Carice van Houten reflects on the end of Game of Thrones and Melisandre’s death

Melisandre

Carice van Houten and her character of Melisandre may have checked out early in the final season, as one of its first major casualties, but that doesn’t dimish the deep impression left by actress and character both. In a new interview, van Houten discusses the poetic and controversial ends of Melisandre and the show respectively, and more!

The actress has a lot of feelings from the end of Game of Thrones, understandably, as she played the Red Woman for seven years. However, as other cast members have said, the reality of the show coming to an end is only starting to really hit now:

“I was overwhelmed by emotion. I hate saying goodbye,” van Houten tells Deadline about finishing filming Game of Thrones for good during Season 8 production. “It was not only wrapping the show and the character; it was an end of seven years of my life. A lot happens in seven years. That’s why some actors might be very emotional about it.

“For the first time, I’m feeling [that it’s really over]. There was always a year between shoots so we were used to it, but around now we would be getting into the script again, getting in touch with each other, speculating over what would happen to each other’s characters. [Now] there isn’t a reason to see each other as much, which is a little strange. I guess it helped that my character died in the last season. I’m really happy with my ending. That made it easier for me,” she says, regarding Melisandre’s beautiful end in The Long Night. “It was graceful. I was very grateful to the writers for that. That whole episode was bombastic, but my death was like the final note of a symphony.”

Melisandre death The LOng NIght

As for the divisive overall ending of Game of Thrones, at first Carice gets a bit philosphical about it, highlighting the sense of community created by the show:

“The thing I’m most happy about is that the show inspired people and brought people together,” the Dutch actress opines about the show’s legacy. “It’s the best thing that could have happened. I hope we get something like it in future, especially in this world where everyone is increasingly connected but individual…”

In the end, however, she does share her thoughts about the ending: “I could [understand some people’s frustration] in a way but I also felt it was bound to happen after eight years of expectation. Everyone has their own theories and wishes. It’s hard to do it ‘right,’ to wrap it up in a bow. Everyone has a right to their opinion but it didn’t bother me. I loved it when the dragon Drogon destroyed the throne, for example. Those moments were amazing. The fact there’s discussion about it is a good sign, though.”

Though I would hesitate to label some of the reaction to the final season as “a good sign” of anything, or to even classify it as “discussion”, I believe van Houten is quite right in spirit: whatever one may think of the final season or the finale (I happen to agree with her), it’s difficult to think of many TV shows that have ignited this much passion for so many people. We can only hope the prequels spark even a fraction of such interest!

261 responses

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    1. Sorry to have missed all the fun. I have been in the hospital since early May.

      I am perfectly OK with the ending – that is not to say some were endings I would have picked, but that’s bound to happen.

      I think Melisandre’s exit was superb, as was Van Houten’s portrayal.

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    2. Dexter, Lost and How I met your mother generated similar passion, discussion or whatever. I did not watch these stories but heard about the endings.

      Endings like those from Leftovers, Six Feet Under and STEnterprise generated less discussion, more admiration. Sopranos generated discussion over what really happened to Tony – not so much fuss about the storyline and arcs.

      It is hard to end a long story. It seems much easier to make multiple mistakes.

      The sequels are from a different team so it is a fresh start.

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    3. Mango:

      … It is hard to end a long story. It seems much easier to make multiple mistakes.

      Especially when it is someone else’s story and they haven’t finished it yet. Imagine if half way through the LOTR The Two Towers the story just stopped. And then Peter Jackson was expected to finish it with only vague notes on some, not all of the characters.

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    4. I always admired her work as Melisandre. Truly believable and fascinating character and Carice van Houten portrayed her beautifully.

      JSchmeh,

      Well, you don’t need to have the story finished in order to provide your own intriguing and engaging perspective. And with all the respect I have for D&D for their previous work on Game of Thrones and the details they added on their own, they really messed the penultimate and final season up. I believe they would do MUCH better work, if they gave it much more time and room to breathe, instead of clutching it into 13 episodes.

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    5. Mango,

      Lost ending was amazing (already said in another post). Dexter was not perse bad but to depressing. Not a single sign of hope in the final. Everything was bleak. Too bleak in my opinion.
      With got. The problem is also the complexity of the story. With multiple stories. Just like lost. But in the end you don’t have 10 storylines you have just 1. It’s a very different kind of storytelling with less room to breathe. If you have 10 storylines it’s easier to add or shift scenes. How I met your mother I have never watched.

      Six feet under is just amazing with its ending because it was all about the theme of the show that comes together in the end. Life and death. Hope. Working for your dreams.
      Leftovers was also amazing ending, one of my favorite. The show is very heavy emotional with real characters. And every season ends with a sign of hope. And that’s what the show did good in the end, the way they portrait that feeling of living through shit and hell but the journey ends in hope and happiness. It was also true to its theme. And I have to say that leftovers is much more daring then got when it comes to storytelling. Their season 2 and 3 story is never been told that way on screen as far as I know.
      Same with sopranos. It’s still true to its theme. It was all about life and life doesn’t have an ending with its story. If one ends another already started way before.

      And true it’s more difficult to make mistakes if you make a story that is beginning first season. Middle and end the last one. But every storyline is from season 1 till 8. And everything needs to be intertwined. And everything that doesn’t work in the earlier seasons 1 till 7 is pushed back and the last season has the difficulty to tie that up into a fitting way. Shows like Dexter for instance had it much easier. You have 1 bigger storyline that is just about the main character. And the rest is per season. 90% of a story of a season is finished in that season.

      But what I think got did wrong is that they wanted to make every season bigger and better. And it seems it bite them in the ass. People don’t care if a season has some smaller episodes if the endresult is better that way. Not every episode has to be big. And also they push the mistakes down the line. They better could have fucked up season 5 story wise but setting up the story better for season 6 till 8 then pushing the unavoidable mistakes till later. (dorne iron island etc)

      For instance season 3 final. Jaime ends with cersei at the end of the episode because storywise season 3 needed that ending for his arc. Problem arised: 4×03 the sex scene of cersei and Jaime that does not make sense like in the books. We all know how people received that.
      Better would have been to not end Jaime’s arc that way in season 3 and have him arrive in 4×03.

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    6. Regarding a portion that was skipped, the question about a prequel appearance by Melisandre… It seems like a ridiculous thought to believe that she was actually THAT old to have been around for this prequel. Still, I kind of like the idea, and even more if they used Carice. Perhaps they could show her beginnings as an old woman becoming a red priestess and given her necklace… Yeah, very unlikely, but *shrug*

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    7. I just watched the episode of it’s always funny in Philadelphia written by benioff and Weiss. Pretty funny and great episode.

      JSchmeh,

      Didn’t he say that he couldnt have done it?

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    8. Mango,

      Leftovers didn’t create any controversy because no one watched it. I rewatched the last episode recently and it was funny to imagine crazy GoT fan base react to it, because they would have a lot of material for their hysterical over reaction.

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    9. Melisandre taking off her necklace and turning to dust may have been my favorite scene of S8. Love Clarice

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    10. KG,

      !!!! how are you? Good to have you back

      I really hated her character, esp what happens to Shireen. But she played her so well; she wasnt just a fanatic following what she things god wants, like Sparrow; she was much more complex, and found her voice in her reviving Jon, and in her last conversation with Arya. One of the best parts of the episode.

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    11. As many problems as I had with S7 and S8, among the lovely moments Melisandre’s death was a standout. It’s my favorite of the show, a most fitting end for the character and an absolutely beautiful, quiet conclusion to an exhilarating, edge-of-your-seat episode. I gasped when I first saw it.

      Carice played her perfectly.

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    12. KG,

      I will add my wishes to Wolfish’s that you continue in good health.

      With the show being unable to convey peoples’ inner thoughts like the books POV chapters do of course Melisandre only mentioned having been a slave briefly and whereas it isn’t explained in depth in the books (yet) one does have Melisandre’s internal memories of having been “Melony”. I didn’t know much of Ms Van Houten’s work before GoT and for myself I liked her as the Red Priestess (though I hated some of the things she did – thinking of Shireen’s death for example).

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    13. Well, Carice is the most talented actress/singer I’ve ever had the pleasure of discovering (thanks, GoT!) Not to mention the most beautiful, the sweetest, etc., etc., etc. When you see her Dutch and other films and learn more about her, you do realize why the role of Melisandre was a big challenge for her. She’s such a little cutie. x)

      Melisandre is one of my favorite characters, and her ending was just so poetically elegant and poignant. 8′) Most of all I’d love to see a more recent prequel that can include her and elucidate her past (can’t imagine anybody else playing her though!)

      I hope it’ll be easy for me as an American to watch her upcoming projects. And I feel so proud that she’s started a production company. >’-} The Garbo idea is brilliant; she’d be perfect for that, and I sincerely hope it works out. She’ll be a terrific director too when she feels up to it, no doubt. Same with another album–oh, I do hope she does that soon! Her voice is stunning (she might not be a redhead, but I’d have cast her as Ariel anyway; lady, you can pass for 16! xD) A superhero movie would be great, not sure which one…comedy suits, she’s very funny…y’know, a musical would be *perfect.* Want her to get a fantastic part in something really big besides GoT.

      …and um, somebody seriously needs to ask the poor wee thing whether she’s ever done a scene where she WASN’T freezing…! ;;

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    14. The Long Night (after a few re-watches) is one of my all time favourite GOT episodes. Although initially disappointed with how it happened initially in the end I do feel the death of Melisandre was very well done. The character arc from beginning to end was also well done with her desire to find the Prince who was promised (Jon), having initially mistaken him for Stannis then convinced Dany to help him win the great war with the awful act of sacrificing Shireen inbetween. The fact it was Arya and not Jon who got the kill was irrelevant to me upon reflection.

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    15. Sandor:
      I always admired her work as Melisandre. Truly believable and fascinating character and Carice van Houten portrayed her beautifully.

      JSchmeh,

      Well, you don’t need to have the story finished in order to provide your own intriguing and engaging perspective. And with all the respect I have for D&D for their previous work on Game of Thrones and the details they added on their own, they really messed the penultimate and final season up. I believe they would do MUCH better work, if they gave it much more time and room to breathe, instead of clutching it into 13 episodes.

      Yes, I agree that the penultimate and final seasons were problematic. The blame can be put on several shoulders – unfinished book,adapters, fans whatever. This series is one of the major missed opportunities for excellence that I have ever seen in an artistic or entertainment endeavor. Really unfortunate.

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    16. Jon Snowed,

      Well… actually the fact that it was Arya and not Jon who killed the Night King is crucial to her story arc 🙂 as far as this storyline is open for various interpretations, you can’t simply say it was irrelevant. Apart from being responsible for Jon and Daenerys cooperation in the meaning of bringing Ice and Fire together, the most important part of her role in the series is finding the one, who would actually defeat the Death (which metaphorically saying is the Night King) – and it was Arya. The entire buld up for Azor Ahai, as I said previously, is open for interpretation, yet the prophecy was apparently involved, so it’s not a thing you can ignore.

      I didn’t like the turn of events, nor the Night King’s death, neither the entire pacing and structure of episode/ events that led to this particular moment. Not the mistakes with abandoning logic for the sake of great scope spectacle. I even disliked the smirk on the Night King’s face when Daenerys tried to burn him into a crisp. Initially I thought it looked great, but then I realized it kinda ruined his character, since I always believed it was a character with no emotions, remorselessly killing whoever needs to be killed (which is everyone). As a metaphor of Death and Apocalypse, I prefered him being stone-cold. I imagined him as a machine made for a sole purpose to annihilate the entire mankind. It’s that little details that make me wonder if D&D actually were true to their own logic – it was them who actually created the Night King character. There was always that weird connection between him and Bran – and emiotions were NEVER shown. Not even at Hardhome. That was something creepy and beautiful at the same time. And that little detail kind of destroyed my perception. Slow, delicate walk – eyes set on a target. Damn, his character was great, until 8×03.

      But not only details were off-putting. Major events, lose of the sense of time and distance, unrealistic characters development, very… veeeeeeery thick plot armor, and deus ex machina on an unbelievable level brought this season to what we had to experience. Cheesy dialogs and a need to put as many “cock jokes” in these certainly represent the effort put into writing process – apart from that, we had enourmous amount of “recall one-liners” like “the things we do for love” – these are good in rational proportion to the rest of dialogs. In season eight we had like 2-3 on each episode.

      And the Bran story arc being absolutely butchered and brought to some kind of God, that happens to manipulate the course of events which is revealed in the final episode. And how does he manipulate these events? With revealing the crutial information right in the perfect time… considering the fact that Bran is one of the most powerful beings in Westeros, it’s truly horrific representation of his capabilities. But whatever.

      In terms of CGI and actors work, it was a masterpiece. I won’t mention Ramin Djawadi’s work wich obviously is out of this univerese – a masterpiece. But the plot failed greatly. And making 13 episodes was a path to autocannibalism. Everyone wondered how are they going to fit the plot into 13 episodes. And they couldn’t. I had hopes, but it was not enough 🙂

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    17. Ten Bears,

      Brings tears to my eyes every time I see this scene.

      Carice is stunning as well as accomplished. I can’t imagine anyone else playing the mysterious Red Woman.

      KG, best of luck with your convalescence!

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    18. JSchmeh: Especially when it is someone else’s story and they haven’t finished it yet. Imagine if half way through the LOTR The Two Towers the story just stopped. And then Peter Jackson was expected to finish it with only vague notes on some, not all of the characters.

      Exactly. And they were under pressures unlike any that entertainment creatives have dealt with: a loyal, fervid fanbase who clearly expressed strong but conflicting theories and preferences, an author whose vague ending they had committed to, child actors growing up, an unprecedented too-glaring spotlight. Add to that they were burnt out after 14 years and they and most of the cast and crew were itching to move on to other projects. Tragically, the vocal disgruntled have tarred them by alleging they deliberately sabotaged S8 in their greed for Disney Star Wars money. And conspiracy theories abound. Sigh.

      Dame of Mercia:
      KG,

      I will add my wishes to Wolfish’s that you continue in good health.

      With the show being unable to convey peoples’ inner thoughts like the books POV chapters do of course Melisandre only mentioned having been a slave briefly and whereas it isn’t explained in depth in the books (yet) one does have Melisandre’s internal memories of having been “Melony”.I didn’t know much of Ms Van Houten’s work before GoT and for myself I liked her as the Red Priestess (though I hated some of the things she did – thinking of Shireen’s death for example).

      Me too, KG. Wishing you a complete recovery. Dame Mercia, I’ve been very impressed with Carice and Melisandre. I only knew CvH from Black Book, but she inhabited and expanded her ASOIAF character. The fragility and vulnerabilty always underlay her fervent belief. Being wrong about Shireen shook her and made her doubt. While in Volantis, she probably took a D, Phil in Prophecy Interpretation because when she returned in 8.03 she was spot-on. She had left being satisfied that she had brought Ice and Fire together. When she died she was content that she had contributed to the eradication of the Darkness. Incidentally, on the soundtrack, the only times you hear ‘angelic’ voices are in her track, “Dead before the Dawn” and Arya’s White Horse scene track, “Believe”.

      Luka, thank you for this article Carice’s contribution is seldom given the credit it deserves. The above reminds me…I’m a HUGE fan of Ramin Djawadi’s Olympian work. Other than covering his GoT music tours, have we ever had an article about it? I think he told and foreshadowed half the story, besides giving us stirring, memorable, and moving music. You may be aware of Jordi Maquiavello, who discusses such things on his YouTube channel, but my Spanish is not quite up to properly understanding him. IF we haven’t had an analytical discussion of the music’s contribution, maybe it’s time :-)/

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    19. Stark Raven' Rad,

      What was the point of the white horse scene? Just a way for her to leave that neighborhood?
      (This is not an argument, just a question. I forgot it until you mentioned it and thought I would ask.)

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    20. Carice played Melisandre so beautifully. And despite some of the horrible things she did in the story, I’m quite happy about the way she went out.

      Another thing I’m actually quite happy about is that she didn’t end up resurrecting anyone in the final season, as I think that would have felt a bit cheap.

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    21. Mango:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,
      What was the point of the white horse scene? Just a way for her to leave that neighborhood?
      (This is not an argument, just a question. I forgot it until you mentioned it and thought I would ask.)

      The white horse symbolized purity and salvation. The whole sequence is really a kind of metaphoric rebirth — she rises, covered in ash, and bathed in light.

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    22. Enharmony1625: Thanks.

      What triggered this rebirth for Arya? Would the firestorm, destruction and conflict have a personal meaning for her?

      How was the change manifest in her afterward – for example, did she not threaten to kill other persons from then onward? How was her purity expressed?

      Thanks.

      What triggered this rebirth for Arya? Why would the firestorm, destruction and conflict have a personal meaning for her?

      How was the change manifest in her afterward – for example, she not threaten to kill other persons from then onward? How was her purity expressed in actions and choices?

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    23. Enharmony1625: The white horse symbolized purity and salvation. The whole sequence is really a kind of metaphoric rebirth — she rises, covered in ash, and bathed in light.

      Thanks, why did she need a rebirth?

      How was her purity reflected after this event? Was she more joyful and generous with others? Did she stop threatening others after this point? Did she give up killing? Did she change in some way?

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    24. So I’m in Berlin right now finishing up a trip with my Synagogue of Eastern Europe. I saw the real steps where they made it look like Dany gave her speech. The older buildings here are still so ominous. We also toured Dresden on the way to Berlin. The firebombing of Dresden was used as inspiration for “The Bells”. Our tour guide showed us pictures of a church that melted from the flames and talked about the people suffocating from the lack of air.

      Even our tour bus had a lion crest on it!! And the Berlin Mall food court had a huge ARYA sign (the name of one of the restaurants) and I ate Mutton at another restaurant so GOT was never far away. I thought Melisandre had one of the best if not the best send off.

      Does anyone know how to insert a photo into the post? I have to show you the ARYA sign.

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    25. Mango,

      I was annoying people in my tour group talking a lot about GOT and one person made an interesting observation about the white horse. She said she thought it was the Hound reincarnated coming back to help Arya get out alive. She said she noticed the way the mane was combed and the burns reminded her of the hound! I never thought of that and I will need to re watch when I travel back home.

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    26. Mango,

      Even though we see Arya reconnecting with humanity throughout season 8, she still has Cersei and revenge on her mind, so that isn’t totally gone. That part of her story was still up in the air, even after killing the manifestation of Death itself. After Sandor convinced her to turn back and choose life, the horse sequence represents the end of Arya’s revenge arc. It’s the finality of it — an exclamation point that signifies that the assassin we had seen for many seasons is no more.

      Something Maisie said a little while back about what she wanted for Arya’s ending has always stuck with me: she wanted her to let go of her anger and violence and “find her true self.” The tragedy and trauma she went through led her down that dark path. Mounting the pure white horse is her rejecting that life and setting off on a new path.

      As for what comes after, that’s up for interpretation and not part of her story in GoT. The important thing is that she’s off that path of vengeance and that she’s embraced the kind of person she wanted to be. She’s still Arya, so she’ll still be feisty and impulsive, and will defend herself and others if necessary, but (as corny as it sounds) her soul was saved.

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    27. Pigeon:
      Mel and Aemon – the only 2 to die of old age. 😊 Carice is just lovely.

      Arguably, Meryn F*cking Trant died of “old age” – just not his own. 😊👸🏻🔪

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    28. Mango,

      I don’t know how black-and-white it is (or whether it ought to be interpreted that way), but she saw the extensive horror of an act of war and walked away from it. Arya’s arc was in large part about letting go of both the glorification of killing and the desire for death as revenge. From the get-go, she wanted to be a warrior; in time both her desires and skillset led her to the HoBaW, where those skills were honed to perfection and she “settled” (for lack of a better word) on being an assassin. She had seen much of the aftermath of war, certainly, but in far more intimate, individualized settings—the ravaged countryside she traveled through with the Hound, Harrenhal as POW camp, her own home under attack by the NK. Those were certainly scenes of horror, but not nearly as extensive or apocalyptic as seeing a city of a million burned to the ground and hundreds of thousands turned to ash.

      The burned fields didn’t turn Arya away from killing, and neither did the Mountain’s torturers; they merely hardened her resolve to become as ruthless and powerful as they were in her own quest for revenge and/or justice. The Hound finally convinced her to turn away from the path of individualized revenge, but there still remained that part that wanted to fight, that little girl for whom hitting a bullseye was the ultimate accomplishment.

      The destruction of King’s Landing showed Arya where all that killing really leads, and she ultimately chose a different path. Many fans have been confounded by her becoming a sailor (“She has no connection to the sea!” is something I’ve read more than once), but imho it’s perfect: She told herself and the world that Visenya was the person she most aspired to be, but the truth was always there, plain for anyone to see, in the name of her direwolf: Nymeria, who took 10,000 ships across the sea.

      Imho, Arya’s last scene also serves as a beautiful and poignant balance to Theon’s last scene. Theon died far from the sea. I fully expect Arya to die far from Winterfell, charting unknown waters. She’ll go farther than her direwolf’s namesake.

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    29. Enharmony1625,

      Yes if there had been too much raising from dead, then it would wave risked resembling the work of the miracle-worker and his wife in “The Princess Bride”. A loss of gravitas lets say. But one good thing about the role of magic in GOT was that, while it was significant, it was never decisive. Melissandre was a very powerful witch but she couldn’t save Stannis’ lost cause even with the horrible child sacrifice. In the long night her role was positive (lighting fires) but not decisive. Another witch’s offer to Daenerys to save Khal Drogo proved hollow. The magical dragons proved vulnerable to wood and steel weapons. And the three eyed raven though having enormous vision, was fragile. The most powerful manifestation of magic, the Night King, was slain with a young girl’s dagger. In the end, as Goethe said, “all that concerns a man is man.”

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    30. Mango,

      I think that has something symbolic to do with arya’s character. By choosing life instead of death. And also that even the horror Dany inflicted, something stayed unharmed and alive. Something Dany didn’t kill in that moment. It’s a bit like the frodo and Sam scene when they found one flower in mordor.

      And as for what was the point. Does it always have to have a plot point? Instead of just adding a beautiful scene. How many scenes were there in season 1 till 7 that had the what’s the point. Some filler scenes are needed to let the story breath. And I though season 8 missed to much of those scenes was the biggest complain of I remember right. I mean if I had to choose of unnecessary scenes of the show they are mostly in season 1 till 4. The nudity scenes. For me that doesn’t have any weight. Luckily they omitted that mostly in season 8.

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    31. Wolfish,

      Well said!

      Ten Bears,

      Ha! 😀

      Kevin1989,

      Agree. And just to expand on this idea a bit further, some things just can’t be said with “words”. Images/visuals and music can evoke things that words are just not adequate enough to express.

      I remember John Williams touched on this when speaking about the music to AI, because it had a lot to do with these grander themes of life & death, and the meanings behind them.

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    32. Kevin1989:
      Enharmony1625,
      Wolfish,
      +1 and I still not getting that people not getting aryas ending. She even told the fans in season 6. What’s west of westeros?

      She let us know that she want that to know.

      Yes, and as far as the books go, she enjoys hanging out at the pier in Braavos with all the unique sounds and smells of the sea. #Foreshadowing

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    33. Kevin1989:
      Mango,

      I think that has something symbolic to do with arya’s character. By choosing life instead of death. And also that even the horror Dany inflicted, something stayed unharmed and alive. Something Dany didn’t kill in that moment. It’s a bit like the frodo and Sam scene when they found one flower in mordor.

      And as for what was the point. Does it always have to have a plot point? Instead of just adding a beautiful scene. How many scenes were there in season 1 till 7 that had the what’s the point. Some filler scenes are needed to let the story breath. And I though season 8 missed to much of those scenes was the biggest complain of I remember right. I mean if I had to choose of unnecessary scenes of the show they are mostly in season 1 till 4. The nudity scenes. For me that doesn’t have any weight. Luckily they omitted that mostly in season 8.

      Well, even if it is to let the story breathe, it does have meaning in the context of the story as it supports another element of the story.

      Anything that is just useless should be removed. It will be removed by your editor.

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    34. Enharmony1625,

      Yeah, that’s what writers wanted to happen. Well, that’s what I wanted to happen too… but not they way they made it.

      So basically, she kills Walder Frey with no remorse. Then she heads North, just to find a country in “chaos”. She gets the dagger (cause, you know, Bran foresaw everything). She gets into conflict with her sister, which is a hundred percent bullshit, because after being trained for sharp-minded killer, she gets fooled by a letter. But okay, let’s assume we can agree on that. And then, together, in a matter of one episode, behind-the-scenes, the two sisters work out, with a help of their omniscent brother, that Littlefinger shall be killed – and so they do it. And yet, this was the weakest link part of entire season 7. According to some interviews, there was a scene in which Bran tells Sansa all the shiet about Littlefinger, and producers later realized it would kill the mood of suspense – so instead of rewriting the script, they simply thrown away the scene. I agree, it would kill the mood. But deleting this scene killed the mood anyway and made this storyline dryasdust.

      So in season 8, Arya reunites with Jon – which didn’t bring tears to my eyes – at least not to the same extent as Sansa&Jon and Sansa&Bran AND Sansa&Theon. She order a new weapon – a thing that required A LOT of exposition just to be used once in ENTIRE battle, and abandoned later on. Then she does the impossible – as a new, prophecised hero she kills the Night King. Why? Because, you know – they had no other way to represent her 2-season-long training, apart from killing the Freys.
      So then, she goes South, because she CAN actually change the course of war. But when everything collapses around her, Sandor gives her motivational speech about her becoming a revengeful and angry copy of Sandor, if she decides to kill Cersei. But… why to come with her to Kings’ Landing in the first place? I assume, it’s the falling debris that Sandor worried about when it comes to Arya.

      And from nowhere, there’s a white horse, nonetheless, quite a good metaphor for her new path of life, and she mounts it after she almost dies thrice.

      And for the last time, she uses her assasin-detective skills to tell Jon, that Daenerys is a 100% killer, after she actually burn the entire population of Kings’ Landing to the crisp. Genius, can’t say.

