Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Jaime’s “act of love” to Brienne; “silence before the storm” episode; “breathtaking” Season 8 battle

Jaime Lannister Brienne of Tarth Season 8 802 A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

As the most character-focused Game of Thrones episode in quite some time, this past Sunday’s “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” gave the actors much to work with, and us much to chew on. In a new interview, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau discusses Jaime’s scene with Tyrion, which expands into a much more croweded and beautiful sequence, climaxing in Jaime knighting Brienne of Tarth, which the actor calls “an act of love.”

“[Jaime and Tyrion] really do love each other,” Coster-Waldau tells The Wrap. “They are the closest out of anyone in that family so it’s nice to see them have a good moment together after what they’ve been through, what with Tyrion killing their father and their sister trying to kill– I mean it’s not easy to go to family dinners at the Lannisters because they always end up arguing,” he jokes. “So it’s nice to have a quiet moment to share a glass of wine and share some stories. So it was beautiful to shoot that.”

As the scene continues, the brothers are joined by Brienne, Pod, Davos, and Tormund, resulting in what the actor describes as a “silence before the storm” sequence that they “had a great time” shooting. “We’ve all spent a lot of time together so that influenced the scene,” he adds. “I also think [writer] Bryan Cogman really captured how this could very well be the last time we see all of these characters. And there were so many wonderful surprises. The surprise of Daniel Portman having such an amazing voice. It really was just a special sequence and then [director] David Nutter just capturing it and the balance there, it never becomes too sentimental. It has a sentimental tone about it because you kind of know, ‘We’re probably all going to die tomorrow.’ And that’s not a spoiler, that’s just the truth — we could very well all die. And he captured that beautifully.”

Brienne-Tormund-Jaime-Davos-Tyrion-Podrick-Season-8-802

This already wonderful series of scenes climaxes in the absolutely beautiful knighting of Brienne of Tarth at the hands of Jaime, of which the actor couldn’t be happier:

“[Brienne’s] clearly a woman that he has enormous admiration for and just a human being that he admires,” Coster-Walday sys. “And we saw a scene earlier [in the episode] where he asks if he can serve under her, because he knows she is amazing at what she does and she’s a great warrior and she has all the qualities and is the most deserving of the title of knight of anyone in that world. So I think it’s obviously an act of love.”

This echoes what actress Gwendoline Christie (Ser Brienne) had to say about Jaime’s act in HBO’s Game Revealed documentary: “It’s almost like a declaration of love.”

“And I don’t think he thought of it,” the Danish actor continues, “but then when you hear Tormund Giantsbane go, ‘Well, why can’t a woman be a knight?’ and then she goes, ‘tradition,’ and he says ‘fuck tradition’… I think that inspires him, that moment. And it’s a beautiful scene, and when I saw it… I just thought Gwendoline was absolutely incredible. I mean it was incredible when we shot it, but you do so many takes and so many angles, so to see the final performance was just beautiful.”

It was, Nikolaj! It absolutely was… Just look at that teary-eyed smile!

Brienne of Tarth Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Season 8 802

As for next week’s battle that “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” was preparing us for, both emotionally and strategically, Coster-Waldau is obviously reticent to share too much, but he does say he “wouldn’t put money on no one being hurt.” You don’t say?!

“On purely a logistical and technical level, just working with [director] Miguel [Sapochnik], and what him and the crew came up with and pulled off was breathtaking,” he allows himself to say. “Even though it was a tough shoot you were so inspired by going to set and being part of something that was so massive… I really cannot wait to see it, because the crew just worked their asses off and I think it will show.”

I cannot way to see it either! I was already excited for the battle because of its significance and its astounding production, but after reconnecting with so many characters this episode, the next one will be extra special. As for the rest of the interview, which includes insight into Jaime’s scene with Bran, you can read it here.

163 responses

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    1. The Nerdette ladies brought up a very good point.

      Just about everyone has gotten a great scene. Which in turn means that no one is safe. There is no more plot armor. It would not surprise me if anyone dies at any time in the next four weeks.

      The closest thing I will say is that either Tyrion or Jaime lives to confront Cersei one more time. And the Hound sees his brother again. Other than that, they all could be toast.

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    2. Counting up all major and mid-tier characters in WF (including Bronn), there are 27!! Sunday is going to be an epic bloodbath and my lil’ heart may not be ready.

      Can I just get some Ice Spiders though? Maybe Tormund goes out taking one of those bad boys down.

      One of Sapochnik’s go-to battle sequence is the one-film tracking of a character. I’m looking forward to something like that…such a cool thing (I’m a non-technical film guy so I’m sure there is a proper tech term for what I am describing!). My proper terminology is “Holy shitballs, look how amazing that looks!”

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    3. Re: teary-eyed smile. I’m hoping that’s what my face is going to look like when the closing credits roll on the final ever episode of GoT in a few weeks!

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    4. I am bringing a full box of tissues to my watch group on Sunday. I know I will be a puddle. This episode gave us a chance to say goodbye to everyone (except Varys, so I’m assuming he is safe!), so I’m trying to prepare myself for a lot of deaths. It’s gonna kill me, though.

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    5. “The Winds of Winter” currently holds the record for killing most named characters; High Sparrow, Tommen Baratheon, Margaery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, Lancel Lannister, Grandmaester Pycelle, Septa Unella, Walder Frey, Lothar Frey, Black Walder.

      Twelve characters (albeit that Lothar Frey and Black Walder were rather minor characters) which is quite astounding. I’m going to guess that they will have to kill more characters in the next coming episode seeing as it is the greatest battle within the show’s history and in TV/film history. No one besides little Ned Umber has died this season so far, I’m expecting a whole lotta death next week.

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    6. That split second shot of Daenerys on Drogon in the preview makes me believe the aerial stuff is going to look fantastic (as well). Dark, snow blowing around, light from fires and dragonfire flaring up here and there… all with Djawadi banging out the tunes!! Is it Sunday yet!?!?

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    7. Ser Nobody,

      Minor correction. I’m fairly sure Septa Unella is still alive… the Mountain takes it slow….

      I wonder what the Beautiful Death dude is going to do for last episode. Maybe do a positive one and focus on Brienne

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    8. Clob:
      That split second shot of Daenerys on Drogon in the preview makes me believe the aerial stuff is going to look fantastic (as well).Dark, snow blowing around, light from fires and dragonfire flaring up here and there… all with Djawadi banging out the tunes!!Is it Sunday yet!?!?

      I couldn’t tell if that was Dany or the NK, but yea, I thought the same thing. The visuals are going to be incredible. Especially if we get one dragon with blue flames and two with orange flames at night.

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    9. I’m simply unable to watch the scene where Jaime knights Brienne without the tears coming. It’s so beautiful!

      In terms of characters I fear for next week, all main characters have more to tell in their stories, and I don’t feel any of them will reach that culmination of their arcs in this episode. It’s the major secondary characters I’m afraid for.. Jorah, Brienne, Pod, Beric, Grey Worm, Missandei, Tormund, Edd, Theon, Gendry, and other minor characters that have found a place in people’s hearts.

      I’m both anxiously awaiting the episode and dreading it all the same.

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    10. WorfWWorfington:
      The Nerdette ladies brought up a very good point.

      Just about everyone has gotten a great scene. Which in turn means that no one is safe. There is no more plot armor. It would not surprise me if anyone dies at any time in the next four weeks.

      The closest thing I will say is that either Tyrion or Jaime lives to confront Cersei one more time. And the Hound sees his brother again. Other than that, they all could be toast.

      Agree, people would be inclined to think Jaimie will live to see Cersei, I’m not so sure, I reckon there is a real chance during this battle that Jaimie “dies in the arms of the woman he loves” as he mentioned to Bronn only he ends up dying in Briennes arms during the battle

      It’s possible though Bronn ends up being the one to kill them both, he has saved both their lives at some point (Vale trial by combat plus pushing Jaimie into deep puddle at Loot Train attack) so he very well just may end up undoing that to get his Castle

      What will be heartbreaking though isn’t just the deaths which I’m braced for, it’s the fact they may come back as Wights and have to get killed again, imagine Arya having to slay Wight Gendry or Ser Jorah having to slay Wight Lyanna Mormont?

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    11. Iceman240857,

      I read that part of what took the shooting so long, beyond the scope and myriad technical aspects, was that each person featured in the show would have their own “mini-movies” of sorts as they are followed through the battle. I imagine several single camera shots, and following some characters to their deaths. I have the impression that it’s going to be breathtaking in scope, yet as intimate as can be possible in the biggest on screen battle since Helm’s Deep.
      It’ll be amazing, but gotta say, I’m dreading it.

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    12. WorfWWorfington,

      I don’t think she is. How long’s it been since TWoW inside the show’s timeline? Over a year? Between Septa Unella and Ellaria Sand I’d say it’s a greater chance that Ellaria is alive than Unella. Not that we’re likely to see either of them again so I’m going to count them both as dead.

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    13. With being on the eve of battle and all I’m wondering if those books are ever going to play a part because it seems a little late now …

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    14. Ser Nobody: High Sparrow, Tommen Baratheon, Margaery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, Lancel Lannister, Grandmaester Pycelle, Septa Unella, Walder Frey, Lothar Frey, Black Walder.

      Big explosions will do that….

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    15. We’re still 5 days and a half away from the next episode and one of my colleagues was already listening to Light of the Seven to get ready for it. Actually, I’m not sure I can get ready for the carnage and I’m so focused on GOT right now that even tonight’s preview of Avengers Endgame has become kind of an afterthought (and I was sooo excited about it!)

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    16. ace0099: ep2 got 10.29

      Nearly right on the average for S7 (10.26). Good. I’m expecting a series record for e3 with the big battle being well known about, and it not being Easter.

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    17. Im really hoping that this battle Will be something AMAZING and emotional and the best battle of ALL ever, at least is what i demand.

      1- The longest Episode of the show
      2- The best director of the show
      3- The best Budget of the show
      4- Lots of characters involved
      5- The main enemy and threat

      My list of dying people

      Theon
      Jorah
      Podrick
      Berick
      Edd
      Ghost
      Lyanna mormont
      Lord Royce
      Lady karstark

      I have to say i think thats It, but should be more, Grey worm, missandei , tormund , the hound , brienne, Jaime, Jon , tyrion, Dany, Davos, Varys, Sam, guilly, Arya, Sansa, bran and both dragons i think Will live.

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    18. “And I don’t think he thought of it, but then when you hear Tormund Giantsbane go, ‘Well, why can’t a woman be a knight?’ and then she goes, ‘tradition,’ and he says ‘f–k tradition’ — it kind of, I think that inspires him, that moment,” Coster-Waldau said.

