Press Roundup: Game of Thrones cast discuss season 7’s plot, pace and game plan

JonSnowRiding the momentum of those photos from episode 1 and the anticipation for the red carpet premiere this evening, we bring you a collection of interviews with cast members  – including Kit Harington, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Liam Cunningham, Gwendoline Christie, Gemma Whelan, Alfie Allen, Iain Glen, Jacob Anderson, Nathalie Emmanuel, John Bradley, Conleth Hill and Hannah Murray – as they discuss the pace of season 7, Jon and Sansa’s relationship, Theon and Yara’s shared screen time, why Game of Thrones is so popular and how actors avoid giving away spoilers (not that we’d mind if they did).

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed the cast of Game of Thrones about what fans can expect from season 7. Much of their responses were variations on a theme: the pacing is faster, unexpected storylines will be interconnecting and, boy oh boy, is the end game upon us. However, some of them offered particularly interesting tid-bits.

Liam Cunningham, for example dropped some pretty heavy hints: “I will say specifically the fire and ice thing with Jon and Dany and all of that business… people have seen the lady arriving, with all of her entourage. She’s hitting Westeros. Jon is in Westeros,” he said. “There’s an inevitability about this that nobody’s fighting. People are coming together … who’s coming together? I ain’t telling ya.”

And It’s always fun to learn how exciting the prospect of an accelerated season is for the actors themselves, as Isaac Hempstead-Wright related:

“It’s nuts,” he said. “We shoot with two units in Belfast all of the time, and every other day, it felt like some massive sequence was going on. Like, ‘Oh my gosh, where are you going?’ Then they’ll recount to you the massive scene they were about to go off and shoot. It was like that reading the script.”

Gwendoline Christie threw an ominous monkey wrench into the cast’s overarching promise for resolved characters arcs. “There are so many complex storylines that need to be resolved,” she said. “We’re also so invested in the story. We want some kind of resolution, even if it’s an unsatisfying one.”

Of course, the difference between an unsatisfying conclusion and a sad-but-well-earned conclusion is pretty subjective. Other actors wanted to assure us that the ending may be getting nearer (and in fewer episodes than we’re used to) but it’s going to be satisfying.

If you know anything about the way TV works at all, you know The Sopranos did those two shortened seasons and Breaking Bad had that midseason hiatus,” John Bradley said. “As soon as you know you’re doing seven and then six episodes, you know just from the conventions of TV that things are coming to a head.”

Conleth Hill made a similar point. “[P]lease don’t feel cheated. Because you may think you’re only getting seven and six instead of ten and ten, but really, you were only meant to get ten episodes, not thirteen. You’re getting an extra three, rather than less.”

Hannah Murray said it feels like a “two-part final season.”


Kit Harington discussed some of the non-White Walker challenges Jon will be facing next season in an interview with IndieWire and reiterated that Jon and Sansa are really going to be butting heads.

“I think Sansa twists him in a way that no one else can. She infuriates him, she speaks up at times when it’s more helpful for him for her to not speak up. Essentially he’s got a problem: He’s leader, and she’s testing him, and as a leader you can’t have someone question you. But when it’s your sister there’s not much you can do about that. What are you meant to do? Punish your sister or execute your sister? So she’s a real challenge for him and she knows that. I think she’s infuriating to him and she knows that. But she knows she’s cleverer than Jon, in many ways.”


Access Hollywood also interviewed members of the Game of Thrones cast.

Gemma Whelan and Alfie Allen (who I genuinely thought was a suddenly-skinny Pilou Asbaek at first) gushed over each other and how much they enjoy filming scenes together … but wouldn’t say whether or not we can look forward to Yara and Theon sharing a lot of screen time this season.

Jacob Anderson, Iain Glen and Nathalie Emmanuel discussed the cultural phenomenon that is Game of Thrones and why people love it so.

Lastly, John Bradley, Hannah Murray and Conleth Hill discussed the challenge of avoiding spoilers in interviews.

209 responses

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    1. I have a feeling people that don’t like to hear ripping on Sansa should prepare themselves. If she’s going to be fucking with Jon’s leadership, especially on purpose, many people are going to be upset.

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    2. Lmao @Liam.Love what Kit said about Jon being a Stark and Lyanna’s son.And I have always seen it as Conleth.They were just gonna do seven seasons so we are getting three extra episodes.As an aside Hannah is absolutely gorgeous.

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    3. Jesus. We never get any respite from this Jon VS Sansa nonsense. We had enough of that in Season 6, the writers are making a huge mistake by trying to play up this conflict even more, especially if they make Jon look like an idiot in order for Sansa to shine.

      Unfortunately the writers have never been good at allowing two major characters to shine and to make sense. In order to make one more prominent, they tear down the other.

      I doubt they’ll be able to create a convincing situation where both Jon and Sansa have good points to make and valid but differing approaches to governing.

      They’ll either make Jon an idiot, which seems to be what Kit is suggesting, or they’ll have Sansa be irrational and nonsensical.

      Neither of these options is good.

      I’m really dreading this storyline.

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    4. Markus Stark:

      Unfortunately the writers have never been good at allowing two major characters to shine and to make sense. In order to make one more prominent, they tear down the other.

      Nonsense. Dany and Tyrion work as a great team.

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    5. Of course, the difference between an unsatisfying conclusion and a sad-but-well-earned conclusion is pretty subjective.

      I love sad but poignant endings like The Piano. I can handle bittersweet but poignant. But I really hate the endings of dystopias where the point is that life is pointless, the meaning is that life has no meaning. If my heroes must die to make the world a better place, so be it, but the world better be better.

      Please don’t feel cheated. Because you may think you’re only getting seven and six instead of ten and ten, but really, you were only meant to get ten episodes, not thirteen. You’re getting an extra three, rather than less.

      Except that we would have already had all ten episodes by now, on the normal schedule, and know the end of the end of the end. Now we don’t have any and it might be two years to get the final six – a long wait for three extra episodes. But that wait may well be worth it.

      Punish your sister or execute your sister?

      So Sansa does something worthy of execution?!!!

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    6. stefan666,

      I agree of course, if it’s well written then great. I’ll be happy with anything if the writing makes sense.

      My worry is that it won’t be, if the incredibly messy Vale story of Season 6 is any indication.

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    7. mau,

      Hey, just a friendly tip, how about you express disagreement in a way that shows you’re willing to acknowledge diverging opinions, instead of stating your personal opinion as fact ? Thanks.

      I totally disagree about Tyrion and Dany. They are in my view a perfect example of what I was saying. Tyrion utterly failed in Season 6. He underestimated the masters, and his deal failed. Yes, Meereen mysteriously did better for a few days, but the Sons of the Harpy and the masters were still very much an issue when Dany came back. She is the one who resolved that.

      She returned to a city under siege, with her people being slaughtered by terrorists. Tyrion was a clown for most of Season 6, and nowhere near as competent as he was in Season 2.

      The writers obviously wanted Dany to be the one to save the day, and she did.

      Tyrion did very little to deserve her trust. They barely know each other, he only arrived a few days before she left in Season 5.

      The only good piece of advice he’s given about the masters is what he told her in the first scene of Battle of the Bastards : don’t burn their cities to the ground.

      That’s advice that any sane person would give her, given that she had just gone on a bloodthirsty rant about crucifying people and slaughtering every last soldier. That isn’t some exceptional piece of wisdom.

      So no, I don’t think Tyrion and Dany have interacted in a way that allowed both of them to shine. He had to fail miserably in order for her to save the day, and she had to propose a barbaric plan in order for him to give her good advice.

      Perfect example of the show tearing one character down for the other to shine.

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    8. I hope they don’t minimize Sansa this season. I don’t want to see too much storyline devote to her and Jon butting heads.

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    9. Ginevra: I love sad but poignant endings like The Piano.I can handle bittersweet but poignant.But I really hate the endings of dystopias where the point is that life is pointless, the meaning is that life has no meaning.If my heroes must die to make the world a better place, so be it, but the world better be better.

      Except that we would have already had all ten episodes by now, on the normal schedule, and know the end of the end of the end.Now we don’t have any and it might be two years to get the final six – a long wait for three extra episodes.But that wait may well be worth it.

      So Sansa does something worthy of execution?!!!

      Sansa doing something worthy of execution does seem to be the implication, but he might have just been trying to make a point about the fact that he has no recourse against her if she does something he doesn’t like.

      But yeah, this is pretty worrisome.

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    10. Markus Stark,

      It just isn’t true that Tyrion failed at everything. He did use Westerosi political logic and his pact with the masters failed, but he did stabilize Meereen and he did make Dany popular there again. And he did show loyalty to her when she was absent even if GW was always doubting him.

      Dany played an important role in saving the city, but if it weren’t for Tyrion there wouldn’t be a city to be saved.

      And also Tyrion and Varys made an important pacts for her in Westeros. They also discovered who was behind SotH , which was extremely important.

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    11. If we just want to look at how they did with male and female pairings I think they did well with Arya and Sandor. They both ‘grew’ a bit with the combination and I think came out of it for the better… and we fans loved it. 🙂 Of course someone will say that most of it was book provided in comparison to these other examples…. shrug.

