Maester Wolkan returns for season 7

WolkanAnother return for the North and Game of Thrones season 7!

We’ve been seeing new images for the past week courtesy of a photographer who captured the actors on set in Northern Ireland. Some of the images were shared in The Daily Mail, but the photographer has helpfully shared several more on their Twitter. Earlier they posted more images of Megan Parkinson, the redheaded actress we’re guessing is a new northern character this season.

Now this afternoon, they’ve shared even more photos from the filming, showing Kristofer Hivju, Aidan Gillen, Liam Cunningham…and a somewhat surprising return.

In the newest batch of photos PAP4U has shared with fans on Twitter, we see that Richard Rycroft will be returning in season 7 as Maester Wolkan. Given that he was stationed at Winterfell in season 6, and he’s been photographed with last-seen-at-Winterfell characters, we can assume he hasn’t lost his position at the castle. The timid maester served Ramsay Bolton, obedient to a fault, even lying about the manner of Roose Bolton’s death when ordered.

So the question now is: why does there need to be a maester at Winterfell for this scene? And is that big smile just for off-screen – because dammmn, Wolkan must be so relieved that Ramsay’s dead.

141 responses

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    1. Maybe he has studied valyrian steel? theybcould just have jon asking him about it and him telling him what he knows of it. Would be cool if he had a glass candle and contacts sam for Jon

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    2. Maybe he’ll be ordered to send ravens to all the major Houses to declare the North’s independence? Or to ask for help against the WW? Or someone gets injured and needs medical care?
      So many options…

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    3. Sheesh he looks wayyyy older than in S6, as does Lord Glover. Assume they’ve grown the beards (or had them applied) due to it being Winter. Still though-there’s a big difference in their appearances

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    4. Interesting. Wolkan knew Ramsay as a child, so he had clearly served the Bolton family for a while, and presumably came with them from the Dreadfort when they moved to Winterfell. I can’t imagine that Jon and Sansa would be thrilled about using the Boltons’ old maester, even if the family he once served has been completely destroyed.

      On the other hand, maesters are ostensibly supposed to serve the lords of the castle to which they’re assigned, regardless of who that lord is (e.g. Theon press-ganging Luwin into serving him when he became the “Prince of Winterfell”). Given how long it might take to request a new maester from the Citadel, I suppose it’s possible that Jon might decide to make use of Wolkan in the interim, if only to send letters and such (for what it’s worth, Wolkan clearly wasn’t down with Ramsay’s brutal murders of Roose and Walda or his subsequent takeover of Winterfell – he was serving him out of fear).

      That being said, I hope that Jon does send a raven to the Citadel, if only so they can update their records. Hell, those guys still think Jeor Mormont is Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. It could be a way to update Sam on what’s happened as well.

      I could envision an early scene where Jon, in his new capacity as King in the North, has to pass judgment on Wolkan and the Boltons’ surviving servants. If he decides to pardon him, that could be an early source of conflict between him and Sansa, who would be within her rights to want all traces of House Bolton expunged.

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    5. Jared:

      On the other hand, maesters are ostensibly supposed to serve the lords of the castle to which they’re assigned, regardless of who that lord is (e.g. Theon press-ganging Luwin into serving him when he became the “Prince of Winterfell”). Given how long it might take to request a new maester from the Citadel, I suppose it’s possible that Jon

      That being said, I hope that Jon does send a raven to the Citadel, if only so they can update their records. Hell, those guys still think Jeor Mormont is Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. It could be a way to update Sam on what’s happened as well.

      As I said on another thread, this fits in with my idea that the Sam Citadel scene in 610 set up the possibility/probability of Sam finding out what happens to Jon in 610 before he finds out what happens to him in 510. Which would, I think, fit in what John and Kit have spoken about for years in terms of the creaks in Jon and Sam’s relationship as it would leave Sam knowing that Jon is King in the North before he finds out the events behind it.

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    6. Is that a spliff in Liam’s mouth, or does he just roll his own ciggies? And can anybody zoom in close enough to see what book Aidan’s using to pass the time between his takes?

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    7. The most interesting thing is that Maester Wolkan looks to be having the scene with Littlefinger (Liam/Davos is out of costume, which implies that his schene with Jon and others is a different one).
      So, we should ask why Littlefinger is having a scene with Maester Wolkan? The first thought is that the Maester is one of those friends in the North Littlefinger mentioned in The Book of the Stranger, but there may be more to that. Sansa is absent, the In Production teaser showed that they were making a separate chamber for her, so maybe she is not feeling well and that’s why Littlefinger is talking with the Maester? Let’s hope at least that the showrunners didn’t make poor Sansa pregnant. But one way or another, Littlefinger and the Bolton Maester in one scene speaks of some mischief brewing.

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    8. I actually wondered if we’d see more of Wolkan, since the maesters are meant to be impartial (and a scarce resource besides).

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    9. BigMac,

      Sansa knows Wolkan’s name at the very least, as Roose mentioned him when announced Walda’s pregnancy at that famously awkward dinner in “Kill the Boy”. As for whether or not she ever interacted with him personally during her time at Winterfell, I guess we’ll find out. It would make sense for Wolkan to check in on her, as the Boltons were counting on Sansa to produce an heir. But beyond that, he clearly wasn’t being allowed to tend to her much, given the awful condition she was in after her marriage to Ramsay. I don’t expect that whatever feelings she has towards him will trend towards kindness or mercy.

      Alba Stark,

      It does seem likely that if or when the news about Jon reaches Sam, he’ll learn that his old friend has become the King in the North before he learns that he was murdered by his fellow black brothers, resurrected, and subsequently resigned as Lord Commander and left the Night’s Watch. But regardless of whether he receives the full story or only part of it, that revelation will be quite a mindfuck for him. The full picture of what Jon’s been through is kind of hard to convey in a letter!

      Given the pedestal on which Sam holds Jon, he would probably have a hard time accepting that Jon willingly forsook his vows and went south to participate in the conflicts of the realm. Then again, he’s not above subverting the Night’s Watch vows himself! He’s also a good guy, so he’d probably be happy on some level to hear that Jon has reunited with his family and reclaimed a position of power in his ancestral home. He did seem genuinely pleased for his friend when he heard that Stannis had offered Jon legitimacy.

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    10. Are these photos all from the same day?

      That’s the first photo we’ve seen of Gillen in costume, as well as the first of Hivju. Maybe Gillen wasn’t filming with the other regulars after all? (his possible presence being the main thing that argued against it being some kind of military mission?)

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    11. Alba Stark,

      What If sam is not allowed to continue his studies to become a maester due to the fact he said lord commander snow sent him by they weren’t told. The maester said they would look into the irregularities. Maybe they do and find that Jon snow was never lord commander as far as they know

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    12. Roocat: Does Kristopher Hivju’s shirt appear to be rigged for a stunt or something?

      It’s a cooling system used under the bigger costumes like armor (or those layers of wildling furs). Daniel Portman has one on too, in the photo of him from the other day.

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    13. Roocat,

      He’s wearing a cooling shirt that Gwendoline, Daniel, and Kit were also wearing in the previous set of photos.

      Given that 3 known fighters and 1 semi-fighter are wearing these shirts, I’m starting to believe there really will be some sort of battle or fight during that “high stakes” scene.

      Now that Tormund has been confirmed to be a part of this sequence, I’m even more stumped as to why Sansa appears to not be involved in this filming. Would the show do a silly damsel in distress story where the entire Northern gang goes off to save her? Gods, I hope not.

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    14. Edith,

      Yeah, if these are all from the same day, I think that may clarify what a lot of us were wondering, why there was a big gathering with so many characters in episode 1 or 2, including Littlefinger, but not Sansa.

      In the batch of photos, everybody other than Gillen was in costume (albeit, not full costume). At the time I figured Gillen might have finished his bit, or gotten out of costume more quickly. But these photos show him and Rycroft in full costume, and Cunningham and Hivju (first we’ve seen of him) out of costume. So maybe it’s actually two scenes — one with Littlefinger and Wolkan, and the other with Jon, Brienne, Davos, Podrick, Tormund(?), and the new characters? Hivju’s also wearing a cooling vest, which tallies with Harington, Christie and Portman having them, and suggests a more martial scene than something Littlefinger would likely be present for.

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    15. Jared,

      I think Sam will be pretty pleased even without knowing that Jon technically didn’t break his vows. He was really delighted for Jon when Stannis offered to legitimize him and give him Winterfell, and Sam’s assumption that Jon would take the offer lacked any sort of hesitation about their vows. I need to rewatch, but I think he was even a little disappointed for Jon that he was so moral he wouldn’t take such a sweet deal, regardless of the NW. Of course, that was right before he nominated him for LC, so I guess it’s possible that knowing Jon’s greater responsibilities might have changed his outlook …

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    16. Maybe there is a simple explanation for Sansa’s absence – there always has to be a Stark at Winterfell and maybe the rest are outside of Winterfell and fighting?

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    17. Roocat,

      Like I said, given most of the characters and their apparent wardrobe, some sort of military venture would make sense — but it was hard to square that with Littlefinger being in the scene, he not exactly being the military type. But if Gillen was actually filming something separate from the others, that would make more sense.

      On the location question, do we know if they’ve filmed Winterfell stuff at Linen Mill Studios before? The exteriors are at Moneyglass, and I would assume most of the original/standing Winterfell sets are in Belfast. That doesn’t mean they can’t build some more Winterfell stuff, of course, but they’ve got plenty of rooms there already.

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    18. Or maybe it’s just as simple as Sansa is not a fighter. She wouldn’t be help in an actual physical battle. She’s not trained at all in the physical sense with weapons of any kind really, so her helping in a fight wouldn’t be help. She would be staying behind with any other females and children there who aren’t warriors/fighters like her. That isn’t a bad thing, it’s just how things are. It’s just as her mother would have done.

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    19. JenniferH,

      Again, as I said, Littlefinger is no more a combatant than she is, so if he was in the scene, “she’s not a fighter” isn’t especially useful a divider (nor did it stop her accompanying armies into the field in Season 6). If Littlefinger isn’t actually in the same scene as the other guys, that objection is waved away.