      I did love that Jaime gave an appreciative smirk to Tormund after he said that. It was lovely. And the whole episode was fantastic for that scene alone. And for every character that had a heartwarming scene and/or had a conversation about the future – I fully expect to die next week: Jorah, Greyworm, Edd, Tormund, Theon, Jaime, Pod. I simultaneously can’t wait for the next episode and I am also dreading it.

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    19. This episode had some many high points… Jaime and Brienne! Yes! Brienne earned her knighthood by being the best person in the entire series. As for the rest btw them – their love story is just moving forward…

      For episode 3 – Let us hope as many as possible survive for the final three episodes. My view of it is that we will have 3 episodes of short movie length coming up (80 minutes or so). We will need Peter, NCW, Lena to hold these three movies together. Let us hope for the best for everyone. No-one is guaranteed to survive this except HBO.

      As for Jon and Dany – I am not sure what happens with them. Jon’s major purpose in the story is raising the alarm about the AOTD and diverting Daenerys to her true role as savior. Daenerys’ job was to amass the army and find her true purpose. Both are heroes in that sense. But neither are rulers. The Targ royal succession line was ended by Ned and company. Together they might resolve their issues and find happiness at their waterfall.

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    20. WorfWWorfington: Other than that, they all could be toast.

      The primary protagonists should make it, unless the story is somehow being structured so that there are multiple apices toward the end. Even then, the first climax usually is for 2nd-tier protagonists (e.g., Jaime, Theon, Davos, Samwell, Brienne and maybe Sansa). People complain of it being “plot armor” but it really is reverse survivorship: storytellers provide the greatest focus on the characters that are important at the very end so that you can understand why they do what they do.

      Stories like this with numerous minor protagonists or even faux protagonists have a lot more leeway early; you can develop a character as if he/she is a primary protagonist at first and then have them die or disappear from the tale. However, there does get to be a point where it’s too late for that. Suppose Arya dies this week without it being some big “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” personal choice that makes us think that she basically does not have a “right” choice here. Great drama?!?!? No: they will have just thrown away 7 years of character development on nothing.

      To this end, I think that the realistic list of characters that we can expect might die include:
      1. Brienne
      2. Davos
      3. Theon***
      4. Podric
      5. Tormund
      6. Beric
      7. Greyworm
      8. Missandei
      9. Royce
      10. Lyanna Mormont
      11. Jorah.

      I would put Jaime, the Hound and Gendry on this list, except: all three have foreshadowed fates that cannot happen here.

      For characters like Brienne, Theon & Davos, an end has to be a minor story climax, as they are 2nd tier protagonists. Theon might be the one to whom to pay closest attention. He’s the only person that has been shown learning that there are secret tunnels that can be used to escape Winterfell. (Presumably Robb would have learned: but he’s dead.) However: he does not know where they are. Bran as the ability to figure this out. (They should not be the tunnels that Bran found, as those led out to just under the walls; and that’s not far enough away to provide a good secret escape.)

      So, if Theon goes, then look for it to be some grand gesture that saves Bran and provides some symmetry to his arc. For him in particular, it really has been a Wintefell centered-arc (whereas Brienne’s and Davos’ arcs have been more character-centered): and as this could be the last we see of Winterfell before the denouement, it would make the most sense if he perishes here.

      EDIT: I could also see Jorah going. HOWEVER: it would not be to save Daenerys, but to save Lyanna Mormont. One of the big parts of his character has been that he betrayed his house. If he dies saving it, then he will be “square” in their eyes. (It could also setup a “thaw” between Lyanna & Daenerys.)

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    21. It’s not the just anonymous carnage that is upsetting.
      It is knowing that we are approaching an episode where we are sure to loose many long term characters.
      This time next week the world is going to be full of who should, or should not have died.

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    22. I am very worried about Theon, Brienne (this is going to really hurt), Jorah, Tormund, and then also Varys, Missandei, Gilly, and Little Sam because the crypts are NOT SAFE.

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    23. Tuonela: I’m so focused on GOT right now that even tonight’s preview of Avengers Endgame has become kind of an afterthought (and I was sooo excited about it!)

      Holy fuck a doodle doo. I just realized that we have tickets to see the Avengers at a showtime that overlaps with Thrones. We got the tickets a month ago without even thinking about it.

      The gods hate me….

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    24. The Jaime/Brienne stuff in this episode was just wonderful, I have always loved their relationship and the knighting scene made me cry, Jaime almost forgot that there was anyone watching, he was so focussed on her. People say that it is a platonic thing, but I swear Jaime had heart emoji’s in his eyes throughout this entire episode. They will never act on it, so to me, Brienne’s defence was her saying ‘I love you’ and him knighting her was him saying ‘I love you to’.

      I really hope that they make it through to the end, but It’s just not going to happen, forget Jon/Dany, this relationship will devastate me. In my head I like to imagine their final scene on a beach in Tarth, but it ain’t happening. If nothing else, she finally got the respect she deserves, as the most knightly person in Westeros.

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    25. Dark Sister: I did love that Jaime gave an appreciative smirk to Tormund after he said that. It was lovely.

      One “nice” thing about last week was that, in all of the good ways, Tyrion & Jaime were back to being good old Tyrion & Jaime. It sort of emphasized that the two brought out the best in each other. (We hadn’t seen either in a while, which was understandable, but also a little sad in some ways.)

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    26. Lol: Jorah
      Lyanna mormont

      I’m wondering if they will kill off both of them and effectively eliminate another great House. It’s always been my thought that Jorah wasn’t going to make it out of the story alive in either medium. I didn’t expect that Lyanna would end up talking her way into fighting though. Unless she gets swept off to safety how is it even remotely believable that she’s going to be out fighting in the field and actually live? I don’t care how much people suggest that she has trained, she’s still a tiny thing that should be wiped out almost immediately. There should be no comparison to Arya at all (older, more trained and in more principals than just sword sparring). Even Arya doesn’t appear to be heading outside the walls to fight in the field where it tends to become a messy free-for-all. It looks like she’ll be inside as part of the defense there.

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    27. Miss Stark: I am very worried about Theon, Brienne (this is going to really hurt), Jorah, Tormund, and then also Varys, Missandei, Gilly, and Little Sam because the crypts are NOT SAFE.

      No, but although we do not know where the secret tunnels leading out of Wintefell are, there is a decent chance that they are in the Crypt. The question is: will they learn in time?

      Also, I would take Varys off of that list. There is something more in store for him, I think.

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    28. Wimsey,

      Totally agree. And I think we need to give D&D, and especially George since he told them, more credit for how they will end main character arcs. You don’t have characters like Arya, Jaime, Tyrion, Sansa, etc. survive to this point with the amazing journeys they’ve had for it to just boil down to “dying in battle”. I would hope that people have faith in GRRM (and for D&D to follow through on it) to have a much more interesting and meaningful way to close off the arcs of the primary protagonists. For it to come to this point and one of the main characters were to have such an unsatisfying and undignified ending just for the sake of “killing characters” would be absolutely awful..

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    29. Clob: I don’t care how much people suggest that she has trained, she’s still a tiny thing that should be wiped out almost immediately.

      Battles do not really work that way; it’s not as if each person at Winterfell is paired off against 1-2 wights for round 1, the survivors go at in round 2, etc. One of the things that Battle of the Bastards showed well is that surviving a battle has a huge pure luck element. The best and worst will be nearly equally lucky to survive.

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    30. Clob,

      It doesn’t matter how many Aegon’s come and go..
      Daenerys Jelmazmo will be the the one who is Aegon the reborn with tits who rode Drogon balerion reborn

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    31. Enharmony1625: For it to come to this point and one of the main characters were to have such an unsatisfying and undignified ending just for the sake of “killing characters” would be absolutely awful..

      Yeah, I think that people took the wrong lesson from all of faux protagonists & minor protagonists that did die. It never was “anybody could die!”; it was always a lot of characters set up to contribute to only one or two of the stories and/or to be characters who furthered the story by dying only after the main characters (and thus the readers/viewers) got to know them a bit.

      Of course, it’s a lot more obvious in hindsight which characters were which: but at this point, it’s pretty much all hindsight!

      And, who knows: maybe this will be one of those stories with multiple climaxes such that a major protagonist could check out. We are lacking one or more key pieces for that just now: but maybe those will happen in the first 85 minutes on Sunday? (I’m not betting on it; I am just conceding that it is possible.)

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    32. Enharmony1625,

      I don’t think dying in battle is an undignified way for these characters to go. I think they are more likely to survive since it is episode 3, none of their arcs seem to be resolved yet, and there is more of the story to go.

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    33. Enharmony1625:
      Wimsey,

      Totally agree. And I think we need to give D&D, and especially George since he told them, more credit for how they will end main character arcs. You don’t have characters like Arya, Jaime, Tyrion, Sansa, etc. survive to this point with the amazing journeys they’ve had for it to just boil down to “dying in battle”. I would hope that people have faith in GRRM (and for D&D to follow through on it) to have a much more interesting and meaningful way to close off the arcs of the primary protagonists. For it to come to this point and one of the main characters were to have such an unsatisfying and undignified ending just for the sake of “killing characters” would be absolutely awful..

      I like your recognition that there is a group of primary protagonists/main characters in the story. These are not going to die in a random dark alley.

      Jaime is not by long shot a secondary character. He is one of the most important characters in the story. Tyrion and Sansa as well have lots of story left.

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    34. Brienne resonates with me so much as a character.

      And its because she isn’t just a male who they decided to change into a female character. As strong and chivalrous as she is, there are so many qualities about her and experiences shes been through that are distinctly female. Shes as much a mother as she is a warrior.

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    35. Mango: Jaime is not by long shot a secondary character. He is one of the most important characters in the story. Tyrion and Sansa as well have lots of story left.

      Sorry, I wasn’t being clear. Jaime is not a secondary character: he is a protagonist. However, in this story, there are multiple tiers of protagonists. There is a Big 5 (or 6) of Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, Bran & Arya (?& Sansa); the first five are the ones around whom GRRM was writing the big over-arching story all along. (Sansa seems to have snuck into this group, at least on the show.) Then there are several 2nd-tier protagonists, including Jaime, Theon, Samwell, Brienne, Davos & Cersei. None of them contribute to every individual story, but each contributes to at least one of the stories, and thus to the over-arching one.

      That’s different from the truly 2ndary characters (i.e., “deuteragonists” as they actually are called), such as Stannis or Renley or Tywin or Jorah; i.e., prominent characters who never are the focus, but important foils for one or more of the main characters. Those characters (like Jorah) can even have arcs (or even Stannis, if you consider a straight line to be a special case of an arc!). But we never really “get inside their heads” in the same way that we do real protagonists.

      If we are getting a “minor climax” (which has some formal term in literature, but I’m happy just to remember ‘deuteragonist’ today), then one or more 2nd-tier protagonists could check out. I’d just be really surprised if the climax is big enough to merit taking down one of the Big 5-or-6. (But, again: I am not ruling out that a final piece of a puzzle could click in during the episode itself.)

