Timely Game of Thrones Griping 7: Achievement Unlocked – Season Seven Complete

By Bob Case
on Aug 28, 2017
Filed under:
Game of Thrones
This series analyzes the show, but sometimes references the books as well. If you read it, expect spoilers for both.

Welp, we’re finally here. The season finale, clocking in at 81 minutes (not counting the behind-the-episode stuff), has to tie up two main storylines: the whole “show Cersei a wight and negotiate a truce” thing, and the Arya-Sansa-Littlefinger tango in Winterfell. I’m going to give each its own section.

“Why Are We Here?” – Cersei

That’s a good question. The only reason given that Queen Daenerys and her Dothraki-Dragon-Unsullied three-way tag team didn’t just knock over King’s Landing in the second episode was a very unspecific handwave about how it would cause “too much death,” so for me this entire storyline was built on a foundation of frustrating vagueness from the get go.

In the middle part of the season, Cersei scored several victories over Team Dany via a combination of Euron’s teleporting fleet and Tyrion’s misguided belief that Casterly Rock was tactically important. So now that the Lannisters are back in the game, Team Dany can’t go north to fight the Night King and company, because Cersei will retake… something.

What exactly will Cersei retake? Near as I can tell, the only things Team Dany controls are Dragonstone and Casterly Rock. And considering that what looks like all of the Unsullied show up at King’s Landing, I’m not even sure she controls Casterly Rock anymore, or if anyone even cares about Casterly Rock anymore anyway.

Jaime and Bronn start the episode with a conversation where they try to say the word `cock` as many times in every sentence as possible. I smell another writing Emmy!

Jaime and Bronn start the episode with a conversation where they try to say the word `cock` as many times in every sentence as possible. I smell another writing Emmy!

As for the Vale, the Stormlands, and Dorne, there’s no indication at all what’s happening in any of them. So, absent a truce, what exactly is Cersei going to reconquer with her armies? Oh yeah, by the way: that’s “armies” – plural. The only Lannister army that I’m certain exists is the one Jaime led back from Highgarden, and they were devastated by dragonfire and Dothraki. But now Cersei makes multiple references to her “armies” that everyone on Team Dany takes at face value.

But nevermind all that. Apparently securing Cersei’s agreement to a ceasefire is crucial, so in the final part of the season Tyrion hatches an idiotic plan to send the King of the North and a handpicked commando squad of six named characters and exactly two expendable redshirts north of the wall on foot to capture a wight and deliver it back to King’s Landing. Upon seeing it, Cersei will hopefully agree to call time-out on the war. Of course, this plan also hinges on Cersei being trustworthy, a laughably naive assumption coming from Tyrion of all people.

If this plotline was a seven-layer cake, six of the seven layers would be undiluted nonsense.

The show version of the Dragonpit is apparently outside the city. I admit, this is a pretty cool-looking set.

The show version of the Dragonpit is apparently outside the city. I admit, this is a pretty cool-looking set.

Said plotline culminates in the Dragonpit scene, which was way longer than it needed to be. Dany isn’t there at first, because obviously she’s going to ride in on a dragon, but we all have to go through the motions of pretending like this is some kind of surprise, and there’s the whole production with the flapping and the roaring and the swelling music and so forth. Then Euron (remember him?) decides to mock Theon for no reason I can figure out, then there’s some more speechifying by Tyrion, Cersei and Jon. Scattered throughout the scene are several long, awkward pauses, where the characters are quite obviously unsure of who should speak next.

When people do speak, it’s usually to repeat things we already know. Tyrion will say something like “none of us like each other,” and Jon will say something like “the real war is between the living and the dead,” and Cersei will point out that she thinks this whole thing is a ruse.

It’s really hard to exaggerate how much directionless wheelspinning there is in this scene. Remember, it began with Team Dany arriving at King’s Landing. We didn’t take a detour to any other location in the meantime. And yet it’s not until more than twenty-three minutes into the episode that the Hound finally kicks over the wight box, and shows Cersei the thing that was the whole point of getting everyone together here in the first place.

During that time, did we learn a single new thing about any character? Did anyone make any kind of decision, or come to realize something they didn’t realize before? Did anything of significance happen? There’s a part where Bronn tells Pod they should go get a drink, then Pod looks at Brienne, then Brienne nods, then Bronn and Pod walk offstage, and we get another shot of Brienne watching them go. Why is this here? I could name other examples, but I doubt you want to read a laundry list. We could have had three full Dornish coups in the amount of screentime we spent watching these people sit around in chairs and nonversate at each other.

Anyway, now Cersei believes in zombies. Well, she probably already did, considering she’s had a zombie bodyguard for most of two seasons. But now she believes in a new kind of zombie, which I guess is progress. She declares that she’ll agree to a ceasefire… if the King in the North commits to some kind of permanent non-aggression pact? I think? Jon refuses this vaguely-worded demand, on the grounds that he’s already sworn allegiance to Dany. Everyone acts surprised at this news, which meant that Jon once again made a major political decision in private and didn’t bother to tell anyone until now. Say what you want about his complete lack of common sense – at least it’s consistent.

This infuriates Cersei for some reason. I guess she had some kind of plan that hinged on fighting Team Dany later but not Team Jon, even though the two of them were enemies anyway. So Cersei leaves, and the ceasefire that’s either utterly crucial or completely unnecessary (depending on whether you trust Tyrion’s strategic savvy or your own lying eyes) has been scuttled.

Everyone seems to think this is Jon’s fault for having an Eddard Stark-like moment of stubborn honesty. He justifies his decision with the following line: “I’m not going to swear an oath I can’t uphold. Talk about my father if you want, tell me that’s the attitude that got him killed. But when enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies, and lies won’t help us in this fight.”

You know what? I liked that line. It’s a good depiction of what the difference between northerners and everyone else is supposed to be. Jon can be quite persuasive when he’s not being an utter blockhead.

Okay, back to griping. Tyrion decides that the only way to change Cersei’s mind is for him to talk to her alone. In this the show follows a by-now familiar pattern: all important decisions must be made either by Tyrion or as a direct result of Tyrion’s advice. I could probably write a whole separate essay on how Daenerys Targaryen is practically a supporting character at this pointDid you notice how the two Queens barely interacted with each other at all?, but let’s keep the focus on what’s happening.

Practically everyone on this show wears black all the time now. Is there some reason for that I`m not understanding? They used to wear a variety of colors.

Practically everyone on this show wears black all the time now. Is there some reason for that I`m not understanding? They used to wear a variety of colors.

I think we in the audience were supposed to be worried that Tyrion might not survive this meeting. Maybe back in season four I might have been worried, but those days are long gone. Had there been any danger, he could have just dived into his wine glass and resurfaced two miles downstream.

This whole scene was a masterclass in two talented actors making the best of bad dialogue. It ends with Tyrion realizing that Cersei is pregnant. This provokes an offscreen decision to send the Lannister armies north to fight the Night King. But – and this is a twist that will absolutely blow your socks off – it turns out that Cersei Lannister is being dishonest. Her brilliant deception goes like this: instead of sending the Lannister armies north to support Teams Jon and Dany, she’s going to… not do that. They’re just going to stay in King’s Landing.

Well, there is one final wrinkle: she’s going to hire the Golden Company, a band of Essosi mercenaries. Only I’m not sure that’s really a surprise, because didn’t she say she was going to do that earlier in the season? In two different scenes, no less? What’s more, it looks like Euron is going to be the one ferrying them across the narrow sea. Just when I thought we were finally done with him, we learn that we’ve got another season of Eurony goodness in store. Hooray. Let’s bust out the confetti.

At this, Jaime finally gets the character development he should have had three seasons ago, and abandons Cersei, probably for good. As he’s riding out of King’s Landing, the first snowflakes of winter fall on him.

I couldn`t quite capture a screenshot that did this sequence justice. It was quite understated and, in my opinion, well done.

I couldn`t quite capture a screenshot that did this sequence justice. It was quite understated and, in my opinion, well done.

Oh yeah, and at the end, boatsex happened. Boatsex was one of the few season seven leaked spoilers I was unable to avoid. The leak stated that Jon and Dany would have epic sex on a boat. Instead, it was just normal sex on a boat. Maybe exposition-bot Bran’s narration is what killed the mood for me, or maybe I just haven’t seen enough boatsex to truly appreciate how epic this was.

During the boatsex, we learn that Jon is actually the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. The portion of the audience that didn’t already know this could be completely forgiven for not remembering who Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark even are.What’s more, flashback!Rhaegar looked so much like Viserys – Dany’s asshole brother from season one – that I got a confused text from a friend asking if Viserys was Jon’s father.

As we wrap up this mess, it’s good to remember just how unnecessary it all was. They spent two episodes planning and executing the wight-capture plan, then another showing it to Cersei and negotiating with her, then they finally got her to agree to truce that she never had any intention of honoring. In fact, assuming that the absence of the Lannister armies was noticed at roughly the same time Jon and Dany were having sex on a boat, she openly breaks the truce in the very same episode she made it, a development that should surprise exactly no one. Go team!

As I predicted, they got their money`s worth out of this prop.

As I predicted, they got their money`s worth out of this prop.

Winterheadache

Writing about the Arya-Sansa-Littlefinger Winterfell storyline for too long gives me a pounding headache, so I’m gonna try and get this over with as quickly as possible.

After spending most of the season building up some kind of showdown between Arya and Sansa, events take a swerving left turn that ends with Sansa accusing Littlefinger of various crimes and Arya slitting his throat with the valyrian steel dagger (irony!). There are two ways of interpreting the events at Winterfell this season:

  1. The conflict between Arya and Sansa was genuine. Arya really was threatening to kill Sansa, both for not being sufficiently loyal to Jon and out of residual childhood resentment.
  2. The conflict between Arya and Sansa was staged for Littlefinger’s benefit. In most or all of the conversations they had, Littlefinger was listening – hiding under the bed or something, or possibly braced against the ceiling ninja-style.

If you believe the first interpretation, the final-act swerve was completely random and unearned. If you believe the second interpretation, the entire storyline was pointless. Littlefinger, it turns out, was not needed to retain the loyalty of the Vale Knights after all. Bran would have had knowledge of Littlefinger’s betrayal this whole time. And Sansa has had dirt on Littlefinger – both that he killed Lysa Arryn AND that her “kidnapping” by the Boltons was not a kidnapping at all – this whole time. (To make things even more confusing, the dirt she exposes – Lysa Arryn’s murder – is a lie in which Sansa herself was complicit! Fortunately Lord Royce seems to have forgotten about that, I suspect because the writers have as well.)

The people on the side are wearing helmets, so I guess they`re soldiers and not northern lords. Are they doing this on purpose now? The northern lords seem to appear and disappear from Winterfell at random.

The people on the side are wearing helmets, so I guess they`re soldiers and not northern lords. Are they doing this on purpose now? The northern lords seem to appear and disappear from Winterfell at random.

The most plausible explanation for all this I can see is that Benioff and Weiss are just deliberately yanking our chains for their own amusement. Have they gone mad with power? I would advise HBO’s top brass to start searching for caches of wildfire in the New York subway system.

Anyway, the season ends with Arya and Sansa standing between Winterfell’s Crenellations of Deep Thematic Significance. At least now they finally seem to have a supportive and loving relationship, complete with an against-all-odds touching callback to Ned’s “the pack survives” line. It’s what they should’ve had from the beginning of the season.

Did We Mention that Theon Doesn’t Have a Penis?

Theon gets a very abridged storyline as well. First, he has a scene with Jon, where Jon forgives him for all the things Jon feels he has the right to forgive. I’ve personally found Kit Harrington to be a limited actor, but there are certain notes he can hit very well. And Alfie Allen is, in my opinion, too good for this show.

Then, Theon regains the loyalty of the Ironborn via the ancient ritual of “beating up some jerk in front of everyone.”

This fight established definitively that the Ironborn don`t take their conditioning seriously. After like half a round of beating on a defenseless opponent, the guy is completely gassed.

This fight established definitively that the Ironborn don`t take their conditioning seriously. After like half a round of beating on a defenseless opponent, the guy is completely gassed.

Theon’s secret weapon in this fight is that he doesn’t have a penis anymore. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a movie, show, book, or anything else that’s been so consistently preoccupied with the presence or absence of male genitalia. Constant Varys eunuch jokes, Unsullied eunuch jokes, Theon eunuch jokes, magical severed dwarf cock jokes… if there isn’t a graduate student out there right now writing their thesis on castration in Game of Thrones, then America’s institutions of higher learning have failed us.

The final thing that happens this episode is the Blue Eyes Wight Dragon attacking the wall and crumbling a section of it. This is a momentous occasion, of course, though it does make me wonder whether the wall could have stopped the Army of the Dead before they had a zombie dragon.

What a set of lungs on this guy! I`m pretty such he breathes fire for over a minute straight.

What a set of lungs on this guy! I`m pretty such he breathes fire for over a minute straight.

Benjen, who is a wight-kind-of-but-not-really (it’s never quite explained) states that he can’t go south of the wall. But team capture-a-wight brings theirs south of the wall without having it crumble or anything. The Night King seems to be in no rush to get to the wall, and it may be that he deliberately sought to lure one of Dany’s dragons north so he could javelin it to death and then zombify it.

What would he have done if he didn’t have a zombie dragon? Would he have just been stuck in the far north forever? When Bran learned that the wights were marching towards Eastwatch it seemed to be a matter of some urgency. I’m not sure if it actually was – several times characters on the show say things like “the wall should stop them, right?” but no one gets a chance to answer this question.

Was the Night King just killing time until a dragon showed up? Did he somehow know that Tyrion was going to send Queen Daenerys’ secret crush on a suicide mission, and that she’d rush to save him? If so, that’s some real eleven-dimensional chess going on. This might all be cleared up next season, but I suspect it’s just going to be added to the pile of things that were never really explained.

Aaaaaand that was season seven. I’m going to try and arrange some thoughts on the season as a whole into a coherent post for next week. The next season apparently won’t premiere until 2019(!), so we’ll have plenty of time to think about everything.

 

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Footnotes:

[1] Did you notice how the two Queens barely interacted with each other at all?

[2] What’s more, flashback!Rhaegar looked so much like Viserys – Dany’s asshole brother from season one – that I got a confused text from a friend asking if Viserys was Jon’s father.


A Hundred!A Hundred!20202018There are more than 277 comments. But less than 279

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I was rolling my eyes during every winterfell scene expecting the stupidity to amount to unsustainable proportions and then…..I did not expect that show…You did good.Very satisfying.

    • Eckley says:

      Seems as though they were trying to mislead the audience more than LF. Glad to see the back of that storyline.

      • BlueHorus says:

        Seems as though they were trying to mislead the audience more than LF.

        Given the shit Litllefinger’s got away with up to now (plus the jetpack that Euron Greyjoy stole from him), I’d have to agree.

        Have to ask – did anyone see that coming beforehand? Were there any hints as to what was going to happen i.e telling glances between Arya and Sansa?
        Because it does come across that the show was banking on the audience just not questioning events/having given up expecting something that smart from the writing.

        • ehlijen says:

          I fully expected for that dagger to end up somewhere in Littlefinger’s soft flesh, but I thought Sansa was going to do it (as she’d most recently ended up with the thing).

          I have stopped being able to tell what Arya is feeling/thinking/wanting a while back. Sure, she’s a faceless one now, and therefore mysterious, but what does that even mean? We still need to know something about her motivation, or she’ll just not be a character.

          Then again, I also theorised that Littlefinger was somehow an older version of Bran having travelled/worged back in time to ensure victory over the wights. Their talks about seeing all possibilities rang very similar to me, and those scenes were almost back to back.

          • BlueHorus says:

            Sure, she’s a faceless one now, and therefore mysterious

            Bah.
            I’ve said it before, so apologies for repeating/venting… but Arya is not a faceless one. Not even close. The show can say what it likes, but even by the low standards of the show’s incompetent street thugs take on the faceless men, she’s not one.

            She never played the lying game. Never got taught how to use the faces. Never spent a significant time in another persona. Her ‘training’ was mostly her being hit with a stick while she was blind. She failed all her assignments, killed one of the teachers, and flunked out.

            And still has loyalties, morals (not great ones), and a kill list.

            She makes sense as a Punisher-esque avenger, enacting badass revenge and tying up plot threads via convenient murder…

            (incidentally, #AryakillsEuron2019!)

            …but as a competent impersonator or liar? No way.

            • Timmareus says:

              You clearly don’t understand how this setting works.

              Arya gained enough XP through her training to take level 1 in the “Faceless Man” prestige class, instantly conferring access to all related class features.
              Also apparently she took Improved Hating This Campaign last levelup, which would explain how she violently aborted the story arc she was in.

            • “a competent impersonator or liar? No way”

              Walder Frey would beg to differ, if he still had his life and face.

              • BlueHorus says:

                And that was bullshit. (So says me. YMMV.)

                The show can say what it likes about her abilites, but it never showed us Arya learning deception, or impersonation.
                She ‘learned it offscreen’, in the same way that Euron Greyjoy learned to sail boats around the continent in between episodes.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Not everything has to be shown on screen.We saw the start of her training,we saw the end of it.Thats enough.

                  Or,at least it would be enough if not for the fact that the end of her training was her not killing her target,killing another assassin instead,and having it all forgiven.Because reasons.

                  • BlueHorus says:

                    So I’m not going to get into a drawn-out argument over this (it’s more-or-less a matter of taste/opinion), but – shockingly – I disagree.

                    If stuff can just happen ‘offscreeen’ – including plot-relevant abilities – then a writer is able to make up anything, more or less as they go along. No explanation needed, no foreshadowing needed, no consistency required. And that’s bad storytelling.

                    Can Tyrion suddenly do backflips? (please say yes.) He learned it offscreen!

                    Can Dany breathe fire from her cooch? (please say yes.) She learned it offscreen!

                    Can Euron Greyjoy kill a flying dragon with a single thrown dagger? He learned how offscreen!

                    Can Fat Sam suddenly fight better than Brienne? He learned it offscreen!

                    Can Bran suddenly walk again? He got cured offscr-

                    You get the idea.

                    • Syal says:

                      If we get a scene of Tyrion joining the circus, and later he does backflips, we can say he learned it in the circus offscreen.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      I said that not everything needs to be shown on screen,not that no establishing shots are needed.For example,we never saw robb winning all the battles that were mentioned,we saw just parts of one of those.Because that was enough for the later “He has won every battle” comment to be seen as true.

                      Same goes for arya:Jaqen has shown how magical of an assassin he is,so having arya go to him to train was enough of an establishment that she would learn those things as well.In fact,if we never saw the in between things of her being hit with a stick and flunking the assassin school,it wouldve been even better established that she is a dangerous assassin now.