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    12. I don’t think that Jon was an idiot in S6 in order for Sansa to shine. I think they were both right and wrong at some points, which is normal, because for the first time they really became part of the great game, and they didn’t have enough experience in that.

      I know that the actors portraying them are not that young anymore, but they are basically two children forced in a position of war leaders.

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    13. “I think Sansa twists him in a way that no one else can. She infuriates him.” Don’t worry Kit, she does that to the fans, too.

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    14. HBO has all these channels on my cable package… why can’t they air their own stuff like this live on one of them? 🙁

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    15. Benioff and Weiss themselves as well as having Turner/Harington play up Jon/Sansa is the most confusing thing in the 7 year run of this show. They did not write this in episode 10 of season 6. Jon said she is the lady of Winterfell and they wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. Sansa said she should have told Jon and that “only a fool would trust Littlefinger”.

      This is not some figment of the imagination. This is what they wrote. If we the audience were suppose to see some form of internal struggle brewing in this episode between these characters than they utterly and completely failed as writers. It’s boggles the mind why they keep trying to play this up. They indict their own writing skills by doing so.

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    16. Anyone want to debate the existential and philosophical differences of book!Coldhands vs show!Benjen? Nothing else is going on tonight so I thought I’d suggest it…

      🙂

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    17. I’m falling asleep. I guess I’ll catch up later and see what happened at the premiere. Are critics invited to watch or is it just the cast and HBO?

      Jack Bauer 24,

      Thanks! 🙁

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    18. “But when it’s your sister there’s not much you can do about that. What are you meant to do? Punish your sister or execute your sister?”

      Well……🤔🤔🤔🤔

      Cleverer, huh. Where’s Stannis when you need him? 😉

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    19. orange,

      Well, it’s very normal for people to SAY things they don’t mean or as things happen they change their minds. With that in mind I don’t think what they said to each other before means the situation can’t change, and if it does that doesn’t mean it’s bad writing. It’s actually probably more true to life than if they were to continue on all lovey-dovey.

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    20. Not that it’s a confirmation, but have you guys tried out the new GoT snapchat filter? If you turn on the rear camera, there are white walkers and the Night King all around you. You have a dragonglass dagger you can trow at them and kill them, but it doesn’t work on the Night King. Did the show just confirm that the Night King is immune to dragonglass on freaking snapchat?

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    21. My god, Maisie. 😮 That dress! That colour!!!! Indira looks amazing. I hate Sophie’s nightshirt, but her winged eyeliner is bomb. 😁

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    22. orange:
      If we the audience were suppose to see some form of internal struggle brewing in this episode between these characters than they utterly and completely failed as writers. It’s boggles the mind why they keep trying to play this up. They indict their own writing skills by doing so.

      There is a great deal of setup though fans were arguing over what everything meant, if anything:
      1. Sansa lying about how she knew the Blackfish and his army had retaken Riverrun.
      2. Sansa blaming Jon for not asking her opinion on how to defeat Ramsay while still never sharing her intel that the Vale army was waiting in the wings as tens of thousands of Wildlings and Jon went off to battle to probably die.
      3. Sansa’s expression of possible haughtiness during the end of the BotB just after tens of thousands of Wildlings died, all of whom she had begged to fight for her to take back Winterfell.
      4. Sansa’s discussion with LF where he tries to convince her that she deserves the crown.
      5. Sansa’s expression when Jon is named KitN.
      6. Sansa smiling as she walks away from her husband as she set him up to be eaten by his dogs, her very first kill, which doesn’t speak directly to her relationship with Jon but speaks to her mindset now.

      And then there are the commentaries during last season that are even more spoilerific.

      Molestown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9Jsj9V_Aqg

      She is starting to look a couple of moves ahead….

      Sansa is showing us the ways in which LF has shaped her ways of looking at the world….

      If she really trusted Jon…

      LF still has some kind of a hold on Sansa.

      BotB: https://youtu.be/1k0YsrTBEYM?t=1m50s

      KitN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzOpXpMgEzU

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    23. Markus Stark: Unfortunately the writers have never been good at allowing two major characters to shine and to make sense. In order to make one more prominent, they tear down the other.

      That almost certainly is a side-effect of you, the viewer, knowing more than one of the characters.

      And that is going to happen this season. You, the viewer, know just what a threat the White Walkers are. Jon knows this because he’s seen it first hand. Sansa does not know this: all she might have heard are stories that will have become inconsistent and inflated by fears.

      So, because you watched Hardhome, Sansa is going to seem dumb or diminished or whatever for not having seen it. Although it is true that there is a general correlation between intelligence and erudition, it’s not an absolute one: and the fact that people are generally ignorant of most things in this world is something that we need to take into account.

      orange: If we the audience were suppose to see some form of internal struggle brewing in this episode between these characters than they utterly and completely failed as writers.

      Hardly. Indeed, I strongly suspect that the vast majority of viewers got this.

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    24. mau: I don’t think that Jon was an idiot in S6 in order for Sansa to shine.

      A lot of the “Jon was being an idiot” stuff comes from the show writers assuming a basic level of military history and tactics. Anyone who knows anything about how armies actually work knows that you cannot have one sit around indefinitely. Supplies and discipline both plummet in a hurry. Things would only get worse when you have a tenuous alliance between recent enemies (Wildlings & Northerners).

      However, viewers lacking this basic knowledge (despite the fact that the show had illustrated it already!) thought that it was perfectly sensible for Jon to just leave his army there while hoping to get more troops somehow. Because, you know, they’d just sit there and relax, while Blue Apron delivered them more food and then they’d talk to the Wildlings/Northerners and come to realize that they were not so different after all: just like real people have done exactly zero times in human history! (“What? You saw and fought White Walkers?!? Well, I guess that changes my mind from everything I’ve always been taught by educated & civilized people!!!”)

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    25. Wimsey,

      Got what? That they supposedly are not going to get along in season 7 as they continue to tease? This only kicked off when the inside the episode video was released and they began to tease it. And there was confusion over why they were teasing this on this very site in the comment section. Not to mention others who pointed out they were telling and not showing. So I don’t know what counts as “the vast majority of viewers” as you say.

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    26. Pigeon: Rose always dresses like an 80 year old socialite. But I’m glad she’s there.

      Isn’t she from an aristocratic family? If so, then there might be a good reason why she does! (I seem to recall reading that one of the actresses who played a house-servant in Downton Abbey was actually descended from people who had house-servants 100 years ago.)

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    27. For a second there I thought that WOW Messi is attending the premiere but then realized it is gendry joe dempsie(The photo that WOTW retweeted)
      Everyone looks lovely …

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    28. Hodors Bastard: Anyone want to debate the existential and philosophical differences of book!Coldhands vs show!Benjen?

      Well, one smells like a pork-pie that’s been in the freezer too long and the other smells like a pork-pie that’s been in the freezer too long. That covers the existential: as I didn’ t bring my toga with me on my travels, I’m afraid that I cannot cover the philosophy….

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    29. orange:
      Wimsey,

      Got what? That they supposedly are not going to get along in season 7 as they continue to tease? Did many come away from the King in the North scene and the end of 610 saying, oh next season will probably feature a Jon/Sansa struggle? This only kicked off when the inside the episode video was released and they began to tease it. And there was confusion over why they were teasing this on this very site in the comment section. Not to mention others who pointed out they were telling and not showing. So I don’t know what counts as “the vast majority of viewers” as you say.

      Folks have been arguing Sansa since time began, but there was quite a bit of debate after BotB before Inside the Episodes about Sansa’s behavior toward Jon, as you can see in the comments for the recap. http://watchersonthewall.com/game-thrones-season-6-episode-9-battle-bastards-recap/

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    30. orange: That they supposedly are not going to get along in season 7 as they continue to tease?

      Yes, I think that most people got that the groundwork had been laid for problems between Jon and Sansa.

      orange: And there was confusion over why they were teasing this on this very site in the comment section.

      This site is a fansite: and what fans think in no way reflects what general viewers think. Too many posters at sites like this one are fantasy fans and thus unused to stories derived from character development. This is not just true for GoT: it is/was true for the fandoms of Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, etc.

      Remember, HBO subscribers are more apt to read Booker nominees than Hugo nominees. Joe & Jane HBO Subscriber like the show despite that dragons and magic, not because of it. And if this were just a sociopolitical drama set up in medieval times with no real magic or monsters (which it really could be!), then most viewers would have picked up last year that Jon & Sansa’s alliance was a fragile one based on one or two shared goals amidst several potentially conflicting ones.

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    31. Ginevra,

      Yes, but in episode 6×10 Jon forgave her. He didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. She said he was a Stark and offered him the Lord’s chamber. She turned her back on LF. I guess she had some weird facial expressions that were mostly out of focus during some of the KiTN scene, but then he looked at her and she smiled. She had a look of concern about LF at the end. I thought they were good to go, but then……Inside the Episode. Yes I agree with Orange on this one. We should all agree on one thing in conclusion: the conflict (if there is one) was not presented very clearly.

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    32. Wimsey: Isn’t she from an aristocratic family?If so, then there might be a good reason why she does!(I seem to recall reading that one of the actresses who played a house-servant in Downton Abbey was actually descended from people who had house-servants 100 years ago.)