      ((Have you ever seen such wishy-washy posts??))

      EDIT: hehe, should I refer to them as “Alpha Protagonists” and “Beta Protagonists”? That somehow sounds more fierce!!! 😎

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    36. Wimsey: Battles do not really work that way; it’s not as if each person at Winterfell is paired off against 1-2 wights for round 1, the survivors go at in round 2, etc. One of the things that Battle of the Bastards showed well is that surviving a battle has a huge pure luck element. The best and worst will be nearly equally lucky to survive.

      Maybe they’re suppose to work that way, but in BotB and every other one so far every one of the fighters has ended up needing to defeat someone else one-on-one at least a few times. Those were all living on living as well. The aotd has been shown to be a mindless mob attack. Once people start falling there are fewer and fewer around for protection as the dead keep coming. Do YOU think she can fight off 3-4 wight by herself like the Mag-7 weren’t able to before being saved?

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    37. HelloThere: As strong and chivalrous as she is, there are so many qualities about her and experiences shes been through that are distinctly female.

      I would phrase it differently. What Brienne has is empathy, which should not necessarily be feminine (although too many people treat it as such). One very important role that she’s played is that Jaime has become a much more empathetic person since meeting her. Jaime might still have a slightly mocking tone when he refers to Tyrion as a champion of the downtrodden: but how much different is that from choosing to fight on the side of life? The latter is just a more macho way of saying pretty much the same thing!

      That also is one trait unifying the main characters: in different ways, all of them are champions of the downtrodden; of course, in nearly every case, all of them can be placed in a group that is downtrodden, too.

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    38. Clob: Do YOU think she can fight off 3-4 wight by herself like the Mag-7 weren’t able to before being saved?

      Probably not. However, this will be the luck of the battle: her survival will depend on her not being forced to do so. If she’s in a circumstance where she and her troops are that badly outnumbered, then she’s toast. (Toast with moxie, but still toast.)

      Really, the one way I see her surviving is if they tie up Jorah’s arc by having him redeem himself in his family’s mind by sacrificing himself to let her and other Mormants escape.

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    39. Alright let’s talk about this whole “act of love” thing. Does that mean Jaime is actually in love with Brienne — like love love — and that she is in love with him, too?

      “I mean, we have another four episodes to go, so I think that the less I say about them the better,” he told us. “You know, what she did in the beginning — she saved his life, if you will, in the beginning of the episode by vouching for him and clearly there’s a lot of respect [there]. And the thing is, I just wanna say watch the show and see what happens because the less I say the better.”

      I WILL STILL HOPE YOU CANT STOP ME

      What I would be OK with:
      1. Jaime dying in Brienne’s arms next episode
      2. Jaime & Brienne both dying trying to save each other
      3. Both of them surviving

      What I would NOT be ok with –
      Brienne dying in Jaime’s arms next episode (or at all for that matter)

      PLEASE D&D/GRRM DO NOT DESTROY ME

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    40. Wimsey,

      > The primary protagonists should make it, unless the story is somehow being structured so that there are multiple apices toward the end

      Yes, that happy reason, and the fact that Jon and Daenerys have something more to talk/argue about, has actually made me more positive that both may actually survive the whole series, and at least the next two episodes.

      I’m not sure about Drogon and Rhaegal. I could see die one soon together with Viserion (and Rhaegal surviving would put most tension on Dany’s claims afterwards, however Drogon surviving and she sharing her claim nonetheless would give more character evolution)

      What makes me fear most for Brienne (and Jaime) is that they carry Ice. I have the feeling GRRM likes irony and balancing good and bad events, so Ned Stark’s beheading and the melting of Ice in two swords makes me think that Widow’s Wail and Oathkeeper may have something of more consequence than just being two Valyrian steel swords. Furthermore, I also think Jaime could be a secret Targ without having it being spelled out (he’s a lot like Rhaegar, actually, basically a good person who does things for love, and Cersei, well, she takes after her father). Which leaves Tyrion to confront Cersei.

      I think they might keep some tertiary (quaterny?) characters like Royce, because someone of the Vale might have to interact with Sansa afterwards for political reasons, and there are enough characters with more emotional attachment to die already. Also Varys has some unfinished business, after he has been eardropping in the crypts 😉

      For secondary characters, I have quite a similar expectation, somewhat in this order:
      -Beric
      -Gendry (leaving Arya to confront him as a wight later, there must be something that scared her, and the NK doesn’t seem that scary)
      -Podrick
      -a Dragon
      -Jorah
      -Theon
      -Brienne & Jaime (End of the Episode)

      On the other hand, I can also see the resolution of the battle dragging out to Episode 4 (it’s a long night after all) with Episode 3 ending very in a very dark mood.

      Btw, anyone who thinks that the map is important? Brienne was on the left flank (behind the Vale cavalry?) and the Godswood is on the right side? Jorah is with the Dothraki? Who is supposed to be leading the right Stark flank? What is a cavalry supposed to do against undead, by the way? Is the NK attacking from the same side as Jon & Wildings in the BOTB, or is it another side?

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    41. Wow… another topic. I just read the Game of Thrones wiki on this episode. What a salty bunch of cuntgoobers those writers are. Never again

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    42. QueenofThrones: Brienne dying in Jaime’s arms next episode (or at all for that matter)

      PLEASE D&D/GRRM DO NOT DESTROY ME

      Narrator’s Voice: Fortunately, only Ghost, Lyanna Mormant, and all the Winterfell Children including the Scarred Girl died in Jaime’s arms. Ser Jaime was never able to completely lower his head again after the 17th shout of “NOOOOOO!!!!!” to the overhead camera.

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    43. fdr: I’m not sure about Drogon and Rhaegal. I could see die one soon together with Viserion (and Rhaegal surviving would put most tension on Dany’s claims afterwards, however Drogon surviving and she sharing her claim nonetheless would give more character evolution)

      My out-of-nowhere-&-based-on-nothing-other-than-bacteria-in-my-intestines prediction: Arya is going to kill Viserion (again) with her spear while trying to kill the NK.

      I’ll be giving out Lotto numbers later…..

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    44. That brienne Knighting scene is one of my favorite scenes. So pure. That make this one of my favorite episode of got.

      Can’t wait till episode 3. That episode is going to break our hearts 🙁

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    45. Wimsey,

      You bring up a valid point. If the AOTD took what amounts to most of 7.2 seasons to get through the wall and to Winterfell, how friggin long will it take them to get to Kings Landing if IceAir V dies?

      I mean we are getting to the last 4 eps, if Winterfall falls and the AOTD keeps sloggin’ along they are going to have to find and hire the hell out of Westerosi Ubers to get to KL in a timely manner.

      **on a different note, if Drogon or Rhaegal dies in ep 3 that is going to be 1 large EFFING B-sweet pill to swallow.

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    46. Is Lyanna really going to fight? I know in her scene with Jorah she said she won’t hide underground, but at the war council meeting the Mormont pawn was in front of the crypt. The crypt probably won’t end up being a safe haven but still…is she keeping her men down there to guard it while she fights on the field lol?

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    47. Wimsey: Sorry, I wasn’t being clear.Jaime is not a secondary character: he is a protagonist.However, in this story, there are multiple tiers of protagonists.There is a Big 5 (or 6) of Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, Bran & Arya (?& Sansa); the first five are the ones around whom GRRM was writing the big over-arching story all along.(Sansa seems to have snuck into this group, at least on the show.)Then there are several 2nd-tier protagonists, including Jaime, Theon, Samwell, Brienne, Davos & Cersei.None of them contribute to every individual story, but each contributes to at least one of the stories, and thus to the over-arching one.

      That’s different from the truly 2ndary characters (i.e., “deuteragonists” as they actually are called), such as Stannis or Renley or Tywin or Jorah; i.e., prominent characters who never are the focus, but important foils for one or more of the main characters.Those characters (like Jorah) can even have arcs (or even Stannis, if you consider a straight line to be a special case of an arc!).But we never really “get inside their heads” in the same way that we do real protagonists.

      If we are getting a “minor climax” (which has some formal term in literature, but I’m happy just to remember ‘deuteragonist’ today), then one or more 2nd-tier protagonists could check out.I’d just be really surprised if the climax is big enough to merit taking down one of the Big 5-or-6.(But, again: I am not ruling out that a final piece of a puzzle could click in during the episode itself.)

      ((Have you ever seen such wishy-washy posts??))

      EDIT: hehe, should I refer to them as “Alpha Protagonists” and “Beta Protagonists”?That somehow sounds more fierce!!!

      This is a useful addition and I like your outlook.

      That said, out of an abundance of laziness and modesty, I usually leave the excessive analysis of art (particular stories/literature) until the artist is finished. It does not always work to straight-jacket my thoughts early. I allow the experience as an immersive process before deciding where to go with my headspace. This has worked for me very well to date in this story.

      GRRM is a gardener writer with a highly indisciplined style. I am not too wedded to his initial outline, neither is he. D&D has also had to transfer the story to a different medium. With an unfinished script, a different media and a dithering creator – I will decide a complete analytical frame when we are done.

      I have focused on the work that GRRM is doing with different characters. He is doing some astounding work with Jaime. This may not mean anything for the long run end of the story. But I am enjoying the ride.

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    48. Wimsey,

      > Lotto numbers

      Well, if there is some storytelling behind the lottery numbers, why not? 😉

      Then at least Arya has watched S7E6, I was seriously wondering if no one of those bright minds considered that they need a backup plan in case dragonglass arrows can’t penetrate undead dragon scales… Davos and his “dominance in the air”. The NK could just roast Bran from above.

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    49. I look forward to next week’s Roundup, when we get to hear from Sean Bean, Kristian Nairn and Aiden Gillen on how they kept their zombie returns secret.

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    50. QueenofThrones,

      Preach! I saw that quote, what are you doing to us Nikolaj? Don’t tease us like this for nothing! They hold two halves of Ice, they have to be together in the battle, and I am prepared for a death, but I dread it just the same.

      I so want them to survive and fully acknowledge their feelings, for the love of God HBO, give us this one thing. The Iron throne can go to whoever, just let Brienne and Jaime live.

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    51. Rizzo T: If the AOTD took what amounts to most of 7.2 seasons to get through the wall and to Winterfell, how friggin long will it take them to get to Kings Landing if IceAir V dies?

      It will probably take them months, but months often elapse within single episodes or between episodes. Much like Wagnerian opera, the “true” plot here would be moments of exhilaration separated by months of boredom…..

