From the Maester’s Desk: The Princess That Was Promised

4 705 - Reach - Daenerys, Drogon 1

The article contains spoilers from ASOIAF.

The world hadn’t seen a dragon in centuries until my children were born. The Dothraki hadn’t crossed the sea, any sea. They did for me. I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms, and I will.

Daenerys Targaryen is one of the few Season 1 veterans who is still in the lethal game of thrones. The Iron Throne already could’ve been hers, if it wasn’t for that tiny undead problem up North.

Her journey in the TV adaptation has been mostly faithful to the A Song of Ice and Fire source material with major differences only starting to show up in later seasons.

Among the changes we can mention are how two of her handmaids are still around in the books: Jhiqui and Irri. The former only appeared in a single episode of Season 1, whereas Irri was murdered by Doreah, who was turned into a traitor working with Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Pyat Pree.

The reasoning behind this alteration seems clear: Missandei would be introduced in Season 3 as Dany’s advisor and handmaiden, making the roles of the Dothraki girls redundant.

Doreah Daenerys Irri

In A Clash of Kings, Doreah, who was from Lys, dies in the Red Waste. The show had Rakharo dying instead.

Dany’s journey through the House of the Undying wasn’t the same as in the novels, either. The show has been low on prophecies and visions, only keeping a handful of them, but I won’t delve much into it in this article – that’s a discussion for another time.

In the case of Daenerys, however, we got to see a vision of Rhaego, he who would have been the Stallion Who Mounts the World. He was sadly part of an illusion made by Pyat Pree, but nevertheless an interesting glimpse of what could’ve been, had Drogo survived.

The vision of the destroyed Red Keep remains most intriguing. Now that winter has come to King’s Landing, it’s possibly safe to assume that we see snow (and not ash) falling from above. But what destroyed the ancient castle? Was it the Night King and his undead mount? Or Cersei’s wildfire?

In the Season 3 premiere, Valar Dohaeris”, Ser Barristan Selmy joined Dany’s Queensgard after saving her from a manticore. In the books, he adopted the name of “Arstan Whitebeard” and grew a beard so as to be unrecognizable, the reveal of his true identity meant as a twist. In the screen adaptation a beard wouldn’t have been enough to hide Ian McElhinney, so the “secret identity” element was understandably dropped.

Strong Belwas, who played a part in Selmy’s disguise, was entirely cut from the show and his most important role so far (his fight for Daenerys against the champion of Meereen) was given to Daario Naharis instead. Considering that Belwas remains mostly a comic relief character, and the sellsword captain doesn’t see much action (serving instead as an ambassador, and later becoming a hostage), the change seems fair. The show’s Daario needed a moment to shine and to prove his loyalty and skills, and we got to see that in the third episode of Season 4, “Breaker of Chains”.

Many of the characters who interact with Dany after she conquers Meereen in A Dance with Dragons are absent in the screen adaptation: Skahaz mo Kandaq, Reznak mo Reznak, and Galazza Galare, among others. The weird names could be seen as a reason (I mean, Asha’s name was changed to Yara so people wouldn’t confuse her with Osha), but I feel it was a consequence of streamlining. The cast is already big, and there was no need to have more counselors around Daenerys.

Hizdahr zo Loraq was kept, albeit as a very different person than his book counterpart. While the literary Hizdahr agreed to marry Dany only as a means to get the crown, the show version seemed to genuinely care about his people and traditions, despite being understandably frowned upon by the Westerosi.

He did try to advise Daenerys and didn’t move against her, despite having every reason to do so, and as a consequence he later met his demise at the hands of the Sons of the Harpy.

The involvement -if any- of Hizdahr with the Sons of the Harpy in the novels remains unclear, though there’s enough evidence to be suspicious.

Hizdahr at fighting pit

But the most significant difference between the novels and the show, in regards to Dany’s arc, has to be her meeting with Tyrion during the fifth season. I already covered the god of tits and wine in a past article, but it’s worth mentioning again how big of a milestone it was. George R.R. Martin has stated that their paths will eventually intersect “in a way”, but for most of the sixth book they’ll remain apart.

This was rather surprising for me, because with only one book remaining after The Winds of Winter, it indicates that Tyrion’s role as Dany’s Hand and counselor will be significantly smaller. He wasn’t present at Daznak’s Pit after all, and though he’ll play a part in the Siege of Meereen, he isn’t directing the defense of the city and never cut a deal with the Good Masters.

Last time we saw Dany in the books, she was in poor shape, sick with dysentery (a moment that was mercifully cut from the TV adaptation). She was then found by a Dothraki khalasar, and we were left on a cliffhanger.

If Dany’s Season 6 arc was any indication, this is the setup for her eventual defeat of the khals and taking of their khalasars. What’ll happen after that is less clear. Will she arrive in time to join the Siege of Meereen or after it’s all over? Who will be left in charge of the city? Daario in the show seemed like a reasonable choice, but I’m less sure about the book version of the character.

Will she set sail to Westeros in The Winds of Winter, or will that moment not happen until A Dream of Spring? It’s not too crazy to imagine that moment getting pushed back to the final book.

As for a romance with Jon Snow (I mean, Aegon Targaryen. It’s hard to get used to it), I do think it’ll happen in the books as well. The when and the how are complicated matters, though. If Dany will remain apart from Tyrion for the most part of the sixth book, then I doubt she’ll get to meet Jon before A Dream of Spring.

7x07 Ship Daenerys Jon Sex 1

But then we’re left with just a handful of chapters to set their meeting, their interactions and falling in love. And that’s not taking into account the showdown with the Others and its aftermath, which surely will take a good chunk of the book.

Books don’t have the same limits as a TV show, but a volume can only grow so big before it needs to be split in two. And while the show has already offed plenty of its characters, most of them are still alive and kicking in the novels. There’s a lot of wrapping up to do, indeed.

In the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones (how time flies! I can’t believe there’s only one season left!), I expect some trouble to arise after Bran reveals the truth to Jon, how Dany is…well, his aunt. And also how he’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

Jon doesn’t seem all too interested in having power. He already bent the knee to Dany. And if they do love each other, there shouldn’t be a problem in reigning together.

How they’ll react to the incest is another matter entirely. Historically, Targaryens were cool with it, so maybe there won’t be too big of a fuss over it. It’ll all be irrelevant when the Night King knocks on Winterfell’s gate, however.

I predict that Jon will die in the battle against the Night King. As Beric Dondarrion said, maybe that’s the purpose for which he came back to life.

The Targaryen dynasty will live on with the son (or daughter) he’ll have with Daenerys. Surely the moment they shared on the boat during the Season 7 finale wasn’t for naught.

Maybe it won’t happen, and D&D and/or George will surprise us all, but I think Dany will be the one who takes the Iron Throne in the end. I doubt we followed her all this road only to see her falling against Cersei and the Golden Company.

Her dragons, much as it pains me to say it, will likely die, marking the end of magic and the existence of mythical creatures (like the giants and the Children). I’d be happy if Drogon makes it to the very end, but there can be no victory without sacrifice, and the Throne will surely claim the lives of Dany’s children.

dany dragons

Her experiences as queen of Meereen, and hopefully the company of good-natured advisors like Tyrion and/or Davos (if they make it out alive) will help her to rebuild and to heal the Seven Kingdoms after the inevitable destruction the Night King will leave in his wake.

I’d be satisfied with that ending, even if it’s not the most surprising. But what do you think? Do you envision a different fate for the Mother of Dragons? Do share your theories in the comment section!

181 responses

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    1. Urgh, I’d hate that ending personally. Any ending with Jon dead can never be considered bittersweet for me.

      It seems too predictable for Dany to the claiming the whole series that she will sit on the Iron throne, and then gets to do so. The fact she never touches the throne in her vision tells me it won’t be hers in the end.

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    2. The vision of the destroyed Red Keep remains most intriguing. Now that winter has come to King’s Landing, it’s possibly safe to assume that we see snow (and not ash) falling from above. But what destroyed the ancient castle? Was it the Night King and his undead mount? Or Cersei’s wildfire?

      My vote would be for Cersei’s wildfire. I think that’s how her and Jaime will die. I know the valonqar thing is all people focus on, with good reason, but the show hasn’t included the valonqar, so I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that Cersei will meet her end by some other means on the show.

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    3. Thanks for the insight! After Jon and Beric’s conversation, I also think Jon will die fighting the Night King (for good this time). “I am the shield that guards the realms of men.” I just took that conversation as foreshadowing that Jon would sacrifice himself. The fact that Dany’s dragons would die also crossed my mind especially in terms of the parallels between ASOIAF and LOTR. Magical creatures leaving so that the “Age of Man” can reign. I really don’t want that to happen though. I was envisioning her dragons dying but they leave behind dragon eggs. I don’t know, maybe it’s too much to hope for.

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    4. Any ending with Jon dying is not a good ending for me.So thanks but no thanks lol.Also people talk so much about GoT being unpredictable blah blah but if you did a survey right now with all the watchers including the casual ones this will be the most predicted ending.So much for that plot twist eh.

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    5. Yeah, yeah, too many characters. I thought promoting Missandei has worked fine.
      However the Unsullied have an inner circle connection , but as important as the Dothraki are there is no speaker for them no matter how few words it would be. That page and show difference never set right with me.

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    6. Jenny:
      Any ending with Jon dying is not a good ending for me.So thanks but no thanks lol.Also people talk so much about GoT being unpredictable blah blah but if you did a survey right now with all the watchers including the casual ones this will be the most predicted ending.So much for that plot twist eh.

      I feel the same as you do really. It’s what I’ve read as a predicted ending more than any other, so I very much doubt it will turn out that way. It’s almost too easy to see coming.

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    7. Dyanna,

      I mean it could still happen.I have never been one of those people who thinks ASoIaF is the epitome of subversion and unpredictability.But in a pool of predicted endings,and lbr they have all been predicted in some form or another,this one is certainly the most obvious one.To me it would just feel like tragedy for tragedy’s sake not really necessary at all.

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    8. This idea for Jon or Daenerys doesn’t really make much sense. Tyrion said “Children are their fathers” in response to Jon thinking he was a Northern fool. Jon will not suffer Ned’s fate nor Rhaegar’s fate. Daenerys won’t die in childbirth like her mother Rhaella or Lyanna Stark. Jon and Daenerys are not going be to Rhaegar and Lyanna 2.0.

      GRRM actually hasn’t killed a lot of the major characters. Out of the 15 major characters, only three characters (Eddard Stark, Robb Stark, and Catelyn Tully) have died. The five main characters, Tyrion, Jon, Arya, Daenerys, and Bran were supposed to survive. Someway along of the way, I think Sansa may became important enough making it 6 characters (Tyrion, Jon, Arya, Daenerys, Bran, and Sansa). I don’t think these six characters are safe though. I expect Jaime and Cersei to die, so that means are now 10 characters. We are approaching the end, so in theory, there could a mass killing off of major characters. Lord of the Rings only Boromir (played by Sean Bean) died, the rest of the characters survived which GRRM criticized and GRRM pointed out that Gandalf should have stayed dead (Jon Snow will return in the books, different than he was before), so I don’t know strongly GRRM feels this. I think there needs to be more deaths, not a massacre though.

      Listed by number of chapters.
      1. Tyrion Lannister: 49
      2. Jon Snow: 42
      3. Arya Stark: 34
      4. Daenerys Targaryen: 31
      5. Sansa Stark: 25
      6. Catelyn Tully: 25
      7. Bran Stark: 21
      8. Jaime Lannister: 17
      9. Eddard Stark: 15
      10. Theon Greyjoy: 14
      11. Davos Seaworth: 13
      12. Cersei Lannister: 12
      13. Samwell Tarly: 10
      14. Brienne of Tarth: 8
      15. Robb Stark: 0, D&D treated Robb as a POV character for the TV show, GRRM has said that Robb should been a POV character in the books.

      Minor POV characters
      1. Barristan Selmy: 6
      2. Arianne Martell/Ellaria Sand (TV series): 4
      3. Asha/Yara Greyjoy (TV series): 4
      4. Aeron Greyjoy: 3
      5. Areo Hotah: 2
      6. Jon Connington/Jorah Mormont (TV series): 2
      7. Arys Oakheart: 1
      8. Melisandre: 1

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    9. Thank you for the article.

      Personally I am leaning towards the King Aegon and Queen Daenerys rulling together and the dragons surviving if only to provide a dragon egg for their kid. While people see this as a Disney ending, I think it is anything but.

      GRRM is anti-war and a Targaryen restoration would be a great war is pointless ending. The whole series started because of Robert’s Rebellion unseating the Targaryens. To have that rebellion and all the subsequent wars be uterly pointless because we end up in the exact same place we would have without the Rebellion seems like a strong thematic statement.

      Countless lives lost and destroyed all to end up with the same King Aegon and Queen Daenerys who would have rulled had there been no rebellion. Basically the only thing the rebellion did was give us a King Robert instead of King Rhaegar and a whole series ot additional wars that left the Kingdom ill prepared to face the White Walkers. Not only was the rebellion pointless because politically we are in the same place, but perhaps was worse then pointless because a much stronger Targaryen dynasty is now on the throne due to dragons being back.

      Not only does it send a message about rhe futility of war but also highlights the idea that the game of thrones never ends. People lose power, people gain power and on and on it goes. The Targaryens are back yes, but just like the Dance of Dragons followed King Jaeherys and Queen Alysanne, we know the family will eventually fall again at some point.

      And Jon and Dany’s child while being happy for them as individuals, actually turns out to be a negative politically because with a child and the means of continuing the line any interest Daenerys had in breaking the wheel and changing the system goes out the window now that she can actually pass power to her child.

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    10. I’ve always thought Jon, if left alone, would be cool with ceding his claim to Dany. The problem is, he’s not alone.

      The Northern lords and Sansa and maybe even Arya, are going to be like, “No, we want you. We need a Northerner as king” and Jon may even be tempted to take the throne if Dany seems less than committed to the fight beyond the Wall (Which could happen when Cersei starts taking back territory)

      The conflict is still there. I keep coming back to one person to be the bridge.

      Jorah.

      He is Dany’s most loyal advisor. He’d die for her. But… he’s also of the North. He now knows Jon. He’s seen the enemy. I think Jon will end up pardoning him, which means he’ll owe Jon too. For what it’s worth, the leader of his house is Jon’s greatest ally.

      Jorah will be the one to stand between them and say “You must rule together as husband and wife” and Dany, knowing what that cost Jorah to say, will listen to him.

      Season 7 is going to always have mixed reviews and will cause conflicts, but I believe the moments between Jon and Jorah will be consequential as we look back.

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    11. Dark Sister,

      I really think that people misunderstand the foreshadowing of Beric and Jon’s conversation. When Jon says “I am the shield that guards the realms of men,” it is foreshadowing him claiming the title of Protector of the Realm and plus Daenerys not touching the Iron Throne that is covered in snow may imply that Jon Snow is sitting on it.

      Aegon I claimed the title, the Shield of His People which was later dropped in favor of Protector of the Realm. So “I am the shield that guards the realms of men” could definitely turn into Protector of the Realm.

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    12. I’d hate an ending in which Daenerys (or anyone else) gets the Iron Throne. My bet is that King’s Landing is destroyed and each kingdom goes back to governing itself (maybe not even each kingdom, seeing how some of the big families have been wiped out or nearly so). All the talk about ‘breaking the wheel’ can’t be for nothing.

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    13. ellchicago,

      The “Game of Thrones” will kill anyone really doesn’t come from number of people, but the types.

      Ned was supposed to be the hero. He was the main protagonist of the books and the most well-known actor on the show. It was a story we know, with the reluctant hero coming in to beat the odds.

      And then he dies.

      Okayyyyy, then we think it’s Robb’s story. The son will avenge the father. And then he dies, and the mother does too.

      Okayyyy, then we meet Oberyn. Our guard is up by now, but still, this feels like a late addition that becomes a game-changer. (Like Lando Calrissian or Faramir or Bill Weasley) And he becomes wildly popular on the show. Then he dies.

      Really, I’d argue those four, only two of which are POV characters in the books, are the “GRRM will kill anyone!” evidence. Basically, since no one believes Jon is really dead in the books and he isn’t in the show.

      For all the grief the showrunners gets about not killing anyone, when was the last time George killed someone major, if you don’t believe he means it with Jon? Tywin?

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    14. Aegon and Daenerys will rule together at the end. Targaryans are GRRM’s favorite house, his new show with Cogman will be about them I’m sure.

      It is possible to write an emotional and powerful climax without the death of major characters. Rowling did that with Harry Potter and the last movie had the best reception.

      I’m sure deaths of dragons, Jorah, Jaime and the rest will be enough for bittersweet ending. D&D made Hodor’s death one of the most powerful in this story and he was just a meme before that.

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    15. ellchicago,

      Thanks for that! I really didn’t think about “being the shield” in terms of title. However, I still think Jon dying while destroying the Night King is very possible and would be fitting for his character: sacrificing himself to protect the realm. Although, personally I would like to see both him and Dany rule in the end. But I also think back to when in S6 Melisandre said: “Maybe he brought you back so that you can die again.” If he does anything to sacrifice himself I’ll probably mutter to myself like Tyrion did when he saw Jaime charging at Dany: “You fucking idiot.” lol

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    16. WorfWWorfington,

      As I noted Ned and Catelyn were the only two Major POV characters to die in the books. Robb should have been a Major POV character, but was not. That is only three out of the fifteen Major POV characters who have die.

