New Game of Thrones Photos Tease Season 7 and Take Us Behind the Scenes!

Tormund and Brienne

You’ve got to love this time of year in the Game of Thrones fandom- new promo pics pop up just about every day now! This morning brought us an extraordinary glimpse of Daenerys and her crew’s arrival. Now, a fresh batch of photos have been rounded up and shared by gravemaster7 on Reddit, featuring a wide variety of characters including Daenerys, Jon Snow, Brienne, Tormund, Pod, and some behind-the-scenes filming images.

In addition to the Brienne and Tormund image above, we have this lovely image of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) looking regal in her dragonscale-inspired costuming.

Daenerys Targaryen season 7

Next, we see Pod (Daniel Portman) carrying a sword in the Winterfell courtyard. In the newly released HBO Spain video, we see Pod and Brienne sparring. Could this be from a similar scene?

Podrick Payne season 7 BTS

Jon Snow (Kit Harington) departing Winterfell on horseback, with knights behind him:

Jon Snow on a horse

A great shot of Jon standing in front of the hearth in the Great Hall at Winterfell, addressing the crowd. In the next photo after this, we see the filming crew shooting the scene, with episode “701” on the clapperboard.

Jon Snow

north set

These final two photos show a small, whited-out set that will be familiar to fans who followed filming. Last October, this particular set was spotted in Northern Ireland’s Mournes, just outside Hilltown. The snowy site has small buildings on it, as well. At the time, it was unknown to us who was filming on the location, but since then we’ve learned (and the season 7 trailer more or less confirmed) that the filming involved the Hound (Rory McCann) and the Brotherhood without Banners.

white out set 1

white set 2

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more pics, as we’re bound to see more turn up!

117 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. How could Jon’s jaw not hit the floor whenever he first meets Daenerys?? I mean, Ygritte was flamin’ and all but she was also wearing nasty ass furs and running around in the dirt all the time. I’d expect him to show a little wide-eyed amazement when he first sees her… At least until he steadies himself and gets down to business. He will have no idea what she looks like because nobody with him knows.

      Ladies… you can say the reverse for Daeny seeing Jon if you want. 😛

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    2. HBO is in full marketing campaign now for sure!

      This is so exciting!

      I bet we get another trailer within the next 2 weeks! *fingers crossed*

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    3. I keep thinking there won’t be any other angle of the same shot and will be getting a new one but they keep surprising me

      Clob,

      I know right..

      Jon and deanerys should be like Jahaerys the conciliator and good queen Alyssane and rule over 80 years …which will be a good thing considering the state of westeros after war and needing to patch the wounds and recover

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    4. Looks like poor Tormund is still thunderstruck by Brienne’s warrior-woman magnificence! Even if her heart truly belongs to Jaime, I hope that this season she at least gets it that some men genuinely find her very attractive.

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    5. Arthur:
      HBO is in full marketing campaign now for sure!

      This is so exciting!

      I bet we get another trailer within the next 2 weeks!*fingers crossed*

      The GoT YouTube channel added a private video today…

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    6. Clob: Ygritte was flamin’ and all but she was also wearing nasty ass furs and running around in the dirt all the time

      LOL, I’m a Ygritte fan, (especially since the news is Rose and Kit moved in together, think I heard that on Cordon?) but this got me laughing. Yes, he may be more in awe of her than of the dragons, considering some of the things he’s seen, mammoths, giants and whatnot. Has he every been in close proximity to a smokin’ blonde? especially one with power and regal bearing? Don’t think so.

      In the pic of him on horseback, he looks extremely determined, almost angry about something. In the pic below that, it looks as though his feelings have been hurt. Dany looks surprised or bemused about something, and OMG I never thought Brienne would venture that close to Tormund, much less speak to him. She still has that “stay the fuck out of my way, wild man,” look on her face, but she’s actually exchanging words with him.

      What does that sign say in that pic, Please keep off the Snow? Why, was there a shortage of snow where they were. So hyped. Thanks for these pics Sue

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    7. Firannion,

      If Tormund and Brienne would ever have a normal, sincere conversation maybe she’d actually at least ‘like’ the guy. He isn’t getting anywhere with the stares and goofy smiles. 🙂

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    8. It’s nice to see Pod back training again and those Stark banners in the background are just a beautiful sight.

      I will have to agree that Dany will probably be smitten with Jon, except he’ll be too preoccupied with his thirdwheel scary blue date to notice.

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    9. Firannion:
      Looks like poor Tormund is still thunderstruck by Brienne’s warrior-woman magnificence!Even if her heart truly belongs to Jaime, I hope that this season she at least gets it that some men genuinely find her very attractive.

      I hope they at least move to a mutual respect sort of place – perhaps she gains some sort of respect for how he fought in the BotB?

      And someone correct me if I am looking into this too much, but in the Tormund/Brienne picture, is that Sansa and LF on the walkway top right? I originally had thought that the images we kept getting of Jon on his horse (he does look pretty angry) were from the same scene as the Sansa/LF still released in the first batch of pictures, but now I think the Sansa/LF still is part of this scene.

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    10. Alba Stark: is that Sansa and LF on the walkway top right?

      Yeah, it appears that Sansa is in only two spots all season, at the table next to Jon and at that railing talking to LF (and perhaps Jon from that old HBO season promo vid). Someone could at least give her a chair if she’s going to spend so much time up there. 😉

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    11. To me, it looks like Pod is about to attack a retreating Tormund from behind. I know that’s probably not what’s actually happening but the picture gives me that impression.

      I wonder if Brienne & Tormund talking (with Sansa & LF watching), Pod with the sword, and Brienne & Pod sparring (from the earlier Spain video) are all the same scene?

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    12. Clob,

      I’m not understanding how you people are so excited for incest? No they don’t know but we do and that makes it revolting save for those that partake themselves I’m guessing. I’d rather they teamed up as family to work together.