      You see, I know where they were coming from with all that stuff. But they failed miserably to portray her story arc and transformation, just like with others except from Sansa.
      – Sansa had a beautiful story arc, although some may say boring, but she DEFINITELY learns from her mistakes, and yet she utilizes her knowledge till the very last scene in the series.
      – Jon gets reduced to… a plot device for hyper-accelerated Dany’s metamorphosis.
      – Sam’s knowledge is LITERALLY for nothing. All he does is to transfer the information about Jon’s legacy to him and escape death because of plot armor being waaaaaay too thick. Why did he bring all these books from Restricted Section to Winterfell if he was never about to use them? Why did they bother to emphasise these scenes in season 7?
      – Bran… well. He’s the MOST powerful being in Westeros. He travels through time and space. He sees past, present and future. He has visions. He can warg into animals and people. He CAN warg the dragons. And yet, his role is to set events in the perfect order. But he does it simply by doing nothing for the majority of time. And telling, that saying thing IN THE RIGHT MOMENT is a great represenation of this god-like character is a joke. Not to mention that most of his role in all the events that happened is highly arguable. With that state of affairs, you can literaly say that everything was Bran acting through someones mind. So instead of giving him some tangible role, they reduce him to a talker and behind-the-scene-master-mind-strategist. And after all that, he’s a king. So from all the possible alternative events that could happen, he chose the one, when Daenerys burns the entire city, he’s cousin is banished beyond the wall, and some innocent people die for nothing (Theon/ Jorah/ Missandei).
      And what about… giving them a serious strategy? A plan that would not contradict Dothrakis charging while EXACTLY one episode earlier, Jon says they can’t fight them on an open field? If not Bran, maybe… Sam. If not him, maybe 100 other generals they had in their army? It would also be nice of him, if he didn’t warg till the very moment he meets the Night King face to face, so that Theon has to sacrifice, thanks to which Arya gets enough time to jump out of nowhere. I would simplify it and warg Drogon which has no rider at the time and distract the Night King 🙂

      I mean, there is so much to make fun of, it’s already making me have an headache. Whatever, that was a fail 😀

        Quote  Reply

    35. Sandor,

      Yes, much of GOT over the 8 years was useless and meaningless.

      In some stories, this bleak worldview is given as a reflection of the human experience.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Dire guineapig:
      Enharmony1625,

      Yes if there had been too much raising from dead, then it would wave risked resembling the work of the miracle-worker and his wife in “The Princess Bride”. A loss of gravitas lets say. But one good thing about the role of magic in GOT was that, while it was significant, it was never decisive. Melissandre was a very powerful witch but she couldn’t save Stannis’ lost cause even with the horrible child sacrifice. In the long night her role was positive (lighting fires) but not decisive. Another witch’s offer to Daenerys to save Khal Drogo proved hollow. The magical dragons proved vulnerable to wood and steel weapons. And the three eyed raven though having enormous vision, was fragile. The most powerful manifestation of magic, the Night King, was slain with a young girl’s dagger. In the end, as Goethe said, “all that concerns a man is man.”

      Yet Bran is king.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Mango: Did she ask Bran what is west of Westeros?

      If you want to see the Acropolis, or Stonehenge, or the Pyramids of Giza, etc., do you just look it up on the internet, or do you go there? Regardless of whether Bran can see what’s west of Westeros or not, Arya wants to have an adventure and to experience and see it for herself.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Sandor,

      With the exception of the Littlefinger storyline in season 7 and carelessly getting stabbed by the Waif in season 6, Arya’s arc and execution was one of the best (if not the best) in the show in my opinion. I don’t want to go into a lengthy discussion on the matter because I’ve done that ad nauseam these last few months.. 🙂

      Sansa’s arc is very good too, I agree, but not without its issues. She was part of the aforementioned LF plot in Winterfell, and season 5 saw her go right back to victimhood after seemingly asserting herself at the end of season 4. I also don’t think the show quite successfully showed us how smart they wanted us to think Sansa is. They can’t just have characters saying she’s smart, they should show it. By contrast, look at how they showed how smart Arya is by having her outwit a Faceless Man, her dialogue & scenes with Tywin, her quick thinking in saving Gendry, and her street smarts.

      Still though, I very much liked Sansa’s arc and where she ended up.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Enharmony1625: If you want to see the Acropolis, or Stonehenge, or the Pyramids of Giza, etc., do you just look it up on the internet, or do you go there? Regardless of whether Bran can see what’s west of Westeros or not, Arya wants to have an adventure and to experience and see it for herself.

      I did not say she should not have gone nevertheless – I asked if she asked Bran.

      Let us say he said nothing is west of Westeros – then she sails with a set of expectations different from if he said there are six islands arranged in a pattern shaped like a snake. I suggest you go to the top one first because that is the best place to get supplies and the natives are friendly. She sails with a different plan or at least with decent information.

      And I have visited the Acropolis, Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza. I did extensive research on each before going. On – the best time of year, should I use a guide, do I need any special type of clothing, so I have to pay an entry fee etc. When I first saw the Great Wall, I knew the best spot for me and the time it would be least crowded. Generally, I have found that prep to be useful prep except for Stonehenge visit where despite my best planning I was soaked by cold English rain. I hated those f*ing rocks.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Mango: Did she ask Bran what is west of Westeros?

      Probably.
      And he probably answered: “Exactly what’s supposed to be there.”

      For a semi-omniscient being, he was pretty useless when it came to imparting critical information at the critical time.

      But he was good at parroting back other characters’ catch phrases, e.g., “Chaos is a ladder.”

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    41. Ten Bears: Probably.
      And he probably answered: “Exactly what’s supposed to be there.”

      For a semi-omniscient being, he was pretty useless when it came to imparting critical information at the critical time.

      But he was good at parroting back other characters’ catch phrases, e.g., “Chaos is a ladder.”

      hahhahhaaaaa!

      You may very well be right.

      Bran the Useless.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Mango,

      I don’t think Bran would know, because his knowledge—vast as it is—extends only to the WeirNet and what is known to the Westerosi.

      I suppose he could warg into a seabird (?).

        Quote  Reply

    43. Mango:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      What was the point of the white horse scene? Just a way for her to leave that neighborhood?
      (This is not an argument, just a question. I forgot it until you mentioned it and thought I would ask.)

      Nobody really knows, but it certainly seemed a positive outcome. Traditionally, white horses carry heroes and good guys. Appearing almost magically and ‘calling’ to her it probably symbolised something, I’ve heard Death, Life, Peace, Salvation (credit to
      Enharmony1625, for that idea), the pointlessness of war, and even Sandor’s ghost! This horse is like Arya–injured, grimy, bloody, sooty, frightened…but intact. She also got a white horse in 4.01 when she reclaimed Needle, her core identity. By the next season she hid Needle, and went dark to gain skills. So maybe here she’s finally dropped No One and is fully Arya again, albeit scarred and battered. When we first watched, I suspected the horse was an omen–to keep her promise to Sandor about giving up vengeance. Maybe she left not just the neighborhood, but war and vengeance forever. In fact, in Episode 6 she didn’t even draw a weapon much less go after Dany. And in her final scenes, she sheathed Needle.

      Another thing I had thought of when we first watched was Arya literally rising from the ashes like a phoenix. I just read enharmony’s answer. She mentioned bathed in light. Hmmm–Look at this still used for the official soundtrack on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjCPjn1KMlU&t=17s Also, the music goes from eerie, disturbing cacophony to the Stark theme but with an up-note, and then gentle quiet measures of the main theme as she rides away.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Wolfish:
      Mango,

      I don’t think Bran would know, because his knowledge—vast as it is—extends only to the WeirNet and what is known to the Westerosi.

      I suppose he could warg into a seabird (?).

      1) Yes, seems like the sort of thing that a raven or other bird might be able to check out.Plus I thought he was now in charge of a big fat dragon as well. Or is Drogon just flying wild?

      2)We also have no evidence that a Westerosi has never sailed west of Westeros. They may not have returned or even if they did they may not have contributed their knowledge to map-making efforts or books or the weirnet. (Who updates the weirnet?Westerosi pirates, smugglers and evil-doers may know. A few Westerosi ships may even have been blown off course in a storm. So Bran may know.

      3)So Bran does not know what the persons in Bravos and Essos know? Only Westerosi? I thought the NK wanted to kill him because…what was that again?… he was the store of mankind’s memory??

        Quote  Reply

    45. Ten Bears: Probably.
      And he probably answered: “Exactly what’s supposed to be there.”

      Ha. Well, he wouldn’t be wrong..

      Mango,

      2) I haven’t read Fire & Blood, but based on what I’ve read and heard about it, someone named Elissa Farman sailed west of Westeros and supposedly ended up in Essos (her ship was recognized by a shipwright in one of the ports). Elissa Farman was also a tomboy and took on an assumed identity at one point, so there are some parallels with Arya as well as George likes to do.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Mango,

      “Bran the Useless” is right.
      Here are my real-time reactions to BirdBrain Bran while watching S7e4:

      S7e4 (LF gives dagger to Bran)

      LF: “This is for you. The last man who wielded it meant to cut your throat, but your mother fought him off.
      ****
      Bran: “Do you know who this belonged to?”
      LF: “No.
      That very question was what started the War of the Five Kings. In a way, that dagger made you what you are today. Forced from your home, driven out to the wilds beyond the Wall. I imagine you’ve seen things most men wouldn’t believe. To go through all of that and make your way home again only to find such chaos in the world, I can only imagine–
      Bran: “Chaos is a ladder.”

      Me: “C’mon Bran! He was asked that same question by your mom in S1e3 and said he did know who it belonged to. Didn’t you see that?”:

      S1e3 (Catelyn shows dagger to Varys & LF)

      Varys: “Did you bring the dagger with you, by any chance? My little birds are everywhere even in the North. They whisper to me the strangest stories. Valyrian steel.”
      Catelyn: “Do you know whose dagger this is?”
      Varys: “I must admit I do not.”
      LF: “Well, well, this is an historic day. Something you don’t know that I do. There’s only one dagger like this in all of the Seven Kingdoms. It’s mine.
      Catelyn: “Yours?”
      LF: “At least it was, until the tournament on Prince Joffrey’s last nameday.
      I bet on Ser Jaime in the jousting, as any sane man would. When the Knight of the Flowers unseated him, I lost this dagger.”
      Catelyn: “To whom?”
      LF: “Tyrion Lannister. The Imp.”

      ______________
      S7e4 (Arya, with Sansa, reunites with Bran)

      Bran: “You came home. I saw you at the crossroads.”
      Arya: “You saw me?”
      Bran: “I see quite a lot now.”
      Sansa: “Bran has…visions.”
      Bran: “I thought you might go to King’s Landing.”
      Arya: “So did I.”
      Sansa: “Why would you go back there?”
      Bran: “Cersei’s on her list of names.”

      Me: “Damn it Bran! Your little sister has been MIA for years and presumed dead, and yet you “saw” her alive and well two episodes ago at the Crossroads Inn but didn’t tell Sansa – or anyone else?”

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    47. Enharmony1625: Ha. Well, he wouldn’t be wrong..

      Mango,

      2) I haven’t read Fire & Blood, but based on what I’ve read and heard about it, someone named Elissa Farman sailed west of Westeros and supposedly ended up in Essos (her ship was recognized by a shipwright in one of the ports). Elissa Farman was also a tomboy and took on an assumed identity at one point, so there are some parallels with Arya as well as George likes to do.

      Ahaha! Thanks! I did not read Fire and Blood and did not know that.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Enharmony1625,

      I thought she started reconnecting back in Braavos with Lady Crane and then furthered it with the Lannister soldiers, Hot Pie and Nymeria (Arya’s alter ego). And you;re right–much of her plot in season 8 made her connections increasingly stronger. But she also started to backslide when she decided to go after Cersei. Perhaps it was not so much out of vengeance this time but necessary because Cersei was the family;s remaining threat AND held the position that Jon was entitled to. Yet it was good that Sandor, her foster-father, made her stop. I suspect that her subsequent journey through Dany’s inferno and especially the death of that mother and child had her contemplating killing Dany. And then she heard the neigh. I wrote more about this, even mentioning you, at 8:26, but it’s in moderation hell. Basically, we agree. Somewhere in the Old Testament is a beautiful line, “choose life that you may live.” Arya has chosen life for herself and others at every single critical juncture in the show. But this was her moment of truth–and she chose life for once and all.

      Wolfish,

      That was splendid and very insightful I don;t think she;s ever been ruthless, her well-known empathy has seen her save many lives. But she was implacable in bringing justice to evildoers, especially when revenge was involved.

      She told herself and the world that Visenya was the person she most aspired to be, but the truth was always there, plain for anyone to see, in the name of her direwolf: Nymeria, who took 10,000 ships across the sea.

      Absolutely! And it literally bookends her final scene in 4.10 when she walks to the prow while setting off for Braavos. I don’t think she’ll die at sea, though. The final 30 minutes of 8.06 is about resolutions and new beginnings for Westeros and characters. After three wars, they’ve taken baby steps towards democracy with a Platonic-like philosopher king. Arya sailing west to discover is an analogue of Columbus. He made his first voyage months after the conclusion of a series of wars. In War of the Roses terms, about the same time Arya made hers. But she’s not aiming to conquer, convert, or claim–but to learn and to map and return with knowledge. In Europe the Renaissance had begun, and I suspect it’s about to begin in Westeros.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Ten Bears,

      hahhaha! Excellent examples, every one.

      Yet Bran is king. Geez.

      This story was usually discussed as an exploration of the conflicts in the “human” heart and the gritty realities of life/power/families. In the end, it was marketed in terms of the struggle for the throne.

      Yet it ended with the nonhuman, magic entity as king. (Worse it is not an entity that many viewers feel they know\understand well.) All families are broken/scattered. Generally, it came down to “good Starks” vs everyone else. And all the surviving Starks except poor Sansa have magic talents. Bleak end and not the right story if you are interested in explorations of the human condition.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Tron79:
      Mango,

      I was annoying people in my tour group talking a lot about GOT and one person made an interesting observation about the white horse.She said she thought it was the Hound reincarnated coming back to help Arya get out alive.She said she noticed the way the mane was combed and the burns reminded her of the hound!I never thought of that and I will need to re watch when I travel back home.

      This is an interesting thought about that horse. I would never have thought of that!

      Enjoy the trip!

        Quote  Reply

    51. Tron79:
      Mango,

      …one person made an interesting observation about the white horse.She said she thought it was the Hound reincarnated coming back to help Arya get out alive.

      😮

      I….what an wonderful thing that would be. I can’t say I believe that to be the case, but I LOVE it.

      Thanks for posting the ‘ARYA’ sign!

        Quote  Reply

    52. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Do you think the “rise/dominance of magic” in Westeros signals human/national development and an upcoming Renaissance?

      A historian may correct me – but my understanding is that one of the features of historical advances is the rise of scientific and rational methods of inquiry – usually with the decline of the exercise/belief in magic and spirits.

      Maybe, Westeros just leapt backward.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Tron, good to see you back. We talked earlier about your trips to the camps. Any comments?

      I loved Arya’s story and thought the white horse perfect.

      Been rewatching the show, now on season 4. Seeing things in a new light considering what I know now. Im certainly relishing those moments that that made the show so good, moments that I hungered for the last tow seasons. There were so many guns hung, that were never fired. A few more episodes in each season , as perhaps some sense of time passing (just how quickly were they able to rebuild, and be able to make those incredibe new clothes?) Perhaps more story between Dany and Jon to give them some chemistry that I never felt. Ah well; Im enjoying my rewatch, still have to say that the show was probably the best I have ever seen on tv, and am thankful that so many people spent so much time and energy to make this story come to life. And I guess we can all come up with ideas of what happens next. Wonder if Tyrion and Sansa will explore their relationship a bit more. Wonder if Bran will be more than just a figure head. Wonder if we’ll ever know why Varys took his rings off before he died; that scene was one of those guns. Wonder what happened to Sam, Gilly and little Sam. And what Arya might discover. Doubt we’ll get anything from Martin on this score, so we’ll just have to make our own endings I suppose.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Ooh, I liked everything you wrote, especially…

      “Yet it was good that Sandor, her foster-father, made her stop. I suspect that her subsequent journey through Dany’s inferno…”

      “Dany’s Inferno.” I’m stealing that (but with proper attribution).

        Quote  Reply

    55. Mango: So Bran does not know what the persons in Bravos and Essos know? Only Westerosi? I thought the NK wanted to kill him because…what was that again?… he was the store of mankind’s memory?

      Yes, he does, because Braavos and Essos are known to the Westerosi. That’s how I think of the WeirNet—as the repository of all the memory and knowledge in Westeros, nature and people alike. Does that make sense?

        Quote  Reply

    56. Mango:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Do you think the “rise/dominance of magic” in Westeros signals human/national development and an upcoming Renaissance?

      A historian may correct me – but my understanding is that one of the features of historical advances is the rise of scientific and rational methods of inquiry – usually with the decline of the exercise/belief in magic and spirits.

      Maybe, Westeros just leapt backward.

      I’m no historian, but as a former mediaevalist know that period quite well. YOu’re right that the decline of magic and superstition (and religious domination?) tended to correlate with a rise in some form of rationalism. Perhaps the relationship was causal. But my interpretation of the story is that with the Night King defeated, magic will decline. Jojen actually predicted it. (In the 1300s, Chaucer’s Wyf of Bath waxed nostalgic for the period when the faeries walked through England!) The relatively scientific maesters hate magic. The CotF (and Old Gods?) already seem gone, and only the 3ER, one dragon and two direwolves are left. Probably the backward-looking Faith of the Seven with its semi-Inquisition and oppressive rules is on the wane. IF Westeros rebuilds and prospers, its people will probably become more industrious and less superstitious.

      For now, Tyrion practices common sense rationalism as well as realpolitik. Bran is a fount of historical facts, present knowledge and most likely some apprehension of the future. Sam is a synthesiser and researcher, possibly with proto-scientific inclinations. Peace is at hand. Those three are likely to launch Westeros into another era, Like the Westerosi political system, scientific progress will probably be incremental. Our own great flourishing of knowledge, philosophy AND art of the Renaissance even coincided with the great Age of Discovery. I suspect this sort of progress is where GRRM is propelling us.

      Sorry for nattering on. You do ask thought-provoking questions!

        Quote  Reply

    57. Wolfish,

      Mango: “So Bran does not know what the persons in Bravos and Essos know? Only Westerosi? I thought the NK wanted to kill him because…what was that again?… he was the store of mankind’s memory?”

      Wolfish: “Yes, he does, because Braavos and Essos are known to the Westerosi. That’s how I think of the WeirNet—as the repository of all the memory and knowledge in Westeros, nature and people alike. Does that make sense?”

      _______________

      That part makes sense. What I still don’t understand is why NK made Bran his primary target. Okay, Bran’s the repository of all the memory (history) and knowledge of humankind.

      That’d be like NK and WWs – whose objective has always been to exterminate people – dissolving the iCloud and destroying the Internet. People can still go to the library and read books, and consult historians – just like we did before the internet.

      So I still do not understand what made Bran a prime target. (And I don’t even want to get into the Brain Bait Plan, which to me came off as Wight Hunt-level silly.)

      I thought Jojen, Hodor, Summer, and the CotF sacrificed themselves because Bran’s survival was somehow critical to defeating the WWs. I thought some of his “powers” were going to be indispensable to beating the AotD. Yet, his contribution to the Great War was to… hang out in the godswood and speak mumbo jumbo.

      [Side Note: I didn’t hear Bran exclaim with relief, “Arya!!! Thank you for saving me! ” Did I miss something?]

        Quote  Reply

    58. Ten Bears,

      Oh, I’m in complete agreement with you about how under-used Bran was, and how unclear to the fans his ultimate role in planning his ascension to the—wait, there’s no throne.

      Anyway.

      The fact that there’s so much disagreement and confusion about whether he’s good or bad, or what he can really do, is further proof to me (as if I needed any!) of the spectacularly holey, muddled writing in S7 and S8. I agree with Stark Raven’ Rad’s interpretation above, but I can also understand why someone like Inga drew a completely different conclusion. When two mediævalists have such a fundamental disagreement over the meaning of a story, imho that points to a fundamental flaw in the storytelling.

      Shit. I’m ranting. More. Wine!

        Quote  Reply

    59. Pigeon: 😮

      I….what an wonderful thing that would be. I can’t say I believe that to be the case, but I LOVE it.

      Thanks for posting the ‘ARYA’ sign!

      Thanks Pigeon. Yeah I thought the way she described the way horses mane was combed over to one side and the burns does make some sense. I will need to re watch. I’m headed to the airport in a few minutes wearing one of my WotW comfy t-shirts for the trip back. I wore my WotW hat while out touring several times and a few people asked me what it was. I found an awesome shop in Berlin with GOT stuff and I got a cool Tyrion figure. I also am now an official book reader. I’m almost on page 500 of book one that I started on the plane flight here. We had lots of bus and train rides between countries.

      Lots of good discussion on this thread. I look forward to reading though them all when I get back to the USA.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Why are we discussing Bran’s ending in this thread? Do we not all agree that Melisandre’s ending and arc was well done?

      Just don’t want to derail a positive with some unassociated negative.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Jon Snowed,

      We do all agree, which is why (imo) the conversation quickly lost steam: There’s seemingly little to discuss. Unexpectedly complex character arc perfectly embodied by a stunning actress, capped off by one of the most emotionally satisfying deaths in the entire series.

      Come to think of it, though, there’s something that hadn’t occurred to me: Melisandre got closure at long last. Davos never will.

      There’s also the fact that many (perhaps most) of us really aren’t familiar with Carice’s other work. I only know her from Black Book.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Mango,

      If the showrunners wanted to make Arya’s sudden passion to sea voyages believable, they should have given her an extensive scene with the captain on her way to Braavos. That was a perfect opportunity to show that Arya “fell in love with the sea” and the captain was a perfect character to trigger her interest in what lies beyond the boundaries of the known world. But apparently, the showrunners didn’t know what they were going to do with Arya at the end.

      And, yes: Arya should have asked Bran, because what if the nearest land west of Westeros is too far to reach it? Or what if people who live in the nearest land west of Westeros don’t want visitors like the population of the North Sentinel Island, for instance? In fact, what makes Arya think that the people who live west of Westeros will be welcoming: the northerners don’t like foreigners, she doesn’t like foreigners, so why would people who live west of Westeros be different, LOL? In other words, Arya has been shown as an infantile and irresponsible self-entitled brat who’s putting herself and other people (especially her subjects) at risk just to satisfy her personal urge for “adventures”. I can agree that compared to what they did to other characters this is one of the better endings, but where’s the character growth, if Arya is still acting like a ten-year-old?

        Quote  Reply

    63. Wolfish,

      Just a suggestion: try searching for and watching Carice’s 2011 film “Black Butterflies,” in which she plays real-life South African poet Ingrid Jonker. I thought she was fantastic in it. And interestingly, she and Liam Cunningham (Davos) play lovers in that film. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    64. Tron79,

      The “History Behind Game of Thrones” site has an article which mentions parallels between the burning of Kings Landing and the devastation of Dresden and Hiroshima, Tron. Off the top of my head I also thought (though of course there wouldn’t have been a dragon to cause the amount of devastation that was depicted as being inflicted on Kings Landing) of the sacking of Constantinople and the taking of Berwick-on-Tweed by Edward I’s (of England’s) forces – it was a Scots town before that, and maybe the massacre of the Cathars in Beziers in 1209. Though I doubt any real life sieges ended pleasantly for the losing side.

      If anyone wants to go on YouTube and search Carice’s name, it seems that like a few of the other GoT alumni she is also a singer.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Interesting ideas.

      Tolkien in LOTR specifically shows the departure of the magical forces from the realms of men to indicate a rise of a modern era. It was not perfectly done but it was clear. The appointment of the 3-eyed raven as civic leader could not at all be mistaken for a decline of magic. It is as if Tolkien make Gandalf or Elrond, the king. (Also Arya is still a shapeshifter. Jon is still a man who was raised from the dead. Drogon is still in play.) I think GRRM’s ending points to a different future from Tolkein’s. There may be fewer magical players as the NK is gone. But magic is more influential as a magical Bran now commands power over the realms of men.

      Tyrion becoming Hand should frighten us not generate confidence. He showed extremely bad judgment with Deanerys. He was close to her for so long and at no time showed sufficient perception of her as a person, ruler, woman. Political leadership requires keen ability to “read” people. Does his record justify a leadership role?

      Also, he was Hand and supporter to the murderer of millions of Westerosi at the time of this genocide. Yet he was given the same job again. To think about it – it is a bit like Hitler’s wartime deputy becoming Deputy Head of the UN or European Union after Hitler dies. He should have been executed, exiled or banned from leadership. Yet, there he is, fixing chairs.

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    66. Jon Snowed,

      Melisandre role was nicely done and the actress was great. She had an emtionally satisfying arc and death.

      The role could have been “mumbo jumbo” but somehow it was not.

      You know, if Bran’s character and role in the story had been handled like Melisandre then at least we would understand him somewhat and what the end of the story was about.

      And yes, Melisandre could have pretty good stories as well.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Sandor,

      As for aryas staying dany is a killer. There’s a difference between killing what dany did in episode 5. On dragonback without looking your victims in your eyes. Or what Arya meant. Face to face. Arya fears for Jon’s life there.

      Another point is that Arya meant that dany likes killing. She doesn’t just kill, but she likes it. And that’s true. It makes dany feel powerful and righteous about her cause. That’s what Arya is refering too. That dany likes the feeling of killing, so making her a killer.

      Mango,

      I think bran has better things to do with his time then to look what’s West of westeros. And when she asked what’s West of westeros it was not only a question of finding out what’s west of it is. Arya wants to explore that. So why would she ask bran instead of going to explore it herself.

      And as far as I know bran has 2 options to looking around the world.
      1. A place where weirwood magic is. Do we know that that’s West of westeros. Do we know magic is there? Do we know if there are not anti weir wood magic spells there? And do we know it’s linked to the weirwood trees where is at the moment? Probably not. So that leaves option 2.
      2. He needs to warg into a bird and find out that way. As far as I know he can’t warg into animals far away. So that means the bird needs to travel from kings landing to the land west of westeros. (which I assume is asshai world is round even when people in planetos are still flat earthers). But how long is a trip like that for a bird? A week a month? That means bran needs to keep into warg trans for over a week without eating etc. So also not an option.

