Season 8 filming continues: the aftermath of a battle and a new Game of Thrones set!

Jon Snow in Battle of the Bastards

In the last few months of Game of Thrones news, much attention has been paid to the Winterfell set in Moneyglass and to the new Paint Hall set, where big things are brewing. In fact, today we bring you exciting news about the former. But there is more! The final season always promised to be a vast production, but now we know it’s even bigger, as a new set —the largest of its kind— has appeared next to what once was a mainstay of the show, yet is now a rarely revisited location: Magheramorne Quarry, Castle Black.

In Moneyglass, vegetation isn’t the only thing that stands out against the snow anymore. GoTlike Locations shows there is something new: corpses litter the fields of Winterfell.

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

It’s difficult to tell in any detail, but this panorama looks similar to the aftermath of Stannis’ and Jon Snow’s battles against the Boltons in Winterfell, in seasons five and six. As well as what appear to be corpses of soldiers, there are larger bodies — probably poor dead horses. Thankfully, they are all props, as we have seen many times before.

Winterfell filming began in late November, but of course it wasn’t all for this action sequence. However, the third battle for the Stark stronghold, which will likely take place in the mid-season, has been in uninterrupted production since —at leastlate January. A month and one great revelation later, it’s still not showing any signs of slowing down. Going by the filming schedules of previous battles, it wouldn’t be surprising if this battle shoot extended into March, at which point the next big thing will take its place.

But there are other “big things.” Thanks again to GoTlike Locations, we know the show’s two largest sets, sites for the eighth season’s two great battles, now have competition:

Notice the Castle Black set to the left, built into the quarry.

Compare the size of Castle Black (left) to the new set (right). Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

Photo: GoTlike Locations

As you can see, near Magheramorne Quarry, where Castle Black stands and the battles of Blackwater and Hardhome were shot, a gigantic green screen has been erected. This green screen set may rival most expensive Hollywood productions! I don’t know if it is a world record, but it’s certainly a record for the show, and maybe for the country.

Now, all there is left for us to wonder is: what is Game of Thrones planning to do with this massive new playground? Most recently, similar (though smaller) green screen sets were used for the Magnificent Seven’s fight against the wight polar bear and the White Walkers’ approach to the Wall. So this one is probably going to be used for action sequence elements that were deemed to be unfilmable in a real set. With that enticing thought, I leave you all to let your imagination run wild in the comment section below!

188 responses

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    1. Big battle after big battle after big battle, with monsters: In the final season, I suppose it had to be. The action-movie fanboyz shout ‘Huzzah!’ But it’s still the smaller, more intimate human interactions that my hold most of my attention, and that feed my anticipation. For those we get no spoilers, being shot mainly indoors. Maybe just as well.

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    2. Firannion,

      My bet is that we are going to see the fall of Winterfell, and we’ll get to see those secret escape routes about which the Maester told Theon back in Season 2.

      That should produce a lot of intense interaction among the Stark contingent of the main characters. In particular, it should leave them with a real dilemma concerning what to save and what to sacrifice. Indeed, perhaps that will be the story next year: dilemmas about what to save and what to abandon.

      (It also would not be without some poignancy for Daenerys and Tyrion: they are not from Winterfell, but Winterfell has always been a key part of Westeros.)

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    3. Thats definitely a scattering of bodies in the exact spot where there used to be a sprawling camp outside the WF set.

      The question is: the bodies of which army? And will they be raised by the NK?

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    4. Apollo: The question is: the bodies of which army? And will they be raised by the NK?

      There is no need for it to be from only one army! At this point, there might be many armies there.

      And, yes, those that can be raised by the White Walkers (remember, others can do it besides the NK) will be raised by them.

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    5. Apollo:
      Thats definitely a scattering of bodies in the exact spot where there used to be a sprawling camp outside the WF set.

      The question is: the bodies of which army? And will they be raised by the NK?

      Some of the Northern Army ..some of the NK army…They could to be from both sides

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    6. Wimsey: Apollo: The question is: the bodies of which army? And will they be raised by the NK?

      There is no need for it to be from only one army! At this point, there might be many armies there.

      Doesn’t necessarily have to be armies, either. Could be a refugee camp. Not everyone in the North fleeing the Army of the Dead is going to be able to fit behind the walls of castles and holdfasts.

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    7. Firannion:

      Big battle after big battle after big battle, with monsters: In the final season, I suppose it had to be. The action-movie fanboyz shout ‘Huzzah!’ But it’s still the smaller, more intimate human interactions that my hold most of my attention, and that feed my anticipation. For those we get no spoilers, being shot mainly indoors. Maybe just as well.

      It is definitely the smaller, human moments that capture my attention too – and while I am sure the battles in season eight will be stunning, and I’ll be awestruck watching them, it is the smaller things I’m looking forward to most.

      For example, I can’t wait to see the first meetings and reunions that will inevitably occur when Team Jon/Daenerys arrive at Winterfell; to see Bran and Jaime in the same space again (assuming, of course, Jaime makes it that far north); to see how Jon takes on board news of his parentage and the impact it has on his relationships with those around him.

      As for the bodies – Winterfell is huge, but I doubt the entire North would fit inside the walls. Perhaps we see a situation like Hardhome, where they have to close the gates?

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    8. Firannion,

      Wimsey,

      The tents there before were styled like a huge military camp, all tents lined up and of the same colour (grey) and style. That said, they could simply be using the same land to shoot different sequences, of course.

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    9. Firannion,

      Good point! The only thing that argues against that is that if it were a refugee camp or even a military camp that got sacked, then they would have had lots of tents, shacks and other “shantytown” constructions. That is a detail that they have included in the past.

      On the other hand, the refugees might just have gotten there shortly before the White Walkers, or there might be other shots that include those details.

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    10. Alba Stark: For example, I can’t wait to see the first meetings and reunions that will inevitably occur when Team Jon/Daenerys arrive at Winterfell; to see Bran and Jaime in the same space again (assuming, of course, Jaime makes it that far north); to see how Jon takes on board news of his parentage and the impact it has on his relationships with those around him.

      I wouldn’t get hopes set too high on those things: unless the reactions are integral to the story, then they will not have too much time for them. Moreover, it is entirely possible (if not probable) that some of the reunions will take place under circumstances where there simply is no time for anything major. For example, suppose that Jon and Daenerys arrive at the same time or even after the White Walkers arrive. In that case, everything is going to be a panic, and Jon remeeting Arya or Bran will be in a dead heat. Alternatively, Jon might return during a lull and remeet them all at once: and that means that only one is going to get any emphasis, and that emphasis will get muted by the others.

      The big problem here is that we don’t know what the last season’s story is. That makes it hard to guess which reunions will be (or might be) important to the story and thus get some emphasis, and which ones are just trivial details that must not clutter the storytelling.

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    11. Wimsey,

      They’ve pretty much foreshadowed Jon and Arya’s reunion, not only with Sansa’s comment in S6, but with Arya holding onto needle (though covered on far greater detail on the book, they set that stall out clearly in S5).. Although much of it will be fan service, it’s a pretty foregone conclusion that scene at least will happen. Quite possibly at the same time Tyrion and Sansa reconcile, though in another scene. That’s not so say the reunions won’t be cut short or overshadowed by doom or disaster though.

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    12. Wimsey,
      Oh come on, Wimsey. I considered you to be better than this. There’s plenty of time. Six episodes, and they will probably only have two main battles, one in Winterfell and one in King’s Landing (minor ones, such as Theon’s, will probably dot the rest).

      Sapochnik is directing episodes 3 and 5, so that’s probably where the battles are. This means that DnD probably reserved huge tracts of the first two episodes, plus the fourth, for all the updates, reunions and emotional development. It’s the Return of the Jedi framework: ramp up tension, action piece, lull, action piece, end. And also the framework of, at the minimum, seasons 3 (with 3.4/Astapor serving as the midseason action piece), 5 (5.4, Barristan’s death), 6 (6.4, Dany burns the khals) and 7 (7.4, Spoils of War).

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    13. I think the Vale Army is camped outside the gates of Winterfell right?, so they’re probably screwed unless they manage to all get inside before an attack. If it’s a surprise attack though, fahgettaboudit.

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    14. Apollo,

      IMO, the dead bodies represent potential meat for the NK’s army. The fire we saw around Winterfell in earlier posts must be related. Either the NK raises the corpses or a dragon/Dany/Jon burns them before they can be raised as wights. Winterfell has been burned before but it still stands.

      I think Winterfell survives the NK/White Walker siege and the NK marches on King’s Landing

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    15. Yaga: Oh come on, Wimsey. I considered you to be better than this. There’s plenty of time. Six episodes, and they will probably only have two main battles, one in Winterfell and one in King’s Landing (minor ones, such as Theon’s, will probably dot the rest).

      Aw, thanks for having considered me to be better than “that.” My real goal in life is to one day be considered better than both “this” and “that,” so clearly I am making a start! 😀

      Seriously, I do not think that a full 10 episodes would not be a lot of time, never mind only six (even if they are extended). I really think that last episode threw down the big plot and story gauntlet for the final season: Robert’s Rebellion is the “play within a play” for the “Battle for the Dawn.” Some of the “big” questions are still up there, particularly the “why” of the Walkers: they fought the last war based on completely mistaken assumptions about “why,” after all. And there also is the R’hllor issue: it’s not done with Jon, and somehow it is linked to the Walkers, too. And, ultimately, there is the “why” of humans, too: one of the key points that has been setup but with which the main characters have not begun to wrestle is that humans are not the “good guys”: indeed, they were the original monsters years ago. My bet is that a big chunk of the story is going to stem from Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion and Arya, etc., coming to terms with some very unpleasant facts that arise from this as Bran delves further into the past.

      There are quite a few other things that have been setup that have to be addressed, including such trivialities as whatever the hell Cersei is scheming to do. After all, we’ve seen winter in a broken Kings Landing.

      In other words, I’m expecting the pacing next year to be akin to that of Return of the King or the final Harry Potter film: i.e., relentless and concentrated, with few if any scenes that do not directly advance the story and/or plot until we reach the denouement. (However, we don’t need a 30 minute denouement a la Return, thanks!) To that end, if particular reunions do not feed the story, then they will only hurt the story with their presence in the same way that adding sawdust to flour hurts a cake.

      Now, how much would it take for be to be considered better than “whatever?” That would be really something! 😎

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    16. Firannion:
      Big battle after big battle after big battle, with monsters: In the final season, I suppose it had to be. The action-movie fanboyz shout ‘Huzzah!’ But it’s still the smaller, more intimate human interactions that my hold most of my attention, and that feed my anticipation. For those we get no spoilers, being shot mainly indoors. Maybe just as well.

      ____________________

      Tell me about it. I like dragons, explosions and ice zombies just as much as the next person, but after one rewatch to admire the spectacle, I rarely feel the desire to watch those scenes again.

      On the other hand. it’s the high thread count™ scenes – character driven, emotionally evocative moments – that I can enjoy on a perpetual loop.

      I’d be happy with a time allotment of 10% to big battles, 30% to Jon-Arya, 45% to Arya-Sandor, and 15% for whatever else (except baby dramas).

      * ™ Thronetender.

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    17. I’m glad that people know what to look for, because I am so oblivious to things from a distance that I’d probably drive by thinking “Huh, blobs. And a square white and green thing.”

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    18. I think that might be the biggest Green Screen I’ve ever seen. I wonder what they’ll do with all these sets they’ve built – while it would be nice for them to be moved and put somewhere were you can one day visit them I think they’ll be torn down.

      Saying that didn’t the show already build one of the biggest green screens when shooting the Battle of the Wall (I actually forgot that happened it seems so long ago.)

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    19. Jack Sharpe: Saying that didn’t the show already build one of the biggest green screens when shooting the Battle of the Wall (I actually forgot that happened it seems so long ago.)

      Yup. This looks much larger to me. That was one wall. This is two, and each of them looks about as big as that one for the Wall, if not bigger.

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    20. Luka Nieto,

      Thought I remembered hearing that. Wow Bernie Caulfield must have had a field day trying to organise all this. I salute the women and everyone who works bts on the show.

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    21. Seems they are going for the coldest weather, I would say the implication is the army of the dead. Story wise seems like an early thing to happen in S8.

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    22. Is it something I have missed?
      What is the story with Gendry’s hammer.
      We were carefully shown it, twice, complete with Baratheon arms.
      Then there was a big fuss to make Gendry leave it behind when he went for help?

      Suggestions?

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    23. Now, all there is left for us to wonder is: what is Game of Thrones planning to do with this massive new playground?

      One word:

      KRAKENS

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    24. eg555,

      I know you’re probably joking, but just in case: as a general rule of thumb, green screens are useful for extending environments beyond the real set or for creating these environments from scratch; but not for creating CGI creatures, like dragons (or krakens.) These are created in the computer, and then composited into real or digital shots; either way, no green screen needed.

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    25. that’s a huge green screen. I can think of reasons to make it that big.
      1- shooting action scenes with large amounts of people
      2- if they’re gonna build a set in front of it. could be a camp or ships

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    26. Ten Bears: ____________________

      I’d be happy with a time allotment of 10% to big battles, 30% to Jon-Arya, 45% to Arya-Sandor, and 15% for whatever else (except baby dramas).

      I want 20% devoted to closure of the redemption arcs of the redeemable: Sandor, Jaime, Theon, Jorah. (I suppose it’s arguable that Melisandre falls into this category, but I don’t really care if we ever see her again.)

      For balance, I suppose there may need to be an unexpected betrayal by someone we think of as a good guy.

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    27. Colin Armfield:
      Is it something I have missed?
      What is the story with Gendry’s hammer.
      We were carefully shown it, twice, complete with Baratheon arms.
      Then there was a big fuss to make Gendry leave it behind when he went for help?

      Suggestions?

      Who is making a big deal out of it? As far as I’m concerned it just shows that he’s accepted his lineage, and also, like his father he prefers a hammer if he gets in a scrap. He hasn’t had sword training but he has been swinging a smithing hammer for years. I’d say he would be more comfortable with a hammer and feels like he knows how to use it. As for taking his hammer when they sent him back… that just made sense. They needed him to run fast and the hammer was weight he didn’t need. I’m sure he was just reluctant to leave it since he put a lot of work into making it for himself, like he did his helmet.