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    13. kathy,

      Well, it’s not like they are mother and son, or siblings. They are aunt and nephew. Incest, yeah, kinda, but they are not that close genetically; they are the same age; and more importantly they have not grown together as family, so the grossness pretty much disappears, especially by Westerosi standards 😉

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    14. It looks like Pod was sparing with Brienne until Tormund walked through the middle of them. (Sly move 😅 )

      So hyped for S7, hopefully we will be getting the 1st title shortly

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    15. kathy,
      Mmmkay…. I won’t comment on it any further than saying that some people can separate our real world and morals from that of a fantasy story in a fantasy land where and when such a unity isn’t the same. This story and the history within is filled with closer relation being together.

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    16. Clob:
      kathy,
      Mmmkay….I won’t comment on it any further than saying that some people can separate our real world and morals from that of a fantasy story in a fantasy land where and when such a unity isn’t the same.This story and the history within is filled with closer relation being together.

      * damn edit timer *
      …. and you do know that Daenerys’ parents were siblings, right?

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    17. kathy,

      So you have been watching this show for 6 seasons and haven’t noticed? Just wondering…. (and im not hoping for everthing, but it is something to consider, if the two are going to rule together, how thats going to work if they want an heir)

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    18. Clob,

      I know right?It definitely works both ways.I would go for it if I was in both of their places lol.

      dragonbringer,

      Jon and Dany would definitely be the new and improved version of Jaehaerys and Alysanne.This should happen cause honestly the two of them,Westeros and me deserve this so much lol.

      kathy,

      Look it’s really not that deep.It’s all fake anyway.Not to mention it’s not even the kind of incest that counts in their world.Am I going around falling in love with my uncle?No but in this fake world it doesn’t bother me one bit.I just love the story implications of that happening and they are both hot lol.Just live and let live man.

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    19. Jack Bauer 24:
      So 27 days before the premiere and no info on the Red Carpet Premiere? Really strange.

      Rose Leslie is in a relationship, sorry to say. 😉

      It’s nice to have the premieres but I can’t say I get too much out of them personally. Even having read the supposed leaks I don’t like to read exact scene for scene spoilers if there are any. So glad about no screeners this year.

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    20. Also I forgot to say that Jon’s knows is so majestic.That horse knows that he is a king’s horse and he is owning it lol.

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    21. Thronetender:

      Has he every been in close proximity to a smokin’ blonde? Especially one with power and regal bearing? Don’t think so.

      Uh, Brienne?

      Not his type, I know. And he’s a bit too… brooding for her. 😉

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    22. Clob,

      I’m hoping they don’t make Jon smitten with her. I want him focused. Maybe that’s partly because I don’t want a romance between them to happen.

      It would be funny if Tyrion messed with Dany, though. Just be like… “I know Jon, this is a great match. There’s just one thing you should know, the poor boy is hideous.” Her reaction to him then, would be funny. But if they’re just meeting each other with no expectations, I would find over the top reactions (ie Edmure to Roslyn) to be corny.

      I’m more curious about Tyrion’s reaction. I hope we see him find out about Jon on camera. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to find out how easy this match making is turning out to be for him.

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    23. Concerning Jon and Dany, the show will definitely not end on that happy of a note.

      There’s a book prophecy that you could put them on to see what will happen…but I don’t think it has ever been mentioned in the show. That’s what I’m very curious to see!

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    24. WotW fans have the keenest eyesight – you are right, that is Sansa and LF up there. So, is LF badmouthing Brienne in retaliation for her threatening him at the tavern in Moles Town? or is he badmouthing the Wildings, saying that they can’t be counted on? You know he wants Sansa to feel that the only one she can count on is him, like all abusers do. He doesn’t want her to have access to anyone else who might be able to help her or advise her, and wants her to feel alone in the world, that no one else has her best interests in mind but him. You know he’s badmouthing somebody, but in the smoothest terms, that’s his way.

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    25. WalkyFrench,

      Two characters marrying and on throne is not necessarily a happy note especially not in westeros ..

      kathy,

      How many times you are going to make this statement before understanding that people are capable of separating fiction from reality

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    26. Wolfish: Uh, Brienne?

      Of course, WE see her that way, but Brienne would be unlikely to flirt with Jon, or even think of him as a romantic match. SHE doesn’t think of herself as whatever the Westerosi term for “smokin” would be, and when you are man-hunting, that’s half the battle. If she says she’s man-hunting, it’s to cut the guy’s head off. Not what I had in mind. 🙂

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    27. dragonbringer,

      They may marry but there’s no way it ends with them ruling together happily ever after to end the story. Many main characters will die, including one of them IMO.

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    28. Would Sansa just really be standing there on the balcony when Jon will be going off for a long time? Especially standing next to Littlefinger. I would think that she would at least greet her brother in the courtyard. Maybe that balcony shot of Sansa and Littlefinger isn’t from the scene when Jon leaves.

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    29. Thronetender,

      Jon’s never really interacted with blondes at all honestly. The only blondes I’ve seen him share a scene with besides Brienne who I’m not sure we even saw him share a single word with are The Lannisters, Tyrion had bleach blonde hair in that first EP and they seemed to become tentative friends, Jamie mocked him when he saw him, he saw Cersei but she didn’t say a word to him. So no, Jon has never really interacted with barely any blondes at all nevermind attractive silver haired beauties his age.

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    30. Mel,

      Yep, very true.
      I keep thinking about the possible scenario of their meeting. Nobody that we know of from Westeros other than those coming with Daenerys have ever seen her. Of course Tyrion would be able to describe Jon to her if she were to ask and have a pretty good idea. The most Jon may hear is passed on word of mouth that she is attractive. Otherwise he may form an image of her based solely on hearing what she’s done; riding around on dragons conquering men and cities. He could think she’s some burly warrior woman that kills men by the hundreds. If (she) were here, (she’d) consume (Westeros) with fireballs from (her) eyes, and bolts of lightning from (her) arse.

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    31. Boudica,

      There are a couple of shots of Jon on horseback preparing to leave Winterfell where he appears to be looking up towards the balcony. So I think that’s why people figured the shots of Sansa and Littlefinger were from that same scene. Now we appear to know different.

      However, if Sansa is playing Littlefinger at his own game and trying to make him think that she’s playing along with his schemes to undermine Jon, then it’s possible she would act indifferently towards Jon when Littlefinger’s around.