      GRRM was inspired by The Lord of the Rings. GRRM said that Frodo is forever changed and that is the cost of the victory after destroying the One Ring. It would make no sense for GRRM to kill Jon Snow again, it would be far more interesting to explore a bittersweet ending where Jon survives and wonders why he is alive while others have died. While some can certainly argue that Jon will reject Iron Throne and leave Westeros following Frodo’s path, I think Jon will follow Aragorn (The Return of the King) and take the Iron Throne because Jon will be compelled by honor and duty to take the Iron Throne even though he never wanted it. Jon is able to protect the Realm if he becomes King and prevent further conflict in Westeros. Ultimately, Jon saving Westeros from the White Walkers, but dies in the process prevents some interesting character development for Jon Snow (the idea that Jon would gladly give his life to protect the Realm from the White Walkers seems like something that would be easy for Jon. In Season 3, Jon says to Qhorin that he “would gladly give [his] life.”). As we saw in Season 6 after Jon was brought back to life, living is far harder than dying, so I don’t see GRRM killing Jon Snow. A far more interesting question is if Jon will become the King on the Iron Throne. While I find the concept of rejecting the Iron Throne an interesting note to end the series, but is that the honorable and even responsible thing for Jon Snow to do? No. It goes against the character of Jon Snow. Jon Snow may never want to sit on the Iron Throne, but what he wants may be irrelevant. A bittersweet ending would be Jon Snow on the Iron Throne, the reluctant ruler, never at peace, but bringing peace to Westeros, but never to himself.

      Oberyn was idiot and he wasn’t even Minor POV character, the last major deaths in series was Catelyn Stark and Robb (excluding Jon Snow, who was brought back).

      GRRM’s original plan was for Tyrion, Jon, Arya, Daenerys, and Bran to survive and I think that is still the plan.
      http://watchersonthewall.com/george-r-r-martins-original-plan-game-thrones/

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    17. Boojam,

      I totally agree about the Dothraki. I love how Dany still has her bloodriders in the books and how they have important roles in terms of her rule in Meereen. I was sad there was no prominent role for at least one Dothraki in Season 7. So here’s hoping Qhono has more of a role next season!

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    18. Dark Sister,

      For Jon saying he “would gladly give [his] life,” to defeat the White Walkers, seem like an easily way to end his character arc. Go look at the Daenerys’ Small Council before Jon and company leave for Eastwatch. Daenerys thinks that Jon can’t go because it is dangerous and basically orders him to stay and Jorah notices that Daenerys is attracted to Jon and says he will go instead. The Jon/Jorah relationship is going to big more explored in the final season. I think Jon will talk to Jorah about the parentage revelation. It would fitting if Jorah made the ultimate sacrifice to spare Daenerys massive pain and it would be a good ending to Jorah’s arc and it would enforce how much the Mormont mean to Jon.
      Plus there is way too much foreshadowing for Jon/Aegon to get Iron Throne.

      “Allow me to give my lord one last piece of counsel. The same counsel I once gave my brother when we parted for the last time. He was three-and-thirty when the Great Council chose him to mount the Iron Throne. A man grown with sons of his own, yet in some ways still a boy. Egg had an innocence to him, a sweetness we all loved. “Kill the boy within you,” I told him the day I took ship for the Wall. “It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born. You are half the age that Egg was, and your own burden is a crueler one, I fear. You will have little joy of your command, but I think you have the strength in you to do the things that must be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.” -Maester Aemon

      Now that we know Jon’s real name is Aegon, this quote provides even more meaning to Maester Aemon’s words. Kill the boy (Jon Snow) and let the man be born (Aegon Targaryen).

      If Jon takes the Iron Throne, he will be chosen by a Great Council. Jon has some innocence to him. Jon is the blue winter rose that Daenerys has vision of in the House of Undying (blue winter roses are strongly associated with Lyanna Stark). Jon has a sweetness to him as well.

      The quote from Daenerys’ vision

      “A blue winter rose growing from a chink in a wall of ice, filling the air with sweetness”

      Jon has been referred a “bastard boy” or a “boy” before he died, the boy dies and Jon is reborn (“let the man be born.”) “You are half the age that Egg was, and your own burden is a crueler one, I fear. You will have little joy of your command, but I think you have the strength in you to do the things that must be done.”

      Jon’s “burden” is the being Lord Commander which is a crueler burden than being King. Jon really doesn’t enjoy being a leadership position, but it forced upon him, but he has the strength that he needs to “do the things that must be done.”

      “Kill the boy within you,” I told him the day I took ship for the Wall. “It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born.”
      Again, “It takes a man to rule.” The Lord Commander “rules” over the Wall and the Gift.

      It is clear that Aemon is comparing his brother Aegon’s burden to rule the Seven Kingdoms to Jon’s rule of the Night’s Watch, but you can certainly interpret it mean Jon will be chosen by a Grand Council to become King, but will accept because he has “to do the things that must be done.” I don’t think Maester Aemon has ability to see the future, but GRRM probably wrote Maester Aemon to give hints on what Jon’s future in the story is.

      Other evidence

      GRRM hinted that Jon will become a king in the future, both the King in North and the King who sits on the Iron Throne.

      “King are a rare sight in the North.” Robert snorted. “More likely they were hiding under snow. Snow, Ned.” “the direwolf…There would be a second life worthy of a king.”

      “King,” croaked the raven. The bird flapped across the air to land on Mormont’s shoulder. “King,” it said again, strutting back and forth. “He likes that word,” Jon said, smiling. “An easy word to say. An easy word to like.” “King,” the bird said again. “I think he means for you to have a crown, my lord.” “The realm has three kings already, and that’s two too many for my liking.” Mormont stroked the raven under the beak with his finger, but all the while his eyes never left Jon Snow.

      In Daenerys’ visions in the House of the Undying, Daenerys never touches the snow covered Iron Throne which may imply that Jon Snow takes the Iron Throne at the end of the story and she will never sit on the Iron Throne. Jon will be sitting on the Iron Throne since it is his right and Daenerys will respect his right and even urge him to sit on the Iron Throne, but Daenerys will basically be his co-ruler. It will be similar to Jaehaerys I and Alysanne.

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    19. ellchicago,

      I’m also hoping Jon and Dany become Jaehaerys/Alyssane 2.0. There are so many parallels between the two, most obvious is that both Queens flew to the Wall (at least show!Dany did). I’m also wondering if the Great Council will be enacted again on either the show or books as it played a role throughout the Targaryen reign..

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    20. Dany definitely is the winner. They’ve had too many good characters come to her side for her to go mad or die. Jon will die as has been foreshadowed 100 times – he’s always the guy to fall on the sword. Sansa will rule the north. The baby will be Eddard Targaryen – future king. Tyrion survive. Jaime, Cersei, baby, Mountain, Beric, Hound die. Arya survives and disappears into the wild. I think Drogon survives but Rhaegal doesn’t.

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    21. Dark Sister,

      The Great Council will be called to confirmed that Jon Snow is Aegon Targaryen and he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Sam has the marriage documents for the Rhaegar’s annulment and new marriage. Howland Reed is suppose to show up sometime before series is over (I doubt it the Tower of Joy counts in the books and in show), so I guess he will show up. I guess Howland Reed could show up in the Great War, he isn’t the best fighter…and story-wise the Great Council makes sense. Basically Jon has to survive until the Great Council which won’t happen until the White Walkers are defeated and Cersei literally goes down in flames.

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    22. I’ve long thought the One Who Was Promised hasn’t been born yet, that it isn’t Dany or Jon. I think now that Jon will die, and their child will be the Prince.

      I hope Rhaegon lays a few eggs. (I don’t see Drogon taking on a feminine side.) I can handle Jon dying but not the dragons.

      It seems like people forget that this is still GRRM’s story and it’s incredibly complex, e.g. Hodor’s story. I think how he would have planned to drive the narrative is moot. If he lives to be 100, he’ll never finish those books.

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    23. House Monty: And Jon and Dany’s child while being happy for them as individuals, actually turns out to be a negative politically because with a child and the means of continuing the line any interest Daenerys had in breaking the wheel and changing the system goes out the window now that she can actually pass power to her child.

      I don’t believe Daenerys and/or AeJon leading the people and having a descendant to continue their line does change her goals and ideas. In her breaking the wheel phrasing she did say “this one’s one top, then that one’s top,” which in one meaning could imply that she simply wants to end the revolving door of power by crushing everyone. If you recall she also listed Targaryens as one of the spokes of the wheel. However, the way I take it, along with things she’s said and done since, is that breaking the wheel to her is the desire to finally end the continuous cycle of battling for power.

      Daenerys realizes that most of her ancestors weren’t good leaders, especially her father. Along with usurpers and would-be usurpers they were ruling for and with the power of the throne for themselves. While she may be strong and unwavering in reattaining the throne I do believe she is honest and committed to leading the people wisely, fairly and in a manner to promote peace and prosperity that with would hopefully dissolve most serious ideas of fighting for the throne….. breaking that wheel.

      So, I think her ultimate meaning of breaking the wheel is more about the manner in HOW she would reign, and hopefully it would continue with her predecessor, descendant or not.

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    24. Isabelle_M,

      It is pretty clear that Jon is the Prince that was Promised/Azor Ahai.

      A child is too young to fight the White Walkers.

      According to a leaked outline of the script, Melisandre tells team Dany outright that Jon was resurrected by the Lord of light, calls him the Prince that was Promised and the war will only be won if ice and fire come together. In other words Dany actually learns about the WW threat before her meeting with Jon. Also apparently Kinarva, Mel’s boss has informed Mel to help Dany. (doesn’t say how they communicated, maybe through fire? Also the mention of Ice and Fire is moved to her conversation with Varys in ep3″ https://www.reddit.com/r/freefolk/comments/6wb4n2/a_summary_of_noteworthy_difference_from_the/

      Melisandre asks to see Azor Ahai and sees only Jon Snow.
      “I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai and R’hllor shows me only Snow.”

      “Stand fast,” Jon Snow called. “Throw them back.” He stood atop the Wall alone. “Flame,” he cried, “feed them flame,” but there was no one to pay heed.
      They are all gone. They have abandoned me.
      Burning shafts hissed upwards, trailing tongues of fire. Scarecrow brothers tumbled down, black cloaks ablaze. “Snow,” an eagle cried, a foremen scuttled up the ice like spiders. Jon was armored in black ice, but his blade burned red in his fist. As the dead men reached the top of the Wall he sent them down to die again. He slew a greybeard and a beardless boy, a giant, a gaunt man with filed teeth, a girl with thick red hair. Too late he recognized Ygritte. She was gone as quickly as she’d appeared.”

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    25. I love how the moment I scroll down to the comment section, I already see someone complaining of how predictable it is for Dany to win the IT.

      If we are talking about “predictability”, Jon winning the IT while Dany dying in childbirth or as a sacrifice by Jon is 10x more predictable.

      From books and show perspective, Jon has been foreshadowed to become king of Westeros since freaking book 1 when Mormont’s crow used to call him “King”. The foreshadowing of his heritage in books 1 and 2 are endless. For a bastard boy, he gets surprisingly large amount of attention and hes the only one of the Starks we see interacting with 2 important Lannisters who are very likely going to play a big role in his future. There was nothing predictable about Dany becoming Queen of 7k in book 1 tbh. We suspected that she would become the wife or mother of a king but not a queen in her own right. Even in book 2, her own chapters predicted Jon’s heritage and true identity as the future ruler.

      From fantasy perspective, Jon is your typical fantasy hero. He is the Aragon of Westeros or even the Harry Potter who lived an unremarkable life until he found out that he was the savior. He is King Arthur with his magical sword all over again. If anything, Jon becoming king is the most predictable ending the show could ever have and it will undoubtedly lead people to criticize GRRM for the incredible number of similarities between Jon (or Aegon) and Aragon. No major fantasy book or screen adaptation has given us a character like Dany who actually ends up becoming a queen that can finally use everything she learned in her journey growing up to change this world.

      IMO, Jon would a make a good fair king who brings about stability to the realm and will keep the traditions of his fathers until he gets betrayed and killed by a new LF/Varys/Ramsey character. Dany would make a revolutionary queen who preserves justice while changing the nature of Westeros and Esso’s landscape in a way that will bring about a Golden Age and give the people a chance to see life and the world around them in a different way. Unfortunately, GRRM obsession with LOTR and D&D fear of going against convention has made them create a colourless saint for the character of Jon Snow who is as much dull as he is a safe option for an IT ruler. I just hope that his child with Dany would have at least half of his mother’s revolutionary visions.

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    26. I already covered the god of tits and wine in a past article, but it’s worth mentioning again how big of a milestone it was.

      Type-o? I think you meant miLLstone?

      Seriously though, Dany has seen Jon’s scars, but doesn’t know that he died. Jon has heard Dany being called the “Unburned” but doesn’t know she can withstand flames. The wights are like slaves to the White Walkers, so will the “Breaker of Chains” set them free like she’s done for other slaves? She can’t truly conquer death, can she, or he?

      I have more questions than answers, but I don’t think both Dany and Jon will survive and live happily ever after – one of them will die.

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    27. Writing bittersweet ending without Jon and Dany’s death is much harder for D&D and GRRM. Killing them is easy and lazy way to create bittersweet feeling.

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    28. ellchicago,

      Thanks for that link! That was quite interesting, to read the original outline and see what changed.

      The biggest surprise to me was that Brienne was supposed to die beyond the Wall originally! I had always assumed that she would be important for Jaime’s end game, but apparently not. I guess this doesn’t bode well for her (and Jaime’s) chances of surviving season 8 🙁 .
      Also Jon’s line to Ghost “look after anyone named Stark, boy”!! Dammit D&D, why did you cut that scene?!
      Also interesting that Jon was supposed to ride Viserion initially!! Was the NK going to kill Viserion while Jon was riding him? I don’t know what that means for Jon’s chances of riding Rhaegal lol.

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    29. Mr Derp,

      This thread was already reduced to one in case you haven’t noticed the previous comments. This is an article that was written about Dany and her role in the story yet 90% of the comments above are about Jon, how he should be king and how terrible the story would be if he dies. The only comments you see about Dany is of her serving as a womb for Jon’s child as if her whole journey existed to give Jon an army, dragons and an heir. Sadly, that does seem to be the case based on what im seeing with the show and books.

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    30. Anon,

      Yes, i am hoping for the best where both Jon and Dany survive but feel like one of them won’t make it. I do feel that their child is the prince/princess that was promised.

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    31. ghost of winterfell,

      I’d prefer it if Jon didn’t end up riding any of the dragons. Don’t want to hear the whinging from certain fans if that happens.

      I think Brienne was meant to survive that attack because later the outline mentions that Sansa sends her to KL??? It’s confusing.

      But lmao those outlines sound a mess, especially episode 6.

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    32. …thinking on it, I’m confused. Doesn’t Azor Ahai mean ‘bringer of the dawn’? Isn’t that different from ‘Prince/Princess that was Promised’? Maybe these are two different people? Maybe prophesy is bunk, especially since the author is Atheist and not inclined to favour such things. And maybe the prophesy sorta comes true, which they always seem to do, the same way psychics seem to sorta predict your future because you’re responding to their suggestions.

      Btw, I did a search and the term ‘Azor Ahai’ doesn’t appear in the show.

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    33. I am still in favour of the ending where Jon dies, there is no Targ baby, because a renewed Westeros is his and Dany’s baby, Dany puts said baby (i.e. Westeros) in the hands of an enlightened set of rulers, and then takes Drogon and leaves mortal history, riding off into the sunset and becoming more myth than reality.

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    34. Ryan:
      … The baby will be Eddard Targaryen – future king…

      Surely Aeddard Targaryen? 😉

      I used to be in the camp that Jon dies in the Great War saving the humankind (he’s already on borrowed time, anything would feel trivial and mundane after saving the world yadda yadda), and R+L=J was there just for some magical ice+fire purpose, regardless of his birth status – I even thought few people would even get to know his true parentage, especially if he was a bastard. But now I’m not so sure.

      The show confirmed that Jon is not a bastard and therefore is the rightful Targ heir. I don’t think the show would diverge from what GRRM has planned on such an important point, and what’s the point of being the rightful heir if nobody knows and he dies in some cold hell. Plus, as has been said, there are lots of subtle hints from book 1 onwards about Jon being king, and in the show Bran flat out says to Sam that Jon is the rightful Targ heir and says they have to tell Jon. So it might become quite widely known.

      Ah, I’m not explaining this well. For me the game-changer was the Rhaegar + Lyanna marriage. Their bastard might die saving the world but their legitimate son is not unlikely to sit on the throne of his ancestors, maybe with his aunt-wife Dany.

      Plus I now think “saving the world” will be a team effort. Bran will have a crucial role, as will Jon and Dany, but many others will also play important roles. Azor Hound, Arya with dragonglass arrowheads, Tormund, Beric (I refuse to think they’re dead,lol!), Tyrion with hopefully better strategies, Davos with his common sense, Jorah of course, Mel with her rhollist magic, even Jaime (in the books he feels guilt and regret that he failed to protect Rhaegar’s children… just saying… and the show had that S1 scene between Jaime and Jon…) Even Sansa could help the war effort by managing supply lines and refugees etc.

      I don’t think the show, and the books if they ever come out, will ever definitively answer the question who was Azor Ahai Reborn/The Prince That Was Promised/The Last Hero/The Stallion That Mounts The World – in short, the prophecied saviour figure. And the fandom will debate it forever, lol!

      Oh, and about Dany, since this article is actually about her. I’ve always thought she’d survive the Great War and be the Queen to rebuild the realm, hopefully into a better, more equal and just one. She can still do that as co-ruler… The potential lack of heir had always seemed a bit of a problem, but if little Aeddard Targaryen is already on its way… 😀

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    35. Flayed Potatoes,

      I think the outline mentioned that Brienne going beyond the Wall was cut, which would mean that they came up with and discarded the idea of Brienne dying beyond the Wall before this outline was written? But the very fact that they were considering this means that she isn’t that important to Jaime’s endgame? At least that’s how I understood it.

