Maisie Williams teases season 8 and discusses what she’s learned on ‘Game of Thrones’

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.

It’s difficult for any child actor to have a career and anything resembling a normal childhood, and the stakes are that much higher when that actor is part of the world’s most popular television show. Maisie Williams began her role on Game of Thrones as Arya Stark when she was just 12 years old — she’s now 20 — and it was a balancing act to devote herself to her craft and make time for things like tutoring and schoolwork on set. However, she said in a recent interview with The Times, being part of Thrones didn’t necessarily take the place of school, but augmented it with incredible experiences and life lessons.

It was an odd situation, she said, to have such different aspects of her life. “On the one hand you’re a grown-up and you work on set and you work adult hours and you have an adult salary and it’s a lot of responsibility, then you go back to school and you have to put your hand up and ask to go to the toilet,” she said.

But her time on Thrones taught Williams not only how to deal with what she called that “push-pull” feeling, but other lessons she’ll carry with her the rest of her life.

“There were things I learnt on ‘Game of Thrones’ that you could never learn in a classroom,” she said. “It’s the responsibility and the discipline of it — if you have a bad day on set it’s there for ever.”

The article also touched on Arya’s evolution throughout the series, from naive young girl to assassin-in-training to the coolly confident young woman — who pays homage to her late father with her style of dress — we saw in Season 7. Williams said that, considering what she’s gone through, she doesn’t know if Arya can ever return to what we might think of as a normal life.

Arya has come a long way since traveling with the Hound in earlier seasons.

Arya has come a long way since traveling with the Hound in earlier seasons.

“For a lot of the previous season her emotions were very cut off, she just didn’t want to hear what her family had been through,” Williams said, adding — in what is either an intentional red herring for the media or a genuine hint, based on what she’s read in Season 8 scripts — “I hope in the new season I get a chance to bring back a bit more of that fun child that we all fell in love with.”

Williams talked about Season 8 speculation only slightly, saying that she doesn’t know if the ending “is gonna surprise people, but it’s just different to what you think it’s gonna be.” She also talked about how she became friends with singer Ed Sheeran — “I tweeted him and he tweeted me back and it was just the coolest thing ever!” — and that she disagreed with people who said that his now-infamous cameo in the Season 7 premiere was too distracting.

“He looks like a guy you’d bump into on the street, so I think it does work — it would be weird if it was Justin Bieber,” she said.

The full interview is available here.

220 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. She is so lovely..I hope Arya next season gets a normal life[after taking revenge from Cercei/Mountain of course]..I want to see her also exploring what is West of Westeros along with Gendry or Hot Pie…like her idol Queen Nymeria explored Essos and complete her promise to Lady Crane [s6]to do this..Arya has suffer a lot ..more than Sansa.[ who has spent her life after Neds death in the safety and the luxury of the Red Keep and having peoples[The Hound,Tyrion,Littlefinger]around to helping her in her problems]..Arya have been always in danger in two different continents[KL,Westeros and Bravos,Essos],has live a life like a fugitive,a beggar ,has loose her identity and almost have been killed [in S6 by the Waif]and had survive from many dangers..I hope she gets a least a happy ending in S8..living a normal life ..She deserves it a lot.

        Quote  Reply

    2. More than anything I want to see Arya drop the facade when she sees The Hound, run to him and give him a big hug.

      I also want her and Dany to be besties.
      Yeah, I know …

        Quote  Reply

    3. I’m also hoping a little of the old Arya comes out next season. Particularly, I’m hoping a little more humanity comes through from both Jon and Arya once they’re reunited. Fingers crossed!

        Quote  Reply

    4. Dark Sister:
      I’m also hoping a little of the old Arya comes out next season. Particularly, I’m hoping a little more humanity comes through from both Jon and Arya once they’re reunited. Fingers crossed!

      I think reuniting not only with Jon, but potentially also with Sandor and Gendry, will be good for her. I can’t wait for her to discover that Sandor and Gendry went beyond the Wall to fight alongside Jon!

        Quote  Reply

    5. I’m calling it, Justin bieber will be playing a singer in the night kings camp. I’m wondering how that will play out.

      But seriously, I have much respect for Maissie, she’s really connected to her job(s), and she’s one of the few talented young actors out there. Same for the rest of the young actors, you have movies where the actors feel bad once they’re older, all of the young actors of GoT are all very talented.

      And I’m just watching Doctor Who and I read Maissie will have a appearance in the future, can’t wait to see her.

        Quote  Reply

    6. Artemisia,

      I have to push back on your comment because Sansa was at no time safe. They both when through their different turmoils and neither could have survived in the others position

        Quote  Reply

    7. kevin1989: And I’m just watching Doctor Who and I read Maissie will have a appearance in the future, can’t wait to see her.

      She was on it for a few episodes in ’15 as Ashildr. Did you see those? She was good, of course.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Clob: She was on it for a few episodes in ’15 as Ashildr.Did you see those?She was good, of course.

      season 10 right? I just finished season 4. next week i’m watching the specials. such a shame Donna is out of the show 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    9. The reunions will be a good thing for Arya but I can see it creating yet another problem between her and Sansa.

      I know they reconciled at the end of S7 but I suspect Arya’s bond with Gendy and the Hound is even stronger than the bond she’s forming with Sansa, and we already know her bond is stronger with Jon.

      I think Arya will take to Dany quickly, too, leaving Sansa feeling isolated, perhaps. If anger can make Arya do unfortunate things, fear may cause Sansa to do unfortunate things. I think this will be the catalyst that pushes Sansa to re-seek northern independence and assert herself as Queen.

        Quote  Reply

    10. tiny direwolf:
      More than anything I want to see Arya drop the facade when she sees The Hound, run to him and give him a big hug.

      I also want her and Dany to be besties.
      Yeah, I know …

      F*ck yes to this!

        Quote  Reply

    11. Carole H:

      Oh that’s great I thought it was just Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep promoting their new film. I love Graham Norton. Thanks Alba.

      I thought it was meant to be myself, but I checked the listings on BBC iPlayer and that seems to have changed. Apparently it is now Tom, Maisie and Anthony Joshua.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Artemisia,

      Seriously? Sansa always had people around to help her with her problems? Like the Boltons? Like Joffrey? She did not suffer hunger or lack of shelter for most of her time as Arya did, but getting raped and beaten and lied to and betrayed certainly counts as suffering!

        Quote  Reply

    13. Alba Stark:
      For anyone in the UK who is interested, Maisie is due to appear on The Graham Norton Show tonight on BBC.

      Yayyy!!!! That will be a hoot!
      *face lights up*

      Carole H:
      Alba Stark,

      Oh that’s great I thought it was just Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep promoting their new film.

      *face falls*

        Quote  Reply

    14. Boltons? Like Joffrey? She did not suffer hunger or lack of shelter for most of her time as Arya did, but getting raped and beaten and lied to and betrayed certainly counts as suffering!

      Roberta dear ..i didnt say that Sansa didnt suffer severe gruesome problems..but i did say that she had have always help ..Tyrion saved her when Geoffrey threaten to kill her with a bow and an arrow[S2] and marry her from to save her from her ,misery life ..The Hound saved her from those rebel rapists guys in the KL[S2]..Littlefinger saved her from the Lannisters and from the crazy Lissa[in S4]..but yeah he lied to her sending her to Boltons..I know that Ramsay raped/tortured her..but she get easily help in Theon in S5 and was Theon that saved her from Myranda.Then Breanne saved her from the Boltons henchmens and then Jon fight completely the Boltons and their allies for her in the BOTB ..Instead Arya was the one to face her problems alone without help most of time[except of Sandor in S3-S4 and jagen in S2-S5-S6]..She is a taught survivor who almost had learn from alone how to survive in crazy situations ..while Sansa has always been helped to survive…thats the difference

        Quote  Reply

    15. tiny direwolf: I also want her and Dany to be besties.
      Yeah, I know …

      Actually, I could see that being plausible. Daenerys is like the big sister Arya wishes she had!

      On the other hand, I cannot see Sansa & Daenerys getting along.

        Quote  Reply

    16. Clob:
      Bufferzone,

      Wow!My favorite GoT character/actress on with my all-time favorite actor, Tom Hanks!That’s something I didn’t expect to see. 🙂

      I can just see the tinfoil fandom eruption any minute….

      “Tom Hanks = Howland Reed confirmed.”

        Quote  Reply

    17. Wimsey: Actually, I could see that being plausible.Daenerys is like the big sister Arya wishes she had!

      On the other hand, I cannot see Sansa & Daenerys getting along.

      I can’t wait to see the dynamics between Daenerys and the Stark sisters. Arya told Tywin that Visenya was one of her heroines, so another female Targaryen who rides into battle on the back of a dragon should be up her street in theory.

      On a familial level, I cannot wait for this! Sansa and Arya never met Talisa and they never met Ygritte. Jon isn’t just bringing a Targaryen queen to Winterfell, he’s bringing his girlfriend (if episode 707 is anything to go by) – the first time one of the two older boys has brought a girl home. It’ll be interesting to see how they all interact 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    18. Maisie Williams says:
      That she doesn’t know if the ending “is gonna surprise people, but it’s just different to what you think it’s gonna be.”

      Question:
      But how do the people think that the show it’s gonna be end?

        Quote  Reply

    19. Alba Stark,

      You beat me to it. I was composing the following reply re: Arya’s likely reaction to Daeny:

      I’ve said this before…Arya will be fangirling all over Daenerys Targaryen, even before learning how Daeny saved the Snow Patrol.

      In what I understand is a show-only scene in S2e7 (Arya & Tywin), Arya demonstrated how much she admires dragon-riding Targaryean women:

      [Excerpt]

      Tywin: “….Yes. Dragons happened. Harrenhal was built to withstand an attack from the land. A million men could have marched on these walls, and a million men would have been repelled. But an attack from the air with dragon fire? Mmm-mmm. Harren and all his sons roasted alive within these walls. Aegon Targaryen changed the rules. That’s why every child alive still knows his name.”

      Arya: “Aegon AND his sisters.”

      Tywin: “Mmm?”

      Arya: “It wasn’t just Aegon riding his dragon. It was Rhaenys and Visenya, too.

      Tywin: “Correct. A student of history, are you?

      Arya (continues): “Rhaenys rode Meraxes. Visenya rode Vhagar.”

      Tywin: “I’m sure I knew that when I was a boy.”

      Arya (with admiration): “Visenya Targaryen was a great warrior. She had a Valyrian steel sword she called Dark Sister.”

      Tywin: “She’s a heroine of yours, I take it….”

        Quote  Reply

    20. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:

      It’s not going to go well.

      Yeah, I see all parties being quite possessive over Jon. Daenerys because she’s in love with him and because he is the only other Targaryen left in the world, and the Stark sisters because he has grown up with them. He may not have Ned’s name, but he is one of them.

      Ten Bears:

      You beat me to it. I was composing the following reply re: Arya’s likely reaction to Daeny:

      I’ve said this before…Arya will be fangirling all over Daenerys Targaryen, even before learninghow Daeny saved the Snow Patrol.

      I sort of see Arya being a little like that to start with, and then an argument breaking out over whether Jon is a Stark or a Targaryen. And Arya will only ever see him as a Stark.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Ten Bears:
      kevin1989,

      Wait…You mean Ashildr/Me is coming back???!!!!

      I loved her guest starring four episodes, especially the last one.

      #WiggleRoom

      oh no, I meant I’m currently on season 4, and maissie is in doctor who in season 10, if I heard it correctly. or is it 9? at least I know I need to wait a couple of seasons.

      about Got: I just watched episode 9 and 10 of season 2 with somebody and something Measter Lewin said to Theon made me think of season 8. It was about that there’s a way out of Winterfell underground, but that it’s very difficult and that they don’t know if it’s safe 100%. What if the NK will attack WF and they need to escape through this route?

        Quote  Reply

    22. Wimsey:

      “….On the other hand, I cannot see Sansa & Daenerys getting along.”

      I hope you’re wrong but I fear you’re right:

      I had thought the battlements scene with Arya & Sansa in S7e7 signaled that Sansa understood and accepted that family unity and loyalty were imperative, overriding any individual desires. I figured she had discarded her “I want credit”, ask my opinion before you act, and “listen to me!” attitudes towards Jon.

      On the other hand – and I wouldn’t blame her one bit – when Jon shows up at WF with his smoking hot girlfriend – even though she’s got deagons and armies – Sansa may be (rightfully) pissed off that he bent the knee for no reason: Dany was going to help the North fight the Night King anyway.

      She’ll probably anticipate that the Northmen will go ballistic and excoristr Jon as a p***y-whipped moron who gave away their sovereignty in a post-coital fit of idiocy. I can envision Lord Glover getting bent out of shape and whining that Jon, like Robb, betrayed his bannermen for “a foreign whore” and dub him “The King Who Lost the North II.”

      They’d have a point. Jon insisted he had to go to Dragonstone personally because he was a king, rejecting the entreaties of Sansa and the Northern lords to send a delegation on his behalf. Jon told them his urgent mission to Dragonstone was to mine dragonglass and get allies – not to undermine the North’s hard-fought independence and get a sex partner.

      I do not know how Jon – even with Sansa’s popularity with the Northern lords – can spin the ridiculous wight hunt plan as a good idea that went sideways: a handful of guys with no horses, ravens or backup marching out beyond the Wall to confront White Walkers and their 100,000 zombie army?
      After barely escaping the massacre at Hardhome, how can Jon say with a straight face, “well, the plan looked good on paper…” Or, respond to the jeers and booing by explaining that the wight hunt was Tyrion Lannister’s idea – after they had expressly warned againt going south and trusting a Lannister or a Targaryean

      To top it all off, the avowed justification for the wight hunt – and the casualties incurred because of it – was to convince Cersei to agree to a temporary truce and join together to fight the Army of the Dead. Once Jaime or someone else breaks the news that Cersei double-crossed Jon, and not only isn’t coming to help Team Jon but has bought 20,000 mercenaries to wipe out whatever’s left of the Allied forces after they battle the WWs, I don’t know how Sansa will be able to resist the temptation to scold Jon: “Seeeee??? I told you so! But noooo. You wouldn’t listen.

      On the other hand, Sansa could play a crucial role in keeping the Northern alliance from fracturing and convincing them to accept Jon’s decisions. (More on that later, if I can do so without being verbose.)

      The bottom line is that S7e7 convinced me to jump on the Sansa bandwagon, and I have a hard time believing that with six episodes left – and the negative reactions to the Sansa vs Jon and Sansa vs Arya dramas of S6 and S7, the showrunners are going to devote any mote time to intra-Stark infighting.

        Quote  Reply

    23. tiny direwolf,

      Heck yeah!! I think Arya and Daenerys will end up being friends. I hope to see someone give Arya a ride!

      Dark Sister:
      I’m also hoping a little of the old Arya comes out next season. Particularly, I’m hoping a little more humanity comes through from both Jon and Arya once they’re reunited. Fingers crossed!

      Yes to this! I want to see more than a glimpse of humanity from those guys. Poor Bran…. 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    24. Ten Bears: I hope you’re wrong but I fear you’re right:

      and the negative reactions to the Sansa vsJon and Sansa vsArya dramas of S6 and S7, the showrunners are going to devote any mote time to intra-Stark infighting.

      From whome? Few people on internet. D&D showed many times that they don’t care for that, like when they wrote Sansa’s rape after Jaime and Cersei’s sex scene.

      Or “saved at the last minute” trope, that they love and don’t care about negative reactions from some fans.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Ten Bears:
      I figured she had discarded her “I want credit”, ask my opinion before you act, and “listen to me!” attitudes towards Jon.

      Why would, and more importantly, why should she? If she has different opinions and feels that the family is pursuing an unwise course of action, she’ll say so, seeing as bad things happening to the Starks means bad things happening to her. It’s a rather perverse reading of her arc to suggest she needs to learn to shut up and let Jon (or anybody else) make all the decisions for her.

      As far as Sansa and Dany goes, they’re actually fairly similar on policy, assuming the characterization remains consistent (Sansa would certainly have been in favour of unleashing the dragons, had she been present for any of those debates in Season 7, which would put her on Dany’s side against most of her other advisers) — granted, that’s always iffy. So I don’t buy the idea that they inevitably wouldn’t get along.

        Quote  Reply

    26. “I hope in the new season I get a chance to bring back a bit more of that fun child that we all fell in love with.” – Maisie Williams

      Yay!!! 😍😀😃 That’s what I wanted to hear! I’ve been getting worn down by all the “she’s a psycho killer”, “she’s too far gone”, “she’s got to pay a price”, and “she’s gone over to the dark side” pontification.

      I’d always felt her moral compass was undamaged; she’d never killed an innocent; and anyone who she terminated deserved it. (Yes, yes, I know…due process, trials before a judge, justice system, blah blah blah…but that “system of justice” does not exist in this fictional world.)
      Out of the 66 people* she’s terminated, only one arguably didn’t deserve the death penalty: Rorge. Yes, he threatened to assault her, and his partner Biter did attack Sandor, but Arya Needled him in the heart because he’d threatened to “f*ck her bloody” with a stick, while he was caged in Yoren’s prison cart.

      * I’m including the four-for-the-price-of-three deaths she got by parlaying Jaqen’s “debt” into terminations of the Tickler, Amory Lorch, and the two sentries in exchange for “unnaming” Jaqen himself.

        Quote  Reply

    27. mau,

      Point taken. Whether the showrunners react to feedback or not, I think (hope?) with six episodes left we’ve seen the last of Stark internecine conflicts.

      As I’ve tried to emphasize in the past, for every perceived misfire on the show, there are 59 homeruns.* I do not want to come off like a “D&D basher.” Because I am not.

      * I use that number and that metaphor because I watched Giancarlo Stanton hit 59 physics-defying moonshots this past baseball season, and yet, there were still a few Miami “fans” griping that he had three games left in the season to reach Roger Maris’s [non-steroidal] record of 60 but failed to hit another homerun.
      Now the NY Yankees have him thanks to Joffrey Jeter, and those Miami “fans” can watch highlights of the 70 dingers he hits next season.

      -End semi-off-topic baseball rant –

        Quote  Reply

    28. Sean C.,

      Re: Your first paragraph…
      If you read on, you’ll see that I agree with much of what you’re saying, eg Jon has (again) acted impulsively without consulting her first – just as she’d previously cautioned against.

      So…I think we are on the same page. (?)

      Still, I believe/hope Sansa will be critical in keeping the Alliance together despite Jon’s presumptuous decisions.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Alba Stark: Yeah, I see all parties being quite possessive over Jon. Daenerys because she’s in love with him and because he is the only other Targaryen left in the world, and the Stark sisters because he has grown up with them. He may not have Ned’s name, but he is one of them.

      I expect Sansa to be personally peeved with Jon’s behaviour, but also wary of him taking his eye off the ball. She already warned him against making the same mistakes Robb did; and yet, on the face of it, Jon seems to be copying half his moves direct from Robb’s playbook.

      I could see Sansa keeping a territorial, diplomatic distance. Plus, I doubt she’ll appreciate being expected to submit to another queen after her experiences with Cersei.

      As for Arya, let’s check out her track record. She hated Cersei. Hated Melisandre the moment she laid eyes on her. Distrusted Brienne. Had a deadly rivalry with The Waif. And spent last season making veiled threats to carve her own sister’s face off.

      Somehow I think the chances of her being in thrall to Daenerys are slim, despite her admiration for Visenya Targaryen as a child.

      And now that Daenerys is mixed up in her family’s affairs, I expect Arya to be appropriately frosty. Especially if Daenerys gets her title list fired up.

      More important than all of this, however, is the fact that it’s the final season. We need drama, we need conflict… we’ll get enough of the gooey stuff between characters with existing relationships. Arya’s already got enough hopefully happy reunions to come next season.

        Quote  Reply

    30. “I hope in the new season I get a chance to bring back a bit more of that fun child that we all fell in love with.” – Maisie Williams

      While I’d like to see that as well, it would seem a wee bit out of place while the Army of the Dead marches through the North. 🙂

      Donning my best tinfoil Mage’s hat, how about this for some parallel storytelling:

      Stannis Baratheon’s host attacks King’s Landing. Wildfire cripples his forces, but he presses the attack.

      The Night King’s forces attack King’s Landing. Wildfire cripples his host, but he presses the attack.

      Stannis is on the battlements of King’s Landing itself when the arrival of a land army defeats his remaining forces.

      The Night’s King is almost within King’s Landing itself when the arrival of a human army defeats his remaining forces.

      Cersei holes up in the Red Keep, with a young Stark girl close at hand.

      Cersei holes up in the Red Keep, not knowing the younger Stark girl is close at hand…

        Quote  Reply

    31. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: Somehow I think the chances of her being in thrall to Daenerys are slim, despite her admiration for Visenya Targaryen as a child.

