David Benioff and D.B Weiss explain why they omitted Lady Stoneheart

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Oh, Lady Stoneheart. Her omission from Game of Thrones was one of the show’s first major departures from A Song of Ice and Fire. Now, six years on, showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explain their thought process behind their controversial decision in James Hibberd’s upcoming book, Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Untold Story of the Epic Series

In an article for Entertainment Weekly, Hibberd published interview excerpts with David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and George R.R. Martin from his upcoming book (which is available for pre-order now) that shed light on why Mother Merciless didn’t make the jump from page to screen.

According to Benioff, it was actually a fairly easy decision to make. “There was never really much debate about [including Lady Stoneheart],” he said. “There is that one great scene.”

In context, it seems the “one great scene” he’s referring to is Lady Stoneheart’s reveal at the end of A Storm of Swords (as opposed to say, Brienne’s trial, which I guess could qualify as “great,” depending on how you define the word).

Her cloak and collar hid the gash his brother’s blade had made, but her face was even worse than he remembered. The flesh had gone pudding soft in the water and turned the color of curdled milk. Half her hair was gone and the rest had turned as white and brittle as a crone’s. Beneath her ravaged scalp, her face was shredded skin and black blood where she had raked herself with her nails. But her eyes were the most terrible thing. Her eyes saw him, and they hated. – Epilogue, A Storm of Swords

“That was the only debate,” Weiss concurred. “The scene where she first shows up is one of the best ‘holy shit’ moments in the books. I think that scene is where the public response came from. But then…”

His quote trails off and, frankly, it’s unclear if there was more to his statement that Hibberd chose to leave out (or save for his book) or if Weiss intentionally left his sentence ambiguous.

However, Weiss and Benioff do make it clear that there were several concrete reasons why they decided against bringing Catelyn back after the Red Wedding, one of which had to do with the Red Wedding itself. They didn’t want to undercut the power of Catelyn’s final scene in which she barters in vain for her son’s life by simply reintroducing her back into the show.

“Catelyn’s last moment was so fantastic, and Michelle is such a great actress, to bring her back as a zombie who doesn’t speak felt like diminishing returns,” Benioff said.

They were also concerned about Catelyn’s return undercutting another character’s miraculous return from the dead.

“We knew we had Jon Snow’s resurrection coming up,” Benioff said. “Too many resurrections start to diminish the impact of characters dying. We wanted to keep our powder dry for that.”

A third explanation Benioff and Weiss provided was something related to Martin’s as of yet unrevealed plans for the character in A Song of Ice and Fire.

“Part of the reason we didn’t want to put it in had to do with things coming up in George’s books that we don’t want to spoil,” Benioff said.

Citing A Song of Ice and Fire in this particular discussion is an interesting approach to take, in my opinion, since Martin has been quite open in other interviews about disagreeing with Benioff and Weiss’s decision to write out Lady Stoneheart.

“Lady Stoneheart has a role in the books,” Martin told Hibberd. “Whether it’s sufficient or interesting enough. I think it is or I wouldn’t have put her in. One of the things I wanted to show with her is that the death she suffered changes you.”

Regardless of the reasons behind the decision, Lady Stoneheart’s omission has been the subject of debate for six years, now. I’ve given my two cents, as have others on this site. But ultimately we’re all just going to have to wait for The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring for Lady Stoneheart to finally return again.

222 responses

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    1. Her exclusion never really bothered me too much. I was actually more upset about HOW we ‘saw’ her reanimated not being included (Arya’s abilities being excluded). I am curious to see what George does with her, but on the show I can’t see how it would have been all that great or much of an addition to the story considering it probably would have had to end rather quickly. I never expected them to insert a rather grotesque, decaying Catelyn into much in other words.

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    2. Lady Stoneheart’s omission is one of the many examples of the show improving the books. When I first read ASOS I inmediately hated the idea of a resurrected Cat, for the same reason I hate how writers resurrect characters whose arc was over. It’s cheap, it weakens both Cat’s character and spoils Jon’s resurrection. Not to mention that it creates yet another storyline that has to be resolved.
      Imagine for one moment Lady Stoneheart being an invention of the show and imagine what would the reaction be from the haters.

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    3. I think what they can’t say about GRRM’s plans for future books is that LSH is probably not important enough to undermine the power of RW and bring her back.

      From GRRM’s statement it’s clear that Benioff and Weiss thought that she is not important enough.

      Her introduction scene is really great and I think that would create very high expectations that the show just couldn’t deliver.

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    4. oierem:
      When I first read ASOS I inmediately hated the idea of a resurrected Cat, for the same reason I hate how writers resurrect characters whose arc was over. It’s cheap, it weakens both Cat’s character and spoils Jon’s resurrection.

      I don’t see how it weakens Cat’s character, and it certainly doesn’t spoil Jon’s resurrection (I’m not sure what you could even mean by that). Stoneheart isn’t Catelyn, she’s a vengeful echo — omitting her had huge ramifications for Jaime, Brienne and probably Arya’s stories.

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    5. I think they were absolutely right to leave her out, and their reasons make perfect sense. Then again, I don’t like the idea of the character in the book anyway and I can’t see where GRRM thinks he’s going with it.

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    6. What I mean is that, if you are writing a “anyone can be killed” kind of story, and start resurrecting characters who died, you lose credibility.
      That’s one of the reasons why, in the books, nobody believes Jon is dead. Everyone expects Jon to be resurrected because we’ve already seen other characters come back from the dead.

      Sean C.: I don’t see how it weakens Cat’s character, and it certainly doesn’t spoil Jon’s resurrection (I’m not sure what you could even mean by that).Stoneheart isn’t Catelyn, she’s a vengeful echo — omitting her had huge ramifications for Jaime, Brienne and probably Arya’s stories.

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    7. “Part of the reason we didn’t want to put it in had to do with things coming up in George’s books that we don’t want to spoil,” Benioff said.

      oo, intriguing…

      However, I never was a fan of LSH in the books (I rolled my eyes and thought, Is this just another cheap zombie story?).

      Let’s comb through it. Where might LSH have impact in the book story. Brienne and Jaime in the immediate future, then Riverlands story – which was hugely simplified in the show anyway.

      After that, what? More revenge, more killing? What’s the point? Is the point giving us readers what we think we want (Freys and Boltons killed in revenge for the Red Wedding) and leaving us feeling empty… maybe to realise revenge isn’t all that..?

      Is LSH there for Arya to meet her (hey, Arya had a troubled relationship with her mother!), give the gift of mercy (i.e. kill). Make Arya see what “mercy” = killing means and where the path of revenge ultimately leads; make Arya turn away from it?

      I’m glad LSH wasn’t included in the show. It would have cheapened Michelle Fairlie’s work, cheapened subsequent resurrections (Jon). You might do multiple ressurections in a book series but not in a TV show, it becomes cheap and trite and stupid and predictable.

      Caveat: even in the books, I always disliked LSH. I dislike the zombie idea, I hated “ressurrecting” a great character in this way, I dislike “revenge”. I hate what LSH is doing to my Brienne and my Jaime; what she might do to Arya. Isn’t the girl traumatised enough? Must she see (and kill) her undead mother? Thanks, GRRM.

      I’m glad D&D spared us LSH. I’ll remain undecided about LSH in the books until I read the last couple of volumes.

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    8. Off-Topic
      A thin silver lining of the ongoing Covid Sh*tshow: Artists making and uploading music videos “from home”

      Here’s another one I came across. Chrissie Hynde, from just last week.

      • Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders)
      “Back on the Chain Gang”
      live at home, Sept. 12, 2020

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOaCm91oy5M

      … and the original recording and music video from 38 years ago:

      • “Back on the Chain Gang” (1982)
      The Pretenders

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMOKamtpUA8

      🎶”The powers that be,
      That force us to live like we do.

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    9. I’m also not unhappy they cut LSH from the show. While her story may very well lead to interesting things in the books, I was never a fan of this kind of character. She’s not really Catelyn, but the worst parts of Catelyn walking around, performing brutal revenge killings.

      Still, she may lead to very interesting developments in the books and I acknowledge her omission from the show disappointed GRRM and many book fans.

      Ten Bears,

      Thanks for these!

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    10. Come to think of it, Jon’s resurrection really didn’t turn out to be all that special in the end.

      When you think about it, what what the purpose in bringing Jon back? To kill Dany? Didn’t he help push her over the edge in the first place by not returning her love? Couldn’t Bran have taken care of all this without Jon?

      There’s probably more to it than I’m remembering, but it was downplayed quite a bit on the show.

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    11. Mr Derp,

      He did seem pretty key to uniting the various forces against the Night King. I know Arya got the final kill but it appeared like they needed everyone there to hold off the forces long enough to allow Arya that chance, I suppose. I think Jon’s inability to continue his intimate relationship with Dany due to blood relationship was the straw the broke the camel’s back but his claim also pushed her toward the edge too. And per D&D, I think there were several factors:

      Benioff: If circumstances had been different, I don’t think this side of Dany ever would’ve come out. If Varys hadn’t betrayed her, if Cersei hadn’t executed Missandei, if Jon hadn’t told her the truth. Like, if all of these things had happened in any different way, then I don’t think we’d be seeing this side of Daenerys Targaryen.

      Weiss: I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was… going to do what she did. And then she sees the Red Keep, which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago. It’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, where she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to– to make this personal.

      But this may take a different path in the books, whatever Jon’s purpose is post-death and why he’s been brought back. I think the Others are a big part of it though.

      Just speculation 🙂

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    12. Mr Derp,

      ”Come to think of it, Jon’s resurrection really didn’t turn out to be all that special in the end.”

      No it didn’t. 😡

      ”When you think about it, what what the purpose in bringing Jon back? To kill Dany?”

      You’re right. No purpose really.

      ”Couldn’t Bran have taken care of all this without Jon?“

      Bran the Useless? Not sure.
      However, at least on the show Beric’s 6x resurrections and Sandor’s resurrection* had a distinct purpose.

      * I’m counting Ray’s S6e7 description of Sandor as clinically dead before he came back to life as a “resurrection.” As Ray and Beric both said, the Hound evaded death because the Lord of Light still had plans for Sandor Clegane.

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    13. Ten Bears,

      Jon played an integral role in killing the Night King, so his resurrection had purpose. People seemed disappointed that his character didn’t change but I don’t know where these expectations came from. Beric was resurrected six times and hadn’t changed at all.

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    14. Adrianacandle,

      Weiss: ”I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was… going to do what she did. And then she sees the Red Keep, which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago. It’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, where she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to– to make this personal.”

      His explanation still makes no sense to me.
      Triggered by a “symbol”? Oh please.

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    15. Sean C.,

      It took Catelyn, a compelling and multidimensional character, and turned her into a mute zombie. Of course it weakened her character. And, as others have mentioned, too many resurrections cheapens character deaths.

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    16. Tbh I was never fan of Jon’s resurrection as well. I just don’t like that plot device. Never liked it in LOTR. Just like GRRM.

      But I just accepted Jon’s resurrection as something that needs to happen. It never ruined the story for me, but I never really liked it. Especially when you binge watch the show, his death feels even more meaningless.

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    17. Ten Bears,

      We’ve probably discussed these explanations ad-nauseam and I’m worried we’re starting to get into the dreaded season 8 is good vs season 8 is bad debate (which I acknowledge is my fault since I brought this quote up from D&D) so I’m happy to drop it this time around 🙂

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    18. I would only like to see how LSH would look in the show. I think that character is visually interesting.

      I like horror and GoT never played that much with the horror potential of the story.

      But LSH is useless otherwise and plot twist that ruines RW just to develop secondary character like Brienne. It would be like bringing back Ned just to develop LF.

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    19. mau,

      I agree. I don’t like resurrections or death fake outs. GOT has gotten away with a few, but they also killed more characters than possibly any other show, so it doesn’t bother me as much.

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    20. I don’t really miss LS. I remember being surprised at the ends of both seasons 3 & 4 that she didn’t show up, thinking that the resurrection of such a major character was too important to skip. But I think their inclination to condense and prune storylines from FeastDance (and try to keep to the characters that were already present in the show) was a sensible one, so I get the decision to cut her. There will probably be some good scenes with her in future books, but looking at the show as it was, I don’t feel like there are huge gaps in the plot or character arcs that needed to be filled with Stoneheart. I will say that I like that it was Arya exacting revenge on the Freys in the show, and I don’t see how the Jaime/Brienne dynamic would be improved with an LS encounter (or that the improvement would have been worth the other issues with LS’s conclusion).

      I also find GRRM’s reasoning for why he inserted Stoneheart to be underwhelming. I mean, he might be interested in what happens to you after you die and are resurrected, but since that doesn’t really happen that often in the real world, that’s not a super compelling concept or conflict to explore, in my mind. Honestly, the magical elements of the show are the parts that have aged the most poorly (imo), so I can’t begrudge them taking away one of the supernatural elements of the books.

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    21. But one thing is sure and numbers don’t lie. Jon’s death really helped with ratings.

      In S5 it felt like the show peaked in terms of popularity and overall ratings were barely over S4. A lot of episodes even had lower ratings than S4. That never happened before.

      So the power of that cliffhanger really created a lot if hype and S6 killed it with ratings. And the popularity just kept growing until the end of the show.

      I think Jon’s death was that huge factor that separated GoT from almost every other TV show because they start loosing popularity around S4-5. Some even earlier. I mean the fucking POTUS was interested in what’s going to happen next and asked Nutter about it. Lol

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    22. Young Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      Jon played an integral role in killing the Night King, so his resurrection had purpose…

      And what “integral role” was that?

      Ghost’s missing ear had more of a role in NK’s demise than Jon.

      From what I saw, those directly responsible for defeating NK were: Beric + Sandor + Melisandre + ASNAWP.

      (I thought I heard a toast “to Arya Stark, the Hero of Winterfell!” in the next episode. I did not hear anyone crediting Jon for the kill. Did I miss something?)

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    23. Hodor Targaryen,

      Based on Martin’s words, if the books are finished I think fans will be disappointed to realize that LSH has more of thematic purpose to explore Martin’s position on death and revenge and not that huge plot purpose and significance.

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    24. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      We’ve probably discussed these explanations ad-nauseam and I’m worried we’re starting to get into the dreaded season 8 is good vs season 8 is bad debate (which I acknowledge is my fault since I brought this quote up from D&D) so I’m happy to drop it this time around 🙂

      You are right. I concur.
      [*TB resists temptation to link “Let It Go” video*]

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    25. Ten Bears,

      I guess USA played no part in Hitler’s defeat because they didn’t kill him.

      It’s ridiculous to assume that Jon played no part because everyone in WF was there thanks to him and Night King was on the ground thanks to him.

      Arya would never kill him if he was still on that dragon.

      GoT was not one man show where Jon Snow gets to do everything.

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    26. mau: I would only like to see how LSH would look in the show. I think that character is visually interesting.

      While I admit to not being a fan of the LSH character and characters like her, I did like the ominous feeling hearing about her (more than seeing her) brought. Personally, I’m interested in seeing where her story goes…. if we ever get those books.

      Reread his words until you like it. That’s what book purists did with the last two books.

      I liked parts of AFFC and ADWD… I didn’t love all the brand new POVs but I liked some of the stories and themes explored for what it’s worth.

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    27. Adrianacandle,

      I like “She does not speak. But she remembers” line.

      I am also interested in her story in TWOW. And every other story lol

      If GRRM finished the books on time I think everything would have been different for the show and D&D situation would have been much better.

      Even with exactly the same ending GRRM writing it would give it a sort of legitimacy that D&D would never have. I mean it would he hard to accuse GRRM that he ruined Jaime once he leaves Brienne and goes back to Cersei. He made Jaime after all.

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    28. mau,

      Hold on: I didn’t suggest Jon “played no part.” I merely questioned the assertion he had an “integral role.”

      I mean, we could go on for days with cause and effect discussions about Meera’s indispensable role in the eventual disintegration of Ol’ Blue Eyes.

      However, I think it’s best that I just….

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB2RwDokNMY

      … Let it go!

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    29. mau,

      I like that line as well!

      I’m interested in where the stories go in TWOW as well! I am pretty curious about GRRM’s plans for LSH and what that means for the characters she’ll come into contact with! 🙂

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    30. It feels that this Hibberd’s book will really be detailed and go in depth with a lot of these “controversial” creative decisions in the show. Since this is official guide it’s really the last real opportunity to go in depth about these things.

      I am sure it will create waves of hysteria in the fandom, but truth is always helpful.

      I hope they will talk about probably the most controversial aspect of the last two seasons – number of episodes. Purely creative decision? Or it had something to do with production? Or combination of both.

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    31. Ten Bears,

      By convincing Danerys of the White Walkers existence, Jon gathered the largest army Westeros has ever seen and brought them to Winterfell, he armed them to the teeth with dragon glass, and contributed to knocking the Night King off his dragon. Besides Arya, Jon played the most important role in defeating the White Walkers.

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    32. Ten Bears,

      Because all he can do is relay his intentions. The interpretation is up to you. This isn’t the first time my interpretation conflicted with the writer’s intentions. Take Martin, for example. He called one of his book characters a master planner, when I consider him to be an idiot.

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    33. Young Dragon,

      I don’t really know what is wrong with what Weiss said. Red Keep is the symbol of everything that has been taken from Daenerys and it’s just traumas from all those tragedies, defeats, humiliations that happened to her before crushing her.

      Combined with her already established brutality and anger issues.

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    34. mau,

      I didn’t find anything wrong with it either, it’s just not how I interpreted it. To me, burning King’s Landing was a punishment for the people who lived there. That’s consistent with her earlier behavior. But I liked Weiss’s explanation as well.

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    35. Young Dragon,

      I don’t think that’s in any way contradictory to what he said. He said she wanted to make things personal, which means revenge, or as you said punishment. It’s taking things with fire and blood. A Targaryan way. “Let it be fear” and all of that.