      I don’t care what the fans say anymore lol, there will always be people whining, no matter what happens. So bring on Jon riding a dragon, swinging a flaming sword in one hand, dragonglass in the other and with Ghost riding shotgun lmao. What I reallly don’t want to see is another season of Jon getting rescued from whatever trouble he gets into!

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    36. Actually, it’s pretty clear that both Jon-Aegon and Daenerys will die and that before that they will co-rule, the only questions are when and for how long.
      It would be a mercy to make them die young: if they are left to live long after the war for the dawn is over both risk to turn into a version of fat King Robert. On the other hand death is final, whereas life has many things to offer, so I would be happy to learn that they lived for some fifty years more. And that wouldn’t be too Disney’ish: after all, Jon’s historical prototype John I of Portugal died at the age of 76, his wife Phillippa passed at 53 which was also a pretty good result for the Middle Ages and they left the Illustrious Generation after them.
      However, I have a feeling that Jon and Dany have to die to make way to Tyrion and maybe also Sansa – someone less heroic but more fit for the daily challenges of the statescraft. And that would fit the archetype of the Twilight of the Gods: new world – the new game – cannot begin before the old is put to rest with all the antagonists and protagonists.

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    37. As a non-book reader, Dany was certainly at the top of my potential Iron Throne winners’ pool at the end of Season 1: she had vanquished her venal brother, survived the death of her Khal and the flames of his pyre, AND emerged with dragons. That’s a hat trick if ever there was one! Jon Snow wasn’t even at the top of my Stark winners’ pool, then. I’m also relatively certain she was the only person to survive Season 1 who actually had an “I will rule” soliloquy during Season 1. So I definitely don’t agree with those who feel that tv show-Dany hasn’t been the frontrunner since the beginning.

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    38. Still trying to reduce Jon to a glorified sperm donor and completely nullify the significance of his parentage in an effort to elevate Dany to the #1 hero slot, are we? Damn, the blood thirst following his legitimacy reveal is real af. Like, forget his actual foreshadowing or the identity crisis that his arc has been building towards from day one, forget that his legitimacy has had no bearing on his arc thus far and that he is perfectly capable of defeating the WW or sacrificing himself as a bastard, just hurry up and get him out of the way so that Dany doesn’t have to share the spotlight, amirite?

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    39. I suspect that Jon Snow will have a fate similar to Daemon Targaryen – killed in an aerial duel with the Night King (Daemon killing Aemond). Only two people can take on the Night King while he’s on his dragon mount and I think it’s likely Jon. Before he dies, he marries Daenerys (and accepts his lineage) so he doesn’t leave a bastard mark on his son/daughter.

      I suspect that Daenerys will briefly take the throne, but ultimately die from child birth. Jon II/Dany II takes the throne. Arya as his/her protector and Tyrion as his/her political guide

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    40. elybe,

      But will his legitimacy play a role in him becoming king (I know you didn’t actually state this; it’s just something I ponder)? I can’t really see that happening as it doesn’t seem to be consistent with his story and the story in general. Hell, Dany being the last known Targaryen scion hasn’t really benefited from that fact (the way one would imagine). As Davos put it in 7×03, Jon achieved what he achieved not due to him having a birthright, but rather because people believe in him. Missandei echoed similar words about Daenerys in 7×04.
      I expect that should Jon become king, it will have little to do with R+L and their marriage. But then that brings me back to the question of what role his legitimacy will play..

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    41. Sometimes I forget just how far behind the books are. And there are loads more characters still alive there. I’m still hopeful we’ll get TWOW. But after that, who knows? That’s why I’m grateful for the TV show.

      I missed Strong Belwas. Dany’s TV arc needed a comic relief. Even Jon’s arc was funnier sometimes, and that should tell you something.

      Dany and Jon’s relationship seems like it’d work well, but judging by some comments from the creators, actors and producers, we’re likely to see some conflict. Even before they learn about Jon’s real name.

      After that, Dany’s the one who should be most conflicted. Her identity is based on her birthright, as the “rightful” ruler of Westeros. How’s she going to react upon learning that the person she loves has a better claim? I don’t see her sharing power, but one of the points of the season was to show them as equals, starting from that scene with Melisandre.

      I agree that Jon wouldn’t want to rule at all. The incest could be a problem, but if Dany’s pregnant (as it seems more than likely), Jon will definitely want to marry her. If only to avoid fathering a bastard. And I guess he could die. His story does seem linked to the Long Night. When dawn comes, it’s possible his journey ends. I’d be sad, since he’s my favorite, but I can definitely see that. But I wouldn’t like it.

      The worst possible ending for Dany would be dying in childbirth. I really hope that doesn’t happen. If she has to die, let it be during a battle or something more interesting. And it’d be even worse if both Dany and Jon die, leaving their offspring to be raised by someone else. That ending would suck the most.

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    42. WorfWWorfington,

      I like that! Jorah = bridge between Dany + Jon/North.

      I also think Samwell Tarly, M.D. will/can serve a similar function. After all, he’s Jon’s best friend and saved Jorah’s life; Sam’s got lots of goodwill capital to spend.

      BTW: Except for the greyscale debridement/spoon-in-pudding segue, I really liked Sam’s scenes with Jorah. It’s more satisfying and better drama to watch characters trusting each orher and helping one another, rather than behaving weirdly to manufacture conflicts, eg Sansa vs. Jon and Sansa vs. Arya.

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    43. WorfWWorfington,

      How would Jon pardon Jorah? He was already pardoned by the Iron Throne, and now that Jon has ceded sovereignty to Daenerys, pardon power is hers, not Jon’s. One would argue that he already has been pardoned, by implication, seeing as he’s one of the Queen’s top subordinates.

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    44. talvikorppi,

      I’m just calling it as I see it, and I don’t think anything I wrote was one tenth as intense as the comments you’d be seeing if this article had been about Jon as TPTWP with Dany conveniently being reduced to an incubator so that he can rule alone in the end with their kid as his heir. As far as I’m concerned, it’s every bit as offensive to Jon’s character to reduce him to a sperm donor as it is to reduce Dany to a womb, and the cries for his death became cacophonous after the show revealed his birthright. Particularly the fervent desire that he simply ignore his parentage or never learn it at all, which pisses all over the payoff that his entire arc has been building towards (reconciling his identity and finding his place in the world).

      Jay Targ,

      Before the spoilers for season 7 came out, I assumed it would play a role in helping Jon unite the realm for the great war and form an alliance with Dany. That would give him enough time to learn his lineage and engage in “the human heart in conflict with itself” that GRRM is so fond of. My personal hope for Jon was always an extended vacation at the end of the series, followed by doing whatever the heck he wants, not a kingship. However, I disagree with you that being King is inconsistent with Jon’s story. The books are riddled with foreshadowing for it, GRRM has pointed out that Jon’s been on a leadership arc that mirrors Dany’s, and there’s no reason to have other characters (Sansa, no less) lampshade that ruling comes naturally to him when he himself considers it a pain in the ass if they’re not going anywhere with it.

      Back to your original question, I can’t see how it can impact anything other than the endgame when it’s being revealed this late in the story. Per GRRM and D&D, Jon is going to find out about this, and at this point we don’t even know if he’ll learn it before or after he finds out the Wall has been breached. You can’t play this card this late if it doesn’t have endgame significance, and while that does not necessarily mean that he’ll rule as King, it does highly suggest that he will have the freedom to make that call for himself. I still have to ask, why was it this important to not only make Jon legit, but to provide documented proof, if he doesn’t need it in order to fulfill his arc? If he marries Dany, their kid will be legit even if he remains a bastard. He doesn’t have to be Aegon Targaryen to produce an heir. He doesn’t have to be Aegon Targaryen to sacrifice himself; he’s already done it. He didn’t need the name to form allies or be named KitN. Yet there it is, and D&D spent two full seasons revealing it in full. This isn’t a dead end reveal no matter how badly some people want it to be.

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    45. Dany will die in childbirth just like her mother and Lyanna did. Jon will raise their child alone. Their child is the prince/princess that was promised. Women dying in childbirth is a common plot device in these books.

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    46. Manuella,

      I hate the whole ‘predictable’ complaint too. It’s like driving along a road and seeing ‘London – 12 Miles’, then after 12 miles you arrive in London… “Pfft, predictable…”. Well no shit, Sherlock, there was a sign pointing to it lol

      Jon and Dany are working together. Jon’s job is to save the world, and Dany’s is to remake the world.

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    47. Clob: I don’t believe Daenerys and/or AeJon leading the people and having a descendant to continue their line does change her goals and ideas.In her breaking the wheel phrasing she did say “this one’s one top, then that one’s top,” which in one meaning could imply that she simply wants to end the revolving door of power by crushing everyone.If you recall she also listed Targaryens as one of the spokes of the wheel.However, the way I take it, along with things she’s said and done since, is that breaking the wheel to her is the desire to finally end the continuous cycle of battling for power.

      Daenerys realizes that most of her ancestors weren’t good leaders, especially her father.Along with usurpers and would-be usurpers they were ruling for and with the power of the throne for themselves.While she may be strong and unwavering in reattaining the throne I do believe she is honest and committed to leading the people wisely, fairly and in a manner to promote peace and prosperity that with would hopefully dissolve most serious ideas of fighting for the throne….. breaking that wheel.

      So, I think her ultimate meaning of breaking the wheel is more about the manner in HOW she would reign, and hopefully it would continue with her predecessor, descendant or not.

      Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I think we might agree sort of. I definitely agree that she sees the never ending cycle for power as the wheel that must be broken. However, if this is truly what she means, than I think this is something that can never be broken. Human nature being what it is, people will continue to covet and desire power for themselves. That is not going to change. Additionally, society is made up of groups of different interests who might want to have power in order to further their interests. Thus, the competition for power is eternal so long as we exist as a species.

      To the extent that our modern societies have managed to make this competition for power less violent, it is because we have created a system that allows different people to hold power and for different interests to come to power in peaceful ways. Effectively we structured the competition for power as a game with rules that we all accept and call it democracy.

      Now, what I am going to say is just a hypothesis so they could go in a different direction, but it would be somewhat bittersweet. Since Dany currently has no heirs, its possible that she could create a similar system to what we have that allows for the peaceful transfer of power according to rules that are accepted by the society. Tyrion explicitly mentions this as a possibility in 7×06 when he says they could resolve that matter of the succession similar to how the Nights Watch or the Iron Born do.

      However, once she has a kid, human nature being what it is, she could decide that she does not want to do that. She would prefer that her kid inherit her position. If she does not create a parliament or make some other institutional change that allows for a wider circle of groups to be close to power, than effectively we are back to where we were. One family holding on to power. The groups in society close to that family have their interests taken care of. The groups not close to that family have no avenue for advancing their interests and hence plot and scheme to take that family out and install someone close to them when the opportunity presents itself.

      I am in the camp that thinks she would be a great Queen. She has the right moral compass, she is ruthless when she needs to be, and she has made lots of mistakes and learned from them along the way. She is a leader who would be both feared and loved. However, she cannot control what her descendants are like and we know that a few bad apples will pop up. If in the end, the new system is just an enlightened monarchy that depends on the good heart of Queen Daenerys and King Aegon without any structural reform and change, than it is a system that will face some war of succession in the future.

      I think that could be a potentially bittersweet ending whereby a source of personal joy and fulfillment for her – having kids – leads her to make decisions that perpetuate the game of thrones in way that all but guarantees a war for power at some future date.

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    48. gerdhansel,

      It’s a common plot device for the history of a hero, like Jon, Dany, Tyrion etc. Dany will not die in childbirth. She will live on as ‘The Mother of Dragons’ aka her human child, Jon’s child. If we were going to see their child grow and become a hero themselves, then Dany dying would be a possibility, but in this case no. Absolutely zero chance of that happening.

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    49. Ten Bears,

      Addendum to 4:47 pm comment:

      I hope the show doesn’t manufacture a Samwell-Dany conflict arising out of Dany’s roasting of Randyll Tarly and Dickon Tarly.

      Randyll was a POS who told Sam he would kill him if he didn’t renounce his birthright and join the NW; and years later, would only think to insult and fat-shame his son. He was an ex-Targaryan loyalist and Tyrell bannerman who switched sides to Team Cersei after Jaime dangled the Warden of the West(?) position. I figured an old soldier like Randyll Tarly thought to himself: “My glory days are behind me. My prostate’s acting up; I’m about ready for adult diapers. I’m the legendary general with rhe distinction of being the only one to win a battle against Robert B. during the Rebellion. What better way for me to go out than in a literal blaze of glory! Burned alive by dragonfire! That’ll make a great final stanza for the song they sing about me! That’s ten times cooler than ‘bending the knee’ to the Dragon Queen and switching sides again. ” So f*ck Randyll. Sam shouldn’t shed a tear.

      Dickon’s rationale was a little harder to grasp. Tyrion was right that Dany shouldn’t impulsively barbecue Dickon and extinguish House Tarly, when Dickon might’ve reconsidered after some time for reflection in a cell. Nevertheless, Dickon was an idiot. His dumbass father may have been “proud” that his son chose to share his fate…but a real father would’ve ordered his son to stay alive, if nothing else than to be able to avenge him later on. (Loras faced a similar choice when Renly was assassinated; Loras never personally got revenge, but at least made the wise choice of saving his own ass rather than stick around and get slaughtered by Stannis’s approaching forces.)
      Anyway, some might laud Dickon for being a stand-up guy and a loyal son, but his sacrifice made little sense. I hope Sam doesn’t get pissed off and blame Dany. With only six episodes left, there’s no time for internecine spats! And I do not want to see Samwell “The Big Picture” Tarly all of a sudden become a spiteful, vindictive jerk just because the father who abused him chose self-immolation over self-preservation.

      Related note/question (from a few days ago):
      Who’s Lord of Horn Hill? Sam renounced all titles and rights of inheritance when he took his NW vows.
      If Samwell is still passing off Little Sam as his own son… does that mean a Craster Incest Baby is now Lord of Horn Hill?

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    50. elybe,

      Whooah. It seems to me you’re reacting to other things out there in the wide world of interwebby things, not so much to anything that has been said here, hence my comment about you being a bit harsh. Apologies if I came off as arsey. (WotW is my “safe space” for anything GoT, I hardly ever venture to other sites because the comments and fandom wars are just toxic.)

      I quite agree with your point about the show revealing and providing documented proof of Jon’s legitimacy. For me that, not mere R+L=J, was a game-changer. I’m quite OK with King Jon now, hopefully with a co-monarch in Dany.

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    51. elybe,

      However, I disagree with you that being King is inconsistent with Jon’s story. The books are riddled with foreshadowing for it, GRRM has pointed out that Jon’s been on a leadership arc that mirrors Dany’s, and there’s no reason to have other characters (Sansa, no less) lampshade that ruling comes naturally to him when he himself considers it a pain in the ass if they’re not going anywhere with it.

      Oh I agree with this. What I meant was that Jon became LC of the Night’s Watch and KiTN without needing to be legitimate. It would be odd (“inconsistent” in my own words) for him to become king because he is legitimate..

      I still have to ask, why was it this important to not only make Jon legit, but to provide documented proof, if he doesn’t need it in order to fulfill his arc?

      There’s documented proof that Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia and married Lyanna but I don’t think there is proof that Jon is their son (from what I remember).

      If he marries Dany, their kid will be legit even if he remains a bastard. He doesn’t have to be Aegon Targaryen to produce an heir. He doesn’t have to be Aegon Targaryen to sacrifice himself; he’s already done it. He didn’t need the name to form allies or be named KitN. Yet there it is, and D&D spent two full seasons revealing it in full. This isn’t a dead end reveal no matter how badly some people want it to be.

      I agree with all of this but does he need to be Aegon Targaryen to become king? Daenerys was unable to gain any allies by using the Targaryen name; wouldn’t it be a similar case for Jon as well? I seriously believe that Jon is fully capable of being named king despite his bastard status; which is why I don’t see the need for his legitimacy.

      This probably seems like I have an issue with Jon being King in the end, I don’t. I don’t even have an issue with him being legitimate. My issue would be with his legitimacy being part of the reason why he’s named king. But as you said, this is not a dead end reveal; so I’m interested in how it will impact the story.

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    52. Anon,

      FYI My lingering tinfoil theory has been that the promised Prince(ss) and Azor Ahai are in fact two different people; their identities may have been blurred and merged during retellings over the millenia as historical fact became legend, and legend became myth; or because “prophecies” were misinterpreted, embellished, or corrupted.

      It’s noteworthy that Show!Melisandre’s recital of the “Warrior of Light” prophecy differs in a few subtle ways from the books! Azor Ahai prophecy.

      Before S7, I thought Jon or Dany would be the promised Prince(ss). Now I’m not so sure. (More on that later if I can articulate it without rambling.) I thought and still think AA/Warrior of Light is someone else.

      Based on show!canon (and admitted confirmation bias), I persist in my tinfoil belief that the #1 candidate for Warrior of Light is…. 🐕 Once Beric teaches him the flaming sword trick, he will have satisfied all of the prerequisites.

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    53. Ten Bears:
      Ten Bears,


      Related note/question (from a few days ago):
      Who’s Lord of Horn Hill? Sam renounced all titles and rights of inheritance when he took his NW vows. If Samwell is still passing off Little Sam as his own son… does that mean a Craster Incest Baby is now Lord of Horn Hill?

      Well, if the Night’s Watch still is a thing after the Great War, Sam is bound by his vows – even though he’s already broken several – so he’s out of the succession to the Tarly lands and titles.

