UPDATED: New Game of Thrones Election Campaign Ads Get Personal

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Much like the election campaign train chugs along in the U.S., so does the TheGoTParty bus.

Similar to actual campaigns, the candidate-approved messages typically begin with information about themselves and their redeeming qualities before morphing into attack ads targeting their opponents. And even TheGoTParty is not immune to this transition.

Today, CNN posted the first of what will likely be a string of such ads based on gaining support for the Mad Queen herself, Cersei Lannister. Confess, and check it out below…

Update: Other new campaign videos have been uploaded and added to this post. Enjoy!

In the Cersei campaign ad, Baelish is branded as a “murderer,” Jon Snow a “bastard,” and Dany as an “outsider” all to the tune of Septa Unella appropriately urging them to confess.

Rubbing salt in the wound by showing the death of my beloved Lysa again seemed a bit unnecessary, but I’ll take it up with Cersei’s campaign manager and HBO for approving it (freakin sickos).

Updated:

Dany/Tyrion 2016 

Baelish/Stark 2016

And finally, Snow/Mormont 2016 (because of the hair, of course)

In other news, Carice van Houton (Melisandre) and Guy Pearce welcomed a baby boy named Monte into the world. Congratulations to the new mom and dad (no shadow baby jokes, please).

 

Keep your heads up, kiddos! Only (approximately) ten more months! -Oz

Follow Oz on Twitter.

74 responses

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    1. New theory alert!

      After last night’s VMA’s I am now convinced that Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen and Beyoncé Giselle of House Knowles are really the same person. The similarities are abundant! First of all they’re both Queens. And they share a love for fires and death stares. They are both mothers of deadly animals (one of dragons, the other of killer bees). They’re both blondes all about feminism and empowerment. They are both widows! (I know Jay Z is not dead but after Lemonade he might as well be..) Coincidence? I think not. Honestly I’m surprised none of you made the connection sooner.

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    2. When it comes to a smear campaign, no one can top Cersei Lannister. I love her latest ad. Baelish’s was good too. Dany’s was ok. But my boy Jon got the short end of the stick. I guess because he’s above any smear tactics they went with people praising him? LMAO at RobbWind making an appearance. I noticed in Dany’s ad when she says “Targaryen” a shot of Jon (and Sansa) is shown. I’m sure it means nothing…

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    3. I’ll admit LF’s Cersei smear ad made me laugh. Especially the “desperate” caption.

      Still, my vote goes to THE KIT IN THE NORTH! I liked the clip and how they showed people supporting him :D. “Pint sized bear of a running mate” was cute too.

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    4. Ah, HBO marketing department ! They’re really having fun with this thing 😉

      Cersei’s attack ad is genuinely brilliant ! It names and “shames” her opponents’ weaknesses relentlessly. It looks eerily real…
      Baelish’s is not bad. Very good idea to re-use another candidate’s theme to crucify them; however is focuses solely on Cersei. Nothing on Jon or Daenerys ?
      Daenerys’s video is terribly unfortunate. The speech and the music are nice but there might be a bit of a conflict between them and the visuals. The speech is all about “Unlike my oligarchical opponents, I am of and for the people” but the image is her, alone, on top of a pyramid, looking down on her people… And as we know, a picture is worth a thousand words. I cannot believe Tyrion approved this piece of PR disaster. ^^
      Jon’s is adorable. Vox pops are always sweet. But come on, cutie pie, it’s “gloves off” time ! VP nominees are generally attack dogs and Baby Bear has a good bite. Get some Lyanna voiceover, stat’ 😉

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    5. RJ:
      New theory alert!

      After last night’s VMA’s I am now convinced that Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen and Beyoncé Giselle of House Knowles are really the same person. The similarities are abundant! First of all they’re both Queens. And they share a love for fires and death stares. They are both mothers of deadly animals (one of dragons, the other of killer bees). They’re both blondes all about feminism and empowerment. They are both widows! (I know Jay Z is not dead but after Lemonade he might as well be..) Coincidence? I think not. Honestly I’m surprised none of you made the connection sooner.

      I dont see that at all…and still think that Arya for example is much more badass than her.

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    6. BunBunStark,

      Stark is one of the spoke on that wheel Dany intends to “break”. Now that I think on it, Dany doesn’t seem happy about Robert’s rebellion, or Aerys’ shenanigans either. I think she’s going for political stability where the people choose their leaders, and not the strongest man who installs himself.

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    7. Anon,

      Stark is one of the spoke on that wheel Dany intends to “break”. Now that I think on it, Dany doesn’t seem happy about Robert’s rebellion, or Aerys’ shenanigans either. I think she’s going for political stability where the people choose their leaders, and not the strongest man who installs himself.

      She included Targaryen as well,

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    8. “Ballot stuffing rumors fly near the Vale.”
      “What would a Lannister landslide look like?”

      Jon, you passive-aggressive little shit. Love it.

      Not surprising that Littlefinger decided not to smear the KitN or the Mother of Dragons directly. Gotta keep those potential alliances open after the Lannister rule goes to shit.

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    9. Jon’s ad couldn’t be more accurate. Of course our sweet King in the North wouldn’t attack his opponents, of course he would rather have people speaking for him, lol. Love it!

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    10. Anon:
      Jon’s great, but I gotta say, I’m fascinated by how Dany intends to “break the wheel”.

      the wheel was already broken by others in westeroes…

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    11. Here’s a bit of analysis concerning what plot. Cersey will fight against all – that’s clear. Daeny will try to break the wheel of the traditional medieval balance of power and establish her own personal absolutism witch no surprise again. Regarding Jon, the most interesting thing was that he was admitted to be a potential winner by two “Daenys”, “GRRM”, and even “LF” whom the fandom sees as the most imminent threat to Jon. Meanwhile, LF’s message implies that he will go against Cersey. IMHO that means that, instead of making problems to Jon, LF will become his best ally and push him to the IT. That would be perfectly reasonable: 1) LF knows that Sansa despises him, so he has to do something big to get redemption in her eyes – supporting her brother in the war for the survival would serve that purpose perfectly; 2) if Jon gets the IT, Sansa become his heiresses, especially taking into account that the War for Dawn may claim the lives of Jon, Bran, and Daeny; if LF is married to Sansa by that time and presumably holds the position of the Hand, his dream picture may become a reality. As for Jon himself, he may not want the the IT, but he may have no other choice, if Cersey challenges him or attacks his allies – for instance, the Vale very vulnerable under SweetRobin’s rule with most of its knights and LF being North.

