I Miss Game of Thrones. But Why?

Ned Stark 101

By Marc N. Kleinhenz

A Song of Ice and Fire, the long-running and still-incomplete saga of books that, of course, HBO’s Game of Thrones was based upon, has been part of my life since 2006, when I tore through the novels to help pass the time on my considerable commute while living in Japan. I’ve since written about both the literary and television series for at least six different websites, edited and published a small berth of ebooks on the subject, obsessively listened to the soundtracks while working, and – my personal favorite – prepared countless Feast of Ice and Fire meals with friends (and, even, befriended that cookbook’s author in the process).

All of which, I suppose, helps to explain the realization that has been slowly dawning on me: I miss Game of Thrones – terribly.

It’s an epiphany that first hit me in early March, the usual period of time when I would begin revisiting past episodes and prepare my articles for the new ones. It stayed with me during the advent of our current COVID-19 isolation, and it’s become a regularly recurring companion all the way ‘til now, in late April, when all but one of Thrones’s eight seasons would either just be starting or have already been on the air for the past few weeks.

But along with this longing has come another – and, perhaps, more interesting – emotional punctuation mark: the question of why. Why do I miss this show that, let’s be honest, was brutal more often than uplifting, relied on heaps of shock value and gratuitousness, left a huge swath of its characters in various states of exile (or outright death) in its resolution, and, even for us book readers, was something of a traumatic experience? I think there’s more to it than just the underlying source material having been a consistent part of my life for the past decade-and-a-half, and more to it than my admittedly questionable mental state.

I think this is a question worth exploring, not for whatever myriad faults or ticks that can be exposed in my psyche, but to help assess the value – and the legacy – of HBO’s most popular creation (value and legacy being two properties that Game of Thrones will forevermore possess, regardless of whether co-creators and -showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss stuck the landing of its climax).

walk

Game of Thrones’s environments

Like my nearly life-long obsession with The Legend of Zelda, Star Wars, and theme parks, Game of Thrones did something especially well, and did so consistently across all eight seasons: it created, essentially, whole worlds for the audience to fall into.

The location scouting, set and art design, and cinematography are, in many respects, second to none. The vibrancy of the environments, the majesty of the natural splendor, and the authenticity of the production details – even those wholly fantastical in nature – all combined, scene after scene and episode after episode, to construct an entire reality that we all could get lost in (and, it seems, we often did, and still often do). It didn’t matter that the events that transpired in these breathtaking castles tended to be grotesque, or that the epic vistas were populated with truly wretched individuals – you believed that you were up 700 feet in the air with Jon Snow on the Wall, or walking the twisted streets of King’s Landing with Cersei Lannister, or riding the plains of the Dothraki Sea with Daenerys Targaryen.

And that’s the other thing – beyond the verisimilitude of the settings, there was the sheer variety of them. It’s hard to think of another series, either on the big or small screen, that practically bursts with so many different and distinct environs; from the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros to the Free Cities of Essos and beyond, Game of Thrones covers more ground (no pun intended) than any number of other properties combined.

It’s an unbelievable feat, and a beautiful one. When coupled with Ramin Djawadi’s similarly luscious score and the usually stellar performances of a cast that is itself equally as expansive, it’s actually little wonder that the TV show has struck a chord and continued to stay with me despite all the psychological injuries it inflicted across its eight-year run.

And speaking of that cast of characters…

Joffrey Baratheon wedding

Game of Thrones is a soap opera

Let’s start with an admission that may or may not be an open secret: HBO’s biggest series is a glorified (and gorified) soap opera.

Characters get married – and then divorced, but only kind of, and only when one of them flees for her life with another man who clearly lusts after her. There are abusive relationships (and, sometimes, incestuous ones), and extra-marital affairs a-plenty, and individuals who go missing for years on end and then return – even from the dead (literally). There are betrayals, murders, and other life-changing developments on a regular, if not weekly, basis, and all of it slathered on with enough salaciousness to make Tony Soprano sit up and take notice.

This is the stuff that loyal television watching is made of, stretching all the way back to the medium’s earliest days, when the content was created around the desire to sell commercial products to housewives (the modern habit of binging can eat its heart out – it still has nothing on the half-century-plus of soap operatic history). But calling a spade a spade should do nothing to lessen the explanation of its everlasting appeal; although most soaps are, clearly, nothing but fluff, they still trade in the fundamentals of drama that have captivated audiences ever since the earliest cave paintings. And consider this: the best stories just take the core histrionics of our modern soap operas and add on thematic substance and character development atop of it, which is precisely what Game of Thrones did (and, for the most part, did exceedingly well).

The other all-important elevation of the genre that HBO’s show accomplishes – and, no, we don’t have to get into whether Weiss and Benioff did so with aplomb (or not) – is that it actually had that magical and elusive item called an ending. The criticalness of this point cannot be overstated, despite its seemingly mundane nature; this is the very reason why, say, comic books (that other variation on the soap opera) can shed readers at an alarming clip over the years but that the Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps expanding its own viewership – even Iron Man’s story, after all, must reach a climax, despite how many throngs of additional fans he has picked up along the way (and how much of a soap his own journey has become, with one-night trysts, on-and-off-again engagements, a muddled relationship with his [costumed] identity, and, at the end, a family of his own).

When taken altogether, you get the up-and-down-again travails of the mighty Tyrion Lannister, or the noble suffering of stoic Jorah Mormont, or the sullen-but-handsome brooding of the wayward Jon Snow – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

catelyn stark red wedding

Game of Thrones’s community

Obviously, I wasn’t taking in Game of Thrones by myself – the whole world was reacting to the series over the course of its eight seasons, building a truly staggering audience and accruing a whole assortment of cultural artifacts along the way.

Now, I have to admit – somewhat regrettably – that I never got into the trend of holding watch parties every Sunday night, gathering friends to bear witness to that week’s particular brutalities while also usually consuming mass quantities of food and wine (although, in the first few seasons, I did make it a point to watch the series with an Unsullied buddy, just to engage in a little schadenfreude as he experienced Eddard Stark’s beheading or the primal violation that was the Red Wedding for the first time). But I did manage to watch the show’s entire run in real time, something I had missed out on with such HBO heavies as The Sopranos and Deadwood and, even, Boardwalk Empire, and I couldn’t help but let the countless tweets, YouTube compilations, and other reactionary sundries seep into my (sub)consciousness. When it came to Thrones, no viewer was an island unto himself – and we were all the better for it.

Let’s invoke that Star Wars parallel again. David Benioff and Dan Weiss’s (and, sure, author George R.R. Martin’s) baby built for itself an entire cultural moment – and movement. It’s yet to be seen whether this epoch-defining period can make the transition into a longer, permanent presence, just as filmmaker George Lucas’s cinematic baby did with the multimedia attachment of its so-called Star Wars Expanded Universe – this is, perhaps, where House of the Dragon and other potential spinoffs come into play – but its legacy is already well ensconced. In fact, another pop-culture comparison is probably in order here: The X-Files became a touchstone for an entire generation of television viewers as well as creators, with its writing-producing staff going on to pollinate a wide berth of subsequent projects within the medium – most notably, perhaps, being Breaking Bad, in more ways than one. (And, hey, let’s not forget that X-Files had an unfathomably terrible ending – twice. This still doesn’t take away from the sublimity of its previous seasons and/or films.)

So, so long, Game of Thrones – and its wider berth of fans. It was a legendary ride, one that I would gladly do all over again in a heartbeat, and I’m glad that you were there by my side – even if a bit remotely.


Marc N. Kleinhenz is the editor-in-chief of Orlando Informer. He’s also written for 31 other sites (including Screen Rant, IGN, and Tower of the Hand, where he serves as consulting editor), has appeared on radio and television news as a pop-culture specialist, served as a consultant on the theming industry, and has even taught English in Japan.

776 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Thank you Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss for 8 brilliant scenes and a brilliant finale, I’ll always be grateful.

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    2. All in all, it was well done. I do wish that they had altered the “Scouring of the Shire” plot trajectory and I do wish that they had provided a “why” for the White Walkers. Alas! Such things will never come to pass.

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    3. Most of the time during its run we would have been smack in the middle of a season right now. It would be really nice to have that this year – could really use it.

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    4. Clob:
      Most of the time during its run we would have been smack in the middle of a season right now.It would be really nice to have that this year – could really use it.

      Definitely. I was reflecting last month how fun the hype period was before each season began. I miss that too. I loved speculating about photos/promos/interviews, etc. 🙂

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    5. Clob:
      Most of the time during its run we would have been smack in the middle of a season right now.It would be really nice to have that this year – could really use it.

      Post production would have been effected, so they would have probably delayed the entire season instead of airing what was already finished.

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    6. Amazing show from start to finish. Especially the brilliant last season and marvelous final episode. Lots of thanks to Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss for their brilliant writing which defined this show. I just started my rewatch and it’s so magnificent. I will do a ranking of all episodes and season and post my final thoughts here and I will always be greatful of course!

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    7. Clob:
      Most of the time during its run we would have been smack in the middle of a season right now.It would be really nice to have that this year – could really use it.

      I’m just about to enjoy the first episode of the fourth series of ‘The Last Kingdom’, which arrived on Netflix today. I highly recommend it and if you haven’t seen it, you’ve got 38 episodes awaiting you.

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    8. Grandmaester Flash: I’m just about to enjoy the first episode of the fourth series of ‘The Last Kingdom’, which arrived on Netflix today. I highly recommend it and if you haven’t seen it, you’ve got 38 episodes awaiting you.

      Can’t wait to watch Season 4 this week.

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    9. Clob,

      Today is April 26th. “The long night” was aired on April 28th 2019. It isn’t difficult to remember how excited we were precisely a year ago. It was the most hyped TV episode ever. It is the proof that GoT wasn’t only the biggest TV series ever, but also a worldwide common experience. The sense of community generated along the seasons contributos tremendously to the show’s success. It’s also the aspect I miss the most in not having GoT. Maybe that’s why I’ll give HotD a shot. The timing of this article is very pertinent.

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    10. Wimsey,

      In the show at least, the White Walkers are essentially a malevolent force of nature, brought about by mankind’s innate appetite for the destruction of nature. They don’t ever speak, as a human would. They don’t need a “why” anymore than a climate-change-induced hurricane or wildfire do. To quote Chernobyl: “When the bullet hits your skull, what will it matter why?”

      But beyond that, the relationship between the NK and the 3ER is explored. I recently watched S7 & S8 with a friend, who’d never seen them, and during S8E3 he pointed out something I’d never considered: the NK and the 3ER are two sides of the same coin. The NK represents death and forgetting, while the 3ER represents life and memory.

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    11. I miss Game of Thrones, too. Why? Because it was fucking awesome and now it’s gone.

      But a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.

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    12. Farimer123:
      I miss Game of Thrones, too. Why? Because it was fucking awesome and now it’s gone.

      But a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.

      Nothing Gold Can Stay
      – Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

      Nature’s first green is gold,
      Her hardest hue to hold.
      Her early leaf’s a flower;
      But only so an hour.
      Then leaf subsides to leaf.
      So Eden sank to grief,
      So dawn goes down to day.
      Nothing gold can stay.

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    13. Farimer123: But a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.

      Ten Bears: Nothing Gold Can Stay
      – Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

      Nature’s first green is gold,
      Her hardest hue to hold.
      Her early leaf’s a flower;
      But only so an hour.
      Then leaf subsides to leaf.
      So Eden sank to grief,
      So dawn goes down to day.
      Nothing gold can stay.

      Beautiful 🙂

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    14. Adrianacandle: Definitely. I was reflecting last month how fun the hype period was before each season began. I miss that too. I loved speculating about photos/promos/interviews, etc. 🙂

      You know me. I’m speculating about Arya’s spinoff show in ~ 2025.

      I know I’m not the only one.

      🗡👸🏻

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    15. Ten Bears: You know me. I’m speculating about Arya’s spinoff show in ~ 2025.

      And what she’ll find west of west?

      (It occurs to me — do people in Westeros believe the world is round or is this a flat Earth scenario where people believe a protective crust of mountains exists around the edge of the world?)

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    16. Adrianacandle,

      I subconsciously stole that line “I know I’m not the only one” (to be speculating about a future spinoff.)

      And that provides a convenient pretext for injecting today’s musical interlude:

      “Future Games” (1971) Fleetwood Mac
      (8:19 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SL6PWUq1vqA

      —-
      Well I know I’m not the only one
      To ever spend my life sitting,
      playing future games.
      So you better take your time
      You know there’s no escape
      The future sends a sign
      Of things we will create.”

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    17. Ten Bears:
      Adrianacandle,

      I subconsciously stole that line “I know I’m not the only one” (to be speculating about a future spinoff.)

      And that provides a convenient pretext for injecting today’s musical interlude:

      “Future Games” (1971) Fleetwood Mac
      (8:19 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SL6PWUq1vqA

      —-
      Well I know I’m not the only one
      To ever spend my life sitting,playing future games.
      So you better take your time
      You know there’s no escape
      The future sends a sign
      Of things we will create.”

      Nice transition! 😉

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    18. Part of the magic of GoT was also the prosaic fact that it was screened as weekly episodes. So we had the pleasure of discussing it and speculating, with everyone on the same page.

      I’m denied that with The Last Kingdom because the fan sites are full of people who have already watched all ten episodes, though it’s been available for less than a day. Such a shame.

      I like to savour things properly, taste and digest them before moving on to the next course. We had no other option with GoT, and our enjoyment was enhanced by that.

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    19. Game of Thrones was first real television blockbuster. Showrunner of Mr Robot Sam Esmail and critic Chris Ryan called it “Star Wars of television”.

      And I truly belive in that. It changed the history of the medium. GoT’s legacy is Westworld, and The Witcher, Amazon’s LOTR, Wheel of Time, House of the Dragon,…

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    20. The LightKing:
      Ten Bears,

      Which adjectives do you suggest?

      Phenomenal. Awesome. Breathtaking. Unprecedented. Masterful. Fabulous. Marvelous. Ineffable. Beyond superlative. Incredible. Wonderful. Amazing. F*cking out of this world. Spellbinding. Engrossing. Excellent. Jaw-droppingly good. Unparalleled.
      There must be hundreds more.

      I think it was Pigeon or another commenter who explicated the term “semantic [something]” – I forget the exact terminology – to describe when a word or sound is repeated so frequently or is so overused that it begins to lose its meaning.

      That’s what’s happened to “bri****nt.”
      Also – and this is just a humble suggestion – why not explain how and why something was bri****nt, instead of using that label without elaboration?

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    21. Adrianacandle,

      ”That’s such a beautiful scene — and I just love that music.“

      I was a latecomer to GoT. I binge-watched S1-S3 during HBO’s pre-Season 4 marathon. Season 4 was the first season I watched as a week-to-week viewer.
      That last segment of S4e10 was so rousing and so… [insert superlative here]. . The swelling music, the choral (?) singing, the cinematography… A perfect ending to what I now know was the best season of GoT.

      By the way, I’m still working on my soundtrack compilations for each character. (Night King comes first. 🥶) I’ve got a couple for Arya in the style of that final segment of “The Children.” Lemme see if I can find them and post a few without derailing this comment section.

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    22. Adrianacandle,

      No, I had not seen that “Ice, Ice Baby” mashup. Color me unimpressed: How can someone do an “Ice, Ice Baby” mashup video without even one scene of the Stark ancestral sword Ice????

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    23. Great post, agree with your observations about what we miss so much about it. Let’s start with an admission that may or may not be an open secret: HBO’s biggest series is a glorified (and gorified) soap opera.

      Oh absolutely no question about it! Also think of it as one of the old cliffhanger shows from the 60s, to keep you watching week after week.

      Aside from the show itself, what I miss is the discussions afterwards. I think communities like this, that started preproduction for heavens sakes, kept us interested and talking and eager for more I miss all the creativity and imagination that went into so many theories, and miss the intellegent and even heated discussions that kept me thinking. . But a year later we are still at it; another thread reliving some of the parts both in the books and the show (I quit reading after 700 comments, got busy with RL, guess I should see if its got to 1000 yet!) And a year later I still wonder how everyone is doing; miss seeing the people that were tied into the show itself and my enjoyment of it. Hope they turn up here to say hi.

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    24. Thank you for reminding me of all I miss. I have the audio books on repeat every night to fall asleep to and listen to if I wake in the early hours. Makes for some interesting dreams – the Lannister’s responsible for WW1 (I’m a high school history teacher so what a mash up!)

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    25. I miss Game of Thrones too. I think it was the sheer investment in the characters and plot, I really rooted for Jon Snow, Tyrion, Arya, The Hound, I loved those characters whilst others flip flopped between heroes and villains (Jamie, Dany, Cersei) and there were others I loathed (Ramsay, Joff, Mountain). I cannot imagine another show holding that much emotional attachment with me for some time.

      Finding this site after suffering through the troll filled site ran by the two “Swedish super fans” was also a blessing. I still return here often, read the articles, enjoy the interaction with fellow posters and don’t see that I’ll leave any time soon either.

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    26. Tiago:
      Clob,

      Today is April 26th. “The long night” was aired on April 28th 2019. It isn’t difficult to remember how excited we were precisely a year ago. It was the most hyped TV episode ever. It is the proof that GoT wasn’t only the biggest TV series ever, but also a worldwide common experience. The sense of community generated along the seasons contributos tremendously to the show’s success. It’s also the aspect I miss the most in not having GoT. Maybe that’s why I’ll give HotD a shot. The timing of this article is very pertinent.

      You are right, the hype for that episode was unrivalled and one of the reasons I suspect some people left it with mild disappointment/criticism i.e. it was impossible to live up to expectation. That said though rewatch it again and it’s a masterwork of television which for sheer scale has no rival. Yes, there are a couple of minor plot points which feel a bit dumb but it’s brilliant action TV and better than the Battle of the Bastards by some way in my view.

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    27. KellieisComing: Makes for some interesting dreams – the Lannister’s responsible for WW1 (I’m a high school history teacher so what a mash up!)

      I’d read that story! (And what a great mash-up to dream!)

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    28. Ten Bears: How can someone do an “Ice, Ice Baby” mashup video without even one scene of the Stark ancestral sword Ice????

      Ah! Good point! I didn’t even realize! XD

      ash: Aside from the show itself, what I miss is the discussions afterwards. I think communities like this, that started preproduction for heavens sakes, kept us interested and talking and eager for more I miss all the creativity and imagination that went into so many theories, and miss the intellegent and even heated discussions that kept me thinking. . But a year later we are still at it; another thread reliving some of the parts both in the books and the show (I quit reading after 700 comments, got busy with RL, guess I should see if its got to 1000 yet!) And a year later I still wonder how everyone is doing; miss seeing the people that were tied into the show itself and my enjoyment of it. Hope they turn up here to say hi.

      Tiago: Today is April 26th. “The long night” was aired on April 28th 2019. It isn’t difficult to remember how excited we were precisely a year ago. It was the most hyped TV episode ever. It is the proof that GoT wasn’t only the biggest TV series ever, but also a worldwide common experience. The sense of community generated along the seasons contributos tremendously to the show’s success. It’s also the aspect I miss the most in not having GoT. Maybe that’s why I’ll give HotD a shot. The timing of this article is very pertinent.

      Great posts, ash and Tiago 🙂

      Tiago’s post made me realize that yesterday does mark a year since The Long Night aired and a year later, discussion is still going strong, as ash mentioned. I think Game of Thrones was an incredible experience, especially in terms of how wide-reaching it was and how shared it was. It really was a worldwide phenomenon so many different people came together to watch for various reasons (even my auntie who would refer to Dany and her dragons as ‘Kelsey’ and her ‘dinosaurs’ XD).

      Before Game of Thrones, I never thought I’d be discussing ice zombies, magic priestesses, and dragons with my mother, who was never able to get into anything remotely connected to fantasy prior to Game of Thrones.

      (Dad is another story. While dating her, he used to make my mum answer Dr Who trivia to determine whether or not she’d be getting a ride ;D She always got a ride, even though she could never answer one Dr Who/LoTR/Star Wars/Star Trek/Monty Python/etc. question correctly.)

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    29. ash: Aside from the show itself, what I miss is the discussions afterwards. I think communities like this, that started preproduction for heavens sakes, kept us interested and talking and eager for more I miss all the creativity and imagination that went into so many theories, and miss the intellegent and even heated discussions that kept me thinking.

      That was the point I made in my earlier post.
      Most series nowadays have all episodes available at once, and this kills the discussion because some people binge the entire series in one sitting.

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    30. I’d miss GoT if the show ended a little better.

      Sometimes I miss the older episodes, but then I remember how it all ended and suddenly I don’t miss it as much.

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    31. Mr Derp,

      Not sure I trust that you don’t care, since you are still part of online fandom, a year after the show ended.

      It reminds me of those TLJ haters.

      But that’s just my opinion.

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    32. mau:
      Mr Derp,

      Not sure I trust that you don’t care, since you are still part of online fandom, a year after the show ended.

      It reminds me of those TLJ haters.

      But that’s just my opinion.

      The only problem is that I never said that I didn’t care.

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    33. Mr Derp:
      I’d miss GoT if the show ended a little better.

      Sometimes I miss the older episodes, but then I remember how it all ended and suddenly I don’t miss it as much.

      Its the same with me. I find it kind of frustrating actually because I WANT to look back more fondly.

      I just compare it to April 2018 when we didnt get a new season and I was waaay more nostalgic to the overall experience of watching the show than I am now. And that was after Season 7, which at the time I thought was the weakest season of all. Still Ok, but not great. I thought S7EP1-S7EP4 were pretty Good, and S7EP7 was a great set up for what could have been a amazing/satisfying ending.

      I find it more frustrating now looking back at exactly one year ago, when we were waiting for S8EP3 and how thrilled we were with the episode A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

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    34. Meraxes: Its the same with me. I find it kind of frustrating actually because I WANT to look back more fondly.

      I just compare it to April 2018 when we didnt get a new season and I was waaay more nostalgic to the overall experience of watching the show than I am now. And that was after Season 7, which at the time I thought was the weakest season of all. Still Ok, but not great. I thought S7EP1-S7EP4 were pretty Good, and S7EP7 was a great set up for what could have been a amazing/satisfying ending.

      I find it more frustrating now looking back at exactly one year ago, when we were waiting for S8EP3 and how thrilled we were with the episode A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

      I actually wasn’t as big a fan of “Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” as a lot of other posters seemed to be. Don’t get me wrong. It was one of the better episodes of the season, but nothing really happened in that episode. I loved Brienne getting knighted, but the rest of the episode was pretty middling for me. I think if this episode took place in the middle of seasons 4 or 6 it would be a rather forgettable episode, IMO.

      The issues in season 8 started for me pretty much right away in the first episode of the season. I’m not going to get into too many details as this horse has been beaten to death, but my first impression of episode 1 was one of disappointment.

      I remember Petra got to see the advanced screening of episode 1 and wrote a review here about it. She said it was one of the best episodes ever in the entire run of GoT, but that’s definitely not what I thought after I saw the first episode. Her review had me hyped up, but I specifically remember coming to the conclusion after I watched the episode that the episode wasn’t particularly good and Petra was just being nice because she was invited to the screening.

      Most of the time, the first episode of the season is one of the weaker ones, so I chalked it up to that. However, as the season unfolded, box-checking clearly took precedent over everything else and I grew increasingly frustrated as the season went along.

      Then we got the last episode with the dragonpit meeting, which, IMO, was a complete disaster, went against everything GoT previously stood for, and made very little sense in the scheme of things. I think D&D did a great job of adapting GRRM’s work until the source material ran out, but not so much after that. Overall, I have a great amount of respect for what they did with the earlier seasons in the show.

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    35. Fireandblood87,

      Yeah, I also belong to the group that thinks that episode 3 is overall great. My disapointment comes from episodes 4-6 and the way Dany’s arc was handled.

      I was even on board with having the WW threat be over by episode 3 IF (this is a big If) the rest of the season would have dealt with the aftermath of the Great War (dealing with the cost of human lives, economic aftermath and stuff like that) and maybe having Dany go dark be a direct consequence of this. I mean, the fact that the Apocalypse happened and nobody is talking about it afterwards is kind of frustrating. And no, I’m not talking about the pyres and the party, I’m talking about how does WESTEROS deal with this. How are the main characters dealing with this? Are they sad? Inspired? Depressed?

      I wouldn’t be making a deal out of this if over the course of the show we hadn’t had many episodes and storylines dealing with the consequenses of big events. The other big event that I think suffered in retrospect for a lack of a satisfying follow up was the blowing up of the Sept of Baelor.

      I get the impression that they wrote the last season two seasons backwards. As in, “we have to make Dany go crazy”, and that decision affected the way the all the other storylines and characters were written and the overall show suffered for it.

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    36. Meraxes,

      I would agree here as well. I didn’t dislike the Long Night episode a lot. I had problems with it, but I voted that episode as the best of the season in the WOTW poll this past year.

      I hated Dany’s heel turn too. Not the fact that it happened, but how it happened. You can’t spend 7 plus seasons building up Dany the way they did just to reverse all of it within 3 episodes.

      Ok, so she gets to Westeros and she’s not loved. So? She wasn’t immediately accepted in every city she conquered in Essos either, but she did what she needed to do to establish trust and the love of her constituents. Why couldn’t she try that strategy in Westeros? It’s like she didn’t even try, nor did her advisors.

      And she snapped at the end specifically because the citizens of KL did not immediately embrace her as a liberator. However, she had already won the war at that point. She could’ve simply tried doing what she did in Essos. Win the people over after the conquering is done.

      Also, she had already resigned herself to ruling by fear before blowing KL to smithereens, so it should NOT have been shocking to her when she wasn’t cheered on as a liberator.

      As I’ve said before, her snapping would’ve made so much more sense if she was losing the fight and had to decide out of desperation whether or not to kill innocents to get what she wanted. She had already won and still decided to kill innocents. It made no sense at all.

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    37. I don’t there was any turn with Daenerys. She just did what she always wanted to do.

      When it comes to Daenerys, I think the problem for some people is that they don’t consider what could have been if circumstances were different.

      For example Daenerys didn’t burn an entire already defeated army in S7 because they were so affraid after she burned Tarlys that they knelt.

      Daenerys didn’t burn Red Keep (with thousands of innocents, Cersei would probably bring them in like she did in S8) in S7 because Jon convinced her otherwise.

      She didn’t attack KL with dragons the moment she came to Westeros because Tyrion convinced her not to do that.

      She didn’t burn Astapor, Yunkai and Volantis because Tyrion conviced her not to do it.

      She didn’t organize massacre in Astapor and Yunkai in S4 because Jorah convinced her not to do it.

      And do on.

      But the fact that she was really close to doing these horrible things and she was stopped right before she did it, meant that it was just a matter of time( and right circumferences) until she actually does it. And this is what we got at the end. She was emotionally and mentally unstable, after everything that happened to her in Westeros and she burned them all.

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    38. The main point D&D did in their execution, which really is a key trait of Game of Thrones, is make her downfall in some way shocking/surprising. It doesn’t matter how much they supported it throughout the story, it is pretty certain that they actively wanted people to support Dany and then be shocked by her downfall.

      They wanted people to root for burning of KL. After E4 there was a post-episode poll on r/game of thrones where majority of people supported Dany burning KL in the next episode. It was almost 60%. And more than 150 000 people voted.

      So they never wanted it to be obvious. If they did it would completely undermine their main point – demonstrating the danger of populism and revolutionary rhetoric/power through making the audience make them same mistakes as the characters. It’s an absolutely ballsy and groundbreaking move. That doesn’t mean there can’t be a discussion over whether it made sense at all – but it’s a lot harder to ask. Nonetheless, if you do pick apart the story, look for the clues, there is an absolute enormity of evidence for Daenerys’ character fall – her messianic complex, her ego and entitlement, being reined in by her advisers constantly, her convenient and loosely defined morals, her emotional instability – that its hard to say it wasn’t justified.

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    39. mau: After E4 there was a post-episode poll on r/game of thrones where majority of people supported Dany burning KL in the next episode. It was almost 60%. And more than 150 000 people voted.

      Don’t you always say how much you hate Reddit and don’t trust it because they’re disrespectful to D&D?

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    40. Mr Derp,

      Danys downfall made absolutly sense. If you don’t buy it that’s your fault. If you can’t accept it that’s also your fault.

      What is if you lost everything?
      From childhood you didn’t had a mother or father or anyone who loves or cares about you. Only a psyochpath brother who “rapes” you mentally and uses you for his own benefit. All this time you’ve had one dream, the Iron Throne because it’ll allow you to break this vicious cycle if hate and suffering, but he gets sold off to a warlord who rapes and mistreats you. But you eventually change his view and you to fall in love but once in your life you have something. You’re a Khaleesi and your husband loves you and you are pregnant. However, before you can have your child your husband gets poisend by a witch and you have to strangle him yourself. Then you lose your baby and all. You’re left with three baby Dragons. Now these Dragons mean everything to you. They’re essentially the only children you’ll ever have. However, you continue building your support, you have Jorah, Missandei, Greyworm, Barristan and Daario Naharis who were all loyal to you and support your dream of breaking the wheel. Some of them die but you finally come to Westeros where she realize you have no support and instead Jon Snow the King in the North does. You two fall in love and he bends the knee. However, people don’t trust you or support you. Of course they don’t know you. You lose one of your children for them and they still don’t support or love you. You saved their King, their Brother and they still don’t like or respect you. You safe them in the Battle of Winterfell in which you lose one of your most loyal and beloved friends and more than half of your amry, still they don’t trust you and Jon Snow has just told you that he actually has a much better claim to the Throne than you do. And you begged him not to tell anyone but he does anyways betraying your trust. Then another of her children gets murdered and your best friend gets kidnapped while you get betrayed by the only you have left. Tyrion, Varys and Jon. Finally you watch as your best friend gets their head chopped off by your enemy. This initself is enough to warrant someone going crazy or wanting revenge. In S8E5 Daenerys reaches out to Jon Snow but he refuses to give her the love she desperately needs because he’s not fully sure yet. This is such a vital tipping point and so many people just ignored it. Daenerys had lost everything at this point and no one supportes her in this forgein land. She knows that people won’t be satisfied with her as the ruler. They rather have Jon Snow. However, she still has this one spark of light in her life. One person who could save her, Jon Snow. But he can’t. He steps away from her and then she realizes it, she’ll always be alone and the only way she can finally take the Throne and make her dream come true is through fear. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions that she saw herself with Sam and many times before. And she knows she has no either choice now.

      At this point she only has her dream, the only thing that has always been with her and she’s always believed in and she sees only one way of making it a reality. It’s like Tyrion said: “Love is more powerful than reason”. She’s acting out of her emotions here, not logic. Her motivations are there. If you knew anything about psychology and trauma and the effects they can have on a person. Then you know that such a mountain of traumatic life experience can really fuck with your mind. It’s not unreasonable that Daenerys who has lost control of several times would snap. Of course she would. It’s the only option she has left. She doesn’t want to kill innocents but in her mind now, the only way she can create a good life for these people is to have the power to do so and this is the only way to gain that power. She knows she’ll have to be a monster in order to make a positive change. She didn’t feel the other characters and the other characters failed her. Everyone just turned against her. So tell me what you would have done. If she had just taken the red keep and killed Cersei people wouldn’t have followed her her at least not from what she’s observed. Jon Snow or someone else would always be there with bigger claim than her. She had no other options so her motivations are completely justified with the information that the show laid out. People did worse for less.

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    41. Ten Bears: You know me. I’m speculating about Arya’s spinoff show in ~ 2025.

      I know I’m not the only one.

      🗡👸🏻

      ASNAWP!!!

      Pretty sure I couldn’t manage my excitement if that ever got announced.

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    42. The LightKing: They rather have Jon Snow. However, she still has this one spark of light in her life. One person who could save her, Jon Snow. But he can’t. He steps away from her and then she realizes it, she’ll always be alone and the only way she can finally take the Throne and make her dream come true is through fear.

      I didn’t read all of your comment. tl/dr, so I skimmed through parts of it. Thanks for telling me what is and is not my fault though. I don’t know what I would’ve done without it. Especially coming from the guy who admitted he used multiple accounts here just to make it look like the show was received better. That must’ve been my fault too.

      Are you sure they’d rather have Jon Snow? The North (his own people) was conspiring against him and pushing for Sansa to take over the minute Jon left Winterfell. And the people of KL are sheep. They don’t care who rules over them. If it wasn’t already obvious to begin with, it should’ve become obvious the moment that Cersei was allowed to be Queen of KL after the wildfire incident without so much as an investigation. There were clearly rumors that Cersei did it, but no one was going to do anything about it.

      Honestly, the people of KL should be the least of Dany’s problems in the immediate take-over. If they let Cersei rule over them after blowing up the Sept then it shouldn’t be any different because Dany burned the Red Keep.

      The relationship between Jon and Dany in season 8 was confusing. Especially Dany’s attitude towards it. Once she became the big bad after burning KL, common sense dictates that she should see Jon as a rival and enemy considering his rightful claim over her. She should kill him right away, but she still wants to rule the world with him. Dany saw the danger in Jon’s claim earlier in the season, but after she won, it was like she kind of forgot about Jon’s claim.

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    43. The LightKing,

      It goes a very long way in understanding your motive for being here in the first place and why you make the comments you do.

      I don’t recall you being a frequent poster here at all when the show was actually airing. I believe you only started coming here (with that name) after the show ended. You made your introduction by using multiple accounts specifically to drive up the amount of positive comments towards the final season. You admitted as much.

      You only comment here when someone has a criticism of the final season. You’ve actually said some very disrespectful things to me in the past, which I didn’t take the bait for. It doesn’t take a detective to piece together your motive for coming here.