      Dickon was bbq’d so the next heir is Talla Tarly, Sam’s little sister. She seemed nice. Not very pleased about her impending arranged marriage to a Florent (in the books, the Florents are a major Reach house, very resentful of the Tyrells. Also, Stannis’s wife was a Florent.) But if Talla becomes the Lady of Horn Hill in her own right, she might not have to marry some Florent oaf she doesn’t like, yay!

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    54. talvikorppi,

      I think at this point it’s as popular a sentiment here as it is on other sites, but sure, it adds up. I was still very much responding to this prediction in general, and I think others have already articulated pretty well why it cheapens Jon’s character development and arc.

      Jay Targ,

      The only way I can see his legitimacy not being part of the reason he’s named King is if he’s named before it becomes public knowledge, which is doubtful. However, I can’t really see Jon accepting the title without learning his true identity and making an active choice to claim his birthright. I don’t know if he’s meant to sit on any throne or use his identity to affect change some other way, but for better or worse, the identity of Aegon Targaryen needs to serve a purpose in this story that the identity of Jon Snow could not, otherwise the writers are wasting the audience’s time.

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    55. Ten Bears,

      I am pretty sure they will: in fact, I think that the only reason for the Tarlys’ incineration was setting up the conflict between Dany and Sam. It serves no other purpose. But that said, I don’t think that the conflict will be initiated by Sam: Sam will be shocked and grieve a bit, but he will accept the fact under the more pressing issues of the end of the world. However, Dany is an entirely different story: Jon’s true status revelation will shake her to the core and who will be the source of information? Sam – the man whose father and brother she burned.
      Actually not only incineration of the Tarlies, but also the entire Jon’s legitimacy issue is needed for the one single purpose: to create a conflict between Dany and Jon on the brink to the great war and raise the stakes. Otherwise Jon’s legitmacy or illegitimacy is absolutely irrelevant: Dany loves him and one way or another they will be co-ruling at least untill the war is over and one or both of them dies.
      But if there is no conflict, there is no story. So, Dany needs to get conflicted about Jon’s true status revelation and aslo she need a legit reason to doubt the source of information, because otherwise how could she doubt Jon’s best friend?
      However, with two Tarlys insinerated, she can asume that Sam is willing to avenge his family and that Jon is fAegon and that the entire thing is a ruse of the Northern lords and Stark children in particular. And Jorah will probably the only one in the position to sort things out: Dany trusts him, and he is knows that Sam is not a schemer – hence, the grey-scale and its curing was also necessary for the setup.

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    56. elybe,

      I don’t know if that is true. This reveal could have huge personal and identity implications for Jon even if it doesn’t have political implications and if well done it could be very meaningful.

      Also, we should consider the possibility it never becomes known outside a small circle of people. This quote from Jon IX ADWD is potential foreshadowing for that idea:

      “Tyrion Lannister had claimed that most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it, but Jon was done with denials. He was who he was; Jon Snow, bastard and oathbreaker, motherless, friendless, and damned. For the rest of his life—however long that might be—he would be condemned to be an outsider, the silent man standing in the shadows who dares not speak his true name. Wherever he might go throughout the Seven Kingdoms, he would need to live a lie, lest every man’s hand be raised against him.”

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    57. Ten Bears,

      talvikorppi,

      I think, out of convenience, Sam will eventually return to Horn Hill, as Lord with his wife and adopted incest baby, Little Sam. I think this will be treated as a redemptive move for Dany, who will reward his service to the realm with a pardon (if indeed, the NW still exist and the oath is a thing) and then the lordship.

      OT: Someone mentioned London above- I just arrived in London a few days ago. Tomorrow I head to Northern Ireland to (among other things) go tour some GoT sites! WOOOHOOOOOO!

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    58. elybe:
      … but for better or worse, the identity of Aegon Targaryen needs to serve a purpose in this story that the identity of Jon Snow could not, otherwise the writers are wasting the audience’s time.

      This is pretty much what I think. Thank you for putting it better than I ever could.

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    59. Inga,

      Hey, I really like your reasoning on how burning of Randyll and Dickon Tarly might play out in a possible Jon/Dany conflict as regards the reveal of Jon’s true parentage and claim.

      Sources of info: Jon’s weird tree brother, Jon’s best friend who (Dany thinks) has reason to resent Dany… maaayyybee an old friend and bannerman of Jon’s “father” (if Howland Reed makes an appereance). If I was Dany, I’d be a bit wary, too!

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    60. Ten Bears,

      Sam is going to hold Dany burning his father and brother alive against her. Of course he is.

      At the very least because he’s a decent human being who finds the idea of burning people alive objectionable.

      That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to be “a spiteful, vindictive jerk”, because he does tend to see the bigger picture, as you say.

      But I find this apparent desire for Daenerys to be universally adored, even by people whose family members she has burnt alive, quite bizarre.

      Do people really want this show’s conclusion to be so bereft of drama and narrative implications that Daenerys burning people alive would have no ramifications even for those people’s family members?

      I pray that the show hasn’t become that superficial.

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    61. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      He was a douche who was rightly executed for betraying his liege lord.

      As Jon said, the punishment for treason is death.

      Regarding the method of his execution, not sure there is much of a difference between beheading and burned by Drogon. Given how hot that flame is, he probably died instantly.

      Expecting the audience to actually care about Randyl – man who has been presented to us as the worst since Season 1 – being executed for treason would be more ridiculous than anything.

      Dickon I feel somewhat bad about until i remeber he died for the supidest reason there is and can’t feel bad for that idiot.

      Even the writer of the episode Dave Hill said they were dumb

      At least Dany offers them a choice. Every conqueror offers the choice of ‘bend the knee or die.’ These lords disobeyed her and disrespected her in rebellion against the rightful queen. Then she gives them a way out and they don’t take it. Her deal wasn’t even ‘I’ll let you live.’ They could have kept all their titles and land. So, yes, in one way, it’s a horrible death. On the other hand, they kind of asked for it. It’s a win-win situation and they somehow managed to find the ‘lose’ in that.”

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    62. House Monty,

      None of what you’ve written dispels the likelihood of Sam quite reasonably taking issue with people, in this case members of his own family, being burnt alive.

      He’s not going to be okay with it. Nor should he be.

      When you’re trying to argue that burning people alive is better than beheading, then you should be aware that you’re reaching.

      The Mad King burnt people alive and it had consequences.

      Stannis burnt people alive and it had consequences.

      Ned executed a man and 8 episodes later he was dead. Robb executed a man and 4 episodes later he was dead. Jon executed a man and 6 episodes later he was stabbed to death.

      Theon executing Ser Rodrik was one of his most shameful acts and karma came a’knocking for him.

      And yet Daenerys burns a father and son alive for refusing to submit to her rule and apparently we are not to expect any consequences? Not even their son/brother being understandably upset with what happened?

      This is still meant to be Game of Thrones, right?

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    63. Dany is a human dragon so how does the death of her dragons end magic? Even if Drogon and Rhaegal die, I bet that there will be baby dragons hatched on Dragonstone.

      I don’t see Dany or Jon dying. However, they will definitely be having a baby.

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    64. Anon,

      No, Robert just treated his wife like garbage to the point where she was willing to arrange his death.

      The whole point is that on this show people’s actions have consequences. Direct, indirect, narrative, karmic, fair, unfair, long-term, short-term, good decision, bad decision… resentment builds, grudges are held, loyalties are tested, relationships are strained…

      The most basic consequence of Daenerys burning Randyll and Dickon alive is that it would affect Sam’s opinion of her. It’s the least I would expect.

      And perhaps it may even strain his relationship with Jon, the man who defied a king to give Mance Rayder mercy as he burnt and banished the child-burning priestess who saved his life, if he fails to stay true to those principles.

      Anyway we’re gonna have what, 6 hours minimum of screen time to fill next season? It can’t all be filled with battle sequences and character reunions. There’s got to be some drama in the relationships between characters.

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    65. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      There are two seperate things. Sam could indeed be upset that his family was executed. At the end of the day its his father and if he is angry etc I totally buy that reaction.

      What I don’t buy is painting what happened as some great moral crime worthy of retribution much less comparing it to the examples you described. Aside from the fact these two morons were burned alive, they don’t have much in common with those other cases. To suggest they do is reaching.

      Stannis burned his daughter and burned his brother in law who were innocent.Comparing that to this doesn’t make sense.

      The Mad King burned two lords alive for looking for their missing daughter. They commited no crimes. Comparing that to this also doesn’t make sense.

      Additionally, as far as I know, no connection has been explicitly made between Ned and Jon’s death and the executions they carried out. If there were the show wouldn’t paint the whole the man who passes the sentance swings the sword ethos as a noble one.

      Also, Sansa executed Ramsey. Arya has executed who knows how many people at this point. Cersei blew up a church fillled with people…. where is the retribution for them? So far there has not been any and in the case of Arya and Sansa there is unlikely to ever be any.

      This is not a world where its 1 for 1 kill someone and you will be punished. That would be way to simplistic.

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    66. House Monty,

      Jon can have an identity crisis without being legitimate, though, and as a general rule of writing, you don’t build up a reveal with maximum drama potential only to discard it or diminish its impact. The Northern lords distrust the Targs and this would be a pretty inconvenient bombshell to drop while organizing the defense of the North, so there’s just too much shit show potential in going public with this for GRRM/D&D to resist.

      That quote also does not read as a literal foreshadowing to me since those expectations stem from Jon’s false belief that he’s a bastard. Don’t forget that Jon also thinks he’s done with romance after Ygritte’s death, so he kind of sucks at predicting his own future. It actually sounds like GRRM is setting up the opposite in the same way that Davos and Tormund thought they finally got it right by not following a king, only for Jon to be crowned one episode later and eventually revealed to have been the rightful heir the whole time. So, if all this talk about Dany being barren is meant to supposedly foreshadow a pregnancy, and all that talk about Jon’s bastardy and lack of birthright this season foreshadowed his being the legit heir, what does Jon resigning himself to a life of obscurity based on misinformation about his identity signify?

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    67. Thanks for the fine informative article. I read the books this past spring and found the last book the best reading and most enjoyable. It is rich in imaginative detail and vividly displays stunningly drawn events. It has the best narrative form and works really well as a stand alone novel. The Meereen story is really quite enjoyable and some of its characters are really fun and interesting, with the Green Grace being an especial favorite with me. The first three books are little more than teleplays and the fourth book is…I don’t know what to call it. Unsuccessful, as a novel comes to mind, foremost.

      Dany, Theon, Bran, Arya, Jon/Aegon, Tyrion, Sam will definitely survive; and possibly Sansa and the Hound, I believe. Simply, because they have all survived the making of so many fatal mistakes and tragic events. If they die, then their anguished and evolutionary stories were simply nothing more than window dressing. After reading Martin’s work, I think I know him to be a better writer than one capable of killing off characters after such a journey of development and after much growth and evolution. I think these seven characters will form the nucleus of governing the Seven Kingdoms after the Others and their leader are disposed of and defeated. In fact, I’m hoping Season Eight makes quick work of the whole White Walker story as it is, in my view, the only structural flaw in the story; in that it is wearisome and tedious-as presented in the show-and always seemed a gratuitous addition which I find uninteresting and unneeded. In the books I do not find it so; but to my eye, the game of thrones is the point of the story and the Others only bring the story down by adding unnecessary flavor out of deference to a genre, from a structural point of view.

      Would it not be an exquisite and stunning literary irony if “the Prince that was promised” turns out to be the Hound! Well… one can and does dream.

      I am sure that none of what I write will happen but that has never stopped me from commenting and offering my valued and unasked for opinions on any subject. LOL

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    68. elybe:
      House Monty,

      Jon can have an identity crisis without being legitimate, though, and as a general rule of writing, you don’t build up a reveal with maximum drama potential only to discard it or diminish its impact. The Northern lords distrust the Targs and this would be a pretty inconvenient bombshell to drop while organizing the defense of the North, so there’s just too much shit show potential in going public with this for GRRM/D&D to resist.

      That quote also does not read as a literal foreshadowing to me since those expectations stem from Jon’s false belief that he’s a bastard. Don’t forget that Jon also thinks he’s done with romance after Ygritte’s death, so he kind of sucks at predicting his own future. It actually sounds like GRRM is setting up the opposite in the same way that Davos and Tormund thought they finally got it right by not following a king, only for Jon to be crowned one episode later and eventually revealed to have been the rightful heir the whole time. So, if all this talk about Dany being barren is meant to supposedly foreshadow a pregnancy, and all that talk about Jon’s bastardy and lack of birthright this season foreshadowed his being the legit heir, what does Jon resigning himself to a life of obscurity based on misinformation about his identity signify?

      I agree Jon can have a legitimacy crisis without being legitmate. And i don’t really have a firm view whether or not he reveals this broadly and think he and Dany will co-rule regardless, get married and have kids.

      I just thought the quote was interesting to think about and I can very well see him not revealing this publicly. Those reasons are 1.) exactly what you said. If its an inconvenient bombshell why would he drop it? 2.) They clearly established he does not want to lie in part because of the example his father set. But will he be more willing to lie to advance a higher order goal after realizing that is what Ned did? 3.) would set up an interesting parallel with Ned in that they both withheld the truth that was inconvenient for some greater good 4.) What is the marriage alliance after the war that can better put Westeros back together? Is it one between two Dragons or one between a Dragon and a Wolf? 5.) there are only six episodes left and just having this drop between dany and jon and the stark kids would already be a whole lot of drama and could take up a few episodes. Not sure more is needed given everythig else there is, the war for the dawn, the targ pregnancy, cersei, jaime, theon and euron, maybe the golden company, satisfying ends to all the seconday characters etc.

      Of course, I could easily see it being revealed more broadly in part for the reasons you listed.

      Regarding what it could signify if he withheld this information, i could see a few possibilities: 1.) a way for him to reafirm that despite Ned not being his father he was his dad and he wants the world to know him as such 2) self sacrifice in order to choose the wiser political path 3.) that he became King because of who he was not who he was born to.

      Also, i dont think not revealing this is choosing a life of obscurity as you say. He is going to be King regardless and if I had to suspect it will be something parallelling how he chose Dany as his Queen because of who she is as a person not because of her legitmacy. She will choose him as her King not because of his legitimacy but because of who he is as a person and they will co-rule.

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    69. God, I really envy you guys, I wish I was that positive 😂
      I think Jon and Daenerys will have a baby, I would even say they’ll have a baby girl (because the books and the show are all about feminism, which is awesome), and that baby will be raised by Tyrion, Sansa and Missandei (if she somehow survives).
      That would be the perfect bitter(sweet) ending for me.

      I know, I know, some of you will call it tragic, but I guess I am just preparing myself mentally for the worst possible outcome.

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    70. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      IMO, Jon may get even more upset, than Sam. From Sam’s POV, Dany is a person who burned his father and brother – yes, but she’s also a person who saved Jon’s life risking her own and losing one of her dragons in the process. And Jon is more a brother to Sam than Dickon ever was, not to mention the whole bigger picture. But for Jon this reveleation would be quite an unpleasant surprise: he loves Dany and he wants her to be a perfect queen he could follow. Realizing that she is not flawless and that her flaws claim lives may actually push him towards claiming the throne himself. At least, he might feel that he needs more authority to check her worst impulses which tend to go out of control (and Dany won’t like it).

      As for Jon keeping his parentage and status in secret, he may have reasons for that, but I feel like it won’t be up to him to decide. Sam may drop this bombshell with best intentions – most probably trying to persuade the whinging Northern Lords that the Targarians are not so bad or thinking that Jon will become some sort of a compromise candidate. He haven’t asked for Jon’s consent when he proposed him as a Lord Commander and I don’t expect him to do it this time either. He simply won’t expect Dany to get upset by the revelaton – she is marrying Jon and making him king one way or another, right? But Dany will definitely show her dark side and then she will have sevaral episodes for redemption.

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    71. Jack Hamm,

      “Would it not be an exquisite and stunning literary irony if “the Prince that was promised” turns out to be the Hound! Well… one can and does dream.”
      ——————–

      The Hound is likely to be the Warrior of Light (Book!Azor Ahai). Check out Melisandre’s recital of the prophecy in S2e1.

      (*Removes full-body tinfoil hazmat suit*)

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    72. ygritte,
      Au contraire, it perfectly does. Jon’s story has always been about the NK, about defending humanity from the NK, about being the shield and the sword that guards the realms of men, about being brought back to serve in the war against the NK. It makes sense for him to lay down his life so that others may live.

      Dany, on the other hand, has always been about revolutions in the human realm. Empowering herself, then the slaves of the Bay, now coming to Westeros to change it as well. *Her* work/narrative arc won’t be done once the NK falls.

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    73. Yaga:
      ygritte,
      Au contraire, it perfectly does. Jon’s story has always been about the NK, about defending humanity from the NK, about being the shield and the sword that guards the realms of men, about being brought back to serve in the war against the NK. It makes sense for him to lay down his life so that others may live.

      Dany, on the other hand, has always been about revolutions in the human realm. Empowering herself, then the slaves of the Bay, now coming to Westeros to change it as well. *Her* work/narrative arc won’t be done once the NK falls.

      I totally agree with you. Jon is, quite frankly, living on borrowed time. That’s what makes his story so poignant and tragic. I don’t know about you, but there have been times when, in my opinion, the show has shown how tired he is of facing such hardships. But he always soldiers on and gives his all, because he is a good man. His romance with Dany is probably the closest he’s come to ‘living’ for a while. You don’t see the weariness in his gaze? The resignation? His talk with Beric did help him find some answers to his questions as to why he was brought back. It’s a trope, but I think it’s a fitting one that Jon is alive because he has one last mission to complete. And then he can rest. I really don’t think his destiny is to live for another 5 decades and become the supreme monarch of an entire continent. It just…doesn’t sit right with him.

