Looking Forward, Game of Thrones Season 7 Part 1: What If the End Sucks?

Littlefinger-Winter

“Everything ends badly. Otherwise, it wouldn’t end.” –Brian Flanagan, Cocktail 1988

Say that you haven’t thought about it, and I’ll call your bluff.

Glad tidings to all ye great and loyal internet Watchers of ice and fire and incestuous Lannister desires, and thank you for joining us at THE great Wall of Walls.

A man’s name is Oz and it’s Yule log season as well as the off-season, which means it’s Looking Forward time once again (oft referred to as Unsullied speculation at it’s worst).

Holidays sometimes breed gifts, and this is my poor excuse for a gift to you. It’s not much, but it is all a poor boy from Flea Bottom can spare. What will the showrunners have wrapped for us at the conclusion of this epic tale? Don’t be surprised if there is a mountain of discontent, or a present without a bow…


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Disclaimer: For all of you Wall newbies, and as a reminder for the Wallbies: You have entered the realm of the Unsullied; where show fact and written fiction are separated by a man with only a television and a pricey, yet worthy, subscription to Home Box Office. My oath states that no books may be read until the conclusion of the show, and a man is nothing if he is not an oathkeeper.

As Unsullied, we must dine on what is served by buffet curators David and Dan only.

Disclaimer #2: Sue of House Fury does NOT allow a man to read any spoilery content produced, written and reported here at the Wall or anywhere else throughout the twines of internettery. If it seems that my misguided thoughts stem from uneducated tomfoolery, it’s because that is exactly what’s going on. The Sullied/spoiler reading contributors even have their own communication channel that yours truly was strategically left out of.

In short, I don’t read spoilers. At all.

So if spoilers are not your thing and you want to be surprised by the show when it actually airs, you have found the safe zone. Welcome to the party, pals (and yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie).

So here’s the box score: 60 episodes in, hundreds of dead characters, a new Queen, a rising North, a fleet of dragon boats en route, a missing red woman, a disgruntled Tyrell, 4 Stark kids (well… 3), 3 wyverns, 2 procreating related lions, and a mockingbird with a goatee.

With the ending now in clear view and through many hours of contemplation, it occurred to me that there is no way, regardless of how spectacular the ending, that this tale is going to end with gratification for the masses.

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Even after the copious amounts of eliminated players, there are still far too many variables. And although the volume of characters is depleted, the combinations and possibilities of those who remain are still endless.

So jot this down somewhere so that in a year and a half you can easily locate and show proof once Season 8 concludes… most viewers likely won’t approve of the ending. It will be ridiculed and questioned and criticized. There will be loose ends (hopefully very few). D&D will be proclaimed idiots by many, and the true ending that the creator envisioned may forever remain unwritten. As George stated, it will be bittersweet. And that is a best-case scenario.

Why would Oz make this outlandish prediction, you ask? Why would one curse a show they love and adore and write about and worship?

Because sometimes you have to get out of the fantasy and step back into reality. And because historically, the majority of truly epic tales don’t facilitate the trademarked Disney ending demanded by the majority of the viewing public.

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That said, here a few scenarios that would enrage many, while leaving others proclaiming “Joy to the World.”

GrumpyDany

Dany completely gets her ass kicked.

 Can you imagine the outrage? The woman that has been speaking of crossing the Narrow Sea for damn near 60 hours finally sets sail only to land and realize that the Westeros Bar and Grill is a pretty rough joint to go pick a fight. We saw first hand that the dragons are formidable opponents. But we also saw that they can be injured and it’s only a matter of time before at least one of Dany’s children gets the business.

Euronbetter

Euron Greyjoy, a virtual unknown to show watchers, ends up being the biggest badass anywhere and takes the throne for himself

This scenario would blindside many. Most of the casual show viewing public that I talk to can’t even remember his name, which can be somewhat justified. Euron has only appeared in two episodes. And although his name has been mentioned in others, no one taking the scientific Oz survey really gives this guy a chance at doing anything other than possibly joining up with Cersei. That would mean that she would still be the Queen if they managed to survive the wars to come. But if Euron doesn’t mind throwing big brother off of a bridge, then he certainly wouldn’t think twice about pushing the brother lover out of a window.

Arya Hound

The Mountain vs. The Hound Never Happens

With the reemergence of Sandor Clegane, you have to believe that this is going to occur at some point. But it might not. If the Hound, in fact, joins the Brotherhood Without Banners as the end of S6 leads us to believe, then they are not headed south, but rather north. This would likely mean a Hound/Sansa reunion on the front lines of a white walker attack, not to mention whatever the Mountain will be dealing with in KL covering Cersei’s rear. This scenario doesn’t leave much hope for the highly touted Clegane Bowl, especially considering the number of episodes that remain. But at least the BwB is back.

Jon dirty

Jon’s reign as King in the North is as brief as Robb’s

Call it unlikely if you wish, but Jon has been known to take on tasks that he doesn’t necessarily agree with at the behest of what he believes to be his half-sister Sansa (see: Battle of the Bastards). Sansa has made it clear throughout the journey that she wants to be the Queen and probably believes that she should be leading the North right now rather than the Bastard that was promised. Would she be vindictive enough to send Manbun into a trap? Maybe not. But remember who is pulling her strings…

Littlefinger Throne

Littlefinger parlays the upcoming war of ice and fire and wins the whole fucking thing.  

For the past couple of years, a man has been pretty consistent on this… what if the guy who set the whole debacle in motion somehow slithers his way onto the throne and actually accomplishes the unthinkable? Many of you have called me crazy and you would be correct. But think about it…

LF is the reason that Ramsay Bolton is no longer the Warden of the North. Jon and many others owe their lives to him and the Knights of the Vale. Baelish accomplished this by throwing my dear Lysa through a hole in the floor and then getting away with it. He wants the eldest Stark to be his bride, and again, she wants to be the Queen. He visited Winterfell as a guest of the Boltons only to turn around and help defeat the Boltons and return to Winterfell as a guest of the Starks. He also formed an alliance with the Tyrells that led to the requested demise of Joffrey. Now he has friends in the North and the South even as Olenna joins forces with the snakes and the dragons. And I’ve always believed that Varys and LF would one day meet again, because, “Chaos is a ladda.”

All things considered, Baelish finds himself in a relatively advantageous situation. Now, doesn’t that one give you the warm fuzzies?

varys

The point is this: This whole extravaganza of big budget and CGI and tales of warmth and cold is probably not going to end up like you want it to. And I would submit to you that it really doesn’t matter.

The whole point in the indulgence of an excursion is to enjoy the trip; not for necessarily reaching the pinnacle. Nobody runs a marathon and talks about what happened as they crossed the finish line. They commemorate about what happened on the road and the obstacles they had to overcome and the adventure of the journey. We should look at Game of Thrones the same way. It’s not really about how it ends, but rather what happened along the way: Hardhome; The Door; The Golden Crown; The Climb; the Bear; The Mountain and the Viper; The Old Gods and the New; The Lion and the Rose; The Laws of Gods and Men; The Gift; The Broken Man; the wildfire; and all of the epic 9’s.

To be honest, I’m content with whatever the lads and ladies at HBO serve up in the conclusion so long as the steps along the way prove solid and the show doesn’t suffer from show runner fatigue. We’ve only got a few precious minutes remaining. Don’t fret over the end; enjoy the journey, and savor each crumb of enjoyment we have left. Because, very soon…

Game Over.

got-game-of-thrones-32988935-500-360That’s a rap for the Oz today, boys and girls. A man hopes to find all of you firmly inked in on the “nice” list this Holiday season. If not, there is always time to make a change. There is plenty of horrible shit going on in this world right now, so resolve to be different and do your part to make it better.

 

flat,800x800,075,f.u1To all my Sullied friends, it’s becoming obvious that the Jolly Fat Man once AGAIN will not be bringing you a book to enjoy for Christmas. For this, you have my condolences.

Melikalikimaka to all, and to all may there be peace in your realm.

-Oz

“Unbowed. Unbent. Unsullied.”

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NOTE: Please do NOT post spoilers, coded or not, in the comment section. All spoiler comments will be deleted. 

243 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Hodor!

      Will I be disappointed if the ending sucks? Of course! But it isn’t always about the destination but the journey, and it’s been a pretty damn awesome journey.

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    2. Yes, I’d be pissed as hell if Euron and/or Littlefinger live and end up in a position of power.

      I don’t give a rat’s behind about Clegane Bowl though.

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    3. People will always complain. Oh well, you can’t satisfy everyone I suppose. I think I’ll be content no matter what happens in the end, as long as my man Jon becomes King of everything and everyone xD

      Jokes aside, I trust D&D. They’ll give us two amazing seasons.

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    4. Oz- So glad to hear from you again! Best holidays to you, Mrs. Oz and all the little Ozlings. To Sue and all, as well as to fellow Watchers, may the New Year bring light and love.

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    5. Go back and watch Varys and Petyr talking in the throne room in Season 1 or 2 or whatever it was. There is so much to unpack in that conversation after having watched all these seasons. There is zero reason to believe those two won’t or don’t see each other again. They’re the puppet masters.

      Also, go back and watch Littlefinger’s monologue while he directs the two ladies working for him, but instead of watching that, listen to what Petyr is saying. The two ladies are misdirection against anyone listening to the super important things coming out of Baelish’s mouth.

      I think a big secret will come to light about Varys too. That look on his face with the Red priestess is really important. I think the truth of Varys isn’t what he revealed about the magician, but something else and we will find out before he and Petyr meet again.

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    6. You are absolutely right, Oz – no matter how it ends it has been one hell of a fun ride.

      I also have confidence that D&D will do a great job with the remaining story, and everyone should cherish every minute of it, for once it is gone…

      … we will never see it’s like again.

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    7. None of that shit is happening, and breaking bad proves that it is possible to stick the landing.

      … ofc that doesnt esure GoT WILL, and also ofc itll suck if it sucks, sucky things suck

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    8. To have Littlefinger or Euron take the throne is simply bad story-telling. It becomes a story not worth the telling if you’ve focussed on certain characters all through but a minor character prevails. It would be far more subtle if we end up with a seemingly happy ending – white walkers defeated, Dany takes the throne – but there are hints that happy-ever-after is a fairytale and we are left with ambivalence as to whether she will prove a good ruler or whether power will corrupt.

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    9. It’s a pleasure to read you again, Oz! Always a pleasure.
      I’m sure I’ll be disappointed, first of all, because it ends. Secondly, there’s no way that all the characters I love will be alive and happy, because it’s GOT and more bitter than sweet should be expected. But being close to this amazing world has taught me that tragedy and horror are part of life even when it’s about fiction. The amazing part still weighs more and I am grateful for that.

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    10. Hi Oz, nice to read you again! And best wishes for you and the wallbies, sullied or unsullied, for these hollidays and for 2017 (pretty please…?)

      I hear ya’… It does not matter how it ends, some people will criticize it. And yes, the ride has been marvelous…

      In my case, I don’t care that much who ends up “winning”, because everybody is going to end up seriously scarred by the ride: the kids lost their innocence, the masterminds might get what they want just to find out the possibly the throne is irrelevant.

      I try not to think much about the ending, so I’m enjoying every minute we have left. But when the thought crosses my mind, I just wish it does not end in a “they lived happily ever after” fashion… I hope in the end there are lessons learned (and some seeds of future trouble planted here and there) and that those characters that manage to make it to the end get some kind of resolution, bittersweet or otherwise.

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    11. Dany and Jon will rule together in the end, but at great cost. That is the ending, I’m 99% sure of it.

      85% of the audience will be happy with that ending. 5% won’t care. 10% would like something different.

      To answer your question – I don’t think that most viewers won’t approve the ending and I don’t think that there will be loose ends.

      The ending will make sense, it will tie everything together, and we will have Dany and Jon on the IT, with great sacrifices.

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    12. OptimusCrime:
      ……and breaking bad proves that it is possible to stick the landing.

      And Dexter proves it is possible to take a massively loved show, and make people really be angry about the whole experience by botching the landing…

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    13. Well whatever happens, it can’t be worst than the Sopranos’ Fade To Black ending which was no ending at all.

      My theory is that whoever ends up on The Iron Throne will be a king/queen without power, much like the current monarchy in England. The maesters of the Citadel will be the real power, removing all magic and sorcery from the 7 kingdoms. They will begin a transformation much like the Age of Enlightenment that started in Europe (whenever that was …never been good on dates).

      The final scene, S8E7-final scene, will be in the library of the Citadel. Long shot showing the chandeliers. Then pan down to Sam reading a book to his son/grandson. The final line will be “And that was the history of the war of the kings in Westeros”. Cue theme song one final time.

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    14. To quote Ramsay, “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”

      Will I hate parts of the ending? Probably. Characters I want to live are going to die. Bittersweet ending is what we have been promised; bittersweet ending is what we are going to get.

      Also – didn’t we already get a mini-Cleganebowl in episode 105?

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    15. I really don’t understand why there is so much mystification about the ending. It will be Jon and Dany.

      It has been obvious from the moment Robb died in S3 that Dany and Jon will end up as rulers of Westeros.

      Robb was the last “false protagonist” in the show. After his death, the path was clear for real protagonists

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    16. mau,

      You actually believe that the ending will have rulers of Westeros?
      And you actually think it will be Jon and Dany?
      GRRM said then ending will be bittersweet… how does that play into your prediction. You sound so confident.

      That said, I like that 🙂 LOL Dany and Jon are my favorites.

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    17. I will be so mad if the war with the white walkers only happens in one location and not the entire Kingdom and I’ll really be pissed if no war happens at all and they reach a truce. But a thought just occurred to me yesterday could Cersei join the Night’s King to eliminate everyone that would be terrible and epic at the same time

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    18. mau,

      It has been obvious that Jon would be the protagonist since his first mention in the books. And it’s confirmed within the first hundreds of pages, the outcast seeking his identity whilst still having a good relationship with most of his family members, with the exception of his mother-in-law. He’s mentioned in almost every first chapters, even by the King himself. His encounter with Tyrion makes us root for him no matter what.