      There is obviously personal and emotional aspect there, but also purely political. Once she does something so extreme no one would dare to question her authority.

      I think they will probably talk more about it in Hibberd’s book.

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    36. mau,

      I hadn’t thought of it that way. You make very strong points! Thanks!

      I am also excited to read Hibberd’s book. It should provide a lot of insight in the making of GOT.

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    37. Young Dragon,

      (& everyone else…)

      D&D have their right to their interpretations, as do we all. But their interpretations are just their interpretations, just as our interpretations are ours. It’s important to recall they, like us, neither created the major characters, nor provided their motivations. Martin did all that, and he’s also not under any obligation to provide explanations via commentary. He created it, we experienced it, and there are as many possible interpretations as there are potential audience members.

      As I’ve written previously, I had no idea Dany was going to torch KL, but when she started, it did not surprise me. Right then and there, I thought it was completely consistent with her character and established behaviors. Anyone and everyone is free to disagree with me on that, of course.

      In the case of LSH, I’ve long thought Martin had created very large thematic and practical problems for himself. He created a Westeros-born magical creature south of The Wall, after he’d already established magic had been confined to north of The Wall. (This is perhaps a holdover from an earlier draft I’ve read about, when Cat had taken Bran north of The Wall, and she had died there.)

      I believe D&D did a much better job, both practically and thematically, by having Arya become the angel of death for House Frey. Having Cat’s daughter (Arya herself having been present at the Red Wedding) slaughter both the misogynist Frey and his (dim, Y-chromosome) offspring added a deliciously modern twist to the story.

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    38. Young Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      By convincing Danerys of the White Walkers existence, Jon gathered the largest army Westeros has ever seen and brought them to Winterfell, he armed them to the teeth with dragon glass, and contributed to knocking the Night King off his dragon. Besides Arya, Jon played the most important role in defeating the White Walkers.

      Look, I don’t disagree.

      I would even go further and say that:
      – Jon’s alliance with the Free Folk was critical – not just to get more fighters to defend the North but to prevent NK from involuntarily recruiting the Wildlings into the AotD.
      – As Davos explained to Lyanna Mormont in S6e7, as long as the Boltons held WF the North would be divided, and a divided North stood no chance against NK. Getting rid of the Boltons was imperative, and Jon & Co. succeeded in doing that.

      I did want him to take a more active role after he united the Northern Alliance, got the dragonglass, and got Dany, her armies and her nukes to come north (accomplishing the dual objectives of his mission south, as he announced to the Northerners in S7e1 & e2(

      So while I would not diminish the importance of Jon’s actions in forming alliances and alerting people to the zombie threat, it just felt like he took a back seat in S8 when the AotD did arrive.

      I will confess that:
      – Even if Jon didn’t strike the killing blow, the fact that he did no swordfighting vs. WWs was kind of disappointing;
      – Worse, at the critical point in the battle, reducing Jon to ducking out from behind a rock to yell at an undead dragon and then ducking back behind the rock again, was [insert adjective here].
      – The pre-S8 WF Crypts teaser got me all psyched for some Jon & Arya side-by-side fighting. I felt let down that they didn’t interact at all during the battle. (Instead, it was Davos who witnessed Arya slicing and dicing wights, and then Beric and Sandor who safeguarded Arya so she could get a shot at NK).
      – When it all came down to it, the dragonglass weapons and Valyrian Steel swordfighters didn’t factor into the outcome. Nor did dragonfire, as NK turned out to be impervious to it. All would’ve been lost but for Stealth Ninja Arya’s last minute heroics. I’m not sure why Jon couldn’t have at least gotten an assist.
      – Call it disappointed fanservice expectations if you must: Jon’s showdown with NK had been set up throughout S5-S7 – but then there was no payoff.

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    39. Young Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      Because all he can do is relay his intentions. The interpretation is up to you. This isn’t the first time my interpretation conflicted with the writer’s intentions. Take Martin, for example. He called one of his book characters a master planner, when I consider him to be an idiot.

      Is that book Doran or book Littlefinger? An argument could be made for (book) Doran being a bit silly not including his daughter in his plans. I’ll give Baelish some kudos for sewing dissent (persuading Lysa to send the letter to Cat saying the Lannisters had murdered Jon Arryn for example) but even in the books I never bought him being the brilliant Machiavellian plotter he is hinted to be. He knew how to ‘load the gun’ – it’s not stated in the show but in the books it’s presented that Littlefinger puts the idea into Joffrey’s head of getting Tyrion to fight after the jousting match of the dwarf at the Purple Wedding. Is Baelish as slippery as an eel, yes, but even in the books I wondered if his success was down to some of the powerful folk in Kings Landing not being as clever as they thought they were – not just Cersei (though I’d have to credit Tyrion and Tywin with having brains).

      Or is it a third character I’ve not thought of?

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    40. There has been a not as popular as some theory that LS is the one who resurrects Jon. Perhaps that is why they left it up to GRRM to tell. They didn’t want to cheapen the impact of that final Red Wedding moment AND felt George would get to have something really special to reveal in the books.

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    41. Ten Bears,

      Call it disappointed fanservice expectationsif you must: Jon’s showdown with NK had been set up throughout S5-S7 – but then there was no payoff.

      Ten Bears,

      Didn’t we want a show that subverted expectations? 😛

      About Jon’s importance in the endgame, don’t forget that there were ultimately TWO big threats in Westeros: the threat of Ice and the threat of Fire. Jon had a role in the fight againts the threat of Ice… but had a much more critical role in the fight againts the threat of Fire!

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    42. Jack: There has been a not as popular as some theory that LS is the one who resurrects Jon. Perhaps that is why they left it up to GRRM to tell. They didn’t want to cheapen the impact of that final Red Wedding moment AND felt George would get to have something really special to reveal in the books.

      You know, I had not heard that theory, actually! In this theory, how would LSH resurrect Jon?

      I’m familiar with the burning of Shireen to bring Jon back. That’s the one I have an inkling may happen.

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    43. oierem,

      About Jon’s importance in the endgame, don’t forget that there were ultimately TWO big threats in Westeros: the threat of Ice and the threat of Fire. Jon had a role in the fight againts the threat of Ice… but had a much more critical role in the fight againts the threat of Fire!

      Yes, the foreshadowing that Jon would take down the final big bad was correct — it was just not the big baddie we thought! Dany, not the NK, was the final villain.

      Plus, Jon had had a sword fight with a WW (played by Vladimir Furdik, nicely enough!) and won. Another sword fight with more WW would not have served to advance the story.

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    44. The dragonglass came from Sam, not Jon. I don’t think Jon needed to come back to life just to get permission to mine dragonglass. I think anyone could’ve done that. Jon wouldn’t have even known about it without Sam.

      I will concede that Jon helped unite some people against the greater good, specifically the Wildlings, but so did others. I dunno. Now that it’s all over, it felt to me like his death and resurrection was unnecessary. It was basically to guilt-trip the Wildings into fighting for Jon, I guess. Woopdy-do.

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    45. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending:
      oierem,

      About Jon’s importance in the endgame, don’t forget that there were ultimately TWO big threats in Westeros: the threat of Ice and the threat of Fire. Jon had a role in the fight againts the threat of Ice… but had a much more critical role in the fight againts the threat of Fire!

      Yes, the foreshadowing that Jon would take down the final big bad was correct — it was just not the big baddie we thought! Dany, not the NK, was the final villain….

      Hey wait! I thought Evil Bran was the final villain.
      (J/K 🙂)

        Quote  Reply

    46. Mr Derp,

      The dragonglass came from Sam, not Jon.

      The dragonglass was Dany’s property. Sam discovered a document which confirmed there was a large supply of dragonglass there. I doubt having some disinherited Night’s Watch nerd who’d fled the Citadel talk try to Dany about it would have had much effect. Now, The King In The North, that’s another matter…

      I will concede that Jon helped unite some people against the greater good, specifically the Wildlings, but so did others.

      Jon had been warning and organizing against the WW for half the story. As King In The North, he united the Northerners against the Army of the Dead. He got Dany and dragons on board as well as Dothraki and Unsullied. Organized opposition to the NK existed only because of Jon’s tireless efforts.

      The Lord of Light had a plan to defeat the NK, and L. O’L. wasn’t about to let a goon squad of renegade NW defeat his plan. Hence Jon’s resurrection.

        Quote  Reply

    47. talvikorppi,

      ”… I’m glad LSH wasn’t included in the show. It would have cheapened Michelle Fairley’s work, cheapened subsequent resurrections (Jon). You might do multiple ressurections in a book series but not in a TV show, it becomes cheap and trite and stupid and predictable.”

      Yup. The show already had its quota of resurrected or reanimated characters, e.g., Beric 6x, FrankenGregor, unBenjen, and Sandor.
      Add to that the “fakeouts” that I believe were used multiple times in the books, e.g., Lord Manderly exhibiting faux Davos corpse; Theon stringing up crisped farmboys’ corpses in place of Bran and Rickon; and [correct me if I’m confused] glamoured Rattleshirt burned in place of “Mance.”

      As you suggested, after multiple resurrections that device becomes cheap, trite and predictable.

      Also, the finality and tragedy of death itself is diluted when it’s always possible for a character who’s dead or presumed dead to come back to life.
      Contrast the profound sadness of book! & show! Arya (futilely) asking Beric if a man without a head, i.e., her dad, could be brought back, just once. Ned’s death would lose its impact if there were a chance he could be resurrected, albeit in disfigured form. For the same reason resurrecting Catelyn’s corpse would undermine or pervert the sense of grief – and anger – from her murder.

      Resorting to the soap operish device of bringing back dead characters leaves a viewer hopeful that beloved Character X might not really be dead, or anxious that already-dispatched despised Character Z might show up again. (My goodness. Remember all of the “Syrio’s not dead!” fan theories?)

      ”Caveat: even in the books, I always disliked LSH. I dislike the zombie idea, I hated “resurrecting” a great character in this way, I dislike “revenge”. I hate what LSH is doing to my Brienne and my Jaime; what she might do to Arya. Isn’t the girl traumatised enough? Must she see (and kill) her undead mother? Thanks, GRRM.

      I’m glad D&D spared us LSH. I’ll remain undecided about LSH in the books until I read the last couple of volumes.”

      — Reply to be continued…Gotta run…

        Quote  Reply

    48. Ohhhh, it’s been a long time but I have to contribute my tinfoil speculation.
      I’ll keep it short because life happens.

      LSH uses Jamie to get access to the Twins. She wipes out the Freys. She finds Robb’s will among the spoils of the attack against the Northerners. She sends Jamie North with the will and Robb’s crown -which is already in her possession- to Jon. Jamie fancies himself as a kingmaker or a kingbreaker. There’s a chance for him!
      She will also -perhaps- send Brienne to the Vale.

      D&D are making TV series. They’re in no way obliged to keep up with the complexity of the book story. MF would have been a guest star to the show if they had kept the LSH story; she could have one or two appearances per season (there is not much of LSH in the books either, we only see her from other PoVs) but it would have inserted a new complication in the TV show which they would have to resolve later. Also, no Beric in seasons 7 and 8, folks!

      Leaving out LSH necessitated that Jamie returned to Cersei. Also that he -probably- spent less time with Brienne than in the books (I gather he’ll head North and stay there, only to return South after the BotD).
      It was Jamie who named the sword Oathkeeper, not Brienne. For Jamie keeping his oath to Catelyn helped him to reconnect with who or what he once wanted to be -before Cersei.
      Also leaving out LSH led to Arya fulfilling her role with regard to the Freys. That was a deviation from Arya’s role in the books, but show and books are different media and it led to one of the most powerful scenes in the show.

      LSH has the role of blind, unrelenting revenge in the books. And yes, Martin wanted to explore the trope “death makes you worse” as against “death makes you even better” (i.e. in Tolkien and the Scriptures).
      Arya has the role of justice and Mercy.
      (I’d hate it too if Arya killed her own mother in the book).

      Also, the line “Part of the reason we didn’t want to put it in had to do with things coming up in George’s books that we don’t want to spoil” makes me think what else D&D kept from the audience for not spoiling Martin’s story.
      I wonder…

        Quote  Reply

    49. talvikorppi,

      Cont. from 2:25 pm:

      – Yeah, there were enough magical zombies, scientifically engineered zombies, half-zombies, ice wights and “fire wights.” Adding rotting cadaver ZombieCat would’ve been overkill. [No pun intended.]

      – You wrote: “I hate what LSH is doing to…my Jaime.”
      I may use this as a segue to a Musical Interlude dedicated to your Jaime. 😍

        Quote  Reply

    50. I’ve seen some speculation in the past of people theorizing she may give the kiss of life to Jon, culminating in one big connection of Jon’s resurrection to the Northern conspiracy and Robb’s will. Presumably like Chekhov’s Gun, this would be why Martin has her wandering around with Robb’s Northern crown.

      On a personal level, I don’t know if I subscribe to that theory. Unless LSH became aware of Jon’s parentage somehow and learned what the truth was all these years (which is possible and I do not dismiss), I don’t see why she’d be interested one way or another in his death.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Efi,

      ”And yes, Martin wanted to explore the trope “death makes you worse” as against “death makes you even better” (i.e. in Tolkien and the Scriptures).”

      I meant to mention this in my prior comment but it’s more appropriate here:
      I was reminded of Stephen King’s “Pet Semetary,” in which – as I recall – bringing dead pet(s) and people back to life came at a price: they were nasty, malevolent versions of their former selves.
      It has been a while since I read that Stephen King book, and I have yet to plow through GRRM’s books.
      However, the descriptions of Catelyn Stark nka Lady Stoneheart made me think of the “death makes you worse” inversion you articulated, and how Stephen King also explored “the trope” in a manner that might be comparable to what Big G intends.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Ten Bears: As you suggested, after multiple resurrections that device becomes cheap, trite and predictable.

      Also, the finality and tragedy of death itself is diluted when it’s always possible for a character who’s dead or presumed dead to come back to life.
      Contrast the profound sadness of book! & show! Arya (futilely) asking Beric if a man without a head, i.e., her dad, could be brought back, just once. Ned’s death would lose its impact if there were a chance he could be resurrected, albeit in disfigured form. For the same reason resurrecting Catelyn’s corpse would undermine or pervert the sense of grief – and anger – from her murder.

      Resorting to the soap operish device of bringing back dead characters leaves a viewer hopeful that beloved Character X might not really be dead, or anxious that already-dispatched despised Character Z might show up again. (My goodness. Remember all of the “Syrio’s not dead!” fan theories?)

      I remember you mentioning these points in a previous discussion on this topic and when I read this article, I thought of these comments from you. In the books, the impact death and resurrection have on Beric and Catelyn are each quite different and they die under different circumstances and perhaps this is also part of what GRRM intends to explore? Regardless, as you explain it here, I think your point stands.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: The dragonglass was Dany’s property. Sam discovered a document which confirmed there was a large supply of dragonglass there. I doubt having some disinherited Night’s Watch nerd who’d fled the Citadel talk try to Dany about it would have had much effect. Now, The King In The North, that’s another matter…

      Is it really necessary for the KITN to be the one and only person to get permission from Dany to mine dragonglass? Sam couldn’t have sent a letter/raven to Jorah asking him to talk to Dany about the dragonglass? I doubt Dany would deny such a benign request from the person who saved Jorah’s life, but we’ll never know.

      Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: Jon had been warning and organizing against the WW for half the story. As King In The North, he united the Northerners against the Army of the Dead. He got Dany and dragons on board as well as Dothraki and Unsullied. Organized opposition to the NK existed only because of Jon’s tireless efforts.

      Yea, I agree with that. He brought them together, and that’s huge, but, I dunno. Something about the entire resurrection felt underwhelming to me. It’s hard to articulate my thoughts on it since it’s been a while since I’ve done a re-watch. I know you disagree and that’s perfectly fine.

      It would’ve made great comedy seeing Dolorous Edd trying to convince Dany about the WW’s. I don’t think he’d get the benefit of the doubt quite like Jon did. Being all hunky helps your cause tremendously.

      It also makes me wonder if Bran could’ve saved everyone the trouble and just warged into a raven and pecked Dany to death

        Quote  Reply

    54. talvikorppi,

      Musical Interlude:
      Dedicated to Young Jaime & Cersei and Grown-Up Jaime & Cersei
      (Part 1 of 3)

      🎶 “Children, behave”
      That’s what they say when we’re together
      “And watch how you play”
      They don’t understand…

      Look at the way
      We gotta hide what we’re doing
      ‘Cause what would they say
      If they ever knew
      🎼🎵

      • “I Think We’re Alone Now” (1967) Tommy James and The Shondells (2:07 long video)

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

      …….

      • “I Think We’re Alone Now” (1967) – Tommy James & The Shondells
      (2:20 long; audio only)

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

      ———

        Quote  Reply

    55. Adrianacandle: Earworm is back!!

      (I do love this song! 😀 Thanks for including it!)

      😉
      I’m a purist. I prefer the 1967 original by Tommy James. Oh, and the cover by Billy Joe Armstrong 53 years later (Part 3 above) isn’t too bad.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Ten Bears: 😉
      I’m a purist. I prefer the 1967 original by Tommy James. Oh, and the cover by Billy Joe Armstrong 53 years later (Part 3 above) isn’t too bad.

      I love that there are multiple versions of this song!

      But I have to confess… Tiffany’s will always be my favourite. It makes me think of neon pink and I love neon pink 😉

        Quote  Reply

    57. Adrianacandle: Earworm is back!!

      (I do love this song! 😀 Thanks for including it!)

