The Redemption Arc That Wasn’t: a Con of Thrones Interview with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Jaime

For my last interview at Con of Thrones I had the privilege of chatting with none other than the Kingslayer himself, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who shared his thoughts on redemption, forgiveness and how those concepts apply (or don’t apply) to Jaime Lannister’s arc.

]“I think with Jaime’s arc, there’s been so much talk about how his was a redemption arc and I never saw that,” Coster-Waldau tells me. “I never saw him as a guy who needed redemption as such. I just saw him as a guy who had some very specific circumstances in his life … you know, the whole Kingslayer thing on the surface was about him being dishonorable. So now he needed to redeem himself because he did this horrible thing when, in fact, [killing the king] was probably his proudest moment.”

That’s not to say that Coster-Waldau believes Jaime had no arc, however.

“The big thing, of course, was losing his hand. That forced him to become a different version of himself,” he says. “He was a great fighter. He was always a great soldier. He was always a great son and brother. He would do anything for his family and he continued that but now he had to be smarter. He had to use his brains, he had to learn from his siblings, and from his father. One of the best moments, I thought, was when he captured Riverrun without killing anyone and also when he took all the gold from Olenna Tyrell. He accomplished a lot of very successful campaigns in his own right with his smarts and not his sword skills.

By season 8, Jaime Lannister had, indeed, changed drastically from the man who pushed Bran out of a window. But character development and self-improvement don’t necessarily equate to redemption.

“So, the redemption arc that people wanted, as I understand it is, was that he would become an all-out good guy who would then cut off his ties with his family or at least with his sister, join the good fight and then declare everlasting love of Brienne and they would stay together and that would then make him a good guy,” the actor says. “I think that’s a little … but that’s not Game of Thrones. I don’t’ believe that you can just erase your previous life because you go, ‘okay, now I’m going to be a good guy.’”

And according to Coster-Waldau, Jaime believed that redeeming himself would have required just that: erasing his past.

“What’s so beautiful about [his final] scene with Brienne is that when he says goodbye to her and she cries with this overwhelming sadness that this guy can’t acknowledge that it’s okay to be flawed,” Coster-Waldau says. “He has done horrible things in the name of love, as he calls it, but also in the name of existing in this crazy world that they live in but he can’t forgive himself.

“He can’t just cut off who he was, you know, and the idea of leaving his sister alone is just simply impossible to him. I think that’s very truthful to the character.”

132 responses

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    1. How was taking Olenna’s gold the same as taking Riverrun? I mean we didn’t see the battle, but it was heavily implied they slaughtered the Tyrell army and took the castle by force.

      As far as his views on the redemption arc, so basically Jamie didn’t change very much, he just had to adapt and be smarter because now he couldn’t just kill anyone with his fighting ability which previously made him invincible which justified him being cocky and just an all around asshole to everyone…or did I miss something?

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    2. Real Jaime is something between what he thinks of himself and what Brienne thinks of him.

      He is not as good and honorable as Brienne thought, but he is also not as bad as Jaime though of himself in a very self-loathing way.

      So yes, he is in a way, better person than Cersei, but he is not ver victim. It was consensual relationship and he is also responsable for that toxic relationship.

      As Tyrion said, he always knew what she was, but he loved her anyway.

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    3. Jaime giving in to his attraction to Brienne, making a halfhearted attempt at a life with her, then cruelly abandoning her to die with Cersei, was perfect for the characters and that relationship.

      Jaime has always been about Cersei, no matter how much he cared for Brienne and was attracted for her. Of course Jaime and Brienne would do something with that sexual tension of theirs. Of course Jaime would rush to Cersei’s side when it became clear that her death was inevitable. Of course Brienne would desperately try to convince Jaime that he was a good man and deserved happiness. Of course Jaime would brutally remind Brienne of what an awful person he was. The whole thing was beautifully inevitable and horribly devastating in the way that great tragedies are, in that as much as you hate what happened for how sad and painful it was, you couldn’t see it playing out any other way. ”

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    4. The funny thing is I always saw Jaime as the dark horse. He would be the azhor ahai in the end ect ect. But what they did with his ending was better than what i had been envisioning in my head for years. It was an ending fitting to his character. I still tear up when I see Jaime and Cersei laying im the rubble. It was a perfect ending. NCW deserves an Emmy for his role as Jaime Lannister

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    5. Port:
      The funny thing is I always saw Jaime as the dark horse. He would be the azhor ahai in the end ect ect. But what they did with his ending was better than what i had been envisioning in my head for years. It was an ending fitting to his character. I still tear up when I see Jaime and Cersei laying im the rubble. It was a perfect ending. NCW deserves an Emmy for his role as Jaime Lannister

      Agreed. David and Dan cooked up something truly special with Jaime’s arc and the ending was brilliant.

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    6. Sad to know this is your last Con of Thrones interview, Petra, but if ya gotta go this is a great one to go out on! (✿ ♥‿♥)b

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    7. I think Jaime’s ending make sense. What people need to understand is that nobody changes that much, they can work to be better, or become worse. But who you are, you’re personality is always there. Jaime becoming the opposite of season 1 wouldn’t make sense. There can be changes. The burden of the “Kingslayer” is being taken away by Brienne, but still the love for his sister is still there, it even before his trauma there. So that would not change, what would change is, his selfishness changing into selfloathing. He acknowledge his mistakes he made because of his selfishness and he couldn’t live a lie as the “most honorable man next to the most honorable woman”. He also worked more to a just cause, helping the north etc. But who he is is still there.

      Same with therapy. People don’t change that much, they just learn to deal with it, changing behavior so they can live a better live.

      Port,

      +1

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    8. I have given this much thought ( through my Braime tears) so hear me out. I (reluctantly) agree that it was the honourable, and poetic, ending for Jaime to perish at his twin’s side. And for him to give up on a happier future with Brienne because of his self-loathing. But as strongly as I felt about Jaime’s character development I lost all involvement in his story as soon as he was “captured” in 8:5. I wasn’t watching the same character (or Cersei for that matter) and really couldn’t care less. (Actually, his emotional speech to Brienne in 8:4 moved me because of the actors, but the writers’ disregard for the narrative was appalling – “strangled” not head-bashed-in cousin, and Riverrun. NCW made it clear in the Inside the Episode that he was bluffing Edmure (who was clearly not the buffoon of 8:6) about killing his child – and it could also be interpreted that he saved Riverrun to protect Brienne. Plus Brienne always knew he pushed Bran out of the window, in fact everyone in the Stark camp knew this because he told Catlin and she talks about it with Robb and Stark bannermen – the only Starks who didn’t know were the surviving siblings). And, while I’m digressing, did ANYONE know that Jaime lost his hand after defending Brienne’s honour. Tyrion? Sansa? How wasn’t that a huge revelation??? (hello, writers…) Everything between the end of season 7 and 8:5 happened in a matter of a month or so and it made no sense – Jaime tells Tyrion (who is happy to see his brother happy!!! Then it’s all forgotten in 8:5) that Brienne has to stay with him?? in Winterfell because of Sansa. The question is what is he going to do in Winterfell because he wants to be with Brienne and she is sworn to Sansa. Oh, so many questions…

      My actual argument is this: Upon Jaime’s return from Riverrun to a devastated King’s Landing and the corpse of his last child, many fully expected him to walk away from Cersei. That would have given him all of season 7 to try to begin a new life, to move away from his family and find himself (eventually with Brienne, of course). Rather than spending most of season 7 hanging around, being sexually manipulated and emasculated. So in the end, when the siege plan gets thrown out the window, he would have shattered Brienne’s heart and returned to die with his sister. And it would have been the tragedy of a man who couldn’t break free from his self-hatred, his past misdeeds and his family. And the tragedy of the woman who truly loved him, flawed as he was. And then the viewers would have understood it. I’d still be crying though.

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    9. I’ve just added for myself an extra sentence to clarify Jaime’s intentions and motivation:
      “(…) She is hateful, and so am I – She deserves forgiveness too”.

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    10. Thanks Petra for interviewing NCW. I think it’s great how available NCW makes himself to the fans.

      Jaime’s losing his hand was like losing himself. His fighting hand was the identity of his golden youth. Much like Jon had to “kill the boy” in himself, so did Jaime after he lost his hand. One aspect of his journey was how he cared about what others thought about him. In his youth, Tywin said to him (and I’m paraphrasing) the Lion doesn’t care what the rest of the world thinks. Jaime was telling Tywin that he let Ned live because “it wouldn’t have been clean”. Tywin was not pleased, because the Lion shouldn’t have cared about the world thinking it was “clean”.

      I think in Jaime’s final days he embraced his Lion and didn’t care as much what the rest of the world thought about him. He was able to win Riverrun without losing a life, because he embraced his true lion and made it clear to Edmure that he didn’t care what anyone thought about him. He would do whatever was necessary (even launch a baby) to take Riverrun so he could get back to Cersei. When he decided to go back to Cersei at the end of the season, he may have thought that Brienne was better off without him, but I think it’s more likely he just didn’t care what the rest of the world thought anymore. He knew he needed to get back to Cersei and do whatever he could to save her. He was a true Lannister in the end. The Lannister trait makes it tough to love Jaime’s character, but his honorable fearless side is what I loved about him. How can you not care about someone who would jump in a pit with one hand in front of a bear to save Brienne. How could you not care about someone who totally forgets about his own life and tries to end the war with one heroic (but stupid) act when he charged Drogon and Dany on the field of fire. How could you not care about someone who keeps his word to ride North for the living. And even his final act was a selfless act when he decided he needed to go back to do what he could to save Cersei.

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    11. I’m kind of amazed how everyone is now coming forward to say Jaime’s end makes so much sense, and it was obvious this would happen, blah blah blah. And yet I don’t recall one person here predicting he’d return to Cersei, or saying his new relationship with Brienne will end in tears. But I do recall the endless Briame references, the younger/ more beautiful queen prophecy and… Valonquar, anyone?

      That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the twist, and his last scene with Brienne was very well executed, but his motivations didn’t make all that much sense to me: he made a 3000 mile round trip to allegedly save Cersei and their unborn child, even though she’d die regardless (in his own words) after the Great War.