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    28. dragonreborn,

      Hardly it would be ships: the greenscreen blocks the view to the water. On the other hand, the water is pretty close. For me the landscape looks a bit similar to the surroundings of the new KL set they built. Maybe, this set will be used to film something like the AotD approaching KL and/or battling outside its gates (which will replace the greenscreen) and the breakthrough and the battle inside the city will be filmed at the KL set?

      On the other hand, there might be a need for an open field battle sequence. I still wonder about the Dothraki: it doesn’t look like they were involved in the WF sequence so far, though it is possible that the recent photos with corpses on the field will be relevant to the Dothraki arriving to save WF at the last moment.

      Anyway, I am starting to suffer from the lack of imagination.

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    29. Wimsey,

      “one of the key points that has been set up but with which the main characters have not begun to wrestle is that humans are not the “good guys”: indeed, they were the original monsters years ago.”
      _____________

      I’m with you 100% on this. Anton and William concur.

      Oh, and I think there was never any “Long Night” in the past. It’s either propaganda, or another example of a complete inversion of what really happened.

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    30. Inga: Hardly it would be ships: the greenscreen blocks the view to the water.

      Ships in Game of Thrones are always filmed on land, surrounded by green screens. Seriously: unless it was a small boat, it was never real. Every single shot of a ship on water you have seen in all of the show was a visual effect 🙂

      Inga: For me the landscape looks a bit similar to the surroundings of the new KL set they built.

      The whole point of using green screens is to avoid using sets and natural locations. You won’t see any of what surrounds these green screens, except for the ground, which will be the only evidence by which we’ll be able to glean what this set is being used for, unless we get to see the actors involved.

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    31. Clob,

      IMO, the showrunners trolled us with that hammer: they knew that we were going to spot it in the trailer in Sandor’s hands and assume that Gendry would be dead by then:)

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    32. Luka Nieto,

      I know how they film ships. I just wantend to say that, when they film ships, they do that at a different set, where they have an actual ship surrounded with a greenscreen.

      As for the natural landscape vs the greenscreen, so far they were used in some combination: like the beaches of Dragonstone were natural (with added physical constructions), but the gate was on the greenscreen or the “lake” in Beyond the Wall was a real set, whereas the passage through the rocks was on the greensceen. Therefore, I assume that in this case some elements of the natural landscape will be used, too. It may be just the ground on which some action will be taking place, but still the ground counts as natural, right?

      I hope I made myself clear.

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    33. Wimsey,

      I remember an interview with Liam Cunningham a few months back where he said that there will definitely be plenty of great character moments in season 8 despite the huge action set pieces. So here’s hoping!

      And I can’t imagine for a second that they would rush, or brush over the Arya/Jon reunion. It’s been such a long time coming, and I think it will be important for Arya’s development as well as heightening the emotional tension for the battles to come. I, for one, will be livid if they don’t at least attempt to do it justice!

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    34. Luka Nieto:
      eg555,

      I know you’re probably joking, but just in case: as a general rule of thumb, green screens are useful for extending environments beyond the real set or for creating these environments from scratch; but not for creating CGI creatures, like dragons (or krakens.) These are created in the computer, and then composited into real or digital shots; either way, no green screen needed.

      That’s not always the case, necessarily; you can put CGI creatures in green screen shots and composites, it just depends on what the director wants and how much budget you’re dealing with and the preference of the cinematographer in matters of post-production digital colour correction and timing…

      Ice Spiders and Elephants here we come! (I’m kidding, sort of, but not really)

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    35. Enharmony1625:
      Wimsey,

      And I can’t imagine for a second that they would rush, or brush over the Arya/Jon reunion. It’s been such a long time coming,

      See, I’ve been resigned to the fact that they very well might do just that. ☹ They gave the moment to the Sansa/Jon reunion, imo, and since then I have been doubtful that we’ll get the scene that pretty much everyone wants. It would be disappointing, especially as Arya is my favourite female character and their bond in the books is so strong (with glimpses on the show). But then I tend to expect the worst for my favourites and hope to be pleasantly surprised! I’ve had Jorah dying in every season since….well, 4 or 5, and he’s at least made it into 8, so you never know! 😃

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    36. George: That’s not always the case, necessarily; you can put CGI creatures in green screen shots and composites, it just depends on what the director wants and how much budget you’re dealing with and the preference of the cinematographer in matters of post-production digital colour correction and timing…

      Ice Spiders and Elephants here we come! (I’m kidding, sort of, but not really)

      So I understood, eg555 meant krakens => Ironmen => Euron => hopefully SHIPS! With Golden Company?

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    37. Pigeon,

      After saying goodbye to Arya in S1e2 (“I’m going to miss you”), not once does Jon reminisce about her or even mention her for the next 62 episodes. He reminisced about Old Nan. He reminisced about Ros. But not Arya. (Finally, on Dragonstone in S7e5 he said “I thought Arya was dead” – which made zero sense.)

      During the same 62 episodes (S1e2 – S7e4), Arya reminisces about or mentions Jon in at least 7 episodes (s4e1, e7, e10; S5e3; S6e3; S7e2, e4).

      Meanwhile, Sansa’s reunion with Jon in S6e4 kicked off a major, 9+ episode “let’s retake WF” joint storyline (through his S7e2 departure for Dragonstone).

      There are only 6 episodes left. I have resigned myself to the reality that there is simply not enough time left to do justice to the Jon-Arya relationship that had been set up so beautifully at the outset, but has been “one-sided” ever since.

      Maybe they’ll surprise me, and S8 will be 80% Jon & Arya reuniting. then joining with Sandor to save the world. Meanwhile, offscreen, Sansa swaddles Baby Tyvek Lannister and Baby Eddard Targaryen.

      # NoBabyDrama

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    38. Looks like some of the scattered dead bodies are larger than dead horses. Elephants perhaps? Could the Golden Company be in Winterfell? Looks like there might be someone standing by one of these possible Elephants for a good size reference.

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    39. StarkReality727:
      Looks like some of the scattered dead bodies are larger than dead horses.Elephants perhaps?Could the Golden Company be in Winterfell?Looks like there might be someone standing by one of these possible Elephants for a good size reference.

      I hope it’s not Lord Manderly.

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    40. Pigeon: See, I’ve been resigned to the fact that they very well might do just that. ☹ They gave the moment to the Sansa/Jon reunion, imo, and since then I have been doubtful that we’ll get the scene that pretty much everyone wants. It would be disappointing, especially as Arya is my favourite female character and their bond in the books is so strong (with glimpses on the show). But then I tend to expect the worst for my favourites and hope to be pleasantly surprised! I’ve had Jorah dying in every season since….well, 4 or 5, and he’s at least made it into 8, so you never know! 😃

      Disappointment wouldn’t even begin to describe it for me. 🙂 Arya is easily my favourite character in the story, period. I really do think that we’ll get a great Jon/Arya reunion scene, not just because fans want it, but because this is an emotional tension that has been built up in the story. It would be downright criminal if they either gloss over it or ignore it all together. Hey.. I need to keep some optimism in this long wait! 🙂

      Ten Bears,

      Actually, Jon does mention her once that I can think of off the top of my head. I can’t remember the exact episode, but he does say to Sam around season 2 or 3, “My sisters are/were in King’s Landing” (paraphrasing because I can’t remember the exact quote).

      However, I do agree with you that I wish they had included at least 1 or 2 scenes showing Jon thinking about Arya. It’s a shame. I’m still hopeful that we’ll get one good scene of them together in season 8. What I wouldn’t give for an entire story arc of them together though..

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    41. Almost seems obvious whats going to happen.
      Cersei is pissed that J has gone North so she send the Golden Company directly on his back! to detain him and attack Winterfell. Team Jon will not know that they are actually there to attack them.The the GC arrive at WF just as the NK and the AotD! thus forcing Cersei’s armies to fight in the Great War regardless of her intentions, when anyone asks she can say yeah yeah i meant them to be there to help all along….

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    42. Enharmony1625,

      Well, what really puzzled (bothered?) me was Jon’s reaction to Bran’s ravengram in S7e5: “I thought Arya was dead.” There was no reason for him to think that. As of S6 she was presumed alive. (S6e4, Sansa to Jon: “Winterfell is our home. It’s ours and Arya’s and Bran’s and Rickon’s, wherever they are….) They knew she’d been traveling incognito under assumed identities. More important, until the very end of S6/early S7, virtually the entire North was hostile territory. There was nothing in the north “but war and ice and pirates” (S4e10); “the Lannisters hold sway” everywhere (S4e7); Arya had no reason to go to WF – “the Boltons have it” (S7e2); and Arya knew Cersei was looking for her.

      Sorry. Didn’t mean to go off on a tangent.
      It’s just that Jon’s line made no sense. (If someone mistakenly gave him bad intel the Arya was killed, I could understand his assumption.) Uncle Blackfish, in S6e7, didn’t presume Arya was dead. Why would her brother?

      As I understand it, in the books Jon and Arya are constantly in each other’s thoughts. While internal monologues don’t always translate well to the screen, the show did a bang up job showing their connection from Arya’s perspective. [Damn…. “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” from the books translated perfectly and wordlessly to the screen by Maisie Williams on Braavos dock in S5e3.]

      The showrunners, for whatever reason, elected to go with a long and involved “Team Jon & Sansa” storyline during Seasons 6 and 7. I just don’t see how they can possibly have the breathing room for Jon & Arya in S8. We’ll see, though. One fantastic scene between them will shut me up. And I don’t give a f*ck if it’s “fan servicey”, or they talk about Old Nan’s pie, Hot Pie’s pies, or Arya’s own “one or two” pies for 55 straight minutes.

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    43. Wimsey:
      Some of the “big” questions are still up there, particularly the “why” of the Walkers: they fought the last war based on completely mistaken assumptions about “why,” after all.And there also is the R’hllor issue: it’s not done with Jon, and somehow it is linked to the Walkers, too.And, ultimately, there is the “why” of humans, too: one of the key points that has been setup but with which the main characters have not begun to wrestle is that humans are not the “good guys”: indeed, they were the original monsters years ago. My bet is that a big chunk of the story is going to stem from Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion and Arya, etc., coming to terms with some very unpleasant facts that arise from this as Bran delves further into the past.

      So, if I understand you correctly… you want to humanise the Walkers as the main theme of the season, and think that the resolutions of the human-centric arcs and relationships – which all those reunion scenes would, in effect, be – are secondary to that. I find that extremely strange on your part. Surely, at this point, delivering resolutions to arcs and conflicts and relationships the audience is invested in is more important than coming up with an eleventh-hour swerve?

      Also, what do you mean by ‘setup that humans were the original monsters’? I genuinely don’t remember anything like that. Are you referring to the fact that the humans had attacked the Children of the Forest first? But the Children seemed to have been over this fact themselves, based on their cooperation with Bran, and the cave paintings.

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    44. Ten Bears,

      I think that Jon just assumed that she was dead, as after all, it’s very unlikely that she survived on her own during the War of the Five Kings and subsequent battles. He may not have said that to Sansa, but maybe that was just because he didn’t want to destroy her hope.

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    45. Yaga,

      I concur. Indeed, it’s highly unlikely that the wholewar between the living and the dead is going to be reduced to some sort of cultural misunderstanding to be ended with a handshake between Jon and the Night King. In GoT, the protagonists may be grey and some of the villains may get a redemption arch. However, most of the villains, like Joffrey, or Ramsay, or Cersei are just what they seem to be – the villains. Cersei might have had some potential for redemption during the first two seasons but nope – her whole character development went from bad to worse. So, how can anyone expect the NK to be not a villain? He might be a tragic figure turned into a killing machine against his own will but now he has to be switched off and I highly doubt that he would switch off himsels voluntarily, cause he wants to live just like everyone else – he’s just incompatible with everyone and everything else from humans to bugs.
      And speaking of Robert’s Rebellion, it wasn’t built on a lie – it was built on a hardcore truth that the Mad King was a villain and there was no other way out. So, Bran shouldn’t go into extremes and choose his words more carefully.

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    46. Undead Elephant,

      Nope. Sansa knew from Brienne in S6e2 that Arya had “survived the War of the Five Kings”, and two episodes later (S6e4) Sansa was at Castle Black urging Jon to help her retake WF because it’s their home…and Arya’s home, wherever she is.

      I don’t know why he’d assume it was “unlikely” she’d survived on her own: She “looked good” when Brienne saw her. By that time (S4e10), she’d survived for ~ 3 years: from her father’s execution in KL in S1e9 through at least S4e10. It wasn’t safe for her to travel north until after it became known that the Boltons had been ousted and Jon Snow was proclaimed KitN; once she learned that, she headed home but by then Jon had left for Dragonstone to hook up with Dany – I mean to mine dragonglass.

      If Arya had escaped KL and survived just fine for the next 3+ years (including successful escapes from the Lannisters at Harrenhal and from the BwoB), why assume it was “unlikely” that she’d survived during the ensuing two years when she’d be older and wiser.

      I know that Brienne’s encounter with Arya and Sandor in S4e10 was a divergence from the books. (Brienne and Sansa in early S6 as well, right?) I also accept that information can be imparted “off screen”. It’d defy common sense that Sansa would convey to Jon in S6e4 what she learned from Brienne in S6e2 about Arya’s survival.

      I have a younger sister. I sure wouldn’t give up on her without at least making an effort to find out what happened to her. The first thing I’d do is talk to the person who I’d learned had spent 2+ years on the run with her (Hot Pie). I’d ask if she’d made any acquaintances with whom she’d hang out or hide out until it was safe to head back home.

      In five minutes, I’d realize she’d befriended the Sexy Jesus guy from Braavos who’d given her a free travel voucher and full tuition scholarship to the Braavos Murder Academy. Perhaps I’d send an emissary there.

      Finally, once the bad guys holding the North were vanquished and the news spread, I’d wait for word from my little sister to come get her – or await her arrival. At the very least, I’d task Detective Davos Seaworth and a couple of loyal bannermen to search for her, starting at the Crossroads Inn.

      Now, if a character had deliberately or inadvertently misled Jon, eg, telling him he’d seen Arya’s body (similar to Theon’s deception that he’d killed and roasted Bran and Rickon), that would’ve explained Jon’s statement, “I thought Arya was dead.”