      I’m not going to get drawn into another heated debate about the ending with someone whose butt puckers tighter than a snare drum the moment season 8 or D&D get criticized. I don’t mind if people really liked the final season. If you thought it was the greatest thing ever than good for you. What I won’t stand for are the same handful of people blowing a gasket every time anything short of sycophantic praise for D&D comes their way.

      If you want to have an honest, civil, respectful, calm conversation about the show then I’m game. I noticed you didn’t address my response about Dany though, so if not, you’re just going to have to get over it and move on.

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    44. Mr Derp,

      I came here on this site, after season 7 ended. I started pretty late with the show. I wrote my first comments before season 8 started and later after it ended. I was never disrespectful to you. I just called you a hater nothing else. That’s just my opinion. It seems that you don’t like positive comments about S8 or the showrunners. I’m here because it is the only site about Game of Thrones where there are also positive people. I wrote a normal comment and you can’t give a normal answer, so I won’t argue with you any further.

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    45. George Lucas referred to Star Wars as a soap opera in space. It was really about a dysfunctional family. So your comparison to falling into it’s world along with the soap opera point are very appropo.

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    46. The LightKing: I wrote a normal comment and you can’t give a normal answer,

      I gave you a “normal’ answer, which you didn’t address at all.

      The LightKing: I’m here because it is the only site about Game of Thrones where there are also positive people.

      If you’re all about being positive, which I think is great, then maybe spend your time here actually being positive instead of calling people “haters” that don’t share your opinion. Perhaps you should also stop telling people to go to other sites and avoid this one because they said something you disagreed with. You’re visiting a place for it’s positivity while infecting it with negativity at the same time. it makes no sense.

      The LightKing: I was never disrespectful to you.

      You’ve called people “arrogant morons”, you’ve said I’m what’s wrong with this fandom and called me a hater multiple times simply because we disagree, which I would certainly consider disrespectful at best. It’s not just me. Multiple other posters have asked you to stop behaving this way. You’ve also made other derogatory comments towards me, but I can’t remember them all nor do I need to in order to know bullshit when I see it.

      The LightKing: I won’t argue with you any further

      Have a good one.

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    47. The LightKing:
      Mr Derp,

      I came here on this site, after season 7 ended. I started pretty late with the show. I wrote my first comments before season 8 started and later after it ended. I was never disrespectful to you. I just called you a hater nothing else. That’s just my opinion. It seems that you don’t like positive comments about S8 or the showrunners. I’m here because it is the only site about Game of Thrones where there are also positive people. I wrote a normal comment and you can’t give a normal answer, so I won’t argue with you any further.

      There’s a safe haven for Season 8 fans and fans of the show overall. Really welcoming place with great discussions on the brilliance of this show, the finale, and Mr. Benioff and Mr Weiss. A place where you don’t have to post in fear of being ridiculed or downvoted to hell. I’ll pm you the info.

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    48. Jack Bauer 24: There’s a safe haven for Season 8 fans and fans of the show overall. Really welcoming place with great discussions on the brilliance of this show, the finale, and Mr. Benioff and Mr Weiss. A place where you don’t have to post in fear of being ridiculed or downvoted to hell. I’ll pm you the info.

      JFC Jack. Do you realize Light King is the one doing all of the ridiculing and name-calling on this site?

      I suppose being disrespectful is ok as long as you’re on the same side though, right?

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    49. Mr Derp: I actually wasn’t as big a fan of “Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” as a lot of other posters seemed to be.Don’t get me wrong.It was one of the better episodes of the season, but nothing really happened in that episode.I loved Brienne getting knighted, but the rest of the episode was pretty middling for me.I think if this episode took place in the middle of seasons 4 or 6 it would be a rather forgettable episode, IMO.

      The issues in season 8 started for me pretty much right away in the first episode of the season.I’m not going to get into too many details as this horse has been beaten to death, but my first impression of episode 1 was one of disappointment.

      I remember Petra got to see the advanced screening of episode 1 and wrote a review here about it.She said it was one of the best episodes ever in the entire run of GoT, but that’s definitely not what I thought after I saw the first episode.Her review had me hyped up, but I specifically remember coming to the conclusion after I watched the episode that the episode wasn’t particularly good and Petra was just being nice because she was invited to the screening.

      Most of the time, the first episode of the season is one of the weaker ones, so I chalked it up to that.However, as the season unfolded, box-checking clearly took precedent over everything else and I grew increasingly frustrated as the season went along.

      Then we got the last episode with the dragonpit meeting, which, IMO, was a complete disaster, went against everything GoT previously stood for, and made very little sense in the scheme of things.I think D&D did a great job of adapting GRRM’s work until the source material ran out, but not so much after that.Overall, I have a great amount of respect for what they did with the earlier seasons in the show.

      What is the big issue with the Dragonpit scene? King Bran the Broken has the best story and that is what Westeros needs moving forward. Tyrion’s speech was brilliant and heartfelt and couldn’t have been any better. The other lords and ladies were swayed by the speech and realized Bran is what they needed. Who else would Yara, the new Prince of Dorne, etc settle on if not for the Broken One?

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    50. As long as we’re commiserating about missing the show, for nostalgia’s sake here’s a pre-Season 2 Thronecast interview of Charles Dance.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEzpu4H9gGg

      At 5:02 – 5:57, he’s asked about his favorite scene. Answer (of course): It’s with Maisie Williams, in S2e7.

      Charles Dance: “I’ve got quite a few scenes with that wonderful little girl…who’s desperate to stick a knife in my back.”

      “…And she’s fabulous actually, great great kid.

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    51. Mr Derp: JFC Jack.Do you realize Light King is the one doing all of the ridiculing and name-calling on this site?

      I suppose being disrespectful is ok as long as you’re on the same side though, right?

      I meant being ridiculed elsewhere like on social media and certain sub reddits. I’ve had a pretty positive experience here overall, but there’s another place I’ve been frequenting that is pretty much exclusively Season 8 fans, so it’s refreshing for me since I loved it and still love the show overall. My comment had nothing to do with your squabble with Light King. I just know he’s a fan as well, so I wanted to put that out there.

      I have no issue with you. We don’t agree on the final seasons and that’s fine. You’ve been here for years with me and we’ve had many discussions over that time. I don’t harbor any ill will towards you.

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    52. Ten Bears:
      As long as we’re commiserating about missing the show, for nostalgia’s sake here’s a pre-Season 2 Thronecast interview of Charles Dance.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEzpu4H9gGg

      At 5:02 – 5:57, he’s asked about his favorite scene. Answer (of course): It’s with Maisie Williams, in S2e7.

      Charles Dance: “I’ve got quite a few scenes with that wonderful little girl…who’s desperate to stick a knife in my back.”

      “…And she’s fabulous actually, great great kid.

      That might be my favorite non-action scene as well. Those Arya-Tywin conversations will always have a special place in my heart. They were…luminescent 😉

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    53. Jack Bauer 24: I meant being ridiculed elsewhere like on social media and certain sub reddits. I’ve had a pretty positive experience here overall, but there’s another place I’ve been frequenting that is pretty much exclusively Season 8 fans, so it’s refreshing for me since I loved it and still love the show overall. My comment had nothing to do with your squabble with Light King. I just know he’s a fan as well, so I wanted to put that out there.

      I have no issue with you. We don’t agree on the final seasons and that’s fine. You’ve been here for years with me and we’ve had many discussions over that time. I don’t harbor any ill will towards you.

      Thanks for that. I appreciate it and I’m glad you found a place where you can discuss with fellow fans who generally agree on everything. I know you loved the final season Jack and I think that’s terrific.

      I think it’s worth noting that Light King’s behavior here has been extremely poor and he’s been one of the more disrespectful posters here in a little while. I would caution against rewarding that behavior as well as exposing your friends to such a person. That was the spirit of my comment.

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    54. Ten Bears: As long as we’re commiserating about missing the show, for nostalgia’s sake here’s a pre-Season 2 Thronecast interview of Charles Dance.

      At 5:02 – 5:57, he’s asked about his favorite scene. Answer (of course): It’s with Maisie Williams, in S2e7.

      Charles Dance: “I’ve got quite a few scenes with that wonderful little girl…who’s desperate to stick a knife in my back.”

      “…And she’s fabulous actually, great great kid.”

      Thanks, Ten Bears!

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    55. Jack Bauer 24,

      I’m positive you and I have already discussed the dragonpit scene and my issues with it. There’s no real point in getting into the specifics again. Your mind is already made up, so let’s just agree to disagree 🙂

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    56. Adrianacandle,

      … And here’s a bookend to the Charles Dance pre-Season 2 Thronecast interview:

      Maisie Williams’s pre-Season 2 Thronecast interview (in early 2012, I think.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYnK5ZLMKVA

      at 5:45 – 6:40, she’s asked about working with Charles Dance, and the Tywin & Arya show-only (non-book) scenes.

      at 5:45
      Q: “We talked to Charles Dance recently, and he told us you were his favorite actor in the whole series. Was he someone you were aware of? What was it like working with him?”

      Also….
      at 1:14 Auditioning process; dancing background.
      1:42 Audition – sing and dance
      1:50 -1:57 Asked if she’s disappointed no singing in GoT *

      * Flash forward to 2020 Audi Super Bowl commercial, in which Maisie Williams sings “Let It Go,” recorded at Abbey Road Studios.

      —————-
      Okay, I admit I am an unabashed ASNAWP Fan Boy. Still, am I wrong that this girl just exudes charm and charisma? I mean, Charles Dance used words like “wonderful” and “fabulous” to describe her.

      Plus, when I first started watching GoT, I was five seconds away from clicking off my remote just a few minutes into the first episode … until that arrow zinged into the bullseye 🎯 and that mischievous little girl took a bow.
      So I never would’ve continued watching the show but for Arya/Maisie Williams. I am not sure there are many other child actresses who could’ve pulled it off the way she did. Apparently, the Big Kahuna and the Two Ds felt the same way. They’ve often talked about how finding her was a godsend.

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    57. Mr Derp,

      Did you write a list or something? I never called someone a “arrogant moron” on this site. I meant the people on Youtube and Reddit. Yeah, I called you hater, because you are one. I never saw a positive comment from you, just complaining and there is indeed much wrong with this fandom. The examples are all there and I bet that you reported my account to the admins back then, because you didn’t like my positive comments about the show. The showrunners are great people so I don’t unterstand were the problem is, when I call them Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss. You didn’t even read my whole comment and you attacked me in the first sentence so I will not give you a answer.

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    58. Ten Bears: So I never would’ve continued watching the show but for Arya/Maisie Williams. I am not sure there are many other child actresses who could’ve pulled it off the way she did. Apparently, the Big Kahuna and the Two Ds felt the same way. They’ve often talked about how finding her was a godsend.

      Thanks for those other links!

      I agree with this. When I was watching HDM, I thought MW would be great in the role of Lyra. Lyra and Arya have differences, that’s true and DK is fine, but I think MW has the right spirit for Lyra (and if this were 2009, would look the right age for the role — 11 . I think 14-year old DK was a bit too mature looking for 11-year old Lyra).

      MW is perfect as Arya. Those casting photos GRRM had on his LiveJournal a while back showed Arya rather than MW, I think.

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    59. Mr Derp,

      So out of eveything I said you will talk about this point? Ok.

      I know you always make excuses for hate against D&D on reddit and on twitter and YT because you were insulted here by one (1) S8 fan, and I was on the other hand talking about a huge sub with over a million people who said horrible things about showrunners.

      But go on. Talk about “toxic” D&D fans. That’s the real problem in this fandom.

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    60. My account requires activation by the administrator group. Has anyone had any luck making an account lately, or am I doomed to be forever account-less?

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    61. Mr Derp,

      oh pls, yes yes we know we all have our gripes about it all. But Im really tired of reliving all that and would prefer that we focus on the why this all happened and why so many people, like you, continue to think on it. If not, then Ill just plan on scrolling. no biggie, just a thought

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    62. Ten Bears,

      I could probably spend many hours just listening to interviews with the cast; and Dance well I could listen to him read from a phone book and be quite delighted ..

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    63. Adrianacandle,

      ” MW is perfect as Arya. Those casting photos GRRM had on his LiveJournal a while back showed Arya rather than MW, I think.”

      I’m not sure I understand. The GRRM blog casting photos I remember first had a black & white head shot of a gap-toothed young Maisie Williams, followed by a few photos of MW in leotards holding a Needle-type sword.

      Or do you mean to say that MW looked so much like fans imagined Arya to look based on the books’ description, that looking at the casting photos was like seeing Arya come to life? Because that’s exactly what many of the commenters under the LiveJournal entry were saying.

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    64. Adrianacandle,

      P.S. I have not seen “His Dark Materials” (HDM) or read the books.
      Next up on my “To Watch” list is “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” I’ve been meaning to start watching that show for some time. I have not been able to. (For better or worse, I am working from home, so my time is still not my own. 😷)

      I take it that “Lyra” is a young heroine in HDM.

      Should I read the HDM books before ASOIAF?

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    65. Sue the Fury:
      Farimer123,

      Sorry, Russian bots abound by the thousand so we usually need a heads up when you want to activate. It should be active now.

      Hi there! I’ve been activated for the Forum section for some time, so no problems on my end.

      However, from other commenters’ recounting of their experiences with the activation process, I suspect they’ll want to know how to give you a heads up when they want to activate.

      I’ve been looking forward to posting more in the Forum section once it’s more populated.

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    66. Ten Bears,

      Or do you mean to say that MW looked so much like fans imagined Arya to look based on the books’ description, that looking at the casting photos was like seeing Arya come to life? Because that’s exactly what many of the commenters under the LiveJournal entry were saying.

      Ah, sorry — I wasn’t clear T_T Yes, this is what I meant! I was thinking of those photos of MW holding that sword 🙂

      Next up on my “To Watch” list is “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” I’ve been meaning to start watching that show for some time. I have not been able to. (For better or worse, I am working from home, so my time is still not my own. 😷)

      YAY! I’m glad it’s next! Tell me what you think when you’re able to!

      I take it that “Lyra” is a young heroine in HDM.

      Should I read the HDM books before ASOIAF?

      Yes, Lyra is HDM’s protagonist — I think Tron mentioned reading the books helped with understanding the television series and its universe. There are three books, they’re not very long (300-500 pages each, I think), and it’s a complete series! 🙂

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    67. ash:
      Ten Bears,

      I could probably spend many hours just listening to interviews with the cast; and Dance well I could listen to him read from a phone book and be quite delighted ..

      Me too! Although I’m sure I’ve seen some of these cast interviews before, so many years have passed that it’s like taking a trip down memory lane. Plus, knowing now what the young actors have accomplished on the show and in other endeavors in the intervening years since their S1 or S2 interviews makes those interviews so much more enjoyable to rewatch.

      That’s why, for example, I got a kick out of young Maisie talk about her trepidation about singing – because I can match that up with her more-confident, present day self talking about the opportunity to sing in the Audi commercial. (The Audi “Behind the Scenes” or “Making of” video is better than the TV commercial itself.)

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    68. There will never be a show like GOT in my lifetime. I can literally list hundreds of scenes that I consider to be the best television has to offer. It also has many outstanding characters that I will unlikely ever forget. If House of the Dragon is half as good, I will consider it to be a great success.

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    69. Jon Snowed,
      Isn’t it sad though that for many people it might take a 2nd viewing to appreciate the technical mastery of it all? I mean I understand being in the moment of the plot but at the end you’ve still got to appreciate the work.

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    70. Mr Derp,

      I find this post very strange because earlier you claimed you didn’t want to beat a dead horse.

      Anyway, no, Danerys sacking King’s Landing didn’t go against her character at all. Danerys has always had dark impulses and she’s threatened to burn down cities before. There’s a scene in season 6 where she’s seriously considering burning down Yunkai and Astapor. Besides all the other morally questionable things she’s done, that one scene alone makes all the criticisms of how burning down King’s Landing was out of character or it came out of nowhere fall completely flat.

      She was loved by many slaves the moment she liberated the cities. They proclaimed her to be Mysa and the Breaker of Chains. They did not choose the masters over her, whereas the people of King’s Landing chose Cersei. And it wasn’t just their rejection. There were many factors in play. Rhaegal’s death, Missandei’s death, Sansa’s betrayal, Varys’s betrayal, losing confidence in Tyrion, Jon’s rejection, etc. All of these things happening at once caused Danerys to give in to her dark impulses.

      Saying that it was out of character for Danerys to burn King’s Landing because she had already won doesn’t really hold water either. She had won when attacking Mereen, but the violence didn’t stop there. She moved on to the punishment phase and crucified masters for the dead children, some of whom were innocent of the crime she was accusing them of. Burning down King’s Landing was a punishment to the people who chose Cersei, which led to the deaths of Missandei and Rhaegal.

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    71. Jon Snowed: That said though rewatch it again and it’s a masterwork of television which for sheer scale has no rival. Yes, there are a couple of minor plot points which feel a bit dumb but it’s brilliant action TV

      Isn’t it sad though that for many people it might take a 2nd viewing to appreciate the technical mastery of it all? I mean I understand being in the moment of the plot but at the end you’ve still got to appreciate the work.

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    72. Grandmaester Flash:
      Part of the magic of GoT was also the prosaic fact that it was screened as weekly episodes.So we had the pleasure of discussing it and speculating, with everyone on the same page.

      I’m denied that with The Last Kingdom because the fan sites are full of people who have already watched all ten episodes, though it’s been available for less than a day.Such a shame.

      I like to savour things properly, taste and digest them before moving on to the next course.We had no other option with GoT, and our enjoyment was enhanced by that.

      This 100%. I’m unable to binge watch shows because I just can’t take in that much at a time without inevitably forgetting something. It’s so much more enjoyable and enriching to the experience to watch, reflect, and discuss.

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    73. DavidQ:
      Jon Snowed,
      Isn’t it sad though that for many people it might take a 2nd viewing to appreciate the technical mastery of it all? I mean I understand being in the moment of the plot but at the end you’ve still got to appreciate the work.

      Out of the 73 episodes spanning eight seasons there are so many eminently rewatchable scenes that make me appreciate the technical mastery and the storytelling, even if a few episodes or a few storylines (in my subjective view) didn’t quite fire on all cylinders.

      I’ve also accepted that everybody’s tastes are different. Personally, I didn’t like the whole High Sparrow story line, I thought the Ramsay-Theon torture porn scenes went on far too long, and every scene with Euron was a waste of precious screen time. That’s just me though. I’m sure there are other viewers who enjoyed those aspects.

      And although Arya and Sandor were my favorite characters, and just about every scene they were in was phenomenal, I for one wasn’t thrilled with Arya’s “big moment,” taking out the Night King. Similarly, while I found Arya & Sandor’s final scene together to be touching, I felt “Cleganebowl” was (to use the cliche term) pure fan service, did not comport with Sandor’s character evolution, and was an unfulfilling and inappropriate ending for Sandor Clegane.

      Yet, I fully accept that for a large segment of the fandom, Arya ex machina at the end of S8e3 was a fist-pump moment, and Cleganebowl fulfilled a long-time desire for the two big guys to face off and fight to the death.

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    74. Jack Bauer 24: What is the big issue with the Dragonpit scene? King Bran the Broken has the best story and that is what Westeros needs moving forward. Tyrion’s speech was brilliant and heartfelt and couldn’t have been any better. The other lords and ladies were swayed by the speech and realized Bran is what they needed….

      Hey Jack! Unless you were just trying to incite a spirited debate with your unqualified praise, this S8e6 scene is probably a good example of what I mean by viewers’ subjective perceptions.

      You obviously thought it was an effective scene, and that Tyrion’s speech was br*****nt.

      Mr. Derp felt that in his opinion, “the dragonpit meeting… was a complete disaster, went against everything GoT previously stood for, and made very little sense in the scheme of things.”

      I’m afraid I have to concur with Mr. Derp. That scene made me cringe. I thought Tyrion’s speech was awful as written and as delivered. I winced listening to Peter Dinklage try to speak those words with conviction. Admittedly, my expectations were through the roof for the series finale. I was hoping to be blown away. I wasn’t. My “immersion” was destroyed when I was listening to Tyrion trying to impart profundity to the proposition that “stories” are the most powerful force, and then asserting that out of all people Bran had “the best” story.

      Perhaps if the camera hadn’t cut away and the scene abruptly ended during S8e2 when Tyrion pulled up a chair and was about to listen to Bran’s story, Tyrion’s rah rah speech in S8e6 might have been more impactful. I don’t know.

      However, there’s no right or wrong here. If you felt those in attendance were swayed by Tyrion’s speech, so be it. I was hoping for something really inspiring like Oberyn’s “I will be your champion” speech in S4e7, but maybe that speech didn’t resonate with you the way it did for me. And frankly, I would not expect Benioff and Weiss to be able to craft an emotionally evocative speech in the limited time they had versus the Big Kahuna, who has the luxury of taking as long as he wants to write and rewrite dialogue.

      One question though – and I am NOT mocking you – why did you feel that “King Bran the Broken has the best story” and “that is what Westeros needs going forward”?

      I’ve tried to go through various characters’ stories and how they’d best serve the interests of a more progressive, less divisive society. Compared to other candidates, I had difficulty articulating for Bran a more compelling story, and listing his qualifications as an acceptable, effective leader.

      So how and why did Bran have “the best” story, in your view? I want to be persuaded.

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    75. Clob: ASNAWP!!!

      Pretty sure I couldn’t manage my excitement if that ever got announced.

      About an Arya spinoff down the road: Isn’t it a simple matter of common sense and economics?
      As long as they get competent, creative producers and halfway decent writers, it would be an instant cash cow for HBO, with a built-in audience ready to go. No need for excessive promotion and marketing.

      A GoT sequel starring a fan favorite actress reprising her role as one of the most popular characters in the most successful TV series in history… It’s kind of a no-brainer.

      Unless House of the Dragon is a runaway hit and becomes HBO’s new juggernaut, the GoT fandom is going to have a hankering for a return to the fictional world of GoT within a few years.

      Maisie Williams will have had a well-deserved opportunity to unwind and recharge. It’d just be a matter of presenting quality scripts and backing in a Brink’s truck full of cash into her driveway to induce her to climb back on board. (A smart producer would also pledge, in writing, to match Maisie Williams’s salary dollar for dollar with donations to the charitable causes she’s championed.) A flexible filming schedule leaving her enough time to pursue film roles would be a good enticement as well.

      Hell, if Patrick Stewart could be persuaded to return as Captain Picard in his own series 25 years after Star Trek: The Next Generation concluded its seven-year run in 1996. why not Maisie Williams as Arya five years from now?

      “I’d pay good money to see that.”

      S. Clegane

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    76. Regarding Dany I think you nailed it here. The way her story arc ended seems to be the biggest bone of contention within S8 and largely because of the following:
      a) Many people saw her as the hero of the story clearly the books & show had built her up this way.
      b) That said both mediums dropped significant breadcrumbs to suggest this is how it could play out so much so several posters here and elsewhere had predicted this.
      c) The execution was done in a way that it felt more rushed, disjointed and done for shock value.

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    77. Alright, this thread flared up!
      It was a good post and fun to read, thank you Marc.
      I never thought of GoT as a soap, but I think you have a point.
      The show is certainly worth rewatching for the in-world building, the detailed richness of it is unique and it will take many years before any show can match its supremacy, let alone exceed it.
      And when (if ever) the book is completed, I think that fans will be able to apreciate it more.
      I’m waiting for that moment to make better sense of the last three episodes of the entire series though.
      Unless I see it written and well framed, nothing will ever convince me that Bran will be the ruler of the six kingdoms (just connecting to the discussion above), or that Tyrion walks free after so many crimes (outs that one hurt the most).

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    78. Fireandblood87:
      Ten Bears,

      Maisie William’s said the only way she would ever return and it was a big if is if D&D were writing and in charge.

      Maisie Williams said she would return if “they invent zips and not have leather costumes that are laced up”. It’s all Williams said she would need to return to the show. Cunningham asked if that’s all she would need and Maisie said yes.

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    79. Ten Bears,

      I think the word “brilliant” would only lose its meaning if a poster applies it to many things, not just one. For instance, if Jack or Light King called every show they’ve ever watched brilliant, it wouldn’t really mean anything. After all, if everything is brilliant, nothing is. Since they’re only using it to describe Game of Thrones, brilliant is as good a word to use as any.

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    80. Fireandblood87:
      Ten Bears,

      Maisie William’s said the only way she would ever return and it was a big if is if D&D were writing and in charge.

      Picture this future scenario…

      HBO Exec: “Here Ms. Williams. $6,000,000 cash up front for you, plus six cashier’s checks for $1,000,000 each payable to the Dolphin Project; WaterAid; National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; Small Steps Project; Greenpeace; and Bristol Animal Rescue Centre.”*
      Just sign on the dotted line and we’re good to go.”

      MW: “Who’s the producer?

      HBO Exec: “You are.”

      MW: “Who are the writers?”

      HBO Exec: “Anyone you want.”

      MW: “Who will be the directors?”

      HBO Exec: “Speak three names. A man will do the rest.”

      *According to an article this morning she just donated £50,000 (roughly equal to $61,225 US dollars I think) to Bristol Animal Rescue Centre.

      https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/game-thrones-actress-maisie-williams-4084114

      I really do not believe the potential non-involvement of Benioff and Weiss would be a deal-breaker.

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    81. Ten Bears,

      Maisie never said that about D&D anyway. Fireandblood87 made it up. Or perhaps was mistaken.

      Maisie did say that she would have a hard time picturing a sequel/prequel/spin-off without D&D, but never said that she wouldn’t do it again without D&D. Her only stipulation was more comfortable clothing, lol. There never was any “big if” regarding D&D.

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    82. “I Miss Game of Thrones. But Why?”

      Excellent essay. Here are my answers to your (rhetorical) question:

      — Source material: a vast, intricate, and detailed fantasy world that looks much like a real world. Multiple intersecting character arcs to explore classic themes of power, justice, war, etc.

      — Adaptation: removes most of the (few) magical elements in favor of grittier reality. There are no easy answers here. Main writers are already successful, published authors with Master’s Degrees in literature.

      — Technology: HD format allows for “deep-focus” type cinematography and seamless integration of CGI for world-building and action sequences.

      — Cinematography: gorgeous photography of both many large sets in Belfast, and carefully-scouted locations in Ireland, Malta, Croatia, and Spain.

      — Lastly and most importantly: Cast & Crew: best in the business, especially in such huge numbers.

      And, once the screen goes dark at the end of the episode, you’re back in your world of running water, refrigerated food, and constitutional democracy! 😉

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    83. I’m in the category of the ending made me indifferent to the rest of the series. I haven’t gone back and watched a single second of any of it since it ended. Not out of anger, just indifference. I wasn’t one demanding remakes of the final season, as their creatives choices are what they are. But what it resulted in was me not caring, total indifference to the story or having any desire to relive the story.

      I may soften on this as they years go by, in fact I’m sure I will and I will go back and watch some of it. I can’t imagine ever watching season 8 again though. It was one of the more frustrating things I’ve ever witnessed in film or television.

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    84. I miss Game of Thrones because I love it. It’s one of my golden trio regarding my favorite TV shows and my highest rated show per individual episodes, I love the overly grand story, the enormous enseble cast of complex characters, amazing visuals and effects and Ramin Djawadi’s soundtrack. It’s the only TV show out there were I’m fully entertained by every single episode… where watching and rewatching every episode feels like a “big thing” and I would also say GoT has a really quality cast overall, considering almost all characters to the most side ones remained so memorable to me. I miss the thrill, the “feel-good vibe” and the emotions this TV show always induces me and I definitely look forward to rewatching it in near future and probably appreciating it and absorbing it even more deeply with repeated journeys (as it’s usually the case with my favorite TV shows). And with my girlfriend watching the show for first time at the moment and being completely in love with it (she’s 3 episodes into S6), I miss the show even more.

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    85. I miss Game of Thrones.

      It hit me last week when I heard Pod (Daniel Portman) singing “Jenny’s song” (S8E2). The refain goes “She never wanted to leave… she never wanted to leave…”

      I never wanted leave. For years, I’d lived in this world, and now it’s over (pending future books.)

      What I miss most is the community. Us all speculating and discussing and joking and sharing memes and having a good time.

      Sure, even now there are book-focussed communities – and I love the books, think them superior to the show. But I don’t hate/slate the show, so in some places my views aren’t welcome.

      Marc’s other two points. Yes, GoT was a soap opera, so what? We enjoy the human drama, grisly at time as it might be, because we, as humans are interested in what other humans would do, and do and did in various, even extreme circumstances.

      GRRM said he’s interested in writing about the human heart in conflict with itself. Human drama. It was one of the strenghts of GoT to be so character-driven – sometimes to the detriment of plot, logic etc.

      Also because the producers had assembled an amazing, multi-national cast. The actors lived through the ASoIaF for us. They all did such an excellent job. And not just the big stars, main role players. Think of Pyp. From a side note to Jon’s friend who dies at the Battle for the Wall (S4E9, I think).

      So that expains the “soap opera”, or character-driven drama.

      The first point Marc makes is, how REAL the tv show made all these places in Westeros and Essos. Huge thanks goes to Deborah Riley (sets) and Michelle Clapton (costumes), who made it all feel real.

      Thanks to their talent and work, we could just transport ourselves, even immerse ourselves, in this ASoIaF world. Lose ourselves in this world. They made it look so real, a real world we could lose ourselves in. Marc said it first, I concur.

      Whatever you think of the writing and the ending, you must see that this tv-series is a benchmark for future excellence in tv, and even film-making.

      As a tv-show, GoT is without peer.

      Lots of book-fans decry the tv-show. It’s not like the books! Well, for one thing, the books aren’t there.

      I’m a book fan. We’ve got, and reread 5/7 of the books… Well, I think it might be more like book 6/8 or 6/9, or 6/10 or whatever, in their good time. Judging by GRRM’s gardening, and slow style of writing, TWoW might get out in 2022, the rest 15 years apart. Except GRRM is now in his mid-70s, so will he live long enough to write all this shit? Or will I live long enough to read it? haha. (That was a hollow, mirthless laugh.)

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    86. …why did you feel that “King Bran the Broken has the best story” and “that is what Westeros needs going forward”?

      I regarded that as a rhetorical trick — one that Tyrion himself doesn’t really respect, but it’s all he’s got on short notice — to get the other Great Lords & Ladies of Westeros to accept quickly the only real solution they have. They don’t have time for a leisurely debate, because the Unsullied and Dothraki want Jon dead, and the Northern Army won’t let that happen without a fight.

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    87. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending:
      …why did you feel that “King Bran the Broken has the best story” and “that is what Westeros needs going forward”?

      I regarded that as a rhetorical trick — one that Tyrion himself doesn’t really respect, but it’s all he’s got on short notice — to get the other Great Lords & Ladies of Westeros to accept quickly the only real solution they have. They don’t have time for a leisurely debate, because the Unsullied and Dothraki want Jon dead, and the Northern Army won’t let that happen without a fight.

      Lucifer means Lightbringer (LmL) has a series of YouTube vids explaining Bran the King. The Summer King. They help make sense of the TV show’s ending.

      So… though… I never understood why the Unsullied and the Dothraki never kicked up shit. After Jon apparently killed their messiah (Dothraki), their “mysha” (Unsullied).

      Because the foucus was on the western, Westerosi, world. A man of an old, entitled noble Westerosi family explained it all away, and apparently the Dothraki were OK with their religious messiah – who led them across the poison water etc. – getting killed, and just nicely got on the ships provided for them to go away and not complicate the show-writers’ job.

      The Unsullied similarly just went away (to Naath, apparently, to die of butterfly sickness). OK, Grey Worm tried to get some justice for his liberator, his Queen, but he was against the Westerosi establishment. They circled wagons and defended their way of life. Probably congratulated themselves when the Unsullied problem sailed to Naath. And the Dothraki screamers nicely and docilely boarded ships to sail away to not be problems to the screenwriters.

      All that said, warts and all, I really liked the TV show. I miss it.

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    88. talvikorppi,

      That Lucifer guy is constantly calling the showrunners hacks. Engages with the dragon demands who is a lunatic. They both say some extremely vile things about the showrunners. The show also doesn’t have the butterfly sickness ever mentioned.

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    89. Ten Bears,

      Mr Derp,

      I did not make it up. Saying she couldn’t see doing anything without them is basically saying she would want them involved. I get it D&D are the devils to lots of GOT fans apparently the worst writers ever. I didn’t make anything up though.

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    90. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      …And with my girlfriend watching the show for first time at the moment and being completely in love with it (she’s 3 episodes into S6), I miss the show even more.”

      My lord! I sure hope you’re going to be there to comfort your gf when she reaches the last fifteen minutes of S6e5. Jeez, that segment went from a pleasant visit to Past Winterfell into a crazy time loop clusterf*ck, until the frenetic ending left one (me) shellshocked.

      Nice job Bran. RIP Hodor. RIP 3ER 1.0. RIP Leaf. RIP Summer.

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    91. Fireandblood87:
      Ten Bears,

      Mr Derp,

      I did not make it up. Saying she couldn’t see doing anything without them is basically saying she would want them involved. I get it D&D are the devils to lots of GOT fans apparently the worst writers ever. I didn’t make anything up though.

      No one here is saying that D&D are the devils. You seem to have a bit of an unhealthy persecution complex when it comes to D&D.

      This is what you said word-for-word: Maisie Williams said the only way she would ever return and it was a big if is if D&D were writing and in charge.

      This is what was actually said at the San Diego Comic-Con when asked if she’d be interested in doing more Thrones: “If they invent zips and not have leather costumes that are laced up, that would be cool,” said Williams, to which Cunningham asked, “That’s all you would need?” Her simple response: “Yeah.”

      This is what she said about D&D: ”I can hand-over-my-heart say that I don’t think there’s going to be a spin-off, the show was only what it was because of David and Dan, the show’s creators.