      And I think bran is more worried about keeping peace in westeros. Avoiding rebellions with the unsullied. Looking for drogon etc then finding out what Arya wants to know.

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    68. Enharmony1625,

      Oh yeah, I agree Sansa’s story arc had flaws, and maybe they didn’t execute her wisdom as they potentially could have, yet I felt her actions in season 7 and 8 were enough for me to buy her trip through those season.
      I’d say that the best of her comes the very moment she escapes Winterfell with Theon. There comes the transformation which apparently begins with her talk with LF in the final episode of season 6 in the Godswood.

      I loved Arya’s arc until season 7, when all that family struggle entered as I felt it was out of her character. And she was portrayed as dumb and fueled by rage, and as for trained assasin it was not correct in my opinion. I get that she is kind of a warrior-ish girl, but still, absolutely boring plot in season 7, and absolutely forced storylines in season 8. Yet, her traveling West of Westeros – absolutely buy it, since that’s what she is and that what she was destined for. Not the family after all, but for an adventure.

      Jon – loved him, especially in season 5 and 6. And when they shifted his story more and mroe into this leadership thing in season 7, all that stuff about his unknown to him legacy, being a King he doesn’t want to be etc. – it was both annoying and enraging. It was absolutely out of his character too. I loved him as a warrior – some who fights for greater cause – and yes, he fought for that, but as an diplomat in most of the cases. And I could bear the fact, that he was one of the best strategist (you could think), and after all, he was the dumbest of the world’s history. Not only he created a massively flawed plan, but he also didn’t execute at all what he intended. You would think, that after all these seasons, he would at least have some cold blood, but nope. And yeah… he’s a Targeryen, so he’s about to be of a strong personality.

      Daenerys – damn, so many flaws in her character arc layout. But whatever, that’s an endless discussion. Same for Bran. I just think that these two characters are the most butchered one in terms of poor writing.

      And it’s also sad to me, that Varys and Tyrion got reduced to mindless pawns in all that game. Which is extremely frustrating since these guys controled the realm in some sense. And Tyrion was a leading role in terms of wisdom and intelligence. And since season 6 (the stuff with slave traders) – there was a never-ending losing streak: he lost the fleet, he lost the Casterly Rock strategy, they lost Highgarden because of him, he was cheated with Lannister army, and after all, he was fooled by Daenerys blind loyalty – something he renounced. And Varys… he, the Master of Whispers dies as a man in an open rebellion – what fool would do shit like that.

      Euron – yeah, maybe he is the one butchered the most. But there’s absolutely nothing to discuss. He’s nor scary/creepy, neither funny/witty. It’s just a mess. A combination of a wannabe pirate-boy, and cringey Joker. Terrible character. I had struggles to watch the scenes with him (character/ not an actor).

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    69. Mango,

      1. He stated they need to look for drogon at the end of the show. So that’s a clear sign he has no control over drogon. (yet)
      2. Only nature update the weirwoodnet. It’s in the name. Only where weirwoods are or were.
      3. Don’t know. I think if the places where they are are connected to the weirnet he can look up their past and present. So probably yes.

      Jon Snowed,

      So true. Mellisandres story is one of my favorites of the show. She started as a evil witch (our interpretation). Later we found out why she went that far. And how that was connected to the long night. And it made sense why she could easily make the decision of one innocent life against a kingdom.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Ten Bears,

      Wolfish,

      They are elements of the GOT that should have been absolutely clear to the audience/viewer. “Bran” was one such element.

      GRRM remarked about knowing about tax policy etc when he was commenting on Tolkien’s masterpiece. But at least we knew Aragorn sufficiently to feel OK at the end of that story.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Kevin1989,

      So we end with a big fire dragon just roaming about wildly. Sigh.

      One that just killed millions of people.

      I am not sure if his decision to burn the throne and pick up Daenerys was intended to indicate some “awareness”. Was it? Does he know what he just did?

      You would think he would have stayed with Jon as Jon is a Targ and a dragonrider…either that or burn Jon to crisp in retribution.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Inga,

      I agree that Arya puts others in danger with her quest the question is only who will be in danger? I think she is more of a Columbus type now. So probably the people she will meet. Or maybe she will make allies.

      As for showing us certain scenes. Why would they have needed that? It has nothing to do with the sea. But with finding new lands and expending knowledge. She is not an Iron born that are born for the sea.

      And where does it state that Arya doesn’t like foreigners? She never expressed that. What she expressed was her concern of dany with her army, somebody who doesn’t know the north and westeros. Who came with 2 army’s that are known for bringing horror and destruction. So why would she trust them? And looking at episode 5 and 6 she was right. They still went with their old ways. The unsullied still remain cold hearted murderers. Dothraki still wanted to conquor and rape all etc. And in episode 1 she only look with a nasty look towards dany. Not like the rest of the north towards misandei.
      What was negative for me was her isolated thoughts about not needing allies. Because that’s dangerous. But luckily sandor got Arya back on the right track. I think ten bears know which scene I refer to.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Mango,

      I think that’s why they talked about it that it is a important problem that needs attention. Only bronn was as long as its far from my bed it’s not my problem. Which I think make sense coming from bronn.

      As for drogon burning the iron throne. I watched the episode 3 times. And I don’t think he was really going for the chair. More that he was angry and sad dany was death. Needed to vent his anger and grief. But towards a point that was not Jon. And it happens that the iron throne stood there. I think the only thing he knew was that dany was death and gone and that he needs to bring her to? Valyria, Daario? I really hope one deleted scene is where dany will be dropped off.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Mango:
      Kevin1989,
      I am not sure if his decision to burn the throne and pick up Daenerys was intended to indicate some “awareness”. Was it? Does he know what he just did?

      I think it did indicate some awareness. Maybe not the same kind of “awareness” humans have, but an animalistic one. The same way animalistic instincts are different than human instincts.

      Drogon isn’t going to go laying waste to cities on his own though. In fact, my interpretation is that he’ll stay away from populated areas and he’ll just be roaming around old Valyria. Part of the reason why the dragons got into some of the trouble they did is because they were with Dany in populated areas. Now that Drogon isn’t following anyone, maybe he’ll just live a rather docile life in the ruins of Valyria? I admit, it could have been tied up a bit nicer, but.. Drogon still being alive doesn’t bother me.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Kevin1989,

      The iron throne destroyed in a random accident. How is that for storytelling?

      Lol, I never thought of where Drogon was going to drop her off. Maybe she will be his next meal?

        Quote  Reply

    76. Kevin1989:
      Inga,
      I agree that Arya puts others in danger with her quest the question is only who will be in danger? I think she is more of a Columbus type now. So probably the people she will meet. Or maybe she will make allies.

      I don’t think Arya is putting anyone in danger — her crew know what they signed up for, and are probably just as eager and curious about what lies west as she is. Is the voyage dangerous? Sure, but that doesn’t mean she’s putting them in danger if you know what I mean. She’s not making them come with her. Heck.. I’d bet her crew are thrilled to be going on an adventure with the Hero of Winterfell, aka Savior of Humanity! 🙂

      Also, given the evidence we have from Fire & Blood, they won’t be coming across any civilizations hidden out there. How would they have gotten there? It’s safe to say there are no big continents in the Sunset Sea.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Jon Snowed,

      Thanks for bringing us back to the point. I might be the most dissatisfied person in the fandom but I’m not satisfied with Melisadre’s arc either. I mean the arc was OK and the ending was OK; however there was one major inconsistency: if Mel knew that Arya was destined to kill the NK since S3 why did she continued her search for the PTWP burning innocent children on the way?

      This inconsistency could have been solved. For instance, after the battle, Bran could have revealed that the whole PTWP thing (including Targarians and dragons) was a ploy developed to divert the NK’s attention from the real threat: would have been a nice call to the LOTR. Or some other explanation could have been given but the point is that a twisted story needs a part in which the ploy is revealed, otherwise it’s just bad writing.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Inga:
      Jon Snowed,
      Thanks for bringing us back to the point. I might be the most dissatisfied person in the fandom but I’m not satisfied with Melisadre’s arc either. I mean the arc was OK and the ending was OK; however there was one major inconsistency: if Mel knew that Arya was destined to kill the NK since S3 why did she continued her search for the PTWP burning innocent children on the way?

      She did not know that back in season 3. She sees the eyes in a vision when she looks at Arya but doesn’t know precisely what it means. We are reminded several times in the show that Mel does not always interpret her visions correctly, and the visions themselves are not clear. (e.g. She sees the Bolton banners burning and thinks it is Stannis that is responsible for overthrowing Ramsay, when in fact it is Jon.) This is a major part of her story arc where she loses faith in herself in season 6.

      She can also see that she will meet Arya again, but for what purpose she doesn’t know. Or maybe she thinks she knows, but is wrong. Obviously she learns the truth of that vision at some point (probably in the time when she returns to Volantis) because when she returns to Winterfell she knows Arya’s purpose.

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    79. Kevin1989,

      Yes, I was referring to the same scene, namely, Arya saying “I don’t need many friends” – “friends”, not “allies” which sounded even more dangerous psychologically. And I don’t see how Sandor talked her out of that: in Ep6 she was still threatening to cut Yara’s throat because she expressed a different opinion. We can agree that Yara’s the writing of the Dragonpit scene was beyond poor, but “you cannot drop the words from the song: Arya found herself in a conflict situation and responded with aggressive threats, there was no attempt to talk things through or find some common grounds or something, just the same “I have power, kneel or die” Daenerys was condemned for. Moreover, Arya has intentionally broken all the ties with all the people she held dear and became a lone wolf. Is a lone wolf less dangerous than a lone dragon? I would like to think so but there’s no evidence for that. Sorry, Arya’s fans.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Enharmony1625,

      How can we be sure that Arya is not making her crew come with her? She’s lady Stark, a sister to the Queen in the North and King of Six Southern Kingdoms and she already has a record of threatening people who speak against her. I can hardly imagine some poor northern sailor saying no to her “invitation” to join her expedition west of Westeros. And even if we assume that every single sailor joined that expedition freely, conflicts will inevitably occur on the way and Arya has never solved a conflict by fair negotiations: she either tricked or killed. So…

        Quote  Reply

    81. Enharmony1625,

      I could accept such interpretation, had it happened on screen. Melisandre’s arc is all about learning from mistakes and going on with the new information obtained despite remorse and mistrust and condemnation from the others. So, how can she realize that she made a mistake with Jon (and Dany) and that Arya was the one true savior off-screen if it’s the final climax and the denouement of Melisandre’s arc? It would be the worst writing possible.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Mango,

      Just as good storytelling as that the ring just got destroyed in lord of the rings because smeagol happen to fall into the lava. It matters that it happen. It was symbolic for the change later on in the episode.

      Enharmony1625,

      Agree, it still there choice. But those crew could still be danger to the new continent. Look at Europe finding America.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Inga,

      You have your right to your opinion. So it’s good you speak your mind.

      I think her 8×03 sentence was more a push for Arya. Mel did not see arya killing the nk in season 3. She just pushed arya in 8×03 to her destiny. She understood it only there.

      Enharmony1625,

      +1

        Quote  Reply

    84. Inga,

      As for episode 6. Yara was pushing for the execution of Jon. So not just a different opinion. She made sure Jon’s execution is not an option.

      As for dany VS Arya. Of course dany is more dangerous. Dany killed half a million in a day. How long would that take Arya? Probably not in a life time. Dragons made dany more dangerous.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Inga,

      No, she said “allies”, not “friends”. Rewatch the scene and get your facts straight.

      “Yara expressed a different opinion”
      Yara wanted Jon to be executed because he killed Dany, to whom Yara had sworn allegiance. She made a threat to a family member to whom Arya holds dear — she has every right to defend him, herself, and others if need be. Arya turning away from vengeance hasn’t made her passive. That would just be dumb.

      “Sorry, Arya’s fans.”
      Yeah.. we’re doing just fine, thank you.

      Inga,

      Whatever agenda it is you have against Arya or the story is severely clouding your “interpretations” because you just don’t get it.. Either that or you’re just trolling.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Inga,

      ” I might be the most dissatisfied person in the fandom but I’m not satisfied with Melisadre’s arc either. I mean the arc was OK and the ending was OK; however there was one major inconsistency: if Mel knew that Arya was destined to kill the NK since S3 why did she continued her search for the PTWP”

      Not to worry, Inga. There are fans out there much more dissatisfied than you–most fueled primarily by emotion and many ravening for vengeance. But you articulate your points so well (as do many posters here), that we listen and respect your reasoning.

      I doubt Mel knew in Season 3. She saw a DARKNESS in her and eyes Arya would shut forever. That came true, as did her prediction they’d meet again (which Arya acknowledges). It’s a good job Mel never actually interpreted it–back then she was very prone to MISconstruing prophecies. So she kept on looking. In 7.03 she left for Volantis (R’hllor headquarters) and returns in 8.03, spanning several months. She must have studied with and consulted her superiors there, because after she reappears in 8.03 she does everything right. Just after saying she’ll be dead before the dawn, she spots Arya…and stares several seconds. Arya stares back. That is probably when it dawns (!) on Mel that Arya is meant to kill the Night King. And that she had not truly understood the true import of the eyes prophecy. Hmm…brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Wait: BLUE eyes? Eureka!!!

      TINFOIL WARNING! According to the I&F Wiki “The Great Other is the god of darkness, cold, and death in the faith of R’hllor. His true name is never spoken. He is considered the enemy of R’hllor, the Lord of Light. Perhaps the darkness in Arya was necessary to counter the Lord of Darkness ! I’ve long suspected that the FM had surreptitiously trained her to fight in the Great War. Did they recruit and train her expecting her to kill the NK? It’s possible. Bran knew And it seems R’hollr did too. UBER TINFOIL WARNING: Crikey, this has gotten me thinking. Arya was also trained and saved by the only secular person burnt by fire and later literally consumed by it. He also had read the flames correctly. And Beric told him he had a role to play.. Arya herself had saved Jaqen from fire. And she had been assaulted by fire in 8.05 and survived. And THEN that White Horse appeared. Are these dots no one has connected? NO–I haven’t been drinking but maybe I’m hallucinating. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    87. Enharmony1625: I don’t think Arya is putting anyone in danger — her crew know what they signed up for, and are probably just as eager and curious about what lies west as she is. Is the voyage dangerous? Sure, but that doesn’t mean she’s putting them in danger if you know what I mean. She’s not making them come with her. Heck.. I’d bet her crew are thrilled to be going on an adventure with the Hero of Winterfell, aka Savior of Humanity! 🙂

      ✅ Almost word for word how I was going to respond.

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    88. Enharmony1625,

      …. And I’d like to think that beautiful direwolf ship was a gift from grateful Northerners – possibly the seafaring shipwrights (Manderlys) of White Harbor.
      It’s the least they could do for saving them all from becoming zombies, Ned Umber-style wall fixtures. or outdoor artwork.

      I’m obsessed with that direwolf ship because I want a model for my bookshelf! Or a radio-controlled, electric-powered version to sail on a lake on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Inga:
      Enharmony1625,

      How can we be sure that Arya is not making her crew come with her? She’s lady Stark, a sister to the Queen in the North and King of Six Southern Kingdoms and she already has a record of threatening people who speak against her.

      What?! Yara asking for Jon’s head, which could have started a conversation that might get him killed. Besides, words are better than swords, and the subject of warning threats versus real threats was well explained S2 by Tyrion to Meryn Trant! Arya is a master of both.

      Arya believes in freedom, including for smallfolk. She alone among highborns consistently shows them respect. And having been coerced into an unacceptable role as a child, she is not the coercing type. She would not force or trick anyone into sailing, especially under the Stark banner. Enharmony is right–they probably would have been honored and reassured to sail with HER. IRL, veteran seamen are like athletes–very superstitious. Usually, even officers prefer lucky over competent. And she is surely considered lucky.

      And … conflicts will inevitably occur on the way and Arya has never solved a conflict by fair negotiations: she either tricked or killed. So…

      So? Though a woman of action, she has often used a few well-placed words to do just that. She managed to persuade the HOund not to kill the pig farmer. Her reasoning made Beric, Thoros, and the Hound ashamed of some of their deeds. Perhaps Beric especially was trying to make it up to her in 8.03. In 8.01 Jon tried to drive an us-v-her wedge between them and Sansa. Arya immediately praised Sansa and then explained she was just defending our family. Also, in the godswood when Sansa denied Dany any credit, Arya shocked her by defending Dany’s sacrifices for their victory AND by saying Jon was right in bending the knee. Sansa was gobsmacked. “You respect it?!?” The Pack stayed united despite everything until Sansa betrayed Jon’s secret in 8.04. So with Arya, a few well-placed, well-timed words have often achieved their end. Besides, most people (especially men) like forthright, realistic communication backed up by action, not the notoriously slippery and mendacious manipulation Cersei, Littlefinger, and Sansa weaponised with honeyed words.

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    90. Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,
      I’m obsessed with that direwolf ship because I want a model for my bookshelf!

      That is an amazing idea! I would buy that in a heartbeat. A collector’s items company needs to get on that, and stat! 🙂

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    91. I thought for sure we would get a scene in 8 of Mel in Volantis …. alas to my disappointment that did not happen.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      I quite enjoyed reading your comments. Thank you for such well organized and thought out posts.
      I’m going for my tinfoil now so I can join you so we can (not) hallucinate together..

        Quote  Reply

    93. MotherofWolves:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      I quite enjoyed reading your comments. Thank you for such well organized and thought out posts.
      I’m going for my tinfoil now so I can join you so we can (not) hallucinate together..

      Thank you. Tinfoil is fun and occasionally productive. Wolfish, I wish I could go but I’ve sunk my money into a painting trip to the mountains and need to prepare for it.
      You have fun. Is LonelyCat coming? Are you doing cosplay? As whom? BTW, I just discovered a video you all will surely enjoy. Especially, Ten Bears. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUWGh13smfY

      Ten Bears,

      Enharmony1625,

      Kevin1989,

      Wolfish,

        Quote  Reply

    94. Kevin1989:
      Mango,

      Just as good storytelling as that the ring just got destroyed in lord of the rings because smeagol happen to fall into the lava. It matters that it happen. It was symbolic for the change later on in the episode.

      Enharmony1625,

      Agree, it still there choice. But those crew could still be danger to the new continent. Look at Europe finding America.

      You write that as if Smaegoal (SMGL) was on a relaxing stroll alongside the inferno, stubbed his toe and fell in with the ring. That would have been the destruction of the ring by a random accident. This is comparable to the accidental burning of the Throne.

      Instead, SMGL fell in during a death struggle with Frodo (FR). FR and Sam had traveled a physically and spiritually hazardous journey to get to the inferno. SMGL had engaged FR several times during the journey and their fight was at the peak point of that journey. FR was overcome by the power of the ring and fought with SMGL to have it.

      This is where you see the hand of a good storyteller. The realistic outcome of that fight would be that both SMGL and FR should have fallen into the fire given where their fight occurred. But good storytelling required different fates for these two – these characters were not moral equals and could not suffer the same death. Although FR failed and fell victim to the temptation, he did not burn. Despite his faltering in the critical moment, over the story he had earned his survival – because he was brave and had worked for the good of others. Importantly, FR’s death with SMGL would not have propelled any further development in th storyline or character arc. So SMGL died with the ring. FR was pulled away to survive.

      Further, the ring and destruction of the ring had consequences for the story. This was set up from the start and there was no “clever’ switcheroo. We did not find out 10 minutes before the end that the real threat was that Legolas was batshit crazy.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Mango,

      It’s also worth to add that in the LOTR the ring had a will of its own. Meanwhile, the Iron Throne was just a chair. They could have destroyed it, they could have left it, they could have put it into a museum: nothing would have changed. Changing the procedure of appointing the monarch was a separate plot.

      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      You have a strange understanding of justice. So, if a person commits a crime but has some powerful relatives those relatives are entitled use their power to help him/her escape the punishment? LOL.

      On a serious note, no society can live without consensus on what constitutes a crime and extenuating circumstances. Normally, killing a tyrant (or anyone else who legitly poses a threat) is considered heroism because extenuating circumstances and risks involved overweight the very crime of killing. However, Westeros is a cringy fantasy world in which loyalty is above all and killing a tyrannic monarch is still punishable. So, dura lex sed lex and Yara had every right to demand Jon’s head. If Arya wanted to defend Jon, she should have sought to amend the law by reaching a new consensus. In other words, she should have brought in arguments, not threats. Any agreement established under threat is null and void and the threatened party has every right to abandon it at the first opportunity because a threat is an insult to human dignity and retaliation is what honor demands under such circumstances.

      Moreover, Yara was supposed to be a battle-hardened commander and had the showrunners kept her actions in character, she should have drawn her sword and challenged Arya immediately after being threatened.

      So, all in all, the end of GOT was just nonsense upon nonsense upon nonsense.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Jon Snowed,

      I agree with you, but since this is the post with the most comment at the moment, folk are using it as a place to discuss other things. Don’t think anyone is denying Carices skill and talent in the whole show, let alone her last moments 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    97. Inga,

      You have a strange understanding of justice. So, if a person commits a crime but has some powerful relatives those relatives are entitled use their power to help him/her escape the punishment? LOL.

      I plead guilty to ‘strange’. I do know much more about literature than law, but I know an anachronism when I see one. It is fruitless to apply the legal niceties of our modern world to the real Middle Ages or GRRM’s fantasy version. but especially in a place like war-torn Westeros. We must consider the circumstances. . Not only was there no functioning legal and enforcement system during three serial wars, but there was no equality before the law. Nobles dispensed justice in most cases and were openly partial,…to put it mildly. People like Tywin Lannister got away with eradicating the Reynes and Tarbecks in peacetime!! Ned did something truly revolutionary with his gutsy attempt to hold Tywin and Gregor to account for killing and brutalising the peasantry. It helped get him killed.

      The dysfunctional ‘legal’ system was yet another wheel that needed to be broken. Maybe with peace it now will be replaced by an agreed-upon system of laws. That Council was the beginning of reform, but was also a group of nobles who were going to judge capital crimes. Yes, Jon had killed a tyrant. But even tyranny is in the eyes of the beholder. To the Confederacy, Lincoln was a tyrant and sic semper tyrannis–so Booth (plus his co-conspirators) was a martyr. The one tyrant virtually all Westerosi could agree on was the Mad King. They didn’t even know the truly extenuating circumstances behind Jaimes actions, but HE was never punished, except with a pejorative nickname. Yara did not consider Daenerys a tyrant, but perhaps had she arrived in time to tour the corpse mounds and ruins, she would not have called for Jon’s head. If they ALL had toured the scenes of Dany’s crimes or called sworn witnesses, Jon would probably have been quickly freed, Grey Worm notwithstanding. Arya made an oblique threat, just words. She could have been more tactful, but since she never bared her fangs, er, sword, her words sufficed. And no offense, but “she should have sought to amend the law by reaching a new consensus. In other words, she should have brought in arguments, not threats. Any agreement established under threat is null and void and the threatened party has every right to abandon it at the first opportunity because a threat is an insult to human dignity and retaliation is what honor demands under such circumstances..” is what I meant by anachronistic. This level of legal sophistication simply didn’t apply at that time, in real life or in Westeros. As Jon’s protector, Arya had no recourse, unless there was a barrister hiding behind that dais!

      By the way, since you have keen interest AND knowledge about law, you might enjoy looking at this: https://www.redcross.org.au/getmedia/e4347282-485d-4873-938c-af7fd74ce49f/Australian-Red-Cross-Games-of-Thrones-report.pdf.aspx It compiles violations of and compliance with international humanitarian law, Seasons 1 – 7. It is fascinating. Ramsay holds the top spot, and Dany is runner-up. Amazingly, Walder Frey is No. 8. IMO, by modern definitions what he did to the Starks and Northmen and what Tywin did to the Reynes and Tarbecks are genocide.

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    98. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Ooohhh, I’ll check out the video in a bit!

      Yes, I’m doing Mel (planned before S8) and a different version of last year’s Cersei. And I managed to get water-dancing lessons for Wolf Pup #2 and me!

      Lonely Cat and Mr. Cat are attending again. She has several costumes—which you’ll recall she makes herself!—including the completed version of the lovely blue frock she wore to Sunday brunch last year. The embroidery is absolutely stunning!!!

      You still owe me an email, lol.

        Quote  Reply

    99. ash,

      Getting back to Carice/Melisandre for a moment, some random thoughts:

      • I don’t know if a character had a better episode entrance and exit than Mel in S8e3.

      First, she rides in alone out of the darkness right before the big showdown, like Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti Western. Then before Davos can even blow a gasket, she assures him she’ll be dead by dawn … and true to her word she walks off and drops dead at daybreak.

      • I do not know what the lighting of the Dothrakis’ araks (?) was supposed to accomplish. I do know that it was cool as f*ck. Great visual. I also was drawn into the suspense as she was praying her heart out to the Lord of Light to ignite the trenches.

      • Speaking of that rascal LoL, I found it perversely comical that a fanatic Red Priestess had such bad reception when she tried to make out what she was seeing in her visions in the flames, and yet, a LoL-bashing nonbeliever like Sandor Clegane got crystal clear, high-def real-time broadcast videos when he looked into the flames in S7e1. (I guess he was the Lord’s Chosen.)

      • Before S8, I thought for sure Gendry would roast Mel in the WF forges or Arya would skewer her. I’m glad Mel’s encounter with Arya in S8 was more like Knute Rockne giving a “Win one for the Gipper” motivational speech, rather than more of the Dany-Sansa type bitchathons. It’s good Arya and Mel both saw the big picture instead of treating each other warily or bringing up personal vendettas. (Mel was on Arya’s list at some point, wasn’t she?) I am also thankful that some writer didn’t think it’d be a good idea for Arya and Mel to compare notes about Gendry’s… prowess.

      • Melisandre taking off her ruby choker, walking off into the distance, and reverting to Geezer Mel and crumpling to the ground was a cinematically and thematically beautiful scene. As Carice van Houten was quoted:

      “I’m really happy with my ending. That made it easier for me,” she says, regarding Melisandre’s beautiful end in The Long Night. “It was graceful. I was very grateful to the writers for that. That whole episode was bombastic, but my death was like the final note of a symphony.”