                    • BlueHorus says:

                      Thing is, the circus Tyrion joined was rubbish. It consisted of one fat lion-tamer with a inexplicable grudge against Tyrion and no lions. The ringmaster doesn’t seem to have a clue what’s going on (but hides it behind mystical-sounding blather).
                      And crucially at no point do we see any acrobats. Sure, the ringmaster once leapt through a hoop in a baffling ‘what the hell just happened’ kind of way, but it’s not like the show bothered to explain how, or why, or what he was trying to prove meant very well.

                      Meanwhile in a different, better story, Tyrion joined the best circus ever, and we see him specifically trained in backflips by the multi-talented crew.

                      It’s just story Story Collapse. Maybe you trust the writers more than I do and aren’t so bothered..
                      I say TomAYto, you say TomAHto.

        • Angelo says:

          I say this as somebody who read a list of somewhat vague leaks beforehand: I got that Arya was just pretending to be an asshole last episode when she explicitly said that she could detect lies, and her handing Sansa the dagger was basically spelling out that she was on her side.
          However, I will say that even kind of knowing beforehand what was going to happen, the show still went a bit too far in making it look like Arya was playing into Littlefinger’s hand. I get it, she’s supposed to be THAT good, but at this point you just stop trying to follow or understand her actions altogether and wait until the show reveals what she was ACTUALLY up to all along.

          It’s a bit like with Cersei being treacherous and untrustworthy. After the umpteenth scene where she looks like she has some shred of humanity left in her just to reveal that she actually didn’t all along you just stop paying attention to the scenes where she looks emotional and start fiddling with your phone.

          • BlueHorus says:

            Yeah, only so far you can bend something like that.

            That’s why other TV shows have these things called ‘internal logic’ and ‘careful plotting’: so that twists like this actually mean something.

            • Name any show and I’m certain the commenters here could easily tear shreds in it.

              If you dislike the show so much why are you bothering sending your time on it?
              Considering it’s one of the most popular medival fantasy shows ever (or any fantasy show?) millions of people disagree with you.

              Now, it’s entirely possible that as much as half the population[1] of a nation is dumb(erer[2]) and do not realize what they are doing, same goes for TV show or movie viewers.

              I wonder if R.R. Martin’s books would survive the same scrutiny if it was compressed the same way this TV show is and have the last few books written by a different writer.

              Is GoT the best show I’ve ever seen? Nah. Far from it. But even the shows I think are the best or I really love. If I truly decided to I could dig giant holes in all of them.

              Criticizing is easy, creating is difficult. Especially when you don’t have to patch up the holes you make or leave instructions to others on how to fix said holes.

              [1] Political ref.
              [2] Movie title ref.

              • Harper says:

                If you dislike the show so much why are you bothering sending your time on it?
                Considering it’s one of the most popular medival fantasy shows ever (or any fantasy show?) millions of people disagree with you.

                People have the right to criticize a show that’s a pale imitation of the source material, especially when the show is so much better known than said source material. When people put Euron Greyjoy into google, the first thing that comes up is the Jack Sparrow cosplayer they have on the show and not the eyepatch-wearing apocalyptic eldritch-summoning monster in the books

                I wonder if R.R. Martin’s books would survive the same scrutiny if it was compressed the same way this TV show is and have the last few books written by a different writer.

                This would be a great point if the show wasn’t a slow-moving mess that trades world-building details and characters for dick jokes( or lack-of-dick jokes, the writers can’t seem to get enough of that) and characters telling other characters what they already know.
                We had a whole season with a conflict that logically should have ended by the first episode with Cersei lynched by a mob angry over the destruction of their holy site and massacre of several prominent nobles, and by the end of that season the only that thing that really happened was the Wall came down, and Lena Headey gets another paycheck next year because the writers like having her around and not because her character has any legal right to that throne

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                If you dislike the show so much why are you bothering sending your time on it?

                Thats a lazy argument and people should stop using it.Not only is it irrelevant(I can spend my time however I want),it also doesnt address any of the criticisms in any form.

                Considering it’s one of the most popular medival fantasy shows ever (or any fantasy show?) millions of people disagree with you.

                Millions of people also watch transformer movies.Does not mean that they arent all plies of shit derivative of each other.

                I wonder if R.R. Martin’s books would survive the same scrutiny if it was compressed the same way this TV show is and have the last few books written by a different writer.

                His books already have been criticized by many numerous times.But thats not the point of this series.

                Criticizing is easy,

                No,its not.Everyone can do it,true,but not everyone can do it well.

                creating is difficult.

                Implying that criticism isnt creative?That you cant write an interesting book out of criticizing a book,a movie,a tv show,or lets say a video game?

                This is also one of the lazy arguments that needs to die.

              • BlueHorus says:

                Name any show and I’m certain the commenters here could easily tear shreds in it.

                I’m sure you’re right. But the phrase is ‘Story Collapse’. I never felt – or feel – the need to poke at plot holes in Breaking Bad, or other TV shows I like – because I was enjoying the show and trusted the writers.

                But with GoT I lost that. I *liked* this show – a lot – back in the earlier seasons. But then it changed. D&D (in my view) took a blunt, rusty, badly-made hatchet to a story that wasn’t perfect, but I liked a lot…
                …and now it’s like a bad fanfic, driven by fan theories and stupid cliches and nonsense thought up to drag the episode times out. So I lost trust in the writers.

                – Why do I care? Because dammit, this show used to be good! Partly it’s cathartic to write it down, work out why it bothers me and what went wrong, or just rant.
                You of course are free to not read or care about what I post if you don’t want to. Or, bother spending your time on it.

                – Do other people like it? Good for them. It doesn’t change my opinion, nor will mine change theirs.

                …And double-ninja’d, by massive posts! How’d that happen?

      • Amarsir says:

        Definitely true. Being generous, I think they were torn between showing a growing trust between the sisters and masking it to raise suspense.

        Arya’s “I wonder what it’s like to be you… I’d just need your face” was specifically part of “The Game of Faces” which she introduces by saying it’s about lying. It ends with Arya handing over the dagger and walking away, which could be interpreted as “You got me. I was lying.” And then Littlefinger’s conversation with Sansa this episode clearly pushed her to the realization that Arya doesn’t want to be Lady Stark. Together, these could be said to show that Littlefinger’s plan backfired.

        Except they didn’t want us to reach that conclusion so that we would be surprised. So the elements were there but the presentation pulled the requisite punch.The result feels like the prior scenes were a waste of time and the result was unsupported. And it didn’t have to be, but it was more important that we be surprised than that we respect the storytelling.

        • “Arya handing over the dagger”
          is also a very strong symbolic gesture she is basically saying “I could kill you and replace you, but you have nothing to fear from me”.

        • “but the presentation pulled the requisite punch”
          I agree, they could have shown a brief glimpse of Littlefinger eavesdropping near the door and then hide as Arya leave the room ending the scene with him grinning confidently.

          That would have changed the reveal scene in question and have people go “oh he has no Damn clue what is really going down does he?” instead of many going “uh, what’s going on here?”

      • Sjonnar says:

        I don’t think they were trying to fool the audience. I think they were just showing the girls toying with Littlefinger. Why would they (the girls, that is) do that? To make it hurt more when they exposed him. I hate manipulative people, so it’s easy for me to believe in a character who hates them too. Stringing Littlefinger along and letting him believe his machinations were working before yanking the rug out from under him right at the finish line is exactly what I would have done in their position.

        And they were working. Littlefinger was playing Sansa, the idiot ingenue, like a Stradivarius right up until this episode. It even shows us the precise moment he fucked up: when he told Sansa about his “little game” and planted the idea in her head that maybe people have an ulterior motive for what they’re doing. Sansa twists this particular knife later on, when she repeats his “what’s the worst reason they have” line back at him.

        And what follows is the part that makes the whole thing worth it. The expression on Littlefinger’s face as he realizes he just fell off the ladder is worth every bit of teenage girl silliness I had to sit through to get it.

      • Grampy_bone says:

        It was pretty obvious

        • RCN says:

          For me this was up to grabs and Sansa WAS distrusting Arya all this time. But the line that pushed her over the edge was when Littlefinger implied that the reason Arya was on Winterfell was to become Lady of Winterfell. Even if Sansa was the densest person on the whole planet, she wouldn’t fall for it, because the WHOLE reason of why they had any conflict in their youth was because Arya didn’t want to be a lady and mocked Sansa’s ladylike manners, and that Arya wanted to be something she couldn’t be, a fighter or knight of some sort.

          Upon hearing the highest level of bullshit to ever leave Littlefinger’s lips (and it has a very stiff competition) she finally went to Bran and did what she had to had done several episodes ago… ASK HIM THINGS. That literal show-acknowledged omniscience of his was being ignored this whole time for NO REASON AT ALL.

          That’s how she discovered the length of Littlefinger’s treasonous acts throughout the show.

          Sure, the show COULD have stablished this better, but at least this is what it looked like to me.

          EDIT: Not defending the show or this plot line in any way. The plot line was stupid from the get-go. But at least this scene and its setup managed to make sense.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Also,this episode finally gives us an amusing reaction to brans three eyed raven thing:

    http://i.imgur.com/6Bl7Vu0.png

    Of course its from sam.Sam needs to have more scenes.

    • Olivier Faure says:

      This was a moment that felt very Game of Throne-ish. “Grounded down-to-earth character doesn’t quite know how to react to fantasy element but kinda goes with it” The show definitely needs more of this.

  3. JDMM says:

    Wights not being able to go beyond the wall of their own accord but being able to operate south of it has been a thing since season 1 when that exact things happens when Jon and co drag some wights to base and they promptly wake up and attack

    It strikes me the show is reminiscent of fanfic/one of those diverging path visual novels with the Nights King, sure it seems like he could only bring down the wall with a dragon because they bought him one however it seems we’re assumed to know the Horn of Joramun/Bran and the mark/Children of the Forest getting wiped out did something to the wall magic

    The Littlefinger confrontation seems like one of those things where they’re going with interpretation number one but then they remember they’re a family (awww), only they keep the reconciliation offscreen because Shyamalan has infected people

    Moving onto the episode I liked the double subversion of Tyrion negotiations and the negotiations were passable but the climax (hehehehehe) being the reveal of Jon as a Targaryen?

    There are two points here, the first is as a series Game of Thrones has never been a flashback one so the power is reduced, what does a television audience care that Jon is the son of some guy who died long ago? Perhaps if they’d played up just how much of a monster Rhaegar can be viewed as it would be better but still

    The second is Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire is supposed to be about something of the subversion of those tropes of the right blood and what not, wasn’t the point of Rhaegar and the point of Cersei’s rise that this was not a world where being of the right blood makes you monarch, spilling the right blood makes you the monarch?

    • Vermander says:

      I’ve read some pretty persuasive arguments that ASOIAF isn’t actually about subverting fantasy tropes, it’s about making them more meaningful. There are characters who are born special or are destined to do great things, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have to “earn their happy endings.” They can’t defeat their enemies through the power of awesome alone, sometimes they need to make hard decisions, and sometimes those decisions have real consequences. And everything they do effects other people, not everyone is going to see them as a hero and a savior.

      There are also a lot of characters in the series who think they are destined for greatness, only to learn the hard way that they’ve misinterpreted the prophecy.

      • BlueHorus says:

        I never got this ‘subverts fantasy tropes’ aspect of the ASOIAF books. It kind of does, but that seems more like GRRM had a very clear and uncompromising view of events:

        ‘This would happen, then this character would do that, then THIS would happen as a result…”

        ….Rather than he set out to make a hero that doesn’t have plot armor. I.e Robb Stark’s death was a shock, but there was also an inevitably to it. That’s just how it turned out.

        Has he said anything about deliberately subverting tropes?

      • Joe Informatico says:

        The longer the books went on, the less they were about deconstructing and grounding fantasy tropes, and the more they were about just embracing them. The show’s getting that part right at least.

      • Olivier Faure says:

        I don’t know what exactly the intent is, but for me it’s part of the appeal. It’s like catharsis after all these groaning moments where you read/watch a story, and a character tries something completely stupid, and you’re thinking “Dammit, this is so stupid, but there’s dramatic music so of course it’s going to work”.

        Which, btw, is how I felt:

        – When Bronn survived the dragon battle

        – When Jaime survived charging a damn dragon because Bronn somehow jumps at him from another horse

        – When Jon and company did their expedition north of the Wall

        – When Tyrion went alone, uninvited, in his sister’s office and dared her to kill him

        – When Cersei explained her plan to double-cross all the other by obviously breaking her promises 10 seconds after making them (you wonder why she even bothered)

        • RCN says:

          Tyrion, of course, is trying to upstage Jon’s submission to the Westerosi Jackass.

          “Going north of the wall to get surrounded by the dead so you can capture one? Hah! I can do one better! Have you ever met my sister?”

          Come on, Tyrion! You used to be the smartest character in the show! Now you bank your own life and the future of the world on Cersei’s sense of empathy? Really? You’d actually have a better chance parleying with the Night King. At least he would be uncaring, instead of hating everything and everyone else with the fury of a thousand stars and you in particular a million times more than anything else.

          Her not killing you, even if just to get her own plot going, makes no sense. She could kill you and continue her plot anyway (“My brother said he’d give his own life so I’d agree with this, so I did. Gladly. Then had Qyburn bring him back so I could kill him again. Several times.”) The only reason you are alive is because the writer decided to go against everything that’s been stablished by Cersei until now and say she spared you.

    • Crimson Dragoon says:

      what does a television audience care that Jon is the son of some guy who died long ago?

      According to the behind the scenes interviews with Benoiff and Weiss, the audience is supposed to care because this will drive a wedge between Jon and Dany. As to why that is, I have no idea. Its not like Targaryeans have an issue with incest (Dany grew up believing she’d marry her brother) and if they get married, as clearly they’re on that path, rightful succession won’t be an issue anyways.

      • Vermander says:

        It’s kind of weird that no one on the show has suggested that Dany and Jon get married. It would be a great step towards uniting their two coalitions, and it allows Jon to save face by not having to bend the knee. Even if he’s reduced to serving as prince-consort, the northern lords can at least take solace in the fact that any future heirs would have Stark blood.

        If there was ever a good time for a political marriage this is it.

        • MatthewCollins says:

          Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t watch the show and have currently only read the first book. Has the show followed the books in stating Dany to now be infertile? (That was a thing in the first book, “when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, blah blah…”) She would never again have natural children (though she compensated with dragon children). And since Jon vowed to father no children (though I have no idea where his Night’s Watch oath goes in later books yet alone the show), it seems that if they’ve been setting the two of them up as a possible couple, those two facts would be important. Either saying something meaningful and by representing an obvious complication when it comes to heirs.

          • Vermander says:

            Dany supposedly isn’t capable of having any more children (though she appears to have had a miscarriage at the end of the fifth book), but I don’t think that’s common knowledge among any of Jon’s bannermen. So even if it does prove true, it’s something they could deal with later, after the current crisis is resolved.

          • Olivier Faure says:

            Dany mentions it in the show, but she has no definitive proof (no miscarriage) one way or another; except for the witch’s words, which Jon pointed out may or may not be a lie.

          • Crimson Dragoon says:

            Other people have answered for Dany, but for Jon, his death and resurrection gave him a (questionable) loophole to get out of the Night’s Watch, since the oath holds until he dies, which he technically did. So now he’s free to play with politics and get married.

        • Olivier Faure says:

          Littlefinger mentions the possibility to Sansa. But yeah, it’s weird that Tyrion didn’t ever raise the possibility, since this is the kind of thing he’s usually on top of (and they supposedly spent month together at Dragonstone).

        • AzzyGaiden says:

          Most likely answer? The show has simply forgotten its own setting. But yes, that would be the logical step. It should have occurred to Dany herself, as she already has two political marriages behind her.

      • Steve C says:

        the audience is supposed to care because this will drive a wedge between Jon and Dany.

        Oh. My. God. That’s their justification… I… can’t…

        I think that you may have written the most important and most damning thing in this entire series on Game of Thrones. The ramifications of that fucking stupid idea are so far ranging it boggles the mind.

        This isn’t like other manufactured conflicts. It doesn’t even matter what the show does with it. What that interview says is the showrunners have plans to manufacture a new conflict out of thin air. This is worse than anything that has come before. The audience has known about Jon’s true parents for a long time even if the characters don’t. The audience was fine with J+D regardless. The show has to undo that somehow and make the audience NOT fine with it. Just so they can properly sell making the audience fine with yet again.

        If that’s what the showrunners are thinking, then the show has to set up the justification for the character’s negative reaction. At least the show has to justify it in some portion of the audience’s eyes. Think of the screen time that will take. What those scenes might look like. Then the show has to develop the conflict between the characters and have scenes of it. Think of that screen time. Then the show has to resolve it using up yet more screen time.

        1) Emptying this full balloon 2)in order to fill it with hot air, 3) in order to finally pop it will be the most tedious plot in all GoT.

        • BlueHorus says:

          While that does sound like it will be stupid, contrived and pointless…
          …is it more so than the other nonsense this show has pulled?

          – Worse than Cersei seeing proof of zombies, being told of the threat of the Night King, and STILL planning to betray everyone else five minutes later? (Not even really betrayal – just not helping out of a sense of contrary evilness?)
          – Worse than Dany’s numerically-superior armies, (somehow) very devoted forces who are well-trained and THREE DRAGONS failing to conquer Westeros in an entire season, thanks to Euron goddamn Greyjoy’s teleporting fleet and plot ?
          – Worse than that stupid Commando mission beyond the wall that acheived nothing but giving the Night King a Blue Eyes Wight Dragon?

          They’ve been wasting time with contrived storylines for ages now. Why is this plot special?

          • Steve C says:

            Yes it is worse. Those things you mentioned are all bad in the own right. This is bad in a different way. This is structurally bad.

            Imagine years ago on GoT seasons past; Dany’s dragons hatch. For some reason the characters believe dragons cannot fly nor breathe fire. We the audience see them flying and breathing all the time. Finally after years of teasing out… “When the hell are the dragons going to be acknowledged by other characters that they fly and breathe fire? They are dragons! Those are their defining characteristics!” …the characters in the show finally know about the flying and breathing fire. And the characters reaction upon learning this reveal is to muzzle the dragons and tie them up so they can’t fly.

            The characters can have this giant arc about the agonizing decision to untie the dragons and take off the muzzles. The whole reason why the characters react this way isn’t justified by the world building nor by the characters up to this point. It’s just so the show can start milking the same plotline again. But before the show can milk it they have to put in some effort to justify why the characters suddenly think and feel this way.

            This is terrible on a basic storytelling level. It’s created a conflict between the audience and the characters. Yes it is:
            – Worse than Cersei seeing proof of zombies,
            – Worse than Euron goddamn Greyjoy’s teleporting fleet and plot
            – Worse than that stupid Commando mission

            All of those were awful. The difference was that the audience didn’t know the outcome nor where it was going. The outcomes all those plot points were stupid and it went nowhere satisfying… but they were still unknown by the audience. The audience could at least say “Where are they going with this? This doesn’t make any sense.”

