Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Death Scene of Season 8

Best Death scene banner

It was inevitable that the final season of Game of Thrones would force us to say farewell to many of our favorite characters. Season 8 made good on that unspoken promise by cutting down people left and right, from the first episode of the season (poor Umber kid, he never had a chance) to the last of the series (oh, Dany). After years of speculation, reception of the deaths was varied but always passionate. After the first round with such a bounty of choices for prelims voting, we’ve narrowed it down to the top five death scenes of season 8. Now it’s up to you all to choose the Best Death Scene of Season 8.

The final nominees are:


Jorah Mormont dies protecting his khaleesi in battle:

Lyanna Mormont dies after killing a wight giant with her last breath:

Melisandre walks out of Winterfell at dawn and gives up her life:

The Night King falls to Arya’s blade and shatters:

Theon defends Bran to the very end, in the godswood:

That’s right- all the nominees are from episode 3, “The Long Night,” directed by Miguel Sapochnik!

The complete results from round 1 voting in this category can be viewed here.

Final round rules: Cast your vote for the winner in our Best Death Scene poll. In the finals, unlike the preliminaries, fans have one vote to cast. At the end of one week (Sunday 11/10/19 at 12PM ET), the scene with the most votes will be the winner! The results of the poll will be revealed during the live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony- specific date to be announced in the near future!

261 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss cooked up plenty of brilliant deaths in the marvelous final season, but I’d have to go with the NK. The White Walker saga was looming since the series premiere and they did a brilliant job peppering us with the walkers throughout the story. The final showdown with the AotD was nightmarish and a pleasure to watch unfold. The stakes couldn’t have been any higher and finally learning why the Lord of Light kept resurrecting Beric and seeing him fulfill his destiny of protecting Arya the chosen one was magnificent. Also seeing the Melisandre/Arya reunion and Melisandre repeating the blue eyes fate to Arya and then seeing Arya deal the final blow was beautiful. The NK and his generals marching towards Bran the Broken with that marvelous score from Ramin is a scene I’ll cherish forever. I still get goosebumps. Going back to the beginning and see how Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss planted the seeds and seeing it full bloom felt so earned. That storyline was more earned then I’ve seen any other show do. Just brilliant all around.

        Quote  Reply

    2. I have to go with Jorah. It was the only death that made sense, because Jorah loved Daenerys so much. It was a ‘good’ death.

      Only death besides Jorah’s that made some sense, was Melisandre. It was Mel’s time to die, and she knew that her purpose in this life was fulfilled.
      Theon’s death was a waste of a great character.
      Arya killing Night King made no sense, no matter what Melisandre said about colour of the eyes. I’m not a fan of Jon Snow, but he should’ve been the one who killed the Night King.
      Lyanna’s death was there for shock factor, and imo the entire character was overrated. Too bad house Mormont died with lady Lyanna.

        Quote  Reply

    3. These results reflect really well people’s feelings about the last three episodes. For me Jorah’s was the best, the most satisfying and the most consistent. And a beautiful closure to a great character that has become even greater after this season.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Jorah Mormont.
      The night king death scene was embarrasing bad. And that’s the readon why the bloodmoon prequel about the white walkers was cancelled.

        Quote  Reply

    5. Nina,

      Mel’s death was one of my theories for Jon Snow, I thought he might kill the NK and drop dead lol. The Lord of Light would be done with him. I wouldn’t have liked it but it was one of my hundreds of scenarios.

        Quote  Reply

    6. i voted for Lyanna Mormont but I was really torn between that amazing scene and the the death of the Night King. That was such an surprise, culminating Arya’s journey, and the music of the Night King’s demise will stay with me forever. Shards of glittering ice.

        Quote  Reply

    7. Jenny,

      I mean that would be interesting and yet very cynical ending for him. Lord of Lught used him as his puppet and once he does what he must he is just dead lol.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Oh, I didn’t need to think twice. Melisandre’s…probably my favorite of the whole series. Actually brought me to tears. What a beautiful and well-earned final moment (of the series perhaps, I’m thinking I may only suffer through the last three episodes for the commentaries!) Home to her beloved LoL at long last. Yeah, that one gave me the most feels and thoughts and thus gets the vote.

      2] Jorah. A tragic but noble, suitable, proper death—going out the way he’d have chosen to, fighting for and alongside his Khaleesi. If only she’d given him even a little peck…ah, but his passing was so emotional and sad. ;;

      3] Lyanna. Pretty [email protected]$$, taking the giant down with her. True to form.

      4] Theon. I felt sorry for him but, it was just so quick and pointless and wasteful…felt like just a way to culminate his redemption and get rid of him. I’ll give Bran the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn’t know Arya would arrive momentarily.

      5] Night King. Yeah, not goin’ back into that one again. Though I didn’t require it to be Jon; it could have been Arya getting the last jab after more happened, more difficulty, more NK/WW interaction with other characters, etc. It felt as if a lot of the war & winter had been skipped when they simply shattered. (Also I had bet that if Jon OR Dany was gonna die, it’d be him, since he’d been resurrected for a purpose and thus might be living on borrowed time, so to speak.)

        Quote  Reply

    9. mau,

      I genuinely did think that lol. He died and in the afterlife R’hllor appeared and said ‘FFS Jon, you had one job, get back down there and finish it, clown’. He even talks to Beric about it in S7, I was convinced that he was on borrowed time. I guess his ending was a pleasant surprise.

      One of my other thoughts was that if there was a Targ baby, both he and Dany would die leaving Tyrion to raise the kid as Regent and then Hand. I got the Hand bit right lol. I had next to no happy scenarios in mind.

        Quote  Reply

    10. I wanted to vote for Jorah, as I was most moved by that one, but I went with the NK. I have discussed many times since how I don’t like the way that went having had time to think about it, but at the time, when my heart was in my mouth and I was feeling utterly horrific, it was a really powerful moment for me to see Arya take him down. I watched it in bed, gone 3am by that point, with headphones and trying to be super quiet as I didn’t want to wake my husband, and it was actually just the sound of my crazy frantic breathing that woke him up – that moment was one of the most powerful to me in the show’s run (at the time). It was only when I woke up after a few hours sleep with a deep, dull, dead feeling and I truly started to dissect why that was that I came to the conclusions I now feel.

      Jorah’s death was incredibly moving and so perfect as an end to his character. He died protecting his Khaleesi. He could have had no other ending.

      O/T: Anyone watching the premiere of His Dark Materials this evening?? I am so hyped!

        Quote  Reply

    11. Between Theon and Melisandre, but I have to go with Theon.

      It’s a testament to both Alfie’s sheer acting prowess and Isaac’s perfect delivery of that final line to Theon there that makes the scene as perfectly heart-wrenching as it is.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Wait, seriously, the Hound’s death isn’t even nominated?

      I’ve seen lots of people complain about other deaths in those three episodes, but from what I could tell almost everyone liked the Hound’s death – it was epic and appropriate, yet quite tragic.

        Quote  Reply

    13. I liked Melisandre’s a whole lot — it was quiet, somber, and felt right, like she could finally rest after all the long long years of her life and having devoutly fulfilled her purpose.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Wow, this is a really tough one.
      Even though my heart goes to Arya, I can’t vote for the NK dying as the best death. I could vote for it for the best kill! The NK just shattered and looked bewildered.

      I have to go with Jorah. It was the ultimate hero’s death swinging the huge Tarly family sword saving his beloved Khaleesi taking blow after blow…

      I was very close to rating Mel’s death as the best. The combination of the music and cinematography with her fading away into the dawn was brilliant.

        Quote  Reply

    15. 5. Lyanna: For me this was too hollywood-like. The perfect kill in the eye, for me this dead didn’t feel like a GoT death. I would have like it more it it was a bit more “real” for better wording. Her slashing her sword in his face, jaw, side of face etc. The death of the giant felt too clean and too perfect for GoT. Still I liked Lyanna going out as a bad-ass lady.
      4. The NK: I still like his dead, and that Arya did it. The music was perfect here.
      3. Jorah: His character came full circle, he died protecting his queen.
      2. Theon: His character also came full circle, he died protecting the Starks.
      1. But my pick is Mellisandre: Her death was very poignant and beautiful. It also showed the biggest turn in the show, from completely evil to one that we understood the most in the end. I loved it. And what made this death also so beautiful is that every character dead was sad, they all had a life before them. For Mel it was something she longed too, she finally had some rest.

        Quote  Reply

    16. Jorah. As my favourite character, I never wanted him to die, of course, but knew he would. He went out protecting Dany, who meant everything to him, and who actually picked up a sword to bloody help! He never had to see the fall. Much as I thought Mel’s was perfect, Jorah is my guy.

        Quote  Reply

    17. 1: Jorah’s last stand.
      2/2a: Theon doing a good redeeming thing/Melly Sanders realizing the goal R’holla picked her out for
      3: Night King only by default because of Edd’s death not making the list
      4: Lyanna “BAH GAWD” Mormont. Would’ve been 2b had she killed the undead giant right as he crushed her.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Jenny,

      It’s interesting that a lot of us for some reason expected incest baby at the end. Now when I think about it it’s ridiculous. I don’t know why I thought that GRRM will glorify incest at the end.

      I guess narrative that Joanerys fans built in fandom was too strong and affected us all.

        Quote  Reply

    19. mau,

      I didn’t consider it at all until the S7 finale, having that scene between Jon and Dany was perhaps a mistake, everyone thought it was FORESHADOWING. To be fair, at that crucial stage, we were looking for clues everywhere, and they were being rather deliberate with the plot. If she was pregnant, I knew they would both die because, nope, GRRM is not making incest the end game. No happy Targ family.

      I think I should have known it wouldn’t happen, for the same reason I knew Dany wouldn’t be Queen, she wanted to break the wheel, restoring a dynasty isn’t breaking the wheel, so having a Targ baby makes no sense. I tried to keep all options open though. I did think Jon might kill Dany, in a Nissa Nissa way, but I was way off with the reasoning behind it. But then I had Dany down as the final ‘villain’ it was all very jumbled, I was half right about a bunch of things, except… Bran lol.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Jenny,

      I’ve don’t see Dany as the final villain, and I’ve honestly never thought of Cersei as a villain either. Those two are, in many ways, yin-and-yang, chiral, identical yet opposite, with very similar backstories, yet very different personalities. And don’t get me wrong, Cersei is evil, but that doesn’t make her a villain per se.

      Cersei is on the surface all falsehood, spite, and meanness, but there’s an inner light to her that surfaces occasionally: her love for her children. Dany is on the surface all heroic, salvation, and kindness, yet there’s an inner darkness to her that surfaces occasionally: her unstable Targaryen heritage. Both fought tooth and nail and sacrificed countless lives to have control of an ugly iron chair and launch a dynasty to last a thousand years – but a dynasty for whom? As far as they both knew they were likely infertile. They were really doing it all for themselves at the end of the day.

      In my opinion, there are only two genuine villains of this show: a supernatural one (the Night King) and a human one (Littlefinger). Each of them died in extended episodes that acted as the capstones of their own mini-arcs (S7E5-7 & S8E1-3). Sansa bested Littlefinger and Bran played a supporting role. Arya bested the Night King and Bran again played a supporting role.

      In other words: Sansa got the human villain with Bran’s help, and Arya got the supernatural villain with Bran’s help, so the credit for defeating the two main villains is about evenly spread between the final three Stark children – although Arya gets the credit for actually killing both of them with the same Valyrian steel dagger, Littlefinger with a slash and the Night King with a stab.

      Anyway, I think of the final four hours of GoT as an epilogue whereupon the main antagonists are dead and all the protagonists now have to decide what they’re going to do with each other, like a huge ensemble drama where there is no black and white, only shades of grey.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Didn’t like the way the Night King died. And the way Lyanna died was not very believable. Theon was alright. And I liked Jorah’s death. Both Theon and Jorah died while protecting someone they betrayed at some point in their life. But my choice goes to Melisandre, because it was a completely different kind of death.

        Quote  Reply

    22. DaphNenya:
      I am so hesitating between Jorah and Theon.
      I need to think about it before I can vote.

      Same here. My heart said Ser Jorah for his Khaleesi’s reaction, but I actually chose Theon in the end, due to the amazing arc he went through.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Chilli:
      Didn’t like the way the Night King died. And the way Lyanna died was not very believable. Theon was alright. And I liked Jorah’s death. Both Theon and Jorah died while protecting someone they betrayed at some point in their life. But my choice goes to Melisandre, because it was a completely different kind of death.

      I agree with you on every point and voted the same way.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Richard:
      What about The Hound curing his fear of fire and his brother in one fell swoop?

      Literally….
      But that came in 6th place, I believe, so it’s just the top 5 in the final.
      I was never a Cleganebowl fan, and I was actually surprised it even happened, but dang, that shot of Sandor looking up the stairs while the dragon flew overhead was one of the most beautifully done bits of Season 8.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Jorah and Theon’s deaths were appropriately heartbreaking and well acted, however I felt that Melisandre’s death was the most tasteful and most well executed.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Well that’s a tough one.
      Jorah’s was a prdictable heroic death (didn’t make me feel much).
      For Theon, it’s not the death that was the poignant moment, it’s what he did right before, how he decided to bookend his life. As much as I love that scene, it’s not necessarily the best actual death scene. Praised be Alfie Allen though.
      Night’s king death was… meh.
      Lyanna Mormont’s death was amazing, badass and heroic. It could get my vote, but…
      Melisandre’s death and the whole scene around it, was the best part about the whole episode and left me both sadenned and happy at once. Brilliant ending for Melisandre.

      That last one gets my vote.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Farimer123,

      Yeah, I struggle to come up with another word to describe a protagonist gone a bit sideways. Antagonist? Problem? I don’t know. I thought she was likely to come a cropper as my dad would say.

      Cersei has that one redeeming feature in the show, but I still think of her and Ramsey as villains. Funnily enough, I never really considered LF a villain, I never really knew what to make of him, and he didn’t really get anywhere near his goal, assuming it was the IT, it was a bit pitiful in the end.

        Quote  Reply

    28. I’ll have to go with Jorah. Because he was there since the beginning, for his unfailing loyalty and love for Dany…even though at first, he did try to arrange her assassination…LOL…

      But his total devotion to her is what always gets me! By the way this doesn’t take away anything from the other heartbreaking and heroic ones…and the Night King as well…poor tortured soul who wanted to blanket the world in eternal winter …LOL…

        Quote  Reply

    29. ash,

      Although it was nowhere near my favorite ASNAWP scene, I had to go with Arya pulverizing that horned f*cker.
      I guess some of my other nominees didn’t make the Top 5. (I thought I nominated Beric…maybe not. 🤔)

        Quote  Reply

    30. I went with Melisandre.

      * Jorah’s death, albeit very appropriate, was a bit too predictable.

      * I almost chose Lyanna Mormont’s death. I was surprised that they killed her off seeing as though she was the go to character whenever D&D felt the viewers needed a lecture on gender bias. Didn’t really care for the character, so, even though I thought her death scene was well done, the overall impact on the story was too minimal.

      * Night King death was a great scene in general, but I thought the Arya deus-ex-machina was a bit of a letdown. I was fine with Arya being the one to do it, just thought it was rather anti-climactic and lazy the way it was done.

      * Theon’s death was incredibly lame to me. Bran’s basically like, hey thanks for everything Theon, you can go die now. Theon’s like, really? I can? Gee thanks Bran, I guess I better go die now in some unnecessary final charge instead of staying here and protecting you, which is what I was supposed to do in the first place. It also would’ve been nice for Bran to, ya know, tell Theon that Arya was about 10 seconds away from killing the NK. Theon’s character deserved a better death, IMO. Dying for the Starks was fine, just didn’t like the way it was done. Just felt like checking off a box rather than something organic to the flow of the battle.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Che: O/T: Anyone watching the premiere of His Dark Materials this evening?? I am so hyped!

      What did you think? I plan on watching it when HBO airs it tonight in the US. It’s not my favorite style of fantasy and I prefer more mature themes than typical teen/young adult programs but I assume I’ll enjoy this well enough.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Che,

      Clob,

      I’ve been looking forward to it too! In another thread, Jenny gave the first episode of the new HDM adaptation a 🙂review (based on her 🙁or 🙂review system) with a “Good luck to anyone who hasn’t read the book,” comment (she’s already seen it on the BBC yesterday)! I’ll take that as promising 🙂

      I’m curious for a non-book-reader’s take on it.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Jenny,

      How about… a tragic character?

      Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of evil characters on the show: Joffrey, Cersei, Tywin, Gregor, Littlefinger, Lysa, Roose, Ramsay, Waif and more I’m forgetting right now. What they all have in common is that they enjoy cruelty and dominating those who are weaker than them. And all of them are part of organizations or houses that they ostensibly do all their evil deeds for. All except one: Littlefinger. He has no family or higher purpose; he has really nothing but ambition.

      Now, what else makes Littlefinger special out of all of them? Simple: he started it all. Before he started all his scheming and plotting, all of those aforementioned evil characters were just minding their own business, and the realm was at peace. And why did he start it? For the honor of this house or that house? Nope, purely for his own selfish goals, no matter the trail of human wreckage behind him. He thinks only of himself. His counterpart is Varys – the selfless eunuch, without desire, thinking only of others and the realm.
      https://hbowatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/seven.jpg

        Quote  Reply

    34. Personally, I thought Jaime and Cersei’s, the Hound’s, and Dany’s deaths were better, but this is still a great list. I went with the Night King. It was so epic!

        Quote  Reply

    35. Adrianacandle:
      Che,

      Clob,

      I’ve been looking forward to it too! In another thread, Jenny gave the first episode of the new HDM adaptation a 🙂review (based on her 🙁or 🙂review system) with a “Good luck to anyone who hasn’t read the book,” comment (she’s already seen it on the BBC yesterday)! I’ll take that as promising 🙂

      I’m curious for a non-book-reader’s take on it.

      I’m a non-book reader and watched the premiere yesterday. I liked it well enough and I’m intrigued on where it’s going. Not a whole lot to go off since I’m not familiar with the backstory, but I like what I saw and there seems to be a potentially epic overarching story at play here. I think Dafne Keen will be great as Lyra (she was great in Logan) and James McAvoy played a great Lord Asriel in the premiere. James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont) is also in it. I’m interested in seeing who this Marisa character is and what this “dust” is all about.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Walking through the forest, Lord Parramandas spots his crumbling manor in the distance. The gates are still locked and the contents of the undergroud chamber very well protected. He stands there at the gate and wonders if there will be time again to descend there. Averting his eyes to the ground, a small roll of parchment adressed to him catches his eye. He unveils it, uncovering the 5 names and a place to cast vote. A faint sound catches his ear and he knows where it’s coming from. In the valley across the hill there, he knows there’s a gathering happening. A gathering he often came to attend himself. But while having no desire to return back there, he still decides not to ignore the letter. Reading through the 5 names, he thinks for a moment… all 5 fill him with fond memories of a journey he underwent to but eventually he decides upon a name that provided the biggest emotional impact on him at the time of their departure. He picks up a quill and circles the name “Jorah Mormont” while adding his own signature below. He wraps up the parchment again and seals it in a letter. He adresses the letter to the people in charge of the gathering and hangs it on the leg of his pet raven. The raven flies into the direction of the gathering while Lord Parramandas walks in different direction, leaving this solitary place and entering his daily life again.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Mr Derp,

      ”* Theon’s death was incredibly lame to me. Bran’s basically like, hey thanks for everything Theon, you can go die now. Theon’s like, really? I can? Gee thanks Bran, I guess I better go die now in some unnecessary final charge instead of staying here and protecting you, which is what I was supposed to do in the first place. It also would’ve been nice for Bran to, ya know, tell Theon that Arya was about 10 seconds away from killing the NK. Theon’s character deserved a better death, IMO. Dying for the Starks was fine, just didn’t like the way it was done. Just felt like checking off a box rather than something organic to the flow of the battle.”

      Questions (I’m not trying to be snarky):
      • How did Theon & Co. run out of arrows?
      • Why oh why were there no Valyrian Steel swordfighters there? ALL of the known VS weapons were at WF, in the hands of experienced defenders: Longclaw (Jon), Oathkeeper (Brienne), Heartsbane (Sam-to-Jorah), Widow’s Wail (Jaime). As far as I could tell their VS swords didn’t give them any tactical advantages against the wight intrusion, and none of them used their VS sword against a WW. Of all people, Jaime should’ve been there to defend Bran.
      (Were VS swords just another red herring? Geez, when Jon pulverized that WW at Hardhome I figured that VS swords would be a BFD (Big F*cking Deal) when NK came a calling. Nope.)
      • If the (silly) plan was to use Bran as bait to lure NK and his WW entourage, why leave the defense of Bran to Theon and his Ironborn buds with the hideous raincoats?
      • What did Theon hope to accomplish by running straight at NK, instead of maybe hurling his spear at him? If it was a suicide run, then damnit throw the spear, kick dirt in his face, distract him… Something!
      Theon deserved better.
      • What was Alys Karstark doing there, and why did she have to die after only three words of dialogue (last season, “Now and always!”) Tall striking redhead… here I thought they were setting up a co-equal partner for Tormund, or a kissed by fire co-star for Jon.
      • [Dumb question to follow since I can guess the likely answer: the actor wasn’t available or it wasn’t worth the fee] Why did they deprive us of the pleasure of seeing Lord Glover as a wight or dismembered wall decoration? Having that disloyal chickensh*t send a note to Sansa that he was staying put in Deepwood Motte and then assuming he died off screen just didn’t cut it for me.
      • I guess it was nice that Theon died defending WF. Still, couldn’t they show him taking out a few WWs before his underwhelming death scene?
      Remember, this was the guy who shot the arrow at the Wildling thug to save Bran in S1. At least give him a decent kill shot or two on way out in S8.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Ten Bears: How did Theon & Co. run out of arrows?

      Personally, I have no idea, but I’ve heard a half baked theory that says Theon running out of arrows was symbolic of him losing his manhood, and Theon picking up the spear was him regaining it back. Just to be clear, I think that might be the dumbest theory I’ve ever heard and I do not subscribe to it, but I can’t speak for anyone else.

      Ten Bears: • Why oh why were there no Valyrian Steel swordfighters there? ALL of the known VS weapons were at WF, in the hands of experienced defenders: Longclaw (Jon), Oathkeeper (Brienne), Heartsbane (Sam-to-Jorah), Widow’s Wail (Jaime). As far as I could tell their VS swords didn’t give them any tactical advantages against the wight intrusion, and none of them used their VS sword against a WW. Of all people, Jaime should’ve been there to defend Bran.
      (Were VS swords just another red herring? Geez, when Jon pulverized that WW at Hardhome I figured that VS swords would be a BFD (Big F*cking Deal) when NK came a calling. Nope.)

      I don’t know either, but what I do know is that VS swords turned out to be completely useless in the end, considering none of the WW did ANYTHING during The Long Night and nobody had to fight them.

      Ten Bears: If the (silly) plan was to use Bran as bait to lure NK and his WW entourage, why leave the defense of Bran to Theon and his Ironborn buds with the hideous raincoats?

      Good question. Maybe House Stark REALLY hated those raincoats and thought this was the only way to rid themselves of them? 😉

      Ten Bears: What did Theon hope to accomplish by running straight at NK, instead of maybe hurling his spear at him? If it was a suicide run, then damnit throw the spear, kick dirt in his face, distract him… Something!
      Theon deserved better.

      Yea, that’s part of my issue with the scene. It was a banzai charge before a banzai charge was even necessary. I mean, thanks Theon. I know you owe the Starks, but you don’t necessarily need to die because Bran told you to.

      Ten Bears: What was Alys Karstark doing there, and why did she have to die after only three words of dialogue (last season, “Now and always!”) Tall striking redhead… here I thought they were setting up a co-equal partner for Tormund, or a kissed by fire co-star for Jon.

      I assume this was D&D’s expedient way of checking off the “getting rid of Aly Karstark” box with as little fuss and effort as possible.

      Ten Bears: [Dumb question to follow since I can guess the likely answer: the actor wasn’t available or it wasn’t worth the fee] Why did they deprive us of the pleasure of seeing Lord Glover as a wight or dismembered wall decoration? Having that disloyal chickensh*t send a note to Sansa that he was staying put in Deepwood Motte and then assuming he died off screen just didn’t cut it for me.

      I don’t know this one either. Even if the actor wasn’t available they could’ve easily given us some kind of update on Deepwood Motte, which I don’t think we ever got.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      ”* Theon’s death was incredibly lame to me. Bran’s basically like, hey thanks for everything Theon, you can go die now. Theon’s like, really? I can? Gee thanks Bran, I guess I better go die now in some unnecessary final charge instead of staying here and protecting you, which is what I was supposed to do in the first place. It also would’ve been nice for Bran to, ya know, tell Theon that Arya was about 10 seconds away from killing the NK. Theon’s character deserved a better death, IMO. Dying for the Starks was fine, just didn’t like the way it was done. Just felt like checking off a box rather than something organic to the flow of the battle.”

      Questions (I’m not trying to be snarky):• How did Theon & Co. run out of arrows?• Why oh why were there no Valyrian Steel swordfighters there? ALL of the known VS weapons were at WF, in the hands of experienced defenders: Longclaw (Jon), Oathkeeper (Brienne), Heartsbane (Sam-to-Jorah), Widow’s Wail (Jaime). As far as I could tell their VS swords didn’t give them any tactical advantages against the wight intrusion, and none of them used their VS sword against a WW. Of all people, Jaime should’ve been there to defend Bran. (Were VS swords just another red herring? Geez, when Jon pulverized that WW at Hardhome I figured that VS swords would be a BFD (Big F*cking Deal) when NK came a calling. Nope.)•

      They were all pinned down in other locations by the hoards of Wights. Brienne and Jaime were fighting back to back with what remained of ICE. Jorah was busy saving Dany… Jon was busy yelling at the dragon….
      Honestly, I would have loved to have seen all of our heroes wielding Valyrian steel swords attack the White Walker generals. They could have kept the generals busy while Jon and Arya focused on defeating the NK. In my ultimate fan fiction, I would have loved to have seen Jon and Arya work as a team possible fighting off a few of the generals and then teaming up against the NK.

      If the (silly) plan was to use Bran as bait to lure NK and his WW entourage, why leave the defense of Bran to Theon and his Ironborn buds with the hideous raincoats?• What did Theon hope to accomplish by running straight at NK, instead of maybe hurling his spear at him?

      Well, Theon faced death in the face…it was all metaphorical. But at that point he didn’t have much else to do. The original plan was to keep the dragons back to protect Bran, but Dany wanted to save her Dothraki (and Jorah) and she wouldn’t listen to Jon. I believe the original plan was for the Ironborn to stand guard but also to have the dragons there.

      If it was a suicide run, then damnit throw the spear, kick dirt in his face, distract him… Something!Theon deserved better.•

      What was Alys Karstark doing there, and why did she have to die after only three words of dialogue (last season, “Now and always!”)Tall striking redhead…

      She has more to do in the books! She’s a more major character in the part I’m currently reading… But yeah, that was just sad that she had to go and we didn’t even get to see her last stand… Some say they spotted her at the celebration, but I don’t go for that theory..Everyone died at the weirwood

      here I thought they were setting up a co-equal partner for Tormund, or a kissed by fire co-star for Jon. • [Dumb question to follow since I can guess the likely answer: the actor wasn’t available or it wasn’t worth the fee] Why did they deprive us of the pleasure of seeing Lord Glover as a wight or dismembered wall decoration? Having that disloyal chickensh*t send a note to Sansa that he was staying put in Deepwood Motte and then assuming he died off screen just didn’t cut it for me.• I guess it was nice that Theon died defending WF. Still, couldn’t they show him taking out a few WWs before his underwhelming death scene? Remember, this was the guy who shot the arrow at the Wildling thug to save Bran in S1. At least give him a decent kill shot or two on way out in S8.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Melisandre all the way. Poetically beautiful, and preceded by that wonderful line, “No need to execute me, Ser Davos, I’ll be dead before the dawn.”
      And she was.

      But I’m shocked that the death of Daenerys isn’t there. That was superbly done, especially if we are allowed to include the reactions of Drogon.

      Secret favourite though – Qyburn! Best comic relief death by a country mile.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Grandmaester Flash:
      Melisandre all the way.Poetically beautiful, and preceded by that wonderful line, “No need to execute me, Ser Davos, I’ll be dead before the dawn.”
      And she was.

      But I’m shocked that the death of Daenerys isn’t there.That was superbly done, especially if we are allowed to include the reactions of Drogon.

      Secret favourite though – Qyburn!Best comic relief death by a country mile.

      The hardcore Dany fans hate that she went mad, so they didn’t vote for that death.

      Jaime/Cersei death deserved more votes. That was brilliantly done. Cersei being crushed under the Red Keep is poetic justice at its finest.

      Euron deserved more votes as well. Pilou played him brilliantly and his death was very well executed. Same with Marc Rissmann as Harry Strickland.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Best Death Scene: The Night King falls to Arya’s blade and shatters.

      A Top 3 scene across the entire run of Game of Thrones for me (I’ll be voting for it for Best Dramatic Scene as well, assuming it made the cut). The more I think about it, the more I love it. For Arya, whose entire arc has revolved around loss, identity, and death, to take down the ultimate personification of this unnatural version of Death, a darkened perversion of the Many-Faced God … it’s so perfect that it’s hard to believe that we didn’t see it coming all along. “What do we say to the God of Death?” “Not today.” That already-iconic line has a whole new meaning now. It has to be considered one of the defining quotes of the series.