      She is! I remember an interview where she was talking about growing up in her family’s castle in Scotland and how it was always needing fixing or draughty in winter. Oh if only Ygritte knew….😂

      And of course Kit’s family claim of toilet invention causes them to be quite well matched and not at all able to laugh at themselves. 😊

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    33. Rob:
      Ginevra,
      We should all agree on one thing in conclusion: the conflict (if there is one)was not presented very clearly.

      Yes, which is as it should be, IMO. I embrace ambiguity. If everything were as obvious as Ollie, what fun would that be?

      I actually think they’ve said too much on Inside the Episodes and especially in interviews, but I’m sure this season will have buildup, as well. I don’t believe the conflict will happen as soon as Episode 1 opens.

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    34. Never mind the stuff in 610 that everyone keeps debating ad infinitum–some kind of potential Sansa/Jon conflict in the future was foreshadowed most clearly in Episode 603, Oathbreaker.

      Littlefinger: “I would do anything to undo what’s been done to you. I know that I can’t. Would you allow me to say one more thing before I go? Your great uncle, Brynden, the Blackfish, has gathered what remains of the Tully forces and retaken Riverrun. You might consider seeking him out. The time may come when you need an army loyal to you.”
      Sansa: “I have an army.”
      Littlefinger: “Your brother’s army. Half-brother.”

      The seeds were planted by LF in Sansa’s head then and there–this conflict is more about the idea of legitimacy than anything, about who “deserves” to rule Winterfell and whether or not Sansa can really, truly accept Jon–who she was never close to as a child–in a position of authority. The rest of it–like the BotB stuff and Sansa wanting credit–is all window dressing. So long as one kept that conversation between Sansa and LF in the back of their mind, the context is there, and the seemingly ambiguous setup in the final episode is pretty easily interpreted the way the showrunners intended it to be. Whether the general audience made that connection, though, who knows? Maybe it really was badly communicated, or maybe the show was trusting viewers to make a connection on their own that many simply failed to make.

      Either way, though, the users on this site are most definitely NOT the general audience by any measure–we are a niche collective of diehard fans who follow GoT news on a regular basis, usually year-round, and quite a few outright spoilerholics. So really, this debate is of no importance here. It’ll be the general viewing audience at large who determines how believable the setup was.

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    35. Azor Asshai,

      Agreed.

      The books help illustrate some of the differences between Jon and Sansa as well. The bottom line is they were never close growing up. And there is no reason to think that upon their reunion, once they got over the short term relief of seeing a family member again, that the chasm between them would be significantly mitigated. She sees Winterfell as her birthright, and Jon has always been a half brother. That was ingrained into her head at an early age, by not only Catelyn but Ned as well.

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    36. Pigeon: She is! I remember an interview where she was talking about growing up in her family’s castle in Scotland and how it was always needing fixing or draughty in winter.

      OK, that’s what I thought. The “old money” in the UK still tends to wear formal attire that looks pretty old-fashioned to us “small-folk!” And, of course, Ms. Leslie might be wearing some restored dress that her grandmother or great-grandmother was wearing all of those years ago. That level of “retro” is always “hip.”

      Oddly, the impoverished aspects of that life make a stark contrast with the opulent aspects. In many cases, the families hang on to those lands and their hopelessly impractical (but historically fascinating) properties simply out of a sense of familial obligation. That sense can be a powerful motivator! (But, then, of course: Game of Thrones plays heavily on that sentiment, does it not?) However, it long (long!) ago ceased to be a real source of financial power: for good or ill, the capitalists defeated the aristocrats on that front a long time ago.

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    37. Jack Bauer 24: A lot of supporting cast this year. No Lena, Peter, or Emilia

      It seems that the supporting cast pulls a lot more weight than the main cast in a lot of these venture. However, if you are a supporting cast member and GoT is a potential springboard, then you would be a fool to pass up the opportunity for the publicity. If you do not need the publicity, then this probably is just a pain in the rear-end.

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    38. Jack Bauer 24,

      Hey Jack!

      I know you caught a lot of flak about the episode titles and red carpet premiere date…
      But thanks for posting all of these pictures!!!
      For “focus” on the premiere paid off.

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    39. Ten Bears:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      Hey Jack!

      I know you caught a lot of flak about the episode titles and red carpet premiere date… But thanks for posting all of these pictures!!! For “focus” on the premiere paid off.

      No problem glad you enjoyed it.

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    40. Wimsey,

      I have a love for old, abandoned castles/mansions, even farmhouses here where I live. I get a very silly feeling of nostalgia when I see them, wondering what the old walls have seen through the years. Usually there are people saying “How could they let such a beautiful place go to ruin? It should be fixed up!” Heh. It takes a little more than a bit of paint to maintain such places, never mind restoring them! The speed at which they deteriorate when left is quite alarming.

      I’ve been following the restoration of the 1700s Château de Gudanes in France, and it’s quite fascinating what the new owners have been able to do and the dedication it takes.

      Anyhoo…

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    41. Calling it now. Jon be heads Sansa. There is an interview out now where Kit calls Jon a bit of a psychopath a violent man. The fan dom gonna blow up!!

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    42. orange,

      You are again making assumptions about how other people interpreted the Jon-Sansa interaction and generalizing your perspective. Though I care for her, I don’t trust Sansa given past behavior so I did not need to be told that there was friction there by the writers or anyone else. I already suspected it because of Sansa’s past indiscretions and her sense of entitlement that she never really lost. I find it completely plausible for Sansa, the Sansa we’ve known from the first episode who hasn’t changed much, to be irritated by the upstaging she’s suffered at the hands of her bastard brother. Sansa is driven by ego so she will act on it, though I don’t expect to truly betray her blood, especially if Arya makes her way to Winterfell. She’ll set her straight.

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    43. Danny:
      orange,

      You are again making assumptions about how other people interpreted the Jon-Sansa interaction and generalizing your perspective.

      I’m not the one who utilized the “vast majority of viewers” hyperbole. There of course will never be a way to gauge what the “vast majority of viewers” think which is why I didn’t make such a reference.

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    44. Ravyn:
      First reactions from the premiere seem really enthusiastic. Everyone screaming about the Holy Shit opening scene.

      Wonder what it is?

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    45. Aguero,

      I just went to Twitter and to the GoT hashtag and clicked “latest” to see what was recently posted. I only read 3 or 4 and haven’t seen any new ones in the last half hour.

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    46. Pigeon: Usually there are people saying “How could they let such a beautiful place go to ruin? It should be fixed up!” Heh. It takes a little more than a bit of paint to maintain such places, never mind restoring them! The speed at which they deteriorate when left is quite alarming.

      Yeah, “fixed up” usually means “completely rebuilding but keeping the outer facade looking the same.” Those old places simply were not designed for anything resembling modern standards of living. One thing that we often forget is that most of us would have found even the mansions of 100 years ago to be uninhabitable: they would be too cold in winter and too warm in summer. And the WiFi totally sucked…..

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    47. Danny: Sansa is driven by ego so she will act on it, though I don’t expect to truly betray her blood, especially if Arya makes her way to Winterfell. She’ll set her straight.

      Actually, Arya is not a good candidate to set Sansa straight. Sansa has at least heard stories about the White Walkers from people claiming to see them. She’d be a fool to believe them completely, but she has to understand that there is at least a big enough threat to cause an unthinkable alliance between some members of the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings. To Sansa, it should be clear: we have enemies on both fronts, but the Lannisters have to be considered the more dangerous enemy.

      It should be even simpler to Arya than to Sansa. There are zero White Walkers or allies of White Walkers on Arya’s kill list: it is all about the Lannisters and Lannister allies. Moreover, the “Let’s Fight the White Walkers” argument is going to damned by it’s supporters. After all, who else likes the idea? Red Priests and the Brotherhood. They are not exactly high on Arya’s credibility list. Arya would be more apt to take a Wildling seriously than would be most Westerosi, but at this point, is Arya willing to take many strangers seriously anymore?

      As for Sansa’s “sense of entitlement,” people really need to delete that concept. Entitlement in the literal and traditional sense (not the modern sense) is the only basis for claiming anything in this world: and entitlement comes through birth. The etymology makes it clear: the title of “Lady” means that Sansa is morally bound to step up to run her family if her legitimate brothers are all gone.

      As for Arya, she is very fond of Jon, but it might seriously distress her to see him doing something so dishonorable as usurping the place of her legitimate siblings. Jon is supposed to be better than that. Moreover (and this is something that came up a little last year), Jon is still a deserter from the Night’s Watch. How is Arya going to react to that? (The books provide a clue that maybe Arya really will not be pleased by this!)

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    48. Pigeon:
      Call me a cynic, but I wonder how many leaks from the premiere will trickle out before Sunday?

      A spoiler with the full description of the first episode and some details from the second episode has already been available for 3 or so days.

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    49. Jack Bauer 24: Wonder what it is?

      If you dare to be spoiled I can tell you exactly what it is:

      Beware spoilers of the first scene of episode 1:

      It is Arya killing all of the Frey men, that is the cold opening in the first episode.

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    50. Re: Kit’s “punish or execute my sister”. He should ground her; that would keep her in her place! Seriously, GRRM created Sansa to be the troublemaker among the otherwise too-perfect Starks. In the books especially, she has always been entitled, ambitious, self-centered, and intermittently disloyal. Plus she looked down on Jon and Arya. So it’s understandable that D&D, needing to goose the drama at Winterfell, have focused on this conflict. I suspect ultimately it will be a tempest in a teapot, but with the ever-venomous Littlefinger around, it could snowball (!) into something very perilous.

