White Walkers raise a new undead army in latest Season 8 production SPOILERS!

Night King Hardhome 508

The White Walkers are through the Wall. It will only be a matter of time, likely early in the eighth season, before they reach civilization … or an army to fight them back. But, of course, this is Game of Thrones, so there is a third, much grimmer option: that they encounter an army to defeat and swell their own undead ranks. And, as the latest report from the new set at Magheramorne shows, that may be exactly what’s happening! Needless to say: spoilers ahead! Meet the Night King’s new soldiers below the cut…

Before moving on to Magheramorne, let’s stop by the new King’s Landing set just outside Titanic Studios, as A Red Priestess brings us an update on the city gate construction:

Photo: A Red Priestess

The gate is nearly there. It was first built broken; we’ll see it in both states. Photo: A Red Priestess

Gate from inside the city. Compare it in its breached state (left) and as it looks now (right.) Photo: A Red Priestess

The gate (from inside) in its breached state (left); and now (right.) Photo: A Red Priestess

Now, back to Magheramorne! Diligent Tweeter Hogwort has been taking the highest quality photos yet — from a place located over two kilometers from the green screen set. Early on, he claims to have witnessed the Unsullied army, just as we reported last week, as well as fire on set and Jon and Daenerys, though he is unsure of the latter. The fire, however, was photographed, as well as a dialogue scene with unknown cast members:

Fire elements can be shot against a green screen and then added in post-production. They could also be used for realistic fire lighting. Photo: Hogwort

Fire elements can be shot against a green screen and added to any scene in post-production. In this case, however, they’re being used for more realistic, fire-motivated lighting. Photo: Hogwort

Notice the microphone over the two characters who stand apart from the army; this is a dialogue scene. Photo: Hogwort

Notice the microphone over the two characters who stand apart from the army. Photo: Hogwort

Yesterday’s photos are the most telling, however, and the main reason for today’s report, as they star the Night King’s army in action. But there’s more to it than that…

Photo: Hogwort

Photo: Hogwort

Photo: Hogwort

Photo: Hogwort

Photo: Hogwort

Photo: Hogwort

The big deal here is that we have never seen wights on horseback. And I mean never. That’s not to say they’re mindless zombies — they use weapons, after all. Still, whenever we’ve seen the army of the dead, whether they are marching or fighting, the only ones riding are their masters. So why are the green-suited stuntpeople on horseback?

First of all: these are definitely wights. White Walkers are just guys in prosthetics and make-up (except for their eerie bright blue eyes, which are added in post-production.) The green suits are used for wights — that is, the undead thralls of the White Walkers. Granted, some fresh wights are purely make-up jobs, like their masters, but the decayed, skeletal kind are achieved with the help of visual effects. Hence the green suits. Some of these horsemen have only certain body parts covered in green, which points to partial decaying, cut, burnt, or maimed body parts. If these were new creatures, or computer-generated White Walkers for some reason, they’d all wear full-body green suits.

Photo: Hogwort

Photo: Hogwort

Photo: Hogwort

Photo: Hogwort

Even though it would be unprecedented, the only thing that makes sense to me is that we’ll see wights on horseback in season eight. But why do that now, after so many years? I can only think of one great reason for debuting these undead riders: Dothraki wights. The clothing and saddles fit the Dothraki style; the photographer suspects as much; and what a powerful image it would be to see the Dothraki turned against their queen!

So, if the Night King’s new undead cavalrymen are indeed Dothraki as speculated, how will they will fall under his spell in the last season? Will they be the first to fall in battle for their queen? Will the Unsullied survive the onslaught? Even if they are not Dothraki, the White Walkers definitely have a new mounted company! What do you think?

174 responses

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    1. The great news keeps on coming.
      This is very interesting, Giants, a Dragon, white walkers, and now Dothraki !? This is going to be one epic throw down with the white walkers. I can’t wait to hear why the white walkers/night king are doing all of this, their motive can make or break this season.

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    2. Matthew The Dragon Knight: I can’t wait to hear why the white walkers/night king are doing all of this, their motive can make or break this season.

      We kind of already know, don’t we? Don’t get me wrong, I’m open to a more detailed account of events, perhaps with a specific trigger to explain why they’re returning now and not before. I’d love that! But the basics are there: they are the Children’s out of control biological weapon against humanity.

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    3. The first photo is so blurred …but i can think that fires against that green screen are dragonfire and i can see there[right] two peoples talking/arguing [idk for what]..Maybe they are Jon and Danny upon their dragons[Rhaegal and Drogon] and talking for the war ..i assume.Also there is a black thing in a triangle shape ..like a tent[i assume Dothraki will camp in tents outside Winterfell].For the second pic i can assume that the 3 figures under the microphone are Jon[in the furs ].Danny[with her white/silver hairs..right of Jon]and Arya[keeping a crossbow ..left of Jon]and they see their army..while the NK attacks with his dragon[this bright light in the left could be Viserions fire] and there [far right ]behind the army is a thing who look like a basis for something[a ballista scorpion?]..The next 3-4-6-7 pics are surely Dothraki wight[they wear the green suits for the WW ]..The 5th picture..we see some WW[the grey-blue one on the right ]and some other people[characters?]close to a tent [far left]to doing something[idk]..one of them is on the horse and some others [behind the tent..one very close to the tent]..Seeing this im starting to thinking if the 4 script pages leak is right about the WW/Dothraki..there is a scene where a Dothraki/WW leader..Jqono [the Dothraki leader of Danny] is attack on Tyrion and to the others [Sansa,Arya,Sandor,Gendry and Bronn]and moves his arakh against them…IDK..but any idea there?

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    4. WOW, so if it’s only dothraki wights and no unsullied wights then that means these Dothraki definitely got attacked on the road before they joined up with the Unsullied who were coming from White Harbor with Jon and Dany :O !!!

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    5. Not too sure i’m 100% convinced green means wights. wights have never ever ridden horses before and I can’t see them doing it now. It’s like watching a zombie movie and seeing them riding a horse or catching a boat as a means of travel, they lack the intelligence for it. wights don’t really attack in the normal way either they swarm people and tear into them mostly with their bare hands and teeth or a short word or mace so they wouldn’t be very useful on horseback as I’ve never seem them once use a bow and arrow. The green could be for cgi for all we know these people are being burnt by Viserion or are having their limbs removed/cut or bitten off hence the green clothes to show loss of limb

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    6. Mel: wights have never ever ridden horses before and I can’t see them doing it now. It’s like watching a zombie movie and seeing them riding a horse or catching a boat as a means of travel, they lack the intelligence for it.

      Wights are not zombies. Not quite. They use tools, perhaps because they knew how to use them in their previous life, or maybe it’s just the direct influence of the White Walkers. Whatever the case, why is riding horses a bridge too far?

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    7. Luka Nieto,

      “We kind of already know, don’t we? Don’t get me wrong, I’m open to a more detailed account of events, perhaps with a specific trigger to explain why they’re returning now and not before. I’d love that! But the basics are there: they are the Children’s out of control biological weapon against humanity.”
      ————————

      Does that mean it’s Grand Tinfoil Theory time? A “detailed account” could take pages and pages…

      If we abide by the Chekhov and William of Occam principles, the explanation should involve “guns” already hung; should be the simplest one with the least number of assumptions; and can’t rely on deus ex machina. It’s also got to be consistent with what we’ve seen over the course of 67 episodes. That’s quite a brain teaser. 🤔

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    8. …perhaps with a specific trigger to explain why they’re returning now and not before.

      Craster. Despised by his fellow wildings for keeping his female relatives as slaves, he cut a deal with the Walkers: they would protect his shit-pile keep if he gave them his sons. White Walkers are the Night’s King’s most precious resource, and the large number of boys Craster donated to his cause allowed the Night’s King to rebuild his forces to significant numbers for the first time since antiquity.

      The Night’s Watch were ignorant fools to allow Craster to live in this way, practically within sight of Castle Black, and believe they were using him to get information on his fellow wildings. He was using them as another source of protection whilst, unknown to Craster or the Watch, he was helping build the forces of their real enemy, the one they had forgotten after ages of skirmishes with the Free Folk.

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    9. Are the horses alive or dead? I know I have seen WWs ride dead horses, and Benjen’s horse was alive, but I don’t know if WWs ride alive horses. Would wights ride live or dead horses?

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    10. Mel,

      I’d say definitely wights, the show has only ever used green suits for wights CGI if I’m not mistaken, and like Luka says, we’ve seen wights using tools before and act in an organized, semi-intelligent way like when they were pulling the chains with dead Viserion. I can totally see wight dothraki still being able to ride horses and it’s a way for the show to take the wights to yet another level 🙂

      Burned skin can be done with makeup, no need for green suits, and if their whole bodies are burnt and they’re still alive, they wouldn’t be able to still be riding.

      The only thing that I’m wondering is how these Dothraki can be so decomposed when they shouldn’t have been dead for too long. I mean covering one leg or one arm with green stuff can easily mean a missing limb but some of these dothraki are wearing full body suits with not clothes on which means that they will need heavy CGI = pretty decomposed.

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    11. Luka Nieto,

      I’m curious about the horses. Haven’t the WW’s horses been undead in previous seasons? I’d be surprised if wightened Dothraki aren’t riding wightened, decayed horses, but there are no green patches on the horses in the picture.

      PS. Are we to assume that the Dothraki taking the land route to WF did not arm themselves with dragonglass-tipped weapons? If they considered themselves invincible on horseback with their curved Klingon-style blades, maybe they didn’t think they needed Jon’s new toys?

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    12. Ten Bears: I’m curious about the horses. Haven’t the WW’s horses been undead in previous seasons? I’d be surprised if wightened Dothraki aren’t riding wightened, decayed horses, but there are no green patches on the horses in the picture.

      In the past, the undead horses are achieved without any green clothing. They just use painted dots for reference, which probably makes painting over the horses more difficult, but I guess it’s easier than clothing horses.

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    13. Val,

      I believe that we saw Unsullied (wights) in a previous post.
      Separate parts of Dannys army so filmed separately.

      One thing for sure, Dannys army is suffering!

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    14. Ten Bears,

      I believe the CGI on dead horses is done in a different way, not with green screen suits. They put some sticky things on their bodies and that’s how they add the CGI. I think I remember seeing a picture of the WW dead horses like that on set.

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    15. Thanks for doing your due diligence and tagging these as spoilers, but did anyone doubt the undisciplined Dothraki would be easily incorporated into the Army of the Dead? I can envision a scene like in “Hardhome”, but instead of the death and raising happening beyond the blind stockade, it would all be out in the open. A swarm of Dothraki attacks a swarm of wights, a huge but quick melee results with everyone dead on the ground, and then the Night’s King or a Walker raise all of them into a larger, fiercer, and more deadly swarm.

      Nothing merely mortal will stop the Army of the Dead. This will be the final magical battle over Westeros, and all the magic of the mortals — living Dragons, wildfire, warging — will be required to destroy the undead. When it’s all over, and the magic itself perishes in the final battle, then and only then will men rule alone over Westeros.

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    16. If we know that the Night King himself knows how to ride a horse, and we know that he is capable of raising undead animals, it is safe to assume that he can put a wight on top of a wight and therefor have mounted cavalry. Were there many horses north of the wall? I don’t recall seeing any, so that could explain why we haven’t them until now.

      I am so very excited to see undead-dothraki cavalry, not just because it’s going to be fun to watch, but it’s also very much in line with the themes of fire and ice we see throughout the story.

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    17. I read the news about using dragon-pit for season 8. a few months ago there was a allegedly leaked script of season 8. when i read that, i just thought this script can’t be real and it more looks like a fan-made plot. but now, the more spoilers we get from season 8, the more I get convinced that those plots were true. but I still have hope that those leaks were fake and just had some overlap with the actual scripts.

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    18. mass,

      The producers were looking to return to the Dragonpit location ever since they first filmed there. This was publicly available information ever since. Even if they hadn’t managed to film on location, we knew the Dragonpit was supposed to appear. So, of course, whoever made up that supposed “leak” read that and included it in their glorified predictions. The show returning to a major location (one they already said they wanted to return to!) just doesn’t qualify as evidence. These new “leaks” have absolutely no proven predictive power, as of yet. In other words, they’re bullshit, until proven otherwise.

      I’m not saying any leak you read online HAS to be fake, necessarily (though the ones I’m aware of ARE fake.) The point is there’s no reason to believe any of it until there’s some evidence, as was the case with season seven.

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    19. Remember.
      As Lord Beric Dondarrion said.
      “You don’t need to kill them all, just him.” points to night king.

      But what is the maguffin?
      Bran?
      Arya with dagger?
      Arrows / bolts of Valerian steel by Gendry?
      It’s one of them.

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    20. Colin Armfield:
      Remember.
      As Lord Beric Dondarrion said.
      “You don’t need to kill them all, just him.” points to night king.

      But what is the maguffin?
      Bran?
      Arya with dagger?
      Arrows / bolts of Valerian steel by Gendry?
      It’s one of them.

      I think Jon should be on that list too. IMO, the NK is his to kill, but I could be wrong.

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    21. The only way AOTD would retreat from Winterfell, is if someone fought them off or someone who knows magic like Melisandre

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    22. First half of Season 8 is really looking like a night is darkest before the dawn scenario with the protagonists between this and what we know about Winterfell.

      Will be interesting to see how they react and learn and how they inevitably grow and overcome in the end.

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    23. Luka Nieto,

      Any sense whether this is a group of Dothraki that are revived during battle – which would be somewhat expected- or do you think the whole army has been wiped out and is not part of the AOTD?

