UPDATE! Major New Game of Thrones Season 8 Spoilers out of the Winterfell set!

Winterfell (South) 6x01

After following the construction of the new Winterfell set for months, recently we got our first good look at what they’re filming down at the Moneyglass estate. Now, that was quite exciting, but what we bring you here today is entirely different. It constitutes a major season eight spoiler. This isn’t a little thing. It’s true endgame stuff, right here for your viewing pleasure if you want, but we must warn you: spoilerphobes, keep away!

Now, for the rest of us, for the spoilerphiles, if you dare, read on…

I’m sure the Game of Thrones crew would have loved to keep this revelation under wraps until the show aired, but you will now understand why that was absolutely impossible. To put it bluntly: Winterfell is up in flames. And it wasn’t just a little bit of smoke: with some very real fire, alongside clever lighting and smoke, the entire set was lit up!


Surely, there is no way to ignore what this means: in season eight, Winterfell will fall. Many predicted this already, but now that’s an inescapable fact. And, more than that, Winterfell will burn — all of it, if the scope of that fire is anything to go by!

Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions about Mad Queens, it must be noted that this could well be Viserion’s blue flame — just like they did with wildfire in seasons two and six, normal fire could be filmed and then the color changed in post-production.

That said, we just don’t know. Maybe the flame is blue and it’s the Night King who is behind this, as one may expect. Perhaps, for some reason, Daenerys and her two remaining dragons are behind this. Or hell, who knows, maybe Cersei has some wildfire left and managed to march north and repaint the Stark’s stronghold green.

Whatever the case, this is a big spoiler. At some point in season eight, the Stark home will be no more. Will it be a mid-season conflict and the survivors will retreat south? Or will it be at the end, in which case Game of Thrones will go out with a very literal bang?

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UPDATE: In case there was any doubt about the veracity of this story (though it would be quite an elaborate fake), Belfast Live corroborated it and shed further light into the Wednesday night shoot. As one may expect, this wasn’t just a random fire but part of a major battle sequence which included around 400 or 500 extras, which puts it on par with the Battle of the Bastards in the eponymous season six episode and the Loot Train Ambush in season seven’s “The Spoils of War.” In other words: this is a big one!

Share your thoughts in the comments section! But please, though this particular article is a free forum to discuss this, in other Watchers articles (and all around the internet, for that matter) be considerate to those who don’t want to know such spoilers.

Thanks to Katrina for bringing this video to our attention!

301 responses

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    1. Shiiiiiiiit got real!

      Not sure how I feel about this..such a pity too as the new set looked amazing and they put so much work into it 😬

      Gotta say- this beats the 765 articles about how epic/heartbreaking/jaw dropping the scripts are.. more of this please! 😝

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    2. Apollo: Not sure how I feel about this..such a pity too as the new set looked amazing and they put so much work into it

      It’s a controlled fire, and the lighting and the smoke did a lot of the work, I’m sure, so probably most of the set is still standing. I’m not saying it won’t need some work done if they are planning to film more Winterfell scenes, but still.

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    3. Are we sure this was an actual scene? Is it possible that they’re done filming at that set and this is just the send-off?

      Yes I’m grasping.

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    4. or maybe they won the war and that’s just a massive firework show?

      edit: if I was hbo I would spread the news that there was a fire incident and the set and this wasn’t for filming.

      edit2: this is the best news about season 7 so far. I really wasn’t into the idea of having the white walker issue done earlier and taking kings landing as the final act.

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    5. The only thing we know now is that the set isn’t needed for filming anymore. They could have set in on fire to fool us as well.

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    6. Because the night is dark and full of terrors. Why did I just think about her, what if the NK attack winterfell, they try to escape through the underground tunnels, and Mel burns the place down, taking down a huge part of the NK army. It doesn’t need to be a dragon, it could easily be the red priests. We know Mel is getting help across the sea.

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    7. dare I say that if this is Viserion’s work we may see some dead Starks and their direwolves coming out of the crypts with blue eyes….

      Can we all go into hibernation until 2019?

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    8. alienarea,

      I don’t think you realize how expensive that would be, just to fuck with us. Especially if you take into account all that enormous (and expensive) lighting equipment, let alone the crew involved. It’s a big production going on there. Not likely to be a prank. Denying the reality of it is just grasping at straws.

      Sure, maybe Winterfell is up in flames but will be rebuilt. It happened once before. But the castle will suffer greatly in season eight, that’s for sure.

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    9. kevin1989:
      Because the night is dark and full of terrors. Why did I just think about her, what if the NK attack winterfell, they try to escape through the underground tunnels, and Mel burns the place down, taking down a huge part of the NK army. It doesn’t need to be a dragon, it could easily be the red priests. We know Mel is getting help across the sea.

      that’s an interesting thought!!

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    10. Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke have been in Iceland all week without any other noticeable cast members.

      Gwendoline, Nikolaj and Iain have all been seen in and around Belfast since Sunday. Sophie Turner was at the Grammy’s Sunday night.

      I’m curious as to who is participating in this battle. The previous shots show the curved weapons previously used by the White Walkers, but the helmets looked very Frey-ish. This is going to be one wild battle.

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    11. Luka Nieto,

      I was on the Moneyglass estate between S5/ S6 in September 2015 and the set was a state- I was amazed to see how quickly it had deteriorated from filming and also how they managed to revive it for S6.. so fingers crossed they may be able to do the same here, because I’ve been loving the WF scoops and hoped we’d get more 😝

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    12. do we know when was the winterfell set was ready to shoot for this season? if we look at how much time it has been, maybe we can estimate in which episode this will happen 😛 (yeah I’m desperate)

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    13. I’m super pumped after reading all that, so far all we have are fragments to the final season.
      so I guess the final conflict will be in kingslanding, also Winterfell can be Rebuilt.
      i’m not sure, but I think this isn’t the first time in history it was destroyed, but I need to check.

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    14. Luka Nieto:
      alienarea,

      Sure, maybe Winterfell is up in flames but will be rebuilt. It happened once before. But the castle will suffer greatly in season eight, that’s for sure.

      Yeah, but I think this time it will be truly destroyed.

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    15. Remember, the Ironborn ‘burned down’ Winterfell when they took it over. The biggest damage involved the stable roofs collapsing and killing most of the horses, and the greenhouses (‘glass gardens’) being wrecked. A castle built primarily of stone isn’t easy to destroy permanently. It was made habitable again fairly quickly. So even a big fire meant to take out the wight army might not mean the end of Winterfell.

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    16. I hope we see the isle of faces this season. really good development, I’m pleased with this outcome.

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    17. mau,

      It was truly destroyed then too, as much as you can destroy a castle made of rock with fire. It was devastating then, it will be so now. They can rebuild later, but it takes a while. The stronghold may be mainly built with stones, but it’s everything else that makes it actually habitable.

      Firannion,

      This may not mean the end of Winterfell in the long run, but it will certainly be its end for the rest of this story, unless there’s a time-jump at the end. I did say “fall”, not “destruction”, for that reason. The buildings will remain, but everything (and everyone) else will be ashes.

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    18. Firannion:
      Remember, the Ironborn ‘burned down’ Winterfell when they took it over. The biggest damage involved the stable roofs collapsing and killing most of the horses, and the greenhouses (‘glass gardens’) being wrecked. A castle built primarily of stone isn’t easy to destroy permanently. It was made habitable again fairly quickly. So even a big fire meant to take out the wight army might not mean the end of Winterfell.

      I always thought that was Ramsay that burned it down.

      I really need to share this pic, would be funny if this happens (clearly it will not):

      https://i.pinimg.com/736x/4b/fe/19/4bfe194bf7e5350d924da6a08a8b254b–fear-game-night-king.jpg

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    19. mau:
      I think at the end of S8, all iconic places in GoT will be in ruins. Winterfell, KL and CastleBlack.

      Yes, I agree. It seems fitting with the supposed “bittersweet” ending – and the aftermath of the Great War – that the iconic landmarks are in ruins. However…

      This makes me sad. I really wish that I had not read this spoiler.

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    20. I am certain there is a perfectly reassuring explanation for all of this ! It is winter and the temperatures are low; one of the dragons got a cold, sneezed and it got a bit out of hand… There, no reason to panic

      More seriously, I suspect Undead Viserion aka the Scrappy-Doo of Daenerys’s children.

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    21. Maybe after a terrible defeat, Dany and Jon decide to burn the castle and the bodies of the fallen people so the NK can’t add more soldiers to his side?

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    22. I just thought, I really don’t hope that Ghost become a real ghost in this scene 🙁 But I’m affraid that will happen. Jon’s Stark heritage (direwolf) needs to die, to let the Targaryen heritage (dragon) to be born.

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    23. Luka Nieto:

      mariamb,

      You can’t say I didn’t give a fair warning. Repeated warnings 😉

      There were plenty of warnings. I have no willpower when facing GOT spoilers.

      If WF is burning, can our characters escape thru the tunnels that Luwin mentioned back in S2? Regardless, I expect massive casualties.

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    24. I honestly don’t know why people are so timid about Dany going mad queen on us. It’s written all over her character, her arc is clearly heading towards that of brutal conquerer and dance of dragons 2.0 is going to happen. Stop being willfully blind, Dany’s fire parallels the Night Kings Ice. Dany will either burn Winterfell when the Jons identity is revealed and the North refuses to bend the knee, or she will burn King’s landing after Cersie’s ‘betrayel’ is revealed or (I think) both. She’ll be burning Winterfell exactly because the majority of audience refuse to consider her dangerous. Her brutality was hinted at during the field of fire. It’s why the showrunners decided to add the Ed Shereen scene – to humanise the soldiers. It’s why they chose to have her burn another father and son – just like her mad father did. It’s why the prisoners of war and tyrion looked upon her with HORROR and FEAR not love, but still people refuse to see it. Her burning Winterfell and targeting the Starks will be the final straw, there will be no doubt as to exactly what kind of ruler and person she is. Get used to the idea now cause it will happen.

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    25. This is pretty great, as far as I’m concerned. Especially if it’s destroyed early in the season and the NK makes the ashes his new capital, as I’ve speculated. (Especially especially if the show decides to go with the “NK was a Stark” theory at the last moment.)

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    26. If the Winterfell people know they have to retreat south and abandon Winterfell because of the winter coming further down, wouldn’t they themselves burn it, so that the dead in the crypts and all other dead are burnt and have no chance of becoming the undead? It could be very powerful if Sansa and Area, and especially Bran, give the order to burn down Winterfell just before they retreat elsewhere.

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    27. Maybe the White Walkers and Wights never make it South? They devise some sort of plan that can kill them all but they must sacrifice the aptly named “Winterfell” to do it? Just an idea and it fits with this whole bittersweet thing they all keep harping on.

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    28. orange,
      I like your idea. A lot.

      How interesting would it be for the Starks to “Red Wedding” the Others ? Gather all your enemies in one place and then, destroy the place. It would also be a nice “rule of three” reference : first the Red Wedding, then the Sept and not Winterfell.

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    29. This is going to be one of those series defining moments and I can’t wait to see it all come together.

      Winterfell has been through the absolute most and never catches a break.

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    30. ACME:
      I am certain there is a perfectly reassuring explanation for all of this ! It is winter and the temperatures are low; one of the dragons got a cold, sneezed and it got a bit out of hand… There, no reason to panic

      More seriously, I suspect Undead Viserion aka the Scrappy-Doo of Daenerys’s children.

      I just don’t understand how an ice zombie dragon can set things on fire? I understand it’s fantasy and magic but I need more than that. Hot fire would actually burn Viserion because he’s an icezombie and it would also burn the NK’s army so it’s just confusing that the NK could do this with Viserion.

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    31. Can’t believe after 7 seasons there are still people who insist with that nonsense of Daenerys going mad queen. Like, what show are you watching? Did they miss Cersei entire arc? People need to learn to separate wishful thinking from actual facts.

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    32. Maybe it’s from one of Bran’s flashbacks, when Ramsey torched the joint?

      Maybe the tinfoil was real and winterfell is lightbringer? Nissa Nissa confirmed?

      As long as Jon kicks holy a$$ for all six episodes, I’ll be ok with however it ends. Jon Snow remains the man, especially now that Stannis ate it.

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    33. I don’t know if anyone mentioned it, but it could be a good guy trap. Lure the wights into the castle after people evacuate and have Drogon strafe it with them trapped inside? Just a thought.

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    34. Nooooo!

      Perhaps Winterfell will be so overcome with wights, the best way of getting rid of them all is just to burn the lot… Hopefully this isn’t an unexpected NK dragon attack, because lots of people won’t be able to get out, unless they evacuate earlier on.

      I suppose it’s only fitting that Winterfell should fall when Winter does 🙁

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    35. Tinfoil 🚨… Maybe WF is in some way the key to the destruction of the NK and his army… and they sacrifice the castle to wipe them out. Man I hate those crypt theories but, maybe…

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    36. So… umm… did the cast gather ’round and shed bittersweet, heartbreaking tears while they watched the set burn?

      You know, if they burn everything up they can’t do tours for years to come. 😛 Of course the GoT filming locations aren’t quite like The Shire that was built and could be maintained, but still… 🙂

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    37. Westerositruth,

      We don’t see it happening because it’s not going to happen.

      The whole point about Dany’s character is that she’s known as the ‘Mad King’s Daughter’ and yet everyone who knows her learns that she is nothing like her father. This feeds into one of the central themes of the show – that children do not have to follow their fathers.

      The evidence that you guys throw about is cherry picked and then vastly distorted out of context. Dany crucified a lot a slavers, but she saved a lot slaves too. Dany asks others to recognise her rightful claim, but she doubts her own abilities and is willing to forgive, show mercy, and raise those around her to positions of trust. She inspires love and devotion – her father never did that. Dany has a ‘ggod heart’ – that line wasn’t thrown in there for nothing – it tells us something important about Dany and that is she’s essentially a good person who is learning to be a ruler. She has made mistakes and continues to do so. When she tells the defeated Lannister and Tarly soldiers to kneel or die, she’s making a difficult moral choice in war and Tyrion exists to challenge that view. That’s because the whole of season 7 is about war and the difficulty of knowing what you can do and can’t to win a war. Dany’s entire character arc in S7 was her trying to figure this out. She listens to Tyrion and does not attack KL and this demonstrates that she genuinely doesn’t want to hurt innocent small folk. Every time any one reminds her that she’s beginning to make the same errors her father did, she backs off because that’s the last person she wants to be.

      Dany is a central hero of the story – she’s what she appears to be and nothing else. A very ambitious, driven, charismatic and powerful woman who is yet prone to indecision, can act rashly, is passionate, believes in herself, wants to make a difference to help the most vulnerable people she meets and she is attracted to bravery, kindness, principle and honesty.

      Dany is not becoming the ‘Mad Queen’.

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    38. Winterfell. FELL. Say it ain’t so!

      And by FIRE! No way, not with dragons around! *gasp*

      It’s OK y’all, this was an obvious one. And if you never predicted it, S7 finale told you it was coming. [Ominous shot of Sansa and Arya at Winterfell.] *cuts to wall burning.*

      In storytelling something has to thwart, in order to push the heroes’ plot. Not any different than Ned dying, the lynch pin that kicked off the story.

      Winterfell falling, will ask expected, push them south. The protection and fortress has to not be a fortress, to make that happen.

      The end fear, will, and has to, as always led — be Kings Landing. That ‘million’ strong city. That’s the true fear. It will come down to protecting those people. Any choices Jon and Jaime will have to take, to protect it. One from a human threat, one from a supernatural one — will all be in service to Kings Landing.

      It’s OK, Winterfell will be rebuilt. Spring will come. 🙂

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    39. I seriously felt a few tear drops fall when I saw this.. Heartbreaking. I want season 8 now but I also don’t want to go through the pain of seeing all the death and destruction.

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    40. Apollo:
      Tinfoil 🚨… Maybe WF is in some way the key to the destruction of the NK and his army… and they sacrifice the castle to wipe them out.Man I hate those crypt theories but, maybe…

      I don’t think there’s any chance that it’s going to happen in the show, but in the books, there still seems some possibility that the geothermal activity under Winterfell presages a second Doom – perhaps smaller, more localized. It would be rather convenient if such a catastrophe happened just as the place was overrun with flammable wights!

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    41. Been saying it for two years… Winterfell is where winter will fall … NK is defeated here and Bran goes back in times and names it so….

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    42. What are the chances Ghost makes it? 😭 Poor Ghost. It will be hard for Bran too. I hope Brienne and Sandor are there to help the Starks.

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    43. Does anyone know or have an educated guess as to what episode this happens in?
      I’m heartbroken about Winterfell, but WinterHell it is. I do hope the burning is a tactical countermove by the Jon and the Allies to take out masses of Others whilst evacuating most of their own people to safety. But…Oh the humanity! It is probable some characters we’ve long loved will be lost in the battle and conflagration, we shall be weeping torrents. And WotW that week will be a parade of Curtain Calls. Sigh.

      kevin1989:
      I just thought, I really don’t hope that Ghost become a real ghost in this scene 🙁 But I’m affraid that will happen. Jon’s Stark heritage (direwolf) needs to die, to let the Targaryen heritage (dragon) to be born.

      God, I hope not. We viewers are very invested in cryptoAegon still embracing his Stark side as he had advised Theon to do in S7. What you’re proposing goes directly against that advice and would make a hypocrite of Jon . Moreover, it would repel that vast majority of fans who are pro-Stark and generally indifferent to Targaryens. Not to mention losing Ghost.

      Clob,

      “So… umm… did the cast gather ’round and shed bittersweet, heartbreaking tears while they watched the set burn?.”

      There were many reports of cast tears during the October Table Read, and last week Dinklage said S8 was “heartbreaking”, though whether that’s in general or from the Tyrion/Lion point of view is unclear. Maisie said the show would go out with a bang, which may have been a pun– the interview was for an entertainment company called BANG. But I doubt much cast was on site for this shooting–stuntmen, extras, and a platoon of fire and explosives experts no doubt were.

      Westerositruth,

      You are not alone in thinking Dany might turn Mad Queen. She is often Angry Queen, a temptation she endeavors to repress. So it makes no narrative sense for this story to feature not one but two Mad Queens AND a Mad King (Euron). D&D want GoT to live on in the annals of television, not in the Annals of Psychology.

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    44. Stark Raven’ Rad: Does anyone know or have an educated guess as to what episode this happens in?

