Gemma Whelan on fan response to Yara & Iain Glen addresses “Mad Queen” theory

YaraDany2

Exactly one week until we’re reunited with Yara Greyjoy in season 7 The Sunday Times publishes a new interview with Gemma Whelan in which she discusses filming a certain fiery set piece and addresses the fan reaction to her character. Also, in an interview with The Huffington Post, Iain Glen (kind of) debunks a popular theory about Daenerys.

As excited as Gemma Whelan is to be a main character on Game of Thrones, she gave absolutely nothing away about next season in her interview with Benji Wilson.

“When we left off season 6, it was clear that Daenerys and Yara were off on a mission,” she said. “And we left me on a boat — so it would follow that you would find me on a boat. But I’m not ruling out being on land. How about that? Let’s not rule out any land!”

Alright, sea and land. Both of them. At some point. Got it.

Whelan did describe what it was like to film one particular scene, though she offered no hints as to its context (it’s most likely the fiery sea battle shown briefly in the trailer).

fiery

“I’ve got little scabs all over my chest and my head,” she said. “They’d call ‘Action! Turn over’, all that stuff, then ‘Embers!’ would be another shout you’d hear. I’m, like, ‘Embers? What are embers?’ Then suddenly there are these sparks, almost like in Flashdance. They’re firing burning embers at you! It looks awesome, I’m sure, but it’s hard to look really serious when your head is on fire.”

As frustrating as Game of Thrones‘ ridiculous levels of secrecy can get for us fans, we should remember that keeping information confidential can be just as overwhelming – if not more so – for the folks on the other side of the screen. Whelan recalls how much trouble she got into when she was cast for season 2 and assumed that it was safe to include Yara Greyjoy on her CV. “The internet went nuts,” she said. “One of the lovely, lovely producers on Thrones called me into his office and said, ‘This is very serious. We almost can’t employ you because of this.’”

Whelan’s relationship with online fan reactions has been fraught from the beginning, from some fans’ refusal to accept her character’s name as Yara instead of Asha to self-appointed critics who felts she didn’t, ahem, look the part.

“Initially, when I was cast, there was so much written about it,” Whelan said. “That I was too fat, not sexy enough, not the cartoon-character sort of Lara Croft version of Yara people have imagined, you know? Now lots of people come to me and say I am exactly what they imagined. So it crosses the board. Alfie [Allen] actually told me very early on, ‘Just do not go on the forums. They will really, really hurt you.’”

Internet comments criticizing Whelan’s weight take on an all new level of horrible when you learn that Whelan struggled with a severe eating disorder as a teenager. “It was anorexia,” she said, “and I was so, so poorly, but I had amazing medical care. I remember someone saying to me ‘Most people do not recover from this’, and I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to recover, then. I’m going to be one of the ones that does.’”

Daenerys Jorah Dance of Dragons

In other news, Iain Glen addressed the Mad Queen theory that posits that Daenerys might end up taking after her father, Aerys, and conclude the series as a villain.

“I think that would be highly unlikely,” he told The Huffington Post. “I mean, this is Iain speaking and Jorah speaking ― we share the same voice ― my belief in her is such that I can’t see her going that way myself, so I think that’s highly unlikely. It becomes academic whether I would stand by her or not because I don’t believe that would happen.”

He did admit though, that he doesn’t know for sure what is in store of Daenerys, or any of the characters for that matter: “The great thing about Dan and David is none of us have a clue of where this is going. We have a sense that things are moving toward their end game, but no one knows,” he said.

82 responses

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    1. “Initially, when I was cast, there was so much written about it,” Whelan said. “That I was too fat, not sexy enough, not the cartoon-character sort of Lara Croft version of Yara people have imagined, you know?

      Wow, that’s terrible. But it doesn’t surprise me. This fandom can be incredibly petty.

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    2. “Internet comments criticizing Whelan’s weight…”
      ——

      Really? Was I the only one who saw how she rocked those leather pants in Yara’s introduction to Dany (“…I’m up for anything”) ?
      We should all be so lucky to have a figure like that.