      All he had to do would be to plead for Cersei’s life as a reward for fighting at WF and live a life in exile with her, instead of fleeing to her side, destroying any favour he had with Dany/Jon and suffering death by rubble.

      At the very least, his character deserved a better end than that..

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    12. mau,

      This has always been my issue with show Jaime, he was all about Cersei, they didn’t let him become anything else. In the book, he gets a letter from Cersei begging for help and puts it in the fire, and later thinks, I’ll have to face Cersei eventually if she isn’t dead yet. That’s nothing like his show counterpart. I find it difficult to accept his ending, because his character development was cut short in favour of Cersei Cersei Cersei. Forget his attempts to reform the Kingsgard, his attempts to be be a better Knight in the Riverlands. They said that he took Riverrun without bloodshed for Cersei, but he actually did it to fulfil his promise to Cat. Heaven forbid he acknowledge a promise to someone not named Cersei. It’s been so frustrating since Season 4, to watch him hanging around KL especially after she used wild fire, as if he would stand for that. He finally gets away and oh, he’s back within 4 episodes. He was nothing more than Cersei’s puppet.

      Taking my book gripes out of it, and looking at the show only, his Season 8 plot is fine in theory. But due to the swift turnaround, I could barely follow it, hey your sister has sent me to kill you, Oh I must return at once! How does that make any sense? He sleeps with Brienne at a college party (which I HATED, why embarrass Brienne like that?) at which point he has never been physically or emotionally further away from his sister, and suddenly he’s out. Add in the awful line from Tyrion asking what Brienne is like ‘down there’ and I was ready to throw something at the TV. Maybe they could have used that time to show them together at Winterfell, so that people didn’t think it was just a one night stand, he was there for a few weeks at least. Many people thought he was going back to kill Cersei because she had just scored a big victory (killing a dragon) that is not a sign of great story telling imo. It was all over the place. And then to have Brienne write in the White Book after what he did, he didn’t deserve it, he shoved the book aside to have sex with Cersei on the table in Season 4, it mattered a great deal to him didn’t it?

      In summary, fine in theory, but the execution was abysmal and I hated it. That’s without mentioning the I don’t care about innocents line. Who was this person? Ugh. I didn’t cry when my favourite character died, I didn’t really care at all. Cersei deserved better though, as did Brienne.

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    13. Very interesting take by NCW, I must admit to being one who expected Jamie to have a redemption arc but equally now I don’t think it was absolutely necessary. He starts of as a character we all hate along with Joffrey back in S8 but by S4 he’s one we are widely rooting for and by S8 we are resigned to his death but hope it doesn’t happen.

      The bit about losing his hand and later using his smarts to win battles is also spot on in my opinion although I still have no idea how a one armed man fights the army of the dead on the front line and survives without a scratch:-)

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    14. HuntingViolets:
      I think it will be different in the books. I hope so.

      I don’t see it being hugely different in the books, if he kills Cersei then I think D&D would have included it. I assume this is what you are implying but please correct me if not:)

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    15. Jon Snowed,

      I’m not sure, I think they skipped the Valonqar from the Season 5 prophecy because they didn’t want Jaime to do it. NCW even said that it would have been too obvious. Even if it isn’t Jaime, somebody has to be the Valonqar in the book, so it will be different. It could even be Euron, he is a younger brother.

      My guess is they got a note from George saying, Jaime and Cersei die to together and they did what they wanted with it. I just hope they don’t die in a loving embrace as we saw on the show, it makes me want to gag. I don’t think it will happen because GRRM doesn’t like their relationship and had to take showers after writing Cersei’s chapters, she is not sympathetic at all. Plus Jaime kind of hates her, in the book he finds out about her infidelity (he doesn’t in the show) I think he may inadvertently cause their death or decide not to help her, rather than doing the deed himself. He is still bound to her, and will probably be with her in the end for whatever reason, that part will be the same.

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    16. +1 Borko, Jenny, Apollo
      I guess it’s what had to happen according to George…oh, sigh. In another world he could’ve NOT been a disappointing imbecile, stabbed Cersei (much as it would’ve hurt him to do so ’cause, y’know, it couldn’t not), and hopefully made it back to Brienne. I’d been hoping he’d die in HER arms while fighting the dead. Jaim-boy, ya lemme down, son…ugh. (Although the “never cared for the innocents” line didn’t bother me; I mean, sparing all them didn’t have to be his reason for kingslaying.) And it’s still a redemption arc, it just has a lousy endpoint…

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    17. The way I look at it D&D and GRRM spent days going through the fates of all the main characters which Jamie/Cersei are so the showrunners almost certainly know where their stories end. It certainly won’t be something like passing a note but it’s likely only the main arc/endings were shared along with some decent beats from Winds of Winter.

      Now it’s possible they changed the ending for Jamie but I feel fairly unlikely in terms of his end point i.e. he will die along with Cersei. Now if in the books he kills Cersei and they die together I could certainly see it given the foreshadowing but I am struggling to see why D&D would change it. If Euron is the Valonquar in the books it’s possible but again why realistically change it? At this moment I am leaning more towards the Valonquar doesn’t actually happen but I would not state that with certainty either.

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    18. Jon Snowed,

      GRRM doesn’t consider Jaime and Cersei main characters, the main characters to him are Dany, Tyrion, Jon, Arya and Bran. They will all get the same endings. Maybe Arya will be different, I’m not totally convinced on that.

      In terms of the show, I think they skipped the Valonqar because they let Jaime and Cersei live for far too long, which meant that Jaime would kill Cersei in episode 5, and Jon would have to kill Dany in episode 6. It would have been too similar and pretty offensive to see two women killed by their lovers like that. I think Jaime/Cersei go at the end of Winds or early in Dream of Spring.

      No way is Cersei Queen, Dany will be trying to oust FAegon in the end.

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    19. Okay, its been a long time since I didnt comment, sorry I was in a boarding school in France, trapped. alone. scared. But I am alive.

      Anyway, I really wanted to give my two cents about Jaime´s ending. After all, he is my favourite male character (along with Theon) and being the obssesive over-analytical that I am, well, it seemed fitting, lol.

      I am gonna start by saying that I liked his ending, I didnt love it with passion, I didnt hate it, I just liked it. Although there was one thing that almost made me throw the TV out of the window (yes thats a very dramatic thing to do but, hey, I am spanish, I can be dramatic), which I´ll get to later.

      I dont think they butchered Jaime´s character with his ending, in fact, it made sense for him to die that way, his arc has always reminded me of a person who suffers a terrible addiction, – in real life it would be either drugs, alcohol, food… the westerosi version is about a man a man who is madly in love with his twin sister, ouch,- and like in real life, some people go to rehab to detox from their addictions and they succeed, manage to have a healthy and good life, but sadly, others also try, and succeed… for a while, then, they go back to their old habits and its usually fatal, thats what happens to Jaime really tries to detox from his addiction, and he succeeds! for a while, not long after his success he goes back to Cersei, which ends up being his downfall.

      I was at peace with his ending (although I thought it was a bit anticlimatic), however, what I absolutely loathed was this phrase refering to the people of KL in 8×05: “to be honest, I never really cared much for them”, What. the. actual. hell. Now, thats character assassination right there.

      Jaime´s entire personality could be summed up in one phrase said by himself “the things I do for love”. Jaime is a man who desperately wants to do the right and honorable thing but he is pushed beyond the limits of morality to protect those whom he loves, thats why he pushes Bran out of the window, because he wants to protect the woman he loves and his children from a horrible death, and THATS WHY HE BREAKS THE MOST SACRED VOW A KINGSUARD COULD MAKE “PROTECTING THE KING”, BECAUSE HE WANTS TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT PEOPLE OF KINGS LANDING! and now he says that he didnt really care for them? what? Jaime knew the consequences of his actions (life of dishonor and hatred from the people, the wall or even a death sentence) and he killed The mad king anyway, he sacrified his honor to save half a million of innocent lifes!

      And thats my opinion on the matter.

      P.S: I actually liked that Jaime and Cersei´s death mirrored the death of Ellyn Tarbeck, very fitting.

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    20. I always thought that Jamie would return to Cersei eventually, not necessarily for being with her, but perhaps for pleading for her life, convincing her to step down from the throne or sth similar. He would do that for her; he’d sacrifice himself (not much of a sacrifice) to live together with her in exile or even die with her.
      The final twist in Jamie’s fate would clearly be his breakup or even clash with Cersei, but in any case he is connected to her somehow. In the show it was rushed as hell; Jamie and Brienne hooked up and broke up in the same ep? It was not satisfying, and his death with Cersei was underwhelming. In-universe it served the purpose of Tyrion finally turning against Daenerys (which in my opinion blew up the entire ending).
      Jamie’s story changed from the moment they ommitted the valonquar prophecy and abandoned the significance it had for him to push an eight year-old out of the window; they abandoned the significance of killing a king whom he was under oath to protect, and the significance it had for him to not being able to protect Rhaegar’s children. I’ve said before that Jamie is Jon’s exact parallel, so book-wise in the end, their meeting and their relationship will somehow be significant for the overall story. But that’s in the books.
      In the show they added a scene that’s not in the books, Jamie meeting Jon in WFs courtyard and sharing a piece “worldly wisdom” with him while pulling his hand (with the one that got severed later; so, in the books Jamie’s sword hand was severed, and Jon’s sword hand was burned). If I’m not mistaken, Martin himself was heavily involved in the script back then, so this scene might have meant sth, but they didn’t follow through that thread of story (they didn’t even show us Jon’s burned hand).
      Taken everything into consideration it doesn’t make sense for Jamie to be the valonquar (Jamie killed a king – Jon will kill a queen, but Jon has no real siblings). Thanks to dear Missandei we know that valyrian nouns have no gender; therefore, the valonquar prophecy may apply to any of Euron (because he’s mad), Arya, Sansa. Tyrion should probably be counted as a candidate because he is so mean and spiteful with Cersei, it wouldn’t be surprising and in my opinion he’s the most likely to kill Cersei book-wise.

      NCW seemed so sure before season 8 aired that the story was a brilliant one. Well, it’s not, but Jamie’s story is one of the good ones, if we oversee the rushness and some things pointed out in the comments above. I absolutely hate it that fan criticism and even spite and meanness brings the actors to the position to have to justify their characters.
      Jamie doesn’t even need that much defending. He was well-loved as a character from day one, and NCW was absolutely brilliant in bringing him to life on screen.