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    52. It might seem kind of obvious, but something just struck me today.
      The oncoming battle will be like no other. Often in conflicts, one side might fall back, or even disperse if they are failing, but the Army of the Dead would never do that, so this is a very binary situation, either Winterfell beats them and the immediate threat is over, so then we move on to the North & Co. moving south to take on Cersei…
      OR
      Pretty much everyone dies. At which point it might just be a rag-tag bunch hiding from the wights as the Night King attacks Kings Landing. This was an option I had not considered.

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    53. Rizzo T:
      Wimsey,

      You bring up a valid point.If the AOTD took what amounts to most of 7.2 seasons to get through the wall and to Winterfell, how friggin long will it take them to get to Kings Landing if IceAir V dies?

      I mean we are getting to the last 4 eps, if Winterfall falls and the AOTD keeps sloggin’ along they are going to have to find and hire the hell out of Westerosi Ubers to get to KL in a timely manner.

      **on a different note, if Drogon or Rhaegal dies in ep 3 that is going to be 1 large EFFING B-sweet pill to swallow.

      How long is it going to take them to get to WF from the distance they’re at now 😀 Evem being so close it could take them a bit to actually get in WF.

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    54. Miss Stark:
      Rizzo T,

      There could very well end up being a time jump at some point during the last few episodes.

      I had not thought about this but oh how this would play into the Dany is preggo picketers…

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    55. Mango: GRRM is a gardener writer with a highly indisciplined style. I am not too wedded to his initial outline, neither is he. D&D has also had to transfer the story to a different medium.

      All true. However, one thing that is quite clear from looking at GRRM’s initial outline is that the story remained the same; GRRM altered the plot substantially, but plot is a vehicle for story (as GRRM frequently notes). Moreover, it’s also clear that the 5 primary protagonists then are still the 5 primary protagonists; GRRM might have bumped Sansa onto their tier (and B&W certainly did), but he didn’t bump anyone else. Moreover, it really was too late to do so after the first book: the primary characters at the climax have to be the ones who started evolving at the outset.

      Transferring the story to another medium meant altering the plot and even altering minor aspects of the protagonists such as their ages. However, they kept the primary protagonists (and possibly added one) and the important aspects of their arcs. Basically, GRRM gave them a literary shark and tasked them with building a cinematic T. rex; they did so pretty well!

      GRRM himself has tried to stress this to some of his fans: both media are telling the same story, but because the media are different, they have to do so somewhat differently. To this end, changing the primary protagonists would very much risk giving us a Brontosaurus rather than a T. rex: yes, it’s well-adapted to the new medium, but it’s not the same story anymore.

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    56. Tryptych: Pretty much everyone dies. At which point it might just be a rag-tag bunch hiding from the wights as the Night King attacks Kings Landing. This was an option I had not considered.

      I think that we’ll get something different. I think that a lot of people will survive (although a lot will die), but that the survivors will be scattered and somewhat broken after this. We might wind up with essentially a three-way battle of the sort that we almost had at the Wall: the northerners fleeing south will be attacked by the southerners, but the AotD will be close behind attacking both indiscriminately.

      Indeed, it’s even possible that the same chain events will lead to the resolution with the NK and the Iron Throne.

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    57. What do you think the WW/wight ratio is? For every WW slain by obsidian or VS, how many wights drop? I hope the hidden trenches surrounding WF are lit with fire/dragonfire to handle the wight onslaught, then the WWs are picked off by obsidian marksmen, hence disabling their wights.

      But I’m sure it won’t be quite that easy. I wish the WF folks could have sent a covert sortie out to track the incoming AotD and test the obsidian WW/wight kill ratio. (But I guess the dead can be raised by another if one WW falls…ugh)

      It is worrisome that every WW seems to have a dragon-killing spear. Do the wights simply swarm or can they use ballistic weapons as well? Will the wights find a way into WF via the crypts or sewer tunnels? Will D & R, while spewing fire upon the masses and evading spears, also be tasked to guard the godswood from NK & V? What twists do Bran & NK have up their virtual sleeves when they meet?

      Too many questions. It’s gonna be merciless, courtesy of Sapochnik.

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    58. Wimsey,

      So true! Ned’s death, the Red Wedding.. these were not just random occurrences. Ned’s death was instrumental in launching the arcs of Arya and Sansa, as well as having a big impact on the story going forward. The Red Wedding was most directly further development for Arya, but also had ramifications for Sansa and Jon.

      Ultimately, it’s different when you come to the end of the story as opposed to when you’re at the beginning or in the middle. When you come to the end, it’s about wrapping up and honouring main character arcs in a meaningful way. Not to say that there aren’t room for twists or surprises at the end (because there most definitely is), but it’s not the same as when you’re in the beginning/middle. It’s really up to the skill of the writer(s) to execute convincing twists at the end that feel earned.

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    59. Miss Stark:
      Wimsey,

      some will perish before they find the secret tunnels but not everyone.

      Perhaps finding the tunnel entrance is Arya’s mission during that panicky-looking dash through corridors that we saw in the season trailer? Though she doesn’t look to be in the crypts, per se.

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    60. Hodors Bastard,

      Hey HB;

      What do you think: was Luwin telling Theon about secret tunnels a subtle gun-hanging?

      And now that we know what the NK wants: why? I’m betting it’s not tax returns that he wants us to never remember!

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    61. Enharmony1625: WorfWWorfington:
      Ser Nobody,
      I wonder what the Beautiful Death dude is going to do for last episode. Maybe do a positive one and focus on Brienne

      Arya’s virginity.

      I started wondering about this soon after the episode! What does that artist do when no character dies?

      This may be the only logical answer. I remember from my Shakespeare courses, long decades ago, learning that Elizabethan poets regarded orgasm as the “little death.”

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    62. Firannion: Perhaps finding the tunnel entrance is Arya’s mission during that panicky-looking dash through corridors that we saw in the season trailer? Though she doesn’t look to be in the crypts, per se.

      At that point, she’d better know to where she is running! I just rewatched the old clip, and Luwin never tells Theon where the escape hatch is. My bet is that nobody alive knows, and Theon might be the only one who knows that they ever were there. Still, they have someone who’s good at dredging up the past!

      But we shall see….

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    63. Miss Stark,

      It would be for main characters whose arcs aren’t served by just dying in battle. Take Sansa, for example. Her dying in battle says what about her journey? That, what.. she should have learned how to fight? It doesn’t add anything.

      Or take a warrior/fighter like Jaime or Arya. You could argue that Jaime has pretty much found redemption (for the most part.. I think there is still unfinished business with Cersei there), but then he just dies in battle? Even if it’s saving Bran or defending the Starks/Winterfell, Bran is still alive, Jaime was not directly responsible for Ned’s death, and I just don’t see how that adds to his story in a satisfying way.

      Arya’s arc, likewise, is not served by dying heroically in battle. That’s not what her story is about, and would feel like a complete left turn just for the sake of shock. Arya still has much unfinished business in her story regarding her list and facing up to her revenge tirade and what that might mean for what life she could have in the future. She’s now reconnecting with her humanity in a very interesting way that begs for more exploration in conjunction with her dark past.

      People will also argue that this is a battle and people dying is realistic, but this is a story — one that is steeped in foreshadowing, symbolism, parallels, and meaning.

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    64. Wimsey: What do you think: was Luwin telling Theon about secret tunnels a subtle gun-hanging?

      And now that we know what the NK wants: why? I’m betting it’s not tax returns that he wants us to never remember!

      I hope so…but will the tunnels be used for incoming or outgoing flows?

      The NK’s issues are probably not tax-related. He’s more of a land rights xenophobe. He’s planning to give the land back to the dead and do away with taxes.

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    65. Jenny:
      QueenofThrones,

      Preach!I saw that quote, what are you doing to us Nikolaj?Don’t tease us like this for nothing!They hold two halves of Ice, they have to be together in the battle, and I am prepared for a death, but I dread it just the same.

      I so want them to survive and fully acknowledge their feelings, for the love of God HBO, give us this one thing.The Iron throne can go to whoever, just let Brienne and Jaime live.

      My feelings exactly.

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    66. I read an interesting theory online. That the nk is not at winterfell but in fact flying towards oldtown. Destroying the place that contains all the information that needs to be destroyed (like the reason why bran needs to die)

      —-

      Im still wondering if the lyrics of Jenny’s song has a meaning to one of the characters on the show. And if that is. Maybe it is even about a male instead of a female.

      High in the halls of the kings who are gone
      Jenny would dance with her ghosts
      The ones she had lost and the ones she had found
      And the ones who had loved her the most
      The ones who’d been gone for so very long
      She couldn’t remember their names
      They spun her around on the damp old stones
      Spun away all her sorrow and pain
      And she never wanted to leave
      Never wanted to leave (x5)

      What if it’s about the king or queen that will sit on the iron throne at the end. Seeing his or hers old family and friends before his of her. That drives that person into depression.

      What if the end scene is Jon dany or cersei being the only one alive. Remembering the old times. Feeling lonely and tired. Ruling alone.

      I remember a theory that Jon can’t die. It could be about him. And if he can die. What if it’s about dany.but that means all her advisors and friends are going to die.
      Cersei has no friends so that would feel strange.

      Or maybe Arya? Or bran?

      Or the night king himself? That could make sense. Him at winterfell his old home. Remembering his family his friends from long ago.

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    67. Jack Bauer 24: How long is it going to take them to get to WF from the distance they’re at now 😀 Evem being so close it could take them a bit to actually get in WF.

      Rizzo T,

      Remember that these aren’t TWD zombies. They may generally walk around slowly, but when pushed to go or attack they move with untiring speed (witnessed at Hardhome, the cave and the frozen lake). Before the NK had a means past the Wall they simply stood or meandered around. They’ll travel as quickly as the NK wants them to… and when they attack it will be like a wave.

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    68. Theon is as good as dead the moment he said that he’ll stand with Bran to protect him from the NK.

      IF Theon is the only one who knows about the secret tunnels then he’ll have to pass on that information to someone else before he dies. Perhaps he’ll die at a moment when it’s starting to look like the humans will lose and have to retreat. He’ll tell someone (maybe Jon) about the tunnels for everyone else to escape.

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    69. It’s been a long time since I’ve read the first books so I don’t remember what was ever said about the crypts and a secret entrance/exit. Wasn’t it mentioned that the ‘hooded man’ Theon encountered in Winterfell may have gotten in that way? Regardless, if Maester Luwin knew, if Theon knows, wouldn’t all of the Starks know about this escape route for safety reasons? Wouldn’t Ned have known about it having lived there most of his life and showed his children? I guess I’d think it would only be a secret to everyone else… *shrug*

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    70. Firannion,

      > I started wondering about this soon after the episode! What does that artist do when no character dies?

      Wasn’t there one poster like this in season 3? 3.2 or 3.7? (what happened to the bear?)

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    71. Kevin1989,

      If he destroyed the Citadel, then all the times Sam mentioned stealing those books would suddenly become really relevant.