      (Were book readers expecting Mr. Salty with hair? You know, the pretzel stick package insignia?)

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    3. Iain Glen.: “I mean, this is Iain speaking and Jorah speaking ― we share the same voice ―”

      _____________

      And what a voice it is. Gimme a scene of Jorah reciting poetry on a boat and I’ll put it on my Perpetual Rewatch list.

      There’s a word for a voice like his. I think it’s “mellifluous.” Not sure of the spelling…

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    4. Oh goodness I love Gemma Whelan as a Yara but after so many interviews with her, I need an interview with the main Greyjoy, who is Theon! Alfie Allen is totally M.I.A. 🙁

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    5. Dis,

      Oh, I can remember somebody – not sure if it was this site or its (cough cough) predecessor saying that Yara (book Asha) should be hotter. Actually in the books Asha is dark haired and has quite a big nose but has a nice smile and has some charm (book Asha possibly has a bit more humour than Yara in the show but that’s not down to Gemma as she is not a writer of the show). Actually in some of her interviews when Gemma is being Gemma rather than Yara she does look attractive though not in a Hollywood A-lister way. I’m not a fan of the ringmail bikini type of fan art but an old-times picture of Grace O’Malley who I think is at least in part the inspiration for Asha (Yara) does seem to indicate that the legendary pirate queen may have been “well blessed” in the boobs department. http://www.mayo-ireland.ie/en/about-mayo/history/grace-omalley-the-pirate-queen.html – though if the picture is to be believed Grace (well that’s the anglicised version of her name) didn’t look like a Hollywood A-lister for her part.

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    6. Ten Bears: Was I the only one who saw how she rocked those leather pants in Yara’s introduction to Dany

      Not at all. Laura Stone (Hey, Don’t Judge Me) was practically drooling through her words in her recap of that episode. 🙂

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    7. Dolorous Bread,

      I agree, I might not agree with Emilia Clarke’s interpretation of the character but to minimize a woman’s hard work and state she is wrong for the roll or a lesser actor simply because I do not find her aesthetically pleasing is just small thinking.

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    8. Dolorous Bread: Seriously. I’ve seen posts about how Dany looked “fat” before. It’s sick.

      Me too. I’ve also seen comments from early seasons on how Sansa is fat.

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    9. Ten Bears,

      Lena as Grainne (sorry Irish people if I’ve got the spelling wrong) might be interesting, though I’d kind of like an Irish actress in the title role though I’m not sure which one. Dervla Kerwin and Victoria Smurfitt are perhaps in the right age bracket [if the age is not babes in the wood but not 999 either] (American people may only have seen Victoria Smurfitt in the rather dodgy adaptation of “Dracula” a few years ago but she was good (well I thought she was) as Roisin in some dramatisations of Lynda La Plante’s “Trial and Retribution” stories).

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    10. These Friendzone jokes have become boring.

      The man is not Ser Friendzone, he’s Ser Wikipedia. In the first seasons, every time Daenerys is clueless about something, Jorah helpfully recites entire encyclopedia entries on everything, from Dothraki customs to geography and culture.

      I almost associated names like Astapor, Yunkai The Yellow City etc. with his voice.

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    11. In that final picture shown in the article above, Jorah is touching Dany. I noticed that when this episode aired and it was upsetting. I thought he infected her with Greyscale. Guess she can add “The Unscaleable” to her name, too. Ha!

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    12. I have to say, I am, for the first time, looking forward to Ironborn scenes. Like the Dothraki, I didn’t get what was so fearsome about them and was, frankly, bored.

      “Only a fool would face the Dothraki on an open field,” and I’m like, why? Because they’re loud and on horseback? Oh, they learn to shoot arrows from horseback at four, do they? Yawn.
      BUT THEN I SAW THAT TRAILER….and, oh my god! I cannot wait to see the Dothraki and the fools that meet them on an open field!