      Chuck,

      I hope they don’t minimize Sansa this season. I don’t want to see too much storyline devote to her and Jon butting heads.

      Not to worry, most people think they’re maximising Sansa. Practically the entire Northern story line revolves around whether she’ll side with Littlefinger or family. If they show up, Bran and Arya will be mere accessories to her. To paraphrase Jaime, this will be the war for Sansa’s soul. Meh.

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    51. Boudica: A spoiler with the full description of the first episode and some details from the second episode has already been available for 3 or so days.

      I’m slipping. Normally I would have known that 3 or so days ago. Bloody migraines. Thanks! 🙂 Will toodle over.

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    52. After reading comments on Game of Thrones season 7 from D&D and the actors I won’t be surprised if Season 7 makes the previous 6 Game of Thrones seasons even better than they already are!!!

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    53. Wimsey,

      But how did Jon usurp Sansa? The only title she’s owed by right of birth, when Bran is out of the picture, is to be lady of Winterfell. Jon being declared King in the north means he’s in charge of all the major houses, and their lords and ladies including Sansa. Maybe she doesn’t like that, but Ned her father, was not a king. The lords decided to to declare a new KITN of their own free will. Just like we in US elect who we want as president, no matter what bloodline they come from.

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    54. Wimsey:

      Isn’t she from an aristocratic family? If so, then there might be a good reason why she does!

      Reading the Wikipedia page about her makes her portrayal of Ygritte that much funnier to me. (“Is that a castle?” “That’s a windmill.”)

      “Leslie was born to a noble family in Aberdeen, Scotland. She was raised at Lickleyhead Castle in Aberdeenshire, her family’s 15th century ancestral seat. Her father, Sebastian Arbuthnot-Leslie, is the Aberdeenshire Chieftain of Clan Leslie. Her mother is Candida Mary Sibyl “Candy” Leslie (née Weld) of Clan Fraser, great-granddaughter of Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat (a descendant of Charles II). Her family presently resides at the 12th century Warthill Castle in Scotland’s Old Rayne. Her great-great grandfather was Don Guillermo de Landa y Escandon, who served as Mayor of Mexico City, and she is also cousin-in-law to the British historian, William Dalrymple (FRAS). Leslie’s ancestors include French Huguenot Ambrose Lisle March Phillipps De Lisle, politician Charles March-Phillipps and MP James Grimston, 3rd Earl of Verulam.”

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    55. Ginevra,

      Also, the look she gave from her literal high horse as Jon escaped the pile and went after Ramsey…. almost a look of disappointment. I think Littlefinger convinced her of this strategy to a) hopefully get rid of Jon and to b) let the Wildlings take the brunt of the casualties. The bastard and his wildling army would surely be a liability to her rule. I could very easily see LF set these conditions in exchange for his resources in the Vale army (because she blew it when she had the upper hand on him, and had to go begging for reinforcements)

      Oh yeah. And I like Sansa. But I think the set up for this power struggle was clear and deliberate on the part of the showrunners.

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    56. Boudica,

      Thanks! I wasn’t aware of these new leaks/ and of course I have no self control lol, I had to check. Incidentally, they seem to have made it much harder to reply on the forums, a confirmation email by the mods is required, so it will have to wait.

      I agree with everything you and Flayed Potatoes said about the Arya scenes. Nevertheless, it seems to be a very solid episode.

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    57. ygritte: The lords decided to to declare a new KITN of their own free will. Just like we in US elect who we want as president, no matter what bloodline they come from.

      But our values are not Sansa’s values. “Democracy” was considered a degenerate and immoral form of governance by nobility for a very long time. In Sansa’s mind, the northern lords owe their allegiance to House Stark: and she is the head of House Stark. OK, she has learned the valuable lesson that even the most loyal dog will turn if he/she is not fed: but now that the Starks are back in charge of the kennel, that loyalty should return to her house, and thus to her.

      Again, we cannot expect Sansa, Daenerys, or any other character in this story to adhere to modern sensibilities. They are in a world that has not gotten to Magna Carta yet: and thus one in which the idea that the liegemen of house Stark could follow someone other than the head of House Stark is not really set.

      (It does bear remembering that Northern sensibilities are not entirely the same as Southern sensibilities: but Sansa was Catelyn’s daughter, not Ned’s.)

      Sister Kisser: Oh yeah. And I like Sansa. But I think the set up for this power struggle was clear and deliberate on the part of the showrunners.

      And there still is very much the “Clear and Present Danger” issue. Sansa and the Northern Lords have suffered greatly at the hands of the Lannisters. They will want revenge on one hand, and protection from the Lannisters on the other hand. Jon and the Wildlings have suffered greatly at the hands of the White Walkers. The Lannisters mean nothing (literally and figuratively!) to the Wildlings, and Jon’s grievances with them are second-hand.

      This really should create a problem. Everyone might agree (or agree to agree!) that there are threats to the North and to the South: but they should not agree as to what the greater threat is.

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    58. Boudica: The full description sound better than I expected it would be.

      I just realized I had to register, so waiting on that, but

      most if it certainly lines up to be quite likely. I just had to laugh at the person trying way too hard to sound casual about it (“yeah that dude I can’t remember the name of….that person who did this…lol you know, this person…”) but he can give details no problem. LOL.

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    59. Game of Thrones’ Future Explained: Could All the Prequels Move Forward?
      Thats the headline in this Hollywood Reporter article:

      http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/game-thrones-prequels-are-we-getting-all-four-1020065

      Impressed with Lesley Goldberg’s questions for Casey Bloys.

      I guess we knew it was possible four but did not know GRRM is working of 2 of them!
      (Or at least advising)

      Boy the 2019 airing for S8 seems a real possibility.
      S7 and S8 originally to total 15 episodes? I guess I missed that.
      Apparently episodes of S8 could be split airing , had not heard that before.

      No movie plans, but no mention of IMAX showings, I guess the success of that gambit didn’t impress HBO.
      Interesting article.

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    60. I haven’t watched or listened to any of these videos but based on just the screen shot…Hannah Murray FTW. Whoa. Hahahaha.

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    61. ygritte,
      I am afraid Jon’s election as King in the North owed infinitely more to his bloodline that to his accomplishments, no matter how remarkable the latter are to us. Lady Lyanna said so herself :
      “Your son was butchered at the Red Wedding, Lord Manderly, but you refused the call. You swore allegiance to House Stark, Lord Glover, but in their hour of greatest need, you refused the call. And you, Lord Cerwyn, your father was skinned alive by Ramsay Bolton. Still you refused the call. But House Mormont remembers. The North remembers. We know no king but the King in the North whose name is Stark. I don’t care if he’s a bastard. Ned Stark’s blood runs through his veins. He’s my king from this day until his last day.”

      Her speech made absolutely no reference to Jon’s deeds; it simply reiterated his (alleged) identity as a Stark, more precisely as Ned’s son. The notion that Jon was democratically elected based on his individual characteristics is appealing indeed but I am afraid it is not what even the architect of the coronation herself stated.

      The North is no different from the rest of Westeros, neither more loyal nor more open-minded nor more democratic. They, like their southern counterparts, believe that someone’s blood means something, that one’s rights are determined by one’s family tree. Had they truly cared for accomplishment and accomplishment alone, the Northern lords would have at least considered naming Davos or Tormund KitN : these two battled just as hard as Jon and were more instrumental in convincing troops to fight Ramsay (the Mormonts for Seaworth and the Free Folk for Giantsbane).
      Jon was elected Lord Commander due to his talents; conversely, he was named KitN because he is presumed to be Stark, both Ned’s and Robb’s heir, having inherited the crown from his late alleged brother. Merit had, in all objectivity, very little to do with it.

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    62. I rewatched Maisie and Sophie interviewing D&D at SXSW on Youtube last night. D&D were talking about Arya being the rebel and everyone naturally enjoying her character because they enjoy rebels (and she always takes the bad ass approach to decisions), but Sansa’s character is more real life in the way she needs to make decisions and has to live with those decisions (or something like that). They said even in the books people tend not to root as much for Sansa’s character. To me, she has grown, but she still has that spoiled self centered thing going on like when she said that marrying Joffrey was the only thing she ever wanted. That’s the kind of thing that gets under people’s skin. Her mom Caitlin had similar issues with not doing the smartest things (like letting Jaime go and falling right into Tyrion’s plan). The Starks lead with their hearts even when they attempt to come up with some strategy. To me, the journey for the Starks is figuring out how to be a pack and not turning against each other. That’s been something since the beginning with Ned’s talk to Arya and Sophie repeats this in the new trailers with more talk about the pack. …. Only three more days…

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    63. ACME: Her speech made absolutely no reference to Jon’s deeds; it simply reiterated his (alleged) identity as a Stark, more precisely as Ned’s son. The notion that Jon was democratically elected based on his individual characteristics is appealing indeed but I am afraid it is not what even the architect of the coronation herself stated.