      Runners-Up (to be clear, I think they’re all outstanding):

      2) Theon defends Bran to the very end in the Godswood
      3) Jorah Mormont dies protecting his Khaleesi in battle
      4) Lyanna Mormont dies after killing a wight giant with her last breath
      5) Melisandre walks out of Winterfell at dawn and gives up her life

      I sincerely wish that Dany’s death and Jaime & Cersei’s death had garnered enough votes to make the final five, as I continue to me deeply moved by both of those scenes even after rewatching them both dozens of times. But I recognize that the controversial nature of their demises probably precluded that, and I respect the will of the community. Oh well.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Jack Bauer 24: I’m a non-book reader and watched the premiere yesterday. I liked it well enough and I’m intrigued on where it’s going. Not a whole lot to go off since I’m not familiar with the backstory, but I like what I saw and there seems to be a potentially epic overarching story at play here. I think Dafne Keen will be great as Lyra (she was great in Logan) and James McAvoy played a great Lord Asriel in the premiere. James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont) is also in it. I’m interested in seeing who this Marisa character is and what this “dust” is all about.

      Thanks, Jack! That helps me when I decide to recommend this show to friends who haven’t read the books! 🙂

      (I’m about to watch the first ep!)

        Quote  Reply

    44. Mr Derp:

      Theon’s death was incredibly lame to me.Bran’s basically like, hey thanks for everything Theon, you can go die now.Theon’s like, really?I can?Gee thanks Bran, I guess I better go die now in some unnecessary final charge instead of staying here and protecting you, which is what I was supposed to do in the first place.

      This drove me nuts. Theon’s story was so darn good, Alfie was amazing, and the fight near the weirwood was great. Then he does some sort of kamikaze run at the NK, with zero hope of even making a dent. WHAT? WHAT?!!! That made no sense to me, whatsoever. Gah.

        Quote  Reply

    45. I originally voted for the NK death, but thinking more of the favorite deaths I voted for over the years: queen of thornes, Aemon Targaryan, they were quieter. If I could, Id choose Melisande. It was so fitting, such the perfect way for her to go. (would love for someone to find the necklace….but thats another novel)

        Quote  Reply

    46. Pigeon,

      This drove me nuts. Theon’s story was so darn good, Alfie was amazing, and the fight near the weirwood was great. Then he does some sort of kamikaze run at the NK, with zero hope of even making a dent. WHAT? WHAT?!!! That made no sense to me, whatsoever. Gah.

      I wondered the same. Great that he was defending Bran but just what was the use of this? I wanted Alfie to go out fighting (if he had to die at all)

      Also wondered about Glovre;Tormund did say those who are not with us are now with them or something like that.

      BTW something just occurred to me, were the nights of the vale still at Winterfell? Were they involved in the fighting?

      I was also surprised that Danys death didn’t get voted. Apparently came in 7th, to Cleagen Bowl coming in 6th

        Quote  Reply

    47. Jorah, because it was so sad to see him die for the woman whom he loved, but I think it’s the death he would have chosen for himself. He truly pledged his life to her and made her the reason for his breathing.
      I do like Little Bear, but I was disappointed that her heroic death let House Mormont with no heir.
      No Sandor? That’s an unpleasant surprise!

        Quote  Reply

    48. Che,

      I watched it as I am a big fan of this verse, to have an animal exterior soul to take advice from and sometime argue with, what a brilliant idea! I like it so far, I think the actors are suitable for their parts. I would have liked the daimons to be more visible, in scenes with many characters it seemed there were only humans there.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Farimer123,

      We can go with that, but even then I’m not entirely on board, the circumstances were tragic, but then she slaughtered thousands of people and turned into a dictator intent on world domination, complete with Nazi imagery. That’s a little bit too far for me, it’s too complicated for one label, either way, I thought she would likely ‘wake the dragon’.

      I think my issue with LF is summarised here, all of his work was done before the show started and in the early seasons, and then… nothing really. He puts Sansa in place to gain control of the North, and then comes snivelling back in S6, after that he just follows her around, and seemingly has no power.

      What was the plan when he gave Sansa to Ramsey in the first place? He just assumed that Ramsey would die eventually, he would marry Sansa and they would take the Iron Throne? Surely he knew about Jon? I honestly don’t remember, and that’s the problem, for me he peaked with the Lysa reveal and then just became a background annoyance that I barely paid attention to. I’m doing the character a huge disservice here, but in the show, I think they pushed him to the periphery, and his grand plan seemed to dry up. When he died I just thought ‘yeah, yeah get on with it, he’s overstayed his welcome’ I didn’t feel any relief or joy.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Ten Bears,

      While the presence of the VS meant next to nothing in the actual battle, they did have a symbolic role. Humanity came together to face the dead (except Cersei because she’s Cersei) and enemies had to put aside their differences to work together. This is represented by the VS swords, because nobody went into battle with their own House sword, Jon had the Mormont sword, Jorah had the Tarly sword, Brienne/Jaime had the Stark sword etc. I thought that was nice.

      As for the rest of your post, yeah, pretty much lol.

        Quote  Reply

    51. ash,

      ”BTW something just occurred to me, were the nights of the vale still at Winterfell? Were they involved in the fighting?”

      ———-
      Although I saw that Lord Royce was there, I did not see any Knights of the Vale. And while I assume that many of the WF defenders came from various Northern houses in addition to the recognizable Mormonts [RIP “Lady of Bear Island and a child of ten”; RIP Ser Jorah], I understand there wouldn’t be enough screen time to “name check” them all during the chaotic battle scenes.

      (I would’ve liked to see Lord Cerwyn, Lord Manderly, and some of the other folks who had “refused the call” the first time, actually show up this time when “the true enemy” brings the storm. I digress…)

      I didn’t see any KotV involved in the fighting. Yet, I have to assume they were still around WF, not just because Royce was there, but because when Sansa was in charge of WF while Jon went off gallivanting on Dragonstone, beyond the Wall and back south again, Sansa had expressly stated how imperative it was to keep Jon’s army together, (presumably) including the KotV contingent. Plus, Sansa said she had put up with LF’s annoying presence at WF because the Starks needed to keep the Vale forces in their coalition.

      So here’s my tinfoil fanfic explanation:

      From the show, it looked like the Knights of the Vale are a mounted cavalry force, and not really infantrymen. I suppose they could’ve charged into the darkness with the Dothraki, though the KotV probably rely more on strategic deployment than overpowering brute force (and really, really cool stunts like standing up on their horses while firing arrows).

      While I didn’t notice if there were markers representing the KotV on the pre-battle planning table map, I’ll assume they’d be positioned off to the side, to charge into the ongoing hostilities like they did in BotB.

      Here, I’ll just imagine that right before the zombie horde breached the fire line and began flooding into WF, the KotV were given the signal
      to mount up and join the fray.

      They were about to make a glorious entrance, riding in tight formation with their blue banners held high, preparing to draw their swords and lances to start hacking and impaling wights, and heroically turn the tide in the battle against the Army of the Dead.

      But they arrived on the scene just in time to see what looks like a petite girl leap at the horned White Walker, and seconds later all of the White Walkers and wights disintegrate into pixie dust.

      (to be cont.; edit not working)

        Quote  Reply

    52. Jenny,

      My guess was that Littlefinger assumed that the Boltons would lose to Stannis, creating more chaos, and then Littlefinger would be free to swoop in and marry Sansa? Perhaps Littlefinger’s entire plan was to simply create more chaos? I don’t think he wouldve told Cersei that the Boltons had Sansa if Littlefinger just wanted to usurp power in the North.

      Honestly, I really don’t know what Littlefinger’s plan was. In fact, it gets more confusing when you read the actors’ thoughts. Sophie thought that Littlefinger knew how horrible Ramsey was before turning her over to the Boltons, but Aiden didn’t seem to think so.

      It’s hard for the audience to know for sure about a plot point when even the actors had different interpretations.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Ten Bears,

      (Cont. from above)

      Deleted fanfic follow up scene:

      The Knights of the Vale, are somewhat disappointed that someone stole their thunder. The camera zooms in for a close-up on one of the Knights of the Vale. He’s recognizable as the same one from S4e8 who inquired of Sandor Clegane and his traveling companion: “Who would pass the Bloody Gate?”

      Something about that flying little ninja heroine looks familiar… Then, exasperated, he throws down his sword, grabs his saddle and kicks it – breaking his toe – and cries out:

      That’s that crazy little girl with the crazy laugh! WTF is she doing here?”

        Quote  Reply

    54. Mr Derp,

      There was no Littlefinger “plan.” None of it made sense. That’s what happens when you merge a show character into another character’s book story line and screw around with the timeline.
      None of LF’s and Sansa’s thought processs, actions or behaviors made any sense from the outset, starting with the execrable Ramsay-Sansa marriage plan. It made LF seem like a dummy for proposing it, and made Sansa regress (and look like an idiot) for agreeing to it.

      Sorry. I shouldn’t get started with this… I just felt that the “Sansa Poole” shoehorning was a big misfire: It caused too many logical gaps that could never really be explained.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Ten Bears,

      I don’t disagree. In fact, that’s sort of the point I was making. There didn’t really appear to be an actual plan there. It was probably just more of Littlefinger’s “chaos” coming into play to turn everyone against each other, coupled with D&D feeling the need to give Sansa a more prominent storyline, for whatever reason. I personally did not need more Sansa in my life, but I know others think she was the bees knees…for whatever reason.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Mr Derp,

      This is why I tapped out on this whole storyline, I just stopped caring. I think he was obsessed with Sansa as a Cat stand in (gross) and that made him careless towards the end, that’s one reason I have seen given anyway, at least for his S7 shenanigans. I could buy that, but it didn’t stop him handing her over to a known torturer (insert shrug emoji). Unfortunately this is my lasting memory of him, rather than ‘chaos is a ladder’ man.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Jenny,

      Yes, LF seemed to be much more intelligent in the earlier seasons. He definitely plateaued after season 4. I believe LF thought that he would eventually get to rule the North with Sansa, but he really didn’t think it out very clearly.

      His season 7 shenanigans made both him AND Sansa look like a couple of dopes, IMO.

      Sansa at the end of season 6 says “Only a fool would trust Littlefinger”, yet she then proceeded to be influenced by him for the entirety of season 7 until a conversation with Bran happened offscreen to tell her otherwise. She didn’t want anything to do with him, yet she kept him in her inner circle for all of season 7. I mean, look, I get it. The Vale helped save the day, so Sansa had to be diplomatic with LF, but she could’ve been diplomatic without allowing him to be so close to her and be one of her closest advisors. The two of them hung out together so often in season 7 that it made them look like a couple of douchebags.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Here’s my best attempt at explaning LF’s plan:

      1. Sansa marries Ramsay.

      2. Littlefinger narcs on the Boltons and pretends like the marriage plot was entirely their idea.

      3. Cersei gives him permission to go to the North with Vale knights to “punish the Bolton traitors.”

      4. Baelish gets his Vale knights, heads to the North, fights and defeats the Boltons.

      5. Baelish installs Sansa as the Lady of Winterfell. She’d have support from most northern houses and the Lannisters wouldn’t be in any position to challenge this (both the Lannisters and Tyrells were entangled with the High Sparrow).

      6. Baelish rules the North through Sansa the way he rules the Vale through Robert Arryn. He’s also the lord paramount of the Riverlands in exchange for brokering the Tyrell alliance. Baelish now rules three regions.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Mr Derp,

      I think that’s right, then he just has her siblings to take care of. I don’t know what he planned to do about Jon, who was King at the time, maybe he should have married him.

      Now that I have thought about it, he did know something about Jon’s family because he spoke to Sansa about it in the crypt, she retold the old story and he clearly knew different. He really should have married Jon.

      To be fair, I can’t remember what he’s up to in the book either.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Jenny,

      I’m going to guess that LF didn’t think Sansa was going to escape the Boltons and go to Jon for help in the first place. It complicated his plans once that happened, which influenced LF to change course to sow seeds of distrust between Jon and Sansa after they retook Winterfell. And it actually worked for a time, even though I kept hearing about how smart Sansa became during this whole plot. Ugh…maybe I shouldn’t have opened that door 🙂

      Aiden Gillen seemed to be under the impression that LF did NOT know Ramsey was as sadistic as he turned out to be. Of course, Sophie Turner thought that LF knew everything the whole time.

      IMO, the way things unfolded made me think that LF really did not know how bad Ramsey was.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Jenny,

      Unless I’m misunderstanding, I don’t think LF knew about Jon. When he was squeezing on Sansa in 610, LF seemed to really think of Jon as nothing more than a bastard son with Sansa as Ned and Catelyn Stark’s trueborn daughter:

      You, my love, are the future of House Stark. Who should the North rally behind? A trueborn daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark born here at Winterfell or a motherless b*st*rd born in the south?

      LF may have doubted Lyanna was raped by Rhaegar(?) but I don’t think there’s any way he could have known Jon was their trueborn child? If he had, I’m sure he would have used that but he didn’t appear to view Jon as anything more than just Sansa’s b*stard half-brother.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Adrianacandle,

      Yeah, he knows something, or at least suspects, but you are probably right. I plead total ignorance on this. So Jon is just a half brother he somehow needs to dispose of.

      BTW, what did you think of HDM in the end?

        Quote  Reply

    63. Jenny: Yeah, he knows something, or at least suspects, but you are probably right. I plead total ignorance on this. So Jon is just a half brother he somehow needs to dispose of.

      The way that conversation between LF and Sansa down in the crypts played out, it sure seemed like LF knew more than he was leading on, but now I’m not so sure. How could he have known the truth but no one else did? I also agree with Adrianacandle in that if LF knew more, he would’ve used it to his advantage. It also needed to come out before LF died, but it never did. Just another hanging thread, I guess.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Jenny,

      Yeah, I think LF really did view Jon as an obstacle he needed to get rid of. To me, he appeared to be trying to turn Sansa against Jon. It’s not impossible that he might have known something but if he did and linked it to Jon, I believe he would have used it — blackmailing Ned, at the very least. It would have been cool if he’d known though. For my part, I don’t think he does in the books either :/ (But I have seen it debated re:him and Varys!)

      I really liked HDM! I like where it’s going! I’m really excited to see some book scenes come to life! I was sad to see the end of the episode but now it’s something to look forward to every Monday! I was quite disappointed with the new (2017) Anne adaption so I’m extra happy this one feels so promising! I just wish I had the whole season to binge…

      I also like how they opened the episode with Lord Asriel and a baby Lyra, setting that all up without going into a flashback or exposition.

      I’m curious how they do the

      Mrs Coulter reveal

      .

        Quote  Reply

    65. Mr Derp,

      It was definitely a hint about the Lyanna/Rhaegar relationship, laying the foundation for the big S7 reveal. I probably read too much into it, because LF normally knows everything.

      Adrianacandle,

      It would be fun if he found out in the book, though I don’t know where things are going there, he can’t be long for this world, I just find him so annoying!

      Yeah I liked it too, I thought it was a bit disjointed but that often happens with an opening episode. I’m in love with Mrs Coulter, can she take me away please? lol I thought James McAvoy was great as Lord Asriel, he was only on set for a few days but he did not phone that in.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Jenny: It would be fun if he found out in the book, though I don’t know where things are going there, he can’t be long for this world, I just find him so annoying!

      Yeah I liked it too, I thought it was a bit disjointed but that often happens with an opening episode. I’m in love with Mrs Coulter, can she take me away please? lol I thought James McAvoy was great as Lord Asriel, he was only on set for a few days but he did not phone that in.

      Oooh! Yeah, I can see what you mean about it being a bit disjointed. It did include a lot — and a lot of seemingly different stories (the North, Dust, missing Gyptian kids, Lyra’s origins, the Master of Jordan College and what he’s up to, etc.) which does seem pretty disjointed

      without knowing the common thread(s).

      I also found myself wondering where daemons get their names and how they are born? I googled this and learned that apparently, Pullman said the parent(s)’ daemon names the child’s daemon.

      Would the Golden Money have named Pan? Stelmaria? I think it would have fallen to the Golden Money because he would have been there for Lyra’s birth. I wonder if it’s an immediate thing?

      I agree with the rest! I found them great as Mrs Coulter and Lord Asriel. The Asriel/Lyra scene kind of broke my heart. A solitary tear may have escaped my eye…. 😉

      (I find LF terribly annoying too! He personifies slimy!)

        Quote  Reply

    67. Adrianacandle,

      I was actually wondering that, I couldn’t remember, but I thought Salcilia was a bit of a mouthful for a baby lol. Stelmaria is such a beautiful name though.

      I think it might have been better to show Lyra spending time with the Gyptians to link those two plots better, but other than that I thought it was very promising. When it started with bits of text I thought oh no, this might not be non book reader friendly and people did seem to struggle a bit, but it wasn’t too impenetrable.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Jenny,

      Yeah! Pantalaimon and Salcilia both! I can’t see a baby coming up with those XD I agree about Stelmaria — it is a beautiful name (and for a beautiful daemon!)

      I think it might have been better to show Lyra spending time with the Gyptians to link those two plots better

      Yes!

      And maybe it’ll start to become easier as these seemingly disparate stories all start to come together, especially once Lyra reaches London and starts discovering stuff. But I felt it was good for setting up the mystery of Dust, its impact on children, the Magisterium, etc. But it’s a lot for the pilot.

      I’m really looking forward to watching this every Monday!!

        Quote  Reply

    69. Going to say this again – it’s a shame people won’t use the forum here as it would be a convenient place to talk about HDM. Any discussion here will be abandoned as soon as the article drops off the front page, and we will get then get more disjointed conversations scattered about.

      So far I have spotted the following GoT alumni:

      Lord Commander Mormont
      Kevan Lannister
      Salladhor Saan

        Quote  Reply

    70. Grandmaester Flash,

      I love the idea of a forum, I think it’d be easier too — but my account hasn’t been activated on there yet :/

      Lord Commander Mormont
      Kevan Lannister
      Salladhor Saan

      Oh yeah, I spotted LC Mormont!! 🙂 Good eye with the others!

        Quote  Reply

    71. Mr Derp:
      Jenny,

      I’m going to guess that LF didn’t think Sansa was going to escape the Boltons and go to Jon for help in the first place.It complicated his plans once that happened, which influenced LF to change course to sow seeds of distrust between Jon and Sansa after they retook Winterfell.And it actually worked for a time, even though I kept hearing about how smart Sansa became during this whole plot.Ugh…maybe I shouldn’t have opened that door 🙂

      Aiden Gillen seemed to be under the impression that LF did NOT know Ramsey was as sadistic as he turned out to be.Of course, Sophie Turner thought that LF knew everything the whole time.

      IMO, the way things unfolded made me think that LF really did not know how bad Ramsey was.

      I’ve reconciled myself to the real Master Gameplayer LF disappearing after S4, and being replaced by a lobotomized moron. It’s really futile to try to guess what he was thinking and what his plan(s) were, because none of it made sense, and there were never any explanations for the audience or the characters.

      It’s no surprise that Aiden G. didn’t know what LF was supposed to know or not know; or that Sophie Turner thought LF was aware of Ramsay’s sadistic tendencies while Aidan G. didn’t think so.

      I temember back when LF presented his Bolton marriage plan to Sansa. Actually, I think his line “Avenge them” was even in the S5 trailer or teaser.
      When LF somehow convinced Sansa to marry into the family that had slaughtered her brother, sister in law, and scores of Stark bannermen, I thought/hoped there would be a big payoff to that “Avenge them!” inducement.

      You know, something like LF plotting with Sansa to have her infiltrate WF under the guise of being a malleable airhead, and then slip some poison into the Boltons’ wine; and as Roose and Ramsay are spitting up blood and choking to death, Sansa would deliver a cheeky line send-off line. (Oh wait… wrong sister. 🗡👸🏻)

      But then later, after Sansa had become a virtual prisoner and human pin cushion, they showed her filching that corkscrew and hiding it in her sleeve. I figured the next time Ramsay came to brutalize her, she’d pull out that corkscrew and gouge his eyes out; as he was doubled over in pain and fell to his knees, she’d stand over him and calmly ask “Do you know who I am?”
      (… Oops. Wrong sister again. 🗡👸🏻)

      Honestly, I think it was really a huge challenge to construct clever schemes for LF without book material. The arguably short-sighted decision to merge Sansa into the Jeyne Poole-Ramsay storyline required some really intelligent justifications and clear objectives for LF to convincingly set this scheme in motion.
      There weren’t any. I’m sorry. It fell flat, just like LF’s S7 PsychoArya vs. Skittish Sansa scheme.

        Quote  Reply

    72. The marriage alliance makes the Boltons an enemy of the Crown. It also lowers the Boltons guard to the presence of Littlefinger’s army. If Stannis is set to win, the Vale soldiers join him in the battle. Or if the Boltons are set to win, Vale soldiers hold back then surprise them when they’re still weakened from battle and kills them. Either way Littlefinger is the hero of the North, Sansa is set to become Wardeness of the North, and he can then swoop in and marry her. Brilliant writing and storytelling from Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Honestly, I think it was really a huge challenge to construct clever schemes for LF without book material. The arguably short-sighted decision to merge Sansa into the Jeyne Poole-Ramsay storyline required some really intelligent justifications and clear objectives for LF to convincingly set this scheme in motion.
      There weren’t any. I’m sorry. It fell flat, just like LF’s S7 PsychoArya vs. Skittish Sansa scheme.

      The fact that we find out, in his moondoor talk with Lysa, that LF started this whole thing, meant to me that we were going to find out his end game and what he really was for. At first I thought the IT but it was more than that, it was Sansa. So it seemed really weird that she’d make this marriage proposal. I would have thought GOT would have kept her book arc, to keep her hidden.

      TB thanks for the comments about the KV – your thoughts make sense. Now, can you figure out, seeing that he made it to the small council meeting, just how much of a grown up lord Robyn really was?

        Quote  Reply

    74. Ten Bears,

      Man you really REALLY dislike Sansa eh?

      I can’t speak for this Jeyne Poole or whoever-the-fuck because I haven’t read the books (and I don’t plan to until they’re finished, which means I’ll probably never read them). But as a viewer, judging only by what was presented in the show itself, Littlefinger’s plan made sense, and Sansa’s besting of him leading to his demise in S7 made sense as well. It was labyrinth and Machiavellian, but the mechanics of how it all went down was clear enough to me.

      Now I’m sure Littlefinger having Sansa mindlessly slaughtering the Boltons under the guise of vengeance would’ve been very satisfying to you, but that wouldn’t have fit into his plan at all.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Jack Bauer 24,

      Sorry Jack. The Bolton marriage plan was not “brilliant.”
      LF didn’t need to pimp out his prize chess piece (and Cat 2.0) to Bolton. Stannis would make Sansa Stark Wardeness if he won. (And he might even be apprehensive about doing so if he got there and she was Mrs. R. Bolton.)
      Plus, a creepy sociopath like LF who was perving on Sansa, and obsessed with her as a virtual reincarnation of Catelyn Tully, would never allow some random guy to take her virtue. He’d want that for himself – more than anything. (Not to mention that in his sick mind, nailing Sansa would be a way to posthumously stick it to Ned Stark and Brandon Stark.)

      As for LF’s bullsh*t story to Cersei, there were too many people who saw LF transport Sansa to WF, and introduce her publicly to the Boltons, for him to risk Cersei finding out he had double crossed her. (Besides, didn’t Cersei send him a ravengram c/o the Boltons to summon him back to KL? She could easily figure out that LF had arranged the marriage.)
      By the same token, telling that story to Cersei risked the Boltons figuring out he had double crossed them.

      LF had told Sansa he was a betting man and his money was on Stannis to win. The smart thing would’ve been to keep Sansa – and himself – out of harm’s way and wait for Stannis’s presumed victory.

      Did you really think it was brilliant of LF or the show’s writers to leave Sansa alone and defenseless with a bunch of disloyal murderers, and no “plan” for her other than to outmanipulate the Boltons because she had supposedly learned from the best?

      (Sort of off topic… One other thing: Was Sansa supposed to think everything was peachy-keen when she rode into WF to be formally greeted by the Boltons, and there were flayed corpses strung up in plain view?)

      Finally: after all that Sansa had been through dealing with Joffrey, who’d beheaded her father and tormented her for so long, and all the misery she went through as hostage of the Lannisters in KL (including an arranged, “political” marriage),
      would it really make sense that Sansa would agree to LF’s Bolton marriage proposition? Why would she knowingly put herself in harm’s way (again)?

        Quote  Reply

    76. Farimer123,

      1. Where did you glean that I “really dislike Sansa”? If anything, I didn’t like that Sophie Turner was left twisting in the wind trying to explain her character’s motivations.

      2. You wrote: “But as a viewer, judging only by what was presented in the show itself, Littlefinger’s plan made sense, and Sansa’s besting of him leading to his demise in S7 made sense as well.”

      Let’s agree to disagree for now. It’s too late at night for me to rehash all the reasons LF’s “plan” and his demise made no sense (to me).

        Quote  Reply

    77. Farimer123,

      ”Now I’m sure Littlefinger having Sansa mindlessly slaughtering the Boltons under the guise of vengeance would’ve been very satisfying to you, but that wouldn’t have fit into his plan at all.”

      I take it that you’re a relatively new and are unfamiliar with ASNAWP fanboying.
      Obviously I wouldn’t expect LF’s plan to involvw Sansa assassinating the Boltons with poison, or giving Ramsay a facelift with a corkscrew.

      Still… leaving Sansa all alone with no way to defend herself was no “plan” at all.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Ten Bears:
      Farimer123,

      ”Now I’m sure Littlefinger having Sansa mindlessly slaughtering the Boltons under the guise of vengeance would’ve been very satisfying to you, but that wouldn’t have fit into his plan at all.”

      I take it that you’re a relatively new and are unfamiliar with ASNAWP fanboying. Obviously I wouldn’t expect LF’s plan to involvw Sansa assassinating the Boltons with poison, or giving Ramsay a facelift with a corkscrew.

      Still… leaving Sansa all alone with no way to defend herself was no “plan” at all.

      I have to be honest here. I think a better idea would have been to bench the characters (or have them appear only briefly, plotting in the Vale as per the books) that season, as they did with Bran previously. I wonder if that was a consideration, which would have saved a rather nonsensical storyline, but they weren’t keen on having the actors sit out that long. I’ve thought about this along the way, and I’d rather have had that than having LF get some bizarre idea of marrying off Sansa to the skinpeelers (this is the guy who has resources all over the place?), having Sansa brutalized, alone, and almost literally thrown to the dogs for most of the season, and Brienne staring at a fucking candle for eons. I’m sure they could have figured out a way to “redeem” Theon and end Stannis (after his almost dizzying 5 minute spiral from doing not too bad to losing absolutely everything in one swoop).

      Piffle.

        Quote  Reply

    79. I looked it up, in AG’s words,

      “If anything, one of the defining things for Littlefinger this coming season would be feeling some regret and admission to slack judgment when it came to Ramsay Bolton.”

      And Bryan Cogman,

      ‘The difference between the Ramsay Snow of the books and the show is the Ramsay of the show is not a famous psycho,’ he said. ‘He’s not known everywhere as a psycho. So Littlefinger doesn’t have the intelligence on him. He knows they’re scary and creepy and not to be folly trusted and it’s part of a larger plan.'”

      Slightly undermines his reputation as a master planner, and he did at least know the risks.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Ten Bears,

      “What was Alys Karstark doing there, and why did she have to die after only three words of dialogue (last season, “Now and always!”) Tall striking redhead… here I thought they were setting up a co-equal partner for Tormund, or a kissed by fire co-star for Jon.”

      There was a scene when they take places before the battle (I could be wrong), where Jon says to her to go with Bran and wait there with the intention to protect her (keep her out of the fight, which is rather implied, again if I’m not mistaken). Filmed but dropped on the editing floor.
      (Adriana I’m sure can find the scripts).
      Alys did survive the battle and was spotted at the celebration in ep. 4.

        Quote  Reply

    81. ash,

      “BTW something just occurred to me, were the nights of the vale still at Winterfell? Were they involved in the fighting?”

      They were. Some fans froze the line-ups before the battle, and the sigil shows clearly on the shields. (if my memory doesn’t deceive me they were behind Brienne). There’s also the spoilery fotos from the shooting, shields of the Vale among others.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Ten Bears,

      “it looked like the Knights of the Vale are a mounted cavalry force, and not really infantrymen”

      TB knights are always cavalry. You can’t be a knight without a horse.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Mr Derp,

      Clearly that was the plan and I busted my head out trying to figure it out so much time ago.
      (LF is lord of Harrenhal though? not the Riverlands, since the Frey’s now have the Riverlands? -but clearly that’s the plan, I do feel relieved).
      Perhaps in the distant (or not so) future there’d follow a declaration of independence and secession of the North and the Vale >> confrontation with the IT >> LF and Sansa rule it all after presumed victory.

      What doesn’t fit is why would he need to tell the Lannisters what he was doing. Why go South and let them know that the Boltons had betrayed them? Just for achieving a brief time period in which he’d prepare the North and the Vale for secession? Lol, I think Jon and Sansa did it better. They just seceded and didn’t give a flying [email protected]@@ what others would think.
      But obviously the show needed to get rid of LF they needed him away from WF for the abuse to take place. I suppose they couldn’t come up with a cleverer idea about using a similar plot in the Vale, i.e. making marriage plans to Robin and messing with that, to cause Sansa’s escape, as it will happen in the books. They wouldn’t even have to involve another suitor for her, but on the other hand they needed to maintain Roose and Ramsay on screen.

      Sansa is “the key to the North” in the books. An offspring of the North/Riverlands with connections in the Vale. The alliance North/Riverlands/Vale/Storms End brought the Targaryens down. Whoever has Sansa now can bring anybody down, that’s why the Lannisters tried to keep her like some precious jem.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Efi: There was a scene when they take places before the battle (I could be wrong), where Jon says to her to go with Bran and wait there with the intention to protect her (keep her out of the fight, which is rather implied, again if I’m not mistaken). Filmed but dropped on the editing floor.
      (Adriana I’m sure can find the scripts).

      Heard my name! 😉

      Is this the scene you’re thinking of, Efi?

      In the script for “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” after Theon volunteers to protect Bran in the godswood during the coming battle, Jon says he doesn’t have enough men. That’s when Alys Karstark says she’ll be there too.

      “I’ll go with him,” Alys says to Jon in the script. “The Karstarks betrayed your House. Allow us to earn back your trust.”