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    19. Well, D&D are geniuses, and I do not think they will botch the ending. The ending we will get is the ending GRRM planned for (as we can see they are following his outline for the main characters).

      With that said, I think the majority of the fans (casual, die hard) will like the ending/accept the ending no matter what happens…. there is a small % of the fans who think they can give a better ending.

      UNLESS D&D will go for a Sopranos type finale, I think people are going to like it/be happy with it. But D&D are not stupid.

      For me, its a bit hard to predict how its going to end. I actually never expected that there will be a ruler of Westeros. I will be shocked if there is, happy none the less.

      I know some of my favorites are going to die, and I have accepted it. I trust D&D, and GRRM… and I cant (but also can) wait to see how it unfolds.

      For season 7:
      – Cersei will die
      – One dragon will die
      – One of the Stark sisters will die
      – LF will die
      – Wall will fall
      – Humans will unite or be on their way to unite ready to fight the WW in season 8
      I suck at predictions though lol

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    20. mau,

      My guess has been (for some time now)that one of them will end up as the ruler and the other will have a more tragic end. Ever since D&D spoke of the 3 twists provided by GRRM, I have felt that the third one will involve Jon and Dany somehow.

      I do not really see them ruling together at the end. I would be fine with it if it were to happen though.

      I agree with the people who say it’s not just the end, it’s the journey that matters. So far the journey has been pretty great, there is no reason to believe the final two seasons will be otherwise.

      I think I would be fine with most of the possible outcomes I have seen mention (unless it’s something like Euron on the IT lol) but there is no way that’s happening! Of course, Jon’s death or the death of any other Stark would make me very sad.

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    21. ghost of winterfell: I think I would be fine with most of the possible outcomes I have seen mention (unless it’s something like Euron on the IT lol) but there is no way that’s happening! Of course, Jon’s death or the death of any other Stark would make me very sad.

      🙁 🙁

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    22. Dee Stark,

      Lol I knoww…. I have made my peace with the fact that they can’t all survive, it won’t reduce the heartbreak though!
      More than anything I want Jon to survive I guess.

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    23. A bit off topic?

      Will there be a WotW Christmas Card this year? Last years one with the Direwolves pulling the sledge with the iron throne was great 🙂

      I saved that image and sent it to a few of my friends who are GoT fans also and they loved it 😀

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    24. If Jon, Bran, and Arya survive I’ll be happy. Especially Jon because we’ve already been through this death shit. I’ll also be happy if Jon gets a massive wardrobe upgrade at the end because I’m shallow.

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    25. Dee Stark:
      mau,

      You actually believe that the ending will have rulers of Westeros?
      And you actually think it will be Jon and Dany?
      GRRM said then ending will be bittersweet… how does that playinto your prediction. You sound so confident.

      That said, I like that 🙂 LOL Dany and Jon are my favorites.

      Hi Dee – Well, I’ll just ‘Go with the flow’ and accept what ever happens in the finale. I presume the ASOIAF books will have the same conclusion – that is if GRRM gets off his fat ass and finishes them 🙂

      He said a long time ago the ending will be bittersweet, but I also hope that Jon, Dany (and Tyrion) make it through to the end. As for the remaining Starks I’ve no idea, but have a gut feeling that Cersei, LF and perhaps Jaime won’t survive.

      Lets wait to see how S7 pans out next year and then draw our conclusions for S8 afterwards. At least we’ll know who’s still around after S7 😉

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    26. How’s this for one of your endings most people won’t like:
      White Walkers are 2 legit 2 quit and just roll through Westeros and kill everyone.
      > Better or worse than a Littlefinger victory?

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    27. Dee Stark: GRRM said then ending will be bittersweet… how does that play into your prediction. You sound so confident.

      People are too restrictive in what they think “bittersweet” will mean. Indeed, too many people leave the “sweet” out of it. Yes, I expect Jon and Daeny to survive and to be ruling in the end. This should NOT be equated with “lived happily after.” Instead, look for it to be “lived with the consequences ever after.” Whatever victory they get over the Walkers is going to seem very hollow and tragic once they learn the full truth of the Walkers. After all, one of the chief things that comes out of this is that humans are the “evil” that needed to be fought!

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    28. I’d wager there’s less than a 1% chance both Jon and Dany are ruling together anything at the end. Daenerys has all the hallmarks of a sacrificial ending in fiction. Never gets what she wants, but winds up okay with it in the end because she realizes the bigger picture. She will die fighting the White Walkers but it will be because of her army and magical dragons that they will stop the advance of them. The heroic sacrifice trope. Jon Snow will have the heroic sacrifice trope too in my opinion, but in a different way. The war becomes a stalemate and Jon uses the diplomatic skills he has been built up with throughout the story to broker a deal between the two sides, with Bran’s assistance. Part of the deal though will be him leaving with them, perhaps as an heir to the NK. He will do this, because he is Jon Snow and does what honor calls for and does his duty. A fitting “bittersweet” end in my opinion. We all thought Jon was being built up to be King. And he was. But THAT King.

      As for the Iron Throne…I don’t know. Will it matter? If I had to pick though, then my money is on Sansa. I don’t think her entire arc of learning about ruling, and politics, and scheming, and playing the game was just to rule the North.

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    29. As for whether the ending “sucks,” it obviously will in the minds of many fans. Look at the Harry Potter series: too many fans had too many different ideas about what the ending should be, and they pinned their “like/dislike” on whether it matched what they wanted rather than on any literary criteria.

      The same thing will happen here. In particular, those fans who have been looking for “epic” endings in which bloodlines, ancient magics, etc., will provide the “Ring in the Fire” moment almost certainly are going to be disappointed. This is, after all, a character drama, not an epic saga.

      And, of course, the fans who misunderstand some of the characters will be disappointed when, in the crucial moments, one of the protagonists turns out to really have been different than the fans imagined, or when none of the secondary or tertiary prove to be huge plot points.

      But, in the end, for both the books and the TV show, the ending is now as good as it is going to be. When people start stories, it usually is the ending that comes to them first: and although it gets edited, the main “oomph” that made the author drop the shampoo bottle in the shower (to paraphrase one author!) is the same. GRRM has had some punch-line to which he has been building. We know the theory of storytelling to which he subscribes. We know the commonality of the stories told to date. If you let that guide your expectations (as Harry Potter fans should have done!), then your disappointment will be minimal.

      (And, let’s face it: if GRRM is true to his word, then this is the only ending we are going to get!)

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    30. Wimsey: People are too restrictive in what they think “bittersweet” will mean. Indeed, too many people leave the “sweet” out of it.

      I was going to comment on that too. I read it all the time… “well that can’t happen… because bittersweet.”

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    31. Oz, that Disneyfied picture of Jaime and Brienne is terrific – it’s just too funny, lol. 🙂

      I never believed Jon as KiTN will end well.

      At the end of the story:
      – No monarchy.
      – Dany and the dragons are dead.
      – One Stark sister is dead.
      – One Lannister brother is dead.
      – Cersei and Littlefinger are both gone as well.
      – Sam, Gilly, young Sam, Varys, Davos, Brienne, the Hound, Gendry, maybe even Theon, might be the likely survivors.
      – Jon and Bran will live, but mysteriously disappear into the North, never to be heard from again, and become the basis for future legends.
      – The final twist will come full circle and involve Jaime and Bran.

      Merry Christmas to all the commenters and everyone here at WoTW! 🙂

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    32. Jon and Daenerys will transform into dragons. Daenerys lays an egg and leaves it with Tyrion while the two of them fly away, never to return. When the egg hatches it’s a dragon-boy that Tyrion will raise to become the sovereign king of the world. If that’s not how it ends then it will suck. 😛

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    33. It’s true that for some the ending will be panned no matter what happens. There are those who actually do want Dany to lose, Littlefinger to win, and Jon and Dany to oppose one another. Any alternative scenarios fall under the umbrella of “cliché,” “Disney” gets thrown around like a curse word, and anything short of everyone dying or living out the rest of their days in misery = pandering. Any tropes the ending plays straight are fine, however, so long as they favor one’s own interpretation of the story.

      Another vocal group, which includes a number of critics and entertainment bloggers, believes that death and torture are fine so long they only befall characters they’re not personally invested in, otherwise it’s crossing a line and grounds to rage quit the show. During the final season, they’ll carry on arbitrarily deciding which tragedies warrant their moral outrage that week, with a barrage of self-righteous think pieces to follow. This story has a social responsibility to spare their favorites, but it also has a literary responsibility to subvert expectations by killing off other people’s.

      I’m sure most viewers will find enjoyment and satisfaction in the ending no matter what the “bitter” and the “sweet” end up representing for them. For the unpleasable base, though, it doesn’t really matter. Anything that disconfirms their pet theories or contradicts the fanfic they’ve had playing out in their heads for the past however many years will be deemed garbage. Basically, if most viewers get what they want, the ending will be a saccharine cop out, and if most don’t get what they want, it’ll be a nihilistic betrayal. Season 5 sucked because it moved slowly and too many people suffered. Season 6 sucked because it moved quickly and too many people prevailed. Now go forth and create the perfect Season 7 – should be easy enough.

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    34. Clob,

      Wimsey,

      That is not what I meant when I asked Mau
      I did not think that just because Jon and Dany survive and rule together, then it wouldn’t be bittersweet
      I simply asked what he saw… Jon and Dany ruling… how, why, how does that happen, keeping in mind GRRM’s bittersweet comment.

      You can also have Dany and Jon rule, everyone lives happily ever after, happy ending.

      I wanted his prediction on Dany Jon surviving, ruling and bittersweet.

      That said, Wimsey your response makes sense.

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    35. Dee Stark: For season 7:
      – Cersei will die
      – One dragon will die
      – One of the Stark sisters will die
      – LF will die
      – Wall will fall
      – Humans will unite or be on their way to unite ready to fight the WW in season 8

      I’d be okay with all of that… as long as the Stark sister is Sansa. *pokes dead horse*

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    36. Here’s hoping season 7 will address an important plot point that was totally ignored last season: is Sweetrobin drinking enough milk, and if so from whom?

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    37. Clob:
      Jon and Daenerys will transform into dragons.Daenerys lays an egg and leaves it with Tyrion while the two of them fly away, never to return.When the egg hatches it’s a dragon-boy that Tyrion will raise to become the sovereign king of the world.

      This would actually be a very poetic ending. You should have kept quiet and secretly sold this ending to GRRM 😉

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    38. As always, really enjoyed this “looking forward”, Oz!!! Bryan Cogman quote was a masterpiece, I bet it was in that movie just for you to remember to include in this piece! I am in agreement that I’m sure the ending will never please everyone! If it end bittersweet, I don’t know if I will like that? Bittersweet usually means someone dies, but the world will be OK?! The only character I don’t want to die is Jon Snow! So he probably will and then I will hate the ending, even if he dies saving the world.😥 We don’t know what D&D and George have in store for us, but whatever it is, there will be nothing we can do about it! Except complain about it or praise it on WotW!!

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    39. Roast: And Dexter proves it is possible to take a massively loved show, and make people really be angry about the whole experience by botching the landing…

      Many would say that about Lost too. But yeah, Dexter was such a shitshow at the end it was laughable.

      I’ve loved the endings of Breaking Bad, Buffy, Nurse Jackie, Fringe, Mad Men, etc. It is possible to stick the landing. Will GoT? Well I think it depends on perspective. If you’re one of those people who wants to see good guy Jon on the Iron Throne with Dany by his side or vice versa, I think you will be let down. If you want all the Starks to live, I think you will be let down. If you want all the bad people to be punished, well you see where I am going here.

      I think the story will be wrapped up in a way that’s true to GRRM’s vision and his vision has never been a happy ending. I think the only way you are going to be disappointed in the show ending is if you are a stickler for the books or if you have a set way you *think* it should end.

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    40. ghost of winterfell,

      Couldn’t agree with you more. At this point, the only characters left are those most care about with few exceptions {I’m looking at you Euron}. It would definitely be a repeat of The Door if any other Stark dies.

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    41. elybe,

      Nicely articulated. There will be displeasure among some with the end simply because it is “the end.” I have to admit that I may turn out to be one of them. While I know that my favorite stories/shows have to end, I never like it when they do. It is irrational!

      Dee Stark,

      I can’t wait to see how it unfolds either. I don’t believe that Jon and Dany survive and end up ruling in Westeros. I can’t offer other plausible alternatives but my instinct is that one – or both – are doomed (sadly).

      I need Arya and Bran to survive and yes, probably Sansa, too. I’ve had enough Stark Death. Littlefinger needs to be eliminated with full knowledge of why, how and who. I don’t want anyone stabbing him in the back in a darkened room.

      Sam, Gilly and Little Sam need to survive and become the perfect family. I’m less invested in what happens to the Lannister brothers as long as Cersei is gone before she can cause too much permanent damage.

      My only other wish: Bran becomes aware of how he was crippled and has a confrontation with Jaime.

      Oz – thanks for another thought-provoking post. Happy Holidays to you and the entire Oz Clan.

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    42. Rella,

      You know, I was trying to remember a dream I had last night and funnily enough it was about Jon. After reading your comment I remembered it. In my dream the only way to get near the NK was to have a dragonglass shard put into someone’s chest to get close enough and kill him. Too many wights made it impossible for anyone to get close enough and everyone kept dying. Of course, Jon volunteers and he turns into a WW like the NK and by passes the wights. I woke up because in my dream I was screaming to the TV “Noooooo Jon!!” LOL

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    43. Don’t forget that tonight at 9 pm ET Euron Greyjoy stars in the HBO special “The Kraken That Stole and Murdered Christmas.”

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    44. Well… ya know… there are the books.
      George has said that the story will have a bittersweet ending.
      Question is will the show have an even more BITTERsweet ending.
      It’s already more bitter than the novels.

      (George has noted that many characters are still alive in the books ,,, say… Stannis, Ser Barry…, or a character the show made interesting that made GRRM say he would make interesting, Osha, now gone!, but to be upscaled in the novels!)

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    45. The ending that would suck for me is if Sansa ends up as Queen of Westeros, a theory up until about a year ago I never considered but I find is becoming prevalent. If there is no Iron Throne in the end and Westeros goes back to being separate kingdoms again, then it’s fine by me if Sansa ends up Queen in the North, and the other kingdoms have their own kings and queens.