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    24. Mr Derp: I think Jon should be on that list too.IMO, the NK is his to kill, but I could be wrong.

      I definitely agree with this. I think it has to be Bran or Jon due to the way their stories have progressed so far. It would be totally random to me if Arya or Gendry’s workmanship were the ones to finish him off. Their stories have had nothing to do with the WW or Night King so far, Jon’s and Bran’s have on the other hand (with Jon being the most likely candidate due to the fact that his whole storyline has been about them). I get that Arya is a fan favourite (I like her too) and that people want to see her serve a crucial part in the story as well as the fact that her development with the faceless men and the skills she has refined will serve an important purpose, but I really don’t see her being the one to kill the night king.

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    25. Port,

      From the end of S6 through what looks to be a prominent part of S8, we’ve seen and we’ll be seeing elaborately staged, massive action set pieces with lots of live and undead horses; CGI’ed fire-breathing dragons; giants; a f*cking wight polar bear; and now, apparently, battles involving CGI greensuited, mounted wight Dothraki and maybe Unsullied. They’re building huge structures on location and in the studio lot to blow up or burn up. It looks like they’re pulling out all the stops. No expense spared.

      I sure hope that any day now we start getting reports of filming scenes with Ghost, Nymeria and her wolfpack joining up with Team Targaryen. Or else, why bother to fly Maisie to Calgary last year to film that underwhelming, two minute scene with the “wolf actors” playing Nymeria and her pack?

      Didn’t GRRM once say

      in an interview (about the books’ events, and direwolves in particular; that you don’t “hang a gun” of a huge pack of wolves roaming the Riverlands unless it’s going to be “fired” later?

      I cannot fathom that the show went to the trouble of reintroducing Arya and Nymeria on S7e2, if that was going to be their last-ever encounter.

      I thought the concluding book, “A Dream of Spring” was originally titled “A Time for Wolves.”
      How can can there be anyvtime for wolves if there are no wolves,

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    26. Dothraki wight riding their horses makes sense and its so cool!
      I guess the picture with the fires its fo the burned Winterfell?

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    27. Colin Armfield:
      Remember.
      As Lord Beric Dondarrion said.
      “You don’t need to kill them all, just him.” points to night king.

      But what is the maguffin?
      Bran? Arya with dagger? Arrows / bolts of Valerian steel by Gendry? It’s one of them.

      Why would any of those be a “maguffin”?

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    28. Ten Bears: Why would any of those be a “maguffin”?

      The army of the dead will be unstoppable killing and absorbing everyone that gets in their way.
      Then it will be “maguffin”
      Someone kills the Knight king and it’s all over.

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    29. Mr. Derp & Che:

      As I mentioned in another thread, I believe “Sam the Slayer” will end the miserable existence of the Night’s King. Bran can tell him how the Children created the NK from one of the First Men (heck, Bran can tell Sam who that man was!), and therefore how to un-make the NK back into a mortal man.

      From the moment we met Samwell Tarly, we’ve been shown over and over and over how he is A Different Kind of Hero, A Man of Uncommon Courage. He became the first person in living memory to kill a White Walker, using an ancient weapon native to Westeros. (Jon used Valerian Steel, which ultimately originates in Essos.) I doubt very, very much we saw Sam risk his life to cure Jorah Mormont of greyscale simply because Sam admired Jorah’s father. And how did Sam accomplish that cure? With some borrowed knowledge and tools to physically remove the contagion from Jorah’s body.

      I also believe that No One will escort Sam, so she can stick ’em (White Walkers) with the pointy end, not of Needle, but of her VS dagger. Also on that mission may be Jorah, wielding Hartsbane for some patrilineal completion.

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    30. Rob:
      Are the horses alive or dead? I know I have seen WWs ride dead horses, and Benjen’s horse was alive, but I don’t know if WWs ride alive horses. Would wights ride live or dead horses?

      In book canon the wights are attracted to warm blood… as in, they’ll attack anything living including horses. So if these pictures show wights riding horses we can probably assume the horses will be animated dead ones.

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    31. It seemed inevitable that the Dothraki wouldn’t meander up the Kingsroad without some sort of ambush or conflict, so perhaps that will happen. The green alien dudes seem so upright and steady, at first I thought they were WW and not wights!

      *Jaime, toodling along just off the road out of sight, hears a commotion and peeks over to see the huge army he faced down before now looking a bit different*

      “Oh hell…”

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    32. Che,

      Tensor the Mage, Who Can Only Wish To Have a Library Card at The Citadel,

      I agree in most part with Tensor. While it’s certainly possible that Jon is involved in killing the Night King, it’s too predictable and cliche for it to be a 1v1 battle between the two or anything of that sort. And it’s precisely because Arya hasn’t been involved in the WW storyline that makes me think she will be involved in killing the Night King. Why bring back the Catspaw dagger, foreshadow it in the book Sam read in 7×01, then have Bran give it to Arya? Then on top of that we have her skills she learned from the FM coupled with her deadly fighting moves. It’s not just that she’s my favourite character, but as a main character of the story, it would feel very odd to me if her journey didn’t amount to more than “helping out in a fight”.

      I hadn’t heard the theory of Sam doing the “shardectomy” until just recently, but I like it. That’s interesting. I could see something along the lines of Bran warging into the Night King in order to disable him while Sam does the surgery with Arya (and Jon and perhaps others?) protecting him as he’s working.

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    33. Colin Armfield: The army of the dead will be unstoppable killing and absorbing everyone that gets in their way.
      Then it will be “maguffin”
      Someone kills the Knight king and it’s all over.

      Are you sure that is what a Macguffin means?

      I thought a Macguffin was a plot device that is someone random that serves as a focus for the characters to drive the plot forward and served no other purpose.

      The NK I don’t think qualifies as that. He is clearly the antagonist and its pretty clear plot wise why he is. Also, killing the NK would be an example of a keystone army trope if it leads to the collapse of the army.

      A macguffin would be if randomly in the final season someone says they need to go break some magic altar to allow the NK to be killed and then that becomes the focus. The wight hunt could also be seen as an example of a MacGufifn i think.

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    34. Enharmony1625: While it’s certainly possible that Jon is involved in killing the Night King, it’s too predictable and cliche for it to be a 1v1 battle between the two or anything of that sort.

      I know what you mean, but it was also cliche for the Knights of the Vale to save the day at the BotB and that still happened, so you can’t rule anything out on basis that you find it to be cliche, Cliche things happens more often on GoT than fans like to think.

      Enharmony1625: Why bring back the Catspaw dagger, foreshadow it in the book Sam read in 7×01, then have Bran give it to Arya?

      I can agree that giving her the dagger seems to have significant purpose as well as the “where the heart is” line Sandor told Arya in season 4. She certainly could be the one to do it, but IMO Jon’s storyline is leading up to him being responsible for taking out the NK. You don’t have an epic staredown with the NK after Hardhome and not expect to meet again.

      Enharmony1625: Then on top of that we have her skills she learned from the FM coupled with her deadly fighting moves. It’s not just that she’s my favourite character, but as a main character of the story, it would feel very odd to me if her journey didn’t amount to more than “helping out in a fight”.

      I think her FM skills were introduced to give Arya a means to get revenge on those who destroyed her family, and she’s already done that.

      All of the characters are basically still her eto help win the fight, so it shouldn’t feel like a slight to Arya for her to help win the war.

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    35. Edit to my previous post: She’s already gotten revenge on MOST of those who helped destroy her family. Her list still has a couple of names, although I don’t think the Mountain or Cersei were directly responsible for that, so maybe she willl remove the names from her list and let others take care of that business.

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    36. Enharmony1625:
      Che,

      Tensor the Mage, Who Can Only Wish To Have a Library Card at The Citadel,

      I agree in most part with Tensor. While it’s certainly possible that Jon is involved in killing the Night King, it’s too predictable and cliche for it to be a 1v1 battle between the two or anything of that sort. And it’s precisely because Arya hasn’t been involved in the WW storyline that makes me think she will be involved in killing the Night King. Why bring back the Catspaw dagger, foreshadow it in the book Sam read in 7×01, then have Bran give it to Arya? Then on top of that we have her skills she learned from the FM coupled with her deadly fighting moves. It’s not just that she’s my favourite character, but as a main character of the story, it would feel very odd to me if her journey didn’t amount to more than “helping out in a fight”.

      I hadn’t heard the theory of Sam doing the “shardectomy” until just recently, but I like it. That’s interesting. I could see something along the lines of Bran warging into the Night King in order to disable him while Sam does the surgery with Arya (and Jon and perhaps others?) protecting him as he’s working.

      Arya killing or being a major part in killing the NK would be a huge disappointment and a slap in the face to Bran, Sam and Jon. I love Arya but she has no zero place in the takedown of the NK and zero build up, it would be IMMENSELY lame if one of the biggest moments in the show is given to Arya just for the sake of her being cool (as if we don’t have enough of that) over Sam or Bran, two characters who’s entire storylines have been nothing but build up to defeating him. She has to be FAR, far away from the NK when this goes down.

      Again, I love Arya, she’s one of my favs but she has ZERO foreshadowing, build up or involvement with the NK, it would be some bullshit to involve her in such a big way now. The dagger was nothing more than set up for LF’s death, not the NK’s. She, along with her sister have their arcs locked in with the Cersei showdown and that’s where she should have her moment to shine, along with Tyrion and Sansa, two other characters who have jack shit to do with this arc.

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    37. Artemisia,

      Yes, I have the same feeling about those pages: whoever wrote them, knew the overall course of the plot and that was very different from all other fan specultions floating in the web.

      And alegedly decayed bodies of the wightified Dothraki also hint that a considerable amount of time will pass between their initial encounted with the AotD (most probably, early in the season) and this fight which should be in Ep 5.

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    38. Giving Arya the dagger was good.
      Sam showing the exact same dagger in an old book makes it very, very, important.
      You don’t introduce a plot point like that just to kill LF. Or even to kill Cersei!

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    39. Colin Armfield:
      Giving Arya the dagger was good.
      Sam showing the exact same dagger in an old book makes it very, very, important.
      You don’t introduce a plot point like that just to kill LF. Or even to kill Cersei!

      Than I hope Sam is the one to wield it. After all, Arya is far more connected to Needle.

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    40. Tensor the Mage, Who Can Only Wish To Have a Library Card at The Citadel,

      I’m glad I can attribute to you by name that idea about Sam doing some medical procedure on NK. I riffed on it two days ago (when I was goofing around about all the talk of romantic couplings), but could only refer to you as “another commenter” and note that “I like that idea.”

      Here’s what I wrote…

      —————
      TB wrote on 3/22/18, ~ 9:08 pm:

      “Maybe Sansa won’t be living in WF. Or marrying Gendry….

      Another commenter posited a few days ago that Samwell Tarly, MD, assisted by Arya Stark’s stealth and speed, will perform a dragonglass shardectomy on the Night King. I like that idea. I think something like that may very well happen.

      However….

      [*Adjusts Valyrian Steel-reinforced tinfoil hat*]

      ….It will not kill him. Rather, removing the shard will turn him back into human form, i.e., that barechested guy the CotF tied to the tree and mutilated all those thousands of years ago.

      In order to secure a lasting peace, the Great Conciliator Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryen** will broker a marriage alliance between the King of the Land of Always Winter f/k/a Night King, and his kissed-by-fire cousin/sister Sansa. Ice & Fire.

      And they all lived happily ever after.

      ** Which of the two sons of Rhaegar identically named Aegon, you ask? Why, the little brother of course.
      ——————–

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    41. These pics are getting better every day!

      I’m sure I can see one of the green suites “wights” with a braid, so a Dothraki horde of wights seems likely indeed.

      What I don’t get though is why the green suits? The Dothraki would be fresh meat so to speak, with no decay. All that’d be needed is some simple makeup and blue eyes surely?

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    42. Tensor the Mage, Who Can Only Wish To Have a Library Card at The Citadel,

      Argh, thank you for reminding me about Sam. I feel bad for omitting him due to his non-main character status, but you’re right, he also must play a huge part in the downfall of the NK due to the build up of his story over the seasons. I don’t feel he will do so over and above Jon though, as Jon and the NK have unresolved business. You don’t have a stare-down like they shared at Hardhome and during the wight-hunt and leave such a set-up incomplete. To me, that would be unforgivably bad storytelling. To refer to an oft-used principle: a gun has been hung there, it needs to be fired. I would feel robbed if Jon didn’t conclude his business with the NK. His entire arc has been about defeating the WW and more personally, defeating the NK.

      Enharmony1625,

      Tensor the Mage, Who Can Only Wish To Have a Library Card at The Citadel,

      See, I don’t think cliche is the correct term here. In any good work of fiction, most people will see the ending coming – as they will see the arc a character is following and imagine it ending in a number of ways. Yes, there are twists and turns along the road, but the ending for a character’s journey should never be so out-there that there has been no groundwork laid for it. Is Jon’s character arc a well-used trope in fantasy? Yes. You could use the term cliche, but I don’t think it’s that simple. His arc ending in any way other than a showdown with the NK would be, in my opinion, a travesty. What was all that setup for if not for him to be an integral part in the defeat of the WW or the NK? Ever since Hardhome, he has been desperate to mobilise humanity to fight the real threat. If the end-game with the WW storyline goes to a character like Arya (who has had literally nothing to do with it other than the very tenuous link of being gifted a VS dagger) then I will feel quite let down. It would be totally out of the blue and not very good storytelling. There has been no groundwork laid for her to be involved in the WW storyline. Yes she is a trained killer – but there are many characters in the story who are very efficient killers – Sandor, Brienne, Bronn (though arguably, none of them are main characters like Arya). She is going to use her skills in a hugely significant way to the story (in my opinion, she will be tied to the human-threat, the one that will probably end up being the main end-game = Cersei). I think the taking down of the NK will be a triple-pronged effort by Jon, Bran and Sam. Whereas the taking down of Cersei will be Dany, Arya and Sansa’s storyline.