      I think quite the opposite. Arya dislikes particular types of people. Daenerys is, in general, the antithesis of the types of person that Arya hates. Moreover, Daenerys is going to have a few other qualities that should please Arya. One, her favorite brother likes Daenerys. Two, Daenerys saved her favorite brother’s bacon and in spectacular style to boot. Three, Daenerys is or will be an enemy of Cersei.

      It is Sansa who probably is going to dislike Daenerys. A big part will be the spill-over from the tensions between Sansa & Jon. But another part is that Sansa’s tutelages under Littlefinger & Cersei are going to leave her innately distrustful of Daenerys’ actual motives. And Sansa is going to be pissed that Jon has basically given the North “back” to Daenerys.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Ten Bears: Now the NY Yankees have him thanks to Joffrey Jeter, and those Miami “fans” can watch highlights of the 70 dingers he hits next season.

      heh, more like Walder Jeter: he has pretty much Red Weddinged the Marlins!

        Quote  Reply

    33. Ten Bears,

      I can envision Lord Glover getting bent out of shape and whining that Jon, like Robb, betrayed his bannermen for “a foreign whore” and dub him “The King Who Lost the North II.”

      ayup! Im just hoping they stop whining and such so they can be prepared for incoming…

        Quote  Reply

    34. ash,

      Possibly: but, remember, it was the Targaryens to whom the Northerners had bent the knee in the first place.

      One thing that could play a role in all of this is whether Bran spreads the story of what really happened with Lyanna. That could greatly alter Northern perceptions of Daenerys by altering perceptions of her family.

        Quote  Reply

    35. kevin1989,

      Oh, sorry, I misunderstood. I’ve only watched about fifteen total Dr. Who episodes, in preparation for Maisie’s appearance in whatever season # it was. I did see a few interesting Dr. Who episodes, including one titled “Blink” or “Don’t Blink” with a young Carey Mulligan; and another with a visit to Vincent van Gogh. I’ll watch an occasional episode with a “crossover” GoT actor, but I am not a diehard “Whovian.”

      I believe Maisie Williams appeared in Season 9 of Dr. Who.

      She first appeared

      in Season 9, Episode 5, “The Girl Who Died”, and her other appearances were in that same season: 9×6, “The Woman Who Lived”, 9×10, “Face the Raven”, and 9×12 (season finale), “Hell Bent.”

      .

        Quote  Reply

    36. tiny direwolf:
      More than anything I want to see Arya drop the facade when she sees The Hound, run to him and give him a big hug.

      Why in the world would she do this? Last we saw she left the Hound to die a painful death. The Hound murdered her friend and kidnapped her for ransom.

      Sean C.: Why would, and more importantly, why should she? If she has different opinions and feels that the family is pursuing an unwise course of action, she’ll say so, seeing as bad things happening to the Starks means bad things happening to her.It’s a rather perverse reading of her arc to suggest she needs to learn to shut up and let Jon (or anybody else) make all the decisions for her.

      What decisions was Jon making for her?

      As King in the North, Jon was making decisions for preparing the North for the WW – As someone who was LC of the NW, seen the WW and who has learned from people like Ned, Jeor, Aemon etc, I would think that he is well qualified to make those decisions. Sansa, instead of politely disagreeing with Jon’s decision, found it necessary to keep interrupting and loudly opposing Jon’s decisions in front of the Northern Lords because she thinks she knows better than him. As Jon points out, she was actively undermining him in front of the Northern Lords. Was he wrong? She knows how untrustworthy the Northern Lords are, how hard they are to handle and there she is openly disagreeing with Jon and undermining his authority.

      That’s not having different opinions, that is being snobby and arrogant because she thinks she would be the better ruler. Would Sansa be okay with it if Arya sat beside her when she holds council with the Northern Lords and kept disagreeing with all the decisions she made when she was in charge? We have seen how averse she is to taking advice from anyone, rudely dismissing Brienne of Tarth and snarking at LF for telling her that Cersei is dangerous when she gives the same useless advice to Jon.

      And as we saw, she does not know better. This is someone who trusted LF despite Brienne constantly warning her about him, kept feeding LF information, gave him free reign for mischief making and nearly had Arya executed because she wanted to depose Jon.

      So yes, hopefully she has learned that there’s a time, a place and a proper way to disperse her advice that nobody asked for. Hopefully, she loses the snotty attitude that Jon should always and all the time ask for her advice before he makes any decisions. That he should listen to her and do what she asks.

      Next season, if there is anyone Jon should be listening to, it’s the folks like Davos, Jorah, Sam, Tormund, Brienne etc.

        Quote  Reply

    37. SerNoName,

      I feel that there’s some misinterpretation regarding Sansa’s actions. I agree that she did undermine Jon by not bringing up her disagreements in private rather than addressing them in front of all the Northern houses, but she definitely stopped trusting Littlefinger.

      S6E10
      Jon: “And you trust him?”
      Sansa: “Only a fool would trust Littlefinger.”

      She was just using him as he constantly used other people. She began to play the political game. And I don’t think she ever considered killing Arya. It was a facade to get Littlefinger into the Hall in order to kill him.

      But it will be interesting to see what her role is next season and I tend to agree with mostly everyone else that while Arya and Dany will get along, there may be some tension between Dany and Sansa.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Jp:
      Artemisia,

      I have to push back on your comment because Sansa was at no time safe. They both when through their different turmoils and neither could have survived in the others position

      …there is a difference…Sansa has been always helped by the others to survive..when Arya sometimes has use her fencing skills to survive alone.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Dark Sister:
      SerNoName,

      But it will be interesting to see what her role is next season and I tend to agree with mostly everyone else that while Arya and Dany will get along, there may be some tension between Dany and Sansa.

      I agree. But only at first. I think Jon’s line to Dany (“they’ll all come to see you for what you are”) was a foreshadowing of Dany’s relationship with the North and the Vale in S8. They will be sceptical about her, but they will accept her when it’s clear she is not her father.

        Quote  Reply

    40. I hope that reuniting with Jon will bring back more of the old arya, the person she used to be before she got caught up in getting revenge and killing. I, like many others, have been looking forward to their reunion for years. When we are first introduced to these fascinating characters in the books and on the show, it is very easy to get locked into who they were when we are first meet them. I definitely see a lot of that with GOT fans. However, these characters have transformed so much it isn’t even funny. Arya, Sansa, the Hound, Jaime, Theon, Bran, Dany,are the most extreme cases, in my opinion. I want to see how the people they are now in the present, not many years ago, interact with new characters as well as people they haven’t seen for years. Since the show seems much more plot driven as opposed to character driven these days, I can definitely see the whole Dany/Arya “bestie” thing that many are predicting. Also, if you are holding on to the Arya from season 2 when she is idolizing Aegon’s sisters then I can definitely see Arya and Dany as instant best friends. The complexity of human beings and the internal battle with oneself is what I have always loved about the book characters, but I understand there are only 6 episodes and there really isn’t much time to devote to the ever present internal conflicts that are so present in the books. Sadly, I see the character driven aspects being cast aside once again. I hope I am wrong.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Dark Sister:
      SerNoName,

      but she definitely stopped trusting Littlefinger.

      S6E10
      Jon: “And you trust him?”
      Sansa: “Only a fool would trust Littlefinger.”

      She was just using him as he constantly used other people. She began to play the political game. And I don’t think she ever considered killing Arya. It was a facade to get Littlefinger into the Hall in order to kill him.

      That’s the thing. She told Jon that only a fool would trust LF and then went on to trust him for seven episodes proving that she was the fool.

      S6 Sansa: “Only a fool would trust Littlefinger.”
      S7 Sansa: “Hold my Beer!”

      Why did she have to play LF? Why not just get rid of him in season 7 episode 1? She knows that LF killed her aunt, sided against her family in KL and sold her to the Boltons. Which were pretty much the arguments she used in his trial. Then Jon could have beheaded LF with longclaw instead of Sansa having to make her little sister an executioner.

      I think you misinterpreted Sansa’s actions. Sansa had LF around, because he was solely in her corner and she did not want to lose him. Arya sees him whispering into Lord Glover and Royce’s ears and later these are the two guys who want to make her queen as opposed to Jon – That’s what is funny about all these ‘The Northern houses support Sansa instead of Jon’ comments – it was only the two guys that LF was talking to who were supporting Sansa.

      It was only when LF suggested that Arya wanted to be Lady of Winterfell that Sansa realized that following LF’s advice had almost made her commit kinslaying and treason. She went to Bran to discuss and he told her that LF was a son of a bitch – which she already knew anyways. That scene was deleted to preserve the surprise of the last scene where she then called everyone to the grand hall and had LF killed.

      It was a shitty plot that necessitated Sansa and Arya fighting with each other, threatening to kill each other and getting fooled by LF. But the writing around Sansa has been horrible for some time.

        Quote  Reply

    42. SerNoName,

      tiny direwolf:
      “More than anything I want to see Arya drop the facade when she sees The Hound, run to him and give him a big hug.”

      SerNoName replied:
      “Why in the world would she do this? Last we saw she left the Hound to die a painful death. The Hound murdered her friend and kidnapped her for ransom.”
      —————

      I think tiny direwolf’s hopes are justified. The conspicuous callbacks to Sandor in Arya’s “game of faces” scenes with Jaqen 2.0 in S5 and the Waif in S6 demonstrated that:

      • Ostensibly, she left the Hound “to die a painful death”, but she was lying to herself when she said she hated him and wanted him to suffer. (Jaqen, in S5, called her out on the lie, [paraphrasing]: ~ “A girl lies to me, to the Many-Faced God, to herself”).

      • In S6, the Waif asked “A Girl” about Arya Stark’s family – and segued right into “Tell me about the Hound.”. Watch that scene again: she admits she’d taken him off her list; she did…and did not want him dead.
      The Waif: “She sounds confused.”
      Arya/A Girl: “Yes. She was.

      Arya had conflicting emotions about Sandor, and ultimately realized she felt something akin to compassion for him.

      • I urge you to rewatch the S4e7 scene when Sandor tells her the story of Gregor burning him and his father betraying him, and then lets Arya help wash his wound. (Not just because it’s one of my all-time top 5 scenes.) Sandor briefly drops his gruff act, and shows empathy for Arya – and she for him.

      • Sandor didn’t actually “kidnap” her for ransom. The BwoB made her an “involuntary guest” first. Sure, Sandor intercepted her during her flight from the BwoB and was expecting to get a reward for reuniting her with her family, but he could have gotten a lot more money a lot quicker by selling her to Cersei.
      And he was 100% correct when he told her that she was lucky to be with him. There were far worse men out there, who’d just as soon brutalize and murder a young girl on her own.
      • By the time Brienne tried to forcibly take custody of Arya, Sandor was no longer looking to collect any ransom. He was watching over her because he loved her. (Not my interpretation: this is what the writer or director said in the Episode commentary.)

      • Sandor did not actually “murder” her friend. First of all, he rightly explained during his trial by combat that as Joffrey’s sworn shield it wasn’t his place to question princes, and he was told Mycah had attacked Joffrey.
      Second, he was put on trial – and found not guilty of murdering Mycah. (Arya protested to Beric afterwards that the Hound was guilty, but Beric replied ~ “Not in the eyes of god”, and told him: “Go in peace Sandor Clegane. The Lord of Light isn’t done with you yet.”)
      In their world, trial by combat is accepted as an expression of the gods’ judgment.

      • Arya is going to be happy to see Sandor. A while back, I had outlined a scene similar to the one
      tiny direwolf describes.
      Another commenter, “Warf Warfington”, added a hysterical followup to mine. I’ll see if I can find them, in case tiny direwolf – or you – care to read them.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Ten Bears:
      SerNoName,

      • Sandor didn’t actually “kidnap” her for ransom. The BwoB made her an “involuntary guest” first. Sure, Sandor intercepted her during her flight from the BwoB and was expecting to get a reward for reuniting her with her family, but he could have gotten a lot more money a lot quicker by selling her to Cersei.And he was 100% correct when he told her that she was lucky to be with him. There were far worse men out there, who’d just as soon brutalize and murder a young girl on her own. • By the time Brienne tried to forcibly take custody of Arya, Sandor was no longer looking to collect any ransom. He was watching over her because he loved her. (Not my interpretation: this is what the writer or director said in the Episode commentary.)

      • Sandor did not actually “murder” her friend. First of all, he rightly explained during his trial by combat that as Joffrey’s sworn shield it wasn’t his place to question princes, and he was told Mycah had attacked Joffrey. Second, he was put on trial – and found not guilty of murdering Mycah. (Arya protested to Beric afterwards that the Hound was guilty, but Beric replied ~ “Not in the eyes of god”, and told him: “Go in peace Sandor Clegane. The Lord of Light isn’t done with you yet.”)In their world, trial by combat is accepted as an expression of the gods’ judgment.

      • Arya is going to be happy to see Sandor. A while back, I had outlined a scene similar to the one

      Sandor Clegane ran down a fleeing child, brutally cut him into half, threw his body down in front of Ned and laughed about it. ‘I was just following orders’ when committing atrocities is not a good excuse especially when he joked about killing a child.

      Arya was doing just fine on her own, until the Hound kidnapped her for ransom – so what if he did not sell her to Cersei? The Hound himself was on the run from the Lannisters and would be killed if he turned up in KL.

      Arya left the Hound to die painfully instead of giving him mercy the last time they saw each other- this was after she supposedly shows empathy for him in S04E7 when she treats his wounds.

      Arya may no longer want to kill him and hence has taken him off her list. But that does not equate to her running to the Hound and giving him a big hug – just hearing that sounds ridiculous. It’s as ridiculous as Bran giving Jaime a big hug or Jon giving Theon a big hug.

      So what if the Hound won the fight against Beric in some Lord of Light sanctioned trial? Arya does not care about those things especially since the Lord of Light and the BWB took her friend Gendry.

      Arya may tolerate the Hound and they may snark at each other and maybe even fight against an enemy together. But I am pretty sure that’s going to be the limit of their interactions. David and Dan, being Hound fanboys may put in some fanservice interactions between the two, but Arya hugging the Hound is going too far.

        Quote  Reply

    44. SerNoName:

      Why did she have to play LF? Why not just get rid of him in season 7 episode 1?She knows that LF killed her aunt, sided against her family in KL and sold her to the Boltons.

      LF was a major reason Sansa and Jon won against the Boltons. To kill your ally just after he provided you a major victory is completely moronic. What message does that send to anyone who would support the Starks in the future?

      Yeah, Sansa knew that LF killed her aunt. Aunt that tried to kill her. So he saved her there. Only after she find out what happened to lord Arryn put that move from LF in completely different context.

      What “sided against her family in KL” means? Sansa didn’t know that LF was part of Ned’s death. And yes, he sold her to the Boltons, but also helped her defeat them. And he saved her from the Lannisters.

      So killing him in 701 wouldn’t make any sense at all for Sansa’s character and the stage of their relationship at that point.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Rygritte:
      Ten Bears,Arya’s first comment about the butcher’s boy was telling Ned the Hound was just following orders.

      I must have missed that.

      I recall Arya’s argument with Sansa in S1e3 (when Arya was stabbing the table and said she was “practicing” for Joffrey):

      Arya: “He’s [Joffrey’s] a liar and a coward and he killed my friend.”
      Sansa: “The Hound killed your friend.”
      Arya: “The Hound does whatever the Prince tells him to do.”
      Sansa: “You’re an idiot.”
      Arya: “You’re a liar. And if you told the truth, Mycah would be alive.”

        Quote  Reply

    46. mau: LF was a major reason Sansa and Jon won against the Boltons. To kill your ally just after he provided you a major victory is completely moronic. What message does that send to anyone who would support the Starks in the future?

      When she executed him, he had still provided them with a victory. What difference does it make if she does it immediately or after a few weeks if the reasons for his execution are the same? And even if she lets him live, could she not have had him followed and under observation instead of giving him free reign in Winterfell – allowing him to talk to the lords and manipulate them, manipulate Arya with the letter. He knew where to find that letter from Sansa. Brienne keeps warning her about him and she keeps ignoring her advice. Could she not have monitored what he was doing, knowing what he was capable of? She was surprised that he had met with Bran and given him the knife! Should she not be hyper aware that LF was hanging around in WF doing god knows what?!

      mau:

      Yeah, Sansa knew that LF killed her aunt. Aunt that tried to kill her. So he saved her there. Only after she find out what happened to lord Arryn put that move from LF in completely different context.

      One of the crimes for which Sansa had LF executed was for Lysa Arryn. Which shows how shitty the writing is because Sansa lied to the Vale Lords earlier and saved LF. Now she accuses him of her murder – which she could have done in episode one.

      mau:

      Only after she find out what happened to lord Arryn put that move from LF in completely different context.

      What “sided against her family in KL” means? Sansa didn’t know that LF was part of Ned’s death. And yes, he sold her to the Boltons, but also helped her defeat them. And he saved her from the Lannisters.

      These are the charges for which she had LF executed:
      – Killing Lysa (For which she provided witness for LF earlier to the Vale Lords and which was conveniently ignored on the show with neither LF or Royce bringing that up)

      – The other stuff she got from Bran – she could have had it from him in episode 4 after Bran proves that he can see the past . If she was really looking for a way to get rid of him, she could have convened a trial in episode 4 and done it. Why continue keeping him around as he manipulated Arya and fomented dissent against Jon? Or did she not know that he was doing that?

      The point being that she wanted LF around because he was the only person who was truly on her side. That’s why she kept confiding in him and asking him for advice. Unlike Jon, Arya and Bran, Sansa was the only one who really knew LF and knew what he wanted – her in power instead of Jon. And she lets him turn her against Jon and Arya until she finally comes to her senses and realizes that he is using her desire for power to manipulate her.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: I expect Sansa to be personally peeved with Jon’s behaviour, but also wary of him taking his eye off the ball. She already warned him against making the same mistakes Robb did; and yet, on the face of it, Jon seems to be copying half his moves direct from Robb’s playbook.

      Yep – this is a huge part of why I think Sansa won’t be the one being overly welcome towards Dany. Lord Glover made it very clear in 607 that Robb’s marriage was a huge mistake, and Jon has taken up with a women many see as a foreigner (as Randyll Tarly stated in 705, at the very least Cersei was raised in Westeros – if even southron lords don’t see Dany as Westerosi, I doubt the Northern ones will).

      Jon is going to have to make it very clear very quickly that Dany has been beyond the Wall and seen for herself what they are facing – and she wants to stand and fight beside them against their common enemy. He needs to try and keep his relationship quiet for as long as possible.

      Wimsey:

      One thing that could play a role in all of this is whether Bran spreads the story of what really happened with Lyanna.That could greatly alter Northern perceptions of Daenerys by altering perceptions of her family.

      YES! The Mad King is…..the Mad King. But if Bran can get it out there quickly that Lyanna and Rhaegar’s relationship was consensual, then he is effectively saying that Rhaegar committed no crimes against House Stark. He would also have to make it clear, however, that Ned didn’t know this until the end of Robert’s Rebellion.

        Quote  Reply

    48. SerNoName: When she executed him, he had still provided them with a victory.What difference does it make if she does it immediately or after a few weeks if the reasons for his execution are the same?

      The difference is that you don’t kill your ally after he provided you a major victory.

      One of the crimes for which Sansa had LF executed was for Lysa Arryn.

      Yeah, it was one of the crimes, and as Sansa said the simplest one. Death of her aunt wasn’t the reason why Sansa killed him. She used that and death of Jon Arryn to make sure no one in the Vale questions her decision. Why she didn’t want to turn them against LF earlier? Because there was no reason for her to do that, only after it became clear that LF will continue to conspire against her family to tore them apart and after she find out how big role he played in a downfall of the Starks she wanted him dead.

      The fact that he sold her to the Boltons is something she could forgive him in a way, since he helped her so many times.

      If she was really looking for a way to get rid of him,

      She wasn’t, because there was no reason for that. Sansa didn’t know majority of things LF has done. She was angry at him because he sold her to the Boltons, but other than that he did nothing to harm her, as far as she knew.

      The point being that she wanted LF around because he was the only person who was truly on her side. That’s why she kept confiding in him and asking him for advice. Unlike Jon, Arya and Bran, Sansa was the only one who really knew LF and knew what he wanted – her in power instead of Jon. And she lets him turn her against Jon and Arya until she finally comes to her senses and realizes that he is using her desire for power to manipulate her.

      That’s more or less true and I see no problem with it.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Artemisia: …there is a difference…Sansa has been always helped by the others to survive..when Arya sometimes has use herfencingskills to survive alone.