      The script says “Jon appreciates the girl’s sense of honor” and he nods in approval. This entire exchange did not make it onto the final episode.

      When they hear wights starting to invade the godswood, the script says: “Alys is terrified but maintains her resolve. She motions to her men in the direction of the sound: follow me.”

      The scene then continues with Alys and her men walking among the trees in the godswood, following a trail of footprints. The trail leads them to a small wight-child, and the group of fighters turn to find a way out. But through the trees they can see “small figures moving with them. Snippets, glimpses of other child wights.”

      The wights descend upon a Karstark soldier, and Alys “turns and runs.”

        Quote  Reply

    85. Efi,

      Do you remember what the Boltons got out of it? They already had WF, and in the book they are still working with the Lannister’s, because they sent fArya to marry Ramsey. They intend to legitimise their position as Wardens of the North through marriage, in the show they use Sansa instead, but they are now enemies of the crown, was it worth it? Did LF promise to help against Stannis by handing over the Vale army?

      I don’t think it would make much difference in the long run, it’s not like Cersei would send help when their enemies start closing in on WF, but I can’t remember how it was presented to them in the first place.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Ten Bears: I’ve reconciled myself to the real Master Gameplayer LF disappearing after S4, and being replaced by a lobotomized moron. It’s really futile to try to guess what he was thinking and what his plan(s) were, because none of it made sense, and there were never any explanations for the audience or the characters.

      The master game player never existed. You’re making the very common but completely false presumption that Littlefinger is a genius, when that was never the case. Littlefinger is adept af throwing a wrench into the works, stepping back, and seeing what happens. The last time he did it, everything fell into his lap so people considered him to be a genius, despite the fact he had very little control over what happened. No, Littlefinger giving Sansa to the Bolton’s was a reckless move that had a chance of paying off in some way, just like Littlefinger poisoning Jon Arryn.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Ten Bears:
      Jack Bauer 24,
      Finally: after all that Sansa had been through dealing with Joffrey, who’d beheaded her father and tormented her for so long, and all the misery she went through as hostage of the Lannisters in KL (including an arranged, “political” marriage),
      would it really make sense that Sansa would agree to LF’s Bolton marriage proposition? Why would she knowingly put herself in harm’s way (again)?

      Sansa agreed to go along with the plan because Littlefinger played on her survivor’s guilt by calling her a “bystander” when her family was murdered. She wanted to be proactive for once, even if that meant putting herself in harm’s way.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Jenny,

      (Sorry to step in here!)

      It looks like it was something like that? From 503, when Roose confronts LF over his motives:

      Littlefinger: Every ambitious move is a gamble. You gambled when you drove a dagger into Robb Stark’s heart. It appears that your gamble paid off. You’re Warden of the North.

      Roose Bolton: I had Tywin Lannister backing. Who supports me now? You?

      Littlefinger: The Eyrie is mine. The last time the lords of the Eyrie formed an alliance with the lords of the North, they brought down the greatest dynasty this world has ever known.

      Roose seems to think the Lannisters are no longer a threat but yes, it appears Roose used a marriage to a trueborn Stark to forge a “lasting alliance”, become a great house, and solidify their hold on the North.

      Roose Bolton: I had a pact with Tywin Lannister, and Tywin Lannister is dead. The remaining Lannisters are a thousand miles away dealing with that fact. They’ve never once in the history of the Seven Kingdoms sent their army this far north. If you think they will for us, you’re a fool. We become a great house by entering in alliances with other houses, and parleying those alliances into greater power. The best way to forge a lasting alliance isn’t by peeling a man’s skin off. The best way is marriage. (Stands up). Now that you’re a Bolton by royal decree, it’s time you married a suitable bride. And as it happens, I found the perfect girl to solidify our hold in the North.

      And yeah, when LF goes to meet Cersei 506, it looks like he’s playing a double game and wants to become Warden of the North himself.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Jenny,

      Yeah, you were right! I needed to do a refresh of what the scripts had said in the episodes where LF talks to/about the Boltons but what you remembered really sounded like LF’s plan from what I remembered too.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Mr Derp,

      Ok, that’s a fair point. But you said they shouldn’t be trusted based on their sigil alone, rather than their past actions, which I don’t agree with.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Young Dragon,

      I didn’t say they shouldn’t be trusted based on their sigil alone though. I said that their sigil alone is a legit reason to think that handing over a bride to them might not be in the bride’s best interests and may be harmful.

      I mean, their sigil is a flayed man for crying out loud. Torture is the main theme of their House. It’s par for the course. You’d have to be the dumbest person in Westeros not to realize that handing over Sansa to the Boltons could have negative consequences.

      That’s like handing over a bride to Harvey Weinstein not expecting anything bad to happen.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Mr Derp,

      Are you serious? A house that’s existed for millennia and headed by a cool calculated cucumber like Roose can be reasonably expected to go full retard and harm Sansa, even when they desperately need her alive and well to give them some legitimacy as rulers of the North… because of their banner?

        Quote  Reply

    93. Farimer123:
      Mr Derp,

      Are you serious? A house that’s existed for millennia and headed by a cool calculated cucumber like Roose can be reasonably expected to go full retard and harm Sansa, even when they desperately need her alive and well to give them some legitimacy as rulers of the North… because of their banner?

      Torture is the main theme of their house and you don’t think that’s reason alone to be concerned about handing a bride over to them?

      I should be asking if you’re serious.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Mr Derp:
      Young Dragon,

      I didn’t say they shouldn’t be trusted based on their sigil alone though.I said that their sigil alone is a legit reason to think that handing over a bride to them might not be in the bride’s best interests and may be harmful.

      These two sentences completely contradict one another.

        Quote  Reply

    95. About if Sansa etc should trust not to get hurt by the Bolton’s:
      – I just finished season 2 2 days ago. Robb never trusted Roose completely, And Roose even let know he still is into flaying people. (2×04) And Robb disagree with that, that’s not how Robb will do that.
      Even in the show it’s common knowledge that the Bolton’s still flay their enemies.
      – Then we have the Red Wedding.
      It doesn’t make sense that somebody will go willingly to be a bride of a Bolton.
      – About LF herself, 4×08 made it known that Sansa doesn’t trust LF, but that LF is her best option to survive. How did she trust LF a couple of days later completely to not using her.

      About the letter:
      – Cersei send the letter to Winterfell to summon LF. Didn’t think about that first, but this seem to be a big plothole. Is Cersei really that dumb that she doesn’t connect: LF in WF, Sansa in WF going to get married > Oh LF had Sansa the whole time.

      About LF:
      – LF not being a master manipulator???? The one that orchestrated the murdering of Jon Arryn, and already planned 10 moves ahead, that it will lead to the war between the Lannisters and the Starks. Planting the seeds all the time for his grand scheme.
      – Yes he can live on chaos, he is good at adapting his plans.
      – LF is known for knowing everything. His own birds. There’s not a chance that LF doesn’t know about Ramsay. It’s more logical that he knew but just was using Sansa.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Young Dragon,

      They actually don’t.

      Basic reading comprehension can sort this all out. You’re just arguing for the sake of it now.

      A question was asked what would give LF any reason to think that Sansa would be harmed by the Boltons and I replied by saying that the Bolton’s main reason for existing is to torture people, which is true. They advertise it on their sigil. Period. It doesn’t necessarily mean you CAN’T do a deal with them or they ultimately will screw you over for sure. It just means there’s a reason to think they might not be trustworthy. It doesn’t mean they ultimately won’t.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Mr Derp,

      You should be the last person lecturing anyone on reading comprehension. You’re first sentence was simple enough. They shouldn’t not be trusted based on their sigil alone. That’s good, and I agree. But then in your very next sentence, you say that their sigil alone should stop people from trusting them with a bride. It’s a contradiction, plain and simple.

        Quote  Reply

    98. Mr Derp,

      So… their banner means they’re all automatically vicious sadistic animalistic psychopaths who will do whatever strikes their fancy in the present. So of course Littlefinger had every reason in the world to believe that this newly legitimized lord that he’s heard very little about was going to torture Sansa to the point where she risk life and limb to run away. Gotcha.

      Besides, it was never Littlefinger’s intention to have Sansa stay with the Boltons for long. He was telling the truth when he told Cersei he intended to seize Winterfell from Stannis or Roose after their fight (which he presumed would be much closer and costlier than it ended up being) and he was to be named Warden of the North for it. He would have been that AND effectively Warden of the East because Robin was wrapped around his finger AND effectively Warden of the South because he had Olenna by the (figurative) balls. With those three on his side, he could take down the Lannisters when the time came.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Mr Derp,

      You either trust someone, or you don’t. There is no in between.

      I mean, I’ve quoted you directly contradicting yourself. Maybe you misspoke, and that’s understandable, but just admit you made a mistake.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Farimer123,

      If you’ve read my previous comments in this thread, I’ve already stated that I don’t think LF knew how bad Ramsey really was. I even used quotes from Aiden Gillen to support this.

      You said there was no reason at all why LF should be wary of handing Sansa over to the Boltons though, and I countered that by pointing out that the Boltons have a reputation for torturing people for their own amusement. As we saw illustrated on the show, you can clearly use Sansa for political purposes and use her to make future heirs all the while still torturing her and treating her like a piece of flayed meat.

      Again, I’m not saying LF should’ve known everything that was going to happen ahead of time. I’m saying there were reasons to believe dealing with the Boltons might not be the best idea. That’s it.

        Quote  Reply

    101. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,

      You either trust someone, or you don’t. There is no in between.

      I mean, I’ve quoted you directly contradicting yourself. Maybe you misspoke, and that’s understandable, but just admit you made a mistake.

      Another swing and a miss.

      People made deals with other people they didn’t trust all the time on GoT when it suited both parties (i.e. the Boltons teaming up with the Lannisters to get rid of their common enemy). This situation is no different. You can make business deals with people that you don’t necessarily trust. Unfortunately, when one does this, it’s a risk that might not always work out in the end, hence what happened to LF here with the Boltons. This is common sense 101.

        Quote  Reply

    102. Mr Derp,

      No, not a swing and a miss at all, because nothing you said changes the fact that you either trust someone or you don’t. Yes, sometimes people in GOT made deals with people they didn’t trust out of necessity, but they still didn’t trust them.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,

      No, not a swing and a miss at all, because nothing you said changes the fact that you either trust someone or you don’t. Yes, sometimes people in GOT made deals with people they didn’t trust out of necessity, but they still didn’t trust them.

      I never said anything to contradict that you either trust someone or you don’t. I said you DO make business deals with people you don’t always trust though, which is a risk, but a calculated one, which is exactly what LF did.

        Quote  Reply

    104. Mr Derp,

      IF Littlefinger was ONLY concerned about Sansa’s well-being, you’d be right. He would’ve just kept her hidden in the Vale forever with her dyed hair and a fake name. And he knew very well that handing Sansa over to the Boltons was not going to be an agreeable prospect for her, hence his several scenes “comforting/encouraging” her to keep on the straight and narrow.

      More than anything else, Littlefinger is concerned with moving on up in the world, and that means using even people who he genuinely loves in his own horrible way as pawns to get what he wants.

      I maintain that there’s plenty of evil characters in this show, but Littlefinger and the Night King are the only true antagonists because they basically want to destroy everything because they’re messed-up motherfuckers.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Mr Derp,

      I said “you either trust someone or you don’t” and you said “another swing and a miss.” Would you look at that? Yet another contradiction.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Young Dragon,

      The swing and a miss comment was about you claiming that I’ve contradicted myself and made a mistake, which I have not done. I know you’ve got a thing for me YD, but you’re trying too hard.

        Quote  Reply

    107. Young Dragon:
      kevin1989,

      How did starting a war between the Starks and the Lannisters help him?

      I wonder if you really watched the show. Did you watch season 4 at all? The scenes between him and Lysa. It was made clear there that Lysa poisoned Jon Arryn and wrote a letter to Cat to blame the Lannisters, all for LF.
      Season 3: Chaos is a ladder.
      Season 1: He pushed Ned to go after Tywin and Gregor: Isn’t that a attack to the hand of the king himself.
      And of course “Helping Ned to take the throne” & back stab him moments later by pushing the “Ned is a traitor” that even further the war.

      And how did he benefit:
      – In the chaos that he created he can be the one “mending it all” and put everything together how he wants it. He controls who sits in control. He can control every kingdom that way. He has gotten a pawn that controls the Vale, and one that could control the north, there’s already chaos in the riverlands, highgarden, Dorne, Stormlands (crownlands also).
      And my guess is that in the books LF purpose is to overthrown the power that high borns have, he is the richest man in Westeros but has no real power on paper, he still is looked down. My guess is, his goal is to topple the system that put highborn above others. He wants a system in place where somebody who works hard and gain money through that is not looked down to but looked up too. Is still speculation on my part, but I think that’s where the books will go. And his first step is controlling the Kingdoms with him in control of the Wardens of those Kingdoms.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Young Dragon,

      I don’t know how you get this conclusion. Because when I read his comment, I interpreted it exactly how mr Derp meant it.
      First he states that the sigil is not meant that the Bolton’s aren’t to be trusted. Then a sentence later he states that even when it’s not meant to not trust somebody 100% the sigil should at least up your warning signals and at least let you investigate if it has any meaning in the house anymore.

      But that is not needed, Roose already told straight out in season 2 that he is still into the flaying of their enemies 2×04 if I remember correctly. And it was even stated in season 2 that it was common knowledge that Roose was still into it. So how can LF not know this? When half the Kingdoms know it.

      And as for the sigil, many houses redesign their sigil when the sigil doesn’t stand anymore for what their house stands for. Especially if they don’t agree anymore with something horrible their sigil stands for like flaying people alive.

      Farimer123,

      I agree that he doesn’t care about Sansa.

      Mr Derp,

      True, it was very clear what you stated.

        Quote  Reply

    109. kevin1989,

      Let me break this down for you. Littlefinger started a war where there were multiple kings fighting for one throne. He immediately backed one of the kings who, at the end of season 1, was in the worst position and was looking to be on the losing side. If any of the other kings were victorious, Littlefinger would have lost his head or would have lost his position. Now, you say he controlled the war. Let’s look at the things he couldn’t control:
      -he didn’t know the Lannisters would assasinate Robert Baratheon before Ned revealed the truth to him.
      -he didn’t know Stannis would use a shadow baby to kill Renly.
      -he didn’t know he would be put in the decision to broker a deal between the Lannisters and the Tyrells
      -he didn’t know he would be able to convince the Tyrells to join the Iron Throne before Stannis took King’s Landing
      -he didn’t know Robb wouldn’t use Theon to win Balon to his cause
      -he didn’t know the Greyjoys would attack the North and not Lannisport/Casterley Rock.
      -he didn’t know Theon would attack Winterfell.
      -he didn’t know Jaime would escape, weakening the Starks’ position.
      -he didn’t know Robb would execute Lord Karstark
      -he didn’t know that Robb would break his oath and lose Walder Frey as an ally
      – he didn’t know Lysa would keep her mouth shut about killing her husband

      I’m sure there is more, but you get the point. Once the war started, there was very little outside of his control. Everything fell into his lap and worked out perfectly for him. That makes him lucky, not smart.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Farimer123:
      Mr Derp,

      Are you serious? A house that’s existed for millennia and headed by a cool calculated cucumber like Roose can be reasonably expected to go full retard and harm Sansa, even when they desperately need her alive and well to give them some legitimacy as rulers of the North… because of their banner?

      Isn’t that exactly what happened? Roose’s nut job bastard went “full retard” and harmed Sansa even though they desperately needed her alive and well to give them legitimacy as rulers of the North? Isn’t that precisely what Roose reiterated to Ramsay when scolding him for abusing Sansa?

      Besides…anyone with half a brain, let alone a supposed analytical thinker like LF, who entered WF and saw flayed corpses suspended out in the open, would have to wonder how Sansa would be treated if left alone there.

      In any event, whether Ramsay’s sadistic predilections were common knowledge or not, the contrived explanation that LF was clueless about Ramsay undermined his basic character trait as someone who stayed one step ahead by acquiring information; and he did so, in part, by having spies and paid informants everywhere.

      To accept that LF sold off his prized asset without doing “due diligence” about Ramsay was too much of a stretch.

      (P.S. It’s not as if Ramsay was discreet. He flayed all of the Ironborn who surrendered Moat Callin, for example.)

        Quote  Reply

    111. Efi:
      Ten Bears,

      “it looked like the Knights of the Vale are a mounted cavalry force, and not really infantrymen”

      ……
      TB knights are always cavalry. You can’t be a knight without a horse.

      Really? I did not know that. You can’t be a knight without a horse?

      I thought “if you got armor on you’re a knight, generally speaking that is.” [J/K]

      (Luckily nobody told Hot Pie “[y]ou can’t be a knight without a horse.” By his fallacious logic, anyone with a horse would be a knight.)

        Quote  Reply

    112. Adrianacandle,

      Is this the scene you’re thinking of, Efi?

      In the script for “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” after Theon volunteers to protect Bran in the godswood during the coming battle, Jon says he doesn’t have enough men. That’s when Alys Karstark says she’ll be there too.

      “I’ll go with him,” Alys says to Jon in the script. “The Karstarks betrayed your House. Allow us to earn back your trust.”

      The script says “Jon appreciates the girl’s sense of honor” and he nods in approval. This entire exchange did not make it onto the final episode.

      ——
      So they couldn’t even give Alys 16 more words and a few seconds of screen time. 😠 And they snipped out her scripted scene (encounter with child wights) in the next episode as well?

        Quote  Reply

    113. Ten Bears,

      Despite my reservations over how this battle played out, this Alys stuff would have been nice to see. We didn’t even get to see what ended up happening to her.

        Quote  Reply

    114. Adrianacandle,

      I agree. It doesn’t sound like we missed anything Earth-shattering, but any scene that gave Alys some personality would’ve been nice to see.

      Not sure what the deal is with never showing a Karstark die in battle either. Happened in the Battle of the Bastards and in The Long Night.

        Quote  Reply

    115. Mr Derp,

      I agree.

      I believe, of the Karstarks, Rickard got the most screentime but Alys and Harald kind of just die off-screen in their respective battles. While Jon does mention Harald’s death in 701, I don’t recall Alys being mentioned again. Which isn’t the most terrible thing at all but it would have been nice to get a shot here or there showing what happened to these named characters (at least with Alys, who we don’t hear of again).

        Quote  Reply

    116. Young Dragon,

      I thought one of LF’s own mottos was that knowledge is power, as he expressed in this discussion/disagreement with Cersei in S2e1:

      Cersei: “I wonder if I might ask you for a favor.”
      LF: “Of course, Your Grace.”
      Cersei: “Ned Stark’s youngest daughter Arya, we can’t seem to locate her. If she’s escaped the capital, Winterfell seems the logical destination. And yet my friends in the North report no sign of her.”
      LF: “Curious.”
      Cersei: “If we choose to negotiate with the Starks, the girl has some value. Whoever finds her…Well, you know what they say about Lannisters and debts.”
      LF: “Well you could ask Varys where she is. He’ll have an answer for you.
      Whether you believe it… Myself, I have always had a hard time trusting eunuchs. Who knows what they want?”
      Cersei: “A mockingbird. – You created your own sigil, didn’t you?”
      LF: “Yes.”
      Cersei: “Appropriate, for a self-made man with so many songs to sing.”
      LF: “I’m glad you like it. Some people are fortunate enough to be born into the right family. Others have to find their own way.”
      Cersei: “I heard a song once about a boy of modest means who found his way into the home of a very prominent family. He loved the eldest daughter. Sadly, she had eyes for another. When boys and girls live in the same home, awkward situations can arise.”
      LF: “Sometimes, I’ve heard, even brothers and sisters develop certain affections. And when those affections become common knowledge, well, that is an awkward situation indeed, especially in a prominent family. But prominent families often forget a simple truth, I’ve found.”
      Cersei: “And which truth is that?”
      LF: “Knowledge is power.”

      Cersei (to guards): “Seize him! Cut his throat…. Stop. Wait. I’ve changed my mind. Let him go. Step back three paces. Turn around. Close your eyes.
      Power is power.
      Do see if you can take some time away from your coins and your whores to locate the Stark girl for me. I would very much appreciate it.”

        Quote  Reply

    117. kevin1989,

      ”About the letter:
      – Cersei send the letter to Winterfell to summon LF. Didn’t think about that first, but this seem to be a big plothole. Is Cersei really that dumb that she doesn’t connect: LF in WF, Sansa in WF going to get married > Oh LF had Sansa the whole time.”

      Right! (Not sure if I commented on this earlier before or after you did, but yeah, Cersei sent a ravengram to LF c/o WF – which Roose opened first before giving it to LF – so Cersei surely knew LF was in WF, and Roose knew LF had been summoned to KL by Cersei.
      Both Roose and Cersei could deduce that LF had double-crossed each of them, or was playing both sides.

      Not a very smart “plan.” Even when LF was just stirring sh*t up to create chaos and then climb the resulting “ladder” of opportunity, he would always do so behind the scenes so nobody knew he was the instigator. (Often, he’d frame someone else while he was at it, eg, framing the Lannisters for Jon Arryn’s death; and allowing Tyrion – and even Sansa – to be condemned for poisoning Joffrey.)

        Quote  Reply

    118. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, I think that’s the scene. I don’t have the scripts but I see details like that all over the internet, lol. I thought it was in ep. 3 when they carry Bran off to the godswood.

      “And they snipped out her scripted scene (encounter with child wights) in the next episode as well?”

      I didn’t know such a scene existed!
      They really did shorten all episodes, didn’t they? If you take out the titles (3-4 min) then what remains of eps 1 and 2 is a bare 50 min (or even less), and while they promised ep 3 to last 1h 20′ I think it was barely 1h 10′ or sth like that. Imagine how many scenes were filmed but didn’t make it to screen because they didn’t want to spoil the tension.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Efi,

      I don’t think it was about shortening the episodes but rather (based on my limited time in production and editing/setting video up for broadcast — the requirements for which can be very strict), making sure the episode met a specific time limit.

        Quote  Reply

    120. Jenny,

      I think it was meant to be as it is in the books, meaning, no one can hold the North without a Stark, so there has to be a marriage.
      From the show as it is I didn’t understand that Cersei was in on the plan to marry Sansa with Ramsay, which makes sense because Sansa was married to a Lannister anyway and Cersei wouldn’t want to give the prize to someone else. Sansa in reality was a key to keeping the entirety of the 7Ks together.
      This is why LF’s return to KL feels off. If he had that plan, why would he need to get “permission” to march North? Why not attend the wedding himself and murder the Boltons at it just as he murdered Joffrey? And why is it “betrayal” on the part of the Boltons to want a Stark bride? If the show had added a few scenes showing the dissension in the North, then it would have stuck better with the whole plot.
      In any case, the details of this thing make the entire plot problematic (but for casual viewers not so much).

      In any case, in the meeting Sansa had with LF at Molestown she asked him specifically if he knew what a monster Ramsay was, and he didn’t deny anything (there might be sth more in the scripts however that didn’t make it past the editing room).

        Quote  Reply

    121. Jenny,

      Efi,

      I’m sorry for stepping in again! Yes, I also don’t think Cersei was in on the plan to marry Sansa to Ramsay and she seemed against it — but I don’t think it was about wanting Sansa for herself, it seems like Cersei just wants Sansa dead.

      It appears Cersei considered the Boltons traitors because Tywin made Roose Warden of the North and has his son marry somebody Cersei wants dead:

      Littlefinger: There is another matter, your Grace. Something so urgent I couldn’t trust the words to a raven. You once charged me with finding Arya Stark. To my shame I failed you. But I have found Sansa Stark. Alive, and well, and home again. In Winterfell.

      Cersei: That’s not possible.

      Littlefinger: My sources are well placed. They tell me Roose Bolton plans to marry her to his son, Ramsay, a bastard recently legitimized by King Tommen.

      Cersei: Roose Bolton is Warden of the North by the grace of my father.

      Littlefinger: Indeed. As reward for stabbing his own king in the heart.

      Cersei: We were fools to trust a turncloak.

      Littlefinger: Marrying his son to the last of the Starks gives him more legitimacy in the North than an alliance with a hated southern house.

      Cersei: I will skin him and his bastard like that wretch on that bloody sigil.

      Littlefinger: I would counsel patience, your grace.

      Cersei: Patience? Sansa helped murder my son, Roose Bolton is a traitor.

      Littlefinger: Stannis Baratheon is also a traitor, marching with his army on Winterfell. Let Stannis and Roose battle, let the enemies of the throne slaughter each other and when they’re done seize Winterfell from whichever thief survives.

      Cersei: Winterfell is 1,000 miles away from here. The weather has already begun to turn.

      Littlefinger: That is why it is critical to strike soon, while the victor still licks his wounds. Surely your Uncle Kevan could muster a force.

      Cersei: My Uncle Kevan has all the courage of a kitchen mouse.

      Littlefinger: Ser Jaime, then.

      Cersei: Jaime is away on a sensitive diplomatic mission. I’ve no idea when he’ll be back.

      Littlefinger: Perhaps I can help. The Knights of the Vale are some of the best fighters in Westeros, trained to battle in the ice and the snow.

      Cersei: Forgive me Lord Baelish, you have a reputation as a money lender and brothel keeper, not a military man.

      Littlefinger: You wouldn’t risk a single Lannister soldier or a single coin from the Royal Treasury. What do you have to lose, a brothel keeper?

      Cersei: And if you succeed?

      Littlefinger: Name me Warden of the North.

      Cersei: I’ll speak to the king this evening. Have him issue a royal decree.

      Littlefinger: I’ll not rest until the lion flies over Winterfell.

      Cersei: And I’ll l know you’re a man of your word when I see Sansa Stark’s head on a spike.

      Littlefinger: As I said. I live to serve.

        Quote  Reply

    122. Efi: In any case, in the meeting Sansa had with LF at Molestown she asked him specifically if he knew what a monster Ramsay was, and he didn’t deny anything (there might be sth more in the scripts however that didn’t make it past the editing room).

      I think LF did deny it in 605? It’s been debated in this thread whether or not he’s lying but the LF, himself, denies knowing anything:

      Sansa: What do you think he did?

      Littlefinger: I can’t begin to contemplate–

      Sansa: What do you think he did to me?

      Brienne: Lady Sansa asked you a question.

      Littlefinger: He beat you.

      Sansa: Yes, he enjoyed that. What else do you think he did?

      Littlefinger: Sansa, I–

      Sansa: What else?

      Littlefinger: Did he cut you?

      Sansa: Maybe you did know about Ramsay all along.

      Littlefinger: I didn’t know.

      Sansa: I thought you knew everyone’s secrets.

      Littlefinger: I made a mistake, a horrible mistake. I underestimated a stranger.

      As for the Boltons, I believe (based on the dialogue between him and Cersei in 506) Littlefinger’s plan was to let Stannis and the Boltons destroy each other and have himself be named the new Warden of the North under the Baratheon regime. But I could be missing something!

        Quote  Reply

    123. Young Dragon,

      It seems you clearly missed completely who LF is (especially in the books).
      1. You state many things that doesn’t matter if they did or didn’t happen. It didn’t matter what would happen in the chaos, as long as there was chaos and war that he could turn to his own advantage, and if they are not there, he intervene himself (Like putting the queen of thornes up for poisoning Joffrey when he saw that the chaos was fading under the Lannister/Tyrell marriage).
      2. So as you state he couldn’t predict many outcomes true, he is not the 3ER who can warg into other’s and let them do what they do. What he can do is making sure he is the first to know the outcome and adjust the plan accordingly. I will give you an example, for instance Renly vs Stannis. What was important for LF was that they would fight, and that one king would lose. And one did lose, if it would have come to Renly and Stannis getting along, he would have made sure it would end in a feud.
      3. As for the Lannisters vs the Starks. It didn’t matter all the small things that happen between them, who would escape, who would win the small battles. In fact for LF it would be best if there wouldn’t be a winner in a long time, that they weaken each other till the point both lost enough forces till one would win. The RW happened and the north lost, the Lannisters lost a lot of people themselves. I only thing he wasn’t happy that the Lannisters didn’t lose enough. (Which made up that he got control of the Vale).
      4. He didn’t backed Joffrey. He backed the outcome that would result in War. If LF would have chosen Ned at that time, the War of 5 Kings wouldn’t have happen. The north wouldn’t have go to war, Joffrey etc would be under Ned’s command. Renly would have sided with Ned and so would the Tyrells, which would have made sure it was Stannis vs the rest. He backed Joffrey so it would lead to chaos and war. Some even think he was the one to put Joffrey up to behead Ned. (Which I think he did).
      5. Lysa Arynn poisoning her husband. There’s a reason why LF wanted that to happen, one word: War.
      6. The dagger-lie. See point 5: War.

      And you state that LF put himself in harmsway, I think the only real treat for him was Stannis because of the magic Mel posses. Everyone else he would win against if there was really people going against him. LF is the richest man in Westeros, meaning he could make a lot of people do what he wants them to do. (Like killing the northman in 1×07 and go against their vows)

      And the thing is, many think LF wants the throne, and I believe he doesn’t want it. He wants to topple the whole system, in which it doesn’t matter if every little detail is under his control, as long as there is chaos and houses destroy each other.

        Quote  Reply

    124. Adrianacandle,

      It still doesn’t make much sense. Why would he need to be named Warden if all he meant was to dispose of the Boltons? And if he did want Stannis to beat the Boltons, why then give Sansa to the Boltons instead of waiting for the right time to take her North? Just to have a pretext to attack with the KoV? Oh, not, he’s not attacking really, he just wants to take over the North. But if he wants to do that, why doesn’t he wait till after the Boltons are dealt with by Stannis?
      It’s unfortunate at best (lame is the first that come to mind, honestly, lol). It becomes a circular line of questions/problems that ends up and begins at the same spot.