      But if there is still an Iron Throne then I expect either Jon and/or Dany to be sitting on that damn thing in the end. The show has been setting up Dany (especially) and Jon as the ultimate rulers/heroes for 6 seasons, and if all this just ends up with both of them dead and we get a surprise! ruler who’s never done shit to save the kingdom end up as queen, I will throw a shoe at my tv when the series finale airs. The endgame king or queen has to earn the damn right to rule and not just stumble onto the throne because they are related to a Targaryen and managed to survive the entire series.

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    46. BunBunStark,

      Lol yeah I agree that would be a disappointing ending for those reasons you mentioned. Though with the latest developments I wouldn’t want her to even be QITN. The North has suffered enough lol.

      To me it seems like it’s either Jon, Dany or both. I’ve said & thought this for some time.

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    47. This was never a show that looked to satisfy audience with gratification. We learned that by the end of Season 1. What I like to see is good and logical story-telling. The past two seasons were a mess in terms of character consistency and chronology.

      Anyway, Euron and Littlefinger have as much a chance at the throne like everyone else in Westeros. For that to happen, these people need to die: Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Varys, Tyrion, Dany, Cersei, Jaime, Yohn Royce and finally, the Night King. Littlefinger is so lucky to have survived this long(both books & show) and his power is derived from a weak boy who might die any time. He has openly betrayed House Stark, Tully, Tyrell, Lannister, Bolton, Arryn and has threatened Lord Royce for questioning his motives. And as for Euron… they better make him have a dragonhorn. Without that, his rise to power and the “1000 ships plot” is pretty unconvincing.

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    48. IMO, Tyrion is the most likely candidate to end as a ruler of Westeros. Sansa may end as his queen, if she survives.
      Jon and Dany are more likely to die in the final battle with the WW, but that will be a happy ending for them, because heroes which fail to die timely end up hated.
      All the great houses will be destroyed (most of them already are), so the Starks have little hope to survive too. However, Westeros will become more centralized and united. No way, it’s falling into separate kingdoms again – there are no potential kings to lead them.
      But the ultimate point of the story will be that whoever survives will have to pay the loan to the Iron Bank and therefore raise taxes and make other unpopular decisions, and that will promote enough bitterness, even if Jon and Dany ends up on the throne as a happy family with ten kids.

      One way or another, finis coronat opus, so I hope it will be satisfactory.

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    49. Yeah, I don’t think both Dany and Jon are living, let alone ruling together. My gut has always said one or both dies. I go back and forth on who. I’m certain Tyrion is living as sure as I am of my own name.

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    50. What I am most curious about is how Littlefinger is going to try and get on the throne – his betrayals have really yet to start. He may go to Cercei…

      To what depths will he stoop?

      One thing’s for sure – there won’t be an Iron Throne anymore and there won’t be 7 Kingdoms. The North won’t stand for it, nor will Dorne, nor will House Tyrel, no matter who is on the throne.

      I hope Dany returns to Dario and Jon returns to the North.

      I hope Tyrion rules.

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    51. I always thought of this story as actually being about how Westeros got yearly seasons. Like at the end, fire(dany) and ice(walkers) are subdued or destroyed and Jon facilitates a deal henceforth creating the seasons and Sam is the one telling this story. But I doubt any of those things will happen.

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    52. Clob,

      There is no way that Sansa will die. She was built up as a survivor. It makes more sense for Arya to die, because death was such an important theme in her storyline.

      But I think both Sansa and Arya will be alive at the end.

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    53. Predictions:

      Jon Snow is *the* hero, and most heroes die, and so will he, again.

      Jon Snow is forged of the blood of the First Men and the Blood of Old Valyria and will be what ends the White Walkers with his own sacrifice with Lightbringer (which isn’t Longclaw – he will give that back to Jorah). “Ice” will be reforged from Oathkeeper & Widow’s Wail as Lightbringer and also make us all feel like Jon is vindicating Ned, and that will be his choice after learning about who he is.

      Dany will be sacrificed as well – but in all honesty how seems far less interesting, it just doesn’t seem likely that she will ‘rule’.

      If there is a “kingdom” left to rule, it will by Tyrion and Sansa who are still wed. Tyrion just seems like the more obvious ruler. And Sansa the queen.

      I can’t imagine good things for Arya – she is just a bloodlust killer now

      I would put a good bet on Sam surviving, but the rest, not likely.

      Having said all that, I have absolute faith that D&D will make a great final arc to all the characters and the show. But I also don’t think a traditional happy ending is in the cards. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be great.

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    54. mau,

      While you say that it makes more sense for Arya to die because death has been a theme in her story, we all know that GRRM loves nothing more than to make us think we have a character’s storyline all figured out, and then spin us around 180 degrees.

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    55. Dee Stark:
      mau,

      You actually believe that the ending will have rulers of Westeros?
      And you actually think it will be Jon and Dany?
      GRRM said then ending will be bittersweet… how does that playinto your prediction. You sound so confident.

      Yes, I believe that Westeros will have rulers at the end. Since the end of S1 and Book 1, Westeros was in chaos and divided. I see no point in ending the story in more division. It will end in unification, under Jon and Dany.

      Targaryans will rule again. They are GRRM’s favorite great House. They are the only House that will get separate book (GRRM ofc will never write that book, but you see the point).

      Yes, I think those rulers will be Jon and Dany, because they were learning to rule for seasons now. That has to have some payoff.

      And who else would be better than them? Dany already has support from Dorne, Reach and a small part of the Iron Islands.Jon has support from the North and the Vale. Tyrion could bring support form Westerlands. Stromlands? Who cares.

      Who else could bring that many regions together? Cersei? Euron? LF? Sensa? Gendry? No one. Only Dany and Jon.

      Yes, GRRM said that the ending will be bittersweet, but he said that the ending of LOTR is bittersweet. I don’t see how my vision of the end is in any way less bittersweet than the ending of LOTR.

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    56. I think Tyrion and Dany are both doomed. He’s a kinslayer and she’s a fanatic, who will break before she bends.
      I think Jon and Sansa in the iron throne is a real possibility and I would like it. They are the characters with the arcs of learning how to rule, it would make sense.
      I just hope Jaime will have great scenes before the end, back to having all the awesome mean lines he used to. The rest can go either way for me.

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    57. mau,

      Yeah, like that she crucified hundreds of people without a trial in despite of Barristan’s advice. Or that time she fed a random dude to her dragons to scary the rest. Or beheaded a supporter. Great compromises.

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    58. Hello everyone. Lord Parramandas here and yes, I’m still alive even though I was away for the last two months. I’m really busy at the moment on another (non-GoT) fansite and I don’t really have time to speculate on GoT season 7. But I can say that with both Jon and Daenerys surviving till the end and then ruling together, I would NOT be satisfied at all. That would feel way too predictable and not nearly complex enough for such a dark story. When the show is about complex and flawed characters and it tries to not be predictable (in a fantasy manner), I want it to stay on the track. Well, that’s just my humble opinion.

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    59. Ah, but what doth sucketh to one does not necessarily sucketh to another. I have full confidence that no matter what happens, people will be unhappy with it. And some will be happy with it.

      There are the what seem to be obvious set-ups that are just ripe to be torn assunder, and the ridiculousness that just might happen. It IS a game, after all, in the end. One that some have rules for, others that will break those rules, some who cheat, some who play ‘fair’, and no guarantees.

      That’s a big reason that I love it so much, because no one knows just how it’ll end. 😊

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    60. If I add a couple more things to my comment, it seemed to me that the show foreshadowed on several occassions, that Daenerys is not a ruler but a liberator. Remember the House of the Undying? She approached the IT but didn’t claim it. She ventured beyond the Wall and there she met Drogo. That could as well indicate her death. And even one character mentioned in S6 that she is a savior not a ruler. As for Jon, I think he might have the best chance to rule the Kingdom at the end, if it will even remain in one piece. “Do you want to lead one day? Then learn how to follow.”

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    61. Wow that was an intresting read Oz, I will only be disappointed once the show is finished. Part 1 of S7 should leave everyone to take a breath before charging to the final of this show and im sure it wont be to everyones liking. Itll be only “Bittersweet” on the grounds that there will be no more of GoT.

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    62. Stargaryen,

      When she decided to marry Hizdahr. When she decided to reopen the fighting pits. When she decided to leave Daario behind. When she decided to listen to Tyrion’s strategy for the masters. When she decided to listen to that former slave and give him a permission to be slave again. When she decided to lock her dragons up to protect the people,…

      Yes. Great compromises.

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    63. mau,

      Locking the dragons up instead of training them was a terrible decision. Even Daario said so – a dragon queen with no dragons is no queen.
      During the whole engagement with Hizdahr she did all she could to treat him as a joke and alienate him. Even though he agreed to kill the woman who murdered his father in a cruel way for a crime he didn’t commit.
      Deciding to reopen the fighting pits was too little too late after disregarding the city’s culture for so long. They were already against her and would have killed her if it wasn’t for Drogon ex machina.

      She’s made blunder after blunder and proved herself to be the George W Bush of Westwood.

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    64. keltia,

      Here’s a twist I predict. Arya will turn out to be a Faceless Man after all. Jaqen did anoint her No One, and that dude doesn’t mess around. Her Arya identity will be used to get her close to Jon and Dany, and she will kill one of them as part of her assignment. There is no way Arya’s story is ending any way but tragically.

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    65. Oz, as usually I really enjoyed your commentary, as I also enjoy your appearances on GOO.

      Happy holidays to you and yours, and may 2017 provide the answer to the eternal question, “Where’s the god of tits and wine?”

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    66. Another thing I need to mention: Even if I’m initially not satisfied with ending, I usually learn to appreciate it later. So no “ending s*cked” for me. I already expect to be an emotional experience for me, when GoT comes to an end. Will it be able to remain among my top 3 shows? Only time will tell…

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    67. Lord Parramandas,

      Yeah. Those moments in the show are the reason why I’m not 100% sure that she will be at the IT.

      The only other option I see is that Jon will kill her to defeat the WW. She will be his Nissa Nissa. Jon will become the king in the end, but it would be bittersweet.

      Maybe that it that third big twist at the end, that D&D mentioned.

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    68. And I would like to add that I would prefer Dany’s death at Jon’s hands to defeat the WW as the ending. But I’m not sure that that will happen.

      I don’t know if there is enough time, but I would like Jon and Dany to have child before her death. That would truly be bittersweet.

      And with child Jon would’t need another wife. He would live the rest of his life alone.

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    69. mau:
      Clob,

      There is no way that Sansa will die. She was built up as a survivor. It makes more sense for Arya to die, because death was such an important theme in her storyline.

      But I think both Sansa and Arya will be alive at the end.

      At this point most of the characters can be seen as survivors: Jon, Bran, Arya, Tyrion, Dany, Theon, Cersei, Jamie, et. I mean name any major character still living in the show and you can easily make the case of a ‘survivor’ theme. I don’t see Sansa as anymore of a survivor, let alone it is her defining theme.

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    70. BunBunStark,

      I think those theories would hold more weight with me if the show had ever taken the time to show her actually leading or ruling, even on a small scale. We’ve had Dany as Queen of Meereen and Jon as Lord Commander and now King in the North, and while I’m not saying this naturally extends to either of them surviving and ruling in the end, the setup for these characters has involved actually getting to know what their reigns might look like. Jon and Dany started off leading bands of outcasts and “savages,” sympathizing with commoners, and making difficult decisions as leaders that communicated their values and worldviews to the audience. Jon in particular has been shaped by the lessons he’s learned from various leaders throughout his entire arc. That doesn’t necessarily point to him ruling in the end, but you’d better believe it’s pointing to something. Likewise for Dany’s extended tenure in Meereen and the hints the show began dropping back in Season 4 that perhaps a traditional rule consisting of sitting upon a throne isn’t really her style. We could be looking at some sort of reformed government in the end, and through these two characters we’ve had several glimpses of what that might entail.

      Sansa’s setup hasn’t been about what she would offer as a monarch or what her vision is so much as what she’s allegedly entitled to. It’s always either been about her serving as the “key to the North” for someone else or her desire to obtain power for the sake of it rather than what she believes would actually be good for the people living under her rule. That’s the main reason why I would find that outcome unsatisfying. Seasons 5 and 6 both offered plenty of opportunities to show Sansa learning how to wield power, earn loyalty, and develop her own policies as a ruler, but instead we got another year of captivity followed by a vengeance quest. We have no idea what a kingdom under her reign would look like, and given the gripes GRRM has expressed with Tolkien not elaborating on Aragorn’s tax policy, ending with a spare after spending several seasons developing other characters into leaders doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

      I think some people get so caught up in their notions of archetypes and misunderstanding of the role of misdirection that they often ignore the function that actual setup serves in a story. Payoff doesn’t have to come in a form that the audience hopes for, and the clues don’t have to be leading where people think they are, but the actual destination does have to make sense in retrospect. GRRM was pretty clear about that when asked if he would ever change an outcome just because the audience had figured it out. You can’t lie to your audience or waste their time purely in the interest of shock value. I think the beauty of this story is that there are lots of plausible endgame outcomes that are supported by existing foreshadowing, but I think the common notion that a last-minute ass pull dressed up as a “clever twist” will turn everything on its head betrays a poor understand of the rules that govern effective storytelling. Dany and/or Jon could very well lose their lives in the final act, as sacrifice is a theme woven into both of their arcs, but any government that emerges in their wake will need to have been foreshadowed at least to some extent. Not with, “I ought to be King/Queen,” but with actual developments that carry as much weight as series-long “learning to lead” arcs.

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    71. mau,

      I don’t know… Daenerys getting the IT at the end does not sound very GRRM-ish. Every other character encountered twists in their storyline. But Daenerys’s goal is basically the same since S1 and her achieving that goal would not seem very “original” to me… Also, she had the least downfalls and the most “luck” among all the characters. I don’t remember seeing her in a really “low” moment… or having a real emotional struggle (post Drogo’s death). On the other hand, I can imagine Jon getting the IT at the end.

