Twelve Days of Dragons: what I’m looking forward to in House of the Dragon

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As this profoundly crummy year crawls to a close I’ve been struggling to get into any sort of holiday spirit. Then the recent House of the Dragon casting announcements were released and they gave me a much-needed energy boost and the inspiration to write up a list of things I would do if I were in charge of the show I’m hoping for in HOTD in a … vaguely holiday-ish manner.

Potential spoilers for HOTD, I guess? The spoiler policy is kind of weird for this show. 


12. Nettles

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Amidst all the carnage and tragedy of the Dance of the Dragons, let’s remember that one woman – a bastard who tames her own dragon, no less – gets to ride off into the morning mist at the end: Nettles. “Foul-mouthed, filthy and fearless,” she has all the makings of a fan favorite.


11. Targaryen Madness Explored

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I’ve always had issues with Targaryen madness for the way it conflates mental illness with violence and evil. So, it would be really, really, really nice if HOTD could actually delve into what this hereditary sickness even is. In season 1 some effort was put into depicting Targaryen madness as a form of psychosis or schizophrenia that just isn’t understood in Westeros. Renly says that King Aerys slaughtered innocents because “the voices in his head told him they deserved it” and Grand Maester Pycelle even describes Aerys as a “good man” before he was consumed by visions of fire and blood. I can’t really imagine a truly non-problematic portrayal of Targaryen madness since those affected with it do invariably poses a threat to the safety of others. Still, I hold out hope that HOTD might handle it with just a touch more humanity.


10. Helaena Targaryen

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I’ve already discussed my feelings about Helaena Targaryen at length in a video essay (*cough*), but TLDR, she’s a tragic figure who deserves to be portrayed as more than a benign chubby girl or grief stricken mad woman.


9. Evolution of Language

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I’ve wanted to write about linguistics in Game of Thrones for years but nothing in Martin’s canon has made me as excited as HOTD, in this regard, because we won’t just be getting different languages, we’ll be getting those languages influencing each other to credit new languages.

At least we better.

I will be bitterly disappointed if the show ignores the language barrier that Valyrian-speaking Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys encounter while conquering the Seven Kingdoms and just skips forward to 129 AC when everyone speaks the Common Tongue (though the absence of regional dialects in Westeros also bothers me). The most overt real world parallel to Aegon’s Conquest is the Norman Conquest of England, led by William the Conqueror, and the realization that Valyrian is analogous to Norman French in this context (rather than Classical Latin) sent me down a rabbit hole trying to figure out how the Common Tongue might be a hybrid of Valyrian and whatever Proto-Common Tongue the Andals, Rhoynar and First Men spoke (the way English is a Germanic-Romance hybrid language). But of course HOTD can’t really delve into this since the Common Tongue is – functionally for the TV show, anyway – English. And we’ve heard enough of David J. Peterson’s Valyrian to know that 29% of English vocabulary does not come from it.

However, it would be pretty great if HOTD could somehow work in that the Common Tongue word, “dragon” is derived from “dracarys.” David J. Peterson bemoaned Martin’s lack of creativity when coming up with that word and decided that its similarity to “dragon” (via the latin “draco“) was a coincidence. But what if it wasn’t? After all, words often change meaning slightly when they’re borrowed and incorporated into other languages. It would be a fun bit of world building and a nod to the evolution of real languages.


8. Dragons

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They’re the ultimate wish fulfillment pet and mode of transportation and in HOTD they’re going to be everywhere! Again, I’ve expressed my thoughts on dragons at length elsewhere (*cough* *cough*). I just hope that they’re treated as characters with personalities and not as weaponized Alexas.


7. Aerial Battles 

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I don’t know if there’s ever been, or ever will be a live action television series with more potential for spectacle than HOTD. We got a taste of what two dragons fighting above the clouds looks like in “The Long Night.” With HOTD giving us Aemond One-Eye’s battle with Lucerys, the Battle at Rook’s Rest and the Battle Above the Kings Eye at a minimum, it’s going to be absolutely breath-taking.


6. The Red Kraken

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By the time HOTD comes out, I will be well overdue a Greyjoy fix, and a show that centers around the Dance of the Dragons will more than likely feature the most legendary of all Ironborn: Dalton “Red Kraken” Greyjoy. As the personification of Ironborn toxicity, violence and short-sightedness, I don’t expect him to be likable, but I do expect to enjoy his screen presence.


5. The Forging of the Iron Throne

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I have nothing insightful to say about this one. I just want to see it.


4. Evolution of Fashion 

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300 years is a long time in the world of fashion, and while I hope HOTD continues Game of Thrones’ tradition of reflecting character development through costuming, I also hope that clothes and accessories are used to convey the passage of time. Obviously, Game of Thrones’ costume designers, Michele Clapton and April Ferry, drew inspiration from a variety of sources but their overall aesthetic had a late medieval/early Renaissance feel. It would be interesting, then, if the characters in HOTD dress and accessorize themselves in a manner more evocative of the early to mid-medieval period.

Personally, I’d love it if we got more headdresses than elaborate braids in HOTD (the religious habits worn by septas and Olenna Tyrell’s wimple and barbette establish some history of head coverings in Westeros). It actually makes sense that the dragon riders of Old Valyria and, therefore, the early Targaryen queens would keep their long, flowing, flammable hair tucked away and the gradual shift towards hair braiding would be a fitting symbol of the Targaryens’ growing distance from their roots.


3. Matt Smith

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Honestly, I’m only putting him on this list because of the backlash his casting has received. I don’t understand it. Matt Smith is a good actor; he has range and his eyebrows are so light he might be the first Targaryen whose eyebrows don’t clash with his silver-blonde wig. Seriously, though, I don’t get the naysaying.


2. The Score

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I’m just assuming Ramin Djawadi is going to score this show because … why on earth would HBO hire anyone else? I am, of course, looking forward to all the new musical motifs he’ll compose but I’m actually more excited to hear how Djawadi incorporates the themes from Game of Thrones that are still relevant to the events and characters of HOTD into the new score. I’m not sure if “Mhysa” was ever truly the theme for House Targaryen so much as Daenerys’ theme, but surely, surely we’re going to get “Breaker of Chains” again as the dragon theme, right? I can so clearly imagine a melancholic rendition of it, like the one the Danish National Symphony Orchestra performs at 6:12, playing over the Storming of the Dragonpit.

What I’m saying is that Djawadi needs to compose the score so he can rip my heart out and eat it in front of me. Again.


  1. Answers to Mysteries 

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One of the trickiest parts of writing HOTD, I imagine, will be providing definitive accounts of events that are left ambiguous in Fire and Blood and The World of Ice and Fire. These texts are written as in-universe history books, after all, so there are plenty of knowledge gaps and points of speculation. Was Helaena killed or did she commit suicide? Did Rhaenyra weep or smile when presented with the severed head of a toddler? Were Daemon and Nettles lovers or did they have a father-daughter relationship? Providing concrete answers to these mysteries has the potential to transform our understanding of these characters, and I’m curious to see which stances the writers choose to take.

448 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. #NETTLES

      Thanks for your article. I am very excited with possibilities.

      I never learned Klingon but I’m up for learning
      “ a hybrid of Valyrian and whatever Proto-Common Tongue the Andals, Rhoynar and First Men spoke”

        Quote  Reply

    2. Petra: Amidst all the carnage and tragedy of the Dance of the Dragons, let’s remember that one woman – a bastard who tames her own dragon, no less – gets to ride off into the morning mist at the end: Nettles. “Foul-mouthed, filthy and fearless,” she has all the makings of a fan favorite.

      Oh yes, I can certainly see Nettles being a fan favourite — a 16 year old scrappy underdog who goes against the grain and overcomes the odds. To me, Nettles is one of the most rootable characters in a story where it can sometimes be a competition of main characters for the title of Who Can Suck the Most ;D (Rhaenyra, Alicent, Daemon, Aegon, Otto Hightower…)

      So… #TeamNettles 😉

        Quote  Reply

    3. Petra (or others)

      So, I remember that D&D were very involved in selecting the original cast of GOT. Was it a team effort with Nina Gold from the very beginning?

      Who is the casting director for HotD? or is it all the showrunners at this point?
      Martin and Ryan Condal (and I see Miguel Sapochnik is listed along with them, but my guess is he’s more executive producer like he was during the last season of GOT)

      I did watch a bit of Emma D’Arcy in Truth Seekers. She only has a few seconds of air time until the third episode (which I just viewed). My first impressions are that she looks younger than I thought she would, but it may have been the jumper outfit they have her wearing! But they may show Rhaenyra when she was younger. I was picturing her in one of those Targaryen wigs. She hasn’t had any real meaty scenes yet. She has to lie down with her eyes closed and look scared at the ghosts who are stalking her. “Truth Seekers” isn’t exactly King Lear, but the characters do make me smile a bit. (it’s an Amazon Prime original series)

        Quote  Reply

    4. Nettles. “Foul-mouthed, filthy and fearless,” she has all the makings of a fan favorite.

      Nettles: Ancestor of Sandor Clegane?

        Quote  Reply

    5. Adrianacandle,

      ….To me, Nettles is one of the most rootable characters in a story where it can sometimes be a competition of main characters for the title of Who Can Suck the Most ;D (Rhaenyra, Alicent, Daemon, Aegon, Otto Hightower…)

      So… #TeamNettles 😉

      …….
      You’ve got me thinking I was a bit hasty in declaring for TeamGreen. 🤢

        Quote  Reply

    6. Ten Bears: You’ve got me thinking I was a bit hasty in declaring for TeamGreen. 🤢

      Well, depending on how things go in the series, you may still be Team Green 🙂 I may be Team Green! But based on the source material as it is, I hesitate to declare support for either Green or Black because… gah….

      But I think I can definitively be Team Nettles! 😉

        Quote  Reply

    7. Tron79,

      ”So, I remember that D&D were very involved in selecting the original cast of GOT. Was it a team effort with Nina Gold from the very beginning?”

      As I recall, GRRM himself was intimately involved in selecting the original cast of GoT. I’ve read pre-Season 1 interviews of GRRM, Benioff and Weiss
      (and watched several S1 Episode Commentaries they narrated) describing their collaborative casting process. Though I’m not positive that Nina Gold was involved, I’m pretty sure she would have vetted candidates, set up their auditions, and forwarded audition tapes to the showrunners.

      Considering that Nina Gold hit multiple homeruns in casting GoT, hiring her for HotD seems like it would be a no-brainer.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Adrianacandle: Well, depending on how things go in the series, you may still be Team Green 🙂 I may be Team Green! But based on the source material as it is, I hesitate to declare support for either Green or Black because… gah….

      But I think I can definitively be Team Nettles! 😉

      I could root for Cersei mainly because I liked Lena Headey, especially in previous roles in which she played the romantic lead (“Imagine Me and You” with Piper Perabo) or the heroine (Queen of the Spartans in “300” and its sequel) – and because I knew she was such a delightful, lovely person in real life.

      I don’t have that kind of familiarity with Emma D’Arcy or Olivia Cooke, though from the trailers and snippets I’ve watched on YouTube they both seem very talented.

      While it’s my understanding that GoT made Cersei more sympathetic than her books! counterpart, I still feel a little guilty that I was cheering on Cersei even when she was doing evil sh*t like wine-boarding a nun, poisoning a daughter in front of her mother, and blowing up a sept full of her enemies (and bystanders). To its credit, GoT gave Cersei a compelling backstory and defensible motives for many of her (mis)behaviors.

      I’m not so sure I’ll be as forgiving of Alicent or Rhaenyra if they start

      backstabbing and executing people, or whatever it is that they do (in the source material at least) that compelled you to include them in the “competition of main characters for the title of Who Can Suck the Most ;D.”

      I suppose it will be a challenge for the writers and the two actors to portray these HotD women with the kind of moral ambiguity and complexity Big G and the showrunners infused into many of the GoT main characters, e.g., Jaime, Cersei, Melisandre, and Sandor. (Yes, I considered Sandor a “main” character – on the show at least.)

      Pure speculation on my part: Based on Olivia Cooke’s resume, especially high profile leading roles in recent films and shows, I’d be surprised if this up and coming young actor would take on a (potentially) multi-year role as an outright villain with no redeeming qualities.

      After playing the sympathetic “dying girl” in the tragicomedy “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (2015) reviewed here by Tron79; the heroine in Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” (2018); and what appears to be
      an endearing, witty female lead in the upcoming action comedy “Pixie” (2021), I would think her agent or manager would advise her to pass on a role playing a “pure villainess” as too risky a career move. On the other hand, I have not watched her in “Vanity Fair,” in which I think you
      or another commenter said her character was not a goody two shoes-type protagonist.

      Some actors (e.g., Tom Hanks) and studios are understandably reluctant to undercut the actors’ hard-earned reputations for playing the good-hearted hero or heroine. Others consider it a welcome challenge, and an opportunity to avoid being typecast.

      We’ll see soon enough, won’t we? 2022 is really not that far away…

        Quote  Reply

    9. Ten Bears,

      I suppose it will be a challenge for the writers and the two actors to portray these HotD women with the kind of moral ambiguity and complexity Big G and the showrunners infused into many of the GoT main characters, e.g., Jaime, Cersei, Melisandre, and Sandor.

      And I think that’s very very possible with both Alicent and Rhaenyra, kind of like how the show did it with Cersei (who I’d say is more sympathetic than her book counterpart) and I’d also consider both Alicent and Rhaenyra to have far more depth of feeling than book!Cersei 🙂

      The reason I’d put both into my “competition of main characters for the title of Who Can Suck the Most” category is really because I’m considering the story as a whole and the crappy things they do to get what they want. Yet these characters can (and do) still have some sympathetic and relatable feelings, aspects, and even motives at times.

      Personally, I think Rhaenyra starts out more sympathetic than Alicent because Alicent married Viserys knowing Rhaenyra was his heir and Viserys certainly made no promise to Alicent that he’d unname Rhaenyra. Viserys publicly defied the precedent set by the Great Council to name Rhaenyra as his heir and made no move to change that position — so Alicent married Viserys anyway knowing all this and still

      pushed for her son to be heir anyway. But especially with the Dance of Dragons and afterward, Rhaenyra loses sympathy points big time for me and I can’t say I have much sympathy for Alicent, Aegon, Daemon, or Otto either. My sympathies are more for characters like Nettles and Helaena.

      However, people see Alicent as starting out sympathetic too (and she’s only 15 when she comes to court — tasked with reading to the elderly king, I believe) and there have been heated, heated debates over this (often ending in “they both suck!”). Still — neither woman is just one thing or what I’d call an outright villain with no redeeming qualities. And both inspire heated debates over Team Green vs. Team Black! Both women are pretty complex. They both truly love, they hurt, they struggle… and they’re both ruthless power-hungry schemers 😉

      Yes, I think GoT made Cersei quite a bit more sympathetic than her book counterpart — and I’d even argue they made her funnier too. Doing things like infusing these characters with a great sense of humour could make these characters more endearing as well 🙂

      I mean, I don’t think I could ever agree with what Cersei does… but I certainly love her 🙂 I think she’s a joy!

        Quote  Reply

    10. Adrianacandle: Well, depending on how things go in the series, you may still be Team Green 🙂 I may be Team Green! But based on the source material as it is, I hesitate to declare support for either Green or Black because… gah….

      Slightly off-topic: Do we know (yet) if Michele Clapton or another GoT costume designer is going to work on HotD?

      Because from the little I know about HotD, including an incident or incidents in which Alicent partisans dress in green and Rhaenyra loyalists dress in black, there’s a real opportunity to be creative with the costuming and hair styling.

      Football fans show their loyalties this way. Green Bay Packers’ fans show up at the stadium decked out in green, with yellow cheese heads. Several years ago, before the Raiders moved away from Oakland, their fans would dress up in all black, “heavy metal”/pirate type outfits. This year,

      the few fans of GRRM’s beloved New York Jets ✈️ allowed in the stadium wear paper bags over their heads… but that’s because the hapless Jets are 1-13.🙈

      HotD costuming and wardrobe departments could really go to town on the TeamGreen vs. TeamBlack motif.

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    11. Ten Bears: Slightly off-topic: Do we know (yet) if Michele Clapton or another GoT costume designer is going to work on HotD?

      Because from the little I know about HotD, including an incident or incidents in which Alicent partisans dress in green and Rhaenyra loyalists dress in black, there’s a real opportunity to be creative with the costuming and hair styling.

      Football fans show their loyalties this way. Green Bay Packers’ fans show up at the stadium decked out in green, with yellow cheese heads. Several years ago, before the Raiders moved away from Oakland, their fans would dress up in all black, “heavy metal”/pirate type outfits. This year,

      (spoiler)

      HotD costuming and wardrobe departments could really go to town on the TeamGreen vs. TeamBlack motif.

      I agree, I think there is a real opportunity for some creative Team Green vs. Team Black motifs (and there are already pretty passionate team green vs. team black debates on Reddit that I’ve seen). I also think this can align pretty nicely with Petra’s wish for HoTD characters to “dress and accessorize themselves in a manner more evocative of the early to mid-medieval period” and utilize more headwear. That “head space” can provide another opportunity for some team motifs 😉 But early-to-mid mideval style 🙂

      (I haven’t heard anything about Clapton in regard to HoTD though).

        Quote  Reply

    12. Tron79,

      Sapochnik is showrunner as well, not only producer. He and Condal are showrunners and there will be other writers working with them.

      Nina Gold is doing casting in HOTD as well, but just like in every show, final word is on showrunners. Condal said in interview that he was the one to made the decision for King Viserys.

      I don’t think George is really involved with this show, they are using his make for marketing purposes. It gives them legitmacy if creator of the original story is somehow involved.

      When you read his blog posts about HOTD you don’t have any impression that he is really doing anything about the show.

      To be honest that was the case with original show as well. When you read Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon from James Hibberd it’s clear that even in the first season final decision was always on the showrunners.

        Quote  Reply

    13. In recent years popular projects that Nina Gold did were Game of Thrones, The Crown, latest Star Wars trilogy, Chernobyl, The Two Popes,…

      She knows how to find these young inexperienced actors who will do outstanding job with their roles. Her latest triumph was Princess Diana in S4 of The Crown.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Quality, creativity and imagination. How about that? I’m looking for that. In a world that is awash in mediocrity those things are no longer guaranteed. We are drowning in stupidity, idiocy and ignorance…the threefold blight that has permeated every nook and cranny of our society, including entertainment. Where a bunch of self-important and self-deluded morons think that they are special because they are higher up on the pedestal of fame or infamy. These nitwits are adept at transmitting their moral superiority and elevated level of virtue to the rest of the dirty unwashed masses and despicable plebes. And we are guilty of having elevated these gasbags and fed their delusions of grandeur. So mea culpa and woe is me as well….

      So a good story with strong characters, solid direction, well written scripts and production values to match would be an achievement. Beyond that, I’ll be all good…

        Quote  Reply

    15. mau:
      Tron79,

      Sapochnik is showrunner as well, not only producer. He and Condal are showrunners and there will be other writers working with them.

      Nina Gold is doing casting in HOTD as well, but just like in every show, final word is on showrunners. Condal said in interview that he was the one to made the decision for King Viserys.

      I don’t think George is really involved with this show, they are using his make for marketing purposes. It gives them legitmacy if creator of the original story is somehow involved.

      When you read his blog posts about HOTD you don’t have any impression that he is really doing anything about the show.

      To be honest that was the case with original show as well. When you read Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon from James Hibberd it’s clear that even in the first season final decision was always on the showrunners.

      Thanks for the info! I’m really excited that Nina Gold is involved. Also it’s pretty cool that Sapochnik is a show runner. His name makes me think of battle sequences. I wonder how many major battles they will have in a season.

        Quote  Reply

    16. mau:
      Tron79,

      In the first season not so many I think.

      I was thinking they could use a similar formula as GOT and build up to one large battle for the season. But with SAPO on board it makes me think there could be more action sequences or difficult shooting situations

        Quote  Reply

    17. Tron79: I was thinking they could use a similar formula as GOT and build up to one large battle for the season. But with SAPO on board it makes me think there could be more action sequences or difficult shooting situations

      Well, I kind of hope that they avoid the temptation of making HotD the Fire-Breathing Dragons Show. I admit I’m biased. While I was impressed with the CGI in GoT, and its battle sequences were phenomenal, that was not what made the show special:

      For me, it was the “high thread count” interpersonal scenes that differentiated GoT from the dreck I’m used to seeing on TV.

      That’s why S4e7 remains my favorite episode out of all 73: Wall to wall interpersonal moments. No dragons. No swordfights. No explosions. No decapitations.
      Just two characters, by themselves, talking:
      – Tyrion & Bronn (declining to be his champion)
      – Tyrion & Oberyn (“I will be your champion”) *
      – Sandor, Arya & dying farmer (“That’s where the heart is”)
      – Sandor & Arya (“The pain was bad. The smell was worse. But the worst thing was that it was my brother who did it…”)
      – Jaime & Tyrion
      – Robyn & Sansa (hey, your sh*t snow castle doesn’t have a Moon Door)
      – Lysa & LF (“I have only loved one woman my entire life…”)

      * (Oberyn’s line is right up there in my Top 5 Iconic GoT Lines, along with Syrio “The First Sword of Braavos does not run.”)

      Anyway, I am hoping that in HotD, spectacle is in service of the narrative, rather than the other way around. The addition of Sara Hess to the writing staff is encouraging: it certainly can’t hurt to have a female voice to write credible dialogue for a show involving two rival female characters.

      It may be too much to ask for that S1 of HotD focuses on introducing the characters and setting up their relationships, rather than coming up with pretexts to show dragonriders zipping across the sky. [I am NOT whinging, but that’s why Dany & Jon’s S8 dragonriding date fell flat for me.]

      Sapochnik is certainly proficient at staging kickass battle scenes and action sequences, e.g., “Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards,” and “Winds of Winter.” For me though, it was his direction of the scenes leading up to the battles that I really enjoyed (e.g., Jon & Tormund meeting with Karsi and the other Wildling chieftains).

        Quote  Reply

    18. loco73,

      ”Quality, creativity and imagination. How about that?”
      ***
      “So a good story with strong characters, solid direction, well written scripts and production values to match would be an achievement. Beyond that, I’ll be all good…”

      I hear ya!

        Quote  Reply

    19. Petra: ”As this profoundly crummy year crawls to a close I’ve been struggling to get into any sort of holiday spirit.”

      Perhaps a holiday Musical Interlude might help?

        Quote  Reply

    20. Ten Bears:
      Petra: ”As this profoundly crummy year crawls to a close I’ve been struggling to get into any sort of holiday spirit.”

      Perhaps a holiday Musical Interlude might help?

      Yes please 😊

        Quote  Reply

    21. Ten Bears,

      #MockingbirdS4E7

      Yes, I enjoyed that episode as well. In the clip you posted of Pedro Pascal, he recalled that his “I will be your champion” scene was his very first scene he filmed for Game of Thrones. (They shoot out of order). What a great way to start!

      I agree about those “high thread count” scenes. Tryion’s final scene with Jaime in the tent was one of my favorites. I’m hoping they do build on the success of GOT to keep the same structure of focusing on characters. It’s only when you care about the characters that the big battles mean something. I have posted before about how the Marvel action sequences get boring for me. If they get us invested in the characters and then they face extreme peril, then the cool dragon flying scene is all the better. I especially like the idea of watching characters like Nettle tame her dragon to allow her to become rider. Dany and Jon’s flying scenes were some of my least favorite scenes of the series. It wasn’t the dragons I disliked. I have always had a problem with their relationship (the speed of it and I didn’t feel the chemistry). I was intrigued about Jon being able to become the dragon rider. That should have made Dany very suspicious. There is no way she should have expected him to be able to ride. So I had a problem with that as well…..

      Anyway, this is very exciting stuff to be dreaming about. We actually have actors cast in roles and a picture of a dragon!!

        Quote  Reply

    22. Tron79,

      ”It’s only when you care about the characters that the big battles mean something.”

      Yes! You said succinctly what it took way too many words for me to say.

      Also… let me follow up a bit on Oberyn’s speech to Tyrion. What made it so effective (for me) was how I could picture vividly the story of meeting baby Tyrion as Oberyn was telling it, and how Oberyn’s supposed “disappointment” at finally meeting the supposed “freak” that turned out to be “just a baby” humanized Tyrion. (As Tyrion choked up with emotion upon hearing that, so did I.)
      After Oberyn talked of wanting “justice” and cynical Tyrion told him he’d come to the wrong place, when Pedro paused and declared “I will be your champion” his words were equivalent to the climax of an action scene: so cathartic on all levels.
      (In my head canon Oberyn defeated Gregor and didn’t get his head smashed in like a cantaloupe.)

      What a great character! What a great actor! If HotD can pull off some casting coups like that I’ll be tickled.
      Final comment about Pedro Pascal: I get the impression that although he had significant acting experience before GoT, the show was really a breakthrough for him, at least as far as public acclaim. (From the moment he appeared on screen in S4, who didn’t love the hedonistic Prince of Dorne?)
      If HotD is a hit, I suspect there will be several relatively unknown actors who also become household names.

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    23. As long as the show doesn’t attain the “quality” of those dresses George RR Martin and Ian Mc Neice were wearing in that picture from the failed GOT pilot…I think we will be alright…😜🥴

        Quote  Reply

    24. Tron79,

      ”Dany and Jon’s flying scenes were some of my least favorite scenes of the series. It wasn’t the dragons I disliked. I have always had a problem with their relationship (the speed of it and I didn’t feel the chemistry). I was intrigued about Jon being able to become the dragon rider. That should have made Dany very suspicious. There is no way she should have expected him to be able to ride. So I had a problem with that as well…..”

      Me too! I thought the ease with which the dragons took to Jon, and his ability to climb aboard a dragon for a test flight, would be a big
      clue to his secret Targ identity. Dany didn’t even raise an eyebrow. That was odd.

      Plus, I have to admit, I thought a certain other character – a professed admirer of Targaryen women dragon riders – would be the one to get a dragon joyride.

      Visenya Targaryen was a great warrior. She had a Valyrian steel sword she called Dark Sister.” … “She’s a heroine of yours I take it.

        Quote  Reply

    25. loco73:
      As long as the show doesn’t attain the “quality” of those dresses George RR Martin and Ian Mc Neice were wearing in that picture from the failed GOT pilot…I think we will be alright…😜🥴

      Were those the wedding clothes they were to be in as Pentoshi noblemen and guests at Dany’s wedding? Or at least, I think that was GRRM’s cut cameo appearance…

      Ten Bears,

      Plus, I have to admit, I thought a certain other character – a professed admirer of Targaryen women dragon riders – would be the one to get a dragon joyride.

      Speaking of Arya, I kind of got Arya vibes from Nettles — I think she might be a character who is right up your alley, Ten Bears 😉

        Quote  Reply

    26. mau: When you read his blog posts about HOTD you don’t have any impression that he is really doing anything about the show.

      To be honest that was the case with original show as well. When you read Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon from James Hibberd it’s clear that even in the first season final decision was always on the showrunners.

      I’ve read several interviews from GRRM and D&D that did say GRRM was involved in the casting process for GoT — but yes, D&D did have the final say on casting decisions. Yet, I wouldn’t say GRRM wasn’t involved in these casting processes though…

      I’m not sure how involved he will be in HotD. I don’t think the extent of his involvement is really all that clear right now. He may assist on fleshing out the story details from the source material since HotD is based on two short stories and two in-universe history books (The World of Ice & Fire, Fire & Blood). But then again, he may not..

        Quote  Reply

    27. Adrianacandle: Yes please 😊

      Okay then. The holiday song I’m going to link has a very tenuous ASOIAF connection. It’s been covered hundreds of times (including, I think, by Snoop Dogg (!) and Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect 2 or 3).
      The rendition I’ve chosen is my favorite.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Ten Bears: Okay then. The holiday song I’m going to link has a very tenuous ASOIAF connection. It’s been covered hundreds of times (including, I think, by Snoop Dogg (!) and Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect 2 or 3).The rendition I’ve chosen is my favorite.

      Oh yay, Pitch Perfect!

      I have a holiday song I’d like to share with you but it has no ASOIAF connections so I’ll put it under the spoiler tag in order for others to breeze on by it if they’re not interested:

      The Captain Picard version of ‘Let it Snow’ 🙂

      Presenting…. ‘Make it So’!

      Fave line: SHUT UP WESLEY.

        Quote  Reply

    29. 🎄Holiday Musical Interlude ⚠️

      🎶“Later on, we’ll conspire
      as we dream, by the fire
      To face unafraid,
      the plans that we made
      Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”🎶⛄️

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1oyZQtLZ6U

      Darlene Love, “Winter Wonderland” (1963)

      ——————-
      Snoop Dogg & Beca (Anna Kendrick)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sTvdeLQsMM
      “Winter Wonderland”/“Here Comes Santa Claus” mashup from Pitch Perfect 2.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Adrianacandle: I’ve read several interviews from GRRM and D&D that did say GRRM was involved in the casting process for GoT — but yes, D&D did have the final say on casting decisions. Yet, I wouldn’t say GRRM wasn’t involved in these casting processes though…

      I’m not sure how involved he will be in HotD. I don’t think the extent of his involvement is really all that clear right now. He may assist on fleshing out the story details from the source material since HotD is based on two short stories and two in-universe history books (The World of Ice & Fire, Fire & Blood). But then again, he may not..

      In every huge production it’s a collaborative work. Nina Gold clearly has a lot of power judging by her reputation in the industry.

      I don’t think his involvement in HOTD is really important. Source material for this show is over. I don’t think even D&D needed his help, they needed him to finish the books.

        Quote  Reply

    31. mau: I don’t think his involvement in HOTD is really important. Source material for this show is over. I don’t think even D&D needed his help, they needed him to finish the books.

      Personally, I’d value GRRM’s insight into the characters he’s created that will be featured in HotD, especially since I think the show will likely be expanding from the source material provided and GRRM may have some valuable thoughts and material for these characters not available in the published material. However, if it’s between that and GRRM working on the books, I know what I’d pick.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Adrianacandle

      Ten Bears,

      Speaking of Arya, I kind of got Arya vibes from Nettles — I think she might be a character who is right up your alley, Ten Bears 😉

      Yeah, when I read Petra’s description…

      “Nettles. ‘Foul-mouthed, filthy and fearless,’ she has all the makings of a fan favorite.”

      … I figured I’d be on board. 😎

        Quote  Reply

    33. Ten Bears: 🎄Holiday Musical Interlude ⚠️

      🎶“Later on, we’ll conspire
      as we dream, by the fire
      To face unafraid,
      the plans that we made
      Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”🎶⛄️

      Darlene Love, “Winter Wonderland” (1963)

      ——————-
      Snoop Dogg & Beca (Anna Kendrick)

      “Winter Wonderland”/“Here Comes Santa Claus” mashup from Pitch Perfect 2.

      YAY thank-you, TB!! I almost missed this post!!! <3

        Quote  Reply

    34. mau:

      Nina Gold is doing casting in HOTD as well,

      I really hope that Nina Gold will be involved in HOTD too,
      but I don’t think any media outlets have reported her involvement yet.

        Quote  Reply

    35. Adrianacandle: Even if we divide on Team Green vs. Team Black, I’d like to propose we always be on #Team Nettles <3

      Agreed!

      P.S. Are we sure Nettles is going to be in HotD? If so, I’m going to start fancasting for the role.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Ten Bears: P.S. Are we sure Nettles is going to be in HotD? If so, I’m going to start fancasting for the role.

      I can’t imagine HotD without Nettles! 🙂 Even if she’s not a main character, I think she’s pretty important to the story

      particularly in regard to Rhaenyra. When two dragonseeds — Ulf White Hugh Hammer — betray Rhaenyra for Team Green (Ulf and Hugh burn the town of Tumbleton that they were sent to defend. Team Green offers them rewards for this but they’re still not happy and demand more), Rhaenyra grows paranoid and tries to have even the dragonseeds who have stayed loyal to her — including Nettles — executed. This is one of the reasons the country turns against Rhaenyra. However, Nettles escapes and she is last seen flying into the mountains.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Something I’m personally very interested about is seeing Dance of Dragons play out as a story, not only as historical recounting of the events. All knowledge I have of it is from Viserys I/Aegon II chapters in WoIaF and S5 Histories & Lore of GoT. Reading that, I can see the (horrific) actions caused by numerous characters but I’m not really WITH the characters and I think consequently, my thoughts were mostly “Who is the worst among the bad ones” when it came to these characters. But I genuinely wonder how will I grasp this story when I see it unfold as actual story, with way more interactions, full characterization, subtle scenes etc. I wonder which character will feel more or less sympathetic when given full characterization and dialogue.

      On other hand, I wonder how the story of Game of Thrones would seem if all that existed was historical retelling of the important events.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Ten Bears,

      Your lips are moving and you’re complaining about something. That’s whinging. Also, for citing Miguel’s list of accomplishments, I noticed you neglected to mention “The Long Night” or “The Bells”, both of which dwarf any of those other episodes.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Farimer123: Also, for citing Miguel’s list of accomplishments, I noticed you neglected to mention “The Long Night” or “The Bells”, both of which dwarf any of those other episodes.

      While I hope and pray on this Christmas day that this doesn’t turn into yet another season 8 fight (please please please), people can have preferences. You are welcome to enjoy and favour those episodes, nobody is taking that away from you — but others can have differing favourites (like Hardhome) and cite those as accomplishments.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: Something I’m personally very interested about is seeing Dance of Dragons play out as a story, not only as historical recounting of the events. All knowledge I have of it is from Viserys I/Aegon II chapters in WoIaF and S5 Histories & Lore of GoT. Reading that, I can see the (horrific) actions caused by numerous characters but I’m not really WITH the characters and I think consequently, my thoughts were mostly “Who is the worst among the bad ones” when it came to these characters. But I genuinely wonder how will I grasp this story when I see it unfold as actual story, with way more interactions, full characterization, subtle scenes etc. I wonder which character will feel more or less sympathetic when given full characterization and dialogue.

      These are my thoughts exactly 🙂 It will be very interesting to see this unfold as a story rather than a historical account!

        Quote  Reply

    41. mau: Maybe but he doesn’t have any sense of pacing so I would rather have him far away from this show. His did his job by finishing Fire and Blood part 1 which is everything they need.

      In regard to narrative pacing, I don’t think I’d quite agree with this. I think that’s up to subjective opinion. I’m not saying GRRM is the perfect writer, far from it, but I do enjoy his writing for the most part (although, I think he is guilty of going on tangents, getting lost in too much detail, and going off the deep end with character count and world building… which can be pretty frustrating…).

      But Fire & Blood is a historical account. It’s not a fully fleshed out story. This is where I think GRRM would have some great input as the creator of this world, the story, and the characters.

        Quote  Reply

    42. mau,

      If he didn’t write scripts for GoT S5+, there’s no way he’ll write a script for this show, especially not with the last two books still unfinished. Besides, it’s much harder for him when he doesn’t have clear source material to pull from, like he did for S1-4 (based off his first three excellent books).

      The whole point of Fire & Blood is that it’s not impartial. It’s a historic account written by someone who clearly has some bias. The major beats of the show and book will likely match, but the wonderful thing is that the showrunners will be free to rearrange things and reinterpret characters as they see fit.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Farimer123,

      ”Your lips are moving and you’re complaining about something. That’s whinging.”

      😁 🐓 🐓

      ”Also, for citing Miguel’s list of accomplishments, I noticed you neglected to mention “The Long Night” or “The Bells”….

      The omission was deliberate. Sapochnik’s work on “The Long Night” was obscured by the surprisingly mediocre low light cinematography. (Watch the pre-S8 WF Crypts teaser trailer for an example how to illuminate and photograph an interior low light scene so the audience can see what’s happening. Or the Jon, Tormund & Wildling chieftains meeting in “Hardhome.”)
      Neutering Jon Snow and turning Arya into Batman didn’t help…

      I liked “The Bells” more than most fans, and there were some gorgeous screensaver-worthy shots. I guess I was not thrilled with Dany’s inexplicable rampage. (“F*ck it. I’m gonna be Queen of the Ashes after all. Because symbol. Or coin flip. Or something.”)

      Both episodes were technically bri**iant. They just did not measure up to “Hardhome” in my humble (and unqualified) opinion.

      …, both of which dwarf any of those other episodes.”

      Dwarf? Imp? Demon Monkey? You should’ve stopped at dwarf.

      Seriously, I admit that when it comes to staging big battle scenes, Sapochnik is the go-to guy.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      ”Something I’m personally very interested about is seeing Dance of Dragons play out as a story, not only as historical recounting of the events. All knowledge I have of it is from Viserys I/Aegon II chapters in WoIaF and S5 Histories & Lore of GoT.”

      The way I look at it, having only a chronological framework to start with can be a blessing. Like
      “The Lineage and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms” Ned slogged through in Season 1…
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1wL4PMc4Vo
      … starting out with only a dry chronicling of family histories doesn’t tell the full story of the long since departed people mentioned in them.

      What I mean is that the writers and showrunners of HotD have the creative freedom to flesh out the barebones, third-person historical recitals in the limited amount of source material provided by GRRM, using the ingredients loco73 identified above:
      “Quality, creativity and imagination…
      “So a good story with strong characters, solid direction, well written scripts and production values to match…”

      Consider S5e8 “Hardhome” as a rough example…

      [11:17 am. To be continued. Sorry. The Lord of Light is freezing up my phone again.🥶]

        Quote  Reply

    45. Ten Bears,

      Continued from 11:17 am

      Book readers can correct me if I’m wrong:
      It’s my understanding that the S5 “Hardhome” episode was for the most part a show-only creation. In the books, the only reference to Hardhome was a second-hand account in a cryptic letter that mentioned “dead things in the water” and weird sounds in caves or something like that. In the books, Jon Snow didn’t travel to Hardhome on a rescue mission. There was no first-hand account of White Walkers and zombie hordes massacring and reanimating thousands of wildlings.