      Deborah Riley did say that Miguel Sapochnik had just started “shooting his big things”, didn’t she ?
      So the Winterfell fire could, and I do mean “could” with a high degree of uncertainty, be episode 4 or 5. Assuming it is more the fifth than the fourth, it could, and it is again a high uncertainty “could”, coincide with what should be the White Walkers’ demise.

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    45. I just don’t like the idea that Cersei will burn WF. I think she has done a lot of damage already. The NK should be built as a big threat. And destroying WF would be his major victory. Cresei already had so many victories. What would the NK achieve at all?

      And Dany’s and Tyrion’s decision not to kill her at the end of S7 would seem even worse now.

      Jaime was a commander of the Lannister army. He would be completely useless if he is not able to turn at least half of his army against Cersei.

      What will Jaime’s arrival to the North mean after all? Yes, many important character moments, but without an army he is useless, he is not a great fighter any more. What difference will he made?

      I don’t know. The Goldem Company and Euron are enough to have Cersei as major force, she doesn’t need the entire Lannister army by her side. It’s just too much.

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    46. Ugh. I don’t really care about anywhere other than Winterfell. Was hoping it’d be the one place left standing.

      King’s Landing could burn, as far as I’m concerned. But Winterfell? That’s sad.

      I guess it’s dramatic though.

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    47. mau,

      There’s nothing suggesting Jaime took any soldiers with him. Hence, the striking image of him riding off by himself, a knight errant.

      As to the OP news, perhaps this is the third moment the writers mentioned. Though Winterfell has already burned in the series.

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    48. It very well could be Euron as the culprit. They have omitted many secondary and unimportant characters from the adaptation as we all know. But not him. This could be the reason. I could see a scenario where post the deaths of Connington and fake Aegon in the books Euron gets the Golden Company to follow him. There’s been some hints of that potential. This could be the adaptation’s fast forward to that moment that GRRM outlined for them.

      I don’t know but the fact they brought Euron on so late into the adaptation, when they have had no problem dumping unimportant or secondary characters would seem to suggest that he has a vital and unskippable role to play in the conclusion of the story.

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    49. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      The Starks don’t catch brakes.

      I am fascinated to find out why. So many possibilities.

      1.) Could be the castle is overrun by the dead and they decide to burn it down
      2.) Could just be the NK/ Vicerion
      3.) Could be that the dead have been defeated and Cersei goes North to mop up and her plan worked.

      Who knows. It is exciting on one hand.

      It is also sad as all fucking hell. Almost as a sad as a major character dying.

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    50. It could also be a sacrifice. For whatever reason, torching Winterfell is done as a calculated move to try to stem, end most if not all the wights. Or there’s a mass amount of loss and the only way to burn them all (to prevent adding to the Night King’s army) is to burn it all.

      I like to think the old girl could be rebuilt.

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    51. HotPinkLipstick,

      Doubt the main characters would be anywhere near a scene like this. This is where stunt doubles come in as they are trained for scenarios like this. The main characters scenes will be filmed in a less dangerous environment and they’ll put it all together and we’ll be none the wiser.

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    52. Westerositruth,

      Probably because it’s not happening unless you’re just willfully ignorant to what’s on screen. Daenerys isn’t perfect, but it’s hilarious that people still clinging on to what happened early on and ignore the fact that her character slowly transitioned from someone who expected everyone to bend the knee because it was her birthright, to someone who wanted to earn Jon and the North’s approval through her good deeds, you know, like selflessly flying to save a certain King who wouldn’t bend the knee. If she didn’t burn down KL after an entire season of actively trying to seize it, which would give her everything she had worked towards, why the fuck would she just up decide to and burn down Winterfell of all places because they didn’t recognize her as Queen? Pure delusion.

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    53. mau:

      And Dany’s and Tyrion’s decision not to kill her at the end of S7 would seem even worse now.

      Tyrion’s decision. That’s why Tyrion was quite possibly the stupidest character last season. He kept holding back Dany with his stupid plans. Dany should have launched an attack on KL and taken Cersei down. Instead she kept dawdling on Dragonstone while all her allies were taken down.

      Unless Tyrion was deliberately sabotaging Dany to protect his family, his ideas suck. Majorly.

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    54. Westerositruth,
      I think you’re exactly right about Dany….with WF or KL or both on fire, she has to be responsible for at least one of those. She’s prophesied to light 3 fires. Since this is so destructive it’s either the fire for death or the fire TO love.

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    55. Oh, what a tragedy! It’s certain that Winterfell will burn, and based on Dany’s visions in the House of the Undying, the Red Keep will certainly have some major damage happen to it. Shit … Season 8 will be a doozy.

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    56. I feel that Dany sets Winterfell on fire as survivors evacuate. I suppose the NK could set it on fire himself, but that would destroy all the bodies he could use for his army, right? He’s got this amazing dragonfire, but it isn’t much use to him beyond bringing down the wall.

      I suppose he could use it to gain entrance to Winterfell, but that could set the whole thing on fire and defeat his purpose. He also has giant wights that can break down Winterfell doors, so no dragonfire needed.

      This feels right to me – that Winterfell should be overrun. I mean, it wouldn’t be much of a “Great War” if everything we are sentimental about wasn’t devastated, would it.

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    57. I hope D&D can come up with a better plot than to burn Winterfell for a second time. Seriously? Perhaps they should have left the writing for S8 to GRRM or Elio Garcia. We need imagination people. #DonotburnWinterfell.

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    58. The NK’s m.o. is that he breaks down doors to let his army inside. His army goes in and does the killing, then he resurrects the dead. His army can’t tolerate flames, so, I’m guessing he’s not keen on setting things on fire.

      And, I’m not entirely sure that stuff that comes out of wight Viserion’s throat is really fire. It didn’t melt the wall, just disintegrated it and caused it to explode.

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    59. Anon:

      This feels right to me – that Winterfell should be overrun.I mean, it wouldn’t be much of a “Great War” if everything we are sentimental about wasn’t devastated, would it.

      Truth

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    60. RIP Winterfell. That’s going to look terrifying and spectacular on screen.

      With every filming report, those infamous Fake Plots seem less and less fake to me.

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    61. Violator,

      Though I don’t believe Dany will go full mad queen in the show (frankly, I don’t think 6 episodes is enough to go that route), saying that Dany is not her father because she’s not cruel and paranoid and mad is the wrong argument to make. Aerys II was not always mad, you know? In fact, his reign started with promise. He was a decent king at the beginning, the realm prospered under his rule until life just took a toll on him (death of his children, miscarriages, etc) and paranoia won over, bringing to light the worst traits of his personality, some which Dany shares and some which were shared by Vicerys. Let’s not forget that Aerys and Rhaella were brother and sister and they of course were also at some level the product of incest as well. It would not be surprising at all for their children to be deeply flawed, especially when the Targs had a history of madness in their ranks. So while Dany may not go the route, dismissing the possibility altogether is short-sighted.

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    62. LOL,

      I’m not on either boat, and certainly don’t know which way the show will go, but I don’t think it is crazy for this to be 100% beyond her. She literally said in episode 2 last season, “If you ever betray me, I’ll burn you alive”. She has burned quite a few people alive. She could have done this. That’s all I’ll say!

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    63. If the wait between seasons weren’t so long I would have more motivation to avoid stuff like this. If GoT had kept to it’s yearly schedule, we’d be looking at a new season here in just 8ish short weeks. Knowing that it’s about 15 months away and there’s no way we’re getting a book in that time just makes it too hard.

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    64. Also, I know this is kind of a petty ask but is there a term you could use that goes beyond “Major” for spoilers? Like ex: you find out they’ve filmed a character’s death scene. Could something like that be coded as like “Endgame spoilers” or something similar? I’m one of those weirdos who likes spoilers but to a point. Anyway, thanks for even considering it, if you do.

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    65. Violator,

      Dany is not the sole central hero of this story by any stretch of imagination. Jon is up there just as much as she is, Tyrion and the rest of the Stark kids too.

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    66. NinaD,
      I would say that the question should be, “*Should* Winterfell be rebuilt?” After all, it’s one of the symbols of the old, feudal and patriarchal order, just like Ned Stark with his great sword, taking decisions on his own, promising his daughters that he “would take care of them”… until he couldn’t, and his traditional heir the eldest son couldn’t, and it fell to said daughters and his presumed bastard to make things right.

      Winterfell holds a lot of memories, sure. But everywhere does. Isn’t the money better spent improving the lives of actual people, as opposed to rebuilding a symbol of class- and other division?

      KL, for all its faults, is far more democratic. The Red Keep is the Red Keep, but a million people live there, too.

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    67. Danny:
      Violator,

      Though I don’t believe Dany will go full mad queen in the show (frankly, I don’t think 6 episodes is enough to go that route), saying that Dany is not her father because she’s notcruel and paranoid and mad is the wrong argument to make.Aerys II was not always mad, you know?In fact, his reign started with promise.He was a decent king at the beginning, the realm prospered under his rule until life just took a toll on him (death of his children, miscarriages, etc) and paranoia won over, bringing to light the worst traits of his personality, some which Dany shares and some which were shared by Vicerys.Let’s not forget that Aerys and Rhaella were brother and sister and they of course were also at some level the product of incest as well.It would not be surprising at all for their children to be deeply flawed, especially when the Targs had a history of madness in their ranks.So while Dany may not go the route, dismissing the possibility altogether is short-sighted.

      Danny knows the deeds and the madness of her father..She is aware of that and doesnt want to follow his steps ..Go watch her conversation with Sir Barristan and Tyrion in S5 sir..and you will understand

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    68. GeraltOfRivia:
      Violator,

      Dany is not the sole central hero of this story by any stretch of imagination. Jon is up there just as much as she is, Tyrion and the rest of the Stark kids too.

      she is the 50% of the story[fire]..Jon is the other 50%[ice]..Her story arc is so important as his story arc..Tyrion and the other are secondary characters

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    69. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      ‘Mad queen’ was just me oversimplifying the fact that Dany already is a tyrant that is obsessed with her ‘right’ to rule even if Westeros did not and will not ask for her. Dany is a grey character and in season 8 we will see more black in her grey because when the going gets tough she becomes suspicious – like when she questioned Tyrion’s loyalty, a man who is her hand her btw so imagine the Starks that probably don’t give a shit about her. She becomes erratic and resorts to senseless burning – like when she burned the food wagons during the field of fire, that made zero sense and shows how ditached she is from westerosi culture by not comprehending the winters to come. Most importantly she feels no remorse, in fact the only feeling she gets when she burns is elation, look back to her scenes and see for yourself. Yes she does have good intentions but “the path to destruction is paved with good intentions”. There is a valid reason for this saying, if you look throughout history, it’s almost universal that all tyrants start out with good intentions for their people – that’s how they come into power in first place – most are elected into power (which is more than we can say for Dany). I think Dany will be the most realistic antoganist in the series. It’s very much like GRRM to make her dark tendencies hang in the balance until the verdict is out, in that respect it’s also very like GRRM to make our judgment hang in the balance until the verdict is out, because it is representative of real life and anyone who lived under the rule of a tyrant will tell you that. Everything I said above is why I don’t think with only 6 eps left they won’t have time for this. It’s already centre stage, she’s already a tyrant but season 8 will leave no doubt.

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    70. orange,

      Well JR Martin draws from history alot (red wedding, happend for real in scotland, the wall being hadrians wall, lannister=lancaster vs stark =york) so maybe this is drawn from Napoleons march on Moscow, in which the russians burned 80% of moscow to the ground to weaken Napoleon…. Rest is history. But is the NK napoleon in this case? Perhaps even being forced back up North?

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    71. Westerositruth,

      It is nonsensical.

      She is engaged in a war against the dead, burning down Winterfell won’t bring allies and would kill people, soldiers needed in this war against the Night King.

      And we already have a mad queen with Cercei, two mad queens is a little bit too much and doesn’t enhance the story.

      And she will be pregnant in season 8 so she will be vulnerable, her life and her child’s life could be in danger so she will have more important stuffs to deal with than burning down Winterfell to ashes to seize power.

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    72. Westerositruth,

      Probably. And when it does, let them all eat crow! 🙂

      But now that I think of it, Emilia and Kit are filming together in Iceland. Plus they hinted about a baby, and Mel says she did her thing bringing them together etc. So I dunno there’s just as many things pointing to her and Jon remaining united.

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    73. Danny,

      Aerys was never a ‘decent king’ in the sense that he began as a principled and decent man who wanted to do the best for for his kingdom and people. He just wasn’t mad.

      He came to power as a charismatic, but slightly petulant and insecure man. He showed clear signs early on that he had more interest in himself than the kingdom, and the best thing he ever did was appoint Tywin as Hand, who was essentially the ruler he wasn’t and governed the land extremely ably while his sovereign took less and less interest in it, unless he wanted to spite Tywin.

      Dany is a character defined as being one of ‘the better sort of Targs’. You get the sense that when the coin was flipped, it landed on two different sides for her and her brother Viserys. He would have been the terrible ruler but chance stopped him from ever getting the throne where as we know – in the past – the opposite has been true. Look at Aegon IV and his younger brother Aemon – how history would have been different if Aemon had been born first. The family tree of the Targs is shaped by these competing types. Daenerys is a ‘good Targaryen’ like her eldest brother and her great-great grandfather, not like her father and her other brother.

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    74. LOL,

      Not exactly “pure delusion.” I don’t see it heading that way personally but it’s not out of the realm of possibility if she ends up totally gutted and lashes out. Imagine if when Jon learns of his heritage he shuns any further hanky panky with his aunt. Then what if she sees him getting a lot of pressure from his sisters and the north to throw in for the throne as is his birthright. Another dragon dies. Jamie has convinced Tyrion that Dany would not be a proper queen (no better than their sister in his eyes after the field of fire) and though Tyrion knows better he goes along with Jamie anyways because Dany no longer listens to him and so blood will become thicker than water for him, so they desert back to KL. On top of that white zombie lords and minions are in the distance wreaking havoc on her would be kingdom. What would you do? I might go a little scorched earth maybe.

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    75. Pigeon:
      Westerositruth,

      Perhaps the singing Lannister contingent will be recruited by Jaime and come to Winterfell.

      Of course, the only possible reason for that Ed Sheeran cameo was that his character will be revealed in the upcoming season to be TPTWP! First ginger to rule Westeros.

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    76. Wow.. So wish I could’ve stopped myself. But like Laura mentioned, we’re not just a couple of weeks away from the season dropping, but 15 months away. And that’s just too long to deliberately block everything spoilerish, but this was a big one.

      So. Now that I’m in the know.. Winterfell falls. Do our guys retreat south? Will the story eventually come down to Mad Queen in front and the Night King in the back? Cersei burning a taken King’s Landing as an act of heroism instead of how Aerys intended it? Think about it, she has a fleet to get our guys off the beaches. Jon and Jaime end up fighting the Night King in the Red Keep and lose? Cersei loses it and sets the city on fire. Who knows!

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    77. HotPinkLipstick:
      Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke have been in Iceland all week without any other noticeable cast members.

      Gwendoline, Nikolaj and Iain have all been seen in and around Belfast since Sunday. Sophie Turner was at the Grammy’s Sunday night.

      I’m curious as to who is participating in this battle. The previous shots show the curved weapons previously used by the White Walkers, but the helmets looked very Frey-ish. This is going to be one wild battle.

      Now that you mentioned the Freys i cant stop thinking that the fire might have been set by some rebellious Freys to avenge their father (tho i dont think his sons liked him that much because Lord Frey was a pityful coward and traitor).
      Maybe they joined forces with Cersei and are given a bit of Wildfire to smuggle into Winterfell. But i doubt any Frey will ever set foot on Winterfell, unless Jons good-hearted nature is being used again.

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    78. NK attacks WF. he defeats army of jon and dany and forces them to retreat. but where? probably KL. cersei finds out that jon and dany are marching to KL and NK is behind theme. so she evacuates the city( only lannister army and GC, if they have arrived already). but where she is heading at? maybe north( through the sea) to take north and winterfel( and burn it down if she has to) and wait to see the end of the battle between NK and jon crew( or she can even manage to burn down KL during the war using wildfire. this can destroy a major part of her enemies in both sides). either NK or jon wins the war, they will be weakened. so she can attack them from the north for the final hit and destroy them. actually cersei attacking north sounds logical to me.

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    79. Dany as mad queen is and always has been tinfoil nonsense.

      Cersei is mad. Euron is mad. Aerys, Viserys, Stannis, Ramsey, Frey, etc. etc. have all been mad drunk power hungry villains on the show. They’re not going to turn Dany mad and tie up the entire show in the final 6 episodes when they’ve spent 7 seasons showing people how she is different from her father and bringing all the good, likeable protagonists to her side. Especially when the NK is threatening all existence, killed her dragon, and she is pregnant. It is NOT going to happen.

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    80. Westerositruth,

      No one’s timid about it. It’s just a myopic point of view that shows a gross misunderstanding of her character. If she’s mad, then so is everyone else. Stannis burned Mance alive for not bending the knee. Guess he was mad too. Jon killed a man who disobeyed him and a kid who felt betrayed because he helped those who killed everyone in his village (the Thenns ate his mother ffs). Tyrion used wildfire in battle. Tywin let his men rape and murder any and everyone not under his protection. These and many more, but no microanalysis of what they mean. But Godforbid Dany acts ruthlessly to people who did the same thing that Roose Bolton did to his liege lord (after giving them a pretty fair deal of keeping their lands and title or even taking the black) and she’s mad because of who her father was. Myopic. Unless “mad” in this context means angry, then it doesn’t make sense.

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    81. It would be super weird if Winterfell survived. It’s literally far up north out of reach of any proper civilization, allies or supporting armies. If the undead horde couldn’t trash it, they wouldn’t be much of a threat.

      I really don’t know why so many people thought for years the White Walkers would be stopped in the North or at the Wall. I’m still aiming for a final stand at Harrenhall, it’s just perfect for it. (Kings Landing will burn imo)

      PS: this doesn’t mean the Stark girls will die, they can always escape south or make Winterfell a ruse.

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    82. Ryan:
      Dany as mad queen is and always has been tinfoil nonsense.

      Cersei is mad. Euron is mad. Aerys, Viserys, Stannis, Ramsey, Frey, etc. etc. have all been mad drunk power hungry villains on the show. They’re not going to turn Dany mad and tie up the entire show in the final 6 episodes when they’ve spent 7 seasons showing people how she is different from her father and bringing all the good, likeable protagonists to her side.Especially when the NK is threatening all existence, killed her dragon, and she is pregnant.It is NOT going to happen.