      Otherwise….it made no sense, and reflected poorly on Jon Snow.

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    47. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, that scene of Jon reading the scroll in 7×05 should have been played differently. He should have had a smile creep up across his face and should have said something like “Arya is in Winterfell.” He should have been relieved and happy to hear the news, but instead he was morose and dour. I guess they wanted to focus on the weight of the Night King threat, but still..

      I suppose it does play into the running theme of everyone underestimating her, though. Jamie brings her up at least twice and presumes she is dead. Brienne does as well until she comes across her in 4×10. Sansa is both surprised and relieved to hear she’s alive from Brienne in 6×02.

      I’m not expecting a whole storyline of Arya and Jon together in S8, but I do firmly believe we’ll get at least that 1 great scene between them, and then we can be pleasantly surprised if we get more. 🙂 And I honestly couldn’t care less if it is “fan servicey” or whatever. It’s not like it would be an empty or meaningless scene that would take up valuable screen time for more important things. This is the heart of the show!

      [Damn…. “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” from the books translated perfectly and wordlessly to the screen by Maisie Williams on Braavos dock in S5e3.]

      Just another great example of excellent acting on the part of Maisie!

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    48. Yaga,

      Wimsey is right. The White Walkers are the victims, not the villains. The Night King aka Ol’ Blue Eyes* is just some poor schlub who got genetically modified against his will to look like a space alien.

      And Jon misinterpreted the cave drawings…

      * 🎵 “Do-be-do-be-do”🎵

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    49. Ten Bears,

      Correction to 9:59 am Comment:

      “It’d defy common sense that Sansa would not convey to Jon in S6e4 what she learned from Brienne in S6e2 about Arya’s survival.”

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    50. the bigger corpses on the field are not elephants. just zoom in and compare the size of the corpse to that of the car in the background.

      on the other hand: i’m not sure and i can’t fact check now because i’ve stored the books somewhere no living person will go. wasn’t there a mentioning of smaller elephants in Volantis in the books?

      ok, probably a dumb idea, as the GC would not use elephants for battle that have “the world is flat” written on them. better book readers, please correct me!

      i think we see the corpses of undead giants.

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    51. Ten Bears,

      I thought that most of the reunions in season 7 were clumsily handled by D&D, including Jon’s reaction that Arya is alive. YMMV, but I was hoping for a bit more from the Arya/Hot Pie and Arya/Nymeria reunions, plus a few others. It’s probably too late now, but I’m hoping any reunions that come up in season 8 will be a bit more engaging and less of a technicality for the sake of expediency.

      And yea, I know, someone will come along and tell me there’s no time for that, blah, blah, blah, we only have 6 episodes left, blah, blah, blah, but the interactions between characters is the essence of GoT to me, not the mic drop moments that are becoming more frequent, so there should be time.

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    52. Ten Bears: Sansa knew from Brienne in S6e2 that Arya had “survived the War of the Five Kings”, and two episodes later (S6e4)

      Again, it was a long period of time between Brienne seeing her and her return to Winterfell/Jon receiving word… and she was then alone after Brienne (thought she) killed Sandor. Brienne learned very little from Hot Pie and what she did was ‘old news.’ A scrawny little girl in Jon’s mind now without protection. I wrote enough on my feeling about Jon’s line in that thread a while back so I don’t need to rehash it… much. I continue to not think it was an odd comment or out of place like you do. He knows very little of how she survived until Brienne saw her and nothing after. In far less time Sansa was able to get out of Winterfell, travel to Castle Black, spend weeks with Jon gathering support, with him for and after the BotB… Still not even a glimpse or whisper of Arya at any time from anyone. The last thing he would guess it that she’d sail to Braavos all by herself. It made perfect sense to me that he would think she’s (probably) dead while hoping that’s she’s not.

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    53. Ten Bears,
      Enharmony1625,

      IMO, you underestimate the effect of Rickon’s death on Jon. I mean he witnessed his brother dying within a reach of his hand – all after learning that he had survived before somehow. No wonder, that after that Jon assumed the worst case scenario for his other long lost siblings, too, and/or that the attempt to get them back might lead to their death, too. Moreover, we don’t know for how long Jon was waiting for Arya to show up at WF – not very long: from several weeks to one month, I assume. But anyway, if he had expectations, every passing day would have been killing them. So, there’s no surprise he acted the way he did.

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    54. Clob,

      * and Brienne told Sansa in 6×02 that she saw her, but she saw her in 4×10. At “that time” Castle Black had just defended against Mance’s attack and he went under to go meet with him. Much time had passed and a lot of bad thing had happened since.

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    55. Chicken Generated Image,

      I’ve thought about the wightified giants when I saw those props, too, but maybe these are just piles of bodies. Anyway, this looks like the aftermath (or the final stage) of the battle and the most obvious battle is that with the AotD in Ep 3, though I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that the GC will come to WF and do some very bad things in Ep 5, too.

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    56. Mr Derp,

      “YMMV, but I was hoping for a bit more from the Arya/Hot Pie and Arya/Nymeria reunions.”
      ——————-
      Me too. They were a big letdown for me. I attribute it to the director. His choices (i.e., not the writing) have made several scenes in several episodes underwhelming… or inconceivable. (Like choosing to have Arya stroll around Braavos like a carefree sightseeing tourist when she knows the FM want to whack her.)

      Arya & Nymeria in S7e2 should’ve had as much emotional “punch” as the S1 scene of their parting. It didn’t. It should’ve been an indelible moment. It wasn’t. Arya & Hot Pie was badly lit, and I couldn’t make out what Arya was saying without several rewatches and closed captioning. (E.g., after Hot Pie tells her he thought she’d be heading to WF, I could not understand her reply.) Maisie was great as always; it’s just that those two reunion scenes in S7e2 should’ve been iconic moments.

      By contrast, the Sansa-Jon reunion in S6e4 was beautifully done. Despite the characters’ lack of (prior) relationship, their reactions upon seeing each other – from not believing their eyes, to rushing into each other’s arms – were natural and unforced. Not rushed at all.

      Well, at least the S7e2 director-who-shall-not-be-named won’t be doing any S8 episodes.

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    57. Clob,

      “It made perfect sense to me that he would think she’s (probably) dead while hoping that’s she’s not.”

      Jon: “Ghost! I thought you were dead!”
      Ghost: “Why?”
      Jon: “I haven’t seen you in a while.”
      Ghost: “So you just figured I was probably dead?”
      Jon: “I hoped you weren’t.”
      Ghost: “F*ck off, Jon Snow.”

      _________________
      (Sorry. Don’t hate me.)

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    58. Jon to Arya, “So what have you been up to?”
      Arya ” Well I got trained as an assassin and killed a few enemies on the way.”
      Then I baked two sons in a pie and fed them to their father.
      Then I slit the fathers throat and poisoned all his male relatives.
      Oh, and I slit Littlefingers throat.

      Jon That’s nice, been busy then.

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    59. Clob,

      “Much time had passed and a lot of bad thing had happened since” [S4e10]
      ———————

      Right. It was not safe to travel, let alone reveal her identity, until after the Starks got rid of the Boltons and retook WF. In the very last scene of S4e10, Arya begged the ship captain to take her north to the Wall; he told her there was nothing to the north except “war and ice and pirates” – and anyway, he was going home to Braavos.

      Sansa only managed to make it from WF to CB because of Brienne ex machina. Otherwise, she’d still be a captive – or a corpse.

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    60. Clob,

      Ten Bears,

      Have to agree with this. If I had a sibling under twelve (not sure of Arya’s age in 4.10) and the last someone had seen them was out in the middle of nowhere and their guardian at the time had been killed, I would hope they survived, but given what Westeros is like, they’re more likely to be dead than anything else.

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    61. Ten Bears: Sansa only managed to make it from WF to CB because of Brienne ex machina. Otherwise, she’d still be a captive – or a corpse.

      AhhHaa… As far as Jon could know, after Brienne “killed” Arya’s supposed protector she was alone. A younger, smaller girl than Sansa who Jon doesn’t know yet can protect herself better than most did not have that “Brienne ex machina” so SHE was likely “a captive – or a corpse.”

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    62. If I’m KITN and my sister is missing, I don’t care about the odds. I’m going to send people to look for her until I can confirm she’s dead.

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    63. Mr Derp:
      If I’m KITN and my sister is missing, I don’t care about the odds.I’m going to send people to look for her until I can confirm she’s dead.

      He should have sent Brienne, Pod and Sansa back out from Castle Black to look for her. They wouldn’t have found her as she was in Braavos and all, but still, we wouldn’t have had to listen to Sansa complaining for all of S6. Win-win 😛

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    64. Clob,

      You know what? Here’s how I choose to reconcile all of this. (If my assumptions about the books are wrong, let me know.) As the showrunners have acknowledged, the show is taking a different route but will reach the same destination as the books. The characters’ book vs. show paths diverged, but are now converging again for the story’s conclusion.

      This is an example of the show taking a different route: I assume that in the books:

      • Brienne did not encounter Arya with Sandor; and
      • Brienne did not rescue Sansa from the Boltons.

      Therefore, book! Brienne does not know Arya was alive, and could not tell book! Sansa that Arya was still alive; book! Sansa can’t convey to Jon that Arya was recently seen alive. As a result, Jon Snow could not possibly hold out hope that Arya could still be alive after 6-7 years without a confirmed sighting or any communication from her.

      In the books, I assume nobody knows that Arya is still alive. Therefore, the (arguably inconsistent) refrain on the show that Arya Stark hadn’t been seen since her father was beheaded and is presumed dead, would make sense. (See Jaime to Brienne in early S4, and Brienne to Hot Pie in S4e7?).

      In order to align the characters so their books! and show! storylines are in the same position for the “end game”, the butterfly effects of some of the show’s detours have to be massaged or ignored.

      I understand there’s a subplot in the books about a f!Arya that got merged into show! Sansa’s Bolton storyline. Maybe after that books! imposter’s identity is discovered, people will assume that the real Arya was already dead???

      For now, I can just write off slightly awkward
      details like the WF dweeb guard saying “Arya Stark’s dead” [S7e4] and a few months minutes later Sansa meeting Arya in the crypts and not exclaiming “OMG! It’s really you! We thought you were dead!”

      None of these apparent inconsistencies will matter if S8 opens with a kickass, unforgettable Jon-Arya scene. 🙂

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    65. Mr Derp:
      If I’m KITN and my sister is missing, I don’t care about the odds.I’m going to send people to look for her until I can confirm she’s dead.

      ✅✅✅
      (I’d do that if my dog was missing.)

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    66. Ten Bears,

      Well, what really puzzled (bothered?) me was Jon’s reaction to Bran’s ravengram in S7e5: “I thought Arya was dead.” There was no reason for him to think that.

      It’s bad writing, plain and simple. That whole episode “Eastwatch” was one of the worst written episodes of the series imo. Dave Hill has always been the weakest link amongst the writers for me.

      I am not sure why the writers decided to more or less completely ignore Jon’s special relationship with Arya. I know internal monologues are hard to translate on screen, but it was not impossible to convey the special bond the two of them shared.

      Anyway, looking forward to S8, their reunion is bound to happen and given that Maisie and Kit have been spotted in Belfast more than almost any other actor and often during the same week, it could mean multiple interactions between these characters. Whether these interactions end up being meaningful and satisfactory is another matter though. I am not sure I trust the writers enough, based on past history.

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    67. Ten Bears:
      None of these apparent inconsistencies will matter if S8 opens with a kickass, unforgettable Jon-Arya scene.

      I would definitely prefer it if the Jon-Arya subplot in Season 8 concentrated on how far they have drifted apart in the years since they last saw each other. That would be actually kinda interesting. Showcase the change. The character growth. As opposed to resetting it. Kinda the opposite of Arya-Sansa.

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    68. And where would one seek in the whole Westeros from the North to the Vale, where war is still going on and marauders make trouble all about? In the woods, in the hills, in the destroyed settlements and the smoldering battlefields between corpses and bones and devasted landskapes? How many reliable people would be expandable to be send in those times?

      And for Arya/Nymeria: If you were parted from Your dog for a longer time and You return, Your dog will be as happy as You are, but very fast, from one moment to the other it goes back to the normal, without any sentimentality, while You are standing still crying of joy – but Nymeria is no dog, she’s a direwolf, living wild for many years with her own pack.
      Recognizing and sparing her was a great gift she gave to Arya, and to let her go was a great gift, Arya gave to Nymeria.

      By the way, I’m sure the remaining direwolfs, Ghost, Nymeria and her pack will play an important role at last…

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    69. Yaga,

      yea, I know a lot of people think Jon and Arya will have a great reunion because they were the closest but I think they could definitely end up disappointed. Be careful what you wish for seems an appropriate phrase for this. It would also be much more interesting and logical that everything doesn’t just fall into place easily. And I’m sure Arya won’t be happy with Jon bending the knee.

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    70. Ten Bears: This is an example of the show taking a different route: I assume that in the books:

      • Brienne did not encounter Arya with Sandor; and
      • Brienne did not rescue Sansa from the Boltons.

      Correct.

      Sandor becomes gravely ill from a wound at the inn fight that is your favorite Arya-gets-a-horse-scene on the show. It’s that weakness that she leaves him in, not from a fight with Brienne. Sandor isn’t back in the story yet, but much later Brienne hears from the Elder Brother at Quiet Isle that he’s dead and Arya had been with him. So she would have hearsay of Arya to pass on at some point. (That’s where ‘the grave digger has to be Sandor’ comes in.)

      Sansa is still twiddling her fingers and thinking about boys at the Eyrie.

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    71. Jon is going to be busy trying to settle the Lords of the North.
      They do not like Targarians, Jon is bringing one to Winterfell and they will find out sometime that he is one!
      They do not like Lannisters and both brothers are likely to be there soon!

      Going to take some fast talking!

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    72. Have to say I would too. That said, we don’t know Jon didn’t send search parties out looking for her (off camera).

      On a similar vein, we never had Bran tell Sansa that Arya was still alive and wandering Westeros on a killing spree. She must surely have come up in conversation between them.

      Granted- Bran is now ka-ka but there’s on way they wouldn’t discuss family.

      Ten Bears: ✅✅✅
      (I’d do that if my dog was missing.)