      So there may be scenes where Jon and Sansa don’t appear as close as they really are.

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    32. About the “snowy site”….
      “we’ve learned (and the season 7 trailer more or less confirmed) that the filming involved the Hound (Rory McCann) and the Brotherhood without Banners.”
      ____________
      Cold winds are rising in the north, and there’s the Warrior of Light, right on schedule. Just like the prophecy Melisandre recited on the Dragonstone beach by Melisandre, and later re-interpreted correctly by Hot Pie without realizing it.

      (*places tinfoil helmet back in closet; braces for onslaught of naysayers with pitchforks*)

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    33. Query: Has anyone else been having trouble with slow loading of the site lately…or is it just my antiquated cellphone’s last gasps.

      It’s most likely the latter. Earlier today, I heard Siri say , “Egg! I dreamed I waa old.”

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    34. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: However, if Sansa is playing Littlefinger at his own game and trying to make him think that she’s playing along with his schemes to undermine Jon, then it’s possible she would act indifferently towards Jon when Littlefinger’s around.

      very good thinking. She has heard LF drone on to her about his dream of him on the throne with her beside him, blah blah. But if she has developed any worldliness at all from being around the primo collection of freaks and whackos that she’s known in the past few years, she knows he’s full of s**t. He must have sold crazy Lysa the exact same bunch of baloney: You’ll be my Queen, I love you so much, we will rule the world together, you do as I say and we will have it all. She saw what he did to Lysa. I think she is on to him, and learning how to get around his nonsense. Just about the only man she’s been around who isn’t crazy, is Jon. I don’t think she’ll betray him in LF’s favor.

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    35. Wolfish: I was joking. 😉

      so was I or trying to, thus my smiley, too. I hope the writers give us something good for when Jon and Dany meet. He’s seen attractive women before, but nothing quite like her, especially not when he could be considered on equal footing with her, and not the bastard sulking in the corner. They’ve both been through so much, and although I’m not so sure they’ll end up ruling together or married, I can’t think of a pair better matched than those two.

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    36. I’m really looking forward to Jon and Tyrion meeting back up again.. those episodes where they were at Castle Black way back in season 1, they seemed to like each other. Hopefully they do the reunion well.

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    37. Clob,

      Funny he’s looking all fierce and her more like an innocent in these pics lol. This is the first one of season where I’m really liking her hair and outfit. I’m guessing Jon’s frown as they leave WF is his irritation with the fact he now has to deal with yet another controversial circumstance ala perhaps a summons to kneel by the new would be queen who has full grown dragons and not afraid to use them.

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    38. Firannion,

      I do hope they become fast friends 🙂 Or maybe not too fast, it could be amusing to have a little more of nose in the air Brienne and goofy smiling Tormund.

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    39. I think any potential meeting between Jon and Daenerys would be influenced on his part by the fact that he has met a Targaryen before – Maester Aemon, someone he came to know well and to have a huge amount of respect for. While he was brought up with the stories of Mad King Aerys killing his uncle and grandfather and Rhaegar’s flight with Lyanna, Jon knows first hand that not all Targaryens are mad. I think if he approached a meeting with Daenerys as one with Maester Aemon’s grand-niece and not one with the daughter of the man who had his grandfather burned alive, then the chances of them forging some sort of an alliance improve. And if the still of Daenerys surrounded by dragonglass is anything to go by, he needs her support as much as she needs his – probably more so.

      I also hope that Varys tells Daenerys about Ned’s opposition to Robert’s plans to kill her in season one. The show hasn’t really gone into how Daenerys views Ned Stark, but given he was Robert’s best friend I doubt she thinks that highly of him; Varys telling her about his attempts to change Robert’s mind may help rehabilitate him to a small extent. While it would be hypocritical of Daenerys to judge any of Ned’s children based on whose child they are, it is clear that Daenerys knows what her father was and is determined not to be like him (made clear in her meeting with Theon and Yara in 609), so much of who Jon is has been bound up in his pride at being Ned’s son. So I do think intervention from Varys – pointing out that Ned isn’t the bad guy Viserys would have portrayed him as – is necessary here.

      As for Tyrion, I think he would advise Daenerys to be careful. Yes, uniting with Jon’s faction would bring a huge chunk of the Seven Kingdoms together, but I could see him giving her a prudent reminder that the last time a Targaryen fell for a Stark, the Seven Kingdoms bled and it almost led to the complete destruction of House Targaryen. So by all means forge an alliance, but at the same time be careful when it comes to emotional involvement.

      I would also add that even pre-season seven we don’t truly know how much prior knowledge Jon has of Daenerys. In 505 at the start of the scene that turns into Maester Aemon telling Jon to “kill the boy”, Sam is reading out a scroll with news of Daenerys to Maester Aemon which details her anti-slavery drive in Essos. Jon, in a very timely manner, appears in the doorway when Maester Aemon says “a Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing”, but we don’t know how much of the conversation he overheard or if Sam/Maester Aemon discussed it with him afterwards.

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    40. Clob,

      You think they will meet this season?
      That would be awesome… I mean… time wise it has to happen this season.
      So exciting.

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    41. Dee Stark:
      Also, whats with the Dany Jon being smitten with each other talk?
      Um, NO!

      Yeah, I dunno what’s up with this thread – no one is using spoiler tags but TBH I feel like they must be discussing spoilers. Not that there wasn’t Jon x Dany speculation before the leaks… But this is a whole new level.

      I think if they do meet that they would start off being wary, then move to “comrades at arms” and only eventually forming an attraction to each other. Even if a marriage alliance seems like an obviously good political move I don’t think that’s something that’s wise for either of them to propose willy-nilly.

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    42. Dee Stark,

      Melisandre: “The dead don’t need lovers. Only the living.”

      Jon Snow: “I know. But I still love her.”

      🗡 Jon ❤️ Ygritte 🏹
      ⛄️+🔥
      4 ever

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    43. Dee Stark,

      No people are not discussing the leaks..this topic has been going on for years even before the show started and nothing to do with spoilers especially in this thread ..