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    20. Sandi,

      Yeah, Jon’s his friend first and foremost. Sam’s not the same person he was when he stopped Jon breaking his vows all the way back in Season 1.

      He supported Jon’s decision to let the Wildlings through the Wall and he didn’t exactly condemn Jon for supposedly breaking his vows. In fact, he was more keen to point out loopholes in their vows to permit it, which also happened to later excuse his own transgression with Gilly.

      Anyway, he’d know that Jon did what he thought was right and that he would have agonized over the decision so, like you say, I don’t think we have to worry too much about Sam’s reaction to finding out that Jon’s now a king.

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    21. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      That’s annoying. I meant to write “…for supposedly breaking his vows with Ygritte” in my previous comment, but somehow I must have managed to delete the last couple of words. Weird.

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    22. The photographer has more pictures which he hasn’t sold yet. He’s not going to tell us the contents of these pics until they’re sold. We didn’t know Kristofer was there until today. Just because we haven’t seen a pic of Sophie doesn’t mean she wasn’t there. The London pic was a couple of days later. Flights from Belfast to Heathrow are only an hour and 20 minutes. And considering that there around 40 flights per day between Belfast and the various London airports, she’s spoilt for choice.
      The scene is expected to be an early season scene due to it being directed by Jeremy Podeswa. It is unlikely that Sansa will be killed off within the first couple of episodes.

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    23. I don’t believe for a second that Sansa is dying (at all in this story) let alone in the first few episodes of season 7. Though Sophie Turner’s absence from whatever these people filmed, and apparent continued absence from filming does raise my eyebrow as to where the character Sansa could possibly be if not involved in scenes with all these people. All of which should be surrounding her.

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    24. Remember how when Sansa was feeding Ramsay to his dogs, she said that no one would remember him? Maybe she meant that literally and does not intend to allow Ramsay’s name to be mentioned in writing. That could cause conflict with Maester Wolkan, if he tries to write an account of what he saw at Winterfell. After all, he’s a maester. It would be malpractice for him not to write about events of historical interest at his castle.

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    25. mandzipop,

      Nobody here was arguing that she was dead.

      But it’s unlikely she was present, or in any event, that the photographer has photos of her. She would have been the biggest name in the cast present other than Kit; if he had photos of her, the DM would have bought them.

      Prateek Goyal,

      Presumably because she isn’t there. She was in Belfast for about two solid weeks, before and after the Emmys, but doesn’t appear to have been present for this particular scene (or scenes).

      Mike Heywood,

      Ramsay’s rule would already be documented everywhere in the Seven Kingdoms, so that would never work (indeed, I never really cared for that line; Ramsay will be remembered forever, it would have made more sense for Sansa to taunt him that he’ll be known as the villain in the Starks’ story — storytelling, and its political uses, being a theme in Sansa’s arc, in the books anyway).

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    26. With Littlefinger and Brienne there…Sansa is fine.
      Brienne is loyal only to her, if there was something wrong she would have left.

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    27. If LF and Wolkan have a scene together, I wonder if there’s a chance he was on LFs payroll? Perhaps LF was using him to ensure Sansa didn’t get pregnant (moontea, ala Sybel Spicer), to give him enough time to get back to WF and claim power, without the complication of a Stark heir… all supposition of course. Which would mean LF would’ve known exactly what kinda monster Ramsay was…could be another nail in LF’s coffin.

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    28. Apollo,

      Great idea! I also think that Wolkan will be revealled as Littlefinger’s “friend in the North” he mentioned in “The Book of the Stranger”. His position as a maester would have promoted him not only the access to information, but also to ravens as communication means. And yes, Littlefinger might have paid him to take care that Sansa doesn’t get pregnant!
      But what about Sansa’s absence? My guess is that she remains in her private chamber, because she is not feeling well. Actually, it won’t be impossible, if, after all those sufferings she endured, she will fall into a kind of stupor out of physical and mental exhaustion now, whe she is finally safe. But maybe there is more to that? As I wrote above, I don’t like Littlefinger having a private scene with the maester. What if Littlefinger orders him to tell Sansa that she is pregnant, and then uses that to manipulate her and/or lure her into marrying him? Definitely, Sansa will be too ashamed to tell about her supposed pregnancy to Jon or even Brienne, and Littlefinger may appear to her as her only savior… Tinfoil, I know, but not impossible IMO. What do you think?

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    29. Oh no maybe LF is going to have this maester try to poison Jon. Or he/ Sansa do something that gets her confined to her own quarters? This season is so up in the air it feels like anything goes!

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    30. Inga:
      Apollo,

      Great idea! I also think that Wolkan will be revealled as Littlefinger’s “friend in the North” he mentioned in “The Book of the Stranger”. His position as a maester would have promoted him not only the access to information, but also to ravens as communication means. And yes, Littlefinger might have paid him to take care that Sansa doesn’t get pregnant!
      But what about Sansa’s absence? My guess is that she remains in her private chamber, because she is not feeling well. Actually, it won’t be impossible, if, after all those sufferings she endured, she will fall into a kind of stupor out of physical and mental exhaustion now, whe she is finally safe. But maybe there is more to that? As I wrote above, I don’t like Littlefinger having a private scene with the maester. What if Littlefinger orders him to tell Sansa that she is pregnant, and then uses that to manipulate her and/or lure her into marrying him? Definitely, Sansa will be too ashamed to tell about her supposed pregnancy to Jon or even Brienne, and Littlefinger may appear to her as her only savior… Tinfoil, I know, but not impossible IMO. What do you think?

      Yet another possibility ?

      I’m not entirely convinced Sophie’s not there though…. this pap is dripfeeding these pics so may be leaving the best for last. Or alternatively, she just wasn’t on that particular day of shooting as Sansa isn’t in the scene, or that part of the scene.

      Its possibly something as simple as going to the Godswood to pray (wasn’t she filming a scene there recently at Saintfield estate?) or perhaps she’s nursing her brother who’s just returned from beyond the wall. In fact, these kids could’ve met Bran and Meera and/or their escorts on their travels back to WF.

      I guess this is what makes speculating fun. The danger is though when it becomes fan-canon here, and interpreted as fact.

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    31. Apollo,

      Good point! Sansa may be simply nursing Brann and/or helping Meera with a new dress, while Jon is dealing with unexpected visitors. And whatever mischief Littlefinger is planning with Maester Wolkan will bite gim on his skinny ass. The North has suffered enough and will suffer more when the WW come, so it deserves something good inbetween.

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    32. Sean C.:
      Roocat,

      Like I said, given most of the characters and their apparent wardrobe, some sort of military venture would make sense — but it was hard to square that with Littlefinger being in the scene, he not exactly being the military type.But if Gillen was actually filming something separate from the others, that would make more sense.

      I wonder what sort of a military venture would Brienne and Pod accompany Jon in. So far they hasn’t shown any interest in each other and next season, assuming heightened tensions between Sansa and Jon, I would expect her to be firmly on Sansa’s side of things. Having said that, it would be nice to see Brienne and Jon interact on an individual level.

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    33. Maester Wolkan ! I was wondering where he was ! Good to see him back 🙂

      To the best of my recollection, he was not shown to be a bad maester; he is just a bit of a coward who did what he was told by two dangerous psychopaths he could not get away from, given the maesters’ duty to remain attached to a House / castle no matter what. It is hardly a great defense but Winterfell, like all Great Houses, needs a maester and he could do the job, if given the opportunity.

      Sean C.,
      In relation to Ramsay’s place in history, I believe it is entirely possible he will be erased from it and with him, eventually, House Bolton. It may take some time but I think it is entirely possible…

      Ramsay’s “reign” over the North lasted less than a year, a year during which the Kingdom had more pressing issues than paying attention to some legitimised bastard ruling over the defeated North : the Queen Mother did a walk of atonement, the Royal Princess died in mysterious circumstances, the Queen was imprisoned and, eventually, the Sept of Baelor exploded, killing the royal couple (kind of) and most of the court… During a “slower news” period, perhaps Roose Bolton’s death and his psychopathic son taking over the North would have been frontpage-worthy but here, I would not be surprised no one took the time to record it properly.
      Furthermore, as we saw when Sam arrived at the Citadel and had to inform the ever-so-charming “receptionist” of Lord Commander Mormont’s death (back in season 3 !), some news of the North travel slowly. It is vast, somewhat sparsely populated and remote; and unless it is openly rebelling against the Crown, nobody in the other six kingdoms seems to care that much about what happens there.
      Also, Westerosi history is somewhat notoriously inaccurate. It is a mish-mash of real events, legends and biased commentary. Many maesters themselves have been quite “creative” in their record-keeping.
      And, ultimately, history is written by the victors. If the Starks’ hold over the North lasts for long enough, they could erase any trace of Ramsay and the Boltons (just blame the Red Wedding on the Lannisters and the Freys ! 😉 ).

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    34. I am reading so many comments where people believe they are filming different scenes than this person because of this reason. No offense but how in the Planetos can you even decipher these images above and comfortably say well this person must be in a scene with that person cause they showed the picture the same day and are wearing these clothes. Personally it looks like the majority of them are dressed comfortably, not for battle besides Pod and Tormund (because they have their cooling shirts on).

      I guess we can assume who is still around in the North. I am assuming there will be a lot of scenes with a bunch of different people in the North because the North will have heavy politics this season I believe.

      But the speculation I am reading is fun!

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    35. I kind of agree with Stargaryen that you can’t tell from these pictures who is filming what or why. I honestly do not like seeing Maester Wolkan back…I guess he would have to be around given that he was there when they took back WF, but he’s pretty much, as everyone has mentioned, a scaredy-cat. I don’t think he would have been LF’s source in the North, I don’t think he would have had the courage to even sneak behind the Bolton’s back. So, what part will he play in WF now? That’s my main question. I could see Jon, being Jon, giving a pardon to the servants and him. I could also see Sansa not approving of him doing it. I’m just not sure he would trust him enough to keep him around. I think, if nothing else, Jon has figured out he has a limited number of people he can trust. Or at least I hope so.
      My daughter has a theory that in the end LF will be one of the last to go, if he goes at all. Somehow that wouldn’t surprise me because he’s the ultimate player. Scary thought, I’d rather he get bumped off immediately…lol.