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    43. Enharmony1625,

      Why bring back the Catspaw dagger, foreshadow it in the book Sam read in 7×01, then have Bran give it to Arya? Then on top of that we have her skills she learned from the FM coupled with her deadly fighting moves…”
      —————
      Exactly.
      I’ve said it before. At the risk of being redundant:
      You don’t give a ninja warrior princess a Valyrian Steel dagger in S7 unless she’s going to “fire” it in S8.
      If she were just going to be taking out regular humans, she’s simply poke ’em full of holes with the pointy end of Needle.

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    44. Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,

      Why bring back the Catspaw dagger, foreshadow it in the book Sam read in 7×01, then have Bran give it to Arya? Then on top of that we have her skills she learned from the FM coupled with her deadly fighting moves…”
      —————Exactly.
      I’ve said it before. At the risk of being redundant:
      You don’t give a ninja warrior princess a Valyrian Steel dagger in S7 unless she’s going to “fire” it in S8.If she were just going to be taking out regular humans, she’s simply poke ’em full of holes with the pointy end of Needle.

      She already fired it. She cut LF’s throat with his own dagger.

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    45. I still think that Sam’s part will be to give Heartsbane to Gendry.
      Re inventing Valyrian steel is a big job, but re-forging is known (probably to Gendry.)
      The plot point of forging arrow heads was made long ago.

      A weapon forged from Heartsbane will kill the generals or the Night King.

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    46. Mr Derp: I know what you mean, but it was also cliche for the Knights of the Vale to save the day at the BotB and that still happened, so you can’t rule anything out on basis that you find it to be cliche,Cliche things happens more often on GoT than fans like to think.

      Yeah, that’s a good point. I’ll have to admit that it’s part of my wishful thinking that this huge climactic moment of the series doesn’t boil down to Jon v. Night King in a fight. There needs to be something more involved, perhaps involving some kind of twist. And more people involved. I think it needs to be a collective effort in some way to really sell the idea that the Night King is a massive threat.

      Mr Derp:
      I can agree that giving her the dagger seems to have significant purpose as well as the “where the heart is” line Sandor told Arya in season 4.She certainly could be the one to do it, but IMO Jon’s storyline is leading up to him being responsible for taking out the NK.You don’t have an epic staredown with the NK after Hardhome and not expect to meet again.

      BeardedOnion,

      Again, fair point. That stare-down will certainly lead to something. However, in regards to there being zero foreshadowing for Arya playing a role, I wouldn’t say that is true. Given that the dagger was in the book Sam read at the start of S7, and that Bran handed the dagger to her, I think that’s at least some foreshadowing considering that both of these characters are themselves strongly linked with facing off against the NK.

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    47. Ten Bears,

      By that same measure, you don’t spend 7 seasons building up a character’s main motivation (to defeat the NK and save humanity) without firing it.

      Arya having a VS dagger is relevant – but that doesn’t have the same weight as Jon/Bran/Sam’s 7-seasons of build-up. It doesn’t even come close.

      Besides, VS is important for killing walkers, but I thought the popular train of thought is that a plot device as simple as magic steel will be quite a cop-out for defeating the NK. I’m of the mind that killing the NK will be related to Dawn/un-obsidianing him – which would make it a joint effort for Jon, Sam and Bran. Jon to beat him down with Dawn, Sam/Bran to take care of that big old shard of obsidian in his chest.

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    48. Che:
      Tensor the Mage, Who Can Only Wish To Have a Library Card at The Citadel,

      I think the taking down of the NK will be a triple-pronged effort by Jon, Bran and Sam. Whereas the taking down of Cersei will be Dany, Arya and Sansa’s storyline.

      I’m not sure Dany has enough story arc with Cersei in particular. Her entire impetus has been To Rule. Cersei is just incidental in that she currently sits the Iron Throne. Tyrion and Jaime certainly should be in the mix for Cersei’s final downfall.

      With not much left of Westeros to rule, does Dany have a satisfactory ending to her arc, except possibly as Missa?

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    49. Luka Nieto,

      The one thing that we still do not know is why they are back now, after so long away. The big emphasis on Robert’s Rebellion being fought on “lies” probably is a setup for Bran trying to learn this. But, then, I’m really sticking to my “Robert’s Rebellion as the Foreshadowing Play-within-a-Play” idea! 😀

      And along these lines, we’ve got to keep the story in mind. The big climax has to hinge on the main characters being very torn about what to do. To that end, we need more information about the Walkers: because right now, there is no good reason to not destroy them. We need some “Lyanna actually eloped” analog here, and my guess is that it will be tied to the “why” of the Walkers return. (It might not: but it would probably be easiest to communicate to the audience and be one of those “Oh, that explains X, Y and Z….” moments.)

      And as for the spoilers, well, yeah, I suppose that it is. However: this is about as surprising as learning that a fetus is a boy rather than a girl. The Dothraki in particular would be susceptible to this: you could see them charging all out at the White Walkers because, well, that’s the Dothraki way. And we all knew how that would turn out….

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    50. LadyGoodman: With not much left of Westeros to rule, does Dany have a satisfactory ending to her arc, except possibly as Missa?

      Yes. Some “damned if you do, damned if you do not” moment concerning the White Walkers. The Missa stuff will be important: the Walkers are not unlike the Unsullied, in that they are maimed individuals enslaved to fight an enemy. And, like the Unsullied, the Walkers turned on their masters. We’ve two lines on which to go here. One, Daenerys (as a human) is part of the enemy that the Walkers were created to destroy. Two, Missa was the one who initiated the Unsullied rebelling against their masters.

      So, where to take this? That’s hard to say, other than that we’ve been given some opening for Daenerys to feel that the Walkers are not “wrong.”

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    51. Che,

      Dawn=yawn. Sorry, but this sword gets waaay to much attention. It’s barely mentioned in the books and we saw it for a split second on the show. Trust me- Dawn is just a sword.

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    52. Apollo:
      BeardedOnion,

      Which she could’ve done with needle.

      But LF didn’t own Needle, him having his throat cut by his own blade, the very one he held against Ned’s throat, is the point of the gun.

      At most, if Arya even keeps the dagger, she’ll use it to take down one of the WW, but she won’t be involved in their ultimate defeat.

      If simply holding VS is enough, what about Brienne and Jaime, they both wield VS swords too.

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    53. Apollo,

      Right, but this is a story. Killed with the dagger that you used as a domino to destroy so many people’s lives is a fitting irony for a story, and also the good firing of a Chekhovian gun.

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    54. Ser Broccoli McBroccoliface: Well the Night King wants to rule over an undead kingdom I imagine.

      And Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna & raped her repeatedly, or so everyone imagined. Bran having learned differently should now get him wondering: “Hmmm: about what other wars have I just assumed a convenient explanation?”

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    55. Apollo,

      I’m sure you’re right. I think the intriguing thing about this sword is its name (and its link to the title of the final book) and the fact that it is unique in Westeros, having been forged from a meteorite (it feels there must be a reason this sword is unique and has been given a backstory), and the fact that is tied to Jon’s birth – with it purposefully being shown on the show with the close-up before Ned kneels down beside Lyanna (though that was probably just a nod to fans). However, a lot of this hasn’t happened in the show, so I’m sure you’re right.

      In the end though, it would feel pretty cheap if there NK is defeated by a VS sword/dagger after a fight (or a sneak attack by Arya after a fight with Jon). It feels like there needs to be something more, you know?

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    56. Wimsey,

      I agree. I think Arya was ultimately given the blade for the purpose of killing Littlefinger. The fact that it is VS is an addition that gives Arya a reason to be a player in fighting the WW, if needed. Needle doesn’t give her that.

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    57. Che: In the end though, it would feel pretty cheap if there NK is defeated by a VS sword/dagger after a fight (or a sneak attack by Arya after a fight with Jon). It feels like there needs to be something more, you know?

      Indeed, it is difficult to envision how they could do that without completely killing any story that they are trying to tell!

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    58. Che: Whereas the taking down of Cersei will be Dany, Arya and Sansa’s storyline.

      I think that the show already has foreshadowed how Cersei is going to die: and none of those three are involved. (The book provides the same foreshadowing but given by Cersei herself.)

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    59. Wimsey,

      A sacrifice of some sort of all magic in the world. Which the books and Martin have implied are the causes of the unnatural and long winters and summers.

      PD: The whole Robert Rebellion based on a lie was so poorly done in season 7. The rebellion started after Aerys killed a dozen nobles and their fathers in a mockery of a trial and demanded Jon Arryn to give him Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark (we know what would have happened to them). That´s when the rebellion started, when Jon defied his king and called his bannermen to war.

      Hell the whole R+L thing in the show was cringy. Rhaegar came as the supreme douchebag. Would have loved to see Oberyn´s reaction to the annulement.

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    60. Wimsey,

      That is a good point. I possibly didn’t express myself clearly, I feel that they will be primarily involved in that side of the story – defeating her army/mountain/Qyburn possibly – rather than delivering the final blow to Cersei. I just feel that certainly in Arya and Sansa’s case, their arcs have been more intertwined with Cersei than with the threat from the north.

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    61. Sansa out smarting a plot of Cersei would be nice. She predicted how Ramsay would act before the Bob. She outsmarted LF with Arya and Bran (off-screen for the love of good). Would love to see it done well written for once.

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    62. Mr Derp:
      I wonder how Dany expects to rule over Westeros if she has no army left by the end.

      If she has no army to press her claim, then it could come down to a straight-up popularity context between Dany and Jon, which she would lose.

      I find it hard to believe that Dany’s arc would end with her becoming consort to King Jon. And I also find it hard to believe that the story will end with a full-on Targaryen restoration.

      Which is why, if her army is potentially going to be wiped out, I think Dany is more likely to die a tragic death fighting the White Walkers.

      At this stage, she and the Night King and their armies appear to two sides of the same coin. If Dany’s army is going to be wiped out and we know that the Night King’s army will have to be wiped out if anybody is to survive, then I could envisage Dany and the Night King both also being eliminated.

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    63. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I always thought in the books that by the end there would be no Iron Throne and Westeros would become again Seven Kingdoms.

      Dragons are fire and the others are ice. They need to disappear so there is natural balance in the world.

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    64. BeardedOnion: She already fired it. She cut LF’s throat with his own dagger.

      • I have not comprehended that whole LF-dagger back story. First of all, Mr. Mastermind wouldn’t be so stupid as to bring an (attempted) murder weapon back to the scene of the crime – or give it as a present to his intended victim. Second, I don’t see how he could’ve contracted the hit on Bran and supplied the weapon to the hooded bozo in WF – unless the dagger was transported from KL to WF carried by two laden swallow or ravens on steroids.
      I thought it was Joffrey who was behind the assassination attempt.
      Yes, LF told different stories about who owned it, who had it, who lost it and how. I don’t know. I’ve got a year to figure it out. 🙁

      • It would seem to be a “waste” to fire that exotic gun on a lowlife weasel like LF. She didn’t need a VS dagger with a mysterious history (eg. it’s picture was in an old Citadel book) to put down FecalFlinger. She would’ve killed him with a chicken bone if she had to. She could’ve poked him full of holes with Needle. She should’ve given him the Full Meryn.* Or just pushed him off a damn ladder.

      • Seriously, there are only a handful of VS weapons in existence. They’re lethal to WWs. I’d have a hard time believing that the dagger wound up with Arya for the purpose of nonchalantly gashing the jugular of an obnoxious weenie.

      • I reiterate: That dagger needs a cooler name than “Catspaw Dagger”

      * “The Full Meryn” = 3 eye gouges + 5 upper chest stabs + brief questioning + kidney puncture + deep back wound, followed by coup de grace: sliced throat.

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    65. Eonwe,

      Yes, yes, and yes! After all the talk about how she’s a “savvy politician”, “learned to play the game”, and spoke almost admiringly of Cersei to Jon, it would be satisfying to see Sansa ensnare and outsmart Cersei.

      What’s that old saying? “Show me. Don’t tell me.”

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    66. Ten Bears,

      That dagger was used by LF to hold Ned when he betrayed him back in season 1. Hence being used by one of Ned’s daughters to execute him after being sentenced to death by her other daughter.

      Sansa and Arya hells started the day LF betrayed Ned. So the payoff of him being executed with that dagger is more satisfying in a narrative way than Arya using it in a cliché final battle against the final boss.

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    67. Pigeon,

      It’s purpose was to spark the War of the Five Kings. LF lied to Ned and Cat telling them it belonged with Tyrion. This prompted Cat to hold prisoner Tyrion on the charges of trying to murder Bran. Tywin and Jaime retaliate attacking the Riverlands an Ned in KL. The upheaval makes Robert to leave the city because he doesn’t want to deal with the fallout. Cersei uses this chance to kill Robert and put her bastard on the Throne. Ned allies with LF to depose an unlawful bastard king but is betrayed by LF.

      That dagger was used to spread chaos. The ladder which LF climbed. Quite ironical he was executed with that same dagger when he crashed down.