      ”They brought me into this world and it would be strange to do something without them. But I do think playing Arya again would be wonderful. I miss her a lot. I think the show needs to stew for a little bit, but there maybe ways down the road?”’

      No doubt she would like D&D involved, but that’s very different than what you said. You twisted her words around.

      Mistakes happen. It’s fine. We all make them. Just own up to it instead of doubling down.

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    92. talvikorppi,

      ”…. The actors lived through the ASoIaF for us. They all did such an excellent job. And not just the big stars, main role players.”

      Allow me to give a shout out to a few other really great actresses and actors who played brief but memorable supporting roles, including

      • Birgitte Hjort Sorensen as Karsi.
      • Burn Gorman as Karl “the fooking legend of Gin Alley” Tanner.
      • Noah Taylor as Locke.
      • Jim Broadbent as Maester Ebrose. [Big name, A-List actor who disappeared into his role]
      • Essie Davis as Lady Crane.

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    93. Fireandblood87:
      Ten Bears,

      Mr Derp,

      I did not make it up. Saying she couldn’t see doing anything without them is basically saying she would want them involved…

      I am not challenging you. I just do not recall Maisie Williams ever saying that she couldn’t see doing anything [i.e., a spinoff] without Benioff and Weiss being involved.

      Do you have a link or a reference?

      I do recall watching the interview Mr. Derp cited, in which Maisie, in an exchange with Liam Cunningham, said she’d be up for it so long as she could have more comfortable costumes.

      The only other reservation I’m aware of came right after the end of filming, when MW said she was looking forward to some free time to enjoy life and do whatever she wanted, without jumping right into another commitment.

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    94. …just nicely got on the ships provided for them to go away and not complicate the show-writers’ job.

      OK, that got a smile and a laugh. Well played, sir!

      Seriously, Jorah explained to Dany how the Dothraki follow strong leaders. Once her final dragon was gone and she was dead, she was no longer a strong leader, so they were free to go wherever they wanted. Westeros lacks wide-open spaces full of easy victims, so they departed. (They may well have had rather, um, spirited disagreements over details, but those were not important to the story, so we saw nothing.)

      The Unsullied likewise had no master to follow, so they left an alien land for new horizons, after Grey Worm spurned Ser Davos’ offer of becoming landed gentry in southern Westeros.

      Grey Worm tried to get some justice for his liberator, his Queen, but he was against the Westerosi establishment. They circled wagons and defended their way of life.

      A guy whose hands were still smeared with the blood of defenseless, surrendered prisoners tries ‘to get some justice’? That may well be the most Game of Thrones idea on this entire thread! Again, well-played, sir!

      A man of an old, entitled noble Westerosi family explained it all away…

      If entitled white guys can’t get their way on Westeros, where can they? 😉

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    95. Mr Derp:
      Ten Bears,

      Don’t forget Kinvara!She was great.I was hoping to see more of her.

      Ackkkkk!!!! You’re right!
      Ania Bukstein was exotic, mysterious and spooky as Kinvara! I had really been looking forward to seeing her again, and was disappointed when she did not return.

      I also should have mentioned Rila Fukushima, the Volantis street priestess who unnerved Tyrion.

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    96. Mr Derp,

      (You quoted MW): ”They [Benioff and Weiss] brought me into this world and it would be strange to do something without them. But I do think playing Arya again would be wonderful. I miss her a lot. I think the show needs to stew for a little bit, but there maybe ways down the road?”

      That’s good enough for me! She left the door open just enough for that Brink’s truck to drive through.

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    97. Speaking of continuations, what are some of your ideas for a potential sequel to GoT?

      From S6 onward, they kept bringing up Volantis, even when they could have brought up any other city. Melisandre traveled there after her part in S7, having “brought Ice and Fire together.” The Faith of R’hllor certainly believe there is something special about Dany, and apparently Melisandre alone discovered there was also something special about Jon, especially after she succeeded in bringing him back. Maybe she went to Volantis to inform Kinvara that Dany was only a part of the divine puzzle, that this Jon person was important too.

      Both Jon and Dany were slain by treacherous knives in the heart. I explained in an earlier thread how Kinvara could potentially resurrect Dany in Volantis, which Drogon was last seen flying toward. D&D confirmed Samwell was saying “Volantis”; if Drogon was really flying to Valyria, why would they fake us out with Volantis and later confirm Volantis?

      We could also see how Sansa’s doing being the Queen in the North, how a woman’s managing to rule all of those proud, stubborn Northern lords.

      Also, how Bran’s doing being the Ruler of the Six Kingdoms, which should be pretty interesting, considering the fragile peace that took hold in the wake of his election, along with his Small Council of merry misfits.

      Maybe Arya may find something interesting beyond the Sunset Sea (like she just sails around the world and visits Asshai, which would be fucking awesome to see).

      Jon could be dividing his time between the Wall and beyond, helping Tormund and the wildlings reestablish themselves. Maybe at some point, he’ll venture into the FAR north, where winter still holds sway, and discover the intact ruins of the White Walkers’ ancestral stronghold and base-of-operations. Maybe the White Walkers have only been temporarily vanquished by Arya essentially slaying the “avatar” of the Great Other, and they could potentially return, stronger than ever. EDIT: So Jon has that to worry about, and then one day he receives word that Dany has been resurrected, so he’s like “Aw shit, here we go again”.

      I think the possibilities are endless.

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    98. Farimer123,

      “All Men Must Dine” – cooking show with Hot Pie-and-Friends that takes place at the Inn.

      That was an idea of mine until a restaurant in London called “All Men Must Dine” actually opened! Oh well.

      Perhaps a show called “The Crossroads Inn” or “The Inn at the Crossroads” where we get to see the shenanigans of Hot Pie and guests every week.

      “The Rich Housewives of Westeros

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    99. Farimer123,

      “All Men Must Dine” – cooking show with Hot Pie-and-Friends that takes place at the Inn.

      That was an idea of mine until a restaurant in London called “All Men Must Dine” actually opened! Oh well.

      Perhaps a show called “The Crossroads Inn” or “The Inn at the Crossroads” where we get to see the shenanigans of Hot Pie and guests every week.

      “The Rich Housewives of Westeros”

      Hmm, I’ll have to think on this.

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    100. “All Men Must Dine” – cooking show with Hot Pie-and-Friends that takes place at the Inn.

      That was an idea of mine until a restaurant in London called “All Men Must Dine” actually opened! Oh well.

      Perhaps a show called “The Crossroads Inn” or “The Inn at the Crossroads” where we get to see the shenanigans of Hot Pie and guests every week.

      “The Rich Housewives of Westeros”

      Hmm, Ill have to think more on this when I have a chance.

      I accidentally posted this a few times with a typo in my name, so they’re probably in moderation.

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    101. Farimer123,

      Daenerys gets resurrected and flies back to westeros to burn the whole continent so that everyone can cry again that it makes no sense and that we need another two seasons to justify it. In the end Drogon eats Jon and Ghost 😀

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    102. Ten Bears:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      …And with my girlfriend watching the show for first time at the moment and being completely in love with it (she’s 3 episodes into S6), I miss the show even more.”

      My lord! I sure hope you’re going to be there to comfort your gf when she reaches the last fifteen minutes of S6e5. Jeez, that segment went from a pleasant visit to Past Winterfell into a crazy time loop clusterf*ck, until the frenetic ending left one (me) shellshocked.

      Nice job Bran. RIP Hodor. RIP 3ER 1.0. RIP Leaf. RIP Summer.

      I will definitely be there for her, even if not physically as we live in different countries. But I did get the chance to watch a couple GoT episodes together with her during my last couple visits, including the one where Joffrey dies.

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    103. Farimer123,

      These are all interesting ideas for a sequel. However, as a practical matter, the actors who played those characters (e.g. Melisandre, Jon and Sansa) might not be available – or willing – to reprise their roles.
      Casting unfamiliar faces for those well-known characters might not sit well with the fandom.

      However, as for your suggestion that “Kinvara could potentially resurrect Dany in Volantis, which Drogon was last seen flying toward,” I’d totally be on board with a sequel starring Ania Bukstein as Red Temple High Priestess Kinvara. GoT left a lot of unanswered questions about the Lord of Light, his disciples, and their powers.

      As the old show biz adage goes: “Always leave ‘em wanting more.” GoT accomplished that with Kinvara and her crew.

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    104. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Well, Skype, Face Time, or even a comforting voice on the other end of the telephone should suffice.

      Let me suggest that as traumatic as Ned’s beheading and the Red Wedding were, many devoted fans had a head’s up something was coming from book readers’ online commentaries. As far as I know, the Hodor reveal took everyone by surprise.

      It was all the more shocking (for me at least) because Hodor had been portrayed as a big lovable teddy bear – the kind of character usually reserved for comic relief, not horror and tragedy.
      I was left stunned at the end of “The Door.” Jack Bender and the editors did an amazing job with the pacing of that final sequence, the back-and-forth between present and past, and the final harrowing image of poor flailing Wyllis on the ground as the screen faded to black.

      I wish I had someone to grieve with or comfort me after that episode….

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    105. Ten Bears,

      Well, Melisandre is kinda dead as fuck. But all the actors seem to look back on their experience very fondly, and they got paid a truck-load of money playing those roles. Having D&D back as the showrunners (perhaps with GRRM in the background giving them some outlines for potential story threads) would be the surest way to get them back on board, but it doesn’t 100% HAVE to be D&D, just someone who can fill their shoes, turn in quality writing, hire all the right people, and otherwise manage the absolutely mammoth production that such a sequel would entail.

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    106. Farimer123,

      My suggest for a sequel: “In search of the honeycomb and the jackass”.

      With his falcon on the shoulder, Robin Arryn wanders around Westeros to live the story he almost heard from Tyrion.

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    107. Ten Bears: why did you feel that “King Bran the Broken has the best story” and “that is what Westeros needs going forward”?

      I am among those who thought the scene fell flat and didn’t work (at least with me). It failed to touch me or enthrall me. But at the same time, I don’t find it absurd, on two aspects. First, this kind of 4th wall breaking by commenting on the fiction process (stores) really reminds me of the way several plays by Shakespeare end, so it makes sense in this very shakespearian show. Second, I understand what Tyrion means as: Bran was hurt and broken but not crushed and went his way… up to the throne, if we choose him; Westeros was hurt and broken, it can identify with Bran’s story to reconstruct : that’s what makes it ‘the best story’, at this point, for the realm, it just needs a good media campaign.
      Unrelated: I woke up thinking that the scene in the House of the Undying (throne room vs Drogo and son) represented ruling (throne) vs conquering (Khal, burning the stone houses, mounting the world,…). Obviously, I miss GOT too😉

        Quote  Reply

    108. I rewatched S8 towards the end of last year and enjoyed it significantly more I have to say in hindsight part of my mild disappointment was simply over expectation. Curiously though despite getting the S8 blu-ray as an Xmas present I have not gone back for a full series re-watch even with the pandemic going on and I cannot put my finger on why.

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    109. Jon Snowed: I have not gone back for a full series re-watch even with the pandemic going on and I cannot put my finger on why.

      Neither have I, and I know exactly why!
      I now own a blu-ray player, which I didn’t before. I still haven’t bought the blu-ray of S8 though, because I can’t decide whether to splash out on buying the whole series on blu-ray, replacing the DVDs that I already own.

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    110. Since we’re bringing it all up again ….

      My only disappointment with the way the story ended was that a lot seemed to be left out. I don’t mean loose ends (although there were some) but the way we were taken straight from the Daenerys death scene to the conference. We should have been shown what happened immediately after Drogon flew away, how Jon explained himself and the various reactions. That’s the main omission, and I felt that the episode should have ended with the Daenerys death scene. Showing the immediate aftermath in a final seventh episode would have led us into a more satisfying conclusion with fewer unanswered questions.

      There were other small linking scenes that I wanted to see, and I still don’t understand why they didn’t make time for them. Just conversation scenes, so none of it would have been elaborate or expensive.

      None of this would have appeased those who just didn’t like the outcome of the story, but it would have satisfied many other critics. I think D&D were probably too burned out to make it to the end, but afraid to let anyone else in. GRRM left them too much to do.

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    111. Grandmaester Flash,

      ”…There were other small linking scenes that I wanted to see, and I still don’t understand why they didn’t make time for them. Just conversation scenes, so none of it would have been elaborate or expensive.”

      That’s what I don’t get. For example, I (most of us) wanted to see Sansa and Arya’s reaction to the reveal of Jon’s parentage but that scene abruptly ended.

      Yet, lots of screen time (in S6e8) was spent showing Tyrion walking around grimacing and saying nothing, and Jon walking around and saying nothing.

      I still love the show! No need for the Brilliant Brigade to come out to controvert this comment.

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    112. Ten Bears,

      We had literally seen the R+L=J reveal explained three times in the last four episodes:

      1. Bran telling Samwell and those two further unveiling it
      2. Samwell telling Jon, whose had a dramatic stake in the circumstances of his birth for the entire series
      3. Jon telling Dany, whose had a dramatic stake in her “claim” to the Iron Throne for the entire series

      Did we really need to see Jon or Bran explain it a fourth time? And to his sisters, who were really just bystanders in this whole thing? The answer is no, because it would’ve been redundant as hell. We kinda got to see Sansa’s reaction later by way of her conversation with Tyrion, and then Tyrion’s reaction by way of his conversation with Varys.

      The crucial point of the scene with Jon and the Stark children in the godswood was his choice to tell them at all. We didn’t need to see yet more people gasp in shock. We had already established that it probably wasn’t going to change the nature of their relationships – Jon was really just as much Ned’s child as any of them and their brother, no matter what.

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    113. Farimer123,

      I beg to differ (rather slightly). Daenerys’ gasp wasnt’t the only thing that should be on screen.
      The entire story is built around the events that surround the circumstances of Jon’s birth.
      Daenerys’ life was built on a lie.
      Jon’s life was built on a lie.
      His siblings’ lives were immediately affected and in a sense they were deceived too.
      The Northmen’s lives were immediately affected.

      We didn’t see anything that had to do with the reputation of Ned -apart from Jon’s scene in the crypts, but Jon wasn’t the only one who cared about Ned’s lie.
      The Northmen elected a king based on false assumptions. Obviously in the end none of that really mattered.

      Of course the producers built the story the way they wanted. It wasn’t a story about the Starks, it was a story about Daenerys. Retrospectively this is true not only about season 8, but about season 7 too.
      But the thing is, it didn’t start this way, therefore it disappointed the Stark fans and they have every right to be this much disappointed.

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    114. Efi: I beg to differ (rather slightly). Daenerys’ gasp wasnt’t the only thing that should be on screen.
      The entire story is built around the events that surround the circumstances of Jon’s birth.
      Daenerys’ life was built on a lie.
      Jon’s life was built on a lie.
      His siblings’ lives were immediately affected and in a sense they were deceived too.

      I’ve tried to avoid getting in on this season 8 discussion but I wanted to express agreement with this part of Efi’s post. This is why I’d quibble with calling Jon’s family “bystanders” in this. They lived their whole lives believing their father cheated on their mother and had a bastard son, who grew up alongside them at Winterfell. That shaped a lot growing up in Winterfell — it impacted Catelyn, Ned, Jon, and the Stark children significantly. I think it’s reasonable to want to see Sansa and Arya’s reactions to the truth since this would really personally affect them, even if it doesn’t change how Sansa and Arya feel about Jon.

      For my part, I wanted to see that explored. I can totally understand that you didn’t need to see their reactions, Farimer, and felt this would be redundant but I think others have good reasons for wanting to see Sansa and Arya learn the truth as well.

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    115. Ten Bears: No need for the Brilliant Brigade to come out to controvert this comment.

      Too late. You got pulled over by the Brilliant Brigade, lol.

      Just comply or they’ll shoot you and then plant a twitter account on your body with mean nasty things said about D&D.

      “See look? I told you he hated season 8! He’s a hater!”

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    116. Adrianacandle,

      How do you bold words?

      Okay I have a question for you: without referring to the books, can you find me just one scene in all of GOT before 8×4 with Sansa and/or Arya where Jon’s status as a bastard and Ned’s status as a cheater was even remotely important? Where there was any indication that either of them gave a crap at all?

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    117. Efi,

      From start to finish, GOT was a story with three entities at its core: the Wolf, the Lion, and the Dragon. The Lion and the Dragon were approximately equal in importance all things considered, but the wolf was always at the forefront, the very heart of the story, and I do not believe S7 & 8 altered that dynamic in any significant way.

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    118. Farimer123,

      How do you bold words?

      Have you ever used HTML? Some HTML tags work when you are writing out your comments 🙂 word will bold a word! (But remove the spaces!) You can do the same for italics: word (Again, remove the spaces!)

      Okay I have a question for you: without referring to the books, can you find me just one scene in all of GOT before 8×4 with Sansa and/or Arya where Jon’s status as a bastard and Ned’s status as a cheater was even remotely important? Where there was any indication that either of them gave a crap at all?

      Well, Jon’s bastardy is a big reason why Sansa didn’t regard Jon the same as her other siblings. It’s also one of the reasons why Jon was so close with Arya per their first scene together — because neither seemed to fit. And both Sansa and Jon believe Jon to be their bastard half-brother, even if both have come to regard Jon as their brother-brother now (especially Sansa).

      In reference to scenes, the reunion scene with Sansa and Jon where Sansa apologizes for being awful to him as a kid, for instance. Sansa mentioning Jon doesn’t have the Stark name, which causes a moment of tension between herself and Jon. Sansa’s scenes with Littlefinger in which Littlefinger harps on the fact that Jon is her half-brother and a bastard son (not a trueborn daughter like Sansa). D&D using this to tease conflict between them when Jon is elected King in the North instead of Sansa, despite Sansa being trueborn. And both Arya and Sansa believe their father to have always been honest, the most honorable man in Westeros (as the whole country believed). And Ned was this, for the most part, but this was a huge thing Ned had to lie about.

      Sadly, in the show, we only got one scene of Jon and Arya before season 8. Two scenes focused on them before Jon tells them the truth.

      (I’m not saying Sansa was trying at all to be mean to Jon or that it was her fault, she was behaving how she thought she should be behaving. My only point is that Jon’s bastardry did have an impact on their relationship growing up and is a cause for some of that tension).

      These people are Jon’s family, the first significant people in his life and they believed things about their family and their brother that weren’t true. It impacts them and how they view their parents.

      I would have liked to seen that reaction.

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    119. Farimer123,

      ”We had literally seen the R+L=J reveal explained three times in the last four episodes.”

      • Why “literally”? How does someone see something literally?

      • The point was that the omission of the siblings’ reaction to the long-awaited reveal was disappointing to many viewers. Also conspicuously absent any self-reflection by Jon “I’m a bastard, I’m a bastard” Snow about his trueborn status; the effect of learning about the identity of his mother and that she did care about him; the sacrifices and deceptions (lies of necessity) by his de facto father, the honorable Ned Stark; or any curiosity about his biological father.

      • Yes, we had already “seen” the R+L = J reveal. However, the characters in-universe had not.

      • Most important was that throughout the entire eight season run, the show itself made Jon’s true parentage a BFD (big f*cking deal). It impacted just about every other character in Jon’s orbit. His apparent illegitimacy and supposed identity as “Ned Stark’s bastard” was commented on repeatedly and at length by just about everyone, including Tyrion, Catelyn, FecalFlinger, Stannis, Melisandre, Davos, Ygritte, Sansa, Arya, Samwell, and Jon himself. (The “official” story that scoundrel Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped and raped Lyanna Stark, and the irreconcilable, actual truth that noble Rhaegar and Lyanna loved each other and eloped, were also repeatedly dredged up by, inter alia, Robert, LF, and Sansa on one hand, and by Jorah, Barristan, Gilly, Sam, and Bran on the other.)

      With so much screentime and narrative significance devoted to Jon’s parentage and its consequences on the characters’ backstories (even in that show-only Robert & Cersei discussion about Lyanna’s ghost haunting their marriage), and the unfolding present-day events in the show, to simply omit the ramifications of the big reveal was emotionally frustrating.
      Why spend so much time setting up this big secret if it was only going to be dropped like a hot potato – or simply used as just one of many contrived setbacks to drive Dany crazy?

      EDIT: Before pressing “Post Comment,” I noticed that other commenters have already beaten me to the punch. Sorry about any redundancy.

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    120. Efi,

      ”The entire story is built around the events that surround the circumstances of Jon’s birth.
      Daenerys’ life was built on a lie.
      Jon’s life was built on a lie.
      His siblings’ lives were immediately affected and in a sense they were deceived too.
      The Northmen’s lives were immediately affected….”

      ✅ Right! That too.

        Quote  Reply

    121. If I have any further thoughts on season 8 I’ll probably confine them to the forums (for a?) unless I’m addressing a specific point. Firstly, I wanted to say that in my YouTube recommendations I received mention of a Globe Theatre (London) production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ from 2009 which is free to view at present. I haven’t watched it yet so can’t attest as to its quality but I intend to try it. Juliet is played by Ellie Kendrick (Meera). https://youtu.be/eSAlPJ0FG_0 It’s long – getting on for 3 hours.

      I have a lay person’s interest in history and some storylines in GoT reminded me of historic events (not necessarily medieval). The controversial burning of Kings Landing made me think of a film I saw many years ago “Assault on East Prussia” – it was a compendium of newsreel films taken at the time of the collapse of East Prussia including the bombing of Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russian Oblast) followed by the expulsion of the former German East Prussians when the province changed from belonging to Germany to belonging to other countries. The desolation of Kings Landing made me think of the pictures of post-bombing Konigsberg. I found “Assault on East Prussia” on YouTube and rewatched it.

      I knew someone who was reading GoT back in 2013 (post-‘Merlin’ [BBC] which I liked for all its plot holes). I couldn’t find the book in the library so I binge-watched the first two seasons of the programme and was hooked. I didn’t expect to be – grimdark fantasy isn’t usually my kind of thing but I found I wanted to know what happened to the characters next….I was ‘spoiled’ about Ned’s fate and started off hating Jaime. I know I’ve sometimes said GRRM is not wholly above criticism (in my view at least) but he managed to make me go from being indifferent about Theon, to hating him and then coming to pity him when he was under Ramsay’s control. I couldn’t imagine coming to have at least an improved opinion of Jaime in later seasons when I was watching seasons 1 and 2 either.

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    122. Farimer123,

      About bolding words: If nobody else has replied to your question – I’ll scroll down to look – I’ll fill you in on how I do it “manually” by inserting codes…

        Quote  Reply

    123. Ten Bears,

      Farimer123,

      I think Ten Bears’ answer is probably the better one since Ten Bears is a pre-books fan and can offer that POV of why a pre-books fan would want to see Sansa and Arya’s reactions.

      I was reflecting that maybe I’m not the best person to ask because as far as this aspect goes (the history of the characters and their time at Winterfell), the books and show are entangled for me in that way :/

      It was like when I was watching HDM, the television series. The universe for me made sense because I had read the books so I couldn’t see any gaps in logic. However, some viewers who only watched the show were confused about some things without that extra info. They could see the holes in logic, plot, and character where I couldn’t.

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    124. Sorry, I’m not sure if I made it clear but when I mentioned the fall of East Prussia it was because Kings Landing’s devastation sent me off on a tangent concerning the devastation of real-world cities in the past.

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    125. Ten Bears:
      Farimer123,

      About bolding words: If nobody else has replied to your question – I’ll scroll down to look – I’ll fill you in on how I do it “manually” by inserting codes…

      Yea, this site used to have buttons where you could click on such as “Bold”, “Italics”, “Quotes”, etc…but those features seem to have been done away with.

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    126. Adrianacandle,

      I just re-watched the whole Jon-Sansa reunion scene, and there’s never any point in their conversation where Sansa mentions Jon not having the Stark name. Perhaps what you’re referring to exists in another scene – or it doesn’t exist?

      Sibling relations are highly variable. Sometimes, their personalities mesh well, and other times they don’t. Just like Jon’s personality meshed well with Arya’s, it didn’t mesh with Sansa’s. Any “awful” treatment that Jon ever received from Sansa almost certainly didn’t have anything to do with Jon’s bastardy – I don’t see Ned ever allowing that or standing for it. Only Catelyn ever gave Jon grief, and it visibly pained Ned to even allow that. Must have taken everything he had to not tell her.

      And about Sansa’s conversation with Littlefinger, it was he who mentioned Jon’s bastardy, and in response, Sansa merely considered it for a second, then all-but rolled her eyes and kept walking away while tender triumphant Stark music played in the background. When Jon was crowned, Sansa looked genuinely happy for him – not jealous at all. Later, she encouraged him as a ruler and gave him the best advice she should muster, then did everything in her power to keep him from leaving Winterfell because she didn’t want Jon to die in the South as Ned and Robb did. Does any of that sound like she was jealous of Jon being King because SHE was the last trueborn? Again, any tension between Jon and Sansa as the rulers of Winterfell had everything to do with their policies and decisions, and nothing to do with Jon’s bastardy – Sansa is not that petty.

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    127. Ten Bears: Phenomenal. Awesome. Breathtaking. Unprecedented. Masterful. Fabulous. Marvelous. Ineffable. Beyond superlative. Incredible. Wonderful. Amazing. F*cking out of this world. Spellbinding. Engrossing. Excellent. Jaw-droppingly good. Unparalleled. There must be hundreds more.

      I think it was Pigeon or another commenter who explicated the term “semantic [something]” – I forget the exact terminology– to describe when a word or sound is repeated so frequently or is so overused that it begins to lose its meaning.

      That’s what’s happened to “bri****nt.”
      Also – and this is just a humble suggestion – why not explain how and why something was bri****nt, instead of using that label without elaboration?

      you just metioned Monty Python? here’s my advice: read all posts by “Thanks-for-the-brrrr-job” and “They-did-such-a-brrrr-job” like this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrcbCW4y9Dw

      i mean, read it loud!

      and yes, the Arya sails to Braavos scene was a highlight. but the score… well, this was when useless bombast took a grip on an otherwise magnificient score. i think i was uncomfortable with almost any choir arrangement from then on. a question of taste. my taste favors few notes nailing it straight, like e.g. the late Gregor Clegane theme.

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    128. Adrianacandle,

      Farimar asked: “Okay I have a question for you: without referring to the books, can you find me just one scene in all of GOT before 8×4 with Sansa and/or Arya where Jon’s status as a bastard and Ned’s status as a cheater was even remotely important? Where there was any indication that either of them gave a crap at all?

      To supplement your reply:

      • Catelyn’s lengthy soliloquy to Talisa about how she despised Baby Jon and wanted him gone; and how she broke her promise to the gods to love him after he got sick, and blamed herself for all the horrors that befell her family all because she “couldn’t love a motherless child.”

      • Prisoner Jamie trying to piss off Catelyn by bringing up how Ned had cheated on her, and asked her how she felt when the “honorable” Ned Stark had brought home a bastard he’d fathered with another woman.

      • Embittered Jon outside great hall feast in S1e1; excluded from Stark family table – which he also recalled in his conversation with Melisandre in S7e1 (?) when they were in great hall.

      • (S1e1?) Tyrion calling Jon “bastard,” then advising Jon to “wear it like armor.”

      • Stannis, with Selyse (S5), pondering Jon’s parentage and noting that impregnating a tavern slut “was not Ned Stark’s way.”

      • Jon insisting he could not grant Stannis’s request to “give him the North” because even if he wanted to he was “just a bastard” (before turning down Stannis’s offer to legitimize him as “Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell”: one of my favorite scenes!)

      • Robert, with Small Council, vowing to exterminate any dragonspawn.

      • Arya, playing Game of Faces with the Waif in S6, reciting the names of “Arya Stark’s” siblings including brother Jon … (thwack!) … half-brother Jon. [Plus, Arya in S4e1 (my brother gave me that sword!”) and Sandor in S4e7 (“You say your brother gave you that sword? My brother gave me this…”)]

      • Jon in S4e10 introducing himself to Stannis: his father was Ned Stark. Melisandre, in S5, introducing Jon as “The Bastard of Winterfell.” Ygritte reminding Lord of Bones that Jon was Ned Stark’s bastard, and Mance would want him alive. (For that matter, upon their very first meeting when Jon hesitated to behead Ygritte, she implored him: “Do it, bastard!”)

      • Sansa to LF in S5 recounting the “kidnap and rape” story.

      • LF to Jon in crypts in S7e2 trying to suck up to Jon (or push his buttons) by bringing up how Carelyn underestimated him now that he was KitN.

      • Ramsay, in parlay before BoB, calling out Jon as a bastard.

      • Jon confiding in Sam that he’d once been alone with a beautiful whore but couldn’t bring himself
      to f*ck her because he hated being a bastard and was afraid he’d father a bastard himself. Or something like that.

      • Janos Slynt bashing LC Jon as “a bastard boy” when disobeying his order – right before Slynt lost his head. 🙃

      • There have got to be many more scenes referring to Jon’s status as a bastard or Ned’s status as a cheater. These are just a few examples off the top of my head.

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    129. Farimer123:
      Adrianacandle,

      Okay I have a question for you: without referring to the books, can you find me just one scene in all of GOT before 8×4 with Sansa and/or Arya where Jon’s status as a bastard and Ned’s status as a cheater was even remotely important? Where there was any indication that either of them gave a crap at all?

      I’ve got to apologize to you. I just wasted my time listing examples of scenes in which Jon’s illegitimacy or Ned’s infidelity was discussed.
      I now realize your question was limited to such scenes “with Sansa and/or Arya.”

      There were a few such specific scenes included in my prior reply. There may have been more.

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    130. Farimer123: When Jon was crowned, Sansa looked genuinely happy for him – not jealous at al

      Are you talking about the KITN crowning scene where Sansa gives Littlefinger a concerned look at the end?

      That scene has been interpreted in different ways, but D&D said on the Inside the Episode that Sansa doesn’t fully trust Jon. “There is definitely a hint of conflict there.” “There is a little bit of jealousy”.

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    131. Ten Bears,

      A scene before 8×4… WITH SANSA AND/OR ARYA. None of those tidbits you mentioned refute my point: Neither Arya or Sansa cared even a tiny bit about Jon’s status. It was not important to them at all. As far as they were ever concerned, he was their brother, cut and dry.

      EDIT: Oh my God I did it! YEEEEAH!

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    132. Farimer123:
      Adrianacandle,

      How do you bold words?

      I think there may be icons or buttons with symbols or icons for underlining, bolding, etc. I do not use those, and from other commenters it seems the “menu” for those symbols or icons doesn’t always appear at the top of the Comment text box (or wherever it’s supposed to be).

      Anyway, here’s how I bold text manually: It’s similar to the way you’d insert commands for spoiler coding text. ….

      (Sh*t! Gotta take a phone call. I’ll finish this in a few minutes. Sorry. 12:14 pm)

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    133. Adrianacandle,

      Oh okay, I just found the scene. It wasn’t the reunion; it was when they were standing on the ramparts together after having retaken Winterfell. Jon says “I’m not a Stark,” and Sansa replies with “You are to me.” She seems very sincere there, no sarcasm or false kindness, just pure unadulterated honesty: Your bastard status is of no matter to me.

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    134. Farimer123,

      I just re-watched the whole Jon-Sansa reunion scene, and there’s never any point in their conversation where Sansa mentions Jon not having the Stark name. Perhaps what you’re referring to exists in another scene – or it doesn’t exist?

      I’m sorry I wasn’t clear — I was referring to the Northern tour planning session in 6×05. Davos mentions that Jon doesn’t have the Stark name and Sansa agrees, “No, but I do,” and this causes a bit of a beat of tense silence between Jon and Sansa. At this point, Sansa quickly says, “Jon is every bit as much Ned Stark’s son as Ramsay is Roose Bolton’s.” (And I appreciate the effort on Sansa’s part but Ramsay isn’t exactly trueborn either).

      Any “awful” treatment that Jon ever received from Sansa almost certainly didn’t have anything to do with Jon’s bastardy – I don’t see Ned ever allowing that or standing for it. Only Catelyn ever gave Jon grief, and it visibly pained Ned to even allow that. Must have taken everything he had to not tell her.

      And I think D&D were referencing the books here in which Sansa did differentiate Jon from the rest of her siblings because of his bastardy — which I’m not blaming Sansa for, this was behavior that she was taught. And this is something Jon felt. I don’t think Sansa treated Jon awful in the books but they had tension in their relationship because, as Jon remembered, Sansa would only ever refer to Jon as her half-brother. And Sansa did look down on Jon for his illegitimacy, at least in the books.

      And about Sansa’s conversation with Littlefinger, it was he who mentioned Jon’s bastardy, and in response, Sansa merely considered it for a second, then all-but rolled her eyes and kept walking away while tender triumphant Stark music played in the background. When Jon was crowned, Sansa looked genuinely happy for him – not jealous at all.

      I had a bit of a different read of that coronation scene in that Sansa was a bit surprised and not entirely happy. Per D&D, conflict was being teased between them and I remember a quote from D&D mentioning Jon’s bastardy vs Sansa’s trueborn status (which I’ve been looking for the source for the past hour, it was said in a video, in a documentary of season 6. However, I can’t yet find it so you can count this quote as unsourced at present — I’ll keep looking. Maybe the title will come to me).

      I’m not saying Sansa is being petty but she was raised in a classist society which devalued bastards and other misfits, viewed them as untrustworthy and less than. I’m not saying it’s Sansa’s fault either — she was following her mother’s lead and as a young girl, was subject to the customs and beliefs of Westeros. And I think this is part of her character development as well, overcoming preconceived notions.

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    135. Farimer123: Oh okay, I just found the scene. It wasn’t the reunion; it was when they were standing on the ramparts together after having retaken Winterfell. Jon says “I’m not a Stark,” and Sansa replies with “You are to me.” She seems very sincere there, no sarcasm or false kindness, just pure unadulterated honesty: Your bastard status is of no matter to me.