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    36. I don’t know why anyone would think Jon would be “passing judgment” on a maester. They aren’t supposed to choose sides. He did exactly what he was supposed to do.

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    37. Apollo:
      I’m not entirely convinced Sophie’s not there though…. this pap is dripfeeding these pics so may be leaving the best for last.

      The first pictures made available were ones he sold to the Daily Mail. The ones cropped up on his Twitter are just ones he couldn’t sell and so is giving away for free.

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    38. There’s literally no proof in these pictures (and on the show let’s be honest) that LF and the maester are going to have a scene by themselves or that they’re conspiring together. Everyone is really exaggerating. Wolkan was terrified in season 6 and as a maester he is forced to serve the family he’s assigned to (he was probably the “submissive maester” or whatever from the casting call, except they opted for an older actor instead of a 20 something). He’s a minor character with no long term impact and it’s probably convenient for the showrunners to use the same actor instead of spending more time on casting for such a small role. I doubt he’ll be feuding with Sansa about Boltons making it into the history books lmao.

      It makes perfect sense for Jon to have a maester at Winterfell. Maesters take care of ravens, send and receive messages, take care of the wounded (and I assume there are several now that the battle is over) among other things. They’ll probably need a character who will announce arrivals, hand out messages to the Starks, and serve Jon. It also helps that he’s already a named character, so we don’t need to waste time on introducing a new maester and wonder about how he got there or how long it took. And let’s be honest, they’ll need servants in the background for the sake of realism.

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    39. ghost of winterfell,

      I was quite on board with that military mission idea, until I thought it through. They filmed in the studio which means indoors in Winterfell (most probably). And the cooling vests might have been required simply because the day was rather hot (assumption based on what the actors wore after the filming) and they had to film in all these winter furcoats and heavy cloaks. I remember Bella Ramsay said that she felt like being in an overheated sauna when filming the KITN scene last year. So, cooling vests do not necessarily imply an action scene: just filming in winter wear on a rather hot september day.

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    40. Flayed Potatoes,

      I assume ravens will be sent to the rest of Westeros proclaiming independence of the North and Jon being made king. A maester will be needed for such scenes.

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    41. Sean C.: The first pictures made available were ones he sold to the Daily Mail.The ones cropped up on his Twitter are just ones he couldn’t sell and so is giving away for free.

      His last tweet on the subject was last night, where he indicated these latest batch were a few more sightings of many, which could mean he still has some to release (by selling if he can, otherwise he’d surely have released them with the rest). He indicated as much to WOTW.

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    42. Flayed Potatoes,

      You may be right: Maester Wolkan may be there for purely functional purposes (sending ravens, healing wounds etc.). However, all the maesters we have seen so far were fully fleshed characters, be it Lewin or Pycelle or Aemon. And we can expect to meet more fully fleshed maesters next season in the Citadel. So, why would Maester Wolkan be left exclusively in a role of a functional device?
      And I would like to say there is no such thing as a impartial servant.

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    43. Apollo: I guess this is what makes speculating fun. The danger is though when it becomes fan-canon here, and interpreted as fact.

      Sadly, that happens way too often here…

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    44. ACME,

      My guess is that Maester Wolkan will be sending/receiving ravens to/from the Citadel, so Jon and Sam could communicate with each other.

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    45. Inga:
      Apollo,

      Great idea! I also think that Wolkan will be revealled as Littlefinger’s “friend in the North” he mentioned in “The Book of the Stranger”. His position as a maester would have promoted him not only the access to information, but also to ravens as communication means. And yes, Littlefinger might have paid him to take care that Sansa doesn’t get pregnant!
      But what about Sansa’s absence? My guess is that she remains in her private chamber, because she is not feeling well. Actually, it won’t be impossible, if, after all those sufferings she endured, she will fall into a kind of stupor out of physical and mental exhaustion now, whe she is finally safe. But maybe there is more to that? As I wrote above, I don’t like Littlefinger having a private scene with the maester. What if Littlefinger orders him to tell Sansa that she is pregnant, and then uses that to manipulate her and/or lure her into marrying him? Definitely, Sansa will be too ashamed to tell about her supposed pregnancy to Jon or even Brienne, and Littlefinger may appear to her as her only savior… Tinfoil, I know, but not impossible IMO. What do you think?

      Even if the maester lied and told Sansa she was pregnant, she would know it was bull$hit when she continues to get her period on a monthly basis…

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    46. Apollo: His last tweet on the subject was last night, where he indicated these latest batch were a few more sightings of many, which could mean he still has some to release (by selling if he can, otherwise he’d surely have released them with the rest). He indicated as much to WOTW.

      I doubt both the Mail and this guy would keep referring to Megan Parkinson as Sophie Turner’s body double if she was around on that set with the other actors. If I were to guess, I would say her absence was what led these folks to assume that Parkinson was playing Turner’s body double because of the hair.

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    47. Inga: But what about Sansa’s absence? My guess is that she remains in her private chamber, because she is not feeling well. Actually, it won’t be impossible, if, after all those sufferings she endured, she will fall into a kind of stupor out of physical and mental exhaustion now, whe she is finally safe. But maybe there is more to that? As I wrote above, I don’t like Littlefinger having a private scene with the maester. What if Littlefinger orders him to tell Sansa that she is pregnant, and then uses that to manipulate her and/or lure her into marrying him? Definitely, Sansa will be too ashamed to tell about her supposed pregnancy to Jon or even Brienne, and Littlefinger may appear to her as her only savior… Tinfoil, I know, but not impossible IMO. What do you think?

      So, Sansa spent a lot of time away from Maester Wolkan, presumably having her periods (since there was no indication that she stopped having them) and just now she is tricked into believing she’s pregnant?

      I mean, Sansa might be naïve… but I think you are overly underestimating her.

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    48. Inga,

      Because he’s not in the Citadel and there’s no need to associate him with whatever is going on there, since he’s not in that geographical area. Lewin, Pycelle, and Aemon were important characters tied in to the plot and the backstory on the show. Wolkan is a simple maester they brought in late on the show because they needed a maester to deliver Roose’s spawn and give him the good news. There are many characters the show has used for purely functional reasons.

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    49. SerNoName: I doubt both the Mail and this guy would keep referring to Megan Parkinson as Sophie Turner’s body double if she was around on that set with the other actors. If I were to guess, I would say her absence was what led these folks to assume that Parkinson was playing Turner’s body double because of the hair.

      Well for one thing, the guy doesn’t know who any of these guys are from his comments, and as for the Daily Mail, don’t even get me started on their levels of accuracy.

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    50. Inga,

      What if Littlefinger orders him to tell Sansa that she is pregnant, and then uses that to manipulate her and/or lure her into marrying him?

      When she gets her period or doesn’t show any sign of showing she’ll figure it out pretty quick.

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    51. SerNoName,

      this guy would keep referring to Megan Parkinson as Sophie Turner’s body double if she was around on that set with the other actors.

      This isn’t how body doubles work. They usually work at the same time as the actor. Filling in for them or doing an action scene and then the actor steps back in.

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    52. Terrence,

      In fact, some women continue to have their periods in the first months of their pregnacy. And in general, how much time did it pass from Sansa’s escape to the Battle of the Bastards? Two months or so – not more. So, everything is possible including real pregnancy. But speaking frankly, I really HATE this idea and I would be happy to be talked out of this crazy idea.

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    53. A Dornish Tyrell,
      I believe you are right, as per usual 😉

      What I meant to emphasise is that Maester Wolkan was never shown to be a fierce Bolton loyalist; he just did his job under the supervision of two known murderers… Given those circumstances, there is no need for Jon to dismiss him as a traitor or a potential danger to him and his family. As Flayed Potatoes very rightly pointed out, Winterfell now needs a maester more than ever and there is no obvious reason why Wolkan should not be trusted with that role.

      Inga,
      Two months might be a bit of an underestimation, I believe.

      In between her escape from Winterfell and the Battle of the Bastards :
      – she rode from Winterfell to Castle Black in the snow;
      – she stayed at Castle Black for a little while;
      – the Stark crew then sailed to Bear Island;
      – they then rejoined Deepwood Motte;
      – they then headed north to the Gift;
      – and finally they regrouped not far from Winterfell.
      Without Littlefinger’s “innovation in transportation” (^^), that amount of travel would take quite a while, just by looking at the map. My guess-timate would be no less than six months.
      More generally speaking, the show’s rule appears to be “one season = one year”, which makes sense considering the actors age a year-ish between two series…

      So had Sansa been pregnant when she left Winterfell, she would at least be close to giving birth by now, I believe.

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    54. ACME: What I meant to emphasise is that Maester Wolkan was never shown to be a fierce Bolton loyalist; he just did his job under the supervision of two known murderers… Given those circumstances, there is no need for Jon to dismiss him as a traitor or a potential danger to him and his family. As Flayed Potatoes very rightly pointed out, Winterfell now needs a maester more than ever and Wolkan can do the job just as well as anyone.

      Totally!! I never suggested you said Maester Wolkan was a Bolton loyalist… on the contrary, the poor man is probably very relieved he’s not under Bolton’s command anymore… What I wrote was rather in support to what you were saying. 🙂

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    55. ACME,

      Yes, time and distances are always very confusig in GoT. I just based my calcullations on the assumtion that both horses and people need food and that you can only carry a certain amount of food on your horseback (or on your own back, if you are in the infantry). And that’s not much and hunting works only as a supplement. But I don’t want to go into details: it’s a fantasy show, and we have to live with certain inconsistencies. So, your criticism is accepted and I’m happy to abandon that disgusting idea of Sansa being pregnant. Let’s hope her absence will be explained in other way (or there won’t be any absence at all).