      I read your prediction but I haven’t found any bitter part in it… GRRM compared the ending to LOTR one but I remember that he mentioned that LOTR bitter part is when Frodo was forced to leave Middle Earth because of the wound Witch King of Angmar made. So I don’t see any bittter part in Jon and Daenerys ruling the Kingdom together. On the other hand, one of them dying in order for the other one to suceed definitely seems that way.

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    72. I think Sam and Gilly will survive. That will be the sweet part. And Sam is gonna write it all down.

      GRRM didn’t like the ending in Lord of the Rings with Aragorn. Is he a good ruler? Nobody knows. That’s why I think the ruler in the end will be somebody who’s learnt to rule: Jon, Danny, Sansa or Tyrion. The rest never learnt to rule.

      I think Danny will die in the end, that means Jon will survive or there will be a child. Otherwise the line of the Targaryens is ended. Or maybe that’s what GRRM wants?

      I wonder if Theon will have a child from that young woman he had sex with on the boat when he first returned home? That way his line can be continued if his sister doesn’t survive.

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    73. mau,

      I think there have to be some significant victims and damage when it comes to the Night King’s end. He won’t go down that easily.

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    74. Here is my wishlist:
      1) Dany riding Drogon and roasting walkers / zombonis
      2) Satistfying resolution of Jaime-Brienne-Cersei (lots of options I’d be OK with)
      3) Sansa kills LF (or causes him to die)

      If I’m disappointed on 3 I can live with it. I’m almost certain of 1 and 2.

      If these things happen I don’t honestly care what else. Any main character death is good. Any combination of people on the “throne” (or none at all) is fine. Personally I think that either Dany OR Jon OR both are doomed. Tyrion might be the last man standing. Or he might die heroically too. It’s all good.

      mau:
      Stargaryen,
      When she decided to marry Hizdahr. When she decided to reopen the fighting pits. When she decided to leave Daario behind. When she decided to listen to Tyrion’s strategy for the masters. When she decided to listen to that former slave and give him a permission to be slave again. When she decided to lock her dragons up to protect the people,…

      Yes. Great compromises.

      Mau, Bravo. And as you concluded yourself, it’s never worth conversing with danyhaterz(TM). It is known.

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    75. Clob: I was going to comment on that too. I read it all the time… “well that can’t happen… because bittersweet.”

      People seem to equate Jon and Daeny living and ruling as automatically being nothing but “sweet.” That just seems bizarre to me. We just have to look at the prologue to see that is not true: Ned & Robert won their rebellion (sweet!), and then proceeded to not live happily ever after (bitter….). Even in the real world, how often are the victors broken people afterwards? (That’s rhetorical, of course.)

      So, suppose Daeny and Jon “win” (whatever that means!), survive and wind up married with properly inbred Targaryen children. Is it a happy ending? We don’t know, as we have no idea what the cost was to get to that point.

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    76. Lord Parramandas,

      Yeah. As I said I would like Dany to die for the greater good and to give Jon a child and heir before her death. We will see.

      D&D said that there is that big twist at the end. Maybe that’s it.

      But she was learning to rule in Meereen. That has to play some role.

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    77. Regarding Euron – he’s like midboss #4 in a series of GoT midbosses – but in ASOAIF they get lamer during each iteration. If he becomes king there’s no way that Euron is king for long.

      First midboss -> Joffery.
      Second midboss -> Tywin.
      Third midboss -> Ramsey.
      Final midboss -> Euron.

      The end bosses (besides NK/WW) are totally Cersei and Littlefinger. there from the start, each taken out in dramatic climaxes… Likewise as ultimate antagonists I really can’t see either of them surviving and ruling.

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    78. Lord Parramandas,

      “I don’t see any bittter part in Jon and Daenerys ruling the Kingdom together”

      If that happens, the bitter part will be related to paying dues to the Iron Bank and raising taxes which will make them the most hated rulers in the history of Westeros. Being a Slovenian, you should know what is the usual aftermath of revolutions and wars for independence and where their heroes go afterwards.

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    79. Inga,

      Yes, I can agree on that but the point is if the show would mention that in that case.

      On a side note, the last war in Slovenia happened 4 years before I was born, so I’m not that well informed on that part.

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    80. Another ending that would piss me off is if the Night King wins. I get that GOT has made its reputation in killing fan favorites & villains alike but if all this ends with the characters we’ve invested in for years turned into ice zombies and Westeros a frozen wasteland, I won’t just throw a shoe at my TV I’ll throw my TV out the window. I expect at least half of the characters we have left to die by the end of the series, but there damn well better be survivors left to rebuild their world. Otherwise, WTH has all the years of suffering, killings, fighting been for? Just to give the audience one final kick in the crotch? No thank you.

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    81. Wimsey,

      yeah, most would see a happy (apparently they will like each other) Dany and Jon getting married, sitting on the throne and ruling together with all their loyal allies by their side a sugar-sweet ending in comparison.

      There isn’t time to explore the ‘bitter’ if it happens 15-20 years after their victory… or even a year later, after she gives birth (no time for that on the show)… the bittersweet needs to come at the end of the series. Robert’s victory was bittersweet at the end of the war, Lyanna still died and he was forced to marry Cersei (vice versa).

      And having her die after giving birth to their heir… that is just … no… please god, no

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    82. BunBunStark,

      Unless the survivors leave Westeros led by a Queen or King, pretty much as Queen Nymeria did when she left Ny Sar… Although I highly doubt that will happen.

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    83. mau:
      Dany and Jon will rule together in the end, but at great cost. That is the ending, I’m 99% sure of it.

      I grant you that’s the ending most people expect and/or hope for…BUT

      I think that’s highly unlikely to happen either in the books (IF George ever finishes) or the show…

      Opinions on the ending will vary, like everything in life, and will subdivide into those that 1) love the ending, 2) like the ending, 3) are indifferent to the ending, 4) dislike the ending, and 5) hate the ending. Substitute “the ending” for chocolate or politics and you have everyone’s opinions about everything in life; it’s just the percentages in the different categories that are variable…

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    84. Lord Parramandas,

      Now I feel old: I can still remember listening to radio reports about Liubliana being bombed during the last of my university entrance exams… I failed that goddamned exam, but was so happy about your victory that it didn’t bother me that much. Had a honor to meet some guys from the MSNZ too. Unforgettable old days, and then – a major disillusionment after realizing that victory doesn’t promote living happily ever after…

      But in regard to GOT, the problem of loans/dues to the Iron Bank was set up very early (S1 Ep3) and it kept popping up from time to time ever since. And in general Braavos represents that two inevitable Keynesian evils of this world: death (in the form of FM) and taxes/dues (in the form of Iron Bank). IMO that formula will play out more explicitly in the upcoming seasons, and those who will survive will have to accept both dues and mortality to bring some sort of balance eliminating the WW, but also things like resurrections, and that might be band news for Jon and/or rather his fans. But it’s hard to tell how it will play in details.

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    85. A Dornish Tyrell:
      BunBunStark,

      Unless the survivors leave Westeros led by a Queen or King, pretty much as Queen Nymeria did when she left Ny Sar… Although I highly doubt that will happen.

      That kind of ending did cross my mind twice last season. The first time was when Arya wondered what is west of Westeros, and the second time was during the final scene of Dany and all her ships sailing towards Westeros. If the Night King were to destroy Westeros, I wouldn’t completely hate the final shot of the show being the survivors, led by Jon or Dany or someone else entirely, sailing off into an unknown future. Will they find a safe haven west of Westeros or will they die of starvation, dehydration, etc.? Who knows…that would be left to the viewer to decide.

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    86. BunBunStark:
      Another ending that would piss me off is if the Night King wins. I get that GOT has made its reputation in killing fan favorites & villains alike but if all this ends with the characters we’ve invested in for years turned into ice zombies and Westeros a frozen wasteland, I won’t just throw a shoe at my TV I’ll throw my TV out the window. I expect at least half of the characters we have left to die by the end of the series, but there damn well better be survivors left to rebuild their world. Otherwise, WTH has all the years of suffering, killings, fighting been for? Just to give the audience one final kick in the crotch? No thank you.

      Ugh. I’ve actually thought of that. The Night King wins and decimates almost everyone in Westeros and either that’s the end or we’ve been hearing this tale told through Sam and Gilly’s son, who managed to survive somehow.

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    87. Inga,

      Don’t feel old… we’re all equal on the fansite.

      As for GoT part, I want to say that the show would need to clearly establish that problem at the end of the series, if this means to be a “bitter” part. Just showing Daenerys and Jon starting to rule together with no mention of further problems is a pretty “sweet” ending to most of the viewers. That’s what I think there is more to the ending than just that.

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    88. What I think will happen:
      1. Jon and Dany have a kid.
      2. White Walkers defeated
      3. Jon disappears into the Mist of History (just like the original Azor Ahai)
      4. Dany dies, either in a Nissa-Nissa scenario, or in childbirth or doing something heroic in battle…we see a vision of her with Drogo and Rhaego in the Night Lands…
      5. Arya sails “West of West”
      6. Tyrion and Sansa become Regents until Jon and Dany’s kid becomes of Age.
      7. Many years later, the Kid (now King or Queen) visits Tyrion in his vineyard. They drink “The Imp’s Delight”, Tyrion finishes the joke he’s been trying to tell since the first season…Sam, now Hand of the King/Queen presents Tyrion with his finished Magnum Opus: A book called A Song of Ice and Fire…The end.

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    89. Laura: Ugh. I’ve actually thought of that. The Night King wins and decimates almost everyone in Westeros and either that’s the end or we’ve been hearing this tale told through Sam and Gilly’s son, who managed to survive somehow.

      Damn, that would horribly depressing because all I’d think about is that Little Sam’s days would be numbered and at any moment a White Walker would knock on his door and tell him it’s time to join his brothers.

      Flayed Potatoes:
      BunBunStark,

      The last scene is Jon, Dany and Arya discovering America

      They were on Earth all along!!

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    90. Lord Parramandas,

      Agreed. My vision of the closing shot would be everyone celebrating victory and then Tycho Nestoris shows up like an evil fairy tale sorcerer, puts all the bills on the table, and ask when the Iron Bank can expect the first payment.

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    91. I’m not good at the prediction game, and as other posters have noted, GRRM has already promised us a bittersweet (and most likely, not entirely anticipated) ending. Having said that…

      -Having Littlefinger win the game and the throne would be, imho, far too cynical even for GRRM.
      -I go back and forth with the idea of Dany being Nissa-Nissa’d; on the one hand is the weight of prophecy, on the other is the weight of being obvious or clichéd. And then there’s the part of me that thinks it would be most appropriate if she and Tyrion wound up ruling the South together, but as monarchs with diminished power—setting up the foundations for a constitutional monarchy.
      -Speaking of prophecy, I think Jaime will be the valonqar.
      -The North needs to be a sovereign realm again. In culture, geography, and sheer size, it’s far too independent and unwieldy to be governed by King’s Landing. And I’d love to see the bastard son of a Stark daughter, rather than a Stark son, remain KitN after his true parentage has been revealed.
      -Speaking of people who have been resurrected, I have a feeling Beric Dondarrion has a far more integral role to play than has been anticipated thus far. Why else would someone be resurrected *six* times? I’m awaiting the Brotherhood’s expedition north with bated breath.
      -On the topic of the Brotherhood, at this point I would be seriously disappointed if Cleganebowl were to happen. For me, becoming a kinslayer would be a regression for the Hound, one of my favorite characters. I would much rather see the Mountain killed by Arya, who could knock him off her list *while* paying the Hound for the life he saved (her own), Faceless-Man style; or

      I wouldn’t mind seeing him killed by a wight in the Dragonpit, in which case both bodies would have to be burned afterwards… and Sandor could have a fitting and satisfactory closure against his brother.

      -I’m unsure of where Arya’s character is heading; in S6 she seemed to take glee in killing the people on her list, but they were people who had hurt her so profoundly I’m not sure it was unwarranted. Given that her old traveling partner the Hound has been moving away from his own nihilism, it would be interesting if the act of killing moves her *towards* nihilism—and he’s the one who pulls her back because he’s already been there.
      -No thoughts on Sansa at this time. I really can’t fathom where she “belongs” at this point.
      -I suspect that part of GRRM’s bittersweet ending will be a nod to “The Lord of the Rings,” where the price paid for a safer, more peaceful world in the realms of men will be the loss of magic. If the dragons and the direwolves have been brought back into those realms for the express purpose of defeating the White Walkers, what will happen to the weirwoods and the lingering magic of the Old Gods? I suspect it will die when this generation of Starks dies. I see Bran being the last greenseer, slowly fading away in the heart tree he will one day occupy; and I see Jon and Arya, towards the end of their lives, warging into Ghost and Nymeria and ending their own lives as fully-fledged wolves.

      There are only two things I know for certain: 1) I will really, really miss GoT when it’s over, however it ends; and 2) I am really, really looking forward to all the commentary from Catspaw Assassin and Flayed Potatoes when S7 arrives.

      Valar morghulis!

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    92. 1) That still photo of Littlefinger above says it all and is too funny.

      2) Those GOT/Disney mash-up drawings are so brilliant that as an illustrator meself I’d love to tear them to shreds out of pure jealousy.

      3) I wish Euron was mentioned ominously throughout the tv series like he is in the books, but I ain’t complaining, much. There’s only so much time in an hour.

      4) It will be revealed that The Mountain is a Targaryen and The Hound is a Snow, thus negating Clegan Bowl, leaving everyone, including viewers, confused as hell.

      5) Littlefinger will be lucky if he ends up owning a motel off the New Jersey Turnpike. Speaking of which, Sansa will be named Mermaid Queen of the Cape May Summer Fest for the third year in a row.

      6) Apropos of nothing, watching “Walk of Punishment” right now and the scene of Edmure failing at lighting his father’s floating pyre and the Blackfish showing him and us how it’s done is the best thing ever of all time, bar none, ever.

      7) Wolfish & praedictus: 😉

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    93. mau,

      As long as we get an awesome White Walker battle,I don’t care who sits on the throne.The show has been building towards it from the start,and if we don’t get it,it will go down as the best show ever,with the biggest letdown ending ever.