      Oh, Sansa is completely sincere and genuine when she tells Jon that, 100%! And I think the significance of that line is because this is something that used to matter to Sansa — but that’s based on my knowledge of the character histories in the books, which the show doesn’t really go into. They only really imply it.

      Yes, Sansa totally sees Jon as her full brother now but his being raised as her bastard half-brother and her mother’s attitude toward Jon did impact Sansa (which is more emphasized in the books and only really very slightly touched on in the show in regard to how Sansa viewed Jon’s illegitimacy). As I said, it’s absolutely fine if you felt seeing Sansa and Arya’s reactions would be redundant. Others, including myself, wanted to see this. And I think that’s fine too.

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    136. I haven’t seen the formatting buttons for a while which is why I’m putting titles in either single or double quotes. That said, this laptop runs very slowly – I dropped it too which hasn’t helped. I have a manky screen but I’m loathe to tinker with it in case I make it even worse. I can just about get by with it at present.

      Off topic I see that Jill Gascoine, Alfred Molina’s wife has died. I don’t know what the cause of death was but apparently she’d been ill for some considerable time. I remember in the 1980s as a high-ranking policewoman in ‘The Gentle Touch’ – before many visitors to this board were born.

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    137. Dame of Mercia,

      Re: formatting. For anybody who’d find it helpful, I’ll make an image showing some of the coding I use to format my comments (for bold, italics, links, and quoting people’s posts) since when I try to type it out here (even with spaces), the code is executed 🙁

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    138. Ten Bears,

      I’ve never seen that interview before so I need to thank you. I loved his take on Tywin. He was exactly how I pictured him.
      CD is right, Maisie/ Arya is a wonderful girl and I would watch the hell out of an Arya spin-off with Maisie.

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    139. Dame of Mercia,

      I think they were inspired by Berlin and/or Frankfurt.
      I have a postcard from Berlin, showing in its first half the city destroyed and the new, modern city in the other half. It was shocking, and when I bought it my friend asked me why did I choose to buy that one of all poscards. I answered that I wanted to remember what war does. [not because I’m a freak, but because I’m a historian]

      Any Shakespeare story is three hours long, lol. [otherwise it doesn’t respect itself] Thanks for the link!

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    140. Adrianacandle,

      “At this point, Sansa quickly says, “Jon is every bit as much Ned Stark’s son as Ramsay is Roose Bolton’s.” (And I appreciate the effort on Sansa’s part but Ramsay isn’t exactly trueborn either).”

      I think that’s exactly the point. She means that they are equal, so Ramsay has no reason to think of himself as “better” at all or has no reason to get more support than they do.
      In other words, Ramsay is no Stark, but Jon is, and Sansa the trueborn is with him. That’s how I understood the line. [I struggled with it for a bit though].

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    141. talvikorppi,

      You’ve said this far better than I could. I feel the same way.
      GM is only a few years older than I am. He is not allowed to die before I have had the chance to read the last books dammit!

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    142. Adrianacandle,

      Sansa on the other hand never addressed Jon as a bastard to his face, but she did “comply” with that rule when he was not around and she thinks of him like that (very rarely). But this was far better than any of the rest did. Robb called him a bastard to his face, and Bran even thinks of him as a bastard. At least Sansa is more polite (book wise). Not that we have any interactions between Jon and Sansa in the books though.

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    143. Farimer123,

      Yeah. I know. I apologized in a follow up comment three minutes before you posted your reply. I assume you didn’t see my comment while you were typing yours.

      On a lighter note… Yay! You figured out how to bold text!

      PS Not sure how you did it. If you ever need to do it “manually,” the code for bolding is “strong.”.
      Just enclose that word (strong) between the sign (“”) right before the text you want to bold, and “” right after it. (Obviously, if I typed the commands exactly how they should appear, the commands would disappear from this comment.)

      You can do the same thing to italicize, using the commands “em” before and “/em” after, enclosed between , instead of “strong” and “/strong” for bold-face.

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    144. Mr Derp: Are you talking about the KITN crowning scene where Sansa gives Littlefinger a concerned look at the end?

      That scene has been interpreted in different ways, but D&D said on the Inside the Episode that Sansa doesn’t fully trust Jon.“There is definitely a hint of conflict there.”“There is a little bit of jealousy”.

      To be charitable, Sophie Turner/Sansa was often an enigma when it came to interpreting her character’s thoughts from her facial expressions alone. I don’t blame the actress: Many times, the showrunners did not explain to her what Sansa was supposed to be thinking or feeling. (Exhibit “B”: Sansa’s motives for concealing KotV).

      On the other hand, some actors and actresses just seem to have a natural gift for conveying thoughts and emotions from facial expressions alone. Exhibit “1”: Maisie Williams wordlessly portraying the books’ “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue on the Braavos dock in S5. (End gratuitously inserted ASNAWP reference.)

      Back to the KitN coronation scene: It’s nice that D&D explained in an “Inside the Episode” segment that Sansa doesn’t fully trust Jon; and that there was “a hint of conflict” and “a little bit of jealousy.” However, there was nothing onscreen during the scene to convey any of that to the viewer.

      As a result, some fans interpreted Sansa’s expression as pride or happiness for Jon. Others felt she was showing concern for Jon, with a snake like LF lurking around. Still others thought Sansa wasn’t thrilled that she had been passed over in favor of Jon Snow after Lyanna Mormont announced “I don’t care if he’s a bastard; Ned Stark’s blood runs through his veins. He’s my king, from this day until his last day.”

      I honestly did not know what to make of Sansa’s expressions. However, I did not detect “a hint of conflict” or “jealousy” when I was watching that scene. How was I supposed to???

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    145. Efi: Sansa on the other hand never addressed Jon as a bastard to his face, but she did “comply” with that rule when he was not around and she thinks of him like that (very rarely). But this was far better than any of the rest did. Robb called him a bastard to his face, and Bran even thinks of him as a bastard. At least Sansa is more polite (book wise). Not that we have any interactions between Jon and Sansa in the books though.

      Well, I wouldn’t say how Sansa treated Jon was far better than how the rest did.

      I’m not condemning Sansa for this, she was behaving how she was taught and was told was appropriate: that a bastard was not the same as a trueborn, which is per Westeros custom. This doesn’t mean she bullied or played Mean Girl with Jon or was awful toward him. I’m trying to explain how this impacted their relationship growing up.

      Sansa thinks of Jon three times throughout the books and she thinks of him as her ‘bastard half brother’ in two of those times and as her ‘half-brother’ in one of those times. You reference Bran thinking of Jon as a bastard — well, Sansa does too. Also, when she talks about Jon with Arya, she refers to Jon as a bastard.

      The difference is Jon feels that differentiation from Sansa:

      He missed his true brothers: little Rickon, bright eyes shining as he begged for a sweet; Robb, his rival and best friend and constant companion; Bran, stubborn and curious, always wanting to follow and join in whatever Jon and Robb were doing. He missed the girls too, even Sansa, who never called him anything but “my half brother” since she was old enough to understand what bastard meant. And Arya … he missed her even more than Robb, skinny little thing that she was, all scraped knees and tangled hair and torn clothes, so fierce and willful. Arya never seemed to fit, no more than he had … yet she could always make Jon smile. He would give anything to be with her now, to muss up her hair once more and watch her make a face, to hear her finish a sentence with him.

      They do have family memories together in flashbacks and I’m not saying Sansa isn’t polite but Jon has felt that impact of Sansa’s differentiation. And… she does look down on his bastardy:

      Sansa could never understand how two sisters, born only two years apart, could be so different. It would have been easier if Arya had been a bastard, like their half brother Jon. She even looked like Jon, with the long face and brown hair of the Starks, and nothing of their lady mother in her face or her coloring. And Jon’s mother had been common, or so people whispered. Once, when she was littler, Sansa had even asked Mother if perhaps there hadn’t been some mistake. Perhaps the grumkins had stolen her real sister. But Mother had only laughed and said no, Arya was her daughter and Sansa’s trueborn sister, blood of their blood. Sansa could not think why Mother would want to lie about it, so she supposed it had to be true.

      Even when Sansa wishes to see Jon again in AFFC, she thinks, “He was only her half brother, but still . . . with Robb and Bran and Rickon dead, Jon Snow was the only brother that remained to her.”

      As for Robb, as far as book passages go, it was one time that Robb referred to Jon as bastard born when they were playing one of their games as kids:

      That morning he called it first. “I’m Lord of Winterfell!” he cried, as he had a hundred times before. Only this time, this time, Robb had answered, “You can’t be Lord of Winterfell, you’re bastard-born. My lady mother says you can’t ever be the Lord of Winterfell.”

      I can’t find another instance where Jon remembers Robb calling him a bastard?

      I think my point is that Jon felt a difference in treatment from Sansa verses the rest.

      I’m not saying she was awful but that his bastardy did have an impact and create some level of tension growing up between them.

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    146. Ten Bears: Back to the KitN coronation scene: It’s nice that D&D explained in an “Inside the Episode” segment that Sansa doesn’t fully trust Jon; and that there was “a hint of conflict” and “a little bit of jealousy.” However, there was nothing onscreen during the scene to convey any of that to the viewer.

      The look Sansa and Littlefinger shared at the end of that scene conveyed it to me pretty strongly that there was still something holding Sansa back from fully trusting all of this, but I know people interpreted this scene differently.

      I agree that it certainly doesn’t help clarify matters when the actress and show runner aren’t necessarily on the same page of what should be conveyed and how. It naturally leads to a lot of assumptions and misinterpretations.

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    147. MotherofWolves:
      Ten Bears,

      I’ve never seen that interview before so I need to thank you. I loved his take on Tywin. He was exactly how I pictured him.
      CD is right, Maisie/ Arya is a wonderful girl and I would watch the hell out of an Arya spin-off with Maisie.

      Oh good! I’ll take that as an implied invitation to post a link to another early season interview that’s aged well in hindsight. Lemme find it…

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    148. Efi,

      As a pre-books, show-only fan, from what I gather the diversion of Sansa to WF on the show, followed by her extensive scenes with Jon starting from their wonderful reunion at Castle Black in early- or mid-Season 6, developed the Jon & Sansa relationship more than the books did.
      (That it arguably came at the expense of showcasing the Jon & Arya relationship is another matter. I won’t whinge about that. For the time being.)

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    149. Ten Bears:
      Farimer123,

      ….On a lighter note… Yay! You figured out how to bold text!

      PS Not sure how you did it. If you ever need to do it “manually,” the code for bolding is “strong.”.
      Just enclose that word (strong) between thesign (“”) right before the text you want to bold, and “” right after it. (Obviously, if I typed the commands exactly how they should appear, the commands would disappear from this comment.)

      You can do the same thing to italicize, using the commands “em” before and “/em” after, enclosed between ,instead of “strong” and “/strong” for bold-face.

      Oh sh*t! Ignore my suggestions. The symbols and codes aren’t visible in my comment. Please refer to the imgur image posted by adrianacandle at 1:02 pm.

      Dame of Mercia,
      (Supplementing my reply to you as well.)

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    150. Ten Bears,

      Thanks! That image explains coding better than I could.

      Thank-you! I hope it comes in handy for people wondering how to format in the absence of a GUI!

      As a pre-books, show-only fan, from what I gather the diversion of Sansa to WF on the show, followed by her extensive scenes with Jon starting from their wonderful reunion at Castle Black in early- or mid-Season 6, developed the Jon & Sansa relationship more than the books did.

      When Jon and Sansa reunited at Castle Black in 6×04, I believe that is the first interaction they have in real time. In the books, their interactions so far are confined to memories. Two I can think of is when Sansa advised Jon to compliment a girl’s name (which I think is pretty cute) and when Jon and Robb pranked Sansa, Arya, and Bran (pre-Rickon).

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    151. Ten Bears: Oh sh*t! Ignore my suggestions. The symbols and codes aren’t visible in my comment. Please refer to the imgur image posted by adrianacandle at 1:02 pm.

      I had that problem too when I also tried to recreate the code with spaces between the text, angle brackets, and forward slashes -_-

      Alternatively, if some prefer to directly copy and paste, I put the formatting codes (that I know) up at PasteBin! 😀

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    152. Farimer123,

      For me there was absolutely no balance between the three in season 8. I’m left with more questions than I have answers.

      For example, what’s the deal with Ice? Will it be remade? Will Bran and Sansa take the two pieces?
      What about LF’s dagger? what’s the story behind that? Was it Rhaegar’s dagger?
      How come no one mentions the fact that a Targaryen dagger, the one that was meant to murder Bran, ended up in Stark possession?
      How come no one even hints that it should go to Jon after all is said and done [whereby Jon, being the gallant brother that he is would give it to his favorite sister] ?
      Did Ned’s beheading not matter anymore? So, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran, were quick to forget all that the Lannisters did to them?
      Did they forgive everything for the sake of defeating the big Other?
      Are they best pals with Tyrion?
      Do they tolerate Jamie’s presence just like that, and because he deflowered Brienne?
      And why is it that Jamie’s preventive murder of Aerys didn’t come up? Should no one [: Jon] know that he saved a city by murdering a king?

      [anyone can give me a hint, please do; I’m still not over the fact that I’ve been watching seven seasons of Stark suffering for nothing; none of the crimes against them were addressed]

      But I don’t think that Jon’s identity relates more to his bastard past. I think you are right, they did accept Jon as a brother, it was established already in season 6 and there’s more in season 7. This, however, does not mean that I wouldn’t like to see the sisters talking about their father was true to their mother after all; to lament the fact that Catelyn died without knowing the truth; that Robb died without knowing the truth. Did Sansa and Arya share a scene in season 8? No, they didn’t. Only the common scenes with others.
      It’s just that his identity changes a lot the political dynamic of the whole story, which is why the scene was cut. Obviously (as I see it) it wouldn’t focus on Jon’s bastardy, but on Jon’s Targaryenness.
      There’s a zillion ways it could go.
      Sansa pointing out that he was in danger; that he was the heir to the throne; Jon repeating that he wants no crown; that he loved Daenerys and she loved him; Arya asking what would he do now; Jon answering that he had to follow her South because he pledged himself to her; Arya mentioning (in time) that she knew a murderer when she saw one; someone would have to point out the incest; Jon should lament the fact that he didn’t know. Obviously they’d repeat that they’re siblings and that Jon’s parentage didn’t mean anything, that they’re still family.
      And so much more.

      I don’t see any balance in the story as it unfolded (and the above was all from the show, without involving the books). Season 8 was only fire and blood, and little bit of lion. I think that all the above would have enhanced the drama of the story without even revealing too much, and I’m following their story and the alleged “romance” which -for me- didn’t come off on screen. Adding that scene at the godswood would only cost them a few more minutes of screentime and it would make a huge difference to the Stark fans.
      In fact, the Starks are so separated in season 8 that one is justified to think that they really put a lot of effort so that they don’t meet anywhere for any reason. With the Starks they finished the story in the excellent crypts promo. Even the promo teased the significance of Jon’s identity (the feather, the crypts, Catelyn’s voice), but the show failed to live up even to that.

      LOL LOL LOL

      They made a natural-size statue of Jon in the crypts, teasing his Stark identity, only to tell us in the end that Jon will be forever a bastard!

      Get out of here, I’m laughing my guts out. The inconsistecy of it all is beyond description, beyond words.

      [please excuse my rant Farimer]

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    153. Ten Bears,

      Going back to your earlier post about wanting to have more scenes where characters react to in-show events, it got me thinking…

      Wouldn’t it have been great to see Theon’s reaction to Ramsey’s death?

      That’s an example of the kinds of scenes that I really wish season 8 made time for. They may not be essential to the plot, but they have dramatic payoff. It’s cashing in on certain emotional investments that the audience made earlier.

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    154. Efi: For example, what’s the deal with Ice? Will it be remade? Will Bran and Sansa take the two pieces?

      Interestingly, the wolves are no longer a pack and are lone wolves once again.

      I would assume Brienne will keep both swords, but what she’ll do with them is anyone’s guess. I wouldn’t be surprised if she forged them back into one sword for herself to use.

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    155. death by chickenfire:

      … and yes, the Arya sails to Braavos scene was a highlight. but the score… well, this was when useless bombast took a grip on an otherwise magnificient score. i think i was uncomfortable with almost any choir arrangement from then on. a question of taste. my taste favors few notes nailing it straight, like e.g. the late Gregor Clegane theme.

      Really? Well, I’m a musical moron, so I’ll defer to you. I liked that score accompanying Arya’s sailing away at the end of S4e10. Not sure what you mean by “useless bombast,” and I wouldn’t remember or recognize the Gregor Clegane theme. Other commenters can differentiate between House- and character-themes. I cannot. I never had an aptitude for music. 😖

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    156. Efi: And why is it that Jamie’s preventive murder of Aerys didn’t come up?

      I don’t think this was something that people knew since it seems Jaime only told Brienne. He kept the truth of it to himself, why he killed Aerys and that Aerys wanted to “burn them all” (“burn the mall” ™ Ten Bears). When Brienne asked why he never told anyone, Jaime replied:

      Brienne: If this is true… why didn’t you tell anyone? Why didn’t you tell Lord Stark?

      Jaime: You think the honorable Ned Stark wanted to hear my side? He judged me guilty the moment he set eyes on me. By what right does the wolf judge the lion?

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    157. Adrianacandle,

      Was their farewell scene at Winterfell a book scene? Sth about “so long, Stark” where Robb replied “so long, bastard” ? I might be confused and that little scene doesn’t exist in the books, but I think it does. (perhaps I’m mixing it up with sth else?)

      And of course you’re right, Sansa does treat Jon differently. She realizes “since she was old enough to understand what bastard meant” that it’s something that hurt Jon, and stops using it; and Jon knows this and therefore values it and he remembers it tenderly. I think it’s a very tender thing between these two.
      But she did call him bastard to Arya. She was in front of others and Jon was not there, but again in that scene (the sewing scene, in the books) Sansa understands that Jon is hurt because he is illegitimate and she explains his behavior via his feelings.
      In general Sansa is very sensitive and senses these little things that make a difference to people. It’s her strong point.

      But I don’t think that she looks down on him. Perhaps because his mother was “common” but that’s a somewhat different thing than looking down on him for being a bastard. It’s a class thing, not a moral thing like the qualities attached to bastard born children.

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    158. Fireandblood87,

      Eh, that little post was book-based.
      In the show they did that, they had Sansa validating Jon’s Starkness at every turn.
      In the books there will be no such thing because Robb has legitimized Jon as a Stark.

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    159. Efi,

      Was their farewell scene at Winterfell a book scene? Sth about “so long, Stark” where Robb replied “so long, bastard” ? I might be confused and that little scene doesn’t exist in the books, but I think it does. (perhaps I’m mixing it up with sth else?)

      They did have their good-bye scene in the books and Robb does not call Jon a bastard, he calls Jon ‘Snow’ (as Robb does in the show while Jon calls Robb ‘Stark’):

      “For me too,” Robb said. He had snow in his hair, melting from the heat of his body. “Did you see him?”

      Jon nodded, not trusting himself to speak.

      “He’s not going to die,” Robb said. “I know it.”

      “You Starks are hard to kill,” Jon agreed. His voice was flat and tired. The visit had taken all the strength from him.

      Robb knew something was wrong. “My mother …”

      “She was … very kind,” Jon told him.

      Robb looked relieved. “Good.” He smiled. “The next time I see you, you’ll be all in black.”

      Jon forced himself to smile back. “It was always my color. How long do you think it will be?”

      “Soon enough,” Robb promised. He pulled Jon to him and embraced him fiercely. “Farewell, Snow.”

      Jon hugged him back. “And you, Stark. Take care of Bran.”

      Other than that one memory of them as kids, I can’t remember Robb calling Jon ‘bastard’.

      She realizes “since she was old enough to understand what bastard meant” that it’s something that hurt Jon, and stops using it; and Jon knows this and therefore values it and he remembers it tenderly. I think it’s a very tender thing between these two.

      I don’t remember anything like this in the books — that Sansa realized ‘bastard’ hurt Jon and so she stopped using it or that Jon knows this and remembers this tenderly. Do you have a quote?

      But she did call him bastard to Arya. She was in front of others and Jon was not there, but again in that scene (the sewing scene, in the books) Sansa understands that Jon is hurt because he is illegitimate and she explains his behavior via his feelings.

      Sansa… I’m not saying this to be mean to the character but I didn’t interpret this scene as Sansa feeling concern for Jon’s feelings but more in the vein of … (and I say this gently) I felt she was being a bit patronizing. But YMMV! This is one of the instances where I felt Sansa was looking down on Jon because he was a bastard. She thinks Prince Joffrey is the best and believes Jon is just jealous because he’s a bastard.

      [Sansa] looked at Arya. “What did you think of Prince Joff, sister? He’s very gallant, don’t you think?”

      “Jon says he looks like a girl,” Arya said.

      Sansa sighed as she stitched. “Poor Jon,” she said. “He gets jealous because he’s a bastard.”

      “He’s our brother,” Arya said, much too loudly. Her voice cut through the afternoon quiet of the tower room.

      Septa Mordane raised her eyes. She had a bony face, sharp eyes, and a thin lipless mouth made for frowning. It was frowning now. “What are you talking about, children?”

      “Our half brother,” Sansa corrected, soft and precise. She smiled for the septa. “Arya and I were remarking on how pleased we were to have the princess with us today,” she said.

      In general Sansa is very sensitive and senses these little things that make a difference to people. It’s her strong point.

      I think Sansa is coming to learn this, yes, and I think it’s a very important part of her development! I think she has a good capacity for compassion, which grows as she learns more and more about people, the world, and what they go through. Yet, in the sheltered environment Sansa grew up in, I don’t think she started out that way (which is not saying she’s horrible! She’s a typical 11-year old girl who is learning, she’s not trying to be mean — well, except to Arya sometimes — and Arya gives as good as she gets — but it’s not like I can judge that. I was mean to my sisters too. They sucked!)

      But I don’t think that she looks down on him. Perhaps because his mother was “common” but that’s a somewhat different thing than looking down on him for being a bastard. It’s a class thing, not a moral thing like the qualities attached to bastard born children.

      It feels to me that Sansa regards Jon less because he is a bastard, that he’s her half-brother, and is quick to make that distinction :/

      It’s not like this can’t change! But as of AFFC, it does feel like Sansa has less regard for Jon than her other siblings because Jon is “only [her] half brother.”

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    160. I miss GOT because I loved the story, the characters, the setting. I loved all the people in front and behind the camera. I will forever grateful to all of them, cast and crew, for delivering eight magnificent seasons of television which changed soo many standards and the expectations of what television could and should deliver.

      This was a once in a lifetime television event that pushed the boundaries of the medium and left movies in the dust (most quality TV leaves movies behind and it has for sometime now). Which was about time. I also miss the creativity, talent and imagination which brought this show to life. I am just glad that as a viewer/fan, I was a small part in all this.

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    161. Stray Observations/Random Thoughts:

      * I wonder what ever ended up happening in Essos anyway. Now that Dany is dead, would the slavers return to power?

      * It would be really cool to see Jon and Tormund go on an expedition further North of the Wall to explore the White Walker home and see what’s still there. I think it was called the Land of Always Winter? Would’ve made a really cool one-off spin-off type of episode.

      * Cersei hired Bronn at the beginning of season 8 to kill her brothers, so she clearly wanted them dead, yet in episode 4 when she has an easy chance to have Tyrion killed, she didn’t take it. I don’t really get that.

      * Why didn’t Tyrion and Dany ever discuss a strategy involving trying to stealthily infiltrate KL from the inside like they did in Meereen and Yunkai? Tyrion knew KL inside and out, especially the Red Keep. Wouldn’t that have been the most realistic option for Tyrion instead of constantly trying to convince Cersei to surrender? Tyrion was desperate for Dany not to burn KL down yet he never mentioned this as an option to her?

      * Varys was a master manipulator in KL yet under Dany’s rule he was basically relegated to a messenger and openly committed treason. Varys and Tyrion just weren’t the same after they left KL.

      * Not a major point, but I wish we got to find out what Varys heard in the flames and who said it.

      * I wish we got to find out how the Quaithe knew everything back in season 2. Without knowing, she was basically just a plot device to tell Jorah where the dragons were.

      * Was Cersei lying about her “black haired” baby back in season 1 when she was talking to Catelyn? If not, then she had more children than the prophecy foretold. I assume she was lying, but I don’t think this was ever addressed.

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    162. Mr Derp,

      That’s an example of the kinds of scenes that I really wish season 8 made time for. They may not be essential to the plot, but they have dramatic payoff. It’s cashing in on certain emotional investments that the audience made earlier.“

      Yes. That’s a good way to put it. Cashing in on our emotional investments. And character interaction scenes like that only take a few minutes, and don’t require all the bells and whistles of the CGI-intensive battle scenes with hundreds of extras.

      Theon learning about Ramsay’s fate at the hands of Sansa would’ve been rewarding – and maybe more fulfilling than hearing Sansa snark about it to Sandor (who had no connection to Ramsay).

      I for one wanted Sansa to learn what happened to that smirking sadistic Kingsguard who got his jollies belting her in the face and punching her in the stomach. (“He punched me in the stomach too. Right before I gouged out his eyes and poked him full of so many holes…”).

      Likewise, to bookend the S2 scene in which Sansa described to Tyrion how she was plagued by nightmares after learning how her mother had been murdered and her body desecrated, and how Robb had been killed and his corpse mutilated, I would not have minded a followup scene in S7 (maybe after snooping Sansa found Arya’s face-satchel) in which Arya divulged to Sansa what exactly happened to Walder, his damn moron sons who’d cut Catelyn’s throat and butchered their pregnant sister in law, and the other Frey doofuses who slaughtered the Starks at the Red Wedding.

      I also would have enjoyed a twenty-second conversation in which Sandor also learned what happened to Meryn F*cking Trant. (”Meryn Trant was killed? Who by?” A: “By me.” Q: “How the f*ck did you do that?” A: “Trant didn’t have a sword. Or armor. Only a wooden stick.” [Sandor smiles with barely-disguised pride.]

      Most of all though, I would’ve liked at least a few brief scenes between Jon & Arya. Their “reunion” was brief and unfulfilling – and was more about Sansa and Dany-bashing, and contained that unearned line about Sansa, i.e.: “She’s the smartest person I ever met.”

      I can rationalize the downplaying Jon & Arya reunification by a narrative decision to focus on continuing and completing the Arya & Sandor story – though cutting down extended scenes of characters grimacing and walking around while saying nothing, and excising completely that cackling clown Euron, would’ve provided ample time for some more “high thread-count” interpersonal scenes.

      Ah, wishful thinking! S8 would’ve run for 20 episodes if we had all got what we wanted. Which would not have been so terrible….

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    163. Fireandblood87:
      Ten Bears,

      I totally saw a hint of a little jealousy or maybe uncertainty.

      Rightfully so: Sansa’s emotional state was so ambiguous from her facial expressions that we all could interpret them differently. I did not see jealousy or uncertainty; I certainly don’t doubt that you could have and did.

      Frankly, the audience should not have to resort to the showrunners’ explanation after the fact in an “Inside the Episode” segment.

      By comparison, here’s that scene of Arya with Needle in S5e3 on the Braavos dock (at 2:36 – 3:01). Is there any doubt from those fifteen seconds what she’s thinking and how she’s feeling?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKEDKhN9nLQ

      🗡👸🏻

        Quote  Reply

    164. Mr Derp,

      Mr. D: We really ought to devote a Forum Section topic to such Unanswered Questions & Unresolved Mysteries. There are more than a few that have irked many of us. (I for one have a slew of questions and some apparent inconsistencies about the VS dagger, including its provenance, ownership, and geolocation.)

        Quote  Reply

    165. Ten Bears,

      Not a bad idea, but for now, I’m ok with talking about it here. I’m not particularly interested in the Forum Section. There’s not much else to discuss anyway until HOTD news comes out.

        Quote  Reply

    166. MotherofWolves:
      Ten Bears,

      I’ve never seen that interview before so I need to thank you. I loved his take on Tywin. He was exactly how I pictured him.
      CD is right, Maisie/ Arya is a wonderful girl and I would watch the hell out of an Arya spin-off with Maisie.

      Re: MotherofWolves, 4/29/20, 2:13 pm reply

      So, as I remarked a little while ago, I am construing your reply as an implied invitation to (re-)post another interview, with my Arya-centric commentary. (I may have posted this a few months ago.)

      • Here’s a link to Maisie Williams’s 2013 Thronecast interview about Season 3. (10:32 long.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AASqKKgSndo

      Take a look the part of the interview at 5:37 – 7:05. Maisie is asked about the accuracy of an Arya Funko Pop figurine. In particular, she states…

      6:00 – 6:06 “I recently saw Cersei Lannister’s, and she’s got some nice eyebrows, and I was like…. (lifts up her bangs) I’ve got some pretty good eyebrows too…”
      6:07 – 7:05 (Draws in eyebrows on figurine with a marker.)

      • Fast forward three years to Lady Crane’s scene with Arya in S6e6 (aired on May 29, 2016):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZbiNiDsk48

      I’ve often wondered whether it was serendipity, coincidence, or a deliberate writing decision when Lady Crane tells Arya she has “wonderful eyebrows”:

      Lady Crane: “You have very expressive eyes, Mercy. Wonderful eyebrows.”

        Quote  Reply

    167. MotherofWolves,

      6:16 Note: Reply stuck in Moderation. Maybe because it contains multiple links. To avoid duplication, I’ll wait a while before trying to separate my comment into two parts.

        Quote  Reply

    168. Adrianacandle,

      Aerys wanted to “burn them all” (“burn the mall” ™ Ten Bears)…”

      —-
      Ha ha ha! 🤣
      I’ll have you know I am looking at the Mall from my sky cell window as I type this, and thinking to myself that at least for the time being, all the stores are closed, the entrances are locked, the parking lots are empty, and the construction cranes and bulldozers are unmanned. It might be an auspicious time for someone prone to auditory hallucinations to “hear” the voice of the Mad King instructing him: “Burn the Mall!

      Of course, that someone won’t be me, and I am not suggesting that anyone should actually set fire to the place.

        Quote  Reply

    169. Young Dragon,

      You posted a link about fast paced and rushed Storytelling, or something for a while. Do you have the link or do you know the name of the site? If you don’t mind of course 😁

        Quote  Reply

    170. MotherofWolves:
      Ten Bears,

      I’ve never seen that interview before so I need to thank you. I loved his take on Tywin. He was exactly how I pictured him.
      CD is right, Maisie/ Arya is a wonderful girl and I would watch the hell out of an Arya spin-off with Maisie.

      Part 1 of 2 Parts [re-posting, in two parts, 6:15 pm comment stuck in Moderation]

      Re: MotherofWolves, 4/29/20, 2:13 pm reply

      So, as I remarked earlier today (at 3:28 pm), I am construing your reply as an implied invitation to (re-)post another interview, with my Arya-centric commentary. (I may have posted this a few months ago.)

      • Here’s a link to Maisie Williams’s 2013 Thronecast interview about Season 3. (10:32 long.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AASqKKgSndo

      Take a look the part of the interview at 5:37 – 7:05. Maisie is asked about the accuracy of an Arya Funko Pop figurine. In particular, she states…

      6:00 – 6:06 “I recently saw Cersei Lannister’s, and she’s got some nice eyebrows, and I was like…. (lifts up her bangs) I’ve got some pretty good eyebrows too…”
      6:07 – 7:05 (Draws in eyebrows on figurine with a marker.)

      … to be continued in Part 2

        Quote  Reply

    171. MotherofWolves,

      Part 2 of 2 Parts (continued from Part 1 at 8:19 pm)

      • Fast forward three years to Lady Crane’s scene with Arya in S6e6 (aired on May 29, 2016):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZbiNiDsk48

      I’ve often wondered whether it was serendipity, coincidence, or a deliberate writing decision when Lady Crane tells Arya she has “wonderful eyebrows”:

      Lady Crane: “You have very expressive eyes, Mercy. Wonderful eyebrows.”

        Quote  Reply

    172. Ten Bears: Ha ha ha! 🤣
      I’ll have you know I am looking at the Mall from my sky cell window as I type this, and thinking to myself that at least for the time being, all the stores are closed, the entrances are locked, the parking lots are empty, and the construction cranes and bulldozers are unmanned. It might be an auspicious time for someone prone to auditory hallucinations to “hear” the voice of the Mad King instructing him: “Burn the Mall!”

      Of course, that someone won’t be me, and I am not suggesting that anyone should actually set fire to the place.

      At least fire would cleanse 😉

      As a bit of a serious note, this made me reflect on how much I miss malls now, something I thought would never happen. Starbucks, Yogenfruz, Bath & Body Works, being able to try stuff on in person… 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    173. Mr Derp,

      You can’t spend 7 plus seasons building up Dany the way they did just to reverse all of it within 3 episodes.

      As commenter Jai explained, they spent seven seasons carefully presenting a charming psychopath as if she could indeed be The Savior, if only she could overcome her pesky murderous tendencies — which she could, we were most definitely assured, if she’d just listen to those older, bitter men she had for advisors. (But what happens when those advisors are gone or discredited?)

      As Jai noted, the warning signs started early:

      There was also a major warning early on, when Dany was shown as smiling during Drogo’s rant about raping Westerosi women — this sadism was a huge red flag that Dany was never actually the “good person” she was portrayed as (and believed herself to be) until the clever “bait and switch” near the end of the show.

      And she’s not just “smiling,” either. Watch her reactions during that scene. She looks positively aroused as Drogo bellows on and on about all of the rape, murder, and pillage he’ll soon commit to put their as-yet unborn son on the Iron Throne. Under Dany’s command, Drogo’s reptilian namesake would do far worse in King’s Landing.