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    56. ramses:
      Inga,

      Noooooooope Inga. That is incorrect. Women do not continue to menstruate during pregnancy.

      Yes they can. Not a ‘true’ period, but breakthrough hormonal bleeding is not uncommon.

      But fingers crossed Sansa isn’t pregnant and doesn’t have to marry anyone this year.

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    57. Lordt, the Sansa pregnancy theory didn’t die it seems.

      As confirmed by one of the writers (pretty sure it was Cogman), Jon’s storyline takes place over several months (plenty of time to pop up a brat).

      No belly, no baby.

      letitgo.mp3

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    58. Pigeon:
      Yay Maester Wolkan!!!!

      Now…what we really…need…is….a Maester Walken

      *plays ‘Weapon of Choice’*

      That, or we get to find out where that house hid its signet ring for all those many years.

      “And now, I pass this ring to you.”

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    59. ramses:
      Pigeon,

      “Not a ‘true’ period”… as in NO they can’t.

      Point being she wouldn’t know the difference unless she saw an ovulation specialist Maester. But it really doesn’t matter since she’s likely not. Ramsay is part of her now…but in her head, not her offspring.

      Dragon Tender: That, or we get to find out where that house hid its signet ring for all those many years.

      “And now, I pass this ring to you.”

      I see what you did there. ?

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    60. Pigeon,

      You know the difference between your regular period and breakthrough bleeding if you’re an observant woman. It’s not the same at all…

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    61. Danielle Stark,

      Sure. It really makes no difference anyway, unless they’re planning on having a completely off the rails ‘Bloody Plot’ this year involving a sub-maester doing an internship on grade 6 health class at Winterfell.

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    62. Danielle Stark:
      Pigeon,

      You know the difference between your regular period and breakthrough bleeding if you’re an observant woman. It’s not the same at all…

      You can’t generalize like that. Some women have consistently heavy menses, some just spot, some vary from month to month. I spotted heavily during the first two months of my pregnancy, and it didn’t occur to me that I should go buy a test kit until I started experiencing queasiness.

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    63. I always assumed Maester Wolkan was one of those burning bodies on the crosses outside of Winterfell just before the battle. That way, Ramsay could be sure there would be no contradictory story as to how Roose and Walda died, or what happened to Myranda’s body.

      Really kind of glad to see that he survived. Don’t you think his services after a huge battle would be welcomed and needed more than the need to punish him? I can imagine there would still be a few soldiers with wounds that would need tending, and quite a few still suffering horribly from their wounds and trauma, including Vale soldiers, which might explain why LF would be in a discussion with him. Remember, Talisa nursed soldiers from both armies, and nobody protested her presence as healer, or questioned her “foreign” birth when she was sewing them up, they only protested her presence in Robb’s bed. Wolkan’s services would probably be welcomed in the same manner. Nobody is going to question his loyalty while he’s busy tending to wounds.

      The very fact that he had been with the Boltons for so long, and knew and feared Ramsay. even when Ramsay was a child, gave rise to some questions in my mind though. He knew that Ramsay was a psycho. As old as he is, he would have some idea of the politics of Westeros and certainly Ramsay’s feelings about another heir. I always wondered why the hell he came out blurting out the news about the birth of the new son in Ramsay’s presence. You’d think he’d be a little more savvy than that, but oh well. It worked out.

      Anyway, I don’t see any harsh judgments being passed on the servants. After seeing how that poor old lady was flayed by Ramsay ( the “North Remembers” lady who was so kind to Sansa) what were they going to do? It’s not like they could easily run away and find other jobs, he’d hunt them down, and they knew it. There was nothing else to do but serve Ramsay. Sansa was appalled by what happened to that old lady, she wouldn’t go hard on the other servants for staying and serving the Boltons.

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    64. Thronetender,

      We stilll never found out who was meant to be on those crosses.. remember all the fuss here on who it may or may not be? I’m sure we’d been told it’d be someone we know and care about, but not a child..

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    65. Apollo,

      Good point. Who were the people on the crosses? Who were Littlefinger’s friends in the North? How did he plan to rescue Sansa, had she failed to escape? All there questions look unimportant now, but there is a probability that answers may reveal some big things about Littlefinger (hopefully leading to his demise). Maester Wolkan’s return gives hope that we are going to get these answers. Can’t wait.

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    66. Inga:
      Apollo,

      Good point. Who were the people on the crosses? Who were Littlefinger’s friends in the North? How did he plan to rescue Sansa, had she failed to escape? All there questions look unimportant now, but there is a probability that answers may reveal some big things about Littlefinger (hopefully leading to his demise). Maester Wolkan’s return gives hope that we are going to get these answers. Can’t wait.

      I have a feeling that this Maester could be one of LFs friends in the North. Whilst he may have been petrified of Ramsay (with good cause), I’m guessing that’s something LF would use to his advantage against the Maester, and he could have been a puppet for LF all along.

      As I said before, this would mean LF would be very aware of Ramsays true nature, and I think this could be where he gets caught out.

      I know that the hound seems to be the preferred mechanism for Sansa to learn of LFs treachery, but we don’t actually know he’s headed to WF yet and the show has already neglected to use other obvious means for exposing LF (such as Brienne hearing of LFs mission from Cersei in S5).

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    67. Firannion,

      Really? I didn’t know that. That would suck for it to vary month to month. Everyone I’ve known gets it pretty much like clockwork- around same time each month for the same duration… anyway. Thanks for the education because I wasn’t aware that some women don’t have that luxury! My bad.

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    68. This actor is a prime example of how the show’s secondary casting is so good. Only had a very small part, but he did so much with it. His fear was so palpable yet also very subtle — you could definitely imagine the terror he lived in working for the Boltons but it wasn’t over the top.

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    69. I don’t get it the “why”? Maesters are always visible. Jon’s a king now, his household’s Maester is important aspect. Maybe he’ll get to do something, that’s vital, but even if not, it would have been out of place for him not to be there.

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    70. Danielle Stark:
      Firannion,

      Really? I didn’t know that. That would suck for it to vary month to month. Everyone I’ve known gets it pretty much like clockwork- around same time each month for the same duration… anyway. Thanks for the education because I wasn’t aware that some women don’t have that luxury!My bad.

      The only time my cycle was ever like clockwork was when I was on the Pill. Lots of women are ‘irregular.’ There are many factors that can affect hormone production. For me, it might have had to do with the fact that I was quite skinny in my youth, and fatty tissue is needed to produce estrogen. Thin girls tend to have later onset of menstruation, and women with extremely low body fat, like marathon runners, sometimes stop menstruating altogether.

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    71. LatrineDiggerBrian: This actor is a prime example of how the show’s secondary casting is so good. Only had a very small part, but he did so much with it

      This is true, on all counts. They do an excellent casting job. Nina Gold must have a prophet’s eye when it comes to seeing into people and knowing what they can produce and how they’ll interact with the other cast members. Little Bear Lyanna is a prime example, but even in the smallest parts, like the nasty dudes that killed Brother Ray were just the right amount of gross without going over the top, and the desk man at the Citadel. Even Baby Sam is adorable – those scenes of him reaching for Sam’s mother with a smile on his face were perfect. And yes, Maester Wolkan.

      Apollo: We stilll never found out who was meant to be on those crosses.. remember all the fuss here on who it may or may not be?

      Oh yes, there were all kinds of theories: Maybe Ramsay somehow captured Tormund, or maybe it was Rickon and Osha. Sue had to tell us more than once that it wasn’t Rickon. Yep, I can hardly wait to see how crazed we will all get as pictures from the filming sites leak out and we try to figure out how they fit into the plot. Or even what the heck the plot might be.

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    72. Pigeon: But it really doesn’t matter since she’s likely not. Ramsay is part of her now…but in her head, not her offspring.

      I hope you are right. We’ve touched on this before, but what a blow it would be to find out she’s pregnant. Her deciding on how or if to love the child of such a brute would add another facet to the good Sansa/bad Sansa debate.

      If the show were going to be a full 10 episodes for the next two seasons, I could see them getting into it, but I don’t think there will be time to delve into such issues. There is still too much to get into with Bran and whatever visions he is destined to have – or how Bran and Meera can survive being dumped at the foot of a tree in the middle of nowhere without even a blanket or dead rabbit to tide them over. Or how Cersei is going to be as Queen.

      Speaking of Cersei as Queen, and I know this is off-topic so forgive me, but how will she find out that Dany’s army is on its way until it is at the gates? Will there be spies on the sea? Or will someone see the army landing in Dorne and ride to warn her? I doubt that. This show has never been big on sending out scouting forays – hence Jaime and Bronn getting caught in the Water Gardens instead of sleuthing around first; or someone being able to burn the ships in Slaver’s Bay without warning. The only characters who seem to make use of spies are Varys and LF. So, is Cersei going to suddenly become smarter, and know in advance of either Euron and/or Dany?

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    73. Thronetender: Speaking of Cersei as Queen, and I know this is off-topic so forgive me, but how will she find out that Dany’s army is on its way until it is at the gates?Will there be spies on the sea? Or will someone see the army landing in Dorne and ride to warn her?I doubt that. This show has never been big on sending out scouting forays – hence Jaime and Bronn getting caught in the Water Gardens instead of sleuthing around first; or someone being able to burn the ships in Slaver’s Bay without warning.The only characters who seem to make use of spies are Varys and LF. So, is Cersei going to suddenly become smarter, and know in advance of either Euron and/or Dany?

      In one of the early episodes last season – I think it was 603, but I could be wrong – we had a scene in Qyburn’s laboratory with the little birds that turned into a meeting between Qyburn, Cersei, Jaime and UnGregor. In that scene, Cersei told Qyburn that she wanted (am paraphrasing here) spies in Highgarden, in Dorne and in the North – and told him that if someone else wanted to make her losses their gains, she wanted to know about it. If Qyburn has done his duty and set up his spy network correctly, she may get information regarding the alliance Olenna and the Sand Snakes have made with Daenerys, and on the Battle of the Bastards, this way.

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    74. why does there need to be a maester at Winterfell for this scene?