      I would disagree somewhat. Jon was chosen because of one deed: leading the Battle of the Bastards. His single-handed charge of the Boltons was tactically foolish (to put it mildly), but strategically brilliant. By the time the Northern Lords had assembled all of those weeks later, that story would have grown to the point where Jon had taken out a big chunk of the Bolton forces single-handedly before the reinforcements got there. And, of course, the fact that he did it while first trying to save his little brother, and then out of vengeance for his little brother would have further elevated his stature.

      The fact that Jon seems to have forged an uneasy alliance with the Wildlings might also have contributed. Northerners hate the Wildlings: but together they beat the Boltons, who have become a northern proxy for the Lannisters. This could have gone from being viewed as treason (as it initially was) to being viewed as Jon having “tamed” the Wildlings!

      And, of course, Jon had that greatest of all achievements in this sort of world: he was born with a penis…..

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    64. Flayed Potatoes: Hey he better not insult Hot Pie like that. He worked hard on those delivery boxes.

      I can see it now. “Hot Pie Home Delivery Food Services. We never give up on the gravy….”

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    65. jjddss,

      I know, she’s so pretty. Like in a delicate, old world kind of way. I like seeing her outside of the Gilly role cause it’ssuch a contrst. Gawd I hate this laptop keyboard skipping letters and crao

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    66. Wimsey,
      I agree wholeheartedly with you on the “legendary” dimension Jon’s leadership and deeds must have taken in the weeks leading to his surprise coronation. However, I would argue that said leadership and deeds, no matter how “enhanced”, would not have driven the Northern lords to put a crown on his head if it were not for his Direwolf persona.
      Given the same reputational accomplishments, neither Davos nor Tormund would have been crowned King in the North. They would have received a warm handshake, perhaps a fruit basket, but that is about it. The nobility wants a Stark and they elected, or so they believe, a Stark as KitN, a title that has only ever been worn by Starks-born-of-a-Stark-man.

      And you are utterly right : Jon being the proud owner of a penis did play a significant part as well 😛

      Stark Raven’ Rad:
      Plus she looked down on Jon and Arya.

      I’ll take the bait ! 😛

      Sansa did look down on Jon and Arya but she was not aggressive, she never bullied either of them to the best of my knowledge. As a child, she simply ignored them most of the time. It appears she inherited this rather chilling ability to lock people out of her mind from her mother. She had nothing in common with Arya so she did not interact with her and she called Jon her “half-brother” to show support to Catelyn.
      On a sidenote, and I fear I may be alone on that one, I have to confess I always found the Stark children’s decision to refer to Jon as their “brother” (no half) both admirable and vicious. Admirable because they treated the White Wolf with respect and love but vicious because they were basically indicating that a mother’s identity does not matter, only a father’s blood is relevant. Catelyn’s children calling Jon “brother” amounted to dismissing their mother on a symbolic level.

      I can understand and love the reason why they did it yet, from Catelyn’s perspective, it must have been monstrously painful to witness her children granting no value to her contribution as their mother.

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    67. ghost of winterfell:
      Boudica,

      Thanks! I wasn’t aware of these new leaks/ and of course I have no self control lol, I had to check. Incidentally, they seem to have made it much harder to reply on the forums, a confirmation email by the mods is required, so it will have to wait.

      It could have been worse! The Jon and Sansa scenes doesn’t sound to bad. It is strange that Dany will only get about 3 minutes of screen time, it is even stranger that the name of the episode is Dragonstone.

      Pigeon: I just realized I had to register, so waiting on that, but

      Yes it is amusing how these people try to hide their identity, it is very obvious.

      It shouldn’t take to long to register, I think, I was registered in a day.

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    68. Holy effing shit people, calm down about the Sansa story line, you haven’t seen the season yet
      relax.
      A Jon Sansa conflict has been set up throughout season 6. It is so obviously coming. Accept it and move on, or stop watching! LOL

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    69. Dee Stark,
      I do not think that many people have a problem with the concept of a conflict between Jon and Sansa in and of itself. The main bone of contention appears to be trying to decide who will the “bad guy” be.

      I would be tempted to believe neither will be. Two characters can clash or have mutually exclusive interests without either one of them being in the wrong. I know I have referred to this example before but the Stannis/Davos dispute over Gendry was a perfect illustration of this. From Stannis’s perspective, sacrificing one innocent life was justified if it meant cutting the war short and thus sparing thousands of other lives. In Davos’s eyes, murdering non-combatants could never be excused or tolerated as a matter of principle, regardless of any potential benefit.
      Who was in the absolute right ? Who was in the absolute wrong ? Both had sound reasonings and perfectly valid arguments. Yet they disagreed.

      Conflict arising between two characters does not necessarily mean that one of them will turn into an insta-villain. Unless, of course, s/he disagreeing with an infallible character who cannot and should not be questioned which there does not appear to be in Game of Thrones. ^^

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    70. Flayed Potatoes,

      I want some of that John Dough! Unfortunately I don’t live in the UK.

      Boudica,

      Yeah the Jon-Sansa scenes seem balanced and even the cause of their friction makes sense. Fingers crossed.
      As for the title, Dany making landfall in Westeros is a big enough event to justify the episode being named after it imo, even with the minimal screentime. Besides, it plays into Sam’s storyline as well

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    71. Sister Kisser:
      Ginevra,

      Also, the look she gave from her literal high horse as Jon escaped the pile and went after Ramsey…. almost a look of disappointment.I think Littlefinger convinced her of this strategy to a) hopefully get rid of Jon and to b) let the Wildlings take the brunt of the casualties.The bastard and his wildling army would surely be a liability to her rule.I could very easily see LF set these conditions in exchange for his resources in the Vale army (because she blew it when she had the upper hand on him, and had to go begging for reinforcements)

      Oh yeah.And I like Sansa.But I think the set up for this power struggle was clear and deliberate on the part of the showrunners.

      Yes! The expressions on her face during her entire presence on the battlefield are so telling. And I tend to think that this betrayal has been setup (in the books, at least) with Catelyn Stark raging on and on and on to Robb about how he cannot legitimize Jon because that would potentially displace her children from their rightful succession. And now that has come to pass, I can imagine that the books will have someone else tempting Sansa besides LF, someone else whispering to Sansa that she must take her throne back from Jon – someone Sansa would be way more likely to listen to…

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    72. Wimsey: But our values are not “Democracy” was considered a degenerate and immoral form of governance by nobility for a very long time.

      I’m sure that this will be an unpopular idea, but I happen to think that democracy wouldn’t work as well as the structure of nobility in medieval times. I mean, look at today. Everyone is comparatively very well-educated and easily able to express their voice, and we’ve just elected… Oh, wait. I shouldn’t go there.

      My point is this: our founding fathers were extraordinarily concerned, and rightfully so, that a pure democracy wouldn’t work even in 1776, which is why we are a republic rather than a democracy. They were concerned that folks wouldn’t be educated enough to always make wise decisions, which is why we have the electoral college.

      In medieval times, not only would the folks be completely uneducated about all of the issues and the candidates, they would have no reliable system of voting, especially the smallfolk spread out in the country. Democracy just wasn’t practical, and it would have been highly corrupted and unstable in any uncivilized society.

      Or at least that’s my impression. I’m no Tyrion, though.

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    73. ACME,

      Umm yeah some people have commented that it is ridiculous

      I agree with you though 🙂

      I think that for someone like Sansa who hasn’t seen the real threat, it is not unwarranted for her to downplay them.
      Like 90% of the people in westeros have.

      But I know im going to hear so much whining about that. Thankfully ill only participate in the unsullied threads which aren’t so bad usually. lol

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    74. Ginevra: In medieval times, not only would the folks be completely uneducated about all of the issues and the candidates, they would have no reliable system of voting, especially the smallfolk spread out in the country. Democracy just wasn’t practical, and it would have been highly corrupted and unstable in any uncivilized society.

      That can be still said to be the case in modern times, where true democracy struggles to gain a proper foothold (China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria and quite a few in African nations just to name a few).

      Democracy even in places like England/Great Britain only evolved over a very long period without universal suffrage and much opposition from the ruling class (hence the English Civil War) – even an enlightened country like Switzerland only allowed Women’s Suffrage as late as 1971.

      I agree there’s certainly no reason to believe that transition to Democracy in Westeros would be anything other than a long and possibly bitter struggle.

      It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world. Because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past.

      Wimsey will know where that quote comes from!

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    75. Sister Kisser,
      I am terribly sorry to ask but if Sansa truly wanted for Jon to die and planned accordingly, why did she try to give him advice about Ramsay ? I can accept why someone would think said advice was not specific enough to be fully operational but it was still evidence of Sansa attempting to provide Jon with a piece of information that would help him and his men survive.
      If her goal was for Jon and all his men to be decimated, why bother ? Why not cheer him on, if anything ? Tell him he’s got it in the bag, that Ramsay is a big loser, that he should absolutely try to rescue Rickon, no matter what ? Not that it would have made a world of difference anyway since Jon rushed to his brother in spite of what Sansa, Davos and Tormund told him but, if her desire truly was for him to get killed, she should have actively encouraged him further down the path of self-destruction.