      So, take a bow: Nicolai Coster-Waldaw // Jamie Lannister.

      Thank you, Nicolai, for making us love this (awful and more often than not conflicted to the point of schizophrenia) character.

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    21. MaxWaynwood,

      Agree with you. But I understand why Jaime said it. But a different sentence from Tyrion could have helped. You do care for them, but there is one that you care more for. Something like that.

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    22. In hindsight, Jaime going back to Cersei does make sense. It doesn’t mean he’s necessarily siding with her or agreeing with the things she’s done (despite what he says to Brienne to push her away from him). Forget the fact that he’s in a relationship with Cersei. He goes back to her to try and save his twin sister from certain death. And I think any one of us, if we had a twin, would do the same. Even Tyrion is doing everything he can do at the end to save Cersei, because she is his sister. I really don’t think it’s anything more complicated than family ties.

      Jaime redeemed his honour in front of everyone by joining the battle at Winterfell. If he’d been forced to kill Cersei, that wouldn’t have been redemption. It would have just been tragic, as tragic as Jon killing Dany. We just view it differently because Cersei has been depicted as a villain since the beginning.

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    23. I think ppl who look at Jaimes story as a “redemption arc” have a fairly simplistic view on things.

      I mostly saw him as a fairly shitty person… But when you dig deep, you can find the good in him that ended up being lost due to his life and circumstances.

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    24. Apollo: I don’t recall one person here predicting he’d return to Cersei, or saying his new relationship with Brienne will end in tears.

      Maybe not, but we don’t all post all our thoughts here.
      Also, this isn’t like a forum that has defined sections – once an article has dropped off the front page, the comments go with it. Unlike a dedicated section for discussing a particular character or topic, you can’t read all relevant comments together. It’s a pity that the forum section never took off, as it would be much easier to follow people’s opinions on specific aspects.

      Fot the record, I expected him to go back to Cersei. I find it believable that he’s unable to break that bond. I agree with Max Waynwood, it’s like an addiction. And I never, ever expected (or wanted) a happy-ever-after Disney ending with Jaime and Brienne pairing up.

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    25. Apollo: And yet I don’t recall one person here predicting he’d return to Cersei, or saying his new relationship with Brienne will end in tears.

      Guess what – the thing that makes ASOAIF / GoT So beautiful is that it rarely gives us what we want or what we expect. In fact, it usually shatters our hopes and dreams but on hindsight it was the right thing.

      This is what made the Red Wedding, for example, so great. For the majority of readers / watchers, we didn’t expect it. It wouldn’t be right for young King Robb and his family to die – they had such a future in front of them. They were going to defeat the Lannisters, save the Stark Girls, and return to Winterfell in time to help Jon with the White Walkers! Then, they are slaughtered and we are left emotionally devastated.

      Of course, there are clues when you look back. For me, the red wedding is same for Jaime’s and to a some extent Dany’s tragedies. We get what we want in some ways but ultimately things do turn. In hindsight we can see the clues leading to both characters’ ends. If I got everything I wanted with Jaime (basically, NCW says it!), I would be OK with it I suppose, but something wouldn’t feel quite right. It wouldn’t feel true to the tragedy that this series always was.

      I think there is a lot of black and white thinking with Jaime. Some say that he is a horrible person, and hasn’t changed at all. Some say he’s really a good person and the “writing” was wrong. I disagree with both. He was a person who loved his family and wanted to do his duty to them (and so he was forced to be the Smiling Knight), and he was also a person who wanted to do what was right (to be Arthur Dayne – who, actually is probably as flawed as Jaime given he was holding Lyanna hostage basically).

      The interview solidifies for me that Jaime did love Brienne and wanted to be with her and make her happy if he could, but that his loyalty to his family and his history with them couldn’t allow him to cut ties completely – and why should it? That’s almost years of his life we’re talking about – he’s got to live with letting his sister be burned alive, alone. Yes, it was her fault of course but that doesn’t matter – we forgive those we love thats’ how it works. He wouldn’t have been able to live a happy life with Brienne if he let that happen. In some ways, cowardly? In some ways noble? But she forgave him and understood. We can too.

      I think the books will be even more devastating.

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    26. Keith: Jaime redeemed his honour in front of everyone by joining the battle at Winterfell. If he’d been forced to kill Cersei, that wouldn’t have been redemption.

      I have to say that Jaime kills Cersei has never sat right with me as a theory since I first read it like a decade ago. Unless it’s by accident – he wouldn’t be able to live with himself.

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    27. Jenny,

      Nah, fAegon is a red herring, a way to weaken Dany’s forces and to compromise her morally.

      Dany will, IMO, “save” Cersei from certain defeat from fAegon. At first, she will likely seek an alliance with him, but arrogant little dickface fAegon will refuse her (he’ll say she can marry him, but he’ll be King) and she’ll kill him. Probably after finding out he’s a fake.

      Her forces weakened, Dany will then have to choose – take King’s Landing from Cersei (likely she’ll have to use her dragons on the city), or go north with Jon. She’ll choose the same as in the show.

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    28. QueenofThrones,

      Will he just release the books already lol. He’s definitely a red herring, or should we say mummer’s dragon, but between him, Dany and the Tyrell’s, I can’t see how Cersei remains in power. IIRC he is already in Westeros while Dany is off hallucinating in the Dothraki Sea, she has a lot to sort out before she makes it to Westeros, by that point they could have a new King. He will have Dorne backing him (that plot has to mean something surely? He’ll probably marry Arianne) and will have conquered the Storm Lands in Winds. I think he will end the Lannister rule but will eventually fall to Dany. I’m convinced that they gave his role to Cersei and partly to Jon. I also think the people will like him, giving Dany that extra problem. It could go so many ways though, I just want to know already!

        Quote  Reply

    29. Efi,

      “…Taken everything into consideration it doesn’t make sense for Jamie to be the valonquar (Jamie killed a king – Jon will kill a queen, but Jon has no real siblings). Thanks to dear Missandei we know that valyrian nouns have no gender; therefore, the valonquar prophecy may apply to any of Euron (because he’s mad), Arya, Sansa. Tyrion should probably be counted as a candidate because he is so mean and spiteful with Cersei, it wouldn’t be surprising and in my opinion he’s the most likely to kill Cersei book-wise.”

      _____

      With the caveats that I’m a currently sleep-deprived. pre-books/show-only fan, and I may be channeling King Stannis, the One True Grammarian or his disciple, Lord Davos of House Seaworth, the newly anointed Master of Grammar:

      • Did Missandei really say that “Valyrian nouns have no gender”?

      it’s my understanding that Missandei was only referring to the specific noun for prince(ss) as having no gender. Here’s an excerpt from the converstion in S7e2 between Melisandre, Missandei & Dany:

      Melisandre: “The Long Night is coming. Only the prince who was promised can bring the dawn.”

      Daenerys: “The prince who was promised will bring the dawn. I’m afraid I’m not a prince.

      Missandei: “Your Grace, forgive me, but your translation is not quite accurate.That noun has no gender in High Valyrian, so the proper translation for that prophecy would be the prince or princess who was promised will bring the dawn.”

      Did Missandei say somewhere else that all Valyrian nouns have no gender? If so, I missed it.

      • I don’t think Arya or Sansa could be valonqar candidates. I thought that in the books, Maggy the Frog’s prophecy using the Valyrian word the “valonqar” (spelling?) specifically meant “the little brother” [masculine], and Maggy the Frog told Cersei that the valonqar would wrap “his hands” [masculine] around her pale white throat and choke the life out of her. As much as I would’ve liked to see ASNAWP take out the Night King AND Queen Cersei, I discounted female siblings because of the prophecy’s gender-specific wording.

      • Can we really eliminate Jon from consideration? You wrote that “Jon will kill a queen, but Jon has no real siblings.”
      In fact, Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryean 2.0 was the little brother of Aegon Targaryen 1.0 and Rhaenys Targaryen. It would sure be a juicy twist for Cersei Lannister to meet her demise at the hands of the “little brother” of Tywin’s murder victims – a surviving child of Rhaegar nobody knew existed, who had been hidden in plain sight under the guise of “Jon Snow, Ned Stark’s bastard.”
      Personally, I was just a tad disappointed when Sandor – the little brother of the Clegane boys – didn’t take a whack at Cersei and let her skeedaddle down the stairs right next to him as he climbed up to face off against Gregor.

      • I do not know how or if GRRM will ever finish the books and address the fulfillment of the prophecy. However, on my scorecard, Maggy is batting 1.000. She’s been dead-on accurate about the number of kids Cersei and Robert would each have, and that Cersei’s three children would predecease her. I also believe GRRM, by using the definite article “the” in “the little brother” (instead of “a” valonqar or “any” valonqar) intended to refer specifically to a singular person: the younger or youngest brother of two or more siblings. (Just as show! Margaery explained to LF that she didn’t just want to be “a queen”; she wanted to be “the queen.”)

      • I do not know about book! Euron. For me, Show! Euron was a cackling clown, a belatedly-introduced, dispensable third-tier sideshow unworthy of fulfilling a prophecy that haunted Cersei most of her life.

      • Who knows, though? On the show, Maggy didn’t include the Valonqar prophecy in the S5 cold open flashback scene with Young Cersei. Nobody strangled Cersei. A bunch of falling rocks crushed her to death.

        Quote  Reply

    30. I’m pretty sure Missandei was only referring to one specific noun on the show, however, in general, a noun’s gender in High Valyrian isn’t tied to sex (like it is in Spanish, with its masculine and feminine nouns.)

        Quote  Reply

    31. Keith:
      “In hindsight, Jaime going back to Cersei does make sense. It doesn’t mean he’s necessarily siding with her or agreeing with the things she’s done (despite what he says to Brienne to push her away from him). Forget the fact that he’s in a relationship with Cersei. He goes back to her to try and save his twin sister from certain death. And I think any one of us, if we had a twin, would do the same. Even Tyrion is doing everything he can do at the end to save Cersei, because she is his sister. I really don’t think it’s anything more complicated than family ties…”

      Those Lannister brothers were real masochists. Cersei tried to have them executed and assassinated.