      To use GRRM’s gardener analogy, the show’s writers took that one little seed from the books, used their own imagination to germinate it, and nurtured and cultivated it to produce a gripping stand-alone episode. (It also highlighted Jon’s bromance with Tormund, and his heroic qualities as a leader and “great conciliator” rather than just a kickass sword fighter.)

      For me at least, the last 20 minutes or so of “Hardhome” – from Jon & Tormund and the NW crew’s arrival and meeting with Karsi & Co., to the total clusterf*ck that erupts, until the very end with Night King showboating at the edge of the dock as a dejected Jon floats away – probably constituted the best* uninterrupted sequence in all 73 episodes of GoT.
      ………….
      *Full disclosure: As an unrepentant Sandor & Arya fanboy, I’m partial to the last 9 1/2 minutes of S4e1 “Two Chickens” aka “Two Swords.” Though on a much smaller scale than “Hardhome,” that final, uninterrupted sequence in S4e1 also featured well-written dialogue, and a tense confrontation erupting into a clusterf*ck battle scene. However, I’m not sure how much of that scripted sequence was drawn from the books.
      ………..

      Assuming, as Erik formerly Lord Parramandas stated, our knowledge of the Dance of Dragons is confined to “Viserys I/Aegon II chapters in WoIaF and S5 Histories & Lore of GoT,” HotD’s producers, writers and actors could (and presumably would have to) add a whole lot of nuance, back story and character development to create a full ten-episode series (or longer) that captivates the fan base.
      If the writers of HotD can take the basic elements from the sparse source material and run with it, there’s no reason they can’t create their own compelling stories “with strong characters, solid direction, [and] well written scripts and production” with the right mixture of “creativity and imagination.”. [Per loco73 comment above]

      I have to assume (and hope) the HotD showrunners’ pitch was so impressive that HBO felt comfortable enough to pull the plug on “Blood Moon,” (with big names Jane Goldman and Naomi Watts attached, after viewing its pilot episode and declining to give “Blood Moon” the same opportunity for a do-over they gave to D&D to iron out any imperfections), and order HotD to series sight unseen.
      For the studio’s executives to green light a full season of HotD and devote millions of dollars to it, the showrunners’ concept must have blown them away, right? (By itself, Sapochnik’s involvement couldn’t have been enough to sway them, could it?)
      I do not want to be cynical and attribute HBO’s dual decisions to a conceptualization of HotD as merely a rote retelling of the sparse source material’s historical events, punctuated by CGI dragon aerial dog fights.

      Let me add a caveat: Based on Petra’s wonderful video essay – I think it’s linked in her main article above – comparing the portrayal of dragons in S1-S4 vs. S5-S8 of GoT (i.e., depicting dragons as emotionally interactive animals rather than simply airborne WMDs), HotD could very well present dragons as characters in their own right such that the audience is emotionally invested in them and

      their apparent demise as casualties of the humans’ civil war

      .
      That would be a real achievement!

        Quote  Reply

    46. Addendum to 12:59 pm Comment

      Re: Item #8 of Petra’s main article “Twelve Days of Dragons: what I’m looking forward to in House of the Dragon”:

      8 Dragons

      “They’re the ultimate wish fulfillment pet and mode of transportation and in HOTD they’re going to be everywhere! Again, I’ve expressed my thoughts on dragons at length elsewhere (*cough* *cough*). I just hope that they’re treated as characters with personalities and not as weaponized Alexas.”

      * Here’s a direct YouTube link to Petra’s cited video essay with her “thoughts on dragons”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do0-gSRHQlM

      Petra Halbur: “How to Write Your Dragon (in the Dance of Dragons spin-off)” Sept. 19, 2019 [11:28 long]

      It’s really good. I highly recommend it. Bonus: Petra’s got an audiobooks-worthy speaking voice.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Adrianacandle,

      Here is a present! I just read His Dark Materials has been officially renewed for season 3!! It may not have been everything I would have wanted (the first two seasons), but it will be cool to see how they tackle the third book. The third book is the most challenging IMHO. 2021 should be a great year of filming with HotD and HDM season 3.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Tron79:
      Adrianacandle,

      Here is a present!I just read His Dark Materials has been officially renewed for season 3!! It may not have been everything I would have wanted (the first two seasons), but it will be cool to see how they tackle the third book. The third book is the most challenging IMHO.2021 should be a great year of filming with HotD and HDM season 3.

      OMG YAY!!!! That is the best present!! I’m so relieved and glad!!!! Thank-you, Tron!!!!

        Quote  Reply

    49. Tron79,

      Adrianacandle,

      Okay, you two. I need your advice about “His Dark Materials.”
      It looks like between reruns of Season 1 (8 episodes?) on HBO On Demand, and Season 2 episodes airing on regular HBO channels, I could binge watch the first two seasons.
      Here’s the catch: I’d have to finish my binge watch by January 2 or so. After that, all of the episodes will no longer be available (unless HBO runs a marathon before Season 3.)
      I have not read the books and don’t think I’d have the time to do so. I’m not even sure I could devote 15-16 hours for a binge watch during the next week unless I show some remarkable self-discipline and actually finish work projects before they are due.
      Plus, my “To Watch” list is already backed up with other shows, e.g., The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Star Trek: Picard, and Ozark.

      Is it worth my time to watch Seasons 1 and 2 now? Or should I plan on reading the books first and then wait for a possible pre-S3 marathon?

        Quote  Reply

    50. Ten Bears: Is it worth my time to watch Seasons 1 and 2 now? Or should I plan on reading the books first and then wait for a possible pre-S3 marathon?

      As a proud binger myself with a season 3 confirmed, I say… go for a binge now! If you have questions or you’re not understanding stuff about this world, you can always ask Tron or I — and you can always start on the books whenever you wish. In fact, watching HDM may even inspire you to get in on the books 🙂 It’s a complete series, three books, about 300-500 pages each if I recall right, and the language flows nicely!

        Quote  Reply

    51. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      Adrianacandle,

      Okay, you two. I need your advice about “His Dark Materials.” It looks like between reruns of Season 1 (8 episodes?) on HBO On Demand, and Season 2 episodes airing on regular HBO channels, I could binge watch the first two seasons. Here’s the catch: I’d have to finish my binge watch by January 2 or so.After that, all of the episodes will no longer be available (unless HBO runs a marathon before Season 3.) I have not read the books and don’t think I’d have the time to do so. I’m not even sure I could devote 15-16 hours for a binge watch during the next week unless I show some remarkable self-discipline and actually finish work projects before they are due. Plus, my “To Watch” list is already backed up with other shows, e.g., The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Star Trek: Picard, and Ozark.

      Is it worth my time to watch Seasons 1 and 2 now? Or should I plan on reading the books first and then wait for a possible pre-S3 marathon?

      Wow, that’s a pretty tough one to write out here because I think I’m going to recommend you watch some of the other shows on your watchlist first. Picard and Ozark are both all time favorites of mine. I had issues with HDM, especially in some of the early episodes. GOT filmed out of Northern Ireland. HDM’s production is by “Bad Wolf” which is in Wales. I think both look like they were filmed like high budget films to me instead of just another TV show. I appreciate feeling transported when I’m watching, and it’s not just another TV show. Both GOT and HDM have awesome opening credits, and a recognizable score! There are some similarities. Also, you have a story of a young girl who lies her way through life. Sound familiar? Her name almost has all the letters of Arya (Lyra). But don’t get your hopes up for another ASNAWP. The characters are quite different. Dafne Keen is closer to the ASNAWP in her younger XMAN role. For me personally, I read the books after season 1. The books are far better than the show (IMHO). But I still found the show addicting and mesmerizing. I also work in a religious institution, so the themes about religion in HDM resonate with me. I also have taught theology courses based on sci-fi for teens, and Pullman’s trilogy is filled with challenging topics to discuss…

      For pure TV enjoyment, I would suggest binging Ozark first. It’s crazy with dark humor and I couldn’t stop watching. Julia Garner is incredible. Then I would go for Picard. I’m a huge trek fan, and Picard was the best trek I’ve seen in years.

      I think it would be cool to binge HDM after season 3 is completed and watch all three together. Season 2 is mostly a setup for what will happen in season 3. Adrianacandle has her own preferences and may recommend differently.

      But I am thrilled they will finish the series with a third season. I read that ratings did go down this year. They pitched 2 more seasons but only got 1. They wanted to take 2 seasons to complete the third book. The third book was over 500 pages (and by far the longest of the three), which is short for GRRM but long for Pullman 🙂
      I’m guessing HBO thinks they will get a pretty large binge crowd once all three seasons are done. And even with less ratings than season 1, it’s probably still better than alot of their other shows!

        Quote  Reply

    52. Ten Bears,

      I’d go with Tron’s recommendation. He started out as a show-only watcher, which may mirror your experience more closely, while I had read the books several times over by the time HDM came out (my first read was in 2009). His post also reminds me of how some show-only watchers on Reddit mentioned having trouble with ideas that are more thoroughly explained in the books (particularly the human-daemon connection).

      In light of that, I’d recommend reading the books first before delving in. When reading a thread on HDM’s season 2 finale, one Redditor commented that they felt the show was a great extension of the books… but perhaps not exactly a thorough replacement for reading them. I thought that was pretty articulate.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      I’d go with Tron’s recommendation. He started out as a show-only watcher, which may mirror your experience more closely, while I had read the books several times over by the time HDM came out (my first read was in 2009). His post also reminds me of how some show-only watchers on Reddit mentioned having trouble with ideas that are more thoroughly explained in the books (particularly the human-daemon connection).

      In light of that, I’d recommend reading the books first before delving in. When reading a thread on HDM’s season 2 finale, one Redditor commented that they felt the show was a great extension of the books… but perhaps not exactly a thorough replacement for reading them. I thought that was pretty articulate.

      I agree that the book cleared up alot of my issues from being a show only watcher during season 1… You may remember I had a problem with…

      when Lyra falls from Lee’s balloon. On TV it looked like certain death and an extremely high fall. Then the books explained they were near the cliffs and there were snow drifts. It just made more sense in the books. The same can be said in GOT for Theon/Sansa/Jeyne’s jump from the Winterfell walls. The books made a nice point of there being very deep soft snow!! In the show I couldn’t believe what I just saw… There are many other examples, and you are right about the daemons.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Tron79: I agree that the book cleared up alot of my issues from being a show only watcher during season 1… You may remember I had a problem with…

      Yeah, that’s what I recalled! I think there’s a better chance of investment and falling in love with these characters if one reads book 1 first.

      Book!Lyra also starts off the series spunkier and with more feistiness than Show!Lyra, I think.

      For these reasons, Ten Bears, I think I’d second Tron’s recommendations 🙂 I’d love for you to blow through HDM right now so we can rope you into discussions! But I think you’d have a better chance of investment if you read the books first.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Adrianacandle,

      ”…For these reasons, Ten Bears, I think I’d second Tron’s recommendations 🙂 I’d love for you to blow through HDM right now so we can rope you into discussions! But I think you’d have a better chance of investment if you read the books first.”

      Yeah, I kind of wanted to get “roped in” so I could join the party. 🥺
      I checked my cable TV lineup again. For whatever reason, S1e1 is available On Demand until January 20, but the rest of S1 goes off line after January 5. Season 2 episodes are being replayed on regular HBO channels at least through January, but of course I wouldn’t want to jump into S2 without watching S1. Besides, my 200-hour capacity DVR is stuffed full of 197 hours of shows and movies I’ve yet to watch, so recording S2 would be a problem.

      I think I’ll take the prudent course, and try to read the books first at my leisure, and then hope HBO runs a marathon before S3. After all, HBO hooked me on GoT only because a pre-S4 marathon was airing and I decided to check out the first episode to see what all the fuss was about.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Ten Bears: Yeah, I kind of wanted to get “roped in” so I could join the party. 🥺
      I checked my cable TV lineup again. For whatever reason, S1e1 is available On Demand until January 20, but the rest of S1 goes off line after January 5. Season 2 episodes are being replayed on regular HBO channels at least through January, but of course I wouldn’t want to jump into S2 without watching S1. Besides, my 200-hour capacity DVR is stuffed full of 197 hours of shows and movies I’ve yet to watch, so recording S2 would be a problem.

      I think I’ll take the prudent course, and try to read the books first at my leisure, and then hope HBO runs a marathon before S3. After all, HBO hooked me on GoT only because a pre-S4 marathon was airing and I decided to check out the first episode to see what all the fuss was about.

      The books are pretty fast reads — I also think reading them first will heighten your enjoyment of the show so I think it’ll provide greater enjoyment in the long run! From what I remember reading on Reddit while season 1 was airing, show-only watchers were confused by some parts and these are areas the books can clear up pretty quickly and easily.

      Also, the HDM party will be going strong for a while yet as season 3 has yet to be filmed and aired!

      (Also, check your WotW email! :D)

        Quote  Reply

    57. Oh wow, I came here really late! first of all, Happy late Christmas everyone! I hope you were savely surrounded by your loved ones!

      Im about to read the wonderfuly insightful comments but before that, Im gonna give my opinion on all of those points made by Petra!

      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILERSPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILERSPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

      12. Nettles, Im SO hyped about her, she will bring the much deserved representation that this show needs, and Im sure shell become a fan favourite, badass low born poc woman who rides dragonsn thanks to her insight and cunning. YES PLEASE. I honestly cannot wait to see who they cast but Im sure shell be wonderful!

      11. Targaryen Madness, this one is really complicated because most of the main characters are as sound as they can be at the beggining of DoTD and, at the end, everysingle one of the main characters ends up in a terrible place, emotionaly speaking.
      SPOILER: Daemon + blood and cheese, Aegon feeds his own sister to a dragon, Rhaenyra goes super paranoid, Helaena… well talk about her later, Alicent tells her own grandaughter to cut her husbands throat… Maybe not so much Targaryen madness but just an inmense amount of trauma and pain due to all the horrid experiences the characters went through.

      10. Helaena, Petra made a wonderful video about her explaining who Helaena shouldnt be stripped of her sanity or agency because the death of her children and I completely agree.
      Haleana is described as sweet kind pleasant woman and a great mother who adored her children and had nothing to do with plotting and scheming, I think its gonna be really tricky to write her but she has the potential of becoming a real fan favourite.
      I would love it if the writers made Helaena the only one among her siblings who genuinely cares about her subjets and acts on their behalf, we could have Margaery type of scenes with her visiting the poor and the orphans and truly showing them love, I would also love to see her relationship with Rhaenyra (maybe they were true friends and they loved each other but were on opposite sides). There is nothing wrong with being pasive if she chose to be so, but I want her to have agency in some regard and see her mental deterioration as something organic and earned, not a “woman + death child = mad woman”.

      9. This one always annoyed me, How is that we have such a complex and layered world and still, we only have one language throughout Westeros? I sincerely doubt they are gonna explore it but we’ll see…

      8. YES YES AND A THOUSAND TIMES YES, altough I want the dragons to have some humanity, they are creatures who can feel afterall (as we have seen with drogon, viseryon and Rhaegal) so I hope we have sweet moments between the dragons and their riders.

      7. YES YES AND A MILLION TIMES YES. Im ready to see Rhaenys riding into battle! I also have the feeling they are gonna make Rhaenyra much more warriorlike and ride into battle herself.

      6. Yeah, that would be great! but I will also wanna see Johanna (Westerling) Lannister, honestly, the side characters in the DoTD are nothing but brilliant, Jeyne Arryn, Sabitha (Vypren) Frey, Alysanne Blackwood, Torrehn Manderly, Cregan Stark! I wanna see them all! mostly because it will “subert our expectations” about each one of the houses we previously saw during Game of thrones: The crazed Lady in GOT is a level headed, smart and badass woman in DoTD, Cregan Starks is a brilliant political player unlike the Starks we saw during the show, heck, we would be chearing for a Frey! A FREY nontheless!

      5. I suppose we could see it in flashbakcs… ? tbh Im would prefer to see King Jaehaerys I, at least in his old age, I just wanna see him!

      4. WOW, as a history and history of art college student with a clear obsession with fashion history this one is the thing I have been obsessing the most ever since we heard they were gonna make a DoTD show! SO exciting! and so tricky because Michele did a marvelus job stablishing certain world rules that I would love to see respected: The Targaryen Style but much more medieval looking, altthough I think they can play around with the Hightowers since, pretty much they are a main house in their own right and Alicent Im sure is the trend setter of the capital.
      BUT I NEED TO SEE HEADPIECES PLEASE. come on! look at this marvelous double hennin and to tell me it doesnt look extremely Targaryen, I dare you to do so. https://sibellasays.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/screen-shot-2018-08-01-at-10-44-02.png?w=900

      3. I honestly love Matt Smith and I think he’ll do a temendous job with character, I honestly have no doubt about it.

      2. I honestly hope both Ramin and Michele Clapton come back, and the set designers too! they are a part of the GoT family and my heart would break if we couldnt see them again 🙁

      1. ABSOLUTELY YES PLEAS.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Ten Bears,

      Pure speculation on my part: Based on Olivia Cooke’s resume, especially high profile leading roles in recent films and shows, I’d be surprised if this up and coming young actor would take on a (potentially) multi-year role as an outright villain with no redeeming qualities.

      Well, Alicent has (will have?) many redeeming qualities, Im sure they writers and Olivia will manage to bring out the nuances and layers of the character, specially if they start with a young Alicent as she grows up into a main player of the Game of Thrones. Any actress will kill for a role like that, just like Rhaenyra!

        Quote  Reply

    59. Re: Petra’s #11:

      11. “Targaryen Madness Explored”

      “I’ve always had issues with Targaryen madness for the way it conflates mental illness with violence and evil. So, it would be really, really, really nice if HOTD could actually delve into what this hereditary sickness even is. In season 1 some effort was put into depicting Targaryen madness as a form of psychosis or schizophrenia that just isn’t understood in Westeros…
      ****
      I can’t really imagine a truly non-problematic portrayal of Targaryen madness since those affected with it do invariably poses a threat to the safety of others. Still, I hold out hope that HOTD might handle it with just a touch more humanity.”

      ——————-
      GoT in general, and “Mad Dany” in particular, left me confounded about Targaryen madness:
      – If Dany was afflicted with a hereditary mental illness that manifested itself with age or in response to external stressors, then she (and Aerys) wouldn’t really be responsible. Nowadays they might be adjudged “not guilty by reason of insanity.”
      – On the other hand, Weiss’ episode commentary that Dany snapped upon seeing the Red Keep, a “symbol” of what had been taken from her, left me wondering “WTF???”
      – Then there was Tyrion’s explanation to Cersei that the difference between Dany and Cersei was that Dany chose advisors who’d “rein in her worst impulses,” suggesting that Dany was aware of her own predisposition to go all fire and blood, and took measures to safeguard herself from losing control. Someone who’s aware of her own mental illness or violent proclivities is more responsible for her own behavior than someone completely detached from reality, right?
      – Then again, at first it seemed the show wanted to portray Dany as snapping because (like Dan Aykroyd’s Louis Winthorpe in “Trading Places”), all at once she was deprived of her close friends and loved ones, the adulation she was used to, and the loyalty of her allies. Was the lesson there that just about anyone would become a violent (war) criminal under the worst case scenario?
      – Yet, by the time Jon shanked his Queen, she
      appeared to be completely delusional: babbling about “liberating” people by exterminating them, and having no conception that she had just incinerated a city full of innocent children after the battle had already been won. If Jon was “putting her down” as if she were a rabid dog, that would have been somewhat understandable if she had previously shown signs of losing touch with reality. Then, as Petra noted, a Targ ruler equipped with WMDs who’s gone “mad” invariably “poses a threat to the safety of others.”
      – I also detected a whiff of misogyny, in that Dany was second-guessed, betrayed, and had her sanity questioned for harsh wartime actions that men would take with no such repercussions.

      Now, I admit I know nothing about psychology. Yet, like most people, I have dear friends and family members who’ve struggled with mental illness at some point. I too hope that HOTD “might handle it with just a touch more humanity.”

      Miscellaneous commentary: Like Petra, I have
      issues with Targaryen madness for the way it conflates mental illness with violence and evil.”
      In the real world, doesn’t mental illness more often manifest itself with self-harm, severe depression*, suicidal ideation, substance abuse as self-medication, reclusiveness, or other behaviors
      that are more often self-destructive rather than violence and evil directed towards others?
      I’m not saying that doesn’t happen. I just don’t know if there’s a specific type of mental illness, let alone a hereditary condition, associated with mass murderers, serial killers and war criminals.
      ………..
      * Tinfoil speculation: In the books, wasn’t Rhaegar portrayed as sullen, sad or morose? Maybe that doom and gloom attitude wasn’t from a prophecy or premonition, but instead, was a symptom of untreated depression – another form of Targ “madness”?
      After all, Big G did seek to portray other mental conditions, like PTSD (e.g., Theon; Sandor)…
      ………….

      P.S. I’m trying to think: Has there ever been a show or movie that realistically portrays mental illness and “handles it with a touch more humanity”?

        Quote  Reply

    60. Ten Bears,

      In the real world, doesn’t mental illness more often manifest itself with self-harm, severe depression*, suicidal ideation, substance abuse as self-medication, reclusiveness, or other behaviors
      that are more often self-destructive rather than violence and evil directed towards others?
      I’m not saying that doesn’t happen. I just don’t know if there’s a specific type of mental illness, let alone a hereditary condition, associated with mass murderers, serial killers and war criminals.

      I think this is a very complicated area and a slippery slope because there’s often not a mental illness that manifests in a specific way. Mental illness doesn’t present the same way in everyone, even when two people are diagnosed with the same condition. For example, my OCD looks very different from my sister’s OCD. Additionally, there are many many kinds of mental illness and they can often co-exist.

      Sometimes, mental illness does manifest in violence. Sometimes it doesn’t. Also of note is that mental illness can be harder to detect than a physical disease and still, social attitudes toward it often differ toward mental illness than they do with physical conditions (eg. “the right to die” is seen as far more acceptable in people with terminal conditions and physical diseases but not those who have been living with mental illness that have not responded to treatment for decades, though both suffer immeasurably. And sometimes, the suffering from mental illness is dismissed due to misunderstanding of it.)

      Because mental illness takes place in the brain and the brain is, by far, the least understood part of the body, we still have a long long way to go in understanding it and treating it. For example, some people with depression respond well to treatment. Other people with depression continue getting depressed as time goes on, even with treatment. Some respond to CBT. Some don’t.

      We’re sort of left with infinite possibilities when it comes to mental illness.

      I don’t know if this discussion about Dany’s actions in 8×05 and 8×06 will provide anymore answers or lead to any new places as it’s been done to death, particularly not in regard to mental illness, and we still haven’t gotten anywhere new with it. Nor do I think we’ll be provided with any additional answers.

      And at the risk of getting into another Dark Dany debate…

      In her final scene, Dany appeared to reject mercy for the current generation in spite of Jon’s pleas. Jon had gone to Dany in hopes that the war was over, King’s Landing was a one-time situation, Dany would be done with her destruction and she could show mercy in the aftermath — prove the people wrong about her (“Make them see they made a mistake, make them understand. Please, Dany.”/“What we need is a world of mercy.”). And if Dany had agreed, Jon would not have assassinated her — a prospect he was fighting against when Tyrion was urging him to do so. However, it seemed to me Dany felt mercy had been weaponized against her (what Cersei had tried to do with stuffing the Red Keep) and she felt her actions were “necessary”, despite the bells having sounded, signaling the people’s surrender. Dany decided to torch the people of King’s Landing, going through the city street by street with fire, and afterward, seemed to truly believe what she had done was justified, necessary, and a “liberation”. That she wasn’t going to stop in her pursuit of what she felt was “good”.

      As a result, I interpreted this as Dany having become an extremist idealist and now subscribed to Utopia Justifies the Means — though, myself, I had issues with this. D&D talk about Dany making this decision spontaneously in 8×05, having been triggered by the Red Keep after a series of losses, Varys’s betrayal, and learning Jon’s parentage. Then, in 8×06, it really seems as if Dany viewed what she did as a good and necessary thing.

      But how this would correlate with mental illness or just one mental illness, I don’t know. I’ve seen a variety of analysis and theories to try and explain what happened but…

      * Tinfoil speculation: In the books, wasn’t Rhaegar portrayed as sullen, sad or morose? Maybe that doom and gloom attitude wasn’t from a prophecy or premonition, but instead, was a symptom of untreated depression – another form of Targ “madness”?
      After all, Big G did seek to portray other mental conditions, like PTSD (e.g., Theon; Sandor)…

      I believe Rhaegar was described as melancholy at times. This from the ASOIAF wiki on Rhaegar:

      Rhaegar was an intelligent young man, who excelled at anything to which he put his mind,[19] and grew to be a great knight and a skilled musician.[20] The latter, however, held his preference; men said Rhaegar loved his silver-stringed harp more than he loved his lance.[20] Jorah Mormont has described Rhaegar as valiant, honorable, and noble[21] while Barristan Selmy has called him determined, deliberate, dutiful, and single-minded.[19] The crown prince was said to have been uninterested in the play of other children as a boy, but bookish “to a fault”. He learned to read at such an early age that people jested that his mother Rhaella had swallowed some books and a candle during her pregnancy.[19] Later in life, however, Rhaegar did acquire several trusted and loyal companions.[19] Rhaegar was deeply affected by “the shadow of Summerhall”, because he was “born in grief” and was considered melancholic at times.[20] At the same time, Summerhall was also Rhaegar’s favorite place.[20]

      I don’t think being morose is a sign of mental illness in and of itself. The clinical definition I’ve heard of something become a disorder is when it negatively and significantly impacts a person’s day to day functioning. Rhaegar seemed to function well enough but he did seem obsessed with a prophecy. I wouldn’t call that madness but in modern times, since Rhaegar seemed to become so focused on it, I think it would be cause for examination by doctors.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Ten Bears: P.S. I’m trying to think: Has there ever been a show or movie that realistically portrays mental illness and “handles it with a touch more humanity”?

      There are a some, actually. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a good one, I think. A Beautiful Mind in my opinion. There are more! I’ll come up with my own list later for those who are interested 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    62. Ten Bears: If Dany was afflicted with a hereditary mental illness that manifested itself with age or in response to external stressors, then she (and Aerys) wouldn’t really be responsible. Nowadays they might be adjudged “not guilty by reason of insanity.”

      I’m not sure about this. If they’re judged too great a risk to others and pose an immediate threat (ie. refusing to stop), even now, they could be taken out immediately by police or others on site whether or not mental illness is involved. In Dany’s case, there’s no UN or greater authority to hold her to her actions. Nobody could force her to do anything she didn’t want to do or feel was right. Basically, as queen, Dany was the law and she pretty much had the majority of martial power at her command. If their case was being reviewed after the fact when the court was deciding what to do with them, I think mental illness would definitely be a factor but especially in cases of mass murder, I think this would be more to do with where to send them. From what I know, this would likely result in them being sent to a psychiatric faculty for life. Either way, I don’t think they’d be permitted to go free again.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Adrianacandle,

      Typos:

      *[…]will provide anymore answers or lead to any new places, *particularly not in regard to mental illness[…]

      *The clinical definition I’ve heard of something becom*ing a disorder is when it negatively and significantly impacts a person’s day to day functioning.

      Also! There are some good movies that do a good job exploring various mental conditions. I’ll come up with a list if anyone is interested!

        Quote  Reply

    64. Ten Bears,

      I don’t agree with the Misogyny part. I read way too many articles claiming D&D were saying women are too emotional to rule and I think that’s a very short sighted way of viewing the show. All those claims also seemed to not mention Sansa, Arya, or Brienne who all seemed to come out on top in some way or another. Men and women are punished in the show it’s a violent show to alk genders in my opinion. Theon is an example Yes I think the women are treated worse but that’s the way the society the show presented not the show runners being misogynist.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Ten Bears,

      But that’s how Dany treated them. As weapons doesn’t mean others did. Once she saw their power she became obsessed with it. That’s her fault the show wrote her character that way. The show wasn’t treating the dragons poorly Danys character was. Season 5 we see Dragon clearly cares for her as he comes to her rescue. Season 6 we see Tyrion interacting with them which shows the clear have some intelligence. Season 7 we see Dragon interacting with Jon. We see them crying out at the wall when one of them died. We maybe could have got more but to say after season 4 they just became weapons I don’t think is fair and again that’s the way Dany was treating them I out the blame on her and it’s one of her character flaws and a massive red flag when she was always so quick to just burn anything in her way. I would called it bad treatment by Deny of her dragons.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Adrianacandle,

      • You raised some really interesting points I’d like to mull over and respond to – a little later. While I agree mental illness is a slippery slope, and a sensitive subject I’m not qualified to discuss, I am trying to stay on topic(s): namely, the twelve topics Petra addressed.

      • Anyway, on the subject of “Targaryen madness,”
      I commend Petra’s June 16, 2019 video (link below) titled “The Fall of Daenerys Targaryen (and why it didn’t work).”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffBc4PdVUzg

      It’s 17:37 long. The discussion about Targ madness is at 3:00 to 8:00.

      • You wrote: ”There are some good movies that do a good job exploring various mental conditions. I’ll come up with a list if anyone is interested!”

      Yes! I’m interested!
      I was actually looking for a clip of such a movie I saw a while back…To this day, I have no idea what the first half of it was about (maybe too artistic for me), but the second half was pretty bizarre – and ambitious: the imminent end of the world as a metaphor for debilitating depression. Lemme refresh my memory though.
      The movie is “Melancholia” starring Kirsten Dunst. Charlotte Gainesbourg played her sister, The sister’s husband was played by Kiefer Sutherland. [Shout out to Jack Bauer 24!]

        Quote  Reply

    67. Fireblood87,

      Yeah, you may be right. I may have read too much into what Tyrion and Varys were saying about their preference for Jon. (Petra’s video also makes the point that other female characters did some pretty ghastly things without having their sanity questioned.)

        Quote  Reply

    68. Ten Bears,

      I can go off on tangents about mental illness so I apologize for that! Still, I’m not a doctor so I hesitate to diagnose or speak with any kind of medical authority. Personally, it is a big part of my life. It was also part of my graduate studies! 🙂 One of my supervisors authored a book on the history of “mad” people in Toronto and how they were treated by society and the health care system. He had great insight, especially as a sufferer of paranoid schizophrenia.

      (Personal details and trigger-y context hidden under a spoiler tag!)

      Mental illness — specifically, OCD, depression, and severe anxiety disorder — are huge daily obstacles for me. I’ve been held in psychiatric wards several times for attempts to commit suicide and also, to get help (I agreed to be admitted to the psych ward in order to get expedited access to ECT — electroshock therapy). But oh, the system is so flawed as is social understanding of what mental illness is. Films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Girl Interrupted weren’t far off! And the stigma… it’s just such a fight to get help and the right kind of help. Distress lines can only do so much. Medications may not always work. CBT isn’t a fix-all for all conditions but the health care system doesn’t seem to understand this.

      As such, I am an advocate for “right to die” in regard to mental health as a very, very, very last resort — after people have tried for decades, nothing is working, and they’re just living their life in pain — but only after a thorough assessment by multiple medical parties and qualified doctors has been done. Otherwise, people are going to take such matters into their own hands, which can lead to disaster and I think people deserve a choice in this. However, on the other side of things, people (especially loved ones) still understandably have trouble agreeing to death as a solution for something that they think might be fixable. It’s a hard issue.

      (/end rant)

      But yes, I do agree with Petra’s assessment of portrayals of mental illness and madness in the linked video essay — and there’s a lot I agree on in that essay. Her conclusions are ones I think on quite a bit and I often come back to when I’m trying to articulate my thoughts.

      As for film recs that deal with mental illness, here are some I like!

      One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
      A Beautiful Mind
      Girl, Interrupted
      Silver Linings Playbook
      Rain Man
      Donnie Darko (depending on your interpretation of what’s going on!)

      (I’ve also heard good things about Melancholia but I haven’t watched that one yet!)

        Quote  Reply

    69. Ten Bears,

      I made a reply to you (December 26, 2020 at 4:58 pm) but it’s being held for moderation! 🙂 I’ve listed some films that deal with mental health that I enjoy!

        Quote  Reply

    70. Ten Bears,

      While I appreciate that video I just don’t agree with her take on Daenerys. Her character has shown many red flags for me that I always saw. It’s funny how I remember seeing videos as far back as season 3 claiming she was heading down a dark path. If it didn’t work for some people that’s fine but I disagree with them big time.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      I made a reply to you (December 26, 2020 at 4:58 pm) but it’s being held for moderation! 🙂 I’ve listed some films that deal with mental health that I enjoy!

      I recently watched “Words on Bathroom Walls” which was a story of a high school senior with schizophrenia. I thought it delved into a number of important topics and also managed to be a good movie.

      Switching from a serious comment to a little sarcasm, all would have been fine with Dany if stubborn Sansa and those Northerners would have just given her a little love ❤️ for saving their butts with her army and dragons.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Tron79,

      I recently watched “Words on Bathroom Walls” which was a story of a high school senior with schizophrenia. I thought it delved into a number of important topics and also managed to be a good movie.

      Thanks, Tron!

      Switching from a serious comment to a little sarcasm, all would have been fine with Dany if stubborn Sansa and those Northerners would have just given her a little love for saving their butts with her army and dragons.

      Well, it seems one of the causes for what happened with Dany upon the Walls of King’s Landing in 8×05 was kind of sparked by Sansa manifesting Dany’s fears by deciding to break her promise to Jon and push Jon’s claim against Dany’s claim, which led to Varys’s betrayal, in a series of unfortunate events. I’m not really sure how well thought out this action was on Sansa’s part because it would be inciting civil war with Jon as a pawn and in the line of fire… again… (kind of like how it was with the KotV stuff)… after they all just fought a war and the North wasn’t exactly in primo condition. But I truly don’t think that was D&D’s intention. I just chalk it up to plot necessity because it seemed the writers were going to have Dany burn KL regardless.

      I think Young Griff will take on this role of garnering Westeros’s love in the books. Jon and Dany already both have crappy reputations in-universe among the Westerosi and I doubt either will be garnering the love of Westeros. In contrast, I can see Young Griff having a way easier time doing so. He’s got all the good stuff going for him: no stigma of being a bastard son of a traitor or the exiled daughter of the Mad King, no tales of what they’ve been doing that won’t go over well with the Westerosi (like Jon letting in a thousands-year old enemy — the wildlings — or Dany and her nobility upheavals in Essos), Young Griff has the right look and age of Elia’s son which will add to the believability of his story and help him win Dorne over (especially considering Quentyn’s accident at the end of ADWD, which won’t go over well with Dorne in their view of Dany), Young Griff was raised to be a king whereas neither Jon and especially not Dany (who, unfortunately, missed out on a lot of education growing up) were…

      That’s just speculation though 🙂 And that’s if we get to read the unpublished books at all…

        Quote  Reply

    73. Tron79:
      Switching from a serious comment to a little sarcasm, all would have been fine with Dany if stubborn Sansa and those Northerners would have just given her a little love ❤️for saving their butts with her army and dragons.

      I know you were being sarcastic, but I feel obligated to point out that it wasn’t a one way street. The North also saved Danerys. Jon was the one who brought the White Walkers to her attention, was the one who showed her how to kill them, and Arya was the one who defeated them. That should have been more than enough to earn independence, but Danerys had to have it all.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Young Dragon,

      I think Daenerys agreeing to Sansa’s request for independence would have helped things out and would have been a boon to Dany on two fronts: with the North removed from her kingdom, Dany wouldn’t have to worry about rebuilding or supporting it (and it’s not like the North is a particularly valuable kingdom to the crown: it’s far, it doesn’t produce resources needed by other kingdoms, there are complaints over how big and hard it is to navigate kind of like Russia, the weather is bad, and armies take forever moving out of there). It’d then be entirely Sansa’s problem. Second, if Sansa has what she wants, she has no motivation to act against Dany by trying to incite a claimant war to get what she wants (though I don’t agree with Sansa breaking her promise and leaking Jon’s parentage for this purpose.)

      I think you’re right that it was a two-way street: everybody in that fight needed each other. They were barely hanging on and on the verge of defeat before Arya killed the Night King. And without Dany’s help, they wouldn’t be able to hold off the NK long enough for Arya to swoop in there. If the Night King won, there’d be no country for anyone to rule and defeating the Night King was really to everyone’s benefit because if the North fell, the rest of Westeros was next followed by the world once the seas froze and provided a walkway for the Night King and his crew.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Ten Bears,

      In case my comment doesn’t come out of moderation, I wanted to say that yes, I agree with Petra’s assessment of portrayals of mental illness and madness in the linked video essay. There’s a lot I agree on in that essay and I’ve referenced portions of it in discussions I’ve had about these subjects in person 🙂 Her conclusions also articulate many of the thoughts I’ve had as well re: redemption, redemption being a choice, and why Dany meant so much to people, etc. Those are also parts that really resonated with me.

      Also, I can email you that list of movies I like that deal with mental illness if my comment stays stuck in moderation!

