The women of Game of Thrones discuss challenging final season & Joe Dempsie considers a possible Gendry twist

Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), by Marc Hom for EW

Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), by Marc Hom for EW

Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner reunited recently to talk to Vogue about the final season, and how much of a challenge it was to shoot, as it took 10 months despite comprising only six episodes.

As we have read before, the season’s setpiece battle was a particularly grueling shoot of 55 nights in the cold mud followed by many more weeks of indoor filming: “All the training in the world couldn’t have prepared me for the amount of stamina you needed for these night shoots,” Williams says. “It gets to the point where it’s four o’clock in the morning and you’re looking around like, ‘This is ridiculous. What are we doing?'”

Physical exhaustion wasn’t the only repercussion: for her final scene as Sansa, Turner “couldn’t control herself”, she says. “I cried for hours and hours once it wrapped. It was like leaving behind a character that I’ve grown up with. It’s almost like a death.”

As difficult as it was, it was quite a journey, for actors and characters alike. Christie reflects on her role: “I do see Brienne of Tarth as a modern-day Joan of Arc.” When asked whether we’ll get to see her do more than fighting this season, such as establishing a romantic relationship, the actress is evasive yet somewhat encouraging: “What I will say is, I’m happy to see more of Brienne of Tarth the woman explored this season.”

For more about the role of women in Game of Thrones and how their characters smash through patriarchal structures both fictional and real, read the original article here.

17 705 - King's Landing - Gendry 1

At Men’s Health, Joe Dempsie briefly discusses season eight and looks back on Gendry’s journey and most iconic (and memetic) scenes, including what he calls the “incredibly pointless shirtless scene” in Harrenhal (I’m sure many of us would disagree with that assessment.) “Originally, when they told me about it, they justified it by saying, ‘So basically, he’s forging a sword, but it’s really hot—he’s in the blazing heat—so he’s got his shirt off.’ I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Belfast in November, but blazing heat has never existed in Belfast, full stop. Let alone in November. So we got there and it all felt a little bit silly. The broader idea is that it’s more a scene about Arya than Gendry. Arya getting to an age where she notices that kind of thing.” And oh boy, did she!

“A lot of the stuff that we’ve done in season 8—the scale of it has been unbelievable,” Dempsie tells Men’s Health. “It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder, ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever work on something of this level again.’ And also, just the fact that you can turn to one of your colleagues in between takes, look at each other and say, without hyperbole or being ironic: ‘TV history, man; we’re in it, we’re making it.'”

Though the actor never had grand ‘endgame’ theories, he did wonder about his character: “I was the most curious as to what we might find out about Gendry’s parentage. Obviously, we know that he was the bastard of Robert Baratheon, but who might his mother have been?,” Dempsie wonders. “There’s a line in season one, and it’s a first scene you ever see of Gendry, where he’s looking to Ned and he’s asked about his mother, and he says he doesn’t remember much about her at all, other than the fact that she had yellow hair and she would sing to him. It’s one of those things where you go, ‘Do they usually write lines that don’t mean anything, or lines that seem to have significance that [are] never addressed again?’ I was kind of intrigued to see what that might mean, and what impact that might have on Gendry’s clout politically.”

Now, isn’t that interesting? Are we in for another parentage twist? Whether we are or not, do you believe Gendry will be legitimized and given lands? Will he live his life as a common smith? Something else entirely? Or will he die?! Tell us what you think below!

For more about Dempsie’s feelings on the ending, read the whole interview here.

126 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Ugh that was the first I heard about Lena Headey’s #MeToo stuff. Makes me so F-ing ANGRY that this garbage is still what women deal with day in day out.

      “Will she consummate her romantic tension with Jaime or the strapping fighter Tormund? “What I will say is, I’m happy to see more of Brienne of Tarth the woman explored this season,” she teases.”

      #Braime #OTP #canon <3 <3 <3

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    2. I would actually secretly love it if Gendry turned out to be the thought-dead legitimate first son for Cersei and Robert – the true heir to the current Baratheon throne. It’s obviously not going to happen because the books are so different (and Cersei never had a black-haired boy), but I am intrigued what they’ll do in the show. If it does happen in the show, it won’t be able to play a huge part in changing the end game as they are following Martin’s brief for the ending right? Still might be a bit of fun (and emotional turmoil for the characters) to see play out. I guess since Cersei’s first baby wasn’t mentioned since season 1, it isn’t likely to happen in the show, as there would be more foreshadowing. There’s also no strong narrative reason to fake Robert’s first son’s death and then hide him as a bastard in KL – unless Varys was trying to stop the line of succession to allow the Targs time to regroup and retake the throne.

      Sidenote: geekily a bit pleased they interviewed the GOT leading ladies in Dulwich – it’s just down the road from me!

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    3. So Brienne gets explored as a woman! You go, Ser Jaime! Back in season 2 , you did offer to make her know what it feels like to be a woman. She said she was not interested and assured her that she certainly was. Looks like you were right, dude….

      Finally.

      This is the major romance of GOT and one that will end happily! Large babies that will rule the world…..

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    4. It’s interesting to imagine how much different a life Maisie and Sophie would be having right now if they didn’t throw their hats in the audition pool, or just hadn’t won the roles. At that young of an age neither one of them may have continued a pursuit in television or movies. They essentially hit the ‘lottery’ with GoT as girls to get their lives rolling even if they don’t continue in the industry for years and years.

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    5. What a great Vogue article and I love that they have a WhatsApp group chat going on.

      And what an appropriately released article on this day, International Women’s Day:

      “Williams agrees: “I’d say the key players this season are all female, which is why it’s so amazing we’re doing this shoot today.”