      Dany mad queen seems very unlikely to me.

      Part of the point with her story and her entire House is to explore the fine line between madness and greatness.

      I don’t think the story will have her do something uniquivocably crazy.

      At most it will do something that from a certain point of view could be considered and painted as crazy but from another point of view will just be another example of her being one of the greatest political figures in Planetos history.

      Would be foolish to turn a grey character black at the end and I think it is foolish to expect it.

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    83. Fire in KL? it’s mad queen Dany burning down KL. Fire in WF? it’s mad queen Dany burning down WF. Fire in the riverlands? it’s mad queen Dany!

      Season 8 is just going to be mad Dany burning down the whole of westeros. NK will cross the wall and see only crispy fritters and go back because he has no one to kill.

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    84. Cersei Knows It’s Me,

      I’m sorry but to equate Jon beheading Slynt and sentencing the mutineers to death for assassinating their Lord Commander to Stannis burning Shireen and Tywin being a war criminal is madness. No way can those acts ever be equated. Hell, it is madness even to equate Tyrion’s use of wildfire as a battle defense tactic. Was it brutal? Yes. But you can’t equate the morality behind what Tyrion did to what Cersei did in the Sept. What is wrong with admitting that there are cruel tendencies in Dany? I think her good traits might outweigh the bad but let us not deny that she has had tendencies that veer towards cruelty. The slavers were cruel but crucifying 150 of them, some who had nothing to do with crucifixion of children themselves, was not the doing of a pure noble soul. In the novels, she clearly knows this because she has second thoughts but she decides she can’t dwell on past decisions. She has tendencies but is learning to think them through. I adore Arya but I’m not denying she’s gone a bit psycho at this point.

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    85. Maybe this is tinfoil, but I wonder if the weirwood has something to do with this. Maybe the NK torches the godswood because he needs to destroy Bran’s connection to whatever powers exist?

      I feel like the show has somewhat neglected the underpinnings of the magic, but in the books it feels like the Winterfell weirwood (and the crypts as the original, long-ago home of the Greenseers beneath it) are of some significance.

      This is the first spoiler that really induced that excited, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. The destruction of Winterfell does truly qualify as “bittersweet.”

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    86. People that are actually serious about Daenerys going all mad queen should remember that references in an attempt to indicate she could be were all prior to her seeing the NK and his army. Not only that, but she was in war and conquer mode during which some of her ideas are doing what it takes. Those actions/ideas would probably be effective whether they’re the best method or not. She did spend a lot of time with the warring Dothraki witnessing their effective methods of conquer. Even if she didn’t like all of their techniques and actions I would say she was at least a bit shaped from the experiences. Still, she’s in fight for survival mode now with Jon and I’d wager that most of the season will be about that. Besides, we already have a mad queen on the show in Cersei. She’s a certifiable nutball with only one objective… kill everyone in her way.

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    87. Danny,

      I’ve said this before but I think Dany is basically the Chingis (or Genghis, to most westerners) Khan of Westeros. Plenty of parallels – early stint of enslavement, a triggering event involving a spouse, unification of disparate tribes, and even a certain degree of idealism in both cases. If you read Chingis’ history from a Middle Eastern or European perspective, he was a brutal conqueror whose actions often read as mad to those he conquered. But if you talk to Mongolians and look at the codes that he implemented, there were some pretty impressively progressive policies and perspectives in there.

      He was, however, fanatical about loyalty (and guest right, for that matter). So he offered terms to those he conquered, and those who accepted were treated with generosity, but those who defied him were killed (though he did generally execute the leaders, as they were the ones in open conflict with him). Likewise anyone who took an oath to him and betrayed him was in for a cruel demise. This is standard operating procedure when you’re a conqueror, and I think people who don’t see this in Dany’s actions are people who just haven’t read a whole lot of history or thought much about how warfare actually worked in these medieval and quasi-tribal settings.

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    88. So looks like NK knocked on the doors of Winterfell and they decided to take them out at expense of burning Winterfell.
      I guess at this point,war with dead ends and those surviving move on to take KL.
      Hopefully Starks make out safely

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    89. I updated the article with info from Belfast Live, not just confirming the story but giving more context to the scene that was shot Wednesday night.

      Laura:
      Also, I know this is kind of a petty ask but is there a term you could use that goes beyond “Major” for spoilers? Like ex: you find out they’ve filmed a character’s death scene. Could something like that be coded as like “Endgame spoilers” or something similar? I’m one of those weirdos who likes spoilers but to a point. Anyway, thanks for even considering it, if you do.

      I already did that:

      It constitutes a major season eight spoiler. This isn’t a little thing. It’s true endgame stuff

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    90. What stands out to me is that all of this is happening in the dark. If it is the NK, then having the wights/WW swarming around at night is pretty terrifying. Perhaps the NK is burning Winterfell to get to Bran.

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    91. mau,

      If you recall when Danerys was at the Warlocks she opened a door that showed the Iron Throne in KL amongst snowfall and huge gaping holes in the building

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    92. mass,

      They could fall back to the Vale, I guess. King’s Landing is unlikely because Cersei and Euron are there, and Jon and Dany know by now that Cersei has betrayed them.

      I’m guessing this would be a frantic, desperate retreat. It suggests that the Unsullied and Dothraki have been beaten at Winterfell. That would be a very good reason for Dany to burn the castle to prevent the Dothraki and Unsullied from being turned.

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    93. It’s probably been suggested…
      Maybe it’s a trap to eliminate as many wights in one swoop as possible. It sounds like a silly idea to purposely burn down Winterfell, but if they can no longer repel the onslaught it may be the only option. They could lure and allow the wights to scramble their way in, escape through tunnels and other hidden routes and set the place ablaze.

      THE biggest threat is the sheer numbers of wights, not necessarily the NK and the limited amount of WW. If they can drastically decrease the wight army while limiting the number of new bodies they can get to the point where it could be a large number of living against just the NK & Walkers. Fighting wights hand-to-hand regardless if they’re using dragonglass could still result in a lot of deaths and a replenishing wight number.

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    94. Clob,

      I remember there was a report here that there are multiple scenes being filmed in the crypts of Winterfell, so I think it’s entirely possible the scenario you mention could happen.

      Of course, they could film a number of different scenes in the crypts that have nothing to do with this, so all options are on the table. I enjoy these types of spoilers because they don’t give everything away, but it gives me just enough information to speculate.

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    95. I think we all knew Winterfell would fall, even if we didn’t really want to admit it. Whoever sits on the Iron Throne at the end will rule a kingdom in ashes – Dany’s vision in the house of the undying. It clearly won’t be Dany – same vision. It won’t be Jon either – its not in his makeup. My theory remains it will be the Jonerys baby with Tyrion as regent til it comes of age.

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    96. I’ve been insisting that they can’t fight the dead in a conventional way and that doing so would mean certain defeat. I argued that Jon et al needed a solid plan to defeat the NK that did not involve facing each other across a battlefield and hacking and slashing.

      But Jon has run out of time. The minute that Dany went beyond the wall to rescue him and lost her dragon, (which was used to bring down the wall) they ran out of time to formulate a plan. So, they’re left with conventional warfare…which they’re bound to lose. (I hope I’m wrong about this!)

      The Unsullied and Dothraki are my homeboys, so I don’t want to see them sacrificed on the battlefield to save people that think they’re foreign savages. But, I guess that is what’s going to happen.

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    97. My best guess for plot is:
      -NK and WW arrive at WF and burn it with blue flame
      -Jon/Dany/survivors retreat to safety in the crypts (magic of Winterfell)
      -They emerge to find WF in ruins and the NK army moved on, heading towards KL
      -Remaining dothraki/unsullied/northern houses pool together and march to KL
      -Dany on Drogon, Jon on Rhaegal
      -FINAL BATTLE happens at KL…Cersei/Lannisters/Euron/GC are crushed by NK
      -Cersei kills herself and a bunch of living/dead with her
      -Jon/Dany defeat NK/WW with help of Bran warging Viserion
      -Jon dies protecting Dany/baby
      -Dany becomes Queen of the Ashes
      -Baby becomes good king
      -Final scene is LITTLE Sam writing about the heroics of his father and Jon

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    98. First things first, I wish to say I do not subscribe at all to the idea that Daenerys is either mad or becoming mad. I would also argue that even Cersei is not mad; ruthless and crazed, yes, but not mad.
      Wanting to burn down an entire city to turn into a dragon, à la Aerys ? That is crazy.
      Blowing up an entire building because it contains most of one’s enemies ? That is not mad. It is very extreme but not insane.

      Clob: Not only that, but she was in war and conquer mode during which some of her ideas are doing what it takes.

      Maybe that is the clincher…

      If Daenerys were to openly admit that she is conquering Westeros, were she to present herself as a conqueror, there would be very few problems with her decision to burn two men alive because this is what conquerors do : they attack lands and peoples that do not wish them there in order to exploit them and/or reign over them and, in the process, they eliminate those who stand in their way. Subsequently, conquerors may rule their conquered lands and peoples fairly, they may rule them appalingly, they may rule them neutrally… Ultimately, it does not change anything to the fact that everyone understands the dynamics at play and knows that conquerors do not fundamentally care for the will of the peoples they subjugate.

      However, Daenerys very much rejects the “conqueror” moniker; there is not a single occurrence of this particular word in her seemingly endless list of titles. Conversely, what does feature in her impressive resume is the expression “Breaker of Chains” and this, I believe, is where we have a problem as far as Westeros is concerned.

      Daenerys loves her chain-breaking narrative so much it is the one she most readily revendicates (alongside Mother of Dragons). Now, it so happens that in Essos, she did break the chains of slavery; if anything, that was her sole political agenda and a very deserving one at that. So she had every right to claim that accomplishment and bask in the glory of its associated title. However, in Westeros the narrative does not hold water. At all. Yet, she keeps it up. She even went so far as to refer to it when making the Reach’s lords choose between kneeling and being turned into kebabs. “I broke your chains, you are free. Now obey me or die !”
      To put it simply, the conqueror dynamics and the chain-breaking narrative do not fit together. They cannot fit together. Yet, Daenerys and her small council are reluctant to address the manifest contradiction. It took the Tarly barbecue for Tyrion and Varys to spot it, at long last.

      Now, I suppose one may argue that she first has to conquer Westeros before she can “break the chains” of its political system. However, to this I can only respond : what chains ? Does she intend to end feudalism ? Considering that she intends to claim her birthright, that would be not just weird but downright hypocritical. Does she intend to eliminate the Great Houses structure ? If it were so, I assume she would not have demanded the support of several of said Great Houses before she arrived.

      What is Daenerys’s plan for Westeros ? For several years now, we have heard the Mother of Dragons and every single one of her advisers repeat that she must rule over the Seven Kingdoms to make them better. To make the world better. But no one, not even Daenerys herself, has ever said how she was supposed to do that. What does she intend to change ? What does she want to keep ? Does she even know ? If she does, why has she not mentioned it yet ? If not, shouldn’t that be a tad worrying ?

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    99. When major spoilers and a l o n g wait for the new season collide…

      TINFOIL!!

      I can see the Night King’s Army swarming all over Winterfell, then Jon and Dany burning WF to the ground with the wight army inside, Bran devised the plan by the weirwood tree saying Burn Them All, then being caught in a time loop back to the Mad King to instill that deadly mantra in his brain, then falling again through time to aptly christen the Stark family castle Winterfell.

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    100. ACME: Now, I suppose one may argue that she first has to conquer Westeros before she can “break the chains” of its political system. However, to this I can only respond : what chains ? Does she intend to end feudalism ? Considering that she intends to claim her birthright, that would be not just weird but downright hypocritical. Does she intend to eliminate the Great Houses structure ? If it were so, I assume she would not have demanded the support of several of said Great Houses before she arrived.

      This is basically why I am still on the fence about whether or not I like Dany. She is a breaker of chains and frees slaves on one hand, but on the other hand she expects to be proclaimed Queen over all of Westeros and it’s subjects. She’s all about freeing slaves, but ruling over them at the same time? “Here’s your freedom. Now bend the knee”.

      It’s…bizarre to me.

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    101. ACME,
      I assume at the minimum she wants to disband the regional armies to stop the Great Houses from fighting their issues out. In due course, she’ll probably discover that this necessitates a place for them to *talk* them out. So, a court with permanent presence from all the major players, a parliament, or some such.

      But the armies, definitely. Even if she does only that, that’ll be a huge improvement for the average peasant.

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    102. Anon:
      The Unsullied and Dothraki are my homeboys, so I don’t want to see them sacrificed on the battlefield to save people that think they’re foreign savages.But, I guess that is what’s going to happen.

      God that would piss me off. If the so called “foreign savages” ends up doing the bulk of the work.

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    103. Luka Nieto,

      Thanks the update. Let’s sum up, what we know about this siege sequence. First of all, now we can be sure that the skirmish at the WF gates we saw a few night ago was part of the sequence, more specifically that it was the breach through the gates (most probably with a ram), and the attackers were humans. The filming of the sequesnce also started only recently (otherwise we would have had many more leaked photos form the set), which implies in turn that, although massive, this sequence will be rather short in terms of screen time. The director should be Miguel Sapochnik (according to the report that he “has just started shooting his massive things”), which places the siege sequence into either Ep3 or Ep5. And finally, neither Jon, nor Dany, nor other major fighters were present on the set during the sequence: they went to film somethig else in Iceland.

      So, what can we make out of that? Everything implies that WF will fall to a surprice attack of Cersei’s forces (Euron and the GC) and that it will happen in Jon’s absence. Therefore I dare to specultate that it will happen in Ep 5 along with the siege of KL by the NK and that Jon and most of their forces will be defending KL, not Winterfell.

      However, pieces must move to certain positions for that to happen. Most importantly, the NK must bypass WF and something has to happen for Cersei to decide that the dead are no longer a threat (otherwise she wouldn’t be sending her last best forces to fight in the North).

      Therefore, I guess that the NK will literarly bypass WF: that would be the worst scenario for Jon & Dany, because he will have to draw his armies out of the realative safety of the walls into an open field. Sure, there still a possibility that the NK will try to storm it (and there might be reasons for that), but the more I think the more I lean towards the opposite. The Dothraki, Dany’s main force, are somewhere on the King’s Road, so the NK should be interested to hit them before they reunite with Dany and get under the dragonfire cover. If he succeeds, he can count on victory – not an easy one, because the Dothraki should come armed with dragonglass, but anyway destroyng the bigger and conveniently leaderless portion of the enemy’s forces would be the right move. It’s worth to not that the Dothraki haven’t been seen anywhere around the WF set, so I assume they’ll never make it, and that the battle between the NK and the Dothraki will happen in Ep3. Jon & Dany will probably come to save the day (Bran would be able to reveal the NK’s plan) and the living will win a hard, almost Pyric victory. The NK will be defeated but not destroyed. He may pretend to retreat to his dun or similar, so that Cersei could decide that it would be the right time to attack WF, but one way or another the NK will be knocking on KL gates in Ep5 and Jon (and Jaime) will be coming there to help. However, Cersei won’t be able to accept his help after sending her forces to burn WF, so she’ll try do something very very bad – like burn KL with everyone in it. Jaime will kill her and the NK (and Euron) will be dealth with in early Ep 6.

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    104. Mr Derp,

      They bend if they want. They follow her if they want. Eg, Unsullied.

      Westeros is different. Shes conquering based on her familys claim to the throne. To be king/queen of westores means the land and everyone in it is suppose to your subject. That is the general consensus for everyone who has made claim to it or sat on it. Not just Daenerys.

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    105. Troy: God that would piss me off. If the so called “foreign savages” ends up doing the bulk of the work.

      It’d be terribly unfair for them to cross the Narrow Sea only to meet their deaths.

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    106. Troy:
      Mr Derp,

      They bend if they want. They follow her if they want. Eg, Unsullied.

      Westeros is different. Shes conquering based on her familys claim to the throne. To be king/queen of westores means the land and everyone in it is suppose to your subject. That is the general consensus for everyone who has made claim to it or sat on it. Not just Daenerys.

      I am aware of what it all means. I just think it’s hypocritical in nature to be all about freedom but at the same time all about people bending the knee to you under threat of death.

      And why SHOULD Westeros be treated any differently than Essos? Because her daddy owned the Westerosi population previously? That’s not a valid reason to be a hypocrite. If she wants to free the slaves in Essos with unconditional freedom, she should also be interested in unconditional freedom for all others too. Otherwise, she’s a hypocrite in my eyes.

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    107. : That is the general consensus for everyone who has made claim to it or sat on it. Not just Daenerys.

      As far as I know, Dany is the only one claiming the throne who has freed slaves, so her situation is absolutely different than her predecessors.

      She said it herself that she wants to break the wheel. It’s clear that her situation is different

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    108. Mr Derp,
      I hear you !
      I, for one, am not ambiguous about Daenerys; I do like her. I like her struggles, I like her plight, I like her doubts. But I cannot pretend even for one second that she is politically or ideologically coherent because she ain’t ! 😛

      Anon: The Unsullied and Dothraki are my homeboys, so I don’t want to see them sacrificed on the battlefield to save people that think they’re foreign savages.

      I do not recall Westerosi calling Unsullied “savages”; dangerous, lethal and hive-minded, yes, but not savages. Randyll had a few chosen words for the Dothraki, it is true, bit given their (entirely justified) reputation as enslavers, it is not completely undeserved.
      Furthermore, we may be able to forgive Westerosi for not being all that thrilled at the idea of being invaded by foreign troops.

      Troy: That is the general consensus for everyone who has made claim to it or sat on it. Not just Daenerys.

      Yet, Daenerys keeps on saying she is different from all the others…

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    109. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      That goes with the territory of mindlessly following a messiah figure.

      That is what I believe is commonly referred to as a “burn”… ^^

      Yaga: I assume at the minimum she wants to disband the regional armies to stop the Great Houses from fighting their issues out.

      I have nothing against your idea in and of itself, I do in fact believe it would be politically sound, but I feel compelled to ask : has she given any indication that this is something she intends to do ? Has she ever mentioned anything resembling that at all ?