            In the case of my terrible hypothetical plotline and the announced J vs D plotline… it’s worse because now the audience is saying, “I *know exactly* where this going. This is the raison d’être for these characters. Going backwards on this plot doesn’t make any sense.”

            Instead of a bad storyline where the audience is confused and along for the ride, you’ve got a bad storyline where the audience is angry, frustrated and not along for the ride. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the ride is at this point. When it started going backwards they got off and are now waiting at the end tapping their foot. If the audience didn’t already know both the outcome and know all about it long before the characters, then it would be a different story.

            Imagine a literal Chekhov’s gun on the mantle where the character is fighting for his life picks it up, aims it, and then exclaims, “No wait! I haven’t taken a course on gun safety.” Then he puts it back on the mantle. And then starts reading a book on gun safety over an entire fucking season while still fighting with the bad guy the entire time. That is how long, tedious and completely pointless this GoT plotline is going to be. That’s why it’s worse.

            Imagine the Night King making it south of the Wall then deciding “Hmm. Kind of warm here. Let’s march back north behind the wall. Give winter another year before we attack.”

            • BlueHorus says:

              Well, you’re assuming you know where this plotline will end up…you’re probably right, but there’s always ‘hope’?

              Characters doing dumb stuff for bad reaosns is kinda standard for the show now. They do what the writers say, in order to drag it all out that little bit longer.
              I don’t get why this in particular is especially bad, but to each their own. In other news:

              Imagine the Night King making it south of the Wall then deciding “Hmm. Kind of warm here. Let’s march back north behind the wall. Give winter another year before we attack.”

              That’s by far the best explaination I’ve heard for the glacial (ho-HO!) pace of his army’s advance in the show. Mystery solved!

              • KarmaTheAlligator says:

                Personally I think it’s worse than the others because this is the last season, there shouldn’t be a need to drag it out, there are already plenty of stuff to resolve.

              • Steve C says:

                Well, you’re assuming you know where this plotline will end up…you’re probably right, but there’s always ‘hope’?

                Yes and no. I’m assuming that’s where the plotline will end up because there is nowhere else that it can end up. Keep in mind this is the *last* season. There are already a fair number of plots and character arcs to wrap up. I’m open to any outcome that would satisfy the narrative created. Except I don’t believe any other outcome is possible. I don’t mean ‘good’ nor ‘bad’ or even ‘logical’. I mean possible.

                Consider every other possibility to the J+D plot. From the only one I see– “the two rightful rulers join together as king and queen and claim the Iron Throne” to “the Night King wins and everyone dies” to the tragic “Dany becomes pregnant by Jon and dies in childbirth” to the absurd “Jon gets dysentery and dies”. Consider every possibility on those spectrums and everything in between. There can’t be a shock reversal like the red wedding. That’s both been done and there’s not enough time left.

                There’s literally only one result that can satisfy the audience at this point due to all the years of anticipation and buildup — “the two rightful rulers join together as king and queen to claim their birthrights.” The details surrounding that are very fuzzy with wiggle room. They could give up the throne. They could die make a noble sacrifice to save humanity. There is a ton of things that could happen. There’s one thing that the story simply cannot end on– a wedge between Jon and Dany.

                It’s like having dragons that never breathe fire and never fly. That’s their reason for existing. If they don’t do the one thing they exist for then the audience will hate them.

                It doesn’t matter what video game Valve makes from this point out. The audience wants one thing and nothing else will satisfy them. It is completely irrelevant how good it is. It could be the best game in the history of games. It’s not what the audience has been clamoring for years so it will be rejected and hated.

    • Harper says:

      Yeah, like Vermander mentioned, ASOIAF deconstructs and reconstructs the common fantasy tropes

      the point of Cersei’s rise that this was not a world where being of the right blood makes you monarch, spilling the right blood makes you the monarch?

      I think its more the right leader has to earn the right to be so.
      Its pretty much the difference between Jon Snow in the books and in the show. In the books he’s clearly the Chosen One, but the his whole arc is earning that title, he doesn’t have the blatant show plot armor that allows him to survive his own stupidity. He has to act rationally and morally, he has to be an actual leader and show cunning.

    • “It strikes me the show is reminiscent of fanfic”

      Well, that is because IT IS fanfiction. The showrunners are fans of R.R.Martins books (and of R.R. Martin as well).

      R.R. Martin did not write/direct the show; he’s had less and less influence over the show (so he could focus on the books writing), and when the show outpaced the books the showrunners had to come up with their own continuation.

      Also, just because it’s fanfiction does not mean it’s bad though. I’ve read a lot of awesome fanfiction. Some of my favs are Star Wars and Star Trek crossovers.

      The new Ghost In The Shell movie is also a fanfiction right?

    • Sannom says:

      The second is Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire is supposed to be about something of the subversion of those tropes of the right blood and what not, wasn’t the point of Rhaegar and the point of Cersei’s rise that this was not a world where being of the right blood makes you monarch, spilling the right blood makes you the monarch?

      It definitely feels like the point of the show, but less so of the book. In-universe, most politically-savvy characters try to keep up that tradition, as doing otherwise would create a rather dangerous precedent. It’s the main reason why Robert was crowned King rather than Ned or Jon Arryn (the later being the guy who actually started the Robert’s Rebellion) : his grandmother was a Targaryen, he and the King were second cousins.

      Out-of-universe, you gotta wonder why the only King in The Clash of Kings to justify his claim through the size of his army, Renly Baratheon, was a narcissistic jerkass.

  4. Grey Cap says:

    I think Sansa has been plotting against Littlefinger for a little while–she just didn’t trust anyone (including Aria) enough to tell them about it. The things she’s been through would be enough to teach anyone extreme paranoia.

    When Littlefinger tried to plant the idea in Sansa’s head that Brianne could be used against Aria Sansa sent Brianne to the other end of the continent. That seems to me to be a clear move to remove a playing piece that she feared Littlefinger would use against Aria.

    On the other hand I think Aria did not see through Littlefinger, and that the conflict between the sisters was real (partly because Sansa didn’t dare tell her sister her plans, partly because Sansa actually has good reason to be freaked out about the return of her threatening, murderous, face-stealing sister).

    Finally Sansa decided that Littlefinger was too dangerous and had to go. Probably the only reason he died publicly (now Aria can’t impersonate him) is that Sansa was too paranoid to let Aria in on her plan before Littlefinger was dead.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    *sigh*Bob,why do you have to remind me of the negatives?I liked parts of this episode.Really liked them.But….*sigh*

    Then Euron (remember him?)

    I wish I didnt.I wish the show forgot about him as well.All of his scenes in this episode,few though they were,are painful.He isnt even fun to hate,like joffrey.He is just bad.

    Did anyone make any kind of decision, or come to realize something they didn’t realize before?

    Cersei did finally see a dragon in person.And it was a cool entrance.But yeah,the whole thing was too long,with very few ok things sprinkled here and there,a few really nice shots,and a big steaming pile of euron plopped right there to stink the whole place up.

    Well, she probably already did, considering she’s had a zombie bodyguard for most of two seasons

    Ah,but these are different kinds of zombies!They dont have blue veins,but rather blue eyes.

    Jon refuses this vaguely-worded demand

    Because of course he does.There is not a single thing jon can not screw up.

    Just when I thought we were finally done with him, we learn that we’ve got another season of Eurony goodness in store. Hooray. Let’s bust out the confetti.

    Yes,that was a really nasty surprise by the show.

    Oh yeah, and at the end, boatsex happened. Boatsex was one of the few season seven leaked spoilers I was unable to avoid. The leak stated that Jon and Dany would have epic sex on a boat. Instead, it was just normal sex on a boat. Maybe exposition-bot Bran’s narration is what killed the mood for me, or maybe I just haven’t seen enough boatsex to truly appreciate how epic this was.

    It was quite tame and lame compared to other sex this show had.But because its jon and dany people are losing their minds.Meh.

    Oh yes,you forgot that tyrion was watching as well.Because he is a dirty little man who likes to watch.Ok,technically he was just brooding outside the room,but still,the way it was shot if you missed that the door closed behind jon you would think tyrion was on the verge of squeezing his one eyed snake.

    Did We Mention that Theon Doesn’t Have a Penis?

    Ugh,this scene….I loathe this scene so much.Throughout the whole beating I was expecting theon to say “What is dead may never die” as a response to “Stay down or I will kill you”.That,while corny,would at least be something,and in keeping to how one sided the fight was.But no,he had to suddenly get a burst of eunuch energy from being kneed in the wound.Because as we all know,when someone kicks you in an old wound,it doesnt hurt at all,but rather revitalizes you.

    South park said it best

    Blue Eyes Wight Dragon

    Ha!Good one.

    This is a momentous occasion, of course, though it does make me wonder whether the wall could have stopped the Army of the Dead before they had a zombie dragon.

    Probably.It is a magical wall as wall as a tall one.

    But team capture-a-wight brings theirs south of the wall without having it crumble or anything.

    Good point.Though they did fly it over the wall,I think.

    The next season apparently won’t premiere until 2019(!)

    What?!Why?Thats bullshit.

    • “you forgot that tyrion was watching”
      He wasn’t watching them. He saw Jon walk in from the hallway. And unless he has magic raven vision he can’t see around corners and through a door.

      I am curious how that info will play out though. will he try to separate them, will he find out about Jon’s heritage, will he try to split them up or support them? Will his allegiance shift? Will he see Jon as a threat to Dany’s throne and try to kill him? (Jon has a direct claim to the throne).

      As to the 2019 thing, yeah that sucks. It’s either late fall 2018 (doubt it) or summer 2019. They may need two winters to shoot all the winter stuff for season 8. Iceland contrary to popular belief is not constantly covered in snow all year.

    • RCN says:

      Yeah, Theon winning that fight made no sense. We’ve been shown very emphatically that Theon is only capable of fighting random red shirts at best and his physique deteriorated horribly in his stay with Ramsay.

      It would be much more poignant if he did keep getting his ass kicked but, as bad as he was beaten, still didn’t give up. To show that, even if he cannot win, he is willing to die fighting. With some lines like “what is dead may never die” thrown in there to show that he is finally serious this time around. This would both be more believable and make more sense for them to join him in his mission.

      “Fuck it, brat. I’m tired of beating your ass. If you won’t stay down I might as well join you in your stupid mission. Maybe they’ll get tired of kicking your guts too.”

  6. KarmaTheAlligator says:

    Blue Eyes Wight Dragon

    Good god, was not expecting that, and it had me giggle.

    The biggest surprise for me was that Cersei didn’t try anything while Team Dany was in King’s Landing.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Why should she?All of danys armies are there,as well as her dragons.Cersei wouldnt stand a chance.Not that her actual plan is any more sane,seeing how everyone who dies fighting the dead will simply join that army.

      • KarmaTheAlligator says:

        She’s not really known for acting logically, though.

        • BlueHorus says:

          It’s one of those situations where I can imagine myself shouting:

          “Just kill her! Just kill her now! You’ve got a fucking dragon! The dead are coming! You won’t have time to deal with her inevitable betrayal in the future, just forestall it now!”

          At the screen. You get to the point with some people that you’re angry at the people around them for not stopping them, rather than at the person themselves.

          But, they’ve gotta fill X amount of episodes in the next season with something, and Cersei nonologuing doesn’t eat up the CGI budget…

          • Olivier Faure says:

            Oh yeah. If there was ever a try to act dishonorably, it was then. Just have you dragon eat her and you’re good.

            (of course, if we’re being consistent, Cersei should totally have seen this possibility coming and asked for hostages before agreeing to a meeting, which would probably have cause other problems, but whatever)

            • Steve C says:

              It wouldn’t have been dishonorable though! Cersei is the one who walked away from the truce. They let her walk away from the negotiations. Honor is served. She has to get back to the city on her own power. It’s not honorable to attack her then, but it’s not dishonorable either. Lots of real world historical events that make that distinction.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Arent negotiations a safe place though?Including the walks to and from them.Otherwise,why would anyone ever agree to such a meeting.

                • Droid says:

                  It depends on how the power is distributed and what the captor thinks they can get away with. Martin Luther was called to Worms by Emperor Karl V, but when he refused to revoke his heretical teachings, he was excommunicated by the Catholic Church and banned the Emperor, which meant everyone could attack and even kill him without repercussions. But, staying true to his word, Emperor Karl gave Luther 21 days of safe conduct and an escort back to his home. However, it is speculated that that same escort wouldn’t have let him live through the 22nd day, had he still been in their custody by then.

                  • Daemian Lucifer says:

                    what the captor thinks they can get away with

                    Yes,but we are talking about what is honorable.Of course,they arent obligated to be honorable,as the red wedding has shown.

                    • TheJungerLudendorff says:

                      Then again, the Freys have been paying for the Red Wedding ever since, so they probably do have some good reasons to at least appear honourable.

                      Having said that, I don’t see any reason why they don’t just chuck the dragons at Cersei as soon as she left the negotiations proper. Perhaps when she reaches Kings Landing if they want to be sure.

                    • BlueHorus says:

                      I’m not sure that would have been the best use of a dragon, surely getting it to eat her or breath fire on her is better?

                      I only say this because that’s a great idea/image:

                      You see Cersei walking across a field, smiling smugly as she does. Suddenly, a shadow passes over her. She looks up, and the camera does a Sam Raimi-style zoom in right up to her face-
                      BOOM! A really pissed-off dragon lands on her, crushing her.

                      Meanwhile, nearby Dany is shouting ‘WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!’ at a load of sheepish people standing next to a really big, recently-used catapult.

                    • RCN says:

                      @BlueHorus

                      You mean something like this?

                      https://youtu.be/nsgEfQ80sSU?t=36s

                      Archibald would be a better advisor to Dany than Tyrion.

    • Lazlo says:

      I just call that dragon Sindragosa, because it’s the one the Lich King re-animated out of the frozen lake to help his army of risen dead with blue glowing eyes…

      The biggest surprise for me was that Cersei didn’t try anything while Team Dany was in King’s Landing.

      I know, right? Like, here we have all of Cersei’s military enemies sitting in a big empty dragon pit outside the city… Cersei, you know, the one who just a few episodes ago eliminated all of her political rivals by blowing up a church while they were all there? Did she just run out of barrels of green fire to stack up in the tunnels underneath the dragon pit?

      And the other thing that just frustrated the hell out of me: Dany was mad at Jon because he was honest and said that he had pledged fealty to her, and thus could not follow Cersei’s demand that he stay in the North… But Dany was right there, fully capable of butting in to the conversation and saying “It’s OK Jon, I absolve you of your pledge to me, or at the very least you can stay in the North after we, you know, save the world from impending doom.” And that would have actually given Cersei some incentive to keep her word, because if she broke it, she’d be releasing Jon from his end of the bargain, and she’d once again have to face fighting against *everyone*. But no, it’s all Jon’s fault.

      • tremor3258 says:

        Maybe Jon was counting on it, but being Jon, failed to discuss or reason with anyone so they were prepared for something gobsmackingly foolish?

      • Steve C says:

        The bit with the talks breaking down due to Jon’s honor was so stupid. If that’s the lynchpin Cersei will accept then make it the lynchpin!

        Dany can make a promise based on Jon’s honor. If Dany fails to live up to her side of any bargain then Jon’s oaths to her are not only null and void, but Jon must declare war on Dany. Jon’s swears the oath that Cersei wants with Dany accepting it as binding. So if Dany breaks any word Dany makes, Jon is put into check.

        It was just so stupid for Cersei to walk out of the negotiation at that point. It was even stupider if she planned on breaking her side of the truce regardless. Why leave talks that you won’t be bound by? Why go there at all if you were willing to walk out on something negotiable like that? It made no sense to do any of it.

    • Henson says:

      I fully believe that the show writers zombified Dany’s dragon specifically so that Bob could make this joke. It’s just that good.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      Love the BEWD jibe. Next it needs to become irrelevant due to power creep.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Someone has already spliced the night king with kaiba in a video:

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

  8. Wraith says:

    We have just seen a season where the show’s overarching plot was advanced solely due to the immense stupidity of the main characters.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh…Ive just remembered another stupid thing.Im not surprised Bob didnt mention it because it really is too stupid to not push out of your mind:
    Jaime and the generals talking about how it would take a fortnight to march the armies north because of the supplies and such.After all the crap with distances this season,they dare to bring this as a hindrance now??

    • BlueHorus says:

      Right with you. They fucking DARE?! That is ridiculous, even for this show.

      They’ve even got Euron ‘teleporting boats’ Greyjoy on their side now!
      He and Cersei are obviously never going to betray all the others during this trip as a way to pad out the next season.

    • TheJungerLudendorff says:

      To add to that, they can march an army all the way from Kings Landing to the Wall in two weeks?

      By the standards of the first few books/seasons, wouldn’t that be ridiculously fast? It took a long time for the Northern army to march south, and for the Lannisters and Renly to march east and west. But apparently they can just hand all their soldiers rocket boots or something now?

  10. Droid says:

    “Crenellations of Deep Thematic Significance”

    They actually had a level-up. They’re now Crenellations of Deep Thematic Significance +1. They grant a 5 minute immunity to stupidity-induced seizure after you stop looking at them.

  11. Joshua says:

    This is late, but I’d like to give a shout-out to whoever linked the Turtle Pace Analysis last week. That is some deep, deep analysis of the differences between book and show, and sometimes covers a lot of the same idiocies and obvious “favorite/preferred characters” that Bob mentions, while going a lot deeper into the analysis itself.

  12. Da Mage says:

    Not enough deaths this season. Too much plot armor that I suspect has been given now that the show writers are beyond the books.

    Would have been good to see Bron (or maybe Jamie) die in the dragon attack, and Jon die after getting proof of the whitewalkers…..but hey, generic fantasy time now I guess where the heros never die despite the odds.

    • KarmaTheAlligator says:

      I have to say I’m surprised Bron even made it this far. What does he bring to the table?

      • Clive Howlitzer says:

        I feel like Bronn should have been written out of the show by not. You didn’t have to kill him or anything, just…write him out. He looks out for himself, he wouldn’t really be hanging around for this crap. I feel like he would have peaced out ages ago from the Lannisters with all his loot.

        I felt the same thing with Jorah. I thought they said the whole “Go find a cure” as a way to write him out without killing him….but then he came back anyway. It made me wonder what the whole point of the greyscale plot was.

        • BlueHorus says:

          Someone got greyscale in the books, after rescuing Tyrion in a river. So they put that in the show too.

          Of course it was a different character…

          (Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Show, or as we book readers call him Sir-Not-ANOTHER-Bloody-New-Character)

          …and it looks like it might lead somewhere – so in the show thaey had it be a pointless waste of time.

          just another of those meaningless sops to book readers.

