From the Maester’s Desk – Endgame: A Time for Wolves

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Back in 2006 (how time flies!) author George R.R. Martin decided to change the title of the seventh ASOIAF novel, then named A Time for Wolves, to A Dream of Spring.

I have to agree with him that the new title fits better- spring does come after winter after all- so it implies that there’s some hope for our beloved characters in general, whereas the working title seemed to refer specifically to the Starks. And really, I don’t think it’s crazy to assume most fans want some justice for House Stark. Just like the direwolf pups, the parents of the Stark kids were killed and they have been forced to fend for themselves – and I gotta add: that moment when the corpse of the mother direwolf was found is some subtle and beautifully done foreshadowing. There have been similar scenes in the show that aren’t in the novels, such as the moment when Tywin is skinning a stag or in the deleted scene from S3 where he’s fishing.

The three surviving Stark children (so far at least) have grown, both in age and in the roles they have adopted, as Lady of Winterfell, No-one and the Three-Eyed Raven.

Now they are back at home, after the defeat of both Ramsay Bolton and Petyr Baelish, but sadly they can’t get too comfortable. The White Walkers are on their way to Winterfell and soon they may have to deal with Cersei Lannister too, since there’s no way she won’t consider them a threat to her reign.

They’re no lone wolves anymore, but will this wolf pack survive the coming storm? Please join me once more in my predictions, this time about what’s awaiting for House Stark in the final season of the show.

ARYA STARK

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All three Stark children have faced different dangers, and while Arya sums up her experiences as simply “training”, we as an audience know she hasn’t just been strolling through countryside or going to class with a kindly and wise old teacher. She’s been dealing with some of the most ruthless and efficient killers in the world, from Sandor Clegane to the Faceless Men, not to mention outlaws, soldiers and even Tywin Lannister himself, and she’s managed to survive thanks to her sharp wit and hard-earned skills. And also a lot of luck.

She may have developed a knack for taking lives, but remains a morally good person (as contradictory as that may sound), since she doesn’t harm innocent people, only those who are evil and/or abusive.

Though she doesn’t have experience with the undead, I think she’ll be able to handle them. Given the chance, she could even kill a White Walker, why not. And wouldn’t that be satisfying? To see her destroying the ultimate foe with relative ease. All her training (with Syrio, the Hound and the Faceless Men) paying off big time.

The moment in Season 7 when she practices with Brienne (Episode 4: The Spoils of War”) was one of the highlights for me, but it’s also used to argue Arya is now too overpowered, or a Mary Sue, even. I disagree with that sentiment, because even if the plot armor has been obvious sometimes (like when she gets stabbed in the stomach by the Waif), she’s gotten her ass kicked enough times and her cool assassin abilities didn’t come out of nowhere.

Brienne and Arya sparring the spoils of war

Where she is now is natural story progression, since the moment Ned decided to hire Syrio to train her. Is she supposed to keep getting dragged through the mud because “it’s not realistic” to have her mastering the Water Dance by now? This maester says hell no. Season 8 is her time to shine, enough of getting slapped or humbled by stern teachers.

Without further ado, these are my predictions for the remainder of Arya’s storyline:

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The Kill List: Only two people remain in Arya’s kill list. Cersei Lannister and Gregor Clegane. The rest are now dead or were spared, the exception being Ilyn Payne, who disappeared from the show because of the actor’s battle with cancer (a fight Wilko Johnson fortunately won, and even though he couldn’t return to his GoT role for whatever reason, he’s doing what he loves and that’s what matters).

I predicted in a past article that Arya could use Littlefinger’s face (or even Jaime’s, if he dies in combat or any other way and Cersei doesn’t know- Qyburn’s another option) to fool Cersei and get close enough to go valonqar on her. After Rickon’s death, Arya is now the youngest Stark member and has both the means and the motivation to take revenge.

But what would be really surprising is the prospect of Arya joining the Cleganebowl (get hype!). Of course, the whole point of that event is having the two Clegane brothers fighting each other, so a third participant has really no place there. This leaves us with three possibilities:

  • Arya either isn’t able to join the fight, or is content with leaving Sandor crossing Gregor’s name off her list. She also wasn’t responsible for Joffrey’s demise, or Tywin’s. As long as the result is the desired person’s death, the means to reach that end don’t really matter.
  • Let’s up the ante even more. If the show is going to deliver on such a crowd-pleasing moment (that at this point has even turned into a meme), why not let the Arya-Sandor duo take on the Mountain at the same time? It wouldn’t necessarily be an unfair fight, since Gregor is freakishly strong and big. Like Bronn says: one misstep and they’re dead.

Sandor may be able to fight his brother on his own, but getting some help wouldn’t hurt.

  • We’re all rooting for Sandor to win the match, but there’s a chance Gregor could pull a second surprise victory, like it happened when he fought Oberyn Martell. And then Arya would have to intervene to either defend an injured Hound, or to take it upon herself to kill Gregor if Sandor dies fighting.

While it would be sad, considering the Hound has mostly changed his ways ever since leaving Joffrey’s service, and can be now considered one of the “good guys”, his status as a fan favorite makes him one of the obvious options for the inevitable character deaths to come.

702 - Riverlands, Arya, Nymeria 3

The wolf pack survives: The Stark storyline in Season 7 ended by making the point that the siblings have solved their differences and are an effective team when working together. Bran and Sansa are no warriors, but Arya is very much a fighter and I think she’ll play a part in the war against the Army of the Dead.

Her unique fighting style will come as a surprise for the Walkers. They are used to fight wildlings and brothers of the Night’s Watch, but when the Night King attacks Winterfell they are going to face a mix of different kinds of warriors: dothrakis, unsullied and a water dancer. Not that it’ll matter much to the wights, since their strength is in numbers: no complicated strategies, just piling on someone and then stabbing or tearing apart. And yet, I think Arya’s agility and smaller size than most soldiers will prove invaluable.

Also, perhaps she’ll receive some help from Nymeria. The appearance of the direwolf during the second episode of Season 7 (“Stormborn”) proved that Nymeria is untamed and enjoys her freedom. She has a pack of her own now, and doesn’t wish to return to Winterfell and be a pet once again. That door could be very well closed for good, but I have a feeling she (and her pack) could make an appearance in a similar fashion to the cavalry arriving when all seems lost. Dozens of wolves tearing some wights (or Golden Company mercenaries) apart.

Nym showing up to save the day could be exciting, and also provide an opportunity for drama if she, like Summer, dies to save her former master.

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Meeting with Melisandre: In a past article about Melisandre and Varys I said that I don’t really think that these characters meeting again will amount to much. And I still feel that way, to be honest.

Melisandre still has an important role to play in the story, otherwise I think she would’ve been already killed for the part she played in Shireen’s murder. But the writers spared her life and the Season 2 veteran will return one last time next year. How Arya will fit in what’s left of the Red Priestess story is still a mystery, however. There has been zero build-up to it, and Arya has no reason to kill her anymore.

But the fact remains: Melisandre predicted they would see each other again in the future. Maybe she’ll reveal something to Arya. It would be fun if, much like the voice Varys heard in the fire when the sorcerer burned his parts, Melisandre tells her something the audience cannot hear. We could just see the expression in Arya’s face. Good news? Bad ones?

It could be a moment that would allow us to keep speculating long after the show is over, without being too important for us to get worked up about it.

On the other hand, if there’s indeed a plan for this particular character reunion, then I’m fully expecting to be surprised. Even if plans changed along the way and there’s no way to make it a big deal now, I do hope they don’t forget about it (or expect us to forget) and address that hanging thread. But to be fair, it wouldn’t be the first time the show abandons a thing that just became irrelevant with the passing of time, like the warlocks’ desire to assassinate Dany (they attempted it once and then…gave up).

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in season 7

Becoming a lone wolf: Much like her direwolf, Arya is a free spirit. Once the war is over and all her enemies are dead, I don’t picture her staying at home, knitting scarfs or reading books in her free time. I feel like that would be unbearable for her.

She’ll most likely travel to other lands, meeting new people or even putting her face-changing abilities to good use by punishing evildoers like some kind of medieval vigilante. Past seasons have showed us that she doesn’t tolerate injustice and people who prey on the weak.

Another possibility I like would have her returning to Braavos and follow Syrio’s footsteps, becoming First Sword or an instructor, passing her water dancing knowledge to young trainees, much like she once was. That way, she could be an example and inspiration for girls and women hindered by social expectations.

Gendry and Arya

Settling down: This is the “fanservice” outcome, and probably a rather unlikely one. If Gendry survives and gets legitimized as a Baratheon, would it be possible for him to start a romantic relationship with Arya? Story-wise, it would be a way to revive the old Stark-Baratheon alliance, with a marriage that doesn’t lead into a war like it happened with Robert’s Rebellion.

And if both characters are in love and feel happy about it, I’d be like “Why not?”. It may not happen, however, because even if Joe Dempsie said that Gentry would love to meet Arya again, he feels like their relationship has almost a sibling element to it, and we also have the age difference to consider. Nothing’s confirmed for the time being, so I guess time will tell.

BRAN STARK

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Although “Bran Stark” technically is no more, since he’s now the Three-Eyed Raven, the name of the character hasn’t really changed (unlike Jon’s, and man, is it going to be difficult to get used to him as “Aegon”) nor was his physical appearance altered, so we can safely include him with his surviving two sisters.

Bran used to dream of becoming a knight, until the day Jaime Lannister crippled him. Ironically enough, that gave him more power than he could’ve ever achieved as a warrior. He now can see and get to learn about everything, and despite Cersei ridicules the notion that “knowledge is power”, it was knowledge what got Littlefinger killed (I’m not sure if the screenwriters planned it this way, but it’s fun to realize how that smug statement did come back to bite Petyr in the ass) and it’ll surely be a big part of what our heroes need to win the Great War. Soldiers and weapons alone won’t be enough to save the day.

Obviously, Bran won’t be able to fight. He said so himself when giving the Valyrian steel dagger to Arya: “It’s wasted on a cripple”. And his role can’t be reduced to that of a simple sentry: after witnessing the fall of the Wall and realizing the Night King has found a new mount for himself, he can give a heads up to his family. Sure, that’s going to be useful, but what else can he do to help? All that training must have a significant pay-off.

Here are some of my (hopefully not too bonkers) ideas:

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Witness the end of the Long Night: As the past two seasons showed, Bran isn’t really omniscient, but he’s seemingly able to go back in time to witness any past events. In the book it is implied that Bran can only see through the many eyes that were carved in Weirwoods, but the limits aren’t as clear in the adaptation: it would be awfully convenient to have a heart tree in the place where Lyanna and Rhaegar got married, and downright impossible in the throne room, where Aerys was slain by Jaime Lannister. So it makes sense to get rid of such narrative constraints.

That opens a can of worms I’m not sure the screenwriters will deal with, however. How far back in time could Bran travel? Enough to find himself in a primeval world before the existence of human beings? Is he limited by geography or can he see events that took place in Essos or other continents? It’s interesting food for thought, but admittedly irrelevant for the problem at hand.

How to beat the Night King? We already know the Walkers and the Wights are vulnerable to valyrian steel, dragonglass and fire, so it should be pretty straightforward, like Beric said: Kill the Night King, he’s the one who turned all the rest.

Unless the show pulls a fast one on us and reveals that the Night King is impervious to such materials, then managing to stab him should suffice to destroy him and his entire army. But why wasn’t this attempted before? How was the Night King defeated by the First Men and the Children of the Forest during the War for the Dawn?

Going back in time to find out should be a no-brainer for Bran. There’s only one major problem with this theory, and that is the HBO prequel, which allegedly will take place during the Age of Heroes.

Of course, knowing how the events will unfold shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying something (or else what would be the point of screen adaptations of books, comics and other things?) but it would undermine the prequel project in a way: what would be the point if we know the way the main conflict will end?

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Prevent the creation of the Night King: “The Door” (Episode 5 of Season 6) confirmed that Bran isn’t just able to explore the past, but he can also alter it (and the future, as a result). His father apparently heard his voice in the Tower of Joy, and he unintentionally damaged Hodor’s mind.

Now, I realize this could feel like a cop-out in a way. Going back in time to prevent the villain from ever existing? It’s an easy way out, but also an obvious choice to make if you can avoid  unnecessary bloodshed.

The extent in which Bran can affect past events is undetermined: perhaps he can’t do much, but maybe he can do just enough to stop the creation of the Night King and the White Walkers?

Could he warg into Leaf?

In the novels we haven’t seen (yet) anyone successfully warging into a human being, only animals. Warging into humans is considered a big no-no for skinchangers, an abhorrent action. Hodor is, of course, the exception here, though it can be argued he was a mentally challenged individual (and yet, he became that way as a consequence of Bran warging into him when he was a kid).

The wildling Varamyr Sixskins did attempt to warg into a wildling woman (Thistle) against her will, which he wasn’t able to do because he was weak and she put up a fight. Thistle, however, was driven mad and tore her eyes out and bit her tongue off during the struggle.

Putting aside the possibility that Leaf could be driven mad in a similar way as Thistle (not to mention how awkward it would be if the warging is successful and Leaf acts like “You know what? I changed my mind about this”), there’s an important factor to consider: the butterfly effect.

If the Night King and the White Walkers disappeared from history, how would that impact everything else? They were meant to protect the Children from the First Men, until they escaped control and turned into a threat for all living things. Without them, would the Children become extinct way before the present time events of the storyline?

There are so many variables, you can see why messing with past events is a complicated matter. Like a Jenga tower, if you will. You can’t remove a piece without compromising the entire structure. Considering it’s unlikely the screenwriters are willing to go down that kind of rabbit hole, I don’t think this theory will fly, but it’s still an interesting possibility (otherwise, why establish that Bran can mess with the past? Other than affecting poor Hodor’s mind).

Viserion

Warg into a dragon or the undead Viserion: The idea that Bran will warg into a dragon has been around ever since the Three-Eyed Raven (Crow in the book) said that the young greenseer won’t be able to walk again, but “he will fly”. I must admit that while I’m not the biggest fan of the theory, there’s a good chance it may happen. Not exactly because the Three-Eyed Raven’s words will prove prophetic (I seriously doubt it’s intended that way, but that’s just me), but because allowing Bran to take control of a dragon would be a form to showcase his powers without him altering past events.

On the other hand, it could be risky: Bran has never warged into a dragon before and it sure as hell won’t be the same as warging into a raven. And no doubt Dany would prefer to have Drogon following her commands than trusting Bran will know what to do. The same can apply to Rhaegal, if Jon/Aegon gets to ride him. A dragon can’t have two riders, so to speak.

And even if Rhaegal is “available”, would it be better to have Bran controlling it than allowing him to follow Dany or his own instincts? Bran could be a hindrance in this scenario and that’s part of the reason I’m not entirely sold on the idea.

Him warging into the undead Viserion could turn the battle’s tide, however. It’s not clear if Bran or wargs/skinchangers in general can warg into wights, since they are reanimated corpses with no mind or will of their own. In other words, attempting to warg into a wight would be like trying to access a place that isn’t there.

If he’s able to do it, then he’d just need to drop the Night King and turn against the army of the dead. It’s a big “if”, though, even if pulling off such a plan sounds easier than it probably would be in practice (how close does he need to get?).

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Warg into Ghost: A less spectacular option than the dragon one, and yet one that makes sense, since Bran used to warg into his own direwolf, Summer. Ghost is notorious for being one of the two surviving direwolves, and also for being mostly absent due to budget restrictions. He didn’t even appear in the seventh season of the show, much to the disappointment of the fans who wanted to see him.

Since the eighth season will be the last hurrah for Thrones, it would be a shame if Ghost doesn’t make an impressive comeback. The albino direwolf deserves more than a small cameo, and with any luck, he’ll live to tell the tale (I’m half resigned that the opposite will happen, but meanwhile, a man can dream).

The only problem I see with the idea of Bran joining the battle as Ghost, is that Summer didn’t last too long against a wave of wights. Poor thing was torn apart almost instantly, partly because the wights can’t feel pain or fear and direwolves are big targets that are easy to stab.

Grey Wind used to terrorize enemy soldiers and Ghost did help against the wildlings, but wights may be a bridge too far for the loyal Stark pets.

If Ghost survives the battle that is sure to take place at Winterfell, and is present for the endgame at King’s Landing, then Bran could warg into him to maul some Lannister soldiers or Golden Company mercenaries. I’ll grant it’s not too big of a part, although it’d be a way for both Bran and Ghost to help and not sit the battle out.

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Warg into Gregor Clegane (!): Stay with me here, because I know that at first glance this sounds a bit absurd (and also highly unlikely). But what makes me consider it is Gregor’s uncertain status.

