first book was basically the remnant of a gun that GRRM was hanging that he no longer intended to fire.

      I don’t think its said anywhere in the NW vows to not let Wildlings in, isn’t it just stated “protect the world of men”? What Jon did, by saving Wildlings, technically protects the world of men as they would just become soldiers for the Night Kings army if he left them beyond the wall. That’s not helping anything. I think Jon says this at one point, but maybe he only says it in the book.

      EDIT: Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

      Jons problem was that the older brass can’t see past their own prejudice of the Wildlings. Jon barely tried explaining the true threat to them, hoping they would just understand that the Walkers are the real threat. But nope, Thorne and company are idiots who only see whats in front of them. Hey lets kill our Lord Commander, while he’s the only one protecting us from the thousands of Wildlings outside our walls.

      Idiots, glad he hung them. Should of ordered them to death, by Wun Wun smashing them.

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    74. Agree with his post Jorah definitely is my favorite accent on this show, really dreamy. Also find Littlefingers voice quite unique and interesting

      Rygritte,

      Love your descriptions “lion mane” “peanut head” “bubble butt’ “1st wildling to die” haha, there will always be one character we don’t know who is just there to die for dramatic effect.
      I love Jorah’s description “tall, blonde, handsome” good to see him getting the love 🙂

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    75. Mawk: Jons problem was that the older brass can’t see past their own prejudice of the Wildlings. Jon barely tried explaining the true threat to them, hoping they would just understand that the Walkers are the real threat. But nope, Thorne and company are idiots who only see whats in front of them. Hey lets kill our Lord Commander, while he’s the only one protecting us from the thousands of Wildlings outside our walls.

      Every time I watch the episode with Alliser talking with a noose around his neck I think the same thing…
      “You brought an army of wildlings into our lands. An army of murderers and raiders…”
      That’s pretty much what the Night’s Watch has become. There are ‘good’ men but it essentially became a penal colony for criminals to avoid worse punishment. It’s been mostly comprised of murderers, thieves and rapists. Oh but they’re so much better after taking their vows. We’ll ignore the mutinies, murders, rapes, attempted rapes, desertions and stealing that have been happening from within the NW. Way to make a stand Ser Alliser.

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    76. Flayed Potatoes: There’s really no comparison. It’s obvious who he is closest to.

      Oh, I agree: it is obvious that Jon is closest to Arya of his two sisters, and probably second closest to her of his siblings. My point was (and is) different: the initial “end-game” reason why GRRM developed that closeness is gone, and at this point it is not clear that there is an important end-game reason for it. Again, this is something that happens over the course of writing: you wind up with figurative (organ) appendices that are still there even though they no longer have an important function.

      Mawk: I don’t think its said anywhere in the NW vows to not let Wildlings in, isn’t it just stated “protect the world of men”?

      The Night Watch oath makes no mention of not getting involved in the affairs of Westeros. As the Night Watch is older than Westeros, that is not too surprising. However, it has become part of them. The modern purpose of the NW is to keep the enemies of Westeros out of Westeros: that is why Book!Marsh tells Jon that he (Jon) is committing treason by allowing the Wildlings into Westeros.

      Jon also realizes that he’s on thin ice regarding hosting Stannis. This is the classic Catch-22 of civil war: there is no such thing as neutrality. If you acknowledge the “rebels” as a legitimate entity (here, Stannis), then you are basically providing a big knife in the back for the established government (here, Cersei’s brood). Conversely, if you do not recognize the rebels, then you basically are acknowledging that the established government (here, Joffery & Tommen) are the legitimate government and denying that the rebels (again, Stannis) is an internal political issue and instead an enemy of that government. In the book, Marsh subtly (albeit barely subtly) informs Jon that he’s basically committing treason by harboring Stannis, as many in the NW (i.e., those who think that Stannis is making up the story about Joffery & Tommen being bastards for selfish ends) view Stannis as an enemy of Westeros, and thus not an internal dispute within Westeros.

      So, Jon really has a choice: he can betray the more recent oaths that make the Wall a “first defense” against the enemies of Westeros attacking from the North, or he can betray the older oaths (the purpose of which nobody really remembers). Because the “Nationalists” (the term some of us use for the Marsh-Thorne-etc. faction) consider the recent oaths the relevant ones, and given that Jon realizes that insofar as anybody south of the Wall is concerned, his job is to keep out “real” threats like Wildlings, not made-up threats like Snarks, Grumpkins & White Walkers (which might all be the same thing!), Jon realizes that he’s hosed either way.

