Kit Harington, Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke on their characters, after season 6

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Photo: Matt Sayles/The Wrap

With the Emmys taking place in September, The Wrap is going in-depth with nominees in celebration of the awards in their August issue. The magazine speaks with Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey about their work on the show, and the end of Game of Thrones. Showrunner D.B. Weiss also talks to The Hollywood Reporter this week about his most rewarding scene.

Speaking to the magazine, Harington discusses his attempt to deceive his co-stars into thinking he was genuinely killed off. Many didn’t buy it, but Sophie Turner did.

I don’t know why I chose Sophie, of all people, to deceive the most. I let her in on the secret last of anyone, really, and she was so sweet. She wrote me a letter about my leaving the show, and she bought that I wouldn’t be coming back. We’re all very pally with each other on our set, we’re like family, and she genuinely feels like a little sister to me. So I guess I kind of played tricks on her like an older brother would.

Harington mentions that they usually get the scripts about two weeks before filming begins. As for returning as a possibly changed Jon, the actor explains to The Wrap that “he comes back as himself, as the Jon that everyone knows.” Harington adds, “Which at first I found disappointing. But it’s more subtle than that. He has an insight into what lies beyond that very few people in his world do, and that no one in our world does—he knows that there’s no afterlife. Which does quietly drive who he is and what he wants to do.”

He also admits, “I feel like one of the safest people on Thrones now. Maybe I shouldn’t say that. He could die next season, but I felt very safe this season. Because if I come back to life in Episode 2, it would be awful storytelling if you kill me in Episode 4. So I felt a bit cocky this season.”

Check out the rest of Kit’s interview at The Wrap.

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Photo: Corina Marie/The Wrap

The always-chatty Emilia Clarke covers a host of subjects in her interview with The Wrap. Among the topics, she discusses the impending end of the show and her character’s legacy.

She says, “It’s not going to be nice when the show ends, obviously. It’s going to be huge, epic. But I’m excited. The landscape’s getting exciting and different and we have more time to do it.

As for Daenerys’s legacy, she hopes it’s “Just a little bit of female empowerment. I just want the empowerment of people watching a character like this to 
light a spark in their brain, like, ‘No, you don’t need to have dragons to be a badass in your day-to-day life.’ Who doesn’t love a hero? And there’s so many on the show. So I hope 
that’s what the show will leave.”

She reveals two of her big actor heroes are Lucille Ball and Audrey Hepburn and says she is working on a comedic screenplay with her friend Lola Frears. “It had to be a comedy. This is the most joyous, easiest thing I’ve ever done. We’re in the middle of it and it’s wonderful. We’ll see what happens. It’s just good to stoke as many fires as possible.”

As for fans always seeing her as the iconic Daenerys Targaryen, Clarke says, “I love it! It’s a wonderful thing. I think of actors that I love and their iconic roles, and I can love and appreciate everything that they do, but there is still that one thing… I’m so lucky to be known for this. She’s got range and she’s got an arc, and she’s got so many wonderful qualities. It’s not a regular television show where it’s very much the same character coming back every year. This is different.”

Check out the rest of the interview and videos at The Wrap!

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Lena Headey talks to The Wrap about Cersei’s big year, and that troubling exchange of looks between the queen and her brother Jaime at the end of season 6.

The thing that gave her humanity was her kids. They’re gone now. Her father is gone. [Her brother] Tyrion is gone. There’s no one to tell her she can’t, she’s stupid, she’s just a woman. I think when Jaime looks anything other than happy, she has a “f— you” moment. This will be such an interesting season for them. Where do they go? It’s so toxic now.

Lena chats more about Cersei’s state of mind and her work with the International Rescue Committee so swing on over to The Wrap to read the rest of her interview there.


Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter in advance of the Emmys about their “most rewarding scene to see completed,” showrunner D.B. Weiss says, “The “Battle of the Bastards turned out better than we ever could have expected, thanks to outrageously hard and great work by everyone: Miguel Sapochnik and his team, the cast and the VFX and stunt guys. But in terms of exceeding already high expectations, the opening sequence of the finale may have outstripped it — thanks to the powerful visuals, the artful way in which they were arranged, and to Ramin Djawadi, whose music for that sequence is probably our favorite since the main title theme.”

125 responses

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    1. King in the North!

      I’m keeping my sanity until next season by reading all the interviews i can find, watching every video i can find, and of course the ever popular rewatch/reread.

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    2. Jaynee D.,

      Check out FilmBuff on YouTube, 2 friends, one who watch all seasons and one who is completely unsullied watch GOT together, they are at EP8 of S1.

      Really funny and helps the time to pass.

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    3. This season was the best! U know my loyalties are with Cersei and Jon. Actually I have never witnessed so many stellar performances in one show as these beautiful actors and actresses in all of my soon to be 78 years.

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    4. every interview of kit harrigton describing his chracter is like eating a sweet cake he know perfeccly well his character and like me find his devellopement dissapointing but if you are patient you know why he is still the same…

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    5. I love reading these interviews after the season has aired; fleshes things out a bit. I always appreciate Lena’s honesty in analyzing Cersei and that she’s really and truly screwed. LOL.

      Seriously, Kit, stop being so damn gorgeous. That pout, dear gods, that pout. Anyway, I see his hair is still rather short in comparison to how Jon looked in his final S6 scenes. And his beard isn’t as full, either. With S7 filming less than a month away, I wonder if he’ll have enough time to grow both out to match his end-of-S6 look. (whispers: I miss the free flowing curls), or if King Jon will be sporting a new look.

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    6. Can they keep kit’s current look (beard and hair length) for next season? He looks so young and fresh in these pictures. And Jon, while still gorgeous, looked nothing like 21 last season.

      Oh, and how I love Kit’s insights on Jon. He’s always spot on. Lena and Emilia too. Nice seeing actors on this cast that has a real understanding of their characters, for a change.

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    7. Harington mentions that they usually get the scripts about two weeks before filming begins.

      Ooooh, so does that mean the cast still hasn’t gotten their scripts for S7, since they don’t begin shooting until early September? But they should be getting them very soon. Oh man, some of the supporting actors must be on pins and needles wondering if they’ll make it to the final season.

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    8. Great set of interviews. If the gods are good, at least two of them will walk away with awards. *crosses fingers*

      Halfman: Lol I can’t even type properly. Should have said “impossibly”

      *passes you strong tea*

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    9. jdtargstark:
      Can they keep kit’s current look (beard and hair length) for next season? He looks so young and fresh in these pictures. And Jon, while still gorgeous, looked nothing like 21 last season.

      Yeah, Jon’s definitely looking older than his 21 years. But I fanwank that as he’s had a pretty rough last 5 years, and that’s aged him quite a bit.

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    10. I think when Jaime looks anything other than happy, she has a “f— you” moment.

      Really though, every moment between Jaime and Cersai is, technically, a “f-you” moment.

      Also, I don’t recall anyone telling Cersai she couldn’t do something because she’s a woman. The character may believe that’s why she has been constrained, but it’s not a rational perception. The worst thing Tywin told her was that she should marry Loras and “breed”; however, Tywin married off Tyrion and ordered him to breed too! This is how Tywin handles his girl and boy children. I presume the reason he didn’t “breed” Jaime is because he was Kingsguard.

      Cersai has more freedom and power than many women in her world – except Freefolk women – and she has squandered that power pettiness, delusions and paranoia.

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    11. Omg yes finally we get to hear from them.Kit is always spot on with his thoughts about Jon.I literally can’t wait to watch the scene when he learns about his parents it’s going to be so great to watch.Lena always has amazing insights on Cersei and Emilia is always so positive you can’t stop smiling even if you are reading.She is such a joy.

      Also I had a complete rational response watching that video of Kit lol

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    12. I don’t believe that Jaime kills Cersei. I just…don’t. Jaime’s destiny is Cersei. In my opinion he will die because of her. Cersei did what Jaime suggested her in S06E01: ”We are the only one who matter and everything they have taken from us, we are going to take it back and more.”

      They already foreshadowed Jaime’s death:

      -Bronn: ”How do you want to go?”
      -Jaime: ”In the arms of the woman i love.”

      In Maggy’s prophecy only the ”valonqar” word is High Valyrian. Why? Why she used this word? I think it’s a hint for the younger brother’s identity. The younger brother who will kill(choke to death) Cersei is an a valyrian descendant. And i think it’s a hint for Tyrion’s true identity. So i think there will be no twist and Tyrion will kill Cersei because Jaime will die because of Cersei’s madness.

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    13. Great interviews & brilliant photospread. I love how Lena outright called Cersei stupid ..haha! She doesn’t have any misguided romantic notions about Cersei & doesn’t try to mask or justify her poor judgement just because she is playing the character, and that’s a rare thing.. maybe that’s the reason why she plays her so well
      Kit & Sophie’s offscreen relationship is always fun to read about. And Kit’s photoshoot is simply breathtaking. Oh how i wish to be the one of the random folks casually traipsing around the streets in the background…….I would have made him so uncomfortable.

      Sidenote: The Wrap article with Kit refers to Lyanna Stark as Ned’s “Brother” & that bothers me a little bit.

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    14. Rich Stark,

      Lena didn’t call Cersei “stupid” and in many interviews, she’s said that she thinks Cersei is smart but is just short-tempered and doesn’t think things through.

      anyways decent interviews, lena is the only one who i think actually deserves to win an emmy but i love this cast overall

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    15. cr3w:
      Weird how they’re like siblings but have no chemistry on camera. And I’m not surprised Sophie was the only one fooled….

      lol what are you talking about? they have amazing chemistry.

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    16. cr3w,

      What????? Why do you think sophie’s gets asked about a jon/sansa romantic relationship? they have great chemistry. I’m surprised they weren’t asked to play a couple in a movie yet, lol.

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    17. jdtargstark:
      Can they keep kit’s current look (beard and hair length) for next season? He looks so young and fresh in these pictures. And Jon, while still gorgeous, looked nothing like 21 last season.

      Oh, and how I love Kit’s insights on Jon. He’s always spot on. Lena and Emilia too. Nice seeing actors on this cast that has a real understanding of their characters, for a change.

      I would have thought most of them have good insight but Kit in particular has always had a very good handle on Jon. Which is why he played him as very reserved in the first few seasons, which was not popular with some. It’s lovely to see his work recognised now. F the haters!

      Re: his look – yes, he looks amazing here but it doesn’t suit Jon. The half manbun is very Stark (shades of Ned and Benjen). He still looks v young in the show (his skin is unbelievable!!). Jon is constantly teased for being pretty but Kit’s current look is…I mean, it’s bordering on ridiculous how beautiful he is. Apologies for the gushing but I’m a little blown away by this photoshoot.

      Emilia and Lena are delightful as usual. I reckon Lena is a lock for the Emmy. I’d love it if Kit won, and he’s the current favourite on Goldderby.com, but I think his youth and relative lack of a profile in the US will work against him. Jonathan Banks is an industry veteran and well respected – and of course has put in a great performance. I think he might sneak the win.

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    18. THE KIT IN THE NORTH!