      “Headey maintains that, along with Martin, it was always the producers’ plan to upend the patriarchy of Westeros.”

      What a lovely thing to read as the later seasons have increasingly featured the women of Westeros rising into their own power – in Season 6 mostly – where Yara had to give Theon “tough love”; Sansa asking Jon to help take Winterfell back; Dany surviving the Dothraki and becoming the ultimate Khal; Arya reinforcing her identity as a Stark; and Cersei blowing shit up lol. I. am. pumped.

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    6. I hope Bran gets interviewed.

      Over the series, he did well in his role particularly the sections with Jojen and Meera when he was younger.

      Older Bran has lost a bit of the old personality as he became the robot. He does not get to show off his full skills as an adult performer. I hope that does not hamper his career and that he moves to opportunities to show more range.

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    7. Clob,

      And to have such a huge success in their first roles – many actors never get an opportunity even in community theatre. Great for them!

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    8. Mango:
      I hope Bran gets interviewed.

      Over the series, he did well in his role particularly the sections with Jojen and Meera when he was younger.

      Older Bran has lost a bit of the old personality as he became the robot. He does not get to show off his full skills as an adult performer. I hope that does not hamper his career and that he moves to opportunities to show more range.

      Unlike Maisie and Sophie, I haven’t seen Isaac in anything outside of GoT.

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    9. “Christie reflects on her role: “I do see Brienne of Tarth as a modern-day Joan of Arc.”
      _______
      Umm… We know how Joan of Arc wound up. 🔥

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    10. What if Gendry is the son of Robert and Cerci. Cerci didn’t want Robert’s son so told someone to “dispose of the baby” which they didn’t, and told Robert she had a miscarriage (he would have been out hunting as per his custom when she gave birth). Cerci says in season one to Catalyn she had a miscarriage to a baby with black hair. Thoughts?

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    11. Ten Bears: I thought Isaac does “Last Week Tonight” on HBO.

      I meant I personally haven’t watched him in anything else. I’ve seen Sophie in X-Men: Apocalypse and Maisie in her guest role on Dr. Who and her “I And You” play.

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    12. (From Vogue article): “Fans breathlessly pore over every last detail that emerges from the notoriously tight-lipped set, right down to the size of the green screens being used or the choice of crown deployed for each character.”

      ______
      Who, us? 😬

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    13. Che,

      Ahh I just wrote something similar, had not seen your comment. I totally think this is true, she did tell Catalyn in season 1 she had a miscarriage of a baby with black hair

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    14. Dark Sister,

      I appreciate but on the other hand, it’s inaccurate since Jon, Tyrion, Bran are key players. Unless Weiss and Benioff are trying to turn this into their own thing. For GRRM Martin it was always Stark kids, Dany, Jon and Tyrion as the main focus. It’s Ice and Fire largely because of Dany and Jon. It’s their story to a large extent.

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    15. From Vogue article:

      “Headey has directed a music video starring Williams for the English singer-songwriter Freya Ridings.”

      Has anybody heard of Freya Ridings? I’ll watch that video.

      Lena Headey: “The older ones of us always go, ‘Look, it’s f**king killed us!’” Headey laughs. “Then you watch Maisie, who arrived as a baby, and Soph, who are now these incredible women. It’s just bonkers.”

      Awwwww😍

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    16. Ten Bears,

      Did you notice anyone else in the photo?

      Look closely. Focus.

      Go ahead, take all the time you need.

      Is there anyone else? Regally dressed in some shiny dress made out of recycled plastic bags?

      Ahaha! There you go…

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    17. Sophie squeeing that she hadn’t seen Lena in ages is rather spoilery, isn’t it? We can now reasonably conclude that they have no scenes together in the final season. By the time Sansa goes to King’s Landing for a coronation or wedding or treaty-signing or whatever it is that’s happening at the Dragonpit, Cersei will have met her end. Not surprising, narratively speaking, but still seems like a slip-up.

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    18. Joe Dempsie: “…incredibly pointless shirtless scene” in Harrenhal (I’m sure many of us would disagree with that assessment.) “Originally, when they told me about it, they justified it by saying, ‘So basically, he’s forging a sword, but it’s really hot—he’s in the blazing heat—so he’s got his shirt off.’ I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Belfast in November, but blazing heat has never existed in Belfast, full stop. Let alone in November. So we got there and it all felt a little bit silly. The broader idea is that it’s more a scene about Arya than Gendry. Arya getting to an age where she notices that kind of thing.” And oh boy, did she!”

      —–
      Yeah, Joe. We disagree with your assessment. I (we?) loved Arya’s little side-eye, checking out your abs. It’s an iconic scene.

      What are you whinging about!

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    19. Mango,

      Nope. Don’t see anyone else in that photo but the younger more beautiful warrior princess…

      Oh… yeah. You’re right. Sansa’s in it too.

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    20. Firannion:
      Sophie squeeing that she hadn’t seen Lena in ages is rather spoilery, isn’t it? We can now reasonably conclude that they have no scenes together in the final season. By the time Sansa goes to King’s Landing for a coronation or wedding or treaty-signing or whatever it is that’s happening at the Dragonpit, Cersei will have met her end. Not surprising, narratively speaking, but still seems like a slip-up.

      Oh wow, did Sophie slip there?!

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    21. Jack Bauer 24:

      The trailer was viewed a record 81 million times in its first 24 hours across YouTube/Twitter/Facebook.That’s 20 million more then the Season 7 trailer, which did 61 million in its first 24 hours.

      Edit: It’s now at 96 million.

      Yeah, but at least 40 million of that figure is accounted for by us superfans viewing it over and over and over to catch every tiny detail. They don’t call us the Watchers for nothing.

