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Game of Thrones (spoilers)

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Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #660 on: April 16, 2019, 12:06:37 PM
Perhaps Jon Snow will eventually turn on her and perhaps Daenerys will kill him for not being loyal and not bending the knee. She has to do something drastic for the viewers to look at her as the villian. She started of with good intentions, but I think that have changed along the way. Thev'e hinted about it. And she hasn't talked about "breaking the wheel" for a long time.

I don't mean to be throwing so much cold water, but I think this is way off. Daenerys is hardly a monster. Her intentions have not changed. What we've been seeing is her METHODS (not intentions) clashing with Westerosi conventions. Her methods are that of a Targaryen — with a splash of Dothraki, honestly (a bit of an East-West culture clash) — combined with her own emancipation ideology.

Daenerys killed the Tarlys because she refuses to put people in chains. Prisoners of war are just not going to be a thing. After that battle, she offered her enemies a pretty reasonable choice. As I understand it, you don't even have to join her forces like the Dothraki and Unsullied did — you, as a solider, simply have to promise not to fight against her. Seems like a pretty fair deal after you've just lost a battle. The Tarlys essentially promised to remain her enemies. Randall Tarly was going to lead Jaime's army, remember. Daenerys was faced with the general of the opposing army standing there saying he was going to continue to fight against her. I would have roasted him too.

Daenerys clearly did so with some reluctance and significant frustration. In her meeting with Sam, she seemed a little defensive. She knows how bad it looks. These are simply NOT the characteristics of a "mad queen." I just don't think we're going in that direction.

Daenerys's current PR problem is just another in the long series of challenges she's faced. She had similar problems in Essos — for example when she crucified the masters, or when the dragons were out eating civilians.

Again, this is an arc. All of these pitfalls have been laid out, all these reservations, but that's the starting point. Certainly those challenges will continue as war fully breaks out. Daenerys might be forced to melt a castle or part of King's Landing, with civilian casualties ("how is she any better than Cersei?" etc.), but I definitely see this being an arc with something more heroic at the end.
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Drenk

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Reply #661 on: April 16, 2019, 12:19:54 PM
My issue with Sansa doesn't concern her distrust of Daenerys but the way it was portrayed in the episode, she should be hiding her feelings and coldly observing: talking in private with Jon was enough.

Also, in my theory, Sansa goes with Cersei because Daenerys kills Jon. I don't think she'll accept that he's the legitimate heir. Sansa will have to be cynical.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #662 on: April 16, 2019, 12:31:31 PM
You might be on to something there. I don't really want either Jon or Dany to "win" as both are kinda boring and for either one to win wouldn't really be in-keeping with GOT's reputation for subverting the genre.

I've said something like this before, but I'll make the case again. I think this saga — not just the show but GRRM's story — has subverted conventions so that it can earn satisfying payoffs that are squarely in the fantasy genre. GRRM took issue with Tolkien's storytelling methods, but not where he was going with them. I think when you do the work and make your characters suffer the way he has, you earn an explosive ending that has the heart of a fulfilling epic fantasy story.

I don't think GRRM has done all that work just to troll people. He's done it to earn something.

There will be more suffering. And we'll see some truly horrible things. But in Seasons 7 and 8, I think we are clearly in the payoffs phase, reaping the rewards of everything we've been through.


Also, in my theory, Sansa goes with Cersei because Daenerys kills Jon. I don't think she'll accept that he's the legitimate heir. Sansa will have to be cynical.

How many times does Jon have to tell you that he doesn't want the crown? I don't understand the premise of your point here — do you expect Jon to pursue the throne? He doesn't want any of this nonsense. He's only ever taken on leadership positions insofar as it helps him rally people to defeat the dead. I don't think he much cares what happens politically after that. He probably doesn't even expect to survive the war.
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Robyn

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Reply #663 on: April 16, 2019, 12:37:13 PM
During her scene with Sam, you do see some empathy in her face underneath the surface.

I just don't want everyone to end up with basic hero arcs. I want some more unexpected twists and turns, and the characters not being the hero's we expected them to be would be an interesting route.  That it would just be good vs evil with the good side winning? Ugh... it just feels so boring.

It could go in many other directions too of course.


Drenk

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Reply #664 on: April 16, 2019, 12:47:10 PM
Oh, I do think that Jon learning that he's a Targaryen changes his perceptions about his duties and, hell, the way he sees himself. He could consider the Throne. Especially if Sansa pushes him, considering he's still "family". But Daenerys can also see him as a threat to *her* legitimacy. These are basic reasons: the path to an actual betrayal would be more complicated than that.
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Sleepless

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Reply #665 on: April 16, 2019, 01:55:17 PM
How many times does Jon have to tell you that he doesn't want the crown? I don't understand the premise of your point here — do you expect Jon to pursue the throne? He doesn't want any of this nonsense.

No, but I think Dany has become so power mad that when she finds out the truth about Jon, she'll preemptively strike for fear of him making the claim - even though we know he likely never would.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #666 on: April 16, 2019, 02:14:58 PM
Oh, I do think that Jon learning that he's a Targaryen changes his perceptions about his duties and, hell, the way he sees himself. He could consider the Throne. Especially if Sansa pushes him, considering he's still "family". But Daenerys can also see him as a threat to *her* legitimacy. These are basic reasons: the path to an actual betrayal would be more complicated than that.

He swore an oath to Queen Daenerys, and very publicly. That's probably the "duty" and honor that's primarily important to Jon. Feeling a duty to take the throne is just not in the cards for him, I believe. Are you arguing that Jon cares about royal bloodlines? I don't think we've ever seen him express that ideology in the show. Has he ever even mentioned that Daenerys is thought to be the rightful heir to the throne? That's been one of her key selling points, but as far as I remember, he hasn't used it to convince people that she deserves the throne. Instead, he says (in this ep) that she'll be a good queen. That's what matters.

Likewise, I have zero expectation that the discovery of his heritage will inspire him that his greatest duty is to mutiny Daenerys and take the throne because... they're both Targaryens but he's a guy so the throne has to go to him? That's... that's just not happening.

I can certainly see Sansa finding out and then trying to persuade Jon to take more power. The advisors might suggest this marriage idea. Sansa could get involved. Daenerys has no reason to cede power, so there's room for conflict. Jon probably just wants to push aside all this nonsense and fight the dead.

I'll go back to my other point: Sansa is not an idiot. And the show very much wants us to know that. She's not going to encourage Jon to mutiny before they've even fought the army of the dead. And I'll predict that Daenerys will prove herself to Sansa very soon, hopefully taking the air out of any such schemes.

So what does this Targaryen revelation mean to Jon, actually? I imagine it must be empowering. Legitimizing. He was never a bastard. He is the descendant of incredibly powerful people, and I'm sure that does mean something to him, in a self-actualizing sense.

Season 7 shines because it was so true to its characters. And I feel that in this premiere, too. Which is to say, the show knows deeply who its characters are and what they want. Daenerys wants the throne. That's always been her thing. Jon wants to defeat the dead. That is his thing, so much so that he only fought for Winterfell (his home and potential seat of power) because it might get him to that goal. With five episodes left, these two central characters are not going to get their wires crossed and change their goals. Which is also to say, they know what each other want. Jon knows that Dany wants the throne, to her absolute core. He would be insane — on a practical level, and on an emotional level — to challenge her on that. Not to mention that it would be at the expense of everything he actually wants.

The more interesting question is how Daenerys processes the information. I don't really see him ruling at her side, a never-ending threat to her bloodline legitimacy. But I'm not entirely sure how important the bloodline is to her at this point. Clearly you can simply take the throne if you have enough power. That's what Cersei did, without a claim, and it's also sort of what Joffrey did (with Cersei's involvement as well). The bloodline has some importance among the common folk, but I'd say it makes enough sense to them that a Targaryen is coming back, not the exact right Targaryen who has a slightly better claim (putting gender aside, Dany is a more direct descendant). Which only even matters if the truth of Jon's parentage is publicly revealed.

Clearly the best solution is for Jon to die heroically and not even deal with any of the politics. That would be a fitting way for him to go.


How many times does Jon have to tell you that he doesn't want the crown? I don't understand the premise of your point here — do you expect Jon to pursue the throne? He doesn't want any of this nonsense.

No, but I think Dany has become so power mad that when she finds out the truth about Jon, she'll preemptively strike for fear of him making the claim - even though we know he likely never would.

I think the revelation would rattle her for sure. It would be worrying, and a constant worry as long as he's around, no matter how many times he promises her he doesn't want to take her power.

I don't think she would straight-up assassinate him, though. That's nuts. I do NOT think Daenerys "has become so power mad." In fact, I'd say the text of what we see points us in the opposite direction — Dany has become more cautious and measured. For example, she barely needed any convincing from Tyrion to take the more humane route, to not melt King's Landing, and to not be "the queen of the ashes." Remember her conversation with Varys last season, when she asked him to openly and honestly advise her to keep her in check? Daenerys is anything but "power mad." She gets it.

Read about some of the absolutely brutal stuff Tywin Lannister used to do. Daenerys is a teddy bear in comparison. But people in Westeros viewed Tywin as a leader whose ruthlessness was practical. This is also a universe where the Boltons were allowed to hold power and ally with legitimate houses.
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Lottery

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Reply #667 on: April 16, 2019, 07:32:57 PM
Sansa allying with Cersei at this point of the story is a bit hard to believe. She would have to really hate Daenerys.

I'm really starting to think that Bran knows the future more thoroughly than it appears- that would would explain his uselessness and his indifferent demeanour. Which means he simply lets things be and only steps in when he's supposed to in the timeline. He probably became aware of this fixed timeline business when Hodor died. And I've mentioned this earlier but Bran and the Night King are similar (many people think they're the same person, but I'm not sure about that) and they have similar powers, NK can warg the dead in a way and he may have used some future sight to prepare a trap to capture a dragon in the moronic beyond the wall episode. One of the main reasons I'm still watching is because I want to know why NK and the WW are doing what they're doing- have they been wronged, does NK want to change the future are they just rampant laser-focused killing machines etc. For now we have- the COTF transform a dude into a WW using dragonglass to fight for them and then he broke free from his programming. Which is a decent enough origin but I believe we were promised more.