      I love reading Kit’s thoughts on Jon. He knows his character very well. And I liked him shutting up the haters who think he’s not grateful for GoT and the opportunities it has given him. I’m so excited to see if Jon finds out about his parents next season and what his reaction might be. Finally, I’m curious to see if they’ll change his hairstyle and what clothes he is going to wear now that he is KITN. He can’t wear some old dusty armor. He needs something kingly and white wolf related!

      Lena is always delightful and has such a great grasp on her character. I like how objective she can be about Cersei. I think she’s getting the Emmy and if it happens it will be a well-deserved win! Her story next season should be insane!

      I’m curious about Emilia’s screenplay. She seems like such a sweet and enthusiastic person in real life.

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    19. jdtargstark,

      I was looking at a bunch of photos of him on set of that Dolan film and I swear he looks 21.

      I like the manbun and his flowing locks, so I’m ok with whatever hairstyle they pick, but I need him to get better clothes. The King in the North should not wear second hand rags.

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    20. BunBunStark: Ooooh, so does that mean the cast still hasn’t gotten their scripts for S7, since they don’t begin shooting until early September? But they should be getting them very soon

      If we are to believe the report we got a couple of weeks ago that Iain and Gwendolyn were spotted together on a plane to Ireland, the shooting probably has begun. I remember how happy everyone was that the spotting of Iain meant that Jorah would be present, at least for a little while, in Season 7. Which is only right, he should be there with Dany when she enters Westeros. What a scene that would be, right? – even more emotional that the scene where she commands him to find a cure and return to her.

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    21. Anon: This is how Tywin handles his girl and boy children. I presume the reason he didn’t “breed” Jaime is because he was Kingsguard.

      No, he wanted to breed Jaime, too. When Jaime went to Tywin to make a deal for Tyrion’s life, Tywin said something about getting a proper wife and children. Ye gods, doesn’t that seem like an eternity ago? This season changed everything. The only thing better than seeing how Jaime and Cersei play out now that Cersei is Queen, will be seeing Jon confront the White Walkers again and seeing if the WW really start working their way through Westeros. So many characters have scoffed about the existence of the WW, it would be hilarious to watch them confront the freezing truth.

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    22. Blogs spend a lot of time speculating about Cersei as a feminist. Where do you stand on the matter?

      Obviously that’s not her motivation, but yes. It’s sad she never got to raise her daughter, we would’ve seen a great parent. Feminist, yes — early stages.

      What the fuck? WHAT THE FUCK? Seriously.

      Cersei is NOT a feminist. She doesn’t support other women. Cersei doesn’t care about women’s rights. Cersei cares about Cersei. And in the books, just a name, Falyse Stokeworth. In the show, Cersei plots against Sansa, Margaery, and every other woman she meets. Feminist my muscular buttocks. That’s bullshit, but it seems Lena was put on the spot because the very next question.

      No matter what you think of Cersei, watching her exact revenge on Septa Unella was incredibly gratifying. How was it to play? Do you think Cersei’s brutal confessions mean she’s come closer to accepting herself?

      Getting it right was the tricky bit. I think we did it right eventually, after I stopped laughing at myself. She would never stand in public and confess her stuff. I think it was more gloating over Septa Unella, knowing she never told her when she wanted it, and now she’s strapped to a table and Cersei is in charge. She’s enjoying telling her in gory detail.

      Fuck that interviewer for saying that a woman arranging for another woman to be tortured and likely raped by a monster is gratifying. FUCK THAT. FUCK IT ALL TO HELL. A rape of a fictional character, no matter how you might despise that character, is not fucking GRATIFYING.

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    23. HotPinkLipstick,

      Oh wow! I actually didn’t realise that was what was happening. Gregor stood at the woman’s side – I thought he was going to simply torture her (which is obviously terrible enough). Am I alone in my naiveté?

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    24. Rich Stark,

      Sidenote: The Wrap article with Kit refers to Lyanna Stark as Ned’s “Brother” & that bothers me a little bit.

      Yeah. In either the same interview or the other one, they repeated a paragraph. It kinda bugged me too.

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    25. Thronetender,

      No, he wanted to breed Jaime, too. When Jaime went to Tywin to make a deal for Tyrion’s life, Tywin said something about getting a proper wife and children.

      Yes. But, I think he told Jaime to leave the Kingsguard first and return to Casterly Rock.

      This season changed everything. The only thing better than seeing how Jaime and Cersei play out now that Cersei is Queen, will be seeing Jon confront the White Walkers again and seeing if the WW really start working their way through Westeros. So many characters have scoffed about the existence of the WW, it would be hilarious to watch them confront the freezing truth.

      The Northerners seem strangely subdued… I guess if I heard the killer aliens were coming, I’d be talking about something other than avenging Red Wedding and illegal aliens(Freefolk). I’d probably be packing my bags and heading for Essos! So yeah, I too am looking forward to the running and screaming ..a la Jurassic Park!

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    26. Gigi,

      Lena didn’t call Cersei “stupid” and in many interviews, she’s said that she thinks Cersei is smart but is just short-tempered and doesn’t think things through.

      So, Cersai has neither futuresight nor hindsight. That’s devastating.

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    27. In rewatching, it struck me how good Tormund would be as a partner for Brienne – that’s presuming she likes men.
      Brienne attaches herself to men who are physically and emotionally unavailable to her: Renly and Jaime. That is a recipe for loneliness and dysfunction. I think these two could be very happy together. It would be great to see Tormund with his two daughters – but, there may not be time for that foolishness.

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    28. Flayed Potatoes:
      jdtargstark,

      I like the manbun and his flowing locks, so I’m ok with whatever hairstyle they pick, but I need him to get better clothes. The King in the North should not wear second hand rags.

      Aw, I think Jon looks quite kingly in his Stark armor and cloak. I think the armor is his own that he took with him to CB from WF in S1, so that’s high quality material. As for the cloak, you may be right in it being second hand rags, since we don’t know where Sansa got the material for it. But I still really like the entire outfit. However, I do think as king, Jon should have a second outfit that he wears while governing. He should change out of that studded leather armor from time to time, like Ned did while working as Hand in King’s Landing. It will be interesting to see if the costume designer incorporates any ‘white wolf’ motif in Jon’s attire for S7.

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    29. jdtargstark:
      Oh, and how I love Kit’s insights on Jon. He’s always spot on. Lena and Emilia too. Nice seeing actors on this cast that has a real understanding of their characters, for a change.

      Yes, it’s great to hear from these actors their own understanding of the characters they play. All three have great insights into their characters.

      Gosh, Kit Harington. Can you be any more gorgeous? And Emilia is so sweet and cute, as always.

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    30. cr3w,

      Because they were not the closest of siblings back in the day. Jon got along very well with Robb, Bran, and specially with Arya (in the books they would finish each other sentences). Jon and Sansa spoke and even played while they were children, but Sansa sided more with her mother, who was not fond of Jon.

      So their chemistry is a work in progress, and like a latin dance take two steps forward and one back…

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    31. iridium,

      I think it’s definitely implied as the Mountain killed Elia by raping her to death. The Mountain takes off his mask, something he’s not done since he became Qyburnfied, to hint that he’s going to take off more.

      Cersei sends Falyse Stokeworth and a maid, Senelle, off to be vivisected by Qyburn in the books.

      I think Lena did the best she could with some pretty awful questions.

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    32. Anon,

      I disagree that Jaime is an example of Brienne “attaching herself” to emotionally unavailable men. At the time they became close, Jaime was extremely physically and emotionally vulnerable and open. He was the opposite of emotionally unavailable.

      And to be honest she didn’t really even find out much about the whole thing with Cersei (less than the books)… So it’s not like she was like “oh he’s taken, ill fall for him now”. She already had.

      Anyway, like I always say Tormienne was amazing and hilarious and beautiful but not serious romance.

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    33. HotPinkLipstick,

      Like, I do get what you’re coming from here. I agree that, yes, it’s objectively awful what Cersei did in those episodes. But I also do think that many people (and I’ll include myself) felt a twisted mixture of dread and glee in seeing Unella strapped to that table and being mocked by Cersei. The scene was crafted in such a way that when the end came and you realize what she’s going to do to her… You feel really gross that you were feeling gleeful earlier. The show is playing with some pretty primal emotions there and I think it worked really well

      Regarding Cersei and feminism the question was sort of vague. I agree, SHE is not a feminist, but many of her struggles are feminist struggles. Like her desperation for power may not be so great if she hadn’t been denied it by virtue of her sex. So it is not completely off the table to discuss Cerseis character in the context of feminism. One might say she is a feminist character, just not herself a feminist (since she’s only in it for herself). There are lots of these in literature.

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    34. I just gotta say this: that picture of Cersei in her crown and the most button up dress she’s ever, ever worn reminded me of my mother in a bad mood, and my mother in a bad mood was not to be messed with ever, at last, seriously, do not mess with this woman. And this one doesn’t have children, a husband or any career other than her own ambition to keep her in check. To paraphrase the immortal Margo Channing (aka Bette Midler) “fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride, er make that season of GOT.”

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    35. HotPinkLipstick: Fuck that interviewer for saying that a woman arranging for another woman to be tortured and likely raped by a monster is gratifying. FUCK THAT. FUCK IT ALL TO HELL. A rape of a fictional character, no matter how you might despise that character, is not fucking GRATIFYING.

      I’m pretty much with you on this, which surprised the hell out of me. All during season 5, with the bell ringing and the “confess” and “Shame, shame” that Unella did, I would mutter at the TV, just wait Unella, Cersei is going to fix you good. And I really thought I wanted to see it. But I think somehow I pictured Cersei’s revenge being one-on-one and quickly done. Not torture by zombie.

      For me, Cersei leaving Unella there to be tortured for a long time by Zombieface wasn’t satisfying at all, it was disturbing and I didn’t like it. Even though I was thoroughly satisfied and happy about what happened to Ramsay. Didn’t wince the least little bit. So, what’s the difference between the deaths, do you think? Is it something like the punishment of Unella not quite fitting the crime? Lena’s speech was great, and well-delivered. But I thought the punishment was too great. Go figure.

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    36. Thronetender,

      I think it’s the torture,it takes everything out of a supposed justice.No matter how much you hated Theon for example,even though I never really did,you couldn’t possibly be happy about what he went through.Also you can’t really compare Ramsay to Septa Unella.I don’t think the scene meant to be anything other than horrifying and to show what Cersei is really like but I guess you can’t control how people feel

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    37. Thronetender,

      This! In my mind, the punishment definitely did not fit the crime. I hated that scene, I posted at the time that it made me want to run screaming from the room. I never felt particularly sorry for Cersei despite what was done to her, but after that scene I loathed her character.
      Perhaps it was the fact that we know what the Mountain is capable of. He’s like something out of a horror movie. Even before his zombie transformation, he was a terrifying figure. Now, well Cersei told Unella she wasn’t going to die yet. I really don’t want to sit through any more vile scenes of her being attacked by the Mountain thanks ?

      The man is no longer human and in many ways, neither is Cersei.

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    38. Halfman,

      Same here, I’ve watched the episode a few times and each time I found myself fast forwarding over that particular scene. It’s just dark in a way that doesn’t bring any dramatic pleasure, for me at least. I mean, we all knew Cercei was a screwed up bitch but here she just turns sadistically evil (of course that started with the wildfire anyways…) In previous seasons I felt dislike with an unfortunate smidgen of underlying sympathy for her (love to hate kinda thing) to of course after this episode it’s a Ramsay level-OK she needs to die like right now!