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    73. ghost of winterfell,

      “It’s bad writing, plain and simple. That whole episode “Eastwatch” was one of the worst written episodes of the series imo. Dave Hill has always been the weakest link amongst the writers for me.”
      _______________
      I should really follow who writes each episode. It can make all the difference in (dis-)continuity, and immersing me in the fictional world or taking me out of it.

      In addition to the head-scratching line “I thought Arya was dead” in S7e5, Jon had another line later in the episode that had me saying to myself, “Wait…What?” Once Jon’s at Eastwatch, he goes to visit the BwoB crew locked in the cells. He sees Sandor, and says simply: “You’re the Hound. I saw you once at Winterfell.” I thought Jon’s reaction would be something like “Holy sh*t! WTF! I heard you got thrown off a cliff to your death! Did the Lord of Light resurrect you too?”

      As for Jon-Arya, as others have observed, S7e6 “Beyond the Wall” was the logical time and place for callbacks to Jon’s little sister and his special bond with her. Assembled together were four characters who had spent expended periods of time with Arya and had positive interactions with her from the time she left KL in S1 through the end of S4: Gendry (whose life she saved at least once); Thoros; Beric; and Sandor. Jon had just found out Arya was safe and sound in WF. I would’ve thought one of those four guys would at least ask about her, or that Jon might mention to Sandor that the little girl he’d been watching over had made it back home.

      During the group’s chit chat while marching together, Gendry spent his time non-stop whinging about Melisandre. But not a word about Arya. Nada. No indication of curiosity from Thoros and Beric, who’d been impressed by Arya’s courage and professed such concern about the well-being of “Ned Stark’s daughter” in S3. And not a word from Sandor, who’d abandoned his quest for ransom and was just trying to protect Arya by the time Brienne tried to abduct her. (It came off as odd that Sandor wasn’t told Arya was fine and in WF in S7e5 or in S7e6. It wasn’t until his chance encounter with Brienne in S7e7 on the walk to the Dragonpit that he learned what happened to her.)

      It just seemed to me that Arya’s welfare ir their respective adventures with her would’ve been a natural topic of conversation among the band of wight hunters when accompanying the brother of their young ward/hostage/traveling companion. Was it a function of “writing”? I don’t know. However, I do know I could’ve done without the “dick”, c*ck, p*ssy, and other throwaway lines of dialogue – as well as Gendry’s bitching and moaning.

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    74. Apollo,

      “…On a similar vein, we never had Bran tell Sansa that Arya was still alive and wandering Westeros on a killing spree. She must surely have come up in conversation between them.”
      ——————

      Well, when Bran, Sansa and Arya we’re outside in front of the heart tree in S7e4, Bran told Arya “I saw you at the Crossroads”, and he thought she’d be headed to KL because “Cersei’s on her list of names.” (Sansa explained to Arya: “Bran has…visions.”)

      Anyway, at that point I thought: “Wait: You saw her at the Crossroads Inn when she was there in S7e2… and didn’t tell anyone???” If Arya Stark’s been missing for many years and people are assuming she’s dead, don’t you think they might want to know she’s not? And that you know where she is?”

      (I half-expected Bran to blurt out: “I heard Hot Pie say You’re pretty.”)

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    75. Ten Bears: “Beyond the Wall” was the logical time and place for callbacks to Jon’s little sister and his special bond with her. Assembled together were four characters

      I’m right there with you on that. I not only wanted some conversation between them regarding Arya, I expected it. All that was necessary was a short interaction, even if it was entering a scene as they were talking about her to convey the idea that more had already been said. Instead there was not even mention of her name by any of those men until Sandor spoke with Brienne in KL.

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    76. Colin Armfield,

      If Sam and Bran are smart, they’d keep the secret about Jon’s paternity to themselves – just like Ned did. There’s too much downside to revealing it – at least for the time being.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Ten Bears: Anyway, at that point I thought: “Wait: You saw her at the Crossroads Inn when she was there in S7e2… and didn’t tell anyone???” If Arya Stark’s been missing for many years and people are assuming she’s dead, don’t you think they might want to know she’s not? And that you know where she is?”

      That’s a good point. I suppose one could question when he saw her there, but his words indicate that it was before she’d returned and didn’t witness her head for Winterfell instead of KL. I realize he has his head buried in a bowl of Cocoa Puffs but it doesn’t make sense for him not to tell Sansa he saw her.

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    78. Colin Armfield:
      Jon to Arya, “So what have you been up to?”
      Arya ” Well I got trained as an assassin and killed a few enemies on the way.”
      Then I baked two sons in a pie and fed them to their father.
      Then I slit the fathers throat and poisoned all his male relatives.
      Oh, and I slit Littlefingers throat.

      Jon That’s nice, been busy then.

      Hahaha – Nice one and LMAO 😀 😀 😀

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    79. Ten Bears:
      Clob,

      Hmmm. I think I like the Sansa twiddling her fingers version better than the show version. 🙂

      She also gets tummy flutters when she sees a cute boy, and there is lots of food. So, you know, there’s that.

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    80. Pigeon: She also gets tummy flutters when she sees a cute boy, and there is lots of food. So, you know, there’s that.

      Oh geez – forgot the tummy flutters. I’m really not looking forward to reading her chapters in TWoW. *sigh*

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    81. Yaga: I would definitely prefer it if the Jon-Arya subplot in Season 8 concentrated on how far they have drifted apart in the years since they last saw each other. That would be actually kinda interesting. Showcase the change. The character growth…

      At this point, I’m up for total fan-service, tug-at-the-heartstrings, Hollywood-cliched, violin-music-accompanied scenes between Arya and Jon.

      They can showcase the change in Arya’s character with a brief 30-second exposition by another character reporting that Walder Frey, his damn moron sons, and their Red Wedding accomplices who butchered and mutilated Robb, Catelyn, Talisa, and scores of Northerners – were executed by a face-changing girl who said if anyone asks, tell them “Winter came for House Frey”; and that the sadistic Kingsguard who got his jollies beating Sansa and punching her in the stomach was found poked full of holes and exsanguinated in a Braavos brothel.

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    82. Ten Bears,
      Sure, she survived 3+ seasons with company (most of the time). But after she separated from the Hound no one saw her for 2+ seasons. And when you think about what happened in Braavos, she might just as well be really dead. I mean, that was a close one.

      In five minutes, I’d realize she’d befriended the Sexy Jesus guy from Braavos who’d given her a free travel voucher and full tuition scholarship to the Braavos Murder Academy. Perhaps I’d send an emissary there.

      Nope. That’s a stretch, even with Hot Pie’s help. The knowledge Hot Pie could have given them, is that Jaqen was from the free city of Lorath, not Braavos. But we never saw him speak to Jaqen, so why should he know even that? No one except Arya knew that he had given her the coin etc. She didn’t even know what would happen. And yes, there is a chance she could have showed Hot Pie and Gendry the coin and told them what Jaqen told her to do with it, but I guess she didn’t. Hot Pie was only referring to Brienne when they reunited.

      As for Jon. I would have preferred another reaction too, but you can also make sense of the sentence we got:
      After this scene and then that, I probably would have taken Sansa’s approach too.

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    83. Ten Bears: Yaga: I would definitely prefer it if the Jon-Arya subplot in Season 8 concentrated on how far they have drifted apart in the years since they last saw each other. That would be actually kinda interesting. Showcase the change. The character growth…

      At this point, I’m up for total fan-service, tug-at-the-heartstrings, Hollywood-cliched, violin-music-accompanied scenes between Arya and Jon.

      I’ve got a foot in both camps here. I’d be very gratified if the initial Jon/Arya reunion scene is emo as all get-out, but I would also like to see some realistic subsequent awkwardness as each gradually realizes how much the other has changed.

      Jon is not the same idealistic youth he was before he crossed over to the other side and found nothing there. But, good as he is at killing, he still doesn’t enjoy it, and was visibly unhappy to have to execute the Castle Black mutineers. Arya, by contrast, has grown rather callous about taking lives (or “giving the Gift”), which Jon will likely find a bit shocking. There ought to be some walking on eggs between these two for at least a little while – perhaps until they’re fighting side-by-side and need to have each other’s backs.

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    84. Firannion,
      Some time ago, I had a small realisation, and posted a thread about it on reddit. I think that a major influence on the character of Arya could have been Dune’s Alia-of-the-Knife. Petite kid, good with a knife. Also insane.

      While I don’t think that Arya is as far gone as Alia… I think that Sansa understands her now better than Jon does. They just seem to have more in common now to me.

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    85. Yaga: Arya could have been Dune’s Alia-of-the-Knife. Petite kid, good with a knife. Also insane.

      While I don’t think that Arya is as far gone as Alia

      A worthy analogy. But, although Arya has been through enough trauma to qualify for several full-blown cases of PTSD, at least her mother wasn’t (to our knowledge) under the influence of an intensely psychoactive drug at the moment of her conception (or while she was still a zygote – been decades since I read Dune, I forget…)!

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    86. Ten Bears,

      Yep, I thought it was strange that Arya didn’t come up in conversation during the Wight hunt. However, the members of the team – i.e. Jon, Gendry, Sandor and the BwoB – (Thoros and Beric) who had been in contact with Arya or knew her in the past wouldn’t necessarily have made the connection?

      Certainly not Jon who had last seen her at WF before he left to join the NW. Likewise Sandor which as far as I recall Jon only saw was back in S1 ep1 also?

      At least it was good that Brienne and Sandor brought her up in conversation on the way to the Dragon Pit. Hardly surprising though as Brienne must have thought Sandor was killed when he fell off that cliff.

      Anyhow, I would think it goes without saying there will be a Jon/Arya reunion in S8 🙂

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    87. Firannion,

      I figure Sandor can get Arya to ease off on the sport-killing. (I think he’s going to feel guilty for discussing killing techniques with her as if they were talking about their golf games,)
      Sandor’s better suited to pass on to Arya what Brother Ray impressed on him:

      “All I can do with time I’ve got left is bring a little goodness into the world. Never too late…to stop killing people. Start helping people. It’s never too late to come back.”

      Jon and Arya could both be better served spending their time together remembering what it was like to love and be loved. Corny, but true.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Ten Bears,

      Out of curiosity, I checked Dave Hill’s CV, and he’s only written three episodes of any show ever, and all were for GOT: Sons of the Harpy, Home, and Eastwatch. I liked both Sons of the Harpy and Home, but Eastwatch felt like a “leftovers” episode cobbled together from scraps, and now I know why. Even really good writers strike out, but someone who’s just starting out, now that’s a gamble.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Black Raven: I thought it was strange that Arya didn’t come up in conversation during the Wight hunt. However, the members of the team – i.e. Jon, Gendry, Sandor and the BwoB – (Thoros and Beric) who had been in contact with Arya or knew her in the past wouldn’t necessarily have made the connection?

      I think they all should have quickly made the connection and would have wanted to bring her up right away considering they all knew the Stark kids had been scattered by events. All of them knew Jon was Ned’s “son” and they all knew Arya was his daughter. Every one of them was with Arya when she wanted to get back to her family, and it seemed like they all generally cared about her well-being to some degree. Then by chance they all meet up with Jon and it doesn’t even cross their minds to ask about her?

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    90. Elessar,

      I am not qualified to critique screenwriting. However, I have to say that “Home”, S6e2, contained another example of dialogue that prompted a “Wait….What???” reaction from me. It was the scene in which Brienne gives Sansa a peculiar, uninformative and almost deceptive account of her encounter with Arya and “a man”:

      ———————
      From S6e2, “Home”

      Brienne: “I saw her with a man. I don’t think he hurt her. She didn’t want to leave him. He didn’t want to leave her.”

      Sansa: “You don’t know which way she went?”

      Brienne: “I spent three days looking for her. She disappeared.”

      Sansa: “How did she look?”

      Brienne: “She looked good. She wasn’t exactly dressed like a lady.”

      Sansa: “No, she wouldn’t be.”

      —————————–
      That’s it. No identification of that “man” as Sandor. No mention that Brienne ignored Arya’s wishes and chose to attack the “man” Arya wanted to stay with. No disclosure that Brienne threw the “man” over a cliff to his (presumed) death. No acknowledgement that Brienne deprived Arya of her chosen guardian. No explanation that both Arya and the “man” became suspicious because Brienne was toting a Lannister gold sword.

      Right after pledging to be Sansa’s sworn shield and rambling on about “honor”, Brienne withholds potentially crucial information? And who cares about Arya’s fashion choices?

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    91. Clob,

      All of them failed Arya in one way or another, so what they could say to Jon? I met your little sister but failed to keep her safe because I was egoistic/greedy/untrustworthy etc.?

      As for Bran, he simply lost understanding about how people feel.

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    92. Inga,
      Beric and Thoros perhaps, but not Gendry and Sandor. It wasn’t their job to help her but they all tried, even if some were wanting to profit from it. I reckon they’d leave that part out when telling him the story.

      Gendry was sold away and found the time to continually complain about that. One would think that he would also have questions for Beric and Thoros about what happened to Arya since she was still with them when Melisandre took him away.

      Sandor was taking care of her and might have been embarrassed to say he was beaten by a giant, blonde c*nt, but he didn’t keep that a secret from Brother Ray.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Inga,

      Sandor didn’t fail Arya. He fought to the (near-)death to protect her. He saved her from the camping Frey soldiers in S3e10? after she killed one for boasting about mutilating Robb. He stopped her from a suicide run into the Twins as the Red Wedding was wrapping up. He went after her when she marched into the inn to retrieve Needle from Polliver and his “King’s Men” goons. Besides, he got her a beautiful white pony. Before that, Arya admitted she wouldn’t try to escape from him because “I’d be dead by nightfall without you.” (S4e1). When there was no prospect of ransom or reward from any of her family members, he still fought to protect her – when he could’ve easily served her up to Cersei for a big payday. He said nasty sh*t and robbed Rabbit Stew Sally’s father, but did not “fail” Arya.

      How did Gendry fail Arya? He protected her from bullying when they first met. She saved his life with her quick thinking when Lorch and the Gold Cloaks came to execute the “royal warrant” for him. He safeguarded her confidences. Did he fail her by deciding to join up with the BwoB?