I don’t think we’ll ever find out what Qyburn did to him, but you know, I’m fine with it remaining a mystery. Point is, he’s clearly not dead. Not completely, anyway. He may not be a normal human being anymore, but he’s not a wight nor a zombie.

So while warging into a reanimated corpse like Viserion may not be possible, Gregor could very well fit the bill.

If Cersei decides to invade Winterfell (as an attempt to have her enemies attacked in two fronts, or to weaken them / kick them while they are down), Gregor may be there, and Bran could use him to deal some serious damage to either Cersei’s army or the Night King’s, assuming he’d be able to take control of the Mountain’s body, of course. Or if the Mountain doesn’t go to Bran, Bran could go to the Mountain when everyone heads south for the showdown.

Only thing that could prevent this from happening is the Cleganebowl, obviously. Can’t have Bran using Gregor as a tool when there’s a pending conflict with Sandor.

All those predictions were mostly regarding the battles, but what happens to Bran after the war?

It’s entirely possible that he’ll die (and it’d fit with my prediction that most, if not all, magical things will disappear from Westeros after the Great War) but I’m feeling confident about him making it to the end.

The least surprising scenario would have him following the steps of the previous Three-Eyed Raven and either going back to the North (though now there’s no one to carry him all the way there) or staying at Winterfell and becoming one with the heart tree (if it survives the armed conflict). I’m not saying it’s impossible but going back to the cave seems pointless (and boring), now that apparently all the Children are dead.

Staying at Winterfell would make sense. It’s his home, his family is there and Bran seems comfortable enough. But it’s also rather unexciting.

I’d like to think that after the dust settles, he’ll travel to Oldtown with Sam and Gilly, as heroes. And as big sources of knowledge. Bran could help to solve mysteries, shoot myths down and update all kinds of books. Heck, he could become a maester himself (skipping all the toilet scrubbing) and have a peaceful existence, feeling useful and staying in company of friends.

He may be the last surviving male heir of Ned and Cat, but apart form the fact he doesn’t seem interested in ruling Winterfell, I can’t imagine he’d disagree with leaving that role to Sansa.

SANSA STARK

Sansa The Dragon and the Wolf

When reading the books, Sansa wasn’t an instant favorite of mine. But the character has grown on me, and I now really like her a lot. I can attribute a lot of that to actress Sophie Turner: her role is not an easy one by any means, but she’s done an excellent job.

It can be easy to dismiss her as naive, or to blame her for some of the misfortunes that House Stark suffered, particularly after she told Cersei about his father’s plans to go back to Winterfell. Saying that the grave consequences of that action were unintended is perhaps stating the obvious. It was the result of the Lannisters taking advantage of Sansa’s innocence and willful ignorance of how awful Joffrey was. And really, Sansa can only be accused of being human. It is hard to see defects in the people we love, or in those who we want to love. Particularly when we are young.

But even if us as readers or as an audience are understanding, the world is rarely kind. And Sansa paid dearly for trusting the Lannisters.

She’s been forced to grow up and toughen up after being used by different individuals as a political pawn and also as source of cruel amusement. But now Joffrey Baratheon, Ramsay Bolton and Petyr Baelish are no more, and she won’t let herself to be a prisoner of yet another villain.

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I’ll admit it’s a bit difficult to make predictions about Sansa’s role in what seems poised to be a battle-centric final season. The fate of House Stark and Westeros as a whole will be decided in the field of battle and not via political maneuvering.

Sansa’s no warrior or military strategist, so while she’ll surely be present during discussions of what to do next, she won’t take part in any of the fights. That would put her in a position similar to Missandei or Varys in a way: they are all intelligent and have political savvy, but they’d be out of place during an armed conflict. The same could be said about Bran and Tyrion, though the latter can provide intel of the enemy’s movements and the former has actually some fighting experience (though he certainly didn’t enjoy it) and planned the defense of King’s Landing against Stannis.

I imagine most (if not all) of them will have to go into hiding while the war rages. They are too valuable to risk them getting captured or killed, by either the Walkers or Cersei’s forces.

I’m obviously not sure how much time of Season 8 will be devoted to the post-war scenario, but that’s where I think Sansa will really get to shine. She won’t die, of that much I can feel certain. Game of Thrones prides itself in surprising us all with some unexpected and shocking deaths, but killing Sansa just as she’s finally taking control of her own story and after enduring so much suffering wouldn’t be satisfying at all.

The conclusion of her storyline calls for something uplifting, the way I see it. Sure, Winterfell may fall, much like the snow castle she built during her time at the Eyrie, but quoting Bran’s thoughts (after the sacking of Winterfell):

“The stone is strong. The roots of the trees grow deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, I’m not dead either”.

As long as she and her siblings are alive, the castle can be rebuilt and populated again. And with no more threats coming from the North or King’s Landing, they all would enjoy a new period of peace.

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Regardless if Jon dies or not, Winterfell is going to belong to Sansa, because even if Jon/Aegon lives, he’ll most likely move to King’s Landing and marry Daenerys. She may as well do it on her own, I don’t think she needs a partner. She’s a capable leader, worthy of the respect of Winterfell’s bannermen.

Personally, I think it’d be sweet for her to find someone who’s kind and really loves her, and doesn’t just see her as a way to have the North. Alas, I have no candidates whatsoever (and I’m not really into any of the shippings, sorry!), it’d have to be a new character.

Even if it seems there aren’t many possibilities or they don’t sound too exciting, I think that’s just fine. Not all characters get to be action heroes or to have special powers, but they are just as important. To me, it’s really interesting to think in the possible change of the status quo that would come with the end of the Great War: Daenerys as queen, Yara as ruler of the Iron Islands, Sansa as Lady of Winterfell. And maybe little Lyanna Mormont will also get a bigger position than the ruler of a small island? The future of Westeros could be female.

If anything, I’d just hope the screenwriters avoid a rivalry between Sansa and Dany. I can see the northerners being wary of the dragon queen’s intentions, that’d be perfectly normal, but once it’s clear she’s an ally and Jon is really in love with her, can all of them just get along? The sister rivalry of Season 7 was enough for me.


This probably won’t surprise anyone, but if I had to pick a favorite house, I’d most likely go for the Starks. Not only can they be considered the main characters of the series, but we’ve been growing with them quite literally. It’s a similar feeling to the one Harry Potter fans had with the movie series. The journey started with the characters as children, and will end with them reaching adulthood.

Soon it’ll be our turn, and It’s really exciting (and also a bit sad!) to think the stories of the Stark siblings (and all the other characters’) are about to reach the end. After reading the first book (and watching the first season of the show), I didn’t imagine these characters would be where they are now. I was a little naive, even, thinking that Rickon and most direwolves would live to tell the tale (“How could they kill Rickon?” I wondered. “Or poor Shaggydog? Nah, that’s why they exited the story, to come back at the end”. Boy, was I wrong).

In a way, the extra year of wait for the final season has been a bit of a blessing, since it has allowed us to keep speculating a bit more, to revisit the past seasons and also the five books that started it all, and to make us feel certain that the team behind the series is giving its swan song the time it needs to prepare, so it can deliver on its many promises and surpass all our expectations.

If none of my predictions hit the target, hopefully I’ll be correct in assuming no more Starks will die next year. That’s one family tradition they don’t need to keep!

182 responses

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    1. I don’t think Arya’s going to have much to do with Cersei’s demise. Nor do I think that she will be involved in Cleganebowl, if there absolutely has to be one. I would prefer not… or, if it happens, that it be something completely out of left field, rather than obvious revenge-fantasy wish fulfillment.

      I also hate the idea of Arya becoming a mercenary. If she doesn’t let go somehow of her assassin arc, then she’s stuck, in terms of character development. GRRM is not the kind of storyteller for whom vengeance is a satisfying end in itself; he’s a lot more subtle than that.

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    2. “Prevent the creation of the Night King:”

      Bad idea, storywise – as cheap as ‘Then he woke up and found out it was all just a dream.’ But knowing HOW the Night King was created is valuable intel. My money is still on someone having to get close enough to him to yank out the shard. It would be kind of lame and anticlimactic if a mere cut with a dragonglass or Valyrian steel blade would be enough to finish Mr. Big Bad.

      I also suspect that Bran may not survive the series. If there’s a scene where the surviving defenders of Winterfell have to flee via the crypts and caverns, and someone needs to be left behind to ‘hold the door,’ it makes sense that it be Bran’s self-sacrifice, his lack of mobility being such a hindrance to the others’ escape. Also reasonable (and emotionally/narratively symmetrical) payback for how Hodor saved him.

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    3. Good read. I have a lot of similar thoughts and much is in line with discussions we’ve been having here.

      Regarding Arya ‘settling down,’ I don’t think the age difference between her and Gendry is anything to consider. In the books he is roughly the same age as Jon and Daenerys (284 AC) with Arya being about five years younger (289). George wanted to time jump so the kids would age, but even without doing so he’s dragging it out long enough that Arya will be “of age” for their world when and if she meets Gendry again. The actors have aged on the show more than the timeline would allow, but visually we see Arya and Sansa as the ages of the actresses, adults.

      My strongest feeling for what would be next for Arya is still one of adventuring and freedom. If she’s involved with Gendry I’d say they go together, regardless of him being legitimized.

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    4. As much as I would love to see Arya settle down in some regard, to stay in Winterfell and help Sansa rule the North, the image of her sailing off West of Westeros with curiosity gleaming in her eyes is a very fitting image for the end of her arc. Just thinking of that, her hair blowing in the wind as she stands on the bow of a ship heading off towards adventure gives me goosebumps — and is a nice parallel to her sailing towards Braavos at the end of season 4. #ASNAWA (the last ‘A’ is for “Adventurer”).

      Sansa will surely rule the North as Wardeness (I don’t see her taking on the title of Queen of the North). I know that some think (or even want..) her to die, but I don’t see it. After all she’s been through, she deserves a nice ending.

      The only one I disagree on is Bran. As much as it pains me, I just don’t see him returning to be “Bran” again. His near acceptance of Meera saying that he “died in that cave” and his statement about “being so much more” than Bran indicates that there is no going back for him. I’m hoping that he’ll “ascend” to become a higher being so that at least he may be “alive” spiritually even though his physical self will be gone. Perhaps as part of the Weirwoods, or warged into a dire wolf, or part of a tree like his predecessor.

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    5. Firannion:
      I also hate the idea of Arya becoming a mercenary. If she doesn’t let go somehow of her assassin arc, then she’s stuck, in terms of character development. GRRM is not the kind of storyteller for whom vengeance is a satisfying end in itself; he’s a lot more subtle than that.

      Totally agree! That would be a very unsatisfying end to her arc. Something that Maisie said sometime around the end of season 7 really stuck out to me about how she wants Arya’s story to end. Paraphrasing, she basically said that after all the anger and violence that has been with her on her journey ever since Ned was killed, she hopes she can let all that go and find her true self. I think that’s really what her story is going to be about.

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    6. Clob:
      My strongest feeling for what would be next for Arya is still one of adventuring and freedom.If she’s involved with Gendry I’d say they go together, regardless of him being legitimized.

      I have to admit, my softie side would absolutely love it if Gendry accompanied her on her adventures! Even just as friends. It doesn’t have to be romantic or anything, just these two kindred spirits off to discover new lands. If Gendry survives, would he even have any interest in ruling or inheriting the Stormlands anyway?

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    7. I hope Arya doesn’t go away on a boat, I feel like it would be going against the main theme of the Starks, family and working together. She said that back when she had no hope and no idea she still had family alive.

      I don’t see Arya, someone who dropped everything she does when it comes to family, leaving them for some distant taste of adventure. I’ll love to see her and Sansa ruling the North together and watching each other’s backs, while also looking out for Jon and maybe Bran if he’s still alive. The pack is a pack for a reason, having them all split up at the end and going their separate ways would be sad, they have spent most of the story being apart and the final season should show us how strong they are together. Plus the idea of Sansa, Arya, and Mormont smacking disobedient lords around is awesome and cute.

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    8. The Hound told The Mountain that “Justice” is coming for him. If we think of one person who depicts justice more than any other in this story, it’s Arya. I have no doubt Arya will take out The Mountain. She has been training for the meeting with him since her interaction with Joffrey. Every teacher she has had taught her something about surviving a fight with The Mountain. She doesn’t need a Direwolf, she doesn’t need help – the man known for brutalizing women and children (specifically Elia Martell and her children), will be taken down by a young lady. It’s going to be glorious. I hope Cersei is watching; to see her smile fade to fear will be sweet justice.

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    9. BeardedOnion,
      My vision of Arya the Adventurer is less of about abandoning the family and more about experience and learning that can also benefit the family. In other words, she would come and go, sometimes months and sometimes years between, but always return.

      I think most are believing that the end will be a time of peace and Great Houses will be led by those the people want to follow. It would have been customary for Arya to be betrothed to a Lord, move away and live out her life at that castle. Sansa was already leaving Winterfell for good at the start of the story. Everything that happened changed the plan, but I don’t think that means that Winterfell requires both of them to stay there to run it. They were never going to live as a pack, but if necessary they would return to fight with the pack.

      If Sansa is running the place it would have been typical before for Arya to still be married off, at which point she would still leave Winterfell. This is where Gendry could fit in if he’s legitimized and even if he’s given Storm’s End, which some suggest. He wouldn’t necessarily be tied down there during peaceful times and could go off with Arya for periods of time.

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    10. MeeraReed: The Hound told The Mountain that “Justice” is coming for him. If we think of one person who depicts justice more than any other in this story, it’s Arya.

      That goes back to my scenario where Sandor steps aside at the last second upon an apparent Cleganebowl for Arya to jump in and kick the Mountain’s ass. I like it a lot because it would be basically a middle finger to everyone that wants the lame Cleganebowl so much. 😛 Sandor did say, “You know who is coming for you. You’ve always known.” Not him, not Jack Daniels or Jim Beam, but Death. ASNAWP is the agent. 😉

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    11. I do feel like it would be fitting to see Arya’s story end just like the S4 finale « The Children, with her sailing across the globe. I would be satisfied.

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    12. Ten Bears:
      Wolf Girl!

      Not ASNAWP?

      Oh gods, old and new, I’ve created a monster. 😮

      A mildly sarcastic off hand joke, and full-on ASNAWP fans ran with it. Still seem to be running with it, haha.

      Hey, it seems I’ve createxd an inteweb acronym, hahaha.

      Don’t mistake me, I like Arya, just not the uncrtitical adulation. But I can’t help but like some of our hardcore Arya-fans , like Ten Bears, others like Clob or Derp that I agree and disagree with.

      I was quite touched that in one of the previous treads some of youse asked after talvikorppi. I’m here but mad busy in real life. Work, doing a Master’s degree, teaching my nephew to drive… The longer the GoT hiatus is, the better for me, haha!

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    13. To see her destroying the ultimate foe with relative ease.

      So far, three out of the four White Walkers our heroes have fought with have been dispatched with consummate ease.

      The only one that put up a decent fight was the one Jon fought at Hardhome, but that was only because he’d temporarily misplaced Longclaw.

      The only people who should have any difficulty defeating the White Walkers are redshirts and a couple of unlucky victims who won’t be carrying Valyrian steel (e.g. Tormund, Jorah, Grey Worm).

      The White Walkers have been nearly completely neutered as a malevolent force.

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    14. I have (more than) a few words about Arya and Gendry.

      Firstly, Arya did have Melisandre and Lord Beric/Thoros (but the latter is dead now) also on her list. They were on her list because Beric and Thoros sold Gendry to Melisandre/the Red Woman, and Melisandre was on the list because Arya knew that she was going to hurt Gendry. Sure, they weren’t mentioned when she recited the list in Braavos, but that doesn’t mean they were permanently removed. I could see that coming up again when she sees Gendry once more, finds out about Beric and Thoros, and what Melisandre did for Jon.

      Also, I don’t agree with your take on Joe Dempsie’s “sibling element” comment because you missed a very important word in what he said. After “sibling element” he said “too.” He was referring to the fact that Arya was younger and was looking up to him as someone who was the same age as her brothers at the time so they were the only things she had to compare him to so there was that” sibling element too.” He also mentioned how it was uncomfortable to talk about the two as a romantic pairing THEN because he was a 25-year old man acting against a child.

      All of that commentary was about the PAST… when Maisie was 14-15 years old. If they did work together for the last season, she would have been 20-21 years old. BIG difference. He also talked about the different layers of Arya and Gendry’s relationship, (which is where the “sibling element too” came in) how Gendry was helping her discover her womanhood, how they bonded, went through so much together, etc. This is also something he’s talked about in other interviews. In fact, it’s something that both Joe and Maisie have talked about in the direction of their scenes, the romantic tinge in some fashion.