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    39. Mihnea,

      There’s also BlindWave and Garage Banter that do something similar. Garage Banter did “Baelor” recently and one of the unsullied said it was “Game of S**t” and he wasn’t going to watch it anymore. Mind you I think a lot of us have had “Can I take anymore” moments but still come back. BlindWave is from a few months ago but Garage Banter is still going on.

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    40. ygritte,

      Ygritte, I tried to edit this into my previous post but no luck. I hadn’t picked up on it myself but somebody said that part of the torture of Unella though we don’t see it was the fulfilling of Cersei’s promise “Mine will be the last face you’ll ever see” and had interpreted part of the torture at least as being Unella being deprived of sight. That’s just so horrible to think about – although GoT has always featured grim aspects. Show Cersei seems to be getting just as evil as Book Cersei now. I mean, show Cersei was never like your favourite auntie but she’s definitely truly terrible now.

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    41. the cersai scene was dark and it bothered me too, until I watched the hbo special the painted hall something like that anyway they show how the scene was set up and the wine pouring and at the very end they show the mountain and unella laughing together she kisses him on the cheek, not so dark anymore

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    42. HotPinkLipstick,

      I agree. Everyone just assumes that woman in power = feminist, but it’s much more complicated than that. Cersei is not a feminist and idk how people can be happy about the torture scene.

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    43. Mihnea:
      Jaynee D.,

      Check out FilmBuff on YouTube, 2 friends, one who watch all seasons and one who is completely unsullied watch GOT together, they are at EP8 of S1.

      Really funny and helps the time to pass.

      Also, BlindWave on Youtube – Eric (sullied) and Calvin (unsullied) have done all 5 (now 6) seasons. Those guys are hilarious! I watch to see Calvin’s open-mouthed stares. Also, as of season 6 (they watched it with a bunch of friends for the first time), I’m getting into betting who’s gonna cry first. It’s usually Eric.

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    44. Mihnea:
      Jaynee D.,

      Check out FilmBuff on YouTube, 2 friends, one who watch all seasons and one who is completely unsullied watch GOT together, they are at EP8 of S1.

      Really funny and helps the time to pass.

      someone posted a link to them, in one the comments of one of these articles a couple of weeks ago, when they had their second episode done. i have been watching them ever since. with a slight break in the action as the kittens chewed through the speaker wires and i had to get new speakers. i can’t wait to see Stefano’s reaction to Baelor on thursday. he is such a sean bean fan. he is going to wonder what kind of friend IM is that he would get him involved in a tear your heart out, destroy your emotions story such as this.

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    45. Anon:
      In rewatching, it struck me how good Tormund would be as a partner for Brienne – that’s presuming she likes men.
      Brienne attaches herself to men who are physically and emotionally unavailable to her …

      That would indicate she likes at least some men.
      Which doesn’t mean she’ll like Tormund. For one, so far she’s only fallen for the pretty, cultured types. Also, she may simply not find him attractive at all – physically as well as in terms of personality. I ship them, but I don’t think she should accept his advances simply because it might be logical or simply because no-one else will ever admire her the way Tormund does. That way lies unhappyness und ultimately resentment on both sides.
      Still, we can hope that once she gets over being weirded out she’ll feel a little spark of interest.

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    46. Flayed Potatoes,

      Agreed. To be honest one of the things that bothered me most this year was how much the viewers seem to have enjoyed and celebrated all manner of dark, disturbing, violent and over-the-top vengeance.

      And the show has encouraged this somewhat, by making revenge seem like a badass victory for our protagonists. They’ve celebrated the brutality of it, making it seem like once someone has wronged you, you are justified in any action of vengeance you take against them, no matter how inhumane or disproportionate.

      That sense of weight surrounding revenge, which is very present in the books, is gone. There is no sense that revenge is a misguided effort that doesn’t actually bring one peace of mind. No sense that it’s merely a perpetuation of the cycle of violence. The novels clearly have an anti-vengeance message.

      But the show has mostly glorified the dark path Arya has gone down, allowed Brienne to choose revenge above her oath to Cat and yet suffer no consequences for it, made Ellaria into a vengeance seeking psychopath who’ll ruthlessly murder an innocent girl as well as members of Oberyn’s family, including his young nephew, despite the fact that she argues for peace in the books, etc…

      Watching live reactions and seeing viewers cheer so much when Cersei exacted revenge over Septa Unella, or when Olly was hanged, was really kind of depressing.

      In a way it highlights how we all love to think we’re morally superior to the “evil” characters in the story, and yet when something horrible is done to someone we don’t like, we cheer, no matter how horrible or disproportionate it is, no matter how tragic (in Olly’s case, as he was just a young boy who had a horribly difficult and tragic life), and all sense of morality and justice is gone.

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    47. Markus Stark,

      Very well said.
      I find it very disturbing that people actually cheer on the disproportionate acts of punishment and revenge. I get that some characters have to be killed because no prison will hold them and they are a danger to good people – see Walder Frey. I get that some characters have do die, and die horribly, for dramatic purposes. I don’t get why people would cheer for and laugh about that. I fear for the human race if this coarse and barbaric attitude towards great suffering is what we consider appropriate.

      That said, I don’t think the show is all that uncritical about it. They do linger on dead Olly, and I don’t think it’s so you can gloat about his death. They do let you gloat a bit about Unella, only to – as one other commenter said – later feel ashamed of yourself when you realize what’s going to happen to her. Even Sansa’s revenge has a bad taste to it, as it shows that Ramsay was right: he did have a lasting effect on Sansa, making her callous enough to watch his gruesome death and enjoy it.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Markus Stark,

      The show can’t control how the viewers feel though.I don’t think the septa scene Tommen’s sucide and the sept blowing up is meant to be anything other than horrifying.We know why Cersei went to the point she did but that doesn’t mean it’s justifiable.They haven’t glorified Arya’s path.They even said after the episode we are meant to feel bad that she is smiling at Walder dying and be scared of the person she is becoming.Maisie has been saying for years that she doesn’t understand people cheering Arya on.Brienne’s oath to Cat explicitly said that she would take revenge for Renly so that wasn’t a conflict.Ellaria isn’t supposed to be a good guy I don’t think the show meant us to see Myrcella’s death anything other than terrible.She’ll get what’s coming to her and it shows us how dangerous revenge is.She claims wanting justice for her lover but ends up killing innocents and his family.Olly’s death was tragic and it clearly weighed a lot on Jon.They even said we were meant to feel uncomfortable watching Jon beat Ramsay.Now GRRM said we were meant to feel bad about Joffrey dying too but I don’t think many readers actually did.Same with the show.When you have people like Walder Frey and Ramsay Bolton it’s kind of hard to feel bad.I agree that it says something about our natures though and I felt the same way watching those reaction videos

        Quote  Reply

    49. Markus Stark,

      Very well said. There’s not only an anti-vengeance message, but also an anti-violence one in the source material and even in the earlier seasons.

      What also cracks me up is that they were promising a season where all the women would come on top (obviously to win fans back after what happened last season), but the story doesn’t support that: Brienne’s mission failed, Mel is exiled, Margaery is dead, and Sansa is queen of nothing lol. Dany wants to burn all the cities to the ground (genocide basically) and it’s presented as badass. Arya’s kills are also celebrated, but everyone forgets that she’s a kid. Ellaria and Cersei came out on top, but it’s not something that’s meant to be celebrated because of how it happened and how these women were portrayed. It’s a pretty simplistic interpretation of feminism, vengeance and violence. Shame 🙁 (no pun intended).

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    50. Jenny,

      This.

      Also the Walk of shame for example. I was really ”happy” about it in the book, thought Cersei got what she deserved.

      In the show though I could but not feel sorry for her, no one deserves that. But this comes mostly from Lena’s acting and the writing, which actually made Cersei a actual human being and not a caricature she is from AFFC onwards.

        Quote  Reply

    51. didi,

      Agree on the second part.

      They even mentioned, in the commentaries, that we should feel bad/sorry, can’t find the right word, for Arya and the dark path she went down on. Same with Jon beating Ramsey, they said in that moment we should’e felt a bit ”wrong”, (again I’m at work at hurrying so I may not use the correct words as I lack time to think them trough) that he goes ”just a bit” too far..etc.

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    52. Jenny,

      On a different note, I always find it amusing that people forget that very specific part of Brienne’s oath….hmmm

      Speaking of Arya, watching her scene again, the music isn’t ”triumphant”, it is fast and ”blood pumping” but also cold, in a way, that is what I felt. Same with the acting, while Arya smiles, her eyes are ”dead”, cold…etc.
      My first thought wasn’t ”’cool!”, although I did enjoy Walder Frey’s death, it was ”damn Arya is going dark”, and then that is exactly what the writers said in the commentaries.

      I think you are right, with your point ”they can’t control how the viewers feels”, especially not after 5 seasons of seeing our ”heroes” getting beaten down, killed….etc. It is long past, that we see a bit of ”justice’ and seeing our ”heroes” win for a change and I think they chose the right moment to do it, especially after S5 who was quite dark and gloomy.

      I’m not even going to mention Ellaria, she is a tertiary character with a single ”plot duty” to give Dorne to Dany. Nothing more, nothing less. She may die, she may survive, her fate is irrelevant.

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    53. I’m done rage posting, but I’m glad I’m not the only one disturbed by that interviewer.

      Unella’s punishment certainly did not fit her crime. And as far as we know, it’s not over. Qyburn vivisects Falyse until she dies screaming. There is so much torture of women in the books, and torture in general, that it all left me squirming.

      I also found Arya’s throat slice of Walder to be filmed in such a way to disgust and disturb. Mostly, because it went on for SO long and the look of pleasure on Arya’s face was horrifying, the same as Sansa’s smile as she listened to the dogs rip apart Ramsay. Those were two “big” villains who got relatively quick deaths. Even Olly, hated though he was, and the rest of the Jon Stabbers got a quick death. Unella was a cog in the machine and she’ll be tortured endlessly because it’ll make Cersei feel good.

      I certainly don’t think the show is celebrating revenge. Each revenge act or death has been gruesome and disturbing.

      Wait…except Brienne killing Stannis. That was just fantastic.

      As to Brienne ever having a relationship with Tormund, no no and thrice NO. He doesn’t know shit about her except he wants to bang. Nothing that is important to her is important to him. Tormund does not kneel. Brienne swears an oath of loyalty to anyone. Brienne dreams of chivalry and honor. Tormund doesn’t give a flying fuck about honor or knighthood. Brienne is the heir to Tarth, the sole daughter of the Evenstar. She isn’t going to go bang a Wildling and let him rule Tarth. That’s just stupid. Moreover, she knows the value of her virginity as a highborn maid. She isn’t going to throw away what Jaime protected with a lie that cost him his hand.