      “We are a Sea People.” Okay. Meanwhile Theon is reeking and Yara’s reminding Father of the Year that the boy without a penis is still his son. Got it. Next.

      BUT THEN I SAW THAT TRAILER…and, yeah, you get it.

      We finally get to see these people actually BE the people we’ve heard about.

      Can Not Wait!!!

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    13. Dolorous Bread,

      The YouTube video of Emilia’s first times with Rolling Stone recently you would not believe how many people called her fat, they kept comparing her body to Sophie and Lena saying how slim they are and how her body should look like theirs, pretty damn disgusting

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    14. I’m glad Alfie gave Gemma that advice, it probably saved her a lot of tears. I really feel for her, I think she has a beautiful body and no one has the right to tell her different

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    15. Dame of Mercia,

      Re: Irish actress as Grace O’Malley

      I never realized Victoria Smurfit was Irish! I saw her in the guilty pleasure movie “Bulletproof Monk” as a Nazi henchwoman and thought she was German. Then I saw her in “About a Boy” as Suzie and thought she was English.

      Though I’ve only watched portions of a few episodes of “Into the Badlands”, I couldn’t help but be impressed by two Irish actressess starring in it: Sarah Bolger, and Orla Brady. (A redhead, Emily Beecham, is in it too but I think she’s English.)
      Either one would be great as an Irish pirate queen. I think Sarah Bolger played Mary Tudor in “The Tudors”, and I remember her name appearing in fan casting wish lists for Lyanna Stark.

      Still, Lena Headey is my queen. I’d watch her play anybody.

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    16. Erica:
      In that final picture shown in the article above, Jorah is touching Dany. I noticed that when this episode aired and it was upsetting. I thought he infected her with Greyscale. Guess she can add “The Unscaleable” to her name, too. Ha!

      Doesn’t someone have to touch the actual greyscale in order to be infected by it? Jorah did touch Dany but only with his non-infected hand so she would be safe. Didn’t he also touch Tyrion and Daario after he had greyscale but they are also not infected?

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    17. “Initially, when I was cast, there was so much written about it,” Whelan said. “That I was too fat, not sexy enough, not the cartoon-character sort of Lara Croft version of Yara people have imagined, you know?

      Knobheads.

      Dolorous Bread: Dis, Seriously. I’ve seen posts about how Dany looked “fat” before. It’s sick.

      Knobheads.

      Vincent Stark: Me too. I’ve also seen comments from early seasons on how Sansa is fat.

      Knobheads.

      ash: Some fans can be such dicks, like the ones sending death threats to olly.

      Knobheads.

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    18. Lord of Coffee:

      If I remember correctly, immediately after that scene, he can be seen lowering her down to the fighting pit floor…using both of his hands.

      You may be correct, however. You may have to actually touch the greyscale itself. At the very least, it appears to be true in Dany’s case.

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    19. I have a friend who is just catching up on GOT season 6 (they have a couple babies at home). Just got a text from him today saying “Holy Shit Arya is a badass” and “Jon Snow, KITN, Ned’s nephew!!”.

      Just brought home how epic last season, especially the finale was. Cant. Wait. For. Next. Sunday.

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    20. Ooohhh, my Bear! He could read me a grocery list and I’d love it! That voice is pure velvet.

      Can’t believe we’re FINALLY a week away. Yay!! 🙂

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    21. Dis: Wow, that’s terrible. But it doesn’t surprise me. This fandom can be incredibly petty.

      heh, “this” fandom? What fandom is not like this? (That comic could apply to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, Lost, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc., as well as Thrones!)

      On a similar note, the “Mad Queen” idea is one that really could exist only in fantasy fandoms. There are lots and lots of books written in which a primary character is going insane. In the ones I have read, none of those characters are remotely like Daenerys. However, because many “fans” never read or watch anything outside of a particular genre, they do not know how an insane (or going insane) character really would be written! This is one of the things that contributes to our (sadly well-earned) reputation as fanatics…. 🙁

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    22. Dolorous Bread: Seriously. I’ve seen posts about how Dany looked “fat” before. It’s sick.