      In Season 7, we see Kinvara happily describe Dany’s dragons as “fire made flesh,” who will “purify non-believers by the thousands.” I took that to be the moment Varys really begins to wonder if Dany should really be trusted with all the power he’s been planning to help her obtain.

      The signs were there all along. We were repeatedly provided with convenient justifications/rationalizations to believe Dany would be a benevolent dictator, so we went along with our hope, even as our own eyes and ears told us otherwise. Then she turned out to be the worst villain in the story. As Jai concludes, it was “very clever storytelling.”

        Quote  Reply

    174. Adrianacandle,

      You quoted (Jon’s thoughts from the books):

      “…And Arya … he missed her even more than Robb, skinny little thing that she was, all scraped knees and tangled hair and torn clothes, so fierce and willful. Arya never seemed to fit, no more than he had … yet she could always make Jon smile. He would give anything to be with her now, to muss up her hair once more and watch her make a face, to hear her finish a sentence with him.”

      How sweet! It’s kind of a shame the show didn’t follow through with this after their abridged reunion. They hardly had any screentime together.

      They could have at least had a few scenes fighting side by side in S8e3, instead of having Jon crouching behind a rock and shouting at an undead dragon.

      In fact, the pre-S8 teaser of Sansa, Jon & Arya in the WF crypts had me psyched for such a scene. That teaser showed Jon and Arya turning around to face a threat, and drawing their swords together. Squee! I said to myself…

        Quote  Reply

    175. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      That was a convincing synopsis. Allow me to add my two cents…
      • The unnecessary Tarly barbecue following Dany’s barbaric “kneel or fry” ultimatum to POWs indicated to me that under her charming exterior and blather about building a better world, was Dany the firebug whose impulse was to go full on Dracarys! first and ask questions later. (“I didn’t come here to put people in chains” is a lame excuse for incinerating prisoners.)

      • For me, the biggest red flag that Dany was a danger to nuke a city if there were no advisors who could “rein in her worst impulses” came at the beginning of S6e9…

      (Dany & Tyrion, S6e9: Mereen under bombardment)

      ***
      Tyrion: “Do we have a plan?”
      Daenerys: “I will crucify the Masters. I will set their fleets afire, kill every last one of their soldiers, and return their cities to the dirt. That is my plan.”
      (Tyrion grimaces)
      Dany: “You don’t approve?”
      Tyrion: “You once told me you knew what your father was. Did you know his plans for King’s Landing when the Lannister armies were at his gates? Probably not. Well, he told my brother and Jaime told me. He had caches of wildfire hidden under the Red Keep, the Guildhalls, the Sept of Baelor, all the major thoroughfares. He would have burned every one of his citizens. The loyal ones and the traitors. Every man, woman, and child. That’s why Jaime killed him.”
      Dany: “This is entirely different.”
      Tyrion: “You’re talking about destroying cities. It’s not entirely different. I’d like to suggest an alternate approach.”

      Tyrion’s alternate approach, to conduct an aerial show and tell of dragons flame broiling one ship to convince the rest of the Masters’ armada to surrender, successfully preempted Dany’s “burn them all!” battle plan.

      By S8, Tyrion no longer had any sway with Dany. Nor did anyone else.

      My main reservation is that portraying Dany as going ballistic due to a heredity mental illness kind of detracted from the transformation from Mhysa to mass murderer. My other problem was that so many setbacks (e.g., loyalists’ deaths, betrayals, ingratitude and estrangements) seemed contrived to happen all at once in order to drive Dany nuts.

      Anyway, Dany going full on fire and blood wasn’t a total surprise…

        Quote  Reply

    176. Ten Bears: How sweet! It’s kind of a shame the show didn’t follow through with this after their abridged reunion. They hardly had any screentime together.

      They could have at least had a few scenes fighting side by side in S8e3, instead of having Jon crouching behind a rock and shouting at an undead dragon.

      Yes, I would have loved that 🙁 After he (crash-)landed to the ground, I wish he had some scenes fighting alongside Arya where he could witness just how well she learned to wield Needle (even if she wasn’t using Needle at the time!):

      Jon: I have something for you. And it has to be packed very carefully.
      Arya: A present?
      Jon: Close the door. This is no toy. Be careful you don’t cut yourself.
      Arya: It’s so skinny.
      Jon: So are you. I had the blacksmith make it for you special. It won’t hack a man’s head off, but it can poke him full of holes if you’re quick enough.
      Arya: I can be quick.
      Jon: You’ll have to work at it every day. How does it feel? Do you like the balance?
      Arya: I think so.
      Jon: First lesson — stick them with the pointy end.
      Arya: I know which end to use.
      Jon: I’m going to miss you. Careful. All the best swords have names, you know.
      Arya: Sansa can keep her sewing needles. I’ve got a needle of my own.

      Same scene from the books:

      Arya was in her room, packing a polished ironwood chest that was bigger than she was. Nymeria was helping. Arya would only have to point, and the wolf would bound across the room, snatch up some wisp of silk in her jaws, and fetch it back. But when she smelled Ghost, she sat down on her haunches and yelped at them.

      Arya glanced behind her, saw Jon, and jumped to her feet. She threw her skinny arms tight around his neck. “I was afraid you were gone,” she said, her breath catching in her throat. “They wouldn’t let me out to say good-bye.”

      “What did you do now?” Jon was amused.

      Arya disentangled herself from him and made a face. “Nothing. I was all packed and everything.” She gestured at the huge chest, no more than a third full, and at the clothes that were scattered all over the room. “Septa Mordane says I have to do it all over. My things weren’t properly folded, she says. A proper southron lady doesn’t just throw her clothes inside her chest like old rags, she says.”

      “Is that what you did, little sister?”

      “Well, they’re going to get all messed up anyway,” she said. “Who cares how they’re folded?”

      “Septa Mordane,” Jon told her. “I don’t think she’d like Nymeria helping, either.” The she-wolf regarded him silently with her dark golden eyes. “It’s just as well. I have something for you to take with you, and it has to be packed very carefully.”

      Her face lit up. “A present?”

      “You could call it that. Close the door.”

      Wary but excited, Arya checked the hall. “Nymeria, here. Guard.” She left the wolf out there to warn of intruders and closed the door. By then Jon had pulled off the rags he’d wrapped it in. He held it out to her.

      Arya’s eyes went wide. Dark eyes, like his. “A sword,” she said in a small, hushed breath.

      The scabbard was soft grey leather, supple as sin. Jon drew out the blade slowly, so she could see the deep blue sheen of the steel. “This is no toy,” he told her. “Be careful you don’t cut yourself. The edges are sharp enough to shave with.”

      “Girls don’t shave,” Arya said.

      “Maybe they should. Have you ever seen the septa’s legs?”

      She giggled at him. “It’s so skinny.”

      “So are you,” Jon told her. “I had Mikken make this special. The bravos use swords like this in Pentos and Myr and the other Free Cities. It won’t hack a man’s head off, but it can poke him full of holes if you’re fast enough.”

      “I can be fast,” Arya said.

      “You’ll have to work at it every day.” He put the sword in her hands, showed her how to hold it, and stepped back. “How does it feel? Do you like the balance?”

      “I think so,” Arya said.

      “First lesson,” Jon said. “Stick them with the pointy end.”

      Arya gave him a whap on the arm with the flat of her blade. The blow stung, but Jon found himself grinning like an idiot. “I know which end to use,” Arya said. A doubtful look crossed her face. “Septa Mordane will take it away from me.”

      “Not if she doesn’t know you have it,” Jon said.

      “Who will I practice with?”

      “You’ll find someone,” Jon promised her. “King’s Landing is a true city, a thousand times the size of Winterfell. Until you find a partner, watch how they fight in the yard. Run, and ride, make yourself strong. And whatever you do …”

      Arya knew what was coming next. They said it together.

      “… don’t … tell … Sansa!”

      Jon messed up her hair. “I will miss you, little sister.”

      Suddenly she looked like she was going to cry. “I wish you were coming with us.”

      “Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle. Who knows?” He was feeling better now. He was not going to let himself be sad. “I better go. I’ll spend my first year on the Wall emptying chamber pots if I keep Uncle Ben waiting any longer.”

      Arya ran to him for a last hug. “Put down the sword first,” Jon warned her, laughing. She set it aside almost shyly and showered him with kisses.

      When he turned back at the door, she was holding it again, trying it for balance. “I almost forgot,” he told her. “All the best swords have names.”

      “Like Ice,” she said. She looked at the blade in her hand. “Does this have a name? Oh, tell me.”

      “Can’t you guess?” Jon teased. “Your very favorite thing.”

      Arya seemed puzzled at first. Then it came to her. She was that quick. They said it together:

      “Needle!”

      The memory of her laughter warmed him on the long ride north.

        Quote  Reply

    177. Adrianacandle,

      I did misremember the farewell scene then! But Stark-Snow also has the same significance, only gentler, to underscore that they are not the same. They both know their place. It is sad knowing that Jon is separated from his family because he is not a legitimate son of Ned.

      The line you seek is in the abstract you quoted:

      “He missed the girls too, even Sansa, who never called him anything but “my half brother” since she was old enough to understand what bastard meant.”

      I take this to mean that before she knew what it meant, she called him a bastard. She must have been very young, because she was only 11 when they parted. When she understood the significance of it, Sansa stopped calling him that.
      Why? As I feel “half-brother” is only a gentler way to say “bastard”, but a half brother can be a legitimate half-brother too. So by calling him “half-brother” Sansa takes away the moral connotation of “bastard” while at the same time maintaining the difference between them. She found a way to please both Jon and her mother (if that was at stake). But I think she might have felt that “bastard” was a curse too and didn’t befit her way of speaking and addressing him.

      I see the same thing in the sewing scene, which is a very interesting scene.
      Joffrey is a prince, trueborn (as far as they know, of course), handsome, and taller than Jon even though younger.
      And Sansa says “poor Jon, he is jealous because he’s a bastard”.
      What impresses me here is that she doesn’t say that he’s jealous because Joffrey is a prince, or that he is taller and handsome, or something else equally superficial like girls of her age would say, but that Jon is a bastard, which again narrows it down to Jon’s identity. It seems to me that Sansa here expressly recognizes that this is what hurts Jon, that it’s the source of all his pain and that his behavior in relation to Joffrey is explained through that alone. It’s impressive for an 11 y-o girl to be so perceptive.

      Of course Sansa is a product of her own environment. She grew up to be self-conscious of social differences but no one instructed her as to what hurts people or with regard to their desires and their own wishes. Instead of being obnoxious and arrogant and show everyone their place, she is intuitive and polite and it shows all through her chapters at KL and at the Eyrie (I’d say especially with relation to Robert Arryn and the knights of the tourney, Waynwoods et. al. in her released WoW chapter).

      I suppose Jon’s bastard status that no one ever forgets will perhaps play a role in the next book and I have no idea what that will be, since he is legitimized as a Stark by Robb. We’ll see!

        Quote  Reply

    178. On the idea of Jon and Tormund beyond the wall about two years back there were leaked reports (in Hollywood) that HBO were looking into the possibility of a Jon Snow spin off. The idea was shot down quickly at the time (I suspect in fear of spoilers to the GOT ending) but I do think that and an Arya spin off could work if House of the Dragon falls flat.

        Quote  Reply

    179. Efi,

      I did misremember the farewell scene then! But Stark-Snow also has the same significance, only gentler, to underscore that they are not the same. They both know their place. It is sad knowing that Jon is separated from his family because he is not a legitimate son of Ned.

      Well, Robb isn’t using this term to divide himself from Jon as brothers emotionally and doesn’t seem to regard Jon as any less than that. He and Jon are pretty open in their brotherly affection for each other and Robb never distances himself from Jon because of it. Jon and Robb have quite a close relationship — but what’s more, while Jon is definitely aware Robb is the trueborn heir while he himself is a bastard, he doesn’t feel Robb is always reminding them of the class difference between them.

      As for the Night’s Watch, a lot of that is because Ned had to make hasty plans for all of his kids because Robert’s arrival was unexpected. The Watch was also something Jon expressed an interest in wanting to join because it provided opportunities that aren’t currently available to Jon otherwise at this time. Ned must go south, Catelyn won’t let Jon stay, and the Watch is something trueborn Starks have joined in the past. Ned had hoped Jon would stay with Robb because they are so close but Catelyn wouldn’t stand for that.

      I take this to mean that before she knew what it meant, she called him a bastard. She must have been very young, because she was only 11 when they parted. When she understood the significance of it, Sansa stopped calling him that.

      It seems to me that the quote appears to mean that when Sansa learned that Jon was her half brother because he is a bastard and what that specifically meant, that’s when she started only referring to him as her half-brother and making that class difference clear between them. Especially if this was impressed upon her by Catelyn.

      What impresses me here is that she doesn’t say that he’s jealous because Joffrey is a prince, or that he is taller and handsome, or something else equally superficial like girls of her age would say, but that Jon is a bastard, which again narrows it down to Jon’s identity. It seems to me that Sansa here expressly recognizes that this is what hurts Jon, that it’s the source of all his pain and that his behavior in relation to Joffrey is explained through that alone. It’s impressive for an 11 y-o girl to be so perceptive.

      The thing is, what hurts Jon is that he’s being excluded, separated from the rest, and limited as a result of his bastardy. I think Sansa’s statement is kind of superficial because she’s saying Jon gets jealous because he’s a bastard — she’s not sympathizing with why Jon’s bastardy hurts him (which is natural, she’s 11). And in this same quote, there’s a difference between how she views Prince Joffrey (gallant) and Princess Myrcella (pleased to have her with them) vs. her bastard brother Jon, who Sansa says is jealous. When Arya objects that Jon is their brother, Sansa proceeds to quickly correct Arya that Jon is their *half*-brother.

      Westeros prejudice already says bastards are jealous people. We have access to Sansa’s mind and Jon’s exclusion is not something that Sansa ever really reflects on or is sympathizing with and it doesn’t appear she’s recognizing what hurts Jon (which is natural, she’s 11). I don’t think she gets an idea of that until AFFC.

      Why? As I feel “half-brother” is only a gentler way to say “bastard”, but a half brother can be a legitimate half-brother too. So by calling him “half-brother” Sansa takes away the moral connotation of “bastard” while at the same time maintaining the difference between them. She found a way to please both Jon and her mother (if that was at stake). But I think she might have felt that “bastard” was a curse too and didn’t befit her way of speaking and addressing him.

      I think Sansa is polite, yes, and she’s not trying to be hurtful, but she still makes this separation between herself and Jon and it hurts Jon. In Westeros (well, not Dorne really), bastards are not viewed well and certainly not ideal to associate with so yes, Sansa is a product of her environment, she’s acting in a way she was taught. But I wouldn’t say Sansa is intuitive or sensitive at this point in her story.

      There’s no real support for the idea that Sansa was using this word as a compromise to please both Jon and her mother. I don’t think Sansa considers Jon that much. That doesn’t mean she’s not polite to him though. I think she does start the series on the more classist side of things.

      However, I think this is important for her arc because I believe part of Sansa’s development involves her getting away from that as she experiences life past AGOT. I’d like to talk about Sansa’s arc in my next post 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    180. Efi,

      (Continuing on from my last post)

      I think this is part of Sansa’s arc — realizing that class, status, and beauty are not linked with a person’s character. For instance, the knight who protects her isn’t beautiful Loras who seems to be perfect in every way. It’s Sandor Clegane of all people. In AFFC, Sansa realizes she has no brothers now except for Jon, the brother she always regarded as only her half-brother. While Sansa thinks that Jon is “only her half brother”, he’s now “the only brother that remained to her” and for the first time, I think Sansa begins to find a connection with him (“I am a bastard too now, just like him. Oh, it would be so sweet, to see him once again.”)

      Meanwhile, beautiful Joffrey and Cersei — what Sansa used to want — turn out to be monsters who torment her and court life likewise turns out to be a nightmare. In all that she’s suffered, in the absence of things she once took for granted, I think Sansa is now starting to embrace what she formerly excluded, things that previously didn’t fit her world the way she dreamed it would be. Things like boring Winterfell, her embarrassing little sister Arya, her baseborn brother Jon — she desperately wants all things back now while her dreams and fairytale notions turned out to be hell. I think this is heartbreaking and very true to life.

      In the above AGOT sewing circle quote we were discussing, this is a Sansa before all of that. Sansa displays a different attitude toward royalty (Prince Joffrey is gallant, it is wonderful to have the princess Myrcella sewing with them) vs bastardy (“Poor Jon”, “he gets jealous because he’s a bastard”). She finds herself unable to relate to Arya, thinking it would be easier if Arya was a bastard like Jon to explain why she is so different from her sister, believing that her real sister was stolen. Jon is often excluded from Sansa’s recollections and dreams of being back with her family. Her attitude toward Jon doesn’t begin to change until AFFC when, in the absence of her trueborn brothers, Sansa realizes her only brother left is Jon and wishes to see him.

      I’m not saying Sansa or Jon ever hated each other, not at all, and I’ve never meant Sansa was trying to be malicious or mean toward Jon. In all three times she thinks of Jon after she leaves Winterfell, it’s sympathetic — but, until AFFC (the third time), her sympathy is not over his bastardy. In the first instance, Sansa feels sorry for Jon in AGOT when she sees what a ‘black knight’ of the Night’s Watch really looks like (ugly, unwashed Yoren). In the second instance, Sansa prays for her family and friends and includes Jon in her prayers.

      However, Jon’s bastardy did make a difference for Sansa in how she regards him and Jon felt that. Yet what tension there was due to this, it evidently wasn’t enough to make Jon mentally cut her off and by all accounts, she certainly was polite and nice to him. Jon still thinks of Sansa as much as he does Bran (often as one of his sisters) and he includes her among his siblings. It’s not like Sansa has earned Jon’s hostility or anything like that. Jon still has some fond memories of Sansa but he feels the hurt and separation over the distinction Sansa makes with him vs. her trueborn siblings — always separating him as her half-brother.

      I think Sansa’s compassion and empathy are growing. I mean, it’s true that Sansa has no way of knowing what it’s truly like to grow up as a stigmatized outsider and that’s not her fault. Jon (bastard), Arya (difficulty fitting into gender roles), Dany (exiled princess on the run, Mad King’s daughter), Tyrion (dwarf), and Brienne (unable to physically conform to expectations of female nobility) — these have been lifelong realities for them that impacted them significantly and caused them suffering. Meanwhile, when the series starts out, Sansa fits in with regard to all of the above respects — trueborn, beautiful, excels at ladylike tasks, wants to be a lady, was born into an accepted noble family, doesn’t suffer from stigma. Sansa’s the poster-child for the ideal highborn girl.

      But, by ASOS, Sansa now knows what it’s like to be blamed for things that aren’t her fault — something Jon, Dany, and Tyrion all experience. In Sansa’s case, after Ned’s false confession and execution, Sansa is held hostage and deemed to have traitor’s blood. She is held in mistrust and suspicion over this, punished for her father’s and brother’s actions, and suffers.

      I guess that’s a long way of explaining how I think Sansa is learning, growing, and developing in positive aspects. Sansa did start out with some very different attitudes at the start (which is true of most of the characters, who do change, learn, and grow) but she is pulling the veil from these attitudes.

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    181. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: And she’s not just “smiling,” either. Watch her reactions during that scene. She looks positively aroused as Drogo bellows on and on about all of the rape, murder, and pillage he’ll soon commit to put their as-yet unborn son on the Iron Throne. Under Dany’s command, Drogo’s reptilian namesake would do far worse in King’s Landing.

      Yet later in the season she convinces the Dothraki and Drogo that raping and pillaging is wrong. This continued under her command in KL (that we saw).

      Also, I seem to recall Sansa looked positively aroused while she watched Ramsey get eaten alive, yet she didn’t turn into some pseudo-Hitler.

      Arya looked positively aroused when torturing Meryn Trant to death too, yet she didn’t turn into Hitler either.

      This is part of the problem. When Dany did something controversial, it’s supposed to be a clear and obvious sign that she’s a psychopath, yet when countless other characters in this show did something controversial it was dismissed as simply revenge, or just “hey, it’s GoT, this stuff happens all the time”.

        Quote  Reply

    182. Damn edit timer. Continued…

      It’s a double standard that worked simply because of her Targaryen genetics. Personally, I think that’s kind of lame. It’s ok that we don’t agree though. I’m glad for those of you who thought it was the tits.

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    183. Ten Bears,

      Thank you for going to the trouble of posting these. Maisie is such a treat to watch and the putting eyebrows on the figure was perfection. Perhaps the writing team were actually paying tribute to how well Maisie uses her eyes to emote.
      She and Charles Dance really enjoyed working together which translated into wonderful scenes on screen.
      Many thanks again! ☺️

        Quote  Reply

    184. Jon Snowed:
      On the idea of Jon and Tormund beyond the wall about two years back there were leaked reports (in Hollywood) that HBO were looking into the possibility of a Jon Snow spin off. The idea was shot down quickly at the time (I suspect in fear of spoilers to the GOT ending) but I do think that and an Arya spin off could work if House of the Dragon falls flat.

      By the time HotD actually premieres and has time to either thrive or bomb it’ll be at least a couple years. Add in another couple years to produce and premiere a Jon or Arya spin off and we’re talking 2026ish. That might be a little too late at that point.

        Quote  Reply

    185. Mr Derp: Yet later in the season she convinces the Dothraki and Drogo that raping and pillaging is wrong. This continued under her command in KL (that we saw).

      Also, I seem to recall Sansa looked positively aroused while she watched Ramsey get eaten alive, yet she didn’t turn into some pseudo-Hitler.

      Arya looked positively aroused when torturing Meryn Trant to death too, yet she didn’t turn into Hitler either.

      This is part of the problem.When Dany did something controversial, it’s supposed to be a clear and obvious sign that she’s a psychopath, yet when countless other characters in this show did something controversial it was dismissed as simply revenge, or just “hey, it’s GoT, this stuff happens all the time”.

      I agree with you. Other criticism usually alluded to justify Daenerys final actions that screams “double standards” is the fact that she was always a tyrant. People tend to forget that every power system we see in GoT and ASOIAF are tyrannies over the downtrodden, apart from the Night’s Watch, which has democratic elections. In the Iron Islands, it’s also possible to choose, but the king or queen must belong to the ruling family, if I’m not mistaken.

      The only difference that would eventually arise between Daenerys’ rule and the previous kings we’ve seen in Westeros is that noble houses would lose part of their power to a more centralized form of government. With a kinder or crueler treatment of their subjects, Starks, Lannisters, Tyrells, Arryns, Baratheons, Martells were tyrants. Common people didn’t stand a chance to scrutinize the power of their liege lords. The same applies for the Targaryen dinasty.

      For all the criticisms she received about Meereen, her ruling was a tremendous success there, as it was depicted in 6×10: after some mistakes, she managed to restore peace in Slaver’s Bay with former slaves transformed in free citizens, able to choose their representatives (yeah, resembles democracy). It’s the last thing we know of Meereen. We don’t know if it worked or not.

      In a story that seemed to dive deeply into power dynamics and character dynamics, having a character that wants a position of power shouldn’t be enough to turn him/her into a villain (or to reveal that he/she is a villain). In the end, Daenerys didn’t want anything with ruling. She just wanted to liberate the whole world with her depleted army, even if she didn’t seriously adressed that idea before with her army in full strength. In that case, I agree with the Mad Queen thesis: that speech was pure insanity.

        Quote  Reply

    186. Tiago,

      All of the characters in GoT went through some horrible stuff yet never descended into madness like Dany did. The only thing that separated Dany from the rest was her Targaryen genetics, so it’s really more of a mental health issue than anything else. Like I said above, I personally find that to be a complete cop-out and a rather lazy and cliched plot device.

      Arya lost her parents, saw countless people killed, was blind for a time, killed others with enthusiam, needlessly tortured people before killing them, yet came out on the other side just fine. Wounded, but fine.

      Sansa lost her parents, saw countless people killed, was repeatedly raped, sold off like a broodmare to the Boltons, watched Ramsey get eaten alive by dogs with a smirk on her face, yet she came out on the other side just fine. Wounded yes, but fine.

      Jon lost his parents, saw countless people killed, had to kill children, was actually killed himself, betrayed by his sister, had to kill “muh qween” which got him banished despite all he did to save Westeros, yet he came out on the other side just fine. Wounded yes, but fine.

      There are plenty more examples. Theon would be a perfect one even though he died in the end. He arguably had it worse than any of the rest, yet didn’t become “mad”.

      But because Dany has Targaryen genes, she didn’t stand a chance no matter what did or didn’t happen to her. The game was rigged from the start.

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    187. Adrianacandle,

      As of the end of ADWD (well AFFC really as Sansa isn’t in ADWD) Sansa is still in the Vale in the guise of Littlefinger’s bastard daughter. I wonder if it’s possible that book Sansa learns a little humility through being treated as a bastard.

      Thank you for the information about spoilers. I don’t think it’s spoiling to mention that book Sansa is still in the Vale as the point in the show adaptation that Sansa was given Jeyne Poole’s subplot was where some viewers (not me) became disenchanted with the show. So I haven’t used spoiler code here. Efi’s screenshot version still shows so don’t worry about your comment on the subject having vanished into cyberspace Ten Bears.

        Quote  Reply

    188. Dame of Mercia: As of the end of ADWD (well AFFC really as Sansa isn’t in ADWD) Sansa is still in the Vale in the guise of Littlefinger’s bastard daughter. I wonder if it’s possible that book Sansa learns a little humility through being treated as a bastard.

      I think she does! I talk a little about my view on this in my April 30, 2020, 6:34 am comment if you’re interested! 😀

      Re: spoiler codes and formatting options, I also did a PasteBin document that you can copy and paste from if interested 🙂

      (I agree that talking about Sansa’s Vale arc isn’t really spoilers)

        Quote  Reply

    189. Jon Snowed,

      A. Neither the show nor the books built Danerys up to be a hero. She certainly has done heroic things, it is true, but she has also done terrible things. The problem is that some viewers only took in the good things Danerys has done while either dismissing or justifying the bad things she has done. If they were trying to portray Danerys as a hero, why would they have one of the slavers she crucified for the deaths of those children be completely innocent of the crime? Why have her feed an innocent man to her dragons? Why have her threaten to burn down cities? Why have her make the controversial decision of burning the Tarlys? Why have her execute her enemies in the most horrific ways possible? No, Danerys is a highly complex character who is capable of performing great and terrible deeds, depending on the circumstances.

      C. Dany’s story wasn’t rushed at all. All the pieces were in place to make it believable and earned. As for shock value, it’s only shock value if it’s shock for the sake of shock. The Frey pies in season 6 was shock value. Danerys burning down King’s Landing was the natural progression of the story.

        Quote  Reply

    190. Tiago,

      I also think D&D inadvertently added some confusion to the final season because a lot of what they said on the “Inside the Episodes” doesn’t add up…

      • Inside the episode after season 7 episode 1 when talking about the difference between Cersei and Dany – “Cersei will do whatever she has to do to win. She’ll blow up the Sept if that will allow her to win even though it means killing hundreds, probably thousands, of innocent people. She’s capable of anything. Unlike Dany who’s constrained a little bit by her morality and her fear of hurting innocents.”

      • Inside the episode after season 6 episode 9 – “Dany’s not her father and she’s not insane and she’s not a sadist, but there’s a Targaryen ruthlessness that comes with being one of the good Targaryens”.

      • Inside the episode after “The Long Night” – They claim it’s “essentially the end of the Dothraki”. Until the very next episode when Greyworm says only half are gone and their board on the table shows this.

      • D&D thought Dickon was the older brother when it was actually Sam. In fact, the entire reason for Sam going to the Wall was because he was the eldest brother and next in line.

      I’ll just skip the “Dany kind of forgot about the IF” stuff.

      Sometimes it seemed like D&D either lost track of the story at times or were simply not being truthful during these interviews.

        Quote  Reply

    191. talvikorppi,

      The Dothraki didn’t stick around after Drogo. They didn’t stick around after Danerys roasted the other khals. Them not sticking around after Dany’s death is consistent with their character.

        Quote  Reply

    192. Adrianacandle,

      I’ve seen people say this a lot, that we needed to see how Arya and Sansa would react to finding out their father never cheated on their mother. The problem with that is that they never cared. There is not one scene where they showed they had a problem with their father’s infidelity. Not one. Now, I wouldn’t have minded seeing them find out on screen, but I belong to the camp that says it wasn’t needed. It already knew what their reaction would be because Arya said it herself even before the reveal. “You will always be our brother.” The reveal didn’t change anything between them.

        Quote  Reply

    193. Mr Derp,

      She didn’t convince Drogo and the Dothraki to give up their ways. She convinced Drogo to spare a few of the Lhazareen and take them as slaves. After Drogo agreed, I believe he told Mago to go find another woman to rape (paraphrasing, of course).

      Arya and Sansa didn’t threaten to slaughter thousands of innocents, like Danerys did when she threatened to burn down Yunkai and Astapor. That said, they were both on a very dark path, and they managed to diverge from it, thanks to the people in their life. Danerys, unfortunately, lost a lot of the people she could rely which left her alone and isolated.

        Quote  Reply

    194. Mr Derp,

      It wasn’t because Danerys was a Targaryen, it was because she’s a different character. Trials and suffering affects people in different ways. Arya and the rest managed to overcome their hardships and move forward in a positive direction, Danerys was not. I know it sucks for her fans, but you can’t say it doesn’t make sense.

        Quote  Reply

    195. Young Dragon,

      You’re forgetting a detail: Daenerys named all the Dothraki her bloodriders. According to the Dothraki tradition, the bloodriders are obliged to avenge the death of their khal. They also have to follow their command. Maybe that’s why they didn’t rape or pillage in Westeros until the burning of King’s Landing. I’m not sure that was the reason for it. But when we see thousands of Dothraki unwilling to start a riot in the North, a land completely strange to them, short of food and resources to pillage, I think that’s enough proof that Daenerys had their behaviour under control.

      However, I respect your opinion on her arc. A year after the end of GoT, I don’t think the viewers will change their opinions. You think the burning of King’s Landing was the result of Daenerys being a complex character. I think that Daenerys burning indiscriminately King’s Landing after surrender turned the complexity shown across the seasons into a caricature. That complexity I believe I watched across the seasons turned out to be quite meaningless, IMO. I expected Daenerys to die before season 8, but I never expected to see her becoming the worst person that ever set foot on Westeros.

      This is just an opinion. Who’s right about the ending? You or me? I don’t know. I respect all opinions though. Different opinions are good to keep this community alive, when they’re expressed with civility.

        Quote  Reply

    196. Tiago,

      I know bloodriders die with their khal, or at least, they’re supposed to, but I don’t remember it being said that they had to avenge their khal.

      Danerys is one of my favorite characters and I am a big fan of hers. However, unlike her other fans, I don’t justify the dark things she has done. She’s killed people in the cruelest way imaginable on a regular basis and often lost control of her emotions. I loved her arc. Her fall from grace was spectacular and worthy of my favorite television show.

      Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to dislike the direction they took with Dany’s character. What I don’t get is people claiming that it came out of nowhere when she literally threatened to do it before.

      As far as opinions go, there is no right or wrong. I don’t have a problem with people disliking the ending, so long as they remain respectful to the cast and crew, including D&D, as well as respectful to the people who actually enjoyed it.

        Quote  Reply

    197. Mr Derp,

      I completely disagree I think it’s the opposite of cop outand lazy. Sounds to me like you didn’t like it so you just yell lazy like everyone else.

        Quote  Reply

    198. Mr Derp,

      Sounds to me like a bunch of wh
      Ten Bears,

      Different circumstances and nobody said you had to watch the after episode. The whole point is were suppose to be wondering what she is thinking. Two scene that having two totally different context. Sounds like more of let’s find more stuff the blame on D&D the worst writers to ever exist.

        Quote  Reply

    199. Fireandblood87:
      Mr Derp,

      Sounds to me like a bunch of wh
      Ten Bears,

      Different circumstances and nobody said you had to watch the after episode. The whole point is were suppose to be wondering what she is thinking. Two scene that having two totally different context. Sounds like more of let’s find more stuff the blame on D&D the worst writers to ever exist.

      Thanks for the attempted insult?

      Between your frequent misquotes, your persecution complex, and your pearl clutching, your obsession with D&D is beyond unhealthy.

        Quote  Reply

    200. I never made a point of watching the ‘Inside The Episode’ clips. I’ve seen a few. My impression of D&D is that they didn’t seem to have done much preparation for those mini-commentaries, and they weren’t always very good at explaining what they meant.

        Quote  Reply

    201. Mr Derp,

      Yet later in the season she convinces the Dothraki and Drogo that raping and pillaging is wrong.

      No, Drogo stopped leading rape and pillage raids only after he sickened and died. He died because one of his former victims, Mirri Maaz Duur, intentionally poisoned him in the guise of healing him. (She explicitly said she did this to prevent Drogo from leading any more rape and pillage raids.) Dany later burned Duur alive, as part of the blood sacrifice which hatched her dragons. The connection between live dragons and violent, painful human death was there from the first moment the dragons crawled, so no one should have later claimed surprise at what Dany ordered Drogon to do.

      Also, I seem to recall Sansa looked positively aroused while she watched Ramsey get eaten alive, yet she didn’t turn into some pseudo-Hitler.

      The Lady of Winterfell knew that Ramsay had committed multiple beatings and rapes within the walls of Winterfell. (He had also committed kinslaying there, which is one of the worst crimes on Westeros.) Thus, she was legally empowered — and morally obligated — to punish him for his crimes. Any satisfaction she derived from her execution of this criminal differs in both degree and kind from Dany’s happy anticipation of widespread rape and slaughter of innocents in service of her personal ambitions.