        Quote  Reply

    76. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      I made a reply to you (December 26, 2020 at 4:58 pm) but it’s being held for moderation! 🙂 I’ve listed some films that deal with mental health that I enjoy!

      As of Sunday Dec. 27, 2020 at 8:10 am, your reply was still in Moderation Purgatory. 🙁 I’ll check back periodically to look for it.

      I’ve found that the Lord of Light’s interception algorithms are most often triggered by: (a) embedding more than two links in a comment; or (b) including proper nouns in a comment, especially titles of (certain) films or their fictional characters.

      For example:

      – A while back, before S8 of GoT, I had drafted a silly fanfic comment imagining a Sansa & Arya scene in the aftermath of LF’s execution, in which Arya face-peels LF’s corpse and makes an awful, awful pun to Sansa’s exasperation.
      Because the “dialogue” referenced a particular movie’s sequel in which a certain cannibalistic psychiatrist convinced his drugged patient to

      cut off his own face with a shard of broken glass and feed it to his dog

      , that comment kept getting diverted to “That Page Not Found.” (I’m omitting the name of the movie here for the same reason. I’m still not sure if it was the title of the original movie or its middling sequel that irritated the Lord of Light.)

      – A similar thing happened to a (serious) comment speculating about the future consequences of Bran’s forays into the past and (in)actions in the present, in which I referenced the concluding scene of a certain WWII concentration camp movie showing the present-day descendants of camp survivors who’d been saved by a German industrialist’s intervention.
      For some reason, merely including the title of that movie in the comment made it impossible to post. It kept vanishing into the ether when I’d press “Post Comment.”
      I’m still not sure why. I’ve referenced Arya’s List without irritating the Lord of Light. We’ve all referenced the titles of other shows and movies without a problem.
      Maybe only certain proper nouns are targeted by the site algorithms?

      – As I’ve (we’ve?) observed, any time a comment includes more than two blue font-highlighted terms, whether internet links or other commenters’ screen names, there’s a good chance the comment will be quarantined in Moderation Purgatory. For that reason, I often break up a comment into multiple sub-parts.

      I wonder if that is why your list of films is in quarantine?

        Quote  Reply

    77. Ten Bears,

      I’ve found that the Lord of Light’s interception algorithms are most often triggered by: (a) embedding more than two links in a comment; or (b) including proper nouns in a comment, especially titles of (certain) films or their fictional characters.

      For some reason, merely including the title of that movie in the comment made it impossible to post. It kept vanishing into the ether when I’d press “Post Comment.”

      I wonder if that is why your list of films is in quarantine?

      Yeah, that is my speculation (and I’ve discovered the same thing with multiple links!) I think one of the titles I included in my link-free post triggered a moderation requirement because I also tried to share the titles of two of these films with you in a December 26, 2020 2:19 pm comment but it got sent to comment purgatory as well. As a result, I can simply email you the list 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    78. Adrianacandle,
      Yes you are probably right about Young Griff. Even just his name “Young Griff” sounds valiant. However, since D&D left him out altogether, I wonder if he’s not supposed to be a part of the end game. GRRM did share some major plot points with them. Unless as the ultimate gardner, GRRM will find that Young Griff takes on a more major role than he originally thought.

      Young Dragon,

      So, I can see that even a sarcastic comment can strike a nerve with many folks. Arya agrees with you and was trying to get Sansa to see that Jon made the right decision to ask for Dany’s help. I forget her exact line but she says “we needed her” or something like that. And she was on Jon’s side for doing the right thing with asking for Dany’s help. And you’re right that Arya was the one that really did it, but Dany’s army/dragons were needed to hold of TAOTD until Arya could strike the blow.

      So, I’ll write a bit of my more serious take on Dany/Sansa/Jon.
      I’m sure others have said similar things but here goes…
      Sansa played her LittleFinger move by revealing the family secret. By telling Tyrion the family secret, she saw Dany’s downfall and her own ascendence as Queen of the North. She had a similar strategy when she withheld that she had The Knights of the Vale ready in the wings as she let thousands of northerners/wildlings and possibly her brother Jon die for her own benefit. Jon is the most forgiving person! I think he forgave her rather easily in the finale, partly because he was a broken man (after killing Dany). GRRM/D&D put forth a pretty depressing message that if you want to make it to the top, you need to put your humanity aside and do whatever it takes to get to the top. It’s the school of LittleFinger unfortunately. As Sandor taught Arya, mercy will get you killed. Sandor says, “How many Starks they got to behead before you figure it out?” That was a depressing and very telling line about the world of Westeros. It’s probably true about our own world as well with how our politicians behave to keep power. Loyalty to family also seemed to be one of those nobile attributes that is good for peasants but not for Kings and Queens.

      Regarding Dany’s mental health, I think Varys was the main person who worried about the past history of the Targs in that area. If you think about Jaime, he killed “The Mad King” not because he was mentally ill. He killed him because he believed he was serious about burning down all of Kings Landing. Putting a label on him really wasn’t important. He believed him that he was going to kill everyone, so Jaime decided to take action. For me it’s more about actions than putting a label on them. I don’t think it’s fair to Daenerys to say she went crazy. You can hate what she did, but I saw her as strategic in her actions. Yes, she did look very angry as she looked at the Red Keep. But if it was pure anger she would have went straight for the Red Keep to go after Cersei. She wasn’t angry at the townsfolk of Kings Landing. This was more strategic IMHO. She made a decision to go with “fear” instead of love or mercy. I forget her exact line, but she says something like Mercy is for the next generation. That’s also part of my problem with GRRM/D&D’s depressing world view. For now, she needed to cement her place on the Iron Throne and rule by fear. I think she is a victim of believing her own propaganda. I’m not sure if we can just label her as mentally ill. She seemed to have this figured out before the battle when Tyrion was pleading with her to stop the battle when she heard the bells. She never agreed to this, and she seemed to have it in her mind that she would need to rule by fear. She believed that she knew what was best for her people. She did realize that the Northerners would never follow her out of loyalty. She gave up on Jon loving her. Perhaps you could say she was getting paranoid, but she had good reason.
      I think it’s more of an illustration about how leaders can begin believing their own propaganda. Also, it’s a scary example of how leaders can justify horrible inhumane actions because it fits the narrative they built for themselves in their quest to make the world a better place in their ideology. The same can be said when people justify horrific inhumane actions by quoting their interpretation of scripture.

      I do think Jon needs to share some of the blame. He never “killed the boy” and embraced his responsibilities of his heritage. He was stuck on the “You will always be my queen” line. He never would let himself think about what it meant to Westeros that he was the actual heir to the Iron Throne. I think this was a good example that leaders need more than a good heart and loyalty. Although, I would love it if more leaders led with a good heart and loyalty.

      I’ve probably said this all before, but it’s still a tough subject for many folks in GOT fandom.

      BTW, I’m about half way through The Dance of Dragons (from the Princess and the Queen novella). For those future #Nettles fans, she seems to be currently on team black with Daemon. So if you are team Nettles, at least for the first part of the story you are on team black. I’m not sure if that will change. I can say I’m not a fan of reading the accounts of history from the Maester’s perspective. I did read that GRRM was modelling this after European history books. I guess that’s why I was never a history student. I find this type of narrative a bit dry, and I have a hard time remembering everything that happens. I much prefer the POV style. I don’t think I’ll be jumping into reading Fire and Blood any time soon.

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    79. Tron79,

      Yes you are probably right about Young Griff. Even just his name “Young Griff” sounds valiant. However, since D&D left him out altogether, I wonder if he’s not supposed to be a part of the end game. GRRM did share some major plot points with them. Unless as the ultimate gardner, GRRM will find that Young Griff takes on a more major role than he originally thought.

      Maybe! As it is, I think Young Griff’s primary purpose is to be the “cloth dragon swayed on poles amidst a cheering crowd,” Dany saw in her House of the Undying Vision during ACOK and the “mummer’s dragon” Quaithe warned Dany about, which leads me to think it’s Young Griff who will be taking on the role of winning the love of the Westerosi.

      Jon is the most forgiving person! I think he forgave her rather easily in the finale, partly because he was a broken man (after killing Dany).

      I don’t think Jon did forgive Sansa for this. He hesitated when Sansa asked if he could forgive her and didn’t… actually do so. In the finale script, it states:

      “Jon stands in front of Sansa. He hasn’t entirely forgiven her for betraying the oath he made her swear in the godswood.”

      Which… feels right to me. I don’t think I could forgive something like this either.

      [Dany] never agreed to this, and she seemed to have it in her mind that she would need to rule by fear.

      I think ruling by fear (ie. inducing the surrender of King’s Landing through fear) and attacking the Red Keep are both different from what she ended up doing (just turning the entire city into ashes) — I think the former would have been strategic and an effective show of strength.

      Waging war within the city and going for the Red Keep, despite Cersei’s people-stuffed barrier, would also be a pretty ruthless and merciless option… and it’d also be a legitimate form of conquest. However, burning the entire place down post-surrender and going after streets filled with civilians, streets that were far from Cersei and the Red Keep, seemed too much like overkill and didn’t seem rational to me. It did too much to prove the fears of her detractors correct, giving them a pretty strong motivation to take them out — like Varys tried to do. Also, if it wasn’t Jon who assassinated Dany — particularly considering Jon didn’t even want to kill Dany, couldn’t feel it was right, and would have let Dany walk if she simply said, “Sure, Jon, I’ll be merciful,” whether she meant it or not — Arya or a hired Faceless Man could have taken Dany out later while rebels could secretly build armies to challenge her forces. Add to that, especially since Dany was declaring the burning of King’s Landing a “liberation” — I think there was some delusion there. Due to the extent of her actions, it seemed to me that Dany did snap in that moment — making this decision spontaneously, as D&D said. I don’t see much strategic benefit to what Dany actually did.

      But I would see strategic benefit if Dany stopped at inducing their surrender through fear or even just targeting the Red Keep rather than the whole city.

      I do think Jon needs to share some of the blame. He never “killed the boy” and embraced his responsibilities of his heritage. He was stuck on the “You will always be my queen” line. He never would let himself think about what it meant to Westeros that he was the actual heir to the Iron Throne. I think this was a good example that leaders need more than a good heart and loyalty. Although, I would love it if more leaders led with a good heart and loyalty.

      While I definitely agree leaders need more than a good heart, I think where Jon’s mistake was that he naively trusted Sansa not to betray him to get what she wants. Though I see why he’d want to trust her, definitely, and I see why he wouldn’t want to lie to his family about who he really was. But I think that was a big mistake.

      However, whether Jon was the heir to the Iron Throne or not (and really, neither he or Dany were heirs to the throne. At that time, it was under Baratheon/Lannister rule, not Targaryen. Dany legitimately became queen by right-of-conquest and not by succession), I don’t think that’s enough to actually get him the throne.

      First, Jon would need to want it and he didn’t. He had become disillusioned with leadership and ruling. This disillusionment and resentment over the position may have very well lead to some crappy things down the line (not unlike Robert — Robert liked the killing and conquest part but despised the actual ruling, letting his council take on that responsibility while Robert devolved into what he became). Second, Jon would need sufficient forces to take the throne by conquest and I don’t see Jon working to incite war for that reason, especially before Dany did anything like what she did in 8×05 and after she helped defend the realm. I think a certain level of want for a position is needed to do the position well or dislike for it can cause some serious problems down the line.

      I think somebody else would have suited the throne better — somebody who didn’t come to resent the position and somebody with a solid morality who’d still rule for right reasons. Davos, maybe. But with Davos, I think he’d need to get the throne via election rather than conquest.

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    80. Fireblood87:
      Ten Bears,

      While I appreciate that video I just don’t agree with her take on Daenerys. Her character has shown many red flags for me that I always saw. It’s funny how I remember seeing videos as far back as season 3 claiming she was heading down a dark path. If it didn’t work for some people that’s fine but I disagree with them big time.

      Well, I think it wasn’t so much whether there were red flags foreshadowing Dany’s eventual turn “down a dark path” but rather, what was the cause of her descent from would-be savior to megalomaniacal mass murderer?

      Sure, there were signs early on of self-entitlement. (Who could blame her? She outdid the scientists of Jurassic Park, hatching three magical dragons from fossilized eggs. That to me would be a clear sign from the god(s) that I should “take what is mine by fire and blood.”)
      She also did have a tendency to get carried away, though for a time she did have moderating influences to “rein in her worst impulses,” e.g., in S6e9 when Tyrion convinced her to flame broil one of the Masters’ ships as a show of force, rather than destroying all of their armies and “returning their cities to the dirt” (soldiers and civilians alike).

      The confusion, at least on my part, was why Dany
      snatched ignominy from the jaws of victory in “The Bells.”

      Was it because of mental illness? Was it because the citizens of KL didn’t spontaneously rise up and depose Cersei? Was it because the people didn’t show their love and appreciation by greeting Dany with a crowd-surfing Mhysa moment? Was it because she was surrounded by ingrates and traitors while suffering the loss of her real friends and loyal supporters like Jorah and Missandei? Was it because Jon didn’t want to…physically express affection any more? Was it the inexplicable, xenophobic attitude of the Northerners she had just saved at great expense to herself and her armies? Was it the dubious decisions of her blabbermouth boyfriend and his sneaky sister to defy her wishes and broadcast the secret of Jon-Aegon’s true parentage, thereby setting up a rival claimant to the throne – and one who was much more palatable to the public despite his protestations that “She is muh Kween. I dunn want it”?

      Or was it because (as D.B. Weiss described it) when Dany saw the Red Keep, a “symbol” of all that had been taken from her, it suddenly triggered her to firebomb a city that had already surrendered?

      F*ck if I know.

      (So much for Dany’s insistence that she would not become “Queen of the Ashes,” and her campaign slogans about wanting “to leave the world a better place,” breaking “the wheel” of warring noble families that crushes innocent civilians, ending “tyranny,” distinguishing herself from her evil “Burn them all!” father, and answering injustice with justice.
      Ironically, Cersei’s “Mad King’s Daughter” propaganda speech, in S7e2 I think, turned out to be prescient.)

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    81. Tron79: BTW, I’m about half way through The Dance of Dragons (from the Princess and the Queen novella). For those future #Nettles fans, she seems to be currently on team black with Daemon. So if you are team Nettles, at least for the first part of the story you are on team black. I’m not sure if that will change. I can say I’m not a fan of reading the accounts of history from the Maester’s perspective. I did read that GRRM was modelling this after European history books. I guess that’s why I was never a history student. I find this type of narrative a bit dry, and I have a hard time remembering everything that happens. I much prefer the POV style. I don’t think I’ll be jumping into reading Fire and Blood any time soon.

      Yeah, Fire & Blood is told much like a history book would be but with the bias of the in-universe scholar writing it so… some details might be a bit biased or even left out 🙂 However, yes, Nettles fights for Team Black! And I think there were rumours

      about herself and Daemon. If you want to know Nettles’s fate, I can talk about this more! But I don’t want to spoil you unless you wish it!

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    82. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      You gave me lots to think about! Here are a few replies…

      I don’t think Jon did forgive Sansa for this. He hesitated when Sansa asked if he could forgive her and didn’t… actually do so. In the finale script, it states:
      “Jon stands in front of Sansa. He hasn’t entirely forgiven her for betraying the oath he made her swear in the godswood.”
      Which… feels right to me. I don’t think I could forgive something like this either.

      I think perhaps I agree that he hasn’t totally forgiven her, but he understood why she did it (for the North). He also seems to make things OK for her (caring about her feelings). He leaves her with an embrace saying that she will be good for the North.

      Here’s the full scene from the script…

      Jon stands in front of Sansa. He hasn’t entirely forgiven her
      for betraying the oath he made her swear in the godswood.
      SANSA
      I wish there had been another way. (beat)
      I’m sorry it had to be you.
      Jon nods. He knows she loves him. He knows she only wants
      what’s best for the North. But still…
      SANSA
      Can you forgive me?
      He hesitates.
      JON
      The North is free, thanks to you.
      She accepts the compliment.
      SANSA
      But they’ve lost their true king.
      JON
      Ned Stark’s daughter will speak for
      them. She’s the best they could ask
      for.
      Jon and Sansa embrace.


      I think ruling by fear (ie. inducing the surrender of King’s Landing through fear) and attacking the Red Keep are both different from what she ended up doing (just turning the entire city into ashes) — I think the former would have been strategic and an effective show of strength.

      Good point! It wasn’t necessary to turn the entire city into ashes to rule in fear. She could have done it more like what she did when she burned the Tarly’s. She didn’t burn all of the prisoners. She burned a few to make an example and then she expected the rest to bend the knee.

      …“Sure, Jon, I’ll be merciful,” whether she meant it or not — Arya or a hired Faceless Man could have taken Dany out later while rebels could secretly build armies to challenge her forces. Add to that, especially since Dany was declaring the burning of King’s Landing a “liberation” — I think there was some delusion there. Due to the extent of her actions, it seemed to me that Dany did snap in that moment — making this decision spontaneously, as D&D said. I don’t see much strategic benefit to what Dany actually did.

      Bringing up the FM option makes me think about Arya wanting to take the burden from Jon and doing the deed herself. But for the show, D&D must have thought Arya already had her moment with the NK. On the other side of the argument, Dany did make it clear that Cersei wouldn’t be able to hide behind her mercy. I don’t recall the exact line, but it was very clear that the deaths of the people of Kings Landing were on Cersei’s head and not hers (in Dany’s view). But to your point, she didn’t have to burn down every street in KL!! I do think in the episode, the showrunners were trying to show what happens to some soldiers in war. The animal in them takes over. This was shown when Jon had to stop the soldier, and when the soldiers just started to commit what we would think of as war crimes. One of my classes I taught on ethics (in religion) talks about how there are rules even in war. There are rules such as you never totally surround an opponent on all four sides. You need to give them an escape route. The entire Bells episode showed the worst of humanity.

      While I definitely agree leaders need more than a good heart, I think where Jon’s mistake was that he naively trusted Sansa not to betray him to get what she wants. Though I see why he’d want to trust her, definitely, and I see why he wouldn’t want to lie to his family about who he really was. But I think that was a big mistake.

      Yes, I agree. Jon acts more in the moment and never thinks in a strategic way. But Arya also seems to abandon him after he reveals the secret. This was one of my biggest problems with season 8. Arya just leaves him and resumes her mission of revenge. I don’t think GRRM will follow this route with Arya. She was too loyal to Jon to just leave him like that.


      I think somebody else would have suited the throne better — somebody who didn’t come to resent the position and somebody with a solid morality who’d still rule for right reasons. Davos, maybe. But with Davos, I think he’d need to get the throne via election rather than conquest.

      Well, you’re sounding a bit like Varys with figuring out who would be the best person to sit on the Iron Throne! Perhaps the Iron Throne should be the judge. I liked in reading The Princess and the Queen Novella how the Iron Throne’s swords can be quite sharp and bloody to the person who shouldn’t be sitting on it.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Tron79,

      I think perhaps I agree that he hasn’t totally forgiven her, but he understood why she did it (for the North). He also seems to make things OK for her (caring about her feelings). He leaves her with an embrace saying that she will be good for the North.

      Yeah, I think Jon realizes why Sansa did it but I don’t think he agrees with it or can really truly forgive her for it. Of course, he still loves Sansa — she’s his sister. But I think a thing like this would cause tension in their relationship. This betrayal helped spark a series of events where Jon had to kill another he cared for, Dany, which he’ll have to live with the pain of doing. I think Jon and Sansa’s relationship is pretty complicated — but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love her. So I can see why he’d want to give her some words that would please her, even if he can’t truly forgive her for this betrayal. Especially if this is perhaps the last time they may see each other again or at least, for a long time.

      Basically, I think Jon gave her what he could (the compliment)… even if it’s not what Sansa was asking for since he couldn’t really give that. I kind of view it as a compromise in a way.

      Bringing up the FM option makes me think about Arya wanting to take the burden from Jon and doing the deed herself. But for the show, D&D must have thought Arya already had her moment with the NK.

      This is what I would have wished for too on an emotional level :/

      On the other side of the argument, Dany did make it clear that Cersei wouldn’t be able to hide behind her mercy. I don’t recall the exact line, but it was very clear that the deaths of the people of Kings Landing were on Cersei’s head and not hers (in Dany’s view). But to your point, she didn’t have to burn down every street in KL!!

      Yeah, though I think that was more to do with Cersei’s attempt at deterring Dany from attack on the Red Keep with her people-shield, which Dany knew about. I think this is how Dany was trying to justify the deaths of these civilians to herself in attacking the Red Keep whereas before, she was put off an attack on the Red Keep when reminded of the civilian lives. But yes, I think burning all of KL was…. overkill 🙂

      I do think in the episode, the showrunners were trying to show what happens to some soldiers in war. The animal in them takes over. This was shown when Jon had to stop the soldier, and when the soldiers just started to commit what we would think of as war crimes.

      One of my classes I taught on ethics (in religion) talks about how there are rules even in war. There are rules such as you never totally surround an opponent on all four sides. You need to give them an escape route. The entire Bells episode showed the worst of humanity.

      I agree! I think this episode did an awesome job of showing that! In conflicts against Joffrey and the Boltons, the Northern soldiers were the ones to root for. But when the Northern soliders turn on unarmed civilians, much much harder to justify. This episode really did show the worst of humanity… and after humanity’s been saved from the Night King.

      Yes, I agree. Jon acts more in the moment and never thinks in a strategic way. But Arya also seems to abandon him after he reveals the secret. This was one of my biggest problems with season 8. Arya just leaves him and resumes her mission of revenge. I don’t think GRRM will follow this route with Arya. She was too loyal to Jon to just leave him like that.

      Yeah, especially in the show and I think this can extend to some of book!Jon’s actions too (especially in ADWD). Jon is thinking more logically about some things in ADWD but his heart definitely gets the better of him where he can’t resist helping individuals in danger or Arya, even when it compromises his role as LC and his neutrality.

      I agree about Arya. I’m not sure why Arya’s next scene after learning the truth about Jon had her leaving WF (apparently forever since Arya stated she wasn’t coming back) either… XD;;; I kind of felt this was a fast way to get Arya to KL…

      But of all people, I don’t think Arya would care who Jon’s parents were and I don’t think this would prompt Arya to leave WF.

      Well, you’re sounding a bit like Varys with figuring out who would be the best person to sit on the Iron Throne! Perhaps the Iron Throne should be the judge. I liked in reading The Princess and the Queen Novella how the Iron Throne’s swords can be quite sharp and bloody to the person who shouldn’t be sitting on it.

      Yes! I like that line too!

      Yeeaaaah…. I have given quite a bit of thought to who I think would be best on the Iron Throne 😉 Davos, for me, comes out a pretty solid winner. Knows what it’s like to struggle as one of the commoners, knows how to diplomatically interact with nobles, sound moral conscience, good heart, doesn’t seem to hold any resentment for the position, a good conciliator, pretty unbiased, etc.

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    84. Tron79,

      ”…I can say I’m not a fan of reading the accounts of history from the Maester’s perspective. I did read that GRRM was modelling this after European history books. I guess that’s why I was never a history student. I find this type of narrative a bit dry, and I have a hard time remembering everything that happens. I much prefer the POV style. I don’t think I’ll be jumping into reading Fire and Blood any time soon.”

      That’s why I think these barebones historical accounts can be a blessing – or a curse – for HotD’s writers and showrunners:
      With the right combination of imagination and creativity they can flesh out these dry narratives from the source material and make them into rich, nuanced, “high thread count” stories; they won’t be beholden to GRRM’s details and internal personal conflicts because there really aren’t any. (At least from what I’m gleaning from the descriptions of GRRM’s “accounts of history from the Maester’s perspective,” the paucity of character motivations, and the absence of POV (point of view) writing in his “Fire & Blood” volumes.)

      I too “don’t think I’ll be jumping into reading Fire and Blood any time soon” – in part because I feel HotD should rise or fall on its own merits as a “stand alone” series, wholly independent of the source material.

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    85. Adrianacandle,

      Quick question: With the understanding that HotD, like GoT, may age up characters, how old is Nettles supposed to be?
      I ask because my first few fancasting candidates are not teenagers, though I guess they could credibly play them.
      The other alternative would be to use “aging down” CGI technology like “Ant-Man” did with Michael Douglas for a Dr. Pym flashback scene. A more recent example I read about but have not seen because I don’t have a subscription to Disney+ streaming service !Spoiler Alert! ⚠️

      and gave up on the Star Wars franchise after the dreadful “The Force Awakens” – was the surprise appearance of Luke Skywalker in “The Mandalorian,” featuring an aged-down Mark Hamill.

      On the other hand, I suppose it’s more likely that HotD will cast a young, relatively unknown actor to play Nettles.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Ten Bears,

      Quick question: With the understanding that HotD, like GoT, may age up characters, how old is Nettles supposed to be?
      I ask because my first few fancasting candidates are not teenagers, though I guess they could credibly play them.

      16! Definitely possible they may age up Nettles like they did Missandei (who is 9-10 in the books). Either way, I’d definitely be interested in your fancasts! 🙂

      Here is the description of Nettles from Fire & Blood:

      In the end, the brown dragon was brought to heel by the cunning and persistence of a “small brown girl” of six-and-ten, who delivered him a freshly slaughtered sheep every morning, until Sheepstealer learned to accept and expect her. Munkun sets down the name of this unlikely dragonrider as Nettles. Mushroom tells us the girl was a bastard of uncertain birth called Netty, born to a dockside whore. By any name, she was black-haired, brown-eyed, brown-skinned, skinny, foul-mouthed, fearless…and the first and last rider of the dragon Sheepstealer.

      I’ve seen age-down technology in The Hobbit but I haven’t seen it employed in The Mandalorian. How you describe the scene, I think I’m going to look it up on YouTube if it’s available because that sounds interesting.

      On the other hand, I suppose it’s more likely that HotD will cast a young, relatively unknown actor to play Nettles.

      That’s also very possible — GoT cast quite a few unknowns for the younger roles, kickstarting their careers — but in either case, I think fancasting Nettles would be a lot of fun 🙂 I’m interested in seeing how you envision her!

        Quote  Reply

    87. Adrianacandle,

      ….I think where Jon’s mistake was that he naively trusted Sansa not to betray him to get what she wants. Though I see why he’d want to trust her, definitely, and I see why he wouldn’t want to lie to his family about who he really was. But I think that was a big mistake.”

      Arghhh! I still think Jon was in the wrong for ignoring Dany’s pleas to not tell his sisters about his true parentage.

      Sure, while it wasn’t a direct command from Dany, if Jon recognized Dany as his Queen how was it his place to question her judgment or countermand her wishes? It turned out she was 100% correct: Sansa would divulge the secret to undermine Dany. (Shouldn’t Jon have known better at that point that Sansa Littlefinger 2.0 Stark wasn’t entirely trustworthy? Or at least that Sansa would do what Sansa thought was best regardless of what others thought?)

      Second, Ned knew that the secret was so dangerous he didn’t dare tell a soul, even his own family, to his own detriment; Ned had kept that secret for 15-20 years and ultimately took it to his grave. Yet, Jon couldn’t wait more than a few hours to go yakking to his sisters? Why? What was so urgent? And if he admired Ned so much why not emulate Ned’s example and shut the f*ck up? [Arguably, Jon’s identity as presumptive heir to the throne was just as dangerous in the present as it was when Robert was in power and bent on eradicating any “dragon spawn” that could threaten his claim to the throne.]

      Did I miss something? Was there a legitimate justification for Jon to ignore his queen and divulge his secret, other than some vague notion that his sisters had a “right” to know?
      And why was he in such a big rush to go blabbing to Sansa and Arya… especially after both of them went off on their “we don’t like your girlfriend”/she’s not one of us” rant? [Completely out of character for Arya, but whatever…]

      Sorry if I’m dredging up old debates. I just can’t reconcile Jon’s motive. If it was naivete, as you suggest; disregard of his queen’s judgment; or just plain short-sighted stupidity, then perhaps he should’ve been incinerated in place of Varys or along with him.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Adrianacandle,

      Nettles Fancast Candidate #1:

      English singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress Tahliah Debrett Barnett, known professionally as FKA Twigs. She’s 32 but looks much younger. I’ve seen a couple of her music, dancing, and interview videos. She’s very charismatic.

      Here are two images:

      https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRySNxrnfO3C2X9VR96_oAF3A4CTEdjVcGQIQ&usqp=CAU

      ****
      https://static.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/2016/05/gettyimages-527392710.jpg

        Quote  Reply

    89. Ten Bears,

      Sure, while it wasn’t a direct command from Dany, if Jon recognized Dany as his Queen how was it his place to question her judgment or countermand her wishes? It turned out she was 100% correct: Sansa would divulge the secret to undermine Dany. (Shouldn’t Jon have known better at that point that Sansa Littlefinger 2.0 Stark wasn’t entirely trustworthy? Or at least that Sansa would do what Sansa thought was best regardless of what others thought?)

      I don’t think Jon saw Sansa like that though. If Jon were objective, yes, I think he’d be better able to see what Dany could. However, unlike Dany, Jon loved Sansa, was attached to her, and still saw Sansa as the girl he knew growing up — and who (Jon) believed wouldn’t betray him or her promise to him (especially one made in the godswood). And this was Jon’s own identity that Dany was wanting him to hide from his family — for good reason, as it turns out — but it wasn’t just like a random nugget of info that could damage Dany in the future.

      I think the show did state Jon’s motives: he felt he owed his family the truth, as he felt he owed Dany the truth. And as he told Dany, he really believed they could all live together with the truth. Jon’s feelings and emotions often do colour his decisions quite a bit.

      Second, Ned knew that the secret was so dangerous he didn’t dare tell a soul, even his own family, to his own detriment; Ned had kept that secret for 15-20 years and ultimately took it to his grave. Yet, Jon couldn’t wait more than a few hours to go yakking to his sisters? Why? What was so urgent? And if he admired Ned so much why not emulate Ned’s example and shut the f*ck up?

      Jon didn’t just go “yakking to his sisters” though. He had them swear an oath of secrecy before agreeing to tell them at all. Had Sansa and Arya not agreed, if he swore them to secrecy after or not at all, that would be a different story.

      It seemed to me Jon was trying to take a third option. He was fine with the realm seeing him as a bastard for the rest of his days. He willingly abdicated his claim to the throne in favour of Dany’s. He refused Varys and Sam, who both implored him to take the throne. But he wanted to be honest with only two people, his sisters, about who he really was so he wouldn’t be lying to them for the rest of their lives — and trusted they wouldn’t betray him, as he implored on the basis of them being family. And Sansa, herself, looked pretty conflicted before telling Tyrion about Jon — I don’t think Sansa herself planned on breaking her promise when she heard the truth either.

      Conversely, Ned’s relationship with Catelyn developed over time. They were strangers when Ned claimed Jon as his bastard, keeping the truth secret. I think a more comparable situation would be Ned deciding to tell Benjen or not — somebody Ned had known and loved all his life by the time he was asked to keep a secret.

      However, with Catelyn and by the time Ned had Jon, he hadn’t known Catelyn for all of his life, nor did he have a certain image of her. She was a stranger to him. Ned was better able to foresee the conflict Catelyn would face between protecting her own children and Jon because his relationship with Catelyn developed after he was asked to keep the secret, not before.

      Did I miss something? Was there a legitimate justification for Jon to ignore his queen and divulge his secret, other than some vague notion that his sisters had a “right” to know?
      And why was he in such a big rush to go blabbing to Sansa and Arya… especially after both of them went off on their “we don’t like your girlfriend”/she’s not one of us” rant? [Completely out of character for Arya, but whatever…]

      I’d disagree with the characterization that Jon was “blabbing” to Sansa and Arya as if he was doing so haphazardly or without taking any precautions and I don’t think he was ignoring his queen.

      Jon disagreed about keeping the truth from them and he disagreed with her view of Sansa because he didn’t see Sansa the way Dany saw her (and didn’t see Dany the way Sansa saw her). He also didn’t just casually tell them without any conditions. He gave Sansa and Arya both very strong conditions before even letting them know the truth — namely that they never tell another living soul, which both agreed to. Yes, I can see how Jon would feel he owed his family, the people he’s grown up with, the truth of who he really was. This was his identity and information that concerned their father.

      I don’t agree with Jon’s decision here. In hindsight, I don’t think it was the right decision to tell Sansa at all because yes, Dany turned out to be 100% correct. But I can see why Jon wouldn’t take on Dany’s view of Sansa, believing that she would keep an oath sworn in the godswood to him, her brother.

      Sorry if I’m dredging up old debates. I just can’t reconcile Jon’s motive. If it was naivete, as you suggest; disregard of his queen’s judgment; or just plain short-sighted stupidity, then perhaps he should’ve been incinerated in place of Varys or along with him.

      Perhaps. But I don’t know if there’d be a legal precedent for that since Jon didn’t commit treason here. I do think it was dreadfully, dreadfully stupid and naive though… and I think it was kind of a contrivance to get Sansa to leak Jon’s secret, which led to Varys knowing, betraying Dany, and manifesting her fears.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Ten Bears,

      Oh, that’d be a great option for Nettles — especially if Nettles were aged up to her 20s!

      I was googling fancasts myself and I’ve seen the following actresses mentioned:

      Tati Gabrielle
      Jessica Sula
      Nesta Cooper
      Letita Wright (who was proposed, I think by Max, in the other thread for Nettles)
      Naomi Scott

      I think Tati Gabrielle is the youngest of the bunch (born 1996, 24 years old now) and the others are mostly 1993 births. Regardless, it’s not like a 26/27-year old has never played 16 before 😉

        Quote  Reply

    91. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      Oh, that’d be a great option for Nettles — especially if Nettles were aged up to her 20s!

      I was googling fancasts myself and I’ve seen the following actresses mentioned:

      Tati Gabrielle
      Jessica Sula
      Nesta Cooper
      Letita Wright (who was proposed, I think by Max, in the other thread for Nettles)
      Naomi Scott

      I think Tati Gabrielle is the youngest of the bunch (born 1996, 24 years old now) and the others are mostly 1993 births. Regardless, it’s not like a 26/27-year old has never played 16 before 😉

      Just think if the movie Grease. Those were the oldest teens I’ve ever seen!

      I’m rewatching season 1 of the Expanse right now and Dominique Tipper is pretty awesome but she’s probably too old.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Tron79: Just think if the movie Grease. Those were the oldest teens I’ve ever seen!

      Yeah, wasn’t Stockard Channing 34 when she played a teen Rizzo? 🙂

      I believe they call this Dawson Casting, although Grease predates Dawson’s Creek by about 20 years!

      I’m rewatching season 1 of the Expanse right now and Dominique Tipper is pretty awesome but she’s probably too old.

      I was thinking about giving this one a try….

        Quote  Reply

    93. Adrianacandle: Yeah, wasn’t Stockard Channing 34 when she played a teen Rizzo? 🙂

      I believe they call this Dawson Casting, although Grease predates Dawson’s Creek by about 20 years!

      I was thinking about giving this one a try….

      That’s pretty crazy in Grease. I guess 30 is the new 18 :).

      Dominique Tipper is really too old for Nettles. She’s 32. But maybe there could be another role for her. She plays a strong edgey brave character very well.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Tron79: That’s pretty crazy in Grease. I guess 30 is the new 18 :).

      Dominique Tipper is really too old for Nettles. She’s 32. But maybe there could be another role for her. She plays a strong edgey brave character very well.

      I think Tipper would be good if Nettles was aged up to her 20s (like Missandei was). 32 is still an acceptable age to play twenties, I think.

      But yeah! It’s possible HotD may produce some original characters to help flesh out the story because as Ten Bears said, it’s based on a barebones account and there’s a lot of creative opportunity in that.

      I’m really looking forward to it. That the primary factions in the story (Black vs Green) don’t have any kind of moral edge over one another makes it pretty intriguing, I think, and opens up a lot of difficult, divided stances in which there can be equally compelling motives on either side without a clear winner.

      And it’s not like I dislike villainous actions or traits 😉 (with Mrs Coulter being my fave HDM character).

        Quote  Reply

    95. Tron79,

      ”Yes, I agree. Jon acts more in the moment and never thinks in a strategic way. But Arya also seems to abandon him after he reveals the secret. This was one of my biggest problems with season 8. Arya just leaves him and resumes her mission of revenge. I don’t think GRRM will follow this route with Arya. She was too loyal to Jon to just leave him like that.”

      Along the same lines, one of my problem with S8
      was that when Arya left WF in the middle of the festivities to head to KL, I did not think (at first) that she was resuming her mission of revenge. Rather, I assumed she planned to assassinate Cersei “preemptively,” thereby sparing Jon and the already-depleted Northern armies the massive casualties of a full-on assault on the capitol.

      I was wrong. Arya was still motivated by revenge – which was kind of hard to rationalize. Sure, Arya [not]jokingly told the friendly Lannister soldiers in S7e1 “I’m going to kill the Queen,” and yet:

      – Cersei’s main offense witnessed by Arya was demanding Lady be put to death in place of Nymeria for attacking Joffrey. Aside from Cersei supporting her own son’s version of the Mycah incident, was that enough to be earn Cersei a place on Arya’s “People I’m Gonna Kill” list?

      – Arya may have mistakenly assumed from what she saw outside the Sept of Baelor in S1e9 that Cersei was responsible for Ned’s execution, but the truth was that Joffrey, on his own, blew up the false confession-for-exile deal made by Ned and Cersei as brokered by Varys.