      Similarly, I would find it a particularly harsh pill to take if Dany was killed before the finale, if she just died in child birth or was forced to abdicate her claim because male sons take precedence over female siblings. Male primogeniture has sucked for women in history. Why shouldn’t Sansa rule Winterfell, for example, she seems competent. I sincerely hope we’re not going to discard all of Dany’s accomplishments along the way; she has worked hard and suffered through many hardships to claw her way to the top. She has proven herself a decent ruler and has the might behind her to prove her claim through conquest. Why should she give up the quest she’s worked so hard for, for much of her life, because of a quirk of birth?

      I would be happy with co-rule. A marriage seems inevitable and a good proposition for them both to iron out any succession wrinkles. But it seems to me that the story has been looking at who’s worthy of ruling and leading and not just who is born into, entitled to it. Jon is certainly worthy, but he still has some flaws and as far as we can tell he would chafe at such a massive burden of responsibility. He has an epic mission already to dedicate himself to: Being the shield of humanity against the Night King and his undead army. Dany, on the other hand wants to rule, wants to change the way things are for the better. What story purpose does it serve to deny her that opportunity after such a long struggle?

      I think the Nissa Nissa prophecy is shitty if taken literally. Sorry no, AA’s greatest sacrifice should have been his own life, not his wife’s. The thought of Jon killing Dany (willing or not) to defeat the NK is absolutely repugnant to me. There would have to be some amazing writing to make that happen in a satisfying way. It’s possible, but not that likely IMO. Especially if she becomes pregnant in this final season. I really don’t think we have time to have her come to term and give birth by the finale. I think it would be much more in character for him to think that sacrificing himself to kill the NK would ensure the safety of Dany, his (potential) unborn child and the realm (the men and women he’s sworn to protect). He’d take that option, if it presented itself. Don’t you think?

      It would be interesting if Jon survives, though. I’d love that, if he thought he was doomed in his final actions, but he lives through it anyway.

      My ideal scenario is Dany ruling with Jon as co-ruler/consort. They establish a grand council, made up of representatives from the seven kingdoms. Every seat on the council gets a vote on major decisions for the realm. Not democracy, per se, but one step closer to it.

      I view Danaerys as a co-lead in this story. I think it does a disservice to completely strip her of her main drive and focus. To force her to abdicate her claim to rule simply because of birthright ignores how other rulers came to power recently – Robert Baratheon and Cersei, for example. How is she any less worthy to take the throne if she truly wants the responsibility? Still, it will probably make for interesting internal conflict for the two of them once they find out the truth. I just hope it doesn’t become a sticking point in their relationship. They have some existential threats to deal with in the meantime.

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    74. elybe,

      Your anger/frustration is misdirected. Perhaps save your displeasure for George, David and Dan as they’ve killed Jon already and brought him back as firewight?Something you seem to glossing over in your outbursts.

      If one main character is to die in the Great War, who is it most likely to be? Its hard to look past Jon.

      The character whose arc has revolved around Whitewalkers, who has given his life once already for the cause, who was brought back by grace of the Lord of Light-the enemy of darkness, the Great Other.

      D&D have glossed over the consequences of coming back from death but you can bet your bottom dollar George will not. Coldhands, Dondarrion, LadyStoneheart serve as examples.

      Is it likely that George will have an undead man living happily ever after? The only thing Jon has got going is his ‘Secret prince’ trope. But for all you know, it might be in George’s intention to destroy the trope, to show that prophecies and noble blood won’t allow you defeat death.

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    75. Succubint,

      ” I really don’t think his destiny is to live for another 5 decades and become the supreme monarch of an entire continent. It just…doesn’t sit right with him.”

      Alliser Thorne to Jon Snow “I fought, I lost, and now I rest. But you Lord Snow, you will be fighting their battles forever”. Yeah his destiny could very well be living for another 5 decades, whether as a monarch or something else.

      “Similarly, I would find it a particularly harsh pill to take if Dany was killed before the finale, if she just died in child birth or was forced to abdicate her claim because male sons take precedence over female siblings. Male primogeniture has sucked for women in history.”

      Eh Jon and Dany are not siblings. Jon’s claim would have come before Dany even if Dany was male, her gender has nothing to do with it. Would it suck if she had to give up her ambition, what she has worked towards, for someone else? Yeah sure and frankly I don’t think she will have to. I am pretty sure D&D would make Jon give up his claim before they make Dany give up anything. The only way Dany won’t end up ruling is if she dies, and in that case it would have nothing to do with giving up her claim.
      I do think that whoever ends up ruling might well bring in absolute primogeniture, in place of male preference primogeniture, even though in real life this practice was only adapted recently. That is if succession based monarchy continues as the preferred form of government. But that is a whole different discussion.

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    76. BranTheBlessed,

      The character whose arc has revolved around Whitewalkers, who has given his life once already for the cause, who was brought back by grace of the Lord of Light-the enemy of darkness, the Great Other.

      D&D have glossed over the consequences of coming back from death but you can bet your bottom dollar George will not

      Jon’s arc in the books has in fact has had very little to do with white walkers, forget about revolving entirely around white walkers. He has only faced a wight once and has yet to face a white walker. What his arc has involved is uniting the Wildlings under him and ruling and rebuilding. He has been involved in rebuilding the Night’s Watch, in fixing all the buildings that have been broken or destroyed so far, in ensuring that his people and the Wildlings have food to eat come winter, negotiating loans for that, in short Ruling. He has even been getting involved in northern politics when he shouldn’t have been.
      GRRM has himself said that he is examining the challenges of ruling with BOTH Jon and Dany, which people conveniently ignore. His arc in the books has been more about ruling than fighting, that is not even considering all the hints that GRRM has placed in the books associating Jon with kingship, and there are many of these. Now I agree that D&D have ignored all this to turn him into a sword swinging warrior, but based on the books I think Jon has a good chance of ending up as the ruler. And I am willing to bet anything that GRRM will find a way to cheat, to make Jon different from LS and Beric. Maybe warging into Ghost on death is key, I don’t know, but he will find a way, that I don’t doubt. If he ever does release another book, that is.

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    77. Wow. There is now some nasty backlash on this particular site to the very possibility of Jon (or Dany, but especially Jon) dying in the end. I’d imagine that this is mostly out of fear more than anything, what with the end being so close and the two of them being the biggest fan favorite characters in the entire show, but I think it’s a mistake to say that Jon dying doesn’t make sense simply because it’s obviously not something many people don’t want to happen. Unlike quite a few people here, I think it’s fully possible to have a bittersweet ending without Jon (and/or Dany, as important as they are). Thematically, there is evidence for Jon not making it, especially when you start going into all of the spiritual themes surrounding life, death, and resurrection.

      Ironically, many people on this site have been quick to point out that GRRM isn’t as subversive as his image would have you believe, and that there are actually a lot of archetypes and tropes played straight in this story. The sacrificial hero or “Christ figure” is one of the ultimate literary figures, and Jon has displayed those traditionally heroic qualities time and time again, with them becoming more apparent over time–particularly as the narrative focus narrows and “simplifies”. I don’t think Mel’s conversation with Jon before the Battle of the Bastards was included for no good reason–there is very little extraneous dialogue in the show anymore. There are a lot of spiritual/mythological threads going on with Jon, and it would actually make a great deal of spiritual sense (both within the story and outside of it) for him to have been resurrected to die again, because this is Jon, and if there’s one person in Westeros who would be willing to do that for the sake of the world, it’s him.

      I really, really do think that this is a possibility that everyone should be prepared for, regardless of whether you like it, agree with it, or whatever you think the chances of it are. I especially don’t understand why fans of Jon would say it absolutely, positively can’t happen (which I’m seeing an awful lot of), because in that case if it does, all you did was set yourself up for more disappointment than you would have felt otherwise.

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    78. While you have faithfully recounted a variety of book and show differences, I really feel like there’s almost nothing in your analysis or predictions about the themes of Dany’s arc, or what motivates her as a person.

      These are what we need to look at if we are to make meaningful predictions for the future.

      Dany has been proven time and again to be someone who has a “gentle heart” – who cannot accept seeing the suffering of those in front of her. She will bring a cold & righteous fury to their defense, whether it be in her crucifixion of the masters, or in her vow to kill Drogo’s ex-bloodrider for raping her followers, or many others. Dany is strongly driven thematically as a savior. As a result, and also because of her vision in the show where she does not quite touch the throne, I believe that she will not ever sit on it. In the book version of the prophecy, Dany is told she will be betrayed 3 times. I think that the last of these, too, will be something that prevents her from ruling. Possibly her death.

      In season 7, her savior impulses were again illustrated when – presented with the evidence – she finally chooses to save Westeros’ people rather than to fight Cersei. She will not shrink from this cause now, and I think it will mean her death. Perhaps she will die in the fight against the Night King. Or, perhaps triumphant in that, she will die in the fight to remove the Mad Queen from power. In any case, Dany will not sit the IT.

      Ultimately Dany and Jon will together be enshrined in legend as the saviors of Westeros. They will have a child, too, I think. I can only hope that the government changes somewhat so Dany’s legacy can be more than just as a savior from external threat – but also someone who led to Westeros being saved from itself.

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    79. ghost of winterfell,

      Out of all the characters in the books, Jon and Bran’s arcs are most entertwined with the Whitewalkers.

      They don’t need to be taking to the field and swinging swords at wights/WWs in every chapter to establish this.

      Most of their actions/decisions are made with the Great War in mind, its what drives their plot/arcs.

      On the subject of ruling, its fascinating comparing Jon and Dany’s experiences.

      Jon is very hands on, a one man team, ruthlessly decisive. But he’s cold and rigid, sends away his best counselors and alienates his friends. Dany wavers in her decisions, struggles to impose her will and authority. But she keeps good counsel, shows more flexibility, inspires devotion in her friends.

      On the surface of it, Jon looks the more competent. He holds his ground with Stannis, makes alliances with Wildings, deals with the Iron Bank whereas Dany doesn’t see the same degree of success in her own attempts.

      However by the end, Jon makes enemies of his brothers, he dies alone and friendless with the order of NW broken. Dany with the help of friends and counselors survives and is successful in changing Slaver’s Bay for the good.

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    80. Succubint,
      > I think the Nissa Nissa prophecy is shitty if taken literally. Sorry no, AA’s greatest sacrifice should have been his own life, not his wife’s.

      Word. Especially since we already know, from how Stannis ended, that sacrificing someone else (Shireen) is *no* sacrifice.

      There is a funny theory going around the Internet that occurred to me a couple of years ago (but which I by no means claim to be the sole inventor of). It goes: Azor Ahai was, after all, Rhaegar. His Nissa Nissa was Lyanna. And his Lightbringer was his…

      Rhaegar *would* be the kind of person to call his d*ck Lightbringer, is all I’m saying.

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    81. BranTheBlessed,

      Dany at the end of Dance survives by pure luck cause she doesn’t eat the locusts and because she has a dragon.That’s it.Jon at the end of Dance doesn’t die either alone or friendless.He is in a courtyard full of them lol.And if we go by the tv show it’s precisely because of his friends and allies that he will be brought back.

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    82. QueenofThrones,

      How do you see her having a child yet still dying against the Night King or Cersei?

      My view is that pregnancy is plot armor (unless we are talking childbirth death) since i don’t think the war will take over 9 months.

      You think there will be a time jump or something?

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    83. BranTheBlessed:
      ghost of winterfell,

      However by the end, Jon makes enemies of his brothers, he dies alone and friendless with the order of NW broken. Dany with the help of friends and counselors survives and is successful in changing Slaver’s Bay for the good.

      Hmm why turn this into a Dany vs Jon pissing contest? Anyway I disagree. Dany would have been as dead as Jon if she didn’t have a dragon to sweep her away. That’s the only reason she remained alive, not because she heeded any counsel. Plus in the books, she was even more lucky that someone else ate her poisoned locusts.

      Sure she changed Slavers Bay, even though her degree of success can only be conjectured, not known as fact, since she left Slavers Bay immediately on gaining control, without waiting to see if her measures would be successful. But then, so was Jon successful in regaining control of the Night’s Watch and intergrating the Wildlings into the North, which no one had done for 8,000 years.

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    84. Jenny,

      Jon’s leadership led to his own men gutting him. He failed to keep about friends instead made more and more enemies. He sent away Aemon and Sam, he alienated Pyp and Green, then sent away Dolorous Edd as well. Others such as Bowen Marsh he treated too cold.

      What led to his downfall was his disregard for boundaries. The longer his reign as LC, the more he wanted to bend rules. By the end he wanted to lead men to the battle at Winterfell, a deserter of the NW, and paid for it with his life.

      This is where you see the biggest difference between him Dany. She started out idealistic and stubborn, but slowly became more flexible. She listened to her counselors, allowed slave trade outside Mereen, married Hizdahr for duty, reopened the fighting pits.

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    85. Azor Asshai,

      I’m fan of Jon. I don’t want him to die but I would get over it. Of course it could happen. Anything can happen. It’s a fictional tale, one in which we don’t yet know the ending.

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    86. BranTheBlessed,

      What I said is still correct though.Dany survived Dance by pure luck.That’s the truth.Yes Jon alienating his NW friends was a mistake and yes Dany became more indecisive but at the end of Dance she arrived at your opposite conclusion.She decided to say fuck everybody I’m going full fire and blood.Yes Jon wanted to bend the rules but that’s his biggest similarity to Dany not a difference.They are revolutionary characters in a static world.And you were creating a false equivalency in your post.Comparing Dany’s arc at the end of season 6 to Jon’s arc at the end of Dance.That’s unfair.At the end of Dance they both leave their places in the biggest chaos ever seen.And if we are talking about season six Jon gets back to life and has control of Castle Black because of the friends and allies he made.Then he leaves Castle Black not in chaos and the man he wanted in charge.Sounds a lot like what Dany did with Meereen to me.

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    87. QueenofThrones,

      Yeah, nah, if Jon had been left out of this article, I’d have just skipped it altogether. I’m responding to the burning need some Dany fans have to kill him off so that his narrative doesn’t steal her thunder, and oh boy, have they been pressed ever since she definitively lost her status as heir to the Targ throne, last Targaryen, and sole dragonrider all in one season. I don’t really need more articles about Jon since he’s pretty much all anyone’s talked about since Season 5. Although if you wanna discuss why I think his and Dany’s paths are intertwined and the notion of one dying or ruling without the other thematically makes little sense at this point rather than strawmanning my posts, I’m totally down with that.

      BranTheBlessed:
      Perhaps when GRRM actually refers to Jon as being a fire wight rather than just Beric being one and there’s any indication of Jon being changed in the slightest by death in the show, I’ll do so? Have you read the resolution to Jon’s stabbing in TWoW? Because I haven’t, although last I checked, book Jon was a warg and there are pretty much countless magical interventions in the books that can and would most likely spare him Beric’s fate. Which seems likely, since he’s pretty blatantly not undead in the show. Seriously, point out to me a single piece of evidence anywhere of Jon being even remotely changed. One single line where he talks about not having a heartbeat. You are honestly kidding yourself if you think GRRM is pairing up his female lead with a zombie or turning his male lead into one. Undead men don’t eat, sleep, feel pain, breathe, get wood, or sire children, but by all means, keep trying to dehumanize him if it makes the implications of his true identity easier to swallow. And a main has to die in the war…why exactly? Last I checked, the only word from GRRM, the one that was never meant to leak, had all five of his central mains surviving.

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    88. Hous Monty,

      You know, I have a very bad feeling about Dany’s prengancy, because the Night King will be hitting WF pretty soon and therefore Jon might have no other choice than to let Dany mount Drogon and go into the battle. And battlefield is not a place for a pregnant woman, especially in the show which has a record of killing pregnant women. And then there is all that Nissa-Nissa thing: Jon stabbing Dany to crealte some Lightbringer seems unlikely, but there is a good chance that he will have to sacrifice the women he loves and their unborn child.
      The only other option for him would be to embrace his Targarian heritage and mount a dragon himself (a la Aragorn summoning the dead under the mountain), but even in this case Dany may refuse to stay out of the fight and it might be too sexist to lock her in the kitchen. So, one way or another the unborn Targ baby may still be sacrificed for the realm leading to the change of the system of government and Tyrion on top of the things (the sweet part of the bitter).

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    89. Flayed Potatoes,

      Amazing how often this one character in particular needs to forego his entire arc in the name of fulfilling the rules of whichever death trope people try to shove him into while simultaneously needing to die in order to subvert tropes entirely. Kinda like how GRRM wants his ending to match the tone of LOTR, which by nihilist fan logic means he wants to stray as far from that ending as possible. This is going to be a loooooong off season.

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    90. Inga,

      Will believe the Nissa Nissa theory when I see it. My meta interpretation is you don’t create a lead female character with her own heros journey and give her all the trappings of the savior/ chosen one to reduce her to a sacrifical lamb to be killed by the real hero at the end. But we will see.

      They have created pregnancy in order to highten tragedy before with Talisa and Robb. So its def possible her pregnancy is merely a means for that. Just feels a little weird and cheap to go to that well again especially when you don’t need more tragedy since your main character being killed would be tragic enough but your right. They could be doing that. Could make her heros death even more emotional.

      Also, its not Jon’s choice whether Dany mounts Drogon or not. Dany does what she wants.

      I just keep going back to George’s outline in all this. That outline basically said there are five characters who make it through the books. I am going to create other characters who people will think are main characters to kill them in order to make people think anyone can die. Until shown otherwise my base case is to take George at his word and not fall for the idea that anyone can actually die. But who knows.