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    22. Ten Bears,

      Both Sansa and Lena were in Spain during that stunt where many of the cast showed up and engaged in some activities that caused so much speculation. They were in the same hotel in the group.

      So we cannot assume they did not film together or that Sophie’s remark means that much. Maybe they did not film GOT scenes together but they have crossed paths.

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    23. Firannion:
      Sophie squeeing that she hadn’t seen Lena in ages is rather spoilery, isn’t it? We can now reasonably conclude that they have no scenes together in the final season. By the time Sansa goes to King’s Landing for a coronation or wedding or treaty-signing or whatever it is that’s happening at the Dragonpit, Cersei will have met her end. Not surprising, narratively speaking, but still seems like a slip-up.

      I’m not sure it’s much of a slip up as Lena was in Seville for the weekend whilst they were filming at the Dragonpit, so surely Sophie saw her there. As Mango stated, Sophie is probably exaggerating when she says “ages”. It remains unclear whether they have scenes together or not.

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    24. Mango:
      Firannion,
      Sophie is 22, “in ages” means since last week.

      I sure hope so, because I disagree with Firannion and do think that narratively it would be very surprising if they hadn’t any scenes together in last series. With all the history between the two and constant references to each other, and also Cersei still being on Aryas list, I would think that the Stark girls are involved in her downfall somehow.

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    25. Luka Nieto,
      I think people can understand what you’re defending, but regardless, it doesn’t look scaled appropriately even considering perspective. It stands out because of similar shots in S7, such as the one when Daenerys was leaving with Tyrion trailing her. Also, they released that promo shot of Drogon roaring with Daenerys on his back at the loot train battle and he looked massive… as he did in the actual episode.

      It’s not something people should get hung up over, but still, A LOT are making the comment on the internet so obviously it simply looks a bit off. Is it something D&D and VFX will see and hear and make a bit of a change? Maybe. We know they’ve edited this sort of thing in the past right up to the week of airing. If not then it’s just one shot and doesn’t really matter.

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    26. Firannion:
      Sophie squeeing that she hadn’t seen Lena in ages is rather spoilery, isn’t it? We can now reasonably conclude that they have no scenes together in the final season. By the time Sansa goes to King’s Landing for a coronation or wedding or treaty-signing or whatever it is that’s happening at the Dragonpit, Cersei will have met her end. Not surprising, narratively speaking, but still seems like a slip-up.

      With friends and people I come across here in London/Southern England, “haven’t seen you in ages” means a few months usually.

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    27. Clob:
      Luka Nieto,
      I think people can understand what you’re defending, but regardless, it doesn’t look scaled appropriately even considering perspective.It stands out because of similar shots in S7, such as the one when Daenerys was leaving with Tyrion trailing her.Also, they released that promo shot of Drogon roaring with Daenerys on his back at the loot train battle and he looked massive… as he did in the actual episode.

      It’s not something people should get hung up over, but still, A LOT are making the comment on the internet so obviously it simply looks a bit off.Is it something D&D and VFX will see and hear and make a bit of a change?Maybe.We know they’ve edited this sort of thing in the past right up to the week of airing.If not then it’s just one shot and doesn’t really matter.

      It’s quite odd because Luka said, VFX wouldn’t forget the dragon sizes. But like you said, a lot of people online have pointed it out and Drogon definitely looks smaller in the trailer where he flies over WF then in the Spoils of War.

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    28. Ten Bears:
      Cliohna,

      Variety, March 1, 2019 – Lena Headey directs Maisie Williams in Freya Ridings video – Article + Video:

      https://variety.com/2019/music/news/lena-headey-directs-maisie-williams-freya-ridings-music-video-game-of-thrones-1203152378/amp/

      I didn’t listen to it with the sound on. It looked to me like they cast a “mini-Maisie” for the first part of the video.

      Nice video, and Maisie definitely brings her ‘very expressive eyes’ A-game. But the singer sounds to me like she’s trying to sing around a mouthful of rags. Good pipes, but lousy articulation. Not my cuppa.

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    29. I’ve always been intrigued by that line about the blonde hair and Cersei’s conversation with Catelyn about her little black haired beauty who apparently died in infancy. Could be Jaime ( I’m talking pre Brienne Jaime here who’s capable of pushing a child from a window) didn’t want her keeping Robert’s child and she gave him away so Jaime didn’t kill him. So many if, buts and maybes in this world though so could mean nothing as well.

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    30. Che:
      I would actually secretly love it if Gendry turned out to be the thought-dead legitimate first son for Cersei and Robert – the true heir to the current Baratheon throne. It’s obviously not going to happen because the books are so different (and Cersei never had a black-haired boy), but I am intrigued what they’ll do in the show. If it does happen in the show, it won’t be able to play a huge part in changing the end game as they are following Martin’s brief for the ending right? Still might be a bit of fun (and emotional turmoil for the characters) to see play out. I guess since Cersei’s first baby wasn’t mentioned since season 1, it isn’t likely to happen in the show, as there would be more foreshadowing. There’s also no strong narrative reason to fake Robert’s first son’s death and then hide him as a bastard in KL – unless Varys was trying to stop the line of succession to allow the Targs time to regroup and retake the throne.

      Sidenote: geekily a bit pleased they interviewed the GOT leading ladies in Dulwich – it’s just down the road from me!

      I actually had the same thought about Gendry being the trueborn heir, when I
      read Joe’s quote.

      Granted, they may have put that in there as a backup plan (i.e if the show hadn’t been as successful and they needed a quick wrap up), but I think it actually does have huge thematic potential.