        Quote  Reply

    125. Efi,

      I think what LF is hoping for is Stannis and the Boltons weakening one another through battle without putting any of his resources into the mix and he wanted to break the Bolton/Lannister alliance. Which is broken once LF tells Cersei that Ramsay married Sansa and Cersei’s pissed at the Boltons for “betraying her” and marrying one of her enemies. Since Cersei now views the Boltons as enemies, the crown will no longer support them. Meanwhile, Stannis is already an enemy of Cersei’s and Ceresi will hardly support Stannis as ruler of the North either. If Stannis’s forces and Bolton’s forces are suitably weakened and Cersei supports Littlefinger, Littlefinger can take an already-weakened North without any additional conflict since he has the crown’s support.

      I think(?) that was the plan. LF does say, “Chaos is a ladder,” so maybe he’s creating all this chaos so that his enemies battle one another and he can swoop in like a vulture at an opportune moment and take the North.

      It kind of looks like from this conversation, LF seemed willing to turn over Sansa to Cersei but I kind of doubt he’d do that so I don’t know what his plan there was. Roose feels safe from Lannister retaliation because they’re so far North so maybe LF would be depending on that.

        Quote  Reply

    126. kevin1989,
      1. All of the outcomes matter, as they played to his advantage without him doing anything. If the Greyjoys and Starks united, they would have been a power house. Think about it. They attacking the North was very bad for Robb and it led to Bran and Rickon’s disappearance, presumed death. If that didn’t happen, Roose wouldn’t have been able to take control of the North quite so easily and it would have resulted in Sansa becoming far less valuable. Remember, a key role in Littlefinger’s plan is for Sansa to be heir to Winterfell.

      2. But we don’t see him do any of this. We don’t see him predict the outcome, or rather we see him predict the wrong outcome. He goes to Renly in an attempt to win Renly’s favor. He says in exchange for his life, he will work within King’s Landing to make Renly’s attack go much more smoothly. It was clever for him to put his eggs in multiple baskets, but the problem is if this happened he’d be in an even weaker position than he was before. And Renly would have demolished Stannis with very little effort and then moved on to King’s Landing. Furthermore, it looked like Robb and Renly were about to make a powerful alliance. If Renly had won, Littlefinger would have failed.

      3. Again, Robb had to die if Littlefinger hoped to claim the North one day. If Robb had the Freys, the Boltons, the Karstarks, and the Greyjoys by his side, while keeping Jaime prisoner, his death was far from certain. The Red Wedding would never have happened, and if his position became to untenable, he could always retreat North, which is what he tries to do in the books.

      4. I know Littlefinger didn’t back Joffrey and was simply using him. I meant from the other kings’ point of view, Littlefinger was a Lannister loyalist, so if any other king had won, which wasn’t out of the question, Littlefinger would either have lost his head or his position.

      5. I know why Lysa poisoned Jon Arryn, but how did Littlefinger know she would be able to keep her mouth shut? One slip up and he was a dead man.

      6. Agreed.

      I think Renly was the greatest threat to him. The Tyrells wouldn’t break from him for gold.

        Quote  Reply

    127. Ten Bears,

      Yes, he did say that, but being knowledgeable doesn’t mean you can control a war. There were way too many variables. Just like when he married Sansa to Ramsay. There were too many variables for him to control. The only difference is that the variables went his way in the War of Five Kings but they did not go his way in Sansa’s marriage.

        Quote  Reply

    128. Speaking of deaths, I have to report back my exciting news that I just finished Arya’s final chapter “The Ugly Little Girl”….. (I’ll put in a spoiler in a minute talking about the death of which I speak…) I got one more chapter in with Cersei’s walk of shame. I have to say these last 200 pages really zoomed by, and I only have about 100 left. I’m way ahead of my thanksgiving goal. I think I may have read 100 pages today. I might finish by the end of the weekend. Jenny was wrong that there wouldn’t be a quiz. There was a character that popped up that I had to remember. I think the last time he was talked about was 700 pages or so ago taking into account I read both AFFC and ADWD at once (Jon Connington’s whole story popped up again towards the end of the book). It might not have been that long, but it took me awhile before I remembered his whole story, but I did finally remember and it all came back to me after GRRM brought up a couple other characters that were part of his story.
      Here are a few things I want to share…

      Arya was awesome again. She actually is a better pupil in the books and sticks more to the task at hand instead of killing people on her list along the way. The death of the sea merchant would have ranked up as one of the best deaths of the season if it was shown on screen. It was very clever the way she got it done with no way of tracing it back to her. And she did get it done. That’s alot different than the show. Her first face transformation was also great. I loved that they had to be some of her own blood involved and the way the others helped her put on her first mask.

      Yay! Brienne and Jaime are together and Brienne is alive… I don’t know what word Brienne screamed though.. .I don’t think they explained that part yet…

      And I think the mountain is alive… It’s not really explained but the show mirrors the books when Cersei ends her walk of shame with Qyburn’s giant picking up cercei. You have to assume it’s the mountain (Ser Robert the Strong). But GRRM really likes to keep us guessing about who’s really dead and who’s coming back harder and stronger. I was pretty sure the mountain had his head removed, but I guess it could have been some other giant person’s head since it was just the skull…

      Meereen is driving me nuts. GRRM spends so much time on Dany in Meereen with everyone and their brother trying to marry her. I know she wanted to rule in Meereen to let her dragons grow and learn how to rule, but I really feel it needed some editing or something. But I loved loved loved Dany’s Drogon scene. It’s very different than the show, but she still does fly away on Drogon. I love how GRRM describes the dragon and how his wounds have steam coming out of them…

      So now I am waiting for Jon to be killed as I know he will be. I will have to check back on the names from Cersei’s plan early on to send her people to the wall. I know Osmund Kettleblack didn’t make it there, but I’m not sure if she has any others there or whether it will all just be the regular NW folks the kill him. I’ve lost track of all the character names from the beginning of the book, so I’ll have to research the names for my quiz!

      I do plan on reading the sample chapters when I’m done as per Keith’s recommended order, so I have one more Arya chapter with Mercy to go, which I had read ages ago out of curiosity, but I had no context and I don’t remember what happened…

        Quote  Reply

    129. Tron79,

      Oh him! Yeah, I think with the combined reading order, his story has a massive gap in it. Ok teensy theory, which I will put in spoilers in case you didn’t get his back story.

      I think the show may have been inspired by him when writing the bells,

      “Deep bronze booms and silver chiming pounded through his skull, a maddening cacophony of noise that grew ever louder until it seemed as if his head would explode.

      Seventeen years had come and gone since the Battle of the Bells, yet the sound of bells ringing still tied a knot in his guts. Others might claim that the realm was lost when Prince Rhaegar fell to Robert’s warhammer on the Trident, but the Battle of the Trident would never have been fought if the griffin had only slain the stag there in Stoney Sept.”

      Now, they wouldn’t be ringing the bells to surrender, the bells are a call to action, and I think there is a good chance that he will do something drastic. He clearly has PTSD.

      I’m no great fan of Meereen either, some of that had to be cut for the show. I understand the detail, ending slavery, dealing with a plague and fixing the economy is not easy, but it is a long read, and I HATE Daario. I do wish the show had made Dany more culpable for the war, rather than passing the blame to Tyrion. Given her ending, it wouldn’t have hurt to show a bit more detail. I’m pretty sure that she hands over a girl to be tortured at one point, good luck defending that on the show. In terms of editing the book, cut Quentyn out immediately. Her last chapter is great though.

      I agree with you about Arya, as you have recounted it, I remember how much I liked her plot in the book. I didn’t like it in the show at all, her chase through the streets in S6 was bizarre. Not a massive deal, they wanted a bit more action, but its a great read.

      Yay, you got to Brienne as well! For the love of God let something good happen to this woman. She and Jaime are obviously not going to have a good time with LSH, I’m genuinely nervous about what happens next. I think GRRM has confirmed that the word is

      sword, so she has agreed to fetch Jaime, so that he can be killed, but she will never go through with it.

        Quote  Reply

    130. Jenny,

      I thik LSH wants access to the Freys, doesn’t she? She’s already killing them one by one, she’s tired of it. She needs to do something drastic.
      Meat pies, anyone?

        Quote  Reply

    131. Tron79,

      You’re a fast reader! 100 pages per day is a lot! But the truth is, it sucks you in. I’m not English native, but I read it in English and it had that same effect on me. I love Martin’s language. Unlike others I like his narrative and the poetic descriptions the most.
      (lol, I have unknown words there, I have to check them most of the times to understand the meaning; how many words for trees must one know for example?)

      I can’t wait to read your comments on the final Jon chapter.

      I think all the things Dany encounters in Meereen are supposed to prepare her for what’s coming in Westeros. Each of the suitors represents something in her arc. But Jenny is right, the show should have shown some more details of the war at Meereen.

        Quote  Reply

    132. Efi,

      Oh maybe! I think Arya will end up in the Riverlands (because of Nymeria) and I like the theory about her being the one to kill LSH. This could be total nonsense, but imagine vigilante Arya coming face to face with vigilante Cat, witnessing that extreme might put her off the path of vengeance.

      OR, she doesn’t strike the killing blow herself, she see’s her through Nymeria’s eyes, and the wolf does it.

        Quote  Reply

    133. Jenny:
      Efi,

      Oh maybe!I think Arya will end up in the Riverlands (because of Nymeria) and I like the theory about her being the one to kill LSH.This could be total nonsense, but imagine vigilante Arya coming face to face with vigilante Cat, witnessing that extreme might put her off.

      While Nymeria brought her out of the river initially, I am pretty certain that Arya will likely give her the gift of “Mercy”. Makes perfect sense to me!

        Quote  Reply

    134. Pigeon,

      That’s my guess, but I don’t know how the timeline works, or how this effects Jaime/Brienne, they would have to escape without killing her. iirc, GRRM said that LSH is part of the whole book, so maybe Arya appears towards the end of WoW? I can’t see Jaime/Brienne still being there by that point.

        Quote  Reply

    135. Efi:
      Tron79,

      You’re a fast reader! 100 pages per day is a lot! But the truth is, it sucks you in. I’m not English native, but I read it in English and it had that same effect on me. I love Martin’s language. Unlike others I like his narrative and the poetic descriptions the most.
      (lol, I have unknown words there, I have to check them most of the times to understand the meaning; how many words for trees must one know for example?)

      I can’t wait to read your comments on the final Jon chapter.

      I think all the things Dany encounters in Meereen are supposed to prepare her for what’s coming in Westeros. Each of the suitors represents something in her arc. But Jenny is right, the show should have shown some more details of the war at Meereen.

      So, I think I’m a pretty slow reader, and I’m going a little slower on purpose because I want to remember as much as possible. I’m guessing it takes me about 2 minutes to read a page on average…just a guess. That’s only 30 pages in an hour. I just happened to be able to read for a long time yesterday and kept going. And I was super motivated knowing that Arya’s next chapter wasn’t that far away if I kept going. It’s amazing what you can do when you turn off Netflix! The pages in ADWD are definitely smaller print than the pages in AFFC, so those pages have to be a little longer. Also, several times I read half of a page and I realized I couldn’t remember anything I just read! So I would go back and read that half page again and discover what I missed this first time. If I try to read too fast then I just skim over too much, and with this story there are so many details! Friday is my day off, and Saturday is also a day I usually have lots of free time, so I’m hoping I can finish between now and then…

      I’m not sure if the show could handle too much of the back story in Meereen without having some serious action happening. The show also took a much different direction with focusing more on Tyrion’s Meereen journey than Dany’s (IMHO). I remember in the show and in the book how thrilled I was with some real action once Drogon showed up. Other characters such as Victarion who are going to Meereen to at least add some action in the books, even though GRRM has very abusive and vulgar characters with the way they treat women. You do get a much better picture of life in the middle ages in the books. It wouldn’t have been great TV to see so many people dying of the flux (the pale mare) in such disgusting ways. Tyrion’s life as a slave was a lot longer than the show and he had to do many disgusting things… Sam’s show montage in the citadel was bad enough! Tyrion’s montage would have been much worse.

        Quote  Reply

    136. Jenny:
      Tron79,

      Oh him!Yeah, I think with the combined reading order, his story has a massive gap in it.Ok teensy theory, which I will put in spoilers in case you didn’t get his back story.

      I’m no great fan of Meereen either, some of that had to be cut for the show.I understand the detail, ending slavery, dealing with a plague and fixing the economy is not easy, but it is a long read, and I HATE Daario.I do wish the show had made Dany more culpable for the war, rather than passing the blame to Tyrion.Given her ending, it wouldn’t have hurt to show a bit more detail.I’m pretty sure that she hands over a girl to be tortured at one point, good luck defending that on the show.In terms of editing the book, cut Quentyn out immediately.Her last chapter is great though.

      I agree with you about Arya, as you have recounted it, I remember how much I liked her plot in the book.I didn’t like it in the show at all, her chase through the streets in S6 was bizarre.Not a massive deal, they wanted a bit more action, but its a great read.

      Yay, you got to Brienne as well!For the love of God let something good happen to this woman.She and Jaime are obviously not going to have a good time with LSH, I’m genuinely nervous about what happens next.I think GRRM has confirmed that the word is

      Yeah, I agree with your assessment of Meereen. The show really did go in a different direction there. I think the show wanted more action. As I said in a previous post, they also wanted to give Tyrion more screen time with Dany in season 5. Tryion was plenty involved in the books in his own journey, but just not with Dany… That probably didn’t work as well for the screen since they had to put some limits on the size of the cast and how much they paid their marquee actors.

      but as of yet, he hasn’t met Dany other than appearing in the pits riding a pig in front of her. Perhaps he has some more scenes before the end of the book, but the book focuses much more on Dany’s journey in Meereen and all of the characters who want to claim her as their wife. Actually I think GRRM enjoys writing about all of the various colorful characters who are on their way to Meereen to claim her (more than he likes writing for Dany). None of the Meereen wars had anything to do with Tyrion in the books. Yes, Dany is very obsessed with Daario in the books. I didn’t really like the way GRRM wrote her wanting to have sex with her slaver lord husband either. I thought she should be more strategic and decisive, but it just feels like she flounders about not being very decisive in Meereen for many pages. (IMHO). At first I thought she made a great decision to wait while her dragons grew and she would rule as a queen. She is off with Drogon somewhere now, so at least she left the Pyramid for awhile!

      Sometimes I get confused on the characters because I remember the show so well. D&D often use the same scenes but with different characters! That’s mind boggling when I can see the show so well in my brain. One example is Theon’s jump with Sansa in the show. As you know he had the same jump in the books but with someone else! With Jon Connington I was just getting confused because some of his scenes were done by Jorah in the show. I think there could have been a 1000 page gap between his chapters with the combined reading! Oy my… That’s a challenge to try to remember that long.. There was something similar when characters in the prologue didn’t show up again until the end of AFFC!

        Quote  Reply

    137. Young Dragon,

      1. I think LF knows who Balon is and that he would never would form an allience with Robb Stark. Cat knew it also. Robb was an idiot to trust Balon. And for LF the key-role is controlling who ever is heir of the north. Sansa would become it if all the boys would die. So he place a part into “Protecting Sansa”, if Robb would have stayed KITN he would have go with plan b or c or which ever he had planned there. Then he would have played the game a bit different, but I bet he also had already in mind what he should have done there. He has already 5 plans ready per action that is happening. He knew how to alter his plan accordingly.
      2. About him going to Renly, that’s a book only thing, in the books he isn’t going there, he goes directly to Lysa. But as for the show, do we really know that he would have backed Renly? After he betrayed Ned? It would be more logical if Renly would have attacked the capitol, LF put in a trap for Renly there. It was crucial that Cersei was kept in power to put havoc in the Kingdoms. My guess is he would have told Cersei of what he promised Renly and they had make a trap for Renly. (As he did with Stannis, he got Tywin for a reason.
      3. True Robb had to die or at least his army needed to be weakened. But the thing you need to question is, where did Roose betray the Starks. My guess is from the start, the moment the war started. (And I think LF is the one that suggested the RW to Tywin in the books but that’s just speculation on my part. But I suspect he talked with Tywin and gave small hints, and Tywin put things together and orchestrated the red wedding) .
      4. LF is a smooth talker, as you state he made Renly an offer. He would talked himself out if somebody would have taken the city. Except one, Stannis. Stannis would be the only one that would have hanged LF without question, (very smart of LF to be at the Eyrie the moment Stannis attacked KL).
      5. Because he knew how to manipulate Lysa. Lysa was obsessed with LF, she would have done anything for him, even putting her sisters life in danger in into war. And as you saw it did happened, his plan worked.
      6. I agree Renly was the greatest treat. That’s why in the books he didn’t work with Renly and just waited for Stannis and Renly to fight things out. He even stated that it’s a shame the battle was done that soon. In the show it becomes more questionable how smart LF really is. But my guess is he just was playing Stannis. He would have backed up Joffrey here, and lead Renly in a trap. And what he did was also smart, once he saw how powerful Stannis was, he took the biggest army to the Lannisters so Stannis could be defeated.

      I think Renly was the greatest threat to him. The Tyrells wouldn’t break from him for gold.

        Quote  Reply

    138. Young Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      Yes, he did say that, but being knowledgeable doesn’t mean you can control a war. There were way too many variables. Just like when he married Sansa to Ramsay. There were too many variables for him to control. The only difference is that the variables went his way in the War of Five Kings but they did not go his way in Sansa’s marriage.

      That’s why many stated that putting these 2 storylines into 1 wasn’t a good choice storywise. LF made a very big mistake here, which he never did. His marriage idea in the books is more logical. He can control Harry, he can’t control Ramsay.

      Tron79,

      Arya is always awesome. Agree the way the books did it was more interesting, and less actionbased so even cheaper to make. And I also loved the way the masks worked in the books.

      They didn’t explain the part what she screamed. But I think she screamed Jaime’s name. I think she will bring Jaime towards LSH.

      I also think it’s the mountain. I think the skull was in fact one of the dwarf heads that Qyburn asks Cersei. I think he did some “Qyburn-magic” with it.

      About Meereen. First I was the same as you, but look at it this way. Dany’s story in Dance was about giving up her ideals for peace. Piece by piece her ideals left her for peace. But I think it could have been done with less chapters. I loved the way the dragonpit scene was in the books, but still I think the show did it right, that scene was brilliant in the show. And I like Meereen once Barristan takes over the story in Meereen.

      What did you think of the second Jon Connington chapter?

      Have fun with reading, if you almost finish let me know, I have a perfect site where all the chapters are. It was a great site for reading them. So let me know.

        Quote  Reply

    139. Jenny,

      I personally loved Quentyn’s storyline, and didn’t have a problem with his ending, it felled like GoT his ending. And it’s important for the Arianne storyline. And of course the battle of Fire. And how Dany perceive Dorne in the next book etc. He is more important than we think.

      As for Arya, I agree I love her book storyline better.

      As for Brienne

      I wonder if Brienne explained to Jaime what’s going on, or if he gets trapped and Jaime tells LSH he will get Cersei’s head for her.

      Jenny,

      I like this theory.

        Quote  Reply

    140. kevin1989,

      About Meereen. First I was the same as you, but look at it this way. Dany’s story in Dance was about giving up her ideals for peace. Piece by piece her ideals left her for peace. But I think it could have been done with less chapters. I loved the way the dragonpit scene was in the books, but still I think the show did it right, that scene was brilliant in the show. And I like Meereen once Barristan takes over the story in Meereen.

      I think Dany did actually manage to achieve a very fragile peace but having to make compromise after compromise, putting up with things she viewed as great moral injustices (like the fighting pits) and having to go back on her own anti-slavery measures set her to a boiling point by the end. According to Feldman, and I agree with this, the peace was genuine between all parties (Dany, the Sons of the Harpy, nobles, and Yunkhai) but it was the chaos in the fighting pits after Drogon arrived and Barristan’s violent coup on Hizdahr that destroyed it.

        Quote  Reply

    141. Tron79,

      I think Dany is incredibly lonely in Meereen, unlike the show, she has nobody to confide in (she’s also about 15 at this point, I think). Jorah is gone, and isn’t trustworthy, he is just infatuated with her. Tyrion isn’t there, Missandei is a child, she can’t talk to Selmy, and Daario is only there for her dragons/position. She has nobody, perhaps inspiration for her S8 storyline? And all the while, she is making compromise after compromise in order to placate the populace. I think that’s why she cares about Daario so much, and looks to her husband for some kind of comfort, I think she just wants to feel connected to somebody. When you read her last chapter, we can talk about where her story is potentially going in Meereen, I have an idea.

      Meereen is partly why GRRM is/was stuck, he sent so many characters out there, and now he is struggling to get them back to Westeros. They are all waiting on Dany I think, when she is ready to go back, everyone will follow.

      kevin1989,

      I also think it might be a precursor to

      someone other than Dany riding a dragon, Jon is obvious, but I think Euron will try to tame one with the dragon binder, and possibly succeed. The NK took his place I think.

        Quote  Reply

    142. Tron79,

      Just letting you know I’ve been enjoying your travelogue through the books.

      Also… the “Mercy” sample chapter is one of the only books snippets I’ve read (because I saw it on GRRM’s website and couldn’t stop reading it once I saw the first few lines).

      On one hand, I really liked it. On the other hand, it reminded me how good GRRM can be – or used to be – when he’s immersed in his fictional world.

        Quote  Reply

    143. Tron79,

      “Tyrion’s life as a slave was a lot longer than the show and he had to do many disgusting things… Sam’s show montage in the citadel was bad enough! Tyrion’s montage would have been much worse.”

      Absolutely. I always skip that part with Sam’s montage!
      However, there’s things in the Meereen story that would have been interesting to see on screen, because they show Dany’s limitations. As it is, it’s presented as if by leaving she just saved her life; in the books it’s not just that, it’s escaping from complications that burdened her.
      She leaves Meereen when the city is in a dire situation, blocked by the enemy, with thousands of people at her door dying of the plague. She tries to find solutions: she actually marries Hizdar; she chains the dragons; she accepts that slaves be self-sold back to their old masters on a percentage; she opens up the fighting pits and she allows a girl to be tortured.
      Her dilemma is not just about saving her life, but is much deeper, how far is she willing to go to maintain peace, and this doesn’t show. So when she’s at the Dothraki Sea once again, she’s left civilization with all its compromises behind her, and in front of her appear the Dothraki, who pose that other alternative, violence, since their “civilization” is conquest and plunder.
      Instead of this dilemma they presented it as if it’s just an internal uprising in Meereen that’s life threatening and the context barely appears when Tyrion arrives to save the day, in which case, of course he’s the hero.

      Btw, what do you think about Tyrion? He’s very intriguing in the books. I’m just curious, but feel free to not answer if you want.

        Quote  Reply

    144. Young Dragon: Sansa agreed to go along with the plan because Littlefinger played on her survivor’s guilt by calling her a “bystander” when her family was murdered. She wanted to be proactive for once, even if that meant putting herself in harm’s way.

      How exactly was Sansa going to be “proactive” going into a viper’s nest alone and unarmed?

      Geez, even that poor old “North Remembers” lady got flayed to death for trying to help her.

      Seriously, LF implored her to “avenge them” [her family]. But how?

      He also told her “there’s no justice in this world unless we make it.” Okay, fine. How exactly was she going to make justice?

      My sweetheart Myranda tried to warn her about Ramsay, but Sansa said she wouldn’t let Myranda scare her. (Ahhh…. Myranda giving Sansa a bath and washing her hair… I may have to rewatch that again. A few times...)

      Even if Sansa had a vengeance plan that failed I could’ve lived with that. But there really was no plan, was there?

      Tell me I’m wrong: One of the main reasons for shoehorning Sansa into the Jeyne Poole storyline was to be a supporting character in Theon’s arc. No other reason for her to be a prisoner for an entire season.

        Quote  Reply

    145. Tron79,

      Meereen is driving me nuts. GRRM spends so much time on Dany in Meereen with everyone and their brother trying to marry her. I know she wanted to rule in Meereen to let her dragons grow and learn how to rule, but I really feel it needed some editing or something. But I loved loved loved Dany’s Drogon scene. It’s very different than the show, but she still does fly away on Drogon. I love how GRRM describes the dragon and how his wounds have steam coming out of them…

      I’ve come across lot of people feeling frustrated with Dany’s Meereen arc. I was pretty frustrated myself. But these were the essays on Dany’s arc I told you about a month ago(?) which helped me out there. Elio Garcia, who worked as an editor for GRRM, reported that GRRM said this author got Dany’s Meereen arc right (can provide the source for this if asked! I can’t put in two links at once or I get spam-checked T_T).

      It goes over several things (Who Poisoned the Locusts, The Peace Was Real, Dany’s Struggle with Herself, A Darker Daenerys, Hizdahr and Peace, or Daario and War?).

      He also did a really good series on Jon and Tyrion’s ADWD arcs, as well as Dorne’s!

        Quote  Reply

    146. Efi,

      lol, I have unknown words there, I have to check them most of the times to understand the meaning; how many words for trees must one know for example?

      Off-topic but I’ve heard this observation a few times! For my final degree, I had an internship in which one of my duties was to assist teaching English to international students (mostly German and Dutch but there were a few Russian students too) and a remark I heard several times was how English has multiple words for the same thing. This never occurred to me before but I think English may not be such an efficient language 😅 (Henry Higgins’ remarks about English not withstanding ;D)

        Quote  Reply

    147. Efi:
      Tron79,

      “Tyrion’s life as a slave was a lot longer than the show and he had to do many disgusting things… Sam’s show montage in the citadel was bad enough! Tyrion’s montage would have been much worse.”

      Absolutely. I always skip that part with Sam’s montage!
      However, there’s things in the Meereen story that would have been interesting to see on screen, because they show Dany’s limitations. As it is, it’s presented as if by leaving she just saved her life; in the books it’s not just that, it’s escaping from complications that burdened her.
      She leaves Meereen when the city is in a dire situation, blocked by the enemy, with thousands of people at her door dying of the plague. She tries to find solutions: she actually marries Hizdar; she chains the dragons; she accepts that slaves be self-sold back to their old masters on a percentage; she opens up the fighting pits and she allows a girl to be tortured.
      Her dilemma is not just about saving her life, but is much deeper, how far is she willing to go to maintain peace, and this doesn’t show. So when she’s at the Dothraki Sea once again, she’s left civilization with all its compromises behind her, and in front of her appear the Dothraki, who pose that other alternative, violence, since their “civilization” is conquest and plunder.
      Instead of this dilemma they presented it as if it’s just an internal uprising in Meereen that’s life threatening and the context barely appears when Tyrion arrives to save the day, in which case, of course he’s the hero.

      Btw, what do you think about Tyrion? He’s very intriguing in the books. I’m just curious, but feel free to not answer if you want.

      I really like how you summarized Dany’s journey in Meereen! That was a great succinct synopsis and it helped me think back through her journey. I think after I’ve completed reading, it’s going to take me some time to fully process it all. I may visit Keith’s site suggestions to re-read certain parts.

      I’m going to respond to Jenny too in the same post…
      Jenny, I think you’re right that Dany’s youth has alot to do with things. Also, Missandei is a child in the books. She hasn’t really interacted much at all with Greyworm in the books. You are right about her isolation. I thought she was less of a dictator in the books so far, but perhaps she will find out that she will need to be the dictator that she ultimately became in the show…Not sure… I’ll let you know when I finish her final chapter.

      Jaime is much more jealous in the books and I was surprised…

      he didn’t jump and run to Cersei’s aid when she was imprisoned and sent for his help.
      I think show Jaime may have dropped everything. Instead he is on some sort of quest with Brienne and LSH and he’s letting Cersei fend for herself (while thinking of all of the men she’s probably slept with).

        Quote  Reply

    148. Tron79,

      Yes, we’ll come back to Dany later. Her last chapter is really interesting.

      RE: Jaime

      He is really mad and upset, he genuinely believed that she was faithful to him, as he had been to her. He spends the book realising things about their relationship, and how it was possibly more one sided than he thought. They really don’t like each other in AFFC. Show Jaime never found out, because he wouldn’t have stayed like he did. At the same time he randomly thinks of Brienne, ‘she is such an innocent’ then someone asks what he likes in a woman ‘innocence’ he says. I particularly liked his meeting with Red Ronnet Connington, nobody insults Brienne folks, nobody.

      I think his thoughts mirror Brienne’s in a way, she tries to think of Renly, but ends up thinking about Jaime. Jaime thinks about Cersei and ends up thinking about Brienne. It’s a gradual transfer to a new person. In the end though I have no idea where it will go. Well, besides Cersei and Jaime dying, he’ll be with Brienne for a while first, then have to go back to KL to either save or kill Cersei.

        Quote  Reply

    149. kevin1989,

      1. But none of this is shown in the books or show. You said motives shouldn’t be left open to interpretation. Well, this is less than interpretation, you’re simply guessing because you’re not going off anything in the books. He knew that Balon had reason to not ally with the Starks, but he also had reason to ally with them. They had his only son and heir, and if Robb had used Theon against him, Littlefinger would have no way of knowing that Balon wouldn’t cave to save Theon. Besides, Robb offered him something he always wanted, an independent kingdom, complete with Casterly Rock. Balon allowed his hatred to get in the way, which Littlefinger had no way of knowing would happen.

      2. I’m going off what happened in the show, where he went to Renly, who was heavily favored to win, in an effort to save himself. It makes sense that he would hedge his bets, but Renly winning would either have resulted going back to square one or, more likely, he would have lost his position. The same would have been true if Renly won in the books as well.

      3. Again, there’s no evidence to support this. At the end of season one, Robb was in a very good position, whereas the Lannisters were not. It wouldn’t have made sense that Roose was planning to betray him then. That probably came after the Lannister and Tyrell alliance. And both books and show made it abundantly clear that the Red Wedding was Tywin’s idea.

      4. Littlefinger is not that much of a smooth talker. He overplayed his hand with Cersei and she almost had him executed, Renly said he didn’t like him to his face, and Catelyn held a knife at him. Stannis would have had him executed immediately, it is true, while Robb and Renly may have spared him, but I don’t see him being allowed to keep his seat on the small council.