      Arya’s helpers so far:

      Sylvio Forel: gave his life fighting the gold cloaks that were raiding KL for Stark family members before Ned’s execution.
      Yoren: helped her escape KL after Ned’s execution by giving her a fancy new haircut. also sent some gold cloaks home by holding the pointy end of a sword to the pointy end of one of them.
      Jacky Hagar (with lots more funny consonants and apostrophs): helped her escape Harrenhall by killing Armory Lurch right in time. oh sorry: Lorch. he saved her again in the streets of Braavos when she was confronted by some dickheads.
      The Hound: saved her from The Twins in the aftermath of the Red Wedding – a situation where most probably she would have been easy prey to the Freys. he also saved her after her not so well planned attack on Rorge and company.
      Lady Crane: took care of her wounds after Arya’s been stabbed by The Waif.

      honorable mentions to Nymeria for clearing the wolf pack situation, and to Tywin Lannister for ending Gregor Clegane’s stupid torture ritual at Harrenhall before Arya would have been the only one left to torture…

      except for The Hound and Tywin, none of the above acted out of selfish motives. Littlefinger on the other hand has always been to the rescue when it matched his plans. only then.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Alba Stark: YES! The Mad King is…..the Mad King. But if Bran can get it out there quickly that Lyanna and Rhaegar’s relationship was consensual, then he is effectively saying that Rhaegar committed no crimes against House Stark. He would also have to make it clear, however, that Ned didn’t know this until the end of Robert’s Rebellion.

      I agree that this would help, particularly if Bran pitches it that their father always felt guilty about this. (Even if Bran does not “know” this, then he’ll know this!) The Northerners do seem to pride themselves in being more “honorable” than the Southerners: and learning that they helped depose the Targaryens based on false-pretenses could leave them with a sense of debt towards the Targaryens. Add to this that they’ll learn that a Targaryen scion helped lead them against the Boltons (and by now, they all were against the Boltons all along! 😉 ), and the Northeners could well feel a need for atonement.

      (Of course, the issue with the Walkers might render this all quite moot: if Daenerys is there with any sort of aid for them and if the Walkers strike hard quickly, then this will be of such little concern that it might not even come up.)

        Quote  Reply

    51. Chicken Generated Image,

      Quite right, Chicken. Arya had numerous helpers and was luckier in them because they were mostly good people, whereas Sansa’s were a mixed bag. Even Margaery was both friend and manipulator. Sansa did turn down a few good helpers at critical junctures–Sandor, Brienne, Shae, Littlefinger, Ned. Arya had an advantage in that she was able to help some too–Gendry, Hot Pie, Sandor, and ironically both Jaqen and Lady Crane. Sansa did help Ser Dontos. Her biggest mistake and advantage was in choosing the obviously evil Littlefinger as her mentor, not for evil lessons but political ones. She had no idea he was THE Stark nemesis. Why she kept him around while knowing he was utterly untrustworthy is already well debated.

      SerNoName,

      The point being that she wanted LF around because he was the only person who was truly on her side. That’s why she kept confiding in him and asking him for advice. Unlike Jon, Arya and Bran, Sansa was the only one who really knew LF and knew what he wanted – her in power instead of Jon. And she lets him turn her against Jon and Arya until she finally comes to her senses and realizes that he is using her desire for power to manipulate her.

      Yes, and he had been ‘on her side’ for years. He also flattered her sense of importance and her vanity. When the sibs showed up, they were strangers AND peers, though you’d think that since she couldn’t trust Littlefinger she would have turned to them. But they were just too weird. Judging from Sansa’s snark to LF in Ep 1, she was irritated with him but needed him for advice as well as Vale support and thought she could control him. (Could anybody using LF’s own tools ever out-maneuvre LF?).

      No doubt Bran and Arya were truly on her side (well, once Arya deemed Sansa worthy of a hug). And through their differently-derived access to secret information, both sussed out that LF wanted power via Sansa. In front of the Heart Tree, Bran gave Arya LF’s Dagger and a significant look. Arya went after LF in her next scene and eventually gave Sansa the Dagger in a significant manner. And when Sansa next chatted with LF, she saw the light. Apparently she consulted Bran in a deleted scene, and one can surmise that all three kids planned the trial together.

      Some of this discussion also focused on her reception of Daenerys. IMO, the scene on the battlements shows that Sansa has learned a lot and has a much stronger sense of Pack. (That may be why the show gave the core of Ned’s quote to her.) I expect that at minimum, she’ll keep an open mind and support Jon against the naysayers. Royce and Glover won’t be manipulated into contrarianism by LF, and Lyanna M would probably hush them anyway. With her love of Visenya and dragons, Arya will probably be receptive to Dany and–if needed– appeal to Sansa’s better angel. And then news of the NK and/or Jon’s heritage will render much of the social drama secondary.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Wimsey,

      The Northerners did not depose the Targaryens based on false pretenses. They rebelled over the murder of Lord Rickard and Brandon (as well as Elbert Arryn, etc.) and the unjustified attainder of Lord Eddard and Lord Robert, neither of whom had done anything. Rhaegar sided with his father against the rebels, and so his death as well was entirely justified.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Wimsey: I agree that this would help, particularly if Bran pitches it that their father always felt guilty about this.(Even if Bran does not “know” this, then he’ll know this!)The Northerners do seem to pride themselves in being more “honorable” than the Southerners: and learning that they helped depose the Targaryens based on false-pretenses could leave them with a sense of debt towards the Targaryens.Add to this that they’ll learn that a Targaryen scion helped lead them against the Boltons (and by now, they all were against the Boltons all along! ), and the Northeners could well feel a need for atonement.

      (Of course, the issue with the Walkers might render this all quite moot: if Daenerys is there with any sort of aid for them and if the Walkers strike hard quickly, then this will be of such little concern that it might not even come up.)

      Even with Lyanna and Rhaegar’s relationship being consensual, the Northern lords can still feel the war was justified by the Mad King executing Rickard and Brandon Stark.

      I agree news from the Wall may render most of this moot. I think Bran will see the breach at Eastwatch fairly early on. From the forays the ravens make from the Winterfell Godswood in both 705 and 707, I think we’re meant to get the impression that Bran is keeping a close watch on things. When they find out that the Night King is coming for them – with a dragon – then I think the likes of Glover will need to swallow their pride and accept Dany’s help.

        Quote  Reply

    54. SerNoName: Why in the world would she do this? Last we saw she left the Hound to die a painful death. The Hound murdered her friend and kidnapped her for ransom.

      What decisions was Jon making for her?

      As King in the North, Jon was making decisions for preparing the North for the WW – As someone who was LC of the NW, seen the WW and who has learned from people like Ned, Jeor, Aemon etc, I would think that he is well qualified to make those decisions.Sansa, instead of politely disagreeing with Jon’s decision, found it necessary to keep interrupting and loudly opposing Jon’s decisions in front of the Northern Lords because she thinks she knows better than him.As Jon points out, she was actively undermining him in front of the Northern Lords. Was he wrong?She knows how untrustworthy the Northern Lords are, how hard they are to handle and there she is openly disagreeing with Jon and undermining his authority.

      That’s not having different opinions, that is being snobby and arrogant because she thinks she would be the better ruler.Would Sansa be okay with it if Arya sat beside her when she holds council with the Northern Lords and kept disagreeing with all the decisions she made when she was in charge? We have seen how averse she is to taking advice from anyone, rudely dismissing Brienne of Tarth and snarking at LF for telling her that Cersei is dangerous when she gives the same useless advice to Jon.

      And as we saw, she does not know better. This is someone who trusted LF despite Brienne constantly warning her about him, kept feeding LF information, gave him free reign for mischief making and nearly had Arya executed because she wanted to depose Jon.

      So yes, hopefully she has learned that there’s a time, a place and a proper way to disperse her advice that nobody asked for. Hopefully, she loses the snotty attitude that Jon should always and all the time ask for her advice before he makes any decisions. That he should listen to her and do what she asks.

      Next season, if there is anyone Jon should be listening to, it’s the folks like Davos, Jorah, Sam, Tormund, Brienne etc.

      I don’t think Sansa was actively undermining Jon one bit ( that’s Jons emotions talking ), he acted somewhat autocratically, and blindsided her ( it’s his job to talk with his council before they go to the great hall ), she also said nothing wrong or out of place; if it was a time where WW were not a problem she be 100% correct in her words. Jon’s ruling is marginally better at best, and he should had put someone experienced in charge of both those houses.
      When they had that discussion about being smarter, Sansa was giving him excellent advice. Jons comment back (” how should I be smarter; by listening to you? ) is all we need to know as far as his mind set. Sansa also has the absolute right to question him, he may rule the North, But WF is her responsibility, yeah it should be privately, but Jon screwed that up not Sansa he has years of experience yet runs things like he’s at the wall ( again it got him killed there )and this was her first foray with the lords and ruling.
      I didn’t see any of the other Lords keeping shut or waiting to state their opinions.
      Also she DID NOT oppose him, she gave alternative choices, for his safety and hers and the North, which he decided not to follow which later episodes almost get him killed.
      Jon then does the exact same thing in 7-2, he blind sides her.
      Her being snobby and arrogant, is YOUR opinion from what I saw she was not, he’s following Ned and Robb and it can bite him in the ass as we see later.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Stark Raven’ Rad: Quite right, Chicken. Arya had numerous helpers and was luckier in them because they were mostly good people, whereas Sansa’s were a mixed bag. Even Margaery was both friend and manipulator. Sansa did turn down a few good helpers at critical junctures–Sandor, Brienne, Shae, Littlefinger, Ned. Arya had an advantage in that she was able to help some too–Gendry, Hot Pie, Sandor, and ironically both Jaqen and Lady Crane. Sansa did help Ser Dontos. Her biggest mistake and advantage was in choosing the obviously evil Littlefinger as her mentor, not for evil lessons but political ones. She had no idea he was THE Stark nemesis. Why she kept him around while knowing he was utterly untrustworthy is already well debated.

      Turning down Sandor was a good move, it didn’t work out, would you tell your 11 YO to go with a drunk? It was worst in book, a drunk with a dagger to your throat. Sansa based that on facts at hand at the moment : Stannis breached the castle, Lancel telling Cersei the war was lost, Sansa knows Stannis is a friend to house Stark, Sansa AND we did not see Tywin coming.
      Brienne was surrounded by 6 knights, in close quarters, even Pod knew they were out numbered, Sansa did not reject her, she was saving her ass, when she said ” sometimes we do have a choice ” and she darts her eyes to the Knight behind Brienne ( and this was confirmed days after that episode per GC.
      Shae gave advice and she used it, LF saved her and on the ship she knew he used her and Tyrion. Sansa didn’t trust him ( not even in book when they first met, ” his smiles don’t meet his eyes ) From the time they got to the Eyrie she was stringing him along.
      She did not choose LF, LF chose her and GRRM agreed with that pairing, like he agreed with Arya and the FFM and Bran and TTER, and Jon at the wall.
      Sans point blank rejected him at Molestown, but when RR fell through, she swolled her pride and asked for the Vale, but never one does she trust him or want him near her family. Sansa point blank tells Jon why Ramsey won’t let Rickon live, and Sansa knows it’s the same with LF, he won’t let Jon, Bran or Arya live either, she doesn’t know about Bran or Arya’s “special skills” like we do. She tells Brienne why he’s there and she tells her she knows “exactly what he wants ”
      Sansa also knew everything he did except the Throne room, and going to Cersei, as far as telling Royce, I think she did that off screen, Royce wasn’t surprised, and he knew Sansa was under duress when she first got to the Eyrie.
      So in my opinion those saying or thinking this is all to screw her family are wrong.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Artemisia: Roberta dear ..i didnt say that Sansa didnt suffer severe gruesome problems..but i did say that she had have always help ..Tyrion saved her when Geoffrey threaten to kill her with a bow and an arrow[S2] and marry her from to save her from her ,misery life ..The Hound saved her from those rebel rapists guys in the KL[S2]..Littlefinger saved her from the Lannisters and from the crazy Lissa[in S4]..but yeah he lied to her sending her to Boltons..I know that Ramsay raped/torturedher..but she get easily help in Theon in S5 and was Theon that saved her from Myranda.Then Breanne saved her from the Boltons henchmens and then Jon fight completely the Boltons and their allies for herin the BOTB ..Instead Arya was the one to face her problems alone without help most of time[except of Sandor in S3-S4 and jagen in S2-S5-S6]..She is a taught survivor who almost had learn from alone how to survive in crazy situations ..while Sansa has always been helped to survive…thats the difference

      You have tunnel vision.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Sean C.: Why would, and more importantly, why should she?If she has different opinions and feels that the family is pursuing an unwise course of action, she’ll say so, seeing as bad things happening to the Starks means bad things happening to her.It’s a rather perverse reading of her arc to suggest she needs to learn to shut up and let Jon (or anybody else) make all the decisions for her.

      As far as Sansa and Dany goes, they’re actually fairly similar on policy, assuming the characterization remains consistent (Sansa would certainly have been in favour of unleashing the dragons, had she been present for any of those debates in Season 7, which would put her on Dany’s side against most of her other advisers) — granted, that’s always iffy.So I don’t buy the idea that they inevitably wouldn’t get along.

      Yeah, I agree with this, Jon will have to prove to Sansa, but more to the Lords it’s the correct move, Sansa going to be in the thick of it, she also has a great asset who sat to her left.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Grail King: I don’t think Sansa was actively undermining Jon one bit ( that’s Jons emotions talking ), he acted somewhat autocratically, and blindsided her ( it’s his job to talk with his council before they go to the great hall ), she also said nothing wrong or out of place; if it was a time where WW were not a problem she be 100% correct in her words. Jon’s ruling is marginally better at best, and he should had put someone experienced in charge of both those houses.

      Before I proceed, I want you to know I’m not a Sansa-hater. While I will never be president and CEO of a Sansa fan club, I did vote for her as best lead actress for this site’s awards.

      Sansa did undermine Jon. Questioning him in the manner and tone in which she did is questioning his leadership. It is not offering a solution or alternative. What’s the difference? There is a time and place for everything–that was neither.

      Jon ruled autocratically? You mean he acted as a King? He is the King. The lords chose him. Period. Could Jon have consulted with Sansa before that gathering? Sure. Did he have to? No. The North isn’t KL. There is no ‘small council.’

      When they had that discussion about being smarter, Sansa was giving him excellent advice. Jons comment back (” how should I be smarter; by listening to you? ) is all we need to know as far as his mind set.

      I think that’s an unfair characterization of Jon. Before the Battle of the Bastards, Sansa gave Jon shit for not seeking her opinion so he asked her–twice!–what she thought he should do. Her battle winning advice: Don’t do what he wants you to do.

      She never told Jon about the Knights of the Vale and yet, when the dust settled, he asked forgave her, sought her trust, and acknowledged that the battle would have been lost if not for her and her connection there.

      So far she’s lied about the Vale, she’s undermined him in front of the other lords, AND compared his style to Joffrey. She may have walked that statement back but yet Jon keeps her by his side. He values her despite the fact that’s she contributed nothing of value…yet. How do we know he values her? He seeks her input about Tyrion, she’s by his side when he announces his intentions, and he leaves her in charge of WF!

      Sansa also has the absolute right to question him, he may rule the North, But WF is her responsibility, yeah it should be privately, but Jon screwed that up not Sansa he has years of experience yet runs things like he’s at the wall ( again it got him killed there )and this was her first foray with the lords and ruling.
      I didn’t see any of the other Lords keeping shut or waiting to state their opinions.
      Also she DID NOT oppose him, she gave alternative choices, for his safety and hers and the North, which he decided not to follow which later episodes almost get him killed.
      Jon then does the exact same thing in 7-2, he blind sides her.
      Her being snobby and arrogant, is YOUR opinion from what I saw she was not, he’s following Ned and Robb and it can bite him in the ass as we see later.

      It’s all good drama, isn’t it? When Jon comes back, he’s definitely going to have some explaining to do and Sansa is going to have some legitimate anger towards Jon and now that we’ve been able to see that Sansa can be a leader, that she can run WF, any conflict she has with Jon will at least have a spine this time.

        Quote  Reply

    59. SerNoName: I think you misinterpreted Sansa’s actions. Sansa had LF around, because he was solely in her corner and she did not want to lose him. Arya sees him whispering into Lord Glover and Royce’s ears and later these are the two guys who want to make her queen as opposed to Jon – That’s what is funny about all these ‘The Northern houses support Sansa instead of Jon’ comments – it was only the two guys that LF was talking to who were supporting Sansa.

      It was only when LF suggested that Arya wanted to be Lady of Winterfell that Sansa realized that following LF’s advice had almost made her commit kinslaying and treason. She went to Bran to discuss and he told her that LF was a son of a bitch – which she already knew anyways. That scene was deleted to preserve the surprise of the last scene where she then called everyone to the grand hall and had LF killed.

      Arya was setup by LF plain and simple, I would not be surprised at all if Royce and Wolcum reported back to Sansa, their encounters with LF. Cersei knows all at KL. Sansa would have learned that also. LF himself tells her, know your strengths and weaknesses, know your assets use them wisely( this also works if she asked about Royce and Wolcum ) one man can be worth 10,000 ( Bran ).
      When we see her with LF, her mannerisms and expressions and her words told me she was playing him, she already went to Bran with the dagger, she already knows Arya, she knows Arya and LF better then anyone; the only thing she did not know was LF,Slynt, Joffery and Cersei WRG to her house.

        Quote  Reply

    60. mau: LF was a major reason Sansa and Jon won against the Boltons. To kill your ally just after he provided you a major victory is completely moronic. What message does that send to anyone who would support the Starks in the future?

      Yeah, Sansa knew that LF killed her aunt. Aunt that tried to kill her. So he saved her there. Only after she find out what happened to lord Arryn put that move from LF in completely different context.

      What “sided against her family in KL” means? Sansa didn’t know that LF was part of Ned’s death. And yes, he sold her to the Boltons, but also helped her defeat them. And he saved her from the Lannisters.

      So killing him in 701 wouldn’t make any sense at all for Sansa’s character and the stage of their relationship at that point.

      Yup,
      Also Sansa knows ( just like Rickon ) Jon, Bran and are a detriment to his plans and Brienne and Arya to his life.
      Which dagger is most dangerous to LF, the 4 in front of him or the one ( Sansa ) he doesn’t see?

        Quote  Reply

    61. SerNoName: The point being that she wanted LF around because he was the only person who was truly on her side. That’s why she kept confiding in him and asking him for advice. Unlike Jon, Arya and Bran, Sansa was the only one who really knew LF and knew what he wanted – her in power instead of Jon. And she lets him turn her against Jon and Arya until she finally comes to her senses and realizes that he is using her desire for power to manipulate her.

      Sansa – ” pretty picture ” as she pushed him away and walked by.
      LF- “Word will spread quickly, I’ve declared for House Stark ”
      Sansa- ” You’ve declared for other houses before Lord Baleish, it never stopped you from serving your self ” she walks away, cut to LF face, he misplayed and got played, she knows what he truly wants, and she knows how he (basically ) plans to go about it.
      Confiding isn’t the same as trusting and she never tells him anything he doesn’t already know, but he keeps trying, he keeps giving lessons ( she used everyone ) she learned and his last lesson sealed his fate.

        Quote  Reply

    62. kevin1989,

      I don’t know if you’ve read the books, but if you have you’ll recall that Winterfell was built over a complex of hot springs that provide (amongst other things) warmth for the castle. If there’s a way to swim away from WF, that would certainly be challenging but, given the wights’ difficulties with water, a potential way out.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Sean C.,

      I wholeheartedly agree with both these points. It rather disturbs me to see how many people seem to want a clichéd “bitch fight” between Sansa and Daenerys. It’s not that I don’t expect some conflict; I certainly do. But no one’s clamoring for, say, major conflict between Jaime and Bran if/when the former arrives at Winterfell. (Confession: I’m really, really looking forward to that “reunion.”)

        Quote  Reply

    64. Wolfish:
      Pigeon,

      Dude. That’s harsh!!!

      (And don’t be offended by “dude.” I live in California. Everyone and everything is “dude.”)

      The time for bickering and snarking and squabbling is over, and I’d rather they just deal with it at this point. 😜 So much else going on! I don’t want to see characters mooning about the damn balconies at Winterfell again if I can help it. 😂

        Quote  Reply

    65. Wolfish:
      Sean C.,

      I wholeheartedly agree with both these points. It rather disturbs me to see how many people seem to want a clichéd “bitch fight” between Sansa and Daenerys. It’s not that I don’t expect some conflict; I certainly do. But no one’s clamoring for, say, major conflict between Jaime and Bran if/when the former arrives at Winterfell. (Confession: I’m really, really looking forward to that “reunion.”)

      I don’t see it being as much as a ‘bitch fight’ between Sansa and Dany, rather I think it’ll be Sansa simply asking herself where she belongs in all of this, and rightly so, which will seem like a ‘bitch fight.’

      She’ll want acknowledgement for holding it down in the north and will no doubt not want her efforts lost on all that is to come.