      For me, Martin has always been more anti-prophecy than not. So think about the prophecy that dictated Cersei’s life, biting her in the very end. She then realises, possibly at the last moment of her life, that her children with Jaime perished, because of her obsession.

      If by some chance, Gendry would become king and Arya survives to be his badass queen, it also harkens back to Robert’s line to Ned: “I have a son and you have a daughter.”

      And just because there hasn’t been so much referring to that since season 1, doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of hints to that in the last season…

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    31. Jay Targ: Lena was in Seville for the weekend whilst they were filming at the Dragonpit, so surely Sophie saw her there… It remains unclear whether they have scenes together or not.

      Well, if they do, it sure wouldn’t be the first time my GoT hypotheses were proven wrong!

      I’m not sure what would be gained from Sansa getting one last chance to tell Cersei, ‘Nyah-nyah, I survived, you suck.’ And I personally dislike the ‘Arya goes back to KL to cross Cersei’s name off her list’ scenario. I want to see all the Starks move on from old grudges and revenge fantasies. But none of us should expect to get everything we want out of the series ending. We shall see what we shall see.

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    32. So I see that I’m not the only one who thinks that the dragons seemed smaller than last season. Maybe is the Camera angle.

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    33. To be honest, I’ve never really been a huge fan of this theory that Gendry is secretly Cersei’s lost son. Especially this late in the game. It feels a bit much to introduce another parental drama on top of what we already have with Jon. Then if we add in the “Tyrion is a secret Targaryen” theory, we’ve full-on gone into soap opera territory.

      I feel it’s better for the story at this point to focus on the Jon/Dany drama than throw in a pretty minor character to the mix.

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    34. Mango: Osteoporosis

      Hopefully they get sick leave.

      Eonwe,

      I think camera angle, and of course the stance of the dragons. In those season 7 scenes they were in fighting mode and on dragonstone stretched out. Don’t know how to phrase it better. They stretched their necks to look at Dany and tyrion.
      In season 8 trailer they looked taken back, obedient. They shorten their neck.

      If you look closely their body itself isn’t smaller, only their necks. And if you ever had a dog or a cat or other pet you know when the animal is relaxted, ready to attack or interested they stretched and make themselves bigger. And if the animal is scared or make sure their master know they are obedient they make themselves smaller. And it looks like in that scene the dragons show a scared or sad emotion cant decide which, so I think it’s normal that they “retreat”.

      ps and don’t forget that shot of season 7 Danny is still meters away (my guess 8 a 10 meters) in the scene from season 8 trailer she is max 2 meters away if not shorter than a meter. Perspective.

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    35. Great… I’m guessing the image is going to start floating around now. *sigh* It’s a shot of supposedly the episode titles on GoT wiki. Of course anyone can edit that and take a screenshot but I imagine some people are going to run with it. When you actually go to the wiki page they’re still “TBA.”

      Anyway, the HBO schedule online goes out far enough to have the premiere on now. Just as expected, like last season it just says “Game of Thrones 68” without any other info.

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    36. Eonwe:
      Clob,

      What do you mean? The link I posted?

      No, no, it’s a separate image elsewhere of a wiki page.
      —-
      In your link though, what is it that I’m looking at? 😀

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    37. Clob:
      Great… I’m guessing the image is going to start floating around now. *sigh*It’s a shot of supposedly the episode titles on GoT wiki.Of course anyone can edit that and take a screenshot but I imagine some people are going to run with it.When you actually go to the wiki page they’re still “TBA.”

      Anyway, the HBO schedule online goes out far enough to have the premiere on now.Just as expected, like last season it just says “Game of Thrones 68” without any other info.

      Haven’t seen it, but I’m going to assume 803 is The Battle of Winterfell?

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    38. Clob,

      Probably total tinfoil, but my personal theory is that the brief shot of someone’s hand grabbing a bow in the trailer is actually Sansa – trained up with all the other women of Winterfell for some basic combat. That hand looked too feminine to be Jon, and if she were to fight, she’d be wearing Stark armor like his.

      So maybe she stabs people with her necklace, or maybe she’s wielding actual weapons. It’d be a cute bonding scene, and another full-circle-from-episode-one moment, if Arya taught her to use a bow (and if, in return, Arya was seen willingly helping sew some gear for the soldiers or something….)

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    39. Enharmony1625,

      I have to agree. What would be the point now of Gendry being introduced as a secret child of Cersei’s? Where would the story go with that? Wouldn’t that make Maggy’s prophecy meaningless?

      Prophecy aside, how many secret births does this story need? We’ve already got Jon’s big reveal coming. I doubt they’re going to water down that storyline that’s been 7 years in the making by adding even more secret children into the mix.

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    40. Jack Bauer 24: Haven’t seen it, but I’m going to assume 803 is The Battle of Winterfell?

      Nope, and the person that did it must not be paying attention because it was “A Dream of Spring.” Now how unlikely is that considering what we do know about the third episode!?

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    41. Jack Bauer 24,

      I would guess “The Long Night” is one of the possible episode 3 titles, but perhaps not since they might be naming the money grab, oh, uh, I mean prequel, “The Long Night” too.

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    42. Clob: Nope, and the person that did it must not be paying attention because it was “A Dream of Spring.”Now how unlikely is that considering what we do know about the third episode!?

      They better edit that 😀 If “A Dream of Spring” is a title, it would be later. Maybe the finale title.

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    43. I thought I was the only one who thought the dragons size, when they are flying, was different than last season. At any rate you’re right, the VFX peeps have plenty of time to work on it.

