Game of Thrones: The Winds of Winter   Books Included 
June 26, 2016 7:12 PM - Season 6, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Cersei makes her move. Another party at the Twins. Sam and Gilly make it to their destination. Some conversations at Winterfell. A conversation in Dorne. Some conversations in Meereen. A flashback. A coronation.
posted by gatorae (653 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Frey pie! Woooooooooooo!
posted by codacorolla at 7:12 PM on June 26, 2016 [18 favorites]


That was awesome!
posted by zarq at 7:13 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


TOMMEN. You were too good for this world.

Also: Sam in the library reminded me of this.
posted by schroedinger at 7:14 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


There were like 5 endings, starting with Arya. After each one I was like, "Please don't be the last scene yet!"
posted by leotrotsky at 7:14 PM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


IM FUCKING SCREAMING

SEPTON GO BOOM BIG BADA BOOM

CERSEI'S FACE MARRY ME LENA HEADEY

TOMMEN NO

"I'M NOT A STARK"

"YOU ARE ONE TO ME"

MY EMOTIONS MY EMOTIONS GROSSEST FUCKING SOBBING

THE PIE THE PIE THE PIE THE PIIIIIIE

ARYA MY PRECIOUS MURDER CHILD

SANSA MADE HIM TALK TO THE HAND I'M FUCKING DYING

IM DIFFERENT NOW SANSA oh petyr eat the ass of every stark bannerman and the horses they rode in on

TOWER OF JOY THIS IS THE SOUND OF A MILLION NERDS SMUG ABOUT BEING RIGHT

LYANNA MORMONT FOR QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE SHAMING ALL THE OLD MENS LYANNA MORMONT FOR PRESIDENT
posted by poffin boffin at 7:15 PM on June 26, 2016 [59 favorites]


JAIME'S FACE WHEN HE COMES BACK TO KING'S LANDING

WHERE IS THAT COMMUNITY GIF WHERE TROY COMES BACK WITH PIZZA AND EVERYONE'S EITHER DEAD OR ON FIRE
posted by poffin boffin at 7:16 PM on June 26, 2016 [43 favorites]


Sorry George. There's your delicious delicious reveal, on television for all the world to see.
posted by lydhre at 7:16 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


wait is this the season finale im upset
posted by poffin boffin at 7:16 PM on June 26, 2016


I'm expecting to see mashups of the Sept of Baelor + Hamilton's Burn by tomorrow, Internets.

I was hoping Sansa was going to follow Arya's example and make with the stabbing. Disappointment, there.

Also: ... Ser Pounce was OK, right? He was in the Red Keep and is totally fine.

And in place of the kitten lord, we have a dark queen.
posted by rewil at 7:17 PM on June 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


QUEEN FUCKING CERSEI IM CACKLING UNTIL THE WORLD ENDS IN FIRE AND RUIN
posted by poffin boffin at 7:17 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yikes, so it turns out D'Ario was the real Ser Friendzone all along.

Don't know why I didn't see it coming after Tommen died, but Cersei taking the Iron Throne was fucking bad-ass. And now Jaime is going to have to kill another king to save King's Landing!!?!?!? Too fucking good. She was so bad-ass in that sequence I totally don't mind how it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Sansa turning down Littlefinger was also great.
posted by skewed at 7:18 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


On Jaime riding back into King's Landing: "Oh, god, they're not going to have sex over this kid's remains, too, are they?"
posted by rewil at 7:19 PM on June 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Cersei has started shopping at the Sith emperor stores, I see.
posted by drezdn at 7:19 PM on June 26, 2016 [19 favorites]


Poor Margaery. Still smarter than everyone else in the room and didn't make a damn bit of difference.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:19 PM on June 26, 2016 [69 favorites]


also ngl i cried when i saw that library
posted by poffin boffin at 7:19 PM on June 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


How did Varys get back to Dany?
posted by drezdn at 7:19 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


He left on the Slaver's Bay Dorne express last episode. At the *beginning* of last episode, practically. Totally enough time.
posted by skewed at 7:20 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


a wizard did it
posted by poffin boffin at 7:20 PM on June 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


How the fucking fuck did Varys teleport from Meereen to Dorne back to Meereen?!?!
posted by gatorae at 7:20 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


He and Arya have teleportation magic. It is known.
posted by rewil at 7:21 PM on June 26, 2016 [15 favorites]


Poor Margaery. Still smarter than everyone else in the room and didn't make a damn bit of difference.

Classic Anne Boleyn.
posted by drezdn at 7:21 PM on June 26, 2016 [18 favorites]


Olenna telling the Sand Snakes to STFU made them almost worthwhile.
posted by gatorae at 7:21 PM on June 26, 2016 [47 favorites]


That cut to Jon, that straight up Dragon Age library, pieeeeee
posted by The Whelk at 7:22 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


On Jaime riding back into King's Landing: "Oh, god, they're not going to have sex over this kid's remains, too, are they?"

I think Jaime's realized he might have a bit of regicide left in him.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:22 PM on June 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


also:

BEHOLD THE GLORIOUS MATRIARCHY
posted by schroedinger at 7:23 PM on June 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


Varys has access to the same ancient teleportation network used by Littlefinger.
posted by humanfont at 7:23 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


How did Varys get back to Dany?

PLOT POWER WHO CARES! R+L! ASPLOSIONS! THAT GREASY FUCKING AYATOLLAH IS NO MORE!

but but but but

WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF SER POUNCE NOW?

Okay I'm also not gonna lie if next season they give us a shot of Gregorstein carefully and lovingly patting a cat I will just assume he's adopted Ser Pounce
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:23 PM on June 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


Also Jamie is the Valoquar right?
posted by humanfont at 7:23 PM on June 26, 2016 [16 favorites]


Won't lie; when Jon was crowned King of the North, my first thought was "Damn, MetaFilter gonna hate this."
posted by General Malaise at 7:24 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Could be any little brother.
posted by drezdn at 7:25 PM on June 26, 2016


Also Jamie is the Valoquar right?

Totes.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:25 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


i am 100% filled with ANGRIEST HISSING over the loss of margaery but honestly getting rid of the grotendous high sparrow dickbag is kind of worth it
posted by poffin boffin at 7:25 PM on June 26, 2016 [23 favorites]


KINGINDANORF
posted by drezdn at 7:25 PM on June 26, 2016 [15 favorites]


Won't lie; when Jon was crowned King of the North, my first thought was "Damn, MetaFilter gonna hate this."

i threw back my head and cackled like ursula the sea witch
posted by poffin boffin at 7:26 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Varys sure loves to travel. Any reason why he couldn't just meet them in Dorne with fresh coffee and donuts?
posted by lydhre at 7:26 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Every part of that was satisfying. Great episode, and competently shot for a change too.