      BTW Sam or Gilly or Tyrion…how about you guys read those books? Maybe they mention something interesting about how to kill the NK. Or the God’s Eye. Bran can’t do everything.

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    72. Hodors Bastard: I hope so…but will the tunnels be used for incoming or outgoing flows?

      If they are designed to let people escape Winterfell in secret, then they probably will deposit people far enough away that they cannot be easily seen from an army sacking Winterfell. The converse of that the AotD probably will not near where ever the exit is.

      Indeed, one big question would be: in which direction does escape lead? In some ways, it would be best if it led north far enough that they’d be behind enemy lines given this particular foe. That’s backwards from what you usually want, so if they were more worried about attack from the south, then that might be where they go.

      (We’ll conveniently ignore that these sorts of tunnels would require a lot of maintenance and upkeep because, hey, story!)

      Hodors Bastard: The NK’s issues are probably not tax-related. He’s more of a land rights xenophobe. He’s planning to give the land back to the dead and do away with taxes.

      Well, the dead not only use the land, but they also give back to it. Win-win?

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    73. Clob: if Maester Luwin knew, if Theon knows, wouldn’t all of the Starks know about this escape route for safety reasons? Wouldn’t Ned have known about it having lived there most of his life and showed his children?

      Probably not; Luwin states that it’s a secret known only to the Lords of Winterfell, and that Theon is privy to it then because he’s a Lord of Winterfell. If the Starks got into the habit of telling the whole family, then it would probably cease to be secret pretty quickly. Moreover, we have good evidence that Bran & Sansa do not know about them; otherwise, they probably would have escaped through them. (Bran found some secret tunnels: but they just led to immediately outside the walls, and Luwin must have meant some other tunnels because Theon needed to get past a besieging army.)

      Presumably, Robb would have learned while he was Lord, sort of the way the new Head of State gets the nuclear launch codes. He might have learned them before hand: he was a bit older than his siblings. (There is no way that Bran or Arya could have been told about them because there is no way that Ned could have kept them out; Sansa probably was not a good candidate because she was still in her air-head phase and also she was not going to live in Winterfell much past marrying age: and one could never be certain that her grandchildren or even children would not belong to an enemy house.)

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    74. Mr Derp: F Theon is the only one who knows about the secret tunnels then he’ll have to pass on that information to someone else before he dies. Perhaps he’ll die at a moment when it’s starting to look like the humans will lose and have to retreat. He’ll tell someone (maybe Jon) about the tunnels for everyone else to escape.

      We know that Theon knows that the tunnels exist; however, we never saw him learn where the tunnels are.

      That stated, if Bran learns that they exist, then he almost certainly can discover pretty quickly where they are, just as he discovered so quickly that Rhaegar & Lyanna were married. However, as with all things, Bran needs to think to look for information: he might be potentially all knowing (or nearly so), but being all-thinking would be much more difficult!

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    75. Jack Bauer 24,

      I’ve read this before. It’s an interesting theory if you pretend that all of the battle-planning that took place in the last episode didn’t happen as well as what Bran said about the NK following him.

      Of course, it’s possible that Bran and the gang will be wrong about the NK’s intentions, but I’d find it strange to drop all of those hung guns on us from last episode if the NK doesn’t show up at all.

      My guess is that the NK will show up, but will escape and head to KL afterwards.

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    76. Kevin1989,

      Oooo I do like the idea of the NK heading to Oldtown. Jaime did mention how he was the famed loser of the Whispering Wood – he was tricked and maaaybe the NK is doing the same. But I do think he wants to go after Bran so who knows.

      As for Jenny of the Oldstones – Duncan Targaryen abdicated the throne for Jenny. He chose love over being a King….hmmmm Ties in with JoeMagician’s article about characters not having great endings when they choose love over duty. And Duncan would be Dany’s great uncle? (Had to look at a family tree). But the song is mentioned a few times in ASOIAF.

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    77. Mr Derp:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I’ve read this before.It’s an interesting theory if you pretend that all of the battle-planning that took place in the last episode didn’t happen as well as what Bran said about the NK following him.

      Of course, it’s possible that Bran and the gang will be wrong about the NK’s intentions, but I’d find it strange to drop all of those hung guns on us from last episode if the NK doesn’t show up at all.

      My guess is that the NK will show up, but will escape and head to KL afterwards.

      I’m hoping he’s there, but I don’t think he’ll show up until the end or well into the battle.

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    78. Jack Bauer 24,

      Mr Derp,

      Yeah, I’ll be waiting to see him there. If he’s not I will expect them to surprise us (which won’t surprise us) by having him attacking KL at the end. When one thinks about it though, if Viserion isn’t at Winterfell to keep Drogon and Rhaegal occupied I’d think defeating the aotd would be far, far easier because they could sweep over and bathe them in flames before they even advance…

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    79. Jack Bauer 24,

      Love it!

      Honestly, I’ve been getting very irritated and surly seeing comments by some people saying how uncomfortable or gross it was, or how Arya was desperate or some sh!t. Like seriously, grow the f&@k up! It was a completely consensual scene that drew upon each character’s obvious attraction toward one another. Also, consider the words of the song Pod sings as we see Arya in bed at the end: “Spun away her sorrow and her pain, she never wanted to leave.” Here she is at home, comfortable and safe in her bed next to someone who she cares for and cares for her on the eve of death on their doorstep. She f%@king deserves it!

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    80. Ten Bears,

      Since Gendry is still a bastard, wouldn’t it be more likely that the kid would have the Stark name? But yeah.. I’m very curious to see if Arya ends up getting pregnant. If she does and it’s a boy, will he be the one to carry on the Stark name?

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    81. Wimsey,

      Well if Winterfell doesn’t fall, and the AotD are wiped out, it might seem a bit of an anticlimax, but then the real goal is Cersei and her armies.
      The Game of Thrones is exactly that, the Night King is really just an aside to the real destination of the series.

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    82. Tryptych:
      Wimsey,

      Well if Winterfell doesn’t fall, and the AotD are wiped out, it might seem a bit of an anticlimax, but then the real goal is Cersei and her armies.
      The Game of Thrones is exactly that, the Night King is really just an aside to the real destination of the series.

      The plotline that the show introduced in the very first scene and has been foreshadowed and built up through all 7 seasons as the greatest threat they’ll ever face is “really just an aside to the real destination of the series”?

      I’ll believe it when I see it.

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    83. I may have fallen halfway in love with Jaime myself during the knighting scene. And added him to the “Iain and Richard Voice Playlist”. Heh.

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    84. Pigeon:
      II may have fallen halfway in love with Jaime myself during the knighting scene. And added him to the “Iain and Richard Voice Playlist”. Heh.

      As for voice cast, you missed Ian McShane, he of the golden tonsils.

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    85. Firannion,

      As I suggested in a long-winded post a day or two ago questioning the use of the Crypts as a fallout shelter, the “secret passageways” built as a way to get out of WF will be used by the AotD to sneak in.

      That’s one of the reasons I cited for Dany (?) stating in the preview for next week that

      “The dead are already here.”

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    86. Enharmony1625,

      In another one of my unfortunately rambling posts a day or two ago, I suggested that Queen Daenerys or King Aegon will legitimize Gendry Baratheon – for reasons separate and apart from his coupling with Arya.

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    87. Enharmony1625,

      I think this is a draft of a potion of the comment I posted on 4/22/19 at 4:41 pm about legitimizing Gendry.

      ***
      “….Now that extinction of all human life is a real, imminent possibility, it’d be an auspicious time to grant last wishes and remove the taint on innocent children of unwed parents.

      More important, now that the real truth behind the Stark-Targaryen-Baratheon conflict is finally coming out, if humanity somehow prevails, an expedient way of reconciling the “squabbling” noble houses and putting an end to lingering enmities would be to start fresh with a new generation of those families, led by decent people who aren’t power-hungry, backstabbing snakes. (Similar to Jon’s decision to pursue rapprochement with House Karstark and House Umber through their new and younger leaders Alys Karstark and Ned Umber rather than punish them for the transgressions of their forebearers.)

      “Breaking the wheel” is a cute concept in theory, but extinguishing noble houses is what led to the cycle of murder and betrayal plaguing the country for years. Implementing the “Jon Snow” Solution on a national level, i.e., reaffirming allegiances and foregoing retribution – would seem to be the better way to go. Simply “breaking the wheel” with no system to replace it is a recipe for anarchy. (Sort of like adopting the campaign slogan “repeal and replace” – with no replacement plan – makes people think they’re being treated like gullible idiots by duplicitous politicians).

      It makes perfect sense for a wise potential monarch to legitimize Gendry Baratheon, recognize him as Lord of House Baratheon, and
      establish mutually beneficial agreements, in order to facilitate a peaceful transition to a more equitable form of government – and avoid forcing the “common folk” to become embroiled in constantly “fighting someone else’s war.”

      In any event, the de facto leader of House Baratheon would be someone with an infallible moral compass**: Arya. Yeah, yeah, I know little Arya said “No. That’s not me” when her dad told her that someday she’d marry a high lord and rule his castle. But she’s already acknowledged she’s a different person now.

      * Cersei “Baratheon” really has no viable claim to the throne or to House Baratheon through her bastard children, and her role in doing away with King Robert will presumably become public knowledge, disqualifying her even if she’s not strangled to death by Episode 6.

      Also, f*ck House Glover – if there are any of them left. According to Tormund (?) in last night’s episode, whoever wasn’t already in WF is now a soldier in Team Zombie. Besides, who’d want a two-faced oathbreaking chickens*it selfish hypocrite like Robett Glover in a new world order?

      ** I think Jane Austen coined that term; at least I heard it in the movie “Mansfield Park.”

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    88. Tryptych:

      I am merely stating the options, and let’s face it, GoT never goes the direction one expects.

      Doesn’t it?

      It hides it’s main plot very well but on a lot of levels it’s still a relatively straightforward story. No one important to the core story line has died, and all major deaths so far were misdirection:

      War of the Five Kings? Spoiler alert. None of the kings were important to the main plot other than getting the true leads where they are now.

      Ned as Hand of the King? Sorry, just the catalyst to kick the story into gear and seperate the leads into their own plots.

      Stannis being the one true king? Oops, looks like Mel misread a prophesy.

      Jon’s death and bastard status? Misdirection, set up from the start. Revealed 6 episodes before the end, making it highly likely to play into the ending.

      Margaery playing the game and becoming queen? Yeah… about that, ms Tyrell, You’re just here to set up Cercei as the main antagonist (which she’s arguably always has been)

      The list of characters still alive is massive, even this late in the game, all the major plotlines are still in play (Daenerys the Conqueror, Jon vs dead/night king, Starks vs Lannisters).