      Well, if the only naked women you ever have seen have been on American cable TV, then one would be unaware that real women (even on the slender side) have butts that curve! (It sometimes does seem like volcanos would be the form of execution befitting fans… 😀 )

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    23. Questionable decisions and toeing the line of acceptable behavior for Dany will likely be much more a book thing than show in my opinion. If the books ever even come. Though I don’t think she’ll be considered mad in either.

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    24. orange: Questionable decisions and toeing the line of acceptable behavior for Dany will likely be much more a book thing than show in my opinion.

      All of the main characters make questionable decisions. After all, the stories revolve around the main characters questioning their own decisions at every turn! (Incidentally, people going insane often stop doing that.)

      Ultimately, a lot of this stems from the rampant misogyny in fantasy/scifi fandoms. Basically, people have been “Hillarying” Daenerys for almost as long as they have been Hillarying Hillary. Again, this is not just Game of Thrones: we’ve seen recent horrible examples in Doctor Who (Time Lords can regenerate into the other sex! HORROR!), Star Wars (A woman jedi!!! HORROR!!!!), Battlestar Galactica (“Starbuck MUST be a man!”), Harry Potter (“Hermione needs to ask the house-elfs if they want to be freed!” [because women should assume that the enslaved want to be enslaved….]) and Lord of the Rings (“Arwen wouldn’t know how to ride a horse or how to hold a sword, and I refuse to believe that Tolkien wrote otherwise!!!!”).

      Geez, I feel unclean just admitting that I know this stuff….. 😛

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    25. Vanessa Cole:
      Dolorous Bread,

      I’d kill to have Gemma’s or Emilia’s figure. I just don’t understand people sometimes.

      I would too, and I am a man. People are crazy.

      Wimsey: Ultimately, a lot of this stems from the rampant misogyny in fantasy/scifi fandoms. Basically, people have been “Hillarying” Daenerys for almost as long as they have been Hillarying Hillary. Again, this is not just Game of Thrones: we’ve seen recent horrible examples in Doctor Who (Time Lords can regenerate into the other sex! HORROR!), Star Wars (A woman jedi!!! HORROR!!!!), Battlestar Galactica (“Starbuck MUST be a man!”), Harry Potter (“Hermione needs to ask the house-elfs if they want to be freed!” [because women should assume that the enslaved want to be enslaved….]) and Lord of the Rings (“Arwen wouldn’t know how to ride a horse or how to hold a sword, and I refuse to believe that Tolkien wrote otherwise!!!!”).

      Preach!

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    26. Ten Bears: There’s a word for a voice like his. I think it’s “mellifluous.” Not sure of the spelling…

      Your spelling is correct. It literally means “flowing like honey.” Very apropos for Iain Glen’s pipes (as “sepulchral” was for Alan Rickman’s).

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    27. Firannion: Your spelling is correct.

      And also 10 internet points for using a word that, basically, is what it describes!

      Vanessa Cole: I’d kill to have Gemma’s or Emilia’s figure. I just don’t understand people sometimes.

      We diss Meryn Trant’s ephebophilia, but it sometimes seems that a 15-year old figure somehow became the “ideal” at some point. Basically, Trant was just a modern Hollywood caster! (Sure, I thought 15-year old female figures looked great, too: but then I turned 16…..)

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    28. Wimsey: We diss

      Careful with your language or WotW will get on NetNanny lists!

      Personally, I admire the 26-year-old Asha in my mind.

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    29. Wimsey:
      On a similar note, the “Mad Queen” idea is one that really could exist only in fantasy fandoms.There are lots and lots of books written in which a primary character is going insane.In the ones I have read, none of those characters are remotely like Daenerys.

      I don’t disagree at all with your assertion that there is rampant misogyny in fantasy. But I think the speculation of madness about Dany is understandable considering that it runs in her family and that she is the daughter of the Mad King himself. The groundwork has been placed to leave open the possibility that she could follow in her father’s footsteps (especially considering her penchant for burning people) so doesn’t seem unreasonable or misogynistic for that to be discussed by other characters or by fans.