      And still, Tyrion was all “your baby” this, “your baby that”, and undermined his own Queen by devising inane strategies (failed “clever plans”) that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Tyrell, Dornish and Greyjoy allies while trying to
      spare the lives of his homicidal sister and her alleged “baby.”

      Cersei cuckolded Jamie (with dweeb Lancel, no less) and pimped herself out to nutjob Euron in front of his nose. She threatened to have ZombieGregor hack off his head. She hired Bronn to whack both Jaime and Tyrion. She belittled him and called him an idiot. And still he blew off Brienne and went running back to Cersei at the end.

      I understand the pull of a toxic woman. So did Jaime: I think at one point, in exasperation, he had asked out loud something like “Why have the gods made me love such a hateful woman?” As previous commenters Max Waynwood and Grandmaester Flash observed, she was like an addiction: He tried to get clean, but continually relapsed.

      So I have no problem with the way things turned out for the “Honorable” Ser Jaime. His better angels were no match for the siren song of the wicked twin sister formerly* known as the Mother of Madness.

      * Gotta hand it to Dany. In less than half an hour, she wrested that title from Cersei.

        Quote  Reply

    32. I always saw Jamie as a troubled person, confused between what he should be doing, and what he wants to do.

      I always knew he would stay loyal to Cersei no matter where his story took him. And when he said that line about dying in the arms of the woman he loves, I knew for sure it would be Cersei.

      I like the way it ended for him because it was true to his story arc. I would have rather that he did not have a love scene with Brienne, it felt forced to me. And that last scene with Euron. Cringe. Yes… I am criticizing the show here 😛 haha

      I never saw this as a redemption arc that would actually go through.

      Also — I havent read the books but heard about the volanqar. Book readers — the show never brought that up so it has nothing to do with that.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Keith,

      12:09 PM: My long reply agreeing with your 8:19 am comment (and those of Max W. and Grandmaester Flash) is stuck in Moderation Purgatory. Not sure why. I’m sure it will show up soon. Maybe the site’s algorithms flagged the word “dw**b” (describing pre-Faith Militant Cersei boytoy Lancel Lannister).

        Quote  Reply

    34. Perhaps we were shipping too much, expecting a Disney ending for almost every character: Jaime+Brienne, Jon+Dany, Arya+Gendry, Sansa+Hound, Missandei+Grey Worm, Tyrion+Bronn… But Benioff and Weiss weren’t working for Disney… yet. 😀

      Actually, it’s somehow funny how they sank every single ship idealized by the fans! 😆 😆

      In the end, only Sam & Gilly had a happy ending… Oh, and Jon & Tormund! 😀

        Quote  Reply

    35. Dee Stark:
      I like the way it ended for him because it was true to his story arc. I would have rather that he did not have a love scene with Brienne, it felt forced to me. And that last scene with Euron. Cringe. Yes… I am criticizing the show here 😛 haha

      Yeah, right? I also perceived it as forced, a sort of fan service… Had the same feeling with the scene between Arya and Gendry, but at the same time I also thought they deserved to let off steam… 😀 😛

      But I’m glad D&D sank these ships in the end. A wedding between Jaime & Brienne or Arya & Gendry would have been too much for me! 😀

        Quote  Reply

    36. Ser Creighton Longbough:
      Perhaps we were shipping too much, expecting a Disney ending for almost every character: Jaime+Brienne, Jon+Dany, Arya+Gendry, Sansa+Hound, Missandei+Grey Worm, Tyrion+Bronn… But Benioff and Weiss weren’t working for Disney… yet. 😀

      Actually, it’s somehow funny how they sank every single ship idealized by the fans! 😆 😆

      In the end, only Sam & Gilly had a happy ending… Oh, and Jon & Tormund! 😀

      That’s one thing I found really sad about the ending, some of these characters survived because of the relationships they formed throughout the series (platonic and romantic) and in the end they were all alone. Sansa as Queen in the North doesn’t feel particularly positive to me, call me sentimental but what is life without loved ones? At least Jon got to be with Tormund.

      I never expected a happy ending for Jaime with or without Brienne, I always knew he would die. I just expected to be upset about it, not confused and fed up. I didn’t see many people thinking they would ride off into the sunset, I think the most people hoped for was a bit of time to live and explore a healthy relationship before it all went to sh*t. In my mind Jaime and Brienne were two people most in need of legitimate affection, and were most equipped to give it to each other because they knew each other best (not even Cersei knows about Aerys, and their relationship was toxic) they got it for about 10 minutes, I guess we should be grateful for that.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Dee Stark,

      “I like the way it ended for him because it was true to his story arc. I would have rather that he did not have a love scene with Brienne, it felt forced to me. And that last scene with Euron. Cringe…”

      _____
      Yeah, me too.

      The knighting of Brienne in S8e2 was beautiful. They should’ve left it at that. The “love” scene was kind of… juvenile? (“Gee it’s hot in here. Lemme take my shirt off.”.) Ugh. I think I saw a Simpsons character – Bart’s class bully Nelson – try to pull that exact same stunt.

      The last scene with Euron… I know, totally cringeworthy. I found myself thinking [in voice of Jaime channeling Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”]: “In all the beaches on all the the coastlines of all of the city, he washes up onto mine.” With all the pandemonium of a city of 1,000,000 frantic people running around and getting nuked, somehow Euron gets blown off the deck of his ship and just happens to come ashore right where his rival is? What are the odds? I wish that cackling clown had had a more realistic end, e.g., drowning under the wreckage of his ship; roasting in dragonfire; slipping on a banana peel and impaling himself on splintered beam; or pierced by an errant scorpion bolt accidentally launched by one of his mute crewmen who was unable to tell him to duck. (As you can tell – and no offense to Pilou A. – I was not enamored with the character of Euron Greyjoy, and didn’t understand why that underwhelming scene was in the episode.)

      Well, no big deal. End mini-rant.

        Quote  Reply

    38. There is no way that both Cersei and Daenerys will be killed by their lovers in the books. No way GRRM writes something so misogynistic.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Ser Creighton Longbough: Yeah, right? I also perceived it as forced, a sort of fan service… Had the same feeling with the scene between Arya and Gendry, but at the same time I also thought they deserved to let off steam…

      But I’m glad D&D sank these ships in the end. A wedding between Jaime & Brienne or Arya & Gendry would have been too much for me!

      LOL!
      I never saw Arya’s scene with Gendry that way, but I could have done without it also. Although it was part of the “humanization of area”, not that she wasn’t before, but season 8 was a lot about her letting go of the assassin she was and finally becoming who she was meant to be, and putting her emotions out there.

      Ten Bears,

      hahaha so true!!!

        Quote  Reply

    40. Ser Creighton Longbough: Perhaps we were shipping too much, expecting a Disney ending for almost every character: Jaime+Brienne, Jon+Dany, Arya+Gendry, Sansa+Hound, Missandei+Grey Worm, Tyrion+Bronn… But Benioff and Weiss weren’t working for Disney… yet.

      This has always been a tragedy underneath. The whole point is to get us invested in the relationship then to tear our hearts out. As much as shippers may have WANTED a happy ending for their favorite pairs (and the creators wanted us to want this), I don’t think any but the most strident really expected it.

      In my view it’s in general silly to believe that a relationship “failed” simply because it did not last until both people die of old age. That rarely happens IRL so why would it in Westeros? Jaime and Brienne had a relationship of several years in length that included a range of experiences from platonic to romantic to (briefly) sexual. Jaime and Cersei had a long term “closeted” romantic and sexual relationship. Dany and Jon had a mutually romantic and sexual affair (and so did Dany and Jon with each of their previous lovers). Arya and Gendry had a friendship and a one-night stand. Dany and Jorah had a years-long deep emotional bond (including acknowledged but unrequited romantic feelings on one side). Etc.

        Quote  Reply

    41. mau:
      There is no way that both Cersei and Daenerys will be killed by their lovers in the books. No way GRRM writes something so misogynistic.

      What if they turn into lesbian lovers and one kills the other? 🙂

      or if Cersei kills Jaime and Dany kills Jon? Still a gender issue there?

      P.S. Killing a woman BECAUSE she’s a woman is misogynistic, but killing someone for something else and her gender happens to be a woman is not misogynistic.

        Quote  Reply

    42. mau,

      To flip the script, would it be acceptable if kings became unhinged and needed to be stopped by their rational female lovers?

        Quote  Reply

    43. Mr Derp,

      And when that happened? Misogynistic trope that women are too emotional to rule exist even in real life politics. That’s not something that exist for man.

        Quote  Reply

    44. mau,

      There are plenty of negative tropes for men, too, but just like the tropes for women, it all depends on how it’s applied.

      It’s hardly misogynistic for a woman to be killed by a man, unless the entire purpose for the killing is gender-related. Now, you can certainly say it’s a cliché and you’re tired of the cliché of women being considered too emotional, which I don’t necessarily disagree with, but that’s not what’s happening in GoT, which is what we are discussing. We already know why Dany and Cersei are going to be stopped, and it has nothing to do with gender.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Ten Bears,

      And Jamie wrapped his hand around her shoulders and neck as if to protect her, did you notice that? I thought it was an interesting detail. Are the show-runners teasing us?
      Well, Martin wrote “the valonquar” for a reason. It does not refer to the younger sibling of just anybody, but to the younger sibling of a king/queen (if my book memory doesn’t fail me — you must forgive me, I am far too bored to look it up in Cersei’s chapters right now). Of course I may be wrong, so I suggest that you proceed with caution, lol.
      Nouns in languages either have a gender or not. You can’t have a gender for some nouns and no gender for others in the same language. If it’s like that for the promised prince/princess it’s like that for all nouns of High Valyrian. Eg, English nouns have no gender; Turkish doesn’t; French, German, Greek, Russian, and others, do.
      I have absolutely no idea if anybody is going to kill Cersei, and frankly, I don’t really care. I just want to see a well written ending for these two.
      If what I think is true, and younger sibling is indeed of a king, Sansa and Arya come in as Robb’s younger sisters. Jon’s elder brother Aegon was a prince just like he is. Euron comes in as king Balon’s younger brother.
      If Martin didn’t intend to torture his characters, he’d have written simply “your valonquar”. But he didn’t. The interpretation is Cersei’s mistake.
      The trap that is laid by Martin is that his heroes will just do anything to bring on (like Daenerys and Stannis) or avoid (like Cersei) a prophecy, but in this effort they bring their own destruction. Cersei’s agony is to avoid the YMBQ which is connected with the valonquar. This is how the Starks enter into the equasion. Unfortunately for Cersei, she tried too much and too hard to teach to Sansa how it is to live in the court. The one who’ll take everything away from Cersei is not Daenerys, it’s definitely Sansa. But that’s in the books, and frankly I don’t see Sansa killing anybody in the books (apart from LF).