      This Tiffany song was featured in a recent Rachael Leigh Cook Netflix original called
      “Love, Guaranteed”. It was a very pleasant romantic comedy. (Rachael was the all grown up actress made famous from “She’s all that”, which has Maisie connection, since she wrote down that she needed to watch “She’s All That” on her new “list” in “Two Weeks to Live”. Rachael’s car (that she named Zorro) had a tape stuck in the tape deck since the 80’s. Of course the song that was stuck was Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”. It played whenever the car felt like it….

        Quote  Reply

    58. Tron79: This Tiffany song was featured in a recent Rachael Leigh Cook Netflix original called
      “Love, Guaranteed”. It was a very pleasant romantic comedy. (Rachael was the all grown up actress made famous from “She’s all that”, which has Maisie connection, since she wrote down that she needed to watch “She’s All That” on her new “list” in “Two Weeks to Live”. Rachael’s car (that she named Zorro) had a tape stuck in the tape deck since the 80’s. Of course the song that was stuck was Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”. It played whenever the car felt like it….

      Oh, thank-you for this! I’m familiar with the song because of another Netflix original, Umbrella Academy! 🙂 I had no idea it was featured in another Netflix original!

        Quote  Reply

    59. Ten Bears,

      I don’t know. I rather enjoyed Jon and the Night King’s dragonback battle. As has been mentioned before, the end result of the battle, the Night King getting knocked off his dragon, played a big role in his defeat. I also liked Jon hacking his way through wights to try and get to the Night King. Jon had already had two fights with White Walkers before season 8, so it didn’t bother me he didn’t fight any in the final battle, especially since nothing could have topped him killing the White Walker at Hardhome.

      It wasn’t just Jon who was pinned down, it was a lot of other characters. It was simply to add tension to the final ten minutes when all hope seemed lost.

      I too would have loved to see Arya and Jon fighting side by side, but I don’t take points away for not giving me what I wanted. I judge the show for what’s there, not for what isn’t.

      Dragonglass, Valyrian steel, and dragon fire didn’t factor into the outcome? Imagine if the Winterfell defenders didn’t have any of this and were armed with normal weapons. How do you see the battle playing out? Winterfell would have been overrun in seconds, all the inhabitants would have been killed, and humanity would have been doomed.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Dame of Mercia,

      I was thinking of Book Doran, though I also don’t think Littlefinger is as smart as people think he is. He’s been incredibly lucky.

      For Doran, his so called master plan is too simplistic to be considered as such. He planned to marry his daughter to Viserys, yet made no moves to provide Viserys with any aide. When that plan failed, he pivoted to his son and sent Quentyn on a mission he clearly wasn’t ready for to somehow woo the most powerful person in the world.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Young Dragon,

      Night King is not aware that he is part of TV show and that Jon Snow is one of the main characters. lol

      There is no reason within the story why he would even want to fight with Jon. This is not Harry Potter situation where there are clear personal reasons for both Harry and Voldemort. Or in Star Wars with Luke Skywalker and Palpatine/Darth Vader.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Young Dragon,

      Also in the script for The Long Night in a scene when Jon goes after Night King on the ground it was written – “are we going to see an epic sword fight? No.”

      So clearly Benioff and Weiss knew what the fans wanted. But they also knew what the story needed.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Young Dragon,

      ”I too would have loved to see Arya and Jon fighting side by side, but I don’t take points away for not giving me what I wanted. I judge the show for what’s there, not for what isn’t.”

      Yeah, I know. I just wish they hadn’t got me geeking out for a Jon & Arya side by side fighting scene by showing us the pre-S8 WF Crypts teaser:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA38GCX4Tb0

      (at 1:04 – 1:23)

        Quote  Reply

    64. Tron79,

      <Rachael Leigh Cook Netflix original called
      “Love, Guaranteed”. It was a very pleasant romantic comedy. (Rachael was the all grown up actress made famous from “She’s all that”, which has Maisie connection, since she wrote down that she needed to watch “She’s All That” on her new “list” in “Two Weeks to Live.”

      Of course there is a connection.

      “All Roads Lead to Arya”

        Quote  Reply

    65. mau,

      ”Night King is not aware that he is part of TV show and that Jon Snow is one of the main characters. lol”

      I don’t know about that. In the last few moments of “Hardhome” when NK was showboating at the edge of the dock, he sure looked like he was mugging for the camera.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Mr Derp,

      Is it really necessary for the KITN to be the one and only person to get permission from Dany to mine dragonglass?

      In a feudal system? Absolutely. Feudalism is a protection racket. The Army of the Dead will attack the North first, so the King In The North appeals for protection to his superior in the feudal order, the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. She, in turn, graciously offers to provide resources — dragonglass — to assist in the defense of one of her kingdoms.

      Something about the entire resurrection felt underwhelming to me.

      It wasn’t the high point of the series for me, either. Having the NW frag Jon nicely demonstrated how he’d lost their confidence as their leader, and had great shock value, but as (1) there was no other character to take on the role of organizing against the WW, and (2) Mel’ had just arrived at Castle Black, Jon’s resurrection seemed pretty much a foregone conclusion (at least to me).

        Quote  Reply

    67. Honestly, they were totally in the right to omit the LSH storyline, it’s a cheap arc and let’s face it, we only have two chapters with the character thus far. And their explanation is spot on.. let’s put this to rest 🤷🏼‍♂️

        Quote  Reply

    68. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      <Rachael Leigh Cook Netflix original called
      “Love, Guaranteed”. It was a very pleasant romantic comedy. (Rachael was the all grown up actress made famous from “She’s all that”, which has Maisie connection, since she wrote down that she needed to watch “She’s All That” on her new “list” in “Two Weeks to Live.”

      Of course there is a connection.

      “All Roads Lead to Arya”

      Yes I quite enjoy that game with Arya/Maisie. I was never that great with Kevin Bacon though.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Adrianacandle: I love that there are multiple versions of this song!

      But I have to confess… Tiffany’s will always be my favourite. It makes me think of neon pink and I love neon pink 😉

      There are multiple versions of other Tommy James songs, by Billy Idol, Joan Jett and Miley Cyrus, among others.
      . Perhaps we’ll go down that rabbit hole 🕳 🐇 later…

      But I have to confess: “Crystal Blue Persuasion” may be my favorite. It makes me think of cobalt blue and sapphire blue metal flake and I love those colors. 💎

        Quote  Reply

    70. Pigeon:
      All I can say is that Mr. Benioff’s and Mr. Weiss’ omission of Stoneheart was absolutely brilliant, and I’ll always be grateful.

      🤪🤪🤓🤣

        Quote  Reply

    71. Ten Bears: But I have to confess: “Crystal Blue Persuasion” may be my favorite. It makes me think of cobalt blue and sapphire blue metal flake and I love those colors. 💎

      Yes!! (This, too, is my colour of choice!) I really love that song as well 🙂

      It also makes me think of a certain high school science teacher making a certain blue substance….

        Quote  Reply

    72. Pigeon:
      All I can say is that Mr. Benioff’s and Mr. Weiss’ omission of Stoneheart was absolutely brilliant, and I’ll always be grateful.

      Hahhaa, well done.

      I am also happy that D&D left out Lady Stoneheart. Good decision.

      I do not know if I understand their reason though…..not to be too close to the book and “non-book” they are adapting for the screen??? If it is important to the story (as will be revealed/confirmed when published), it should be in the adaptation. Whatever. I think they made the right choice but until we see the final book we will not really have enough info to decide fully.

      Jon’s death and resurrection seemed pointless. If it did not occur (ie he did not die), I am not sure the story would be much different. It seems that he could still pretty much have done the same things we saw without the whole being dead interlude.

      Yes, Bran’s could have arranged to have pecked Dany to death. Would be far more entertaining than the abortion of a romance we saw. And Bran would have displayed some added value.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Mango: I do not know if I understand their reason though…..not to be too close to the book and “non-book” they are adapting for the screen??? If it is important to the story (as will be revealed/confirmed when published), it should be in the adaptation. Whatever. I think they made the right choice but until we see the final book we will not really have enough info to decide fully.

      I agree it was the right choice (and that it’s hard to say until we see how it unfolds in the books, if that ever comes to pass) but I don’t know if D&D are saying they omitted LSH to avoid being too close to the book but, rather, I think this is saying that they still want some surprises left for the latter books. But I think it’s about toning down the books’ complexity to fit within the constraints of TV. I think omitting LSH helped in streamlining and distilling the storyline since TV has some tighter constraints than the books — like time.

      They’ve said similar things in the past — that while the show will spoil some things and they’re trying to align with key elements, there are still some surprises. I expect this particularly pertains to secondary characters and book-only characters (Stannis, Lady Stoneheart, Young Griff, etc) as mentioned by GRRM’s “butterfly effect”.

      Sansa’s storyline has been changed from season 5-onward, a change D&D did confirm they made to expand Sansa’s from the books:

      “Sansa is a character we care about almost more than any other, and the Stark sisters have from the very beginning been two characters who have fascinated us the most,” said showrunner David Benioff. “We got very lucky in casting because it’s so hard to cast good kids. Even if they come in and do a great audition, it’s so hard to know if they’re going to quite literally grow into the parts. With Sansa and Arya in particular, their storylines have become quite dark. It was such a gamble and the fact that they’ve both become such great wonderful actresses is a bit of a miracle.”

      And it’s because of Turner’s strength, Benioff continued, that it made sense to give Sansa a dramatic storyline this season and to use Ramsay’s engagement for that very purpose. In fact, the showrunners first thought about putting Sansa and Ramsay together back when they were writing season 2. “We really wanted Sansa to play a major part this season,” Benioff said. “If we were going to stay absolutely faithful to the book, it was going to be very hard to do that. There was as subplot we loved from the books, but it used a character that’s not in the show.”

      Writer-producer Bryan Cogman had some insight, as well. “The seeds were planted early on in our minds,” Cogman said. “In the books, Sansa has very few chapters in the Vale once she’s up there. That was not going to be an option for one of our lead characters. While this is a very bold departure, [we liked] the power of bringing a Stark back to Winterfell and having her reunite with Theon under these circumstances.”

      I think the broadest strokes will remain the same but some details and stories of secondary characters may be different. Eg. I think Sansa’s story will unfold quite a bit differently but her destiny is the North.

        Quote  Reply

    74. I lost a fairly long post. Never mind, perhaps I can try again but keeping it brief. I doubt I could have made a better stab at adapting (as yet) non-existent books than the showrunners did.

      Having the author of a book adapt it doesn’t always work. There was a show called “The Luminaries” on the BBC in the summer about a gold rush in New Zealand in the late nineteenth century. The writer of the source novel adapted the story but it was so disjointed and played with timelines so much that I had lost any desire to finish watching the series by the end of episode 1. I’ll usually try two episodes of a series before I give up. The New Zealand scenery was gorgeous but the story just didn’t “grab” me.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Where GRRM let slip that the showrunners were going to cut Rickon in the original adaptation but GRRM said he had plans for Rickon later in the saga, it does look as though the youngest Stark may have more of a part to play in the end game whether he survives to the end of the books or not.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Dame of Mercia:
      Where GRRM let slip that the showrunners were going to cut Rickon in the original adaptation but GRRM said he had plans for Rickon later in the saga, it does look as though the youngest Stark may have more of a part to play in the end game whether he survives to the end of the books or not.

      That’s what I thought too. In ADWD, Wyman Manderly (of the “I’m A Humanitarian” Frey pies) has agreed to support Stannis if Davos can find and retrieve Rickon from the notorious island of Skagos — where the shaggy unicorns live.

      So I think Rickon’s story may go a different way. It’s true he may not survive to the end of the books and if not, his death may come about differently, but it seems like GRRM had (the intention of) some sort of plan for him?

        Quote  Reply

    77. Ten Bears: Look, I don’t disagree.

      I will confess that:– Even if Jon didn’t strike the killing blow, the fact that he did no swordfighting vs. WWs was kind of disappointing; – Worse, at the critical point in the battle, reducing Jon to ducking out from behind a rock to yell at an undead dragon and then ducking back behind the rock again, was [insert adjective here]. – The pre-S8 WF Crypts teaser got me all psyched for some Jon & Arya side-by-side fighting. I felt let down that they didn’t interact at all during the battle. (Instead, it was Davos who witnessed Arya slicing and dicing wights, and then Beric and Sandor who safeguarded Arya so she could get a shot at NK). – When it all came down to it, the dragonglass weapons and Valyrian Steel swordfighters didn’t factor into the outcome. Nor did dragonfire, as NK turned out to be impervious to it. All would’ve been lost but for Stealth Ninja Arya’s last minute heroics. I’m not sure why Jon couldn’t have at least gotten an assist.– Call it disappointed fanservice expectations if you must: Jon’s showdown with NK had been set up throughout S5-S7 – but then there was no payoff.

      I had zero problems with any of these

      – COnsidering killing a White Walker eliminates all wights that this White Walker resurrected, it makes perfect sense to me the White Walkers didn’t expose themselves to the fight. Like why should they? At this point, they know humans have weapons on mass scale that can kill them. Same as how they started to cover themselves in armor after Sam killed the first one with dragonglass. In fact, I loved the exposition that they arrived at Winterfell only after all defences have pretty much fallen… it symbolized to me how hopeless the situation was becoming

      – Jon ducking behind the rock is again something I actually liked… for same reason as above. The fact that he could literally do nothing in that situation again symoblized to me how the battle was pretty much lost. So for me, this exposition worked perfectly. And as other people said, he already knocked down Night King from the dragon so it’s not like he didn’t do anything at all. When the “Night King” soundtrack starts playing, I would say that’s the point when the battle is pretty much lost… before Arya appeared, I was sure they lost and that in best case, they would probably have to escape Winterfell. So when there was Jon screaming at the dragon, it worked well for me regarding how completely and utterly hopeless the situation was.

      – Arya and Jon fighting side by side… I said it before. I’m sure that almost everyone who would only watch the TV show without having access to any source material or any behind-the-scenes stuff, they wouldn’t get some impression that Arya and Jon are supposed to have some super-close bond. THis is something that has been going on for entire show because they only share one scene before S8. ANd me not being some big Arya fan from get-go, I wasn’t bothered by this at all.

      – Swordfighters and dragonfire did come in play as otherwise, Winterfell would have fallen in matter of seconds because there would be no resistance against the undead. And let’s not forget that Night King would still be on the dragon if there wasn’t for Jon and Dany.

      – And yes, I would call this fanservice expectation because let’s not forget that this is the show that built up Ned as main protagonist in order to kill him off in utterly defeated way in S1… then it built up Robb as this hero to avenge his father’s death… only to kill him off at the end of S3 in utterly defeated way. And of course, we all know about Dany too. I still need to rewatch it but I’m sure I’ll see the show through new eyes now, certainly in much more gritty and darker light… like Sopranos and Breaking Bad and such. Because now when I look at it, the show was always twisted and gritty, with the protagonsits being very messed up and I think we audience kind of clinged to hope there can be a firm good fantasy ending to the story with all main protagonists coming out as heroes with fulfilled character development. It’s in fact fascinating to me that the show could let us believe that, while still keeping signs there that the whole story is darker than we may think.

      Just my two cents on this.

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    78. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: Arya and Jon fighting side by side… I said it before. I’m sure that almost everyone who would only watch the TV show without having access to any source material or any behind-the-scenes stuff, they wouldn’t get some impression that Arya and Jon are supposed to have some super-close bond. THis is something that has been going on for entire show because they only share one scene before S8. ANd me not being some big Arya fan from get-go, I wasn’t bothered by this at all.

      One’s mileage may vary here but Jon did give Arya ‘Needle’ in 1×02, which they discussed again in the season 8 premiere, so I can understand the desire to have Jon and Arya fight side by side (I wanted Jon to catch a glimpse of Arya fighting) as it was a path Jon helped set her on. And he gave her the one possession she couldn’t throw away.

      I’m truly glad these things worked for you, Erik! But I’d also say it’s hard to know what casual fans unfamiliar with the books thought without access to that kind of data on this… and I think it’s okay to have hoped for a scene like this (Jon and Arya fighting together), disappointed when it didn’t happen.

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    79. Adrianacandle: One’s mileage may vary here but Jon did give Arya ‘Needle’ in 1×02, which they discussed again in the season 8 premiere, so I can understand the desire to have Jon and Arya fight side by side (I wanted Jon to catch a glimpse of Arya fighting) as it was a path Jon helped set her on. And he gave her the one possession she couldn’t throw away.

      I’m truly glad these things worked for you, Erik! But I’d also say it’s hard to know what casual fans unfamiliar with the books thought without access to that kind of data on this… and I think it’s okay to have hoped for a scene like this (Jon and Arya fighting together), disappointed when it didn’t happen.

      My girlfriend, who is a big geek when it comes to TV shows and dissects everything about the characters, no matter the show… I asked her if she had any impression that Arya and Jon were supposed to have some super-close bond compared to others. It turned out she didn’t. And I know several more show-only watchers who never thought anything more regarding Jon and Arya either. At the end, it indeed comes to every individual but I’m sure that TV-universe-only, their bond is not portrayed as close as the book readers would think. Whether the writers themselves decided to not go there or if it was just hard to adapt… no idea. If I’m honest, their TV reunion actually felt awkward to me… like they tried too hard to re-create S1 scene even though in my eyes, Arya was already too far gone at that point to be even capable of “reverting to her child self”…. and the way her S8 story unfolded, I’m even more sure now she was already too far gone to settle down for peaceful life.

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    80. Adrianacandle: That’s what I thought too. In ADWD, Wyman Manderly (of the “I’m A Humanitarian” Frey pies) has agreed to support Stannis if Davos can find and retrieve Rickon from the notorious island of Skagos — where the shaggy unicorns live.

      So I think Rickon’s story may go a different way. It’s true he may not survive to the end of the books and if not, his death may come about differently, but it seems like GRRM had (the intention of) some sort of plan for him?