      Clob:
      Luka Nieto,
      I think people can understand what you’re defending, but regardless, it doesn’t look scaled appropriately even considering perspective.It stands out because of similar shots in S7, such as the one when Daenerys was leaving with Tyrion trailing her.Also, they released that promo shot of Drogon roaring with Daenerys on his back at the loot train battle and he looked massive… as he did in the actual episode.

      It’s not something people should get hung up over, but still, A LOT are making the comment on the internet so obviously it simply looks a bit off.Is it something D&D and VFX will see and hear and make a bit of a change?Maybe.We know they’ve edited this sort of thing in the past right up to the week of airing.If not then it’s just one shot and doesn’t really matter.

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    44. I feel sorry for those that are going to care so much about the technical size of the dragons that it’ll distract from the viewing experience for the last season of Game of Thrones. It’s just not worth it.

      I’m going to watch season 8 with all of my laptops, computers, and social media devices OFF.

      I watched a lot of season 7 with my laptop open and commenting on WOTW during the episodes. I found that it really takes away from the experience because of the constant nitpicking of minutiae. It’s much more fun watching the show without all the distractions. I was actually surprised how much of a difference it makes.

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    45. Dan of House Stark,

      Well, I would say it’s extremely unlikely (but who knows):
      -Robert fathered so many children that the chance Gendry would be the son with someone else than Cersei is quite high (counterargument: we only see Gendry, but it’s not a Hollywood movie)
      -If Gendry remembers his mother singing, he should be about 2-3 years old at least. I doubt Cersei kept him that long without Robert knowing.
      -If Cersei was really his mother, why would she discard him voluntarily (she seems to be honest that she did want Robert in the very beginning). And suppose she gave him away (to be fed and taken care of) wouldn’t she want to avoid that he was killed because Joffrey wanted to remove all bastards?

      And against the argument that it’s too much of a coincidence, I think it’s quite simple:
      -Cersei had a black-haired son with Robert
      -Robert has a black-haired son with a blonde woman
      Both statements point to the fact that black hair (for x generations, so supposedly no mixed genes) and blonde hair (recessive) are supposed to give a black haired child. So maybe some viewers start to wonder why Joffrey et al are blonde, before Ned Stark does.

      -In addition, when Cersei tells she had a baby from Robert (or if she simply claims to have had) it shows she has some compassion with Catelyn, so the viewers see Jaime as the bigger villain instead of Cersei, after the incident with Bran (and before the next incident with Lady). The whole idea of the first season is that Cersei is underestimated, not just by Ned Stark. Actually a lot of women are initially underestimated in GoT, until there are no men left in positions above them 😉

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    46. I think a lot of people believe a few titles are very possible to probable. “A Dream of Spring” and “A Song of Ice and Fire” are probably the two most suggested. “Winterfell” seems popular for the premiere and even “The Long Night” worked in.

      I don’t care for “The Two Queens,” “The Iron Throne” and “Aegon’s Conquest” that this person wrote, or ADoS for episode 3. One never knows though…

      I actually like “Winterfell” or “Winter Fell” for episode 3 since it’s suppose to be a big battle and the title fits several ways… It’s at Winterfell. The NK supposedly arrives so Winter isn’t coming anymore, it “fell.” If the living lose and flee then it’s the fall of Winterfell. 🙂

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    47. Mango,

      Serious question: I’m aware that costumes are designed to project a message or say something about the character. I’m not attuned to such details.

      In the photo at the top of this post, what is Sansa’s costume supposed to convey? At first, it reminded me of Cersei’s end-S6 high-collared dress.

      What’s the message? Is it supposed to evoke Tully fish scales?

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    48. I don’t think the info about Gendry’s mother was said without reason. They used it to establish, like Cercei, his mother had yellow hair and had a black haired child. Unlike Cercei’s living children who all had yellow hair since they were not fathered by Robert. They had no DNA so they had to find supporting evidence in other ways

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    49. Ten Bears:
      Mango,

      Serious question: I’m aware that costumes are designed to project a message or say something about the character. I’m not attuned to such details.

      In the photo at the top of this post, what is Sansa’s costume supposed to convey? At first, it reminded me of Cersei’s end-S6 high-collared dress.

      What’s the message? Is it supposed to evoke Tully fish scales?

      Someone else mentioned it reminded them of dragon glass last week when the posters came out, and though I hadn’t thought that when I initially saw the poster, I can’t unseen it now someone else has pointed it out. I can’t think why Sansa would want to replicate the look of dragon glass – as deft as she is with a needle (no, not that Needle), I doubt she could turn obsidian into a dress – so I guess fish scales is a more obvious link.

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    50. Valyrian Steel,

      I agree. There doesn’t seem to be any scene or dialogue that doesn’t have meaning, especially in season 1. I don’t think it is too late in the game to add that and I think would be an ironic twist for Cercei to find out. She loved her brother and so much and only wanted his children. They are all dead now and he left her. The child she didn’t want is not only still alive but thriving (and fighting side by side with Jamie). Shades of Catalyn with Jon

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    51. Che,

      • Thanks. I know end-S6 Cersei was ~ Tywin 2.0 and Arya S7e4 was ~ Ned 2.0.

      I just can’t place Sansa’s costuming in the headlining photograph – except for maybe fish scales.

      • Semi Off-Topic: I was hoping Sandor would get a new suit of metal armor for S8 instead of the leathery vest/shirt thing in the photographs. He’s not with Brother Ray’s hippie commune anymore. He ought to have armor and a big f*cking sword.

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    52. Dan of House Stark,

      Are you saying that in the final season there could be a reveal of a long-ago Gendry baby switch? Not out of the realm of possibility I suppose, though having Gendry off-screen for 3-4 seasons with no clues or foreshadowing in all that time would invite the dreaded criticism of deus ex machina. Not to mention contradicting Maggy the Frog’s prediction. (Which, by the way, is one reason I doubt Cersei’s alleged baby will come to term.)