      So it is not just “fanservice” if something does happen with Arya and Gendry. It comes FROM the show (and the source material–the book, I mean, there’s a whole love song that was written in relation to Arya and Gendry, the Featherbed song, not to mention their puppy love-ish flirting and jealousy over each other). It was written INTO the show–the “I can be your family” was directed to Maisie to say like an “I love you,” Gendry was written as shirtless, abs on display specifically for Arya’s female, budding sexual gaze. The “I have a son, you have a daughter…” in the Pilot, supposedly about Sansa/Joffrey, but viewers knew *literally* from even that Pilot that Joffrey was THE WORST and that likely would not be happening and, oh, wasn’t Robert’s son! Arya looks like Lyanna, Gendry looks like Robert, the two traveling together and bonding like *that!*

      The threads are there in the book, on the show. This is not fanservice. Just because it’s popular, doesn’t make it fanservice when it is good writing that’s been carefully laid out that fans happen to also like. If it doesn’t happen, it will actually be against a set-up narrative.

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    15. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      They probably do need to show some of them tearing through some fighters with ease. They’re supposed to be extremely fast, strong and superior fighters. They have limited showing much of them fighting. Sam and Meera surprised or even ‘accidentally’ dispatched their’s. Jon’s in S7 was too easy. So, really just the one at Hardhome is what they need to do more of. It was kicking ass until it paused from confusion about Jon’s sword block.

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    16. Yeah, the main reason I don’t lean heavily on ASNAWP having a hand in Melisandre’s fate is because their encounter was show only… Gendry being a substitute for Edric.
      In other words, Arya hasn’t met her to have any reason to want her dead. They also seem to have dropped her from show!Arya’s hate. Once she sees Gendry and learns of Jon’s resurrection I’d think she’d let it go, even if she and Gendry won’t be happy to see her again.
      The words or prophesy she also said to Arya make me think they were almost like an Easter egg or teaser they put in for what was to become of Arya in Braavos as opposed to something significant that will happen between them when they meet again.

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    17. Maester Morgoth…bravo! You’ve done magnificent justice to all my beloved Starks, and your predictions seem plausible, even if I’d quibble with details. BTW, when Cersei and Littlefinger parsed true Power, their points were later confirmed by the Stark kids: Bran had knowledge and Arya had power to cut LF’s throat!

      ARYA: Like Sansa (and Hot Pie!), Arya is a survivor. From the helmet she briefly wor in 1.01 thru her practising thru the Brienne match, she’s become the warrior who’s yet to fight. Along the way her vengeance turned to justice and mercy. Jaime will probably be Valonqar, but Arya could be the backup. I agree she may be with Sandor for Cleganebowl–he’d said they might cross off some names together! D&D are likely to reprise this fan-favourite duo. Arya will cross paths with Melisandre, but I agree their stories don’t mesh. It will be non-consequential. Arya’s future perplexes me. I’ve never seen her as a lone wolf because she spent 4 years desperately trying to rejoin the family and has a penchant for temporary alliances/packs. She’s always craved responsibility (holdfast, small council, high septon!) and been thwarted. I used to say that after the war she’d lead war refugees west to a new land. (I first broached it after S6 on WotW, and now it’s spread to the GoT community.) I’ve seen discussion of something better and more appropriate: Warden of the North. Warden is a military position, usually given to lords in peacetime but always in the ‘gift’ of the King. Someone able needs to control power-struggles and unlawfulness in the inevitable post-war chaos. Sansa will already be occupied with re-establishment of Winterfell and in any case has no flair for martial arts. Arya too should be honoured for all she’s done for her family, and the sisters would have exquisite teamwork. But there’s still the Gendry question…

      BRAN: How does one tell the future of a god? You’re probably right that Bran can go back in time and dig up the information needed to defeat the others. This is more likely now that Sam is there to conduct searches on Bran’s universal database. I hope he doesn’t warg the NK, but Viserion sounds interesting and the Mountain fascinating. In any case, the Great War cannot be won without Bran, so in a way he’ll be mankind’s Last Hero. Sadly, IMO he’ll die but probably join the Weirwoods. Jojen told him “This isn’t the end. Not for you. Not yet.” Also, after saying “It was meant to kill me” he gave Arya that probably-magical Dagger with a meaningful look. If he must be sacrificed, he’d want his childhood playmate who now embodies justice and mercy to do it. But I prefer your idea of his becoming the Mage of the Maesters in Oldtown. ( FWIW, he’s still the youngest Stark.)

      SANSA: During the war, I hope and think she’ll not only speak at meetings along with Jon and Arya and, instead of hiding, lead non-combatants to safety in the Vale, Dorne, or wherever. Post-war she almost definitely will be Lady of Winterfell. I’d like her to marry Tyrion because they’d be a splendid team, but she’d probably have to live in Kings Landing or Casterly Rock, leaving the North to Arya. Sansa must be sick of being the ball in a political marriage scrum, so I expect she’ll stay single and rule the North.

      One HUGE problem. Season 8 is a time for wolves, but time will run out without baby wolves. Even if 3ER becomes Bran again, his injuries wold most likely preclude procreation. At least one sister must to marry. That GRRM considers ASoI&F a generational saga underlines this concern. Book Sansa the romantic thought of children; Book Arya was younger and too busy surviving to even consider it. But S1 “That’s not me” didn’t reject marriage so much as sitting home and letting sons have all the fun, adventures, honours, and responsibilities. Arya was 9 (in the books) and not knowing the likes of Lyanna Mormont, Brienne, or Dornish women could not have dreamt some noblewomen had it both ways. There’s a strong footing for an Arya-Gendry match, plus it’s natural, trusting, mutual, non-incestuous. It could well turn to marriage, especially as Jon accepts him as a royal bastard. And Sansa might also marry—if not Tyrion, maybe Robin Arryn if he’s matured, or some general she meets during the wars. I yearn to see House Stark continue; it deserves the kind of legacy Tywin Lannister lectured Arya about. But married or not, Arya will stay Arya and Sansa will stay Sansa and remain powerful in their own right.

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    18. Mary Tossell:
      Firannion,

      Wasnt the Night King a Stark before he was stabbed with dragon glass by Leaf?

      In the books, the Night’s King is reputed to have been a Stark, possibly a Brandon. But that’s lore that’s already thousands of years old, and GRRM has explicitly warned readers that old tales and prophecies ought not to be taken literally. Plus, to the best of our knowledge, the Night’s King of the books is not the same character as the Night King of the show, the leader of the Others/White Walkers. He’s simply a legendary former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch who reputedly married a strange woman with white skin and blue eyes. If he was the progenitor of the Others, we haven’t been told so as yet (though of course some fans have speculated that this is the case). As for the poor dude stabbed by Leaf, we don’t know who he was.

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    19. I just want all of them(Starks) to live happy, long lives, that is if Bran can feel anything at all. At this point he’s more walking search engine than human so I doubt he’d ever feel happy again. No more Stark deaths(that includes Jon) and no more dire wolf deaths as well. Surprise us GoT writers by letting all of the Starks live. They’ve suffered more than enough and its ‘A Time for Wolves,” now. Arya better live! and after the great war, really LIVE wherever that might be.

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    20. No one else thinks Sansa and Gendry is a possibility? I’ve always thought it was. I just do not see Arya settling down and it would be nice for Robert’s son to marry Ned’s daughter as Robert wanted.

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    21. Clob: It would have been customary for Arya to be betrothed to a Lord, move away and live out her life at that castle.

      Which could well have happened had things gone differently since she was betrothed to Elmar Frey (book) / Waldron Frey ( show)

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    22. Ten Bears:
      Wolf Girl!

      It was great to wake up to this article. Thanks Maester! I think Arya coming to Sandor’s rescue and defeating the mountain is a must see scene of season 8. I see Arya and Gendry ending up together. I agree with JenniferH about the source material. I keep thinking about Gendry’s line, “you would be my lady”. I think Arya has to use some of her FM skills in season 8. I’m not sure if she’ll be the one to end Cersei, but I would give it a 65% chance. The only thing not great about being a FM is that Maisie gets less face time because it’s someone else! So, I’m hoping she doesn’t spend too much time on screen as a FM, so Maisie gets as much screen time as possible. It would be highly satisfying though to see her pull of Jaime’s face and strike the final blow to Cersei (With her VS dagger if Cersei is possibly a WW by then). I was also very interested in Bran’s arc for season 8. I’m not sure if he will turn out to be the original Bran the Builder, but it still makes me sad to see Meera’s face when Bran gave his cold goodbye to her. Meera was amazing on getting Bran back and pulling him through the snow. My guess is Meera won’t be back in Season 8, but it would have been awesome to see her team up with Arya in some way.

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    23. I’d love if Sansa found someone that’s brave, gentle, and strong, just as Ned promised her. One who’s kind to her. Protective. Who asserts her position as a true Stark in Winterfell and has never wanted to use her for her claim. Someone who’s also really fierce and would fuck anybody up who threatened her in any way. Someone she’s formed a real close bond with, someone she loves and trusts and depends on. Someone who perhaps has royal bloodlines but also earned the trust of the Northern people but still needs Sansa’s help to make it all work. I mean, this person might even have a connection to the Starks from his childhood or something! Alas, there’s just no one like this around, so Sansa will have to marry some brand new character brought in for some hastily-written, eleventh hour romance or she’ll just have to be alone and never have children to further the Stark line. That’s unfortunate. Because she really wanted to have children who physically resembled her siblings, even a daughter who looked like Arya, and wanted to name her sons after Robb and her other brothers. Too bad there isn’t anyone else in this story who could help make this happen and also wants to name his son Robb.

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    24. GRRM,

      “I’d love if Sansa found someone that’s brave, gentle, and strong, just as Ned promised her. One who’s kind to her. Protective. Who asserts her position as a true Stark in Winterfell and has never wanted to use her for her claim. Someone who’s also really fierce and would fuck anybody up who threatened her in any way. Someone she’s formed a real close bond with, someone she loves and trusts and depends on.”

      ———-
      Sounds like you’re drafting a resume for Sandor Clegane.

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    25. Kari,

      I think Sansa and Gendry are possible and in fact more realistic given their character traits. I view Arya more as a young tomboy that likes adventure so I don’t see her settling down to run a castle and have babies. Gendry, I think would be the type that secretly longs for a stable home, given his life has been spent hiding and being in servitude to a master. Sansa represents ‘home, comfort and family’ so I can see her being appealing to him and she’s not hard on the eyes either.

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    26. Yaaas, longreads are my jam. Thanks again Morgoth. I’ve toyed with the thought that IF Dany lives in the end and IF Jon is not ok with the incest Targaryens are accustomed to, that she may look to Gendry as a husband…. I know, they’ve had ZERO interaction so far but my thinking is that he is the only character other than Jon that has a Targaryen ancestor. Wasn’t Robert’s grandmother a Targaryen? It’s a long shot but whatever.

      As for Bran, I also wondered that if the Night King is destroyed completely (no come-backs!) -would he revert to his “original” Bran state? Or would there still be a need for a Three-Eyed Raven? When the original 3ER told Bran that he would fly, I was thinking more in terms of the Crows that he can warg into. Not as cool as a dragon, I know.

      I felt both in the books and in the show the Starks were being beaten and trampled, over and over just to build up to the end of the series where they in fact survive and become a stronger house. At least, that’s what I hope.

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    27. Personally, I like them to mention some Dornish lad named Ned Dayne, and we get some glances between Sansa and Dayne.

      I want the Starks to finally get a somewhat happish end, nothing can be normal, but it could be better.
      A Stark in the North, a Stark in the West, a Stark in the East and a Stark in the South on a Throne.

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    28. Ten Bears,

      I typically have to see/read character interaction and have them together for a bit to decide if I’d like to see them together. That is why I can’t just stick Sansa and Gendry together for example. Nothing about those two characters mesh for me. Jon and Daenerys was different because I felt their pairing was lining up and inevitable pretty early.

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    29. How about….

      Arya: “Nymeria…Gloves!”

      And Nymeria and her wolf pack proceed to rip off Gregor’s hands and tear him limb from limb.

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    30. Ten Bears,
      My mind has totally gone there too especially knowing that Jaime is heading North 😂 but alas, he has enough fair-haired ladies to deal with: Cersei and Brienne of f***ing Tarth.

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    31. Arya does not have to sail west from the Seven Kingdoms. Every map I have seen shows the continent beyond the Wall trailing away to the north-west. With the Wall breached, she can simply travel overland. With Nymeria and her pack. And possibly Gendry. 🙂

      Recall that the spiral megalith where the Children created the Night’s King was in a lush, green area when they did so, but has long since been covered in snow and ice. With the defeat of the NK and his Army, the lands-beyond-the-once-Wall May return to habitable (or at least explorable) state.

      (I also believe there will be no magic on Westeros after the defeat of the NK. Also no Iron Throne or Seven Kingdoms as we have known them.)

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    32. River:
      At this point he’s more walking search engine than human (…)

      shit happens, right? don’t worry, it happens to professional writers too!

      i remember an article in a well renowned german newsmag. they wrote about germany’s vice chancellor and secretary of somewhat then that he’d been doing something “im vorbeigehen“, which means en passant, walking by. nice picture if you know the man is in a wheelchair since an assassination attempt on him in 1990.

      well, as long as no one calls Bran “Google on wheels”…

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    33. Kari,

      I would much rather the story leave it up to our assumption that Sansa will eventually, given time, find someone, get married, and further the Stark line. With only 6 episodes to go, it would feel very forced and unsatisfying to shoehorn in a romance between her and Gendry, with whom she has absolutely no history with and doesn’t even know exists at this point in time. Given that she’s finally freed herself from the men who have abused and manipulated her, her story in season 8 is much better served showing her growth as a leader and ruler of the North, and navigating the political landscape without LF’s “guidance”.

      Again, I’m not saying that she will (or should) stay single forever, but I would much prefer the story lightly hint at it through a conversation with Arya or Jon that eventually she’ll find the right person.

      Also, with Gendry being the last Baratheon, I would expect he’d want to keep his name to further his line, so that would present problems for Sansa and the Starks as I’m sure they would want to keep the Stark name alive.

      Lastly, when it comes to Arya and Gendry’s reunion, if there is any feelings between them, Sansa needs to keep away. The worst thing they could do in season 8 is to have them fight over a boy. Just no! I am curious to find out what Arya’s reaction will be to Gendry, because she clearly had feelings for him back in season 2 & 3. In fact, in the 3×05 commentary, Bryan Cogman (who wrote the episode) thinks that Arya does love him even though she may not fully realize it at the time. Of course there is certainly a question of whether those feelings have changed since then, so time will tell.

      In any case, I think there are just too many issues that have not been addressed for Sansa & Gendry, and too little time next season to address them in a satisfying way.

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    34. I don’t understand how anyone can say that Sansa and Gendry could fit together knowing Sansa and Gendry’s characters. Gendry does not feel comfortable around highborns. Sansa does not feel comfortable around lowborns. The only reason that Gendry is comfortable around Arya and Jon is precisely because although they are highborn, raised highborn is because the former doesn’t act highborn/is more comfortable with the lowborn, the latter is a bastard, isn’t highborn and doesn’t act as such himself. Gendry is not a fan of highborn folk.

      Sansa, on the other hand, while obviously not the person she was in the first season, still is not someone who is or ever would be comfortable w/a bastard lowborn even one who is the bastard of a king.

      I honestly do not understand why anyone would even consider Sansa and Gendry when these are two very well-known things about both characters. They do not and would not mesh, especially when there is already a very, very clearly established backstory between Gendry and the OTHER Stark sister. I do not get it.

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    35. GRRM:
      I’d love if Sansa found someone that’s brave, gentle, and strong, just as Ned promised her. One who’s kind to her. Protective. Who asserts her position as a true Stark in Winterfell and has never wanted to use her for her claim. Someone who’s also really fierce and would fuck anybody up who threatened her in any way. Someone she’s formed a real close bond with, someone she loves and trusts and depends on. Someone who perhaps has royal bloodlines but also earned the trust of the Northern people but still needs Sansa’s help to make it all work.

      Are you describing Jon Snow there?
      lol sorry but all ship war apart, it’s the only name that comes to my mind

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    36. JenniferH,

      Sandor didn’t come back from the brink of death just to become the Warrior of Light. He’s also destined to have at least one happy memory.

      The Hound ❤️ His Little Bird 🕊

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    37. Ten Bears:
      JenniferH,

      Sandor didn’t come back from the brink of death just to become the Warrior of Light. He’s also destined to have at least one happy memory.

      The Hound ❤️ His Little Bird 🕊

      I actually lean towards the idea of Sansa and Tyrion myself.