      This is also the Catch-22 that the Pink Letter introduces in the book. The commander of the NW is sworn to defend the Wall against enemies. However: what if the threatened attack is from Westeros, not the North? The vows did not reckon on that!

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    77. Clob: It’s been mostly comprised of murderers, thieves and rapists. Oh but they’re so much better after taking their vows. We’ll ignore the mutinies, murders, rapes, attempted rapes, desertions and stealing that have been happening from within the NW.

      Insofar as we know, NW members are punished if is proven that they commit those crimes after joining the NW. However, individuals are absolved of any crimes that they have committed before they joined. It seems that Westerosi morality buys into “give a man a chance to redeem himself,” for good or for ill.

      All of this stated, both show and books make it very clear that the Wildlings have caused a lot of problems for the Westerosi. Last season, we saw that it is not just the Northerners who hate the Wildlings, but even lords from the Vale and the Reach hate them. And we are told very plainly (in both media) that the Wildlings actually have made regions near the Wall pretty much uninhabitable. The Wildlings are a real and present danger, and they have been for uncounted generations.

      Now, the NW are asked to accept that the Wildlings are a minor danger next to the White Walkers. It seems that there is grudging acceptance that the White Walkers are a real danger, even among the Nationalists. However, 1) it does not seem that they appreciate the extent of that danger (in either medium), and, 2) they do not see this as a reason to make common cause with the Wildlings: the Wildlings are enemies of Westeros, and their job is to kill such people, not invite them in as refugees!

      This paradox is certainly one that real people have had to unravel, and there is no easy answer. The Wildlings make it plain that they want it both ways: they want to remove to Westeros, but they do not want to become Westerosi “kneelers.” And it is not as if they come in promising to give up raiding, reaving, etc. The Nationalists have good reasons to fear that Jon is (at best) being very naive or (at middle) blinded somewhat by sympathy for a few “good ones” or (at worst) a traitor who “went native” during his time with the Wildlings.

      So, Jon has some damned-if-he-does-or-does-not choices in front of him, leaving a bit worse for the wear! 😀

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    78. Wolfish: aforementioned ex-husband stole his Tonka truck and, apparently, inflicted an irreparable wound.

      A stolen Tonka truck is NOT a wound that heals easily! 😀

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    79. I’m very intrigued by the possible return of Gendry. A few key questions regarding Gendry’s return.

      1) Why is he returning? He’s been gone for a while, and his involvement in all of his prior plot lines were completely tied off.

      2) Kings Landing is a dangerous place to go for Jorah, Ser Davos and especially Tyrion. Why would they risk going there to retrieve him?

      I think the one thing that answers both questions is Gendrys lineage. Only two central characters know that Gendry is Robert Baratheons son. Ser Davos is one of them, and IMO this is significant.

      As hand of the queen, Tyrion is tasked with angling each of the seven Kingdoms to support Dany. Having gained the support of most southern Lords (Dorne and the Tyrells), Tyrion will look for a political way to get The Stormlands to back Danys claim as well.

      If the heir/ruler of the Stormlands comes up when Jon/Davos presumably meet up with Danny/Tyrion next season, then Davos could very well reveal that Gendry is Robert Baratheon’s bastard. This makes Gendry very valuable to Dany. I can see two potential outcomes to this speculation.

      The most straight forward outcome is that Dany wants to help Gendry become Lord of the Stormlands in exchange for supporting her claim. As I mentioned before, why else would Davos, Jorah and Tyrion sneak into a place as dangerous as Kings Landing to retrieve Gendry? Surely there are other blacksmiths to forge armor for the Queen..

      Another outcome that would be far more interesting is if Gendry is seen as a potential husband for Dany. In addition to earning the support of the Stormlands (at least what’s left of it), marrying Gendry would provide Queen Dany with a much smoother transfer of power away from Baratheon and back to Targaryian. It would also make Dany look less like a conqueror. Marrying the son of the man who usurped her family’s rule would show that she is forgiving (unlike the Mad King), and her desire to rule isn’t based on getting revenge for her family’s plight.

      Obviously Jon is the more obvious person for Dany to marry but my gut tells me it won’t happen.

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