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    53. Clob,

      I don’t think they are right. D&D very hold back to not give away spoilers. It wouldn’t be strange if they even not give HBO the titles of the episodes yet. And that they will give each one 2 weeks before that episode airs.

      And if I remember correctly these 6 were exactly the guess of some last year. Everybody can edit Wikipedia. But maybe they are the right ones who knows. I hope not I don’t like episode 5 title at all. And episode 4 doesn’t feel right at all for that episode. Episode 6 title I would assume is better for episode 3.

      I hope episode 1 2 or 3 will have a night watch reference “night gathers” or
      “the shield that guards the realm of men” or short “the shield”

      Or some vague one
      “the stranger”

      Or
      “the prince that was promised”
      “cold winds rises”
      “we do not sow”
      “the long night”

      I just can’t think of a single one that could fit the end episode. It needs to be about that episode but at the same time the end of the whole show. Ice and fire feels not right it should be the song of ice and fire.

      Ps. Hope we get runtime of the episodes soon. I mean the real runtime not a guess.

      Edit: and why not call an episode lightbringer. It sounds right for a title. And it is with lots of meaning for the show. It could be an amazing title for episode 3.

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    54. Ten Bears,

      What madness is this? A serious question – shame on you. Twice shame on you!

      Quick answer: I do not know jackshit. I am a mere amateur – never studied symbolism in costume design. Or anything useful that would make me a sensible informant.

      Ok, then. This is what I think.
      (i) Sansa’s dress is a further evolution of the attire she wore with Littlefinger in the Vale when she decided to play/learn the game. (Of course, she still ending up married to Ramsey and needed Brienne to save her pitiful ass.) But she has continued to learn.

      (ii) Her adoption of black austere attire reflected LF’s dress at the time. She left KL before Cersei started wearing the power clothing so she is not deliberately copying Cersei. At the purple wedding, Cersei still wore long very frou-frou feminine frocks.

      (iii) That Vale dress had feathers at the shoulder and a similar ripple pattern on the bodice. S8 dress goes full body with the ripples and pumps up the shiny.

      (iv) These S8 ripples are situated somewhere between scales, feathers and oiled fur. I think it indicates that she has kept some of Littlefinger tutelage but her political interests/visions are wider.

      (v) One look reads – blackfish! It captures her political power as a “Tully” – and shows her influence in Riverrun, the Vale and the North. She has had that belt a while but the buckle has changed to a “fish” as well. Remember, Jon is not a Tully. Sansa is a Stark and a Tully.

      (vi) She has been wearing the chain forever. To me, it always says she is the key to the North and now more than the north.

      (vii) The close-fitting, spare, armoured dresses remind you of Cersei (as she becomes more powerful) as it projects power, confidence, wealth. It is almost a business suit or a warrior’s armour for a queen. High visibility dressing.

      (viii) Clothing like that works for busy women. Not too much fabric in multiple pieces -you can slap someone across the face without your sleeve hitting you in the eye. Shows their sexuality (body-conscious) but also communicates that she does not need to use sex to get what she wants. She has the power to roll over you and flatten you in her armour.

      (ix) So while she is not copying Cersei, they are similar in their projection of leadership or women exercising power. For this reason, I would love to see her married to Tyrion once more – Cersei and Tyrion have more in common than they realize. As do Tyrion and now an adult Sansa. They play the game.

      Okie, dokie.

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    55. I’m puzzled by the trebuchets in the trailer. They’re not trying to breach a castle, are they. I suppose they could fill something with dragonglass shards and toss them at the walkers as shrapnel.

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    56. Anon,
      Flaming balls of “shit” similar to those rocketed at Meereen by the masters’ ships perhaps. Lighting up tens of wights at a time would be effective, as well as charring them beyond reanimation.

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    57. Dark Sister:
      What a great Vogue article and I love that they have a WhatsApp group chat going on.

      And what an appropriately released article on this day, International Women’s Day:

      “Williams agrees: “I’d say the key players this season are all female, which is why it’s so amazing we’re doing this shoot today.”

      “Headey maintains that, along with Martin, it was always the producers’ plan to upend the patriarchy of Westeros.”

      What a lovely thing to read as the later seasons have increasingly featured the women of Westeros rising into their own power– in Season 6 mostly – where Yara had to give Theon “tough love”; Sansa asking Jon to help take Winterfell back; Dany surviving the Dothraki and becoming the ultimate Khal; Arya reinforcing her identity as a Stark; and Cersei blowing shit up lol. I. am. pumped.

      I never understood the flak that GoT has gotten and still does on doing its job and realistically portraying how women were treated throughout history. There are hundreds of real misogynistic shows out there but GoT isn’t one.

      Also this quote on planning to ‘upend the patriarchy of Westeros’ doesn’t surprise me one bit. The idea for the main conflict between Lannisters, Starks, Targaryens came from ‘The Wars of the Roses’ which resulted in the elimination of all the male lines of families involved.

      The show reminds us[viewers] that ‘all men must die’ referring to all of humanity on the show but it could also be quite literal especially after the great war is over. Based on TWotR and throughout human history, the population of men decline cause they’re drafted to join the military so it’s safe to say that yes, people will die in the final season and mostly men.

      As Dany pointed out to Missandei, “But we are not men.”

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    58. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Belfast in November, but blazing heat has never existed in Belfast, full stop.

      Love this guy! 😆 Hopefully Gendry’s taken a break from all the caffeine this season.