Varys has access to the same ancient teleportation network used by Littlefinger.

You get it as your level 9 Spy perk.
posted by codacorolla at 7:27 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


So can we just assume that Jon is going to ride Rhaegal and not Viserion?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:27 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


My husband barely watches this show but was in the room tonight and asked me what the hell was going on with the dying postpartum lady and the baby so I explained and I had to fake a weird coughing fit to cover up the fact that talking about it was making me all choked up? Basically it seems obvious that this show is going exactly where everyone always thought it was going and for some reason I find that deeply satisfying, as opposed to irritating.
posted by something something at 7:28 PM on June 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


He'll ride the ice dragon.
posted by drezdn at 7:28 PM on June 26, 2016


ok but really who is left on cersei's side now? aside from her own lannister army which lbr is not as gr8 as dany's
posted by poffin boffin at 7:28 PM on June 26, 2016


So for those keeping score, we've got:

House Targaryen
House Martell
House Tyrell
The Unsullied &
The Dothraki Horde

vs.

Darth Cersei & Gregorstein
The Uneaten Freys

with KINGADANORF & the Vale currently neutral, but come on.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:29 PM on June 26, 2016 [19 favorites]


Man, there was so much wheel-spinning horseshit this season, and I...don't care at all now. This episode was fantastic.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:30 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Qyburn's murderous band of children can be the small council
posted by gatorae at 7:30 PM on June 26, 2016 [32 favorites]


So I went into the Show Only thread first anticipating seeing everyone losing their minds over the R+L=J reveal and... nothing? Did the nonreaders seriously fail to grok the significance of that scene?

My husband totally didn't get it either but my husband is a terribly inattentive TV watcher in general. Like when I was trying to explain it to him he interrupted me to ask "Who's Bran?"
posted by Jacqueline at 7:30 PM on June 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


The Freys will be in turmoil as the three highest Freys are all dead.
posted by drezdn at 7:30 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


They certainly made sure to show the adoration on the faces of Cersei's subjects at her coronation. Nothing but smooth sailing ahead there.
posted by rewil at 7:31 PM on June 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


Howland Reed for new High Septon... Or Sandor. Get Hype?
posted by drezdn at 7:31 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Uneaten Freys

This is my new bandname / sockpuppet BTW.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:31 PM on June 26, 2016 [22 favorites]


They stopped at the weirwood so Bran could check his treemail.
posted by drezdn at 7:32 PM on June 26, 2016 [61 favorites]


Qyburn and the MURDER UCHINS

Oh god yes I don't care about the meandering episodes now, that was an Delight full of MASS MURDER.
posted by The Whelk at 7:33 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Tommen's predecessor
posted by JDHarper at 7:33 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wildfire doesn't melt marble. #Septtruther
posted by drezdn at 7:33 PM on June 26, 2016 [37 favorites]


I assume this ends with some sort of dragons vs. ice zombies showdown, so we just have to reverse engineer it from there.
posted by uosuaq at 7:33 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I forget who christened Qyburn "Herbert Westeros," but that dude is my favorite unsung hero. He just wants to conduct his crazy-ass experiments. For science!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:34 PM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Dragons v. Ice Zombies and all the Queens on all the Thrones.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:36 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


TBF, we don't know for sure that the Tower of Joy "reveal" didn't reveal that Jon isn't the incest child of Lyanna and Ned.

I mean, everybody involved in making this show and books is kind of a dick.
posted by General Malaise at 7:36 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


I assume this ends with some sort of dragons vs. ice zombies showdown, so we just have to reverse engineer it from there.

Yeah but in the meantime we've got Euron Greyjoy problems (and him possibly coming across a horn that can control dragons?) and Littlefinger working his wiles on Sansa to betray KINGINDANORTH II, The Resurrected One.
posted by dis_integration at 7:36 PM on June 26, 2016


That's a nice gif, JDHarper, although it reminded me that the series more or less started with a Lannister shoving Bran Stark out a window. Karma seems to be kind of a bitch on this show.
posted by uosuaq at 7:37 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


That lady from Pycelle's room is never going to get paid now.
posted by rewil at 7:37 PM on June 26, 2016 [33 favorites]


TBF, we don't know for sure that the Tower of Joy "reveal" didn't reveal that Jon isn't the incest child of Lyanna and Ned.

He hadn't seen her for over a year so that would be pretty difficult to pull off.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:38 PM on June 26, 2016


I didn't realize it until watching him try to talk his way past the front desk at Oldtown, but Sam is an AU of Mark from Peep Show.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 7:38 PM on June 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


He hadn't seen her for over a year so that would be pretty difficult to pull off.


Yikes, I had forgot that detail, but then again, that infant looked older than my friend's three-month old.
posted by General Malaise at 7:40 PM on June 26, 2016


Even that baby looked mopey and brooding.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:41 PM on June 26, 2016 [30 favorites]


I'd rather have a too-big baby than a fake baby.
posted by gatorae at 7:43 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I could easily see someone not grokking the Tower of Joy, the whole thing was handled like shit on the show.

Did I miss it, no one has really said who the father is? Do we just assume RT raped Lyanna?
posted by marxchivist at 7:44 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Since we didn't see a resolution of the Gregor Clegane - Brotherhood Without Banners arc in the finale, I can only assume he's heading to King's Landing see what's going on there.
posted by General Malaise at 7:45 PM on June 26, 2016


I think sassy glasses front desk maester is my new favorite.
posted by The Whelk at 7:45 PM on June 26, 2016 [18 favorites]


No, Rhaegar played the harp or mandolin or something according to Barriston Selmy and obviously harpists are not rapists. They were in love. I wish I were kidding but this is more or less the leap we are expected to make in the show.
posted by gatorae at 7:45 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yikes, I had forgot that detail, but then again, that infant looked older than my friend's three-month old.

That's why women on TV and in movies are always having such difficult labors -- they're typically giving birth to 3-to-6-month olds.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:46 PM on June 26, 2016 [35 favorites]


Did I miss it, no one has really said who the father is? Do we just assume RT raped Lyanna?