      – Though I’d have to retrieve the dialogue between Tyrion and Dany from S7e2 (about why Jon Snow would have more reason to hate Cersei than Dany did), it seemed to me that Cersei was being wrongly blamed for the Red Wedding – which she didn’t even know about beforehand, and other Lannister offenses against the Stark family. Cersei was no angel, but she was not complicit in those offenses.

      – In S7e4, Bran said he “saw” Arya at the Crossroads heading to KL and explained to Sansa “Cersei’s on her list of names.
      After that, I wondered why Mr. Know-It-All 3ER 2.0 Bran didn’t also divulge that maybe Cersei should not have been on Arya’s list to begin with.

      The point is, for me it made little sense that Arya was motivated by revenge in “The Bells” when she was (still) insistent “I’m going to kill her!” before Sandor talked her out of it.

      If anything, I was perplexed how Sandor and Arya left WF on horseback heading to KL while everyone else was still partying inside WF, and yet the duo arrived in KL after (or around the same time) as Jon + Dany and their armies.
      In any event, by the time the Red Keep was crumbling around them as Drogon circled overhead, any chance of a preemptive assassination of Cersei had passed.

      If Arya was just seeking “revenge” by going after Cersei, that objective was mistaken and misguided. Nor would its pursuit explain Arya abandoning Jon so soon after finally reuniting with him. I concur with you: “She was too loyal to Jon to just leave him like that.”

        Quote  Reply

    96. Ten Bears: [Arguably, Jon’s identity as presumptive heir to the throne was just as dangerous in the present as it was when Robert was in power and bent on eradicating any “dragon spawn” that could threaten his claim to the throne.]

      Well, it would be the catalyst for war, certainly. Yet, it wouldn’t just put Dany in danger, it’d put Jon in danger too — even if not from each other as individuals. Dany still had her Westerosi allies (Yara’s Ironborn, Dorne, and whatever is left of Highgarden) as well as two dragons at that point and devoted followers in two fully re-spawned armies. They’d definitely want Jon removed if he were being presented as a rival claimant, even if Jon had no wish to be a rival claimant and Dany had no wish to kill Jon. And vice versa with Dany — as we saw when Varys learned the truth.

      It’s not really like being the heir to the Targaryen dynasty was something Jon could just reach out and take (or others take for him) on that basis… or we’d never have gotten our various conflicts or the war of the five kings. It’d require war to get there and Dany certainly had a healthy amount of martial power to fight for the throne (effortlessly destroying the defense of King’s Landing, the Golden Company, and Euron’s Iron Fleet in one efficient flight). If Varys succeeded in assassinating her, especially before Dany did what she did in 8×05, that’d also be cause for war from Dany loyalists.

      In contrast, when Robert wanted to eradicate “dragonspawn”, there weren’t a ton of Targaryen loyalists in Westeros willing to rise up in defense of these kids — and they didn’t, not for Daenerys, Viserys, or the deaths of Rhaegar’s children. These kids were far more vulnerable (as was Jon). They had no armies to defend them. I don’t know if the North would rise up to protect Jon, even if it was known Jon was Lyanna’s son. He was still Rhaegar’s son too. And Dorne might have an issue again with Jon given that Rhaegar left Elia for Lyanna. Plus, I don’t think Ned would push for a war in that case. It’d be high treason and I don’t think the North would have the power to successfully face the crown without disastrous consequences. I doubt Ned would allow Robert to kill Jon but I don’t think he’d fight a war for Jon either.

      Instead, I wonder if Ned would hide Jon somewhere and fake (Jon’s) death instead.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Ten Bears: Though I’d have to retrieve the dialogue between Tyrion and Dany from S7e2 (about why Jon Snow would have more reason to hate Cersei than Dany did), it seemed to me that Cersei was being wrongly blamed for the Red Wedding – which she didn’t even know about beforehand, and other Lannister offenses against the Stark family. Cersei was no angel, but she was not complicit in those offenses.

      Fair point, though this is supported by the books in which Jon is pretty anti-Lannister, with the possible exception of Tyrion, demonstrating that even Jon isn’t free of emotionally induced bias and blanket judgement:

      “Well,” said Sam, “[Tywin] will not want it said that Stannis rode to the defense of the realm whilst King Tommen was playing with his toys. That would bring scorn down upon House Lannister.”

      “It’s death and destruction I want to bring down upon House Lannister, not scorn.” Jon lifted up the letter. “The Night’s Watch takes no part in the wars of the Seven Kingdoms,” he read. “Our oaths are sworn to the realm, and the realm now stands in dire peril. Stannis Baratheon aids us against our foes from beyond the Wall, though we are not his men…”

      “Well,” said Sam, squirming, “we’re not. Are we?”

      (Although, Cersei does try to have Jon assassinated but Jon isn’t aware of this and never becomes so.)

        Quote  Reply

    98. Adrianacandle,

      Right! Whether Jon “wanted” it or not, just the fact that a rival claimant existed would be exploited by factions for their own agendas, whether they truly believed Jon would be a better ruler, whether they wanted to advance the cause of Northern sovereignty, or whether they simply wanted to get rid of Dany. Dany knew this. Sansa knew this (and that’s why she told Tyrion).
      Varys and Tyrion’s reactions demonstrated Dany was right.
      Jon would become a pawn in a tug of war in others’ power plays whether he wanted to or not.
      As you noted, and as Arya told Jon, the now-divulged secret would endanger Jon more than Dany, especially if Dany felt her destiny (“born to rule the Seven Kingdoms”) was slipping away.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Ten Bears,

      Yes and even if it’s not Dany, she still has miles supporters who’d likely prefer a Queen Dany over a King Jon if his claim was being pushed to the throne — giving them cause to get rid of Jon because dead threats can’t claim thrones.

      Have you ever watched “Grease Live”? I thought Vanessa Hudgens was excellent as Rizzo, and Jessie J did a good rendition of the Frankie Valli theme song.

      No, I haven’t! When was it done? Where is it available?

        Quote  Reply

    100. Some good points you’ve raised here Petra – especially about Nettles and some of the other points from the books which are open to interpretation. I’m probably luke warm about HotD right now and look at it a bit like Better Call Saul in the sense that a show set in the same universe is likely to be great for nostalgia and I’m interested to see how things play out but yet it’s not quite what the original was.

        Quote  Reply

    101. Adrianacandle,

      ”Jon disagreed about keeping the truth from them and he disagreed with her view of Sansa because he didn’t see Sansa the way Dany saw her (and didn’t see Dany the way Sansa saw her). He also didn’t just casually tell them without any conditions. He gave Sansa and Arya both very strong conditions before even letting them know the truth — namely that they never tell another living soul, which both agreed to.
      ***
      … In hindsight, I don’t think it was the right decision to tell Sansa at all because yes, Dany turned out to be 100% correct. But I can see why Jon wouldn’t take on Dany’s view of Sansa, believing that she would keep an oath sworn in the godswood to him, her brother.”

      The thing is, while lords, wardens or anyone else can disagree with their queen or king, I don’t understand how they’re free to simply disregard their monarch, e.g.: “I don’t agree with my queen. I think she’s wrong. I’ll just do what I like.

      (BTW: How’d that attitude work out for Lord Karstark?)

        Quote  Reply

    102. Ten Bears: The thing is, while lords, wardens or anyone else can disagree with their queen or king, I don’t understand how they’re free to simply disregard their monarch, e.g.: “I don’t agree with my queen. I think she’s wrong. I’ll just do what I like.”

      (BTW: How’d that attitude work out for Lord Karstark?)

      Well, unlike the situation with Karstark, this was a personal and private conversation between Jon and Dany, not a royal command or formal address between a queen and her vassal. If it was a command or formal edict, yes, I’d agree with you. However, Dany didn’t command him as his queen, she disagreed and implored him on a personal basis. Jon, in turn, was also upfront with Dany over what he’d be doing and didn’t back down when Dany disagreed. Also, as I said above, Jon didn’t simply disregard Dany or treat this information casually, he had both Sansa and Arya swear an oath in the godswood before allowing them to know the truth. He had them swear they were not to share this information with another living soul.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Jon Snowed:
      …I’m probably luke warm about HotD right now and look at it a bit like Better Call Saul in the sense that a show set in the same universe is likely to be great for nostalgia and I’m interested to see how things play out but yet it’s not quite what the original was.

      I share your trepidations. I felt the same way when I first heard about Star Trek: The Next Generation (and thought to myself, “What a dumb name”). Yet, it turned out to be better than the original.

      I’ll be the first to jump ship if the HotD premiere episode doesn’t knock me off my feet.
      (I was seconds away from clicking off my remote about ten minutes into S1e1 of GoT. 🎯
      I have a short attention span and little patience.)

        Quote  Reply

    104. MaxHightowerYronwood,

      After your comments in the previous thread, I was looking forward to your remarks! 🙂 It looks like they got held in comment purgatory by the Lord of Light but I’m glad to see they’ve been released!

      From your comments, I’m guessing you’re…. Team Green and Team Nettles?

      I think I learn more toward Team Black, though that is subject to change. Definitely definitely Team Nettles though! I believe Ten Bears has made an early declaration for Team Green, as well as Team Nettles! 😉

      (btw, you mentioned you’re a history of art college student — I’m an art college alum twice over! Graphic design! But I do love me some fashion history! I’m happy to see another artsy type here!)

        Quote  Reply

    105. Ten Bears,

      Also not being Queen of the ashes I believe is something she took from Tyrion. So she basically was using her advisors words not her own. Would she have actually said that if Tyrion didn’t remind her what could happen my guess is no she wouldn’t.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Fireblood87:
      Ten Bears,

      I think it’s literally a combination of all those things you mentioned.

      And that was part of my problem. All of the misfortunes and setbacks Dany suffered one on top of the other, started to come off as contrived.

      That’s why her precipitous downfall kind of reminded me of what happened to Louis Winthorpe (Dan Aykroyd) in the 1983 movie “Trading Places.” [Spoiler Alert! ⚠️]

      His two bosses, commodities brokerage firm owners (brothers Randall and Mortimer Duke) conducted what they called a “science experiment” (with a $1 bet) to settle their debate over nature vs. nurture.
      The first part of the two-part “experiment” involved the deliberate sabotage of Winthorpe, their firm’s well-respected, successful top executive. Through behind the scenes machinations and frame-ups, they deprived Winthorpe of his job, his title, his friends, allies, and servants, his home, the love and loyalty of his fiancé, the respect of his peers, his reputation, and his resources – all at once.

      The result: “We turned an honest hard-working man into a violently deranged would-be killer.

      Spoiler Alert continued ⚠️ For your entertainment, here’s a compilation of scenes

      of Winthorpe with his fiancé Penelope.

      [8:45 long]

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxmGbI4qoN0

      I don’t want to give away more for anybody who (still) hasn’t seen the movie.
      It’s just that in S8, it seemed as if plot lines were manipulated and other characters behaved oddly and unnaturally, all to cause Dany maximum emotional upheaval and estrangement. It all happened so quickly and all at once – like

      the Duke brothers pulling the strings to stress out Winthorpe to the point that he’d turn into a deranged lunatic.

      The big difference of course is that in “Trading Places” Winthorpe’s downfall was played for laughs and he didn’t nuke Philadelphia. 🔔🔥

        Quote  Reply

    107. Ten Bears,

      Interesting parallels with Trading PLaces. I’ve been thinking if there is a way to bring up Dan Aykroyd’s Dr. Detroit. With Bronn on the small council, he did make it a priority to reopen the brothels. Perhaps Pod gets in a situation where he has to defend the ladies from a neighboring rival and becomes Dr. Sapphire. I needed any excuse to post this classic dance scene! When you were talking about Dan Aykroyd, I couldn’t help think of this. Pod’s Dr Sapphire could be an awesome spinoff.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Adrianacandle,

      Agree with all of this. Though I understand Sansa’s reasoning, I don’t support her decision to tell Tyrion the truth. By pitting Jon and Danerys against one another, she was putting her family and the North in danger.

        Quote  Reply

    109. Tron79,

      No struck nerve, just making a point. I agree that Danerys and her army were essential, I never said they weren’t. I’m simply contesting the idea that the North somehow owes Danerys for her contribution when it was a team effort. Without Jon and the North, Danerys probably wouldn’t have known about the White Walkers’ existence or how to defeat them until it was much too late.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Young Dragon: Agree with all of this. Though I understand Sansa’s reasoning, I don’t support her decision to tell Tyrion the truth. By pitting Jon and Danerys against one another, she was putting her family and the North in danger.

      I agree she was putting her family and the North in danger by telling Tyrion the truth with the intention to prevent Dany from becoming queen. Although, I think it was more a case of Sansa trying to pit Jon’s claim against Dany’s since Jon, himself, had no wish for this to turn into a Jon vs Dany thing or a desire to press his claim against Daenerys’s. However, I don’t think it was a particularly wise action and it was kindling yet another civil war.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Young Dragon:
      Tron79,

      No struck nerve, just making a point. I agree that Danerys and her army were essential, I never said they weren’t. I’m simply contesting the idea that the North somehow owes Danerys for her contribution when it was a team effort. Without Jon and the North, Danerys probably wouldn’t have known about the White Walkers’ existence or how to defeat them until it was much too late.

      I see your points. Also the reality is that if it wasn’t for Dany going beyond the wall on her dragon, TAOTD may still be safe on the other side. The books will be bringing down the wall a different way. I’m hoping that Cersei won’t be safe in the south in the books and the others make their presence known down south some. .

      I can see that the Northerners would be distrustful of any southern queen. Arya was the only one who had wonder in her eyes when she saw the dragons fly overhead.

        Quote  Reply

    112. Tron79,

      Yea, it’s all kind of circular logic.

      Had it not been for Dany, the North wouldn’t have been able to defeat the AOTD.

      However, had it not been for Dany, the NK never would’ve had a dragon and wouldn’t have been able to breach the Wall either.

      The AOTD never would’ve been able to reach South of the Wall without Dany, but they would still be North of the Wall killing Wildlings. However, Jon took the Wildlings South of the Wall anyway, so it seems like the AOTD would’ve remained North of the Wall with nothing to do and no one to kill other than Nights Watchmen had it not been for Dany and her dragons.

      It’s like creating the monster and then killing it. Sure, you got rid of it, but you kind of helped create it to begin with.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Mr Derp: The AOTD never would’ve been able to reach South of the Wall without Dany, but they would still be North of the Wall killing Wildlings. However, Jon took the Wildlings South of the Wall anyway, so it seems like the AOTD would’ve remained North of the Wall with nothing to do and no one to kill other than Nights Watchmen had it not been for Dany and her dragons.

      It’s like creating the monster and then killing it. Sure, you got rid of it, but you kind of helped create it to begin with.

      It reminds me of this one commercial I saw when I was little that’s etched into your brain: You can’t get a job if you have no experience, you have no experience because you can’t get a job — going round and round in a literal circle 🙂

      However, with the AotD, I had the impression that they would have gotten through eventually but an ice dragon able to burn a hole through the Wall gave them a quick expressway.

      In the original Long Night, all the seas around the world froze and the Wall only bordered one side of the continent (if that), which would enable (I imagine) the Night King to simply walk around the Wall. A far slower method but still an entryway into Westeros nonetheless 🙂

      Kind of like that “nice wall you’ve got there. It’d be a shame if… somebody… walked around it…” meme 😉

      Although, like Tron said, I imagine if the Wall comes down in the books, it’ll happen differently as will the resolution to the Others/Long Night. Particularly considering there is no Night King in the books — who served as a leader and sort of like an avatar for the undead in the show in order to (I’m guessing) make the conflict more corporeal and action-based rather than mystery/unseen horror based.

        Quote  Reply

    114. Tron79,

      “I’ve been thinking if there is a way to bring up Dan Aykroyd’s Dr. Detroit….
      I needed any excuse to post this classic dance scene! When you were talking about Dan Aykroyd, I couldn’t help think of this…”

      [Link]

      ——
      What did I just watch? 🤪
      – That metallic hand on Dr. Detroit…looks like one of Qyburn’s creations.
      – James Brown singing and Dan Aykroyd dancing… Now I’m tempted to post the Bo Diddly-Dan Aykroyd pawnshop scene from “Trading Places”…

        Quote  Reply

    115. Adrianacandle: I agree she was putting her family and the North in danger by telling Tyrion the truth with the intention to prevent Dany from becoming queen. Although, I think it was more a case of Sansa trying to pit Jon’s claim against Dany’s since Jon, himself, had no wish for this to turn into a Jon vs Dany thing or a desire to press his claim against Daenerys’s. However, I don’t think it was a particularly wise action and it was kindling yet another civil war.

      Some might say that Sansa had no compunctions about placing Jon’s life in jeopardy if it served her purposes.
      She did it first by letting him go into battle, outnumbered, without telling him about the KotV.
      She did it again by breaking her promise
      and using him to “prevent Dany from becoming queen,” all without his knowledge and contrary to his own decision to recognize Dany as queen.
      Arguably she did it a third time in S8e6 by acceding to Jon’s exile at the same time she insisted on Northern sovereignty, assuring her own ascension as Queen in the North. (That’s the impression I got from the dialogue and stage direction of the Sansa-Jon dockside scene, posted upthread I believe.)

      However, I don’t want to engage in Sansa bashing…

        Quote  Reply

    116. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      “I’ve been thinking if there is a way to bring up Dan Aykroyd’s Dr. Detroit….
      I needed any excuse to post this classic dance scene! When you were talking about Dan Aykroyd, I couldn’t help think of this…”

      [Link]

      ——
      What did I just watch? 🤪
      – That metallic hand on Dr. Detroit…looks like one of Qyburn’s creations.– James Brown singing and Dan Aykroyd dancing… Now I’m tempted to post the Bo Diddly-Dan Aykroyd pawnshop scene from “Trading Places”…

      Yes. It was quite the movie. And he did see himself as being a bit of a Knight so there is that tie in.

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    117. Young Dragon:
      Adrianacandle,

      …By pitting Jon and Danerys against one another, she was putting her family and the North in danger.

      That’s right. It’s easy to cause “chaos” without regard to who gets stepped on and pushed off when you climb the laddahhhh.

        Quote  Reply

    118. Ten Bears: Some might say that Sansa had no compunctions about placing Jon’s life in jeopardy if it served her purposes.
      She did it first by letting him go into battle, outnumbered, without telling him about the KotV.
      She did it again by breaking her promise
      and using him to “prevent Dany from becoming queen,” all without his knowledge and contrary to his own decision to recognize Dany as queen.
      Arguably she did it a third time in S8e6 by acceding to Jon’s exile at the same time she insisted on Northern sovereignty, assuring her own ascension as Queen in the North. (That’s the impression I got from the dialogue and stage direction of the Sansa-Jon dockside scene, posted upthread I believe.)

      However, I don’t want to engage in Sansa bashing…

      And some have said that, yes. And these actions did put Jon’s life in danger for Sansa’s gain in the end.

      Although, I truly don’t think that was D&D’s intention with the character (ie. for Sansa to be using Jon as a pawn), I think Sansa is meant to truly love Jon (and it’s said by Tyrion that she and Arya did argue for Jon to be freed at the end but his exile by Bran was done as a compromise for peace between two conflicting factions) — but I felt her strategies were at the heart of the problem with the Smart Sansa storyline because it did kind of seem like she employed chaos as a ladder.

      I think Sansa will absolutely be intelligent, thoughtful, and strategic in the books should they ever come out and I think her actions and plans will be more solid.

      …Had it not been for Tyrion, there wouldn’t have been a stupid wight hunt plan that resulted in Dany flying north of the Wall.

      Thanks Tyrion.

      True — and this goes back to circular logic. This plan was implemented because Dany required a truce with Cersei for pretty understandable reasons first (ie. not wanting to get screwed down south by Cersei while fighting zombies she had never seen up North).

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    119. Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      …Had it not been for Tyrion, there wouldn’t have been a stupid wight hunt plan that resulted in Dany flying north of the Wall.

      Thanks Tyrion.

      Yea, it pretty much turned out that the same people who saved Westeros were the same people responsible for putting it in danger to begin with.

      It kind of hurts my brain the more I think about it.

        Quote  Reply

    120. Tron79,

      We’ve seen the Night King was capable of cracking ice, so it’s possible the Wall would have fallen anyway. Using the dragon simply took less time.

        Quote  Reply

    121. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      Btw, I think you are about to watch the HDM finale tonight, right? Looking forward to your thoughts!

      Yep you are correct.
      Btw

      I never realized that Pullman was doing a reimagining of Paradise Lost. Even many of the names are the same such as The Authority and Magisterium. Where have I been?

        Quote  Reply

    122. Adrianacandle,

      ”However, with the AotD, I had the impression that they would have gotten through eventually but an ice dragon able to burn a hole through the Wall gave them a quick expressway.

      In the original Long Night, all the seas around the world froze and the Wall only bordered one side of the continent (if that), which would enable (I imagine) the Night King to simply walk around the Wall. A far slower method but still an entryway into Westeros nonetheless.” 🙂

      • Right. When I heard Melisandre recite the ancient “Warrior of Light” prophecy in S2e1 (the show! counterpart to the book! Azor Ahai prophecy), and specifically the part that said “the seas will freeze,” I thought that the AotD would be able to walk around the Wall – and not have to punch a hole in it.
      • Until then – like Maester Ebrose told Sam – there was no need to freak out because the Wall had kept the WWs (if they existed) out for thousands of years.

      • BTW… Who says there was ever an “original Long Night?
      ⚠️ Tinfoil Warning! I say the stories about the supposed original “Long Night” were self-glorifying propaganda – or possibly an inversion of what really happened back then.

      #WWADL
      (White Walker Ant-Defamation League)

        Quote  Reply

    123. Ten Bears: • Until then – like Maester Ebrose told Sam – there was no need to freak out because the Wall had kept the WWs (if they existed) out for thousands of years.

      That’s the thing — during those thousands of years, the Long Night wasn’t an issue because it had been ended for the time being so all the seas weren’t frozen during this time.

      The Wall may be effective where it stands but it doesn’t border every side of the continent. And the Wall’s power is untested against a mass of Others.

      Also, the Others didn’t start becoming an issue again until around 298AC, when the story starts. They’re stirring again for some reason but for about eight thousand years, they’ve been dormant (I think I told you my tinfoil on that, right? ;D)

      • BTW… Who says there was ever an “original Long Night?
      ⚠️ Tinfoil Warning! I say the stories about the supposed original “Long Night” were self-glorifying propaganda – or possibly an inversion of what really happened back then.

      While it’s possible details may have been fabricated, twisted, or misunderstood, the entire world (reader nickname: Planetos) reports a Long Night having happened — even in very separate lands, countries, and cultures. Plus, the Others do exist and the Children of the Forest worked with the First Men to erect the Wall. So I’m inclined to believe something really significant happened and the Others were an issue then too.

      How it was solved is up to legend — I think it’s a combination of embellishment, fact, and myth.

        Quote  Reply

    124. Adrianacandle,

      ”True — and this goes back to circular logic. This [wight hunt] plan was implemented because Dany required a truce with Cersei for pretty understandable reasons first (ie. not wanting to get screwed down south by Cersei while fighting zombies she had never seen up North).”

      Also, according to what Jon explained to the Tormund at Eastwatch. the wight show-and-tell
      was to convince “both” queens – Cersei and Dany – of the existence of the ice zombies.
      Still a real dumb plan.* A dozen guys. On foot. To. confront a throng of zombies (“thousands of them” – Sandor C.) marching towards Eastwatch.
      After the massacre be witnessed at Hardhome and his narrow escape – what was Jon thinking?

      * Another in a series of spectacularly backfiring “clever plans” by the once brilliant, now lobotomized Tyrion Lannister.

      Thanks Tyrion. 😠

        Quote  Reply

    125. Ten Bears: After the massacre be witnessed at Hardhome and his narrow escape – what was Jon thinking?

      “Hurry! We’ve got resolve this story by 8×03! If the NK chisels his way through the Wall, he’ll take too long!” 😉

      Anyway, on the topic of the Night King, I’m trying to find an Alt Shift X video that goes over some key details of the Long Night v1.

        Quote  Reply

    126. Adrianacandle,

      ”Also, the Others didn’t start becoming an issue again until around 298AC, when the story starts. They’re stirring again for some reason but for about eight thousand years, they’ve been dormant (I think I told you my tinfoil on that, right? ;D)”

      No. I don’t recall that you told me your tinfoil theory on that. Have I told you mine? 😬

        Quote  Reply

    127. Ten Bears: No. I don’t recall that you told me your tinfoil theory on that. Have I told you mine? 😬

      I think you have but I think it’s time for a refresher! After our season 8 debates, I think Others and Long Night speculation would be a fun territory to transition into 🙂

      So my tinfoil that I developed with the help of Kevin!

      This tinfoil involves a negotiation occurring to end the Long Night — but this deal wasn’t forever, it was finite or conditional, as is the magic in the Wall… which may be why the Others are coming now: because the cost needs to be paid again in order to renew the protection of the Wall/something in the deal was violated/etc.

        Quote  Reply

    128. Adrianacandle,

      ”…Plus, the Others do exist and the Children of the Forest worked with the First Men to erect the Wall. So I’m inclined to believe something really significant happened and the Others were an issue then too.”

      What it comes down to (for me) is whether the WW creation reveal in S6e5 is “canon.” Because if it is, that completely changes the accepted chronology, doesn’t it?

        Quote  Reply

    129. Ten Bears: What it comes down to (for me) is whether the WW creation reveal in S6e5 is “canon.” Because if it is, that completely changes the accepted chronology, doesn’t it?

      In the books? Well, the Others weren’t created by the Children of the Forest. They’re their own species and beings. They’re not even dead but alive.

        Quote  Reply

    130. Young Dragon:
      Tron79,

      We’ve seen the Night King was capable of cracking ice, so it’s possible the Wall would have fallen anyway. Using the dragon simply took less time.

      I’m picturing the NK slowly chiseling away at the Wall Andy Dufresne style for thousands of years until he finally is able to get through to the other side.

        Quote  Reply

    131. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      I’m not familiar with Paradise Lost. What are some of the similarities?

      I actually haven’t read it, but I’ve read some summaries. I was watching something on YouTube about Pullman and the controversy of his books when they first came out and they brought up Paradise Lost. I can’t say too much in the non spoiler area since it will give away HDM plot points.

      So, Pullman definitely based alot on Milton’s Paradise Lost (which people call an epic poem). The one YouTube video I watched said that Milton used the terms “Magisterium” and “The Authority”, but I’m not finding that as much in the text. It’s written as a poem, so it’s a bit hard to follow for me…but here’s one direct quote that has “his dark materials” in it
      Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
      Unless th’ Almighty Maker them ordain
      His dark materials to create more worlds–

      Paradise Lost is a retelling of the fall of Adam and Eve. You may want to Google other summaries. They will be more informative that what I can say! But I did find this introduction that Pullman wrote to an edition of Paradise Lost!
      https://www.bl.uk/restoration-18th-century-literature/articles/philip-pullmans-introduction-to-paradise-lost

        Quote  Reply

    132. Ten Bears,

      So here are some excerpts from The World of Ice & Fire that cover the Long Night. The World of Ice & Fire is a history book written in-universe by Maester Yandel (but in reality, by George R. R. Martin in collaboration with Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson)

      AS THE FIRST MEN established their realms following the Pact, little troubled them save their own feuds and wars, or so the histories tell us. It is also from these histories that we learn of the Long Night, when a season of winter came that lasted a generation—a generation in which children were born, grew into adulthood, and in many cases died without ever seeing the spring. Indeed, some of the old wives’ tales say that they never even beheld the light of day, so complete was the winter that fell on the world.

      While this last may well be no more than fancy, the fact that some cataclysm took place many thousands of years ago seems certain. Lomas Longstrider, in his Wonders Made by Man, recounts meeting descendants of the Rhoynar in the ruins of the festival city of Chroyane who have tales of a darkness that made the Rhoyne dwindle and disappear, her waters frozen as far south as the joining of the Selhoru.

      According to these tales, the return of the sun came only when a hero convinced Mother Rhoyne’s many children—lesser gods such as the Crab King and the Old Man of the River—to put aside their bickering and join together to sing a secret song that brought back the day.

      It is also written that there are annals in Asshai of such a darkness, and of a hero who fought against it with a red sword. His deeds are said to have been performed before the rise of Valyria, in the earliest age when Old Ghis was first forming its empire. This legend has spread west from Asshai, and the followers of R’hllor claim that this hero was named Azor Ahai, and prophesy his return.

      In the Jade Compendium, Colloquo Votar recounts a curious legend from Yi Ti, which states that the sun hid its face from the earth for a lifetime, ashamed at something none could discover, and that disaster was averted only by the deeds of a woman with a monkey’s tail.

      However, if this fell winter did take place, as the tales say, the privation would have been terrible to behold. During the hardest winters, it is customary for the oldest and most infirm amongst the northmen to claim they are going out hunting—knowing full well they will never return and thus leaving a little more food for those likelier to survive. Doubtless this practice was common during the Long Night. Yet there are other tales—harder to credit and yet more central to the old histories—about creatures known as the Others.

      According to these tales, they came from the frozen Land of Always Winter, bringing the cold and darkness with them as they sought to extinguish all light and warmth. The tales go on to say they rode monstrous ice spiders and the horses of the dead, resurrected to serve them, just as they resurrected dead men to fight on their behalf.

      How the Long Night came to an end is a matter of legend, as all such matters of the distant past have become. In the North, they tell of a last hero who sought out the intercession of the children of the forest, his companions abandoning him or dying one by one as they faced ravenous giants, cold servants, and the Others themselves. Alone he finally reached the children, despite the efforts of the white walkers, and all the tales agree this was a turning point. Thanks to the children, the first men of the Night’s Watch banded together and were able to fight—and win—the Battle for the Dawn: the last battle that broke the endless winter and sent the Others fleeing to the icy north. Now, six thousand years later (or eight thousand as True History puts forward), the Wall made to defend the realms of men is still manned by the sworn brothers of the Night’s Watch, and neither the Others nor the children have been seen in many centuries.

      Alt Shift X does a comprehensive look at The Others here.

      And I need to correct myself on my statement, “the entire world (reader nickname: Planetos) reports a Long Night having happened.” The Dothraki and Slaver’s Bay don’t seem to have any history reporting a Long Night but the Rhoynar of Essos and lands in the far far East do — like Yi Ti, whose reports involve creatures (“demons”) that sound a lot like the Others). You’ll also find in the excerpts how Rhoyne’s “waters [were] frozen as far south as the joining of the Selhoru.”

      I know that’s a ton of information to drop! But I hope you (or anybody else!) find it interesting!

        Quote  Reply

    133. Ten Bears: You mean like the stories Old Nan told Brian about the White Walkers and the Long Night in S1e3?

      Old Nan: “[Covers all the horrors of the White Walkers]… So, is this the kind of story that you like?”

      Bran: [slowly nods]

      XD

      But yeah, Old Nan spoke about some of the same stuff Yandel did in TWOIAF!

      It is also from these histories that we learn of the Long Night, when a season of winter came that lasted a generation—a generation in which children were born, grew into adulthood, and in many cases died without ever seeing the spring.

      Here is what GRRM says about the Others:

      “The Others are not dead. They are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.”

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    134. Tron79: actually haven’t read it, but I’ve read some summaries. I was watching something on YouTube about Pullman and the controversy of his books when they first came out and they brought up Paradise Lost. I can’t say too much in the non spoiler area since it will give away HDM plot points.

      Oh, thank you so much for this! Given the wording, there does seem to be quite a case for Pullman basing his books on Paradise Lost. I’ll definitely Google that. And thanks for the link!

        Quote  Reply

    135. Adrianacandle: … I think it’s time for a refresher! After our season 8 debates, I think Others and Long Night speculation would be a fun territory to transition into 🙂…

      Yes it would!
      The Others/White Walkers and Long Night discussions remind me of this scene from Dr. Who, “Hell Bent” S9e12, a vigorous debate over competing theories and interpretations of an ancient prophecy.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw7phZ4tOQk

      at 0:50 – 0:55
      That’s an interesting theory.”
      “Do you have a better one?”
      By your own reasoning…”
      **
      1:20 – 1:41
      “That doesn’t make any sense.”
      It makes perfect sense and you know it. Am I right? Is it true?”
      “Does it matter?”
      “No…Because I have a better theory.
      “Really?”

      Spoiler(s) Warning ⚠️

      Ancient Roman Adage: “Because All Roads Lead to Arya.”

      and

      #ASNAWP

        Quote  Reply

    136. Ten Bears: at 0:50 – 0:55
      “That’s an interesting theory.”
      “Do you have a better one?”
      “By your own reasoning…”
      **
      1:20 – 1:41
      “That doesn’t make any sense.”
      “It makes perfect sense and you know it. Am I right? Is it true?”
      “Does it matter?”
      “No…Because I have a better theory.”
      “Really?”

      That’s a cool clip!! I’d never seen it before!

      Reminds me also of ASOIAF reddit theorists (myself, included, though I’m a better reader of theories than creator):

      ASOIAF Redditor 1: “That’s an interesting theory.”
      ASOIAF Redditor 2: “Do you have a better one?”
      ASOIAF Redditor 1: “By your own reasoning… [detailed rebuttal].”
      ASOIAF Redditor 2: “That doesn’t make any sense.”
      ASOIAF Redditor 1: “It makes perfect sense and you know it. Am I right? Is it true?”
      ASOIAF Redditor 2: “Does it matter?”
      ASOIAF Redditor 1: “No…Because I have a better theory.”
      ASOIAF Redditor 2: “Really?”
      ASOIAF Redditor 1: “We are the Others.

      Ancient Roman Adage: “Because All Roads Lead to Arya.”

      Because it’s an ancient adage, I’d like to propose the acronym: BARLTA.

        Quote  Reply

    137. Some of my own opinions of so-called “Targaryen madness”. I’m actually wondering if it’s even supposed to be an actual “mental illness” or does it refer to this (in my opinion) extreme superiority complex the Valyrians and later Targaryens possessed due to overwhelming power that they possessed. When I was reading AWoIaF, I ended up being incredibly repulsed by Valyrians when I realized they destroyed literally every big civilization that existed, with the semi-exception of Westeros. First Old Ghis (and they ended up being exactly like them in terms of practicing slavery), then Andal kingdoms, forcing the Andals to migrate to Westeros, then the (overall peaceful) Rhoynar people, forcing them to migrate to Westeros. Then justice was finally served to them in form of the Doom… and yet it wasn’t complete enough because Dragonstone and a couple Targaryens survived. And what did these people do? They turned their eyes on Westeros, the only remaining non-Valyrian civilization left… and forcibly dominated it. Then 300 years later, Robert’s Rebellion nearly suceeded in getting rid of the final Valyrian descendants for good and only left two survivors on long term… and what happened? A couple years later, a massive force assembled under one person and nearly dominated Westeros under Valyrian rule again.

      Of course, there are many people in GoT universe who were power-hungry and had extreme ambitions. But what makes Valyrians different is that they were able to suceed in anything they wished because they possessed an overwhelming amount of power in form of dragons. They could conquer literally anything they wanted and if people resisted, they burned them to death, absorbing their armies by fear in the process. Aegon’s Conquest was literally a domino effect and with every destruction he caused, he grew more powerful and more unstoppable. I personally started getting alarmed by Dany as early as in S1 finale, but especially from S2 onwards. I was thinking why on Earth am I even supposed to root for a Targaryen in first place. Even more when she started winning mainly because of having dragons. Then with all Histories & Lore, AWoIaF and such, I was even more sure that Targaryens and Valyrians in general are something that was never supposed to exist in “normal world”. Their power was too great, way too great that any ruling person should have right to possess. And as a consequence, I found myself impossible to ever “side behind team Dany” because in my eyes, it ended up being just another chapter in thousands of years of Valyrians dominating the world.

      So back to my original statement. The madness? Are we speaking of an actual mental illness here or is it possible that because of being able to achieve literally anything they wished to have, the Valyrians and later the Targaryens had this extreme superiority mentality on the world that could never actually work with more grounded civilization like Westeros and it strained their reputation? I won’t go deep into Dany here again but I think the root of her downfall was always present in her… this exact superiority mentality and maybe it’s not even a mental illness, but just the way of Valyrian life imprinted in her. As an example, I love to bring up the scene with Spice King in S2 when she becomes completely enraged when he refuses to make an investment into her, based on promise. Spice King being unlikable, it was easy to stomach that scene during original watch, even root for her. But when I think of it from merchant’s perspective, he actually didn’t do anything “wrong” there. He just refused an investment and Dany didn’t take no for an answer. I think that if she made a demand like that later in the series when she had a formidable force, whoever refused her would have been severely punished.

      So, is it madness as mental illness that we’re talking about? Was Maegor the Cruel mad or was he just… incredibly cruel? Were Aegon and Rhaenyra mad or just power-hungry? Was Aerys really mentally ill or just suffering from god complex, enabled by Valyrian tradition? Who knows. But I personally had no problems siding up with Dany’s end (and in fact, being “happy”about it) because of everything I wrote above.

        Quote  Reply

    138. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I don’t know I entirely agree because I don’t think one can be judged simply for being a Targaryen alone (however, if I’m misunderstanding you, please correct me!)

      Targaryens, like any other character, have all sorts of different parts to them: good and bad, and they’re individuals with different mindsets/personalities/etc. — so I don’t agree with judging one’s ruling ability on being a Targaryen or not. Like any other house, there have been better rulers (Jaehaerys and Alysanne), worse rulers (Aerys), mediocre rulers, and every sort in between. Just like they have different kinds of characters in this family, as with all.