      Poor girl…she just wants to be the shot-caller in her own life. And she was sooo close….

        Quote  Reply

    66. SerNoName:

      Why in the world would she do this? Last we saw she left the Hound to die a painful death. The Hound murdered her friend and kidnapped her for ransom.

      First: The Hound killed Mycah on Joffrey’s orders. As he told Beric before he killed him for the (sixth?) time, “Who am I to question princes?” He followed orders. He was not in a position to not follow those orders. Given that he killed Beric, it stands to reason that the Lord of Light judged him innocent. That’s certainly how Beric, the very man he killed, interpreted it.

      Second: The Hound did kidnap Arya for ransom. And when she escaped from him during the Red Wedding, he risked his own life to retrieve her–knowing full well that she still hated him for Mycah, and that his ransom was gone.

      In the book they never go to the Vale. But in both books and show, they wind up in the same place. Having no “safe” place to go in a war-ravaged land–and no ransom to collect–he keeps taking care of her.

      In the book Arya’s realization that she had stopped hating the Hound is also different, but it’s not something that could have been translated to the screen. Either way, there’s unfinished business between them. Don’t forget, he taught her the most valuable lesson of all–where the heart is. As other commenters have noted, there are no coincidences in GRRM’s world. And it is certainly no coincidence that when the Hound imparted that lesson, it was not in a context of killing someone in combat, but in the context of granting a man mercy.

      Forgive me for getting tinfoily here, but I’m in the camp of readers/viewers who believe Arya will be the person who removes the dragonglass blade from the Night King’s heart. Several commenters have noted that her preferred method of killing is to cut the throat, where there is no armor (the Hound also taught her this–that Needle would not penetrate armor). I, for one, would find it truly fitting if she finally applied the lesson about “where the heart is” to grant the Night King mercy from his terrible existence.

      Third: By now Arya and Sansa will have discussed the fact that the Hound saved Sansa from death twice and protected her on other occasions. As Sean C. has convincingly argued in a number of discussions on this site, Sansa saved him from his own nihilism. (Apologies to Sean for not being able to cogently distill his argument, especially after half a bottle of Dornish red.) There’s simply no logical reason that Arya wouldn’t welcome him. After all, one of the great themes in ASoIaF is the complexity of the human condition–the grayness of it, if you will–and the rarity of “true good” or “true evil.” Under the right circumstances anyone can be redeemed, just as anyone can turn to the dark side. The Hound, for one, has clearly been redeemed.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Erica,

      This is terribly fluffy of me, but there’s a part of me that really, really wants to see Jaime arrive at Winterfell (perhaps accompanied by a regiment of the Tully army), ask for an audience with Bran, and tell him that he is the only person in the North whose judgment he seeks: “If your decision is to execute me for the crime I committed against you, then I will accept that. But if you decide to show mercy instead, I swear I will stand with House Stark, against the Army of the Dead, until my dying breath.”

      /refills Dornish red

        Quote  Reply

    68. Erica:

      I don’t see it being as much as a ‘bitch fight’ between Sansa and Dany, rather I think it’ll be Sansa simply asking herself where she belongs in all of this, and rightly so, which will seem like a ‘bitch fight.’

      As I wrote, I expect conflict. The fact that it would be between two women, in and of itself, wouldn’t make it a “bitch fight.” It just seems to me that far too many people are expecting/wanting that… conflict that isn’t about truly pressing issues (the Army of the Dead, Cersei’s about-to-be-revealed betrayal), but rather, stupid shite like their respective personal relationships with Jon. /vomit

        Quote  Reply

    69. Wolfish,

      Personally, I just want to see some character consistency and drama.

      I can’t imagine why Sansa (or Arya, really) would particularly care for Daenerys. I feel like Sansa in particular would be incredibly wary of Daenerys’ potentially disruptive influence in their lives and kingdom. Especially since she, like the other Northerners, has yet to see firsthand just how grave the threat of the White Walkers really is.

      I’m not particularly interested in seeing more people worshipping the ground Daenerys walks on. It’s bad enough that Tyrion and now Jon fawn over her for, IMO, poorly defined reasons. I mean, surely they aren’t going to ask us to accept that the only people who don’t like Dany are all the cartoon cutout bad guys?

      I don’t expect Sansa and Daenerys to be at each other’s throats. But I don’t see why they should be any more amicable than Cat and Cersei, for example. Their relationship would very much be one of necessity and formality, as far as I’m concerned.

      They might be able to find some shared ground on their shared desire to see Cersei deposed, but I expect that the sooner Dany gets back on her dragon and flies south the better as far as Sansa’s concerned.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Wolfish,

      Personally, I just want to see some character consistency and drama.

      I can’t imagine why Sansa (or Arya, really) would particularly care for Daenerys. I feel like Sansa in particular would be incredibly wary of Daenerys’ potentially disruptive influence in their lives and kingdom. Especially since she, like the other Northerners, has yet to see firsthand just how grave the threat of the White Walkers really is.

      I’m not particularly interested in seeing more people worshipping the ground Daenerys walks on. It’s bad enough that Tyrion and now Jon fawn over her for, IMO, poorly defined reasons. I mean, surely they aren’t going to ask us to accept that the only people who don’t like Dany are all the cartoon cutout bad guys?

      I don’t expect Sansa and Daenerys to be at each other’s throats. But I don’t see why they should be any more amicable than Cat and Cersei, for example. Their relationship would very much be one of necessity and formality, as far as I’m concerned.

      They might be able to find some shared ground on their shared desire to see Cersei deposed, but I expect that the sooner Dany gets back on her dragon and flies south the better as far as Sansa’s concerned.

      I agree with all of this with the exception of Arya/Dany. Arya has no interest in ruling or politics so Dany’s presence will not be seen as a disruption to her.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Wolfish:
      Erica:

      As I wrote, I expect conflict. The fact that it would be between two women, in and of itself, wouldn’t make it a “bitch fight.” It just seems to me that far too many people are expecting/wanting that… conflict that isn’t about truly pressing issues (the Army of the Dead, Cersei’s about-to-be-revealed betrayal), but rather, stupid shite like their respective personal relationships with Jon. /vomit

      I understood where you were coming from…I didn’t read it as though you were looking for a ‘bitch fight,’ between two women or otherwise. I understood you were remarking on other people’s perceptions of what the Sansa/Dany conflicts will be: superficial crap. Believe me, I got it. It was just an opening for me to defend what I believe will be legit concerns for Sansa.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I completely agree! Excellent points all, both about the storytelling (I think you and I are on the same page about S7 lapses) and about which points of contention there should/might be between Sansa and Daenerys. I simply have no desire to see whatever conflict exists between them to be of a strictly personal nature, as some commenters apparently do (JonSa worshippers, for instance). At this stage in the game, it exasperates me to see people obsessing (still!) about romantic entanglements.

      May I take this opportunity to tell you much I enjoy your commentary? It’s always stellar.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Erica,

      10-4.

      On that note, even though neither is a favorite character, I have really loved seeing the progression of both Cersei’s and Sansa’s respective arcs.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Wolfish:
      SerNoName:

      First: The Hound killed Mycah on Joffrey’s orders. As he told Beric before he killed him for the (sixth?) time, “Who am I to question princes?” He followed orders. He was not in a position to not follow those orders. Given that he killed Beric, it stands to reason that the Lord of Light judged him innocent. That’s certainly how Beric, the very man he killed, interpreted it.

      Again, ‘ I was just following orders ‘ is not a justifiable excuse when committing atrocities. Are we going to excuse all the rape and murder the Mountain has done because he was following orders? Were the Nazi guards forgiven of their crimes because they were just following orders?

      The Hound could have left Joffrey’s service anytime he wanted to as he finally ended up doing when it personally affected him and he could not fight against fire.

      Even the author of the books considers the Hound to be a ‘bad guy’ :

      “George likes all his characters. Even likes bad guys like “Theon, the Hound, that little shit Joffrey “

      https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/5g7vef/spoilers_extended_grrms_second_talk_at_the/

      And again, so what if the Lord of light judged the Hound innocent? The Lord of Light sanctioned the death by burning of a little girl – As Davos points out ‘If he commands you to burn children, your Lord is evil.’

      He also kidnapped her against her will and takes her away for ransom, when she was managing fine by herself.

      Wolfish:
      SerNoName:

      Third: By now Arya and Sansa will have discussed the fact that the Hound saved Sansa from death twice and protected her on other occasions. As Sean C. has convincingly argued in a number of discussions on this site, Sansa saved him from his own nihilism. (Apologies to Sean for not being able to cogently distill his argument, especially after half a bottle of Dornish red.) There’s simply no logical reason that Arya wouldn’t welcome him. After all, one of the great themes in ASoIaF is the complexity of the human condition–the grayness of it, if you will–and the rarity of “true good” or “true evil.” Under the right circumstances anyone can be redeemed, just as anyone can turn to the dark side. The Hound, for one, has clearly been redeemed.

      So what if he saved Sansa countless times? Then Sansa can forgive him and run upto him and give him a big hug for being part of the cabal that held her captive and for killing her father’s men. She is imagining kisses with the Hound in the books, so it’s possible that she does not care.

      So what if the Hound is redeemed? – he still brutally murdered Arya’s friend – an innocent butcher boy who was there that day by no fault of his own. Arya herself carries guilt for that incident and so much anger that she left the Hound to die painfully from his injuries.

      Again, I will ask, are we expecting Bran to give Jaime a big hug and welcome him to WF? Did Jon give Theon a big hug and welcome him home because he saved Sansa?

      Theon: ‘But the things I have done…..’
      Jon: It’s not my place to forgive you for all of it…But what I can forgive, I do’.

      That’s the extent of Jon’s forgiveness of someone who grew up with him as a sibling.

      Arya has forgiven the Hound for what he did – that’s why she took him off the list. But to expect her to go running and give the murderer of her friend a big hug is ignoring Arya’s own pain and the Hound’s vile crimes. Redemption does not mean we forget the victims – Mycah is still dead as are those two boys Theon killed. Bran is still crippled.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Wolfish,

      The person she’ll run to and want to give an enormous hug to is Jon.

      I think we can all agree on that. Those two have always been very close.

      It’s the one reunion they better not fuck up.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Violator,

      I’d really, really like to believe they won’t, but given how uneven S7 was (and how many utterly senseless interactions/lack of there were), I’m only cautiously optimistic.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Violator: It’s the one reunion they better not fuck up.

      But what would be “fucked up”? For one thing, no matter what they do, there will be some fans who think that it is completely wrong because it does not match what they have envisioned. And it will not be fans going “It should not have been A, it should have been B!” It will be 25 sets of fans saying “It should not have been A, it should have been B/C/D…../Y/Z!”

      The reunion could be done in any number of ways that would be appropriate. One huge wild card at which we can do nothing but guess at this point is: under what are the circumstances? Will it be “arranged” such that both Jon and Arya are going to know? Will one know but not the other? Or will it be spontaneous on both ends? Who will be present? Will it be under “safe” circumstances or under the heat of battle or something in between?

        Quote  Reply

    78. >> SerNoName: Again, ‘ I was just following orders ‘ is not a justifiable excuse when committing atrocities. Are we going to excuse all the rape and murder the Mountain has done because he was following orders? Were the Nazi guards forgiven of their crimes because they were just following orders?

      Sandor had this little conversation with Sansa in which he told her that Ned also loved killing people. don’t know on which occasion he learned about that, but he’s probably not the guy to talk shit about anyone’s motives to use a sword. in the light of this, i think “i was just following orders” as a reply on Ned’s accusation of murdering an innocent boy has a subnote of “…you would have done it too”.

      i want to say: The Hound’s words were not meant to be an excuse. they were more a reflection of an accusation back into the face of someone who should probably not be the accusator. in short, he outed Ned’s accusation being hypocritical. and which man of honor wants to be called a hypocrite by The Hound?

      The Hound’s laconic answer may have helped Ned in redefining the limits of his loyalty to Robert Baratheon. with the result of Ned refusing the order to kill a certain Targaryen child. he started his explanation with the words “i followed you into all of your wars…”

      do the words of The Hound excuse what he did from our point of view? no way, we gladly don’t live in that cruel world GoT displays. but they make clear that his guilt is not an uncommon one in that world and even those accusing him are not innocent.

      it’s another thing with The Mountain. he’s just following orders too… and adding some personal fun to the execution of the orders where ever he can. he would never say “i’m just following orders”. he’d listen to the accusation of having killed an innocent child, growl, and rip off the accusator’s head.

      even in the world of GoT with it’s low moral standards his deeds are mostly beyond excuse. from our point of view today off course, they are completely miles far beyond, as well as Sandor’s, but hey: would we today excuse an execution as a penalty for refusing an order? without trial and that?

      we actually did enjoy Jon Snow removing the shitbag serving as Janos Slynt’s head, but we did not measure it by today’s standards, did we?

      this brings me to the last point of yours, the let-dragonfire-run-up-their-asses-Nazis. holy shit i cannot even say how much i hate them. those of the past and those of our times. and all of the future Nazis, without exception.

      i think and hope that every human being with a heart and a sense for human dignity agrees that the deeds of the Nazis cannot and will not be excused ever, no fucking way! maybe, their way of organized genocide would have been an unforgettable crime even by the standards of the GoT world. by our today standards and by the standards of their time, it definitely is.

      just, we don’t go nowhere measuring the deeds of GoT characters by today’s measures. and i hope we will never end up measuring the deeds of some of today’s characters by GoT measures. was that enough expression of pessimism?

      i want to go back to GoT:

      >>The Hound could have left Joffrey’s service anytime he wanted to as he finally ended up doing when it personally affected him and he could not fight against fire.

      when The Hound killed Mycah he was in Robert’s service. he’s seen enough examples of Joffrey being a psychopathic little runt, someone only morons would follow, until the battle of the Blackwater: Joffrey’s refusal to condole the Starks on Bran’s fate, his needless starting of a riot in the streets of KL, his two attempts to break Sansa…

      then, he saw this: a fleet being blown into pieces by wild fire, a smiling pyromantic, a smiling Joffrey – and a shocked leader of the defense, Tyrion. watching the wildfire from the wall was hard enough for a guy with a deep fear of fire, but still he went out to defend KL while Joffrey retreated in order to defend mama’s lap.

      it was the burning Baratheon soldier running at him with his last breath that took The Hound out. that was one too many. he did what he could until then, but should he burn again for someone who wouldn’t fight for him? fuck the king!

      he was not taking his first chance to desert. and anyway, where should he have gone? exchange status and safety of a protector of the king for being a hedge night everyone wants to kill for a reward?

      he stopped following when there was no way left to follow.

      >>And again, so what if the Lord of light judged the Hound innocent? The Lord of Light sanctioned the death by burning of a little girl – As Davos points out ‘If he commands you to burn children, your Lord is evil.’

      this old problem with gods and the folks who think they have to give their words to people… Melisandre stated that she was wrong in burning Shireen. interpreting error, oops! that’s the point Davos misses. “you’re doing a lousy job as a priestess” would have come closer to the truth.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Chicken Generated Image:
      Sandor had this little conversation with Sansa in which he told her that Ned also loved killing people. don’t know on which occasion he learned about that, but he’s probably not the guy to talk shit about anyone’s motives to use a sword.

      “Talking shit” was precisely what the Hound was doing there. Ned did not enjoy killing people; we have his own POV on that. The Hound is a giant hypocrite who is performing a nihilistic persona that he ultimately proves unable to sustain, because he’s a disappointed romantic at heart.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Wolfish,

      Aside from the completely overdone penultimate episode, what was “uneven” about last year? The other six episodes were remarkably “even” and well-done on most counts.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Wimsey: One thing that could play a role in all of this is whether Bran spreads the story of what really happened with Lyanna. That could greatly alter Northern perceptions of Daenerys by altering perceptions of her family.

        Quote  Reply

      I agree with this. I think the first episode or two of season 8 will be filled with Stark/Targaryen tension, but they’ll eventually come together to fight the Army of the Dead/Cersei.

        Quote  Reply

    82. SerNoName: Again, ‘ I was just following orders ‘ is not a justifiable excuse when committing atrocities.

      Ah, but it is in this world. Moreover, to do the opposite (as Jaime did when he betrayed Aerys) is considered fundamentally dishonorable. As Book!Jaime acknowledges, telling people the whole story would not have mattered: when your liege lord says “Jump!” then a good man jumps. It is not liege man’s duty/right to ask “why?”

      The lessons of Nuremberg are historically new ones: and they still are not accepted by social conservatives today! Westeros is a land that is backwards even by the standards of social conservatives. (Well, a little backwards, anyway….)

        Quote  Reply

    83. Sean C.: “Talking shit” was precisely what the Hound was doing there.Ned did not enjoy killing people; we have his own POV on that.The Hound is a giant hypocrite who is performing a nihilistic persona that he ultimately proves unable to sustain, because he’s a disappointed romantic at heart.

      this POV of Ned is what i miss right now. please help out!

      and on the risk of getting you completely wrong: does The Hound really perform a nihilistic persona? does he need to do so? or is he a nihilistic remain of what could have become a persona?

        Quote  Reply

    84. Wolfish:
      Violator,

      I’d really, really like to believe they won’t, but given how uneven S7 was (and how many utterly senseless interactions/lack of there were), I’m only cautiously optimistic.

      I feel the same. Theirs is the reunion I have always wanted and sometimes I think the EW photoshoot might be the nicest one we get. So I’m trying not to get too hyped, though I think I might have failed already. It’s not that I don’t trust them but I have huge expectations and I’m worried they might not be met.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Mr Derp: they’ll eventually come together to fight the Army of the Dead/Cersei.

      I don’t think that they can spend too much time on Stark/Targaryen tensions. At some point, they have to get to the real crux of the story: unraveling the “why” of the White Walkers. That really needs to start in Episode 1. The best place for Stark/Targaryen (and Stark+Targaryen/Lannister) tensions should be as a distraction from the White Walker issue that people like Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, Bran & Arya should be trying to quell in order to focus on the truly important issue. (Sansa, on the other hand, will probably be stoking them.)

      My bet is that the real big part of the first two episodes will be Bran taking the lessons from Robert’s Rebellion and applying them to the White Walker invasion. The one thing that should make Robert’s Rebellion different from a Hamletesque “Play within a play” is that because Robert’s Rebellion is “real” history and because smart people apply the lessons of history to the present, Bran now has both inspiration and cause to try to learn the “truth” for this enactment.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Trisha: It’s not that I don’t trust them but I have huge expectations and I’m worried they might not be met.

      Delete those expectations now, then! Your expectations almost certainly are strongly influenced by how you imagine that the reunion will take place: and chances are very (very!) good that the reunion will be under different circumstances.

      Instead, think of a variety of circumstances under which the reunion might take place. Then think of what would be appropriate under those circumstances given the two people Jon and Arya have become. That should produce a wide range of possible outcomes, ranging from levity to poignant to matter-of-fact.

      (If I had to bet, then I would lean towards levity and tension-breaking: Arya reverting to happy-little-sister in a very intense return with Jon at the head of numerous strangers is something that I could easily see. Note, however, that I would not bet more than I could scrounge out from under my sofa cushions….)

        Quote  Reply

    87. Wimsey: think of a variety of circumstances under which the reunion might take place. Then think of what would be appropriate under those circumstances given the two people Jon and Arya have become.

      While I don’t believe it will be done, this is ONE scenario I have for their reunion if I were the writer and brainstorming:

      It’s very likely that those at Winterfell will know when Jon (& Daenerys and their entourage) will arrive via scouts and ravens. I think it’s possible that Arya won’t be able to wait for him and will also be very curious to see this dragon queen she’s heard so much about. I could see her showing up on the Kingsroad to greet them using her faceless skills one more time, with a non-threatening new face (and no explanation where it came from). She could see Jon but also get a feel for what Daenerys is like to a stranger, as opposed to meeting her as Jon’s ‘sister.’

      Perhaps Jon is rounding up common folk on the way to take to Winterfell’s safety and/or aid in the fight. Under disguise Arya could travel all the way with them and not reveal herself until they get there. With enough of the common folk joining them they could perhaps keep her disguised even from the viewers. Most would probably suspect it’s her if there’s suddenly some random person with too much interaction with J&D though… Still, if they really tried to make it a surprise and limit focus on the person it could be done.
      ————-
      My previous scenario before last season was Arya arriving at Winterfell while Jon was still there. That too had her in disguise, sparring with someone to prove to Jon that she/he was a capable fighter and then revealing herself to him. Part of it included Jon recognizing Needle and approaching the person to question where/how it was attained.

      Obviously I’ve been imagining their reunion happening with the involvement of her Faceless skills so that Jon knows immediately that she has grown into the fighter she always wanted to be.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Clob,

      Yeah, something like that could happen. The one reason I would lean against it is that it would require scenes for their own sake: and at this point, I would expect all of the scenes to be killing 2+ birds with one stone.