In the context of the show, you'd have to do some deep recall to chatter in the first season to remember that Lyanna was kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryean. But they did set have King Robert set that up in season 1.
posted by dis_integration at 7:46 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Raped? They were in love.

Hell, Jon may have been legitimate and not even a bastard.
posted by Justinian at 7:46 PM on June 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Varys and Arya paid for tickets on the express while Brienne and Pod took the all-stops local back from the Riverlands. Hey, the savings do add up.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 7:46 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


marxchivist - It was whispered, which is why I earlier suggested that he may have been a Stark incest production, but still is probably not.
posted by General Malaise at 7:47 PM on June 26, 2016


They stopped at the weirwood so Bran could check his treemail.

Subject : IRL: New Event Near You
Message :
weirwood.net IRL has 1 new event within 100 leagues of your location:

Proposed: some of my buddies and I are headed down south, let's grab a bite at Castle Black! #crasterkids #othersbrothers
posted by leotrotsky at 7:48 PM on June 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Did I miss it, no one has really said who the father is? Do we just assume RT raped Lyanna?

I don't think we're supposed to assume that. I got the impression that Robert read it that way because the alternative -- that Lyanna was with Rhaegar because she wanted to be -- was too much for him to handle.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:48 PM on June 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


GRRM is probably getting drunk and crying to himself right now. All my secrets! They are spoiled! First Hodor and now this!

*wipes tears away with $100 bills*
posted by Justinian at 7:48 PM on June 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


Next season we might find out that Bran has Magic Raven hearing now and Lyanna said something about the situation. Or he could treemail an earlier Lyanna scene.
posted by rewil at 7:48 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Or Meera will take Bran to Howland. Howland knows the truth. He's the last living person who does (save Bran's vision.)
posted by Justinian at 7:49 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


GRRM is like, "At least people will still read to find out what happens with Jon Connington!"
posted by gatorae at 7:49 PM on June 26, 2016 [26 favorites]


GRRM is like, "At least people will still read to find out what happens with Jon Connington!"

Will no one think of the Griffs?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:51 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


I have to agree that the Queen of Thorn's complete disdainful dismissal of the Sand Snakes almost made their existence worthwhile. All love to Diana Rigg.
posted by Justinian at 7:51 PM on June 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


I think they are leaving the Rhaegar/Lyanna details till next season. I think the whole point of Brann finding out now (besides satisfying book-loving viewers patience) is that he's near the wall and will presumably be arriving in Winterfell in the first episode or two. He's gonna start talking to Jon about it, they'll go down to the crypt, find Lyanna had a Targaryan cloak or some such inside her crypt.
posted by skewed at 7:52 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


So for those keeping score, we've got:

House Targaryen
House Martell
House Tyrell
The Unsullied &
The Dothraki Horde

vs.

Darth Cersei & Gregorstein
The Uneaten Freys

with KINGADANORF & the Vale currently neutral, but come on.


Don't forget the Targaryen Air Force.

I forget who christened Qyburn "Herbert Westeros," but that dude is my favorite unsung hero. He just wants to conduct his crazy-ass experiments. For science!

Jeez, D&D really missed a trick by not casting Jeffrey Combs as Qyburn.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:54 PM on June 26, 2016 [16 favorites]


I'm just thinking making us make the leap from season 1 to the Tower of Joy this season is really shitty storytelling on the part of the show.

But, little Morment Girl, Frey Pie, great episode otherwise.
posted by marxchivist at 7:56 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


i cried when i saw that library

I thought when the camera pulled back it would reveal Sam's full excitement and was prepared to say "SamWELL!"
posted by srboisvert at 7:56 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


What's Mel going to get up to on the road south, btw? Too late for any Lady Stoneheart, and Margaery and everyone else at the sept are a bit ashy to be resurrected I'd think.
posted by rewil at 7:57 PM on June 26, 2016


House Martell and House Tyrell's armies are also relatively unbloodied.

How intact are the armies of the Stormlands? Cersei still has the Lannisters and the Stormlands/Baratheon armies, plus... uh... uhh... yeah good luck Cersei.
posted by Justinian at 7:57 PM on June 26, 2016


I think the fact that Sansa and Tyrion were married (are married? I know they didn't consummate and she had an intervening marriage to Ramsay, but still..) will become a critical fact in how Dany ends up treating the North in her conquering of Westeros.

Melisandre is TOTALLY going to hook up with Arya. She said something like, "We'll meet again" back when they met in season 3(?).
posted by gatorae at 7:59 PM on June 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


FIRE AND BLOOD
posted by leotrotsky at 8:00 PM on June 26, 2016


I find it interesting that my husband and sister-in-law, who have never read the books, found this season "boring" whereas I, who have read the books, think it's one of the best yet.

I don't think it's entirely because of the new-to-me material, either -- I'm also able to appreciate how much of GRRM's characters and plotlines bloat from AFFC and ADWD we've been spared by D&D's machete-like editing tactics. While they've made some missteps ("bad pussy" etc.), overall I think they've improved the story flow tremendously.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:00 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


reddit asoiaf FTW

Tommen showing us the true meaning of "King's Landing"
posted by lalochezia at 8:01 PM on June 26, 2016 [48 favorites]


The only part of the culling I regret is Margaery. Sure she was much more of a secondary character in the novels but show-Margaery and Natalie Dormer are both great and I wish she could have escaped to go hook up with the other anti-Cersei forces.
posted by Justinian at 8:02 PM on June 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


So dragons can fly all the way across an ocean? I didn't see a single Helipad on any of those ships.
posted by srboisvert at 8:03 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


reddit asoiaf FTW

Also:

'Tommen really Third eye blind-sided me when he went Jumper.'
posted by leotrotsky at 8:03 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]



So dragons can fly all the way across an ocean? I didn't see a single Helipad on any of those ships.


I was wondering that. Do they have Dragoncraft Carriers?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:04 PM on June 26, 2016


It's not every day you get pwned by a 10 year old. Go Lady Mormont.

I loved Sansa rebuffing Littlefinger.
posted by toomanycurls at 8:04 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tommen showing us the true meaning of "King's Landing"

Ouch!

Yeah, I was disappointed by Margaery not making it out, especially because she was the one smart person in a pretty big room.