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    94. Inga: If that happens, the bitter part will be related to paying dues to the Iron Bank and raising taxes which will make them the most hated rulers in the history of Westeros

      heh, that could be! However, I expect the bitterness to be just a bit more Literature 101 rather than Economics 101! 😀

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    95. Wolfish: I suspect that part of GRRM’s bittersweet ending will be a nod to “The Lord of the Rings,” where the price paid for a safer, more peaceful world in the realms of men will be the loss of magic.

      That would not be “bitter” for the main characters: a couple of them have had very minor investments in magic, but most of them have none at all.

      Moreover, this is a very different kind of story from LotR. Rings was “plot-driven” like the classic epic sagas of old. There are no protagonists and character arcs do not contribute to the story in anyway (and do not really exist to boot). Song is character-driven: the story comes from the character arcs of primary protagonists. The bittersweet will be something bitter and sweet to their characters. Given the nature of the stories so far, I would bet that the bittersweet is that they have to live with what they did to survive.

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    96. I’m particularly curious about what happens to Littlefinger. In a real-world parallel he’s like Vladimir Putin.

      Jon/Dany seems too neat and predictable but so much is set up for the two of them to ‘win’ and create a stable Westeros.

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    97. Wimsey,

      Thank you for the thoughtful response. I actually don’t think of LotR and ASoIaF as being structurally similar, and I agree with your points about plot- vs. character-driven; hence my writing “part” and “nod to.” But I respectfully disagree that “a couple of [the main characters] have had very minor investments in magic”; I would argue that greenseeing, warging, and being fireproof are all *considerable* investments in magic.

      On your last point, we already see hints of “[having] to live with what they did to survive” in some of ASoIaF’s characters, so I’m fully expecting that in the conclusion.

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    98. Off topic, but I do believe I’ve found my ‘tween GOT seasons show: the BBC adaptation of Shakespeare’s history plays The Hollow Crown (2012), featuring every Brit actor you can think of from Qyburn to Sherlock to Dumbledore to Dame Judy’s M, and in the first episode, which I’m presently watching via the sorcery of PBS, a harrowing turn by Laura Frances-Morgan as poor pitiful Joan of Arc. Benioff and Weiss were obviously influenced by the look and feel of this puppy.

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    99. The final shot of the series will be Varys on the Iron Throne.. We zoom in on his face.. the camera pans upwards and we see tiny bits of platinum blond hair growing: “Damn right I’m a mereman!”

      Fans will be shocked!

      No seriously.. I think Jon will get the “Will Turner”-treatment and turn into a legend in the following ages.. and Dany maybe becomes a bitter ruler after all of her dragons have been slain.. or she might be dead, she’s the outsider that really has little investment in the last bit of the plot.. What I’d be surprised by would be Jaime as a ruler. Because when you think about it.. he’s actually one of the few sane and not completely “destined for a heroic death just yet” characters left. He already sat on the Iron Throne once, before Ned scowled at him..

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    100. O ye of little faith. I can think of at least 4 television programs that ended pretty much perfectly: M*A*S*H* — watched the final two hour episode a few weeks ago and it was still perfect; ER – the last show was a little ragged but the final scene when a newly minted Dr. Green looked on expectantly to her first case in the same hospital where we got to know her father was very class; ABC’s NYPD Blue — Bruce Bocho’s; Oz — a bus evacuated the inmates (what about the rest of us?), Burn Notice — Sharon Gless was amazing.

      My point: why don’t we let the writers do their jobs and stop second guessing what hasn’t even happened yet. Besides the GOT production team do expect to keep working, right?

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    101. And this is a story about cripples, bastards and broken things..

      Bran and Jaime are crippled.
      Jon is the bastard. Maybe Tyrion?
      Cersei and Theon are broken, Dany will be if she loses her dragons. And the Starks in general are broken from what they started out as: innocent to corrupted..

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    102. mau,

      Because I think Putin is good at strategy, using alliances, client states and proxies. He has a brutal clear pragmatism about achieving what he wants and forcing results. He makes calculations that are both bold I guess but not totally reckless – like Ukraine, peeling off Crimea but not grabbing the rest of Ukraine as well. With Syria he only upped Russia’s military involvement in recent times and that has changed the direction of the war.

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    103. One thing, since Robert’s Rebellion was such a heavy influence at the start of the series, I think it would have more impact if Jon is the key figure at the end. Because of Robert vs Rhaegar about Lyanna, Ned taking him to Winterfell. Rhaegar beats Robert in the end.

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    104. Wimsey,

      Song is character-driven: the story comes from the character arcs of primary protagonists. The bittersweet will be something bitter and sweet to their characters. Given the nature of the stories so far, I would bet that the bittersweet is that they have to live with what they did to survive.

      I come to this site for the often enlightening ideas about a tv show I enjoy, and I stay for the very thoughtful and well-written prose such as yours.

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    105. Benjen:
      How’s this for one of your endings most people won’t like:
      White Walkers are 2 legit 2 quit and just roll through Westeros and kill everyone.
      > Better or worse than a Littlefinger victory?

      Anyone who doesn’t think this is going to end with a Jon Snow/Night’s King pressing cut fingers together/blood brothers scene is hopelessly naive.

      (´◓Д◔`)

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    106. LordDavos,

      It’s much easier to get away with that stuff while you oppress the people in your own country, control the media and lie constantly about everything even the nose in front of your face. It doesn’t take much cleverness to be a dictator. Just power. And a hunger for more of it.

      Putin is a thug. More like Cersei than LF.

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    107. Queenofthrones,

      I respectfully disagree. It’s true that “it doesn’t take much cleverness to be a dictator,” but it does take plenty of cleverness to run the KGB. Putin has the ambition of Cersei and the intelligence (pun intended) of Varys, which is what makes him truly frightening.

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    108. LordDavos,

      “Tyrants are seldom free; the cares and the instruments of their tyranny enslave them.”

      — George Santayana, 1863-1952; a brilliant writer and philosopher rarely mentioned nowadays, to our detriment.

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    109. Putin makes a lot of moves that are clever in a realpolitik sense. He’s restored Russia’s influence to the Middle East. He’s had a major impact on the US election and there’s more Euro elections coming up. Unfortunately he’s a huge player in the world.

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    110. LordDavos,

      #2 — I suggest Vladimir Vladimirovich obsess less about the geopolitics of amassing power and knocking up acrobats and more about eating a healthy high fiber diet and chilling out. An hour listening to Stan Getz would do him a world of good.

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    111. …and now that I’ve been home for three hours and am full of wine, I’d like to add: I’m really disturbed by the number of people who are hoping for a Jon & Dany ending, complete with child (!). Dafuq? What are you thinking? “Incest is bad, unless both parties are totes hawt… in which case, aunt-effs-nephew is totes cool?” Really?

      /goes back to Googling “Putin acrobat child”

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    112. Wolfish,

      I’m against it meself. Also, I’m hoping the show delves deeper into Dany’s assertion of wanting to break the wheel — a nice sentiment, but what exactly does that entail, politically, socially, and whateverly?

      Btw, full of Guinness meself. Wine is wasted on this mick.

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    113. LordDavos,

      Glad I’m not alone. Enjoying the Putin commentary, being a) stuck in ‘Murrica and b) old enough to tell my children, “I remember where I was when I found out the Wall was coming down!”

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    114. Catspaw Assassin,

      “Full of Guinness” sounds spectacular. Looking forward to having proper Guinness in Ireland sometime in the next year or two (never been there, but like most American mutts, I have some Irish and some German in me). The Guinness in California probably isn’t as good as the Guinness there, but we do have good wine here.

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    115. Wolfish,

      My wife is the wine person in our realm. I’m all about the IPA’s these days. And the porters, and the stouts…

      Anyway, I love Ireland, especially the West. Rent a car for a week or two or three and cruise across the green grass sea.

      The first time I went to Ireland was when I discovered that the cliché “forty shades of green” was a gross understatement.

      And pro tip: don’t skip Sligo. Lots of fun to be had in Sligo! 😉

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    116. Catspaw Assassin,

      Thank you for the tips! Not big on IPAs, but I do love porters. Oddly, the beers I love tend to be the lightest (e.g., hefeweizens) and the darkest (e.g., porters). Didn’t like them until my mid-30s, but now I live in northern California, where there are lots of great microbreweries…

      As for “forty shades of green [being] a gross understatement,” I look forward to seeing them in Ireland (I was born and raised in Brazil, and do miss the greenery). Years ago I read Russell Means’s autobiography, Where White Men Fear to Tread, and remembered his poetic descriptions of grasses in South Dakota during a cross-country trip Better Half and I took two summers ago. They really were like women’s hair, long and flowing and in more colors than many people are aware grasses come in…

      …but I digress from the subject at hand. I, too, wonder how much B&B will be able to adequately address “break the wheel.” As cheesy an admission as it is, it’s one of the lines of dialogue that has really stuck with me, and I’ve long hoped it will be satisfactorily dealt with in whatever conclusion we’re hurtling towards.

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    117. LordDavos,

      I would suggest Joffery, but that would be giving The Donald too much credit. Bad as he was, when Joffrey said he’d do something he meant it, whereas Trump says anything to make a buck.

      As the magician Penn Jillette, who was on Trump’s show Celebrity Apprentice for a season, says “When my friends ask me if Trump is as bad as he seems I tell them he’s much much worse.”

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    118. I took “break the wheel” as meaning a return to when the Targs were a notch above the other major houses and kept them in line.

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    119. LordDavos,

      Hmmm… I don’t know (none of us do, save GRRM and B&W). I thought of the wheel, during the Targaryen reign, of being comprised of the Targaryens as the rim and all the houses governing each region as the spokes. “Breaking the wheel” would require that an entirely new paradigm (pardon the cliché) replace that concept. I could be totally wrong, but I don’t think Daenerys wants to simply repeat what her predecessors have done. I think she wants to do something different, although she doesn’t know what that is yet. (Hence, Tyrion. Seriously, I still want Tyrion to rule. Or have a really big hand [Hand?] in ruling.)

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    120. Completely agree that varys and Littlefinger will meet again before all is said and done. Maybe towards the end of the season if Dany & Co travel North to prepare for the Big War. But Baelish is also set up as a Mentor (to Sansa). So two possible archetypal themes: the Student bests the Teacher, and the Mentor dies. I’m thinking/hoping he overplays his hand.

      As for Sansa, she may try to play both sides (LF and the North, sot so much Jon specifically), but in the end that girl swallowed the bile in her throat and called in a favor from LF to secure her home. If she feels he’s a threat to Winterfell, she won’t side with him. And when she finds out his role in her father’s death, he may wake up dangling over the Moon Door. She does love her poetic justice.

      Euron will have his fun, but he just doesn’t have enough literary skin in the game to wind up the Last One Standing.

      If Jon is a Frodo-type Hero, yeah, all the bittersweet for him. I think he’ll make it, but not without being forever emotionally scarred.

      The Stark I really worry about is Arya. I’m not sure where she fits in the long game. She can fight, yes, but unless her assassin skills come into play with the Night’s King (“We know how to kill him/break the spell! But it has to be done up close.”), not sure where she goes regarding the post-War scenarios. And the Night’s King kill/neutralization should be Jon’s anyway.

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    121. Around ten years ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with Penn Jillette for an evening (we have a mutual friend) and though our political views differed quite a lot — he’s a wacky libertarian and I’m a whacked out democratic socialist of the Willy Brandt school — Penn is a gentleman and a down to earth nice guy, so I trust his opinion about President Trump being a catastrophe.

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    122. TheFourEyedRaven:
      Predictions:

      I can’t imagine good things for Arya – she is just a bloodlust killer now

      No, she is NOT! Arya has ONLY killed people who terribly wronged her or her family/loved ones. When she was told to kill two different people during her training, she DID NOT DO SO. She didn’t kill the thin man and she didn’t kill Lady Crane. Yes, it was horrible how she took out Walder Frey, but he did a completely awful thing to her mother, brother and a good portion of Stark/Northmen. And what Arya did to Walder was no worse than what Sansa did to Ramsey.

      This continuing narrative about Arya is only about killing and bloodlust is just not true to what we actually witnessed happen. My goodness the second to last sentence she spoke was about going home to Winterfell. She only takes about the people who have wronged her and those she cares for. That makes her much less bloodlust-y and kill!kill!kill! than quite a few other characters.

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    123. NinaD,

      Best analysis ever, NinaD, especially what you say about Varys and Littlefinger. I hope the show runners do those worthy opponents proud. 😉

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    124. Wolfish,

      She said something like “this one’s on top, then that one’s on top” – referring to a turning wheel. Which seemed to mean the differing fortunes of the houses. But she probably does plan deeper changes as well.

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    125. Wolfish: I would argue that greenseeing, warging, and being fireproof are all *considerable* investments in magic.

      Only Bran greensees and wargs frequently. Daeny’s fire-resistance has occurred twice in six seasons, so that is far from a considerable investment: if she magically lost her magic and nobody told her, then it might be years and years before she discovered it! Jon, Tyrion & Sansa would lose nothing at all. Book!Arya would lose her connection to Nymmeria: but that isn’t important enough to the story to be included in the show.

      (But thanks for calling my thoughful! :D)

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    126. LordDavos: I took “break the wheel” as meaning a return to when the Targs were a notch above the other major houses and kept them in line.

      I think that it’s supposed to mean a more egalitarian system. Obviously, Daeny is not advocating republicanism: but one could see her vaguely thinking in terms of representation of the commons. I seem to recall reading that one of her ancestors did something similar, but had those reforms reversed.

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    127. Wolfish,

      Russell Means’s autobiography, Where White Men Fear to Tread

      A very good book indeed and by all means check out Ireland, as I will check out Brazil soon, I promise. 😉

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    128. Wimsey,

      Tyrion would also see the advantage of more representation and laws as a way to diffuse public support for the Sparrows – if they continue after the explosion – and build support for her rule.