      I’d like to add to my previous post though that in my opinion Jamie’s in no redemption arc in the show, because especially in seasons 7-8 all the elements that would make up such a redemption are totally or partly missing (his killing of Aerys; his pushing Bran out the window; his connection with Rhaegar/Jon). His appearing to fight against the Others doesn’t constitute a redemption or a forgiveness of all his crimes, since these crimes weren’t addressed publically. One would expect at least that he’d mention Aerys’ doings to Daenerys. But he didn’t. In fact, it was surprising for me that show-wise it’s a matter of choices people make. Jamie chose Cersei, and that shows at least some consistency of character, in spite of everything else. I liked it (it’s one of the few things I liked), not so much the execution, but it was good and true to Jamie.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Efi,

      “Nouns in languages either have a gender or not. You can’t have a gender for some nouns and no gender for others in the same language.”

      _______
      English: “Doctor” has no gender.
      “Brother” and “sister” are gender-specific. “Sibling” and “spouse” are not.

      Also (and a book reader can correct me): I do not recall that the valonqar has to be “the younger sibling of a king/queen.” I’d look it up…if I had read the books. 😝

      Tell you what though: Let’s let it go. Because unless GRRM finishes the books, we’ll never know who the valonqar is.

      The show blew off most of the prophecies. In S2e1 Melisandre recited the “Warrior of Light” prophecy (the show! version of the books! Azor Ahai prophecy), yet nothing came of it:

      Melisandre, S2e1:

      After the long summer, darkness will fall heavy on the world. The stars will bleed. The cold breath of winter will freeze the seas, and the dead shall rise in the North.

      In the ancient books, it’s written that a warrior will draw a burning sword from the fire. And that sword shall be Lightbringer.

      Stannis Baratheon, Warrior of Light, your sword awaits you. Lord, cast your light upon us! For the night is dark and full of terrors.”

      In a book, play, movie or TV show, a “prophecy” has to have some kernel of truth to it – or else it is detritus to be jettisoned in the editing stage. When done right, a prophecy is fulfilled literally, figuratively, or at least metaphorically. (⚠️Warning – my memory sucks so what follows isn’t verbatim and may be inaccurate.) MacBeth thought he was invincible because the witches’ prophecy assured him that no man born of a woman could defeat him. The guy (Banquo?) who did beat him hadn’t been “born of a woman” because he’d been delivered by C-section. Lord of the Rings used a similar device: according to a prophecy or boast by the witch king (?) to his adversary, no mortal man could defeat him. Under his victorious adversary’s armor was Eowyn – a woman. I think she pulled off her helmet and announced “I am no man” before executing an Arya/NK-type thrust of her sword into his face or torso.
      What I’m getting at is that GRRM’s peculiarly worded prophecies have to have some logical twist, and can’t just be red herrings or cheap distractions.

      (Oops, sorry. I already wrote above that we should just let it go, because unless GRRM finishes the books, we’ll never know who the valonqar is – or how any of the other prophecies are resolved.)

        Quote  Reply

    47. Efi,

      “I’d like to add to my previous post though that in my opinion Jamie’s in no redemption arc in the show…”
      _____
      I hear ya! In my view, more fruitful discussions of the term “redemption arc” involve three characters:
      • 1. Theon Greyjoy
      • 2. Sandor (“You can still help a lot more than you’ve harmed, Clegane. It’s not too late for you”) Clegane
      • 3. Hot Pie

        Quote  Reply

    48. Off topic:
      Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has submitted The Bells as his episode and Sophie Turner submitted Winterfell.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Efi,

      Temporary thread detour: Hot Pie’s arc

      S1e10: Hot Pie the bully
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQTlrcMY1cI

      … to…

      S4e7 and S7e2: Hot Pie the sweet, loyal friend

      Hot Pie & Brienne, S4e7
      Hot Pie sticks his neck out to try to help Arya (at 2:42 to end)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sHwU0cEzxo

      S7e2 Hot Pie reunites with Arya; “What happened to you Arry?”; “I can’t believe I thought you were a boy. You’re pretty!”; and “Friends don’t pay.”

        Quote  Reply

    50. Young Dragon:
      Off topic:
      Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has submitted The Bells as his episode and Sophie Turner submitted Winterfell.

      And… the front runner is still leaving us in suspense?

      👸🏻🗡
      #VoteMaisie

        Quote  Reply

    51. Keith,

      [7:26 pm – Attempted reposting of previous reply still stuck in moderation purgatory]

      Keith wrote:

      In hindsight, Jaime going back to Cersei does make sense. It doesn’t mean he’s necessarily siding with her or agreeing with the things she’s done (despite what he says to Brienne to push her away from him). Forget the fact that he’s in a relationship with Cersei. He goes back to her to try and save his twin sister from certain death. And I think any one of us, if we had a twin, would do the same. Even Tyrion is doing everything he can do at the end to save Cersei, because she is his sister. I really don’t think it’s anything more complicated than family ties…”

      ______
      Reply:

      Those Lannister brothers were real masochists. Cersei tried to have them executed and assassinated.
      And still, Tyrion was all “your baby” this, “your baby that”, and undermined his own Queen by devising inane strategies (failed “clever plans”) that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Tyrell, Dornish and Greyjoy allies while trying to
      spare the lives of his homicidal sister and her alleged “baby.”

      Cersei c*ckolded Jamie (with dw**b Lancel, no less) and pimped herself out to nutjob Euron in front of his nose. She threatened to have ZombieGregor hack off his head. She hired Bronn to whack both Jaime and Tyrion. She belittled Jaime and called him an idiot. And still he blew off Brienne and went running back to Cersei at the end.

      I understand the pull of a toxic woman. So did Jaime: I think at one point, in exasperation, he had asked out loud something like “Why have the gods made me love such a hateful woman?” As previous commenters Max W and Grandmaester F observed, she was like an addiction: He tried to get clean, but continually relapsed.

      So I have no problem with the way things turned out for the “Honorable” Ser Jaime. His better angels were no match for the siren song of the wicked twin sister formerly* known as the Mother of Madness.

      * Gotta hand it to Dany. In less than half an hour, she wrested that title from Cersei.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Ten Bears,

      I think I am not right about the “younger sibling of king/queen part”. I can’t remember where on earth I read it. It’s not supported by the “evidence” (I think) and it seems a bit of a stretch.
      However, the “his hands” part I’ve seen as argument around the internet is also not correct. The correct way to say this would be “the valonqar shall wrapp his or her hands around your neck”. In cases like this we simplify. (meaning Missandei knows best, lol)

        Quote  Reply

    53. Efi,

      Your “doctor” example is the same. No specific gender doesn’t mean that there is no gender, it only means that you have to specify (unless you don’t want to, or in more general contexts).
      And yes, I am such a geek (bc I’m sure you’re wondering, lol). I’d like to say I drink and know things, but I reduced drinking, so…

        Quote  Reply

    54. Thank you, Petra, for sharing his insights into his very CONFLICTED character. I think NCW is right. And there was plenty of evidence that he would return to Cersei. Not only their life-long conviction that they would die together, but his explaining to Edmure that he didn’t care about Edmure or his son, only getting back to Cersei. Only she “matters”, which is echoed by his final lines in 8.05. In Season 6 he was willing to kill Edmure’s child to get back (to Cersei. (And he must have meant it since he had earlier riduculed Walder’s sons for threatening to kill Edmure but not being willing to do it.). He’s always been willing to kill a child…it’s one of the things he does for love. I do think Jaime did redeem himself for keeping an oath by (temporarily) deserting family to fight the Others, but not for choosing good for his own life. It’s almost Shakespearean tragedy.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Efi: Nouns in languages either have a gender or not. You can’t have a gender for some nouns and no gender for others in the same language. If it’s like that for the promised prince/princess it’s like that for all nouns of High Valyrian. Eg, English nouns have no gender; Turkish doesn’t; French, German, Greek, Russian, and others, do.

      Some languages have three genders, though. Masculine, feminine and neuter. German is one example. So perhaps Valyrian has neuter nouns.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Ten Bears: I understand the pull of a toxic woman. So did Jaime: I think at one point, in exasperation, he had asked out loud something like “Why have the gods made me love such a hateful woman?” As previous commenters Max W and Grandmaester F observed, she was like an addiction: He tried to get clean, but continually relapsed.

      I’ve got no business making this comment, as I don’t have any siblings, let alone a twin. But I guess that there can be an incredibly strong bond between twins. Jaime has been entwined with Cersei literally from the moment of their conception, and in his case it’s a bond too strong to break, whatever she did.

        Quote  Reply

    57. This was quite a thought provoking and enlightening interview. Thank you Petra 👏🏻

      As much as I would have preferred a happier ending for Brienne and Jamie, I understand how the pull towards Cersei was so strong. There was also their unborn child to be considered. However, Dany could not let any of them live if , somehow, they were taken alive. Death was inevitable.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Grandmaester Flash,

      Language genders are in general three; you can’t have two. It’s masculine, feminine, neutral in all languages that have genders (including Latin and ancient Greek). German has the articles der, die, das; Latin has no articles, but ancient Greek does; only the French have le, la, l’ (lol forever; they’re doing things in a weird way but I love them).
      In languages that have no gender such as English (they only have definite/indefinite articles, the/a or an) you need to explain in specific contexts, eg in the Bears’ doctor example; a doctor is always he/she, as in “I went to the doctor today; she told me to stay at home”. This is why I believe that “his hands” in the prophecy may be misleading. It is a common mistake we make when we speak.
      It’s the same with valonqar. Martin did not invent a whole new language in the books. He only included some words, such as the valonqar. The language was invented for the show and as we are told by Missandei nouns need a gender specification (like English). It would be weird if this was true for only one noun or a group of them, but you never know. I don’t think that anybody bothered at all with that question.
      The linguist that was hired by the production to invent the valyrian and dothraki languages would normally work on the principles that already exist and wouldn’t have invented new ones. It appears that he used the principles of the English language at least for high Valyrian. Note that in the books, Valyrian is sth like Latin. Members of the aristocracy of Westeros were expected to speak a little, like Tyrion, and there were even folks songs sang in Valyrian (we are told that Sansa could memorize the lyrics of such songs).