      I believe we can agree that the answer to both those questions is “no” and that Daenerys has never said (or thought, in the books) about what sort of political structure she would implement in Westeros. And that to me is perhaps a key to understanding Daenerys’s appeal as a political figure.
      Now, I do not wish to be misunderstood : the Mother of Dragons has plenty of appeal as an emotional being; her journey has been arduous and traumatic and many people, self included, can empathise with her and find her very interesting as a result. So I am not trying to crack the code of Daenerys’s appeal in general for that one is fairly obvious. I am merely focusing on why so many fans are eager to see her sit on a throne, be it in Westeros or anywhere else.

      Outside of the abolition of slavery, Daenerys has zero political agenda and/or ideology. None. Zilch. Nada. She never mentions what type of regime she finds good/bad, she never state any preference for a specific kind of political structure… Aside from her opposition to slavery which I believe any person with two brain cells and a tenth of human decency can get behind, she is politically vacuous. She is a blank page. And that boosts her appeal because every reader/viewer can project anything they want onto her.
      Viewer X has a soft spot for parliamentary monarchy so, in X’s mind, so does Daenerys ! Reader Y is more of an “enlightened absolutism” sort of person ? No problem, s/he can decide that this is what the Mother of Dragons dreams of. And so on and so forth.

      Daenerys is the embodiment of the political power of vagueness. Her spokespeople repeat that she is going to make the world a better place but never get into any sort of details as to how she is meant to achieve this. Because details mean precision; they mean the death of vagueness. And in Daenerys’s case, vagueness is the only glue keeping her ruler persona together.
      The moment she actually does things, thereby making precise, specific choices, the whole edifice starts falling apart and her supporters usually get disappointed.

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    110. Clob,

      I hope it’s a ploy of some sort, mainly because that would mean the Starks could escape beforehand.

      But also, I can’t see how a gargantuan army and thousands of civilians could reasonably be depicted evacuating a castle under siege and trekking across hundreds of miles of wintry ground with an unrelenting undead army in pursuit.

      Bran and Meera slipping off into a snowstorm in an unknown direction, for example, is very different from an entire army and thousands of refugees managing it.

      The less teleporting and unreasonable leaps of logic next season, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

      It’s either a trap or a complete slaughter. I think trying to depict a middle ground could stretch credibility very thin.

      Long before Season 7 I did have a vision of Beric Dondarrion and the Brotherhood defending Winterfell with a reserve force while the Starks and Northerners escaped. I could certainly picture something like that still happening.

      The only problem with it being a trap is that they’ve specifically gone north with all of their forces to convene at Winterfell.

      There’d have to be a compelling reason for them to double back (maybe Cersei’s double cross? Or the news about Viserion?) or for the bulk of their forces not to make it all the way up to Winterfell to begin with (weather?), leading them to decide to sacrifice Winterfell.

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    111. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I wouldn’t call their devotion to Dany ‘mindless’. They have a coherent reason for following her. The Dothraki admire strength above all else. Dany has proven her strength to them. Dany appealed to the Unsullied to fight with her to free the chained, and they agreed.

      Except, Westeros doesn’t seem to realize that it is in chains, or very soon will be, if the WW have their way. The only person strong enough to resist is Dany and her armies and her dragons. Maybe she should leave Westeros to die.

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    112. Where did Winterfell get its name? Winter-fell? Is this a kind of Hodor thing?
      I hated this loop in time plot element. I hope this will not be Hodor #2.

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    113. Firannion,

      I agree entirely. How can a castle built of stone be raised to the ground with fire. Sure, all the wooden structures within it would be destroyed, but not the stone shell of the building.

      Ok, perhaps it is dragon-fire, but even Harrenhal wasn’t totally destroyed as we’ve seen in previous episodes.

      Who can say? We’ll just have to wait until S8 airs and speculate in the meantime 😉

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    114. Yet, Daenerys keeps on saying she is different from all the others…

      Why is she really that different? She claims she is. Ok. But almost every body else has their own internal monologue that they tell themselves about why they are the hero.

      And there is something inherently hypocritical about power and wanting to do good with power. Acquiring power is a brutal process that requires people to fear you. To a certain extent their will always be a tension between what you have to do to achieve power and the good things you say you will do when you acquire it.

      There is a reason why politicians are thought of in poor light.

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    115. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      IMO, the first thing we should keep in mind that WF was clearly attacked b the living, not by the dead. Remember that photos with some skirmish at the gates and video with chanting? These are clearly the parts of the same equence which will end with WF on fire. Moreover, it’s a massive but short sequence (Miguel Saposhnik filmed it just in a few days). And all the main characters (Jon, Dany, etc.) were absent.

      So, it really looks like the sequence will be a part of Ep5 (which will also include the main siege of KL), and that WF will be attacked by Euron and GC under Cersei’s command, while Jon and most of his force will be elsewhere chasing the NK. Therefore there won’t be any need for the mass evacuation: WF will be already undermanned and although there will be heartbreaking losses, they won’t be that big on the grand scheme of things, espicially considering that some of the main characters will probably escape. Sure, Bran is at risk, whoever is left in charge of WF is at risk (I guess it’s Tyrion and Sansa), Gilly and baby Sam may bite the dust, etc. But most of the armed forces of the team Targ-Stark united should be saved for the ultimate battle against the NK in KL.

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    116. Ryan,

      I wouldn’t be looking for too much credit on that one. I’ve heard many people say this for a long time now, though I don’t believe it to be true.

      I believe “fell” is a Scottish term that means a high place, hills, or moors. Winterfell is built on a hill. Someone please jump in and correct me if I’m wrong.

      Personally, I think it would be major cornball stuff if they named Winterfell because thats…where…winter…fell.

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    117. Ryan:
      -Final scene is LITTLE Sam writing about the heroics of his father and Jon

      So Little Sam will tell of the heroics of Craster and Jon? Works for me!

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    118. ACME: Anon: The Unsullied and Dothraki are my homeboys, so I don’t want to see them sacrificed on the battlefield to save people that think they’re foreign savages.

      I do not recall Westerosi calling Unsullied “savages”; dangerous, lethal and hive-minded, yes, but not savages. Randyll had a few chosen words for the Dothraki, it is true, bit given their (entirely justified) reputation as enslavers, it is not completely undeserved.
      Furthermore, we may be able to forgive Westerosi for not being all that thrilled at the idea of being invaded by foreign troops.

      Actually, I don’t recall Westeros calling the Unsullied any of those things you say. I DO recall Randyll calling the Dothraki ‘savages’ and him referring to Dany as ‘foreign’ as a slur and his soldiers refusing to bend the knee. I presume Randyll thinks they’re all ‘foreign’.

      The Dothraki were under leadership that – according to Dany – was small, petty and had no vision – which is why she torched the Khals. Under the new leadership, the Dothraki turned their backs on their so-called tradition of slavery and aligned with the Unsullied, who were former slaves. That suggests to me that they were not all that attached to slavery but were victims of poor leadership.

      Also, the Northerners were hostile to the Wildlings for a long time…until they needed them to take back their *ucking castle. We can squabble about whether they, too, are victims of poor leadership, or whether they’re genuinely zenophobic.

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    119. I’m hoping the use of this set for filming purposes was finished and the production crew simply raised it as a result. This happens all of the time. A similar thing happened to the Collinwood set used in Johnny Depp’s awful/sacrilegious “Dark Shadows.” At least, I hope this is the case here.

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    120. Mr Derp,

      I think “fell” is Scandinavian in origin (“fjall” in Icelandic, as in the name of that volcano that disrupted flights for weeks a few years back). It does mean “mountain” and it may be present in Scottish, too, through Viking influence.

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    121. ACME,

      All we really know is that both her and Tyrion speak about breaking the wheel, we don’t know what that involves in the slightest but maybe that’s a good thing when characters talk about their future dreams that means they are heading for the chopping block take LF for instance we never truly knew his motivations and his end goal but he told Sansa in S6 which for me was a big dead man walking hint and I was right he died in S7 so them not talking about what breaking the wheel actually involves is if anything a good sign because only the two of them truly seem to know what it truly means so there is more chance of them enacting it at the end of the series in my opinion anyway

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    122. Mr Derp,

      I think it’s a major false equivalency to suggest that demanding fealty from people is the same as literally owning them. Any government places restrictions on citizens, but that’s not the same as the government being able to buy, sell, own the labor and the fruits of the labor of, own the bodies of, or make personal decisions for those citizens. Dany’s stance on slavery is in a different ethical realm from her stance on the Westerosi succession; the former is about basic human rights while the latter is about governance.

      Feudalism isn’t pretty but it’s still a big step up from being enslaved.

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    123. House Monty,

      Or shortly before that, when all the questions are answerred and the NK’s demise becomes just a technical issue. One more reason to think that the said sequence belogs to Ep5.

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    124. Fierce as a Wolverine,

      Well duh, anything is a step up from being enslaved.

      It’s not a major false equivalency or anything nearly that melodramatic. It’s hypocrisy plain and simple.

      Let’s say I live in Westeros and I hear that Dany is coming to take over and tell me what to do or demand that I see her as a superior human being (the whole point of bending the knee is to show submission). However, she previously freed people in Essos and didn’t demand fealty at all from them. She gave them complete independence. What’s to stop me from taking the next logical step and demanding my independence from her? The answer shouldn’t be “because of feudalism”. Remember, Dany is planning on “breaking the wheel”. If she comes over to Westeros and plays the same feudalism and fealty games then she is no wheel-breaker at all.

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    125. Mr Derp,

      I hate talk of “breaking the wheel” cuz it seems as though nobody actually knows what that means. We know that the wheel itself is the constant shifting of power from one house or person to another, which ends up kick-starting war that causes the people with the least to suffer the most. In other words, the game of thrones itself. Would breaking the wheel mean democracy? Would it mean putting an end to all other competitors so that power doesn’t shift from a single power again? It hasn’t been made clear at all.

      In a way, Dany’s broken one “wheel” – that being the Essosi slave trade that had been in place for centuries. But that isn’t the same as this. I admire Dany for her idealism, but it seems as though not even she’s sure how to break the Westerosi wheel that is the game of thrones. Especially when she starts slipping into the bad habits of Westeros’ predecessors, despite wanting to be different. Still, it’s her very human flaws and her dubiousness that make her compelling to me at least. Whether she flops or flies and, maybe more importantly, whether the holes in her ideals are identified are just things we’re gonna have to wait for.

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    126. Somehow I just now remembered my suggestion that perhaps people don’t believe that Jon is Targaryen, possibly even Jon himself, but it is proven when he walks through flames without burning. (My idea had been that this ‘talent’ didn’t exist until after he matured or after his resurrection.) It would be something if he and Daenerys were trapped inside Winterfell while aiding an escape so THEY set the fire to kill the attacking wights… and then walk out hand-in-hand, unscathed. 🙂

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    127. Fenny,

      I agree that “breaking the wheel” is a rather vague statement. My main point is that I personally find it hypocritical to be all about freeing slaves while at the same time requiring a different group of people to be submissive to your self-imposed authority. It’s a major conflict of philosophy to me.

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    128. ygritte,

      Wow that’s many implausible things happening while the NK is bearing down on them. Seriously if the north has a problem with Dany they deserve what comes for them. They are ALL dead without her. She also already sacrificed one of her children in the Great War. Luckily for the north and all their sycophants Dany isn’t as vindictive as me, she will save the north even if they refuse to fight with her.

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    129. I don’t think its a battle at all. Jon and Dany’s lust for each other will burn so red hot that Winterfell and much of the North will explode — with passion!

      Fortunately for Sansa, Bran, and Arya, they’ll be vacaing in the Summer Islands when it happens.

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    130. Mr Derp,

      The main issue with that is, as someone coming for the purpose of deposing another and ascending to power, that’s a clash that is ultimately inevitable. No matter how things progressed, one thing that was made clear from the beginning was that if she wanted the Throne she was gonna need to take it, and it would mean a lot of blood on her hands. The funny thing is, she spent the first half of S7 trying precisely not to use the conqueror’s methodology, but once alternate approaches cost her all her allies she basically went ”fuck it” and took a more conventional route. It’s easy to say it’s hypocritical, sure, but it’s also easy to forget the sheer amount of pressure she likely had on her to deliver (especially having lost the lives of those who put their trust in her), and how much harder it is to play by a different set of standards to those perpetuated by the system. Like Olenna said, asking nicely simply wasn’t gonna cut it, but to what extent can she go before she starts repeating history again? There has to be some kind of balance without there being an opposition of ideals against actions. I think it’s a lot more complicated than what it seems tbh

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    131. Fenny,

      At some point someone needs to recognize that you can’t break the wheel. There is always another wheel. Break one and you have to replace it with another one. Hopefully it is more humane and better for more people…. but it is still a wheel.

      The only person who can really break the wheel is the NK by eliminating humans.

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    132. Clob:
      Somehow I just now remembered my suggestion that perhaps people don’t believe that Jon is Targaryen, possibly even Jon himself, but it is proven when he walks through flames without burning.(My idea had been that this ‘talent’ didn’t exist until after he matured or after his resurrection.)

      That Jon’s Targ side only came to be following his resurrection would help to explain why his hand was burned when saving Lord Commander Mormont way back in the day. After all Viserys got his gold crown and that didn’t work so well for him. However, I have a little trouble with the inconsistency. I know the Gods flip a coin with the Targs thus Viserys was no true dragon but Dany is. So when one is resurrected does the coin get flipped again?

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    133. House Month:
      Fenny,

      At some point someone needs to recognize that you can’t break the wheel. There is always another wheel. Break one and you have to replace it with another one. Hopefully it is more humane and better for more people…. but it is still a wheel.

      The only person who can really break the wheel is the NK by eliminating humans.

      Tyrion called it a “beautiful dream” for a reason. But like I said, Dany is very much an idealist. She likely believes that if she can end a centuries-long practice and hatch dragons from stone, why couldn’t she break the wheel? But life isn’t as easy as that of course. Who knows what’ll happen, but it’s all been a bit of a mess so far lmao

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    134. Catspaw Assassin:
      I don’t think its a battle at all. Jon and Dany’s lust for each other will burn so red hot that Winterfell and much of the North will explode — with passion!

      Fortunately for Sansa, Bran, and Arya, they’ll be vacaing in the Summer Islands when it happens.

      A Dream of Spring, indeed!

      Fenny:
      Mr Derp,

      In a way, Dany’s broken one “wheel” – that being the Essosi slave trade that had been in place for centuries.

      Has she, though? – or has she just got a lot of folks killed, declared victory and gone home? To me, Dany was to Slavers’ Bay as George W. Bush was to Iraq.

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    135. Bufferzone: A Dream of Spring, indeed!

      Has she, though? – or has she just got a lot of folks killed, declared victory and gone home? To me, Dany was to Slavers’ Bay as George W. Bush was to Iraq.

      On the show she pretty clearly ended the slave trade.

      In the books I imagine she will as well although will probably entail more Fire and Blood.

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    136. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!! WINTERFELL IS ON FIRE, I REPEAT, WINTERFELL IS ON FIRE!!

      Sadness… just hoping the crypt and the godswood survive- if they do, Winterfell can be rebuilt come spring.. the rest of it is pretty ugly AF anyway, the best parts (the glass garden thing and the library) were already torched by Ramsay.

      Also, Lol to Mr Derp for “I think Hot Pie left the stove on.”

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    137. Bufferzone,

      I don’t imagine the books will end quite so neatly in that regard, but I have no doubt that Daenerys will annihilate the slaver coalition in the region. Everything points to her fundamentally altering the economic and political order of the continent irrevocably.

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    138. House Month,

      My thoughts exactly. The wheel that spins the game of thrones is the circle of life in its esence. You can’t have life without diversity, you can’t have it without competition, so there is no life without the wheel, and in case it is broken, it has to be reinvented ASAP, otherwise you get Meereen with slaves unhapy with their newly granted freedom.

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    139. Well, nice to know my predictions for season 8 are proving to be incorrect one by one, I welcome the surprise/shock.
      Also it seems like two of supposed leakers had it right, Makes me worried about the other things they said.

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    140. Okay, okay, I’m calming now and SHOULD NOT HAVE LOOKED but I don’t have the strength that Dee always exhibits and another year is a LONG time. If Winterfell is going to fall it will certainly be tragic. Somehow I think that S8 is going to be heartbreaking:(

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    141. Anon: I DO recall Randyll calling the Dothraki ‘savages’ and him referring to Dany as ‘foreign’ as a slur and his soldiers refusing to bend the knee. I presume Randyll thinks they’re all ‘foreign’.

      Well, they are foreign…
      Let us try not to play coy : Randyll is xenophobic, like the overwhelming majority of Westerosi. That is not a matter of debate. What is, however, is how justified his xenophobia is in the context of a foreign invasion.

      The Dothraki are not refugees nor are they migrants who have come to Westeros hpoing to build a better life for themselves there and whom Randyll intends to kick out or kill out of racism; they are an army hellbent on conquering the Seven Kingdoms for their queen who spent her entire life in Essos. They are the aggressors here. They are foreign troops and they are invading Randyll’s home country.
      In this particular context, Tarly having an issue with them is entirely justified.

      The Dothraki were under leadership that – according to Dany – was small, petty and had no vision – which is why she torched the Khals.Under the new leadership, the Dothraki turned their backs on their so-called tradition of slavery

      The Dothraki practiced slavery for centuries; it is not a “so-called” tradition, it was their way of life. Furthermore they practiced it under all kinds of khals, including Daenerys’s own late husband Drogo. Yet, she never called him small, petty or lacking vision.

      Fenny: The funny thing is, she spent the first half of S7 trying precisely not to use the conqueror’s methodology, but once alternate approaches cost her all her allies she basically went ”fuck it” and took a more conventional route.

      I agree with you. She did try not to invade, at Tyrion’s behest. However, when she changed her methods to that of a conqueror, she should have changed her messaging to reflect the transformation. Talking about chain-breaking while forcing people into obedience under penalty of death is inconsistent and, ultimately, hypocritical.
      Were Daenerys to call herself “Daenerys the Conqueror”, the discrepancy would immediately evaporate. Nevertheless, she refuses to do so because she is enamoured with her “Breaker of Chains” narrative. She desperately wants to be that messiah-figure her disciple worship. That is her choice and, as such, the responsibility is hers.

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    142. ACME,

      I concur but on the other hand had Dany changed her narrative into the Conqueror one, she would have never given Jon dragonglass, she would have never gone beyond the Wall to resque him, she would have never comitted to the war for dawn. Last season she was really struggling to find the Big Bad for herself in Westeros, but now she has got it – Jon has shown it to her.