      Dee Stark: Umm yeah some people have commented that it is ridiculous

      I stand corrected and I do apologise 🙂

      In re. the “real” threat, I have a bit of a problem with this turn of phrase, I have to admit. In all fairness, Cersei is not a made-up threat (we could ask the High Sparrow for his opinion on the matter but he is currently unavailable ^^). The White Walkers are obviously the bigger threat, as you very rightly noted, but the queen is just as real as them and, while less potent, she is non-negligible and perhaps more immediate. The writers made a point to remind us, in as blatant a fashion as humanly possible and à propos of nothing, that she still wanted Sansa’s head on a spike in 6.08 just to make sure we knew she had not moved on, forgotten or forgiven.
      Cersei is real, dangerous and non-cooperative. To dismiss her as a “not quite real” threat would, I believe, be suicidal.

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    76. ACME,

      I fully agree with you, and that is what I am trying to say. To some, the perceived and only real threat is the NK and the army of the dead.

      But there are other threats, and Cersei is definitely one of them, especially to Sansa.

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    77. ACME,

      Okay what can they do to protect Sansa from Cersei in the circumstances that they are?Even more so what can Cersei realistically do to Sansa in Winterfell?

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    78. Dee Stark,
      I know you do ! 😉
      It is just that I have seen the expression “real threat” used so often that I am left puzzled. The queen has never been hesitant to serve the world some Cersei realness and I doubt this time is going to be an exception ^^

      Jenny,
      The Vale is, according to what we have been told, one of the most potent armies in Westeros and the only one, aside from the North, capable of fighting in winter. Strategically, Cersei could try to sever the ties between the Vale and the North by having Sweetrobyn assassinated. Not only to weaken the North by depriving them of their strongest ally but also, potentially, to make a deal with the House she would promise to appoint Warden of the East (as the Arryns’ replacement) whom, if she has two brain cells, she would try to encourage to go and fight the North, like only the Knights of the Vale are seemingly able to. As a side bonus, killing Sweetrobyn would fragilise Littlefinger whom Cersei probably hates for having betrayed her.

      The queen could also have Edmure murdered. The Freys are currently in disarray due to the loss of Walder and his heirs apparent, leaving the door open for a Tully resurgence. If the Trouts get the Riverlands under control, they will probably align with the Starks due to their family connection and the Lioness will lose a particularly strategic piece of land, right in the middle of the Seven Kingdoms. Killing Edmure would mean leaving his son as the only Tully heir and, since the boy is a toddler and half-Frey, the chances for the Rivermen to rally around him against the Lannisters are not spectacular.

      With just two assassinations, Cersei could realistically overthrow the power balance in the upper half of Westeros and pose a very immediate threat to the entire North. And that is without mentioning the possibility of her sending a couple of assassins directly to Winterfell…

      Cersei hates Sansa and the North spat in her face (as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms) by declaring its independence. I doubt the Lioness is simply going to accept the status quo and not attempt anything. As for the idea that she is going to negotiate in good faith with any representative of the North… Does anyone really count on that ? ^^

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    79. Nobody expects Cersei to do anything in good faith.She might in her self interest though.Anyway none of the Vale stuff has been set up whatsoever in the show.It ain’t happening.The Edmure stuff either.Still there is nothing that the North can do against Cersei.I agree that she can send assassins for Sansa.Fortunately Sansa already has a bodyguard and as the Lady of Winterfell and sister of the king she is already well protected behind the walls of Winterfell.Not to mention Cersei has way more pressing concerns when the season starts.

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    80. ACME: Dee Stark,
      I know you do !
      It is just that I have seen the expression “real threat” used so often that I am left puzzled. The queen has never been hesitant to serve the world some Cersei realness and I doubt this time is going to be an exception ^^

      200%

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    81. People have been denying it all. year. What they saw with their own eyes last season and heard from the very people putting out the show. I think the whole “Jon is dead” thing makes them feel like they can’t trust anything. But it’s a totally different animal. Oh well, not much longer now and that will be put to an end.
      Dee Stark,

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    82. ACME,

      I’m not understanding your reasoning for the Stark siblings calling Jon a brother as being “vicious” towards Catelyn. Even adopted kids are given the respect of being considered part of the family.

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    83. Wimsey,

      Well, having a penis means more testosterone in the blood, which means more muscle mass, strength and aggressiveness, which I’m thinking gives one an obvious edge in fighting battles. All things are not equal no matter how modern humanity try to paint a new biology to be more “fair.” Unless I’m misreading these last few posts because I should be in bed lol.

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    84. Jenny: Nobody expects Cersei to do anything in good faith

      We do not, that is for sure. But someone who has never met her, who knows very little about her might. Herein lies a potential for dilemma, I believe.

      Anyway none of the Vale stuff has been set up whatsoever in the show.It ain’t happening.The Edmure stuff either.

      I am sorry to say I cannot quite agree on this point.
      Sweetrobyn’s status as “the key to the Vale” was openly stated in Season 5 and re-established in Season 6, along with the family connection between the last of the Arryns and the Starks. Cersei is aware of the teenager’s power and his relation to both the Direwolves and Littlefinger.
      Edmure’s position as the Tully heir was unequivocally demonstrated at the Riverrun siege. It was that position that allowed him to order the Trouts’ bannermen to drop their weapons and abandon the castle, an order they obeyed even though they seemed less than enthusiastic. Jaime counted on and witnessed the potency of the Tully name and legitimacy in the Riverlands; since he is still on Team Cersei as of now, he may have told her.

      These two characters’ influential power is quite firmly established, I believe, and was reasserted in season 6.
      Why show us Littlefinger’s trip to the Vale if not to remind casual viewers of Sweetrobyn’s existence, dependence on “uncle Petyr” and role as (capricious and inept) ruler of the Vale ? Surely, the scene in itself was far from indispensable since it concluded with Baelish getting what he had said he would obtain in the way he assumed he could.
      Why show us the Riverrun siege if not to reintroduce Edmure and his position in the Tully family tree ? Of course, it provided us with a great Brienne/Jaime scene and gave closure to the Blackfish’s storyline but none of that was narratively indispensable. Brynden could have died offscreen (like Greatjon Umber or Maege Mormont) and no one would have batted an eyelid; as for Brienne and Jaime, they may meet again in the future so it was not their final goodbye nor was it a particularly crucial chapter in their interactions.

      In regard to Cersei having more pressing matters to deal with than the North, I do agree with you to an extent. ^^
      Daenerys’s arrival (and Tyrion’s return !) has to be one hell of a concern for the Lioness but she can spin several plates at once…

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    85. ygritte,
      Unlike most adopted children who are both their adoptive parents’, Jon is the son of only one member of the Stark couple. He is Ned’s son (allegedly ^^) but not Catelyn’s. When the Stark children call him “brother”, they acknowledge their paternal connection but dismiss the lack of a maternal one.
      They basically affirm that it does not matter who their respective mothers are as long as they have the same father. That is an implicit yet potent rejection of Catelyn’s importance. In her children’s eyes, she does not count as a provider of identity, only Ned does.
      Not a surprising stance in a patriarchical society but still bound to sting a bit, especially for a woman who is forced to cohabit with a person she believes to be the living, breathing proof of her humiliation.

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    86. ACME,

      I don’t get it.Plenty of people call their siblings brother and sister even if they share only one parent.I very rarely see people going around saying this is my half brother or sister.I don’t see how you can spin it as a slight toward Catelyn.It’s not like we have bastard children of Catelyn that are called half brother by her children so we can judge.Catelyn’s beef should have been with Ned and not with Jon but whatever.

      As for the other issue the Robyn scene was there to setup episode 9 and to establish what LF was going to do and the RiverRun stuff just so Jaime had something to do while Cersei blew shit up and to meet Brienne.That’s it.I doubt we will even see them again.

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    87. ACME,

      It’s infuriating to read people writing such blatant fantasy that is not supported by what was shown on the show, isn’t it?

      Evidence that Sansa wanted Jon dead in battle so that she could rule the North:

      1. She didn’t tell him about the Vale – which could easily be explained by her not wanting to get mixed up with Littlefinger again
      2. Looks of “disappointment” and “haughtiness” when she saw Jon was still alive at the end of the Battle of the Bastards – looks that most people interpreted as shame at having not told Jon about the Vale, having seen what horror she condemned him to, and concern when seeing him recklessly charging off towards Winterfell alone.

      Evidence that Sansa didn’t want Jon dead and wasn’t intent on seizing Winterfell for herself at any cost:

      1. She convinced him to fight for Winterfell, even before she knew anything about Littlefinger and the Vale – If she wanted to reclaim the North then she would need Jon to win, not die. And she even says she’ll take back the North on her own if Jon’s not interested in helping, proving that getting him out of the way is not her priority.

      2. She initially rejects Littlefinger’s offer of the Knights of the Vale – If Sansa’s only aim was to claim the North for herself then she could’ve accepted the ready-made army at her disposal and left Jon rotting at the Wall, or let him go south to get warm as he had intended before she turned up at Castle Black.

      3. She actively petitions the Northern Lords for their support – If her plan was to let Jon die in battle, then why would she petition for more support, increasing his chances of survival?

      4. She offers him advice right up to the night before the battle and repeatedly warns against going into battle so undermanned – Rather strange approach from somebody who’s hoping her army’s general will die in the process.

      5. She doesn’t seize Winterfell when she has the chance, after the battle is won – She has a fresh army of mounted knights at her disposal. If she wanted to claim Winterfell ahead of Jon she could have done so right there and then.