      Likewise, while dragons certainly gave Targaryens a huge initial tactical advantage, it was not enough to keep power for 300 years. Rebellions can (and did) arise. The Young Dragon (not the commenter on this board! ;D) failed to conquer Dorne. Dragons provide power — but not a power to sustain a rule for very long. I think Oberyn makes this point:

      By way of answer Prince Oberyn swirled his wine, and said, “When the Young Dragon conquered Dorne so long ago, he left the Lord of Highgarden to rule us after the Submission of Sunspear. This Tyrell moved with his tail from keep to keep, chasing rebels and making certain that our knees stayed bent. He would arrive in force, take a castle for his own, stay a moon’s turn, and ride on to the next castle. It was his custom to turn the lords out of their own chambers and take their beds for himself. One night he found himself beneath a heavy velvet canopy. A sash hung down near the pillows, should he wish to summon a wench. He had a taste for Dornish women, this Lord Tyrell, and who can blame him? So he pulled upon the sash, and when he did the canopy above him split open, and a hundred red scorpions fell down upon his head. His death lit a fire that soon swept across Dorne, undoing all the Young Dragon’s victories in a fortnight. The kneeling men stood up, and we were free again.”

      Benjen also points this out to Jon when Jon starts piping up about the Young Dragon:

      That’s true enough,” Benjen said with a downward twist of his mouth. He took Jon’s cup from the table, filled it fresh from a nearby pitcher, and drank down a long swallow.

      “Daeren Targaryen was only fourteen when he conquered Dorne,” Jon said. The Young Dragon was one of his heroes.

      “A conquest that lasted a summer,” his uncle pointed out. “Your Boy King lost ten thousand men taking the place, and another fifty trying to hold it. Someone should have told him that war isn’t a game.” He took another sip of wine. “Also,” he said, wiping his mouth, “Daeren Targaryen was only eighteen when he died. Or have you forgotten that part?”

      However, Targaryens were able to maintain power for 300 years, which wouldn’t be doable by dragonforce alone since (as seen above) rebellions are a thing and dragons (and their riders) aren’t untouchable. Plus, over those 300 years, they lost that power. Aerys was overthrown due to his actions — but not every Targaryen was Aerys.

      And conquest wasn’t unique to the Targaryens. The Starks only had the North because they, too, conquered and overtook lesser houses in — what sounds to be — some pretty brutal battles:

      More historical proof exists for the war between the Kings of Winter and the Barrow Kings to their south, who styled themselves the Kings of the First Men and claimed supremacy over all First Men everywhere, even the Starks themselves. Runic records suggest that their struggle, dubbed the Thousand Years War by the singers, was actually a series of wars that lasted closer to two hundred years than a thousand, ending when the last Barrow King bent his knee to the King of Winter, and gave him the hand of his daughter in marriage.

      Even this did not give Winterfell dominion over all the North. Many other petty kings remained, ruling over realms great and small, and it would require thousands of years and many more wars before the last of them was conquered. Yet one by one, the Starks subdued them all, and during these struggles, many proud houses and ancient lines were extinguished forever.

      Skagos has often been a source of trouble for the Starks—both as kings when they sought to conquer it and as lords when they fought to keep its fealty. Indeed, as recently as the reign of King Daeron II Targaryen (Daeron the Good), the isle rose up against the Lord of Winterfell—a rebellion that lasted years and claimed the lives of thousands of others, including that of Barthogan Stark, Lord of Winterfell (called Barth Blacksword), before finally being put down.

      It also should be noted that under the reign of Jaehaerys and Alysanne, the custom of Rite of First Night was ended.

      Even Robb took the Westerlands by conquest and allowed his bannermen to raid and pillage the Westerlands when he took it:

      [Catelyn’s] men wanted to hear more of Robb’s victory at Oxcross, and Rivers obliged. “There’s a singer come to Riverrun, calls himself Rymund the Rhymer, he’s made a song of the fight. Doubtless you’ll hear it sung tonight, my lady. ‘Wolf in the Night,’ this Rymund calls it.” He went on to tell how the remnants of Ser Stafford’s host had fallen back on Lannisport. Without siege engines there was no way to storm Casterly Rock, so the Young Wolf was paying the Lannisters back in kind for the devastation they’d inflicted on the riverlands. Lords Karstark and Glover were raiding along the coast, Lady Mormont had captured thousands of cattle and was driving them back toward Riverrun, while the Greatjon had seized the gold mines at Castamere, Nunn’s Deep, and the Pendric Hills. Ser Wendel laughed. “Nothing’s more like to bring a Lannister running than a threat to his gold.”

      “How did the king ever take the Tooth?” Ser Perwyn Frey asked his bastard brother. “That’s a hard strong keep, and it commands the hill road.”

      “He never took it. He slipped around it in the night. It’s said the direwolf showed him the way, that Grey Wind of his. The beast sniffed out a goat track that wound down a defile and up along beneath a ridge, a crooked and stony way, yet wide enough for men riding single file. The Lannisters in their watchtowers got not so much a glimpse of them.” Rivers lowered his voice. “There’s some say that after the battle, the king cut out Stafford Lannister’s heart and fed it to the wolf.”

      “I would not believe such tales,” Catelyn said sharply. “My son is no savage.”

      “As you say, my lady. Still, it’s no more than the beast deserved. That is no common wolf, that one. The Greatjon’s been heard to say that the old gods of the north sent those direwolves to your children.”

      So while (some) Targaryens committed atrocities and conquered, they’re not the only ones.

      This reminds me of something Alt Shift X said when I was watching that video he did on the Others that I linked to above:

      We’ve seen so much war already, and mostly it achieves nothing but suffering. Look at Robb Stark’s campaign, Daenerys’s conquests in Slaver’s Bay, Stannis’ invasion of Blackwater Bay – they’re all seemingly just wars waged by seemingly good people, but they all fail their original goals and cause a huge amount of suffering, not just for the nobility, but for the common people.

        Quote  Reply

    139. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      ”Some of my own opinions of so-called “Targaryen madness”. I’m actually wondering if it’s even supposed to be an actual “mental illness” or does it refer to this (in my opinion) extreme superiority complex the Valyrians and later Targaryens possessed due to overwhelming power that they possessed…”

      I had been thinking about that too. In one of my comments yesterday I wondered:

      “[W]hat was the cause of [Dany’s] descent from would-be savior to megalomaniacal mass murderer?
      “Sure, there were signs early on of self-entitlement. (Who could blame her? She outdid the scientists of Jurassic Park, hatching three magical dragons from fossilized eggs. That to me would be a clear sign from the god(s) that I should “take what is mine by fire and blood.”)”

      Likewise, it would not be surprising that the Targaryen family in general developed a “superiority complex,” and become drunk with power, because they had magical nukes and no one else did. That attitude, “I am the blood of the dragon!” and WMDs to back it up, could easily go to their heads.
      I don’t know if they adopted a “divine right of kings” religious philosophy or “the king can do no wrong” political philosophy. (I have not read the books.) It would be understandable – though not excusable – if they did.

      Add in a touch of congenital mental illness from generations of inbreeding, with nobody to “rein in their worst impulses, and personality disorders could be a dangerous thing for the world at large.

      Let’s see if and how HotD addresses the Targ “madness.”

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    140. Ten Bears,

      On the other hand, Weiss’ episode commentary that Dany snapped upon seeing the Red Keep, a “symbol” of what had been taken from her, left me wondering “WTF???”

      Two related points bear repetition when wondering about any character in Game of Thrones.

      First, D&D created neither these characters nor their motivations. GRRM did, and he enjoys ambiguity in A Song of Ice and Fire. Nowhere in the story does he provide any ‘official’ source of information, like Princess Urulan’s quotes in Dune. It’s all recollections by characters, some of which disagree with each other in subtle but telling ways. (E.g., Arya thinks of Nymeria as the “warrior queen” of the Rhyonar, but Bran thinks of Nymeria as a “witch queen.”) Absent any definitive statement from GRRM, D&D had to create their own reasons for Dany ultimately becoming the nastiest villain in the story. Maybe their reasons agree with his, maybe not, but we won’t know until the books are published, and maybe not even then. GRRM likes to have his readers draw their own conclusions.

      Second, GRRM left D&D without an ending for the tale. He gave them his ending for each character, nothing more. D&D had already made huge changes to other characters, to fit 5,000+ (!) pages of story into 73 hour-long episodes. They’d ignored many characters, melded a few into one, assigned attributes from one into another, changed characters completely (e.g. Jon Snow goes from being a politically-savvy snarker to a moping Dudley Do-Right) and even created a few (e.g. Ros, Locke). All they knew was that Dany was the real villain all along, and that Jon commits regicide to save the world from her. Other than that, D&D were on their own.

      So, Weiss was, like any other viewer, entitled to his opinion of why Dany obliterated King’s Landing. He was asked about it for the episode commentary, and he responded. His comment provides one explanation for why Dany was looking at the Red Keep as she made her decision. Every viewer can create her or his own explanation. Whether any viewer’s reason(s) ever agrees with GRRM’s reason(s) may never be known.

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    141. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: All they knew was that Dany was the real villain all along, and that Jon commits regicide to save the world from her. Other than that, D&D were on their own.

      We don’t even know that for sure (and I don’t think it’s as simple as Dany being the “real villain all along” since it’s not a story of good vs. evil — especially since GRRM has talked about characters having both good and bad in them and there are characters, as of ADWD, with far more bad in them than Dany — characters who are completely incapable of empathy: Ramsay, Joffrey, Euron, Cersei, etc.). Neither was confirmed by GRRM. We know he gave them three shocking twists, which he confirmed for us: Shireen’s death, Hodor, and who’d end up on the Iron Throne but Dany going berserk and Jon committing regicide aren’t among those confirmations and D&D don’t even say these plot points came from GRRM.

      It’s, of course, very possible and even a likelihood — but we don’t know what they knew and didn’t know for sure.

        Quote  Reply

    142. Adrianacandle,

      ”… Look at Robb Stark’s campaign, Daenerys’s conquests in Slaver’s Bay, Stannis’ invasion of Blackwater Bay – they’re all seemingly just wars waged by seemingly good people, but they all fail their original goals and cause a huge amount of suffering, not just for the nobility, but for the common people.”

      Ah yes, Stannis and suffering. That brings to mind one of my favorite Stannis quotes: one word.

      S2e9, Battle of the Blackwater:
      (After much of his fleet is blown up by wildfire, Stannis orders landing party to board the boats to attack the city, brushing off one of his commander’s reservations):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxKzT7AzK1c

      at ~ 3:30

      Commander: “We’re too far from the gates. The fire… their archers. Hundreds will die!”

      Stannis: “Thousands.”
      (Boards boat)

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    143. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      Absent any definitive statement from GRRM, D&D had to create their own reasons for Dany ultimately becoming the nastiest villain in the story…”

      Look, I’ll be the first to commend the showrunners for their phenomenal work on GoT, especially without the source material they expected to have in hand.

      Even so, did D.B. Weiss’ explanation ring true for you? Here it is:

      “Inside the Episode” S8e5

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W8j6wOvxuo

      D.B. Weiss, at 3:22 – 3:50

        Quote  Reply

    144. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: So, Weiss was, like any other viewer, entitled to his opinion of why Dany obliterated King’s Landing. He was asked about it for the episode commentary, and he responded. His comment provides one explanation for why Dany was looking at the Red Keep as she made her decision. Every viewer can create her or his own explanation. Whether any viewer’s reason(s) ever agrees with GRRM’s reason(s) may never be known.

      I believe this is known as “Death of the Author”. The thing is, Weiss isn’t simply “any other viewer” — he’s one of two lead writers for this show, responsible for this version of the story, wherein he is one of the two responsible for writing the characters and creating their motivations/characterizations/story in the show. As such, since I don’t subscribe to “Death of the Author” myself because writer’s intent is a big part of the story for me as they are the ones putting it together, I’d consider their words on the characters and story to be (show) canon since they are writing this version of the story. Plus, I like definitive statements where I can get them as arguing interpretations can go on forever.

      …Which has differed from GRRM’s version (even without knowing the details of GRRM’s ending) for various reasons.

      However, “Death of the Author” is a personal choice every viewer/reader/player must make 😉

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    145. Adrianacandle,

      HDM reaction. There could be a good GOT discussion comparing how d&d changed the source material to how the show runners did it for HDM. IMHO D&D made much better decisions. For some reason the TV version of HDM cut out all the good stuff!!!!

      So I am bewildered with their story decisions. The book Alamo scene was so Much more dramatic because Lee really did make every shot count and he blew up the zeppelin!! In the show he lets the last soldier through!!!! What?!!?!
      And no dramatic explosion. I know it’s because they decided to play down the witches and never developed the story of witch Juta. Also no blood moss. And no wrestling. What?!!

      Did you wait until the end of the credits to see Roger in the land of the dead? At least that was something.

      Anyway That’s all I can write for now. I just feel bewildered why they cut all the good stuff out???!

      I did like Mrs Coulter’s scene where she comes to terms with her daemon. That was a nice addition

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    146. Tron79,

      HDM!

      So I am bewildered with their story decisions. The book Alamo scene was so Much more dramatic because Lee really did make every shot count and he blew up the zeppelin!! In the show he lets the last soldier through!!!! What?!!?!

      I agree. I was, unfortunately, not moved by his death. Or by Will’s dad. Or by Will’s reunion with his dad — which is really really frustrating.

      I know it’s because they decided to play down the witches and never developed the story of witch Juta. Also no blood moss. And no wrestling. What?!!

      Yeah — and I feel Mrs Coulter learning Lyra was Eve was quite a bit less dramatic than the books. In the show, it’s revealed she’s (literally) packing up Lyra to keep her safe. That she’s not going to sell her out to the Church.

      So, while I liked that scene, it didn’t have nearly that same question mark or tension as it did in the books where the reader just doesn’t know WTF she’s going to do next.

      Did you wait until the end of the credits to see Roger in the land of the dead? At least that was something.

      I did!! I thought that was cool 🙂

      Anyway That’s all I can write for now. I just feel bewildered why they cut all the good stuff out???!

      Sadly, I agree. I’m wondering if perhaps they’re shifting some of it to season 3.

      But what a boring season 2…

      I did like Mrs Coulter’s scene where she comes to terms with her daemon. That was a nice addition

      Me too and I’m not even sure she does come to terms with her daemon. Her daemon clearly doesn’t like what Mrs Coulter is doing but is reluctantly going along with it — and I think this represents the two conflicting sides of Mrs Coulter. Ambition vs. Lyra.

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    147. Tron79,

      FYI/⚠️ Off-Topic
      🎄Multi-part “Holiday Musical Interlude” posted in Comment Section under 12/16/20 article:
      Learn the art of Water Dancing with Game of Thrones star Miltos Yerolemou!”
      Sampling (from “Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays” on Dec. 11, 2020):

      • Billie Eilish intro [22 seconds]
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhnMdcWUr1c

      • 🎶 Cyndi Lauper, “True Colors” live
      December 11, 2020 [4:46]
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsYqEosQ-to

      🌈

        Quote  Reply

    148. Adrianacandle,

      Clarification!

      When I said, “…Which has differed from GRRM’s version (even without knowing the details of GRRM’s ending) for various reasons,” I was referring to the show differing from the books.

      When I expanded my first paragraph, the correct context of this statement was removed and I only realized it now 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    149. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: GRRM likes to have his readers draw their own conclusions.

      Nowhere in the story does he provide any ‘official’ source of information, like Princess Urulan’s quotes in Dune.

      I’m sorry for another comment, Tensor (and I apologize if my tone was too firm in the first two comments — I didn’t mean it to be!) I wanted to add GRRM has commented on (published) character motivations, characterizations, and plot elements in regard to his intention quite a bit before, and sometimes quite definitively, with various interviews and such. I don’t think he’s ever stated that it’s ultimately up to the reader to decide about various characters/motives/story elements (although yes, I would agree he does like to make the reader think and I think this would be a reader’s prerogative with regard to writer intention) but I also remember him being quite protective of his work (ie. he disagrees with fanfic and doesn’t like people doing it).

      GRRM can be pretty ambiguous when it comes to characterization and conflicts, I think he does like to have the reader ask questions, certainly, but (unless it comes to unpublished material) he can be pretty outspoken about his characterizations, characters, and plot elements as well.

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    150. Adrianacandle,

      I don’t have much else to add. I’m just trying to figure out why they did what they did when the book scenes were much more dramatic and effective. Was it just budget reasons?

      There was a much bigger Witch battle in the books with Mrs Coulter. Also in the show it makes it look like Lyra is sleeping the day away. Why is she sleeping in the daytime? And I watched one reviewer who had a good point that why was the witch sleeping when she was supposed to be on watch. Ugg. And Will doesn’t really search for Lyra in the show. The worst is the decision with letting the army guy kill John Parry instead of Ruta the Witch. It just cheapens Lee’s sacrifice too much. And as I said before it was a very satisfying shot that Lee makes when he’s able to hit the zeppelin and take out multiple soldiers in the explosion. Also how about the book scene with the zombie soldiers that Mrs Coulter controlled. My guess is that they ran out of money and time. I know they had to scrap the Asriel episode because of Covid.

      Oh well. I will still be watching season 3 but I’m guessing they will change a bunch to hold down the budget. Or they will do things off screen and just explain it.

      Oh and I wonder what Roger looks like now. My guess is that he has aged and may look different. They did film the teaser when he was younger but I can’t believe they filmed all of his scenes from season 3 already. Lyra is in some of them.

        Quote  Reply

    151. Tron79,

      I don’t have much else to add. I’m just trying to figure out why they did what they did when the book scenes were much more dramatic and effective. Was it just budget reasons?

      When you brought up COVD, perhaps that was the reason? Because so many scenes seemed suddenly short-shifted.

      There was a much bigger Witch battle in the books with Mrs Coulter. Also in the show it makes it look like Lyra is sleeping the day away. Why is she sleeping in the daytime? And I watched one reviewer who had a good point that why was the witch sleeping when she was supposed to be on watch. Ugg.

      LOL yeah!! Like WTF? When I read this, it just occurred to me — did Mrs Coulter release an airborne sedative or something that she is somehow immune to? I remember thinking it was odd both Lyra and the witch-on-watch were both so drowsy and sleepy.

      In the books, I don’t think we see Mrs Coulter kidnap Lyra, do we? We end book 2 on a question mark with what Mrs Coulter will do and when we see her in book 3, she has a drugged Lyra sleeping in a cave (at which point Lyra has made contact with Roger).

      And Will doesn’t really search for Lyra in the show.

      No! He’s just like, “See ya,” to Lyra and then finds Dad. They reunite. Dad apologizes. Dad dies. Will cries.

      The worst is the decision with letting the army guy kill John Parry instead of Ruta the Witch. It just cheapens Lee’s sacrifice too much. And as I said before it was a very satisfying shot that Lee makes when he’s able to hit the zeppelin and take out multiple soldiers in the explosion.

      It just felt… I don’t know, like they did run out of time to film these scenes fully. This felt like the shell of something instead of anything meaty or fully realized, especially since this was such a big culmination in Will’s story and it was also Lee’s end.

      Also how about the book scene with the zombie soldiers that Mrs Coulter controlled. My guess is that they ran out of money and time. I know they had to scrap the Asriel episode because of Covid.

      Oh man. For most of season 2, I forgot Asriel was even still around. I was happy to see him, I like how they visualized the angels, but he just kind of popped out of nowhere, didn’t he? Like a reminder app 🙂

      Oh well. I will still be watching season 3 but I’m guessing they will change a bunch to hold down the budget. Or they will do things off screen and just explain it.

      I think season 2 had a strong start. I like how they expanded Mrs Coulter’s story in some ways. I liked Mary a ton. But otherwise, it felt like they were trying to blow through it as quickly as possible like it was homework they needed to sludge through in order to get to the good stuff.

      Oh and I wonder what Roger looks like now. My guess is that he has aged and may look different. They did film the teaser when he was younger but I can’t believe they filmed all of his scenes from season 3 already. Lyra is in some of them.

      That’s a good point. Roger, because he died at the end of season 1, shouldn’t have aged but nobody can stop the sands of time… Will he appear two years older when we see him again in season 3? And if they had filmed Roger’s scenes already (which I don’t think they have, yeah), Lyra would look that much younger too!

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    152. Adrianacandle,

      Getting in the GOT connection Bella Ramsay had one of my favorite scenes of the season. I rewatched episode 6 today as I often do before watching the next episode.

      Bella Ramsay delivered a chilling line when she asks if trying to kill Lyra was wrong. I loved that whole scene with Bella (Angelica), Paola and Mary Malone. Bella delivery just made me sit up and think, “Wow, these kids never learned right from wrong and are looking for guidance”. I also loved when Paola asked for the hug. So I vote for this scene to be the best change from the books by far. I thought Bella did a good job playing the mean kid but at the same time she was able to get me to feel for her situation.

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    153. Adrianacandle,

      Just to add some more about Bella Ramsay, I appreciated how she fully committed herself. She really went for it. I didn’t feel like she was acting. I felt her anger and she had a pretty scary look in her eyes. I thought she did a great job. Ella Schrey-Yeats playing Paola (spelling?) had a different vibe. She seemed more child like. The way she held her stick was almost like she was playful. She was the one who asked for the hug.

        Quote  Reply

    154. Adrianacandle,

      I don’t deny there were a couple Targaryen kings who were decent but agree or not, the whole idea of Targaryen (Valyrian) family ruling Westeros always repulsed me for all the reasons I listed above, inbreeding and also the fact that they were part of it only for 300 years. And throughout the story, I never boarded the team Dany train. In fact when I was first reading AGOT and ACOK (months before S1 aired) and then ASOS (during S1 air), I didn’t even think that Dany is supposed to be this “ultimate protagonist figure to root for”. After all, her story was completely separated and such and I thought she’s more of this “obstacle” in the story… the nuisance of being one of the only remaining Targaryens alive. There were so many power figures then that I thought Dany is just one of the many stories, probably not even major one. It was not until season 3 when I realized Dany is actually this fan favorite character with immense fan following and rooting. I was like: “Seriously? I’m supposed to root for her? A Targaryen?” And of course, back then I wasn’t all geeky about the GoT universe and my knowledge was fully limited to main novels and TV episodes. I didn’t even watch Histories & Lore back then so my opinion on Dany was not formed due to knowing the background of Valyrians and such. As I said above, red flags started to light for me in terms of TV Dany as early as in S2, but in fact, it was even earlier… when reading ASOS and she sacked Astapor and had non-slave population over 12 executed in ways of trickery. THe scene that people cheered for was actually uncomfortable to stomach for me and I’m speaking about the novels here, before S3 was even released. And then again her outburst at the end of S3 about “the Mad King”… red lights were blinking all over in my head then. But as I said, I didn’t even think she was supposed to be this “ultimate protagonist among the fans” when I was reading ASOS so of course I didn’t make some big deal out of it then.

      So at the end of the day, I was really happy about “The Bells” episode (it’s my no.5 GoT episode) because I could finally put 8 years of inner confusion to rest because my worrying thoughts about Dany turned out to be true to some extent and it wasn’t just in my head. I don’t know what was I watching/reading differently that such thoughts sparked in my head way back in S2 and in book 3 but it worked really well for me in terms of enjoying the ending.

        Quote  Reply

    155. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I don’t deny there were a couple Targaryen kings who were decent but agree or not, the whole idea of Targaryen (Valyrian) family ruling Westeros always repulsed me for all the reasons I listed above, inbreeding and also the fact that they were part of it only for 300 years.

      I’d respond that there were quite a few Targaryens who didn’t display alarming qualities and like stigmatized bastards and other characters who there is prejudice against in-universe, you had all kinds of individuals of various characterizations: good, bad, and everything in between. More often than not, it was a combination of all of these.

      For me, I’m a bit uncomfortable with the notion of judging a character based on their last name or their ancestry for this reason and because their parentage and family practices aren’t their fault.

      Even in HotD, not all Targaryens are crappy people (although I’d say Rhaenyra, Daemon, and Aegon II were) — and not all crappy people were Targaryens (Alicent, Otto). And I’d also say these crappy people were made up of more than bad parts. For instance, I think Rhaenyra and Alicent had a far deeper capacity for love than Cersei and their love for their children was true.

      Plus, 300 years is quite a long time and they’re really not the only people who forcibly dominated kingdoms or countries through violence and war (per my above examples).

      And throughout the story, I never boarded the team Dany train. In fact when I was first reading AGOT and ACOK (months before S1 aired) and then ASOS (during S1 air), I didn’t even think that Dany is supposed to be this “ultimate protagonist figure to root for”. After all, her story was completely separated and such and I thought she’s more of this “obstacle” in the story… the nuisance of being one of the only remaining Targaryens alive.

      Oh, I’m not asking you to root for Dany or not to view her actions with a level of skepticism or even disapproval depending on the action — I think that should be done with all characters, honestly — but I don’t think I’d agree on judging her for being one of the only remaining Targaryens alive and holding that against her. For instance, we also have Aemon — also the result of incest.

      There were so many power figures then that I thought Dany is just one of the many stories, probably not even major one.

      Oh, I think Dany is a major character and story — a leading one, even, alongside Jon, Tyrion, Bran, and likely Arya. I think she’s one of GRRM’s main five from the outline as well. After Tyrion, Jon, and Arya, Dany’s also got the most POV chapters (4th most, I think).

      when reading ASOS and she sacked Astapor and had non-slave population over 12 executed in ways of trickery. THe scene that people cheered for was actually uncomfortable to stomach for me and I’m speaking about the novels here, before S3 was even released.

      This was an action I didn’t really agree with because it was a mass execution. However, Dany tricked a pretty despicable individual — the slave master Kraznys mo Nakloz — into getting the Unsullied, who she frees. She then had the slaving class executed (which I have some issues with because it was a blanket judgement) and set up a council of freed slaves to replace the ruling class. It’s also a decision Dany would come to deeply, deeply regret and feels immense guilt over because it ended up causing quite a bit of pain and suffering, especially to the people she wanted to help — a primary reason for why she doesn’t opt for violence in ADWD but compromise, even when it comes at personal cost.

      And she’s not the only character who has opted for violence or harm, including toward younger characters (12 and over — I think 12 is an adult in the Planetos universe while Dany, herself, was 13/14 at the time — but again, I don’t really agree with this execution of Dany’s for the reasons stated). For instance, it’s Northern practice to take child hostages in order to prevent factions from rebelling — children (like Theon) who will be subject to execution should their relative rise up in opposition. In ADWD, when Dany was pushed to execute child hostages, she couldn’t. Meanwhile, Jon thinks to himself he could (but he’s not been pushed to this and I’m on the fence over if he can do it or not). During Robb’s campaign, young girls were raped while the lands were pillaged.

      My point with this is these characters all have different parts to them and violence is a part of many. Robb, Jon, Dany are (for me) among the more sympathetic characters in the series who had truly good intentions. However, that doesn’t mean that their actions were always right or didn’t cause suffering.

      In ADWD, Jon ends up putting the entire realm at risk because he can’t resist to right the wrongs of the world (as he sees them), which isn’t really unlike Dany.

      And then again her outburst at the end of S3 about “the Mad King”… red lights were blinking all over in my head then. But as I said, I didn’t even think she was supposed to be this “ultimate protagonist among the fans” when I was reading ASOS so of course I didn’t make some big deal out of it then.

      Per the definition of a protagonist (leading character), I’d say Dany is one. But I believe GRRM has designed Dany to be made up of multiple parts and a grey character rather than simply a villain. For me, Dany certainly does have rootable qualities and I think that’s intention. For example, GRRM has said Dany wants equality when he corrected an artist on their rendition of her at the Meereenese pyramid. She does feel true and real compassion, it’s part of her motives, but she also has a violent side — and darker impulses she actively fights against. And I’d say this is true for multiple characters.

      While I’m certainly wary of getting involved in a Dark Dany debate and I’ll avoid discussing whether or not various plot points were red flags, Dany’s actions in The Bells still didn’t work for me. I hope it’s more nuanced in the books if she is to burn down an entire city full of civilians.

        Quote  Reply

    156. Tron79,

      Bella Ramsey:

      Bella Ramsay delivered a chilling line when she asks if trying to kill Lyra was wrong. I loved that whole scene with Bella (Angelica), Paola and Mary Malone. Bella delivery just made me sit up and think, “Wow, these kids never learned right from wrong and are looking for guidance”. I also loved when Paola asked for the hug. So I vote for this scene to be the best change from the books by far. I thought Bella did a good job playing the mean kid but at the same time she was able to get me to feel for her situation.

      I agree. I think Ramsey went above and beyond with her character. While Angelica wasn’t really a large role, I think both Ramsey and the writing added a dimension to Angelica not there in the books and that Mary/Paula/Angelica scene you talk about is a big reason (as is Angelica asking if trying to kill Lyra was wrong — what struck me was the earnestness of that question and I think drove home that these kids were left on their own and forced into the mindset of survival in extreme circumstances).

      I’d agree with your vote for this to be among the best show-only scenes 🙂

      Just to add some more about Bella Ramsay, I appreciated how she fully committed herself. She really went for it. I didn’t feel like she was acting. I felt her anger and she had a pretty scary look in her eyes. I thought she did a great job. Ella Schrey-Yeats playing Paola (spelling?) had a different vibe. She seemed more child like. The way she held her stick was almost like she was playful. She was the one who asked for the hug.

      Absolutely. Angelica felt more hardened and mistrustful while I think Paula had a more open softness/vulnerability about her, something Angelica seemed to have largely lost or is suppressing (but can still be kindled).

        Quote  Reply

    157. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I appreciate your reactions while reading. I don’t think I found myself rooting for any particular character other than Arya. I do think it’s hard to deny that GRRM wanted Dany to be a main protagonist that some rooted for. She was the Fire in ASOIAF so in the most stripped down way this was Dany and Jon’s story. The rest were supporting characters to their journey. I felt for a while GRRM may have changed his mind and called it the song of the Greyjoy pirates. I think he may have preferred to write more about those colorful pirate characters. I was rooting for Quentyn Martell To successfully bed Dany. I loved how

      Barristan allowed Quentyn to die on Dany’s bed to symbolically complete his mission. That was a very Knightly gesture.

      I can’t say I ever rooted for Dany to sit on the Iron Throne. It’s not because she was a Targaryen. I just didn’t feel that interested in that part of her story. . Actually in the show i was quite bored whenever the Dothraki music came on during those early seasons. On rewatch I often sped through her story until later seasons. I’m the books it was different for me. By the end of ADWD I was heavily invested in what was going to happen next to Dany. I thought her ending in the books was one of the best parts. I guess I found myself rooting for her to get out of frickin Meereen and embrace her true self. She is the Fire of the story. I don’t want to see her kill thousands of civilians though.
      KAdrianacandle,

      So one more HDM comment about acting and script.

      I found myself not caring at all about Will. He just seems to be scared most of the time and he leaves Lyra to fend for herself and doesn’t seem to care what happened to her. I felt nothing when he lost his father. I think it’s partially his acting and partially the script.

      My curiousness about season 3 mostly revolves around seeing how much different Dafne Keen appears on screen after age my a few years since
      They filmed the first two seasons. Dafne is getting me to be a little interested in her relationship with Will. The looks she gives him are wonderful. But so far I haven’t felt that Amir or Will deserves those looks. I do want to see how they depict the wheel creatures but I feel a bit cheated by their depiction of the angels so far. My guess is I may be disappointed by the Mulefa. I agree with you that Mary Malone is great in the show. I’m
      Looking forward to her scenes in season 3. I’m not looking forward to Asriel. His final speech was overly dramatic and what burnt out world was he supposed to be in?

        Quote  Reply

    158. Tron79,

      HDM:

      I found myself not caring at all about Will. He just seems to be scared most of the time and he leaves Lyra to fend for herself and doesn’t seem to care what happened to her. I felt nothing when he lost his father. I think it’s partially his acting and partially the script.

      Unfortunately, you and I are of like mind on Will except that I don’t think I got the impression that he didn’t care about Lyra (at the time of Will’s last scene, he still thinks Lyra is okay and doesn’t know yet that she’s been taken). However, their relationship and Will’s relationship with his father felt… lacking… especially in comparison to how powerful both are in the books. Will and Lyra are, very literally, soulmates. He is the only one who can consensually touch Pan, which is extremely intimate.

      Yet, in the show, while the Will is permitted to touch Pan scene was of note because it’s pointed out that nobody should be touching anybody else’s daemon (since it’s a manifestation of that person’s soul), I didn’t think it was nearly as powerful.

      I do agree Dafne is growing as an actress. And Will, while he’s certainly a cute kid and (as shallow as this is) he endears me to him on that basis, it’s just not enough to make me care about Will as a character. I think I told you a few weeks ago I wouldn’t mind if Will just disappeared off-screen and Lyra spent the rest of her rest of her story going off with Mrs Coulter or following Mary around.

      But yeah, Mary is great. I think Mary is something the show did really well — both with casting and execution. I care more about show!Mary than I did about book!Mary and now this will make me care about book!Mary more!

      I guess I’m just beginning to stan Mary? 🙂

      His final speech was overly dramatic and what burnt out world was he supposed to be in?

      Oh, I know!! And I think this especially is why I think

      viewers should read the books before watching the show

      because this scene needed context. We need to know what Asriel has been doing in the middle segment of this story. The show just doesn’t provide that: this is Asriel’s first and only real scene of season 2.

      Now, because I can stay on topic… 😉

      I guess I found myself rooting for her to get out of frickin Meereen and embrace her true self. She is the Fire of the story. I don’t want to see her kill thousands of civilians though.

      Agreed about that last part!

      But I’d quibble with the notion that “fire” (or darkness) is her true self. I think it’s one aspect of her true self but I also think what she was trying to do in Meereen was another part of her true self since that came from a genuine place of wanting to do good, to protect her people who she felt she owed, to do better than she did with Astapor and Yunkai. Her desire to help and save the refugees she felt responsible for, wanting to liberate those who (she viewed) were oppressed. Her thinking that when she takes the throne, she’ll finally find that connection to her lost family she’s longed for and find where she’s meant to be.

      Violence is part of the many of our main characters: Arya, Tyrion, Jon, even Bran to an extent (and Sansa, who is slowly poisoning her cousin…) — but it’s not what defines these characters alone. However, all either have dark sides, selfish impulses, or both. Likewise, fire can be destructive and it can be life-saving (as observed in Jon’s chapters) while ice can be destructive (freezing to death, the Others) and used as a protection (the Wall).

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    159. Adrianacandle,

      Regarding the “fire” comment..

      For me for book Dany, finding her Fire was more like finding her confidence in herself. I think it was also saying something about finding herself in a world ruled by men. She has all of these male advisers who seem to be keeping her from taking charge of her own life. That’s the part of the story that I found compelling. Perhaps some do have some decent advice for her, but in the end she needed to trust herself. In some ways ASOIAF is a tale of identity crisis for many characters. It’s not just Arya who needs to find herself. You have Sansa losing herself (in the books). There is even a chapter using Sansa’s nom de plume! Jon has the ultimate identity journey going on even though he may not realize it yet in the books (well he can’t realize much of anything currently in the books 🙂 I felt for Dany because I wanted her to take control of her life, and I was excited that was finally happening at the end of the 5th book. In the show, I wanted to see her take down Cersei. But as I said before, I didn’t want her to lose herself just at the moment she finds herself! I think in the show by killing all of the civilians she lost herself again.

      I’m also a bit depressed that King Robert turns out to be right and Ned’s mercy again was the wrong instinct. Uggg.. I was all with Ned to not kill a child before she was a threat. In the real world of Westeros, that seemed like a good call by King Robert. But I’m still with Ned that you don’t go killing innocent children for what might happen. I guess I wouldn’t have survived in Westeros that long either.

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    160. Tron79,

      For me for book Dany, finding her Fire was more like finding her confidence in herself. I think it was also saying something about finding herself in a world ruled by men. She has all of these male advisers who seem to be keeping her from taking charge of her own life. That’s the part of the story that I found compelling. Perhaps some do have some decent advice for her, but in the end she needed to trust herself. In some ways ASOIAF is a tale of identity crisis for many characters. It’s not just Arya who needs to find herself. You have Sansa losing herself (in the books). There is even a chapter using Sansa’s nom de plume! Jon has the ultimate identity journey going on even though he may not realize it yet in the books (well he can’t realize much of anything currently in the books 🙂 I felt for Dany because I wanted her to take control of her life, and I was excited that was finally happening at the end of the 5th book. In the show, I wanted to see her take down Cersei. But as I said before, I didn’t want her to lose herself just at the moment she finds herself! I think in the show by killing all of the civilians she lost herself again.

      Oh, I see! I’m sorry I misunderstood! I quite like this interpretation, specially in regard to identity 🙂

      And Jon, even without him knowing his father is his uncle and his aunt is his mother and his siblings are his cousins, still is all about discordant identity — especially given his identity as a bastard son among trueborn siblings. Raised in the same household as a noble, given the same education, raised alongside the firstborn son and heir, but doesn’t even nearly have the same prospects and he’s viewed significantly worse because of his bastardy.

      And, like Theon and Arya (but in different ways), Jon is still an outsider: in his own family and in society.

      I think Dany did put her foot down on some things, like staying Meereen against Barristan’s advice, over finally going to Westeros when she had that chance. She had felt it was her duty to Meereen to stay and heal it. Nonetheless, I like your take on fire meaning confidence. Where Jon compromised too little in ADWD, Dany ended up compromising too much — and both for noble goals. And both decide on war by the end of their ADWD arcs.