      Thoros and Beric? Maybe so. They are the ones who held her hostage for ransom, and prevented her from promptly reuniting with her family.

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    94. Firannion: I’ve got a foot in both camps here. I’d be very gratified if the initial Jon/Arya reunion scene is emo as all get-out, but I would also like to see some realistic subsequent awkwardness as each gradually realizes how much the other has changed.

      Jon is not the same idealistic youth he was before he crossed over to the other side and found nothing there.But, good as he is at killing, he still doesn’t enjoy it, and was visibly unhappy to have to execute the Castle Black mutineers. Arya, by contrast, has grown rather callous about taking lives (or “giving the Gift”), which Jon will likely find a bit shocking. There ought to be some walking on eggs between these two for at least a little while – perhaps until they’re fighting side-by-side and need to have each other’s backs.

      I can see something like this happening for sure. It seems very GoT-like, that it will give us this wonderful heartwarming reunion, but then things take a turn. They might find it difficult to reconnect their relationship to what it was when they were young because of how much each of them have changed, and I think that would be devastating for Arya. She probably has built up an expectation and hope in her mind for how things will turn out when she sees Jon again, looking for the love and support that’s been absent from her life since Ned’s death, and wanting it from Jon most of all. When he can’t be there for her due to his focus on the WW-threat, Cersei, Dany, potentially knowing his true heritage, etc., she will be very hurt by that.

      That might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and causes her to leave Westeros for good after helping in the great war. She may even forsake her identity as Arya Stark because there is just too much pain there, leaving Needle behind in the snow (book readers know what I’m referencing here). She may feel that the only chance she has for a glimmer of peace and contentment is to start a second life as someone else.

      Then Jon finds Needle stuck in the ground in the spring thaw, and he’ll know he failed to be there for her when she needed him the most. I think that’s the only way Jon being king at the end works, in that he’ll have lost almost everything to get there, making it a hollow victory for him. 🙁 🙁

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    95. Enharmony1625,

      “It seems very GoT-like, that it will give us this wonderful heartwarming reunion, but then things take a turn…”
      ……………………………………………………
      😔 They tried that with Arya and Sansa last season, and (in my view) it bombed. 💣 The Sansa-Jon conflict that started almost immediately after their beautiful reunion at CB, was neither logical nor enjoyable. 👎

      I suppose it’s easier to write “dramatic” scenes with characters venting their anger, resentment, jealousy and hate, than it is to construct believable scenes of people expressing genuine affection for each other. Jon and Arya in “The Kingsroad” in Season 1 was a good example of the latter. From start to finish, it was just…perfect.

      I hope the showrunners don’t think they have to fracture that relationship for “dramatic realism” or some other excuse.

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    96. Ten Bears,

      Perhaps for you, but not for me.

      It’s probably easier to write because that’s how many people are, especially when it comes to relatives. In my family, we can go without seeing each other for years and then be ferociously fighting with each other inside of a few hours.

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    97. Elessar:
      Ten Bears,

      Perhaps for you, but not for me.

      It’s probably easier to write because that’s how many people are, especially when it comes to relatives. In my family, we can go without seeing each other for years and then be ferociously fighting with each other inside of a few hours.

      Yes, this might happen.
      Or it might happen, that You don’t recognize Your beloved brother/sister after years, because he/she seems to did change – or You did change? – and You have nothing in common and nothing to say anymore, although both of You try. It’s a shame, and all that’s left, is the love to the other, as he/she once was (or seemed to be?)…

        Quote  Reply

    98. Elessar,

      What I meant to convey, in general terms, was my speculation that believable warm and fuzzy scenes are harder to write than those with arguments and conflicts.

      I don’t doubt that in many families, people can go years without seeing each other but then can be at each other’s throats within minutes.

      After all, isn’t that what Thanksgiving dinner is for? 🦃 😄

        Quote  Reply

    99. Ten Bears,

      They tried that with Arya and Sansa last season, and (in my view) it bombed.

      Bombed is putting it mildly. 🙂 I’m still a bit raw over how they handled that conflict, particularly in 7×06. I was so excited to see how things would go when Arya got back to Winterfell, and I fully expected that there would be some tension given what each had been through and knowing that they never really got along when they were young, but the manufactured drama we saw on screen was just asinine.

      So they would definitely have to tread carefully on how they handle a potential Jon/Arya arc. Though I do think it is realistic that there would be some complications with them trying to re-establish their strong bond they had when they were young. It will all rest on the execution of it should that be the direction they go. Thank goodness for David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik in S8!

      Jon and Arya in “The Kingsroad” in Season 1 was a good example of the latter. From start to finish, it was just…perfect.

      I don’t know how many times I’ve rewatched that scene! It was in this episode that Arya became my favourite.

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    100. I don’t think we’re going to have discord in the relationship between Jon and Arya once they reunite. Regardless of how much they’ve gone through, what they’ve had to do to survive, inside both of them is the same person that is just being suppressed during the times of dangers and struggles. They are both fighters and fighters do what is necessary when challenged. I’d relate it somewhat to an ultra-competitive athlete that might be a complete jackass on the field or court, but once he/she steps off of it is the nicest person. Jon and Arya were the closest ‘siblings’ and I expect that kinship, that compatibility will be conveyed by the ability to communicate and understand what they’ve each had to do and become.

      Besides any of that, I think we’ve had enough of the odd and strained Stark reunions. If any of them are going to be on the same page it’s J & A. I also don’t think there’s time remaining to get into another family rift of that nature, especially if there’s still tensions with Sansa from either.

      Regarding how they do their reunion… At this point it seems like an impossible task to write something that is going to be good enough for the viewers. It is THE reunion “everyone” has been waiting for. I just hope they go all-in on it in an attempt to make it great and emotional. They gotta try at least.

      I look forward to Arya actually becoming involved in the main story. When they stuck her into the Sansa-Littlefinger arc they not only abandoned or paused Arya’s personal series storyline, they also kept her out of the ‘big story.’ Was Arya even in one discussion about the NK? Sansa is still more concerned about House seats and the obligations of normal life. Normal life is about to end…

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    101. Clob,

      Well said!
      If I may add my two cents…

      “They are both fighters and fighters do what is necessary when challenged…”

      For those concerned that Jon might be upset that Arya has become a lethal little warrior princess, remember that he’s the one who gave a little girl a sword, and the advice that she’d have to practice every day; that even though she – and the sword – were so skinny, she could poke a man “full of holes if you’re quick enough”; and of course: “Stick ’em with the pointy end.”

      “I look forward to Arya actually becoming involved in the main story. When they stuck her into the Sansa-Littlefinger arc they not only abandoned or paused Arya’s personal series storyline, they also kept her out of the ‘big story.’ Was Arya even in one discussion about the NK?”

      Yeah, it was weird that Arya became a sideshow. Especially in LF’s “trial” in S7e7 that put Sansa center stage while Arya stood to the side, had a few lines, and then sliced his neck and walked away. (However. I did enjoy the final battlements scene between the sisters. It would’ve been nice if they’d had that reconciliation in Episode 4 instead of going psycho on each other and acting like clueless dummies with WeaselFinger lurking around.)

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    102. Clob,
      Ten Bears,

      Some very good points, and I hope you’re right!

      For those concerned that Jon might be upset that Arya has become a lethal little warrior princess, remember that he’s the one who gave a little girl a sword, and the advice that she’d have to practice every day; that even though she – and the sword – were so skinny, she could poke a man “full of holes if you’re quick enough”; and of course: “Stick ’em with the pointy end.”

      The thing I keep coming back to though, is that Arya has displayed a kind of gratification in her killing. She even admits to The Hound in 4×08 that killing Polliver made her happy, and Jon said the polar opposite to Dany last season when he told her he doesn’t enjoy what he’s good at. So that might be a source of concern for him if he learns how she’s dealt with her enemies.

      Thought I don’t think this signifies Arya being as “far gone” as some think. Plenty of characters in the story have exhibited their own brand of brutality. Brienne driving her sword slowly into the groin of that one Stark soldier (“Two quick deaths…”), and Sansa feeding Ramsay to his dogs (is there a worse way to go?). In a way, Arya has done Westeros a favour. Meryn Trant will no longer beat little girls in brothels, and Polliver will no longer rape girls, and the Freys.. just ugh!

      Regarding how they do their reunion… At this point it seems like an impossible task to write something that is going to be good enough for the viewers. It is THE reunion “everyone” has been waiting for. I just hope they go all-in on it in an attempt to make it great and emotional. They gotta try at least.

      I look forward to Arya actually becoming involved in the main story. When they stuck her into the Sansa-Littlefinger arc they not only abandoned or paused Arya’s personal series storyline, they also kept her out of the ‘big story.’ Was Arya even in one discussion about the NK? Sansa is still more concerned about House seats and the obligations of normal life. Normal life is about to end…

      Hear, hear on both points!

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    103. Enharmony1625: In a way, Arya has done Westeros a favour. Meryn Trant will no longer beat little girls in brothels, and Polliver will no longer rape girls, and the Freys.. just ugh!

      For sure. Every time Arya has killed it’s been justified. She has not done anything wrong in that way. It’s the pleasure she seems to get out of killing that is the problem, and I’m not even sure it’s that much of a problem. I think Arya will turn out fine and I don’t think she really needs Jon or the Hound to get involved in changing her ways, though I’m sure it couldn’t hurt.

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    104. Mr Derp: Every time Arya has killed it’s been justified.

      That reminded me of Arnold’s quote in True Lies when he was drugged and his wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) asks him if he’s killed anyone. “Yeah, but they were all bad.” 🙂

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    105. Ten Bears:
      Elessar,

      That’s it. No identification of that “man” as Sandor. No mention that Brienne ignored Arya’s wishes and chose to attack the “man” Arya wanted to stay with. No disclosure that Brienne threw the “man” over a cliff to his (presumed) death.No acknowledgement that Brienne deprived Arya of her chosen guardian. No explanation that both Arya and the “man” became suspicious because Brienne was toting a Lannister gold sword.

      Right after pledging to be Sansa’s sworn shield and rambling on about “honor”, Brienne withholds potentially crucial information? And who cares about Arya’s fashion choices?

      None of that mattered at the moment. The important thing was that Arya was alive and “looked good” the last time Brienne saw her. Who the man was and what transpired between them was inconsequential.

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    106. Clob,

      Yea, Arnold’s pun game is strong. His corny one-liners will never be topped.

      “Stick around”
      “Ice to see you”
      “He’s dead tired”
      “He’s got a splitting headache”
      “Here is Subzero. Now plain zero!”
      “Hey want to be a farmer? Here’s a couple of acres!”

      And the list goes on and on.

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    107. Some new pics cropping up on Twitter possibly showing

      wight Giant stand in and WWs outside Winterfell

      Edit: actually, they’re from some older pics but with an interesting observation..

        Quote  Reply

    108. Ten Bears,

      The Stark sisters have both suffered from D&D’s tendency to pre-position characters in locations where they’ll be needed later. This may simply be to give the actors enough to do during a season, but leads to storylines that – literally – go nowhere. The flip side of this was inventing a wheel-spinning Dorne storyline for Jaime to keep him busy.

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    109. Bufferzone,

      Well then, I wish they had prepositioned Arya at the Crossroads Inn in S7e2 and kept her there for the next four episode to perfect her baking techniques*, and then gone to WF in e7 to spar with Brienne and slice LF’s neck.

      * (From S7e2)

      Arya: “Mmm. This is good!”

      Hot Pie: “You think so? The secret: is browning the butter before making the dough. Most people don’t do that because it takes up too much time.”

      Arya: “Mm, I didn’t do that.”

      Hot Pie. “You’ve been making pies?”

      Arya: “One or two.”

        Quote  Reply

    110. Clob,

      I agree with this. I really don’t want to see yet another Stark reunion gone sour. It’s already happened 3 times so far, and not one of those was satisfactory to watch . I just want Jon and Arya to be like, no matter how much we have changed, we will always have each other’s backs. Especially since Jon’s plate is going to be full next season, with his parentage reveal, having to deal with the fact that Ned lied to him his whole life to protect him, that he unknowingly banged his aunt and maybe even got her pregnant, that he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, having to deal with Sansa’s and the Northern Lords’ reaction to him having knelt to Daenerys and with the approaching white walkers. I doubt there will be time for some Arya drama as well.

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    111. Clob: Regarding how they do their reunion… At this point it seems like an impossible task to write something that is going to be good enough for the viewers. It is THE reunion “everyone” has been waiting for. […]

      I look forward to Arya actually becoming involved in the main story. When they stuck her into the Sansa-Littlefinger arc they not only abandoned or paused Arya’s personal series storyline, they also kept her out of the ‘big story.’

      How different opinions can be! As far as I’m concerned, Arya-Sansa was always the reunion I was looking forward to. And the purpose of Arya’s and Sansa’s arcs was always to get them back together and make them realise they had more similarities than differences. As the writing remarked through Sansa in the ‘court’ speech – not to allow the next generation of the Tully ladies to make the same mistake the previous one did.

      What do you think Arya’s ‘personal storyline’ is, if not that? Why did the two, in parallel, between themselves orchestrated or were accomplices in the destruction of all the actors principal in Ned’s death and the Red Wedding?

        Quote  Reply

    112. Yaga: And the purpose of Arya’s and Sansa’s arcs was always to get them back together and make them realise they had more similarities than differences.

      One of the biggest problems with that storyline was that this happened off-screen.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Yaga,

      Even though Jon/Arya is the reunion I’m most looking forward to, I was very excited to see Arya/Sansa reunite as well to see these two sisters who were polar opposites come to terms with what each had been through over the years. And I actually didn’t have a problem with their reunion in 7×04, I just wanted more! The episode was only 50 minutes long, so they could have easily stuck in another scene or two between the reunited siblings (including Bran).

      Given where their relationship left off and what each had been through in the subsequent years though, I think it was believable that their coming together was a little tepid.

      And the purpose of Arya’s and Sansa’s arcs was always to get them back together and make them realise they had more similarities than differences.

      Yes, it’s one of those ironies where shared trauma brings two people closer together who were once very different. And let me also add, together they are a force to be reckoned with (Sansa’s politics and manipulation, and Arya’s cleverness and lethal skills)! I just hope we see that continue into S8, where all the Starks are more or less on the same page.