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    143. Inga,
      I see and like your point but I am not entirely certain Daenerys embracing her conquering ways would necessarily have led her to disregard the White Walker threat.

      Even as an invader, Daenerys intends to rule over the Seven Kingdoms as they are, namely full of living, breathing human beings. I doubt she would be satisfied with reigning, insofar as it would be possible, over a frozen and barren wasteland littered with reanimated corpses. ^^
      Therefore, it would not have been in Daenerys the Conqueror’s best interest not to defend Westeros against the army of the dead in every capacity and way available to her.

      In regards to her going to Jon’s rescue, I would argue that she did not do it out of a sense of duty towards her messiah narrative but out of personal affection / admiration / proto-love for Jon. Also, on this particular topic, I fear we cannot avoid the big, uncomfortable question : had Daenerys not gone to rescue Jon and lost a dragon in the process, would the Night King ever had the means to cross the Wall ?
      I that “what if ?” scenarii are always dubious by definition, especially in a universe like that of Game of Thrones where fate, in the purest sense of the term, appears to exist but I do believe the question has merit still.

      For seven years, we have been told “the Night King is coming, the Night King is coming”… Yet, we never saw any evidence that he had ever gained the ability to march south of the Wall. The only thing we truly witnessed was the Night King doing his job, so to speak; he was created to be relentless in his killing of humans and he and his minions have been doing just that since we first met them.
      Now, obviously, it stands to reason to assume that, if given the slightest opportunity, the Night King would have started feisting on all the yummy humans on the other side of the Wall. However, we never saw him get anywhere near such an opportunity for the whole run of the show. That is until Daenerys and Viserion showed up…

      Without a dragon, what would the Night King have done ? Objectively ? His army of the dead is unquestionably massive but there is no denying that, for all their zombie power, his troops would never have been able to tear down the Wall. Or climb it. Or breach it. Or even just bypass it (the undead are seemingly not great swimmers ^^). So I can only guess that, with no Wight Viserion to ride, the Night King would have had to cannibalise the last handful of Wildlings and then live among his creatures, forever stuck north of the most staggering defensive weapon ever created.

      No rescue mission north of the Wall = dead Jon (I know, I dislike the thought too) but also no undead dragon = no White Walker south of the Wall.

      Now, there is a very strong argument to make about the role played by fate here. Perhaps it was Daenerys’s fate all along to give the Night King the means to breach the Wall so the situation could be brought to its natural crisis and, at long last, be resolved once and for all with the atomisation of every last zombie in existence. That is in fact highly probable. However, it does not weaken the causal link between Daenerys’s presence in the Seven Kingdoms and the untold devastation the Night King is likely to unleash onto Westerosi before he is stopped for good.
      If / when Daenerys saves Westeros, I am afraid that it will merely look like she is fixing a problem she caused (was destined to cause ?) in the first place.

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    144. ACME: Without a dragon, what would the Night King have done ?

      Just to add to the discussion…
      That question is asked often but I haven’t read a specific suggestion, although it’s probably been somewhere. We know the wights can’t swim. Lets just assume the NK/Walkers can’t either, but what they aren’t is mindless animated husks. On the show all the NK had to do was blast a hole in the Wall and apparently the magical barrier was eliminated along with the physical. That to me is implying that the NK was only prevented from going south by the Wall itself.

      The NK appears to be intelligent, as do his Walker buddies. One would think then that they could have found or built a ship, abandoned his current wight army and sailed around the Wall. Once there it wouldn’t have taken much for him to build another wight army by killing non-dragonglass-bearing citizens of The North.

      Of course any of that in the story eliminates the importance of the Wall and the Night’s Watch. It’s been a while since I’ve read the books but I don’t remember anything specifically stating it couldn’t be done. It seems like something just conveniently unmentioned.

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    145. Clob: On the show all the NK had to do was blast a hole in the Wall and apparently the magical barrier was eliminated along with the physical.That to me is implying that the NK was only prevented from going south by the Wall itself.

      Yours is a very good point but I have to say I am not entirely convinced by this premise.

      Just like the direwolves are not just oversized lupines, dragons are not “just” big flying reptiles who happen to vomit fire. Dragons (and direwolves) are stronly connected to magic. To what exact degree, we do not quite know but they are supernatural. Therefore, it is entirely possible to surmise that a dead dragon brought back to “life” by the Night King’s spell (or whatever it is called ^^) would be doubly magical : fire and ice. A potent mix !

      In season six, Benjen (a quasi-wight) stated that he could not get too close to the Wall due to its magical barrier. This little detail may help explain why, in the seventh season’s finale, the army of the dead does not really approach the Wall at first. They do not try to storm it or climb it, Wildling-style; they stop a rather long way away from it and then wait for their leader, atop his new pet. The Night King, on wight Viserion, can get close and personal with the Wall in a way the undead have never been shown to be able to which makes me think that it is Viserion’s presence that renders the feat possible.
      Perhaps the blend of ice and fire magic was what was needed to override the Wall’s protective spells and then, Viserion’s brute force did the rest.

      You are perfectly right to state that the Night King and the White Walkers are intelligent. They demonstrably are indeed. However, if all that was needed for them to march south of the Wall was a technological / manufactured tool (like a boat), why didn’t they engineered it sooner ? The Night King and his cohorts have been around for quite a while, as far as we know; they have had ample time to figure out how to build a canoe 😛
      So me thinks that simply bypassing the Wall was/is not an option for them.

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    146. ACME,
      Clob,

      Well, in the show the NK had at least two other options: 1) wait until the sea freezes – that would have happened inevitably, if the winter were as harsh as predicted; 2) catch Bran in his greendream – that would have annuled the protective magic of the Wall. There could have been other options too like finding allies/servants among the living: if there was one Craster, there could have been others too. Mind, that the WW were always playing psychological warfare: they were always leaving at least one man alive to spread panic etc. One way or another, the NK started preparing for the invasion long before dragons or even Bran were born, so he must have had a idea or two how to get to the other side of the Wall.

      As for Dany saving Jon because of love, sure. But we should keep in mind why she felt in love with him. It wasn’t about his good looks – she even admitted that he was too little for her; it was all about that he took a knife in the hart for his people. Basicly, Jon became a ruler model for her – she almost lusted to learn what was it like. And that trigerred her affection. So, I don’t think we can accuse her in hypocricy: she felt in love with Jon because at first she felt in love with an idea of an altuistic ruler which she tried to embody but often failed due to concerns of real politique.

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    147. I agree with you. She did try not to invade, at Tyrion’s behest. However, when she changed her methods to that of a conqueror, she should have changed her messaging to reflect the transformation. Talking about chain-breaking while forcing people into obedience under penalty of death is inconsistent and, ultimately, hypocritical.
      Were Daenerys to call herself “Daenerys the Conqueror”, the discrepancy would immediately evaporate. Nevertheless, she refuses to do so because she is enamoured with her “Breaker of Chains” narrative. She desperately wants to be that messiah-figure her disciple worship. That is her choice and, as such, the responsibility is hers.

      Not sure this makes sense. Since when do politicians change their narrative to be internally consistent and non hypocritical? Why would she do that for those reasons?

      She should change her narrative to what will be effective at achieving her political goals. Whether it is hypocritical or not is irrelevant unless the act of hypocrisy is hindering the achievement of her goals.

      Since all evidence is that her narrative of chain breaking actually attracts people I think she should probably keep it.

      ACME,

      If the NK was never going to get around the wall with out Vicerion, why did Bran sound the alarm that the NK was marching on Eastwatch?

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    148. ACME: Just like the direwolves are not just oversized lupines, dragons are not “just” big flying reptiles who happen to vomit fire. Dragons (and direwolves) are stronly connected to magic. To what exact degree, we do not quite know but they are supernatural.

      To your point, it is entirely possible in this story that dragons are inherently magical/supernatural and could have an effect on the Wall.

      Getting off point and on a tangent… There are many stories with dragons and people like to call them magical and theorize that they are, but is it always necessarily true? I mean, in a fantasy story can they just be another living, breathing creature? In the lore of this story there aren’t any tales of magical properties, aside from being big, flying reptiles that blow fire. They eat, they grow, they bleed, reproduce, age and die. Are/Were the giants in this story magical? I don’t think I’d call them that. Where I’m going with this is that I don’t think the dragons are alive only because of magic and they’ll die if ‘magic ceases to exist’ like some have said. I’m not sure how they erase magic in the first place. shrug

      I don’t know if I’d call the direwolves magical/supernatural in this story. It feels like it because of the Starks connection with theirs, but then, that is a magical ability that the Stark children possess (or just Bran on the show), not the wolves. Their direwolves aren’t the only ones left in that world to suggest that they haven’t existed since the ‘time of legends’ and just magically appeared for them. As they said when the pups were found, they’re typically not seen south of the Wall. Benjen told Jon in A Game of Thrones, “There are still direwolves beyond the Wall. We hear them on our rangings.” In their world direwolves are basically an endangered species, unlike our dire wolves that are extinct… and with it being fantasy George can make them bigger yet so they’re even more cool. So while pretty cool, in my opinion the direwolves of ASoIaF aren’t magical, just a very large wolf species. The Starks raising them from pups and being wargs makes them seem magical. However, other wargs in the story have that bond with numerous ‘normal’ animals as well.

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    149. Inga: 1) wait until the sea freezes – that would have happened inevitably, if the winter were as harsh as predicted;

      We have seen what one of the wall’s extremities looks like at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. It extends well into the water for a good 200 feet. For sea water to freeze solid 200 feet off the shore, it would require downright arctic conditions, I believe. At that point, the biggest danger facing humans would not even be White Walkers but exposure.

      2) catch Bran in his greendream – that would have annuled the protective magic of the Wall.

      That is a distinct possibility. Which raises the question : why hasn’t he done just that ? Bran has been greendreaming for seven years and, for most of those, he had very little understanding of what was happening to him. He would have been a pretty easy prey. And, if Bran is not available for a game of spell-destroying tag in the greeseeing dimension ^^, why not Jojen ? Or any of the successive Three-Eyed Ravens ?
      The Night King has had plenty of opportunities over the last couple of millenia.

      One way or another, the NK started preparing for the invasion long before dragons or even Bran were born, so he must have had a idea or two how to get to the other side of the Wall.

      That, to me, is the clincher. As far as we know, the Night King has been beyond the Wall since the building of said Wall. He has had some eight thousand years to prepare and, by the end of it, all he has is an army of a couple of handfuls of White Walkers and a hundred thousand wights ? That is an average of 12.5 new resurrected wights a year ! That does not look like the “recruiting” rate of someone building up an army or preparing anything, unless the Night King has the worst work ethics in the history of zombiekind ! Laziest warlord ever 😉

      it was all about that he took a knife in the hart for his people.

      I may criticise Daenerys on quite a few topics but I do not think anyone can legitimately doubt her dedication to her people(s) (in Essos, that is). I am not entirely certain she would be so impressed by Jon taking a knife to the heart “for his people” when she too has demonstrated, on quite a few occasions, her willingness to endanger herself for the sake of her subjects.

      So, I don’t think we can accuse her in hypocricy:

      I do not accuse Daenerys of hypocrisy for falling in love with Jon. I describe her as a hypocrite because she claims to be a “Breaker of Chains” and then presents Westerosi with exactly two options : a) obey her or b) be killed by her.
      If the sole true freedom she, as a ruler, offers the inhabitants of the Seven Kingdoms is to die, then she is most certainly not here to break their chains, whatever those may be.

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    150. House Monty: Not sure this makes sense. Since when do politicians change their narrative to be internally consistent and non hypocritical?

      Since when is Daenerys supposed to be just another, run-off-the-mill politician ?
      Her entire “brand”, so to speak, relies on the idea that she is different, unique and, above all, better than all the others who too wish to claim the Iron Throne. Without this brand, she is just another aristocrat who fancies herself entitled to a turn on the “Lysa Arryn of chairs” because her daddy used to sit on it a couple of decades ago.

      Since all evidence is that her narrative of chain breaking actually attracts people I think she should probably keep it.

      It does not seem to attract Westerosi though. The lords of the Reach did not bend the knee out of admiration for her progressive agenda or for her chain-breaking narrative.

      If the NK was never going to get around the wall with out Vicerion, why did Bran sound the alarm that the NK was marching on Eastwatch?

      Who knows why Bran does what he does these days ? The kid talks to trees 23 hours a day ! ^^

      More seriously, it appears that Bran can see quite a lot now, both in the past and very possibly the future. Narratively speaking, his main function seems to be to help destiny along, to ensure that what must be shall be. If Daenerys’s (or Jon’s or both) fate is to bring the White Walker situation to a crisis so that it can at last be definitely resolved, it would make sense for him to steer Jon towards Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Because he knows this venture is necessary for destiny to play out, for the Night King to breach the Wall and, ultimately, be defeated once and for all.
      It could simply be another Bran-patented causality loop.

      Clob: There are many stories with dragons and people like to call them magical and theorize that they are, but is it always necessarily true?I mean, in a fantasy story can they just be another living, breathing creature?

      That is an excellent point and indeed, they absolutely could be. But I am afraid I do not think they are in the universe of Game of Thrones.

      Dragons and direwolves are most certainly animals; they are living, breathing, eating creatures who can die. However, those characteristics are not exclusive to non-magical beings : the Three-Eyed Raven, the Children of the Forest and many other unquestionably supernatural (or supernaturally wired) entities have proven themselves to be immensely killable. Thoros was inhabited by magic through his connection with the Lord of Light yet he drank, ate, laughed and died of exposure like anyone of us would. And Melisandre, who is apparently 900 years old, gave birth to a shadow baby and resurrected a man, will too die like an average homo sapiens if her prediction is correct… For once ! ^^

      Magic, in the universe of Game of Thrones, appears not to be so much an inherent quality some beings exhibit and master but a force that “possesses”, to a degree, certain creatures who serve as its vessels. Why does the Lord of Light, or whatever that is, “work” through Thoros and Melisandre ? Even they do not know. Why was Bran chosen as the next Three-Eyed Raven ? He has no idea. By whom or what was he selected ? No bloody clue.
      The dragons and the direwolves are just animals but it seems that they are animals the supernatural repeatedly chooses as its recipients and/or messengers, so to speak. They are frequent (systematic ?) bearers of something preternatural, something beyond them. As such they may not be magical in essence but they are magic-related, I believe.

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    151. House Monty,

      The whole ‘breaking the wheel’ nonsense and ‘making the world a better place’ is all very vague and ambiguous so I wouldn’t read too much into it.

      I’m the opposite of you in that I do this there is a contradiction but I’d much rather it was solved by Dany not being a great believer in democratic reform but rather a strong advocate of just rule. She can believe in monarchy and Divine Right and still have a passionate belief in the welfare of the vulnerable and dispossessed. It would suit her character and create a much better level of tension between her and Tyrion, who is more of a radical reformer.

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    152. Anon,

      I share your thoughts.
      You can’ Fight the wights in a conventional way. Each death will benefit the army of the Dead.
      Plus the Night King is a greenseer so you have to deprive him of this ability first.

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    153. ACME,

      ACME:

      I do not accuse Daenerys of hypocrisy for falling in love with Jon. I describe her as a hypocrite because she claims to be a “Breaker of Chains” and then presents Westerosi with exactly two options : a) obey her or b) be killed by her.

      I wouldn’t give to much credit to D&D writing. In season 4 Oberyn says they don’t kill little children in Dorne. In season 5 or 6 Ellaria Sand kills Marcella and kills Prince Doran the brother of her lover !

      The goal of D&D in season was to divide viewers about Dany. Some people will believe she is going mad queen mode. Dany going mad is not consistent with her arc in the books.

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    154. Sou:
      Where did Winterfell get its name? Winter-fell? Is this a kind of Hodor thing?
      I hated this loop in time plot element. I hope this will not be Hodor #2.

      Me too. Lots of fans predicted that ‘Hodor’ was derived from ‘Hold the door’ and I thought that way too cheesy an explanation to be true. ‘Winterfell’ turning out to mean ‘the place where Winter fell’ would make me facepalm bigly. My tolerance for time-traveling self-fulfilling prophecies ran out a long time ago.

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    155. Grayven Reyne:
      There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.

      Maybe there are no more Starks.

      I suspect that we will be hearing someone say ‘There must always be a Stark in Winterfell’ one more time, in a moment of self-sacrifice. At least, if the scenario of a mass evacuation through the crypts to create a fiery trap for the wights turns out to be true. The question is: Which Stark volunteers to be the bait? Bran seems most likely, between his mobility issues and his NK radar. But I wouldn’t rule out Sansa, or even tricksy Arya.

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    156. Targcest: Dany going mad is not consistent with her arc in the books.

      I see her as wavering on the knife’s edge between being another Viserys or, at best, a Baelor the Blessed. But I prefer the name Tyrion gave him, Baelor the Befuddled. Because befuddled? That’s the path she’s going down in S7. She was torn between the Iron Throne and going North. “My dragon died so we could be here.” “Your capital is safe until the Northern threat is dealt with.” “I can’t pretend that Cersei won’t take back half the country if I march North.” She seems completely lost in what she wants to do. In Meereen, we also see how she’s inconsistent in her judgements when holding court, wavers between being a dragon vs. being a mother to the people, is impatient with politics, and hates compromise. Like Baelor, she is a moralizer who wants to use her power to change people’s thoughts/minds with blunt force. Dany has also has had to warn herself that she would become like Viserys, if she starts seeing people as mocking her. At the end of her arc in ADWD, she thinks the children on a pyramid are mocking her at her wedding. The conversation she has with Viserys in her head is also hugely important, because his thought pattern is within her OWN thoughts. Which means she’s capable of thinking like him.

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    157. ACME,

      If all we hear about the Long Night is true, I guess we can really expect Arctic conditions and Melisandre specifically said that the seas were supposed to freeze. And after all, Arctic conditions are not all that necessry: if there’s no equivalent of the Gulf Stream in the Shivering Sea, ice can form around the shores quite easily.

      As for Bran, who knows – maybe he had to look for the Nigh King actively to establish the contact so to speak.

      And in general a fantasy show can afford having some unresolved mysteries just like the real world. My guess is that the Nigh King was waiting for a combination of factors and primarily for the Long Night which soulds like a rather rare event. But one way or another, he wouldn’t have started to move without having an idea or two about how to get to the other side of the Wall which was his main obstacle.