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    44. Thronetender,

      Fingers crossed. Surely, surely(!!!!), she must know by now not to trust him or go along with any of his schemes.

      I’d feel like it was an insult to the character and to the viewers if she still threw her hat in with Littlefinger, after all she’s seen and been through because of him.

      But the writers/producers know that there’s no drama in Sansa blatantly siding with Jon from the start. And there’d be no logic to his head not already being on a spike above the gates of Winterfell in episode 1 if she did so.

      So I figure they’ll probably have her try and play the long game. Use him to retain the support of the Vale and exploit his contacts across the Seven Kingdoms for information and parleying support; before eventually getting him to incriminate himself somehow, so that he can finally be given the noose.

      This being Game of Thrones though, there’s bound to be some spanners thrown in the works.

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    45. Perhaps Scotland Yard and MI5 are against a London premiere, to much security concerns and costs, therefore HBO is looking elsewhere for a location

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    46. Clob: How could Jon’s jaw not hit the floor whenever he first meets Daenerys??

      This is Jon Snow about whom we are talking. He does a different brood in place of a jaw-drop! Think “full smolder”…..

      heh, this will be sort of weird to see. After all, there is a segment of the fandom that has been anticipating “why Daenerys meets Jon” since, well, “forever” in SoI&F terms (~20 years for the real world). Save for the “Daenerys is the real antagonist!” crowd, I suspect that most readers and viewers have been expecting this for a while. I suppose that it could wait until next year: but given that we are in part I of the final act, I really expect that it will happen this year.

      Curiously, the show foreshadows that this will mean something big for Daenerys: true love and the memory of true love lingers beyond the Wall. However, I don’t think that we’ve had comparable foreshadowing for Jon, have we? (One could argue that there is some in the books: but that did not make it onto the screen.)

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    47. tyjon: Perhaps Scotland Yard and MI5 are against a London premiere, to much security concerns and costs, therefore HBO is looking elsewhere for a location

      Given how many other bigger events are happening in London in this time, that seems implausible. The Brits still take great pride in their “carry on” attitude, which got cemented into the cultural ethos after the Blitz. The IRA bombing sprees in the 1970’s didn’t change that, and recent events will not, either.

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    48. Alba Stark: I would also add that even pre-season seven we don’t truly know how much prior knowledge Jon has of Daenerys.

      Jon should have gotten some information at some point, but it would not be surprising if he paid it little mind. As Lord Commander, he was basically an executive: and executives get a lot more information than they can process. Part of what makes a good executive branch is the combination of advisers who provide lots of information and then someone who is good at focusing on the particular pieces that are connected to each other and to the pressing problems at hand. Oh, and (of course) meetings where everyone tells you how blessed they are to be working with you…..

      Seriously, Jon probably would have gotten some tidbits: but as they never would have connected to issues at the Wall, they probably would not have really stuck.

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    49. Eavelyns:
      Jenny,

      Yeah but it irritates me that his heels aren’t down. His foot will slip right though the stirrups 🙁

      I was looking at all that. By the stance of the horse (head raised up and back while the rear end has dropped down) and the way he’s sitting and looking I actually think he has just beckoned the horse to take off. That’s not an excuse for not having his feet in the stirrups properly but perhaps they just slipped during the motion. *shrug*

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    50. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      It’s an insult that WeaselFinger is still alive, or hasn’t had his smirking mug bashed in by now. Every time I he speaks you want to punch him in the face. If the Mountain “once killed a man for snoring”, I don’t see how LF has lasted this long.

      Also, from my biased, limited perspective as a non-book reader, I would’ve assumed that a character who succeeds by guile and manipulation, would be charasmatic and charming. Or at least appear to be. Because that’s how schemers and backstabbers succeed in the real world.

      [*weekly LF-bashing quota met; rant over*]

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    51. Dee Stark:
      Clob,

      You think they will meet this season?
      That would be awesome… I mean… time wise it has to happen this season.
      So exciting.

      I’ve always assumed that Jon and Daenerys will meet very soon after her arrival in Westeros. It was even in my ‘plot layout’ after the finale last year. You see, I’m of the crowd that believes Ice & Fire IS Jon & Daenerys, not Jon alone as a few believe, and with so little story left I expect them to meet this season. With both of them being or becoming the primary protagonists early in the story it’s just been a waiting game. The proper time for their meeting will come right away as she’s likely to look for those that may support or align with her.

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    52. Clob,

      that’s very true, and I am also one of those that believe Ice and Fire is both of them, and that there isn’t only one chosen one. I think they need each other.

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    53. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Thronetender,

      Fingers crossed. Surely, surely(!!!!), she must know by now not to trust him or go along with any of his schemes.
      I’d feel like it was an insult to the character and to the viewers if she still threw her hat in with Littlefinger, after all she’s seen and been through because of him.

      So I figure they’ll probably have her try and play the long game. Use him to retain the support of the Vale and exploit his contacts across the Seven Kingdoms for information and parleying support; before eventually getting him to incriminate himself somehow, so that he can finally be given the noose.

      No noose is good noose! Seriously, he deserves a bloodier, nastier death by far. After all, he started one war and maybe another, killed or caused the deaths of lots of people, many in his decades-long effort to annihilate House Stark. And EVEN NOW he’s still fiddling while all hell’s about to break loose. I agree with your comments about Sansa. Since the girl has foolishly allowed venomous creature to stay in her garden, it does make sense for the Serpent to tempt Eve one more time before she totally turns on him. Yes, they want to prolong the drama, but in this situation D&D badly need that spanner in the works–there’s not much drama in Tormund lusting, Brienne sparring, Lyanna pontificating, and Northerners “King-in-the-North”ing. D&D, bring home Arya! Bring home Bran! They can help bring LF to his pre-ordained nasty end.

      tyjon:
      Perhaps Scotland Yard and MI5 are against a London premiere, to much security concerns and costs, therefore HBO is looking elsewhere for a location

      Wishful thinking: They should do it in York. Not only is it a beautiful mediaeval city, but it seems rather less on terrorist radar. Also, it’s associated with the House of York, which IRL is the analog of House Stark. As this season looks to be quite Stark-centric, that’s appropriate.