        Quote  Reply

    114. ghost of winterfell,
      I feel that at that point, a “we teaming up? yeah, we teaming up” scene would have been just a formality that wouldn’t have added anything. I can see why DnD omitted that in favour of a longer post-teaming up scene, which contained all the emotions I wanted. That one felt so… I dunno. Visceral and real. Like two people really reconciling. Talking. That was satisfying.

      As far as I’m concerned, with that scene, both Sansa and Arya have completed their character arcs. They are kinda like Eowyn after slaying the Nazgul for me right now. In idle mode as far as character development goes. Which is why I’m so interested in what Clob – or maybe some other of you guys – thinks.

        Quote  Reply

    115. Yaga: How different opinions can be! As far as I’m concerned, Arya-Sansa was always the reunion I was looking forward to. And the purpose of Arya’s and Sansa’s arcs was always to get them back together and make them realise they had more similarities than differences. …

      What do you think Arya’s ‘personal storyline’ is, if not that?

      Okay, I don’t have much time at work here to get deep into this…

      I’ll just say that if there was a poll on desired reunions I believe you’d be in a small minority wanting the Arya-Sansa one the most.

      And then… Seriously? You believe the whole point of Arya’s storyline has been THAT? I didn’t get that as her primary ‘goal’ while reading the books or watching, and I certainly don’t believe that’s the sole or main purpose and that now her arc is complete. There is or should be more to her purpose/ending as George is definitely putting more into it then that. I say that not just because of everything she is and is learning (beyond what the show conveyed, such as multiple languages and honing her warging skills) but also because George wants her older for the things he has in mind for her (referring to his contemplated age jump). Reconciliation and understanding between the sisters wouldn’t require an age jump as the time that’s passed and experiences would be sufficient. There’s a whole lot of pointless stuff still going on in her storyline if that’s the end goal.

      Sansa in the books to this point has not gone through anything in my opinion that makes me think it’s about learning she’s more like Arya than she thought. At the current published and released chapters point she’s back into a mode very similar to the beginning of the books; all dreamy about boys and marriage.

      The writing D&D did for S7 to tie up the “Littlefinger knot” may have made it feel more like that was the point of both of their story arcs but I don’t believe that’s the major nor the final purpose of their stories.

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    116. Yaga:
      ghost of winterfell,
      As far as I’m concerned, with that scene, both Sansa and Arya have completed their character arcs. They are kinda like Eowyn after slaying the Nazgul for me right now. In idle mode as far as character development goes. Which is why I’m so interested in what Clob – or maybe some other of you guys – thinks.

      I would have to disagree, especially for Arya. I think that her inevitable reunions next season are going to be important in developing her character further.

      Jon will be the most important of her reunions, but seeing both The Hound and Gendry again will inevitably have an effect on her as she confronts her feelings for them (and seeing the changes in The Hound).

      The core of Arya’s arc has always been one of identity, and that’s how I see her story ending. She has to choose who she is, and the influence of reuniting with Jon, The Hound, Gendry will affect her choice.

      Sansa may be a little closer to completing her arc, but I think there are still some questions left. e.g. Has she given up on her ‘dream’ of marrying a handsome prince? Whether she ends up ruling the North or Westeros, will she do it alone or will she finally find a suitable husband? Also, how will she reconcile the truth of Jon’s heritage and Dany’s presence with her own ideas/ambitions of ruling?

        Quote  Reply

    117. Enharmony1625: She has to choose who she is, and the influence of reuniting with Jon, The Hound, Gendry will affect her choice.

      It’s going to be very interesting when Sandor and Arya meet again. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up switching roles from earlier. Arya will play the cold-blooded killer while Sandor will be the voice of reason.

        Quote  Reply

    118. Clob,
      But you didn’t answer my question. What do you think her personal story is about/what do you think is yet to happen?

      Enharmony1625: She has to choose who she is,

      See, I disagree. That was what her arc in S7 was about. She doesn’t have to choose between being an assassin and a Stark. Going home (ie choosing to be a Stark) allowed her to kill the chief architect of her parents’ demise – someone who had escaped her attention until that moment, who wasn’t even on her list (ie to fulfil her assassin role). And Sansa accepted this, just as the new Arya accepted Sansa. Sansa has now *seen* her faces. Sure, at first, she reacted with fear and disgust, but I don’t think she does any longer. Pretty cool, in my opinion.

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    119. Yaga: But you didn’t answer my question. What do you think her personal story is about/what do you think is yet to happen?

      I really don’t have the time… I’m suppose to be working… I’ll try to spit out some thoughts between other things. 😛

      Basically, I’m not talking about a broad stroke, one sentence summary that explains the moral of Arya’s story, i.e., something like you wrote, “And the purpose of Arya’s and Sansa’s arcs was always to get them back together and make them realise they had more similarities than differences.” I don’t believe that is the purpose of their arcs. I think that trivializes the characters, specifically Arya.

      You wrote that you believe they’re at the end of their story. If that is true on the show then I think D&D missed entirely on Arya. I’d wager that their S7 events won’t be anywhere close to what happens in the books. One can point out that the show is just based on the books and the stories don’t have to be exact. They don’t and that’s fine. However, when show!Arya’s storyline followed the books pretty much step-for-step for six seasons it doesn’t always work to just sling it off in another direction. Judging by comments during the airing and since, most people felt Arya’s S7 was just “off,” uncharacteristic, felt ‘tacked on” to Sansa’s story, basically not what was expected after everything else in her story. I believe that’s because D&D didn’t know what to do with her for that part of the story, only what they didn’t want her to do (yet) to fit with everything else. So while they don’t have to end her story like George does, if THAT was the culmination of her story after the nearly identical characterization throughout the series then it just doesn’t make sense.

      I can’t begin to narrow down MY guesses for what she has left to do. Since she was following her book story so closely I was expecting her to be a major player in the climax since I do for the books. She was one of George’s initial ‘five main characters’ after all (along with Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion and Bran). The ‘makes it home and now gets along with sister’ ending doesn’t appease me nor fit as a conclusion with the direction it is/was heading. There’s more to it than that. With book thinking: She’s a lot deeper in with the FM then the show conveyed, her training is a lot more broad and she doesn’t have a rift with the waif. She’s just beginning to understand her warging ability. I for one think that ability within her (and also Jon) that the show eliminated so far will be a factor in the end. Her reunion and relationship with Jon and how she deals with his lineage news is yet to come. Their relationship is a much bigger element in ASoIaF than her’s with Sansa. The show has added the words in the confrontation with Melisandre to indicate something more between them… It probably put greater emphasis on a reunion with Gendry as well. Sandor… She has several elements of her own arc that appear to be coming back around or need to, which also indicates to me that S7 was more of a ‘pause’ in her arc than a conclusion.

      – sorry if ‘choppy’ or repetitive as I wrote it in pieces. –

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    120. Maisie Williams has been filming non-stop since filming for the last season began. At this point, it looks like she’s the actor who has done the most filming, even more than Kit Harington. Next season, Arya will be front and center – we will see her emotional journey with Jon – Maisie mentioned that we will be seeing the fun season 1 Arya again. We will be seeing her in a leadership role as she takes part in the defense of WF. We will see her interact with characters like Dany and Tyrion. She will have side plots with Gendry and the Hound. She is a central characters in the series. Regarding the loss of the 5 year gap in his books, GRRM stated ‘If a 12 year old has to conquer the world, so be it’.

      That people think that Arya’s story was about reuniting with Sansa shows how terrible the writing for her has been on the show thus far. Now that we have reached the final season, Arya will hopefully get her due as her show story aligns with her book one.

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    121. Yaga,
      Clob,
      I had to wait until I got home from work so I can put together coherent thoughts on the matter. 🙂

      That was what her arc in S7 was about. She doesn’t have to choose between being an assassin and a Stark. Going home (ie choosing to be a Stark) allowed her to kill the chief architect of her parents’ demise – someone who had escaped her attention until that moment, who wasn’t even on her list (ie to fulfil her assassin role).

      Even though her S7 moved her in that direction, it is by no means complete. She certainly seems to have chosen to not be a mindless killer, which is why she left the FM, but we have no definitely conclusion about her list. Does she still intend to pursue it? Is she still consumed with the idea of vengeance? Will she eventually learn to let go of the anger that has been driving her vengeful ways? Does she even need to? Even if one survives their vengeful pursuits, what happens when they kill everyone on their list? What comes after that?

      There is also the question of family, which is a significant part of Arya’s arc that is overlooked by some. Family is very important to her, and for so much of the story, she is trying to get back to them. In the books she imagines being with a “pack” of her own. For the time being at least, she has reconciled with Sansa, but how will this play out when Jon returns and all the complications that come with it (the WW threat, Cersei, Dany, etc.)? Will she be able to forge a lasting relationship with the remaining members of her family? Does she want a family of her own?

      George has said that he will further explore Arya and Gendry as they will reunite in the books, so I can only assume it will happen in the show as well (and how couldn’t it at this point as almost everyone is converging), and what will that mean for Arya? I know not everyone is a fan of this, but many are (including myself 🙂 ), so could it mean she falls in love with him? That would signal quite a change in her character, but one that I think is totally believable (if done well). They spent nearly 2 full seasons together, and there are few people she opened up to more than with Gendry. And although she’s said several times that she’s “not a lady”, that doesn’t mean she can’t or won’t fall in love. It may be wishful thinking that they end up together in the end, but who knows.. there is quite a bit of foreshadowing in both the books and show that it’s at least a possiblity. In any case, her meeting up with him again could very well lead to exploring different sides to her character that were teased in the earlier seasons.

      So I think there are still plenty of questions left that need closure for Arya’s arc to be considered complete. I, for one, would be absolutely furious if all we get next season is just “badass Arya”.

      And Sansa accepted this, just as the new Arya accepted Sansa. Sansa has now *seen* her faces. Sure, at first, she reacted with fear and disgust, but I don’t think she does any longer. Pretty cool, in my opinion.

      I agree, and their final scene together at the end of 7×07 was one of my favorites of the whole season! We need more of that, please!

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    122. Mr Derp: It’s going to be very interesting when Sandor and Arya meet again.I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up switching roles from earlier.Arya will play the cold-blooded killer while Sandor will be the voice of reason.

      I’m so looking forward to this. Though her reunion with Jon is front and centre for me, I think I have to put Sandor and Gendry in a tie for second.

      And more than seeing Arya’s reaction to Gendry, I want to see Gendry’s reaction to Arya. No longer dressed as a boy. Very pretty. And while she often talked tough back then, she wasn’t really able to back it up, but now she can and then some!

      (And because I know how much TenBears likes Gendry. 🙂 )

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    123. Forgive me for harping on about my pet tinfoil again, but I do believe that D & D deprived Arya of the natural culmination of her vengeance arc by cutting LSH out of the story. It just makes such sense to me that she won’t know what to do with herself post-HoBaW besides cross names off her list… until she crosses paths with what has become of her mother. Giving LSH her final Gift of Mercy is what ‘knowing where the heart is’ ultimately leads to, I believe. After that, killing will become sad and meaningless to her, and she will be freed to reinvent herself for the postwar era. Which may or may not include romance with Gendry or exploring west of Westeros.

      This can still happen in the books. In the TV version, they need to come up with something equally logical, cathartic and satisfying. I have no clue what.

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    124. Firannion,

      I really like this theory for the books. It makes a lot of sense.

      If that is indeed what happens, the only person I can think of that would make sense on the show to fill that role would be Sandor. I think I’ve mentioned this somewhere before, and I know.. it would be heartbreaking. 🙁 But it would mirror how they parted in 4×10, and this time, Arya obliges him and gives him the gift of mercy, albeit very tearfully after she realizes what he’s done for her and how much she ended up caring for him.

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    125. Mr Derp,

      S3e9)
      Arya: “Don’t kill him! Please! Please don’t.”
      Sandor: “You’re very kind. Someday it’ll get you killed.”
      —————————–
      (S5e9) Alliser Thorne: “You have a good heart, Jon Snow. It’ll get us all killed.”
      —————————
      (S4e10) Sandor: “Remember where the heart is.”

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    126. Enharmony1625,

      I used to like Gendry. Especially in S2 scenes like this one:

      Gendry: “You shouldn’t insult people that are bigger than you.”
      Arya: “Then I wouldn’t get to insult anyone.”

      Even after Melisandre did her seduction/leeching, he brushed it off, telling Davos it was only a little blood.

      S7 Gendry was a different person. Not just because of the unfortunate buzz cut. Four seasons later and now he starts whinging about Melisadre – and not even being candid about what happened?

      He could’ve taken five seconds to ask Jon Snow: “Whatever happened to that little sister of yours? Is she okay? You know, she saved my life.” Nope. His conversation with Jon was limited to “I saw your father once. You’re not as tall”, and later, whining about Jon releasing Thoros and Beric to join the wight hunt squad.

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    127. SerNoName,

      “Maisie Williams has been filming non-stop since filming for the last season began. At this point, it looks like she’s the actor who has done the most filming, even more than Kit Harington. Next season, Arya will be front and center – we will see her emotional journey with Jon – Maisie mentioned that we will be seeing the fun season 1 Arya again. We will be seeing her in a leadership role as she takes part in the defense of WF. We will see her interact with characters like Dany and Tyrion. She will have side plots with Gendry and the Hound. She is a central characters in the series….”
      ___________________
      A Song of Ice & Arya. I’ll be in the front row.

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    128. Ten Bears,

      Gendry: “You shouldn’t insult people that are bigger than you.”
      Arya: “Then I wouldn’t get to insult anyone.”

      The way Maisie delivers that line is about as perfect as it gets!

      I agree that the writing for Gendry in S7 wasn’t that great. For whatever reason, it didn’t make me dislike him though. Or maybe I’m just holding out hope that we’ll see the old Gendry again when he reunites with Arya. And maybe enough time will have passed for his hair to grow out a bit. 🙂

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    129. Clob: She’s a lot deeper in with the FM then the show conveyed, her training is a lot more broad and she doesn’t have a rift with the waif. She’s just beginning to understand her warging ability. I for one think that ability within her (and also Jon) that the show eliminated so far will be a factor in the end. Her reunion and relationship with Jon and how she deals with his lineage news is yet to come. Their relationship is a much bigger element in ASoIaF than her’s with Sansa. The show has added the words in the confrontation with Melisandre to indicate something more between them… It probably put greater emphasis on a reunion with Gendry as well. Sandor…

      OK, thanks for giving me something to work with.