      And regarding Dany, maybe, we should simply accept the fact that she is not that different. Every revolutionary starts the quest thinking that he or she will make the world a better place but most of them leave it a far worse condition than they find it. Power corrupts and so do political realities. However, it seems to me that D&D and GRRM are building Dany as someone who will manage to find some offset to that corruption and they want to explore what kind of offsets or counterbalances work.

      Last season they kind of showed that a good heart – be it Dany’s or Tyrion’s – is not an answer by itself. Next season, we’ll see how love is going to work. But I guess the best counterbalance is the existence of a common enemy who creates a certain balance of power.

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    158. MMJ,

      She can be cruel just like Jon Snow (threatening to kill the wildlings’ children) but cruelty is not madness. Cercei (because of the prophecy) and Aerys are better examples of madness. Tywin is a good example of cold blooded cruelty

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    159. Since Winterfell is nearly impenetrable by anyone who doesn’t know the secret entrances, maybe it is a ploy to get as many wights inside the castle walls before trapping them in and setting it on fire.

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    160. Targcest:
      MMJ,
      She can be cruel just like Jon Snow (threatening to kill the wildlings’ children) but cruelty is not madness. Cercei (because of the prophecy) and Aerys are better examples of madness. Tywin is a good example of cold blooded cruelty

      Wait – are you sure 100% certain that Dany isn’t on her way to being consumed by prophecy? She’s already thinking a lot about those treasons. Maybe not as much as Cersei but she doesn’t have the years to ponder them like Cersei did. Jon got caught up in it and the metaphorical “sword without a hilt” stabbed him, so it’s not just Cersei.

      Also, I didn’t say anything about cruelty in that last post. It’s about acting like a flipping maniac who loves fire. Whenever I read that passage where she lit her funeral pyre in Book 1, I think of Aerion Brightflame. Her thoughts about fire in that scene are just really bizarre. What if she didn’t actually hatch those dragons, you know? What if she caused another Summerhall? She got lucky.

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    161. Inga: Power corrupts and so do political realities. However, it seems to me that D&D and GRRM are building Dany as someone who will manage to find some offset to that corruption and they want to explore what kind of offsets or counterbalances work.

      Last season they kind of showed that a good heart – be it Dany’s or Tyrion’s – is not an answer by itself. Next season, we’ll see how love is going to work. But I guess the best counterbalance is the existence of a common enemy who creates a certain balance of power.

      Nicely put. I’m a fan of the “common enemy” theory. My first thought on reading that Winterfell burns was sadness, then anger, then wondering what all the spells and magic were worth if the white walkers were still able to overrun the land and the castle. I had in mind that one contingent of Northmen was besieging Winterfell, in protest to the way the food was being distributed, as many of you have thought, but their attention and efforts are redirected to helping the occupants of WF because the wight army was approaching. I can’t think of anything that would change the minds of quibbling Northmen faster than word of the snarling wights heading in their direction.

      Then I thought about all the mentions of the tunnels beneath WF. Maester Luwin was adamant that Theon would be able to escape WF by using those tunnels. I’m assuming that escape tunnels would have been dug in all directions, particularly southward. Is it plausible that the occupants could get out and head south, toward both White Harbor and Greywater Watch? I guess I’m still upset that Meera was allowed to take leave of Bran in such an offhand manner, and I’m still hoping we see her and her father at least once more in the story.

      Probably a pipe dream, since nothing much has been explained in the show about
      Greywater Watch. But it might be that someone catches the boats at White Harbor and sails to KL to try to convince Cersei of the danger one more time. I haven’t re-watched Season 7 yet, but weren’t the Dothraki supposed to sail to White Harbor and march toward Winterfell to aid them? Meaning that some ships would still be available. Or did I remember that incorrectly? That might be the way Arya gets back to KL, via the ships in White Harbor. Maybe that’s how she’s able to wipe Cersei from her list?

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    162. Firannion: The question is: Which Stark volunteers to be the bait? Bran seems most likely, between his mobility issues and his NK radar. But I wouldn’t rule out Sansa, or even tricksy Arya

      I think that Bran says he must stay, then Sansa, having gotten used to being the Lady of Winterfell, refuses to leave either Bran or Winterfell. It could be they both sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Which I would hate, because I still have hopes that she finally finds a good, loving, worthy young man, maybe Gendry, and furthers the Stark line. I think everyone insists that Arya leave to find help, and Arya ends up back in Kings Landing.

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    163. House Monty,

      “Not sure this makes sense. Since when do politicians change their narrative to be internally consistent and non hypocritical?”

      Since 2016. And these days, inconsistency and hypocrisy are the new normal!

      Firannion,

      “At least, if the scenario of a mass evacuation through the crypts to create a fiery trap for the wights turns out to be true. The question is: Which Stark volunteers to be the bait? Bran seems most likely, between his mobility issues and his NK radar. But I wouldn’t rule out Sansa, or even tricksy Arya.”

      Great question. The Crypts seem to be magical and may well be fireproof. Whether they can repel the UnDead like the 3ER’s cave could at first is another matter. Unless this is the final battle against he Others, Bran will probably survive. Benjen had stated that Bran would be waiting–and ready–for the NK when he came. So if alternate heroes are to hand–Pod, Beric, Tormund, Jaime, Brienne, Sandor–they will probably protect all the Stark kids. Or, as sometimes happens, some friendly force ex machina will arrive in the nick of time. Apparently, the fire brigade will be too late.

      ACME,

      “I do not accuse Daenerys of hypocrisy for falling in love with Jon. I describe her as a hypocrite because she claims to be a “Breaker of Chains” and then presents Westerosi with exactly two options : a) obey her or b) be killed by her.”

      Cersei did the same in her scroll demanding fealty from Jon. Jon himself asked fealty of Ned and Alys. Monarchs do this, usually with an implied threat. With two exceptions, Dany hasn’t killed anyone who refused to bend the knee. Randyll Tarly was a military genius whose adamant loyalty to Cersei made him a threat. Dany would have spared Dickon but he refused. Effectively making an example of them, she neutralised hundreds of enemy soldiers and perhaps even added them to her forces. For what it’s worth, since Westerosi don’t bear chains, “Breaker of Chains” is IMO merely one of her string of titles used in formal situations. (No doubt it’s the part of her Curriculum Vitae of which she is proudest.) BTW, she proved flexible with Yara, allowing the Iron Islands a level of independence. Most likely, Ellaria Sand requested the same. Jon willingly bending the knee made that possibility moot for the North.

      “More seriously, it appears that Bran can see quite a lot now, both in the past and very possibly the future. Narratively speaking, his main function seems to be to help destiny along, to ensure that what must be shall be. “

      Yes, he literally tells Arya that he sees quite a lot, and Sansa that it’s all pieces now, in fragments, and that he needs to learn to see better. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t see Arya change her mind at the (metaphorical) Crossroads. And you’re assuredly right–especially after the Hodor backfire, he is helping destiny along. His partial views of the future may be conjectures based on the past, yet the 3ER, Jojen and even Benjen made predictions with such certainty. Surely his 23 daily hours visiting trees will pay off. Bran’s FutureScope and free will v predestination are topics I would dearly love to see probed by our moderators and discussed by the Watchers.

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    164. Targcest: I wouldn’t give to much credit to D&D writing. In season 4 Oberyn says they don’t kill little children in Dorne. In season 5 or 6 Ellaria Sand kills Marcella and kills Prince Doran the brother of her lover !

      I do not wish to defend the Dornish storyline too much because it was quite mishandled in a few key places but this particular aspect of it was actually one I genuinely enjoyed ! I would even go so far as to say it was the whole point of the Sands’ narrative arc.
      Oberyn, for all his faults, would never have approved of Myrcella’s murder. But his daughters and wife, the latter traumatised as a result of witnessing the man she loved have his head smashed like a watermelon, cross that line out of unspeakable grief and blind rage. In Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire, revenge is often portrayed in this extremely ambiguous way : how the desire to avenge the death of loved ones can lead to a “betrayal” of said loved ones’ memory and principles.

      The goal of D&D in season was to divide viewers about Dany. Some people will believe she is going mad queen mode. Dany going mad is not consistent with her arc in the books.

      Some viewers are very keen on thinking that the Mother of Dragons is always five minutes away from descending into madness so that is hardly surprising. However, I do not think the screenwriters’ purpose was to make people question Daenerys’s sanity. I believe their point was a) to set up a reason for dangerous cracks to appear in Daenerys’s government and in her coalition with the North in the final season and b) to illustrate the conflict between idealism and pragmatism in the context of a war and c) to make viewers question the “she will make the world a better place” narrative.

      Firannion: ‘Winterfell’ turning out to mean ‘the place where Winter fell’ would make me facepalm bigly.

      Ha ha ha ! Nice use of the word “bigly”
      The names in Game of Thrones are all so on-the-nose they almost feel like parodies : the Eyrie looks like an eyrie; Highgarden is on a hill and surrounded by gardens; Riverrun, where a river… runs; etc
      So the idea that the Starks’ stronghold is located where the humans and the Children of the Forest defeated the White Walkers eight thousand years ago and that the castle was built there and named “Winterfell” to commemorate that event sounds like the sort of thing George RR Martin would like. In and of itself, it is cheesy as hell but, as long as it is not too hammered home, I can live with it.
      Conversely, if Bran time-travels to name Winterfell in the past, then my palm may hit my face so hard I might faint.

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    165. Inga: Melisandre specifically said that the seas were supposed to freeze. And after all, Arctic conditions are not all that necessry: if there’s no equivalent of the Gulf Stream in the Shivering Sea, ice can form around the shores quite easily.

      Melisandre… I really do not wish to be cynical but when it comes to Melisandre and prophecies, I am always a touch suspicious. Her track record is not entirely stellar ^^

      As for the Narrow Sea/Shivering Sea not having any kind of Gulf Stream, you are entirely right. What they do have, however, are very strong currents. Those are not perpetually calm waters by any means, especially not in winter, and forever moving water is less “freezable” than its quieter counterpart.

      My guess is that the Nigh King was waiting for a combination of factors and primarily for the Long Night which soulds like a rather rare event.

      Does the Long Night come independently, so to speak, from the Night King or does the Night King kickstart the Long Night by crossing the Wall ? I always figured it was the latter but that is, of course, a matter of interpretation.

      But one way or another, he wouldn’t have started to move

      That is a quite a question to me.
      The Night King was created by the Children of the Forest to kill humans; as such, we can think of him as some sort of predator and humans as his preys. Now, it makes all the sense in the world for a predator to chase his preys and follow them wherever they go. Therefore, I do wonder whether the Night King’s slow descent towards the Wall over the past seven years was meant as a belligerent move (he was preparing to cross the Wall eventually) or a simple migration due to his preys’ location (he had to work his way southwards because a) there are more humans near-ish the Wall than in the Land of Forever Winter anyway and b) he had to chase the humans who were running away from him).

      And regarding Dany, maybe, we should simply accept the fact that she is not that different.

      I have long accepted that and do not mind it one bit. If anything, that makes her much more interesting to me than the messiah horse manure. What I would like is for her to accept it.

      Power corrupts and so do political realities.

      Does power corrupt or does it simply reveal ?
      Power puts people in complex and stressful situations with very little room to hide. That forces them to express their “deepest”, so to speak, self : what they are willing to compromise on, what they are capable of doing and in the name of what they do it, what they remain fiercely dedicated to no matter what, etc. The decisions they have to make expose what was in them all along.

      Daenerys, on a fundamental level, is the same person now as she was in season 1 namely someone who is overall very intelligent and determined, someone who means extremely well but more often than not does not fully think her “policies” through (season 1 Daenerys believed forcing the Dothraki to marry their victims would be a good compromise, never imagining for a second that perhaps the victims would not be delighted at the idea of being tied for life to their rapists; season 7 Daenerys believes forcing the Reach’s lords to kneel will put her in a position of strength but shows little desire to ask herself why they opposed her in the first place) and someone who, when threatened or insulted, is quite prone to retributive violence (season 1 Daenerys validated Viserys’s death, season 7 Daenerys barbecued the Tarlys).

      Of course, the intervening years and the responsibilities she has shouldered in the meantime have changed her in some ways : they have made her more mature, more controlled. More jaded, as well. But deep down, she is still the same person. As we all are.

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    166. Stark Raven' Rad: Monarchs do this, usually with an implied threat.

      You are entirely right on that point.
      However, particularly smart monarchs who do not want to face an uprising every couple of years usually try to make the kneeling process as “painless” and logical as possible. They attempt to convince their subjects-to-be that serving them is not only something they have to do if they want to live but also, more importantly, something that is in their interest. Something that will benefit them beyond their immediate desire to continue breathing.

      Cersei did not do that with Jon because, well, he is a Stark and Sansa’s brother so… But she did it with the Reach’s lords.
      Jon did it too by first making a show of exempting Ned Umber and Alys Karstark from their fathers’ betrayal. He portrayed himself as a benevolent and reassuring figure to the children who then bent the knee out of gratitude and possibly affection, not fear.

      Daenerys, conversely, showed a spectacular lack of self-awareness with the Tarlys. Randyll explained extremely clearly why he could not bend the knee to her, why he thought she and her army were an existential threat to his homeland. Daenerys could have seized that opportunity to tell him (and all the others) that her Dothraki were no longer the raping pillargers and enslavers they once were. She could have at least tried to convince Randyll (and all the others) to rally around her, to make them see that she is not the Mad King’s mad daughter. Instead, she roasted Tarly and his son, seemingly unaware of how easily it would be for her detractors to use this deed to draw even more parallels between her and her infamous daddy.

      BTW, she proved flexible with Yara, allowing the Iron Islands a level of independence.

      Perhaps I am being overly cynical but I am not entirely certain Daenerys proved that flexible with Yara, to be honest…
      If I remember correctly, she made no political concession whatsoever to the Grejoy siblings; they gave her their ships and in exchange she agreed to name Yara leader of the Ironborn after her coronation. Beyond that, she made very clear to them that she intended to rule over the Seven Kingdoms and they, as well as she, know that the Iron Isles are part of the package. Furthermore, she unilaterally imposed new rules on Yara’s people (no raping and no pillaging) which, objectively, voids any notion of independence for the Iron Isles : if they do not have a say on what their own laws are, they cannot be independent. They cannot even be autonomous.

      Her remark to Tyrion was also pretty telling. She asserted that others in Westeros were “free to ask” for their independence but, and that’s a big but and I cannot lie, she never even implied she would say “yes”. So basically, everyone in Westeros is at liberty to ask to be exempt from her rule and she is free to tell them to go to hell…
      The only real concession she made to Yara is that she did not demand her to kneel physically so they shook hands. Nevertheless, that was a fairly meaningless change since Yara won nothing aside from the right to be warden of a Kingdom ruled by Daenerys.

      As for Dorne, well, the Martells loved to brag that their land was “special” in that it was never militarily conquered and they were still allowed to use their pre-Targaryen royal titles. But, on a fundamental level, Dorne is just as much a subject of the Crown as the other six kingdoms. Their alleged autonomy seems to be purely cosmetic.

      It is all very reminiscent of the negociation between Renly and Catelyn over Robb’s allegiance : as long as Robb bent the knee, Renly was fine with him continuing to call himself King in the North. Just for show.

      Bran’s FutureScope and free will v predestination are topics I would dearly love to see probed by our moderators and discussed by the Watchers.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly ! 😉

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    167. My guess is that the Nigh King was waiting for a combination of factors and primarily for the Long Night which soulds like a rather rare event.

      The enabling event was Craster. Craster was loathed by the Free Folk for keeping his incestuous brood as slaves, and also for killing his sons. He remained alive by cutting deals with both the Night’s Watch and the Night’s King. He spied on Free Folk for the Crows, and gave his sons for the Night’s King in return for not having his shit-pile home overrun and everyone raised as wights.

      White Walkers are the Night King’s most important resource. All or enough of them had been killed in the War For The Dawn that he had to retreat into the Land Of Always Winter. The Free Folk knee to burn their dead and never to allow an infant to be abducted, so the Night’s King had to wait until a fool like Craster would give him more babies than he’d ever been able to steal.

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    168. Westerositruth,

      I believe in my bones that Cersei will burn King’s Landing with wildfire. It’s just a feeling I have. I was hoping Jamie & Bronn might decide to use wildfire, or pitch or oil or something in those woods around Winterfell, so when the Night King’s army comes through Bronn can shoot his arrows and start a fire to end all fires and burn them. As I recall we saw Lannister soldiers at Winterfell with some of these recent leaks? If that is so, I believe Jamie picked up the troops he had garrisoned in the Riverlands, and along with Edmure Tully he is riding to Winterfell to help battle the army of the Dead. He won’t arrive a Winterfell alone.

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    169. It doesn’t seem easy to transport wildfire all the way to Winterfell. One wrong move and the boat or other things could be on fire.

      I like the spoilers until now. Enough to speculate, but not enough to know things.

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    170. Darius,

      This would be pretty cool. But they dont have remote detonators. It would be tricky to time right. But I like the idea.

        Quote  Reply

    171. Chilli:
      It doesn’t seem easy to transport wildfire all the way to Winterfell. One wrong move and the boat or other things could be on fire.

      Ohhh, now you’ve got me jonesing for a rewatch of ‘The Wages of Fear.’

        Quote  Reply

    172. Sure, Dany decided to go beyond the wall, but she wouldn’t known they were in trouble if Jon didn’t summon her. I don’t know if she would have gone searching for him if he’d turned up missing weeks later. There was Jorah, too. Jorah is one of her dearest friends…so there’s that.

      Also, if Dany had attacked KL/Cersai like she wanted to, then the whole thing about convincing the Lords that walkers were real probably wouldn’t have been a thing.

      Lots of ‘ifs’ here…

        Quote  Reply

    173. Yaga,

      As much as I love Winterfell, I can’t tell you how much I agree with this. Comments such as yours are why I return to this site every day… to be reminded that as much as we love the pomp and drama of GoT, the story and how much it makes us truly think about how we perceive and interpret the world is its true glory.

        Quote  Reply

    174. Mr Derp,

      It does seem bizarre on the surface, but the way I see it is, she’s an absolutist. And whether consciously done or not, I think GRRM grapples with the pitfalls of the human tendency to follow absolutists through her character.