      PD: I can’t believe they cut the scene between Sansa and Bran talking about LF. All so they could put the twist. That’s not how you things.

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    68. I get what you’re saying but remember, LF arranged Joffreys assassination leaving absolutely no trail (other than Ollena), and nobody ever suspected him. So I’m pretty sure the possibility of him paying some KL hood (or even someone further North, via one of his agents) to do the deed, really isn’t that inconceivable.

      He had nothing to do with Brans fall, it just changed the chess pieces slightly in his favour. Chaos is a ladder, and all that.

      Ten Bears: • I have not comprehended that whole LF-dagger back story. First of all, Mr. Mastermind wouldn’t be so stupid as to bring an (attempted) murder weapon back to the scene of the crime – or give it as a present to his intended victim.Second, I don’t see how he could’ve contracted the hit on Bran and supplied the weapon to the hooded bozo in WF – unless the dagger was transported from KL to WF carried by two laden swallow or ravens on steroids. I thought it was Joffrey who was behind the assassination attempt.Yes, LF told different stories about who owned it, who had it, who lost it and how. I don’t know. I’ve got a year to figure it out. 🙁

      • It would seem to be a “waste” to fire that exotic gun on a lowlife weasel like LF. She didn’t need a VS dagger with a mysterious history (eg. it’s picture was in an old Citadel book) to put down FecalFlinger. She would’ve killed him with a chicken bone if she had to. She could’ve poked him full of holes with Needle. She should’ve given him the Full Meryn.* Or just pushed him off a damn ladder.

      •Seriously, there are only a handful of VS weapons in existence. They’re lethal to WWs. I’d have a hard time believing that the daggerwound up with Arya for the purpose of nonchalantly gashing the jugular of an obnoxious weenie.

      • I reiterate: That dagger needs a cooler name than “Catspaw Dagger”

      * “The Full Meryn” = 3 eye gouges + 5 upper chest stabs + brief questioning+ kidney puncture + deep back wound, followed by coup de grace: sliced throat.

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    69. Pigeon,

      I agree with Eonwe; the dagger’s purpose was to set the entire story into motion by being a catalyst for the war of the 5 kings. So in effect, it has been the most important weapon in the story so far.

      I would be surprised if it was somehow symbolically linked to the WW and NK. The page Sam was reading referred to weapons the Valerians made and that post-Aeon’s conquest they decorated their VS weapons as such. The NK (if he is presumably the same as the one from the Long Night) predates the Targaryen invasion by millennia. So I don’t know if it is going to be particularly relevant going forward beyond the fact that it is one of the few remaining VS weapons and these are known to kill walkers. I don’t imagine it is going to be the weapon that kills the NK.

      If anything, it is going to be symbolically linked to Jon/Dany with it’s links to the Targaryens. Possibly it will be discovered that it was Rhaeagar’s weapon? In the books, if I’m remembering correctly, Robert won the blade from LF by betting on Jamie Lannister (basically the lie LF told Cat, but instead of Tyrion losing it, LF lost it to Robert). Didn’t Joff take the blade from his father to set up Bran’s assassination attempt? I may be misremembering here.

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    70. Just been thinking about the NK and how he’ll swell the ranks of the AOTD. Recall in S5 at Hardhome, when all of the wildlings beyond the gates were frantic until the cold mists descended, there was complete silence, and they’d all turned. Was it extreme cold that killed them instantly? I’m wondering if we’ll see similar massacres in S8? Would be great to really see the WWs in action… so far we’ve not really seen them excel in combat.

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    71. Eonwe,

      There were many other factors involved in starting the Game, Jon Aryn’s death included courtesy of Lysa with LF’s influence. What I was saying was that LF didn’t use the Catspaw when he betrayed Ned in the throne room. 🙂

      Cutting the Stark siblings’ tete a tete was silly – most people would know anyway that Arya was in no danger from Sansa, particularly as she came into the hall armed and free to have caused some damage on her own if the situation got out of hand!

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    72. Che,

      In the books it belonged to Tyrion, who lost it to Robert betting in a tournament for Joffrey´s nameday. Tyrion bet for Jaime 8 (as he always does like he explained that day to Cat) but he was unhorsed by ser Loras whom Robert bet for.

      I hope that season 8 doesn´t become battle after battle.

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    73. Pigeon,

      Still the purpose of that dagger has been fullfilled in a narrative way. Was used by LF to spread the chaos that ruined our characters lives. And then when LF must answer for his crimes he was executed with that same weapon.

      The payoff narratively is 100% better than the dagger being used to kill the NK in the final battle. It could be used to kill a random White Walker like Meera did in season 6 with the dragonglass spear. But the meaning of the dagger in the story is fullfilled.

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    74. BeardedOnion,

      Arya killing or being a major part in killing the NK would be a huge disappointment and a slap in the face to Bran, Sam and Jon. I love Arya but she has no zero place in the takedown of the NK and zero build up…She has to be FAR, far away from the NK when this goes down….She has ZERO foreshadowing, build up or involvement with the NK, it would be some bullshit to involve her in such a big way now. The dagger was nothing more than set up for LF’s death, not the NK’s. She, along with her sister have their arcs locked in with the Cersei showdown and that’s where she should have her moment to shine, along with Tyrion and Sansa,

      I concur with most of this, Onion. Jon must kill the NK and Bran must be there. But Sam’s involvement is cerebral–his weapon is his mind–so he’s probably not indispensable. I suspect Arya must be there, but for another reason. Some theories say the old 3ER had long been putting things in place to ensure the correct End Game ensued. Bran is the 3ER now and smiled to see her, knowing she had intended to go to KL. After saying “A very wealthy man wanted me dead”, he handed a historic and magical dagger to her. He quickly withdrew his hand in a “the die is cast” gesture like he knew it would cause something serious. Perhaps he knows/senses that he needs to die for the NK to die, and she’s the one to do it. It’s possible that Catspaw is the only blade that would work. Bran giving Catspaw to anyone almost certainly means that person was intended to have it. (BTW, some YouTubers think the blade is a shard of Dark Sister, which is associated with her.) If all that is true, her using it to finish Littlefinger was a macguffin, merely giving typical GoT poetic justice to a villain. It’s fine if instead Bran lives and after killing a few White Walkers she scarpers down to Kings Landing to kill the abhorrent, treacherous Cersei with Needle. But 7.04 set up a mystery with a familiar but seemingly-fateful object, and I think Arya using it to kill Bran is the solution.

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    75. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Can´t be Darksister from a booklorewise POV. Darksister was taken by Bloodraven with him when he was sent to the Night Watch.

      Pigeon,

      We´ll have to wait until the next year to have our answers. Unless the writing team swept it under the rug like they did this season with Bran´s Night King mark.

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    76. mass,

      No Leaks! 🚱. Please!

      If you have a compulsion to share “leaks”, whether bogus or viable, kindly confine them to the specially dedicated quarantine section in the Forum pages, consistent with WoW’s policy.

      Posting comments about “leaks” stuff in the regular Comments section, even in general terms, tends to incite others to reply, and creates subthreads by uninformed or careless commenters – or by people who just don’t give a sh*t about those of us who do not want to be contaminated. I for one enjoy reading the intelligent discussions here about the actual show, and don’t want to have to sift through third-hand, unsourced detritus.

      In any event, 99% – 100% of alleged “leaks” you’re reading elsewhere are fan fiction. I imagine there are many bored or malicious people out there with nothing better to do than concoct fake “scripts” and fabricate “teasers”, and post them on other sites. If you’re curious about them, would you be so kind as to discuss them on those other sites?

      Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

      🚱🚱🚱🚱🚱🚱🚱❗️
      #NoLeaksTalk

      My name is King Stannis, and I approved this message.

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    77. Che,

      Oh, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mean to imply that the show will climax with a 1-on-1 faceoff between Arya and NK for all the marbles.

      In fact, I’d agree it’s been both Sam’s and Jon’s trajectory to take down the NK. (Now this is an awkward example; here goes anyway…): Without denigrating the courage of soldiers in the field, arguably it was a group of scientists working on the Manhattan Project who hastened the end of WW II.
      Sam’s got a long and involved history with the WWs. and has been focused on trying to figure out how to defeat them. (“Keep reading, Samwell Tarly.” – Stannis B.)

      As for Arya: NK is not the only WW around. She may still have to use her dagger to turn one of those stringy white haired WW lieutenants into pixie dust. (Kind of like Meera – who unexpectedly found hereself facing off against a WW and nailed him in the neck with a DG tipped spear.)

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    78. LadyGoodman: I’m not sure Dany has enough story arc with Cersei in particular.Her entire impetus has been To Rule.Cersei is just incidental in that she currently sits the Iron Throne.Tyrion and Jaime certainly should be in the mix for Cersei’s finaldownfall.

      With not much left of Westeros to rule, does Dany have a satisfactory ending to her arc, except possibly as Missa?

      Not sure I agree that Dany and Cersei are not natural enemies?

      What makes for a great antagonist?

      – wants the same thing as the protagonist? Check
      – can really attack the protagonists weak spots in unique ways? Check. Cersei is underhanded to the point where it forces Dany to the brink in terms of figuring out what she is willing or not willing to do to win and as such better brings out who she is
      – ideological constast? Check. One represents the game of thrones as it has always existed and the other represents a new direction, a world where the powerful don’t prey on the powerless. Hang the world vs make the world a better place.
      – foils? Check.
      – is there some deep pain the antagonist has inflicted on the protagonist? Check. Losing her dragon to secure an armistace only to be betrayed in the end qualifies.

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    79. I figured that a good chunk of Dany’s armies would fall to the NK. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got another dragon too.

      It’s really something though, that team Starkgaryen has the Dothraki, the Unsullied, the Vale army, the Northern armies, the Freefolk fighters, dragonglass and two full grown dragons and from all reports seem to be taking huge hits. The Night King really isn’t messing around.

      One thing though, I thought that early on in filming it was reported that the Dothraki huts had been assembled outside of Winterfell?

      I’ve been seeing some speculation that maybe the Dothraki get attacked by the AOTD on the King’s Road on their way to Winterfell but if the huts were set up then that would mean they make to Winterfell and are possibly wighted there.

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    80. Luka Nieto:
      mass,

      The producers were looking to return to the Dragonpit location ever since they first filmed there. This was publicly available information ever since. Even if they hadn’t managed to film on location, we knew the Dragonpit was supposed to appear. So, of course, whoever made up that supposed “leak” read that and included it in their glorified predictions. The show returning to a major location (one they already said they wanted to return to!) just doesn’t qualify as evidence. These new “leaks” have absolutely no proven predictive power, as of yet. In other words, they’re bullshit, until proven otherwise.

      I’m not saying any leak you read online HAS to be fake, necessarily (though the ones I’m aware of ARE fake.) The point is there’s no reason to believe any of it until there’s some evidence, as was the case with season seven.

      Luka, if the scripts will be leaked in the next days, you guys will know if it is true or not?

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    81. Artemisia,

      I agree that the NK in the books may want something more. The show’s NK seems to be more a force of nature with Cersei being set up as the ultimate, and more relatable, villain. But there are some questions of details I’d like to know, like why his commanders are all male; how did the agreement between him and Craster go down; and can he really be killed, or can he merely be neutralized.

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    82. I wonder where ser Jorah is. With Dany and co on the boat? Or is he leading the Dothraki? He is the only one who knows their language and who knows the north.

      Mia,
      It was not confirmed that the huts are near Winterfell or that they will be used again this season.

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    83. rhard,

      Well, that would be boring tbh. I need to have an ulterior motive otherwise it is simply another zombie fighting type show which has never appealed to me. Already I find it hard to get hype over these baddies, and that’s because there hasn’t even been a hint of emotion other than when the original night king looked curiously upon Jon

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    84. Chilli,

      Thanks for clarifying that. I thought I read something stating that the Dothraki huts were some of the first structures made for s8. But maybe that was just speculation.

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    85. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: If she has no army to press her claim, then it could come down to a straight-up popularity context between Dany and Jon, which she would lose.

      I find it hard to believe that Dany’s arc would end with her becoming consort to King Jon. And I also find it hard to believe that the story will end with a full-on Targaryen restoration.

      Which is why, if her army is potentially going to be wiped out, I think Dany is more likely to die a tragic death fighting the White Walkers.

      At this stage, she and the Night King and their armies appear to two sides of the same coin. If Dany’s army is going to be wiped out and we know that the Night King’s army will have to be wiped out if anybody is to survive, then I could envisage Dany and the Night King both also being eliminated.

      I dont think she will loose her army all..She still has the Second Sons in Meeren ..they could appear again to help along with the GC[who also could be her new army]..Also if there is a child[she surely will stay pregnant this season and will give birth to this child]..there the Targaryen restoration..is something to happen..Maybe in the dragonpit begins [where she tell in Jon that was the end of her family] that new beginning .Also i think will not die at the battlefield…Especially if she is pregnant..she will protected by VS armor …She will die naturally in childbirth or in very old age …I think Jon will have a tragic death in the battlefield mirroring Rhaegars death..and i think one of the Stark sisters will die in Dannys place…Sansa [Arya most likely to live and to go West of Westeros]..Sansa will forced to take place on the battles and will killed and will end up a White Walker in NK army and the will be killed again by Jon or Arya with Longclaw or Catspaw..Dannys death is questionable…instead Sansas death is foreshadowed back in S1 ..so its known that she will die ..Danny represents fire,,fire is life ..the NK represents Ice..ice is death..Fire/win should to win over Ice/death..Jon Snows death will secure that…and he will resurrected as the new NK in the end.