      When Dany did something controversial, it’s supposed to be a clear and obvious sign that she’s a psychopath,

      Deriving pleasure from the very thought of innocents getting indiscriminately raped and murdered is, by definition, a clear and obvious sign that she’s a psychopath. Again, that’s such a different thing from taking personal satisfaction at (poetic) justice that I can’t even understand how you managed to equate them.

        Quote  Reply

    202. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: Deriving pleasure from the very thought of innocents getting indiscriminately raped and murdered is, by definition, a clear and obvious sign that she’s a psychopath.

      Yet she made it clear later on that raping, pillaging, and murdering would no longer be part of the Dothraki way. She also did this with the Greyjoys.

      You’re cherry picking.

      Getting sick pleasure from torture, mutilation, and murder is psychopathic, whether it’s based on revenge or not.

      She was clearly “aroused” in that scene with Drogo, but every other time rape was mentioned in this Dany made a specific point to stop it.

      And you’re also being insulting and disrespectul again when I have done no such thing to you….Knock it off.

        Quote  Reply

    203. Yet she made it clear later on that raping, pillaging, and murdering would no longer be part of the Dothraki way.

      Which she then contradicted with her own example at King’s Landing. The Dothraki follow where their strong leaders take them, just as Jorah told her (and us) early in the story.

      She also did this with the Greyjoys.

      Well, to be clear, she told Yara and Theon the Ironborn couldn’t reave anymore. But Euron was already King of the Ironborn, and he assembled the largest armada in Ironborn history, which destroyed Yara’s fleet and killed Rhaegar. So her little proclamation to the junior Greyjoy kids didn’t really have much of a positive effect, now did it? (How were the Ironborn ultimately prevented from reaving? Did it involve widespread use of dragon fire?)

      You’re cherry picking.

      So, every time one of the many examples of her latent psychopathy is cited, it’s “cherry picking”? I think you’re getting into full-blown denial here. There are also numerous examples of her Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which Jai also described, in his aforementioned comment, as combining with her psychopathy and external factors to produce the slaughter at King’s Landing.

      Getting sick pleasure from torture, mutilation, and murder is psychopathic, whether it’s based on revenge or not.

      Sansa took satisfaction at having served poetic justice (in Westerosi terms) upon a chronic criminal. She also took satisfaction from getting revenge upon one of her tormentors, which, while understandable, did not speak well for her character. Those are whole different things from Dany’s happily imagining widespread rape and slaughter of *innocents* in the service of imposing absolute rule upon any survivors.

      Punishing the guilty, now matter how sadistically gratifying for the punisher, is not anywhere near the same league as deriving pleasure from the very thought of killing innocent persons. The latter is an example of the latent psychopathy which Dany inherited from her father. That psychopathy enabled, but did not in and of itself guarantee, her later slaughter of innocents at King’s Landing.

      And you’re also being insulting and disrespectul again when I have done no such thing to you…

      “I’m glad for those of you who thought it was the tits.”

        Quote  Reply

    204. Fireandblood87:
      Mr Derp,

      Sounds to me like a bunch of wh
      Ten Bears,

      Different circumstances and nobody said you had to watch the after episode. The whole point is were suppose to be wondering what she is thinking. Two scene that having two totally different context. Sounds like more of let’s find more stuff the blame on D&D the worst writers to ever exist.

      Okay. I think I’ve figured out what you were trying to say to me. (I’ll let Mr. D try to interpret what a “a bunch of wh” means in your reply to him. I’m unfamiliar with the abbreviation “wh.” White House maybe?)

      First of all, with reference to Sansa’s facial expressions during the KitN coronation scene in S6e10:

      • Your reply to me asserts that “the whole point is were [sic] supposed to be wondering what she is thinking.”

      Why do you say that was the point, i.e., that the showrunners’ intent was to leave the audience confused and uncertain? I’ve already commented that the ambiguity of that scene left Sansa’s thoughts open to subjective interpretation, such that some viewers thought she was happy for Jon and proud of him; or that she was concerned for him with LF lurking in the background; or that she was perturbed that she’d been passed over after Lyanna Mormont said she didn’t care that Jon was a bastard and announced “he’s my king, from this day until his last day” – after which the other lords followed suit.

      I did not try to shoot down anyone else’s interpretation. I conceded nobody was right and nobody was wrong.

      Nevertheless, I am not aware of anything suggesting that the ambiguity was intentional on the part of the showrunners, the director, or the actress. On what basis did you assert that “the whole point” is that we were “supposed to be wondering what [Sansa is] thinking”? I’ll readily accept this was the intent if you can explain how you came to this conclusion.

      • Next, you stated: “Two scene that having two totally different context.”
      Ummm… The inapt use of the singular and the plural make it difficult for me to understand what you are talking about. Two scene(s)?

      I’m going to guess you were referring to my discussion about the varying abilities of actresses using facial expressions alone to convey their characters’ thoughts and emotions, and my
      comparison of Sansa/Sophie Turner in the S6e10 scene with Arya/Maisie Williams in the S5 Braavos dock & Needle scene.

      If so, what do the different contexts have to do with it? All I said was that from my perspective, there was no doubt what Arya was feeling or thinking in that scene. You could tell she was reminiscing about getting Needle from Jon; that it brought back memories of home and family and made her sad and homesick; and that because of the emotional attachment represented by Needle she could not bear to toss it in the water despite Jaqen 2.0’s instruction that if she wanted to become “no one” she had to get rid of “Arya Stark’s things.”

      I will admit that after watching that scene, I read the “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue from the books, and felt Maisie Williams did a commendable job portraying, without words, the emotion of that written passage.

      Might I have perceived that S5 scene differently if it simply showed Arya hesitating to throw Needle in the water, with an inscrutable expression on her face that left the viewer guessing what was going on in her head? Probably. Still, what reason would there be to deliberately leave the audience wondering what Sansa was thinking when the camera zoomed in on her?

      • You wrote “nobody said you [i.e., me] had to watch the after episode”, and then concluded with the caustic commentary: “Sounds like more of let’s find more stuff the blame on D&D the worst writers to ever.”

      I assume by “after episode” you were referring to the “Inside the Episode” segment following S6e10.
      Why shouldn’t I have watched it that segment, or discussed what the showrunners themselves had to say about the particular scene we’re discussing? If they imputed certain thoughts to Sansa, why shouldn’t the viewers comment on whether or not those thoughts were conveyed by what we saw on the screen?

      More important, if you are a member of the Brilliant Brigade and have accepted Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss as your infallible Overlords, how can you fault me for tuning in to hear what they had to say? Aren’t their words the gospel truth – and the best evidence of what they intended to portray on screen? I don’t get it. Are you now contending I should have ignored their explanations because I was not forced to watch the “Inside the Episode” segment? Please clarify.

      Finally, I cannot fathom how you made the leap from my observations about what we saw onscreen and what the showrunners said about it, to the conclusion that ”Sounds like more of let’s find more stuff the [sic] blame on D&D the worst writers to ever exist.”
      I’m not a D&D basher. I loved the show. You’d surely know that if you’ve followed comments here. However, the slightest critique of any aspect of the show does not automatically make me or anyone else a member of the “Dumb & Dumber No-Talent Hacks” Troll Club.
      Why even go there? Nothing I wrote remotely implied that I was impugning the showrunners or their abilities.

      Please don’t feel the need to post a rebuttal. I’d suggest we both just … let it go.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvEAklsAAts

      Okay?

        Quote  Reply

    205. Fireandblood87,

      (Attempting Re-Post: Prior attempt at 2:40 pm stuck in Moderation”

      ——-
      You replied to me…

      Different circumstances and nobody said you had to watch the after episode. The whole point is were suppose to be wondering what she is thinking. Two scene that having two totally different context. Sounds like more of let’s find more stuff the blame on D&D the worst writers to ever exist.“

      Okay. I think I’ve figured out what you were trying to say to me. (I’ll let Mr. D try to interpret what a “a bunch of wh” means in your reply to him. I’m unfamiliar with the abbreviation “wh.” White House maybe?)

      First of all, with reference to Sansa’s facial expressions during the KitN coronation scene in S6e10:

      • Your reply to me asserts that “the whole point is were [sic] supposed to be wondering what she is thinking.”

      Why do you say that was the point, i.e., that the showrunners’ intent was to leave the audience confused and uncertain? I’ve already commented that the ambiguity of that scene left Sansa’s thoughts open to subjective interpretation, such that some viewers thought she was happy for Jon and proud of him; or that she was concerned for him with LF lurking in the background; or that she was perturbed that she’d been passed over after Lyanna Mormont said she didn’t care that Jon was a bastard and announced “he’s my king, from this day until his last day” – after which the other lords followed suit.

      I did not try to shoot down anyone else’s interpretation. I conceded nobody was right and nobody was wrong.

      Nevertheless, I am not aware of anything suggesting that the ambiguity was intentional on the part of the showrunners, the director, or the actress. On what basis did you assert that “the whole point” is that we were “supposed to be wondering what [Sansa is] thinking”? I’ll readily accept this was the intent if you can explain how you came to this conclusion.

      • Next, you stated: “Two scene that having two totally different context.”

      Ummm… The inapt use of the singular and the plural make it difficult for me to understand what you are talking about. Two scene(s)?

      I’m going to guess you were referring to my discussion about the varying abilities of actresses using facial expressions alone to convey their characters’ thoughts and emotions, and my
      comparison of Sansa/Sophie Turner in the S6e10 scene with Arya/Maisie Williams in the S5 Braavos dock & Needle scene.

      If so, what do the different contexts have to do with it? All I said was that from my perspective, there was no doubt what Arya was feeling or thinking in that scene. You could tell she was reminiscing about getting Needle from Jon; that it brought back memories of home and family and made her sad and homesick; and that because of the emotional attachment represented by Needle she could not bear to toss it in the water despite Jaqen 2.0’s instruction that if she wanted to become “no one” she had to get rid of “Arya Stark’s things.”

      I will admit that after watching that scene, I read the “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue from the books, and felt Maisie Williams did a commendable job portraying, without words, the emotion of that written passage.

      Might I have perceived that S5 scene differently if it simply showed Arya hesitating to throw Needle in the water, with an inscrutable expression on her face that left the viewer guessing what was going on in her head? Probably. Still, what reason would there be to deliberately leave the audience wondering what Sansa was thinking when the camera zoomed in on her?

      • You wrote “nobody said you [i.e., me] had to watch the after episode”, and then concluded with the caustic commentary: “Sounds like more of let’s find more stuff the blame on D&D the worst writers to ever.”

      I assume by “after episode” you were referring to the “Inside the Episode” segment following S6e10.
      Why shouldn’t I have watched it that segment, or discussed what the showrunners themselves had to say about the particular scene we’re discussing? If they imputed certain thoughts to Sansa, why shouldn’t the viewers comment on whether or not those thoughts were conveyed by what we saw on the screen?

      More important, if you are a member of the Brilliant Brigade and have accepted Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss as your infallible Overlords, how can you fault me for tuning in to hear what they had to say? Aren’t their words the gospel truth – and the best evidence of what they intended to portray on screen? I don’t get it. Are you now contending I should have ignored their explanations because I was not forced to watch the “Inside the Episode” segment? Please clarify.

      Finally, I cannot fathom how you made the leap from my observations about what we saw onscreen and what the showrunners said about it, to the conclusion that ”Sounds like more of let’s find more stuff the [sic] blame on D&D the worst writers to ever exist.”

      I’m not a D&D basher. I loved the show. You’d surely know that if you’ve followed comments here. However, the slightest critique of any aspect of the show does not automatically make me or anyone else a member of the “Dumb & Dumber No-Talent Hacks” Troll Club.
      Why even go there? Nothing I wrote remotely implied that I was impugning the showrunners or their abilities.

      Please don’t feel the need to post a rebuttal. I’d suggest we both just … let it go.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvEAklsAAts

      Okay?

        Quote  Reply

    206. MotherofWolves:
      Ten Bears,

      Thank you for going to the trouble of posting these. Maisie is such a treat to watch and the putting eyebrows on the figure was perfection. Perhaps the writing team were actually paying tribute to how well Maisie uses her eyes to emote.
      She and Charles Dance really enjoyed working together which translated into wonderful scenes on screen.
      Many thanks again! ☺️

      You may have already seen this “Audi Presents: Behind the Scenes with Maisie Williams” video. I’m posting it again because I felt it was kind of an appropriate epilogue to the S3 interview and S6 episode excerpt I posted – and aligns with your comment that “Maisie is such a treat to watch.” (Her “wonderful eyebrow” are also on full display.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dFSEItcSfw

        Quote  Reply

    207. Adrianacandle,

      re: Jon as “half brother” (adrianacandle 4/30/20 at 6:27 am comment)

      You wrote:

      When Arya objects that Jon is their brother, Sansa proceeds to quickly correct Arya that Jon is their *half*-brother.”

      I take it this was in the books?

      If so, there may have been a parallel scene on the show, in Season 6, between Arya and the Waif. Let me check…

      To be cont….

        Quote  Reply

    208. Ten Bears: I take it this was in the books?

      If so, there may have been a parallel scene on the show, in Season 6, between Arya and the Waif. Let me check…

      To be cont….

      Yeah, that was from a book passage — and I think I know the show scene you’re talking about! Season 6, Waif train-beats Arya with a stick while interrogating her on her story and Arya states she has a sister and four brothers. Waif knocks her down and Arya revises to one sister, three brothers, and one half-brother. Is that the one?

        Quote  Reply

    209. Adrianacandle,

      Precisely! That’s the show scene pseudo-equivalent: Waif & Arya Game of Faces; “A Girl” says Arya Stark had 4 brothers and Waif whacks her – and then she says 3 brothers + a half-brother.
      I’ve got a longer comment in the hopper about that S6 Waif scene + the S5 Jaqen 2.0 Game of Faces scene*, but yes, you identified the scene I was thinking of.

      *Naturally, my commentary also veered off to discuss The Hound – because both Jaqen 2.0 in S5 and the Waif in S6 (conspicuously) questioned Arya about The Hound, revealing Arya’s “heart in conflict with itself” about him.
      Also, from those two scenes I became convinced we had not seen the last of Sandor – nor had Arya.

      🐓🐓

        Quote  Reply

    210. Ten Bears,

      Yes, there was. I think Arya wanted to keep Jon hiddeen from the waif? or the other way round, she counted him as a brother. Either way, the waif corrected her the hard way.

        Quote  Reply

    211. Ten Bears: I’ve got a longer comment in the hopper about that S6 Waif scene + the S5 Jaqen 2.0 Game of Faces scene*, but yes, you identified the scene I was thinking of.

      *Naturally, my commentary also veered off to discuss The Hound – because both Jaqen 2.0 in S5 and the Waif in S6 (conspicuously) questioned Arya about The Hound, revealing Arya’s “heart in conflict with itself” about him.
      Also, from those two scenes I became convinced we had not seen the last of Sandor – nor had Arya.

      Will await it! 😀

      Efi: Either way, the waif corrected her the hard way.

      She sure did T_T I tripped on the overlong hem of my pajama pants on Monday, fell down the (carpeted) stairs, and I think Arya and I share the same injuries from when the Waif would take Arya’s legs out from under her with that stick (unhappy tailbones).

        Quote  Reply

    212. Young Dragon,

      The show wanted audience to be the accomplice in the biggest crime in the story, to root for Dany until it was too late.

      How many times she had to be stopped before doing something horrible until she does it? How many “genocide is bad” talks we had to hear from Jorah, Selmy, Tyrion, Jon, Varys and the rest?

        Quote  Reply

    213. Young Dragon,

      True. Some people who are abused in school became mass shooters, Some don’t. We don’t react the same way to trauma. And Dany had dragons. If Arya had dragons she would probably burn KL also after Ned’s death or RW.

        Quote  Reply

    214. mau,

      The show wanted audience to be the accomplice in the biggest crime in the story, to root for Dany until it was too late.

      I believe that’s the root of much of the backlash against how the story ended. D&D, following GRRM, strung the audience along — for the entire length of an epic tale (!) — only to yank the rug out from under (almost) everyone, right at the end, and in the most horrible manner possible. Nobody likes being fooled, and I suspect an audience for high-end television drama likes it far less than most.

      We don’t react the same way to trauma. And Dany had dragons. If Arya had dragons she would probably burn KL also after Ned’s death or RW.

      In addition to the three reasons Jai gave, I would speculatively add a fourth. It’s lore that a dragon binds with his or her rider. Why should that be a one-way relationship? If the rider binds with her dragon, and a dragon is an intelligent, predatory, brutal creature, then why should that not affect her? Dany had a long relationship with her “child,” Drogon, and maybe some of his inherently destructive nature became part of her personality as well. (I also regard Oleanna Tyrell’s advice as unintentionally pushing her towards ultimately committing atrocity upon King’s Landing.)

      How many times she had to be stopped before doing something horrible until she does it? How many “genocide is bad” talks we had to hear from Jorah, Selmy, Tyrion, Jon, Varys and the rest?

      Exactly. The tendency was always there, latent, awaiting suitable opportunity to manifest itself. This was shown enough times that the audience lacked a pleasant excuse for not having noticed it. Once all of the external brakes were removed, and Dany was traumatized beyond what she could take, her latent tendency erupted with destructive force. The intertwining of cause and effect in Dany’s downfall is one of the many large reasons I enjoy the story as much as I do.

        Quote  Reply

    215. mau,

      If Arya had dragons?

      S1e2

      Joffrey: “A butcher’s boy who wants to be a knight, eh? Pick up your sword, butcher’s boy. Let’s see how good you are.”
      Mycah: “She asked me to, my Lord. She asked me to.”
      Joffrey: “I’m your prince, not your lord, and I said pick up your sword.”
      Mycah: “It’s not a sword, my prince. It’s only a stick.”
      Joffrey: “And you’re not a knight. Only a butcher’s boy. That was my lady’s sister you were hitting, do you know that?”
      (Joffrey starts torturing Mycah, drawing blood)
      Arya: “Stop it!”
      Sansa: “Arya, stay out of this!”
      Joffrey: “I won’t hurt him… Much.”
      (Arya strikes Joffrey to defend Mycah)
      Sansa: “No no, stop it, stop it, both of you. You’re spoiling it…”
      Joffrey: “I’ll gut you, you little c*nt!”
      Sansa: “Arya!”
      (Nymeria starts to run over, but before she can pounce…)
      Arya: “Dracarys!
      (Joffrey roasted to a crisp)
      Sansa: “You’re spoiling everything!”
      (Nymeria wags tail; starts sniffing Roast Joffrey)
      Sansa: “My prince, my poor prince. Look what they did to you.”

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    216. mau:
      Young Dragon,

      ….If Arya had dragons she would probably burn KL also after Ned’s death or RW.

      I don’t think so. Arya did not kill innocents. Only the guilty. And only those deserving of capital punishment under their laws, e.g., for regicide, violation of Guest Right, infanticide, and treason.

      In fact, the only one in her kill count who arguably did not deserve execution was … Rorge. Yes, he threatened to “f*ck her bloody” with a stick. He did not follow through on that threat though. While Rorge and his accomplice attacked the Hound in a poorly-planned attempt to collect the bounty on his head, they did not succeed in killing or capturing him. So, in this one instance I’m not so sure Arya was justified in impaling Rorge through the heart with Needle.

      (It did however earn a nice quip from Sandor: “You’re learning.” Rorge’s surprise attack happened seconds after Sandor had euthanized the gravely wounded farmer, instructing Arya “where the heart is; that’s how you kill a man.” She took that lesson to heart, so to speak. 🗡👸🏻)

        Quote  Reply

    217. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      ”…Once all of the external brakes were removed, and Dany was traumatized beyond what she could take, her latent tendency erupted with destructive force.”

      Yup. Once the “external brakes were removed” it should not have been a surprise what might happen.

      We kept hearing over and over, e.g., from Tyrion, how Dany was different from tyrants like Cersei because Dany had advisors “to rein in her worst impulses.” Tyrion himself proved that in S6e9 by dissuading Dany from her “plan” to kill every one of the Masters’ soldiers and “return their cities to the dirt” – including innocent civilians. Previously, Jorah had convinced Dany to pull back from her command to Daario to massacre insurgents, and instead give them a choice [paraphrasing] “to live in our new world or die in their old one.”

      Once Barristan was gone, Jorah was gone, Missandei was gone, and Tyrion no longer had her confidence…. I guess there was no counterweight to (the late) Olenna’s advice to “be a dragon.”

      Unrestrained, Dany’s “worst impulses” prevailed.

        Quote  Reply

    218. mau,

      Thank you for sharing this great article. Finally some one who understood it and that’s exactly the reason why I love the final season. I just started to rewatch the show. I’m currently at season 4 and it’s incredible how obvious everything seems when you know the end.

      I hope that GRRM finish his books so that all of these YouTube idiots can realize that they really were the one who didn’t understand anything with their ridiculous theories.

        Quote  Reply

    219. mau:
      How the Game of Thrones Ending Forces the Viewer to Re-contextualize the Entire Story

      https://medium.com/@wethrones/how-the-game-of-thrones-ending-forces-the-viewer-to-re-contextualize-the-entire-story-d63bf11cab3e

      Thanks for posting the link to that article. It was very interesting and well-reasoned. For example, depriving the audience of a “catharsis” wasn’t a bug but a feature of a story that subverted tropes.

      Many viewers – myself included – wished that the “endgame” (i.e., Dany’s descent) had been developed over the course of a full-length, ten-episode season rather than the two final episodes. Then again, I really didn’t want the show to end at all: an unrealistic desire. Time and budget constraints, not to mention exhaustion of the cast and crew, required the show to come to an end. (Besides, I can think of so many shows I really liked at the outset, that turned to sh*t when they were artificially extended beyond their “natural lives.”)

      One quibble with the article. Discussing the conclusion of Jaime’s story, the author stated:

      ”One of the writers, Bryan Cogman said- “ I don’t believe in the term ‘redemption arc’. I don’t know what the f*ck it means. Do we have redemption arcs? No, we live our lives. We make mistakes. We take two steps backwards after taking five steps forward. There’s no such f*cking thing as a redemption arc. I don’t believe in it. And I don’t think Jaime is on one, necessarily. Jaime’s just living his life and changing.”

      I agree with that insofar as it concerns Jaime. There was no way he “deserved” to wind up as a fully transformed good guy, after all the compromises to he’d made along the way; not to mention his addiction to a toxic relationship with his wicked sister.

      I still think Sandor Clegane came closest to a traditional “redemption arc.” He was told – twice – by two priests that it was not too late for him to still help a lot more than he’d harmed. I think he accomplished that – without losing the foul mouth and gruff temperament that made him such an endearing character. 🙂 (Gee whiz…He protected the Princess That Was Promised so she could save the world, and then turned her away from heading down a vengeance trail leading towards a dead-end, enabling her to embrace life instead of death. What more could be expected from a reformed sportkiller?)

      Oh, almost forgot. Hot Pie: One-time nasty bully who evolved into a steadfastly loyal, kind-hearted and devoted friend. I still say this one-time coward showed true courage in risking his neck to try to aid his friend Arya when it would’ve been so easy just to keep his mouth shut. (See Hot Pie with Brienne & Pod, S4e7). Sure, Hot Pie provided comic relief. But that scene revealed that he was more than a goofy simpleton.

        Quote  Reply

    220. Adrianacandle,

      I’ll try to post that longer comment later. I’m having trouble editing text. If I can’t figure out how to condense it, I apologize in advance for posting a long-winded comment.

        Quote  Reply

    221. Ten Bears,

      Haters: “They ruined Jaime’s arc; they forgot how to do a redemption arc, yadda”

      Theon: “Am I a joke to you?”

      I disagree about having the contents of the final three episodes stretched out into a full season. That would have been like adding an extra hour to Return of the King and dedicating it to the Scouring of the Shire. No thanks.

      The Long Night” is the end of its own slightly-extended ten-episode season, as far as I’m concerned. Just as Summer got 10 episodes, so did Winter. Everything after S8E3 is the epilogue. Like the majority of the last episode of Band of Brothers, when the war in Europe ends and the glorious American heroes liberating Europe become an occupying force and it comes to light that some of these soldiers are real pieces of shit.

        Quote  Reply

    222. Tough period for me but I have been scanning the discussion – and see the usual suspects arguing that GOT worked.

      I am tempted to post the reviews from some of the better television/entertainment critics that explained over and over why GOT was not a creative triumph. Last year, reputable culture pages (at NYT, BBC, New Yorker, LA Times, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, and many others) explained why from various angles. I vaguely remember a title from the NYT (which has outstanding arts coverage) “GOT comes in for a crash landing”. This title basically captures what happened.

      But I do not think it will make any difference at all to the crowd here.

      GOT could have been great but the writers lost their way. It was not great..it was a “whiff”.

      This particular end would need a reworking of the story from maybe season 5 OR more episodes to build the story out.

      An end that recontextualized the story requires very skillful storytelling – they did not pull it off.

      It was brilliantly produced. The writing was the weakness. Perhaps they tried to be too clever – did not work.

      It was not great.

        Quote  Reply

    223. Ten Bears,

      Many viewers – myself included – wished that the “endgame” (i.e., Dany’s descent) had been developed over the course of a full-length, ten-episode season rather than the two final episodes. Then again, I really didn’t want the show to end at all: an unrealistic desire.

      I sympathize, in part because, like Jenny, we never wanted to leave, but I do understand how other viewers thought Dany’s downfall came pell-mell in just a few episodes. That’s not really what happened, though. As the article Mau kindly cited explains,

      Her story throughout the show is not only a show of a person gaining power, but a story of a character going through trauma. Looking back at earlier events and the many times the world wronged her makes it easier to see how it all accumulates in the events on the final season until she finally “loses it”.

      Dany getting abused and ‘abandoned,’ usually by men, is the leitmotif of her arc:

      — Viserys;
      — Drogo (who “abandons” her by sickening and declining to the point where she finishes him);
      — Xaro’s attempted theft of her dragons;
      — Jorah’s spying;
      — Barristan’s death;

      … aaaannd that’s all before the end of Season 5. (She also makes the mistake of leaving Daario in Meereen at the end of Season 6.)

      D&D always advanced the story rapidly, but it felt slower when there were many more characters and storylines unfolding. As the surviving characters and their stories converged on Winterfell and King’s Landing for the finale, everything felt faster.

      (Also, we cripple ourselves by using the word “arc”; an arc, by definition, bends in only one direction. “Dramatic curve” might provide a better metaphor.)

        Quote  Reply

    224. Mango,

      Question: just how long do you think D&D have known the ending of this story – the broad strokes and major beats, at least?

        Quote  Reply

    225. Farimer123,

      Huh? I didn’t say, and I do not think, that they “ruined Jaime’s arc.”

      To the contrary, I thought it was a faithful portrayal of a guy stuck in a toxic relationship. Like with any addiction, relapse is expected if not inevitable, notwithstanding one’s best efforts to get clean and stay clean. To mix metaphors, despite one’s desire to embrace his better angels, the allure of the devil on the other shoulder proves too powerful to resist. Besides, it’s easier to condemn oneself as “hateful” or loathsome than it is to make the effort to meet lofty aspirations.

      (So said Ten Bears tonight as he lost the willpower to stay on a strict diet of steamed vegetables and tofu, and slammed down a whole pizza instead.)

        Quote  Reply

    226. Ten Bears: I’ll try to post that longer comment later. I’m having trouble editing text. If I can’t figure out how to condense it, I apologize in advance for posting a long-winded comment.

      Take your time and I’m the lsat person you have to apologize about a long comment. My own posts haven’t exactly been short (and I sometimes need to split them up) and in this thread too, I’ve made some lengthy ones. I think this is the most frustrating and challenging problems of writing: how to efficiently convey and express ideas and thoughts while effectively explaining them. Although, I think you’re pretty good at that, Ten Bears.

        Quote  Reply

    227. Farimer123,

      Oh wait. I’m sorry. I guess your point was that I did not mention Theon’s “redemption” arc.

      Yeah, you’re right. The thing is, with GoT, none of the “reformed” villains ever really escape their sins and get to live happily ever after as a hero.
      They’re all doomed. (I’d quote Brother Ray’s sermon that sins can never really be washed away; the best one can do is try to use whatever time he has left to do some good. Or something like that.)

      As for Theon in particular, I thought his most poignant line was when Sansa told him all of his sins would be forgiven if he took the black. Theon replied that he did not want to be forgiven; he could never atone for his transgressions against the Starks. Jon told Theon something like whatever was in his power to forgive, he forgave. Sansa accepted Theon back into the fold. Bran assured Theon he was “a good man” right before his kamikaze charge against NK.

      Did Theon achieve “redemption”? I’m not sure if Theon himself thought that was possible. Giving his life defending the home and family he’d betrayed was the best he could do.

      (*Looks for dictionary to find definition of “redemption”*)

        Quote  Reply

    228. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      In some of those cases, abuse certainly applies but I don’t think abuse and ‘abandonment’ applies to all these cases. However, I think that Dany is let down in some way in all of these instances (with the understanding that ‘let down’ is way too gentle a term for her situations with Viserys and Drogo) and I think she does feel betrayed. Viserys and Drogo both abused Dany but their departure from her life is due to untimely deaths — they didn’t leave by choice (although, Viserys was planning on stealing the dragon eggs and leaving so he might fit). However, you do use quotation marks around the world ‘abandonment’ 🙂

      With Xaro, (Irri), and Jorah, I think that is betrayal rather than abuse and abandonment. With Barristan on the show, he was unexpectedly killed. I don’t think he abused or abandoned her but his death did devastate Dany.

      Although, if I’m missing something, do correct!

      But it made me think of some of the similarities this has to Sansa’s story (disclaimer:, I’m not saying Dany experiencing similar things to Sansa means Sansa should have gone berserk on a city too. This isn’t intended to judge whether or not I felt the Burning of KL was earned of not, I’ve spoken on that before but that won’t be a battle I pick today! ;D This is just pointing out similarities):

      A theme in Sansa’s story has to do with those she trusts/depends on letting her down/betraying her and this is what has happened with that in both regard to the show (up to season 5) and the books (as of Sansa’s last chapter in AFFC):

      a) Ned’s investigation and findings prompt him to reveal he knows the truth to Cersei (in order to give her a chance to flee) before publicly acting against, leading to his arrest and execution. As a result, Sansa becomes a hostage at the mercy of enemies, tormented.

      b) Robb fails to rescue Sansa, choosing the North’s leverage to get their demands met via hosting Jaime hostage over trading Jaime for Sansa. Sansa is punished for the actions of Robb.

      c) Joffrey and to a limited extent, Loras. She idealizes them, as she did her father and brother to an extent, but neither turn out to be who she wants them to be. Joffrey is a monster and Loras doesn’t really have any true interest in her.

      d) The knight, Sandor, who does act to protect Sansa becomes an object of idealization for Sansa. However, he also ends up leaving her.

      e) She becomes dependent on Littlefinger, who (in the books) she currently believes has her best interests at heart but LF likewise has some gross purposes for her (he is attracted to this 11-13 year old girl) and wants to use her as a pawn.

      (Show only: this also all occurred before the ends of season 5 and makes the mistake of agreeing to Littlefinger’s proposal of marrying Ramsay in season 6, keeping him around in season 7).

        Quote  Reply

    229. Adrianacandle,

      Thanks for understanding. As I described it above, my in-progress commentary about Arya including Jon as a full-fledged brother during her narrative to the Waif also veered off to discuss The Hound – because both Jaqen 2.0 in S5 and the Waif in S6 (conspicuously) questioned Arya about The Hound, revealing Arya’s “heart in conflict with itself” about him”, etc.

      The problem, if it can be called that, is that I thought these scenes were an example of effective storytelling by the showrunners and I wanted to explain why I felt that way. I also thought these scenes constituted a perfect springboard to the continuation and culmination of the Arya – Sandor story in S8. I wanted to explain why I thought this too.

      Every time I tried to articulate my reasons, I kept going off on new tangents. Since the headline of the posted article is “I Miss Game of Thrones. But Why?” I figured it was the appropriate place to highlight a storyline that (I believe) was successfully set up and concluded. Trying to explain why – succinctly – is proving to be a challenge.

      Maybe I ought to go to sleep and try again in the morning.

        Quote  Reply

    230. Adrianacandle,

      *Caveats to my post!

      d) The knight, Sandor, who does act to protect Sansa becomes an object of idealization for Sansa. However, he also ends up leaving her.

      Sansa’s romanticization of her interactions with Sandor are a book-only thing, I don’t think this was demonstrated in the show.

      Typo, adding additional thoughts!

      *(Show only: this also all occurred before the ends of season 5 and *she makes the mistake of agreeing to Littlefinger’s proposal of marrying Ramsay in season 6, keeping him around in season 7 before *she discovers another one of his betrayals when she learns LF has been intentionally pitting her against Arya as LF did with Catelyn and Lysa).

        Quote  Reply

    231. Ten Bears: Every time I tried to articulate my reasons, I kept going off on new tangents. Since the headline of the posted article is “I Miss Game of Thrones. But Why?” I figured it was the appropriate place to highlight a storyline that (I believe) was successfully set up and concluded. Trying to explain why – succinctly – is proving to be a challenge.

      Maybe I ought to go to sleep and try again in the morning.

      I’m certainly interested in your thoughts and I like where you’re going! But there’s no rush — I still haven’t replied to Tron from a month or so ago about my thoughts re: religion and HDM. I’m having some of the same challenges (articulating my thoughts) and I’m also trying to figure out what my thoughts are since I struggle with more in-depth discussions in relation to religion and I’m not nearly so knowledgeable on these subjects as Tron. Also, kind of like you referenced yourself, the more the ball rolls around in my head, the more those thoughts branch out into other thoughts — like a tree roots connecting to other tree roots.

      It’s super frustrating. But please take your time! Sometimes, I find the wording can just come to me when I land back on that topic while contemplating another :/ Then, when it does, always feel free to introduce the topic with me 🙂 It’s still on-topic if it’s GoT/ASOIAF 😉

      Like r/showerthoughts!