      • [Final silly thought] However, I noticed that Geezer Mel’s body was not among the corpses on the funeral pyres in the next episode. I suppose that would have distracted from the solemnity of the occasion, and diluted the impact of the tearful farewells to fallen compatriots by Sansa (Theon) and Dany (Jorah). It also could’ve gotten gotten weird, e.g.:

      Arya (to Gendry): “You f*cked that?”
      Gendry (hurls)
      Arya: (giggles)

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    100. I do not know what the lighting of the Dothrakis’ araks (?) was supposed to accomplish. I do know that it was cool as f*ck. Great visual. I also was drawn into the suspense as she was praying her heart out to the Lord of Light to ignite the trenches.

      The visuals were great, yes,but even my DH who’s not as into the show as I was complained almost immediately about sending the calvary charge. And re Mels body on the pyr, I don’t there would have been much of one once her thousand year old body collasped. Suspect the wind blew much of it away.. (I absolutely loved how much Arya grieved for Beric; He saved her life many times, and she got a taste of his kindness to her that last night. )

      I am also thankful that some writer didn’t think it’d be a good idea for Arya and Mel to compare notes about Gendry’s… prowess.

      Hahahahahah!

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    101. I loved Melisandre’s death scene, but I agree that the lighting of the arakhs was more for the visual effect than for practicality. Yes, the AotD is vulnerable to fire, but if you are vastly outnumbered you will be unhorsed and killed before you could kill more than one or two of the 100,000 dead people. Her lighting of the trench was fine, but again it did not slow down the AotD much–the NK was pretty good at tactics.

      For me, Mel’s main contribution was giving Arya the clue needed to send her off to kill the NK. Or at least to protect her brother, who was the NK’s target. Carice was awesome in the role and, even though I hated the character for killing Shireen (and even Renly), I developed a great respect for the actress.

      The meeting to choose a king and the small council were somewhat…bad. Arya and Yara seemed like it was shoehorned in to give Yara a moment. Bronn’s presence on the council was almost painful, but why focus on ships and brothels when the entire city has been destroyed? Why not worry about rebuilding homes and businesses?

      Jon’s exile made sense, and gave him what he likely wanted most of all–freedom. When the tunnel gate dropped, I had the impression that he would never again go south of the wall. Seriously–why close the gates? Who are they keeping out? It was a plot device to tell us that Jon was no longer a Stark or a Targaryen–he’s free folk. With luck Ghost will find a female direwolf and have pups, and Jon will find another Ygritte and have a child or two.

      Arya heading west was not selfish. She killed the NK and saved Westeros, so if anyone deserves retirement it is her. Sandor saved her at the end, but Lady Crane saved her much earlier, leading to her voyage west. Arya has no subjects–she is not queen and no one will have felt obligated to serve her. She’s an explorer. Sailing is salve. I’ve only once been on a boat where the engine was turned off and we were propelled by sails and it was a magical experience. Sailing is exactly what Arya needs.

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    102. Ten Bears:
      ash,
      • I do not know what the lighting of the Dothrakis’ araks (?) was supposed to accomplish. I do know that it was cool as f*ck. Great visual.

      My impression is that it was Mel’s way of saying “hey, look, I bring magic and will be useful in this fight, please don’t kill me.” After all, both Jon and Davos swore to execute her if she returned to the north, so if she just rode in with nothing, maybe Davos would have been more inclined to take her prisoner or execute her?

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    103. I don’t get the criticism here the lighting of their weapons was similar to the flaming sword Beric had. We know fire is a weapon against whites so it did help, they just ran into insurmountable odds and got annihilated. The bigger issue for me was where the few hundred Dothraki who raped and pillaged Kings Landing came from.

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    104. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      I think you misunderstood me: I wasn’t talking about some sophisticated legal procedures but rather of setting precedents for different models of behavior. Because that’s how societies (and individuals) resolve critical situations: by adopting different models of behavior. And by no means, I’m saying that such shifts should necessarily go in the direction of diminishing violence: quite often it goes the opposite way. But when it comes to Westeros, it’s just more of the same: Tyrion kind of wants to create a less violent society but others stick to their old ways. If it were a real-world society, it would be doomed to more violent conflict in the nearest future; but as a fantasy world, it simply signalizes that its creators have a very poor understanding of social processes.

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    105. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Thanks for sharing

      Mango,

      As for part 1 smeagol: The point still is that since the first movie Frodo was set out on the journey to destroy the ring. You saw a flashback from Isildur not able to throw the ring into the fire. The journey then started with Frodo being the opposite of Isildur. He would be able to do it. In the end Frodo couldn’t do it, and it was in fact as you stated a fight between him and Gollum (not smeagol because smeagol died years earlier, Gollum is all that remains). And it still an accident that Gollum happened to fall into the fire at that moment. It was not deliberately done, not by Frodo not by Gollum to destroy the ring at that moment. Not a single character that was in mount doom though: Let’s throw Gollum into the fire with the ring that would destroy the ring. In fact it was a culmination of “accidents” (Fight, Gollum happen to fall into the fire with the ring), and in the end it didn’t matter because it did justice to the characters in that moment.

      As for with GoT. Dany set on a journey to end Tyrants with the help of her dragons. The Throne was a symbol of Tyrants ruling. And in the end a dragon destroyed the IT. It fits symbolic for the journey of the Iron Throne. And also the IT got destroyed the moment the last Tyrant that took ruling in Westeros got destroyed.

      And as for the legolas/ Dany comparison. As stated before by many it didn’t come out of the blue, Dany was already a very shady character the moment her brother died, Drogo talked about raping and making slaves of Westerosi, which at that moment she didn’t have a problem with, and the killing of MMD was pure evil and self-centered action in which she only felt her own pain instead of that of what MMD went threw, and the whole burning all her enemies. It wasn’t a plottwist on the eleventh hour. What it was was rushed, or maybe rushed isn’t the right word, but at least wrongly paced. The endgame of Dany made sense if you look at season 1 and 2. But the pacing was wrong. The first 7 seasons the build-up was done in a slow-train fashion, the train moved from 5kmph to 50kmph at the end of season 7, at the end of 8×04 we were at 60kmph, the beginning of episode 5 we were at 100kmph and at the end of the episode we were already at the fast-train speed of 300kmph. which made sense storywise from a character that is irrationally at core, but for a rational character as Dany it should have been more stretched out over the seasons. Especially season 4 till 6 she didn’t really progress that much in the dark-tones of her character.

      So I have to agree that it could have been done better, but for me the fault with that lies in season 5 till 7 that didn’t build that character the way it should have been build.

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    106. kevin1989,

      We can agree that the end failed to match how the characters were built over several seasons. We can agree that more work was needed. This mismatch between WHAT and HOW was intense in S8 but as you say it started way back. That actually goes for many characters.

      I was NOT a Daenerys fan. I thought her weapons of mass destruction were a threat to the Westerosi. I thought she was volatile. I wrote long posts on this website arguing AGAINST a Targ restoration. Even then, I was appalled at what GOT did in Season 8.

      Immersion in a story requires a certain level of emotional exposure by an audience. Storytellers need to respect that vulnerability. Sufficient build-up is needed for major events. Months ago, I had a discussion with another poster about surprises and imagination in stories and if stories run on tracks like trains. I argued for surprises. But violating the vulnerability of your audience is a sad thing. This is why so many people are angry.

      People are not only angry because their favorites’ fate as Carice seems to be implying. In fairness to the GOT fans many loved characters have died/failed and the fans have continued to love the story. (Ned, Oberyn, Tywin, Oleanna, Drogo, Tommen etc.). Many were surprised when these happened but never seemed to feel so violated.

      Also towards the end of the story, I think that storytellers have to be more careful. Audiences now have no time to grieve and to find a new “favorite”. People are going to be left having wasted their time and adoration unless you really tell your story with a deft hand. My view – Give decent, good or heroic ends (even if deaths) to anyone that even-half earned it. Or anyone that you did not make sure (many seasons back) was a wanton baddie.

      And so god’s sake, do not have Dotharki just regenerate at will. That suggests you think your “dumb” audience will accept anything.

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    107. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      A better way could have been found for the exchange between Yara and Arya. Having Arya speak to Yara in that manner undermined many years of character building for Yara.

      The exchanges Yara/Arya and Sansa/Edmure may have been intended to show that the Stark “kids” were now dominant adults. Somehow it made me think of Joffery and how poorly youth and power go together.

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    108. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      interesting read

      Mango,

      I still personally have the feeling that they shouldn’t have made Dany’s act a surprise. She already stated before in the episode that she will have fear then. So why let the audience think she changed her mind, instead of just going with it. Personally I like it when you already know what is going to happen but still “hope” it will not. They could have easily just had a scene with her and Grey worm where she stated that if the people of KL don’t choose her once she saved the city from Cersei, and they still choose Cersei, they needed to be eliminated. Then we had Dany making a rational decision which is in my opinion always what Dany does, (maybe she acts faster with it once she is angry, like with the crucifying of the slavers of Merreen, but I think it’s fair to assume she already though of that the whole trip to Mereen, which took days. and in the end she was “I’m just going with it, and nobody is stopping me”). And once the people of KL asked Cersei (Their queen) for help, we all know that Dany will go with her plan she had before and that KL is fucked. I think just 1 or 2 scenes were more needed in episode 5 to make it more in-character and believable.

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    109. Mango: We did not find out 10 minutes before the end that the real threat was that Legolas was batshit crazy.

      This comparison only works if Legolas had a titanic ego that knew no end, who believed he was destined to rule middle earth. It would require him to have Smaug as his son, who he uses to burn those who refuse to swear him eternal alligence or to feed innocent nobles to frighten someone into marrying him, it would also need constant use of war crimes on his behalf and for him to constantly threaten to burn cities to the ground.

      Dany’s evil side was constantly in our faces, her entire family is built on fire and blood. Legolas is barely a character.

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    110. kevin1989,

      Lots to agree with here.

      On the surprise issue, I concur.

      Surprises can be tricky. If they occur, I would go for delightful surprises rather than bad surprises. Delightful surprises are good events that when they happen in a story makes sense when you look backward over the story but you failed to anticipate while experiencing the story going forward. So it surprises when it happens, although it is NOT really a “surprise” – if you see what I am trying to say. Towards the end I prefer good surprises. Bad surprises are events do not make sense even when you look backward over the story.

      On another issue, GOT seems to have prided itself on gritty realism. Regenerating horsemen are not within that sensibility. And as beautiful as it was, neither are symbolic white horses bathed in light.

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    111. BeardedOnion: This comparison only works if Legolas had a titanic ego that knew no end, who believed he was destined to rule middle earth. It would require him to have Smaug as his son,who he uses to burn those who refuse to swear him eternal alligence or to feed innocent nobles to frighten someone into marrying him, it would also need constant use of war crimes on his behalf and for him to constantly threaten to burn cities to the ground.

      Dany’s evil side was constantly in our faces, her entire family is built on fire and blood. Legolas is barely a character.

      Perhaps to you, clever onion. But it appears the storytellers did not establish sufficient clarity for millions of fans – that is what matters. And within the story, it did not seem clear enough to clever Tyrion and good-hearted Jon. Missandei was completely fooled. Jorah as well. In terms of obviousness, the endorsement of Tyrion and Jon may have made fans miss some of the cues on Dany’s nature as well. In Episode 2, Tyrion’s brother asked Tyrion and got a very positive report on Dany. (I was not a Dany lover myself and thought Tyrion needed a slap!) Have I forgotten anyone?

      What? Legolas was big player in LOTR. He is a member of the fellowship! Did I forget?

      Wait, wait, who is Smaug?

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    112. Mango:
      kevin1989,

      “….On another issue, GOT seems to have prided itself on gritty realism. Regenerating horsemen are not within that sensibility. And as beautiful as it was, neither are symbolic white horses bathed in light.”

      Arya has always been associated with a white horse. Just two examples:

      (From S4e1) – At 0:00 – 0:03
      Arya: “When am I going to get a horse of my own?”
      Sandor: “Little lady wants a pony.”

      At 9:30 – 9:50: Little lady gets her pony – a white horse.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwQAZ7_SjgU

      ————-

      (S4e10, last scene) At 0:00 – 0:51
      Arya rides her white horse to port (asks to book passage north to the Wall, but captain says ship’s going to Braavos).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P55NDsmOK2M

      [This ending to Season 4 was by far the best season ending segment out of all eight. And Arya on the deck of the ship while the music swells was nicely bookended by her final scene in S8 on the deck of her Stark-sigil ship. ]

      I thought Arya earned the “symbolic white horse bathed in light” after turning away from vengeance and then surviving Dany’s Inferno.

      #ASNAWP👸🏻

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    113. Ten Bears: However, I noticed that Geezer Mel’s body was not among the corpses on the funeral pyres in the next episode. I suppose that would have distracted from the solemnity of the occasion, and diluted the impact of the tearful farewells to fallen compatriots by Sansa (Theon) and Dany (Jorah). It also could’ve gotten gotten weird, e.g.:

      Would’ve been a good spot for more Tormund comic relief. A cut away of the Giantsbane giving Mel’s 100-year-old withered carcass a little of the ol’ in and out, a good old fashioned corpse raping. Brienne, Jaime, and the rest of the gang just look on with rolled eyes, “Oh, Tormund.”

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    114. Mango,

      You have forgotten Davos who called Dany “just”, wanted her to marry Jon, and even jocked about switching sides after having a talk with Missandei.

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    115. Mango: Perhaps to you, clever onion. But it appears the storytellers did not establish sufficient clarity for millions of fans – that is what matters. And within the story, it did not seem clear enough to clever Tyrion and good-hearted Jon. Missandei was completely fooled. Jorah as well. In terms of obviousness, the endorsement of Tyrion and Jon may have made fans miss some of the cues on Dany’s nature as well. In Episode 2, Tyrion’s brother asked Tyrion and got a very positive report on Dany. (I was not a Dany lover myself and thought Tyrion needed a slap!) Have I forgotten anyone?

      What? Legolas was big player in LOTR. He is a member of the fellowship! Did I forget?

      Wait, wait, who is Smaug?

      Dany had great charisma added with her stunning beauty. She was also capable of being good but anyone looks good when freeing slaves. Fooling people isn’t exactly unexpected.

      Want to know one character who saw right through her good side? Daario. He literally pointed out time and time again how she is no ruler but a conqueror, made to destroy and subjugate. All her attempts to rule ended in complete disaster. She never once ended a massive problem peacefully or diplomatically.

      The people of Slavers bay chose her. The people of King’s Landing rejected her. She outright says people can choose to live in her new world or die in their old world (right after she butchered random nobles without trial, one of whom turned out to be progressive and against the killing of children). She sees the world in black and white. Always has. She couldn’t accept the people of King’s Landing rejecting her after years of imagining them welcoming her in open arms, everything she lost to that point felt like it was for nothing. They had to be punished. Much like the nobles of Meereen, she didn’t care who or who wasn’t innocent, they were collectively against her and for that they had to pay.

      Her main and mostly only redeeming quality is freeing slaves and trying to make more rights for the downtrodden, a very admirable trait no doubt. But she dehumanized the nobility of Slaver’s Bay to nothing more than “evil slaving bastards” and the audience went along with her because our modern sensibilities consider slavery to be completely vile. But it is a system that is drilled into their heads as a way of life and the main source of income for the cities. It’s not seen as evil to them. As such, you can very well have otherwise good people engage in the system. S4 had Hidzhar(?) come forward and say that his father was a great man who was against the butchery of children and he was progressive. Dany thinks he sounds like a good guy too, but then the bombshell drops that this man was crucified by Dany for murders he was against. People conveniently forget this and if it is brought up we are just told “he still engaged in slavery. But isn’t feudalism almost as bad? Peasants have virtually no rights and are mostly property of their lords. They hold very little wealth, they are forced to fight in wars against their own will, they are liable to be raped and tormented at any time, they live miserable old lives and virtually all the main characters engage and enable the system with no intent to reform it. With 2 exceptions. Dany and the High Sparrow.

      The High Sparrow, is exactly the same as Dany minus the mass murder and cruel method of burning people alive. He saw the cruelty done to the smallfolk in the wars constantly, he saw how they lived in extreme poverty while the nobles lived in luxury. He saw how the peasants had virtually no rights, no representation, and no protections. He felt great empathy for the downtrodden, he fed children and the poor in his opening scene. He is by all accounts, a great man if we apply the same standard we apply to Dany. He sees all the nobles are complicit in the feudal system and seeks to uproot them. We hate him for the unfair treatment he inflicts on the Tyrell siblings. We see Loras and Margery throughout the show and we see them as mostly decent people. But yet, their family was completely cool in starving King’s Landing in S2 just so their favoured noble can be crowned king, to further their own ends. Loras and his sister were aware of this and aided Renly in doing it so and gave no shits about the suffering of the smallfolk. Not even once. Imagine if we saw the story from High Sparrow’s POV, from his humble beginnings to his ascension as HS.

      Imagine we never saw any POV from the nobles but only ever the suffering of the smallfolk, would we care that some of the nobles were cool dudes who only abused their smallfolk a bit (the Starks, Tyrells)? No. We would only see the children who were butchered by the Mountain, the women brutally raped by Lannister soldiers, just like how we only saw Dany’s POV of suffering slaves. By the time the High Sparrow reaches King’s Landing and punishes the ruling class we’ll be cheering him to no end. We wouldn’t care if he acted a bit shady in handling the nobles because they would completely deserve it, all of them. Including the Starks eventfully.

      But we don’t cheer on the HS, while we do cheer on Dany. We never stop think of the Starks of Meereen or the Tyrells of Astapor, because to us all nobles of these regions are evil and that’s that, no one is capable of being anything but a mustache-twirling villain. We don’t see the nobles fears, their worries and wants. That makes it easy for us to accept the evil shit Dany did, including murdering random nobles through S4 and S5. Dany was always this way. She just started doing it to people we don’t see as cartoon characters, she started doing it to the people of KL (to her, sworn followers of Cersei). Only then did we see the wrong in it.

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    116. BeardedOnion,

      Lots to agree with here. Only change was that in the end she hurt strangers to most fans.

      I always thought that her view that she had a right to rule was dangerous. I always thought her overwhelming power compared to others was dangerous. I never supported a Targ restoration. Until Bran was appointed, I thought the Targ restoration was the worse possible political ending. (And I like Bran!)

      That does not mean that I thought that Daenerys would end up as a genocidal maniac. And that Jon would need to put her down like a rabid dog.

      I am no filmmaker but maybe would want more “markers” if this was to happen at the end of the series when her fans are most emotionally exposed. Perhaps give her a “maniac” episode earlier in the series either when Drogo or Dario leaves her and she is left with a lack of love even for a short while. Another poster today put up some nice ideas on the pacing and how it could be improved.

      Melisandre’s end was well received as so much was laid beforehand. We had seen her remove the necklace before, we knew her history with Davos, her fire abilities, etc. So it was satisfying to see it come together.

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    117. BeardedOnion,

      I think if you would compare lotr character to Dany I think Saruman comes the closest to it
      – Started off as a good character (the hobbit/ episode 1×01) and ended up being a bad guy.
      – Has magical powers/beings
      – Dany has the notion that she has the destiny to rule Westeros and that her magical beings can keep her there and get her there. Saruman has his own magic which gave him the notion that he could control Sauron.
      – Both feel justification for there bad actions.
      – You stated Dany forced somebody into marriage, Saruman forced Wormtongue to do whatever Saruman wants.

      Mango,

      I’m still wondering if one of those deleted scenes will add to the story of Dany’s turn. I remember when watching LotR theatral version that it was not that great, the pacing was to fast most of the time. And then the extended version was there, that made this story the best story there was out there. So let’s hope those deleted scenes are worthwhile.

      As for symbolism of the horse. For me it was not really about the horse, if they put a cat there or a pig or a giraffe it would have given me the same feeling. In all these horror and destruction, something lives. And that something and Sandor’s Arya endscene made it that Arya went away from her dark-vengeance streak towards a new path in her life.

      Mango,

      As for Tyrion, Jon and Jorah. Why didn’t they saw Dany for who she really is, but Samwell, Arya, Sansa, Varys etc did? The answer is pretty simple. They all 3 were in love. Jorah and Jon is obvious, Tyrion if you look too (it was also stated in the script of 7×07 if I’m not mistaken).

      And you tried to make a comparison between LotR and GoT, I think you should know who Smaug is in my opinion. There 3 Hobbit movies were about Smaug.

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    118. BeardedOnion,

      Agree fully.

      Mango,

      Well I cared for that mother and daughter, felt a bit like Karsi, a small role but somehow you felt for her directly.

      Agree about Mel’s story.

      And agree also with Dany’s story. I still think they should have gone with 2 seasons of 6 episodes of 50 minutes ca each. Having part 1 ended with the end of the WW treat (which the battle of WF should have been a 2 parter, 1 which we think the NK would win, and the second where our heroes won). And having part 1 of the season ended with Dany going after the II like Petra suggested. Then the endgame would have been 4 episodes of Dany vs Cersei and 1 episode of ending Dany and 1 what comes after that.

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    119. kevin1989,

      1. I read the LOTR book but not the Hobbit. I did not watch the 3 Hobbit movies. I did not even know there were 3 Hobbit movies – I know there was one Hobbit movie that came after LOTR series was done. I did not watch it or even keenly follow its contents. Plus it was along ago. Sometimes a franchise just goes on too long – I could not keep up.

      2.I assume that you are not suggesting that I thought it worthwhile to lie to a number of faceless persons on the internet. Do you think you are worth it?

      3. You know what – Just yesterday, I discovered how many Marvel/Avengers stuff was made. I was surprised to hear that Iron Man mentored Spiderman. Did you know that? The last time I saw Spidey he was living with his Grandma and was played by Tobeywhatshisname.

      4. Was Tyrion really in love with Daenerys? I thought he was trying to get back with Sansa in the crypt scene. Were Missandei and Davos also blinded by love. Davos seemed keen on marriage with Jon for Deanerys. Mel also seemed Ok on Daenerys. Daario was her lover and I was just told that he saw her for what she was – so at least he was clear eyed.

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    120. Mango: Daario was her lover and I was just told that he saw her for what she was – so at least he was clear eyed.

      I’ve always thought Daario was the only person who was really clear-eyed about Daenerys, despite being in love with her. I’ve always been confounded by so much of the fandom writing him off as little more than a lovesick puppy (albeit a very dangerous one).

      I’m also in the minority who thinks Daario might surprise us all and turn out to be an effective ruler despite his mercenary background. Stranger things have happened, and some of the advice he gave Daenerys was quite sound.

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    121. BeardedOnion,

      When you say “we hate the High Sparrow”, speak of yourself. As for me, I liked him pretty much. Sure, he developed hubris and became careless, so I felt little pitty to him. But in general, I would have preferred him to win against Cersei: sure, his attempts to fight profligacy and alcoholism were doomed and someone would have killed him sooner or later but I imagine he could have achieved at least some progress in this field.

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    122. Inga:
      When you say “we hate the High Sparrow”, speak of yourself. As for me, I liked him pretty much. Sure, he developed hubris and became careless, so I felt little pitty to him. But in general, I would have preferred him to win against Cersei: sure, his attempts to fight profligacy and alcoholism were doomed and someone would have killed him sooner or later but I imagine he could have achieved at least some progress in this field.

      I was speaking as a collective, the fandom as an overview doesn’t like him and view him as a complete villain,

      I found him very interesting and not a complete villain, closer to Stannis and Dany, though imo those two characters ultimately committed way more deplorable acts. HS seemed to genuinely look out for the little guy and wasn’t in it for himself. He was the ONLY character to win an argument with Olenna to the point he leaves her in silence knowing she lost.

      He also beat Cersei, handled himself well against various nobles and handled Tommen well. Very underrated character who gets overlooked because people found his religious speeches boring. Knew how to play the game too.

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    123. Mango,

      1. Smaug is the dragon that Bilbo Gandalf and the dwarfs defeated in the hobbit. The one that in the LOTR movie gandalf made a joke towards frodo: If you talk about the incident with the dragon, I was barely involved.
      After seeing the hobbit you know that Gandalf was the one that push Bilbo towards that adventure.
      As for the hobbit itself. Read the book, it’s pretty good, only 200/300 pages long. But skip the movies, except if you’re with the flue for a week and need a easy movie to watch. The movies aren’t that great of the hobbit.
      2. Of course not.
      3. I’m not that into Marvel universe, don’t really know anything about it. It’s not my cup of tea.
      4. Yes he was in love, it was stated in the script if I’m right it was 7×07 that scene where he found her and Jon in bed together, or the final of season 6 the scene with her that he console her.
      As for Grey worm and Missandei. Of course they follow her and love her etc Dany freed them from a live as a slave. And Dany did horrors to slavers and other that contributed to that lifestyle. So why wouldn’t they follow Dany unconditionally.
      As for Davos. He fell for her because of her story that Missandei told him, about Dany freeing slaves. And the act that Dany behold for others to see is something that people are easily persuaded by.
      Melisandre seems keen on Dany because Dany is the way to defeat the White Walkers. Mel was also keen on Stannis who burned his own daughter. I don’t think with Mel you can say, who she follows are good people, it are people that will help her in her quest: The defeat of the WW.

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    124. Wolfish,

      I think we need a sequel: The Tales of Daario Naharis Ruler of Mereen.

      BeardedOnion,

      Personally I would choose Cersei over HS. Not perse the person. But a bad queen can be followed up by a good queen or king. But what the HS would bring is very dangerous. A society ruled by the rules of a religion. I have nothing against religion, be free to believe. But I think religion as a ruling measurement is very dangerous. Our history showed it what happened when the pope was the one making the rules in Europe. Witchhunts, killing of gays in a brutal way, killing the ones not believing in the book. And the same has happened with the HS. Brutally murdering of sinners, imprisonment, torture etc. In the end that is much more dangerous. At least in my opinion. And I found the HS very hypocritical. He was against the rule of kings and queens, but now he is the one deciding who is right or wrong, who need to be punished, and how. It’s not a decision of many, it’s his decision. And in the end his need for punishment got him killed. If he only had listen to Margery on time.