Also, I was expecting Lady Stoneheart, since I knew ahead of time that there was some kind of big Frey scene coming up, but in the meantime it interests me that Melisandre, the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Hound, Arya, and Brienne and Pod are all in about the same area. (Which, remember, is an area that's of huge strategic importance, being a bottleneck between the North and the rest of the Seven Kingdoms.) Hmm.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:07 PM on June 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


On the other hand, it is every day that lady Mormont owns someone. Contemplate this on the tree of whoah.
posted by The Gaffer at 8:08 PM on June 26, 2016 [16 favorites]


O hai. I am stealing from 20 r/asoiaf threads;;;;;;the best bits so you don’t have to!


Tommen's suicide was extraordinarily symbolic. Tommen was bullied by his brother until he died, at which point he took the throne. He was immediately being manipulated by Tywin. Shortly thereafter he was manipulated by Cersei, then he was manipulated by Marj and finally manipulated by the high sparrow. He never made a single play of his own free will, he was always a pawn for another player. Despite being controlled by Marj and the High Sparrow, he truly loved his wife, and loved his faith. In one fell swoop, his mother took everything he loved away from him. Tommen's suicide wasn't out of despair. It was his final move that he made of his own volition. Cersei loves her children more than anything and Tommen knew that. Cersei took everything from him, so he took everything from her.
It was the first move he truly made on his own.


I would also like to point out the way his death radically violates Cersei's sanctuary: the Red Keep. Cersei has always used the Keep as a refuge: she hides there in the Blackwater, her arrival there signals the end of her walk of atonement, and the high sparrow is never really able to touch her while she's there.
This, I think, is the genius of the shot preceding Tommen's suicide. Through a window of the Red Keep, we look out onto the carnage of the world below, with the distant screams of the smallfolk just barely audible. The horrors of reality are basically non-existent there, just as they've always been. The Red Keep is set apart, it does not participate in the world. It's safe. That lingering shot of the crater drives that home.
And then Tommen comes and flings himself out of the sanctuary and into the chaos below. He violates the sanctity of the Red Keep. Though, he can only do so by exiting it.
I think Cersei must die in the Red Keep. She has to die in the one place where she believes herself to be completely safe.

——
Cersei has Bran thrown out of the window to start all of this
Cersei's actions cause Tommen to throw himself out the window.


posted by lalochezia at 8:10 PM on June 26, 2016 [54 favorites]


Also from r/asoiaf



I just realized, Arya is in the Riverlands and now Mellisandre has been told to ride south..
Mel did say they'd meet again.. The season 7 theories are already beginning!


So Meera's just going to have to drag Bran to the Wall, or? Damn Benjen, could have waited until he was finished visioning and dropped them off a bit closer.
posted by lalochezia at 8:10 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, I was expecting Lady Stoneheart, since I knew ahead of time that there was some kind of big Frey scene coming up, but in the meantime it interests me that Melisandre, the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Hound, Arya, and Brienne and Pod are all in about the same area. (Which, remember, is an area that's of huge strategic importance, being a bottleneck between the North and the rest of the Seven Kingdoms.) Hmm.

It all comes together when you realize that's exactly how far south Gendry's rowed.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:11 PM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Thought for sure Margaery and Loras were going to make it out until they got Red Rovered by those Sparrows.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:11 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


So dragons can fly all the way across an ocean? I didn't see a single Helipad on any of those ships.

Although they appeared to be in open ocean in that scene you really don't have to sail very far from land to get from Mereen to Dorne. The dragons can simply land on the Esteros mainland or an island if they need to.

helpful map with inspiring message.
posted by Justinian at 8:11 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


So dragons can fly all the way across an ocean? I didn't see a single Helipad on any of those ships.

Westeros and Essos used to be connected via the Broken Arm of Dorne before the Children of the Forest shattered it. The Stepstone Islands are where the Arm used to be, and in addition to the Stepstones on the map, I expect there's probably an order of magnitude more rocky protrusions too small to be mapped.

So the dragons should have plenty of places along the way to stop an take a breather.

Feeding them, however...
posted by Jacqueline at 8:11 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Where's your helpful map?
posted by Justinian at 8:13 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, I was expecting Lady Stoneheart, since I knew ahead of time that there was some kind of big Frey scene coming up, but in the meantime it interests me that Melisandre, the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Hound, Arya, and Brienne and Pod are all in about the same area. (Which, remember, is an area that's of huge strategic importance, being a bottleneck between the North and the rest of the Seven Kingdoms.) Hmm.

It all comes together when you realize that's exactly how far south Gendry's rowed.


AND WHERE IS HOT PIE?! INN AT THE CROSSROADS! RIVERLANDS! BANG!
posted by leotrotsky at 8:14 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it seems like they're putting the Northern conspiracy plot onto a few non-LSH characters. I was pulling for her, but oh well, Frey revenge is still Frey revenge.

I guess the knowing look between Sansa and Littlefinger is setting up a rift between her and Jon for next season? I can't imagine Jon even wants to be King of the North, but I DO imagine that Sansa would like to be queen.
posted by codacorolla at 8:15 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


So I went into the Show Only thread first anticipating seeing everyone losing their minds over the R+L=J reveal and... nothing? Did the nonreaders seriously fail to grok the significance of that scene?

The way it's been all blatantly stated in pretty every Game of Thrones news link, it's pretty impossible not to know about it. It's a pretty underwhelming fact at this point, that the show totally pretty much failed to do any sort of justice. JUST FUCKING SAY IT, for christs sake.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Where's your helpful map?

I'm making the assumption that the people in the Books thread are capable of looking inside the cover of one of their books.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:18 PM on June 26, 2016


I think people who don't read about the show online would feel it has more of an immediate impact. I can't imagine anyone, as hard as they might try to avoid spoilers, who follows the show online hasn't seen R + L = J at some point.
posted by Justinian at 8:18 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe I missed it last week but

CLEGANE BOWL 2017

GET HYPE
posted by thecaddy at 8:19 PM on June 26, 2016 [18 favorites]


Tommen's suicide reminded me a little of That Scene from Exorcist III -- not a terribly great movie, but everyone who's seen it will know what I mean. There is one very effective scare that happens after an elongated moment of stillness in a hospital corridor at night. They hold the shot so long, and nothing happens for so long, that you start to wonder what you're doing watching this scene at all when suddenly it happens. Of course, after Tommen's suicide, you realize that long moment of nothingness was the poor kid contemplating what he was about to do...I think a rewatch with that in mind might be brutal.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:19 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I know exactly what you mean! That was the most effective shot in that movie.
posted by Justinian at 8:20 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was actually shocked by Tommen's suicide. I knew he had to die sooner or later but I didn't expect it to be that soon or in that manner.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:21 PM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Samwell is having trouble becoming a maester because he forgot his 27 b stroke 6.
posted by drezdn at 8:21 PM on June 26, 2016 [18 favorites]


So, does Arya have reason to be pissed off at Brienne? Is the Hound still mad at her? She's probably headed back to Winterfell at this point, having failed in the ultimately pointless mission to recruit the Blackfish. But there still has to be some sort of narrative purpose to having her there. If it follows the books in any way whatsoever, then perhaps she meets some element of the brotherhood that is pissed at her, and she's about to hang when... she meets Arya, maybe?
posted by codacorolla at 8:21 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Re lack of shock to Jon's parent reveal: I think the vast majority of show watchers don't follow it beyond actually watching the show, so it could still be a big surprise. I think the bigger problem is that it's a surprise reveal that doesn't really feel that important. Jon's dad wasn't Ned, it was someone who has been dead for 20 years. His mom wasn't some random person who maybe he could someday find, it is someone who has been dead for 20 years. I don't think there's really much reason to care.
posted by skewed at 8:22 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


My housemate: "I don't think Tommen is making it out of this episode alive."

On screen, Tommen: [Takes off crown, jumps out window]

Me: "Well...."
posted by kythuen at 8:25 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, except that Jon was just revealed to be the literal embodiment of the title of the entire series. His is the Song of Ice and Fire.
posted by Justinian at 8:26 PM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


I don't think there's really much reason to care.

Except that Daenarys's self-justification for retaking the Iron Throne is that Robert Baratheon was an usurper and she is the rightful heir, but now here is someone higher in the Targaryen line of succession than she is.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:28 PM on June 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


To be honest, I'm not entirely sure why Tommen kills himself, other than narrative necessity.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:29 PM on June 26, 2016


When Cersei was ranting at the Septa, she said she kept her relationship with Jaime a secret to protect her children. They are all dead now, so I assume she'll want to marry him now? Makes him killing her even more awkward.
posted by gatorae at 8:29 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh that was so epically satisfying, especially coming on the heels of LAST week's epically satisfying episode.

THAT CELLO SCORE THO. That was amazing and totally made the first 20 minutes.

Lancel trying desperately to pull himself toward the candle stubs despite his (spine-severing?) wound ... I think it's the only time I've ever liked that little sonovabitch.

I guess Arya's time at the House of the Undying was worthwhile after all since she stole at least one face (guess she had to make room for the Waif on that column). I wonder if she folds it up for travel, like any shirt?

FREY PIES!

The cut from the ToJ baby to Jon was excellent editing/storytelling too (...despite the kinda strange baby casting choice. He was like 3 months too old but had weird little old man down pat)

And obviously LYANNA MORMONT 2016
posted by alleycat01 at 8:29 PM on June 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


Samwell is having trouble becoming a maester because he forgot his 27 b stroke 6.

Pretty sure Sam Lowry was holding that for him. Pity about the sept.
posted by Gaz Errant at 8:30 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


To be honest, I'm not entirely sure why Tommen kills himself, other than narrative necessity.

I think it's one of the few earned major points this season, actually. He's a naif who has always truly loved Margery, and who seemed to truly love and trust the faith, and who truly loved his mother. He saw one get blown up inside the other by the latter. His world essentially ended in a blaze of wildfire, and because he's a helpless little romantic he did the logical thing from that perspective.
posted by codacorolla at 8:32 PM on June 26, 2016 [39 favorites]


but now here is someone higher in the Targaryen line of succession than she is.

Is this so? How could Jon be born legitimate if Rhaegar was still married to Elia Martell?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:33 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've been toying more with the idea that Sansa and Jon will ultimately marry. They weren't close as children since she was always aloof to the bastard, so it wouldn't be as gross as he and Arya. If it comes out that he's really the most rightful heir to the Iron Throne, and she's really the most rightful heir to Winterfell, it makes sense.
posted by gatorae at 8:34 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


To be clear, I mean I don't think there's much of a reason for show-watchers to care. Obviously, him being the "rightful heir" will be something they may develop and would give show-watchers a reason to care. But at this point, I think it's kind of meh. The embodiment of ASOIAF? The show is called Game of Thrones. I have never talked to a show-watcher who seemed remotely interested in Jon's parentage. The show is about who gets the Iron Throne, when will the dragons and zombies fight, etc.
posted by skewed at 8:35 PM on June 26, 2016


So, Benjenhands casually mentioning the magical runes ingrained into the wall to keep the dead out pretty much confirms that Bran is carrying a Trojan Horse, right?
posted by codacorolla at 8:37 PM on June 26, 2016 [23 favorites]


Is this so? How could Jon be born legitimate if Rhaegar was still married to Elia Martell?

Targaryens practiced polygamy.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:38 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think there's canon evidence that Elia Martell was unable to have more children, and there's definite canonical precedent for Targareyen polygyny. So not really implausible.
posted by padraigin at 8:38 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yes yes the Tommen framing shot was perfect

His suicide motives seemed clear enough to me -- he'd "betrayed" his mother, declared his faith & put his eggs in the High Sparrow basket, and was pretty much in love/thrall/infatuation with Margaery, all of which just went up in flames. And he either thought his mother was also in the Sept (and thus REALLY everything he loved was gone), or he understood from Ser Gregor's presence that his mother had masterminded all those deaths including his wife's. Tommen is a pretty softhearted guy without the ruthless will needed for the game, and worse, he knows it. I think he just couldn't handle it.

Loved how he paused to set down the crown/responsibilities before he jumped, and his utter lack of hesitation once he began/
posted by alleycat01 at 8:38 PM on June 26, 2016 [31 favorites]


"Good thing this Wall here is protected by magical enchantments to keep out the White Walkers! That protective magic is almost impossible to break, you definitely wouldn't know of an example of something like that happening, would you? Well, bye!"
posted by gatorae at 8:39 PM on June 26, 2016 [24 favorites]


I've been toying more with the idea that Sansa and Jon will ultimately marry.

How does that make more sense than marrying Dany? Then the armies would unite and the Targs would have their traditional sister-wife setup.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:40 PM on June 26, 2016


Tommen putting his crown away before jumping really was touching, and given that his devotion to Margary and conversion to the Seven were both totally genuine, I can see him wanting to check out once he realized what part his mother played in the whole thing.
posted by skewed at 8:41 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Tommen's suicide was shocking when it happened but makes a lot of sense in retrospect. Teenage boys have killed themselves over far less.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:42 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


In the context of the show, you'd have to do some deep recall to chatter in the first season to remember that Lyanna was kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryean. But they did set have King Robert set that up in season 1.

Sansa and Littlefinger gave us a refresher in the crypt in season 5.

Hell, Jon may have been legitimate and not even a bastard.

Rhaegar was already married with children, and the Faith of the Seven doesn't allow polygamy. Jon is definitely a bastard.

Except that Daenarys's self-justification for retaking the Iron Throne is that Robert Baratheon was an usurper and she is the rightful heir, but now here is someone higher in the Targaryen line of succession than she is.

Being a bastard, Jon isn't technically a Targaryen by name and can't inherit a title. OTOH, a lot of Westerosi might prefer a male bastard to a legitimate Targaryen queen.
posted by homunculus at 8:42 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also: whoa. cersei in max darth vader mode. now that no kids - no limits.

super creepy "he is your god now. shame shame shame" for the implied actions of the mountain......
posted by lalochezia at 8:45 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Being a bastard, Jon isn't technically a Targaryen by name and can't inherit a title. OTOH, a lot of Westerosi might prefer a male bastard to a legitimate Targaryen queen.

WHO HAS THE PRETTIER FLOWING LOCKS?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:45 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


So, Benjenhands casually mentioning the magical runes ingrained into the wall to keep the dead out pretty much confirms that Bran is carrying a Trojan Horse, right?

Weirdly I thought the opposite, that it brought the theory too far into the open. Like since it was so obvious to Benjen that he couldn't cross the Wall, if Bran's "infection" was an issue, he'd say that Bran couldn't cross either.

But. A) The Wall is clearly gonna come down, and nobody seems to be hyping the Horn of Jorgmun (sp?) which leaves Bran, and B) people are really bad at passing vital info along to Bran.
posted by alleycat01 at 8:46 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Targaryens practiced polygamy.

Before the conquest. I'm pretty sure that was a concession they made when they adopted the Faith of the Seven. Many Targaryen kings had mistresses, but I don't think any had more than one wife since Aegon.
posted by homunculus at 8:50 PM on June 26, 2016


Weirdly I thought the opposite, that it brought the theory too far into the open. Like since it was so obvious to Benjen that he couldn't cross the Wall, if Bran's "infection" was an issue, he'd say that Bran couldn't cross either.

I legitimately don't think he knows. I think he's just a guy who's been dead for a long time and used to be a crow, not some massive expert on the walkers (like Rav3n was). Also, I don't know if you've seen this season, but they haven't really been coy about going for the obvious plot beat.
posted by codacorolla at 8:50 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dany: A great number of women, I imagine.

Daario: Well, just one, but she does have a bunch of clones.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:54 PM on June 26, 2016 [26 favorites]


Also, I don't know if you've seen this season, but they haven't really been coy about going for the obvious plot beat.

Yeah in retrospect I am giving that writing way too much credit
posted by alleycat01 at 8:55 PM on June 26, 2016


Also, whoever directed the King's Landing sequence was pretty good, they had a very distinct style, it felt like they were given much more freedom to shoot in a modern style.
posted by skewed at 8:56 PM on June 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Costuming was pretty cool too -- how both Cersei's and Dany's clothing became more armor-like as the sequences moved on.

I wasn't sure if the look between Jaime and Cersei was meant to show growing distrust between them, or a sense of subtle "we said we'd get back on top and now it's begun" triumph. At first it definitely felt like Jaime starting to pull away (which: FINALLY) but for some reason once Cersei caught his gaze in return, it felt more complicit.

Folks seem to be reading a similar uncertainty into the parallel Sansa/Baelish glance, though to me it read more clearly as Petyr realizing that the winds weren't blowing his way, and Sansa beginning to worry about what his next move to screw them over would be.
posted by alleycat01 at 9:02 PM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Weirdly I thought the opposite, that it brought the theory too far into the open. Like since it was so obvious to Benjen that he couldn't cross the Wall, if Bran's "infection" was an issue, he'd say that Bran couldn't cross either.

I legitimately don't think he knows. I think he's just a guy who's been dead for a long time and used to be a crow, not some massive expert on the walkers (like Rav3n was). Also, I don't know if you've seen this season, but they haven't really been coy about going for the obvious plot beat.


I don't think Benjen knows. I assume he left Bran somewhere near the Wall where the Night's Watch will find him, and they'll probably drag him through heedless of any crazy protestations about a magic mark.
posted by homunculus at 9:06 PM on June 26, 2016


Jacqueline: I'm making the assumption that the people in the Books thread are capable of looking inside the cover of one of their books.

A bit of a tangent, but one of the only times I regret reading on a Kindle is for ASOIF books because I can't quickly flip to the map and then back to the page I'm reading like you can for a real book.
posted by bluecore at 9:10 PM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


the Faith of the Seven doesn't allow polygamy

they just got blowed the heck up, who cares what they allow
posted by poffin boffin at 9:19 PM on June 26, 2016 [14 favorites]




So there was a handmaid in the Tower of Joy with Lyanna. That seems dubious to me. Unless it was Ashara Dayne. But she sure wasn't dressed like it was. Maybe Howland killed the handmaid. 'Cause Ned sure wouldn't have.
posted by Justinian at 9:25 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, Ser Jorah hears the news

In the books, he made the Targaryen polygamy case to her when he kissed her. "You have no brothers, but you can take husbands." Husbands, plural.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:31 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I loved so many things about this episode. Especially Ser Davos confronting Melisandre — for once, we see a man who is acting from a decent, kind place vis-a-vis a girl. Jaime's expression as he watches Cersei on the Iron Throne was fantastic. And finally getting to see the Manderly pie… awesome. And I want to be Lyanna Mormont when I grow up. Dude.
posted by culfinglin at 9:36 PM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Uneaten Freys

Punk band, or horror porn title?
posted by middleclasstool at 9:39 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Especially Ser Davos confronting Melisandre — for once, we see a man who is acting from a decent, kind place vis-a-vis a girl.

I love Davos so much that I have informed my husband that if we ever have children, Davos Seaworth [OurLastName] is on my list of potential boy names.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:44 PM on June 26, 2016 [18 favorites]


Apparently the status of Targaryen polygam is unclear.

Aegon I's younger son was the last Tagaryen to practice polygamy, so it hasn't been done for a long, long time. However, according to that article, Martin said:
Maegor the Cruel has multiple wives, from lines outside his own, so there was and is precedent. However, the extent to which the Targaryen kings could defy convention, the Faith, and the opinions of the other lords decreased markedly after they no longer had dragons. If you have a dragon, you can have as many wives as you want, and people are less likely to object
As to Danny taking multiple husbands:
There has been no mention of a Targaryen or Valyrian woman ever having more than one husband at a time. Nonetheless, in 299 AC Ser Jorah Mormont proposes the idea to Queen Daenerys Targaryen as a possible meaning for "the dragon has three heads", which Daenerys had heard in her visions at the House of the Undying. Daenerys speaks of the possibility to Prince Quentyn Martell a year later, suggesting that her marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq need not be the end of Quentyn's hope to marry her, but his reaction to her dragons causes her to dismiss the idea.
Even if we accept that Targaryen polygyamy is on the table, though, all of the multiple marriages would still have to be legitimate to create legitimate offspring. Rhaegar and Lyanna couldn't have been legitimately married because the only legal marriages are done by the Faith. There's no way their secret union is legitimate, and therefore Jon is a bastard.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:44 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ultimately, the easiest way to solve the conundrum is for Jon and Daenerys to marry. She's his aunt but that's nowhere near too incesty for the Targaryens.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:47 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just wanna say, though, that Jon releasing Melisandre into the wild? Is exactly why Sansa was right not to tell him about the knights of the Vale. I understand completely the horror and revulsion anyone would feel on hearing what happened to Shireen. But dude. This woman has the power over life and death itself. You are about to go to war with a fucking lich king and his ten million ice zombies. Ice spiders, even, if HBO ponies up the cash! You don't just tell Melisandre to ride off in the direction of, oh yeah, your family's mortal enemies. You calmly but firmly inform her that there will be no child sacrifices on your watch and then you move on. Davos would probably even have gotten this. Jon's a noble dude, but he's gotta grow up a little bit.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:47 PM on June 26, 2016 [41 favorites]


The more I think about it, the more I want this series to end with Jon in an unconsummated marriage to a mean ten-year-old who pushes him around all the time.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:49 PM on June 26, 2016 [63 favorites]


I thought the High Sparrow not listening to Margaery's warnings was pretty out of character for him. He's a fanatic but he's also been shown to be very smart, and would surely have understood Margaery's point.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:49 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think that look they exchanged at the end was him realizing he should have listened.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:50 PM on June 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


She's his aunt but that's nowhere near too incesty for the Targaryens.

Hell, it's positively Hapsburgian.
posted by Justinian at 9:53 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Missed this earlier comment:

Also Jamie is the Valoquar right?

Definitely. It's too bad they didn't include the Valoquar part of the prophecy in the show, but they did mention how he was born holding Cersei's foot, meaning she was born first and thus Jaime is her little brother too.

Jaime's killed before to keep a mad ruler from blowing up King's Landing. I think what she did to the Sept, Tommen's suicide, and whatever batshit crazy-evil thing she does next is going to push him over the edge into killing her for the greater good.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:58 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


The only part of the culling I regret is Margaery. Sure she was much more of a secondary character in the novels but show-Margaery and Natalie Dormer are both great and I wish she could have escaped to go hook up with the other anti-Cersei forces.

Yeah, Margaery is the only one who's death upset me. It didn't feel like her story was done, especially when she's been so fascinating all season, and I wanted to see her next move. But hey, kudos to Dormer and the showrunners for making it have an impact on me, especially when death has become so routine on the show.
posted by homunculus at 10:04 PM on June 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


You know, if the whole 'choke the life out of you' bit of the prophecy is taken as metaphorical, couldn't Tommen wind up being the valonqar? Like if his death winds up being the thing that drives her totally mad and results in her downfall and death?
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:10 PM on June 26, 2016


Yay that was some good teevee. Love how they swept the decks clear for a clean season free of the yoke of the badly edited later books. Also cut the casting budget in about half, although I'm sad to see Margery and the High Sparrow go. You know, the show-runners could just ignore GRRM's notes entirely and have this whole thing finished in six, eight episodes.

My favorite part of the production was the sound, particularly the quiet music the first 20 minutes building to Cersei's Septon Roast. A nice contrast to the previous episode. Equally high concept in design, but much more quiet and furious.

One point of plot confusion.. In the "King of the North!" scene I can swear one of the lords praises Snow for avenging the Red Wedding. What now? Did worse of the Frey pies make its way to Winterfell already? And how could Snow possibly get the credit? (Really the whole Frey denouement was confusing as heck. Why is the dining hall empty? Did Arya wait, like, thirty minutes after Jaimie left to murderate everyone?)
posted by Nelson at 10:13 PM on June 26, 2016


Some great Azor Ahai theorizing here based on Jon's birth scene:
https://www.reddit.com/r/gameofthrones/comments/4q162o/s6e10_dawns_significance/
posted by Jacqueline at 10:13 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


One point of plot confusion.. In the "King of the North!" scene I can swear one of the lords praises Snow for avenging the Red Wedding. What now?

He defeated the Boltons, who betrayed the Starks at the Red Wedding (along with the Freys).
posted by dumbland at 10:16 PM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


One point of plot confusion.. In the "King of the North!" scene I can swear one of the lords praises Snow for avenging the Red Wedding. What now? Did worse of the Frey pies make its way to Winterfell already? And how could Snow possibly get the credit?

I assume he just talking about the Boltons. Roose Bolton was the one who finally killed Robb, and the Bolton soldiers helped the Freys massacre the rest of the Northmen.
posted by homunculus at 10:17 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just a couple of episodes Jaime was telling Edmure how much he loved Cersei's fierce love for their children, and now Cersei has not only caused their last child's death, she's totally detached from it. I don't think that relationship is going to survive. Valoquar ahoy.

Speaking of Edmure, didn't Walder say he was back in his cell? Arya could set her uncle free, and if the Tully rebels are in the dungeon with him (and if Edmure wants a shot at redemption) they really could avenge the Red Wedding.
posted by homunculus at 10:24 PM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


oh god how do i wait a whole year to see what happens? cruel, cruel show
posted by soakimbo at 10:25 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The scene where Dany made Tyrion her hand actually made me tear up a bit. Tyrion was the Hand before but he was put there by his father who didn't value him and had to serve a terrible king. Dany understands how valuable Tyrion is and I think that means a lot to him.