      She loves Jaime. We know she loves Jaime. GRRM wrote a specific scene in which Cersei tells the audience “Brienne loves Jaime.” There has been absolutely nothing that indicates Brienne has any lesbian inclinations. Oh wait. She’s tall. She’s ugly. She’s muscular. She must dig chicks. *rolls eyes*

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    54. Mihnea,

      Yeah I see why people might feel that way.You are right due to the nature of the show and coming from season five which was very dark the viewers feel kind of a cathartic release watching the bad guys die.Also people are not fond of fanatic religous figures maybe it hits too close to our reality.Plus I think the reaction videos are influenced by watching in groups and cameras.We always cheer louder and boo more when we are at the cinema.When you watch it alone in a home I doubt people would react as strongly.

      On another note I did feel way worse watching the walk of shame in the show.I did feel kind of bad in the book but mostly I was going is this really happening??Talk about an overreaction lol

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    55. Flayed Potatoes,

      Your post makes no sense
      The women did come out on top. Margery died but she managed to get her way and play the HS before she died, at the hands of another woman. You don’t have to be a queen to be something, so yeah, Sansa is not queen in the north, but she got her home back and her ex husband that raped and sexually, verbally and probably physically abused her, was killed in the process. Dany burnt the Khals who threatened her life, inherited another army, got together with three other powerful women with armys, and is on her way to claim her throne. Ellaria, though crazy, is the leader in Dorne. Olenna, though she lost her family, has the largest army in Westeros and is teaming up with three other powerful women. Yara, who her people want to be queen of the iron islands and are following her, has just teamed up with three other powerful women. And Cersei, not much needs to be said there. SHe is queen.

      So I have no idea why it cracks you up that they said the women will be on top and you don’t see it?

      Also, I don’t think they changed the scripts to please the minority who cried over season 5’s treatment of women.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Dame of Mercia,

      I don’t know book Cercei (yet!) but from what I’ve heard it appears show Cercei has come around to her book counterpart as far as being just vicious and cruel (no redeeming qualities.) What you say about the eyes I hadn’t heard that but thinking back now to how the Mountain was positioned before that door closed certainly does make it seem possible. Geez. I hope we are not going to have the displeasure of seeing any more of that business next season. Although in the production teaser there was a focus on the table she was strapped to.

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    57. Wonderful interviews all around ! They all seem genuinely involved in the characters they play and happy to have been nominated (as they shoud be). The questions are not quite stellar (then again, are they ever ?) but all in all, the interviews are a very good read ^^

      In regards to Cersei and feminism, I wholeheartedly agree with QueenofThrones. The characters is not herself a feminist, obviously. She does not care for other women’s plight and has no interest in improving their position in life. However, she has created a historical precedent by becoming the first ever Queen regnant, even though she still has a living, male relative (actually two, but she does not know about Tyrion). She completely shattered the Salic law. It gives legitimacy and weight to any claim other women might make on any throne, be it Iron or not.
      I suppose one could also argue that, in fine, Cersei makes the ultimate feminist point : women are not different from men. They are not inherently purer. Or holier. Or nicer. Or sweeter. They are human and can be just as bad, just as messed up, just as wrong, just a complex as their male counterparts.

      Markus Stark,
      I wonder if, ultimately, many of the fans are not much more bloodthirsty than the showrunners themselves.

      I feel that none of the scenes you mentioned (and so many more) were shot in such a way as to inspire awe or pleasure. To do so, the directors and writers would have had to sideline the “targets’ ” pain and focus solely on the “avengers’ ” beautiful satisfaction. However, they tend to do the exact opposite.

      The BotB, while technically very impressive, looks “gross” (willingly so), violent and chaotic. There is no elegance or beauty to it; it is sheer brutality unleashed onto the screen and Jon is shown displaying remarkably animalistic, non-chivalrous behaviours (stabbing a man on the ground while shouting, dicing and slicing his way through the crowd…) Even physically, he ends up covered in mud and blood, dirt and sweat, which emphasises the beast-like nature of the fight. While many fans cheered during the entire “punch Ramsay in the face repeatedly” scene, I doubt the writers and director intended for such a reaction : the camera lingers on Ramsay’s increasingly bloodied face and contrasts it with Jon’s rage-filled, relentless beating. The fashion in which it is shot is intended to make viewers feel uncomfortable.

      The same notion applies, I believe, to pretty much all the “revenge” scenes. The bordeline orgasmic delight Arya experiences when cutting Walder’s throat (after feeding him his own children !) is meant to be disturbing as we, the audience, witness the Frey patriarch gasp for air and panic during his last seconds.
      The utter senselessness of Myrcella’s death is made all the more potent by having Jaime cry over his daughter’s body.
      Sansa’s reaction to Ramsay’s dreadful death is not shot in a celebratory fashion : everything is in chiaroscuro, highlighting the problematic moral ambiguity of the scene.
      As for Cersei’s torture of Unella, we are made to hear the septa’s screams of bloodcurdling terror. We are shown her face contort in panic and anguish when Ser Gregor approaches. We are, I believe, meant to know that Cersei is going way, way, way too far.

      The fact that some viewers were not disturbed by those scenes is interesting. It is a testament to how “forgiving” we, the fans, can get when characters we like, characters we have got to know (so to speak) over the years, go off the rails. We are biased in their favour, so we give them a pass and call it “badass”.
      We, the viewers and fans, do that; I don’t think the show does… Just my highly subjective opinion, of course 😉

      Sam,
      I would not worry too much about that one 😉

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    58. Mihnea,

      Dee Stark,

      Let’s take an oath you guys!

      I shall not click filming spoilers posts…
      I will not know which new characters are cast…
      From this day until the premiere day I remain unspoiled!

        Quote  Reply

    59. Jenny,

      I feel the same way as you and Markus Stark. I watched some reaction videos and some of the ecstatic cheering during scenes like with Arya/Walder and Ramsay/dogs I couldn’t relate to. Granted, I understand the knee jerk reactions but personally when viewing scenes of savagery and suffering it’s not a “happy” moment. It might be “neccessary” for dramatic purposes and brings a sense of justice but I think we are also supposed to feel somewhat of horror/dread at the way it’s carried out.

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    60. ACME,

      You have awesome comments. You weren’t around during the season, were you?
      I fully agree with you on everything.
      Another example I can give, and I can relate to my self, is Stannis. I would bet that a MAJORITY of the viewers, including the ones making the arguments about fans cheering on violence when it comes to characters we like, supported Stannis up until he murdered Shireen. But why? He was burning innocent people and ready to murder his own nephew all before the Shireen thing happened? So…

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    61. QueenofThrones,

      I will!!! Though I don’t need to, because I never read spoilers, butttttttttt I will take the oath anyway haha.

      I shall not click filming spoilers posts…
      I will not know which new characters are cast…
      From this day until the premiere day I remain unspoiled!!!

        Quote  Reply

    62. Interesting that we should be horrified by the vengance on the show, forgetting that the amount of violence in general has been horrifying. And remember this is fiction fantasy; its not that we are doing this in real life. So Im not sure shaming people for cheering at vengence is necessary – watching the show and constantly seeing evil win out gets to the viewer after a while Let them have their moment of catharsis – and then consider our reaction to violence as a whole

      As for the darkness of various characters – I don’t think thats nec a bad thing. I enjoy complexity in characters. Seeing this side of them is interesting to me in a way. And it doesn’t mean they will become evil – those who played Dungeons and Dragons back in the day know there was a difference between alighments of Chaotic Evil, Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, Nor does it mean they will stay that way.

      BTW I do agree that the book handles vengence in a different manner – yet like others here, I was cheering while reading Cersei’s walk of shame, and rather subdued watching the same on the show. Interesting.

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    63. ygritte,

      I understand the knee jerk reactions but personally when viewing scenes of savagery and suffering it’s not a “happy” moment. It might be “neccessary” for dramatic purposes and brings a sense of justice but I think we are also supposed to feel somewhat of horror/dread at the way it’s carried out.

      Yes, I agree with you here.

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    64. Dee Stark,
      It is very kind of you to say so ^^
      Yes, I found this website quite late this season…

      The point you make about Stannis is very sound and, I think, continues ash‘s argument.

      ash,
      It is not so much about shaming viewers or anyone really for cheering violence, I believe. There is no shame to be attributed. To each their own and it is all fictional anyway.

      I think the overall argument is about the distinction we, fans, make between “good” violence and “bad” violence, between displays of aggression we cheer for and displays of aggression we boo or shudder at. The show does not promote this hierarchy; we do. We are more lenient towards characters we like, we empathise with their motivations and reasonings, we give them free passes because we embrace their plights.
      Which is perfectly human and normal, of course. But it is not the show’s perpective.

      Westeros is a violent world. Period. The Hound couldn’t have been more correct when he told Sansa : “Stannis is a killer. The Lannisters are killers. Your father was a killer. Your brother is a killer. Your sons will be killers someday. The world is built by killers… so you better get used to looking at them.”
      This romantic notion, promoted by some of the characters and embraced by many (maybe even all) of us, that there are fundamentally “good guys” and essentially “bad guys”, intrinsically “noble” killings and inherently “ignoble” killings, is supported by neither the show nor the books.

      What is the objective difference between Ned deciding to execute some poor soul for desertion and Joffrey deciding to have poor Ned executed for treason ?
      Stannis intending to sacrifice Gendry is understandable but him having his daughter burnt at the stake is unforgivable ?
      Why is it gasp-inducing for Ramsay to take pleasure in killing Osha and cheer-worthy for Arya to enjoy Walder Frey’s suffering ?
      Is it fine when Jon decapitates Janos Slynt who insulted him but not when Littlefinger kills Lysa who was becoming a loose end ?
      Where is the line between Joffrey having Robert’s innocent illegitimate children assassinated and Catelyn cutting innocent Joyeuse Frey’s throat ?

      “Why is it more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at dinner” ?

      Violence is violence and, as Brother Ray pointed out, it is a disease. Once “contaminated”, regardless of the reason (with the possible exception of immediate self-defence) there is no much moral highground to claim.
      I remember actually scoffing when Lady Olenna called Cersei the worst person she had ever met. Lady Olenna, who murdered Joffrey in such a way that his mother witnessed every laboured breath, every painful gasp, every popping blood vessel; Lady Olenna, who destroyed Cersei’s soul by making her watch her eldest child’s excruciating demise and peacefully let poor Tyrion be tried for a crime she had commited… She thinks she is a better person than the Mad Queen ! It was such a delightful display of double-standard I genuinely giggled at it. 🙂

      With the exceptions of Joffrey and Ramsay, who were clearly unhinged, there is no real “bad guy”. Because, ultimately, there is no real “good guy”. There are characters trying to survive in one hell of a messed up world where murdering your enemies is considered ok. Out of those characters, there are some we like and others we don’t. Some whose struggles we empathise with and others we don’t care for. Some are more prone to violence than others but, by now, they have all dabbled in blood-spilling. They are all killers.
      And maybe, as the Hound said, we better get used to looking at them. 😉

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    65. ACME:

      Lady Olenna, who destroyed Cersei’s soul by making her watch her eldest child’s excruciating demise and peacefully let poor Tyrion be tried for a crime she had commited… She thinks she is a better person than the Mad Queen ! It was such a delightful display of double-standard I genuinely giggled at it.