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    54. Ten Bears: Also, from my biased, limited perspective as a non-book reader, I would’ve assumed that a character who succeeds by guile and manipulation, would be charasmatic and charming.

      If anything, then it tends to be the other way around. Charismatic people paint targets on themselves: those traits that make some people see “leader” makes others who want to be leader see “threat.” For someone like Baelish or Varys to succeed, they have to go out of their way to appear unthreatening. Moreover, guile and manipulation tend to be traits that naturally charismatic people do not need: they get by purely on personality. (Smart charismatic people like Tywin use all of these things: but most people are not very smart, and if anything then charisma tends to encourage lazy thinking.)

      As such, a big reason why Littlefinger is still alive is so in no small part because he is not charismatic. Someone like Cersei will never see him as a threat: for all of LF’s little games, he does not see the simple truth that she does, which is power is an irreducible complexity. Moreover, Littlefinger has been very useful to the powers-that-be. He managed to get money for Robert and Joffery. He helped orchestrate Ned’s downfall, the alliance with the Tyrells, and then a handsome young man to undo that alliance. He provides information that sometimes even Varys lacks. So, why would anyone with the wherewithal to kill Baelish actually do so?

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    55. Ten Bears: S7 can’t come soon enough.

      Ironically, I wish that it were coming later! OK, I really wish that it were nearing conclusion now. However, I will be traveling much of the summer without access to cable TV. I am not too worried about having things spoiled – contrary to popular belief, it really is very easy to avoid spoilers – but like all selfish people, I hate the idea of other people getting something that I cannot have! 😀

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    56. Stark Raven’ Rad: Wishful thinking: They should do it in York. Not only is it a beautiful mediaeval city, but it seems rather less on terrorist radar.

      Again, is Wimbledon being postponed? Are concerts in London being cancelled?

      There are many other (and bigger) things happening that the Thrones premiere: why would that get singled out as a security risk? (Hell, they are in more danger of the nutjobs from Westerosi.org than they are from Islamic or Christian terrorists! 😀 )

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    57. Littlefinger is a funny one. From what little I have observed (and please forgive the blunt generalisation), American viewers tend to despise him while European viewers are more lenient towards him. Which is somewhat bizarre considering American revolutionaries were, in spirit and condition, much closer to Baelish than to Ned Stark.

      The Starks, the Lannisters, the Targaryens, etc. They are the aristocracy, people who believe that by virtue of their birth and birth alone, they are entitled to rule over millions. Their class arbitrarily defined the notion of “legitimacy” in relation to sources of power so as to be able to monopolise them, hoard them and preemptively discredit any attempt againt their rule : thus, birth (ie. their birth !) is a legitimate source of power, and so is violence by means of sword-fighting (considering the average Westerosi does not have the means to own a sword, nor the time to train with it nor the right to carry one… Lowborns are unlikely to “legitimately” fight back).
      Those families’ claim of an inherent rank is fundametally incompatible with any notion of meritocracy.

      Varys and Baelish, conversely, are where they are thanks to their talents. They were not born rich or significant. Every ounce of power they have, they have worked for. They are Westeros’s bourgeoisie, its self-made men 🙂

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    58. Wimsey,

      Now that you mentioned it, I think it is interesting that in the books, Daenerys does have visions and dreams that can be interpreted as referring to Jon as her love: The blue rose at the Wall, the dream about the man whose face she can’t quite see who is supposed to represent love. But all of Jon’s dreams have basically been about finding a secret that he’s afraid to uncover and also about fighting the Others. I think Daenery’s motivation and true destiny is to find home (whatever that may mean to her) whereas Jon’s is to save the world. I am not saying Dany won’t fight against the Others, she will but in the end I think her main arc will involve finding home.

      I think meeting Jon will be more important to Dany on a personal level than for Jon. For one, Dany has always craved family and he is the only one she has left. And he is the son of a brother she has put on a pedestal so there is that. With the truth out, I think Dany will be happy. For Jon, on the other hand, the truth of their relation to each other will likely be devastating. It will blow up his life. Jon has said many times that he’s not a Stark but we all know that being a Stark is what has made him who he is. He is Ned’s son and Robb’s and Arya’s brother. I think in the beginning, the truth of his parentage will just rob him of his identity and he will need time to come to terms with it if he ever does. He may have a hard time dealing with Dany afterwards, not because of her but of what she represents.

      As far as Jon being in awe of Dany’s beauty, well as you said this is Jon we are talking about. He may think she’s beautiful but his demeanor will never betray what he thinks one way or another. Besides it is not like Jon has never been in front of a beauty before: Melissandre is described as stunning and in the books he doesn’t go gaga over Val. His aloofness in how he handles himself around women is I think what makes women try to flirt with him whenever he is front of them.

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    59. Danny,

      Dany too have been given dreams that she needs to uncover and having those dreams that she is constantly chased by cold and darkness ..
      Interestingly Jon while inside Ghost longs for the moon and howling at the moon .dany is the moon parallel in the story ..
      At core both want simple things a home and family but they also know they cant have that becuse there are duties they both need to perform ..

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    60. Wimsey:

      Curiously, the show foreshadows that this will mean something big for Daenerys: true love and the memory of true love lingers beyond the Wall. However, I don’t think that we’ve had comparable foreshadowing for Jon, have we? (One could argue that there is some in the books: but that did not make it onto the screen.)

      You mean, the ice to Dany’s fire is going to be… The Night King???

      😉

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    61. Ten Bears:

      Also, from my biased, limited perspective as a non-book reader, I would’ve assumed that a character who succeeds by guile and manipulation, would be charismatic and charming. Or at least appear to be. Because that’s how schemers and backstabbers succeed in the real world.

      You do recall that millions of people voted for Hitler and Mussolini, right? By comparison, Littlefinger—complete with comic-book hair, creepy mother-daughter obsessions, and Accent-of-the-Week—is downright sexy by comparison.

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    62. Ten Bears:

      So now we’ve got StirrupsGate to go with WigGate. S7 can’t come soon enough.