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    129. LordDavos,

      Regarding Putin-Littlefinger parallel I can agree with you only partly. Indeed, Putin was a master-manipulator, especially in his early years when he worked his way into Yeltcin’s good graces just to destroy everything that man had achieved. He is pretty good at manipulating the present leaders of the West too. But he is making one major mistake: supporting people like Trump or Le Pen in the West automatically rehabilitates nationalism in CEE which has already been on the rise recently. And that is Russia’s worst nightmare, because if there is one thing that CEE nationalists agree on putting aside all the controversies is that Putin is worse than the Night King. Moreover, Ukraine (and Georgia) has already demonstrated that the mighty Russian army is not that mighty after all and that several hundreds of hard-core nationalists armed with hunting rifles can stop it pretty well (especially if led by Jews). And Syria is simply turning into another Afghanistan… So, in short the clock is ticking for Putin and I hope it’s ticking for Littlefinger too. All these master-manipulators end up outsmarting themselves, and though I would prefer to see Littlefinger killed by the WW/wights rather than by the Starks the later would be pretty good for me too.

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    130. NinaD,

      Not sure whether Varys and Littlefinger will meet again, but I would love to see one last verbal sparring. So, I hope that that writers will deliver that at least in a form of some montage. That could work too – maybe even better than an straightforward conversation.

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    131. I don’t understand this sopranos ending talk. He killed his enemy threats, he made a truce with the new bosses. Then he went out to eat with his family, music played, Tony did the whole paranoid Tony that had him in therapy the whole series, and it ended. It wasn’t a cliff hanger. That’s like best case for the “winner” of Game of Thrones lol

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    132. Inga,

      Well we’ll see. It’s hard to know how things will pan out with Russia and a friendly US president. But Putin has demonstrated the LF knack of spotting and seizing on opportunities, like knowing he could operate in Syria with the US fairly neutered by the lack of appetite for intervention after Iraq/Afghanistan. He’s also managed to draw Turkey into his orbit during a difficult time for Turkey.

      LF has weakenesses – having to work through Sweet Robin and the Vale lords and people like Sansa knowing his secrets. It’s a bit precarious.

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    133. LordDavos,

      Don’t worry about Turkey: Mr. Erdogan is nowhere near Putin’s orbit. He (and Turks in general) have their own blue dream of restoring their lost empire and that empire has always been at odds with the Russian one. Hence, though I do admit that Turkey is slipping out of the Western influence and that’s a problem, it won’t have major effect on the situation in the Middle East be it for good or for worse.
      Back to Putin/Littlefinger parallel both of them have a similar problem: too many people have already realized their motives and now are playing them instead of being played. Of course, there is a big chance that we are going to have a war in Europe pretty soon (and my country will be one of its major battlefields), but now we are ready – at least as much as the North is ready for the WW invasion under Jon as the KINT. And it’s not that important who sits in the Red Keep or Oval Cabinet for that matter. It’s no longer a two players’ game.

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    134. Wimsey,

      Also, the Faceless Men use magic, so no face-swapping after that. And dragons are considered to be magical so they’ll be dead (not sure if there’s something magical about direwolves as well). The Priests and Priestesses of the Lord of Light would no longer have any powers, so no more resurrections, shadow-babies, visions in the flames etc.

      There might be more still, but can’t think of any right now.

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    135. Great piece this. In my humble opinion the ending will suck if Dany swoops in to save the day but thankfully I feel that’s very unlikely, far more likely she dies in my view either turning against Jon (realising he is the rightful heir) or against the whitewalkers in some sort of Nissa Nissa sacrifice. I’d like to see a few more main characters fall such as Sansa, Cersei, sadly I fear Arya will go too despite being one of my favourite characters, I hope Tyrion and Jon survive and suspect they both will. Next season I’d guess we will largely lose the supporting cast plus maybe 1-2 main players like Sansa and Cersei.

      At this stage it’s still fairly difficult to guess the ending but I would imagine by the time season 7 concludes it will be fairly obvious where it’s landing even if there are a few more twists and turns to come.

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    136. I personally don’t care who sits on the throne as long as my wolves are fine and safe (including Jon).
      Now , it makes sense for some fans to be disappointed because there are more than one protagonists with different motives and desires. For example , i loved Ned and i love Dany ,but if Dany had sailed for Westeros during season 1 ,then those two will be fighting each other.
      I do also believe Jon and Dany will be together but they won’t stay together. Either Jon will decide to stay in the North while Dany rules in the South or Jon sits the throne and Dany leaves Westeros to be with her children(former slaves) and built a new Valyria.
      The Lannister twins are going to die (or Jaime takes the black) , Tyrion will became the hand of the King or Queen.
      Sansa and Bran will stay at Winterfell (maybe Bran will be connected to the heart tree of Winterfell) and Arya will do what Frodo did. She won’t be able to live peacefully in Winterfell and she will travel to find herself or something .Maybe travel “west of Westeros” (she will be the lone wolf).
      Theon will die heroically as “Theon Greyjoy”.

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    137. I may be alone on this island.. but I will only be disappointed if the ending 1) makes no sense, or 2) is a typical happy ending where the good guys win and the bad guys lose, which seems antithetical to the entire series. We bordered on that in S6, but I can’t begrudge the Stark fans a moment of triumph.

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    138. Thank you all for the kind words! Most of all, I really appreciate the civilized discussion in this thread. Hard to find these days in comment sections. A man hopes you all have a Happy Holiday season and thank you again for making this community one that embraces differing viewpoints.

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    139. Grayven Reyne,

      I agree , but at this point after everything that happened if the good guys win you can’t actually call it a victory. Half the Starks are dead and those still alive have suffered greatly, all that’s left of the Tyrells is an old Lady , house lannister is doomed and if Tyrion lives he is left with a broken house. House Baratheon is gone .Davos lost his son and a girl he loved like a daughter ,Edmure is a broken man, Theon is beyond repair . That’s the idea there are no winners or losers when it comes to war. It’s like Roberts’s Rebellion, Ned’s side won but Ned lost his brother ,sister and father and was left with a secret that haunted him all his life.He never felt like a winner. Even if the good guys win they are not going to enjoy their victory .They ‘ll have so many wounds to heal.
      Look at Jon in season 6, he won the battle but he lost Rickon the very reason he fought in the first place.It was a bittersweet victory. He became KITN but only because the previous KiTN ,his beloved brother died.Just like Ned “it was all meant for Brandon”

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    140. Wimsey,

      I’ve never understood people reading Dany as advocating for egalitarianism. She is the purest autocrat amongst the main characters. Her notion of “breaking the wheel” is precisely what she did with the Dothraki khals: offer them the chance to submit to her rule, and annihilate them if they refuse. She did the same thing in Astapor.

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    141. Ravyn:
      Remember about the ending: Benioff said George gave them a giant “Holy shit” moment at the end.

      I wonder if that relates to the how of the defeat of the White Walkers? And that could in turn relate to the bittersweet ending – the cost of that defeat?

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    142. 1-Jon helps the Night King find the maze.
      2-Daenerys dies in childbirth. Possibilities for names:Ned Targaryen, Robb Targaryen or Aegon VII.
      3. Tyrion rules as hand.
      4. Tyrion finds Tysha, but she despises him. He never finds love, but maybe he has a kid with Sansa in a reluctant relationship?
      5. Sam and Gilly live happily ever after. Because they´re sidekicks.
      6.Arya dies, part of her soul remains in Nymeria.
      6. Winterfell is destroyed.
      7. Final shot of the show. It´s spring. Sun. Flowers. The Night King finally found the maze and the seasons are normal now. There is no longer a Wall. Ghost is roaming in the ruins of Winterfell. He sees a shadow. It´s Nymeria. They reunite, walk together where north of the wall used to be, and there´s a roar. Bran is flying in the same direction, in the form of a dragon. The end.

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    143. LordDavos: Putin makes a lot of moves that are clever in a realpolitik sense. He’s restored Russia’s influence to the Middle East. He’s had a major impact on the US election and there’s more Euro elections coming up. Unfortunately he’s a huge player in the world.

      heh, for a while the idea that LF was an agent for the White Walkers had advocates. (Like, me!) Obviously, that is not the case: but if so, then LF would have created the refugee crisis that the Walkers had created, too!

      Sean C.: I’ve never understood people reading Dany as advocating for egalitarianism.

      How could anyone read these books and miss that? She is constantly stressing the rights and freedoms of the commoners. She has them send representatives to advocate for them, which is a proto House of Commons.

      And, let’s face it: an autocrat rarely is not going to have a “saving people” thing or have the strong humanitarian impulses that Daeny has.

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    144. Wimsey,

      He’s talking about show Dany though. The khal example is not in the books.

      Sean C.,

      I agree. And by the looks of it, she’s coming with the same intentions in Westeros. She wants to sit on the throne and ‘burn her enemies’ stone houses’ (as her speech to the Dothraki shows) and this desire hasn’t changed. She’s aiming for an absolute monarchy.

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    145. JenniferH,

      I agree with you.

      *Sansa kills Ramsay and enjoys it*

      GoT fans: Yas girl! QITN!

      *Arya kills Walder Frey and enjoys it*

      GoT fans: Omg she’s a bloodthirsty psycho! She’s going to die horribly!

      LordDavos:
      Wolfish,

      If only there was a Westerosi Trump.

      Poor Westeros! There is one and his name is Euron.

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    146. Masspsychosis: Also, the Faceless Men use magic, so no face-swapping after that.

      That affects only Arya

      Masspsychosis:And dragons are considered to be magical so they’ll be dead (not sure if there’s something magical about direwolves as well).

      That does not follow. Dragons seem

      Masspsychosis:The Priests and Priestesses of the Lord of Light would no longer have any powers, so no more resurrections, shadow-babies, visions in the flames etc.

      As none of the protagonists are Red Church clerics, this would not have an impact on their lives.

      Of course, this highlights the other problem with this idea. It seems that there are multiple sources of “magic” in this world. Getting rid of magic would be like getting rid of cancer: you have to get rid of multiple different strands. The Red Clerics get their powers from R’hllor, whatever that is. We have seen blood magic that seems separate from that. The blue-lipped wizards seem to call on yet a different sort of magic, and the magic associated with Weirwood trees is related to them only. This is one parallel to Lord of the Rings and many other works: “magic” is a catch-all phrase for many different types of power, and the different users of these powers consider them completely different!

      It also is very different from, say, Harry Potter, where magic is so important to the plot: not just for the spells, but because the social dynamics revolve so heavily around how long ancestors have been able to do magic. In Song, magic is just another “thing”: it’s akin to a rare weapon to which some people have access, but it does not provide a basis for power in most places, and the people who do magic fall into rolls of servants, clerics or craftsmen: Tywin Lannister is Lucius Malfoy in the great pride in his family history and surname, but Tywin would expect someone like Lucius to be servile like any other craftsman.

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    147. I’ve mentioned this before but am in probably a really small minority of fans who love the show but hate fantasy. Two of things I can least suspend disbelief for are any zombie/undead creatures and fire breathing dragons so a showdown between the white walkers and humans with dragons, which we have been building towards for a while, is something I am resigned to but will absolutely hate. It’s the resolution of the fighting between humans I am interested in and, as long as the ending isn’t something along the lines of Ned woke up and it was all a dream, it should be ok.

      I think some will be disappointed because it doesn’t work out the way they hoped, or because for those of us who follow online and have probably seen most of the theories at some point, we’ve read the ending already somewhere without realising it and therefore it won’t be a total surprise. (I don’t think any one person has nailed it, it’ll be combination of already floated ideas.) Whatever it is I’m sure it’ll be pretty spectacular to watch!

      Cheers to everyone who contributes to the site and hope all of you who celebrate the festive season have a good one.

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    148. Catspaw Assassin,

      It’s going to end like this:

      Night’s King: There is no escape, Jon Snow. Don’t make me destroy you. You do not yet realize your importance. Join me and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to Westeros.

      Jon: I’ll never join you!

      Night’s King: If you only knew the power of the Great Other. Ned Stark never told you what happened to your father.

      Jon: Ned Stark is my father!

      Night’s King: No, Jon. I am your father!

      Jon: Noooooo

      Night’s King: Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

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    149. Lulus Mum: I’ve mentioned this before but am in probably a really small minority of fans who love the show but hate fantasy.

      This is a minority among the fans (obviously!), but almost certainly not among the viewers. One of the reasons that this show has been so successful is that it is very successful among people who consider Lord of the Rings to be an example of a good movie made from bad books. (Of course, I’m a Tolkien fan, but from a strictly literary point of view, I have to agree…. 😀 )

      And one of the reasons why the show has been so popular among people who consider fantasy to be childish is because the fantasy elements are so muted. Yes, there are dragons, and there is magic: but those things are very much in the background in the same way that swords and crossbows are. Of course, the other thing that helps is that watching this does not make you want to live in Westeros – in fact, it should make most people feel like they would want to get the hell out if they were stuck there – so there is very little “escapism” to it. All of the main characters have problems similar or even identical to the ones we have: but with no indoor plumbing. (Seriously, it does sometimes feel like you can smell the scenes, doesn’t it?)

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    150. Lulus Mum:
      I think some will be disappointed because it doesn’t work out the way they hoped, or because for those of us who follow online and have probably seen most of the theories at some point, we’ve read the ending already somewhere without realising it and therefore it won’t be a total surprise. (I don’t think any one person has nailed it, it’ll be combination of already floated ideas.) Whatever it is I’m sure it’ll be pretty spectacular to watch!

      This statement – IMO – is exactly correct. Readers/viewers have been theorizing about the end for a long time. There are bits and pieces out there that are probably correct. At some point, someone (or a group of someones) will pull it all together, especially as we move thru S7. I’m sure that there are one or two other “big” reveals but I think that the story will stay true to the path that it has been on.

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    151. Flayed Potatoes,

      Flayed Potatoes
      December 23, 2016 at 11:35 am
      JenniferH,
      I agree with you.

      *Sansa kills Ramsay and enjoys it*
      GoT fans: Yas girl! QITN!
      *Arya kills Walder Frey and enjoys it*
      GoT fans: Omg she’s a bloodthirsty psycho! She’s going to die horribly!