      The show does a great job of distracting you from this, but the plot’s arguably fairly basic.

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    89. Hodors Bastard:
      What do you think the WW/wight ratio is? For every WW slain by obsidian or VS, how many wights drop?

      It depends on the Other, right? The NK raised all of Hardhome, so he’s got at least half of them directly tied to him and all indirectly, presumably. And age and power (one of the 12) would factor in, I imagine.

      How much Valyrion steel do we have and who has it:
      1. Jon – Longclaw
      2. Brienne – Oathkeeper
      3. Jaime – Widow’s Wail
      4. Jorah – Heartsbane
      5. Meera (will she show?) – Dark Sister
      6. Arya – the nameless baby dagger

      Am I missing some? We have loads of dragonglass, but I suspect dragonsteel will be what gets most WWs.

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    90. King in the North East,

      Sure, the other kings and infights were merely pieces to be played and lost.
      However, “The list of characters still alive is massive”, except it’s not.
      Most are secondary and can be done away with without any major adjustment to the story arc; Only Jon, Dany and the Lannisters are really of any major significance.
      Even the Starks have become second fiddle to the narrative, even though the family was the backbone to earlier stories.

      Either the NK loses and they then take on Cersei, or the NK wins, and everybody is f*cked. In storytelling terms, Cersei always was the lead protagonist, the NK was the real deflection.

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    91. I’m still holding out a sliver of hope that the scene with Brienne and Jaime (which is my favorite scene of all time), was a goodbye to Jaime, not Brienne.

      It’s probably wishful thinking. However as much as I think Jaime’s arc has been brilliant, I’m not sure where he goes from here. Cercei ordered his death…she’s written him off. Sure there could be one more act for the two of them, but his story could also end here. A heroic ending of redemption. Also having that scene as a send-off to Brienne is well done, but a little obvious, right? GoT is kinda notorious for leading us down one path, then throwing a curve ball at us.

      I also think there’s still room for a Brienne/Tormund story to play out. Yes she loves Jaime and he loves her, but…and I’ve said this before too…every girl deserves a Tormund. Someone who utterly desires you for who you are, not in spite of who you are. Someone who doesn’t have to learn to appreciate you, but is your #1 fan from the get go. Tormund’s clap when Brienne was knighted was a thing of beauty.

      As for the others who might perish, I still think most main characters have to lose at least one person who is very close to them. Dany will lose either Jorah or (if Jaime survives) Tyrion. Jon will lose Sam, Edd, or Tormund (or a 2/3). Sansa will lose Theon and Royce (both). Arya will lose the Hound or Gendry (one, but not both…my money is on Gendry because I think the Hound has one more reunion on the horizon). Bran’s not really close to anyone, but I could see Jaime and Theon, the two people who betrayed him the most, dying together to save him.

      I think Varys either survives and will have some part of the final conclusion, or will die because they meant for him to have a role but ultimately cut it out (he’s so faded in the background right now). I think Gilly survives but Baby Sam could be reclaimed by the Night King. Lyanna Mormont will likely make it through, especially if Jorah dies. Ser Beric dies in some meaningful way that respects his many lives and the purpose of the lord of light.

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    92. Ten Bears: In another one of my unfortunately rambling posts a day or two ago, I suggested that Queen Daenerys or King Aegon will legitimize Gendry Baratheon – for reasons separate and apart from his coupling with Arya.

      I read that when you posted it, and as much as I think it’s a long shot, it would be one way to solve the tension between the two of them. “The stupid throne has come between us, let Gendry have it”.

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    93. Northstar,

      Right?! I think that’s why I loved that moment a little more haha

      Jack Bauer 24,

      And did you see Sophie’s hilarious Instagram story referencing Maisie’s sex scene? It should still be floating around IG somewhere.

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    94. Wimsey: The primary protagonists should make it, unless the story is somehow being structured so that there are multiple apices toward the end. Even then, the first climax usually is for 2nd-tier protagonists

      Good to hear a sound reminder of what story-telling is! Couldn’t agree more. Even Tyrion, in the chimney scene, pointed to what so-called ‘plot armor’ is. That’s why the names on your list come to mind to many, including me. Jaime/Brienne (ep2 culmination). Theon (redeemed, sacrifice ahead). Grey Worm/Missandei (from slavery to serving willingly to making independent plans in ep2). Jorah (family rehab, endorsed Jon/Daenerys as a couple in s7 and Tyrion as a hand in ep2, even got a family sword back. Btw, I love the way they symbolically passed all VS swords across families, suggesting, next to other points, this is no longer about families, at least not in the old way). Probably Tormund (no clear arc, and they already made us fear for his life twice, during the Hunt and at the wall). That should protect Gilly and Little Sam (imo, Jon’s role was not only to bring Dany to the ‘real war’, but also to ‘trust a stranger’ and bring wildlings back within the realms of men, so there should be some wildings left to rebuild a world after the war?). Probably Pod, too (Brienne becoming a Ser makes him an actual squire at last). In the show, Royce’s role merely seems to be backing/tying Samsa to the Vale/Tullys, so, yes. Beric because it makes sense – and that would leave the Hound kind of in charge of the Brotherhood, interestingly , both for this nihilist lone dog arc and, if you think of the Mountain especially in the books, because that would add another layer to the Cleganebowl). Not sure about Davos, though. Well, he is a Father figure (‘I’m not as old as he is’, right?), so could be; on the other hand, wouldn’t we need a decent, down to earth, skeptical Fleabottom Onion knight a bit longer ? I don’t know.
      Actually, I agree with many of your posts. Maybe even on Arya and Viserion (at least, Arya killing something that needs throwing an arrow or a knife to the heart, without aiming too long. Then we all hear Ned clap).

      Mango: That said, out of an abundance of laziness and modesty, I usually leave the excessive analysis of art (particular stories/literature) until the artist is finished.

      I agree with you too, here: the ending is a huge part of it. However, I always found one of the pleasures of reading/watching is analyzing a story as it unrolls… and change my mind when needed all the way through. So, I will reconsider next week. And the next. And…

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    95. Ten Bears,

      That wasn’t in the preview that was the last sentence she said in episode 2 to jon. She probably meant Jon is already dead. (stabwounds to the heart)

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    96. KG:
      Ten Bears,

      Dany “THE THRONE IS MINE” legitimizing the sole male heir of the *actual* rightful king of the Seven Kingdoms?

      Sure.

      Rightful king, rightful queen, so much has happened now in this story, I’m not sure who has the more “rightful” claim.

      The 7 Kingdoms were forged through conquest, but never existed as a single country prior to Aegon the Conquerer. The Iron throne was certainly rightfully the Targaryens’ because they forged it.

      But Robert took the throne from them through rebellion. We now know that his rebellion was built on a lie. Aerys has certainly committed numerous crimes against his subjects and deserved to be deposed, but Rhaegar is innocent of the crime that led to his death at the trident. He never abducted or raped Lyanna. So Robert killed him unjustly. What does that make Robert? It’s no longer a rebellion in my view – yes, Aerys needed to go, but did Rhaegar? So does that make Robert’s tenure of the iron throne lawful? Was he the rightful king at all? I suppose conquest resets all laws, so maybe it’s irrelevant.

      Who has more right now? Jon, Dany, a legitimised Gendry, Sansa (for some inexplicable reason that I don’t understand but people keep proffering her forward)? I genuinely am so muddled and confused about how I feel about it now.

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    97. Che,

      It is confusing. A bit like a court of law where each side gets tangled up making the whole case far more complex than you at first thought.

      I’m English and have always been a fan of history and our royal family and the history of that family is very complicated. I guess I just boil it down to this in the end : there are two “rightful” claims to a throne. The hereditary right and the right by conquest. Unless and until a ruling family is conquered the hereditary right stands.

      Therefore the IT currently has been conquered by Robert and without a legitimate heir it is up for grabs. As his widow, Cersei has no right other than by conquest…which she has exercised.

      Had the Mad King not been deposed, Jon is the heir. As the Crown Prince’s sister, Dany only inherits if Jon is dead. She is below him in the line of succession. Just as Prince Harry as a sibling, would not inherit the British throne in the absence of Prince William, as William has children.

      However, the only way the Targs get to claim any hereditary right now, is by conquest.

      Arguably 300 years of Targ rule and a throne now held by someone who has no right to sit on it, means there is little to challenge the right of a living Targayen’s claim to the throne. However, it’s clear that right belongs to Jon by law, not Dany.

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    98. Tryptych,

      Not really. The Night King can be defeated late game after a retreat to Kings landing. Or a partial victory might happen.

      The dramatic potential to keep the dead in play is too great to squander by taking them out so soon. It’s what drives the characters together and barrels the story to its conclusion. The doomsday scenario that will force them all into a corner and have to make impossible decisions.

      I think there’s obviously much greater drama here than just an “everyone vs Cercei” climax. It makes little sense to lower the stakes before the end. That’s just terrible storytelling.

      And the amount of characters still alive IS massive. They’re not all leads, true, but still important. Of the actual leads, no one has died (except for arguably Ned)

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    99. Dragonbringer,

      I just watch the last scene and the trailer again and you’re right. I watched the trailer right after the episode so I think I combined that sentence to the end of the episode.

      I really though she said that to Jon at the end of the episode but remembered wrong.

      I think some of the death will take the secret passage route and that’s why she says that.

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    100. Chilli:
      Che,

      Sansa has a claim if Jon and Dany would die.

      How though? She hasn’t got a claim through the Targaryen nor the Baratheon throne. Jon’s Targaryen claim comes through his father, who is no blood relation of Sansa and Sansa has no Baratheon link as far as I’m aware. She has the strongest claim to the Northern throne as the oldest Stark, if the north survives as an independent kingdom, but the 7 kingdoms? I just don’t see how, unless I’m missing something.

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    101. King in the North East,

      I agree with this. Defeating the NK fully and completely and erasing that whole complication from the board in episode 3 lowers the stakes quite dramatically for the second half of the season. It would also seem strange to me for Cersei to avoid any interaction with the dead. Her approach is to sit down south where it’s safe and avoid that war. With all the focus, for years and years, about how the living needs to band together to defeat the NK and that the Iron Throne is not what is important, is she really going to get away with that? Perhaps that will be the way the story goes, but it doesn’t really add up for me.

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    102. Dyanna:
      Che,

      It is confusing. A bit like a court of law where each side gets tangled up making the whole case far more complex than you at first thought.

      I’m English and have always been a fan of history and our royal family and the history of that family is very complicated. I guess I just boil it down to this in the end : there are two “rightful” claims to a throne. The hereditary right and the right by conquest. Unless and until a ruling family is conquered the hereditary right stands.

      Therefore the IT currently has been conquered by Robert and without a legitimate heir it is up for grabs. As his widow, Cersei has no right other than by conquest…which she has exercised.