      I was all with Ned to not kill a child before she was a threat. In the real world of Westeros, that seemed like a good call by King Robert. But I’m still with Ned that you don’t go killing innocent children for what might happen. I guess I wouldn’t have survived in Westeros that long either.

      I gotta say, I’m still with Ned too! Because what Robert was wanting to do was uncomfortably close to eugenics and extremely prejudicial — condemning a child to die just because they had the “wrong” blood (which, I suppose, would transfer to Aemon, Jon, even Sansa when she was deemed to have “traitor’s blood”).

      However, while mercy does have risks and costs (especially considering Ned’s mercy with Cersei in allowing her and her children to escape before he planned to tell Robert), mercy can also be needed. Had Jon stuck with his preconceived notions about wildlings and not shown any tolerance or mercy toward them, an entire people would have been exterminated. As of the end of ADWD, it’s the wildlings who look to be Jon’s biggest fans too…

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    161. Adrianacandle,

      Yes, Dany obviously is one of the key figures and I got to realize that eventually but I’m speaking about my own opinion when I was reading the first two novels before the show even came out (and then the third during S1 air) and I didn’t have the clear idea that Dany was supposed to be this “big protagonist to root for” until S3 aired and I saw fan reaction. Obviously when dragons were born, I did imagine that Dany will eventually come in contact with Westeros but I personally never even thought of rooting for her conquest, even less that entire positive opposition would be sided behind Dany in the final stages of the story. I thought there were so many factions that she would be just “one of the many”… and again, I’m speaking of my own opinions back in early 2011 when I was reading the first couple books for first time and the show wasn’t even out yet. I became the “GoT nerd” like I am today only way after S1 aired and when I started to re-read books (especially first three) before every new season (tradition I kept up up to S5). I do wonder how would I percieve Dany if I watched only the show and never knew about the novels. But I do know that every year when I rewatched the show before next season, I was desperately trying to try to warm up to Dany so I can “embrace” her as one of protagonists and actually “feel happy” for her character to progress but I couldn’t. I started to ask myself what the hell am I doing wrong that I can’t board the team Dany train. There were some scenes that I appreciated when it came to her, especially certain ones in S6, but I still realized while the scenes moved me, I wasn’t “personally attached” to Dany unlike several other characters I loved.

      In fact, especially on before-season rewatches, I did “root” (and still do) for Dany’s inner character growth so she’s not the abused girl from S1 anymore, but an independent person. But I never wished her to come to Westeros and establish the rule there. I didn’t want that, I never wanted that. I still don’t know how the hell was I able to develop such mentality towards her so early in the show, but it happened and I’m still feeling it today. I still feel “angry” at Aegon’s Conquest and happy for Robert’s Rebellion (except killing Elia and the kids… that’s something I would never approve).

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    162. Tron79:
      Adrianacandle,

      I’m also a bit depressed that King Robert turns out to be right and Ned’s mercy again was the wrong instinct. Uggg.. I was all with Ned to not kill a child before she was a threat.In the real world of Westeros, that seemed like a good call by King Robert. But I’m still with Ned that you don’t go killing innocent children for what might happen.I guess I wouldn’t have survived in Westeros that long either.

      As much as I am generally pleased with Robert’s Rebellion in terms of how Aerys’s kingdom is gradually (and in my opinion deservingly) crushed under the opposition of the people, killing Elia and the kids is something I’ll never approve. It’s just too extreme. I do feel that Robert’s Rebellion should have been a moment where no Targaryens should ever sit on the Iron Throne. But not in a way that innocent kids get killed. It is debatable though what he could have done to avoid the slaughter. Maybe keeping the kids close and as they would grow up, he would earn their trust and the possibility of a rebellion would be way less possible. But who knows… Viserys and Daenerys being out there, that really seemed to be a time bomb waiting to happen when they grew up.

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    163. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Yes, Dany obviously is one of the key figures and I got to realize that eventually but I’m speaking about my own opinion when I was reading the first two novels before the show even came out (and then the third during S1 air) and I didn’t have the clear idea that Dany was supposed to be this “big protagonist to root for” until S3 aired and I saw fan reaction.

      I do wonder how would I percieve Dany if I watched only the show and never knew about the novels. But I do know that every year when I rewatched the show before next season, I was desperately trying to try to warm up to Dany so I can “embrace” her as one of protagonists and actually “feel happy” for her character to progress but I couldn’t. I started to ask myself what the hell am I doing wrong that I can’t board the team Dany train. There were some scenes that I appreciated when it came to her, especially certain ones in S6, but I still realized while the scenes moved me, I wasn’t “personally attached” to Dany unlike several other characters I loved.

      When it comes to preference, I’d never try to convince somebody to change their mind on that 🙂 It’d be as worthless as trying to convince somebody to change their favourite colour or switch favourite colours (my living room is being painted periwinkle — my dad hates it!) Some people are drawn to certain characters, others aren’t. Some are repulsed by some characters, others feel empathy and understanding for them.

      So I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, Erik! Some people feel it. Some people don’t.

      Honestly, I myself can’t exactly root for Robert’s Rebellion either because I don’t think Robert was a good king and a Lannister throne certainly didn’t do anybody any favours other than the Lannisters (plus, this war did cause quite a bit of suffering and Aerys was only one cause — looking at you, Rhaegar and Lyanna). However, I admit that I never really gave a sh!t over who ended up on the Iron Throne so I wasn’t personally invested in Dany (or anyone) taking it.

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    164. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      Oh, I see! I’m sorry I misunderstood! I quite like this interpretation, specially in regard to identity 🙂

      And Jon, even without him knowing his father is his uncle and his aunt is his mother and his siblings are his cousins, still is all about discordant identity — especially given his identity as a bastard son among trueborn siblings. Raised in the same household as a noble, given the same education, raised alongside the firstborn son and heir, but doesn’t even nearly have the same prospects and he’s viewed significantly worse because of his bastardy.

      And, like Theon and Arya (but in different ways), Jon is still an outsider: in his own family and in society.

      Good points! Perhaps the best advice Tyrion ever gave was when he spoke to Jon early on about embracing his “bastardness”.

      I think Dany did put her foot down on some things, like staying Meereen against Barristan’s advice, over finally going to Westeros when she had that chance.She had felt it was her duty to Meereen to stay and heal it. Nonetheless, I like your take on fire meaning confidence. Where Jon compromised too little in ADWD, Dany ended up compromising too much — and both for noble goals. And both decide on war by the end of their ADWD arcs.

      I agree with this as well that Dany did put her foot down a few times. I just had a great feeling that the shackles were finally removed from her in those final scenes of book 5. I didn’t think she was just going to go burning down everything. Even though Jon is represented by ICE, I didn’t think he would go all Arnold Schwrzenegger Mr. Freeze on Westeros.
      https://media.comicbook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/mr-freeze-arnold-schwarzenegger.jpg

      I didn’t take the ICE and FIRE quite so literally.

      I gotta say, I’m still with Ned too! Because what Robert was wanting to do was uncomfortably close to eugenics and extremely prejudicial — condemning a child to die just because they had the “wrong” blood (which, I suppose, would transfer to Aemon, Jon, even Sansa when she was deemed to have “traitor’s blood”).

      I agree totally. A world needs mercy and compassion or it’s an awfully bleak world to live in. And as Sandor said, “A man’s gotta have a code”. I think these conversations and debates about mercy are at the heart of GRRM’s books.

      However, while mercy does have risks and costs (especially considering Ned’s mercy with Cersei in allowing her and her children to escape before he planned to tell Robert), mercy can also be needed. Had Jon stuck with his preconceived notions about wildlings and not shown any tolerance or mercy toward them, an entire people would have been exterminated. As of the end of ADWD, it’s the wildlings who look to be Jon’s biggest fans too…

      That’s true about Jon. And Jon realized the Wildlings were really part of his ancestral family too, since he had the “blood” of the first men in him. Perhaps that’s how you become the most merciful is when you realize it’s not about what last name you were born with or what blood is in your veins. One of the ideals of democracy is that blood/class/family names shouldn’t be of great importance. In the real world here in the USA, family names and money still make a big difference. But there are plenty of stories of people who make it from nothing. Many times those who have nothing do more of what needs to be done to be successful than those who are given everything.
      I also do not like the idea of prejudging someone because of their name or past deeds of relatives. I think you need to give them a chance before taking preemptive actions.
      I feel like having that code does come with risks. The person could end up just like her father. This brings up thoughts of Minority Report where people are charged before doing the actual crime!! Anyway, that’s a discussion for another day.

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    165. Adrianacandle,

      Oh, and btw, Jon wasn’t necessarily being all merciful to the Wildlings. He was being very pragmatic, since he knew they would make TAOTD larger and The Army of Living Men needed the numbers! But I’m sure Jon also had to be thinking of Ygritte and that it wasn’t the Wildlings fault that they were on the wrong side of the wall when it went up.

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    166. Adrianacandle,

      The more I think now that I know the full story, the more I believe Robert’s Rebellion should have been the moment to abolish hereditary monarchy and install elective monarchy. Although who knows if it would have been possible back then… I think in series finale, it worked because the biggest political players were all dead and there was no winner in the final conflict (both Dany and Cersei dead). But maybe it would have worked.

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    167. Tron79: Oh, and btw, Jon wasn’t necessarily being all merciful to the Wildlings. He was being very pragmatic, since he knew they would make TAOTD larger and The Army of Living Men needed the numbers! But I’m sure Jon also had to be thinking of Ygritte and that it wasn’t the Wildlings fault that they were on the wrong side of the wall when it went up.

      I don’t think it was pragmatism that was driving Jon though. When he thinks of bringing the wildlings south of the Wall, he’s thinking in humanitarian terms:

      Jon flexed the fingers of his sword hand. “Cotter Pyke’s galleys sail past Hardhome from time to time. He tells me there is no shelter there but the caves. The screaming caves, his men call them. Mother Mole and those who followed her will perish there, of cold and starvation. Hundreds of them. Thousands.”

      “Thousands of enemies. Thousands of wildlings.”

      Thousands of people, Jon thought. Men, women, children.

      Marsh flushed a deeper shade of red. “The lord commander must pardon my bluntness, but I have no softer way to say this. What you propose is nothing less than treason. For eight thousand years the men of the Night’s Watch have stood upon the Wall and fought these wildlings. Now you mean to let them pass, to shelter them in our castles, to feed them and clothe them and teach them how to fight. Lord Snow, must I remind you? You swore an oath.”

      “I know what I swore.” Jon said the words. “I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. Were those the same words you said when you took your vows?”

      “They were. As the lord commander knows.”

      “Are you certain that I have not forgotten some? The ones about the king and his laws, and how we must defend every foot of his land and cling to each ruined castle? How does that part go?” Jon waited for an answer. None came. “I am the shield that guards the realms of men. Those are the words. So tell me, my lord— what are these wildlings, if not men?”

      Bowen Marsh opened his mouth. No words came out. A flush crept up his neck.

      “Once past the Wall, the wildlings will have thrice our numbers,” said Bowen Marsh. “And that is only Tormund’s band. Add the Weeper’s men and those at Hardhome, and they will have the strength to end the Night’s Watch in a single night.”

      “Numbers alone do not win a war. You have not seen them. Half of them are dead on their feet.”

      “I would sooner have them dead in the ground,” said Yarwyck. “If it please my lord.”

      “It does not please me.” Jon’s voice was as cold as the wind snapping at their cloaks.

      “There are children in that camp, hundreds of them, thousands. Women as well.”
      “Spearwives.”

      “Some. Along with mothers and grandmothers, widows and maids… would you condemn them all to die, my lord?”

      Jon has the following realization in ADWD — that the wildlings were part of the realms of men the Night’s Watch was sworn to defend. I don’t think it was much to do with Ygritte (although she has done quite a bit to undo Jon’s preconceived notions of the wildlings and his time spent with them is what starts opening up his sympathy for their plight):

      The shield that guards the realms of men. Ghost nuzzled up against his shoulder, and Jon draped an arm around him. He could smell Horse’s unwashed breeches, the sweet scent Satin combed into his beard, the rank sharp smell of fear, the giant’s overpowering musk. He could hear the beating of his own heart. When he looked across the grove at the woman with her child, the two greybeards, the Hornfoot man with his maimed feet, all he saw was men.

      And with the mission to Hardhome, it seems to be more a humanitarian mission than anything else:

      “Let them die,” said Queen Selyse.

      It was the answer that Jon Snow had expected. This queen never fails to disappoint. Somehow that did not soften the blow. “Your Grace,” he persisted stubbornly, “they are starving at Hardhome by the thousands. Many are women—”

      “—and children, yes. Very sad.” The queen pulled her daughter closer to her and kissed her cheek. The cheek unmarred by greyscale, Jon did not fail to note. “We are sorry for the little ones, of course, but we must be sensible. We have no food for them, and they are too young to help the king my husband in his wars. Better that they be reborn into the light.”

      That was just a softer way of saying let them die.

      Yet Jon refuses to give it up and insists on going, despite Selyse’s words, Mel’s warnings, and his officers’ objections.

      “It was the same again with Hardhome. Satin poured whilst Jon told them of his audience with the queen. Marsh listened attentively, ignoring the mulled wine, whilst Yarwyck drank one cup and then another. But no sooner had Jon finished than the Lord Steward said, “Her Grace is wise. Let them die.”

      Jon sat back. “Is that the only counsel you can offer, my lord? Tormund is bringing eighty men. How many should we send? Shall we call upon the giants? The spearwives at Long Barrow? If we have women with us, it may put Mother Mole’s people at ease.”

      “Send women, then. Send giants. Send suckling babes. Is that what my lord wishes to hear?” Bowen Marsh rubbed at the scar he had won at the Bridge of Skulls. “Send them all. The more we lose, the fewer mouths we’ll have to feed.”

      Yarwyck was no more helpful. “If the wildlings at Hardhome need saving, let the wildlings here go save them. Tormund knows the way to Hard-home. To hear him talk, he can save them all himself with his huge member.”

      This was pointless, Jon thought. Pointless, fruitless, hopeless. “Thank you for your counsel, my lords.”

      Now, Jon does make an argument for the practicality of bringing the wildlings south — but only once and never again:

      Anger rose inside him, but when he spoke his voice was quiet and cold. “Are you so blind, or is it that you do not wish to see? What do you think will happen when all these enemies are dead?”

      Above the door the raven muttered, “Dead, dead, dead.”

      “Let me tell you what will happen,” Jon said. “The dead will rise again, in their hundreds and their thousands. They will rise as wights, with black hands and pale blue eyes, and they will come for us.” He pushed himself to his feet, the fingers of his sword hand opening and closing. “You have my leave to go.”

      Otherwise, Jon thinks of it (and verbalizes it) in humanitarian terms rather than practicality or pragmatism.

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    168. Tron79,

      I agree with this as well that Dany did put her foot down a few times. I just had a great feeling that the shackles were finally removed from her in those final scenes of book 5. I didn’t think she was just going to go burning down everything. Even though Jon is represented by ICE, I didn’t think he would go all Arnold Schwrzenegger Mr. Freeze on Westeros.

      I agree.

      I also do not like the idea of prejudging someone because of their name or past deeds of relatives. I think you need to give them a chance before taking preemptive actions.
      I feel like having that code does come with risks. The person could end up just like her father. This brings up thoughts of Minority Report where people are charged before doing the actual crime!! Anyway, that’s a discussion for another day.

      Well, a person may up any which way based on a variety of other factors as well. We’ve got some pretty alarming people who have come from nurturing parents. We have some great people who have come out of abusive and extremely difficult situations. Yet, when it comes to determining who a person is and will grow up to be, I’ll always take Ned’s side (not condemning a child for the sins of their father) over Robert’s.

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    169. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: The more I think now that I know the full story, the more I believe Robert’s Rebellion should have been the moment to abolish hereditary monarchy and install elective monarchy. Although who knows if it would have been possible back then… I think in series finale, it worked because the biggest political players were all dead and there was no winner in the final conflict (both Dany and Cersei dead). But maybe it would have worked.

      I think the transition from heredity monarch to democracy is a step-by-step process. Bran’s rule will still have risks, an elected official doesn’t guarantee success (Trump) or stability. And what happens when Bran shuffles off this mortal coil? What if an especially biased leader is elected in his stead? And what would happen if a significant portion of the country opposes that leader?

      But I think the shuffle away from blood succession to democracy is a step in the right direction.

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    170. Adrianacandle,

      Those are some great quotes you have from Jon!! You got me there.
      You could say Dany also went on a humanitarian mission to save Jon and his crew beyond the wall in the show. Again mercy didn’t win out very well, but I still think you have to have a code and can’t just follow Tyrion’s advice and do nothing.

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    171. Tron79: Those are some great quotes you have from Jon!! You got me there.
      You could say Dany also went on a humanitarian mission to save Jon and his crew beyond the wall in the show. Again mercy didn’t win out very well, but I still think you have to have a code and can’t just follow Tyrion’s advice and do nothing.

      Definitely but it also felt like, as pointed to upthread, that was a case of circular logic. However, I would be more inclined to compare Dany’s efforts to help strangers (such as the slaves, Meereenese, Astapor refugees) to Jon trying to save the wildlings, especially the Hardhome wildlings — who were all strangers to him.

      As Adam Feldman pointed out, Dany’s peace was successful — but tenuous. It provided a period without bloodshed. But it also required compromise and sacrifice which were very difficult costs (making these efforts all that much more meaningful. I think it was Alt Shift X who said doing the right thing is only meaningful when it costs you. Otherwise, it’s the easy thing.)

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    172. Tron79,

      ”I’m also a bit depressed that King Robert turns out to be right and Ned’s mercy again was the wrong instinct. Uggg.. I was all with Ned to not kill a child before she was a threat. In the real world of Westeros, that seemed like a good call by King Robert. But I’m still with Ned that you don’t go killing innocent children for what might happen.”

      (Serious) Question about “mercy”:
      Varys told [jailed] Ned something like “It was your mercy that killed the King.”
      I was not sure what Varys was referring to:
      • Giving Cersei a head’s up and a head start to leave town with her incest bastard kids before Robert returned from his hunt and Ned would [have to] rat her out?
      • Sparing dying Robert’s feelings (and ego) by not divulging that Cersei had cuckolded him, and that none of his three “Baratheon” children were really his?
      • On a related note, declining to take Joffrey into custody, imprison him, or expose him, as Renly (?) had advised?
      • Inadvertently giving Cersei the motive and time to engineer an assassination by-boar + spiked wine? *
      • Something else? Maybe Ned objecting to the plans of Robert and the Small Council to assassinate pregnant Dany and her unborn child?
      …………..
      * PS I still don’t understand how Cersei would be able to find the hunting party and deliver the spiked wine and instructions to Lancel; OR how she was able to recruit a wild boar into her conspiracy and ensure that the boar would mortally wound Robert. The odds of successfully carrying out such an assassination plot seemed remote at best.
      I could understand if Cersei had hired a skilled and reliable assassin to track down Robert’s hunting party and fire an arrow into him from a discreet location, and frame someone else for the murder, e.g., by planting false evidence pointing to someone else who might want Robert dead.
      The boar + wine plot though, relying on criminal mastermind Lancel Lannister and some anonymous wild animal that may or may not be in the vicinity and may just as likely have been speared by Robert even in his sh*t-faced drunken condition…
      I don’t know. It didn’t seem like Cersei had the luxury of time to stage a “hunting accident” that depended on a host of long-shot variables to succeed. She needed Robert gone ASAP, didn’t she?
      After all, if Robert made it back alive, the sh*t would hit the fan when Ned followed through on his threat to expose her. Surely Cersei couldn’t predict Robert would be grievously injured and that Ned would refrain from telling Robert on his deathbed that his kids were Jaime + Cersei incest bastards.
      Wasn’t Cersei’s regicide plot wight hunt-level ridiculous? (It was something S7 Tyrion “Clever Plans” Lannister might come up with. 🤔)
      …………….
      Anyway, what “mercy that killed the king” was Varys referring to?

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    173. Tron79: Aha! I will await the Lord of Light for its release.

      This made me realize something…

      The countless tribes and clans of the free folk remain worshippers of the old gods of the First Men and children of the forest, the gods of the weirwood trees (some accounts say that there are those who worship different gods: dark gods beneath the ground in the Frostfangs, gods of snow and ice on the Frozen Shore, or crab gods at Storrold’s Point, but such has never been reliably confirmed).

      .“… While the people of WotW worshipped the One True God, R’hllor, the Lord of Light, praying their comments might be released.”

      😉

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    174. Adrianacandle,

      I must have done something really bad to piss off the Lord of Light.🔥 He just caused a long comment to disintegrate into the ether, with no chance of resurrection. I wish I knew what offended him. My comment had no embedded links. No proper nouns. No foul language. There was no error message, or anything to indicate what went wrong or how to correct it.

      “If he’s so all powerful, why doesn’t he just tell you what the f*ck he wants?”

      – Renowned theologian, S. Clegane, PhD.

        Quote  Reply

    175. Ten Bears:
      Adrianacandle,

      I must have done something really bad to piss off the Lord of Light.🔥 He just caused a long comment to disintegrate into the ether, with no chance of resurrection. I wish I knew what offended him. My comment had no embedded links. No proper nouns. No foul language. There was no error message, or anything to indicate what went wrong or how to correct it.

      “If he’s so all powerful, why doesn’t he just tell you what the f*ck he wants?”

      – Renowned theologian, S. Clegane, PhD.

      I have come to believe the LoL’s spam filter is even more mysterious than the LoL himself.

        Quote  Reply

    176. Adrianacandle,

      .“… While the people of WotW worshipped the One True God, R’hllor, the Lord of Light, praying their comments might be released.”

      ——
      Out of desperation, I tried snipping off some hair and burning it, while reciting a prayer.* It didn’t work. 🥵

      *Adapted from S3e5 (Thoros resurrecting Beric)

      “Lord, cast your light upon this man,
      your servant. Bring his words back from death and darkness. His text has been extinguished. Restore it. For the night is dark, and full of terrors.”

      Edit: Maybe I should be blaming the malevolent creator of my iPhone 🍏?

        Quote  Reply

    177. So I’m just about done with The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens novella. I’ll finish it today. I just have a few pages left. After reading the Novella, keeping dragons in the dragon pit was definitely a bad idea!! Dany seems to know her history and in the show even explains to Jon how the dragons got smaller and smaller locked up in the dragon pit. So why did Dany chain her dragons and keep them locked up? Yes, they were “eating whatever they wish”, but the risk to keeping them locked up seemed worse to me, since she knew her history.

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    178. Tron79,

      I believe that was after a farmer came to Dany and said that Drogon had killed his young daughter, Hazzea (who was a child under five I think?) Dany was so plagued with guilt and never wanted that to happen again that, while she couldn’t cage Drogon since he flew away, she managed to lock up Rhaegal and Viserion to prevent them from doing the same. I think her dragons becoming smaller was the lesser of the two evils. Dany wasn’t happy at all about caging her dragons either but I don’t think that was to do with their size.

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    179. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      I believe that was after a farmer came to Dany and said that Drogon had killed his young daughter, Hazzea (who was a child under five I think?) Dany was so plagued with guilt and never wanted that to happen again that, while she couldn’t cage Drogon since he flew away, she managed to lock up Rhaegal and Viserion to prevent them from doing the same. I think her dragons becoming smaller was the lesser of the two evils. Dany wasn’t happy at all about caging her dragons either but I don’t think that was to do with their size.

      Yes, that is what happened. It was horrible that the man’s son was killed, but from knowing her history, I don’t think Dany should have chained her dragons. It wasn’t that they were just smaller. They became very vulnerable.

      to a mob. When the dragons couldn’t fly in the dragon pit they were overwhelmed by thousands of townsfolk. They could burn alot of them, but there were plenty more to take them down. It felt like a good decision as Queen to keep them under control, but she had to know that 4 dragons were killed that way…. The whole dragon pit seemed like a bad idea, so after the history lesson it seems to me that the last thing she would want to do is lock them up. But I do get that she may have felt that the Meereenians (how would you say people that come from Meereen?) may have revolted if she didn’t keep her dragons under control. And yes, it was tragic that the farmer’s child was killed. But it may be more of a safety notice to keep you kids away from your sheep in a world with dragons.

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    180. Tron79,

      Yes, but I think that was one of Dany’s conflicts of the heart. Still, unlike the situation you cited with the dragon pit,

      Dany locked her dragons in a concealed cave, a place the people couldn’t access with ease if at all. It wasn’t open air. It was guarded by boulders. Also, the peace wasn’t broken until the end, after Drogon takes off with Dany. So — to maintain the peace before that point — it wasn’t in the interest of any faction to act against Dany’s dragons.

      Btw, are you leaning toward any one side? Black or Green? 🙂

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    181. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      Yes, but I think that was one of Dany’s conflicts of the heart. Still, unlike the situation you cited with the dragon pit,

      Btw, are you leaning toward any one side? Black or Green? 🙂

      Thinking honestly, I haven’t come down on one side or the other. It’s hard to identify with the characters in the Maester writing style.

      I did enjoy Daemon’s final scene when he wielded Dark Sister and the legend that he may have survived. I also did like Nettle’s story. But I turned against Rhaenyra when she went all paranoid and thought everyone was a traitor including Nettles! That was her downfall. She was doing so well until then!! It will be tough to see her keep losing her children and trying like hell to keep her last son safe.

        Quote  Reply

    182. Tron79,

      Thinking honestly, I haven’t come down on one side or the other. It’s hard to identify with the characters in the Maester writing style.

      It is. It’s more like a historical account than a thinking, feeling story where you can really get to know the characters.

      I did enjoy Daemon’s final scene when he wielded Dark Sister and the legend that he may have survived. I also did like Nettle’s story. But I turned against Rhaenyra when she went all paranoid and thought everyone was a traitor including Nettles! That was her downfall. She was doing so well until then!! It will be tough to see her keep losing her children and trying like hell to keep her last son safe.

      Yeah, I agree. And this is where Rhaenyra totally lost me too — when she went for Nettles, who had done nothing against her and only fought for her.

      I lean more toward Team Black overall but by the end of the story, I don’t think I can declare for either. I admit I’m far less sympathetic to Alicent than Rhaenyra in the beginning but depending on how they flesh out this story in the show, that may change.

      Are you planning on reading The Rogue Prince and Fire & Blood? 🙂

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    183. Adrianacandle,

      I just finished the last page of the story. Such a happy tale 🙂

      Right now I’m thinking I may not read the Rogue Prince if it’s in the same Maester style. But I may change my mind so I can gain some insight to his character, since he definitely will be at the forefront of HotD

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    184. Adrianacandle,

      And..I would be reading Rogue Prince more like a homework assignment. I know for sure I don’t get into reading GRRM’s Maester accounts. However he is very good at describing the dragon battles. And also he is very good at illustrating the stupidity of many a Knight. I guess I find myself more interested in following a character. I get what GRRM is saying about the futility of it all. He enjoys describing the colorful attributes of the characters. He’s looking from afar at the absurdity and horror. It’s a good class assignment but not my cup of tea for reading. It’s also just too many names thrown at me all at once.

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    185. Tron79,

      Right now I’m thinking I may not read the Rogue Prince if it’s in the same Maester style. But I may change my mind so I can gain some insight to his character, since he definitely will be at the forefront of HotD.

      And..I would be reading Rogue Prince more like a homework assignment. I know for sure I don’t get into reading GRRM’s Maester accounts. However he is very good at describing the dragon battles. And also he is very good at illustrating the stupidity of many a Knight. I guess I find myself more interested in following a character. I get what GRRM is saying about the futility of it all. He enjoys describing the colorful attributes of the characters. He’s looking from afar at the absurdity and horror. It’s a good class assignment but not my cup of tea for reading. It’s also just too many names thrown at me all at once.

      Yeah. Kind of feels like homework if that’s not your story telling preference. I don’t mind it but I can see why others would. I like the idea of reading an in-universe book but we lose a lot of character and story details, like you’ve described (following various characters). The in-universe “world books” (like The World of Ice and FIre, Fire & Blood) feel like reading a social studies text rather than knowing these characters up and close like you would a POV character.

      I also think there’s a good chance HotD will be self-contained. Or I hope. With HDM, as one Redditor said, it worked as an extension of the story, not a replacement for the books. The show itself didn’t really set up the lore, rules, and structure of the world as much as it needed to in order to be self-contained, I think. HotD may. I hope.

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    186. Adrianacandle,

      ”Yeah. Kind of feels like homework if that’s not your story telling preference. I don’t mind it but I can see why others would. I like the idea of reading an in-universe book but we lose a lot of character and story details, like you’ve described (following various characters). It feels like reading a social studies text rather than knowing these characters up and close like you would a POV character.”

      That’s why I feel HotD will rise or fall based on the creativity of the writers, and to a lesser extent the charisma of the actors:

      HotD’s writers have an opportunity to flesh out the characters, their motives, and their backstories. Without detail from Big G, they can -and will have to – put “meat” on the bones of the dry historical recitals.

      Without being beholden to an expansive canonical descriptions of characters and events, the writers should also have the flexibility to expand certain characters’ roles. For instance, if they wish they can focus on Nettles as a main character and amplify her story. They can invent their own characters if need be. [See, e.g., Karsi in GoT.] They can breathe life into two-dimensional, barely-mentioned figures in the fictional Maester’s accounts in Fire & Blood.

      The results could be phenomenal if done well; disastrous if done recklessly.

      Another thing: ….

      (to be continued)

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    187. Adrianacandle,

      I am glad I read The Princess and the Queen story. I did get a better idea of what may be in store for us in the show. I know a little more about what roles Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy will be playing. Knowing it was a novella and less than 100 pages helped!! I don’t think I could handle the length of Fire and Blood in that style. But I very well may read The Rogue Prince as homework since it’s a novella. I’m sure it will give me some good insights into Matt Smith’s role.

        Quote  Reply

    188. Ten Bears,

      That’s why I feel HotD will rise or fall based on the creativity of the writers, and to a lesser extent the charisma of the actors:

      This reminds me of a course I taught called “Biblio-drama”.
      It actually was a fun class for teens. We took stories from the bible. The Torah/Bible only gives you the basic details of what happens. Then the teens had to either create a character who lived there or take one of the characters mentioned in the story and give us that character’s perspective of the events. They wrote their own script and acted out the scene in an attempt to bring the story more to life and experience it. The kids had fun. Mostly they liked figuring out some makeshift costumes from my classroom closet. I feel like the writers of HotD will have lots of leeway to come up with creative scripts to help us feel like we are living in those times with Alicent, Rhaenyra, Daemon, Nettles, and more.

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    189. Adrianacandle,

      … And another thing, which also ties into the question of pledging to Team Black or Team Green:

      Whether it’s because of casting directors’ shrewdness, actors’ talents, directors’ skill, intangibles, just plain luck, or a combination thereof, we might be drawn to one team or the other by how we perceive Rhaenyra and Alicent
      once we see them on screen as portrayed by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, respectively.

      The two characters may be equally devious and loathsome on the printed page. Yet, by the time we see them deliver their lines there may be something ineffable (call it charisma, screen presence, inhabiting a role, or whatever) that draws us to one or the other.

      Because I was enamored with Lena Headey, in S8 of GoT I was tempted to declare for Team Pachyderm. 🐘🐘🐘🐘

      Though I’d never heard about Rory McCann and wasn’t familiar with the books or the Hound, I found myself rooting for the foul-mouthed killing machine played by Rory McCann. 🐓 🐓 I’m not so sure I would’ve felt that way had any other actor been cast. (I also suspect – though I have no proof to back it up – that GoT’s showrunners expanded the role of Sandor Clegane after they realized they had struck gold with his casting – and his undeniable chemistry with his “traveling companion.”)
      The flip side of that, I would suggest, was the show’s Dorne Detour. They got terrific young actresses to play the Sand Snakes and popular choice Alexander Siddig for Doran, hyped them in the run-up to S5, and yet… the end product apparently proved to be so underwhelming that the showrunners pulled the plug on Doran and abridged the Sand Snakes storyline. [I wished they had excised Euron entirely and gave his screen time to Theon/Alfie Allen and Jon & Arya, but that’s another story…]

      I guess the bottom line is that with HotD, the sparseness of the source material can be a blessing or a curse.

      And there may be no way to forecast right now whether Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, whomever is cast as Nettles, or someone else becomes fan favorite(s).
      Depending on the scripts and acting performances, even a dastardly character can evoke sympathy, or become someone we “love to hate.” [See GoT show! Cersei.] We may find ourselves rooting for or against a character without quite knowing why – and feeling guilty about it.
      Conversely, we may look forward to seeing a highly touted actor or book! character appear on screen, only to hit the fast-forward on our remotes when we watch the show. [ *cough* High Sparrow & Euron *cough*]

      For better or worse, the HotD we see in 2022 may bear little resemblance to GRRM’s barebones depiction of the Dance of Dragons.

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    190. Tron79: I am glad I read The Princess and the Queen story. I did get a better idea of what may be in store for us in the show. I know a little more about what roles Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy will be playing. Knowing it was a novella and less than 100 pages helped!! I don’t think I could handle the length of Fire and Blood in that style. But I very well may read The Rogue Prince as homework since it’s a novella. I’m sure it will give me some good insights into Matt Smith’s role.

      Yeah, I think that’s understandable. And the show does give some motivation to read these novellas. It’s true that the world books are pretty lengthy and can be pretty dry if you’re not already invested in the characters. Maybe after HotD starts airing, they’ll be of more interest but otherwise, as a starting point, they are just a bunch of similar sounding names doing this, that, and the other thing 😉

      Ten Bears,

      I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said!

      Whether it’s because of casting directors’ shrewdness, actors’ talents, directors’ skill, intangibles, just plain luck, or a combination thereof, we might be drawn to one team or the other by how we perceive Rhaenyra and Alicent
      once we see them on screen as portrayed by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, respectively.

      This is why, though I lean toward Team Black based on the novellas and Fire & Blood, I’m so far holding out. How this story is realized on-screen (rather than a historical account) will probably ultimately sway me as well.

      They can still be equally deplorable characters but if they’re interesting, fascinating, and I can feel for them (better yet, if they have a great sense of humour), I’m going to be invested.

      For instance, Mrs Coulter is my favourite HDM character (who shares more than one thing in common with Cersei) and she’s…. terrible (which I think is being generous). But oh, do I find her fascinating and when you read the books/watch the show, I can go into why! 🙂

      I’ve had favourite characters on other shows who are also “love to hate” or sometimes, as I term them, “misunderstood” 😉

      I can see that being the case for either Alicent or Rhaenyra.

      Plus, if Alicent is played more like Margaery, as Max speculated, that could do quite a bit in making her sympathetic (although I’d argue, while there are similarities, the situations of Alicent and Margaery have differences).

      I guess the bottom line is that with HotD, the sparseness of the source material can be a blessing or a curse.

      Definitely. To compare a bit, even though HDM is a fully realized and completed story, I think it still suffered from issues in adequately portraying the structure, rules, and set-up of the world the story was taking place in so some stuff is pretty confusing without the context of the books. With HotD, it is based on a complete historical account but I have hope those writers will do a better job in setting up the world so that it is self-contained and making these historical characters feel real.

      I’m also hoping we get more Nettles and she’s made into more of a main character than a third or fourth-tier character. I’m hoping for something more like a secondary character status.

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    191. Ten Bears,

      Even so, did D.B. Weiss’ explanation ring true for you?

      Thank you for this question, but I don’t consider his opinion to be relevant. As Young Dragon (I believe) noted, what the producers put on the screen is canon, everything they say about it is mere commentary.

      For me, watching “The Bells” at home for the first time, Dany’s destruction of a city didn’t surprise me at all. She’d threatened to destroy multiple cities in the past, and had been restrained by her advisors. Now her advisors were either all dead or had lost her trust, so she destroyed the city. I thought it was a natural outcome of giving a young and uncertain ruler that much power; we’d seen it in miniature already, with Joffrey. Fear ensures obedience, fear takes less effort to earn than does respect, and dead people don’t rise up in rebellion.

      External to Dany, the story had given us adequate foreshadowings:

      — Oleanna Tyrell told Dany the Lords of Westeros were “sheep,” and Dany should be a “dragon.” This was a clear reference to Drogon carrying off sheep in Essos, and later kidnapping, burning, and eating a human child there.

      — Cersei had eliminated her rivals by destroying the Sept of Baelor with wildfire. Dany (in her own mind) solved all of her future rulership problems by destroying the rest of the city. (The image of Cersei smiling in envy, as Dany commits her Inferno, with the little green squibs of wildfire looking puny against explosive dragonfire, made this point with silent gusto.)

      So, neither Weiss’ explanation, nor anyone else’s, holds any relevance for me, because no explanation was necessary: Dany’s Inferno was, to this viewer at least, a logical and straightforward outcome for her story.

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    192. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      Thank you for this question, but I don’t consider his opinion to be relevant. As Young Dragon (I believe) noted, what the producers put on the screen is canon, everything they say about it is mere commentary.

      I think this is a personal choice a viewer makes (ie. ‘Death of the Author’, a literary theory and a fairly controversial one). I wouldn’t consider what D&D saying about the story they’ve put together to be “mere commentary” (on the same level as viewer commentary) since, unlike the viewer, they are scripting and writing the story with specific intentions and things in mind.