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    125. Stark Raven Mad

      Thanks for the Arya YouTube link. That song is hauntingly beautiful on it’s own but combined with the Arya montage, it becomes physically moving. I admit that I had tears in my eyes.

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    126. Watching the season 4 episode where Dany hears about her cities of Slavers Bay have reverted back. She says ‘ how can I rule the seven kingdoms when I can’t even rule slavers bay?;. She at one time had a head on her shoulders. I look at her and hear her agony and just dont see this girl (and she’s not much older than Sansa) doing the deeds shes done, There were many instances that showed her ‘fire and blood’ stance. There were many seeds leading to it. Still its hard to believe she would have done that. Yet she did. There was so much potential there, but despite her advisors, kept listening to the voice of her brother instead.

      Re High Sparrow, oh yes he helped the poor, but was a horrible religous fanatic, cut from the same cloth as Melisande but for a different religion. They both demanded obediance and loyalty and made sure to deal with ones that didn’t toe the line. Huh, maybe there is a link between them and Dany, as she one upped them in that .

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    127. missed a few lines – she tells jorah, I will not sail to westerous,I will do as queens do,I will rule. And the only way she knew to do that is with fire and blood

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    128. Mango:
      kevin1989,
      On another issue, GOT seems to have prided itself on gritty realism. Regenerating horsemen are not within that sensibility. And as beautiful as it was, neither are symbolic white horses bathed in light.

      GoT is full of symbolism. And I mean full of it. Realism and symbolism certainly do not need to be mutually exclusive in a story, so Arya’s white horse is not at all out of place.

      Just take the Stark dire wolves. The names and personalities are all very symbolic of the Stark children. Ghost, for instance, has white fur (“snow”) with red eyes (“fire”, the Targaryen within).

      Then there is Needle that symbolizes Arya’s identity. Taken one step further, it also symbolizes how Arya and Sansa are very different but at the same time share so much in common and need one another (Sansa’s adeptness at needlework is both literal and symbolic of her diplomacy eventual politicking).

      There is also a lot of symbolism with Dany when she has her vision in the House of the Undying.

      A YouTuber by the name of Lucifer Means Lightbringer actually specializes in symbolism in ASOIAF as I recall. I’ve only seen him as a guest on other channels, but he goes deep into it, so there is tons of it in the books and show.

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    129. I feel you have hit the nail with that comment on Dany. Unfortunately her character, probably more than any other, is the most divisive in terms of how the fan base views her. Some saw her as a mad queen in waiting, others that she walked a fine line and could go either way and others still who saw her as a beacon for a strong empowered woman out to do good. The later in particular appear to have the biggest issue with how the story ended. Myself I am confused how people could not see this as a possible ending given the heavy foreshadowing of madness but equally I can understand, to some extent, criticism to the way it played out on screen.

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    130. In fairness to Jorah he was blinded by lust and desire for Dany and her beauty (especially in the books) so didn’t see her madness – I believe in the show he also missed key signals like the burning of the Tarlys, the slaughter of some of the Mereensese nobles etc.

      Equally Missandei was saved from slavery so would have some bias, she may forgive some of Dany’s actions because of this.

      It highlights to me the power of the beholder, the Starks having not seen any of Dany’s good deeds immediately picked up that she was a threat for example.

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    131. Jon Snowed,

      Sorry, but the Stark sisters who were brought at each others throats by Littlefinger just a few episodes earlier can hardly be taken seriously when it comes to judgements.

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    132. You say that but they both twigged Dany was dangerous and a threat almost immediately. The bigger gap for me was how Tyrion and Jon didn’t spot it sooner.

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    133. Jon Snowed,

      Actually, I can’t imagine how Jon or anyone else was supposed to spot anything. Take Tormund and the wildlings in general: they were shown to slaughter each and everyone in Gendry’s village and then in the Mole’s Town; however, as soon as Jon offered them fair treatment, they immediately became all good and honorable and never caused any problems. And the same rule applied to Dany until suddenly it didn’t.

      In general, the showrunners ended in a total moral mess: they kind of wanted to show that Dany was provoked to burn KL (though the setup was stupid beyond belief) but immediately afterwards rewarded all the provocateurs with the positions of power and/or personal freedom. So, it’s impossible to say what they wanted to say and I doubt that they know it themselves.

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    134. Enharmony1625,

      You do make a good point. The story is full of visions and symbols.

      Let me put it this way – the regenerating Dothraki was horrific storytelling.

      GOT does use visions etc to set up the storyline and character arcs. (The book has more due to the medium) However, lots of it is fairly straightforward and was done earlier in the story.

      I wondered what the white horse really meant which I why I asked. I did not see any particular change in Arya after it happened – she simply continued exactly as before if she then threatened to kill another character.

      It was interesting to hear how moving others saw the horse bit. Some viewers liked it a lot and thought it was a useful part of the story. There is such a diversity of opinions on various elements of the story.

      For me, the white horse segment was not the best use of time in a rushed season. The horse was so late and so indirect/contrived. It would be a more powerful use if she had died and the white horse was used to communicate that – not that I wanted Arya to die!

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    135. Jon Snowed,

      I thought Daenerys was a dangerous tyrant. However dangerous tyrants and mad person are two different things.

      I think many people vicariously enjoyed her power. Identification with her must have been a thrilling power trip. The story also gave her a lot of “freeing slaves” kind of tasks that seemed virtuous enough.

      Compared with Cersei who had no dragon but who was an unkind person – Daenerys may have seemed all sunny and bright.

      Tyrion and Jon were also endorsers of Daenerys and fans like them as well. So if you were inclined to like her, she came with excellent “references”.

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    136. 1. Did Bran offer any guidance on Daenerys? Since he had knowledge of her past actions, did he show his capabilities by making a strong, clear warning to Jon? Not just unspecific dislike as Sansa and Arya, did he call Jon aside and tell him she was a nut job? In that talk with Tyrion, do you think he warned Tyrion that Daenerys was a threat to everyone?

      2. We could say that if Daenerys was shown to deceive so many characters, she may have been written to deceive the audience. If she was clearly portrayed as a nut job, we would have lost faith Tyrion and Jon much earlier. It is puzzling that Tryion ends up so well.

      kevin1989,

      On older things:

      1. I did google “Smaug” as well. He is not in LOTR. Legolas had a big part in LOTR.

      2. I spent 30 minutes discussing the Avengers with a 16year old young lady. I did know about the finger snap but that was about it. Very convoluted story – something about infinity stones. Everyone seemed to be happy with ending to that series – it seems.

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    137. Fair call on the Wildlings but I do feel that was explained to some extent given that the Northerners initially perceived them as just violent and feral without realising they were just fleeing to escape the army of the dead. When they were given safe passage behind the wall the Wildlings recognised that they needed to behave and generally fell in line. The bottom line here was that prejudice was always there and they were perceived negatively without knowing why they attacked the wall. Still the show runners did kind of white wash them from the point they fell under Jon though.

      The Dothraki are similar I guess they were clearly never ‘good’ in the true sense, they rape and pillage for power yet after they fell behind Dany people were rooting for them. They could have shown their natural urges but had Dany keep them in line for consistency.

      Regarding Dany which provocateurs were rewarded with power, you mean Sansa? But harsh to suggest she was at fault for Dany burning Kings Landing and I say that as someone who has a low opinion of that particular Stark. If anything I suspect Dany always wanted to burn down Kings Landing and take it by Fire and Blood, it was only Tyrion and Varys stopping her from doing that. The final straw being the killing of Missandei and I agree that was poorly executed, almost rushed.

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    138. To be honest one of my biggest criticisms of S7/S8 is why Tyrion/Jon fall for Dany other than the fact she is attractive. She’s incredibly rude to Jon in their initial meeting the same for Tyrion, although I guess he did meet her at the lowest point in his life. It doesn’t mean she’s not without positives but the execution/rationale wasn’t perfect.

      As for the Dany stans, in my personal view it’s because she was a “strong woman” who rose from very little to a position of power. This is isolation is a good thing given the general male bias in most films/TV series but also it seemingly overshadowed her flaws.

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    139. Jon Snowed,

      Yep. And as much as people (myself included) say that there could have been more time given to her descent (particularly when it comes to her willingness to kill women and children), I very much doubt that a few extra scenes would have lessened the criticism and backlash. Especially from hardcore Dany supporters who have spent years defending her.

      That being said, it largely worked for me. It was a bit rushed, but not nearly as much as the criticism is making it out to be. It’s clear (from the show & books) that Dany’s descent was never meant to be a slow burn in the same way that Walter White’s was in Breaking Bad (since that comparison has come up a few times) where we get to see the steps along the way.

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    140. Mango,

      The change in Arya is not an external one, it’s very internal, hence the symbolism of the white horse and the light. It’s not about her changing as a person; that suddenly we’re seeing this new girl all about hugs and rainbows. No, it’s still the same old Arya, but like I said before, that inner darkness that she used to cope with her trauma by seeking revenge is gone.

      I’m not sure I quite understand your complaint at having this scene when you specifically mention the season as being rushed. Without this scene, Arya’s turn away from vengeance would be rushed, and be subject to the same criticism that season 8 is getting — that we’re only getting the bullet points and not the journey. This was part of her journey away from a life of revenge, which has been a big part of her arc, so it needed a significant moment to cap it off.

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    141. Inga,

      Jon: The way Dany introduced herself. He even stated that he is a prisoner walking free on dragonstone, Dany took his ships. But I agree here that that’s not really a reason to distrust her. But her “showing off” in 7×07 should give you some signs that Dany like to show off, the way she enters the dragonpit. 8×01 She threaten Sansa in the open. What do dragons eat? whatever they want. A person who can read people easily can easily see that that was a treat against Sansa. After that she even told Jon that Sansa needs to get in line or else. Samwell Tarly who can read people very good told Jon Dany is volatile. 8×02 the way she handled Jaime’s trial and keep defending her father and brother. When telling they are family her first concern is the throne, not that they are related, her goal for the throne is a higher priority then their relationship. 8×04 the way she talked to him about keeping the secret. 8×05 The burning of Varys, not the burning itself but Daný stance. And her talking about giving the people fear.
      Tyrion: Same as above where Tyrion was present. Burning of the Tarly’s. 7×02 the way she treat Varys, not that she does it because that is logical but the way she says it. 6×09 Dany wanting to turn Merreen, Astapor, Yunkaii to the dirt, including all the civilians living there, guilty or not. Tyrion talk her out of it and present her with a better plan. 6×10 she tells Tyrion she doesn’t feel anything by leaving Daario. It may not seem much, but that should have given him also a clue about who she is. and after season 8, that scene made lot more sense.
      About the difference between Thormund and Jon:
      – Jon gave him an option, work together, stop killing innocence etc. Thormund took that deal. Would Dany have done that? Or would she stay with her own principles? 8×06 give us that answer. No she wouldn’t.
      – Jon make sure Thormund follow his rule to an extend, no killing, no looting etc, Thormund adjusted himself to westeros. Dany wanted Westeros to adjust to her.
      – The reason why: Thormund fought for the freedom of his people, the people who else would have died and became the army of the dead. Dany didn’t fought for freedom for her people, the unsullied and Dothraki were already free. Dany fought for power when it came to the IT. Else she wouldn’t have a problem with Jon having a better claim, she knew Jon would be good for the seven kingdoms, but Jon isn’t her, and she wants to sit on that throne, not standing next to to see how Jon does a good job. That also a difference, the seeking of power, something Thormund doesn’t seek.
      Still I condemned Thormunds actions in season 3 and 4, but he made it right by fighting with his people side by side with Jon.

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    142. Enharmony1625,

      Many fans did not see Arya’s vengeance killings (of Trant and the Freys) as abhorrent conduct and a sign of a decayed soul. It was wildly cheered. So having a big scene of her salvation/turnaround was less important as she was widely never seen as morally compromised or tortured internally. She could simply have walked away from the mayhem and if would have been fine for me.

      So it is relative productivity of the time use. Given the tight time budget – the time may have been better used in earlier episodes to show Daenerys’ issues. I am not sure that the elaboration Arya’s inner change was the best use of the limited time they had if it had no impact on her later behaviour or storyline (except skipping the killing of Cersei, the one thing that she seemed most suited to do as an assassin. ) Seeing that she threatened to kill Yara, I am also unsure that vengenace is gone from Arya’s game.

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    143. Mango,

      Agree with the Dothraki part, I think that’s maybe because they filmed some episode 6 scenes before shooting the long night. And I remember that episode 5 was shot before episode 3. If I’m not mistaken Dany blasting the gates of KL was one of the first scenes shot. And it would have made more sense if Dany kept some dothraki in dragonstone

      Mango,

      Agree, I personally would have liked it better if episode 5 was more a rational action of Dany, giving fear + rooting out all that doesn’t follow her worldview, like she said in episode 5. She already made that claim, so they should have sticked with that. Even Tyrion’s story to Jon in episode 6 is more that Dany rationalize herself as the savior and that she is good.

      And else they should have let her right towards the red keep first, and after that she should have stayed in rage-mode to kill the rest of KL not the other way around.

      But still people change when grieving I remember that I changed from very rational person towards a more emotional-based person once my grandparents all died within 18 months. And I still carry that change with me. To much grief in short time that people can’t cope with because it’s too short between the bad things can really change a person for the worst. The structure of our brain can change because of that (I read some research of that).

      but still Dany changed back towards a more rational person in episode 6 that was just maybe a hour later then episode 5’s ending. So that change of rational, towards grief/irrational action towards rational thinking didn’t really translate that well. I think some more scenes could have made it better to understand what happened.

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    144. kevin1989,

      Yep. Many improvements were neededin S8

      Any thoughts on Bran and Daenerys…was he helpful in any way? He would have full knowledge of her actions – well as much as the viewers and perhaps more?

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    145. Jon Snowed:
      To be honest one of my biggest criticisms of S7/S8 is why Tyrion/Jon fall for Dany other than the fact she is attractive. She’s incredibly rude to Jon in their initial meeting the same for Tyrion, although I guess he did meet her at the lowest point in his life. It doesn’t mean she’s not without positives but the execution/rationale wasn’t perfect.

      Not onlywas it a bit off that Jon fell in love with Daenerys – this love connection was the foundation of major emotional beats at the end when Jon had to kill her. Perhaps even the emotional highpoint of GOT.

      Belief in this “deep love story” was supposed to support much of Jon’s conduct and the dramatic tension in Season 8.

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    146. Mango,

      about dany, 2. Agree I think it was done intentional. There’s a reason why GRRM chose her to fight slavers, evil rich men (Xaro for instance) because a big portion of the audience can relate to that, that they are evil. We all value our freedom, so somebody stopping a system that is pure evil we will see as good and a savior. And also many people in the world have a huge resentment for the rich and people with power and Dany fought for the people who didn’t have power or money, so many people can have a sense that Dany is fighting for them also.

      Mango,

      1. Lord of the rings universe I meant. Like we see the prequel as a series set in the game of thrones universe.
      2. As for avenger. I watched one movie of marvel with family with that fury creature, and Chris Pratt. And I could talk about every marvel movie with friends because all the movies have the same build up and ending. Somebody dies half hour before the end of the movie, and in the last scene they somehow are shown to be alive. Personally I don’t like that. And I also could predict which character died in the last movie, because it made most sense, even without watching the first movie with Thanos. I think the reason why people liked Avangers (came from a friends mouth why he liked it): – visuals amazing visuals 2. Easy watch. 3. It won’t surprise you with big plottwist that will break your heart, like Ned beheading/ Red Wedding/ Dany turning dark etc. It end as you saw the ending before you watch it.

      Jon Snowed,

      Agree. For me it would have been more interesting (especially season 7 which I still think is less got-great then season 8), that we knew Dany was already a dark person in the season 6 final. Her 6×04 ending could have been more darker. And that she can put that dark side to rest for a while before it is needed again. That she can put on a mask for the world to see.

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    147. Enharmony1625:
      Jon Snowed,

      That being said, it largely worked for me. It was a bit rushed, but not nearly as much as the criticism is making it out to be. It’s clear (from the show & books) that Dany’s descent was never meant to be a slow burn in the same way that Walter White’s was in Breaking Bad (since that comparison has come up a few times) where we get to see the steps along the way.

      I did not watch BB but that series was widely acclaimed as excellent. I am glad you said that they were clear in BB – so maybe that is why the audience was OK.

      Perhaps the best way is to let the steps be clear along the way. I mean here – clear going back from perhaps the early seasons and clear all along. Cersei-level clear as a “bad” person even if the major switch occurred late. Otherwise, people feel (with some reason!) that it was an unfair switch that happened late in the game.

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    148. Enharmony1625,

      That’s why I think they should have shown the fans already her dark side in season 6, and I mean really dark side. Dany in the show is always a bit lighter then the book version. I think GRRM will show us already a dark Dany at the end of winds, where we see her dark thoughts throughout the last book. But I think D&D wanted it to be a shocker for the last season. A last “red wedding twist”. And maybe a bit afraid that people wouldn’t watch season 7 if Dany was already too dark there.

      Enharmony1625,

      +1

      Mango,

      Yes but every season have points that need to be improved. I mean did we really need that many boobs in the earlier seasons? I always skipped those. And the only scenes I skip. (skip on rewatch)

      But this is the last season so people are harsher. And a lot of problems of season 8 are the problems of the earlier seasons. It’s not only season 8 that is at fault for some mistakes.

      As for Bran. I don’t think he can see all futures, I think he sees visions. still he needs to interpreted them like Melisandre did. (And maybe he sees the best future in his visions, so meaning that those needs to happen). I think he knew there was something off with Dany, that’s why he push everything to the best outcome there was. Dany always have that darkness in her, meaning it can come out anytime. It could have come out in WF if they pushed her to much there, it could come out later when she already sat on the throne and establish power through-out westeros, which could have made her destruction even bigger scale. The dotraki and unsullied already scattered throughout westeros. So maybe this was the best outcome. KL is burned, but the rest of Westeros and the world is spared because Jon acted directly. but if she would have sit peacefully first on the throne and went on a dark streak later it would have been whole westeros in ashes.

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    149. Jon Snowed,

      When it comes to Tyrion the problems start in S6. Pacification of the Slaver’s Bay was like an ultimate test for Dany as a ruler and to Tyrion as her advisor and we were told that they managed to untangle that knot with minimum bloodshed: under Tyrion’s wise advise Dany burned one ship, Grey Worm killed two slavemasters, the Dothraki slaughtered a bunch of Sons of the Harpy, and allegedly that was it. By default, we could also assume that Dany and Tyrion did many other things to develop a new and better system of economical relations, like rules for hiring workers, maybe some compensations to the masters, etc. One way or another, it was implied that Dany and Tyrion were working together for months; that they succeeded in solving a major socio-economical crisis and that, as a result of such cooperation, not only Dany recognized Tyrion to be a worthy hand but also Tyrion recognized Dany to be a worthy ruler.

      So, if Dany passed the ultimate test of pacifying the Slaver’s Bay without turning it into a slaughter, and Tyrion’s emotional acceptance of the Hand pin was certified that what the viewers were supposed to think? That Dany was “the right kind of terrible” I suppose. Even when it came to the burning of the Tarlies: how was that different from cutting the throats of two slavers who were lured into a trap under the pretense of negotiations? Or how was the fire-and-blood attack on the Lannister army different from the fire-and-blood attack on the slavers’ ship or even Casterly Rock (both suggested by Tyrion)? And last but not the least, if Tyrion really wanted to take KL with minimum bloodshed, why didn’t he try to organize a revolt? The showrunners made him look like an idiot whose only solution to the problem was to treat with a person who refused to treat and then made him Hand to a new king (LOL).

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    150. Mango,

      Breaking Bad is a show that I highly recommend. Season 1 is a bit slow, but only 6 episodes. Season 2 is much much better, and season 3 till 5 are master pieces.

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    151. kevin1989: But this is the last season so people are harsher. And a lot of problems of season 8 are the problems of the earlier seasons.

      Sorry, I have to disagree. There is one reason why the final season actually fails.

      Jon Snow’s lineage, the rise of the Walkers, and the years-long winter cycles are all tied together, along with the 3ER.

      Instead of picking ANY explanation/outcome of this fundamental part of the series, D&D tossed it all in a bin to give Arya an implausible stunt kill, rendering any motivations of the existential threat irrelevant.

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    152. kevin1989,

      (1) I do not mean if Bran could see the future that Daenerys would have done that.

      A library of knowledge of the past in his head should help him make “evaluations” of the individuals that he encounters in the present/future. Otherwise, he is the same thing as a library/citadel with just a different search function.

      Sansa and Arya made a judgment on Daenerys’ as a person. We are discussing what the fans should have known based on her based on knowing her past actions.

      The question is – Did Bran show any sufficient usefulness about this critical issue? For example, he could have warned both Jon and Tyrion that she was not a good queen based on his knowledge of the past. This what we are asking the viewers to have done. Did he say enough?

      As King, he is going to need to be able to be more than a living library.

      2) Yes, I agree that there were mistakes in earlier season particularly 7,6 and 5. However, fans grimaced and hoped for the best. When you make some many “mistakes” in the final season, there is no recovery and fans are bruised for good. My view, make sure your mistakes are “life-affirming, feel-good errors” if you are going to have them.

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    153. Well, I just wanna spit out some thoughts in one big shot, why not. xp
      Mel was so old that her body disintegrated straight to dust and blew away, so I didn’t expect to see her on a pyre. xD
      I enjoyed her so much that I wished Mel could have stuck around a bit longer and helped out some more with getting a decent ruler on the throne…but I’m glad she got one of the best endings. Sought no adulation/thanks/credit/acknowledgment in person, just gracefully stepped out of her long time on Planetos.
      However effective the Dothraki charge was, it would’ve been exponentially less so with regular, flame-free arakhs.
      I figured she returned to Volantis to “power up,” so to speak…consult, study up, reconnect with some of her roots, that kind of thing. Definitely hoped for a scene there, where I assume she saw that Arya would successfully kill the NK. >_>

      Didn’t think Arya had to mount a gleaming white steed to represent “saving her soul,” which wasn’t endangered; she only had one more target, who had just died anyway, so…^p^ That bit had me eye-rollin’. Certainly would’ve been wise to at least check with Bran regarding “the resteros,” which could just be the eastern coast of Essos. Arya had always been one of my top favorites, but like others of those (including/especially dumbbell-Tyrion), she began to irk me in the final season or two. Didn’t care for her I’ll-kill-you attitude with Yara (ladies, your names are the same four letters rearranged, try to get along please…) Speaking of getting along, ugh, Arya should’ve admired and adored Dany…D-x< Did not think Dany threatened Sansa to Jon–felt like an implied "If she can't respect me, there'll obviously be issues, it won't look good, we can't have a positive and productive relationship…"

      Omnisicent King God-tree-birdman Bran still isn't sitting right with me; feels Big Brotherish, plus the guy kicked back all season and let everybody die without trying to help at all…except for little things that ultimately led to him being crowned. If he's got some kind of noninterference policy (when it suits him?) then what good is he (geez, thank goodness the Lord of Light doesn't…)
      S8 had TONS of work to do wrapping up an incredibly complicated story full of intriguing characters and plot threads which didn't necessarily wind up paying off as well as one would've expected them to–one of the primary problems being that it was the very last chance for that to happen, for everyone and everything. No future seasons to hold out hope for.
      And yes, my biggest problem with the last few episodes was that I did not buy Mad Queen Dany. She spent seasons learning to become a better and better ruler. She knew the people of Westeros were not actual slaves, nor drinking secret toasts to her health. She knew she'd have to earn their love. Particularly ater she helped save the realm while Cersei did zilch, that task should've been…why, super-easy, barely an inconvenience! They did nothing, really (idgits should've packed some essentials and cleared the area where a battle was clearly about to go down; I know I wouldn't have stuck around, even without the call for evacuation that probably should've come from Team Dany. But even so…) They didn't indicate support for Cersei or do anything against Dany. Suddenly viewing them as enemies or obstacles to the latter's new world was bizarre…I could (very reluctantly) accept it as a symptom of a total mental breakdown, but not view it as consistent with her normal character. I believed and hoped that the "Mad Queen" possibility was a red herring. I had all faith in the strength and resilience of Daenerys Targaryen, until I read those accursed leaks and, sure enough, heard them telling me through other characters, "Sorry but she has to lose it." Dx<

      I did think that Drogon was displaying some level of awareness that the throne had ultimately been at the center of the mess which took his mother away, first mentally and then physically…if only he could've refused to obey her commands when they didn't seem "right," forcing her to realize that she'd been about to make a huge mistake and snap back to sanity! Still, I'm headcanoning a nice resurrection by Kinvara (in her former state)–or at least a proper burial near her ancestors.
      High Sparrow? Great character. Great actor. Hated the guy. There was an element of pleasure watching Cersei’s scheme blow up in her face—until she literally blew it up, along with Margaery and Loras and a load of other innocents.
      *~*~*
      On a wholly different note, I can’t possibly urge people strongly enough to do themselves the enormous favor of watching as many of Carice’s films as possible (and listening to her sing as much as possible.) I’ve seen about two dozen and would recommend them all, if only for her performances (some more powerfully than a few others, but ultimately all.) Many are on Amazon/iTunes or YouTube; unfortunately others do have to be downloaded.

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    154. Mango,

      I don’t think Arya killing Trant or the Freys was abhorrent, but it certainly raises some concern. I know many cheered these killings on, but the story is clearly framing them as dark and violent acts. Then there is her whole arc with the Faceless Men that is really a metaphor for losing one’s very self and identity. That’s part of the danger of the path she’s on, and even though she leaves them at the end of season 6, her revenge arc is still very much alive until Sandor pulls her away from it. It absolutely required that kind of scene to bring that part of her story to a close.

      I am not sure that the elaboration Arya’s inner change was the best use of the limited time they had if it had no impact on her later behaviour or storyline (except skipping the killing of Cersei, the one thing that she seemed most suited to do as an assassin. ) Seeing that she threatened to kill Yara, I am also unsure that vengenace is gone from Arya’s game.