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    91. elybe,

      If you want to know my prediction, one of Jon/Dany will die in the midst of the Great War which will spur on the other to destroy the NK for good. After the War ends, Dondarrion/Melisandre will step forward and give the kiss of life to whomever main character had fallen earlier.

      My post earlier was in response to your outburst. I was pointing out valid reasons from storytelling pov why some people are predicting Jon’s death. Insinuating that everyone who hold such prediction do so just because of some spite for Jon or devotion to Dany is frankly a bit pathetic.

      Re the whole firewight/warg issue, yes, Jon hasn’t said he feels any different. But maybe that’s because D&D haven’t much clue on how to handle changes post resurrection? Or maybe they don’t want to give the story away?

      What we do have though is lot of characters associated with R’hllor stating again and again ‘We’re here for a reason. Lord brought us back for a reason’.

      As far as books go, I think its a safer bet that there will be changes in Jon. Re warging, Martin has established two things thus far. Only a part of a warg lives on in the animal after death. In one of Bran’s chapter, Martin says the bond between Stark and wolf is more than warging, its stronger. However Bran was in complete control of his warging, Jon was not.

      According to me, there won’t be any Targ babies, that’s the price Jon/Dany will have to pay for R’hllors gift. There’s no need for a prince/heir as democracy will come into Westeros.

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    92. It is a real tribute to GRRM that this far into the series/show that all variations of Danerys and AeJon surviving are plausible, and has such divisions among the fans of the books/shows. All this because GRRM killed off Ned S in book 1, leaving no major character safe and creating expectations around major figures dying. I forsee unhappiness with Season 8 by one faction of viewers or another. (The lack of source material will also make Season 8 unsatisfying for many, I think.)

      Personally, I am with the assumption that most of the major remaining human characters will survive. Likely the Red Keep/IT is destroyed during the war and Danerys and AeJon co-rule and work to establish a new order. Danerys will not be fully happy with this, but will be reconciled with it. Aejon will not be happy with this as he has no desire to rule but will marry Danerys to legitimize their child/children and will see that he needs to do so to unify/protect the realm, although I wonder if their passion will wane and they will be in a more platonic, respectful relationship that will lead to ruling well.

      The alternative that has been discussed that I am most curious about is Jon somehow taking over from the NK (eg, taking dragonglass in the heart) and leading the dead back North in order to save humanity, and Danerys sitting on the IT alone with their children.

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    93. BranTheBlessed,

      My point is that you are building a case for why Jon is most likely to die based on assumptions that have been defied on the show. And regardless of the rules associated with being rezzed by the Red God, Jon’s lead hero status comes with exemptions the same way Dany’s does. If she can withstand the usual consequences of sitting on a pyre, her equal and parallel within the story can withstand the usual consequences of being stabbed multiple times. As far as D&D not knowing the consequences of death for Jon, this doesn’t fly for me because they personally visited GRRM in Santa Fe to discuss exactly where Jon and every other main is going to end up. Something as major as Jon spending the rest of the series as an undead man doesn’t go unmentioned, and it certainly wouldn’t be left out of the show if it were important to Jon’s endgame. Being one half of TPTWP has its perks.

      House Monty,

      lol, say it louder for those in the back.

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    94. elybe,
      Once again: Jon’s entire narrative arc has been about him being the guardian of humanity, about him confronting the NK and the WW, and about him being brought back for a reason. Of course he’ll have to deal with the legitimacy/heritage thing before that (my guess is, first two episodes next season: he learns about his heritage from Bran in the first, then discusses it with Dany in the second). Nobody is disputing that. Dany will also probably allow him to ride Rhaegal as well early next season – it makes sense since he’s not afraid of the dragons and they need a second rider. (My guess is, they will have the ‘training sessions’ offscreen and we’ll arrive in the next season with Dany and Jon having a shared flying scene.) But in the end, there is no chance Jon’s arc won’t revert to the foundations of his character.

      That’s why some people, including myself, argue that Jon will die (or become the next Lich/Night’s King). Because that’s what his narrative arc is about.

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    95. elybe,

      Jon’s lead hero status comes with exemptions the same way Dany’s does. If she can withstand the usual consequences of sitting on a pyre, her equal and parallel within the story can withstand the usual consequences of being stabbed multiple times.

      Never seen it this way, good point. Dany’s birthing event was supposedly a special, magical event. Perhaps Jon’s resurrection in the book will be of the same. In which case D&D utterly failed again.

      Interested to see how Dany wins over the whole Dothraki khalasar in the books. Doubt Martin will give fireproof qualities to Dany.

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    96. elybe,

      Tell me about it. I’m already bored of the amount of death scenarios I’ve read and we’ve only just started the off-season. It’s hilarious how some say that Jon being the heir to the IT and possibly the endgame monarch is predictable, when for years prior to the R+L=J confirmation they wouldn’t shut up about how Jon is “100% never leaving the NW”, how he’s “going to be revived by the NK”, “how he’s just a Targ bastard because reasons”, or how “his parentage is irrelevant because he’s dying anyway”.

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    97. Then again maybe its harsh to blame D&D when Martin himself has done a terrible job of explaining this concept.

      For one thing, he says firewights like Beric and Stoneheart don’t eat, don’t sleep, have no blood flow or beating hearts. If that is the case, how is it they die by wounds or hangings? Its contradictory. Beric has supposedly been killed six times.

      These firewights should be like ice wights. Immortal until their bones are burnt to ashes.

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    98. Hous Monty:
      QueenofThrones,

      How do you see her having a child yet still dying against the Night King or Cersei?

      My view is that pregnancy is plot armor (unless we are talking childbirth death) since i don’t think the war will take over 9 months.

      You think there will be a time jump or something?

      Yeah, I don’t get people who are saying that Dany dies in the war/sacrafices herself to save humanity but her Targ-Targ baby that she produced conviniently in the nick of time will be raised by Jon/Sansa/Tyrion/Missandei/Davos/take your pick.

      Let’s not forget that we do not even know if Dany IS pregnant, it’s just a fan theory lol!

      I personally am leaning towards her being pregnant. All that S7 talk about infertility and succession. Anyway, let’s assume baby Aeddard Targaryen was conceived during boatsex. It takes nine months for the baby to be born. Is the war against the White Walkers going to hit pause for nine months to wait for Dany’s baby to be born, just for Dany to ride out and gloriously die? Or is Dany going to fight in the war for months, take a few weeks maternity leave and then return to the fight to die gloriously? What?

      IF Dany is pregnant, it’s strong plot armour for her, IMO. I don’t expect the final wars to last more than a few weeks, 4-5 months at most (remember, we only have 6 episodes left!) She fights the White Walkers and Cersei or whomever in the early stages of her pregnancy, in the end she’s heavily pregnant and that is the dream of spring. A high note to end the whole goddamn series, even if the daddy is dead. (I used to think Jon – much more my favourite than Dany – would die but now I’m not so sure, but that’s another discussion.)

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    99. House Monty,

      Your eagerness to downplay the implications of Daenerys’ actions contradicts the characters in the show and everything that’s previously been established about the taboo of burning people alive.

      Trying to dismiss comparisons with Stannis and the Mad King is pointless, because the comparisons are obvious and deliberate. Tyrion and Varys have an entire conversation about the implications later in the same episode.

      The point about the Ned, Robb and Jon executions is the thematic and foreshadowing parallels. Shortly after Jon lopped Janos Slynt’s head off I turned to my brother and said, “They wouldn’t kill off Jon Snow, would they?” (I haven’t read the books), because I spotted the parallel with Ned and Robb.

      They wouldn’t include Daenerys burning a father and son alive, particularly those related to one of our most sympathetic characters, if there weren’t going to be narrative implications.

      There may yet be specific personal consequences for Arya and Sansa’s behaviour too. Arya more likely, since she is more likely to find herself in a situation where she could come to harm. And we still don’t know for certain the current status of her relationship with the Faceless Men. Might Jaqen come calling for some form of payment for the skills they gave her and the lives she’s taken? I wouldn’t be at all surprised. But we’ll see.

      Perhaps the consequences will manifest in a deterioration of her relationship with Jon. Perhaps the consequences of Sansa’s behaviour will be in turning her into a more ruthless, Cersei-like figure, to the detriment of her relationships, reputation, etc.

      The point is that no decision made by these characters should be assumed to be taken in their stride by the other characters or have no knock-on effect.

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    100. Jenny,

      Anything is possible but it doesn’t make much to me for two reasons.

      1.) every minute the NK is not defeated he gets stronger. If he is just roaming Westeros for over 9 months his army is going to be 20 million people at a certain point. The living have to take him out and take him out quick.

      2.) do you really think they are going to tell a story where Dany is sidelined from the war for 3 months because she is pregnant and giving birth only so that she can then re-enter the war to die? That sounds kinda odd.

      Also, the NK is going down before Cersei. Dany is the YMBQ ergo Dany does not go down before the NK and Cersei is def not going to kill Dany therefore…. she has a good chance of living.

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    101. House Monty,

      Well I don’t know those wildlings survived a good number of years with the WW beyond the wall.The WW have been around for quite a while and it wasn’t until Hardhome when they were in a confined space that the worst happened.And it’s always darkest before the Dawn.It needs to get worse before it get better.It doesn’t matter how bigger his army gets cause in order to defeat them you just need to kill the NK.Dany doesn’t have to be sidelined at all.She is pregnant not sick.And sure Cersei can die before the NK why not?Or it’s not her who does it.Maybe she is not the YMBW or maybe she already took what she held dear meaning Jaime.There are many possibilities.
      This doesn’t mean that I think Dany will die.I don’t actually believe that.I just think that the baby will be a plot point that will somehow affect the resolution of the war and not just a ‘here the succession is assured baby’

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    102. If Jon dies before the throne becomes vacant, his parentage does not create any consequence for the plot, and no conflict for Daenerys (it would be too silly to argue about who is the rightful heir while the NK is arriving). So I give him good chances to survive.

      I originally thought Dany might die against the NK, but then, it’s also a too easy way to get rid of her character, as has been mentioned by others, and it also removes any potential conflict (Dany realizing that “inheriting” the throne is not the way it should be). The same for Jon. In my view, the best “deaths” in Thrones are Jaime and Theon, so perhaps something like that is possible again, with or without physical parts removed.

      The stallion who mounts the world is Drogon, not Rhaego, according to the prophecy. The Dothraki just misinterpreted it.

      As a side note, it looks a little bit to me that part of the Green Grace role (mother of the harpies, one of the theories) went to the woman who helped the harpies, the one Varys talked to (I forgot the name.) Also, part of the book Hizdahr seems to have gone to Xaro. I think the showwriters wanted a more worthy Hizdahr of whom the viewers could imagine Dany decides to marry him to stabilise Meereen. Well, as long as she doesn’t marry Victarion Greyjoy in the books…

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    103. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      House Monty,

      Your eagerness to downplay the implications of Daenerys’ actions contradicts the characters in the show and everything that’s previously been established about the taboo of burning people alive.

      Trying to dismiss comparisons with Stannis and the Mad King is pointless, because the comparisons are obvious and deliberate. Tyrion and Varys have an entire conversation about the implications later in the same episode.

      The point about the Ned, Robb and Jon executions is the thematic and foreshadowing parallels. Shortly after Jon lopped Janos Slynt’s head off I turned to my brother and said, “They wouldn’t kill off Jon Snow, would they?” (I haven’t read the books), because I spotted the parallel with Ned and Robb.

      They wouldn’t include Daenerys burning a father and son alive, particularly those related to one of our most sympathetic characters, if there weren’t going to be narrative implications.

      There may yet be specific personal consequences for Arya and Sansa’s behaviour too. Arya more likely, since she is more likely to find herself in a situation where she could come to harm. And we still don’t know for certain the current status of her relationship with the Faceless Men. Might Jaqen come calling for some form of payment for the skills they gave her and the lives she’s taken? I wouldn’t be at all surprised. But we’ll see.

      Perhaps the consequences will manifest in a deterioration of her relationship with Jon. Perhaps the consequences of Sansa’s behaviour will be in turning her into a more ruthless, Cersei-like figure, to the detriment of her relationships, reputation, etc.

      The point is that no decision made by these characters should be assumed to be taken in their stride by the other characters or have no knock-on effect.

      There have already been narrative implications. Tyrion clearly thinks and worries about how she would deal with Jaime in a similar situation. This fear is something that drives him to propose the wight plan and to make it somewhat believable that he would be desperate enough to end the fight in the south that he could develop a blind spot towards what his sister would actually do. Additionally, from a plot perspective this clears the way for Sam to end the story as Lord of Hornhill the birthright that was stolen from him by his father.

      Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be more narrative consequences. Sam might very well be extremely upset when he finds out. Jon might be upset when he finds out (assuming he does not already know). If that were to happen I would not be surprised.

      I just think it will come to a big nothing burger in the end – something for short term drama that has no impact on the actual ending of the series – because what happened here is fundamentally different in my view to those examples you mention. I think its super simplistic to equate Stannis killing Shereen and Dany killing the Tarlys because fire. And, I don’t think Ned or Jon died because they executed people.

      If it was that simple than Jon also has some divine punishment coming his way since the very first thing he did post resurrection was…. execute people.

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    104. Jenny,

      I don’t think she is going to be flying around on Drogon 9 months pregnant fighting the dead.

      But we will see. I thought Cersei would die this year and Viserion would not so who knows.

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    105. Yaga,

      I would argue that many of the interpretations about Jon’s narrative and ultimate purpose cut both ways. The “protector of the realm” is absolutely the guardian of humanity, and I was surprised to learn in this very thread that the original titled used to be “shield.” Jon was indeed brought back for a reason, and Mel already lampshaded the possibility that it was only to die again, making that explicit to Jon in the process. Jon and the viewers are now conditioned to heavily ponder this outcome. The possibility that neither Jon nor a considerable portion of the fandom are considering at this point is that the answer just might actually boil down to “the Red God wants you alive.” Rezzed to die again is not a twist when it’s been telegraphed, unless the eventual outcome is averted. At least in the television medium. There’s a reason why Robb didn’t make a will before the RW in the show or why Mel didn’t warn Jon about visions of him surrounded by blades. TV shows walk a much finer line when it comes to subtlety in foreshadowing. Mel already vocalized the possibility of Jon being on borrowed time, and Jon has demonstrated his willingness to die for the greater good repeatedly, yet he is still left feeling adrift and searching for his purpose, as evidenced by his conversation with Beric. I’m pretty sure he’s about to find it. The minute the show starts dropping anvils about Jon living a long and happy life is the minute I start preparing for his curtain call.

      BranTheBlessed,

      D&D definitely dropped the ball in a lot of ways, and it seems to me that they decided to simplify Jon’s return on the show in order to avoid suddenly having to throw in magical elements that haven’t been adapted from the novels. That he’s different from Beric and Stoneheart isn’t even a question for me. This is the guy that GRRM has stated that he would choose to be in this series. Who would choose to be a character who grew up an outsider, suffered emotional abuse from his stepmother until he was fourteen, never felt like he belonged everywhere, believes his entire existence was a shameful mistake, spent most of the story freezing his ass off while being told that he’d amount to nothing, lost half his family, never knew his real parents, burned the body of the only woman he’s ever loved, assumed a thankless position of power leading murderers and rapists, and got stabbed multiple times trying to prevent a zombie apocalypse that nobody else gives a crap about…if his endgame is living another year as a zombie and then dying without his lineage amounting to anything. Seriously, Jon’s life is dog shit. You know the bar is low when banging your captor in a cave under the vague threat of death if you don’t comply is the high point of your journey. I can see GRRM wanting to play Jon onscreen, but who in their right mind would want to be him if his entire arc is just an exercise in one-downing himself? He’s already a one-man misery parade.

      Flayed Potatoes,

      Jon Snow: The predictable character who’s been shitting all over your predictions since 1996.

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    106. ygritte,

      I had a feeling someone was going to say this. A Christ figure isn’t literally Christ, it’s simply a selfless, spiritual figure of messianic, world-changing importance. It doesn’t have to be a one-to-one comparison and rarely is. King Arthur, for instance, is largely considered one of the prime examples of a “Christ figure” in literature and storytelling, and I think we can all agree that his life, death, and character weren’t exactly mirror images of Christ by any stretch of the imagination. Technically the archetype predates Christ, but “Christ figure” is commonly used in literature because it’s an analogy that everyone is at least familiar with.

      I don’t think anyone could believably say that Jon is a direct equivalent to Christ (I mean, did Jesus sleep with his aunt? LOL) but GRRM’s take on the traditional idea of the old-world sacrificial hero, which others have mentioned, and of course he has a lot of strong spiritual, messianic overtones (even within the story itself) on top of that–which is more than enough to justify calling him a “Christ figure.” Following his first sacrificial death, he even has his own personal “stigmata” which the show still keeps hammering home even now. It actually bothered me how non-subtle they were being about that.

      The idea of endless sacrifice, of always seeing the bigger picture, ultimate selflessness and heroically choosing to giving one’s life, even if it is only to die again–literally or metaphorically–is profoundly mythological and spiritual, and isn’t strictly limited to Christian parallels.

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    107. elybe,
      Oh, OK, thank you for finally explaining your position. I think that you’re missing two things. One, regarding the conversation with Beric: it featured Jon agreeing with him. Exactly opposite from Jon being “left feeling adrift” after it, it clearly gave him a renewed sense of purpose in his mission. And second, “the minute the show starts dropping anvils about Jon living a long and happy life” is exactly *this* minute, the finale of this season. No longer dead, very much alive, and freshly revealed to be the “rightful heir to the throne” (whatever that means in the current political situation). That *is* an overall high. It’s leading a *lot* of people to assume that Jon *must* ascend the throne – because otherwise, why the need for this revelation at all?