        Quote  Reply

    175. Catspaw Assassin:

      I don’t think its a battle at all. Jon and Dany’s lust for each other will burn so red hot that Winterfell and much of the North will explode — with passion!

      “Like Winterfell for Chocolate”!

        Quote  Reply

    176. Westerosithruth: Yes she does have good intentions but “the path to destruction is paved with good intentions”.

      So is the path to redemption.

      I just love turning little cliched soundbites on their heads and asking people to reconsider their automatic acceptance of them without thinking them through.

        Quote  Reply

    177. Thronetender,

      You might be right, ok, so how about this?: Arya somehow finds herself back in Kings Landing and confronts Cersei … as herself. As Arya. Cersei only remembers her as a precocious hooligan, yet still a little harmless girl. Arya still has the element of surprise – Cersei will be surprised Arya is still alive, yet won’t think any more of her than she originally did – as an untamed little girl. Arya might finish Cersei as no one else but as herself. As Arya. That might be even cooler than her sneaking in as someone else. Just musing before the game starts.

      Ah, Thronetender, this makes sense. I’ve thought Jaime was most likely to be the one to kill Cersei, though Arya was always runner-up for that honour. Not only is there a great deal of foreshadowing about Cersei and Jaime coming into the world and ‘going out’ together, such an ending (murder-suicide?) is reminiscent of high, almost Shakespearean, tragedy.
      Now I wonder if Arya might indeed end up being the Valonqar. This week I saw a video on a YouTube channel about Lady Stoneheart as the possible Valonqar in the books. It quotes a Catelyn passage in ACoK. In it, Catelyn says she dreams about riding to Kings Landing and wrapping her hands around Cersei’s white throat and squeezing her till she turns black. In AFFC, this is loosely echoed in Maggy’s wording of the Valonqar prophecy. Book Catelyn becomes LS but is omitted from the show, which gives LS’s vengeance-on-Freys storyline to Arya. Conveniently, Cersei is also at the top of Arya’s List. Another possible hint: Cersei’s name presumably derives from the evil sorceress Circe in the Odyssey. I’ve compared Arya to Odysseus here a few times, but had not considered these names in light of Arya’s parallels with Odysseus. Trying to get back home, he ends up on Circe’s isle, where she turns men into wild animals. Ever tricksy, he outhinks her and eventually gets her to turn his crew human again, though he does not kill her. Cersei has compared Arya to a wild animal a few times. Arya compared herself to a wolf preying on sheep. And as we all know, Arya has the ‘face’ to attempt it and the ability to succeed. She may use a Face (Bernadette’s?) to get access to Cersei, but I hope she takes it off, as Thronetender suggests. Meanwhile, Arya’s favourite traveling companion Sandor can be making a molehill out of the Mountain. It’s far from Shakespearean tragedy, but it’s plausible for the show.

        Quote  Reply

    178. Not to be this guy, but

      the so-called Reddit leaks that were allegedly debunked last year had Winterfell burned by the Army of the Dead in Episode 8.2. If those turn out to be 100% real, I’m going to be seriously pissed off for having read them.

      .

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    179. From the Starks comes a Targaryen (Jon), and mirroring that
      From the flames of Winterfell, the fabled Dragon egg in the crypts may be borne.
      Will Dany be there to mother this one as well?

        Quote  Reply

    180. do you think daenerys will be the one to succeed cercei?, The prediction said a younger more beautiful woman would succeed her, yet the bet’s on Sansa being the one to sit on the iron throne.

        Quote  Reply

    181. ACME:
      Ten Bears,
      “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.” 😉

      2/9/18, 12:02 AM.
      I finally broke down and yielded to the temptation. (Where did that quote of yours come from? I may have to glue it to my refrigerator.)

      I can only hope that Jon & Co. – maybe at Jaime’s suggestion because Jaime used a similar sucker ploy in sacrificing Casterly Rock in S7 – lured the wights into WF, then locked the gates behind them and incinerated them all.

      The only thing that worries me about this tactic is that food stores to feed all of the Northern houses were to be stockpiled at WF, according to Sansa’s planning:

      ——-
      (From S7e3)

      Sansa: “How much do we have?”

      Wolkan: “4,000 bushels, My Lady.”

      Sansa: “What does that mean?”

      Yohn: “For the current occupants of the castle it’s enough food for a year, perhaps more.”.
      ***

      Sansa: “You’re telling me we don’t have enough food, especially not if the armies of the north come back to defend Winterfell.”

      Wolkan: “No, My Lady, most likely not.”

      Sansa: “We must prepare for that eventuality. Every direction the threat comes from, this is the best place to be. We need to start building up our grain stores with regular shipments from every keep in the north. If we don’t use it by winter’s end we’ll give it back to them, but if the entire north has to flee to Winterfell there won’t be enough time to bring wagonloads of grain with them.”

      Yohn: “Very wise, My Lady.”

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    182. Joey,

      I just posted a similar thought a few minutes ago before reading your comment (re: fire = good guy trap).

      I’m still catching up on the 250+ comments.

        Quote  Reply

    183. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      “I’m heartbroken about Winterfell, but WinterHell it is.”

      And once again, HPNN (The Hot Pie News Network) is way ahead of the mainstream media.
      Forget Maggie the Frog and Melisandre. I’m going back to parse every word Hot Pie has ever spoken. Including his throwaway line that may have revealed the identity of the prophecied Warrior of Light.

        Quote  Reply

    184. Clob,

      “It’s probably been suggested…
      Maybe it’s a trap to eliminate as many wights in one swoop as possible. It sounds like a silly idea to purposely burn down Winterfell, but if they can no longer repel the onslaught it may be the only option. They could lure and allow the wights to scramble their way in, escape through tunnels and other hidden routes and set the place ablaze…

      ———————–

      My tinfoil hat 👨‍🚀🤖 has me thinking of that kind of scenario. With apologies to book readers if I screwed things up:

      • On the show, isn’t one of the split-second images in Bran’s “slide show” a vision of crows or ravens flying through the crypts of WF? Could that be a “sign” to flee into the crypts for safety?
      • I thought there are lots of layers (including collapsed or unexplored chambers) in the crypts.
      Also, in the books, didn’t Jon and other characters have dreams about going down there? Maybe those dreams didn’t really relate to his parentage.
      • Tyrion is due for a flash of brilliance after his prolonged slump. He’s the expert in indoor plumbing systems, cisterns and reservoirs, right? He was able to discern from KL schematics or blueprints that there was a system of underground tunnels he used to lead the city’s defenders to (try to) attack Stannis’s invading forces “from the backside ”
      It seems to me he should be able to discern that WF’s geothermal system must have interconnecting underground tunnels and large caverns in which people (and food) could survive while the strictures above ground burn down.
      • Jon has a knack for making interesting discoveries in caves.
      • I wouldn’t be surprised if the castles and buildings of WF are one-tenth the size of the subterranean chambers underneath them.
      • The crypts couldn’t burn down, could they? Why spend all that screen time (and book pages?) down there if the crypts were just going to get destroyed?
      • Didn’t Bran, Hofer, Osha and Rickon wait out the burning of WF by Theon or Ramsay by hiding in the crypts?
      • In S4e10 Sandor told Brienne WF was “a pile of rubble”, so its structures can be rebuilt.
      • I had another thought/question but I forgot it…🤔

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    185. ACME,

      Real interesting and thought-provoking analysis of the dissonance between Daeny’s “Breaker of Chains” narrative and her “kneel or fry” ultimatum. (Sorry I’m late to the discussion.)

      • I thought her rationale for incinerating POWs (ie the Tarlys) who wouldn’t switch sides and join her was a pretty dubious application of her “breaker of chains” hype: “I’m not here to put men in chains. If that becomes an option many will take it.” If she’d just said, “this is war; take it or leave it”, that might’ve at least been a bit more candid. [Excerpt from S7e5 below]

      • Daeny’s “break the wheel” slogan sounds wonderful, but as you observed, so far it’s short on substance. I pulled two illustrative excerpts from Arya and Sandor’s S4 encounters with “civilians” in the Riverlands, to show that (just like in our world), most people don’t care that much who’s in charge: they just want to be safe from predation, make a living, and feed their families. I’m not so sure “breaking the wheel” is necessarily the answer. Many lords were decent administrators and peacekeepers:

      S4e3, Farmer, with daughter Sally, Arya and Sandor at dinner table)

      “Things were different when Hoster Tully ruled the Riverlands. We had good years and bad years, same as anyone. But we were safe. Now with the Freys, raiders come plundering, steal our food, steal our silver. I was gonna send Sally north to stay with my brother, but the north’s no better. The whole country’s gone sour.”

      (S4e7, Dying Farmer, when Sandor explains he’s bringing Arya to her aunt for ransom)

      “A fair exchange, that is. Always held to the notion of fair exchange in all my dealings. You give me, I give you. Fair. A balance. No balance anymore.”

      S7e5, Daenerys, Tyrion, and Tarlys

      Daenerys (to Lannister POWS): “I know what Cersei has told you, that I’ve come to destroy your cities, burn down your homes, murder you and orphan your children. That’s Cersei Lannister, not me. I’m not here to murder. And all I want to destroy is the wheel that is rolled over rich and poor to the benefit of no one but the Cersei Lannisters of the world. I offer you a choice. Bend the knee and join me. Together we will leave the world a better place than we found it, or refuse and die.”

      ******
      (After Randyll Tarly refuses)

      Tyrion: “Your Grace, nothing strips bold notions from a man’s head like a few weeks in a dark cell.”

      Daenerys: “I meant what I said. I’m not here to put men in chains. If that becomes an option many will take it. I gave them a choice. They made it.”

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    186. ACME,

      (This is the part of your comment I was referring to….)

      If Daenerys were to openly admit that she is conquering Westeros, were she to present herself as a conqueror, there would be very few problems with her decision to burn two men alive because this is what conquerors do : they attack lands and peoples that do not wish them there in order to exploit them and/or reign over them and, in the process, they eliminate those who stand in their way. Subsequently, conquerors may rule their conquered lands and peoples fairly, they may rule them appalingly, they may rule them neutrally… Ultimately, it does not change anything to the fact that everyone understands the dynamics at play and knows that conquerors do not fundamentally care for the will of the peoples they subjugate.

      However, Daenerys very much rejects the “conqueror” moniker; there is not a single occurrence of this particular word in her seemingly endless list of titles. Conversely, what does feature in her impressive resume is the expression “Breaker of Chains” and this, I believe, is where we have a problem as far as Westeros is concerned.

      Daenerys loves her chain-breaking narrative so much it is the one she most readily revendicates (alongside Mother of Dragons). Now, it so happens that in Essos, she did break the chains of slavery; if anything, that was her sole political agenda and a very deserving one at that. So she had every right to claim that accomplishment and bask in the glory of its associated title. However, in Westeros the narrative does not hold water. At all. Yet, she keeps it up. She even went so far as to refer to it when making the Reach’s lords choose between kneeling and being turned into kebabs. “I broke your chains, you are free. Now obey me or die !”
      To put it simply, the conqueror dynamics and the chain-breaking narrative do not fit together. They cannot fit together. Yet, Daenerys and her small council are reluctant to address the manifest contradiction. It took the Tarly barbecue for Tyrion and Varys to spot it, at long last.

      Now, I suppose one may argue that she first has to conquer Westeros before she can “break the chains” of its political system. However, to this I can only respond : what chains ? Does she intend to end feudalism ? Considering that she intends to claim her birthright, that would be not just weird but downright hypocritical. Does she intend to eliminate the Great Houses structure ? If it were so, I assume she would not have demanded the support of several of said Great Houses before she arrived.

      What is Daenerys’s plan for Westeros ? For several years now, we have heard the Mother of Dragons and every single one of her advisers repeat that she must rule over the Seven Kingdoms to make them better. To make the world better. But no one, not even Daenerys herself, has ever said how she was supposed to do that. What does she intend to change ? What does she want to keep ? Does she even know ? If she does, why has she not mentioned it yet ? If not, shouldn’t that be a tad worrying ?

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    187. Mr Derp: This is basically why I am still on the fence about whether or not I like Dany.She is a breaker of chains and frees slaves on one hand, but on the other hand she expects to be proclaimed Queen over all of Westeros and it’s subjects.She’s all about freeing slaves, but ruling over them at the same time?“Here’s your freedom.Now bend the knee”.

      It’s…bizarre to me.

      i’m a bit perplexed too: “Embrace your freedom! Or I’ll kill you.” isn’t the best slogan to win over potential subjects.

      When she “bought” the Unsullied, she gave them the choice to walk away, or fight for her. When she went to negotiate a surrender with the three Masters’ representatives at the beginning of Battle of the Bastards, she had Tyrion convey to their guards that they could fight for men who wouldn’t fight for them…or leave and go home to their families. And as I recall, at Khal Drogo’s funeral she told her remaining followers they were welcome to stay as “brothers and sisters” – or were free to go.

      When did that morph into “fight for me or get f*cked”?

      Now. as a military strategy I suppose executing rather than housing and feeding POWs is more efficient. However, to “win hearts and minds”, it might present problems. It certainly feeds into Cersei’s spin that “the Mad King’s daughter” is a murder-happy lunatic.

      Maybe it comes down to the age-old question: does might make right?

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    188. Inga,

      If “foreshadowing” means anything, all of the mundane talk in S7 about storing food at WF – and the repeated caveats that some Northern houses hadn’t contributed enough grain – would mean there won’t be enough food to sustain the Northern population and their army. I could envision some insurgent northerners (yes, I’m thinking of you Lord Glover, you sniveling hypocrite*) deciding to storm WF to raid its grain stockpiles, and winding up burning the place down.

      However, I would prefer an incendiary booby trap for invading wights instead of “squabbling houses” screwing things up at the worst possible time. Then again, I could see a band of hungry, selfish or short-sighted troublemakers recasting WF’s rationing program as “hoarding.”

      * Motto: “The North Forgets”

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    189. ACME,

      …I have nothing against your idea in and of itself, I do in fact believe it would be politically sound, but I feel compelled to ask : has she given any indication that this is something she intends to do ? Has she ever mentioned anything resembling that at all ?…”

      ———————

      Even if Daeny turns out to be the savior of humanity vs. the White Walkers, the adulation will only last for so long. Her challenge is to articulate why she’ll be a better monarch and why people should accept her. So far, all she’s offered is platitudes and buzzwords – but no specifics. Perhaps she could retain a campaign manager to get the message across – like Tyrion arranged with Kinvara in Mereen when Daeny needed a PR boost.

      (While “I’m going to break the wheel!” may be a decent campaign slogan, I’d vote for the candidate who could truthfully say “I fixed the wheel.”)

      🇬🇧 F*ck the Queen! Vote Sandor! A chicken in every pot!” 🐓
      🇬🇧 🇮🇪

        Quote  Reply

    190. ACME,

      You wrote: “Daenerys is the embodiment of the political power of vagueness. Her spokespeople repeat that she is going to make the world a better place but never get into any sort of details as to how she is meant to achieve this. Because details mean precision; they mean the death of vagueness…

      Hey, this is really good! I may have to steal it…but I’ll be sure to attribute it to you.

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    191. Inga,

      “…Therefore there won’t be any need for the mass evacuation: WF will be already undermanned and although there will be heartbreaking losses, they won’t be that big on the grand scheme of things, espicially considering that some of the main characters will probably escape.”
      ________

      I’m not doubting you; we’re all reduced to tinfoil prognostication at this point. However, with only six episodes left how much would such a scene add to the story? Sure it’d suck to see the Stark home destroyed (again). And I’m always on board for dazzling pyrotechnics. Beyond that, what do you believe the castle burning would accomplish?

        Quote  Reply

    192. Aemon,

      Major Spoiler:

      According to the Kalamazoo Bugle, in this scene the Night King walks through flames carrying a microphone stand, dons a fedora, and regales the stunned combatants with a spot-on rendition of Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.”

      Please take your “Spoiler” drivel to the Quarantine page of the Forum section.

        Quote  Reply

    193. Mel,

      “so them not talking about what breaking the wheel actually involves is if anything a good sign because only the two of them truly seem to know what it truly means so there is more chance of them enacting it at the end of the series in my opinion anyway.”

      Please elaborate. I do not understand.

        Quote  Reply

    194. Artemisia,

      No. It’s unconfirmed, fabricated garbage. Not a “spoiler” or “leak.”

      This is a perfect illustration of why such detritus should be confined to the Quarantine page of the forum section consistent with WotW’s policy, or better yet, spewed on some other fan site.

      While the purported “spoiler” was covered with greyscale spoiler coding, posting it in the regular Comments section has spawned a series of uncovered replies and subthreads by curious, uninformed or careless commenters – or by people who just don’t give a sh*t about those of us who do not want to be contaminated with fake, unsourced rubbish.
      Unless “major spoilers” like this purported to be are vetted and reported by the site administrators, they should not be accorded any credence.

      🚱🚱🚱🚱🚱🚱

        Quote  Reply

    195. Clob,

      The seas were starting to freeze over anyway. NK and his entourage would’ve been able to walk around the Wall before long anyway. Undead Viserion just gave them a shortcut.

        Quote  Reply

    196. Ten Bears,

      I’ve long been haunted by Daario’s pronouncement to Daenerys: “You’re a conqueror, not a ruler.” It’s always been easy to write him off, because we think of him as little more than a mercenary (and a rather pretty one at that). But mercenaries, like prostitutes, probably have a keener understanding of human nature and human motivation than most (Exhibit A: Bronn). Daenerys’s drive matters. Jon’s twinned senses of honor and “doing the right thing” matter. Tyrion’s brilliance matters. But ultimately, I think Daario’s seemingly simple assessment will prove to be far more accurate than any dreamer’s, intellectual’s, or tortured soul’s wishes. Daenerys may have her “heart in the right place,” but she’s an absolutist. And if she really wants to break the wheel, there will be little (if any) room for absolutism.

      There’s a part of me that still hopes that, GRRM being GRRM, Daario will prove to be an unexpectedly wise ruler, and Daenerys’s true contribution will lie in warfare and not governance. Stranger things have happened.

        Quote  Reply

    197. Ten Bears: 2/9/18, 12:02 AM. I finally broke down and yielded to the temptation. (Where did that quote of yours come from? I may have to glue it to my refrigerator.)

      Ha ha ! At long last ! Well done you for giving in 😉
      The quote is good ol’ Oscar Wilde’s aphorism…

      When did that morph into “fight for me or get f*cked”?