      I think the biggest irony about Joffrey’s murder is that Lady Olenna killed the one person who might have protected Margaery. If Joffrey had remained king instead of Tommen, the Faith Militant wouldn’t have taken over Kings Landing. Margaery, Loras, Mace, Kevan, Tommen and so many others would still be alive. Olenna destroyed her own house and doomed the Seven Kingdoms.

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    66. Dee Stark,

      It cracks me up because the attempts are transparent and the show’s idea of feminism is simplistic.

      Sure, Ellaria is the leader of Dorne, but she’s presented as a crazy and irrational woman who kills Oberyn’s family to….avenge Oberyn lmao. My post makes perfect sense. In this case, it’s not just about being the leader, but how the woman is portrayed. And it’s not a favorable portrayal.

      Sure, Sansa got her revenge, except she killed Ramsay exactly the way he would have killed his victims. I guess we’re supposed to cheer and think she’s a badass because she smirked on her way out, but he was right when he said he’s part of her now. She acted just like him and it’s not something one should be happy about. It’s actually worrisome.

      Margaery played the High Sparrow? Yeah she did a good job, but he still broke his word when he had Loras branded, so he knew how to play her too. It’s not as one-sided as you’d think. And she died anyway, so it was like it didn’t matter.

      Good for Dany for getting her shit together, but the problem is not that she has, but HOW she did it. She solved everything with violence, and that violence is celebrated and that’s the problem. And that just gives more arguments for those who think she’s going to go mad, which is another issue (because part of the problem is the portrayal of these women as violent, irrational, and bloodthirsty).

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    67. Flora Linden,

      I remember in season 5 they said that the Sparrows started flooding KL because Tywin wasn’t around. They would have still come with Joffrey around and a civil war would have broken out sooner without Tywin to make the decisions.

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    68. Flayed Potatoes,

      Okay… But this a show/story with tons of violence… Since the beginning. So what’s the issue ? Lol.

      Violent acts are USUALLY the way one moves forward in westeros. So this is supposed to change now??

        Quote  Reply

    69. Flayed Potatoes,

      Tywin’s murder was a result of a chain of events because of Joffrey’s murder, which traces back to Olenna. So if Joffrey hadn’t died, neither would Tywin, and the Sparrows certainly would not have taken over Kings Landing with those two control freaks.

        Quote  Reply

    70. ACME,

      But in a violent world as Westeros is shouldn’t the standards for judging good and bad differ from the standards we use in our world and our time? Yes, they are killers, every one of them. But surely among these killers there are good guys to be found. Pod has killed but he’s a good guy. Meera has killed but she’s also good. And while I agree with much of your stance on the double-standard viewers use to judge violence, I think you have over-simplified some of your examples. Take your comparison of Jon’s beheading of Janos Slynt and Little Finger’s murdered of Lysa Arryn. You stated that Jon killed Janos for insulting him which is very much an over-simplification of Jon’s reasoning. Jon executed Janos because he chose not to heed his Lord Commander’s orders. He chose insubordination in a very public way. Jon being a new commander in need of respect, had very little choice but to execute him. I venture to think that Lord Commander Mormont would have done the same thing as would have every other LC in this situation. Whereas Little Finger had taken advantage of Lisa’s psychological issues for years, using her as much as possible before discarding her when she was no longer useful. Little Finger who didn’t flinch while throwing a woman he had known since childhood to her death. Surely you can see why many of us would see a distinction between the two killings?

        Quote  Reply

    71. Flayed Potatoes,

      So… by your reasoning the only way the show (or books) can be properly feminist is if female characters act morally at all times and refuse to use violence? If anyone has a simplistic view of feminism, it’s you.

      In fact your ideas are the opposite of feminist reasoning. The idea that to be accepted as correctly feminist (or correctly women, or whatever), women must act a certain way actively causes women to stay oppressed, to be seen as somehow alien, and to be held to a different set of standards.

      In fiction Female characters must be allowed to be flawed – just as flawed as males. Even – or especially so – when they are powerful. That is feminist writing. To show that people of all genders can inhabit the entire spectrum of human experience, good and bad, masculine and feminine. And I think it’s something that is explored quite thoroughly in the show and the books.

      To take your most extreme examples, Ellaria and the Snakes, and Cersei are basically nasty, selfish, power hungry people who happen to be women. They contribute to the variety of female characters that we see in the show. Their existence doesn’t “glorify” violence any more than the existence of Gregor Clegane.

      And the other examples you gave demonstrate many different ways that women use violence, and there are many female characters that do not use it at all.

      Dee Stark,

      But Dee, you see, only MEN are allowed to use violence – if women do they have to turn in their feminism membership card.

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    72. QueenofThrones,

      Ugh. I honestly haven’t heard these complaints about violence until it became about the women coupled with people disliking the story/season
      These arguments make absolute zero sense to me.

      Amen to the rest of your comment.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Hi ACME, excellent points!!

      ACME: with the possible exception of immediate self-defence

      I wonder when self-defence stops being “immediate”. For instance, when Jon hits Ramsay the first time, it was clearly a self-defence move to stop Ramsay shooting more arrows at him. Was the second time Jon hits Ramsay when it stops being self-defence? The third time then? Or when his enemy is finally subdued?

      I find myself agreeing with much of what you’ve wrote but I have the feeling that things are much more complicated but I cannot put my finger on it now… I need to process your post a little bit longer. 😉

      Anyhow, always a pleasure! 🙂

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    74. ygritte,

      Haha! That guy is just beautiful and the camera just loves him!…Although,tbh,so is Emilia…her face is gorgeous and she looks very well with either blonde or brunette hair…the Fan Girl in me would looooooove to see them together 😉 😉 😉

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    75. didi,

      Hey! I love those guys! I try never to miss them! I love as well,AltShiftX ,SmokeScreen, and BecauseGeek 🙂 They sure know their stuff and are quite enjoyable to listen to…

        Quote  Reply

    76. Daenerys WILL die. Probably heroically. Her whole storyline is leading up to her death. MARK. MY. WORDS. Plus the House of the Undying scene confirms this theory.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Jenny,

      Well said, Jenny. It’s not the show which glorifies the vengeance, but the casual watchers. Ser Meryn’s death is one of the most gruesome moments in GoT and I simply couldn’t cheer for Arya in that scene. Hatred towards Olly was almost unbearable… Not to mention Unella’s final scene which I seriously considered skipping when I watched the episode for a second time. Even the crucifixion of meereenese masters was supposed to be disturbing moment.

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    78. Flayed Potatoes: Dany wants to burn all the cities to the ground (genocide basically) and it’s presented as badass

      I agree with you pretty much on everything else, but I think they kind of redeemed Dany during that talk with Yara and Theon. Dany did say she wanted to leave the world better than she found it, which made me smile. At least she’s not so crazed. She talked about “breaking the WHEEL” but not about breaking the world.

      It’s encouraging to me that at least people on here know the difference between getting some justified revenge and losing your mind while hurting innocent people, over and over in the name of revenge. At least we are discussing it, like sane people should. What most people don’t realize, is that revenge in real life is so rarely satisfying. It becomes an addiction, just like any other addiction, in that the more you get, the more you want.

      Some revenge might be necessary, as both a lesson to the wrong-doers and as catharsis to the avengers. But if one is going to get revenge, they have to realize this, to realize that it’s not going to soothe the ache in one’s heart, that it isn’t going to make everything totally ok again, and decide in advance “this much and NO more.” Otherwise … well, otherwise you end up as a maniac, doing more wrong than was done to you and turning the world around you into a seething pit. That’s my humble opinion on this summer evening. I wish you all well.

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    79. Dee Stark:
      QueenofThrones,

      I will!!! Though I don’t need to, because I never read spoilers, buttttttttttI will take the oath anyway haha.

      I shall not click filming spoilers posts…
      I will not know which new characters are cast…
      From this day until the premiere day I remain unspoiled!!!

      Good luck with that. That would be an impossible mission for me, even though I was seriously pissed about how many things were leaked during season 6 (but mostly the things during the season, not in off-season). The same is with TWD. Those so called “Spoiling Dead” leak every single thing and every single TWD site is full of spoilers (even TWD Wikia), so I have to completely distance myself from them. But on the other hand, distancing myself from the show severely diminishes my hype for the show. My hype for GoT season 6 was bigger than in any year before and that was mostly because of my regular visits to this site. Not to mention than off-season was way less frustrating than the actual season. So I will rather risk myself being “spoiled” a bit than losing hype for the show, although I would try my best to avoid the “serious” spoilers.

      On the other hand, I will probably have to sideline GoT for a time because in November, I’m starting my second rewatch of LOST (third time overall after three years of my second time and almost six years after my first time), which will probably last till June and I’m sure it will be as amazing as ever. Considering that I also joined LOST Fans Unite group a couple months ago (which is really amazing fansite/community), I sense a very busy year ahead of me. Well, that group is also one of the reasons why I haven’t been paying regular visits to WOTW past month

      This year may also be the first one when I will not rewatch the entire GoT. I have planned to rewatch only season 6 but considering that the premiere has been delayed, things may as well change.

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    80. AlexG: I´m curious…why do think the vision in the Undying foreshadows her death?

      I had a theory about that last year, during last summer’s off-season, when I was so bereft over Jon’s fate and couldn’t stand having no Game of Thrones in my life, so I watched the whole series all over again. When I came to Dany’s trek through the House of the Undying, I sat up straight at one scene and thought …

      Oh my gosh, Dany is going to die. Here’s why – the scene shows her walking into the Throne Room at Kings Landing, where the roof is burned off and snow is falling on the Iron Throne (Snow?) She reaches out to touch the throne, but doesn’t. She pulls her hand away at the last minute at the sound of her dragons.

      Then she wanders to the other end of the room and through … what looks to be the gate at Castle Black, the gate we’ve seen open countless times, and she’s wandering north of the wall. She sees a light in the distance, a little hut that looks like a Dothraki hut, but covered in snow. Inside she finds Khal Drogo and the baby she would have had. Again, she vows to love him forever, and leaves.

      To me, the mystery was, how the hell could she be at the Iron Throne in Kings Landing one moment, and the next shows her and Drogo NORTH of the wall, in snow? Could it be that she does indeed oust Cersei with dragon fire from the throne, and is then called to aid in stopping the onslaught of WW at the Wall? She is then somehow injured, that Drogon is killed and she falls from the sky and dies, in the snow, where she is reunited in death with Drogo and the baby? That would certainly be a bittersweet ending, wouldn’t it? She’s gone from the world of Westeros, but finally united with Drogo? Anyway, that was my take on the scene.

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    81. Danny,
      Yes and no 😉

      Your description of Jon’s reasoning in relation to Janos Slynt is, I believe, absolutely spot on. Janos was a problem; his public insubordination was a threat to Jon’s status and success as Lord Commander. So he killed him. I couldn’t agree more.

      Now, let’s try to figure out Baelish’s thought process regarding Lysa.
      In the Eyrie’s throne room, she somewhat loudly discussed Jon Arryn’s murder. Overall, she was becoming increasingly erratic and uncontrollable. As such, she was turning into a threat for Littlefinger’s status and continued success. Seven hells, she was becoming a threat for his continued existence, were someone to overhear her during one of her crisis ^^
      So he killed her.

      In both cases, the reasoning is the same.