      Your fighter scenario does raise another possibility. What if Wights are already besieging Winterfell when Jon et al. arrive? Jon and Arya could meet in battle and have a “surprise” meeting killing some wight or even White Walker (remember, Arya has Valyrian steel, too). After all, Jon will not be expecting some fierce young warrior holding his own against a fierce wight or even Walker to turn out to be his kid-sister!
      (That could provide some much-needed levity: I can see Series 8 as being short on laughs.) And as Winterfell probably will be attacked, that would also get in 3+ birds with one stone: not only would we get that, but if Jon et al. relieve Winterfell, then there will be far less tension surrounding Jon’s new allies.

      And there are a lot of other possibilities not far from these scenarios. Most of them will not produce the Jon-Arya reunion that some people are hoping to see. However, most of them still can generate a quality character-moment.

        Quote  Reply

    89. SerNoName:

      Again, ‘I was just following orders’ is not a justifiable excuse when committing atrocities. Are we going to excuse all the rape and murder the Mountain has done because he was following orders? Were the Nazi guards forgiven of their crimes because they were just following orders?

      The Hound could have left Joffrey’s service anytime he wanted to as he finally ended up doing when it personally affected him and he could not fight against fire. …

      And again, so what if the Lord of light judged the Hound innocent? The Lord of Light sanctioned the death by burning of a little girl. As Davos points out, ‘If he commands you to burn children, your Lord is evil.’

      So what if he saved Sansa countless times? Then Sansa can forgive him and run up to him and give him a big hug for being part of the cabal that held her captive and for killing her father’s men. She is imagining kisses with the Hound in the books, so it’s possible that she does not care.

      So what if the Hound is redeemed? He still brutally murdered Arya’s friend—an innocent butcher boy who was there that day by no fault of his own. Arya herself carries guilt for that incident and so much anger that she left the Hound to die painfully from his injuries.

      Again, I will ask, are we expecting Bran to give Jaime a big hug and welcome him to WF? Did Jon give Theon a big hug and welcome him home because he saved Sansa? …

      Arya has forgiven the Hound for what he did—that’s why she took him off the list. But to expect her to go running and give the murderer of her friend a big hug is ignoring Arya’s own pain and the Hound’s vile crimes. Redemption does not mean we forget the victims—Mycah is still dead as are those two boys Theon killed. Bran is still crippled.

      In the past I’ve referred to the Hound as a “good German” who abandoned the regime—not someone who was ever a Nazi, but someone who, by the mere circumstances of his birth, found it very difficult to extricate himself from the extant power structure. I didn’t use that analogy this time because I now think of it as deeply flawed. In the world of ASoIaF, the power structure to which he was beholden has been entrenched for millennia, and the objectives of the people who hold the power are very different from the Nazis’. Simply put, they are most rulers’ objectives—to control resources, attain and hold wealth, and then pass said control and wealth on to their children. While ethnic cleansing has been tragically common throughout history, it usually occurs as a reaction to certain circumstances; it is not the raison d’être of the regime. The power structure of Westeros is ruthless and patriarchal, but it is not inherently evil. The Nazis, on the other hand, were inherently evil. That is why German soldiers and guards were put on trial, and not Russian or English or American or French soldiers and guards—because their objectives and the power structures they supported were fundamentally different. But they all butchered people, and they all butchered innocent people.

      Did the Hound commit atrocities? Absolutely. But he was never a Nazi, any more than any other bannerman of any other House in Westeros is a Nazi. Furthermore, unlike the Nazis—most of whom remained unrepentant of their crimes and the brutally homicidal regime they supported—he is fully cognizant of the fact that he’s committed atrocities and is psychologically tortured by them. As are quite a few war veterans of my personal acquaintance.

      The Mountain is a psychopath, one of only two, in my opinion, in both books and show (the other being Ramsay). They’re really not comparable to anyone else.

      It’s highly debatable whether the Hound “could have left Joffrey’s service anytime he wanted to.” What would have happened to any sworn bannerman of any House after abandoning his post? A trial for treason and the headsman’s ax.

      We actually don’t know if “the Lord of Light sanctioned the death by burning of a little girl.” The fact that Stannis was quickly and mercilessly defeated indicates that the Lord, whatever he is, did not, in fact, sanction Shireen’s sacrifice. The responsibility lies squarely with Melisandre, as she herself acknowledged.

      The Hound was not part of a “cabal.” He was a sworn bannerman of House Lannister, and a very minor one at that: His grandfather was kennelmaster to Tywin’s father. Alone he has no power. Since you have read the books, you will recall that when he kidnapped Arya it was not for the ransom alone; he was also going to seek Robb’s protection, as he explicitly told Arya.

      No, redemption does not mean “we forget the victims.” But it can, and ideally should, mean that we recognize the difference between actions undertaken as part and parcel of life in a violent society (the common soldier or bannerman) and actions taken for no reason other than sheer malice and bloodthirst (the Mountain and Ramsay). That is why, for instance, many American and Japanese soldiers have reached out to each other in the decades following WWII. They have not forgotten Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We have not forgotten the Philippines and the POW camps. But forgiveness was necessary, else we could not have built the peace that followed the cataclysm.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Wimsey,

      As has already been discussed ad nauseam, the Winterfell arc. As has also been discussed ad nauseam, all the conversations that didn’t happen. Let me get this straight: Jon, Beric, Thoros, the Hound, and Gendry all found themselves having a near-experience north of the Wall with lots of time to banter, but somehow none of them ever discussed Arya? The Hound found out she was at Winterfell from Brienne, months later and thousands of miles away? Come on. Jon and Jorah have a sweet heart-to-heart about Longclaw, but Jorah never tells Jon it was a fellow brother of the Night’s Watch who cured his greyscale? Come on.

      I could add more, but honestly, I’m tired of harping about it. I’d much rather focus on the things I love about the show!

        Quote  Reply

    91. Wimsey,

      > unraveling the “why” of the White Walkers. That really needs to start in Episode 1.

      wasn’t the series “why” of the Walkers simply the COTF who created a weapon that got out of control? Of course, I don’t mind if there is much more going on and they saved all the backstory for Season 8. Or maybe GRRM has only worked out part of the backstory yet so they had to skip it.

      Anyway, I think we have seen all the necessary backstory for some fanfiction: NK created WW from Craster’s son, and they control the dead. Kill the leader, you kill the followers. However, “Hold the Door” was foreshadowing the actual solution: Bran could go back in time and prevent the COTF from creating the NK in the first place — this would create an alternative history at that point but from the history that the protagonists are in that doesn’t matter, but maybe Bran gets stuck in spacetime nevertheless. Of course this time-travelling will only be done at exactly the crucial moment when some other protagonists are battling with the NK, the tension should rise high enough. Maybe the NK has to be distracted in battle so that Bran can actually influence the COTF without being disturbed by him.

      And the true resolution (storywise for the protagonists) could be later in the season, after the war against the WW. There is still the Iron Throne and Westeros politics left.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Wolfish: As has already been discussed ad nauseam, the Winterfell arc.

      I had zero problems with the arcs that happened at Winterfell. I suspect that I would have disagreed strongly with the assertions that they were “bad” or “wrong.”

      And why on Earth would they show scenes of those people discussing Arya? That wasn’t relevant to the story. All of the banter (and there was way too much of it) at least was either relevant to last year’s story or probably was setup for this year’s story. Having them discuss Arya would have just been gratuitous fan-servicing.

        Quote  Reply

    93. fdr: wasn’t the series “why” of the Walkers simply the COTF who created a weapon that got out of control?

      That was but the first layer of the “why” of the Walkers. It leaves us with zero insight about why they turned on the Children, why they went away all of those years ago, and why they have returned. These are huge unanswered questions! (They are three questions that are going to have the same or part of the same answer.)

      We got a large thematic gun hung on the wall at the end of last year: Robert’s Rebellion was fought on a lie. One thing about which this show has been good: they do not waste time on things not relevant to the story. So, why this emphasis?

      I think that the answer is very simple. Bran & Co. are about to engage in another big war and they have been assuming that the enemy (the White Walkers) are just being “bad”: just as they mistakenly assumed Rhaegar was being 20 years before. Things were going along fine insofar as the Walkers were concerned for centuries: but now they are back. This is not the old “long-slumbering evil” cliche: there is no “good” or “evil” in Martinverse: and the “good guys” are the perceived “evil” that the Walkers were designed to destroy, anyway!

      The Walkers went away before. There are old stories about why: but the old stories are going to be 99% lies and 1% ironic truths. Just as the “truth” about Robert’s Rebellion really was hidden in plain sight (but very unpalatable to the principal players), I am betting that the “truth” behind the Walkers return has been hidden in plain sight. Moreover, we know what that this is a story about enduring damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don’t scenarios and their aftermaths. Right now, we’ve been given no reason to see this where the White Walkers are concerned: but, then, that sort of information should not be given to an audience until shortly before the climax.

      (My “tin-foil hat” idea still is that the “why” of R’hllor is tied up in this, too.)

        Quote  Reply

    94. Wimsey: Having them discuss Arya would have just been gratuitous fan-servicing.

      We’ll simply agree to disagree on this one, as many people do. It makes zero sense to me that with all that time and all that talking, it wouldn’t have come up. After all, Jon knew that Arya was last seen with the Hound–but it didn’t occur to him to ask the Hound about the circumstances of either their travels or their parting? Seriously? That wouldn’t have been “fan service,” imo. That would have been just common f*****g sense! “Fan service” was having Brienne tell the Hound about Arya, so we could give the cute tall people a moment of gushing over their AssassinBaby.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Wolfish,

      Thanks for the compliment. I enjoy reading your responses too. 🙂

      I hope we don’t have to worry about the conclusion coming down to romantic entanglements. Not if they’re really building towards GRRM’s conclusion.

      Personally, I hope that Dany and Jon’s romantic tryst will pretty much fall apart once his true identity is known. My worst nightmare is the possibility of a magic incest baby and any resulting goo-goo-eyed nonsense between Jon and Dany.

      I’m fine with a bit of angst and jealousy, even some forbidden love, maybe, as part of the personal drama. And I fully expect marriage and relationships to be involved in the conclusion one way or another – I don’t think GRRM will leave all his main characters unhitched and the futures of their Houses in doubt in his conclusion.

      But obviously you’ve gotta hope Season 8 doesn’t turn into something that wouldn’t feel out of place in the Twilight saga. It kinda felt a bit like that in the final couple of episodes of Season 7.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Wolfish: “Fan service” was having Brienne tell the Hound about Arya, so we could give the cute tall people a moment of gushing over their AssassinBaby.

      No, having the Hound find out about Arya from Brienne was a better option, since they had history togethher in trying to protect Arya. Jon and Sandor never had any relationship.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Wolfish,

      Personally, I hope that Dany and Jon’s romantic tryst will pretty much fall apart once his true identity is known.

      No way. And there has to be at least one happy love story in GoT. D&D said in “Inside the episode” that Jon’s identity will create problems, which means it won’t really. Maybe at first, but just like everything else they say about the future plot developments in “Inside the episode” it is meant to mislead us.

        Quote  Reply

    98. mau,

      While it’s true that Jon and Sandor had no relationship, Jon’s lack of curiosity about Arya’s time with the Hound is really, really out of character. That was my point. One of the most infamous men in the Seven Kingdoms kidnaps your sister, is in possession of her for, what, a couple of years, is almost killed by the woman who brought your other sister to the Wall, and it doesn’t even occur to you to ask any questions about how all this shite went down? I don’t think so.

        Quote  Reply

    99. mau: And there has to be at least one happy love story in GoT.

      I don’t see why.

      A successful love story is fairly low down my list of priorities for the conclusion. Especially the most predictable one they could possibly muster.

      I refuse to accept that two of the main players in the conclusion to this story have Disney love story plot armour.

      I’d be tempted to take the super sad, Night King wins, everybody dies ending over that.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Wolfish:
      Violator,

      I’d really, really like to believe they won’t, but given how uneven S7 was (and how many utterly senseless interactions/lack of there were), I’m only cautiously optimistic.

      (Violator wrote: “The person she’ll run to and want to give an enormous hug to is Jon.
      I think we can all agree on that. Those two have always been very close. It’s the one reunion they better not fuck up.”)

      ——————
      • If Jon talks with Arya for two minutes about Old Nan’s soup and then leaves on a mission, I am shutting off my TV.
      • I had been looking forward to Jorah’s return to Daeny ever since their parting in S6e5*, but was deflated by Jorah’s “Hello, I must be going”** entrance and exit, even more so because Daeny was in desperate need of an experienced military advisor. Tyrion’s got valuable political expertise (that’s why he was hired), but has been whiffing badly with his “clever plans” for the invasion.
      I sure hope Jon’s reunion with Arya doesn’t have that same “perfunctory” feel to it.

      • Can someone explain to me why Jon (in S7e3, I think) said “I thought Arya was dead” when he received Bran’s ravengram at Deagonstone? Ever since Brienne saw Arya alive and well and reported it to Sansa in S6e2, and lobbied Jon to help her retake WF, Arya had been presumed to be alive.
      Was this the writers’ backhanded way to try to justify Jon’s odd failure to look for, or even mention his (favorite) sibling ever since they said goodbye in S1? Did they overlook the S4 show-only Brienne-Arya encounter’s “ripple effect” on future seasons’ storylines?
      I’ve gone over excerpts from S1 – S7 and cannot reconcile them with Jon’s statement. (I’ll try to collate and post them tomorrow if anyone’s curious.)
      I am NOT whinging. I am not bashing the writers. I’m just perplexed.

      ————–

      * Excerpt from S6e5

      Jorah: “… I love you. I’ll always love you. Good-bye, Khaleesi.”

      Daeny (tearing up): “Do not walk away from your queen, Jorah the Andal. You have not been dismissed. You pledged yourself to me. You swore to obey my commands for the rest of your life. Well, I command you to find the cure wherever it is in this world. I command you to heal yourself and then return to me. When I take the Seven Kingdoms, I need you by my side.”

      ** “Hello I must be going” is my snarky shorthand term for a scene involving a long-absent character who returns but only stays long enough to announce he’s leaving. I filched this from Groucho Marx as famed explorer Captain Spalding in (“Animal Crackers” (1930), who arrives at a celebration in his honor…just to say he’s leaving:

      Captain Spaulding (Speaking): “Now I’d like to say a few words…”

      (Sings) 🎼. 🎶Hello, I must be going.
      I cannot stay, I came to say I must be going.
      I’m glad I came, but just the same I must be going.🎵🎶

        Quote  Reply

    101. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:

      Personally, I hope that Dany and Jon’s romantic tryst will pretty much fall apart once his true identity is known. My worst nightmare is the possibility of a magic incest baby and any resulting goo-goo-eyed nonsense between Jon and Dany.

      I’m with you on this, and not so much because of present-day norms against incest, but more because of 1) the fact that the Targaryen madness is most likely a result of said incest, and 2) it would just be waaayyy too clichéd for the two prettiest people on the show to wind up in a happily-ever-after (or a happily-until-death-in-childbirth). Twilight, indeed!

        Quote  Reply

    102. Ten Bears:

      Can someone explain to me why Jon (in S7e3, I think) said “I thought Arya was dead” when he received Bran’s ravengram at Deagonstone? Ever since Brienne saw Arya alive and well and reported it to Sansa in S6e2, and lobbied Jon to help her retake WF, Arya had been presumed to be alive.

      No. No one can provide a logical explanation for this. This was one of many, many things I was going to write to Wimsey in response to his question about why I thought S7 was uneven, but it would have taken me half the day.

      I have books to unpack, Words With Friends to play, and Dornish red to consume.

        Quote  Reply

    103. About Jon not knowing Arya’s alive–Starks often don’t talk to each other about certain things–thoughts, deep feelings, plans. Also, often the information gap is convenient for the writers. They have a habit of omitting some sensible communications between characters for a surprise or wow! moment. I doubt Jon would have talked to Brienne, and Sansa has a habit of holding back information anyway (from general distrust issues, not necessarily of Jon). . So it’s no surprise Jon didn’t know. I still don’t get Gendry not bringing her up though. They were very close for about a year, which seems much more significant to winning Jon’s gratitude and respect than Ned being Robert’s best mate.

      About a happy love story, I’d like to at least one healthy (non-incestuous), age-congruent, compatability-based marriage. Preferably it would also be non-politically motivated–it almost doesn’t matter whose.

        Quote  Reply

    104. Ever since Sansa told Arya that Jon’s heart will probably stop when he sees you, I’ve been wondering if this is a hint that they won’t reunite? Or when they do, one of them is dead or dying.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Stoneheart,

      My pessimistic self has long thought that they are going to not have the happy reunion we all want. Because we want it, dammit. Then again, I’ve been convinced every season was Jorah’s last, so I will happily be wrong on this. It just seems so very GoT to deny us.

        Quote  Reply

    106. As for no one mentioning or talking about Arya to each other, it is damn weird. Because it isn’t even as though it may have happened off screen, it has been made obvious that it has just not happened, period. There are too many characters that have interacted with her for it to just be a non-issue, like forgetting where you’ve put the keys to your horse.

        Quote  Reply

    107. Stoneheart,

      STAAAHHHPPP. I’ve been worried since first watching. I don’t need to know other people are worried too!

      Pigeon:

      There are too many characters that have interacted with her for it to just be a non-issue, like forgetting where you’ve put the keys to your horse.

      Ehrm… What kind of horse are you riding, Pigeon? 😉

        Quote  Reply

    108. Wolfish,

      You can’t have the same scene twice. Jon can’t give Longclaw to both Lyanna and Jorah. Jorah was a better option. Sandor can’t find out about Arya from both Jon and Brienne. Brienne is a better option.

        Quote  Reply

    109. mau,

      We can agree to disagree about the Hound finding out about Arya. As for Longclaw, I didn’t write anything about Lyanna. The point I made was about Sam. Sam told Jorah he had served with his father, and in the moment of meeting each other Jon also told Jorah he had served with his father. It made absolutely no sense to me that Jorah failed to even mention Sam to Jon, given that Sam saved his life. Being cured of greyscale is a pretty big f*****g deal, and meeting two men who served with one’s long-estranged father is also a pretty big f*****g deal. I know they’re tough, taciturn men who have a tendency to suppress their feelings, but if they can swoon over platinum-haired queens and have tender moments over family swords they can damn sure have logical exchanges about friends in common. /end rant

        Quote  Reply

    110. Wolfish,

      I tried to lay out all of the past information exchanges; replies to some of your coments; and Public Service Announcements on behalf of the SCADL*, but when I tried to post them earlier I kept getting “Page Not Found.”

      Well, the sun will be coming up soon where I am, so I’d better get to sleep and try again when I wake up.

      * Sandor Clegane Anti-Defamation League

        Quote  Reply

    111. Ten Bears,

      UUUGGGHHH, I got the “Page Not Found” thing for weeks. Hence the reason I still do the old-fashioned thing and save everything in Word to post later…

      Get some rest, and I look forward to reading your responses. ☺️

        Quote  Reply

    112. Wolfish,

      Re: Odd failure of Jorah and Jon to name-drop Samwell Tarly

      Though I haven’t caught up on last night’s comments, it looks like we’re on the same page. I was going to cite Sam’s speech to Jorah in S7e2:

      Sam: “You’re Jorah Mormont, the only son of Jeor Mormont. My name is Samwell Tarly, Sworn Brother of the Night’s Watch, training to serve as maester at Castle Black. I knew your father. I was with him when he died. You are not dying today, Ser Jorah.”

      I too was waiting for Jorah to exclaim to Jon when they met on the beach:
      “Your Sworn Brother saved my life! That Samwell is a f*cking wizard!”…

      ….or, for Sam’s name to come up during the Longclaw scene when Jon talked with Jorah about Jeor’s death at the hands of the mutineers.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Wolfish,

      I don’t understand this obsession with characters mentioning someone or something or recapitulating events from the past, even if that has nothing to do with the story or plot at the moment.

      How that scene between Jon and Jorah would even go? “I know your friend Sam” “Good. He is a good lad”. The end.

        Quote  Reply

    114. Wolfish,

      Thanks.
      Fortunately, I re-enabled “Shake to Undo” on my phone, so if I’m lucky the Lord of Light brings back vanished text from Alphabet Heaven.

      🕧 💤

        Quote  Reply

    115. mau,

      They had something in common: Sam and Jon both served with Jorah’s father, and were among the last people to see him alive. That would be a really, really big deal for a man who had been estranged from his father for years. (Confession: I had no contact with my father for 14 years, from 7 to 21 years of age, so this is a storyline I can directly relate to in a few ways.) Also, as I mentioned before, being cured of greyscale is a really, really big deal. There aren’t that many brothers in the Night’s Watch; it would stand to reason this might come up in conversation. Imho, it would be far more likely to come up in conversation than, say, Tormund’s crush on Brienne. Not that I objected to that exchange between Tormund and the Hound, but how on earth (er, Planetos) did that have any more to do with the plot than the many other very well-established relationships that weren’t even touched on?