        • Vermander says:

          I like what’s happening with book Bronn a lot more.

          He’s been “off-screen” since Tyrion’s trial and is likely to remain so, but we occasionally hear secondhand accounts of outrageous things he’s been doing. He’s already married into a noble family, dodged Cersei’s clumsy attempt to get him killed, easily defeated his idiot brother-in-law in a duel, thereby becoming defacto Lord of House Stokeworth, and named his bastard stepson Tyrion just to piss Cersei off. I’d loved to see this pattern continue, with other characters continuing to gossip about Bronn’s unseen exploits.

          • TheJungerLudendorff says:

            That sounds like it would be worth it’s own spin-off book.
            And naming his kid Tyrion is both really funny (in a petty kind of way), and a great way to display his personality through his actions.

        • Olivier Faure says:

          Yeah, it’s kind of hard to remember how selfish Bronn is supposed to be when he gets in an open fight with Dothraki cavalry (even after telling Jaime to run because he rightfully expects everyone on their side to get slaughtered), charges a frigging dragon to save Jaime’s life, betray the Queen to arrange a meeting with Tyrion, etc.

          There’s no way the Lannisters are paying him enough to justify all this.

      • Kamica says:

        Witty remarks.

    • Lazlo says:

      It’s not just the quantity of deaths, it’s who they’re coming for. In the early seasons, death was random, you couldn’t count on someone surviving just because they were good and virtuous, or a major character with important stuff and lots of history. People died left and right, be they good, evil, significant, whatever. Now we’re getting every sort of indication that we’re heading to a finale where the virtuous and true are victorious and the evil get their rightful comeuppance. And while that follows a grand tradition of storytelling, it seems not to fit well with the history of this story.

      So *maybe* next season Cersei dies and gets re-animated by the Night King to be his bride, and together they conquer all of Westeros and plunge it into an eternal winter of tyranny… but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Olivier Faure says:

        … that would be both infuriating and awesome.

      • Fade2Gray says:

        Maybe we’ll get some poorly explained time travel/parallel reality shenanigans in the next season. Each episode will be a new alternate ending. The tyranny of undead Cersei ending will be the big season opener shocker leading into Bran/The Three-Eyed-Raven discovering his time traveling powers. From there, each episode will give us a new ending in which a different character comes out on top each time. The King Tyrion episode will be a fan favorite. All of this will lead up to the “true” ending in which Jon and Danny get married, defeat both Cersei and the Night King, and live happily ever after.

        • TheJungerLudendorff says:

          And they have twelve beautiful children with a happy, (mostly) functional family life, and rule like the best monarchs evar and leave the country magically better than it ever was in another golden age that will (probably) last for thousands of years!

          And then their messy family legacy, lack of proper foundation for their royal authority (outside of brute force), and the Targaryen genetical preference for backstabbing, nutters and incest all start kicking in, meaning that their grandchildren start fracturing and infighting, culminating in yet another massive civil war.

          And then someone gets the bright idea to weaponize the ice-zombies.

      • ehlijen says:

        Even in the early seasons, death wasn’t random. By and large, it came to those who put themselves into positions to be killed.

        But the show is down to the last few characters with any audience connection now, and hasn’t been doing well in regards to introducing new ones. If the writers keep killing, there’ll be no one left with fans to carry episodes anymore.

        • TheJungerLudendorff says:

          That was always the risk wasn’t it?

          Even in the earliest seasons people were wondering what would happen when they writer(s) run out of characters people care about.

          • ehlijen says:

            It is a lot easier to introduce and build good characters in the first half of the story, than in the second, when the audience by and large expects to see threads being resolved as opposed to added.
            You have less time to introduce them, a main plot to focus on while you’re doing it, catch up to play with all the characters that have been set up and you need keep some focus on characters from the beginning (if you don’t, why did the story start with them?).

            It can be done, but it’s harder then keeping a main character from the beginning of the story.

  13. ehlijen says:

    I know the show set the bar low with Cersei/Jaime, and that the Targeryans are loose in that way, but at least they knew what they were doing. Jon unknowingly having sex with his aunt(?) has got to be one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve seen in a while on the show. That’s like Yoda doing a voice over to the kiss in Empire saying ‘hmmm, siblings they are!’.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Seeing how the whole targaryen line started with a guy who impregnated both his sisters,this is not that scandalous for them.

      Queen Visenya Targaryen was the older sister and wife of King Aegon I Targaryen. Her younger sister, Rhaenys, was married to Aegon as well.

      • TheJungerLudendorff says:

        But Jon isn’t a Targaryen except in blood and name.

        He was raised with the Starks, and taught by Ned Stark Feudal-Jesus himself. You’d think that he would have some issues with the whole incest thing.

    • KarmaTheAlligator says:

      Aren’t Targaryens known for their incestuous tendencies?

      • AzzyGaiden says:

        They are. While Valyrians by and large are clearly based on the Romans, the Targaryen practice of brother-sister marriage to keep the bloodline “pure” is seemingly based on Pharaonic marriages in ancient Egypt, which did exactly that and often suffered deleterious effects as a result.

    • Viktor says:

      I think that falls in the same category as the violence and rape. GRRM includes it “because it’s accurate to the time” (it isn’t), the show dials it up for shock value, but the showrunners and other creators on the show know that these are the big scenes and shoot them as the climax, which means swelling music and impressive camera angles. That produces the tonal whiplash, where none of the stuff that any reasonable person would consider negative actually comes across that way.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        GRRM includes it “because it’s accurate to the time” (it isn’t)

        Yes and no.Its weird how many writers do this because of missing such a simple point:The violence and rape that was common back in the those times is the same violence and rape thats common today in places at war.Its the inhuman treatment of the enemy,of the other.But your neighbors,your family?People were (usually) just as good to them as they are today.And yet in practically every book(or a movie,or a show)that deals with medieval period,writers either have their characters obey the geneva convention in times of war,or act like bloodthirsty criminals in times of peace.Which is weird.

  14. Preciousgollum says:

    Boatsex – “And that, kids, is How I Met Your Mother”.

    Your Uncle Brany was watching, and, for some reason, thought it was, legen…dany. Although, he broke the Bro code, by letting White Walkers into the Apartment.

    “After that, we all went to the local Tavern… and said Cheers… and sang ‘Where everybody knows your name’.”

    “I tried calling myself Aegon Targaryan, but the name didn’t stick”

    “Bran told us the story of when Cerci slapped Joffrey, and we all laughed”.

  15. BlueHorus says:

    Theon regains the loyalty of the Ironborn via the ancient ritual of “beating up some jerk in front of everyone [to rescue Asha].”

    Poor Asha. I quite liked her.
    I remember that in a previous season Theon flat out said ‘I’m not fit to rule, talk to my sister’ when they stole Euron’s ships and ran to Dany for sanctuary. It was good, because Asha came across a competent pirate-raider, someone the Ironborn might respect, while Theon had been depicted as callow and vain even before he got tortured for a season.

    Does she even get any screentime in this episode?

    • ehlijen says:

      Unless you count her life being threatened in her absence, no.

      I really liked her, too, up until the two fled the Kingsmoot. Ever since then, she’s done little but try to hump everything in sight and try to sell how totes bi she is all of a sudden. I’d rather not see her again, then to only see her as the new sexytimes-delivery-vehicle.

  16. Matt says:

    Was anyone else confused about where Jaime and Bronn were at the start of this episode? The surroundings and the battlements more strongly resembled Highgarden than anything we’ve seen of King’s Landing in the past.

    Grey Worm and the Dothraki line up outside the walls, Bronn & Jaime are preparing for a siege, and then one just…doesn’t happen?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      For a moment I was “Wait,why is there a siege?Arent they going to parlay?Did I miss something?”.But then I realized that these troops are there just so that dany can show her peen is bigger than cerseis,so that she shouldnt try anything dodgy.

    • Alex Morgan says:

      Yeah when Bron greeted Tyrion & co. I was completely thrown off, the setting of the opening scene looks nothing like kings landing. It feels like something was going to happen in high garden but it’s been cut. This one scene had to be kept because it’s about not having a cock, the main theme of the show.

      As for night kings plan I assumed they were going climb the wall and batter the gate, is there a lore reason they couldn’t?

      • guy says:

        There’s apparently spells worked into the walls to prevent them from crossing. Not much in the way of details on how they work that I know of; presumably the Night’s Watch exists because there’s some condition under which they could fail, but it’s not clear if that includes “Wights hit the wall until it stops working” or if they actually needed a zombie dragon to break the wards.

  17. Clive Howlitzer says:

    Even though the whole plot around it was nonsensical and basically everything he has done for awhile made no sense I did feel bad for Littlefinger at the end. It feels weird not having him lurking around in the background anymore but I guess the show is basically over at this point, no more political intrigue.

    I miss the political intrigue. I would have been fine with the show without the White Walkers and just a lot of political/war stuff and more realistic. Something akin to the Three Kingdoms 2010 drama but without all the kung fu.

    • BlueHorus says:

      Kind of related:

      Interesting thing about the other synopses for this episode I’ve read – other people loved, loved a lot of the stuff that Bob complained about.
      The pointless scenes around the big meeting in King’s Landing? Fanservice.
      “Look, this guy’s meeting that guy again, and that character’s sassing the other one, and he’s going for a drink with him, and he’s staring at her (JUST KISS HER YOU FOOL!). Hey, maybe Cleganebowl will finally happen!”
      Etc. They loved it.

      Same goes for the drawn-out Sansa-Arya conflict, and its resolution. Littlefinger was a much-reviled character with a reputation for manipulation, so he couldn’t just die, even if it made logical sense. He had to be outwitted then killed. Again, it was a massively popular move.

      D&D may be hacks, but they know who they’re writing for and how to deliver.

      PS that Three Kingdoms series sounds awesome! Thanks for letting me know that was a thing.

      • Clive Howlitzer says:

        Try and find the Jiang Hu fansub of it, it is far superior to the actual official sub. It can be somewhat hard to find it nowadays but if you can’t find it, let me know and I will legit upload it for you. It is a great watch. I loved it.

  18. Zantaros says:

    As a person who was really into Yu-Gi-Oh! as a kid, I thank you for the Blue Eyes Wight Dragon comment.

  19. Kamica says:

    For the wall thingy: Giants would be my guess, that’s how the Northlings managed to get through the Gate the first time in Castle Black right? I’d imagine the same could be achieved at Eastmarch. But that would leave a massive choke-point which would allow the forces to be cut off and held back if responded to in time. The fact that a large chunk of the wall was destroyed with ease means that they’d now basically have to kill the army.

    I don’t think that the writers necessarily thought of the second points, but Giants to me seems the way they would’ve broken through the gate initially, before getting the Dragon.

    • TheJungerLudendorff says:

      Or as other people suggested in earlier posts: they just walk over the bottom of the ocean, Pirates of the Carribean style. Or maybe the sea is frozen enough to walk (well, skidaddle) across.

  20. Vermander says:

    It’s hard to convince people who don’t read the books that Euron “Crow’s Eye” Greyjoy is supposed to be a big deal. Heck, even some book readers don’t agree, because he was introduced relatively late in the series and is more over-the-top than some of the earlier villains.

    I’d say that off all the major characters still alive on the show he’s the one that least resembles his book counterpart. Part of that is because they’ve taken away most of his signature attributes including his crew of mutes, his magic horns (plural), his sorcery and greenseer abilities, his ties to the Faceless Men, and even his creepy black eyeball, which is the source of his nickname.

    Another problem is that most of his plot functions have been eliminated, or given to other characters/factions. Euron is the one who’s planning to steal one of Dany’s dragons, which was instead zombiefied on the show. He’s also likely going to have a role in bringing down the Wall. He is the first human antagonist of the series who seems to be aware of the coming supernatural conflict and plans to exploit it to achieve Godhood. As a lot of other people have said, he’s basically Sarumon to the White Walker’s Sauron.

    I understand why some readers think book Euron is a bit cheesy, but at least you can understand that author intended for him to be a legitimate threat.

    The show version of Euron is an ill-mannered pirate king who serves as a lackey for the Lannisters.

  21. Matt says:

    Littlefinger is one of my favorite book characters and I was very disappointed to see how the show dealt with him in the end. I mean, why didn’t he just lie? He can’t think of anything to say except the most incriminating things possible because he’s momentarily caught off guard?

    Also, perhaps I’m being legalistic, but the whole trial was a farce. They have no evidence, they merely assert things based on whatever Bran said, and everyone believes them for some reason. Also, how can they accuse him of treason? He’s not a bannerman of House Stark, nor did he bend the knee (correct me if I’m wrong) to Jon, Sansa, et. al. The crimes he did commit occurred before anyone involved was actually lord of anything, much less a king. I guess you could say that he committed treason against Ned Stark as regent after King Robert’s death, but Sansa and the northern lords would not have the authority to try him for this, particularly as they remain in rebellion against the Iron Throne.

    And this all comes after his “think of everyone as your enemy,” speech. Okay, maybe he has a blind spot where Sansa is concerned, but he truly didn’t suspect that Royce would not support him? Shouldn’t he know that any loyalty from the Vale lords was tenuous at best and would therefore move to acquire more reliable support?

    Another nitpick – so we’re dropping Ned Stark wisdom with Sansa and Arya, but not the bit about the “man who passes the sentence should swing the sword?” I’m surprised we didn’t get a Lord of the Rings homage with Sansa saying, “But my Lord Baelish, I am no man.

    • Falcon02 says:

      I guess you could say that he committed treason against Ned Stark as regent after King Robert’s death…

      Add onto that Treason against the crown by conspiring to assassinate the hand of the king, Jon Arryn.

      Treason against The Vale in assassinating the Lady of the Eyrie

      Treason against the Stark family in uncovering incriminating evidence against Sansa to use against the Starks

      Remember in such a feudal system the “State” is effectively the leading/ruling family for the region, so to betray that family (as a domestic actor) is therefore Treason. Though it is possible for the ruling family to commit Treason against the State, as there still is a slight distinction…

      Also, I don’t think you have to be a “bannerman” or “bend the knee” in order to commit Treason. In a modern context that would basically mean it would be legally impossible for your average citizen to commit Treason. And while you can argue Littlefinger was not a “citizen” of the North or the Vale, etc. he was shown as publicly in service to the groups he betrayed.

      And while technically (not representing the Iron Throne/crown) they wouldn’t have jurisdiction to try him for Treason for Ned’s or Jon’s betrayal, they have every reason to take matters in their own hand. Aside from the personal reasons, in their view the Crown (while they still kinda recognized it) refused to address the treason, so they are forced to.

      As far as the Stark’s own Treason… Cersei/Joeffery committed Treason against “The Crown/Westeros” when they betrayed Robert’s wishes, Proper succession, and the assigned Regent. On top of the personal betrayal of Ned. Just because Cersei/Joeffery won out does not cancel their treason. This of course was the justification for their actions… of course instead of trying to restore the rightful King they declared Northern independence which added another layer of Treason on top of what could have been just fighting to restore the rightful King of the seven kingdoms.

      I’ve never read the books and can understand how this presentation would not live up to the Littlefinger in the books. Especially as in the scene Littlefinger seemed a bit too trusting of his power over the Vale, too caught by surprise by events turning against him. But, I do think there is an arguable case

      • Matt says:

        I agree with your statement that betrayal of a ruling family is treason is feudal setting of the books and show, which is why I have such a problem with what they did. Sure, he committed treason against House Arryn, so House Arryn should try him. Failing that, House Arryn’s liege (not the Starks) should step in.

        I do think that one must “bend the knee” in order to commit treason. Modern nationalistic concepts of citizenship and allegiance don’t apply. In order to commit feudal treason, one must have a liege. Littlefinger certainly swore oaths of faithful service to the crown and as Lord Protector of the Vale, but those are the only contexts in which he could have acted treasonously.

        I agree that the Starks had every reason to take matters into their own hands to rid themselves of a scheming snake like Littlefinger, but then that reframes the scene and their actions. If they are merely putting on a show trial with no pretense of a fair hearing, why go through the trouble at all? They could merely have had Arya slip into his room and open his throat in the night. The only reason to have a trial is to delegitimize him in front of his allies, which doesn’t happen because they present no evidence and, from Royce’s actions, it appears they never supported him to begin with.

      • Xapi says:

        Lady Sansa is the Lady of Winterfell. She is THE LAW, until her brother but not really comes back.

        There is no such thing as jurisdiction, she has jurisdiction on all people in her land because she is the law.

        She accuses him of murder first, treason second.

        The murders she acuses him of are her kin (aunt Lysa, Ned -via proxy-, and the attempted murder of Bran), and her uncle in law (Jon). The treason charge stands for the murder of Lysa, if not for the plot against Ned.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I mean, why didn’t he just lie?

      He tried that.But bran knows things.

      As for them just believing bran,firstly,this isnt a modern world where people have rights in court.But more importantly,if you have an actual factual clairvoyant on your side,why would you not use them to scry such things for you?

      • BlueHorus says:

        If it’s THAT easy, then hey, I’m a clairvoyant myself. When I look into your future I see you doing really well if you invest some money in this bridge of mine…
        ;)

        So a big plot point in the show has been that people don’t believe in wights or White Walkers. So the Night’s Watch etc. have a really hard time convincing people that wights actually exist and are coming to kill them.

        Are they not as suspicious about greenseers?
        Did they have a scene of Bran proving his seer ability before this?

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Did they have a scene of Bran proving his seer ability before this?

          Yes.Multiple times with multiple people he told them about stuff he saw in their past when he was not around to witness it.

      • Matt says:

        No one seemed to accept what Bran said about “knowing everything” at face value, even his own family. No one has any idea what a Three-Eyed Raven is, and every interaction he has with another person ends with them regarding him as a bit…touched, shall we say. I find it hard to believe that a foreign lord such as Royce, or even the other banners of the North, would accept what a crippled boy says at face value. He doesn’t even have enough social capital to press his rights as heir to Winterfell, much less be believed in so fantastic a claim.

        Also, I though it was a bit of a cheat to have Bran just reveal everything. Sansa never outplayed him. In the end, it took an omniscient clairvoyant from out of myth to best Littlefinger.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          They regarded him as weird when he told them info about stuff he didnt witness,but nothing suggest that they didnt believe him.

          • ehlijen says:

            They never consulted him on any decisions. If you have a clairvoyant that you trust, would you not ask him about everything you can regarding your winter/war plans?

            If they believed his skills, they critically underused them. Why is he spying on the wight king if he, seemingly, didn’t see the one surprise the dead had planned coming? He could have spied on cersei instead. He could have spied on jon, if only to ascertain his well being.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              If you have a clairvoyant that you trust, would you not ask him about everything you can regarding your winter/war plans?

              Yes,I would.But these people?They are lucky they asked him that one thing.