      An accurate assessment of fandom reactions, IMO. By the way, in my house, we have henceforth changed the name of “mashed potatoes” to “flayed potatoes” in your honor. Please let me know if you have trademarked the name!

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    152. Wimsey:
      How could anyone read these books and miss that?She is constantly stressing the rights and freedoms of the commoners.She has them send representatives to advocate for them, which is a proto House of Commons.

      And, let’s face it: an autocrat rarely is not going to have a “saving people” thing or have the strong humanitarian impulses that Daeny has.

      Dany’s anti-slavery sentiments are common in Westeros.

      Whether in practise most autocrats have strong humanitarian impulses, there is no inherent contradiction between an autocratic system of government and having such ideas. Indeed, that’s essentially what enlightened autocracy was (or was supposed to be).

      Dany asking for groups to send representatives to her to speak to their situations is not a proto-House of Commons. Petitioning is common in pretty much every system of government, and it happens all the time in feudalism. Indeed, we see the Starks and the Baratheons receiving them, to name two.

      To the extent that Dany represents a shift in the feudal system (and I think she may well), it is not toward a more egalitarian or democratic system, it’s toward the sort of centralized autocracy that, historically, represented the next phase in European state-building after feudalism. Under this system, the feudal nobles who constitute a check on the power of the monarch (generally a conservative check) are marginalized or done away with outright, resulting in a truly absolute monarchy. Indeed, Dany’s whole style of management really leans in this direction.

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    153. I don’t know how it will end, bittersweet is somewhat here for house Stark, if the rest survive. They already lost a Father, Mother, older Brother, add younger Brother in show; anymore deaths for them would be more bitter cruel.
      I don’t know if the IT will stand, but I also don’t see total destruction of Westerous, for the WW and Dragons to end magic has to end, to me that means Danny and Bran need to end, how ?

      Arya I see ending as either dead or like a Stark ancestor traveling the world trying to find her self. Sansa my main vision for her is the Stark version of Queen of Thorns, she would do anything to secure her house and protect her surviving siblings, it’s sad ( I understood why ) they forced her into the Jeyne role for the show. Unless they show it in season seven we may not see her book arc as learning to run a home,showing her as gaining SR trust,reading LF better the show version looks forced sadly, she may end up LOWF, or QITN but it won’t be as sensible as it may be in GRRM version.
      Jon, lone sentinel forever watching the realm, King of Westerous or the North??
      I think Sam may get his chain and the ending will be either from his view point or Bran’s, I hope Gilly and little Sam survive.
      LF dead or loosing all he gained by Sansa beating him ( at least in the book version ).
      I’m on the fence with Danny ( I don’t hate her but I have yet come to terms on how I feel about her totally ), but if magic ends so would she as I said above.
      As much ( unjustly to me )hate Sansa gets ( for being naive and foolish) she is nothing like Cersi who maliciously did the following, kills a girl when she was young, tortures an infant, murders a husband, creates treason, hides the attempted killing of a 8 year old boy, tortures innocent people, willing to kill her own child, burns down the Red keep in books, Baelor temple in show where hundreds of innocent people are just for petty revenge, gives people to Qyburn for experimentations etc. I hope her end is as grisly as show Ramsey’s was, maybe Euron cuts her tongue out and puts her on the Bow of the Silent.
      Jamie dead or if redemption is to be complete possible LC of a new Nights watch,dies saving Brienne, don’t know really?
      Brienne still in service to Sansa, or dies saving Jamie.
      Bron, Sandsnakes, don’t care.
      Dolorous Edd, the man needs to live.

      Pretty much it for me, I guess.

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    154. Great article as always Oz! Best wished to you and everybody here on WOTW.

      And I do sometimes get nervous that the ending of GoT might suck as most endings of TV-shows do.

      But on the bright side, that’s because most shows have overstayed their welcome and at a certain point it becomes clear that the writers were just making it up as they went along (The X-Files, anyone?) and ratings are falling. But I don’t have that feeling what so ever with GoT.

      It is still going strong and is still loved by critics. D&D have known the ending from the beginning and have always said since season 1 that it will take somewhere between 7 to 8 seasons to tell the story and we’re getting exactly that.

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    155. keltia:
      Flayed Potatoes,

      Flayed Potatoes
      December 23, 2016 at 11:35 am
      JenniferH,
      I agree with you.

      *Sansa kills Ramsay and enjoys it*
      GoT fans: Yas girl! QITN!
      *Arya kills Walder Frey and enjoys it*
      GoT fans: Omg she’s a bloodthirsty psycho! She’s going to die horribly!

      An accurate assessment of fandom reactions, IMO.By the way, in my house, we have henceforth changed the name of “mashed potatoes” to “flayed potatoes” in your honor.Please let me know if you have trademarked the name!

      I think for both Stark girls it was more satisfaction then enjoying it, Sansa outlasted Ramsey and I didn’t think that smile was sinister at all just relief that another tormentor is gone, like her satisfaction when her betrothal was put aside in KL, Arya satisfaction for getting someone who did harm to her family, I felt the Trant killing was darker then the Frey one actually, I don’t think Arya is physco , but she is going to a very dark place,and for me that is sad, the only help I see for her is reconnection with her family in Winterfell.

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    156. It looks like that Euron is going to be King of Westeros in the end. The books sets this up even more so.

      And probably not just a king, more of a God. I guess Jon dies or has to sacrifice himself to Others/White Walkers. Definitely no happy ending for him or in fact any of those protagonists.

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    157. Grail King,

      As long as she doesn’t kill innocents she is fine. We have seen many characters killing innocent people many times ,Jaime(Bran,his cousin),Tormund(Olly’s village),Sandor (Micah )but we still like them.Arya haven’t crossed that line yet and she probably never will if she returns home.The people she killed where 100% guilty and Arya new very well what they have done.Yet she risked the wrath of the faceless men because she didn’t want to spill innocent blood .It was either her or Lady Crane and she chose to do the right thing .The exact opposite of what most of the characters do.

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    158. If Peter wins – fine. He deserves it. He simply is the best player at the board.

      But I guess (just a guess – no spoiler I don’t know any jet) he’ll die next season. Has to leave the board b4 the white king makes its move.

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    159. My tinfoil says that the one person in Westeros who already gave up his chance to have the throne will end up on it, Jaime Lannister, King Goldenhand the Just, First of His Name, placed there by the manipulations of Bran Stark through his time travel, starting at back at the Tourney at Harrenhal.

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    160. JenniferH,
      Flayed Potatoes,

      Surely you’re not serious?

      Sansa has “killed” one person. I put killed in inverted commas because Ramsay’s death wasn’t even by her own hand. She simply watched him die.

      Arya meanwhile has killed 10 people that we know of (a stable boy, Rorge, Polliver, a Lannister soldier, a Frey soldier, Meryn Trant, the Waif, Walder Frey and his two sons), plus instructed Jaqen to kill a few more.

      She’s spent half the show dreaming of killing people, even compiling and reciting a list of those she’d like to see dead.

      She has committed some of the most horrific murders in the whole show. Stabbing Meryn Trant’s eyes out. Cutting the Waif’s face off and putting it on display. Murdering, carving and cooking two men and serving them to their father in a pie.

      I can’t believe anybody actually has the gall to suggest that the different reactions to Sansa’s “kill” and Arya’s long list of increasingly sadistic murders are unwarranted.

      I think most GoT fans love Arya. I do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t recognise the disturbing methods and potentially disturbed mentality behind her acts of revenge.

      Frankly, I find it more disturbing that so many people are happy to gloss over or ignore the sadistic nature and obvious enjoyment in Arya’s actions.

      Or perhaps people are so touchy about the subject because they don’t like considering the possibility that their favourite character might actually be corrupted.

      I don’t know if Arya is going to die or if she is going to step irredeemably over that line from avenging angel to a genuinely unjustifiable killer. But I certainly wouldn’t be surprised by either, because you can’t simply ignore the terrible things she’s done and how such things tend to come back to haunt the perpetrators further down the line, morally, psychologically and in terms of their destiny, particularly on this show.

      But one thing’s for sure. Trying to compare the reactions to hers and Sansa’s “kills” (hate that blase term) is absurd.

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    161. I guessing (and hoping) that Littlefinger will eventually have to face the white walkers and guess what?

      – You can’t talk your way of that situation.

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    162. Irena,

      Do you really think that? That wouldn´t make any sense, from a narrative point of view. Yeah let´s make the rapist pirate fantasy drug adiccted slaver introduced in the fourth book the big winner. I mean, I would laugh, but I don´t think George is doing it.

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    163. Everyone will be disappointed with the end. Everyone. Many will be torqued because questions went unanswered and answers went unquestioned and that my nude scene with Marge was cut. Sadness will come to others who have to say goodbye to actors who will no longer appear in their obsession. Still more will have to struggle with excuses to order a quart of General Tso’s with six shrimp rolls that they are unabashedly consuming by themselves in front of the TV. All will search for something to fill the void and we should all invest in Unilever.

      At least you’ll get an ending.

      *runs screaming in to woods with a jug of Cetaphil*

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    164. Sean C.:
      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I don’t think there’s a meaningful distinction between killing a person with your own hand and putting them in a cage full of feral dogs that you know will eat him.You still killed him.

      I don’t think Sansa put him there, but we really don’t know.
      I still think Ramsey left the inside kennels open anticipating he win and have Sansa watch as the others would be fed to the dogs.

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    165. I’d like to think the scenes with Arya and Tyrion last season were foreshadowing their endings. Arya sailing west of Westeros and Tyrion having a vineyard. The show has certainly hinted at foreshadowing before. As far as the “bittersweet” ending goes, I always assumed it was something along the lines of whoever wins will rule but there won’t be much of Westeros left after the battle with the dead.

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    166. Grail King,

      Honestly, it never occurred to me that Sansa didn’t put Ramsay in the kennels, or instructed Jon to do so. She would have known about Ramsay’s, er, predilections, which Jon wouldn’t have known about. And I totally agree with Sean C.’s point; the fact that Sansa didn’t, say, draw a blade doesn’t mean her part in Ramsay’s death was passive. Quite the opposite: It was the very same death he had inflicted on many others, and a perfectly calculated move on her part.

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      You do make some excellent points, especially in regards to what Arya will need to deal with morally and psychologically later on. But I really don’t see a major difference between the death Sansa doled to Ramsay and the deaths Arya granted Meryn Trant (who beat, tortured and sexually abused children), the Waif (who would have surely put Arya’s face on the wall had she emerged victorious), and Walder’s sons (whose deaths and subsequent conversion into pies directly reference an old story told in the books, albeit not in the show). We do have reason to fear for Arya’s humanity, but she certainly isn’t in the same league as Ramsay, Joffrey, and the Mountain. She’s not killing for mere sport yet, and she hopefully never will.

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    167. The Wolves of Winter,

      That’s the good thing about GOT ,they already knew how it begins , what happens to the characters and how it ends even before they start shooting . The story is already finished in the author’s head and they don’t seem willing to unnecessarily drug the series just because is popular (the reason why so many series in the past had a terrible ending.)

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    168. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Yes Sansa’s case is different.They way i see it the kennels serverd as temporary prison for Ramsay . But lets not forget Sansa ,although she was terrorized by Joffrey and Cersei , her life wasn’t in danger the way Arya’s was.She was first a very valuable hostage and later the key to the North ,she was needed alive for the Lannisters to take Winterfell.She also didn’t witnessed the atrocities the Lannister soldiers committed (Harrenhall, the common folk of the Riverlands). The stable boy’s death was 100% an accident , the tickler tortured dozens of innocent people,Armory lorch was going to tell Tywin, attacked the night’s watch and killed Yoren, Mary trant was a monster. Walden Frey and his sons butchered Arya’s family and Rogue threaten to rape Arya and god knows how many innocent girls he had raped (he was on a cage for a reason) and that Frey soldier was mocking Catelyn’s death and bragging about violating Robb’s dead body. We don’t know how she killed the waif but the way i see it Arya put thw waif’s face on the wall as an offer to the god of death(you ve got your face,now let me be).Sansa didn’t have to defent herself a no name orphan boy in the war torn country and she didn’t given the chance to hurt the people she hated .Had she had the chance to kill Cersei she would have enjoy it and i wouldn’t blame her. Of course Arya is more likely to join the dark side than Sansa and she may be mentaly unstable but she didn’t kill Lady Crane , that means that she still has a code of honor. Arya never hurt a child unlike other loved characters who are child murderes. Also when Jagen told her to come with him ,she choose to find har family instead. She did say the names but she shown that she is capable of forgiveness (the hound) and she choose “home” than vengence, until the Red wedding. And when she finally joined the FM she decided that she is not an assassin ,she is a Stark of Winterfell.Yes Walder Frey’s death was brutal but he deserved it 100% .Now only Cersei and the Mountain remain of Arya’s list , in my opinion season7 will show us who Arya really is and who she is going to be.

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    169. Flayed Potatoes,

      Thank you for the reminder! I remember the passage so clearly from the book, I’d totally forgotten the reference in the show. (Currently re-reading ASoIaF, and taking my sweet time with ADWD because I don’t want it to end.)

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    170. Konna,

      To me Arya is an avenger and not a killer in the way the Hound describes himself as. And the Hound seems to be on a path of change towards avenger.