      I’m not trying to be combative. I really enjoy your comments and contributions to this site. I’m just confounded by assertions that conversations about really major events would have been “fan service,” whereas conversations about superficialities (Gendry’s newfound passion for his Baratheon heritage, Tormund’s desire to sire giant world-conquering babies with Brienne) are brushed off as the sort of thing that these characters would actually have been discussing.

        Quote  Reply

    116. Ten Bears,

      Characters in any show don’t behave that way. Especially in a show that has this number of characters and storylines.

      Recapitulation mode for no reason is not a good writing.

        Quote  Reply

    117. mau: No, having the Hound find out about Arya from Brienne was a better option, since they had history togethher in trying to protect Arya. Jon and Sandor never had any relationship.

      I disagree. When Jon saw Sandor in the Eastwatch cells, he casually and inexplicably said only (paraphrasing) “You’re the Hound. I saw you once at Winterfell.”

      I assumed Jon would be shocked and say, “WTF! Did you get resurrected too? I heard you get bashed with a rock and plummeted off a cliff to your death.
      And I assumed Sandor would ask Jon whatever happened to Arya, and perhaps grumble that he has a bounty on his head all because Arya insisted on retrievithat stupid sword Jon had given her.

      l

        Quote  Reply

    118. Wolfish:
      mau,

      They had something in common: Sam and Jon both served with Jorah’s father, and were among the last people to see him alive. That would be a really, really big deal for a man who had been estranged from his father for years.

      But both Jon and Sam talked with Jorah about his father.

      Also, as I mentioned before, being cured of greyscale is a really, really big deal. There aren’t that many brothers in the Night’s Watch; it would stand to reason this might come up in conversation.

      I’m not against Jorah mentionig Sam, we will get something like that in S8, I’m sure, because Jorah, Sam and Jon will be at WF, I am just against that idea that it has to happen in that moment. There are so many things that conect these characters(all characters that are left alive). D&D can’t highlight everything. They said that when they talked about Dragonit. You have to choose what is your priority at the moment.

      Bryan Cogman said that he wrote a scene between Theon and Tyrion and then he realized that it’s really pointless, since they are just talking abut past events and Sansa.

      Imho, it would be far more likely to come up in conversation than, say, Tormund’s crush on Brienne. Not that I objected to that exchange between Tormund and the Hound, but how on earth (er, Planetos) did that have any more to do with the plot than the many other very well-established relationships that weren’t even touched on?

      In that episode D&D were trying to find as many connections between characters as they can. It is not episode just about Jorah and Jon. There was Gendry’s past with BwB, Jorah’s history with Thoros, Beric and Jon’s experience with death and, yes, the thing that connects Sandor and Tormund is Brienne.

      There are even more connections between them, but the episode was already really long.

      I am against this approach that we should only concentrate on things we didn’t get. Since these characters had very long journey and reach history, there are a million stories they could tell to each other.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Ten Bears: I disagree.When Jon saw Sandor in the Eastwatch cells, he casually and inexplicably said only (paraphrasing) “You’re the Hound. I saw you once at Winterfell.”

      That’s not really a relationship. Sandor and Brienne had an epic scene in the climax of S4.

        Quote  Reply

    120. mau,

      Nah, I’m pretty confident this show isn’t Twilight with dragons.

      But if it turns out to be, I’ll take pleasure in watching the trainwreck unfold, as everybody involved gets called out on the hacky ending.

        Quote  Reply

    121. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I don’t see why a love story should be called “Twilight with dragons”. And I don’t think that anyone will be called out. Targaryen restauration and Dany and Jon bringing balance and unity is something that makes sense as the ending of the story.

        Quote  Reply

    122. Ten Bears,
      Jon knows nothing about Arya’s-Sandor’s relation. Brienne never said to Sansa about Sandor. She said only “Arya was with a man and she wanted to be with him.”

        Quote  Reply

    123. mau,

      Oh, they’ll be called out if it goes that way, don’t worry.

      Reading that you’re expecting a Targaryen restoration and Jon and Dany uniting the Seven Kingdoms, I’d suggest it’s probably you who should prepare for disappointment.

        Quote  Reply

    124. Wimsey,

      > This is not the old “long-slumbering evil” cliche: there is no “good” or “evil” in Martinverse: and the “good guys” are the perceived “evil” that the Walkers were designed to destroy, anyway!

      I am willing to believe that the Others in Asoiaf will have more backstory than in GoT, but based on what we’ve seen and what the writers have mentioned (if correct) it appears to me that the Orcs of Middle-Earth (books) had more character than the WW (in the series), let alone the undead. Perhaps Martinverse is only grey as far as the living world is concerned. But if my fear for the old cliche is proved wrong, I will be very happy about it.

      > Just as the “truth” about Robert’s Rebellion really was hidden in plain sight (but very unpalatable to the principal players), I am betting that the “truth” behind the Walkers return has been hidden in plain sight.

      Yes, but some readers did strongly suspect Rhaegar and Lyanna’s story and there were many hints during the seasons. I haven’t seen that much backstory on the WW, and except Bran and Jon no protagonist has been involved with them yet. With so many viewers, someone should have figured out the clue — unless they saved all the evidence for season 8, which is a bit late. We saw something in Season 3 and 5 (how to defeat them) and 4 and 6 (their origin) but 7 was low on WW backstory except for Beric Dondarrion’s comments about death and the domino effect. What is missing (in the books) is the reason for the erratic seasons.

      It could be that the WW were simply pushed back behind the wall (the NK withdrew, instead of an armistice, “they were only sleeping”) and that “winter is coming” was meant for the North to remember that they were not truly defeated. Otherwise it could have been “A Stark always negotiates”.

        Quote  Reply

    125. jonathan,

      This was one of the things in the Brienne-Saves-Sansa scene that drove many of us up the wall–the fact that Brienne didn’t name one of the most infamous men in Westeros as Arya’s captor/protector, and that Sansa didn’t think to ask any more in that moment. But early in S7 Littlefinger tells Sansa, from their favorite spot on the balcony, “They say she defeated the Hound in single combat.” Sansa knows, so Jon must know as well. If he doesn’t that’s another absurd lapse in writing. Podrick would have been bragging about Brienne to everyone!

        Quote  Reply

    126. Wolfish,

      The whole discussion of why more characters weren’t mentioning Arya at every single opportunity reminds me of that The Simpsons episode in which Homer provides the voice of a cartoon character named “Poochie”. He demanded that whenever Poochie wasn’t on screen, all the other characters should be asking “Where’s Poochie”?

        Quote  Reply

    127. Wolfish,
      I think that your confusion comes from this:
      “After all, Jon knew that Arya was last seen with the Hound–but it didn’t occur to him to ask the Hound about the circumstances of either their travels or their parting?”

      At the moment Jon meets the Hound, he knows from Sansa’s letter that Arya has returned to Winterfell. So, clearly, he can afford to learn everything from Arya herself (and do it offscreen, without forcing us to listen to the recapping).

      In general, I find the writing of the Hound’s story in the show to be pretty meaningful. So many fans insist that he’s intended to have some shared plotline with Sansa and/or Arya, but especially Sansa hasn’t mentioned him in, like, ever (while she does mention, for instance, Tyrion, regularly). Instead, DnD seem to almost be fanning the fires of Cleganebowl.

      Hence, and given his recently-found spirituality, I’m assuming the Hound will take up Beric’s flaming sword and act as R’hllor’s champion against his undead brother. That’s why the Sansa-Arya-Hound connection is not reinforced on the show.

        Quote  Reply

    128. Juri,

      It certainly wasn’t my expectation or desire that Arya be mentioned “at every single opportunity.” My argument (and quite a few other viewers’) is that not mentioning her at all is a glaring lapse in logic. Gendry bro’ing it up with Jon because their fathers fought together, but not even asking if Arya is alive (especially after she, you know, saved his f*****g life through Jaqen), makes no f*****g sense. Jon recognizing the Hound from Winterfell, but failing to question the last person who saw Arya alive before her mysterious return to Winterfell years later makes no f*****g sense. Jorah meeting not one, but two men who served with his father at the Wall, and not saying a word to Jon about having met another brother of the Night’s Watch who, incidentally, cured him of f*****g greyscale makes no f*****g sense.

      Pardon my language.

      On a different note, I can certainly understand why Gendry was still miffed with Thoros and Beric for turning him over to Melisandre. But I find it odd that, given his very enthusiastic reception of his Baratheon heritage, he kept nursing that anger. After all, the Brotherhood had little reason to suspect that Melisandre planned to sacrifice him, and absent their actions he never would have known why the Gold Cloaks had come for him. Gendry’s insistence on having it both ways–being all rah-rah about Daddy and his war-hammer, while simultaneously holding on to a deep resentment of the men indirectly responsible for revealing his parentage–really rubbed me the wrong way.

      /end rant

        Quote  Reply

    129. Wolfish,

      “They say she (Βrienne) defeated the Hound in single combat.”
      Nothing about Arya. And Jon is absent. No, I think he doesn’t know. There are not data. We can only make suppositions…

        Quote  Reply

    130. Wolfish,

      I was mostly being facetious, but I will concede that if someone should have asked Jon about Arya, it should have been Gendry and his new-found love for his Baratheon heritage (which really irritates me)… Something along the lines of:
      G: “I’ve met your father… oh! and your sister!”
      J: “Well, I just found out she’s alive and well at Winterfell!”
      (But better written, of course)
      Jon not asking the Hound didn’t bother me at all.

      And regarding Gendry’s anger towards the BWB, if someone sold me to a stranger (for whatever reason) I would harbor some resentment to that person as well… Just saying…

        Quote  Reply

    131. Juri,

      Oh, I’d definitely resent the Brotherhood too. It’s the dichotomy of his thinking that really annoys me! (And I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one irritated about all this gung-ho “Yay, I’m a bastard Baratheon!” talk.)

      jonathan,

      You are correct. And my own supposition is that Jon and Sansa would have discussed the possible fate of the missing Stark siblings.

      I know, I know. “It all happens offscreen.” Sigh.

        Quote  Reply

    132. Wolfish,

      I share your frustration. Gendry and Jon bonding over Arya would have been a more convincing motivation for revealing his true identity to Jon and committing to heading beyond The Wall with him.

      Season 7 felt like the season of missing exposition.

      When it comes to the Sam/Jorah connection, however, I’m assuming they’ve held back on recognising that and the Tarly barbecue for the opportune dramatic moment in Season 8. It’s surely too blatant an oversight not to serve a purpose.

      The only question is, for what purpose? A moment of contrition/epiphany for Dany? A crisis of faith for Jorah? A reassessment of the Dany/throne situation and his choices by Jon?

        Quote  Reply

    133. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Excellent points all. Of course, none of this stops me from continuing to love the show! I’m on my fourth re-watch of S7. Will finish the last episode tonight. And then back to moping about the long wait for S8…

      …oh, wait. I have Con of Thrones to plan for!!! 😁

        Quote  Reply

    134. Wolfish,
      Why not? I mean, the whole idea started out stupid, I agree – I think it was ‘the Hound would be the champion of the Faith against Cersei in a trial by combat’? Especially since it made the High Sparrow a more important, or positive, figure than he really is.

      But there is some juicy material in the Hound finding spirituality, conquering his fear of fire, simultaneously putting his tormentor to death and his brother to rest… Especially if it’s in an actual narratively interesting cause, like maybe paving way for Jaime to get to Cersei and finish his quest. The irony of Sandor Clegane working for/with a Lannister again would tie things up in this narrative with a neat bow.

      Compare this to the Sansa-Arya narrative, whose gist was ‘not repeating the mistake of the previous generation of the Tully women’. The girls have found each other and that’s what’s important, the Hound would be like a third wheel there.

        Quote  Reply

    135. Yaga,

      Your points are well argued; I just happen to be in the camp of people who believe that killing the Mountain would represent a regression for the Hound, not closure. Yes, the Mountain is long, long overdue for execution, but killing one’s brother can’t be an easy memory to live with, no matter how justified or deserved the death is. The Hound has enough bitter memories to grapple with. Imho, it would be far more gratifying for either Arya to take him out (a life for a life, since the Hound saved hers) or his own creator, Qyburn. After all, what are Qyburn’s motives? It would be interesting to see him turn against Cersei.

      /desists tinfoilery

      As for Sansa and Arya, I have no desire to see anyone, the Hound included, being shoehorned into their narrative for no good reason. But it means something that he saved both their lives, and more than once. Remember, there are no coincidences in the MartinVerse.

        Quote  Reply

    136. Lovely interview from Maisie Williams. She seems charming !

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: the Tarly barbecue for the opportune dramatic moment in Season 8. It’s surely too blatant an oversight not to serve a purpose.
      The only question is, for what purpose? A moment of contrition/epiphany for Dany? A crisis of faith for Jorah? A reassessment of the Dany/throne situation and his choices by Jon?

      All of the above… Additionally to your excellent points, the Tarly roasting gives the already less-than-enthusiastic Northern lords a leg to stand on to draw parallels between Daenerys and her father (burning a father-son duo is becoming a family tradition for the Dragons) and to reactualise their dislike of Targaryens, which should make the revelation of Jon’s real parentage even more interesting to them.
      Furthermore, it adds a dab of potential conflict between Sam and Jon, via the latter’s decision to bend the knee and support the woman who burnt the former’s relatives alive.

      mau,
      At this point, everything could be called clichéed or fan service, to be honest. The story and its conclusion have been intensely debated by so many people for over twenty years now. I would be tempted to believe that all the possible outcomes have been explored, both positively and negatively. Seven hells, “R+L=J” was guessed by many readers back in 1996 so, when it was finally confirmed on the show in 2016, I remember reading quite a few posts decrying it as “fan service”… That is the downside of enthusiastic fanbases 😛
      I almost feel sorry for the writers, be they George RR Martin or D&D; only the most outlandish, out-of-the-blue, borderline ridiculous scenarii would truly be surprising by now.

      The only rule of thumb I have to attempt to predict deaths on Game of Thrones is the “magic” one. From what I can see, magic was dormant when the story started : the dragons had died out, the Others/White Walkers had not been seen for so long they had become the stuff of fairy tales, prophecies were laughed at (“Is he a ham ?”… I miss Renly, goddammit ^^), etc. Then, magic revealed itself and has been demonstrating its power in increasingly spectacular ways over the years : dragons, resurrections, greenseeing, ice zombies, Faceless Men, etc. However, as magic itself has been gaining narrative importance, magical entities and beings have been dying at as alarming rate : the giants are now extinct, along with the Children of the Forest, the direwolves are down to two and are unlikely to have direwolf pups (neither Nymeria nor Ghost have another direwolf around to reproduce with), Resurrector-in-Chief Thoros is dead, the Wall has started to crumble, etc.
      The show has even made it clear that Melisandre, Westeros’s other Lazarus-maker, will die and that Varys, whose body was mutilated as part of a magical ritual, will suffer the same fate.

      So, it appears that, while the story’s climax will be magic v. magic, the aftermath of the Battle will leave Westeros supernatural-less. That, to me, points towards the idea that, the closer a character is tied to magic, the more likely they are to either die or fade away from a world where magic is no longer present.
      That is, of course, not to say that all the characters with no link to magic will survive (Cersei is as unmagical as they come and she is for sure going down) and that all the “magical” characters will die (Bran will most certainly make it but divorced from the outside world, the last of the Three-Eyed Ravens). However, I believe it is a good-ish rule of thumb. And Targaryens are pretty magical, from their links with dragons to their otherwordly appearance…

        Quote  Reply

    137. Wolfish,

      On a different note, I can certainly understand why Gendry was still miffed with Thoros and Beric for turning him over to Melisandre. But I find it odd that, given his very enthusiastic reception of his Baratheon heritage, he kept nursing that anger. After all, the Brotherhood had little reason to suspect that Melisandre planned to sacrifice him, and absent their actions he never would have known why the Gold Cloaks had come for him. Gendry’s insistence on having it both ways–being all rah-rah about Daddy and his war-hammer, while simultaneously holding on to a deep resentment of the men indirectly responsible for revealing his parentage–really rubbed me the wrong way.

      Juri:
      Wolfish,
      I was mostly being facetious, but I will concede that if someone should have asked Jon about Arya, it should have been Gendry and his new-found love for his Baratheon heritage (which really irritates me)

      Wolfish:
      Juri,
      Oh, I’d definitely resent the Brotherhood too. It’s the dichotomy of his thinking that really annoys me! (And I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one irritated about all this gung-ho “Yay, I’m a bastard Baratheon!” talk.)

      I definitely know what you are talking about and I was also surprised that D&D decided to write it this way in S7E5, given book!Gendry’s stubbornness and his already low opinion of his absent father, he probably wouldn’t change thinking poorly of king Robert, the old sod *wink*, after learning of his heritage.

      But all in all I would have just changed two things:
      1) chop his line in the smithy: “What do you think I‘ve been thinking about with every swing of the hammer? ‚How happy I am making weapons for the […] family that tried to kill me?” There you go.

      And 2) the warhammer really did not need those stags on either side. Storywise it was rather risky to put them there. Why have Gendry cut his hair and then let him make those stags???? If D&D really wanted to drive home the point that Robert is Gendry’s father, they just could have let Ramin rearrange the Baratheon theme a little (btw one of my absolute favorite themes) and use it. Et violá, no need for a visual reminder.

      Then there is only the Jon and Gendry scene in the cave left and it wasn’t like he was boasting about his father. Merely blurting out who his father was to then drive home the fact that their fathers trusted each other, ‘why shouldn’t these two’? To make them parallel Robert and Ned in S1E1 instead of mentioning Arya was…fine imo.

      Where I really would have vetoed against was in S7E6 the whinging scene. Why couldn’t they wrote it like that:
      T: “Still mad at us, boy?”
      G: “You sold me – to a witch.
      T: “A priestess. I’ll admit it is a subtle distinction.”
      B: “We’re fighting a great war; wars cost money.”
      G: “I wanted to be one of you. I wanted to join the Brotherhood, but you sold me off – like a slave. Arya was right not to trust you. And the witch.”
      Thoros ignores his insitence of calling her a witch.
      T: “Smart girl.”
      G:“Did you accomplish to sell her off too?”
      B: “She ran off.”
      G: “So you don‘t know what happened to her?”
      T: “Best ask him.”
      Points at Sandor
      G: “Him?!”
      S: “What the fuck’s your problem?”
      G: “What in the seven hells did YOU do with her? You know where she is?!”
      S: “Not anymore.”
      G: “Well, that‘s probably for the best. You were obviously failing at watching over her, all of you…“
      Sandor starts glaring at him.
      G: “…She could be dead for all we know. Killed by someone, like the witch wanted to kill me. Would have killed me if it wasn‘t for Davos…“
      S: “But she didn‘t, did she? And the wolf-girl probably outlives us all. So what‘re you whinging about?”
      G: “I’m not whinging!” Gendry denied.
      S: “Your lips are moving and you’re complaining about something. That’s whinging.”
      G: “How did you lose her?”
      S: “She left me to die. You don’t hear me bitching about it.”
      Sandor starts moving past Gendry.
      (Just so you know I heavily borrowed from here.)

      Btw. they definitely wrote Gendry in this scene with Arya in mind. S3E6:
      A: He wants to be one of you. He wants to join the Brotherhood. […]
      A: You‘re a witch.

      Why not mention her by name in the first place?

        Quote  Reply

    138. Stoneheart,

      Jon will be dying when Arya takes off whoever’s face she happens to be wearing. I envisioned this from 2 seasons ago and that remark by Sansa made me remember the theory.

        Quote  Reply

    139. Wolfish,
      Fair enough. I just can’t say I understand your point of view here:
      >believe that killing the Mountain would represent a regression for the Hound, not closure […] killing one’s brother can’t be an easy memory to live with

      Visiting the likes of r/raisedbynarcissists… there really is no special ‘family bond’. Killing your abuser is frowned upon because it upsets societal disorder (leads to vicious circles of vendettas and so on). But I don’t understand why you think it should be somehow upsetting to the abused – if anything, I would say it brings them peace of mind.

      As a child (10-y-o or so), I once almost got raped. I managed to escape unscathed, but my one thought as this was happening? “I’d like to gut you and leave you to die slowly with your gizzards hanging out to be eaten by dogs.” I had read in adventuring books that a stab wound to the abdomen is a slow, painful way to die due to sepsis, see? 😀 …Anyhow, my point is, I’m not the slightest bit ashamed of those thoughts. I would have killed the man, if I could have. And, well, but for the fact that we now live in a ‘civilised’ society.