  22. Ness says:

    When I heard the dragon zombie spoiler my thought was “wait what was the Night King’s plan if he DIDN’T get that dragon? Just stay north forever?” I wrote an ebook once that sold literally tens of copies and in mapping out a sequence we thought through the logic that was very similar (how would the villain know that this thing would be here that would alter the events of a battle and allow him to do something that hasn’t ever been done before). I’m not a professional writer and it’s not a very good book. But even I saw that it makes no sense and changed it. So again… what was the NK’s plan for surpassing a wall that was impossible to surpass? Can he see the future or…?

    • SiliconScout says:

      I figured that without the dragon glass weapons he just has the giants tear at the gate and the wights form the giant pyramid of “screw you warm blood” and they more or less swarm the wall. and tear it down from the inside out. Afterall there is magic in the wall that prevents them from crossing.

      If we were in the book then I would have expected that they found the actual Horn of Winter and would have sounded it but the show’s been all but ignoring that piece of mythology.

    • Steve C says:

      I figured the undead were waiting for the sea to freeze. Then just walk around the wall at Eastwatch. Sindragosa was a happy new tool to find to speed up the timetable.

      Really though I’m just justifying out of my ass. A throwaway line by the Children of the Forest last season or Sam this season finding in a book that the wall cannot be crossed by undead or something would have been fine. There’s nothing like that however. It’s just a head scratcher of stuff that could be justified but has no justification.

  23. Vermander says:

    Also, petty nitpick, but King’s Landing doesn’t have anywhere close to one million people living in its walls. It’s closer to half that number. I’m pretty sure they’ve even said that on the show.

    And there are a lot more than one million people living in the North.

  24. SiliconScout says:

    Well that show cost me $20. I honestly didn’t think the writers could have been so incompetent as to not end it on the cliff hanger that everyone wanted. The bet was whether or not the Night King would be seen mounted on the Dragon this episode.

    I honestly thought (and holy moly would it have been a much better ending) that they would tease that scene out because everyone was somewhat interested to see if the Night King’s dragon breathed Fire or Ice.

    I am not a writer by any measure of imagination but I can write this scene.

    Tormund has some sort of banter on the wall with rando whomever maybe talking about his beauty .. always good fodder there, it’s my favourite bit of dialogue this whole season really. Probably makes a joke about how well hung their monstrous children would be.

    Rando and men around are chuckling, Tormund leads the laugher when suddenly he quiets and stares beyond them.

    Clouds and now gather, the first of the wights come into view (this part they got right). Tormund starts barking orders about “getting ready”

    Army stops out of bow shot and just stands there. Tormund makes some joke about them forgetting about the wall. Maybe even tosses a the wall’s the only thing bigger than my boy will be sort of joke to the men.

    Snows intensify, you hear a faint Dragon sqaull.

    Tormund squints into the blizzard.

    An indistinct blob starts to materialize in the gathered storm.

    The gets louder, deeper, sounds more angry or excited. The shape takes on more of a form.

    Tormund looks completely unamused, maybe even a little scared.

    The shape keeps getting bigger, a true dragon roar come out of the cloud and a bright blue light begins to appear in front of it. Tormund says something along the lines of “oh shit”. The bright light now blots out the dragon that you never quite saw, men start shouting and the screen goes black.

    There we have people sitting at the edge of the seat going “oh shit” and really wanting another episode.

    What does the Dragon look like? Gotta wait bub.
    Is the Night King riding it? Gotta wait bub
    How epic is the battle of the wall going to be? Still gotta wait bub-ee-o

    Then you start of next season, people are expecting a solid 30 minutes to 2 hours of “the battle of the wall” and you hammer them with what we ended with, the wall falling in about a minute and you not only ended this season with a high degree of anticipation but get that fantastic “holy shit, holy shit, holy shit” sort of kick off for the final season.

    But instead we got … well what we got. It’s sad really and I am pretty sure we all know how this ends but still I watch mainly due to inertia and my desire to “finish the thing”.

    *sigh* … seriously it’s like the know the cash cow has come home and aren’t even bothering trying to keep up any sort of hype. I heard that it might not come out until 2019 and a part of me was “Meh” and the other part of me was “holy crap, maybe George can finish the actual book before they release it”.

    Then that last little part of me started laughing because really we all know George is never going to finish those books.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I honestly didn’t think the writers could have been so incompetent as to not end it on the cliff hanger that everyone wanted.

      If thats being incompetent,then I wish more shows hire such incompetent people.Because having such a cliffhanger would be really infuriating.

      • SiliconScout says:

        Infuriating yes … but admit it you would “Need” to see that next episode.

        Also toss in that the wall fell so quickly you can’t honestly expect me to believe that you are feeling MORE exited by the next season knowing they have already walked through the wall than you would have been if the battle for the wall had just barely begun.

        That is the point, end it at a point where you feel the need to see that next episode right away, it’s frustrating yes for sure but it’s also exciting. Instead of talking about “how cool” next season is going to be and what that “helm’s deep” sort of battle is going to play out (and then being totally wrong) we are left with more dissection of this episode and little anticipation for next season.

        The problem I see is that it’s more “can’t wait to see it done” and a lot less “can’t wait to see it”. Realistically unless it’s a “night walkers rule the land” ending it’s really just a matter of seeing who’s left standing in the end at this point. The battle at the wall was the last really REALLY big set piece to play and they threw it away in 2 minutes at the end of the second last season.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          but admit it you would “Need” to see that next episode.

          No,I wouldnt.Ive actually quit books,shows and games precisely because of too forced cliffhangers,and Ive continued with other works despite them.

          Also toss in that the wall fell so quickly you can’t honestly expect me to believe that you are feeling MORE exited by the next season knowing they have already walked through the wall than you would have been if the battle for the wall had just barely begun.

          Yes actually.Because that dragon was awesome,and Im looking forward to it fighting the other two.A fight with randos that were on the wall wouldve been pointless.Not to mention that the army of the dead going south has been built up for 7 years now,so Im glad that it has finally happened.

          • Falcon02 says:

            Agreed, I’m more interested at this point for how the fight against the Undead in Westeros proper plays out, then the inevitable breaching of the Wall (with a Dragon). Without a Dragon or the Horn I might have been more interested in how they were going to get through the wall, but with a Dragon it’s just an exercise in how they show it happens rather than how the Undead would do it.

            We all knew they had a Undead Dragon, we all knew the defenders weren’t expecting it, we all know the writers wouldn’t let the wall stop the Undead. As a result I do think it’s better to just resolve it to end the season on a high note (even if I did want more of an attempt to show the defenders “trying” to prepare a defense).

            The way this ends does show and set up the stakes for next season… we know the Undead are no longer some theoretical threat… next season episode one I expect to see undead pillaging “The Gift” and/or “The North.” It will become impossible for people (maesters of the citadel) to brush off the “myths”.

            And that’s really what this season has been working towards, getting Westeros to realize the undead threat is real and coming for them… Prior to Jon’s death and resurrection it was Jon and the Night’s Watch (arguably) against the undead, far removed from the people and politics of Westeros. Now Westeros will no longer be able to ignore the undead, as they’re now done their 40 years of wandering through the desert… I mean Arctic…

            To each their own… as I could see how it might leave some with anticipation… but it would certainly left as much frustration and disappointment in many others who see them trying to create a huge build up for what they expect to be only a few minutes of action before getting to the REAL action/drama.

      • BlueHorus says:

        Having such a cliffhanger would be really infuriating.

        You of course can decide what infuriates you; but personally I’d MUCH rather the promise of next season was :

        ‘Episode One will be an epic fight up at the Wall, heroic deaths for Tormund & various Nights Watch guys!’

        Instead of:
        ‘Goddam Cersei is going to drag out this season with a pointless and short-sighted goddamn betrayal and more goddamn cartoon-villain antics. Helping her will be goddamn Euron goddamn Greyjoy and his goddamn plot armour and Villain Sue abilities.”

        Which is going to happen instead. I’m sure they can think up at least four other side-plots to waste a few episodes with.

        Cash cow indeed.

    • Falcon02 says:

      I still wish there would have been some sort of battle. It wouldn’t have had to be too much… but just something to at least show they had actually been preparing for the undead to attack. Some sort of resistance.

      Sure, let them get quickly overwhelmed, especially when the Dragon starts blasting ice-fire (can’t decide if it’s “ice breath” or extra hot Blue flame). Heck, even show them starting to ready a proper defense (grabbing bows, getting in position) before the Dragon ruins everyone’s day and people start fleeing, would have just needed 1 or 2 more shots showing more than just blank stares at the Army.

      • SiliconScout says:

        Agree that’s why I liked my, admittedly amateur, ending so much better. You see the people on the wall, you give them some personality for rando red shirts. You give them their “it’s showtime baby” moment where they start enacting their plans. Let you imagine this epic battle in your mind for months.

        Sure have the dragon just do exactly what it did but have it do it the beginning of next season and start if off on a rocket.

        Instead we get guys standing on the wall, seemingly shocked that the enemy actually showed up and then running away at the first sign of danger. It’s almost like they thought they were camping and telling goofy ghost stories suddenly turned real than a group of warriors and hard men preparing to hold off an invasion of an undead army that vastly outnumbers them.

        • Dork Angel says:

          Given how long the wall is you’re pretty unlucky if they show up at your bit. Of course they’re going to look a bit worried when the enemy arrives.

          “First sign of danger”? It’s a wright riding an undead dragon. Two of the characters there have seen a dragon in action and know they’re f***ed. All the dragon has to do is fly along the top of the wall breathing fire and they’re all dead. When your option is burn to death and there’s nothing you can do to fight back or run, they’re going to run.

          I don’t think they were expecting the wall to come down through.

    • Blake says:

      I actually really liked season ending with the Night King with his dragon and his armies.
      It mirrored all the other seasons that ended with Dany and her dragons and armies.

  25. Preciousgollum says:

    Two alternative proposals for the Death of Little finger (Lord Baelish):

    1. Eaten by Dire Wolf Nimeria on the Road Travelling to THE VALE,

    because Baelish is Lord Commander of THE VALE. Perhaps the scene could have shown Little finger conspiring with the Lannisters.

    Who is responsible for a Dire wolf murdering Littlefinger? (I.e was it Bran Warging, Arya’s instructions, or just the smell (nature)? Nobody knows. That’s THE BEST BIT OF THE MYSTERY. Karma, poetic justice. Also gets away from the stupid Kangaroo Court nonsense, and MAKES SENSE.

    2. Killed by Aunt Lysa
    (i.e Face-changing Arya). Full on Horror aesthetic, and the guards are totally shocked, and Littlefinger is then known via legend as auntie Lysa’s killer (and the spirits get their revenge).

    How would Arya have got the face? Simple. Bran can see everything. They know where her body is. Coolness allows for extended plausibility.

    • Ness says:

      It’s hard to have an intact face when you pancake your whole body into some mountains. Although I would admit it would’ve been a lot better to see.

    • BlueHorus says:

      I love the ‘Lysa Arryn’ version.

      She comes in, all wide eyes and screaming “YOOOUUUU KIIILLLED MEEEEE!” at Littlefinger. I liked that actress and the level of crazy she brought to the role.

      After an argument, she baits Littlefinger into not only admitting he killed her and helped Ned Stark die, but somthing else like ‘I’m glad Ned Stark is dead, I should have got Catelyn for myself. I deserved her, fuck y’all named Lords and your entitlement.”
      Possibly a rant about inheritance and meritocracy and chaotic ladders as well.

      Then Arya calmly pulls off Lysa’s face; Sansa, Royce and armed guards jump out from hiding and we get the ‘oh shit, you got tricked! ‘reveal.

      Arya deceives someone intelligently and calmly (no talk of cutting off her sister’s face), Sansa still out-smarts Littlefinger, Bran is useful without his ‘crazy seer’ shtick undermining the prosecution. Awesome.

      Oh, if only this show were as good as it used to be…

      • Preciousgollum says:

        I was thinking more straight up murder. There is no need for any guilt admittance. The act of being murdered by a dead Auntie kinda speaks for itself in legends & mythology.

        If you want to go the whole Baelish “I loved Catelyn Stark” angle, then (the books at least) would only need to swap auntie Lysa for… LADY STONEHEART!

        That would truly test the merits of Littlefinger’s devotion to Catelyn… lol.

        • ehlijen says:

          Without a confession, what people would see is just Littlefinger getting murdered. Those few who would recognise Lady Arryn on sight would likely assume a disguised imposter rather than a ghost. You’d need serious theatrics to make ghosts the first and most believed explanation.

  26. Harper says:

    Wow, they really did the Rhaegar/Lyanna marriage, I didn’t think they would go that far.
    Its very probable that Lyanna went with Rhaegar willingly, but she was also forcibly betrothed to a serial philanderer and Ned found her in an isolated tower covered in blood, and with three Kingsguard defending her from her own brother, so its obvious the relationship didn’t exactly “work out”.
    Making this whole thing a tragic love story is just a creepy and stupid way to add tension in Jon and Dany’s relationship

    • Vermander says:

      This whole sequence really bothered me. Rhaegar and Lyanna isn’t a love story for the ages. It’s the story of a prince who thought he should be able to abandon his family and run off with a teenage girl because an ancient prophecy said it was okay, even if it ended up getting thousands of people killed.

      The idea that the rebellion “was based on a lie,” is ridiculous. Even if Lyanna did go with Rhaegar willingly, it doesn’t change the fact that Aerys brutally executed Ned’s father and brother, plus a half dozen other lords without a trial, then demanded Ned and Robert be turned over for execution as well. What other option did they have at that point? Go willingly to their deaths because an insane pyromaniac demands it?

      Then there’s Rhaegar’s treatment of his previous wife Elia, who he apparently cast aside to pursue his destiny with Lyanna. Having their marriage annulled is a huge insult to her and her family in that culture and possibly turns their children (including the crown prince) into bastards. If the Martels had know that, they almost certainly would have joined Robert and Ned’s side in the rebellion.

      • BlueHorus says:

        Until R+L=J is confirmed in the books, isn’t this speculation?

        I’m no expert on on GoT lore. I may be wrong. But I thought the details were unknown – Jon is Rheagar & Lyanna’s child, right. Lyanna made Ned promise to take care of him as she was dying, right.

        But that’s it, isn’t it?
        Whther Rhaegar loved Lyanna or not, wheter he married her or not, whether he raped her or wanted her as a mistress or whatever – isn’t that all unconfirmed?

        Obviously the show went with the most romantic version because Jon is the Chosen One (and bugger the reason why/details/consequences), but does it say one way or the other in the books?

        Question’s aren’t rhetorical. If you know, please tell me.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Rumor is that one of the questions Martin asked the writers before giving them his blessing is who is jons mother.Plus,many have speculated that jon is actually their son even before the show was a thing,mostly because of the character of ned stark.

          • Falcon02 says:

            Yeah I remember seeing an interview somewhere where the show creators described this. And at least in the interview they framed it as the #1 most important thing to answer correctly to gain Martin’s agreement to grant the rights. (I think it was intended to prove they actually cared about the source material enough to connect the dots)

        • Harper says:

          Whther Rhaegar loved Lyanna or not, wheter he married her or not, whether he raped her or wanted her as a mistress or whatever – isn’t that all unconfirmed?

          There’s clues in the narrative as to what their relationship was actually like, so as you said, its not confirmed but its hinted.
          First hint is Robert’s relationship with Lyanna, he idealizes her, but Ned made it pretty clear the girl he dreams about is not the girl she actually was. And he also makes it clear that Lyanna wouldn’t have put up with Robert’s philandering, and she was very concerned about it when she was betrothed to him b/c by that point he’d already fathered a bastard.
          The second big hint is the story Meera and Jojen tell Bran about the Knight of the Laughing Tree, who was a mystery knight who entered the tourney at Harrenhal and humiliated the knights that were bullying the Reeds’ father, who incidentally had his wounds treated by Lyanna.
          The knight managed to piss off King Aerys enough that he sent his son, Rhaegar to find them. The mystery knight was most likely Lyanna and if Rhaegar found her then they would have had a few months to get to know each other before “kidnapping” her.

          So that points to the relationship being somewhat consensual( as consensual as it can be with a 16 yr old) at first, Lyanna probably wanted to get away from the guy she was promised to, she might have been swooned by the poetry and music Rhaegar was so talented at, etc, etc.

          But the fact that she gave birth in an isolated tower, guarded by three Kingsguard who wouldn’t even allow her own brother to see her points to the relationship souring later on.
          So whatever happened, I think we can say for certain they weren’t married sweethearts

          • BlueHorus says:

            Thanks!

            It fits, and sounds like a messy situation that’s probably quite true to the society he’s basing it on.

            Here’s hoping the next book comes out and isn’t as dull and turgid as the last two before GRRM dies. Interesting to see if the true nature of the relationship is ever confirmed.

            • Harper says:

              Ah, that’s too bad. I actually like the endgame plots that start developing during those books, Aegon’s story is like Cersei’s season 7 story that actually makes sense and Euron is a better and more compelling in his role that’s roughly equivalent to the Night King in the show

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      She was covered in blood because she just gave birth.And they were protecting her from her brother because he came to kill the father of her child,and was in league with a person sworn to kill all targaryens,which would include her son.So its obvious that the relationship did work out before her brother ruined it.

      • Falcon02 says:

        The problem I have with it, is having the King’s Guard fight to the death to “protect” Lyanna, shows a lack of faith in Ned. Sure Robert was uncaring and unreasonable… but Ned always tried to be honorable and protect the innocent, and he was dealing with his sister. Of course Ned would be willing to kill to save his Sister… just no one told him she didn’t need “saving”

        Also, by the point of that encounter the father of her child had already been killed in King’s Landing. There was no-one in that tower Ned wanted to kill, except to be able to save his Sister.

        They could have simply told them only Ned may pass…

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Sure,the audience knows how honorable ned is,but is it a thing everyone in westeros can be 100% sure about?Especially since this was young ned with far less reputation.

          • Falcon02 says:

            I don’t think Ned would have needed that much of a reputation… the charge they were protecting was Lyanna, who should have known very well what kind of man her brother Ned was. And knowing the situation(ie. the likelihood Ned might have been one of the people coming for her) and her family could have told her guards Ned could be allowed through.

            She certainly trusted him enough in the end to give him Jon (and tell him his real name). Though you could argue she didn’t have much of a choice at that point.

          • Falcon02 says:

            I don’t think Ned would have needed that much of a reputation… the charge they were protecting was Lyanna, who should have known very well what kind of man her brother Ned was. And knowing the situation(ie. the likelihood Ned might have been one of the people coming for her) and her family could have told her guards Ned could be allowed through.

            She certainly trusted him enough in the end to give him Jon (and tell him his real name). Though you could argue she didn’t have much of a choice at that point.

            Granted, I’m not arguing “the relationship soured” just that I feel given the facts Ned shouldn’t have had to fight and kill his way into the tower.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              The fact that they were protecting her does not mean that either they were taking her orders or that she even knew what their orders were.

              • Falcon02 says:

                A.) Sorry about the double post… for some reason it didn’t give me the option to delete or edit either post once posted (shouldn’t have timed out yet either). Some sort of connection/lag issue on my end it seemed

                B.) Quite true, it’s possible they wouldn’t take orders from Lyanna, or wasn’t told of their orders. But I find it doubtful if her relationship with Rheagar was mutual as we’ve been told. Though not impossible, especially as Rheagar has been said to have focused so much on the prophecy and may have considered Lyanna too naive if she had argued in favor of trusting Ned.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Its not impossible for him to really love her,but doesnt tell her things because “Dont worry your pretty little head,the men will take care of things” mentality.

        • Droid says:

          Also, wouldn’t Ned and company have seen this as a clear trap meant to separate them and kill them more easily?

          Also, Rhaegar died at the Trident, didn’t he?

          • Falcon02 says:

            True, it’s possible Ned and co. might not have trusted that Ned (and possible Bannerman) would be safe. But it would open up the possibility for a dialog and a possible peaceful resolution rather than “I am sworn to stop you” sort of response Ned was given.

            As far as the Trident… quick search confirms you’re right, for some reason I thought he was killed in the Throne room shortly after the Mad King.

      • Harper says:

        Here’s why its obvious the relationship did not work out
        1. She was in an isolated tower in a remote part of Dorne, which is about as far from her home as she can get
        2. She was obviously without the kind of midwives and maesters she was afforded as a Stark or even a Targaryen
        3. She would have never allowed those Kingsguard to keep her brother away from her or attempt to kill him.
        4. She trusted her brother enough to keep Jon a secret from Robert, so if she had any say in her “relationship” with Rhaegar, she would have had the influence to at least keep Ned off the Sword of the Morning’s kill list

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          1. She was in an isolated tower in a remote part of Dorne, which is about as far from her home as she can get

          A teen that ran away from home to be with someone her family doesnt approve of is in a remote place.How is that a sign that the relationship was not working out?

          2. She was obviously without the kind of midwives and maesters she was afforded as a Stark or even a Targaryen

          Two young people who are trying to keep their relationship a secret didnt think about having midwives or maesters for the birth.How is that a sign that the relationship was not working out?

          3. She would have never allowed those Kingsguard to keep her brother away from her or attempt to kill him.

          A teen girl having labor pains is unaware of/unable to contradict the orders of the father of her child.How is that a sign that the relationship was not working out?

          4. She trusted her brother enough to keep Jon a secret from Robert, so if she had any say in her “relationship” with Rhaegar, she would have had the influence to at least keep Ned off the Sword of the Morning’s kill list

          A young guy not believing his young mistress 100% when she tells him someone is legit.How is that a sign that the relationship was not working out?

          None of those make it an obvious thing.The only thing they make obvious is that young people arent the best at making decisions,especially when it comes to matters of love and lust.

          • Harper says:

            A teen that ran away from home to be with someone her family doesnt approve of is in a remote place.How is that a sign that the relationship was not working out?

            Because she didn’t want to away from her family, she was devoted to them, Ned in particular. She wanted to get away from Robert and whatever relationship between her and Rhaegar wasn’t enough to send her voluntarily to the other side of the country. Distance-wise that’s like traveling from New York to Los Angeles( with the fastest means of travel being horse)

            Two young people who are trying to keep their relationship a secret didnt think about having midwives or maesters for the birth.How is that a sign that the relationship was not working out?

            These aren’t two teens in love, Rhaegar was in his twenties with a wife and two children, he’d known the risks for pregnancy( certainly with how ill Ellia had been)
            Now you can make the argument, which is probably true, that he was too involved in the civil war when he’d made the arrangements for Lyanna and his Kingsguard, but then I would just go back to my first point, which is if Lyanna was “involved” in the relationship at that point she wouldn’t have wanted to be so far away from Winterfell, her maester and midwives that she was smart enough to know was necessary.

            A teen girl having labor pains is unaware of/unable to contradict the orders of the father of her child.How is that a sign that the relationship was not working out?

            She knew they were there, and labor can take hours. Certainly she wasn’t in labor when she was taken to the tower, so labor pains wouldn’t have prevented her from telling her “bodyguards” to look out for Ned. Either she was aware of the Civil War and her brother’s part in or she wasn’t( which would just be another sign that she wasn’t a consenting party in that relationship), so she would’ve known her brother would cross a continent to find her.

            A young guy not believing his young mistress 100% when she tells him someone is legit.How is that a sign that the relationship was not working out?

            None of those make it an obvious thing.The only thing they make obvious is that young people arent the best at making decisions,especially when it comes to matters of love and lust.

            He would have been sworn to protect and serve her if she was truly Rhaegar’s paramour. And he certainly wouldn’t have tried to kill her brother.
            And yes, all of these things together with the fact that Rhaegar was 24 and Lyanna 16 make it very obvious the relationship turned sour or wasn’t real to begin with.

            Its very likely Rhaegar might have let her in on his belief in the prophecy, the Prince that was Promised that he believed she would carry and didn’t want to go through with it

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Because she didn’t want to away from her family

              All of the info about her comes from someone who knew her in the past.So how do you know what she really wanted?How do you know that she wouldnt want to hide her pregnancy from her parents,or that she wasnt afraid to disappoint ned if he found out she was pregnant,or that she didnt want to put ned in an awkward position of having to keep her secret,or plethora of other reasons.

              Rhaegar was in his twenties with a wife and two children

              Twenties isnt that mature either,especially for men.Also,the fact that he had two children does not mean that he was involved in the birth of either of them.For all he knows the delivery people were there because his wife was sickly even when not pregnant,or there just to make her more comfortable.

              As for lyanna,how do you know what she wanted or how smart she actually was if all accounts of her actions came from other people that knew her,and knew her only as a “good girl who wants to marry robert”?

              She knew they were there

              Again,how do you know what she knew?And even if she knew bodyguards were there,doesnt mean she knew their orders.Also,how do you know when her labor pains started?How do you know she was already in the tower when they started?Or how do you know that she had the foresight that her brother would come there?Or that she knew or cared about the civil war?

              He would have been sworn to protect and serve her if she was truly Rhaegar’s paramour.

              Protect is not the same as believe.She told him her brother was legit,yet that was the same guy waging war against his family.But even if he believed her,doesnt mean he would be careful enough to not tell the guards “Dont let anyone come in there” without mentioning anyone as the exception.Heck,why should he even think that ned would manage to come there and not end up being imprisoned?Or that he would die before seeing his child.

              So no,not obvious at all.Not even likely either.

              • Harper says:

                All of the info about her comes from someone who knew her in the past.So how do you know what she really wanted?

                We know enough about her from the stories characters told or remembered to know how she was as a person, and how much she cared about her family. Her being locked away in a tower on the other side of a continent doesn’t make for a compelling case of pregnant teen hiding from her parents.

                Twenties isnt that mature either,especially for men.Also,the fact that he had two children does not mean that he was involved in the birth of either of them.

                I don’t think you quite understand the consent issues with this relationship, the power disparities. Rhaegar was about 8 years older than the 15 yr old Lyanna, he was Crown Prince, heir to the throne and obsessed with prophecy.
                Its almost certain that Lyanna ran away willingly on impulse, but the fact that Rhaegar vanished with her and she ended up all the way in Dorne while he fought and died at the Trident means he was the one in charge

                How do you know she was already in the tower when they started?Or how do you know that she had the foresight that her brother would come there?Or that she knew or cared about the civil war?

                Well her being in the tower before labor is obvious, unless you think those Kingsguard decided to carry her to the tower as she was in labor, which is silly.
                And you unknowingly brought up another issue with the relationship, how much if anything did Lyanna know what was going on around her, and what did Rhaegar allow her to know. Did he keep her brother and father’s death from her, the rebellion her other brother was leading? Because trapped in that tower with the last well-trained Kingsguard guarding the entrance means her autonomy was really suspect. Would she have stayed in hiding knowing her family was in such peril, that Rhaegar’s father was responsible? All evidence points to no.

                • Vermander says:

                  I think she was more or less a prisoner at the end, even if she wasn’t entirely aware of it. I’m also fairly certain that he didn’t want her to know that her father and brother had been executed, because then she might turn against him or tried to leave. He may or may not have loved Lyanna as a person, but his main concern was having her deliver the “prince who was promised.” For Rhaegar, noting was more important than the prophecy.

                  I also think that those three Kingsguard were absolutely devoted to Rhaegar, especially Arthur Dayne, who was his best friend. If Rhaegar said that no one goes in or out of that tower until the baby was born than they would follow his orders to the letter, even after he was dead (and they knew that he was when Ned arrived). For all the talk of them being paragons of knighthood Arthur Dayne, Barristan Selmy, and the other kingsguard tend to use “just following orders” as an excuse to avoid making hard decisions.

                  • Harper says:

                    Definitely, the worst part about this show marriage isn’t just that it romaticizes an abusive relationship but that it wipes away any of the nuance the books had with Jon Snow and the narrative exploring his status as the Chosen One.
                    Finding out that Ned is his uncle and that R/L are his parents is supposed to be a traumatic reveal for Jon, its supposed to be an emotional gut punch that causes him to confront his own identity. That reveal along with his death and resurrection are the bottom for his character and that changes in the show when he finally finds out he is the product of “True Love” and pretty much the rightful King of Westeros.
                    And they did it for the drama it would add to his relationship with Dany, which was totally unnecessary when you consider that Targaryen bastard is historically just as threatening to her rights to the throne as the legitimate son of her older brother

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Her being locked away in a tower on the other side of a continent doesn’t make for a compelling case of pregnant teen hiding from her parents.

                  Its not unheard of in the real world for a good girl(or a good boy)to do such a silly thing when they find their first love.

                  means he was the one in charge

                  This,and the last thing:
                  Sure,he couldve lied and was a manipulative bastard.But that doesnt mean she changed her mind or was a prisoner.Just that the man who she fell in love with was duplicitous.And he didnt even have to lie out of malice,but out of fear that if she knew things she would leave.Thats not a justification of his actions,but it does make the relationship less sinister than you are portraying it.

                  Also a clarification:By “in the tower before labor” I meant that she couldve started giving birth while they were outside,and he gave orders after they got her to the room.

                  • Harper says:

                    Its not unheard of in the real world for a good girl(or a good boy)to do such a silly thing when they find their first love.

                    If you can think of a real case in the pre-modern world, where the fastest means of travel is horse, of a young couple traveling across a continent then I’d love to read about it

                    Sure,he couldve lied and was a manipulative bastard.But that doesnt mean she changed her mind or was a prisoner.Just that the man who she fell in love with was duplicitous.And he didnt even have to lie out of malice,but out of fear that if she knew things she would leave.Thats not a justification of his actions,but it does make the relationship less sinister than you are portraying it.

                    Its almost certain that he lied to her, that he denied her information that she should have known and that’s part of what you’re not really grasping here- consent, power-dynamics, etc. You can’t fully consent to a relationship if you’re being lied to, that’s pretty basic morality
                    He kept her in a tower in the mountains in Dorne when he left to fight for the man who killed her father and eldest brother. And keeping her in the dark wasn’t to protect their “relationship”, it was most likely to keep their child in his hands, his Prince that was Promised.
                    Now his motivations initially were probably beneficial, he was probably charmed by the Lady who put on armor and beat down real knights, and he believed their child would save the world. That’s a nice sentiment, but the fact that it led him to help Lyanna vanish away from her family, abandoned his wife and children, started the civil war and defended the Mad King until the end is wrong and in hindsight makes his relationship with Lyanna really creepy.

                    And that’s not even getting into the show canon where Rhaegar actually annulled his marriage with Ellia, thereby de-legitimatizing his first two children, which Lyanna consented to and even named their son Aegon, which adds a whole other level of creepy.

                    • Judarud says:

                      I don’t think annulling the marriage would somehow retroactively de-legitimize his children, that’s just not how it works. You’re a bastard only if you’re born out of marriage, you don’t become one if they get a divorce.

                    • Harper says:

                      It does in Westeros

    • Falcon02 says:

      It does feel like the whole thing could have been resolved with quite a bit less blood shed if Rhaegar and Lyanna hadn’t been so secretive about things…

      No accusations of Kidnapping…

      No reason to agitate the Mad King by demanding Lyanna’s return (Ned’s Father and Brother might have survived)…

      Sure there would have been fall out over Rhaegar annulling his marriage and Lyanna breaking her betrothal. Dorne would have been upset and Robert would have still thrown a fit. And yeah… the Mad King would have still been the Mad King killing indiscriminately.

      But I can’t imagine the it having quite the cascade to all out civil war that was seen in Robert’s Rebellion…

      • BlueHorus says:

        The impression I get is that Westeros was a tinderbox at the time (or pool of wildfire) just waiting for a single spark – which happened to be Lyanna Stark.

        The Mad King was already deeply unpopular because he liked to burn people alive, acted like a child, had kind-of denied Tywin Lannister his favoured heir, and other things I forget.

        The Robert-Rhaegar-Lyanna love triange was as much excuse as reason – I’m sure Dorne were more than capable of starting that war if they wanted to.

        (like if, say, House Martell had just been disinherited).

        • Falcon02 says:

          Quite true, though things would have still played out differently.

          It could have ended up being House Martell and Baratheon starting things, but it seems less likely Starks would have gotten involved. And the people around him may have been able to hold back Robert more…

          But yeah… Mad king remains the wild card who always seemed on the path to spark some sort of revolution against him… I guess I wonder how much of an effort there would have been to kill the entire Targarean family without Rheagar’s actions getting painted quite so violent and forceful…

  27. Preciousgollum says:

    Has anybody entertained the notion that Bran has just been making sh*t up the entire time…?

    I.e Westeros’ greatest troll.

    Bran: “Ah yes, Sam, and I see also that your deceased father had a secret affair, with seven tiny dwarves, in Littlefinger’s Brothel; I heard him shouting that Chaos was a Ladder.”

  28. Ness says:

    I thought Theon’s thing would be “he won’t quit and he won’t stay down so we have respect for him because he’s willing to die for this cause”. Instead it was “he beat the crap out of this guy after getting totally dominated in a fight.”

    • Olivier Faure says:

      I hear you. I mean, what you suggest would have been pretty weird too (though I totally expected it to happen), but “Theon wins because of his superpower of not having a penis)” is even weirder.

      Plus I’m pretty sure getting hit in the stump of you cut-off penis would be 10x more painful than actually getting hit in the penis, and bloodier as well. Fantom limbs are a thing.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        It doesnt even have to be a phantom limb or a wound that can reopen.Getting kneed anywhere on your body is going to hurt,whether its your foot,your head,your stomach or your mutilated groin.And when you are already pretty beaten up and next to passing out,getting hit anywhere will not make you shrug it off and gain a burst of strength.The scene is stupid on so many levels.

        • ehlijen says:

          Also, when did Theon forget how to fight? He was raised along the Stark boys (including hunting trips), and later fought in the ironborn war against winterfell. Sure, he wasn’t a legendary fighter, but this display was just embarrassing.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Same.I expected him to defiantly scream “what is dead may never die” while coughing blood and the men decide to join him because of that.

  29. Mayhem66 says:

    Frankly, I rolled my eyes at the dragon destroying the wall. I thought it was supposed to be a magically-enhanced barrier. Now it turns out, it’s just a wall of ice.

    I have a prediction, based on how asinine the writing has gotten, concerning the whole “three headed dragon” prophesy. Cersei will have her alchemist make the undead Mountain the new Night King using Dragonglass, and the original Night King will have to join forces with Jon and Dany to take out the usurper. So, you have Dany on Drogon, Jon on Rhaegal, and the NK on Viserion.

  30. Falcon02 says:

    One question that I can’t help but wonder… and maybe this is a silly question because… “Lolz Zombies are a force of nature that just want to eat brains”

    But… Do we know what the Night King’s motivation/end goal is?

    Granted the rank and file zombies are mindless, but it’s clear they take orders from the White Walkers/Night King who are shown as being able to show some level of intelligence and planning. (Aside from seemingly being able to read the script to know if they just wait 7 seasons they can get free delivery of a dragon to zombify)

    I know they were created by the Children of the Forest to help fight back the First Men, before they turned on both. But the Night King doesn’t take orders from the Children anymore, and I can’t think of much motivation to kill/conquer Westereos except to maybe fulfill his “original programming.”

    Perhaps this is all the motivation he needs, but it seems like there should be more… especially if he is as intelligent and plotting as his actions might suggest.

    If he only wished to “Kill all Humans” why bother agree to let [what’s his name beyond the wall] alone in exchange for babies to turn? Sure more White Walkers to command… but that shows planning and intelligence that suggests deeper motivations.

    These are not just the “mindless” zombies of old… they are they’re own undead race… Does he want a “Kingdom” inhabited by undead zombies? Does he want to actually “rule over the humans.” Is it simply vengeance against the decedents of the first men?

    It’s possible I’m attributing too much characterization to a character that is intended as the head of “a force of nature” that just does what it does because that’s what it is. It’s also possible there might be more developed motivations that have never been communicated to the audience. At this point I feel like there should be something deeper, but traditional motivations (power/wealth/vengeance) either don’t apply, or seem pretty weak (ruling over a kingdom of zombies/what’s gold?/I’ll kill you because I once fought your great*10^100-grandfathers).

    • Preciousgollum says:

      Perhaps the motivation for (Night King/Death Knight/Shinigami) is simply being the Leader of everybody that is dead, and since EVERYBODY dies at some point, this would make the ruler of the dead have a de-facto claim to EVERYBODY… ever. Eventually. The biggest Kingdom.

      No wars, no conflict, just peace through death, Order, and obliteration of ‘the self’.

      • Droid says:

        But then why kill all the living people? If you let them live, they’ll produce more subjects. I have a hard time thinking of the Night King as so greedy that he doesn’t think of the potential he’s wasting.

        • Preciousgollum says:

          If the White Walkers let people live, then there are more enemies that could one day oppose and exterminate them.

        • Falcon02 says:

          I do imagine they would want to keep some humans around at least for a bit…

          A.) Zombies do decay and might want more to periodically get “fresh soldiers”

          B.) He seems to need live humans (babies only?) to make other white walkers

          Still not sure how long term that would last…

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well,you see the night king knows that its all about cycles.Every species eventually creates their zombies,the children created white walkers and humans have now created the mountain zombie.And eventually zombies rebel and eat their creator.So the night king has to exterminate the humans before their zombies exterminate them.

      • Tse says:

        And preserve them in the form of an Other…

        EDIT: But the situation has changed. A new solution is needed.
        Jon can kill the zombies, but this will kill all zombies, including Benjen, the (now friendly) Mountain and even Jon himself, since he is part zombie.
        Jon could also become the Night King and control the zombies.
        And there is a third way: synthesis. Zombies and humans can become like Jon, part human, part zombie.

      • Preciousgollum says:

        So, is the Night King a priest that Cavils (complains) about being created as an immortal old man with arthritis (and problems sleeping)?

        Goddamn cycles (lol)…

        It is about the life and the death. The tug of war. The Ice and The fire. Heat and Cold.

        People need to have children to be ‘immortal’, and then, to some religions, even if they don’t have kids, they are promised an afterlife or are seen as useful. People are content to sacrifice themselves.

        Night King sees it this way: he doesn’t need kids to be immortal, so all he needs to do is survive (and indoctrinate along his way). He was created to be utility/stuff (for the Children of the Forest), but to win, a form of self-preservation is needed, because a self-sacrificing army is a useless one. Therefore, everything is stuff

        While there are enemies, there is always the need to take action to preserve the self, as an immortal being.

      • SPCTRE says:

        God. Damn. You. Daemian.

    • Harper says:

      The Night King is just a face and a convenient keystone for the White Walkers in the show, his motivations are the same as every other WW- which is basically just hunt all humans, wage a war with the Red God, blah, blah.
      The motivation is basically the same in the books, though the WW’s are clearly more like Hunters who like to toy with their prey.
      The Night King in the books was a historical figure, and really not even a White Walker himself, just married to one

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        which is basically just hunt all humans

        Ah,so they are benders children.

        • Preciousgollum says:

          Because we all remember that tearjerking episode of Futurama/GoT Crossover:

          “Little Bird, Little Bird Fly Through that Window; The Lannisters had incest”.

          Bran is just faking his psychic powers… having studied under the great John Edwards.

          … and when Bran hears the sound of the Night King’s Ice Cream Van, and runs out the door, everybody will know that Hodor & Meeren Reed carried him around for no reason.

          Personally, I’ve always wanted to try Dragon Glass Ice.
          It was the French that held out the longest. They were so close.

          Then, years later, the Battlestar Galactica lands in Westeros – It was Earth All Along! (The Watch Tower)! and all that is left is The Statue of Liberty, holding its Ice Cream. It was a Beacon. A warning, for future generations, that The Reapers are coming to color-code your life choices.

          The Reapers even pick who gets to become the American President.

          Westeros was a Theme Park.

        • Harper says:

          What episode is this referencing?

  31. Preciousgollum says:

    Game of Thrones Exam:

    Question 1.

    If Euron Greyjoy kicks Theon Greyjoy in the crotch, while Bran is warging into Theon, and a guard shouts “Kick him in the crotch”, and Bran is in the past watching the White Walker army encircling Jon Snow & company at the Frozen Lake, and Beric Dondarian is talking about taking down the leading White Walker, does Bran then shout “Kick him in the crotch”?
    does Beric Dondarian then hear the voice, proceed to run up to the Night King and kick him him the crotch?
    If so, does the Night King get Frozen Globes, Blue Balls, or is he Smooth as Ice down there?

    Do the Snow Men and Carrots exist in the universe of Game of Thrones, and, if so, what are their agendas?

  32. Smejki says:

    I’m predicting the next season will be in real time. Seven episodes, seven hours. Ravens travel almost instantly. Dragon can fly Dragonstone to beyond-the-Wall in matter of hours. And Euron’s fleet can teleport next to any pylon (they’re plentiful, all over the map). So there will be no problem. Even Cersei will manage to deliver her baby in time.

    I expect the Night King to reach to Winterfell by the end of the first episode or by the next one.

    Now seriously. I “love” how they swiftly put Dorne aside in this season. They managed to capture the “queen?” so everybody in Dorne decides offscreen to sit on their asses. Dany nerfed. Even Highgarden received better treatment, and how horrible treatment that was.

    • Preciousgollum says:

      Plot leaks for season 8 are available on the Internet, and the ones I read seemed fairly legit, especially considering that season 7 finale leaks were spot on.

      If anything, it might have been better writing than what the show is curently delivering.

      In lieu of spoilers, the story itself is not entirely the main issue: the main issue seems to be the problem of pacing and delivery – reading the plot synopsis is passable entertainment, whereas watching it on screen is ok once, or not interesting, with the remaining unlikeable characters and ESPECIALLY DULL ON REPEATS (season 6 finale I thought was good, the first time, then the second time it was soooo boring).

      If anybody recalls the episode of Stargate SG-1 called “Bad Guys” (Season 10 ep16) (The museum hostage situation), I remember reading about complaints from the actors that thought the delivery of the story in relation to its characters was poorly done, the actors didn’t have good direction to work with, which was especially disappointing when nearing the end of the entire show.

      Game of Thrones reminds me of bad Stargate Episodes.

      Suspect the White Walkers did a heist on the Wraith wardrobe department.

      Have Branned self to GoT spoilers – so predictions are no longer a valid medium for expression. 😉

      • ehlijen says:

        Bad Guys was a bad Stargate episode? I actually considered it to be one of the later seasons’ better outings.

        • Preciousgollum says:

          Bad guys was considered ‘not the strongest’ of Stargate SG-1 episodes, by one of the main cast.

          To make everything fit for TV, parts of the story were cut, which apparently made dialogue seem to go off at a tangent at times.

          While the overall plot might have seemed ok on paper, the execution was sloppy. Sound familiar?

          Co-incidentally, this was the episode they were filming when they found out Stargate was cancelled.

          • ehlijen says:

            I actually enjoyed the performances, the plot, humour, and the episode overall, which is more than I can say for many other season 9 and 10 episodes.

            It wasn’t the best of Stargate, but it was solidly above average in my opinion.

    • Preciousgollum says:

      There are only 6 episodes left for Season 8.

  33. Smejki says:

    Post your predictions for the next season here:
    Example: What if we get zombie Euron with his zombie dick?

    • Preciousgollum says:

      Answer: What is dead may never die.

    • Preciousgollum says:

      Theon became ‘Reek’,
      Benjen became ‘Cold hands’
      so…
      Zombie Euron would become ‘Floppy Flotsam’.

      Obviously.

    • ehlijen says:

      Sansa to be the new token bi chick of the show?
      Jaime will change his mind again and try to return to cersei at least twice?
      The white walkers will take another six years to reach winterfell?
      Euron’s fleet launches an ambush out of castle black’s well and delivers the golden company right into the heart of the enemy?
      Bron will continue to stupidly risk his life while continuing to rant about how Ash owes him a bike, I mean Cersei owes him money?
      The Kingsguard will switch to Evil spiked armour?
      The Dothraki all die because they don’t know shit about living in winter conditions?
      Cersei agrees to marry the night king to ally their armies?

  34. shadr says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention how nonsensical it was that the Unsullied even got to King’s Landing. The last we saw of them was back a few episodes ago when Euron showed up out of nowhere to stage a siege. Did the Unsullied escape somehow? How did they escape? There was quite a lot in the opening shot of the episode, so it seemed like most escaped. What happened? Did they go back to Dragonstone, or did they make camp somewhere? How did they make camp without food?

    I mentioned in my previous post that Daenerys specifically mentions to Tyrion that he “lost us Highgarden and Dorne”, but she doesn’t mention Casterly Rock. I thought this was because Casterly Rock was still under siege, but apparently the Lannisters now occupy it? Or did Euron end his siege, allowing the Unsullied to march from Casterly Rock to King’s Landing? If so, why did Euron end his siege? If the Lannisters currently have Casterly Rock again, why doesn’t Daenerys mention that Tyrion lost her that as well? If they had lost Casterly Rock, why doesn’t ANYONE mention it or wonder about whether the Unsullied could be saved?

    None of this makes any sense, but whatever.

    Littlefinger is murdered this season – no surprise there. Figured they’d get rid of him this season, given how he’s been pretty much pointless since season 5. A few scenes later we’re treated to a light-hearted Sansa/Arya scene where they tease eachother, which doesn’t fit tonally. Arya just slit a man’s throat. Whoever Littlefinger was, execution in the North is carried out by a beheading. Slitting someone’s throat is an extremely painful way to go. And whatever happened to “Whoever passes the sentence swings the sword”?

    It’s also unclear as to why Bran even intervened at the trial. If he knew all this information, why not tell Sansa back when he first arrived at Winterfell?

    Speaking of Bran, that scene between him and Samwell Tarly was just god-awful. It pretty much devalued the immediate lore of the series, as well as undermine some major themes. Why did the High Septon make note of the annulment in a private diary? Was he really this dumb to not inform everyone what had happened, so that, you know, a war can be prevented? And how omniscient is Bran exactly? He knows about Lyanna and Rhaegar, some dialogue Littlefinger said seasons ago (‘chaos is a ladder’), but all of a sudden he doesn’t know about the secret annulment? His powers, much like Arya’s, isn’t made clear, and as a result just makes it seem like the writers employ it whenever it’s convienent.

    It also doesn’t make sense to characterize any of this as “Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie”. What was the lie? The Rebellion started when the Mad King killed two Starks, after Lyanna mysteriously disappeared with Rhaegar. What did Rhaegar and Lyanna think others would think? The secret annulment undermines both their characters, making them incredibly stupid people. They could have easily prevented the war if they had just simply cleared the air around what had happened.

    In what way does this added knowledge that there was actually an annulment add to the story? The only purpose here is to change the fact that Jon is actually a legitimate heir instead of a bastard, so assumedly there will be tension when he discovers this next season. This could have easily been accomplished in other ways though, and just the natural fact that Jon is half-Targ without being a legitimate heir could have served for decent drama. All this really accomplishes is retroactively making Lyanna and Rhaegar into arguably the most selfish people in the story, as they practically started a war.

    Glad you mentioned the White Walkers and how unclear a threat they were to the narrative this season. I don’t really think the Night King is a greenseer though, for reasons I listed in my last post. Regardless if he’s a greenseer or not, the narrative impetus he has was pretty poorly conveyed this season. Either it was a complete coincidence he got a dragon, or he somehow knew to use Jon as bait for Daenerys, which runs into a whole lot of problems as I laid out.

    We got treated to some more ‘epic’ Hound jokes where he calls more people ‘cunt’, a dumb standoff between him and Gregor (I wouldn’t put it below D&D to include Cleganebowl as a plotline for next season, the writing at this point is meme-tier level), and some more timeline nonsense (Jon mentions that it’d take the Dothraki merely two weeks to travel from Dragonstone/King’s Landing to Winterfell if they ran at full speed – absolutely absurd if you look at any map of Westeros and how travel functioned a few seasons ago).

    That’s all I really have to say. I too look forward for Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing, along with the thousands of listicle articles about the most ‘epic badass moments’ this season. God help us all.

    • Ness says:

      I assumed Euron just sunk the ships so they couldn’t return via ship and that the larders were emptied. Euron never actually started a siege, he just cut them off. As for the Casterly Rock thing. Cleary Dany planted a flag there and left a guy there to keep the lights on so it’s still her territory. It’s like a game of Risk except in real life.

      As for Rhaegar and Lyanna… yeah. I wonder what her reaction was when she heard that his father killed her father and older brother? HEY IDIOTS, WHAT DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN? I thought it was stupid that “Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie”. No it was built on some dodgy information and several years of someone called “The Mad King” running the country into the ground.

      As for The Night King. His plan was apparently “wait until the plot delivers me the means to bypass the previously un-bypassable wall.

  35. Leocruta says:

    2019!? You mean I have to wait over a year for more GoT write-ups? This is ridiculous!

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Obviously the solution is for Bob to now write a detailed episode episode analysis from start to finish,so that we can see the gradual descent from excitement to loathing that he mentioned a few times.And then,because therell be time left to spare,a detailed analysis of every book.In video form.

      • ehlijen says:

        And while we’re at it, a collaboration about the parallels to the evolution of the Mass Effect games (from deep setup to action packed conclusion to derp face encore)?

        • BlueHorus says:

          Game of Thrones to Game Of Groans: What Went Wrong?

          Start with the first few seasons, why they were good, what made them so – then move onto the warning signs like core character changes and plotlines like the Fookin’ Legend of Gin Alley.
          End up with the show as it is now.

          I’d read it.

          • Preciousgollum says:

            Ignoring social consensus for a moment (i.e forgetting the need to implant morals into tales), it is my hypothesis/belief that the basis of all good drama is interesting interaction between CHARACTERS, and scenes that make an audience think about implications, what could go wrong etc, and question one’s own beliefs.

            The antithesis of this is the TENSIONS between the AUDIENCE & WRITER/DIRECTOR – can we trust that the writer will not pull ruses and tricks in their presentation in order to….

            JUMP-SCARE CLOWNS!!!!

            … make an audience feel an artificial sense of tension or dread; fearing the events of the writer more than the characters.

            An example would be the TWO scenes between Zombie Mountain and Jamie/Tyrion. Both characters are acting unreasonable in asking for death, testing the audiences patience, in order for the writer to basically tell us that Cerci has lost her power, which means she loses, even if the other two are acting in ways that don’t make sense. Cerci NEVER threatened either of them with death by The Mountain. They did it to themselves, so that the writer could construct a way to weaken Cerci, and turn her into a full villain – (villain means weak poor person from a village that knights were allowed to push about).

            Show, don’t tell. If an effect has to be explained, it isn’t fun…

            Ultimate justice is about having everybody do ‘the right thing’, which means that the executor becomes the only person capable of doing ‘the wrong thing’…

            What makes Ned Stark’s story interesting, is that he was so honor-bound to serving his King, and friend, and also so invested with the idea of rules, patterns (I.e blond hair/black hair) that he didn’t realise he broke the BIGGER rule – Don’t commit treason. Ned committed treason in order to uphold his ideals, and failed. On the chopping block, Ned confessed to a crime that nobody asked him to confess to (i.e attempted murder of Joffrey), because he was rubbish at plea bargaining. People believed Ned, even Joffrey did. Chop Chop.

            The reason that the later seasons are not doing so well, is because the main characters have become Totems, and representations of ideas, rather than interesting in their own right. Dialogue itself has become vaguely metaphoric and full of callback phrases.

            The characters feel like empty vessels which are spouting dialogue to tidy up the rough edges of the plot, especially in the death of Littlefinger, who was killed by Writer Ex Machina – so unsatisfying.

            Also, when did killing off characters in a program mean that there were somehow less characters/players/pieces overall? This isn’t Chess.

            Random interactions with new characters/strangers can be just as interesting.

            • Syal says:

              Random interactions with new characters/strangers can be just as interesting.

              Lots of stories can work like that, especially classic traveller stories like Lord of the Rinds, but a political drama should be getting smaller and less complicated as it comes to a conclusion. Adding new characters and complications feels like the whole story is a waste of time.

              • Droid says:

                I don’t think so. Look at all the historical political dramas. Since they were lifted from real life, which does not seem to shrink in complexity as time goes on, there will be complications even in the later stages (unless the drama was idealized).

                Of course, that comparison kinda falls flat if you don’t find the life and strife of historical characters in particular interesting.

                • Syal says:

                  I’ll admit I don’t read many of them. I’m going to guess the historical dramas center around the life and status of one individual over the course of many conflicts, rather than centering on one conflict involving many characters.

                  • Preciousgollum says:

                    Both very good points. I’m mostly griping about the limited number or episodes. Thought it would be a good thing at first, but then realise that one misses out on the ‘slice of life’ or world-building scenes that could inject some much needed charm, and answer a few questions.

                    Some such examples being:
                    What do the public of King’s Landing think about THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR FUNDAMENTAL RELIGIOUS BELIEF SYSTEM…???

                    …OR THE DOTHRAKI & UNSULLIED BACKED TARGARYAN DRAGON INVASION…???

                    …ARE THE CITIZENS NOW AWARE OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE ZOMBIES???

                    OR METAL GEAR!? 😉

                    …and, finally, how will the residents of King’s Landing react to losing The patron saint of strange at the Brothel House? Alas, no more jokes about Winter Coming…

  36. AReasonWhy says:

    Blue Eyes Wight Dragon really cranked me up, nice joke.
    As a non reader non watcher of the book/show, this entry of your analysis was probably the least easy to read with so many names and stuff referenced. Your previous entries nicely pointed out whats shit with this show because they were obvious things, and here in the season summary I feel most of the problems came down to ‘none of this plot makes sense’, which I guess is the takeaway from the tv show in general.
    Oh well, I am really looking forward to whatever your next project is.

  37. Preciousgollum says:

    Scene: The Wall

    Instead of what we got, have the zombies climb up the Wall. Heck, have them all go in a big damn SUPER ZOMBIE PILE AGAINST THE WALL (remember, Bran invited them in). THEN have a big battle for the Wall.

    … and THEN send the dragons to the wall, and THEN have one of then die, and THEN have one of them resurrected by the Night King. In fact, if the wall was taken beforehand by the undead, perhaps we wouldn’t have needed the whole lengthy meeting that made little sense. The Nights watch could have been believed by Dany & Jamie (and perhaps not by Cercie). This would have been a redemption from Ned Stark’s problem of beheading Night Watch deserters.

    Instead, what we got was the plot falling arse over tit (English expression for muddling up) in order to justify the short length of the two final seasons. Dragon Ex Machina.

    In this case, LITERALLY:
    Dany: “Oh no, my Dragon-baby is dead”
    Jon: “I love you – Let’s fall arse over tit.”

    Also, Jon Snow is a maniac, who wants to genocide Wight people because he thinks they are a threat to his (human) race, even it was the Watch Rangers, him and uncle Benjen that disturbed them in the first place, by travelling past the wall and expanding. And he has a thing for the (Targ)Aryan race of blond-haired extremists, even though he isn’t one of them. In this case, he loves the blond hair, but not the blue eyes.

    … And people moaned about the racism and sexism in GoT, without ever noticing that chief pretty-boy is one of the worst offenders.

  38. Kerethos says:

    Was the boatsex supposed to be epic? I mean it might be some kind of record in just how many ways two people having boatsex are related to each other.

    Someone did the incest math and concluded Jon and Danny share about 47.45 % of their DNA. Siblings share 50 %. Twins share bit more (so Jamie and Cersei still win the “most shared DNA” race).

    But Jon and Danny are cousins several times over (since the Targaryen are historically big on procreating with relatives) as well as aunt and nephew and so on. So they definitely win… whatever category that would be.

    TL;DR: Boatsex is the next level wincest? I am confused. But dragons are fun. I enjoy seeing the dragons.

    • Preciousgollum says:

      Was the boatsex supposed to be epic?

      Each series seems to close with Dany, so they had to think of something new for her to do, or position to be in 😉.

      I enjoy seeing the dragons.

      Dany may be the Mother of Dragons, but, with Littlefinger dead, Tyrion now looks set to be appointed God of Tits and Wine.

      • Preciousgollum says:

        Boatsex

        This absolutely will NOT happen, but still…

        Imagine that, straight after the

        Boatsex …

        … EURON GREYJOY APPEARS and sinks their WHOLE fleet. Dany and Jon die. That’s what you get for having boatsex when it would have been safer to travel by Dragon.

        … And, no I do NOT mean Dragonsex… 😂 get your minds out of Fleabottom gutter.

      • “Each series seems to close with Dany”
        I saw the Night King ride a dragon with a legion of the dead walking beneath him; did you pause the video before the end?

        • Preciousgollum says:

          “Each series seems to close with Dany”
          I saw the Night King ride a dragon with a legion of the dead walking beneath him; did you pause the video before the end?

          Fair point, but the Wall-melting Dragon scene was more of a Stinger section than anything else; the TV equivalent of Marvel movie after-credits, or a mid-season TV cliffhanger…

          Because we are only 7 episodes in…

  39. “Tyrion hatches an idiotic plan to send the King of the North ”
    Actually he didn’t. Snow insisted on going. If you are going to criticize or mock a character decision then at least get the fact right.

    The plan being idiotic I agree with. A better plan could have been to drag Jamie along on a dragon and shown from a distance the undead army.

    “two expendable redshirts ” I think there was three, one killed by the bear, one by the wights on the ice running to the rock island, another falling off said rock.

    “If this plotline was a seven-layer cake, six of the seven layers would be undiluted nonsense.” Can’t argue with that, a seven layer cake is always nonsense and horrible to cut, even more difficult to bake.

    BTW! You missed the part where Euron makes an excuse to retreat/flee but instead is heading to Esos. I assume this was pre-planned by him an Cercei prior to the meeting, his excuse just turned out way more plausible based on the captured Wight. Why they didn’t show that conspiring as a quick scene I don’t understand; the shock at the reveal would have been lost but Jamie was still shocked (on behalf of the viewers) and that would have worked fine.

    BTW! I love how Bran got corrected and had to mind dive to correct his view of the past.

    “New York subway system” is there a reference in a previous “Bob Episode” I’ve missed here?
    Other than HBO having a office there or than one of the writers are born there I’m not sure that New York would work as a proxy for Kings Landing. Do not so casually highlight plotholes in GoT when you yourself have them in your own writing.

    “I’ve personally found Kit Harrington to be a limited actor” I’m confused, you mean you have acted alongside him or he has acted for you with your scripts? Or do you mean that in your opinion you see him as a limited actor? Personally means, you know, personally, first hand.

    “the ancient ritual of “beating up some jerk in front of everyone.””
    That is a classic trope, a ton of anime does this, the hero gets beaten down, gets up and beaten down again, never giving up.

    eunuch or penis jokes hasn’t been that prevalent recently. Also if you don’t think that a knee to the groin is a effective combat move, then shuffle over her and I’ll “bend a knee” and show you how effective it is.

    Theon only got the upper hand (and got in a nasty headbut to the nose that probably caused his opponent to bleed to death internally) thanks to the surprise of a lack of reaction to the knee-to-groin move.

    “it does make me wonder whether the wall could have stopped the Army of the Dead before they had a zombie dragon”

    It is presumably impervious (though magic) against physical attacks, that dragon breath is blue fire (I assume) and purely magical in nature. Whether it’s heat or intense cold it has a thermic reaction with the wall.

    There is so little we know about the Knight King. How did he break free from the spell of the “elves” he was under. And what is the extent of his powers. Is his power amplified through the dragon? If so then that blue flame is a focus/amplified blast of the Knight Kings own magic.
    He must have tested the wall over the centuries.

    I was surprised though, I predicted he’d fly over the wall and kill and turn people on the other side of the wall and get them to attack the gate and open it.
    “Benjen, who is a wight-kind-of-but-not-really (it’s never quite explained) states that he can’t go south of the wall”
    He can’t go through the wall ad the guards won’t let him through (he looks like a Wight), he can’t scale the wall and I assume the dead can’t “touch” the wall for some reason.
    He probably could go around the wall using a boat like Jon and the Wildlings did.
    But it may also have been metaphorical, there would be no life for him south of the wall, he is after all dead.

    “Was the Night King just killing time until a dragon showed up? Did he somehow know”
    I think he knew, didn’t he and Bran sort of “mind” in each others mind when Bran was “training” ? The Knight King “saw him”.
    It’s possible that Bran sees (and can affect) the past to some extent and that the Knight King can see and affect the future to some effect.

    There is also the issue of the gods or at least a god (or two?) involved in the background that may be manipulating events.

    “When Bran learned that the wights were marching towards Eastwatch it seemed to be a matter of some urgency”
    Bran has probably some sight into the near future as well. I also suspect that Bran knows more than he is letting on about what will happen. Certain events that must take place even if many will have to die.

    BTW! I’ve notice something. Most of your complains about the show is not the writing of the show itself but rather “That’s not how I would have written it!”.

    Rutskarn is doing a interesting series now, perhaps you could do the same? “Re-write” the show and see if you can come up with something better and then see how much the readers agree or not with the way you write it.

    It’s unfortunate that the show passed by the books, the books gave them a nice guideline. When the book stuff ran out they had to no longer adapt the material but also come up with purely original stuff.

    The show would probably have been better if the books had all been finished or if they just went off in their own direction from the very first episode.

    This gives me hope for new The Witcher TV series, all the material about the characters, main story lines (books and game series) are finished so there won’t be a sudden shift partway through it due to the source material running out.

    Another thing the GoT show is suffering is the lack of budget near the end. I understand why they split the last season in two, to stretch the budget.
    They have to end (as best as they can) a show that millions love or love to hate, and do it properly. Too many shows just get canceled or end without conclusions.

    Littlefinger dying, and the Bran info dump on Jon an the hookup with Dany seems to be the start of trying up the loose threads.

    The showrunners said as much that the show started narrowly and then expanded and expand and then they had to pull it together again now towards the end.

    They are doing a great job, much better than I could have. Personally I would not have wanted to do a adaption of somebody elses books to the screen. It would either have to be something original or something I’d written myself. So I think they are doing a pretty good job with this series, it can’t be easy.

    I just hope the showrunners don’t end up with a slightly lackluster ending similar to what the Mass Effect trilogy got. If there is a star child AI with three colors it’s ass whopping time.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      eunuch or penis jokes hasn’t been that prevalent recently.

      Recently they most definitely were.Maybe you meant overall.

      Also if you don’t think that a knee to the groin is a effective combat move, then shuffle over her and I’ll “bend a knee” and show you how effective it is.

      The problem isnt that he was kneed in the groin,but rather that he managed to not only completely shrug it off,but get a burst of energy out of it.Because thats how eunuchs work,apparently.

      • Harper says:

        Because thats how eunuchs work,apparently.

        Yeah, they’re definitely not concerned with that, the fact that all the Unsullied look like track athletes makes it clear. I can’t even imagine what hitting that medieval-treated scar would feel like.
        Although I don’t remember any mention in Martin’s books about how eunuchs have to use tubes for their urethra and how likely they are to get infections and die

  40. Some predictions:

    Jon and Dany hooking up I predicted last time and this is now true.
    I’m predicting they stay together. But hide it from everyone but Tyrion knows.
    Dany is revealed to be pregnant (with a human child, a dragon baby is a tad far fetched) midway into Season 8.

    Jon and Dany ride separate dragons with some of the other major characters to Winterfell after Bran sends a raven to the ship with a message that the Knight Kings has breached the wall.
    The ships will take a few more days to arrive, which coincidentally will match up wit the arrival of the Knight King army..

    Jamie rides to Winterfell, and Sansa has to make a decision. Capture/kill Jamie or allow him to bend the knee and join to help fight the dead.

    Tormund survives, the part of the wall he was on was the far part towards the inland and not the coastal edge. He arrives about the same time Jamie does.

    Both living dragons will survive the finale.

    Jon will not sit on the iron throne, nor Dany. Sansa will (Littlefinger’s plan comes to fruition, but without him by her side). Arya stays in the shadows to protect Sansa.

    Jon and Dany will travel together to the southern islands and beyond to learn more of their lineage and of dragons.

    Tormund dies in the finale. The Hound fights The Mountain, is almost killed but saved by Brienne.

    The Knight King is gets the killing blow by Jon.
    Bran remains in Winterfell as it’s lord.

    Theon saves his sister, they kill Euron. They return to the isles.

    Cercei Is killed by Jamie, Jamie has to tend to the baby along with Tyrion, returning to what is left of their family castle.

    The Knight King is dead, but all the White Walkers are not. The Nights Watch grows in numbers as hey have to protect the now almost useless wall. The White Walkers are driven further and further north. Bran says that while the threat is over for now, the army of dead will return. Jon says that he’ll return when the time comes.

    Various “smaller” characters like Bronn and Gendry and Melisandre and Viserys will die During the final fight or the early stages of it. Jorah survives but joins the Night’s Watch.

    • Preciousgollum says:

      Assuming the plot leaks on the Internet are true,
      do you want to know which of or if your predictions are correct or not?

      If you search ‘Game of Thrones Season 8 plot leak’, then you may find your own answers… but do you wish to be burdened with such foreknowledge?

      Beware… the Web is Dark, and full of Errors.
      Spoiler Morghulis.

  41. I’m looking forward to reading the books when they are finished.

    And I will laugh if it turns out that a lot of the stuff people are complaining about regarding the show turns out to also appear in the books.

    Nobody knows how much plot points R.R.Martin whispered in the ears of the showrunners.

    • Preciousgollum says:

      And I will laugh if it turns out that a lot of the stuff people are complaining about regarding the show turns out to also appear in the books.

      It isn’t so much the plot that is the problem, but the way in which it is being expressed via the medium of Television; Scene by Scene, which writers and directors have juristiction over (and responsibility for) And that some adaptation projects end up as pure fan-fiction.

      One of the big cardinal problems of TV & movies is that they like to edit, streamline, condense & compress, to the point where two things become one, or two different source materials are sledgehammered together.

      Take the Batman Vs Superman Film (debacle) for example: it was two different stories (Dark Knight + Death of Superman), somehow tied together in ways that resemble a box of tangled Christmas lights & other assorted decorations.

      The Ghost in the Shell (2017) movie, for example: I watched the 1996 anime, just over a year ago, on a complete whim, with no knowledge of it, or any knowledge of the existence of a live-action film (because I was suddenly into cyber-punk), and the anime was great & intriguing. I also watched the TV series (Stand Alone Complex) which I thought was good for its own reasons.

      Then, I notice this Live Action film (of GiTS), or, more accurately, Scarlett Johanson’s wig, and I think to myself that something seems wrong: The wig was a colour of equidistance between all of the source material. The directors hadn’t committed to a particular set of source material.

      If you want dark and brooding, watch the first anime movie. If that isn’t creepy enough, then GITS innocence (the sequel) is for you. If you want upbeat/hopeful, then Stand-Alone Complex is your jam. Different hair colours, coincidentally.

      Then I read the cast list of the movie, and I realise that some of the characters have been merged into one character. The trailer scenes are ‘homaged’ from totally different stories. How do they fit together? Mostly by Hollywood trying to fit jigsaws together by smashing the pieces together, or via randomised Lego connections. Reading the plot, it gets worse:

      Goddammit, Hideo Kuze ISN’T the Laughing Man or the Puppet Master, but apparently, in the Hollywood Movie, he’s all of them, and Frankenstein & Monster and probably even effing Cyborg Jesus. No less than FOUR stories smooshed together like so much used chewing gum.

      …. (which is how people feel about Jon ‘Aegon’ Targaryan – Apparently, in the books there is another person claiming to be that character – perhaps they are non-identical twins, while always makes for cool stories about inheritance problems).

      Then, finally, the choice for Scarlett Johnson was to have a big-name actress who is defined by her smouldering sexuality (mmmhhh… Scarlett Johanson) to play a character that isn’t defined by Sexuality, because Robots.
      (Yes, I know there are (robot) boobs, but they are more scary than ‘erotic’). You can’t have deep thoughts about Simulation & Simulacra when it is an actual sexy actress. Cmon. We all know Scar-Jo was cast because of the boobs, and because Avi Arad wants a return on his investment for buying franchise rights.

      In other words, the latent adaptations have mutant DNA in them, regardless of how ‘faithful’ they try to be. Sometimes this is ok, and other times it ends with disaster… such as The Amazing Spiderman Movies (also Avi Arad)… EEEK!

      What advertising-based websites like to do, in order to get traffic, is use the claim of ‘whitewashing’ actors, and manufacturing political crisis out of everything. I’ve seen the same thing happen for Game of Thrones (something about strong women characters…)

      Now, I’m going to ignore thinking about ScarJo’s race, and think instead about her sexy sexiness, because she isn’t a cartoon character, or a Robot.

      Let’s not forget that the basis of ‘mature’ American TV began with the boobies; tis a legacy.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        And then you have stuff like lord of the rings where the absence of tom bombadil…oh,wait…Everyone actually praised that.

        Yeah,the practice is not the problem on its own,but rather how and what its used on.

        • Preciousgollum says:

          And then you have stuff like lord of the rings where the absence of tom bombadil…oh,wait…Everyone actually praised that.

          Yeah,the practice is not the problem on its own,but rather how and what its used on.

          Good point.
          The examples above were mostly where the practices of editing didn’t work out.

          Regarding Lord of The Rings (Films), originally the plan was to squeeze eveything into two movies, but then some genius had the idea of turning three books into three films. Go figure. lol.

          Now, imagine if somebody had the idea of making one single Lord of the Rings feature film, where the names, characters and scenes were taken from both The Hobbit AND LoTR, in random order, and strung together in precarious ways, simply in order to make maximum use of source material or intellectual property.

          Example:
          The Company go to Rivendell, in order to learn how to defeat Smaug the Dragon, who lives in Mordor, because killing a Host Dragon destroys the One Ring, which was forged by Evil Dwarf Lord Sauron, who is also the Heir to the Throne of Gondor, and wields Anduril, reforged from Narsil, a magic sword that he got by defeating the Gondorians, with the help of the elves, who now regret their decision, and want to free Gondor, because men had been corrupted by Evil.

          THE TWIST IS THAT EVIL DWARF LORD SAURON WAS TRAVELLING WITH THE COMPANY THE WHOLE TIME, BUT THEY THOUGHT HE WAS A DIFFERENT DWARF!

  42. One major issue I have with the show (and I’ve mentioned it before), is that it seemed so condensed and we get these weird time skips.

    It’s almost like the showrunners have a lot of detailed stuff written/planned but then due to costs/time constraints etc. take out a red marker and then starts to strike red lines all throughout their draft. Later this is turned into the scripts but we get these missing paragraphs of text.

    And many times it’s stuff that probably should have been shown to the viewers.

    HBOs biggest mistake (other than not giving GoT a bigger budget from the start), was the season lengths.
    This should have been 8-10 seasons of 22-24 episodes each. At least 200 episodes would probably be needed to properly tell a saga as big as this.
    Instead we got less than half that. Sure the episodes are longer than your typical episode but total hours is still much less.

    • ehlijen says:

      I am unsure about more screen time being the answer. We’ve already had an awful lot of filler at times. The issue i see is that the plots advance at different speeds and fall out of alignment, and only tighter writing can really fix that.

  43. Mr Compassionate says:

    Blue Eyes Wight Dragon got a smile out of me.

    Also did anybody else notice that Cersea’s plan to make people think Euron had fled made no sense because she had no idea what was inside the box? They heavily imply it was a deliberate ploy and that he was just acting like a coward.

    • Darren says:

      I think the assumption is that, no matter what happened, they had a standing plan for Euron to find some excuse to storm out and publicly abandon Cersei. They even started the meeting off with a public show of clashing approaches.

  44. riden85 says:

    One question. Where the hell was Robin Arryn? As bad as that boy is, he deserved to be there to find out the truth about who murdered his mother. I’d have loved to have him demand the bad man fly.

    • BlueHorus says:

      Not a popular enough character – too weird! Quietly shuffled off somewhere ‘cos the audience don’t rave enough about him.
      He wasn’t there for the same reason that Sandor Clegane WAS there for Jon’s dumb commando mission. ‘This guy’s popular, he says naugty words! Put him in the scene!”

      I agree that he would have been fun:
      Robert: “I want to see him FLY!”
      Royce: “But, Lord Robert, there’s no Moon Door here at Winterfell.”
      Bran: “Well, I can tell you there’s a pretty nasty drop from one of the towers here…”

  45. Darren says:

    Why are people finding it satisfying? Because they are resolving the plot lines that were promised so long ago, and it turns out that people care more about narrative payoff than solid story construction.

    You haven’t talked much about Martin, and I understand why. But we can’t talk about why the show remains popular in spite of the collapse in details without talking about how the source material’s author brought us to this place.

    First of all: what is the story of A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones? Based on the ending of the first book and first season, most people have come to the conclusion that the story is, “Daenarys Targaryen, having overcome impossible odds and acquired unrivaled power, must gather forces to reclaim her birthright.” That birthright is the Iron Throne of Westeros, and her interests there are represented by the noble Starks, who fight against the vile and underhanded Lannisters. Now, it’s possible that the Starks wouldn’t automatically be Daenarys’ allies, so to even things out we have an implacable, evil force that will no doubt require the cooperation of everyone to defeat, with a Stark on the front lines as an observer–a Stark who is also a secret relative of Daenarys, and so doubly inclined to support her once that detail is revealed.

    This is all Storytelling 101 stuff. The audience recognizes it, and for all the talk of how subversive he is, especially in killing off characters, Martin generally sticks pretty close to where people expect him to go with what he sets up. On top of that, he has provided himself with so many Starks and supporting characters that he can kill off quite a few without dramatically altering the proportionate make-up of narrating characters.

    But we’re five books into a theoretical seven book cycle and he has delayed firing the many Chekovs he cleaned and loaded at the beginning. The Others are no closer to the Wall, despite the passage of years. Daenarys wandered around in the desert fruitlessly and then stalled out in Meereen. Arya and Sansa have inched glacially closer to the long-foreshadowed outcomes of their personal journey. And now a pretender has appeared, without fanfare, to further complicate the story.

    People want closure. They want their stories to end, and they want them to end in ways that follow the often unspoken rules of narrative fiction. Whether these rules are simply a cultural product or somehow inherent to the human understanding of storytelling is irrelevant.

    And where Martin has provided a grounded world where everything makes sense, he has all but abandoned any attempt to follow those rules. The show has not. And so, bound by the realities of contracts and budgets and ratings, the show has actually worked ever closer to resolution while the source material gathers dust. Without much to pull from the source material, they can only strive to finally wrap up the story based on how it was set up, and that means discarding a lot of logic and detail in favor of going full-throttle and hitting the necessary beats.

    For people like you, this is terrible. It is the very definition of bad storytelling. For most people, who simply want to cash the check the story promised, it is a moment of catharsis. If Martin ever finishes his books, the show will likely be viewed as the inferior version. If Martin does not, it will be the definitive version. For most of the audience, something is near infinitely better than nothing.

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