      I swear, if Sansa doesn’t stab someone with her stabby necklace stabber thingy this season, I will be displeased.

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    59. ash:
      Luka Nieto,

      I get perspective but the first time I saw that shot, I thought jon and Dany were floating in the air!

      That’s exactly what I saw – some sort of levitating in the clouds going on. 😆 Then I thought it was two images superimposed for some reason. I still see it that way in the still photo.

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    60. fdr,

      This is right on. I always thought that the reason the writers had Gendry say his mother had yellow hair was to drive home the whole ‘the seed is strong’ plot arc, not to implicate Cersei as his mother. Gendry remembered his mother, Cersei said her baby died shortly after birth of a fever. So – can’t be Cersei’s. He’s going to be Lord of Storms End – and while I’d love to see him and Arya sail off into the sunset together – that’s not her 🙂

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    61. River,

      I agree. The lead actresses have meaty roles. To me, the only legitimate grievances – and they’re trivial – are (1) the relative paucity of dialogue for secondary and tertiary female characters; and (2) a few scenes lacking the perspective that women writers could add.

      For example, I thought when they cast fiery redhead Meg Parkinson as Alys Karstark she’d be a significant part of Jon’s or Tormund’s story line. (You know, “gingers” and “kissed by fire” and all that.) She wound up with three words: “Now and always!”. I’m not sure my alternate* crush, Bernadette, had more than a few words. if any.

      I also felt the S7 Arya-Sansa scenes didn’t reflect how real sisters interact – until the battlements scene in S7e7 (e.g., Sansa: “…You’re the strongest person I know”; Arya: “I believe that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me”; Sansa: “Well, don’t get used to it. You’re still very strange and annoying,”)

      Again, these are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

      * Now that my beloved Myranda was brutally murdered by Theon and her remains used as puppy chow by Ramsay.

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    62. At Men’s Health, Joe Dempsie briefly discusses season eight and looks back on Gendry’s journey and most iconic (and memetic) scenes, including what he calls the “incredibly pointless shirtless scene” in Harrenhal (I’m sure many of us would disagree with that assessment.)

      Is Luka bisexual? That’s so hot.

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    63. River,

      Right?! And I think the Gwendoline, Sophie, Maisie and Lena did a great job at addressing those criticisms both in the article and the Vogue video. Loved watching them interview each other! I did write a comment in a post months ago (forgot which one) that there seems to be a transition to matriarchal lineages, especially if Sansa, Yara etc. will be the ones to carry the names of their Houses. I only leave out Maisie because I’m not entirely sure she’ll want to further the Stark name via children. And yes! Always loved that line between Dany and Missandei! ☠️

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    64. <Dempsie: There’s a line in season one, and it’s a first scene you ever see of Gendry, where he’s looking to Ned and he’s asked about his mother, and he says he doesn’t remember much about her at all, other than the fact that she had yellow hair and she would sing to him. It’s one of those things where you go, ‘Do they usually write lines that don’t mean anything, or lines that seem to have significance that [are] never addressed again?’

      That line did mean something immediately: when Robert had a child by a blonde woman, the child had black-hair. That’s just one data point, but an important one.

      As for it implying that the mother is Cersei, it really does not: being blonde is not all that unusual a trait. So, yes, Cersei is a likely candidate given just that one bit of data, she is no more likely than any other blonde woman; and she is a much less probable candidate than others. Remember, if Gendry can remember his mother at all, then he was at least 3 or so when he last saw her: and Cersei certainly would have killed any child of Robert’s long before then. (The show almost certainly altered the book from Cersei aborting the one pregnancy cause by Robert to actual infanticide after birth.)

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    65. On Sansa’s Dress : obsidian could be finely flaked by a stone knapper, then a hole drilled in it to create a flat bead to sew on cloth. Something similar with a different mineral was found in a paleolithic gravesite in Europe dating about 20,000 BCE. The fabric had rotted away but the beads were still there. It would be a good use of the left over obsidian from making weapons. Leftover Shards and a little catapult would be good, too.

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    66. Northstar,

      Obsidian shards are very sharp: not good for decorating clothes. Sansa would have every inch of her body cut, if she tried that. However, I agree that the dress has some obsidian feel. And besides that, Sansa looks like a “bird with feathers”, not a little bird any more.

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    67. Northstar: On Sansa’s Dress : obsidian could be finely flaked by a stone knapper, then a hole drilled in it to create a flat bead to sew on cloth. Something similar with a different mineral was found in a paleolithic gravesite in Europe dating about 20,000 BCE.

      Could obsidian flakes be drilled without a very high likelihood of shattering, though? It’s an extremely brittle, fragile mineral. That’s why obsidian tools were used primarily for ceremonial purposes rather than everyday practical ones. Back in the day, flint was greatly favored for its durability, even if its cleavage planes weren’t as symmetrical and pretty as you could get with an obsidian blade.

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    68. I must admit when I first watched S1 I thought Gendry was going to be really important but then his arc just seemed to fizz out and not really go anywhere. I’d say him being legitimised would be a logical conclusion if he survives but it’s also not essential to the wider story either.

      As for Gwen’s comments I’d guess her relationship with Jamie will come to the fore and she’ll be the one to write his obituary to include his noble death.

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    69. Would love to think the opening for the premiere would go something like this.
      Beric and Tormund running like crazy along the wall in total fear. The only audio is their extreme breathing and boots crunching on the ice. Scene cuts to WF for couple of minutes. Back to the wall (more running and breathing). Cuts to KL for couple of minutes. Back to the wall at CB. Tormund pleading with Edd …. ‘SEND OUT THE RAVENS!!! THE DEAD ARE THROUGH THE WALL!!!
      I do think the scene at KL with Qyburn (looking distressed) and Cersei (looking rather pleased) is when he passes this information on to her. This is just what she is hoping for. They will decimate each other, leaving her forces and the GC to mop up whats left.