      Because somebody has to clean out the rookery? 😉

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    75. Alba Stark: spies in Highgarden, in Dorne and in the North – and told him that if someone else wanted to make her losses their gains, she wanted to know about it. If Qyburn has done his duty and set up his spy network correctly, she may get information regarding the alliance Olenna and the Sand Snakes have made with Daenerys, and on the Battle of the Bastards, this way.

      oooo Nice catch! and great point, too! You are right … we were very subtly shown how far-reaching her influence has become in a variety of ways that didn’t fully register as that until now: through the play in Bravos, showing Cersei as the heroine, Tyrion the absolute villain, and Ned as a buffoon. The fact that that play was so thoroughly wrong and biased means that someone put full effort into making sure it was that way. Then there was the scene of the Mountain pulverizing that goof’s head, showing that locally there is someone watching and reporting. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Qyburn, new hand of the Queen, has been and will continue to do his job of maintaining “little birds” everywhere.

      What if they pull a total surprise on us? We are all so sure that Cersei will quickly fail as Queen and/or be dealt with one way or another by an angry Jaime. What if that doesn’t happen, if she shows talent now that she has full power? Far-fetched maybe, but the writers have inserted those little “clues,” showing that she was more aware than we realized. Something to think about.

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    76. I have seen many people suggesting that since the actors who play Jon, Brienne, Podrick and Tormund were seen wearing cooling shirts, it means they are shooting a fighting scene etc. It doesn’t mean that at all, because those are the actors who always wear these shirts under their costumes, their costumes are heavy…Brienne and Podrick usually wear their armors and Jon and Tormund wear huge fur clothes. Others – Davos, Littlefinger – don’t wear those, that’s why they don’t have cooling shirts.

      So, there is nothing suggesting that there is a fighting scene, they can all be just talking, wearing their usual costumes. There is nothing indicating that there is fighting anyway. We see that young girl and boy and another northern lord around, so it’s more likely that people are meeting and having discussions.

      The only thing that is surprising in these spoilers is the absence of Sophie Turner. Maybe they decide to protect Sansa from Cersei by using a look-alike, especially if Sansa has to travel somewhere, and they found that girl to pose like her. Maybe Brienne, Podrick, LF and the look-alike will leave together and go south etc., pretending that Sansa is with them, but she actually stays in Winterfell? This may be part of Littlefinger’s plans, who will try to negotiate with either Cersei or Daenerys etc. They would find a girl who can fight and carries a sword so that she can defend herself at least, if they are attacked…Or, maybe Sansa leaves Winterfell too, to negotiate with Tyrion and Daenerys, and they just use the second Sansa to fool people during their travel etc. Maybe Sophie Turner had her scenes filmed before these set photos, and they were filming with fake Sansa now.

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    77. Thronetender,

      “What if they pull a total surprise on us? We are all so sure that Cersei will quickly fail as Queen and/or be dealt with one way or another by an angry Jaime. What if that doesn’t happen, if she shows talent now that she has full power?”

      Who says we are all so sure that Cersei will quickly fail? I never thought she would fail. That’s not a surprise to me, I totally believe that Cersei+Euron will defeat everybody, Daenerys will lose, and Cersei will only be beaten because probably Jaime will kill her in the end – not before season finale.

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    78. innocence: Who says we are all so sure that Cersei will quickly fail? I never thought she would fail. That’s not a surprise to me, I totally believe that Cersei+Euron will defeat everybody, Daenerys will lose, and Cersei will only be beaten because probably Jaime will kill her in the end.

      Wow, no I hadn’t seen anyone express the opinion that Cersei was going to defeat Daenerys. If you had previously, I must have missed it. I should have written that I had seen many opinions to the effect that Cersei would be taken down quickly by Jaime and that Cersei would make bad decisions as a ruler and that her reign would be short. I personally don’t believe Jaime will kill her. I’ve said it many times. He might be annoyed with her, but he won’t harm her. They spent all last season declaring their love for each other, and Jaime didn’t lose an opportunity to tell everyone else that he loved Cersei.

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    79. Thronetender,

      Personally, I’m %100 sure that Jaime and Brienne are the endgame there, and they will be an item in/after season 7 finale. So, I don’t think Jaime will keep loving Cersei anymore or he will die loving her or with her. The show kept all these subtle, and kept Jaime still seemingly loving Cersei until season 6 finale except some subtext with Brienne, despite the fact that in the books he got disillusioned about her long time ago and actually abandoned her in Riverrun and has been absent with Brienne for weeks, so that it will be surprising to especially show-only fans when he actually starts realizing that he loves Brienne and…he “shockingly” kills Cersei in the end. I think especially the show is just trying to hide the fact that Jaime is the valonqar. I mean, I will be surprised if he isn’t but many fans don’t see these coming, I think, so it will be surprising for some.

      And personally I’m also almost certain that Daenerys will lose, I will be very surprised if she doesn’t. I think Daenerys is a red herring, I never believed that she would be the queen sitting on the iron throne in the end, or that she would marry Jon.

      So, I can see that these will be shocking/huge surprise for you, maybe for most people on this site, I don’t know, I haven’t used this site much but those are no surprise to me at all, this is what I exactly expect and many fans I know think and guess this way. In fact there is no one I know (among my friends) who thinks Daenerys will win etc, now that I think about it. The popular opinions on this site may not reflect all the fandom.

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    80. innocence: So, I can see that these will be shocking/huge surprise for you, maybe for most people on this site

      Other readers have referred to the fact, as you have, that book-Jaime discards the letter Cersei sends him and fails to come to her aid. I didn’t know that in the books he is actually with Brienne. That does surprise me, especially since he went to the pains of actually saying he wasn’t leaving her alone, when Tommen banished him. This just makes the outcome of their relationship all the more interesting because it has played out so differently in each place.

      But it won’t be a big old shock to me if Dany never takes the throne. I can kind of agree with you there. But I don’t think Cersei gets the best of her.

      Based on her visions in the House of the Undying, way back in season 2, I haven’t thought Dany would take the throne. The visions show her walking through the throne room in Kings Landing, where the ceiling of the room is all burned out and snow is falling gently on everything. She is shown reaching for the throne but never actually touching it, then hearing the call of her dragons. She goes through a door in the throne room, and it suddenly changes to look like the gate in the Wall at Castle Black. She walks through the cold snowy mist beyond the Wall to find a Dothraki style tent. Khal Drogo and her unborn baby are in the tent.

      I’ve always taken this to mean that her Dragons burn out the Keep/Throne room at Kings Landing, meaning to me that she defeats whomever was on the throne at the time, then answers a call to go North. I took the sight of Drogo in the cold North, where he would never normally be, to mean that something catastrophic happens to her in the North, where she is then reunited with Drogo and her baby. A bittersweet ending, indeed.

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    81. Thronetender: Other readers have referred to the fact, as you have, that book-Jaime discards the letterCersei sends him and fails to come to her aid.I didn’t know that in the books he is actually with Brienne.That does surprise me, especially since he went to the pains of actually saying he wasn’t leaving her alone, when Tommen banished him.This just makes the outcome of their relationship all the more interesting because it has played out so differently in each place.

      But it won’t be a big old shock to me if Dany never takes the throne. I can kind of agree with you there. But I don’t think Cersei gets the best of her.

      Based on her visions in the House of the Undying, way back in season 2, I haven’t thought Dany would take the throne. The visions show her walking through the throne room in Kings Landing, where the ceiling of the room is all burned out and snow is falling gently on everything. She is shown reaching for the throne but never actually touching it, then hearing the call of her dragons. She goes through a door in the throne room, and it suddenly changes to look like the gate in the Wallat Castle Black. She walks through the cold snowy mist beyond the Wall to find a Dothraki style tent. Khal Drogo and her unborn baby are in the tent.

      This is exactly what I believe will happen with Dany too. And it ties in pretty well with Miri Maz Duur’s prophecy.

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    82. Apollo: This is exactly what I believe will happen with Dany too. And it ties in pretty well with Miri Maz Duur’s prophecy.

      Was Miri Maz Duur’s prophecy something that was in the books? If so, please say what it was, if you can find it. I’d really be interested in knowing what it was. I don’t remember her making any prophecies on the show, except for the “when the sun rises in the west…” stuff, and saying that Dany wouldn’t hear her scream on the funeral pyre.

      I guess it’s time for a full, six-season binge-watch pretty soon, anyway. I know I’ll be doing that some time in late winter or early spring, when my yen for GoT gets the better of me, and I know there will still be months of waiting. 🙁

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    83. Regarding book-Jaime’s abandonment of Cersei, and going to be with Brienne – can one of you book readers tell me what his frame of mind is? In the books, has he found Brienne just so he can be with an honorable female ally and be honorable by her side; or is he actually having romantic feelings toward her? It was a real surprise to me to hear that in the books he’s with Brienne. If somebody has the time, I’d like to know the particulars of that.

      He’s only good in Brienne’s presence. He’s kind and thoughtful, chivalrous even, as a good knight is supposed to be. That scene at Riverrun, where he tells her to keep the sword Oathkeeper was very touching. As soon as he gets back with Cersei, however, he reverts to being callous and cynical, yearning for power and revenge. Maybe his short experiences with true fatherhood, even though they were a disaster, brought out some goodness in him, goodness that he wishes to develop. It will be very interesting to see what show-Jaime does.

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    84. Thronetender: Was Miri Maz Duur’s prophecy something that was in the books? If so, please say what it was, if you can find it

      “When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east,” said Mirri Maz Duur. “When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then he will return, and not before.”

      It should be noted that just because a maegi said it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to come true. She may have been just trying to make Dany feel utterly defeated at that point. There are also quite a few theories positing ways in which the ‘prophecy’ has already come true.

      Also, when Dany is wandering in the Dothraki Sea toward the end of ADwD, she appears to be having a miscarriage. So any unequivocal statement to the effect that she can no longer bear children needs to be taken with a very large grain of salt. MMD had an agenda, and GRRM specializes in writing about biased histories, false conventional wisdom and unreliable narrators.