      NinaD:
      Artemisia,

      I agree that the NK in the books may want something more. The show’s NK seems to be more a force of nature with Cersei being set up as the ultimate, and more relatable, villain.But there are some questions of details I’d like to know, like why his commanders are all male; how did the agreement between him and Craster go down; and can he really be killed, or can he merely be neutralized.

      You right..The NK books wants to avenge his NQ death by the humans and to bring her back to life..She is buried on the Crypts of Winterfel and he is going in Winterfel to release her..He wants his love back..In the show i think he wants revenge too…but from the Childrens of the Forest .. probably he is cursed by them to live an undead life and to suffer…He is marching South for to find Azor Ahai[Jon or Danny or anyone else]for to released by this curse ..Maybe AA should to remove the dragonglass from his heart ,to make him human again and to kill him this time forever..so his tortured soul and body to rest in peace this time…This might be NK show end ..IDK…Also he make with Craster that agreement so …..the baby boys to be his most loyal/elite army and to be his generals..IDK ..But i think he used those boys ..for to make an army ..Maybe those babys when they become WW they grow quickly and they have more powers…IDK ..Also im wonder if he is a Stark.

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    86. NinaD,

      I may be hopelessly optimistic, but I do the Night King and WW will have a bit more to them than just being this natural killing force that have just gone into overdrive after being created by the children. I don’t think we’ll get nearly as much detail as we do in the books, but I hope we’ll get a few things answered or explained – the things you mentioned, but also, why are they back now? Why go away for tens of thousands of years and the suddenly return to destroy humanity? What triggered it? We know a faster has been giving them male babies for decades, predating the birth of Dany/Jon (and any other Azor Ahai candidates) – I had originally thought the birth of either/both and the magic that reentered the world with the red comet, dragons, direwolves, might have triggered their return, but it can’t be that as they’ve been massing for much longer. I have enough faith in the show that they will at least give us some sort of explanation as to what triggered the return of the Night King and what happened to make the children lose control of them to the point that the WW wiped them all out.

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    87. Mia,

      …”The Night King really isn’t messing around.”
      ——————–

      NK Official Motto: “Kicking Ass Since Day 1.”

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    88. John Kings,

      It depends. There are always a few unpublished details we’re aware of that may reveal when a “leak” is just a mix of wild speculation, popular theories, and published spoilers. If a supposed leaked script summary contradicts these things we didn’t publish but know for a fact are true, the leaks are fake.

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    89. Pigeon:
      It seemed inevitable that the Dothraki wouldn’t meander up the Kingsroad without some sort of ambush or conflict, so perhaps that will happen.

      It seemed inevitable to me, too. At some point, the Dothraki had to “meet their match” and the AOTD is probably it.

      Chilli:
      I wonder where ser Jorah is. With Dany and co on the boat? Or is he leading the Dothraki? He is the only one who knows their language and who knows the north.

      One or two Westerosi should be traveling with the Dothraki up the Kingsroad, right? If the goal is to get this valuable army up to Winterfell without any clashes along the way, then I can’t imagine that they would be left on their own.

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    90. mariamb:

      One or two Westerosi should be traveling with the Dothraki up the Kingsroad, right? If the goal is to get this valuable army up to Winterfell without any clashes along the way, then I can’t imagine that they would be left on their own.

      Aside from anything else, we’ve seen no evidence that any of the Dothraki with Daenerys speak the Common Tongue. It is logical to assume that someone who speaks both that and Dothraki would be with them, right? Jorah would be a good person to assign that task, but then there is the issue of him fleeing Northern justice years before.

      In reality, the only three people we know for sure are on that boat are Daenerys, Jon and Tyrion.

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    91. Chilli,

      I really really hope that Jorah isn’t with them. For us to lose him in this way would be beyond tragic as we would definitely then see him as a wight with the Dothraki. That would be too much for me! I think I’d weep like I did when Hodor met his end (which is the most I’ve ever cried at any TV show or movie ever).

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    92. Alba Stark: Aside from anything else, we’ve seen no evidence that any of the Dothraki with Daenerys speak the Common Tongue.It is logical to assume that someone who speaks both that and Dothraki would be with them, right?Jorah would be a good person to assign that task, but then there is the issue of him fleeing Northern justice years before.

      In reality, the only three people we know for sure are on that boat are Daenerys, Jon and Tyrion.

      You make a good point; Jorah would be put in a pretty dangerous position if he were the one to accompany them as I doubt the Northern lords would be too welcoming of a Dothraki hoard led by someone their beloved Ned Stark exiled.

      They will need accompanying – and it’s difficult to think who would be the ones to do so as Dany has lost her Westerosi allies, who might have provided soldiers as chaperones. Who have we got left that was at the meeting that is not currently accounted for? Brienne, Sandor, Varys, Podrick and Jorah.

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    93. Alba Stark: It is logical to assume that someone who speaks both that and Dothraki would be with them, right?Jorah would be a good person to assign that task, but then there is the issue of him fleeing Northern justice years before.

      Che:
      I really really hope that Jorah isn’t with them. For us to lose him in this way would be beyond tragic as we would definitely then see him as a wight with the Dothraki.

      I think that it is logical for someone to lead the Dothraki north but – because of this spoiler – I hope that it isn’t Jorah. I don’t expect him to survive the series but this is not the end that I want for him.

      Che:
      They will need accompanying – and it’s difficult to think who would be the ones to do so as Dany has lost her Westerosi allies, who might have provided soldiers as chaperones. Who have we got left that was at the meeting that is not currently accounted for? Brienne, Sandor, Varys, Podrick and Jorah.

      Of those mentioned, Jorah is the most likely candidate.

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    94. Ëonwë,

      Can´t be Darksister from a booklorewise POV. Darksister was taken by Bloodraven with him when he was sent to the Night Watch.

      Eonwe, I agree. That’s why I put it in parentheses as a BTW. I’ve seen a few YouTubers posit that theory, so it was worth mentioning. I don’t recall their reasoning, but presumably they made a (far-fetched) case for it, probably dismissing the Bloodraven connection as non-applicable book lore . I do feel strongly that Catspaw is too historic, too valuable, too endowed with magical components (dragon bone, Valyrian Steel, dragonglass of different colours, and possibly a ruby) for its only destiny to be killing Littlefinger and some White Walkers. Considering the solemnity with which the 3-Eyed Raven passed it to Arya, it seems destined for something bigger.

      Artemisia,

      Also he make with Craster that agreement so …..the baby boys to be his most loyal/elite army and to be his generals..IDK ..But i think he used those boys ..for to make an army ..Maybe those babys when they become WW they grow quickly and they have more powers…IDK ..Also im wonder if he is a Stark.

      Artemisia, many people think the original NK (13th Lord Commander of the Nights Watch) was a Stark. One YouTuber even made a decent argument that his original name was Jon Snow (a Stark bastard)! I saw a new video by Ultimate Book Maniacs yesterday where she suggests that the Others preferred using women as baby mums with Craster. I’m not entirely convinced. Surely the show will give us some background and motivation for the NK, but probably D&D (and general audiences) are more interested in the Hows and Whats and the Oh My!s
      of the Others than in the Whys. That leaves room for GRRM to complete the lore and answer the Whys in the books.

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    95. Colin Armfield,

      I would actually agree with this. I think it would be a shame to miss out on an opportunity for Jorah to meet the Lady Bear who’s so confidently and successfully leading the Mormonts these days.

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    96. And I would expect Jorah to show her the proper respect, but based on the way Jorah was banished from Westeros, I can’t imagine that respect would reciprocated until Jorah earns it back, which I have no doubt he will.

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    97. Ser Hogwyn:
      Dothraki getting wighted? That sucks like Pacific Rim2!

      Now that you mentioned it…
      I liked (the first) Pacific Rim, especially Burn Gorman aka GoT’s Karl “Fooking Legend of Gin Alley” Tanner; and Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori; and Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost. It was a fine “guilty pleasure” movie.

      I have not seen Pacific Rim 2 yet. Did it really suck that bad, and if so, how much and why?

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    98. Che:
      Chilli,

      I really really hope that Jorah isn’t with them. For us to lose him in this way would be beyond tragic as we would definitely then see him as a wight with the Dothraki. That would be too much for me!….

      ———–
      Oh my! Wouldn’t that be terrible if after contracting greyscale and enduring a virtual flaying to avoid becoming a Stone Man, Jorah ends up becoming a different kind of monster?
      Then his beloved Khaleesi, her eyes welling with tears, is going to have to give the “Dracarys!” command to incinerate him right in front of her eyes.

      F*ck. I don’t want to see that.

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    99. Ëonwë: A sacrifice of some sort of all magic in the world. Which the books and Martin have implied are the causes of the unnatural and long winters and summers.

      That is not a sacrifice for most of the characters. They do not use magic or only rarely are involved with it. They are not in love with magic in anyway.

      Again, look to Robert’s Rebellion. The personal costs of that war might well be foreshadowing the personal costs of this war. And the costs of Robert’s Rebellion could have been costs that characters in any work of fiction (not just fantasy) might have made.

      Ëonwë: PD: The whole Robert Rebellion based on a lie was so poorly done in season 7. The rebellion started after Aerys killed a dozen nobles and their fathers in a mockery of a trial and demanded Jon Arryn to give him Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark (we know what would have happened to them). That´s when the rebellion started, when Jon defied his king and called his bannermen to war.

      No, it was not poorly done. The Rebellion started because the Starks believed that Lyanna was abducted. And they were wrong. The events you describe happened as a result of that. If the Starks knew (or accepted) the truth of what had happened, then the Rebellion does not happen.

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    100. Che: I just feel that certainly in Arya and Sansa’s case, their arcs have been more intertwined with Cersei than with the threat from the north.

      That certainly is true. And it played a small role in the story last year, although Littlefinger’s attempt to play the two sisters off against each other wound up having a bigger effect.

      Moreover, there can be more than one phase to this. Cersei’s death might accompany her attempting one last act of spite after having been defeated. Some combo of Sansa and Daenerys would be particularly potent. In that case, her personal prophecy could be read as referring to not one woman, but to two: and we’ve already seen that prophecies can be referring to more than one person in the same general terms!

      But I’m still betting on a Londo-G’Kar ending for Jaime & Cersei.

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    101. Che: I may be hopelessly optimistic, but I do the Night King and WW will have a bit more to them than just being this natural killing force that have just gone into overdrive after being created by the children

      Given the nature of this story, they almost have to be. There are not forces of “good” and “evil” in this world: just different sides. And, again, it goes back to what learning about the truth behind the events that led to Robert’s Rebellion: the pretenses behind the war were false.

      It also gets back to what the show and books have told us from the beginning: the old fairy tales distort the truth badly. Rhaegar was a Fairy Tale Villain: he abducted and despoiled the fair maiden. Moreover, he was son to the Evil King. Robert and Ned were the Fairy Tale Knights: they rose up and overthrew the Villainous Prince and the Evil King. Robert is the Lone Hero who defeats the Villainous Prince in single combat. Ned was the Lone Hero who defeats the Henchman of the Villainous Prince in single combat. But this is the sad fairy tale where it happens all too late.

      Every word here is true. Not a single word here means what it appears to mean.

      So, looking back: we know the recent stories of Lone Heroes were cast in incorrect lights. How badly incorrect is the light cast on how the Walkers were defeated. The recent histories of the motives of the Villainous Prince were cast in very incorrect light. How badly incorrect is the light cast on the Walkers’ motives, past and present?

      From a storytelling perspective, there is no reason to do Robert’s Rebellion like this if it were not either foreshadowing or clues: or even both.

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    102. Ten Bears: Well, I meant since Day 1 of GoT (S1e1)…

      Ah, OK then. I never read the “potential side effects” and “offer not valid in ….” parts of the adverts! 😉

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    103. WimseyBut I’m still betting on a Londo-G’Kar ending for Jaime & Cersei.

      I just watched four episodes of Babylon 5 before checking this article for comments again.

      I want this too. 😛

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    104. Wimsey,

      Brandon Stark may have come to King’s Landing screaming at Rhaegar to come out and die. But his companions including Jon Arryn’s heir were arrested on what basis?

      Then Aerys called for their fathers to come to answer for their sons actions. The came in good faith obeying their King summons. What happened? They and their sons were executed without trial. When Rickard demanded his right of trial by combat Aerys turned it into a mockery.

      Then he demanded to Jon Arryn (after executing his heir) to hand over Robert and Ned. It’s obvious what would have happened to them.

      And the Starks being in the wrong. Sorry but no. There was an official betrothal between Robert and Lyanna. It was a legal contract no matter how disgusting we see it today. Furthermore Rhaegar was married to Elia Martell and had two sons. Rhaegar eloping with Lyanna was an insult to the Starks, the Baratheon and the Martell. His annulment in the series is another insult to house Martell and Dorne. You think Oberyn would have liked to see his sister further humiliated and his nephews stripped of their rights and turned into bastards?

      Both Aerys and Rhaegar showed with their actions that they saw themselves above the laws of the Kingdoms and that they were willing to act without consequences.

      Robert’s Rebellion is more than two lovers running away. It’s Martin deconstruction of that trope and show us it’s consequences. For great houses rose against their sovereign. The Lannister waited until they could pick the winner. Dorne only send men to the Trident because Elia and her sons were hostages in KL.

      D&D writing of the R+L turn both of them into deeply selfish persons. Lyanna may have hated Robert fathering bastards. But she entered a relationship that insulted another woman and turned her sons into bastards.