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    38. Ten Bears,

      No, because you conveniently chopped off the rest of the comment. Sansa deserves better than someone who once told Arya, “I should have fucked your sister bloody.” I mean, what woman would want her future husband to say something as awful as this about her? A man who held a knife to her throat? A man who threatened and beat her? A man who murdered her sister’s friend? Sansa has had enough of violent abusers and age-inappropriate men putting their hands on her. She doesn’t need anymore. I don’t know why people are so insistent on pairing her off with old pedos or violent abusers. Oh, never mind. I know why.

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    39. Angmar,

      Jon Snow is the only name that comes to my mind, too. D&D said, upon Jon and Sansa’s reunion in S6, that they “learn[ed] where they were gonna go with a relationship that had never meant that much to either one of them, but now means so much because they’re all that they have.” D&D also said their relationship would be “crucial to watch.” I don’t know what it is they learned about where Jon and Sansa’s relationship was heading, but it seemed significant from the way Benioff spoke. So, we’ll see what happens.

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    40. GRRM:
      Ten Bears,

      No, because you conveniently chopped off the rest of the comment. Sansa deserves better than someone who once told Arya, “I should have fucked your sister bloody.” I mean, what woman would want her future husband to say something as awful as this about her? A man who held a knife to her throat? A man who threatened and beat her? A man who murdered her sister’s friend? Sansa has had enough of violent abusers and age-inappropriate men putting their hands on her. She doesn’t need anymore. I don’t know why people are so insistent on pairing her off with old pedos or violent abusers. Oh, never mind. I know why.

      Sandor was trying to goad Arya into putting him out of his misery, I don’t think he’ll ever hurt Sansa. Sandor is also a man who’s reforming and who’s soft spot for the Stark girls has always been apparent. I don’t know if they could be a couple, but I can certainly see him always being there for her and Arya.

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    41. GRRM,

      Wait, when did Sandor hold a knife to Sansa’s throat? Or beat & threaten her? He did none of those things.

      When he told Arya that he should have “fucked her [Sansa] bloody” he was trying to coax Arya into killing him by antagonizing her. He didn’t mean it.

      Things Sandor has done for Sansa:
      – prevented her from pushing Joffrey off the catwalk, which would have inevitably led to Sansa’s death.
      – gave her a handkerchief to wipe the blood off her face after Meryn (aka MFT) hit her on Joffrey’s orders.
      – saved her from rape and death by the mob in KL.
      – offered to take her back to Winterfell during the Battle of Blackwater.

      Sansa: “You won’t hurt me.”
      Sandor: “No, I won’t hurt you little bird.”

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    42. Enharmony1625,

      She closed her eyes, wanting it to be over, but nothing happened. “Still can’t bear to look, can you?” she heard him say. He gave her arm a hard wrench, pulling her around and shoving her down onto the bed. “I’ll have that song. Florian and Jonquil, you said.” His dagger was out, poised at her throat. “Sing, little bird. Sing for your little life.”

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    43. ,

      I’m a show only fan. You can bash book! Sandor and I’ll have no retort, but show! Sandor is the paragon of chivalry. Except for that teensy weensy incident with Rabbit Stew Sally’s daddy – which he came to regret.

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    44. Kari:
      No one else thinks Sansa and Gendry is a possibility? I’ve always thought it was. I just do not see Arya settling down and it would be nice for Robert’s son to marry Ned’s daughter as Robert wanted.

      A few fans do, but mainly for abstract reasons: 1) They can’t see Arya wanting to marry or 2) they think gorgeous in-love-with-love Sansa should get any guy she wants. In theory, Sansa + Gendry seem good on paper. On paper Joffrey and Sansa looked good too. Realistic fans know “That not’s me” was said by an 11YO who rejected only the dull view of domesticity Ned had just outlined. At 11, she couldn’t know that being a ruling/powerful lady was possible. They also know tomboys usually grow up and fall in love, as Arya’s analog Lyanna Stark had done.

      Books AND show have delicately (because of her age) prepared the relationship as a prelude to romantic love, including overwhelming foreshadowing . WotW poster clionha recently noted three Season 7 Gendry lines that echoed three Season 3 Arya lines he had heard! Those two are still strongly connected</strong! Moreover, in personality, social outlook, ethics, etc they're as compatible as Gendry and Sansa are INcompatible. And they are probably the only highborn each could be comfortable with in marriage.

      JenniferH and others here have laid all this out well. I do think they'll at least be on their way to marriage before the show ends. The Stark and Baratheon to join their houses are actually the two yet waiting in the wings. They need to be part of the dream of spring for a new Westeros.

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    45. ,

      Fair enough. I am primarily a show fan, having come to the story first through it. I’ve read the books once, but seen the show from beginning to end 5+ times, so it’s primarily what I draw from.

      Needless to say, this never happened on the show, and Sandor has for the most part been caring and protective of the Stark girls. Sure, he’s rough around the edges, and there’s been some “tough love” here and there, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he cares about them and wouldn’t do anything to harm either one.

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    46. Ten Bears,

      Yet according to both GRRM and D&D, the books and show will have the same ending – two roads to the same destination. George isn’t going to “reward” the Hound with a young girl he pinned down on a bed and held a knife to her throat. Not Sansa fkn Stark. She’s strongly foreshadowed to be queen someday. She will not have this future with the Hound.

      Also, even in the show he isn’t so chivalrous. Why? Because he gave Sansa a handkerchief after she was beaten? Because he didn’t rape her even though he could’ve? Because he killed innocent people and stole money from smallfolk? Wow, what a gentleman.

      There is only one person in this whole story who can fulfill everything Sansa ever wanted, who can give her children who would physically resemble both her brothers and her sister, who is fated to be king. And it’s not the Hound. Or Tyrion. Or Gendry. Or Jaime Lannister. Or Podrick. Or Ned Dayne. Or any other rando character people want to push her towards in some desperate attempt to avoid the obvious, logical conclusion.

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    47. MMJ: Not Sansa fkn Stark. She’s strongly foreshadowed to be queen someday. She will not have this future with the Hound.

      Agreed, but alot of people think she’ll be queen of Westeros. Example: an hour after your post GRRM wrote “Not Sansa fkn Stark. She’s strongly foreshadowed to be queen someday. She will not have this future with the Hound. “

      It’s possible, but I think it unlikely for many reasons, the main one being she named her wolf Lady. So I wrote that to indirectly discount that other theory.

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    48. GRRM,

      “There is only one person in this whole story who can fulfill everything Sansa ever wanted, who can give her children who would physically resemble both her brothers and her sister, who is fated to be king. And it’s not the Hound. Or Tyrion. Or Gendry. Or Jaime Lannister. Or Podrick. Or Ned Dayne. Or any other rando character people want to push her towards in some desperate attempt to avoid the obvious, logical conclusion.”

      Her sister is fated to be king?!?! Sorry, I speak in jest. Seriously, Arya being king is only slightly more unlikely than Jon and Sansa marrying. Not only is there no clear preparation for that union, but there’s the whole incest angle (they’re cousins strictly speaking, but consider each other siblings), which is almost guaranteed to cause an outcry. Furthermore, Daenerys is a major impediment, and there’s no political justification for such a marriage. Now, Tyrion and Sansa would make political sense. We mustn’t forget that GRRM’s style is to do anything but “…fulfill everything Sansa ever wanted”. He shuns wish fulfillment, and also holds her partly to blame for some family tragedies early in the story. In D&D’s telling, she’s done nothing to deserve Jon and–worse–has actually treated him rather abysmally at times during their brief association. Need I count the ways?

      After having mourned Ygritte, if he then loses Dany surely he’ll stay a grieving widower for life. By the end of the wars, Dany will have become his soulmate. Their love theme is titled “Truth”! Instead, he’d ask Aunties Sansa and Arya (if they’re available) to help with bringing up baby, especially if she’s a girl. Of course, Arya may marry Gendry and Sansa may marry…well, Robin Arryn wasn’t on your list. She did like the Vale and could get lemon cakes there.

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    49. GRRM:
      Ten Bears,

      There is only one person in this whole story who can fulfill everything Sansa ever wanted, who can give her children who would physically resemble both her brothers and her sister…

      the obvious, logical conclusion.

      I don’t understand this fixation on ‘children who would physically resemble both her brothers and her sister.’ Who is strongly motivated by that consideration when choosing a mate?

      And I find the notion of Sansa pairing off with someone she grew up regarding as a sibling to be far creepier and far more problematic than her pairing off with Sandor.

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    50. I think Arya’s “plot armor” has it’s parallel in Jon’s resurrection and luck during battles – she’s being protected by some larger force (R’hllor?) because she’s to play a vital part in the war to come.

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    51. GRRM:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      I agree. I really don’t believe Sansa or any of the principal characters who survive will really get “everything” they “ever wanted” at the end of the story. Nevertheless, if Sansa does have to end up with a partner, I think she and Jorah could make a good pair. I would like him to stop pining over Dany, and I think he has qualities that Sansa would appreciate. I don’t see it happening, though; it’s just something I would like to happen.

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    52. MMJ,

      They’re constantly trying to diminish Sansa’s role/position in the story, even contrary to what’s already been established on the show.

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    53. An entire write up about Arya, her possible future and storylines and no mention at all of the character who will most probably be sharing the most scenes with her next season – Jon Snow. LOL!

      If the show ending is aligning with the book ending next season, then Arya and Jon will play a big role individually and together – there’s a reason GRRM spend five books talking about how much these two characters love each. Jon ended the last book dying for Arya. Unless D&D are going for their own ending, I am pretty sure that Jon and Arya will have a major role in each other’s endings – different roads lead to the same castle.

      I also happen to see Arya as the future leader of the North – the Stark who consistently remembers and follows Ned’s teachings, who has a connection with the smallfolk, who has learned a hell of a lot more than just killing from the FM. In the books, GRRM is grooming her to be leader – just like Jon and Dany – and I see her as a queen or warden of the North.

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    54. death by chickenfire: shit happens, right? don’t worry, it happens to professional writers too!

      i remember an article in a well renowned german newsmag. they wrote about germany’s vice chancellor and secretary of somewhat then that he’d been doing something “im vorbeigehen“, which means en passant, walking by. nice picture if you know the man is in a wheelchair since an assassination attempt on him in 1990.

      well, as long as no one calls Bran “Google on wheels”…

      LOL I’m calling him that, Bran “Google on Wheels,” or instead of Bing it! why not Bran it! hahaha

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    55. Ten Bears:
      Dark Sister,

      Bronn to Jaime (at Frey-Lannister feast): “What’s the matter? Not blonde enough for you?”

      Why no Jaime & Dany “shipping”?

      Dany’s forgiving but I doubt she’s that forgiving, Jaime did try to kill her plus Brienne, don’t break Brienne’s heart Jaime, I swear she’s so close to singing that P!nk song, what about us… Dany, Gendry might work, also if we’re ok with Dany, Jaime, why not Dany +Tyrion. It might still happen Dany could be the new Arya in what was supposed to be a Jon-Arya-Tyrion love triangle in that GRRM pitch many years ago.

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    56. SerNoName,

      I also happen to see Arya as the future leader of the North – the Stark who consistently remembers and follows Ned’s teachings, who has a connection with the smallfolk, who has learned a hell of a lot more than just killing from the FM. In the books, GRRM is grooming her to be leader – just like Jon and Dany – and I see her as a queen or warden of the North.”
      …………..

      👸🏻😄😄😄😄😄😄✅

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    57. Lunaselene,

      “I really don’t believe Sansa or any of the principal characters who survive will really get “everything” they “ever wanted” at the end of the story. Nevertheless, if Sansa does have to end up with a partner, I think she and Jorah could make a good pair. I would like him to stop pining over Dany, and I think he has qualities that Sansa would appreciate. “

      Lunaselene, I like that. Though Jorah’s older than the Hound, he has courtliness, kindness, deference, and experience with diplomacy, all of which I think Sansa needs in a husband. Plus he’s nice-looking and smooth-voiced. AND he’s a Mormont! Being of a lower house from the North means she keeps her name, her place, and her power. I also agree with your comment “I really don’t believe Sansa or any of the principal characters who survive will really get “everything” they “ever wanted”. I came across this quote yesterday while browsing:

      “Go ahead, call me all the names you want” Sansa said airily. “You won’t dare when I’m married to Joffrey. You’ll have to bow to me and call me Your Grace.” She shrieked as Arya flung the orange across the table. It caught her in the middle of the forehead with a wet squish and plopped down into her lap.” AGOT Sansa III

      GRRM treats ALL his characters: like Arya did Sansa…or worse. And with zero childish mischief.

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    58. Firannion: Prevent the creation of the Night King: “The Door” (Episode 5 of Season 6) confirmed that Bran isn’t just able to explore the past, but he can also alter it (and the future, as a result).

      Old 3ER: The past is written. The ink is dry.

      Meaning that Hodor’s conversion was preordained and Bran just happened to be the one to make it happen. We have already seen the NK being created in the past… The ink is already dry there.

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    59. SerNoName:
      An entire write up about Arya, her possible future and storylines and no mention at all of the character who will most probably be sharing the most scenes with her next season – Jon Snow. LOL!

      If the show ending is aligning with the book ending next season, then Arya and Jon will play a big role individually and together –there’s a reason GRRM spend five books talking about how much these two characters love each. Jon ended the last book dying for Arya.Unless D&D are going for their own ending, I am pretty sure that Jon and Arya will have a major role in each other’s endings – different roads lead to the same castle.

      I also happen to see Arya as the future leader of the North – the Stark who consistently remembers and follows Ned’s teachings, who has a connection with the smallfolk, who has learned a hell of a lot more than just killing from the FM.In the books, GRRM is grooming her to beleader – just like Jon and Dany – and I see her as a queen or warden of the North.

      That would go against everything about Arya, she’ll never want to be a lady in charge of a castle, plus it would be really unsatisfying since there’s zero build up for it on the show.

      Also in the books, the characters that think of each other the most are Sansa and Arya, someone on the ASOIAF forums showed that Sansa and Arya think of each other the most because they are likely going to be the most connected out of all the siblings. Their arcs have a lot in common.

      Arya and Jon have almost nothing in common anymore, there’s a reason Arya and Jon never brought each other up on the show. Meanwhile, Arya and Sansa started out as polar opposites, it’ll be very fitting now that they work together. They have witnessing Ned’s death in common, they have Sandor and his mentoring in common, their shared hatred and belief of how dangerous Cersei really is, their focus on defending their family and their grief in Ned, something Jon and Bran have long moved on from, they both learned how to be deceitful and cunning too.

      Plus Jon’s whole storyline is in line with Bran, Sam, and Dany. Those characters are going to be who he spends the lion share of scenes with. Arya has absolutely nothing to do with the Night King arc. GRRM loves to show us how characters change and how people view their relatives differently. Jon and Arya will be prime examples of that, they will have a happy reunion, but they will quickly realize how changed both characters are. It wouldn’t be GRRM if they still saw each other as the same people as before. Arya sure as hell won’t like trusting Cersei for example.

      Meanwhile I expect a huge scene with the girls and Sandor alone.

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    60. GRRM:
      Ten Bears,

      Sansa has had enough of violent abusers and age-inappropriate men putting their hands on her. She doesn’t need anymore. I don’t know why people are so insistent on pairing her off with old pedos or violent abusers. Oh, never mind. I know why.

      so you don’t know and you know? alrighty. i definitely don’t know. so may i ask the knowing half of you why people are insistent on pairing Sansa with old pedos or violent abusers?

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    61. BeardedOnion,

      I can agree that Sansa and Arya are destined to be partners and, most brobably, their final role will be to guard Jon’s back from Cersei. I also believe that both sisters will play a part in facilitating her demise.

      However, I can’t agree that Arya has no connection to the WW storyline. From the very beginning she was learning to represent death and grant its gift. And the main problem with the WW is that they are unable to die, unless someone kills them. I strongly believe that the story will end with some “pact” between life and death (or the Lord of Light and the Many-Faced God or their representatives) which will restore the balance and eleiminate the Night King and his army as an abomination to both life and death. In other words, that makes me think that Arya will play a role in the NK’s demise, too, but this will come at a price: she may have to sacrifice her identity and become no-one to save the world and Jon.

      In turn, it makes me think that Gendry will die. Some romance between him and Arya seems inevitable, as soon as they meet, however Gendry could have been brought back into the fold just to break Arya’s heart and to give her a final push towards the path of self-sacrifice. If not, Gendry will never be a lord – legitimized or not. Gendy is a blacksmith and the time of peace Westeros is supposed to enter after the great war is the time for blacksmiths and other craftsmen. So, Arya may end up as a blacksmith’s wife (resuming her role of Lana in a way) and that will require her to disguise her true identity, if Jon or Sansa ends up as a ruler of Westeros.