      It did not really “morph”, so to speak; it is the mirror image of the lessons she learnt in Essos.
      Daenerys is used to facing violent opposition; she is used to people sending armies against her. However, in Essos, the people who did so were, for all intents and purposes, scum : slavers who treated their fellow human beings like objects, like cattle. Therefore, Daenerys has always had the moral highground over her opponents; regardless of the difficulties and the doubts she might have had about her own methods, she could always take comfort in knowing that her enemies were worse people than her.
      Now that she is in Westeros, she simply applies the same logic in reverse ! In her experience, horrible people are usually those who oppose her; from this, she deduces that whoever opposes her must be a horrible person. That is obviously a logical fallacy but it is a convenient hence frequent one.

      Instead of listening to what Randyll was telling her, instead of paying attention to the reasons he gave for not bending the knee (reasons she could have tried to counter with her own arguments), she decided there and then that his mere opposition made him a “bad person” and, as such, worthy of death.

      So far, all she’s offered is platitudes and buzzwords – but no specifics. Perhaps she could retain a campaign manager to get the message across –

      You are utterly right to state that Daenerys has, so far, offered nothing but catchphrases. That being said, the use of buzzwords or fairly trite slogans is not a problem in and of itself. All politicians rely on those to a degree. However, they do not stop there; they have substantial agendas to structure and support their campaign proclamations. Daenerys’s real problem is that she has nothing beside the platitudes.

      Were she to retain a campaign manager to get her message across, it would be somewhat pointless because… Daenerys does not have a message at all. Tyrion, who is the closest thing she has to a PR person, is incapable of formulating what her project is. Missandei who has been her trusted ally for longer than most has yet to articulate anything meaningful in regards to Daenerys’s “vision”, let alone an actual political project. Daenerys herself has remained delighfully silent about any precise pan of hers.
      “Making the world a better place” is at the very best a declaration of intent, not a policy. And Daenerys has zero policy that we know of.

      I’d vote for the candidate who could truthfully say “I fixed the wheel.”

      That would require a deep and meaningful understanding of a) what the “wheel” is, b) what its problems are, c) a prioritisation of said problems and d) the elaboration of policies intended to fix them, in decreasing order of importance and urgency. That would require an interest in the underlying structures, tensions and power struggles inherent to the political, economic and social system. That would require patience, time and pragmatism.
      Let’s just say I am not holding my breath…

      You wrote: “Daenerys is the embodiment of the political power of vagueness.”(…) Hey, this is really good! I may have to steal it…but I’ll be sure to attribute it to you.

      Ha ha ! It would be no theft whatsoever. If you like it, you take it, no credit needed. I like a bit of “chaos” 😉

      Please elaborate.I do not understand.

      I believe what Mel meant was that telling people of one’s plans in detail in Westeros is somehow “cursed”… Littlefinger told Sansa of his endgame and, a year later, he died without having reached his goal. So Daenerys’s unwillingness to discuss her political plan for Westeros is ultimately a good thing because it does not jinx her project.
      From a purely narrative standpoint, it is a rather brilliantly “meta” theory but if we are to stay “in universe”, I believe we can only interpret Daenerys’s vagueness in one manner : she has no idea of what she wants to do to/with Westeros beyond sitting on its throne.

      Wolfish: But mercenaries, like prostitutes, probably have a keener understanding of human nature and human motivation than most (Exhibit A: Bronn).

      That is an excellent point indeed.
      Mercenaries, prostitutes, former and current slaves, etc. All those people who have had to attend to the whims of others, whose entire lives depend on their ability to satisfy their masters. They have intimate knowledge of said masters. They know what they want (yes, the reference is intentional ^^) because no man is either a hero or a mystery to his valet. Or to his bed warmer, his hired sword and his accountant.

      Bronn, Varys, Littlefinger, Melisandre, Missandei, Daario, Davos… They all had to please those above them to survive and this experience shaped their ability to size up their superiors’ personality, to anticipate their intentions and desires.

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    198. ACME:

      “Making the world a better place” is at the very best a declaration of intent, not a policy. And Daenerys has zero policy that we know of.

      That would require a deep and meaningful understanding of a) what the “wheel” is, b) what its problems are, c) a prioritisation of said problems and d) the elaboration of policies intended to fix them, in decreasing order of importance and urgency. That would require an interest in the underlying structures, tensions and power struggles inherent to the political, economic and social system. That would require patience, time and pragmatism.

      This discussion has got me thinking that Tyrion ought to invent and teach Dany how to use a ‘logic model,’ which is a sort of outline often used by grantwriters in crafting a proposal. So far she has pretty much filled out the Goals, Needs and Constituency sections, but still has a long way to go on completing the Strategies, Program Activities, Outcome Measures and Sustainability sections!

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    199. Firannion:

      This discussion has got me thinking that Tyrion ought to invent and teach Dany how to use a ‘logic model,’ which is a sort of outline often used by grantwriters in crafting a proposal.

      (Is immediately reminded of the logic model she just had to edit for an AmeriCorps grant. Runs from the room screaming, sees that it’s noon on Saturday, and tells herself it’s acceptable to have a beer.)

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    200. Firannion: This discussion has got me thinking that Tyrion ought to invent and teach Dany how to use a ‘logic model,’ which is a sort of outline often used by grantwriters in crafting a proposal. So far she has pretty much filled out the Goals, Needs and Constituency sections, but still has a long way to go on completing the Strategies, Program Activities, Outcome Measures and Sustainability sections!

      Ha ha ! From what we have seen, all the sections are completed. It just so happens that some, if not all, of the answers appear to have been written in crayon… ^^

      Goal : making the world a better place;
      Needs : Daenerys;
      Constituency : Westeros;
      Strategy : Dracarys (and goodness);
      Program Activity : Fire and Dothraki invasion (and goodness);
      Outcome Measures : degree of goodness as subjectively determined by Daenerys;
      Sustainability : forever and ever.

      I feel for Varys and Tyrion, I really do.

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    201. ACME,

      “I feel for Varys and Tyrion, I really do.”
      ———
      There’s got to be a reason for the scenes showing Tyrion and Varys commiserating with each other that they’ve been unable to get Daeny to listen to good advice, e.g., the significant downsides and minimal upside of barbecuing both Tarlys.

      But beyond “I believe in you”, or “she’s better than [Joffrey][Cersei][Tommen], I’ve yet to hear any concrete reasons from Varys and Tyrion why they think Daeny would be the best ruler.

      There’s no dispute that freeing (hundreds of) thousands of slaves was a remarkable accomplishment. But she’s come to a place where slavery has been outlawed – which was why Jorah had to go into exile in the first place: Warden of the North Ned Stark caught him selling poachers into slavery.

      The “common people” get crushed by “the wheel” the worst during wartime – so what would appeal to those people to make them believe (another) war would be worthwhile? That’s the message she – through her political advisors – ought to be able to articulate. I don’t know what that message is….other than “Dragons are cool!” or “I’m the last Targaryen.”

      I’m trying to remember a Stannis or Davos quote but I’m drawing a blank. Something about getting it all wrong…instead of fighting to become king to save the realm, he should be fighting to save the realm to become king. (I think I screwed up the wording…)

      Maybe going north to fight the WWs is the solution to “earning” the right to deserve the throne. It just kinda sucked that she’d said “I will fight for you; I will fight for the North…when you bend the knee”, instead of unconditionally agreeing to confront the existential threat facing the realm.

      I still say an advance team of savvy PR people would’ve been a good idea. Instead, Cersei got to frame the narrative with her “Mad King’s Daughter” spiel.
      ………
      (to be cont….editing not working)

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    202. Wolfish:
      Firannion:

      (Is immediately reminded of the logic model she just had to edit for an AmeriCorps grant. Runs from the room screaming, sees that it’s noon on Saturday, and tells herself it’s acceptable to have a beer.)

      Sorry to push that button! Now you know why I mostly do journalism for my living, even though grantwriting pays better and both involve pesky deadlines.

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    203. Ten Bears: But beyond “I believe in you”, or “she’s better than [Joffrey][Cersei][Tommen],I’ve yet to hear any concrete reasons from Varys and Tyrion why they think Daeny would be the best ruler.

      I think this is pretty much it : Varys and Tyrion are believers.

      Shortly before Varys departed from Essos to go negociate with the Tyrells and the Sands, Tyrion reminded him that what Meereen desperately needed was for its Targaryen queen to come back. Varys’s response was : “She’ll come back. She has to. My heart’s been broken too many times already.”
      From a purely logical standpoint, this is an complete non sequitur. What does Varys’s heartbreak have to do with whether Daenerys will come back ? These two things are entirely unrelated… Unless we accept that Varys believes in Daenerys like a child believes in Santa Claus : he has been good and he is sad so Santa has to come and give him a present.

      Varys and Tyrion are desperate for two things : a redemption and some meaning. They want to wash away their past sins, be they personal, political or both; they yearn for a second chance so they can do some good this time around. But they also want to make sense of all of their suffering, they want to give retroactive purpose to their past tribulations. And they pin it all on Daenerys.

      That is Daenerys’s greatest strength as a leader: she is a desperation magnet. Since she made a miracle happen once before by surviving her husband’s pyre and giving birth to three dragons, all the lost souls of the world see her as a symbol of hope against impossible odds and they flock towards her. Jorah, Missandei, Grey Worm, Tyrion, Varys… Those people suffered more than they objectively deserved to and they cannot possibly accept that it was all just “tough luck”, that they were the victims of merely tragic circumstances. They need to believe that it was all part of some sort of “cosmc plan” that led them somewhere. They want to have faith in something. In someone. And that’s Daenerys.

      Now, it so happens that Daenerys is a human being. A remarkable human being in many ways but just a human being all the same. She cannot possibly live up to those expectations and she is bound to disappoint them. The Tarly BBQ was the first step for Varys and Tyrion. Me thinks there will be more and Tyrion and Varys will not be the only disgruntled disciples (insert pointed look towards Missandei and Grey Worm…)

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    204. ACME,

      …”Now, it so happens that Daenerys is a human being. A remarkable human being in many ways but just a human being all the same. She cannot possibly live up to those expectations and she is bound to disappoint them. The Tarly BBQ was the first step for Varys and Tyrion. Me thinks there will be more and Tyrion and Varys will not be the only disgruntled disciples…”.

      ———————-

      About Varys and Tyrion….

      In S5e1, Varys (who had originally been an advocate for a Targaryen restoration under Viserys), described to Tyrion what kind of leader the Seven Kingdoms needed:

      Tyrion: “What is it you want exactly?”

      Varys: “Peace. Prosperity. A land where the powerful do not prey on the powerless.”…
      ***.
      “The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen, but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who can intimidate the high lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.”

      Do you think Varys and others may start wondering if there’s another candidate who better fits that description, and find themselves tempted to jump off the Daenerys bandwagon? Tyrion already had great respect for Jon Snow. (And he has a knack for winning elections to positions he wasn’t campaigning for, eg Lord Commander and King in the North; and he doesn’t feel predestined to “rule” anyone, or compelled to demand knee-bending…)

      If and when it’s revealed that Jon/Aegon “has the right family name”, will Varys feel compelled to transfer his allegiances from Daeny to Jon?

      Now please don’t get me wrong. I am NOT trying to incite a Dany vs. Jon fan-war. They are both compelling, heroic characters. In a perfect world they’d team up to protect and govern the realm as complementary, equal partners. I’m just wary that the scenes like Varys and Tyrion expressing frustration with Daeny’s refusal to postpone the Tarly BBQ will ripen into doubts and second-guessing their “belief”, especially when juxtaposed against a compassionate, self-effacing leader dedicated to guarding the realms of men than ruling them.

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    205. As of S7e7…

      • Swords currently in Winterfell:
      (1) Oathkeeper
      (2) Heartsbane
      (3) Needle
      • Swords on their way to WF?
      (4) Widow’s Wail*
      (5) Longclaw

      * For heaven’s sake, give that sword a real name already instead of the dumb name Joffrey gave it.

      • Warriors/swordsmen in or on their way to WF:
      (i) Jon Snow
      (ii) Sandor Clegane
      (iii) Arya?
      (iv) Jorah Mormont
      (v) Brienne of F*cking Tarth
      (vi) Jaime Lefthand Lannister?

      If WF is going to go up in flames, chances are that a warrior will have to pull a burning sword from the fire.

      Last season in Episode 1,the Lord of Light made a direct connection with Sandor Clegane. It’s about time Sandor is revealed to be the Warrior of Light.

      “In the ancient books, it is written that a warrior will draw a burning sword from the fire. And that sword shall be Lightbringer.”

      – Melisandre, S2e1

      “You’re a fighter. You were born a fighter.”

      – Beric to Sandor. S6e8

      *Removes tinfoil helmet👨‍🚀, goes to sleep*

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    206. Ten Bears: “The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen, but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who can intimidate the high lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.”

      If we go by Varys’s description, I am not entirely certain Jon fits it much better than Daenerys.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly on the fact that Jon is much gentler than his aunt; that is unquestionable. However, when it comes to “intimidating the high lords”, he falls short. His lords in the North are not intimidated by him in the slightest; as a matter of fact, they are quite disappointed in him and rightly so, if I may say so. Jon has failed to convince them of the righteousness of his actions. He has not explained anything to them in any amount of details yet appears to expect them to understand and fall in line behind him. Furthermore, he has given up the northern crown without consulting them and for no additional benefit whatsoever since Daenerys had already agreed to help him out before he chose to bend the knee.
      And let’s not forget the fact that his suicide mission north of the Wall led to the Night King getting a dragon for whatever the White Walker equivalent of Christmas is ! I am not convinced this is going to gain him major bonus points with the population if/when they find that out.

      Is Jon loved by millions ? I have no doubt he could be; he is a very lovable man. However, as of now, we have seen no indication that large groups of people know him, let alone love him. Northerners en masse did not elect Jon as their king; 50-odd lords in a room did. And they did it because a (somewhat hypocritical) little girl shouted at them…
      His coronation was not the result of a plebiscite in the strictest sense of the term; we have yet to see the people of the North celebrate him in the same way we have witnessed former slaves adore Daenerys.

      Tyrion already had great respect for Jon Snow. (And he has a knack for winning electionsto positions he wasn’t campaigning for

      Jon does have an uncanny ability to attract support when he does not seek it. You are entitely correct. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the fact that he also has a remarkable talent for losing said support almost immediately : he was elected Lord Commander in 5.02 and was assassinated by his own men in 5.10; he was crowned King in the North in 6.10 and, unbeknownst to him, faced an uprising in 7.4/7.5.

      Now, one way to look at it is to say that Alliser Thorne, Olly and Lord Glover are all jealous and / or bitter arseholes who fail to recognise Jon’s genius intentions… However, I would argue that it is a bit too convenient, a touch too dismissive to focus on those three because it was not just them : after Jon’s assassination, virtually all the brothers at Castle Black sided with the mutineers; and during Lord Glover’s speech regarding his disappointment in Jon, all the other lords in the room breathed out their agreement.
      When a handful of your men want to betray you, they are traitors.
      When almost all your men want to betray you, you have screwed up.

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    207. DontbeStupid!:
      Wise up! Its just smoke and lights!

      No, it’s not “just smoke and lights.” They used a bit of actual fire. Of course, they didn’t actually set the entire place on fire. That’d be crazy (and useless, since the set is made of wood and Winterfell is supposed to be made of stone, so it wouldn’t look right anyway.) If you’d bothered to read it, you’d know the article says they didn’t just use real fire (which they did, as they always do for these sort of things) but also “clever lighting and smoke.” The point is the orange lighting and smoke (and the small fire elements too) are supposed to create the illusion of Winterfell being on fire; Winterfell was on fire NOT in reality, but in the fiction, which is what we’re reporting here.

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    208. ACME: That is Daenerys’s greatest strength as a leader: she is a desperation magnet. Since she made a miracle happen once before by surviving her husband’s pyre and giving birth to three dragons, all the lost souls of the world see her as a symbol of hope against impossible odds and they flock towards her.

      Hah! ‘Desperation magnet’ is a good one.

      Another way of saying this is that Dany is the St. Jude of Planetos.

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    209. Ten Bears: • Swords currently in Winterfell:
      (1) Oathkeeper
      (2) Heartsbane
      (3) Needle
      • Swords on their way to WF?
      (4) Widow’s Wail*
      (5) Longclaw

      Does Needle really belong on this list, being the only one not forged of Valyrian steel? Perhaps the ‘catspaw dagger’ is Arya’s destined weapon for the final battle. Needle has more sentimental value, however.

      And I hope you’re right about Sandor, even if it is a stretch. That character has so earned a glorious ending (though I suppose one could say that about many in the Ice & Fireverse).

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    210. Ten Bears: As of S7e7…

      • Swords currently in Winterfell:
      (1) Oathkeeper
      (2) Heartsbane
      (3) Needle
      • Swords on their way to WF?
      (4) Widow’s Wail*
      (5) Longclaw

      Remember, Needle isn’t Valyrian steel like the others. It’s special because it’s sentimental, but other than that it’s just a small sword Mikken made that doesn’t have any unique properties. She does have the Valyrian steel dagger though…

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    211. Clob,

      I’m going to desist from the usual obligatory response, because in truth, often what makes great minds great is the fact that they are capable of thinking differently. ; )

        Quote  Reply

    212. Firannion,

      “Does Needle really belong on this list, being the only one not forged of Valyrian steel?

      ——————–
      To: Firannion, cc: Clob

      Yes, Needle belongs on the list even though it’s not made of Valyrian Steel. There’s nothing that requires Lightbringer to be VS, is there?

      My fanfic tinfoil* scenario was that with all of the sword-bearers converging on WF, if there’s a fire there, Sandor Ahai – I mean Sandor Clegane – would draw one of the listed swords from the flames, revealing that he is the Warrior of Light:

      “In the ancient books, it is written that a warrior will draw a burning sword from the fire. And that sword shall be Lightbringer.”
      – Melisandre, S2e1

      “You’re a fighter. You were born a fighter.”
      – Beric to Sandor. S6e8

      * Because in my tinfoil world, every detail is cherry-picked and twisted to make Sandor Clegane Azor Ahai aka The Warrior of Light, The Last Hero, the Lord’s Chosen, and the Valonqar: The fulfillment of virtually every prophecy except the Prince Who/That Was Promised and the Younger More Beautiful Queen.

        Quote  Reply

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