      And I don’t know if D&D will be willing to write it, but Jon claim to the Throne rests in the humiliation of a wife and mother and in his sister and brother turned into bastards by his birth father.

      So yes. Saying that Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie is an oversimplification of a series of events that sparked the war. And the biggest fault rest in the King and the crown prince.

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    105. Eonwe,

      I may have misread the comment, but I think Wimsey meant that the Starks were wrong about the nature of Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship. They believed her to have been abducted and raped, whereas what actually happened was that she and Rhaegar were in love and eloped. It’s not that they were morally in the wrong, simply that they were wrong about the situation that had occurred, therefore travelling to Kings Landing and the events that followed, were based on them having the wrong information or jumping to the wrong conclusions. Had they known the truth, the rebellion wouldn’t have happened (in this way – I believe it would have happened eventually due to the monster Aerys was becoming – although it’s likely Rhaegar would have seized power as he told Jamie that when he returned things would be different – the last time they saw each other).

      Rhaegar and Lyanna were selfish, yes. But one thing that I don’t agree with in your post is that Rhaegar was making his children bastards or that he somehow didn’t care about them. Rhaegar initially believed he was the Prince that was promised. After he worked out that he wasn’t, he believed a child of his line would be. He also fervently believed that he needed to have three children (the dragon has three heads), but Elia was very sickly and would not be able to have another child. He did love Elia, but she couldn’t bear him the third child he obsessively felt he needed. His annulling of Elia was a pretty reckless and selfish act, not to mention disturbing by our standards that he then ran off and eloped with a teenager. However, his annulling of his marriage, by historical precedence, did not make his children from that marriage illegitimate. Westerosi laws are very much based on Medieval history and in Medieval times, the children would remain under their father’s custody. They might be removed from the line of succession, but other times, they weren’t. Rhaegar was desperate to have three children to fulfil the prophesies he believed in; he wouldn’t allow his first two to become bastards and see them be taken away from him to Dorne.

      Jon’s claim to the throne doesn’t rest on his siblings becoming bastards; it rests on them being dead.

      Edit: see the case of Alix of France to see where a child from an annulled marriage was declared legitimate and fell under the custody of her father, a French king.

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    106. Wimsey,

      I had to google that one ☺️ I’m much more a Trekkie than a Babylon 5 fan.

      I would love to see Sansa and Dany fulfil the younger, more beautiful queen role together. I think it would be poetic, considering the pain she has inflicted on Sansa, for her to be involved in Cersei’s demise. I also feel that Dany is very much the anti-Cersei in many ways (not all ways, they are both pretty ruthless!) and I feel that the conclusion of Cersei’s storyline really should include Dany. In truth though, I am hoping for Cersei to have a very last minute redemption – though this is highly unlikely – and that she will sacrifice herself for some greater good. I find classical evil villains very boring (the Voldemort and Sauron types) and I would love it if there was a huge twist looming in her storyline.

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    107. Che: They believed her to have been abducted and raped, whereas what actually happened was that she and Rhaegar were in love and eloped.

      Exactly! And that meant that the whole subsequent war was fought because of a “Villainous Prince”: who really was not a villain.

      Indeed, I would not even go so far as to say that Rhaegar & Lyanna were selfish in what they did. Rhaegar was convinced that he needed another child, and his wife could not give him one. So, he had a choice: do something dishonorable by divorcing his wife and marrying someone else, or do something dishonorable by not providing the world a child that it needed to avoid some horrible fate or another. Moreover, he probably did so knowing full well that nobody would appreciate what he was doing until long after the fact: “I was fulfilling prophecy!” is not exactly a great excuse for acquiring Trophy Wife #1!

      We see the same thing in parallel from Ned regarding Jon: he gets the choice between dishonorably lying about the circumstances of Jon’s birth and dissembling about all the circumstances surrounding his birth as well as bringing public dishonor upon himself (although other people probably did not sweat men having bastards as much as Ned did), or dishonorably sentencing an innocent child (and an innocent family member as well!) and bringing dishonor upon his wife’s children.

      This is how I see it foreshadowing the conclusion of the war with the Walkers and answers Eonwe’s querry:

      Eonwe:
      Waiting for that “bittersweet” ending promised by George.

      Just like Ned and Rhaegar, Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, etc., are going to have the big final choices: dishonor to uphold honor vs. honor despite private dishonor. Like Rhaegar & Ned, they will know that if they do the thing that, deep down, they feel is least wrong, then other people are going to think less of them, at least for the immediate future.

      The idea that Robert’s Rebellion was the “play within the play” style foreshadowing has been around for a while. The fact that Bran concentrated on that particular element does not confirm it: but it sure as heck strongly corroborates it!

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    108. Eonwe: But his companions including Jon Arryn’s heir were arrested on what basis?

      They were arrested because of the Stark’s reaction upon misunderstanding what happened to Lyanna. Here, again, misunderstanding prevailed: Aerys (due to his insanity) misunderstood their reactions.

      And that’s the key: Robert’s Rebellion was fought because everybody mistook what the other side was. We now have another war in which we have no clear idea why the invaders are doing so. That makes Robert’s Rebellion smack of foreshadowing.

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    109. Wimsey:
      And that’s the key: Robert’s Rebellion was fought because everybody mistook what the other side was.

      Untrue. Rhaegar knew the truth, and never attempted to explain himself; indeed, he willingly sided with his insane father and tried to kill Ned and Robert, who he knew were innocent and acting in their own defense.

      We now have another war in which we have no clear idea why the invaders are doing so.

      We do, though. They are murder machines who exist to Kill All Humans. We got an exposition dump explaining this, and further confirmation from the people who write the show.

      The story with the White Walkers has never been about humanity misunderstanding them. It has been about humanity ignoring that they exist.

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    110. Sean C.: Untrue. Rhaegar knew the truth, and never attempted to explain himself; indeed, he willingly sided with his insane father and tried to kill Ned and Robert, who he knew were innocent and acting in their own defense.

      That’s fan-fiction: we have next to zero idea of who told who what. It is entirely possible that Lyanna and Rhaegar did tell the Starks what happened. However, Sansa told Catelyn and Robb what happened in Kings Landing: and Catelyn rejected it as Cersei writing in Sansa’s hand. For all we know, Lord Stark did the exact same thing. To assert that we know this did not happen is a negative evidence argument.

      Moreover, we also know that Viserys believe told Daenerys that Lyanna ran off with Rhaegar. Of course, it’s possible that is just what the Targaryens assumed: but it’s also quite possible that they heard something of Rhaegar’s side of the story.

      This has been a recurring motif in this story (both book and show): preconceptions lead people astray. In the end, the Starks would not want to believe that their daughter would do such a thing: and therefore, they would decide that she did not. That’s just the way humans work.

      Sean C.: We do, though. They are murder machines who exist to Kill All Humans. We got an exposition dump explaining this, and further confirmation from the people who write the show.

      We got nothing of the sort. And, again: it’s not that kind of story. The showrunners have let on the opposite: the Walkers are up to something about which we don’t know. At any rate, Occam’s Razor comes into play here. If that’s all the Walkers are, then why did they just restart now? Why did they stop all of those years ago? What changed so that, after centuries away, they have come back in the last few decades?

      And, of course, story rears it’s ugly head. We know what the story is: and the climax of the plot has to fit that. The zenith has to leave Jon, Daenerys, etc., in some damned-if-they-do-or-don’t quandary. Otherwise, the ending will be completely arbitrary: and it just does not seem like GRRM or B&W are those type of storytellers.

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    111. Wimsey: That’s fan-fiction: we have next to zero idea of who told who what. It is entirely possible that Lyanna and Rhaegar did tell the Starks what happened.However, Sansa told Catelyn and Robb what happened in Kings Landing: and Catelyn rejected it as Cersei writing in Sansa’s hand. For all we know, Lord Stark did the exact same thing.

      Geographically that’s unlikely given where the actors were, but in any event, I was speaking of events after the murders of Lord Rickard and Brandon (and their companions). Rhaegar resurfaced and, canonically, sided with his father, and made no attempt to contact the rebels to explain things or negotiate an end to the conflict. This we know. Had such a thing been attempted, it would have been a big deal, and it would have seriously altered Ned’s story at the Tower of Joy. The whole point there is that he thinks he’s rescuing his kidnapped sister, and had no inkling otherwise.

      We got nothing of the sort.And, again: it’s not that kind of story.The showrunners have let on the opposite: the Walkers are up to something about which we don’t know.

      No, the showrunners were quite open that the White Walkers are there to kill humans, and that the Night King has no choice in anything he does and is, to them, not even really a character so much as an embodiment of death.

      And, of course, story rears it’s ugly head. We know what the story is: and the climax of the plot has to fit that. The zenith has to leave Jon, Daenerys, etc., in some damned-if-they-do-or-don’t quandary.

      You’ve argued this many times, even though the show’s narrative has repeatedly failed to conform to your outline for it. You insisted last year, for instance, that Sansa’s story in Season 7 regarding Littlefinger was going to be a big damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t story where she would have to make the least bad choice, but in fact, nothing of the sort happened. Getting rid of Littlefinger was made both incredibly obvious and completely consequence-free. So was, e.g., the entire resolution to the Slaver’s Bay story in Season 6, which involved Dany and co. just obliterating their opponents and getting everything they wanted at no cost whatsoever.

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    112. Che,

      Wimsey,

      Ah, Dany and Sansa, two younger more beautiful queens, perfect for a fairy tale. And what of Arya, whose 11YO world was turned upside down when Joffrey cruelly made her sister take sides against her, hurt her friend, then nearly her, and led her to her protect her beloved Nymeria by chasing her away? And then Mycah was killed, Sansa lied to the King, and Lady was killed. And ultimately Ned was killed and Arya was on the lam and in danger of her life for many years. She didn’t know that Cersei wanted Ned to live, but then she didn’t know that Cersei thought of her as an animal. Wrongly or rightly, Arya focused on Cersei after Season 1 and suffered terribly to make herself ready and able to confront such a powerful and well-protected foe. Sansa too was treated cruelly by Cersei, but she was also treated kindly at times and at least civilly. And who is Cersei to Dany? The latest name on the throne she’s entitled to, known for her unfairness and ruthlessness, but never guilty of a personal crime against Dany herself. If she kills Cersei as part of a military victory, so be it. But otherwise…?

      GoT has a long tradition of poetic justice deaths, and the culmination would be allotting one to the final Big Bad of the saga. IMO, the only people fully entitled to personally kill the venomous Cersei are those who suffered most from that venom: Tyrion, Jaime, Arya, and Sansa. Patrick Sponaugle’s idea of Cersei being offered exile is a reasonable alternative, but IF she’s to be killed, one or more of those four should be the Valonqar.

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    113. Area’s arc has been well set up for her to have a large role in the defeat of the NK & WW:

      When we first meet her, she is a Stark in Winterfell; they exist to protect the North. She immediately shows surprising proficiency with a weapon which can kill at a distance.
      She later gets weapons training from a master who tells her the only god is death, then studies martial arts at a school where the training includes a lot of metaphysical material about how death is a gift from the many-faced god. (As another commenter once noted, anyone who believes death is a divine gift is not likely to view raising the dead as anything other than blasphemy.) She now has a Valerian Steel weapon of great antiquity — one which has a literally illustrious past! She is the perfect stealth companion to assist Sam in stalking and un-making the NK.

      (BTW, Arya also has a ready-made end-of-story conflict: one of those blasphemous raisers of the dead was Melisandre, who raised none other than Arya’s beloved “brother,” Jon Snow! It will truly be time to decide if she is actually No One.)

      Jon Snow’s arc is also much too large to end in a one-on-one showdown with the NK. His entire story has been driven by his quest for identity, to overcome his status as a bastard. His trip to the Wall and joining of the Night’s Watch was an attempt to leave behind his bastard status, but it did not work (as Allistair Thorne was re-purposed to remind him, ad nauseum). Instead, he can triumph over the entire concept of bastardy by leading the surviving humans of Westeros into a new political system where such concerns are irrelevant. (This was foreshadowed in dialog on the Great Big Staircase of Dragonstone.)

      As for the NK and WW having some secret agenda, there is nothing in the story to support this. Bran has seen how the Children created the NK as a weapon to commit genocide against all men on Westeros. As for why the NK left, it’s been well-established the Children and First Men made common cause in driving him and any remaining WW into the far distant north and containing them there with a magical Wall. As for why they are returning now, Craster may have abandoned dozens of his infant sons to die in the wilderness before the NK or a WW noticed this and began collecting Craster’s subsequent “offerings” to rebuild the NK’s complement of undead generals. (There’s no small amount of irony in the Night’s Watch, having forgotten about defending the lands of men against a supernatural threat, getting all kinds of hate on upon descendants of the First Men, and yet empowering the very one who was enabling their ancient enemy to return.)

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    114. Sean C.: Rhaegar resurfaced and, canonically, sided with his father, and made no attempt to contact the rebels to explain things or negotiate an end to the conflict.This we know.Had such a thing been attempted, it would have been a big deal, and it would have seriously altered Ned’s story at the Tower of Joy.The whole point there is that he thinks he’s rescuing his kidnapped sister, and had no inkling otherwise.