      I know very little about horses (I haven’t ridden one since I was 12), but for people who do know them, details like this are painfully noticeable; when someone is improperly or unsafely mounted, the whole scene strains credulity. It’s like watching a spaghetti Western and seeing prostitutes with 1960s beehives and coral lipstick; no matter how good the plot or writing, the viewer winds up getting distracted by laughable anachronisms.

      Saner Half grew up with horses and is an excellent rider, so it drives him batshit-crazy when they’re improperly handled onscreen. Fun fact: He has a single-line part in Gettysburg (1993) as a Confederate militia member. At the 1:17 mark, he’s the guy who rides up to Gen. Robert E. Lee (Martin Sheen) on a white horse, speaks briefly, and then rides off:

      If I recall correctly that was his actual horse, Rooney Lee. He still has the porkpie hat, which he incorporated into his Walter White Halloween outfit three years ago. 😛

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    63. Wolfish,
      I see he actually did a proper Confederate Army salute, which I’ve been told was like a British salute with palm out as opposed to the newer US method of saluting (like the first rider did).

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    64. Danny:

      For Jon, on the other hand, the truth of their relation to each other will likely be devastating. It will blow up his life. Jon has said many times that he’s not a Stark but we all know that being a Stark is what has made him who he is. He is Ned’s son and Robb’s and Arya’s brother. I think in the beginning, the truth of his parentage will just rob him of his identity and he will need time to come to terms with it if he ever does. He may have a hard time dealing with Dany afterwards, not because of her but of what she represents.

      Excellent points throughout your commentary, especially the widespread expectation that Jon will “[be] in awe of Dany’s beauty”—even though he has already spurned Melisandre and, as you further note, “in the books doesn’t go gaga over Val.”

      On the point quoted above, though… I think I’m in a minority who does not expect “the truth of his parentage [to] just rob him of his identity.” Both the books and the show have developed women to be leaders—for better or for worse—and have encouraged readers/viewers to question power structures that, for example, deny inheritance of titles to women unless it becomes absolutely necessary that they be granted. Jon is no less Stark for being Lyanna’s son and not Ned’s. I would hope that, given that 1) theoretically he’ll be both allying himself with, and fighting against, powerful women and 2) Ned clearly kept the secret all those years because of an incredibly deep love and respect for his sister, Jon will give some thought to why the father’s blood is considered so much more valuable than the mother’s. Is it not all the same blood?

      I have absolutely no doubt that the revelation of his parentage will be earth-shaking for Jon. Of course it will be! But I also think it will clarify how deep Ned’s love was for Lyanna and, by extension, her son. Lyanna birthed Jon, but Ned “made him who he is.” I don’t think that can be taken away from him.

      And we know damn well that Arya’s love for Jon will never waver or fade, regardless of whose name he ultimately carries.

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    65. Alba Stark: I think if he approached a meeting with Daenerys as one with Maester Aemon’s grand-niece and not one with the daughter of the man who had his grandfather burned alive, then the chances of them forging some sort of an alliance improve.

      Oh wow! I just realized: Jon’s one grandfather burnt alive the other one! 😀 What a family! I think he’ll need to be in counseling for as long as he lives!

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    66. Clob,

      Improper salutes also drive him batshit-crazy!

      Four years in the Navy and 22 years in the Army Reserves. He teaches military history now; at the time that Gettysburg was filmed, he was finishing his master’s at Virginia Tech and doing Civil War reenacting. Many of the extras were reenactors.

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    67. Wolfish,
      Now I’m starting to understand why he’s the ‘saner half.’ He’s been driving YOU batshit-crazy with all the things that drive him crazy! j/k 🙂

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    68. Wolfish: I have absolutely no doubt that the revelation of his parentage will be earth-shaking for Jon. Of course it will be! But I also think it will clarify how deep Ned’s love was for Lyanna and, by extension, her son. Lyanna birthed Jon, but Ned “made him who he is.” I don’t think that can be taken away from him.

      Jon had a rather miserable childhood, “always sulking in the corner,” as he said. Of course the main reason for that is because he wasn’t accepted by Catelyn as part of the family. THE person that could have been his mother figure chose to treat him poorly, as if it was his fault for being born. We’ve always been able to tell while reading and watching that a mother, his mother, is very important to him and he desired that relationship. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that finding out Lyanna is his mother would “fix him.” He’ll find out that his mother was actually a Stark, but then he’ll have new father issues. At least he had a loving father figure in Ned while he grew up.

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    69. Kay: Oh wow! I just realized: Jon’s one grandfather burnt alive the other one! What a family! I think he’ll need to be in counseling for as long as he lives!

      His family situation is generally screwed up, yes.

      Yeah, the fallout from Rhaegar and Lyanna’s flight is one of the things I think Jon will find it hardest to deal with (the hardest being that he isn’t Ned’s biological son). When they disappeared, Brandon went to KL to call Rhaegar out and shouted for him to die, Rickard was summoned to try and clear up the mess and ended up being burned alive. Both were dead – and although the actions were Rhaegar and Lyanna’s, Jon is the kind of person who will bear guilt for the sins of those who came before him despite his lack of culpability.

      When he finds out, I can see him being very angry and very hurt. What Aerys did, and the consequences of Rhaegar’s actions (regardless of Lyanna’s complicity in their disappearance) will, I think, make it hard for him to accept the Targaryen side of his heritage. And that won’t go down well with his aunt.

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    70. Kay: I think he’ll need to be in counseling for as long as he lives!

      My suspicion is that “counseling” in this world basically is being told to “man-up” or something similarly enlightened.

      Alba Stark: Yeah, the fallout from Rhaegar and Lyanna’s flight is one of the things I think Jon will find it hardest to deal with (the hardest being that he isn’t Ned’s biological son).

      I doubt that Jon will think about it like that. For one thing, the story would have needed to make this issue more relevant to Jon’s immediate development. However, he’s never expressed any views on the war or what it meant. Jon’s entire focus has been on why Ned wouldn’t tell him who his mother was and who she was.