      As for Sansa, her becomming a ruler of Westeros is one of the options – provided that both Jon and Dany dies. In such case, she’ll have to resume her marriage to Tyrion to hold the realm together. However, in my understanding Tyrion’s arch develops more towards some heroic sacrifice than towards sitting on the throne: he was build up as a smart person, but recently he has been outsmarted again and again and his reunion with other heroes of the Blackwater also hinted that there will be another mission for them ahead. Moreover, Tyrion is now like a mentor to Dany (and partly Jon), although they struggle, and at some point mentors have to go leaving their apprentices alone. That also imlies that Tyrion will go out in the blaze of glory, so that his ideas and legacy could be respected and carried on.

      Therefore, I would rather ship Sansa with Sandor, as both of them deserve at least one happy memory before the end. However, I’m afraid that both of them may die. Sansa is becomming very much like Cersei: she thinks she knows better and, although sometimes she really does, such attitude may lead to mistakes (with best intents but mistakes nonetheless). And such mistakes may cost her life. Another thing is that in my view Westeros should come out of the great war as a more unified and centralized realm which will have no place for regional lords and wardens. That means that there should be only one power coulple surviving and my bet is on Jon and Dany against all odds.

      As for their baby, what if Dany discovers her pregnancy only after Jon accepts her barenness and passes a low establishing elected succession?

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    62. Off topic but … Check out D&Gs instagram. Emilia has a singing commercial for their new fragrance and she’s just as lovely, warm, and radiant as you’d expect.

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    63. Inga:
      Sansa is becomming very much like Cersei: she thinks she knows better and, although sometimes she really does, such attitude may lead to mistakes (with best intents but mistakes nonetheless). And such mistakes may cost her life.

      Sansa’s already paid the price of that mistake: when she chose not to reveal her cards to Jon and not tell him about the knights of the Vale. She almost made Jon doubt her when it was vital not to, and many men died when they could have been saved had they (J&S) planned the attack in tandem.

      Ten Bears:
      Sandor didn’t come back from the brink of death just to become the Warrior of Light. He’s also destined to have at least one happy memory.

      The Hound ❤️ His Little Bird 🕊

      Just wait until Jon learns that he threatened to “fuck Sansa bloody”. Sandor’s face might end up just like Ramsey’s lol

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    64. BeardedOnion,

      I’m actually inclined to agree with a lot of this. It’s strongly foreshadowed in the books that Arya and Sansa will become a formidable team when Ned tells Arya that she and Sansa, while as different as the sun and the moon (I think?), they are two sides of the same coin. “She needs you as you need her,” he says (paraphrasing as I don’t recall the exact wording). Not only do we see a version of this in the show (when Ned sits down with Arya in 1×03), but this relationship between the two has already started forming at the end of season 7.

      I actually really do love the idea of these two sisters, who in better times couldn’t find it in themselves to get along, discover each others’ virtues and strengths in these terrible times and come together as a strong unit to defend what is left of their family. It makes me tear up just thinking about it.. 🙂 I really want to see them have each other’s back next season — together they’re a force to be reckoned with!

      As far as Jon goes, him and Arya have to have a special and happy reunion, but I can definitely see that they might not connect in the same way they were at the start of the story. Besides, Jon is going to be preoccupied with fighting the AotD, leading, and of course Dany (and what I think will eventually be her pregnancy).

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    65. However, I can’t agree that Arya has no connection to the WW storyline. From the very beginning she was learning to represent death and grant its gift. And the main problem with the WW is that they are unable to die, unless someone kills them.

      The idea of the Faceless Men (BTW, why are they called that, instead of the “Faceless Ones”?) finding the very idea of an Army of the Dead ideologically abhorrent is an interesting one, and I saw it in the comments here awhile ago.

      Arya repeatedly broke the supposedly immutable rules of the Faceless Men, and the “punishment” Jaqen H’ghar gave just so happened to train her in a way which insured she could fight effectively in total darkness (during a Long Night?). He then “assigned” the Waif to put Arya to that test. When she walked out of the House of Black and White, he had a half-smile on his face. He simply must have been expecting her to fulfill some higher purpose than just killing humans for money.

      As for Arya’s role in the endgame, I’ll predict it again. “Sam the Slayer,” fearless remover of greyscale, performs the shardectomy, as the White Walkers who form the Night-Kingsguard try to stop him. Too bad for them, for they are so very thorough: they overlook No One.

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    66. Inga,

      I’m a bit at odds with whether or not Arya will play a role in the defeat of the NK. I kind of hope so, but I can also see arguments against it. Thematically it fits in with the whole Faceless Men thing as you pointed out, but I struggle to find a satisfying way in which she would play a role.

      I don’t agree that she will sacrifice her identify and become No One. I used to think this was a possible ending scenario for Arya (and that this sacrifice would be a consequence of sort), but after seeing her season 7 arc moving firmly towards her re-asserting her identity, I don’t see her flip-flopping on this again to become No One.

      As far as Gendry goes, I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately since this article went up, and I started wondering why Gendry has been a part of Arya’s storyline and why it’s been what it’s been. i.e. GRRM isn’t the kind of writer that just throws stuff into a characters’ storyline for it to not have a significance later on. So why put this kind of quasi-romantic subplot into Arya’s story? There’s no denying the signs in both the book and the show that there are feelings between them, and GRRM has said that they will see each other again in the books. Perhaps you’re right in that Gendry will be a heartbreaking loss for Arya. And I definitely see the arguments against any kind of lasting romance between them due to Arya’s nature. Aaargh.. sometimes the more you think about things, the more unsure you become. 🙂

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    67. BeardedOnion,

      “That would go against everything about Arya, she’ll never want to be a lady in charge of a castle, plus it would be really unsatisfying since there’s zero build up for it on the show.”

      IMO it’s well prepared for but subtle. For years we’ve seen her follow and lead, take the initiative, and best her enemies. People like that don’t quietly step back into others’ shadows. And let’s not forget her heroes were warrior queens who fought, loved, and helped rule kingdoms. Arya at 9YO wanted to rule a holdfast, be high septon or sit on the Small Council. Book Arya studied how her father ran Winterfell and the North and especially his relationships, from bannermen to small folk. Show Arya watched and learned from her time with Tywin. She absorbs and remembers. Given the chance, no doubt she’ll grab the brass ring. You’re correct–she doesn’t want to be “a lady in charge of a castle”–that’s what Ned offered when she replied “That’s not me.” She wants lord duties ruling a castle and its lands. (Apparently now Sansa does too, other than military aspects). Though both might marry I can’t imagine either stepping back and just being a wife and mum and secondary to her lord husband.

      “Arya and Sansa started out as polar opposites, it’ll be very fitting now that they work together. They have witnessing Ned’s death in common, they have Sandor and his mentoring in common, their shared hatred and belief of how dangerous Cersei really is, their focus on defending their family and their grief in Ned, …they both learned how to be deceitful and cunning too.”

      They’re still polar opposites, but yes they have plenty of commonalities. They probably will work together well…AS LONG AS they are equals. And yes, they’ll be each other’s support where Cersei is concerned. But once Jon and Dany are there, the sisters are likely to diverge to some extent over the multiple Jon issues we know are coming. They should be a united front against Cersei, at least until she’s deposed.

      “Plus Jon’s whole storyline is in line with Bran, Sam, and Dany. Those characters are going to be who he spends the lion share of scenes with. Arya has absolutely nothing to do with the Night King arc”.

      I’m convinced Arya’s greatest partner will still be Jon, not least because it seems that Maisie and Kit filmed together a lot. Arya and Jon’s deep lifelong bond is probably unbreakable. He arguably set her on the path to the Great War by giving her Needle and thus enabling her to pursue her aspirations to be a warrior. Bran himself symbolically confirmed her importance in the war when he gave her the possibly magical VS Dagger. I suspect in this war Bran and Sam will be a team, Jon and Dany (plus Hands) will be a team, and Arya, Sandor, Gendry, and maybe Brienne will be one too. But if Jon ever needs truthful emotional support or to confide a secret, he’ll probably turn to Arya. But whether they’re as close as I expect, or have somewhat drifted apart as you expect…if their reunion disappoints, fans will have D&D’s guts for garters!

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    68. Stark Raven’ Rad: It’s possible, but I think it unlikely for many reasons, the main one being she named her wolf Lady.

      A person can share a king/lord title at the same time. So Sansa could be Queen of Westeros and the Lady of Winterfell. Just like Dany could be Queen of Westeros and Lady of Dragonstone. If Jon married Sansa (hypothetically), Sansa would be Lady of Dragonstone but also Queen of Westeros.

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    69. MMJ: A person can share a king/lord title at the same time. So Sansa could be Queen of Westeros and the Lady of Winterfell. Just like Dany could be Queen of Westeros and Lady of Dragonstone. If Jon married Sansa (hypothetically), Sansa would be Lady of Dragonstone but also Queen of Westeros.

      Very unlikely if not impossible. Especially with younger siblings. Robert was king, but made Stannis Lord of Dragonstone and Head of House Baratheon and Renly Lord of Storms End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands. He detested Stannis but felt compelled to anyway. The practice is traditional AND practical. In a mediaeval society where war and attacks were always a possibility, a lord or ruler had to be resident to rule. Absentee and empty titles usually did not exist in that period. Thus goes fantasy Westeros as well. These matters were taken seriously by GRRM, and D&D will follow his ending. GRRM was meticulous about King Robb’s will, which may or may not affect the outcome of the books/show. Everyone seems to overlook the fact that Robb wrote Sansa out of his will. IF Robb’s will comes to light in the books it could upend HOuse Stark. If Jon becomes king, and Rickon is dead and Bran remains the 3-Eyed Raven, then Arya would actually be above Sansa to inherit Winterfell and the North! Only a few book readers even remember that. Mind, I do think Sansa will end up Lady of Winterfell and Arya possibly Warden of the North or something else fitting for her sacrifices and abilities, After all, Sansa named her wolf Lady…but Arya named hers Nymeria, after a warrior queen.

      Moreover, this passing on of a title is especially true for Winterfell and the North because “There must always be a STark in Winterfell!” And finally, you don’t know Jon very well (or Arya) if you think he’d let Sansa be queen AND Lady of Winterfell. It’s not just a matter of preference for Arya, but fairness as well. Jon, having suffered the UNfair rules that status rather than merit mandates dispersion of property and titles, would not foist those rules on anyone, especially a warrior sibling who fought by his side and ALWAYS had his back (even in Season 7 Winterfell). For Jon, Arya would be the perfect bannerman. And one other thing–Jon is likely to break the wheel. He knows many rules are wrong and Dany will have influenced him even more to think that way.

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    70. I think Arya kills most of the White Walkers in Kings Landing but doesn’t get close enough to the NIght King to kill him… “The Enemy always Wins” I think Arya will escape with Tyrion in the Tunnels under Kings Landing. Arya will go to Casterly Rock with Tyrion and live happily ever after. Yeah Tyrion and Arya Stark

      The first scene of Beyond the Wall the camera scrolls north over a dead black east coast part Westeros until it shows a huge fire beyond the wall. Winterfell is dead. Sansa somehow escapes death with the Hound and takes a ship to Essos to haves a few sons and live happily ever after. Samwell, Gilly and Jorah Mormont make it to Essos too. A dream of Spring will happen in Essos. Samwell and Jorah will cure Greyscale in Valyria. Samwell will be a wizard in a reborn Valyria!

      Not sure what is going to happen with Bran…

      Alot of people are going to die. Epiode 4 I think Tyrion pays Bronn to kill Jon and Daenerys daughter and the Night King turns her into a White Walker episode 5. Jamie thinks Cersei ordered the murder so Jamie kills Cersei and Bronn kills Jamie. Jamie dies in the arms of Brienne of Tarth. Bronn dies when…

      Jon Snow knows they lost the Great War so “The son of Fire” “The warrior of Light” Aegon Targaryen sacrifices himself and lights the Wildfire to destroy all of Kings Landing and all the wights and Viseron too. The only two who survive the blast are The Night King and the princess that was promised who will be the Night Queen. The Night King rules a dead city with No One to rule.

      Daenerys could die while giving birth or maybe Tyrion Lannister will kill Daenerys (you may not want to read my guess based on a clever foreshadow)

      with his ax by slicing off her face. Tyrion face was sliced by someone on team Lannister. Daenerys face might be completely removed by Team Dragon Tyrion Lannister.

      These are todays guesses… they could be completely different tomorrow.

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    71. It’s frustrating to read people’s head-canon about what has happened used to legitimise their own theories about their favourite characters.

      As I understand it, nobody knows exactly who Robb named as his heir. There’s also nothing to say he specifically wrote Sansa out of his will. He appeared to name an heir, due to the succession problem created by the believed deaths of Bran and Rickon and Sansa being married to a Lannister.

      Yet Rickon is still alive in the novels. Is his claim automatically overridden by Robb’s will? The Northern Lords don’t appear to think so. They’re busy plotting his coronation.

      And if Sansa resurfaces, having escaped her forced and unconsummated marriage, does she no longer have any claim to her birthright? By what logic?

      And would Jon even accept the position ahead of Sansa, should she return to The North? He has already refused an offer to be made Lord of Winterfell, saying “Winterfell belongs to my sister, Sansa”, despite knowing of Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion. There’s certainly no basis for the notion that Sansa would not be deemed heir to The North after Jon, at the very least.

      The point being that there’s nothing in the novels to suggest that Sansa no longer has a claim to The North!

      And on the show Sansa is alive. She’s Lady of Winterfell. Bran has relinquished his claim. And last season some of the Lords wanted to name her their queen.

      Should anything happen to Jon, there’s nothing to prevent her being named Queen in The North, Warden of The North or any other title that may be due her as the eldest heir to House Stark.

      But, of course, none of this can get in the way of concocting elaborate theories that minimise Sansa’s role/position and… well, well, well… conveniently elevate Arya’s status.

      I don’t really see what the point of such a charade is.

      The only way Arya is likely to end up ruling The North is if Sansa becomes Queen of the Seven Kingdoms or if Sansa dies.

      But since people don’t want the former to happen and it looks increasingly possible that the latter won’t happen after all, they prefer to invent these elaborate ways in which Sansa can otherwise be conveniently sidelined.

      She will almost, possibly, 99%, maybe, the most she can expect, be Lady of Winterfell – but not queen, warden or anything that might suggest she has responsibility for anything other than running a solitary castle in The North because [insert head-canon].

      Or she’ll be regent (along with Tyrion, because reasons) to Dany and Jon’s magic baby, apparently abandoning her claim to The North in the process, while Arya conveniently takes up residence at Winterfell.

      It’s just so transparent and pointless.

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    72. “If anything, I’d just hope the screenwriters avoid a rivalry between Sansa and Dany. I can see the northerners being wary of the dragon queen’s intentions, that’d be perfectly normal, but once it’s clear she’s an ally and Jon is really in love with her, can all of them just get along? The sister rivalry of Season 7 was enough for me.”

      I couldn’t agree more, Morgoth. I don’t know where they’ll take things in season 8, but I’ve personally had enough backstabbing and conjured up drama. I’m ready for the remaining characters to put that crap to bed and join together to defeat the common enemy at this point. I believe the whole point of witnessing these character arcs for the last 7 seasons was to show why they will be different than everyone else in the end and work together instead of giving in to petty squabbles like the rest. Obviously I could be wrong and that’s fine. Just adding my personal preferences. I wouldn’t find the last season anymore interesting just because everyone is pissed off at each other. Quite the opposite. I would find it tedious at this point in the story.

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    73. Ramsay's 20th Good Man:

      The only way Arya is likely to end up ruling The North is if Sansa becomes Queen of the Seven Kingdoms or if Sansa dies.

      But since people don’t want the former to happen and it looks increasingly possible that the latter won’t happen after all, they prefer to invent these elaborate ways in which Sansa can otherwise be conveniently sidelined.

      Even though I am among the apparent majority who find Arya a much more likable character than Sansa, I feel your pain (or maybe it’s just this big goose egg on my forehead that I get from banging my head on my desk every time someone here floats a Nissa Nissa theory).

      Fandom is not a zero-sum game. We can prefer one character without hating another. Headcanon is fun, but abandoning all rationality to try to twist it into a logical argument and draw conclusions about the outcome of the story on that basis… well, not so much. And any post that starts out ‘I am certain that…’ pretty much forfeits my inclination to entertain such a hypothesis from the get-go.

      Assuming that Arya’s interest in ruling a holdfast, as she expressed to Ned, might still resurface once she’s done with killing people, let’s bear in mind that Winterfell, the seat of a once-kingdom, is not the only option in the North. She might be quite content with being in charge of a smaller territory, whether her title is lady or princess or whatever. She loved the vitality of the docks of Braavos (this is clearer in the books), so a port town like White Harbor might suit her. Her ultimate claim to fame might be as a role model to the aristocracy to patronize theatre troupes and other artists, tipping Westeros from its Dark Ages toward a Renaissance period.

      Meanwhile, presuming Sansa survives, becoming Lady of Winterfell seems a reasonable option. Not the only one, of course.

      Arguing the case for a favorite ending scenario is all in good fun. But let’s not go to extremes here, putting each other down with the attitude than ‘no one else’s theory than mine is possible.’

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    74. Mr Derp,

      Too “Bittersweet” for ya?

      The Feudal system of government will be dead on Planetos.
      That’s why “Game of Thrones” is done, over, finished after season 8

      I already changed one prediction Jorah Mormont escapes and the goes back to Bear Island and is welcomed back into his family.

      A new prediction: Gendry escapes in a row boat and that’s the last time anyone ever sees him 🙂

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    75. Clob,

      I just started watching it last night. It’s very interesting but nothing like GoT. So far, it isn’t an ensemble show with multiple characters who have many deep levels. There is only one lead around whom the action revolves.

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    76. Ramsay's 20th Good Man: And if Sansa resurfaces, having escaped her forced and unconsummated marriage, does she no longer have any claim to her birthright? By what logic?

      You’ve forgotten– I did say “. IF Robb’s will comes to light in the books... If it does and Robb did write her out of the will, it is logic. That interpretation of Robb’s will isn’t mine but widely believed, though nothing is certain about it. And I led up to concluding Sansa would be Lady of Winterfell at the end. You fail to mention that!

      Since it’s me you’re attacking, I’ll answer. If you think I’m saying this to promote Arya, I’m not. It does do that , but I would never say it if I didn’t believe every word. It’s not my headcanon, but a reasoned response to the headcanon of some fans who think Sansa should/will accrue titles like the Duke of Alba in the 21st century. Does he really need 95 or so titles, even now when they’re basically meaningless? As a mediaevalist, I’m trying to be realistic and counter false ideas of how titles get passed and why some people are not suited for some tasks. Since Warden is a military duty, not an honour to be held by someone who’s never held a sword, Sansa would be a poor choice. Only Weaselfinger tried to make her think otherwise. She can be Lady or even queen if devolution of the Seven Kingdoms occurs, but until then there is an order and tradition of succession and a need for titles to be given to people who can fulfill the function involved. Many of the oldest noble families in Europe originated with a sovereign rewarding some man with a title, land, feudal income,manor or fortress, etc for battlefield success and or service. BTW, Sansa herself argued people who are loyal should be rewarded. When the fighting is over, if she and Arya survive and if she’s not a hypocrite, she’d be the first to reward Arya beyond calling her “the strongest person I know.”

      There’s nothing to prevent anyone from being named king/queen of the north. Dany named Jon Warden of the North because he is a military man. IT IS A MILITARY FUNCTION! What’s more, I doubt Sansa would care as long as she remains lady. Nothing transparent or pointless about that. GRRM is a history buff as well as fantasy buff. GoT is not a fairy tale about a beautiful prince or princess–it’s a grimly realistic fantasy version of 15th-16th century mediaeval England. The prince/princess may well succeed, but the people who have contributed to the winning family (AKA the Tudors) will–nay, MUST–be rewarded. When fans realize that, they’ll stop thinking anyone is going to have more than one major role until after a century or two of peace, the country evolves. If Bronn gets his castles and a title, it’s because he’s bloody earned them. That should apply to everyone who earns things. It’s a charade for Arya-haters to pretend otherwise.

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    77. firstone,

      “Daenerys could die while giving birth or maybe Tyrion Lannister will kill Daenerys (you may not want to read my guess based on a clever foreshadow)
      (spoilyspoily)with his ax by slicing off her face. Tyrion face was sliced by someone on team Lannister. Daenerys face might be completely removed by Team Dragon Tyrion Lannister. (/spoilyspoily)”

      after all the ideas of: a dream of spring taking place on a continent that has not been touched by winter in any way; the science guy Sam becoming a woo nutjob in a city that has to be rebuilt (not reborn!) from compost; Arya and Tyrion being the surprise couple that will make some few million GoT-viewers go bananas…

      after all these Golden Globes for best script ever, i can only add this: there’s not enough Edmure in the script, so you’ll get your reddit-account blocked. also, there’s not enough weed in Westeros and Essos combined to make anything of this just thinkable.

      this put aside, i have to admit that the clever foreshadowed facial surgery Tyrion shall give to Daenerys really sliced off my face. thank you for this! it’s just my face. my eyes could somehow escape and make it to Canada.

      i can’t say how glad i am that no one ever hurled an axe at any man’s balls in any episode of any season.

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    78. firstone:
      Mr Derp,

      Too “Bittersweet” for ya?

      The Feudal system of government will be dead on Planetos.
      That’s why “Game of Thrones” is done, over, finished after season 8

      I already changed one prediction Jorah Mormont escapes and the goes back to Bear Island and is welcomed back into his family.

      A new prediction: Gendry escapes in a row boat and that’s the last time anyone ever sees him

      Lol, just too bitter.

      Yes he can become “The Legend of Gendry”…a ghost that keeps circling the same body of water over and over again lamenting a lost love or something.

      I agree that when all is said and done there will be no Iron Throne left. Of course, I could be completely wrong, but that’s where I see things headed. They will most likely have one ruler for each kingdom and those rulers can meet in a small council every so often to discuss policy. I don’t know how else the wheel can be broken.

      I’m just not sure where Jon’s right to the throne fits into all of this. I don’t really see Jon being king, but if he is, I can’t imagine he would want to be the one to rule them all. I think he’d be ok with letting the 7 kingdoms rule themselves. If Jon and Dany have a baby, where does he/she fit into all of this. I’m just not sure right now. Besides, just because one has a claim to the Iron Throne doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get it. Robert Baratheon had no claim, but he took it through force.

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    79. Ramsay's 20th Good Man,

      But, of course, none of this can get in the way of concocting elaborate theories that minimise Sansa’s role/position and… well, well, well… conveniently elevate Arya’s status.

      I don’t really see what the point of such a charade is.”
      ———
      Because ASNAWP! 👸🏻😄

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    80. Mr Derp,

      Robert Baratheon had a claim through his Targaryen grandmother. After Viserys and Dany, he was the closest living family member of Mad King Aerys II Targaryen.

      But I agree with the rest.

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    81. This got it so wrong about Sansa. She’s very important and will have a big role to play in season 8. The seventh book was going to be called ‘A Time for Wolves’ for a reason. Because it is, in fact, a time for wolves. Sansa being the ‘alpha’ female makes her crucial. There are still politics to be played. She is Jon’s most trusted confidant that hasn’t changed because he slept with Daenerys.

      And if you think Jon and Dany are going to going skipping off into the sunset, you’re reading/watching the wrong story.

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    82. casty,

      I read the article too, but I didn’t pick up any vibe that said Sansa wasn’t going to be important. It clearly stated that Sansa’s importance will be on the political side of things, not in battle. Politics will be a big part of post-war Westeros. So, what’s the problem?

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    83. casty: She is Jon’s most trusted confidant

      The use of “most” is debatable, and perhaps will be more so as the final season starts. Remember that Sam and Arya will also be reunited with him. Jon even told everyone that he trusts Sam as much as anyone.

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    84. I really don’t get all of these “Arya is going to be Queen/Lady of Winterfell/ Warden of the North” posts. From even a cursory read through of the “Alayne” and “Mercy” Winds of Winter chapters from George is clear who’s prepping for a political leadership role, and it’s sure as heck NOT Arya. And in the show? Her reaction to the Northern Lords politicking was “Off with their Heads!” I love Arya, but what I envision for her ending, assuming she doesn’t die, it’s Water Dancing instructor in Braavos or going West of West ala her Wolf’s namesake, Nymeria. As far as Sansa, her story so far in the show and the books seems like an amalgam of Elizabeth Tudor and Elizabeth York, historical characters George is quite familiar with, and both of them ended up as Queens. (Dany maybe will parallel Alexander the Great, a great conqueror that died young?)

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    85. Congratulations Morgoth on another well-deserved link on your Maester’s chain!

      Btw, I predict that Arya will meet up again with Ed Sheeran on the battlefield, and at the very moment he recognizes her as that very sweet young woman he met on the way to the Twins, and on whom he’s had a crush ever since, she’ll jump on his shoulders, gouge his eyes out and slit his throat from ear to ear. 😉

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    86. George: From even a cursory read through of the “Alayne” and “Mercy” Winds of Winter chapters from George

      Please don’t remind me of the Alayne chapter with all of the tummy flutters, ballroom dancing and that douchecanoe, Harrold Hardyng. 🙁 Although, that chapter and the promise of an s-load of Arianne chapters makes it easier for me to wait for the book. 🙂

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    87. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      I haven’t forgotten anything. Even if Robb’s will surfaces, it does not eradicate Sansa’s claim. You take account of Bran and Rickon’s change in circumstances but, surprise surprise, not Sansa’s.

      Unless Robb’s will happens to say, “Jon is my heir… oh, and Sansa can never inherit Winterfell or The North, even if she frees herself from her forced and unconsummated marriage*”- *(which, BTW, is a major factor in what he’s fighting the war for in the first place) – then it would not elevate Arya’s claim above Sansa’s.

      You are saying all of this to promote Arya. Everything you say is to promote Arya. The fact that you end your comment by referencing “Arya-haters” (of which I am not one) gives the game away, if nothing else.

      And yes, you begrudgingly predict, as if it’s any sort of prediction at all since it’s her current status and birthright, that Sansa will be Lady of Winterfell. But, naturally, Arya simply must be given an equal or higher status role in The North too, because having Sansa rule The North and Arya do her own independent thing is an unacceptable conclusion for your favourite. It must be made crystal clear that Arya holds equal or better status than her snobby, unworthy, unstrustworthy sister that treated her so poorly as a child, right?

      So you concoct things like this notion that The North is sure to need a military proficient Warden of The North and declare Arya the most compelling candidate, regardless of the fact that Arya has yet to prove any sort of military expertise.

      Or this notion that Arya must be rewarded for hitherto unseen achievements. Apparently Sansa would be a hypocrite otherwise. Naturally. Even though Arya needing to be rewarded, by Sansa or anyone else, for anything is as yet unsubstantiated fiction.

      Or the notion that everyone in Game of Thrones must surely earn their positions which, surprise surprise, penalises Sansa because she inherited her position rather than “earned” it by killing and murdering people, like Bronn (and Arya).

      Your comment is not a reasoned response to others’ head-canon. It’s the same fiction that you peddle regularly any time someone gives you an opening to bring it up. Just like your head-canon about Arya’s behaviour during the Winterfell plot in Season 7 which, surprise surprise, absolves Arya of all responsibility and condemnation for her behaviour and instead paints her as the flawless architect of Littlefinger’s downfall.

      It’s not wishing or predicting that Arya will end up in a particular position or holding a particular title at the end of the show that I take issue with. It’s the elaborate attempts to embellish and whitewash Arya’s actions/character, and to tenuously circumvent the inconvenient and clearly disliked stumbling block that is the character of Sansa.

      There’s really no need to dream up ways to further elevate Arya, especially at Sansa’s expense. Arya’s a fantastic character. She doesn’t need to compete with Sansa for status or be rewarded for fighting for her family.

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    88. I really don’t want an ending with Arya holding any Seat, in customary fashion. If she is I’d be okay with it, but I’ll still think “that’s not [her].” Sansa on the other hand has always wanted it and it IS her.

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    89. • Morgoth: GREAT reading, as always. Thank you for your hard work and insights.

      • Further, you wrote: “Also, and I gotta add: that moment when the corpse of the mother direwolf was found is some subtle and beautifully done foreshadowing. There have been similar scenes in the show that aren’t in the novels, such as the moment when Tywin is skinning a stag or in the deleted scene from S3 where he’s fishing.”

      At some point, the reception of show-only scenes might make for a lively discussion. It’s my understanding that Arya & Tywin scenes were not in the books – but I thought they were really well-done. On the other hand, it’s also my understanding that Olly is a show-only creation. To which all I can say is…. F*ck Olly. [Sorry]

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    90. Ten Bears: It’s my understanding that Arya & Tywin scenes were not in the books – but I thought they were really well-done.

      That’s probably the single best change to her story that they made. In the books she’s assigned to and abused by an underling named Weese, which wouldn’t have been nearly as epic of a pairing for the show. As can be expected there was more depth to the Harrenhal arc in the books that makes it better, but I wouldn’t trade that for the Arya-Tywin dynamic we got.

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    91. Note to Gwidhiel: My posts do NOT count as Arya thread derailments (👸🏻🚂⚠️) because the title and content of the article are Stark-centric.

      Nevertheless…. Arya! Arya! Arya!

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    92. Ten Bears:
      Clob,

      BTW – as a pre-books fan – I’d be interested to know which other show-only divergences succeeded, as well as those that bombed.

      Hardhome is probably the best one, it’s merely mentioned off screen in the books.

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    93. Ten Bears:
      Clob,

      S8= A Time for Wolves = A Time for Arya. Sansa may have a supporting role, eg “My sister Queen Arya asked you a question.”

      LOL; I love your staunch support of Arya as I Sansa.
      The sisters will be equals, neither one subjugated to the other, they may have different goals or paths, but always backing each other.
      It’s a big difference between Lannisters and the Starks.

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    94. Ten Bears,

      I always personally liked the way Arya gets needle back was cooler in the show than it was in the books. And I imagine since that’s one of your favourite scenes in the show (as well as mine), you’d feel the same. In the books, Arya doesn’t kill Polliver, she jumps on the Tickler and stabs him a bunch of times until Sandor pulls her off. The way she comes up behind Polliver and slices his hamstrings, then casually pulls Needle out while he’s falling over is about as bad-ass as it gets!

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    95. Ten Bears:
      Note to Gwidhiel: My posts do NOT count as Arya thread derailments (👸🏻🚂⚠️) because the title and content of the article are Stark-centric.

      Nevertheless…. Arya! Arya! Arya!

      LOL – I haven’t noticed anyone complaining in this thread about the volume of Arya posts, so I think you’re in the clear. 😉

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    96. Surprised this hasn’t been posted yet, but in a new interview, Peter Dinklage explains what his look meant when he saw Jon enter Dany’s cabin

      “Keep it down over there, I’m trying to get some sleep!” Dinklage jokes. But then he got serious and delivered a rather thoughtful and detailed answer that shows how deeply the Emmy winner thinks about his work.

      “No, ah, it’s complicated…” Dinklage says. “A lot of the time with Tyrion, it’s professional and personal. Obviously, he has feelings for Daenerys. He loves her — or thinks he does. She’s awe-inspiring. He’s questioning that because he doesn’t have a good track record for falling in love. There’s jealousy wrapped up in there. And he loves Jon Snow, too. They’re the two people he has the most in common with, in a way — they’re both outsiders in their own families who have refused to follow the path their family has taken, and hopefully for the better. He’s wondering how smart of a move [Jon and Dany getting romantically involved is], because passion and politics don’t mix well. He knows the two of them getting together could be very dangerous.”
      https://ew.com/tv/2018/09/06/game-of-thrones-tyrion-jon-dany/

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    97. George RR Martin said there is going to one more huge shocking surprise so all my predictions are shocking and maybe one of them is right. If the feudal system of government is over in the Seven Kingdoms that could be Georges 3rd and biggest shocking surprise.

      Winter is Here – The Long Night has begun – The “Long” Night is dark and full of Terror

      New day new predictions based on new found foreshadowng. Jamie kills Cersie because their new child is stillborn (the dead wight raced toward Cersie) and everything Jamie told Cersei would happen if they don’t join Daenerys and Jon did happen. King’s Landing is ravaged by the army of the dead so Jamie becomes a Queenslayer. The Night King sits on the Iron Throne. Jamie escapes and finds Brienne ofTarth and tells her how much he loves her and they have a loving moment together similar to the one Jamie and his daughter Myrcella had on the boat. Right as this happens Aegon Targareon lights the wildfire. Kaboom!!!!! The Enemy always Wins

      I don’t think Daenery’s child becomes White Walker. I think the Night King got new White Walkers by turning Craster’s live sons into new White Walkers. I am not sure what is going to happen with the princess that was promised… Maybe Arya takes the new born niece as far West as West goes? aka: Casterly Rock – now that would be a twist

      I think the Hound and Sansa go to Essos because the Hound wanted to take Sansa North in Blackwater where he is going to find her and the Hound told Arya he was thinking about joining the Second Sons in Essos. Oh well I’m trying

      I think Tyrion is going to pay Bronn to do evil things because in the scene when Tyrion is telling Bronn that he has to marry Sansa but he loves Shae. Bronn gives Tyrion good advice. Tyrion says “don’t put evil thoughts in my head” Bronn didn’t say anything evil. Bronn gets up out of his chair and says “You pay me to kill people… the evil thoughts are free” Bronn refills his glass of blood red wine and the final second of the scene is a close up (filling up the whole TV screen) of blood red wine. It looks like a foreshadow to me. The Long Night is dark and full of terror.