      I honestly think this is actually a problem with GRRM’s storytelling when it comes to adaptation… that he has “plans” for some minor characters who don’t do anything for extensive period of time but at one point, they suddenly become super important according to him. Or the other way around… that a character who was heavily featured just disappears from the story for extensive period of time. I feel it’s really hard to adapt something like that and here I ask myself a question: what’s the point where the ensemble becomes too big? This could as well be a reason why GRRM is struggling so much with final two books.

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    81. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: My girlfriend, who is a big geek when it comes to TV shows and dissects everything about the characters, no matter the show… I asked her if she had any impression that Arya and Jon were supposed to have some super-close bond compared to others. It turned out she didn’t. And I know several more show-only watchers who never thought anything more regarding Jon and Arya either. At the end, it indeed comes to every individual but I’m sure that TV-universe-only, their bond is not portrayed as close as the book readers would think. Whether the writers themselves decided to not go there or if it was just hard to adapt… no idea. If I’m honest, their TV reunion actually felt awkward to me… like they tried too hard to re-create S1 scene even though in my eyes, Arya was already too far gone at that point to be even capable of “reverting to her child self”…. and the way her S8 story unfolded, I’m even more sure now she was already too far gone to settle down for peaceful life.

      I know that the majority of Jon and Arya’s relationship is told through thoughts of each and inner monologues when it comes to the books and the TV show lacked that advantage… so I’d agree with you that that their bond didn’t really come through as well as it did in the books. Personally, I think this kind of thing was more difficult to adapt because so much of their relationship happens in internal monologues while Jon and Arya are apart for most of the series :/

      But I think it would have been really nice for Jon to see Arya in action since he kick-started her combat training with Needle, a pretty defining moment in Arya’s arc and life.

      As to Arya being too far gone for a peaceful life, I wouldn’t agree. I think the idea was that she had freed herself from the restraints of her urges for revenge and she could now decide her own future, choosing to sail the world. I think Westeros has likely became quite a painful place for Arya, considering all the hell she’s been through, but I don’t think she’s too far gone.

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    82. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas:
      I honestly think this is actually a problem with GRRM’s storytelling when it comes to adaptation… that he has “plans” for some minor characters who don’t do anything for extensive period of time but at one point, they suddenly become super important according to him. Or the other way around… that a character who was heavily featured just disappears from the story for extensive period of time. I feel it’s really hard to adapt something like that and here I ask myself a question: what’s the point where the ensemble becomes too big? This could as well be a reason why GRRM is struggling so much with final two books.

      Oh, you’ll get zero argument from me about a lot of this! I felt GRRM added far too many POVs in the latter books, I think he can meander on about characters you never see again, or just meander about some things in general. There are stories I feel frustration over. I think he’s thrown so much into the air with ASOIAF that he may now be having a difficult time figuring out how to bring all of these many different and separate parts together into a cohesive story. And I certainly have sympathy for D&D in the areas you outlined. TV and books are two different mediums and have different sets of challenges. And GRRM being a “gardener” in writing can’t be making the adaptation process much easier. You’re right: having a character be idle for a time in the books only to emerge much later into an important role may work for the books… but maybe not for TV.

      So I largely agree with you here 🙂

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    83. Adrianacandle:
      As to Arya being too far gone for a peaceful life, I wouldn’t agree. I think the idea was that she had freed herself from the restraints of her urges for revenge and she could now decide her own future, choosing to sail the world. I think Westeros has likely became quite a painful place for Arya, considering all the hell she’s been through, but I don’t think she’s too far gone.

      I was more refering to how she almost immediately leaves Winterfell after the Long Night in order to assassinate Cersei which could have as well been a suicide mission. And the fact she wasn’t even at the celebration feast… I got this impression that she just couldn’t “settle down” anymore and also that majority of her emotions are shut away. Especially when I think how she interacts through S7/S8… with that calm stoic voice, almost never raising it. That’s completely the opposite like how she used to be, all chatty and loud as a kid and I remember that from S7 onwards, I was always some sort of unsettled during her scenes as I felt she was this close from going completely dark route. It was only from “The Bells” onwards that I actually dared to “breathe again” regarding her and yes, I think she found a bit of inner peace at the end but still in more melancholic way, considering she decided to leave Westeros and implied she’s never coming back.

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    84. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas: I was more refering to how she almost immediately leaves Winterfell after the Long Night in order to assassinate Cersei which could have as well been a suicide mission. And the fact she wasn’t even at the celebration feast… I got this impression that she just couldn’t “settle down” anymore and also that majority of her emotions are shut away. Especially when I think how she interacts through S7/S8… with that calm stoic voice, almost never raising it. That’s completely the opposite like how she used to be, all chatty and loud as a kid and I remember that from S7 onwards, I was always some sort of unsettled during her scenes as I felt she was this close from going completely dark route. It was only from “The Bells” onwards that I actually dared to “breathe again” regarding her and yes, I think she found a bit of inner peace at the end but still in more melancholic way, considering she decided to leave Westeros and implied she’s never coming back.

      Perhaps this is the situation for Arya for a time, maybe for years, maybe forever… but maybe not forever. I do think Arya is irrevocably changed, yes. Still, maybe she’ll find a life that suits her one day and she can find that contentment. I think events do change people, I don’t think individuals — especially going through the extreme experiences Arya did — can ever go back to who they were. And I think that’s kind of the point. Many of us are changed from who we once were as we go through life, experience both the good, bad, devastating, and everything in between. However, I don’t that makes them too far gone for a life they may feel some contentment with. Scarred, absolutely, and I don’t think scars ever totally heal as if they weren’t there… but, in Arya’s case, I don’t think that makes her too far gone.

      Nonetheless, I do appreciate your thoughts on this matter 🙂

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    85. Wait a second, I’m seeing a big point being unaddressed so far:

      Out of everything the show did and didn’t adapt from the books, changes the fans liked, changes they didn’t like, directions the story went that many fans insist will be completely different in the books, and so on… the biggest change that George had an issue with was the omission of Lady Stoneheart? Really? That’s it?

      If that’s the case, then the books and the show really aren’t going to be that different, or maybe the way they go about some things will be a bit different but the results will be basically the same as far as major story beats and character arcs go.

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    86. Farimer123,

      …but the results will be basically the same as far as major story beats and character arcs go.

      Martin has already agreed with you:

      …so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet.

      Those are all minor and supporting characters. So yes, the main characters and story arcs will be pretty much the same.

      The audience members who didn’t like how the story ended are the ones pushing “the books will be different…” speculations. Martin himself hasn’t ever endorsed that idea.

        Quote  Reply

    87. mau,

      S7 and S8 were originally ordered together, then a few months later were split in half with each half having a runtime of about 7.5 hours. Together, they would have been one long final season with 13 episodes. The first 10 episodes would have functioned like a standard season, and the final 3 episodes are a post-climax denouement akin to the Scouring of the Shire from the LotR books.

      The structure of Game of Thrones: A Sandwich of Ice and Fire

      S1E1-S1E10: Summer; the beginning of the story. Begins with the introduction of the White Walkers.

      S2E1-S6E10: Autumn; the middle of the story. One of the first scenes in S2 is a white raven in King’s Landing declaring summer to have ended. One of the last scenes in S6 is a white raven in Winterfell declaring winter to have begun. Many character arcs conclude or come full circle within this section. Five seasons of 10 episodes apiece for the War of the Five Kings. Fun fact: one of the five kings dies in each of these seasons.

      S7E1-S8E3: Winter; the end of the story (in many ways). Ends with the defeat of the White Walkers.

      S8E4-S8E6: Post-winter, post-climax, bittersweet Scouring of the Shire denouement. Like the last three episodes, many consider the Scouring chapter to be anticlimactic (and it’s been omitted from all the film adaptations). But many also consider it to be the most important chapter of the story that brings many of its themes to their logical resolution.

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    88. Adrianacandle,

      ”…However, I don’t that makes them too far gone for a life they may feel some contentment with. Scarred, absolutely, and I don’t think scars ever totally heal as if they weren’t there… but, in Arya’s case, I don’t think that makes her too far gone.”

      Allow me to weigh in with my thoughts and flimsy speculation:

      • I don’t think show! Arya was intended to be portrayed as irrevocably scarred, if we assume that her divergent books! vs. show! trajectories will converge at the end.

      – I’ve suggested in the past that because GRRM left off Arya’s story at the end of the Mercy sample chapter, i.e., she’s still in Braavos after her unsanctioned (yet glorious) hit on Raff, the book! counterpart to her impromptu eyelid surgery + facelift + tummy tuck performed on Meryn F*cking Trant in S5e10.
      – Once it became apparent that G was more interested in the politics of the Hugos and his other projects, and therefore the show would pass the books, the showrunners had to cobble together Arya’s post-Braavos storyline.
      – They did this in large part by borrowing and transplanting book! Manderly’s Frey Pies story, and LSH’s wholesale extermination of Freys, to give Arya “something to do” from the end of S6 – S7.
      – Because book! Arya will not be responsible for the ghoulish filleting and baking of Walder’s damn moron sons and feeding them to him; or for the systematic eradication of free-range Freys, the concerns expressed by some show watchers that Arya had morphed into a full-on psycho killer won’t really apply to book! Arya.
      – It was primarily those two borrowed book! storylines that made many viewers think Arya was “too far gone.” Without the transplanted Manderly and LSH kills, at worst all she’s done is crossed a few deserving names off her list.

      • On a semi-unrelated note, I have also hypothesized that because of (1) the constricted screen time for the final two seasons; and (2) the
      well-deserved popularity and undeniable chemistry of the S3 + S4 Arya & Sandor road show (and possibly (3) the showrunners’ decision to depart from book! Sansa’s Vale storyline and
      team up Jon & Sansa); the Jon & Arya reunion was given short shrift in favor of reconciling Sandor and Arya and resuming their partnership.

      Obviously, the show had to focus on building up to the Dany = Mad Queen conclusion, and wrapping up other characters’ storylines. The showrunners could not very well make GoT S7 and S8 All-ASNAWP All the Time
      … though I for one would have been totally on board with that. 😃

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    89. Ten Bears,

      • I don’t think show! Arya was intended to be portrayed as irrevocably scarred, if we assume that her divergent books! vs. show! trajectories will converge at the end.

      I should perhaps clarify! I didn’t mean irrevocable in that she’s irreparable, unable to heal, and there’s no hope for Arya, I think she’s got a good future! Just that she’s carrying scars, is impacted by what she’s been through and I think she’ll always carry that with her, she’s got some baggage now. I do think her ending is meant to signify good things for her future.

      – They did this in large part by borrowing and transplanting book! Manderly’s Frey Pies story, and LSH’s wholesale extermination of Freys, to give Arya “something to do” from the end of S6 – S7.
      – Because book! Arya will not be responsible for the ghoulish filleting and baking of Walder’s damn moron sons and feeding them to him; or for the systematic eradication of free-range Freys, the concerns expressed by some show watchers that Arya had morphed into a full-on psycho killer won’t really apply to book! Arya.

      Yeah, I have no idea what will happen with Arya in future books but I don’t disagree with this speculation. I’m just not sure what will happen. It’s possible it was taken from LSH’s story, it’s possible Arya might have something to do with the Frey demise, she may meet up with LSH again, etc. Just not sure!

      I’m afraid whatever speculation I put out there will prod Murphy’s Law and happen in the worst way possible! Because it’s happened before (buffy). And I’m irrevocably scarred by this!

      I do think, like most of the characters, Arya’ll have some broken parts to her as a result of her experiences and I think that’s another thing GRRM is exploring — the transformations we undergo as a result of our experiences.

      That doesn’t mean she’s damaged beyond repair! But I mean that she’s impacted by her experiences.

      Or maybe I’m drawing too much from myself here. I’d say the same of myself due to my own experiences.

      For what it’s worth, I personally never felt Arya was too far gone, I just thought she was in the throes of fresh trauma, still surrounded by it and doing what she could to marshal forward.

      • On a semi-unrelated note, I have also hypothesized that because of (1) the constricted screen time for the final two seasons; and (2) the
      well-deserved popularity and undeniable chemistry of the S3 + S4 Arya & Sandor road show (and possibly (3) the showrunners’ decision to depart from book! Sansa’s Vale storyline and
      team up Jon & Sansa); the Jon & Arya reunion was given short shrift in favor of reconciling Sandor and Arya and resuming their partnership.

      I think changing Sansa’s storyline and having her take over Jeyne Poole’s story did alter some things a lot. I’m really really hoping Jon & Arya meet up sooner in the books but I don’t know.

      I agree with your concluding speculation! 🙂

      I will leave off with this though! An Arya passage I thought you’d like!

      “My great-aunt is a septa at a motherhouse in Oldtown,” Lady Smallwood said as the women laced the gown up Arya’s back. “I sent my daughter there when the war began. She’ll have outgrown these things by the time she returns, no doubt. Are you fond of dancing, child? My Carellen’s a lovely dancer. She sings beautifully as well. What do you like to do?”

      She scuffed a toe amongst the rushes. “Needlework.”

      “Very restful, isn’t it?”

      “Well,” said Arya, “not the way I do it.”

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    90. On the subject of Lady Stoneheart, eh, I always figured this being the reasons behind her omission. It surely would have been a waste of Michelle Fairleys talents playing a zombie.

      On the other hand, if they did use her I think it would be fine as well. There is no right and wrong here.

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    91. Adrianacandle,

      Are you fond of dancing, child? My Carellen’s a lovely dancer. She sings beautifully as well. What do you like to do?”

      She scuffed a toe amongst the rushes. “Needlework.”

      “Very restful, isn’t it?”

      “Well,” said Arya, “not the way I do it.”

      Perfect for a calendar page caption!

        Quote  Reply

    92. Adrianacandle: Yes, the calendar!! How’s that going? Have you collected many images since?

      Yeah, I’ve been collecting more images now and then. However, aggregating 365 images and a pithy caption for each is going to take a while. The press of real world responsibilities makes it hard to justify devoting the necessary time for that, at least for the time being, particularly since 2021 won’t be here for another three months.

      P.S. It’s counterintuitive that time would fly by faster during the last six months of lockdowns and staying at home, yet that’s what seems to be happening. Weeks have been flying by.
      Is it just me? Have I lost my sense of the passage of time?

        Quote  Reply

    93. Pigeon:
      Not sure if we’ll be getting an article on it, but congrats to Kit and Rose on expecting their first cave baby. 🙂

      Awww. Baby Jeor is on the way? Or maybe a feisty redhead who likes to play with swords instead of dolls and kittens?
      Someone to inherit Longclaw….

      S7e6: Jorah tells Jon to keep Longclaw:

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

      (at 4:03 – 5:19)

      Jorah: “It’s yours. May it serve you well. And your children after you.”

        Quote  Reply

    94. Ten Bears,

      I’ll be sure to keep my eye out for Arya images and captions! If you need any other help, let me know 🙂

      P.S. It’s counterintuitive that time would fly by faster during the last six months of lockdowns and staying at home, yet that’s what seems to be happening. Weeks have been flying by.
      Is it just me? Have I lost my sense of the passage of time?

      I feel this too. I can’t believe May was four months ago and we’re already into September. I remember January so clearly.

      Also feels like such a different world then! Back in January.

      Strange, strange year.

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    95. Ten Bears: From People.com, Sept. 26, 2020

      [link]

      ***
      … These days, Leslie and Harington are spending quality time together in their Tudor manor house in East Anglia, which she jokingly called “the house that Jon Snow built.”

      Thanks! I just browsed that article myself! Very very happy news for them! 🙂

      My mum always makes a quilt for friends of mine who get pregnant… Meanwhile, I make rocketship shelves that are still waiting to be painted X_X

      I wish them many quilts! 🙂

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    96. Ten Bears: While I make rocket ships that are still waiting to be painted.

      [image]

      YES! That’s exactly the one!!!

      …. I wish. It’s actually this 🙁

      (Still unglued and unpainted… Just has its parts in the slots to make sure I designed it right…)

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    97. Ten Bears:
      Pigeon,

      OMG! Would you look at her maternity dress?

      https://www.instagram.com/p/CFmuThIAvva/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_mid=68202D40-9FBC-4D86-8DFB-25607D886796

      https://www.instagram.com/p/CFmuThIAvva/

      It looks like it was made of the purest silk from Tralalalaeeday.

      Yes, that’s where I saw the news, hee! Although I am not a fan of Ygritte, I always got the feeling that Rose was a cool gal, despite a bougie background. 😄

        Quote  Reply

    98. heh, I always found it funny how some book readers would go on and on about how important Lady Stoneheart is in the books. If I recall, she’s in exactly two pages! And the 2nd page is basically a rewrite of the first. I find it very improbable that her inclusion would have added anything to the story: it seems that LSH is probably just going to be a foil from some of the 2nd-tier protagonists.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Ten Bears,

      That’s lovely news about baby Snow – I mean Harington.

      As was observed upthread, Lady Stoneheart does provide the shock/cliffhanger at the end of ASOS. If I recall she was leading the BWB down a darker path than Beric had in the books. I could never understand why the Brotherhood readily accepted leadership from reanimated Catlyn the same as (if I remember rightly Efi disagrees with me over this) I could never understand why Book Gendry didn’t tell LS that he had been travelling with Arya relatively recently.

      About how damaged or undamaged Arya is – I’m a person who listened to/read the books once so I can’t quote the books down to chapter and page and paragraph number some uber-fans can – I remember there was a part where Arya wished inwardly that she could just go back to being a little girl again. I’m sure I read something about GRRM saying she was like a child soldier at her current stage in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Apollo:
      Mr Derp,

      Hi destiny was to save Westeros/mankind by killing Dany.

      Yes, I get that’s what was implied, but I feel like this could’ve been achieved without Jon. That’s my entire point. Bran could’ve taken care of Dany without Jon. Hell, anyone could’ve killed Dany if they got close enough to her. That’s all it took to kill her in the end. If Dany allowed the one person who had a claim over her to the IT to get close to her, then anyone could. Dany had also understood by then that Jon couldn’t love her the way she needed. There wasn’t a reason to be that vulnerable with Jon ever again, but it happened.

      That’s the problem with giving Bran the powers that he had, IMO. He’s kind of like a cheat code. He could’ve just warged into a raven and pecked Dany’s eyes out or something if he felt like it.

      It’s not a big deal to me. It’s just how I feel when I think back on Jon’s resurrection.

        Quote  Reply

    101. Dame of Mercia: About how damaged or undamaged Arya is – I’m a person who listened to/read the books once so I can’t quote the books down to chapter and page and paragraph number some uber-fans can – I remember there was a part where Arya wished inwardly that she could just go back to being a little girl again. I’m sure I read something about GRRM saying she was like a child soldier at her current stage in the books.

      You’ve got a good memory! I had forgotten this! I think this is the interview?

      Q: So when you had first introduced Arya, you knew she was going to become an assassin?

      A: Well she’s not an assassin yet. You are assuming she is going to become one. She’s an apprentice.

      Q: But she’s already going around killing people and she’s learned a lot of the secrets.

      A: Not only in Ice and Fire — we also did this bit in the Wild Cards series, the whole thing of the child solider is a fascinating construct. We have this picture of children [as] so sweet and innocent. I think some of the recent history in Africa and some of the longer history have shown that under the right circumstances, they can become just as dangerous as men, and in some ways more dangerous. On some level, it’s almost a game to them.

      I think you’re right about Arya — throughout the books, particularly up until AFFC, she spends a lot of time wishing to return home, for Winterfell, even thinking at one point to turn into an otter and swim there.

      By AFFC, it seems that dream has died. Arya believes Winterfell is gone though there are still one or two times she yearns for it in her memories. But she stops wishing for it.

      I do like this passage though, from AFFC:

      Only the kindly man knew the Common Tongue. “Who are you?” he would ask her every day.

      “No one,” she would answer, she who had been Arya of House Stark, Arya Underfoot, Arya Horseface. She had been Arry and Weasel too, and Squab and Salty, Nan the cupbearer, a grey mouse, a sheep, the ghost of Harrenhal… but not for true, not in her heart of hearts. In there she was Arya of Winterfell, the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn, who had once had brothers named Robb and Bran and Rickon, a sister named Sansa, a direwolf called Nymeria, a half brother named Jon Snow. In there she was someone… but that was not the answer that he wanted.

      And I also think Arya still has much of what makes her Arya but she carries scars now. Particularly her time as Cat, Arya was still able to forge real connections, missing those too when her time as this persona was over:

      Cat had made friends along the wharves; porters and mummers, ropemakers and sailmenders, taverners, brewers and bakers and beggars and whores. They bought clams and cockles from her, told her true tales of Braavos and lies about their lives, and laughed at the way she talked when she tried to speak Braavosi. She never let that trouble her. Instead, she showed them all the fig, and told them they were camel cunts, which made them roar with laughter.

      Most days, she spent more time with the dead than with the living. She missed the friends she’d had when she was Cat of the Canals; Old Brusco with his bad back, his daughters Talea and Brea, the mummers from the Ship, Merry and her whores at the Happy Port, all the other rogues and wharfside scum. She missed Cat herself most of all, even more than she missed her eyes. She had liked being Cat, more than she had ever liked being Salty or Swuab or Weasel or Arry.

      Sorry for the ramble! Your post just sparked a few tangents of thought in my mind 🙂

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    102. Ten Bears: Yeah, I’ve been collecting more images now and then. However, aggregating 365 images and a pithy caption for each is going to take a while.

      Per my promise to keep my eye open for good Arya quotes, I offer this for consideration:

      “I was talking about Thoros.” Gendry reached out with the tongs as if to pinch her face, but Arya swatted them away. “He liked feasts and tourneys, that was why King Robert was so fond of him. And this Thoros was brave. When the walls of Pyke crashed down, he was the first through the breach. He fought with one of his flaming swords, setting ironmen afire with every slash.”

      “I wish I had a flaming sword.” Arya could think of lots of people she’d like to set on fire.

      I thought this was kind of funny… and relatable 😉

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    103. Adrianacandle,

      I wish I had a flaming sword.” Arya could think of lots of people she’d like to set on fire.

      I thought this was kind of funny… and relatable 😉

      ———
      ASNAWP = AA confirmed.

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    104. Mr Derp,

      ”That’s the problem with giving Bran the powers that he had, IMO. He’s kind of like a cheat code. He could’ve just warged into a raven and pecked Dany’s eyes out or something if he felt like it.”

      If only Mr. Derp had been in the writers’ room. 🤓

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    105. Ten Bears: ASNAWP = AA confirmed.

      All we need is Arya with a flaming sword now… and maybe this photo/quote would be a good candidate for… the summer solstice? Around which time there is the most sunlight? I think? Wikipedia told me! (My dad and his lab friends would have a song for summer solstice… X_X I should know more about it. He’d be so disappointed…)

      Or would a yellow-orange Photoshopped glow on Needle suffice? 🙂

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    106. Pigeon,

      Erik: “ANd me not being some big Arya fan from get-go…”

      TB: “Well, no one’s perfect.”

      Pigeon: “Truer words, Ten Bears. No One is perfect. 😉”

      ————
      I’m glad you picked up on that! 🤗

        Quote  Reply

    107. Ten Bears,

      I think sometimes having an unusual look can help an actor or actress or model. There are many in those overcrowded professions who have good looks but not looks particularly different to their fellow professionals.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Adrianacandle,

      I’ll have you know (and thank you) that one of the book excerpts in your Sept. 26, 3:40 pm comment (below) sent me down an unexpected rabbit hole 🕳 🐇

      On 9-26-20, Adrianacandle wrote:

      I will leave off with this though! An Arya passage I thought you’d like!

      “My great-aunt is a septa at a motherhouse in Oldtown,” Lady Smallwood said as the women laced the gown up Arya’s back. “I sent my daughter there when the war began. She’ll have outgrown these things by the time she returns, no doubt. Are you fond of dancing, child? My Carellen’s a lovely dancer. She sings beautifully as well. What do you like to do?”

      She scuffed a toe amongst the rushes. “Needlework.”

      “Very restful, isn’t it?”

      “Well,” said Arya, “not the way I do it.”
      …….

      Somehow the internet gods led me from that excerpt to a Facebook (?) post titled “But you can be my forest love, and me your forest lass. Arya & Gendry” with lots of recent Maisie Williams images and videos, e.g., her Cartier watch ads and commercials and L’Officiel magazine photo shoot

      https://ms-my.facebook.com/AryaAndGendry/videos/maisie-williams-per-pasha-de-cartier/285356299400923/

      …. and also to “Maisie Williams – BeautifulBallad”

      http://www.beautifulballad.org/category/maisie-williams/

      …with more content.

        Quote  Reply

    109. Ten Bears: I’ll have you know (and thank you) that one of the book excerpts in your Sept. 26, 3:40 pm comment (below) sent me down an unexpected rabbit hole 🕳 🐇

      Ooooh! I’m glad it did! Those were great images you posted!! 🙂 And thanks for the link!

      At about 30 seconds in of the first clip (the Easybeats on French TV in 1967), I got an Austin Powers vibe when lead singer Stevie Wright launched into his dance moves. 🕺🏻

      I thought the same thing! Austin Powers… he comes by it honestly ;D

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    110. Dame of Mercia:
      Ten Bears,

      I think sometimes having an unusual look can help an actor or actress or model. There are many in those overcrowded professions who have good looks but not looks particularly different to their fellow professionals.

      Yes, that’s true. I also think in MW’s case, she has several unique attributes:

      1. Photogeneity or photogenicity. [Yo, Stannis: What’s the correct noun form of “photogenic”?]
      The camera just loves her.

      2. Chameleon-like ability to change her look. This is why I half-jokingly refer to her as “The Many-Faced Goddess.” She can change her look from boyish to androgynous to ultra-glamorous.
      (The show only partially took advantage of that when tomboy Arya was mistaken for a boy in S1, and then was forced to pose as “Arry” the orphan boy from the end of S1 – S4. To its credit, the show resisted giving Arya a cliched “makeover” in S7, and instead had her retain her warrior princess, mini-Ned appearance.)

      3. As Lady Crane (Essie Davis) commented to Arya/Mercy (Maisie Williams) in S6e6

      “You have very expressive eyes, Mercy; wonderful eyebrows.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZbiNiDsk48

      4. The popularity of her (portrayal of her) GoT character.

      5. Fashion sense.

      6. I don’t know how to describe this: Despite her diminutive stature (a little over 5’ tall I think), somehow she can look tall and long-limbed in photo shoots. One of the photos above (and linked below) is an example:

      https://usa-grlk5lagedl.stackpathdns.com/production/usa/images/1600893641650459-maisie-williams-game-of-thrones-fashion-xmen-marvel-6.png?w=1900&fit=crop&crop=faces&auto=%5B%22format%22%2C%20%22compress%22%5D&cs=srgb

      7. Ebullient personality.

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    111. Dame of Mercia,

      Update to 12:39 pm comment:
      My 12:35 pm reply to you has been freed from Moderation Purgatory!

      It looks like the bonfire I set on my balcony to burn a miniature balsa wood effigy of Littlefinger appeased the Lord of Light. 🔥

        Quote  Reply

    112. Ten Bears, I see your comment. I think considering the actors who played the Stark children were only young teenagers or even pre-teenagers at the time they were chosen, the casting crew for GoT did pretty well.

      I heard an interview Maisie Williams gave a few years ago where she said the day scheduled for her try-out for Arya her class at school were having a day out at a pig farm. She wanted to go to the pig farm but either her Mum or a teacher (can’t remember) persuaded her to go for the audition and the rest as they say is history.

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    113. Mr Derp,

      If Dany allowed the one person who had a claim over her to the IT to get close to her, then anyone could.

      Jon wasn’t just “anyone;” his special status was Tyrion’s entire reason for talking with Jon. Drogon recognized Jon as a Targ’ and dragon-rider, and so let him pass. Dany didn’t order Jon kept away from her, but she had no reason to believe she needed to do so. Her loyal Warden of the North had bent his knee, relinquished his crown to her, and disavowed his better claim to the Iron Throne. When arrived to talk with her, she had no reason to suspect he had murder in mind.

      That’s the problem with giving Bran the powers that he had, IMO.

      Due to Martin’s failure to finish his story, D&D were left with some pretty over-powered protagonists, yes — especially after they granted Bran portable omniscience, instead of the “see only by the (Weirwood) tree” power he has in the books. Partly by happenstance, then, Bran went from being an adventuresome boy to a zoned-out weirdo, whose motivations were never explicitly provided to the audience. That was a lot for the audience to accept, and some never have.

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    114. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      I have no desire to prolong this debate of Jon’s resurrection and whether or not it resulted in much. It doesn’t seem like anyone’s changing their positions on that.

      But I just wanted to note something! When Jon came to Dany, when he entered the throne room, I don’t think Jon did have murder in mind at that point. He still tries to plead with her to choose mercy over further death and killing. Kit Harington said on the DVD special, when Jon enters the throne room, “[Jon] doesn’t know he’s going to betray her until right at the end.” And right at the end, I think he means when Dany says, “[Everyone else] doesn’t get to choose.” That’s when Jon seemed to have made his decision.

      At least in the book material, dragons have killed Targaryens before but perhaps this isn’t a thing in show canon. But unless Drogon had some

      As for Bran, I do agree with Mr Derp’s assessment that he was essentially a “cheat code”. I also agree with you, Tensor, that I think this was in part due to GRRM’s inability to finish in time.

      (Off-topic but have you ever heard of The Space Child’s Mother Goose, Tensor? I recall you saying that your expertise is in math and/or science or am I misremembering? If so, I think you’d love that book! It’s hilarious. I just recently came across it again while packing up!)

        Quote  Reply

    115. Dame of Mercia: I heard an interview Maisie Williams gave a few years ago where she said the day scheduled for her try-out for Arya her class at school were having a day out at a pig farm. She wanted to go to the pig farm but either her Mum or a teacher (can’t remember) persuaded her to go for the audition and the rest as they say is history.

      This…. seems oddly Arya Stark-like 🙂

      Ten Bears,

      And thank-you for this new [to me] word — “ebullient” 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever come across this word before!

        Quote  Reply

    116. Dame of Mercia,

      Thank-you, Dame! I had never seen this before!

      The 21-year-old actress, who was just 11 when she got the role of Arya Stark on the fantasy epic, wanted to ditch her audition because there was a school trip to a pig farm that she wanted to go on instead. Speaking to Christine Lampard on Lorraine, Maisie revealed: ‘I desperately wanted to go on a school trip instead – good job I didn’t! I wouldn’t be here now.’

      This is really cute 🙂 Pig farm > audition. I relate!

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    117. Adrianacandle:
      Dame of Mercia,

      Thank-you, Dame! I had never seen this before!

      This is really cute 🙂 Pig farm > audition. I relate!

      Young Maisie Williams desperately wanted to go to a pig farm rather than her audition?

      That is the kind of attitude she portrayed in her actual audition(s) as Arya:

      Maisie Williams audition:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlvN8TZB1e8

      …. and audition with Sophie:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-qT_jt-5TQ

      ——

        Quote  Reply

    118. Ten Bears,

      And to think, she was missing her trip to the pig farm while this was filmed ;;

      (But in all seriousness, that is a great audition).

      But this led me to discovering… Maisie Williams did a Ted Talk! Have you seen this, Ten Bears?

        Quote  Reply

    119. Life is messy and complicated at the best of times. There are no easy, simple and clear cut decisions when it comes to it on most occasions. This is, I thought, one of the core strengths of GOT, and as a fan I appreciated the shows ability to reflect and represent that. Yes, that includes the dreaded oooga booga Season Eight…

      Now, let’s get back to the torches and pitchforks…

        Quote  Reply

    120. Adrianacandle,

      When Jon came to Dany, when he entered the throne room, I don’t think Jon did have murder in mind at that point. He still tries to plead with her to choose mercy over further death and killing.

      Yes, I agree. My interpretation says Jon was still in shock from the events of that day, and hadn’t really accepted Dany as tyrant. She quickly convinced him she was:

      …when Dany says, “[Everyone else] doesn’t get to choose.” That’s when Jon seemed to have made his decision.

        Quote  Reply

    121. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: Yes, I agree. My interpretation says Jon was still in shock from the events of that day, and hadn’t really accepted Dany as tyrant. She quickly convinced him she was:

      I think it’s a bit more complex than that. I think Jon still had a desire to believe in Dany when he is talking with her (from the script: “Looking at her, his need to believe is almost overwhelming.”) and even after he does see Dany’s resolve to continue, to reject mercy, and he assassinates her, Jon still can’t bring himself to feel it was the right thing to do (per his conversation with Tyrion) — even after months in prison (but I think that was due to personal feeling, however conflicted it was. I think, no matter what Jon did in this situation, it would never feel right for one reason or another and I think that is down to personal feeling).

      On the topic of Bran, to bring some levity, when I was recounting a scene from Game of Thrones to my mum, at first, she had trouble remembering him but then she identified Bran as, “Oh, the one with the eyes?” (Indicating his slightly squint stare, which Isaac Hempstead Wright said was aided by his poor eyesight!)

      ‘Yeah, I’m kind of getting good at this intense stare, but it’s actually aided by the fact that I’m completely blind when I’m on set.’

      (From Optician Online)

      Anyway, I thought that was kind of funny — how she thinks of Bran in hindsight 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    122. Adrianacandle,

      I think it’s a bit more complex than that. I think Jon still had a desire to believe in Dany when he is talking with her (from the script: “Looking at her, his need to believe is almost overwhelming.”) and even after he does see Dany’s resolve to continue, to reject mercy, and he assassinates her, Jon still can’t bring himself to feel it was the right thing to do (per his conversation with Tyrion) — even after months in prison (but I think that was due to personal feeling, however conflicted it was. I think, no matter what Jon did in this situation, it would never feel right for one reason or another and I think that is down to personal feeling).

      I agree. He’s in shock from the victory-to-carnage switch she executed, and by the scale of the devastation she relentlessly wreaked. (D&D explicitly modeled Dany’s Inferno on the Allied destruction of Dresden in Spring 1945, which took all the might of major industrial powers to execute; Jon Snow had never seen anything like it.) He also had pledged to protect her, and knew (or thought he knew) she could be a good person.

      He entered the Iron Throne room and talked about the children she’d burnt alive before his eyes, and she had no reaction. Nothing he said shook her absolute belief in the rightness of what she had done. He’d agonized over his decision to execute Olly, and he did not want to execute a fatal sneak attack upon the defenseless woman he’d sworn to protect. But he now understood Tyrion had been correct: Dany, not the NK, was the true threat to the realms of men — all realms, everywhere, not just on Westeros — and so Jon upheld his NW oath for one final time.

      Jaime Lannister, clapped in irons by the Starks who had captured him, talked about conflicting oaths. Jon, like Jaime, resolved his conflict by shoving his blade into the Targ’ monarch he’d sworn to protect. This parallel is more obvious in the books, where, as you know, joining the Kingsguard is called “taking the White,” and of course joining the NW is “taking the Black.”

      For Dany’s victory speech, delivered above the still-smoking ruins of KL, D&D paid homage to Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, turning Dany into a fantasy version of Hitler. That maniacal, hateful, ranting dictator is our real-life embodiment of pure evil, but Dany in the Throne Room was (to me, at least) far more frightening: calm, unflappable, utterly convinced that her way was the only correct one. Jon’s knifing of her was my high point in Game of Thrones, and what a cruel climax it was. Jon Snow had a cruel life, and he faced one unpleasant choice after another after another in his quest to do right. Little wonder he gladly buggered off beyond The Wall, the only place he’d ever truly been happy.

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    123. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      I agree with parts of your interpretation! But maybe not everything.

      I think I would definitely argue that the Night King was certainly a true threat because if he wasn’t defeated, well…. Anyway, I don’t think Jon ever saw Dany this way, considering how Jon couldn’t feel it was right to kill her after and mourned her. I think he understood the urgency of the situation and that he had to make a choice when he saw she wasn’t backing down… but I don’t think she ever really became that monster to him. While I think there is shock and denial involved, Dany wasn’t just a monarch but somebody who he had a personal connection with and loved. He never wanted to kill her (not just for the way it was done but he didn’t want to kill her at all) and wasn’t able to feel it was right, despite everything.

      This in contrast to Mance, who Jon liked and respected, but someone Jon was somberly willing to assassinate (and he came up with the idea) without much issue to end the attack on the Wall, also willing to break the taboo of sacred guest right.

      Per Jon’s final conversation with Tyrion, he seems to have a heavy sense of regret so I’m not sure how much was resolved for him by killing Dany.

      Ultimately, I think Jon’s fate is a sad one. I think the far North is the best place for him, away from all the crap that is Westeros, but I think he’s got deep scars ( I’m not so sure he’s left the Wall though for good! ;))

      Well, and… you know how I feel about what happened with Dany’s story at the end. I don’t think Dany became quite the “maniacal, hateful, ranting dictator” ala Hitler. In my view, I think she turned more into an extremist idealist. She viewed her massacre as “liberation”, viewed herself as freeing all the men, women, and children of the world, viewed destruction as the way to free them, destroy all the tyrants, and build the world anew. For everyone rather than specific groups of people to build the ultimate race.

      (PS. I don’t mean for my tone to sound contrary for the sake of being contrary! I just realized how contrary I sound… XD;;)

        Quote  Reply

    124. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: This parallel is more obvious in the books, where, as you know, joining the Kingsguard is called “taking the White,” and of course joining the NW is “taking the Black.”

      Yeah, I think there are several parallels between Jon and Jamie and when we’re talking about the books, I think this quote can apply to both of them:

      “I am the sword that guards the realm of men, Jon reminded himself, and in the end, that must be worth more than one man’s honor.

      And I also like Jaime’s speech to Catelyn about vows:

      Jaime reached for the flagon to refill his cup. “So many vows…they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.”

      And what makes me think Jon is set up for a sad fate, probably in exile:

      Mormont shifted in his seat, frowning. “Your brother Robb has been crowned King in the North. You and Aemon have that in common. A king for a brother.”

      “And this too,” said Jon. “A vow.”

      The Old Bear gave a loud snort, and the raven took flight, flapping in a circle about the room. “Give me a man for every vow I’ve seen broken and the Wall will never lack for defenders.”

      “I’ve always known that Robb would be Lord of Winterfell.”

      Mormont gave a whistle, and the bird flew to him again and settled on his arm. “A lord’s one thing, a king’s another.” He offered the raven a handful of corn from his pocket. “They will garb your brother Robb in silks, satins, and velvets of a hundred different colors, while you live and die in black ringmail. He will wed some beautiful princess and father sons on her. You’ll have no wife, nor will you ever hold a child of your own blood in your arms. Robb will rule, you will serve. Men will call you a crow. Him they’ll call Your Grace. Singers will praise every little thing he does, while your greatest deeds all go unsung. Tell me that none of this troubles you, Jon . . . and I’ll name you a liar, and know I have the truth of it.”

      Jon drew himself up, taut as a bowstring. “And if it did trouble me, what might I do, bastard as I am?”

      “What will you do?” Mormont asked. “Bastard as you are?”

      “Be troubled,” said Jon, “and keep my vows.”

      And ultimately, I think Jon’s purpose is to be that “sword that guards the realm of men” from the first quote.

      Tyrion Lannister had claimed that most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it, but Jon was done with denials. He was who he was; Jon Snow, bastard and oathbreaker, motherless, friendless, and damned. For the rest of his life—however long that might be—he would be condemned to be an outsider, the silent man standing in the shadows who dares not speak his true name.

      SO… on that downer….! 🙂

      Sorry for the book passage spam!

        Quote  Reply

    125. Adrianacandle,

      Correction!

      When I said, “I think I would definitely argue that the Night King was certainly a true threat because if he wasn’t defeated, well…. Anyway, I don’t think Jon ever saw Dany this way[…],” I meant that while I don’t think Jon saw Dany the same way as he saw the Night King, I do think he came to understand the threat she posed to the world, yes.

      When I said, “For everyone rather than specific groups of people to build the ultimate race,” I didn’t mean that Dany wanted to build the ultimate race.

      I just realized how my wording was off 🙂

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    126. I said it way back in S4 but I think the show runners go it right not introducing Stoneheart for they reasons they gave. That said if that means there is something coming in Winds which will be new i.e. not spoiled by the show that’s also a good thing in my view.

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    127. Adrianacandle,

      I think I would definitely argue that the Night King was certainly a true threat because if he wasn’t defeated, well…

      …then all of Westeros would suffer eternal Winter and night, nothing moving but cold corpses. Whereas, if Dany was not defeated, then all of the known world would suffer fiery slaughter, one city after another after another falling as King’s Landing did. She was the bigger of the two threats in A Song of Ice and Fire.

      I think he understood the urgency of the situation and that he had to make a choice when he saw she wasn’t backing down… but I don’t think she ever really became that monster to him.

      I agree. He could not reconcile the Dany he knew with the bringer of fiery death he had witnessed.

      While I think there is shock and denial involved, Dany wasn’t just a monarch but somebody who he had a personal connection with and loved.

      Yes, I agree. Jon’s connection to Dany was stronger than Jaime’s connection to Dany’s father, and yet, the result was the same. Jaime was haunted for the rest of his life by his decision, and Jon more so.

      This in contrast to Mance, who Jon liked and respected, but someone Jon was somberly willing to assassinate (and he came up with the idea) without much issue to end the attack on the Wall, also willing to break the taboo of sacred guest right.

      Jon had the excuse that Mance was a deserter from the NW. Jon had no such excuse with Dany. He was her queen (I love that his last line to her references this!) and she had done nothing any monarch could not do. To kill her, Jon had to violate much of what he had been brought up to believe.

      Per Jon’s final conversation with Tyrion, he seems to have a heavy sense of regret so I’m not sure how much was resolved for him by killing Dany.

      Nothing was resolved. Despite her words, he could not say for sure if she’d continue her murderous ‘liberation’ spree, or settle down and rule Westeros benignly. He acted on the guess the former was true. That does not absolve him of his oathbreaking, kinslaying, and queenslaying — the trifecta of deadly sins on Westeros.

      Ultimately, I think Jon’s fate is a sad one. I think the far North is the best place for him, away from all the crap that is Westeros, but I think he’s got deep scars ( I’m not so sure he’s left the Wall though for good! ;))

      Leaving the ‘civilized’ part of Westeros literally gets him away from the world where oaths, etc. are the measure of a man. He’s again “taking the Black,” going to live as King Beyond The Wall with Free Folk, who disdain the whole oaths & kneeling jazz.

      I believe he’ll never again return to Castle Black. Once that gate slammed down, Jon was gone for good. (At least, that’s how I interpreted that scene.)

      I don’t think Dany became quite the “maniacal, hateful, ranting dictator” ala Hitler. In my view, I think she turned more into an extremist idealist.

      Which is actually worse, at least in our world. Over the past century, the idealist totalitarian regimes of left-wing extremists (communists) actually killed more human beings than did the racist, right-wing totalitarians (fascists). The road to hell, and all that. Dany’s vision of a perfect world wasn’t articulated very well, but we saw it did involve killing a lot of humans.

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    128. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      …then all of Westeros would suffer eternal Winter and night, nothing moving but cold corpses. Whereas, if Dany was not defeated, then all of the known world would suffer fiery slaughter, one city after another after another falling as King’s Landing did. She was the bigger of the two threats in A Song of Ice and Fire.

      With the Night King, it wasn’t just all of Westeros. It was all of the world. In the original Long Night, all of the seas froze and the whole world was subject to the same darkness and death, thus several regions having their own myth of Azor Ahai.

      Jon had the excuse that Mance was a deserter from the NW. Jon had no such excuse with Dany. He was her queen (I love that his last line to her references this!) and she had done nothing any monarch could not do. To kill her, Jon had to violate much of what he had been brought up to believe.

      Well, that’s not the reason or excuse used by Jon (or anyone else in-universe) as to why he was willing to assassinate Mance. It was a last resort to end his attack on the Wall. Nor did Jon voice such thoughts (that Mance should die because he deserted the Night’s Watch). It wasn’t a formal sentencing and execution for the crime of desertion, nor did Jon have the authority to sentence Mance. It was an assassination to stop Mance’s host.

      Also, breaking sacred guest-right is a huge violation but it was still something Jon was willing to break in order to assassinate Mance. It’s up there with one of the most dire crimes you can commit in Westeros and in the eyes of the Old Gods.

      Plus, when Stannis arrived and saved the Watch, defeating Mance’s host, Jon didn’t want Stannis to execute Mance as Mance was the only one who could unite the wildlings Stannis captured since they wouldn’t follow Stannis.

      Nothing was resolved. Despite her words, he could not say for sure if she’d continue her murderous ‘liberation’ spree, or settle down and rule Westeros benignly. He acted on the guess the former was true. That does not absolve him of his oathbreaking, kinslaying, and queenslaying — the trifecta of deadly sins on Westeros.

      Well, I think it was pretty clear what Dany intended to do since she was rejecting mercy for the current generation, justified her massacre on King’s Landing, didn’t want to allow anyone else a choice, thought what she did/was doing was right, and declared her intention to “liberate” the world the way she did with King’s Landing… so I don’t think that qualifies as guesswork being what Jon was acting on. However, because of who Dany was to Jon, she wasn’t just another monster like the Night King, Ramsay, or any opponent he faced before. I think that’s why this can’t be resolved for Jon. Jon has acted against people for less. But because Jon loved Daenerys, that’s why I don’t think he could view killing her as right and feels regret. On the other hand, if he let Daenerys burn the world, Jon also couldn’t view that as right either.

      So for him, whatever he chose, it was always going to feel wrong, but for the world, with Daenerys’s assassination, it was right.

      Leaving the ‘civilized’ part of Westeros literally gets him away from the world where oaths, etc. are the measure of a man. He’s again “taking the Black,” going to live as King Beyond The Wall with Free Folk, who disdain the whole oaths & kneeling jazz.
      I believe he’ll never again return to Castle Black. Once that gate slammed down, Jon was gone for good. (At least, that’s how I interpreted that scene.)

      I think going to live as King Beyond the Wall is largely something fans have come up with since I don’t believe this was ever confirmed.

      However, I am a subscriber to Word of God (ie. the author’s view on things) and Jon was called a Night’s Watchman in this final scene of the scripts. I have a hard time seeing him shirk his sentence, especially given how he feels about killing Daenerys. I think Jon will be spending a lot of his time ranging but I don’t think he’s really left the Watch.

      Which is actually worse, at least in our world. Over the past century, the idealist totalitarian regimes of left-wing extremists (communists) actually killed more human beings than did the racist, right-wing totalitarians (fascists). The road to hell, and all that. Dany’s vision of a perfect world wasn’t articulated very well, but we saw it did involve killing a lot of humans.

      While I don’t want to get into a Dark Dany debate, I’d agree that in the end, Dany building her new world involved lots of death (ie. burning the world to start it anew). In a way, because Dany viewed what she was doing as good in 8×06 and she wasn’t doing it to be evil, I think that would make somebody more dangerous.

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    129. Adrianacandle: However, I am a subscriber to Word of God (ie. the author’s view on things) and Jon was called a Night’s Watchman in this final scene of the scripts. I have a hard time seeing him shirk his sentence, especially given how he feels about killing Daenerys. I think Jon will be spending a lot of his time ranging but I don’t think he’s really left the Watch.

      I think that was left up to viewer interpretation because it really wasn’t made very clear.

      Personally, I thought the scene showed Jon wasn’t coming back to the Watch at all, but like you said, there is no way to confirm any of this.

      Everyone had their bags packed in that scene and Jon was going with them. The last time we saw Jon, the gate at Castle Black (or Eastwatch?) closed behind him while Jon looked back at it with heavy emotion. To me, Jon was looking at it one last time before departing with the Wildlings. Why else would he go with them? Maybe to make sure they’re safe, but the way that scene played out, to me, made it seem like Jon was leaving it all behind to go live with the Wildlings. He’s one of the “free folk” now.

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    130. From the script:

      In a two shot that mirrors another shot from the pilot, Jon
      and Tormund wait for the gate to finish opening.

      We see them emerge from the tunnel. Things still look very
      similar to the pilot shots, except Ghost is with them.

      Then some Free Folk step into the fg, following them.

      Overhead, from the top of the wall, we see more emerge, following Jon and Tormund.

      And in a much wider side angle: Jon and Tormund with hundreds
      of Free Folk following behind them, walking away from the
      Wall. Many children are amongst them.

      They all cross the No Man’s Land between the Wall and the
      northern forest. Patches of grass show through what used to
      be frozen tundra.

      Ghost lopes out ahead of Jon, as Jon rides toward camera. Tormund rides beside him, and the last of the Free Folk are
      behind them.

      Jon and company ride away from camera. As Ghost, Jon and the
      rest cross the treeline, we slowly pull back, and watch them
      disappear into the forest.

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    131. Mr Derp: I think that was left up to viewer interpretation.

      Personally, I thought the scene clearly showed Jon wasn’t coming back to the Watch at all, but like you said, there is no way to confirm any of this.

      Everyone had their bags packed in that scene and Jon was going with them. The last time we saw Jon, the gate at Castle Black (or Eastwatch?) closed behind him while Jon looked back at it with heavy emotion. To me, Jon was looking at it one last time before departing with the Wildlings. Why else would he go with them? Maybe to make sure they’re safe, but the way that scene played out, to me, made it seem like Jon was leaving it all behind to go live with the Wildlings.

      I know we had this debate before and didn’t come to an agreement but I’d agree people have had quite a few different interpretations on this.

      It’s that Jon is still called a Night’s Watchman in this final scene and in my view, I don’t think he’d shirk his sentence. I think he’s gong on an extended ranging, I think he’ll be spending a lot of time with the wildlings, but I don’t think he’s officially left the Watch.

      I think he left with the wildlings to get away from Westeros and all of the pain and hardship and crap it represents but I don’t think he’s officially left the Night’s Watch and will likely hold to the vows.

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    132. Mr Derp,

      Here’s the part of the script I’m referring to (I’m sorry I didn’t include this or I wasn’t clear before):

      EXT. CASTLE BLACK MAIN COURTYARD – DAY

      Jon walks down the last few stairs to the ground level, where the last of the Free Folk await him: a few hundred men, women and children.
      Jon steps forward into the sea of waiting faces. There is no suspicion in those faces, and no awe. Only trust. The Night’s Watch used to hunt them, but they will follow this Night’s Watchman.

      We follow Jon in profile as he passes through the wildlings to his left and his right (closer to camera). We match cut on their passing vertical shapes to–

      But people will have their different views on this 🙂

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    133. Mr Derp: I enjoy different views as long as it’s respectful and you’re always respectful

      Oh good, I’m glad! Yes, I think people are certainly free to interpret that last scene how they want — and they have 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    134. Adrianacandle:
      Mr Derp,

      Here’s the part of the script I’m referring to:

      Yes, the script is so vague that it really does leave it open to interpretation.

      Why would the Wildlings “follow” Jon if he lives at Castle Black though? To me, “follow” means Jon is taking the lead. I don’t think that statement would make as much sense if Jon was going to stay at Castle Black. Unless the Wildlings are all going to become Night’s Watchmen too.

      I’m focusing on the word “follow” as well as the symbolism of the last shot to make my case. You’re focusing on the phrase “Night’s Watchmen” in the script to make your case. I find it fascinating how we both take different evidence and make our own interpretations from it! I think both of our opinions are valid.

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    135. Also, there was a lot of talk from Tormund in season 8 about how Jon belongs in the true North. I don’t recall the exact quotes, but all of this just makes me think Jon is a Wildling now. Basically, the King Beyond the Wall now that the Wildlings “follow” Jon.

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    136. Mr Derp,

      I think this phrasing means that there is no longer division between the Night’s Watch and the wildlings as there was once was, they’re no longer enemies. They trust this Night’s Watchman (Jon). While I don’t think Jon is going to be spending his time at Castle Black and he has taken a leadership role in helping them find a new home and I think he will spend most of his time in the far North, I don’t think that means Jon has stopped being a Night’s Watchmen in spirit and will still hold to the vows. The difference between 8×04 and 8×06 is that in 8×06, Jon has been sentenced and that’s why he’s in the Night’s Watch now. I don’t think he’s just going to discard that, even if nobody cares. I think Jon would care.

      And I also think Westeros has become a significant place of pain, struggle, misfortune, and trouble for Jon.

      But yeah, I think both our interpretations are valid 🙂 This is just my view of what the script/scene meant and of Jon’s character.

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    137. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      ”That does not absolve him [Jon] of his oathbreaking, kinslaying, and queenslaying — the trifecta of deadly sins on Westeros.”

      Speaking of the trifecta, what are your thoughts on Tyrion and his apparent absolution for the deadly sins of oathbreaking, kinslaying, and king- or queen-slaying?

      Somehow Tyrion wound up rewarded with an appointment as politically powerful Hand of the King, rather than punished with exile or execution, even though:

      (1) In accordance with the in-universe rules, i.e., opting for trial by combat, Tyrion was found guilty of kingslaying. (Was he ever formally exonerated or pardoned? I don’t think so. I’m not sure Olenna’s confession to Jaime was ever publicized or accepted, was it? As far as the world knew, Tyrion was guilty of regicide – and kinslaying – for killing his own nephew.)

      (2) Tyrion murdered his own dad sitting on the jon – I mean john. He never got a free pass for kinslaying, did he?

      (3) Tyrion was guilty of oathbreaking, having freed Jaime, and having conspired to undermine and depose Dany (good job, Sansa). In general, Tyrion violated his vow of fealty as Hand of the Queen to Dany by second-guessing her and backing another candidate for the throne.

      (4) In addition, by prodding Jon to shank Dany, Tyrion was arguably guilty of queenslaying as well. (Isn’t murder conspiracy a “thing” in the world of ASOIAF + GoT?)
      As Tyrion had “confessed” during his S1 trial in the Vale [paraphrasing]: “I’m not very good at violence, but I’m good at getting others to do violence for me.”

      That Joffrey and Dany were tyrants, or Tywin was a bad dad, did not excuse Tyrion’s sins, did they?
      So how did Jon end up condemned and exiled, while Tyrion was able to cash in his trifecta ticket for a cushy high profile job?

      ———-
      P.S. Semi-unrelated question:
      – Didn’t assassinating Dany leave a horde of enraged – or bored – Dothraki on the mainland, free to pillage and rape? How did they become so docile by the end? (At the end of S8e6, they were strolling around the port like cruise ship tourists. I don’t know… it seemed like the Dothraki went from Klingon warriors to Ferengi merchants over the span of one episode.)

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    138. Ten Bears: How did they become so docile by the end? (At the end of S8e6, they were strolling around the port like cruise ship tourists. I don’t know… it seemed like the Dothraki went from Klingon warriors to Ferengi merchants over the span of one episode.)

      Lorazepam? 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    139. Mr Derp,

      ”Personally, I thought the scene showed Jon wasn’t coming back to the Watch at all, but like you said, there is no way to confirm any of this.”

      That’s the way I interpreted it too. Otherwise, they could’ve showed Jon escorting Tormund and the Free Folk beyond the Wall, and then turning around and waving goodbye as he (sullenly) headed back to CB.
      Was this left ambiguous on purpose? (I suppose I should look at the shooting script for clues.)

        Quote  Reply

    140. Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      ”Personally, I thought the scene showed Jon wasn’t coming back to the Watch at all, but like you said, there is no way to confirm any of this.”

      That’s the way I interpreted it too. Otherwise, they could’ve showed Jon escorting Tormund and the Free Folk beyond the Wall, and then turning around and waving goodbye as he (sullenly) headed back to CB. Was this left ambiguous on purpose? (I suppose I should look at the shooting script for clues.)

      Thing is, why would Jon need to escort the Wildlings anyway? The Wildlings are far more familiar with North of the Wall than Jon. The WW’s are gone, there’s no Wall, there’s no more fighting between Westeros and the Wildlings (for now). What is Jon going to do at Castle Black anyway? As far as I’m concerned, he’s a Wildling now.

      He looked back at the gate closing and seemed to have a contented face. It was a deliberate moment with the pausing and the way they cut back to it. That tells me he isn’t going back to the NW. I agree that it’s kind of ambiguous because that’s always a good way to lean with any ending, but not so ambiguous that it leaves you unsatisfied.

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    141. Ten Bears,

      Jon was told back in season 6 that he’d be “fighting the Wildlings’ battles his entire life”. To me, this is another tidbit that adds up to Jon being a Wildling, but it’s just my interpretation.

      It could also mean he’s a Night’s Watchmen too, but the NW is usually more concerned with defending Westeros from the Wildlings rather than the opposite.

      Whichever interpretation is correct doesn’t really matter to me. In the end, it doesn’t even matter. I just find it much more satisfying for Jon’s story to believe he’s a Wildling now. He’d be with the people he saved, the people he cares about, they care about him, etc…he’d be loved.

      However, if he truly is destined to stay at Castle Black, what an awful ending for Jon. He’ll just be surrounded by a bunch of random Night’s Watchmen in the place where he was already murdered by fellow Night Watchmen, he’ll never find love, etc…

        Quote  Reply

    142. Mr Derp,

      Thanks for that script excerpt.

      The description of the very last segment, i.e., Jon & Free Folk “disappear into the forest,” does make it seem like Jon’s not coming back to CB:

      Jon and company ride away from camera. As Ghost, Jon and the rest cross the treeline, we slowly pull back, and watch them disappear into the forest.”

        Quote  Reply

    143. Mr Derp: It could also mean he’s a Night’s Watchmen too, but the NW is usually more concerned with defending Westeros from the Wildlings rather than the opposite.

      I’m kind of sorry for starting this debate ^^;;

      Jon came to understand the true purpose of the Night’s Watch which was to defend all of humanity from their true common enemy, the White Walkers (or the Others), and that the wildlings were not their true enemy.

      Now, the rest of the Night’s Watch may not have agreed but this was its true purpose and Jon did come to realize this.

      There’s also this deleted line from the script:

      TYRION: Just because winter’s over doesn’t
      mean it won’t come again.

      I don’t know if that’s something from GRRM’s plans or what but I just wanted to make this point as to why the Watch was erected and what Jon came to realize its true purpose was.

      I also believe Thorne said, “You’ll be fighting their battles forever,” and didn’t specify the wildlings?

      I don’t mean to prolong this! I swear, this isn’t a hill I’m prepared to die on!

        Quote  Reply

    144. Ten Bears: 😂😃😄😄

      “Ask your Maester if Ativan is right for you.”

      Lorazepam – please contact your Maester if you experience any of the following side effects, which may include Greyscale, lack of raping and pillaging…

        Quote  Reply

    145. Mr Derp: Lorazepam – please contact your Maester if you experience any of the following side effects, which may include Greyscale, lack of raping and pillaging…

      And also feelings of delightful fuzziness and acceptance! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    146. Mr Derp: Whichever interpretation is correct doesn’t really matter to me. In the end, it doesn’t even matter. I just find it much more satisfying for Jon’s story to believe he’s a Wildling now. He’d be with the people he saved, the people he cares about, they care about him, etc…he’d be loved.

      However, if he truly is destined to stay at Castle Black, what an awful ending for Jon. He’ll just be surrounded by a bunch of random Night’s Watchmen in the place where he was already murdered by fellow Night Watchmen, he’ll never find love, etc…

      I think this feeling is fair, which is why I’m inclined to believe more will agree with you than with me and I think that’s okay. In saying that I think Jon will stay a Night’s Watchman in spirit (the vows), still wearing a black cloak, I don’t think that means he has to stay at Castle Black but rather, go on an extended ranging — perhaps forever.

        Quote  Reply

    147. Adrianacandle,

      About your excerpt from the S8e6 script:

      EXT. CASTLE BLACK MAIN COURTYARD – DAY

      Jon walks down the last few stairs to the ground level, where the last of the Free Folk await him: a few hundred men, women and children.
      Jon steps forward into the sea of waiting faces. There is no suspicion in those faces, and no awe. Only trust. The Night’s Watch used to hunt them, but they will follow this Night’s Watchman.

      I view that in conjunction with earlier scenes like these two:

      • S5e5: Jon unchains Tormund; admits NW has not abided by its oath to guard “the realms of men” because that includes the Free Folk:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwfGBeVx9pI

      • S7e1: Jon asks Tormund and Free Folk to man Eastwatch.

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

      at 1:10 – 1:39
      Tormund: “Looks like we’re the Night’s Watch now.”

      My “head canon” is that (1) the Free Folk are no longer the enemy: they’re allies; and (2) at the end, Jon Snow fka King Crow = de facto King Beyond the Wall.

      I’m sticking to this unless and until Big G proves me wrong.

        Quote  Reply

    148. Adrianacandle: I also believe Thorne said, “You’ll be fighting their battles for the rest of your life,” and didn’t specify the wildlings?

      It’s another vague line left up to us to interpret. It’s all part of the fun!

      Who else would he have been talking about though? Alliser had just spoken to Jon about being a traitor to the NW for allowing Wildlings past the Wall. Alliser admitted he lost, but he’s now going to rest, whereas Jon was going to be “fighting their battles forever”. To me, I don’t know who else he’d be referring to other than the Wildlings in this case, but yea, there’s no way to know for sure.

        Quote  Reply

    149. Adrianacandle: I don’t mean to prolong this! I swear, this isn’t a hill I’m prepared to die on!

      Miss Candle,

      This is a fun, light-hearted, yet spirited debate. We’re all being respectful here, so no worries! I think you present some of the most intelligent, well-thought-out, and respectful comments on this site.

      As long as we don’t hear “shut up”, “you’re a clown”, “you’re the worst president evah”, “you finished last in your class, so you’re not smart”, “Hunter Biden received $3.5 million from Russia”, etc… then I think we’ll be ok 😉

        Quote  Reply

    150. Mr Derp: Who else would he have been talking about though? Alliser had just spoken to Jon about being a traitor to the NW for allowing Wildlings past the Wall. Alliser admitted he lost, but he’s now going to rest, whereas Jon was going to be “fighting their battles forever”. To me, I don’t know who else he’d be referring to other than the Wildlings in this case, but yea, there’s no way to know for sure.

      Personally, I took that to mean in general but not limited to the wildlings. That Jon will be fighting forever (even internally) while Alliser was going to go to his death, content and at peace with what he did.

      Not to conflate the books with the show but I kind of view this in conjunction with what Jeor Mormont told Jon in ACOK:

      Mormont gave a whistle, and the bird flew to him again and settled on his arm. “A lord’s one thing, a king’s another.” He offered the raven a handful of corn from his pocket. “They will garb your brother Robb in silks, satins, and velvets of a hundred different colors, while you live and die in black ringmail. He will wed some beautiful princess and father sons on her. You’ll have no wife, nor will you ever hold a child of your own blood in your arms. Robb will rule, you will serve. Men will call you a crow. Him they’ll call Your Grace. Singers will praise every little thing he does, while your greatest deeds all go unsung. Tell me that none of this troubles you, Jon . . . and I’ll name you a liar, and know I have the truth of it.”

      Jon drew himself up, taut as a bowstring. “And if it did trouble me, what might I do, bastard as I am?”

      “What will you do?” Mormont asked. “Bastard as you are?”

      “Be troubled,” said Jon, “and keep my vows.”

      Which I think is a key piece of Jon, his internal struggle. But again, this is pretty interpretive (especially with how I’m linking these two pieces, Thorne’s words and Jeor Mormont’s words).

      Now I do think being beyond the Wall is certainly the best place for Jon so we can agree on that! 🙂

      It’s another vague line left up to us to interpret. It’s all part of the fun!

      True!

        Quote  Reply

    151. Mr Derp: Miss Candle,

      This is a fun, light-hearted, yet spirited debate. We’re all being respectful here, so no worries!

      As long as we don’t hear “shut up”, “you’re a clown”, “you’re the worst president evah”, “you finished last in your class, so you’re not smart”, etc… then I think we’ll be ok 😉

      ‘Miss Candle’ 🥰🥰🥰🥰

      Okay! I was afraid things were getting a bit heated and I admit, season 8 debates always turn my stomach in knots when I get involved so my trepidation was likely compounded by that (thus I reach for my own Lorazepam tablet ;D) but I’m glad! You’re right, as long as we keep it respectful 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    152. Adrianacandle,

      I should clarify, by linking those two passages together (Thorne’s “fighting their battles forever” and Jeor’s speech to Jon), I meant more the spirit rather than the literal wording… the idea of fighting and going unsung.

      I should have clarified that in my original post.

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    153. Ten Bears: I’m sticking to this unless and until Big G proves me wrong.

      Fair enough!

      And to take some inspiration from Alliser Thorne’s words… I think we’ll be waiting for these books forever 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    154. Mr Derp: It’s another vague line left up to us to interpret.It’s all part of the fun!

      Who else would he have been talking about though? Alliser had just spoken to Jon about being a traitor to the NW for allowing Wildlings past the Wall. Alliser admitted he lost, but he’s now going to rest, whereas Jon was going to be “fighting their battles forever”. To me, I don’t know who else he’d be referring to other than the Wildlings in this case, but yea, there’s no way to know for sure.

      I think you may be right. See my comment to follow with embedded link to Thorne execution scene.

        Quote  Reply

    155. Here’s how I interpreted Aliser Thorne’s last words in the S6e3 scene below….

      • S6e3 Jon executes Thorne

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zah6Tvb1fr8

      at 1:15 – 1:59, Thorne (to Jon): “You brought an army of Wildlings into our midst (?). An army of wildlings and raiders…
      I fought. I lost. Now I rest. But you, Lord Snow, you’ll be fighting their battles forever.”

      • From the juxtaposition of words it seemed clear to me at the time that by “their” battles, Thorne was referring to the Wildlings.

      • Since Jon had just been resurrected, I thought Thorne was alluding to Jon’s apparent immortality and that immortality was actually not a blessing but a curse, since Jon would be doomed to fight battles in perpetuity, i.e., Jon could never “rest.”

      • I’m reminded of a scene in Dr. Who about the downside of resurrection:

      From Dr. Who S9e6 “The Woman Who Lived” – After the Doctor brought Ashildr (Maisie Williams*) back to life by using alien technology to make her immortal at the end of S9e5, “The Girl Who Died,” they meet again centuries later…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NvWDiDz8Cc

      at 1:08 – 1:35 Ashildr: “You made me immortal…”
      “You didn’t save my life, Doctor. You trapped me inside it.

      * Because “All Roads Lead to ASNAWP.”👸🏻

      • Also, I thought Thorne’s words might have been a callback to Beric’s six deaths and resurrections, i.e., that Beric had been cursed to be killed in battle multiple times only to be brought back to fight (and die) again. (By S7e6 Beric said he was almost looking forward to his final death.)

      • Since the show ended without any indication that the Lord of Light has any more resurrections in store for Jon Snow, I don’t know if my interpretation of Thorne’s words as foreshadowing an immortal Jon cursed to fight battles for the Free Folk “forever” is worthless tinfoil.

      • PS: I had thought that since NK and the WWs appeared to be hundreds or thousands of years old, their human counterpart(s) would also have an ageless hero.

      PPS: I know other sci-fi and fantasy shows and movies deal with immortal or age-defying heroes fighting against ancient enemies throughout the centuries. Their titles escape me. I do recall that some of them address the pros and cons of immortality.
      I think the “Lord of the Rings” touched on this when Aragorn’s elvish girlfriend’s father warned her that hooking up with a mortal would inevitably lead to heartache when he got old and died and she didn’t. I also recall a series “Highlander” with an ageless hero, though I do not remember any details.

      In addition to resurrections, GoT also did include a couple of age-defying or ancient characters such as Geezer Melisandre and 1,000 year old (?) 3ER 1.0, though I’m not sure how GRRM presents them in the books, e.g., I thought book! 3ER is Brendan (?) Rivers, a contemporary of Maester Aemon and not a 1,000 year old being.

      Condemning Jon to eternal life with no “rest” might be a b****r****t, open-ended kind of fate that GRRM might find appealing. It would certainly subvert the Valar Morghulis catch phrase.

      Who knows?

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    156. Ten Bears: Condemning Jon to eternal life with no “rest” might be a b****r****t, open-ended kind of fate that GRRM might find appealing. It would certainly subvert the Valar Morghulis catch phrase.

      Who knows?

      This is what I kind of took that ACOK passage to possibly allude to, Jeor Mormont’s speech to Jon. Maybe not the immortality stuff but fighting, not getting that recognition (except from maybe the wildlings), but still holding up the vow of being the sword for humanity (wildlings included) against the darkness despite all this. And perhaps Jon will be doomed to immortality in some way.

      While I took “their battles” to maybe have a more general meaning in the broader sense, that Jon will always be fighting in one way or another, I wonder who would the free folk be fighting in a post-8×06 world?

      I agree with your assessment above that the Night’s Watch and wildlings are now allies, I’d even agree they are one now (given that yes, the wildlings in essence sort of took on the role of the new Night’s Watch in season 7) but I also think of that deleted line from the script in which Tyrion says, “Just because winter’s over doesn’t mean it won’t come again.”

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    157. I’m coming late to the nice and respectful discussion, so I’ll pack my various reactions in one comment.

      Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending: Jaime Lannister, clapped in irons by the Starks who had captured him, talked about conflicting oaths. Jon, like Jaime, resolved his conflict by shoving his blade into the Targ’ monarch he’d sworn to protect. This parallel is more obvious in the books, where, as you know, joining the Kingsguard is called “taking the White,” and of course joining the NW is “taking the Black.”

      And in truth , they all take the Grey… and it’s only for life. Jaime’s “so many vows” scene is among my favorite ones. I totally agree Jon is at the same time a parallel and a mirror image of Jaime (the golden heir who “takes nothing seriously” and the serious black bastard, both with their own problematic links with sex and love, etc. ).
      (I also agree with the rest of your post: that’s how it worked for me)

      Adrianacandle: she turned more into an extremist idealist.

      Well, extremist idealists can turn into hateful, dangerous, paranoid and ranting dictators… We had quite a bunch of them during the French revolution, to stick to my own country and past times.

      Mr Derp: I’m focusing on the word “follow” as well as the symbolism of the last shot to make my case. You’re focusing on the phrase “Night’s Watchmen” in the script to make your case. I find it fascinating how we both take different evidence and make our own interpretations from it! I think both of our opinions are valid.
        

      Agreed !

      Adrianacandle: Jon has been sentenced and that’s why he’s in the Night’s Watch now.

      I don’t know. Technically, his death freed him from his literal vows, and he did not renew them. In my view, he still kept them and will keep them, as you said, in spirit, his own sense of guarding the realm of men rather than blind obedience to the minutes (which he started to do even before his death). Same for the punishment, as Young Dragon suggested. Maybe he will become a troubled Watcher in the North ?
      Now back to work. I wish I could linger here more regularly.

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    158. Ten Bears: I thought book! 3ER is Brendan (?) Rivers, a contemporary of Maester Aemon and not a 1,000 year old being.

      I think Brynden Rivers is about 20 years older than Maester Aemon. During his tenure as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Brynden disappeared beyond the Wall in 252 on a ranging.

      Bran finds him in ADWD and he’s weakening at this point:

      The last greenseer, the singers called him, but in Bran’s dreams he was still a three-eyed crow. When Meera Reed had asked him his true name, he made a ghastly sound that might have been a chuckle. “I wore many names when I was quick, but even I once had a mother, and the name she gave me at her breast was Brynden.”

      “I have an uncle Brynden,” Bran said. “He’s my mother’s uncle, really. Brynden Blackfish, he’s called.”

      “Your uncle may have been named for me. Some are, still. Not so many as before. Men forget. Only the trees remember.” His voice was so soft that Bran had to strain to hear.

      “Most of him has gone into the tree,” explained the singer Meera called Leaf. “He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know.”

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    159. Adrianacandle,

      ”This is what I kind of took that ACOK passage to possibly allude to, Jeor Mormont’s speech to Jon. Maybe not the immortality stuff but fighting, not getting that recognition (except from maybe the wildlings), but still holding up the vow of being the sword for humanity (wildlings included) against the darkness despite all this. And perhaps Jon will be doomed to immortality in some way.”

      That Jeor & Jon book! passage you excerpted kind of reminded me of the S7e6 show! Beric & Jon conversation about the unknown purpose of their resurrections, in which Jon ultimately concludes [something like] functioning as the shield the guards the realms of men and helping those who can’t help themselves is enough.

      I think Beric (echoing Aemon’s S5 advice to Jon that he wouldn’t find much joy in his command as Lord Commander), also told Jon that he or both of them wouldn’t find much joy while they’re here (i.e., in their lives). Which kind of sucked, but then again, signing up for the NW isn’t like joining a country club, is it?

      ”While I took “their battles” to maybe have a more general meaning in the broader sense, that Jon will always be fighting in one way or another, I wonder who would the free folk be fighting in a post-8×06 world?”

      – Well, in a post-S6e3 world Jon would be fighting the Free Folk’s battles against the Boltons/Umbers who wanted to exterminate them; the AotD; and maybe in a sense, their “battles” against anti-wildling prejudice exhibited by Glover, Royce, et al.

      – [Tinfoil warning ⚠️] Who would the free folk be fighting in a post-8×06 world?
      A: A handful of surviving Wight Walkers? Night King, Jr.? Craster babies once they finish nursery school?
      In all seriousness, while the show seemed to dispatch NK and the entire race of WWs in a single episode thanks to ASNAWP “sticking a knife in that horned f*cker,” I doubt GRRM would wipe them all out so quickly.

      Also… as you noted, there was a “deleted line from the script in which Tyrion says, “Just because winter’s over doesn’t mean it won’t come again.”
      At least as originally scripted the show would have left open the possibility that the WWs may return.

      [A cliched, post-credits final image would have shown barren frozen ground …. suddenly cracking open to reveal a hibernating WW waking up and dusting himself off, before a cheesy fade to black followed by “The End” morphing into “The End...?” I’m glad the show didn’t do that.]

      – My boy NK was no dummy. Surely he would have left a few backups in cryostorage in the far north. Those eight or nine WW lieutenants in the godswood couldn’t have been the entire contingent of WWs, could they?
      (Despite the show resorting to the “destroying the alien king deactivates all his drones” device, I still say there is no way NK would have come anywhere near the zone of danger if a lucky shot by a DG-tipped arrow or a slash of a VS sword could vaporize his entire 100,000+ army. Besides, NK could have assigned a single lieutenant or a gaggle of wights to take out an unarmed spaced-out paraplegic sitting in a wheelchair. He didn’t need to do the deed himself – even if erasing “memories” was a primary objective.)

      – In any event, since the WWs had faded into legend or myth by the time they had resurfaced after thousands of years, any vigilant NW alumnus would not assume the WWs were gone for good and could never return.

      – We could speculate that “peace” doesn’t last forever; there will always be battles to be fought in the future. After all, weren’t the various wildling tribes fighting against each other until Mance united them?
      The remaining free folk we saw at the end of S8e6 consisted of lots of children: easy prey for belligerent invaders. As protector of these folks, Jon could have plenty of battles on his hands.
      (Argghh! This is all hypothetical… 🤥)

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    160. Ten Bears,

      That Jeor & Jon book! passage you excerpted kind of reminded me of the S7e6 show! Beric & Jon conversation about the unknown purpose of their resurrections, in which Jon ultimately concludes [something like] functioning as the shield the guards the realms of men and helping those who can’t help themselves is enough.

      I think Beric (echoing Aemon’s S5 advice to Jon that he wouldn’t find much joy in his command as Lord Commander), also told Jon that he or both of them wouldn’t find much joy while they’re here (i.e., in their lives). Which kind of sucked, but then again, signing up for the NW isn’t like joining a country club, is it?

      Right, I think this is ultimately Jon’s purpose — maybe in GRRM’s ending too. Being that sword and upholding this purpose, despite the trouble, pain, and lack of glory that comes with it.

      Well, in a post-S6e3 world Jon would be fighting the Free Folk’s battles against the Boltons/Umbers who wanted to exterminate them; the AotD; and maybe in a sense, their “battles” against anti-wildling prejudice exhibited by Glover, Royce, et al.

      True, but it wasn’t just for the wildlings that Jon was fighting (partly yes, I’d argue). It was also for, in the battle against the Boltons, to get Rickon back and in the battle against the AotD, for all of humanity. The wildlings were a part of these battles, who Jon was fighting for as they were part of the realms as men (as Jon realizes in one of my favourite book passages) and they were also a help too.

      A: A handful of surviving Wight Walkers? Night King, Jr.? Craster babies once they finish nursery school?
      In all seriousness, while the show seemed to dispatch NK and the entire race of WWs in a single episode thanks to ASNAWP “sticking a knife in that horned f*cker,” I doubt GRRM would wipe them all out so quickly.

      I do think the battle against the Others (and whatever that may look like) will manifest a bit different and conclude different. Back in the day (April), Kevin and I would come up with a few insane theories 🙂

      I think it’s quite possible there are lingering remnants of the Night King’s army and mini-WWs out there. I don’t know about anything living though — I think they’re wiped out.

      At least as originally scripted the show would have left open the possibility that the WWs may return.

      Yeah! And I wonder if that’s a piece from GRRM’s own ending. I have a bit of a tinfoil on that ^^;;;

      We could speculate that “peace” doesn’t last forever; there will always be battles to be fought in the future. After all, weren’t the various wildling tribes fighting against each other until Mance united them?

      I think, if they didn’t make it through with Tormund’s band, there’s a good chance they’ve been wiped out. But I do like the idea that Jon still serves as a sword/shield for humanity in a sense and continues that vow… should winter come again 🙂

      (Argghh! This is all hypothetical… 🤥)

      But it’s fun! 🙂 I especially have enjoyed speculating about the books since the TV show’s end!

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    161. Ten Bears: By all means, unravel it. 👩🏻‍🚀

      Okay! So! My speculation is (and I am probably wrong) that whatever magic (or… negotiation…?) held off the Others for 8,000 or so years is finite, has an expiry date. So now, 8,000 years later, they need to renew whatever magic held the Others off in the first place (perhaps the Wall’s magic weakens over time?) or possibly negotiate with the Others to reinstate that magic for another 8,000 or so years — and that’s why the Others are coming again at this time. But it seems nobody knows how to repel the Others since they’ve been lost to myth and legend.

      Probably pretty far off base but that’s the best tin foil I can provide — from an amateur tin foil layman still in first year tin foil studies 🙂

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    162. Adrianacandle,

      • Well that doesn’t sound too far-fetched or “pretty far off-base” at all.

      • You had written earlier:
      ”I do think the battle against the Others (and whatever that may look like) will manifest a bit different and conclude different. Back in the day (April), Kevin and I would come up with a few insane theories.”

      – Q: I wonder where Kevin 1989 has been? Probably ghostwriting The Winds of Winter for GRRM while Big G watches football games and whinge-blogs about his 0-3 NY Jets and 0-3 NY Giants.

      – I’m curious what “insane theories” you two had come up with back in April.

      – If you want some really insane tinfoil theories, I’ve got one. However…
      It’s based on rank speculation – without anything to back it up – that the show followed G’s blueprint until mid-S6 or so, and after that the show was completely on its own to make its way to the “Dany goes Mad Queen” conclusion G had provided.

      It’s also based on a couple of narrative principles Wimsey used to write about here, eg Chekhov’s “hung guns” have to be fired, and William of Occam’s postulate that the simplest solution with the least number of assumptions is usually the right one.
      In other words, without resorting to the books, I tried to come up with explanations that relied solely on what I saw on the screen and heard in the dialogue. Of course, what I thought we’re significant factoids could’ve been red herrings and insignificant window dressing.

      Like the theory you laid out in your 12:01 am comment, I was looking for a reason for the WWs/Others reappearance after thousands of years, and some explanation of what they really wanted. [And no, it was not to erase Bran’s “memories.” 😡]

      The result was a convoluted, heavy duty tinfoil theory that‘s probably completely off the wall.

      (Hint: There never was a “Long Night” 8,000 years ago. That story was propaganda, and it was chronologically impossible anyway. 🤔)

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    163. Ten Bears,

      Well that doesn’t sound too far-fetched or “pretty far off-base” at all.

      Oh good! I know it’s kind of boring but I’m just starting in tin foil school! 😉

      – Q: I wonder where Kevin 1989 has been? Probably ghostwriting The Winds of Winter for GRRM while Big G watches football games and whinge-blogs about his 0-3 NY Jets and 0-3 NY Giants.

      I talked to Kevin recently! A few days ago! He’s been bogged down by real life (and perhaps ghost-writing TWOW! ;D) but still plans on coming back eventually!

      – I’m curious what “insane theories” you two had come up with back in April.

      Most center around the evil weirwood tree! 😉 While I’m not sure how much they exist in the realm of fictional ASOIAF possibility, I love evil weirwood theories because I think they can get really fun! But it’s been so long, I’m going to have to refresh in order to share!

      Myself, I think the show followed the bare bones of whatever GRRM gave them but probably in a pretty simplified form and without a lot of the in-between details…

      In other words, without resorting to the books, I tried to come up with explanations that relied solely on what I saw on the screen and heard in the dialogue. Of course, what I thought we’re significant factoids could’ve been red herrings and insignificant window dressing.

      Like the theory you laid out in your 12:01 am comment, I was looking for a reason for the WWs/Others reappearance after thousands of years, and some explanation of what they really wanted. [And no, it was not to erase Bran’s “memories.” 😡]

      The result was a convoluted, heavy duty tinfoil theory that‘s probably completely off the wall.

      (Hint: There never was a “Long Night” 8,000 years ago. That story was propaganda, and it was chronologically impossible anyway. 🤔)

      I’m interested in any theory that speculates the motive behind the Others/White Walkers/Night King 🙂

      I remember brainstorming the idea that humanity is the plague on the world the Others feel they must get rid of to save their world and their kind — trying to go with GRRM’s theme that the “villain is the hero of the other side”. Perhaps we, humanity, are regarded as the destructive and disastrous race to the Others.

      Or maybe that’s a bit too environmental… and a bit too simple and unoriginal 🙂 I’m pretty spotty at tin foiling!

      I was also inspired by the final scene in RHPS:

      But yes, TB, get some rest! 🙂

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    164. I’m not very good at tinfoil hattery. A song from ‘Carmen’ now with Elena Garanca in the title role singing ‘L’amour est un oiseau rebelle’ – a very, very, very stretchy similarity to GoT because Carmen is ultimately killed by her former lover, but this is in the early part of the opera. https://youtu.be/K2snTkaD64U

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    165. AnnOther,

      Well, extremist idealists can turn into hateful, dangerous, paranoid and ranting dictators… We had quite a bunch of them during the French revolution, to stick to my own country and past times.

      Oh, dangerous, definitely! As I said to Tensor above, because Dany viewed what she was doing as good in 8×06 and she wasn’t doing it to be evil, I think that would make somebody even more dangerous. But I’d disagree about “hateful” and “ranting”. In 8×06, Daenerys didn’t seem motivated by hate but by the idea that what she was doing would benefit the world… despite the very extremist and non-beneficial means. Sort in a Utopia Justifies the Means way.

      In my view, he still kept them and will keep them, as you said, in spirit, his own sense of guarding the realm of men rather than blind obedience to the minutes (which he started to do even before his death). Same for the punishment, as Young Dragon suggested. Maybe he will become a troubled Watcher in the North ?

      I think this serves as a nice compromise between interpretations 🙂 And it has been a nice debate! I feel like we’ve gone into some new areas with this one!

      Mr Derp,

      I just saw this! I wanted to let you know how appreciative I am of these words from you. Please accept similar sentiments from me to you 🙂 I can remember several times you’ve articulated ideas I’ve had trouble putting into words.

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    166. Ten Bears,

      Speaking of the trifecta, what are your thoughts on Tyrion and his apparent absolution for the deadly sins of oathbreaking, kinslaying, and king- or queen-slaying?

      In Westeros, justice is whatever the monarch (literally, “sole law[giver]”) says it is. King Bran said Tyrion Lannister would serve as Hand of the King as punishment for his previous mistakes. Therefore, that is Tyrion’s punishment. It’s not an absolution. Tyrion will spend all of the rest of his days doing the grunt-work of ruling for King Dreams-A-Lot, working hard and getting no credit. “The King shits, and the Hand wipes,” is how Tyrion’s brother famously put it, disdaining the job.

      Didn’t assassinating Dany leave a horde of enraged – or bored – Dothraki on the mainland, free to pillage and rape? How did they become so docile by the end?

      It’s not as if Dothraki are unfamiliar with the concept of change of management via sudden violence. She brought them far from home, to a strange land where there was little room to roam*, and plenty of organized forces to oppose them. Once she died, they decided to return whence they came. (King Bran and Hand Tyrion would have given them plenty of “friendly help” in so doing, like ships, food, and fodder.)

      *While Westeros is not a small piece of ground, like real-life counterpart Great Britain, it has lots of hills, valleys, mountains, and other pockets. The Dothraki Sea appears to be more like the Eurasian Steppes or North American Great Plains.

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    167. Adrianacandle: Okay! So! My speculation is (and I am probably wrong) that whatever magic (or… negotiation…?) held off the Others for 8,000 or so years is finite, has an expiry date. So now, 8,000 years later, they need to renew whatever magic held the Others off in the first place (perhaps the Wall’s magic weakens over time?) or possibly negotiate with the Others to reinstate that magic for another 8,000 or so years — and that’s why the Others are coming again at this time. But it seems nobody knows how to repel the Others since they’ve been lost to myth and legend.

      Probably pretty far off base but that’s the best tin foil I can provide — from an amateur tin foil layman still in first year tin foil studies

      Well, at least this reason makes more sense that the Others came to wipe out memory or Bran’s whatever or kill 3RBran…or whatever we were to think at the end of GOT8.

      Of course, others will have additional useful ideas/theories as well.

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    168. Mango: Well, at least this reason makes more sense that the Others came to wipe out memory or Bran’s whatever or kill 3RBran…or whatever we were to think at the end of GOT8.

      Of course, others will have additional useful ideas/theories as well.

      Yes! (And I admit, Kevin helped me out with this one — he seems to be the knower of all the theories)

      In any case, while I truly have no idea how the story with the Others will go or how it’ll be resolved, I think the Others are one of the aspects I’m most excited about in the books… should the books ever come… 🙂

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    169. mau:
      I think what they can’t say about GRRM’s plans for future books is that LSH is probably not important enough to undermine the power of RW and bring her back.

      From GRRM’s statement it’s clear that Benioff and Weiss thought that she is not important enough.

      Her introduction scene is really great and I think that would create very high expectations that the show just couldn’t deliver.

      My guess is the scene which they gave to Arya at the start of S7 will be Lady Stoneheart’s arc conclusion. From what I’ve seen in the books this is where it’s heading and she’s meandering a long killing random Frey’s to kill time.

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    170. so much to add. i posted a comment about LSH the day before this thread started, as someone mentioned the article in a previous thread. my thought is still that it was a good move to make GoT without LSH, as in the books i see only one major role for her: test Brienne’s loyalty a first time. give her the first “fuck loyalty!” moment. she decides to save her and Pod’s lives by agreing to throw Jamie under the bus. her preparation for this is the last we read of Brienne so far.

      and as i can’t imagine GRRM to have Jamie killed before his epic reunion with his sis in a rain of brick confetti, i expect the next Jamie or Brienne POV chapter to be about Briennes struggle with loyalty. to dead people or to living ones? (also see: Jamie’s thoughts on oaths…)

      i excpect her to go away from the books right after the Jamie/Brienne loyalty knot is solved. at least i wish her to do so.

      about Jon going back to the north: being back to a non-existing Watch seems to be a rather absurd ending. being King in the REAL North also seems cheap. especially as those stubborn people don’t kneel.

      a stronger motive came to my mind after watching the scene for the second time back then. he finally found a home.

      he never had one. since he was born he just got passed from conflict to conflict. Thorne could as well have started his famous sentence “you have been in their wars your whole life, and you’ll be fighting their wars forever”.

      the series started with the gate of the wall opening and letting living men go out into danger zone. it ends with the gate closing behind a bunch of people getting into the now safer zone. spring might come and the always homeless guy who fought their wars, even the one against winter itself, is going home.

      if the score for this scene would not be such a pathetic mess it would be one of favorite GoT scenes.

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