      6. She apologises for not telling Jon about the Knights of the Vale, tells him she considers him a true Stark and even argues that he should take the Lord’s Chamber – Again, rather strange behaviour from somebody who was apparently hoping he’d die in battle.

      It’s so strange to read people coming up with these theories which have next to no evidence to support them. Although it’s not really a surprise to see that they revolve around Sansa. Some people do seem eager to think the worst of the character.

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    88. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,
      Infuriating or, more significantly perhaps, simply baffling… I simply do not get it.

      I understand people not liking Sansa as a character; there is no accounting for taste. I understand people levying criticism at the character because she is far from perfect. However the idea that she actively engineered Jon’s demise is simply flabbergasting to me.
      If that truly was Sansa’s intention, she really went about it in the most convoluted, self-defeating manner one could possibly conceive, as your list perfectly demonstrates. Why would she make things more difficult for herself ? I understand liking a challenge but this is self-sabotage !

      Perhaps it is simply a bit of cognitive or confirmation bias, to which we are all subject from time to time.
      There is a desire to see Sansa, the “bad Stark”, turn into a pure antagonist thus all her actions are viewed through the prism of villainy and all her intentions are presumed wicked until proven otherwise. If she smirks, it must be because she is rejoicing something bad happened to a “good Stark”; if she looks sad, it must be because the “good Stark” is fine and she is disappointed; if she disagrees with a “good Stark”, it must be because she is stupid and/or evil; if she agrees with a “good Stark”, it must be a trick; and so on and so forth.
      In the case of the Battle of the Bastards, it really feels to me like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. But what can I tell you ? It is what it is…

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    89. Jenny: I don’t get it.Plenty of people call their siblings brother and sister even if they share only one parent.I very rarely see people going around saying this is my half brother or sister.

      Which is indeed a perfectly normal thing to do in the 21st-century Western world. In Westeros, not so much I am afraid.

      There is quite a strong distinction, both symbolically and emotionally, between a legitimate half-sibling born of one parent’s previous or ulterior marriage, an illegitimate half-sibling born while the parent was not married yet or no longer married, and an illegitimate half-sibling born of one parent’s extramarital affair.
      Jon is (allegedly ^^) the latter, born of Ned cheating on his childrens’ mother.

      In regards to Catelyn, had she cheated on Ned to everyone’s knowledge and given birth to an adulterine child as a result of it, her legitimate children would not have called this baby their sibling or half-sibling, they probably would not have called him/her anything at all because Catelyn would have been thrown out of Winterfell with her bastard in tow faster than one can say “double standards”.

      Westerosi women who cuckhold their husband and birth bastards do not get a simple slap on the wrist. Even if Ned had found it in his heart to forgive his wife’s indiscretion, from a purely political standpoint, he would not have been able to keep her around for fear of appearing weak and symbolically emasculated in the eyes of his bannermen, therebe losing their respect and allegiance.

      As for whether Catelyn should have directed her wrath at Ned instead of Jon, I agree wholeheartedly. It most certainly would have made more logical sense and been entirely warranted. But feelings rarely are logical…

      In regards to Sweetrobyn and Edmure, I do not concur unfortunately.

      Had Littlefinger shown up directly at Molestown, telling Sansa he had the Knights of the Vale at the ready for her, would we really have been puzzled as to how he got them ? I do not think so; we would have assumed he manipulated his way into obtaining the army (which is what he did).
      Therefore, there was no need to show us the scene with Sweetrobyn; if anything, it was redundant… Unless reintroducing the last of the Arryns (and possibly Royce) seemed relevant to the writers for some reason.

      As for Riverrun, I do not think the Lannister twins had to be separated for Cersei to go kaboom. As proven by the Tyrells’ attempt, the Faith could not be defeated by military means so Jaime’s notion that his presence, along with his troops’, was necessary to his sister’s survival was misguided from the start.
      Cersei could have plotted with Qyburn and not told Jaime anything, like she did with Tommen. I would argue it would have made the sense of betrayal her twin felt as a result of the explosion even more intense, having been left out of the entire process even though he was at King’s Landing. The drama between the siblings would have been more potent still.
      So why go to Riverrun and dig Edmure back up from his season 3 grave ?

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    90. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I am not a Sansa fan (far from it), and I don’t think too uch of her, but wanting Jon dead? That’s BS. If anything, I saw relieve on her face when she saw Jon appearing.

      I think that she, first of all, wanted to win the battle and kill Ramsey. If it costed Jon’s life, or hers, be it. But she didn’t want him to die, so she can rule – at that point, that wasn’t her priority.

      I kind of understand if she wants power on her own, so even if she was happy for Jon, there might be some kind of disappointment deep inside. The question is: what will she do about it? There’s a ton to do: I would prefer if they would split the job with Jon, discussing who is doing what (Jon will be obviously busy preparing for war), and come to a basic agreement as to how to achieve certain goals. And then she could do her own thing, being in charge and whatnot. Being useful.
      But if all she does is to contradict Jon, just because she can, and wants to mess with his power, that’s just stupid. I honestly don’t think that she will flat-out betray him, but I do wonder how far she will go and to what extent will she be in the right.

      About Arya:
      I don’t agree that she would have more problem with Jon being in charge. She never seemed to think that Sansa could rule a castle on her own (but maybe that’s just a book thing), and she loves Jon. So if Jon is saying: Look, I’ve seen the WWs and thousands of wights, and they are coming for us, so we need to prepare, – Arya will believe that, and won’t question it. She grew up on Old Nan’s tales, too, so its not like this is the first time she hears about that stuff. Bran arriving at WF will also help. I wonder who would Bran support as King.

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    91. ACME,

      We will see about The Vale and Edmure.I agree that Catelyn can’t realistically have a bastard same as Ned.But you are assigning motives to the Stark children’s feelings.We don’t know how they would react to a sibling from Catelyn cause we are not presented with that situation.I don’t think they loved Jon as a slight to Catelyn.They just did.To them a son of their father was their brother.We don’t know how they would react to a son from their mother.While not a possible scenario to actually occur from what I know about their characters I think they would still consider him their brother.

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    92. Jenny,
      I do not blame the Stark children for loving Jon. Jon is lovable. That is why I said I understood why they called him “brother”
      But I can see why Catelyn would feel completely slighted by their lack of distinction between the children she had birthed and the child another woman Ned humiliated her with had given life to. The Stark kids knew of their mother’s feelings and most chose to ignore them for Jon’s sake. Admirable towards their brother, of course, but also hurtful to Catelyn.

      I am not trying to say that anyone is in the wrong here. I am merely pointing out that the situation was extremely complicated on an emotional level. Calling Jon “brother” meant hurting Catelyn; calling him “half-brother” meant hurting him. There was no win-win scenario and each child had to make a choice.

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    93. ACME,

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Well, happy to see I can still come here and kick up some dust with a comment or two. I will preface this with clarifying that, as I said above, I like Sansa. I enjoyed reading her chapters, and I like the character on the show. I have a lot of respect for the actor portraying her. So my feelings regarding these motivations are not stemming from some type of “sansa hate”.

      The feeling I get is that Sansa is still not completely over the whispers of LF. Yes, only a fool would trust him. However, it seems also that only a fool would doubt the efficacy of his tactics outright.

      Initially, she convinced Jon to fight for their home because she knew that he would, and she needed him to do so. I think she warned him about the type of sick trap Ramsey might set because she does indeed love Jon and didn’t want to see him ruined early and the battle lost before it began. She needed Jon’s leadership and his army to initiate battle and inflict damages on the Bolton army, draw their attention. She even admitted to Jon that Rickon was as good as dead, demonstrating she’s capable of calculating risk, even involving family, with the highest of stakes.

      I think it’s clear that she initially rejected LF because of her justified personal feelings about him- however, I think that was an err on her part because in doing so, she lost any leverage with him. As the northern call to arms was failing, she ended up having to beg LF for his army.

      This is the point that I think LF set the conditions for his assistance. Allow Jon to lead his Wildlings into a battle that couldn’t possibly be won. Let them draw the bulk of the casualties. IF Jon dies, that is one fewer complication for your claim to WF. The north will not look kindly on an army of Wildlings supporting a bastard leading WF.
      Keep the Vale reinforcements a secret, so this plan remains intact, and you have the greatest chance of securing WF, killing Bolton, and reclaiming your ancestral seat.

      As I see it- these are not necessarily Sansa’s motivations. This is the ruthless tact of WF whispering justifiable conditions in her ear. We shall see if the show explores this (though they don’t tend, nor do they have the time, to look back much, so I’m not holding my breath). As for Jon surviving- in that moment, it is possible that she was disappointed. Yes, I said it. She is conflicted, and I think the look on her face in that moment said it all. The same look she had when Jon was named KITN.

      As for future power struggles. I think she is still going to be conflicted- with her allegiance to Jon going up against the whispers of the mockingbird. As Whimsey pointed out above- the North has a couple of immediate threats to consider, and there will undoubtedly be debate on how to prioritize them, and by what process they will undertake in doing so. I agree with ACME- I don’t see it as a good stark/bad stark division; rather a debate among dissenting opinions, now that Jon is King and Sansa is Lady of winterfell (can’t remember what title, if any, she currently holds)- and I think that will make for great drama in WF this season.