      Personally, I would find it absolutely appalling and distasteful if the Mary Sue who even when he finally committed a blunder and got himself killed found a convenient Red Priestess nearby ready to resurrect him escaped scot-free and ascended a throne. But hey, that’s just me.

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    108. Jon’s character literally doesn’t exist outside WW plot. After they are defeated, there is nothing his character is needed for. Both him and Dany will die, not because it would be bittersweet for them to but because there is no place for them in the story after the war is won in my opinion. Either of them winning would be boring so the ending can be either them dying and us seeing how the rest of the characters cope with the aftermath of the war or they survived but with such tragic loses they might as well not have. Of course, this is just my opinion, but I can’t see how Jon surviving gives us anything but the happiest of endings. He is by far the most popular and favorite, even compared to the likes of Tyrion, Dany or Arya. Simply him surviving would be sufficient for the majority of the fandom (both hardcore and casual fans) no matter who else dies or survives. Now, I’m not against a happy ending, it’s just that I fail to see one with Jon (especially him) and Dany living and being good.

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    109. Yaga,

      I think Jon’s actions in the finale smacked of his choosing to seize the day in order to get as much “joy” into what he considers a short existence as possible, and I don’t think for one second he expects to live to see the spring. He said it himself: “We’re fucked.” But really, I think any chance of us seeing eye-to-eye on this evaporated the minute you called Jon a Mary Sue. We’re not going to find common ground here, because we’re perceiving two different characters. Using that label betrays a heavy negative bias, illuminates a vast discrepancy between your takeaways and the author’s intentions, and throws your every analysis of his arc and narrative out the window for me. Jon’s flaws are apparent to anyone watching the show with their eyes open, and half his haters are more than happy to write him off as a fuck up who never does anything right. You seem to be using the term as a catch all that covers “archetype I dislike seeing played straight,” and at that point what’s there to discuss? Jon’s not a three-dimensional character to you (if he’s a character to you at all), but he is to GRRM. He has to fail/die because you’ll be annoyed if he doesn’t. It has nothing to do with his narrative, because if you think GRRM intended for Jon to be viewed as a flawless cupcake who never makes a mistake or does anything morally questionable, you missed the mark from the very get go. By the way, there’s a term for a character who keeps surviving extraordinary circumstances as the plot requires: Main protagonist. And since there isn’t a single main in this series who isn’t still alive by virtue of a plot convenience, it looks like a distasteful ending is the only option unless the Night King wins. Actually, never mind. He’s had it easier this series than anyone.

      Jenny,

      Thanks! Right back atcha!

      stefan666:
      Jon’s character literally doesn’t exist outside WW plot. After they are defeated, there is nothing his character is needed for.

      LMAO, did you fall asleep during the last fifteen minutes of the finale? Dude is literally the heir to the iron throne, and they’ve been building to that reveal during the entire series.

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    110. stefan666:
      Jon’s character literally doesn’t exist outside WW plot. After they are defeated, there is nothing his character is needed for. Both him and Dany will die, not because it would be bittersweet for them to but because there is no place for them in the story after the war is won in my opinion. Either of them winning would be boring so the ending can be either them dying and us seeing how the rest of the characters cope with the aftermath of the war or they survived but with such tragic loses they might as well not have. Of course, this is just my opinion, but I can’t see how Jon surviving gives us anything but the happiest of endings. He is by far the most popular and favorite, even compared to the likes of Tyrion, Dany or Arya. Simply him surviving would be sufficient for the majority of the fandom (both hardcore and casual fans) no matter who else dies or survives. Now, I’m not against a happy ending, it’s just that I fail to see one with Jon (especially him) and Dany living and being good.

      Get ready for a boring ending. Something tells me they didn’t call this story a Song of Ice and Fire, had both characters actually go through the trouble of learning how to rule, have them parallel each other the entire series, fall in love etc. to have them both die at the end and never get to use all the experience they learned to actually rule.

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    111. A Daenerys fan calling Jon a Mary Sue? Say it ain’t so lmao

      http://gif-finder.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Cersei-Lannister-Laugh.gif

      – purple eyes and silver hair
      – “the most beautiful woman in the world”
      – fireproof magical powers that are made permanent on the show
      – every male character falls in love with her and pledges themselves to her
      – villains are irredeemable one-dimensional caricatures with no redeeming qualities (rapist Dothraki, slavers)
      – advisers are always wrong and bumbling (hai Tyrion), yet she does everything right
      – actions bring no consequence to her person (post season 1) & everything easily goes her way, to the point where all she has to do is push 4 braziers to gain all the Dothraki armies on a continent
      – difficult rebuilding job in an ancient city brushed aside to avoid complications and questions regarding her ability to rule (“sure my mercenary boyfriend will keep the peace in this tumultuous city, in spite of the fact that I just dumped him and he said he dgaf about the city I ran for 2 seasons huhu”)

      Sorry fam, but if Jon is a Mary Sue, then so is Dany. Parallel journeys and all blah blah…. 😛 (note: I don’t think she’s a MS, though D&D sometimes can’t control themselves lol)

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    112. House Monty,

      It looks like you are omitting the third head of the dragon – Tyrion. Tyrion is the third main protagonist of the story and he also needs a satisfactory ending and that wouldn’t be sipping Imp’s delight in an isolated wineyard. Acting as a Hand for Jon and Dany would be hardly better: neither of them will need a metor/father figure by the end of the show – the story of their growth is about to reach the climax and get some sort od denouement. So, where does Tyrion go? With all his flaws he is the only character who really has a taste for daily politics and plans for the period after the war for dawn, so he has to be kept around. But all the three around the Iron Throne would make a crowd: it should be either Jon & Dandy or Tyrion. Therefore, Jon & Dandy have to die to clear the path for our favourite Half-man (& maybe Sansa as his consort). On the other hand, Tyrion may die saving them – he used to be heroic on occasions and he loves life, so his death may be much more shocking and heartbreking than the other way round.

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    113. elybe,

      Even last year – despite GRRM telling us Robb’s will is coming into play, and despite the fact that logically Jon needs to be in a position of power to rally people to fight the WW – people were still acting like Sansa QITN was a done deal and all Jon was going to amount to is an army commander under a B-tier character. Needless to say, I laughed my ass off after s6 wrapped up.

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    114. elybe,

      That still doesn’t change what I said. Ok, he’s a Targaryen and an heir to the IT, so what is he gonna do? Sit on a chair? If there even is one by the end?

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    115. Inga,

      The only thing I am certain of is he does not die and after Viserion died he does not look like the third head of the dragon anymore.

      I actually don’t agree that he can’t be hand if both Jon and Dany survive.

      If I had to bet that would be my guess although he did a really bad job as hand this year so I could see consequences to his blunders this year that could preclude him being Hand in the new regime although still think its likely he will redeem himself.

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    116. I think everything in the show points to Dany playing the Nissa Nissa role (Jon even said to Davos that “She has a good heart” whereupon Davos downplayed the line by quipping “It’s not her heart you’re looking at!”). It’s my expectation that this will be the bittersweet series finale (Jon creating Lightbringer from Dany’s heart and defeating the NK with it). Then I think Jon won’t want to be King and will refuse it, handing it over to someone else, most probably Tyrion (or possibly even Sam – one can only dream!).

      I hope I’m wrong. There is a chance that Mel will replace Dany as the Nissa Nissa vehicle for Lightbringer. In that case, maybe Dany can become Queen.

      Incidentally, I simply loathe the idea of a Jon/Dany child. I really hope the show (or GRRM) doesn’t go there.

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    117. House Monty,

      My point is that both Jon and Dany are people who live in the moment, Dany has been this conqueror and she has freed slaves and Jon has been this good guy who helps everyone who’s remotely in trouble and they’ve been building all these traits for all these seasons. If they win and sit on the IT together and everything settles down and there’s peace they stop having to do things. That’s why 3 seasons of Dany ruling in Mereen and Jon’s pre-season 5 storyline have been less fun. They were not doing what they are best at. Jon and Dany winning and ruling in the end would literally be out of character. I am not against it of course, I’m saying it can’t be that happy.

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    118. Flayed Potatoes,

      Well, if you’re going to invest that hard in personal fanon, ignoring or misrepresenting everything GRRM says is half the battle.

      stefan666,

      My preference would be sitting on a bean bag, but that doesn’t quite project the same authority. Anyway, the answer to your question of what he’d do if he survived the war remains abundantly clear, despite your aversion to that outcome.

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    119. Stu525:
      I think everything in the show points to Dany playing the Nissa Nissa role (Jon even said to Davos that “She has a good heart” whereupon Davos downplayed the line by quipping “It’s not her heart you’re looking at!”). It’s my expectation that this will be the bittersweet series finale (Jon creating Lightbringer from Dany’s heart and defeating the NK with it). Then I think Jon won’t want to be King and will refuse it, handing it over to someone else, most probably Tyrion (or possibly even Sam – one can only dream!).

      I hope I’m wrong. There is a chance that Mel will replace Dany as the Nissa Nissa vehicle for Lightbringer. In that case, maybe Dany can become Queen.

      Incidentally, I simply loathe the idea of a Jon/Dany child. I really hope the show (or GRRM) doesn’t go there.

      Saying everything is pointing to a Dany Nissa Nissa moment in the show is a huge stretch since the idea of Nissa Nissa hasn’t even been introduced.

      There is foreshadowing for her dying with an arrow through the heart, but there is an equal amount if not more foreshadowing for her being Queen and getting pregnant. Based on what they have shown us on screen, it seems like it could really go either way.

      stefan666:
      House Monty,

      My point is that both Jon and Dany are people who live in the moment, Dany has been this conqueror and she has freed slaves and Jon has been this good guy who helps everyone who’s remotely in trouble and they’ve been building all these traits for all these seasons. If they win and sit on the IT together and everything settles down and there’s peace they stop having to do things. That’s why 3 seasons of Dany ruling in Mereen and Jon’s pre-season 5 storyline have been less fun. They were not doing what they are best at. Jon and Dany winning and ruling in the end would literally be out of character. I am not against it of course, I’m saying it can’t be that happy.

      By the time they sit the Iron Throne the show will be over. Not sure it matters if they stop doing things or if its not fun at that point. I don’t think it will be out of character by the way. Dany has styled herself as a Queen since season 1 and Jon King since season 6. Would be fairly in character and a reasonable place for their arcs to end than as King and Queen having restored their family to the throne. Doesn’t mean it will happen. But if it does, it seems like a very natural ending in line with who they are and what they have been doing which is why some people are against it and label it predictable since…. literally everything has been building to that so it does seem predictable.

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    120. Stu525,

      The show is definitely going to go there (with the way there was so much foreshadowing) with Jon and Dany’s having a child because it is a sign of hope in the end with all this death will be happening in season 8. GRRM we aren’t sure that he will write them together as a couple (seems like he will) let alone having any children.

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    121. Flayed Potatoes,

      This! It’s quite hilarious how after the season finale, some Dany fans are trying their best to convince themselves that Jon is either going to die to leave the path clear for Dany to be the only main character left and the final boss, or they are trying to put him and his arc down any way they can. But a Dany fan calling Jon Mary Sue takes the cake, pots and kettles come to mind lol.

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    122. Or maybe there are fans who love both characters who are trying to figure out what would make the most sense narratively, given what we’ve been shown on the show up to now.

      I think Jon is my fave character with Dany a close second. I still think it’s more narratively satisfying if we must have a ‘bittersweet’ ending for Jon to sacrifice himself since he’s already technically died, and for Dany to live on with his child and build that better world she’s always wanted to build. With help from the right advisors.

      Obviously, if Jon could survive too, that would be even better, but people are claiming this would be too happy and fairytale, apparently.

      I never contemplated Jon taking the place of the NK and removing the army of dead because he now commands it. That would actually be hugely tragic and a nice twist that resolved their dilemma. But again, some people will find this offensive because they are solely invested in Jon. They want him to take the IT from Dany even though he clearly doesn’t aspire to such a position and is only KiTN because it helps him rally Westeros against the threat he most wants to take on and face, that of the White Walkers and Wight Army. No one seems to have any reply to my questions about Jon’s state of mind, the many ways that the writers seem to be showing that he’s weary, tired of constantly fighting, questioning his resurrection etc. Only Dany appears to be a bright spark in his life right now. Perhaps that will change when he reunites with Arya, but in my opinion, he’s already reconciled to being dead, just his sheer will his forcing him to carry on because he still cares about the realm of men (and women) and wants to save it from a terrible fate.

      While I would be open to Dany sacrificing herself, I am very conscious of how this kind of plot point could be perceived in a dismissive and sexist way. If she ended up being the one fighting the NK and giving up her life for the realm I could live with it, but it still seems like the story has been building for Jon to take on that kind of role, not Dany. Wouldn’t that step on his character’s narrative toes? Dany being stabbed in the heart by Jon to forge a sword is a non starter for me. Just no. It’s a horrible end to a character who deserves to achieve some kind of satisfying finish as well. Considering her own journey.

      This is the crux of it. How do the writers find a way to honour both journeys without diminishing the other? Co-rule or some kind of equal partnership in defeating the last few obstacles seems the best. Does that mean they both have to live? Not necessarily. However, the writers do need to take into account what would resonate best with most fans. They do need to be careful of being dismissive of Dany’s long and difficult struggle to become and earn the title of rightful leader. To deny Dany the culmination of her lifelong goals might be interesting, but it would surely anger a lot of fans. Similarly, to deny the significance of Jon’s secret birth might also anger a lot of fans. What would be the point of him being a legit Targaryen?

      In the end, though, the story – at least in my own opinion – has never been about who should end up on the IT at the end. It’s not about rival sports teams. It’s about humanity trying to defeat death and banding together to do so. It’s about saying, “not today,” and making that happen on screen. Even if it means some of our beloved heroes fall along the way. I can only hope that D&D treat the material with respect and give the characters we are invested in appropriate endings which both make sense and resonate with us.

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    123. I don’t see a single comment in this thread where these supposed ‘Dany fans’ are making personal digs at ‘Jon fans’ but on the other hand the same bunch of 3-4 posters have taken in on themselves to mock/deride ‘Dany fans’. Is it insecurity or pettiness that makes you act so? Pathetic.

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    124. elybe,
      [quote]But really, I think any chance of us seeing eye-to-eye on this evaporated the minute you called Jon a Mary Sue.[/quote]
      Dearie, you forwent all your rights to civil discussion long before that, when you barged into this thread with that first post. Bless your heart.

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    125. As a Christian, Christ is the epitomy of a Christ-like figure to me, When someone uses that terminology I assume they are referencing the same first and foremost though of course I am aware of other figures in history and mythology that fall under the heading. Unfortunately don’t have the time I used to have debating/responding on this site.

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    126. Azor Asshai,
      As a Christian, Christ is the epitomy of the Christ-like figure to me 🙂 When someone uses that terminology I assume they are referencing the same first and foremost though of course I am aware of other figures in history and mythology that fall under the heading. Yeah, an author can do anything he wants after he makes one of his saint-like characters get resurrected. Just pointing out how it doesn’t necessarily mean he will die again. To go any further unfortunately don’t have the time I used to have debating/responding on this site. PLus it’s hella slow not sure if I have virus or omething wrong here.

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    127. House Monty,
      Stu525,
      stefan666,
      Succubint,

      Let’s go back to the fact that we have three main protagonists (three heads of the dragon) with two of them making a couple. Sure, I would be happy to have Jon & Dany as a royal couple and Tyrion as their Hand but that would be too sweet, right? So, who should go and who should linger?

      The show has been about many things but one of the themes was about killing a child and letting an adult be born. That concerns both Jon and Dany: both of them are struggling with developing new personal identities – Jon as a bastard with no claim to anything, Dany – as a person with a claim, but a Mad King’s daugter nonetheless. Soon Jon will discover that he has a claim, and Day will find out that she has none. In both cases it will be the final stage of their character develpment: Jon will put to rest his insecurities, while Dany will get rid of her father’s ghost and find out that she is respected and loved for what she is. In other words, Jon is going from the self-made-man to someone who caries out the family legacy and Dany will be visa versa. And I agree with those who say that it would be a waste to butcher all this character developmet: both of them has to grow into adults and deal with adult responsibilities including sitting on the Iron Throne instead of dying young.

      To be continued…

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    128. House Monty,

      I think it’s more than just that one comment. For example, Davos told Dany that Jon took a knife through the heart for his cause, implying that that’s the kind of sacrifice Dany herself may have to make.

      The notion that the show will not go through with AAR / TPTWP (including Nissa Nissa, even though not yet mentioned on the show), when there has been so much foreshadowing, would be hugely disappointing. If D&D don’t go there and instead go for a soppy Jon/Dany child storyline, then they’ll do a massive disservice to all real ASOIAF fans.

      For me the only question is whether it will be Dany or Mel who plays the role of Nissa Nissa (I simply can’t conceive of either the show or GRRM reversing the roles and having Jon be Nissa Nissa since, as many have said, there is too much foreshadowing of it being Jon who will ultimately fight the NK). I hope it can be Mel, but fear it must be Dany (it has to be someone that Jon loves).

      Otherwise, how will Jon defeat the NK? I believe Longclaw won’t work on the NK nor Dragon’s fire nor Dragonglass. So how will he die? Only Lightbringer can do it and there’s only one way to make Lightbringer.