      No, this we don’t know. By the time Rhaegar surfaced, Aerys had murdered Rickard and Brandon, war had broken out, sides were picked and allies formed, Robert was on a rampage with his war hammer and the Arryns, Starks and Tullys were fighting different battles. We don’t know if Rhaegar tried to approach them and failed or thought that it was impossible at that time or thought that the Starks could not be reasoned with. It’s true that Ned did not know the truth until he got to the TOJ just as we know that the KG viewed Ned as the enemy. We know that Ned had a conversation with Lyanna at the TOJ and after everything still thinks well of Rhaegar. Never from Ned’s point of view do we see him blame Rhaegar or think ill of him.

      From Jaime’s POV we know that Rhaeger wanted to change things:

      “when this battle’s done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago but…well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return.”

      Until GRRM writes about what actually happened during the rebellion all we have is assumptions and guesses about what presumably happened. I doubt the show is a good guide to follow on what happened considering Rhaegar annuls his marriage on the show and in the books, this would not have been possible.

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    115. Wimsey,

      I’m with you on this. The vilification of the WWs or dismissal of them as pure evil does not comport with what we (now) know: Like the Unsullied, the WWs are a race of mutilated and brainwashed soldier-slaves programmed to kill who turned against their “masters.” Also, the whole “Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie” line presages similar revelations about the history and agenda of NK and his posse in S8. (Among other things, I suspect Jon Snow will realize he misinterpreted those cave drawings on Dragonstone – and overlooked the weird symbols.)

      I’ve also noticed the recurring theme – or “hanging gun” – that supposed historical “fact” like Robert’s Rebellion is often a fictionalized version of what really happened.

      Over and over, we’ve seen how even in the course of one generation, accepted historical accounts of events are really a distortion if not a total inversion of the truth: victims are recast as villains; cowards as heroes; and victors as vanquished:

      • In S1e3, Cersei taught Joffrey “the truth will be what you make it”:

      Cersei: “…You fought off a direwolf. You’re a warrior like your father.”
      Joffrey: “I’m not like him. I didn’t fight off anything. It bit me and all I did was scream. And the two Stark girls saw it, both of them.”
      Cersei: “That’s not true. You killed the beast. You only spared the girl because of the love your father bears her father.”
      ***
      Cersei: “When Aerys Targaryen sat on the iron throne, your father was a rebel and a traitor.
      Someday you’ll sit on the throne and the truth will be what you make it.”

      (Sure enough, Joffrey’s “bravery” is later immortalized by a statue showing him perched with a crossbow over the body of a direwolf riddled with arrows.)

      • During the Battle of the Blackwater, coward King Joffrey ran away to his mommy and abandoned his people, but the “official” version was: “They know I saved the city; they know I won the war” and “…I broke Stannis at the Blackwater.” At the same time, as Varys reminded Tyrion (S2e10): “There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat”, but “the histories won’t mention you…”

      • The Braavos play in S6 inverted the villains and victims in its retelling of Ned’s execution and Joffrey’s death: Ned was portrayed as a treasonous doofus executed despite Joffrey’s “mercy” declaration; Joffrey became an innocent, gentle-hearted angel; and Cersei was just a bereaved mother mourning her dear son.

      • (Whether deliberate or not, Cersei’s S1 line “the truth will be what you make it” was echoed by “Mercy’s” reply in S6e6 when faux Cersei Lady Crane said she didn’t like the way her final speech was written: “So change it.”)

      • History recorded that Ned Stark “beat” Arthur Dayne in single combat. Bran said: “I know he did. I heard the story 1,000 times.” In reality, Ned got his ass kicked. He was flat on his back, disarmed, and about to be skewered – when Howland Reed snuck up from behind and stabbed Dayne in the back. Ned merely finished off an incapacitated, defenseless Arthur Dayne after (what would be deemed) a dishonorable, cowardly act.

      • Almost comically, the conversation between Thoros and Jorah in S7e6 revealed the truth about the “legend” of Thoros of Myr, “the bravest man I ever saw” according to Jorah. First-hand witnesses like Jorah recounted that Thoros was the first through the breach at the Siege of Pyke with his flaming sword. The reality was that Thoros was so sh*t-faced drunk during the battle that he didn’t know what he was doing and didn’t even remember it. His recklessness during an alcoholic blackout went down in history as exemplary courage by a hero.

      • As you observed, in S7e7, Bran realizes “Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie.” Rhaegar “didn’t kidnap my Aunt Lyanna, or rape her. He loved her. And she loved him.” Yet, the false narrative – Robert’s version – became generally accepted “historical fact”, even by Ned’s family (e.g.., Sansa).

      • For thousands of years, the NW considered the Wildlings as murderous savages to be hunted down – until Jon Snow realized the NW was not honoring its oath but violating it. As he told Tormund: “Because you are not my enemy; I’m not yours…. For 8,000 years the Night’s Watch have sworn an oath to be the shield that guards the realms of men. And for 8,000 years we’ve fallen short of that oath. You belong to the realms of men.” (S5e5)

      ————–
      Like you (I think?), I assume that the recurring examples of accepted historical accounts as distortions, if not outright fabrications, of what really happened, will be a template for S8.

      67 of 73 total episodes have already aired. That’s roughly 92%. Wouldn’t all of the “guns” have already been hung? Shouldn’t the answers to the “whys” be out there already – with just a few assumptions to fill in a few gaps? In particular, I wonder if the answer to “why” the WWs have returned hasn’t already been telegraphed.*
      (I’m guessing that Bran probably has the necessary information stored somewhere in his scrambled brain, but because he was abruptly taken offline before downloading and installation of the necessary software and drivers was complete, he can’t assemble or understand it. I’m okay with him not being omniscient at this point. Otherwise, there’d be no “mystery” left for resolution in S8, and no reason for intellectuals like Sam to help figure things out. )

      * From lurking here and soaking up “the wisdom of the crowd” – including yours – about effective storytelling, I now have the following (oversimplified) ground rules in the back of my mind when I watch a movie or TV series:

      A gun hung on the wall in Act I must be fired by Act III, or else it’s unnecessary narrative surplusage and should be eliminated. – Anton Chekhov
      “If a gun’s on the mantle in Act I, it must go off in Act III. The reverse is true: If [something] plays a part at the end, it must be introduced early. (Otherwise, it looks like deus ex machina– which it is.)” – Stephen King, in “On Writing.”
      The simplest explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is likely the correct one. – William of Occam

      So… No matter how far-fetched it may seem, shouldn’t a tinfoil theory that draws only on what’s been presented so far (i.e., without magical dragon horns, the remains of ancient kings in crypts, etc.), and explains everything without stacking multiple assumptions, be the correct one?

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    116. Didn’t I read here that the events of season 8 take place over the course of a year? Plenty of time for bodies to decay, then. Also, wights don’t need rest, but apparently WW do – which is why they ride horses?? Horses are purely for utility, to move faster? I imagine that wights retain some element of their former selves after they turn, so the Dothraki wights might be inclined to ride horses.

      I don’t recall now whether wight horses have blue eyes… I don’t think they do and I wonder why they don’t.

      So this is, indeed, going to be THE GREAT WAR everyone’s been talking about. It’s going to rage on for a year and many people will die and I don’t think we’ll be sure until close to the end which faction will prevail.

      I do hope that Dany retakes the reigns and stops delegating to losers. She said she got where she is by having faith in HERSELF.

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    117. SerNoName:

      From Jaime’s POV we know that Rhaeger wanted to change things:

      I swear, “We’ll talk when I get back” is pretty much the “Ok, I’ll take this one last job with the mob before I retire!” of Westeros. 😂

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    118. I’ve been thinking of Tyrion and his growing horror at his family’s greatest enemies joining forces. Lannisters killed Dany’s father and Lannisters killed Jon’s family. It must seem like a nightmare to Tyrion that Dany and Jon are sleeping with each other.

      This new ‘alliance’ threatens to displace Tyrion as an influencer. I mean, Dany didn’t even tell him that Jon bent the knee. That’s an extraordinary piece of intelligence to keep from her Hand. So, she doesn’t trust Tyrion and is relying more on Jon.

      And guess what. When Dany finds out that Cersai has double-crossed them, she’ll trust Tyrion even less, thinking that he and his sister cooked up some plan behind her back.

      So, that look on Tyrion’s face when Jon goes to Dany’s chamber on the ship, makes sense. He’s worried about those two powerful people destroying his family.

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    119. Che:
      Ten Bears,

      Do you know what… it’s so painful to imagine it, but it does feel very GOT. 😭 I would weep buckets!

      The way I look at it, there are s bunch of characters who could’ve or should’ve died but have been given a temporary reprieve. I’ve resigned myself to their demise. Though Sandor’s my co-favorite character, he’d already announced “F*ck it. I’m ready [to die]” in S4; he’s been told hy Ray and Beric he was kept alive for a reason – because it wasn’t too late to “help more than you’ve harmed.” Once he accomplishes that…
      But for Samwell Tarly MD’s intervention, Jorah would’ve ended himself on checkout day at the Citadel; he’d already written his “Dear Khaleesi” farewell note.
      Melisandre’s got a quadruple whammy: (1) She said she’s been ready to die for a long time; (2) anyone other than King Compassion Jon Snow would’ve let Davos hang her; (3) she confided to Varys that she was going away but would be back because they’re both destined to die in Westeros; and (4) she pissed of Arya and probably gave Gendry a permanent case of E.D.
      Beric also said he’s been waiting for the Lord of Light to end his life. After six resurrections…hell, he may be dead already.
      Jaime should’ve been lynched by Old Man Karstark. Once Jaime gets to do a noble deed to fill the blank page in the KG White Book, his time’s up.
      Theon…Other than to say he shouidve been executed I don’t want to weigh in for fear of offending Theon fans.
      Gendry barely evaded the Baratheon bastard pogrom thanks to Arya, and dodged Shireen’s fate at the hands of Mel & Stannis thanks to Davos. So he’s a goner.
      The only exceptions I see are Jon and Tyrion. Both cheated death. However, Jon’s more morose at the prospect of living than dying – he didn’t seem thrilled that Mel brought him back the first time, and asked her not to try again if he died a second time. Tyrion…well. he was ready to drink himself to death in S5, but he didn’t. He’ll probably stay around.

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    120. Stark Raven' Rad: Sansa lied to the King, and Lady was killed.

      Lady wasn’t killed because of what Sansa said, it had no bearing on that.
      Lady died because Cersei demanded a wolf, and to be vindictive to the Starks.
      Robert past a order that Ned discipline Arya and he do the same with his son; he then begins to walk off and Cersei retorts ” what about the beast that savaged our son ”
      Robert stops under his breath tells us “I forgot about the damn wolf “, turns to the Lannister guard, who said “they found no sign of the wolf” Robert turns again to walk away as he muttered “so be it” then Cersei being her vindictive self said ” we have another wolf” ( Lady ), Robert changed his mind and told her “as you will” and walked off; causing the girls and Ned to complain, and Robert telling Ned get Sansa a dog.
      Sansa not “seeing ” had nothing to do with lady’s death, that’s all on Cersei, Robert and a bit on Ned.

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    121. SerNoName:

      From Jaime’s POV we know that Rhaeger wanted to change things:

      They key phrase there being “when this battle’s done”, i.e., after he has killed Robert and Ned and the other rebels.

      Rhaegar knows the rebels are acting in their own justified defense, but he still takes up arms against them, rather than take action to resolve the conflict and remove his father, the only moral course of action in the circumstances. His death was fully justified as a result, and his succeeding in killing Robert and Ned profoundly immoral.

      Ten Bears:
      The vilification of the WWs or dismissal of them as pure evil does not comport with what we (now) know: Like the Unsullied, the WWs are a race of mutilated and brainwashed soldier-slaves programmed to kill who turned against their “masters.”

      See, once you credit that the White Walkers are “brainwashed soldier-slaves”, as both the in-show and BTS materials indicate, that removes any ambiguity about them. As the writers have said, they have no choice in what they do, and aren’t really human. There’s no possibility of accommodation, and no misperceived agenda there.

      Moreover, this has never been a story about how the White Walkers are misunderstood, or misunderstand humans. The point of the story has been that humans have been ignoring the real threat whilst enmeshed in their own squabbles.

      And as far as “guns hanging on the wall”, the most obvious one in respect of the White Walkers is that D&D created the Night King and made it so that killing him destroys all the other White Walkers and all the wights they raised.

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    122. Replying to 12:13 am comment by Sean C:

      1. I’d agree that the WW started out as pre-programmed killing machines. Maybe, like RoboCop/Murphy, vestiges of their former human selves remained – and eventually emerged. (Or so my tinfoil tells me.)

      2. “….D&D created the Night King and made it so that killing him destroys all the other White Walkers and all the wights they raised.”

      This is where I’m perplexed. Beric suggested to Jon that they target NK, because if they could take him down all of the other WWs and wights would be deactivated.
      But Jon replied: “You don’t understand…”
      And that was it. No explanation what Jon meant.

      If the showrunners really invented NK as an On/Off switch for the entire AotD, then GoT would be a rip-off of the same old tired sci fi cliche used in “Edge of Tomorrow” (kill the Omega and all the aliens go kaput); “Independence Day” (blow up the mother ship and the rest become vulnerable); Starship Troopers (find the Brain Bug), etc.

      If so, GoT will, as GRRM described it “pull a Lost”, i.e., fizzle our with a crappy ending.

      (It would also be inexplicable that Dany & the Idiot Wight Hunters didn’t try to fry NK during or right after the frozen lake rescue mission: It would’ve been worth any risk to end the existential threat then and there.)

      Any thoughts about what Jon meant when he said “you don’t understand”? Because I don’t.