      Now, it so happens that we, viewers and readers, do not like Janos Slynt at all (because we saw him kill many of Ned’s men and murder a child in her mother’s arms) whereas we tend to think of Lysa as an object of pity (even though she poisoned her husband, refused to send troops to help her sister and nephew and almost murdered her niece in a fit of rage)

      In the books, she even raped Baelish when they were teenagers but it was not mentioned on the show

      Furthermore, it also happens that we really like Jon (who, with his beautifully bouncy curls, adorable puppy eyes and magnificent abs, is one of our four protagonists) and, tendencially, we dislike Littlefinger (who betrayed Ned and is an all-around scheming, shady, pimpy devil with too many accents). I happen to find him endlessly interesting but I know I am in a very small, very pathological minority here 😉
      Finally, Jon treated Janos in a “clean”, impersonal fashion while Littlefinger took the time to blow Lysa’s soul to smithereens before he pushed her down the Moon Door (he gets creatively savage like that from time to time ^^)

      So I perfectly understand why many viewers feel very differently about these two deaths. I am in no way arguing that it is senseless or absurd.
      However, it does not negate the fact that, in both instances, the killers had exactly the same thought process : “this person’s behaviour is threatening my status and position therefore this person shall die”.

      When I write that, to me, there is no “good guy” and no “bad guy”, it is not to say that everyone is the same in GOT and ASOIAF. There are gradations, shades. There definitely are “nice” characters and “not so nice” characters. Jon, as an example, is undoubtedly nicer than Littlefinger… Hell, I personally know some venomous snakes who are nicer than Petyr Baelish (but they cannot scheme for sh*t, so they are not quite as interesting ^^)

      However, violence is violence. Some displays of it are more abhorrent than others, of course. But it is a difference in degree, not in nature. There is no such thing as a noble, decent, humane kind of it.
      The characters themselves do believe such a kind exists but I fail to agree. And it seems to me like the show as a whole fails to concur as well : “clean deaths” are not shown in a better light than “unclean” ones. Executions are not portrayed in a more positive or celebratory manner than any other type of deaths. Because, fundamentally, having one’s head separated from one’s body or being strangled to death is not cleaner than being stabbed in the back, poisoned or evaporated by the medieval equivalent of napalm. And because, fundamentally, a battle on an open field is not more noble or dignified than a massacre in a dinner hall.
      Violence on she show, and in life I would argue, is neither elegant nor pretty. And it is never visually celebrated or narratively glorified. At the very best, it is shown as a tragic necessity; at worst, it is portrayed as an absolute monstrosity.

      As for Pod and Meera, you are absolutely right. They are in a special category. To be fair (to me… Because I am always unfathomably fair to myself 😉 ), I did mention that ‘self-defence’ was quite the exception. Pod, Meera and many others who only killed to protect themselves or people they cared for from an imminent deadly threat are on the margin of this cesspool of murderous violence that is Planetos, as far as I am concerned. But their kills are not more elegant than any other.

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    82. Flora Linden,
      Yep, she did.

      Well, Littlefinger did… With just one murder, he took revenge from the family who ordered the death of his beloved Catelyn, got Sansa, destabilised the Seven Kingdoms, came close to eliminating Tyrion, created an alliance with the second most powerful (and the richest) family in Westeros and pushed Cersei down the road to blind revenge, turning her into a time bomb for both the Lannisters and the Tyrells. I believe it is commonly called a strike ^^
      And Lady Olenna saw nothing coming, even after Varys told her Baelish was one of the most dangerous men in Westeros. That’s sweet !

      QueenofThrones,
      I wholeheartedly agree.

      A Dornish Tyrell,
      Hello there, Dornish Tyrell ! How are you doing ? 🙂

      To me, Jon’s first punch is absolutely self-defense. I agree completely.
      After that, Ramsay is done for : he is cornered and all his men are scattered about. The subsequent punches, all twenty of them, are the product of sheer pain and rage. To Jon, there is the man who murdered his baby brother and violated his little sister. He wants him annihilated, pulverised. So he punches him, relentlessly. Again and again. And again. And again. And again. Even when Ramsay can no longer move. Even when his face is broken. Even when his mouth is filled with blood. It is pure, unadulterated hatred and adrenalin. Jon is out of control and simply unleashes all his pent-up rage onto Ramsay’s head to make it explode. To make it disappear.
      Humanly, it is very understandable.
      Morally, it is pretty questionable.
      And the show does not shy away from that. The scene goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time and is shot in such a way as to induce discomfort in the viewers. I, for one, started squirming after the nineth punch… ^^
      The fact that so many did not feel bad watching it is a testament to the amount of empathy Jon generates (and the amount of hatred Ramsay attracted). Also to the fans’ bloodthirst, I guess ^^

      I do apologise for the relatively lowbrow reference but The Killing Joke (the movie is dreadful but the comic book is quite neat) is centered on the idea that all it takes for a good man to turn into a dangerous, possibly crazy, one is “one very bad day”…
      Ramsay is Jon’s “very bad day”.

      As for the whole matter of violence being more complicated than what I wrote, I am certain it is. And I cannot wait for your post 😉

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    83. AlexG: Haha! That guy is just beautiful and the camera just loves him!…

      Yes indeed, as do throngs of fans. Not just for his hair, either. It’s his whole persona as a character. He at least tries to figure out the “whys” of things. He has never wanted to kill mindlessly, nor did he ever go in for the easy insults of those “lesser” than he, as was demonstrated by his immediate and unwavering defense of Sam. My most favorite image of him for the entire series is that smile he gave when Sansa told him Winter was confirmed. That beautiful, heartfelt smile; the smile of a man of experience. He’s not a shy outcast any longer; what he’s been through is his passport to manhood, to feeling deeply. It shows in that smile. I loved that scene between the two of them. It was a fitting last look at Jon for the season, especially compared to the look on his face at the end of last season. Beautiful people, both of them

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    84. I think the show will attempt to ask the question of what violence is acceptable violence during season 7. That scene between Daenarys and Yara is a portent, I believe, of trying to change, to re-educate people into rethinking their ways. It should be an interesting conflict. Remember, Euron announced that he had killed Balon and received cheers of approval. Once crowned, he declared they should kill his niece and nephew, and all the people followed to do just that, mindlessly. I will love watching the methods of re-education.

      Dany: Our fathers were evil men – all of us here. They left the world
      worse than they found it. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to leave
      the world better than we found it.
      (approaches Yara and Theon) You will support my claim as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and respect the integrity of the Seven Kingdoms. No more reaving, roving, raiding or raping …

      Yara: That’s our way of life.

      Dany: No more.

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    85. AlexG: found it strange that the Show strayed that far away from the original scene in the book

      I don’t know how it was portrayed in the book. Did Dany not go through the Gate into the snow and see Drogo in the book? If not, the fact that it was portrayed that way in the show makes me think all the more that what I suspect might happen, will happen. Who knows? That’s what’s fun about off-season speculation. The theorists are so sure they are right, only to have their theories dashed to pieces once the season starts. I, for one, wouldn’t mind if my theory was dashed, it’s just that that’s how I read that scene after the third viewing of it.

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    86. ACME:
      “Why is it more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at dinner” ?

      To which there is an easy and definitive answer: because in Westeros, there are meant to be laws governing conduct in wartime, and those laws exist for a reason. Violating them makes the whole of Westerosi society more dangerous. The whole point of GRRM’s story is to show how calamitously shortsighted Tywin is with his scorched earth tactics. The Red Wedding comes back to bite all the perpetrators.

      Moreover, Tywin didn’t kill “a dozen at dinner”. He massacred thousands, and he didn’t do it to save lives, he did it for his own benefit.

      Violence is violence and, as Brother Ray pointed out, it is a disease. Once “contaminated”, regardless of the reason (with the possible exception of immediate self-defence) there is no much moral highground to claim.

      I entirely disagree that this is what GRRM is saying. Certainly, as he shows at length, there are differences in war. But GRRM is not saying that all wars are the same (indeed, he himself noted that he would fight in World War II), or that all military commanders are the same.

      There is a difference between Robb Stark, who tries to abide by the laws of war as they exist in Westeros, and Tywin Lannister, who is a war criminal even by the standards of his own time (and this is well before the Red Wedding). GRRM draws a major qualitative difference between Tywin and not just Robb, but other major Westerosi commanders we see like Stannis and even Randyll Tarly. Tywin is the only mainlander commander who embraces the use of rape and mass violence against civilians as a wholesale military tactic, when even Tarly, who is a misogynist of the first order, punishes rapists in his own host quite severely.

      The Hound’s nihilistic worldview is one the series rejects. Indeed, even the Hound himself ultimately rejects it, as he moves toward upholding the ideals his childhood trauma had driven him away from.

      ACME:
      However, it does not negate the fact that, in both instances, the killers had exactly the same thought process : “this person’s behaviour is threatening my status and position therefore this person shall die”.

      When I write that, to me, there is no “good guy” and no “bad guy”, it is not to say that everyone is the same in GOT and ASOIAF. There are gradations, shades. There definitely are “nice” characters and “not so nice” characters. Jon, as an example, is undoubtedly nicer than Littlefinger… Hell, I personally know some venomous snakes who are nicer than Petyr Baelish (but they cannot scheme for sh*t, so they are not quite as interesting ^^)

      However, violence is violence. Some displays of it are more abhorrent than others, of course. But it is a difference in degree, not in nature. There is no such thing as a noble, decent, humane kind of it.

      I really don’t see that comparison. The situations are not at all alike. Baelish is murdering somebody he has been manipulating for years solely to profit himself and advance his own interests. Jon is attempting to maintain institutional discipline with someone who has been repeatedly insubordinate and declined a conciliatory offer, and, y’know, save the world.

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    87. Thronetender,

      No,she never sees Drogo or her baby…She has a vision of her brother Rhaegar in a room with a woman who has just given birth to a baby boy…they are talking about the boy having a song written about him and then he (Rhaegar) turns around and says to Dany that ¨the Dragon must have three heads¨…as you see,it is REALLY,REALLY different from what we see in the show

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    88. Thronetender,

      For me You see the key thing about HoTU in the show is about dragons screeches and dany’s reactions to them..

      Both in the show and books the undead try to trap dany inside HOTU so that they can steal her lifeforce ..
      To trap her they use the visions of past present and future in the books and tempt dany into succumb to those visions and get trapped.
      In the show they used future vision of state of westeros and what dany yearns most ( her husband and child ,a family) …

      But both in books and show dany overcomes this temptation after heaeing her dragons ..mother of dragons indeed .

      If you ask me the show only spoiled couple of things
      1) state of KL when dany will reach KL … i.,e burned abandoned amidst long winter

      2) dany will go north of the wall to face undead ..thid was more subtle in the books because HoTU was powered by a corrupt blue heart ..the blue heart is destroyed by dany and drogon..blue heart being metaphor for heart of winter in lands of winter …

      I believe that Jon will be king in the end but show’s HoTU is hardly a foreshadowing of that because whole westeros is going to he covered in snow soon and what else will be raining down in an blown out building amidst a winter other than snow.