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    59. Efi,

      And Jamie wrapped his hand around her shoulders and neck as if to protect her, did you notice that? I thought it was an interesting detail. Are the show-runners teasing us?

      Jaime holding Cersei’s neck was very noticeable, although it was probably an easter egg specially for readers of the books. The show was hinting that Jaime, the younger twin, was actually the Valonqar all along.

      Similar issue with the lingering shots of Tyrion in front of a giant wall carving of a dragon during his conversation with Dany. Obviously an easter egg about Tyrion’s real paternity.

      As with so much else, the significance of this stuff will probably be clearer in the final ASOIAF book.

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    60. Jai:
      Efi,

      Jaime holding Cersei’s neck was very noticeable, although it was probably an easter egg specially for readers of the books. The show was hinting that Jaime, the younger twin, was actually the Valonqar all along.

      Similar issue with the lingering shots of Tyrion in front of a giant wall carving of a dragon during his conversation with Dany. Obviously an easter egg about Tyrion’s real paternity.

      As with so much else, the significance of this stuff will probably be clearer in the final ASOIAF book.

      There was also a scene in the map room in S7 I think, Jaime was stood on the Fingers, and Cersei was stood at the Neck. Obvious hint towards the valonqar, even though they never planned to include it. If nothing else this makes me think that it is actually going to be Jaime in the book. He might not literally choke her to death but could cause it somehow.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Jai: Similar issue with the lingering shots of Tyrion in front of a giant wall carving of a dragon during his conversation with Dany. Obviously an easter egg about Tyrion’s real paternity.

      No. Tyrion is not a Targaryen. He is the son of Tywin Lannister, whether people want that to be the case or not.

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    62. Mr Derp: No.Tyrion is not a Targaryen.He is the son of Tywin Lannister, whether people want that to be the case or not.

      …And how does one distinguish between supposed “Easter eggs” and incidental details? Or Easter eggs deliberately included early on, but left to rot in future seasons?

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    63. Ten Bears,

      People see what they want to see. I assume that poster just really, really wanted Tyrion to be a Targaryen, for whatever reason.

      I think the shot of the dragon that’s being referred to has much more to do with foreshadowing Dany “being a dragon” and burning KL later that episode, but whatever.

      There is also the pesky little fact that the show is over and any chance to reveal yet another secret Targaryen has come and gone.

      “What is over may never be over.”

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    64. Efi,

      …The correct way to say this would be “the valonqar shall wrap his or her hands around your neck”.

      _____
      1. Why?
      2. P.S. Jaime only has one hand [singular]. Not “hands” [plural].

      You can have the last word if you’d like. I’m done. Unless George finishes the books we’ll never know the proper interpretation of the Valonqar prophecy anyway.

      Not to mention the Prince(ss) That Was Promised, Azor Ahai/Warrior of Light, and other prophecies and legends.

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    65. Ten Bears,

      Yea, IMO, the show went somewhat out of its way to turn most of the prophecies into red herrings more than anything else. I’m not sure if the books will go the same route, but it wouldn’t surprise me either.

      After watching the show, I think a lot of the prophecies in the books should be taken with a grain of salt.

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    66. Mr Derp,

      From what I can remember, the prophecies given in the books have all come true, Dany’s visions and Quaithe’s warnings are all true (pale mare, 3 betrayals, mummer’s dragon etc) as is Jaime’s Weirwood dream and Cersei’s Maggy the Frog prophecy (number of children, younger more beautiful Queen, I assume Valonqar). The only ? is the PTWP, they didn’t include that in the show, and I really have no idea how that will play out, I’d guess Jon because he made the alliance between the Wildlings and Northerners.

      I think it could be a case of the old self fulfilling prophecy for Cersei, Maggy told her friend that she would die that night and it’s heavily implied that Cersei chucked her down a well. She is utterly obsessed by it, but she may also misinterpret it as well, thinking Tyrion is the Valonqar for one.

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    67. Young Dragon,

      Good choice for her, she basically carried that episode, and her final scene in KL was brilliant, I genuinely didn’t know she had it in her. Do we know what Alfie has chosen yet?

        Quote  Reply

    68. Efi: Well, Sam and Gilly didn’t have a happy ending. The maesters are celibate, remember? It is implied that they never got married and that Sam’s children are in fact bastards.

      And House Stark will be dead after Sansa marries or dies.

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    69. Jenny:
      Young Dragon,

      I’d guess the Long Night for Alfie and maybe the same for Maisie, she could also go with the Bells.

      I just responded under the latest post about my suggested episode submission for Maisie Williams (S8e5, “The Bells”), and the reasons why.

      For Alfie Allen, I thought his best scene was in S8e2 when he volunteered to defend Bran. He said something to the Starks like “I once took this castle from you. Now let me defend it for you.” (I forget the exact dialogue.)

      My problem with “The Long Night” for Alfie is that although Bran gave Theon that “You’re a good man. Thank you” send off, when Bran announced “I’m going to go now” and then rolled his eyes back and went tripping, I sort of imagined Theon thinking, “Wait, what? Where you going? Hello? Not a good time to go catatonic on me!”

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    70. Jenny,

      There was also a scene in the map room in S7 I think, Jaime was stood on the Fingers, and Cersei was stood at the Neck. Obvious hint towards the valonqar, even though they never planned to include it. If nothing else this makes me think that it is actually going to be Jaime in the book. He might not literally choke her to death but could cause it somehow.

      Good catch. I bet there’s all kinds of things like that in previous seasons, possibly right from the start. And to expand on my observation about Tyrion in one of the final episodes, there have been more than a dozen examples from previous episodes and seasons that have been discussed in major publications too. Similar stuff with other lead characters, some of which has been confirmed to be true (as you’ve also noted) and other things that were left ambiguous.

      It wouldn’t be unusual for a show like GoT to include foreshadowing/symbolism/backstory hints that only readers of the original books would really notice. LOTR did it too. The current behaviour of some GoT fans is like someone insisting that Aragorn’s dynasty has no historical links to Atlantis just because the LOTR movies didn’t depict the matter anywhere near as directly as the books.

      Nevertheless, it’s fun to speculate, of course.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Mr Derp,

      People see what they want to see. I assume that poster just really, really wanted Tyrion to be a Targaryen, for whatever reason.

      One of the lessons of GoT, as in real life, is to never make any assumptions about anyone.

      I think a lot of the prophecies in the books should be taken with a grain of salt.

      They’re supposed to be. The books themselves make that clear, including some fairly explicit language from an unconventional maester making exactly this point.

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    72. Ten Bears,

      …And how does one distinguish between supposed “Easter eggs” and incidental details? Or Easter eggs deliberately included early on, but left to rot in future seasons?

      Read the entire book series, compare the signposting in the books with what was depicted in the show, and draw no definitive conclusions either way until the saga is complete in the final book. Common sense, Mr Bears 😉

      I agree with your later point that it will be impossible to know the proper interpretation of the various prophecies in the books or whether popular fan theories about character backstories that GoT appears to allude to are actually correct until GRRM finishes the final book. At the moment, it’s difficult to tell if D&D included those things as deliberate easter eggs or they were simply trolling book fans because they were aware of the fan theories and were engaging in misdirection.

      You’re also correct that GoT ultimately didn’t resolve or even address some of the biggest prophecies and legends from the books. GRRM, on the other hand, probably will resolve all this in the final book, although — given his storytelling style — it wouldn’t be surprising if at least some of the associated events and explanations end up being very different to what many fans expect, even if technically it doesn’t contradict the broad details of “where everyone ended up” in GoT’s finale.

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    73. Jai: One of the lessons of GoT, as in real life, is to never make any assumptions about anyone.

      You’re more than welcome to clear up any assumptions and state why you still think Tyrion is a secret Targaryen.

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    74. Mr Derp,

      ”You’re more than welcome to clear up any assumptions and state why you still think Tyrion is a secret Targaryen.”

      Once again, you’re making assumptions about other people. As my comments on this thread make clear, I’ve never said I personally think Tyrion is a secret Targaryen, let alone “still” having that opinion.

      If you want to understand why it’s been a popular fan theory, read GRRM’s books along with the numerous mainstream articles on the subject that reference the tv show too. Also, Google is your friend.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Efi: Language genders are in general three; you can’t have two. It’s masculine, feminine, neutral in all languages that have genders (including Latin and ancient Greek). German has the articles der, die, das; Latin has no articles, but ancient Greek does; only the French have le, la, l’ (lol forever; they’re doing things in a weird way but I love them).

      That’s not true, lots of languages only use two genders and not only French.

      Anyway the word prince/ss in Valyrian is clearly something equivalent to English words like monarch, sovereign, ruler (or child, sibling, spouse); it doesn’t specify the sex of the person holding that position.

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    76. Efi: Well, Sam and Gilly didn’t have a happy ending. The maesters are celibate, remember? It is implied that they never got married and that Sam’s children are in fact bastards.

      Who knows what laws and customs may be changed under the new regime? Perhaps maesters will be allowed to marry in the future. When I was very young, women who worked for the civil service in the UK weren’t allowed to be married. If they got married, they had to give up their jobs. And it’s only quite recently that the Church of England has allowed women to become priests. Just two examples of change in my lifetime.

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    77. Jai: Once again, you’re making assumptions about other people. As my comments on this thread make clear, I’ve never said I personally think Tyrion is a secret Targaryen, let alone “still” having that opinion.

      LOL, you specifically said that “the lingering shots of Tyrion in front of a giant wall carving of a dragon during his conversation with Dany was obviously an Easter egg about Tyrion’s real paternity”. This is a statement that came straight from you. Your comment makes it very clear that you believe in this theory, unless you misspoke. This is not an assumption on my part. I will, however, make one assumption that you don’t know what the word assumption means since you’re making a habit of using the word out of context.