      5. But Littlefinger wasn’t with Lysa for a very long period of time so he can watch over her. And she was called Crazy Lysa Arryn for a reason. Crazy people are, by definition, unpredictable. All it would take was one slip up. In the books, not long after she reunited with Littlefinger, she talked about their plan in front of Sansa, who was practically a stranger to her. It’s a miracle she managed to keep it in that long. Success doesn’t mean the plan was good. It just means Littlefinger got lucky, which is the entire point I’m trying to make.

      6. But allowing Renly and Stannis fight wasn’t really smart on Littlefinger’s part, and not only because he had nothing to do with their conflict. Renly would have annihilated Stannis’s army with very little loss to his own, so the Lannisters wouldn’t have been any safer. Whether Littlefinger had a plan for Renly when he attended the city, I can’t say, because there is nothing in the books or the show to suggest it. And yes, brokering an alliance between the Tyrells and the Lannisters was smart, as it earned him a lordship, but when he started the war, he had no way of knowing he would get an opportunity like this or that he would be able to bring them to King’s Landing in time to save it.

        Quote  Reply

    150. kevin1989,

      Like I said, marrying Sansa to Ramsay was no different than him poisoning Jon Arryn. They both could easily have blown up in his face. The fact that one actually worked out for him doesn’t make it any more reckless.

      There’s no evidence that Littlefinger can control Harry. In fact, he charges Sansa with gaining control of him. Robert Arryn would have been someone Littlefinger would have complete control over, which begs the question why is he poisoning him?

        Quote  Reply

    151. Jenny,

      I think show Jamie is fundamentally different from book Jamie. It’s kind of surprising how book Jamie has no clue that Cersei is cheating on him, and from the moment he finds out, he’s a totally different person. He can’t stop thinking about it, he’s deeply taumatised by her deceit.
      Show Jamie on the other hand is like Tyrion said in 8.2. “You always knew exactly what she was”. I thought, who, him? No way!
      But the truth is, show Cersei is much different too. She’s a tender mother, cares about her children, is wounded by Robert, suffers, and doesn’t hand out [email protected] for favors (until Euron in 8.1).
      Book Cersei’s manipulative and mean, she always has malicious thoughts at the back of her mind, she’s scornful of practically everybody, sees her children as her means to gain power, and gives [email protected] for getting what she wants, while poor Jamie hasn’t been with any other woman, which , imo, exemplifies how much their characters differ. There’s a purity in book Jamie in spite of his crimes that doesn’t exist in show Jamie I think.
      Where he is now, I doubt it that he’s going back to KL for F!Aegon. I rather see him going North with Brienne. But I am probably mistaken, because two books is still a long way to go before the end.

        Quote  Reply

    152. Jenny:
      Tron79,

      Yes, we’ll come back to Dany later.Her last chapter is really interesting.

      RE: Jaime

      I think the books have alot to do with finding your identity. I think that’s a central theme. Yes, I’m stuck on Arya, but there are so many other characters who are also going through a similar journey of self discovery. That’s what I understood from your description of Jaime and Brienne’s arcs. Just like in the show, I think they are both their best selves when they are together (however in the books, Jaime speaks horribly to Brienne alot of the time, especially in their early scenes). I think Sansa is going through a similar arc in the book. GRRM even takes it further by naming his POV chapter after Sansa’s alter ego. Talk about indentity crisis. Sansa has a number of lines in the books where she’s not really sure who she is now. Of course, Arya is constantly trying to figure out who she is and hoping she can be no one at all. Is the a mouse or is she a wolf. She just doesn’t know yet. Cersei wants to be a man but uses her woman’s body. I actually found her inner discussions interesting when she talked about being born a woman. It sounded like she saw herself as a man in a woman’s body.

      I’ll stop there for now. I am impressed with how much you and others here know about the books and the inner journeys of the characters. I look forward to reading more essays and comments after I complete my book journey this weekend. I really have just begun to process it all. I do appreciate the added depth of all of the characters in the books, and I also appreciate the talent of the actors on the show. I think D&D may have shaped the show characters a bit based on their actors (especially in later seasons). NCW was a perfect show Jaime, but I’m not quite sure if I would have picked him for book Jaime… I’ll have to think of who my choice would be!

        Quote  Reply

    153. Efi,

      He also said in 8 x 05, that the worst things she’s done, she’s done for her children and I was like…. er… that’s a reach.

      I think Jaime sums it up best with this quote,

      ‘I thought that I was the Warrior and Cersei was the Maid, but all the time she was the Stranger, hiding her true face from my gaze’.

      I think he still loves her, that doesn’t just go away, but he was angry enough to ignore her plea. My guess is that he will go back for Tommen first and foremost, and will of course have to see her too, that could lead to anything. He could forgive her (even though she doesn’t love him anymore) or just up and kill her as the valonqar. I think she will be in a bad way when he sees her though, and he will feel a lot of guilt over it, he may even mercy kill her. She won’t have a grand death, the show got that right. Every time something bad happens to her, it makes us feel uncomfortable about wanting her to be punished.

      But then the Weirwood dream says that Jaime will fight the others with Brienne, so I don’t know how this will all fit together. It could end in the same way as the show, but there is a lot of plot to go before that happens.

      So I don’t know, his story is about love, honour and redemption, that makes it sound lovely and positive but it may just be about the worst aspects of those things. He commits crimes for love, he has sh*t for honour and he might fail to redeem himself. There is a lot going on.

        Quote  Reply

    154. Tron79,

      hummm.. maybe I would have picked NCW. He was really a great golden boy at the beginning and his scruffier look later did mirror the books. He could have probably pulled off book Jaime… I just wasn’t necessarily seeing him in my brain right away…

        Quote  Reply

    155. Tron79,

      Yes, I think you’re spot on. The funny thing about Jaime’s nastiness to Brienne, is that he doesn’t really mean it (post bath). He gets annoyed with her for misunderstanding him, and does everything he can to help her anyway, like having her locked up to keep her safe from Loras. When she left KL, he gave her a horse and told her it was as homely as her, of course it ended up being the most beautiful horse money could buy. He goes off on one about her being stubborn and then immediately thinks ‘Father give her strength’, this from an atheist. He calls her wench all the time, but corrects everyone else. He’s a clown and he doesn’t understand himself lol.

      I don’t know who i’d pick to play Jaime either, I picked Charlize Theron as Cersei, and I never figured out who the male version would be, it wouldn’t be NCW I don’t think. I’ll probably never know lol. I look forward to your next update!

        Quote  Reply

    156. Adrianacandle,

      Daenerys was with my first read the least favorite storyline of Dance, now I love that storyline. Her road to peace is very important. Especially when in Winds that road failed. And she finds her city in ruins (maybe not completely but I do think more than half the people will die). And I wonder if that could be a big change in Dany turning away from peace and just think: I’m not going to put my ideals aside for peace again.

      Jenny,

      My guess is the books will go another route. Jaime will be the volanqar. He will bring Cersei to LSH to save Brienne. Brienne is the younger more beautiful one (I think it refers more to her character). I think Cersei will die at Casterly Rock (after she fled the capitol when Aegon takes over). I think Jaime will outlive Cersei in the books. He will marry Brienne, and will die fighting the Other’s. But some suggest that Jaime will survive in the books and become hand of the King, there are lot’s of hints for that in the books. And many think Tyrion will go to the wall with Jon defening the realm (WW not completely gone in the book version in the end).

        Quote  Reply

    157. kevin1989,

      Have you been reading my fanfiction sir? I swear you got this off my hard drive lol. I’m going with the worst possible scenario (variation of the show ending) anything else is a bonus.

        Quote  Reply

    158. Young Dragon,

      1. Not really, even Cat saw that Balon wouldn’t co-operate. Everyone who had the slightest idea who Balon was, would know Balon would never ally with the Starks after the Starks murdered half his children. Of all his children only 2 remain because of the Starks. Robb was very naive to think Balon would listen to Theon. (Even Cat suggested that). And there is the whole premise who the Greyjoy’s are. They do not sow. Victorion and Euron are also alive. And the rest of the II were raping and pillaging still even after their Rebellion. So why would they ally themselve with Robb? And there is their faith, they rather die Iron than live without pillaging, raping etc. Pay the Iron Price not the Gold price. I think a smart person like LF wouldn’t make Robb’s mistake to believe Balon would ally with the Starks. It’s the same that Karstark would work with Jaime after he murdered his sons. Or Arya working with Joffrey etc. And I think if you knew Balon and LF you knew that there was not a single chance that Balon would work with Robb. (And using Theon against Balon is also out of the picture, LF already knew how the Starks treated Theon as one of their own, and also knew Robbs bond with Theon, it was common knowledge in the North, and we can assume LF also has spies there.
      1b. Balon does not want an independent Kingdom given to him, it’s common knowledge the II want to take everything what they want instead of getting it as gifts. They plunder, rape, murder and leave that part. Euron is the first that tries to hold lands and even that is not his goal, even he leaves parts he plundered un-attended. They don’t care of keeping lands, just plunder everything in those lands.
      1c. LF would have known who Balon is, and also what kind of man he is. Balon’s character is common knowledge, especially after he rebelled and was defeated by half the kingdoms. Jaime and other’s even think about that time in the books. And who Balon, Victorion and Euron are.
      2. Personally when watching the show I never believe for a second LF was honest with renly with the open gates statement. He turned Ned in when it suites him best, so he would have done the same here. He would have gone back to Cersei and states if Renly wins I’m going to open the gates for him and you can put in a nice trap for him. Cersei falls again for LF and don’t see he is using her.
      3. If Roose was always after the position of Warden in the North it could be the case. And don’t forget that in the books we had those Arya chapters with Roose which I didn’t feel for a second Roose was Robb’s man. As for the RW was Tywin idea, so was murdering Jon Arynn, that was the Lannisters until we found out a truth that was kept from us. As I stated yes, the RW is Tywin idea, but I’m talking about that its highly possible that LF was putting Tywin on that idea. We don’t have a pov of either characters, so we don’t know if such a moment had happened. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if GRRM would reveal in winds that LF had a part in it. LF could have given hints like: It seems we never going to win over Robb in battle. & The Frey’s seem unhappy with Robb stark for not marrying one of his daughters, I hope Walder gets over it.
      4. Once again a mistake of the show, book LF would never had done in the books telling Cersei he knows about her and Jaime. But even here can be said he did it on purpose, he knew Cersei wouldn’t kill him, he was too valuable to her. In fact in the end Cersei lost here, Cersei showed her full hand of cards to LF at that moment. He knew from now on how to play her. And both Renly and Cat never went further than that. LF still walked free. And once again, show only. I think Renly would have kept LF on the small counsil, if it was only for his work as Master of Coin.
      5. True, but was that really a slip up, or more: I can talk freely because you have no choice to keep your mouth shut or else the Lannisters will get you. And I think the biggest thing is that she finally slipped was that before that moment she needed something: LF. After that moment she had him, they were married. And I think we can all understand why LF pushed her down the moon-door. Probably also because he knew Lysa would slip up sooner or later from now on.
      5b. Luck only get you so far. If LF didn’t have his plan, he would have been death years ago. He even admitted in the show that for every action he saw all the outcomes and what he needed to do with all those outcomes. (season 7). LF doesn’t think in, this happen and only this outcome benefit from it. He has 1000 routes it can go. If this happen then this, if that happen then that.
      6. I agree with this in the show. In the books Tywin got a letter to go to KL. In the show LF got Tywin. That’s a huge timeframe that he needs to work with. He needs to get as fast toward Harrenhall and get Tywin march his troops to KL before Stannis reached KL.

        Quote  Reply

    159. kevin1989,

      ”Daenerys was with my first read the least favorite storyline of Dance, now I love that storyline. Her road to peace is very important. Especially when in Winds that road failed. And she finds her city in ruins (maybe not completely but I do think more than half the people will die).”

      Which city does she find in ruins? Was she somewhere else, and came back to find her city was gone?

        Quote  Reply

    160. Young Dragon,

      You’re right there. Now I want to know his plan there.

      Jenny,

      I wish I could, I’m very interesting what you have written. I think there are some changes in the end but I think not really big ones. But I’m rereading the books now, and I’m currently in storm of swords (300 pages in) and I see a lot of clues about where the story is heading.

        Quote  Reply

    161. kevin1989,

      Oh I haven’t actually written one, I’m no writer lol. You just described my absolute fantasy ending, I would never dare to hope for something like that. There are hints to a lot of things, the emphasis on hands and the like, but I just can’t see past dead Jaime. Perhaps under different circumstances, but he dead. If he somehow makes it out of these books alive, I swear I’m signing that stupid petition.

        Quote  Reply

    162. Young Dragon,

      Oh, okay. I wasn’t sure what he meant by “she finds her city in ruins,” and then I heard Chrissy Hynde’s voice in my head singing…

      “I went back to Ohio
      But my city was gone
      There was no train station
      There was no downtown.”

        Quote  Reply

    163. kevin1989: Daenerys was with my first read the least favorite storyline of Dance, now I love that storyline. Her road to peace is very important. Especially when in Winds that road failed. And she finds her city in ruins (maybe not completely but I do think more than half the people will die). And I wonder if that could be a big change in Dany turning away from peace and just think: I’m not going to put my ideals aside for peace again.

      Yeah. I think that is the start of the change. Alone and outside of the city, she doesn’t seem to know how bad it is in Meereen:

      By now the Yunkai’i will be marching home. That was why she had done all that she had done. For peace.

      She tries walking back to Meereen and wants to ride Drogon back — but Drogon doesn’t look to agree about returning to Meereen.

      And as she walks, she’s surrounded by thoughts and memories. Then things really take a turn, those visions, bad berries, and Dany starts looking upon her efforts for peace in Meereen pretty dismally and decides that “dragons plant no trees” and that she is a dragon.

      Ten Bears,

      I think Kevin is talking about Meereen?

        Quote  Reply

    164. Adrianacandle,

      I think he was yeah, I personally think

      she will go full fire and blood and wreck the place herself, the people of Meereen have at least rebelled against her, and she has had enough. I could totally see it happening, and then word gets back to Westeros and they don’t want her. They want fAegon.

        Quote  Reply

    165. Ten Bears,

      Prediction but it has spoilers from winds of winter chapter:

      The city of Meereen is being filled with bodies of people who had died of the pale Mare, and Barristan states that people are infected within the city. The dragon’s are already lose and burning shit down. Astapor is already in ruins and burned down in the books, another character goes by the city and sees the city in ruins. My prediction is that Slaver’s Bay will be in complete chaos and Dany’s peace will be undone. And with ruins I don’t meant completely wiped out, not Harrenhall ruins. More like Winterfell after 2×10. Lot’s of death, in flames. But that the ones that are alive rebuild Slaver’s Bay into Dragon’s Bay (I like that renaming in the show). But I think Daenerys will wipe out the noble man (I read her take-over of Astapor today and she ordered every one with a tokar above age of 12 to be slaughtered. She spared only the ones younger than 12). So with ruin I mean, after the battle, a lot of work needs to be done to make this place livable again. Not unlivable for ever.

        Quote  Reply

    166. Young Dragon,

      True, but still I think Slaver’s Bay will get a much harder ending in the books than the show. It already has with the Pale Mare and the battle that is happening.

      Young Dragon,

      I like that idea. And I wonder how far LF will go with this. I even have another idea that up LF plan even further.

      I think once he learned of Aegon landing and had taken over KL. I think he will do a thing further. I think he will try to form a marriage between Sansa and Aegon. I think he will manipulate Aegon into doing something stupid. Stealing a dragon from Dany that will start Dance of Dragons v2 that GRRM has said will happen in the books. The only thing I wonder if Sansa will go with this plan, and how Arianne plays a part in this. But what made me think of this is that GRRM is very much about repeat of the past, but not completely the same. But having once again a dragon who is married (going to marry) a dornish woman, while putting her aside for a Wolf, which result into demise of that character.

        Quote  Reply

    167. Jenny,

      It’ll be interesting to see how the city reacts and who they view as responsible. I’m hoping there will be a few more steps in between this stage, in which Dany has come to this decision after her compromises for peace, and full-out destroying the city — but I think we’re seeing a Dany who feels done with wearing the “floppy ears” to compromise with those she loathes for the sake of peace (like the Sons of the Harpy). She may go after those who she views as enemies, the ones who she views as “responsible.”

        Quote  Reply

    168. Jenny,

      It’s my dream ending also, but more storywise. It feels for me the right way the story needs to go to make sense. For the show it make sense where Jaime ended, the whole turn of Jaime was left out when in 4×10 they left out the Tysha revelation that lead to Jaime learning about Cersei’s infidelity. It’s a small change that changed so much. For the show I think how it went make sense. And of course LSH is not in it.

      But in the end I will probably treasure both in their own way. I think I will prefer the books, which I always do, at least the books that I read I always preferred the books except outlander in which I couldn’t get passed the first half of the first book, for me it was missing some atmosphere (right word in english?). But I think I will watch the show many times in the future.

      Adrianacandle,

      Agree, and the sadness with Daenerys is the time she decides to return. Especially in the books. If she would have return earlier when Barristan asked her to go to Westeros, when Westeros was still in chaos I think she would have made a chance to be welcomed with open arms by the Westerosi. But now she returns when Aegon has put peace back into it’s place. Same with Cersei in the show. Yes Cersei was horrible, but in season 7 in a long time, the common people could once again just focus on their daily work and do their thing, until Dany comes and war once again started.

      Jenny,

      You mean the people of

      Yunkaii and Qarth and Volantis? If so then yes I think she will. I expect her to visit Volantis at least and perish that city from masters.

        Quote  Reply

    169. Tron79,

      “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” she sang as she descended the wooden stair to the street. The handrail was splintery, the steps steep, and there were five flights, but that was why she’d gotten the room so cheap. That, and Mercy’s smile. She might be bald and skinny, but Mercy had a pretty smile, and a certain grace. Even Izembaro agreed that she was graceful. …….

      ____
      [Thanks for this! 🗡👸🏻]

        Quote  Reply

    170. kevin1989: Agree, and the sadness with Daenerys is the time she decides to return. Especially in the books. If she would have return earlier when Barristan asked her to go to Westeros, when Westeros was still in chaos I think she would have made a chance to be welcomed with open arms by the Westerosi. But now she returns when Aegon has put peace back into it’s place. Same with Cersei in the show. Yes Cersei was horrible, but in season 7 in a long time, the common people could once again just focus on their daily work and do their thing, until Dany comes and war once again started.

      Right, and I think that’s going to contribute to her spiral.

      That whole final chapter of Dany’s is kind of trippy, like she’s walking through a drug-induced dream haze XD When she hears, “Remember who you are,” it reminds me of Simba hearing Mufasa’s voice saying the same thing from the stars! Except with Dany, it’s, erm… probably not so good 😉

        Quote  Reply

    171. Jenny,

      “I just can’t see past dead Jaime”

      I fail to see how Jamie dying would be satisfying for the story, just as I fail to see how Theon dying would be satisfying. If they’re dead in the end, what’s the point of a redemption arc? Isn’t a redemption about recognizing one’s mistakes and suffer for them? How are they going to suffer if they’re dead? (I don’t know about Jamie, but I’ll sign the petition if Theon dies, lol. Martin should re-write the books, I’ve had enough of characters dying and/or being tortured). (tbh they could die in a spectacular way as per the show after they’ve had only a moment of epiphany; no need for 7 books of thousands of pages for sth like that)

      With Jamie I feel like his crimes aren’t that gross. He threw Bran out of the window and he killed that cousin of his just for escaping. Pre-canon it’s about Tysha and killing Aerys. In the books he threatens with Edmure’s baby (in the show the baby has been born). That’s not much.
      I suppose his redemption has to do with Aerys’ family (Jon) via his promise to Rhaegar that he hasn’t kept and haunts him. He also has to recognize his crime against Bran and repent for it, which is where Bran comes in. It is impressive that he doesn’t think of Bran at all, and this means, imho, that he’s not over it rather than he doesn’t care about it –he can’t think about it, murdering children for any reason (in this respect he’s like Jon, he’s Jon’s parallel character anyway). He did make a promise to Catelyn which he kept by sending Brienne after the girls. He helped Tyrion to escape. His handling of Riverrun shows that he’s competent even without arms.

      And he’s not involved in the red wedding. If, however, Catelyn makes him complicit in the murder of the Freys, I don’t know where he’ll end up. I think it will be very interesting to see in WoW how he’ll handle Catelyn’s bloodthirsty appetite.

      People think that Jamie’s redemption has to do with Cersei. It doesn’t; that’s a personal affair, no matter how condemned it is by westerosi society, and his relationship with her is symbolic of the bonds that hold him down and prevent him from becoming who he is meant to be. Since he has become a PoV his story is all about his redemption, and about his breaking free from Cersei as in breaking free from these restraints. Going back to Cersei to die with her (as per the show) is incredibly disappointing for such an arc.
      In this sense I’m 50/50 about Jamie dying in the books. What’s the point of all that redemption if he’s going back to where he started before he became a PoV? I also find that in this context it fits that he becomes hand of the king (it could only work with Jon on the throne), thus embracing the destiny he never wanted –because he always wanted the wrong things for being close to Cersei (the restraints again).
      Of course he could die in some glorious way, like, fighting at WF. But again, what’s the point of all that redemption? What’s the point of learning all these things if he’s to die in the end? What’s the point of breaking free from his restraints if he doesn’t become what he has been avoiding all his life? Where’s the payoff for all that he’s learned, where’s the practical application of his new knowledge?
      It’s a kind of cyclic narrative that’s hardly satisfying, like Martin saying to the readers “you know what? no matter what you do, no matter what you want or don’t want, you’re doomed either way”.
      (thanks, M., but I knew that already, it’s my life, I don’t need you to rub it to my face too)

      I suppose we’ll see.

        Quote  Reply

    172. Adrianacandle,

      Damn now I see Dany singing Hakuna Matata and Drogon behind her swinging his head.

      I think remember who you are is even more important than we think, I think it has to do with things happening before the story start. I read her chapter this time with close-up on her memories, and there seem to be mistakes in it. And everything she talks with Viserys and she talks about her past, he pinches her. I found that strange, and he said: remember you’re a dragon. But everytime else he is clear: He is the dragon and she is a slut. He is only nice or refer to her as a dragon when 1. She talks about her past and remember things, and 2. When he needs something of her.
      I think her remember who you are has more to do, remember who you are that you can’t remember. She has difficulty about her memories. She tries to remember things from her past but she can’t, she is lost. I think that’s what that sentence is about: When I look back I am lost. Because she can’t remember what happened before. Some think it’s because she is not Dany, but is used as broodmare for an army for Viserys. Some think Viserys tried to rape her in Braavos and that’s why they had to leave. Some think she is in fact the twin of Jon and that’s because her memory is foggy. (I really like this one, it’s more into the theme of the story is Jon and Dany are twins instead of aunt nephew), some think when she entered the tent of Mirri Maz Duur, the soul of Rheagar was bound to her, and her strange memories is because of that. I really want to know what it’s about.

      I also liked the theory that in fact she is the mummer’s dragon, and the lies that need to be slain are the lies about her memories.

        Quote  Reply

    173. Tron79,

      Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!

      I’ve excerpted a portion* of the “Mercy” chapter, and put it all in spoiler coding just in case anyone doesn’t want to see it yet.

      I’m impressed how good GRRM is in shifting the character’s voices in the dialogue and internal monologue.

      The entire chapter is in the voices and personality of Mercy… until the very end.

      So well-written. This makes me wish he had complete his books eight years ago.

      Also, I thought the latter part of this excerpt was adapted well by the show…actually, in two separate episodes of the show.
      ————
      * Mercy, a stagehand/novice actress with Izembaro’s Braavos mummers with a bit part in a play (her character is to be raped by the Imp in Act II), recognizes one of the guards accompanying an envoy from Westeros. As he stands guard outside the envoy’s theater box, she approaches, stating that she was instructed by Izembaro to be accommodating to “lords” from Westeros
      _____________
      [Mercy, from offstage, watching Bobono (“the Imp”) perform]
      ***

      Mercy mouthed the last lines along with him. They were better lines than hers, and apt besides.
      He’ll want me or he won’t, she thought, so let the play begin. She said a silent prayer to the god of many faces, slipped out of her alcove, and flounced up to the guardsmen. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.
      “My lords,” she said, “do you speak Braavosi? Oh, please, tell me you do.”

      The two guardsmen exchanged a look. “What’s this thing going on about?” the older one asked. “Who is she?”

      “One of the mummers,” said the pretty one. He pushed his fair hair back off his brow and smiled at her. “Sorry, sweetling, we don’t speak your gibble-gabble.”

      Fuss and feathers, Mercy thought, they only know the Common Tongue. That was no good. Give it up or go ahead. She could not give it up. She wanted him so bad. “I know your tongue, a little,” she lied, with Mercy’s sweetest smile. “You are lords of Westeros, my friend said.”

      The old one laughed. “Lords? Aye, that’s us.”

      Mercy looked down at her feet, so shy. “Izembaro said to please the lords,” she whispered. “If there is anything you want, anything at all… “

      The two guardsmen exchanged a look. Then the handsome one reached out and touched her breast. “Anything?“

      “You’re disgusting,” said the older man.

      “Why? If this Izembaro wants to be hospitable, it would be rude to refuse.”
      ***
      “Mummers are the next best thing to whores.”

      “Might be, but this one is a child.”

      “I am not,” lied Mercy. “I’m a maiden now.”

      “Not for long,” said the comely one. “I’m Lord Rafford, sweetling, and I know just what I want. Hike up those skirts now, and lean back against that wall.”

      “Not here,” Mercy said, brushing his hands away. “Not where the play is on. I might cry out, and Izembaro would be mad.”

      “Where, then?”

      “I know a place.”

      The older guard was scowling. “What, you think can just scamper off? What if his knightliness comes looking for you?”

      “Why would he? He’s got a show to watch. And he’s got his own whore, why shouldn’t I have mine? This won’t take long.”

      No, she thought, it won’t. Mercy took him by the hand, led him through the back and down the steps and out into the foggy night. “You could be a mummer, if you wanted,” she told him, as he pressed her up against the wall of the playhouse.

      “Me?” The guardsman snorted. “Not me, girl. All that bloody talking, I wouldn’t remember half of it.”

      “It’s hard at first,” she admitted. “But after a time it comes easier. I could teach you to say a line. I could.”

      He grabbed her wrist. “I’ll do the teaching. Time for your first lesson.”
      ***
      He pulled her hard against him and kissed her on the lips, forcing his tongue into her mouth.
      ***
      “Not here. Someone might see. My room’s not far, but hurry. I have to be back before the second act, or I’ll miss my rape.”

      He grinned. “No fear o’ that, girl.” But he let her pull him after her. Hand in hand, they went racing through the fog, over bridges and through alleys and up five flights of splintery wooden stairs. The guardsman was panting by the time they burst through the door of her little room. Mercy lit a tallow candle, then danced around at him, giggling. “Oh, now you’re all tired out. I forgot how old you were, m’lord. Do you want to take a little nap? Just lie down and close your eyes, and I’ll come back after the Imp’s done raping me.”

      “You’re not going anywhere.” He pulled her roughly to him. “Get those rags off, and I’ll show you how old I am, girl.”

      “Mercy,” she said. “My name is Mercy. Can you say it?”

      “Mercy,” he said. “My name is Raff.”

      “I know.” She slipped her hand between his legs, and felt how hard he was through the wool of his breeches.

      “The laces,” he urged her. “Be a sweet girl and undo them.” Instead she slid her finger down along the inside of his thigh. He gave a grunt. “Damn, be careful there, you — “

      Mercy gave a gasp and stepped away, her face confused and frightened. “You’re bleeding.”

      “Wha —” He looked down at himself. “Gods be good. What did you do to me, you little c*nt?” The red stain spread across his thigh, soaking the heavy fabric.

      “Nothing,” Mercy squeaked. “I never… oh, oh, there’s so much blood. Stop it, stop it, you’re scaring me.”

      He shook his head, a dazed look on his face. When he pressed his hand to his thigh, blood squirted through his fingers. It was running down his leg, into his boot. He doesn’t look so comely now, she thought. He just looks white and frightened.

      “A towel,” the guardsman gasped. “Bring me a towel, a rag, press down on it. Gods. I feel dizzy.” His leg was drenched with blood from the thigh down. When he tried to put his weight on it, his knee buckled and he fell. “Help me,” he pleaded, as the crotch of his breeches reddened. “Mother have mercy, girl. A healer… run and find a healer, quick now.”

      “There’s one on the next canal, but he won’t come. You have to go to him. Can’t you walk?”

      “Walk?” His fingers were slick with blood. “Are you blind, girl? I’m bleeding like a stuck pig. I can’t walk on this.”

      “Well,” she said, “I don’t know how you’ll get there, then.”

      “You’ll need to carry me.”

      See? thought Mercy. You know your line, and so do I.

      “Think so?” asked Arya, sweetly.

      Raff the Sweetling looked up sharply as the long thin blade came sliding from her sleeve. She slipped it through his throat beneath the chin, twisted, and ripped it back out sideways with a single smooth slash. A fine red rain followed, and in his eyes the light went out.

      “Valar morghulis,” Arya whispered, but Raff was dead and did not hear. She sniffed. I should have helped him down the steps before I killed him. Now I’ll need to drag him all the way to the canal and roll him in. The eels would do the rest.

      “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” she sang sadly. A foolish, giddy girl she’d been, but good hearted. She would miss her, and she would miss Daena and the Snapper and the rest, even Izembaro and Bobono. This would make trouble for the Sealord and the envoy with the chicken on his chest, she did not doubt.

      She would think about that later, though. Just now, there was no time. I had best run. Mercy still had some lines to say, her first lines and her last, and Izembaro would have her pretty little empty head if she were late for her own rape.

        Quote  Reply

    174. kevin1989,

      Re: TWOW sample chapters release dates –

      My curiosity got the better of me.
      According to a July 11, 2017 Vulture article (link below) and other sources, GRRM posted the sample chapters on his website, read them aloud at conventions, or otherwise issued them between 2011 and 2016. I constructed the rough chronology, infra.