      What Jon is going to take out of this is that Ned Stark committed dishonorable acts (lying to the world and betraying Robert’s edicts regarding surviving Targaryens) of which nobody knew and furthermore took on public dishonor by claiming to have fathered a bastard in order to maintain a “private” honor: save one child who could not help who his parents happened to be, and honor a promise to his deceased sister. Ned had to further his public dishonor by making his wife miserable. (And, no, he could not tell her: it’s pretty clear that Catelyn would never have tolerated a child who endangered her children’s legal and social status in multiple ways.)

      Here is the key point that will affect Jon: Ned did this knowing that, in all probability, nobody would ever realize that he behaved dishonorably in order to maintain some higher honor.

      I would bet quite a bit that Jon winds up emulating Ned’s “publicly dishonorable, privately honorable” example at the climax of the story.

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    71. Wolfish: On the point quoted above, though… I think I’m in a minority who does not expect “the truth of his parentage [to] just rob him of his identity.”

      You might be in a minority, but you are definitely not alone. Ultimately, I think that it will all make sense to Jon. And it’s taught him an important lesson: he’s alive solely because his father figure deemed that, at least sometimes, one little boy is more important that a lot of other things.

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    72. Alba Stark,

      The father who she had accepted to have been terrible and made many cruel acts ..why is she going to have any problem with that.
      Blame should be equally put on Starks from lyanna to Brandon ..their actions had consequences too. .

      Why should we rule out lyanna’s role in that..we have often heard how Dany should have history lesson of what really happened….well so does Stark kids they need to know that their aunt never was kidnapped and raped but went willingly …if dany who lost entire family due to that war and not had a proper education needed to learn the truth and acknowledge it.which she does too..then I expect the same from these stark kids …

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    73. Clob: Of course the main reason for that is because he wasn’t accepted by Catelyn as part of the family.THE person that could have been his mother figure chose to treat him poorly, as if it was his fault for being born.

      I believe it is even worse than that for Catelyn, whether she liked it or not, was Jon’s mother figure.

      Had Jon grown up without any mother figure at all, he might have been better off because he would not have known what he was deprived of. However, he spent his whole childhood witnessing motherly love and its unconditional affection and care; he was just excluded from it. Day in, day out, Catelyn soothed, hugged and loved her children while she ignored Snow, implicitly making him feel unworthy of such affection. Not good enough.

      I cannot help but wonder how Ned was able to withstand such an unnecessarily tragic spectacle.

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    74. ACME,

      Whenever I’ve watched GoT again, Catelyn’s confession to Talisa about how she mistreated Jon is one of the scenes that has most broken my heart. And of course, Jon will never know. The fact that neither Cat nor Jon will ever have closure is so terribly true to so much in real life, it’s a more difficult scene for me to watch than many of the gory ones.

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    75. Wolfish,

      I’ve rewatched that episode recently and it is so heartbreaking. Cat is very aware that she treated Jon wrongly and that he wasn’t at fault but she couldn’t force herself to love him and because she broke her promise to the Gods to love him, she believes her family being murdered and destroyed is her fault that the Gods are punishing her for not loving him when she promised she would.
      It’s so depressing all the things that were never said.

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    76. Wolfish,
      Thank you ever so much for the link, Wolfish.

      I agree wholeheartedly with you, this scene is by far one of the most soul-shattering the show has ever produced. Michelle Fairley is sublime in it and it is so fundamentally “raw” : the grief, the self-loathing, the pain, the humiliation, the anguish, the missed opportunity for love…
      To be noted is Ned’s absence. Catelyn was the one who spent the night looking and praying over baby Jon, desperately keeping the Stranger at bay, while Ned was who knows where (a bit like with Bran).

      But the writers were kind and intelligent enough to inject a silver lining. Cat prayed and begged the Gods for Jon to survive his “long night” and, perhaps, the deities decided to extend their protection of him to all Long Nights… If Jon makes it til the very end, it will be in part thanks to Catelyn, the best mother he never had.

      Wimsey,
      I am sorry to say I am not entirely in agreement with your distinction between public and private dishonour in Ned’s case.

      Fathering a bastard is not a source of public dishonour in Westeros. In the Seven Kingdoms, men are not shunned or shamed for cheating on their wives and having illegitimate children. Ned did not suffer, either socially or politically, as a result of to his alleged adultery.

      The only two people who were publicly disgraced by the existence of a presumed Stark bastard were Catelyn and Jon. Catelyn because she was believed by all (including herself) to have been cuckholded and forced to live with the living, breathing proof of her husband’s son, both of which are considered grossly humiliating in the realm; and Jon because he was treated like a bastard, with all the negative and punitive connotations associated with that status.

      If Ned suffered a dishonour, it was a private one, namely the secret dishonour caused by the knowledge that he was, to a broad extent, sacrificing the happiness of two people he loved so as to keep his word to his sister and protect Jon.

      As for whether Ned could or should have told Catelyn, I think I am less certain than you.
      I completely understand why he did not inform her of Jon’s true parentage immediately after coming back from Robert’s Rebellion. Theirs was an arranged and precipitated marriage; they barely knew each other and he had no reason to believe she could be trusted. However, after a couple of years, I believe he should have known better than to doubt Catelyn’s loyalty to her House’s motto “Family, Duty, Honour” (in that order). Jon was, unbeknownst to her, her nephew by marriage. He was a member of her family and it would thus have been her duty to protect him, as matter of honour.

      Furthermore, hadn’t Catelyn been blinded by the humiliation she believed Jon’s very existence and presence represented, I would be tempted to assume she would have grown to like the child. After all, I am convinced Toddler!Jon was a cutie patootie. A bit taciturn, perhaps, but adorable. The fondness and love she would have developed for him over the years would have made it even more paramount for her to ensure his safety.

      I feel that the revelation of Jon’s true parentage will bring forth a quite thorough and critical examination and reevaluation of Ned’s decisions and judgment by all the Stark children, above all Jon himself of course. Or at least, I hope it will… Because I, for one, have a few questions and criticisms ! ^^

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    77. ACME:
      Wolfish,
      Thank you ever so much for the link, Wolfish.

      I agree wholeheartedly with you, this scene is by far one of the most soul-shattering the show has ever produced. Michelle Fairley is sublime in it and it is so fundamentally “raw” : the grief, the self-loathing, the pain, the humiliation, the anguish, the missed opportunity for love…
      To be noted is Ned’s absence. Catelyn was the one who spent the night looking and praying over baby Jon, desperately keeping the Stranger at bay, while Ned was who knows where (a bit like with Bran).

      But the writers were kind and intelligent enough to inject a silver lining. Cat prayed and begged the Gods for Jon to survive his “long night” and, perhaps, the deities decided to extend their protection of him to all Long Nights… If Jon makes it til the very end, it will be in part thanks to Catelyn, the best mother he never had.

      Wimsey,
      I am sorry to say I am not entirely in agreement with your distinction between public and private dishonour in Ned’s case.

      Fathering a bastard is not a source of public dishonour in Westeros. In the Seven Kingdoms, men are not shunned or shamed for cheating on their wives and having illegitimate children. Ned did not suffer, either socially or politically, as a result of to his alleged adultery.

      The only two people who were publicly disgraced by the existence of a presumed Stark bastard were Catelyn and Jon. Catelyn because she was believed by all (including herself) to have been cheated on and forced to live with the living, breathing proof of her husband’s son, both of which are considered grossly humiliating in the realm; and Jon because he was treated like a bastard, with all the negative and punitive connotations associated with that status.

      If Ned suffered a dishonour, it was a private one, namely the secret dishonour caused by the knowledge that he was, to a broad extent, sacrificing the happiness of two people he loved so as to keep his word to his sister and protect Jon.

      As for whether Ned could or should have told Catelyn, I think I am less certain than you.
      I completely understand why he did not inform her of Jon’s true parentage immediately after coming back from Robert’s Rebellion. Theirs was an arranged and precipitated marriage; they barely knew each other and he had no reason to believe she could be trusted. However, after a couple of years, I believe he should have known better than to doubt Catelyn’s loyalty to her House’s motto “Family, Duty, Honour” (in that order). Jon was, unbeknownst to her, her nephew by marriage. He was a member of her family and it would thus have been her duty to protect him, as matter of honour.

      Furthermore, hadn’t Catelyn been blinded by the humiliation she believed Jon’s very existence and presence represented, I would be tempted to assume she would have grown to like the child. After all, I am convinced Toddler!Jon was a cutie patootie. A bit taciturn, perhaps, but adorable. The fondness and love she would have developed for him over the years would have made it even more paramount for her to ensure his safety.

      I feel that the revelation of Jon’s true parentage will bring forth a quite thorough and critical examination and reevaluation of Ned’s decisions and judgment by all the Stark children, above all Jon himself of course. Or at least, I hope it will… Because I, for one, have a few questions and criticisms ! ^^

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    78. ygritte,

      If you go by that logic he doesn’t symbolize ice and fire either because he is not the son of NK and Dany

      It’s about two targs one who grew up as Stark on the north (Ice ) a wolf and another who grew up in the east as Dragon( fire ). .

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    79. Dee Stark,

      I guess its because it makes that everything that has befallen in house stark is because of Cat and her treatment of jon.. Putting the whole blame on cat ..something like that

      Cat’s treatment of Jon is understandable especially in a place like westeros where bastards don’t have good reputation and history..it made her more human and real for me. It could have been worse she could have pulled a Cersei move . .
      I place more blame on Ned than on cat … Ned should have told cat ..she would not have betrayed her husband with that secret and everyone could have been happy..

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    80. dragonbringer,

      I am not sure I understand you correctly, are you saying that that scene implied that Catelyn’s treatment of Jon was actually responsible for everything that befell house Stark? Because that wasn’t the case, it was only meant to show the extent of Catelyn’s guilt for her treatment of Jon. She thought her behavior was responsible for all the ills that befell her family, but it’s quite obvious that that wasn’t the case.

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    81. Lex,

      Don’t let them!!!

      Funny, I can be a “pissy book reader” myself (I have my share of complaints about things I believe D&D adapted badly), but I’ve always thought this is one of Catelyn’s finest, most honest scenes… and all the more heartbreaking because, as I noted in my original post, it will never be known to Jon.

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    82. Alba Stark: When he finds out, I can see him being very angry and very hurt. What Aerys did, and the consequences of Rhaegar’s actions (regardless of Lyanna’s complicity in their disappearance) will, I think, make it hard for him to accept the Targaryen side of his heritage. And that won’t go down well with his aunt.

      Why “regardless”? I personally doubt that his mother’s role will come off smelling of roses. 😉 She ran off with a married man, while she herself was engaged to someone else. And she didn’t inform her own family, which led to her father and brother going off to demand her return from the King, even though she hadn’t run off with the King, but the King’s son. 😉 This led to their deaths. As far as we know the story, Jon isn’t going to be extremely happy with either parent, in my opinion. Their “love” affair resulted in so many horrendous deaths, and war.

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    83. Kay: Why “regardless”? I personally doubt that his mother’s role will come off smelling of roses. She ran off with a married man, while she herself was engaged to someone else. And she didn’t inform her own family, which led to her father and brother going off to demand her return from the King, even though she hadn’t run off with the King, but the King’s son. This led to their deaths. As far as we know the story, Jon isn’t going to be extremely happy with either parent, in my opinion. Their “love” affair resulted in so many horrendous deaths, and war.

      I meant that Jon has always identified as a Stark, and I think he will reject the Targaryen side of his blood even though Lyanna (a Stark) herself bears some responsibility herself for what happened.

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    84. Wimsey: Ironically, I wish that it were coming later!OK, I really wish that it were nearing conclusion now.However, I will be traveling much of the summer without access to cable TV.I am not too worried about having things spoiled – contrary to popular belief, it really is very easy to avoid spoilers – but like all selfish people, I hate the idea of other people getting something that I cannot have!😀

      HBOgo.com, right? Surely you’ll have WiFi. And if not, I’d stream with 3G rather than miss. But yeah, it would be best to see it first at home on the big screen. But Ice Spider and I watched last year’s season finale together on my small computer screen. Seeing it with a fellow fan was worth the tinyness.

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