      Same goes for dany I believe in the process of destroying heart of winter dany and dragons may die but the show vision is hardly a foreshadowing because she overcomes that temptation to stay with drogo and rhaego in that vision .

      And furthermore Iam of the opinion drogo and rhaego are already with her in the form of drogon and rhaegal

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    89. Sean C.: To which there is an easy and definitive answer:because in Westeros, there are meant to be laws governing conduct in wartime, and those laws exist for a reason.Violating them makes the whole of Westerosi society more dangerous.

      I cannot say I agree on this point.
      Tywin wanted to end the war. Once and for all. Not for the civilians’ sake, he very obviously had little to no concern for them, but regardless of the reason, an end to the war is always an improvement for said civilians.

      Battles are fought in fields, forests, woods. Crops are damaged, roads and facilities destroyed. In all armies, even those whose commanders do not validate rape and pillage as military practices, there are always soldiers who venture to the sides, commit those acts and are so rarely identified they generally go unpunished. Commoners’ lives are endangered, possibly destroyed by meandering armies. Their livelihoods are threatened, sometimes eradicated. Even when the troops behave relatively well, they have to be fed, sustained by the people whose lands they cross which is a net loss for said people.
      And all in the name of matters that absolutely do not concern them one bit.
      While I am sure fishermen and farmers of the Riverlands would be terribly shocked to hear that a very honourable, decent Northerner was unjustly beheaded by a borderline psychotic child in King’s Landing, there is little doubt in my mind they would not willingly jeopardise their own lives or whatever meager means of subsistance they have so that said Northerner’s son can avenge his father.
      I do apologise for it is terribly anachronistic and it is awfully difficult to compare medieval/modern warfare with its contemporary counterpart, but I cannot help but be reminded of this scene in Blackadder Goes Forth (poor ostrich ^^)
      Given the choice, the Rivermen would probably prefer for members of the nobility (and their men) to quietly massacre one another within the confines of their own castles, be it by the hundreds or the thousands, instead of doing so in the open, where they, the commoners, attempt to live and work. Better still, they would probably welcome with open arms Jon’s offer to Ramsay (and Jaime’s offer to Robb) : one-on-one fights instead of all-out wars involving tens of thousands of people.

      The “game of thrones” in all its forms, including war, is designed by the nobility, for the nobility, be it major or minor. And in Westeros (as well as in the medieval and modern Europe that inspired George RR Martin) the disconnect between the nobility and the people is almost absolute. It is encapsulated in the notion of birth (highborn, as the Westerosi nobility calls itself) and blood (blue blood as its European counterpart used to identify itself).
      The lowborns are just dragged into the nobles’ fights, forced to face the consequences of conflicts they neither really understand nor care about. They are collateral damage at best, in the eyes of the nobility at large. Until they grow so disgruntled with the consequences of their leaders’ management that they rebel, through the means of religious extremism in the case of King’s Landing for example.

      Now, there is a case to be made against the Red Wedding (aside from the obvious one, of course) insofar as it violated not a rule of war but a much more basic, much more essential civilian tradition : guest rights. Since the people, historically, tends to take its cues from the nobility, for a noble family to ignore this fundamental principle might give implicit permission to the rest of population to do the same. Which would threaten the very fabric of the Westerosi social contract, reducing society to Hobbes’s “war of all against all”, were it to happen.
      The books, so far, have not really mentioned it, to the best of my recollection. But it is a definite maybe.

      Sean C

      The Red Wedding comes back to bite all the perpetrators.

      Yet, only one of the three dies explicitly for this reason. Both Tywin and Roose were killed by their sons, neither of whom cared that much for the Red Wedding. Walder is the sole perpetrator who was punished for his participation in the massacre.
      Now, one can argue that the Red Wedding operates as some sort of “curse”, which would be very interesting from a symbolic standpoint. However, considering the overall death rate in ASOIAF/GOT, it is hard to distinguish the cursed from the blessed… ^^

      Sean C

      The Hound’s nihilistic worldview is one the series rejects.Indeed, even the Hound himself ultimately rejects it, as he moves toward upholding the ideals his childhood trauma had driven him away from.

      I do not believe the Hound’s point was nihilistic per se. If anything, he was dealing in absolutes, pointing out that, once one allows oneself to kill another who is not a direct and immediate threat to oneself, a line is crossed and moral highgrounds become increasingly hard to see and claim. In fine, the core of his argument is pretty close, paradoxically, to Victor Hugo’s Plea against the Death Penalty :

      “Look, examine, reflect. You hold capital punishment up as an example. Why? Because of what it teaches. And just what is it that you wish to teach by means of this example? That thou shalt not kill. And how do you teach that “thou shalt not kill”? By killing.”

      It is the somewhat absurd, comical if it weren’t so sad, cycle described by Tyrion and Cersei :

      Tyrion : How long does it go on?
      Cersei : Until we’ve dealt with all our enemies.
      Tyrion : Every time we deal with an enemy, we create two more.
      Cersei : Then I suppose it will go on for quite a long time.

      There is no “good” violence in ASOIAF/GOT. At best (and it is a relative best), I believe, there is the tragically necessary “efficient” violence, the kind that puts an end to an ongoing conflict. And that is very hard to come across.

      Sean C

      I really don’t see that comparison.The situations are not at all alike.

      To be honest, I was not comparing the situations, merely the thought processes. In both instances, the reasoning is “this person’s attitude is a threat to me, my status and my endeavours. If s/he is allowed to continue, I may lose everything I have accomplished and attempt to work for, therefore this person must die”
      It so happens that Jon’s endeavours are very noble while Baelish’s are… Anything but. And then some ^^
      We, audience, are cognisant of that and feel therefore very differently about these two deaths, which makes perfect sense. However, both resulted from the same thought process.

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    90. ACME: I was not comparing the situations, merely the thought processes. In both instances, the reasoning is “this person’s attitude is a threat to me, my status and my endeavours. If s/he is allowed to continue, I may lose everything I have accomplished and attempt to work for, therefore this person must die”

      Slynt’s whole existence – ever since he arrived at CB – was a threat to Jon’t life, his status, and everything else. Yet he only took his life when Janos’s behaviour threatened not only Jon, as a person, but the whole NW discipline, and therefore their purpose. That is a main difference, even in the thought process, I think.

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    91. AlexG,

      I think the HotU vision hit the big accents of Daenerys’ remaining storyline. First she enters a destroyed Throne room and ash (or snow) is falling on the throne. To me this means she’ll get to King’s Landing during the winter to find the Red Keep no longer there (maybe destroyed by Cersei). After the destroyed Throne room she finds herself beyond the wall (this is also after she almost touches the throne but then hears her dragons screeching). To me this means she’ll hear about the White Walkers north of the wall so she’ll take her dragons, meet up with Jon and slay some ice zombies. Oh but then! Then she sees a tent and in that tent her dead husband and dead baby. To me this means she will somehow die during this Great War against the Whitewalkers and join Drogo and Rhaego in the Night Lands. I mean Drogo’s tent is located BEYOND THE WALL! She’s definitely going to die. The only question I have is how? Her story is tragic.

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    92. This is a wonderful discussion, thank you all for your posts, it has been a very interesting read 🙂

      Violence is I’m afraid an integral part of the Game – especially in the form of war. But in a war – no matter how much one dislikes it – violence will be a part of it, there will be casualties and we expect that.
      What distinguishes a ‘good’ guy from a clear cut villain will be the reason one goes to war and the way one conducts that war. Tywin, while a keen stragetic mind, used unethical, cruel means to war, and win – he did win: a clear indication that in Westeros the Good doesn’t always win. (And Stannis too, let’s not forget shadow babies, blood magic and poor Shireen)
      Tywin was the mind behind the Red Wedding incident and along with Frey and Roose, he broke one of the most important God(s)-given absolute law about guests; we knew deep down- even while sobbing about what happened (especially us unsullied!) -that they would all pay for that one day, as they did. Even if 2 of the 3, didn’t die as a direct result of the Red Wedding, they did die because they were who they were and in consequence they acted as they did (and a part of that was the Red Wedding): they caused their death with their actions. Poetic justice.
      And while I liked Stannis, he too, paid for his sins in a sense – and he seemed to understand that in the end.
      So, on one hand, someone wins and someone loses in the Game of Thrones. But – as we’ve seen – no one really wins: all sides lose – some their life and others their soul- or sanity.

      As to violence in general – OK there have been plenty of times I had to look away from the screen: Geoffrey and Ramsey were sociopaths of the worst kind: they took pleasure in inflicting pain and abusing others. That’s clear enough: villains signed and sealed.
      And we have followed Cercei in her journey to becoming this relentless,vengeful, cruel, power-driven, bloodthirsty creature: what she did to Septa – while disturbing – didn’t suprise me.

      What did worry me, was to see the dark side of the good guys. Arya killing Frey in that manner did disturb me – while I cheered for Frey’s end, I was in part questioning the way she did it.
      Jon beating Ramsey – I cheered for the first few punches, I was disturbed when he wouldn’t stop, even while I could understand the outburst of rage and adrenaline!
      And the same about Sansa, seeing her enjoy Ramsey becoming dog food and etc.

      In the earlier seasons we saw some people like Jamie and the Hound, turning from clear- cut villains to the grey area and progressively even to the other side of the good guys (with some shades of grey). We may now forget, but Jamie pushed an innocent little boy out a window and also tried to assasinate him after that push proved non-fatal etc. But that was turned around, as we saw him slowly embracing his better side, and making different – and sometimes difficult- choices.
      In this season on the other hand, we saw that even the good guys carry a darkness within them, which, even if explained and justified after what they’ve been through, it was disturbing at points when the use of violence went to extremes and when they handled violence in ways that exceeded the limits of self-defence or even justified revenge.

      I think ithis ambivalence on the use of power and violence, the shades of light and darkness within the majority of the characters is deliberately used and that makes this story so interesting, considering that who they are defines their future, and their future actions too; this ambivalence leaves all possibilities open. They can do good. They can do evil. They can do either for the wrong/right reasons. What will they choose? And how will that affect their future and the future of others?
      And…next thing you know, you have to wait for an entire year to see what happens! 😉

      RJ:
      AlexG,

      I have very recently re-watched this ep, and I’m now 99% sure it is snow that’s falling onto the IT chamber from the destroyed roof. I hadn’t thought about it much when I first saw it, but now – yes, what you say makes sense. 🙂
      Though it could have been a vision created by the warlock so I’m not entirely sure of the extend of foreshadowing it carries.
      But that said, IT destroyed and snow falling, makes sense from what we have seen: Winter is most definitely here, and KL could very well be destroyed by Cercei. So perhaps by the time Dany gets there, nothing much is left, just a bunch of ruins and bodies, under the snow.
      Which will be interesting, considering that getting there and taking IT was Dany’s motive forward through all these seasons.

      On the second part of that vision, it definitely looks like she goes through one of the Wall’s tunnels and gets to the other side – hopefully she will go there and fight the WW as you say! 😀
      The part of the Drogo at that tent, when she goes Beyond the Wall, hoping that it wasn’t the warlock’s doing (had she stayed there, she would have been, mentally, his captive forever ) may be significant even if in a symbolical way.
      I kept her words as she left the tent. ( ‘When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When my womb quickens again, and I bear a living child. Then you will return, and not before )
      I’m still thinking about if/ how this could mean something for the future – her iminent death as you mention makes sense. But I confess I instantly connected her words with Bran’s vision sequence, with the Sun rising/or setting – it looked a bit backwards and strange- KL destroyed /Dragon’s flying over KL and etc.