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    123. SerNoName,

      Jon Snow, like any well-developed character, has two conflicts – internal ones and external ones. His internal conflicts are about his identity and the fact that he is a bastard. His coming to terms (or not coming to terms) with the news that he was not Ned’s bastard son, but in fact the true born son of Rhaegar and Lyanna is going to be the culmination of his internal conflict. His external conflict on the other hand, has most definitely been about stopping the WW and the NK. This started from the moment he arrived at the wall and encountered the wight that tried to kill LC Mormont, as well as losing his uncle north of the wall (now we know he was attacked by wights). Every step of his journey has been about coming to realise how great a threat the WW are (and realising that the needs to help humanity save themselves – this includes the wildlings) and about stopping them. More recently, he is the only character to have had any personal interaction with the NK. His external conflict will need to be resolved or his arc will fall flat.

      Arya’s skills have been well-honed for assassination and her conflicts have been about revenge and family. I think her skills will be put to good use in the true-end-game conflict with Cersei. She will of course be in the battle against the WW, but nothing in her arc has set her up for a showdown with the NK. To have her be the one to kill/end the NK when she has never once mentioned or been in a conversation even about the army of the dead, would be very unnatural. Just because she is able to fight well and kill exceedingly well, doesn’t mean her arc will be transferable to killing the NK. The blade she was given was very meaningful in that it was the blade that LF used to start the war of the 5 kings and set our story into motion. That she was gifted it and killed him with it is very meaningful in itself. That is is VS means she will be involved in the fight with the WW, but we already knew that, as they’re on their way and she’s sat at Winterfell right in their path. Besides, the Catspaw blade was in the book Sam was reading, but have you read the text that accompanied it? It mentions the Valerians using obsidian to decorate their weapons and Aegon the Conqueror carrying on the tradition in Westeros – it is not from ancient times, but rather a recent Targaryen relic, so nothing to do with the WW.

      I think Arya has a supremely important role coming up, but I don’t think it’s going to be to do with the final defeat of the NK. To me, given their developments so far, to omit Jon from the NK’s defeat and subsitute him with Arya would be disingenuous to his 7-season long external conflict arc.

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    124. Ten Bears,

      I feel that Jon meant that Beric didn’t understand how hard it would be to kill the NK. The way Beric stated that all they needed to was kill the night king made it sound so easy, whereas Jon was pointing out that that would be an impossibly difficult task. That’s my take on that comment.

      It may be a common trope, hitting the reset button by killing the leader/mothership, but it makes total sense doesn’t it? The NK’s power is what animates the dead. Kill the night king and that magic, that power, ceases to exist, which would mean that the dead return to being corpses. Anything other than that would be confusing. Besides, just because it is a common trope, doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. If writer’s truly defied all tropes then we wouldn’t enjoy their writing, because it would feel confusing and wouldn’t make natural sense.

      And I think they didn’t try to kill the NK on the wight hunt because they were still reeling from seeing one of their indestructible dragons meet its end and they needed to get the hell out of dodge before the NK killed another. There wasn’t really time to start trying to kill the NK and Dany wouldn’t have known to kill him when she arrived.

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    125. Grail King,

      Sansa not “seeing ” had nothing to do with lady’s death, that’s all on Cersei, Robert and a bit on Ned.

      Those three were certainly all to blame, with vindictive Cersei as the proximate cause. But Sansa was part of the ultimate cause by NOT doing the simplest thing: telling the truth. Nymeria was gone, but had Sansa told the truth at least Lady might have lived. Before Sansa spoke, King Robert warned her, “Tell it all and tell it true. It’s a great crime to lie to a king.” That solemn exhortation was like having her swear on the Bible to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. She spoke…and claimed forgetfulness. That was a lie, as is clear in the books. The facts of the incident showed Joffrey as both bully and coward. Robert would have blamed only Joffrey, scolding him, perhaps in private or maybe in front of everyone. But Cersei would not have had grounds to demand the death of the wolf who wasn’t even there or harm to Arya. People forget Cersei also wanted Arya punished. Robert protested, “What would you have me do, whip her through the streets?” IIRC, in the books Cersei wanted Arya’s hand to be cut off. Surely Sansa would have confessed her lie had she realised Arya would be mutilated.

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    126. I wonder where the final battle between the dead and the living is going to take place – Winterfell? Moat Cailin? The Trident? Kings Landing? Any another ideas guys?

      Moat Cailin could be cool with plenty of peeps falling into the swampiness – unless the swamps freeze and become less swampy?

      2019 is so far away.

      Peace in,
      Giant

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    127. Ten Bears,

      Ah yes, a good old fashioned bake-off between Hot Pie and the Night King for all the marbles with special guest Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood as judges.

      Perhaps a trial-by-combat for the tie-breaker in case there is a tie in the voting. Hopefully Hot Pie can choose Arya as his champion though, otherwise I think he’d be pretty screwed.

      So, it looks like you may be right TB. Arya vs. NK for the win! That Catspaw dagger is just really really good at cutting cake slices without making a mess out of it. No wonder Bran wanted her to have it.

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    128. Pacific Rim 2 is bad?? say it ain’t so!! I honestly think the original is quite possibly the world’s greatest shitty movie. I mean that in a good way, so much that I even bought the Blu Ray.

      Anywho, on to GoT. 155 comments on this thread Luka gets the people talking.

      I’ve read every single comment too, just don’t tell my boss.

      Since the end of last season, one of the comments that has stuck with me from someone associated with the show (sorry can’t remember whom, too much wine) is that the first 2-3 episodes of S8 were going to be dark, filled with despair and genuinely without much hope.

      I bring this back up because I think a whole lot of people gotta die before things get better.

      Could that be most of the Dothraki/unsullied and a good chunk of the North, including most of Winterfell? Sure. I also think we have to say Adios to some main characters in the first few eps (Jorah, Beric, Tormund….maybe Bran? etc).

      I’m of the opinion that Winterfell will turn into Winterfallen, some big wigs will escape and flee south to re-group.

      After that I am torn how the show will progress.

      Will the ‘heroes’ defeat the WW before they get south or will the AoTD bring its ‘Death and Destruction’ tour all the way to KL? It’d be a challenge for the latter to say the least as it took most of 7 seasons for the AoTD to shimmy to and through the Wall.

      In only 6 episodes I’m just not sure if the NK will be snuffed out by episode 3 and then Cersei is the Final boss for 5 and 6 or if the NK will make his way to KL and somehow Cersei and Jon’s crew will have to unite as one to face King Ice Cube.

      Who the F knows. I’m glad we have over a year to Speculate

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    129. I think if you consider the endgame that Dorthraki converted to wrights makes the most sense. Otherwise what do you do with them after the conflict? They are inherently predatory. they are not going to be farmers or even feudal lords given land grants.

      Making them zombies kills two birds with one stone.

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    130. Goodness, wouldn’t that be a battle for the ages?!?! The Bake-Off at the Crossroads. But if HBO do it right, it will cost them plenty of dough!

      Ten Bears,

      Over and over, we’ve seen how even in the course of one generation, accepted historical accounts of events are really a distortion if not a total inversion of the truth: victims are recast as villains; cowards as heroes; and victors as vanquished:


      • In S1e3, Cersei taught Joffrey “the truth will be what you make it”:
      Cersei: “…You fought off a direwolf. You’re a warrior like your father.”
      Joffrey: “I’m not like him. I didn’t fight off anything. It bit me and all I did was scream. And the two Stark girls saw it, both of them.”
      Cersei: “That’s not true. You killed the beast. You only spared the girl because of the love your father bears her father.”
      ***
      Cersei: “When Aerys Targaryen sat on the iron throne, your father was a rebel and a traitor. Someday you’ll sit on the throne and the truth will be what you make it.”

      • The Braavos play in S6 inverted the villains and victims in its retelling of Ned’s execution and Joffrey’s death: Ned was portrayed as a treasonous doofus executed despite Joffrey’s “mercy” declaration; Joffrey became an innocent, gentle-hearted angel; and Cersei was just a bereaved mother mourning her dear son.

      O Ten Bears, I fear that often your light-hearted, entertaining style camouflages a brilliant insight like this one. Yes, throughout history propaganda, disinformation, revisionism, and even bread and circuses have buried important Truths. Perhaps this is why Ramin Djawadi called his Jon-Dany love music “Truth,” as opposed to the non-truth of the perceived Rhaegar-Lyanna love story which was the lie that launched a thousand ships. But, as a wise man once said, those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. I suspect GRRM and D&D subtly took aim at this concern by hinting that Sam will eventually write the History of the Aftermath of Robert’s Rebellion (or whatever Ebrose wanted to call it). And Sam being Sam, we know that his story will be simple but entertaining, comprehensible at most reading levels, and the (fairly) unvarnished and objective Truth. By mediaeval standards, it should be a best-seller. And even popular entertainment, like topical plays a la the Braavos play, should convey truth as well.

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    131. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Ha! You ever try to cut slices out of a freshly baked cheesecake? It’s nearly impossible to do neatly without constantly wetting a knife with warm water. That VS will make short work of it though!

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    132. Rizzo Targaryian,

      I feel strongly that Storm’s End will be the final battle versus the Night King. Bran the Builder had a hand in the wall (fallen) and Winterfell (surely not going to end the NK without some non-Northern part of the country being threatened by the undead), and Storm’s End. Storm’s End is called “Storm’s End” and would allow for Bran to remember the magic woven into that build by the time they are that far South. By that point there would be plenty of every type of person and soldier in the army of the dead. Just me speculating, of course, but hoping to see something that could work as a location for Storm’s End at some point in these set photos.

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    133. Clob,

      Shh, Clob, you’re ruining my narrative 😉

      In actuality, I think depends on the wire, but I don’t know about dental floss. That could cut through the cake part, but probably not the graham cracker crust.

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    134. DN,

      It also matches with the main idea about the Dothraki: they follow strenght, and the Night King is definitely the strongest dude on the Planetos. If he beats Dany, they’ll have to follow them dead or alive, unless they reconsider their lifestyle and values. However, as there are no developed Dothraki characters who could feature and lead such change the way Yara and/or Theon did in case of the Ironborn, most probably the Dothraki will simply join the AOTD.

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    135. I wasn’t going to read this article because I’m avoiding spoilers but glad I did now as it doesn’t really tell us anything earth shattering in terms of plot other than some Dothraki will become Whites.

      I’ve been saying for a while the Dothraki logically need to be wiped out as there is no real place for them in Westeros once the long night is over. Assuming they are taken out by the Nights King this also sets up a battle at Winterfell on a more even footing and means Jon/Dany cannot simply roll into Kings Landing either.

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    136. Sara,

      Interesting theory. I hadn’t really considered Storm’s End. I like the theory I read somewhere in these comments on another post that Wintefell will be where the NK is defeated as the name could mean that that is where Winter (NK and army of the dead) fell in battle. I don’t think the castle would survive the battle very well, hence we would see it fall, but I just like how the name could be a nod to what is to come. Perhaps, if Bran did build them all, Storm’s End is where the final showdown Witt Cersei will happen to end the political storm that has ravaged the 7 Kingdoms. I don’t really think this is the case 🙂 but it would be fun word play.

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    137. Val:
      WOW, so if it’s only dothraki wights and no unsullied wights then that means these Dothraki definitely got attacked on the road before they joined up with the Unsullied who were coming from White Harbor with Jon and Dany :O !!!

      Wow, yes, that would be a plot twist!!!

      I’m generally curious how D&D will go about the WW thing. I hope they will not treat it as some side matter but that it will be the central issue all season and it will escalate as NK marches South and peaks at KL. Yes, I want to see the Night King at KL’s door and Cercei in panic! 😀

      As for the why WW decided an attack on humans at this point and etc, I would like to get the back story, and the answer on all the why’s about them.
      Yes, they were created by Children centuries ago to destroy Man, but that doesn’t explain neither why they weren’t extinct since humans won the first war, or why they decided to go against humans again and why now. Did the first men know that they’d return and that’s why they build the wall? If so, then WW can’t be destroyed once and for all? There are so many questions on the history and the mythology of the thing; I expect that at least some of them will be answered.

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    138. I suppose it all depends on where everyone lines up geographically when season 8 commences, but I have a hard time seeing how the Dothraki would be ambushed on the Kingsroad. If I remember correctly, the Dothraki are traveling from South to North and the Army of the Dead is traveling North to South. There’s no way the Army of the Dead would reach the Dothraki on the Kingsroad first before getting to Winterfell, so the element of surprise wouldn’t be there.

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    139. Yea, now that I think about it even more, there’s no way the Dothraki will be ambushed on the Kingsroad. The Army of the Dead would have to bypass Winterfell and every other Northern stronghold to do that. It doesn’t make any sense.

      I don’t think Jon and company will be particularly ok with just watching them march past Winterfell to attack others. And why would the NK say no thanks to taking the Northern armies into his just so he could travel much further to take the Dothraki instead? Again, it doesn’t make any sense.

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    140. My assumption is that the Dothraki go out to meet them in the open field and lose, Team Targ then retreat to Winterfell.

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    141. Siriusly Stark,

      @As for the why WW decided an attack on humans at this point and etc, I would like to get the back story, and the answer on all the why’s about them. Yes, they were created by Children centuries ago to destroy Man, but that doesn’t explain neither why they weren’t extinct since humans won the first war, or why they decided to go against humans again and why now. Did the first men know that they’d return and that’s why they build the wall? If so, then WW can’t be destroyed once and for all? There are so many questions on the history and the mythology of the thing; I expect that at least some of them will be answered.”
      —————–

      Are you waiting for S8, or are you ready for some heavy duty tinfoil?

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