      I came up with my Tyrion Daenerys shocking death prediction because in Blackwater Tyrion looks at his ax for quite a while. He is also given a map of Kings Landing showing tunnels used to escape if Kings Landing is under siege. When Daenerys kicks Jorah Mormont out of Meereen the 2nd time, Jorah steps out of the city and stands there a couple seconds then starts walking forward. The camera looks behind Jorah (where Daenerys is) and focuses on the female Statue on the wall. Look closely at the statue and what is missing! This looks like a foreshadow to me and the foreshadowing D&D have written is brilliant.

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    98. Enharmony1625:
      Clob,

      Thanks for sharing! I think there’s more evidence of Team Arya/Sansa in that article. Bring it on I say!

      Seriously, I would really enjoy such a plot line. I do not want to see a rehash or continuation of their sister-against-sister squabbling, whether (as some have posited) Arya vs. Sansa in S7 was a logical development of their unresolved childhood rivalry; a head-scratching regression for both characters; or a supposed culmination of LF’s Cat vs. Lysa Redux scheme. (And I still have no f*cking clue what LF was trying to accomplish with his stupid purloined letter plan. Nor have I been able to comprehend what the S6-S7 Jon vs. Sansa “trust issues” and battle intel concealments were all about. Those have been debated to death, and I do NOT want to revisit those debates either.)

      All I’m saying is that “the pack” working together would be and will be more satisfying, would make more sense narratively – AND would honor the lessons of their late father.

      I harkened back to little Arya’s heart-to-heart talk with her father in S1e3:

      Ned: “Look at me. You’re a Stark of Winterfell. You know our words.”

      Arya: “Winter is coming.”

      Ned: “You were born in the long summer. You’ve never known anything else. But now winter is truly coming. And in the winter, we must protect ourselves, look after one another. Sansa is your sister.”

      Arya: “I don’t hate her. Not really.”

      Ned: “I don’t want to frighten you, but I won’t lie to you either. We’ve come to a dangerous place.
      We cannot fight a war amongst ourselves….”

      The Gullible/Pompous(?)Sansa vs. PsychoArya WF plot of S7 felt “off” for me because I thought there was no way in the world Arya would dishonor her father by pointing a f*cking knife at Sansa and musing about cutting off her face. Arya would refrain from doing anything like that because her dad explicitly warned “we can’t fight a war amongst ourselves.” In fact, Jon repeated those exact same words verbatim to Sansa during Jon & Sansa’s post-BoB talk in s6 (I think Jon cautioned Sansa ~ “we have so many enemies now. We can’t fight a war amongst outselves.”)

      The fact that Maisie and Sophie are BFFs in real life will only add to the enjoyment of Sansa & Arya complementing AND complimenting each other in S8. (And maybe, just maybe, it will silence some of the Sansa-haters. Further, the suggestions in the article that the Dynamic Duo – I mean Sansa & Arya – will play a prominent role in S8 might quell some of the criticism that the show has unwittingly given a misogynistic impression of its female characters.)

      Sorry for rambling [before and after this paragraph.]. I guess that brief but lovely Arya & Sansa scene on the battlements at the end of S7e7 left me wanting more – and made me wish their WF “plot” focused more on their reconciliation rather than their dissension. I want to envision the two of them, as a team, surviving what’s to come.

      And now, the hints in the article give me hope that in Season 8 we’ll see some really good scenes of Wonder Woman & Xena – I mean Whipsmart Lady Stark of Winterfell and her Wiseass Lethal Warrior Princess little sister. Like this time, if Sansa sees Arya stabling a table with a knife (like in S1), she’d ask:

      Sansa: “Arya! What are you doing?”
      Arya: “Practicing.”
      Sansa: “For what?”
      Arya: “The Night King.”
      Sansa: “Oh, alrighty then. Keep at it. Can I get you a snack for your next break? Perhaps some lemon cakes, pies, or chicken tenders?”
      Arya: “How nice of you to offer! Sure. But hold off on the pies cooling on the countertop. I made them for someone…special. *cough House Glover cough*
      Sansa: “How ’bout some beverages?
      Arya: “A big pitcher of ale if you don’t mind. And two frosty mugs so we can kick back and get a good buzz on.”
      Sansa: “I didn’t know you imbibe. But good idea! ….Oh, one other thing…”
      Arya: “Anything… Yes? What is it?”
      Sansa: “…..Uh, I don’t suppose you brought back any “magical” herbs from the House of Black & White?”
      Arya: “Lemme check. That douchebag LF ripped off my main supply before we whacked him, but I think my private stash is intact. I think I still have some samples from the dispensary in a hidden compartment in my face mask knapsack. I’ll have a look. If not, I’ll hit up Hot Pie. He’s always got primo product he gets from travelers stopping at the Crossroads Inn.”
      Sansa: “Hot Pie? The baker?”
      Arya: “His kidney pie and gravy are worth their weight in gold. Traders come from thousands of miles to barter their homegrown plants for his cakes and pies.”
      Sansa: “Seriously? Hot Pie? The one who made the kidney pie Brienne raved about? The gravy connoisseur? The culinary wizard who made the wolf bread that Brienne and Pod ate instead of giving it to you?”
      Arya: “That’s the one. You don’t think he got to look the way he does just by sampling his own cooking, do you? Only a few people know this, but among the nobility he is known only by the moniker the King Beyond the Munchies. His real identity is a closely guarded secret. Don’t ever repeat this, but he confided in me that his special proprietary recipe involves browning the butter before making the dough; most people don’t do that because it takes too long, but he kicks back with a perfectly rolled doobie with just the right thickness so as he finishes smoking, the butter has turned an exquisite golden brown. Rumor has it he learned the technique from a dying baker who had once read it in an ancient parchment fragment from the kitchens of Old Valyria.
      Sansa: “He sounds like quite a man.”
      Arya: “He is. And he thinks I’m pretty.”
      Sansa: “You ARE pretty! Everyone knows that but you.”
      Arya: “Anyway, if Spittleflinger found my private stash I’m sure Hot Pie would be delighted to whip up some weed-infused wolf bread for us.”
      Sansa: “You’re sure? And we can count on his discretion?”
      Arya: “Oh yes. We’re real tight. I trust him. But swear to me you won’t tell anyone! Davos is such a straight arrow he might confiscate all of Hot Pie’s stockpiles if he finds out. And if The Hound gets wind of anything he can ingest to get stoned, you know he’ll commandeer it all, consume it nonstop, get totally wasted and eat us out of house and home in a single weekend before passing out… and won’t wake up until winter is over.”
      Sansa: “I know. I adore the big fella but he’s got no impulse control.”
      Arya: “He does love you though….”
      Sansa: “Anyway…My lips are sealed. No way I want either of us to go though the Long Night without “special” pies and spleefs. As it is, real life has been a f*cking nightmare sober.”
      Arya: “No sh*t, sister. Oh, another thing: I did set side a few bottles of Arbor Gold before a spiked the rest with poison for the House Frey douchebags. So we’re pretty much set.
      Arya: “You think maybe Bran got some primo stuff from that hippie tree dude? Bran’s pretty zonked most of the time.”
      Sansa: “I don’t know if he’s been licking frogs or eating mushrooms, but he’s been pretty fuc*ing weird ever since I got home. Every time I ask him a question he answers ‘It’s hard to explain’.”
      Arya: “Yeah, maybe we shouldn’t invite Bran to our parties for the time being. At least while he’s doing that weird glassy white eyeballs thing and having hallucinations. Maybe there’s psilocybin and PCP in that weirwoid tree.”
      Sansa: “You and I have got to be able to function – between giggles and donuts, that is.”
      Arya: “I know, right? … Hey, what if we had Hot Pie bake pulverized dragonglass and concentrated THC into a kidney pie with gravy, and left it out for the Night King?
      Sansa: “Let’s try Valyrian steel weapons and dragonfire before sacrificing our party supplies, okay?”
      Arya: “Yeah, of course you’re right. That’s why you’re the Lady of Winterfell….”
      Sansa: “And you’re my precious little Executioner.”

      (🎵 Both break into “We Go Together….”🎶 from “Grease” finale)

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    99. BeardedOnion: Hardhome is probably the best one, it’s merely mentioned off screen in the books.

      Ah! That’s right. I read (second-hand) on this site that all the NW (?) knows is some cryptic information in a letter or paper from a (missing?) Maester referring to “dead things in the water.” I’m not sure if that’s accurate or complete.

      However, for the showrunners – and Sapochnik – to take that fragmentary, mysterious bit of information and turn it into one of the top 3 all-time GoT episodes is quite an achievement. Plus Karsi!

      PS I’m not sure how much of the pre-zombiefest portion of “Hardhome” (ie the first 35 minutes or so if the episode) was off-book. Those scenes were phenomenal as well. If I remember correctly, they included Tyrion’s first “sit-down” with Daenerys, which I enjoyed tremendously. And even before the sh*t hit the fan at Hardhome, Jon (& Tormund’s) speech to the Wildling chieftains was well-written and well-acted.

      And did I mention Karsi?* Perhaps the best guest actress in all of GoT. 🤧😥🧟‍♀️

      I don’t know. When all is said and done and all 73 episodes have aired, I wonder how any episode – even Winds of Winter – can top “Hardhome.”

      The last twenty minutes of S7e4, “The Spoils lf War”, were edge-of-your-seat gripping…

      Oh hell, it’s not even fair to compare. How does one delineate gradients of superlatives?

      * I’ll always get a kick out of seeing Karsi (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen) singing, dancing and snarking her way through her scene- and film- stealing role as “The Kommisar” in Pitch Perfect 2. I missed her in “Vinyl” – which HBO canned after one season, and most of her other film and TV work are in Denmark, I think.

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    100. Grail King: LOL; I love your staunch support of Arya as I Sansa.
      The sisters will be equals, neither one subjugated to the other, they may have different goals or paths, but always backing each other.
      It’s a big difference between Lannistersand the Starks.

      I’d be quite okay with that.* Sansa + Arya, NOT Sansa vs. Arya.

      * As my loopy, run-on comment at 4:55 pm suggests.

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    101. Ten Bears,
      Tyrion and Daenerys haven’t met yet. He’s at the fighting pit in another capacity when she flies away on Drogon. Shortly after that is where the books are at.

      Jon don’t go to Hardhome because he gets the letter from Ramsay. Sansa is not there of course since she’s still at the Eyrie ballroom dancing and shit.

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    102. Ten Bears,
      Tyrion and Daenerys haven’t met yet. He’s at the fighting pit in another capacity when she flies away on Drogon. Shortly after that is where the books are at.

      Jon doesn’t go to Hardhome because he gets the letter from Ramsay. Sansa is not there of course since she’s still at the Eyrie ballroom dancing and shit.

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    103. firstone,

      ??? Wait. What “Tyrion Daenerys shocking death prediction” are you referring to?

      I am not doubting, criticizing or questioning you. Honestly. I’m intrigued. (Did I miss something you wrote in a prior comment?)

      I’ve had a hunch that Dany’s unnecessary Dickhead + Dickon BBQ will come back to haunt her, though I’m not sure how. However, I found it conspicuous that Tyrion pointedly told Cersei that he’s on Team Dany because the difference between Dany and Cersei is that Dany chose advisors to rein in her worst impulses – and yet, Tyrion has been commiserating with Varys that he’s been unable to get her to listen to his advice to rein in those impulses.

      I’m also reminded of the beginning scene of The Battle of Mereen in S6e9. Dany’s solution to the Masters’ Armada’s bombardment was to go full on Mad King: destroy the enemy forces AND their cities (ie civilians) until Tyrion talked her out of it.

      If Tyrion has lost the ability to temper Dany’s “Fire & Blood” impulses, how much of a difference will he see between Cersei and Dany (aside from their cheekbones 🧝🏻‍♀️)?

      Are you suggesting Tyrion might feel compelled to betray Queen Daenerys Targaryen, like his ex-hand father Tywin betrayed King Aerys Targaryen or his kingsguard brother Jaime betrayed the king he swore to protect?

      Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. I just have this sneaking suspicion that Dracarys + Dickon = a fatal mistake by Dany.

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    104. Ten Bears: maybe, just maybe, it will silence some of the Sansa-haters

      Hehheh … that seems pretty optimistic, Ten Bears. Although Maisie herself seems to have the impression that Sansa is “someone who we love.” She must not be following online fan commentary. 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️

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    105. Ten Bears: I’m not sure how much of the pre-zombiefest portion of “Hardhome” (ie the first 35 minutes or so if the episode) was off-book. Those scenes were phenomenal as well. If I remember correctly, they included Tyrion’s first “sit-down” with Daenerys, which I enjoyed tremendously.And even before the sh*t hit the fan at Hardhome, Jon (& Tormund’s) speech to the Wildling chieftains was well-written and well-acted.

      And did I mention Karsi?* Perhaps the best guest actress in all of GoT. 🤧😥🧟‍♀️

      I don’t know. When all is said and done and all 73 episodes have aired, I wonder how any episode – even Winds of Winter – can top “Hardhome.”

      I agree. “Hardhome” is the best ep that GoT has created from beginning to end. I don’t know how it’s topped. I’d love to see them try, though.

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    106. Ten Bears: And did I mention Karsi?* Perhaps the best guest actress in all of GoT. 🤧😥🧟‍♀️

      Yes – I loved Birgitte Hjort Sørensen in Borgen.
      (And Pilou Asbæk)

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    107. Ten Bears: Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. I just have this sneaking suspicion that Dracarys + Dickon = a fatal mistake by Dany.

      Oh my, you’re just full of wild conjecture today, Ten Bears! 🤖

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    108. Ten Bears,

      I wonder if there is a hidden foreshadow when Tyrion ask Bronn after he sent Janos Slynt to the Wall for killing King Roberts bastard boy “If I told you to murder an infant “girl” still suckling her “mothers” breast would you do it?… without question? Bronn replies… “without question? no… I’d ask how much” Also Tyrion didn’t look happy seeing Jon Snow knock on Daenerys ship cabin door. And then the highlighted dragons on the Targaryen flag fade to black. Tyrion talked to Varys about being worried about Daenerys tendencies. So Yeah Tyrion might turn on Daenerys if she becomes a butcher and acts like a Dragon so people fear her. I don’t think the Northern Houses will accept Daenerys no matter what Jon and she says. Daenerys might break the wheel which includes Targaryen so Aegon better keep looking over his shoulder. Tyrion might decide to take Varys advice and do what is best for the Realm. The night is dark and full of terror. The foreshadow seems strong to me.

      Sansa seemed very interested in that baby doll when she talked to the Hound in Blackwater so maybe Sansa is going to have killer sons with the Hound or maybe Sansa escapes (the battle in Kings Landing just like she could of in Blackwater) with the Hound and with Jon and Daenerys daughter to Essos… which would be similiar to what Daenerys had to do as an infant and Daenerys is worshipped in Essos and so would Daenerys daughter.

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    109. I don’t know if Bran will do any warging. What I believe Bran will do is get into one or more greenseer battles with the NK. The NK surprised Bran the first time, but Bran is now the 3ER, an elder god of Westeros — and perhaps more powerful than the Childrens’ mutant creation. If there is more than one such battle, we could see Bran initially messing with the NK’s far-sight of future battlefields, leading his forces into ambushes and traps.

      The final (or only) greenseer battle would be of Bran putting *his* mark upon the NK, possibly rendering the NK physically immobile as Sam the Slayer arrives on site with his (Valerian Steel?) tongs to perform the kill-the-mothership shardectomy.

      I also believe there will be no more magic in Westeros at the end of this tale. Whether that applies to 3ER and the Lord of Light, I cannot say.

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    110. firstone,

      “Sansa seemed very interested in that baby doll when she talked to the Hound in Blackwater…”
      ……
      Interesting that you picked up on that scene with Sansa clutching the doll. I did too, but have a different, mega-tinfoil interpretation that would take hours to type out – and about that long to dodge the virtual spitballs and cowpies that’ll be launched at me.