      I too think, that it is possible that she dies – perhaps giving her life to save someone else, or something like that.

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    93. ACME: As for the whole matter of violence being more complicated than what I wrote, I am certain it is. And I cannot wait for your post

      I’m afraid I’ll disappoint you. I have more questions than answers. 🙁

      I really don’t have a well-thought couterargument to what you’ve written. Actually, I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said. I am interested, however, in where we draw the line between justice and vengeance (and whether there’s actually a line to be drawn at all), and when self-defence stops being “justified” and when it becomes “excessive force”.

      For instance, when Ned executes that poor fellow for desertion, he is just applying Westerosi law without any sense of revenge, vindication or satisfaction (not on his person, at least… it could be argued that he’s vindicating the Night’s Watch as an institution). One could argue here whether this kind of “justice” is fair or excessive, but ultimately we have to concede that that’s what justice looks like in Westeros.

      Now, when Jon executes the mutineers, I think the line between justice and vengeance gets quite blurred. He, as Lord Commander, has every right to condemn the mutineers for conspiracy to murder and treason (one could argue that even for the charges of murder, since he was actually killed). But, at the same time, he is also no longer Lord Commander, since he died and his watch was ended (he’s a sort of a Schrödinger’s Lord Commander 😛 ), therefore making the execution of Alliser Thorne et al. more an act of vengeance than justice…

      In the case of Ramsay’s “execution”, I believe the sense of vengeance is even more prominent over the sense of justice. No doubt he deserved some kind of punishment, but the way he was executed and with Sansa enjoying it (not that I blame her), makes the whole thing quite disturbing. By the way, I’d love to know who came up with that idea… how the “brainstorming” process was. :p

      The question is, what are we to do with those instances where “justice” is tainted with “vengeance”? Are we supposed to justify it, to feel unease or to enjoy it? I must confess I felt a mix of those emotions. 😮

      Another question: is there Justice without some degree of Vengeance (either in Westeros or in our world)? According to our pathologically charming Littlefinger: “There is no justice in this world. Not unless we make it.” And this, to me, resembles more vengeance than justice… 🙂

      And finally, to end on a pessimistic note:

      “There is no justice in this world. No single punishment can correct an injustice, because what is past cannot be changed, and those to whom injustice was done remain with their loss. But even if justice were attained in some other world, for what was lost in this one, if in some other world those who had been injured had returned to them what they had lost here, that is not a return of their life’s fulfillment; it is only consolation. What is lost at a certain moment can never again be compensated, because what is lost was needed at the moment it disappeared.”

      (Sigmund Freud’s Sister, Goce Smilevski)

      I apologise for this mumbo jumbo of a post. I realise it’s rather incoherent and it doesn’t provide any kind of eloquent argumentation… just some random thoughts. 🙂

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    94. Riverhawk: To paraphrase the immortal Margo Channing (aka Bette Midler) “fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride, er make that season of GOT.”

      I think you mean Bette Davis.

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    95. Markus Stark: That sense of weight surrounding revenge, which is very present in the books, is gone. There is no sense that revenge is a misguided effort that doesn’t actually bring one peace of mind. No sense that it’s merely a perpetuation of the cycle of violence. The novels clearly have an anti-vengeance message.

      Couldn’t agree more. One of the built-in disadvantages of a literary work being adapted for the screen, I think, is that it’s really difficult for producers to resist pandering to the audience’s knee-jerk glee in violent retribution, in favor of depicting a more thoughtful, morally nuanced interpretation. There is an expectation there that the Bad Guys will get what’s coming to them, the gorier the better – even when the showrunners start off trying to portray some of the characters as grey.

      At least Jon was shown as feeling torn and regretful about having to hang Olly. Not so sure that a majority of the audience got that, though.

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    96. ACME: I cannot say I agree on this point.
      Tywin wanted to end the war. Once and for all. Not for the civilians’ sake, he very obviously had little to no concern for them, but regardless of the reason, an end to the war is always an improvement for said civilians.

      The collapse of the law of war is inherently dangerous. It’s like saying that blowing up a Red Cross tent is justified if it helps a nation achieve its strategic objective. Moreover, since Westerosi society is structured around the nobility, calling guest right into question breaks down social cohesion, which escalates conflict into one of extermination. That’s really what GRRM shows with the Red Wedding, as it poisons the well for the putative “victors”.

      There is a difference between generals who fight a war and try to abide by expected codes of conduct and those who don’t, and it matters a lot.

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    97. Slight correction not Bette Midler but the inestimable Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve “fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” I am so waiting for it.

      Riverhawk:
      I just gotta say this: that picture of Cersei in her crown and the most button up dress she’s ever, ever worn reminded me of my mother in a bad mood, and my mother in a bad mood was not to be messed with ever, at last, seriously, do not mess with this woman.And this one doesn’t have children, a husband or any career other than her own ambition to keep her in check.To paraphrase the immortal Margo Channing (aka Bette Midler) “fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride, er make that season of GOT.”

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    98. A Dornish Tyrell: I apologise for this mumbo jumbo of a post. I realise it’s rather incoherent and it doesn’t provide any kind of eloquent argumentation… just some random thoughts.

      Not mumbo jumbo ! Very interesting thoughts indeed 😉

      A Dornish Tyrell

      One could argue here whether this kind of “justice” is fair or excessive, but ultimately we have to concede that that’s what justice looks like in Westeros.

      Maybe that is the clincher…
      Westeros is a fundamentally violent environment, be it sexually, socially, economically, physically, symbolically, etc. All manners of aggressions, both on an individual level and on a collective one, are perfectly legal. Given such an unforgiving and skewed social contract, it is incredibly difficult to draw a sustancially-motivated line between “legitimate” and “illegitimate” violence.

      When the law is in and by itself “unfair” (broadly speaking), born more out of tradition and a desire to perpetuate the status quo, to such an extent that no one seems to have given any consideration to its inner consistency or logic, how much credit can be given to it ? To any of it ?

      One very obvious example of such lack of inner logic is the Westerosi tradition of arranged marriages.
      Heads of Houses are allowed, according to Westerosi law, to give their “wards” in marriage to whomever they please. They are perfectly entitled, therefore, to make decisions regarding other people’s sexual endeavours and connections in order to draw a profit (political alliances, dowries) from them. From a purely objective standpoint, how is that not pimpery ?
      What is the fundamental difference between what Littlefinger, a revendicated pimp, does to his “employees” and what Holster Tully, an honourable lord, did to Lysa, whom he forced to marry (thereby, have sex with) Jon Arryn, a man old enough to be her grandfather for whom she felt neither love nor desire ? “She did as her father commanded, as so many of us have”, said Sansa…
      Westerosi law gives two very different names to what, in essence, is exactly the same thing, depending on the relational and social circumstances of the people involved. It makes little to no sense, fundamentally.

      And the same applies to justice and revenge, I believe. Justice in Westeros (and in the feudal societies it is inspired by) looks an awful lot like vengeance : corporal punishment is very much allowed, judges are not required to be impartial… Hell they are not even expected not to be interested parties (Cersei being allowed to take part in her hated brother’s trial in relation to her beloved son’s murder is a prime example of this lack of independence) ! In such a context, there is no subtancial difference between justice and revenge; the only dissimilarity is the setting, as defined by tradition, for what little it is worth.

      The slope is very, very, very slippery. And, in this context, it is not unexpected for “good guys” to go to the “dark side”, as SiriuslyStark wrote. The fronteer between dark and light is so blurred from the get-go…

      A Dornish Tyrell

      (he’s a sort of a Schrödinger’s Lord Commander )

      Ha ha ha !
      Jon Snow : Wanted, dead and alive !! ^^

      A Dornish Tyrell

      Another question: is there Justice without some degree of Vengeance (either in Westeros or in our world)? According to our pathologically charming Littlefinger: “There is no justice in this world. Not unless we make it.” And this, to me, resembles more vengeance than justice…

      Littlefinger, for all his faults (there is an endless list of them), understands perfectly well how messed up Westeros’s definition of “order” is : the intrinsic and systemic unfairness of the social contract, the rampant and legitimised violence, the senselessness of birthright… He has the scar to prove it ! His love of chaos seems to stem from a (not entirely inaccurate) feeling that the status quo “wronged” him, so to speak. In as fundamentally unjust a world as Westeros, indeed there is no other retribution than that people fight for themselves. Be it with swords or with pens, with brawl or with brain…

      More broadly speaking, unless one believes in karma, there is no such thing as inherent justice, me thinks. Justice is a human invention (one of its best) and can only be supported by human institutions. So to this extent, he may very well be right about man-made justice.
      However, justice, be it punitive, retributive or restorative, is to a degree an illusion, I believe. As Goce Smilevski’s quote asserts, there is no “going back” to a previous state of “innocence” so to speak. Unless we are taking about petty crime (stolen money or goods can be reimbursed without much damage being done), a return to the “pre-crime” state of affairs is always impossible. At best, one can overcome, learn to live serenely with what happened. It is a mourning process, I believe.

      And like with all mourning processes, one goes through the stages of grief : denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance… And taking your motherf*cking castle back from the motherf*cking son of a d*ck who stole it from you !!! (The Kübler-Ross model, Westeros edition 😉 )

      Sean C.: The collapse of the law of war is inherently dangerous.It’s like saying that blowing up a Red Cross tent is justified if it helps a nation achieve its strategic objective.Moreover, since Westerosi society is structured around the nobility, calling guest right into question breaks down social cohesion, which escalates conflict into one of extermination.That’s really what GRRM shows with the Red Wedding, as it poisons the well for the putative “victors”.

      I agree to a very large extent.

      Far from me the desire to deny that Tywin’s decision to violate guest rights, one of the most ancient civilian laws in place in Westeros, could have devastating effects on the whole of the social contract in place in the country .So far, the books have not quite focused on the aftermath of the massacre, in terms of how it may have affected the general population’s perception of acceptable/unacceptable conduct. But it very well may and I would welcome it.

      Far from me as well the desire to defend the Red Weding ! It was a massacre and an atrocity.

      My main point is that the law of war is messed up because war itself is messed up.
      I confess that one of my favourite lines of the entire series if Robert Baratheon’s “They never tell you how they all shit themselves. They don’t put that part in the songs…” War is ugly, chaotic and dehumanizing, no matter how inescapable and necessary it may be in some instances. While the overall goal of a war might be noble, its day-to-day reality (the shattered bodies of the soldiers, their bloodcurdling terror, the civilians’ mindless suffering in all its forms) never is. Given this backdrop, the fronteer between right and wrong is, I believe, inherently blurred.

      In reference to the one war George RR Martin himself said he would have fought in, I would liken the Red Wedding to another attack designed to precipitate surrender (though, contrarily to the Red Wedding, this one solely targeted civilians) namely the Nagasaki/Hiroshima atomic bombings, whose legal, ethical and military justifications are still debated to this day, especially in regards to the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907.

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