      Apparently, at least three of these TWOW sample chapters consist of material cut from “A Dance with Dragons” before its publication.

      I don’t know what to make of the roughly 4 1/2 year intermittent roll out of the sample chapters between December, 2011 and May, 2016;
      or the absence of any news of the completion of TWOW or a scheduled publication date as of today, November 8, 2019: nearly eight years after release of the first sample chapter in December, 2011.

      I am aware that GRRM has said he is reluctant to release any more preview chapters, since that would “spoil” the book. That’s understandable. So it’s anyone’s guess how much progress he’s made in the 3 1/2 years since he posted or read aloud the last two sample chapters in May, 2016.

      (I am reserving comment on his various explanations for missing deadlines, his pronouncements about devoting himself to finishing the books, and his work on a host of other projects in recent years.)

      https://www.vulture.com/2017/07/the-winds-of-winter-asoif-preview-chapters-everything-we-know.html

      “The Winds of Winter” Sample Chapters – Release Dates
      (Dates when GRRM first posted on his website or blog, read at conventions, or otherwise)

      (¥ = Holdover material cut from “A Dance with Dragons”)

      ¥ Theon I: Posted Dec. 2011
      Tyrion I: Read at con 2012
      ¥ Arianne I: Posted 2012
      Victarian I: Read in two parts at two conventions in 2012
      Barristan I: Included as “preview” in ADWD paperback edition in 2012(?)
      Barristan II: Read at convention (along with Barristan I) in 2013
      “Mercy”: Posted March 26, 2014
      Tyrion II: Included in update to World of Ice & Fire app in 2014
      “Alayne”: Posted April 2015
      Aeron: Read at con May 2016
      ¥ Arianne II: Posted May 2016

        Quote  Reply

    175. Ten Bears,

      P.S. Addendum to 12:14 pm Comment (about the show’s adaptation of scene from “Mercy” chapter)

      I have not read the books. I assume that the show may have switched the name of a character, and changed the locations, but otherwise faithfully grafted this dialogue from “A Clash of Kings” (below) and

      the callback to it in “Mercy”

      , into scenes in S2 and its callback in S4e1.

      From “A Clash of Kings”

      One of the spearmen drifted over to Lommy. “Something wrong with your leg, boy?”

      “It got hurt.”

      “Can you walk?” He sounded concerned.

      “No,” said Lommy. “You got to carry me.”

      “Think so?” The man lifted his spear casually and drove the point through the boy’s soft throat. Lommy never even had time to yield again. He jerked once, and that was all. When the man pulled his spear loose, blood sprayed out in a dark fountain.

      “Carry him, he says,” he muttered, chuckling.

        Quote  Reply

    176. Efi,

      “I also find that in this context it fits that he becomes hand of the king (it could only work with Jon on the throne), thus embracing the destiny he never wanted”.

      It just occurred to me, reading something different.
      You know which person fits best with Jamie as Hand?
      Bran.
      Yes, Bran.
      In fact, narratively it makes so much [email protected]@@@ng sense that I can’t believe it –how did I miss this?
      Jamie pushed Bran out of the window, and caused him to embark on a journey that would bring him to the throne. He did it with that very hand that was cut off from him so that he may become Hand of the King, forever repenting and paying for his mistakes by doing good. [the hand is not relevant to Jon, but it is relevant to Bran]

      This is such a good story that there’s very little doubt in me they gave Jamie’s ending to Tyrion, because Tyrion is a fan favorite. I could see Bran as king (ok, in the North, and with a little more effort in the South); I could even see Jon exiled (I don’t think there’ll be an exile in the books); but I don’t see Tyrion as hand after all this no matter how hard I try.
      Tyrion is soooo going to the Wall (and I’m so happy about it).

      “Jaime smiled. ‘I hope you’re not thinking of taking the black on us, sweet brother.'” Tyrion, AGOT

      If this is the ending, I think I’d forgive Martin for taking Bran to the South. If it’s combined with Sansa as queen in the North and Bran’s regent until he comes of age, it’ll be a very good ending.

      Where does Jon fit in this? Honestly, I have no clue.

        Quote  Reply

    177. kevin1989,

      Re:Lion King! XD That’s an image I’ve had in my head all morning, thanks! 😉

      Yes. This reminds me about how GRRM talked about the unreliable narrator re:memory in regard to Sansa and her “unkiss”. Maybe this applies to Dany too? Wanting to rewrite memories the way she’d rather them be rather than the horrible way they are, especially with Viserys, who was very abusive to her.

      I think her remember who you are has more to do, remember who you are that you can’t remember. She has difficulty about her memories. She tries to remember things from her past but she can’t, she is lost. I think that’s what that sentence is about: When I look back I am lost. Because she can’t remember what happened before.

      That’s a beautifully poignant (and kind of ironic) way to look at it. And in Dany X of ADWD, she does start forgetting details, names, etc. and she is kind of lost (physically and mentally). It’s almost like she’s trying to rewrite her past to one she can tolerate.

      Oh, just came across this from a Parks and Rec episode I just watched and I thought of you! XD

      Ann: I just keep getting outbid by someone named “Tall Tye-ree-on Lannister. What kind of name is Tye-ree-on anyway?
      Donna: You’re kidding, right? Tyrion Lannister? Lord of Casterly Rock? The Half-Man? You don’t watch Game of Thrones?
      Ann: No. You do?
      Donna: Hell yeah. Have you seen those Dothraki dudes? They can get it. Everybody on that show can get it.
      Ann: I think I know who I’m bidding against.

      (Ben and Ann in their bidding war for the waffle iron from JJ’s):

      Ann [to Ben]: Okay, “Tyrion Lannister”, why don’t you just cast a spell and get us the waffle iron back?
      Ben: Oh, okay, I don’t even have time to tell you how wrong you are. Actually, it’s gonna bug me if I don’t. The Lannisters, while very wealthy, do not possess the magical abilities of, say, the warlocks of Qarth for example.
      Ann: This is why we don’t hang out.

      I still have yet to see the episode where Leslie gets Ben his own Iron Throne XD

      I’ve forgotten how much I just love Parks and Rec 🙂 <3 And just how evil libraries are. Now, every time I go (there’s a beautiful new one in downtown Calgary), I get a shiver. Like when somebody mentioned math at Art School. That uneasy, queasy feeling of doom…

        Quote  Reply

    178. Efi:
      Efi,

      It just occurred to me, reading something different.
      You know which person fits best with Jamie as Hand?
      Bran.
      Yes, Bran.
      In fact, narratively it makes so much [email protected]@@@ng sense that I can’t believe it –how did I miss this?
      Jamie pushed Bran out of the window, and caused him to embark on a journey that would bring him to the throne. He did it with that very hand that was cut off from him so that he may become Hand of the King, forever repenting and paying for his mistakes by doing good. [the hand is not relevant to Jon, but it is relevant to Bran]

      This is such a good story that there’s very little doubt in me they gave Jamie’s ending to Tyrion, because Tyrion is a fan favorite. I could see Bran as king (ok, in the North, and with a little more effort in the South); I could even see Jon exiled (I don’t think there’ll be an exile in the books); but I don’t see Tyrion as hand after all this no matter how hard I try.
      Tyrion is soooo going to the Wall (and I’m so happy about it).
      ***

      This actually makes quite a bit of sense:

      Jaime would surely be better suited to be a Hand to Bran as a means of making restitution for his f*ckups, particularly as it pertains to Bran personally, as you explained.

      On the other hand [excuse the pun], Tyrion’s “mistakes” weren’t really offenses: at worst they were miscalculations that affected Daenerys – who’s no longer in the picture. Besides, as much as Tyrion’s mistakes as Dany’s Hand can be attributed to short-sightedness or underestimating their adversaries,
      he was motivated by a desire to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. So now that you brought it up, Tyrion seems ill-suited for being appointed Hand as pennance.

      If anything, Tyrion has karmic credits with Bran, starting with designing a custom-made saddle for Bran in S1. And for the most part, Tyrion has forged good relationships with Bran and his family. Unlike Jaime, Tyrion hasn’t really committed sins against them for which he’d need to atone.

      Another thing about Jaime: After all of his “daddy issues”, including Tywin’s frustrations that Jaime lacked ambition beyond being a glorified bodyguard, it would be a nice twist if Jaime wound up in Tywin’s office of Hand of the King.

      I am not sure how Jaime’s character progression was handled in the books, beyond resolving the Siege of Riverrun without bloodshed as in the books; on the show at least, Jaime outsmarted Tyrion by sacrificing Casterly Rock as a decoy target manned by a skeleton crew, while taking the bulk of the Lannister army to sack Highgsrden – thereby learning from his own prior mistakes. (Didn’t Tyrion remark that Tywin would’ve been proud of Jaime for pulling that off? I could be mistaken…)

      Anyway, I like your idea. It makes much more sense for Jaime to be Bran’s right hand man [again, excuse the pun], while Tyrion goes north to piss off the top of the Wall at his leisure.

        Quote  Reply

    179. Ten Bears,

      I’m going to wait to read your spoilers until after I read the mercy chapter tomorrow. I read it a long time ago out of context when it first came out. I haven’t read the sample WoW chapters yet and that’s on my agenda for Saturday. I will definitely read Mercy!! And I’ll respond back.

        Quote  Reply

    180. Efi,

      Jamie pushed Bran out of the window, and caused him to embark on a journey that would bring him to the throne. He did it with that very hand that was cut off from him so that he may become Hand of the King, forever repenting and paying for his mistakes by doing good. [the hand is not relevant to Jon, but it is relevant to Bran]

      I like this. Part of me thinks thats all coincidence and overactive minds reading connections that aren’t there. But then there is the bigger part of me that hopes you are right!

        Quote  Reply

    181. Tron79:
      Ten Bears,

      I’m going to wait to read your spoilers until after I read the mercy chapter tomorrow.I read it a long time ago out of context when it first came out.I haven’t read the sample WoW chapters yet and that’s on my agenda for Saturday.I will definitely read Mercy!! And I’ll respond back.

      Sounds good! That’s why I covered parts in spoiler coding.

        Quote  Reply

    182. Ten Bears,

      Tyrion’s issues with his dad are far deeper and far worse than Jamie’s. Tyrion cries for attention (even in the show). His gravest complaint I guess is that he was never loved by his father; and that his father -and everybody else- never recognized how competent and clever he is to give him the power that he wants to have. Tywin always hoped that Jamie would abandon the kings guard and assume his role as lord of Casterly Rock; but Jamie, after having broken his oath by killing a king does not want to break it again and abandon this corps, because this commitment is for life. The real reason for it of course is that he wants to be close to Cersei, and that’s why he did join in the first place (of course Aerys invited him and Tywin couldn’t just offend the king).

      Imo Tyrion’s connection with Bran is superficial, but I could be mistaken. Perhaps his concern for him is truly there for emphasizing that in the end Bran as king will have to look Tyrion in eye (as the book says, his first ruling lesson from his father) and confer justice on him for his crimes in spite of the fact that Tyrion has been good to him.
      [or perhaps this lesson is there because he will have to do that for Jon]
      Perhaps this connection is really an expression of Tyrion’s guilt for his murderous family. After all, Tyrion knows what they’re capable of doing for covering up their crimes and Bran falls victim to their unscrupulousness.

      But the thing is that Tyrion has become a common criminal anyway. Granted, he was not guilty of poisoning Joffrey and his father planned to send him to the Wall for being rid of him once and for all. But he did kill his father and Shae, and he did use wildfire to beat Stannis. In his journey to Meereen Tyrion only thinks about how he can get his revenge from Jamie and Cersei.
      In the show he joins Daenerys and brings her to Westeros. In one single episode (5), Tyrion manages to betray Varys, Sansa, and Jon, which devolves into Daenerys’ attack on KL. This was not a crime, considering that he owes Daenerys his allegiance and his loyalty. But at least it was irresponsible and made him partly culpable for the attack. And then of course he instigates her murder.
      All this is hardly a curriculum vitae that can be rewarded with the position of Hand.

      Not much of show Tyrion of seasons 7 and 8 will happen in the books for sure, but the books may even be worse. Tyrion will have to handle Dorne and f!Aegon, the Iron Islands and even Stannis, and of course the North and the masters of Essos. What binds Daenerys and Tyrion is not some high ideal, but, as I see it, revenge, and it begins with Daenerys’ purging of Meereen.

      And even though he will not be directly culpable for what Daenerys does in the end, he’ll be her chief consultant. The book has established well that consultants, advisors and allies and guards working for the losing party go to the Wall instead of being executed. (i.e. Jamie offers Brynden Tully’s guards to go to the Wall)

      Initially I thought that the following extract referred to Jon. In retrospect (and after the show ending) I think it foreshadows more than any other Tyrion’s end at the Wall, while it may have references to Jon, because Jon rises to become it’s incarnation by the end of ADWD.

      “Varys: Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.
      Tyrion: So power is a mummer’s trick?
      Varys: A shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” (ACoK, Tyrion II)

      A shadow on the Wall. A very small man can cast a very large shadow. [this dialog was important enough to be included in the show]
      Also, Tyrion has already said the words. “And now my watch begins”, on the night he married Sansa.

      Tyrion will get what he wants. He wants power; he’ll get it with a twist, which is a genuine Martin thing.

        Quote  Reply

    183. ash,

      Thank you!
      I don’t think there’s coincidences in ASOIAF. It’s so carefully planned that it’s stunning to realize it while reading the books. But what’s perplexing is that each and every (important) line may have more than one meanings and may refer to more than one characters. Every piece of the ending as we saw it in the show can stand based on the books; but every piece of ending may also relate to, or fit the ending of a different character.
      But I’m one of those who believe that D&D took Martin’s ending and shuffled the cards anyway.
      Take the parallels between Jon and Jamie:

      joins a celibate order, the Night’s Watch – joins a celibate order, the kings guard
      has a hand burned – has a hand cut off
      in love with an aunt/queen (or sister/cousin/queen to be imo, to be seen in the books) – in love with a sister/queen
      kills a queen/aunt – kills a king

      If you take this, which is definitely not incidental, there’s two ways their ending could go; either their ending will be similar, or it will be exactly opposite for emphasizing the differences between them and bringing out literary themes such as family legacies and characters’ choices. The opposite ending would be something like this:

      Jon can’t be a lord or a nobleman because he’s a bastard, so he joins the NW to climb through the ranks >> becomes king as a reward for his efforts to save the realm
      Jamie is a lord but wants to be close to Cersei so he joins the kings guard >> dies heroically, protecting Jon or Bran and is thus redeemed for his crimes

      Call me crazy, but this is the easy narrative solution. It’s so simple, it’s effortless, and therefore narratively boring. But the similar ending:

      Jon can’t be a lord or a nobleman because he’s a bastard, so he joins the NW to climb through the ranks, he’s doing his duty to his family and the NW — Jamie is a lord but wants to be close to Cersei so he joins the kings guard, avoiding his duty to his family.
      Jon becomes lord commander and finds out that it’s difficult to lead while all along he can’t help his family — Jamie kills Aerys thereby dooming his reputation forever
      Jon gets murdered, therefore leaves the NW and becomes KitN — Jamie leaves the kings guard after discovering that the reason that held him to it, Cersei, had been unfaithful to him
      Jon sides with the mother of dragons knowing that she wants to overthrow Cersei, just for using her dragons — Jamie chooses to help the Starks, gives a promise to Catelyn, and ends up in the North in time to fight in Jon’s war
      [note that what Jamie’s doing is a betrayal to his own queen and his family, while in Jon’s arc it’s all about protecting the Starks via f!Arya’s and Sansa’s arrival at the Wall]
      The existential threat is defeated at WF –both Jon and Jamie fight in the battle

      [Sidenote: by now Jon knows who he is; he knows he has committed involuntary incest with Daenerys. At the same time, he knows (and everybody else) that he’s a threat to Daenerys. The obvious solution to the problem is not a Targaryen restoration; it’s two kingdoms, North and South]

      Jon is obligated to Daenerys, he takes her South — Jamie probably returns home in case he might be able to save Cersei, wherever she is [I don’t think that he’ll kill Cersei, killing two royals is unnecessary repetition] or joins Jon if f!Aegon is on the throne
      Kings Landing is destroyed; Jon kills Daenerys.

      So now the question is who rules where and why. What follows is entirely speculative.

      Jon has no connection to the South; he chooses to be a Stark, which is what he always wanted, but with Martin’s games he’s a Stark with a twist; a Stark from the female line, which is not the same, and gives him no rights on the North. So he abdicates from office in favor of Bran or Sansa [I take it for granted that there will have been no knee-bending to Daenerys in the books]. In this sense, Jon’s choice is absolutely logical, because he prioritizes love of his family over duty, which he has been choosing all his life; and even though initially he wanted to “be somebody” instead of being a Snow, now he knows that he is “somebody”, but chooses not to overshadow his siblings/cousins’ legal rights on their paternal inheritance, so he chooses not to hold power. This also answers Catelyn’s fears about him (and Theon; while Theon actually did hurt his foster family, Jon, whom Catelyn always thought more dangerous, does not; Jon and Theon are foils). Jon might indeed exile himself beyond the Wall; but there’s another way this can go, namely, he can marry Sansa and produce the next generation of Starks in the North. In this context, he doesn’t even need to be king; he can be the queen’s consort and hold no power; he can have the family he always wanted, the noble lady he always wanted, but without the troubles of authority (which he laments for in ADWD anyway).

      But the point is, who is it that rules the South.
      Considering that ASOIAF began with pushing Bran out of the window, I do see the southerners “paying” for their mistakes by making a krippled boy king and deciding to lead their country into a new era. For this to happen, Jon will have to have given up all his rights and claims from his paternal inheritance (he is the prince of Dragonstone as he is Rhaegar’s only surviving son). And I do see this happening, and Bran becoming king in the South after his or Jamie’s proposal. In this context, Jamie could become Hand of the king for the reasons I have explained in my previous post and at the same time he could be regent with Sansa as queen in the North. This would secure some stability, since Lannisters control half the South with their connections, and of course the Starks are a power to reckon with (and Jon would be in the vicinity). Also, Jamie being close to Rhaegar and having witnessed that the prince wanted to establish a “grand council” could be the one that would make this come true. So, not only will he have fulfilled his promise to Rhaegar by fighting side by side with Jon, but he will be the one to implement Rhaegar’s vision of changing the realm with Bran as king.

      For Jamie, this would mean that he embraces what he’s always avoided, meaning, authority. However, for Jon and Jamie to have a similar ending in this version Jon will also have to have authority -he can’t just be self-exiled or even a queen’s consort, because parallel ending means that they both embrace what they’re meant to be. Therefore in this scenario I can see Jon as KitN, but in this case there’s no KitN without Sansa as his wife, because otherwise he can have no rights on the North –he’s a Targaryen, or “a Stark with a twist”.

      I dare say that this is a much more rewarding ending. All its versions make absolute sense in-universe and are rewarding for the characters, complete their arcs and push them forward to place them in a suitable position for the restoration work to begin.

      What I cannot arrange in my logical thinking is the ending the show gave us and in particular that of Tyrion. Jon’s ending as they showed it would have worked if they had dared to go through with the villain arc, but they didn’t, and I don’t believe that Martin will go that way with Jon; it will be pointless repetition since already Daenerys is a villain, the villain we “cheered for”, so what’s the point of having another character similar to Daenerys that we “cheered for”? Daenerys and Jon are foils as regards kingship, family, holding power, so them having parallel or similar endings makes no sense –one of them dead, the other neutralized beyond the Wall? Then what’s the point of them being foils?
      Along with Jamie’s death, the show’s ending is dismal, the heroes dead/neutralized and all the “undeserving” characters ending up in key positions, or being placed at the exact spot for reaping the fruits of the others’ failings. How deserving/rewarding is that?

      I know all this will probably cause another round of heated discussions, but, whatever.

      I hope this posts; go with my blessings.

        Quote  Reply

    184. Efi,

      You probably know how I feel about this, Efi 🙂 I don’t think Jon will get with Sansa romantically in the books, nor do I think that Political!Jon/Sacrificial!Jon (simply using Dany for her dragons, merely assisting Dany just to protect the Starks) will happen in the final two books. Jon’s arc feels deeper than that, I feel his purpose and identity is greater than just serving/protecting the Starks. Of course he loves them and will do what he can to protect them (and I think he will love Dany too in the books, making the conflict even more cruel if he has to make that choice) but I think his fate is to be the shield that guards the realms of men, to keep the Others back and that will be the importance of R+L=J. From what bits we do know about GRRM’s endgame via those involved with the show, I don’t think Pol!Jon seems to jive.

      I do think there are parallels between Jon and Jaime, but much of what you said hasn’t happened. Personally, I think the broad strokes leading up to the endgame will be the similar but with variances (Dany viewing the Targaryen-looking/groomed Young Griff as the threat rather). And I think Jon and Jaime share a lot of similarities in their arcs (struggling with the vows of a celibate order, internal conflict) but their purposes are ultimately different.

      I don’t think Jon will be becoming king as a reward for saving the realm because I don’t think that’s this story. Like, remember how you said, “So, the blond girl-hero with the dragons gets the boy, the throne and baby, what else is new? Why would that differ from tons of other movies/shows/books?” Those are kind of my thoughts with this too. The Starks (“good”) defeating Dany (“bad”) without personal feeling, consequence, or complexity and winning the realm isn’t really different either. And I sadly feel the way about Jaime too, I don’t think he will be rewarded at the end of a redemption arc. I think these characters’ arcs are about exploration, choice, inner conflict, and the consequences of such. And I think the inner conflicts will become crueler. Jon may end up saving the realm, Jaime may do wonderful things in his redemption, but I don’t think they’ll be rewarded. I think this is one of the ideas GRRM is examining — just because one has a good heart, has good intentions, wants to do good and does good, doesn’t mean they’ll be rewarded. There are consequences for each choice, especially in-universe.

      However, for Jon and Jamie to have a similar ending in this version Jon will also have to have authority -he can’t just be self-exiled or even a queen’s consort, because parallel ending means that they both embrace what they’re meant to be. Therefore in this scenario I can see Jon as KitN, but in this case there’s no KitN without Sansa as his wife, because otherwise he can have no rights on the North –he’s a Targaryen, or “a Stark with a twist”.

      But what if Jon isn’t meant to be king? What if he’s meant to have little to do with the political and he’s meant more for the mystical, that he keeps the realm safe? Not as a king, but as a shield. I think Jon’s ultimate conflict is deeper than an identity crisis between names but about Jon’s greater duty, which I don’t think is king. I think Jon is meant to bring about the change the realm needs (from an inherited system to a chosen system) wherein new people take over as rulers — who become rulers via a different means. I think this fits in with Jon’s arc. He appreciates the merit-based system of the wildlings, he finds leadership to be a miserable experience, and I think the endgame will help bring about a change for a more merit-based leadership system.

        Quote  Reply

    185. Efi,

      What I cannot arrange in my logical thinking is the ending the show gave us and in particular that of Tyrion. Jon’s ending as they showed it would have worked if they had dared to go through with the villain arc, but they didn’t, and I don’t believe that Martin will go that way with Jon; it will be pointless repetition since already Daenerys is a villain, the villain we “cheered for”, so what’s the point of having another character similar to Daenerys that we “cheered for”? Daenerys and Jon are foils as regards kingship, family, holding power, so them having parallel or similar endings makes no sense –one of them dead, the other neutralized beyond the Wall? Then what’s the point of them being foils?

      Jon and Dany wanted similar things, they both want a better world. For Dany, she wishes to liberate the oppressed. For Jon, he wants to defend the weak. But they both go about these goals very differently and make different choices. Their arcs examine the successes, consequences, and complexities of each path. Dany is a conquerer, Jon is a unifier. But for all their differences, Jon and Dany have similarities with their ideals, there is a genuine desire to help better life for the weak but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and it seems Dany’s path takes a dark turn toward that (in the show, this seems to be Utopia Justifies the Means). And GRRM’s story sort of examines these concepts, how rulers try to serve their ideals and sometimes, the choices they have to make between them, what that can lead to, and what impacts these have. I don’t think Jon’s exile has to be the result of a villain arc, I think it could be the real consequences of queenslaying — he may have saved the realm but there are consequences to this action too (personal and social).

      And Jon may find the most peace at the Wall, away from all the pain and suffering the politics of the realm have caused.

      As said above, I think Jon initiates the change the realm needs. Jon, by virtue of being a legitimate Targaryen prince, sort of represents the old way rulers were chosen. In not taking the crown and not ending up as king, if his fate puts him outside of politics (and with Dany dead), it starts phasing this old system out.

      Along with Jamie’s death, the show’s ending is dismal, the heroes dead/neutralized and all the “undeserving” characters ending up in key positions, or being placed at the exact spot for reaping the fruits of the others’ failings. How deserving/rewarding is that?

      Honestly, I don’t think the purpose is to be rewarding. I think it’s more an examination of power, rule, ideals, choices, inner conflict and everything that comes with it — including consequences, failure, and successes.

        Quote  Reply

    186. Efi:At the same time, he knows (and everybody else) that he’s a threat to Daenerys. The obvious solution to the problem is not a Targaryen restoration; it’s two kingdoms, North and South]

      I actually don’t think this will be Jon’s storyline in the books. I think it’ll be Young Griff’s who is a far easier sell as a lost Targaryen. He has the right look, it is known that Rhaegar and Elia did have a son who’d be Young Griff’s age, and he has been groomed to rule as king and take the throne since the beginning. And unlike Jon, Young Griff’s goal is the throne, coming into conflict with Dany.

      I don’t see Jon pursuing the Iron Throne in the books and he’s a hard sell as a Targaryen with the Stark look. There’s no documentation that Rhaegar and Lyanna had a child and R+L=J seems to be the craziest story ever in-universe with the honorable Ned Stark lying for 18 years — committing treason against his best friend and king — to hide a secret Targaryen prince, a secret not even Varys caught on to. There are speculations Dany will view Young Griff as the threat, that Young Griff will be successful in rallying Westerosi support and defeating Cersei, winning the people over. It seems to line up with some of her visions too.

        Quote  Reply

    187. Efi,

      In regards to Tyrion, I don’t know how his arc will play out in the show but his becoming Hand on the show did seem…. weird… after everything (not to mention that on the show, he wasn’t a great Hand. He had the best of intentions but his advice seemed to lead to disaster more than once). But I am inclined to think this will happen in the books (or something similar), yet I don’t really, really don’t know how. It’s really hard for me to say with any certainty what exact actions characters will take post-ADWD so I don’t think I can judge them for those yet. I have broad ideas, I think Antonsson and Garcia’s speculations make the most sense to me personally but even there (since they don’t ask GRRM for details re: future books), I can’t be sure. The only things I feel are the most certain are the tidbits those associated with the show learned from GRRM and shared with us.

      But Tyrion’s nearly a total mystery to me. I do think he will try to fan the flames between Dany and Young Griff because he does want revenge against Cersei and Jaime (but I’m hoping the darkness of his path lightens up a bit) but how he ends up as Hand… yeah, I don’t know. But I think GRRM will make something work. He is GRRM’s fave character 😉

        Quote  Reply

    188. Efi,

      That all said, and I’m sorry for a fifth message, I do find the ending to be a downer — but I wonder if my inability to see much of the sweetness is because of who my favourite characters are? Jon’s my first fave, Dany second, Arya/Tyrion third, and Brienne/Jaime really sucked me into the third book. But, with the exception of Arya, I didn’t find any of their endings particularly satisfying. There was a poetic irony to some and they were fitting in a way — like Jon’s, which I can appreciate in a sense. Sansa’s came full circle: from wanting to leave the North, thinking it was lame and later absolutely longing for it, for home, for even the people she didn’t much adore, after all the hell she’s been through and if that isn’t so relatable! But with some characters, I find myself wishing for something that feels “better” as a fan, who is totally invested in them! 😅 And I think that kind of differs from viewer to viewer, reader to reader — depending on who their favourite is , who they’re rooting for, who they dislike, and what kind of ending they’d like for each character.

      One person’s sweet may be another person’s bitter.

      Maybe the sweet is the recovery of the realm and the start of change. A slow start, but a start, a metaphorical “dawn” in a way. The system will never be perfect, our modern systems now are rife with problems, but maybe just the prospect of things getting better and there being a better chance for peace — from corrupt rulers (you really don’t know what kind of ruler you’ll get through blood succession) and from the Others. Life was so much harder in the middle ages (I couldn’t survive) than it is now so maybe it’s a process of that change. I think we’re in a constant flux of change, always searching for that “better” and people having different ideas of “better” but now, there’s more opportunity to voice our views. It’s not perfect, it’s hardly close, but maybe it’s preferable to things getting worse and being further oppressed by old laws, views, and ideas…

      (I hope).

        Quote  Reply

    189. Efi,

      I’m sorry! And I’m SO sorry for another message! I misunderstood you, re:Jon and becoming king as a reward. I agree that I don’t think this will happen but more because I think GRRM wants to examine the consequences coming with these choices.

      Jon’s choice is absolutely logical, because he prioritizes love of his family over duty, which he has been choosing all his life; and even though initially he wanted to “be somebody” instead of being a Snow, now he knows that he is “somebody”, but chooses not to overshadow his siblings/cousins’ legal rights on their paternal inheritance, so he chooses not to hold power. This also answers Catelyn’s fears about him (and Theon; while Theon actually did hurt his foster family, Jon, whom Catelyn always thought more dangerous, does not; Jon and Theon are foils). Jon might indeed exile himself beyond the Wall; but there’s another way this can go, namely, he can marry Sansa and produce the next generation of Starks in the North. In this context, he doesn’t even need to be king; he can be the queen’s consort and hold no power; he can have the family he always wanted, the noble lady he always wanted, but without the troubles of authority (which he laments for in ADWD anyway).