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    85. Inga: Definitely, Sansa will be too ashamed to tell about her supposed pregnancy to Jon or even Brienne, and Littlefinger may appear to her as her only savior… Tinfoil, I know, but not impossible IMO. What do you think?

      She might be annoyed that she’s pregnant, or deeply saddened, but I see no reason for shame. Even though she was married to a monster, she was indeed married; the child would not be a bastard. She’d have reason for distress, but not shame. Biologically, considering that she said he comes to her every night, and it went on for at least a couple of months, she should be pregnant. (NO please NO, though) Marrying LF would only make a bad situation worse, and I think she has been shown to have developed a little more sense than that. “only a fool trusts Littlefinger.”

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    86. Firannion: So any unequivocal statement to the effect that she can no longer bear children needs to be taken with a very large grain of salt. MMD had an agenda, and GRRM specializes in writing about biased histories, false conventional wisdom and unreliable narrators.

      Nicely written post, thanks! If they said the part about her “womb quickening ” on the show, I didn’t remember that. You see, I think that if she can’t have children, that makes her far less desirable as a mate to one of the Westerosi lords, unless that lord already has children. They would want a woman who could breed and further their lines.

      If someone marries her, and she’s barren, that situation invites the search for a fertile woman and the making of bastards, much as Rhaegar did with Elia, in running away with Lyanna. That wouldn’t be a good situation for our Dany. On the show they would either show her as able to bear children, or … put into a perilous situation with a dire outcome that makes the question moot. Bittersweet.

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    87. Firannion: MMD had an agenda, and GRRM specializes in writing about biased histories, false conventional wisdom and unreliable narrators.

      To take your “false conventional wisdom” a little further, I think we saw evidence of that with Sansa. She thoroughly believed when the little old lady who came to her bedchamber told her that “the North remembers.” At the war discussion, she told Jon and the others that the North would be totally willing to come to their aid. She learned a sad lesson when even her own great Uncle didn’t ride to her aid, and the rest of the lords wanted no part of her or any other Stark.

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    88. Thronetender,
      You might be right: shame is not a right word to describe devastation women in such situations. But I was recently reading several articles and studies on this topic based on experiences from East Prussia (1945), Rwanda (1994), and ISIS (nowadays) – places where the number of rapes and children conceived in the result was (or is) really MASSIVE. So, what I got from that was that women indeed don’t want to talk about it and that they tend to hide that their chicldren were conceived in a rape act.
      (Sorry for my English – not my native language, but it’s really hard to find the right words to discuss such matter even in your native tongue).

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    89. Firannion,

      In fact, what Mirri Maz Duur said implies that Dany will be reunited with Drogo only after she bears a living child (from another man I suppose), so either she will die in childbirth, or the father of that child will become a new Khal Drogo. Looking at you, Jon Snow-Targarian, and hoping for happy ending against all odds.

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    90. Inga:
      Firannion,

      In fact, what Mirri Maz Duur said implies that Dany will be reunited with Drogo only after she bears a living child (from another man I suppose), so either she will die in childbirth, or the father of that child will become a new Khal Drogo. Looking at you, Jon Snow-Targarian, and hoping for happy ending against all odds.

      Presuming that her prophecy comes true. But as the author never tires of reminding us, “Words are wind.”

      Certainly, death in childbirth – or more frequently soon thereafter, from “childbed fever” or sepsis – was EXTREMELY common in the centuries before germ theory was figured out, and would be a very plausible way for Dany to go. That’s why I always laugh when fans use the fact that Dany, Jon and Tyrion all had mothers who died in childbirth as “proof” that they must be the Three Heads of the Dragon. Yup, those three and a few million others of their contemporaries, at least.

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    91. Inga: So, what I got from that was that women indeed don’t want to talk about it and that they tend to hide that their chicldren were conceived in a rape act.
      (Sorry for my English – not my native language, but it’s really hard to find the right words to discuss such matter even in your native tongue).

      Your English is fine – you’ve managed to express yourself very well these past weeks. Those horrifying situations you mentioned, those poor, devastated women. The shame lies in the fact that the situations happened at all. The further shame is that such acts seem to be condoned by other men in power. That there are men who believe that such devastating acts are necessary as a power play in conquering lands, in this day and age, is disheartening and disgusting to me.

      I imagine that what these poor women must be experiencing is major shock and disbelief that such things could happen at all. It’s destructive to their bodies and mental conditions, and on top of being in such a degrading situation, where degradation of a people is the end game, is the work of wondering how to and if you even should care for children conceived and born under such conditions. It’s easy for me to say in the face of such stark realities that they should feel no shame. I have no idea how it is.

      And I apologize if you thought my answer about Sansa was insensitive in any way. You didn’t say so, but that’s how it may have appeared. I was making a reply based on a fictional character. But it doesn’t make it any less devastating

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    92. Thronetender: To take your “false conventional wisdom” a little further, I think we saw evidence of that with Sansa.She thoroughly believed when the little old lady who came to her bedchamber told her that “the North remembers.” At the war discussion, she told Jon and the others that the North would be totally willing to come to their aid. She learned a sad lesson when even her own great Uncle didn’t ride to her aid, and the rest of the lords wanted no part of her or any other Stark.

      Yes, and there are many, many incidences of this sort of thing happening all through the books, beginning with Ned being Jon’s reputed father. I will be interested to see how much actual truth there was in Illyrio’s reassurances to Viserys and Dany that Westeros was loaded with closet Targ supporters just waiting for their chance to come out of hiding and wave dragon banners to welcome them.

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    93. Bearing in mind though, Dany has already bore three living children. They may have wings and breathe fire, but she brought them into the world, without doubt. There’s little else to happen for the prophecy to be fulfilled ?

      Inga:
      Firannion,

      In fact, what Mirri Maz Duur said implies that Dany will be reunited with Drogo only after she bears a living child (from another man I suppose), so either she will die in childbirth, or the father of that child will become a new Khal Drogo. Looking at you, Jon Snow-Targarian, and hoping for happy ending against all odds.

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    94. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it turns out that ‘cowardly’ Maester Wolkan was risking his life all along by surreptitiously supplying Sansa with moon tea, against Ramsay’s wishes? Perhaps Fat Walda even helped, wanting her own child to be the sole legitimate heir apparent?

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    95. Thronetender,
      Seasons 5 and 6 truly started the mythbusting process in earnest. For four-five series, the characters told one another, themselves and ultimately us stories about who and what they were and the last couple of years, we started getting reality checks : “Daddy Targaryen was actually great and all the tales about his madness were made up by his enemies”, debunked; “Lyanna was abducted by Rhaegar”, debunked; “the North remembers”, debunked; “Ned won the combat at the Tower of Joy fair and square”, debunked; “Ned never lied”, debunked; “the Starks are above the fray”, debunked; etc.

      To me, it was one of the most interesting aspects of the last couple of seasons, I have to say.

      Firannion,
      I like this idea. A lot.
      Wolkan, working undercover to save the world from a Bolton infestation… Yep, I really like that.

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    96. ACME: To me, it was one of the most interesting aspects of the last couple of seasons, I have to say.

      You are right about the mythbusting. You thought of a bunch that didn’t register to me as exactly that: another myth busted, like the one about Ned at the Tower of Joy. So, that leads to the question of what myths there are left that may or may not be true? For instance, the stories about the Wall being built with strong spells that are supposed to keep the wights and White Walkers north of the Wall. As far as I can remember in the show, that story has never actually been challenged. It’s just a story, but no White Walkers have actually tested it. If my memory is not right, please let me know. I don’t know if, in the books, the myth has been tested.

      Of course, the story that if you are touched/marked by a White Walker that it negates the spells, has already been proven by Bran being touched and the WW being able to raid the cave and kill the old TERaven. I can’t think right now of any other myths, but you guys can probably come up with carloads of them.

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    97. ACME,

      You know, I don’t agree with you. Let’s think what kind of mythbusting we actually saw.
      “Daddy Targaryen was actually great and all the tales about his madness were made up by his enemies”? Maybe, but that was Dany’s private myth and, considering her experiences with Viserys, she should have doubted her family’s virtues long before people started telling her the truth about the Mad King.
      “Lyanna was abducted by Rhaegar”? Still to be seen: the fact that she cared about her baby does not exclude the possibility of abduction.
      “Ned won the combat at the Tower of Joy fair and square”? Who ever said that? Definitely, not Ned.
      “Ned never lied”? We saw him confessing his “sins” on the scaffold back in S1 and the revelation of the TOJ only proved that Ned was indeed a good man for whom loyalty to his family was above all – even above his personal honor.
      But what worries me most of all is “The North Remembers”. I saw so many revolutions in my 42 years and every time the breaking point was reached when the public rose in defense of someone who was or was deemed to be harmed gratuitously. Analysts have even developed a concept of the “sacralized victim” to describe this phenomenon. And in our case, Littlefinger clearly set Sansa to play the role of that sacralized victim and to serve as a catalyst for the anti-Bolton uprising. So, what happened that it didn’t work? The lords who declared to Ramsay were outcasts themselves: Smalljon Umber had some issues with his dad and earnded reputation of an unloyal son; and Harald Karstark was known to be into boys. So, the triumvirate had to be hated and despised. It was feared too, of cause, but by escaping Winterfell Sansa showed that Ramsay was not invincible. Her success should have triggered hopes for better future, and yet she was met with disdain even by the most devoted Stark loyalists (same as Jon who was talked about as the best swordsman who ever walked, which was something in the medieval world).
      So, it might be a simple plot hole, but I was thinking: what if the public oppinion was manipulated? When Sansa rejected Littlefinger’s offer, he got into a rather tricky situation. He couldn’t turn his army back to the Vale – even Sweetrobin would have asked why. So, the only chance for Littlefinger was to force Sansa to accept his offer and therefore he had to do everything possible and impossible to undermine her attempts to rally the northerners for the Stark cause. He had some friends, so he could use them as agents of influence: he could spread the word that Sansa is not as pure as everyone thought, that Jon let the wildlings in exclusively for a selfish interest of gainin an army of his own, etc. You know, people are compelled to fight for the right cause against whatever odds, but on the other hand, they may become extremely cautious, when they think that they are being manipulated by some power-hungry players. So, if Littlefinger managed to present Sansa and Jon as such, that could be an explanation for the northern amnesia.