      I think that the FM can be discarded as a plot point – they fully arrived on the scene in the books where George stopped writing according to any sort of a plan, and went full throttle on his patented ‘gardening’ method, aka ‘throw sh*t at the narrative and see what sticks’ (also, ‘my ideas are so brilliant I don’t need an editor, ever’). Any good editor would have probably pared them down… which is incidentally what the show did.

      The warging is probably just there to remind Arya that’s she’s a Stark while she’s among the FM. She’s way past that on the show already. She’s even decided that she doesn’t need a direwolf to be a wolf herself – the first Stark among the kids to make this conscious decision.

      That leaves her connections with Mel, Gendry, the Hound and Jon. OK. Let me put it like this: narratives are built on conflict. Sometimes the conflict is internal, sometimes it’s external. What’s Arya’s conflict? The external one is her list, and her revenge: she’s completed it by killing Littlefinger. The internal one… just looking at the first pages of AGOT, it’s pretty clear that it’s that she’s a tomboy. She wants to be a woman, but she also wants to be a fighter, a killer; and she wants to be acknowledged as both. Cat, bless her heart, due to her own upbringing wants to breed the tomboy out of her, and Ned, possibly because he was stung by Lyanna’s ultimate fate, also fails to tell Arya of the Northern warrior women such as Maege Mormont. The closest role model she has is Nymeria of Dorne.

      That’s why it’s so important for her arc that she meets *women* who share her interests and acknowledge her. The waif, even if she’s a rival on the show. The actress. Brienne. Finally, Sansa. The bonus here is, Sansa acknowledging her is slightly like Cat – a wiser, less stuck-in-her-ways Cat – acknowledging her by proxy. That’s a huge resolution to that narrative. A huge breakthrough.

      So, with that, let me get back to the names you mentioned.

      Mel? She’s not important enough. She was a rival, once, the one who took Gendry from Arya, but that fizzled out. Arya even dropped her name from the list.

      The Hound? He was an important accessory in connecting her to Sansa. But what can he tell her now? ‘Keep on keeping on being yourself, kid’?

      Jon? There has never been any conflict with Jon. I really doubt they will introduce a ‘Jon is disgusted by what Arya has become’ subplot in the final season; besides, that would be a retread of what they did with Sansa. I also really, really don’t think they will want to introduce the incest from one of the original outlines and make Arya have sexual feelings for Jon and so be jealous of Dany (although that would certainly be a swerve, I’ll grant you that). So, the best they can do is what I suggested earlier: a slight sense of ‘when we were kids, we only had each other; but now, you have a girlfriend and I also have other people, so there’s that’.

      Aand Gendry. I left him for last, because I think that he actually is what Arya’s plot in S8 will be. He fits with Arya’s main narrative, that of acknowledging herself as a killer and a woman. Arya pretty clearly used to have the hots for him back in Season 2, and she did want to kill Mel for taking her from him. So, chances are, her main emotional engagement in S8 will be getting herself a boyfriend.

      And that’s also exactly what Eowyn did after killing the Nazgul.

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    130. Yaga,

      I thought you were joking. I’m not so sure now. I’ll just try to keep pretending that you are though.

      Because if you really think that their stories are ‘complete’ after everything that’s happened, and that their entire journies have been to lead back to each other instead of having so much greater meaning, purpose, and autonomy, well…..

      I’ll just pretend that you’re joking.

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    131. Yaga,

      I disagree with much of this tbh. I don’t think Arya’s character journey was about her eventual reunion with Sansa and it’s outcome and implications. Sansa was just a part of Arya’s journey and not even it’s biggest part. Arya’s journey has been about finding and fighting to retain her own identity. Her arc was not so much about taking revenge for her family, but rather examining the effect of her almost single-minded quest for revenge on herself. Her conflict was whether she would lose herself, her humanity, her identity in her murder-quest or whether she would be able to retain her sense of self. The show more or less answered this question last season. She still has her humanity, she can still distinguish right from wrong, she doesn’t kill indiscriminately. She was able to almost complete her purpose without losing herself.
      She also reaffirmed her identity as a Stark, with unconditional loyalty to her pack, (which has been a running theme for her across all books) and her setting aside her differences with Sansa amounted to finally acknowledging that she and Sansa belonged to the same pack and they had to have each other’s backs.

      I think the final part of her character arc will be finding a purpose beyond her thirst for revenge which has consumed her so far. And I think her reunion with Jon, the brother she has always loved the most and who knew her better than anyone else, and maybe even Sandor and the dangers brought by the approaching white walkers will help with that. And I think she will end her journey as a true hero, in defeating the white walkers, whether she will be able to survive the end or not. I hope she does, whether to explore what is west of Westeros, or to marry Gendry or something else entirely.

      Arya’s list is not yet complete of course, with Cersei and the Mountain still living. However, I don’t think Arya will be involved in her downfall. She already made her choice last season when she chose to return to Winterfell and Jon instead of pursuing revenge against Cersei.

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    132. Pigeon,
      I’m most definitely not joking – and I find it offensive that you attempt to belittle my point of view by comparing it to a joke. Even on the Internet, there is no need for that.

      ghost of winterfell: I think the final part of her character arc will be finding a purpose beyond her thirst for revenge which has consumed her so far. And I think her reunion with Jon, the brother she has always loved the most and who knew her better than anyone else, and maybe even Sandor and the dangers brought by the approaching white walkers will help with that.

      One, she’s already found it, last season. Her revenge has completed with Littlefinger, now the time has come to fight against Winter and protect her hearth and home. She currently has this new purpose in life, to defend her pack, Sansa and Bran and herself, and after that’s gone, she’ll be well equipped to pursue another goal, whatever that is.

      And two… that’s exactly where my question comes in: How? First, *what* do you see Jon, or the Hound, telling her that she doesn’t know already and that’s important for her character development? She already knows who she is. She is a Stark, a lady, and a fighter and a killer, and there is no need to drop any of these parts of herself. And second, *if* there is some incredibly important mini-arc remaining in her plotline – and *none* of you have yet said what that can be, besides ‘she’ll reunite with Jon’ (reunite and *what?*) – how do you see that unfolding on screen, in, let’s say, 3-7 conversations?

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    133. Pigeon:
      Ten Bears,

      I still like Gendry, but I kept wondering through S7 if he was hopped up on amphetamines or just drank a LOT of coffee….

      I prefer the mellow, Gendry-on-Xanax during the Harrenhal rat bucket torture scene.

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    134. King Gendry Barrathion, first of his name.
      May be a better partner for Sansa who always wanted to marry a king.

      Arya with Hotpie (who said she was pretty!) running an inn would be an interesting match.

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    135. Colin Armfield:
      King Gendry Barrathion, first of his name.
      May be a better partner for Sansa who always wanted to marry a king.

      Perfect match. They can whinge at each other all day.

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    136. Colin Armfield: Arya with Hotpie (who said she was pretty!) running an inn would be an interesting match

      Lol, I could imagine Arya getting fat eating his food all day long. I think she’s more of an outdoors girl though. Besides, Arya could do so much better than Hot Pie, no offense to the top chef of course.

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    137. Yaga:
      Pigeon,

      And two… that’s exactly where my question comes in: How? First, *what* do you see Jon, or the Hound, telling her that she doesn’t know already and that’s important for her character development? She already knows who she is. She is a Stark, a lady, and a fighter and a killer, and there is no need to drop any of these parts of herself. And second, *if* there is some incredibly important mini-arc remaining in her plotline – and *none* of you have yet said what that can be, besides ‘she’ll reunite with Jon’ (reunite and *what?*) – how do you see that unfolding on screen, in, let’s say, 3-7 conversations?

      Like, the only character development she had last season was because of Jon, not Sansa. Arya hears about Jon as KITN and she decides to give up on revenge and go home. She then gets there and finds out that Sansa is in charge. Arya is still emotionally closed off. She does not like Sansa’s bland half-hearted support for Jon and thinks Sansa wants to be queen. They fight and in the end realize that LF has been playing them. She cuts LF’s throat and then on the castle walls, the girls make up and talk about missing Ned. That’s it. Arya had no story last season.

      Arya has always been about the pack and about loyalty. Always. That’s why she gets angry at Sansa’s complaints about Jon and her response when the lords insulted Jon. And at the end, Arya is still about family and loyalty. She is still emotionally closed off. At the end, even though Sansa and Arya make up they are still not close.

      I will let Maisie Williams explain what she wants for Arya next season. This was after she read the scripts:

      For a lot of the previous season, her emotions were very cut off. She didn’t want to hear what her family had been through. I hope in the new season I get a chance to bring back a bit more of that fun child we all fell in love with.

      Maisie is saying that we may see the old Arya again. We did not see this Arya last season, because she is still in the mindset of cutting throats and killing people. It’s Jon, the person she misses most in the world, the person who loves her most, who is going to bring back the old Arya. The old Arya who wants to build castles and be a Septon. The old Arya who is naughty and mischievous.

      The one thing Arya has been trying to do ever since leaving KL is trying to get to Jon and you think her story is about reuniting with Sansa?!

      Needle was Jon Snow’s smile.
      Jon Snow on the Wall. That was where she had wanted to go
      Jon will want me, even if no one else does.
      When Dareon had first appeared at the Happy Port, Arya had almost asked if he would take her with him back to Eastwatch,

      I can understand show only watchers feeling that way, considering that Jon hardly remembers that Arya exists on the show. But if anyone reads the books, it should be fairly obvious, that Arya’s main and closest relationship is with Jon. Jon dies trying to save her and Arya probably heads North after hearing about Jon’s assassination in Braavos in the books.

      If the show wants to do any kind of justice to the books, Arya and Jon’s reunion, their relationship and them defending WF together will play a big part of next season.

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    138. Colin Armfield:
      King Gendry Barrathion, first of his name.
      May be a better partner for Sansa who always wanted to marry a king.

      Arya with Hotpie (who said she was pretty!) running an inn would be an interesting match.

      I’ve commented on this elsewhere, but Sansa and Gendry is just.. no! They don’t fit together at all, and there is no history between them. It would come off as forced and very unsatisfying. And the last thing anyone wants to see in S8 is Arya and Sansa fighting over a boy. Or would Arya just be fine with it? That makes no sense given where Arya and Gendry left off.

      Arya and Hotpie is a fun, and endearing idea, but realistically he is just too minor of a character to be a satisfying end to Arya’s story. He was the perfect character to deliver that line, but in a larger sense it was meant to show another side of Arya and how guys are seeing her differently now that she is growing up. So what does that mean for Gendry when he sees her again? A similar thing happens in the books where she is the subject of catcalls in Braavos, and The Kindly Man comments on her “pretty face” when she disguises herself as an ugly little girl.

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    139. Yaga,

      Arya’s revenge list is not completed as long as Cersei and the Mountain are alive. Yes, she chose to head home instead of pursuing Cersei, but I saw that as a sort of “pause and regroup” mentality over her just abandoning her list. I see her as still having her list and the desire to finish what she started, but reuniting with her family (but mostly Jon) was more important to her than finishing her list at that moment. How she talked of Cersei to Hotpie in the inn shows she still has a deep hatred for her; that didn’t just go away. It was just more important for her that she could finally go home.

      Also, I share the feelings of Clob, SerNoName and Pigeon (and whoever else was commenting). Her arc can’t be done yet, and I think believing she completed it with teaming up with Sansa belittles Arya’s character. Even Sansa’s. Arya is so much more complex than that (not to mention her time with the FM can’t be a “discarded plot point”– whatever that means. She has been foreshadowed to go to Braavos since like season 2). I’m sure D&D, and even more so, George, have big plans for her in this final season, including big transforming character arc plans. Plus, the Great War is here! She must help save humanity which I’m sure will have huge consequences for her arc (and what will she do with the Catspaw dagger…). Anyway, Season 7 Arya seems to be the diversion away from her character arc, not her finally finishing it. Season 7 Arya was definitely the least like her character so far.

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    140. Ten Bears: Perfect match. They can whinge at each other all day.

      I wonder if I’m the only Arya fan that also likes Sansa. Ha! 🙂 I feel like with many people, it’s one or the other, but rarely both.

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    141. Enharmony1625,

      Speaking for myself, there are very few characters on the show that I dislike. However, there are certainly a few vocal hardcore fans that I don’t care for. You know, the ones who insist their favorite character is better than everyone else, and the ones who turn threads into Sansa vs. Arya, Jon vs. Dany, etc…

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    142. If I had to pick a character that I dislike it would probably be Daario, but even then I don’t really have any particularly hard feelings against him. I just find him to be pretty useless to the story.

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    143. Mr Derp,

      I agree with this completely. I am for every character on the show, they all keep the story going in various directions and are all pretty interesting. Even the characters that are positioned for viewers to hate (ei Joffrey, Ramsay, etc.) I end up loving, just because it is awesome to have such a wide range of characters on a show and they all make it perfect.

      That being said, I guess there is one character I really dislike… also positioned to be hated by viewers, but Pycelle is just too much. Every line that comes out of his mouth I hate. The actor did an even better job of making me hate him than Joffrey or Ramsay did.

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    144. Mr Derp,

      Yeah, it’s totally fine to like the characters you like and dislike ones that don’t connect with you or engage you. And it’s fine to be passionate about your favorite character(s) too. That’s the beauty of this show/story. As long as people don’t feel the need to belittle other characters in order to prop up their favorite by ignoring truths and completely ignoring important character/plot points. I’ve seen that in places, and even articles by “professional” publications. Fortunately not here though!

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    145. Jaehaerys: That being said, I guess there is one character I really dislike… also positioned to be hated by viewers, but Pycelle is just too much. Every line that comes out of his mouth I hate. The actor did an even better job of making me hate him than Joffrey or Ramsay did.

      Yea, I can get down with this too. Pycelle was a douche. I was personally referring to anyone who’s still on the show at this point. I enjoyed Ramsey as a villain until he became the main villain in season 6. I thought he was kind of over the top in season 6. I hated Joffrey for sure, but it was so much fun to hate him. I thought he left a void in the show after he died. Same with Tywin. I miss Tywin’s presence on the show even though he was a douche too.