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    30. ACME,

      Well said, on all counts!

      Wimsey,

      Well said to this as well!

      Gemma is beautiful, and she’s awesome as Yara. Knowing that she had to endure this complete and utter crap sadly isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing in the extreme. People can sometimes be the absolute worst – even those immersed in fiercely passionate fandoms such as this one (unfortunately, often especially those immersed in fiercely passionate fandoms such as this one). We can be better. We have to be better.

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    31. In my opinion I think Dany descending into madness would make her too similar to Viserys. The Mad King already had one offspring have his penchant for vengeance and anarchy. It’s not that farfetch fo conclude that it skipped Dany. The showrunners, and even GRRM himself would have planted far more convincing little clues along the way if that did become a reality.

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    32. Lord of Coffee,
      Yeah, but notice that for some reason, that “groundwork” is never applied to Jon. Even though he has half of the Targ genes as well, and fantasy heriditary insanity is up to the whim of the author, really.

      At most, people say that he might become “darker” (more cruel, ambitious and decisive – maybe also feral) in the books after the resurrection. But to consider that he may end up on the pathway to insanity? That is very, *very* rarely discussed. Much less than for Dany.

      Misogyny involves unequal treatment. So it’s not always what is there. It’s sometimes what isn’t there, as well.

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    33. Edward,

      You are right! In fact, the showrunners AND GRRM have planted more clues and evidence to show us that she WON’T be going mad anytime soon. GRRM specifically outlined and told us that Barristan watched her for a while from a distance to see if she exhibited any signs of madness. Barristan was probably the only person who could note these signs at the time in the books and the show because he served multiple kings and watched Aerys grow. He knew very very well what early signs of madness were like. Barristan both in the books and the show admits that she is not mad like her father and more like her brother Rhaegar. Jorah often says she resembles Rhaegar (the good one) rather than Viserys (the mad one). Last season, both show producers D&D said in one of the final behind the scenes interviews that Dany is not her father and she is NOT mad but she has a Targaryen ruthlessness to her that is typically seen in ALL Targaryens including the good ones.

      Her use of fire to burn her enemies is not a sign of madness. Its what all Targs and Valyrians did including Aegon and yet we dont call him “mad”. Heck, Stannis burned innocent people alive and no one calls him “mad” even though his grandmother was a Targaryen Princess. We dont see her clapping her hands in joy and happiness while burning innocent people. And when she is not punishing her enemies, we see a compassionate girl trying to do her best to not fail her people while having to shoulder a huge burden of being the last Targaryen around as far as she knows.

      Finally, as the story is progressing, its obvious that the “Mad Queen” is Cersei who has been descending into madness since the story begun. It makes no sense having TWO mad queens doing the same thing. It would be very poor story-telling and something GRRM is very unlikely to do.

      I think at this point, its safe to say that Dany going mad is not going to happen anytime soon.

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    34. Lord of Coffee: But I think the speculation of madness about Dany is understandable considering that it runs in her family and that she is the daughter of the Mad King himself. The groundwork has been placed to leave open the possibility that she could follow in her father’s footsteps (especially considering her penchant for burning people) so doesn’t seem unreasonable or misogynistic for that to be discussed by other characters or by fans.

      It is unreasonable on the part of fans when you compare Daenerys to characters who are going insane in other novels. We read Daenerys’ thoughts: and they are nothing like the thoughts patterns that authors use for characters going insane.

      Now, it is reasonable that characters in the books might fear this. After all, they do not read Daenerys’ mind the way that we do. However, it is not unreasonable for the vast majority of characters to dismiss White Walkers as fairy tales. It is not unreasonable for the vast majority of characters to dismiss claims that Daenerys has dragons. Readers get a vantage that characters do not. Even viewers get vantages that characters do not: although we cannot read Daenerys’ or Jon’s mind, we can watch Daenerys in her one-on-ones and when she’s alone (where she acts nothing like a character would be if the show writers wanted us to think she was going insane), and we can watch Jon at Hardhome (and see that the stories are actually mostly true).