      Jai: If you want to understand why it’s been a popular fan theory, read GRRM’s books along with the numerous mainstream articles on the subject that reference the tv show too.

      I already very well understand that it WAS a popular theory. WAS being the key word. The show has come and gone and Tyrion is not a secret Targaryen. The show is over and there’s no point in Tyrion suddenly becoming a secret Targaryen in the books. His story is actually much more compelling that he really is the son of Tywin. Making Tyrion another Targaryen would be a cop-out and wouldn’t serve the story at all. It would just be redundant and marginalize Jon’s parentage reveal that he really is a Targaryen and heir to the Iron Throne.

      Jai: Also, Google is your friend.

      Google is indeed a friend of mine, but it doesn’t seem to be a friend of yours since you could’ve easily googled by now that the show is over and any chance for Tyrion to be secret Targaryen number 1,000 has come and gone.

      I’ll apologize ahead of time if I’m misunderstanding you, but I don’t think the misunderstanding is coming from my end. I’m simply reacting to what you’re saying.

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    78. Young Dragon: No, if Sansa marries, she and her husband will keep the Stark name.

      How do you figure that? If Tyrion and Sansa had stayed together, would he be Tyrion Stark?

        Quote  Reply

    79. Mr Derp,

      LOL, you specifically said that “the lingering shots of Tyrion in front of a giant wall carving of a dragon during his conversation with Dany was obviously an Easter egg about Tyrion’s real paternity”. This is a statement that came straight from you. Your comment makes it very clear that you believe in this theory, unless you misspoke.

      “Real paternity” in the sense of that potentially being revealed in the final book. Meaning that Tyrion’s paternity might be revealed to be something different to what it officially is at this stage in the books and at GoT’s conclusion. It doesn’t mean someone using this term currently believes the official narrative is definitely false.

      “Theory”, of course, does not mean “fact”. So when someone suggests a theory might have validity, it means there is interesting information potentially supporting it, but that it has not been definitively proven. It is the difference between agreeing that something is “possible” and thinking something is “a definite fact”.

      It helps to read statements in their proper context, especially when an individual has also posted other statements on the same thread providing further details on their views of the subject as a whole.

      This is not an assumption on my part. I will, however, make one assumption that you don’t know what the word assumption means since you’re making a habit of using the word out of context.

      On the contrary, you’re making a habit of *interpreting* words out of context.

      There are a lot of commenters with Aspergers on the internet. It explains a great deal about online debates, although it’s not the only factor. If you are on the Aspergers spectrum, I do hope my remarks above have been helpful in clarifying my precise views on popular fan theories about Tyrion’s paternity. However, if you’re still having trouble understanding matters, I’m afraid I can’t help you further, but you should probably read the numerous articles online about the theory. They’re entertaining reading, at least.

      And once again, only GRRM’s final book in ASOIAF will resolve this question along with a number of other issues that people find ambiguous. Best approach to these matters is to simply wait until that book comes out; unless GRRM decides to deliberately leave things to the reader’s personal interpretation, it should also answer a lot of questions about why D&D did and did not include various things on-screen. GRRM himself will write whatever he wants to write, regardless of what the rest of us may think would “make redundant” or be “more compelling”. And given his famous enjoyment of writing unexpected big twists, he may well also include details that significantly change one’s view of events already depicted on-screen. Plenty of people would enjoy that kind of reading experience too.

      I’ll apologize ahead of time if I’m misunderstanding you

      Yes, you’re misunderstanding me. I accept your apology. Despite the fact that the online behaviour of many GoT fans during the past couple of months has given the fanbase a very bad name, some of us are here just to have friendly conversations about one of our favourite shows, even when it involves differences of opinion.

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    80. Fall of House Stork,

      I’m not an expert, so I don’t know if Tyrion would have taken the Stark name, but any child he had with Sansa definitely would have. The Starks were a Great House and according to ASOIAF history, this isn’t the first time the Stark line was continued by a female.

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    81. Jai: Similar issue with the lingering shots of Tyrion in front of a giant wall carving of a dragon during his conversation with Dany. Obviously an easter egg about Tyrion’s real paternity.

      Jai: “Theory”, of course, does not mean “fact”. So when someone suggests a theory might have validity, it means there is interesting information potentially supporting it, but that it has not been definitively proven. It is the difference between agreeing that something is “possible” and thinking something is “a definite fact”.

      It helps to read statements in their proper context, especially when an individual has also posted other statements on the same thread providing further details on their views of the subject as a whole.

      Should I be concerned that you are blatantly unaware of your own completely contradictory statements? Saying that something is “obviously an Easter egg” in regards to Tyrion’s paternity and then flip-flopping later on to say that it’s just a theory afterwards that might have validity is a complete and total contradiction. One does not need to be afflicted with Aspergers to come to this realization.

      Instead of acknowledging that your statements contradict themselves, you instead try to say that I have Aspergers Syndrome as a way of explaining this away? All the while claiming that you are trying to have friendly conversations? Dude, the hypocrisy of your posts are unreal.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Young Dragon,

      So, hypothetically speaking, if Arya starts getting nauseous when she’s out at sea and it’s not sea sickness; and returns home to wed Gendry nka Gendry Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End, would their offspring have the Stark surname?

      Then again, the answer to the question, “What would the child’s name be?” is probably:

      “Anything Arya wants it to be.” Who’s going to countermand her?

      #TheSeedIsStrong

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    83. Ten Bears,

      No, Baratheon would also be a Great House, so the child would be heir to Storm’s End and the Stormlands. Besides, a name is only continued by the female line if otherwise the House would go extinct, assuming Sansa gets married and has a child, there would be no need for Arya to continue the family name as her family’s future would be secure. Then again, if Sansa doesn’t have any children, technically Arya’s child would be the heir to Storm’s End and Winterfell, so that’s when things would get tricky.

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    84. Fall of House Stork,

      You obviously haven’t heard about the Bael the Bard, have you? The wildling lover of a Stark heiress.
      As open as it was, with clear Elizabeth I references in imagery for her coronation, I don’t think that Sansa will have no heirs. She’ll probably have bastard children. Barstards are all over Sansa’s arc in the books. In this case, the children shall bear the Stark name, not Snow, because what good is being queen if you can’t give your children a name? LOL.

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    85. Fall of House Stork,

      Tyrion would be a Lannister. The children would be Starks. Any king/queen is superior to any lord. Tyrion is a lord. Sansa is queen.
      But she wouldn’t ever marry anyone from the South, because that would be giving Southerners political power in the North. The whole independence affair of the North is about that. Marriage is politics when you’re a queen.

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    86. Efi: Language genders are in general three; you can’t have two. It’s masculine, feminine, neutral in all languages that have genders (including Latin and ancient Greek). German has the articles der, die, das; Latin has no articles, but ancient Greek does; only the French have le, la, l’ (lol forever; they’re doing things in a weird way but I love them).

      Sorry to contradict you on this, but “are in general three” is a dubious generalization. If you judge by this panel of over 250 languages, genders are in general…zero, and more often 2 than 3. Not to mention the many languages (especially the numerous African languages of, say, the Bantu family and neighboring ones that have up to ten or more). English on the map counts as 3 mainly because of the 3rd person pronouns/possessives, though gender is not marked on nouns or the other determiners (and has no gender agreement with other categories).

      https://wals.info/feature/30A#2/25.5/148.2

      I didn’t check for GOT’s artificial languages, though it’s an interesting question.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Efi,

      You may be right. But in some interview Sophie said she thought Sansa would not be with a man. She may be right for two reasons. Sansa is rather paranoid about power, and it’s unlikely she would share it with anyone. With a husband she’d constantly worry about him making a power grab. The other is sadder. Myranda, Ramsay, and Sansa all hinted she was badly cut by Ramsay,. Myranda excepted her face and “the parts needed to make an heir.” If she is seriously disfigured, I doubt she’d let any man see that.

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    88. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      I think ST said that because Sansa only had traumatic experiences with men. But that is a modern approach. In book and show universe, if she ends up queen, she’s obliged to think of heirs, just like Daenerys was (remember Dany’s discussion with Tyrion in 7.6? –why is that valid for Daenerys and not for Sansa?)
      The show went to extremes about her abuse. It was their short-cut to take her to Jon. But it was never implied that it happened like Myranda said it would and in the end Sansa is looking as good as ever.
      Where on earth did you find that she’s “paranoid about power”? She refused to replace Jon over and over, all through seasons 7 and 8. In season 7 she offered her title to Bran; she wanted to make him lord of Winterfell. Even in her last scene with Jon she says that he’s their king. And the script even has is “But they’ve lost their true king”.
      How does that make her power hungry?

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    89. Young Dragon:

      I’m not an expert, so I don’t know if Tyrion would have taken the Stark name, but any child he had with Sansa definitely would have. The Starks were a Great House and according to ASOIAF history, this isn’t the first time the Stark line was continued by a female.

      Well, now I feel a little better. This was never explained in the show ( I haven’t read the books or any other material), so my assumption was that children of a royal marriage would take the family name of the father (assuming the father was from a noble House). Thanks.

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    90. Grandmaester Flash,

      I think her last line to Jon indicates that she’d be willing to reestablish him as king or share power with him.
      She wouldn’t share power with a non-Northerner though because they (and herself) are suspicious of foreigners.
      Any future husband of Sansa would be simply the queen’s consort, not king, because she’s queen in her own right and I doubt she’d crown him. Any consort would have some power, but not more than her and certainly not institutionalized (meaning he wouldn’t have power of signature).
      This is a reason for not choosing any non-northerner but this estimate could even be valid for Northerners. Why trust anybody, even in the North?
      Considering that the show ended like this, I wouldn’t even trust Jon if I was in her position. But the show gave us the exact opposite. She still trusts him so much that she considers him (true) king in the North.