        Quote  Reply

    140. Wolfish,
      Thanks! Of course there are lots of other options of how it could have been handled in either of these scenes (without any more of – for me – out of character Gendry). But what’s done is done, oh well. 🙂

      Juri,
      Fair enough. As always it’s a matter of taste, and I totally get what you mean. I’m also just fine with the realization that they let Gendry repeat Aryas exact words from S3E6. Reference enough for me. Although I still would like to know why they did not reference her directly in some form or fashion, you know, and still would have vetoed against whiny Gendry bash in the writers room. Still very happy with the series, though. It’s their baby and hey, they aren’t finished with the story yet.

        Quote  Reply

    141. Cliohna,

      I agree with your general sentiment. I would have vetoed Gendry returning at all…
      (And Jorah, to be honest… I was happy with him disappearing from the show and dying of greyscale off-screen ). But as you’ve said: “It’s their baby and hey, they aren’t finished with the story yet. Still very happy with the series, though.”

        Quote  Reply

    142. Juri:
      Cliohna,
      I would have vetoed Gendry returning at all…
      (And Jorah, to be honest… I was happy with him disappearing from the show and dying of greyscale off-screen ).

      I wouldn’t go that far, still love me some Joe Dempsie and Ian Glen, just with thoroughly thought through characterization for all of the characters. But, yeah, that was to be expected that not everybody is 100% happy. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    143. Cliohna,

      Oh! Don’t get me wrong! I love me some Iain Glen with his velvet voice and his Jorah’s yellow shirt… But I feel it was such a beautiful ending for Dany and Jorah relationship back in S6. I was at peace with it.

      I never really cared for Gendry (Joe Dempsie notwithstanding). My favorite Robert Baratheon bastard is Mya Stone. But I always knew that character was not going to make it into the show… Oh well, I guess I should count my blessings…

        Quote  Reply

    144. Juri,

      Hehehe, yes, I understand that. But I’m still curious what is in store for him.

      And as for Gendry, I do care for his book counterpart (I actually did not get into Mya Stone’s character that much, yet, probably because of Cat and till recently I had a hard time with Sansas chapters, but I’m rereading right now, sooo…). But show!Gendry is pretty much a different character by now and I always had the feeling they gave Joe less and less to work with, really. Kind of Stephen Dillane like, so that the character got uninteresting for him. I don’t know. Maybe in Winterfell there is more to do…but not enough time to explore. If he is on his way to Winterfell at all…who knows where he is:

      Aaaaand back to our regularly scheduled program of: “Where the fuck is Gendry?

        Quote  Reply

    145. Yaga:

      But I don’t understand why you think it should be somehow upsetting to the abused – if anything, I would say it brings them peace of mind.

      To clarify, I don’t think it would be upsetting under all circumstances, only certain ones. I keep thinking of it in Westerosi terms, where kinslaying is one of the most terrible crimes one can commit in the Faith of the Seven. Given the Hound’s spiritual awakening (for lack of a better term), which followed his renunciation of nihilism (whether conscious or unconscious) vis-à-vis his relationships with, and protectiveness of, Sansa and Arya, I think he might have reached a point where killing the Mountain would be just one more terribly bitter memory to live with. Not out of feelings of guilt (hell no!), but because the memory would constantly remind him of the fact that his brother’s actions drove him to commit an act universally believed to be abhorrent.

      I apologize for not being able to explain clearly. I’m afraid I’m pretty brain-fried, and am having difficulty cohesively phrasing my thoughts.

      On another note: Your feelings about the man who almost raped you are completely understandable and justifiable. You should never, ever, ever feel ashamed of them. Thank you, truly, for sharing your experience.

        Quote  Reply

    146. Wolfish:
      To clarify, I don’t think it would be upsetting under all circumstances, only certain ones. I keep thinking of it in Westerosi terms, where kinslaying is one of the most terrible crimes one can commit in the Faith of the Seven. […] because the memory would constantly remind him of the fact that his brother’s actions drove him to commit an act universally believed to be abhorrent.

      Ah, I understand you now. But we’re back to the concept of societal censure here – the Hound feeling ashamed for committing an act taboo in the society. Even setting aside the fact that, as a result of the many upheavals, Westeros no longer strictly abides by its past feudal norms (Sansa is technically a kinslayer for killing Ramsey, isn’t she? So is Dany, for Viserys; so is Tyrion, for Tywin. No one censures them.), I don’t think Sandor Clegane, even spiritually awakened, would be ashamed to commit an act that he knows has to be committed just because someone might think badly of him. And far more importantly, I think he’s coming to be aware that he’s surrounded by likewise-minded (and even supportive!) people.

      Take the rest of our remaining cast. Who among them is going to cast the first stone? And I think the Hound knows this–that, if he chooses this, he would have their support. And he would have it.

      …So, I think that maybe you shouldn’t be afraid of giving him a bitter memory? Because it wouldn’t be?

        Quote  Reply

    147. Wolfish,

      ….”As for Sansa and Arya, I have no desire to see anyone, the Hound included, being shoehorned into their narrative for no good reason. But it means something that he saved both their lives, and more than once. Remember, there are no coincidences in the MartinVerse.”
      ———–
      Interesting. If we believe in foreshadowing, “hung guns” and deliberate callbacks, then showing Arya’s unresolved enotional conflicts about the Hound in the “Game of Faces” in S5 with Jaqen 2.0 and in S6 with the Waif, should have a payoff. Or else, why bother? Those two scenes had no independent relevance to the Braavos story line.

      By contrast, as to Sansa, I thought the omission of Sandor’s name was glaring when Brienne (S6e2) told Sansa she’d encountered Arya with “a man.” Huh? Brienne knew he was the Hound. Pod knew, and told her about Sandor Clegane, the Hound. Instead of commentary on Arya’s fashion choices, I was expecting at least a brief mention of the Hound during Brienne’s conversation with Sansa, and a reaction from Sansa like: “Sandor? You saw Sandor? Oh my. He risked his life to save me from getting gangraped and murdered, told me ‘You’re alright, Little Bird”, and carried me to safety.”
      [Okay, I admit that was fanfic dialogue.]
      But I’ve wondered if the failure to identify “a man” was deliberate, e.g., to deflate expectations of their eventual reunion. It just sounded awkward.

      Anyway, I’m 90% convinced that Arya’s and Sandor’s stories will converge in S8. I’ve got a whole other tinfoil angle to their relationship, but that 90% is based on logical progression: the opposite of shoehorning.

        Quote  Reply

    148. Ten Bears,

      But is it really a “hung gun”? Those Arya scenes you’ve mentioned in the Braavos storyline served as a character development: to show that Arya had conflicting feelings for Sandor and that those feelings were easily detected in the Game of Faces (a game Arys is supposed to learn how to master as a part of her training). Not every scene needs to advance the plot.

      Regarding the scene between Sansa and Brienne where the second, according to you, “fails” (really?) to identify Sandor: Brienne was trying to not worry too much an already traumatized Sansa by avoiding mentioning that Arya was in the company of the infamous Lannister hit man (as far as Brienne is concerned). The scene served to let Sansa know that her sister was still alive and to somehow stir her desire to retake Winterfell for her family (as per her talk later with Jon). Mentioning Sandor served no purpose whatsoever… except as “where’s Poochie-ism”.

      Both Stark sisters were (at least partially) instrumental in the Hound’s spiritual awakening. And Sandor finding out via Brienne (and tacitly making peace with her) that Arya is alive and well is more than enough closure. No further interaction is really necessary.

      Although I do expect some kind of interaction between Arya and Sandor in S8, but not beyond “Glad you’re still alive”, “You too”.

        Quote  Reply

    149. Juri,

      Actually, both Sansa and Arya have some unfinished business with Cersei: I guess, Sansa will keep an eye on the enemy she have seen, while Jon and Dany are concentrated on the WW, and, if at some point, she makes the decision that Cersei has to be taken out, Arya may gladly take the role of the executioner. Which means that Sandor as well as Brienne, the main protectors of the Stark girls, may follow Arya to KL and, athough I still think that Cersei will be Jaime’s kill, the trio may play a role in that, for instance, by taking out the Mountain. This means the Clegainbowl and Brienne’s presence will also give Jaime the opportunity to die in the arms of the woman he loves. So, in short, I think that Sansa, Arya, Sandor, and Brienne may become a part of the plot leading to Cersei’s demise, and that would be the payoff for all their earlier interactions.

        Quote  Reply

    150. Inga,

      I don’t deny that Sansa has some unfinished business with Cersei, even more so than Arya. It was Cersei who ordered Lady to be killed and who continually humiliated and terrorized Sansa. In contrast, Cersei is innocent of the crime Arya attributes her, namely, the beheading of Ned Stark. I guess it makes sense it’s a collaborative effort between both Stark sisters to somehow take down Cersei: Sansa passing the sentence and Arya swinging the sword (Arya kills Cersei wearing the face of Jamie?). But hopefully, Brienne doesn’t go south. She is the owner of a Valyrian steel and it would be completely wasted there. As for the Hound… yes, going south would fulfill Cleganebowl, I guess… But I rather echo Wolfish’s sentiment: I rather we don’t have Cleganebowl.

        Quote  Reply

    151. Juri,

      Yes. It was a “hung gun.” The lie detection training was being amply demonstrated by Jaqen 2.0 whacking Arya with a stick every time she tried to lie to him by him by changing a minor detail of her narrative. The climax of that session was the revelation that Arya was lying to herself that she hated the Hound and wanted him to suffer. The session with the Waif was even more revealing, not only because Arya/A Girl admitted she had been confused about her feelings for Sandor, but because the Waif’s question, “Tell me about the Hound” seemingly came out of left field, during a colloquy about “Arya Stark’s family.”

        Quote  Reply

    152. Juri,

      “Brienne was trying to not worry too much an already traumatized Sansa by avoiding mentioning that Arya was in the company of the infamous Lannister hit man (as far as Brienne is concerned).”

      ——————-
      • There was nothing indicating Brienne thought of Sandor as “the infamous Lannister hit man”, or that he posed any danger to Arya. To the contrary, she (truthfully) disclosed to Sansa that the “man” had not hurt Arya; and that Arya didn’t want to leave him and he didn’t want to leave her.

      • Brienne had just taken a solemn oath to serve as Sansa’s sworn shield. It was not her place – and violated the vows she’d just made – to decide to fudge or conceal important information from Lady Sansa. (It’s kind of ironic that Brienne would later call out Sansa for fudging and concealing information from Jon.)

      • As of S7e1, LF – and thetefore Sansa – knew that Brienne had reportedly beaten The Hound in single combat. No reluctance about naming him, and no shock on Sansa’s part.

      • If we’re going to speculate about off-camera information exchanges or impute thoughts to characters, then we should necessarily assume that: (a) Poderick, from his time serving as Tyrion’s squire, would know that Sandor had protected Sansa, and even braved the riot mob to save her from getting gang-raped and killed; and (b) Pod had imparted this to Brienne.

      • Speaking for myself, if my little sister had been missing for many years and somebody came forward reporting that she was alive and well, I’d want to know the whole story down to every last detail -and not a unilaterally sanitized version.

        Quote  Reply

    153. Ten Bears: Instead of commentary on Arya’s fashion choices, I was expecting at least a brief mention of the Hound during Brienne’s conversation with Sansa, and a reaction from Sansa like: “Sandor? You saw Sandor? Oh my. He risked his life to save me from getting gangraped and murdered,told me ‘You’re alright, Little Bird”, and carried me to safety.”

      He is also the man who entered her bedroom uninvited, drunk and covered in blood, and tried to physically intimidate her into leaving King’s Landing with him… And that was just the watered down show version; in the books, their last encounter was significantly worse.

      Now, do not get me wrong. I love The Hound, in the books and on the show, and I love Rory McCann’s interpretation of him. I believe this character is the only one with a true redemption arc and his evolution has been genuinely fascinating and moving to witness. However, we cannot completely white-wash his past in light of his present. If anything, it takes away from his journey if we neutralise some of the most questionable or downright toxic aspects of his past. It makes his redemption less striking, less impressive.

      Inga: Actually, both Sansa and Arya have some unfinished business with Cersei:

      I see where you are coming from but I am not certain I agree with the idea that Arya has unfinished business with Cersei…

      I realise that she is on the list but the narrative and psychological beauty of said list is that it is imperfect. It is the product of a child’s understanding of very complex situations. That is why the Hound was on it for a long time : Arya, as a very privileged and sheltered 11-year-old, did not quite get that had Sandor, a very minor nobleand a Kingsguard, disobeyed Joffrey, he would have been killed himself. That is also why Ilyn Payne was on the list at some point (maybe not any longer) : Arya, as an understandably traumatised child, did not quite grasp the fact that the man cutting her father’s head was not morally responsible for the deed since he, like the Hound, was not at liberty to disobey.

      The same logic applies to Cersei, I am afraid. As far as I can tell, Arya put Cersei on her list because she believes Cersei had a hand in Ned’s death. We know that to be completely untrue. Joffrey was the one who decided to execute Ned and did not even tell his mother beforehand.
      Even though Meryn Trant and Walder Frey had no personal connection with Arya, they knew that her charges against them were real; Cersei, not so much… So, were Arya to come for Cersei one-on-one, like she did with the two men, I fear the scene would be thoroughly anti-climactic for there is no mutually agreed-upon history between the two characters.

      Arya : Before I kill you, do you know who I am ?
      Cersei : Your face is vaguely familiar but nope…
      Arya : I am Arya Stark.
      Cersei : Oh yeah.
      Arya : You killed my father.
      Cersei : Nope.
      Arya : …
      Cersei : …
      Arya : You killed Ned Stark.
      Cersei : Still nope.
      Arya : You ordered his execution.
      Cersei : Once again, nope.
      Arya : Yes, you did.
      Cersei : No, I did not.
      (Fifteen minutes later)
      Arya : Yes, you did.
      Cersei : No, I did not.

      I am certain such a scene could be delightfully and darkly funny but it would carry very little emotional weight. Now, as you mention, Arya could serve as executioner in a Cersei-Sansa confrontation (there is genuine history between these two) but I feel it would cheapen Arya’s arc. If all she does now is kill glorified strangers because someone else tells her to, what was the point of her leaving the Faceless Men ? That is what they do !
      Her executing Littlefinger made sense for, by betraying Ned, Baelish had committed a crime against all the Starks. So his death was a collective effort on the Direwolves’ part. Anything beyond that would be overkill (no pun intended ^^)

        Quote  Reply

    154. Yaga: I don’t think Sandor Clegane, even spiritually awakened, would be ashamed to commit an act that he knows has to be committed just because someone might think badly of him. And far more importantly, I think he’s coming to be aware that he’s surrounded by likewise-minded (and even supportive!) people.

      I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with Wolfish on this matter.

      The Hound has moved on from Gregor, he is over his brother and what he did to him. That is what made their confrontation at the Dragonpit so crucial and pivotal in Sandor’s narrative arc : he is no longer the man he used to be, he is no longer haunted and driven by the horrors of his childhood; his brother means nothing to him anymore. Killing Gregor would require for the Hound to reinvest his brother emotionally, which would be a regression.

      I feel the same way about Jaime, to be honest. I realise that many want to see him kill Cersei but I struggle to get behind this idea. Leaving her was enough. That was the end of his involvement with her. She now means little to him so why would he go back and murder her ? Symbolically speaking, she is already dead to him so killing her physically would add nothing to the proceedings, I believe.

        Quote  Reply

    155. Ten Bears: • There was nothing indicating Brienne thought of Sandor as “the infamous Lannister hit man”, or that he posed any danger to Arya. To the contrary, she (truthfully) disclosed to Sansa that the “man” had not hurt Arya; and that Arya didn’t want to leave him and he didn’t want to leave her.

      I admit that was quite hyperbolic on my part. Although it’s equally important not to whitewash The Hound, as ACME mentioned… But the fact that Brienne reacted with wariness when Pod identified Sandor suggests that she didn’t consider him harmless.

      Ten Bears: • As of S7e1, LF – and thetefore Sansa – knew that Brienne had reportedly beaten The Hound in single combat. No reluctance about naming him, and no shock on Sansa’s part.

      So what? LF never specified when, where, in which context Brienne beat The Hound… For all Sansa know, LF could have been referring to a tournament. And how LF naming Sandor has anything to do with Brienne doing it? Particularly with the completely different context in which that happened.

      Ten Bears: • If we’re going to speculate about off-camera information exchanges or impute thoughts to characters, then we should necessarily assume that: (a) Poderick, from his time serving as Tyrion’s squire, would know that Sandor had protected Sansa, and even braved the riot mob to save her from getting gang-raped and killed; and (b) Pod had imparted this to Brienne.

      Do we? Necessarily?

      Ten Bears: • Speaking for myself, if my little sister had been missing for many years and somebody came forward reporting that she was alive and well, I’d want to know the whole story down to every last detail -and not a unilaterally sanitized version.

      Glad to know you have a contingency plan should that ever happen.

        Quote  Reply

    156. Ten Bears,

      For some reason, my last comment went to moderation and disappeared…

      Ten Bears: • There was nothing indicating Brienne thought of Sandor as “the infamous Lannister hit man”, or that he posed any danger to Arya. To the contrary, she (truthfully) disclosed to Sansa that the “man” had not hurt Arya; and that Arya didn’t want to leave him and he didn’t want to leave her.

      I admit that was quite hyperbolic on my part. Although it’s equally important not to whitewash The Hound, as ACME mentioned… But the fact that Brienne reacted with wariness when Pod identified Sandor suggests that she didn’t consider him harmless.

      Ten Bears: • As of S7e1, LF – and thetefore Sansa – knew that Brienne had reportedly beaten The Hound in single combat. No reluctance about naming him, and no shock on Sansa’s part.

      So what? LF never specified when, where, in which context Brienne beat The Hound… For all Sansa know, LF could have been referring to a tournament. And how LF naming Sandor has anything to do with Brienne doing it? Particularly with the completely different context in which that happened.

      Ten Bears: • If we’re going to speculate about off-camera information exchanges or impute thoughts to characters, then we should necessarily assume that: (a) Poderick, from his time serving as Tyrion’s squire, would know that Sandor had protected Sansa, and even braved the riot mob to save her from getting gang-raped and killed; and (b) Pod had imparted this to Brienne.

      Do we? Necessarily?

      Ten Bears: • Speaking for myself, if my little sister had been missing for many years and somebody came forward reporting that she was alive and well, I’d want to know the whole story down to every last detail -and not a unilaterally sanitized version.

      Glad to know you have a contingency plan should that ever happen.

        Quote  Reply

    157. ACME,

      Yep! Love this! I think if you swap Tyrion for Cersei this could work. In S8 characters are coming together, Arya will meet w the Hound and Gendry both dead in her mind then Tyrion/Jamie w Lannister support in the mix. I think Arya will have a moment of reflection; poor writing otherwise. At some point someone will tell Arya, Cersei did not kill her father, my guess is Tyrion because he addressed this w Cersei. I can see him saying -insert Acme dialogue- and that his sister has done many horrible things but this she did not… I think this along with a big warm hug from Jon, Gendry, +Hound will be life changing for Arya.

      Totally on board with the lack of Arya mentions from Gendry and the Hound, and lack of Hound mention from Brienne; intentionally omitted. Far from
      fan service. More like a logical mention. I meet people all of the time, we mention people we know, hey, heard from? seen so and so lately? Yeah, saw so and so, she was with so and so, do you know so and so? she knows so and so. idk, that’s my world. small.

        Quote  Reply

    158. ACME: I feel the same way about Jaime, to be honest. I realise that many want to see him kill Cersei but I struggle to get behind this idea. Leaving her was enough. That was the end of his involvement with her. She now means little to him so why would he go back and murder her ? Symbolically speaking, she is already dead to him so killing her physically would add nothing to the proceedings, I believe.

      I can agree with this, but that’s because there’s a lot of distance between them now that Jaime has left KL. What happens if they ever see each other again though? What happens if Jaime goes back to KL and finds that Cersei is about to blow KL to smithereens with wildfire, a la Mad King? He may have to kill her if that ever comes up, but who knows. Anything can happen at this point.

        Quote  Reply

    159. ACME: he is no longer the man he used to be, he is no longer haunted and driven by the horrors of his childhood; his brother means nothing to him anymore

      But this isn’t actually correct. That meeting established the exact opposite: that there is an unresolved matter hanging between the two. What was the exact quote? “You know what’s coming for you, don’t you, brother?”

        Quote  Reply

    160. Mr Derp: What happens if Jaime goes back to KL and finds that Cersei is about to blow KL to smithereens with wildfire, a la Mad King?

      Of course, you are right; anything could happen were Jaime to return to King’s Landing.