      The only thing that confuses me is why late Balon Greyjoy was mentioned twice in Jon’s promo? Does that mean that the Greyjoy’s will be involved into Jon’s story line or that Jon will be seen as another Balon Greyjoy fighting for the independence of his region (and end up beaten) or that some folks are simply stupid and unaware who is dead and who is alive? Maybe someone with a better knowledge on the American political campaign traditions could clarify that?

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    12. Rhaenys Stark,

      Thanks! I voted for him although of course it has no bearing at all in the actual Emmy results. 🙂

      I’m so looking forward to watching the Emmy’s. Rooting for everyone (especially for Kit, of course)! 🙂 It seems like a lock already for the show (best drama) and Lena! Woohoo!

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    13. Sam,

      Yeah I agree. I think they”ll definitely win Directing for Sapochnik, Supporting Actress for Lena and maybe best Drama. Not so sure for Supporting Actor, although Kit deserves it all the way.

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    14. Sam,

      Somebody in the comments of that article said the only show from which the nominees come from that he/she does watch is Game of thrones. He/she said he/she doesn’t get why Peter got nominated (agree on that, barely had much to do this season).
      He/She also said that he/she don’t get why Kit was nominated as all he did was ” lie dead and have brotherly bonding moments.” Ummmmmmmmmm??? LOL

      This was my response:

      “You clearly did not watch the season then if you claim that Kit did nothing but lie dead and have brotherly moments.

      May I refresh your memory, or will I be spoiling season 6 for you? LOL
      – Post resurrection – his anguish, sadness, scared, confused reaction, and his dealing with the mutineers
      – though you mentioned it, I may need to refresh your memory. Very heartwarming reunion with his sister, and then explaining to his sister why he tired of fighting, very strong scene.
      – skip over a few episodes that his roles were small in, jump to when the starks were pleading to the houses to help them out. You can sense the desperation in his voice and his face.
      – and then episodes 9 and 10… Umm??? did you skip those? The battle was all jon. Like that entire episode was 60% kit harington. And then episode ten, king in the north.

      Please, rewatch the season lols”

      hahaha. sorry I hate baseless comments

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    15. THE KING IN THE NORTH! I love it! I hope he takes home the Emmy too! I’m rooting for Maise but I think it will be Lena. who knows! I can’t wait until they announce the winners!

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    16. I’m still trippin over the fact that Jon’s running mate is Lady Mormont instead of Ser Davos.

      Snow/Seaworth FTW

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    17. Dee Stark,
      Um…idk. He was passive and silent this season, not to mention unpredictable and suicidal. I would not want such a person in a leadership position.

      – Post resurrection: Yes, he hanged the mutineers. The only thing he did this season, without someone goading him into it.

      – Reunion with sister: He hugged her! Yay? He then said he didn’t want to fight, a passive stance. He then gave in, but I never got the feeling that he agreed wholeheartedly with her cause.

      – Starks were pleading for help: He did little. Davos convinced Mormont. Sansa humiliated herself appealing to Mormont and Glover. Jon mostly stood there, a passive figure.

      – The Battle of the Bastards: Jon lost it. He knew he was outnumbered, that his side was hanging by a thread, yet he undid his strategy by trying a single-handed rescue of Rickon. This was especially striking, as Sansa had warned Jon that Rickon was dead boy walking the night before. tbh, I almost got the feeling that Jon WANTED to die; he had earlier begged Mel not to raise him if he died during the battle.

      Problem is, Jon was not alone. A general owes something to his soldiers; no one wants a leader who goes off to commit suicide and takes his men with him, yet I think this is what Jon accomplished: He almost died. Hundreds of wildlings died because of him. Ramsay almost won, because of him. Without Sansa, Petyr, and the Vale, Jon and his wildlings would be dead and the Stark cause fed to the doggies with them.

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    18. Dee Stark,

      Great points, Dee! Jon got a lot of things done this season. Some fans (usually Sansa’s let’s be real) like to spin things around to make him seem like a bad leader despite the fact that we’ve had 5-6 seasons where we were shown how much Jon has accomplished and how he’s grown. He was instrumental during the recruitment campaign and they wouldn’t have rallied those 2000-2300 men without Jon (whom they were promoting as their leader and someone who would sacrifice himself for a noble cause). Kit had a lot of things to do this season.

      maria,

      Jon has PTSD like pretty much every character on the show and just got back from the dead. It’s understandable that he’s shaken after this experience. Of course he doesn’t want to go back to fighting, but ultimately agrees because he gets a letter threatening him, Sansa, Rickon, the NW, the Wildlings. If you think Jon running to save his brother means he’s not dedicated to the cause, then I have a bridge to sell you.

      “– Starks were pleading for help: He did little. Davos convinced Mormont. Sansa humiliated herself appealing to Mormont and Glover. Jon mostly stood there, a passive figure.”

      He did more than Sansa lol. Rewatch the scenes. Jon talked to the Wildlings with Tormund (the Wildlings joined them because Jon died for them: “He died for us. If we’re not willing to do the same for him, we’re cowards.”).

      Jon talked to Lady Mormont just like Sansa and Davos did (Davos convinced Lady Mormont based on Jon seeing the threat of the WW: “He chose Jon to be his successor because he knew he had the courage to do what was right – even if it meant giving his life – because Jeor Mormont and Jon Snow both understood that the real war isn’t between a few squabbling houses. It’s between the living and the dead.” – actual quote from the recruitment scene)

      Sansa did not humiliate herself in front of the Glovers. In fact, she pulled rank, pissed Glover off and he gave her a smackdown. She was so convinced the North would rally behind her because of her name and that didn’t happen. The small amount of people they rallied were with them not because of Sansa’s Stark name, but because of Jon as a person. They weren’t there for Rickon or Sansa or the Stark name.

      “– The Battle of the Bastards: Jon lost it. He knew he was outnumbered, that his side was hanging by a thread, yet he undid his strategy by trying a single-handed rescue of Rickon. This was especially striking, as Sansa had warned Jon that Rickon was dead boy walking the night before. tbh, I almost got the feeling that Jon WANTED to die; he had earlier begged Mel not to raise him if he died during the battle.”

      Sansa convinced Jon to fight so they can save Rickon and Winterfell. Jon knew he was outnumbered and would not get Winterfell, but the least he could do was save his brother, liege lord, and rightful lord of Winterfell (since Bran is presumed dead). It would be out of character for Jon to not at least try and save his family. Of course he wanted to die trying (the character’s arc this whole season was the death and subsequent rebirth of his body/spirit and him regaining control over it). He decided his life was worth living when he pulled himself out of the crowd during the battle. Mel bringing him back to life (Jon didn’t ask for it) meant he had lost control over it (even Jon asks her why he was brought back and what his purpose is). The whole season was about Jon trying to find purpose in his second life.

      “Problem is, Jon was not alone. A general owes something to his soldiers; no one wants a leader who goes off to commit suicide and takes his men with him”

      Jon didn’t take anyone with him when he went after Rickon. He was perfectly willing to die alone to save his brother. It was Davos who made the decision for the cavalry to charge, which doesn’t tell you that Jon is a bad and unreliable leader, but that all those people believe in him and are literally willing to die for him because he is willing to die for others as well. When Jon says in episode 9 “Will your men want to fight for you, when you hear you wouldn’t fight for them?” he refers to himself. People see something in Jon and will follow and fight for him to the death.

      D&D have recently said that Jon’s great gift is bringing people to his side: “But Jon’s nature also provides one of his great strengths: his ability to win others to his cause. Men who respected his courage and honesty elected him Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. The Free Folk, who had never before aligned themselves with kneelers, chose to fight for Jon Snow because they believed in him. The lords of the north named him King in the North because they realized he was their last, best chance to survive the wars to come.” Bringing people to your side and converting enemies into allies are signs of good leadership. It means he can bring stability and deal with warring factions.


      “Without Sansa, Petyr, and the Vale, Jon and his wildlings would be dead and the Stark cause fed to the doggies with them.”

      The Vale was essential, but let’s not overrate Sansa’s involvement in this. Baelish said in season 5 he was going to attack the Boltons (when he met with Cersei in KL). He rallied the Vale army even before meeting with Sansa. He offered Sansa the most well-rested and well-equipped army in Westeros (no strings attached) when he met her in Mole’s Town and she rejected. She didn’t even think of going behind Littlefinger’s back to get that army for herself. All she did was send a desperate SOS message to Littlefinger (who would have attacked regardless) and put herself in his debt and pray he would arrive. Really, the one who did anything here was Littlefinger and the soldiers (Sansa just followed him blindly as usual).

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    19. MhysaMhysaMhysa!:
      I’m still trippin over the fact that Jon’s running mate is Lady Mormont instead of Ser Davos.

      Snow/Seaworth FTW

      Woah now. Davos is a commoner. Not of the blood of any house. You can’t go breaking the system just because it makes sense.

      Keep with the system or it will all devolve into chaos.
      All Hail Joffrey Baratheon true king of the Andals and First Men.
      ((Yes, I know he is dead. But that does not have to be a permanent situation. Wait was he buried in the Sept?))

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    20. maria,
      I would argue that Jon was not passive per se; he was despondent. Justifiably so.

      He got killed by his own men, was brought back to life for no identifiable reason and woke up to discover that even the men who had not participated in his assassination had, for most of them, subsequently sided with his murderers. Just that would throw the overwhelming mejority of us into an endless pit of depression.
      But that’s not all ! He also awoke with the knowledge that there is no afterlife, no heaven in which to reunite with dead loved ones. What is lost is lost forever. And whatever one does on this earth does not get rewarded or punished in another dimension.

      Killed by his brothers, resuscitated on a whim, consumed by the fundamental pointlessness and unfairness of existence…
      The fact that he was “solely” despondent and a bit suicidal is already a sign of great mental fortitude; he could easily have turned completely insane under those circumstances and who could have blamed him ?

      Flayed Potatoes:
      They weren’t there for Rickon or Sansa or the Stark name.

      And yet, during the KitN speech, all they could talk about was the Starks. And Ned. And the Red Wedding (there was something delightfully ironic in seeing Lord Glover get all misty-eyed over Robb’s fate after he told Sansa her brother had got himself and his followers killed, because of his “foreign whore”…) And their endless shame at not having answered the call of their liege lords.

      Flayed Potatoes

      Jon didn’t take anyone with him when he went after Rickon. He was perfectly willing to die alone to save his brother.

      That is entirely true. Unfortunately, he was not a mere foot soldier; he was a general. Davos’s decision to precipitate the charge was entirely warranted : generals are not left to be massacred in the middle of open fields, in front of the men who swore to die for them. That’s a big no-no…

      There’s a balance to be found : as Jon stated, for a general to be willing to die amongst or for his men is a truly remarkable trait. It inspires confidence and faith in his troops. Wonderful ! However, the higher up the ranks one is, the more responsibilities one has (insert Spiderman reference ^^). When one is in charge of other people, one’s life is no longer one’s own. Weirdly enough, it reminds me of the little exchange Varys and Ned had :

      Ned : You think my life is some precious thing to me ? That I would trade my honour for a few more years of Wall ? You grew up with actors, you learned their craft and you learned it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago.
      Varys : Pity. Such a pity. What of your daughter’s life, My Lord? Is that a precious thing to you?

      General, father, etc. Those are high responsibility functions which require to at least give a genuine shot at staying alive because it makes a world of difference to other people.
      Being willing to lay down one’s life alongside one’s men : superb.
      Going on suicidal missions one’s men will be duty-bound to suffer the consequences of : not so great.
      So, Jon could have sent someone else, any other soldier, to try and pickup Rickon. Had it worked (it wouldn’t have), yippee ! Hadn’t it, only a normal soldier would have died. Tragic but ultimately inconsequential for the rest of the army.

      Fortunately, Jon is now out of this suicidal state of mind. Let us all rejoice (his troops certainly must) ! 🙂

      Flayed Potatoes

      The Vale was essential, but let’s not overrate Sansa’s involvement in this. Baelish said in season 5 he was going to attack the Boltons (when he met with Cersei in KL).

      If I may be nitpicky here, Littlefinger’s plan, as he described it to Cersei, was to wait for the Stannis/Bolton battle to finish so the Vale would only have to deal with the necessarily tired and depleted winner, with maximum chance of success.
      Applied to the BotB context, it would have meant waiting for the Stark forces to be squeezed to death (an extra 15 minutes would have done the trick) and only then allowing the knights of the Vale to charge, thereby decimating the remaining Bolton troops. With everyone dead, he subsequently would have had no problem using the decree Cersei gave him to be confirmed as the new Warden of the North. It should have taken him, what ? Two hours ?

      Instead, the Vale intervened to help and rescue the Stark army… Because Littlefinger cares a lot about Wildlings ? 😉

      Furthermore, let us not forget that the only reason why Baelish has the Vale at all (in lieu of beind scattered on some rocky, moutain surface) is because Sansa “testified” in his favour during his trial at the Eyrie… The lords and ladies of the Vale seemed to dislike his guts until “Alayne” turned him into the hero of the piece in their eyes.

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    21. This is definitely one of the most garish marketing campaigns I’ve ever seen – and for a show that needs absolutely no marketing of any kind whatsoever. How gimmicky do they need to get? How much of a fucking cash cow do they REALLY need to make it? It’s so pitiful to see every single great story turned into some “multi-platform” merchandising pop-culture pandaemonium. This shit isn’t cool or clever, people have been comparing GoT characters to real political figures for years (with equal futility). Shit like this really spoils the show for me, it just takes away so much of the depth, not to mention the fact that the scripts have become rather inconsistent in quality. I just really, really hope next year isn’t just a bunch of “big moments”, and I hope they adjust the episode durations to match the reduced episode count, because 5 45/50-minute and 2 55-60 min is nowhere near good enough for a series at this point, especially when they’ve previously cut corners where they shouldn’t have (Barristan, the Tyrells) and included storylines (Dorne) that really weren’t necessary at all. Honestly I’m pretty pessimistic about the future of this series, I seriously question the creative judgement of David & Dan at this point. I think somebody else should have taken the reins in season 5, because D&D seem to really want to “rush” things. A slower pace is always preferable in such an intricate narrative like this.
      Anyway that’s my two or three cents. 🙂

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    22. Inga,
      Equal opportunity ! Every ticket has a man and a woman on it. Since there are only two women in the whole North (or so it seems) and one was already on Littlefinger’s team, they went for Baby Bear as Jon’s VP, I would think. ^^

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    23. ACME,

      Littlefinger intervened because he cares about himself and what he might gain from it. He doesn’t care about Sansa as a human being.

      “Going on suicidal missions one’s men will be duty-bound to suffer the consequences of : not so great.So, Jon could have sent someone else, any other soldier, to try and pickup Rickon.”

      Except that’s not Jon at all. Jon does things himself. He gets his hands dirty. He’s in the thick of battle at Hardhome and tries to get as many Wildlings to safety before he even thinks of going on a boat himself, he goes in the thick of battle at Castle Black when all his superiors are MIA to get the job done, he goes by himself on a suicide mission to kill Mance even if he knows he’ll die in the process. That’s what makes people follow him. If people don’t get that, then idk if they get the character at all.

      Going on a suicidal mission himself to save his brother and liege lord is exactly what inspires people and makes them follow him. I guess it’s easy for couch generals to say they wouldn’t go out there and save a family member from death, but come on now.

      Davos says in that same episode that “the North is watching”. What did the North see and hear? They saw and heard that Jon still went into battle against overwhelming odds, that he went by himself to save Ned Stark’s last surviving son and the rightful Lord of Winterfell (in absence of Bran), they saw and heard that he miraculously escaped that rain of arrows Ramsay threw at him, faced the entire Bolton cavalry by himself, kill a bunch of dudes in battle (amazing stamina), pursue Ramsay on foot with a giant and a Wildling, capture Ramsay with his bare hands (and a shield). This is exactly the type of myth building heroic stuff the North loves. Combine that with Jon becoming Lord Commander at a very young age, the trust respected people such as Jeor had in him, and the fact that he has the North’s oldest enemies under control and you have the makings of a good leader who can only improve with experience. Let’s not forget he’s still young (21-22 on the show) and learning.

      “Furthermore, let us not forget that the only reason why Baelish has the Vale at all (in lieu of beind scattered on some rocky, moutain surface) is because Sansa “testified” in his favour during his trial at the Eyrie… “

      LF has the Vale army because he manipulates Sweetrobin successfully (as shown in season 6). Sansa didn’t give him any army lmao.

      “The lords and ladies of the Vale seemed to dislike his guts until “Alayne” turned him into the hero of the piece in their eyes.”

      Interesting fanfic lol. Season 6 showed us that there are people in the Vale who dislike his guts (Royce certainly does, as shown in the scene he had with LF and Sweetrobin). But anyway, Sansa fans are feeling their fantasy and believe she’s the next Tywin or some crap.

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    24. ACME,

      Let’s hope so, though eliminating Davos would be very much in Littlefinger’s interests, if he seeks to become Jon’s Hand. Davos’ death would be a big shocker too, so IMHO we shoud consider a possibility.

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    25. Inga,

      I hope not. Davos just became Jon’s adviser.

      They probably wanted a man-woman combo for all the ballots and Lady Mormont is a new and popular character with the fans. The whole campaign is in good fun.

      If you look at Littlefinger, his other VP option would have been Sweetrobin lmao. Not exactly an appealing ticket.

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    26. Flayed Potatoes,

      I agree with you wholeheartedly, but there is one extra point. The medieval warfare and commanding was entirely different from the modern one. Medieval commanders had no means of communication, that’s why they had to be in the frontline — there was no other way to sence the situation and give orders. And besides that there was a practice of one—to—one combat between the commanders. Jon offered that to Ramsay and, had Ramsay accepted that, he could have been killed as effectively as during his attempt to rescue Rickon. So, what’s the difference? Riding for Rickon Jon gave his army a chance to surrender and bargain for the terms of surrender — Ramsay offered them a pardon. So, IMO Jon did everything right and that made people follow him against all odds.

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    27. Inga,

      You can argue that there’s a lot of communication going on during the battle at Castle Black (when Thorne is asked to go to the courtyard and then when Jon does the same; there are people going up and down the elevator in the episode). But I see your point. What I was also trying to say was that some might argue, for example, that Jon could have just sent someone else to assassinate Mance, but that’s not what Jon would do. The contrast of Ramsay not going to the frontlines as opposed to Jon is also very interesting and contributes to the myth building (the brave bastard of Winterfell vs. the cowardly Bolton bastard).

      “Riding for Rickon Jon gave his army a chance to surrender and bargain for the terms of surrender — Ramsay offered them a pardon. So, IMO Jon did everything right and that made people follow him against all odds.”

      Interesting point. I didn’t think of this. But yeah it makes sense since the objective was to save Rickon and get Winterfell (and based on the numbers, the latter was pretty much impossible).

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    28. Flayed Potatoes,

      Communication may work within fortifications. In an open field its very complicated, because, if you wear a helmet — they neglect helmets in GOT, but if you do, you can’t hear much. And then there is all that noice… Signalling was usually done with banners, but communicating with the bannermen was hard. So, the commanders used to join the battle and lead at least the decisive attack.
      And regarding the idea (not yours) that Jon should have sent someone else to pick Rickon… I thought that myself for some time, but, as the mission was doomed, Jon would have regretted that for the rest of his life. Now he knows that he did everything possible and impossible and it looks like it gives him confidence which is of some importance too.

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    29. Flayed Potatoes:
      Littlefinger intervened because he cares about himself and what he might gain from it. He doesn’t care about Sansa as a human being.

      Had he waited for the Bolton forces to crush the Stark army as they were about to and then defeated the Boltons, he would have had the North all to himself. Why didn’t he ?

      Flayed Potatoes

      Going on a suicidal mission himself to save his brother and liege lord is exactly what inspires people and makes them follow him. I guess it’s easy for couch generals to say they wouldn’t go out there and save a family member from death, but come on now.

      If attempting to save a family member means endangering the entire army, then it is a problem. It is not, I am afraid, about being a “couch general”; it is about knowing that when thousands of lives depend on one’s own moves, said moves should be considered carefully and with those lives at the forefront of one’s mind.

      Jon’s men respect, admire and follow him because he is willing to fight and possibly die alongside them, not because he rushes head first into things. It is his courage and dedication that make him a great leader, not his impulsivity.
      This is why Tormund told him “don’t” before he mounted his horse : he did not say that because he suddenly no longer believed in Jon or because he wanted Rickon to die (!) but because he could see where this was going and what the consequences would probably be for him and his men.
      This is also why there was this “You’ve f*cked us here” (credit to Liam Cunningham for the expression) look between Davos and Jon when they are caught in the body pile.

      Once Jon was alone on this battlefield, there was no other option but for the Stark forces to go and attempt to keep him from getting slaughtered in the open air. Because he was their general and generals have to be fought for.

      Flayed Potatoes

      Davos says in that same episode that “the North is watching”. What did the North see and hear? They saw and heard that Jon still went into battle against overwhelming odds,

      Going against overwhelming odds is quite different from going against impossible odds. Jon himself had agreed with Davos that the only strategy they could possibly have was to be patient (“they have the numbers, we must have the patience”) otherwise, they were cooked. And they got (almost) cooked.

      Flayed Potatoes

      LF has the Vale army because he manipulates Sweetrobin successfully (as shown in season 6). Sansa didn’t give him any army lmao.

      Yes, undoubtedly so. But why is Littlefinger still alive and allowed to be anywhere near Sweetrobin ?

      Flayed Potatoes

      Interesting fanfic lol. Season 6 showed us that there are people in the Vale who dislike his guts (Royce certainly does, as shown in the scene he had with LF and Sweetrobin). But anyway, Sansa fans are feeling their fantasy and believe she’s the next Tywin or some crap.

      Sansa fans must be truly horrible people for you seem to consider them the root of all evil… 😉
      In 4.08, the enquiry at the Eyrie had a relatively simple premice : the two lords (including Lord “If your great-grandfather was Braavosi, you’re a foreigner to me” Royce) and one lady in attendance did not believe Baelish’s version of events (gee, I wonder why… 😉 ) and were more than a little suspicious of Lysa “killing herself” so recently after marrying Littlefinger, a glorified nobody recently “nobilified” by the Lannisters.
      So they called in a witness : “Alayne”. Three options : a) Sansa tells them the whole truth and down the Moon Door Baelish goes; b) she tells them Lysa killed herself or fell accidentally and he is spared; c) she tells them Lysa committed suicide and waxes lyrical about what a terrific bloke Littlefinger is (the only friend and saviour of Ned Stark’s daughter and Lysa’s loving, loyal and faithful husband) thereby making the lords and lady believe they misjudged him, listen to him and his recommendations for Sweetrobin’s upbringing, and allow for him to continue his “father figure” schtick to the little tyke.

      Do I think Sansa foresaw all the ramifications of her choice on that day ? Not all of them, no.
      Do I think that by choosing door number three, she secured the Vale for Littlefinger ? Yep.

      I am afraid this is how the scene is written. No need for a Tywin comparison; simply Sansa choosing the devil she knows over the one she doesn’t 🙂

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    30. Inga:
      Riding for Rickon Jon gave his army a chance to surrender and bargain for the terms of surrender — Ramsay offered them a pardon. So, IMO Jon did everything right and that made people follow him against all odds.

      Would the terms of surrender have included Sansa’s suicide or a continuation of the repeated rapes by Ramsay Bolton ? I wonder…
      I am also certain the Umbers (who turned Rickon in because of their opposition to the Wildlings’ presence south of the Wall) would have loved a “negociated surrender” with a 95% Free Folk army. ^^

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    31. ACME,

      “Had he waited for the Bolton forces to crush the Stark army as they were about to and then defeated the Boltons, he would have had the North all to himself. Why didn’t he ?”

      Because he still needs to place his puppet in a position of power. Just like Sweetrobin. Ultimately Littlefinger works for Littlefinger.

      “Do I think that by choosing door number three, she secured the Vale for Littlefinger ? Yep.”

      Littlefinger has been working for years to reach his goals: obtain a position in Court, poison Jon Arryn, manipulate and marry Lysa (and so on). His success is not 100% dependent on Sansa lol. He’s been manipulating Sansa for a while and he’s emotionally isolated her, so her choosing to stay with him is not a surprise if you look at the character interactions.

      “Jon’s men respect, admire and follow him because he is willing to fight and possibly die alongside them, not because he rushes head first into things.”

      Yet he’s picked for leadership roles. Funny how that works. Saving his brother is seen by some as rash, but by others it’s seen as brave or even admirable. Perspectives.

      Some are obviously trying to sell some narrative where Sansa is some amazing mastermind, but if you go by the events and dialogue you see unfold on screen it isn’t the case sorry. She really hasn’t proven to be the politician her fans are claiming her to be. She showed promise when she lied for Baelish, but other than that it hasn’t happened yet.

      We’re obviously not going to agree.

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    32. Flayed Potatoes:
      Because he still needs to place his puppet in a position of power. Just like Sweetrobin. Ultimately Littlefinger works for Littlefinger.

      I am not denying Littlefinger uses surrogates when he needs to. In the Vale, his status as Lysa’s widower means nothing in and by itselfr so he keeps Sweetrobin around and on a tight leash. In the case of the North, conversely, he had the royal decree in his backpocket. He could have become Warden, in his own name, on the very day. No need for a puppet.
      If anything, a puppet makes it more complicated.

      Flayed Potatoes

      Littlefinger has been working for years to reach his goals: poison Jon Arryn, manipulate and marry Lysa (and so on). His success is not 100% dependent on Sansa lol.

      Oh, there is no doubt that he had worked tirelessly to “climb the ladder” in the Vale long before that day. ^^
      However, at that moment, in front of the lords and lady, all his scheming was useless. He was completely cornered, which was an interesting choice on the writers’ part because it was very different from what happened in the books. On the show, his success, hell even his very survival, depended on Sansa.

      Flayed Potatoes

      He’s been manipulating Sansa for a while and he’s emotionally isolated her, so her choosing to stay with him is not a surprise if you look at the character interactions. It makes sense story wise.

      It certainly does and there definitely is an element of that. But the conversation they had after the “trial” did not ooze devotion or gratitude :

      Baelish : Why did you help me?
      Sansa : They would have thrown you through the Moon Door if they found you guilty.
      Baelish : That’s not an answer.
      Sansa : If they had executed you, what would they have done with me?
      Baelish : I don’t know.
      Sansa : Neither do I.
      Baelish : Better to gamble on the man you know than the strangers you don’t ? And you think you know me?
      Sansa : I know what you want.
      Baelish : Do you ?

      I suppose Baelish’s death will tell us more about it… ^^

      Flayed Potatoes

      Yet he’s picked for leadership roles. Funny how that works. Saving his brother is seen by some as rash, but by others it’s seen as brave or even admirable. Perspectives.

      Him making what can very easily be called a mistake does not in any way negate the leadership qualities he has demonstrated over the years !

      He was up against a sadistic, mad but worryingly perceptive dog whose abilities for mindgames he profoundly underestimated (even though he was warned). He reacted viscerally to the psychological torture Bolton subjected him to by dangling his baby brother under his nose, which made perfect sense given his state of mind at the time and his emotional makeup. However his impulsive reaction had very “unfortunate” consequences.

      I am not on team “Sansa is a mastermind” (to be honest, I am not on team “Tywin is a mastermind” either, but that’s just me ^^) so I am more than comfortable discussing her massive errors : she should have taken into account Davos’s point about people wanting to be on the winning side, regardless of what daddy told her about the super duper North; I cannot for the life of me figure out why she did not tell about the Vale; etc.
      But, for the exact same reason, I cannot quite fathom why it seems so blasphemous to suggest that Jon may, at times, make mistakes too. What is so “out of character” about that ? It does not negate his intelligence, his courage or his integrity. It genuinely intrigues me.
      Good people, good leaders, good rulers are human; they make mistakes like the rest of their fellow homo sapiens. Why should Jon be held at a higher standard ? A standard so high even Jon’s creator does not suscribe to it : “And even good kings sometimes make disasterous decisions. So government is complex, politics is complex.” George RR Martin

      Flayed Potatoes

      We’re obviously not going to agree.

      On that, we agree 100%. All good fun still 😉

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    33. ACME,

      I cannot for the life of me figure out why she did not tell about the Vale; etc.

      Hi! Don’t worry, Sophie Turner and Aidan Gillen also had a hard time answering the question why Sansa did not tell Jon about the Vale. Sophie went with “because it’s more dramatic” while Aidan used the time-tested “IDK”. 😀 I blame the writers. LOL.

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    34. ACME: Would the terms of surrender have included Sansa’s suicide … ? I wonder…
      I am also certain the Umbers (who turned Rickon in because of their opposition to the Wildlings’ presence south of the Wall) would have loved a “negociated surrender” with a 95% Free Folk army. ^^

      Yes, ACME, terms of surrender would have involved Sansa’s suicide and that of Lady Mormont too, most probably. But 62 Mormonts (and some 400 other common northerners) would have lived. As someone who always sheds tears over poor commoners you should appreciate it. Even the wildlings could strike a deal. Ramsay was not a mindless sadist: he was very smart. And 2 thousand wildlings could have been a rather valuable reinforcement for him, if he could earn her loyalty, so he would have flayed Tormund and some of his lieutenants but the rest could live at least until the WW attack and there is a probability that Ramsay would have handled that too. So, in general self-destruction of the Starks could have served the common good as much, as their victory (almost).

      And regarding Jon’s actions in the BOB, it’s very hard to call them “a mistake”. To call it a mistake you have to prove, that there was a better choice, but the fact is that there were no better choice in that situation. Yes, Jon could have stayed with his army. Would that provoked Ramsay to go into attack blindly? No way. As I said he was smart. Even if he had been forced to charge first, he would have left himself a sufficient reserve and then envelope Jon from the rear or similar. In fact, Jon’s plan was shit from the beginning and he knew that perfectly even before Sansa jelled out her “valuable advice”.

      BTW, I saw this scene in a rather different way that most of the fans, it seems. For me it was a clear parallel and contrast to the talk Sam and Gilly had in the Oathbreaker. The very situation was similar: both Sam and Jon wanted to protect their women but had no good solutions. However, Gilly was supportive, she said “I trust you”, and eventually that helped Sam to make the final decision (next season we will see, whether it was right or wrong). Sansa, on the contrary, began to yell at Jon who was already devastated and hopelessly trying to persuade himself that he “had fought against worse than Ramsay Bolton”. Now I remember this scene every time I get tempted to yell at my husband (Kudos to you D&D, I hope your wives have got that too).

      But back to the topic. Jon’s problem was that he could not develop a good battle plan and he knew that. He also knew that, most probably, he will have to throw that plan through the window and bring in a new one but his brain switched off. So, what could he do? He was of no use for his people: someone else (Davos or Tormund) had to take command one way or another. In the view of how Jon felt in the beginning of the battle, the only good thing he could do was to ride to Rickon. That kid was always left behind and felt neglected – seeing a brother galloping to his rescue was the only good thing that happened to him in 6 seasons. At least, Jon gave him that feeling that he was loved and cared for and that paid off for Jon too, because since that very moment he began to re-discover his inner strength.

      And last but not least about the knights of the Vale. They were helpful, but if fact the battle would have been won without them too. The Umbers were decimated even before they came, so in next 5 minutes Tormund would have climbed the pile of bodies and attacked the Bolton phalanx from the rear, which would have provoked panic in its ranks and lead to an inevitable defeat.

      No offence, ACME, but your judgement is the one of a sweet summer child, and I have seen winter and been in a real battle at least once. Of cause, I have never been much of a fighter, but I know how it works: when you are attacked by an overwhelming force, you panic first, but if you withstand that initial wave and find yourself still standing (surprisingly), the wave of panic goes back and hits your enemy and then you win against all odds.

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    35. Flayed Potatoes: Dee Stark,
      Great points, Dee! Jon got a lot of things done this season. Some fans (usually Sansa’s let’s be real) like to spin things around to make him seem like a bad leader despite the fact that we’ve had 5-6 seasons where we were shown how much Jon has accomplished and how he’s grown. He was instrumental during the recruitment campaign and they wouldn’t have rallied those 2000-2300 men without Jon (whom they were promoting as their leader and someone who would sacrifice himself for a noble cause). Kit had a lot of things to do this season.

      I fully agree with you. Kit had A LOT to do this year and he really conveyed what the writers were trying to convey. That Jon had given up, and then was torn, confused about what to do, his honor, his loyalty to his family, the PTSD after being murdered, and then the battle.. like that’s just scratching the surface

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    36. Inga
      No offence, ACME, but your judgement is the one of a sweet summer child, and I have seen winter and been in a real battle at least once.

      None taken, Inga. I accept your comments with all the amusing condescension and passive-aggressive kindheartedness they exuded. 😉
      Allow me, therefore, to reciprocate and put forward the suggestion that perhaps the reason why I “always shed tears over poor commoners” is because I have seen a couple more “winters” than you fantasise…

      With that out of the way, let’s get down to business…

      You seem to defend two mutually exclusive positions at the same time. Either Jon wanted his army to surrender or he intended to win; he cannot possibly have wished for both to happen.

      If his plan was to surrender, why not simply do so ?
      He could have told everybody that this confrontation was doomed and there was no point in endangering the lives of thousands to this exercice in pointlessness. He then could have adviced the Wildlings to attempt to strike a deal with Bolton and instructed his sister and Lyanna to kill themselves quietly and, perhaps, committed suicide himself. No fuss.
      Why go through the charade of a battle preparation ? Did Jon worry that the switch from nomadic to sedentary lifestyle would lead the Wildlings to creepling obesity so he organised a camping trip, as means to maintain their physical activity levels ?
      Jon Snow, fighting Free Folk’s cholesterol, one fake battle at a time ! ^^

      Inga

      Yes, Jon could have stayed with his army. Would that provoked Ramsay to go into attack blindly? No way.

      Actually, yes.
      As Davos and Jon rightly identified, the North was watching. Even Ramsay’s supporters, specifically the Umbers (who did not appear to like or respect him that much), were keeping an eye on him. Had the Stark forces stuck to their position and the Bolton troops done the same until nightfall, what would the tale of the “battle that never was” have been the next day ? “Bolton intimidated into inaction in his own home by an army of Wildlings led by a bastard, a ten-year-old girl and his runaway bride”. Considering all the efforts Ramsay put into being feared, that would not have gone down well.

      The “hold your ground” strategy was the only one that made sense. By forcing the Ramsay troops to move 3/4 of the battlefield up, it kept the possibility of entrapment to a bare minimum, thanks to the painstakingly dug trenches (no pincer movement) thereby maintaining a simple, unidirectional battle front. It was far from perfect and did not guarantee success in any way, shape or form but it still carried better odds than rushing into the adversary in the middle of the field, thereby leaving them way more than enough space to go around the Stark troops and encircle them. Which they did.

      Inga

      Sansa, on the contrary, began to yell at Jon who was already devastated and hopelessly trying to persuade himself that he “had fought against worse than Ramsay Bolton”. Now I remember this scene every time I get tempted to yell at my husband (Kudos to you D&D, I hope your wives have got that too).

      Is Jon supposed to be hope-powered ? Is disagreement meant to be his kryptonite ? It was not enough that he had an entire army of followers at his beck and call; what he truly needed was the extra ego boost only a woman’s loving, blind faith could provide.

      I do apologise for being facetious but were Jon truly that “belief-fuelled” (which, for the record, I really do not think he is), he should not be put in charge of anything. Aside, possibly, from a cult.
      Living and working with other people means dealing with alterity hence dissent. If it is insupportable, then better live on a desert island.

      Inga

      The Umbers were decimated even before they came, so in next 5 minutes Tormund would have climbed the pile of bodies and attacked the Bolton phalanx from the rear, which would have provoked panic in its ranks and lead to an inevitable defeat.

      Tormund ? Perhaps you meant Wun Wun.
      Wun Wun, who had ten arrows lodged in his body, who had been stabbed with lances a couple of times, who was being kept in place by the dozens of other lances surrounding him, was about to do an Olympic jump over the body pile and / or three-four rows of Bolton men to singlehandedly attack them from the rear.
      My feeble mind had failed to contemplate such an obvious scenario. ^^

      Inga

      when you are attacked by an overwhelming force, you panic first, but if you withstand that initial wave and find yourself still standing (surprisingly), the wave of panic goes back and hits your enemy and then you win against all odds.

      So Jon’s panic spores contaminated Ramsay who, paradoxically, did not display any kind of distress until he spotted the knights of the Vale ? Or did Jon’s fear vibes work as a shofar that summoned a neighbouring army which, in turn, caused his opponent to panic ?

      I do apologise for going all Occam’s Razor here but isn’t it simpler to assume Jon, an intelligent, competent, good leader made a mistake ? An extremely understandable mistake, given the circumstances he was thrown into, but still a mistake ? Do circumvoluted scenarii have to be put forward just to avoid using “Jon” and “mistake” in the same sentence ?
      Isn’t it more believable, and ultimately more interesting, to think that after all he went through, from his death to his resurrection to his grasp of existence’s vacuity to his reunion with his sister to his fear for his baby brother, he simply broke down at that one moment ?

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    37. Sam,
      Hello there ! How are you ? 😉

      I know ! Damn writers ! It really wouldn’t have taken much to have it make some semblance of sense : let’s just have Sansa say she did not know for sure whether the Vale was going to show up. Boom ! It would be far from perfect but it would be something…
      Instead, we’re left with “Sansa somehow knows she is on a TV show and decided it would look cooler if she showed up at the eleventh hour, Gandalf the White style”.
      It is so daft it makes my lamentable brain hurt ! 😉

        Quote  Reply

    38. ACME,

      If Sansa had told Jon that she was not sure that the Vale army would arrive, he would have sent scouts to confirm whether or not they were indeed coming and planned accordingly.

      Yet another thread has devolved into a Jon vs Sansa debate!! We desperately need some S7 news!

        Quote  Reply

    39. ACME,

      Sorry once more: I must have chosen the wrong wording.

      Regarding the commoners, I don’t mean that worrying about the commoners is wrong, but I don’t agree that commoners are seen solely as victims. Chaos is a ladder for the commoners as much, as for the lords or even more, and in real history commoners went to wars rather willingly. In CEE we had entire social groups of militant commoners (Cossacks are probably the best known but not the only). And basically it’s the same in GOT: cobbler’s son High Sparrow would have never become a high septon, if not of the war and chaos it brought.

      Regarding BOB and Jon’s military tactics. I don’t see how trenches could have prevented envelopment. Ramsay had numbers and half of the North for maneuvering and the battle could have last up to 8 hours (from dawn till dusk basically), so there was plenty of time too. So playing Hannibal at the Cannae was not a good idea for Jon. If he wanted to play Hanibal, he should have played Hanibal at the Battle of Lake Trasimene – more precisely, he should have used the tactics of a fake retreat and ambush. He should have sent his cavalry to charge and then fake a panic and runaway to lure the Bolton’s cavalry into pursuit; he also should have hid his archers in the wood, etc. So, yes Jon made a mistake by choosing wrong military tactic during the planning phase and that led to situation in which he had no good moves. However, once in that situation Jon did the best he could. We can agree that his decision to go for Rickon was controversial, but I will never agree that it was a mistake. Based on your logic, almost any rescue attempt may be evaluated as a mistake, but it’s not. I have seen hopeless rescue attempts transforming into the turning points of the battles, and you should have seen that too, if you have “winter experience”.

      Regarding Tormund and Wun-Wun, I meant Tormund. Wun-Wun is a separate case and he also shoud have been used much better. In fact, such a giant could have broken the phalanx in a few minutes, if he gave it a few kicks instead of trying to grab the spears, but that would have made Littlefinger excessive etc.

      Regarding Sansa, if you think that whiny criticism works better than hope-fueling and belief-powering, what can I say… Maybe, you should re-watch the exchange between Alliser and Jon from “The Watchers on the Wall”? Critical thinking is good in general, but it may be devastating too – especially when no alternative solution is offered.

      And regarding that effect of panic shift, I did not mean Ramsay – I meant his men. Their panic and defeat was caused by the attack from the rear which was accomplished by the Knights of the Vale, but could have been accomplished by the wildlighs too, because that’s was Tormund’s idea. He led his people cross the pile, when he was stopped by Smalljon, but he killed him and the way was free.

      All that said I do agree that Jon is not flawless, that his command in the BoB was very poor or rather to say absent untill the last stage, etc. The only thing we disagree is what was the mistake. I think that it was the very plan, you think it was the decision to throw that plan away. But that’s OK: there are discussions on real-life battles too, and those are much more painful.

      So, once again no offence – we are just having fun, don’t we? And thanks for the discussion. I love your posts, even if sometimes I disagree.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Inga:
      So, once again no offence – we are just having fun, don’t we? And thanks for the discussion. I love your posts, even if sometimes I disagree.

      Absolutely no hard feelings (and my apologies too for my equally harsh wording) ! ^^
      Of course, it is all for the sake of fun.

      And I enjoy reading your posts tremendously as well, especially when I disagree (I have a contrarian spirit) 😉

      ghost of winterfell:
      If Sansa had told Jon that she was not sure that the Vale army would arrive, he would have sent scouts to confirm whether or not they were indeed coming and planned accordingly.

      I realise it wouldn’t have been much but it would have been something instead of this massive ball of nothingness we got. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

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