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    91. AnnOther,

      I think I’m confused. Are we talking about genders or persons?
      In any case, you’re right; I have to amend my statement. Most indo-european languages have three genders and in some of them there are articles to signal them (as in German). I read and write five, not counting my mother language and the ancient ones. Four of them are european. I am always tempted to learn a second non-european but each time I remember how old I am I get discouraged, lol.
      Anyway, I don’t think they modeled Valyrian on African languages . I think they’d choose something more familiar to them.
      Thanks for the correction.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Efi,

      You’re welcome! I just happen to love linguistic typology, though I speak only 3 languages and studied latin years ago (not Greek, alas!); lucky you!
      In between I looked at the Wikipedia page for High Valyrian: it seems to have 4 genders , none of which is based on sex. If “valonqar” is high Valyrian and if I understood correctly, it should be of “aquatic gender” (!). I didn’t find whether there is a word for “sister” (does “Dark Sister” have a Valyrian name ??)

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    93. AnnOther,

      I am so envious of you and Eli – I know enough Spanish to have a simple conversation but am far from fluent, I have a little hebrew but haven’t used it in decades. Always wanted to learn more languages (I find linguistics fascinating) but my brain just doesn’t seem to work that way. I am fluent in ASL (American Sign Language) which makes sense because I have always been a visual learner. Just wish I knew more of the spoken kind!

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    94. AnnOther,

      Ah, if there is an aquatic gender then perhaps they figured they’d expand the language to make it more exotic compared to Westeros. I suppose it corresponds to the mythical environment of ASOIAF.
      I always hated linguistics. I liked foreign literature, lol.
      Once you leave the european group of languages, it becomes really challenging; it’s a whole different mindset behind other languages.

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    95. ash,

      Thanks so much! I don’t know any sign languages and I think it’s a very important accomplishment. Imo one of the most beautiful languages in the world (structure, vocabulary and ways to express sth) is Russian. This may be one of the reasons why some of the greatest masterpieces ever are written in Russian.

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    96. Efi,
      Of course she would be happy with that.
      Jon’s mother was a Stark, and he was brought up as a Stark, so as far as Sansa is concerned, he IS a Stark.

        Quote  Reply

    97. ash,

      I know British Sign Language to a fairly basic level. A few years ago I obtained Level 2 in the Open College qualification (though Signature the organisation that oversees BSL doesn’t recognise the Open College qualifications for working with D/deaf people) – it was the one I could find a course for in my hometown though. I did manage to get the Level One is ASL which is recognised by Signature. It sounds as if your accomplishment in ASL in more advanced than mine in BSL. I’m retired though so I’m not really thinking of looking for another career at this stage in my life. Languages are supposed to exercise the part of the brain related to memory so I hope it will help my grey matter stay on point. As an aside, do you know anything about the sign language that Native Americans use? It’s an interesting subject but here in the UK it’s not something I know a lot about.

      Incidentally, the BSL teacher said (well signed – she is a deaf lady) that ASL signs are making some inroads into BSL. Well, there is American influence on UK spoken English because of the number of American TV shows that are aired over here. There are regional differences in BSL signs sometimes – I suppose that also happens in ASL. After all, if it happens in a relatively small country like the UK it’s more likely to happen in a vast land like the USA.

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    98. Mr Derp:
      Google is indeed a friend of mine, but it doesn’t seem to be a friend of yours since you could’ve easily googled by now that the show is over and any chance for Tyrion to be secret Targaryen number 1,000 has come and gone.

      You’re making the assumption that every single truth is told. No, it just means that the show didn’t reveal it. Some secrets are taken to the grave without anyone finding out. Both D&D and GRRM do not show/tell us absolutely everything. I consider it very possible that Tyrion is of Targaryen decent, and Tywin was the last living person who knew it to be true. But I choose to believe many things are possible, such as when Dany paused before unleashing dragonfire upon KL…I believe she was likely hearing Bran’s (3ER’s) voice saying, “Burn them all.”

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    99. This thread has wandered away from Jaime Lannister to other favourite topics like Starks etc.. to which so many threads gravitate.

      What is so cool about GOT and ASOIAF is the moral ambiguity of so many characters who are morally hermaphrodite, neither one nor the other, both good and bad. This baffles us.

      The 21st century is the new Victoriana, we’re becoming incredibly prudishly and prohibitionist-ly moralistic. Things and people are either good or bad, ok or not ok. In this context GOT strikes a contrary note. Jaime is not the only character who is both bad and good. Most in GOT are in fact. Cersei perhaps stands alone in being almost all bad.

      But who is all good? None of the Starks, except maybe Ned who was jaw-juttingly honourable but not that bright. Even Bran had a careless moment that destroyed the mind of Hodor. Brienne? Maybe. But not Tyrion or Varys or Jon Snow or Arya etc.

      In an earlier thread I trotted out a common opinion about Jaime’s arc being a sort of redemption. But I think NKW is correct to say there is no redemption. It’s not just because there is no self-forgiveness by Jaime (this calls to mind the vivid scene in the ‘80s movie “The Mission” about the burden of guilt of the slaver turned priest.) It’s because in GOT we look in vain for neatly wrapped up answers to any such questions. Moral ambiguity of Jaime and others is unresolved and there is no answer. It is what it is. If morality were a science then it would be descriptive only, not analytical.

      If there was a clean answer then it wouldn’t be moral ambiguity any more – we would be back in a world of easy moral certainty. And neither GRRM nor GOT is going to allow that!

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    100. I think the closest people to “pure good” would be Sam & Pod…

      Anyway, I’m about 1000% sure that “Tyrion Targaryen” would’ve been revealed in the show. Unless GRRM intends to pull a JK Rowling someday with that one. However, I WILL accept the ominous “Daenerys was driven mad by a ‘Burn them all’ voice in her head” ending! Because I’ll never buy Dany’s turn otherwise, throwing away her victory and entire seven-and-a-half-season storyline for no reason whatsoever…spontaneously developing a brand-new identity and goal and “hey-let’s-liberate-slash-kill-everybody-in-the-world” philosophy…’cause, why? “LOL IDK, looks like we needed a surprise villain for SOME reason, and apparently I’m the one we’re comfortable tossing under the bus and denying a happyish ending. Best season evahhh.”

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    101. Shelle,

      That argument about Dany’s sudden badness has been done to death of course. FWIW my own view is that it didn’t come from nowhere, there had been signs of it before. Sometimes a person’s nature becomes clearer when they’re in a position of power.

      Love and peace!

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    102. Dire guineapig,

      I’m with you. A lot of people seem to have been seduced by Daenerys (and many will undeniably have been attracted by her looks). But I saw from an early stage that she could be cruel and pitiless, and those traits kept resurfacing .

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    103. Well, I’m straight, so it wasn’t her looks for me. xD I didn’t see her as much crueler or less merciful than many, and certainly did view her as one of the best possible choices of ruler. She was in a position of power which was at times wielded somewhat harshly, perhaps, but always against those who were pretty clearly enemies and in need of punishment. Which is not the least bit indicative of a future likelihood to rain hellfire upon a ton of random nobodies who haven’t so much as said boo to you. ;p She strove for true justice and fairness, which is so much more than can be said for plenty of leaders on Planetos.
      But yeah, I’m sick of everything somehow constantly circling back to this, even though it is one of my two biggest problems with the ending. I’ll always loathe that she had to be doomed to go out a “Mad Queen.”

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    104. Shelle,

      Shell, G. Flash

      At that classic meeting of the four “queens” at Dragonstone (Dany, Olenna Tyrell, Yara Greyjoy, Ellaria Sand) Olenna tells Dany, “you’re a dragon. Be a dragon!”

      Soon after, at the first meeting of Jon Snow with Dany, a prophetic exchange takes place:

      Dany: “I was born to rule over the seven kingdoms. And I will.”

      Jon: “You’ll be ruling over a graveyard.”

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    105. Yeah…now I’ll be forever hating that we ACTUALLY got her ACTUALLY becoming (for a very short while) queen of the ashes, when she was never a stupid enough person not to grasp that “being a dragon” doesn’t necessarily mean going willy-nilly with your dragons, destroying everyone & everything so that you’ll rule, yes, but rule…nothing…and nobody…

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    106. Shelle,

      Yes we hated what happened to Dany. I hated it. We were all enthralled by Dany’s idealism, passion and personal charm. All this tempted us to forgive what in the end couldn’t be forgiven.

      That’s the point – that’s what GRRM – and David & Dan – do. Serve up the shockingly unexpected and make the incipient happy-ever-after endings crash and burn. Leave questions that have no answer. That I think will be GOT’s enduring appeal and excellence.

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    107. Yeah, I wasn’t looking for a happy-sappy ending (although it kiiinda was except for Dany’s fate), and don’t think anybody who was being realistic expected that…I only wish it made sense…just watched “The Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes” on YouTube, and my word, what an excellent analysis. Lots of what I’ve been saying for months now, in hour-long video format. x3

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    108. I just had a crazy thought about Jaime Lannister – on the theme of his inner conflict of guilt and resentment concerning his assassination of the Mad King (to avert genocide as it turned out but giving him an inescapable bad reputation). What if he had tried to resolve his inner world by joining the Sparrows? Becoming a convert in sack-cloth? Imagine the dilemma that would present to Cersei!

      However that would have probably ended their dual entwined arcs too soon – Cersei and Jaime had to make it to the last or at least penultimate episode. The Sparrows were too early.

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    109. Dire guineapig,

      I just had a crazy thought about Jaime Lannister – on the theme of his inner conflict of guilt and resentment concerning his assassination of the Mad King (to avert genocide as it turned out but giving him an inescapable bad reputation)

      Never understood why, after his bath tub confession to Brienne, he did not tell others why he did it. At the very least, when Brienne was speaking for Jaime during his trial, why she didn’t share that? Seemed like the guilt and resentmeny was misplaced, and he should have been praised and honored for what he did

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    110. ash,

      Ash, Shelle

      Exactly.

      Maybe with the Baratheon revolution everything and everyone got carried away on a tide of chaotic events, and the chance for Jaime to give his side of the story and the chance for it to have made any difference, had come and gone.

      And the injury of this injustice no doubt seared his soul for all time.

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    111. Dire guineapig: Maybe with the Baratheon revolution everything and everyone got carried away on a tide of chaotic events, and the chance for Jaime to give his side of the story and the chance for it to have made any difference, had come and gone.

      And the injury of this injustice no doubt seared his soul for all time.

      Interesting, since it does somehow parallel Jon’s ending, with differences (and a loose parallel between them was set up at their first encounter). I’ll ruminate about this!

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