      History repeating itself is a big theme in Game of Thrones (and most stories to be honest ^^); it is a fairly common trope. But the whole point of said trope is to see what changes between the first and second occurrences.
      The seventh season’s Arya-Sansa-Littlefinger plotline was, pretty much beat for beat, a redux of the Lysa-Catelyn-Littlefinger one and the whole point was that the Stark sisters ended up dealing with it differently from their Tully counterparts. Jon’s King in the North scene shared many similarities with Robb’s but its tone, structure and atmopshere had a “tragedy in the making” quality his brother’s/cousin’s did not. And so on and so forth.
      Were Jaime to kill another monarch to prevent another wildfire destruction of the city, it would be the exact same thing as with the Mad King. No difference whatsoever. I suppose the writers could have Jaime be celebrated for Cersei’s murder instead of villified, as he was after Aerys’s death. That would change things up… But would it be truly interesting ? Wouldn’t it be more significant to have him rehabilitated for his action in regards to the Mad King ? I am on the fence.

      JBird: At some point someone will tell Arya, Cersei did not kill her father, my guess is Tyrion because he addressed this w Cersei. I can see him saying -insert Acme dialogue- and that his sister has done many horrible things but this she did not…

      You are right. Tyrion does have enough information to dispel any erroneous notion concerning Cersei’s involvement in Ned’s death. But I struggle to imagine a scenario in which it would be wise for him to do so…

      Daenerys has already been shown to be suspicious of her Hand due to his obvious conflict of interests. Now, sooner of later, she and the rest of the Winterfell crew are going to find out that Cersei double-crossed them all and that she has no intention whatsoever to abide by the deal she made with the aforementioned Hand.
      If Tyrion wants to stay on Daenerys’s good side, he’d better not be seen or heard defending his sister’s reputation !

        Quote  Reply

    161. Yaga,
      The Hound approached the Mountain and said : “Remember me ? Yeah, you do. You’re even fucking uglier than I am now. What did they do to you ? Doesn’t matter. It’s not how it ends for you, brother. You know who’s coming for you, you’ve always known” and then he walked away.

      The Hound is many things but cryptic is not one of them. If anything, he is brutally honest to a fault. He calls a spade a spade and death threat a death threat. Had he wanted to tell his brother he would get him later, he would have said so. In no uncertain terms. “You know I am coming for you” would have done the trick.
      However, that is not what Sandor said. He referred to a vague “who” who could be a person (a descendant of Rhaegar ? A Lannister ?) or a more conceptual entity (the gods ?), given his newfound religiosity; but this “who” does not appear to be the Hound himself.

      Furthermore, we cannot ignore the importance of Sandor walking away from his brother. This is a man who, a few years ago, would have jumped at the first opportunity to fight (and hopefully kill) Gregor; it took the rage of King Robert to put an end to their impromptu duel. Now, Sandor simply and fairly calmly leaves his brother behind, literally so. I doubt it is incidental.

        Quote  Reply

    162. ACME,

      I personally believe that Arya is the most likely person to kill the Mountain since he’s still on her list, but I agree that it doesn’t seem like the Hound himself will do it anymore.

        Quote  Reply

    163. ACME: Of course, you are right; anything could happen were Jaime to return to King’s Landing.

      I think it’s very likely that Jaime and Cersei will meet again. I would be surprised if their last encounter in season 7 was it between them, but it really could go either way. Just depends on what D&D have up their sleeves for season 8 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    164. ACME:
      Yaga,
      The Hound approached the Mountain and said : “Remember me ? Yeah, you do. You’re even fucking uglier than I am now. What did they do to you ? Doesn’t matter. It’s not how it ends for you, brother. You know who’s coming for you, you’ve always known” and then he walked away.

      The Hound is many things but cryptic is not one of them. If anything, he is brutally honest to a fault. He calls a spade a spade and death threat a death threat. Had he wanted to tell his brother he would get him later, he would have said so. In no uncertain terms. “You know I am coming for you” would have done the trick.
      However, that is not what Sandor said.

      Any notion of a ‘Cleganebowl’ type of event faded for me once Gregor was FrankenMountain-ed. He isn’t Gregor anymore, he’s half robot, controllable by Qyburn/Cersei/etc thus far. So any vengeance Sandor would previously have acted on would seem somewhat pointless, now. Hate is still there, sure it is. But a victory for Sandor over what Gregor is now would ring somewhat hollow, and I think that feeling came through in that scene.

        Quote  Reply

    165. ACME,

      I think that at the moment Cersei gets killed, she will be fully deseving it. Yes, she didn’t kill Ned, but she orchestrated his arrest. She’s still looks to be after Sansa, although she knows that Sansa had nothing to do with poisoing Joffrei. And the most important thing: she tricked Jon and Dany promising them armistice and even help in the war for dawn and now is looking for the right moment to backstab them. So, if Arya realized that Cersei is posing threat to her beloved big brother/cousin, she will use every skill she has to eleiminate that threat, right? And Sansa is the one who may help her realize that. I don’t see Arya as a mere executioner and Sansa as a decision-maker, but nevertheless Sansa is an expert when it comes to Cersei and she is the only one who won’t let her out of sight even on the background of the war for dawn, in which Cersei is playing the role of a useful idiot.

        Quote  Reply

    166. Juri:
      Ten Bears,

      I disagree. But hey, to each their own.

      Of course we can dissgree…and still be friends, right?

      Much of what we see is subject to interpretation and – speaking for myself – shaped by my biases and life experience.

        Quote  Reply

    167. Inga,

      “…Which means that Sandor as well as Brienne, the main protectors of the Stark girls, may follow Arya to KL and, athough I still think that Cersei will be Jaime’s kill, the trio may play a role in that…”
      ________
      You have just compelled me to retrieve from the junk pile and dust off my Sandor = Valanqar tinfoil theory. 👨‍🚀

        Quote  Reply

    168. Mr Derp: I think it’s very likely that Jaime and Cersei will meet again.

      You may be entirely right, of course. The writers can take whichever route they choose; as long as they write it well, it will be fine.

      As far as I am concerned, there was an air of finality in Jaime and Cersei’s last conversation that I enjoyed. It brought everything full circle in that their argument stopped being political/strategic the moment Cersei revealed Euron had not given up on his desire to marry her, the queen, and that she had made a deal with him sans Jaime… Her twin was then faced with a reality he had willingly ignored for most of his life : Cersei does not love him and she does not need him.

      Everything he has ever done, especially the worst, Jaime has always explained away by “hiding” behind Cersei and his love for her. Pushing a kid out of a window, murdering a cousin, threatening to catapult a toddler, etc. Jaime absolved himself for all of it by repeating he was doing it for Cersei, because she needed him. As it turns out, she does not and she never did. She took care of Robert without his help like she took care of the Faith without his help. And now she is taking care of the White Walkers threat not just without his help but with that of another attractive man who has made no secret that he is interested in her…
      This, to me, felt like the end of the road for the Jaime/Cersei duo. They have both come to realise that they are now nothing to each other. But hey, D&D may differ 😉

      Yaga: That’s interesting, your perception. For me, ‘who’s coming for you’ was unequivocally ‘me’ – as in ‘I’m coming for you’.

      You might be right. But I cannot fathom why he did not just say that. Being elusive is normally not Sandor’s style.

        Quote  Reply

    169. Inga: I think that at the moment Cersei gets killed, she will be fully deseving it. Yes, she didn’t kill Ned, but she orchestrated his arrest

      After he told her he was going to send a murderous Robert after her and her children (and after he technically did commit treason by secretly changing the wording of the dying king’s will but Cersei did not know that). Arresting him and wanting to send him to the Wall was fair enough, in my book.

      To be entirely clear, I am not saying that Cersei does not deserve to die. Many people have plenty of good reasons to want her dead. Ironically, the Starks may be one of the families in Westeros who, as of yet, do not have much of a case against her.

      She’s still looks to be after Sansa, although she knows that Sansa had nothing to do with poisoing Joffrei.

      Does she ? I may be entirely wrong but I seem to recall that the last time we heard Cersei mention Sansa was during the floor map painting scene, so before Olenna’s death and the revelation that came with it.

      Now, that does not mean that Cersei has given up on her desire to see Sansa’s head on a spike. She has always had a very paradoxical and pathogical relationship with the elder Stark daughter : on the one hand, Cersei was utterly abusive, cruel and strangely resentful towards her; on the other appendage, she could also be strangely maternal to Sansa, in her own bizarre and brutal way. She tried to prepare her for her fate as a woman in Westeros and, even when she attempted to encourage Tyrion to force himself upon his wife, it was so Sansa would have a child, someone to love to keep her from killing herself after the Red Wedding.
      Cersei is not the maternal figure anyone wants but she may, at times, be the one some people need 😛

      And the most important thing: she tricked Jon and Dany promising them armistice and even help in the war for dawn and now is looking for the right moment to backstab them.

      Just for the fun of it, I am going to play devil’s advocate here and say that Cersei was right to backstab everyone ! ^^
      Daenerys, Jon & Co all show up on her doorstep and tell her that there is a big army of undead people who can be killed with dragonglass and fire and no one asks her about her stock of wildfire ?!? They all know she has used the stuff in the very recent past, they all know it can be manufactured in industrial quantities and no one mentions it ?!? Instead, they ask for her troops, her southern troops who need to eat (even though no one talks about food because dying of starvation is fun, being practical is not “heroic” and YOLO) and have never shown any ability to fight in the cold and could therefore be turned into extra Wights if (when) they falter…
      Why would Cersei align herself with people who have obviously forgotten their brains at home ? 😛

        Quote  Reply

    170. ACME,

      “Now, do not get me wrong. I love The Hound, in the books and on the show, and I love Rory McCann’s interpretation of him. I believe this character is the only one with a true redemption arc and his evolution has been genuinely fascinating and moving to witness. However, we cannot completely white-wash his past in light of his present. If anything, it takes away from his journey if we neutralise some of the most questionable or downright toxic aspects of his past. It makes his redemption less striking, less impressive.”
      —————–
      Though I haven’t read the books and cannot compare Sandor’s effort to convince Sansa to leave KL with him and take her home with the “watered down” show version, I like your incisive observation about the necessity to show the “toxic” aspects of Sandor’s past in order to appreciate his character’s metamorphosis from solitary misanthrope to (somewhat) sociable but still foul-mouthed member of the human race.

      I too “love Rory McCann’s interpretation” of Sandor; I too “believe this character is the only one with a true redemption arc and his evolution has been genuinely fascinating and moving to witness.”

      I for one have especially enjoyed the writing and acting that gave us “bookend” scenes to compare such as:

      • Thoros and Beric bagging and tagging The Hound and trying to execute him [for crimes Gregor committed]; to asking him to join them because “cold winds are rising in the North” and he could “still help a lot more than [he’s] harmed”; to friends (?) chuckling at his insults.

      • The cold-hearted Hound who beat and robbed Rabbit Stew Sally’s father because “dead men don’t need silver” and “they’ll both be dead come winter” (causing Arya to denounce him as “the worst sh*t in the Seven Kingdoms”), to the Sandor wracked with guilt and regret in S7 when he found that they both were in fact “dead come winter.” The old Hound would never have told Beric that if there were “divine justice”, Sally would still be alive, or uttered an awkward but hearfelt euology like [paraphrasing] “…I’m sorry you’re dead; you deserved better; both of you.”

      • The Hound abandoning KL with the parting words [paraphrasing] “f*ck the Kingsguard; f*ck the city; f*ck the King”; and Sandor returning to KL as wight babysitter/show-and-tell assistant for the King in the North.

        Quote  Reply

    171. ACME,

      I love your take on Jamie and Cersei relationship. It makes Jamie look even more endearingly pathetic (and I say this without any malice towards Jamie).

        Quote  Reply

    172. Yaga:

      I don’t think Sandor Clegane, even spiritually awakened, would be ashamed to commit an act that he knows has to be committed just because someone might think badly of him.

      It’s not that I think he’d be ashamed, nor do I believe he ought to be. And no one in his/her right mind would “think badly of him,” given not only what Gregor did to him but to hundreds (if not thousands) of other people. This is where words fail me; I’m not thinking in terms of guilt, shame, or societal censure, but in terms of memory, what one lives with in the day-to-day, and how that shapes or changes a person. Sandor is profoundly damaged both by what Gregor did to him and by the terrible things he himself has done. I don’t think that at this point, having the memory of one more killing would bring him “peace,” no matter how justified. It would still be a memory of death that he wrought on another person. One could not be indifferent to such a memory. The best one could hope for is a bittersweet memory because mercy was given, as in the death he gave the farmer who otherwise would have died slowly and terribly. But that’s not the sort of memory that would be associated with killing Gregor. I think he would risk relishing the killing and relishing the memory of the killing, which would ultimately render him no better than Gregor himself–or, for that matter, his former nihilist self. (And of course, that nihilist self was constructed as a form of self-defense against the terrible hardness of the world he inhabits.)

      I apologize for yet another wordy and convoluted response. I haven’t read anyone else’s comments since yesterday, so I hope I’m not being repetitive.

      One more note: I know many viewers understood “You know who’s coming for you… You’ve always known” at the Dragonpit as meaning, “I’m coming for you” (Cleganebowl). I’m not so sure. I don’t remember if it was ever mentioned on the show, but in the books Sandor’s horse is named Stranger, a name considered blasphemous by faithful southron folk. And now he’s witnessed the power of the Lord of Light firsthand. “You’ve always known” could just as easily mean, “You know damn well how many crimes you’re guilty of, and you know that one day you’ll need to reckon with a higher power you can’t defeat.”

        Quote  Reply

    173. Ten Bears:

      Speaking for myself, if my little sister had been missing for many years and somebody came forward reporting that she was alive and well, I’d want to know the whole story down to every last detail -and not a unilaterally sanitized version.

      This is my biggest problem with what I think of as all the S7 missing dialogue. And “She was with a man” was infuriating to me.

        Quote  Reply

    174. ACME,

      [Sandor said to Gregor]….
      ….”You know who’s coming for you, you’ve always known” and then he walked away.

      The Hound is many things but cryptic is not one of them. If anything, he is brutally honest to a fault. He calls a spade a spade and death threat a death threat. Had he wanted to tell his brother he would get him later, he would have said so. In no uncertain terms. “You know I am coming for you” would have done the trick.
      However, that is not what Sandor said. He referred to a vague “who” who could be a person (a descendant of Rhaegar ? A Lannister ?)…

      ________________
      I think you may be onto something here!
      Over and over again, we’ve been reminded how Gregor brutally murdered Rhaegar’s two children Princess Rhaenys and Prince Aegon.

      For example, Maester Aemon recounted to Jon how his vows were tested when he learned his family had been killed, “even the little children.” Oberyn Martell told Tyrion he’d heard Gregor killed the two children, and then repeated it in public as Tyrion’s champion in the trial by combat against Gregor. Thoros, in the BwoB cave with Sandor in S3e4, asserted: “House Clegane was built upon dead children. I saw them lay Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaenys before the Iron Throne.”

      If and when Jon Snow learns about his real parentage, he will also realize he had an older (half-) brother and sister but they were both mercilessly slaughtered by the Mountain.
      At least from what we saw in the case of Rickon and Sansa, Jon goes ballistic on whoever hurts or kill his siblings.
      Who better to exact vengeance for the butchering of “the Targaryen babes” than their little brother?

        Quote  Reply

    175. Wolfish:
      Ten Bears:

      This is my biggest problem with what I think of as all the S7 missing dialogue. And “She was with a man” was infuriating to me.

      I know! I do understand that we have to assume that some conversations occur off-screen, but dialogue between human beings should be natural, and if they’re meeting for the first time and there’s somebody else in particular they both know and care about, the whereabouts and welfare of that other person would be broached immediately. (And it doesn’t need to take up valuable time: Jon and Tyrion asked/told each other about Sansa in ~ 15 seconds during their stroll up the Dragonstone steps.)

      As others have mentioned, I found it weird and unnatural (and felt let down) when Gendry introduced himself to Jon. It wasn’t realistic that they’d say “I saw your father once for five minutes; you’re not as tall” and “I saw your father once for five minutes; you’re not as fat”. Gendry spent over a year and a half with Jon’s beloved little sister Arya. I expected him to ask Jon about her, and tell Jon how her wits and quick thinking saved his life when the Gold Cloaks with the “Royal Warrant” came back looking for him and attacked the NW recruits: ir how her ingenuity enabled them to escape Harrenhal; and that they were close friends.
      But not even a single word or expression of concern or curiosity about her.

      The same “missing dialogue” problem plagued “Eastwatch” and “Beyond the Wall”, when Arya’s “traveling companions” and co-adventures from the end of S1 through the end of S4 (Gendry, Thoros, Beric and Sandor) were all together in one place, and nobody asked about her once. (And why on earth would Sandor, in S7e7, be unsure if she were “alive” or where she was, when he could’ve asked Jon point blank in e5 or e6?)

        Quote  Reply

    176. Wolfish,
      Well, “the Stranger” is my alternative interpretation for “who’s coming for you” in the Dragon pit scene, so we seem to be on a similar page here. 😀 But I think that Sandor Clegane is aware enough to realise that gods help those who help themselves, and even though it may be the Stranger, someone will still have to do the actual killing.

      >But that’s not the sort of memory that would be associated with killing Gregor. I think he would risk relishing the killing and relishing the memory of the killing, which would ultimately render him no better than Gregor himself–or, for that matter, his former nihilist self.

      Oh ye of little faith (in the Hound)… Funny, *that’s* precisely where *I* think the spirituality, larger purpose and all that come in. They guarantee that if the Hound performs the killing, he will do it mostly without personal emotion. “For a larger cause” as opposed to “for personal fun”.

      That’s why I thought that the original idea of the Cleganebowl was terrible – “winning a trial against Cersei on behalf of a crooked fanatic” just didn’t strike me as a good “larger cause”. But if it’s, for example, to allow Jaime access to Cersei, to stop an attack on Dany’s weakened forces at a critical moment while she’s fighting the NK from the North… Why, that *is* a good cause. In this case, I can well see the Hound finally accepting the role of the head of the Clegane household and the duty to be responsible for the family members that comes with it.

      I think we recognise each other’s positions, so further discussion is unnecessary. I will read your response, if you choose to write one, but I will likely not respond myself.

        Quote  Reply

    177. Wolfish,

      “…And now he’s witnessed the power of the Lord of Light firsthand. “You’ve always known” could just as easily mean, “You know damn well how many crimes you’re guilty of, and you know that one day you’ll need to reckon with a higher power you can’t defeat.”
      ————————

      Are you suggesting the Lord of Light has ZombieMountain in his crosshairs? And that maybe he’ll get Shireened?

        Quote  Reply

    178. ACME,

      True re Dany, but out of character for Tyrion who counsels & calls people out. He would carefully word it; it would be a private conversation setting (I’m w you-otherwise, Dany hell would break loose). I doubt Arya would disclose the conversation; just not her style. I could be on an island here, but after watching season 7 a few times, I saw a strong love & hate bond between Tyrion & Cersei. She had the opportunity to kill him but didn’t. I think if Dany & Cersei were hanging off a cliff, and Tyrion could only save one, he would ultimately choose Cersei | House Lannister just something about S7.

        Quote  Reply

    179. Yaga,

      “who’s coming for you” in the Dragon pit scene…
      ___________
      Well now, this could be an interesting topic for a pre-season contest: Who is the “who” who’s coming for Gregor?
      All of the varying interpretations I’ve read in the comments so far are reasonable. Though I did not think Sandor was referring to himself, that’s a likely or the likeliest possibility.
      I wonder if Sandor saw something in the flames???

        Quote  Reply

    180. ACME,

      “The Hound approached the Mountain and said : “Remember me ? Yeah, you do. You’re even fucking uglier than I am now. What did they do to you ? Doesn’t matter. It’s not how it ends for you, brother. You know who’s coming for you, you’ve always known” and then he walked away.

      The Hound is many things but cryptic is not one of them. If anything, he is brutally honest to a fault…”
      ________________________
      “You know who’s coming for you; you’ve always known” is cryptic as hell. 🤔

        Quote  Reply

    181. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      You’d think after Dolce & Gabbana spent millions to hire and create ads featuring Kit and Emilia that people would realize that Jon & Dany are endgame – like it or not. I’m sure a major corporation wouldn’t invest in these two actors if they weren’t going to be involved as a couple, even if both die on the show – they will die being a couple and go out in a blaze of glory. Like it or not, this is the end game.

        Quote  Reply

    182. kathy:
      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      You’d think after Dolce & Gabbana spent millions to hire and create ads featuring Kit and Emilia that people would realize that Jon & Dany are endgame – like it or not. I’m sure a major corporation wouldn’t invest in these two actors if they weren’t going to be involved as a couple, even if both die on the show – they will die being a couple and go out in a blaze of glory. Like it or not, this is the end game.

      Dolce and Gabbana chose them because they are popular and attractive. I doubt there’s much more to it than that.

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *