Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Jaime’s scene; John Bradley’s controversial Daenerys take; Bernie Caulfield, GoT’s “beating heart”

Jaime Winterfell Season 8 801 3

In new interviews about “Winterfell”, the season eight premiere, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau discusses Jaime’s cliffhanger with Bran; John Bradley talks about Sam’s scenes with Bran, Jon, and Dany, about whom he has a pretty harsh and controversial outlook; and the creators behind the new title sequence offer all the details. Also, in a wonderful piece, Game of Thrones producer Bernie Caulfield finally gets the recognition she deserves!

Speaking to Patrick Shanley of The Hollywood Reporter, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau talks about his short but significant appearance in the season eight premiere:

“I’m sure [Jaime] went through all kinds of scenarios of what would happen when he made it to Winterfell. I think that’s the last thing he expected to see,” Coster-Waldau says. “It’s the same conundrum as in episode one of the whole show: if this kid—if this young man now—tells anyone what he knows, Jaime’s in trouble. But then again, [Bran] did say earlier on in the episode that he was ‘waiting for an old friend’, so…”

Later in the interview, he also discusses his experience with Lena Headey and the writers, keeping all the secrets, the ending, and Jaime’s relationship with Brienne.

Jaime Lannister Winterfell Trial 802 Season 8 Daenerys Targaryen Jon Snow Sansa Stark Tyrion Lannister Varys Missandei Jorah Brianne Davos

Meanwhile, at Variety, Coster-Waldau looks back on the show’s legacy:

“I think working with an amazing group of people, especially on an experience as strange as this, is the best [part of the Game of Thrones experience],” the Danish actor says, “and I will miss seeing all of these people. As an actor, I’ve never worked on anything this long. Families have formed on this show. People have gotten married and divorced. Kids have been born. It has been quite something.”

“It never ceases to amaze me that this show has traveled so far,” Coster-Waldau reflects. “I think if before someone explained to you what this show was, I don’t think you’d ever think it was going to be the biggest show in the world.”

Jon Snow Samwell Tarly Sam Season 8 Crypts 801

At The Wrap, John Bradley discusses his immense—and stellarly performed—role in “Winterfell”, beginning with Sam’s scenes with Bran… or rather, the three-eyed raven:

“There’s something really eerie and disconnected about it,” Bradley says. “When you are acting against Isaac, when he’s in character, it’s like you’re speaking to him from the other side of a wall.” Though Bradley admits that can be a challenge, it also “injects something into your performance. You find yourself overcompensating for the lack of response that you get, like people would do if they were talking to somebody like that.”

As for Sam’s devastating moment with Dany, Bradley has some harsh words about her, though he’s speaking strictly from Sam’s perspective: “Sam is now very, very aware that Dany is very imbalanced and very volatile and in quite a dangerous state with people,” he claims. “She says, you know, ‘They refused to bend the knee.’ And that’s a very pragmatic way of dealing with it, ‘They disobeyed me, and so I killed them.’ And in that moment he sees what a dangerous figure she is and that’s what motivates him to tell Jon.”

“He’s probably dreading telling Jon Snow that very sensitive piece of information because nobody wants to hear that,” Bradley says. “It’s only because of […] Jon actually being the true heir to the Iron Throne, it’s only because things are in such a precarious state with the person who everyone thinks should be on the Iron Throne, who is such a volatile character — that’s what is actually pushing Sam on to relay the information.”

He also says Sam sees Dany as “psychopathic,” so it’s fair to say Sam isn’t team Dany.

Season 8 Title Sequence Animation

Also at The Wrap, CG director for Elastic Kirk Shintani discusses the work of his team of designers and animators on the award-winning Game of Thrones title sequence, which was for the first time ever completely remodeled from the ground up for season eight:

“In the crypt, you’ll see Lyanna Stark’s statue in the very beginning. And it goes really fast,” Shintani helpfully points out, as an example of their attention to detail, which he attributes to showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss: “They wanted to make sure that things like that are in there for the fans and they can recognize that stuff and that stuff is kind of a reward for paying attention and following along.”

They have also added elements they have wanted to do for years, such as army movements being marked, which we see as golden dots “representing the White Walkers’ march south.” There’s also the change in the astrolabe; while it told the history before the events of the series before, it now depicts major events from it, namely the fall of The Wall, the Red Wedding, and the birth of Daenerys’ dragons:

“I think adding these new scenes to the astrolabe is meant to be a reward to the viewers, that they have witnessed events that have turned into a lore that have been realized in the relief sculptures on the astrolabe bands, much like the existing depictions on the astrolabe bands on Seasons 1-7 that we don’t experience on the show,” Elastic‘s director explains. “So in a way, it’s kind of a new chapter where we’re acknowledging that in the first seven seasons, we witnessed massive historical events.”

For those avid to get as much as possible from the premiere, you may get hints of future episodes if you pay close enough attention: “Everything that’s there, is there — if that makes sense,” Shintani enigmatically says, before clarifying: “All the little bits and pieces that we wanted to put in, they’re always kind of there, whether or not they are noticeable or if you actually pay attention to them. That’s kind of something that we wanted to make sure of, that it felt like it’s a set piece that’s sitting there and you happen to catch something in Episode 1 at a certain point and time. And as the episodes progress, you know, as the set piece changes, the things that you notice happen later, you might find little hints of those same things in the previous episodes.”

As a tease for the series finale title sequence, Shintani claims they were “finally able to put some of the things” they’d wanted to do for years. What could that possibly mean?

Producer Bernie Caulfield with showrunners D.B. Weiss (left) and David Benioff (right)

Producer Bernie Caulfield with showrunners D.B. Weiss (left) and David Benioff (right)

Finally, for something less premiere-related, there’s a wonderful new feature about Bernadette Caulfield in The New York Times which you should all read in its entirety, so I’ll only offer a few highlights here. If you don’t know who Bernie Caulfield is, she’s one of the main producers in Game of Thrones, the one who makes the intricate production machine run smoothly if you believe the showrunners—and you should:

“We only made it this far because of Bernadette Caulfield, the greatest producer alive,” co-showrunner David Benioff says. “The single best thing that ever happened to the show,” he says together with fellow showrunner Dan Weiss. “Without her, the whole thing would have collapsed under its own weight long ago.”

“There are so many versions of ‘Game of Thrones’ that would have fallen apart under the strain of producing 10 increasingly big hours of television on a 12-month schedule,” they elaborate. “Pretty much every version except the Bernie version.”

And the cast agrees, having nothing but praise about her. Emilia Clarke calls her “the beating heart” of the show; Sophie Turner sees her as “the woman” she wants “to grow up to be like”; Lena Headey says she’s “the true Mother of Dragons.” You get the gist.

Caulfield, of course, doesn’t take the credit. “Well, I wish I was that important, but obviously it takes a major team to put it together,” she says. “My job is to make whatever they write on the page come to the screen.” Oh, that easy, is it?

I won’t give away any more, as I insist you read the feature in its entirety. It’s worth it!

178 responses

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    1. John Bradley’s interview as well as the other foreshadowing the show has done has almost entirely convinced me that Dany will be an endgame villain.

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    2. I think Bradleys description of Dany is quite apt, considering Sam’s only experiences and interactions with her.

      And to be fair, Dany has a terrifying, ruthless edge.
      Shes always been this strange mix of compassionate and cold, savior yet delusionally self rightoeous.

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    3. Again, the photo at the top… It appears to be a scene that will be almost like a judgement and ruling on Jaime. I’m assuming they decide to let him join them, somehow, even with a lot of dislike. What is still curious to me is that Arya appears to be absent once again. I mean, Brienne, Varys, Missandei… Maybe she shouldn’t be seated there and maybe she is off to the side… If she isn’t I’m just going to keep wondering why they’re keeping her off on her own so much.

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    4. They already gave away that nothing really happens at this judgement/trial, by showing him in the Battle of Winterfell in the trailer.

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    5. I do wish at least TWoW had come out by now just to see what kinds of actions Daenerys makes post fighting pit that would be considered “overboard.” We already know she didn’t execute the equivalent of Mossador (book Mossy being Missandei’s Unsullied brother). That’s one thing she’s criticized for. George’s Daenerys isn’t fireproof so burning all the khals in the temple and walking out seems unlikely. Will she even be in the vicinity of Randyll in the books?

      I’m one that understands and accepts the story differences. I’m just curious about the written version right now. It also gives a very different perspective at times when you have her thoughts in her pov.

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    6. Jack Bauer 24:
      They already gave away that nothing really happens at this judgement/trial, by showing him in the Battle of Winterfell in the trailer.

      That’s essentially what I gathered and was implying by saying I assume they let him “join.” Unless… I suppose they could have him shackled but let him loose when the aotd arrives. I’m going to say that between all of them and his words they agree that he’s now worthy of some trust.

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    7. Tiny direwolf:
      John Bradley is wrong about Dany.

      Of course but we’ve seen Daenerys over the course of 68 episodes. Samwell’s only proper interaction with Daenerys is one in which he learns the fate of his father and brother (I wonder if he remembers speaking to Maester Aemon about her 🤔), so the way he currently views her is fair.

      John Bradley took to Twitter to clarify that he is speaking about Sam’s perspective of her, not him, the actor.

      Hmm. I was referring to how Sam sees her at that point and how Jorah could have changed his opinion on her over time. Not my personal opinion. It’s about how Sam sees her and how that concerns him enough to tell Jon the truth.
      https://twitter.com/johnbradleywest/status/1117926946032246784

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    8. Tiny direwolf,

      He responded on his twitter account that it was not his view but his character’s – Sam – who was reacting to the deaths of his father and brother ‘in that moment’. The comment also seemed to suggest Jorah may help change his opinion at some point. At least that’s how I read it. I understand Sam’s reaction – his character has always been a sensitive soul and he’s devastated at the news he received.

      I also think Bran took advantage of Sam’s feelings. Mr All Seeing no doubt knew how he was full of grief and anger so he sent him off to do a difficult task knowing that Sam wouldn’t hesitate to do it in that moment.

      Bran has no feelings left, at this point he’s playing a game of chess with the Night King. And everyone, even his friends and family, are just chess pieces on the board that he’s trying to get into position for the end game.

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    9. Clob: That’s essentially what I gathered and was implying by saying I assume they let him “join.”Unless… I suppose they could have him shackled but let him loose when the aotd arrives.I’m going to say that between all of them and his words they agree that he’s now worthy of some trust.

      Between Bran and Brienne and Tyrion, I think they’ll have no choice but to accept him. I even expect Dany to admit she doesn’t blame him. No one’s hands are clean there. Except Brienne’s. And Jon’s. Other than that, everyone has killed someone and/or betrayed someone…or at least innocently rowed someone out to a cave to have a killer shadow baby. 🙂

      Jay Targ: Of course but we’ve seen Daenerys over the course of 68 episodes.Samwell’s only proper interaction with Daenerys is one in which he learns the fate of his father and brother (I wonder if he remembers speaking to Maester Aemon about her 🤔), so the way he currently views her is fair.

      John Bradley took to Twitter to clarify that he is speaking about Sam’s perspective of her, not him, the actor.

      Agree. He knows about her from raven scrolls he read to Aemon and from Jorah. He knows Jon has bent the knee and he trusts Jon. But while she was honest, the way she told him was fairly abrupt and unapologetic. It did sound a little hard without context. Shades of her father, especially if you’ve never seen her softer side.

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    10. This whole thing with Dany is completely forced and dumb. Sam is angry that his people were killed huh? Did he care that they both broke their oaths and literally wiped house tyrell off the planet along with all the people of Highgarden? Probably not. Without Dany the north wouldnt stand a chance. I also love how Bran tells Dany we dont have time for this stuff yet does have time to position Jon as king. Its just completely disappointing and I know Im not the only one who really loved and admired the character. But hey lets make her the Evil Queen stereotype right at the end and just forget about her saving the people of slavers bay because reasons.

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    11. It’s fascinating that Dany is about to go through something similar next episode to what she put Sam through in the first episode.

      Both have to face their father’s killers. Their fathers were both bad people, but it’s still family in the end.

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    12. I am with those who think that Dany was fully justified in executing Randyll. The method may have been, let us say, unconventional by Westerosi standards, but Randyll had it coming. He betrayed his liege lords fully aware that Cersei had no claim to the throne whatsoever. Let’s be fair and ask ourselves: What Would Ned Do? Dear old Ned would chop Randyll’s head off in a heartbeat. He probably wouldn’t even give him the opportunity to bend the knee and live.

      Now, it’s with Dickon where Dany truly showed her ruthless streak. There was no reason to kill the poor boy. He followed his father’s lead as was his duty. When he refused to accept Dany as queen, she should have stripped him of lands and titles and be done with it.

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    13. I’m sure someone has pointed it out by now but in the opening sequence of the show I noticed along with the dragons there was the red comet in the sky on one of the astrolabe bands. It’s a small thing but it made me recall things in previous seasons. I like how they’re refreshing our memories… I really hope they give us an explanation to the white walker symbols as well. Yes, I know they’re connected to the children of the forest but what do those symbols actually mean…? It would be awesome if it were explained in the show by the end.

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    14. Clob: That’s essentially what I gathered and was implying by saying I assume they let him “join.”Unless… I suppose they could have him shackled but let him loose when the aotd arrives.I’m going to say that between all of them and his words they agree that he’s now worthy of some trust.

      Jaime would have to speak with them about the failed truce from his side – well from Cersei. That is all I see happening here.

      Will Daenerys be angry? yes! But Jaime has enough heavyweight support in that room. Plus Jaime’s own composure and cunning.

      His posse: Tyrion Lannister, Sansa Stark Lannister, Brienne Lannister and of course, his old friend, Bran 3eyedRaven.

      I have no worries about Jaime.

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    15. Let me also acknowledge the brilliant work of Bernie Caulfield.

      This was a massive engagement to produce. Another woman delivering at the highest level – given the opportunity, good things happen.

      I am glad the PR team ensured that she also gets her day in the sun for GOT>

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    16. Mango,

      Why would Sansa be a member of his posse? They don’t have any relationship that I know of, and I can’t see her siding with him after hearing what he did to Bran.

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    17. hursta1,

      Thank you ! Everyone always been salivating to make her a villain from the beginning, but I’m sorry, who besides her has been on a quest to liberate and help people ? She’s the one who rode her dragon to save everyone’s ass even as Tyrion begged her not to. Of course she can be ruthless when necessary, but she learned she needs that to survive in that world.

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    18. Amazing piece on Bernie Caulfield. I remember watching one of those production pieces they did for season 4 or 5, and it was obvious that she’s an expert juggler!! But, as she says, she did not work alone, and knowing that she had the emotional intelligence to “hug” those in need is great.

      Apparently, Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen went to the same shool of hugging she went to, because in s8e1, he hugged most everybody. I’m so envious and in serious need of hug therapy!

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    19. Psychopathic…did she give an evil smile when she told him? was there a gleam in her eye? No, there was sympathy. I don’t agree with how Dany handled the Tarlys, both on moral grounds and because I think it worked against her own interests, but Sam’s adjectives are unjustified. He didn’t appear to know that they even fought in a battle, and didn’t ask further questions. So all he knows is that his hard-headed and ruthless father was executed in the midst of war, and his stubborn and proud brother chose to follow.
      It’s fair for Sam to not want a ruler who will choose execution over taking prisoners. But that in itself does not make her any more “volatile” than the commander who impulsively charged right into a trap in battle, at the cost of his own men’s lives.
      Dany’s ruthlessness, and her inability to reconcile her desire to do good with her “right” to rule Westeros, may indeed lead somewhere dark; but Sam has little basis to make that judgement, just an emotional, personal reaction.

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    20. Young Dragon:
      Mango,

      Why would Sansa be a member of his posse? They don’t have any relationship that I know of, and I can’t see her siding with him after hearing what he did to Bran.

      Just speculation from the story.

      1. In the scene in which LF was killed, Sansa declared that the root of the differences btw. the Lannisters and Stark were due to Littlefiinger manipulating their father. She dislikes Cersei personally but it is unclear about Jaime and Tyrion.

      2.Just small things and I am gambling on Sansa a bit here – Sansa knows that Brienne saved her life because Jaime sent Brienne to help her. When Sansa sent Brienne to the KL meeting, she tried to encourage Brienne to go by saying that Ser Jaime will be there. I also think there will be more to Sansa and Tyrion’s relationship than we have seen so far. If Daenerys carries on about her mad father, Sansa will point out that Ned rebelled because Aerys burnt Stark father and son and called for Ned’s head. (Of course, mention of burnt father and son, will make poor Sam even more upset.)

      3.In the story so far, Bran could not remember what happened when he woke after falling. (I think he does now though!). I do not believe that Sansa, Jon or Arya are aware of the details incident. So Jaime would have to mention it himself. Or Bran who probably remembers it now would have to mention it – and Bran has more important things to do.

      4. Do I think the incident between Jaime and Bran will come up? I think it might but Bran will shut it down. Just speculation – I think Bran will speak will Jaime before this scene and their alliance will start then.

      This is just a guess. It could play out in several ways.

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    21. Clob,

      You’re assuming they let him join them? Considering we’ve seen him in the Battle of Winterfell in the trailer, yeah… I think you might be right.

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    22. I’m baffled by those opposed to the notion of Dany becoming an antagonist. For me, the most generic possible outcome would be Dany and Jon reconciling, overcoming the evil White Walkers and then overcoming the evil Cersei, with maybe a noble sacrifice thrown in here and there. That’s basically every fantasy show ever.

      I very much hope that there is more to the White Walkers than just being killing machines. And I very much hope that whatever chaos erupts from the confrontation with the White Walkers is further compounded by the internecine of humans being humans.

      I don’t need Dany to be a “Mad Queen”. Cersei already fits that role. But there can be an ideological disagreement on the role of leadership and conduct that causes strife, and this disagreement can lead to destruction. This would not be a typical route for a fantasy show to take.

      Give me despair! Let these characters fall into bloody anarchy and violence! I really hope this show goes into The Shield kind of ending. Maybe some characters are given happiness, but for the love of a satisfying (to me) story, please let the end lean heavily on the bitter of bittersweet.

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    23. Young Dragon,

      Jaime ensured her survival by sending Brienne away from KL with Oathkeeper—for the express purpose of protecting the Stark girls—knowing full well that Cersei wanted Sansa’s head on a spike. Granted, it took a little convincing on Brienne’s part, but not much.

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    24. I just realized Bryan Cogman is writing episode 2.
      And I am so excited for it, since its going to feature some kind of trial for Jaime.
      and he did such an amazing job with Tyrions trial.

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    25. We’ll have to wait and see how Dany reacts when she learns that what she believed about herself (“I am the last Targaryen, Jon Snow”) and what she’s been striving for (“I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms. And I will”) is threatened by Jon’s claim.

      We’ll also have to wait and see what happens during and after the battle with the Army of the Dead. Will she lose more dragons? How will that impact her?

      And we have Melisandre and her fire-worshipping comrades still to come. What might they say to lead her astray? (“The dragons will purify non-believers by the thousands. Burning their sins and flesh away.” – Kinvara, S06E05).

      Despite what those who have actively memory-holed every transgression or damning piece of dialogue concerning Daenerys may claim, it really wouldn’t be a stretch for her to turn into an antagonist, even now. It may feel a bit rushed in the moment, as everything does in these condensed seasons, in my opinion; but the warning signs have been there for seasons.

      Whether or not they ultimately come to fruition is still to be determined. I could certainly still see her going out a hero, but it feels less like it’s leading to an overtly positive ending for her these days.

      And her becoming an antagonist doesn’t mean she has to go bonkers. Everybody always refutes the prospect of her becoming an obstacle to peace by insisting that it’d be absurd for her to go mad with only a few episodes left. But is Cersei mad? Is she screaming ‘burn them all’ 24/7? No. You could probably argue that Stannis had lost his mind by the time he burned Shireen alive, but he was burning people alive and casting magic spells long before that when he was sound of mind, driven by ruthlessness and ambition.

      Is it beyond the realms of possibility that Dany’s ruthlessness and ambition could become an obstacle to peace in Westeros?

      I’m sorry, but anybody who isn’t prepared for this as a potential outcome can’t have been paying much attention, especially over the last couple of seasons. That’s not me stating that she will become an antagonist, just that it’s eminently plausible.

      And just because she committed some truly great deeds early in the story doesn’t rule out the possibility of things turning negative. Complex characters are interesting. And a character setting out to do good, only to be corrupted by power and ambition, or feel unappreciated/overshadowed, or be twisted by some great loss or trauma, are classic villain or fallen hero arcs.

      The possibility legitimately exists, whether people like it or not.

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    26. HelloThere:
      I just realized Bryan Cogman is writing episode 2.
      And I am so excited for it, since its going to feature some kind of trial for Jaime.
      and he did such an amazing job with Tyrions trial.

      I think Cogman also wrote the hot tub scene for Jaime and Brienne.

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    27. Wolfish:
      Young Dragon,

      Jaime ensured her survival by sending Brienne away from KL with Oathkeeper—for the express purpose of protecting the Stark girls—knowing full well that Cersei wanted Sansa’shead on a spike. Granted, it took a little convincing on Brienne’s part, but not much.

      Yes, this is much more to the point than my long treatise.

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    28. hursta1:
      This whole thing with Dany is completelyforced and dumb.Sam is angry that his people were killed huh?Did he care that they both broke their oaths and literally wiped house tyrell off the planet along with all the people of Highgarden?Probably not.Without Dany the north wouldnt stand a chance.I also love how Bran tells Dany we dont have time for this stuff yet does have time to position Jon as king.Its just completely disappointing and I know Im not the only one who really loved and admired the character.But hey lets make her the Evil Queen stereotype right at the end and just forget about her saving the people of slavers bay because reasons.

      So true, I thought the same thing. I need to see how it all plays out, but if that’s what they’re trying to portray, it’s just forced and ignores everything she’s been through on her journey.

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    29. I don’t think Dany or any of her crew will ultimately be mad about Jaime showing up. They would have expected him to come with the Lannister army. The fact that he came anyway even after Cersei betrayed them and didn’t send the army already speaks volumes about his integrity. It’s the northerners and men of the Vale who will have a harder time accepting him, as they’ve hated him for decades and did not just make a pact to fight alongside him down in the dragon pit like Dany did. Men like Royce have about the same opinion of Jaime as the Blackfish did. But the battle starts soon. He’ll just have to prove himself. Like Jon said last year, we find our true friends on the battlefield.

      As for Dany, she’s no villain, but she is having predictable problems. As much adversity as she had to overcome in Essos, she had one thing going for her that made ruling easy. Her followers were fanatically devoted to her because they were freed slaves and her quest was a quest to end slavery, and her adversaries were legitimately evil people. She has never had to face the realities of normal politics where the people supporting you aren’t necessarily in love with you, and the people resisting you aren’t all evil. Cersei is evil, sure. Randyll Tarly was just a racist and xenophobe who had terrible reasons for opposing her even though he was originally a Targaryen loyalist who fought against Robert.

      But Royce? Sansa? Lady Mormont? Maybe they’re being unfair because they don’t know her and are a bit prejudiced because of her family history, but these aren’t the cartoon villains she is used to telling step in line or be burned with dragon fire. She has to actually win the support of good people who are skeptical, for the first time ever. She can’t just walk into the room, say she’s queen because her father was king, and expect these people to accept her on that alone. But unlike in Essos, she also can’t just sack every city until they capitulate, at least not while still believing herself basically good.

      This is what makes Jon so much better suited to be a ruler, honestly. Dany walks into a room and expects everyone to either worship or fear her. She has the Stannis attitude that she’s queen by law, so bow down or suffer the consequences. Jon has true humility and doesn’t act like he’s owed anything, in spite of actually being the legal heir to the throne ahead of her. He becomes a leader because people want him to be their leader, not because he demands it and kills them otherwise.

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    30. It’s annoying that suddenly everyone in the show seems to have forgotten that Dany could have burnt everyone alive and be using the North as a human shield like Cersei, yet here she is saving everyone with two dragons and the largest army the world’s ever seen! But nooo she’s evil and psychopathic because she killed enemy combatants once and isn’t particularly outwardly emotive.

      Also Jon could have helped Dany out a lot if he hadn’t lied to Sansa about why he bent the knee. Yes, lied – Dany had already agreed to come save the north BEFORE he bent the knee. Jon didn’t “have to do it” to save the north like he claimed.

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    31. Oh Boy…, I am not sure if it is legitimate to contradict a fictional character (and in some ways his actor’s view on it), but I have to. This really got me riled up and I blame it on the brilliance of the writing and the acting.
      Sam is an egoistic hypocrite!
      I get why he is sad or even devasted by this news. For me it seems a bit exaggerated, given his history with his father and even his brother, but after all they were his father and brother. I even get, why he, in this moment and this situation, might think of Daenerys as dangerous and volatile (Though I would have a word or two about this point of view as well, but that would take us too far.).
      That does not change that his next move is deeply wrong and the most egoistic thing, Sam did so far – and as I wrote here before, he did some quite egoistic things already. The repercussion of this move is – again! – hitting the man he claims to be his best friend: Jon. Telling him the truth about his parents in the manner he did was bad enough. I suppose, given the delicate nature of this revelation anyway there might have been no other way anyhow. But being hurt and angry at Daenerys for a decision his father made – three times, if I remember correctly! – and trying to put Jon against the queen he chose by pushing him to a throne Jon never wanted, because Sam is convinced that Jon would have done differently, would have done better in his eyes was so much worse! Sam was not having “Jon’s best interest” in mind, but only his own. Which is not only egoistic and hypocrite – I can’t remember hearing Sam protesting when Stannis burned Mance Rayder at the stakes for not bending the knee! – but also very wrong. Being refused three times by a defeated enemy whose shifting loyalty is dubious in the first place, Jon would have executed such a man as well. The only difference would have been, that he hadn’t used dragonfire, but beheaded them with his own hands and sword. In fact, Jon already did something similar when he executed Janos Slynt. He wasn’t willing to “bend the knee”, so to speak, either. And comparing Daenerys’ fight with the Lannister army with Jon letting the free folk in is comparing apples and pears – completely different situations.
      I am also convinced, that the answer to Sam’s last question to Jon is a yes. Daenerys would give up her crown, her claim for the Iron Throne if it would be better for her people. In fact, she kind of already did. It’s easy to forget, because Jon bending the knee to a queen seems to be much more important to most people than the fact that she set aside her own ambitions to come north. She is risking her life, the life of her two remaining dragons and her two armies for the greater good. Yes, the deal is, that the North helps her afterwards to regain the Iron Throne – but who can say, if she survives? If her Dragons survive? After all, the NK already killed one. Who can say, that there will be enough soldiers left for what she wants after this fight? She has seen the threat. She knows what’s at stake and is nevertheless willing to set her own enmities aside. But it’s still her who is considered “cold”, “unapologetic”, “self righteous”, “dangerous”, a “mad queen” in the making? I don’t get it.

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    32. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Daeneyrs is a protagonist in any battle with the AOTD and NK. That is about it from what we have seen. Now that the NK is leaving Targlike symbols it is unclear what is actually the situation here.

      As for her general conduct!?! It could turn out several ways for her. In the old days, the person with the massive weapon, invading a country and demanding that they rule or everyone faces death is usually the “baddie”. Big Bomb and yelling I am your ruler usually says ” genocidal authoritarian megalomaniac”.

      For her many fans, I hope Daenerys is a positive heroine. For Westeros, her dragons and army will help in the war. The fans are very passionate – I hope it ends well.

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    33. Jaime’s arrival should give Daenerys an opportunity to tell the Northerners that her father was a bad person and that she does not intend to behave badly. This should help them accept her.

      This will not solve the problem for Jon giving them up to her. Nor will it mean they want to be ruled by her after the war.

      But it will help everyone gathered to focus on the war in an uneasy alliance against the AOTD and then deal with the political problems later.

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    34. Half the fanbase will revolt if they made Daenerys into a villain in only 5 remaining episodes, and to be honest 3 episodes since it’s not likely to ever happen in episodes 2 or 3. So this sudden shift into total madness and villainy would have to happen between episodes 4-6 and be resolved in episodes 4-6. I just don’t see any way for them to make this happen without it seeming forced, rushed, and shock for the sake of shock.

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    35. Mango:
      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      The fans are very passionate – I hope it ends well.

      One thing I have come to see in the past month, between this site, various podcasts, etc., is that D&D are going to get blasted by fans…it’s just a matter of which ones and how many. So many strong convictions on polar opposite extremes (and every variation in between) of every possible character and story ending, to go along with vastly different interpretations of things that have transpired thus far.

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    36. orange:
      Half the fanbase will revolt if they made Daenerys into a villain in only 5 remaining episodes, and to be honest 3 episodes since it’s not likely to ever happen in episodes 2 or 3. So this sudden shift into total madness and villainy would have to happen between episodes 4-6 and be resolved in episodes 4-6. I just don’t see any way for them to make this happen without it seeming forced, rushed, and shock for the sake of shock.

      Millions in the audience (like me!) have always understood that Daenerys’ insisting on invading and ruling and volatility were worrying/damning signs.

      It cannot be helped if many of the people misunderstand the story. People become fans and lose their clear thinking. Who knows? I am not sure if I understand the story either.

      We are not at the end yet – she will be a hero in the war at least. I think her job is to help in the war against AOTD only.

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    37. Winterkat: One thing I have come to see in the past month, between this site, various podcasts, etc., is that D&D are going to get blasted by fans…it’s just a matter of which ones and how many.So many strong convictions on polar opposite extremes (and every variation in between)of every possible character and story ending, to go along with vastly different interpretations of things that have transpired thus far.

      That should make it exciting!

      We have an entire Season ahead, it is sad if many have already decided on the end. Just think of where the story was at end of Season 6 vs Season 7. By the end of Season 8, the story could change and focus on different persons from Season 7. We might see more clarity as the story evolves over the next 5 weeks.

      My tinfoil: D&D used extensive misdirection of the internet active fan base during the Season 8 production process. This has led many internet active fans, particularly Daenerys and Jon fans, to develop excessive expectations.

      Among the non-internet crowd, I think there is greater openness on different endings.

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    38. Mango: Millions in the audience (like me!) have always understood that Daenerys’ insisting on invading and ruling and volatility were worrying/damning signs.

      It cannot be helped if many of the people misunderstand the story. People become fans and lose their clear thinking. Who knows? I am not sure if I understand the story either.

      We are not at the end yet – she will be a hero in the war at least. I think her job is to help in the war against AOTD only.

      I agree with this. Characters are allowed to be complex. Dany has characteristics that make her eminently suitable for the war against the White Walkers. She simultaneously, as Mango has pointed out in this post, has shown signs of extreme ruthlessness and a myopic entitlement for power throughout her story. This is not something that is coming out of a vacuum, people have been predicting Dany as an antagonist for a long time (perhaps antagonist isn’t the correct word here, and “opponent” would be better).

      A lot of people love Dany. A lot of people think that she earned the right to the throne. She is not a one-note character. She does a lot of good things – she’s capable of mercy, even generosity on occasion, to those who submit to her will. She desires a better world (as long as it is under her yoke). But she will absolutely destroy anything and everything that defies her. She at times is as ruthless as Tywin Lannister, but without his political proficiency.

      I cannot see Jon being fine with this.

      Just to be clear, I don’t dislike Dany. I’m not rooting for her to become an antagonist simply because I think she’s horrible or whatever. One of my favorite characters is Tywin Lannister, and he overall was even more ruthless than Dany. But I find that this is a conflict that makes sense, has had every indication of happening, and would be far, far more satisfying than some feel-good love story where the good guys are good, and sacrifice heroically, and the world is made into a better place.

      David Benioff and DB Weiss said the ending would be divisive. I hope it’s because they take the narrative in this direction.

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    39. The dragons are monsters. Weapons of mass destruction. They are useful monsters. There is no defeating the White Walkers and the AOTD without them. The issue is not Dany being psycho or going insane, at least not in the show. It’s her willingness to use the WMD’s when it is not necessary. Burning the Tarly’s was one of those moments. The method of execution was not swift. It’s not a quick beheading. It’s being melted alive. That wasn’t acceptable from Mel/Stannis, and it shouldn’t be acceptable for Dany.

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    40. My only problem with the reveal scene between Sam and Jon is that the show seemingly wants to present the question of whether Dany would give up her crown to save her people, as Jon did..

      Because it’s an unfair question to make, as it is entirely false. Jon did not have to bend the knee. Daenerys never again asked him to after 7×04. Daenerys had already pledged to fight the NK alongside him before Jon gave up his crown. The scripts also highlight that love played a role in it and that he is blindsighted by what he says

      Jon has truly never seen a girl like this before. Her beauty, her strength, her grief and the pain it makes him feel . . . they all push him to the realization that he loves her.

      He is blind sighted by the words that come out of his mouth, even as he speaks them
      “All right, not Dany. How about My Queen”
      Source

      This is also something that Sansa is able to figure out within 8×01. She confronts Jon about whether Jon truly bent the knee to save the North or because he loves Dany.

      So to then proceed to turn around and flip the narrative and ask if Dany would give up her crown to save her people, whilst insinuating that’s why Jon did it, is not only unfair to Dany but also untrue.

      That’s not to say that the show shouldn’t be asking the question of “Would Daenerys give up her crown to save her people”… I think that’s an interesting question, and one that could be explored within the story.

      To end, a question that I think would be fair to ask is whether Dany would give up her “birthright” when she finds out Jon has an even higher “birthright” than her.. However that’s not what the show asked in this occasion.

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    41. Jay Targ:
      My only problem with the reveal scene between Sam and Jon is that the show seemingly wants to present the question of whether Dany would give up her crown to save her people, as Jon did..

      Because it’s an unfair question to make, as it is entirely false. Jon did not have to bend the knee. Daenerys never again asked him to after 7×04. Daenerys had already pledged to fight the NK alongside him before Jon gave up his crown. The scripts also highlight that love played a role in it and that he is blindsighted by what he says

      This is also something that Sansa is able to figure out within 8×01.She confronts Jon about whether Jon truly bent the knee to save the North or because he loves Dany.

      So to then proceed to turn around and flip the narrative and ask if Dany would give up her crown to save her people, whilst insinuating that’s why Jon did it, is not only unfair to Dany but also untrue.

      That’s not to say that the show shouldn’t be asking the question of “Would Daenerys give up her crown to save her people”… I think that’s an interesting question, and one that could be explored within the story.The problem is the insinuation of that being the reason why Jon did it and the comparison between him and Dany being drawn based on that.

      A question that would be fair to ask is whether Dany would give up her “birthright” when she finds out Jon has an even higher “birthright” than her..But that’s not what the show asked in this occasion.

      This is a fair point to make. Dany did willingly offer to join forces to battle the NK before Jon submitted to her. I will be curious if this comes up in the show, because it should.

      However, I think it’s also fair to say that even if he hadn’t submitted, it is in Dany’s character that in this alternate scenario after the White Walkers were defeated Dany would proceed to crush the North into submission. She would burn it all until they agreed to her rule.

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    42. Escherehcse,

      Yes. Do people think she would give up the North once the AOTD are dealt with? Doubtful. It would be back to demanding fealty, which by that time the North would probably be more amenable to. That was Stannis’ plan. Save the realm. Protect the North. Earn the crown.

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    43. Escherehcse: I agree with this. Characters are allowed to be complex. Dany has characteristics that make her eminently suitable for the war against the White Walkers. She simultaneously, as Mango has pointed out in this post, has shown signs of extreme ruthlessness and a myopic entitlement for power throughout her story. This is not something that is coming out of a vacuum, people have been predicting Dany as an antagonist for a long time (perhaps antagonist isn’t the correct word here, and “opponent” would be better).

      A lot of people love Dany. A lot of people think that she earned the right to the throne. She is not a one-note character. She does a lot of good things – she’s capable of mercy, even generosity on occasion, to those who submit to her will. She desires a better world (as long as it is under her yoke). But she will absolutely destroy anything and everything that defies her. She at times is as ruthless as Tywin Lannister, but without his political proficiency.

      I cannot see Jon being fine with this.

      I agree with this. But I still see a potential for character growth, perhaps with Jon as a counterbalance.
      Because there are aspects of their stories that are almost identical.
      -mother’s death in childbirth
      -antagonistic, abusive relative/desire to belong
      -direwolf/dragons
      -Loved a Wildling/Dothraki
      -Mormont mentors
      -rebirth and leadership destiny storylines etc
      BUT
      Jon is her opposite in leadership style. Though I admit he’s even worse at politics and games than she is, he has a deeply ingrained sense of fair play and honesty. He’s never sought out a leadership position, he searches for common ground and is uncomfortable with praise. He works with his enemies, and feels remorse and responsibility when he’s forced to take a life (not counting zombies or white walkers).
      He is just while still being compassionate. Even Stannis-who was highly judgmental of everyone-admired him.
      For me it’s Jon, Brienne and Davos who sort of fall into that so good I can’t believe you’re still alive category.

      Maybe she can make him less grim and broody and he can mellow out that impulsive fire she has in her nature.

      Or it will all end in tears and dragon fire. I can see that too. It could go either way at this point.

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    44. Jay Targ,

      I also think that’s a fair point. While it’s definitely true Jon didn’t have to give up his crown in order to secure her help at that point, I think he wanted to because he feels Dany would be the best for the North. In that way, I think he did it for his people because, as he told Sansa, he truly feels that Dany is will be a good queen for them. That said, I do think love definitely coloured his decision.

      Dany has access to Meereen, I think, and I thought of that when Sansa brought up the food problem. I wonder if Meereen will be brought up – wouldn’t Dany, as queen of Meereen, still have access to food and resources there to support the North post-war? Westeros has shipped supplies from across the Narrow Sea but maybe that won’t come up in the show.

      ________________

      Dany has turned away from the Iron Throne before, in a vision and in practice. In those visions she has in the House of the Undying, she goes to touch the snow (or ash) covered Iron Throne but hears her dragons and turns away. Because that’s a vision, it’s true there can be multiple interpretations and speculations made of that. In Meereen, Dany put the Iron Throne Goal on hold to stay. I don’t know what’s going to happen, anything’s possible, but I’d disagree with Sam’s assessment of her here. At the same time, Wimsey made some great points here about how characters perceive things. They aren’t us, they aren’t Bran, they don’t have access to the full retinue of knowledge. Right now, everybody’s frustrated with everyone right now and I think everybody has valid points.

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    45. Adrianacandle:
      Jay Targ,

      I also think that’s a fair point. While it’s definitely true Jon didn’t have to give up his crown, I think he wanted to because he feels she’d be a good ruler for the North. In that way, I think he did it for his people because, as he told Sansa, he really feels she’s the best choice for the North. That said, I do think love definitely coloured his decision.

      She’s a gorgeous, strong warrior queen who came when he needed her and sacrificed one of her dragons to save him before he’d agreed to bend the knee.
      Jon is very action oriented. As in, show me don’t tell me. For him, it was probably not unlike what Jorah experienced when she rose out of that fire with baby dragons.
      I can’t imagine him not falling in love with her.
      As for saving the living, her dragons really are the best option for evening the odds they could have.

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    46. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Escherehcse,

      Yes. Do people think she would give up the North once the AOTD are dealt with? Doubtful. It would be back to demanding fealty, which by that time the North would probably be more amenable to. That was Stannis’ plan. Save the realm. Protect the North. Earn the crown.

      Oh yes, if Dany protected the realm many would celebrate her. But if Dany continued to rule as she had in Meereen, there would absolutely be discontent, and this would be further exacerbated by Dany’s response, which would be “burn them all” until they submit.

      Dany has up to this point shown one quality of rulership repeatedly: she’s a hammer, a conqueror. Everyone submits or else they will be destroyed by her dragons.

      This not the quality of a good ruler, and again, as we saw with King Robert, those who excel in battle do not necessarily make good rulers.

      There is a natural ideological difference between Jon and Dany.

      As RG says, it could go either way. For me, the most interesting way is conflict. I don’t know about you guys, but I thought the romance scene in the last episode was kind of cheesy. However, the tension of the initial meeting between Jon and Dany in season 7 was extremely engaging. I think Harrington and Clarke are much better acting in conflict with each other. I would much rather see scenes of tension like that initial meeting over an ending like the post-dragon romance.

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    47. Escherehcse,

      Oh I think there is conflict ahead. The shocking twist towards the end has to involve characters we love doing something completely unexpected, IMO.

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    48. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Escherehcse,

      Oh I think there is conflict ahead. The shocking twist towards the end has to involve characters we love doing something completely unexpected, IMO.

      Definitely. And whoever or whatever it is, all I know is I’m probably not ready for it.

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    49. RG,

      Yeah, I think that’s what sealed it for Jon and won him over – especially when Dany vowed to fight without requiring him to bend the knee. I think he saw her as somebody who’d fight with her all to protect the realm and had both the resources and quaities to do it. Jon seemed to appreciate a similar quality in Stannis (fighting for the realm). Ultimately, I think he seems to be pretty much about unity in the face of something greater (the wildlings/Night’s Watch; North/wildlings/Dany’s forces).

      I think he definitely could have pledged himself at a better time and talked to some people about it first but the motivation at least makes sense for me.

      Back to Dany, I think if something strong enough was compelling her, she’d give up the throne for her people but I know that’s very YMMV. I’m ready to be wrong on everything this season 😉

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    50. Joseph Mobile,

      I’m 95% sure of it as well. Course, there was legit reason to speculate this possibility from the earlier seasons, however part of the fandom would make you feel unreasonable for even suggesting it.

      I will say, the way they’re writing Dany this season so far is making her appear different to what she had been showing in season 7 where she had “softened up” and became more likable to many. To my eyes, there’s a bit of inconsistency. I thought she would care about making a good impression and effort to win over the North. For one, to prove herself worthy of their fealty even though she’s a Targaryen, and also on behalf of Jon, making them go easier for his decision to bend the knee.

      But it’s early yet, only first episode, so we shall see.

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    51. Jack Bauer 24,

      Are we sure it’s the battle of Winterfell? I’m gonna have to go watch the trailer again because the scene you’re speaking of, I took for granted it’s that battle as well but it might actually be another battle at KL or somewhere else at the last episode.

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    52. hursta1,
      Without Dany the north wouldnt stand a chance”

      Do we know for sure that dragons are the answer to defeating the AOTD though? NK already has one, apparently all he has to do is stand a baseball field away and shoot an arrow at just one more dragon and turn it then boom tables are turned.

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    53. Kior,
      I don’t think most fans have been salivating to make her a villain, as you say, just seeing a possibility of where this story could ultimately go. The series is ripe for plenty of speculation and imagination running wild. As part of the fandom you know this 🙂 Also, what comes into play is readers have different frame of knowledge than show only’s.

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    54. Winterkat,

      Yes he was acting on emotion, and Bran used that moment to have him make the identity reveal to Jon. Bran, it would appear, has reason to turn Dany away from the throne, and wants to be a kingmaker, which just reminded me of an interview with Isaac I think before season 6, or maybe it was 7? Anyways I believe he used that exact phrase about being a kingmaker only we never saw it come into play. Isaac out there tapping into his character’s psychic abilities 🙂

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    55. Mango,

      But I enjoyed your treatise! Also… I didn’t see it until after I’d responded. I used to read all the way through and respond to four or five people at once, but then my posts would go to moderation.

      I’m probably coming across as a complete sourpuss. I did enjoy the episode—much of it was splendid—but some of the lapses in logic and/or storytelling are simply confounding.

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    56. I don’t think Dany is going to turn Mad Queen, but the stage has been set for some tension. Despite her good qualities, she is ruthless. Plus, it’s hard to forget the fact that Emilia Clarke has repeatedly said how difficult it was for her to process the ending after she read the scripts.

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    57. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I’m astounded by the fact that so many people defend her burning of the Tarlys. She could have just as easily had them transported to the Wall in shackles, just to make the point that, yes, she was their queen. That would have both negated Randyll’s assertion that he already had a queen (thereby putting him in his place) and marked her as prepared to practice Westerosi justice.

      Daario gets a lot of shit from the fandom, but I must confess: I do love the scene where he brings Daenerys flowers, and she misunderstands the gesture as a purely romantic one and brushes him off—only to have him tell her what they are, and, more important, tell her that in order to rule a land she must know the land. It’s a brief but telling exchange.

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    58. Wolfish:
      Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Daario gets a lot of shit from the fandom, but I must confess: I do love the scene where he brings Daenerys flowers, and she misunderstands the gesture as a purely romantic one and brushes him off—only to have him tell her what they are, and, more important, tell her that in order to rule a land she must know the land. It’s a brief but telling exchange.

      One of my favorite Daario scenes, and yes, important.
      And now I’m thinking of blue winter roses for some reason. 😉

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    59. I didn’t understand Bran’s actions that lead to Jon’s parentage reveal. He’s the Three-Eyed Raven, supposedly focused completely on fighting the AotD. He said it himself that there was no time for anything else. Jon has already ridden a dragon so the benefits that would come from the reveal in that regard are already there. But then Bran uses the grief stricken Sam to tell Jon the truth about his parents in a way hostile to Daenerys that raises the possibility of driving them apart when the AotD is about to appear on their doorstep. Why he did it is beyond me.

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    60. hursta1: Sam is angry that his people were killed huh? Did he care that they both broke their oaths and literally wiped house tyrell off the planet along with all the people of Highgarden?

      You know Sam doesn’t get to watch Game of Thrones, right?

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    61. Can’t wait to see Jaime being tried for his many crimes against House Stark (and Targaryen I suppose).

      He looks pretty scared at one point. I predict that he’ll be sentenced to death, despite Tyrion and Brienne speaking for him, but it’ll be Bran’s intervention that will save him.

      But Bran will understand that Jaime’s evil act was the catalyst that created the 3ER and so in effect, will save humanity.

      I love the “old friend” statement. I wonder if Bran has been spending a lot of time in Jaime’s company.. possibly when Aerys was killed..

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    62. Dany becoming an antagonist would not be a shock, the seeds were sown long ago. The uncertainty is what makes the story exciting, I’ve always wondered about her, and it’s kind of nice to see the show bring that to the fore at last. Even if it turns out that she is actually wonderful, it’s been fun wondering over the years. I still doubt it will happen, but it is plausable.

      More importantly, can I have more NCW interviews about Brienne, I’m setting myself up for an epic disappointment with these two but I just think they are wonderful, together and individually.

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    63. Team Sam!!! I mean, he’s wrong about the psycho bit, but I’m all about Jon for president, Jon for king, Jon for AAR, and Jon for TPTWP.

      Varys says nothing lasts, while looking down at the happy couple. Sam asks if Dany would be willing to cede her crown as easily as Jon. Foreshadowing, baby!!

      Great stuff to come no matter who wins the throne. I hope we do get a dream of better things to come at the end, though, as ADoS implies.

      Bran’s staredown of both Tyrion and Jaime seems so full of portent!!! I immediately thought they must be critical to the endgame to warrant that level of the Raven’s attention. Was Bran thinking of Bronn’s mission? Will both brothers be valonqars together?

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    64. Nikolaj and the Uncomfortable Squeaky Chair Interview. 😁

      I wonder if Bernadette in the show is a nod to Bernie? I am never less than amazed at the work this crew does.

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    65. Bran’s words in the main trailer : “Everything you’ve done brought you to where you are now…home” Sam is in shot and looks round towards whoever Bran is addressing. It would seem likely it’s Jon and given Sam’s reaction to Dany in Episode One and John Bradwell’s remarks, I’m interpreting that scene as Sam and Bran (as has Ayra) reminding Jon that his Stark family are where his loyalties should lie and not with Danaerys.

      Everything about Episode One foreshadowed Jon and Dany being forced apart to me.

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    66. Also…Dany has honestly believed she is the rightful heir as the only surviving Targaryen. Turns out she is not, Jon is. So even if the Starks agreed that the Targaryens should be restored to the Iron throne, the crown is Jon’s not Dany’s. So how would she argue her claim is still valid?

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    67. I think Jon bent the knee in the dragonglass cave in season 7.

      Remember scenes when Missandei calls him “Lord Snow” or something like that and when Davos says, he’s King Jon (or something to that effect). Jon says “it’s no time for this”. I think he bent the knee but only Dany (and Missandei) knew about it.

      The scenes after the cave smelled fishy…

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    68. I’m still a Dany supporter and don’t expect that to change. I found those remarks over-the-top (but then, so much is…) Although, from Sam’s perspective I can understand having the initial reaction of “Oh geez, what is Jon’s giving us? This could be a problem…” I’ve always adored Sam and won’t hold this against him, because while I adore Dany as well, I understand that she’s as flawed as any of the good people.

      And I don’t think executing the Tarlys was a horrible misstep along the way. She does want to break the wheel and create a better world for all. Unfortunately you can’t do that without first securing the throne. To do so means you probably can’t hold perfectly to idealistic principles you might wish you could. You can’t establish your new rules without following some of the existing ones. Definitely try to act according to your principles as much as possible, try to show that you’re different instead of just claiming to be. But simultaneously show that you mean business. Hanging onto defiant people who are evidently incompatible with your new world vision is probably unnecessary. Far as I’m concerned, Randy & Dick should’ve just done what the rest of the defeated Lannister soldiers did; wasn’t that bloody hard. Dany had just turned things back around for herself after suffering devastating losses, and felt the need to be very firm and assertive. But I did not take it as a sign of her approaching the “tyrant”/”villain” line. The take used of her telling Sam was not “cold and clinical and matter-of-fact and detached.” She obviously didn’t want to tell him, but knew it was the right thing to do.

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    69. Dyanna,

      The human heart in conflict with itself. Poor Jon. When we see the two of them riding the dragons together it’s like it was meant to be. Dany finding family, a rider finally for Rhaegal, a blossoming love, Jon finding out she’s family, and both the blood of the powerful Targaryen rulers. And then there’s the Starks whom he has always identified with and longed to be known by in name, not just by blood. The debt of gratitude he will feel towards his uncle who raised and protected him and the girls he grew up loving as siblings. Yep, things will most likely go south and he will have to make a choice. Everyone pointed out how Jon’s words to Theon will come into play for himself. It will be interesting to see how that will present itself.

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    70. ygritte,

      Yes I agree with you. I know the dragon riding scene has its critics but I loved it. I did find myself feeling increasingly sorry for Jon as the episode played out. Torn in every direction. As you say, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

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    71. Johanna van Locchum,

      “In fact, Jon already did something similar when he executed Janos Slynt. He wasn’t willing to “bend the knee”, so to speak, either.”

      I disagree. My interpretation is that Jon killed Janos Slynt because he would not “bend the knee” but because he betrayed his own vows , which included obeying the LC’s orders. And the parallel I see is with Ned in E1S1, beheading the deserter. (Randyll Tarly betrayed his vows to Olenna as a banneret, but also had one to the crown, so that’s more problematic, but anyway it was not Dany’s point).

      she set aside her own ambitions to come north.

      Not so simple, either. Remember Jon/Dany’s discussion in the DragonPit while Tyrion discussed with Cersei, and its conclusion (“we’re fucked”), which takes place AFTER Dany saw the AotD and knows the threat: if Cersei hadn’t validated a truce, it is not clear Dany would have gone North; so she has not literally “set aside her ambitions”, just delayed them.
      Which btw always made me suspect that Tyrion has not suddenly turned naive: he just didn’t care whether Cersei was lying or not. His may objective may have been to bring Cersei back at the negociation in order to send Daenerys North (didn’t he tell her some time before that a Queen must not just be feared but also loved? His bet may be that she can get support from the realm only if she faces the AotD first, and whether Cersei joins or not, reconquers the southern lands or not, is irrelevant).

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    72. Escherehcse: it is in Dany’s character that in this alternate scenario after the White Walkers were defeated Dany would proceed to crush the North into submission. She would burn it all until they agreed to her rule.

      I don’t agree.

      She did after all grant Yara / the II the right to be some autonomy as long as they were willing to help her take Westeros.

      It would be quite something if the North, after Dany saves them all, would refuse a similar offer / arrangement that had been in place in the 7k for centuries? What ruler in the north would be that stupid? Not Jon or Sansa, I think.

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    73. Shelle,

      I agree with you. She was sure she did the right thing when she ordered the Tarly execution and she still is when facing Sam. She would look like a hypocrite if she suddenly started excusing herself. She did it and she owns it. That is what I like about Daenerys and also Jon – they are different but they have this in common – they are both honest and direct when dealing with other people. You know where you stand with them, no back stabbing, treachery or hidden games.

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    74. Nemanja,

      Bran appears to have insight into how events will or perhaps need to play out. Hence him preemptively waiting for his “old friend”, Jaime, to arrive. He told Sam, “it’s time to tell Jon the truth” and insisted that it needed to be Sam who told him.

      Presumably there is a reason why the Three-Eyed Raven showed Bran the events at the Tower of Joy, of all the things he could’ve shown him; and Jon’s true identity will have a significant impact on how events play out.

      And Bran knew that it had to happen then and in those circumstances.

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    75. Dyanna:
      Everything about Episode One foreshadowed Jon and Dany being forced apart to me.

      Same. The caption for the episode’s synopsis on the official HBO website for the show, http://gameofthrones.com/game-of-thrones/season-8/episode-1, says “Nothing Lasts” with a picture of the happy couple.

      Dyanna:
      Dany has honestly believed she is the rightful heir as the only surviving Targaryen. Turns out she is not, Jon is. So even if the Starks agreed that the Targaryens should be restored to the Iron throne, the crown is Jon’s not Dany’s. So how would she argue her claim is still valid?

      Yes! In Season 6, when she burned down Vaes Dothrak, she was such a powermonger. “At the end of that scene, you should be somewhat roused by her and a little horrified. She’s not Hitler at Nuremburg, but she’s got the power.” –Jack Bender on official behind-the-scenes commentary. Even in this episode, the smugness that comes over her as the dragons do a fly-by is hardcore and unmistakable. The girl loves power.

      She eliminated the Tarlys without qualms and without regret because they were a threat to her power. The biggest threat to her power or at least the legitimacy of her power is about to be Jon Snow, whether he wants the crown for himself or not.

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    76. Bradley’s comments on Dany being psychopathic has me coming to a conclusion with 2 scenes backing it up. Right before they were interrupted by the Dothraki saying how little the dragons ate, Dany was saying “If your sister can’t respect me…” and she was cut off. It seemed like a threat was coming. Then later Arya told Jon not to forget your family. I think after the battle when politics have a place again there will be a confrontation between Dany and Sansa. I think Jon will be forced to out himself as King in order to protect Sansa from execution leading to conflict with Dany.

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    77. Apollo: I love the “old friend” statement. I wonder if Bran has been spending a lot of time in Jaime’s company.. possibly when Aerys was killed..

      Oh, wow. A really interesting conjecture.

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    78. “They disobeyed me, and so I killed them.”

      Literally what Jon did to Janos Slynt, yet no one calls him a “dangerous figure”. He’s the Mad King’s direct relative, his grandson, yet no one is talking about Jon becoming the next Mad King. Yes, he pardoned the free folk, but first he infiltrated them, betrayed them, and then fought them at the battle for the Wall. Then he used “outsiders” – the free folk – to slaughter thousands of his fellow northmen at the Battle of the Bastards. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jon, but it looks like Daenerys is subject to a whole other set of standards and it’s bothered me for so long. What other characters are praised for or get away with, she receives sh*t from the fandom for.

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    79. Dyanna,

      Yes! And Sam’s additional explanations about Ned Stark and his sister Lyanna Stark honoring promises to each other to protect her child will possibly resonate with Jon + Arya + Sansa.

      “Protect the family.” – Arya Stark

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    80. Escherehcse: This is a fair point to make. Dany did willingly offer to join forces to battle the NK before Jon submitted to her. I will be curious if this comes up in the show, because it should.

      However, I think it’s also fair to say that even if he hadn’t submitted, it is in Dany’s character that in this alternate scenario after the White Walkers were defeated Dany would proceed to crush the North into submission. She would burn it all until they agreed to her rule.

      I don’t think so. She explicitly asks Jon is he is SURE about his decision to bend the knee. She asks “what about those who swore alliegance to you”. And then says “I hope I deserve it”. Plus, if she wasn’t willing to burn KL which was of far higher importance I highly doubt she’d be willing to burn the North.

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    81. costello:
      Vinga,

      Honestly what Janos got was far harsher. At least the Tarly’s understood they were gonna die

      “Beheading? Where’s the punishment in that? All over in an instant.”

      S. Clegane, Adjunct Professor, Criminal Justice Institute

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    82. costello:
      Vinga,

      Honestly what Janos got was far harsher. At least the Tarly’s understood they were gonna die

      True. He was basically beheaded for refusing to tidy up a castle. Yes, he was a horrible person and would conspire against Jon but so was Randyll. He admitted he was wrong in the end and begged for mercy in the end but Jon killed him anyway. Meanwhile Daenerys offered mercy to the Tarlys but they refused not once, but twice.

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    83. Vinga,

      Tyrion also killed a bunch of people with wildfire, so perhaps Tyrion should be called the Mad Imp, lol. I don’t get why Tyrion wanted Dany to become queen in the first place, yet is so afraid of her using her dragons. If he’s that afraid of the potential danger that dragons possess, why support her claim in the first place? I haven’t heard a logical explanation for it. Olenna was right. How is she supposed to conquer the Seven Kingdoms without using her dragons? Ask nicely? If Tyrion doesn’t want Dany using her dragons then he shouldn’t support her claim to the IT at all.

      I recall Tyrion says that she’s the “right kind of terrible” in season 5, and Dany hasn’t really changed her attitude or philosophy since then, so I find it a bit disingenuous for Tyrion to be so on the fence with her now. It seems that Tyrion has changed, not Dany.

      I think Dany is very similar to most other “authority figures” on this show. She’s done some good things and some bad things, but I don’t think she’s done anything at all that should be considered “mad” or make people think that she’s some tyrannical ruler. In fact, when asked, she granted the IB their independence.

      However, the writers seem to be intent on making us believe that she’s particularly dangerous with all the hints they’ve thrown in here and there. Or that she’s always on the precipice of killing everyone in the Seven Kingdoms or something until someone talks her out of it. I just think what I’ve seen play out on screen doesn’t match what the writers want me to think about Dany right now.

      I also think they went out of their way to show Dany in a poor light in the first episode of the season for dramatic purposes. They haven’t really allowed her to tell her side of the story to the Northerners yet, and we haven’t heard any of her supporters speak up for her yet, such as Jon, Jorah, Grey Worm, Missandei, etc…

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    84. Vinga:
      “They disobeyed me, and so I killed them.”

      Literally what Jon did to Janos Slynt, yet no one calls him a “dangerous figure”. He’s the Mad King’s direct relative, his grandson, yet no one is talking about Jon becoming the next Mad King. Yes, he pardoned the free folk, but first he infiltrated them, betrayed them, and then fought them at the battle for the Wall. Then he used “outsiders” – the free folk – to slaughter thousands of his fellow northmen at the Battle of the Bastards. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jon, but it looks like Daenerys is subject to a whole other set of standards and it’s bothered me for so long. What other characters are praised for or get away with, she receives sh*t from the fandom for.

      I guess it comes down to what each section of fandom can forgive. I’m a fan of Dany and Jon and the Dany/Jon ‘ship, but I am very much aware that these are flawed people. One of the themes that keeps repeating in the series is that many of the main characters are asked to do what they’ve asked others to do. In season 5, Sam was adamant that Jon solicit Roose Bolton for nightswatch recruits even though Roose was responsible for the murder of his family. They desperately needed watchmen, so Jon did it. Now it falls to Sam to decide how he’ll handle Dany’s decision with regard to his father/brother and the importance of maintaining the Targaryen alliance in the war against the dead and eventually Cersei. Dany and Jon will have to decide what’s important with regard to the people of Westeros (and the world): 1) infighting over the Iron Throne as the AotD are about to knock on their door and 2) if they do defeat the AotD, who should lead in defeating Cersei, and 3) if they defeat her, should they try to re-establish a dynastic system on the Iron Throne either as a couple or as rivals (imo they should not). I think Jon and Dany are fundamentally trying to be good people (and that’s part of the reason they are attracted to and love eachother). I hope they make it out of this season alive and together having made as few mistakes as possible. We’ll see.

      Note on Sam:

      I really like Sam too even though he isn’t my fave character. He’s just as much a mixture of good/bad as my faves too. He nominated Jon for Lord Commander b/c he felt he was a better choice than Thorne, but also because he knew what Thorne being Lord Commander would mean for him, Gilly, and baby Sam. He told Gilly in Season 6, that he prioritized her and little Sam over the well being of others (Season 6 episode 3?). Like my faves, his intentions are good, but they’re also colored by personal motives as well.

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    85. Apollo:
      I think Jon bent the knee in the dragonglass cave in season 7.

      Remember scenes when Missandei calls him “Lord Snow” or something like that and when Davos says, he’s King Jon (or something to that effect). Jon says “it’s no time for this”. I think he bent the knee but only Dany (and Missandei) knew about it.

      The scenes after the cave smelled fishy…

      He bent the knee to her in Episode 6, on the boat.

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    86. Thanks for the summaries Luka!

      “I think “change” would be one word. He had to adapt and in many ways rediscover his identity. At the same time there is the core of what’s left of his dedication to his partner in life, Cersei. He says in episode one, “The things I do for love,” and then he does something truly horrific. That is still at his core, I think — that he will do anything for the people close to him.”

      I find this intriguing and I wonder weather or not he’ll try to protect Cersei IF he survives the war against the dead. If not Cersei then I expect for Brienne. Perhaps Bronn won’t have to use that crossbow on him.

      “There’s also the change in the astrolabe; while it told the history before the events of the series before, it now depicts major events from it, namely the fall of The Wall, the Red Wedding, and the birth of Daenerys’ dragons”

      I totally paused the second time I watched the premiere to see what was on the astrolabe and I did notice a pinned wolf surrounded by lions (Assuming a reference to the Red Wedding) and dragons beneath a “bleeding star” hmmm. My own tinfoil theory:

      That the Azor Ahai "prophecy" is actually an origin story for the world's first dragons. The birth of fire also probably came with the birth of ice - at least that's my speculation for the books. Who knows where the show will take us but I'm excited to find out.

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    87. Mr Derp,

      The Mad Imp, lolol. Has a nice ring to it. 😉 Yeah, I agree with everything you said – it is also interesting that Tyrion literally killed Davos’ sun with wildfire yet Davos is able to work with Tyrion and doesn’t call him a psychopath.

      As for the dragons’ purpose – idk, maybe Tyrion thinks that all they’re supposed to do it fly above and look all majestic and cool?

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    88. Anything that happens with Dany in the show will be straight from George’s blueprint. Blaming D&D because you don’t like where they may be taking the character of Dany is a bit ridiculous. What story have you been reading/watching? It always has amazed me how people love the dragons so much and treat them like they are cute cuddly pets. They’re not. They are destruction.

      The dragons are the difference between Dany and every other leader who people are comparing her to. She is the most powerful person in the world(excluding the WW). She has abused that power at times. When she burned the Tarlys it was as much about displaying her power and sending a message to other lords as it was simply carrying out a death sentence. IMO. Burning enemies in battle is to be expected, though it is still ethically questionable. But once you’ve won, put those monsters away.

      I don’t believe Dany is mad, but my hope is that if she does wind up on the throne, that all of the dragons die

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    89. It does amuse me when people claim that Dany has been held to an unfair standard compared to other characters.

      Cersei blew up the Sept with her enemies in it and seized control of King’s Landing and everybody recognises her wicked ruthlessness.
      Daenerys burns the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen with her enemies in it and seizes control of the Khalasar and is lauded for it.

      Stannis burns people alive and takes a “bend the knee or die” approach to ruling and is disliked for it (by show watchers).
      Daenerys burns people alive and takes a “bend the knee or die” approach to ruling and is lionised for it.

      Dany has threatened/planned to slaughter men by the thousands and raze cities to the ground repeatedly in the past, but that’s conveniently memory-holed so as not to spoil the image of her “good heart”.

      She burns a father and son alive and people bend over backwards to justify it, even as the character’s own advisers disapprove. Some even go so far as to suggest that Sam would be grateful she did it. Her advisers literally say this – Tyrion: “What else could she do?” – Varys: “Not burn him alive alongside his son” – and people are still tying themselves in knots to justify it, instead of listening to what the characters are telling them.

      And now we see desperate attempts to compare that short-sighted decision to Jon punishing insubordination in the traditional manner of his military order. I even read one ludicrous take on that, suggesting that it’s only because Janos Slynt didn’t have sympathetic offspring on the show and because Olly’s parents were dead that the executions Jon undertook weren’t viewed exactly the same way as Dany’s. Good grief.

      Honestly, for people to claim that Dany has been held to a higher standard than other characters is laughable.

      And, for the record, just because I can recognise the flaws in Daenerys’ character and acknowledge the parallels with unsavoury characters that the writers have been inserting for seasons, doesn’t mean I believe that she’s currently or ever will be as terrible as they are. (Just trying to head off the inevitable “So you think she’s as evil as a man who burns his own daughter alive, do you?” kind of responses, that miss the point).

      Daenerys is a complex character. It’s not the writers’ fault that parts of the audience have been actively overlooking and sanitising every questionable decision or statement she’s made over the years. Even when they insert characters explicitly encouraging the audience to question a decision, these audience members stubbornly resist.

      Her character could still go either way.

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    90. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: And now we see desperate attempts to compare that short-sighted decision to Jon punishing insubordination in the traditional manner of his military order.

      Even if it’s traditional punishment in that world, to me it’s just as arbitrary as Dany’s decision regarding the Tarly’s. In both those situations, she and Jon could have chosen mercy. They didn’t.

      I even read one ludicrous take on that, suggesting that it’s only because Janos Slynt didn’t haIve sympathetic offspring on the show and because Olly’s parents were dead that the executions Jon undertook weren’t viewed exactly the same way as Dany’s. Good grief.

      For me, Jon’s decision regarding Janos was received better because of what Janos did to Ned and his compliance in killing Robert’s bastards in Season 2 . Janos begging for mercy before the execution moved me, but yes, I was less inclined to be salty about Jon killing him because I didn’t like his past actions. If Janos had a sympathetic family member who had the ear of a character I liked….I would probably have sympathized to some degree with that family member if he/she had wanted Janos’s life spared.

      Regarding Olly, I’m not sure why him not having parents would make his execution be viewed differently. I wasn’t particularly bothered by his execution (and I feel a bit weird about not feeling bothered). However, I can see why other viewers would not be on board for it. Other than the showrunners wanting to show the drama of Jon being betrayed by the child he’d taken under his wing, I tend to think Olly seeing his parents killed by wildlings(Ygritte?) was just not something he could get over, leading to his deciding to take part in Jon’s death. Sam and Jon tried multiple times to convey to him that having the Wildlings as allies was important in the war against the AotD, that the AotD was a much bigger issue than the ongoing battles between the NW and the Wildlings, but Olly couldn’t get over that initial trauma. I still wonder sometimes if Olly had seen the wights/wightwalkers if that would have been enough for him to put aside his hate for the Wildlings….

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    91. Jack Bauer 24:
      Didn’t they used to release promo stills and a synopsis the Wednesday before the episode?

      I thought so too! I’ve been kind of looking forward to Wednesday again for that reason XD;;

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    92. Randyll Tarly deserved to be executed. Dickon? Not so sure. I realize Sam didn’t know the method of execution, but for me personally, that is the problem. You can say dragon fire kills instantly, but those men writhing in pain as their armor melted on them in ‘Spoils Of War’ would say otherwise. It is a wholly cruel method of execution. In that, there is no comparison to what Jon did to Janos Slynt.

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    93. Tyrion Pimpslap: You can say dragon fire kills instantly, but those men writhing in pain as their armor melted on them in ‘Spoils Of War’ would say otherwise.

      I guess I might say it seems to make a difference with HOW one is hit with it. Some dudes look like they were “flash fried” and remained as ash statues while others appear to simply catch on fire and roll around trying to put it out…

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    94. Vinga,

      Interesting article.
      But I don’t think this will go on for much longer. Sansa and Danerys have too much in common to waste their times on sh** like this. As I saw it Sansa mentioning that Daenerys is much prettier than her father was a throwback to Littlefingers words about the dragonqueen – that she is said to be beautiful – AND Sansa trying to figure out what’s really going on with her brother and his “southern girl”. And Jon’s smile gave him away straight away. As I see it, Sansa will be in no time back Davos proposition that a proposal might be the answer to their situation, and I am willing to take bets on this one!

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    95. krupke: Even if it’s traditional punishment in that world, to meit’s just as arbitrary as Dany’s decision regarding the Tarly’s. In both those situations, she and Jon could have chosen mercy.They didn’t.

      Daenerys did offer them mercy though. They didn’t take it. Janos begged for mercy and didn’t receive it. Jon’s actions were harsher if you take that into consideration. And Dickon literally asked to be killed…

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    96. Johanna van Locchum:
      Vinga,

      Interesting article.
      But I don’t think this will go on for much longer. Sansa and Danerys have too much in common to waste their times on sh** like this. As I saw it Sansa mentioning that Daenerys is much prettier than her father was a throwback to Littlefingers words about the dragonqueen – that she is said to be beautiful – AND Sansa trying to figure out what’s really going on with her brother and his “southern girl”. And Jon’s smile gave him away straight away. As I see it, Sansa will be in no time back Davos proposition that a proposal might be the answer to their situation, and I am willing to take bets on this one!

      I really hope that will be the case. Heck, I even think that if Daenerys is pregnant, Sam will be the one to deliver her baby. They all really should set the differences between them aside to see how much they in fact have in common. The fact that they’re “all breathing” being the most important thing.

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    97. Clob: I guess I might say it seems to make a difference with HOW one is hit with it.Some dudes look like they were “flash fried” and remained as ash statues while others appear to simply catch on fire and roll around trying to put it out…

      Exactly.

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    98. Vinga,

      Thanks for the article! It was nice to read after the article about Bernie in the NYT. This is another reason why I haven’t been a fan of Dave Hill’s writing. There are legitimate reasons for Sansa to be cautious of Dany, as the article states but to include undertones of jealousy is a bit much … and actually I’m not entirely sure I agree with that. I also hope this won’t be dragged on. I think some of this will be resolved by the next episode. Having said that, the Vogue article that featured Lena, Sophie, Maisie and Gwen was absolutely fantastic. Lena does say that GRRM’s plan has been to upend the patriarchy and I believe it was Maisie or Sophie that said women are at the forefront of this season… or something along those lines.

      Jack Bauer 24,
      Thank you! Oh my goodness – that photo with Sam, Gilly and little Sam … be still, my heart.

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    99. Clob,

      Fair point. But I still think it is much more painful than a swift beheading. But having never experienced either, I can’t say for sure.

      The optics weren’t good. That I know for sure.

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    100. Dark Sister,

      Women have been at the forefront for a while now. I just wonder what the response will be if it is Jon or Tyrion that wind up on the throne and not Dany or Sansa. I personally believe there won’t be an iron throne at the end, but if there is, I can already see the articles ripping that decision.

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    101. Jon punished someone under his command, for breaking his vows to the NW, as everyone in that room realised. That is not the same as executing a prisoner of war. It was overly harsh, as I always thought Ned was harsh in the pilot.

      If we have to compare the execution of Janos Slynt to anything, I would put forward Dany’s execution of Mossador, both disobeyed their leaders, and both were punished for it.

      If Dany is held to a higher standard, it’s because she wants to rule the 7 Kingdoms, and thinks she is morally superior to most of the other characters on the show (break the wheel anyone?) But she isn’t much better than the other rulers of Westeros, who are considered villains. She has good intentions, but can show an unsettling level of brutality (crucifixion). Jon Snow has many flaws, brutality isn’t one of them. Her character could easily be the best thing to happen to Westeros, or she could end up as an antagonist, her story has been developed to give us this uncertainty, which is what makes her so interesting imo.

      I have talked at length about my issues with her rule in Meereen, so I’ll just quote GRRM,

      ‘I have tried to make it explicit in the novels that the dragons are destructive forces, and Dany [Daenerys Targaryen] has found that out as she tried to rule the city of Meereen and be queen there.

      ‘She has the power to destroy, she can wipe out entire cities, and we certainly see that in Fire and Blood, we see the dragons wiping out entire armies, wiping out towns and cities, destroying them, but that doesn’t necessarily enable you to rule – it just enables you to destroy.’

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    102. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Oh I am like 90% sure there won’t be an Iron Throne by the end of the series (including ASOIAF). I feel all roads have been leading to that eventuality. And yes, S6 was peak #WhoRunTheWorld #Girls, and I hope that continues this season.

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    103. krupke,

      “Even if it’s traditional punishment in that world, to me it’s just as arbitrary as Dany’s decision regarding the Tarly’s. In both those situations, she and Jon could have chosen mercy. They didn’t.”

      They could have chosen mercy, yes, but that would have made them both appear weak. As the new elected LC Jon had to make it clear, that insubordination under his command would be no option. Especially because Slynt was a buddy of Alliser Thorne, who lost to Jon. I found it wonderfully portrayed by Owen Teale how Thorne is tempting Jon! And of course we as viewers, who knew what a scumbag Slynt was and what he did, were not that inflicted. Nevertheless: Slynt begged for mercy. He promised to obey and even admitted he was afraid. It takes some real determination and cold blood to execute someone like him. In the end I saw it as a mercy killing, but it was kind of ruthless.
      With Daenerys it was a bit different. She gave them a choice. I admit not really a free choice in the presence of a firespitting dragon, but nevertheless a choice. Randyll Tarly not only made this choice – similar to Alliser Thorne by the way (“I fought. I lost. Now I rest.”) – twice, but also denied Daenerys’ right to send him to the wall instead. An option she took in consideration, I might add! “You can’t give me orders, you are not my queen.” After these words she practically had no choice than to execute him. Otherwise these words would have become a war cry for a possible resistance. How many more lives would that take?
      In regard of Olly, I am right behind you. I was more on Jon’s side, how he struggled with that decision, than I felt for Olly. I blame that on the wonderful performance Kit Harington and Connor Brennock gave. It lasted until poor “Olly” was hit by a massive shitstorm. A 15 year old boy got death threats for his performance and don’t let me start with the memes. That was so disgusting. So I went back to watch how Olly’s parents actually died. After that, I don’t put blame on him anymore. I can’t. Ygritte – yes, my beloved Firehead! That was tough! – shot his father right in front of him, while he was talking to him. A Thenn killed his mother and told him afterwards he would eat her, while Olly has to run to the Nightswatch and tell them what happened. Yes, maybe it would have been different if he had seen the White Walkers and the AotD, but I am not so sure if this feeling of band together to fight the real enemy would last when this threat is dealt with. And I am curious to find out, if it will for anybody else. I higly doubt it. Or as Varys put it: Nothing lasts.

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    104. Jenny:
      Jon punished someone under his command, for breaking his vows to the NW, as everyone in that room realised.That is not the same as executing a prisoner of war.It was overly harsh, as I always thought Ned was harsh in the pilot.

      If we have to compare the execution of Janos Slynt to anything, I would put forward Dany’s execution of Mossador, both disobeyed their leaders, and both were punished for it.

      If Dany is held to a higher standard, it’s because she wants to rule the 7 Kingdoms, and thinks she is morally superior to most of the other characters on the show (break the wheel anyone?)But she isn’t much better than the other rulers of Westeros, who are considered villains.She has good intentions, but can show an unsettling level of brutality (crucifixion).Jon Snow has many flaws, brutality isn’t one of them.Her character could easily be the best thing to happen to Westeros, or she could end up as an antagonist, her story has been developed to give us this uncertainty, which is what makes her so interesting imo.

      I have talked at length about my issues with her rule in Meereen, so I’ll just quote GRRM,

      Sorry to quote myself but I wanted to add, I would compare Dany’s execution of the Tarly’s to Stannis’ offer to Mance Rayder,

      It’s not a great defence for Dany, since Stannis is a terrible person. It at least shows that her actions weren’t unusual, though I personally disagree with what she did (particularly Dickon). It doesn’t make her a monster, I just saw it as an unnecessary PR disaster.

      Edit: I don’t know how to embed a video 🙁

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    105. Jenny,

      Yes, it was similar. The thing is, I didn’t see any comments calling Stannis “a tyrant” after he’d done that. A harsh person, yes, but people praised him for saving the Wall from the Wildling attack, Jon was on Stannis’ side (yes he put that arrow through Mance’s heart to spare him from suffering but he did urge him to bend the knee before that – “isn’t their survival more important than your pride”, the exact same thing that Daenerys said!). He was “the Mannis” to so many until he burned his own daughter alive, which I believe Daenerys would never do. That’s exactly the double standard I’m talking about.

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    106. AnnOther,

      “Not so simple, either.”
      Nothing is simple in this story. That’s the reason why we are debating so much 😉 And quite frankly it’s the reason why I love this story so much.
      As for her ambitions: I didn’t say, she put her ambitions aside literally. I wrote in my original comment, that she “kind of” put her ambitions aside in the way that she was willing to risk her life, the life of her armies and her two dragons to fight this threat. Given that in this moment she had every reason to believe that Cersei would do the same, gave her the security that she wouldn’t have to start all over again. So her decision to ride north was easy.
      The question what she would have done if Cersei had not come back is kind of futile, because Cersei did come back.
      As I see it Daenerys would have gone north with Jon in any case. 1.) The former King in the North had just shown her his degree of loyalty. A virtue Daenerys appreciates above all others. 2.) After seeing the real threat, she knows Jon is right. If they don’t win this fight it’s meaningless how many lands and castles she is holding when the AotD turns south. The decision would have been a harder one, but I am convinced nevertheless the same. 3.) If it wouldn’t be, we sure have to see next week how Daenerys is leaving Winterfell to resume her fight with Cersei, when Jamie brings the news of Cersei’s betrayal. If Daenerys is not really willing to put her ambitions aside she would have to leave Winterfell next episode. I somehow can’t see that.
      As for Tyrion… I could write a whole essay on why our favourite dwarf is failing and out of his game. But that would lead too far. Just this: Tyrion is a humanist, a reasonable man with a good heart. But he is also still a Lannister, and that meant to him always more than to his siblings. It’s not his fault, that his sister chose the worst possible time to put him in his place and show him who is in fact the cleverest Lannister.

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    107. I needed to look up the word volatile, meaning: liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse.

      I can see Dany in it. Please Dany, step down and bend the knee to Jon, not because he is perse a better leader, but because you need to protect yourself, don’t let power destroy your beautiful heart. Choose the side that make you the smiling person again, which follow her heart.

      Jack Bauer 24,

      I think the trial could be the turning point for Dany. It could meant all wounds or create a rift where she will not climb out of. If she is to harsh on Jaime she could create a rift by showing her “ruthless” side, which Sansa/Sam etc will make use of. If she is too soft the north could be mad because he is a Lannister.

      Clob,

      A book things could be easier, where in screenmedia you have to see the evil act. For a book she could be doing something that could be consider saving herself but George could add a sentence what she thought: And something came over her, a feeling she didn’t have before, in the past she would dispise herself for an act like this, but not now, she feels strong, a sense of justice, she feels joy.

      Or something.

      Tiny direwolf: Jack

      I have to say, he is right when it comes to Dany as a leader. He is wrong as Dany outside the leader role.

      But we have to wait till next week what D&D have to say in the inside part about Dany. But one thing catch my eye with the inside pieces, where in the first seasons they refer to her as the hero in the inside story, last season they kept her neutral, and now I have a feeling they are making clear she is the villain, they sound of their voice when saying what Sam though made me feel they think that Dany is the villain.
      And remember there is one big plottwist coming biggest of the show.

      Aryamad,

      And wasn’t there something in KL in the throneroom that looked like a dragon was chained with a bolt before it.

      Winterkat,

      Sympathetic? I watched that scene a couple of times and there was nothing sympathetic about Dany in that scene. She started the scene good but it ended with her making clear it was justice what she did with the Tarly’s. There was not a single word where she let Sam know she feels shitty for how it effected Sam or that she lay awake herself for her action. Look at Jon, he was torn when he killed the man that killed him. He didn’t feel that was just. He felt shit about it.

      I also am a fan of psychologist theses about TV-shows. And I read a couple about GoT. And Dany was never put in good graces there, god complex and other labels she was given.

      Dany needs to learn one thing: Even if you think it’s justice, doesn’t make it the truth.

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    108. Johanna van Locchum,

      Yeah, Daenerys won’t leave and to be honest I admire her patience. If I were in her place and was met with such open hostility after I’ve come to risk my life to help with a literal zombie apocalypse, I’d leave in an instant and have Drogon take a dump on Winterfell on my way out.

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    109. Vinga,

      I suppose the difference is that Stannis was defending the realm, not invading it, that immediately puts a different spin on things. Like Tyrion defending KL against Stannis in S2, or Dany defeating the slave masters as they invaded Meereen in S6, and Jon and the Wildlings in S4, defence is seen as more honourable. Except when they got rid of Ramsey, but who can side with Ramsey?

      Stannis burnt Mance, which Jon couldn’t stand, so I can’t see him being thrilled about the dragon fire, it’s very complex. To me Stannis was a bad person for killing his own brother, he was never Stannis the Mannis to me, fascinating character though, and he deserved to die for Shereen. People do tend to suffer for their misdeeds in the end, even Jon was murdered, I don’t think Dany has had her turn yet, which is why I don’t think she will be Queen, and may die in the end.

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    110. Jenny,

      True. However, she already stopped her “invasion” and is on the defending side now as well. Which would’ve been easier if she took KL, they wouldn’t have enemies on two sides – White Walkers in the North and Cersei in the South.

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    111. Vinga,

      Yeah, I think she will either be the saviour or the villain in the end. I’m leaning towards saviour myself, maybe 65/35 but I love that they are making us question her so much in the mean time. She could prove her doubters wrong very soon, or become what some of us have long suspected.

      She is defending the North, for the Northeners, but also for herself, if she wants the Kingdom, she has no choice but to fight. Miserable Sansa won’t scare her off, she is fighting for her throne as we speak, which is what I think Sansa recognises, and doesn’t like.

      Actually, Dany killing the Tarly’s could be her Robb/Karstark moment, which led to him losing a chunk of his army despite being technically correct in his actions.

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    112. Jenny,

      Cersei wants the kingdom as well and chose not to fight. She chose to fight the living side! We already have a Mad Queen who’s happy the dead have breached the wall, there won’t be one more. Daenerys could’ve stayed on Dragonstone or sailed back to Essos – the dead can’t swim. Instead, just like in Mereen, she put her own ambitions aside and chose to help.

      This whole situation reminds me of the aftermath of the Battle of the Bastards, Royce saying they can’t expect him to side with wildling invaders. To which Tormund replied “we didn’t invade, we were invited”.

      Except everyone in the fandom understood that then.

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    113. Mango,

      +1 But I think that’s the beauty of this story. First run through you could see Dany as the hero, ans slowly becoming something shifting to villain side (not 100% maybe 55%) but if you will rerun the show I think we will see the points since season 1.

      And I personally am a little buffled that if Dany will stay the hero dany-fanatics will call it good writing, but if she will turn evil it’s badly written. They cling so much to her character like she is the messiah which for me make it more clear the danger in Dany, the unconditional following without a single doubt. Everything bad is washed under the table.
      And I see that only with Dany-fans. I know a lot of Jon fans which see his faults and admit it. But I know 2 dany fans (personal) and those 2 can’t hear a single fault about Dany and I’m afraid to say something bad because it would be the end of a friendship.

      ps. I don’t see Dany as evil, but as a grey character beautiful build.

      Tyrion Pimpslap,
      Your comment made me think about the box. What if the end is not Dany turning evil but in fact she will lose the “power” to control them. And the dragons go on a rampage.

      Luka Nieto: Pimpslap

      Then it’s time he get a subscription.

      Vinga,
      costello,

      You can’t compare those 2.
      Dany is an invader (yes she is) who try to take over the land and power. That means that she is going to show her set of rules for the country that must be followed. That means she must think very well what those rules are. She made clear (even when she wants something else) that a rule for her is, follow me blindly, bend the knee or die. Yes we know she wants peace but that action depicts that.

      As for Janos Slynt. Slynt knows the rule of the Night Watch. If you don’t obbey you are a deserter. Desertion if punishable by death.And there is a reason for that rule there.

      It’s the same with military in real world. They follow different rules and punishments because that work depends on that. Once you are part of the military you stay part, once called upon you must obey their orders. if you declined you will be thrown in military Jail.

      Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Didn’t George refer to them as Nunclear bombs or something?
      Look at 8×01 they eat so much and we heard they had a bad day with eating. I though damn how much do they fuckers eat. They eat for a year per day.

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    114. Vinga,

      True, but we all know that Cersei is going to die a horrible death, and if Dany left, the North would be crushed and the AotD would make their way south and take out the rest of Westeros. There would be nowhere to hide for anybody and her throne would be gone. I wonder if the winter could even freeze the sea, the WW can’t swim but they can walk on ice, it might not be safe in Essos forever.

      Dany at least recognizes this, Cersei is a traditional villain so she is obviously happy to sit things out. Dany won’t go mad, but her ambition could lead her down a dark path, but as I said before, I expect her to save them all and die in the process, or decide to give up the throne as she did in her house of the undying vision in S2, I’m sure that vision is important.

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    115. I started to think about where the story is headed and the many sides that we could go and what if we are being mislead now, so I sum up some of my ideas:
      1. Dany is the one who turn volatile and burning cities to the ground as the show try us to think now.
      2. What if it’s not Dany in the end who we will see as the baddies of the story. But in fact the remaining starks: Sansa, Arya and Bran.
      3. What if Dany will bend the knee to safe her people. We can assume that the unsulied will follow and bend the knee to Jon. But what if the Dothraki think: We did not choose this king. He is not our Khal. And they start to go their old ways, raping murdering etc. I still not trust that one dude of them.

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    116. 5. What is Nissa Nissa will happen. And Bran is setting things up for that. He wants Dany losing her shit because Jon is forced to stop her and kill the person he loved the most. Bran knows Jon won’t do it otherwise. Bran is manipulating things so Jon could become Azor Ahai.
      So Dany will lose her shit but she will be the victim of Bran’s interference. But that action of Bran will result in the defeat of the NK.

      And I’m wondering when Jon will find out Dany is his aunt. When will that truth hit him. He is always a bit slower with that.

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    117. Johanna van Locchum,

      I can’t remember the last time I ‘ve read something so well written and so to the point: you nailed it. As Randyll Tarly said it himself: “There are no easy choices in war”

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    118. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I couldn’t agree more to each single word.
      It is a complex work with complex characters, asking complex philosophical questions, among which “when is violence legitimate?”, set in several contexts. Jon/Slynt is one context : “Jon punishing insubordination in the traditional manner of his military order”: a legitimately (& elected) head enforcing the shared law of a military order, in which rebellion and desertion are punishable. And with Slynt cowardly pleading for mercy, just as with the deserter saying “I know I’m guilty” but having potential good reasons to run away Ned doesn’t bother to listen to, we even have the additionnal question: is enforcing the law strictly always legitimate, and always wise ?
      Daenerys/Tarlys is another context: what is the rule of war within a succession war ? There seems to always have been, more or less, a customary answer to what the rule of war is between two legitimate belligerants. In a war of succession, things are kind of messed up, since there is no longer a clear legitimate ruler so the important difference between a rebel and an enemy is blurred (in this light, Tarly’s answer is sooo interesting: you can’t send me to the Wall because only the Queen can). Clearly Dany and Tyrion and even Jon-“then you’re more of the same” are actually questioning in action/dialogues what one can assess as a legitimate use of violence in such a context.
      Sorry, long answer to say I agree, but that is what makes the show so rich for me.

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    119. Johanna van Locchum,

      3.) If it wouldn’t be, we sure have to see next week how Daenerys is leaving Winterfell to resume her fight with Cersei, when Jamie brings the news of Cersei’s betrayal. If Daenerys is not really willing to put her ambitions aside she would have to leave Winterfell next episode. I somehow can’t see that.

      Very good point! (Though : now they’re a couple. The question Samsa asks Jon can be reversed. And imo the answer would be the same: “Both”. Yep, things being complex is also why I love the show!).
      As for Tyrion, I could also write a whole book… I rewatched S8e1 in between (that’s why I react with some delay), and my former assumption seems wrong; I now think he was convinced she would join and he overestimated his cleverness (as with Castraly Rock, though this could be explained — he is a politician, not a general, in spite of Blackwater),/ underestimated his sister’s ability to play poker with the AotD /overestimating the impact of her pregnancy, if she is pregnant, and his knowledge of her/ underestimating her talents at manipulating if she is not).

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    120. Sam shouldn’t have wept for his brother, Dickon was a you know what. His duty was to Horn Hill, his mom, sis and his people. He should have bent for them, not to please pops.

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    121. Yup, yup, yup.

      Yes!In Season 6, when she burned down Vaes Dothrak, she was such a powermonger. “At the end of that scene, you should be somewhat roused by her and a little horrified. She’s not Hitler at Nuremburg, but she’s got the power.” –Jack Bender on official behind-the-scenes commentary.

      Nah, I was 100% roused. There was nothing questionable or foreboding in her utterly justified action there.
      I think the writers and actors just like to stir sh!t and hype things with extreme, exaggerating language.
      Dany’s offer to the Tarlys was downright generous compared with the standard. When the Tyrells were defeated and wiped out, Olenna was given no option but the death of their foes’ choosing. It’s war. Apparently this is how it works there and then. You want to be able to be a lot better than your opponents/those you seek to replace in power, but you’ll probably never get your throne if you act perfectly idealistically from the start.

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    122. Honestly the header for this article trigged me upon first read, specifically Sam’s view of Dany. Then I realised it was written by Luka, who in my opinion is one of the most balanced contributors to Watchers so I decided to wait and take stock before reading it in full.

      A day later and I’m still not convinced John Bradley’s comments are that controversial unless you are a huge Dany fan. I’ve had several people write to me telling that they think Dany is going to be a villain since Monday and this does increase the chances but equally she could still bend the knee and accept she has no birth right to the throne.

      More importantly John is talking from Sam’s perspective so again Dany could take time to explain why she came across badly and why she did what she did so his impression could also change in episode 2.

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    123. Clob:
      Again, the photo at the top…It appears to be a scene that will be almost like a judgement and ruling on Jaime.I’m assuming they decide to let him join them, somehow, even with a lot of dislike.What is still curious to me is that Arya appears to be absent once again.I mean, Brienne, Varys, Missandei…Maybe she shouldn’t be seated there and maybe she is off to the side…If she isn’t I’m just going to keep wondering why they’re keeping her off on her own so much.

      In fairness, as much as I love Arya as a character, she has no right or reason to sit on any such council. I suspect Dany will be hostile (with reason) but Bran will over rule them and state Jamie should join them,

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    124. I love how all the Jon fanatics are jumping in joy about the prospect of dany becoming a villain and bad guy. Suddenly the Targs have a claim and dany must give everything she gained herself to Jon. How much they love the prospect of dany bending the knee. Why there is not a single comment from them of how ungrateful of each and everyone in North for the help dany is providing. Don’t try to minimize the part of dany with just dragons.because of her they have the largest army they can and the Dragonglass to defend them.
      If dany is turning mad then it’s not because of her own but because of the actions of the other characters who had their personal ambitions.

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    125. My tinfoil just went off. Now this is more book related but based off of things we’ve seen in the show. I’m not expecting Dany to execute Randyl & Dickon in the books. But a good replacement for them could be the Martells. They will most certainly back Young Griff. Could Dany burning say Doran & Trystane (or even Young Griff & Arianne or Sansa depending on who he chooses as his Queen) be a controversial execution that could lead to people searching for a less harsh ruler in the books?

      This could also set up a scenario where Alleras (Oberyn’s daughter) and her archery skills (Foreshadowing: Dorne has downed a dragon in the past) bring down one of Dany’s dragons as revenge for her family being burned? She is friends and hanging out with Sam in Oldtown in the books. So we could still get Sam pushing for Jon to be King in the books but not because his family was executed but a friend’s family was the one burned?

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    126. Jon Snowed,

      As one of only 4 people alive with Stark blood, she should be on every council if she wants to be. Something as big as Jaime arriving with crucial information, she should definitely be involved. This is the North. She’s a Stark. The Starks run the North and they’re in Winterfell (her family home). She should be involved in any & everything.

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    127. Bran:
      I love how all the Jon fanatics are jumping in joy about the prospect of dany becoming a villain and bad guy. Suddenly the Targs have a claim and dany must give everything she gained herselfto Jon. How much they love the prospect of dany bending the knee. Why there is not a single comment from them of how ungrateful of each and everyone in North for the help dany is providing. Don’t try to minimize the part of dany with just dragons.because of her they have the largest army they can and the Dragonglass to defend them.
      If dany is turning mad then it’s not because of her own but because of the actions of the other characters who had their personal ambitions.

      Yeah… Jon Snow, a person who keeps getting titles just by existing. And yet some keep talking how Daenerys is the one who’s “entitled” and “had everything handed to her”.

      Yes, I know Jon doesn’t want those titles. However, I believe it’s the same people who kept saying that Daenerys has no right to the throne because the Targs were overthrown, who now are saying that she should recognize Jon’s birthright.

      And I’m not so sure if Daenerys wants titles as well. She wants to go home.

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    128. Vinga,

      This is the way I see it. Daenerys (and Viserys before her) has always put in the argument that she is the rightful heir to the throne because she’s the daughter of a king who was in her view wrongly deposed of his position and title. Despite understanding who her father really was, she likely still holds that view because her family had ruled the Seven Kingdoms for centuries so in her eyes, Robert’s Rebellion not only usurped her father but her entire family. She’s been calling herself a Queen when she really isn’t one. She’s never been crowned. She and Viserys were at the most a deposed princess and prince. If she were to claimed that she is the rightful heir to the Targaryen seat of power no one would bat an eye because obviously to almost everyone’s knowledge she is but the argument she is making is that she is the queen of a kingdom who decided to deposed her family for legit reasons.

      However if we are to believe that Robert established his kingdom by right of conquest then it is only fair to accept that hate her or lover her, Cersei is right now the rightful queen of Westeros. If Dany were to decide to take the throne by conquest, I am not sure that anyone could do anything about it because she obviously has a large army and weapons of mass destruction at her disposal. But it would be a coronation by right of conquest not by right of birth. If she actually truly believes she’s the rightful heir due to her name then the moment she learns the truth about Jon, she should recognized that under Targaryen rules of succession Jon has precedence over her. Jon is the legitimate son of the crowned prince of House Targaryen, whether fair or not, he is the rightful heir to Dragonstone and the Targaryen dynasty. If she thinks part of the dynasty is the Iron Throne and the title of King/Queen of the Seven Kingdoms – then that -in her eyes- should make Jon the rightful king of Westeros. In other words, if restoration of the Targaryen dynasty was always her goal then she owes her allegiance to her brother’s only remaining son.

      The truth will certainly rock her world and she will need to decide what is more important – her ambition or her family. It may be for naught because Jon doesn’t really want the throne but whatever she decides – regardless of Jon’s decisions after – will speak volumes about who she is.

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    129. Vinga,
      I’m not so sure if Daenerys wants titles as well. She wants to go home.”

      WHAT? Oh gosh I’m not even gonna….

      If it makes you kids happy, Dany is wonderful, superior, the best, absolute greatest and the author who created her would never ever have the audacity to portray her as someone who believes in and repeatedly states what her goal is and at the same time actually mean it. Lol.

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    130. kevin1989,

      The Starks become the villians, interesting! I definitely can detect a hint of villain Bran already. The sisters are tight. Could Jon become the outsider when his parentage is known?

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    131. Danny:
      Vinga,

      This is the way I see it.Daenerys (and Viserys before her) has always put in the argument that she is the rightful heir to the throne because she’s the daughter of a king who was in her view wrongly deposed of his position and title.Despite understanding who her father really was, she likely still holds that view because her family had ruled the Seven Kingdoms for centuries so in her eyes, Robert’s Rebellion not only usurped her father but her entire family.She’s been calling herself a Queen when she really isn’t one.She’s never been crowned.She and Viserys were at the most a deposed princess and prince.If she were to claimed that she is the rightful heir to the Targaryen seat of power no one would bat an eye because obviously to almost everyone’s knowledge she is but the argument she is making is that she is the queen of a kingdom who decided to deposed her family for legit reasons.

      However if we are to believe that Robert established his kingdom by right of conquest then it is only fair to accept that hate her or lover her, Cersei is right now the rightful queen of Westeros.If Dany were to decide to take the throne by conquest, I am not sure that anyone could do anything about it because she obviously has a large army and weapons of mass destruction at her disposal.But it would be a coronation by right of conquest not by right of birth.If she actually truly believes she’s the rightful heir due to her name then the moment she learns the truth about Jon, she should recognized that under Targaryen rules of succession Jon has precedence over her.Jon is the legitimate son of the crowned prince of House Targaryen, whether fair or not, he is the rightful heir to Dragonstone and the Targaryen dynasty.If she thinks part of the dynasty is the Iron Throne and the title of King/Queen of the Seven Kingdoms – then that -in her eyes- should make Jon the rightful king of Westeros.In other words, if restoration of the Targaryen dynasty was always her goal then she owes her allegiance to her brother’s only remaining son.

      The truth will certainly rock her world and she will need to decide what is more important – her ambition or her family.It may be for naught because Jon doesn’t really want the throne but whatever she decides – regardless of Jon’s decisions after – will speak volumes about who she is.

      Very nice summary. Concise and accurate.

      Do not expect it to make any difference to the exchanges.

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    132. Vinga: Yeah… Jon Snow, a person who keeps getting titles just by existing. And yet some keep talking how Daenerys is the one who’s “entitled” and “had everything handed to her”.

      Yes, I know Jon doesn’t want those titles. However, I believe it’s the same people who kept saying that Daenerys has no right to the throne because the Targs were overthrown, who now are saying that she should recognize Jon’s birthright.

      And I’m not so sure if Daenerys wants titles as well. She wants to go home.

      Daenerys introduces herself with a long list of titles – I am surprised she has no interest in titles.

      Each time she says queen, I think of Joffrey and what Tywin said to him.

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    133. Bran,

      If Dany turns mad it won’t be because the Northerners were mean to her, it will be because she was predisposed to that fate for likely genetic reasons. Aerys was not always mad but his mental estate deteriorated badly, Viserys was heading that way, maybe Daenerys does as well, maybe she doesn’t. She is at least self-aware, something Viserys wasn’t so I think she can learn to “tame the dragon.”

      And no, she doesn’t need to hand over anything to Jon. Not her army, not her dragons. Those are hers. But whether she likes is or not, under Targaryen succession rules, her brother’s son is the legitimate heir to the Targaryen seat and dynasty. She wouldn’t be handing that to Jon, that already belongs to Jon. Now he can choose to give it away, the way Bran did when he told Sansa he was not interested in assuming the position of Lord of Winterfell which legally belonged to him.

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    134. Danny:
      Vinga,

      The truth will certainly rock her world and she will need to decide what is more important – her ambition or her family.It may be for naught because Jon doesn’t really want the throne but whatever she decides – regardless of Jon’s decisions after – will speak volumes about who she is.

      I agree with you there and the only thing I need to add is that whatever her decisions she will still have lots of power because she will still hold a large army and dragons that are here to command.

      The problem I have with certain group of commentators is that they have already decided which way it will go or want it to go and if I say so I detect a glee in their comments at the prospect of it. Going on theorizing about even her dragons turning on dany.

      ygritte,

      Sorry to ruin your parade. I can understand the prospect of dany becoming villain and jon getting everything have made you guys ecstatic.
      There is a fundamental difference between the characters that you guys will fully ignore everytime. The whole notion of Jon doesn’t want power is bullshit because jon was raised as a bastard knowing he is not entitled to any castles and titles. The reason he joined the NW is because that’s the only place a bastard can rise high. So jon had his ambitions but iamnot arguing he is not a good person.
      Comparing him with dany who was raised as a last known survivor of the great family who held the 7 kingdoms she is fighting to take the claim back.
      Taking this two out of context and claiming that jon is the only one who doesn’t want IT is idiotic and biased.
      How can a northern bastard who was raised by ned stark can have dream to hold IT.
      Similarly what else will the last member of the family that once ruled westeros want other than reclaim it on behalf of her ancestors.

      Jon bend the knee because he needed help and there was a superior ruler with the help dany jon needed. Jon didn’t have anything else to offer other than bending the knee. Now dany on the other hand can acknowledge that jon is the rightful heir and step down. But there is no need to bend the knee because she will still have the largest army and Dragons that are hers alone.
      If you guys are going to claim that jon has his own dragon at least remember that it was because of Dany.

      The same persons who gave hard time for Sansa’ s behaviour towards Jon last season are now shut on how she is treating Dany. She is there to help and fight the threat that will wipe them out but not even a single respect has shown towards her. It’s dany who tried to be nice and mingle but the ones who needed help are behaving rude.

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    135. ygritte:
      Vinga,
      I’m not so sure if Daenerys wants titles as well. She wants to go home.”

      WHAT? Oh gosh I’m not even gonna….

      If it makes you kids happy, Dany is wonderful, superior, the best, absolute greatest and the author who created her would never ever have the audacity to portray her as someone who believes in and repeatedly states what her goal is and at the same time actually mean it. Lol.

      “- I dont want to be his queen. I want to go home.

      – I also want to go home, sweet sister. I want us both to go home, but they took it from us. So how do we go home? We go home with an army.”

      Which is exactly what Daenerys is doing.

      Also, the actual author who portrayed her – GRRM – makes her think about home all the time in the books. The show doesn’t give us her inner dialogue so in the show we don’t know that.

      Also, if you could drop that condescending tone, it would be very much appreciated.

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    136. Mango,

      This is the world where the people even name their swords.

      For a person who doesn’t have anything else all she can rely is on her Titles and you can’t say that she hasn’t earned any of her titles.
      A king or queen will have titles and will be introduced with them whenever she holds the court. It’s not her mistake that we only get to see her holding the court and not others.

      Her thoughts when you read the books will never be about Iam the queen I can do whatever I want but A queen must protect her people, A Queen must be for the people and should listen to her advisors and she is the one who gives the chances to every one in her council to speak and listens to them.

      Danny,

      No it’s not only will be because of northerners but the characters like varys also. IMO she is always fighting a lost battle because she can’t change who she was born to and that will always follow her wherever she goes and whatever she does. The things that will be brushed up as ruthless and vengeful will be claimed as Mad and dark when it comes to her because of her father.
      This not only happens in the story but in fandom as well. How can anyone fight this PR. All her life and in every seasons she needs to prove herself to others and she keeps doing it. It’s got to get tiresome.

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    137. Coming to the Tarly’s execution. Now lets not talk about how they were executed because that will go on forever and I am confident if she has beheaded them then most will not have a problem here.

      But When it comes to dickon it’s his decision. He knows fully well what will happen and he still chose the fate. When he is standing there not backing out listening to his father. He leaves not that much of options to dany.

      All this talk about dany not listening to Tyrion well tyrion also adviced not to go beyond the wall. I guess people also wanted dany to follow that suggestion.

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    138. Vinga,

      My apologies for sounding condescending. I’m a pretty polite, boring person “irl” out of fear of offending anyone. Once in a great while I feel confident enough to be snarky with the rest of them but it’s nothing personal, sorry 🙂

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    139. ygritte,

      Apology accepted, and thank you! 🙂 It’s honestly a rare thing for someone on the Internet to be able to handle things in a civil way and apologize, so kudos to you. 🙂

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    140. ygritte:
      kevin1989,

      The Starks become the villians, interesting! I definitely can detect a hint of villain Bran already. The sisters are tight. Could Jon become the outsider when his parentage is known?

      Probably not going to happen, but it could be the plottwist they are talking about. And that would even more fuck people up then Dany turning evil wouldn’t it?

      Danny,

      I remember reading in the books that Dany talked that Viserys was kind when he was young to her. Something changed in him. Maybe you are right.

      Bran,

      Everyone can theorize, not only the ones that think Dany become sane all of a sudden. And if that becomes true, Dany fans will act like the writing is bad. But a large portion of the fanbase already see Dany as the one turning to the dark side. there’s a reason for that why so many senses she goes that way. (Even psychologist say she goes that way)

      And the story can go many ways, so why not put all the ways on the table and see which one is right, that’s why I stated that maybe the problem are the dragons and dothraki (maybe dany dies in WF battle and nobody can keep them in bay)

      just theories not saying it will happen.

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    141. Vinga,

      That’s why I still hope Dany remember herself that way and says something like:
      If I give the throne to Jon, can there be peace between us?
      Where the northerners answer yes.
      If I give the throne to Jon, will you follow him as you have follow me?
      The dothraki and unsulied answer yes.

      where after that Dany is fully welcome to the family. I really hope it goes that way because that mean peace between Dany and the Starks. And Sansa and Sam will gain trust for her.

      Bran,

      And that tiresome will break her good heart and that’s where darkness comes from. For her to go back to her loving self, she needs to put away power. She has good inside her. But also bad, and the bad with her is only connected to power. It is what her father and brother drove mad.

      What she should be doing is the military job. that’s where she blooms. And that way Jon could always keep her in bay as her king. and husband.

      Bran,

      She should never use her dragons because of one reason: Her father. It’s a burden she has to live with, and as a leader you must make sure you will not be seen as the same as your father who was the mad king burning people alive. She should understand that. See it from the perspective of the common people. The daughter of the king who burned people for fun just executed somebody with fire. Nobody is going to think further ahead than: she is like her father. Nobody is going to think ahead and think maybe she had no choice, that’s not how people think.

      About Dickon, what Dany should have realized in that moment was that Dickon is a very loyal man. He stood by his father for the love and loyalty to his father. She also should have realized that if she let Dickon live and he saw that she want to do good, Dickon could become loyal to her and be the person who could help Dany win over the people.

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    142. kevin1989: Probably not going to happen, but it could be the plottwist they are talking about. And that would even more fuck people up then Dany turning evil wouldn’t it?

      It would make no sense.

      We know from GRRM and D&D that there are three shock moments, and that the third is at the very end (or close to it). The first two were shocking, yes, but not senseless. Shireen’s death was long predicted; anyone paying just a little bit of attention saw it coming. What shocked was that Stannis actually carried it out, and that shouldn’t have shocked anyone—human sacrifice, including of children, has been carried out for most of human history. We’re just not used to our fiction actually going there.

      Hodor’s death was heart-shattering but not senseless. Iirc the book version will be different, but within the frame of the show’s story, D&D wrote it beautifully.

      The Starks turning bad at the end would be senseless. There has been no indication of it, ever, in any of them. (Even Arya’s excesses have been understandable to a degree, from the POV of a heartbroken, hardened adolescent with raging hormones to fuel her desire for revenge.) Dany capitulating to her worst impulses would make sense; we’ve seen indications of them throughout the show, whether or not we like to admit it.

      Mind you, I’m not in the camp of people who firmly believe in that outcome, or want to see it come to pass. She’s become an increasingly interesting character to me precisely because she wants to do good, but her absolutist way of dealing with not only evil, but even personal slights (here’s looking at you, Sansa) tends to be over-the-top.

      Damn right I would have incinerated the slave dealer and crucified the masters. That’s why I’d make a really shitty President. Giving people the justice they “deserve” doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with ruling well.

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    143. Vinga,
      *lol* Yeah, me too. And now I have a picture in my head, a scene similar to the banquet scene in season 1, when Arya threw food at Sansa, hitting her straight in the face, just now it’s no food… So, thank you for that!

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    144. In some respects I found Randyll Tarly’s attitude a bit “odd’ given he was the most prominent pro-Targaryen General during Roberts rebellion

      That said Dany is many things, what the Food/Loot Train attack of FoF mk2 was a reflection of what Khaleesi Dany while Dany saving Jon and co would be considered Queen Dany.

      In terms of Khaleesi Dany she is riding Drogon, sacking food supplies so it’s as if Roberst scenario about a Dothraki invasion were coming to pass. A bit like Drogo being a maniac, Khaleesi Dany is also and so we as viewers were all given a taste of that

      It’s a shame the Dothraki bodyguard from S1 left, he was a good counterbalance to Ser Barristan on the Queen side but I guess they are using Ser Jorah. Jicqui or Irri or whoever would be good as a counterbalance to Missandei

      Of course the thing for the Westerosi’s is that death and destruction by a horde of Dothraki’s and Drogo is no different that destruction by a horde of Wights and Wight Viserion which is probably what the erstwhile pro-Targaryen Randyl Tarly was talking about

      Ser Alliser Thorns attitude to Jon is quite ironic now as well…

      At first I wondered if it were a sloppy oversight that everyone in WF didn’t kneel ala for Robert in S1 E1 but this may be about them not accepting Dany and we see Jon get criticised for abdicating the Northern crown

      I anticipate though that everyone will get behind Jon/Aegon, and then Jon will marry Dany and they are both King and Queen so issue resolved

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    145. Generally speaking, a bit like Jon “only wanting to be a Ranger” book Dany at least wants the simple life of “the Red Door”

      Pilot Dany merely “wanted to go home” so she may not be as power hungry as Sam thinks and may be happy with Dragonstone happy in the knowledge the Targaryen dynasty is on the Throne – after all up until mid-way through S1 she thought Viserys was the heir and in the books at least she always expected to marry Viserys but she had doubt in him as he was a fool no one would follow. Jon/Aegon is entirely different

      It was only when she became Khaleesi did she become more “bold” and empowered, but the power trip began and she started egging on Khal Drogo, so once again

      Going by Meereen it isn’t entirely clear if Dany knows how to actually rule effectively. Jon decision to not give away Karhold and Last Hearth showed to be a good decision that buried the hatchet and Ned and Alys proved loyal. Sansa is being put up as smart but unlike where I think book Alayne arc is going I haven’t seen any actual cleverness from show Sansa at all. This is where I lament the lack of her having a proper Vale and Riverlands arc but we would have needed ten seasons for it all I guess

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    146. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Johanna van Locchum,

      Too much of a happy ending. I’ll bet 10 doll hairs that Jon + Dany won’t end well.

      Yeah going by Varys “nothings lasts” comment there is a hint of A Dance of the Dragons mk 2 in the air now that Rhaegal is bonded with Jon/Aegon but I’m not sure there is time. there will probably be some tension but frankly there’s only time to focus on WW’s

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    147. Wolfish,

      What would make no sense? The Starks becoming the villains or that that would be the third plot point? I am not sure about the plot point, but the Starks, or at least the Stark sisters, are already halfway on their way to the dark side. Unfortunately I have to say, because I love each and every one of them.
      With each scene Sansa’s similarity to Cersei gets freakingly clearer and clearer. She herself said: “I learned a great deal from her.” And she did. Including the sniding comments – which are fun to watch, I admit, but if you really think about it, also mean and kind of really, really inappropriate in their situation. So much, that I wonder, if I am the only one who can’t wait to see Sansa shit herself, when she finally faces the AotD.
      And including Cersei’s paranoia. Everyone but family is the enemy and not to be trusted. That’s the shit Cersei installed in Joffrey, and that’s the shit Tywin installed in Cersei, after his father screwed up big time and Tywin had to rebuilt the family’s reputation. Something we all know too well, because he had a song composed for that: The Rains of Castermere. I wonder what the song Sansa will have composed will be named. “Winter came for House Frey”?
      Don’t get me wrong: The Freys had it coming. I won’t weep for them and it was a badass scene. It was nevertheless also vengeance not justice, that Arya served there with an oh so cold smile. It was vengeance on the same level Cersei served to Ellaria Sand. Again: I see where she is coming from. Seeing a wolfs head sown on your dead brother’s body does something like that to you. After all these two girls have been through it’s understandable that they are mistrustful against outsiders and stick together. It’s nevertheless a fearsome outlook for everyone who happens not to be a Stark. They need to regain their ability for compassion and compromise and trust. Otherwise shit will hit the fan…

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    148. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Well said. As I’ve said elsewhere Dany and Dothraki are seen by Westerosi’s as the Fire equivalent of the NK and the Wight army (on the Ice side). They actually counter balance eachother nicely which is why Dany is needed against the WW’s but to accept her as some kind of peacetime ruler is something else entirely.

      She made a complete hash of Slavers Bay (in the books at least). The show was contrived which I kind of understand because they had to focus on Westeros

      This is where the Showrunners have gone into “TV writing” instead of GRRM writing though, eg they made Littlefinger generically bad and Varys good, when in reality book Varys is just as dodgy as Littlefinger, they simply have different aims, LF seems to want a Burgeois/merchant usurpation of Feudal system while Varys seems intent on a Blackfyre usurpation of Royal Baratheon and Targaryens

      Problem with Dany is she is like Stannis, this is good as there is much to admire but it makes the character with human flaws as well. Melisandre is similar and they are sympathetic but also culpable in some heinous things.

      Even show Jon letting Wildlings through can be considered heinous, it should have been covered but perhaps like Dany’s Dragons they went about pillaging the Gift and New Gift ala Tormund and Ygritte and co with Molestown. Smalljon Umber attitude having some legitimacy perhaps but we unfortunately didn’t see this because “Jon, Dany, Varys good”

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    149. Johanna van Locchum:
      Wolfish,

      I wonder, if I am the only one who can’t wait to see Sansa shit herself, when she finally faces the AotD.

      Oh you’re definitely not the only one. 😉 I’d also like to see a certain Glover do that.. too bad the actor apparently isn’t in the season.

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    150. I wish people would just stop trying to justify what Jon did to Janos Slynt even if Janos was repulsive and Jon was well within his rights in executing him, Janos begged for mercy and even admitted that he was wrong to question Jon’s decision yet he was beheaded anyway. Why do we keep forgetting that or at the very least, trying to bury that fact?

      Why are we setting a higher standard with Daenerys? Now that we all know that Jon is the rightful heir to the throne, shouldn’t we all go back and question each questionable decision that Jon has made? I mean he beheaded a man for questioning his order to command a castle, he clearly exhibited some of that infamous Targaryen temper when he executed Janos and yet Dany, who was also within her rights to execute the Tarlys who were in open rebellion and refused to join her cause(mind you she gave both men options), is now labelled as psychotic, imbalanced. How is that fair?

      How careless and clearly ignorant on John Bradley’s part to say that about Dany. He needs to go and rewatch GoT quick cause Jon is not as perfect as Sam thinks he is.

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