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    98. ACME: To me, it was one of the most interesting aspects of the last couple of seasons, I have to say.

      That is common in these sorts of stories, and it’s a tradition that dates back to at least Anna Karenina. Making characters deapotheosize their own gods has always been a very effect tool for getting the character evolution that creates the stories in the first place.

      Inga: Maybe, but that was Dany’s private myth and, considering her experiences with Viserys, she should have doubted her family’s virtues long before people started telling her the truth about the Mad King.

      Not really: remember, to be able to recognize madness, you have to be well-used to sanity. In Daeny’s mind, Virserys’ mental instability would have been just the way true kings acted: and her own sane behavior probably would have been accepted as her own lack of regal behavior. Moreover, Viserys’ hints at insanity were just that: he never got to the point where he showed anything like his father’s madness.

      Inga: And in our case, Littlefinger clearly set Sansa to play the role of that sacralized victim and to serve as a catalyst for the anti-Bolton uprising.

      That is not why Littlefinger did this. LF was burning both ends of the candle: and a third or fourth to boot. LF did this so that no matter who won between Stannis and the Boltons, he could (and with the Crown’s blessing) take Winterfell from either Stannis or the Boltons without forfeiting his alliance with the Lannisters. Moreover, LF had to know that Sansa could not be a catalyst for a rebellion: holed up in Winterfell, she would have zero ability to do anything. At most, Sansa might be able to weaken the Boltons at WF by playing Cersei’s game: but, of course, LF would have no way of knowing just what Ramsay was all about. (Even the Starks had no idea about Ramsay!)

      Inga: So, what happened that it didn’t work? The lords who declared to Ramsay were outcasts themselves:

      The Lords who declared for Ramsay were not outcasts. Like all people, they had their issues. Hate your father? That’s probably half of the lords themselves. Issues with little boys? OK, definitely a bit scandalous: but every household would have similar rumors hanging around it.

      And the why is given in the show. Sansa, herself, explains to Ramsay why the North did not rally to her cause immediately: she forgot to feed the dogs. The Starks had led the North into a costly war for the 2nd time in a generation, and this time the consequences were absolutely disastrous for the northerners. Moreover, many of the northerners blamed Robb’s choice of wife for the cause of their defeat. (Irrational, yes: but also very human.) Catelyn’s treason wound up costing a loyal Northern lord his head. And then, to top it all off, a Stark bastard lets the Wildlings into Westeros. Sansa herself did not help: by marrying a Bolton, she was essentially validating the Boltons. And, of course, the Boltons were smart: they did what the Starks were supposed to have done and helped many of the Northern houses out after the Red Wedding.

      What this really was was yet another myth-busting. Sansa believed that Northerners blindly supported the Starks because of the Stark name. Instead, she learned the same hard lesson that she passed on to Ramsay: loyalty is never free, and if you do not uphold your end of the bargains, then your loyal dogs will eat your face rather than blindly love you. Ramsay’s savaging was simply a metaphor for what the Starks had allowed happen to themselves.

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    99. Wimsey,

      It’s always such a pleasure to argue with you.

      Well, I won’t argue about Dany and her initial ideas about her farther or dynasty as a whole. What we saw was that she accepted the fact that her father was a bad man quite easily (and she always knew that her brother was shit and did not mourn him when he got his golden crown), but who knows – she might have idealised her dynasty initially, if you say so.

      What I intend to argue is your view on the North. My country (and region) has a long record of uprisings since the 13th century till nowadays, so I know a bit about how the things work and that’s why I can’t agree upon your concept.
      1) You totally misunderstand the concept of the sacral victim. A sacral victim is not a leader, it doesn’t have to be a person either. It’s just the straw that breaks the camel’s back provoking discontent, and then the leadership is taken by someone else. And in our case Littlefinger was clearly setting up everything so, that Sansa could become a sacral victim, and he himself could become her savor/leader of the northern uprising. Or do you think he would have yielded this role to Stannis? IMO, no more than to Jon (it’s only that Jon stole his victory when he broke into Winterfell with his own men).
      2) Regarding loyalty and feeding the dogs. Loyalty to the Starks was based on their reptation, not the name as such, but the Stark name embodyed that reputation. Robb stained that reputation a bit, because he lost, but it was still safe to assume that the surviving Starks would have been better rulers than the Boltons, who helped the Glovers – yes, but flayed the Cerwins and were threatening to do the same with the others. Fighting for the Starks, the northerners would have been fighting for themselves and for the better future for their children. And that’s why people fight in all the uprisings and revolutions – not because some leader gives or promises or gives them something.
      3) Regarding the wildlings: tell me at least one medieval feud, that didn’t involve foreign forces. Sometimes their involvement backfired, but it most of the cases people were ready to accept anyone who was helping to end up true or imagined tyrany.

      So, to sum up: I may be overthinking, or it might be the result of poor writing, but there is something wrong for me. And knowing that Littlefinger was scheming some conspiracy, I look at him.

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    100. Hey Inga!

      It’s not that I misunderstand the sacral victim (although I admit that it had been a while since I had seen that term: I had to look it up again to make sure that I remembered it rightly!). It’s that I do not think that LF intended Sansa to be anything like. LF does not seem to know much about the North or how northerners think: and this seems to be very typical of the south. The North rarely involves itself in southern affairs, after all, and it seems that much of what even world-experience Southerners think that they know about the North is very incomplete. As such, I don’t think that the other Northerners were part of LF’s plan, unless he assumed that they would side with the Boltons against the intruding Baratheon forces, or perhaps that they would be split into pro-Baratheon and pro-Bolton forces.

      Instead, I think that LF had a much more basic plan. He basically planted a wanted fugitive on the Boltons in order to drive a wedge between them and the Lannisters. In a way, it’s no different from a corrupt politician planting a bag of cocaine on a political opponent: Sansa was the dope, not the catalyst. The whole realm knows that Stannis has been at the Wall, and that his armies departed south: and given that Stannis has let everyone know what his goal is, it was pretty obvious that he was going to try to take Winterfell. And this gave LF a simple (and elegantly so!) plan to lead the Vale armies into the North and install Sansa as a puppet. But it was never the Northerners that LF assumed would hurt the Boltons: LF figured that the Vale would mop up either the Baratheons or the Boltons, depending on who won the battle. Like all good politicians, LF told the truth much more often than he lied: he just was careful about how he presented that truth and about how much of the truth he presented.

      Where LF’s ignorance of the North bit him in the rear was in that the Northerners are less wedded (sorry, awful pun) to the concept of “legitimate” than are the Southerners. And, of course, LF probably had no clue that Jon was such a charismatic individual. Indeed, much of that was born of events that had not yet happened: Jon’s foolish tactics in the Battle of the Bastards turned out to be brilliant strategy for unifying the North behind him.

      Moreover, I really do think that the Northerners were well and truly fed up with the Starks just then and there. Remember, they are not going to hate the Boltons the way that we do: they know next to nothing about Ramsay and his depradations, and although they would be angry at Roose for his part in the Red Wedding, 1) Roose’s reaction probably was just an extreme one to what they felt; and, 2) Roose seems to have been very smart in a “hearts and minds” approach following that. People have always blamed their leaders as well as the culprits when leadership fails and they suffer.

      Moreover, how could the Glovers in good conscious support a traitor (Jon) and a woman who shifts allegiances on whims (Sansa) against the family that helped them win back their home? Moreover, if it were not for the Starks, then the Glovers and others who’s lands were occupied by the Iron Born probably would not have needed help in the first place. It was the Boltons, not the Starks, who came to their aid. And it was the Boltons to whom many seemed to turn when faced with a Wildling invasion that a Stark scion was leading. Just because they swore oaths to the Starks first, it does not make the Glovers and others less indebted to the Boltons: and the Starks were failing to hold up their end of the oaths. Dogs must be fed!

      People are, have always been, and will always be casting their lots with the leader who has “done something (good) for me lately.” Real history shows that generations of gratitude can dissipate in moments. That’s what I think happened in the North.

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    101. Wimsey: Not really: remember, to be able to recognize madness, you have to be well-used to sanity.

      Wimsey! This is the first I’ve seen of you in a while. So glad to see posts from you – I don’t always agree with you, but your posts always add to and help maintain the sanity. Hope you have been well.

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    102. Inga: A sacral victim is not a leader, it doesn’t have to be a person either. It’s just the straw that breaks the camel’s back provoking discontent, and then the leadership is taken by someone else.

      In the case of the North, at least imho, that straw was little Lady Lyanna. There was no evident direction as to where that meeting of the lords was going to go until she stood and chastised everyone so eloquently. Not that she was a victim, worse for LF, she was a catalyst, and though a little girl, amazingly she garnered the respect of all there. That respect is something “Lord” Petyr Baelish yearns for, and he won’t yield it to a 10 year old without a fight.

      In Littlefinger’s eyes, she will be an “enemy” of his, someone he will have to keep his lizard eye on, an effective unknown. Another pesky female he’s going to have to control, whatever way he can devise. He will consider Lyanna’s abilities to rouse the lords an affront to himself, and you remember what he does to females who dare offend him. Ros? Lysa? Catelyn even?

      Then again, that’s a plot line that might take time to develop, and there isn’t much time. Part of what so impressed me about Season 6 is the way the writers so elegantly dispatched some of the major plot points with a minimal amount of dilly-dallying: Traitor’s dealt with, check. Melisandre is 400 yrs old (!) check; Jon rezzed, check. Hodor’s history (omg) check; White Walkers’ origin, check. You get the idea. The very last episode was a model of elegant efficiency and great storytelling. My point being that as much as I’d love for a long series to delve into LF’s lizard brain, motives and methods, or agonize over Northern politics, I don’t think that’s going to happen in the next two seasons. The writers are going to set a course and go directly there. So the joy of long discourse over certain facets of the story is going to have to be found right here, at WotW. 🙂

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    103. Thronetender,

      The Ned Stark doesn’t lie is true but for some reason HBO wanted to change GRRMs vision. In the books he gives Reed the credit for saving his life in battle at ToJ.