      Edward: The showrunners, and even GRRM himself would have planted far more convincing little clues along the way if that did become a reality.

      Indeed, there would be “clues” and more! There are lots of types of insanity, so there is no one way to show that someone has lost their grip on reality: but we see no indication that Daenerys has lost her grip on reality.

      Part of this also stems from confusing things that have some similarities. An idealist and an insane person have something general in common: a problem with reality. However, the idealist knows what reality is (or at least he/she has some opinion on it based on facts): slavery is bad and real, and I want to get rid of it. The insane person either does not see it (i.e., he/she lives in a fantasy world in which slavery is blocked out), or thinks that somehow slavery/anti-slavery is a plot connected to him/her (paranoia) or something like that. It’s not about changing reality to an insane person: it’s about other people not seeing what reality actually is and being unable to consider that perhaps he/she is the one misperceiving things.

      Similarly, Daenerys has shown the capacity to be ruthless. However, although ruthless people and some types of insane people both will do cruel things, there again is a big difference. Destroying down Carthage was not an act of insanity: it was an act of retribution. Leveling steep indemnities upon Germany was not an act of insanity: it was an act of retribution. And hanging all of the Castameres was not an act of insanity: it was an act of retribution. Sometimes sane people do burn their enemies cities to the ground: but it’s for rational-but-ruthless reasons rather than irrational-and-cruel ones.

      But, really, the bigger problem is that there simply is a contingent of fans who want Daenerys to be “bad” in the end.

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    35. Yaga: At most, people say that he might become “darker” (more cruel, ambitious and decisive – maybe also feral) in the books after the resurrection. But to consider that he may end up on the pathway to insanity?

      That’s a good point. Now, I doubt that this is going to happen: this seems to be part of a “Phoenix” motif that GRRM (and the showrunners) have put onto the main characters. They get laid very low and then rebound in someway. None of them do it quite the same way, but that is good storytelling: the parallels between the protagonists should be general, not specific.

      What I have seen more of with Jon is another fantasy notion: that resurrected Jon would be like Gandalf the White, i.e., a more powerful and even god-like “Hero”. However, Tolkien was writing a completely different type of story: there are no more protagonists in Lord of the Rings than there are heroes in Game of Thrones. So, the differences that we should expect to see in Jon should be akin to the differences that we see in Tyrion, Daenerys, Bran and Arya (and Show!Sansa) as they rebound from their falls.

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    36. I always find it strange that in all these conversations about the female cast of GoT being unfairly treated in regards to looks, Maisie’s name is never brought up by those defending all the other actresses.

      Maisie, the youngest female of the main cast, has had to deal with the worst of comments about her looks from the age of 14 to the present day. And yes, she’s been called fat too.

      So sad that she gets doubly mistreated.

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    37. Wimsey,

      Completely agree! Nothing Dany has done in the series has crossed the line of being undeniably evil. Her ruthlessness usually comes from a place of reasoning — even if that reason isn’t grounded in intelligence

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    38. Now we are talking about it being unfair to leave out one of the actors when having conversation about unfair remarks of a few of the actors? Ay yi yi lol. I’ve luckily never heard a bad thing said about Maisie’s appearance in the fandom. Then, I tend to stay away from social media. Bunch of grumpkins and snarks out there.

      Neither Gemma nor Emelia have ever been fat on the show. They are both attractive women, end of.

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    39. Samantha,

      Damn well said, considering Iain Glen basically said he doesn’t see that happening and he knows what happens S7 I seriously doubt Dany is gonna suddenly snap and go crazy in the last 6 episodes of the final season out of nowhere

      Wimsey,

      Yeah, I’ve seen that too. They claim Dany is too boring and the only way her story can be salvaged is if she’ll turn into a Villian that way they’ll like her again. They also say how much they want Targbowl and Jon to kill Dany to save Westeros from her evilness. Also that it’s misogynistic to disregard her not becoming a Villian, because women can be evil too.