      Had the Mad King not been deposed, Jon is the heir.As the Crown Prince’s sister, Dany only inherits if Jon is dead. She is below him in the line of succession. Just as Prince Harry as a sibling, would not inherit the British throne in the absence of Prince William, as William has children.

      However, the only way the Targs get to claim any hereditary right now, is by conquest.

      Arguably 300 years of Targ rule and a throne now held by someone who has no right to sit on it, means there is little to challenge the right of a living Targayen’s claim to the throne. However, it’s clear that right belongs to Jon by law, not Dany.

      I think you’re right, that the two means of ‘rightful’ heir to the throne are in play in this story and that currently, conquest is the means by which the throne is being passed about from person to person. If Cersei is defeated and both Jon and Dany survive to that point in the story, it will be interesting to see what happens. If the bulk of the forces defeating Cersei’s are Dany’s armies (supposing many survive…which is doubtful), then she will be able to seize the throne through the right of conquest – but she will have to recognise that this is what she is doing, conquering, because she will no longer be the ‘rightful’ heir that she has always believed herself to be. This will also make Daario’s statement to her, that she isn’t a ruler but a conqueror, seem more like a prophesy. Jon may be swayed by his people (because isn’t that what he’s all about, doing right by his people?) to make a play for the throne under his new ‘rightful heir’ mantle, if he feels that Dany wouldn’t be the right person to rule for the good of the people so then it really will come down to conquest or line of succession. The culmination of the great game.

      I am also British with a great love of history, though I am much more enamoured with the Ancient Greeks (particularly the Spartans) and the Romans. After Thrones, I may delve into some Medieval history. Tom Holland’s books were my gateway into history many years ago (Rubicon and Persian Fire are my absolute favourites). I have a Medieval one he did, so I may attempt that one.

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    103. Che: I think you’re right, that the two means of ‘rightful’ heir to the throne are in play in this story and that currently, conquest is the means by which the throne is being passed about from person to person. If Cersei is defeated and both Jon and Dany survive to that point in the story, it will be interesting to see what happens. If the bulk of the forces defeating Cersei’s are Dany’s armies (supposing many survive…which is doubtful), then she will be able to seize the throne through the right of conquest – but she will have to recognise that this is what she is doing, conquering, because she will no longer be the ‘rightful’ heir that she has always believed herself to be. This will also make Daario’s statement to her, that she isn’t a ruler but a conqueror, seem more like a prophesy. Jon may be swayed by his people (because isn’t that what he’s all about, doing right by his people?) to make a play for the throne under his new ‘rightful heir’ mantle, if he feels that Dany wouldn’t be the right person to rule for the good of the people so then it really will come down to conquest or line of succession. The culmination of the great game.

      I am also British with a great love of history, though I am much more enamoured with the Ancient Greeks (particularly the Spartans) and the Romans. After Thrones, I may delve into some Medieval history. Tom Holland’s books were my gateway into history many years ago (Rubicon and Persian Fire are my absolute favourites). I have a Medieval one he did, so I may attempt that one.

      My thoughts exactly, hence I believe both will survive and Jon will be forced to choose between love and duty, foreshadowed by Maester Aemon.
      Jon doesn’t want a crown, neither did he want to be LC, or KITN, both of which were foisted upon him. I see the same happening again. Right now, as he rightly says, it’s not important. Survival is. Davis summed it up with his comment last season about it not mattering whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.

      However, it’s far too delicious a quandry to be left out of this story and it won’t be. There is always a compromise. Joint ruling with a King and Queen. That is breaking a wheel, it’s never happened before and still doesn’t in this country. However, Jon is freaked out by the incest angle while Dany is not. I can’t see him getting round that easily, further complicated if Dany turns out to be pregnant, also foreshadowed in the show. Oh dear.

      Will Jon for once in his life foresake duty for love? Is he more Rhaegar than Ned in the end? Will the people let him? Given a choice the Westerosi would rather Jon who is actually the lawful heir. I’m intrigued although this is GOT, who knows if they will make as much of this as they could. Looks like they might at the moment.

      I’ll look up Tom Holland, sounds like my cup of tea 👍

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    104. Che,

      When Dany and Jon die, all the Targaryens are dead. Gendry is not a legitimised Baratheon. Sansa would be next of kin. Gendry has a claim too, but I don’t think he’ll have people enough people supporting him. Sansa would have the support of The North, The Riverlands and The Vale.

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    105. Ten Bears,

      Yes, I do think there’s a pretty good chance that Gendry gets legitimized as a Baratheon. That is assuming that he survives next week and the theories that Arya has to kill a wighted Gendry aren’t true (please don’t be true).

      While I don’t think his potential legitimization will be because of his relationship with Arya, it could be the catalyst. I’m back-and-forth on whether Arya will tell Sansa about her night with Gendry. Given how close the sisters are now, it would make sense that Arya would confide in Sansa about her feelings toward him. Or maybe Sansa and/or Jon just see them together. In any case, it would be Gendry’s contribution to the war efforts by way of his smithing and fighting that will be a big part of his legitimization. And like you said too, there’s the benefit of a union of well-respected houses to unite people, particularly for the small folk whom both Arya and Gendry has spent a lot of time with in the story.

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    106. Chilli:
      Che,

      Sansa has a claim if Jon and Dany would die.

      Anyone can make a claim if they have an army to back it up.
      Then the winner writes the history
      It is known

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    107. It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that Jon and Dany will both choose love over duty and will die in the process. Neither of them will be king or queen.

      Do you all know what the song “Jenny of Oldstones” is about? The song “Jenny of Oldstones” is about a Targaryen who chose to relinquish his claim to the Iron Throne in favor of being with the one he loved, Jenny of Oldstones. It’s not a coincidence that this song was chosen. They could’ve chosen any number of songs if they wanted to, but they specifically chose this one.

      As soon as the song is over, the scene cuts to…Jon and Dany, where Jon reveals his true Targaryen lineage to Dany.

      We ASSUME that Dany will get pregnant this season, considering the many times the show has gone out of its way to bring it up. When she told Jon last season that she couldn’t have children, Jon was the one who told her that her that she may not be correct, given the original source. This is not a coincidence.

      Back in season 1, Jon told Sam that he never wants to give birth to a bastard, which is why he didn’t sleep with Ros. What do you think Jon is going to do when/if he finds out that Dany is pregnant? Well, duh. He’s going to want to marry her for the sake of the child.

      I don’t know exactly how all of this will come together in the end, but it seems to me like Jon and Dany’s fates will mirror Rhaegar and Lyanna’s. Dany could very well die giving birth while Jon dies in battle.

      If that’s the case, then guess who needs to “promise” to take care of the baby? I would have to assume Tyrion and Sansa would do it.

      If Jon and Dany die, who has the best claim to the throne? I believe it would be Sansa, therefore, I could easily see a scenario where Sansa rules with Tyrion as her Hand, and they both take care of the baby.

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    108. Chilli:
      Che,

      When Dany and Jon die, all the Targaryens are dead. Gendry is not a legitimised Baratheon. Sansa would be next of kin. Gendry has a claim too, but I don’t think he’ll have people enough people supporting him. Sansa would have the support of The North, The Riverlands and The Vale.

      But Sansa isn’t Jon’s next of kin in terms of the succession. She is a cousin through his Stark side. She lacks any Targaryen blood, so has no legitimate claim to the Targaryen throne – that would be like saying if all the Royal family in the UK got wiped out then Prince William’s cousin through his mother Diana would be a claimant on the throne. Sansa is free to take it through conquest if she so desires and is in a position to do so, but she has no actual claim.

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    109. Direcat: Anyone can make a claim if they have an army to back it up.
      Then the winner writes the history
      It is known

      Anyone can take the throne through the power of conquest if they have the biggest army, but to make a claim, you actually have to have some legitimate link to the line of succession.

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    110. I think the biggest problem I have with Sansa becoming queen of the seven kingdoms is because her arc has only just recently become about leadership – prior to this it was learning how to manipulate others in the game, which isn’t the same as leadership or ruling. Besides, it seemed the culmination of her arc was finally realising that home in Winterfell is where she wanted to be and where she was happiest. Her successful turn as Lady of Winterfell seems like payoff for her suffering and what she has learnt, but I wouldn’t say it leads to her suddenly becoming ruler of the seven kingdoms.

      Also, in the books, she is not one of the primary protagonists (the big 5 around whom GRRM wrote his story brief). She has become so in the show, but seeing as the ending for the main characters in the show will mirror those in the books, it seems a massive stretch to see Sansa taking the throne. If Jon and Dany both die and there continues to be a throne at the end of the story then I would say Tyrion has the strongest chance of sitting the throne as his arc has been about learning to lead and making plenty of mistakes doing so (to help him improve and learn). He also has the desire to lead and is one of the primary 5 protagonists in the books. I can’t yet see how he would get there, unless most people are wiped out and the remaining survivors elect a ruler from their midsts Night’s Watch style, as he hasn’t got his own armies to take it by conquest. I could see he and Sansa marrying and her becoming his queen consort, but not the queen of the 7 kingdoms.

      Also, if she and Tyrion took charge of an orphaned Jon+Dany baby, they would only be regents till the baby came of age and took the throne. I don’t know why, but I don’t feel this is the direction GRRM is taking. If there is going to be a throne in the end (and I strongly suspect there will be), then I think the person sitting on it will be someone we have travelled with throughout this show, not a baby that we don’t know and don’t know what sort of leader they will grow to be.

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    111. Che: If there is going to be a throne in the end (and I strongly suspect there will be), then I think the person sitting on it will be someone we have travelled with throughout this show,

      Who do you believe will be sitting on the IT in the end?

      I’m not really sure what I believe right now, but I think the show is going to make Sansa the Wardeness of the North, at the very least.

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    112. Mr Derp: Who do you believe will be sitting on the IT in the end?

      I’m not really sure what I believe right now, but I think the show is going to make Sansa the Wardeness of the North, at the very least.

      As predictable as it is, I suspect Jon for various reasons (not just because he’s my favourite and I don’t want him to die). Failing that, Tyrion. I think in terms of character arcs, it is likely to be someone whose journey has led them to that point or it will feel like shoehorning a character into a role that doesn’t make narrative sense. Putting someone on the throne where we haven’t seen them in a leadership role at all (i.e. Gendry), would be as bad as putting a baby on the throne – we still don’t know how they would be as a ruler any more than we’d know how a baby of Jon and Dany would turn out. So I guess, Sansa is definitely better as a choice than most of the other characters as she has at least been in a leadership role in the last season. I just don’t see her becoming queen of the seven kingdoms though. I too think she’ll be the wardens of the north (or queen in the north of the story goes that way).