      As I remember it, in the books, Jon picked love for family over duty only once (trying to save fArya) but before this point, he resists the urge to go help them. He totally does feel helpless, as Aemon relates with his speech in book 1, and he nearly deserts to help Robb — but when his friends ride after Jon, Jon makes the choice to come back, wherein Jeor Mormont wakes Jon up to the true threats beyond the Wall over the human wars of the south.

      In ASOS, Jon has answered Catelyn’s fears — Jon opted not to take Stannis’s offer (and I don’t think he would have considered it if he had known any of his siblings were alive. He thinks they’re all gone at that point). As for joining the Night’s Watch, I think Jon joined to earn his own sort of honor, a “bastard’s honor”, whereupon he had to give up his family ties.

      With Jonsa… yeah, I know we’ve gone over this but… man, that still feels weird to me since they grew up seeing one another as brother and sister. I don’t remember Jon expressing interesting in always having a noble lady? He dreamed of his mother being highborn and kind and Val was well-regarded with wildlings and thought to be a princess (though she wasn’t) by the queen’s men, but she wasn’t a noble. Jon was definitely attracted to her immediately but I think that’s more because she’s gorgeous rather than rank. Then he develops a fondness for her upon getting to know her strength and fierceness.

      Is there another instance I’m forgetting?

      I do think that Stark line will fall to Sansa and so will Winterfell. I think Winterfell is Sansa’s destiny. I just don’t think it’s Jon’s. I think Jon’s fate is a sad one, linked to the far North.

        Quote  Reply

    190. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” she sang as she descended the wooden stair to the street. The handrail was splintery, the steps steep, and there were five flights, but that was why she’d gotten the room so cheap. That, and Mercy’s smile. She might be bald and skinny, but Mercy had a pretty smile, and a certain grace. Even Izembaro agreed that she was graceful. …….

      ____
      [Thanks for this! ]

      I just finished the Mercy sample chapter! I will read your other posts…

        Quote  Reply

    191. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!

      I’ve excerpted a portion* of the “Mercy” chapter, and put it all in spoiler coding just in case anyone doesn’t want to see it yet.

      I’m impressed how good GRRM is in shifting the character’s voices in the dialogue and internal monologue.

      So well-written. This makes me wish he had complete his books eight years ago.

      Also, I thought the latter part of this excerpt was adapted well by the show…actually, in two separate episodes of the show.

      Yes, the show does use elements of this when she is tasked with killing Lady Crane.
      Arya (Mercy) is very deadly in a blink of an eye in this scene! I’m not sure if she goes off task in this scene or whether this person was part of her mission. The Arya of the book is much more skilled at blending in with the community. The Arya of the show doesn’t interact as much with the townfolk. I think in the show she stays more in the periphery. For example, when she watches the play in the crowd, she’s not really interacting with the townspeople and talking with them. In the books, if there was such as scene, she would perhaps have come to the show with a friend from the town. In the books, she gets immersed in the world more. She learns languages as you see by this scene. My guess is she probably is going off task here since she’s probably not supposed to speak in the Common Tongue as Mercy. No matter how good Arya gets at being a FM, she never fully gives up being Arya, but I think she tries even harder to become no one in the books than she did in the show, but those Arya Stark of Winterfell thoughts keep creeping in, when she’s supposed to be Mercy or when she’s taking on other personas in the books.

      Yes GRRM really paints the scene for you. He goes into a ton of details and eventually gets you with something shocking or amazing. Some may think all of the description can seem tedious, but I think most of the time there is a payoff at the end of the chapter or later on. And you get a good sense of looking through the character’s eyes even when that character forgets she is Mercy and Arya Stark of Winterfell creeps back in.

        Quote  Reply

    192. Ten Bears:
      Ten Bears,

      P.S. Addendum to 12:14 pm Comment (about the show’s adaptation of scene from “Mercy” chapter)

      I have not read the books. I assume that the show may have switched the name of a character, and changed the locations, but otherwise faithfully grafted this dialogue from “A Clash of Kings” (below) and

      , into scenes in S2 and its callback in S4e1.

      From “A Clash of Kings”

      Well, I think it’s just that Arya is really good with a knife! I’m not sure if there is a call back to that scene. Actually the scene in the books when Yoren is attacked is very different because there is a bigger battle. Arya gets to use Needle! One slight spoiler for the book scene is that she stabs at Lannisters’ hands with Needle as they attempt to reach her on a parapet yelling.. .”Winterfell!” People call out their castle or house names in battle in the books sometimes as they strike a blow. I thought that was cool.

        Quote  Reply

    193. Farimer123,

      I haven’t made it all the way down the thread, so I apologize in advance if someone has already commented on this. In a nutshell: In the books Jeyne Poole is one of Sansa’s best friends, the daughter of the steward of Winterfell. She disappears after Ned Stark and his household are executed in King’s Landing—she’s handed over to LF—but materializes again as fake Arya (not her doing) married off to Ramsay. Claire McCaskill and all the other people who totally freaked out over Sansa’s rape would have fatal heart attacks if they knew what Ramsay does to poor Jeyne in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    194. Adrianacandle,

      But I think it also is about her memory before the books begin. The Red Door. I read the books now with that in mind and I really believe now a sort of brainwash had happened to her, maybe by Illyrio?

      Amazing Park and Recreation. And what I like about it that they are true to for instance GoT. Many shows I watched when they talk about a fantasy show, it doesn’t make sense what they are talking about which gets annoying, but parks is always true to the fantasy books/movies they are talking about.

        Quote  Reply

    195. Adrianacandle,

      ”I don’t see Jon pursuing the Iron Throne in the books and he’s a hard sell as a Targaryen with the Stark look. There’s no documentation that Rhaegar and Lyanna had a child and R+L=J seems to be the craziest story ever in-universe with the honorable Ned Stark lying for 18 years — committing treason against his best friend and king — to hide a secret Targaryen prince, a secret not even Varys caught on to…”

      • It’d be consistent with Jon’s upbringing and nature (he’s “of the North”) that he wouldn’t pursue the IT if and when he learns of his true parentage.

      Also, I’m still not sure why Bran (in the show) was insisting Jon is “the heir to the Iron Throne” when Robert won it because by right of conquest, ousting the Targaryean dynasty. Even when Robert died, Ned was determined that Stannis Baratheon was the rightful heir (because Joffrey Baratheon wasn’t really a Baratheon).

      Unless I overlooked some rules of succession,
      how could the throne revert back to the Targ family?

      For that matter, once Cersei had taken the throne by “conquest” – or because nobody stopped her once she’d cleared the chess board – how would a Targ have any right to the throne without toppling whatever family is occupying it?

      Yeah, I don’t envision Jon going to war to “reclaim” the throne for the family to which he has no connection other than by birth. Also, if it were me, I’d want to know how my biological dad could do something so irresponsible that it got so many Starks and Targs killed, including himself, before I “honored” him by pursuing my “birthright” in his name. (I’d probably renounce my real name and prefer to be known as Ned Stark’s bastard rather than Prince Rhaegar T’s trueborn son.)

      • As to your second point: I don’t see how GRRM can rationally write his way out of the logical box that:

      “there’s no documentation that Rhaegar and Lyanna had a child and R+L=J seems to be the craziest story ever in-universe with the honorable Ned Stark lying for 18 years — committing treason against his best friend and king — to hide a secret Targaryen prince, a secret not even Varys caught on to…”

      Howland Reed could show up with home movies of R & L frollicking on their honeymoon and swear he witnessed Lyanna handing Baby Aegon to Ned; someone could find Lyanna’s wedding gown, Rhaegar’s harp, and R & L’s marriage certificate inside her tomb; and Bran could tell everyone about his “visions” of the past; and there could be a High Septon’s diary in the Citadel library that recorded the marriage of R & L and the birth of their son, and still R + L = J would be “the craziest story ever.”

      • Yet, with all the time devoted to the parentage secret (in the books and on the show as well) – it can’t just fizzle out into an extraneous detail at the end, can it??? Or else, why bother?

      • Are there any decent ancestry verification theories out there? I’ve read many of the theories posited by book readers and I still haven’t come upon any that pass the ”craziest story ever in-universe” threshold.

      • P.S. I still think Sam and Bran should’ve kept Ned’s secret a secret.

        Quote  Reply

    196. kevin1989,

      But I think it also is about her memory before the books begin. The Red Door. I read the books now with that in mind and I really believe now a sort of brainwash had happened to her, maybe by Illyrio?

      Maybe something weird is happening there! But I sort of hope not. It seems to be her one happy time in life and to have that be a lie… damn 🙁

      Amazing Park and Recreation. And what I like about it that they are true to for instance GoT. Many shows I watched when they talk about a fantasy show, it doesn’t make sense what they are talking about which gets annoying, but parks is always true to the fantasy books/movies they are talking about.

      They are! And Ben is a true true GOT nerd (it’d bug me too, I’d have to correct it!)

      Finally got to the Craig part of the series and yes, he’s hilarious XD

        Quote  Reply

    197. Ten Bears,

      Also, I’m still not sure why Bran (in the show) was insisting Jon is “the heir to the Iron Throne” when Robert won it because by right of conquest, ousting the Targaryean dynasty. Even when Robert died, Ned was determined that Stannis Baratheon was the rightful heir (because Joffrey Baratheon wasn’t really a Baratheon).

      You’re right. I have tried to be careful with some of my wording there (heir to the Targaryen dynasty rather than the throne) but I’ve slipped sometimes. I agree though.

      how could the throne revert back to the Targ family?

      Unless a Targaryen took it via right of conquest, upon which it would pass down to that Targaryen’s heir, yes, it’s not a Targaryen birthright any longer. I think people tend to think of it as a birthright because the Targaryens founded the 7K and with it, the Iron Throne.

      Howland Reed could show up with home movies of R & L frollicking on their honeymoon and swear he witnessed Lyanna handing Baby Aegon to Ned; someone could find Lyanna’s wedding gown, Rhaegar’s harp, and R & L’s marriage certificate inside her tomb; and Bran could tell everyone about his “visions” of the past; and there could be a High Septon’s diary in the Citadel library that recorded the marriage of R & L and the birth of their son, and stillR + L = J would be “the craziest story ever.”

      Ah, the Wonder Years theme is playing in my head… 🙂

      But yeah, I think it would be a hard story to swallow in-universe.

      Yet, with all the time devoted to the parentage secret (in the books and on the show as well) – it can’t just fizzle out into an extraneous detail at the end, can it??? Or else, why bother?

      My suspicion is R+L=J will matter in regard to the prophecies surrounding the Long Night and I think Jon (as well as Bran and Dany) will have a big part to play there — beyond unifying the people against one common threat and yelling at an undead dragon. Both the Stark and Targaryen bloodlines are magic, which is an element significantly toned down in the show and Jon is a child of both. He checks off quite a few of the Azor Ahai boxes because of R+L=J so I’m hoping some of the prophecies pay off T___T

        Quote  Reply

    198. Adrianacandle,

      I think I already examined the possibility of Jon not becoming king in relation to Jamie. Considering that he wanted to lead all his life, it makes sense that in the end he gives up this dream in favor of the Starks.
      I don’t know why you’re so against “political Jon”. You can interpret the show the way you want, but in the books Jon is already very political. I don’t think he’ll change when he comes back from the dead.
      Also, Martin has spoken about how those that return from the dead are worse than before; that death ultimately isn’t an experience that makes them better individuals, but worse. This is why Beric is set on hunting down criminals, defending the people, as he died when fighting Gregor, and Catelyn is set upon killing those that hurt her family.
      If we follow the same logic, Jon will be focused on protecting his family; he died after he received the pink letter, on his way to save his sister. After his death I don’t think there’ll be much of anything else in his mind apart from his family and the war with the Others.

        Quote  Reply

    199. Adrianacandle,

      I mean rewarding for the readers. What’s the point of reading a 7 volume book when the end its all despair and doom? Even in ancient Greek tragedies there’s something to take away when everybody dies. What’s the point of having Jon grow up as a bastard, try so hard to save people’s lives, try to save his family’s lives, win the war against the Other with a cost (I guess) of involuntary incest, literally die, and then exile him to the Wall or beyond? I don’t get. What’s there to take away? “No matter how hard you try, you’re cursed”? or is it “You’ve tried hard enough, good for you, it was heroic, it was altruistic, but now the world has no place for you, so please leave”?

      Anyway, Jon and Dany are foils. There’s other foils in the story. Jon is a foil with Theon and Robb.
      Jon grew up in a loving family – Dany grew up with Viserys, who was cruel to her
      Jon believed he was a bastard – Dany believed that she was a princess done wrong
      Jon joined the ranks – Dany married and became khaleesi
      Jon learned to follow – Dany learned to command
      Jon has little power as lord commander – Dany hatched her dragon eggs and won an army of Unsullied

      Their background has defined who they are and how they respond to challenges. So Dany in Meereen and Jon as lord commander in ADWD is an exploration of how they use that power that they have.
      While Dany wants to make compromises she doesn’t really believe in it. She doesn’t like the Meereenese culture, she hates that she has to marry Hizdar. Hizdar represents her effort to come closer to that culture, and her chance for peace, but it fails; not only does she not love him, she can’t tolerate him (I believe there’s a piece of Jon-Dany foreshadow there in their sex scene).
      Jon on the other hand lives among the Free Folk; he tried to get to know their culture and what they want; he has an affair with Ygritte, whom he comes to love. This defines his choice to let them in and he underscores it himself to his officers that he does know them. His men even call him a wildling, and he doesn’t refuse it.
      What also struck while re-reading his chapters these days is that he wants to bring the Free Folk in exactly because they’re sick. Dany on the other hand can’t bring the Astapori refugees in Meereen because they’re not just sick -they have the plague. A big difference in the picture here is that Jon is not to blame for the situation at Hardhome; but Dany does have a share in the fate of the Astapori because she refused to help them when they asked for help -in her opinion the regime in Astapor was not her doing, so she wouldn’t help them.

        Quote  Reply

    200. Adrianacandle,

      I think by the end of ADoS everybody will know who Jon is; everybody will know what Ned has done, no matter if Jon becomes king or not. Even refusing to become king has a different meaning if it’s known who he is, but is pointless if no one or very few people know.

        Quote  Reply

    201. Adrianacandle,

      “Life was so much harder in the middle ages (I couldn’t survive) than it is now”

      Yeah, with my health I don’t think I’d have made it past childhood either. People had to be really, really strong and healthy to survive in past eras (we don’t often realize what a difference peniciline made), lol.
      I do have great genes though, it’d be a shame not being able to pass them on, lol lol lol.

      That said, I don’t think I want ASOIAF to end in any particular way, apart from a rewarding one, for me. I guess Jon is my favorite character, but if he were a real person I’d like to slap him more than once and shake him and shout at him “wtf are you doing!” I think I’d put Dany to penitentiary though.
      But I liked Bran’s, Arya’s and Theon’s chapters the most. Talk about some poetic narrative there.

        Quote  Reply

    202. Adrianacandle,

      “I do think that Stark line will fall to Sansa and so will Winterfell. I think Winterfell is Sansa’s destiny. I just don’t think it’s Jon’s. I think Jon’s fate is a sad one, linked to the far North.”

      I am not sure which part of the country is whose lot to be honest. Sansa has queen foreshadow but is it QitN? I don’t know. Jon has insane king foreshadow, he’s apparently the king who brings prosperity, the corn, as per his crow pet. “King! Corn! King!” And as I said, I think that in terms of narrative structure, perspective, and arcs, sending Jon to exile is the easy way out. The other choice seems to me to be infinitely more perplexing and more challenging for an author, and the more so because Jon in the end is not a good guy, as Thron says, he’s much, much greyer in the books, and after he returns from the dead he’ll be almost black. Already they call him “black bastard”, and Tormund says he has a black heart and black liver. So if Martin in the end makes a king of Jon, it’ll be more like Thron has said, that there are no morally good leaders.
      As for Jonsa, I don’t know. My exploration of the Jon-Jamie potential endings doesn’t take into account the “love” factor. It may happen or not; it may happen only for Martin to pull the rug from under their feet and send Jon to exile. Who knows!

      The noble lady. Of course it’s in connection with Val.
      “A warrior princess, he decided, not some willowy creature who sits up in a tower, brushing her hair and waiting for some knight to rescue her”.

      At first it seems as if Jon here decides in favor of the warrior princess. But reverse psychology says otherwise; it says that what he actually wants is the willowy creature. Traditionally in literature its a princess in the tower who needs rescuing, a noble lady.
      Of course with every such piece of literature interpretation is open. Jon may be fascinated by the abilities of the wildling girls, and apparently he’s not against women who can defend themselves, but their violence is in reality appalling to him. With Ygritte he liked her more feminine traits; he liked her hair and her singing. With Val, he likes her and is attracted to her, he likes everything about her, but for some reason he keeps rejecting her and the way it’s described it’s not just about his vows or what it would mean for WF to take her as his wife, he rejects her as a woman imho. That’s what I get from his encounters with her. Their last encounter, when Val insists that they should kill Shireen I think shocks him.
      I think we’ll see more of what Jon likes in women when he sees Sansa again (and I don’t mean anything about Jonsa here). In the end, it’s very significant (and suspicious) that Martin has withheld any information about these two. We have no interactions between these two; we don’t know what they think of each other, apart from bits and pieces (very small ones). Sansa is very feminine; she sings and she sews and she dances, and she doesn’t fight even though it has happened that she has carried a knife. As it is now, I don’t think there’s many feminine women in Jon’s environment now (Selyse doesn’t count, she has a moustache!)

        Quote  Reply

    203. Efi,

      I think I already examined the possibility of Jon not becoming king in relation to Jamie.

      You’re right, I corrected my mistake in my above post 🙂

      Considering that he wanted to lead all his life, it makes sense that in the end he gives up this dream in favor of the Starks.

      Of course Jon wouldn’t want to usurp his siblings’ claims and I doubt Jon would want much of any claim in the future but I think Jon’s arc is about far more than only about serving/protecting the Starks.

      I don’t know why you’re so against “political Jon”. You can interpret the show the way you want, but in the books Jon is already very political. I don’t think he’ll change when he comes back from the dead.

      I’ve explained some my reasons in past posts. In addition to some of my stated reasons (lack of support in the show), I also feel it does a disservice to Jon’s character (even if he comes back changed, more on that below) but more than that, I don’t think it’s true to the themes in Jon’s arc (I think the inner conflicts and temptations are just going to get more intense, also more on that below). I think the arguments for it twist Jon’s existing actions (for example, they argue Jon did the same to Ygritte when he didn’t. Jon’s feelings for Ygritte were genuine and he was adamant about rejecting her sexual advances until Ygritte forced the issue. Afterward, Jon truly was falling in love with Ygritte. Jon faking his feelings for Dany and using sex to control her is, again, I think a terrible message and extremely unlike what he did with Ygritte.)

      As for the other argument — I don’t think Jon is very political in the books in that his goals aren’t that political. Jon interferes in politics but it isn’t to gain political power, his motivations are moral (saving individuals, supporting a leader who fights for the realm over having the right name, one of his goals being to have the wildlings south of the Wall so they don’t fall prey to the AotD). Jon is about unity, not about Northern independence or separatism. He’s even okay with the North not being led by a Stark — so long as it’s not led by somebody he views as a monster (like the Boltons and Grejoys, whose ways Jon doesn’t morally agree with).

      It’s true that I see no evidence for Political!Jon in the show but rather, I see quite a few contradictions from official sources and in the story itself. I’ve seen these Pol!Jon theories supported by a very specific group of fans who seem to want Jon to serve Sansa’s goals/the Stark’s goals (Northern independence, making sure she the Starks end up on top, save the Starks no matter what) and if something contradicts these theories, they disregard it. I also have problems with Jonerys arguments too — they seem to want Jon to only serve Dany’s goals, do whatever Dany wants, and never ever question her. Some also think that the showrunners gave Jaime and Cersei’s arc to Jon and Dany and that Jon and Dany have a totally different ending (which… no…). Both groups seem to want Jon to end up by the side of the character of their choice (Sansa and Dany respectively) and starting families. In both, Jon feels like an accessory to serve either Sansa/the Starks or Dany. One group decidedly never wants/wanted Jon to love Dany. The other group wants Jon to hate Sansa. It feels like Jon’s not truly his own character with either the desires/interpretations of Jonsa and Jonerys. With both, it feels like Jon doesn’t have his own purpose or arc — with his own mistakes, views, goals, conflicts, personal struggles, and explorations based on his own character and experiences.

      DISCLAIMER! I don’t mean all individuals who ship these pairings believe the same thing 🙂

      My take on it is — yes, I’ve always had a feeling something pretty big would happen between Jon and Dany due to how many parallels the arcs share. However, since Taylor’s comments about what GRRM shared vis a vis Jon and Dany, I think there will be a genuine personal relationship and that will be its own exploration: more of those cruel inner conflicts becoming even crueler, a clash of ideologies and methods, how they get to a better world, what means justify the ends, an exploration of their differences as well as their similarities, personal feelings vs. obligations to their vision or duty their people. I think whatever happens between Jon and Dany will be more significant than just straight-up enemies because that’s like 99% of relationships in this series dealing with characters on opposing sides. I also think what happens will be painful and continue on with that idea of inner conflict.

      Jon may come back changed but I think this theory limits him — and his arc. I don’t think Jon’s coming back as this jerk who fakes his feelings for a woman, uses sex to control her, serves only his family’s goals and only wants to see them safe. That’s already like most of the characters in this series. I think Jon’s arc is more than that.

      When Jon died, he wasn’t on his way to save Arya because he knows Ramsay doesn’t have Arya. Ramsay wrote to Jon demanding Arya back. I think Jon’s arc is deeper and larger than just protecting/serving the Starks.

        Quote  Reply

    204. Efi,

      Sometimes, yes, I think those are the messages. But Jon may not want anything to do with the realm after everything, he may want exile (like Frodo wanted to leave Middle Earth). A position of authority isn’t necessarily rewarding. I mean, one person’s sweet is another person’s bitter and vice versa and this goes for viewers too. Your proposal seems like a dream ending for one group of fans — but could be a nightmare for another.

      Those are some of Jon and Dany’s parallels but as I said above, I think they’re meant to explore different kinds of choices when faced with similar challenges.

      But Dany and Jon also have similarities. Dany didn’t simply believe she was a princess done wrong. She was in exile since birth, spending all her life running from assassins living under the thumb of an abusive brother with no other family and living a pretty scary, hard life in which she had little power or control. She was very much an outsider. Jon grew up with a family who totally loved him but he was hated by his father’s wife and disregarded by society as a nothing, as somebody to be mistrusted, who had very limited options and little power. He was also very much an outsider. Both Jon and Dany are informed by these experiences (I think these are part of the reasons why Jon and Dany try to help those they seek to help). In ADWD, they both achieved a peace, both made disastrous mistakes, both have a genuine desire to save those they view as the weakest in society. Dany compromised too much, setting her to a boiling point. Jon didn’t compromise enough, setting his dissenters to a boiling point (and in a way, trying to maintain the veneer of neutrality when it came to the moral depravity of Ramsay Bolton seemed all too much for Jon). Their actions have also earned them the loyalty of those who follow them.

      Jon learned to follow – Dany learned to command

      Jon also learned how to command. Dany learned how to compromise.

      I would disagree with some of your assessment of why Dany’s peace failed. It was fragile but successful — it failed because of Barristan’s coup and the disaster in the fighting pits after Drogon arrived. Dany does find much frustration in the compromises she makes but her desire and efforts for peace are genuine.

      You’re right, Jon and Dany’s backgrounds each did inform their choices, for better and for worse. And I think that they’re both outsiders is a huge part of that.

      I think you’re right about some of why Jon wants to save the free folk — but I think some of these reasons are also why Dany wants to liberate the oppressed, because she too was oppressed and living a nightmare under the thumbs of others with little agency of her own.

        Quote  Reply

    205. Efi,

      What also struck while re-reading his chapters these days is that he wants to bring the Free Folk in exactly because they’re sick. Dany on the other hand can’t bring the Astapori refugees in Meereen because they’re not just sick -they have the plague. A big difference in the picture here is that Jon is not to blame for the situation at Hardhome; but Dany does have a share in the fate of the Astapori because she refused to help them when they asked for help -in her opinion the regime in Astapor was not her doing, so she wouldn’t help them.

      They’re two different situations though. The free folk are running for their lives from a threat that is coming for all of humanity, they’re not riddled with a biological virus that can also wipe out an entire population the way the Astapori refugees are.

      Dany doesn’t feel that way about Astapor that I can recall, Dany feels deeply regretful about Astapor. When Barristan tells her it is not her fault, she replies, “I am the queen. It was my place to know.”

      Feldman, of the Meereenese Blot essays even makes this argument for Dany:

      Dany hears a prolonged report of the situation of the Astapori refugees. Dany regrets not doing more for them earlier, but is grudgingly convinced that any help she gave them would have put Meereen at risk. This is another important feature of the peace — Dany has to restrain her desire to right every wrong in the world, and fix every injustice, to focus only on her own city. And again, the guilt of using her power wrongly haunts her.

      Which is a struggle Jon himself faces and Jon gives into the temptation to right every wrong in the world, resulting in a disaster of his own making.

      Dany also tries to help the Astapor refugees, working at the refugee camp and seeing to their needs. It’s that when the city comes under attack, Dany can’t let them in or the disease will wipe out the Meereenese.

      I think by the end of ADoS everybody will know who Jon is; everybody will know what Ned has done, no matter if Jon becomes king or not. Even refusing to become king has a different meaning if it’s known who he is, but is pointless if no one or very few people know.

      I’m not sure how or why they’d believe it. There’s just no proof, only the word of some people — it’s a hard story to buy in-universe and seems to come out of nowhere about this bastard son with no claim to anything. I explained above how I think R+L=J will factor in and I think that has to do with prophecies.

        Quote  Reply

    206. Efi,

      I am not sure which part of the country is whose lot to be honest. Sansa has queen foreshadow but is it QitN?

      Sansa was poised to become queen at the beginning of the series but I don’t know if that’s foreshadowing. This is one of the things I’m unsure of.

      I don’t know. Jon has insane king foreshadow, he’s apparently the king who brings prosperity, the corn, as per his crow pet. “King! Corn! King!” And as I said, I think that in terms of narrative structure, perspective, and arcs, sending Jon to exile is the easy way out.

      I don’t know if that’s foreshadowing so much as poetic irony: that in another life, he could have been king. Exile does make sense, especially in supporting a more merit-based society Jon would be in favour of. And exile, after a hard life suffering from Westerosi views, laws, and struggles, seems to be the more merciful option for Jon — kind of like Frodo.

      And it may serve another purpose, to keep the Others back — but that’s pure tinfoil 🙂

      The other choice seems to me to be infinitely more perplexing and more challenging for an author, and the more so because Jon in the end is not a good guy, as Thron says, he’s much, much greyer in the books, and after he returns from the dead he’ll be almost black.

      Jon’s not as lawful as he is in the show but he’s still pretty damn good, particularly in comparison to many of the characters in ASOIAF. I’d say Jon occupies the lighter side of grey. He’s no Bloodraven or even Stannis as of ADWD. His motivations are moral, he doesn’t do things for his own personal gain, his interest is in saving as many as he can. Even GRRM has called him a “classic hero”.

      We don’t know what Jon’s going to be like in the end but as one of the few decent characters in the series who fights for humanity, I hope he’s not going to end up like 90% of characters who are total jerks, who only care about their families. I hope he’ll remain recognizable as himself. I saw this post on westeros.org: “I need some lighthouses in this sea of sh!t.” They’re already going to dark villain-esque path with Dany and to do that with Jon too…

      Already they call him “black bastard”, and Tormund says he has a black heart and black liver. So if Martin in the end makes a king of Jon, it’ll be more like Thron has said, that there are no morally good leaders.

      That’s referring to Jon’s in-universe reputation, not his character and Jon is making a lot of choices that wouldn’t make the Westorsi happy (like bringing the wildlings south) — not to mention the stigma bastardy already comes with, something Jon is mistrusted for by default. As for Tormund, he is unhappy with the conditions Jon sets before him — which Jon implements to prevent the wildlings from raping and raiding the southern country side and taking off with Westerosi women against their will. And it’s done to foster a successful integration to save all of their lives. But what’s also pointed out is Jon’s humanitarian aims, his humanitarian arguments, not being able to give up on Hardhome, his focus on saving women and children, viewing the wildlings as people and the failure of this argument with his dissenters, compromising neutrality to “set the world to rights” (Feldman explores this in his essays on Jon, how Jon’s Noble Heart compromises his greater duty).

      If there are no morally good leaders, I feel that would absolutely be the pinnacle of nihilism but I don’t think that’s the story GRRM is telling. It’s no fairytale but I think his story is more of an examination of various tropes (not necessarily subverting them but exploring them). The struggles of leadership, how to use power, personal morality vs. greater duty, the inner conflicts associated with it, and what it means to rule well. It seems to be such a fine balance. Even when somebody has a good heart, it doesn’t mean they won’t run into problems, face those impossible conflicts, make mistakes, and get frustrated.

        Quote  Reply

    207. Efi,

      At first it seems as if Jon here decides in favor of the warrior princess. But reverse psychology says otherwise; it says that what he actually wants is the willowy creature. Traditionally in literature its a princess in the tower who needs rescuing, a noble lady.

      I’m not sure how reverse psychology figures into this because we’re seeing Jon’s thoughts, he’s not claiming one thing and resisting feeling another — Jon doesn’t decide in favour of the willowy princess in this quote. He decides in favor of the warrior princess, which makes sense as Jon is attracted to action girls, he appreciates their strength, ferocity, courage, and fierceness.

      What drew Jon to Ygritte were these traits. He does like Ygritte’s hair and is moved by her singing but those aren’t necessarily feminine traits (as we know, men can have GREAT hair [coughkitharingtoncough] and can be amazing singers). By the text’s descriptions, Ygritte’s hair (and singing) aren’t feminine and they’re personally appealing to Jon, in part because he really likes her.

      That’s not to say Jon hates femininity. Alys is feminine! But she’s also brave, courageous, and has a fighting spirit — traits Jon seems to like in all of his love interests.