        Quote  Reply

    232. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      To be more precise, I would have preferred that Dany’s descent had been developed over a full-length ten-episode season so there would have been more time and more scenes devoted to other storylines. As I’ve said, the harbingers of Dany’s descent were pretty obvious to me, e.g., the S7e5 Tarly BBQ and her S6e9 “plan” to annihilate the Masters’ armies and their cities before Tyrion convinced her to to go with a shock and awe plan involving only one flame-broiled ship.

      Everybody wanted more GoT. That’s not a bad thing. Personally, I would’ve enjoyed an entire ten-episode season devoted to Sandor & Arya’s ride south from WF to KL after they rode off together in S8e4.

      Oh well. All good things must come to an end. Or, as Robert Frost wrote: “Nothing gold can stay.”

        Quote  Reply

    233. Adrianacandle,

      ”d) The knight, Sandor, who does act to protect Sansa becomes an object of idealization for Sansa. However, he also ends up leaving her.”

      Wait. Did Sandor leave her? I thought she turned down his offer to keep her safe and take her home. She chose to stay put and take her chances on a Stannis victory as I recall.

      At that juncture Sandor had already burned his bridges with his “F*ck the Kingsguard, f*ck the city, f*ck the king” farewell declaration to Joffrey and Tyrion. Staying around and waiting for Sansa to maybe change her mind was not an option.

      I thought he even reminded Sansa in S8e4 that she would’ve avoided all the Joffrey, LF and Ramsay sh*tshows had she gone with him.

      Am I mistaken?

        Quote  Reply

    234. Ten Bears: Wait. Did Sandor leave her? I thought she turned down his offer to keep her safe and take her home. She chose to stay put and take her chances on a Stannis victory as I recall.

      At that juncture Sandor had already burned his bridges with his “F*ck the Kingsguard, f*ck the city, f*ck the king” farewell declaration to Joffrey and Tyrion. Staying around and waiting for Sansa to maybe change her mind was not an option.

      I thought he even reminded Sansa in S8e4 that she would’ve avoided all the Joffrey, LF and Ramsay sh*tshows had she gone with him.

      Am I mistaken?

      You’re right! I’m sorry, my phrasing and framing was off. I didn’t mean Sandor abandoned or betrayed Sansa in any way. He left her life at this point but you’re right, Sandor did offer to take Sansa with him but Sansa refused. My focus was just on that Sandor left her but maybe this is similar to Viserys’s, Drogon’s and Barristan’s deaths being framed as leaving Dany. They do leave Dany’s life but it’s not an abandonment.

      Like with my framing, Ned didn’t abandon Sansa (or Arya), he was executed — but I think Ned didn’t consider things through with his decisions enough in KL, unwittingly creating a bad situation which left Sansa and Arya both in dire straits.

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    235. Ten Bears,

      I should add that I was more thinking of how Sansa misses the Hound and wishes he were still with her (but I don’t recall this being a thing on the show so this could be a book-only feature) yet he’s no longer in her life. Sort of like how Dany misses Drogo (except Sandor didn’t abuse Sansa and they never had an intimate relationship, Sansa imagines she and Sandor kissed) and in the show, Barristan. What Drogo, Barristan, and Sandor did was not abandonment, only that they departed these characters’ lives for various reasons when these characters wished these people were still with them. Sandor abandoned the Kingsguard, but not Sansa specifically since he offered to take her with him.

      Sorry again for the faulty framing 🙁

      (I should also add that in AFFC, Sansa starts having doubts about LF’s intents and struggles with trying to figure out what he wants with her, going back and forth).

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    236. Adrianacandle,

      Question (books vs. show?)

      About Sansa & LF, you wrote:

      ”e) She becomes dependent on Littlefinger, who (in the books) she currently believes has her best interests at heart but LF likewise has some gross purposes for her (he is attracted to this 11-13 year old girl) and wants to use her as a pawn.”

      On the show at least, Sansa knew before the end of Season 4 that LF:
      – Murdered Dontos
      – Framed her (and Tyrion) for Joffrey’s poisoning
      – Murdered Aunt Lysa
      – Murdered Jon Arryn (assuming Sansa was paying attention when Lysa blurted it out)
      – ??? *

      I didn’t sense that show! Sansa believed LF had her best interests at heart. Did the books diverge from the show on Sansa’s knowledge of LF’s skeeviness? On the show, I got the impression she knew he was dangerous and was only out for himself, but for whatever reason didn’t expose him when she had the chance, and stayed with him because … (I don’t know why).

      * I won’t get into the LF-concocted Bolton marriage fiasco. That show-only divergence – and Sansa’s assent to LF’s cockamamie plan – were hard to swallow. After inducing Sansa to marry into the family that murdered hers, and then leaving her defenseless in WF, I don’t see how she could still believe LF had her best interests at heart – and that’s discounting his supposed ignorance that Ramsay was a psycho.

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    237. Adrianacandle,

      Like with my framing, Ned didn’t abandon Sansa (or Arya), he was executed — but I think Ned didn’t consider things through with his decisions enough in KL, unwittingly creating a bad situation which left Sansa and Arya both in dire straights.”

      Interesting. I kind of felt that Ned did abandon his daughters by failing to make sure they were far away and safe and sound before the sh*t hit the fan, i.e., before he alerted Cersei he knew her kids were incest bastards and warned her to leave town because he was going to rat her out to Robert. It was as if Ned cared more about Cersei’s kids than his own.

      I’d say he abandoned his daughters. He left them both alone and defenseless, trapped in the enemy’s compound – a “hornets’ nest” I think he called it. He’d expressly told Arya “we’ve come to a dangerous place” upon their arrival in KL. Yet he made no arrangements for their safety.

      What was he thinking ???

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    238. Ten Bears: On the show at least, Sansa knew before the end of Season 4 that LF:
      – Murdered Dontos
      – Framed her (and Tyrion) for Joffrey’s poisoning
      – Murdered Aunt Lysa
      – Murdered Jon Arryn (assuming Sansa was paying attention when Lysa blurted it out)
      – ??? *

      I didn’t sense that show! Sansa believed LF had her best interests at heart. Did the books diverge from the show on Sansa’s knowledge of LF’s skeeviness? On the show, I got the impression she knew he was dangerous and was only out for himself, but for whatever reason didn’t expose him when she had the chance, and stayed with him because … (I don’t know why).

      You’re right again. I don’t think I phrased that right (though I don’t think Sansa knew about Jon Arryn yet? She doesn’t seem to know about that until she consults Bran in 7×07).

      At the same time, per 7×07, Sansa tells Arya that she thinks LF loved her in his own way. But now that you say it, I am confused over how far Sansa’s trust extended to LF in season 4. LF tells Sansa his entire Lannister plot in 4×04, Sansa admits it is unwise to trust him. But then, Sansa covers for LF with Lysa’s death, she agrees to the Bolton marriage plot in season 5. In season 6, during Inside the Episode 6×05 when Sansa lies to Jon about where she got her Uncle Blackfish info from, D&D say LF still has a hold on Sansa.

      In 6×10, LF reveals his King Self/Queen Sansa grand plan. Sansa tells Jon that LF sold her to the Boltons in 6×10 and says anybody would be a fool to trust LF — but seems to trust at least some of LF’s council in season 7 (re:Arya).

      As for the books, yes! I had made an amendment to my original statment in my May 2/3:03 am post. Sansa does have her doubts about LF in book 4 but is struggling:

      He is serving me lies as well, Sansa realized. They were comforting lies, though, and she thought them kindly meant. A lie is not so bad if it is kindly meant. If only she believed them…

      The things her aunt had said just before she fell still troubled Sansa greatly. “Ravings,” Petyr called them. “My wife was mad, you saw that for yourself.” And so she had. All I did was build a snow castle, and she meant to push me out the Moon Door. Petyr saved me. He loved my mother well, and…  

      And her? How could she doubt it? He had saved her.

      He saved Alayne, his daughter, a voice within her whispered. But she was Sansa too… and sometimes it seemed to her that the Lord Protector was two people as well. He was Petyr, her protector, warm and funny and gentle… but he was also Littlefinger, the lord she’d known at King’s Landing, smiling slyly and stroking his beard as he whispered in Queen Cersei’s ear. And Littlefinger was no friend of hers. When Joff had her beaten, the Imp defended her, not Littlefinger. When the mob sought to rape her, the Hound carried her, not Littlefinger. When the mob sought to rape her, the Hound carried her to safety, not Littlefinger. When the Lannisters wed her to Tyrion against her will, Ser Garlan the Gallant gave her comfort, not Littlefinger. Littlefinger never lifted so much as his little finger for her.

      “Except to get me out. He did that for me. I thought it was Ser Dontos, my poor old drunken Florian, but it was Petyr all the while. Littlefinger was only a mask he had to wear. Only sometimes Sansa found it hard to tell where the man ended and the mask began. Littlefinger and Lord Petyr looked so very much alike. She would have fled them both, perhaps, but there was nowhere for her to go. Winterfell was burned and desolate, Bran and Rickon dead and cold. Robb had been betrayed and murdered at the Twins, along with their lady mother. Tyrion had been put to death for killing Joffrey, and if she ever returned to King’s Landing the queen would have her head as well. The aunt she’d hoped would keep her safe had tried to murder her instead. Her uncle Edmure was a captive of the Freys, while her great-uncle the Blackfish was under siege at Riverrun. I have no place but here, Sansa thought miserably, and no true friend but Petyr.

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    239. Ten Bears: What was he thinking ???

      I think that’s the problem — Ned wasn’t thinking enough. Or at least, was not considering the fall-out to the extent he needed to or what could go wrong because he entirely misjudged the situation.

      Yet, before Ned realizes the truth about Cersei’s kids and tells Cersei that he knows, he told Sansa and Arya they were going back to Winterfell and was in the midst of those preparations. I remember that he sensed the situation in KL worsening, fearing it would come to war. I believe it’s Sansa’s comment (“a golden lion”, “[Joffrey’s] nothing like that old drunk king”) from her protest to Ned’s announcement that they were going home which triggered Ned’s Visual DNA analysis. Then he confronts Cersei.

      At the same time, Ned should have ensured his kids were well out of the city by this point.

      I think Ned misjudged what Cersei would do. I think he thought she’d up and leave with her kids now that somebody knew the truth about them, transparent in their intentions that they would tell Robert. I don’t think he expected Cersei to stay and risk her kids now that her secret was known by somebody else. Ned put his trust in that, a piece of paper (Robert’s will naming him as regent), and Littlefinger — all of which betrayed him.

      (Also, a sincere thank-you for including the correction to my ‘dire straights’ misspelling when quoting my post! Thank-you!!! 💖💖💖)

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    240. Adrianacandle,

      Oh, that sounds painful! I hate falling down the stairs and luckily enough I have no experiences of that after I turned 7. I hate falling for whatever reason. It’s not only risky and dangerous; my falling only exists to the amusement of others, because of my height. Once I was struggling to get back on my feet, trying to realize if I had anything broken, and one of the comments was “it was like tower disappearing” and everyone was laughing. (plus I was wearing a red coat; how rediculous can that be?)
      However, because of the same reason, once I tended to fall very often, twisting an ankle and causing other minor injuries. At some point I decided that, alright, I have to watch my step. Ever since I keep bumping onto things without even paying any attention and then I discover bruises on me; most of the times I don’t know where they came from. 🙄
      I hate it, hate it, hate it!

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    241. Efi: my falling only exists to the amusement of others, because of my height. Once I was struggling to get back on my feet, trying to realize if I had anything broken, and one of the comments was “it was like tower disappearing” and everyone was laughing. (plus I was wearing a red coat; how rediculous can that be?)
      However, because of the same reason, once I tended to fall very often, twisting an ankle and causing other minor injuries. At some point I decided that, alright, I have to watch my step. Ever since I keep bumping onto things without even paying any attention and then I discover bruises on me; most of the times I don’t know where they came from. 🙄

      I’m so sorry this happened to you after you fell. Falling is bad enough, it’s such a shock and can be very painful, but experiencing everyone laughing at you as a result… that’s heartbreaking to me. How people can be so mean instead of asking if you are okay and trying to help you back up. That’s not alright.

      I also discover mysterious bruises but all over my legs! I never know where they are from either! I don’t remember bumping into things but there there they are — all big and ugly and purple (sometimes green if they’re on their way out!)

      Maybe we sleep-fight? 🙂 I am a sleep-talker 🙁

      Most of my falls haven’t been down the stairs but one of my more ridiculous falls was when I didn’t want to get out of my bed so I tried reaching for my phone charger but it was just out of my grasp. Ironically, my laziness insisted I could do it — I don’t have to get up to get my phone charger — but that’s when I completely fell off my bed, somersaulting right onto my neck twice.

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    242. Ten Bears,

      Who is guilty and who is innocent is always a complicated qestion. Those people were happy that Ned was killed. Arya would kill them all. People don’t act rationally during trauma.

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    243. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      True. That’s the root of controversy. There is no turn in Dany. She just does what she always wanted to do but now no one can stop her.

      The story forced you to root for a tyrant. Her whole cause is nonsensecal. There is no reason for her to even come to Westeros. She already had an army, kingdom, her people, chance to build a better world. She brought war to Westeros for no reason at all, except her ego and entitlement. No one wanted her to “save” them.

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    244. Adrianacandle,

      ”At the same time, Ned should have ensured his kids were well out of the city by this point.“

      Ned and NK were like two peas in a pod. They both should have known better than to put themselves or their immediate dependents in the zone of danger, no matter how under control the situation seemed. NK and all of his WW lieutenants got pulverized all because NK thought those silly humans had been vanquished, and he could just mosey on over to whack a kid in a wheelchair.

      Considering that an errant DG tipped arrow or one lucky thrust of a VS weapon could destroy his entire army, why did NK think it was a good idea to go showboating in the godswood? Any one of his wights or WW lieutenants could have taken out Bran. (NK disappointed me. From his stellar track record against his adversaries I thought he was the Sun Tzu of GoT.)

      Like NK, Ned should have known that even the most carefully formulated plans can’t account for unexpected or unknown contingencies. There’s no telling what can happen in the heat of battle or fog of war. A prudent parent and competent commander would have kept his most precious, most vulnerable assets far away from the front lines.*

      Sorry. Ned’s failure to make sure his kids were far away from KL or preferably back in WF before spilling the beans and giving Cersei an ultimatum was inexcusable.
      Plus, how could he not foresee that threatening another parent’s kids might put his own kids in peril? He already knew Cersei was no shrinking violet. He’d already seen that she was a vindictive, lying shrew. (Gee whiz, when she told him “when you play the game of thrones you win or you die,” he should’ve known not to f*ck around with her – or her claim to the throne through her wicked son. And Arya had warned him that Joffrey and Cersei were bad news!)

      *(Hey…maybe there’s some truth to that books! legend that the “Night’s King” was a Stark.)

      ”Ned put his trust in that, a piece of paper (Robert’s will naming him as regent), and Littlefinger — all of which betrayed him.”

      I gotta say, the “honorable” Ned Stark ceded the moral high ground when he forged Robert’s will (changed the wording from “Joffrey” to “heir” I think, while transcribing Robert’s deathbed statements). Ned didn’t have the balls to tell his dying friend the unpleasant truth? So he deceived him instead? Some friend.
      Kind of serves him right that Cersei ripped it up…

      – End Ned-Bashing. Time for Bed. –

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    245. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,
      When people say that they wanted it to be “developed” more thay are basically saying that they don’t want to feel like fools for supporting her. They want excuse, rationalization.

      But the story wanted to fool you.

      I know many examples in real life politics, when people make excuses for very dangerous rhetoric, saying it’s just populism to gain votes, that their candidate is not really meaning those things. And they always end up as fools. Only in real life you can’t blame the writers lol

        Quote  Reply

    246. Maf Queen Dany has been given LOTS of time. There’s a reason why it’s been a top theory for years. She’s had two or three times a season since season 3 or 4 where someone has had to convince her that slaughtering everyone who disagrees with her isn’t the best move. How many times does a “genocide is bad” conversation need to occur to adequately set up that someone might be a little insane?

        Quote  Reply

    247. Ten Bears,

      Plus, how could he not foresee that threatening another parent’s kids might put his own kids in peril? He already knew Cersei was no shrinking violet. He’d already seen that she was a vindictive, lying shrew. (Gee whiz, when she told him “when you play the game of thrones you win or you die,” he should’ve known not to f*ck around with her – or her claim to the throne through her wicked son. And Arya had warned him that Joffrey and Cersei were bad news!)

      I believe Cersei had said, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die,” when Ned confronted her, not prior. This was after Ned had already ordered Sansa and Arya back home. Ned had begun the process for returning to Winterfell a little while before discovering via Visual DNA that Cersei’s kids were not Robert’s kids. However, because he didn’t know Cersei, I think Ned should have put off confronting Cersei until Sansa and Arya were in Winterfell or at least the North.

      I think Ned may have been counting on Cersei fearing Robert enough to pick up her kids and get out.

      I gotta say, the “honorable” Ned Stark ceded the moral high ground when he forged Robert’s will (changed the wording from “Joffrey” to “heir” I think, while transcribing Robert’s deathbed statements). Ned didn’t have the balls to tell his dying friend the unpleasant truth? So he deceived him instead? Some friend.

      I understand this was about Ned not wanting to cause Robert pain right before he died with the truth that his kids weren’t really his. I recall Ned nearly tells Robert the truth about Joffrey in the books but thinks, “[I] cannot hurt him more,” and he feels “soiled” by the deceit but sees the agony on Robert’s face.

      I’ll pull up the passage if you like! I’m currently on my phone in the basement trying to fix my poor varnishing job, no access to my e-books 🙁

      – End Ned-Bashing. Time for Bed. –

      When I had written my original post, I realized I was potentially kicking a hornet’s nest considering the conversation about Ned’s failures in KL a few months ago 🙂

      P.S. If anybody here has any expertise on varnishing and woodworking, I’m using a water-based poly on padauk wood but though I leave it for several days and it is dry to the touch, it gets a bit sticky again when I sand and hold it (and dust starts sticking to it). Is there anything I can do? 🙁

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    248. Adrianacandle,

      Situations like that put you in a difficult position. The problem isn’t that they are laughing, but that you want to cry and you can’t -since they are laughing- and that you hurt and rather need some comfort and reassurement, not amusement. It’s a rather embarrassing situation.
      But it’s ok, I’m over it, and I think I haven’t fell again since. Even though for keeping myself from falling I always bring that incident to mind, thinking that I don’t want to go through that situation ever again in my life -come to think of it, it must have been rather traumatic if my reaction is such, I don’t remember any other of my falls, just this one.
      A friend of mine told me some years ago “oh, don’t worry, it’s nothing important, just that tall people never look down”. I think that is true, too. At least it explains the bruises. (but my skin is very sensitive too, it’s very white, so everything shows)

        Quote  Reply

    249. Efi,

      Situations like that put you in a difficult position. The problem isn’t that they are laughing, but that you want to cry and you can’t -since they are laughing- and that you hurt and rather need some comfort and reassurement, not amusement. It’s a rather embarrassing situation.

      This is heartbreaking to hear, I’m very sorry. And thank-you for explaining to me why this situation is difficult because I think it’s very hard to know this until you’ve experienced it.

      it must have been rather traumatic if my reaction is such, I don’t remember any other of my falls, just this one.

      Yes, I think that would be very traumatic (to me too) and I am so sorry it happened to you.

      Sometimes, I believe these experiences have a greater impact than we initially realize. I think, in a way, it creates a fear. In grade 5, I became one of the popular girls (I later learned it was because since my dad is a computer scientist, he had a lot of equipment that he let my friends and I use like new computers, colour printers, photocopiers, a Wacom tablet, etc.). But then, out of the blue one day, I was shunned in this organized display. Over recess, S, N, A, M, and D huddled in a corner and brought over each girl one by one until I was alone. Then A consulted with the girls, walked up to me and said, ‘Did you know everyone hates you?’ ‘Your body is like an insect,’ (I was very very thin in not the cutest way) ‘We never really liked you,’ while the other girls watched and laughed.

      And, uh, it continued from there! (No bad high school or jr high stuff though, just this elementary school incident! My high school was great!)

      And this happened twice in the same year with the same girls because something is wrong with my brain, I swear (I did think there were two Africas at one point). However, I remember when this was going on, wishing something would put me in the hospital because school had become a living hell in which these girls would make my life miserable through some very creative and very passive-aggressive Mean Girl ways. Oh, the rumors they spread. What’s worse is that my mum was friends with their mums so I had to see them on week-ends when we were doing community events, school fundraisers, bizarres, etc. and at swimming and at church T__T

      Anyway, that has always always stayed with me. Even now, I have that teeny tiny bit of suspicion and 1.2% part of me is almost expecting for that to happen again. And stupid me had this happen twice with the same girls in grade 5.

      So yeah! I think even seemingly little things to others can last a lifetime and be really huge to us.

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    250. mau,

      …There is no reason for her to even come to Westeros. She already had an army, kingdom, her people, chance to build a better world. She brought war to Westeros for no reason at all, except her ego and entitlement. No one wanted her to “save” them.”

      Yeah, I didn’t quite understand why she’d expect her armies to be welcomed with open arms.

      I forget which character said it (Barristan? Jorah?) – something like the people just want a summer that lasts forever.
      The people of KL weren’t rioting in the streets. The lords weren’t screaming for Cersei’s head on a spike. There were no slaves for the Breaker of Chains to free from bondage. I did not notice a groundswell of grassroots support for the “Targaryen Restoration” that Varys and his buddy Illyrio had been yapping about.

      And what was Dany’s “humane” plan to topple Cersei? A siege of KL that would cause mass starvation and disease? Uh, no thanks. Go “save” someone somewhere else.

      Most of all, especially after the War of the Five Kings, the last thing the “common folk” would want is another war – “someone else’s war” for their sons and fathers to die in. For what? (Sure, Joffrey was a sh*t king and Cersei was a sh*t queen, and goons like Polliver were preying on civilians. Even so, an all-out war against an army of foreign invaders would not be an enticing alternative.)

      I ask this without sarcasm: Aside from nifty slogans like “Breaking the Wheel” and “Building a Better World,” how exactly was Dany proposing to improve the everyday lives of the common folk? What was she promising them that would make it worth their while to risk their lives to back her invasion?

      You’re right: there was her “ego and entitlement“ to quench. But what would her potential subjects get out of it? Her “good heart”? Free-range dragons? Restless Dothrakis galloping through their neighborhoods in search of a little raping and pillaging on the side?
      There had to be an upside.

      Did I miss something?

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    251. Adrianacandle,

      “I believe Cersei had said, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die,” when Ned confronted her, not prior. This was after Ned had already ordered Sansa and Arya back home.”

      You’re right. I realized that after the Edit window had closed.

      Still, although Ned had already ordered his daughters to be sent home, he confronted Cersei before their scheduled departure. They had not left yet when the sh*t hit the fan. His #1 priority should’ve been to get his daughters to safety.

      I can’t understand why he was still dawdling around even after Cersei’s “you win or you die” comment.

      Did the books explain why?

      (I know that in the books. unlike the show, Sansa divulged the departure plans to Cersei because she wanted to say goodbye to Joffrey or something. Didn’t Ned swear her to secrecy? Oh wait…)

      I was supposed to end my Ned-bashing and go to sleep. 😕

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    252. Ten Bears: I can’t understand why he was still dawdling around even after Cersei’s “you win or you die” comment.

      Did the books explain why?

      I compiled the list of events from the books which after Ned confronts Cersei and before he is arrested:

      -Ned’s chapter with the confrontation ends when Cersei leaves. In his next chapter, Ned has R+L=J foreshadowing dream, indicating this is (at minimum) the next day.

      -Ned is summoned to Robert’s chambers when he wakes up. He discovers Robert is fatally injured. Robert/Ned scene.

      -Ned makes a deal with Littlefinger to get the City Watch for fear that Cersei’s men will overwhelm and defeat his own household guard when Ned decides to push for Stannis as heir.

      -The next morning, Ned wonders why Cersei still has not fled after he gave her “chance after chance.”

      -Ned tells Sansa and Arya they must be ready to leave by midday.

      -Ned reflects that he has made the Tower of the Hand as secure as possible. Calls for the members of the small council to meet in his solar so they can witness the unsealing of Robert’s will. Barristan, Pycelle, Littlefinger, Varys meet. Ned wants to wait for Renly. Varys tells Ned Renly has left.

      -Barristan unseals letter, reads contents that Ned will be named Protector of the Realm until Robert’s heir comes of age. Ned reflects he is of age (Stannis). Ned decides to keep this to himself until Sansa and Arya are back in Winterfell and Stannis is in KL.

      -Joffrey demands the small council in his throne room.

      -Ned believes Littlefinger kept his word as the City Watch are all present in the throne room.

      -When Joffrey commands that the council make arrangements for his coronation, as he wishes to be crowned within a fortnight (two weeks?). He wants to accept oaths of fealty from the council then.

      -Ned gives Robert’s letter to Cersei, rips it in half (shocking Barristan! XD), demands Ned bend the knee to Joffrey and they will allow Ned to return to Winterfell.

      -Ned reflects that if Cersei needs to force the issue now, she left him “no choice.” He pushes Stannis’s claim, saying Joffrey is not Robert’s heir.

      -Cersei demands Barristan to seize Ned. Barristan hesitates. Barristan is surrounded by Stark guards.

      -Ned calls upon Janos and the City Watch and we know how that went down.

      From the looks of it, it seems like things happened pretty fast (two days? But my timeline may be off) and he was trying to get Arya and Sansa out ASAP. I think Ned’s biggest mistake was pressing the issue of Stannis’s claim when Joffrey demands oaths of fealty from the small council. If Ned and the others pressed Stannis’s clam after taking the oaths, they’d be oathbreakers, so Ned presses it then.

      I was supposed to end my Ned-bashing and go to sleep. 😕

      I hope your eyes are sleeping now! But I wonder if I should temporarily stop replying because continuing on while you are trying to get to bed must not be helping XD;;

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    253. Ten Bears: Deleted scene:

      Bernadette to Cersei: “It’s probably just a food baby. Did you have a really big lunch?”

      at 0:40 to 0:51

      Favourite Red Keep prop: Cersei’s hamburger phone.

      —-

      Typo correction from my above post:

      *I compiled the list of events from the books which *happen after Ned confronts Cersei and before he is arrested

      *Ned gives Robert’s letter to Cersei, *who rips it in half (shocking Barristan! XD),

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    254. Adrianacandle,

      I am sorry this happened to you, Adriana. My experience does not compare to yours.
      Kids in my country used to be very naive when I was growing up and such reactions were not common. Of course there were kids in class that no one befriended, but even now I don’t think that anyone had that reaction your friends had for no apparent reason. But I am probably wrong because then my perception of the world was equally naive. Someone in my class must have experienced the same thing, simply because kids are cruel, they don’t understand what they’re saying and they don’t understand its effect on other kids.
      But here it’s the parents who are sly and competitive and prejudiced. I experienced that to my bones when my parents broke up. You can face children when you’re a child, you can face your friends, but you can’t face adults.

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    255. Adrianacandle: Ned makes a deal with Littlefinger to get the City Watch for fear that Cersei’s men will overwhelm and defeat his own household guard when Ned decides to push for Stannis as heir.

      Correction on this too. This wasn’t for when Ned decides to push Stannis’s claim but in anticipation of Cersei’s possible retaliation:

      “I shall do my best to forget your … wisdom,” Ned said with distaste. “I called you here to ask for the help you promised Catelyn. This is a perilous hour for all of us. Robert has named me Protector, true enough, but in the eyes of the world, Joffrey is still his son and heir. The queen has a dozen knights and a hundred men-at-arms who will do whatever she commands … enough to overwhelm what remains of my own household guard. And for all I know, her brother Jaime may be riding for King’s Landing even as we speak, with a Lannister host at his back.”

      “And you without an army.” Littlefinger toyed with the dagger on the table, turning it slowly with a finger. “There is small love lost between Lord Renly and the Lannisters. Bronze Yohn Royce, Ser Balon Swann, Ser Loras, Lady Tanda, the Redwyne twins … each of them has a retinue of knights and sworn swords here at court.”

      “Renly has thirty men in his personal guard, the rest even fewer. It is not enough, even if I could be certain that all of them will choose to give me their allegiance. I must have the gold cloaks. The City Watch is two thousand strong, sworn to defend the castle, the city, and the king’s peace.”

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    256. Efi,

      I seldom wear high heels because if there is a hole in the pavement (sidewalk) and I am wearing high heels I will put my heel in the hole and take a tumble.

      The rest of this comment is more general and not addressing what Efi said. In the dark murky politics of Westeros I was glad that Ned kept his integrity but sad that his life ended as it did. There are so many morally compromised characters in AGoT/ASOIAF that I at least was pleased that there was a sprinkling of decent characters in the story.

      I felt sympathy with Dany early in the story and I never hated her. We’ve always known she had a temper. I didn’t foresee her going full metal when Kings Landing was attacked. I’ve sometimes said that I didn’t think GRRM subverts tropes half as much as it’s claimed he does but I have to give him credit that he did surprise me there. (I know he didn’t write season 6 but he had outlined the ending).

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    257. Efi,

      I am sorry this happened to you, Adriana. My experience does not compare to yours.

      Thank-you for your sympathy, Efi! I think that trauma is still trauma, we only have the scope of our experiences to go off of and I feel yours is definitely very awful, very cruel, and something I’d have significant trouble with. I don’t think anyone else’s experiences can ever make our own hurt less, it’s still important and very impactful 🙁

      Like my friend whose dad died. I feel bad for being sad all the time when my parents are still alive but when I told her this, she’s the one who told me that somebody else’s terrible experiences don’t make our own any less terrible.

      Kids in my country used to be very naive when I was growing up and such reactions were not common. Of course there were kids in class that no one befriended, but even now I don’t think that anyone had that reaction your friends had for no apparent reason. But I am probably wrong because then my perception of the world was equally naive. Someone in my class must have experienced the same thing, simply because kids are cruel, they don’t understand what they’re saying and they don’t understand its effect on other kids.

      Unfortunately, Mean Girls culture is not uncommon here. It can begin around grade 3/4 (ages 8 and 9). From my limited experiences with kids and teaching kids, they realize — to extent — that they are being cruel but I’ve never delved into the reasons exactly why. Still, I don’t think they realize nearly the impact their cruelty has.

      When I was being bullied, I had a friend, C, in another class who was going through the same thing. She suddenly died one night from a seizure just before Easter (epilepsy). But one of the girls bullying her was wracked with guilt. There was this song we sang at C’s funeral and whenever we sang this song in choir, the girl would break down and need to be taken out of the classroom.

      Thinking about it, I wonder if part of the reason for this is pack mentality. Another part may be the idea that exclusion gives them more power (the idea that there’s something special about being part of a group if not everybody is on the inside). But I think the big draws are popularity and fitting in. To the leaders, not everyone can be popular so there are those who must be ousted.

      However, I haven’t researched much into it. Kids can be cruel and sometimes in the same way adults can be. Still!! Those girls and I were fine when grade 6 came along, which is strange in hindsight, but sometimes it happens that way. It is strange. I should maybe look into some of the reasons why.

      But here it’s the parents who are sly and competitive and prejudiced. I experienced that to my bones when my parents broke up. You can face children when you’re a child, you can face your friends, but you can’t face adults.

      I’m sorry for that too 🙁 Yes, adults can be that way and here as well. It sometimes feels like this stuff never ends — the cliques, the passive-aggressiveness, the exclusion. When I did my teaching degree, this was a problem there too.

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    258. Ten Bears,

      Ned was a fool, and that’s the end of it.
      Ned forgot that conspiring in the first place -i.e. trying to find out the truth about Jon Arryn’s death, turning against a queen and the heir apparent- does not involve honesty.
      It’s dishonest by itself, it is a crime by itself no matter what he thought was right or wrong. Cersei was a queen; Joffrey was the heir apparent. Conspiracy against them is a crime against the crown.
      So truthfulness and giving others (: Cersei) a chance doesn’t cut it in such a situation. He wanted to get rid of Cersei, he shouldn’t have warned her in advance.
      Also, Ned wanted to make Stannis king, to which others reacted (I think Varys, too). You can’t make a king who will have no support inside the court itself. Therefore Renly left, LF turned against him, and the others were in for the gain.
      The alternative would be to become himself king -I think Renly proposed it to him- which he should have accepted. This was the second time he came so close to becoming king himself, and the second time he refused. There would be no third time. He didn’t have time to make someone else a king, since that person was away.

      In the end, what comes out of the whole story very vividly is that Ned was deceived in believing that he’d have the support of others in doing what he wanted. His proposed solution was not to the liking of LF, Renly, Varys.
      He also underestimated Cersei. He did that even though he had a red flag -the incident at the Trident. This showed how cruel Cersei was, insisting that an innocent should be punished. She insisted that Ned and his children both -through their implication in the Micah incident- be humiliated by being punished, by losing someone dear (Sansa’s wolf) for absolutely no reason, just because she could, and because Robert didn’t care enough.

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    259. Adrianacandle: (Also, a sincere thank-you for including the correction to my ‘dire straights’ misspelling when quoting my post! Thank-you!!! 💖💖💖)

      No! You were right the first time. It’s “dire straits” (like the band).

      Strait and straight are two different words. Strait means narrow, tight, difficult. As an adjective it’s not in common use now, but strait or straits means a narrow sea passage (eg Strait(s) of Gibraltar).

      And of course dire straits meaning a difficult situation, being in a “tight spot”.