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    129. Stu525,

      This is how I see it unfolding:

      Beric Dondarrion will last till the end because his purpose is giving the Kiss of life to Dany/Jon- one of whom will fall in the Battle against the Night King. Beric Dondarrion’s story has to be very significant, he’s been brought back six times and is now down to his final life.

      The same role could be taken by Melisandre too. ‘I’ll come to Westeros one last time to die here’ is pretty heavy foreshadowing that she’s gonna do something significant.

      As for the battle, Dany will have to go up against undead Viserion. I have a feeling Rhaegal will fall and be converted by Night King. Drogon and Dany will die taking down her other two dragons.

      Jon takes a bleeding Dany in his arms and watches her die. Then as he gets up and clutches Longclaw, Dany’s blood trickles down to his sword and starts burning-behold Lightbringer.

      An epic showdown between Jon and NK follows, Jon slays the NK once and for all. Then as he crawls over to where Dany lies and cries his heart out, Beric/ Melisandre step forward and passe their life force to Dany.

      Jon and Dany will both live on as fire wights, but they won’t be able to conceive a child. If you notice, nearly all the ‘Great’ houses are either extinct or down to their last members. The system of Kings and Lords will come to an end.

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    130. Succubint,

      Beautifully said. That is really what it comes down to. How to appropriatley honor both characters journeys and arcs.

      Stu525,

      Lets agree to disagree regarding the amount of foreshadowing. I don’t actually think it is something that has been so heavily implied that they have to go through with it at all. If it was something they had to do, then I think they would at the very least have bothered to mention the Nissa Nissaa story already, at the very least when discussing burning Shireen.

      That is not to say it won’t happen. Melisandre tells Dany she has a role to play. Kinvara calls her the one who was promised. Its possible that role and that one is Nissa Nissa. There are three specific cases of foreshadowing Dany being vulnerable this year and there was a screen transition between the cats paw dagger and Dany at one point. Those examples I think are stronger than what you cited which could just not be implying anything other than talking about Jon having died.

      My only point is there is a lot of foreshadowing cutting both ways so they don’t really have to do anything. The story could end without a Nissa Nissa and there wouldn’t be this obvious foreshadowing that didn’t go anywhere.

      Regarding how the Night King dies, until I see Drogon breath fire on the Night King directly and the Night King emerge unburnt I am not discarding the Dragons as Lightbringer hypothesis since the birth of the dragons fits the Lightbringer prophecy. Other possibilities include hitting him with dragon fire while at the same time stabbing him with Valyrian Steel. Who knows really. The writers can come up with anything at this point since there are a lot of degrees of freedom.

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    131. House Monty,

      There is also a theory that Rhaegar was Azor Ahai reborn. Rhaenys and Aegon were his two failed attempts to create Lightbringer. Jon is the third and successful attempt which needed the sacrifice of Lyanna. Rhaegar’s love.

      Through Dany’s HoTU visions and via seers like Melisandre, GRRM has strongly hinted that no prophecy/vision will be accurate word-to-word. There will be parts which are true and parts that are false.

      It is mentioned that Azor Ahai’s first two attempts ‘shatter’ into pieces= Rhaenys and Aegon are butchered.

      Azor Ahai realizes what needs to be done and with a heavy heart asks his love to make a sacrifice= Rhaegar annuls his marriage to Elia, asks Lyanna to sacrifice her betrothed and her family and ultimately her life to create Lightbringer.

      ‘Her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel’= Lightbringer is Lyanna’s child.

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    132. Inga,

      I don’t know if that would be too sweet. Who says? GRRM holds up LOtR as the epitome of the bittersweet ending and almost everyone survives.

      Its so hard to really know where this is going because bittersweet is such a subjective term. What is bittersweet for someone would be tragic for another and could be too sweet for yet someone else.

      Personally I don’t think you have to kill that many people to make something bittersweet. Sansa and Arya talking at the end of the season at Winterfell about their father and how much they missed him was bittersweet to me.

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    133. House Monty: I think its super simplistic to equate Stannis killing Shereen and Dany killing the Tarlys because fire.

      It’s really not. Especially considering I’m not just talking about Shireen. You’ve chosen to limit it to that example, for some reason.

      Stannis burnt Mance because he refused to bend the knee. He burnt his brother-in-law and other lords who refused to renounce their gods.

      The point is that Stannis committed these atrocities because he considered them necessary to achieve his destiny of ruling Westeros, to punish those who refused to submit and intimidate others into doing so.

      “Convince him to bend the knee. Or he burns.”
      “Westeros only has one king. Bend the knee and I promise you mercy. Kneel and live”.

      That’s Stannis.

      The very next episode after that, Barristan Selmy tells Daenerys of her father: When the people rose in revolt against him, your father set their towns and castles aflame. He murdered sons in front of their fathers. He burned men alive with wildfire, and laughed as they screamed… But the Mad King gave his enemies the justice he thought they deserved. And each time it made him feel powerful and right. Until the very end.”

      Now, I’m not making a Mad Queen accusation here. I’m just pointing out how painstakingly blatant such parallels have been and how they obviously continued in Season 7. To overlook them is just contrarian.

      And, I don’t think Ned or Jon died because they executed people.

      Yeah, neither do I. As I explained in the comment you quoted, there was a thematic and foreshadowing parallel between them, such that in hindsight you could have predicted Jon’s death by it.

      I think it’s naive to choose to overlook such things this late in the game.

      If it was that simple than Jon also has some divine punishment coming his way since the very first thing he did post resurrection was…. execute people.

      For goodness sake, it’s not about “divine punishment”; it’s about what’s consistent with the style, themes, mechanics and history of this show and the world and characters depicted within it. If it’s divine punishment, then it comes from the writer/producers.

      Anyway, Jon has already admitted his regret and the personal toll that execution had on him, despite the fact that they were murderers. Whereas Daenerys is still on a ruthless “That was necessary” trip over burning men who refuse to submit to her rule alive, despite scrutiny from her closest advisers.

      It’s not exactly difficult to predict which of them is most likely still to experience narrative consequences for their actions.

      Maybe it will come to nothing. But dismissing the potential is inconsistent with what we’ve seen on the show.

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    134. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      You are seeing narrative themes and proofs where I don’t think there are any. For actions to have consequences, there has to be a inkling of link between the two.

      Ned Stark losing his head was a consequence of killing that NW deserter? I don’t see the link. Robb taking Karstark’s life was an action that set the wheels rolling on his eventual demise, that’s true. Jon killing Slynt had nothing to do with why he was ultimately backstabbed. Jon was betrayed by some of his brothers because he betrayed what was an 8000 year old traditions/rules of the NW. There’s your action and consequence pair.

      Dany killing Tarly Sr and Jr? She’s done worse in the name of justice. Kraznys, 163 masters plus the one that she fed to her dragons in Mereen- there were no consequences. Brienne has killed plenty. Consequence? Arya has killed plenty. Consequence? Sansa killed Ramsay and now LF. Will she suffer consequences too? No, I don’t think so.

      There’s no set theme in this story where every action has consequence.

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    135. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I already said what I thought. It already has had narrative consequences, it very well could have more but in the end I don’t see it fundamentally affecting the plot (e.g. prevents Daenerys from rulling, leads to her death, creates a permanent rupture with Jon etc.) versus serving as short term drama/ conflict.

      This series is all about the grey. That is why Martin has said all his characters are grey characters no one wholly good nor wholly evil (although would diasagree with him regarding Joffrey and Ramsey). Its about rulling and the tough difficult choices rulling presents to the ruler. There are parallels between every scene in this show where a ruller has to decide on whether to take a life and if the show is doing a good job we should be able to see both sides of the argument and realize these are not easy decisions that have to be made. Even Stannis killing daughter. In his view he was the lords chosen and he legit thought it was the only way to save the world. Obviously he was wrong and it was horrible but his side and point of view are presented to us and it makes sense.

      I don’t think what we are watching is a morality play where killing is punished by the narrative and being noble is rewarded. That interpretation of this story is what I object to. I think there will be narrative consequences for Daenerys because the person she executed was Sam’s father and naturally Sam will have some sort of reaction to that. I don’t think there will be narrative consequences because she burned person X and there needs to be punishment for that.

      Nor do I think the actual story is telling us Daenerys was wrong in what she did by burning the Tarlys which is what you seem to be implying. I think the narrative is telling us it was a tough choice and its something to be argued about whether that was a good call or bad one and whether or not Randyl deserved it. He is a very unsympathetic figure; he was responsible for the death of a character the audience liked in Olenna and one of Daenerys main allies, joined forces with a woman who destroyed a sept and killed thousands of people in violation of oaths he took and a lifelong friendship out of xenophobia and personal ambition, threatened to kill his son and preferred to die even though that meant the death of his other son out of pure xenophobia. In this world, he did a lot of things punishable by death and a very good case of treason could be laid at his feet. Even Jon says, the punishment for treason is death. But he was right about one thing “there are no easy choices in war.”

      That is what I think at the end of the day is being communicated and what we have to grapple with. War is horrible and once war starts it forces terrible choices on to people. And that even for those who want to use the power of the state for noble ends (“we both want to help people”) acquiring that power is brutal (“sometimes a position of strength is terrible”) and we should ask ourselves is it worth it.

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    136. House Monty,

      I think there’s two types here.
      1) Those who instigate evil acts for selfish or misguided purpose
      2) Those who deliver comeuppance for such evil acts

      On the surface, Stannis was a kinslayer but so too is Tyrion. But where Stannis killed an innocent girl, Tyrion killed his hateful, immoral father. Brienne delivered comeuppance to Stannis but does that mean she should get comeuppance herself? If so, where does it end?

      The Freys, Ramsay and LF, the slave masters, Janos Slynt- these fall into the first category. And our heroes who killed them fall into the second category.

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    137. House Monty,

      You see, I think that Tyrion is Frodo, and Frodo was the one who was unable to start a new life after the war and embraced death at the end. So, let’s contnue with Tyrion, if you don’t mind.

      While Jon and Dany have an arch of two young and idealistic extermists growing into more reasonable and balanced adults, Tyrion already entered the story as an adult cyinc. He reached the lowest point by its middle point (Season 4) and since then he has been on the arch of rediscovering his lost ideals: he gained belief, he earned respect and the job of his dreams, he even came to terms with his family – he doesn’t want to kill Cersei anymore. He still has things to do, but basically his character development has already reached its climax and the last thing left would be accepting own mortality. And that would be hard, because Tyrion loves life more that any other character (definitely more than Dany or Jon). So, finding something worth to die for and ending up as a hero who does stupid things would be a sad but satisfactory ending for his story.
      Meanwhile, leaving him as a Hand to Jon and Dany or their child would make his character stuck. Moreover, last season the showrunners made a strong point that he wasn’t that political genius we believed him to be. Dany proved to be a better strategist, when she came up with the plan of the loot train attack; Jon proved to be a better politician, when he refused to lie and plaid fair – that won them Jaime. Tyrion’s problem is that he’s still playing the old-fascioned game of manipulation and trickery: even with Dany whom he treats as a child in need of constant supervision, even with Jon whom he sees as a naive boy but his decision to play fair wasn’t out of naivety – it was a conscious risk he took and won. So, it’s Tyrion who has to learn something from these two youngsters, not the other way round. Embracing a role of a hero may be one of those things, and, as I have already mentioned, Tyrion’s death would be the least cliché of the three.
      So, I think that such scenario is worth considering and Viserion’s death might even be taken as a foreshadowing. One way or another, neither of the three main protagonists is safe and Tyrion is just as likely to die as Jon-Aegon or Dany.

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    138. BranTheBlessed,

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      What we really need next year is a scene with Sam, Jaime, Dany and Tyrion. They can all discuss what its like to kill someones dad or have some kill their old man.

      Sam’s dad killed by Dany
      Dany’s dad killed by Jaime
      Jaime’s dad killed by Tyrion
      Tyrion’s dad killed by himself

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    139. Good article, for me Dany needs to die before the end but if she’s pregnant I would assume she survives the series. If Jon dies and his heritage is just to make a baby then that will seriously suck, he has to reluctantly take the throne for me to be satisfied with the ending.

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    140. Jon Snowed,

      I would prefer both Jon and Dany survived with their child(which I believe will definitely become pregnant with) to raise as the next generation of Targaryen’s but unfortunately, i don’t believe both of them will survive at the end.

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    141. BranTheBlessed,

      About Beric Dondarrion (your comment yesterday 23.9.17 at 10:36)… That raises an interesting question… I’m not sure if you’re a book reader so I’ll put this in spoilers just in case.

      In the books, Beric is already dead. He gave up his life, the firey kiss of life, to ressurrect Catelyn Tully after she’d been floating in the river, dead, for a few days. She then becomes “Lady Stoneheart”, singularly focussed on getting vengeance on the Freys and everybody she perceives as having wronged her or her family. She’s even ready to hang Brienne and Pod, unless Brienne agrees to her demands. Beric dies and LSH is rezzed during book 3 but we only learn this in book 4.

      Anyway, to your point, Beric’s purpose in being still alive in the show is to rez Jon or Dany. In the books, is LSH’s purpose to rez Jon or Dany?

      Cat/LSH has no connection to Dany, so that’s a bit unsatisfying. She has a huge connection to Jon, though, all those years of resentment, and it could be poetic if she gives up her life to rez Jon, therefore satisfying… But he’s already been rezzed once, so… that’s a bit unsatisfying as well, IMO.

      I’m not saying Beric’s purpose in the show is not to rez Jon or Dany, it may well be, and I’m fine with it. It just raises an interesting question re: books/show.

      Oh, and your comment at 11:22am yesterday, about Rhaegar being Azor Ahai (Reborn): first two attempts to forge “Lightbringer” (Elia’s two children) being unsuccessful, sacraficing loved one(s) to finally forge Lightbringer = Jon. I like that. First time I’ve come across this interpretation. Very nicely done.

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    142. House Monty:

      Sam’s dad killed by Dany
      Dany’s dad killed by Jaime
      Jaime’s dad killed by Tyrion
      Tyrion’s dad killed by himself

      Grooouuup theraaapyyy! lol. Add Jon’s one grandpa killed by Jaime, and the other one by Dany’s dad.

      Seriously, I’d like these issues addressed, plus Jaime and Bran: he tried to kill an innocent little boy (IMO, at Cersei’s urging, his first instinct was to save the boy, but whatever, he did push the boy out the window in the end), but that horrific act probably sent Bran on course to become what he is now, the 3ER, who will have a crucial part in SAVING THE WORLD. (Without the “accident”, Bran would’ve gone to King’s Landing with Ned, and who knows what might’ve happened to him then. A head on a spike?)

      I just hope the show will have time to address these character issues, with only 6 episodes and two wars (Cersei and WWs) to go.

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    143. talvikorppi,

      If WF falls under the siege, as I predict, they will have plenty of time for the group therapy. Sieges are dull as the Blackfish said and the group theraphy is the best of the available entertainments.

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    144. I think you guys are too quick to forget that Jon has no interest in what isn’t in the North. He said it himself, the North is part of him and I really can’t imagine him leaving his home, name and family behind to live happily ever after with Daenerys.
      What awaits Daenerys isn’t a happy ending, she’s either going to die or go mad like her father – she’s on her way to madness ’cause she’s never been more full of herself than in season 7.

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    145. Netheb,

      Kinging is not about wanting, kinging is about duty, and Jon has always been a very dutiful guy. Besides that, someone really has to save Dany from going mad or turning into a female version of the bored King Robert. Jon can handle this, even thouh it won’t be living happily ever after. It’ll be more like fighting those wars forever.

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    146. ellchicago: GRRM was inspired by The Lord of the Rings. GRRM said that Frodo is forever changed and that is the cost of the victory after destroying the One Ring. It would make no sense for GRRM to kill Jon Snow again, it would be far more interesting to explore a bittersweet ending where Jon survives and wonders why he is alive while others have died. While some can certainly argue that Jon will reject Iron Throne and leave Westeros following Frodo’s path, I think Jon will follow Aragorn (The Return of the King) and take the Iron Throne because Jon will be compelled by honor and duty to take the Iron Throne even though he never wanted it. Jon is able to protect the Realm if he becomes King and prevent further conflict in Westeros. Ultimately, Jon saving Westeros from the

      This is excellent summary in my opinion. However if Dany survives it’s hard to understand what role she will play, she’s power hungry and I just don’t see her giving up the throne for Jon, it feels so out of character.

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    147. LadyGoodman:
      As a non-book reader, Dany was certainly at the top of my potential Iron Throne winners’ pool at the end of Season 1: she had vanquished her venal brother, survived the death of her Khal and the flames of his pyre, AND emerged with dragons.That’s a hat trick if ever there was one! Jon Snow wasn’t even at the top of my Stark winners’ pool, then.I’m also relatively certain she was the only person to survive Season 1 who actually had an “I will rule” soliloquy during Season 1. So I definitely don’t agree with those who feel that tv show-Dany hasn’t been the frontrunner since the beginning.

      I think this is why Jon will end up ruling, he’s the only one who never chased power and Dany is put out there to distract us. I’m sure she’s important but it would be way too predictable (and frankly suck) if she ends up ruling and the one good candidate who would rule in a fair and just manner (not to mentioned rightful heir) dies before that.

      I spoke with two unsullied friends last week both thought Dany would rule up until last season now both are convinced she is being set up to die and Jon to rule, make of that what you will.

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    148. I’ve finally read all the comments and I think it’s safe to say a lot of people are going to be disappointed with the ending whatever happens!

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    149. I think democracy, or something close to it is on the cards for the endgame. Dany said she wanted to break the wheel, and Tyrion has already asked for instructions for what she wants done with the Seven Kingdoms if she does die in the war. However, Dany does yo-yo back and forth sometimes on what she believes she is entitled to versus doing the right thing by the people.

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