      However, whether a viewer accepts or rejects the writers’ intent or statements is, of course, up to the viewer. Nobody can make them 😉 The reason I don’t think I’d consider the writers’ commentary viewer commentary is because they are the ones creating the story and making choices in its creation (where viewers don’t have that choice or power) so I’d consider their intention to be important in evaluating the story and canon.

      Now her advisors were either all dead or had lost her trust, so she destroyed the city. I thought it was a natural outcome of giving a young and uncertain ruler that much power; we’d seen it in miniature already, with Joffrey. Fear ensures obedience, fear takes less effort to earn than does respect, and dead people don’t rise up in rebellion.

      Well, I think there are quite a few differences between Dany and Joffrey though. Joffrey, for one, lacked complete empathy and didn’t even try to help anyone else. I’d argue Dany certainly did.

      Additionally, in 8×06, Dany word-for-word viewed their deaths as “liberation”, declaring them “liberated” when they’re all… dead. I didn’t see any wordage about Dany wanting to prevent rebellion by doing so. I’d argue that she was sparking rebellion by doing so (ala Daeron I Targaryen).

      Oleanna Tyrell told Dany the Lords of Westeros were “sheep,” and Dany should be a “dragon.” This was a clear reference to Drogon carrying off sheep in Essos, and later kidnapping, burning, and eating a human child there.

      I can see how this would be your interpretation but I don’t think this was a clear reference to that. For me, I think this is a bit of a stretch. Also, a nitpick: it’s never really confirmed Drogon did kidnap, burn, or eat that human child. Dany only believes it to be so and Dany locks up her dragons as a result.

      Cersei had eliminated her rivals by destroying the Sept of Baelor with wildfire. Dany (in her own mind) solved all of her future rulership problems by destroying the rest of the city. (The image of Cersei smiling in envy, as Dany commits her Inferno, with the little green squibs of wildfire looking puny against explosive dragonfire, made this point with silent gusto.)

      Well, to reiterate what I said above, Dany (on-screen — in 8×06 at least) appeared to view what she was doing as a “liberation” of the people and Cersei made her do it (though… Cersei didn’t since the city was all surrendered and stuff), not a suppression of potential revolt. I don’t know that I’d agree Cersei was smiling in envy but I’d say this goes down to subjective facial expression reception.

      However, I know that we’re ultimately divided on this action of Dany’s so I accept that 🙂

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    193. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: Thank you for this question, but I don’t consider his opinion to be relevant. As Young Dragon (I believe) noted, what the producers put on the screen is canon, everything they say about it is mere commentary.

      Wait…you don’t consider the opinion of the writers to be relevant, but what they choose to put on screen is relevant?

      I could understand this statement if D&D were merely putting on screen exactly what they were told to put on screen word for word, action for action, without any input of their own, but that clearly wasn’t the case. They weren’t some silent partners in all this. GRRM gave them the basic outlines of major plot points and left the details up to D&D.

      Their opinions should give tremendous insight into their motivations for choosing to put on screen what they put on screen. Not just the what, but the why.

      It’s like if you’re writing a song. Someone gives you the main chords and leaves the details of the melody and arrangement up to you. The person writing the arrangement should be able to articulate what they did and why they chose to do it.

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    194. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      And thank you for your replies to my question:

      ” For me, watching “The Bells” at home for the first time, Dany’s destruction of a city didn’t surprise me at all. She’d threatened to destroy multiple cities in the past, and had been restrained by her advisors. Now her advisors were either all dead or had lost her trust, so she destroyed the city.”

      As Adrianacandle observed, there were significant differences from her past threats.
      Foremost (for me) was that in S6e9, when she related her plan to destroy the Masters’ armies and return their cities to the dirt (including civilians), she was under heavy attack by an armada of an enemy who had reneged on a negotiated peace plan. In “The Bells,” she had already won the battle. The enemy had surrendered.

      Also, Tyrion (in perhaps one of his last good ideas before his lobotomy), wisely counseled a proportionate response: In a show of force designed to instill fear, and serve as a warning to anyone who might even think about subverting her rule, she steam broiled one ship, forcing the Masters to capitulate.

      I’m reluctant to cite historical parallels. Here goes anyway:
      In WWII, Allied forces targeted civilian populations with WMDs (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) to force the aggressor to surrender right away, and to avoid anticipated massive casualties of their own that they’d have to suffer if they tried to end the war by “conventional” means. (I’m not a history buff, so I can’t say what firebombing the city of Dresden was supposed to accomplish. However, it did occur while the war was still raging – unlike Dany’s firebombing of KL.)

      ”I thought it was a natural outcome of giving a young and uncertain ruler that much power; we’d seen it in miniature already, with Joffrey.”

      Well, calling Joffrey “a young and uncertain ruler” is being a bit too kind, isn’t it? He was a “vicious idiot” ( – Tyrion); a “monster” ( – Sansa) who “really was a c*nt” ( – Olenna ). “The little sh*t deserved to die.” (Sandor). 🤓
      I’m not sure the Dany-Joffrey comparison is apt.

      ”Fear ensures obedience, fear takes less effort to earn than does respect, and dead people don’t rise up in rebellion.”

      That sounds like a mashup of the philosophies of Stannis and Sandor:
      “If they don’t fear you they won’t follow you” (Stannis) + “Dead rats don’t squeak” (Sandor).

      Seriously though, Dany had already instilled more than enough “fear”: She had vaporized the vaunted Golden Company in three seconds. She had incinerated the Iron Fleet and Qyburn’s Scorpions. The Lannister Army soldiers had thrown down their weapons. The “shock and awe” demonstration couldn’t have gone better.

      More important, while it’s true that “dead people can’t rise up in rebellion” (because, to paraphrase Sandor, dead folks can’t squeak), dead people can’t fear you either.
      Because they’re dead.

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    195. Mr Derp,

      Wait…you don’t consider the opinion of the writers to be relevant, but what they choose to put on screen is relevant?

      To reiterate, D&D neither created these characters, nor these characters’ motivations. GRRM did all of that. We don’t know how much detail he gave to D&D when he told them his fate for each character, but I rather doubt he intends to have Jon kill Dany in a lovers’ quarrel. If we ever do get to read his ending, I would be greatly surprised for it to differ from D&D’s ending in anything other than scale. (Lacking D&D’s constraints of time and budget, he might have her incinerate half of Westeros before Jon kills her.)

      Even after all that, the reason I don’t care about D&D’s explanation is I don’t care about anyone’s explanation. The story provided sufficient basis for me to believe that Dany was perfectly capable of doing what she did, and so I need no external explanations; the story itself suffices as a complete explanation, at least to this viewer. Every other viewer has a perfect right to disagree with me, of course.

      (Note that I have repeatedly praised our fellow commenter, Jai, for providing an excellent summary of what we saw on screen to explain Dany’s behavior. I have praised it not for being an external explanation, but for being the opposite: Jai neatly summarized what the story had already shown us.)

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    196. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      To reiterate, D&D neither created these characters, nor these characters’ motivations. GRRM did all of that. We don’t know how much detail he gave to D&D when he told them his fate for each character, but I rather doubt he intends to have Jon kill Dany in a lovers’ quarrel.

      I’d say D&D are responsible for the show version of the characters since they were the ones writing these characters and these endings for the show and had final say in that (not GRRM). Meanwhile, GRRM has final say over the books so I guess I’d divide it as show canon and book canon.

      As GRRM himself said, it’s a version of his ending. I’d say there’d certainly be differences between book 6+ and seasons 6-8 (D&D have already pointed out some differences such as Sansa’s story being different from what GRRM had planned for her since they wanted to expand her role) but those differences are still canon to the show. Though perhaps, not to the books.

      I’d say the lover-kills-lover story is pretty GRRM-esque, especially considering his focus on “the human heart in conflict with itself”, which I believe GRRM said is the only thing worth writing about. GRRM came up with the whole Nissa Nissa/Azor Ahai thing, there’s speculation if valonqar is Jaime (which would have him kill his sister-lover Cersei), and there’s likes in Jon’s chapters like, ““Last night he had dreamed of Sam drowning, of Ygritte dying with his arrow in her (it had not been his arrow, but in his dreams it always was), of Gilly weeping tears of blood.” I also wouldn’t term it a lover’s quarrel since it was pertaining to Dany’s mass murder and continued destruction in what she felt was “good”.

      If we ever do get to read his ending, I would be greatly surprised for it to differ from D&D’s ending in anything other than scale. (Lacking D&D’s constraints of time and budget, he might have her incinerate half of Westeros before Jon kills her.)

      Oh, I’m certainly hoping it’s more nuanced than that consider GRRM’s multiple quotes on moral ambiguity and characters having both good and bad in them. But I would agree we’ve got just about the bare bones of the whole thing. We just don’t know where the differences are. For instance, I think Young Griff will be the one who is beloved of Westeros while Dany and Jon are regarded warily at best.

      (Note that I have repeatedly praised our fellow commenter, Jai, for providing an excellent summary of what we saw on screen to explain Dany’s behavior. I have praised it not for being an external explanation, but for being the opposite: Jai neatly summarized what the story had already shown us.)

      With respect to Jai, I wouldn’t agree with her assessment of Dany. I believe she(?) regards Dany as a psychopath and I don’t think Dany hits nearly all points to qualify as a psychopath (I’d even argue Dany’s book counterpart is softer) since Dany does have the capacity for love, she has had genuinely good motives and intentions in quite a few situations, and she does have empathy. I’d even call her more progressive than characters like Sansa and Margaery in her efforts to help (who she views as) people who are oppressed (though on the other end, Dany has darker impulses than Sansa).

      Dany certainly has dark impulses, dark instincts, but in the books particularly, Dany makes an active effort to fight against those. I’d consider that book canon 🙂

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    197. Ten Bears: Because I was enamored with Lena Headey, in S8 of GoT I was tempted to declare for Team Pachyderm. 🐘🐘🐘🐘

      I forgot to include this in my original response to you but I laughed out loud (in a store) at this XD;;;

      #Team Pachyderm

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    198. Adrianacandle,

      *and there’s *stuff in Jon’s chapters like[…]

      *hoping it’s more nuanced than that considering GRRM’s multiple quotes on moral ambiguity[…]

      (The perils of writing on my phone!)

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    199. Petra #4:

      Dragons
      They’re the ultimate wish fulfillment pet and mode of transportation and in HOTD they’re going to be everywhere! Again, I’ve expressed my thoughts on dragons at length elsewhere (*cough* *cough*). I just hope that they’re treated as characters with personalities and not as weaponized Alexas.

      If these are really robots and not CGI, perhaps the folks who made them can take a crack at dragons with personalities.

      Oh, and PS ⚠️
      Musical Interlude

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn3KWM1kuAw

      🤖🤖
      The Contours, “Do You Love Me” (1962)

        Quote  Reply

    200. Adrianacandle,

      But I would agree we’ve got just about the bare bones of the whole thing.

      I agree completely, and for the entire story, not just the ending. Game of Thrones was either the shortest possible coherent screen adaptation of A Song of Ice & Fire possible, or darned near close to it. The economy of storytelling alone makes Game an impressive accomplishment, at least for this viewer and reader.

      (On the economy of storytelling idea, I recently watched Ava, which also packs a huge amount of excellent material into a slender running time, in this case 96 minutes. Spy thriller or character study? You decide!)

      For the Game version of Dany, I agree completely with Jai about Dany having inherited the psychopathic neurotype from her father. Dany repeatedly fails to show the slightest hint of fear, even when facing death in the Fighting Pit. She rides around on Drogon as if she’s totally untouchable, even after being shown how vulnerable a dragon in flight can be. Like you, I believe the more-nuanced version of Dany in the books may not have as easy an explanation.

        Quote  Reply

    201. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      I agree completely, and for the entire story, not just the ending. Game of Thrones was either the shortest possible coherent screen adaptation of A Song of Ice & Fire possible, or darned near close to it. The economy of storytelling alone makes Game an impressive accomplishment, at least for this viewer and reader.

      Especially for the first several seasons, I think Game of Thrones is a notable feat — they managed to condense the very vast and complex word of ASOIAF into something that can be told on television. Not only that, they propelled a fantasy show into a worldwide phenomenon and pop culture icon so much so that I remember people who never watched Game of Thrones being referred to as NeverThroners — like not having watched this TV show was more the rarity XD

      For the Game version of Dany, I agree completely with Jai about Dany having inherited the psychopathic neurotype from her father. Dany repeatedly fails to show the slightest hint of fear, even when facing death in the Fighting Pit. She rides around on Drogon as if she’s totally untouchable, even after being shown how vulnerable a dragon in flight can be.

      Well, I don’t think this is indicative of psychopathy. Could be of something else! But I don’t think it’s indicative of Dany being a psychopath.

      At the same time (and at the risk of sounding like a metal health activist), I think there’s a danger to diagnosing real-world disorders without the proper qualifications (as it can lead to misunderstandings of conditions real people suffer, increasing stigma and frustration for sufferers of these conditions or for people who have loved ones with these conditions).

      Like you, I believe the more-nuanced version of Dany in the books may not have as easy an explanation.

      I do think Dany is pretty nuanced and complex, particularly in the books, and I, personally, hope for more nuanced situations in the books of some stuff if those books ever come out 🙂 Though it might not be down to an inherited disorder, not only because I think Dany’s character is more than her blood. I think the diagnosis and examination of that is pretty complex and is likely to include a variety of factors that go far beyond genetics. The understanding of how genetics and mental health connect is not even really understood currently but still the subject of exploration.

        Quote  Reply

    202. Adrianacandle,

      There’s another ingredient in the mix when if comes to Daenerys. I think it’s called a “Messianic Complex” or something.

      When you’ve got magical fireproofing and you’ve magically hatched baby dragons from fossilized eggs, you’re bound to think you’re something special.

      Combine that with an entire religious order touting you as the savior sent by god to remake the world (see below) and you’re bound to start believing your own hype and self-entitlement.

      • S5e3, Volantis Red Priestess (Rila Fukushima):
      The Lord of Light “has sent you a savior!
      From the fire she was reborn to remake the world! The Dragon Queen!”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp1i0WIphWg

      ——-
      S6e5 Kinvara, High Priestess of the Red Temple
      (Ania Bukstein):
      “Daenerys Stormborn is the one who was promised. From the fire she was reborn to remake the world…
      “Her dragons are fire made flesh. A gift from the Lord of Light.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJP9o6QMk-E

      (starting at ~ 1:45)

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    203. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, true. I think that was a bit more emphasized in the show whereas in the books, it’s not as much. I think part of Dany’s drive is trying to forge a connection to her lost family with the throne, trying to find a home that has always eluded her (thus her looking for a house with a red door everywhere she goes), not wanting to be the last, and yes, realize what she’s been led to believe is her purpose.

      Kinvara is a show-only character. Dany has heard her brother Rhaegar (via vision) talk about “the song of ice and fire” and “the dragon must have three heads,” as part of her House of the Undying vision:

      “Will you make a song for him?” the woman asked.

      “He has a song,” the man replied. “He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.” He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany’s, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. “There must be one more,” he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. “The dragon has three heads.” He went to the window seat, picked up a harp, and ran his fingers lightly over its silvery strings. Sweet sadness filled the room as man and wife and babe faded like the morning mist, only the music lingering behind to speed her on her way.

      There is a character Quaithe (a shadowbinder from Asshai) who provides cryptic cautionings to Dany:

      “Here me, Daenerys Targaryen. The glass candles are burning. (The anti-magic and anti-Targaryen maesters?) Soon comes the pale mare, (the plague that infects Meereen) and after her the others. Kraken (Victarion or Euron Grejoy?) and dark flame (Red Preist Moqorro?), lion (Tyrion?) and griffin (Jon Connington?), the sun’s son (Quentyn Martell?) and the mummer’s dragon (Young Griff?). Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal.” (Reznak or Varys, who has raised Young Griff?)

      “Reznak? Why should I fear him?” Dany rose from the pool. Water trickled down her legs, and gooseflesh covered her arms in the cool night air. “If you have some warning for me, speak plainly. What do you want of me, Quaithe?”

      “To show you the way.”

      Meanwhile, Maester Aemon believes Dany is TPTWP and implores Sam to find her but I don’t think we get anything quite on the level that Kinvara was speaking of. But I could be blanking on something.

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    204. Although I’ve sort of covered it when wishing folks Merry Xmas I’ll wish you a Happy New Year for tomorrow and don’t get too blotto!!!! Do folks use ‘blotto’ for drunk in N. America/Canada (or Australia and New Zealand for that matter). It may be getting a bit old-fashioned even in the UK. I’m going to make an attempt today to do what masquerades with me for housework/tidying up but when the old brainbox has awoken from holiday mood perhaps I’ll try to do some fan casting/serious thinking about matters raised in Petra’s article.

        Quote  Reply

    205. Ten Bears:
      Adrianacandle,

      There’s another ingredient in the mix when if comes to Daenerys. I think it’s called a “Messianic Complex” or something.

      When you’ve got magical fireproofing and you’ve magically hatched baby dragons from fossilized eggs, you’re bound to think you’re something special.

      Combine that with an entire religious order touting you as the savior sent by god to remake the world (see below) and you’re bound to start believing your own hype and self-entitlement.

      I definitely think this was a BIG part of Dany’s personality, and also of Targaryens and Valyrians before them. As I said in one of my previous comments, I wonder how much was “Targaryen madness” an actual “mental illness” and how much this self-entitlement and some sort of superiority complex. In case of Dany, I would go as far as to say that she could have as well developed a “compulsive need” to be loved and followed. I don’t even need to go in late seasons for that… in my humble opinion, one example could be her tantrum when Spice King refused to make an investment. Another example that I could list could be her numerous titles that she always had Missandei recite… to boost her empowered self-image. And when things didn’t go this way, then her rage emerged and there we have this big contrast between Slaver’s Bay, where she was greeted as savior, and Westeros, where she was greeted as conqueror.

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    206. Don’t take me for my word because I’m not even fully sure myself, but when I was searching for some Dany articles on the web, I think I came upon a statement how Emilia Clarke actually “fought” for more humanizing Dany scenes in later seasons because in original script, Dany was usually stone-cold. It made me wonder how many of those “warm smiling Dany” were actually scripted… But as I said, I don’t remember exact statement and whether it was from actual source.

        Quote  Reply

    207. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: I definitely think this was a BIG part of Dany’s personality, and also of Targaryens and Valyrians before them. As I said in one of my previous comments, I wonder how much was “Targaryen madness” an actual “mental illness” and how much this self-entitlement and some sort of superiority complex. In case of Dany, I would go as far as to say that she could have as well developed a “compulsive need” to be loved and followed. I don’t even need to go in late seasons for that… in my humble opinion, one example could be her tantrum when Spice King refused to make an investment. Another example that I could list could be her numerous titles that she always had Missandei recite… to boost her empowered self-image. And when things didn’t go this way, then her rage emerged and there we have this big contrast between Slaver’s Bay, where she was greeted as savior, and Westeros, where she was greeted as conqueror.

      Some Tagaryens but I don’t think this is applicable to nearly all Targaryens.

      As for Dany, I think this was more emphasized in the show and not so much in the books. She’s not a stone-cold character, especially not in the books where she neither makes threats to burn cities, she does not have a noble fed to her dragons to send a message, she does not lock Xaro and Doreah in a vault to starve to death in response to their betrayal, and she doesn’t really speak of destiny. Instead, these are other characters who are speaking about Dany (when Dany’s not often around).

      As for incidents in the books that were not featured in the show, Dany has the daughters of a wineseller “questioned sharply” (which is implied to be torture) for information on the killings of freedmen (including Mossador, who Dany has executed in the show for disobeying orders and killing a Harpy before trial). And while awful, it is a tactic employed by other characters in the series for information, including by Qhorin Halfhand when he “questions” an imprisoned wildling — which is usually an implication that some torture was involved (or otherwise, why would the wildling speak?)

      Plus, the Night’s Watch employ ice cells to help get prisoners to break. The Vale uses sky cells.

      Dany does put off taking the Iron Throne when she has an opportunity to do her duty to Meereen, she puts herself at risk to aid the Astapori refugees who she feels responsible for because of her guilt over how she handled taking Astapor. She is unable to kill the child hostages, even when pushed. She fights against her dark urges because she does not want to be her father and opts for compromise and sacrifice. She does laugh and smile quite a bit in the books, even making some jokes sometimes.

      Dany isn’t just this unfeeling stone-cold killer who has an unusual entitlement for what she views as her birthright.

      I’ve also seen Dany be called entitled for wanting to take back her family’s former seat. True, Dany certainly has some entitlement issues (I didn’t like her conduct with the Spice King in the show for instance when he refused to invest in her conquest). I, myself, was even getting frustrated with those in the show myself at points.

      However, there’s also another side to this: if viewing your family’s seat (from which your family has since been overthrown) is entitlement, is Sansa entitled for wanting to take Winterfell back in the show? She demands Jon have the wildlings fight for Winterfell because Jon helped to save them and therefore, “they owe [him] their lives.” For something Jon doesn’t even want to fight for and that’s certainly not why Jon brought them south of the Wall. Jon had just come back from the dead at this point. Sansa also demands Lord Glover honor his ancestor’s oath to the Starks — but the Starks have since been overthrown and the North was legally taken over by the Boltons. Should Glover have to honour his family’s oath because it’s Sansa who is asking, even when his family members died because Robb broke his oath to the Freys and married for love? On the subject of Robb, is Robb entitled to wage war to avenge his father’s death and succeed from the crown because the Northern lords don’t find any of the options for Iron Throne claimants (Joffrey, Stannis, Renly) appealing? The smallfolk aren’t clamouring for Robb to be king or to make the North independent, they’re the ones suffering from this war. They’re the ones being raided and reaped by Stark and Lannister bannermen alike. The noble lords of the North are pushing for independence. The soldiers doing the fighting and the smallfolk get zero say and they’re the ones who suffer the most.

      And stuff like having your allies decimated due to failed plans and being angry about it, as Petra pointed out in a video essay, is a reasonable emotion. Being enraged when the masters break their promise and attack your city is a reasonable emotion. I don’t think this is bizarre rage.

      Yes, Dany certainly has some entitlement issues and rage but I don’t think her character should be limited to only her negative aspects.

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    208. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      Just to clarify, this isn’t about whether Dany’s fall made sense or not. Everyone’s already drawn their lines in the sand on that.

      I just find it a bit odd that the writer’s opinions don’t count to you when they are the ones creating the cannon as well as the motivation for why characters do what they do onscreen.

      GRRM gave D&D very basic outlines, as you yourself have said many times. D&D were left to fill in a lot of the blanks. They were given creative control over everything. They were only given what, like 3-4 moments in the show to follow? When you’re given such little direction, it is entirely up to D&D to come up with the cannon and character motivations. Their opinion has to matter.

      Disagreeing with their opinion is one thing, but saying their opinion doesn’t matter at all is a stretch to this viewer.

        Quote  Reply

    209. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: Don’t take me for my word because I’m not even fully sure myself, but when I was searching for some Dany articles on the web, I think I came upon a statement how Emilia Clarke actually “fought” for more humanizing Dany scenes in later seasons because in original script, Dany was usually stone-cold. It made me wonder how many of those “warm smiling Dany” were actually scripted… But as I said, I don’t remember exact statement and whether it was from actual source.

      I think you may be thinking of this passage from the Hibberd book?

      EMILIA CLARKE: There was a number of times I was like, “Why are you giving me that note?” While I am consistently a “How can I help” kind of person, there were a few moments where I was like, “Don’t tell me what to do with my girl, I know what to do!” It’s like Daenerys’s calling card became cold expressionlessness. I always wanted to infuse that with some humanity because no one’s consistently that. I would sometimes fight back a little: “I get that she has to be steely and unforgiving and a powerful force. But in this moment she’s also a goddamn human being. So I’m going to give you that and I really pray that you take that in the edit.”

      I think Emilia’s got a point: few are cold and expressionless all the time. And her statement has precedence and support if we’re considering Dany in the books and I believe Emilia has read the books. Dany isn’t cold and expressionless nearly all the time in the books. She laughs, she smiles, she jokes, she teases. She throws fruit at Xaro’s nose when he tells her she should have married him:

      [Xaro] “Who? The Pureborn? They have water in their veins. The Spicers? There are curds between their ears. And the Undying are all dead. You should have taken me to husband. I am almost certain that I asked you for your hand. Begged you, even.”

      “Only half a hundred times,” Dany teased. “You gave up too easily, my lord. For I must marry, all agree.”

      “A khaleesi must have a khal,” said Irri, as she filled the queen’s cup once again. “This is known.”

      “Shall I ask again?” wondered Xaro. “No, I know that smile. It is a cruel queen who dices with men’s hearts. Humble merchants like myself are no more than stones beneath your jeweled sandals.” A single tear ran slowly down his pale white cheek.

      Dany knew him too well to be moved. Qartheen men could weep at will. “Oh, stop that.” She took a cherry from the bowl on the table and threw it at his nose. “I may be a young girl, but I am not so foolish as to wed a man who finds a fruit platter more enticing than my breast. I saw which dancers you were watching.”

      Xaro wiped away his tear. “The same ones Your Grace was following, I believe. You see, we are alike. If you will not take me for your husband, I am content to be your slave.”

      “I want no slave. I free you.” His jeweled nose made a tempting target. This time Dany threw an apricot at him.”

      I don’t think this passage, even when dealing with a serious matter and with a man Dany isn’t exactly over the moon about, is stone-cold 😉

      In another instance, she jokes with Barristan while spending hours receiving the Meereenese people who come to her with various petitions, complaints, concerns, and pleas for help:

      The slippers the Butcher King had sent her had grown too uncomfortable. Dany kicked them off and sat with one foot tucked beneath her and the other swinging back and forth. It was not a very regal pose, but she was tired of being regal. The crown had given her a headache, and her buttocks had gone to sleep. “Ser Barristan,” she called, “I know what quality a king needs most.”

      “Courage, Your Grace?”

      “Cheeks like iron,” she teased. “All I do is sit.”

      Add to that, Emilia has no power over what D&D ultimately chose to go with. She can give them edits, she can give them various takes, she can give them suggestions — but it’s up to D&D as they make the final decision.

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    210. Dame of Mercia,

      ”Do folks use ‘blotto’ for drunk in N. America/Canada (or Australia and New Zealand for that matter)?”

      Not where I am in N. America, but they should. “Blotto” is an excellent word for sh*t-faced drunk.

      On a related note, I’ve often wondered: Why has “bollocks” caught on here in the U.S. ?
      I’m not even sure what it means or how to use it properly.*

      * I had drafted a longer version of this question incorporating a “Six Degrees of Game of Thrones” type illustration involving Selyse Baratheon (Tara Fitzgerald), the friendly Lannister soldier who offers Arya food in S7e1 (Billy Postlethwaite, Pete Postlethwaite’s son), and the song “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba – which encompasses both “bollocks” and “blotto.” 🥃🍸🍻🍺🍷
      I think I’ll hold off on that for now.

        Quote  Reply

    211. Dame of Mercia: Although I’ve sort of covered it when wishing folks Merry Xmas I’ll wish you a Happy New Year for tomorrow and don’t get too blotto!!!!

      Happy New Year to you too, Dame, and to everyone here :)!

      Ten Bears: I had drafted a longer version of this question incorporating a “Six Degrees of Game of Thrones” type illustration involving Selyse Baratheon (Tara Fitzgerald), the friendly Lannister soldier who offers Arya food in S7e1 (Billy Postlethwaite, Pete Postlethwaite’s son), and the song “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba – which encompasses both “bollocks” and “blotto.” 🥃🍸🍻🍺🍷
      I think I’ll hold off on that for now.

      If you get the desire, I enjoy sex-degrees-of[…] stuff!

        Quote  Reply

    212. Mr Derp,

      I just find it a bit odd that the writer’s opinions don’t count to you when they are the ones creating the cannon as well as the motivation for why characters do what they do onscreen. […] Disagreeing with their opinion is one thing, but saying their opinion doesn’t matter at all is a stretch to this viewer.

      I neither agree nor disagree with the explanation Weiss gave for exactly how Dany made her decision to torch King’s Landing. I simply do not care enough (or care at all, really) to agree or to disagree. I have no need to care, because Weiss and Benihoff had already given me an explanation of Dany’s behavior, contained entirely within the previous 71.5 episodes of Game of Thrones. They had done their jobs as storytellers, fully and completely, and so perfectly, as to render any further effort on their parts superfluous.

      My own interpretation of exactly that same scene has Dany make her decision not merely because of what she sees when looking across King’s Landing at the Red Keep, but also because of what she hears. She hears bells ringing frantically across the city, as the terrified townspeople beg her not to hurt them. She hears nothing from the Red Keep. Cersei has not signaled for surrender, despite her own position now being hopeless. And, despite Cersei obviously not having a future as Queen (or at all, most likely), no one in the Red Keep dares ring any bells.

      In Slavers’ Bay, where she arrived a total stranger, she was a liberator to be loved. In King’s Landing, where she considers herself finally to be home, she is nothing more than (yet another) conqueror to be feared. Slaves rose to help her liberate them; the freemen of King’s Landing cower in fear of both her and of Cersei, equally. Oleanna was right, the people of Westeros are nothing better than sheep, to be slaughtered as Dany sees fit.

      Now, add Weiss’ explanation, which harmonizes perfectly with what I have just written, but also is not needed. See? I neither agree, disagree, nor care about his opinion, because I have no need to do so. All I need do is recall the story he told.

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    213. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: My own interpretation of exactly that same scene has Dany make her decision not merely because of what she sees when looking across King’s Landing at the Red Keep, but also because of what she hears. She hears bells ringing frantically across the city, as the terrified townspeople beg her not to hurt them. She hears nothing from the Red Keep. Cersei has not signaled for surrender, despite her own position now being hopeless. And, despite Cersei obviously not having a future as Queen (or at all, most likely), no one in the Red Keep dares ring any bells.

      I think my thing with this is… I don’t think the bell location was specified. It sounded like bells from all around the city. There’s nothing really on-screen indicating Dany is waiting for a sign from the Red Keep itself or got upset when she didn’t hear bells ring from the Red Keep — if those bells didn’t ring. When Cersei hears them, it looks like to me she has this expression of disappointment and defeat. That she’s lost.

      Oleanna was right, the people of Westeros are nothing better than sheep, to be slaughtered as Dany sees fit.

      Based on the context of the 7×02 scene and on Olenna’s line itself, I don’t think Olenna called the people of King’s Landing or Westeros sheep fit to be slaughtered as Dany sees fit. She said, “I’ve known a great many clever men. I’ve outlived them all. You know why? I ignored them. The lords of Westeros are sheep.” Olenna was against Tyrion’s roundabout plans and wanted Dany to take the throne by force (ie. directly attack the Red Keep). I don’t think she really meant slaughter entire populations after surrender.

      I’d also quibble with the notion that the smallfolk of King’s Landing are freemen. They’re not really. They’re oppressed and at the mercy of nobles and monarchs. Tyrion termed them “hostages in a tyrant’s grip.” They really only know what Cersei tells them (as they don’t have access to forums, internet, Reddit, westeros.org, or are even literate ;D)

      (Sorry! I’m not trying to be argumentative for the sake of being argumentative! Only that this is why some stuff doesn’t work for me. Although, I appreciate you harmonizing Weiss’s comments with your own interpretation.)

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    214. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      To add on the sheep bit.

      I don’t think Olenna was talking in terms of treating these people as nothing better than sheep to be slaughtered at will. I believe she was using ‘sheep’ to mean these lords aren’t free thinkers or critical thinkers, that they take on the opinions of other lords (per the “meek, unimaginative, or easily led person,” definition supplied by dictionary.com or “one easily influenced or led” per the Merriam Webster Dictionary).

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    215. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      ”My own interpretation of exactly that same scene has Dany make her decision not merely because of what she sees when looking across King’s Landing at the Red Keep, but also because of what she hears. She hears bells ringing frantically across the city, as the terrified townspeople beg her not to hurt them. She hears nothing from the Red Keep. Cersei has not signaled for surrender, despite her own position now being hopeless…”

      So …. Dany decides to incinerate the terrified townspeople begging her not to hurt them? 😳Because Cersei herself didn’t ring any bells? 🤯

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    216. Fireblood87:
      Ten Bears,

      She said she would burn down others cities that weren’t attacking her. She said she would return Mereen to the dirt.

      Are you sure? That’s not how I remember it. I thought Mereen was under heavy bombardment from the Masters’ Armada, and Dany’s plan (until Tyrion talked her out of it) was to destroy the Masters’ armies and the Masters’ cities. I thought Mereen was Dany’s home city at that juncture. She would have no reason to level it.

      I could be wrong. I’ll go back and look.

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    217. Ten Bears,

      I think you’ve got it right.

      From 6×09:

      DANY: I will crucify the Masters. I will set their fleets afire, kill every last one of their soldiers, and return their cities to the dirt.

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    218. Adrianacandle,

      Six Degrees of Game of Thrones and “Bollocks”

      I’m guessing “bollocks” is used in the U.K. as an expletive; to express frustration; or as the rough equivalent of “rubbish.”

      – I remember hearing “bollocks” several years ago in the spoken word intro to “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba, and wondering what it meant.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW5oTzftgjY

      I found out later that the spoken word intro with the word “bollocks” is the voice of actor
      Pete Postlethwaite from the 1996 movie “Brassed Off,” co-starring Tara Fitzgerald aka GoT’s Selyse Baratheon:

      (at 0:14 – 0:25): “Truth is, I thought it mattered.
 I thought that music mattered.
 But doesn’t (?) bollocks. Not compared to how people matter.

      – The lyrics that follow (“pissin’ the night away”) describe getting drunk all night [i.e. getting blotto per Dame of Mercia]:

      “He drinks a Whiskey drink
      He drinks a Vodka drink 
He drinks a Lager drink
      He drinks a Cider drink…”
      🥃🍸🍺🍹🍻

      – Pete Postlethwaite’s son, Billy Postlethwaite, played one of the friendly Lannister soldiers who offered Arya food in S7e1 GoT:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCuog8UqXl0

      E.g., at 0:51: “It’s not stealing. We’re offering.”

        Quote  Reply

    219. Ten Bears,

      Giving Cersei a head’s up and a head start to leave town with her incest bastard kids before Robert returned from his hunt and Ned would [have to] rat her out?

      I’m 100% sure that was the mercy Varys was referring to. I don’t think it could be anything else, not from Viserys’s POV. He’d have no way of knowing about Ned wanting to spare Robert’s feelings since that happened internally and I don’t think Ned’s objections to Robert and his Small Council killed the king.

      But by giving Cersei a head’s up, Ned inadvertently gave Cersei increased motive to take Robert out to protect herself and her kids. I’d have to go back and check the timeline but I think that’s the only thing it could be, especially from Varys’s perspective.

        Quote  Reply

    220. Adrianacandle,

      ”…But by giving Cersei a head’s up, Ned inadvertently gave Cersei increased motive to take Robert out to protect herself and her kids. I’d have to go back and check the timeline but I think that’s the only thing it could be, especially from Varys’s perspective.”

      The timeline and the geography still have me confused. How could Cersei track down Robert’s hunting party and deliver spiked wine to Lancel along with instructions to ensure Robert was effectively incapacitated?

      And unless Cersei could warg wild animals, how could she guarantee that a boar would be in just the right place at the right time to gore Robert, and that none of his guards would intercede to protect their inebriated king despite Robert’s macho attitude?
      After all, Robert could have encountered a deer. Or a free range chicken or two. 🐓 🐓(Besides, a drunk with a spear is more likely to impale one of his companions, if he doesn’t pass out first. In that maroon getup Lancel was wearing, he could easily have been mistaken for a wild turkey.)

      I go back to the apparent necessity for Cersei to get rid of Robert immediately and with no room for error. The wild boar + spiked wine plan seemed like a long shot.

        Quote  Reply

    221. Musical Interlude
      Dedicated to Psycho Dany
      and Crazy Daddy Targaryen

      🎶“Wild man’s world is crying in pain
      What you gonna do
      when everybody’s insane?
      So afraid of one who’s so afraid of you
      What you gonna do?

      Oh, crazy on you!
      Crazy on you!
      Let me go crazy, crazy on you.”
      🎶

      at 1:47 – 2:27:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZjEC4WhCvg
      “Crazy on You” (1976) Heart
      ………
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGEKW-e_Ge8
      “Crazy on You” – Heart, live 1997
      on The Midnight Special [5:24]

        Quote  Reply

    222. Ten Bears,

      Between Ned warning Cersei and Robert returning from his hunting trip mortally wounded, there appears to be a passage of four days according to this very detailed timeline of events in ASOIAF. This timeline was carefully investigated and developed by some well-known ASOIAF Redditors who (from my vantage point) really know their stuff, including Adam Feldman who did the Meereenese Blot essays. Yet, it’s not an official timeline. I don’t think GRRM is great at figuring out stuff like this. I believe he admitted this once in a SSM but I’d have to find that.

      I think this would have given Cersei time to plot and plan, though not a huge amount of time.

      And unless Cersei could warg wild animals, how could she guarantee that a boar would be in just the right place at the right time to gore Robert, and that none of his guards would intercede to protect their inebriated king despite Robert’s macho attitude?
      After all, Robert could have encountered a deer. Or a free range chicken or two. 🐓 🐓(Besides, a drunk with a spear is more likely to impale one of his companions, if he doesn’t pass out first. In that maroon getup Lancel was wearing, he could easily have been mistaken for a wild turkey.)

      I go back to the apparent necessity for Cersei to get rid of Robert immediately and with no room for error. The wild boar + spiked wine plan seemed like a long shot.