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    40. Wimsey: However, Tolkien was writing a completely different type of story: there are no more protagonists in Lord of the Rings than there are heroes in Game of Thrones.So, the differences that we should expect to see in Jon should be akin to the differences that we see in Tyrion, Daenerys, Bran and Arya (and Show!Sansa) as they rebound from their falls.

      Well, I don’t believe that either Dany or Jon is going mad, either. I’m just irritated by the unequal treatment by those who do.

      However! It just so happens that I’ve been watching LotR recently (am taking a break at the Rohirrim charge at Pelennor, because damn are the the extended editions long) and I have just realised something you may like. Either on purpose or by pure narrative convergence, Cersei is basically Denethor 2.0, a Denethor who got over the death of her children.

      Consider:
      – last to sit on the throne before the resolution – check;
      – narcissist relationship with children – check;
      – going mad (although not yet, right now, she’s still sane, even if evil) – check;
      – obsessed with fire and burning things (remember, Denethor almost burned himself and Faramir alive) – check!

      That’s actually pretty funny.

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    41. Ten Bears,

      Was Sarah Bolger one of the kids in “Coming to America”.? Not sure if I’ve seen her in anything as a grown-up. I did quite like C—- to A—- though I suppose it has aged a little now.

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    42. There has been a certain amount of snark about how certain women looked intermittently at least since I became aware of GoT/ASOIAF something over 4 years ago. I remember on the predecessor site to this when the site runners did one of the “Memory Lane” (I think they called it the North Remembers then) features there was something about the casting of Stannis, Davos and Melisandre and somebody back then didn’t think Carice van Houten was well-blessed enough in the chest department (yes, seriously). There was some snark about Aisling Franciosi (who actually scrubs up well) playing Lyanna (Stark) last year (yeah, Lyanna would look really glamorous when she was dying after having given birth). I think even if a woman who satisfied the criteria for Hollywood A-lister good looks had been cast as Lyanna she would have had to be made up to look rough considering she was presumably haemorrhaging to death.

      Re: Dany going bananas. Though I can think of a few kings who went bonkers I can only think of Juana La Loca as a real life queen who lost touch with reality. I don’t know much about her story – I did read something about it in a historical novel about Isabella of Castile but it’s hard to know what is true history and what is an author’s fertile imagination. I don’t know if Juana and Dany have any parallels. I thought from (book) Dany’s visions in the house of the undying she might meet a Nissa-Nissa type fate but now it’s hard to know what will be kept from the books to the show in adaptation.

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    43. Yaga:
      Lord of Coffee,
      Yeah, but notice that for some reason, that “groundwork” is never applied to Jon. Even though he has half of the Targ genes as well, and fantasy heriditary insanity is up to the whim of the author, really.

      At most, people say that he might become “darker” (more cruel, ambitious and decisive – maybe also feral) in the books after the resurrection. But to consider that he may end up on the pathway to insanity? That is very, *very* rarely discussed. Much less than for Dany.

      Misogyny involves unequal treatment. So it’s not always what is there. It’s sometimes what isn’t there, as well.

      The Targaryen history of incest is suspected to be the cause of the madness that runs in the family. Dany is a product of incest. Jon is not. So even as Jon’s true lineage became known it is understandable that fans (and other characters) would not be as wary of him going mad as with Dany.

      As I said, I completely agree about misogyny in fantasy. But, based on her family history and lineage, I don’t think speculation about Dany becoming ‘evil’ (and not about Jon) should be blamed primarily on misogyny.

      In other news – less than a week!!!

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    44. Lord of Coffee: The Targaryen history of incest is suspected to be the cause of the madness that runs in the family.Dany is a product of incest.Jon is not.

      But that’s precisely my point. Jon is the product of the same incest up to one generation ago. Because we’re dealing with fantasy insanity, Jon could inherit his madness all from Rhaegar’s alleles of his genes. Or something innocuous in Lyanna’s half of the genome could have unexpectedly complemented Rhaegar’s somehow. Whatever. No one is going to draw Punnet squares here. Point is, it’s not incomprehensible within the story that he’d get it if the story needed it.