      Wildly disagree! The inner struggle and resolution within Arya is something we absolutely needed to see because that’s the core of her story arc. Anyone who just sees Arya as “the revenge character” is failing to see the deeper meaning in her story.

      Also, way too much is being made of Arya’s threat to Yara. I mean, come on.. that has nothing to do with revenge. Here we have Jon, who has saved humanity twice over, who has done nothing but fight for the north, died for it, and continues that fight against all odds.. and Yara wants him executed because he killed Dany? Of course Arya (and Sansa) are going to defend him! After all their family has been through, fought for, and suffered..

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    155. kevin1989,

      Yeah, that’s a fair point about Dany. Since we have access to her thoughts in the books, we might not be as an abrupt turn as it was in the show. But then again, it might be hard to really tell now because we already know the twist. i.e. We might have read it differently if we didn’t know that Dany was going to eventually burn down KL.

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    156. Enharmony1625,

      Ok. It is just a difference in preference.

      Arya is a favourite of mine. I did not cheer her killings and I thought them abhorrent and primal. (I thought also they (mostly Trant’s) did not reflect well on her as a trained person as I found it inferior in technique compared to what “elegance” Jaquen showed for top-end assassin killings.)

      Yet even after you clarified the white horse meaning, I still found it an indulgent use of the storytelling time. I did not love it or even find it convincing if she was still going to be portrayed as a violent badass. Just walking away would have been fine with me. Was her revenge list not already all complete anyway?

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    157. Enharmony1625,

      In the series, what Arya’s actions did you find was an expression of her losing her identity? As you were not appalled at the killings, did her inner struggle have an outward expression that shook you sufficiently to show the need for an elaborate show of soul-saving for that part of her arc?

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    158. I largely agree with you although my interpretation was that Dany was far from loved when she left Slavers Bay, more that all sides were glad to see the back of her. She came with positive intent but largely left a mess behind with no clear plan to sort it out other than for mercenaries to keep the peace.

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    159. kevin1989,

      I agree with most of this, but disagree with this interpretation

      She threaten Sansa in the open. What do dragons eat? whatever they want. A person who can read people easily can easily see that that was a threat against Sansa.

      Its a very very old punchline, and she and sansa share a look and a smile after it was said. It was not a threat, just a funny quip. That being said, I think Dany came across as very rude when she met Jon,as well as others, and think she assumed instantly that others were going against her,so she needed to be on guard

      I also think those who Sansa say insulted Dany were wrong when she asked about how she was going to provide food for the unsullied, dothraki and dragons. Shes the Lady of Winterfell and honestly does need to know these things

      I also wondered about the change in wildlings, but I think this changes after Jon and Tormunds face to face; they suddenly saw things in shades of grey, not just black and white. Ygritte even says to jon when he says they are all alike ‘they why are you fighting us?’ Ollie however, did not change, and I didn’t expect him to, poor child

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    160. kevin1989,

      You know my attitude to Sansa’s utmost misconduct in 801: it was not only rude but also incredibly unnatural. It’s not how people meet allies, at least not in my part of the world, and whoever breaks the law of hospitality deserves to be fed to dogs. I might have forgiven Sansa and other northerners had they redeemed themselves later, but as it stands the North is just an insult to every independence-seeking nation. Period.

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    161. Mango,

      Not onlywas it a bit off that Jon fell in love with Daenerys – this love connection was the foundation of major emotional beats at the end when Jon had to kill her. Perhaps even the emotional highpoint of GOT.

      Belief in this “deep love story” was supposed to support much of Jon’s conduct and the dramatic tension in Season 8.

      This. I did not for one second buy into this love story. Lots of lust, but really no chemistry there. I understood the dramatic tension when he had to kill her, but it still didn’t feel real.

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    162. Shelle,

      Omnisicent King God-tree-birdman Bran still isn’t sitting right with me; feels Big Brotherish, plus the guy kicked back all season and let everybody die without trying to help at all…except for little things that ultimately led to him being crowned. If he’s got some kind of noninterference policy (when it suits him?) then what good is he (geez, thank goodness the Lord of Light doesn’t…)
      S8 had TONS of work to do wrapping up an incredibly complicated story full of intriguing characters and plot threads which didn’t necessarily wind up paying off as well as one would’ve expected them to–one of the primary problems being that it was the very last chance for that to happen, for everyone and everything. No future seasons to hold out hope for.

      His character was wasted after he returned to winterfell, with the exception of his comments at LF trial. I did not buy that he was the person to become ruler. Lots of work and shadowing had to happen before this made sense.

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    163. Mango,

      Ok, so.. Arya’s story has two major themes: identity and death. In terms of identity, we see that conflict right from the start in that she doesn’t quite fit in and doesn’t identify with the kind of person she’s expected to be. That theme is carried further when she takes on new identities/names in order to survive; in a way hiding the true Arya.

      The true test of her identity happens when she joins the Faceless Men. She wants revenge against those who have destroyed her family, so she wants to learn the skills necessary to become an assassin but at the cost of losing her identity — becoming No One. This works both literally and figuratively, in that becoming No One is an actual thing in the story, but it’s also about losing herself in the pursuit of revenge and how if she stayed on that path (and with the FM) she’d become an empty vessel for killing, just as Jaqen is. So it’s her very desire for revenge and the skills needed that leads her to the FM and giving up who she is. And she almost goes through with it too. In season 6, she does at one point declare that she is No One after she drinks from the pool.

      Let me clarify my feelings on her killing Trant and the Freys. I don’t think they were abhorrent or appalling because those are very strong words. But those killings were concerning. I had mixed feelings of satisfaction (because they all deserved to die) but what does it mean to be capable of carrying out those killings? It’s definitely dark and disturbing, and we see the effects they had on Arya when she reunited with Hot Pie and later Sansa.

      Hot Pie asks her point-blank, “What happened to you, Arry?” He, and we, can see something has changed in her. Her blank stare, almost emotionless presence — she has one thing on her mind: Cersei. Her reunion with Sansa is nice at first, but quickly turns sour when they are played against each other. I’m not a fan of how that was all executed, but what the show was trying to achieve there is Arya having a difficult time reconnecting with her family and her old life because of how she’s changed. Even though she’s since left the FM because she could not abide by their ways of killing innocent people (she could not give up her identity as Arya), “No One” is still in her. That experience from being trained by the FM is still there; that unfeeling, cold, killer mentality that resurfaces when she feels threats against herself or her family.

      Fortunately, Arya and Sansa reconcile and accept one another, and to me this is the first step in her reclaiming her humanity and really abandoning that “darkness”. But it returns after she kills the Night King when she decides to go after Cersei. She even says to Sandor after he declares he has unfinished business in King’s Landing, “So have I.” Her deciding to go to KL is 100% revenge-motivated.

      My interpretation of why she decides to go after Cersei at this moment is that she still feels unsatisfied.. rudderless in a way. So she resorts back to her list, which was such a big part of giving her purpose and motivation to keep going through her trauma.

      So given that even though she left the FM, she still had a mind to pursue her revenge. Even after reconnecting with her family, her crush (Gendry), and saving humanity, she again decides to pursue that thing that has driven her for so many years. She absolutely needed a final, decisive saving from one of the few people who really understood her, to pull her once and for all away from that dangerous and empty path. Thank you, Sandor! 🙂 That resolution of her arc was represented both by Sandor literally saving her, and then through the white horse carrying her away from death.

      #ASNAWP

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    164. Enharmony1625,

      I never really understood why Cersei was on Arya’s list in the first place. I mean, I get that Cersei helped facilitate Ned’s downfall, but only after Ned threatened to bring Cersei down. Cersei also didn’t want Ned to be killed. That was all Joffrey. Hell Tywin facilitated the Red Wedding and he never made it on Arya’s list, so why did Cersei?

      When I step back and think about it, Cersei had about as much to do with Ned’s death as the Hound. The Hound helped Meryn Trant subdue and kill the Stark supporters in the Throne Room on Cersei and Joffrey’s orders.

      Based on that, Arya should have either taken both the names off her list or kept them both on. Arya’s determination to kill Cersei at all costs isn’t really as justified as if might seem. Not that I would have minded.

      I do agree though that Arya started to use the list as a crutch and as a motive to keep going. She really didn’t have anything going for her other than revenge once the events of season 1 played out. “Rudderless” indeed.

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    165. Mr Derp: I never really understood why Cersei was on Arya’s list in the first place.

      Other than generally relating her to Ned’s execution, I believe it was mostly for Cersei’s part in the incidents on the Kingsroad. She had Sandor on her list because of killing Micah, but blamed Cersei as well for backing Joffrey and demanding a (her) direwolf be killed. She knows it would have been Nymeria had she not sent her away. Anything Lannister involved afterward was going to include Cersei whether she directly participated or not.

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    166. Mr Derp,

      I concur on Arya’s list. It was very much a list made from the perspective of a child. I think even the executioner was on it despite him just being at work that day poor Ned was in deep trouble. Cersei really should not be there – but for me, she could still have dealt with Cersei.

      Enharmony1625,

      Lots to agree with here.

      Although I think if one needs a big visual “white horse” metaphor of her salvation (beyond what points we had already), I hoping for your specific visual on the other side if the killings were not that for you.

      If it is her whole arc as you describe it. I am OK without white horsy given the time used for this feature. Arya had several indications of reclaiming herself – telling Jaquen she is Arya and heading home; turning at the fork and heading home; still heading home after seeing her dog again; participating in family affairs etc. and then Sandor’s service. I found these sufficient given she was still a violent person as Yara found out.

      As for rudderless, that gave me chuckle as she did leave on a ship.

      (I do not know what kinds of ships need rudders, so I am thinking all do. Maybe she used a steering oar as a rudder)

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    167. Mr Derp,

      Exactly! This is why I made a point in an earlier post why it does not make sense, and would not serve the story well, to have Arya kill Cersei. I think we can all understand why a 12-year old would put part of the blame on Cersei for the downfall of her family, but the reality is.. Cersei wasn’t directly involved with much against the Starks. Her biggest and most direct involvement was the death of Lady.

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    168. Mango:
      Enharmony1625,
      Although I think if one needs a big visual “white horse” metaphor of her salvation (beyond what points we had already), I hoping for your specific visual on the other side if the killings were not that for you.

      Let me put it this way, the white horse and that whole sequence is the flavour in the story. I forget who said this in a criticism of season 8, but they were talking about the lack of flavour. They felt it was just moving from one bullet-point to another, without the grace and connective tissue to make it all work. So if anything, we needed more of these kinds of scenes. Sure, we could have used more of Dany, but not in place of Arya’s white horse scene. We could have used it in addition to it.

      Ultimately that sequence produced amazing visuals that I and many others won’t forget. That sequence will always come to mind when I think of how Arya’s story ended. I loved it! Stories (especially in a visual medium) need these kinds of scenes. We want and need these to make the story memorable and unique!

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    169. Mango:
      As for rudderless, that gave me chuckle as she did leave on a ship.

      Heh! That was intentional. Ultimately, she (and everyone else) needs a purpose.. a direction in life. This is why this ending for her is so perfect. Once she gave up her vengeance, she needed a new purpose.. one that was true to her spirit and who she is.

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    170. I wouldn’t jump in this discussion, but it’s evolving so nicely, I thought I might leave a note or two.
      I don’t think that Jon was supposed to be in love with Dany. The story as it was had a “romance” that was undercut each and every time these two shared common scenes, whether it was bend the knee/ominous voice over/dragons/superior claim/powerplay and whatever. It was written like that on purpose and it was supposed to be questioned and doubted, otherwise why write it like that, why direct it like that? Jon only said to Dany that he loved her once and Dany understood the opposite. “Let it be fear”. It was the most eloquent scene between them. If I had any doubts, this particular scene cleared it for me. Remember, everybody says that Jon is in love with Dany, Sansa, Tyrion, Varys, but not Jon. He had no such issues with Ygrit, he told her he loved her more than once and he knew they were on opposing camps. So why did they write the Jon-Dany romance like that? They could have just as easily give us all the looks and sighs and the tropes that go with it all. It makes no sense, unless it wasn’t what it was supposed to be.
      While, on the other hand, I do think that Tyrion was in love with Dany, for many reasons, but mostly because of the look of pure adoration he gave her when she named him Hand. Actors are specifically directed to act a certain way, and in that scene PD was probably told to be like that (I don’t think that KH received a direction like that btw, save perhaps the killing scene, but that was emotionally charged anyway). And I do think that Tyrion will be in love with Dany in the books too.
      But in the end, if someone was clearly in love with Dany, that was D&D (both). They completely wiped out the Starks in seasons 7 and 8 and made it all about Dany. I think they too believed in the beginning that Dany was the ultimate hero, Azor Ahai or something; the blond girl that starts as the underdog, fragile, scared and powerless, who rises through the challenges and becomes this all-powerful, god-like, flawless, superhero with a solid moral compass. The problem is, that Martin is one for subversions of typical tropes and he has stated that he doesn’t like clear-cut heroes because they are boring. He also said that the villain is the hero of the other side, which means, that to some, in-universe, but also outside of it, Dany is a hero. The problem is, what happens with the rest of them who don’t see her as a hero, but perceive her rather as a threat (eg Sansa, or the Tarlys).
      So Dany meets Jon back in season 7, and that scene was imo one of the best in the entire series, which encapsulates the entire political problem in GOT. We have an assertive, self-righteous, entitled ruler or rather ruler to be, and one who rose through the ranks and war to become king. “You are in open rebellion”. Ok, only she forgot that Cersei was sitting on the iron throne, so the rebellion wasn’t against her. Dany didn’t want to gain an ally, she wanted to gain subjects. And that was a bad start for Westeros. Dany took a king and turned him to nothing; he gave up his throne, his name and ultimately his family to support her claim, and what does she do? She threatens his family, and then she burns KL.
      They took a nicely set up political thriller and turned it into a personal story about Dany and her need to be loved, adored and seen like a godess, while at the same time they ignored entirely the personal stories of the Starks, who are central to ASOIAF according to Martin. The surviving Starks became Dany’s satellites. There was absolutely no political plot or political interest in season 8, and the Starks were swallowed up in Dany’s story. This is why their endings all feel unearned. Even Jon’s parentage turned out to be not about Jon, but about how it contributes to Dany’s instability. We don’t know what Jon thinks about this major change of identity. Some said that his ep6 scene with Tyrion imply that Jon tried to defend himself against the allegation that he too, is a Targaryen, which Tyrion even brings up in the conversation, but the entire discussion is so blurred because of D&D’s need to speak to the audience, that it hardly makes sense.
      In the end, none of the political complications, or the magical/apocryphal implications were addressed in the final season. Season 7 set up a good plot, but most of the plot points went completely down the drain or were underwhelmingly or disappointingly addressed in season 8. Dany’s pregnancy or expectation of it; Cersei’s pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage; the burning of the Tarlys; the food issue; the Golden Company; Jon’s curious “bend the knee” situation; Bran’s unwillingness to assume any responsibilities; Melisandre’s going to Volantis; Jon’s parentage.
      I’m sure I can find more if I think about it harder. Not to mention I can find even more if I go backwards, eg Jon’s insane foreshadow that he’ll be king in KL (the blue flowers in the glass pannels of the throne room), or Cersei’s prophecy (how’s Bran for “the younger more beautiful queen”?)
      The overall impression, now that time has lapsed from the ending, is that they were going for a better, much more complicated story, which they ditched at about the time they edited season 7, even before it aired. By removing Cersei’s miscarriage scene they simplified the story immensely, because a miscarriage would have led Cersei to insanity by connecting to the prophecy; she’d have used the GC more and better against Dany and the North, and she’d actually have a role to play in season 8 (apart from having Missandei decapitated), she’d have tried (because that’s what she needed) to break up the alliance of Jon and Dany, and this would have given Jon a motive to move south. It would have been a political plot, other than the personal one they gave us (the threats against Sansa and Winterfell).
      But no. We have what we have.
      Sigh.

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    171. Enharmony1625,

      I like this.
      Mr Derp,

      I

      never really understood why Cersei was on Arya’s list in the first place. I mean, I get that Cersei helped facilitate Ned’s downfall, but only after Ned threatened to bring Cersei down. Cersei also didn’t want Ned to be killed. That was all Joffrey. Hell Tywin facilitated the Red Wedding and he never made it on Arya’s list, so why did Cersei?

      Did she know that it was Joffrey? She barely knew him and may not have heard the real story (or what ever she knew she learned in the theatre group). She may have just assumed it was Cersie and never had that challenged. (interesting how moved by Elsies scene with dead Joffry in the play. Surprised she didn’t consider that when she thought of Cersie) And no one seemed to know that it was tywin who started it, except Bolton and Frey, so I wouldn’t think she’d pick up on him as well (besides he treated her very well at Harrenhal – and I do think he knew who she was- so it wouldn’t occur to her that he was at fault)

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    172. ash,

      Cersei was unfairly vilified. In S7e2, when Melisandre met with Dany and Tyrion on Dragonstone to tout Jon Snow, I was perplexed by Tyrion’s reasoning that Jon would be a potential ally against Cersei. Here’s an excerpt of the dialogue, and my reaction:

      ***
      Mel: “Prophecies are dangerous things. I believe you have a role to play. As does another the King in the North, Jon Snow.”

      Tyrion: “Jon Snow? Ned Stark’s bastard?”

      Dany: “You know him?”

      Tyrion: “I traveled with him to the Wall when he joined the Night’s Watch.”

      Dany: “And why do you think the Lord of Light singled out this Jon Snow? Aside from the visions you’ve seen in the flames, that is.”

      Mel: “As Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, he allowed the Wildlings south of the Wall to protect them from grave danger. As King in the North, he has united those Wildlings with the Northern houses, so together they may face their common enemy.”

      Dany: “He sounds like quite a man.”

      Mel (to Dany): “Summon Jon Snow. Let him stand before you and tell you the things that have happened to him, the things that he has seen with his own eyes.”

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

      Me: “Uh, Tyrion…
      (1) You’re a Lannister too.
      (2) And you knew Cersei didn’t have Ned executed; that was idiot Joffrey.
      (3) You also knew that Cersei had nothing to do with conspiring to murder Robb. That was all on Tywin.
      (4) Jon Snow did not have “more reason to hate Cersei” than Dany” did. I’m not sure he had any reason to hate her at all. (Not to mention that Jon Snow does not visit the sins of one family member against another.)

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    173. Alan Strangis,

      So problem of WHAT instead of HOW. And I have to disagree, Arya was always supposed to defeat the WW. Look at the discussions before the series where we only got book 1 till 4 people were saying arya was destined to destroy the WW treat.

      Mango,

      1. I think he knew, exactly when he was talking to Tyrion before the WW treat. The biggest question is why did he hold back some information, maybe to make sure the best outcome come into play.

      2. Even season 1 had it’s problem, we didn’t need that boob quota of the episode.

      Enharmony1625,

      Agree, and about Arya, personally I disliked her in season 7 because of the Sansa/Arya fuss, I really disliked that dark-Arya back then, luckily it was an act done by Arya to find out the truth.

      And as for treating Yara, Arya was right as you said, Jon is a hero, he killed a Tyrant. One that killed more then half a million of a day. Jon should be sheered as a hero, the only reason why that didn’t happen was that the Dotkraki and the unsullied were the boss in KL at the moment. Personally I think this is more a assult on Yara’s character. Because she wouldn’t follow Dany after what Dany had done.

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    174. Enharmony1625,

      Agree, but there are more signs already in book 5 then in season 7. Look at her thoughts that she is tired of ruling and sitting in one place and want to go on to the next adventure/ liberation. For me it’s already know that she doesn’t like ruling but want to liberate the whole world rather.

      Jon Snowed,

      Agree

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    175. ash,

      Agree, but for me that felt like a treat of Dany to Sansa, especially when she later tells Jon that Sansa needs to get in line or else. And I think Jon knew the dark side of Dany, he cut that sentence short before Dany could utter it.

      And agree Sansa did nothing wrong. (except episode 4 telling Tyrion but she did it to protect Jon)

      Inga,

      If you think in real life that doesn’t happen, I think you’re wrong. Yes in the open they all keep on the farce, but even Obama admitted that House Of Cards was right in one thing in the background lots of power-play is happening. Or do you think for instance that Trump and Kim are just happy behind the scenes how they are when camera’s are on them?

      As for the introduction. Did you forget Dany, the moment the northerners were scared when her dragons arrived. A big smile got on Dany’s face. Yes good thing to scare your people you want to rule, and it’s a good thing to like that.

      Sansa only questioned how everyone gets to eat. And it’s a good question. especially when her dragons eat 20 goats on a bad day. 1 person can eat a week on one goat. (I think). I mean it’s not really good if all the people starved to dead before the NK arrived.

      And Dany needed to learn that a leader doesn’t always get the love they want, still they need to do their job. Look at my country, our premier gets lots of insults in his face of social media, and a lot, even I would never vote for that party, but still I have to hand it to that man, he still does his job even when half the country dislike him. That’s a leader, not what Dany wants is to be loved 100% of the people she rule, that’s something that would never happen with not a single leader.

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    176. ash:
      Enharmony1625,

      I like this.
      Mr Derp,

      I

      Did she know that it was Joffrey? She barely knew him and may not have heard the real story (or what ever she knew she learned in the theatre group).She may have just assumed it was Cersie and never had that challenged. (interesting how moved by Elsies scene with dead Joffry in the play.Surprised she didn’t consider that when she thought of Cersie)And no one seemed to know that it was tywin who started it, except Boltonand Frey, so I wouldn’t think she’d pick up on him as well (besides he treated her very well at Harrenhal – and I do think he knew who she was- so it wouldn’t occur to her that he was at fault)

      Arya was there when it happened, so she definitely knew.

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    177. kevin1989: Personally I think this is more a assult on Yara’s character.

      I agree 100%. I was terribly disappointed by how Yara was treated in her last scene, which could have been far more poetic—seeing the young man her brother died saving ascend to kingship, seeing Arya take Theon’s place at sea, having Tyrion openly acknowledge what he told Daenerys in S7 (words to the effect of “The Ironborn have their Kingsmoot; it isn’t a perfect way to choose a leader, but they DO choose”).

      kevin1989: Or do you think for instance that Trump and Kim are just happy behind the scenes how they are when camera’s are on them?

      I think the former certainly is, yes. He actually believes that much in himself and his “genius,” the deluded buffoon.

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    178. kevin1989,

      As you might expect, my love for Arya never wavered. 🙂 But I can understand why some had a problem with part of her season 7 arc. I do think we needed to see that “dark Arya” in order to understand how her experiences had affected her, and how her pursuit of revenge was starting to consume her. I just wish they had executed it better..

      kevin1989,

      True. I’ve only read the books once (and seen the show at least 5 times through), so my book-only memory gets a little fuzzy I have to admit.

      Wolfish,

      That absolutely would have been a far better sendoff for Yara. I guess they needed to have someone else on Dany’s side so that it wasn’t so one-sided against Grey Worm and the Unsullied? But yeah.. a shame that Yara didn’t get a better sendoff. And earlier in the season she fully supports Theon going back to fight for the Starks, and now she wants Jon executed because she still supports Dany?

        Quote  Reply

    179. kevin1989,

      It’s impossible to discuss Dany’s actions because the behavior of the northerners is simply nonsensical. By the moment Dany and Jon arrive, they already know that the Wall has been breached and that the AOTD is marching upon them (later Sansa mentions that she has already issued spread the word). Anyone in their place would have been for the dragons to make it to Winterfell before the Night King and cheering their arrival on their knees. Their reaction was simple madness. And the only reason for this madness was that Dany had to go mad in Ep5: they couldn’t make her go mad without everyone else going mad.

        Quote  Reply

    180. Inga,

      Everything in s8 was written to drive Dany mad, but the people’s reaction is normal (imo). It has been established that Northerners are distrustful and difficult. For all they know, they had a king, they were independent, so why cheer for Dany to whom their king bent the knee? They wouldn’t see her as liberator, they’d see her as a conqueror, because that’s what she did, she subjected a people that had recently gained its independence by proclaiming a king once again.
      And why would they cheer for the dragons? They’re cool in fairytales, but not quite that cool when they’re flying above your head. Remember Martin? “Sure, dragons are cool, just not at your doorstep”. The people haven’t seen what Jon has seen; they haven’t seen the Others, they haven’t seen the dragons in action. Jon knows that they won’t make it without them, but at this point, even when he arives, hardly anybody believes him.
      That Dany doesn’t have the common sense to acknowledge that simple people, poor peasants who don’t even know how to read or write, don’t bear the same responsibility as their leaders do, or have the same accountability, is one of her worse flaws as a leader. But it rather connects to her need to have blind followers and not people who think for themselves and question her decisions.
      Now that I think about it, if they meant to prepare the audience for what’s going to happen to KL, where the people had the same reaction, is was rather badly written and too little.
      Sorry Inga for jumping in.

        Quote  Reply

    181. Inga,

      No, the reason why the northerners did that, is because they are racists fucks, for better wording. And of course Dany is the daughter of the Mad King. So I can understand many be cautious.

      Inga,

      Personally I didn’t understand that Gendry didn’t chose Arya’s side. Was him becoming lord more important then the personal connections he made. Felt not like Gendry. He became what he talked about in 3×10 to Davos about high lords.

      Efi,

      +1

        Quote  Reply

    182. Efi,
      kevin1989,

      Oh, my sweet summer children, what do you know about standing against impossible odds? Tolkien knew that so I guess that’s why in his novels no-one snarked at the elves when they arrived to aid the humans at Helm’s Deep. (Sorry, couldn’t help.)

      Anyway, there are tons of historical precedents proving that people tend to welcome any potential savor when they find themselves under threat disregarding the level of literacy or racism or whatever. Conflicts do arise but later: for instance when the savor disrespects some local custom or fails the expectations in another way. If the showrunners wanted a conflict between Daenerys and the northerners, they should have made some Dothraki to grab some northern girl and built the whole thing around that.

        Quote  Reply

    183. Inga: If the showrunners wanted a conflict between Daenerys and the northerners, they should have made some Dothraki to grab some northern girl and built the whole thing around that.

      Then we’d never hear the end of the complaints about how the show is using rape as a plot device. It’s always something.