      Jon isn’t rejecting Val as a woman, he is focusing on his duties as LC of the Night’s Watch. Jon won’t even allow himself the companionship of his friends because of being LC and feeling he’s no longer allowed this in order to fulfill his duty. Additionally, with Val, Jon feels he’s already turned down his opportunity to be with her by virtue of choosing another path (staying with the Watch).

      I think we know what Jon likes in women because he seems to focus on their strength, ferocity, courage, and spirit (Ygritte, Val, and Alys). While not in a romantic sense, he also appreciates these traits in spearwives and it’s part of why Arya is so special to Jon.

      Jon may be fascinated by the abilities of the wildling girls, and apparently he’s not against women who can defend themselves, but their violence is in reality appalling to him.

      Of course, Jon doesn’t approve of raping or raiding but he does truly appreciate spearwives and the idea of women being permitted to learn the combat skills they need to defend themselves. This is one of Jon’s defining characteristics — he really believes in teaching a person how to defend themselves. Jon will protect the weaker when he’s around (like Sam) but he won’t always be around, thus he encourages teaching these people to skills they need when they find themselves in such situations, so they have the agency and opportunity to defend themselves and others.

      In the end, it’s very significant (and suspicious) that Martin has withheld any information about these two. We have no interactions between these two; we don’t know what they think of each other, apart from bits and pieces (very small ones).

      I don’t think that means anything more than what it is, that they had a distant sibling relationship (which isn’t terribly uncommon). Sansa was concerned with class and Jon’s bastardy, influenced by her mother’s views on Jon. Jon was hurt by Sansa’s only calling him her half-brother. They also had different activities they pursued. It makes sense they wouldn’t hang out — but this does happen with siblings. It doesn’t mean they don’t love each other and they do occupy some of the same memories (Arya’s memory of the crypts for instance) — but there are some siblings who are distant.

        Quote  Reply

    208. Ten Bears,

      “Also, I’m still not sure why Bran (in the show) was insisting Jon is “the heir to the Iron Throne” when Robert won it because by right of conquest, ousting the Targaryean dynasty. Even when Robert died, Ned was determined that Stannis Baratheon was the rightful heir (because Joffrey Baratheon wasn’t really a Baratheon).”

      This. This has some meaning in-universe. The Starks historically have avoided mingling with the realm’s politics and have very rarely appeared in the South, particularly in KL. The Starks were always a force to reckon with for the Targs, but are always reluctant to leave the North. Ned himself refused to take the crown when he ousted Aerys, and then he refused again after Robert’s death. He becomes Hand just for investigating Jon Arryn’s murder and for making his daughter queen, after Catelyn almost begged him. His behavior is horribly irresponsible and dooms his entire family. You can’t be a conspirator and tell; you can’t be a conspirator and be merciful; you can’t be a conspirator and draw the line and say “this is as far as I go”, meaning, in his case, “I’ll put Stannis on the throne because I don’t want to become king myself”.
      Ned made horrible mistakes and his family paid the blood price for it.

      Will Jon make the same mistakes? I don’t think so. The line that haunts him, “you know nothing Jon Snow” does not relate only to the war with the Others, but to his family’s mistakes too. Considering that he’s Ned 2, what would he do if he were in the position to seize the throne? I’m not saying that he’ll go to war for claiming the throne, I’m just saying that he’ll be in the right position to do so if it comes to it, as it happened in the show. After Dany’s death, what would he do? Dany won’t ever sit on the throne; this is foreshadowed in her prophecies. So the throne (which I suppose will really melt with dragon fire) will be in reality vacant; supreme authority will be non existent, and Jon will be there. Someone has to reestablish it.
      As I said in my previous posts, there’s narrative sense in whatever he decides to do, but I think that this time the Starks will take over politically, and Jon will be one of them, even though in the end he might decide to exile himself for facilitating things. In this sense, even this choice would be a political one. This is established even by the show ending itself; the Starks rule it all, northern shore to shouthern shore. You don’t do that if you don’t get involved in the struggle for power (no matter which means you use, plotting or war or both).

      As for his parentage, I think once it gets known what Ned did, the lords will have no trouble believing it. Ned Stark had a reputation. People wondered how was it that “honorable” Ned Stark came to father a bastard son. Once they learn that the boy isn’t really a son but a nephew, it’ll be a sensible revelation of the type “he was that honorable after all” thing. All the pieces will fall into place. And of course there’ll be Howland Reed as eye witness and perhaps even a record of Rhaegar’s wedding to establish the legality of Jon’s situation. It’s not really about credibility per se, it’s more like the lords’ code of honor will not allow them to doubt the truth in other lords’ mouths -meaning, Bran’s, Reed’s, or even Sam’s. I doubt that anyone will step up and say to Reed “and why should I believe you” since everybody knew that Reed was with Ned at the Tower of Joy, since that was where Arthur Dayne, who was a legend, died, where Lyanna died.
      And it’s perhaps more the weight of the initial story that will determine the credibility of the revelation. Rhaegar’s folly resulted in bloodshed, and no one in-universe is ready to forget it. In reality that’s where the story of ASOIAF begins, pre-canon. And that’s where it will end, back to where it started, so that the beginning is elucidated and clarified. Only thus will there be any sort of catharsis to this tragedy, only thus will the story reach its climax and only thus can a new story begin (the restoration, or “spring”). And that’s independent from what the characters themselves decide to do (Jon, Jamie, Tyrion, Bran, etc).

        Quote  Reply

    209. Efi,

      Will Jon make the same mistakes? I don’t think so. The line that haunts him, “you know nothing Jon Snow” does not relate only to the war with the Others, but to his family’s mistakes too.

      I think that has to do with Jon looking past his own preconceptions and beliefs and accepting new ideas, accepting he might be wrong about what he thought. Ygritte taught Jon a lot and really changed his views. As for his family, Jon doesn’t really dwell on the mistakes of his family members.

      I don’t think it is Jon’s purpose is to establish a Stark rule, that’s never been something Jon’s focused on and I don’t think it’s his arc. Jon’s primary arc has been fighting the undead, defending the realms of all humanity, and realizing they are all the realms of humanity — regardless of name, class, or what side of the Wall you were born on.

      Jon’s one of the few Westerosi who realizes that and, in regard to POV characters, he’s pretty unique in this — that it’s humanity against one common foe. He supports people based on merit (this is what Jon keeps arguing to Stannis’s and Selyse’s men — that the wildlings follow who they choose based on action, not blood), this is one of the things Jon really likes about the wildlings.

      Jon’s even cool with a North not led by Starks and, despite himself, supports Stannis more and more — but not for his name, but because of what Stannis fights for (the realm). Jon is an individual who has suffered because of Westerosi classism.

      Jon totally has biases (definitely against the Boltons) and this plays a big part in his downfall because he incites Bolton wrath when he tries to save Arya. And then, because Jon is so horrified by Ramsay, Jon decides to march on Winterfell — not to rescue Arya, Arya’s not there, Jon knows Arya’s not there, but because of Ramsay’s moral depravity. And Jon earns himself a knife in the gut.

      Someone has to reestablish it.

      And I think this will be the change the realm needs — not more of the same via blood succession but a gradual change to a chosen leader system, a system Jon respects. The current generation of Starks may be fine but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a bad apple or a kind-hearted but crappy leader. This is why blood succession is so risky because it’s determined by blood and birth order, not qualifications. Even with Targaryens, there were all kinds of rulers too: good rulers, ineffective rulers, bad rulers, sadistic rules, rulers who managed a prolonged period of peace.

        Quote  Reply

    210. Efi,

      As for his parentage, I think once it gets known what Ned did, the lords will have no trouble believing it. Ned Stark had a reputation. People wondered how was it that “honorable” Ned Stark came to father a bastard son.

      Well, I think the alternative is still much harder to swallow. As for the Ned-having-a-bastard-son story, people tended to accept it, even Catelyn herself:

      Many men fathered bastards. Catelyn had grown up with that knowledge. It came as no surprise to her, in the first year of her marriage, to learn that Ned had fathered a child on some girl chance met on campaign. He had a man’s needs, after all, and they had spent that year apart, Ned off at war in the south while she remained safe in her father’s castle at Riverrun. Her thoughts were more of Robb, the infant at her breast, than of the husband she scarcely knew. He was welcome to whatever solace he might find between battles. And if his seed quickened, she expected he would see to the child’s needs.

      And Robert does too, believing that even the most honorable of men “slip up” (for lack of a better term…):

      “Wylla. Yes.” The king grinned. “She must have been a rare wench if she could make Lord Eddard Stark forget his honor, even for an hour. You never told me what she looked like …”

      Unless I’m blanking on something, nobody really questions it that much. Some may be surprised, some find amusement in it, some point it out as a black stain on Ned’s honor, but they seem to accept this story. I think believing that Ned hid a Targaryen child, the undocumented son of Rheagar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and lied to everyone for nearly twenty years would be far harder to buy. Even the best secret collectors never caught on. Sadly, the accepted story is that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna.

      Westeros seems to go off of visuals as proof and Jon has none of these, he has the Stark look through and through, everyone notes how similar he looks to Ned. I think this is partly the reason why people accept Jon as Ned Stark’s bastard son — because of Jon’s looks. He’s even got a magic Stark direwolf by his side. There isn’t documentation of Jon’s true birth — they have the word of some people — but that’s it. That’s not a lot. These lords may have a code of honor and may not vocally object to Bran saying it (at the same time, the North doesn’t know either Howland Reed or Sam) but that doesn’t mean they’ll accept it without question. Especially since Ned’s no longer around to corroborate. There’s a lot of room to doubt this.

      Added to that, with Westerosi suspicion already rampant re:bastard children, it’s going to look weird with people popping up (especially those with good relationships with Jon) saying this bastard Stark child is actually a hidden Targaryen heir. In-universe, it won’t look great. It’ll rather look… like a ploy. And ironically, the ploy already happened (the cover story that Jon is a Stark bastard).

      Perhaps this is another trope GRRM wants to examine, the hidden prince trope. In fairy tales, people believe the dude is suddenly royal and accept the stories they’re told but how would people in the real-world accept this, especially when the society depends so much on visual appearance and is pre-DNA? And there’s nothing to back it up other than the word of a few people?

      It kind of reminds me of the Anastasia stories.

        Quote  Reply

    211. Adrianacandle,

      Why would he be a jerk and why would feelings be or not be involved in this anyway? Why can’t it be quid pro quo relationship? i.e. I give you [email protected]@, you give me dragons thing? Why does there have to be a deception plot at all here? Can’t they just have [email protected]@ without faking feelings? Or without having feelings? Or with only one them having them? Would that be so bad? You are assuming that Jon won’t be able to do that without actually having feelings for her. I am assuming that he might, and that has nothing to do with whether he deceives her or not. And I don’t assume that Dany’s so naive with men anymore -not after Viserys, Drogon, Jorah, Daario, Hizdar (Tyrion soon to be added to her education about men). Dany knows what men want. I think that she will know in Jon’s case. I think she will know that Jon wants the dragons, and I think that Jon will know that Dany just wants him. I don’t see how that is bad and I don’t see how this wouldn’t be a narrative option, in fact, I think it would be much more interesting to read.

      You are seeing too much in Taylor’s words. As I said before, the show for me is no indicator as to where the story will go. It confirmed some things -Jon/Dany relationship, Dany’s death by Jon’s hand, the Starks end up on top- but everything in between is their own story, not Martin’s. In fact, the more interviews I see the more convinced I am that they told their own story in seasons 6-8. As Taylor said, the show was all about Jon and Dany. Martin specifically stated that it’s not about them, so there’s his statement to contradict Taylor’s. Taylor was speaking about the show and I won’t take his words as proof that there will be a true Jon-Dany romance in the books (imo it’s against Jon’s book themes). There will be an affair, but not a romance. And I don’t think there’s time even in the books to explore their approaches to various things as couple –I think that by the time they meet they’ll both be formed rulers, they’ll know what they’re after, so it’ll be more of a clash, or more of a cooperation for a common purpose, which in this case will be twofold, extinguishing the threat in the North and eliminating whoever has the IT, or a cooperation that will turn into a clash in the end because of Jon’s parentage. I don’t have a problem with that, to be honest, they can do whatever they want with their love life, lol. I just want the rest of it.

      As for the rest, yes, I’ve noticed that too; these theories (not all of them) appear to turn Jon into one of the ladies’ accessory. Imo all these theories are far too romantic for my taste and turn the ladies into protagonists in Jon’s life while in reality they’re not. And to be honest I see Sansa as Jon’s accessory in case they marry for political reasons -Jon will want her to stabilize his rule (North or South, I don’t know which), while all along poor Sansa thinks “no one will ever marry me for love”.
      There’s a fundamental difference between Sansa and Dany as targets of Jon’s interests however. While Dany will be in his target range when he meets her, so in the beginning it’ll be a good idea, feelings involved on his part or not, Sansa begins as completely out of reach because she’s his sister. This whole situation shall be completely overturned once he learns who he is. No matter how this goes, it’ll be an interesting read, if indeed Martin chooses to explore the Jonsa aspect in WoW. I just hope it’ll be a brave narrative, for being satisfying for the reader (I think it will be).

      As for political Jon. Of course I mean political in the books, not the show, even though in the show there’s some things that could be interpreted as such. The show truly turned Jon into Dany’s accessory, which was, ugh!
      Forging a peace with the wildlings that had their own king is by itself a political target. I don’t mean to annul his noble motive of saving lives by this, but the target is without doubt a political one. And all his other moves, helping Stannis against the Boltons, taking in Alys Karstark and giving her an army, imprisoning her cousin/uncle, all that is fundamentally political, which is why he gets murdered in the end. Jon truly plays the game of thrones, only he hasn’t realized it yet.
      So no matter if we agree with this or not, Jon in the books is much more political and much more shrewd, and this will have nothing to do with Sansa (although Sansa herself also has a political significance about her, as heir to the North). Also, the North’s independence will have nothing to do with Sansa, but it’s set up as Robb’s heritage and Jon will become king probably not by election, but because he’s been appointed heir by Robb.
      [I take it that Jon serving Sansa about the North’s independence has nothing to do with the book narration; the story of the show, which made Sansa look “bad” was utterly simplistic, unfulfilling and incomprehensible]

        Quote  Reply

    212. Adrianacandle,

      I didn’t say “question”, I said “wonder”. They had no doubts that honorable Ned Stark had fathered a bastard. But they wondered that he did, hence the teasing and the uncomfortable remider every time it suited the characters’ purpose -sort of the type, “you have a bastard of you own, you don’t get to question me about honor” thing. I don’t think that Ned ever admitted to anyone openly that “I fathered/have a bastard son”, not even to Catelyn. So in this case, it’s more of the people’s expectations and their own acts prejudicing what Ned allegedly did.

      But, anyway, Jon’s parentage.
      Are you sure you’re not biased in your opinion?
      Meaning, everything you say may be true, and Jon’s true role may be just in relation to his role fighting the Others, and his end may truly be to exile himself, or be exiled by Bran; but regarding your view that his parentage wouldn’t have a political role in Westeros once it gets out, and wouldn’t be recognized by others in-universe, are you sure it doesn’t have anything to do with the assumption that, if it does get accepted, or known all around before Dany’s death, it might set him up as her adversary, or it might lead him to the throne?
      To me, narratively-wise, it does seem like an option. Otherwise ASOIAF would seem like Shakespeare’s commedy. Much Ado about Nothing.
      [in spite of the nasty otherlike-from-beyond-the grave creatures; they’re the context, not the story; the story is the throne, it’s the political conflict].

        Quote  Reply

    213. Efi,

      Why would he be a jerk and why would feelings be or not be involved in this anyway? Why can’t it be quid pro quo relationship? i.e. I give you [email protected]@, you give me dragons thing? Why does there have to be a deception plot at all here? Can’t they just have [email protected]@ without faking feelings?

      They can — but that’s not what Pol!Jon or Sacrificial!Jon is proposing. Those theories are proposing deception and Jon using Dany’s feelings for him just to get her stuff, utilizing sex to keep her happy.

      Their stories are so linked, I’d hope for some significance to them beyond a sex transaction that makes Jon kind of prostitue-y and Dany into somebody who’s willing to give anything over if she can have sex. I don’t think either is true to either character and both are disservices. I think Dany’s going to want to defend the realm she wants to rule. She’s getting darker but her other traits, her compassion and her desire to help those who she views as oppressed, haven’t completely evaporated. As for Jon, he doesn’t typically sell sex…

      Or without having feelings? Or with only one them having them? Would that be so bad? You are assuming that Jon won’t be able to do that without actually having feelings for her. I am assuming that he might, and that has nothing to do with whether he deceives her or not.

      I don’t see how that is bad and I don’t see how this wouldn’t be a narrative option, in fact, I think it would be much more interesting to read.

      Well, if Jon knowingly plays Dany’s feelings to use her and get what he wants, that would be really really crappy and it would be a deception.

      When Jon and Dany first meet, I imagine it will be a negotiation. But if Jon’s just playing on Dany’s feelings for him, that would make Jon more of the same. So many people are using others just for their own gain here — I don’t think that’s interesting, I think that’d make Jon into a big jerk, like the so many of the other characters in this story.

      It seems it’s okay for Dany to love Jon but not for Jon to love Dany. This narrative seems to want him to use her instead to further the Stark’s interests. Which, again, makes Jon like so many of the other characters doing the same.

      Jon definitely loves his siblings and I think that will figure into some of his inner conflicts but Jon isn’t all about the political interests of the Starks. He respects the succession laws but he’s not working for a Stark-run world.

      You are seeing too much in Taylor’s words. As I said before, the show for me is no indicator as to where the story will go.

      I’m not sure how I’m seeing too much? I’m going off of (word-for-word) what Taylor said came from GRRM. At this point, it’s the best I have to go on re: Jon and Dany that comes from GRRM and isn’t speculation:

      We were in Malta shooting episode ten of the first season, and the show wasn’t a big deal yet and we weren’t being very secretive because nobody cared yet, and [Martin] just sort of mentioned in passing, “Oh well it’s all about Dany and Jon Snow” and at the time I thought, “Really? I thought it was about Sean Bean and Robb Stark?”
      But he knew from the very beginning where he was driving and now we’re starting to see that come to fruition. We know that it’s circling tighter and tighter on Dany and Jon and their partnership is starting to form, you know, “fire and ice.”

      In the bolded, Taylor is referencing a destination GRRM is driving toward that is coming into fruition at the time he gave the interview (the day after 706 aired, before 707). It seems to be something those behind the show know about from GRRM.

      I don’t think it’s going to be exactly the same, I expect Jon and Dany to clash, but I think this indicates it going in the same direction. It’s no guarantee but it’s the best we’ve got from somebody who has worked with GRRM, spoken with him, and has worked with those who are privy to the details of GRRM’s endgame.

        Quote  Reply

    214. Efi,

      It confirmed some things -Jon/Dany relationship, Dany’s death by Jon’s hand, the Starks end up on top- but everything in between is their own story, not Martin’s.

      While I do think these things will happen, Dany’s death by Jon’s hand and the Starks ending up on top, they are as confirmed as anything else in the show is (with the exception of what those associated with the show have revealed came from GRRM, I think those details have more support). That is, they have as much support as anything else that’s happened.

      As Taylor said, the show was all about Jon and Dany. Martin specifically stated that it’s not about them, so there’s his statement to contradict Taylor’s. Taylor was speaking about the show and I won’t take his words as proof that there will be a true Jon-Dany romance in the books (imo it’s against Jon’s book themes).

      Taylor was specifically relaying what GRRM told him. It doesn’t mean the whole story is about Jon and Dany. It’s clearly not. I think it means that the climax of the story will come down to Jon and Dany.

      I do think it goes with Jon’s book themes. Jon believed in Stannis, even though he disagreed with some of what Stannis was doing, Jon fell in love with a ruthless warrior. Jon has genuine affection for the wildlings, even though they do some stuff Jon is really against. Jon supports merit and what he sees of a person. If Jon falls in love with Dany based on what she’s done for the realm and Dany ends up being the second threat, I think that aligns very well with Jon’s arc, especially in terms of personal inner conflict.

      I don’t know how this storyline will go down in the books but I think there is time to develop a romance. The books are getting bigger! 😉 And they don’t the time restrictions TV has. Jon and Dany are still learning and developing as leaders and are mid-arc. I expect clashes but I expect there will be personal feeling involved as well.

      I think it’ll be Young Griff who defeats Cersei.

      And to be honest I see Sansa as Jon’s accessory in case they marry for political reasons -Jon will want her to stabilize his rule (North or South, I don’t know which), while all along poor Sansa thinks “no one will ever marry me for love”.

      Well, ruling the North or the south has never been Jon’s goal. This seems more Sansa’s arc than Jon’s. Jon has no interest in any throne.

      As for Jon and Dany vs. Jon and Sansa and incest. If Jon’s not cool with being with Dany because of incest, I don’t see how he’d be okay being with Sansa — which is also incest. Biologically, they’re cousins but they sure didn’t grow up that way. Jon views Sansa as his sister.

      People, in real life, do unwittingly fall in love with family members who they haven’t grown up with. People don’t tend to fall in love with family members they’ve grown up with knowing as family.

      I don’t mean to annul his noble motive of saving lives by this, but the target is without doubt a political one. And all his other moves, helping Stannis against the Boltons, taking in Alys Karstark and giving her an army, imprisoning her cousin/uncle, all that is fundamentally political, which is why he gets murdered in the end. Jon truly plays the game of thrones, only he hasn’t realized it yet.

      Jon’s motives were motivated by political aims though. He supported Stannis not becaue he believed Stannis had the best claim but because Stannis fought to defend the realm. His motive for helping Alys was because her family members were totally evil. It wasn’t to gain any power for himself or a certain name. Jon was trying to “set the world to rights”.

      And because he gets murdered in the end, I don’t think Jon did so well at playing this game of thrones XD;;

      Jon is more shrewd but his morality is sound. He’s not working for a political goal but much of what he does is based on personal morality. And acting in accordance with his ideals, that personal morality, doesn’t go so well.

      Sansa’s arc, I expect, will deal with the political situation of the North and of Winterfell. Jon’s arc may bump into that but as I said above, Jon isn’t about Northern independence. Even in the show, Jon’s kingship was used to help gain support in the fight the army of the dead.

      [I take it that Jon serving Sansa about the North’s independence has nothing to do with the book narration; the story of the show, which made Sansa look “bad” was utterly simplistic, unfulfilling and incomprehensible]

      I more meant that Jon and his arc wasn’t focused on Northern independence. Jon’s about unity (but I went over that all in my November 10, 2019 at 10:33 am post). I think Sansa’s arc will deal with this.

        Quote  Reply

    215. Efi,

      I don’t think that Ned ever admitted to anyone openly that “I fathered/have a bastard son”, not even to Catelyn. So in this case, it’s more of the people’s expectations and their own acts prejudicing what Ned allegedly did.

      No, Ned did proclaim Jon to be his son. Catelyn remembers such:

      He did more than that. The Starks were not like other men. Ned brought his bastard home with him, and called him “son” for all the north to see. When the wars were over at last, and Catelyn rode to Winterfell, Jon and his wet nurse had already taken up residence.

      Ned also refers to Jon as his son publicly:

      That was when Jon reappeared on the crest of the hill before them. He waved and shouted down at them. “Father, Bran, come quickly, see what Robb has found!” Then he was gone again.

      Jory rode up beside them. “Trouble, my lord?”

      “Beyond a doubt,” his lord father said. “Come, let us see what mischief my sons have rooted out now.” He sent his horse into a trot. Jory and Bran and the rest came after.

      But, anyway, Jon’s parentage.
      Are you sure you’re not biased in your opinion?

      are you sure it doesn’t have anything to do with the assumption that, if it does get accepted, or known all around before Dany’s death, it might set him up as her adversary, or it might lead him to the throne?

      It’s certainly my opinion but I don’t know why Jon would fight Dany for a throne he doesn’t want, that would feel out of the blue to me. And Young Griff is a factor. I don’t mean to say Jon and Dany will never clash, I think they will. But Jon has never pursued political positions. In book 1, Jeor Mormont woke him up to the purpose Jon’s been focusing on since book 1. I’ve gone over why I don’t think it makes sense for Jon’s story or the themes in his story to now focus on making the Starks top dogs in Westeros.

      I’ve explained why I think R+L=J would be hard to buy in-universe — which would be needed before any of that happens and I’m having trouble seeing how people would believe it.

      If Jon kills Dany, that’ll have consequences in universe. It’s queenslaying, it’s one of the worst crimes somebody can commit in Westeros.

      [in spite of the nasty otherlike-from-beyond-the grave creatures; they’re the context, not the story; the story is the throne, it’s the political conflict].

      The Others and the magical elements are certainly, certainly as much a part of the story as the politics are. I don’t think they are just context. This story with the Others also explores human relationships and it’s a significant story about humanity uniting against one threat and everything that goes on with that (right, wrong, struggles, prejudices, etc.)

        Quote  Reply

    216. Adrianacandle,

      Caveat: it’s only queenslaying if the assassin is sworn to the queen (which Jon might be but it’s not certain).

      But yeah, I do think this story is an exploration of the upsides and downsides of choices, human relationships, conflicts of the heart, balancing ideals with duty, etc. rather than a straight-up political conflict between two outright enemies, which feels too simple… We have some of that, but I don’t think it’s going to be one of the main events in the culmination of this story. I think there’s even more to the Others than it appears. I believe political context provides some of the framework, as well as explorations of the various wars (political, mystical or otherwise) for these explorations but I had wanted to answer this more specifically:

      What’s the point of having Jon grow up as a bastard, try so hard to save people’s lives, try to save his family’s lives, win the war against the Other with a cost (I guess) of involuntary incest, literally die, and then exile him to the Wall or beyond? I don’t get. What’s there to take away? “No matter how hard you try, you’re cursed”? or is it “You’ve tried hard enough, good for you, it was heroic, it was altruistic, but now the world has no place for you, so please leave”?

      Doing good can be a personally thankless job sometimes — and it is, especially in real life. Every choice has upsides and downsides, which I think this story is exploring. These actions don’t necessarily have a personal reward but may start a change for the better on a greater scale. No, not every good action is punished, of course, but doing the right thing when it requires personal loss and sacrifice is hard.

      That’s what makes doing the right thing so meaningful. If it was easy, it’s hardly significant, anyone can do it — which is what I think the “human heart in conflict” is all about. Not about simply “destroying the bad guy so good can reign” conflicts but dealing with competing interests, competing emotions, sacrifice, personal loss, the impact personal feelings have upon decisions, morality vs. duty, morality vs. love, personal feelings vs. obligation, love vs. love, duty vs. duty, sacrificing the personal for the greater good, and the impact this all has on somebody. It’s going to scar.

      Exile may not be so terrible for Jon the character after having suffered so much in war and leadership. It may be a mercy, as it was for Frodo. It may not feel good to a portion of the readership, I know I wanted more for Jon, but in this way (as it was for Frodo), it makes sense for his ending. Westeros has not been good to Jon and nor do I expect its struggles or the various wars will be. I think he’ll be a main player in defending the realm and that will have its impact.

      For example, allowing Jaime to stay in Westeros in a position of prestige did him no favours. Jaime did something heroic in killing Aerys, thereby saving countless lives, but Jaime was not hailed as a hero, it became his bane — Jaime was scorned, derided, and become notorious, even though he killed a king who was known as mad and sadistic.

      I think this story explores the real aspects of these decisions and the aftermath, how these actions are received in-universe and the impacts of these decisions — particularly on the human psyche.

        Quote  Reply

    217. Adrianacandle,

      Clarification #2: I say Jon might be sworn to Daenerys but it’s not certain because it depends on a variety of conditions and I’m unsure how it’s going to go down in the books, like if Jon becomes KiTN in the books or not.

      Clarification #3: When I said rulership seems to be Sansa’s arc, I think it is (certainly for Winterfell) but I’m not sure if she becomes QiTN either. Maybe! In a way, it’d make thematic sense in its own right depending on how it’s done (believing she’ll be Joffrey’s queen and leaving the dreary old North behind for the exciting south, only to long to return North and becoming queen there but not as a consort). And I think it depends on the state of the North after the Great War, if they can support Northern independence.

      On both, I’m 50/50 🙂

      Efi: Yeah, with my health I don’t think I’d have made it past childhood either. People had to be really, really strong and healthy to survive in past eras (we don’t often realize what a difference peniciline made), lol.
      I do have great genes though, it’d be a shame not being able to pass them on, lol lol lol.

      Sanitation really made a big difference! (Outlander explores that a bit!) I’m sorry to hear about your health problems 🙁 I hope they don’t cause you too much suffering.

      I think I’d die of filth (and no WiFi), I take three showers a day and I am so very picky about personal hygiene and skin care. I think the world can do without another me 😉 I cause enough problems for myself, I can’t imagine what I’d do to my potential progeny. Poor progeny. It’s nice to spend a few hours with kids, letting them colour your hair with markers to keep them appeased and not destructive, telling them lies they’ll realize are total BS when they get older, they’re always game to go on the trampoline with you (but those jerks double bounce you), they believe even the most ludicrous stories, they love sparkly things like me, but it’s even nicer to give them back to their parents when class is done/their mum comes back from taking kid #4 to the bathroom 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    218. Adrianacandle,

      (PPS: But sometimes, when they don’t believe my ludicrous stories I tell them like wayward balloons visiting the moon, they’ll make fun of me forever for it and try to make me believe their own over-the-top stories in turn 🙂 Be assured that the lies I was referring to were those over-the-top fantastical ones, like being the voice of their stuffed animals they’re talking to over the phone 🙂 It’s a nice, magical phase that doesn’t seem to last long.)

        Quote  Reply

    219. Farimer123,

      No. George calls Dany the second biggest threat to Westeros in his original outline. It’s called the song of ice and fire, not the song of ice and mockingbird.

      Dany caused more death than even Littlefinger which is saying something since he’s indirectly responsible for starting the war of the five kings.

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *