Emmys Talk: Game of Thrones Finale Script Online, Nominees Episode Choices and More

Jon and Tormund The Iron Throne

The Emmys aren’t until September so that gives the Game of Thrones fandom plenty of time to squabble and debate over the final season! Luckily this week has given us loads of material to work with. Emmys.com has published the series finale script online, since the episode was nominated for the writing award, GoldDerby has revealed the episode choice for many of the show’s stars who are nominated, and one nominated actress discusses her work on the last season.

The entirety of the script for season 8, episode 6, “The Iron Throne” can now be found online at the official Emmys site. The episode, written by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, was a controversial nominee, for some. It’s always fascinating to pore over the scripts, as they show fans that writing is much more than dialogue. It shows how carefully planned the imagery is (like it or not).

Daenerys wings

Read over the script and see what strikes you!

GoldDerby always has the goods on awards season. They have the exclusive on which episodes the stars of GoT have chosen to submit to represent their work, for their nomination this year.

Best Actress nominee Emilia Clarke has submitted “The Last of the Starks” to Emmys voters, an episode in which Daenerys does a lot of heavy lifting and ultimately loses her friend. It’s more sympathetic than the darker, later episodes, so maybe it’s a strategic choice.

Best Actor nominee Kit Harington is submitting “The Iron Throne,” in hopes it will win him the Emmy. It was a dark moment for Jon Snow, with the killing of Daenerys and his conversation with Tyrion. Will it be enough? We’ll see.

Best Supporting Actor nominees:

  • Peter Dinklage has submitted the series finale “The Iron Throne” to rep his work. Since Tyrion carried the episode in a lot of ways, that makes sense.
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has chosen “The Bells” for his nom. He did good work in the episode as Jaime, but it’s not going to be a popular fandom choice, I can tell you that.

Best Supporting Actress nominees:

  • Sophie Turner has submitted the season 8 premiere episode “Winterfell” for her nom. Sansa had a lot to do in “Winterfell” but it’s not as flashy as some other episodes.
  • Lena Headey unsurprisingly has submitted “The Bells” for her nom, which features Cersei’s end, with the destruction of King’s Landing.
  • Gwendoline Christie is submitting “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” for her nomination- which makes sense since it was Brienne’s big moment.

Maisie Williams and Alfie Allen have not revealed their Emmy choices, as far as I know. It’s difficult to imagine Allen choosing anything other than “The Long Night,” but stranger things have happened.

Carice van Houten returned for just one episode this year, bringing her flames back to Westeros and the side of good in “The Long Night. The actress talked to GoldDerby this week about Melisandre’s morality, the filming of the episode, and a lot more. My favorite tidbits though- who would she like to have seen Melisandre have scenes with?

She says, “So many. I would’ve loved to have scenes with Cersei. I’m so curious what those two women would be together, what kind of dynamic that would be, what kind of energy that would bring. Samwell Tarly would’ve been a fun scene, I think. He’s one of my favorite characters. Joffrey, but unfortunately that never happened. I don’t think it will ever happen.”

Imagine Mel having a normal chat with Sam. Or terrorizing Joffrey. That would be fun.

She tells GoldDerby, her final filming was the burning the trenches-  “that was with a big green screen so it wasn’t very romantic or anything. She explains, “It was a very intense scene to do and it was mixed with my own emotions of it being my last scene and saying goodbye has never been my favorite thing in the world. It was quite a loaded day, you could say. A lot of tension had to come out after I’d done that scene and I just started crying like a baby. I didn’t really see that coming. I just was overwhelmed by emotion. I just couldn’t stop crying.”

Read the complete interview at GoldDerby!

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

466 Comments

  1. I think both Alfie and Maisie will submit The Long Night.

    But since it’s clear that the whole season will be submitted by actors I think it won’t matter. Actors who will vote will have to watch entire season. If they already haven’t. So they will see whole performance actors gave.

    Winterfell – Sophie
    A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms – Gwendoline
    The Long Night – Carice, Alfie?, Maisie ?
    Last of the Starks – Emilia
    The Bells – Nikolaj and Lena
    The Iron Throne – Peter and Kit

  2. Oof. If Maisie doesn’t win for Supporting, Gwen has my vote. Sorry Lena, but A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms made my eyes rain. ❤

    “Satanic Majesty”??? That’s an interesting way of describing it.

    I’d be so happy if Carice won. She’s just so darn good. And when the flames reflected in her eyes at the last second – wow.

  3. Tons of details outside he dialogue. I didn’t even think of the yara approving Bran as king because of her brother. Not a bad quick way to avoid an extra few minutes of her declaring an independent Kingdom.

  4. I believe Kit, Peter, Gwendoline, and Lena definitely made the right choice. Nikolaj was great in The Bells, particularly his scene with Tyrion and his death with Cersei, but I thought he gave stronger performances in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms and The Last of the Starks. Similarly with Emilia, she was amazing in The Last of the Starks, but I thought The Bells was a stronger episode for her. Then again, we don’t really see her after Danerys begins destroying King’s Landing, so that may have played into her decision. I’m not sure why Sophie chose Winterfell. I thought her one on one scene with Danerys in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms was her best performance this season. I also felt her dragon pit performance was better than anything she gave in the premiere.

  5. mau:
    But since it’s clear that the whole season will be submitted by actors I think it won’t matter.

    Do you think all the actresses/actors of GOT got together and deliberately made this happen to give themselves a better chance at winning?

  6. mau,

    Though Maisie Williams sure did her physically impressive ninja warrior princess thing in “The Long Night”, she really didn’t have much dialogue other than in the Melisandre “Win one for the Gipper” pep talk scene.

    I still say Maisie Williams deserves the Emmy for S8e5, “The Bells”, just for her last scene with Sandor:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DgACkATLvA

    Sandor: “Go home, girl. The fire will get her, or one of the Dothraki. Or maybe that dragon will eat her. It doesn’t matter. She’s dead. And you’ll be dead too if you don’t get out of here.”
    Arya: “I’m going to kill her!”
    Sandor: “You think you wanted revenge a long time? I’ve been after it all my life. It’s all I care about. And look at me. Look at me! You want to be like me? You come with me, you die here.”
    Arya: “Sandor! Thank you.”

    Tracking her subsequent nightmarish run through Dany’s Inferno let the audience see on ground level, through her eyes, the horrific effects of Dany’s road rage on innocent civilians – instead of just watching cool CGI streams of dragon fire from the air blow up buildings and vaporize soldiers.

    #VoteMaisie

  7. Do they have something against A Knight of the 7 Kingdoms? They didn’t submit it for writing or direction, it was NCW’s best episode, and Sophie’s imo. It had to be Gwen’s submission since it was her episode, I assume the others were advised on what to submit based on the TCA comments. It just seems to be getting left out a lot.

  8. Jenny:
    Do they have something against A Knight of the 7 Kingdoms?They didn’t submit it for writing or direction, it was NCW’s best episode, and Sophie’s imo.It had to be Gwen’s submission since it was her episode, I assume the others were advised on what to submit based on the TCA comments.It just seems to be getting left out a lot.

    I’m biased as it is my favourite episode of the season (and the last one in which my favourite characters are all still alive 🤪), but I truly think it should have gotten writing/directing nominations. I have love for both dialog and action, but the whole feeling of that episode, along with so many excellent moments of acting, really resonated. I loved every single character in those moments.

  9. mau,

    Smart move of the cast. Now I can understand why Emilia chose the Last of the Starks. Even when I found her scenes in the bells and the iron throne the best of all of the seasons. Her turn in the bells was amazingly acted. And her depressed look at the beginning was also amazing.

    I hope Maisie will choose the bells.

  10. As for the scripts. I only watched the first page and I think it’s brilliantly written. And did we got the crying girl and northman in the airing? I don’t remember that.

    off to read the rest later today.

    Young Dragon,

    Agree. Those episodes I would have chosen.

  11. Pigeon,

    Satanic Majesty is a reference to “Their satanic majesties request”, a Rolling Stones album released in 1967. It’s their most psychedelic album. The cover art is very colorful and Mick Jagger wears some kind of wizard hat, with wings behind his back.

    Why include these XX century references in a script for a TV show like this? I don’t know for sure. Since David Benioff and D. B. Weiss were the directors of the episode, I understand this references to images, sculptures (Pietá) and films (The son of Saul) as notes for what they wanted to do in the directorial field. The would make much less sense if they were only writers.

    However, the “Satanic Majesty” opens the door to other interpretations. In my view, that shot of Drogon’s wings has tried to make Daenerys look as caricatural and evil as possible. The imagery of the army and the speech itself match that tone of one-dimensional villainy. I have seen “The iron throne” three times. In the last one, I don’t feel anything but relief when Jon kills Daenerys. But I can be wrong in my interpretation, since I don’t like season 8.

    I’ve read parts of the script. They are professionals and know how to write scenes, but I have tremendous difficulties to like the characters in their last moments: they are unambigously good, unambigously bad or Bran, who is weird. For me, the most striking example is Tyrion: he’s portrayed as an absolute perfect person.

    On the Emmy actors submissions, I think they made the right choices. I respect Emilia for her choice, as you may understand for the reasons stated above: the character isn’t a complete caricature yet, in 8×04. I think the only actor who could submit another episode is Nikolaj. He could also have chosen “A knight of the seven kingdoms”, but I think “The Bells” is suitable. I think the return to Cersei makes sense for his ending. I just didn’t like the line about “innocents or otherwise”.

  12. Jenny,

    ST probably chose based on screen time. She had the most in the first ep. Meeting Jon, dragons flying above her head, meeting Tyrion, and that fight with Jon in her office. It was a good choice. I liked her most in ep 4, it was very sentimental from beginning to end. In ep. 6 she had little screentime and some of her scenes were even without dialog.

  13. Tiago,

    Thank you! I would not have known about the album artistry (I listen to a lot of music, but rarely actually purchase vinyl or Stones music, so I really appreciate the imagery you noted.) I agree very much with most of the remainder of your post, as well. AKOTSK made me fall for Jaime a little bit (I am close to saying that his knighting of Brienne was my favourite scene of the season and certainly Nikolaj’s best scene, imo), likely why I very much felt like kicking rocks with his subsequent actions. I am one who can deal with the characters’ endings themselves, whether I like them or not, but episodes 4-6 were well part of my least favourite writing of the series, with a few notable exceptions (ex. I thought Sandor vs Gregor and Rory and Maisie’s scene together was beautifully written, shot, and acted, despite having never being a fan of the Cleganebowl idea.) C’est la vie.

    Again, thanks for explaining the reference that sailed completely over my head. I understood how the moment could quite beautifully show the continuation of Dany’s ‘heel’ turn, but the description was lost on me.

  14. Sheila B: That´s the Rolling Stones Album title

    So I’ve learned! Thank you, a thousand lashing with a wet noodle for me for my ignorance, and off to immerse myself in some Stones!

  15. Pigeon,

    The knighting of Brienne by Jaime is also my favourite scene of the season: I felt that the story of those two had come to an end in a really powerful way. It was beautiful.

    About the Rolling Stones, you’ll spent your time well listening to them. Almost everything they’ve done since their beginning until Exile on Main St. (1972) is top notch.

  16. Efi,

    Oh ok, I honestly can’t remember her in it at all. I think her strongest stuff was with Emilia and Alfie, but looking at the nominations, voters will have to watch the whole season anyway. It’s very strategic, and thankfully they will have to watch NCW in the knighting scene (his best imo) because of Gwen’s submission. Call me a fangirl (I am) but I so want Gwen and Nik to win, neither of them will, but I can dream. I’m also hoping to see Emilia win, she carried the season on her back this year I think.

  17. Tiago,

    Yes, and then he tried to leave in the middle of the night and broke her heart, confirming every insecurity she ever had about herself as a woman. Of all the endings, Brienne’s legitimately breaks my heart. I get that Jaime had to go back to Cersei, but did they have to end that relationship in such a brutal way? I don’t think so, I wish he had explained his need to be with his family, instead of that cowardly exit, I’m sure she would have understood. It really bothers me.

  18. Jenny,

    2012 was the only year they submitted more than one episode for writing. And it was the only year GoT failed to get that nomination.

    Last year they lost to The Americans. GoT has support among writers, but clearly not enough support to get more than one nomination.

  19. Pigeon: “…off to immerse myself in some Stones!”

    Immerse yourself?
    Try this. Gimme Shelter. I actually “heard” this snippet in my head when Arya was running through the streets during Dany’s Inferno.

    “Ooh, see the fire is sweepin
    Our very street today
    Burns like a red coal carpet
    Mad bull lost your way.”

    at 1:30

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

    Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” (1969)

    +

    “Gimme Shelter” Live version: Mick Jagger, Fergie, U2 at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2009)

  20. Tiago,

    Thanks for that info!
    Meanwhile, I notice that “The Bells” is getting lots of fan love for showcasing some of the Emmy nominees.

  21. Emilia was sooooooooo good this season.. just thinking about it give me shivers.. she made me feel all kinds of things! I REALLLLLY hope she wins.

  22. Regarding the script.. why is it snowing in Kings Landing? I always thought they were ashes LOL

  23. Tiago,

    However, the “Satanic Majesty” opens the door to other interpretations. In my view, that shot of Drogon’s wings has tried to make Daenerys look as caricatural and evil as possible. The imagery of the army and the speech itself match that tone of one-dimensional villainy. I have seen “The iron throne” three times. In the last one, I don’t feel anything but relief when Jon kills Daenerys. But I can be wrong in my interpretation, since I don’t like season 8.

    As with the other apocalyptic imagery of KL, I got the distinct impression it’s supposed to show that Dany, like Satan, is a corrupted “beautiful fallen angel” with an army at her command. She’s just turned KL into a fiery hellscape full of death, and intends to rule over “Hell on Earth” if she’s not stopped.

    I thought the imagery and its implications were cleverly done, especially since Dany turns out to have been the story’s main villain all along — but doesn’t think of herself as evil at all. Milton would appreciate the parallels, I think 😉

    Fits in well with Jon as the obvious Christ-figure of the story: The resurrected hero that leads an army of “good guys” on behalf of mankind, ultimately kills the demonic “beast”, supposedly ushers in a renewed era of peace, but has not been appreciated and has even been rejected by many of those he’s claiming to protect. No, I’m not a Christian myself, and yes I’m aware this is mixing around the sequence of events described in The Bible, Revelations, end-time myths etc. But like Dany/Satan, there are some pretty obvious — and, no doubt, deliberate — parallels here anyway.

  24. Jenny:
    Do they have something against A Knight of the 7 Kingdoms?They didn’t submit it for writing or direction, it was NCW’s best episode, and Sophie’s imo.It had to be Gwen’s submission since it was her episode, I assume the others were advised on what to submit based on the TCA comments.It just seems to be getting left out a lot.

    Far and away the best-written episode of the season – and best-directed (unless you heavily weight the technical challenges of The Long Night), and most moving. The fact that it was barely submitted in any categories at all makes me wonder whether D & D had a falling-out with Cogman. I feel bad for him. But at least we’ll see more of his work in the LotR series.

  25. Tiago:
    Pigeon,

    About the Rolling Stones, you’ll spent your time well listening to them. Almost everything they’ve done since their beginning until Exile on Main St. (1972) is top notch.

    If you like cock-rock. I was 10 years old when the first Stones album came out, and I never found them enjoyable. (I realize this puts me in quite a small minority for my generation.) Mick Jagger’s macho strutting and preening was always a huge turnoff for me. And I always found their rock sound generic and undistinguished. The only songs I found tolerable were the early ballady stuff like Ruby Tuesday and As Tears Go By, simply because they weren’t so crashy-thrashy, but even they were mediocre songwriting IMO.

    Sorry to be a wet blanket, Stones fans, but sometimes adored icons need a bit of a takedown. Tastes are not monolithic.

  26. Firannion,

    Can you please stop with the conspiracy theories? Cogman’s been on the show since the very beginning, and in all that time, he’s never been nominated for writing. I don’t even think his episode has been submitted. Just because they didn’t submit his episode again in no way indicates they had a “falling out.” Just because you thought it was the best written episode doesn’t mean everyone else does.

  27. HBO didn’t submit “Laws of Gods and Man” either. Or “Kissed by Fire”. Or some other good episodes Cogman did.

    Their strategy was always to submit last or penultimate episode written by Benioff and Weiss. Except in S2 and that’s why they failed to get nomination that year.

    There were a lot of great episodes in S4 and yet only “The Children” was submitted. I remember how controversial that was in 2014, because back then that was considered the worst episode of the show by the very vocal part of the fandom. It’s sounds unbelievable now, but people really cliamed that was the worst GoT episode ever lol.

  28. Young Dragon,

    In all fairness, Firranion wasn’t spouting conspiracy theories. “The fact that it was barely submitted in any categories at all makes me wonder whether D & D had a falling-out with Cogman” was simply expressing puzzlement for the episode’s conspicuous omission in nominations despite its popularity with the fandom and its tapestry of “high thread count” character moments.

    Personally, I felt there was something for everyone in that episode, no matter who your favorite character was. I also think GoT has always been at its best when there are people just sitting together, talking. For me? As a Sandorphile, I loved the moment on the WF battlements when Arya questions Sandor why he’s even there and when he’s ever fought for anyone but himself, and he turns to her and answers: “I fought for you, didn’t I?” 😢

    Jaime and Brienne got a memorable scene. Tormund got to tell a bizarre story about his “Giantsbane” moniker, and introduced his drinking horn. Even Pod got his moment to shine with the “Jenny of Oldstones” song over the concluding montage.

    A collection of people asking themselves the existential question “What would I do if this were my last night on earth?” jump started some very relatable scenes. I think that’s one of the reasons many fans thought the episode and its writer deserved more recognition.

  29. Ten Bears,

    What fandom often forgets is that they are fandom and not general audience. I liked that episode, but for a lot of people in general audience it was boring. Or episode where nothing happened.

    It would be like nominating Fly from Breaking Bad for Oustanding Writing.

  30. mau,

    Yeah you’re probably right. I had long ago reached my DSP*, but I can see how the general audience might think an episode without dragons, zombies or sword fights is “boring” because “nothing happened.”

    * Dragon Saturation Point

  31. As I already thought, Tyrion cried for both Jaime and Cersei.
    So Dany did kill hundreds of thousands of people.
    I hope this stops the notion Jon still believed in Dany, he saw who she was.
    Why did they refer to the ash as snow?
    They cut the part of Dany having a vision of the throne room, shame that should have been in it, it would make it more obvious why she went that far as she did.
    And I knew it, Drogon was not attacking Jon. And the destruction of the Throne room was just coincidence, not meant by Drogon, it was just there where he put his rage, a place that wasn’t Jon.

    Read the rest later of the scripts. But I wished that one moment was in the episode. Maybe one of the extended scenes on the blu-ray?

    I’m curious if the second part of the episode also have more in the script than what we saw on screen.

  32. Dee Stark,

    I always thought it was intended to be a mixture of the two – snow because of the thematic significance (it is still winter, after all), and ash because of the fallout of the inferno that just happened. Another blend of ice and fire, if you will. Even if the script specifies one over the other, I think people will continue to interpret it however they like. Which, in this particular case, I think is harmless. 🙂

  33. Good that they added that impatient part of Grey worm when Tyrion speaks. It made it clear that he does not like Tyrion to speak, but that there needs to be a resolve soon, he is not stupid grey worm. He wants to move forward.
    Wish there was notion that Bran knew he was being crowned when he left Winterfel.
    Great that Yara chose Bran because of Theon.

    I like it that they called it a kingsmoot.
    “They both failed geography.” This made me smile.
    And the ending remains beautiful, the shots of all the Starks together and mirroring the pilot.

    The only thing I miss (and missed it in the airing) is Dany being dropped off in Essos and being buried. The rest is beautifully written by David and Dan.

    Jared,

    I think season 8 was supposed to be more winter-like even episode 4 and 5. But we got to warm of a winter when they shot.

  34. mau:
    HBO didn’t submit “Laws of Gods and Man” either. Or “Kissed by Fire”. Or some other good episodes Cogman did.

    Their strategy was always to submit last or penultimate episode written by Benioff and Weiss. Except in S2 and that’s why they failed to get nomination that year.

    There were a lot of great episodes in S4 and yet only “The Children” was submitted. I remember how controversial that was in 2014, because back then that was considered the worst episode of the show by the very vocal part of the fandom.It’s sounds unbelievable now, but people really cliamed that was the worst GoT episode ever lol.

    Yes, that sounds really unbelievable even if it was for Tysha’s omission and no Lady Stoneheart. “The Laws of Gods and Men” remain the best written episode of the show, with “Blackwater”, “The Winds of Winter” and “The Lion and the Rose”.

  35. Young Dragon,

    I completely understand why Emilia chose episode 4. Screentime and range are two of the most important things to consider. She has many great scenes there.
    Dinklage is terrific in the finale and deserves to win. That episode wraps up both Tyrion’s and Jon’s stories with both of them having a turning point. Kit did right by choosing this episode. I expected Nikolaj to choose “The Bells” for the intensity of his scenes.
    Sophie should have chosen episode 4. She was more emotional there. And she couldn’t choose episode 2 because each one of the Supporting Actress candidates has to choose a different episode.

  36. Tyrion sees no point in arguing his case. He looks around the
    ruined city.

    He wanted a bloodless revolution. He would have gladly died
    to put her on the throne without the horror they just
    witnessed. But he failed.

    Tyrion apparently wanted to conquer the 7 kingdoms and overthrow his sister without either her or anyone else dying. At least his advice to her in season 7 (do literally nothing) makes a degree of sense now. But since when is Tyrion a pacifist? He knows war requires bloodshed.

    It seems (???) we are meant to believe this was a noble and rational choice by Tyrion and that all his “work” to prevent Dany from doing anything in season 7 was a good thing. Of course quite the opposite is true.

    Later talking to jon…

    TYRION
    You won’t be able to hold her in
    check. You won’t be able to guide
    her. I thought I could. I thought
    she’d listen to me. I was wrong.

    Tyrion’s advice to Dany was… absurd. Worse than useless for achieving the task at hand (gaining the Iron Throne). And Varys’ as well. And yet she listened to them, and usually chose to follow their council. Over and over again – and when she did, failure was the result. What the f— is Tyrion even talking about?

    There is no such thing as a bloodless revolution.

  37. Young Dragon:
    As expected, Maisie Williams submitted The Long Night.

    1. Thanks for the update!
    2. As I’ve said – maybe upthread – while that episode showed off her ninja warrior princess action superheroine moves and had her “signature” moment – eloquently described as “sticking a knife in that horned f*cker”* – it didn’t have much dialogue for Arya. That’s why I would’ve preferred Episode 2 or Episode 5.

    * S. Clegane, S8e4

    #VoteMaisie

  38. Here’s omitted dialogue and stage notes from Dany’s last scene. I wish they’d left it all in because it sympathizes Dany’s position and causes Jons’ choice to seem at least mildly difficult.

    She smiles at the memory as she turns back to Jon.
    DANY: What do a thousand swords look like in the mind of a little girl who can’t count to twenty? I imagined a mountain of swords too high to climb. So many fallen enemies you could only see the soles of Aegon’s feet. (beat) But many years later, I saw it. The real thing.

    JON: How?

    DANY: In a vision. The roof, the snow, the throne… (beat) It all looked exactly like this.

    In this room, at this very moment, the sense of Dany’s destiny is pervasive. Shattering its spell is difficult. But Jon does, because he has to.

    Some of the stage notes clearly indicate that Dany does not understand she’s killed thousands of innocent people. Also that she still has a heart (she loves Jon for caring for innocent lives).

    JON: I saw them executing Lannister prisoners in the street. They said they were acting on your orders.

    She can see that Jon is deeply troubled. She does not condescend. On the contrary, she loves him for it.

    DANY It was necessary.

    But Dany hasn’t seen the things Jon has seen, on the ground.

    JON: Have you been down there? Have you seen?

    Dany has not. Thinking about it, Jon is shaken.

    JON: Children. Little children, burned.

    DANY: I tried to make peace with Cersei. And she used their innocence as a weapon against me. She thought it would cripple me, leave me unable to do what needed to be done. (beat) She left me no choice.

    So Dany believes at this moment that she had no choice but to do precisely what she did. Which to me seems quite unbelievable. Why would the choice to burn the streets of King’s Landing make sense? By this logic, yes, she should have burnt down the red keep and perhaps soldiers – and there would have been collateral damage.

    Are we meant to think Dany delusional here? That she thought somehow she was only targeting combatants?

    Or was it misdirection and in The Bells she was meant to only be burning the Red Keep and a solder crew here or there, with many innocent lives lost, but not deliberately? I feel that would have made Jon’s decision much harder and thus much more interesting.

  39. QueenofThrones,

    Absolutely right! Tyrion’s “clever plans” only succeeded in the deaths of thousands of Dany’s soldiers and the decimation of her Tyrell, Dornish and Greyjoy allies.

    “Bloodless revolution”, like a bloodless siege, is a pipe dream. [Bronn explained why sieges cause mass deaths from disease and starvation; I’ll try to find that quote.]. So is expecting the civilian population to spontaneously rise up, revolt against their ruler, and surrender to invading forces.

  40. Dee Stark:
    Emilia was sooooooooo good this season.. just thinking about it give me shivers.. she made me feel all kinds of things! I REALLLLLY hope she wins.

    Me too. She’s earned it.

  41. QueenofThrones,

    To be honest I think the answer is simply, it doesn’t make sense, so there is little point in trying to understand it.

    RE: Your earlier post, Tyrion’s stance on the whole thing was done to A) Weaken Dany’s forces B) Set her up as the villain. That was the sole purpose of his ludicrous battle plans. That’s why I didn’t like S7 either, it was so painfully obvious.

    I’m in a strange position on this, I had Dany’s ‘turn’ in mind since S4 when she crucified the masters, I then read ADWD, and it was even more obvious to me there. I have debated it a few times, and people told me I was wrong, many many times. S8 proved me right, and even I can’t make sense of their plotting beyond these contrived events. I’ve seen people say ‘you didn’t like the season because it isn’t what you wanted’ well Dany being the villain is what I wanted and I still don’t understand it.

    This is also why I think fAegon will take the throne and be loved by the people, she will then be faced with having to wreck the city because they don’t want her. Total guess though.

  42. Stew: Tons of details outside he dialogue. I didn’t even think of the yara approving Bran as king because of her brother. Not a bad quick way to avoid an extra few minutes of her declaring an independent Kingdom.

    It just occurred to me that Yara can reasonably go back to allowing the Ironborn to reave and rape if she wants now (or looking the other way when they do). The promise she made to Dany (independence in exchange for pacifism) no longer applies since she’s given up the independence part.

  43. QueenofThrones,

    (continued from 12:56 comment above)

    Tyrion should’ve known a siege is no picnic for the besieged population. In S2e7, as they awaited the arrival of Stannis’s fleet and a siege of KL, Bronn explained to Tyrion:

    Bronn: “Have you ever been in a city under siege? Maybe this part’s not in your books. See, it’s not the fighting that kills most people. It’s the starving. Food’s worth more than gold. Noble ladies sell their diamonds for a sack of potatoes.
    Things get bad enough, the poor start eating each other…”

  44. Jenny:
    QueenofThrones,
    To be honest I think the answer is simply, it doesn’t make sense, so there is little point in trying to understand it.

    RE: Your earlier post, Tyrion’s stance on the whole thing was done to A) Weaken Dany’s forces B) Set her up as the villain.That was the sole purpose of his ludicrous battle plans.

    I’m in a strange position on this, I had Dany’s ‘turn’ in mind since S4 when she crucified the masters, I then read ADWD, and it was even more obvious to me there.I have debated it a few times, and people told me I was wrong.S8 proved me right, and even I can’t make sense of their plotting beyond these contrived events.I’ve seen people say ‘you didn’t like the season because it isn’t what you wanted’ well Dany being the villain is what I wanted and I still don’t understand it.

    I made peace with Dany turning after episode 4 (amazing episode for Dany and in general, IMO). It seemed to me she felt totally alienated and forced into what she was doing basically because Jon couldn’t deal with incest and that worked for me.

    I’m pretty happy about it except for how they showed her intentionally and specifically targeting civilians in The Bells. It doesn’t make sense. Especially given the quoted portions of this script. It seems it could have been a directorial choice? I would love to read the script for The Bells to find out what her intentions were on Drogon’s back. As opposed to what we actually got on screen (randomly burning KL civilians for no reason).

  45. QueenofThrones,

    I honestly don’t know, why was she triggered by bells as well? It was very odd. It obviously came from George (not the bells bit, the flip out) but I just don’t understand the reasoning behind it. The city surrendered to her, and that made her want to destroy them? The only explanation is that she is mad and she wanted to free them, perhaps free them from the misery of life?

    It would have been better if she had killed everyone in the Red Keep and accidentally set off the wildfire causing the destruction, that would definitely be a tough choice for Jon, even if she showed little remorse for it.

  46. Ten Bears,

    Yeah, and thanks for the quote. Sieges are no picnic. Based on what happened, they really seem to want us to believe that there were 2 choices – exactly what Dany did, or a long siege.

    There were other choices but none were put forward. Because if they were, Dany would have taken them and this ending couldn’t happen:

    1. Unite the realm against Cersei via diplomacy (apparently Edmure was around? PoD exists? Iron Born are waiting? Gendry is Lord of Storm’s End?

    2. Send an assassin to kill Cersei (and we just so happen to have one).

    3. Dany on Drogon’s back makes a targeted attack on the Red Keep.

    BTW I really hate this whole trope that “Dany doesn’t listen to people”. She has always listened to council when given, and she evenfollows council more than most rulers we’ve seen.

  47. Ten Bears,

    1. No problem
    2. I also prefer The Bells in regards to Maisie’s performance, but I was also impressed with her during The Long Night. Besides, as mau said, the voters are going to watch the entire season, if they haven’t already, so they will get a chance to see Maisie Williams killing it scene after scene.

    #VoteMaisie

  48. QueenofThrones,

    Really? I thought it was quite obvious what Tyrion was trying to do. He was trying to put Danerys on the throne while causing the least amount of damage possible. It was a classic “trying to have his cake and eat it too” mentality. Of course it wasn’t going to be bloodless, but Tyrion wanted to walk the path with the least amount of blood. This strategy may have backfired in the short term, but Tyrion was playing the long game. He knew that people would accept Danerys more the less collateral damage she caused. You need to understand Tyrion’s position. He was bringing a foreign army to Westeros to invade his own people. It’s only natural he would be trying to play both sides to arrive at an outcome he could live with.

  49. Young Dragon,

    I think it would’ve been a good idea for Tyrion to actually have some kind of PR plan for getting the people of Westeros on Dany’s side before any invasion or siege took place. There was no effort at all put into this. Cersei was at least smart enough to spread propaganda against Dany before the war even started.

    In the end, I think Tyrion was good at telling Dany what NOT to do, but he rarely came up with any good ideas for what she SHOULD do to win. He really kind of neutralized her strengths to the point where she really had no chance at winning in the first place.

    I suppose Tyrion’s whole idea was to lay siege to KL, which would apparently convince the citizens of KL to revolt against Cersei, which I’m not so sure would’ve happened anyway. Even if it did, how much suffering would go on in KL before they became desperate enough to attempt a revolt?

    IMO, if Tyrion’s #1 priority was to save the people of KL, a siege shouldn’t be a good option either. He should’ve waged a war of propaganda for Dany in order to plant the seed of rebellion in KL before any military action took place.

  50. Young Dragon: Of course it wasn’t going to be bloodless, but Tyrion wanted to walk the path with the least amount of blood.

    But it literally said “He wanted a bloodless revolution”

  51. QueenofThrones,

    I think somebody who thinks they are the chosen one, and only they know what’s good is in my mind delusional, especially if you think it is your destiny to do so. So I think that she was delusional in the final episode.

    Ten Bears,

    Agree with you here. For me it’s episode 5, episode 2, Episode 6, Episode 1, Episode 4, Episode 3. For Arya. Episode 3 was amazing because of the action but I think those other episodes were even better when it comes to acting. Her reaction to seeing Jon again, her scenes with Gendry, her scenes with Sandor and the rampage in Kings Landing. Her goodby with Jon etc.

  52. Mr Derp,

    You make a lot of good points. I think Tyrion assumed that Cersei was going to be so hated that a people would be begging Danerys to get rid of her and that a PR campaign wasn’t necessary. He thought people would love Danerys and fear Cersei when it turned out to be the other way around. At the very least, they saw Cersei as the lesser of two evils. She underestimated how people still remember the Targaryen’s crimes and atrocities and would associate them with Danerys.

  53. Young Dragon,

    I also think that Jorah had a better handle on the people of Westeros than Tyrion did, which is a bad look for Tyrion.

    Jorah once told Dany that the common people of KL pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. They don’t care what games the high lords play.

    I guess Tyrion didn’t get the memo.

  54. Tyrion spent all of his time trying to convince Dany not to attack the Red Keep with her dragons. Dany listened to Tyrion to her detriment. She should’ve attacked the Red keep right away. “The Bells” proved it.

    In “The Bells”, Dany had no problem defeating Cersei’s forces by herself with just one dragon. By the time she won, there really wasn’t much of any collateral damage or innocent casualties until Dany went out of her way to torch everyone.

    If Dany attacked KL at the beginning of season 7, she would’ve had all 3 dragons, all of her advisors, and the Wall never would’ve fallen, and she wasn’t going “mad” or whatever yet.

    She also would’ve been able to attack KL before Cersei was able to effectively assemble her defense of KL. Tyrion basically just stalled, so that Cersei could take time to better defend herself.

    Thanks Tyrion.

  55. Tyrion didn’t know that, but his mistakes claerly exposed that Daenerys is not fit to rule. She was tyrant who could burn city when she gets angry enough. So maybe she would have taken KL easier, but her dark side would come out in different circumstances. It was inevitable.

    Maybe Winterfell would have been burnt. Or other places. She wanted to rule the world after all.

    She can’t stand any opposition to her authority. Even if she took the throne only her absolute rule would be acceptable.

    But it would be interesting to watch entire season of her tyranny. Emilia would kill it.

  56. Best Actor nominee Kit Harington is submitting “The Iron Throne,” in hopes it will win him the Emmy. It was a dark moment for Jon Snow, with the killing of Daenerys and his conversation with Tyrion. Will it be enough? We’ll see.

    I think The Iron Throne was a great submission choice for Kit. Yes, it was dark. Yes, he displayed his characteristic duty and stoicism when being sentenced back to The Wall from which he came. But he also got to portray heartfelt goodbyes, a happy moment (complete with a rare smile) with Ghost, and a sense of adventure and satisfaction on the journey beyond The Wall.

    I can’t think of another episode in the entire series where Jon Snow was allowed to feel so many different emotions since most of his scenes called for duty, honor and seriousness to the exclusion of most else.

  57. I read the script in the morning. I still can’t believe how different it is from the final edit of the episode. It’s as if they’re telling another story in writing; or they don’t know which story they’re telling.
    Nice to know though, this was from the very beginning Tyrion’s story. For quite some time they had me fooled. I thought it was the Starks’ story; Daenerys’ story. But nope; it was Tyrion’s. He’s so changed books to show, you’d hardly believe what you’re reading if you started the books now, especially if you’ve read the script first, lol.
    And it shows in this final script how much they strove to whitewash him, to acquit him of his crimes, to give him what they think he deserves. Nevermind he sided with a conqueror; that he betrayed his best friend, the Starks and his queen . No, he believes in a peaceful revolution; he doesn’t believe in “liberation theology” (?); he knows he’s guilty, everybody does, and yet it is he who has a final say on who becomes king. Because all along his intentions were good. So what if he killed his lover and his father? Deep down he’s a good guy and he only wants the best. Well, he’s the personification that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. They loved this character from the very beginning; it is even implied that he might be up for the throne (phew, he refused).
    Is it just me, or does the final dialog in the script between Tyrion, GW and Bran seem like it was his freedom or Jon’s? Did they really make Bran choose between his brother and Tyrion because GW wanted blood? Did Bran really choose Tyrion? And then Tyrion went to Jon to explain that he’ll hold no lands, father no children?
    Luckily, some of that script didn’t make it on screen.
    Like Tyrion’s unfortunate line about Cat’s subborness; or Jon’s line “I love her”. Too conflicting, that one. You can’t have one never saying it to Dany herself for ten whole eps and then admitting it in the final ep to another; it would cause confusion. Does he love his lover or his family the most? Because in the same script we learn that he loves the Starks “the most”, which means he rejects his Targ identity. Even when he kills her he says she’s his queen. He doesn’t say he loves her, that would make sense.
    Which brings me to the next issue. Jon doesn’t know if he can forgive Sansa for telling his secret? When was that ever an issue for Jon? Sansa doesn’t appologize for saying the truth about him, but because she couldn’t save him. It’s even in the official synopsis of the ep. On top of that, Jon “knows that Sansa loves him”. so, he can’t forgive her?
    Did the actors rebel and played it otherwise? Because I don’t understand what’s on screen and what’s in scipt, honestly.
    Last but not least: who tf told them that it’s ok to hit us on the head with Sansa’s abuse all through the season? Did anybody think it’d be a good idea? that it would be “edgy”? Because this final change, the part that Tyrion speaks generally about the offspring of rulers in the script, which became a straight line to Sansa “you know how they can be” is completely unsavoury and frankly, insulting and sexist. That everybody in the show felt the need to comment on what she had been through, and even put in her lips those despicable words in ep4 is beyond me. Thankfully they didn’t have Jon also saying something like that. Or was it that Sansa’s abuse at the hands on Joffrey and Ramsay served as an excuse for not electing Jon as ruler? I’m confused. If that is the case, it’s not clear. Her abuse comes up in a political discussion and it’s seriously disturbing and frankly not smart.

    Top lines: “liberation theology” ????
    “They failed geography”? hilarious (is this why they couldn’t find allies in season 6?)
    “These smart, experienced people” plan the future (talking brothels)

    I did have the opinion that ep6 was the worst of all seasons, even though it was excellent artistically. Reading the script convinced me that they didn’t absolutely believe in the story they were telling. (not to mention that they did all characters a disservice, but I’ve already written about that elsewhere).

  58. Efi,

    Tyrion’s story where do you get that from the scripts? Part 1 was about Tyrion. Then we skipped to the Starks and Dany, which ends Dany’s arc. Then we skip again we start with Tyrion but end the story with the Starks. It shows us the show is about the Starks and Tyrion serve a purpose in their story. It’s even more clear when they told him he was not part of the Ice and Fire books.

    They whitewash many characters through-out the story, many book counterparts are much darker. And as for Tyrion, he didn’t go free, as Bran said, and as the script said how Tyrion felt it, him becoming hand of the King was his punishment. He doesn’t want it anymore, but he must do it.
    As for Jon, how could they elect Jon??? Tyrion: Let’s choose Jon. He will be our king, he is after all the true heir. Grey worm: No you can’t. Fellow Unsullied, slit Jon’s troat and be done wit it.
    If they chose Jon as King, Jon would be death. And if by a miracle Grey worm goes along with it, he will be wishing he was death the whole time. As stated in the scripts, Jon welcomed death after Dany’s death. Now in the north he can find his will to live again, with helping those families. His future is a bit brighter.
    How is that sentence sexist?
    And about the brother scene, what did you expect? The city needs to be rebuild. Means there needs to be talk about business, brother’s are one of those business that make sure money will get into the royal vaults. It’s one that give a lot of money. But as Davos stated, maybe building ships is better, which even give jobs.

  59. QueenofThrones,

    DANY: I tried to make peace with Cersei. And she used their innocence as a weapon against me. She thought it would cripple me, leave me unable to do what needed to be done. (beat) She left me no choice.

    This is exactly what I’ve suspected Dany’s reason is for burning KL. Her weaknes, mercy for the innocent, was exposed by Cersei. A ruler can’t rule with her weaknes in plain sight. That is why she had no choice.
    And of course, “she left me no choice” are exactly Jon’s words when he was justifying her actions. Also, “they don’t get to choose” are exactly Jon’s words in the same conversation with Tyrion: “she doesn’t get to choose”.
    This makes it clear that Jon killing Dany was a huge mistake.

  60. Maisie Williams and Alfie Allen have not revealed their Emmy choices, as far as I know. It’s difficult to imagine Allen choosing anything other than “The Long Night,” but stranger things have happened.

    actually I think Maisie should choose Knight for the Seven KIngdoms; her interaction with Gendry was so perfect, tho I suspect Gwen will win the category, for the same episode. So Long Night should be hers.

    Havent read any earlier comments, just wanted to add a few observations of my own. Just finished watching the last two seasons. I had already liked season seven, but realized how much there was leading up to the events in eight, and enjoyed it even more, and was once again reminded how good the entire cast is in this show, pitch perfect. Episode 3 will probably be in my ultimate top 10 but all of the season had such stunning moments that took my breath away.

    Season 8, episodes 1 and 2 near perfect. 3 would have been except I thought we’d see more worldwide threat, and that the fight would have lasted longer, But I liked it.Loved 4. 5 was almost unbearable to watch Even tho much of the previous seasons were leading up to this moment, the massacre and destruction was painful to see. Loved episode 6 up until the small council. I think if we were given more explanation or some time line or conversations between characters talking about who will be there and how they might react – that perhaps with more information fans might have reacted differently or maybe not. There

    Jenny,

    get that Jaime had to go back to Cersei, but did they have to end that relationship in such a brutal way? I don’t think so, I wish he had explained his need to be with his family, instead of that cowardly exit, I’m sure she would have understood. It really bothers me.

    Personally I would have rathered they not go to bed. I don’t think it was nec, and probably would have saved her lots of heartache.

    BTW what was up with that question Tyrion asks Jaime afterwards about Brienn? Was the purpose to make T a real dick? Explain pls.

  61. kevin1989,

    The only thing I miss (and missed it in the airing) is Dany being dropped off in Essos and being buried.

    I didn’t need to be shown that. It would make sense thats where he was going. Poor Drogon; made me remember Aemon’s words ‘A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing’, could apply to dragons as well
    Jared,

  62. QueenofThrones,

    It seemed to me she felt totally alienated and forced into what she was doing basically because Jon couldn’t deal with incest and that worked for me.

    I also wonder if she realized that jon would rule, destroying her lifelong dreams. Thats all she thouht about and talked about and someone she love was i the way. But then she should have gone after Cersei and Jon (yeah, i know, not in the script))

    kevin1989,

    or Arya. Episode 3 was amazing because of the action but I think those other episodes were even better when it comes to acting. Her reaction to seeing Jon again, her scenes with Gendry, her scenes with Sandor and the rampage in Kings Landing. Her goodby with Jon etc.

    totally agree; she was amazing in Knight tho I can understand why she choose 3 – the action was phenominal

  63. I would love to read the script, but all I get is “the page you requested does not exist”.
    Does anyone have an alternative page ?

  64. ash,

    Well more for one thing, she was one of the main. You got a montage of the Starks, how they ended up. It would be nice to see a mirroring of Jon and Dany. Jon walking free north as a free man, Dany being buried and concealed in a crypt.

  65. Tiago:
    Pigeon,

    The knighting of Brienne by Jaime is also my favourite scene of the season: I felt that the story of those two had come to an end in a really powerful way. It was beautiful.

    About the Rolling Stones, you’ll spent your time well listening to them. Almost everything they’ve done since their beginning until Exile on Main St. (1972) is top notch.

    Our rock radio stations (yes I still listen to the radio while driving!) have always played a lot of Rolling Stones, but of course it’s generally the same 10-15 songs that I’ve heard over and over again. So I always appreciate input on the not so overplayed gems. 😊

    The knighting scene was the best ‘love scene’ without an actual love scene that I think I’ve ever seen.

  66. kevin1989:
    ash,

    Well more for one thing, she was one of the main. You got a montage of the Starks, how they ended up. It would be nice to see a mirroring of Jon and Dany. Jon walking free north as a free man, Dany being buried and concealed in a crypt.

    I liked that it was left more open-ended. Not that you’d really believe Dany would be resurrected, but it left that little possibility that I thought had potential.

  67. <stron
    Young Dragon,

    g>Ten Bears,

    2. As I’ve said – maybe upthread – while that episode showed off her ninja warrior princess action superheroine moves and had her “signature” moment – eloquently described as “sticking a knife in that horned f*cker”* – it didn’t have much dialogue for Arya.

    Like you two, I would vastly have preferred The Bells. But if it’s true that some rule says they can’t choose the episode a fellow nominee (Lena) did, 8.03 is almost as good, But there is a consolation: Lena, NCW, and Emilia all chose The Bells. That means Emmy voters must watch it three times. In The Bells she Maisie ran the gamut of emotions AND did serious physical work throughout the episode! So she should be able to make an impression then as well as with The LOng Night.

  68. ash,

    We are only guessing that Jon couldn’t deal with incest. He never states it as fact nor offers anything than non verbal hints to it. Though it is the most likely reason for his alienation of physical affection I do wish they would of had a little conversation to confirm it. The way it was presented, he never even explained it to Dany herself as she continues to approach him and gets upset when he spurns her.

  69. ash,

    It was just for laughs/shock but did come off rather an out of character line for Tyrion in that moment imo. More fitting for Bronn.

  70. Efi,

    I think they would have ended it differently than George but were obligated to stay faithful to his ending. Which means, they were between rock and hard place because they had already taken own creative license with characters that veered off from George planned conclusion. Unfortunately their characters took on a life of their own and then seemed kinda thrown into an ending that didn’t match what we know of them from before.

  71. kevin1989,

    Maisie’s best scene was in the Iron Throne for her goodbye with Jon but I don’t think she got to do much else in ep 6 did she? I don’t remember. Most seasons I watch a few times but not season 8.

  72. Jenny,

    I think she was also angry at the people of KL for being what she saw as fickle and lemmings and wanted Cercei to suffer watching the fate of her people and city.

  73. kevin1989,

    You obviously like Tyrion. It was Tyrion’s script and they went at great lengths to justify what they’ve done by making him Hand of the new king; to show that in reality he’s a good guy, because he thinks well and his intentions are good (never mind that what he did ended up in the death of thousands of innocents). But I won’t discuss the plot again, frankly I’m too bored with it. It is what it is–end of story.
    A large part of the script is inside Tyrion’s head; it’s called POV. We see a very small part of Jon’s POV and none that has to do with the Starks; their farewell scene is almost as if they didn’t want to make it; it’s simple, none or minimal POVs (they failed geography, lol; that’s the commentator’s comment).
    I was rather ironic about the political part. But I’ll translate rather freely what comes through the dialogs. You can take it or leave it, and decide for yourself if it’s sexist or not:

    Sansa ep4: I’m stronger because I was abused.
    Daenerys, ep. 4. Your sister doesn’t like me. Jon: Why? Daenerys: because she was abused. She’s not who she was anymore.
    Tyrion, ep6: Let’s elect the king from now on. Sansa: Why? Tyrion: because you were abused. You know kings’ offspring are abusers.

    Note that the ep6 script has it “Good; He [Bran] will never thrust his awful spawn upon us to rule after he dies”. This didn’t make it to the screen, because it is also sexist and ableist on top of that because Bran is supposed to be crippled. Apparently they desided it was too much to accuse a cripple for the possibility that his children shall be “awful”, so they turned it on Sansa.

    There are some basic misconceptions and prejudices in here that frankly are not of the type that learned and educated men like D&D should fall into. The first is that having been an abuse victim is a reason to make a decision or not, whether this decision is political or not. In this case, it is political, and it is interwoven with the misconception that children of monarchs are twisted crazy lunatics. They’re not; they’re very well bred, usually very well educated and they grow to become at the worst case mediocre rulers (because intelligence is not granted if you’re a ruler either). My country has been an empire in the past with almost eighty emperors, and none of them was crazy. One more thing that one could say about this piece of dialog is that a person stranded in a wheelchair can have no children. So not true! Even in the middle ages.

    My point is, the entire dragonpit scene is superficial as it is. We don’t expect it that it’s Ph.D level; in fact, I only watch TV when it’s not that serious, because my work is serious on its own and I need my mind to rest. But they could have avoided this part and still end up at the same ending they wanted without the abuse/ableist crap.

    The brothel thing; I think they’re trolling us. Smart and experienced? Right. How about: what’s new? – what we always had.

  74. ygritte,

    Yeah, I agree, characters took their own life, but they made the choices they made. The truth is that the way ASOIAF is written, they wouldn’t be able to film without causing massive protests; the amount of verbal and/or literal abuse and violence described is beyond comprehension for those who haven’t read it. Eg. Tyrion’s scenes with Shae, or his first night with Sansa. Note that ST was still a minor when that scene was shot, so they changed it book to show considerably.
    Still, I think they were in love with Tyrion’s wits and they built on that.
    I don’t believe that this is exactly Martin’s ending. I think they kept some, and abandoned some other stuff, like Martin said (and imo Tyrion’s ending is one of them).

  75. Efi,

    Your whole argument is based on idea that Tyrion being Hand at the end was their idea and not something GRRM told them, which obviously isn’t true.

    There is a reason why GRRM creates that connection between Bran and Tyrion in book 1.

  76. Stark Raven’ Rad,

    [About Maisie W’s submission of “The Long Night”]

    “Like you two, I would vastly have preferred The Bells. But if it’s true that some rule says they can’t choose the episode a fellow nominee (Lena) did, 8.03 is almost as good, But there is a consolation: Lena, NCW, and Emilia all chose The Bells. That means Emmy voters must watch it three times. In The Bells, Maisie ran the gamut of emotions AND did serious physical work throughout the episode! So she should be able to make an impression then as well as with The Long Night.”

    ______
    Good point. Also, (I believe) a casual viewer or non-GoT junkie would come away after watching “The Bells” super-impressed by the actress playing Arya, while not so affected by the relatively minimal screen time for Cersei. Therefore, I sort of wonder if Lena Headey – who’s been a mentor and role model to MW – wouldn’t mind at all if her young protege walks off with the Emmy.

    I sense that LH doesn’t covet awards for herself. Has she even attended any of the Emmy awards ceremonies in previous years in which she’s been nominated? To my recollection, she’s been a no-show.

    Nevertheless, I’m convinced that vote-splitting will likely doom the chances of all four of GoT’s Best Supporting Actress nominees. If the preferences of Emmy voters broadly align with those of the viewers, there will be a fervent “Lena deserves it; she got robbed in previous years” segment of voters + a “Maisie was awesome in every way” contingent + “Gwen’s Brienne was the best part of Season 8″ supporters + “The Queen in the North!” partisans.

    One of the two non-GoT nominees will probably take advantage of the vote-splitting and (what I understand to be) a new voting format* to eek out a win. 😞

    * I vaguely recall reading something about replacing a ranking of nominees, with a single selection.

    #VoteMaisie 👸🏻🗡
    #TheHeroOfWinterfell 🏰
    #WhereAreMyElephants!🍷 🧝🏻‍♀️🐘🐘🐘

  77. ygritte,

    Though it is the most likely reason for his alienation of physical affection I do wish they would of had a little conversation to confirm it. The way it was presented, he never even explained it to Dany herself as she continues to approach him and gets upset when he spurns her.

    that bothered me to no end; not just that he wouldn’t explain, but that she didn’t ask. Someone did say that the season would be Shakesperian, and one of the Bard’s themes is miscommunication and misunderstandings. But damn you love each other, talk to each other (but then there is the lack of real chemistry I found in them from their first meeting, so maybe not?)

  78. kevin1989,

    About Dany being buried… I don’t really like the idea. I understand the symbolism but I think it’s much stronger that the last time we see Dany is being carried off by Drogon, to somewhere far away. It’s very evocative. The Eastern threat, vanquished, and being brought back to where she belonged all along. The ambiguity of where will Drogon carry her, what will happen… is much more alluring than to see a proper burial scene.
    A second problem with that scene would be the presence of Daario, which would be distracting IMO. We haven’t seen him for two seasons, and suddenly he appears during a montage…. he would draw too much attention to himself, rather than to the fact that Danny is being buried. (In fact, I’d prefer it if Dany were buried by some faceless figures).
    The third problem is the tone of the final montage. After a rather somber and dramatic episode, the final montage is optimistic, hopeful: spring is arriving, and the Stark children have succeeded, and are about to start their next big adventure. They’re going to life their own life, free from any ties. There is a hopeful, joyful feeling that would be tampered if we were seeing Dany being buried at the same time.

  79. mau,

    It wasn’t an argument. It’s my opinion. I have arguments, and where he ends up is not one of them (it would be tautology). And how come “obviously”?
    I think you’re confusing books and show. Show Tyrion doesn’t have much to do with his book character; in the books he’s still as arrogant as ever, as entitled as ever, thinks the world of himself, demeans and insults people, wants to hurt people. Show Tyrion is nothing like that. In fact, the only thing the two Tyrions have in common is that they think they’re smarter than anybody else, which makes me laugh but it’s not a crime.
    Also, I don’t think he has any important connection with Bran in the books and if he has, I’m not sure it will resurface. But let’s say that it does; let’s say that Bran remembers that it was his brother that pushed him out of the window, what would be Tyrion’s reaction then? Another issue that didn’t matter at all in the show; I doubt it’ll be as insignificant in the books — in fact, a big part of dealing with trauma is to face it so that one puts it behind him, so it will be addressed in the books and its consequences will be unpredectable; there was attempted assassination against Bran, twice.
    Martin is not that obvious. The obvious is never Martin’s answer.
    Where Tyrion is now in the books and his imminent meeting with Daenerys, won’t make him better, therefore it is my estimate that unless something drastic happens, there’s no saving him. But that’s only my estimate and to be honest I don’t care about Tyrion the way I care about the Starks in the books, so won’t whine about him no matter what Martin does with him.
    Show-wise, however, Tyrion’s end doesn’t make sense, period. And they try to justify his ending in the script. That’s what I’m saying. You can find it convincing or not. I don’t -it’s forced. That’s it.

  80. ash:
    ygritte,

    that bothered me to no end; not just that he wouldn’t explain, but that she didn’t ask. Someone did say that the season would be Shakesperian, and one of the Bard’s themes is miscommunication and misunderstandings.But damn you love each other, talk to each other (but then there is the lack of real chemistry I found in them from their first meeting, so maybe not?)

    Regarding chemistry, it was hard for me to see Jon with anyone but Ygritte, and even with Ygritte, he wouldn’t have had chemistry unless Ygritte initiated the playful banter that made Jon uncomfortable. The reason for the banter at the beginning was Ygritte trying to throw Jon off of his game so she could escape. But obviously Ygritte ended up actually wanting Jon culminating in the cave scene. D&D were trying to give Jon and Dany a cave moment with the waterfall, but I really never felt it with them. Once Jon found out about being related, it was almost a relief to me, because it was OK if I didn’t feel the chemistry. Dany was always much more interested in the throne than any man, even though she confessed to Sansa that Jon got to her, since she was fighting “Jon’s” war. I thought Emilia acted in a very “formal” style with Dany’s character as opposed to Yigritte’s character that was truly a “Wildling” who just put her feelings right out there. Dany and Jon needed more time to develop since they both were more closed off personalities. Neither one could help the other open up, so that naturally would take more time to develop.

    Speaking of chemistry, I have to mention Sansa and Theon in episode 2. Man, did they have chemistry when Theon returned. The look that Sophie gave Alfie when he returned (and during the soup scene) had more chemistry than Jon and Dany ever had. I vote for those scenes being Sophie’s finest acting moments on the show, and Alfie was amazing as well. I just love that episode. I may have to go watch it again now.

  81. kevin1989,

    Tyrion will probably have his own deeds, lol.
    “Lord Tyrion of the Lannister works and deeds” by archmaester Samwel Tarly (of course, because Sam wouldn’t give a damn about his best friend, but he’d record the deeds of Tyrion –ok, I’m being poisonous).
    If he were a historical person, there’s no way he wouldn’t be mentioned in each and every history book of the time.
    So that thread of dialog was just for laughs.

  82. Efi,

    A lot of assumptions on your part. GRRM said the ending of major characters will be the same. Tyrion ended as Hand to King Bran.

    What Tyrion does in ADWD doesn’t matter for the endgame. His development is not over. Version of Tyrion we got in that book is not the final version of that character, since he will end up as Hand of the King. And book readers overestimate his dark side. His relationship with Penny is there to start “rehumanisation arc” for him. He will fall in love with Daenerys just like show version.

  83. Tron79,

    When you have Jon’s ending in mind I think the point is that his love with Ygritte was the one. He ended up with free folka after all. His relationship with Daenerys was unhealthy. And almost abusive. Daenerys was not able to develop normal relationship. She was consumed by her God complex.

  84. mau:
    Tron79,

    When you have Jon’s ending in mind I think the point is that his love with Ygritte was the one. He ended up with free folka after all. His relationship with Daenerys was unhealthy. And almost abusive. Daenerys was not able to develop normal relationship. She was consumed by her God complex.

    I agree. Also, Jon at his core was loyal, and I think he felt a loyalty to Daenerys because of the way she risked everything to save him when he went Beyond the Wall. She risked her children for him and lost one of them in the process. This seemed to be at the heart of why he felt so strongly that she was his queen. Commitment and loyalty can be a very important part of love, especially in ancient times and in religion. In modern times, I think we put much more importance on chemistry and becoming soul mates.

  85. ygritte: We are only guessing that Jon couldn’t deal with incest. He never states it as fact nor offers anything than non verbal hints to it. Though it is the most likely reason for his alienation of physical affection I do wish they would of had a little conversation to confirm it. The way it was presented, he never even explained it to Dany herself as she continues to approach him and gets upset when he spurns her.

    I never thought it was about the aunt/nephew thing.
    I thought he would find it hard to forget her reaction when he told her the true facts of his birth and parentage. She froze on him.

    Because her first thought (well, her only thought!) was her claim. Not what he had been through, having his identity kept secret, how he had had to live his life. You would expect her to have some empathy, given her own background, but she showed none. She only cared about herself, her own status.

    I thought her reaction was chilling, and Jon should have found it hard to get past that glimpse of her true nature. The only question in my mind is why he wouldn’t withdraw even more than he did. I could understand it if he couldn’t overcome his physical desire for her, and carried on having sex with her but with no affection, but that didn’t seem to be the case.

  86. Tron79,

    I think Daenerys was very charismatic and inspiring person. A lot of people around her had that moment when they fall in love with that myth about Mother of Dragons.

    For Jorah it was when dragons were born. For Tyrion when she flew on Drogon for the first time. For Daario when he saw her burn khals. Jon definitely beyond the Wall.

    So everyone had that moment when they thought – this is someone really special who deserves to rule the world.

  87. Efi,

    Whether I like or don’t like Tyrion is beside the point. The scripts are always written throughout the eyes of one character, just like the books. Or are the books also about Tyrion because he have some chapters? Some other scenes in the final were written through the eyes of other characters, like Dany, Jon or Arya. So I don’t see how you can say, this was Tyrion’s script. It’s more Jon’s script and second Dany and third Tyrion, everything that happened what connected to Jon, and second what Dany did in episode 5.
    They didn’t justify what he has done. The scripts even show us that he is still tormented by that he helped Dany gain power. And that he doesn’t want the be hand of the King. But Bran did in fact sentence him to that job. And Bran also knew that Tyrion was the best man for that job. Bran doesn’t think in emotions or justice etc, he thinks in what is logically the best, that means having the best man or woman for the job, no matter if others like it or don’t.
    Yes a large part of Tyrion was shown inside his head, why? Because those scenes ask for it, because it matters for the acting part, there were no lines, only facial expressions of what he thinks. With Jon’s part for instance was more direct, didn’t need more explanation. That’s what the scripts are for they are not books that need to explain it to the fans, it are directions for the actors and director to follow. But if this episode was a book, Jon and Dany would have more thoughts, and Jon would end the books with the last POV.

    The abusive part, she didn’t say she was stronger, she said she learned from it and became who she is known, and she knew that that person she is now could help defeat the WW and help with Cersei, the girl she was before not, she saw what she was before, a naïve little girl who trusted others to fast. (And as somebody who was assaulted myself when I was 13 and luckily escaped worse which would have happened if I didn’t push that older boy off me and ran to a group of people I knew, not going into details further not needed for a forum, but I found how people react to that scene as sexist not really understanding what she meant with it and what people have gone through when it happen to them, but that’s just mine take on it)
    About Dany scene episode 4: What’s sexist about that, people who are abused have changed, it’s something that stays with you that always is there. It make you not trust others that easily. Dany know how that feels because that’s something she also went through.
    Episode 6: He didn’t say it like that and you are twisting that scene to make a point, instead of making a point because of a scene. He stated that children of kings can sometimes be cruel, abusers etc like Joffrey. Why should there be a system in place that give those people power to execute that abuse. That people like Joffrey should never have the power to abuse others. So that needs to be stopped, kings need to be chosen by others instead of chosen by bloodline. Do people really think that every king chosen by bloodline was peaceful and that people like Joffrey never existed? They did, some were abusers that should never have been king.
    And that last sentence. Wasn’t he true? Bran will never father a person like Joffrey, probably wouldn’t have fathered a Joffrey but it could have happened. And that scene is not sexist. Sexist is attacking one of the genders, and he didn’t do that here. But I would give the advice to look up kings that were abusers and let their people suffer, and look up their fathers, many were peaceful. It happened, and that’s why that system is flawed. A king or queen can be peaceful but his son or daughter not. And do you blame Tyrion for thinking that after he witness Joffrey as King, and Dany as queen that burned cities to the ground. Both who gained power because they though they belong on the throne because of blood, because their father sat on that aweful throne.

    Your first argument. As somebody who was assaulted and almost raped (luckily I have given it a place as far as it could go, still feel sometimes not safe out of nowhere, most of the time now mental instead of physical), I can tell you that what they did was not wrong (in my eyes), it was not sexist or anything that was out of place. Sansa didn’t state she became better political. She state that it change her into what she is, and that what she is got her through the long night and her people. And she saw that if she was still that naïve little girl, she would have failed, or at least that is how she feels, doesn’t mean that she would have failed. I think she would have learned eventually.
    The second part you also make a big mistake, a bigger mistake then D&D, you think that there is not a single chance that children of monarch can be twisted, in fact many have. Especially in the time the story portrait. Tyrion didn’t state that every child will be an abuser, but that there is still a chance that coin flips wrong. And what if then? That thinking is also the reason why we abandoned full monarchy in most countries where we now elect people who have the power.
    And the brothel thing again, it’s just a joke on the writers part, because it involved Bronn, you watch 8 seasons, you know who Bronn is, fighting and fucking. Now he needs to make sure there is money into the pockets of the royal fault, that means that he goes where he is experience, and that’s the Littlefinger route. Fucking. Don’t overthink that scene.

  88. oierem,

    Agree there. About the optimistic tone. And I think the books will end the same place with Dany. Just gone.

    Efi,

    Martin already stated that the main characters ending are the same in his books and show, only the route to that place. Tyrion is one of those main characters. Cersei and Jaime not in the books. Meaning that Bran will be king, Tyrion will be hand to Bran, Jon will be north of the wall exiled. Sansa will be queen in the north and Arya will sail west. The rest of the characters will probably end differently like Davos, Brienne, Pod, Bronn etc.

    Tron79,

    I miss Ygritte.
    As for Jon and Dany. The first time where I believed their love was in the final itself. At least I believed Dany loved him because how Emilia acted that scene.

  89. mau:
    Tron79,

    I think Daenerys was very charismatic and inspiring person. A lot of people around her had that moment when they fall in love with that myth about Mother of Dragons.

    For Jorah it was when dragons were born. For Tyrion when she flew on Drogon for the first time. For Daario when he saw her burn khals. Jon definitely beyond the Wall.

    So everyone had that moment when they thought – this is someone really special who deserves to rule the world.

    Going with your “god complex” idea, this fits right in (or fed right in to her complex). Everyone around her ended up worshiping her or loving her like they would a religious figure. And in the end, she believed it that she was the one who could decide what was right and wrong for everyone else.

  90. Tron79,

    100% agree the chemistry was there between Jon & Ygritte. The only thing I saw slightly differently from what you wrote, below, was that I thought Ygritte wanted Jon from the outset, though of course she had to try to escape.

    You wrote:
    “The reason for the banter at the beginning was Ygritte trying to throw Jon off of his game so she could escape. But obviously Ygritte ended up actually wanting Jon culminating in the cave scene.”
    _____
    Here’s what I mean…

    S2e7

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lde4qgB3zYY

    Ygritte: “…You’re a pretty lad. Girls would claw each others’ eyes out to get naked with you.
    Jon: “Walk.”
    Ygritte: “I could teach you how to do it.”
    Jon: “I know how to do it.”
    Ygritte: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

  91. Efi:
    kevin1989,

    “…If he [Tyrion] were a historical person, there’s no way he wouldn’t be mentioned in each and every history book of the time.
    So that thread of dialog was just for laughs.”

    Omitting Tyrion is consistent with what Varys told Tyrion back in S2e10, and the recurring theme of how the “official” version of historical events is often an inversion of what really happened (e.g., Rhaegar didn’t “kidnap and rape” Lyanna; Ned didn’t “beat” Arthur D. in “single combat”).

    S2e10, Varys to wounded Tyrion after the Battle of the Blackwater

    Varys: “There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat.The king won’t give you any honors, the histories won’t mention you, but we will not forget.”

    And then in the next episode (I think), coward Joffrey, who had abandoned his army to run to his mommy while Tyrion led the attack, would boast to Jaime: “They know I saved the city. They know I won the war.”

  92. Ten Bears,

    Hummm. I would say she had an attraction. He was a lot cuter than her Warg admirer Orell wasn’t he. I still think her main motive was to distract Jon while leading him to her camp where her Wildlings would ultimately surround him. I will admit she enjoyed the process of distracting him and eventually she did fall for him completely. Jon seems to have that affect on the ladies.

  93. Tron79,

    Speaking of chemistry, I have to mention Sansa and Theon in episode 2. Man, did they have chemistry when Theon returned. The look that Sophie gave Alfie when he returned (and during the soup scene) had more chemistry than Jon and Dany ever had. I vote for those scenes being Sophie’s finest acting moments on the show, and Alfie was amazing as well. I just love that episode. I may have to go watch it again now.

    Saw the same esp on rewatch. So what would have happened if that developed? Or will Tyrion and Sansa get together again, since the dragon queen is gone? Tho I suspect Sansa is finished with such things; maybe not, but Id assume she’d want to rule without any possible distractions or relationships

  94. Grandmaester Flash,

    I don’t know. I’m not sure Dany was preoccupied solely with her claim to the throne. It seemed to me that Dany wanted to preserve her romantic relationship with Jon, who had already disavowed any interest in asserting a superior claim. She correctly predicted what would happen if he told anyone about his parentage, and that revealing his secret would destroy their relationship. He should have said “As you wish, my Queen.” Instead, he ignored her and did what he wanted. Subsequent events proved she was right and he was wrong:

    • (S8e4: Jon withdraws from Dany; Dany begs Jon not to tell anyone)

    Dany: “I wish you’d never told me. If I didn’t know, I’d be happy right now.
    I try to forget. Tonight I did for a while, and then I saw them gathered around you. I saw the way they looked at you. I know that look. So many people have looked at me that way, but never here. Never on this side of the sea.”
    Jon: “I told you I don’t want it.”
    Dany: “It doesn’t matter what you want. You didn’t want to be King in the North. What happens when they demand you press your claim, and take what is mine?
    Jon: “I’ll refuse. You are my queen. I don’t know what else I can say.”
    Dany: “You can say nothing. To anyone, ever. Never tell them who you really are. Swear your brother and Samwell Tarly to secrecy, and tell no one else. Or it will take on a life of its own and you won’t be able to control it or what it does to people. No matter how many times you bend the knee, no matter what you swear.
    I want it to be the way it was between us.”
    Jon: “I have to tell Sansa and Arya.”
    Dany: “Sansa will want to see me gone and you on the Iron Throne.”
    Jon: “She won’t.”
    Dany: “She’s not the girl you grew up with. Not after what she’s seen, not after what they’ve done to her.”
    Jon: “I owe them the truth.”
    Dany: “Even if the truth destroys us?”
    Jon: “It won’t.”
    Dany: “It will. I’ve never begged for anything but I’m begging you. Don’t do this. Please.”
    Jon: “You are my queen. Nothing will change that. And they are my family. We can live together.”
    Dany: “We can. I’ve just told you how.”

    (Later in the episode, Jon divulges his parentage to Sansa and Arya after swearing them to secrecy)

    Jon (to Arya and Sansa): “I need to tell you something. But you have to swear you’ll never tell another soul.”
    Arya: “What is it?”
    Jon: “You have to swear it, before I tell you.”
    Sansa: “How can I promise to keep a secret if I don’t even know what it is?”
    Jon: “Because we’re family. Swear it.”
    Arya: “I swear it.”
    Sansa: “I swear it.”
    Jon (to Bran): “Tell them.”

    (Right after swearing to keep it a secret, Sansa divulges Jon’s parentage to Tyrion, vindicating Dany’s earlier prediction to Jon that “Sansa will want to see me gone and you on the Iron Throne.”):

    ***
    Tyrion: “Her people love her. You’ve seen that. You’ve seen how they fight for her. She wants to make the world a better place. I believe in her.”
    Sansa: “Tyrion. What if there’s someone else? Someone better?”
    _________

    • Wasn’t Jon supposed to admire and emulate Ned? At great personal sacrifice, of his “honor” and his marriage, Ned had abided by his dying sister’s request and didn’t second-guess her reasons or minimize her fear of the consequences of disclosure. Ned kept the secret of Jon’s paternity his whole adult life, and took it to his grave.

    Dany made a similar request, outlining the consequences, and Jon… ran and told his sisters. Just as Dany had warned, Sansa broke her promise to not tell a soul, in order to undermine Dany or get rid of her. (*”Thank you for all your many lessons Lord Baelish. I’ll never forget them.” And she didn’t. 😡*)

    • Imagine, for the sake of illustration, if Ned had treated his sister’s dying request with such little regard because he thought he knew better.

    Here’s the dialogue from the Tower of Joy “Promise Me, Ned” flashback scenes of Lyanna Stark and Young Ned in S6e10 and S7e7:

    (S6e10)
    Lyanna Stark: “Listen to me, Ned.
    If Robert finds out, he’ll kill him. You know he will. You have to protect him. Promise me, Ned. Promise me. Promise me, Ned.
    Promise me.”
    (S7e7)
    Lyanna Stark: “His name…is Aegon Targaryean.”
    _______
    • What if that was tweaked a little bit to mirror the Jon’s behavior in S8…

    Lyanna Stark: “Listen to me, Ned. If Robert finds out, he’ll kill him. You know he will. You have to protect him. Promise me, Ned. Promise me. Promise me, Ned. Promise me.”
    Young Ned: “Well I have to tell my wife Catelyn and my brother Benjen.”
    Lyanna: “No! Catelyn will want to see him gone and Robert on the Iron Throne.”
    Young Ned: “She won’t.”
    Lyanna: “And Robert is not the same boy you grew up with. Not after what he’s seen, not after what’s been done to him.”
    Young Ned: “I owe them the truth.”
    Lyanna: “Even if the truth destroys my son, yourself, and your marriage?”
    Young Ned: “It won’t. I swear.”
    Lyanna: “What happens when people demand Aegon press his claim?”
    Young Ned: “He’ll refuse. I don’t know what else I can say.”
    Lyanna: “You can say nothing. To anyone, ever. Never tell them who he really is! Tell no one else, or it will take on a life if its own and you won’t be able to control it or what it does to people, no matter what you swear!”

    (Lyanna dies. After Ned returns home with Baby Jon, he confides in Catelyn and Benjen):

    Young Ned: “I need to tell you something. But you have to swear you’ll never tell another soul.”
    Cat: “What is it?”
    Young Ned: “You have to swear it, before I tell you.”
    Cat: “How can I promise to keep a secret if I don’t even know what it is?”
    Young Ned: “Because we’re family. Swear it.”
    Benjen: “I swear it.”
    Cat: “I swear it.”
    Young Ned: “Jon’s real name is…Aegon Targaryean.”

    Before long, Cat starts fretting that if anyone finds out they’re harboring a secret Targaryen, they’ll be condemned for treason, and her own trueborn son Robb will suffer. She confides in her lifelong friend Petyr and after swearing him to secrecy, asks for his advice. “You can trust me; I won’t tell a soul“, he assures her.

    Shortly thereafter, Ned is arrested for treason and Little Aegon is found beheaded in his crib. For his “loyalty” to the Crown, Baelish is named Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North.

    • [Alternative ensuing future scenario – because I’m an unrepentant Arya fanboy]:
    Years later, Baelish’s body is found with his throat cut to the bone, looking like a human Pez dispenser. King Robert dies under mysterious circumstances – a witness claims a face-changing little girl impaled him with a miniature sword. The Starks retake WF, and declare the North’s independence from the Seven Kingdoms.

    – The End –

  95. Grandmaester Flash:
    Ten Bears,

    “Take what is mine” – says it all really.

    Right. But Jon was cool with that. “I told you I don’t want it.”
    You are my queen.

    I don’t know why he didn’t defer to her request if she was his queen and he had disclaimed any entitlement to be king. After all, I thought oaths of fealty mean that while you may offer your perspectives and advice, the monarch has the final word.

    Dany, like Ned, had concluded that the best course of action was to keep the secret a secret – from everyone. Sansa and Varys did exactly what she warned against: scheme to get rid of Dany and put Jon on the throne, whether he wanted it or not.

    P.S. I wonder if a shrink would conclude that all of the betrayals, personal losses, and ingratitude Dany experienced triggered a psychotic break, resulting in her “burn them all!” road rage through KL, and subsequent delusions that she had “liberated” the city – and would next “liberate” the rest of the country, “from Winterfell to Dorne.”

  96. Ten Bears:
    Grandmaester Flash,

    Hey! My reply is stuck in Moderation. I wonder why. No expletives or anything that should be flagged.

    If your post is really long then it tends to get flagged as potential spam. However, it does seem to stick certain comments in moderation purgatory somewhat randomly at times.

  97. Mr Derp,

    No. My post (a reply) was not “really long.” It was actually very short. My long-winded 11:57 am comment posted without a problem.

    My brief reply at around 2:50 pm to GM Flash’s one-sentence 2:07 pm response is what’s stuck in moderation.

    I’m not whinging. I’m aware that the algorithms do sometimes seem to stick comments “in moderation purgatory somewhat randomly at times.” I make believe it’s that rascal The Lord of Light up to his old tricks.

  98. Ten Bears,

    Sue the Fury herself said that long posts are usually the cause of ‘moderation purgatory”. That’s why I mentioned it. I assume she knows what she’s talking about. I didn’t imply that all of your posts are long or something.

    And I also did mention that sometimes posts that aren’t long still make their way to purgatory, so it’s hard to always have an explanation for why some posts don’t show up right away. It’s happened to me many times.

  99. Young Dragon:
    Alfie Allen finally submitted The Long Night as his episode.

    Really? I was sure it was going to be the previous episode. Wasn’t it Episode 2 in which Theon said something to Bran like “I once took this castle from you. Now let me defend it”?

    Come to think of it… I don’t remember any speaking lines by Theon in “The Long Night.” He was firing arrows at zombies, got that “You’re a good man” send-off from Bran, and then after running out of arrows did that kamikaze charge at NK.

    I’ll have to check the transcript of Episode 3. (Except for Sandor and Arya, my recollection of characters’ dialogue isn’t reliable.)

  100. Mr Derp:
    Ten Bears,

    “…And I also did mention that sometimes posts that aren’t long still make their way to purgatory, so it’s hard to always have an explanation for why some posts don’t show up right away. It’s happened to me many times.”

    That’s why I blame the Lord of Light.

    All lords are c*nts. Can’t see why the Lord of Light should be any different.”

    – S. Clegane, Information Technology Specialist

  101. Ten Bears,

    Theon tried to apologize to Bran, but Bran cut him off saying, “Everything you’ve done brought you to where you are now. Where you belong. Home.”

  102. Ten Bears

    I see one big difference between Ned’s promise to Lyanna and Jon’s not quite promise to keep his parentage secret from his sisters: Lyanna was Ned’s sister and she had never given him any reason not to trust her wholeheartedly; Dany had already acted less than trustworthy about that very subject by only considering how his parentage affected her claim.

  103. Young Dragon,

    Ah right.
    I thought Theon/Alfie really shone in two scenes in S8e2. Highlighted in bold are his best lines, in my view:

    Theon S8e2
    (Theon arrives in WF great hall)

    Theon: “My queen.”
    Daenerys: “Your sister?”
    Theon: “She only has a few ships, and she couldn’t sail them here. So, she’s sailing to the Iron Islands instead, to take them back in your name.”
    Daenerys: “But why aren’t you with her?”
    (Theon looks over at Sansa)
    Theon: “I want to fight for Winterfell, Lady Sansa, if you’ll have me.”
    (Sansa walks over to Theon and hugs him.)
    _____

    (At war council, in front of map)
    ***
    Bran: “…We need to lure him [NK] into the open before his army destroys us all. I’ll wait for him in the Godswood.”
    Sansa: “You want us to use you as bait?”
    Arya: “We’re not leaving you alone out there.”
    Theon: “He won’t be. I’ll stay with him. With the Ironborn. I took this castle from you. Let me defend you now.”

  104. LadyGoodman,

    Well, I kind of addressed this in my reply that’s been stuck in moderation since 2:51 pm, along with two attempted repostings at 4:53 and 5:15. I don’t want to clog up the thread – or bore you – by repeating myself. 😕
    You correctly noted that unlike Ned, Jon never actually promised Dany to keep his mouth shut. My thought was that since Dany was Jon’s queen, he should have respected and deferred to her wishes.

  105. I think this about the only time I’ve disagreed with you Ten Bears .

    I think Jon wanted his sisters to know that their father had not betrayed their mother. I doubt Arya cared as she adored Jon but Sansa treated him like her mother did. Ned lied to keep Jon alive. It was necessary to lie to Cat so that she would treat Jon with disdain instead of love which could have drawn attention, plus they were newly married and didn’t know each other well. Jon promised nothing to Dany so was not breaking an oath.

  106. Ten Bears,

    It doesn’t matter whether Jon was “cool with it” or that he didn’t want it. What matters is that Daenerys didn’t give a twopenny damn how he felt about it. Time to back away slowly, Jon.

  107. Grandmaester Flash,

    Oh, I guess my reply was paroled from moderation purgatory. 😬.

    Anyway, even if Dany didn’t give a hoot how Jon felt about keeping his mouth shut…Isn’t that a monarch’s prerogative? He stupidly “bent the knee” when he didn’t have to. (And kind of fudged on that when he told Sansa he gVe up his ceown in order to obtain Dany’s armies and dragons.) Once he uttered “you’re my Queen”, whether it was his brain or his Johnson talking, could he simply ignore her wishes?

    Besides, it did turn out that her fears were justified. Sansa tried to “press his claim” and get rid of her via Tyrion, and Varys tried to do so with persuasion and with poison.

    Question: What was so imperative that Jon had to tell his sisters contrary to Dany’s wishes and warnings? “I owe them the truth” doesn’t cut it.

  108. MotherofWolves,

    Well, you may be right about Jon’s reasons for telling his sisters.

    If only the scene didn’t abruptly end after Jon said to Bran, “tell them.” I really wanted to see their reactions and his explanations. If he “owed them the truth” to honor the memory of their father so they’d know he wasn’t an adulterer and pretended Jon was his bastard to protect him, I guess that’d be a good reason – although neither sister seemed to hold it against Ned that he’d been “unfaithful” 15-20 years ago.

    This is all speculation, isn’t it? So is the reason for Bran’s insistence to Sam, “we have to tell him.

  109. Young Dragon:
    Alfie Allen finally submitted The Long Night as his episode.

    Sort of off-topic question about Theon & Co. in “The Long Night”, if anyone knows the answer:

    I read somewhere that Alys Karstark was with Theon and the Ironborn in the Godswood, and she (presumably) died defending Bran.

    I did not see Alys with the Ironborn protecting Bran. I did not see her die. Did I miss something?

  110. Ten Bears:
    Anyway, even if Dany didn’t give a hoot how Jon felt about keeping his mouth shut…Isn’t that a monarch’s prerogative? He stupidly “bent the knee” when he didn’t have to. (And kind of fudged on that when he told Sansa he gVe up his ceown in order to obtain Dany’s armies and dragons.) Once he uttered “you’re my Queen”, whether it was his brain or his Johnson talking, could he simply ignore her wishes?

    No, you’re missing my point. I’m not talking about her wanting him to keep his mouth shut. I’m talking about her reaction to his revelation. It was all about her.
    She was devastated that someone else was the next Targaryen heir. This is the man she’s supposed to be in love with, yet all she cares about is him “taking what is hers” – even though it’s actually not hers.
    And worse – she does not give a single thought to what he’s suffered, the situation he’s been in throughout his life because of the secret of his birth. That’s not how you treat the person you love.

    I was SO happy when he stuck that knife in her. I cheered so loud the dog ran out of the room 🙂

  111. I completely understand why Maisie submitted “The Long Night.” Obviously Lena was going to submit “The Bells” — which, yes, is the episode that best showcased Maisie’s acting, however, TLN has a lot more than I think some are remembering because of how memorable killing the Night King is.

    She has the entire Library scene which was a silent masterclass in acting. In addition, there’s the contrast between her bad-ass, fearless fighting on the parapet with her weapon contrasting with her scared, out of her mind, running through the halls later. Also, the fighting to save Beric scene, and then dealing with Beric’s death, reacting to Melisandre’s words, when she was still reeling from the events with the wights, Beric’s death, before returning to her confident, sure self when asked what one says to death. That calm reply showed us an Arya back in business: “Not today.”

    And. of course, killing the Night King.

    So, yeah, Maisie Williams may have had a heckuva lot in “The Bells” that showcased her acting brilliance — which the voters will see thanks to Lena’s submission — but her work in “The Long Night,” is nothing to shake your head at.

    I’m in strong agreement with all of the other submissions, especially, NCW’s — “The Bells” I feel was the only episode that truly allowed him moments to shine as opposed to providing him the opportunity to shine the light on a co-star (mainly Gwen Christie) — and Emilia Clarke (she went through so many range of emotions in TLOTS). The one submission I do not understand is Sophie Turner’s. She may have the most screentime in “Winterfell,” but there was just nothing stand-out in that episode, and it was just… yeah, not… just no. I don’t get it.

  112. JenniferH,

    It seems to me – as others have posited – that the nominees in the same category purposely selected different episodes so there’d be no overlap. Of course, I have nothing to back this up. 😉

  113. Ten Bears: Sort of off-topic question about Theon & Co. in “The Long Night”, if anyone knows the answer:

    I read somewhere that Alys Karstark was with Theon and the Ironborn in the Godswood, and she (presumably) died defending Bran.

    I did not see Alys with the Ironborn protecting Bran. I did not see her die. Did I miss something?

    I noticed her marching with Theon to the godswood and I remember seeing her in the circle protecting Bran. I don’t think we saw her when she died but everyone in the circle died so I have to assume she didn’t make it.

  114. Grandmaester Flash,

    Gotcha. True, “yet all she cares about is him ‘taking what is hers’ – even though it’s actually not hers.”
    It must’ve been unsettling that her whole life’s narrative and basis of her sense of entitlement were wiped out, and at the same time strangers weren’t automatically fawning over her and giving her the “Mhysa” treatment. You’re right though: She didn’t seem to care that Jon’s life narrative had been destroyed as well.

    I can’t say “I was so happy when he stuck that knife in her.” Nor did I “cheer so loud” that my bird woke up and flew out of the room. [That happened during “Hardhome” when I spontaneously yelled at the TV, “Listen to Edd! F*ck the glass! Get outta there!”. My poor bird got spooked and flew into the kitchen.]

    Anyway, I figured Dany’s bravado back in S2 (I think) when she told that merchant in Qarth (?) that “I will take what is mine by fire and blood!” signaled that she might have an impulse control and self-entitlement problem. Her “plan” to respond to the Masters’ bombardment of Mereen in S6e9 by killing all their soldiers and returning all of their cities to the dirt (until Tyrion talked her out of it), and then the “kneel or fry”, take-no-prisoners ultimatum in S7e5 followed by the unnecessary Tarly barbecue, showed she was capable of unnecessary brutality. So it’s not like I didn’t see the firebombing of KL coming.

    It was when it didn’t seem to register to her that she’d incinerated children, and then trumpeted to her armies that they’d “liberated” the city and got them psyched to “liberate” the rest of the country, that it was undeniable that she had gone off the deep end and someone was going to have to put her down. Too bad it fell to Jon to do the deed, after Tyrion was the one who planted the seed.

    Thanks Tyrion.

  115. Tron79: I noticed her marching with Theon to the godswood and I remember seeing her in the circle protecting Bran. I don’t think we saw her when she died but everyone in the circle died so I have to assume she didn’t make it.

    Aww. That’s a shame. So all Alys got was three words in one episode (“Now and always!”). She didn’t even get her own death scene like Ned Umber or Lyanna Mormont; and wasn’t shown getting wightened during “The Long Night” or laid out on the funeral pyre in the next episode.

    I thought…she was going to be Tormund’s post-Brienne rebound gf.

  116. Ten Bears: Aww. That’s a shame. So all Alys got was three words in one episode (“Now and always!”). She didn’t even get her own death scene like Ned Umber or Lyanna Mormont; and wasn’t shown getting wightened during “The Long Night” or laid out on the funeral pyre in the next episode.

    I thought…she was going to be Tormund’s post-Brienne rebound gf.

    I have to say I couldn’t help but notice her whenever she was on screen so she must have some star power. I was hoping as well she might have a larger role or at least a few more lines. I think she was victim of only having a few episodes left in the series.

    I’m going to have to checkout her other roles. Megan Parkinson has the lead role in the channel 4 drama Ackley Bridge. Looks like at least one season might be on amazon.

  117. Tron79,

    I started watching and It looks like Megan Parkinson doesn’t start on the show until sometime in season 2. It’s a high school drama (Ackley Bridge)

  118. ygritte:
    Efi,

    I think they would have ended it differently than George but were obligated to stay faithful to his ending. Which means, they were between rock and hard place because they had already taken own creative license with characters that veered off from George planned conclusion. Unfortunately their characters took on a life of their own and then seemed kinda thrown into an ending that didn’t match what we know of them from before.

    Lots to agree with here.

    The ending was a creative disaster and a good part of it was that the characters and storyline seen over the years could not work with this ending. Because of the execrable ending, the final season and to some extent GOT as a series failed provide a satisfactory emotional experience for the general audience. (There are some people that will like anything and some that will honestly like the ending we got.) This is why it is both a critical and a fan failure. I think the industry values the effort and money spent and are more sympathetic to creative failures than the audience and critics.

    Just to report that I am a 14 hour flight from my usual base – the persons here that spoke with that saw GOT are disgusted/bewildered by Season 8.

    For GRRM books, S8 ending may work because his characters are different. He also has the creative sense to further adjust the characters to fit, if he is going with same end. Unless he is contractually bound, he also can change his ending if he wants. Why not?

  119. rewatching episode 4 – the convo between Dany and Jon was heart breaking; she was right of course, it did destroy them. Wonder if there was another way around this. Maybe Jon could have kept the secret like his dad did? But thats not him.

    BTW did anyone figure out the big deal with Varys rings? I get they probably had poison in them. Why take them off if he knew what was coming?

  120. Grandmaester Flash,

    he was devastated that someone else was the next Targaryen heir. This is the man she’s supposed to be in love with, yet all she cares about is him “taking what is hers” – even though it’s actually not hers.
    And worse – she does not give a single thought to what he’s suffered, the situation he’s been in throughout his life because of the secret of his birth. That’s not how you treat the person you love.

    I am sympathetic tho – she’s dreamt this since she was a baby, and just assumed the throne was hers. Then she finds out the man she loves has a better claim. Her background was what trumped her love for him. Not sure there was anything that would change that.,

    Tho I always thought it odd – she wanted the throne, she wanted to make the world a better place, she wanted to rule, but she didn’t know how. Dealing with the people of Mereen, the shepards and others who hold her in awe, probably felt easy to her. But her interactions with Sansa showed that she didn’t get people, her assumptions that the people of westerous were going to see her as a savior were totally off. She just did not have the experience and background to know the first thing about what she was going to do. There was no other ruler around that could be a model, a mentor. (her brother and Drago certainly didn’t help) What she ended up doing was truly horrible – but I can see how she came to the conclusion.

  121. Ten Bears,

    Ha!

    JenniferH,

    he has the entire Library scene which was a silent masterclass in acting. In addition, there’s the contrast between her bad-ass, fearless fighting on the parapet with her weapon contrasting with her scared, out of her mind, running through the halls later. Also, the fighting to save Beric scene, and then dealing with Beric’s death, reacting to Melisandre’s words, when she was still reeling from the events with the wights, Beric’s death, before returning to her confident, sure self when asked what one says to death. That calm reply showed us an Arya back in business: “Not today.”

    I was thinking the same. Thats the one I would have chosen for her, and not just for the night king.

    I saw Alys there as well; wish there was more for her to work with.

  122. Grandmaester Flash,

    I remember how after S7 her stans convinced everyone in fandom how happy she will be about Jon because she will have family lol

    These people always refused to see her for what she was. She was always just LF and Cersei but with more empathy and with far more God complex.

    Cersei was always honest about herself. She knew she was hated and she knew she was evil person and she accepted it. On the other hand Daenerys was desperate for everyone to love her and she thought she has some moral high ground.

    She was just another corrupt politician and the fact that she never realized how full of shit she was made her dangerous.

  123. Ten Bears,

    Yes! Thanks for the reminder Bears! I remember I was puzzled when I first saw that scene, and I did make the connection of what Joffrey said with what Varys said.
    I have two things to point out here. First, what Varys said isn’t true. Tyrion was veeeery high-born, son of the Hand Tywin L., brother of a queen, acting Hand, later master of coin, I think, so there’s no way he wouldn’t be mentioned in the official recording of Westerosi history.
    So the dialog you brought to my attention, including that final scene in 8.6 seems a bit off. However, there is a purpose to it, and that is to underline Tyrion’s ambition. The reality behind not wanting sth, or foreseeing sth happening/not happening, is usually the opposite. That’s what this scene is about and esp in season 2 it serves to make Tyrion mad at being sidelined and overlooked while he believes he deserves better. So it’s character development. The last scene in 8.6 imo is the writers playing. I don’t mind it, I had a good laugh and that was its purpose.

    (there’s a very blatant example of this literary trope in the books; Jon thinks about the lady in the tower whom he doesn’t want. In the most serious literary analyses I’ve seen it’s taken to point out that that’s what he really wants; he wants a highborn lady, well bred and beautiful, while all along in his mind he argues in favor of what’s-her-name sister of Mance’s wife).

  124. Hi Watchers, been staying away for a while to try to come to terms with my disappointment over how everything went down in Season 8. I’ve come back to read every now and again, but it’s this discussion that’s dragged me back into the fold.

    So many interesting and insightful comments: it’s been a great read.

    After thinking loads about the ending (and reading the script), I really wish they had done at least one thing differently.

    I wish that during the Dragonpit scene, when Grey Worm was demanding justice for his queen, that someone (my mind is on Sansa) would have stood up and asked “And what about justice for the men, women and children burned alive? What about seeking justice for the city slaughtered even after the army defending it surrendered? What about justice for the unarmed prisoners of war you murdered?”

    I wish that Bran, now that the decision was in hands, had agreed that Jon would be tried in a Westerosi trial to answer for his actions. But that as soon as he had been judged and possibly sentenced, Grey Worm would stand trial as would all the other Unsullied and Dothraki for their crimes against innocent civilians. If Daenerys is to receive justice, then so too should every man, woman and child butchered at her command by Grey Worm and his men. Would he still seek justice then?

    I really wish that scene hadn’t cut away during he discussion about what happened to Jon. I really wish that after he spent the entire show fighting for them, first against the AOTD and the NK, and then in killing the woman he loved to protect everyone from her tyranny, that his own people would have had his back. Sadly, he was a tragic outcast till the end. It felt so hollow.

    If he had been freed, his choosing to go north and join the Wildlings would have been so much more meaningful to me. I feel his story ended in tragedy. As Jon is my favourite character, I have been so saddened by the ending.

    I used to write Fanfiction in my teens and early twenties. I think I’m going to have to come back to it one more time to doctor the script just so I have my alternative head canon to fall back on 😂

  125. Ten Bears,

    For me the best scene from him in season 8 was not a scene where he spoke. It was his endscene. His facial expression when Bran said “You’re a good man” was just perfect. Acting is for me not only dialogue, many great acting scene have not a single word spoken, it’s even more difficult, words can lead you how to act, without it takes more skill.

    mau,

    Agree with you here. And for her the people of KL are not innocent, they are the ones that have chosen the tyrant Cersei. She is under the impression because of Merreen that the people can take their own choice in their own hands, they had a choice, choose Dany and be a good innocent person or do nothing and chose Cersei and that means they are not innocent, they don’t want her paradise that she wants to build.

  126. kevin1989,

    Tien! I don’t see how we see things differently.
    You described what I’ve said with much more words.
    They. used. abuse. to further. the plot.
    End of story. Each and every thing that you’ve written proves it. You can find another name for it, if you want, apart from sexism and ableism.
    I understand they wanted to address some things that were left pending in the previous seasons. The wording was unfortunate at best. And I think it cost them that the scripts fell victim to the insane security measures. There should have been reviewers, perhaps a woman. Women tend to have much more sensitivity on these subjects and would have picked up these points and suggested changes.

    “Without LF, Ramsay and all the rest, I’d have stayed a little bird all my life”.

    The reference is of course to her early innocence and naivety. They called her little bird at court which meant for most of them that she was innocent to the point of stupidity. All I’m asking is this: why this phrase instead of, let’s say:
    “You’re right; perhaps I should have gone with you. But I survived; no one will ever hurt me again; I am strong now”.
    Note that there’s a probability that the initial script didn’t have this stupid wording, but changed it to screen to make it more edgy, like they did in ep.6.

    The Daenerys scene. As you said –allow me to interpret a bit more consicely– it falls within a larger narrative perspective of the creators. Meaning, they chose the personal story of Daenerys, instead of the political one. Other contributors in this panel already discuss how Daenerys’s story in season 8 is a personal one: what she wants, what she feels, how she hurts.
    Daenerys sees that Sansa is too hard to bend and won’t fall for her charms and inherent sweetness. She attributes this not to the fact that Sansa wants the North free, but to the possibility that she’s distrustful of people because of her abuse. Which is probably true; Daenerys is not exactly projecting here, but they’ve had the same experiences, and Daenerys is certainly distrustful, but Sansa’s issue is the freedom of the North and so she says clearly in ep.2:
    “What about the North? It was taken from us, and we took it back. We said we’d never bow to anyone else ever again. What. about. the North?”
    (btw, excellent piece of political dialog, very dense and meaningful; another moment like this –two actually– were between Tyrion and Varys, I’d want more of this but, ugh!)
    In ep. 4, Daenerys chooses to see the personal side of Sansa’s distrust. This is consequent with their dialog in ep.2, where Daenerys tries to approach Sansa with a type of “female collegiality”, meaning that they should have an understanding because they’re both women. But that is not true. Sansa wants the North independent, and Daenerys has relinquished that independence. For Sansa, it is not personal at this point, it is political; Daenerys is a conqueror in her eyes.

    So there are certain choices made and that part of the DP scene could have been written otherwise and not make it personal about Sansa’s abuse. Eg:
    “Cersei was mad; Joffrey was mad; Robert didn’t care. Why should we give this kind of power to someone mad or to someone who doesn’t care? We should elect our king from now on”
    The entire part could have changed to not involve personal issues, Sansa’s or Bran’s or whatever.

    Someone I really respect for his/her mind who had predicted much of the ending already in 2013 wrote about Jon Snow: “until the evil empire is defeated, it’s never too late to join the Resistance; especially if you’ve worked in sanitation”.
    This is the more true of Tyrion. He joins the resistance in the 11th hour. Sorry, not convincing. It was a silly twist, and that’s my opinion, I’m not trying to convince anyone.
    Tyrion by now has the most POV chapters in the books (49 according to Wiki); he’s beyond question the author’s favorite character and M has admitted he’s partial. Jon follows with 42. Tyrion was one of the initial core characters. Then these characters became the core five, the four Starks and Daenerys (or as M calls them “the children”, because they’re very young). M explicitly stated that the story is about the children and he intended to put a five-year interval after the war of the five kings so that they are older after that, but then changed his mind about it. Tyrion is not one of the children, but he’s still M’s favorite and apparently he’ll be crucial in the development.

    So, all I’m saying is that we know everything about what motivates Tyrion, we know most about what motivates Daenerys, but we don’t know anything about wtf motivates the Starks. And this imbalance is beyond clear, it’s offically recorded in the script of ep.6. On screen we didn’t even see how the Starks react to Jon’s parentage. The secret that was the most guarded in the books and in Westeros’ fictional world turned out to be of no significance for those involved with it (well, apart from Daenerys).

  127. ash,

    He probably thought that they melt with fire, lol. Plus, these things in the middle ages were inherited, transfered from person to person, they put them officially in their will and were used even for payments. Rings of any type (even simple copper ones) were very valuable so it makes sense that he took them off. Perhaps the girl that was feeding him with information would take them and make a future from them. (if I’m not mistaken she was one of the children of WF).

  128. Efi,

    Does it matter that it further the plot it their message is: A system that make it issuer for abuser to abuse others should be abandoned! Personally I think that’s a great message, such a system should not be encourage and make replace for a system that make sure abuse happen less.
    And as for Sansa’s sentence in episode 4. I still not seeing the problem in the nature of the story. See what we got in this story already in the first episode of the show and we keep on watching, it happened a lot in the first season(s) and now in season 8 it’s a big problem. Why did people even further watching the first season if that was such a problem, but the show gained even more viewers! And another thing is that people tend to label that scene as “making excuse that abuse is good” because that’s something that scene that not portrait. Sansa make it clear what happened to her was horrible and should not have happened. The question is why she made the point that she rather be how she is now, instead of the person she was before she had that trauma. The answer is simple, it has nothing to do with making excuse for abuse, because if that was the case I would attack the writers myself after what happened to me when I was 13, nothing should excuse abuse. What she did was making it clear that if she had the choice again she would do again, because she rather want to suffer herself and let her people live through the long night, instead of the other way around, her not going through that and let her people die. Which made it clear to me that Sansa became a person that put others before her own interest. Now the problem is, so abuse is needed for somebody to be stronger? The answer is no, the show did not tell us that. Many became stronger in other ways, or even became weaker because of abuse. What it tells us that Sansa saw who she was as a child, naïve who trusted others too easily and being manipulated by all, and that her horrible journey learned her to not trust others that fast, the only difference is with Dany she learned to trust a handful like Theon. And if still this is a problem, that problem doesn’t lie with season 8, but with season 1 and 2, and first 2 books, where the Joffrey abused her and LF made his plan. Already there was the story establish that Sansa will learn from those trauma’s to become who she will become in the end. Like they decide that Arya become who she become by watching her father being murdered and her stuff in harrenhall. Bran being a cripple, Jon being a bastard.
    Comment continues in another comment.

  129. Efi,

    It was always personal with Dany, her political agenda follows from that. Her abuse from her brother, her husband raping her the first weeks after which she falls in love with him (Stockholm syndrome), her husband protecting her from her brother because of the power he possesses. Drogo wanting to give her the seven kingdoms, giving her love by showing he give her power. It was always combined with her love and power, by power you gain love, that’s what she has learned. In season 2 she learned not to trust others with Xaro. In season 3 she freed the slaves because of personal issues, her being sold herself as a slave to Khal Drogo, that personal trauma made her work for the freeing of others that befallen what she had befallen as a young girl. Her freeing slaves is personal is already shown how she took over Astapor, she wanted the slavers to feel powerless and show her own strength before freeing the slaves. That same thing happen in Yunkaii, she wanted to let the slavers feel powerless and same with Merreen. And her power freed the slaves and the slaves gave her love she seeks. And that is what also happened in season 8, her showing her power with her dragons in the long night she expected love, she expect that once she sits on the throne she will get the love of the people, but she didn’t get it, they didn’t love her on this side of the sea, they didn’t need to be freed like the people in Essos needed to be freed. She became what she fought.
    I’m going too far into Dany’s character back to what you wrote. Yes that scene was amazing in episode 2. From Sansa’s powerplay, to Dany manipulating the conversation. Her fake laugh etc. but that scene is not conflicting with her episode 4 scene. That scene in episode 2 was also very personal for Dany. She wanted Sansa to believe in her, believe in who Dany is and what Dany stands for, it was political fueled with personal issues, especially with Dany. You can see that how Jorah pushed her to Sansa, that was personal, and the scene after where Sansa received love from Theon, was also very personal. And why should two woman always understand each other? Did Dany and Cersei understand each other? Gender has nothing to do with understanding each other. It’s our personality and believes etc that make us understand each other.
    And true they could have had it handled in another way like you said. But you forget one thing, it was not about convincing everyone at the meeting they already were convinced. It was about convincing Sansa at that moment. If that sentence you wrote was the sentence spoken by Tyrion Sansa wouldn’t have listened. She needed to hear the hard truth, the truth she lived, she understands, she lived with Joffrey, making a personal call back to her past convinced her.
    Comment continue again in another comment.

  130. Efi,

    As for Tyrion joining the resistant at the eleventh hour is a wrong assumption, he joined it in episode 7×05, but not fully as Sansa stated in 8×04 because he is afraid of Dany what she will do if Tyrion is by her side. He failed to change Dany to do the right thing.

    As for the motivations, I’m really excited to read that once the books came out. I think if the books came out before we would understand the reasoning already, those are very difficult to put to screen.

    And I see the hound wouldn’t like me that much, I talk to much.

  131. mau,

    Ten Bears: Anyway, I figured Dany’s bravado back in S2 (I think) when she told that merchant in Qarth (?) that “I will take what is mine by fire and blood!” signaled that she might have an impulse control and self-entitlement problem. Her “plan” to respond to the Masters’ bombardment of Mereen in S6e9 by killing all their soldiers and returning all of their cities to the dirt (until Tyrion talked her out of it), and then the “kneel or fry”, take-no-prisoners ultimatum in S7e5 followed by the unnecessary Tarly barbecue, showed she was capable of unnecessary brutality. So it’s not like I didn’t see the firebombing of KL coming.

    Yes, absolutely! I had her down as a wrong’un from early on, and I can’t understand why so many people seem to think she suddenly went bad at the end.

    ash: I am sympathetic tho – she’s dreamt this since she was a baby, and just assumed the throne was hers. Then she finds out the man she loves has a better claim. Her background was what trumped her love for him. Not sure there was anything that would change that.,

    That’s not true though. She wasn’t the (presumed) Targaryen heir since birth – Viserys was. She only stepped into that position after he was murdered by her husband.

  132. Daenerys’ desire to rule over millions because she feels entitled to it shoudn’t be romanticized IMO. Her fans for decades tried to rationalize her power lust, they said she just wants home. But she could have had home with Jon is she wanted. But she wanted power. And she wasn’t honest enough to admit that to herself. It’s not about home, it’s not about birthright(she knew she doesn’t have that after 802), it was about power all along.

    So in a way, Cersei was a better person than Daenerys. She never tried to hide behind ideology and big words. She never tried to find some “reason” behind her ambition. She wanted to be queen and she was. The end. As LF said – Only by admitting what we are, can we get what we want.

    And I find it poetic that Cersei was the first and the last Queen of the Seven Kindoms.

  133. Grandmaester Flash,

    Ok, yes, thats right, sorry. Still once he died that was her goal. But she seemed to have inherited the same attitude as her brother ‘give me my crown!’ And on my recent show rewatch, that line of ‘I will take whats mine with fire and blood’ (and variations therin) happened again and again, and increased in frequency. So by the time of her convo with jon, thats all she could think of.

    Che,

    Hee, post it here, I’d love to see it. I do disagree with them sending jon off – I kept thinking of the old Briar Patch story ‘no no Mr Fox don’t throw me in the Briar Patch; hee, born and bred in the Briar Patch’. Its where jon wanted to go and where he belonged. Do agree with you tho about justice for the ones who died, and Grey Worm was certainly responsible for much of it. There wasn’t time in the episode for a trial, but much could be assumed if someone had made that call.

  134. Efi,

    Perhaps the girl that was feeding him with information would take them and make a future from them. (if I’m not mistaken she was one of the children of WF).

    I did wonder that; she’d be the one to clear off the table….

    kevin1989,

    I do see your point; but I think if that were the case, then the wording should have been different ; Efi’s suggestion of ‘You’re right; perhaps I should have gone with you. But I survived; no one will ever hurt me again; I am strong now” would have been perfect. And I see her point, having a few other writers review the script would have helped a lot. Hell, a few other writers would have kept them from making many other mistakes besides that one!

  135. Ten Bears:
    MotherofWolves,

    Well, you may be right about Jon’s reasons for telling his sisters.

    If only the scene didn’t abruptly end after Jon said to Bran, “tell them.” I really wanted to see their reactions and his explanations. If he “owed them the truth” to honor the memory of their father so they’d know he wasn’t an adulterer and pretended Jon was his bastard to protect him, I guess that’d be a good reason – although neither sister seemed to hold it against Ned that he’d been “unfaithful” 15-20 years ago.

    This is all speculation, isn’t it? So is the reason for Bran’s insistence to Sam, “we have to tell him.

    Bran, the all seeing, knew that Jon would not be able to keep that truth from Dany or his sister;s, thereby setting up the events that put HIM on the throne.

    Bran the Broken? More like Bran the Schemer.

  136. Che,

    • Hi Che! Good to see you back!

    • I like your thought about a scene that should have been included, i.e.:

    “After thinking loads about the ending (and reading the script), I really wish they had done at least one thing differently.

    I wish that during the Dragonpit scene, when Grey Worm was demanding justice for his queen, that someone (my mind is on Sansa) would have stood up and asked “And what about justice for the men, women and children burned alive? What about seeking justice for the city slaughtered even after the army defending it surrendered? What about justice for the unarmed prisoners of war you murdered?”

    • Not just because I’m an Aryaphile, I wish Arya had jumped on that bandwagon too and called out Grey Worm and his “queen” for massacring unarmed civilians.
    After all, Arya was on the ground and ran the gauntlet through Dany’s Inferno. She witnessed first hand women and children being turned into charcoal briquettes.
    Plus, one of the reasons I found Arya’s character so endearing from the outset is that she wasn’t a class snob. She befriended so-called “commoners” and often seemed to be the only one who cared when they were victimized:
    She intervened when Joffrey was torturing Mycah, and was heartbroken and angry when Mycah was slaughtered. Nobody else seemed too bothered by his death – including Ned. And Arya never forgot about it, and sought justice for his death. (Though Sandor wasn’t culpable, at least not in the eyes of the gods.)
    She never forgot Lommy. (SC: “What the f*ck’s a Lommy?” AS: “He was my friend.” … “He [Polliver] killed my friend!” SC: “I don’t care if he ate your friend.”) She got justice for him too. (“Fine little blade. Maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it.” Bye bye, Polliver, you loud mouth child-killer and would-be child rapist.)
    She befriended “gutter rats” like Hot Pie, who started out as a bully and became a sweet, loyal friend who stuck his neck out to try to help her.
    She asked a bastard blacksmith to be her family, and tried to intercede when Melisandre bought him from the Brotherhood. (“You’re a witch! You’re going to hurt him!) And of course, she had no compunctions about bedding him.
    When she was a Lannister concentration camp inmate, she witnessed villagers subjected to rat bucket torture and decapitation by the Tickler – and used one of her three Jaqen IOUs on him.
    She tried to save that mother and daughter in the streets of KL, only to see them both incinerated.
    Finally, it never made a difference to her that Jon was a “bastard.”

    So yeah, I wouldn’t have minded if your scenario had Sansa and Arya reprise their tag-team from S7e7, and seek justice “justice for the men, women and children burned alive.”

    After all: “There is no justice in this world unless we make it.” – Sansa Stark

    • I had a follow-up to your comment that you”re “try[ing] to come to terms with [your] disappointment over how everything went down in Season 8.” It involves baseball analogies that might bore you, so I’ll post that separately or not at all.

  137. Che,

    “I used to write Fanfiction in my teens and early twenties. I think I’m going to have to come back to it one more time to doctor the script just so I have my alternative head canon to fall back on 😂”

    _____
    Please do! I’m looking forward to your script doctoring! (Do I need to start a petition? 🤔)

  138. Efi,

    (Replying to Kevin1989 at 8:40 and Efi at 8:22 am)

    Sorry Kevin. No offense. I’m with Efi on this one. I cringed when I watched this exchange between Sandor and Sansa in S8e4:

    Sandor: “You’ve changed, Little Bird.
    …None of it would have happened if you’d left King’s Landing with me. No Littlefinger, no Ramsay none of it.”
    Sansa: “Without Littlefinger, and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a Little Bird all my life.”

    The way that came off, made it sound like if she had not suffered torture and rape, she would not have evolved – as if being a human punching bag and pin cushion turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

    I don’t buy it. Efi is right: They could’ve used a woman in the script supervision department – and on the writing team. Girls – and boys – don’t need to be victimized and re-victimized to develop character. Abuse and assault are traumatic, and not some kind of catalyst for a phoenix-like transformation into a “stronger” person. This misconceived notion has been been debunked, not to mention overused.

    Two other (in-universe) things that bothered me about that exchange:
    • As we know, even when he’s acting chivalrously, foul-mouthed, gruff Sandor Clegane has never been Mr. Sensitivity. Calling Sansa “Little Bird” and telling her that she would not have suffered if she’d come with him when he offered was his way of trying to show compassion and empathy. As Efi observed, Sansa could have and should have responded to that overture instead of deflecting it.
    • In S6, Brienne and Sansa commenced an almost identical conversation about Sansa’s initial refusal to go with Brienne when she first offered – which would’ve spared Sansa from LF’s stupid marriage “plan” and Ramsay’s sadistic treatment. Yet, Sansa’s response to Brienne did not suggest there was any upside to her experiences with Littlefinger and Ramsay. To the contrary…

    (S6e2)
    Brienne: “What happened at Winterfell?”
    Sansa: “I should have gone with you when I had the chance.”
    Brienne: “It was a difficult choice, my lady. We’ve all had to make difficult choices.”

    Why didn’t Sandor receive the same acknowledgement? Why not tell Sandor, “Yes, in retrospect I should’ve gone with you when I had the chance”?

    Sorry for the long rant. I guess I’m fed up with the fallacious “beating and rape made me a better person” empowerment device.

  139. kevin1989,

    “And why should two woman always understand each other?”

    They shouldn’t always get into manufactured catfights and squabbles either. Why are there so many bromances and adversaries-turned-allies among men on the show, e.g., Jon & Sam, Jon & Tormund, Stannis & Davos, Tyrion & Bronn (S1-S4), Tyrion & Jorah, Sam & Jorah, Jaime & Bronn – and yet, distrust and backstabbing seem to be the default setting for the ladies? That’s not how I’ve seen women and sisters interact in real life.

    I loved the Sansa & Arya reconciliation scene at the end of S7e7. I liked Dany’s chats with Missandei. I don’t understand why scenes like that were the rare exception.

  140. mau,

    Agree with this.

    ash,

    Well my biggest issue with people having issue with it, that they become fan of this show, when that issue was there already in episode 1 of the show. The way Viserys talked about letting Dany being raped by all the Dothraki and their horses. Her falling in love with her raper (which I think is more aweful and disrespectful of people who have been assaulted and raped than Sansa’s word in 8×04). Somehow Sansa’s words are more horrible by many fans than the love of Drogo and Dany which is even being adored by many female fans, and stated as a power couple etc. For me (as somebody who have been assaulted and luckily escaped rape which happened if I didn’t fought back) have no issue with Sansa’s words in 8×04 she didn’t say anything that support rape and assault, even when some overreact that it is. But that “love story” of Drogo and Dany have a very bad taste with me, not perse the way the show portrait it because I saw that it was a clear case of Stockholm syndrom, but how fans and the media portrait it as a power couple etc, it was not, it was a horrible relationship that should not be encouraged.

    And personally that alternative sentence Sansa should have said, would not have made sense with the point that the writers tried to made, as Sophie Turner already explained after the airing of episode 4. That was being said by a very active Feminist who defended that scene.

  141. Che,

    You have a point there with having justice for the people of kings landing. Wasn’t that Dany’s ultimate goal, which Grey worm supported. The well-being of the downtrodden.
    But maybe Sansa etc feared that that would end in battle if they pushed grey worm to fast.

    Ten Bears,

    As stated before, Sansa fears what would have happened if she stayed that naïve little girl. Could she have saved the people then? Kept the north together and make sure they survived the long night? Her ultimate goal in the end was the safety of her people and the survival of the north. Which her suffering made possible. Like the suffering of Arya made it possible that she became a skilled fighter if that horrible shit didn’t happen to Arya she wouldn’t have become who she became, and the suffering of Jon made it possible to be a good leader etc. GoT was from the beginning a show about suffering and how people change from suffering, and that suffering is always mirrored of who that character was. Arya always wanted to be a fighter and somebody who was adventurous so her suffering was about that. Jon always wanted to be a leader and help people, so his suffering was about leadership and bringing people together. Sansa was in the beginning a naïve little girl which would do anything for somebody she fell in love with, so her suffering was about that naivity with the person she was in love with, Joffrey. Who later abused her and she changed the opposite. So that issue with Sansa’s arc is there already in season 1. I agree that I personally have more with a story-arc like Arya.

    No offence but if you had the notion she felt she didn’t suffer from her torture or rape you misinterpreted that scene hugely. And she didn’t say or made it feel like it was a blessing in disguise. Far from it. I would advise you to read Sophies interviews again after episode 4 aired where she talked about this scene.

    And no offence, why does it have to be a woman in the script supervision department? Why not a man who have been assaulted? And I agree with the re-victimized character development, I wasn’t happy that Sansa took Jeyne pool story in season 5. Her story was about the abuse of Joffrey, being freed from that by LF and being manipulated by LF and at the end she would learn to out-smart him. It was never about the abuse in the books, but about her changing from naïve towards the
    oppositethe smart one and the one manipulating the outcomes. But not for selfish reasons but for protecting her family.
    And agree abuse should not be used to make somebody a stronger person. Most of the time it will result into the opposite, Dany is a good example of that. It didn’t make her stronger, her abuse from her brother and Drogo made her distrustful of others, it had very negative consequences. So I agree there, but once again, Sansa didn’t became a stronger person because of her abuse but because she learned from LF and Cersei and also Ramsay, they all were master manipulators.

    As for deflecting that sentence of sandor. Yes he was compassionate with Sansa. And if you watch that scene closely and the actor of Rory you see that Sandor didn’t receive that answer in a negative way. In fact he seemed relieved that in the end Sansa overcame the horror she went through, when he couldn’t let go of his own horror that he went through.
    About the season 6 scene, agree Sansa didn’t suggest any upside with her experience. Neither did the scene in 8×04 if you understand that scene. Because it wasn’t about Sansa being happy of being abused. It was about that if she had the choice again by going herself through trauma and getting her people through the long night, or the other way around, she would have chosen with what she went through and the survival of her people.

    And I agree, it is being used to much, being beaten and raped made me a better person. That not how it works. It does not empower, in fact it has many downsides that you carry on for the rest of your life. It’s a struggle that you carry with you from the moment it happen, to the moment you die. You never will feel like you felt before it happen. I still see it with myself from time to time, and I was lucky (yes I call it luck that I could get away) that it didn’t went further. I already had problems at school, didn’t want a relationship when I was ready for it because I didn’t trust no one. I still have a problem with people showing power over me even when it’s at work etc So what Sansa and Dany went through is even something that you carry on more heavily. It’s a crack in yourself that will never heal. And I can see that people having a problem with episode 8×04 scene but for me that’s not how I interpreted it how Sansa meant it, I only look at it how I would meant that scene if I look it through my eyes, and for me I felt like what happen to me made sure I could help others emotional better because I understood it better, so I interpreted that scene of Sansa as she meant it as it help her helping others better (through the long night)

    And as for what rape and assault really do I think big little lies put a better perspective of it. It’s not something that made you stronger, it’s something that bring many issues with it that will never heal.

    Ps. I see your point and agree with you at a level, I just interpreted that scene in another way that works for me.

  142. Ten Bears,

    I think the problem is more that there are more male characters on the show. (which I think was a real problem, that luckily is being weighted out with the most interesting characters on the show being female, Dany, Cersei, Arya, Sansa etc for me more interesting than many male counterparts)

    And that scene with Dany vs Sansa wasn’t about female rivalry. If one of the 2 were male it would have been the same outcome. Sansa didn’t trust Dany and felt like Dany wanted only power, she even made concern that Dany uses Jon to gain power. She feared for her family and others, as she addressed a couple of times. And in the end Sansa felt the right thing, something was off. For me I interpreted that sentence what about the north as Sansa testing Dany. How will she react, will she keep an open mind about it, and say something like, we can see that once the war is over, then all is good Dany can be trusted and I was wrong for distrusting her. But Dany have the answer Sansa expected she would give and only strengthened her thoughts about Dany. She wants power and is a danger to the north.

  143. kevin1989,

    “…And personally that alternative sentence Sansa should have said, would not have made sense with the point that the writers tried to made, as Sophie Turner already explained after the airing of episode 4. That was being said by a very active Feminist who defended that scene.”

    ______
    [Re: the scene in S8e4 in which Sansa said to Sandor: “Without Littlefinger, and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a Little Bird all my life.”]

    What point were the writers trying to make?
    What did Sophie explain after the airing of episode 4?
    Who’s the “very active Feminist who defended that scene,” and what did he or she say?

    (I’m not being sarcastic or challenging you. I am not familiar with the intentions or explanations of the writers, Sophie T, or the unnamed active feminist.)

  144. Am I the only one who gets a Sign In screen when I click on the link to the script? I don’t have a username/password so I can’t get through.

  145. Ten Bears,

    Sophie Turner was the femenist I was talking about. Interview with the warp: https://www.thewrap.com/sophie-turner-tony-hale-end-game-of-thrones-veep/

    interviewer: Near the end of the season, there was some controversy over Sansa telling the Hound that her rape and imprisonment had made her mature — people took exception to the idea that her assault and mistreatment was somehow responsible for her becoming a strong woman.
    Turner: I think that absolutely it was not so much the assault — what made her the person she is today, the politician and the manipulator, was the mentality, not the things that she went through. She made a conscious decision to stay quiet, to keep learning, to keep absorbing information from all of these people who are manipulating her or keeping her captive. It’s a wonderful thing to see a sexual assault survivor grow from that, and see her turn into this political leader she is today — but no, the rape is absolutely not a plot device to make the character seem stronger. The sexual assault made her resilient, but by no means has it made her this wonderful character that we see today. It absolutely broke her, and we saw that on screen. But seeing her thriving is so wonderful to see.

    As for sophie what made Sansa stronger was her will to learn not her abuse. And it was her character that made it possible to survive and overcome that abuse, not the other way around.

  146. I try not to place 21st century social morality on a show that, while fantastical, is clearly set in a middle ages style culture. While rape is always abhorrent and thank the gods we’ve evolved as a society, submitting to your husband on your wedding night in that era was considered a wife’s sacred duty and completely normal. Being repeatedly and sadistically brutalized, like Sansa, was not the norm. Therefore, I have no problem calling Sansa’s experience rape in the modern definition of the word but feel less condemnation towards Khal Drogo.

    JMHO and others are, of course, free to disagree.!

  147. kevin1989,

    Thanks for that information. From the interviewer’s question I see that I wasn’t alone in how I perceived that exchange between Sansa and Sandor.

    The interviewer asked Sophie Turner:
    Q: “Near the end of the season, there was some controversy over Sansa telling the Hound that her rape and imprisonment had made her mature — people took exception to the idea that her assault and mistreatment was somehow responsible for her becoming a strong woman.

    I think it was a matter of context. (A more complete recital of the dialogue is reproduced below.)
    – Sandor used “Little Bird” as a term of endearment, while Sansa took it to describe the naive, pliable young girl she used to be. She quipped that Ramsay “got what he deserved. I gave it to him”; when Sandor asked “How?”, Sansa delivered the punchline: “Hounds.” That is what prompted him to say: “You’ve changed, Little Bird.” He was certainly not calling her naive or oblivious.
    – Their conversation started out with Sandor (rudely) saying he’d heard how Ramsay abused her. He then, more politely, said “None of it would have happened if you’d left King’s Landing with me. No Littlefinger, no Ramsay, none of it.”
    – Sansa’s reply was arguably ambiguous: “Without Littlefinger, and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a Little Bird all my life.” I took that to mean it the way the interviewer posed it.
    – Sansa’s words didn’t suggest she’d made “conscious decisions to keep learning, to keep absorbing information from all of these people who are manipulating her or keeping her captive.”The scene didn’t really convey (to Sandor or to me) that”It’s a wonderful thing to see a sexual assault survivor grow from that, and see her turn into this political leader she is today.”
    – I am NOT dumping on the writers or on Sophie Turner. Perhaps a little exposition or demonstration to Sandor of Sansa’s political leadership might have helped avoid misinterpretation, e.g., to show that it wasn’t the victimization by Ramsay and LF, but rather turning the tables on them and dispatching both of them, that evinced her self-determination and marked her ascent to a position of leadership: Something to suggest she was referring to her affirmative actions in eliminating bad guys and attaining the status of Lady of Winterfell, as opposed to just being an assault survivor.
    (Does that make sense? Can you see how Sansa’s final line could be interpreted in different ways?)
    – In fact, I liked how the “Hounds” punchline evoked a chuckle from Sandor. Maybe she ought to have followed it up with some snark about the fate of the other d*****bag. Something like this:

    Sansa: “We beat Littlefinger at his own game. He’s gone too.”
    Sandor: “We?”
    Sansa: “Yeah. I put him on trial for murder and treason. I sentenced him to death. Your little protege carried out the execution. Too bad you weren’t here to see it.”
    Sandor: “Did she use a chicken bone?”
    Sansa: “No. We’re not butchers! She sliced open his carotid artery with a Valyrian Steel dagger and he bled out. You would’ve been proud.”

    *[Sorry for getting carried away. I know this is about the Little Bird 🕊aka Lady of Winterfell 🏰. I couldn’t help injecting a bit of ASNAWP 👸🏻🗡into the scenario.]
    ___________

    (S8e4: Sansa sits down with Sandor after he brushes off a serving girl making a pass at him)

    Serving Girl: “Are you ready now?”
    (He grabs a pitcher and refills his glass)
    Sandor (coldly): “This is my drink.”
    (He growls at her. Rejected, the Serving Girl walks away. Sansa comes over and sits down across from him.)
    Sansa: “She could have made you happy, for a little while.”
    Sandor: “There’s only one thing that’ll make me happy.”
    Sansa: “And what’s that?”
    Sandor: “That’s my f*cking business.”
    (Sansa doesn’t flinch)
    Sandor: “Used to be you couldn’t look at me.”
    Sansa: “That was a long time ago. I’ve seen much worse than you since then.”
    Sandor: “Yes, I’ve heard. Heard you were broken in. Heard you were broken in rough.”
    Sansa: “And he got what he deserved. I gave it to him.”
    Sandor: “How?”
    Sansa: “Hounds.”
    (He laughs)
    Sandor: “You’ve changed, Little Bird.”
    (He takes a gulp from his drink)
    Sandor: “None of it would have happened if you’d left King’s Landing with me. No Littlefinger, no Ramsay none of it.”
    Sansa: “Without Littlefinger, and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a Little Bird all my life.”

  148. kevin1989,

    “No offence but if you had the notion she felt she didn’t suffer from her torture or rape you misinterpreted that scene hugely.”

    Wait, what??? I never entertained that notion. Did I write something that implied I did? If so, that’s certainly not what I intended.

  149. Ten Bears,

    I agree with you. I think more time would avoided the backlash. They could have had another scene with her and for instance Arya talking about. I can understand why she reacted the way she did to the hound. She like him know but it’s still the hound who started the conversation a bit rough. I think if she talked with it with for instance Arya, especially after her first time in episode 8×02 you could see how Sansa relive it in a horrible way personal. And she could explain more that now that she learned from her mistakes she got the north through the long night. What’s her life against the rest? A bit like tyrion in episode 5. It would serve a layer and avoided the problematic response the writers got.

    LadyGoodman,

    Well for me. I’m not having a problem with either storyline. Both scenes were portrait horrible. Meaning that it shows us it’s not normal and should be fought against so that it never will happen again. It’s not something too cheer about. People feel more horrible with such scene then for instance a death of a character for good reasons.

    And I didn’t have a problem with dany falling for drogon. It just portrait Stockholm syndrome in a good way. Like Sansa portrait in 6×09 how it feels when you finally get revenge on your abuser. It shows us how far we would go with it.
    What bothers me more is that dany and drogo was perceived by many and the media as the couple of the century on screen. As this is what love is etc. I heard many woman saying they were the best couple of the show and many other shows. Yes it is something that happen in the middle ages but it should not be encourage as normal.its not. It’s not a power couple it’s a tragedy, a tragedy that happened to much in the past. So yes it happened. But no it should not be encouraged and romanticized by the fans and media.

  150. Ten Bears,

    Sorry for the hard words. Not my intention. But that’s what many reviewers said that they felt Sansa felt like she didn’t suffer and it was all to make her stronger. That was just a wrong interpretation.

  151. kevin1989,

    One more thing about the “S8s4 “Little Bird” exchange between Sansa and Sandor – and then I’ll stop monopolizing this thread:

    • When I wrote that Sandor used “Little Bird” as a term of endearment (right before telling her “None of it would have happened if you’d left King’s Landing with me. No Littlefinger, no Ramsay none of it”), I also wondered if it was a deliberate callback to S2e6, when he saved her from gang-rape and murder during the KL riot, then gently reassured her:

    You’re alright now, Little Bird. You’re alright.”

  152. I was thinking of that scene as well. I think he did care for her. If she did go with him, would he have found Arya? Interesting to speculate what would have happened.

    When Sansa answered Sandor ‘with hounds’ as to Ramsey’s death, I smiled as Sandor was ‘hound’ and Im sure he would have been happy to dispatch Ramsey in this way.

    As far as Sandors rough words at first, he’s not a man that choses his words carefully but says what he thinks. I don’t think he meant it to sound bad and I don’t think Sansa took it that way. I think he is empathetic for her as he was for Arya

  153. ash,

    I agree. Sandor’s “not a man that chooses his words carefully but says what he thinks.” Either he lacks a filter, or else speaks his mind and doesn’t give a f*ck. (I remember when the Brotherhood put Sandor on trial – but only recited Gregor’s crimes – until Arya accused him of murdering Mycah: “You rode him down! You slung him over your horse like he was some deer”, to which Sandor replied: “Aye, he was a bleeder.”)
    … I digress….

    Anyway, I’m sure Ssndor would have been “more than happy to dispatch Ramsay.” He hid his affections for the two sisters behind cruel words and foul language, and yet his actions showed he was protective of them.

    He also had a particular revulsion for men who abuse girls. After “taking custody” of Arya in S3e8, he told her about braving the rioters to rescue Sansa:

    Sandor: “Sulk all you want. The truth is, you’re lucky. You don’t want to be alone out here, girl. Someone worse than me would find you.”
    Arya: “There’s no one worse than you.”
    Sandor: “….There’s plenty worse than me. There’s men who like to beat little girls, men who like to rape them. I saved your sister from some of them.”
    Arya: “You’re lying.”
    Sandor: “Ask her, if you ever see her again. Ask her who came back for her when the mob had her on her back. They would have taken her every which way and left her there with her throat cut open.”

    • I sensed he felt bad that he’d been unable to keep Sansa safe after that, and that she’d fallen prey to sickos who get off exploiting and abusing girls.

    • I’ve watched the last 9 1/2 minutes of “Two Swords” countless times. I thought Sandor’s demeanor changed from mild disdain over Polliver’s non-stop blathering, to (fatal) repulsion the moment Polliver proposed: ““We’ll trade ya. One of our little chickens for one of yours. Give us a go at your friend. Lowell there likes ’em a bit broken in.”)

    Sandor could sure come off like an antisocial, selfish, hardened pr*ck. (His way of saying “Hey! So glad to see you again!” was “You’re a cold little bitch, aren’t you? Guess that’s why you’re still alive.”) He gave a glimpse of his protective instinct in this nice little scene (excerpted from S8e2):
    ***
    Arya: “No, I mean what are you doing up here. You joined the Brotherhood. You went beyond the Wall with Jon. You’re here now. Why? When was the last time you fought for anyone but yourself?”
    (He turns, looks at her, and says earnestly)
    Sandor: “I fought for you, didn’t I?”

    (*Realizes “Damn it! I miss The Hound!”*)

  154. Lena Headey unsurprisingly has submitted “The Bells” for her nom, which features Cersei’s end, with the destruction of King’s Landing.”

    She should’ve submitted S8 Episode 1…

    (S8e1, Cersei greets Harry Strickland)
    Cersei: “Twenty-thousand men, is it?”
    Harry: “Yes, Your Grace. A few died in transit.”
    ***
    Cersei: “Horses?”
    Harry: “Two thousand.”
    Cersei: “And elephants?”
    Harry: “Uh, no elephants, Your Grace.”
    Cersei: “That’s disappointing. I was told the Golden Company had elephants.”

    Harry: “They are excellent beasts, Your Grace, but not well-suited to long sea voyages.”
    ___________

    (Later in S8e1: While Euron dresses, Cersei stands behind chair, wistful and distracted)
    Cersei (sighs): “I wanted those elephants.”

  155. kevin1989,

    “Yes that scene was amazing in episode 2. From Sansa’s powerplay, to Dany manipulating the conversation. Her fake laugh etc. but that scene is not conflicting with her episode 4 scene. That scene in episode 2 was also very personal for Dany. She wanted Sansa to believe in her, believe in who Dany is and what Dany stands for, it was political fueled with personal issues, especially with Dany.”

    Yes I think too it was political fueled with personal issues. You phrase it so well!
    Only I think she tries to make the personal political. It’s as if she’s saying, “look, we’re both women, we both love Jon, so we have common ground. Please like me for it.”
    While Sansa is saying, “you’re taking the North; you’re taking Jon away. Why should I like you?” Sansa’s mo at this moment, before she knows who Jon really is, is political interwoven with personal, because Jon is her brother and he was a king. (imo it changes in ep.4, it becomes clearly personal when she finds out the truth about him).

    Isn’t it funny? Just how much two powerful people can’t reach an understanding to make a better world, damn it! I guess that’s still a desideratum in our days (no one ever made it in the real world, so why would it work in the fictional one?).

    I wrote “consequent”. This means that Dany’s discussion with Jon in ep.4 has references to that talk with Sansa in ep.2 and that her personal becoming political applies also to her relationship with Jon. It’s her modus operandi.
    In the show, her relationship with Jon becomes clearly manipulative to the point of abuse. Dany tries to use their formerly sexual relationship as a means to control him; she wants to be his lover, because that way she believes that he’ll obey, that she’ll favor him with her graces and that he’ll be forever grateful (note that this is the creator’s choice; in the books Dany already knows that sex doesn’t always work to manipulate men –Daario already rejected her after she married Hizdar).
    So, Dany figures out that it won’t work; Jon doesn’t want to be her lover anymore –whether he’s thinking of the incest or whether he doesn’t love her that much is beside the point. So she pulls the emotional card; hear me; see me, see how I suffer, please do what I want, stay nobody for me; don’t tell anyone, it will destroy us (read: it will destroy me). When that doesn’t work, because Jon has a family and he doesn’t want to keep secrets from them, she pulls the authority card: I am your queen, you will do as I say.

    Well, nothing works for Dany –well, apart from the explicit and implicit threats against Sansa.
    Jon won’t keep silent. His sisters deserve to know that their father never betrayed their mother. And he knows that Sansa loves him, trusts him and she’ll have his back, and that Arya also loves him as he is. Neither of them want something from Jon apart from being together as family.
    So Jon decides to become the shield between Dany and his family; he’ll stay beside Dany as a nobody to appease her each time she grows paranoid and threatens his family. He’ll do what she wants; he’ll make her queen of Westeros, he just won’t be her lover.
    We all know how that went.

  156. Che,

    I feel ya. Jon was my favorite as well. It is not the kind of ending I would have ever envisioned for him. The only consolation for me is that by the end of season 8 it didn’t feel like it was fully Jon Snow anymore almost like a shadow of who he was.

  157. Kevin1989: And I didn’t have a problem with dany falling for drogon. It just portrait Stockholm syndrome in a good way. Like Sansa portrait in 6×09 how it feels when you finally get revenge on your abuser. It shows us how far we would go with it.
    What bothers me more is that dany and drogo was perceived by many and the media as the couple of the century on screen. As this is what love is etc. I heard many woman saying they were the best couple of the show and many other shows. Yes it is something that happen in the middle ages but it should not be encourage as normal.its not. It’s not a power couple it’s a tragedy, a tragedy that happened to much in the past. So yes it happened. But no it should not be encouraged and romanticized by the fans and media.

    How is it “Stockholm Syndrome”? It was an arranged marriage, like pretty much all the other marriages seen in the show, and basically no different from Catelyn Tully falling in love with Ned Stark after their arranged marriage. It was complicated by the initial language barrier, that’s true, but Daenerys had Jorah and her handmaids to help her there.

  158. Ten Bears,

    Was maybe a callback yes. But I think it would have been better if we also got a scene with Sansa and Arya or someone who overheard her that she would explain why she said that. The interpretation of that scene was left to much in the air. But I think that’s because episode 4 should have been 2 episodes instead of 1.

    Efi,

    Thank you, and the same can be said to you, you phrase it perfectly.

    And true, even now leaders can’t agree to make things better, it’s still about gaining power themselves most of the time and executing power over other countries. But I’m a optimist sometimes, it’s better then it was 100 years ago, so maybe over 100 years we will be further to a peaceful earth.

    Agree with Dany, but that is a card that is hugely use by woman and also man when they want to manipulate things the way they want to go. Sex is many times the first move, and if that doesn’t work, make it personal about yourself that you suffer. (I’m not saying every woman or man is this way, just some who use this to manipulate their partner) But I think it’s in Dany’s personal treat to do so. She is always manipulative person, she has done it for the greater good in the beginning but she has done it. Look at for instance how she took over Astapor, she manipulated the outcome, it was a good outcome for the slaves but still she has that ability in her. Same with how she killed the khals. Or when people like Jorah, Tyrion, Jon etc were swayed with her. (is that the right word?). Make me think about another scene which I will say at the end, Ten Bears would love that callback.

    And greatly put how you interpreted Jon staying with Dany in episode 5 and 6.

    The call-back I had was that of Arya. episode 3×06. Mellisandre was taking Gendry. ARYA: I don’t like that woman.
    ANGUY: That’s ’cause you’re a girl.

    Look at Dany, all the man are easily taken over by her “presence”, Jon, Jorah, Daario etc And of course the people she saved.
    But the woman saw right through her, Sansa and Arya, they probably saw something that they saw in Cersei too. They didn’t trust her. Another one that wasn’t convinced was Sam, Sam was always one in the show that could easily read a situation. He was the first that knew there was something wrong with the body in season 1. That Craster has a secret he figured it out first of the new guys. He also knew how to get Jon elected, that only could happen if he knew people. He saw something in Dany that others didn’t see, expect Sansa and Arya.

  159. Grandmaester Flash,

    So you think Stockholm syndrom can’t happen in a marriage? It happens also in marriage. She was sold, raped an being a captive. Later she fell in love by her captor Drogo. That love is shown the way she speaks to others that she was in love with drogon in the end. Later in season 7 you get to know that she still suffer from that moment. “I was sold, raped, defiled” etc. She still have big problems that she was raped by Drogo. She still carry that with her the rape and at the same time she loved her raper. How else is this not a case of Stockholm syndrom. Being in love with your raper.
    As for Cat. Did Ned ever raped her? No he even forbid the bedding ceremony. He was as a man should be to his wife. Loving and caring, not forcing himself on her. Ned would never have forced himself on cat if she didn’t want to.
    It has nothing to do with arranged marriage. It also has nothing to do with that in that time it was normal that a man forced himself on his wife. Does that excuse the mental trauma that brings onto the woman? No, those woman still suffered. It all have to do how a man treats his wife. Ned treated his wife with respect. Drogo raped Dany the first couple of weeks. Dany suffered from that mentally.

  160. kevin1989,

    For me it doesn’t work, but as I said it’s only my personal opinion. I don’t like Tyrion in the books, at all! Whenever one of his chapters is coming, I’m like ugh! again???
    Show Tyrion is different, even though I had a problem with his political maneuvers in season 2, because they seemed amoral to me, and his ambition doesn’t sit well with me either. His ambition to be important politically is what drives him to join Daenerys, whereby the personal aspect of his character, meaning his need to be loved and be validated both for his feelings and his intellect is downplayed in the show (that last one not so much but it counted much more in the early seasons).
    Despite the reservations he has (since 7.5 as you already noted) he supports Daenerys until the last minute. He snitches on Varys, he snitches on Sansa and thus he becomes partly responsible for what befell KL. And don’t tell me it’s not his fault. Jon played it by the book; Tyrion didn’t. That’s a huge responsibility, since he’s been with Daenerys for years and knew how she was when she was mad.
    So for me, changing attitude because he found out that Jamie and Cersei died in the end despite his efforts to save them is not convincing.
    If you’re politically savvy, as you claim, you don’t resolve to blatant declarations of resistance on the ashes of a city. If you’re as amoral as Tyrion, you don’t bring an enemy to your own country, and indeed one that has a “nuclear deterrent”, and expect that you’ll have a “peaceful revolution”. That’s contradictive and frankly, it’s stupid.
    For me it would have been more convincing if he played his game as if he still was an adherent of Dany’s “liberation theology”, while at the same time trying to convince Jon to murder her as he did. If, after the catastrophe, he played it like this, he’d still end up in the same place and his new position as Hand of king Brandon would be much more justified and convincing; he’d be one who’s made grave political mistakes but in the end he’d have proved that he was ready to do anything, even resort to scheming and murder, to fix the mess he’s created himself. After all he murdered his father, he fought fiercely for not falling victim to his father’s and his sister’s vindictive handling of himself, so why would he offer himself to Daenerys like that, so openly and blatantly and publically?
    Declaring his objections, thus offering himself to be sacrificed at her majesty’s fiery altar while what he’s done led to this, is hypocritical and unnecessary and doesn’t fit with Tyrion of the previous seasons.
    (btw it would also have worked for me if he thought to himself “this is the ruler I chose; I will stick with her no matter what”. But that would lead to a whole different ending for Tyrion)
    With that declarion at the steps of the Red Keep the show chose to make a hero of him, instead of showing him for what he is. Imo the final product a mix of partiality of the showrunners, sloppy writing and fanservice. In reality they chose to idealize him and speak to the audience through him. That’t why I’m not buying it; all that could have been achieved differently in the same context they decided for season 8.

  161. Efi,

    I agree with you on one point that they whitewash tyrion too much in the show. In the books it’s more logical why he chose Dany. She was a means to an end. And that end was the ending of Cercei. His reasons in the books are more logical than the show where he wants a just ruler on the throne, but why would he care about that when he was sentence to death. Why would he ever want to return. And it make more sense if in the books he will take dany to westeros as a means to destroy cersei. But once arriving at westeros he felt Westeros again. The culture the people etc and he knew he made a big mistake. In essos that feeling is not there. It’s far from home. Once arriving the revenge of cersei takes place for the people again.

  162. Kevin1989,

    I don’t agree with you but I don’t want to argue about it. My position is that the word ‘rape’ is used far too broadly these days. From being brutally assaulted and violated by a stranger in a dark alley to just not being in the mood with your OH.

    We did see Drogo being gentle with Daenerys on their wedding night. In the early days their physical relationship was hampered by ignorance and lack of communication, but that was soon overcome.
    But i’m not going to say any more, that’s my opinion and there it is.

  163. Ten Bears,

    Yes, that was her best line for sure, but in the Bells Lena did the impossible. She made me at least feel a little sorry for her when she met her end.

  164. Grandmaester Flash:
    Kevin1989,

    I don’t agree with you but I don’t want to argue about it.My position is that the word ‘rape’ is used far too broadly these days.From being brutally assaulted and violated by a stranger in a dark alley to just not being in the mood with your OH.

    We did see Drogo being gentle with Daenerys on their wedding night.In the early days their physical relationship was hampered by ignorance and lack of communication, but that was soon overcome.
    But i’m not going to say any more, that’s my opinion and there it is.

    Sorry to say it, but if your partner is not in the mood and you force your partner to having sex, that’s still rape. And in most civil countries the husband can face jail-time for that. If your partner is not in the mood and you are, take a cold shower and not force yourself on her or him, that’s not so difficult is it?

    And I wasn’t talking about if it was “normal” in a certain time. Yes it happened a lot in marriage in the middle ages. It still does unfortunate in this age. What I was talking about is how Dany changed by it, how she became traumatized by it, how it influenced her decision making. Dany suffered from it. She even stated it in 7×03, that Drogo raped her, that she was sold and bought. Why would she have said that? Because that was something she went through, and it wasn’t pleasant. It hardener-ed her in a bad way. And to top that she was still in love with Drogo. Storywise I have no problem with it, it just show us how brutal that time was, and how brutal the Dothraki are. But I have a problem how the media perceived them as a power-couple even when their relationship started with rape. That is not a power couple, that is not to be romanticized by fans and media. There are many relationships in the show that show much more how to be as a husband, like Ned and Cat. Or Sam and Gilly. Or take for instance Claire and Jamie from Outlander, there was no force between them, to both agree, they never forced each other. That’s how you behave, not how Drogo behaved.

    Tron79,
    I cried for Cersei. Or not perse Cersei, I cried for the mother she was, and her unborn child.

  165. For me it doesn’t work, but as I said it’s only my personal opinion. I don’t like Tyrion in the books, at all! Whenever one of his chapters is coming, I’m like ugh! again???

    Actually I really liked him, till Penny got involved then it all went down hill. Loved him in the show but they really hobbled him the last two seasons. He’s world weary and tired and just not really all that smart now.

    Grandmaester Flash,

    My position is that the word ‘rape’ is used far too broadly these days. From being brutally assaulted and violated by a stranger in a dark alley to just not being in the mood with your OH.

    Rape is non consentual, its a violation of someone who has not agreed to this. It has many forms, but its not a range, there is no ‘little bit of a rape’ Its just not a stranger, it can be someone you love dearly. But its still rape if there was no consent

    kevin1989,

    this, all of it.

    Tron79,

    but in the Bells Lena did the impossible. She made me at least feel a little sorry for her when she met her end

    Yes, I agree. Just not sure that will be enough for the Emmys.

    Quote Reply

  166. ash: Rape is non consentual, its a violation of someone who has not agreed to this. It has many forms, but its not a range, there is no ‘little bit of a rape’ Its just not a stranger, it can be someone you love dearly. But its still rape if there was no consent

    There is an undeniable vast gulf between the two examples I gave. I think – no, I *know* that the degree of trauma differs greatly according to the circumstances. Please don’t preach to me about rape.
    I shall say no more on the subject as I know my opinions are unfashionable.

  167. How is anyone able to read the script? When I click the link, a login page blocks me frim reading. And the only way to become a member is to have show business credentials? Literally every news outlet leads to the same place. I am very confused about how you all are seeing the script.

  168. Rewatched the ending of E6 and something occurred to me – The Night King wanted to destroy mankind; The children of the forest created him to do that so their world would be safe. In everything Dany says in this episode she basically is doing the same – she is willing to destroy anyone who do not choose her, and that she will make a good world. Some fans were suggesting back a year or so ago that Dany might turn into the Night Queen. I now think that is correct. Arya killed the NK, Jon killed the NQ, and now the next part is the beginning of making that good world. Maybe Bran can do it? Regardless, the world he and others create will be better than those worlds. One can hope anyway. (putting away my tin foil hat)

    I do wish there were ‘guns’ suggesting Bran’s ultimate role. I do wish they introduced who the other people are (Prince of Dorne?) I do wonder how they will rebuild and what people are there to do so. I want to know what is west of westerous. Ah well. I suspect Bran’s world will not be perfect; so maybe its not surprising that the ending isn’t. I do know that I liked it better than I did, which is something. There is so much to love about this season, so many great scenes great acting. There are episodes that will end up being on my Top ten list. Too bad it wasn’t just a few episodes longer. Then there could have been many more.

  169. singedbylife:
    Ten Bears,

    Dear Ten Bears,

    It appears you only ever remember scenes and lines with Maisie. 😉

    Who me? 😇

    Actually, I remember scenes and lines with Sandor (Rory McCann) too.

    Along those lines… Here are links to “The Cast Remembers” videos of Maisie Williams and Rory McCann. Some of the footage has been used before; some of it looks new. For Arya fans, there are clips of S1 Maisie on set, interspersed with interviews of present-day Maisie.

    Maisie Williams:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8mgTJMqhHY

    Rory McCann

  170. After having skimmed the finale script I can say the writers of Letterkenny would have done a superior job with GOT. Letterkenny is really good, by the way.

    GM can lick my balls.

  171. Tron79:
    Ten Bears,

    Yes, that was her best line for sure, but in the Bells Lena did the impossible. She made me at least feel a little sorry for her when she met her end.

    It was too close to the cavalier killing of Missandei to generate much sympathy in me. I was surprised that viewers responded with any sympathy given that incident (maybe Missy was not considered important enough?) and Cersei’s failure to join the fight against the dead.

    And watching the scene, I wondered what became of the Cersei that sat on the throne preparing herself and Tommen for the worst. I was also surprised that she did not have an escape plan…that would be also standard procedure for a queen. Especially they were expecting to face dragons or the dead, one would think Qyburn/Euron would have something pre-planned. Although Aeyrs did not leave, Rhaella was evacuated during wartime so this option was not unprecedented.

  172. Port,

    Yeah, we downloaded it very early when they gave that link. Then the site forbade access and asks for password.

  173. Mango,

    I actually felt a bit insulted by that, they wanted us to feel sorry for Cersei, really? She beheaded Missandei, she sent Bronn to kill Jaime and Tyrion (yet they inexplicably still love her) and was willing to use her citizens as a human shield. Nope sorry, the fact that she was pregnant didn’t work on me either. Lena confirmed that they filmed a miscarriage scene in S7, but they cut it and altered her storyline, it shows because nobody seemed to know if she was really pregnant or not, and Euron didn’t realise that he wasn’t the father…for some reason. That was not Cersei, she deserved a much better death than that.

    NCW also said that we were supposed to feel anxious during the Euron fight, because Jaime might not reach Cersei, that implies that we actually wanted him to get there at all, I think people were resigned to it at best. The whole thing felt off with those two.

  174. Jenny,

    This. All of this!

    Can I just add that when Tyrion discovers his (*cough* remarkably preserved *cough*) siblings beneath the 3 bricks that fell on them, there was that one horrifying yet glorious moment when I thought he lost his mind and started whacking away at them with a brick much like his cousin with the beetles. I was shocked and then slightly proud, and then immediately realized that he of course was not doing anything of the kind. 😆 I felt like it though…..😳

  175. Pigeon,

    We could be accused of nit picking here, but that whole place collapsed, so Tyrion being able to get in was ridiculous, and half of it was empty. Jaime and Cersei should have stayed in the map room (which was intact) and then crawled through that convenient hole Tyrion found and just walked out.

    I might have felt sorry for Cersei if she died alone like she deserved. She was in denial all season, and finally understood her situation in Ep5, so I get why she was upset and everything, if she died alone, that would have been truly pitiful. But there she was being protected and comforted, despite being the worst person on earth. Nope.

  176. Jenny:
    Pigeon,

    I might have felt sorry for Cersei if she died alone like she deserved.She was in denial all season, and finally understood her situation in Ep5, so I get why she was upset and everything, if she died alone, that would have been truly pitiful.But there she was being protected and comforted, despite being the worst person on earth.Nope.

    Yeah….I wish she’d had more this season. She seemed relegated to staring out windows, and killing off a fairly universally liked character to piss off Dany. And mentioning her invisible baby, which really frustrated me to no end….apparently everyone believes her word that she even is pregnant (I’d never have put it past her to make the whole thing up, and I was more surprised that it was actually true), time passed and more time passed, nothing progressed…and in the end it was (I HATE this term) a kind of plot armour, which didn’t end up mattering anyway. Argh. I love Lena, I wish she could have been given a bit more to work with.

  177. kevin1989,

    Actually I agree with both of you. While we tend to interpret things we see on a screen with modern standards, these standards are greatly overused. Today we acknowledge rape as sth that violates personal freedom and will, it wasn’t so in the past, because the concepts of free will (to be able to choose what you want) and freedom didn’t really exist. For example, if you were a slave in antiquity you accepted that status because that’s how the wolrd worked. One of my students once asked me how is it that people accepted their enslavement, and that’s it, that’s the answer. Of course people might have tried to escape, and then their master would perhaps find him/her. But leaving wasn’t an easy option, because they didn’t have anywhere to go and reaching their homelands was extremely difficult in the ancient and medieval world. So staying and accepting slave status was to them far safer than getting into a dangerous adventure. Plus, living in this state meant daily food and shelter. Kevin, Grandmaester, food, home, shelter, were not a given in any antique or medieval environment.
    And Dany has to face that. A lot of the critique Daenerys as a fictional character has taken by show and/or book fans is exactly this, that she hadn’t predicted what would happen after she freed the slaves. Tyrion I think put it nicely late in season 5 or in season 6. Ok, she abolished slavery, but she must find another system to replace it, and that isn’t true only for the masters, it’s true for the slaves too. Because even being free, they need to eat, dress, sleep under a roof. Freedom is nice, but it’s not eatable.
    Sex and rape are a similar issue. The Dothraki as they are described books and show didn’t really have the culture either of consensual sex or rape. So, someone having grown inside their society wouldn’t call their wild lovemaking “rape”, but someone outside of it might.
    Without doubt Dany was outside of it. She was traumatized by the events, as Kevin very nicely said. She turned the situation around and fell in love with her husband. It’s definitely Stockholm syndrome, but there’s more things at play here with Daenerys. She saw her marriage as a way to escape her brother’s abuse. Viserys didn’t treat her like she was family; he treated her like an object, waiting for her to grow up to sell her to the highest bidder. This is a very traumatising situation for any child. Viserys was a child himself when tragedy befell his family and he was left on his own with a baby sister. He didn’t know how to be a parent; he hardly knew how to be a brother and Daenerys herself acknowledges that. So this relationship between him and his sister was profoundly abusive and problematic, even though there’s no question that they loved each other. The show hinted at this complexity, but it wasn’t possible I guess to give more emphasis to it.
    It is telling that Dany’s and Drogo’s marital relationship begins with consensus that was not included in the show. Drogo wants to fondle her breast, and says “no?” (poor guy, he hardly knew any words of the common tongue! lol) It was a question, and we don’t know what would happen if she hadn’t consented. But she answers “yes”. So Daenerys wanted to go all the way, even if she didn’t know what it meant. I suppose that for her a way to escape the abuse she was suffering was to accept the protection of another man. Drogo was surprisingly tender to her, but as a lover he still operated within his own cultural context at first.
    But there’s even more going on here. In reality by accepting this she’s accepting her role in Viserys’ ambition to retake their home, which she later takes up herself. For Dany, this was the first step to empowerment, and she sacrificed herself for it. It was traumatic, yes, and it cost her her own innocence, but she accepted it and embraced it and used it to her own benefit, and to this effect she herself is responsible for what she became through this experience.
    But she’s a child in the books. If Daenerys was an adult, there’d hardly be any mitigating factors for her. Imo to an extent it was a mistake of Martin to begin with the core protagonists of this story being so young and facing so many traumatic events, but that’s the story he wanted to tell, the story of the children, even if the children behave more often than not like adults.
    So, her monologue to Jon in 7.3 fits well with her experiences and becomes a manifesto of her empowerment; but it seems a bit too much as well, and this take depends on how much each of the viewers will choose to charge her with complicity in her own fate. It also depends on how much each of the viewers will justify her entitlement and acknowledge to her the rightfulness of attributing it to her own abuse as against the abuse suffered by other characters (show and books), e.g. Sansa or Cersei.
    Personally I’d like to think what Jon thought hearing all this, knowing that his own sister suffered the same experiences. The entire dialog of this scene was a masterpiece, imo and it still is at the top of my list of political dialogs of GOT. Dany basically bases her entitlement to the IT on two things, her abuse and her descent. Again for her it’s the personal interwoven with the political, but Jon focuses on the political like he does in the entirety of season 8.
    I need to thank you Kevin for reminding us of this dialog. I hadn’t thought of it so far with these terms, but with what I’ve seen in season 8 it seems like it also fits the showrunners’ choice to make Daenerys’ story a personal one, her fate, personal and political, tightly tied to her personal issues.
    I am not convinced that this is the best approach to her story and there’s no way of knowing how much it will count in the books to lead her to the final attack against KL. But at least show-wise it’s consistent.

  178. Pigeon,

    Well then there was the room where the small council sat – perfectly intact, along with the book of knights (tho I did love that scene with Brienne writing in it)

    Pigeon,

    here was that one horrifying yet glorious moment when I thought he lost his mind and started whacking away at them with a brick much like his cousin with the beetles.

    That was the first thing I thought of when first watching it – he has turned into his cousin!

    Re Cersei – I felt a momentary bit of sympathy, but that passed quickly. She was the worst person in the world

    The whole fight with Euron and Jaime I guess was supposed to be funny? Or suspensful? I was so sick of that character by then, I just found it a sad waste of time.

  179. Jenny:
    Mango,

    I actually felt a bit insulted by that, they wanted us to feel sorry for Cersei, really?She beheaded Missandei, she sent Bronn to kill Jaime and Tyrion (yet they inexplicably still love her) and was willing to use her citizens as a human shield.Nope sorry, the fact that she was pregnant didn’t work on me either.Lena confirmed that they filmed a miscarriage scene in S7, but they cut it and altered her storyline, it shows because nobody seemed to know if she was really pregnant or not, and Euron didn’t realise that he wasn’t the father…for some reason.That was not Cersei, she deserved a much better death than that.

    NCW also said that we were supposed to feel anxious during the Euron fight, because Jaime might not reach Cersei, that implies that we actually wanted him to get there at all, I think people were resigned to it at best. The whole thing felt off with those two.

    Really? Hahahhahaahhaha! Ya kid me!

    I sort of was wondering what demon had taken over Jaime’s body and was pretending to be him. Or maybe he had taken on some water in his brain when he fell into the river and it was now making him crazy.

    As for her asking Jaime about his bleeding – I was puzzled. Did she order a blood-free assassination? Or were we to conclude she was concerned about his health? Or was she checking if the assassin done the job?

    Sometimes I scratch my head and wonder if we are watching the same show as HBO marketing and D&D.

  180. The Television Critics Association did not embarrass their profession by giving GOT the big awards this year. (I do not think TCA gave them any!?, right?)

    Even in a year with such limited competition, they would really be besmirching their profession to have done so.

    Yes, GOT will still win lots of Emmys.

  181. Mango,

    So the fact that critics thought GoT was one of the best shows this year is not enough. They have to think it was THE best. Your mental gymnastic to find a way to shit on Game of Thrones becomes more ridiculous every day.

  182. mau:
    Mango,

    So the fact that critics thought GoT was one of the best shows this year is not enough. They have to think it was THE best. Your mental gymnastic to find a way to shit on Game of Thrones want becomes more ridiculous every day.

    GOT was one of the best shows this year – it has great acting, great music, great cinematography, great costumes and others area….that much is clear.

    It was a weak year – we all know that. Even in a strong year, GOT8 would stand-out on many aspects listed above.

    That does not mean that it was above criticism or that any sensible person cannot see lots of room for improvements.

  183. I think Cersei’s death was fine in metaphorical terms: a woman crushed by the weight of the power she had achieved. But I didn’t feel one bit sorry for her death, even if it’s always sad that a unborn child not guilty of the mother’s sins has to die.

    For me, Cersei is the best work David Benioff e D. B. Weiss have done in the show among what I consider the “main characters” – Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, Arya, Sansa, Bran and Jaime are the others. The character is more nuanced in comparison to the books, with an emphasis in the love for her children.

    She is sometimes presented in a way that can make you feel sorry for her. She claims to have been “sold” to Robert Baratheon, becoming a woman that has always to conform to men’s rules.

    However, Cersei never gets the acceptance of the majority of people around her (excepy Qyburn, Mountain and Jaime) not because she’s a woman. Brienne is a woman doing things usually linked to men and ends up being accepted, because she proves its worth.

    Cersei, on the other hand, wasn’t trustworthy. In fact, she was a bad person since her childhood – her treatment of baby Tyrion (4×07) or the fact that she ordered the guards of Casterly Rock to beat and remove an eye for a servant girl that had touched her necklace, when she was nine years old, prove it. After this stories, one cannot feel sorry when Cersei claims her life was destroyed when she was sold to Robert Baratheon.

    On the other hand, Cersei died as a winner. She has won. She died seeing her enemy doing the deed that led to her own death and ruined her lifework and legacy. The propaganda she has done about the Mad King’s daughter in 7×02 turned out to be true, giving her some moral high ground. In the end, she died in the arms of the person she loved, even if in a toxic way. It was a happy ending for her, well played by Lena. Nothing to be sorry about here.

    Sorry for not replyiing about the Rolling Stones, Pigeon. I didn’t have time to comment these last days. When you have the time, give them a try.

  184. Jenny,

    I think it’s a normal human reaction to feel sorry when someone is suffering, no matter what they did. I felt sorry for Theon. I can’t watch someone suffer and be happy about it. Pain of other people doesn’t give me satisfaction.

    I can be happy when villain die, but it’s obvious that GRRM and D&D didn’t wrote Theon’s suffering or Walk of Shame so people would cheer for that. It was written to question our own revenge lust.

    Is there a normal human who would be happy when sees Cersei’s reaction to Myrcella’s death?

  185. Mango,

    You said you don’t watch other television shows and yet you claim that it was weak year? So how many shows (from those that critics nominated) did you actually watch?

  186. mau,

    I don’t like to see people suffer either, I get very upset by it. I didn’t cheer for the walk of shame, and I felt for her when her children died, I had a lot of sympathy for her back then. I wasn’t even happy to see her die, her death was just inevitable. They attempted to elicit sympathy and failed with me, as I said, seeing her die alone would have made me feel very sorry for her, but as someone mentioned above, she got what she wanted in many ways. Narratively speaking, it just didn’t work for me, I was totally apathetic about it, Jaime is my favourite character, flaws and all, and I didn’t care when he died either, I was emotionally checked out by that point (the Euron fight erased my patience), and probably still laughing at her saying ‘you’re hurt’. You tried to have him assassinated love.

  187. Tiago,

    I really liked Cersei as a character. She made GoT special for me. Her whole story was always made to make you hate her, but then instantly feel sorry for her.

    What kind of person can be happy to see that drunk fool hit her for example? I can’t stand domestic violence. There are no excuses for that.

    So I really loved that at the end the story refused to give catharsis to the audience. They wanted Cersei to have comic book villain death(like Ramsay had) so everyone can cheer for that, but similar to Tony Sopranos’ death the show didn’t give the audience that moment of catharsis.

    I feel that in Cersei’s death, Benioff and Weiss treaed their audiences with more respect than they actually deserve. Fans wanted Thanos’ death, or at least something like LF’s death and they never got that and i really like it.

    And it made me wish that they gave Ramsay a death that was more fitting for the tone of the story and not fan service death they gave him. Ramsay should have been beheaded by Jon.

  188. I can’t foretell the future (wouldn’t I love to know the numbers that will win the lottery in advance!!). I’d love GoT to win numerous awards but I don’t think one can take it as “given” it will win everything, especially taking account of the dislike in some quarters of the final season (albeit I didn’t share the dislike). I thought all the GoT dames put in sterling work but I’d like Lena to win because she has been nominated on other occasions but not won – though that’s just my personal feelings and of course not solely focused on season 8 of GoT.

    To those who are not fond of how GoT finished, you are absolutely allowed to have an opinion but it isn’t the silliest ending I have ever seen. Fair enough the silliest was the end of a season and not of the whole series but back in the 1980s one season of Dallas finished with one of the characters seeing her husband in the shower (her husband had been killed off in the season just ending) and saying something about having a dream that he was dead!!! They had to bring another character who had been written out of the series back to write her out a different way since the previous series had all been “a dream”. I can’t remember now whether it was Dynasty or its offshoot The Colbys but one of them finished a season with a character going off in a UFO. Dallas and Dynasty were both series that started off with some degree of plausibility too – though they will be before the time of some of the watchers of GoT.

  189. Jenny,

    Yeah. I can understand the thematic power of Cersei dying alone as the world falls apart around her. I would like that. But I also like what we got, which was Jaime and Cersei dying defeated and powerless as the world falls apart around them.

    Jaime was also responsible for that toxic relationship and I don’t think he deserved to get away with it. He was always by Cersei side, he always found excuses for the crimes of his House. I don’t think he ever felt sorry for Ned’s death or RW or anything. It was always his typical excuse – we were at war and I fought for my family.

    And ofc the fact that they were born together and that they died together, made Jaime and Cersei’s death even more meaningful.

  190. As for Cersei, Cersei is a very complex character. And if you watch closely you see why she became this “emotionless bitch” in season 7 and 8. She lost all her children, the thing she was warned about, and did everything to stop that. She needs to face that, their deaths, but she can’t. She made a choice, feel that emotion and probably crumple under the emotion, or put on a shield, not feeling that emotion, making the choice of emotionless and doing everything without emotion and pure strategy. It was a coping mechanism. It was also very well acted by Lena. Her scene in 7×01 where you see Tommen’s dead did his toll with her, and she hold that emotion in and she doesn’t want to talk about it. She made an excuse “he betrayed me” just to not feel the loss. the same thing happen in 7×03. She took revenge, but still she controlled her emotion, she let a little bit slip but everything else is being kept inside her. She made that choice again. In 7×07 it happen again with Tyrion, she couldn’t kill him when he stands in front of her, she had the chance but she didn’t take it. Because if she took it at that moment, the emotion would run again about her children, and also deep down she loves Tyrion. In that same episode she also couldn’t kill Jaime when he was in front of her, because once again that would be too personal and emotion would flow.

    8×01. She ordered a hit on her brothers. Why could she do it now? Because it would be far away, she wouldn’t see it happen. She could make that decision strategic and without emotion, she doesn’t know when they are killed, she doesn’t see it. It was a strategic move not emotional, they chose Dany over her. You can say this was personal but it was more, defying your queen, so the punishment is death. It was about winning the war with Dany.
    8×04 again she had the chance of killing everyone there. Tyrion was right in front of her, she could have killed him, she could have killed Missandei and it wouldn’t make a difference in how angry Dany would be. But once again, her brother was standing in front of her, if she would kill him, emotions would erupt, which she kept for so long inside her, meaning she would be weak and lose the war with Dany, and her child would die. So once again she let Tyrion live.
    8×05 she still hold that emotion in it. But then she saw she lost and there was no need for that wall anymore it had no purpose anymore, the walls begin to shatter, and once she is alone and saw Jaime returned to her, the walls broke. She was alone, her child was going to die, and even after what she did Jaime chose her. That’s when the walls broke and Cersei was once again her former self. Not a saint, but not the “emotionless bitch” she was in season 7 and 8.

    And that’s why I cried. Because at that moment she wasn’t the person anymore from season 7 and 8 but she was once again who she was when her children were alive. And even more she was for the first time in the show powerless, and we saw Cersei who she really was without power, and we see a different side of Cersei, a very vulnerable one and finally we understand why she became who she became.

    Efi,

    Nice read. And it seems we indeed think alike. And I though of one thing that I though was a shame that the show omitted was that Viserys was kind first to Dany and a good brother, until Illyrio Mopatis told him or better manipulated him to take the throne. That’s when Viserys changed, when power was entering his bond with his sister.

    And for me I wished Illyrio was more involved in the show like the books. But there was no time in season 5 and 6 for him. (that why I still carry the opinion that season 7 and 8 wasn’t rushed, it was the endgame, it should be faster and more a single storyline, but I still think season 5 and 6 should have been 3 seasons instead of 2. But that’s another debate)

  191. mau,

    It’s a difficult one for me, because the show changed their dynamic a lot, in the book she is the abuser, both physical and mental. He mentions that he would have to ‘turn her blows to kisses’ and after he lost his hand she slapped him, and he instinctively lifted his right arm to block it, but of course it landed because he has no hand. She manipulates him and belittles him, she is disgusted by his arm, he is her possession, when someone showed an interest in him in their youth, she chucked them down a well. She can sleep with whoever she wants, but not Jaime, he had to get Brienne out of KL for fear of Cersei.

    Is Jaime innocent? Absolutely not, he threw Bran out of a window, he would have maimed Arya under her orders after the Nymeria incident, and they have a very dubious idea of consent (both of them) but he is still the victim of that relationship, he doesn’t even remember his first sexual experience. He joined the KG for her (she bribed him with sex and the promise of this magical relationship, she’d have dropped him for Rhaegar in a second) gave up his inheritance for her, all the while thinking that she loved him. She didn’t love him, it’s pure narcissism, he is just useful to her. A big part of Jaime’s storyline, is him coming to the realisation that their whole relationship was a lie, which of course they cut from the show. To see it depicted in the show as this forbidden love makes me feel really uncomfortable to be honest, I have always found it difficult to accept on the show.

  192. Jenny,

    I think there are a lot of misconceptions about his character in the books. Even in his last chapter in ADWD Jaime thinks of being back to Cersei. He is angry because she cheated on him, not because he realized she is an evil woman. I don’t remember in the books that Jaime ever feels really sorry for horrible crimes his house committed.

    It’s shame that GRRM never finished the books but I really don’t see any other end for Jaime. I think he will sleep with Brienne in the books, he will abandon her in more cruel way than he did in the show and then she will die together with Cersei. But if you disagree it’s fine. I don’t want to start discussion about future books, because it’s always s frustrating for me to think about that.

    But in short it was easy for me to imagine Jaime’s chapter being written by GRRM in the last several episodes.

  193. mau,

    Sure we can agree to disagree, although I do agree with you in part so I’ll say one last thing.

    In his final chapter he says something like, ‘I will have to face Cersei one day I suppose, that’s if she’s not dead’ and that was only added because GRRM’s editor insisted on it, she was never supposed to be mentioned. He was becoming disillusioned with her while at KL, they didn’t have sex again after the sept and their relationship began to break down because he was acting against her wishes for once in his life. I think he realised that he didn’t particularly like her before he found out that she was unfaithful (burning the tower of the hand), and he was obsessed by her infidelity to a disturbing degree, he is no angel that’s for sure.

    He doesn’t actively show remorse, but he does feel shame, and he tries to be a better person. GRRM said ‘One of the things I wanted to explore with Jaime, and with so many of the characters, is the whole issue of redemption. When can we be redeemed? Is redemption even possible? Our society is full of people who have fallen in one way or another, and what do we do with these people? How many good acts make up for a bad act? … I want there to be a possibility of redemption for us, because we all do terrible things. We should be able to be forgiven. Because if there is no possibility of redemption, what’s the answer then?’

    Jaime is succeeding the moment, but I do think you are right, he will end up dying with Cersei, either he will kill her first or they just die together. I think he could be an example of failed redemption and that will be tragic, particularly as it will involve returning to or murdering an abuser, the future is grim. I just didn’t think that the show handled it in a satisfying way.

  194. So all of the nominations and continued talk about season 8 got me to binge re-watch yesterday and this morning. I was giving it some distance before doing a total re-watch of 8, and I’m glad I did. I can’t tell you how much better I enjoyed it this time around, especially watching the episodes back to back.

    I’m sorry to some if they think I’m not being critical. I’ve been plenty critical, but these are honest reactions this time around:

    1) This was the season of amazing musical/visual montages. The ending of episode 3 to the “Night King” soundtrack was a choreographed masterpiece.

    2) Dany’s season 8 track didn’t bother me at all this time. It made perfect sense to me that Tyrion kept advising her not to be queen of the ashes, and where did it ever get her? Every time she went the “mercy” route she suffered major losses. It was time for her to let out the dragon (literally and figuratively). I could go on and on about this, but it didn’t bother me at all this time for more reasons than you probably want to read about. Go figure.

    3) Arya’s scene with Jon at the top of the steps in the finale really stuck with me. She didn’t want to lose him too (like Ned), since she knew he would always be a threat to Dany.

    4) Jon finally did one better than Ned when he listened to Tyrion. If only Ned would have listened to Renly when Renly offered his men, but Ned went the noble route. Jon still didn’t budge until Tyrion pointed out that his sisters were in danger. Understanding that he was protecting his family made all the difference.

    5) I still wondered why Jon wasn’t crowned during the ending, but then I saw how shattered Jon was in his scene with Tyrion in the finale. Jon was in no shape to claim the throne, and the unsullied wouldn’t have backed him unless he would have been very forceful about it. He was in no shape to be forceful. He was broken and he stayed broken until he finally let out some smiles with Ghost. ….. this goes into Jon’s ending… It was great to see how the wildling children all smiled at Jon. I didn’t notice that the first time. And Jon smiled back. As he went beyond the wall, he looked around at his new people he was leading and he accepted it. He was actually happy (happy for Jon anyway), but then I could tell he still remembered what he had to do to Dany. He will be broken with the memory of killing Dany for quite some time, but I thought this was a good ending for Jon. He was king beyond the wall with people who were very happy to have him as their king, and of course Ghost was right there with him.

    Conclusion:
    I really enjoyed my two day re-watch (much much more than the first time around).
    I would say I really was hoping to see certain things happen the first time around, and that was difficult to deal with for me. I had many fan theories I wanted to see happen.
    I was bothered by certain plot armor. I still saw the plot armor in episode 3, but it didn’t bother me that much this time. I could take it more figuratively than so literately about our fight with death, and this time we won (barely). I felt tremendous relief when Arya struck the final blow. Everyone was truly F’d when the new dead army rose. Stepping back and just watching it made a really big difference. I didn’t have to wonder whether my fan theory would happen. I could just watch it for what it was and enjoy.

  195. mau,

    “I think it’s a normal human reaction to feel sorry when someone is suffering, no matter what they did. I felt sorry for Theon. I can’t watch someone suffer and be happy about it. Pain of other people doesn’t give me satisfaction.”

    Exactly. And it’s the power of her complex treatment by D&D compared to the semi-cartoonish villainess of GRRM that made us care. And Lena’s acting, especially in earlier seasons where she dominated, absolutely humanised her. I don’t care that she was hit with a tonne of bricks; I care that in her brother’s arms and about to lose her last child, she broke down and showed her naked humanity.

  196. Tron79,

    “It was great to see how the wildling children all smiled at Jon. I didn’t notice that the first time. And Jon smiled back. As he went beyond the wall, he looked around at his new people he was leading and he accepted it. He was actually happy (happy for Jon anyway), but then I could tell he still remembered what he had to do to Dany. He will be broken with the memory of killing Dany for quite some time, but I thought this was a good ending for Jon. He was king beyond the wall with people who were very happy to have him as their king, and of course Ghost was right there with him.”

    All Hail King Crow!

  197. Tron79,

    Funny I did the same, just this last week finished season 8 and I concur, I found it better on second viewing and it does help watching the series from the beginning or at least 7 and 8. Still had a ton of problems with the pace and decisions in the end, the over the top plot armor, leaving a thousand questions unanswered, the strings of so many character threads just dropped and dangling, ; but there were many scenes that I can easily group with other favorite scenes in the show. All the Starks gathered saying goodbye. The convo of Arya and Jon was probably my favorite, Tyrion and Jon….and seeing Jon go through the gate, looking back and smiling, gave me goose bumps. He is where he needs to be (as are the rest of the starks) If you haven’t rewatched, go back to seven and watch both seasons, and see if you feel better, a little. If not thats fine too.

  198. Tron79,

    I liked your comment, nice read. And I agree, it’s so much better on rewatch. It’s different what I expected before the season aired. I expected Dany going full dragon and that was it. How everything unfold was much different then I though before. I expected Cersei to deal before the NK, I had that strange theory that Dany will become the Night Queen and that if the NK was destroyed she would lead the army of the death, luckily that didn’t came true (even when I was a bit mad at first when it didn’t happen).

  199. I had that strange theory that Dany will become the Night Queen and that if the NK was destroyed she would lead the army of the death, luckily that didn’t came true

    I suggested this a ways back – She became the night queen, bringing death to all around her. The Children of the Forest created the NK to kill out mankind to make their world a bettr place. Dany seemed to want the same, destroying the world to make it a better place for her. Arya killed the NK, Jon killed NQ. Its a stretch but I like the symmetry.

  200. kevin1989:
    Tron79,

    I liked your comment, nice read. And I agree, it’s so much better on rewatch. It’s different what I expected before the season aired. I expected Dany going full dragon and that was it. How everything unfold was much different then I though before. I expected Cersei to deal before the NK, I had that strange theory that Dany will become the Night Queen and that if the NK was destroyed she would lead the army of the death, luckily that didn’t came true (even when I was a bit mad at first when it didn’t happen).

    Yes, I had certain things I was hoping for too. I did think the NK would go longer (until the end), but this time all I felt was a huge relief when the NK was defeated and all the dead crumbled. Otherwise, no one would have made it (no pun intended).

  201. ash,

    I hear you. The problems that I noticed the first time around just didn’t bug me at all this time after having some distance. I know that’s odd to say. I had re-watched certain episodes a bunch of times, but I hadn’t done a total season rewatch until now. I will go back and watch season 7, but most likely I will do a total 73 episode binge. I just have to have the time to do it back to back as much as possible. That takes alot of time!! It’s a different experience that way though. I would say season 8 is the season of montages without dialogue. I’m trying to remember back to other seasons, but I can’t remember as many non dialogue amazing montages in one season that have a combination of Ramin Djawadi’s score along with spectacular cinematography as well as emotive facial expressions by the actors (perhaps Winds of Winter Light of the Seven set the tone for what they wanted to do more of in season 8). I was just sitting back appreciating it more this time around. During the final montage, I just couldn’t get over how amazing Sansa looked as she was being crowned Queen of the North (for example). The shot of her in the wolf chair surrounded by the Northman is etched in my brain now. I didn’t really look that closely the first time around. I was more bugged about how it was ending than appreciating what was actually happening. I have never seen Sophie look as amazing as she did during the coronation. I was never a huge Sophie fan during the show, but I’m becoming more of a fan after my rewatch. She kicked butt with making sure the North would never bow to anyone again. I’ve always mainly followed Maisie/Arya and Jaime/NCW more than anyone.

    Since this is an Emmy award thread, I will say I will be happy if anyone of the GOT wins their category. I think they all deserve it. It was a tremendous final season for all of the actors.

  202. Tron79: Yes, I had certain things I was hoping for too.I did think the NK would go longer (until the end), but this time all I felt was a huge relief when the NK was defeated and all the dead crumbled. Otherwise, no one would have made it (no pun intended).

    You know, part of the problem is that we all had so long to construct our own “fanfic” scenarios and tinfoil theories, especially during the long S7-S8 hiatus, that many of us were likely going to be perplexed that the storylines didn’t play out to conform with our speculations. (I too was certain Ol’ Blue Eyes would make his way to KL for a final Living vs. Dead showdown.)
    I’ve found that in addition to or instead of rewatches, by reading transcripts of the episodes I pick up on details I didn’t catch when I was watching the episodes.
    And to the extent the show became so popular that spectacle overshadowed story to please the masses, I can still appreciate the craftsmanship that went into producing iconic scenes – and providing conclusions that George apparently has not yet harvested from his “garden” (or shared with the showrunners). If any of the final season came off as incomplete or wonky, that’s not all attributable to the showrunners.
    I cannot say I was at all let down by the conclusions to the story lines of Arya and Sandor. So selfishly, I can’t complain.

  203. Tron79,

    With rewatch I understood why the NK was defeated halfway through. For a book what was episode 4 till 6 can maybe cover in a much less reading time, Whole of episode 5 that involved Dany herself + the massacre could be told in just one chapter of maybe 10 pages. And another of Cersei’s (or Griff depends who will be queen/King at the moment) for the rest. Meaning just 20 pages, on screen it need to be 80 minutes.

    Same with episodes 4. Part 1 could be 2 chapters, one from Sansa’s perspective and one from Jon or Dany. what was 50 minutes on screen will be just 2 smaller chapters.

    I know things will be different and also the journey, just merely showing the difference between the mediums. What we saw in season 8 can be covered so much faster in writing. What was shown in earlier seasons the other way around.

    Ten Bears,

    Lucky guy you are of having Arya as your favorite. That storyline was just brilliant in season 8.

  204. Ten Bears: You know, part of the problem is that we all had so long to construct our own “fanfic” scenarios and tinfoil theories, especially during the long S7-S8 hiatus, that many of us were likely going to be perplexed that the storylines didn’t play out to conform with our speculations. (I too was certain Ol’ Blue Eyes would make his way to KL for a final Living vs. Dead showdown.) I’ve found that in addition to or instead of rewatches, by reading transcripts of the episodes I pick up on details I didn’t catch when I was watching the episodes.And to the extent the show became so popular that spectacle overshadowed story to please the masses, I can still appreciate the craftsmanship that went into producing iconic scenes – and providing conclusions that George apparently has not yet harvested from his “garden” (or shared with the showrunners). If any of the final season came off as incomplete or wonky, that’s not all attributable to the showrunners. I cannot say I was at all let down by the conclusions to the story lines of Arya and Sandor. So selfishly, I can’t complain.

    Yes, and I had a bunch of theories and hopes. Usually D&D went the more straightforward approach. And you’re right that it was such a long wait between seasons, all we had was time to think about the possibilities.

    I also really enjoyed Maisie’s performances in season 8. Her scenes with Jon were so well done. Selfishly, I wish they would have had 30+ minutes of her fighting with her stick spear. She looked so convincing, and I loved Davos’ expression when he saw her take out all those wights. Sandor did save her from herself at the end. When Maisie says her goodbye with Jon, and Jon says”you have your needle”, I just about lost it. And that’s the scene I mentioned to you in a previous post somewhere that Maisie actually has a tear roll down her face when he says that line. Are there things I wanted them to explore with Arya and the FM. Oh yes, but I wasn’t in the writing war room, so I didn’t get a choice on those decisions. With a little distance I was able to sit back more and enjoy the show. I hope this happens to others who are fans and some of the anger disappears a few years from now and they can take another look.
    That being said, it should be a great Emmy year for GOT.

  205. kevin1989,

    Lucky guy you are of having Arya as your favorite. That storyline was just brilliant in season 8.”

    ______
    Yup! And Maisie Williams killed it in S8!
    Her farewell to Sandor will probably be one of my favorite all time moments.

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/4uT_t6B-Zi8/hqdefault.jpg

    While watching S8e2, at first I was shocked when I realized they were actually going to show
    Gendry and Arya hooking up. But she was so good it wasn’t awkward at all: Take charge, in control Arya cutting through the bulls*it and getting what she wanted. (No wonder Gendry lost his head and proposed two episodes later. )

  206. Tron79,

    “…Her scenes with Jon were so well done. Selfishly, I wish they would have had 30+ minutes of her fighting with her stick spear. She looked so convincing, and I loved Davos’ expression when he saw her take out all those wights.”
    —–
    Me too! Despite the 1 hour, 30-minute length of Episode 3, I understand that they had to “squeeze” in scenes for all of the cast members assembled at WF. Some of the best shots were blink-and-you-missed it. (I barely got a chance to enjoy Sandor’s reaction when Arya shot a DG-tipped arrow into the wight about to jump on him…when the scene cut to someone else.)

    The only thing I kind of disagreed with, after watching the video of the cast’s S8 table read and reading about the directorial interpretations, was the decision to have Arya materialize out of thin air to stab NK – instead of tracking her racing over rooftops, sneaking past the WW lieutenants, and leaping off a pile of zombie corpses to fly into NK. I guess they figured a “Gotcha!” moment would appeal to the audience.

    I am NOT complaining. If anything, extended interior sequences like Arya vs. library wights and even the Melisandre pep talk were icing on the cake – and a welcome respite from the pandemonium outdoors.

    #VoteMaisie

  207. Ten Bears,

    I have to say even though I knew Arya was coming I did sort of forget about her as I got caught up in all the other action. It was a well done gotcha. I’ll give them that.

    Arya was awesome and consistent in season 8 with being able to sneak up on people. Sansa started off the season by saying Arya was probably lurking somewhere when Jon asked where she was. Arya’s scene in the finale when she shows up next to Jon on the steps was my favorite sneak up moment knowing how difficult that would have been to accomplish.

    So I have one last thought if I was writing fan fiction which is inspired by my recent re-watch. I realized Tyrion’s flaw in the last two seasons was seeing the world the way he hoped it would be. He was living in a dream world with thinking the best about people (such as believing Cersei would actually send her army North). Sandor on the other hand knew how the world really was, such as telling Arya that Cersei is dead whether the dragon gets her or a Dothraki gets her. He knew immediately that Cersei was dead already, just like he knew the farmer and his daughter were already dead.

    In my fan fiction, Tyrion would have been smarter and realize that sending Arya to kill Cersei would have been the best way to avoid the slaughter of KL. Why not try that first? Dany would have had nothing to lose and Arya would have gladly done it.

    But in the real world, Tyrion didn’t really want to see Cersei dead. I suppose the core issue for Tyrion was that he still loved his family above all else and it clouded his advice after seeing the massacre of his fellow Lannisters in Spoils of War.

    So in the end I am more than happy with Sandor helping Arya see there was more for her than vengeance. I agree that Sandor’s tender scene with Arya in the map room was a strong contender for the best scene of the series.

  208. Ten Bears: You know, part of the problem is that we all had so long to construct our own “fanfic” scenarios and tinfoil theories, especially during the long S7-S8 hiatus, that many of us were likely going to be perplexed that the storylines didn’t play out to conform with our speculations. (I too was certain Ol’ Blue Eyes would make his way to KL for a final Living vs. Dead showdown.) I’ve found that in addition to or instead of rewatches, by reading transcripts of the episodes I pick up on details I didn’t catch when I was watching the episodes.And to the extent the show became so popular that spectacle overshadowed story to please the masses, I can still appreciate the craftsmanship that went into producing iconic scenes – and providing conclusions that George apparently has not yet harvested from his “garden” (or shared with the showrunners). If any of the final season came off as incomplete or wonky, that’s not all attributable to the showrunners. I cannot say I was at all let down by the conclusions to the story lines of Arya and Sandor. So selfishly, I can’t complain.

    Arya had a very decent storyline – not completely excellent but more than adequate. (That ridiculous jump and kill with her little knife diminished much of Jon’s whole life purpose.) The other characters simply did not get similar treatment. Arya is a favorite of mine but that does not change my perspective on the S8 as a dismal narrative effort by two writers that HBO subscribers were paying.

    I like Bran very much but I was dismayed when he made King without a good storyline to support it. Bran should have had significant screen time/storyline for S7 and S8, maybe even from to S6, laying a foundation to his ascent.

    Bran and Sansa should have more story to build for their end point. For example, at the end of S7 were had lots of screen time spent on the Cersei/Jaime fight and then we had scene of Jaime riding off. That final scene was a longish one with him stopping to observe the snow on his glove and it had great music etc as we watched snow fall on KL. This entire scene was a waste of time. Jaime’s departure had no importance for the story or his character or anyone else. Further, the quarrel scene with Cersei should also have been shorter as it was also of no importance in the story. Where should that time be spent? On Bran and Sansa – the elaboration of their scenes in Winterfell and establishing them as leaders etc.

    This emphasis should have continued in S8 with these two….we should now have memories of stunning leadership scenes involving Bran and Sansa.

    For me it is not only about what happened to a specific theory or character – the entire narrative needed restructuring to get to end we saw. Instead in S8, we got the sudden destruction of characters arc (ones that built the success of GOT) instead of the completion of the ascent in the story/character arcs of the key individuals for the end game.

  209. Dame of Mercia:
    I can’t foretell the future (wouldn’t I love to know the numbers that will win the lottery in advance!!).I’d love GoT to win numerous awards but I don’t think one can take it as “given” it will win everything, especially taking account of the dislike in some quarters of the final season (albeit I didn’t share the dislike).I thought all the GoT dames put in sterling work but I’d like Lena to win because she has been nominated on other occasions but not won – though that’s just my personal feelings and of course not solely focused on season 8 of GoT.

    To those who are not fond of how GoT finished, you are absolutely allowed to have an opinion but it isn’t the silliest ending I have ever seen.Fair enough the silliest was the end of a season and not of the whole series but back in the 1980s one season of Dallas finished with one of the characters seeing her husband in the shower (her husband had been killed off in the season just ending) and saying something about having a dream that he was dead!!!They had to bring another character who had been written out of the series back to write her out a different way since the previous series had all been “a dream”.I can’t remember now whether it was Dynasty or its offshoot The Colbys but one of them finished a season with a character going off in a UFO.Dallas and Dynasty were both series that started off with some degree of plausibility too – though they will be before the time of some of the watchers of GoT.

    Hahhahahaa!

    I actually remember that “the whole season that was a dream” ……Yes, I am as old as dirt.

    I would put Season 8 of GOT in the same level as that in terms of making sense. Although GOT makes me more annoyed than the “dream” as they had many other good options in GOT.

    And GOT is pay TV. That was free TV.

  210. Mango,

    I hear what you’re saying about Bran. In my re-watch I realized the king really was just a figurehead. The iron throne was destroyed for a reason. The last thing anyone wanted was a strong King who may want to rule the world again. They actually wanted a king who was somewhat irrelevant. Hence Bran. He was a good history teacher but he was leaving day to day rule to his council. Tyrion and Sansa who were both major characters throughout the series ended up with the most power. Tyrion ended up with the most headaches as well.

  211. Tron79,

    “In my fan fiction, Tyrion would have been smarter and realize that sending Arya to kill Cersei would have been the best way to avoid the slaughter of KL. Why not try that first? Dany would have had nothing to lose and Arya would have gladly done it.”

    • Arya was very discrete about her “hobby.” Did anyone (besides maybe Sansa after finding Arya’s face mask collection) even know she was a skilled assassin? She certainly didn’t call attention to herself, other than a brief allusion to her “list of names.” (If Bran was truly all-knowing, all-seeing, he should’ve suggested Arya go on that mission – unless… that’s why he’d never mentioned he “saw” Arya at the Crossroads Inn and thought she was headed to KL bc Cersei was “on her list of names…)
    Arya did leave for KL on a kill-Cersei mission while everyone else was still celebrating; I guess Dany’s forces traveled by boat and got their first?
    Obviously, dealing with AotD was Priority #1. After that was addressed, Dany wasted no time (and pissed off Sansa) in insisting that the armies immediately head south. Maybe that left no time for Tyrion or anyone else to consider a sSeal Team6-type stealth commando mission.
    Who knows…

    • “Arya was awesome and consistent in season 8 with being able to sneak up on people. Sansa started off the season by saying Arya was probably lurking somewhere when Jon asked where she was…”
    Ah yes! And weren’t Jon’s first words to Arya upon their reunion in the Godswood something like: “How did you sneak up on me?”
    They did show the slight movement of the WW lieutenant’s wisp of hair just before Arya’s surprise attack. I just wish they had somehow showed how Arya could sneak past the WWs – maybe taking advantage of MW’s diminutive size and dancer’s nimbleness…

    “Quiet as a shadow. Quick as a snake.” Isn’t that what Syrio taught her she needed to be?

  212. Ten Bears,

    Yeah good point that Tyrion probably didn’t know about her FM skills. I agree that Dany moved too quickly for Arya to go. I agreed with Sansa. Cersei wasn’t getting stronger. All she had was the GC with no elephants. I don’t think they would have sent for the elephants. They had already built scorpions on top of the battlements. A few weeks wouldn’t have made a difference.

    I think I remember you said you haven’t read the books yet. I’m half way though book 2 now (500 pages is half way) and Arya constantly is quoting Syrio. It’s awesome and if you have the time I recommend taking the plunge. I will be getting back to book 2 tomorrow now that I finished my season 8 rewatch.

  213. Tron79:
    Ten Bears,

    Yeah good point that Tyrion probably didn’t know about her FM skills. I agree that Dany moved too quickly for Arya to go.I agreed with Sansa. Cersei wasn’t getting stronger. All she had was the GC with no elephants.I don’t think they would have sent for the elephants. They had already built scorpions on top of the battlements.A few weeks wouldn’t have made a difference.

    I think I remember you said you haven’t read the books yet. I’m half way though book 2 now (500 pages is half way) and Arya constantly is quoting Syrio. It’s awesome and if you have the time I recommend taking the plunge. I will be getting back to book 2 tomorrow now that I finished my season 8 rewatch.

    Does Sandor know that Arya is FM?

    If not, his advice to her is based on a misunderstanding of her abilities. It is still valid advice but is uninformed.

  214. Tron79:
    Mango,

    I hear what you’re saying about Bran. In my re-watch I realized the king really was just a figurehead.The iron throne was destroyed for a reason. The last thing anyone wanted was a strong King who may want to rule the world again. They actually wanted a king who was somewhat irrelevant. Hence Bran.He was a good history teacher but he was leaving day to day rule to his council.Tyrion and Sansa who were both major characters throughout the seriesended up with the most power. Tyrion ended up with the most headaches as well.

    Yes, I can see that.

    But titles carry authority even if he is supposed to be a figure head. Joffrey was a figurehead with Tywin actually running the kingdom – we know how that went. Aerys too to some extent. Tommen too…

    Do not let me start on Tyrion. When last in KL he was convicted by the Westerosi gods of murder. (That is the implication of a trial by combat to Westerosi citizens.) It is unclear how he could simply return and be credible hand to the new king. Tyrion was wartime Hand in a team that committed genocide in KL. I cannot imagine how he could be acceptable as credible hand except that he was selected by a king with real authority. (Of course, Tyrion remains a KL fugitive for the murder of his father and Shae – guilty in both cases!)

    Of course, the minute Sansa broke off the north, Bran was no longer a citizen of the kingdoms that he was king off. Imagine that after Brexit, the President of the European Union was an Englishman? Even if he was grandfathered/naturalized it would not be political acceptable.

  215. Mango,

    Oh yes. I agree there should have been more focus on Bran to set up his end point. That’s why – and this is rank speculation at this point – I suspect the showrunners positioned Bran where GRRM told them he should be, and set it up (e.g., the sacrifices of Hodor, CotF, etc.) that Bran’s survival and Bran’s powers – and Sam’s stolen books – would be indispensable to defeating the WWs.

    Yet, when the time came for GRRM to unveil how and why Bran was so critical to the endgame, their phone conversation may have gone something like this:

    Benioff & Weiss: “Okay George. Hodor, Benjen, 3ER, Jojen, and CotF all died to ensure Bran’s survival. Bran’s back in WF with the 3ER’s datsbase which he’s learning to access. So what’s the big bombshell that he’s going to discover that will help the Living win the Great War against the Dead? What’s the big twist? Why have the WWs targeted Bran? How’s he going to use his warging and greenseeing superpowers?
    GRRM: “Dunno yet. Jets game’s on. Gotta go. [Click]

    With a fixed production schedule, the showrunners had to come up with something – anything. That’s why, I conjecture, we got the wonky, hippie-dippy explanation in S8e2 that NK “wants to erase this world, and I am its memory”:

    Bran: “He’ll come for me. He’s tried before, many times, with many Three-Eyed Ravens.”

    Sam: “Why? What does he want?”

    Bran: “An endless night. He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.”

    Sam: “That’s what death is, isn’t it? Forgetting. Being forgotten. If we forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done, we’re not men anymore. Just animals. Your memories don’t come from books. Your stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world of men, I’d start with you.”

    Me to TV: “Wait, what? That’s it???”

  216. I scanned thru the comments and didn’t notice anyone mentioning another point that the script clarifies; that Jon is “King Beyond the Wall”, Lord of the Freefolk. So in actuality, three Starks are now rulers.
    I wonder if Jon can visit WF, after all it’s no longer part of the six kingdoms and therefore Jon isn’t technially exiled from it

  217. Mango: Does Sandor know that Arya is FM?

    If not, his advice to her is based on a misunderstanding of her abilities. It is still valid advice but is uninformed.

    Well, he did know that she “stuck a knife in that horned f*cker.” Who knows what they talked about during the long trip from WF to KL. Again, I doubt Arya would be one to boast about her skills and kills.

    His advice was still sound. He did not try to stop her – until he saw the building was going to crumble and Cersei was dead or as good as dead.

  218. Tron79:
    Mango,

    I hear what you’re saying about Bran. In my re-watch I realized the king really was just a figurehead.The iron throne was destroyed for a reason. The last thing anyone wanted was a strong King who may want to rule the world again. They actually wanted a king who was somewhat irrelevant. Hence Bran.He was a good history teacher but he was leaving day to day rule to his council.Tyrion and Sansa who were both major characters throughout the seriesended up with the most power. Tyrion ended up with the most headaches as well.

    I was about to respond to a post that TB has about Sansa/Sandor conversation of how she grew as a person. There was some negative feedback as the words in the script and as said on screen implied that she grew as a person because of rape etc.

    The core problem with Sansa’s ascent is that although her story had lots of time – nothing in it gave any real accomplishments/actions that would lead to being Queen. The majority of her storyline was her rape by Ramsay, victimhood and manipulation by LF. Yes, she was hostess at WF as the war approached. Then she became Queen. Maybe leading to the script “accidentally” saying rape etc made her what she is……because that is all she had in her story.

    Where are her acts of bravery in the service of others (see Jon, Jaime, Brienne); acts of showing/sharing wisdom (Jorah, Tyrion); acts of generosity (Jaime, Daenerys)…..In contrast think about the scenes with Daenerys, Jon, Jaime, Cersei, Tyrion, Brienne. Even think of Margery’s efforts. Think of Lyanna Mormont courage while Sansa was hiding in the pantry. Sansa’s queenship is not fully earned.

    Lady of Winterfell, even Warden of the North, would have been a good end for her story. (Yes, we were given some notice she was been prepared for leadership and yes, she did more than Bran to deserve it.)

  219. Ten Bears:
    Mango,

    Oh yes. I agree there should have been more focus on Bran to set up his end point. That’s why – and this is rank speculation at this point – I suspect the showrunners positioned Bran where GRRM told them he should be, and set it up (e.g., the sacrifices of Hodor, CotF, etc.) that Bran’s survival and Bran’s powers – and Sam’s stolen books – would be indispensable to defeating the WWs.

    Yet, when the time came for GRRM to unveil how and why Bran was so critical to the endgame, their phone conversation may have gone something like this:

    Benioff & Weiss: “Okay George. Hodor, Benjen, 3ER, Jojen, and CotF all died to ensure Bran’s survival.Bran’s back in WF with the 3ER’s datsbase which he’s learning to access. So what’s the big bombshell that he’s going to discover that will help the Living win the Great War against the Dead? What’s the big twist? Why have the WWs targeted Bran? How’s he going to use his warging and greenseeing superpowers?”GRRM: “Dunno yet. Jets game’s on. Gotta go. [Click]

    With a fixed production schedule, the showrunners had to come up with something – anything. That’s why, I conjecture, we got the wonky, hippie-dippy explanation in S8e2 that NK “wants to erase this world, and I am its memory”:

    Bran: “He’ll come for me. He’s tried before, many times, with many Three-Eyed Ravens.”

    Sam: “Why? What does he want?”

    Bran: “An endless night. He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.”

    Sam: “That’s what death is, isn’t it? Forgetting. Being forgotten. If we forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done, we’re not men anymore. Just animals. Your memories don’t come from books. Your stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world of men, I’d start with you.”

    Me to TV: “Wait, what? That’s it???”

    Hahhahhahaaaa! Yes, yes, I hear you.

    Me to TV: WTF? Did I mis-hear that? I must be mistaken. I will ask on WoW – maybe I just didn’t hear it right. I must really try to keep up.

  220. Mango,

    Mango, I always enjoy reading your posts. You get me thinking in different ways than I considered. I do think though that Sansa earned it, but I have a different definition of earning it. I think it can be argued that Sansa played the game the best of anyone. Playing the game is what she learned from her mentors Cersei and Little Finger.
    You could argue that Ned would have “earned it” by his noble deeds over the years, but he was out played from the moment he got off his horse (paraphrasing a LF line). I noticed that Sophie was channeling Lena’s inflections during season 8 when she delivered lines such as…

    “May I ask, how are we meant to feed the greatest army the world has ever seen? While I ensured our stores would last through winter, I didn’t account for Dothraki, Unsullied and two full-grown dragons. What do dragons eat, anyway?”

    If I closed my eyes, I could have easily thought I was listening to Cersei. Sophie matched Lena’s inflections perfectly.

    Sansa learned how to play from her other mentor LF. She learned to picture herself where she wanted to be and then figure out how to get there. Sansa wasn’t a warrior, but she had her mind. Many thought it was funny when Arya said that Sansa was the smartest person she ever met. I didn’t think it was funny. I think Sansa earned this by learning how to play the game. The best example was seeing her in her scene with Tyrion when she told him the truth about Jon. You could see the wheels turning in Sansa’s head. She was imagining what would happen, just as she learned from LF, and she decided to put the wheels in motion. That one move earned her the North IMHO.

    I’m not going to defend the way the show handled inferring she learned from being raped though. I honestly wish the show (and GRRM) would have never gone there with Ramsay’s rape scene and other rape scenes. I could do without rape in my entertainment. Perhaps the best handling of rape was the way Jon pulled aside the northerner during “The Bells” battle and killed the man right then and there. There are a few scenes that I speed up upon re-watch, and Sansa’s wedding night scene is one of them. I also can’t stomach watching Theon’s torturing sequences.

  221. Tron79,

    Ah, yes, ST grew up to become an amazing actress, delivering only with her face (just like KH).
    That scene was based on Elizabeth I’s coronation scene with Cate Blanchett and calls the audience to make the connection automatically.
    Did you know that Sansa’s coronation dress has references to Bran, Jon, Arya?
    It’s Michelle Clapton’s hand’s dressing her in the show. Clapton requested that she did this because she always put a lot of thought and effort in Sophie’s costumes.
    The details that are included in the production of this show is simply a mindblowing phenomenon. Nothing is left to chance.

  222. Efi,

    Ah. What were the references to Arya, Bran, and Jon that were there in the dress? I figure the weirwood leaves were for Bran? What was for Arya?? (and Jon)

    I didn’t pickup the reference to Elizabeth I since that’s a movie I never got around to seeing.

  223. Tron79,

    “She was imagining what would happen, just as she learned from LF, and she decided to put the wheels in motion”

    LF to Sansa:

    “Don’t fight in the North, or the South. Fight every battle, everywhere, always in your mind. Everyone is your enemy; everyone is your friend. Every possible series of events is happening all at once. Live that way and nothing will surprise you. Everything you’ll ever see will be something you’ve seen before”.

    Lmao!!!
    I love LF. I’ll file an official complaint because the NK/red woman didn’t bring him back!
    (complaints are tres a la mode, I hear…)

  224. Ten Bears,

    Benioff & Weiss: “Okay George. Hodor, Benjen, 3ER, Jojen, and CotF all died to ensure Bran’s survival. Bran’s back in WF with the 3ER’s datsbase which he’s learning to access. So what’s the big bombshell that he’s going to discover that will help the Living win the Great War against the Dead? What’s the big twist? Why have the WWs targeted Bran? How’s he going to use his warging and greenseeing superpowers?”
    GRRM: “Dunno yet. Jets game’s on. Gotta go. [Click]

    Ha!! yeah that sounds about right. I do wonder with all this anger against D&D, that George didn’t get some as well? Never finished the books, didn’t seem to be involved with the show, seemed not to care. He certainly shares the blame for the very end of the season

    Tron79,

    There are a few scenes that I speed up upon re-watch, and Sansa’s wedding night scene is one of them. I also can’t stomach watching Theon’s torturing sequences

    On rewatch, I will now add the destruction of KL. I fast forwarded through much of that on last watch, just too horrid.


    May I ask, how are we meant to feed the greatest army the world has ever seen? While I ensured our stores would last through winter, I didn’t account for Dothraki, Unsullied and two full-grown dragons. What do dragons eat, anyway?”

    I did not understand why people thought she was being rude to Dany here; she is asking a very good question, one that deserves an answer (tho I did love Dany’s response). Re her leadership – I agree that she’s picked up many lessons from many mentors, and seems able to use them. I would have liked to have seen more, but her story makes so much more sense to me than Brans

    That convo that Tyrion has with Bran on the long night – loved that line about ‘if only we were stuck in a castle in the winter and had no where else to go’ (paraphrasing). I was expecting to learn snippets of this,. The closest we get was in the fireplace scene where he says ‘we might just live, no, really’ (again paraphasing). It was a hint that he knew something based on what Bran told him; If we had some of that in conversation, some summary, perhaps we could better understand his sudden choice of Bran as king. The pacing in the last ep was so slow after Dany’s death; so much of that time could maybe have set up for this? I dunno – Bran obviously knew something based on the ‘I came all this way’ comment, and I wonder if he purposefully allowed the bombing of KL to happen to get there. Ah well….lots of unanswered questions. Again Iiked the season better on rewatch, but that whole sequence after Dany’s deathwas really lost on me.

  225. Tron79,

    Yes, the red leaves are for Bran and WF; also the weirwood tree is represented in her “armor corset” that is made or decorated to resemble the tree branches. Imo it recalls Sansa’s line from the books, “I’m stronger within the walls of Winterfell”.
    Sansa has a Needle of her own in her pendant. Michelle Clapton has said that the circle initially had influences from LF’s attire (in season 5), then in season 7 it was her own representing her family and empowerment and became a symbol of authority as she was the lady of WF (Daenerys had her dragon chain or chain of intent). The needle that is attached to it’s end refers to her own embroidering skills (she makes her own clothes even in the show) and to Arya’s Needle. Thus both girls carry a Needle and Sansa has it underneath her corset (you’ll see it as she walks if I’m not mistaken).
    Jon is represented in the sheep black fur that hangs from her other shoulder. The Night’s Watch doesn’t have wolf furs, but sheep ones died black. Sansa’s outfits in season 7 had clear references to the Night’s Watch with that military look. Also her black armor costumes in season 8 are influenced by it, but they are seen as more developed to adjust to her own empowerment.
    And there are more details if you notice (i.e. there’s sth going on at the back of the coronation costume too, and the colar is somehow significant).
    There’s lots of commentary on Sansa’s and Daenerys’ costumes on line. If you google it you’ll find lots of things.

  226. Tron79,

    See the movie, btw. It’s excellent.
    I forgot the crown. The crown is double wolves. It’s similar to her feather-wolves pendant from season 7, one that she wears over her circle-needle pendant. One wolf is larger (male), one wolf is smaller (female). Thus Jon is also represented in the crown too (only no one spoke about it, to my knowledge, because of implications). There’s commentary on the facing wolves on Sansa’s and Jon’s costumes of season 7 though.

  227. Tron79,

    Lmao.
    Last Halloween ST dressed like an elephant; Joe dressed like Sansa.
    Together they were “The North remembers”.
    That is an epic troll.

    Meanwhile, in KL, Cersei:
    “I wanted those elephants”!

  228. Tron79,

    You seem to understand it. That was the point of Bran becoming King. A King who is just a symbol. But a counsil rule together. The power is being given to more then just one. They rule together now.

    Mango,

    I agree with some of your points, especially with the season 6 and 7 build up. Or even for me season 5. As I stated before I really feel that season 5 and 6 should have been at least half a season longer. I think season 7 should have been a season 8. Then the final season could be just what we got. Season 8 on its own is pretty amazing. But I think with structure of the previous seasons could have been better.

    But I’m a bit fed up with the “Arya destroyed Jon’s storyline”. Destroying the NK was not a life purpose. Not of Jon, not of Arya not of everybody. They all defeated evil together. That was the purpose of all. Coming together and making peace. Jon’s arc is not destroyed because that is still what he did: Bring everyone together and work together.

  229. Mango,

    First of the common people don’t care who rule as long as they safe. They already forgotten that trial back then, and only a handfull of the people really knew that trial. They didn’t have facebook or newsfeeds to give the information to all. They knew something was amish but probably didn’t know the full story.
    Second, like in real life, just give the people a good story and they get along with it. The counsil could simply let a rumor (which is half true the first part second part not so much), that back then Cersei and Tywin did all the bad things and Tyrion fought his family for that. And that he tried to stop Dany from doing terrible things and made sure she was stopped. Common people are easily influenced.

    As for the brexit argument. Did you know that when the netherlands fought England for freedom, the english controlled us for a while, we got a English King? We we’re free from England under the rule and help of a English King. Watch the movie “Michiel the Ruyter” it’s a pretty good Dutch movie about that.

  230. Ten Bears,

    XDXDXD funny thing is I can see that that’s how it went, but not on the phone, but when they were even at his house.

    Tyjon,

    Of course he can. Luckily Westeros has only one security system that can look him up and that’s Bran. And why should he care. And it’s not that Sansa or anyone in the north cares what Grey Worm thinks, they will be silent as Sir Ilyn Payne. And more over, Unsullied are going to the summer islands.

  231. Mango,

    Did you forget that she prepared everything for the defense against the White Walkers? Jon and Dany were still south, and she did all the preperations. She shows there that she was a good queen. Without her they would have lost. Even Sansa attributed to it, not by battle but by being a leader.

    Tron79,

    Same here, I skip that scene always. I still think it was a huge mistake that they combined Theon’s and Sansa’s storyline. Yes it gave us that amazing revenge scene when Ramsay died and the bond between Theon and Sansa in season 8. But still it diminished Sansa’s storyline. Where as in the books she is becoming smarter and smarter by the chapter. And I can see book Sansa outmanoeuvre LF very easily at the end of winds.

  232. Mango,

    The core problem with Sansa’s ascent is that although her story had lots of time – nothing in it gave any real accomplishments/actions that would lead to being Queen. The majority of her storyline was her rape by Ramsay, victimhood and manipulation by LF. Yes, she was hostess at WF as the war approached. Then she became Queen. Maybe leading to the script “accidentally” saying rape etc made her what she is……because that is all she had in her story.

    Where are her acts of bravery in the service of others (see Jon, Jaime, Brienne); acts of showing/sharing wisdom (Jorah, Tyrion); acts of generosity (Jaime, Daenerys)…..In contrast think about the scenes with Daenerys, Jon, Jaime, Cersei, Tyrion, Brienne. Even think of Margery’s efforts. Think of Lyanna Mormont courage while Sansa was hiding in the pantry. Sansa’s queenship is not fully earned.

    I agree and at the same time I disagree with you. Why is it necessary for Sansa to assume a fighting role to win a throne? Why is it necessary for a woman to assume a traditional male role such as cradling a sword to prove her worth in government? Indeed, why is it necessary to sway a sword for anyone to win the throne? In the world of ASOIAF/GOT taking the throne and holding it is about allegiances, not fighting skills.
    Daenerys had dragons and fighting in the BotD was brave of her (even though fighting on air isn’t like fighting on the ground) but didn’t have any idea about ruling. She was actually bored with it. Sansa was also given a knife in ep.3. The scenes ST and PD shot taking out Others in the crypts were edited out of the final version, but it is implied that they fought because they are shown coming out of their hiding place.
    While season 8 could have been for Sansa something more than being petty/jealous of Daenerys, she established that she was good ruler in the North in Jon’s absense, making sure that provisions are enough and the people are safe and warm and prepared for winter. You can’t actually fight a war without the tedious logistics behind it. This part answers to Martin’s question “what is Aragorn’s tax policy”, meaning, yeah, they’re brave, but what happens when there’s no more war and you don’t see “acts of bravery in the service of others” as you very nicely put it? What happens when all you’re left with is caring for food supplies for the population and the application of justice and regulating taxation?
    The show established quite well the differences between the three queens and their approach to these problems of daily government. The queens are generally foils to each other. Cersei didn’t care; Daenerys left it to Tyrion in Meereen; Sansa took action. On justice: Cersei has no sense of it, or: trial by combat; Daenerys is all about people obeying her and burning the dissidents with dragonfire; Sansa prefers trials and “clean deaths”.
    In season 8 Sansa expresses the opinion that Daenerys should wait for the men to heal from their wounds and regain their strength before she moves on to take KL. We all know how this played out; she was shut down quickly and definitively by Jon, who was anxious to take the mother of fire away from WF; Dany lost a dragon and Missandei.
    “Margery’s efforts”. I think I lost you on that one. What did Margaery do to deserve a crown?
    Sansa proved that she is polically savvy; in fact, there’s not much she can’t do. She brought the Vale to win WF back. No matter how it played out on screen, she didn’t do this because she didn’t trust Jon, she did it to save him and herself from Ramsay. In season 8 she came down from WF and took charge of the Northern army and threatened war for Jon. So I think she’s brave enough and she can even lead an army.
    I agree though that her political importance is not very explicit for the audience in seasons 7-8. Sansa is the “key to the North”. Whoever is on good terms with her may also count with the Vale and the Riverlands. This was never said, even though Tyrion once pointed out that “the North is a possible ally”. Perhaps Jorah by speaking to Daenerys about Sansa’s importance also may have said something to this effect in 8.2, but it was never on screen. I’d have expected from Tyrion in season 7 or 8 to say sth along the lines “don’t alienate the North; if you have the North, you have half of Westeros because lady Sansa is kin to the rulers of the Vale and the Riverlands”.
    In any case the political crumbs were carefully and thoroughly removed in season 8 and were swept under the carpet. But this is an overall pattern and doesn’t affect only Sansa’s importance in the show; it’s also a desideratum regarding Bran’s, Jon’s and Tyrion’s ending. Politically nothing makes sense in the ending. It was a conscious choice of the showrunners to lay emphasis on Daenerys’ personal season 8 arc, suppressing everything that had to do with the political background of the story and the overall story that they had been saying themselves for at least 6 seasons.
    Sansa ending up queen in the North does make sense, because it didn’t come out of nowhere; it’s the ending of the North with everything Robb, Jon and Sansa achieved. That she is there instead of, say, Jon, is the showrunners choice as well.
    After all this time that has passed since the ending of the show, there’s still nothing to convince me out of believing that they got Martin’s ending and shuffled the cards pretty good.
    Imagine, for example, the hate ST would get in the social media if Sansa ended up queen of the seven kingdoms. Her importance is that great in the books. Remember this:
    “and then comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take everything that you hold dear”.
    Sansa is connected to everyone and everything that Cersei holds dear: her father, Joffrey, Tyrion, Jamie, we’ll see in the new book if and how she is connected to Myrcella and Tommen. In each and every misfortune/demise of Lannisters, Sansa is somehow implicated.
    Toxic hatred put Sansa against Daenerys and was channeled against ST who was a minor, and still is very young. Imagine if she got the votes and ended up queen of the 7Ks after Dany’s murder. By making Sansa queen in the North the showrunners in reality protected ST. Already IHR is obliged to face that hatred because Bran ended up king instead of her majesty of 1000 titles.
    Note that clearly “cast you down” in the prophecy does not mean “replace you”, so I don’t think it’s a given that Sansa will end up ruling Westeros in the books; Bran also has the same political importance because he too is kin of the rulers of the Vale and Riverlands. Story-wise this relation of the North with the other kingdoms leaves an open window for Bran to become king as well. (but that’s just about it; Sansa marrying somebody would bring a fourth kingdom to the equation and she’d still be the most politically important person in Westeros; and as as the show is, Bran won’t ever marry)
    All in all, I think Sansa’s ending was well deserved. She learned handlings, ruling, manipulation, thinking ahead. She’s in a good place and she’s Ned’s eldest daughter, so the North is hers by definition. Had she not been utterly alone in her coronation, had the references to Elizabeth I not been there (implying that she’ll be alone forever), I’d be completely satisfied with her ending.

  233. Mango:
    …The core problem with Sansa’s ascent is that although her story had lots of time – nothing in it gave any real accomplishments/actions that would lead to being Queen. The majority of her storyline was her rape by Ramsay, victimhood and manipulation by LF. Yes, she was hostess at WF as the war approached. Then she became Queen. Maybe leading to the script “accidentally” saying rape etc made her what she is……because that is all she had in her story.

    Where are her acts of bravery in the service of others (see Jon, Jaime, Brienne); acts of showing/sharing wisdom (Jorah, Tyrion); acts of generosity (Jaime, Daenerys)…..In contrast think about the scenes with Daenerys, Jon, Jaime, Cersei, Tyrion, Brienne. Even think of Margery’s efforts. Think of Lyanna Mormont courage while Sansa was hiding in the pantry. Sansa’s queenship is not fully earned.

    Lady of Winterfell, even Warden of the North, would have been a good end for her story. (Yes, we were given some notice she was been prepared for leadership and yes, she did more than Bran to deserve it.)

    The core problem with Sansa’s ascent is that although her story had lots of time – nothing in it gave any real accomplishments/actions that would lead to being Queen” goes back to my admittedly tinfoil hypothesis that George kind of left the showrunners hanging by not filling in thx details between the characters’ setups for the endgame and the endgame itself.

    I thought this particular moment in S4e8 when a confident Sansa/Cat 2.0 alighted from the staircase, silhouetted in sunlight, and asked coquettishly “Shall we go?“, signaled that the little bird was going to spread her wings and take flight:

    (S4e8 Sansa (Cat 2.0): “Shall we go?”
    at 0:41)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxTrEb9U6o0

    I really thought that this beautiful scene would be the commencement of Sansa’s ascent. Instead, I sensed that after S4 the showrunners decided to shoehorn Sansa into the Jeyne Poole WF story line. (It’s my understanding that the books left off with Sansa dawdling in the Vale – doing nothing noteworthy except having “tummy flutters”, as one commented described it.) Maybe the showrunners didn’t want to leave Sansa/Sophie sidelined for a whole season, and therefore merged Sansa into the Jeyne Poole-Ramsay storyline as a means of (prematurely) bringing Sansa north to WF.

    I suspect that George had told the showrunners that Sansa would eventually wind up in the north and help take back WF with the Vale knights,
    but had not imparted to the showrunners how Sansa would achieve this, i.e., how she’d go from flirting at parties in the Vale, to becoming a shrewd politician.

    The end result was that we were told but not shown that Sansa was really smart and had become a “savvy” politician. Instead. we saw Sansa inexplicably agree to LF’s dumb “marriage plan.” (Yeah right. Marry into the family that just slaughtered yours.)

    This made Sansa – and LF – look stupid, and gave us yet another season of Sansa being tormented and victimized. And it’s hard to disagree with your observation that this time could’ve been spent showing how Sansa was developing leadership skills.

    Another consequence was that Sansa’s concealments, oathbreaking and distrust came off as petulant and selfish, rather than examples of brilliant statesmanship. (I thought Books! Sansa’s distinguishing characteristics were her abilities to use kindness and courtesy to protect and advance herself. I saw none of those qualities on display in her dealings with Jon, Dany, etc.)

    In the absence of a blueprint from GRRM detailing how he would get Sansa to WF, and what she would do to demonstrate her evolving leadership skills, the show’s altered story line, timeline and geography by merging Jeyne/Sansa may have seemed like a good idea – on paper – to give Sansa something to do in S5.

    Unfortunately, it constituted a regression of Sansa’s character, inconsistent with the “new and improved” Sansa I thought we’d see after the staircase scene. As a consequence, the S5 – S6 Sansa storyline did not really trace a trajectory from hapless victim to experienced leader.

    Though unintenced, all of this did a disservice to Sansa the character and Sophie Turner the actress.

  234. Efi,

    “…All in all, I think Sansa’s ending was well deserved. She learned handlings, ruling, manipulation, thinking ahead.”

    Gee, I don’t know. Wouldn’t learning “manipulation” have been demonstrated by Sansa ingratiating herself to Dany, even if deep down she didn’t like or trust her? Dany should’ve been telling Jon, “I really like your sister. She’s such a sweetie.” Instead, right off the bat, she was whinging to Jon: “Your sister doesn’t like me.”

    As for “thinking ahead”: As a result of Sansa divulging Jon’s secret right after swearing not to tell a soul, Jon was put in harm’s way; and Jon (like Ned) wound up sacrificing his honor and his future when he realized Arya, Sansa and the North were in danger from Delusional Dany.
    Before going off the deep end, Dany had correctly predicted to Jon that Sansa wanted Dany gone and Jon on the throne; and that
    dissemination of the secret of his parentage would cause people to urge him to press his claim to the throne whether he wanted it or not.

    P.S. It seemed to me that Davos had the right idea early on: Dany & Jon should rule together as a complementary king and queen.

  235. Tron79,

    1:42 pm
    Trying to reply to your 8/6, 7:08 am comment. It’s going into the ether. (I guess this is the Lord of Light’s way of telling me to stop screwing around and do some work.) I’ll try again later.

  236. Ten Bears:
    Tron79,

    1:42 pm
    Trying to reply to your 8/6, 7:08 am comment. It’s going into the ether. (I guess this is the Lord of Light’s way of telling me to stop screwing around and do some work.) I’ll try again later.

    As Davos said…
    “Lord of Light.
    We play his game for him, we fight his war and win, and then he f’ks off.
    No signs, no blessings.
    Who knows what he wants?”

  237. Ten Bears,

    Gee, I don’t know, TB. Why was Sansa acting like a ten-year old? Why was ST directed to play it like she was jealous of Dany? (Nutter’s words).
    Why did she indeed want to make Jon king of the 7Ks?
    Could this be an unfinished thread? Could this lead to an open ending?
    Was Davos right?
    I wonder?
    What on earth are they saying?

  238. Ten Bears,

    As a consequence, the S5 – S6 Sansa storyline did not really trace a trajectory from hapless victim to experienced leader.
    I think you’re a bit too harsh. Wasn’t her leading the North in Jon’s absense sth that counts? Stupid as the WF plot of season 7 was, this was shown rather well. She did outsmart LF, making him to conspire against Jon and then turned against him and took him out.In season 7 Sansa says about him to Brienne “I know exactly what he wants”. Meaning he wants her, WF, and the IT all in one.

    This made Sansa – and LF – look stupid, and gave us yet another season of Sansa being tormented and victimized.
    True, but merging f!Arya and Sansa’s stories served the same purpose. Don’t forget, f!Arya also has a point in the books. It makes Jon finally decide to go against Ramsay, thereby getting murdered by his men, and is the catalyst for Theon to regain some of his identity back.
    Politically f!Arya is also meant to solidify the Bolton’s domination in the North. This is also implied in the show. No one can rule the North without a Stark.

    In the books Sansa has come down from the Eyrie and prepares a tournament for Robin’s guard. She’s up for big trouble, leading potentially to her being raped and/or causing the death of the heir (after Robin’s demise) Harry Hardyng. (released chapter of Alayne of WoW).

    […] inconsistent with the “new and improved” Sansa I thought we’d see after the staircase scene.
    Honestly? I thought this scene was terribly ooc for Sansa.
    Why do you think that it is “improved” that a woman uses her sexual graces? Why do you think that it is good for Sansa to project her sensuality to achieve her goals? This is what Cersei does. This is also what Daenerys tried to do with Jon in season 8.
    Sansa has been a victim of constant verbal abuse and harassment in KL. Everybody around her want to [email protected]@@ her. LF, Joffrey, Tyrion, to name just a few, even Clegane. Her arc is not to learn to use her graces to get what she wants (which is sth LF tries to teach her, and I guess that unfortunate scene of her coming down the stairs is a reference to that), but to escape their vileness and give herself to someone who loves her for her and not for the North.

  239. Efi,

    “Why do you think that it is “improved” that a woman uses her sexual graces? Why do you think that it is good for Sansa to project her sensuality to achieve her goals?

    ____
    I did not perceive that scene as sexualizing Sansa, or suggesting that she was “project[ing] her sensuality to achieve her goals.”

    I just thought she exuded self-confidence, and the lighting made her look angelic, not lustful.

    (Wouldn’t be the first time I missed a visual cue, though.🤔)

  240. Efi:
    Ten Bears,

    Gee, I don’t know, TB. Why was Sansa acting like a ten-year old? Why was ST directed to play it like she was jealous of Dany? (Nutter’s words)….

    I did not know that Sophie Turner was directed to play it like she was jealous of Dany!
    That kind of undercuts the narrative that she was solely concerned with the sovereignty of the North, doesn’t it?
    It also doesn’t support the notion that she’s evolved into a savvy game player and master manipulator. (If that were the case, she would have been sucking up to Dany to her face, and undermining her behind her back.)

    What do I know? From Arya’s conversation with Tywin back in S2 about Aegon Targaryen’s dragon-riding sisters (“ Visenya Targaryen was a great warrior; she had a Valyrian steel sword she called Dark Sister”; “She’s a heroine of yours, I take it”), I really thought Arya would be fangirling over a real live, dragon-riding Targaryen woman.

  241. Ten Bears,

    I am sorry if I didn’t understand correctly what you meant.
    But yes, it was sexualizing, and because LF’s wishes are hardly consealed and the chapter of WoW does contain a lesson towards sexualization of Sansa, I thought that the stairs scene somehow reflects it.
    The cleavage was so low and AG played so well the impressed/mesmerized I thought it was obvious.

  242. Efi,

    “The cleavage was so low and AG played so well the impressed/mesmerized I thought it was obvious.”

    It could have been obvious, and I could have been oblivious. The two are not mutually exclusive. 🙄

  243. Ten Bears,

    Gee, I don’t know. Wouldn’t learning “manipulation” have been demonstrated by Sansa ingratiating herself to Dany, even if deep down she didn’t like or trust her? Dany should’ve been telling Jon, “I really like your sister. She’s such a sweetie.” Instead, right off the bat, she was whinging to Jon: “Your sister doesn’t like me.”

    As for “thinking ahead”: As a result of Sansa divulging Jon’s secret right after swearing not to tell a soul, Jon was put in harm’s way; and Jon (like Ned) wound up sacrificing his honor and his future when he realized Arya, Sansa and the North were in danger from Delusional Dany.

    That kind of undercuts the narrative that she was solely concerned with the sovereignty of the North, doesn’t it?

    Yes, I agree with you. These things you point out here are connected. It is my opinion, but not a widely spread one among the fans, that Sansa is mainly concerned about Jon. Of course she cares about the North. But she cares more about Jon. And there’s no way she could have predicted that Daenerys would burn an entire city and that Jon would murder her. (really that would take a lot of imagination, not even LF would have done it).
    But she saw immediately that Jon was in danger just by being who he was. And don’t tell me that Arya telling him “I know a killer when I see one” is an acceptable warning (at a completely wrong time, btw) and Sansa’s concern is to be dismissed. What Sansa probably sees here is that Daenerys will kill Jon in the South. The only way to protect him is to make his identity known, whether she trusts Tyrion or not. That’s the only thing she can do, to try to find people in the South that will want to protect Jon from Daenerys. Tyrion does exactly that.
    Daenerys: Jon.
    Tyrion: Varys!
    Her mind when it came to betrayal went immediately to Jon in ep.5.
    (lol, I hadn’t thought about that before now, but I think I’m almost right here)
    As for ingratiating herself with Daenerys, why would she? Daenerys took away the independence of the North and being graceful wouldn’t get her anywhere, it wouldn’t bring that independence back. This became clear in ep.2 when she did exactly that.
    I think Sansa was cold but polite enough to Daenerys, but her behavior can’t be totally explained with her political considerations without taking into account her jealousy over Jon.
    After ep2, however, Jon’s identity becomes a catalyst for Daenerys. What drives her over the edge is not Sansa, but Jon’s identity. So after ep.4, in which Sansa is ok towards Daenerys during the council, it’s Daenerys that goes paranoid over who Jon is.
    Also I’d like to point out that Jon’s relationship with Daenerys was generally deeply problematic from the start to the point of becoming sick and abusive for Jon in season 8. Jon chose to sacrifice himself by supporting Daenerys all the way, thus offering himself to her whims of the hour. In ep.4 and 5 Daenerys’ attitude towards him is “you don’t want to see the dragon now, do you?” or “look what you made me do!”. I won’t go so far as to say that Sansa, like her sister, recognized “the killer”, because it wasn’t what we saw on screen, but in Sansa’s understanding (the way I see it), Jon put himself in harm’s way by telling Daenerys the truth. Sansa would have easily recognized in this herself, meaning that Jon, just like herself once, became a hostage of a powerful ruler, to guarantee the obedience of the North.
    Would Sansa tolerate such a thing? In the books young Sansa dreams that Robb would come to KL to save her. But Robb never came. She stayed a hostage for years, being humiliated and abused. She wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to Jon. This is why she told his secret. And unlike Robb she did go South for Jon.
    That’s my reading now that it’s been already three months since the ending. I know not many people will ever agree with me but eh, c’est la vie.

  244. Efi,

    Very compelling and convincing.
    (And yes, I noticed too that at the mention of the word betrayal, Dany’s first reaction was “Jon Snow.”

    Also.. I don’t discount that Jon was a knucklehead in many ways, e.g., surrendering Northern sovereignty when he didn’t have to, and then fudging the truth when confronted about it upon his arrival in WF; and revealing his parentage to Dany, and then to his sisters when she begged him not to.

    I’ll have to think all this over. It seems many of the characters were making decisions affecting everyone else, oaths and promises be damned.

  245. Efi,

    It is my opinion, but not a widely spread one among the fans, that Sansa is mainly concerned about Jon. Of course she cares about the North. But she cares more about Jon. But she saw immediately that Jon was in danger just by being who he was. And don’t tell me that Arya telling him “I know a killer when I see one” is an acceptable warning (at a completely wrong time, btw) and Sansa’s concern is to be dismissed.

    I have to be one of the people you mention who disagrees. I never felt Sansa’s concern for Jon, but I totally felt Arya’s concern. On the steps in the finale, Arya takes Jon’s arm and then says “I know a killer when I see one”. Taking his arm is a big show of concern. She was thinking she didn’t want to see Jon killed like her father. And she was stating the fact that Sansa would never accept Dany, so Dany was also a major threat to Sansa.

    One thing I wanted to point out (and this seems like a good time to do it) is that Jon never put the women he loved first in his life. First with Ygritte, Jon was definitely in love with her, but still he left her to do his duty. He was on a mission and he had to get home to his brothers. He put his mission and his brothers first. That’s tough to realize, and Ygritte started sharpening her arrows because of it. Still Jon loved her, but she just wasn’t going to come first in his life. And the same goes for Dany. If Jon was putting Dany first, he would have gladly kept the secret as she asked. But Jon put his family first and Dany second. I think that’s just a fact that Jon’s loyalty was to his duty and his family and not to his love interest (hence the quote ‘love is the death of duty’ and ‘duty is the death of love’)

    Back to your post, I just never felt Sansa was looking out for Jon when she was playing the game. She definitely wasn’t that concerned about him in the BOTB since she held back that she had The Knights of the Vale up her sleeve. She seemed willing to let Jon die while she played out her strategy. As Jon said in his final goodbye to Sansa when she asked for forgiveness, “The North is free thanks to you.” I think Sansa wanted to end up on the throne in the North, but perhaps more importantly she was envisioning the best way to eliminate the threats the Starks faced. Sansa does say she loves Jon, but I never really felt she was doing anything for him directly. She was doing things for the Starks and her people in the North. Arya on the other hand was all about caring for Jon with her warning. She sided with Sansa’s strategy about keeping their family safe, but she respected Jon’s decisions to get Dany’s help to fight the AOTD.
    That’s how I see it anyway

  246. Ten Bears,

    You’re right, it’s a lot to think about, and it’s all very subtle. Remember this:
    Dany to Jon, 7.7.
    “I can’t forget what I saw beyond the Wall. And I can’t pretend that Cersei won’t take back half the country as soon as I march North”.
    Imo Jon didn’t trust Dany to stay and fight with them even in the Dragonpit. Jon pledged to Dany in public in that meeting. He did it for Dany. Jon went to the Dragonpit because of Dany. He didn’t give a damn about Cersei. He probably foresaw that Cersei wouldn’t come to their aid anyway, because that’s Cersei we’re talking about. So when Cersei does the right thing diplomatically and asks for Jon’s neutrality in the upcoming war with Dany, Jon declares for Dany, thus risking to blow up the entire meeting. And what does Dany say after that? The quote above. Dany cares more about the throne, and without the truce there wouldn’t be any dragons flying North. If you have the video, watch Jon’s face as he hears it.
    You might argue that yes, but he pledged to Dany even before that. He had seen the dragons in action. Imo he also might have suspected that the NK raised the dead dragon, otherwise what’s the point of the bear scene in 7.6? So he needed Dany North asap.
    He needed the “flaming sword” Jon sees holding in his hand in the books.

    And then “I can’t pretend that Cersei won’t take back half of the country as soon as I march North” ???? WTF, Dany?

    So he sleeps with her to make her commit to his cause. The “who manipulated whom” scene of 8.2 probably refers to this part.
    It would have been perfect. And a marriage between them would have been perfect had Jon been Jon Snow. But this is Martin we’re talking about. He loves his involuntaty incest tropes.
    Did Jon really love Daenerys? I don’t know. Their romantic scenes were systematically undercut with sth, as if not even the showrunners believed in this romance. His line to Tyrion “I love her” was cut in editing, which is indicative of how they handled this “romance”.
    If the showrunners wanted to make this a full-blown romance and tragedy, they’d have explored this dynamic better and would have given us Jon’s conflicted feelings, watching her go mad and dracarys on everybody, while assuring her that he loved her.
    But they didn. Jon wasn’t conflicted.
    From the moment he found out the truth about his parentage, there’s two ways it could have gone. Either tell Dany, which they showed us, either not tell Dany, thus risking being accused by her of dishonesty and plotting. The latter would have been a whole diferent story and would have set up Jon as her main antagonist and would possibly lead to a dance with dragons II (I think Martin may go there), while with the first option he was stuck at “you’re my queen” quote.

    So he told her. He didn’t want to keep any secrets from her. Why didn’t he tell her immediately? Well, apparently he wanted to process it himself first.
    Then there’s Sam’s line in 8.2:
    “Being careful… biding your time… waiting for the perfect…”
    What’s the perfect moment for Jon? A little while before the horn sounds? When Dany can’t take the dragons and leave? The counter argument that he couldn’t possibly know that the Others were coming doesn’t apply in this case, because they knew they were coming that night. After spending a day of not-so-subtly avoiding her, she seeks him out in the crypts in the night, and there he tells her the truth. (Still too risky imo; she could have held back, or even turn against him during the battle, but the showrunners wanted other things for ep4)
    He didn’t want to be with her anymore. Perhaps he had loved her; after all even if you go to bed with someone without feelings, feelings might grow in the process. But for him there was no option of continuing the incest, so he had to tell her, and he had to tell his “siblings” just for setting the record straight and redefine his relations with them too. They all needed to know for Jon to do the right thing by all of them, including Dany.
    The problem was that Dany didn’t see it like she found family, she saw their blood relation and him personally as a threat to her claim. And it all evolved from this.
    But, as I said, everything is very subtle and open to interpretation. There’s the text, what we hear and see on screen (bc acting is excellent), and there’s the subtext. Subtext is what’s not on script. I suppose one can fill it according to will and preference, because the script itself is as open as it gets.

  247. I’m soooooo late to this party!

    Ten Bears,

    After thinking about it for the past couple of months, I’ve come to agree Jon should have kept silent. I think there are quite a few differences between the Ned/Lyanna/Catelyn vs. Jon/Dany/Arya/Sansa parallel but I think Jon should have kept quiet.

    Dany was ultimately right that telling Sansa would cause problems that will spiral out of control. I suppose Jon could have just told Arya but then that puts Arya in the tough spot of withholding info from a sister she has formed a newly positive relationship with (making that a pretty hard ask of Arya, I think). While I think it’s a pretty harsh ask of Jon, it also appears to have been the right thing to do as it could have prevented a lot of trouble. Dany could see what was going to happen, Jon couldn’t — probably because of Jon’s blind spot. Jon didn’t want to believe Sansa would go against his explicit wishes to keep this info secret. I mean, he didn’t even want to believe Dany had become the world’s new nightmare… even after she had become the world’s new nightmare… but the warnings were correct in both cases. I think Jon has some pretty bad Head-In-Sand issues when it comes to those he cares about. Jon should look up ostriches.

    Tron79, I think you’re onto something that I had trouble articulating and this has also been something I’ve been thinking about for the past few months. When the conflicting loyalty is between family/duty/love interest, Jon agonizes as he does but ultimately, duty/family wins out over romantic love — especially when family/duty align, as they did in the situations with Ygritte and Dany. Two forms of love and two forms of duty conflict in both. I do think Sansa loves Jon but I think Winterfell/the North is her top priority — which is reasonable, I think, given that Sansa has become a leader for the North.

  248. Efi,

    Ah, Efi! 🙂 I think you know what I think of this particular theory 😉 But I do agree with you on something, which I mention at the end! I have a few things I’d like to add 🙂

    “Whom manipulated whom?” — Would Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen of the 1000000 titles really truly let anyone get away with manipulating her for her army? 😉 I mean, she views Jon telling his sisters the truth about himself as a betrayal, even though Jon straight up told her he was telling them.

    While this is a theory, and you’re totally right that everything is open to interpretation! But it feels (for me) a bit too dependent on Jon being able to foresee the future (that Cersei was going to betray them, the NK was going to raise a dragon and take down the Wall, the Others were coming at 10 PM) and perceiving subtext — but you’re right in that we’re all free to our interpretations! I don’t think the showrunners are trying to knowingly undercut their own romance story, I think some lines were just editing room casualties to meet time constraints (and I think Jon told Dany himself that he loved her in episode 5. Likewise, he only told Ygritte he loved her once too and she was pointing an arrow at his head ;D And has he said ‘I love you’ to his siblings?). I do think the romance could have been better done, totally!! I don’t think it was given enough breathing/growing room… and I think it also suffered because it doesn’t have GRRM’s books to adapt it from. It really could have been better done. But it isn’t exactly the only problem with season 8, there are quite a few things that could have been built up, developed, and paid off better — probably with more episodes and maybe some better editing. The writing seems to forget itself at times (thus the memes).

    However, I do think, yes, incest was a problem for Jon. I don’t think the feelings just died… but I think, yeah, he was clearly having problems with it. I also partly agree with what you say here:

    and he had to tell his “siblings” just for setting the record straight and redefine his relations with them too. They all needed to know for Jon to do the right thing by all of them, including Dany.

    I don’t know if Jon was telling them to redefine his relationships with Sansa and Arya, but I think he truly thought they — as well as Dany — deserved to know the truth about him. In hindsight, I believe this was the wrong decision — to tell Dany and his sisters both. I think marriage could have solved the claim issue (but maybe not personal issues) but if Jon and Dany weren’t going to get married to join their claims, I think Jon should have kept quiet.

  249. Tron79,

    You are reproducing the core of the criticism against Sansa.
    Arya definitely cares for Jon, I just think that her line in ep6 was not well placed, and identifying “the killer” wasn’t the purpose here.
    “I know a killer when I see one” ???
    Really, Arya? Well, she just murdered half a city. Of course she’s a killer!!!
    Wouldn’t it be more relevant in ep.4? I mean, yeah, after the murder of a city she wouldn’t have any problem turning against Jon, would she?
    Eh, well, what can we do, we got what we got.
    Anyway, lol, back to Sansa.
    Sansa was clearly frustrated in season 6 because Jon wasn’t listening to her. She didn’t want to bring in the Vale, because of her sick relationship with LF. How would Jon accept LF, knowing what she’s been through? How could she tell him? She went behind his back, true, but it wasn’t against Jon, she did it to save him and herself from Ramsay. Not telling him about LF was a misdemeanor compared to the fact that she did, in fact, save his life. The theme of trust between Jon and Sansa runs through season 6 and goes into 7.1 and 7.2, but I think it is resolved in season 8.
    I repeat that I don’t think Sansa is power hungry. Back in season 7 she offered her own title to Bran. She refused to become queen when the lords offered it to her; this is in reality protecting Jon’s kingship. She refused to turn against Jon when LF suggested that she should because Jon and Daenerys would hook up anyway. In 8.4 Tyrion points out that with Jon gone South, she’d have true power in the North. The camera focuses on Sophie’s face and she acts like Sansa really suffers hearing that Jon won’t live with her in WF anymore.
    How is all that not “doing anything for him directly” ?
    She protected his life (BotB 6.9 and KL 8.6) and his kingship. Do we need more?

    But let’s inverse this interpretation, that betrays anyway on my part a kind of good will when it comes to Sansa.
    Let’s say that she kept bringing LF from Jon because she doesn’t trust him, or that she has a hidden agenda; that she was really offended for being sidelined when he was proclaimed KitN; that she contradicts him in the council because she doesn’t believe in his war, neither in his way of ruling; that she’s considering to dethrone him when the lords offer this option, and later LF does the same; that she’s just mean and competitive to Daenerys because she wants herself to become queen (in the North or KL, whatever); that she tells Tyrion about Jon because she wants Daenerys to eliminate Jon.
    Let’s see what’s happening with Jon; let’s take it from season 8.
    “What do dragons eat, anyway?” — “Whatever they want” (concealed threat #1)
    “if she can’t respect me…” (threat #2, not-so-concealed)
    And then there’s the convo in 8.4:
    Dany: “Sansa wants to see me gone and you on the IT […] She’s not the girl you grew up with; not after what she’s seen; not after what they did to her”.
    Jon: “You are my queen; and they are my family. We can live together”.
    Dany: “We can; I’ve just told you how”. (concealed threat #3)
    Ep.5, Jon-Varys convo.
    Varys: “I still don’t know how her coin has landed; but I’m quite certain about yours”.
    This is the moment Jon realizes Sansa has spilled the beans; KH smirks.
    Tyrion-Dany convo in ep5.
    Dany: “You learned from Sansa; and she learned from Jon, though I begged him not to tell her. As I said, he betrayed me”.
    Tyrion: “I am glad Sansa told me; I am your hand”.
    Jon-Dany convo in ep 5.
    Dany: “What did I say would happen if you told your sister?”
    Jon: “I don’t want it, that’s what I’ve told him”.
    Dany: “She betrayed your trust; she killed Varys as much as I did. This is a victory for her. Now she knows what happens when people hear the truth about you.”

    It seems to me that Sansa’s presence looms over the episodes even when she’s not there.

    In ep. 6, Daenerys in her speech says she’s going to free people “from Winterfell till Dorne”. The camera focuses on Jon’s face.
    Then Arya tells him “Try telling Sansa that” (that Dany is everybody’s queen).
    Tyrion-Jon convo ep.6.
    Tyrion: “Do you think I am the last man she’ll execute? Who is more dangerous than the rightful heir to the IT?”
    Jon: “That’s her decision; she is the queen. […]”
    Tyrion: “And your sisters? Do you see them bending the knee?” Watch KH face in this line.
    Jon: “My sisters will be loyal to the throne.”
    Tyrion (exasperated, lol): “Why do you think Sansa told me the truth? Because she doesn’t want Dany to be queen!”
    Jon: She doesn’t get to choose!”
    Tyrion: “No! But you do! And you have to choose now.”

    Later, Jon-Dany:
    Jon: “What about everyone else? All the other people who think they know what’s good?”
    Dany: “They don’t get to choose.”

    It seems to me that Jon did put one woman above all else. As his convo with Tyrion shows, not even the possibility that he might be executed by Daenerys wouldn’t make him change his attitude.
    But the threats against Sansa did. Sansa’s presence, behavior and clash with Daenerys dominated the entire season and it was consistent until the end.
    Not the word “choose” in the last dialogs. They put it there for a reason. When it comes to “choosing”, everyone, including Jon, thinks of Sansa (not of Arya or anyone else).
    Perhaps that was the meaning of the Tarlys burning in season 7. It wasn’t about Sam; it was about Sansa. And Jon seeing what she did to Varys could then very well imagine what would happen to Sansa.
    It wasn’t about Arya, Bran and Sam, who also knew the secret. It was about Sansa. And this he did even if we take it that Sansa wasn’t really that partial to him, even if we think that she was power-hungry.

    In the end, Jon chose Sansa over Daenerys; Starks over Targs.
    Dishoror over honor, for protecting the one he loved.
    Love is the bane of duty.
    He said it himself.

  250. One more thing! I’m sorry!

    Efi: (Still too risky imo; she could have held back, or even turn against him during the battle, but the showrunners wanted other things for ep4)

    You’re right — Dany could have, but she didn’t. Which I think is to her credit. I know the North has become Dany’s kingdom so she’s duty-bound to defend it but she could have just f*cked off and been like, “Okay, Out-of-Nowhere Heir, take care of this yourself! Seeeee ya.” And Jon would definitely be dead.

    Although, I doubt that would have worked out for Dany since she’d have to face more zombies with fewer forces and potentially be out a secret assassin to take out the NK…

    But I’m not sure how Jon could predict the second the NK was going to arrive and timed it perfectly so that his conversation with Dany would be interrupted…?

    One last thing: in your view, based on what you’ve said of Dany, how do you think Sansa could protect Jon from Dany by telling his secret if Dany wished to eliminate Jon?

    Since Sansa did what Dany was afraid of (people using this info to crown Jon instead of her), this gives Dany more reason to get rid of Jon with his better claim to the Targaryen dynasty — she’d no longer be removing a potential threat because the threat has now been realized (whether Jon wants the throne or not). So, with Dany’s two dragons and freshly respawned army, how do you view Sansa as being able to garner support to protect Jon in the south?

    I do agree Sansa loves Jon. That’s never been a question for me. I just don’t think Jon is Sansa’s priority and well, maybe he doesn’t have to be since Sansa is a leader who wants the best for the North.

  251. Efi: Not the word “choose” in the last dialogs. They put it there for a reason. When it comes to “choosing”, everyone, including Jon, thinks of Sansa (not of Arya or anyone else).

    I’m SO sorry for another message!

    But I don’t think this was just about Sansa.

    I think you’re right that Sansa does figure into it as one of his loved ones, but so does Arya, so does Bran — Sansa’s not Jon’s only loved one. And per the writers, Jon loves Dany but in a different way, the romantic way (and I think Tron79 did a nice job of explaining the duty vs. family vs. love interest triad for him). He wants to die after he kills Dany. There’s a whole mess of conflict here. Jon’s pleading with Dany for the sake of the people, he’s asking her to spare the surrendered prisoners and be merciful to the survivors, he’s asking about everybody else. I think Tyrion creates that real sense of urgency in Jon by localizing the threat and bringing up his sisters, which are on Jon’s mind — but I doubt Jon would be a-okay as Dany burned her way to paradise if Dany was all, “Okay, Sansa will be fine — just let me kill everybody else, cool??” 😉 Jon wants to believe in Dany, that she’s not this person, that she’s merciful, that she’ll stop the destruction without having to resort to what Tyrion is pushing him to do. I think Sansa’s part of it but I don’t think it’s only about Sansa.

  252. Efi,

    There’s a lot to unpack here.
    I’ll need to get to a computer to respond to this one. My thumbs won’t be able to keep up.

  253. Mr Derp,

    I agree with this and — without trying to bash the show — I think this was another problem with Season 8. I believe Dany had the Iron Islands, Dorne, and High Garden? I know she technically had the North but the North wasn’t exactly over the moon about her being the new queen (and after thinking about it, this is why I’m not sure if marriage to Jon would win Dany any smiles from the Northern lords — probably boos and hisses for the both of them). But Dany did have some Westerosi approval if (part of) the Iron Islands, Dorne, and High Garden are still on her side. She wasn’t universally lauded but she had supporters in Westeros. The Prince of Dorne was still pledging his support as of 804 and Yara was still supporting Dany in 806.

    I agree with some of the problems you (and others, such as QueenofThrones) have described and I think they may be due to the show’s need to get Dany to an emotional place where she was “over it” and suddenly burnt down a surrendered city after already winning the war. And for me, that’s why it doesn’t feel that… earned? I feel like the writers were sort of rushing the end game here — like they knew the ending they needed to get to and were trying to cram pieces together to make it fit like an IKEA product that doesn’t come with quite the right parts and it’s already too late to go back and get spares (I’ve been putting together a lot of IKEA lately :D). Perhaps because they weren’t prepared to adapt the conclusion of a story that hadn’t been written. But there were options — like a PR campaign — to try and win the Westerosi with. But that may have taken away a reason for Dany to go dark in the time bracket they needed.

    I don’t know. I’m happy there are people who enjoy it and I don’t want to take anything away from any of you! But these were some of my frustrations.

  254. Adrianacandle,

    “I don’t think the showrunners are trying to knowingly undercut their own romance story, I think some lines were just editing room casualties to meet time constraints (and I think Jon told Dany himself that he loved her in episode 5. Likewise, he only told Ygritte he loved her once too and she was pointing an arrow at his head ;D And has he said ‘I love you’ to his siblings?). I do think the romance could have been better done, totally!! I don’t think it was given enough breathing/growing room… and I think it also suffered because it doesn’t have GRRM’s books to adapt it from. It really could have been better done.”

    ____
    For me, the Jon & Ygritte and even Arya & Gendry romance scenes worked so well because there was dialogue to support them: flirting, teasing, banter, pillow talk. etc.

    By contrast. Dany & Jon just kind of hooked up when he knocked on her stateroom door, she let him in, and they started going at it without ever saying a word.

    Watching that scene made me flash on Zooey Deschanel’s character in the Jim Carrey movie “Yes Man” singing: “I’m not your late night booty call.” Links to follow.*

    *(To be continued)

  255. Efi,

    “Did Jon really love Daenerys? I don’t know. Their romantic scenes were systematically undercut with sth, as if not even the showrunners believed in this romance. His line to Tyrion “I love her” was cut in editing, which is indicative of how they handled this “romance”.
    If the showrunners wanted to make this a full-blown romance and tragedy, they’d have explored this dynamic better and would have given us Jon’s conflicted feelings, watching her go mad and dracarys on everybody, while assuring her that he loved her.
    But they didnt.”

    ____
    Right. Strange that their “love” seemed so sterile. That could be why Dany dying in Jon’s arms lacked the emotional punch of Ygritte dying in Jon’s arms.

  256. Efi,

    Fist I appreciate how much you’ve thought about this, so I’m going to delve into your points below.

    You are reproducing the core of the criticism against Sansa.
    I don’t think I’m criticizing Sansa. I feel like I just reporting the news more about how I saw her actions. I can make a good argument that she made all the right moves to reach her goal.

    Arya definitely cares for Jon, I just think that her line in ep6 was not well placed, and identifying “the killer” wasn’t the purpose here.
    “I know a killer when I see one” ???
    Really, Arya? Well, she just murdered half a city. Of course she’s a killer!!!

    Here’s the part that got me to my computer to write this response. It’s actually not so obvious to me that Dany is a killer in peace time. Yes, in war, Dany was ruthless and killed thousands (or even millions?)
    I think Arya is talking about after the war. She’s warning Jon that Dany sees him as a threat, and she won’t hesitate to have him executed. That’s the killing Arya’s concerned about.
    I was in Dresden in Germany about a month ago on a Europe trip. The allies did a Kings Landing style fire bombing of a non military target burning Dresden to the ground and killing thousands of civilians. I’ve seen reports of between 50,000 and over 100,000 dead in the bombing. “The Bells” episode was modeled after the bombing of Dresden. Why did the allies do this since it wasn’t a military target? There’s still debate over it, but I think it’s similar to the reason we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.
    I think part of it was to make the prospect of continuing the war so horrible that they would have to surrender and never consider rising up arms against them again. Some could argue that this was Dany’s motivation as well. Dresden was the cultural capital of Germany, and part of the motivation I think was to shatter the morale of Germany.
    There is still great debate whether it should have been done in Dresden since the war was considered won by then, and it wasn’t even a military target. I’m sure there is debate over whether we should have dropped the bomb on Japan. One argument was that it saved many more people since it ended the war right then and there.
    So, my point is that certain killing can be seen as part of war. It doesn’t mean that the leader is a killer when peace time comes.
    Since I’m writing so much, I have to mention a Star Trek episode “A Taste of Armageddon”. This is the one where computers wage war and there is not actual damage on the planet.
    People willingly go to disintegration chambers if the computer said they were killed. The war went on for over 500 years (I seem to remember). Since it was so clean, there was not much reason to end it.
    Once Kirk threatened real destruction with the ship destroying cities, the people came to their senses to work towards peace. So I think Arya’s response is alot more layered. I believe she’s thinking about what Dany will be like as a ruler in peacetime, not as a General in battle.

    Anyway, lol, back to Sansa.
    Sansa was clearly frustrated in season 6 because Jon wasn’t listening to her. She didn’t want to bring in the Vale, because of her sick relationship with LF. How would Jon accept LF, knowing what she’s been through? How could she tell him? She went behind his back, true, but it wasn’t against Jon, she did it to save him and herself from Ramsay. Not telling him about LF was a misdemeanor compared to the fact that she did, in fact, save his life. The theme of trust between Jon and Sansa runs through season 6 and goes into 7.1 and 7.2, but I think it is resolved in season 8.
    I repeat that I don’t think Sansa is power hungry. Back in season 7 she offered her own title to Bran. She refused to become queen when the lords offered it to her; this is in reality protecting Jon’s kingship. She refused to turn against Jon when LF suggested that she should because Jon and Daenerys would hook up anyway. In 8.4 Tyrion points out that with Jon gone South, she’d have true power in the North. The camera focuses on Sophie’s face and she acts like Sansa really suffers hearing that Jon won’t live with her in WF anymore.
    How is all that not “doing anything for him directly” ?
    She protected his life (BotB 6.9 and KL 8.6) and his kingship. Do we need more?

    Yes, you’re right about Sansa being frustrated with Jon not listening, but I don’t agree that she did anything to help him directly. He was dead for all she knew by the time she sent in the KOTV.
    Just think if Arya was there (or even Dany). Dany was one that was selfless in helping Jon and her troops. She let the plan be damned when she saw her Dothraki being slaughtered. She also jumped right on Drogon to save Jon when he went on his ridiculous mission Beyond the Wall.
    These were acts were acts of love. Sansa was never that selfless. It’s not a criticism of Sansa. She had her reasons, and she stuck more to her strategy. She also didn’t necessarily think she could trust Jon since as you said he wasn’t listening, and she thought she had to take matters into her own hands.
    I just don’t agree that any of this was for Jon’s sake. I think it was for the Starks or the North, but not Jon specifically.

    It seems to me that Sansa’s presence looms over the episodes even when she’s not there.
    Yes I agree with this part that Sansa’s strategy does loom over everyone and had far reaching implications.

    It seems to me that Jon did put one woman above all else. As his convo with Tyrion shows, not even the possibility that he might be executed by Daenerys wouldn’t make him change his attitude.
    But the threats against Sansa did. Sansa’s presence, behavior and clash with Daenerys dominated the entire season and it was consistent until the end.
    Not the word “choose” in the last dialogs. They put it there for a reason. When it comes to “choosing”, everyone, including Jon, thinks of Sansa (not of Arya or anyone else).
    Perhaps that was the meaning of the Tarlys burning in season 7. It wasn’t about Sam; it was about Sansa. And Jon seeing what she did to Varys could then very well imagine what would happen to Sansa.
    It wasn’t about Arya, Bran and Sam, who also knew the secret. It was about Sansa. And this he did even if we take it that Sansa wasn’t really that partial to him, even if we think that she was power-hungry.
    In the end, Jon chose Sansa over Daenerys; Starks over Targs.

    I agree with some of this, but I don’t think that Jon thought more about Sansa than Arya. Varys brought up the idea of protecting his family, including Arya. It wasn’t just protecting Sansa.
    I think we are in agreement that Jon will put his family and duty first no matter what the cost. He never thought of the Targs as his family though, since he grew up with the Starks. That may have been the ultimate conflict for him if he ever felt an equal bond for his Targ family as he did for the Starks.
    But the Jon we knew felt the strongest bond to his Night’s Watch brothers (they became his new family until they murdered him) and the Starks

  257. Ten Bears,

    You’re always so good with your supplementary material, Ten Bears!! XD Thanks!!

    For me, the Jon & Ygritte and even Arya & Gendry romance scenes worked so well because there was dialogue to support them: flirting, teasing, banter, pillow talk. etc.

    By contrast. Dany & Jon just kind of hooked up when he knocked on her stateroom door, she let him in, and they started going at it without ever saying a word.

    I think that’s fair. Jon/Ygritte and Arya/Gendry had time to grow and develop as their own side stories and were adapted from the books.

    But, based on the writers’ commentary, I think Jon and Dany’s relationship was meant to be a love story, I don’t think the issues with it were intentional. And I think that’s sort of the motto of season 8 (and maybe 7) in general — problems weren’t intentional, like wth Dark Dany. I think they tried to build up to it but some things didn’t quite work (for me)… And I think the development of the J/D relationship suffered — namely from rushed pacing (new giant obstacle every s8 episode!), lacking dialogue, and not having any new books to adapt from. D&D were pretty good with adapting the book material and streamlining it for a television series but I think they struggle with creating dialogue and plots freeform without that support to reference.

    I really liked Jon/Ygritte. That relationship has one of my favourite book lines (“Wrong to love her, wrong to leave her”) but they had that book support. The same with Arya/Gendry. In contrast, Jon/Dany has yet to be explored because they haven’t even met yet in the books.

    Imma going to go watch those videos now 😉

  258. Tron79,

    Lemme jump on the bandwagon to add to what you were saying…

    I am not certain Jon understood Delusional Dany’s “let’s ‘liberate’ the rest of the world!” speech to the Unsullied because she was speaking High Valyrian.

    If he did, then when Dany was riling up her army with talk about continuing to “break the wheel” by “liberating” oppressed people “from Winterfell to Dorne”, even thick-headed Jon would have to know that Arya and Sansa would be in her crosshairs.

  259. Ten Bears:
    Tron79,

    Lemme jump on the bandwagon to add to what you were saying…

    I am not certain Jon understood Delusional Dany’s “let’s ‘liberate’ the rest of the world!” speech to the Unsullied because she was speaking High Valyrian.

    If he did, then when Dany was riling up her army with talk about continuing to “break the wheel” by “liberating” oppressed people “from Winterfell to Dorne”, even thick-headed Jon would have to know that Arya and Sansa would be in her crosshairs.

    Yes I totally agree. I was thinking the same thing today about her speech. First I was thinking was it Valyrian or Dothraki? And if it was Valyrian then the Dothraki were just whooping things up not understanding a word. And I was thinking that Jon had no idea what she was saying. He could get the idea but when she said Winterfell that was the moment. I think Emilia even added German accent to her High Valyrian when she said Winterfell for effect and the camera I think zoomed in.

  260. Adrianacandle,

    “And I think the development of the J/D relationship suffered — namely from rushed pacing (new giant obstacle every s8 episode!), lacking dialogue, and not having any new books to adapt from. D&D were pretty good with adapting the book material and streamlining it for a television series but I think they struggle with creating dialogue and plots freeform without that support to reference.”

    ______
    Well, although Gendry & Arya had a “history” from S1e10 through mid-S3 to build on, the show did devote dialogue-driven setup scenes in S8e1 and e2, including the interrogation/seduction itself in e2. They had their cute flirtation in e1 (just loved her little turn back to smile after “You don’t know any other rich girls” and walking away); Gendry was taken aback when he first saw Arya all cleaned-up and grown up; Arya impressed Gendry with her martial skills; and they actually talked before getting physical.

    Maybe it’s just me. I think some kind of verbal interplay has to precede and accompany a “love story.” Otherwise, in the words of Zooey Deschanel, the coupling comes off as just a “late night booty call.”

  261. Tron79,

    For reference, I think this is a transcript of the subtitled speech. (I typed it out without double-checking it.)

    Dany Speech to Dothraki and Unsullied, S8e6

    (In Dothraki; subtitled)
    Daenerys: “Blood of my blood! You kept all your promises to me. You killed my enemies in their iron suits. You tore down their stone houses. You gave me the Seven Kingdoms.”

    (In Valyrian, subtitled)
    Daenerys (first to Grey Worm): “Torgo Nudho.
    You have walked beside me since the Plaza of Pride. You are the bravest of men, the most loyal of soldiers. I name you commander of all my forces, the Queen’s Master of War.”

    “Unsullied! All of you were torn from your mother’s arms and raised as slaves. Now you are liberators. You have freed the people of King’s Landing from the grip of a tyrant!

    But the war is not over. We will not lay down our spears until we have liberated all the people of the world!

    From Winterfell to Dorne, from Lannisport to Qarth, from the Summer Isles to the Jade Sea! Women, men and children have suffered too long beneath the wheel.

    Will you break the wheel with me?”
    ______
    It was that last little snippet about “women, men and children” suffering too long beneath the wheel “from Winterfell to Dorne” that had me thinking that decapitating House Stark was part of “Breaking the Wheel.”

  262. Ten Bears,

    I’d agree that would be good for developing a relationship and there’s a matter of personal preference to account for as well. I think they did try to give Jon and Dany some of that in two or three scenes (ie. 707, 801) but I realize reception and how well it works depends on the viewer. Gendry/Arya was never really my thing — I didn’t mind it but I wasn’t invested in it either — so I’m definitely not trying to sell J/D to you like a box of Girl Guide cookies 😉 And G/A had that exchange in season 8 but I think their history helped with that relationship too — the anticipation of seeing one another again, that evolution. My only real point was about the intention of the writers based on their comments, cast comments, crew comments, and elements like having a love theme. But you don’t gotta buy if you don’t want it 🙂

    And some people go alt routes and want characters together who aren’t canonically together. I kind of had a twisted hope for this terrible Cersei/Jon union and I realize I need help today.

  263. Ten Bears:
    Tron79,

    Her speech started in Dothraki before switching over to High Valyrian.

    Aha! That makes more sense. As you say you have trouble pick out the musical themes but I must have trouble recognizing languages! I can’t say I’m very good with Vulcan either.

  264. Adrianacandle,

    “And some people go alt routes and want characters together who aren’t canonically together. I kind of had a twisted hope for this terrible Cersei/Jon union and I realize I need help today.”

    _____
    You think you need help? Cersei became a sympathetic character to me ever since her disappointed expectations in S8e1 (sighing, “I wanted those elephants”.)

    When she was sobbing in her last scene, in my head canon she was crying over her missing elephants.

    😥🐘🐘🐘🐘😥

  265. Ten Bears:
    Efi,

    ***
    “Also… I don’t discount that Jon was a knucklehead in many ways, e.g., surrendering Northern sovereignty when he didn’t have to, and then fudging the truth when confronted about it upon his arrival in WF; and revealing his parentage to Dany, and then to his sisters when she begged him not to.”
    ***
    _______

    FYI: This is what I was referring to earlier about Jon “surrendering Northern sovereignty when he didn’t have to, and then fudging the truth when confronted about it upon his arrival in WF”:

    In S8e1, Jon tells Lyanna Mormont:
    “I had a choice, keep my crown or protect the North. I chose the North.”*

    * Their full exchange follows:

    ***
    Lyanna Mormont (greets Jon): “Your Grace.”
    (She walks over)
    “But you’re not, are you? You left Winterfell a king and came back a- I’m not sure what you are now. A lord? Nothing at all?”

    Jon: “It’s not important.”

    Lyanna: “Not important? We named you King in the North.”

    Jon: “You did, my lady. It was the honor of my life. I’ll always be grateful for your faith. But when I left Winterfell, I told you we need allies or we will die. I have brought those allies home to fight alongside us. I had a choice, keep my crown or protect the North. I chose the North.”

    ________
    That’s not quite accurate, is it? Dany agreed to join with Jon to fight the WWs without insisting that Jon give up his crown. He spontaneously decided to “bend the knee” after she had already committed to allying with him to defeat the NK.

    Did I miss something? I did not interpret his abdication as an either/or choice.

  266. Adrianacandle,

    F

    or me, the Jon & Ygritte and even Arya & Gendry romance scenes worked so well because there was dialogue to support them: flirting, teasing, banter, pillow talk. etc.

    By contrast. Dany & Jon just kind of hooked up when he knocked on her stateroom door, she let him in, and they started going at it without ever saying a word.

    Heck even before that, I got absolutely no chemistry between those two. Just how they looked at each other – neither one was in love, they botth had different agends and oh heck ok lets do the love part

    Ary and Gendry on the other hand – they had a past, and he already was sort of in love with her when they were younger and traveling. But it did not take long for that fire to start up again (oh i loved Arya’s face in the scenes with him. She knew exactly what she wanted and had the facial expressions to get it!!)

    Jon and Ygritte was true love, chemistry from the start; His reaction when Dany died i think was supposed to mirror when Ygritte died, but there was a world of difference instead.

  267. Ten Bears,

    I think the writers kind of missed some stuff because a similar thing happens in the next episode: Dany tells Sansa she’s only fighting the NK because she loves Jon but that’s not why she agreed because in 706…

    Jon: I’m so sorry. I wish I could take it back. I wish we’d never go.
    Dany: I don’t.
    If we hadn’t gone I wouldn’t have seen.
    You have to see it to know.
    Now I know.
    The dragons are my children.
    They’re the only children I’ll ever have.
    Do you understand? We are going to destroy the Night King and his army.

  268. ash,

    I think it varies viewer by viewer and my own intent is never to try and argue anything like chemistry because some feel it, others don’t. There are couples who I don’t see anything between but others just love, love, love them 🙂

    My only real point was about what the writers intended with this relationship because that can be pointed to with their statements. In contrast, the personal feeling a relationship evokes, whether or not you can feel the chemistry — that’s something totally different and nobody can convince you in or out of that. I mean, I don’t like the idea of Dark Dany and I don’t think it was built up well at all. However, others disagree and saw it coming. Meanwhile, I was a Mad Queen decrier. And I’m still kind of in denial that this is how it ends… But I don’t think the writers knowingly failed to build this up (for me) on purpose — that was my primary argument 🙂

  269. Tron79,

    I think I agree on almost everything here. Excuse my previous long post.
    Choosing the Starks over Targs was more symbolic than real. The show didn’t really explore the possibilities with this one since Jon’s POV was blocked most of the time. But in his final dialog with Daenerys she urges him to be with her and built this new world with her. It’s a little piece of the Targ identity and mo that he’s seen and he rejects it. Along with other things, it could have been explored much better (had we had, oh, I don’t know, another 10 eps?)
    You might be right about Arya’s line; however, it would still be more meaningful before the destruction, to warn him for what’s ahead. Not that he would have listened to her. I suppose Sansa would have told him something similar in ep.4. They shot that scene, but it didn’t make it to the screen.
    Sansa. As I said in my earlier posts, they made sure to make everything ambiguous enough. One can have many interpretations, and they may all be valid. It’s as if there was no bravery in the narrative. Sansa’s importance for Jon is paramount, I guess, for the rest one can take whatever one wants.
    But you’re still seeing active fighting as a means for a woman to prove her love to Jon, or more precisely to do sth that’s explicitly for him. That’s accepting a male role for a female. If Sansa were to swing a sword like Arya, or ride a dragon like Daenerys, it would be ok, I guess. (alright. I’m doing some pilates in my free time; now I’ll start martial arts, lol; it’ll prove to my boyfriend that I love him and I’ll be able to protect everyone love).
    I was equally shocked as you were in Dresden when I visited Berlin. Berlin is an 800 y.o. city. Most of it looks like it was built yesterday. It was a capital, yes, but people live in it and the amount of destruction it suffered really got to me. This is what war does.
    Star Trek???? OMG! Wait-is it a new series or the old one I was watching when I was a child? Am I so old????

  270. ash:
    Adrianacandle,

    “….Ary and Gendry on the other hand – they had a past, and he already was sort of in love with her when they were younger and traveling.But it did not take long for that fire to start up again (oh I loved Arya’s face in the scenes with him. She knew exactly what she wanted and had the facial expressions to get it!!)”
    ***

    I know! Arya looked radiant!
    When Gendry was proposing to her in S8e4, on one hand I wanted to reach into my TV, throttle Gendry, and tell him to shut up and play it cool when he was asking her to be the Lady of Storm’s End – which he had to know was the worst thing he could say! (How many times did she tell him “Do NOT call me ‘My Lady'” or variations thereof?”
    On the other hand, I could understand how he lost his head and blurted out: “All I know is that you’re beautiful, and I love you…”
    😍

    ______
    S8e4, Gendry proposes to Arya

    Gendry: “I don’t know how to be lord of anything. I hardly know how to use a fork. All I know is that you’re beautiful, and I love you, and none of it will be worth anything if you’re not with me. So be with me.”
    (He kneels down in front of her)
    Gendry: “Be my wife. Be the Lady of Storm’s End.”

  271. Ten Bears,

    You’re right. If it wasn’t an either/or, why does he make it sound like it was? I think Jon is rather interpreting here. It’s as if he’s saying, “ok, guys, here’s a powerful queen; let’s give her what she wants so that we may all survive, alright?”

    Sigh. The entire season 8 doesn’t make sense. The books shall come out at some point and we’ll still be discussing what the showrunners meant!

  272. Adrianacandle,

    Hey, Adrianna!
    I swear I’ll answer to your posts. It’s just that you’ve written a lot, and I write a lot myself. I’ll gather it all and make a nice long post, alright?
    (It’s horribly late in my part of the world here, anyway).

  273. Ten Bears,

    Well, the entire narrative of season 8 seems bipolar. Does he love her, does he not? The script says so, but they took the “I love her” line out. and then KH does look tormented when she dies, while he definitely looks in love when Ygritte dies.
    KH is a very good actor and the camera loves him, so nothing was done by chance here.
    All the “not a romance” tropes were accomplished with them. Ominous v.o. Check. No first kiss. Check. Dangerous powerplay. Check. Kissing with open eyes. Check.
    No cuddling; no pillow talk; no friendship; no information sharing. Nothing. And then the last script tells us he loves her.
    Right.

  274. Hey all! We’re over the 300 mark in Comments!
    Whoever said interest would wane once the show ended? 😬

    P.S. And lots of intelligent, well thought out ideas to read too.

  275. Efi,

    Of course and please don’t feel obligated to me! Because yeah… I do write a lot. I try to keep it on the shorter side but brevity and I still don’t know one another well T_T

    I haven’t been to sleep in 24 hours so I think I’m about to drop myself 🙂

  276. Adrianacandle,

    “…And I think the development of the J/D relationship suffered — namely from rushed pacing (new giant obstacle every s8 episode!), lacking dialogue, and not having any new books to adapt from.”
    ______

    (1) The compressed time frame and rushed pacing should not have been an impediment. Sure, Arya and Gendry had a history – when she was a kid. I thought the show credibly established a romantic attraction between the two young adults in just two episodes.
    (2) I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Maisie Williams’s ability to deliver a line and flash a smile, along with Joe Dempsie playing Gendry as knocked off his feet and off balance by the no-longer-androgynous-little-girl Arya, sold their romantic connection. And it didn’t take that long.
    (3) Honestly? When Dany and Jon had their dragonriding date (and wound up by that frozen waterfall) and she said “Keep your queen warm”, I cringed.
    (4) I remember more instances of Dany making fun of Jon’s height than exhibiting real “love.”
    (5) Even without source material, the showrunners were capable of writing believable romance. Or… is it the actress and actor who are responsible for breathing passion into the words on the page, and showing emotions with facial expressions and body language? I just didn’t get any of that from KH and EC playing sullen Jon and imperious Dany, respectively, without conveying warmth and intimacy between them.

  277. Efi,

    Star Trek???? OMG! Wait-is it a new series or the old one I was watching when I was a child? Am I so old???

    “A Taste of Armageddon” is from TOS (The Original Series). Episode 23 season 1.
    There’s much to learn from Star Trek 🙂

  278. Efi,

    I was equally shocked as you were in Dresden when I visited Berlin

    You might want to read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Or maybe not, but the novel is based on his experiences during WWII (and so it goes.)

    Ten Bears,

    I loved this and felt like crying because I knew what would happen. I loved how she responded to him as well. sigh

    BTW Efi I get what you are saying about chemistry, and of course its in the eye of the beholder. But I expect writers (and actors) to sell that to me. I felt that if only they had more time….but as with so much else this season, they just didm’t (btw the dragons built for two ride was great fun, loved that; tho it reminded me a little bit live Ygrittes cave. Still training ride for the real thing in episode 3!

    Efi,

    All the “not a romance” tropes were accomplished with them. Ominous v.o. Check. No first kiss. Check. Dangerous powerplay. Check. Kissing with open eyes. Check.
    No cuddling; no pillow talk; no friendship; no information sharing. Nothing. And then the last script tells us he loves her.
    Right.

    yes this is what I meant by no chemistry; something was off to me (what does ominous vo mean?) Tommen nd Margery had more going on with them the first time they meet!

    Ten Bears,

    P.S. And lots of intelligent, well thought out ideas to read too.

    and no angry words, no flaming, no insulting. Just some adults discussing our favorite show. Love it!

  279. Efi,

    Yeah, I think you covered all the items on the “not a romance” checklist. Without establishing that Jon and Dany genuinely loved each other, what should have been an agonizing decision to kill her, and a truly tragic ending, came off more like ““Oh f*ck! My new girlfriend is a dangerous nut job; better put her down.”

    It’s ironic: Despite the call of duty, Jon couldn’t bring himself to execute Ygritte, and Ygritte couldn’t bring herself to kill Jon.
    When it came to Dany…Jon didn’t seem to have any compunctions about drawing her in for a fake kiss in order to slip a knife into her.

  280. Even without source material, the showrunners were capable of writing believable romance. Or… is it the actress and actor who are responsible for breathing passion into the words on the page, and showing emotions with facial expressions and body language? I just didn’t get any of that from KH and EC playing sullen Jon and imperious Dany, respectively, without conveying warmth and intimacy between them.

    Weve seen them be passionate in other situations, dany with daario and of course Jon with Ygritte. I hate to blame the actors but maybe they didn’t have that connection eithre? I think you are right that they bring the words to life; I just think the words were hollow somehow….dunno

    BTW I have a long post in moderation – hopefully it comes back!

  281. Efi,

    About the killer sentence. Arya meant as killing personal. Not what she did in episode 5 through drogon. There’s a difference a small one.

    As for Sansa. Jon loved Sansa, she was his sister. And in season 6 they finally got a bound together. And for starks family is very important.

  282. Kevin1989,

    To add. I think a killer is also somebody who likes killing. A murderer somebody who kills but not liking it. I think that’s what Arya meant. Dany like killing. It makes her feel powerful. Even when everything is peaceful she will find ways to kill people.

    Tommorrow I will write more. Need my sleep now.

  283. Ten Bears,

    Well, I think they did play the warmth and intimacy between them but that’s just me. I don’t think Arya/Gendry are the best thing to compare the writing for Jon/Dany against because Jon/Dany had to accomplish a whole lot in ten episodes.

    It had to go from their very first meeting, in which they weren’t terribly fond of one another, to attraction, to getting on the same page about this totally mythological threat that the other doesn’t believe, to them getting on the same side of this threat, to facing dissent from the North and family, to rallying everyone to fight this threat together, to discovering they’re related, to one undergoing an identity crisis while the other finds out they’re not the heir, to dealing with the fall out of that, to one going nuts, doing some mass murder, and threatening the entire world, while the other has to take them out. That’s a lot for ten episodes. I think it’s more than what the Arya and Gendry relationship had to accomplish in their time span and I believe it’s more than what any other romance in the show had to accomplish. It’s a lot to write without a framework from the author when they didn’t sign up to write the conclusion to Game of Thrones.

    It’s one thing to reintroduce two people who knew each other from a time before: when one was a kid and the other was a young adult, in which they developed a rapport and basis, to bringing them back together for two episodes to establish a romantic connection as young adults. They flirted, they had some banter, they had sex, and Arya turned down Gendry’s marriage proposal. But I think it’s another to attempt this whole giant story with obstacle after obstacle, including incest and genocide, in ten episodes.

    But I also think this goes back to personal preference too. You say you found the dragon date cringe, which is totally fair — but the writers did try. And referring to Efi’s comment, the writers didn’t totally ignore these developments: there was some information sharing (ie. in 707 and 801), attempts to build the rapport (801 dragon ride, waterfall stuff), intimate gestures (hand and face holding). They exchange ‘I love you’s in 804 and 805. It’s not like they ignored that part for the purpose of trying to undermine their own story. Whether or not it was done well… yeah, that’s going to be based on personal preference. But I don’t think the lack of success was intentional.

    Despite the call of duty, Jon couldn’t bring himself to execute Ygritte, and Ygritte couldn’t bring herself to kill Jon.
    When it came to Dany…Jon didn’t seem to have any compunctions about drawing her in for a fake kiss in order to slip a knife into her.

    And I think this goes to interpretation. Jon, to me, looked pretty damned anguished about doing this so I can’t agree he had no compunctions — he told Tyrion it doesn’t feel right, he pleaded with Dany to change her mind, he was crying. However, I realize I can’t make you see what I see. I mean, I also felt the kiss was real so there’s that.

    As for Ygritte, I think that was a different situation. Ygritte wasn’t exactly intent on burning the world down and this happened at a point in the series — in season 2 — before Jon goes through most of his hard lessons about doing the hard thing to save others. Before Jon had to kill Qhorin Halfhand to infiltrate the wildlings, before he had to betray Ygritte to return to the NW, before he had to battle against Ygritte’s side and possibly killing her in the battle, before — well, you know the story 😉

    But at the end of the day, I think it’s all down to personal preference. I don’t think the writers were trying to undermine their own story any more than they were trying to undermine other plots with issues (Dark Dany, the Night King, Savvy Sansa, etc.).

  284. ash,

    Yes, I think both you and Ten Bears have a point here. And I think some of it depends on how the actors breathe life into the words. Sometimes it doesn’t always work for everyone. However, I think there is something to what you’re both saying. With the Ygritte/Jon storyline, KH and RL were falling in love. Meanwhile, with Jon/Dany, KH and EC have both mentioned how weird it was to do love scenes because they’ve been friends for the past seven years. So maybe that translated a bit?

    Jon/Ygritte was ultimately my favourite romantic relationship but even here, I remember some people wondering if Jon was in love with her (both show and book-wise) — I think they were in love and this is supported by the text. But I think there will always be that variance. With Jon/Ygritte, I think it was a very new, innocent, first love with all of the excitement that can bring — but tempered with Jon knowing he was duty-bound to leave her and return to the Watch.

  285. Since the topic of this article is “Emmy Talk”….

    For what it’s worth, the Gold Derby.com “Experts'” Emmy odds as of today, 8/7/19, for Best Supporting Actress, are:

    Maisie Williams, GoT 4-1
    Julia Garner, Ozark 4-1
    Lena Headey, GoT 5-1
    Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve 11-2
    Gwendoline Christie, GoT 11-2
    Sophie Turner, GoT 13-2

    #VoteMaisie

  286. Ten Bears:
    Efi,

    “Did Jon really love Daenerys? I don’t know. Their romantic scenes were systematically undercut with sth, as if not even the showrunners believed in this romance. His line to Tyrion “I love her” was cut in editing, which is indicative of how they handled this “romance”.
    If the showrunners wanted to make this a full-blown romance and tragedy, they’d have explored this dynamic better and would have given us Jon’s conflicted feelings, watching her go mad and dracarys on everybody, while assuring her that he loved her.
    But they didnt.”

    ____Right. Strange that their “love” seemed so sterile. That could be why Dany dying in Jon’s arms lacked the emotional punch of Ygritte dying in Jon’s arms.

    It was critically important that the Jon -Deanerys romance was deeply convincing to make the great stabbing felt the highpoint of the story. However because the romance was not very believable – it made that scene not very satisfying.

    Kit and Emilia are not the strongest actors in the series but they did well (particularly Emilia) in S8.

    Part of it was structural – they met late in the story and it took their sex scene to confirm that something was happening between them. (Compare that to Jon/Ygritte and J&B) Then within an episode of their sex scene, they were at odds.

    On top of that, D&D seem to have decided to smother many of the emotional pay-offs for the audience…such as that I love you. Or the Starks kids response when they knew of that Jon’s heritage. Emotional frustration of the audience seem to be a “go-to”.

  287. Adrianacandle,

    With the Ygritte/Jon storyline, KH and RL were falling in love. Meanwhile, with Jon/Dany, KH and EC have both mentioned how weird it was to do love scenes because they’ve been friends for the past seven years. So maybe that translated a bit?

    Huh,I hadn’t thought about that. Good call and I think you are right

  288. Mango,

    I believed their love. But it didn’t believe it was healthy. Not only because of the incest. That’s also a point why many didn’t believe it. Because it has incest between them. But for me I always felt Dany was too strong for Jon. Ygritte was more loose and that was perfect for Jon who needed to loose up.

    I still think they love each other. 7×06 showed us that. And 8×01 also for me. 8×02 showed us that Dany had more concern for the throne doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love him but it shows us that this isn’t healthy. And then 8×06 happened. And in that moment I truly believed Dany was in love with Jon. Forget the fact that she forget what she did the episode before and was fully focused on Jon and that she didn’t think about what he would resent her. But her facial expression towards Jon said it all. He was also the first one where she opened up that much the past seasons. Even more then drogon. Yes for me I believed it in the final.

    As for the truth bomb. Why would people want to see the truth bomb to be shown 100x on screen. I was already before that scene started: oh not again the same story. I was glad it moved forward.

  289. Kevin1989:
    Mango,

    I believed their love. But it didn’t believe it was healthy. Not only because of the incest. That’s also a point why many didn’t believe it. Because it has incest between them. But for me I always felt Dany was too strong for Jon. Ygritte was more loose and that was perfect for Jon who needed to loose up.

    I still think they love each other. 7×06 showed us that. And 8×01 also for me. 8×02 showed us that Dany had more concern for the throne doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love him but it shows us that this isn’t healthy. And then 8×06 happened. And in that moment I truly believed Dany was in love with Jon. Forget the fact that she forget what she did the episode before and was fully focused on Jon and that she didn’t think about what he would resent her. But her facial expression towards Jon said it all. He was also the first one where she opened up that much the past seasons. Even more then drogon. Yes for me I believed it in the final.

    As for the truth bomb. Why would people want to see the truth bomb to be shown 100x on screen. I was already before that scene started: oh not again the same story. I was glad it moved forward.

    I hear you on the truth about Jon. I think on what should have been deleted in the scene at the end of Season 7 showing the marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna. We already saw where Ned got the baby and when Sam/Gilly found the records in the Citadel and also Sam telling Bran. We did not need all those scenes – the overlay of R+L getting married really detracted from the sex/love scene with Jon and Daenerys being powerful for me. It undermined this scene.

    The response of Sansa and Arya would be different information from what we had before. This is especially true for Sansa who would react to the political implications more strongly.

    As for believing their love, I did not. The “good part” of romance was too short lived and they did not have enough shared life-experience for it to be very “weighty” when he had to kill her. Compare that to Jaime killing Cersei or Brienne or Ned killing Cat or Renly killing Loras or even Tyrion killing Shae.

  290. Ten Bears,

    BTW, bringing up Star Trek reminded me I finally saw the Picard trailer you tried to send me from Comic Con. It got me the most excited I’ve been about a new Star Trek series in quite some time. It looks awesome.

    I also watched the “His Dark Materials” panel at Comic con and watched the trailer. It looks intriguing as well, but I can’t help compare Maisie Williams to Dafne Keen. Dafne was good in Logan, but she hardly spoke until the end of the movie. Maisie just shines on those Comic Con panels and in all of her interviews. Dafne just didn’t have the same energy as Maisie on her panels and in other interviews. It might not be fair to her, but I just couldn’t help compare her with Maisie. I do wish her all the best and she may do an amazing job in her role in HDM (I hope so, because it looks really interesting!). But I come to appreciate Maisie even more when I see other actresses doing similar roles or appearing in public. Maisie just has something very special. I would like to have seen what Maisie could have done with the same X-23. She’s probably too old now, but as you have stated, she can emote with her face so well. 90% of that movie is emoting without words.

    Maisie definitely has my vote at the Emmys, and I also always very much look forward to see her fashion and her high energy interviews at the event.

  291. Kevin1989:
    Kevin1989,

    To add. I think a killer is also somebody who likes killing. A murderer somebody who kills but not liking it. I think that’s what Arya meant. Dany like killing. It makes her feel powerful. Even when everything is peaceful she will find ways to kill people.

    Tommorrow I will write more. Need my sleep now.

    I do not think a killer as a person that likes killing. For me a killer is descriptive term for someone or something that kills – even by accident. As in the killer and the victim even in a car accident.

    A “murderer” includes intent to kill and is the more heavy weight term. Pancreatic cancer and heart diseases are killers but not a murderers.

    A person that likes killing and does so wantonly and illegally is a psychopathic or sociopathic murderer.

  292. Mango,

    True. But I think that Arya meant that. That dany feels powerful with killing. And that Jon is in danger for being killed by her.

  293. Mango,

    Part 1 of 2

    What does Arya mean by “I know a killer when I see one”? I think she means someone who blithely kills people without remorse.

    Let’s do a little forensic linguistics to see how she uses that term…

    In S3e9, she said to Sandor, “I know a killer. A real killer.” (Arya begs Sandor not to kill the pork merchant.) At 1:00 – 1:14:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll8hB7ywcYI

    Bonus:
    • (1:25 – 1:44)
    Right after Sandor tells Arya she’s very kind, the merchant regains consciousness – and Arya whacks him on the head, knocking him out again. I love Sandor’s look as Arya walks by him. (1:44)

  294. Mango,

    Part 2 of 2

    S4e8 Arya & Sandor approaching the Bloody Gate

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znlPfK_3Fok

    Sandor: “Little sh*t [Joffrey] deserved to die, but poison. Poison’s a woman’s weapon. Men kill with steel.”

    Arya: “That’s your stupid pride talking. That’s why you’ll never be a great killer. I’d have killed Joffrey with a chicken bone if I had to.”

    Sandor: “I’d pay good money to see that.”

    • Bonus: Arya laughing hysterically when they learn “Lady Arryn died. Three days ago.”

  295. ⚠️ Fanboy Alert!

    Back to the Emmys…
    With all due respect to Lena Headey, how does Maisie Williams not walk away with the Best Supporting Actress Emmy? She was excellent throughout the eight-season run, and far eclipsed her other co-star nominees in Season 8.

    I can’t assess nominee Julia Garner’s performance, as I have never watched “Ozark.” Nor do I know anyone who has.

    If ASNAWP doesn’t win it will have to be because of vote-splitting + the new voting format. (Instead of ranking the nominees, the voter will now just make one selection. I can envision Gwendoline Christie peeling off just enough votes to enable Julia Garner to edge out ASNAWP.)

  296. Mango,

    See this, from Glosbe. The first synonym is “murderer”.
    But it is analyzed as “That which kills”, the rather flat scientific “the causal agent resulting in death”, and: “Causing death, destruction, or obliteration”.
    There are numerous figurative uses of course.

  297. Mango,

    “Compare that to Jaime killing Cersei or Brienne or Ned killing Cat or Renly killing Loras or even Tyrion killing Shae.”
    That is actually a very good point you’re making.
    I didn’t know what to make of the final scene where he kills her. What confuses me is that he cries, but thanks to your comment I watched it again and well, he’s very composed until the moment she starts falling. I think it would have been better if he hadn’t cried, at least not like that, as if he’s mourning.
    We didn’t get many killings like that, only Tyrion/Shae and that one was very dramatic and very personal to Tyrion, and the mo was personal.

  298. ash:
    Ten Bears,

    Oh I could listen to that laugh all day.Wonder if I could make it my ring tone….

    Good idea! And along with Arya’s hysterical laugh, I’d want a ring tone of Sandor’s giggle when he snarked, “the greatest swordsman who ever lived didn’t have a sword?!” in S4e5.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_I3Wu_G1YeE

    Lord, I’ll miss those two together. I’m so glad the presumptive* ending of their pairing conformed with my expectation that Sandor would be the one to turn Arya off the vengeance trail, though the precise manner in which he did so wasn’t the same as my tinfoil fanfic.

    * “Presumptive” because in my head canon a red priestess resurrected Sandor in the rubble of KL:
    “The Lord of Light isn’t done with you yet, Sandor Clegane.”
    “Aww, for f*ck’s sake! What now?”

  299. Ten Bears,

    Re: today’s odds….smashing!!! I think it;s good Emmy voters have to see episode 5 so much, which was stunning for her and Lena but didn’t include Sophie and Gwendoline. Arya was prominent in all but the final episode, so Maisie probably benefits a lot from voters seeing every episode.

    BTW, you wrote: “Presumptive” because in my head canon a red priestess resurrected Sandor in the rubble of KL:
    “The Lord of Light isn’t done with you yet, Sandor Clegane.”
    “Aww, for f*ck’s sake! What now?

    I’m more convinced than ever (thank you Tron79, ) that the White Horse is Sandor reincarnated OR Sandor’s spirit come to save her one last time. From the Hounds’s famous black steed (named Stranger) to the mysterious White Horse, Sandor is still
    there for her. In the soundtrack version of “Believe” there are even angelic voices as she gentled the horse and a subtle musical echo with his final music.

  300. One last thing to anybody who might be interested.
    Blaming the actors’ performance for sth that doesn’t feel right isn’t always the right way to explain what we see on screen. Of course we all like this or that actor and we may even be partial to them because they fit our (subjective) standards, but these people are professionals. They are directed to act a certain way and deliver. In the case of GOT this is even multiplied, because they had been working together for a decade and indeed sometimes under hard conditions (eg having all these scenes of violence and abuse), and many of them grew up together. So imo if KH and EC do not have chemistry, it’s not because they just don’t have it in real life to take it on screen too, but because they were directed not to have chemistry; if they had been given such a direction, they would have delivered.
    In addition, in filming it’s always script, positioning, camera angle, and lighting (and so much more I can’t even imagine) that works for bringing the final result to the audience. Time is also not an excuse for the final result, and this is so much more true for GOT, because they have delivered other romances very well in the past. It’s not like they can’t do it in few episodes. They did it with Robb/Thalisa for example. Why did the chemistry work there, and not between Jon and Dany? They were a couple in the midst of war. Sure, there was no antagonism between them, but grand concerns about war and strategy didn’t undercut their romance. One could also point to Tyrion/Shae, Jamie/Brienne.
    Jon and Dany had 11 (!) episodes to make this romance work. They didn’t. And that’s not because the producers couldn’t deliver a few good tropes, not even because Jon and Dany were antagonists from the very beginning, but because D&D didn’t want a romance.
    So it’s not how good actors KH or EC are (because they are); it’s how they were directed in their common scenes; it’s what the script said; it’s what the camera angle showed.
    Two examples: first, when Jon leaves Dragonstone in 7.5, the camera makes sure that both he and Jorah are in the frame. Jorah looks back, Jon doesn’t. Looking back is the most common trope of a couple in the making, check it out if you want. On the other hand, the directors did this trope with Jon/Sansa and Jamie/Brienne.
    Second, the open eyes kiss in 8.1. After the underwhelming “come kiss your queen then” (right, Dany, pull rank, it’s always a turn-on), Jon kisses her, turns her around and puts her between himself and the dragon, and opens the eyes for the dragon stare-down. That’s deliberate choice, as much as Dany’s line was. This trope is one in the “not a romance” cetegory.
    I think the actors gave what they were requested to give. Personally I like KH a lot, EC not so much yet because her inherent sweetness confuses me –it was too much I think in Star Wars, but it worked perfectly in Me before You. KH has immense potential; I saw Testament of Youth recently, he was excellent (even though not a big part), while in Gunpowder he’s rather Jon Snow II.

  301. Efi,

    I don’t think we’re going to see eye to eye on this but I’d like to respond to some things in your post. I’m not trying to get convince you into feeling this love story because that’s something a person needs to feel for themselves but I’d like to address some other statements. I’ll try to keep this short(er) though 😉

    They are directed to act a certain way and deliver […] but because they were directed not to have chemistry; if they had been given such a direction, they would have delivered.

    Well… Jeremy Podeswa might disagree they were directed to not have chemistry 😉

    But in the script direction for the final episode, as well as the script direction for some episodes in season 7, the notes say that these two people were in love or (in season 7) falling in love. I’m not sure why the writers would say one thing, script one thing, and then deliberately try to undermine their own story. To what end? Especially when this particular relationship was crucial to one of the climaxes for the conclusion of the story. In that case, were they trying to undermine the Night King resolution and the Dark Dany story? People have complaints about those as well and had trouble with how these were developed.

    In response to a previous post of yours, there were attempts at having these two share info, banter, and share affectionate gestures on-screen. But this suffered some of the same development problems other plots in the later seasons had: rushed development for the sake of reaching the end game in a quickened time period. Not only for J/D, but for quite a few plots — the quick end to the Night King in a 6-hr Long Night, the dreaded winter lasting maybe a month, Dany snapping and unnecessarily leveling a city to lead into her end, the lack of pay-off for major stories like R+L=J, the lack of development for things crucial to the climax, etc.

    Time is also not an excuse for the final result, and this is so much more true for GOT, because they have delivered other romances very well in the past. It’s not like they can’t do it in few episodes. They did it with Robb/Thalisa for example. Why did the chemistry work there, and not between Jon and Dany?

    Well… Robb and Talisa didn’t work for everyone. Plus, that relationship didn’t need to go through the obstacles or story beats the Dany/Jon relationship did. And Talisa was created to be Robb’s love interest. Robb isn’t a secret hidden prince with the claim to Talisa’s family dynasty that she’s been working toward since season 1. They’re not secretly related. There’s no pressure on them to save humanity. Robb doesn’t meet Talisa by begging for her help to save them from a zombie apocalypse. There was one primary obstacle in Robb and Talisa’s relationship: Robb was sworn to another but he fell in love with Talisa, inciting the Frey’s wrath.

    Additionally, I also don’t know where this criteria for disqualification is sourced from as an official means of determination? I looked but I couldn’t find anything. But I think some of the things you cite are reasons for a viewer not to be on board, which is completely fair for a viewer to determine for themselves. Mango gave some good reasons as to why the relationship didn’t work and I agree in part with kevin. But I don’t think these are indicators that D&D are saying this isn’t a romance in contrast to their scripting — when D&D, the writers, and the cast have said otherwise. The writers have also tried to include other romance-oriented tropes in the J/D story as well and were given a love theme. This might not have worked, no, but they did try.

    Some of the things you’re citing… I see they’re a problem for you but I’m not seeing how this means the problems they had building the relationship were deliberate. Jon opens his eyes during one kiss because a huge dragon is staring at him. Alright. That’s why he opens his eyes. But his eyes are closed every other time. I think you can point out things from every relationship: Jaime chooses to be with a woman who denigrates him over a woman like Brienne. Jon chooses the Watch over Ygritte, fights in a battle against her, and breaks his promise to be with her. But Jaime/Brienne and Jon/Ygritte were still romances regardless — romances that benefited from having the books to adapt them from and they were given time to grow and develop.

    On the other hand, the directors did this trope with Jon/Sansa and Jamie/Brienne

    Jaime and Brienne are definitely a love story but I’m not sure how this applies to Jon and Sansa?

    Okay, that was long. I failed again 😉 To say again, I’m not trying to get anyone to buy into this particular relationship. But I have a hard time seeing how the structural problems and what some people view as a lack of chemistry were deliberate.

  302. ash,

    Thank you for considering it! 🙂

    To all, I also wanted to clarify something in my posts if I haven’t already: I don’t mean to say if something does or doesn’t work for me, it means I think it does/doesn’t work for anyone else. Dark Dany and the NK resolution stuff didn’t work for me, some character relationships didn’t work for me but I totally understand that they worked for others! And vice versa – what works for me doesn’t always work for others.

    Back in my Buffy days, I was Spuffy to the end and fought Bangels on Buffy forums with the force of a thousand Red Bull-ed cokes until the wee hours of the morn! 😉 Which is probably a reason why I nearly failed social studies because fighting Buffy wars was more important than learning about the Hudson’s Bay Company. Please don’t hate me, any Bangels who might be reading 😢 I mean, I also didn’t feel Claire/Jamie until well into season 2 of Outlander. I’ve underwent electro-shock therapy a few years ago — so maybe my wires are crossed wrong as a result 😉

    In short, to anyone who disagrees with my feelings on something, I know I’m not the be-all, end-all. These are only my opinions 🙂

  303. Ten Bears:
    Mango,

    Part 1 of 2

    What does Arya mean by “I know a killer when I see one”? I think she means someone who blithely kills people without remorse.

    Let’s do a little forensic linguistics to see how she uses that term…

    In S3e9, she said to Sandor, “I know a killer. A real killer.”(Arya begs Sandor not to kill the pork merchant.)At 1:00 – 1:14:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll8hB7ywcYI

    Bonus:• (1:25 – 1:44)
    Right after Sandor tells Arya she’s very kind, the merchant regains consciousness – and Arya whacks him on the head, knocking him out again. I love Sandor’s look as Arya walks by him. (1:44)

    We do not disagree that is what she meant.

    Maybe she should have said is I know a murderer or a psychopath. Or maybe another less statement of the obvious – maybe – I know what darkness it takes to kill in anger. Dunno…

    Or better yet “My scriptwriter likes to use loose wording so I will say killer (emphasis on the end as in killeeeeer! or killaaaaaa!) to mean a murderer or a psychopathic killer or psychopathic murderer. Yes, The audience will get it even if many will laugh aloud when I solemnly state the obvious”.

  304. Ten Bears:
    Mango,

    Part 1 of 2

    What does Arya mean by “I know a killer when I see one”? I think she means someone who blithely kills people without remorse.

    Let’s do a little forensic linguistics to see how she uses that term…

    In S3e9, she said to Sandor, “I know a killer. A real killer.”(Arya begs Sandor not to kill the pork merchant.)At 1:00 – 1:14:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll8hB7ywcYI

    Bonus:• (1:25 – 1:44)
    Right after Sandor tells Arya she’s very kind, the merchant regains consciousness – and Arya whacks him on the head, knocking him out again. I love Sandor’s look as Arya walks by him. (1:44)

    Also in the GOT context there is a lot of intentional killing that is not murder.

    I need to say more on intentional killing (a wide category than murder) as I used it in the earlier post to Kevin. War and “fair” combat, executions after trials will all result in killings that are not murders – even when harm/death is intended. Not all intentional killings are murders unless you are a vigourous opponent of capital punishment and war.

    Murderers are also killers of course, it is unclear whether this above conversation refers legal or illegal killings. Maybe the scriptwriter should have used “murderer” in this conversation.

  305. Jenny:
    mau,

    Sure we can agree to disagree, although I do agree with you in part so I’ll say one last thing.

    In his final chapter he says something like, ‘I will have to face Cersei one day I suppose, that’s if she’s not dead’ and that was only added because GRRM’s editor insisted on it, she was never supposed to be mentioned.He was becoming disillusioned with her while at KL, they didn’t have sex again after the sept and their relationship began to break down because he was acting against her wishes for once in his life.I think he realised that he didn’t particularly like her before he found out that she was unfaithful (burning the tower of the hand), and he was obsessed by her infidelity to a disturbing degree, he is no angel that’s for sure.

    He doesn’t actively show remorse, but he does feel shame, and he tries to be a better person.GRRM said ‘One of the things I wanted to explore with Jaime, and with so many of the characters, is the whole issue of redemption. When can we be redeemed? Is redemption even possible? Our society is full of people who have fallen in one way or another, and what do we do with these people? How many good acts make up for a bad act? … I want there to be a possibility of redemption for us, because we all do terrible things. We should be able to be forgiven. Because if there is no possibility of redemption, what’s the answer then?’

    Jaime is succeeding the moment, but I do think you are right, he will end up dying with Cersei, either he will kill her first or they just die together.I think he could be an example of failed redemption and that will be tragic, particularly as it will involve returning to or murdering an abuser, the future is grim.I just didn’t think that the show handled it in a satisfying way.

    The Jaime story in the book is quite different from what GOT gave us. I wonder how it ends in the books.

    Years ago, GRRM did an interview about Jaime and Brienne in the hot tub and his emotion/joy as he spoke about the two was worth noting. His discussion of redemption with regard to Jaime is also noteworthy – it is topic he raised himself and seems to have thought quite a bit about.

    Just today, GRRM again said his story is different from GOT. What does he mean????….I hope we find out (meaning more books!)

  306. Efi,

    “It wasn’t about Arya, Bran and Sam, who also knew the secret. It was about Sansa. ” “In the end, Jon chose Sansa over Daenerys; Starks over Targs. Dishonor over honor, for protecting the one he loved.”

    My word, that sounds like a blurb on the cover of a Mills & Boon novel. GRRM did not write a romance, but a fantasy epic, one with as many characters as there are stars in the firmament. Focus a telescope on one exclusively, and he/she seems to be THE star, no matter how much brighter the others actually shine. Sansa is NOT the hero of this story. Jon, Dany, Tyrion are the heroes of this story. Bran is officially GRRM’s protagonist. Arya is probably George’s 12 year old who saves the world. Does Jon consider Sansa’s welfare? Of course. As he considers Bran’s and Arya’s…and the North’s and the Realm’s…and Dany’s.

    Moreover, GRRM invented Sansa so the perfect Stark family would have some conflict. THAT is what she has done brilliantly in Seasons 6 through 8–stirred contention with her family and Dany whilst scheming her way to power. Understandably. People had used her to get ahead and now she has the same motivation to use her family and friends. Jon considered her such a problem that at their reunion he wanted Arya to help him cope with Sansa’s hostility to their honoured guest. Sansa seems to fancy herself the true head of her family, but does not act like it because she serves herself exclusively. (If you doubt that, note how much she helps “her” people in the Crypt scene.)

    Sansa was clearly frustrated in season 6 because Jon wasn’t listening to her. She didn’t want to bring in the Vale, because of her sick relationship with LF. How would Jon accept LF, knowing what she’s been through? How could she tell him? She went behind his back, true, but it wasn’t against Jon, she did it to save him and herself from Ramsay. Not telling him about LF was a misdemeanor compared to the fact that she did, in fact, save his life. The theme of trust between Jon and Sansa runs through season 6 and goes into 7.1 and 7.2, but I think it is resolved in season 8.

    Yes, and when he did listen to her she misled him about the very information he desperately wanted! It was not her place nor her right to decide what was best for her commander and brother. It was up to him to accept reserves, and under those odds he most certainly would have. She certainly was willing to let him flounder and nearly get killed before the ‘cavalry’ arrived. Never mind Rickon; the poor sod never got her consideration at all. Jon forgave her, but I doubt he’s forgotten.

    I repeat that I don’t think Sansa is power hungry. Back in season 7 she offered her own title to Bran….. She refused to turn against Jon when LF suggested that she should because Jon and Daenerys would hook up anyway. In 8.4 Tyrion points out that with Jon gone South, she’d have true power in the North. The camera focuses on Sophie’s face and she acts like Sansa really suffers hearing that Jon won’t live with her in WF anymore.

    Perchance you were unable to read some of the S7 episode scenarios floating around last year. She was relieved Bran said no. Additionally, in S7E5 she hesitated before turning down Lords Glover and Royce;s request that she depose Jon. Of course, Arya was staring at her from the back. Afterwards, Arya played the Game of Faces whilst they chatted and boldly told Sansa she wanted power and was courting the lords just in case. The script confirms Arya was right and Sansa knew it.

    By the bye, before she betrayed Jon’s secret, she spent about a minute watching Dany and the dragons and said “Why her?” Jon’s secret was her most powerful weapon against Dany. And she unleashed it. She wasn’t protecting Jon because she knew his going south was not a danger because he was not a Stark. As you say, “Tyrion (exasperated, lol): “Why do you think Sansa told me the truth? Because she doesn’t want Dany to be queen!” ”

    It seems to me that Sansa’s presence looms over the episodes even when she’s not there. (Remember the telescope.) By firing her shot Sansa had become THE remaining issue. In damaging Dany, she caused Rhaegal, Missandei, and indirectly many soldiers and hundreds of thousands of citizens to die. Of course Jon, Arya and Tyrion were concerned about Dany’s possible reprisal. But both Arya and Tyrion were compelled to tell Jon that HE was also in danger because Dany was a true killer, not just some dragon rider carried away by battle-lust.

    It seems to me that Jon did put one woman above all else. As his convo with Tyrion shows, not even the possibility that he might be executed by Daenerys wouldn’t make him change his attitude. But the threats against Sansa did. When it comes to “choosing”, everyone, including Jon, thinks of Sansa (not of Arya or anyone else). Not so. Tyrion’s exact quote is “And your sisterS. Do you see THEM bending the knee?”

    Finally, to return to the script…for the Stark farewell scene. Jon “…hasn’t entirely forgiven her for betraying the oath he made her swear in the godswood.” Sansa asked Jon’s forgiveness…and did NOT get it. The script says “He knows she loves him. He knows she only wants what’s best for the North. But still…” After hesitating and groping for words, he pays her a compliment and they hug. Of course his exchange with Arya is full of love, with him wiping tears from her eye and inviting her to come visit him. In a deleted line he tells her, “Wherever you go, I’m right there beside you.” And kisses her.

    So the focus on Sansa like she has some special bond with Jon is somewhat misleading. For a multi-dimensional story told in a panoramic style, perhaps binoculars are even more useful than a telescope. In a way, the script is almost a microscope to see the finer details. You might try to find a copy. It’s been much maligned online because it’s hard to decipher for people not familiar with scripts and especially with D&D’s style. But it’s very helpful.

  307. Adrianacandle,

    I want to add one thing, I don’t think time is the issue, I watched a lot of tv-shows and many shows a relationship being build in just one episode that you knew, they belong together. Even when the characters were at odds with each other. Remember Sawyer and Juliet from Lost. That relationship was build in 1 episode. The only thing they got going for them was that it happen to have a time-span of 3 years.

  308. kevin1989,

    For me (and this is just my opinion), I’m not sure Juliet and Sawyer are a great example of a quickly built relationship that worked right off the bat. Personally, I wasn’t moved by it :/ Yes, it was a romance! But I didn’t feel much from it.

    However, your bringing up Sawyer-Juliet reminds me that despite my lacklustre reaction to that relationship, not everybody feels the way I do. And in the same vein, there are people who really liked Jon and Dany together. They too have a fanbase.

    And there are still some pretty big differences between J/S and J/D: Juliet was a new character in season 3, like Talisa was, who became the love interest of established character.

    In contrast, Jon and Dany were well-known, established characters and had been for seven years by the time they met. Juliet and Talisa were unexplored, new characters just starting their story by the time they hooked up with established characters — and these established characters were maybe midway along in their development rather than coming to the end of their stories like Jon and Dany. We got to know Juliet and Talisa in the context of their relationships with Sawyer and Robb respectively. We already knew Jon and Dany by the time they got together so I think time was needed because it was required to explore Jon/Dany as a couple as opposed to the individuals we already knew them as.

    And again, I turn back to how the Jon/Dany relationship had a ton of story and obstacles to deal with in just 10-11 episodes, including a major revelation that upended each character’s story: Jon finding out he’s not who he thought, a core trait of his character since season 1, and he learns he’s actually related Dany, which causes issues. Meanwhile, Dany finds out she’s not actually heir to her family’s throne, which was a major motivation that has been driving her since season 1 — Jon is — and this causes issues. And that’s not all: they had the fate of the world in their hands, they were facing dissent from multiple sides, one of them snaps and commits mass murder, forcing the other to act. And still, that doesn’t even cover the early part of their relationship, when they met. I can’t remember many other relationships having to go through all of that in just 10-11 episodes.

    I feel Jon/Dany crammed at least three (30 episodes) seasons worth of stuff into a third of the time they needed. As it was, it was obstacle after obstacle after obstacle with very little downtime because there wasn’t time for that downtime.

  309. Kevin1989,

    I wanted to add — I do agree with much of your August 8, 2019 at 4:25 am post. I was able to buy into what the script was selling me re: Jon/Dany but even so, I think the relationship had those structural problems as mentioned by Mango above (meeting late in the game, facing problems just one episode after they officially become a thing). I’m not sure if Dany was necessarily too strong for Jon but I think he had blinders on when it came to her, kind of like he had blinders on when it comes to Sansa and I think he’d have them with Arya too if we ever got to see him confronted with her assassin abilities (I kind of feel robbed of that. I can’t believe we didn’t get to see a scene in which he sees how much Arya has learned to use her Needle).

    And I think there were some contrivances that happened in the Jon/Dany relationship that were done to avoid obvious solutions to problems (ie. marriage to join claims) because it’d take away a reason to drive Dany to her darkest point. It’s just weird those two never even discussed marriage, especially when Dany said in 610 she needed marital alliances. And that would solve the claims problem. I doubt it’d win any love from the North — but it’d take care of the claims problem 😉

    … I did want to see the truth bomb on screen… 🙁 I was so mad when that didn’t happen!

    I think you’re right about the influence Ygritte had on Jon too – she did loosen him up 🙂

  310. kevin1989,

    Oh god, I’m sorry! I mixed Sawyer up with Jack! Juliet and Sawyer didn’t hook up right away, did they? It’s been a while!! XD I remember she met Sawyer in one of her first episodes and had interactions with him but they became a couple later. Is that right? It’s been such a long time, I haven’t seen Lost since it ended.

    And you’re talking about episode The End right?

    If that’s so, and if I’m remembering right, by the time The End occurred in season 5 or 6, Sawyer and Juliet had known each other for a while and had a history and rapport with one another so their story wasn’t starting from square one. I think that time together, even if not spent romantically, is still part of the relationship storyline. Bellamy and Clarke from The 100 — even though they aren’t in a romantic pairing — they’ve had six years of relationship development behind them. Jon and Dany are starting totally from square one — no prior relationship, nothing.

    I’m so sorry if I’m misremembering anything! It’s been a really, really long time. I haven’t seen Lost since the finale aired.

  311. Mango,

    My scriptwriter likes to use loose wording so I will say killer (emphasis on the end as in killeeeeer! or killaaaaaa!) to mean a murderer or a psychopathic killer or psychopathic murderer. Yes, The audience will get it even if many will laugh aloud when I solemnly state the obvious”.

    oh dear lord! LOL My sides, my sides!

    When Arya said ‘I know a killer when I see one’ I thought of a killer as evil, and that she was telling him that he should beware. Perhaps using a different word would have made the meaning more clear, but I doubt it. We know who she was talking about.,

  312. Stark Raven’ Rad,

    ✅ to everything you wrote! I typed out a long reply with quotes of Sansa’s repeated after-the-fact “forgive me’s” (after unilaterally deciding to conceal things from Jon and breach his confidences), but that reply vanished into the ether when I pressed “Post Comment.”

  313. Adrianacandle,

    Well but at the moment Juliet and Sawyer became a couple, already 2,5 seasons have gone by in which we saw Juliet. (halfway season 5 they became a couple). Before that there was no sign of them even able of being a couple. And it was established in a couple of episodes. But the difference is maybe that that one episode was a span of 3 years, more then the first 4,5 seasons. So there was more change in 1 episode then there was in the whole series before it, so a lot has changed, and it is not out of question if 2 work together to survive and where they move to and live for 3 years, that there is a romance being build. It only happen off-screen (or you count those 2 scenes in the past).

    As for Jon and Dany I agree they faced much more. I really liked Petra’s idea of Dany bombing Iron Island first, that would also made the pacing better if they added more decent in her character.

    Adrianacandle,

    True half. They met in 3×01-3×07 (Don’t remember right if Juliet had conversations with Sawyer, it could be that it was only with Jack at first). Then there was lot of issues and trust-issues. At the end of season 3 she chose the group of Jack. Season 4 started the bounding of Juliet in their group. Season 5 started of with a couple left on the island with for Sawyer only Juliet as a normal person to talk too. Jin didn’t talk to good English (or is it well), and Locke was only busy with Locke, and the freighter people was only busy with themselves as a couple. Halfway through they skipped 3 years in the future (Because of the ones that left that already were 3 years in the future). And in one episode we saw Sawyer and Juliet getting a bound because they only had each other. And then it skipped 3 years in the future in which we saw already how husband and wife behave. I bought it because it was romantic with the flower etc and Sawyer was honest about Kate, it didn’t just wash away the old flames like GoT did it acknowledge them.

  314. Adrianacandle,

    “… I think he’d have them with Arya too if we ever got to see him confronted with her assassin abilities (I kind of feel robbed of that. I can’t believe we didn’t get to see a scene in which he sees how much Arya has learned to use her Needle).”
    _____
    I kind of felt robbed too!
    When Jon and Arya reunited, and he asked if she’d ever used Needle and she downplayed her abilities by answering “Once or twice”, I was hoping there would be a follow-up scene where he saw her in action and his jaw dropped.

    I’m not complaining though. We did get such a scene – except it was Davos who was witnessing Arya whirling and twirling and wiping out wights.

  315. Stark Raven’ Rad,

    Thanks, I have a copy. This was a rant, and a kind of offensive one. I get it you don’t like Sansa.
    You should consider whether what Sansa did exonerates Daenerys from what she did. Because last time I checked, Sansa wasn’t on that dragon.
    Of course Sansa and Jon share a particular bond. They took back the North together.
    Don’t get me started on the BotB; it’s a fact that he should have waited to find more allies, but he didn’t, and he almost got himself killed, the idiot. It’s Sansa who saved him and that’s the end of it, whether you like it or not.

    The 8.6 script has it:
    Tyrion: And your sisters?
    Jon turns to look at Tyrion. He doesn’t care about his own skin but his sisters — that’s a very different matter.
    Tyrion: They’re both as stubborn as their mother ever was. Do you see them bending the knee? Sansa swearing eternal loyalty to a queen she neither likes nor trusts?

    Jon’s response is neither convinced nor convincing:
    Jon: My sisters will be loyal to the Throne.
    We hear the footsteps of the Unsullied approaching the cell.
    Tyrion: Why do you think Sansa told me the truth about you? Because she doesn’t want Dany to be queen–
    Jon: She doesn’t get to choose!
    Tyrion: No. But you do. (beat) And you have to choose now.

    Later
    Dany:
    They don’t get to choose.
    Jon understands what this means for the people he loves the most.

    So, Sansa doesn’t want Dany to be queen, but she doesn’t get to choose. But Jon does. And he has to choose now.

    ???
    Did he recall to mind Varys burning? Did he remember his friend Sam whose father and brother burned? Perhaps not; after all, the city was probably still burning.

    By the way are you familiar with scripts yourself? Do you know what’s implied, what’s between the lines that you do not see written? Because my job is correcting and editing texts. Admittedly not scripts, but I’m trained to find obscure points, I’m trained to see what’s not said in a written text.

    In this case, the line “Sansa swearing eternal loyalty to a queen she neither likes nor trusts” was omitted in the editing.
    I wonder why, like I wonder with other things in this script. But it was personified. Largely it was “the sisters” but they narrowed it down to Sansa, which was later omitted.

    The last scene where the Starks are on the quay is almost without POVs when the dialog starts. It’s only directions. Look up, look down, hesitate, whatever. What stays from the POVs? Well, it’s the “he hasn’t entirely forgiven her” part and the “he knows she loves him. He knows she only wants the best for the North”.
    Do you really think that the direction “Jon and Sansa embrace” is all the direction they got? What, did KH and ST rebel against the directions of D&D (K, not like that! not like that, I tell you! wtf! he does it again!) While, on the other hand, they kept “she hugs him fiercely”.
    It appears to me that the “fiercely” part refered to Sansa, not to Arya, but eh, well…

    Don’t kid yourself, what’s on script is not what happened; what’s on script is not the reason for what we saw on screen. What’s on script is what they want you to know, and that’s a big difference.

    One last thing: what follows is from the official recap of GOT ep.6. It’s online, you can check it out.
    “Ships are readied. Grey Worm and his Unsullied set sail for the island of Naath, while Jon bids goodbye to his Stark family. Sansa regrets she was unable to gain Jon’s release, but he comforts her by saying the North will be in good hands under her guidance. He tells Arya she may visit him at Castle Black; the young woman confesses she has other plans – exploring the unmapped territories of the world. Jon apologizes to Bran for not being there when he needed him, but the Three-Eyed Raven and King of the Six Kingdoms responds that Jon was exactly where he was supposed to be.”

    Do you see the difference from the script?
    The script has it “He hasn’t entirely forgiven her for betraying the oath he made her swear in the godswood”, while the recap says “Sansa regrets she was unable to gain Jon’s release”. The line “I’m sorry it had to be you” without doubt refers to the take that’s in the recap. But the “Can you forgive me” line may be taken both ways. Forgive me for not obtaining your release; forgive me for betraying you (how is trying to make him king a betrayal is beyond me, but, whatever).
    This is an ambivalence, an ambiguity that fits perfectly the open ending they decided to give to the final episode. They told a story that wasn’t commiting, apart from the basic events that took place in-universe.
    As interpretation they made sure that people can take whatever they wish, whatever fits their desires and needs.
    That is not a definitive ending or interpretation, and this is the source of much of the criticism this season has received. Many are left wondering what on earth happened. And it wasn’t because of shortened period, it was because of the choices they made. These cases we’re discussing here I think exemplify this estimate.

    Don’t take the script like the Old Testament.
    They changed their views and perhaps even their own story as they were making it themselves. The poor script became the field for D&D to take out their artistic knowledge and fudge, like “hard to argue with omniscience”, or “they both failed geography”, or even “her satanic majesty”, or “liberation theology”.

    God, too long again! I’m so sorry!

  316. Ten Bears:
    Stark Raven’ Rad,

    ✅ to everything you wrote! I typed out a long reply with quotes of Sansa’s repeated after-the-fact “forgive me’s” (after unilaterally deciding to conceal things from Jon and breach his confidences), but that reply vanished into the ether when I pressed “Post Comment.”

    Thank you. Two days ago I also had a long, ultimately ether-eal comment …it got classified as spam. Cheerio! Luckily, I had kept a copy and have mined it a bit since. BTW, Efi wrote a good reply.

  317. kevin1989,

    Before that there was no sign of them even able of being a couple. And it was established in a couple of episodes. But the difference is maybe that that one episode was a span of 3 years, more then the first 4,5 seasons. So there was more change in 1 episode then there was in the whole series before it, so a lot has changed, and it is not out of question if 2 work together to survive and where they move to and live for 3 years, that there is a romance being build. It only happen off-screen (or you count those 2 scenes in the past).

    Right, but I think even non-romantic interactions are part of a building a basis for that relationship and helps to establish that rapport. From what I can remember, the flash-forwards you’re referencing are glimpses into the future, revelations of where these characters were heading. It’s sort of non-linear storytelling rather than a real-time view of how their relationship is progressing. It has been such a long time since I’ve seen Lost but from what I can remember, it’s not supposed to show us the fully realized relationship, but give a glimpse for what is to come for these characters and how their present journeys lead up to that. I don’t think that would have worked if Juliet and Sawyer hadn’t have had their prior interactions.

    With Jon/Dany, it was one crisis after another, constantly, with very little downtime — which I think was the case for much of the plotting in season 8 (ie. you reference Petra’s suggestion for how they could have maybe transitioned Dany’s descent better). I think that relationship could have benefitted from some time between crises ie. more time to be a couple before the R+L=J bomb hits by the end of 801. They’re already dealing with existing problems (the North’s disapproval, prepping for the fight against the dead) and then another crisis is piled on top (R+L=J). I see the writers did try to give those moments but more episodes could have helped transition characters and relationships between major obstacles — as it was, new major problems were dropping every episode. It feels like we kind of got the Cliff’s Notes version. We didn’t even really get to explore how characters felt about R+L=J beyond Dany fearing people will use Jon’s claim against her and Sansa telling Tyrion the truth off-screen. Dany didn’t have any scenes with Arya, she seems to know everything Sansa’s gone through somehow. The skeleton of was there but I felt like it needed time to flesh out the in-betweens better. If that makes sense?

  318. Ten Bears,

    I kind of felt robbed too!
    When Jon and Arya reunited, and he asked if she’d ever used Needle and she downplayed her abilities by answering “Once or twice”, I was hoping there would be a follow-up scene where he saw her in action and his jaw dropped. 

    Yeah, that’s what I wanted! I wanted Jon to see just how much Arya kept at it every day 😉 “It won’t hack a man’s head off, but it can poke him full of holes if you’re quick enough.” “I can be quick.”

    And, well, Arya pretty much exceeded expectations there 🙂

    But you’re right about Davos!

  319. kevin1989,

    You are making me want to watch Lost again! I used to binge it while I was working on animations for stretches of 30+ hours and Lost was one of the things that would keep me awake during those absolutely dreadful periods. I got to race through it all in one go 😉

  320. Adrianacandle,

    Hey, Adriana, my reply’s coming, I swear, lol. It’s just that I managed a while ago to gather all that you’ve written.
    One quick thing. I suppose one of your questions relates to the tropes. These are standard or not-so-standard ways to tell things in whatever medium, and TV is one of that media. You may google it as such, TV tropes, or TV tropes/falling in love specifically, and there’s lots of material on line.
    Eg. the first kiss, the love kiss, the almost a kiss, the UST (unresolved sexual tension), etc.
    One of the most blatant in the show: Jon’s having fun with his mates in the celebration in 8.4. Dany’s alone. They share a moment, his smile fades. Sansa gets up and leave. Classic love triangle. As I said, they did things like that and then left it to people to see what they want in these scenes and the way they were filmed.
    The looking back is one of them. I didn’t mean for Jon/Sansa to sound like it’s a romantic thing, only that they know the trope. Then I remembered they did it with Gentry/Arya.

    Books have their own tropes, and in particular Martin likes to deconstruct them, e.g. the princess on a tower trope, the Beauty and the Beast trope, the hero-turned-antagonist trope, the opposite, villain-turned-hero trope, the incest trope/pseudo incest trope, are all means to tell a story and have been used in literature since forever (eg unknowing incest in greek mythology, Oedipous and his mom).

    It’s not like you can’t tell a story otherwise. However, as one of the comments I have read about them says, when the script writers/producers forget them, or discard them in some way, e.g. because they have another story to focus on (your argument) something is wrong and the audience doesn’t buy it that much, or it’s not that successful.

  321. Efi,

    Hey, Adriana, my reply’s coming, I swear, lol. It’s just that I managed a while ago to gather all that you’ve written.

    Don’t worry! You’re under no obligation to me and when I make a post, there’s never an expectation of the person I’m replying to 🙂 Plus, I think we’re already discussing some of those points.

    These are standard or not-so-standard ways to tell things in whatever medium, and TV is one of that media. You may google it as such, TV tropes, or TV tropes/falling in love specifically, and there’s lots of material on line.
    Eg. the first kiss, the love kiss, the almost a kiss, the UST (unresolved sexual tension), etc.

    Oh yes, I’m definitely aware of tropes! 🙂 My question was more concerning your specific criteria.

    But I feel the show did include other romance-oriented tropes with Jon and Dany: some include Flight of Romance, Battle Couple, Held Gaze, Holding Hands, Inconvenient Attraction, Everyone Can See It, Red String of Fate, Intertwined Fingers, Surprise Incest, Relationship Upgrade, Died in Your Arms, Love Ruins the Realm, Love Theme, Meet the In-Laws, Long Last Look, and I would argue there was UST. I mean, you might disagree with some of these, which is totally fine, but I think J/D do fulfill some romance tropes.

    In regard to the viewers not seeing their first kiss and Bran’s VO as indications D&D did not see this as a romance, it doesn’t look like that was the intention. Here is the director’s view on why they made those choices.

    In that scene you reference, yes — Jon is having fun with his friends, he turns around, and sees Dany, but I didn’t see Jon’s smile fade when he saw Dany. What I saw was Sansa stopped smiling when she saw Jon and Dany having their moment, whereupon she got up and left. And then Jon and Dany continue smiling at each other — but I, personally, disagree this was being set up as a love triangle between Jon, Sansa, and Dany because I don’t see anything romantic between Jon and Sansa, nor do I see any support for that from the cast or crew.

    But people are free to interpret what they wish. I definitely am aware of the Jonsa ship, one of my friends is a Jonsa.

    Anyway, my interpretation was Sansa’s upset at what she perceives to be Dany’s influence over her brother and is perhaps jealous of Jon’s regard for her, but I, personally, didn’t interpret that romantically. Sansa may think she doesn’t have that same sway with Jon because Sansa and Jon argue every second conversation, often disagree, while Sansa sees that Jon gave up his crown for Dany (despite knowing that Sansa wouldn’t be pleased) and that — as he told Sansa — he believes Dany would be a good queen.

    The looking back is one of them. I didn’t mean for Jon/Sansa to sound like it’s a romantic thing, only that they know the trope. Then I remembered they did it with Gentry/Arya.

    Okay, thanks for explaining! 🙂

    Jon didn’t do the Look Back with Ygritte either when he was escaping on horseback. — but somebody else who Jon did look back at was Benjen 😉

    However, as one of the comments I have read about them says, when the script writers/producers forget them, or discard them in some way, e.g. because they have another story to focus on (your argument) something is wrong and the audience doesn’t buy it that much, or it’s not that successful.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to argue that they discarded anything because they had another story to focus on. My argument was the writing for the relationship had structural problems due to the quickened pace, how much that particular relationship needed to undergo in 11 episodes (not leaving space for much else aside from the hurdles their relationship was having to face), and that by the time Jon and Dany met, they were already two established characters each with a 7-year storyline — which adds a challenge because they have to combine these already-integrated characters into a new couple.

    In contrast, Talisa was a brand new character who was created specifically for Robb’s storyline and we got to know her as her relationship with Robb developed. Dany and Jon already went through seven years of development by the time they met. While Robb and Talisa is another 11-episode relationship, that relationship didn’t have to undergo even close to the amount of events and obstacles the Jon/Dany relationship did — events pertaining to that relationship.

    My main point is I can’t see anything indicating D&D didn’t intend for this to be a romance based when their script notes, cast and crew interviews, and BtS material all say otherwise. And I see where D&D were trying to sell this as a romance.

    People will interpret the same scene differently, yes, and some relationships work for views while others don’t. I mean, Brianna/Roger on Outlander doesn’t work for me but it totally works for others. Ditto with Jon and Dany. But that’s another tricky thing: interpretation, which can be really subjective, which is why I tend to rely on what the people behind the show say. You don’t have to, but for me, I’ll rely on what the author says.

  322. Adrianacandle,

    True about lost, and true about GoT. I still believed that there should have been more breathing time in season 7. I wished we had a scene with Dany on boat before she landed on DS too show how anxious she was. Maybe even see Valyria to give her more connection with her heritage.
    I also think it would have been better if in fact season 8 was 2 seasons (of 5 or 6 episodes each). With having the first only about the WW, and only at the end of that season Sam and Bran would have figured out the truth about Jon only after the battle of the WW. Making their love that blossomed when the WW attacked. And only after that shattered their dreams. Then we could have had 6 episodes them as a couple before the truth bomb hit. And then 5 or 6 episodes about the truth bomb. Dany vs cersei vs the Starks. And I really think they could have pulled it off. But that’s a choice they made. And a difficult choice with many factors in play. What maybe sounds better for us right now with more episodes could even be the opposite when it was executed.

  323. kevin1989,

    Oh, totally. I really wish we could have gotten something like this — even two ten-episode seasons for season 7 and season 8 would have been an improvement. It kind of hurts to contemplate what could have been because I think, with just more time and some more character-driven scenes, it could have been really great. For instance, I’d have loved to have seen how characters felt about and viewed R+L=J and how this altered their perspective on people — like Ned, Catelyn, their marriage, the real story behind Lyanna and Rhaegar, Jon not being illegitimate, etc. More time devoted to the resolution of the WW threat. The rest of Westeros can continue believing this was just some crazy Northern story because the WW only make it as far as Winterfell before they’re destroyed in a single night. So I like your suggestions 🙂

  324. ash,

    kevin1989,

    Off-topic but my favourite UST 😉 —

    “Oh, give me a break! I mean, you could do the same thing with…. Pierce and Abed!”

    (♪♫♬ Something always brings me back to you…. ♬♫♪)

  325. Adrianacandle:
    Ten Bears,

    Yeah, that’s what I wanted! I wanted Jon to see just how much Arya kept at it every day 😉 “It won’t hack a man’s head off, but it can poke him full of holes if you’re quick enough.” “I can be quick.”

    And, well, Arya pretty much exceeded expectations there 🙂

    But you’re right about Davos!

    Arya hacked a wight’s head off.

    (Arya vs. wights S8s3, at 0:04)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5xBdE_O7Dk

    Too bad Jon wasn’t there to see it.

  326. Ten Bears: Arya hacked a wight’s head off.

    (Arya vs. wights S8s3,at 0:04)

    Davos: …. 🤯….

    Too bad Jon wasn’t there to see it.

    I know!!!

  327. Adrianacandle,

    I’m debating whether to nominate for “Best Death” the female wight in the library that Arya silently killed and gently lowered to the floor.

  328. Ten Bears:
    Adrianacandle,

    I’m debating whether to nominate for “Best Death” the female wight in the library that Arya silently killed and gently lowered to the floor.

    I’d second that nomination. It was a beautiful way for that zombie to go…

    (♪♫♬ Something always brings me back to you…. ♬♫♪)

  329. Adrianacandle,

    Oh, and Arya poked MFT full of holes. 😬
    Too bad Jon didn’t see that or hear about that.
    Also, too bad Arya didn’t tell Sandor about it either. (“Meryn Trant? The greatest swordsman who ever lived, killed by Meryn F*cking Trant?”)

  330. Adrianacandle,

    One more thing…

    • Arya apparently didn’t like trumpeting her accomplishments or basking in adulation.
    She didn’t even attend the post-Long Night celebration in S8e4, and wasn’t there when Dany made a toast “to Arya Stark! The hero of Winterfell!”

    Later, as she rode away from WF with Sandor, she explained that she didn’t like hero worship:

    Arya: “On your own?”
    Sandor: “Not anymore…I don’t like crowds.”
    Arya: “Me neither.”
    Sandor: “Why not? They all love you now. You’re the big hero.”
    Arya: “Don’t like heroes.”

    • So I also guess that nobody will ever know that she was the face-changing girl who wiped out the perpetrators of the Red Wedding, leaving behind the shell-shocked witness with the parting words: “When people ask you what happened here, tell them: ‘The North Remembers.’ Tell them: ‘Winter came for House Frey’.”

    Which is kind of a shame. I really wanted a brief scene of the assembled Northern lords in which Lord Manderly stood up and corrected his prior declaration [sorry Jon]:

    “… But I was wrong! Arya Stark avenged the Red Wedding!

    (Then they could have raised their swords and anointed “Arya Stark, the Queen in the North!” – before she politely declined the title.)

    • I’ll be content with my head canon that the Manderly shipwrights of White Harbor gifted Arya that cool Stark direwolf sigil ship we saw at the end of S8e6 – along with a crew of grateful sailors thankful for the opportunity. After all, they’d be zombies or wall decorations but for ASNAWP.

    ⁃ End Ex Post Facto Tinfoil Fanfic –

  331. Ten Bears,

    Ah yes, to see ASNAWP in action, one must be present while ASNAWP is in action. She’s kind of like an elusive legend, few know what she is truly capable of — appropriate for a Facechanging Ninja 🙂

    The Hound has such a nice way with words ❤️ On a more serious note, I think — after everything Arya and the Hound have gone through, separately and together — Sandor may be the one who understands Arya the most now because he was with her for a lot of the time while they traveled and survived a war-torn Westeros. Plus they had some great moments in season 8.

    I would have really liked to have seen an Arya/Dany scene too — she named her wolf Nymeria after the warrior queen with dragons! ;;

  332. Apparently NCW has changed his submission to A Knight of the 7 Kingdoms, I’m happy about that, it’s what I would have chosen for him. (From Goldderby)

  333. Jenny:
    Apparently NCW has changed his submission to A Knight of the 7 Kingdoms, I’m happy about that, it’s what I would have chosen for him. (From Goldderby)

    This makes me far more happy than is reasonable. Lol.

  334. Pigeon,

    I know! That’s why I’m really really hoping it’s not a mistake on the website. 8×05 made sense because of his death scene, but 8×02 was basically his and Gwen’s episode. He’d win it for the trial scene if it was up to me.

  335. ash,

    Sorry, long overdue reply.
    ominous vo
    In the Jon/Dany sex scene in 7.7, there’s Bran’s voice over clarifying the foundations of their political antagonism. So while they’re actually at it, the narrative explains to the audience why this romance will crash.
    The choices they made here and the montage are anything but romantic.
    The “he loved her” line which refers to Rhaegar loving Lyanna falls on Jon looking at the door. Jon takes a deep breath before knocking.
    The “and she loved him” line falls on Dany looking at Jon.
    Later, after the reveal of his name, we see them on the bed. Dany’s on top of Jon. He flips her over, and he’s on top now, looking at her. This is a subtle hint at the powerplay between them.
    The narrative: “He’s never been a bastard. He’s the heir to the iron throne”.
    Dany’s below him, and Bran’s voice makes it as clear as it gets.
    Note that flipping over someone in bed is also a trope.

    If that’s not ominous, I don’t know what is.
    I don’t think I said anything about Jon/Dany’s chemistry. As you said, it’s in the eye of the beholder (Adriana would agree).
    I didn’t see the narrative to back up the romance, and I think they had plenty of time to do it. The flawed narrative bothers me much more than the lack of chemistry (one appeals to my logic and the other to my sentiment), and I think that they wrote season 8 like they did taking specific things into account.
    By now that I’m a hundred minus years old (put whatever you want for minus) I have a very structured mind and way of thinking, also due to my profession and my knowledge of narrative structures and meaning in written texts. Sometimes sentiment creeps in my estimations and I kick it away, or try to; I have to admit I had a hard time with GOT season 8, lol.
    The scene above, the way it was montaged, is for me one more clue that they were going for another, more political story, which they ditched in favor of a personal one, which didn’t benefit the season, the ending, or even the entire GOT.
    What’s done is done.

  336. Tron79,

    Interesting what you say about Dresden. I also thought about the destruction of Koenigsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia) at the end of World War II. There’s a book that was named by the British Times paper as a book of the month in July In the Shadow of Wolves by Lithuanian writer Alyvidas Slepikas*. I want to read it because it is about the “wolfs kinder” – German children who were displaced/orphaned and had to get out of East Prussia (in the book they go to Lithuania) when East Prussia ceased to exist. That made me think of children who went through an experience something like Arya Stark when she is separated from her family.

    *There’s an accent something like an inverted circumflex on the “S” of the author’s name but I can’t insert it using my computer unfortunately.

  337. Adrianacandle,

    Yeah! I finally did it, and I hope I’ll be able to finish this post before going for a swim.
    After your last clarification I think you asked me how can I be so sure.
    I think I’ve said before that I don’t have any questions anymore about the story they wanted to tell on screen. I’ve thought about it long and hard, answered my own questions in a logical way, and now it seems to me consistent and coherent. I don’t agree with the ending and there’s nothing to convince me that each and every part of the ending we’ve seen on screen is exactly Martin’s ending. Martin’s ending will be braver; this one was not, not at all; it was kind of “diplomatic” as if making sure to not really disappoint the fans, giving them something but in the end giving them too little because inside of it there’s very little logic and for doing this they turned most of the characters in plot devices. That’s not a brave story and it’s not the ending either the characters or GOT deserves.
    So apart from the ending I see consistency and clear narrative choices and structural choices of the showrunners, as you said yourself.

    “I didn’t mean to argue that they discarded anything because they had another story to focus on”.

    That’s exactly what you’ve argued in several posts, and it’s a good argument. You’re right about this, Adriana, so don’t disown it. The Jon-Daenerys story was a very complex one, and they had to tell it. So they focused not very successfully on the personal aspect that Jon’s parentage creates for Daenerys. That’s the story they tried to tell, and they squeezed in the romance. I don’t think it failed because they didn’t have time, but admittedly a couple more episodes would have helped. It’s completely incomprehensible why they didn’t extend the season to 10 eps considering they had all the help in the world, green light from HBO, tons of money, etc.
    Or it’s not that much incomprehensible, considering that they wanted to surprise the audience. Their reasoning was flawed there; many saw Daenerys’ slide to the dark side coming from miles ahead, but they guarded it like it was sealed top-secret. However, imo what went wrong is that they suppressed the political aspects of the story, and it is the political aspects that made the story a good one to start with. It’s not the dragons/supernatural threat/magic that made it good, it was the political complexity and how its characters responded to it while striving to achieve keeping themselves alive first, and then some dignity and perhaps some hapinness too. I think Daenerys’ bombing of KL would have been much better had it been a clear political statement rather than the result of her inner breakdown.
    For this to happen certain narrative points should have been reached first. I can se for example a hypothetical scenario where the lords of the other kingdoms would declare against her, instead of for her as we see in eps 4 and 6. In this scenario, however, Cersei wouldn’t have stayed inactive; she’d have striven to break Dany’s alliance with the North. Imagine what a drama it would be had Sam declared for Jon.
    So, one of the clear threads that I see on screen is the Jon-Sansa thread. They build this up since season 6. I don’t think I’ve said anything in here about Jonsa. (I know I’ve said before). They build their relationship well. Your explanation about the get-up-and-go scene I think is valid. Point is, they know the trope, and they showed sth with it. What one takes from it is one’s own problem, as is so often in season 8.
    I don’t really understand how it is that I ended up defending Sansa in this discussion (not with you, we’ve had our discussions, lol). I think part of the problem is that it is easy to blame the one who doesn’t hold a gun, but this is a misconception about women the media have imposed on the audience. A lady is not a badass only when she holds a gun. Take Daenerys, strip her of her dragons, what is it that remains? A sweet girl who wants home. Why blame that, because she has no dragons? If it was Daenerys striving to return home without dragons and plotting and manipulating all the time to achieve her goal she’d be equally blamed. Blaming Sansa for anything (e.g. manipulation, betrayal, plotting) is the easy way out of finding a reasonable explanation for what she does in the show.
    Sansa is a very powerful person in her position (answering to your question). She holds the North, and has access to the Vale and the Riverlands. That’s three kingdoms out of seven. She can mobilize armies, if she wants to, like she did in season 6. Spreading Jon’s secret is protecting him via making it public. I doubt for example that Dorne would support Daenerys had they known that there’s another heir. Daenerys of course could kill him if she wanted to. Would she, considering that she loved him? I don’t know, it wasn’t explored, because as I said they didn’t follow the political thread.
    Jon not saying anything about his parentage isn’t really an option in-universe. The secret needs to be out for the story to be completed, otherwise why have this Chekchov’s gun running throughout? It would eventually come out (via Sam, probably), and then it’d be worse for Jon politically, because now he’d be blamed for conspiring against Daenerys. The fact that they didn’t explore this option is one of their structural choices.
    So that’s what I think. Now I have to go.

  338. Dame of Mercia: In the Shadow of Wolves

    “In the Shadow of Wolves” looks really interesting. I was just looking at the synopsis on Amazon. And I had a double thought of Arya, since as you say the children go on a similar journey separated from their parents, and “wolf” is in the title!

    Here’s a quote from National Geographic’s website about the WWII children in East Prussia that sounds so much like Arya’s journey…

    “Likened to wandering hungry wolves, many of the children, isolated from humanity, were left to roam through unforgiving forests in order to survive. They became known as the “wolf children.””

    Off topic, I can’t help say I just finished watching the movie “Tolkien”, and I haven’t teared up so much in quite some time. It was quite a story of his life I just followed, and how it lead to his books.

  339. Pigeon: This makes me far more happy than is reasonable. Lol.

    Wow, that’s great. His scene knighting Brienne should be a winner.

  340. Efi,

    Efi thanks for your reply

    The flawed narrative bothers me much more than the lack of chemistry (one appeals to my logic and the other to my sentiment), and I think that they wrote season 8 like they did taking specific things into account

    .

    I agree.

    However, imo what went wrong is that they suppressed the political aspects of the story, and it is the political aspects that made the story a good one to start with. It’s not the dragons/supernatural threat/magic that made it good, it was the political complexity and how its characters responded to it while striving to achieve keeping themselves alive first, and then some dignity and perhaps some hapinness too.

    If this was just an historical fiction romance, well I wouldn’t have been watching. But I think the fans who were disappointed was the lack of what drew us into this world to begin with.

    The scene above, the way it was montaged, is for me one more clue that they were going for another, more political story, which they ditched in favor of a personal one, which didn’t benefit the season, the ending, or even the entire GOT.
    What’s done is done.

    Oh if they had only gone with the political, it would have been so much more interesting Like if Bran revealed the truth to Jon much earlier. He meets with Dany, there is obiously tension, and perhaps by the end of the show there is eye to eye contact with the realizatio that they can rule together. –

    Dame of Mercia,

    I also thought about the destruction of Koenigsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia) at the end of World War II.

    I thought I knew my WWII history but I had never heard of this. Oh my god – read the Wiki article. Im just in shock; there are many examples of man’s inhumanity to man in that time (any time actually) but the sum of it all….

  341. Efi,

    Thanks for your response, Efi! 🙂

    That’s exactly what you’ve argued in several posts, and it’s a good argument. You’re right about this, Adriana, so don’t disown it.

    I’m truly not trying to disown anything — I legitimately don’t think I was arguing that one of the writing problems with the Jon/Dany story was because they wanted to focus on another story, I’m sorry if it came across that way. I thought I had argued one of problems was because Jon and Dany’s story was too much to tell in 11 episodes.

    The Jon-Daenerys story was a very complex one, and they had to tell it. So they focused not very successfully on the personal aspect that Jon’s parentage creates for Daenerys. That’s the story they tried to tell, and they squeezed in the romance.

    Yes, it was complex and I agree they failed in some aspects. However, Dany’s reaction was still part of the Jon-Dany relationship story, as well as Jon having trouble with the revelation of the incest — providing two sources of conflict for that relationship.

    I’m not sure how the romance was squeezed into how R+L=J creates for Dany — the romance is what came first, in season 7. Meanwhile, the R+L=J revelation and its fallout came afterward.

    Their reasoning was flawed there; many saw Daenerys’ slide to the dark side coming from miles ahead, but they guarded it like it was sealed top-secret.

    Yes, but at the same time, there are others who felt Dany’s dissent came out of nowhere as Dany had never gone after civilians before (and unnecessarily) and have trouble with how that narrative was plotted.

    I think your points about wanting the story to be more political and how you think they suppressed these aspects of the story are interesting interpretations to read — I think we were meant to guess, speculate, theorize because part of the fun is trying to figure out the rest of the story! And it is fun! 🙂 I miss it. But I’m not sure if the story was meant to be any more political than it turned out to be.

    I think the show has already gone in that direction, toward the more down-to-earth and away from the fantastical — GRRM’s story in the books has much more magic than what the show ended up adapting.

    But your suggestion of an alternative storyline is interesting and I really like reading those kinds of scenarios 🙂

    So, one of the clear threads that I see on screen is the Jon-Sansa thread. They build this up since season 6. I don’t think I’ve said anything in here about Jonsa. (I know I’ve said before).

    I know, I only referenced Jonsa in response to your reading of a love triangle between Dany-Sansa-Jon in the 804 feast scene. For it to be a love triangle, wouldn’t there need to be a romantic link between the three of them? That’s the only reason why I mentioned it 🙂 If I misunderstood you, I apologize !

    Point is, they know the trope, and they showed sth with it.

    Sure, but they don’t have to reference the same romantic trope with every romantic relationship.

    Blaming Sansa for anything (e.g. manipulation, betrayal, plotting) is the easy way out of finding a reasonable explanation for what she does in the show.

    I’m not trying to unfairly attribute anything to Sansa or overlook explanations because she’s a woman or because she doesn’t have dragons. One of my favourite badass characters is Outlander’s Claire and she has neither of those things, only her brains 🙂

    I’m just still unable to understand how Sansa making Jon’s secret public protects him. Whether people know who Jon is or not, Dany’s still got dragons which can demolish any armies Sansa’d be able to gather in seconds when the plot desires 😉 And this could potentially start a second civil war — between Dany and those wanting Jon on the throne — in which Dany has the greater odds of winning. Plus, it does give Dany more reason to get eliminate Jon. Is Sansa banking on Dany’s love for Jon protecting him if people start rallying to put Jon on the throne?

    I don’t think Dorne would support Jon as the heir. Dorne is where Elia Martell is from and Rhaegar left her and their two children (half Martell) to marry another woman, Lyanna. Together, Rhaegar and Lyanna produced Jon. Oberyn seemed pretty unhappy with Rhaegar.

    Jon not saying anything about his parentage isn’t really an option in-universe[…]

    I agree the R+L=J secret getting out really helped get Dany to that breaking point but I don’t think it was the only option for Jon in-universe. However, yes, if it were anybody BUT Jon who told Dany the truth, that would make him look pretty suspect.

    In the Jon/Dany sex scene in 7.7, there’s Bran’s voice over clarifying the foundations of their political antagonism. So while they’re actually at it, the narrative explains to the audience why this romance will crash.

    Bran’s VO was definitely setting up conflict — but I think this goes into the doomed romance realm with troubled waters ahead — which is absolutely what happened.

    But I’m not sure if their choices here were an indication the writers were originally going to go another way with the story but let’s say this is the case: why do you think the writers changed their mind?

    Don’t most relationships have power dynamics and conflict in one way or another? Ygritte had the power of outing Jon, warning him to never betray her, while Jon knows he must be loyal to the Watch (and in the books, Ygritte threatens him into sleeping with her). Cersei is an ever-present obstacle and source of conflicting loyalty in the Jaime/Brienne relationship. Shae is a prostitute dependent on the wealthy Tyrion. Gilly is dependent on Sam, etc.

    Even in platonic relationships, such as the sibling one between Jon and Sansa, they refer to the dynamic between Jon and Sansa as a power play during the 701 commentary.

  342. Efi: However, imo what went wrong is that they suppressed the political aspects of the story, and it is the political aspects that made the story a good one to start with. It’s not the dragons/supernatural threat/magic that made it good, it was the political complexity and how its characters responded to it while striving to achieve keeping themselves alive first, and then some dignity and perhaps some hapinness too.

    I think this is true for some people and I think ash’s point is sound (“fans who were disappointed was the lack of what drew us into this world to begin with”).

    Where some of the story was focused on political intrigue (and that’s why some people enjoyed it), there were other parts that had more to do with supernatural and mystical elements — which appealed to another sect of fans. I think this was part of the series’ success: there was something for everybody. And they tried to explore these aspects in interesting contexts.

    Ie. the opportunity to explore how the supernatural and political interacted (Melisandre trying to use her magic to help Stannis gain power, Dany’s dragons contributing greatly to helping her conquer. At the same time, this magic gave reasons for people to fear, follow, or both).

    And there was also a great deal of character-based stuff: exploration of various types of characters, their relationships with one another, how these relationships evolved and transformed, how they responded to various challenges, what their motivations were, how things changed as a result of their experiences (ie. the idea vs, the reality and how desires shift as a result). And how not every character was striving for the same thing — for some, they were willing to die for what they believed in. Others, self-preservation was huge.

    And I think all of these aspects suffered in season 8 because it felt like the story was racing to the end with a grocery list of stuff they just needed to check off — instead of dedicating the time and exploration to these aspects as they had before.

  343. Efi: That’s exactly what you’ve argued in several posts, and it’s a good argument. You’re right about this, Adriana, so don’t disown it.

    Upon reflection, I’m wondering if this is where you think I was arguing writing problems with the Jon/Dany story were because the writers wanted to focus on another story?

    “Not only for J/D, but for quite a few plots — the quick end to the Night King in a 6-hr Long Night, the dreaded winter lasting maybe a month, Dany snapping and unnecessarily leveling a city to lead into her end, the lack of pay-off for major stories like R+L=J, the lack of development for things crucial to the climax, etc.”

    If so, I’m sorry I wasn’t clear here. My argument was time was an issue for many of the plots in season 8 that I felt were rushed, as well as for Jon and Dany.

  344. Adrianacandle,

    Adriana, don’t torture yourself. What I mean by “another story” is not a completely different story, but the different aspects of their own. As you said, they hooked up, and then followed the truth bomb, and then she saw enemies everywhere. The second part of this romance, meaning season 8, has other problems to deal with almost from the start. There was no time to breathe. There a few more eps would have helped. It would also have given time for some human moments of the protagonists, and by it I mean mostly the Starks. The season focused on Daenerys and Tyrion. The story was about Dany “going mad” (which, again, I believe it was the wrong way to tell the story), and about the bonding of the Lannisters. We get no Stark POVs. We wait for ep.4 to see them all together, and then ep. 6 to realize, as viewers, that they’ll never meet again. I do understand why we were hit on the head with the Lannisters (they’re D&Ds personal faves, especially Tyrion) but I’ll forever be mad about sidelining the Starks in their own [email protected]@@@@g story.
    As for the romance, I don’t see a romance, particularly in season 7. They tried to in 8.1, but it felt awkward for me, it left me puzzled and with a lot of questions. If they wanted this, why didn’t they make it stronger and braver, why didn’t they make it ripping the screen? (rhetorical question, I don’t need an answer. As I said, I rationalized it all in my head).

  345. ash,

    But I think the fans who were disappointed was the lack of what drew us into this world to begin with.

    I started watching because there’s not many medieval political stories on screen. The first scene, however! I still remember my reaction. Is this Game of Thrones? What am I watching?

    He meets with Dany, there is obiously tension, and perhaps by the end of the show there is eye to eye contact with the realization that they can rule together.

    Eh, no. Martin’s ASOIAF is a study on power, how people use it, what are their priorities and what they do to survive. It’s a study about morality or the lack of it and calls the readers to question the characters. There would be no Targ restoration in Martin’s world because he condemns the way they ruled all through the five books.

    As you said, this is not a romance. If it were, then perhaps Jon and Dany would have a future. But it’s not, so narratively it would be meaningless that Jon’s secret identity means nothing in the end; narratively speaking Jon-Dany being together in the end invalidates the entire book content.

  346. Adrianacandle,

    Don’t most relationships have power dynamics and conflict in one way or another?

    Actually, I think Martin has been blamed for it. The relationships he describes are problematic and I tend to agree. The most sound relationship he has narrated was probably Catelyn-Eddard.
    He’s also been blamed for not portraying a normal woman (apart perhaps Catelyn again, but before she was resurrected, lol); all his women have something in particular, be it hunger for power (Cersei), dragons, physical strength battle skills (Brienne, Ygritte even though she is no POV, Val), magic (Mel). Arya’s on her way to become an assassin. Sansa is the closest to normal, but being like that in the magical world of ASOIAF means that her arc is slower than others and she seems to snail her way out of her troubles.

  347. Efi,

    There was no time to breathe. There a few more eps would have helped. It would also have given time for some human moments of the protagonists, and by it I mean mostly the Starks.

    Oh yes, I think more episodes definitely would have helped.

    The season focused on Daenerys and Tyrion. The story was about Dany “going mad” (which, again, I believe it was the wrong way to tell the story), and about the bonding of the Lannisters. We get no Stark POVs. We wait for ep.4 to see them all together, and then ep. 6 to realize, as viewers, that they’ll never meet again. I do understand why we were hit on the head with the Lannisters (they’re D&Ds personal faves, especially Tyrion) but I’ll forever be mad about sidelining the Starks in their own [email protected]@@@@g story.

    I definitely agree the Starks weren’t much explored this season and probably as a result of a time issue. I think most of the POVs suffered. We got more Lannister bonding between Jaime and Tyrion than we did with the Starks but I still think this could have used more development also. The issue of Tywin is still between them but that wasn’t addressed this time around.

    Cersei didn’t do much other than lament lack of elephants, stare out the window drinking wine, behead Missandei to spite Daenerys, and return to her window to drink wine as Daenerys tore down the city. Then she died with Jaime under a pile of bricks, barely interacting with any other character in season 8 who wasn’t Euron and Qyburn, only meeting with Jaime at the very end of their story.

    Jaime… It’s like a switch went off inside of him after years of an up-and-down redemption arc. When Sansa tells Jaime, “I always wanted to be there when they execute your sister. Seems like I won’t get the chance,” we see Jaime in the next scene and he’s dropping everything to go back to Cersei and his “hateful” self because — as it’s explained in the Inside the Episode — Cersei is an addiction he can’t quit. I can believe that, but I wish we got to see the scenes in between explored, his feelings for Brienne vs. his feelings Cersei explored.

    Tyrion… I don’t think his feelings for Cersei were well-explored. Or addressed by those behind the scenes (but I probably missed an article. If there is such an article addressing this, please link me!). And also, why did Tyrion tell Varys — who was already having doubts about Daenerys — about Jon’s parentage, which reveals Jon is the heir to the Targaryen dynasty? And then sells out Varys to Daenerys.

    As for the romance, I don’t see a romance, particularly in season 7. They tried to in 8.1, but it felt awkward for me, it left me puzzled and with a lot of questions. If they wanted this, why didn’t they make it stronger and braver, why didn’t they make it ripping the screen? (rhetorical question, I don’t need an answer. As I said, I rationalized it all in my head).

    Yes, they tried and that it was awkward for you is totally understandable. I can think of relationships where I’ve felt the same (Toby/Kate, This is Us). But (and I know I sound like a broken record), I think the writers and directors believe they provided us with one based on how they talk about this relationship. There’s some division happening between intent and reception. They also felt Dark Dany was built up (although I know you and others saw it coming), King Bran was built up, other stuff was built up but… well… there’s a large part of the internet that feels otherwise 😉

    I think all of these suffered from Checklist Effect. Just like how the Starks’ relationships with one another weren’t explored.

    If it were [a romance], then perhaps Jon and Dany would have a future. But it’s not, so narratively it would be meaningless that Jon’s secret identity means nothing in the end; narratively speaking Jon-Dany being together in the end invalidates the entire book content.

    I think we might be at odds over the definition of a romance? Because in my experience with fiction, not all romances have a future, namely Star-Crossed romances. Lyanna/Rhaegar had no future, Jon/Ygritte had no future, non-GRRM romances such as Buffy/Angel had no future, Shae/Tyrion had no future, and if Jaime/Brienne goes down how it did in the show (Jaime can’t quit Cersei), that relationship won’t be long for this world either.

    It’s harder for me to identify romances that do have futures 🙂

    It seems kind of to me that R+L=J did mean nothing in the end because Jon went back to being an anonymous outcast.

    Actually, I think Martin has been blamed for it. The relationships he describes are problematic and I tend to agree.

    I can agree to that. In your view, does this lessen or compromise the romance factor in these relationships? But I don’t think GRRM is the only one at fault here. It seems quite common for fictional romances to have conflict, power dynamics, and antagonism.

    He’s also been blamed for not portraying a normal woman (apart perhaps Catelyn again, but before she was resurrected, lol); all his women have something in particular, be it hunger for power (Cersei), dragons, physical strength battle skills (Brienne, Ygritte even though she is no POV, Val), magic (Mel). Arya’s on her way to become an assassin. Sansa is the closest to normal, but being like that in the magical world of ASOIAF means that her arc is slower than others and she seems to snail her way out of her troubles.

    I believe there are other fairly normal feminine women in ASOIAF aside from Catelyn and Sansa such as Alys Karstark, Gilly, and Penny. But I feel it does make sense for a normal, non-magical and non-combative girl like Sansa to need time in order to get out of her difficult situations because she lacks the above advantages.

  348. Efi,

    If it were, then perhaps Jon and Dany would have a future. But it’s not, so narratively it would be meaningless that Jon’s secret identity means nothing in the end; narratively speaking Jon-Dany being together in the end invalidates the entire book content.

    Upon reflection, I think I might have misunderstood you here. Putting aside our disagreement, what do you mean?

  349. ash,
    Efi,

    Efi: Eh, no. Martin’s ASOIAF is a study on power, how people use it, what are their priorities and what they do to survive. It’s a study about morality or the lack of it and calls the readers to question the characters. There would be no Targ restoration in Martin’s world because he condemns the way they ruled all through the five books.

    I mostly agree with the first part (but I’d go on and include it’s a look at what people do with the conflict within themselves, especially with deeply personal issues with it conflicts with their ideals). I think how the show ended is ultimately how the books will end but, if we didn’t get the info that Dany was going to go dark, I’d hope the potential rule of present Targaryens could be determined by individual nature and choice rather than past choices of the ancestors.

    I’m sorry if I am misunderstanding you here though 🙂

    I think ash’s idea could be an interesting study of power, morality, and conflict because if two characters with a claim to the throne — after a period of tension, divide, and negotiation — come together based on some commonalities in goals and/or as a compromise to prevent a claimant war, what happens when they come into conflict with each other over their differing views, priorities, and mindsets in how to achieve their goals? What are their visions for a better world? How do they compromise? Can they compromise? How does this impact the realm? They may have the same long-range goal but how they get there may be very different.

    However, maybe that’s not a conclusion to a story but a continuation of one.

    But that could only happen if Dany didn’t go all fire-and-blood on King’s Landing and declare to “liberate” the rest of the world.

  350. Adrianacandle,

    Well, if they met and were head over heels with each other, I don’t think that political antagonism would have stopped them from being together. Jon would overcome his abhorrence for incest, Daenerys would overcome the fact that he has a stronger claim, and they’d go down the aisle to complete their story. Narratively this isn’t an interesting story, because of what preceded it, meaning, it’s a very underwhelming ending to a very complex story.
    If, on the other hand, a story starts like this, i.e. two people meet randomly or for whatever cause, discover that they are related and still go on being together, facing the obstacles as they come, it’d be much more interesting, because all the conflict would be in front of them. But as it is, mostly in the books (but also in the show even the way they told the story), these characters are accomplished characters, each with their own course, priorities, mistakes, decisions, etc., and these are in fact obstacles that lead them to conflict.
    This is why I am saying it invalidates the entire story to have these two live the romance (whether they actually have romantic feelings or not). It is meaningless to have a hidden heir for five books; so hidden, that the master mind of the story invented a claimant (Daenerys) who overcomes all obstacles to reclaim what she believes is rightfully hers, and another hidden heir, f!Aegon, to confuse the story even more, diverge attention from the rightful heir, and lead to unexpected events that would strain the situation between Jon/Dany (in the books) even more. This story is designed from the beginning to pit them against each other as antagonists and Jon’s identity is designed to bring everything upside-down in Westeros (we’ll see in the books in which way).
    ASOIAF is not a romance, like Ash said. Martin didn’t want to say the story of a romance, therefore romance (J/D and all the rest) become marginal in it. So this opinion of mine derives from the general structure of the book.

    It seems kind of to me that R+L=J did mean nothing in the end because Jon went back to being an anonymous outcast.

    You’re right, this is the reason why the story feels so off. Show-wise it wasn’t nicely told even though I can acknowledge the irony of the most important person in Westeros in the end being condemned or choosing himself to live in anonymity. Narratively it’s a nice twist; I don’t think it’s Martin’s solution, but if it is he’ll reach there infinitely better and rewardingly for the readers.

    However, maybe that’s not a conclusion to a story but a continuation of one.

    I believe it’s the content before the final clash. All the themes you have mentioned are explored before these characters meet in the books (and show, somewhat). What is the world they envision? What is their take on justice? What is their take on people’s rights?
    You know, I’ve read a lot lately on ASOIAF. I am aware that some universities have even included it in their course material. It is considered a masterpiece, but time will tell if it will replace Tolkien’s LotR. One of the most interesting views is the one that views all the characters of ASOIAF as foils/parallels to each other, sometimes both foils and parallels. In this sense, all leading figures are foils to each other; and some are parallels. Apparently there’s a lot of discussion on the literary models of the book and the influences Martin has received, adapted and incorporated in his work.

    In your view, does this lessen or compromise the romance factor in these relationships? But I don’t think GRRM is the only one at fault here. It seems quite common for fictional romances to have conflict, power dynamics, and antagonism.

    Unfortunately most of these characters are not POVs, they are not mains. Alys, Gilly, Penny, we don’t see their POVs (we might at some point, but not yet). Ygritte is not, Val is not.
    I don’t think that Martin’s relationships so far are healthy, they contain a significant amount of abuse and manipulation. Jamie-Brienne perhaps is healthiest than most but it’s not a love relationship yet, but Jamie-Cersei, Tyrion-Shae, Robert-Cersei, Tyrion-Sansa, Tyrion-Penny (not a love one, but with a certain “romantic” content), Daenerys-Hizdar, Daenerys-Daario… I’m forgetting. No, they’re not healthy. I’m also having problems with Dany-Drogo, because she idolizes him and she uses him. Perhaps Renly-Loras? But we only get glimpses of that and the actual powerplay about the throne obscures it. Stannis and Selyse, Stannis and Melissandre… Even Jon and Ygritte, because Ygritte pushed him too hard and he used her to be accepted by the Freefolk, no matter the feelings.
    And it’s not just about characters. What makes these romances feel so off particularly in the books is that the broad strokes that define who the characters are pit them against each other. It’s not about who is the stronger personality of the two, e.g. Robert-Cersei, or Jon-Ygritte, it’s about who gets real power and what is accomplished through the relationship. Tyrion bought a whore and they treat each other for what they are, one a buyer, the other the object of the transaction. Tyrion marries Sansa because he is ambitious, but she’s a minor in the books and won’t ever get over the fact that he comes from the family that murdered her own, while he’s stuck with the trauma of his dwarfism and blames her for not wanting him because of that.
    There’s not much room in these for any sign of a healthy relationship.
    Not even Jon-Sansa, a sibling relationship; it’ll be undercut by the trauma of his recent murder and whatever she’ll carry with her from the Vale. Jon-Dany will be undercut by the mere fact that he wants her dragons already in ADWD.

    Lol. Now that I think about it why do we even like this thing? If it ends in the books exactly as it did in the show, it’ll be the most nihilistc thing ever written in many centuries of literature. The show certainly made sure to sink each and every ship apart from Jamie-Cersei which was by far the sickest of all.
    Is that healthy?

  351. Adrianacandle,

    It seems kind of to me that R+L=J did mean nothing in the end because Jon went back to being an anonymous outcast.

    I thought that as well, another hung gun just like the WW were, that didn’t get used. Then I realized that without that revelation, Dany would still be the heir, and perhaps wouldn’t feel the need to destroy an entire city.

    Speaking of – in the season nomination post many people are putting the KL as their favorite battle. Its not a battle, its a slaughter! But I digress

    Adrianacandle,

    However, maybe that’s not a conclusion to a story but a continuation of one.

    and unfortunately there is not likely to be one, unless Martin pubilshes his book which I am not really expecting ….

    Really enjoying this discussion btw

  352. ash,

    I thought that as well, another hung gun just like the WW were, that didn’t get used. Then I realized that without that revelation, Dany would still be the heir, and perhaps wouldn’t feel the need to destroy an entire city.

    Yeah, that’s true. Its impact on the plot was to help drive Dany into becoming the destroyer. I think you’re right, but it’s like… not so epic 😉 Which is maybe the point, sigh.

    I don’t really know what I was expecting it would culminate in because I never thought Jon would be king. I think I was expecting R+L=J to result in something maybe mystical, why Melisandre saw Jon’s face in her fires? Honestly, I really was 99.999999% sure Jon was going to die because borrowed time. And I thought Dany was going to die or return to Essos. The only ones I was certain would survive were Sansa and Tyrion.

    Speaking of – in the season nomination post many people are putting the KL as their favorite battle. Its not a battle, its a slaughter! But I digress

    Yes, you’re right!! But it was beautifully done 😉

    and unfortunately there is none ….
    Really enjoying this discussion btw

    I know!! I’m still in denial that it’s over. The hype time as each season was being teased was so so sweet… Everything was possible!

    And me too!!

    We’re approaching 400 posts! I got a brand new pimple to celebrate 🙂

    Efi: I liked Hardome and BotB.

    As do I! 🙂

  353. ash,

    Speaking of the WW, I am wondering what the deal behind the Others is, why they want to wipe out humanity, why they’re coming now after 8,000 years. Is it because, per Rocky Horror Picture Show, “And crawling on the planet’s face. Some insects, called the human race… Lost in time, and lost in space. And meaning. Meaning…”

    Any excuse for a RHPS quote 🙂

  354. Tron79,

    Off topic, I can’t help say I just finished watching the movie “Tolkien”, and I haven’t teared up so much in quite some time. It was quite a story of his life I just followed, and how it lead to his books.

    I was moved as well; put off by some of the ‘hit you over the head’ visuals, but very well done. I’d always heard that his books were about WWI, and this movie shows how (acting was incredible!)

  355. Efi,

    the difference those were battles in the sense that their was a true two sides. In KL, the people had no idea what hit them and after the destruction of the Gold Company and Euron’s fleet – that should have been it Instead it becames a slaughter of innocents. Its not a big deal, just semantics; just a bit ironic to me

    Adrianacandle,

    HAhahahahha! Yes of course. In seriousness, really do wish we had some sort of answer as to why it shows up after 8000 years. another question that will never be answered. That being said – there are some nights after reading the news that I think maybe a few WW would come in handy. Or, maybe they are already here, in disguise…

  356. Efi,

    No need to apologise . Obviously, I’m length-tolerant. Sorry this took a while. My original reply wouldn’t post, so I took time to check some facts. Anyway, you wrote:

    By the way are you familiar with scripts yourself? Do you know what’s implied, what’s between the lines that you do not see written? Because my job is correcting and editing texts. Admittedly not scripts, but I’m trained to find obscure points, I’m trained to see what’s not said in a written text.

    Yes. For over a decade my hobby was studying screenwriting, reading scenarios, and writing them (never selling any, but I did place in some contests). Critiquing/being critiqued in writers’ groups has been absolutely invaluable. I professionally edited and proofread after teaching both English lit and technical writing. So we have some background in common. Even now I do something similar but with art. At any rate, I’m glad you have the script, and you make many good points. So I shan’t try to refute them systematically, but rather make a few generalisations.

    You’re right that a script is not gospel…nor inerrant! But it’s the closest written manifestation of the on-screen product available. Writer-director scripts are are often sketchy, opaque, flippant, etc. On the set, writers who direct can fill in blanks, give explanations and even make adjustments. Unsurprisingly, their scripts have a distinctive style. They’re tongue in cheek, full of in-jokes, wordplay, joke anachronisms, pop references, etc.—the very things that puzzled/outraged fans who read the S8E6 script. But D&D had worked hand-in-glove with their actors for seven years and surely they understood most of it.

    The outline you quoted, while useful, is a summation likely written by an HBO flack and probably approved by D&D. For purposes of interpreting a story’s deeper meaning, the script carries much more empirical weight than the blurb intended to summarize and tantalise viewers. Did you refer to “Sansa regrets she was unable to gain Jon’s release, but he comforts her by saying the North will be in good hands under her guidance.”? Tyrion had specified that Sansa AND Arya wanted Jon freed; surely both regretted failing . The script does say Jon “…hasn’t entirely forgiven her for betraying the oath she made in the godswood.” Her words of regret come directly after that and probably refer to her promise. Perhaps not. She did ask forgiveness.

    I disagree that Sansa is central to Jon’s motivations. The script says Jon decides “…for the people he loves the most.” Your term was “protecting the one he loved”. I cannot help but be reminded of ‘Jonsa’, which you and Adrianacandle fully discussed earlier after you had mentioned a “classic romantic triangle.” With the Series 7 advent of J+D, many Jonsas somehow stressed that he’s still ‘focused’ on her. I grant you that Sansa herself may subconsciously love or wish to control Jon, but she also uses him as a pawn. In fact, it reminds me of book Sansa’s “unkiss” and thoughts on Sandor. To Jon, she is just his (problematic, undermining?) sister. He knows she loves him, “but still… Even if there were a romantic triangle trope at play, GRRM’s signature tactic is to overturn tropes.

    My point is not to marginalise Sansa, but to refute Arya being maginalised, especially from Jon. In the books of course, Jon and Arya have the special bond. GRRM has always considered THEM two of the five main characters. She was Jon’s soulmate; they knew each other’s mind, once saying in unison “Don’t-tell-Sansa!”. In unison they blurted out a name for her sword: Needle! Then “The memory of her laughter warmed him on the long ride north.” An unused S8E6 script line has him telling her he’ll always be with her. And it says that Arya hasn’t cried in years but does now. Despite different paths, they are very alike in many ways, especially in their hearts. In Series 7 she automatically protected Jon’s position from being usurped. In 8.01 their strong bond is immediately rekindled. He quickly asks her to help with Sansa…and she intuitively knows it’s about Dany. So who is his recourse and who is his problem?

    In all your quotes from the script, “sister” was plural. It’s logical that Tyrion gives a few particulars about Sansa. She is his ex whom HE understands and wants to protect. He had never exchanged one word with Arya. His mentioning Sansa does not make her the focus of JON’s concern. And in a sense Sansa’s betraying Jon’s secret had not only helped fuel the catastrophe, it had gotten Tyrion involved in the entire imbroglio. And later on you write: “Jon understands what this means for the people he loves the most. So, Sansa doesn’t want Dany to be queen, but she doesn’t get to choose. But Jon does. And he has to choose now.” “People” like “sisters” is plural. Focusing solely on Sansa is a non sequitur. He loves and protects BOTH sisters, Bran, maybe Northerners, and Tyrion.

    Finally, it’s a handy rhetorical device to say let’s not discuss something and then make one’s own point. So briefly…IF Sansa had told Jon that fresh Vale cavalry was nearby and going to come…he could have planned. Perhaps he could have avoided the melee, saved more Northern and Wildling lives, and *possibly* have saved Rickon. She usurped HIS agency by never giving him the chance. The predicament Sansa rescued him from was one she might have averted. In 8.05 Dany was indeed the cause of those people dying. But Sansa’s betrayal was one of the underlying links in the chain of events. Despite all of Jon’s pleading, all the solemnity of her Heart Tree oath, she tattled his secret. Only through her did it become disseminated…and truly dangerous. As Varys told Tyrion,”It’s not a secret anymore. It’s information. “ I don’t read minds, so won’t project her motivations. But IF she had kept her vow…a lot of Westerosi would have been alive by the end.

  357. ash,

    HAhahahahha! Yes of course. In seriousness, really do wish we had some sort of answer as to why it shows up after 8000 years. another question that will never be answered. That being said – there are some nights after reading the news that I think maybe a few WW would come in handy. Or, maybe they are already here, in disguise…

    The Others are magic so maybe that disguise is possible… 😉

    I’m hoping, if the books are ever released, we get some of those answers. The show kind of dropped a lot of the exploration of the WW — and much of the prophecy stuff. I’m interested in seeing how those elements are dealt with in the books 🙂

  358. Efi,

    (Part 1/2)

    Well, if they met and were head over heels with each other, I don’t think that political antagonism would have stopped them from being together. Jon would overcome his abhorrence for incest, Daenerys would overcome the fact that he has a stronger claim, and they’d go down the aisle to complete their story.

    I think you can also use the same argument for other romances. If Jon and Ygritte were in love enough, Jon wouldn’t have left her to return to the NW. If Jaime and Brienne were in love enough, Jaime would have been able to overcome his addiction for Cersei.

    But sometimes, love doesn’t conquer all. It doesn’t mean that it’s not a love story or that there is no love. Not all romances have endings where characters end up together, nor are characters able to always overcome obstacles — which is also seen in other fictional romances and in real life romantic relationships as well.

    Narratively this isn’t an interesting story, because of what preceded it, meaning, it’s a very underwhelming ending to a very complex story.

    I think your opinion of what makes a story engaging is a valid opinion to hold. But I disagree — in concept at least, especially if this is the plan for the books. Having love involved in their final confrontation provides a level of difficulty and conflict Jon and Dany haven’t faced before.

    On Jon’s side, Dany’s not another Ramsay Bolton, a Night King, or a White Walker, Jon doesn’t see her as a monster. The script describes Dany as “the woman he loves” and afer killing her, Jon feels he has nothing to live for. Working to defeat the Night King and Ramsay were not morally difficut decisions and their defeat were clear victories. In contrast, having Jon kill a loved one who has become the next greatest threat is not a clear victory, it will haunt him, he needs to be pushed into it, and it doesn’t feel right for him.

    On Dany’s side — her vision is usually challenged by enemies who want to oppress the people as opposed to a loved one who is arguing for the good of the people she had once sworn defend. In the cases of freeing slaves, Dany’s in the right. But here, she’s being challenged (and eventually slain) by a man she loves because she’s become the new threat without even realizing it. She truly believes she liberated the people of KL from a tyrant when she massacred them, that purging the world to begin it anew is the way to go — and she can’t see how she herself has become the new threat the realm needs to be protected against.

    If, on the other hand, a story starts like this, i.e. two people meet randomly or for whatever cause, discover that they are related and still go on being together, facing the obstacles as they come, it’d be much more interesting, because all the conflict would be in front of them. But as it is, mostly in the books (but also in the show even the way they told the story), these characters are accomplished characters, each with their own course, priorities, mistakes, decisions, etc., and these are in fact obstacles that lead them to conflict.

    I think the former is a way to tell this kind of story but this isn’t the only way. What makes a story engaging varies from person to person.

    That they’re already accomplished characters with their own stories by the time they meet doesn’t — on its own — mean the story is less interesting, I think it provides another kind of exploration and requires time to do it well. Not all love stories have to begin with the two characters meeting randomly early in their development. And it doesn’t have to position the characters on the same side of the conflicts they face. Characters in romances do end up on different sides of a conflict, obstacles lead to conflict, as is the case with real-life intimate relationships.

    This story is designed from the beginning to pit them against each other as antagonists and Jon’s identity is designed to bring everything upside-down in Westeros (we’ll see in the books in which way).

    This might be true but at this moment, I feel this is speculation because we haven’t seen what will happen yet.

    Even if they are pitted against each other, and there’s the factor of f!Aegon, if Jon does turn out to be the rightful heir — I’m not seeing how a romance would invalidate the entire story. Do you mean that it wouldn’t be possible to have a romance between two characters on opposite sides of a claimant issue? Or that a romance would prevent a conflict or lesson a conflict occurring between Jon and Dany? (I’m sorry if I’ve misunderstood you!)

    In both cases, I don’t think either is true. Love has occurred between two people positioned on different sides of a conflict and love has not stopped a conflict (or choice over a love interest) from occurring, especially when it comes to differing ideals and visions. I think when love is involved, it may add a level of tragedy, personal difficulty, and falls under the theme of hard choices.

    And that’s supposing Jon even wants the crown after his disastrous tenure as LC in which he gets shanked.

    ASOIAF is not a romance, like Ash said. Martin didn’t want to say the story of a romance, therefore romance (J/D and all the rest) become marginal in it. So this opinion of mine derives from the general structure of the book.

    I agree that romances in the story don’t define the entire story, they’re just part of the story, their own plots in this giant tale covering a variety of themes. A romance between J/D wouldn’t make ASOIAF a romance — Jon and Dany are not the only two characters. Buffy isn’t a romance because she fell in love with Angel and had kill to him to prevent the world from being sucked into hell, that was just one plot dealing with those two characters which examined some of the show’s themes.

    Various types of relationships (platonic, familial, romantic, screwed up, etc.) do help examine the themes of ASOIAF — morality, hard choices, conflict, etc.

  359. Efi,

    (Part 2/2)

    All the themes you have mentioned are explored before these characters meet in the books (and show, somewhat). What is the world they envision? What is their take on justice? What is their take on people’s rights?

    And these themes are explored again and again in different ways and situations. I think they will continue to be explored in future plotlines.

    I am aware that some universities have even included it in their course material. It is considered a masterpiece, but time will tell if it will replace Tolkien’s LotR.

    I think that’s kind of a cool thing about pop culture, how it is studied in universities — which makes it a really engaging way to learn about narrative fiction and how its structured 🙂 I actually attended Buffy studies! My obsession with BtVS is really showing… D:

    Unfortunately most of these characters are not POVs, they are not mains. Alys, Gilly, Penny, we don’t see their POVs (we might at some point, but not yet). Ygritte is not, Val is not.

    No, but Catelyn is, as well as Sansa. You have a POV feminine woman focused on power (Cersei), one empowered with dragons and destiny (Daenerys), an assassin-in-training (Arya), a scorned-by-society female warrior (Brienne), a non-magical, non-combative girl (Sansa), and another non-combative, non-magical woman (Catelyn) — so I think there’s a nice variety of female characters here.

    Re: Martin’s romances. No, many of them aren’t particularly healthy but they do still qualify as love stories, even Jaime/Cersei as it is a story between lovers. Re: Jon using Ygrite to be accepted by the free folk, I don’t think that’s quite what happened. Jon was adamant about rejecting Ygritte’s advances. Later, Ygritte lied to Mance that she and Jon sleep together every night — which she does in order to waylay suspicions about Jon’s loyalties. Jon tells Ygritte he didn’t ask her to lie for him and Ygritte responds she didn’t, “I left out part, is all. […] I never said when we started, though.” The smile she gave him was almost shy. “Find another place for Ghost to sleep tonight, Jon Snow. It’s like Mance said. Deeds is truer than words.”

    I would absolutely agree Sansa and Tyrion is not a romance for the reasons you described and because they’re not willing lovers, they’re forced together against their will and Sansa’s a child. Nor would I say Robert/Cersei is a romance because that’s not a tale of lovers either, per the Merriam-Webster’s definition of a romance.

    But Jaime/Brienne, Jon/Ygritte, even the very toxic Jaime/Cersei are romances because those feelings are involved (even though Jaime/Brienne aren’t actually lovers but the feeling there is developing).

    Not even Jon-Sansa, a sibling relationship; it’ll be undercut by the trauma of his recent murder and whatever she’ll carry with her from the Vale.
    Jon-Dany will be undercut by the mere fact that he wants her dragons already in ADWD.

    I think, at this moment, these are speculations because what happens with these relationships remains to be seen.

    As far as I can recall, Jon hasn’t mentioned Dany or her dragons in ADWD. He makes a flippant comment to Tycho about wishing they had a dragon to warm things up at the Wall and Tycho shoots him down to not joke about dragons as his people fled from the wrath of dragonlords, to which Jon apologizes — but that’s it.

    On another note, I fell down a YouTube hole of Community clips yesterday after I posted that clip above and I thought of you! I think you might like that show, if you haven’t already seen it 🙂 It’s very meta about tropes!

    And my god, I have never talked about romance so much before!

  360. Efi: Lol. Now that I think about it why do we even like this thing? If it ends in the books exactly as it did in the show, it’ll be the most nihilistc thing ever written in many centuries of literature. The show certainly made sure to sink each and every ship apart from Jamie-Cersei which was by far the sickest of all.
    Is that healthy?

    I agree, it is pretty nihilistic. Not just in regard to the relationships (but Sam/Gilly survived as well?), but for some of the characters. Not all — but some.

    I think we like it because… self-flagellation? 🙂 I was warned when I started out! But I was like, “Pfft, I’m an edgy misunderstood suffering art school student. I thrive on pain.

    That turned out to be a lie. I don’t.

    (weeps on Wacom)

  361. Efi: Not even Jon-Sansa, a sibling relationship; it’ll be undercut by the trauma of his recent murder and whatever she’ll carry with her from the Vale.

    I wanted to add — while I don’t know what’s going to happen, I do look forward to seeing how they examine the sibling relationship between Jon and Sansa in the books (for better or for worse). Sibling relationships have always been really fascinating for me because, sadly, I have a bushel of sisters. And I objected to each and every one of their births 😉 Well, Alexis is cool. The others — nah 🙂

    I enjoyed when Sansa and Jon reunited — the idea of people who weren’t close growing up, who still don’t always like each other personally, but still having that familial bond between them — especially because (at the time) they were the only other family they had left. I think there is a kind of “purity” (for lack of a better word) to familial relationships, especially sibling ones — if they’ve grown up with you, they’re some of the only people in the world who have known you as a kid while you grew up alongside each other.

    And I really want to see what their reunion looks like in the books 🙂

  362. I would say it’s more bitter than sweet, but nihilistic? The Dead were defeated and the Iron Throne of fiery conquest met its fiery end. Someone neutral and theoretically just is on the throne, and the wheel of dynastic inheritance is broken. The ostensible heroes won and ostensible villains lost. That’s especially true if “you win or you die” is the ultimate standard. If nothing else, Tyrion has proven abilities as Hand and is even reasonably sympathetic to small folk. Admittedly, the land is ruined, the people decimated, the treasury bankrupt, but throughout history even devastated countries like post-WWII Japan and Germany have rebuilt and regained their power. Many Westerosi who craved independence got it, And Westeros is now looking both west and north, with new horizons to be explored. Recovery may look like a dream, but those green sprigs poking through the snow north of the Wall may symbolise that Spring is coming.

    Yes, the lack of successful romances/marriages does seem nihilistic. As a rule, family units remain the building blocks of society. And though many old houses are extinct, new ones will arise (reflecting actual history). The only young couple left standing is Sam, and Gilly, but they have Baby Sam and Baby Gilly on the way! And Gilly is a flower! Most of the romances we watched wilt and die were riddled with baggage. Surely, Bronn of House Bronn, handsome Robin Arryn, and Prince Charming of Dorne will soon be wife-hunting. Perhaps they might even be more interested in love than business-like arrangements. The available daughters of minor houses probably will insist on it.

  363. Efi:
    Adrianacandle,

    Well, if they met and were head over heels with each other, I don’t think that political antagonism would have stopped them from being together. Jon would overcome his abhorrence for incest, Daenerys would overcome the fact that he has a stronger claim, and they’d go down the aisle to complete their story. Narratively this isn’t an interesting story, because of what preceded it, meaning, it’s a very underwhelming ending to a very complex story.
    If, on the other hand, a story starts like this, i.e. two people meet randomly or for whatever cause, discover that they are related and still go on being together, facing the obstacles as they come, it’d be much more interesting, because all the conflict would be in front of them. But as it is, mostly in the books (but also in the show even the way they told the story), these characters are accomplished characters, each with their own course, priorities, mistakes, decisions, etc., and these are in fact obstacles that lead them to conflict.
    This is why I am saying it invalidates the entire story to have these two live the romance (whether they actually have romantic feelings or not). It is meaningless to have a hidden heir for five books; so hidden, that the master mind of the story invented a claimant (Daenerys) who overcomes all obstacles to reclaim what she believes is rightfully hers, and another hidden heir, f!Aegon, to confuse the story even more, diverge attention from the rightful heir, and lead to unexpected events that would strain the situation between Jon/Dany (in the books) even more. This story is designed from the beginning to pit them against each other as antagonists and Jon’s identity is designed to bring everything upside-down in Westeros (we’ll see in the books in which way).
    ASOIAF is not a romance, like Ash said. Martin didn’t want to say the story of a romance, therefore romance (J/D and all the rest) become marginal in it. So this opinion of mine derives from the general structure of the book.

    It seems kind of to me that R+L=J did mean nothing in the end because Jon went back to being an anonymous outcast.

    You’re right, this is the reason why the story feels so off. Show-wise it wasn’t nicely told even though I can acknowledge the irony of the most important person in Westeros in the end being condemned or choosing himself to live in anonymity. Narratively it’s a nice twist; I don’t think it’s Martin’s solution, but if it is he’ll reach there infinitely better and rewardingly for the readers.

    However, maybe that’s not a conclusion to a story but a continuation of one.

    I believe it’s the content before the final clash. All the themes you have mentioned are explored before these characters meet in the books (and show, somewhat). What is the world they envision? What is their take on justice? What is their take on people’s rights?
    You know, I’ve read a lot lately on ASOIAF. I am aware that some universities have even included it in their course material. It is considered a masterpiece, but time will tell if it will replace Tolkien’s LotR. One of the most interesting views is the one that views all the characters of ASOIAF as foils/parallels to each other, sometimes both foils and parallels. In this sense, all leading figures are foils to each other; and some are parallels. Apparently there’s a lot of discussion on the literary models of the book and the influences Martin has received, adapted and incorporated in his work.

    In your view, does this lessen or compromise the romance factor in these relationships? But I don’t think GRRM is the only one at fault here. It seems quite common for fictional romances to have conflict, power dynamics, and antagonism.

    Unfortunately most of these characters are not POVs, they are not mains. Alys, Gilly, Penny, we don’t see their POVs (we might at some point, but not yet). Ygritte is not, Val is not.
    I don’t think that Martin’s relationships so far are healthy, they contain a significant amount of abuse and manipulation. Jamie-Brienne perhaps is healthiest than most but it’s not a love relationship yet, but Jamie-Cersei, Tyrion-Shae, Robert-Cersei, Tyrion-Sansa, Tyrion-Penny (not a love one, but with a certain “romantic” content), Daenerys-Hizdar, Daenerys-Daario… I’m forgetting. No, they’re not healthy. I’m also having problems with Dany-Drogo, because she idolizes him and she uses him. Perhaps Renly-Loras? But we only get glimpses of that and the actual powerplay about the throne obscures it. Stannis and Selyse, Stannis and Melissandre… Even Jon and Ygritte, because Ygritte pushed him too hard and he used her to be accepted by the Freefolk, no matter the feelings.
    And it’s not just about characters. What makes these romances feel so off particularly in the books is that the broad strokes that define who the characters are pit them against each other. It’s not about who is the stronger personality of the two, e.g. Robert-Cersei, or Jon-Ygritte, it’s about who gets real power and what is accomplished through the relationship. Tyrion bought a whore and they treat each other for what they are, one a buyer, the other the object of the transaction. Tyrion marries Sansa because he is ambitious, but she’s a minor in the books and won’t ever get over the fact that he comes from the family that murdered her own, while he’s stuck with the trauma of his dwarfism and blames her for not wanting him because of that.
    There’s not much room in these for any sign of a healthy relationship.
    Not even Jon-Sansa, a sibling relationship; it’ll be undercut by the trauma of his recent murder and whatever she’ll carry with her from the Vale. Jon-Dany will be undercut by the mere fact that he wants her dragons already in ADWD.

    Lol. Now that I think about it why do we even like this thing? If it ends in the books exactly as it did in the show, it’ll be the most nihilistc thing ever written in many centuries of literature. The show certainly made sure to sink each and every ship apart from Jamie-Cersei which was by far the sickest of all.
    Is that healthy?

    Lots to agree with here.

    The story as seen on TV was nihilistic.

    It seemed designed to emotionally frustrate the viewers. I was struck by the number of comments by viewers reporting they felt “empty”. Washington Post took the trouble to trying to help its readers by explaining why this story’s ending caused such emotional distress.

    I also saw the comments about on “bittersweet” that responded to your argument. However, the posters found it necessary to speculate beyond the GOT ending to find a “bittersweet” by saying the individuals would find relationships and families later on. It goes without saying that GOT would only be bittersweet IF at least some these more fulfilling lives happened inside the story. If you need “to make up” your own ending (or season 9) to find sweet…then all we were given by GOT is the bitter and empty.

    Tolkien seemed to have gone for life-affirming and spiritual fulfillment by providing an emotionally satisfying ending. Perhaps GRRM wanted to pursue a different feeling at the end. Or D&D decided to do that as a creative choice.

  364. I am happy for Sam and Gilly…..but is Sam not a sworn member of the night’s watch? I thought this was life-time thing as it still exists as Jon is a member.

    Anyway, I thought Maesters remained unmarried. I do not know the lore so perhaps I can be corrected on this matter. Why do we think Sam will marry anyone? Was he married when it ended or was Gilly just knocked up and disappeared. Maybe Sam is just going live like Pycelle.

  365. The end is nihilistic.

    If you have to “make-up” your own sweet ending for the majority of the characters (progressing to Season 9 in your head) and go beyond the story you are given to get the “sweet” then it is not “bittersweet.” The end is just bitter.

    Some of the responses above that speculate that love will happen and families will be formed are simply adding endings that are not a part of the story as told in GOT. Sure it is all possible but the story did not include it. (Even Sam’s relationship with Gilly was illegal/illicit as far as night’s watch and masters rules go.) They all could start families but they also all die of a bad fever before that as well!

    Tolkien went in the better direction with his bittersweet- we were given love stories, families and friendships at the end. I think the idea was to provide some life affirmation and human warmth as the ending. Perhaps GRRM wanted to generate a different feeling. Or D&D maybe a creative choice to do something else.

    I noted the number of people saying how empty they felt at the end. Because of GOT, Washington Post published an article to try to help its readers cope with emotionally abusive/difficult endings.

  366. Mango,

    I think you have a point, Mango. I also think Stark Raven’ Rad has a point too.

    These are only my thoughts! Take them for what you will and feel free to disagree 🙂

    I agree that, for me, LoTR did go in a better direction (my thoughts are based on the films because it’s been all too long since I’ve read the books) — Sam was able to find happiness with Rosie, starting a family and life anew in Bag End. Middle Earth is saved from Sauron, and we saw life start to go on as it always did.

    Then the bitter: the elves leaving Middle Earth forever and after four years, Frodo finds he can’t return to the life he was once had in Bag End and must leave Sam and his loved ones to find peace.

    So the bittersweet: Because of the sacrifices he made carrying the ring, Frodo is allowed to join Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, and other High Elves when they pass on to the Undying Lands in order to heal his soul after the pain that the ring wrought upon it.

    With Game of Thrones, I think they were trying to imbue a message of hope (that green sprig of spring) among the bitter and I think there was some optimism. Winter is gone, rulers are now no longer determined by blood and birth order but are instead chosen by a small council (a small step toward democracy), the North gets its independence, the last of the free folk are venturing forth to a new life in a thawing land.

    But then there were some really bitter concepts: how some characters began seemed to be their ends too.

    Dany starts off as an exiled daughter of a notorious mad king, running from assassins all her life because she was born Targaryen, she’s scorned in Westeros as the Mad King’s daughter and is feared as such — and then, despite her efforts to not be like her father, she proves everyone’s worst fears. She ends up doing what her father was about to do before Jaime killed him — she became a destructive force in Westeros who needed to be stopped.

    Jaime starts off in a toxic relationship with his sister and goes back to that toxic relationship because he can’t quit. He dies with Cersei as the Red Keep collapses on him, choosing Cersei over a genuinely good woman who built him up, stood up for him, who Jaime was a better man with, and who was one of the few whom Jaime confided in as to why he killed Aerys. But he ultimately chooses his hateful self over the self who strived to be better, who risked his life and dignity to save Brienne, who went against loyalty to his family to fight for the living.

    Even Jon, for whom I think there is bitter and sweet. I know Jon’s end was intended to mirror Frodo’s end and in some ways, it did: returning North where perhaps he may have a chance at healing and is surrounded by the last of a people who want him and who he helped save. The North is probably the best place for him. However, unlike Frodo — who was one of the few non-elves allowed to sail to the Undying Lands because of his sacrifices as a ring-bearer — Jon was banished to a penal colony for killing the queen and for the rest of his life, must live with the fact that he assassinated her (he felt so much guilt over Ygritte and now, in this case with Dany, he did kill her). He’s only given special consideration as a compromise to prevent a war between those who wanted to execute him and Sansa, Arya, and the North, who wanted Jon back in Winterfell. Jon starts off as an anonymous outcast, scorned for being a bastard… and ends up in a similar place.

    As for Sam and the status of his vows: I have no idea. At first, I chalked his apparently leaving the Night’s Watch because there was no longer need for a Night’s Watch — except we learn the Night’s Watch still exists and now, it’s truly a penal colony because there’s nothing for them to defend Westeros from. The wildlings are no longer an issue — there’s peace with them, the lands are thawing so perhaps they can build their own self-sustaining society — and the White Walkers are gone.

    I think you’re right, Mango: according to A Wiki of Ice and Fire, “when an acolyte of noble birth takes his vows and dons his chain, he puts aside his House name. He swears sacred vows, promising to hold no lands or lordships, and to be celibate.”

    But Sam’s fathering children and I don’t think he’s all that celibate 😉

  367. Mango,

    “If you have to “make-up” your own sweet ending for the majority of the characters (progressing to Season 9 in your head) and go beyond the story you are given to get the “sweet” then it is not “bittersweet.” The end is just bitter.”

    Totally. The show has ended. Each and every single one of the characters is on his/her own. It was not implied in the show that they might meet again. Neither was it implied how important work they’d have to do where they were going so that we might feel that this is a good thing, or at least there’s some hope. You can’t have the audience speculating/making fanfiction in their heads and call it a rewarding ending.
    The scene of the Starks at the quay of KL on the contrary made it abundantly clear that they probably won’t meet ever again.
    What blows my mind completely is that with the upcoming books (suppose that they’ll both be published) the Starks will have officially spent seven books and 15000 pages or more trying to get home.
    I’d like Martin to explain some day how is it that he thinks that breaking apart a loving family like he did and having them go through literal hell to find each other only to then tear them apart again and send everyone on their own journey is fulfilling and “bittersweet” to him. I don’t see any sweetness in loneliness and isolation (and please, I don’t want anyone responding that Jon will have Tormund).

  368. “Even Jon, for whom I think there is bitter and sweet. I know Jon’s end was intended to mirror Frodo’s end and in some ways, it did: returning North where perhaps he may have a chance at healing and is surrounded by the last of a people who want him and who he helped save.”

    I will forever not get over what they did to Jon.
    The fate of Jon in the show is the main reason why I think they did some cooking with Martin’s ending.

    I don’t think he’s Frodo. I think he’s Aragorn.
    Frodo carries the ring; Bran carries the memory of humanity.
    Aragorn is a hidden heir and takes up a war. Jon is a hidden heir and takes up a war.

    For Frodo there’s progression. He goes to a better place. There’s no progression for Jon.
    He’s been there and the North, if it’s not home, is hardly a better place for him, since he left home in the first place because there was no love for him there anymore. His father gone, he’d only be in Robb’s way and exposed to Catelyn’s spite, so he inflicted this type of self-exile on himself. Doing that all over again, well, it’s just bitter.

    Show-wise implying that that’s what he needs to heal and feel better was forced. Nice picture, yes (they love their callbacks, don’t get me started, perhaps they shouldn’t love them that much), him going in the forest surrounded by the people he saved and kids that represent hope, regeneration, a new life. It’s still not a nice story.
    Sigh.

  369. Stark Raven’ Rad,

    “The only young couple left standing is Sam, and Gilly”.

    I think this is a grave mistake on the part of the showrunners. Sam shouldn’t have become a maester. I wonder who on earth thought of that; I wonder who thought that it wouldn’t matter to discard the books; to go against their own story.

    Gilly is pregnant and it makes Sam and Jon happy. They said they’d name the baby Jon if it was a boy. Implying, “yes, Jon, there’ll be another bastard in this world named Jon; because you know I’m joining the maesters of the Citadel now”.

    That they felt the need to insert a scene where Jon clearly suffers because he’ll never see his friends again and perhaps because he thinks how much he wants a family himself and then completely invalidate it by making Sam maester is entirely beyond my comprehension.

    Books and show the maesters are celibate.
    Why couldn’t Sam just be the new lord of Horn Hill, married to lady Gilly, and a member of the council at the same time?

    I am usually not so mean (not against you, StarkRaven). These little details make me so angry and bitter. Sorry for my rant.

  370. Why couldn’t Sam just be the new lord of Horn Hill, married to lady Gilly, and a member of the council at the same time?

    For some reason thats what I thought he was going to be. Guess I missed that – If he is a Maester what happens to Gilly and her children? Or do they go back to Horn Hill to be with his mothr and sister (that poor woman – she lost her husband and one son to Dany, the other to the Citadel, Perhaps Gilly and her grandchildren will bring her comfort)

  371. ash,

    It seems like many of the old traditions and restrictions have gone out the window along with the old rules of succession. So maybe grand maesters like Sam can now be married, have kids, and hold titles.

    After all, I assume that Brienne is the first female LC of the Kingsguard; taking the black means Jon Snow can go horseback riding and become de facto King Beyond the Wall; and Sansa is the first Queen in the North (?); etc.

  372. Ten Bears,

    You beat me to the punch. I’ve not read the books, but if the Citadel is ruled by the Crown, then Bran can change the rules as he thinks appropriate. Sam could marry, be the Lord of Horn Hill, and still serve on the Small Council. I wish that had been clarified.

  373. Ice Hunter:
    Ten Bears,

    You beat me to the punch.I’ve not read the books, but if the Citadel is ruled by the Crown, then Bran can change the rules as he thinks appropriate.Sam could marry, be the Lord of Horn Hill, and still serve on the Small Council.I wish that had been clarified.

    </blockquote
    It would provide a good laugh if Bran did that. You recall one of the first scenes in GOT was Ned taking Bran when he killed the Night Watch guy for leaving the Watch. At the end, there is Sam who has abandoned the NW sitting beside Bran as if nothing matters anymore. And I assume Bran knows …right?

    You know what, we should not need to make this up! If one couple/family has made it then we could have had some clarity about that. (Of course, Sam should have died in the Long Night.) As we saw at end of S8, Sam is NW and/or a Maester – he may continue sleeping with Gilly on the side, hiding her someplace. Little Jon is a bastard. This is where the story left us.

  374. Ten Bears,

    It seems like many of the old traditions and restrictions have gone out the window along with the old rules of succession. So maybe grand maesters like Sam can now be married, have kids, and hold titles.

    True, but it is speculation. Sam is still dressed like a traditional maester in the council scene and no change is implied, or discussed according to the script. Also, the Citadel is under the Hightowers’ authority, which belongs to the Reach. I don’t know if Bran would have authority to change its rules. The Reach is a kingdom of its own and the Hightowers are among the most prominent lords.
    The maesters were modelled on the west european universities of the middle ages, that were staffed by clerics/monks of the catholic religion (both celibate by definition; clerics were not celibate in the christian orthodox faith, in fact they were obliged to be married, as they are today). That of course was a result of the inaccessibility of education to common people in the middle ages; it wasn’t imposed as a rule or by law, it just happened.
    Does anyone know what is Martin’s model for the kings guard? I know there were coprs of eunuch guards in the orient (muslim countries and early Byzantium) but I have no idea if there was such a corps somewhere in western Europe. Muslim Spain, perhaps? The idea behind those corps was that the guards being so close to kings wouldn’t have any personal interest of murdering them for making themselves kings.

  375. Stark Raven’ Rad,

    Thanks for the long reply and the clarifications.
    I don’t think I said anything against Arya, and I don’t see how Jon wouldn’t love Arya as much as he does because he loves Sansa; one is not exclusive of the other. That wasn’t the point of any of my posts. I do think, however, that by 8.6 Jon is well aware that Arya can protect herself, and, frankly speaking, the viewers (us) and probably the characters in this last GOT season recognize that between Arya and Daenerys, it’s Daenerys who’s in danger. The only thing I pointed out is that the line “I know a killer” was untimely; but this is the showrunners’ choice (and some people here have argued how it may have a different meaning than what I thought, which is valid).
    My argument with Sansa is not a about Jonsa. We didn’t get Jonsa in season 8. My argument was that they made sure that Sansa holds a paramount position in Jon’s thinking and decision-making, and this is a consistent thread since season 6. And I think the 8.6 script makes it clear; they made sure that everyone reminds him of Sansa, even Arya, even Tyrion, as you noted yourself (btw Tyrion doesn’t know his ex; he still thinks she’s power hungry because “she wanted to be queen” when she was a child). “Protecting the one he loved” is an interpretation of my own (and the ending of a long post), just like that she is the “problematic, undermining” sister is your interpretation.

    So who is his recourse and who is his problem?

    Jon attempts to find an ally in 8.1. He needs some support. The scene makes it clear that Jon is stuck in the past when it comes to Arya. He thinks she’s still the little girl with whom he shared secrets of his own when he was a teenager. They compare their swords. Arya shuts him down quickly and effectively.

    “Sansa is the smartest person that I know”

    No support from Arya, Jon, sorry!

    “Finally, it’s a handy rhetorical device to say let’s not discuss something and then make one’s own point.”

    That is rather biting on your part. I simply recapped what we saw on screen as the result of the BotB, which is the point of contention when it comes to Sansa. The point that Jon should have known that there is another army in the area is a good point. He needed to know. But there are Doylist and Watsonian reasons for everything that we saw on screen, as you well know. From a Watsonian perspective, Sansa knew that LF would undermine Jon. In their meeting at Molestown he stressed “half-brother”; yes, of course, Sansa has a superior claim to Winterfell. Considering that this is the guy who sold her to the Boltons and was therefore partly responsible for her abuse, who also was an abuser to her in his own twisted way, who would plot against Jon anyway (and did in season 7), Sansa had every reason to want to keep him away from Jon and herself.
    From a Watsonian perspective Jon wouldn’t want LF close to Sansa either. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that he wouldn’t have accepted LF, but that he’d have consented is not granted either, because he’d knowingly put his sister under that man’s influence again. That would be a tough call for Jon. Don’t forget, he nearly choked LF to death in 7.2.
    From a Doylist perspective, however, it’s all different. Let’s say that Sansa told Jon. That Jon called him. They’re all a big, happy family. Where’s the tension? There’s no interest in that.
    The way they showed it, they used the surprise element, teased “dark Sansa” (which you fully buy as I understand) and have us all here discussing the same thing after many years. That’s a grand success on the part of the showrunners.

    “The predicament Sansa rescued him from was one she might have averted.”

    Allow me to rephrase: the predicament she rescued him from was the one he got himself into.

    “But Sansa’s betrayal was one of the underlying links in the chain of events. Despite all of Jon’s pleading, all the solemnity of her Heart Tree oath, she tattled his secret. Only through her did it become disseminated…and truly dangerous.”

    True. But Sansa didn’t really understand how dangerous Daenerys could become (watch it; you can’t say that she did and use the same argument to exonerate Tyrion and Jon; if it is valid for one, it is valid for all). Also, not speaking would mean that she’d accept this atypical hostage situation Jon (once again) put himself into. From a Doylist perspective there’d also not be any story progression had it remained a secret. KL would perhaps not have burned; Jon would be forever Daenerys’ hostage; Sansa would have true power in the North, with Jon conveniently removed to KL, just like Tyrion suggested.

    Lastly, it seems to me that you confuse books and show. I don’t understand what the meaning of the “unkiss” is for our topic, so you lost me there. The way it is given in the books, the “unkiss” is for Sansa a mechanism for disguising a traumatic memory into something she can live with until she is able to face it for what it was, an assault and a threat against Sansa’s life and sexuality by Clegane. He held a knife to her throat; he pushed her on the bed (if my memory doesn’t fail me?).
    You also wrote this in your earlier post:

    Moreover, GRRM invented Sansa so the perfect Stark family would have some conflict. THAT is what she has done brilliantly in Seasons 6 through 8–stirred contention with her family and Dany whilst scheming her way to power.

    Frankly speaking, I don’t know why Martin invented Sansa. But “dark Sansa” is the showrunners’ creation and has nothing to do with the books, especially as it is used from seasons 6-8, to which Martin had no say whatsoever. The showrunners simply transferred on screen what the fandom thought about Sansa. As usual, brainless Reddit bloggers wanted an easy victim.
    Since Sansa is one of the core-5 of Martin (the children, as he calls them), I don’t see how she is not instumental to him for completing the story. In the books as in the show she’ll be crucial for taking WF back and restoring the Starks’ domination in the North. She literally rebuilds WF from Snow, books and show.

    So I’ll recap: blaiming Sansa is easy. She has no dragons, no fighting skills. How blamable is that? I think it’s one of Martin’s grand questions.

  376. Efi,

    Thank-you! I saw your response and thank you for it! 🙂 I’m of two minds, I’ve seen convincing arguments for both (Aragorn and Frodo). I lean more toward the Frodo, though, because I’m not so sure Jon was ever meant to be king as Aragorn was. But I’ll ruminate on your words some more 🙂

    Frankly speaking, I don’t know why Martin invented Sansa. But “dark Sansa” is the showrunners’ creation and has nothing to do with the books, especially as it is used from seasons 6-8, to which Martin had no say whatsoever.

    I believe what Stark Raven’ Rad is referring to are tidbits from a 2000 talk GRRM gave, where he does kind of say Sansa was created to bring some friction into the Stark clan:

    KEPLER’S AND CODY’S SIGNINGS (CALIFORNIA; NOVEMBER 9 AND 11)

    (3) Arya was one of the first characters created. Sansa came about as a total opposite b/c too many of the Stark family members were getting along and familes aren’t like that. Thus, Sansa was created; he ended by saying they have deep issues to work out.

    But Sansa didn’t really understand how dangerous Daenerys could become (watch it; you can’t say that she did and use the same argument to exonerate Tyrion and Jon; if it is valid for one, it is valid for all). Also, not speaking would mean that she’d accept this atypical hostage situation Jon (once again) put himself into.

    Well, Sansa would have to know she’s kindling some sort of flame, wouldn’t she? That this risks more war? If she fears Dany will stop at nothing to take the throne, this makes Jon an obstacle in her path to the throne, so unless Sansa’s banking on Dany’s personal feelings protecting Jon (in which case, I don’t think it would be Sansa who’d be saving Jon’s life but Dany’s feelings?)… this does put Jon in danger. And while I’m not sure where the hostage situation stuff is coming from in the show, that aside, I don’t think Sansa has the legal or moral authority to make this decision for Jon. Jon made his wishes clear, he doesn’t want this information out and he doesn’t want his claim used against Dany’s.

    But I do agree that letting this secret out was needed for the story’s progression.

    Re: Littlefinger, the Knights of the Vale, Sansa, and Jon. I think you’re right as to why Sansa would want nothing to do with Littlefinger ever, ever again — but she ended up contacting Littlefinger anyway and still not telling Jon. It’s reasonable not to trust LF and to fear he’d undermine herself and Jon — but why wouldn’t Sansa circumvent Littlefinger and go directly to her cousin for help? Contact Yohn Royce?

  377. Ten Bears:
    ash,

    It seems like many of the old traditions and restrictions have gone out the window along with the old rules of succession. So maybe grand maesters like Sam can now be married, have kids, and hold titles.

    After all, I assume that Brienne is the first female LC of the Kingsguard; taking the black means Jon Snow can go horseback riding and become de facto King Beyond the Wall; and Sansa is the first Queen in the North (?); etc.

    Yes, rules and traditions can be discarded and changed. There have been many such in my lifetime. An example: the Church of England did not allow women to be ordained as priests until 1994. And going further back in the 20th century, married women were barred from certain occupations.

    As for the Night’s Watch, if it is just a penal colony now, then there will be no need for vows, and all previous vows are void. Presumably there would be warders, but they would not need to swear for life: it could be similar to a posting in military service.

    Let’s imagine that the books are finished and all these changes are detailed in the end. People would probably be happy with the “show, don’t tell” of this finale.

  378. Efi:
    Ten Bears,

    True, but it is speculation. Sam is still dressed like a traditional maester in the council scene and no change is implied, or discussed according to the script. Also, the Citadel is under the Hightowers’ authority, which belongs to the Reach. I don’t know if Bran would have authority to change its rules. The Reach is a kingdom of its own and the Hightowers are among the most prominent lords.

    Was the fact