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    113. Che,

      If all the Targaryens are dead, then it’s not an option to go for another Targaryen. Jon is still half Stark. I’m also going to inherit from my mother and her side of the family, I don’t have her last name but I’m still related to her.
      And to be honnest, I think Sansa will be queen regent for Jon’s kid with Dany, until that kid is 18.

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    114. Chilli:
      Che,

      If all the Targaryens are dead, then it’s not an option to go for another Targaryen. Jon is still half Stark. I’m also going to inherit from my mother and her side of the family, I don’t have her last name but I’m still related to her.
      And to be honnest, I think Sansa will be queen regent for Jon’s kid with Dany, until that kid is 18.

      Of course you will and Sansa could inherit things from Jon, but not a throne that she has no successional-claim to. If all Targaryens are gone, it’ll go to whomever takes it (either by conquest or no one else wanting the job!) or if they go for some democratically-styled method of choosing a king/queen like the Watch or the Iron Born. It’d be pretty odd to go to Jon’s cousin from the wrong side of the family – succession wise I mean. Everyone accepts Cersei has no right to the throne because she took it after her children, who everyone suspected were bastards anyway, all died because she has no place in the Baratheon line of succession in the same way Sansa Stark does not in the Targaryen one. She could still take it through conquest or she may be elected, but it would make no sense if she was thought to be next in line to the throne.

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    115. Mr Derp,

      Che,

      Chilli,

      Jon.

      I think this is most likely, even though I know many would like a more subversive resolution.

      I think, if you look at all the major plotlines, this is the most likely resolution.

      Jon doesn’t want to rule, but he will if honor ends up demanding it. You don’t hide a character’s true parentage for 7 seasons only for it to be a fakeout.

      Daenerys’ storyline has been about her conquering and winning every battle and always coming out on top. I think it’s even less subversive than Jon becoming king because it’s incredibly straightforward and not at all how one would expect this show to end. I don’t think things are going to end well for Dany. I think she’s being set up for a horrible death.

      Tyrion wants to be hand of the king/queen. I think the story is being set up in such a way that he’s going to have to choose between Jon and Daenerys.

      Arya will assassinate at least one major character, but I doubt she’d even be considered for the throne. Unless she ends up wearing Jon’s face 😳

      If the north becomes independent again, it’s going to need a ruler. I think Sansa fits.

      Cercei will die. No question.

      Any other character ending up on the throne seems unlikely to me. Sure it could happen, but I really don’t think so.

      No throne in the end is also a possibility, but again, i don’t think that is where we’re heading.

      Of course I could be wrong about all of this.

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    116. King in the North East,

      I also think Jon is the best person to become King of the 7 Kingdoms. The only reason I don’t think he’ll be it, it’s because it’s too much Aragorn and other fairy tales.
      If it’s going to be someone unexpected, it somehow will be Sansa. After Jon and Dany, she’s the only person in GOT who has experience in ruling. Gendry has a claim too, but I just don’t see him ruling, he’s never done anything like that. GRRM in his interviews wonders what tax policy Aragorn has, so it’s got to be someone who has dealt with that.

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    117. Dyanna,

      To make it even more complicated, technically the Mad King died by treachery of one of his own men, Jamie; he did not surrender nor did one of the invading forces kill him, throwing the entire legitimacy of Robert’s reign and anyone after him into question. It could be argued that any living descendants of the Mad King have a heredity claim, merely by being alive, because he was never truly conquered. I know, the point is kind of a technicality, but perhaps this is one of the reasons Robert was so dead-set on exterminating all the remaining Targs (beyond his anger at what he believed Rhaegar had done to Lyanna).

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    118. Chilli,

      Yeah, I believe that Jon becoming king is less of an ‘if’ question and more of a ‘how’ question right now.

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    119. Che,

      I agree. Ultimately I don’t see Mr Derp’s scenario happening, particularly not with both Jon and Dany dying. Nothing bittersweet about that ending. Plus I can’t see the ending being just a repeat of what has happened before. I get the Jenny of Oldstones significance but at the moment it implies a choice to be made. In my mind anyway.

      Who is to say that Sansa and/or Tyrion survive to the end? They are as disposable as the other characters at this stage it seems.

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    120. M’lady:
      Che,

      But Robert didn’t have a claim, did he?

      No, he didn’t. I’m not saying that Sansa couldn’t take the throne through conquest like Robert did (i.e. having the largest army at the end of it all), but that doesn’t mean she has a legitimate claim. I’m only saying that I don’t see it happening (for a narrative reason), not that it’s impossible for her to take the throne if she wanted it and had enough support from various armies and lords to fight off any other potential kings or queens.

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    121. Chilli:
      King in the North East,

      I also think Jon is the best person to become King of the 7 Kingdoms. The only reason I don’t think he’ll be it, it’s because it’s too much Aragorn and other fairy tales.
      If it’s going to be someone unexpected, it somehow will be Sansa. After Jon and Dany, she’s the only person in GOT who has experience in ruling. Gendry has a claim too, but I just don’t see him ruling, he’s never done anything like that. GRRM in his interviews wonders what tax policy Aragorn has, so it’s got to be someone who has dealt with that.

      We’ve also seen Tyrion rule in Dany’s place in Mereen when she wasn’t there (and while he shouldn’t have trusted the slave masters, he did turn around the absolute hell that’d Mereen was in when he found himself in that role and made it a thriving peaceful city again). We also saw him lead very ably during his time as Hand to Joffrey – Joffrey was the ruler, but Tyrion was the one was was the actual leader. Tyrion has had a lot more experience than Sansa and it has been a large part of his arc from early on in the story. We’ve only seen Sansa doing it for a season, though from what little we have seen, she seems to be doing it well.

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    122. The biggest problem with the Sansa ruling argument is that the powers that be are sticking to GRRM’s end game, and Sansa is not one of his major 5. So if she survives I see her as Lady of Winterfell at most.

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    123. Che,

      People are not going to want Tyrion to rule (The Starks are loved, the Lannisters are not), that’s why I think he would be her hand after Daenerys dies.
      The people in the North and The Vale like Sansa. If there has to be an election, they will choose her.

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    124. Chilli:
      Che,

      People are not going to want Tyrion to rule (The Starks are loved, the Lannisters are not), that’s why I think he would be her hand after Daenerys dies.
      The people in the North and The Vale like Sansa. If there has to be an election, they will choose her.

      After the battle at Winterfell, there aren’t going to be many northerners left, nor the Valemen. She is an unknown in the rest of the 7 Kingdoms (or at worst, known for being the daughter of a “traitor” and suspected of Joffrey’s killing – Tyrion is also suspected of that killing and being a kinslayer, so maybe he’s not that much better). The Starks are loved in the north; the rest of Westeros view them as dull and slow (remember Tyrion’s joke?).

      In the rest of the 7 kingdoms, the remaining nobles are lesser houses, the bannermen of the wardens, as most of the Great houses are wiped out. Between Sansa and Tyrion, I reckon their sexism would win out over their prejudice for Tyrion being a) a Lannister and b) a dwarf. I reckon they would choose Tyrion over Sansa for that reason, though neither would be their ideal choice.

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    125. Mr Derp: If Jon and Dany die, who has the best claim to the throne? I believe it would be Sansa, therefore, I could easily see a scenario where Sansa rules with Tyrion as her Hand, and they both take care of the baby.

      How would Sansa have a claim ? She’s not in the line of succession in any way. If Jon and Dany die and leave behind a kid, that kid will be the king or queen, end of story.

      There will need to be a regent of course, but that’s another matter.

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    126. Nick20: How would Sansa have a claim ? She’s not in the line of succession in any way. If Jon and Dany die and leave behind a kid, that kid will be the king or queen, end of story.

      There will need to be a regent of course, but that’s another matter.

      Is Jon or Dany sitting on the throne now? If not, how will their kid get it?

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    127. Pigeon,

      Or maybe, you know.. he’d be happy for her. Given all the trauma and darkness she’s gone through, she deserves whatever happiness she can find with death knocking on the door for everyone. And this is what she chose. Good for her!

      (And when I said maybe Sansa or Jon see them together, I obviously didn’t mean in bed or anything because that would be weird, but sharing a hug or a light kiss.)

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    128. Enharmony1625:
      Pigeon,

      Or maybe, you know.. he’d be happy for her. Given all the trauma and darkness she’s gone through, she deserves whatever happiness she can find with death knocking on the door for everyone. And this is what she chose. Good for her!

      (And when I said maybe Sansa or Jon see them together, I obviously didn’t mean in bed or anything because that would be weird, but sharing a hug or a light kiss.)

      It was a joke, like common bantering between siblings (“ewww you kissed a BOY!!!!”).

      I’ve been rolling my eyeballs for a few days now at nimrods who can’t get over the fact that a young woman might actually want and have sex with a willing and decent partner, no matter what the circumstances.

      “But it makes meeeee uncomfortable!” Well, tough. 🙂

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    129. Clob,

      Judging from the icons on Team Living’s battle map, the Mormonts are part of the forces guarding the castle (and maybe ‘in charge’ of these forces). Lyanna should be inside Winterfell, in that case, and not in the field.

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    130. Pigeon,

      Yes, I figured it was. I’ve just been really disappointed with some of the reactions to this scene. It’s okay to feel a bit awkward at first, but like you said, get over it and recognize it for the layered and emotional moment that it is.

      For me, it makes Arya an even better character than she already was, if that’s even possible! 🙂 Such a powerful and poignant scene!

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    131. Enharmony1625,

      Well, it worked better than I thought it would. Before the series started I did say I would find anything beyond a kiss a bit weird. However, I did like that Arya was the one that decided and went for it. Turned out ok.

      For Gendry though – I thought you have ended with in bed with two shapeshifting women. Melisandre and Arya are both able to change form – I hope he never finds out.

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    132. Dyanna:
      The biggest problem with the Sansa ruling argument is that the powers that be are sticking to GRRM’s end game, and Sansa is not one of his major 5. So if she survives I see her as Lady of Winterfell at most.

      I totally agree with you her role in the books is not as prominent as her role in the show. At least up to book 5.

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    133. I mentioned it already in the post mortem article but do we all assume the knighting of Brienne is something coming from the books? It would make sense as we know Bryan Cogman is close to GRRM and they know the end arcs for all major characters which I believe Brienne is.

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    134. WorfWWorfington:
      The Nerdette ladies brought up a very good point.

      Just about everyone has gotten a great scene. Which in turn means that no one is safe. There is no more plot armor. It would not surprise me if anyone dies at any time in the next four weeks.

      The closest thing I will say is that either Tyrion or Jaime lives to confront Cersei one more time. And the Hound sees his brother again. Other than that, they all could be toast.

      I feel the Hound is safe for the same reason as you, I also feel Dany and Jon are safe as their is clearly something there. I think Tyrion will survive and take down Cersei. Nobody else has any real plot armour though.

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