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    260. Efi: Also, Ned wanted to make Stannis king, to which others reacted (I think Varys, too). You can’t make a king who will have no support inside the court itself. Therefore Renly left, LF turned against him, and the others were in for the gain.
      The alternative would be to become himself king -I think Renly proposed it to him- which he should have accepted. This was the second time he came so close to becoming king himself, and the second time he refused. There would be no third time. He didn’t have time to make someone else a king, since that person was away.

      This may be a show to book difference. In the books, when Ned assembles the small council, he does not reveal the truth about Joffrey or his intentions to name Stannis as Robert’s heir. It seems he does not intend to do that until Arya and Sansa are away and Stannis has returned:

      And as it happens, [the heir] is of age, Ned reflected, but he did not give voice to the thought. He trusted neither Pycelle nor Varys, and Ser Barristan was honor-bound to protect and defend the boy he thought his new king. The old knight would not abandon Joffrey easily. The need for deceit was a bitter taste in his mouth, but Ned knew he must tread softly here, must keep his counsel and play the game until he was firmly established as regent. There would be time enough to deal with the succession when Arya and Sansa were safely back in Winterfell, and Lord Stannis had returned to King’s Landing with all his power.

      When Joffrey calls the small council to the throne room to swear their fealty, it was then Ned openly acts on the information — which I think was the biggest mistake before ensuring Sansa and Arya were well away from the city and Lannister forces.

      With Renly, it’s true that Renly warns Ned in the show about Cersei and urges Ned to take on the title of Protector of the Realm. However, it doesn’t happen quite this way in the books, it seems. Ned deals only with Littlefinger in the show adaptation of the events following Robert’s will:

      “And you without an army.” Littlefinger toyed with the dagger on the table, turning it slowly with a finger. “There is small love lost between Lord Renly and the Lannisters. Bronze Yohn Royce, Ser Balon Swann, Ser Loras, Lady Tanda, the Redwyne twins … each of them has a retinue of knights and sworn swords here at court.”

      “Renly has thirty men in his personal guard, the rest even fewer. It is not enough, even if I could be certain that all of them will choose to give me their allegiance. I must have the gold cloaks. The City Watch is two thousand strong, sworn to defend the castle, the city, and the king’s peace.”

      The show:

      Then Renly doesn’t show up for the small council meeting the next day. Varys tells Ned that Renly had left the city and Ned reflects that he had counted on Renly’s support.

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    261. Adrianacandle,

      Typo!

      *Ned deals only with Littlefinger in the *book’s events following Robert’s will.

      *Then, in the books, Renly doesn’t show up for the small council meeting the next day. Varys tells Ned that Renly had left the city and Ned reflects that he had counted on Renly’s support.

      I’m really sucking with the typos/phrasing this morning -_-

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    262. This feels like a deja vue for a millionth time and I won’t make it a rant.
      I don’t know where BC got his idea about “no redemption arc” since he is a writer himself. He knows the tropes and he knows how redemption works in-universe, he can put it on paper and this will translate on screen.
      We know that there are no redemption arcs in real life, we don’t need the TV to tell us. That’s why stories, while drawing from reality diverge from it, too. Most of the people watching TV, or the movies, or read a book for that matter want the divergence. We don’t need them to remind us how bleak reality is too, because reality is all around. You just have to open your eyes and see it.
      And with all due respect to NCW, if anyone says that D&D were not devoted to GoT they’re idiots. But this statement of Nicolai is meant to throw back those who lashed out against D&D and the show, not exactly *justifying* what we saw on screen.
      It was Nicolai himself who argued that Jamie shouldn’t return to Cersei after Riverrun in the first place. That was already two seasons ago.
      Nicolai and book readers know that Jamie is on a redemption arc, and he doesn’t return to Cersei after Riverrun -he won’t, not until the very end. Yes, he was addicted to Cersei, but he’s getting over her during his journey to KL with Brienne. He is drawn away from her now, he is even repulsed by Cersei. His new journey will bring him to confront his past (the Starks, Rhaegar’s son-Jon). Only when he is over it will he be able to face Cersei again, and become her valonqar. Narratively it makes lots of sense, because each and every crime Jamie has committed he has committed for her. In the books he has already realized that. So Jamie does have a redemption arc, and that arc does not relate more to his love for his sister, it relates to his crimes. His love for Cersei is his poison, so when he meets her again he will be detoxicated for being able to move forward, even if that means that he will commit a murder, or that he’ll die himself.
      So Cogman may defend the show as much as he wants. It won’t change the fact that the stories and the arcs of season 8 were not satisfying for the viewers, unless that means, for him, that Jamie fighting with his back against the wall in WF and deflowering Brienne was enough to make a satisfying story -with or without redemption according to his view.

      [what is disappointing in this respect is that the stories were the bare minimum of what they could do; at least I think they were all very capable for delivering a much more fulfilling story and magnificent arcs for everyone, but for some reason they… didn’t, I don’t know why]

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    263. Efi,

      …Okay so in other words you didn’t like it and can’t appreciate it because it didn’t grant the Disney ending that fan-fiction writers on Tumblr dreamed of: the kind of fan-fiction that’s happy to completely miss every point going so long as their favorite characters look good and cool. Hear that, serious writers? Your goal is not to express yourself; it’s to make your readers feel warm and fuzzy.

      NCW has repeatedly expressed approval of his character’s ending at many cons, including Comic Con. Even when he knew he faced a tough crowd, he’s stuck to his guns. No duh, of course he shouldn’t have returned to Cersei, few would deny that. A person who tries to quit heroin shouldn’t go back to it, but they often do.

      You sound exceedingly confident in Jaime’s arc going in a direction that has been all but disproved by the show’s ending. So according to you (and tons of the aforementioned fan-fiction writers), Jaime’s book arc is going to have him undergo a complete 180 in his entire personality and become the glorious prophesied hero who slays his evil sister, while D&D chose to completely and fundamentally change his ending because… they’re just stupid? Or, because maybe, just maybe, that’s how it’s going to end for him in the books too.

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    264. Farimer123,

      Did you really expect NCW to criticize D&D for the ending? It’s his job to defend the work he took part in -that’s why he got all that money; that’s why he’s going to all these events and giving all these interviews, to defend and promote his job. It’s crazy to think that any of the cast would ever say anything negative for the show or D&D. (and frankly it wouldn’t look nice).

      From that point to believing that whatever they say is the truth and that it’s a Gospel for me to swallow whole there’s a world in between. I wasn’t born yesterday (but apparently you are much younger than me).
      The cast and crew and the producers and writers they all speak about the show. They don’t speak about the book. At least in my mind this is very clear.

      I didn’t say anything about a happy ending. I’m not one of those who dreamt a happy-rosy ever after J-D union. On the contrary, I’ve said over and over again that the book ending will be even worse when it comes to the characters’ arcs.

      I cannot know why they changed the show so much -I have a few ideas and it’s already been discussed a lot, but they haven’t really told us so it’s pointless to dwell on it. But they admitted themselves that there are lots of changes.
      And what would be the problem if they made all these changes? Jamie’s arc is one example of many that proves the point. They did make all these changes whether you like it or not and there’s the material to prove it.
      So I don’t get it what it means to you, or to anybody else, to believe so fervently that show ending and book ending are absolutely the same. Why does it matter so much?

      The show was their baby, not the book, and they were allowed to make all the changes they wanted in the adaptation. That’s what doing TV is.
      If making a heartless assh*le out of Jamie with no purpose as a personality but to run after Cersei’s cnt made better sense for them, then good for them!
      [just don’t expect me to like it; I have a right to not like it]

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    265. Efi,

      So I don’t get it what it means to you, or to anybody else, to believe so fervently that show ending and book ending are absolutely the same. Why does it matter so much?

      GRRM has said the ending of the show is the same one as he has planned for the books, at least for the major characters. He then gave list of minor characters whose stories might end differently. Why does disagreeing with his very clear statements matter so much to you?

      Concerning Jaime, GRRM has said he created Jaime specifically to explore redemption, what it means, and whether it is possible. As Ten Bears noted, above, most of the characters who need redemption do not get it; this is a cruel and heartless world, with few happy moments — and fewer happy endings. Jaime’s fate was to fail at redemption in the show, and he may well have the same fate in the books, should they ever exist.

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    266. mau,

      Sansa and Arya have only ever thought fondly of their father, so I’m not sure where the idea that they needed to reconcile with him are coming from.

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    267. Mango,

      You’re right, those reviews wouldn’t make any difference because the rest of us don’t need critical reviews in order to formulate an opinion. Normally, I don’t read critical reviews, but you gave me a list of so called great reviewers and decided to try it out at your recommendation. I picked a review at random from your list and it was a joke. The writer gave the finale a bad review because Sansa didn’t become Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. The reason the writer gave for why Sansa should have been chosen was because she should have been rewarded for all the terrible things that have happened to her. Because, apparently, that’s how life works. I read another one of your recommended reviews, and it was actually positive. So I’m not sure why you continue recommending these reviews when all they do is hurt your argument.

      You’ve been saying the ending didn’t work, yet your arguments have continued to be woefully unconvincing and weak. Season 8 was incredible, and you and those who think life you have been unable to prove otherwise.

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    268. A bit off topic but has a little bit of relevance to the books maybe more than a show. I don’t think it’s spoiling things to say that in the books Lord Commander Mormont has a white talking raven. I wasn’t particularly looking for anything about talking ravens but this popped into my YouTube recommendations one day. I’ll never fathom the workings of the YouTube algorithm (or of Quora who keep sending me recommendations about Harry and Megsie). Of course like most animals on film the raven in the clip is contrary and doesn’t demonstrate all of her vocabulary and she is black not white.

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    269. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      “Why does disagreeing with his very clear statements matter so much to you?”

      1. Because I don’t see that similarity in the books. None of the ending (apart from the death of Daenerys) agrees with the book.
      2. GRRM has made this statement about the “major characters” before the show ended (before even season 8 aired if I’m not mistaken). It was true for the time this statement was made, but it’s not reasonable to think that it still stands after the ending, taking -1- into account.
      3. His statement after the show ended is a mockery to my intelligence. Frankly, I’m not reading a book of thousands of pages for non PoV characters such as Jeyne Poole and Podric and lady Tanda. GRRM had better address such cr*p to 8 y-o.
      4. His statement that it was a “faithful adaptation” or sth like that during an interview after the show ended is contractive in itself. After he establishes in the same reply that there are differences (I think he even includes the butterfly effect in that same reply but even if he doesn’t he stresses that there are differences in any adaptation) he goes on to explain that the show was faithful. Need I apologize for my skepticism? No, I don’t.

      And I don’t understand why is it ok for people to take these statements at face value and believe that the show ending was 100% faithful to the book ending, but it’s not ok for me to have a different opinion.

      Also, I need to draw your attention to the fact that in this case -for me at least- it’s not about the ending itself (I’ve made my peace with it), but about the journey. The ending was excellent, but the in-between of season 8 was disappointing to say the least.
      In any Odyssey it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey. Ithaca is always great. If the journey sucks though, all Ithacas are unrewarding.

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    270. Ten Bears: P.S. I have not seen “His Dark Materials” (HDM) or read the books.
      Next up on my “To Watch” list is “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” I’ve been meaning to start watching that show for some time. I have not been able to. (For better or worse, I am working from home, so my time is still not my own. 😷)

      On this note, have I recommended The Good Place? Have you seen that? It’s also a great show if you’re looking to add to your list! Ted Danson (loved him in Cheers and Bored to Death), Kirsten Bell! I also binged the new Netflix series, Never Have I Ever (10 episodes, created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, 97% on Rotten Tomatoes!), and I thought it was a really great show too!

      Dame of Mercia,

      Thanks for this link!

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    271. Dame of Mercia,

      That’s a nice bird!
      I don’t think that I’d like to get bitten by any bird though, certainly not birds of prey or crows. (she also looks small; I remember central european crows are huge)
      I once got attacked by a swan though.
      Rule number 1: never approach a swan’s chicks.

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    272. Efi: I once got attacked by a swan though.

      Me too!! (Except it was not so much a swan as a Canada goose XD;;)

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    273. Young Dragon,

      One reviewer for The Bells said that he doesn’t want to spend his Sunday nights watching people burn and scream lol

      Reviews were mixed. But there was a lot of critics who gave positive reviews for the last 3 episodes. Last season was nominated at TCA Awards after all.

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    274. Daily Arya/Maisie Appreciation Post
      Part 1 of 2

      Check out the linked BBC article about Maisie Williams’s £50,000 donation to the Bristol Animal Rescue Centre, and the embedded video of the Centre’s staff thanking her.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-52486953

      Here’s the headline & text of the linked article.

      Coronavirus: Maisie Williams donates £50,000 to animal charity after fundraising halted

      Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams has donated £50,000 to an animal rescue centre which had lost most of its income because of Covid-19.

      Staff at the Bristol centre said they were “absolutely stunned and completely overwhelmed” to receive the cash.
      Bristol Animal Rescue Centre launched its appeal after coronavirus forced it to postpone all of its upcoming fundraising events and activities.
      Bristol-born Williams, 23, adopted a dog from the charity in 2016.

      Dark times’

      She said adopting Sonny, her “rescue pooch”, had changed her life for the better.

      “It’s so important in these difficult times not to forget about charities like Bristol ARC that need our help,” said Williams, who played Arya Stark in the HBO drama.
      “We all need to stick together in these dark times and keep the world spinning regardless.”

      The charity, which opened in 1887, was forced to close its doors to the public last month as the pandemic took hold.
      It also had to postpone all of its upcoming fundraising events and activities, and suspend all their animal adoptions for the foreseeable future.
      Staff at the centre posted a video on Facebook expressing their thanks.

      Jodie Hayward, who manages the centre, said knowing Williams respects and “loves what we do so much means the world to us”.
      “I couldn’t believe it when I heard what she had done to support us, I had to hold back a few tears.
      “It really will make the world of difference to us right now and we can’t thank her enough for her generosity.”

      ———
      [Continued in Part 2: Embedded photo of Maisie and her Hound]

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    275. Adrianacandle: I’m certainly interested in your thoughts and I like where you’re going! But there’s no rush — I still haven’t replied to Tron from a month or so ago about my thoughts re: religion and HDM. I’m having some of the same challenges (articulating my thoughts) and I’m also trying to figure out what my thoughts are since I struggle with more in-depth discussions in relation to religion and I’m not nearly so knowledgeable on these subjects as Tron. Also, kind of like you referenced yourself, the more the ball rolls around in my head, the more those thoughts branch out into other thoughts — like a tree roots connecting to other tree roots.

      It’s super frustrating. But please take your time! Sometimes, I find the wording can just come to me when I land back on that topic while contemplating another :/ Then, when it does, always feel free to introduce the topic with me It’s still on-topic if it’s GoT/ASOIAF

      Like r/showerthoughts!

      Well Adrianacandle it’s time to respond because I actually finally finished HDM today! I finished the third book “The Amber Spyglass”. Ten Bears I do see a number of similarities with Arya’s character. MW would have done great in this role when she was younger. I would hope she wouldn’t try to play a 12 year old anymore!! But Lyra is a liar in alot of the book very much like Arya made up stories and eventually became a FM (and learned how to be more convincing). Lyra is called “Silvertongue”.

      Adrianacandle I’m blown away at how amazing a TV show this could be if they pull off the special effects in seasons 2 and 3. The last two books (especially the third) is way beyond what they had to accomplish in season 1 (in the special effects area). It could really be something. I think you said you had some questions. I’m going to put some spoilers in for those who have read the books. Living in the religious world (working at a synagogue), the themes of HDM are quite poignant to me. I didn’t quite follow all Pullman’s allegories as i was reading, but I think I understand them now. I did have to google a couple things right after I finished, and it makes more sense now what happened!
      Even before I googled, I knew what Pullman was saying. I just had to clear up a few details that I didn’t quite follow as I read it.

      Pullman’s world is much like John Lennon’s Imagine song! I think he envisions a world like John idealized where you aren’t killing for a G-d or doing things just to get into a mythical heaven. There is also a differing view in Judaism that we are either waiting for the Messiah to come to bring a new world or we all have to do something to make the new world happen. Pullman’s view is much more the latter. His view of the land of the dead where you are stuck in purgatory with no escape was quite alarming. The bottomless pit where you keep living while falling forever was also probably my worst nightmare. Regarding the “pergatory” concept, Judaism has something similar where it can take up to 12 months for the soul to be cleansed and get out of this limbo, and it takes the relatives saying the “kaddish” prayer everyday to help that process along. You are supposed to go to services every day for a year when a parent dies and recite the kaddish prayer. Part is for your own mourning process and part is supposed to actually help the soul of your loved one be able to move on.

      There are plenty of disturbing ideas he puts forth and he pretty much shoots down organized religion in a major not so subtle way. That should be interesting how it’s done on TV. I have alot more to say, but let me know if you had some questions that you mentioned a few months ago when I finished…

      The wheeled creatures should be very interesting to see how they create them with special effects. There’s so much to do special effects wise, I’m tired just thinking about the amount of work!

      Let me ask everyone’s advice…
      Do you advise me to read “Fire and Blood” for my next book project? Is it exciting at all or does it read like “The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven” that Ned was reading. I’m not sure if I want to just read a synopsis of what happened to each Targaryen. Is there a narrative at all? or is it just written as a description of each historical character? If Arya would tell me about each of the stories, that would be awesome. Maybe Maisie will make an audio book? She was great telling the story of “Dark Sister” to Tywin. I could see listening to a whole book of Maisie spinning the tales of her warrior Targaryen heroes of the past on audio book!! Ten Bears, make it so! It would sell millions.

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    276. <blockquote cite="comment-219

      Efi: he is even repulsed by Cersei.

      4594″>
      Just nitpicking here: if I remember the books correctly, he feels repulsed mainly because Tyrion told him she layed with other men, and he is quite obsessed by the thought. Not a clear sign that he is free from her, imo. So for me nothing in the books at this point garantees anything. But I may misremember.

      mau: No one wanted her to “save” them.
      Yep. Not even all the slaves in Essos (there was this old slave teacher telling her his life had gone worse). Actually, we had this point shown quite early, with MMD. She didn’t learn. She remained that entitled self-declared savior, ‘free-ing’ people from her position of power (they don’t get to choose either), in spite of her better sides. I am quite sure that around the world she has been quite early perceived by many as an image of the USA and their foreign policy. She kind of forgot to declare KL had weapons of mass-destruction, though. 😈

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    277. Efi,

      1. Because I don’t see that similarity in the books. None of the ending (apart from the death of Daenerys) agrees with the book.

      The books currently end with Jon Snow’s assassination. The show continued his story after that. So, yes, the ending of his story does not agree with the books (so far). 😉

      Seriously, this is your opinion based on what, exactly? That you didn’t like the ending?

      2. GRRM has made this statement about the “major characters” before the show ended (before even season 8 aired if I’m not mistaken). It was true for the time this statement was made, but it’s not reasonable to think that it still stands after the ending, taking -1- into account.

      It’s not “reasonable to think that” GRRM still knows if the show’s ending comports with what he intends to do, based on your opinion? Really?

      3. His statement after the show ended is a mockery to my intelligence. Frankly, I’m not reading a book of thousands of pages for non PoV characters such as Jeyne Poole and Podric and lady Tanda. GRRM had better address such cr*p to 8 y-o.

      Then you won’t be reading much of his future output, I’m guessing. Maybe some future “Boiled Down Leather” version will be available to read?

      Again, that GRRM is planning to write things you don’t like is not in any way proof he’ll write an ending you might like.

      And I don’t understand why is it ok for people to take these statements at face value and believe that the show ending was 100% faithful to the book ending, but it’s not ok for me to have a different opinion.

      We take these statements at face value because they are all we have. We don’t have the final books in the series — and we may never have those books. You’re free to have any opinion you like, but your opinion is based on contradicting what GRRM has said — and he’s the only person who could possibly know if what he’s saying may ever come true!

      In any Odyssey it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey. Ithaca is always great. If the journey sucks though, all Ithacas are unrewarding.

      The story doesn’t end with Odysseus’ arrival on Ithaka, and it’s not “great” when he arrives to find his house full of enemies who want to take his wife and kingdom.

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    278. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      You misjudge me.
      I my reply that you’ve read and answered to with such aggression the phrase what “I like” and what “I don’t like” was not a part.
      Don’t project on to me what “you like” and what “you don’t like”.

      I also didn’t say anything about whether “I liked” the books or not.

      You’re the one who thought that me speaking against the characters’ arcs in the show means that “I don’t like” the books.
      But I didn’t make that connection. You did.
      You are in no position to judge what I will like and won’t like.
      You are also not in a position to know what Martin will write, anymore than I am.

      I explained to you the reasons why I think that book and show will be different.
      You asked, so I replied only to be attacked because I have an opinion.
      If others’ opinions do not agree with you and make you feel uncomfortable, then don’t ask.

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    279. Tron79,

      Adrianacandle I’m blown away at how amazing a TV show this could be if they pull off the special effects in seasons 2 and 3. The last two books (especially the third) is way beyond what they had to accomplish in season 1 (in the special effects area). It could really be something. I think you said you had some questions. I’m going to put some spoilers in for those who have read the books. Living in the religious world (working at a synagogue), the themes of HDM are quite poignant to me. I didn’t quite follow all Pullman’s allegories as i was reading, but I think I understand them now. I did have to google a couple things right after I finished, and it makes more sense now what happened!
      Even before I googled, I knew what Pullman was saying. I just had to clear up a few details that I didn’t quite follow as I read it.

      YAY!! And I loved reading your post, Tron! Especially the connections you’re making, things I hadn’t thought of before because my own foundations in religion are rather weak (I grew up Roman Catholic, went to a Catholic school, I know the bible stories, prayers, beliefs, remember some of the scriptures and recall how some — in the Old Testament and the New Testament — conflict sometimes. However, these aren’t things I’ve really thought significantly on, contemplated, etc. To me, Catholicism was always like another school subject I had to study but not something that held much personal importance to me.)

      I agree, HDM could be really incredible if they’re able to pull off the special effects.

      Pullman’s world is much like John Lennon’s Imagine song! I think he envisions a world like John idealized where you aren’t killing for a G-d or doing things just to get into a mythical heaven. There is also a differing view in Judaism that we are either waiting for the Messiah to come to bring a new world or we all have to do something to make the new world happen. Pullman’s view is much more the latter. His view of the land of the dead where you are stuck in purgatory with no escape was quite alarming. The bottomless pit where you keep living while falling forever was also probably my worst nightmare. Regarding the “pergatory” concept, Judaism has something similar where it can take up to 12 months for the soul to be cleansed and get out of this limbo, and it takes the relatives saying the “kaddish” prayer everyday to help that process along. You are supposed to go to services every day for a year when a parent dies and recite the kaddish prayer. Part is for your own mourning process and part is supposed to actually help the soul of your loved one be able to move on.

      I find this really fascinating. I was never able to truly connect it in such a way due to my own lack of knowledge/thinking about religion but I see more and more how they connect now. I agree that Pullman is rejecting the idea of doing things to get into a heaven of sorts and that we must make our own good world, it’s not up to a godly being. I’ve also seen many put forth the idea that Pullman is criticizing Catholicism and I’m pretty confident that he is. What do you think?

      Agreed about falling through an abyss forever is nightmarish — and these are Mrs Coulter and Lord Asriel’s face when they sacrifice themselves for Lyra, the “new Eve”. Do you have any particular thoughts on this?

      I see the connection you’re making being living in purgatory for a time after death and the land of the dead which I think Lyra finds Roger in. Toward the end, I think Will uses a knife to release Roger in a way — do you think this has connections to what you’re describing with Judaism? Roger is a beloved friend of Lyra’s and Lyra enters the world of the dead to find Roger. Roger is eventually released from the land of the dead (although it occurs after some struggle. I think a bomb explodes, creating an abyss, which Lyra nearly falls into before she is rescued by one of the harpies. However, Roger’s ghost is released through the window Will creates with the knife.)

      And I think Lyra dreams of Roger in the land of the dead when she is hidden and kept in a drugged sleep by Mrs Coulter, who is trying to save Lyra from the Church.

      Sorry for so many questions! Because you live in a religious world and have all this knowledge, I really like reading your views on Pullman’s story!

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    280. Ten Bears:
      Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Well, Skype, Face Time, or even a comforting voice on the other end of the telephone should suffice.

      Let me suggest that as traumatic as Ned’s beheading and the Red Wedding were, many devoted fans had a head’s up something was coming from book readers’ online commentaries. As far as I know, the Hodor reveal took everyone by surprise.

      It was all the more shocking (for me at least) because Hodor had been portrayed as a big lovable teddy bear – the kind of character usually reserved for comic relief, not horror and tragedy.
      I was left stunned at the end of “The Door.” Jack Bender and the editors did an amazing job with the pacing of that final sequence, the back-and-forth between present and past, and the final harrowing image of poor flailing Wyllis on the ground as the screen faded to black.

      I wish I had someone to grieve with or comfort me after that episode….

      You know, I actually suggested to my girlfriend yesterday that we watch the episode together… and now we have a watchparty organized for “The Door” sometime next week!

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    281. Tron79,

      Typos!

      *

      I agree that Pullman is rejecting the idea of doing things to get into a heaven of sorts and *that he believes we must make our own good world, it’s not up to a godly being.

      *

      Agreed about falling through an abyss forever is nightmarish — and these are Mrs Coulter and Lord Asriel’s *fates

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    282. AnnOther,

      I did not say that he is free from her and of course when it is all over he will return to her, but he will be a changed man so that their story can move forward to whichever direction Martin wants to take it (I’m guessing it will involve the valonqar).

      When he arrives at KL the process of change has already begun for Jamie. He realizes that Cersei doesn’t want him more than she wants power and the throne; and that he was always the “beggar” in their affair. He took what Cersei gave him without ever demanding anything, but Cersei just wanted to be the queen. Then what Tyrion tells him is added to that; and then his dislike for her decisions which prove exactly the point. If I am not mistaken (my reading at least) he also realizes that Cersei uses s*x to get him to do what she wants.
      So when Jamie leaves for Riverrun he is in a quest to reconnect with his lost honor which involves his past, and will involve Catelyn some way or another. He is determined to be “the king’s justice”, he thinks of himself as a “breaker and maker of kings”, so when Cersei asks him to hurry back to KL, he just ignores her.
      There’s other things that draw his attention now that do not involve Cersei. Jamie will be heading North in WoW.

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    283. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      YAY!! And I loved reading your post, Tron! Especially the connections you’re making, things I hadn’t thought of before because my own foundations in religion are rather weak (I grew up Roman Catholic, went to a Catholic school, I know the bible stories, prayers, beliefs, remember some of the scriptures and recall how some — in the Old Testament and the New Testament — conflict sometimes. However, these aren’t things I’ve really thought significantly on, contemplated, etc. To me, Catholicism was always like another school subject I had to study but not something that held much personal importance to me.)

      I agree, HDM could be really incredible if they’re able to pull off the special effects.

      Sorry for so many questions! Because you live in a religious world and have all this knowledge, I really like reading your views on Pullman’s story!

      For those of you not into HDM, this can also relate to Jon Snow’s view of the afterlife (when he says there wasn’t one!). It can also relate to Spock’s line to Dr. McCoy in Star Trek IV when he says Dr. McCoy wouldn’t understand since he didn’t have a common frame of reference. McCoy says something like “I have to die first to talk to you about death”. (I’m paraphrasing).

      Adrianacandle said:
      “Agreed about falling through an abyss forever is nightmarish — and these are Mrs Coulter and Lord Asriel’s face when they sacrifice themselves for Lyra, the “new Eve”. Do you have any particular thoughts on this?”

      I have to go back and read this scene again. I got more of an explanation off screen towards the end of the book. What I took away from Mrs. Coulter is that she was the most changed character of the book. And LOVE is what changed her. Pullman’s view of original sin to me was that if that’s what the church calls sin, he’s all for it. He saw the beauty in the golden DUST. Love seemed to be at the heart of DUST. That’s why Lyra’s natural physical and emotional love for Will in the new Garden of Eden didn’t seem like such a bad thing did it. It seemed like the natural thing that shines under the golden DUST. The alternative in Pullman’s view was that the church wanted to keep everyone stupid and under control going against the natural order of things.

      At least if Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel had to fall in abbys forever, I’m thinking they are together forever. Maybe that’s not all bad and as scary. And I think they have their daemons with them too.

      Adrianacandle said:
      “I see the connection you’re making being living in purgatory for a time after death and the land of the dead which I think Lyra finds Roger in. Toward the end, I think Will uses a knife to release Roger in a way — do you think this has connections to what you’re describing with Judaism?

      Yes, in a major way. It’s a beautiful concept that no matter how awful you are in life, you can go through a cleansing period and be released in a similar way to the way Roger was released through the window Will cut. Telling the Harpies truthful stories was also similar to being written up in the “Book of Life” which is a concept that after you die, you are judged by your deeds written up in the book of life.

      Over the years, I’ve learned not to take everything so literally in my religion that there will actually be a physical book of life waiting for me someday. Judaism mainly focuses on how to live in the world of the living. You don’t really have to believe in G-d at all and you could still follow the guidelines of how to live an ethical life and get along with your neighbors and love the stranger. The word “Israel” means to wrestle with G-d, so it’s a very natural thing to have questions. The idea of this 12 month mourning period is interesting in Judaism. I think it’s more for the person in mourning. You go to a service everyday and you are required to be with at least 10 people to say the kaddish prayer. This gets you out of isolation and with the community to help you deal with the loss. This is particularity hard now with everyone at home. The Rabbi’s have made an exception right now with doing the service on Zoom that we can still say Kaddish without having 10 people physically in the same room. But it’s also a beautiful idea that no matter what your loved one might have done in life, he/she can be cleansed over those 12 months and released much like Roger. By saying the kaddish prayer and doing deeds of charity, you can have a part in helping them move on. It’s also a custom that you never say the prayer for all 12 months. You stop at 11 months, because it’s hurtful to think any loved one can be so evil that it takes all 12 months to cleanse them!

      There are plenty of concepts if taken literally can seem like utter nonsense. There is one concept about your bones rolling through these elaborate underground tunnels and rolling all the way to Jerusalem so they can be there for the “resurrection”. Utter nonsense to me, but it made the Rabbi’s happy to have an explanation of how it would all work!

      You also asked about Lyra’s dreams. That’s another interesting thing in my religion. Judaism teaches that our souls leave us when we dream at night, so in a way we actually die every night and return to the land of the living when we wake up. There is a prayer we say in the morning to thank G-d for returning our souls to our bodies called “Modeh Ani”. I sure hope it’s not like Jon Snow said and everything is totally black when we die. But that would be preferable to thinking you could be falling in an endless abyss or stuck in purgatory if no one is out there to say the kaddish prayer for you (like Lyra came to help).

      I will say that Pullman was too harsh on organized religion. Even if you believe that organized religion is basically there to keep you stupid and keep you under control, there are people who absolutely find the beauty in their religion. It’s hard for me to see Pullman criticize those people for finding beauty in their religion and what they believe. I actually played Jesus in Godspell in our high school production many many years ago. I have a major regret when an elderly woman came up to me after the show. She was going on and on about how much my performance meant to her. Being a stupid insensitive teenager, I laughed about her to my friends afterwards and made fun of her. It’s a major regret in life for me to this day, and I can see it written up in my Book of Life!
      But I’ve learned from it. Years later I thought about that woman and how much her religion meant to her. Even though I’m definitely not an expert on Jesus’ teachings, I can see the beauty in them with how we are supposed to treat each other in this land of the living. Is there a value in making the world a better place without waiting for G-d to lend a hand? Yes, I think so. Do I think alot of harm comes from taking the stories in the texts too literally and starting wars in the name of G-d…yes…

      I think it’s wonderful that Pullman sparks all of these thoughts and discussions. I’ll stop there for now.

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    284. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: You know, I actually suggested to my girlfriend yesterday that we watch the episode together… and now we have a watchparty organized for “The Door” sometime next week!

      My Lord!
      (*Hears voice of Tywin: “M’Lord”*)

      • Thanks for that update! I’m pleased to hear that the two of you will watch the episode together.

      • I’m reminded that in addition to the back-and-forth, past-and-present Wyllis/Hodor final segment I was raving about, “The Door” also had many other good scenes, including one of my favorites: the visit by Red Temple High Priestess & Head Cheerleader Kinvara. (“Daenerys is gonna purify nonbelievers by the thousands!”)

      • As part of your watch party, after the episode concludes, I’m sure you will have lots of thoughts to share with your gf from your own in depth analyses and reviews. For a quick rat-rat-rat style, entertaining video review, you might also want to queue up Ozzy Man’s review of “The Door.” (Link below.)

      —-
      Ozzy Man Reviews S6e5, “The Door”
      (3:36 long story synopsis; 9:07 total length)

      ———

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    285. Tron79,

      I think I will add more to my response later but I want to say now that I think that the connections you’re making are gorgeous and insightful — I’ve even gotten goosebumps a few times!

      For instance, your paragraph on love, dust, Mrs Coulter, Lyra, Will, and the new Garden of Eden gave me the good goosebumps. No, not such a bad thing at all 🙂 And how you talk about the 12-month mourning period gave me that wave of warmth. Likewise, how this connects to Lyra and Roger illustrates this concept really well, I think.

      If you would be willing and if this is of interest to you, I think — with your background in religion — these would make for some great blog posts. You make fascinating points that I haven’t seen much of, ones that I think Pullman himself would be interested in if he ever came across it. I’ve never made any of these connections before because I don’t have that background but it’s making me see the story in a more in-depth way that leaves me with a more hopeful reading. I admit that I was

      pretty bummed that Lyra and Will must leave to their own separate worlds with a bench that is left to connect them. In some ways, this feels like mourning and a version of death too as a loved one makes their way in another world. But your Garden of Eden/dust/love interpretation makes this feel much better to me.

      In short: I’m really glad you read HDM, Tron!

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