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    111. Ten Bears:
      firstone,

      “Sansa seemed very interested in that baby doll when she talked to the Hound in Blackwater…”…… Interesting that you picked up on that scene with Sansa clutching the doll. I did too, but have a different, mega-tinfoil interpretation that would take hours to type out – and about that long to dodge the virtual spitballs and cowpies that’ll be launched at me.

      I hope we see that doll in S8, and hopefully she keeps it safe.

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    112. I love these articles! Arya is one of my favourite characters so I love your prediction about her kicking ass and potentially teaming up with the Hound in Cleganebowl but feel worth mentioning that Melisandre was also on her list back in S3:)

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    113. Sorry I was a little hasty in calling out your exclusion of Mel I see. I have a feeling Mel is going to die in the battle with the White Walkers so Arya may will not be the one to do it and will be recognised that she dislikes her but no more.

      Also I love your prediction for her final out come. I don’t see her marrying Gendry or staying at Winterfell so returning to Bravos is a good shout. I also don’t believe she will die on screen.

      Finally I have been avoiding spoilers but filming articles indicate

      Arya will be involved in at least one big battle

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    114. Jon Snowed,

      Well, I wouldn’t think they’d spend seven seasons building up Arya to be a Super Ninja Assassin Warrior Princess just to have her inventory grain stockpiles in Seaaon 8

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    115. Tyrion looked devastated watching so many Lannister soldiers being burned alive by dragonfire and seeing it up close after the Spoils of War battle. Then Daenerys burnt the Tarlys which Tyrion didn’t like either. I think Daenerys might burn more Lannister soldiers with dragonfire in season 8 to show power and it pisses Tyrion and Varys off. I think Varys does something to calm or betray Daenerys so she kills Varys with Dragonfire. Tyrion has had enough and ends up killing Daenerys. (Or maybe they all return to the Dragonpit and Daenerys is ambushed and killed by Cersei.) I think Jon will sacrifice himself to save the Kingdom from the Night King on Father’s Day 2019. Jon and Daenerys daughter The Princess that was promised will Rule the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa and the Hound will raise the Princess that was Promised from infancy until she becomes Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa Stark will be Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms until “The last Targaryen” is anointed Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

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    116. After Winterfelll is rebuilt and Jon and Daenerys daughter the Princess that was promised is proclaimed Queen of the Seven Kingdoms….

      Queen Regent Sansa Stark will go back to Winterfell and be Warden of the North for decades of peace and prosperity. .

      A Targaeyen will sit on the Iron Throne and a Stark will be Warden of the North… bittersweet

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    117. “If anything, I’d just hope the screenwriters avoid a rivalry between Sansa and Dany. I can see the northerners being wary of the dragon queen’s intentions, that’d be perfectly normal, but once it’s clear she’s an ally and Jon is really in love with her, can all of them just get along? The sister rivalry of Season 7 was enough for me.”

      For me this discounts the possibility that Dany is not an ally. We don’t know how Targy she’s going to get.. maybe Sansa is suspicious of Dany initially and turns out to be right, as Dany gets power hungry and Jon has to slay his love, completing the Azor Ahai prophecy? I think it’s unlikely Jon and Dany will live happily ever after and sister-in-law Sansa will visit from Winterfell once in a while. If Sansa reacts with suspicion it might be for a reason: we all know she’s been trained by the most cynical people out there, and Jon doesn’t have a track record for acting much differently from Ned on the political naivety front… Plus he’s blinded by his love for his Auntie (gross, not a fan).

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    118. firstone,

      Another thing Daenerys could do to motivate Tyrion to kill her is killing Tyrion’s brother Jamie Lannister for killing her father The Mad King.

      If so Tyrion will be the younger brother to kill Cersei…

      Maybe after the The Hound and bro do Clengane Bowl

      Tryion strangles Cersei like he strangled Shae.

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    119. Enharmony1625,

      I just thought of another connection between Arya and Sansa that’s been there since the very get-go: Needle. Sansa has her sewing needles (representing her ladyship, and by extension, diplomacy and rule), and Arya her sword (protection and justice). Such great foreshadowing by GRRM and D&D. There’s no way this can’t be a thing next season.

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    120. I genuinely don’t see Tyrion killing Cersei knowing she has a baby unless he’s enraged like with Shai, he’s just not that sort of character. Jamie may do it but there will be other candidates either Dany, Jon Snow, Arya, The Hound or even Euron, either way I just don’t see Cersei surviving.

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    121. Some of these predictions have been bouncing around in my brain too. Arya helping Gleagan Bowl, though leaving the kill for Hound.
      I suspect any past visions of Bran that includes The Long Night, will provide a good lead in to the new prequel series. Haven’t those characters already been hired and isn’t it in production? If so, why not have Bran introduce them in this season 8?
      Also, Stark/Baratheon union doesn’t really require Arya to become a lady, does it? Why not let Sansa and Gendry meet up and fall in love? I can see Arya getting behind that union and remaining lil’ sis to them both. But I also wonder if Baratheon should inherit Storms End.
      Is Bran an entire cripple or can he sire new Starks? The Howard girl who carried him would be the perfect partner then and Stark bloodline remains pure in Winterfell.
      Thinking John has to reside in Kings Landing, if it’s to be rebuilt and Sam can lead Old Town into modern times by blowing away their dusty old thinking.

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    122. Ten Bears,

      I’m a bit behind and still haven’t caught up on all the comments, so maybe someone has mentioned this. The famous Brienne-Hound one v one was never in the books, as the Hound became mortally wounded in the fight in the inn where Arya gets needle back (I’m pretty sure?). This was a good way for him to go, as he put everything on the line for his favorite she-wolf, but obviously the solo-combat of some of Westerosi’s best fighters was great to see on-screen.

      I also thought they did a pretty good job with the Arya-Melisandre encounter. It seemed to be partly adapted from Arya’s encounter with the Ghost of Higheart in the books (which is actually a very intriguing character and was also very well done), and if it ends up still being significant to Arya and Mel’s season 8 story I think they could do something really interesting with it.

      Also, as someone else mentioned, it was great to actually see Hardhome. In the books, I believe Jon dies right before he is about to leave for Hardhome, or maybe Castle Black just hears news of the entire town vanishing… but I’m pretty certain we won’t get that battle in the books.

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    123. Jon Snowed,

      I doubt Arya will kill Cersei. It would render the whole Valonqar prophecy meaningless.

      However, ASNAWP-YMBQ Arya may wind up taking Baby Tyvek Lannister from Cersei; perhaps surgeon extraordinaire Samwell Tarly, MD will perform a C-Section and yank out the little incest bastard ankle-biter and give it to Arya.

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    124. Ten Bears,

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Tyrion kills Cersei… Tyrion has already told Cersei that he “has thought about killing her more times than he can count”

      Tyrion would strangle Cersei in a clever way

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    125. But Tyrion is not an evil or violent person, yes he may despise his sister but I just don’t see him as a killer even more so knowing that she is pregnant. Besides in a fight I’m not sure he would even had much of advantage give his size and how would he get past the Mountain?

      I also get the whole Valonquar prophecy but it could be wrong, I don’t see Cersei physically fighting so I’d guess her death would be via a trial, dragon fire or White Walker, perhaps even Euron stabbing her but that seems anti-climatic to me. I guess what I am trying to say is if either Jamie or Tyrion kill her something would have to cause them to snap and lose it, what could trigger that? Burning a whole city with wildfire possibly not sure what else.

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    126. I hear you but given Cersei isn’t going to fight her death is surely coming via assassination, trail (after capture) or by rage of someone close to her (Jamie the only real candidate with Euron an outside bet, I just don’t see Tyrion doing it knowing she is pregnant and given his character).

      Arya sneaking into Kings Landing and taking out Cersei is actually a relatively bloodless way for Jon and his crew to take the capital if that’s how it goes down.

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    127. I’ve never shipped Sansa & the Hound, but of all the men I can think of in Westeros, he’d be far from the worst choice. I don’t really think he’d go there given the age difference (then again, at her age I think I was already crushing on much older men…xD) Can’t think of anybody else to ship her with specifically…it would be lovely if poor Jorah could find someone else he could love as much as he loves Dany, assuming she won’t get around to him after her Khal and her Second Son and her bloody nephew and everyone but Ser Friendzone. 8’{ Couldn’t see him going with Sansa, though. (And not just because I like him so much more than her.) It’d be so weirdly out of left field. Never shipped Arya/Gendry either, though again, I wouldn’t be *against* it. Either governing or adventuring seem like potentially plausible endings for her. No way’s she gonna kill Sheeran, lol. xD Sansa/Gendry would be awfully sudden.

      I can’t imagine Dany having time to get anywhere within a thousand miles of Cersei’s level of “madness.” Especially considering where she left off in S7, seeming to soften again with Jon after losing one of her children. Don’t care whether Jaime, Tyrion, Arya, someone/thing else, or a combination takes Cersei out, so long as we get to see it. ;p After Tywin’s death, I doubt Tyrion would be incapable of doing it even if she IS pregnant, and you certainly don’t need to be evil to kill someone like her.

      Agree that Mel will go down fighting; if she’s even still on the list she’s a low priority, and far too valuable to just be killed before having the chance to really try and redeem herself. There may be some significance to Mel & Arya meeting again, though…maybe something to do with Arya’s new Faceless-Girl power…

      Still not expecting Varys or Tyrion to betray Dany, or her to betray Jon or anything. Still thinking the Prince(ss) Who Was Promised’ll be somebody surprising…not sure whether s/he and Azor Ahai will wind up being two people or the same one (always assumed they were one and the same, but have read that it could be two.)
      (As to ‘misogyny,’ I think it’s more misogynistic/sexist to think you should get along with another woman just because she’s a woman, than to depict women not getting along. I don’t take sex into account; I don’t “support other women,” I support people who deserve my support.)

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    128. Shelle,

      Azor Ahai was a legendary hero from Essos that brought the Dawn during a very dark period long ago… it is not specifically named, I don’t believe, but many speculate that this was a Long Night in Essos, just like there was a Long Night in Westeros. GRRM is very confusing and vague when it comes to his history from that long ago.

      Anyway, the Prince Who Was Promised is supposed to be Azor Ahai reborn, according to the prophesy out of Essos. So technically they are the same people/icon. That’s not to say that multiple people don’t make up “Azor Ahai,” however. I personally think it is either both Jon and Dany, or it is just Bran.

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    129. Jaehaerys: Azor Ahai was a legendary hero from Essos that brought the Dawn during a very dark period long ago… it is not specifically named, I don’t believe, but many speculate that this was a Long Night in Essos, just like there was a Long Night in Westeros. GRRM is very confusing and vague when it comes to his history from that long ago.

      It makes perfect sense that legends derived from events occurring ten millennia before the current period of history – and likely before the invention of written records – would be vague, various and even contradictory. Consider flood myths in our world, which are prevalent in many cultures and likely have a common origin in the melting of the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. That happened about 12,000 years ago. Most of us are familiar with the Judaic story that Noah and his immediate family were the only survivors of a spectacular meteorological hissy fit of an angry deity. But in India, it was Manu who saved humankind by filling a big boat with seeds for future crops. The Greeks had Deucalion. There are Welsh versions and Native American versions and so on and on. Stories evolve as they are handed down over many generations.

      I don’t have a link to the interview handy, but GRRM has explicitly warned his readers not to take Planetos’ ancient legends and prophecies literally. The symbolism that the various versions of the Azor Ahai/PtWP/Last Hero tales have in common is probably significant, but in a metaphorical, Jungian sort of way. Expecting the author to give us a roadmap to the future that will be accurate in all its particulars is to do a disservice to the psychological power of myth, in my view.

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    130. Firannion,

      Oh yeah, I totally agree. I wasn’t bashing George for this or anything, it is more realistic this way. History tends to get distorted when passed down thousands of years… we should be taking everything with a grain of salt.

      It is just unfortunate that we might never know what actually happened in Essos and where these Azor Ahai legends came from. I mean, I’m sure George has mapped out what actually happened, but only gives vague and distorted takes on the history because it is more realistic this way (and to give some mystery to it, of course). I’m really hoping that is what this greenlit prequel will delve into, although I doubt it because it is all mostly book canon and theories arising from A World of Ice and Fire, and most casual viewers could get a bit lost. There are just so much similarities between Westeros and Essos and evidence that points towards both continents going through similar catastrophic events around the same time, so far away from each other.

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    131. Here’s one way the Lightbringer story could be told

      Melisandre told Stannis Baratheon the he was “The Son of Fire” and “The Warrior of Light” but Melisandre got the person wrong. Jon Snow is the son of Fire – the Warrior of Light aka: Lightbringer.

      The Night King turns Daenerys into a White Walker. Jon is fighting with Daenerys in the Red Keep (the Lion’s house) and he’s on top of her just like he was on the boat (in water), this time strangling Daenerys.

      At the same time in a different part of the Red Keep Jamie has killed Cersei. Jamie finds Brieene of Tarth and is holding Brieene of Tarth in his arms telling her how much he loves her.

      Bronn has been working with Cersei and he finds her dead. And Cersei owes Bronn’s bags of Gold. Bronn is pissed because Cersei is dead and the Night King is sitting on the Iron Throne. “the enemy always wins”!

      Jon stabs Daenerys with Longclaw. Bronn lights the wildfire and destroys the Red Keep. Bronn told Jamie he wanted a easy simple death and this is just the opposite!!!! Watch the scene in season 5 when Bronn and Jamie are talking about Death on the beach in Dorne. Bronn puts out the fire and there is a sword behind the fire in the background (foreshadow?) Jon – Daenerys – Jamie – Brienee of Tarth and Bronn and the wights and Viserion are all instantaneously fried just like the Sept of Baleor.

      The Night King survives the blast. Arya Stark finds Longclaw which is still burning from the wildfire, Arya uses the flaming Longclaw to hunt down and kill the Night King and gives the flaming Longclaw to Jon and Daenerys daughter. She renames it Lightbringer

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    132. 🙂

      Melisandre told Stannis Baratheon the he was “The Son of Fire” and “The Warrior of Light” but Melisandre got the person wrong. Jon Snow is the son of Fire – the Warrior of Light aka: Lightbringer.

      I think the Night King turns Daenerys into a White Walker. Jon is fighting with Daenerys in the Red Keep (the Lion’s House) and he’s on top of her just like he was on the boat (in water), this time strangling Daenerys.

      Sometime after Clegane Bowl… Bronn finds Cersei dead after Arya strangles Cersei using both hands and Jamie’s face. And Cersei owes Bronn bags of Gold. Jamie walks in and Bronn demands his promised gold. Bronn says to Jamie “a Lannister always pays his debts” they fight, Bronn injures Jamie and steals Jamie’s golden hand. Bronn leaves to make a candle fuse to light the wildfire under the Red Keep and lights it. Brieene of Tarth finds the injured Jamie and she stays with him and Jamie tells her how much he loves her.

      Bronn escapes in the tunnels under Kings Landing where he finds Tyrion and Arya Stark escaping… Tyrion is reminded when he escaped execution in Season 4 and found Shae in Tywin’s bed after Bronn told Tyrion Shae was “definitely on the boat”. 2 on 1 fight, Bronn knocks Tyrion out and Arya and Bronn have a knife fight. Arya kills Bronn in a tunnels under the Red Keep. Tyrion and Arya escape through the tunnels under King’s Landing

      Jon stabs Daenerys with Longclaw.

      The candle lights the wildfire and destroys the Red Keep.

      Jon – Daenerys – Jamie – Brienee of Tarth and the wights and Viserion are all instantaneously fried just like the Sept of Baleor.

      The Night King survives the blast. Arya Stark finds Longclaw which is still glowing from the wildfire, Arya uses the glowing sometimes flaming Longclaw to hunt down and kill the Night King.

      Arya gives Longclaw to Jon and Deanerys daughter the princess that was promised The Last Targaryen and she renames the sword Lightbringer!

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    133. firstone,

      that’s some cool stuff! Jon strangles Dany. Arya strangles Cersei wearing Jamie’s face. then, faceless and thus probably a bit dead Jamie has a fight with Bronn. also, after having strangled her Jon adds insult to injury by stabbing the already strangled Dany.
      i can’t wait for a flowchart of all of this.

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    134. death by chickenfire,

      Thanks for the feedback… here some specifics. Jon doesn’t kill Daenerys when he strangles her. Daenerys (White Walker) laughs at Jon Snow while Jon is strangling her and says “You know nothing Jon Snow” even though live Daenerys knows Jon Snow’s name is Aegon Targaryen. So Jon does what needs to be done and stabs Daenerys in the heart with Longclaw. I want to see season 8 scenes at least that good and hope whatever d&d write is 100 times better.

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