      Dany seems, so far, to be more of a Kwisatz Haderach from Dune/Ciri from The Witcher business. The inbreeding giving her beneficial results, in her case fire and heat immunity.

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    45. ygritte:
      I’ve luckily never heard a bad thing said about Maisie’s appearance in the fandom.

      I’ve seen a few disparaging comments in the past here and on WIC but they were very few and obviously trolls or more likely just one troll using different names, since there was nothing in between seasons and as soon as the next season was back on, lo it re-appeared.

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    46. Dis,

      Years ago, some fans said that Maggie Gyllenhaal is “ugly” when she was cast in The Dark Knight.

      Fandom can be an ugly thing.

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    47. HBO BRASIL put in its channel 3 NEW interviews with that cast that is being all over the place . some really good hints about season 7. Just found it because im brazilian haha

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    48. It’s not that Gemma Whelan is too “fat”, it’s that she doesn’t look fit and athletic or like a warrior, which is what Asha/Yara is. But her acting has been excellent, so I can overlook the physical discrepancies.

      I had similar issues with the actor who played Robert Baratheon. He just looked fat but not strong. But his acting won me over. We have to suspend disbelief to a certain extent to enjoy this show (or any show).

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    49. AryaArya: Maisie, the youngest female of the main cast, has had to deal with the worst of comments about her looks from the age of 14 to the present day. And yes, she’s been called fat too.

      Fortunately I haven’t seen much of that either. I’m not much into social media but I do follow a lot of GoT related things. I generally rarely hear a negative thing about Maisie – about anything really. Anyone that considers her fat has some very real personal issues.

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    50. Clob,

      Well anyone who considers any of them fat OR ANYTHING has issues.
      The women are all beautiful

      Clob,

      She is so cute and tiny. What is she like 5’0??
      Hahaha!!!

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    51. Wimsey: But, really, the bigger problem is that there simply is a contingent of fans who want Daenerys to be “bad” in the end.

      Exactly.

      Funny how no one ever brings up that Jon is the Mad King’s grandson.

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    52. I wonder, since it appears Milesandre will be at Dragon Stone first; will we get a scene where she talks to Dany and Tyrion first. Telling them Jon has fought the whites, and that he came back from the dead.

      It would be great to get both their initial reaction to the resurrection, and the retaking of Winterfell. Then a scene of Tyrion speaking to Danny about Jon; hell maybe even recommending Jon as a possible marriage alliance, especially since he would be a honorable man. Would like to see Tyrion playing matchmaker lol

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    53. Noneofyourbusiness: Funny how no one ever brings up that Jon is the Mad King’s grandson.

      Oh…there’ve been plenty of discussions of that…elsewhere…but that is a decent point. Dany should know plenty about her background by now while Jon knows only a false, hazy background. Will that make a difference? Both were relegated to the shadows for most of their formative years before coming into their own. Dany had a difficult east-then-west journey, while Jon had a difficult north-then-south journey. Dubious prophesy surrounds each as well.

      Now that both have power and responsibility what will each do with it? Looking forward to how it plays out between them.

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    54. Red Nightmare,

      Robert Baratheon was specifically described, in both books and show, as a great warrior who had let himself go to seed with rich food, drink, and whoring after claiming the Iron Throne. So that casting was spot-on.

      I was far more shocked when I saw Finn Jones as Loras Tyrell. Sure, he’s fit… but definitely not unhorse-the-Mountain fit. I had to be won over by his acting; as you wrote, we must sometimes suspend disbelief!

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    55. Hodors Bastard: Now that both have power and responsibility what will each do with it? Looking forward to how it plays out between them.

      Why, save the world, of course! The question is, can they agree on from whom and/or what it needs to be saved?

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    56. Could Dany become the mad king – possibly there are hints at this but even I am not convinced given how late in the story we are getting.

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