      It’s bad story telling. We have a Ned Stark who will sacrifice his honor and pretend he had a mistress in war. But who then gloats over killing a better swordsman singlehanded to his kids for no useful purpose? It makes no sense.

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    104. Thronetender: So, that leads to the question of what myths there are left that may or may not be true? For instance, the stories about the Wall being built with strong spells that are supposed to keep the wights and White Walkers north of the Wall.

      All the stories surrounding the Wall are as fishy as a bouillabaisse, to be honest ^^

      According to the myth, Bran the Builder engineered its construction with the help of giants in order to keep the Others away. But it is made of ice…
      Why would he have built a protective wall out of the one, sole material the enemies he intended to keep out can control and use better than any humanoid ever could ? Why not rocks or other resources more commonly used in manmade landmarks ? Wouldn’t it make more sense to believe that the Others themselves built it, for whatever reason, or at the very least participated in its creation ?

      The whole thing is bizarre, to say the least.

      Wimsey: That is common in these sorts of stories, and it’s a tradition that dates back to at least Anna Karenina.Making characters deapotheosize their own gods has always been a very effect tool for getting the character evolution that creates the stories in the first place.

      Oh I way not arguing it was original. It is, as you mention, a staple of literature and storytelling in general.
      However, it has been pretty well brought up and dealt with so far so credit where credit is due. ^^

      On another topic entirely, I do agree wholeheartedly with you in regards to the Starks “nor feeding the dogs” and paying the price for it when time to rally up the troops came.
      I would nevertheless like to add a caveat I believe to be important which is that, while the overwhelming majority of Northern Houses refused to support the Direwolves, interestingly enough they did not align with the Boltons either… Their rejection of the Starks was not motivated by or connected to an endorsement of their successors.
      The Northern lords chose not to declare for anyone and prefered to sit this one out.
      Therefore, it appears that whatever Roose may have fed them for three years was not quite good enough for them to embrace fully their new ruler and be willing to fight, kill and die under the Bolton banner.

      In this instance, most Northern Houses were loyal to no one at all.
      I believe this is why Lyanna Mormont’s speech worked so well on them : by refusing to pick a side, the Lords went against the very core of their beloved Northern “fealty above anything else” mythos. And they knew it. They knew it when they did it and could no longer ignore it once the Battle was over.

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    105. WallyFrench: In the books he gives Reed the credit for saving his life in battle at ToJ. … It’s bad story telling. We have a Ned Stark who will sacrifice his honor and pretend he had a mistress in war. But who then gloats over killing a better swordsman singlehanded to his kids for no useful purpose? It makes no sense.

      I didn’t finish all the books, and the first three I did read were read years ago, so the fine details like that I don’t remember at all. That’s why I appreciate all the avid book readers on this site who do remember all those fine details and characterizations. It gives me an additional perspective into this giant tale I’ve grown to love so much.

      Anyway, the only reason I could think of for the tv writers to have done such a thing would be to de-glorify Ned so that they, the other Stark children, might be far more accepting of Jon Snow in a position as head of the Stark household. I don’t know … that theory doesn’t sound quite right even as I type it. But what’s interesting to me is the fact that they did change it.

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    106. ACME: All the stories surrounding the Wall are as fishy as a bouillabaisse, to be honest ^^

      That’s funny. 🙂 The first thing that comes to mind about the construction of the Wall using ice is that that’s all there was. Even rocks would be in short supply in the barren North. (unlike the magical supplies of wood conjured out of nowhere for building a thousand ships in record time in the Iron islands. sorry, I couldn’t resist that bit of pickiness.) And we saw at Hardhome that wooden walls were like toothpicks to the marauding wights anyway. Hence, the stories of spectacular special “spells” meant to keep out the Others.

      Of the many issues I’m keen on seeing uncovered during the next two seasons, some of the most interesting will be uncovering/explaining the lore about the Wall and the Winterfell crypts. I hope they don’t skip over those things. But, if the Wall comes down early in 7, as I think it will, they might not bother with talk about the spells, because obviously the spells didn’t work, or got stale or something.

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    107. Thronetender,

      What you wrote about Lyanna Mormont and the meeting of the northern lords is a good chance to illustrate the concept of the sacralized victim with excamples. Of cause, Lyanna was not a sacralized victim, but Jon was throughout the entire season. First, people stood up for his dead body, then they took actions to resurrect him. After his resurrection Jon was as helpless, as a newborn baby. “I fought – I lost,” was all he could say, but that’s exactly why the wildlings and Lyanna Mormont pitied him, and that’s exactly why everyone fought for him during the Battle of the Bastards. By the end of it Jon resumed his confidence and proved that he was indeed the commander worth fighting for. But in Winterfell he got a one more devastating blow, when he realized that forces which granted him the second life were most probably evil. So, in that meeting of the northern lords he was helpless again, and again that was exactly what moved Lyanna forcing her to take the role of the leader of the moment, though she was absolutely unfit for that role. That’s exactly how the model of a sacralized victim and/or a willing sacrifice works.

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    108. Thronetender,

      That’s as good as anything I could think of for the change. Maybe so when Bran breaks long time held belief of Jon being a bastard he will say “dad lied and Reed helped him” and then some member of the Reed family backs it up.

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    109. Thronetender,

      I think they’re definitely keeping the magic. The whole point of Bran being marked by the Nights King imo is for him to go south of the Wall, thus allowing the Others to cross. I imagine something like the moment Bran passes into Castle Black there’s some sort of massive cracking sound or otherworldly noise….jump to quick scene of Nights King and end episode. Next 6 days internet blows up and this place crashes from traffic.

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    110. WallyFrench,

      I share your theory only partly. I do agree that Bran may cause the fall of the Wall (though there are other options too), however I don’t think the mark Bran got last season will be valid for the Wall. Other stories – especially the ones of Cersei and Dany and Sam – still need to be tied into the endgame of the Battle for the Dawn, so the Wall has to remain intact for some time, most probably, until the finale. On the other hand, Bran cannot be left camping beyond the Wall for the entire season: he has to reveal Jon’s true parentage and many other things which requires his interaction with other leading characters, etc. So, the simplest sollution from the story-telling point would be to annull the mark: it disenchanted the cave, but to disenchant the Wall, the Night’s King will have to grab Bran in his greendream again. That would produce an epic action sequence, so I bet on D&D going this way instead of making Bran mindlessly cross the wall and then deal with the consequences. Making a mistake it’s human, repeating it would be stupid both for the character and the show as a whole.

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    111. WallyFrench: I imagine something like the moment Bran passes into Castle Black there’s some sort of massive cracking sound or otherworldly noise….jump to quick scene of Nights King and end episode. Next 6 days internet blows up and this place crashes from traffic.

      Wouldn’t that scare the sh** out of poor Bran – that huge noise! But between the great noise and the end of the scene we would need to see a spectacular CGI rendering of that crack snaking through the length of the wall. Then little tributary cracks spreading off the main crack towards the top and the bottom, with little chunks flaking off, then bigger ones falling off both sides, some falling through the roof of Castle Black, and the elevator shaking. Poor Edd is trying to maintain order as he casts a panicked gaze at the elevator coming off its hinges right at him. Then a bit of silence just before an ominous crumbling noise and THEN cut to black … “Next 6 days internet blows up and this place crashes from traffic.” How’s that? Or maybe you’re right, better to end with the big noise and save the snaking and crumbling for the opening of the next episode. Either way, when it does go, it’s going to be epic.

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    112. Inga,

      I hadn’t thought of that. That does sound very logical from a story telling point. I think you got me. ?

      Thronetender,

      I think that would be a great way to end the episode! Inga ruined my fun with his/her logic though. Now I need to think of a new way for the Wall to fall if Gimpy Stark isn’t doing the job.

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    113. WallyFrench: Inga ruined my fun with his/her logic though. Now I need to think of a new way for the Wall to fall if Gimpy Stark isn’t doing the job.

      Which is where the unknown magic spells come in. If I read Inga’s post correctly, the idea is that Bran will fall victim to a touch from the Night King again. I don’t think that will happen. Bran will have learned his lesson, we hope, from the first encounter. I’m not sure how Green-dreaming works, but I think he has some control over where his intended destination will be when he touches the tree. It looked as though the old Three Eyed Raven could go directly to an intended dream destination; I’m assuming that Bran can also or will quickly learn to do that. If that’s the case, I doubt whether he’ll go to a dream of the North again, to avoid allowing the NK into his dream and get touched again. Can you imagine the groaning and complaining of the fandom if he gets surprised by the NK again? Don’t think the writers will do that.

      If I have the Green-dreaming methods all wrong, I apologize. Maybe someone will tell me how it’s supposed to work. But that’s what I’ve made of the methods based on what I saw on the show.

      As far as the Wall falling at the end of the season, I still think it will happen early, maybe the middle of the season, when Dany has conquered KL. Doesn’t she and the rest of Westeros have to believe about the WW to get the ball rolling on the battle against them? The rest of the world still thinks reports of wights and WW are merely old wives’ tales of grumpkins and snarks. (or whatever that phrase was.) But they would begin to pay attention if news of the falling Wall filters through the country. Then they’ll believe something unprecedented is happening up North. And Dany will be on her way there and finally meet Jon Snow Targaryen!

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    114. Thronetender,

      I could see it being either as a season finale with the White Walker army marching south. Or I could see it being the point that swings the last 3-4 episodes of season 7. After so many years I hope they spend as much time on the Others as possible. I’ve been anxious to learn about them since the opening scene of the series with the human crop circle.

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    115. Maybe Jon and Wolkan are talking casually when J mentions the letter he received from Ramsay at Castle Black. Wolkan denies having any such letter sent. *all eyes turn to Baelish*

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