Bran having Sam inform Jon about his heritage at this stage is pretty distracting. Only good reason Bran would want to do it at that time is because it's supposed to happen in the timeline.


polkablues

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Reply #668 on: April 17, 2019, 07:40:34 PM
I want and expect them to go all the way down the rabbit hole and come out the other side. I've long felt that a major theme of the overarching story is that the events of history are essentially an immovable force, that the players of the game are more swept up in the wave than they actually affect it, despite all their vanities to the contrary. How perfect a culmination of that thesis would it be to discover in the end that the whole of this world's history is a closed causal loop?

I've been on the "time is a flat circle" train for years now. Everything happens as it happens because that's the way it was always going to happen. Bran, at this point, is basically Amy Adams at the end of Arrival.
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Drenk

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Reply #669 on: April 17, 2019, 09:08:42 PM
Let's call that the "Big Data" theory.
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strandedwriter

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Reply #670 on: April 19, 2019, 01:20:31 AM
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Fernando

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Reply #671 on: April 21, 2019, 02:10:49 PM
Finally read all the posts, I'm on team JB here.

Pretty much agree with everything he says, the pay off of Dany winning the throne is a given, and certainly will come with a heavy price.

Jon doesn't give two shits about a having a crown.

Something curious I just thought of, of all the players fighting for the crown Cersei is the only one that doesn't actually fights, so how her demise could be? Getting caught is not a option, I think she rather poison herself than facing judgment by her enemies.
My feeling with her arc hasn't changed that much, I still think she will have a great victory but her defeat will come, remember that scene with the witch, she will have everything just to lose it all, she already has no relatives on her side, Euron hinted that he could betray her eventually and just wanted to fuck her which he already did, even Qyburn looked surprised that she was glad the dead had past the wall.


The best part of the episode was the ending, Jaime's facial expressions ranged from relived to be there to weird nostalgic happiness to OMFG he's here looking at me!


Small favor, I never watch the promos for the next episode, if you do and want to talk about it please label it as spoiler. Thanks.


Robyn

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Reply #672 on: April 21, 2019, 09:08:48 PM
Holy fucking shit, that was a good episode.

So many great moments. They nailed the dread, which I thought was lacking in the premiere. The wait... all these characters spending a night that could be their last. It was so good.

Didn't like the way the Sansa/Dany and the Dany/Jon scene ended. But yeah, cliffhangers... everything else was fantastic.


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #673 on: April 21, 2019, 10:41:37 PM
I'm on team Fernando. Please do NOT talk about the "next week" previews without warning. I don't watch them either. (If someone did, I'm thankful that I forgot.)

That said, spoilers for Ep 2 which just aired...

This was a very weird episode, in my opinion. But suitably so. This is a very weird time in everyone's lives, sitting in Winterfell, nervously waiting for potential doom. And we got some excellent scenes out of it. I hope those who felt Season 7 was rushed appreciate the breathing room in these first two episodes.

Dany's scene with Sansa felt awkward and forced, but I think those feelings are diegetic. Dany is trying to force a reconciliation in a way that's a bit rushed and doesn't entirely work, as we see with the end of that scene. But Dany makes some good points, and the fact that she's reaching out clearly means a lot to Sansa. It completely makes sense as a starting point for their relationship. It's possible that Dany will win over Sansa, who will also gain a new perspective after the fight with the dead. But now, after this scene, I'd say it's MORE likely that Daenerys compromises and lets the Starks have sovereignty—especially if Jon makes a point of not contesting Dany's claim to the throne. That could be a tidy agreement.

Arya hooking up with Gendry was widely predicted by fans, but wow that was fast. And quite weird, because Arya seems both not human enough and not old enough.

Favorite scenes:

- Sansa's emotional reunion with Theon (made me cry instantly)
- Brienne being knighted (her smile at the end!)
- Sam giving his sword to Jorah (solid GoT symmetry points here)
- Jaime and Bran (pitch-perfect)

Now for quibbles:

Emilia Clarke's acting was a little strange in this episode. Perhaps that's because her character was in an awkward place. I don't know. She set the bar very high late last season and has not had similar such moments to shine in Season 8 thusfar.

The cliffhanger from the crypt scene ("you'd have a claim to the iron throne") totally broke the fourth wall for me. We know you're cutting it off there to preserve that undercurrent of tension, show. Stop it. Caveat: when Dany says "that's impossible," Jon says "I wish it were," signaling that he's not all that enthusiastic about the implications.

The opening scene with Daenerys berating Jaime rang just a bit false. Maybe it's being done as a political show, but she seems a little too sincere about things she doesn't really believe, as far as I know. Doesn't she actually believe Jaime was right to slay the mad king? Why does she cite her monstrous brother as a reference there? Daenerys has plenty of reason to distrust Jaime, of course, but I don't think that was expressed properly.
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polkablues

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Reply #674 on: April 21, 2019, 11:42:28 PM
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