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    171. Konna,

      “Yes Sansa’s case is different.They way i see it the kennels serverd as temporary prison for Ramsay . But lets not forget Sansa ,although she was terrorized by Joffrey and Cersei , her life wasn’t in danger the way Arya’s was.She was first a very valuable hostage and later the key to the North ,she was needed alive for the Lannisters to take Winterfell.She also didn’t witnessed the atrocities the Lannister soldiers committed (Harrenhall, the common folk of the Riverlands). The stable boy’s death was 100% an accident , the tickler tortured dozens of innocent people,Armory lorch was going to tell Tywin, attacked the night’s watch and killed Yoren, Mary trant was a monster. Walden Frey and his sons butchered Arya’s family and Rogue threaten to rape Arya and god knows how many innocent girls he had raped (he was on a cage for a reason) and that Frey soldier was mocking Catelyn’s death and bragging about violating Robb’s dead body. We don’t know how she killed the waif but the way i see it Arya put thw waif’s face on the wall as an offer to the god of death(you ve got your face,now let me be).Sansa didn’t have to defent herself a no name orphan boy in the war torn country and she didn’t given the chance to hurt the people she hated .Had she had the chance to kill Cersei she would have enjoy it and i wouldn’t blame her. Of course Arya is more likely to join the dark side than Sansa and she may be mentaly unstable but she didn’t kill Lady Crane , that means that she still has a code of honor. Arya never hurt a child unlike other loved characters who are child murderes. Also when Jagen told her to come with him ,she choose to find har family instead. She did say the names but she shown that she is capable of forgiveness (the hound) and she choose “home” than vengence, until the Red wedding. And when she finally joined the FM she decided that she is not an assassin ,she is a Stark of Winterfell.Yes Walder Frey’s death was brutal but he deserved it 100% .Now only Cersei and the Mountain remain of Arya’s list , in my opinion season7 will show us who Arya really is and who she is going to be.”

      Your reply to Ramsay’s 20th is so right. Arya’s never hurt an innocent, child or woman, which is a key theme of both books and show. She is totally about self-defense, protecting others–friends as well as family–and avenging those who will never get justice in the corrupt Westerosi system. She’s really a vigilante. IMO she had two turning points. First, when the gods let the obviously guilty Hound beat Beric in trial by combat, proving to her gods and justice were not reliable. Second, sparing Lady Crane, thus reclaiming her moral compass, self-possession, and motivating her to set up her very dangerous escape from the FM. I hope and think she is turning back to the light. Killing mass-murderer Walder Frey and his two murdering sons is poetic justice that preserves societal norms (moral of the Rat Cook tale) and makes book fans happy. Her brutal method of killing Trant was the only way a girl hiding a tiny weapon under her shift could kill a large, experienced soldier. The taunting, aimed as much at the FM as Trant (“Who are you? You are no one. You are nobody”.) was understandable.

      Another key difference with Sansa was the lives they’d led. Since Ned’s death, the only time Arya slept in a real bed was recovering at Lady Crane’s. She’d worn the same boy’s suit, experienced hunger, filth, rain, cold, exhaustion, manacles, torture of friends, vulnerability to violent men for years. She also saw the Red Wedding aftermath. All this contributed to Arya’s darkness. Sansa lacks that excuse. Her cage was gilded, though occasionally dangerous. She had more gowns, hairdos, and luxury chambers than anyone but Cersei. The Hound tried to protect her, then she was given a good husband, but spurned them both. When ‘safe’ in the Vale, Sansa learns to manipulate for power and position, not to protect anyone but herself. She doesn’t care about smallfolk or the men in Jon’s army She wants revenge against Ramsay, who she should never have married in the first place but did so because Baelish convinced her (too easily) it would get her revenge and her home back. So she fed Ramsay to the dogs, the other poetic justice but much more brutal. Sansa works only for Sansa. which I find inexcusable.

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    172. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      The Hound tried to protect her, then she was given a good husband, but spurned them both.

      Yes, she was “given” a man she did not want to marry as part of a scheme to usurp her family’s land holdings and turn her into a baby factory for Tywin Lannister’s scheming. And quite apart from that, in the show they toned down Sansa’s resistance to the marriage so much that I’m not sure how you could say she “spurned” him other than not wanting to have sex with him.

      Her cage was gilded, though occasionally dangerous.

      It was not an occasional thing. She was psychologically tormented every day and frequent beaten at Joffrey’s command.

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    173. Stark Raven’ Rad: First, when the gods let the obviously guilty Hound beat Beric in trial by combat, proving to her gods and justice were not reliable.

      The Hound is guilty of a lot (as he himself admitted to Brother Ray), but the crimes he was accused of before defeating Beric in trial by combat were not his, but his brother’s… hence his question, “Is being born a Clegane a crime?” So even though he was certainly guilty of some crimes (the extent of which neither book readers nor show readers know about), he was innocent of the specific crimes he was accused of before the trial. So maybe it wasn’t a matter of the gods “[letting] the obviously guilty Hound beat Beric,” but rather, a matter of the crimes he was guilty of not being the ones he was accused of.

      I agree with you on your other points, although I also agree with Sean C.’s point about the marriage with Tyrion.

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    174. Wolfish,

      You’re correct that they accused him of several crimes and when he rightly explained they weren’t his they accepted his version. But then Arya steps forward and says, “You murdered Mycah. The butcher’s boy. My friend. He was 12 years old. He was unarmed…and you rode him down. You slung him over your horse like he was some deer.” The Hound replies he was just obeying Joffrey. After that event in S1E2 the Hound had admitted exactly that to Ned. Due to her accusation, Beric sentences Hound to trial by combat. It’s a quibble, but that’s why I said “obviously guilty”.

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    175. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      You make an excellent point. And this is one of many instances where GoT goes, as it so often does, into territory that is just as relevant in our actual world as it is in the quasi-medieval world in which it takes place. The Hound is a perfect example of a character who can, by the code of the system in which he lives, honestly say (and believe) that he is not guilty of a crime because he was simply following orders. In our own century the most famous example of such “justification” was in the arguments made by numerous Nazis who made similar claims. Of course, the terrible reality is that the Nazis have never been alone; people really do learn to engage in murderous groupthink disturbingly quickly. Thankfully for GoT fans, the Hound had always had a burning kernel of decency within him, and his “fuck the King” moment was inevitable. Now, let’s hope Jaime’s next. 🙂

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    176. Flayed Potatoes:
      BunBunStark,

      The last scene is Jon, Dany and Arya discovering America

      Where cacao is grown, and our surviving heroes can consume ‘bittersweet’ dark chocolate until the end of their days. It is known.

      Also, since Vinland was in the Western Hemisphere, Tyrion might find a good place to start his winery and retire.

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    177. Firannion,

      This. Plus potatoes, quinine, and tomatoes. Arya goes as the organising genius and justice, Davos admiral with Theon as sub-commander, and Gendry as blacksmith/Arya’s husband/and protector of the smallfolk. Hot Pie would be chief cook and bottle washer. Gendry is no doubt happy about being legitimised, but he probably wouldn’t be comfortable with anyone ‘my lording’ him. So making a clean, new start with people he likes, respects and can rely on would probably attract him. Besides which, if the fleet is caught in dead calm and cannot make progress, he can probably row them to where they can catch a wind. All they lack is a maester.

      By the way, I think the next-to-last scene is of Gendry re-forging Ice from Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail and giving it to Bran, Lord of Winterfell. Only then can Arya and the others leave.

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    178. mau,

      I dont think Dany makes it to the end, thus the bittersweet. Jon already died, the Hound kinda died, so those 2 are the only ones I think will make it to the end for sure. Everyone else is fair game and will probably die in appropriate and satisfying ways.

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    179. I don’t see Tyrian dying, Bran surviving is probable, I would say Jon is about 70/30 in favour of surviving, Danny probably 40/60 as I feel she won’t make it. I would be very surprised if both Arya and Sansa make it too.

      Oh I forgot Sam he is a lock to survive in my view.

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    180. WolfLou: To have Littlefinger or Euron take the throne is simply bad story-telling.

      To have Euron take the throne would indeed be bad story telling- Littlefinger is a whole different story- he’s been there all along, he’s been aiming for the throne all along.

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    181. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Sansa had periods of time when her day to day life didn’t suck- when she was married to Tyrion and could avoid Joffrey (not always), when she was in the Vale- but her time (months?) married to Ramsay was likely far worse than anything Arya endured on an ongoing basis (even when she was blind).

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    182. Grail King,

      I’m not sure if Sansa put him there or not, don’t think it matters – she was the one who set the dogs on him- that’s what matters.

      With regard to whether anyone besides Sansa was aware that Ramsay was not joking about feeding his enemies to his hounds- he was a Bolton, they publicly flayed their enemies alive- eaten by hounds, flayed, etc., they already knew that to lose and be captured alive mean something horrific was going to happen to them.

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    183. I agree Sansa suffered horribly but we must remember two things: 1) It was Jeyne Poole (as false-Arya) married to Ramsay in the books. D&D didn’t need to torture an actual Stark to make Ramsay evil–Theon’s treatment was convincing. They changed Sansa’s dynamic completely as a result. But the fact that Sansa herself continues to be unempathetic or even cruel to others after what she went through has seriously reduced any respect I once had for her as a character. IMO she is no Stark. 2) Her agreeing to the marriage shows she’s no manipulator, player, or even particularly smart either. And she is unbelievably obtuse in not having learned from her other arranged marriage experiences or from what she’s seen of Littlefinger in operation. She did not have the sense or the courage to say “no” to Baelish.

      Earlier today I came across a Monty Pythonesque dialogue between Sansa and Jon about BotB and its aftermath. I think it was referenced in one of the WOTW forum threads. In any case, it’s silly but also makes some interesting points. The voice they use is not flattering to Sansa though Jon Snow’s is pretty spot-on:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fiPPpWPc0g

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    184. Stark Raven’ Rad: D&D didn’t need to torture an actual Stark to make Ramsay evil–Theon’s treatment was convincing.

      Yes, they did: or at least they had to do it to a protagonist rather than to some bit character. After all, the point never was to make Ramsay convincing in some way: it was to put one or more protagonists in some quandary. The story was about “killing the child and letting the adult be born,” and usually through some very cathartic means. Theon is only a second-tier protagonist: Sansa seems to have graduated to first tier. So, making it her catharsis to parallel the assassination attempts on Jon & Daeny, Arya’s blinding, Tyrion’s enslavement, etc., helped emphasize the story: and emphasizing the story is key.

      Using Jeyne Poole would have been pointless. Even in the book, most of the readers have no idea who she is: the probability of them remembering a bit character from 4 volumes before (and therefore many weeks or even many years before) is extremely low. (I’m a fan, and I had no idea who she was: of course, I had basically done a “speed reading” of the first three books prior to Dragons release, and I probably had not read Thrones in earnest since the late 1990’s).

      Sansa is a case where if GRRM had a “do-over,” then I think things would be very different. She was not initially one of his primary protagonists: but given her treatment on the show, it seems that she might become one in the end. That resulted in very little “additive” evolution of her character over the first three stories, and her essential absence from the 4th story: Sansa goes from vain, self-centered, unthinking princess with childish illusions to a self-centered, unthinking former princess with childish confusions. We finally get some hint that she’s learning to actually think in the one Winter chapter that we’ve seen: but the basic callowness of the character is still in place. Putting her in the thick of the action and watching her get burned while trying and learning from those burns would have gone a long way towards both communicating the stories and providing some evolution after the initial character development.

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    185. The ending will be brutal. I think D&D’s ending is building towards Dany’s vision in Season 2. As to say who will live/die, who knows.

      Can’t say what the book will end with.

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    186. D&D have stated on numerous occasions that the show and books will end the same way only some of path to get their may differ. They also say they could write the last episode tomorrow in a recent interview and have all the details they need from GRRM.

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    187. Jon Snowed: w and have all the details they need from GRRM.

      Authors commonly note that the ending is the first thing that comes to them when they write a story. That usually is the big “oomph” moment when the main characters come to some big self-realization or set of self-realizations. The beginning is the part that comes to them next: that’s what gets the main characters started so that the big “oomph” can be properly setup. At that point, it’s like driving from City A to City B with only a very general map: the author knows where he/she started, and the author knows where he/she wants to end, but the details of the trip often are a bit fuzzy.

      The funny thing is when series like this end, and people complain “All of this time, and that’s the best ending he/she could find?!?!?” It was never all of that time: the ending was decided before the series first hit page or screen!

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    188. How this for an ending… In the final episode a close-up of Rhaegar Targaryen pans out to the Targaryan and Baratheon armies lined up either side of the Trident. Turns out the whole story is Rhaegar imagination running wild about what would happen if he loses this battle. The battle then ensues, needless to say Rhaegar ends up slaying Robert and is victorious. The final scenes of the show are Rhaegar’s crowning as King and a final shot of Jon and Dany lying next to each other as babies and Rhaegar proclaiming them as the future King and Queen of the 7 kingdoms!

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    189. From what I read it won’t go backwards but forwards and show us the aftermath, so potentially an older Sam talking about what happened maybe the final scene.

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    190. I don’t think the ending will suck. I trust George on this and the showrunners, as much as they’ll change and improvise how they get there, are not going to change the ending. Books and show end the same.

      The truly telegraphed things almost have to happen. Cersei being deposed by a younger more beautiful queen and killed by the Valonqar, Dany as conqueror, Jon as leader, Greyjoy, Lannister, and Targaryen forces pointlessly destroying each other and possibly Cersei torching all of King’s Landing, ignoring the true threat, with much of the North and possibly even Winterfell being wiped out as a result. Even with Jon on the throne at the end, that’s a pretty bittersweet ending to me, having almost nothing left to rule.

      Whatever twist is left probably has to do with the Night King and his army. They’re the last huge unanswered question, along with how Bran fits into all of this. His arc has pretty clearly telegraphed to me that he is the key to winning the war for the dawn. The Army of the Dead can’t be defeated on the battlefield, even with Lightbringer and even with dragons.

      As for what happens to Littlefinger, I don’t know. I’m probably the only person in the world who kind of likes him. He’s a self-made man sticking it to the nobility that spurned him and snickered at him for his entire life even as he was running mental circles around them. Aside from Ned, most of the people he’s betrayed were rotten people who deserved it. And with Ned, it’s hard to see what choice he had. Ned’s stupid plan wasn’t going to work anyway. Buying off the city guard wasn’t going to bring down House Lannister. Cersei and Tywin were not giving in that easily, and trying to install Stannis as rightful heir, even though he actually was the rightful heir, wasn’t going to happen when he didn’t even have the support of his own bannermen and commoners would be terrified by his eastern religion and burning everyone. Part of the point of those first few books/seasons was that House Lannister was never going to be brought down from the outside. Only internal divisions could do them in and it was Littlefinger that sowed those internal divisions.

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    191. I want the last line of the series to be Littlefinger saying to Varys ” Chaos is a Ladder” then Lf kills Varys and goes and sits on his throne surrounded by ashes.

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