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    146. Mr Derp,

      Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Tywin and Joffrey (and even Ramsay, I loved in Season 6. I was all about his over the top villain performance, honestly comparable to how Euron is in Season 7. Some people don’t like it and I get that, but I personally think they just kill their roles) were such good characters which the actors portrayed perfectly, and their presences are definitely missed. Partly due to the acting, partly do to how well they were written, but these characters we really did (I like the way you put it) love to hate. Even though they were villains, we loved them all the same.

      But not with Pycelle. He gave me relief when Qyburn had him killed. He will certainly not be missed by me.

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    147. Mr Derp: If I had to pick a character that I dislike

      For me it was Littlefinger and High Sparrow. I’m not talking about the sort of dislike because of actions like Joffrey and Ramsay, but the kind where I just didn’t want to watch their scenes. For Littlefinger is started with that lengthy sexposition scene in S1 and never changed. If I’m not completely lazy I will usually fast forward through them on rewatches.

      There aren’t any still living characters I’d say I dislike in that manner. I am rather tired of Cersei’s smug face, but that falls into the other kind of dislike.

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    148. Clob,

      Lol, I am a bit tired of Cersei’s smug face too, but I love Lena so much that I can give it a pass.

      I wasn’t a fan of Littlefinger’s scenes too much either, with the exception of the “Chaos is a ladder” montage in season 3 as well as his scene with Cersei in season 2 when she threatens to have her guards cut his throat.

      As far as scenes I prefer to fast-forward, I’m 100% with you on the High Sparrow. I would also add any scene from season 5 involving the Faceless Men, Dorne, and the Sons of the Harpy. I would also add that I enjoyed Shae, but she started to wear on me after a while because of her constant whinging.

      Oh and of course, the Theon/reek torture scenes in season 3. I have no use for them on rewatches, even the epic c*ck block from “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”.

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    149. Clob,

      I guess I could almost put Littlefinger in the category of hated characters. The thing with him is that I really did enjoy him in the first couple of seasons, mostly because I was just really intrigued by his character in the books and I wanted to know his motivations. His scenes were really well acted and always made me question what he was up to, especially when talking to Ned, Varys and Tyrion.

      It really all changed for me once he helped Sansa escape King’s Landing. He left all of the interesting characters behind in King’s Landing and went off to isolate himself with crazy aunt Lysa and (then slightly boring) Sansa, and I don’t think D&D exactly knew what to do with them once he kills Lysa, since George hasn’t really done too much with them in the books over in the Eyrie. After Sansa and Littlefingers discussion with Lord Royce and the other lords of the Vale and Sansa vouched for him, that is really when Littlefingers’ character got boring for me.

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    150. Enharmony1625,

      I don’t dislike Sansa! I dislike what they did to her character after S4. In fact, I was impressed hen she appeared at the top of the stairs (at the end of S4e7?) in a new dress and said “Shall we go?” I was looking forward to post-victim, newly-empowered Sansa. Sadly, the showrunners had her foolishly consent to LF’s wight-hunt-level silly “plan”; turned her into Ramsay’s crash test dummy for S5; and then went with the unenjoyable Jon-Sansa conflict after that.

      Given a chance, Sansa/Sophie is captivating – eg S7e7.

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    151. Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      High Sparrow tops my list of detestable characters. Eminently fast-forwardable.

      Am I the only one on the planet who enjoys the High Sparrow’s windy preaching? I love Jonathan Pryce’s acting, and I thought he totally nailed the character who is high-minded and means well but has gone round the bend with his own sense of righteousness. He’s manipulative and hypocritical and power-seeking but in total denial about it all. We see so many people like that at or near the top of religious hierarchies. It seemed like a very true-to-life portrayal to me.

      That character also plays an important role in reminding us about the concerns of the smallfolk who are constantly being ground under the wheel of the aristocracy’s battles for power. The books give us other ways of seeing that perspective, but most of them have been cut out of the TV version. Many things that the High Sparrow says make sense and need to be said – not only for the audience, but also for Tommen. A king is well-served to be reminded on occasion that the commons have their breaking point and revolutions can happen.

      Also, Pryce and Rigg’s moments together were golden!

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    152. Ten Bears,

      Oh ok. My apologies. It seemed like maybe you did based on how you wrote that comment. And I mostly agree about her post-S4 story, especially how the writers kept having her be manipulated by Littlefinger.

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    153. Jaehaerys:
      Yaga,
      Plus, the Great War is here!She must help save humanity which I’m sure will have huge consequences for her arc (and what will she do with the Catspaw dagger…).

      More tin-foil theory time! The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Arya having to kill someone she loves/cares about being the catalyst that marks a big shift in her character. It feels more powerful that someone like Jon/Sandor “talking” to her about it. And if it’s not Sandor like I said above, what if it’s Bran? Even though I think it’s more poetic if it’s Sandor (with the whole “remember where the heart is” line), there are some interesting possiblities if it turns out to be Bran.

      First of all, he had an ominous look on his face when he handed her the dagger, as if he knew something like this might happen and how devastating it will be for her. And what if she not only has to kill him, but has to wear his face in order to get close to the Night King to either kill or help to kill him? It’s certainly possible that the NK is after Bran for some reason..

      There’s a tragic irony in this, considering that these skills she’s learned and used to get revenge for her family end up having to be used to kill a member of her own family. It also elevates the importance of her face-changing skills beyond being just used to cross some names off her list. Anyway, it’s a thought I had a few weeks back. Pretty dark..

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    154. Enharmony1625: More tin-foil theory time! The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Arya having to kill someone she loves/cares about being the catalyst that marks a big shift in her character.

      There’s also the Sansa/Arya convo about Arya seeing Jon again.

      Sansa: “When he sees you his heart will probably stop”

      Arya may very well have to “mercy kill” Bran, Sandor, or Jon for one reason or another. Hope not though.

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    155. Mr Derp,

      Sandor’s my co-favorite character, but the way I look at it is he’s living on borrowed time. He was all ready to check out in S4e10. (“F*ck it. I’m ready.”) As Ray and Beric urged, he’s going to help a lot more than he’s harmed in the time he’s got left. I just want him to have “one happy memory.”

      When he goes out in a blaze of glory,

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    156. Enharmony1625,

      Favorite moment:

      Sansa: “…You’re the strongest person I know.”
      Arya: “I believe that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”
      Sansa: “Well, don’t get used to it. You’re still very strange and annoying.”

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    157. Enharmony1625,

      Damn that is dark. I’ve heard the Arya giving Sandor the gift of mercy many times, but haven’t heard/ thought about giving Bran or Jon the gift…

      It was a weird moment when Bran gave her the dagger. I can definitely see him giving it to her because he actually knows what she needs to do with it in the future… if that is killing a member of her family to get close to the Night King, that would be tragic. I can’t really see her killing Jon, although it would make sense in a very heavy character-moment way for her, but killing Bran… that I could picture. I assume Bran might die by the end anyway (that or his 3ER powers are somehow taken from him, which could just as easily happen, maybe even more probable because he was on George’s OG list of characters to make it to the end). And the Night King definitely has it out for Bran (I’m assuming because of their connection, this lets the Night King know that Bran has some strong powers that could ruin the Night King’s plans), since he went far North presumably just to kill Bran and the former 3ER.

      I’m assuming, or maybe just hoping, that both Bran and Jon get their own little one vs. one with the Night King. Bran’s obviously wouldn’t be a fight (unless it is through warging, which would be awesome), but I’d like the Night King to have a moment of realization where he’s like, “Fuck… I really need to take out this little kid. He’s ruining everything for me,” and then makes a point to go after Bran. Maybe then as he’s gunning for Bran, Jon steps in and their fight begins.

      This has started to get pretty incoherent and off-topic so I’m gonna stop rambling.

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    158. Ten Bears,

      I love that line too. Sophie delivers it perfectly. I feel like her acting throughout Season 7 was actually very good, despite having a pretty shitty plotline.

      Another favorite of mine was when she was talking to Littlefinger… (and I’m paraphrasing as I can’t find the dialogue online) “You don’t know Cersei better than anyone here. Are you trying to tell me that the woman who murdered my father, mother and brother is dangerous? Thanks for the advice.”

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    159. Jaehaerys: I feel like her acting throughout Season 7 was actually very good, despite having a pretty shitty plotline.

      It was!!

      (Every time I see a comment regarding her I feel like I have to reply because of how much I ripped her S1-S6. While the plot was rather ‘shitty,’ I do think it allowed Sophie to be in a bit of a comfort zone. She wasn’t required to perform a real wide range of emotion and she could just be natural. So even though (I feel) it was an easier role in S7 I did think she did very well.)

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    160. Ten Bears,

      I love the subtle smile on Arya’s face after Sansa says that. I took it as a mix of “ugh.. siblings” and “eh.. she’s probably right”. 🙂

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    161. Jaehaerys,

      I kind of feel like the writing’s on the wall for Bran, unfortunately. After what was said about him dying in that cave, I don’t really see him just returning to being Bran again. What would he even do if he did? If he doesn’t end up dying, he might end up in a tree like the previous 3ER or his mind/conscience will be trapped in the Weirwoods or something along those lines.

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    162. Jaehaerys,

      Here’s another of my favorite Sansa lines, from S7e1 I think [paraphrasing] after LF insists on pestering her about what it’ll take to make her happy and she says “peace and quiet”; then as she walks away, says something like:

      “No need to seize the last word, Lord Baelish. I’m sure it was something clever.”

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    163. Jaehaerys:
      Ten Bears,

      Another favorite of mine was when she was talking to Littlefinger… (and I’m paraphrasing as I can’t find the dialogue online) “You don’t know Cersei better than anyone here.Are you trying to tell me that the woman who murdered my father, mother and brother is dangerous?Thanks for the advice.”

      Except Cersei wasn’t really responsible for any of those deaths lol.

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    164. Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,

      I don’t dislike Sansa! I dislike what they did to her character after S4. In fact, I was impressed hen she appeared at the top of the stairs (at the end of S4e7?) in a new dress and said “Shall we go?” I was looking forward to post-victim, newly-empowered Sansa. Sadly, the showrunners had her foolishly consent to LF’s wight-hunt-level silly “plan”; turned her into Ramsay’s crash test dummy for S5; and then went with the unenjoyableJon-Sansa conflict after that.

      Given a chance, Sansa/Sophie is captivating – eg S7e7.

      This perfectly sums up my feelings about the character as well! Sansa was one of my favorite characters right until season 5, I still love her in the books. Other than the reasons you have listed, another reason why I have soured on her is that her transformation from pawn to player has been completely unconvincing. She really hasn’t really done anything impressive so far and the praise she gets in media is disproportionate to her achievements imo. Sansa herself, the actress Sophie, the writers all keep talking about how she won the battle of the bastards. She thinks Arya should be on her knees thanking Sansa because she won the battle, and yet all she really did was write a letter……to a guy who had already informed her that he wants to win Winterfell for her and has the army to do it!
      And in the S6 finale, she told Jon that only a fool would trust LF, and yet seemingly went on to do exactly that in S7. She only saw the light when LF tried to insinuate that Arya had ambitions to be Lady of Winterfell.
      I guess the problem for me is that the praise I see for her character is pretty disproportionate to her actual actions. I wish her transformation had been done in a more convincing manner, which would make all the praise feel earned. As it stands, her most impressive achievement for me so far has been her surviving some of the biggest monsters on the show, unlike some other characters like Arya, Dany or Brienne whose list of achievements are much more impressive.

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    165. ghost of winterfell,

      I agree with much of this as well! I really like Sansa, and I feel for her a lot given all the horrors she’s endured, but I do wish the writers would have given her a little more agency and shown her developing her skills in manipulation more convincingly.

      She only saw the light when LF tried to insinuate that Arya had ambitions to be Lady of Winterfell.

      As further evidence of how sloppily executed this arc was in S7, Arya and Sansa’s plan to take down LF took shape before this scene according to Sophie. In an interview she states that this scene was one of the most difficult ones she filmed in S7 because she had to act as if she was being manipulated by LF when, in fact, she was manipulating him in this moment (https://youtu.be/C292_CYHaKY?t=8m7s). So that means that they hatched their plan right after the scene at the end of 7×06, where in a deleted scene, Sansa goes to Bran for help. This means that it was really Bran who “defeated” LF, and Sansa passed the sentence while Arya carried out the execution. Maybe this was the writers’ original plan, but decided to edit it to make it seem more like it was Sansa who got wise to LF’s scheme? (And to make the reveal more surprising.) But in the end it just came off as confusing.

      I’m very interested to see how Sansa’s character develops in S8 without LF. He was an interesting character and wonderfully played by Aidan Gillen, but it was absolutely time for him to go.

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    166. ghost of winterfell: Except Cersei wasn’t really responsible for any of those deaths lol.

      Of course Sansa knows that very well.
      As far as I took it, Sansa played her role, assuring LF, she was the naive Sansa-the-LF-cue-ball playing the clever-Sansa (very tricky, if You see, what I mean) but it also was a hidden threat. She could have said: “Are you trying to tell me that the one who destroyed my life and murdered my hopes is dangerous? Thanks for the advice.”

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    167. Well it appears that the Night King has arrived in N. Ireland, a massive snowstorm has hit yesterday. Talk about great timing, no need to make the fake stuff or wind machines.

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    168. ghost of winterfell: Except Cersei wasn’t really responsible for any of those deaths lol.

      Tyrion’s statement to Daenerys in S7e2 about Jon’s hatred for Cersei used the same strained logic:

      Tyrion: “I can’t speak to prophecies or visions in the flames, but I like Jon Snow and I trusted him.
      And I am an excellent judge of character. If he does rule the North, he would make a valuable ally. The Lannisters executed his father and conspired to murder his brother. Jon Snow has even more reason to hate Cersei than you do.”

      By this reasoning, Jon should hate Tyrion too.

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    169. Artemisia:
      Hodor…The battle of Winterfell in the first 3 episodes

      I must admit the first three episodes seems incredibly quick unless the White Walkers win this battle, mild spoiler from another article

      we know Jon returns to Kings Landing

      so I assume that takes place after this epic battle. Have to assume the horses are either the Knights of the Vale or the Dothraki too.

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