      Cheers, big ears.

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    94. ACME:
      Jenny,
      I do not blame the Stark children for loving Jon. Jon is lovable. That is why I said I understood why they called him “brother”
      But I can see why Catelyn would feel completely slighted by their lack of distinction between the children she had birthed and the child another woman Ned humiliated her with had given life to. The Stark kids knew of their mother’s feelings and most chose to ignore them for Jon’s sake. Admirable towards their brother, of course, but also hurtful to Catelyn.

      I am not trying to say that anyone is in the wrong here. I am merely pointing out that the situation was extremely complicated on an emotional level. Calling Jon “brother” meant hurting Catelyn; calling him “half-brother” meant hurting him. There was no win-win scenario and each child had to make a choice.

      Oh please. Catelyn feeling ‘completely slighted’ is her issue and her decision to feel that way. Her children have known Jon since before they could speak, and formed attachments before they could understand what ‘half-brother’ meant and how they should address him as to not offend dear old mum. I feel for Catelyn’s situation regarding Jon, I do. But openly disliking him for what he could not be blamed for was damaging to herself and damaging to her kids.

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    95. I wish the writers would show Sansa’s cleverness rather than have actors talk about it. At this point I find her as annoying/self absorbed as Season 1 Sansa. Full circle.

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    96. Jenny,

      Wait, what? You don’t think a castle that’s very strategically located at the fork of two major rivers is important? Or the fact that a reference was made, in the very last episode, to the heir to said castle being locked back up in the Freys’ dungeon… right before his niece assassinates Walder Frey?

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    97. Pigeon: Oh please. Catelyn feeling ‘completely slighted’ is her issue and her decision to feel that way. Her children have known Jon since before they could speak, and formed attachments before they could understand what ‘half-brother’ meant and how they should address him as to not offend dear old mum. I feel for Catelyn’s situation regarding Jon, I do. But openly disliking him for what he could not be blamed for was damaging to herself and damaging to her kids.

      What I never understood about Catelyn and Jon is he’s obviously a very good dude. Nothing about him being around her children would be a bad thing. And they all knew that and loved him, maybe with the exception of Sansa? Catelyn loved her own children and Ned fiercely and they all accepted Jon willingly and without reservation so how could it be with all the time that has passed (especially in the show where Jon appears to be like 20 years old in the 1st season) that she hasn’t gotten past this perceived slight? It’s not Jon’s fault that he was born. I’m sure he did nothing to offend her in their time together at Winterfell. How could she give him such a withering glare in the very first episode? After 17-20 years, minimum? Is she that messed up? That she looks down at a kid helping another kid with his archery and enjoying each other’s company and is just so tightly wound that she wants to explode? She needs to go to the Citadel and find a therapaest.

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    98. Sister Kisser,
      I cannot and will not dispute your interpretation because, as for all of us, there is a degree of subjectivity that very simply should not be argued with. No right or wrong answer, simply the ones each of us thinks is the best 😉

      However, I would argue if I may that, to reach the conclusion that Sansa was, in any capacity, disappointed at Jon’s survival, one has to start off from an interpretative position of presumptive guilt. It is not a bad thing at all but I believe it is a factor that may need highlighting.

      Sansa has always been controversial; she was designed to be. She was the Stark who did not want to be a Stark and thus started out as a lowkey (and utterly unwitting) antagonist in our eyes. In my opinion, very few elements have since come to reinforce this first impression yet it sticks. Sansa’s allegedly continued villainy and disaffection for her fellow Direwolves is the prism through which all her actions are perceived and interpreted. To the point where, in my opinion, we end up with fairly remarkable inconsistencies. One recent example would be the conversation about Cersei and the North.

      It is safe to assume, I believe, that conflict will arise between the queen and the newly independent region for a) political reasons, b) personal reasons and c) reason of the queen being Cersei 😉
      One of the aforementioned personal reasons is the well-established and oft-repeated hatred of Cersei towards Sansa. Time and time again, over the entire course of their interactions, the queen has been an aggressor towards the Stark, expressing her animosity through a wide spectrum of deeds, ranging from petty acts of revenge to downright death threats. The one-sided aspect of the violence has been such a constant the writers felt comfortable subverting it in the Braavosi play, with fake Sansa attempting to murder fake Cersei, thereby continuing the topsy-turvy theme associated with the play (fake Tyrion is a villain, fake Joffrey is a noble and innocent prince, fake Ned is an ambitious halfwit, etc.)
      Cersei hates Sansa and wants her dead; that we know for sure, having been reminded of it at least once every season since the Purple Wedding. The opposite is much more dubious. The Stark girl appears not to think much of the queen at all, not having spoken her name since season 4 (I believe).

      Yet, when discussing Cersei and the North, the conversation tends to revolve around the idea of Sansa opposing, sabotaging even, Jon’s plan for unity with the rest of Westeros out of a petty desire to take her revenge on Cersei… All of a sudden, and rather inexplicably, Sansa becomes the aggressor. The notion goes against every single bit of foreshadowing, including fairly explicit ones, we have seen so far but it is a popular idea. The only explanation I can find is presumptive guilt.
      Could Sansa warn Jon against making a deal with Cersei on the basis of her not believing the queen to be in good faith ? Sure. As a matter of fact, she should.
      Could she react to Cersei “drawing first blood” ? Yep.
      Could she, unprovoked, go after the queen in spite of Jon’s plan ? Hum… Why ?

      I like Sansa.
      I like that she is a 100% feminine character and that she is still alive.
      I like that she screws up.
      I like that she has to survive without any fantasy element attached to her because the overwhelming majority of Westeros is in the same situation as her; they too have to go through life (and will have to overcome the Great Night) without the support of warging, mystical beasts, magical tree-hugging or glamoured-up dead faces.
      I like that she is full to the brim with character flaws : superficiality, haughtiness, moral “plasticity” (let’s call it that 😉 ), childishness, prejudice…
      I even like that she is a pawn because, in chess, a little pawn that moves slowly and unspectacularly, one square at a time, can still make it to the other side of the board and become pretty much whatever it wants (except for a king).
      If she were a villain, I probably would still like her. After all, I do like me some Cersei ^^ But, in Sansa’s case, I simply do not see it.

      PS I like many other characters as well ( The Hound, Jon, Arya, Daenerys, Tyrion, Littlefinger, etc.) But since those are usually very popular and heavily supported, I tend to knock them down a bit more. Because I am a perverse contrarian 😉

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    99. Jjddss: so how could it be with all the time that has passed (especially in the show where Jon appears to be like 20 years old in the 1st season) that she hasn’t gotten past this perceived slight?

      It is probably harder to move past something when being reminded of it every single day. After all, a wound does not heal well when the scab is picked at all the time.
      Jon, in her eyes, was a walking neon sign that read “your husband cheated on you and made a mockery of everything you stand for”. And she had to live with him and look at him, day in day out. If there is such a thing as death by a thousand cuts, that may be it.

      We can all say that she should have hated Ned and we would be right. However, she was culturally mandated, so to speak, to spend the rest of her life with the Stark patriarch, to sleep with him and give him children. Hating him would have rendered their marriage and her situation beyond toxic (cf. Bobby and Cersei). So she directed her humiliation and hurt towards the next best thing, the only available recipient : Jon. Utterly unfair yet somewhat understandable.

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    100. ACME,

      Perverse contrarian, lol. We would get along well 🙂 You make some great points, and I tend to agree with most of what you said. I do think the fandom, casual or otherwise, has a tendency to see Sansa in a suspicious, perhaps even slightly villainous light, mostly because of her unwittingly betraying her family to a fatal degree. Some people love to knock down the pretty girl who obviously made some mistakes early on. But she’s learning, like that little pawn you mentioned (and she has literally traversed the westerosi board at this point). And I also like Sansa, for these reasons you’ve mentioned. I can’t help but feel for those who’ve suffered so much and who really deserved none of it (call it irrational emotional feelings toward a fictional character- I can’t help it)

      As for her thoughts on Cersei… I haven’t given much thought to how Sansa will prioritize dealing with the south, Cersei in particular. My focus in that topic was just on the idea that there will be some disagreement between she and Jon on how best to lead the north moving forward. I do suspect LF to remain in her ear- for a time. Like most fans I am looking forward to the moment she truly turns on him.

      Cheers ACME

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    101. ACME,

      For twenty years?! Hahaha. I know Jon is only 15 in the books but even that is too long. Although I’m not sure if I remember Catelyn coming off as vindictive towards him as she does in the show. I think this is a weak spot in the writing. The Starks are such a great family that I think this would have been ironed out. The way Ned makes Arya realize she needs to get along with Sansa. He probably would have at some point sat them all down and tried to have a small council meeting about it to make everyone’s life easier. I agree with you that her anger should have been directed toward Ned more than Jon, but I also find it unlikely that he would have kept this particular secret from her for so long. It makes for good drama, but I think Ned would know that he could trust her and he would have told her. Those are exactly the kind of burdens one needs to share with their spouse, if it’s a strong marriage, as theirs seemed to be. Oh well…Donuts for lunch!

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    102. Boudica,

      I’ve heard about the cold open but with only one sleep to go until the premiere I’m going to go all Dee Stark and avoid opening this link:-D

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