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    70. Jack Bauer 24: *37 Days!

      I wonder if Gendry will fall in the battle or will he have a bigger role to play?

      Gendry most certainly could fall in battle but if he does his whole arc feels a little pointless unless he forges something nobody else could.

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    71. Jon Snowed: Gendry most certainly could fall in battle but if he does his whole arc feels a little pointless unless he forges something nobody else could.

      Imagine Cersei seeing Gendry weilding that hammer – she’d take a second look for sure. I doubt they’ll meet, but wouldn’t that be a mindf*ck!

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    72. Mr Derp:
      I feel sorry for those that are going to care so much about the technical size of the dragons that it’ll distract from the viewing experience for the last season of Game of Thrones.It’s just not worth it.

      I’m going to watch season 8 with all of my laptops, computers, and social media devices OFF.

      I watched a lot of season 7 with my laptop open and commenting on WOTW during the episodes.I found that it really takes away from the experience because of the constant nitpicking of minutiae.It’s much more fun watching the show without all the distractions.I was actually surprised how much of a difference it makes.

      I am the same, I watch then I come on social media to see what others are saying and interact with them.

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    73. Jon Snowed: Gendry most certainly could fall in battle but if he does his whole arc feels a little pointless unless he forges something nobody else could.

      Yeah, most of the commentary I’ve seen on that clip of Gendry at the smithy assumes that he is making dragonglass weaponry, even referencing a pile of the stones behind them (which is more detail than I can make out even on my largest screen). But if you hit a piece of obsidian with an iron or steel hammer, it would certainly shatter. To make a blade, it has to be pressure-flaked with great delicacy. Most of the work of creating dragonglass weapons would involve knapping the blades and then affixing them to hafts, which could be made of wood. Fletchers would probably be of more use here than smiths, since even a small flake of obsidian could be used for an arrowhead; and since the arrows would mostly be intended for one-time battlefield use, the stones’ fragility wouldn’t be that much of an issue.

      So where do highly trained blacksmithing and forging skills come in? Valyrian steel. Gendry was apprenticed to Tobho Mott, who was allegedly one of only a few people in Westeros who knew how to rework VS, although no one since the Doom still had the magical Old Valyrian formula for actually creating it anymore. Gendry could be called upon to reforge Ice, or make something else out of Oathkeeper, Widow’s Wail and the very limited number of other VS blades that the defenders of Winterfell have on hand.

      Maybe Sam and/or Gilly have one more useful surprise left to pull out of those books that they stole from the Citadel library: the long-lost VS recipe. Maybe that’s what Melisandre went back to Essos to find. It seems a bit late in the game for such a deus ex machina to descend, however.

      In the books, there is one known extant suit of VS armor, and it is in the possession of Euron. I’m inclined to believe that it will prove key to getting close enough to the Night King to kill or “unplug” him. But I have no expectations of such a scenario playing out in the six TV episodes that we have left.

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    74. Firannion,

      Hello Firannion and Inga,

      I think so, it would take forever, so it’s unlikely in the time frame of the show, the hand -drilling or rather piercing, would be the slow bit. It’s been done with mica which is very, very brittle.

      Making obsidian armour out of small plates would be better, like ceremonial jade armour – which was carved using water and sand it’s so hard.

      Anyway, I was just saying it may be possible. I don’t think that’s what the photo actually shows :))

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    75. That had honestly never cross my mind before but now you mention it wow that would be interesting. She would have so many emotions, she would surely recognise the similarity to Robert and would likely boil with anger that Gendry is a reminder of Roberts adultery.

      Was it Cersei or Joffrey who had all of Roberts bastards executed?

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    76. Jon Snowed:
      That had honestly never cross my mind before but now you mention it wow that would be interesting. She would have so many emotions, she would surely recognise the similarity to Robert and would likely boil with anger that Gendry is a reminder of Roberts adultery.

      Was it Cersei or Joffrey who had all of Roberts bastards executed?

      I’m pretty sure it was Joffrey, the little turd. Lol.

      The reason I thought of it was, have we seen anyone else at all in the “current time” of the show carrying a war hammer? Aside from when Sandor borrowed (heh) it? It seems to be a rather cumbersome type of weapon, and really tells “Baratheon blood here”. That said, Dany might be curious too.

      I’m just musing out loud via keyboard. 😜

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    77. About Gendry. I’m pretty sure the mom description just goes with proof that the “seed was strong” with Robert’s kids. Also that witch told Cersei in her flashback that she would only have 3 children who would all die. It would screw with show continuity if he was actually Cersei’s son.

      Also disagree with him on shirtless issue 😉

      Rewatching whole thing yet again, and I know he’s important for more than his parentage-ie blacksmith. Plus I will always be rooting for Gendry and Arya endgame. “You have a son, I have a daughter”

      Also really looking forward to Brienne/Jaime/Tormund scenes.

      I wish they’d done more than 6 episodes. There’s a lot of cool battle talk but there are so many conversations and relationships I’d love more of. Jaime and Bran, Jon and Arya, Brienne and Jaime, Arya and Gendry, Sansa and Sandor, more Bronn, Tyrion and Pod. Kinvara and Varys. Sam and Jorah. And Edd. I miss Edd’s humor.
      Also I’d really love to be surprised and see Meera show up with her father Howland even though she isn’t on cast list and they don’t really need him for reveal. After everything she did to keep her brother and Bran safe, her ending felt so abrupt.

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