      Like most debates, I fall somewhere in the middle here. I think it was understandable that the Northerners would be weary of a “foreign queen” especially since they’re always so adamant about their independence. At least, independence from anyone other than the North. They seem to be perfectly ok with bending the knee to other Northerners though.

      However, I do think the amount of hostility that she received from the North was over the top and unnecessary. Especially since they all knew that the AOTD had breached the Wall and they needed her help to survive. They could’ve at least TRIED to make it work instead of just shitting all over her from day one.

      *Shrugs* Perhaps they already knew that the AOTD was completely useless and meaningless, which the audience found out after episode 3. (j/k 🙂 )

      Dany didn’t really try that hard to make it work either though. She enjoyed intimidating the Northerners with the dragons and never really attempted to show that she’s one of them. She just expected them all to fall in line on their own, which was incredibly naive.

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    184. Inga,

      The elves didn’t arrive in the books, probably because Tolkien knew that wouldn’t work (just kidding). That was all Peter Jackson, and as far as I knew he never fought in a war like Tolkien.

      Tolkien also didn’t believe in character development. He believed people with trauma were just broken, instead that somethings happening in life just change people. You are what you are when you were young. He also was a heavy advocate for monarchy. For instance if Tolkien would have written GoT, Arya would never went on her vengeance streak, because she wasn’t in season 1, so she would never become that. He would also never had redeemed Jaime, because Jaime was the evil man in season 1 so his whole story he is the evil man. Tolkien was very black and white.

      And also didn’t he write the grudge the dwarfs have against the elves? even when they are having a council to work together to destroy the ring, they were against each others throats. “No one trust an elf”. So probably Arya and Yara having a moment is not so strange after all when taking Tolkien as a master writer in account.

      And as for Dany the savior, no the northerners didn’t saw Dany as a savior. They saw her as the mad kings daughter, with dragons (instead of just wild fire), that manipulated their king Jon into bending the knee, and is taking their north away once again with an army of savages. Unsulied are known for killing machines in Westeros, and Dothraki for raping and pillaging. So how would they trust Dany? by hoping she is not her father? If that’s the case why did they hate all Lanisters if family didn’t matter. Did also count for the fans, remember 7×04 when fans were happy Dany killed that many Lannisters. They didn’t care if some were good or not. Do they hope the Unsullied wouldn’t massacre them if Dany would give the option. That the dothraki wouldn’t break their oath and just raping and pillaging their lands. Or that one of the dragons won’t go on a killing spree because they couldn’t be controlled. I personally would never trust what Dany brough, even with her good intentions. And I would be torn between trusting what I know and the words of Jon who said that she could be trusted, but at the same time having other’s that you trust not trusting her.

      And if you look at 7×04, the north did trust her then. They only didn’t love her like they loved Jon.

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    185. kevin1989,

      Adding: Which is also something Dany lacks. patience. She made one step closer with the northern folk, first they didn’t trust her and probably even hated her somehow. after episode 3 they seems to acknowledge her help and they seem to trust her, but not love her. She made one step but she expected that that step would be more, that after that they love her unconditionally. Same thing with episode 5. If we believe D&D explanation, she snapped because she saw her home, she didn’t have the patience to wait a couple of days or weeks to starve Cersei out. If she had more patience, she would just have barricaded the red keep with soldiers, drop her dragon of outside KL and make sure the people would get behind her by showing her that she will wait if that meant the safety of her people. It would have taken more time, but a better result.

      Mr Derp,

      Agree fully, both groups were stubborn as Cersei trying to hold onto the Iron Throne.

        Quote  Reply

    186. Mr Derp,

      Oh. I did forget about that. But then the question is why focus on Cersei? Just because she wanted to kill Nymeria? Also wonder why didn’t some of her attitude about Cersie change after she saw the scene on stage where Cersies character is over come with grief? Or she just figured, she knew other things in the show were wrong so assumed this was as well.

      Mr Derp,

      Dany didn’t really try that hard to make it work either though. She enjoyed intimidating the Northerners with the dragons and never really attempted to show that she’s one of them. She just expected them all to fall in line on their own, which was incredibly naive.

      Naive is right; remember in season 4 when Jorah asks her what do queens do, and she said ‘rule’. Some how she though thats all she had to do but had no sense how. Same here. This was her idea of ruling, but without having any clue that what she was doing was working.

      So much of what happens in this show is the lack of communication between principals, which is what happens in RL of course and thats what causes conflict. If only Dany’s brother was a role model for her. If only she learned at a young age to interact with others and got the give and take of it all? If only Jon would have told her why he was acting so strange (or Dany at least asking ;hey you ghosting me?) But she didn’t, she was naive from moment one, and to the last moment when she still belived she would give the whole world fire and blood. She may not have been made, but she was brought up to act just this way without thought of consequence

        Quote  Reply

    187. ash,

      And I would almost call it idiotic instead of naive. After all the experience she gained in Essos you’d think she would’ve learned a few things here and there. And honestly, right before she left to sail for Westeros I thought she actually had a pretty good head on her shoulders and was learning how to rule better.

      Unfortunately, like most characters in this show, Dany’s IQ dropped about 100 points in season 8 in order to check off the necessary boxes and get the characters where they needed to be at the end.

        Quote  Reply

    188. Mr Derp:
      ash,

      Unfortunately, like most characters in this show, Dany’s IQ dropped about 100 points in season 8 in order to check off the necessary boxes and get the characters where they needed to be at the end.

      And this accounts a lot of the destruction of what should have been a better ending of GOT.

      We had new characters unveiled for S8 performed by the same familiar actors that were playing the original characters for the S1-S7. It was doubly confusing as these new S8 characters had the same names as the original S1-7 characters and even worse were played by the actors that played the original character. Just that the new S8 characters were much dumber than the original S1-7 characters were at the end of S7 just 2 years ago.

      You had to be there….

        Quote  Reply

    189. Inga,

      Yeah, perhaps they should have chosen a different story, but then it would remind a bit ep5 with Arya’s mixing with the crowd in KL. Plus, it’s not that classy (let’s face it). I thing the whole thing was to remind people that Dany shares a bond with her dragons: she’s worried and perhaps sad, and the dragons fly over, and she regains her confidence through them. It was unfortunate and too little like everything else.
      EC nailed it, but she had directions to look as smug as possible in that scene, which is telling of Dany’s frame of mind. Again, time and acting are of the essence in any show; in GOT much more, it seems, as it was dramatically shortened and condensed this season. EC was directed to act as she did and she was superb, considering the poor script (well not so poor for Dany’s character).
      There may be many historical precedents of people cheering “saviors”, but there are also precedents of people looking just like the Northerners upon such self-proclaimed saviors. My people are like that, lol. We don’t like anybody around here, especially when they show up with guns. The grander they become, the less we like them. And all conquerors tend to have a “savior” agenda.
      Someone once wrote a series of long metas on Dany with the title “a savior in her own mind”. The point being, if I remember it well, that she builds an idea around herself that she believes, but she is in reality unable to figure out the complications created by her actions, which (most but not all) are well-intended. She doesn’t have the patience to deal with the problems generated by such an abrupt change of situation that she inflicts upon people.
      It’s almost the same with the North. The North was seeking for an alliance; Dany was seeking subjects. Of course she had a point. Of course the North had a point. But after demanding from the North to give up its independence she should be expecting that she wouldn’t be well received, and Tyrion, the gallactically stupid smug advisor she had, should have known because he’s the Westerosi one. Not to mention that Tyrion was the one that offered an alliance-turned-subjugation; did he really think that a Lannister would once again force the North to submit to the South and cheer about it? (that’s a rhetorical question, of course he did, he’s too overconfident for his own good)
      And, aren’t the elves the good guys? did they come to subjugate anyone? I don’t know.
      (You’ve been listening to Grey, haven’t you?)

        Quote  Reply

    190. Alan Strangis: Sorry, I have to disagree. There is one reason why the final season actually fails.

      Jon Snow’s lineage, the rise of the Walkers, and the years-long winter cycles are all tied together, along with the 3ER.

      Instead of picking ANY explanation/outcome of this fundamental part of the series, D&D tossed it all in a bin to give Arya an implausible stunt kill, rendering any motivations of the existential threat irrelevant.

      With due respect, I don’t see Jon’s lineage being tied to the rise of the Walkers, the seasons or the 3ER, except in one way. He was the Prince that was Promised, set to end the erratic seasons and get rid of the existential threat. Which he did. Later Bran told Jon he was where he needed to be. If Jon (and Theon) were, so was everyone else.
      But Jon was the visionary, missionary, arms supplier, ally-maker, and leader of the effort. The final triumph was truly his.

      TOGETHER is a key theme of the season, even the title of one of the teasers. If I recall correctly, at one point, Davos points out Jon died and was brought back for them. In many sub-storylines, people came together for a purpose and then went separate ways. In the major storyline, The War for the Dawn was Jon’s, but humanity still had to come together to win it. The Allies combining to win WWII and then going their very separate ways is a clear analogue (expected from one of GRRM’s generation). Likewise, the Iliad.

      In the event, part of that UNITY was Arya giving the final blow. It was unlooked for but not implausible. There’s considerable foreshadowing from the very first two episodes that she had a special relationship with Bran, that she hit her targets, that she was the family’s defender, and that she had some association with life and Death (and Mercy). She’s also had unsettling associations with various gods. In S1E2 the Catspaw Assassin told Bran’s mum, “You’re not supposed to be here. No one is supposed to be here. It;s a mercy, really.” Later, Arya would become No One and be tied to the theme of Mercy. The Dagger itself, now anointed with Catelyn’s blood, had long been an instrument of fate. It was solemnly bestowed upon Arya by the 3ER himself. Once Arya’s line about seeing the FAce of Death was in the promo, it was clear they would meet. And thanks to Melisandre reminding her to say “Not today,” it was not likely to be fatal to her. Though we all held our breaths.

      D&D didn’t commit to it definitely being her until three years ago, but she had every right to be a serious contender. I’d have preferred it took more time and had been later in the season. You’re right–not all questions were resolved, especially the Night King’s motivations. But the king is dead, long live the king. Mayhap it will be explained in the prequel.

        Quote  Reply

    191. Stark Raven' Rad,

      “There’s considerable foreshadowing from the very first two episodes that she [Arya] had a special relationship with Bran, that she hit her targets, that she was the family’s defender,”

      ________
      7/10/2019, 9:58 am
      Prelude to Reply:

      I embedded in a reply some links to scenes illustrating what you wrote (especially that “she hit her targets). However, I suspect my reply will get delayed in Moderation Purgatory, since that often happens with comments that include multiple links.

        Quote  Reply

    192. Stark Raven' Rad,

      Yes. It was established that Arya “hit her targets“, and was her family’s defender. Here are some illustrative scenes.

      • S1e1 Archery practice: Bran misses the target completely. From behind, Arya’s arrow zings through the air and nails the bullseye.
      at 0:45

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3McA5fYmxc

      _____________

      • S3e6 Arya practicing archery
      at 1:01

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4049iH6WHxA

      Anguy: “Never aim.”
      Arya: “Never aim?”
      Anguy: “Your eye knows where it wants the arrow to go. Trust your eye.”
      _______________
      • S7e4 Bran offers Arya VS dagger
      at 2:10

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3iQmRAIHJQ

      Arya: “Are you sure? It’s Valyrian steel.”
      Bran: “It’s wasted on a cripple.”
      …………..

      • S7e4 Brienne compliments Arya’s VS dagger.*

      at 0:38 – 0:49

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mWKRXV7gFk

      Brienne: “Nice sword. Very nice dagger.”

      * [And at the end of the sparring match, Arya demonstrates the hand-to-hand dagger flip she’d use in S8e3 to pulverize NK and save Bran – and everyone else at WF]

      _____________

      S8e1 Gendry notices VS dagger when Arya asks him to make custom-designed double-tipped dragonglass spear
      at 1:59

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sur2q0zVctA

      Arya: “Can you make it?”
      Gendry: “What do you need something like this for?”
      Arya: “Can you make it or not?”
      Gendry: “You already have a sword.
      (Notices dagger on her hip)
      Gendry: “What’s that? That’s Valyrian steel!”
      ____________

      S8e2 Arya knife-throwing: She tosses three dragonglass daggers in the same spot, impressing Gendry
      at 2:10

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1nYfWtnWIs

      __________

      S8e3 From WF battlements, Arya fires flaming arrow into wight about to attack Sandor

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FHnNh0wSKY

      👸🏻🔪🏹🗡

        Quote  Reply

    193. Stark Raven' Rad,

      Quick questions – Did Arya know that Valyrian steel was effective with the NK and WW?

      Was it discussed at the battle planning session? Of course, Jon knew, was anyone with Valyrian steel assigned to the stay close to Bran as they awaited the WW & NK? I remember them discussing if dragonfire was effective with the NK and Bran did not know. Did Jon say at that time that Valyrian steel was effective with WW and perhaps the NK? I do not recall.

      If Bran intended Arya to protect him or kill the NK with the dagger, why was she not closer to where Bran was located? Why did he not tell her himself instead of Mel?

      Did the Bran offer any insights about Daenerys as a trustworthy queen given her past history?

      Why did Bran not know where the AOTD were positioned after they broke the Wall. Did he randomly stop tracking the AOTD. It was Tormund that told Jon that they were a day’s journey away?

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    194. And since this post is about Carice, why didn’t Brienne kill Mel? Did she think that Stannis made the blood magic all by himself?

      She knew her as Stannis magic lady. Mel was with Stannis when he treated with Renly and Renly made the ham joke. Brienne was there.

      (I seem to have forgotten a lot. Not my incredulity at S8, though! So if anyone has the time!)

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    195. Mango,

      No, none of it was discussed. Theon offered to stay with Bran, and no one told him, “here, take this valyrian steel sword/dagger, you’ll need it”. (lol) Arya didn’t know either. And the inside the eps never suggested that Arya knew how important Valyrian steel would be in the war. If Bran knew, he let it all happen just like that, randomly, no planning apart from making himself a target. There was not discussion about the White Walkers and how to kill them, or about Valyrian steel, and if my memory doesn’t deceive me, neither about dragonglass either. This one was discussed in s7 among Northerners.
      Actually, I had thought too that Brienne might as well kill Melisandre, because Jon/Davos would be too obvious, and reaching the point of hanging her would be underwhelming. Brienne swore to avenge Renly’s death, and her sword is named Oathkeeper (for Sansa, but still, oaths are Brienne’s thing -that’s why her not being close to Sansa is weird, and ending up by Bran is even weirder).
      This is one of the reasons why I think that they were going for another story. Mel’s trip to Volantis was of no consequence to what we saw in s8, at least none that made it to the screen. People had theorised after s7 that she was going to get the Fiery Hand or sth similar, and there’d be at least conflict there; Kinvara believed that Daenerys was the princess that was promised, but Mel believed it was Jon. We never saw what happened with this, but he got the short version of the Fiery Hand, the lit-up swords of the Dothraki. (now that I think about it, why did Mel not light up everybody’s swords?)
      Mel’s death in ep3 was poetic and sad. But her destiny was rather to be sacrificed as another Nissanissa, and Brienne could well execute her (out of rage and not after having been commanded) for completing her vengeance for Renly –neither Jon nor Davos would execute someone for magical reasons.
      And Arya is no princess that was promised (simply responding to other comments). The prophecy is about Jon, one that unites people. Her killing the NK was a good moment, but totally surprising and didn’t make sense. Mercy? We didn’t see Arya in s8 practicing mercy. We saw her giving up on revenge, and that’s different.
      For some reason, I always believed that dagger was Rhaegar’s (it shows up in Sam’s books at the Citadel). I think it should have ended up in Jon’s hands.
      Oathkeeper and Widow’s wail should be reforged into Ice. The two swords ended up in WF anyway, protecting the Starks. That’s poetry; that’s symmetry, and it’s Martin’s.
      But we got what we got and that’s the end of it.
      To paraphrase Martin, it was good, and bad; and good and bad and good.

        Quote  Reply

    196. Efi:
      Mango,
      And Arya is no princess that was promised (simply responding to other comments). The prophecy is about Jon, one that unites people. Her killing the NK was a good moment, but totally surprising and didn’t make sense.

      Here is a Tweet from History of Westeros (because he put it better than I’m willing to right now):

      Jon was brought back to organize the realm against the coming darkness. He *absolutely*, 110% fulfilled the heart of what Azor Ahai was prophesied to do: lead humanity to the battle for the Dawn.

      Ppl are all hung up on who actually struck the killing blow but that is *not* part of any of the prophecies. A lot of y’all need refreshers on the AA/ptwp/stallion wmtw prophecies. They are all about being a leader, a uniter. Not a fighter.

      – Source: History of Westeros, Twitter, May 1, 2019

      Seriously! Stop it with this idea that it didn’t make sense for Arya to strike the killing blow. IT DID MAKE PERFECT SENSE! It just shows your own ignorance of the story more than anything. Full stop.

        Quote  Reply

    197. Enharmony1625,

      Arya was in fact the Princess that was promised, as part of the bridge-crossing agreement between King Robb and Walder Frey.

      (S1e9: Catelyn reports back to King Robb after negotiating deal to cross the Twins)

      King Robb: “Well? What did he say?”
      Catelyn: “Lord Walder has granted your crossing. His men are yours, as well. Less the 400 he will keep here to hold the crossing against any who would pursue you.”
      King Robb: “What does he want in return?”
      Catelyn: “You will be taking on his son Olyvar as your personal squire. He expects a knighthood in good time.”
      King Robb: “Fine, fine…And?”
      Catelyn: “And Arya will marry his son Waldron when they both come of age.”
      King Robb: “She won’t be happy about that.”
      Catelyn: “Hmm.”
      King Robb: “And?”
      Catelyn: “And when the fighting is done you will marry one of his daughters. Whichever you prefer. He has a number he thinks will be suitable.”
      King Robb: “l see. Did you get a look at his daughters?”
      Catelyn. “l did.”
      King Robb: “And?”
      Catelyn: “One was… Do you consent?”
      King Robb: “Can l refuse?”
      Catelyn: “Not if you want to cross.”
      King Robb: “Then l consent.”

        Quote  Reply

    198. Mango:
      And since this post is about Carice, why didn’t Brienne kill Mel? Did she think that Stannis made the blood magic all by himself?

      She knew her as Stannis magic lady. Mel was with Stannis when he treated with Renly and Renly made the ham joke. Brienne was there….

      Well, besides Brienne, there were a whole bunch of people with good reason and motive to kill Melisandre the minute she rode in:
      (1) Davos
      (2) Jon Snow
      (3) Gendry (leech rape + avenging cousin Shireen)
      (4) Arya

        Quote  Reply

    199. Mango:

      Quick questions – Did Arya know that Valyrian steel was effective with the NK and WW?

      As you know, many of my ‘answers’ are guesses or speculation. She probably knew about the WW because weapons and their efficacy is something she is keen on. Probably nobody except perhaps Bran truly knew about the NK because there was no precedent. He gave her the Dagger that had been sent to kill him. We know it was in Sam’s book. And it had some ‘powerful’ components besides VS: dragon bone, dragonglass, a ruby, maybe gold. Very often in fairy tales and legends a special sword/weapon is needed for some special task. That Dagger may have been the only weapon that could kill the NK.

      Was it discussed at the battle planning session? Of course, Jon knew, was anyone with Valyrian steel assigned to the stay close to Bran as they awaited the WW & NK? I remember them discussing if dragonfire was effective with the NK and Bran did not know. Did Jon say at that time that Valyrian steel was effective with WW and perhaps the NK? I do not recall.

      I just watched the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stxbg4FuM2I&t=90s. Nobody mentions VS. Jon does say that getting to the NK is their best chance but they can’t get too near or they’d frighten him away. Bran accepted Theon’s offer of Ironborn protection, perhaps because Theon wanted to make amends. Arya asked about dragonfire, and we later learn it didn’t work. BTW, AFAIK she did not show Jon her dagger, so he probably didn’t know she had VS.

      If Bran intended Arya to protect him or kill the NK with the dagger, why was she not closer to where Bran was located? Why did he not tell her himself instead of Mel?

      Who knows? He’s a terrible communicator. But he seemed to know the outcome– even when the NK was about to kill him, he looked unperturbed. At first Arya–unaware of her ‘mission’–was defending the ramparts. But later, as soon as Mel clued her in, she ran to the godswood. Incidentally, she used dragonglass, not the Dagger, against wights. Perhaps she was afraid of losing Bran’s precious gift in a melee.

      Did the Bran offer any insights about Daenerys as a trustworthy queen given her past history?

      Not that I recall. If he really knew how the final Endgame was going to play out, perhaps he didn’t think it worth mentioning to anyone. He did say to Theon and later Jon they were where they needed to be. Probably everyone was.

      Why did Bran not know where the AOTD were positioned after they broke the Wall. Did he randomly stop tracking the AOTD. It was Tormund that told Jon that they were a day’s journey away?

      Great question, one I don’t recall anyone asking. Maybe it’s one of the notorious plot holes! In any case, once the AotD and NK were south of the Wall, it was only a matter of time. But in the first courtyard scene, Bran interrupted the rising Sansa-Dany tension saying they didn’t have time for “all this” because the NK had the dragon and the dead were marching south.

        Quote  Reply

    200. Carice Van Houten had one of the more difficult roles in the series. In a story known for being a “gritty, realistic” fantasy tale, she played the only one of the humans who was endowed with truly supernatural powers — and who actually wanted them. Such powers are generally malevolent throughout the story, and hers were as well — except for her ability to resurrect Jon Snow, which was undeniably benevolent.

      She also had to play a fanatic whose faith was badly shaken, then fully restored. This is not a role usually found in modern drama, as fanatic characters (e.g. High Sparrow) are rightly despised by modern audiences. Melisandre had her own redemption arc, and Carice Van Houten played it perfectly.

      Her character’s exit was one of the best deaths of a series which had many. (Was it a suicide?) Her striding off to her appointed doom was an amazing end to an amazing character, and we have Ms. Van Houten to thank for making it so easy to watch.

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    201. Enharmony1625,

      I didn’t call you ignorant, but I’m not going to sustain that I know the story better than you or anybody else either.
      And why is that person from History of Westeros an authority on ASOIAF? Is it his?
      The quote you just uploaded says exactly what I’ve said. It’s about being a leader. Jon is a leader. Arya is not.
      The only problem is, the way that quote is structured, it seems like the author fell into Martin’s trap. The prophecies are not the same. They’re different prophecies about different people.
      Melissandre confounds them all together, and people believe it. It’s the POV trap.
      If you ask me, I don’t know who the last hero is, but tptwp is Jon, Azor Ahai is Daenerys.
      And that’s it for me. But then again, I’m not an authority.
      If anybody claims to be, perhaps he/she should enlighten some very confused readers…

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    202. Ten Bears,

      Do you honestly think that this promise means something to the story other than it being a simple negotiation for a bridge? Robb is not a POV character, neither is any of the Freys. Catelyn is, but how important would that promise be in the war against the Others? Ned’s promise was a promise for life.

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    203. Stark Raven' Rad,

      Sorry, but if we take the overall story of the ASOIAF as a parallel to the WWII, I have to say that unless Bran represents a more successful version of Stalin who used the Night King/Hitler for infiltration purposes, this parallel has been conceived by a very uneducated person who has been living under the rock for the last 30 years ignorant of the findings of modern historiography.

      And in general, I thought that the show had two overarching themes: death and children. Death was was the enemy in the form of the NK but also an ally in the form of the Many-Faced God. Hence, I expected some sort of coming to terms with death at the end of the story and wanted the NK’s undoing in the form of mercy/gift of death, as well as Arya becoming a figurative priestess of the MFG, rather than just a trained assassin + Dora the Explorer.

      When it comes to children, it was very much about being responsible/not responsible for family legacy. The show (and the books) just hammered the death of Ellia’s innocent children. IMO, the best way to wrap this arc would have been letting Cersei’s last child survive and be spared by the Targaryans: that would have broken the wheel of violence, etc.

      I just can’t forgive D&D for throwing these highly promising existential themes through the window for the sake of last minute shocker. As for GRRM, the end result is yet to be seen, but I don’t have much trust in him either.

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    204. Ten Bears,

      Leech rape…hahhaa! Made my day brighter!

      Brienne saw her at castle black earlier and spoke with both Davos and Mel…but did not kill her then either.

      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Thanks.

      Quite a few matters, just hanging plot holes.

      Maybe they did not mention the valyrian weapons at the planning because logically then one of the warriors with valyrian steel (such as Arya) would be required to be close to Bran from the start.

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    205. Efi,

      Yes, History of Westeros is one of the foremost authorities on ASOIAF. They know the story and its history inside & out. (And in fact, they predicted Arya would be the one to kill the NK, so there absolutely was groundwork laid for this to happen.)

      What gets me is this idea that it “didn’t make sense” that Arya killed him or that it was somehow a betrayal of the story or something. I really really don’t understand what is so difficult about acknowledging the significance it has for Arya’s arc. After all, this is not a single protagonist, one hero story. It’s a multi-PoV ensemble with everyone doing their part. Arya is a trained and highly capable assassin, and Jon is a uniter and leader as you said. Both did their part in defeating the AotD.

      If you preferred Jon be the one to kill the NK, fine, but I wish people would stop coming up with flimsy excuses and accusations about how Arya being the killer ruined it all. I’ll admit that I wanted to see Jon in a cool sword fight as well; maybe against one of the WW generals, or even Grey Worm or Harry Strickland would have worked. But the NK was Arya’s to kill, so stop whinging about it.

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    206. Mango:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,
      Quick questions – Did Arya know that Valyrian steel was effective with the NK and WW?

      Was it discussed at the battle planning session? Of course, Jon knew, was anyone with Valyrian steel assigned to the stay close to Bran as they awaited the WW & NK? I remember them discussing if dragonfire was effective with the NK and Bran did not know. Did Jon say at that time that Valyrian steel was effective with WW and perhaps the NK? I do not recall.

      Arya clearly knows that Dragonglass is effective against the AotD (as does everyone else), so this must have been discussed off-screen at some point. I would imagine Valyrian steel would have been mentioned as well. Otherwise, Jaime, Brienne and Jorah would have been fighting with Dragonglass instead of their swords.