      Absolutely. This plan had a lot of risk — but, and especially in the books, Cersei’s not the brightest schemer in the series 😉 But seems things went according to plan for Cersei here. However, Cersei did give her cousin, Lancel, a super potent strongwine to give to Robert. I imagine Cersei had anticipated Robert would make a drunken mistake and have an accident. And hunts are pretty dangerous. She had lived with Robert for around 15 years at that point as his wife so she’d have insight into his behavior but… yeah, lots of risks and lots of chances for this to go wrong.

        Quote  Reply

    223. Ten Bears,

      I’m talking about in season 5 at the pits she says she will do that if she has to. I don’t get how people keep excusing her words. They’re are dangerous and a huge red flag.

        Quote  Reply

    224. Adrianacandle,

      No I’m talking about season 5 and even then in the episode you’re talking about it’s not ok to do what she wanted. She wanted to burn it all to the ground that’s not ok.

        Quote  Reply

    225. Fireblood87: No I’m talking about season 5 and even then in the episode you’re talking about it’s not ok to do what she wanted. She wanted to burn it all to the ground that’s not ok.

      Maybe it’d help to quote what you’re pointing to.

      In 6×09, Dany was under attack by the masters, who broke their deal. Yet when Tyrion reminded Dany of the costs and her father, Dany backed down. I maintain Dany’s anger in that situation was not unprompted or unreasonable. I don’t agree with what Dany was saying but I understand her anger. Kind of reminded me of Robb’s devastated, “I’ll kill them all,” in 1×10.

      But I’m not looking to get involved in another debate around if Dany’s actions in 8×05 felt built-up enough. Like Mr Derp says, we’ve all drawn our lines in the sand about that and I, for one, have not changed my position.

        Quote  Reply

    226. Good morning guys! First of all, Happy new year! I hope you had a wonderful time with your family and friends and, hopefuly, 2021 will be a much better year!

      With that being said, now I proceed to read your comments!!

        Quote  Reply

    227. Adrianacandle,

      Hello! Im back!

      Its also wonderful to read your insightful comments Adriana!

      I honestly dont know what time would I be becuase I completely undertand Rhaenyras claim to the throne HOWEVER, its quite fun to defend the “baddies”, especially when they are so magnifiviently well written like the Lannister or, hopefully, the Hightowers.

      But yeah, If Im going by characters that I straight up ADORE, I would be TeamNettles and TeamHelaena, but honestly, there are SO MANY great side characters that I cannot wait to see them brought to life!!

        Quote  Reply

    228. Ten Bears,

      Death in a hunting accident (thinking of Bobby B) isn’t without precedent. William Rufus (one of the Norman kings of England) was killed in the New Forest by a stray arrow when out hunting. There is a mystery to this day about whether it was an accident or a murder. An archer called Tirel was blamed. He got the heck out of Dodge (well England) though he denied culpability. I doubt we’ll ever know the ins and outs of it after several centuries. I watched a YouTube video in a series ‘They Got Away With Murder’ (the writer also plays the music and draws some illustrations for the videos – though he does use some photos/illustrations contemporary to the time the event is set). The video in question was about ‘The Ardlamont Mystery’. Three men went hunting in Scotland circa 1893 and only two came back alive. There was a trial of one of the survivors who received a verdict of ‘Not Proven’ – in England and Wales there are only guilty or not guilty verdicts but in Scotland a jury can go for ‘Not Proven’ also. A link to the video about the Ardlamont Mystery (it’s about an hour long) https://youtu.be/_6rSUSUpSXk. Though I’m not telling people what to watch – more just mentioning that I can think of a couple of cases where someone died in a hunting accident and people weren’t sure if it was in truth an accident or a murder.

        Quote  Reply

    229. The meaning of b_________s https://www.bing.com/search?q=bollocks&cvid=1832e49393b64c4ea27b48fedcfc5bb3&pglt=161&FORM=ANNTA1&PC=U531
      and in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bollocks

      though I’ve heard some folk call Wikipedia Wikimisleadia but I think it’s correct. In this song ‘The Mole Catcher’ catches his (younger than him) wife and her young lover in the middle of their ‘frolics’ and catches the young man fast by the ‘jacket’ (circa 1:07) https://youtu.be/FSscla4VFR0

        Quote  Reply

    230. Dame of Mercia,

      ”Death in a hunting accident (thinking of Bobby B) isn’t without precedent. William Rufus (one of the Norman kings of England) was killed in the New Forest by a stray arrow when out hunting. There is a mystery to this day about whether it was an accident or a murder….
      …I can think of a couple of cases where someone died in a hunting accident and people weren’t sure if it was in truth an accident or a murder.”

      Absolutely. And in-universe, there were several references to staged “accidents,” including Randyll Tarly threatening Sam that he would die in an “accident” if he didn’t join the NW; and Bronn explaining he was content to marry
      Stokeworth even though she had an older sister who stood to inherit the family fortune, because [paraphrasing] “ladies fall of their horses and snap their pretty necks all the time.”

      If planned and carried out properly, a murder can be made to look like an accident – in the fictional world and in the real world.
      We also saw in-universe several examples of assassinations carried out with crime scenes staged and false evidence planted to frame innocent bystanders while deflecting suspicion from the real culprits, e.g., LF & Olenna poisoning Joffrey; LF & Lysa poisoning Jon Arryn; Ramsay shanking Roose; etc.

      My confusion stemmed not from the possibility that a murder could be made to look like a hunting accident, but rather, from the complex
      logistics and intricate timing that would have been required to successfully carry out a murder-by-boar on short notice and in a narrow window of opportunity.
      And even that assumes the wild boar is in on the plot.
      💰🐗

      In the world of ASOIAF, wild boars can be aggressive and will attack a human if provoked, but they aren’t trained to be skilled assassins that can follow instructions and target specific individuals, are they? They don’t have their own training institute on Braavos, do they?

      The House of Pork and Beans.

      (I’ll see myself out…)

        Quote  Reply

    231. Ten Bears,

      Here, this passage may clear some things up — from AGOT and Eddard’s final chapter:

      “Ah,” said Varys. “To be sure. You are an honest and honorable man, Lord Eddard. Ofttimes I forget that. I have met so few of them in my life.” He glanced around the cell. “When I see what honesty and honor have won you, I understand why.”

      Ned Stark laid his head back against the damp stone wall and closed his eyes. His leg was throbbing. “The king’s wine … did you question Lancel?”

      “Oh, indeed. Cersei gave him the wineskins, and told him it was Robert’s favorite vintage.” The eunuch shrugged. “A hunter lives a perilous life. If the boar had not done for Robert, it would have been a fall from a horse, the bite of a wood adder, an arrow gone astray … the forest is the abbatoir of the gods. It was not wine that killed the king. It was your mercy.”

      ___

      My confusion stemmed not from the possibility that a murder could be made to look like a hunting accident, but rather, from the complex
      logistics and intricate timing that would have been required to successfully carry out a murder-by-boar on short notice and in a narrow window of opportunity.
      And even that assumes the wild boar is in on the plot.

      In the world of ASOIAF, wild boars can be aggressive and will attack a human if provoked, but they aren’t trained to be skilled assassins that can follow instructions and target specific individuals, are they? They don’t have their own training institute on Braavos, do they?

      I don’t think Cersei was thinking this deeply because Cersei, especially in the books, doesn’t think that deeply. She schemes but she’s brash and thoughtless about it. I believe it was just a case of Cersei using Robert’s hunting trip as an opportunity and spiking his wine so that it was far more potent than either Robert or his men could anticipate, leading to a greater chance of an accident. I don’t think she planned for the wild boar or anything like that. I think she was doing her best — in Cerseiview — to increase Robert’s chances of an accident.

      Cersei has gotten lucky when her schemes work out for her. For instance, it’s lucky that Sansa ran to her and told her what Ned was up to. It’s lucky that Ned behaved as lawfully as he could and also that he trusted LF, confronting Cersei with Robert’s very-paper (and very-single) will in the throne room, instead of scheming under the radar. All Ned had was this one copy, a shield of paper, that Cersei can (and did) destroy. As unlawful as it was. It’s really easy to get rid of a paper document.

      Other plots of Cersei’s have gone awry: the assassin she sends to kill Jon Snow for aiding Stannis never makes it to Castle Black. Although, Jon is assassinated. Yet, it’s likely Jon will be brought back.

      Cersei’s not methodical or thoughtful. It seems to me she takes opportunities on an impulse with brash planning and when it works out, well, luck was on Cersei’s side.

        Quote  Reply

    232. MaxHightowerYronwood: But yeah, If Im going by characters that I straight up ADORE, I would be TeamNettles and TeamHelaena, but honestly, there are SO MANY great side characters that I cannot wait to see them brought to life!!

      Absolutely! It feels the more sympathetic characters are third-tier characters and below but I’m hoping they get a promotion 😉

      (And thanks!)

        Quote  Reply

    233. Adrianacandle,

      Yay! Also, graphic design? THATS AWESOME, Whats like to have a real talent? talent, Im good enough at studying art , not making it lmao

      I studied law and when I graduated this year I said, f it, Im gonna fight for my dreams! So now Im gonna fight for my dreams, to become a history professor, so Im doing history and history of art. its a TON of time and effort, but I LOVE IT!

        Quote  Reply

    234. Adrianacandle,

      [Passage from book you excerpted]:
      Oh, indeed. Cersei gave him the wineskins, and told him it was Robert’s favorite vintage.” The eunuch shrugged. “A hunter lives a perilous life. If the boar had not done for Robert, it would have been a fall from a horse, the bite of a wood adder, an arrow gone astray … the forest is the abbatoir of the gods. It was not wine that killed the king. It was your mercy.”

      I’m more confused than ever. Was Varys essentially saying that Robert was an accident waiting to happen to begin with, so that he was doomed whether or not Cersei tried to increase the chance he’d have an “accident”? If Robert was a ticking time bomb, was his demise inevitable?

      Was Cersei like one of those greedy, unfaithful film noir wives who cuts the brake lines of her alcoholic husband’s car so he’ll drive off a cliff – but he winds up killing himself when he blacks out behind the wheel and crashes without ever trying to brake?
      Or maybe Cersei was like a 1940’s movie femme fatale who keeps trying one far-fetched scheme after another until one finally happens to work? [E.g., sprinkling a little arsenic in her husband’s breakfast cereal each morning + substituting Drano for his insulin + using peanut oil to make his popcorn to cause him to go into anaphylactic shock while watching football on TV + infusing his beta blockers with crystal meth and PCP + loosening the bolts on the basement stairway railing…]

      You know, in S1e1 when Robert asked Ned to become his new Hand, I thought Robert said [something like] he wanted Ned to run the Realm so he [Robert] can “drink and whore myself into an early grave.”. (Not sure if book! Robert say anything like that.) Robert came across as someone who realized his glory days were behind him, and hated his life; he longed for a past he could not recapture (e.g., Lyanna, his physical strength, and his freedom to go on adventures), and almost welcomed an end to his crappy existence. He seemed eager to take unnecessary risks and place himself in physical danger, and his wife was more than happy to oblige him. (“Suicide-by-Cersei.” Is that a thing?)

      I guess I’ve got to look up the word “abbatoir” to understand what Varys was talking about.

        Quote  Reply

    235. Ten Bears,

      I’m more confused than ever. Was Varys essentially saying that Robert was an accident waiting to happen to begin with, so that he was doomed whether or not Cersei tried to increase the chance he’d have an “accident”? If Robert was a ticking time bomb, was his demise inevitable?

      I had the impression Varys was talking about Robert’s chances of death by hunting accident were pretty high due to it being a dangerous activity but that Cersei helped push it along with her wineskin trick, ever more motivated by Ned telling her that he’d be telling Robert but would give her a chance to escape with her kids first.

      You had originally wanted to know what mercy Varys was referring to and I think that passage answered your question.

      Was Cersei like one of those greedy, unfaithful film noir wives who cuts the brake lines of her alcoholic husband’s car so he’ll drive off a cliff – but he winds up killing himself when he blacks out behind the wheel and crashes without ever trying to brake?

      I don’t think I’d call this comparison completely applicable. It seems Cersei was hoping, by making Robert more drunk than he’d usually be, his chances of dying in a hunting accident are that much more. And he did, not in small part due to his drunkenness. I don’t think Cersei had any specific hopes for what exactly on his hunting trip would kill him as your example wife did (hoping he’d drive off a cliff but ends up blacking out behind the wheel and crashes without trying to brake). Cersei just wanted Robert to get mortally injured by something or from something.

      Or maybe Cersei was like a 1940’s movie femme fatale who keeps trying one far-fetched scheme after another until one finally happens to work? [E.g., sprinkling a little arsenic in her husband’s breakfast cereal each morning + substituting Drano for his insulin + using peanut oil to make his popcorn to cause him to go into anaphylactic shock while watching football on TV + infusing his beta blockers with crystal meth and PCP + loosening the bolts on the basement stairway railing…]

      I think this is the first time Cersei tries to off Robert and she banked on his hunting trip to do it by scheming to make her more drunk and more vulnerable to hunting dangers.

      He seemed eager to take unnecessary risks and place himself in physical danger, and his wife was more than happy to oblige him. (“Suicide-by-Cersei.” Is that a thing?)

      Well, yeah! And this what Cersei used against him!

        Quote  Reply

    236. MaxHightowerYronwood:
      Adrianacandle,

      Yay! Also, graphic design? THATS AWESOME, Whats like to have a real talent? talent, Im good enough at studying art , not making it lmao

      I studied law and when I graduated this year I said, f it, Im gonna fight for my dreams! So now Im gonna fight for my dreams, to become a history professor, so Im doing history and history of art. its a TON of time and effort, but I LOVE IT!

      That’s awesome! (And I forgot to thank you for your insightful and very informative comments regarding HotD!)

      I don’t know if I’d call myself all that talented. I try hard but I have to work hard to produce anything that passes (I hope) mustard. And most of the time, I’m still not very happy with what I’ve done. There are far far more skilled people than me! If you’re interested in seeing stuff, I can give you my “mud room” email and reply back from my real one 🙂 throawayawoo1067 at gmail dot com

      You sound very very well educated — law’s not easy, I hear :O And art history and goals of tenure are really admirable and require its fair of education too! So nice work!

        Quote  Reply

    237. MaxHightowerYronwood,

      ”I honestly don’t know what team would I be because I completely undertand Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne. HOWEVER, its quite fun to defend the “baddies”, especially when they are so magnificently well written like the Lannisters or, hopefully, the Hightowers.

      But yeah, If I’m going by characters that I straight up ADORE, I would be TeamNettles and Team Helaena…”

      First of all, welcome back and Happ(ier) New Year!

      I am a bit mystified that you said you “honestly don’t know what team” you’d be, because you “completely understand Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne.”

      I thought for sure that MaxHightowerYronwood
      would be die-hard Team Green, now and always!

      https://64.media.tumblr.com/cf3a9fcd1f940e04e6cbb34c4b1321ef/fa9282f21758b8f1-b1/s1280x1920/ff71187b361fed57096cee9ea6a6fdb752933878.jpg

      #TeamGreen 💚
      #QueenAlicent
      #LongMaySheReign

        Quote  Reply

    238. Adrianacandle,

      Here’s what Robert told Ned in S1e1 about why he was asking Ned to be his Hand…

      at 0:55
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2tB69TpJEE

      Robert: “…I want you to run my Kingdom while I eat, drink, and whore my way to an early grave.”

      Queen Cersei, ever the dutiful wife, simply helped her hubby achieve his stated objective. Ned’s mercy didn’t kill the king. The king’s death wish killed the king. 😬

        Quote  Reply

    239. Reading through the comments here, I see that the looming shadow of the upcoming prequel series “House Of The Dragon” still recasts issues such as Dany’s fall from grace and the totality of GOT’s much disputed ending and how it may be perceived and received after the mothership show has come and gone.

      Let me give you my to unsolicited cents on this, after which I shall try to forever be silent and never again speak on this.

      In so far as “Dany’s fall”, I tend to always go back to probably the clearest and most useful Targaryen marker, the quote we all know or are familiar with: “Madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.”

      In my life, I’ve known quite a few people I thought (or was even arrogantly certain) were special or destined for some kind of greatness. Life it turns out had other plans…they either settled into a type of mundane and ordinary existence, as do most of us, or fell by the wayside and outright failed (for reasons I won’t list here). So it is with Dany in a way, going back to that quote.

      It seemed unfair and unjust that her ending should be such. But life seldomly is. And to that extent I think (that is just me again) D&D made the right choice on how to wrap up her storyline (that is if it is indeed wrapped up and ten years from now we don’t get somekind of sequel movie or miniseries…where gasp…she is still alive). Now, we can say that the signs of her deterioration and eventual outcome were sprinkled all throughout the series, from the very beginning…but that is a separate argument I won’t get into.

      Now in so far as the overall tenure and tone of the show’s ending…I’ll use the unfortunate comparison to the current pandemic. By this time of this whole episode, we are all soo exhausted and shell shocked, regardless of where you live in the world, that we more resemble a marathon runner whose only desire is to finish the race regardless of being first or last in crossing the finish line. From how this pandemic started to how it was handled, to its sad and deadly spread and development. Sure we have vaccines, we’ve had some victories and bravery on display, but for all the (few) highs, the lows, in the form of incomprehensible failures, incompetence, meaningless rivalries and in-fighting, have been far more demoralizing and taken a much bigger toll. So much so, that even when we get a handle on this pandemic, any victory will feel hollow and come more as relief than any kind of triumph. So with the ending of GOT. One that I thought was quite nicely reflected in Jon Snow’s face and final ride beyond the Wall.

      As to “House Of The Dragon” and it’s success, appeal or lack thereof, it will largely depend on what the TV/streaming landscape and available content will look like in 2022 or the time it will come out. “The Witcher” is coming back on Netflix (personally I think it’s a horrible show) and a new offering of “Shadow And Bone” in April, while Amazon Prime is priming (yeah couldn’t resist), to unleash “The Wheel Of Time”, a project which I’m not sure about… as it seems and smells kind of fishy and of course “The Lord Of The Rings” prequel series, which if rumours are to be believed could either be amazing and groundbreaking (?!) or a one billion dollar dumpster fire. I think that the far bigger challenge will come from Disney Plus and it’s original “Star Wars” and Marvel content, some of which is about to be released, in-production or just announced. If “The Mandalorian” is any indication, “House Of The Dragon” will face stiff competition and maybe a diminished demand for its brand. It could also be a similar case as with “The Walking Dead”, where the mother show was (and still is to some extent) an excellent show, where each spinoff was launched with ever diminishing returns. Loyal audiences settled in to follow, dutifully like, in lieu of genuine excitement. So basically “House Of The Dragon” would be “Fear The Walking Dead” (gross oversimplification)…LOL…

      And that’s it. No more of this. We shall never (hopefully) see it’s like, this rant…again…

        Quote  Reply

    240. Ten Bears: Robert: “…I want you to run my Kingdom while I eat, drink, and whore my way to an early grave.”

      Queen Cersei, ever the dutiful wife, simply helped her hubby achieve his stated objective. Ned’s mercy didn’t kill the king. The king’s death wish killed the king. 😬

      Perhaps. It was not my intent to really look into what truly killed Robert. I was more trying to help answer your original question as to what Varys was referring to (ie. “your mercy killed the king”). It seems (per the book quote) Varys believes Ned’s mercy toward Cersei led to Robert’s downfall, helped along by Cersei’s wineskin trick which was prompted in response to Ned revealing he knows that Cersei’s children aren’t Robert’s and he will tell Robert. I can agree with Varys here.

      But I can also agree Robert’s own nature helped that along and made it easier for Cersei to take that opportunity. What a viewer/reader thinks truly killed the king, I think that’s another debate.

      Btw, THIS:

      https://64.media.tumblr.com/cf3a9fcd1f940e04e6cbb34c4b1321ef/fa9282f21758b8f1-b1/s1280x1920/ff71187b361fed57096cee9ea6a6fdb752933878.jpg

      Is a shockingly appropriate image for #TeamGreen! Kudos! 😀

        Quote  Reply

    241. Adrianacandle,

      ” Perhaps. It was not my intent to really look into what truly killed Robert. I was more trying to help answer your original question as to what Varys was referring to (ie. “your mercy killed the king”). It seems (per the book quote) Varys believes Ned’s mercy toward Cersei led to Robert’s downfall, helped along by Cersei’s wineskin trick which was prompted in response to Ned revealing he knows that Cersei’s children aren’t Robert’s and he will tell Robert. I can agree with Varys here.”

      I know. I was only kidding about assisted suicide- by-Cersei.
      I do thank you for your explanation about Varys’s statement that it was Ned’s mercy that killed the king.

        Quote  Reply

    242. Ten Bears: I know. I was only kidding about assisted suicide- by-Cersei.
      I do thank you for your explanation about Varys’s statement that it was Ned’s mercy that killed the king.

      I’ sorry for misunderstanding! Perhaps it was because I think Robert’s nature (whoring, drinking, hunting) made it quite a bit easier for Cersei to take her spiked wine shot.

      Cersei sure uses wine creatively 🙂 Spiked wine to take Robert by the hand to his death. Wineboarding the sept for [Cersei’s] pleasure…

      Elephants and wine. Cersei’s weapons of choice. With some wildfire.

        Quote  Reply

    243. OK, I have my new casting suggestion. Chloe Grace Maretz needs to be riding a dragon! Please! I just finished watching her newest movie Shadow in the Cloud. She does some heartstopping stunts on the outside of an airplane, which reminded me alot of holding onto a Dragon!! She also does some serious fighting with a “gremlin” creature that reminded me of a large ugly vicious bat. I never thought of Chloe as the new ASNAWP, but I was cheering for Chloe in this movie. So far, the film got some awful reviews mostly because people are upset about how men are portrayed. I’m a guy, and it didn’t bother me at all that Chloe could have won the war by herself. She even has a british accent that was convincing.

      The movie itself would almost be considered a short film at 1:23 minutes, but I haven’t held my breath so much on stunt scenes in as long as I can remember. And don’t mess with Chloe!! Anyway, it was a great audition real if she wants to be a dragon rider and do some amazing action scenes in HotD. When she was younger, she starred as Hit Girl in Kick Ass, but as she has aged she has had more dramatic roles that didn’t involve fighting or stunts. I’m thrilled she’s re-entered the action genre.
      However, it looks like the movie is getting really bad reviews on the review boards. But what do they know!
      Here’s a trailer

        Quote  Reply

    244. Adrianacandle,

      Btw, THIS:

      https://64.media.tumblr.com/cf3a9fcd1f940e04e6cbb34c4b1321ef/fa9282f21758b8f1-b1/s1280x1920/ff71187b361fed57096cee9ea6a6fdb752933878.jpg

      Is a shockingly appropriate image for #TeamGreen! Kudos!”😀

      Thanks! I wish I knew what kind of “look” HotD will be going for when it comes to the costuming, hairstyling, makeup and overall attitudes of Alicent and Rhaenyra. As far as I recall from discussions here, there aren’t many detailed physical descriptions of these two characters in the books, except maybe that Alicent is “comely.” If either has specific personality traits that could be reflected in their physical appearance, I don’t know what they are. Besides, HotD’s showrunners’ versions of these characters may differ from their book! descriptions.

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    245. Adrianacandle,

      Well, when I on one hand read Aegon’s Conquest and I feel angry at Aegon all the time with exception of killing Harren the Black (who was terrible in my eyes) and on other hand read Robert’s Rebellion and feel absolute pleasure in Targaryen power gradually crumbling to dust with the only thing that bothers me being killing the kids and Elia, it’s way more hard for me (in fact impossible) to approve Dany’s entitlement to the throne than the Starks, who were directly damaged by the Lannisters and Boltons, wanting to win back the North, which was theirs for millenia before the Targaryens arrived to Westeros.

      Then again, my love for the TV show has nothing to do with the source novels because I completely lost my passion for the novels with arrival of S5, while my enjoyment of TV show only gradually increased. SO that may additionally affect my grasping of TV story.

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    246. Adrianacandle,

      And I brought this “stone cold” part up because I’m even more sure that Dany was set up for this dark twist from get-go. Every time I rewatched, I wondered why the hell is she so stone-cold in S3, where she suffers win after win and now I’m starting to wonder that maybe she wasn’t supposed to be so “universally liked” among the fandom originally (as I said in one of my previous comments, I felt like an outsider for not being on her bandwagon and was called delusional for having doubts about her and then “The Bells” embodied exactly what I dreaded about her as early as I read about her sack of Astapor in the novels). Then again, I have no idea how much of it was changed because of Emilia “fighting” for this humanization but I would still say I see a difference in her depiction post-S3 when we’re given way more “warm smiling” scenes about her and I wouldn’t be surprised if this decision eventually backfired when it came to fandom.

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    247. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      Well, when I on one hand read Aegon’s Conquest and I feel angry at Aegon all the time with exception of killing Harren the Black (who was terrible in my eyes) and on other hand read Robert’s Rebellion and feel absolute pleasure in Targaryen power gradually crumbling to dust with the only thing that bothers me being killing the kids and Elia, it’s way more hard for me (in fact impossible) to approve Dany’s entitlement to the throne than the Starks, who were directly damaged by the Lannisters and Boltons, wanting to win back the North, which was theirs for millenia before the Targaryens arrived to Westeros.

      Sure — and Dany was the subject of great suffering for actions of Targaryen relatives and rebels alike that are not her fault. She had to live in exile, begging on the streets for a great part of her childhood. She was alone with only Viserys as family, abused, sold by her own brother to a Dothraki warlord in exchange for an army, raped, etc. Dany has been damaged by the Baratheons and later (in the show) the Lannisters and Euron Greyjoy and their allies. Dany too was directly damaged.

      All of the characters have suffered — but I don’t think suffering entitles anybody to any kind of crown. Dany or the Starks. Nobody needs a throne, nobody needs a castle, nobody needs to continue their family legacy to live a peaceful, comfortable life. I think the aforementioned threaten that. Sansa didn’t need Winterfell anymore than Dany needed the Iron Throne. Sansa could have boarded a ship and sailed to a quiet place in Essos or Braavos and lived anonymously. Robb didn’t need to wage a war to avenge his father. Many innocents suffered in that.

      And I don’t think I can agree with the argument that the Starks wanting to wage war for independence is okay because the North “was theirs for millenia before the Targaryens arrived to Westeros.” Again, a lot of innocents and smallfolk died in that war too — and for the desires of the nobility. Second, the Starks aren’t native to Westeros either. It’s speculated that they descended from the grasslands of Essos before coming to Westeros and waging a war against the Children of the Forest for land they had… well… invaded.

      I don’t think this is made any better because the Starks invaded Westeros earlier and conquered the North earlier.

      Then again, my love for the TV show has nothing to do with the source novels because I completely lost my passion for the novels with arrival of S5, while my enjoyment of TV show only gradually increased. SO that may additionally affect my grasping of TV story.

      Fair enough!

      And I brought this “stone cold” part up because I’m even more sure that Dany was set up for this dark twist from get-go. Every time I rewatched, I wondered why the hell is she so stone-cold in S3, where she suffers win after win and now I’m starting to wonder that maybe she wasn’t supposed to be so “universally liked” among the fandom originally (as I said in one of my previous comments, I felt like an outsider for not being on her bandwagon and was called delusional for having doubts about her and then “The Bells” embodied exactly what I dreaded about her as early as I read about her sack of Astapor in the novels). Then again, I have no idea how much of it was changed because of Emilia “fighting” for this humanization but I would still say I see a difference in her depiction post-S3 when we’re given way more “warm smiling” scenes about her and I wouldn’t be surprised if this decision eventually backfired when it came to fandom.

      I don’t think Emilia was responsible for changing anything. Per my previous comment, she does not have that power. She does not get final say over what goes on screen. D&D do and if they disagree with a take, they’re not going to do it. D&D have the authority, Emilia does not.

      Plus, I didn’t regard Dany the way you did but I think we’re getting into conspiracy theory territory here — where anytime Dany shows warmth, this theory is speculating that was changed because of Emilia.

      But this is a quibble I had with Dany’s portrayal in the show because she’s not as stoic in the books.

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    248. Ten Bears: Thanks! I wish I knew what kind of “look” HotD will be going for when it comes to the costuming, hairstyling, makeup and overall attitudes of Alicent and Rhaenyra. As far as I recall from discussions here, there aren’t many detailed physical descriptions of these two characters in the books, except maybe that Alicent is “comely.” If either has specific personality traits that could be reflected in their physical appearance, I don’t know what they are. Besides, HotD’s showrunners’ versions of these characters may differ from their book! descriptions.

      Physical descriptions are scant at best, yeah. However, I believe Alicent is described as very attractive and kept her slender figure after her pregnancies while Rhaenyra, beautiful in her youth and who had the traditional Targaryen look, became “thick” due to her pregnancies. I think Fire & Blood implies Rhaenyra’s changing appearance impacted how she was regarded but I’ll have to double check.

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    249. Adrianacandle,

      Correction to my January 1, 2021 at 5:20 pm post: the Starks descended from the First Men and it’s they who are speculated to have originated from Essos before coming to Westeros. I should have written in “First Men” rather than “Starks” in regard to these statements.

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    250. Ten Bears,

      hehehe honestly, I’ll support the Greens through and through! But I also like to understand our enemies

      I think It will be you and I on this one TenBears! the SansaFan and the AryaFan finaly united!

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    251. Adrianacandle,

      Oh! You are too humble! Im sure your work is wonderful! Ill send you and email right away! 🙂

      Oh thank you, although Im much more comfortable speaking than writing, given that Im spanish and english is not my mother language haha

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    252. Oh and I just had a suggestion! Yesterday night I was watching one of my favourite movies of all time, Crimson Peak, by Guillermo del Toro, and I thought, “man, If Michele Clapton cannot come back to do the show, I would LOVE to see Kate Hawley (the costume designer of CP) doing the costumes of HoTD”.

      If you havent watched Crimson peak I wholehartedly recomend it to you, especially from a costuming perspective, not only are they breathakingly gorgeous (and historicaly accurate!) but also, they help to tell the story, each frock sends waves of information about each one of the characters, their motivations, their past and their state of mind.

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    253. Adrianacandle,

      I also don’t blame her for being angry but again she wanted to lay all their cities to waste and Tyrion talked her out of that it. That’s a big red flag for me.

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    254. Fireblood87:
      Adrianacandle,

      I also don’t blame her for being angry but again she wanted to lay all their cities to waste and Tyrion talked her out of that it. That’s a big red flag for me.

      As before, we differ on this (re: red flags). While I’m tempted to argue further, I don’t think either of us are changing our minds anytime soon so (for my part) I’d like to leave things here 🙂

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    255. MaxHightowerYronwood:
      Oh and I just had a suggestion! Yesterday night I was watching one of my favourite movies of all time, Crimson Peak, by Guillermo del Toro…

      If you havent watched Crimson peak I wholehartedly recomend it to you, especially from a costuming perspective, not only are they breathakingly gorgeous (and historicaly accurate!) but also, they help to tell the story, each frock sends waves of information about each one of the characters, their motivations, their past and their state of mind.

      That’s good to know! Thanks for that recommendation.
      I’ve had “Crimson Peak” on my To Watch List for a while, in part because I’ve liked Guillermo del Toro’s movies like Pacific Rim and his style (esp. in creating fantasy creatures), and in part because I noticed that the cast of “Crimson Peak” includes an alumnus of “Pacific Rim” who’s also going to be one of my nominees for Game of Thrones Best Guest Actor:

      Burn Gorman, the Fookin’ Legend of Gin Alley himself, Karl Tanner.

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    256. Here is a bit of an interlude for all those who might look for something to tie them over while waiting for “House Of The Dragon”. I must say, I’m not familiar with the books or the premise, world and/or characters of this series. It all looks rather ominous…and in some ways quite familiar to GOT fans…but here it goes anyways:

      “Shadow And Bone”

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    257. Tron79,

      Semi Off-Topic (re: “Hung Guns,” foreshadowing, red flags, Dany’s descent, deus ex machina, and Stephen King)

      There’s been lots of conversation back and forth about whether Dany’s psychotic break was adequately set up, or if it came out of left field.
      I’m not here to continue that particular debate.

      Instead, I was curious if you’d reached the part of Stephen King’s book, “On Writing,” where he talks about “theater rules” applicable to effective storytelling, whether in novels, plays, films or TV shows.

      In particular, Stephen King restates the Chekhov’s Gun principle:

      If a gun is on the mantle in Act I, it must go off in Act III.
      The reverse is true: If [something] plays a part at the end, it must be introduced early. (Otherwise, it looks like deus ex machina, which it is.)”

      In playing around with a “Six Degrees of Game of a Thrones” connection to one of my all-time favorite movies, which featured the film debut of Tara Fitzgerald in 1991, I was rewatching that movie and realized that…

      (to be cont. in a few minutes)

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    258. Ten Bears,

      So I was listening to the audio book version while walking around the neighborhood, but the weather has been bad. So no I haven’t reached that part yet. I’ll have to find other times to listen to the rest. I should have probably got the printed version. Maybe I’ll just get the kindle version and finish. It was cool though listening to Steven King read his own book.

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    259. Prelude to Continued Comment

      As a quick refresher, I reaffirmed via internet research my understanding of the origin and meaning of the term “deus ex machina”:

      Deus ex machina has come to mean “an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.”
      However, the term “deus ex machina,” meaning “a god from a machine,” had its origin in ancient Greek theater, when actors playing gods were lowered from the rafters by a crane, winch or other machine; they would then resolve whatever conflicts remained, and couid be hoisted back up again. Sometimes the crane would be used to show a “chariot” sent by the gods to rescue an imperiled human character and take him to safety, or to portray him ascending to “heaven.”

      I realized the movie I was rewatching,

      “Hear My Song,”

      by “hanging” the crane early on, prevented it from looking like a deus ex machina in Act III (inside a theater) when the “machine” was suddenly lowered from the crane above,

      and hoisted back up again with a character aboard, out of reach of his frustrated pursuers on the stage. The plot device worked because throughout Act I, the movie repeatedly included images of the theater’s exterior with a tall crane outside, its boom above the roof. (The struggling cabaret theater was scheduled for demolition, which explained the crane’s presence – and set in motion the plot involving desperate measures to rescue the theater from insolvency.)

      I didn’t want to give too much away if you have not seen the movie.

      If you’re curious, here’s a still photo of Tara Fitzgerald (aka GoT’s Selyse Baratheon), in her film debut in 1991.

      https://c8.alamy.com/comp/DXJKRT/hear-my-song-ukir-1991-tara-fitzgerald-adrian-dunbar-DXJKRT.jpg

      (There’s a more attenuated GoT connection that leads to Maisie Williams.

      Because: All Roads Lead to Arya

      . I’ll get into that some other time.)

      For now I was just wondering if you’ve ever seen the movie, and if so, whether you liked it.

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    260. Tron79,

      Oh, okay. I was really referring to the part of Stephen King’s book I had quoted.

      I guess what I was trying to articulate, based on Stephen King’s formulation, is that the movie I was watching essentially hung the deus ex machina in Act I so it didn’t look like deus ex machina when the deus ex machina occurred in Act III.

        Quote  Reply

    261. Adrianacandle: Physical descriptions are scant at best, yeah. However, I believe Alicent is described as very attractive and kept her slender figure after her pregnancies while Rhaenyra, beautiful in her youth and who had the traditional Targaryen look, became “thick” due to her pregnancies. I think Fire & Blood implies Rhaenyra’s changing appearance impacted how she was regarded but I’ll have to double check.

      The casting news and articles about Alicent describe her as “comely,” which apparently means “attractive; pleasing to look at; wholesome.”
      That’s kind of subjective. “Attractiveness” is often a function of personality and attitude. What I mean is…

      Here are two images of Olivia Cooke, soon to be HotD’s Alicent. To me, she sort of gives off “Good Queen” vibes in the first picture.

      https://verifiedcontactsinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Olivia-Cookie.jpg

       In the next one, she looks like she’s got a twinge of “Wicked Queen” in her expression.

      https://i.pinimg.com/736x/65/00/5f/65005fbb994d60c16aa02724bbeb9fd7.jpg

      .That’s why I think makeup, hairstyling, costuming, and lighting can go a long way in establishing a character’s traits.

      #TeamGreen 🟩

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    262. Ten Bears,

      True!! I’m really curious to see how Alicent is brought to life with Olivia Cooke! I think she’s absolutely gorgeous and her face is becoming Alicent’s face in my mind.

      And it’s true, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! But I think I’d be hard pressed to find somebody who doesn’t behold Cooke’s prettiness 😉 I know I’d kill to look like her!

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    263. i’m so late it is close to being off topic. anyway, my best wishes to everyone for 2021! stay safe!

        Quote  Reply

    264. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      True!! I’m really curious to see how Alicent is brought to life with Olivia Cooke! I think she’s absolutely gorgeous and her face is becoming Alicent’s face in my mind.

      And it’s true, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! But I think I’d be hard pressed to find somebody who doesn’t behold Cooke’s prettiness 😉 I know I’d kill to look like her!

      I was hesitating chiming in about their looks, but I think I want to do a research study. My hypothesis is that people with angled faces are more likely to be believable as evil characters than those with round faces. Also the distance between their eyes (and size of their eyes) also helps them play an evil character. I think Matt Smith’s eyes are distinctive and lend themselves to villain roles. He’s played evil roles such as Charles Manson!

      Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island was recently in the news because the actress who played her, Dawn Wel