      Mango:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,
      If Bran intended Arya to protect him or kill the NK with the dagger, why was she not closer to where Bran was located? Why did he not tell her himself instead of Mel?

      Well, if Bran can see the outcome at this point, and knows that they will ultimately succeed, there is no need to mess with that because he knows Arya will save him. i.e. If he can see this happening, then there is no need to do anything.

      Another interpretation would be that even if he doesn’t see it all, he is still trusting that it will all play out the way it was meant to. In other words, he’s an observer. He’s not going to actively try to change or manipulate any outcome. If person X dies in this fight, well.. then they were meant to die.

      An analogy just came to mind. It’s like the morality question of the train bearing down on someone. Assuming you can hit the switch to divert the train onto another set of tracks to save this person from being hit by the train, do you do it even though it means the train will hit someone else on its new path? If you don’t do anything, are you responsible for killing someone by inaction? But if you save that person but kill someone else, does that action make you more responsible for killing that other person?

      So if Bran were to try and manipulate things more in the story as opposed to just being an observer, would that cause the deaths of other people who would otherwise have lived? If Bran sees that Theon will die saving him but decides to save him, does that mean someone else will die in his stead?

      That’s my interpretation anyway.

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    207. Thanks, Pigeon & Mango. x-) I thought a lot of what you said was spot-on as well.
      Fair point about the Valyrian steel…8/

      Lol, it all pretty much does boil down to the massive IQ drops suffered by 90% of the characters between seasons 6 & 7. XD
      And Efi—YES. Wasn’t there this bizarre sense of the story moving in one direction, with all the foreshadowing that went nowhere, and then it just…did something else as if it had been changed at the last moment for some reason, somehow? It’s a weird feeling. I still wish the Cersei miscarriage had been left in. (I’ll probably never come to love Arya-as-NK-stabber either…well, maybe if it had happened later and he’d fought with at least one person……)

      Definitely wished for a scene in Volantis to show us a bit of just what Mel was up to there. And the Fiery Hand, of course. (I guess she lit the arakhs because the poor Dothraki were the only ones not fortified with dragonglass? Hm. For a moment I did think she was about to ignite the Unsullied weapons as well, but then said, “Oh, well I suppose they didn’t need it…”)

      Inga had some truly great ideas (and I fully concurred re: the northerners’ treatment of Dany, and snippy-snide-snaky Sansa (I despised her in the end even more than I had at the beginning…not starting on her again.)

      And while Arya’s murders were violent, they hadn’t concerned me for her because they were so well-deserved…I mean, I’d want to give the same treatment to anybody who killed/helped kill people I loved. So I never feared that she’d really lost herself. ^^

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    208. Efi:
      Ten Bears,

      Do you honestly think that this promise means something to the story other than it being a simple negotiation for a bridge?

      No. I do not.

      Although in my fanfic/tinfoil mind, it would’ve been nice if the cold open to S7e1 (Arbor Gold wine tasting party) concluded with Arya peeling off Walder’s face and telling his stunned child wife:

      Arya: “When people ask you what happened here, tell them: ‘The North Remembers.’ Tell them: ‘Winter came for House Frey.’

      (Then, as Arya walks away, she steps over the body of Waldron Frey, stops and turns around and adds…)

      Arya: “Oh, and needless to say, the engagement’s off.”

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    209. Enharmony1625: Arya clearly knows that Dragonglass is effective against the AotD (as does everyone else), so this must have been discussed off-screen at some point. I would imagine Valyrian steel would have been mentioned as well. Otherwise, Jaime, Brienne and Jorah would have been fighting with Dragonglass instead of their swords.

      When the Northern Alliance brought the wight to the Dragonpit, Jon explained that only three things could kill them. I don’t recall an onscreen discussion of the WW and the NK, though. I do find it interesting that three things can kill wights, two things can kill WW, and only one thing can kill the NK.

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    210. Enharmony1625,

      (i) If the weapons were discussed at all – at Dragonpit, on or off screen – a warrior with valyrian steel should have been positioned near Bran. Even if this was not discussed with everyone, both Jon and Bran know this from the past – then it is very odd that no-one with Valyrian steel was with Bran.

      (ii) The secret service was to protect President Kennedy so they were near him. They did not succeed in doing so. Bran does not need to know the future in terms of if his protector will succeed. However, he gave the knife to Arya and you wrote an argument that Arya was Bran’s protector – does Bran know any of this stuff and that protector Arya should be closer.

      Well, who knows what Bran knows.

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    211. Inga:

      Sorry, but if we take the overall story of the ASOIAF as a parallel to the WWII, I have to say that unless Bran represents a more successful version of Stalin who used the Night King/Hitler for infiltration purposes, this parallel has been conceived by a very uneducated person who has been living under the rock for the last 30 years ignorant of the findings of modern historiography.

      And in general, I thought that the show had two overarching themes: death and children. Death was was the enemy in the form of the NK but also an ally in the form of the Many-Faced God. Hence, I expected some sort of coming to terms with death at the end of the story and wanted the NK’s undoing in the form of mercy/gift of death, as well as Arya becoming a figurative priestess of the MFG, rather than just a trained assassin + Dora the Explorer.

      When it comes to children, it was very much about being responsible/not responsible for family legacy. The show (and the books) just hammered the death of Ellia’s innocent children. IMO, the best way to wrap this arc would have been letting Cersei’s last child survive and be spared by the Targaryans: that would have broken the wheel of violence, etc.

      I just can’t forgive D&D for throwing these highly promising existential themes through the window for the sake of last minute shocker. As for GRRM, the end result is yet to be seen, but I don’t have much trust in him either.

      Insightful as always. You’re right that the WWII comparison is flawed, especially in light of subsequent events and recent discoveries. But as a loose comparison, it makes sense for a Yank born in 1948. Until Kennedy was killed, the only world events that loomed large in the childhoods of that generation were WWII, the atom bomb, and perhaps the Cold War. Similarly, GRRM modeled he late-mediaeval apsects of the story itself on the War of the Roses. But only very loosely.

      IMO you are absolutely right about death and especially about Children. D&D ended the first half of the show with 4.10, The Children (my favourite non-action episode). D&D followed GRRM fairly consistently about the fates of those who saved or hurt kids and innocents. After Season 7 I wrote an essay about it, and posited that “Protect the Children” is the one moral commandment in the story’s universe that actually counts. Nobody gets away with intentional cruelty to any children, not just their own.

      Anyway, I just looked at it for the first time in ages. It said Ned was the exemplar of this commandment. He protected Jon, protected Dany, and in the “madness of Mercy” spared Cersei’s kids. It led to his death., but he was at peace with that. How appropriate that through his remaing four children, he posthumously won the Great War and the Game of Thrones and maybe will expand world horizons! Characters who killed or even hurt children had already died or were marked for death. After examining important characters by this standard, I concluded that Cersei, Melisandre, and Varys could not live. And despite mitigating/offsetting redemption arcs, Jaime, Theon, Jorah, and Sandor would be be redeemed but die. And the Mountain, Beric, and Qyburn were likely doomed.

      I like your idea of the Targs, or Bran or whoever, letting Cersei’s child live. Mercy to children is never mad, whatever the results (ahem, Joffrey). Arya, who has always protected and avenged children, tried to keep that mother and daughter alive. Right after seeing that black, burnt horse toy she was ‘called’ to safety by a living white horse. I think that’s when she personally gave up violence and thus didn’t target Dany.

      GRRM said that if a 12 year old has to save the world, so be it. He’s also said that ASoI&F was a generational saga. “Five central characters will make through all three volumes, however, growing from children to adults, and changing the world and themselves in the process.” His five, the original younger generation, Jon, Bran, Arya, and Tyrion, along with their allies, saved it. Dany tried to but…she also killed a generation of Kings Landing children! And she died.

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    212. Mango:

      Both Jon and Arya killed children. Unarmed children.

      In revenge/punishment or to escape capture/punishment.

      Jon killed Olly, and felt bad about it thereafter, even though Olly merited execution. The only ‘child’ 11YO Arya killed that I recall was the stable ‘boy’ (maybe 14-16YO), who was much older and much larger. Syrio had just sacrificed himself for her, and she had fled repeating “Not safe, not safe!” But when she pulled Needle out of the trunk the stable boy roughly grabbed her shoulder and spun her around, saying he was taking her to Cersei. As she cried out a warning, “Stay away!” they came together. Since in 1.02 Cersei had wanted her punished and she had humiliated the very cruel Joffrey, she’d be lucky to survive. So for her it was an act of self-defense. And even in modern times, self-defense is legal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4Q1CETXfwc Please let me know if you have another child in mind.

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    213. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Not only was it in self defence (the stable boy grabbed her with the intention of turning her in to Cersei for a reward), it was a reaction more than it was a conscious decision to kill him. The look of shock and surprise on her face says it all.

      And.. I believe she’s saying “Not today, not today” as she’s fleeing, no?

      Mango,

      I do wish we’d gotten a little more info on exactly how much Bran sees of the future. We know he sees at least some (dragon over KL, the wildfire under the Sept of Baelor), but how much he knows about what he sees is pretty unclear. In any case, my point was that I can buy Bran himself not going out of his way to manipulate the future according whatever he can see. But sure.. it might have made sense for Jon to have someone with VS closer to Bran. Maybe he figured he could just swoop in on Rhaegal in time? I mean, this is Jon we’re talking about here.. 🙂

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    214. Ten Bears,

      LOL forever. In any case, the Freys are not Arya’s job in the books, it’s undead/mad/Cat’s job. So “Mercy” for Arya probably comes in there in connection with them and her mother. Perhaps she’ll mercy-kill her.

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    215. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      I so agree with this! It’s about the innocent and how they are targeted for others’ mistakes and revenge and punishment. It’s about family legacies. This is one of the reasons why Jon’s punishment in the end feels so off. He wasn’t punished for his support to Daenerys and what she did to KL, but for killing her and for being who he is, a Targ, since the South didn’t want anymore Targs especially after Daenerys. But anyway I’m digressing.
      Do you think that Jamie was redeemed in s8? Was fighting in WF enough of a redemption?
      I have come to think that Jamie’s arc is exact parallel to Jon’s, and somehow his story is connected to Jon. In the books, in his dream Rhaegar reminds him of his promise, and that promise was about his children. So I thought that if Jamie was ever redeemed, no matter if he’d live or not, it would be in connection to Jon. He’s carrying the other half of Ice; one part of it is pledged to Sansa, the other half? The show made it clear that it’s not about Bran, even though the show isn’t a reliable source of explanation (lol, quite the opposite).
      I was rather disappointed that the show skipped all this and turned him into Cersei’s little dog, but the truth is they skipped all that part of Jamie’s character and his relation with Rhaegar from the very beginning.
      As for the original five, I don’t think they’re the same with the children that are at the heart of the story. The original five come from Martin’s first draft of the story. But after the draft he’s said it’s about the children, and the children are the four surviving Starks, Bran, Arya, Sansa and Jon and Daenerys.
      Tyrion is no child, he’s 28 I think in the books? He is not one of them and the way he is now in the books makes his ending ambiguous and frankly, ominous in my opinion. Unless something happens that puts his mind in the right place, I don’t see how he can escape doom (and meeting the dragon lady is certainly not in the right direction).

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    216. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Enharmony1625,

      1) We disagree.

      Raven – so the rule is one can kill deliberately children if in some way you can explain how it was merited or morally excusable or occurred because a misjudgment of some sort or you were afraid at the time for your safety or the safety of others. Is that it?

      2) Jon could have spared Olly. He was a child. Worse, he was a child acting under the influence of much older adults. Maybe Olly was afraid to be hurt by the other men if he did not participate. Or was afraid to look weak. Olly was also traumatized by the Wildings and did not fully understand Jon actions. Even if he was fully involved – it is still deliberately killing an unarmed child in revenge/punishment. For example, Olly could have been put in the dungeon and served jail time.

      3) Yes, Arya was a child at the time. Yes, she killed him in her self interest and out of fear for her safety and life. She wanted to escape punishment and possible death. Other persons in the story hurt/killed children for the same reason. Yet you do not seem to exempt them or offer understanding or pardon for their action.

      The fat boy was an unarmed child. Arya had the benefit of not only a sword but also fight lessons. She picked up a dangerous weapon to directed it to the boy’s body. He was only a bit bigger and unarmed. He did not accidentally fall upon the sword or get hurt in a struggle. She did not first strike him with a defensive wound. She killed him was surprised by the feeling of her experiencing her first kill.

      4) Our basic disagreement is about “black and white” rules. I have a fairly strong belief in compassion, mercy, judgment in justice and redemption. Being human is complicated, simplistic rules are dangerous.

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    217. And if there is a GRRM rule is that you die if you kill/hurt a child, then the rest of the storyline for these characters is a waste of the reader’s time.

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    218. I have to note that in a medieval setting, a 12 yo is not a minor. Boys enlisted in the army, squired and went to work at this age, and in some cases they even married.
      Olly had enlisted in the Watch, he was under training and he was bound by ties of trust and discipline (I won’t say oath, because he hadn’t given his oath to the Watch even though it might be one of these off-screen moments that we’re supposed to imagine), which he broke by participating in the conspiracy. But Olly was a show invention and the relationship between him and Jon was portrayed as beyond trainee and commander, it was personal.
      This is why the execution scene relates so much to the audience. Excellent performance by KH, by the way.

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    219. Mango,

      And if there is a GRRM rule is that you die if you kill/hurt a child, then the rest of the storyline for these characters is a waste of the reader’s time.

      I don’t believe at all that GRRM is so black & white with his storytelling. He’s always spoken out against such binaries in a story. i.e. good vs. evil. He’s always been about exploring the grey areas in between.

      Secondly, you mean “self defence”, not “self interest” right? Because saying Arya killed the stable boy out of self interest is.. horrendously wrong. Look.. I’m not “ok” with the death of a child, and I think what happened here was sad. I don’t think the boy was a bad person. Though he was probably a bully. The fact is, he approached her first. Arya tried to talk him down by saying her father is a lord and that he would reward him. But when he grabs her, her reaction is more a reflex than anything. There was no malice intended, or premeditated murder. She was defending herself. Vilifying Arya for this act is ridiculous. It was an unfortunate situation that arises when things get chaotic, and people are scared and react in a defensive manner.

      As far as Olly goes, there was no indication whatsoever that he was under duress, or compelled to act against Jon by anyone else. He was 100% complicit. Again, not to say I don’t feel a bit bad for the kid, as any death of a child is a terrible thing, but he directed his revenge towards entirely the wrong person. The fact is, he committed treason and paid the price for it.

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    220. Mango: 2) Jon could have spared Olly. He was a child. Worse, he was a child acting under the influence of much older adults. Maybe Olly was afraid to be hurt by the other men if he did not participate. Or was afraid to look weak. Olly was also traumatized by the Wildings and did not fully understand Jon actions. Even if he was fully involved – it is still deliberately killing an unarmed child in revenge/punishment. For example, Olly could have been put in the dungeon and served jail time.

      It’s an interesting debate. One that probably doesn’t have a right or wrong answer.

      Here’s the thing: Treason (or mutiny) is punishable by death. It’s a crime and that’s the punishment. Simple as that. I think some people are trying to pretend it wasn’t necessary because Olly was a child…but I think he understood perfectly well what he was doing. There’s no world in which the kid doesn’t know that murdering someone is wrong. It’s not like he was coerced by the other men to participate in the mutiny. He chose it, and these are the consequences for it.

      Did Jon have to kill them? Well, strictly speaking, no I suppose he didn’t. He could have decided to show mercy and spare them. However, I don’t see any reason to have expected him to show mercy. They had no regrets at all whatsoever. Not a single one of them showed remorse of any kind, Olly included. Janos Slynt begged for mercy after his flagrant disregard for the rules and disrespected Jon’s orders and he was beheaded for it. I’m not sure why anyone is expecting Jon to spare the men who organized a mutiny and stabbed him to death in cold blood. Especially since I feel that every single one of them — again, Olly included — were still a threat. Every one of them indicated in some way they’d do it again in a heartbeat. Not to mention that it would set a precedent that mutiny is something you can be spared for.

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    221. Jon repeatedly referred to Olly as a boy. He was a child.

      As for the stable boy, a child actor played him on GOT, I looked at YT. He was a child – at least in the series.

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    222. Mr Derp,

      I think some people are trying to pretend it wasn’t necessary because Olly was a child…but I think he understood perfectly well what he was doing. There’s no world in which the kid doesn’t know that murdering someone is wrong. It’s not like he was coerced by the other men to participate in the mutiny. He chose it, and these are the consequences for it.

      I have been saying just what Mango did above for a while now. I don’t care that 12 in the middle ages was given adult responsibilities. Brain development didn’t change; he was still a 12 year old who saw his parents killed and village destroyed. Yes he was coerced; He was surrounded by men he respected who were much older and much more savvy and were able to influence him enough for him to think his actions justified no matter how much he understood that murder was wrong.

      I think Jon wanted to save Olli; in that last moment he looks up and sees the total hate in the child’s eyes, that decided his fate. I suspect if he had cried or begged or apologized, Jon would have taken him down and put him in a cell. But thats not what happened. Ultimately the lessons he took from the othre NWers, and from his own trama killed him. Jon was just carrying out the sentence he was meant to do, tho he regretted it all of his life

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    223. ash,

      The GoT world is a harsh one where everyone is held accountable for their actions, young and old. There is no juvenile hall, social services, etc. Once you’re a part of the NW it’s not like you can be punished by…being sent to the Wall. You’re already there. Everyone who’s a member of the NW needs to understand the consequences for breaking certain rules. And the consequences are harsh. They don’t coddle people up there.

      Also, I didn’t see any scenes that showed Olly being coerced by the other mutineers, did you? And when do we see Jon regretting his actions here?

      I felt really bad for Olly, but there’s a difference between hating the people who killed your parents vs. hating an entire group of people because a few of them killed your parents. I don’t blame him at all for hating Tormund and Ygritte because they were directly involved, but the entire collection of Wildlings? Nah. That’s like condemning an entire race of people because of something a few of them did.

      Olly’s parents were killed as a result of the pointless war between the NW and the Wildlings. I compare it to the Middle East with the Sunnis vs. the Shiites, Palestinians vs. Jews, etc…. They’re just so consumed with revenge and getting back at each other that the cycle of violence will never stop unless someone like Jon intervenes to try and bridge the gap. Had someone in Jon’s position stepped up earlier, Olly’s parents probably never would’ve been killed in the first place. Therefore, I think Olly should’ve embraced what Jon wanted to do instead of condemn it. It’s a tough situation, no doubt, though. It’s hard to say what any of us would do in that situation as a child, whatever his age was.

      Olly should’ve been upset about his parents being killed, but he failed to see the larger picture, and that’s probably due to his young age. He was becoming just another cog in the wheel that wanted to continue the endless cycle of violence. He was part of the problem.

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    224. Mr Derp:
      ash,
      Also, I didn’t see any scenes that showed Olly being coerced by the other mutineers, did you?

      Agree. I don’t get the sense that it was even hinted at. In fact, the scene between Olly and Sam indicates that Olly is directing his hatred/anger towards Jon entirely on his own.

      And it’s not only that Olly hates all the Wildlings, he also hates Jon for his association with them. It’s sad what happened to Olly and what his grief does to him. I don’t join in with those who cheered and applauded when he died. This kid lost his whole family, but in the end, he has to answer for his actions all the same.

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    225. Enharmony1625,

      I feel the same. The whole thing is a tragedy that no one should feel good about. Olly owned his decisions and never made an excuse for them, never blamed anyone else for coercing him, never showed any remorse, etc…

      Olly left Jon with little choice.

      I find it interesting this is the same episode that Varys said “children are blameless” in Meereen. It’s a nice juxtaposition to the situation up North in Westeros. There is no right or wrong here. Just different philosophies and life experiences.

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    226. Mango,

      “As for the stable boy, a child actor played him on GOT, I looked at YT. He was a child – at least in the series.”

      Yes,technically a child…but still older and larger, threatening, and literally handling her roughly. She was 9 in the books, 11 in the show, and tiny. She had Needle in her hand as he whirled her around. GRRM:

      “He grabbed her arm, hard. Everything Syrio Forel had ever told her vanished in a heartbeat. In that instant of sudden terror, the only lesson Arya could remember was the one Jon Snow had given her, the very first. She stuck him
      with the pointy end, driving the blade upward with a wild hysterical strength.” (p. 538 in my paperback)

      She wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, had offered him money to help her, told him to stay away. She was in terror, weak compared to his strength (necessary to handle horses), and IMO likely to die if Joffrey and/or Cersei got hold of her. Even so, in the moment it was a reflex action…and effectively self-defense. She later chose to kill people, but not the stableboy. BTW, I found the actor was Hugo Culverhouse but could not find a birth year. I’m guessing he was 14-16.

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    227. Mr Derp,

      Also, I didn’t see any scenes that showed Olly being coerced by the other mutineers, did you?

      No but given what I know about how some peoplework with kids, I just extrapolated. But no, no proof. I thought I heard Jon in a couple of occassions (I think talking to Sansa) that he killed a boy younger than Bran, and he will regret that all of his days I do tend to have memory problems and sometimes what people say gets mixed up or erase. I expect to be proven wrong.

      Mr Derp,

      <blockquote.Olly should’ve been upset about his parents being killed, but he failed to see the larger picture, and that’s probably due to his young age. He was becoming just another cog in the wheel that wanted to continue the endless cycle of violence. He was part of the problem.

      I agree (and your Israeli Palestinian conflict comment were quite apt) He couldn’t see the larger picuture; the other men easily negated whatever Jon would have told him that might have explained it….that with his age is the reason we generally don’t kill children for crimes (yes I know, no social worker or Officer Krupke in the middle ages). But if we are talking about that, perhaps it should be included?

      I agree with f you; in that time and place this would have been the only option. But we were talking about children, and the killing of children. Hence my comments I do not believe jon was in the wrong. But if we are talking about that subject I guess w should include all children? (mmm Joffrey too….?)

      Now a question – why is it that people cannot separaate actors from characters? The young man who played Ollie got several death threats. as did Joffrey and Sansa (Im sure others as well) I love fantasy as much as the next guy/gal, but geesh

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    228. I was in an exchange a few days ago – then real life called and stayed on line for a few wonderful summer days. Let me try to respond to a few comments. Sorry, not sorry for the interruption.

      Let me try to separate the three strands of this outdated conversation: (i) If GRRM requires death for anyone hurting/killing children; (2) If Arya killed the stable boy in self-defense; (3) if Jon should have spared Olly.

      (1) Raven commented that GRRM required death for characters killing children. I pointed out that this was NOT true as both Jon and Arya had killed children and lived. A better statement would be that GRRM required death UNLESS there were mitigating circumstances. Commenters have contributed that mitigating circumstances include killings as punishment for treason or killings in self-defense. Others would include other mitigating factors – such a protecting other children or avoiding war or to save them from suffering.

      (2) Arya killed the stable boy in self-preservation NOT in self-defense.
      Consider an unarmed citizenS seeing PersonX running away with the police chasing them. The unarmed citizenS decides that his civic duty required assisting the police by apprehending the Person X. S grabs PersonX. First X offers a bribe. S refuses bribe. Then PersonX shoots CitizenS dead and continues running away. I cannot see how PersonX could argue for self-defense in killing CitizenS. They killed to escape. This is similar to what the GOT clip with Arya/StableBoy looks like to me. (We can play with this example but it would get too long.)

      Valid self-defense arguments vary depending on country/state etc. However, in the places I have lived, she would need to prove the extreme (usually mortal ) danger from the unarmed STABLE BOY himself. That is, he was about to kill her himself. In GOT, there is nothing to suggest that the boy would kill her. Yes, she feared he would turn her over to the KG but valid self- defense requires mortal fear of the stable boy himself. He was killed, not a KG. I understand fully that this interpretation may differ in different legal systems.

      (3) Jon sparing Olly. This is matter of personal perspective. I can see why some may think that proper discipline required Olly’s death. I do not think lack of remorse by Olly really matters as much as lack of remorse by an adult would matter. Olly is a boy as Jon said himself. We are speaking about GRRM view of hurting a child based on an assumption that children are “a special class of person”. The punishment administered was the same for the adult men and the child. This was harsh. I do not recall any other boys as CastleB that would have drawn the wrong lesson from any mercy to Olly. So it had few implications for future conduct of others present. My view – a prison sentence would have been adequate and merciful.

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    229. Stark Raven' Rad:
      Mango,

      “As for the stable boy, a child actor played him on GOT, I looked at YT. He was a child – at least in the series.”

      Yes,technicallya child…but still older andlarger, threatening, and literally handling her roughly.She was 9 in the books, 11 in the show, and tiny.She had Needle in her hand as he whirled her around.GRRM:

      “He grabbed her arm, hard.Everything Syrio Forel had ever told her vanished in a heartbeat.In that instant of sudden terror, the only lesson Arya could remember was the one Jon Snow had given her, the very first.She stuck him
      with the pointy end, driving the blade upward with a wild hysterical strength.” (p. 538 in my paperback)

      She wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, had offered him money to help her, told him to stay away.She was in terror, weak compared to his strength (necessary to handle horses), and IMO likely to die if Joffrey and/or Cersei got hold of her.Even so, in the moment it was a reflex action…and effectively self-defense.She later chose to kill people, but not the stableboy.BTW, I found the actor was Hugo Culverhouse but could not find a birth year.I’m guessinghe was 14-16.

      Nope. Reflex action is NOT self-defense. It is self-preservation. It was not completely pre-meditated action by her. If we were allowed to kill everyone that frightened us then it would be mayhem.

      She was clear-minded enough to offer him a bribe. This detracts from any argument of “blind” fear.

      If he had accepted the promise of payment he would not have been killed. Unfortunately, the offer of the payment from her lord father may be sufficient for an argument that she made a specific decision to kill Stable Boy.

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    230. Mango:
      (2)Arya killed the stable boy in self-preservation NOT in self-defense.

      Sorry, but what is self-defence if not self-preservation? Everyone has the right to protect/preserve their own life over that of another who intends to do you harm. Self-defence is the very act of “preserving” your own life.

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