The "King in the North" scene was super-unsettling. I guess Jon couldn't really say "uh, actually guys, about that ... Sansa's got it." But it was still weird. And it had all those echoes of Season 1's "King in the North" scene and we all know how that went.

The Tower of Joy scene though - ugh, I thought they really blew it. Completely took away any power it had by trying to stretch it out even more.
posted by lunasol at 10:26 PM on June 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


But really, I just want to see all the living Stark kids reunited. It's all I want! If GRRM's plot were steering the ship, Bran would probably get killed 5 miles from Winterfell, but with these guys and their love of fanservice in charge, it could happen!
posted by lunasol at 10:28 PM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Walder said Edmure was in the South.
posted by bq at 10:32 PM on June 26, 2016


Oh wow just so much so much so much here.

That opening sequence was incredible, one of the most accomplished and brilliant things the show has ever pulled off. I started it joking that I wanted the High Sparrow to do a Fonzie-style "eh!" to the mirror while he was dressing himself, and by the end was screaming, "GET TO THE BUTTON, SMARF!" in my head.

Margaery dying in the explosion really, really upset me. I know part of the "purpose" of the show is to not traffic in cliché but still almost all of the deaths of major characters have followed some sort of Shakespearian tragic logic. Ned died because he was too trusting. Renly because he underestimated the lengths Stannis would go to, Robb because he betrayed his promises, with Catelyn swept up in that, Joffrey because somebody needed to put an end to his reign, Roz because she had crossed Littlefinger, Jojen heroically, Hodor heroically, Shireen, Stannis and Selyse as Agamemnon writ large, Ramsay as poetic justice, etc.

Margaery died because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and even though she saw it coming and tried to save everyone, was prevented from leaving by fools who were also going to die. She did everything right. And that's probably the most becoming of all of the show's deaths to GRRM's vision, but damn if it didn't set me off all night.

Tommen's suicide then just felt "right," in that it was completely what the character would do, not just for narrative purposes but organically, and was shocking and perfectly handled. But it doubled down on how upsetting it all was.

It's hard to know what confirmation of R+L=J will mean yet, since Jon doesn't know it and Bran will have to get south of the wall, which I believe will bring the wall down.

It's interesting to me that, in the absence of the Faith, Cersei is crowned by Qyburn. It may not matter to us now, in our modern era, but this is a big deal that really pokes holes in any legitimacy she's even pretending to here. Coronation comes from the Faith because that means something, even if its all a shadow. Coronation coming from one's subservient, which Qyburn most definitely is, has next to no value. In the U.S. and elsewhere, we still pay lip service to this idea, with Presidents swearing their oath upon the Bible (strictly speaking they may swear upon anything, but it's always been a Bible) to show that they admit their leadership to a higher power than themselves. Cersei might have some trouble holing onto her reins.

As for the two ambiguous glances tonight, here are my readings:

1. I thought all of the claiming specifically for Jon as King in the North was designed to make us expect him to defer to Sansa, and that when he stood up but said nothing of the sort, rather soaking in the devotion, Littlefinger's look was to be read as, "You see then?" And Sansa's as, "The Iron Throne, you say?"

2. With Cersei and Jaime I thought Jaime's look was more of "GOOD GOD WOMAN WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE" and Cersei's something like, "I did what you couldn't, and what I had to do," and Jaime's final look as, "I've done it before and can do it again, depending on what exactly we're talking about."

Yeah, Jaime is the Valonquar.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:35 PM on June 26, 2016 [21 favorites]


The scene where Dany made Tyrion her hand actually made me tear up a bit. Tyrion was the Hand before but he was put there by his father who didn't value him and had to serve a terrible king. Dany understands how valuable Tyrion is and I think that means a lot to him.

Hear, hear! That was one of my favorite scenes of the episode.
posted by homunculus at 10:36 PM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Margaery died because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time

You make it sound random but Margaery was there for a trial intended to strip Cersei of all her remaining power and dignity.

Margaery died because she wanted to usurp Cersei's place as THE Queen, and she underestimated how far Cersei would go to hold onto her position.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:48 PM on June 26, 2016 [24 favorites]


I think that was also the first time we've seen Tyrion kneel, at least out of genuine fealty rather than being forced to.
posted by schroedinger at 10:49 PM on June 26, 2016 [16 favorites]


GUYS GUYS GUYS!! so you know how GRRM likes to subvert fantasy story tropes??

Tommen's story arc also just totally fulfilled that tragic young naive princess storyline where he lost his One True Love and throws himself into the sea/out a window/off a high cliff.

see also Tolkien.

I mean really!
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:50 PM on June 26, 2016 [35 favorites]


Smart of Littlefinger to plant seeds of jealousy and resentment in Sansa, to make her think she wants and deserves more than the chopped-liver of a reception that she got in the banquet hall. The looks between Sansa and LF should easily fill a year's worth of theory-making.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:54 PM on June 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's interesting to me that, in the absence of the Faith, Cersei is crowned by Qyburn.

In the absence of the Faith, Cersei was crowned by the Westerosi equivalent of a scientist.

I'm a fan of the theory that one of the overarching themes of GOT is the end of feudalism. So that scene might have been another nod to the budding Enlightenment.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:56 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Welcome to the Cersei Dome!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:01 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Smart of Littlefinger to plant seeds of jealousy and resentment in Sansa, to make her think she wants and deserves more than the chopped-liver of a reception that she got in the banquet hall. The looks between Sansa and LF should easily fill a year's worth of theory-making.

I didn't think it was jealousy on Sansa's part. They kept flicking back to Littlefinger after each lord declared for Jon, and he got more discomfited with each one. I think when she looked at him she realized they were going to have to deal with him sooner rather than later. And thank God at least one Stark is smart enough to figure this shit out.
posted by schroedinger at 11:06 PM on June 26, 2016 [22 favorites]


I have had sex that was not as satisfying as watching Arya murder Walder Frey. I grinned so wide my husband was afraid my smile would meet at the back and make my head pop off.
posted by KathrynT at 11:24 PM on June 26, 2016 [27 favorites]


Margaery died because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and even though she saw it coming and tried to save everyone, was prevented from leaving by fools who were also going to die.

Even if she'd been allowed out, I don't think she had enough time to get far enough away, especially carrying her brother who was leaning heavily on her.

As for Sansa, it seemed like maybe she didn't make a play at being queen *because* Littlefinger suggested it. She's wary of doing what men playing the game want her to do, even if she's not sure where they're going with it yet.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:29 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think when she looked at him she realized they were going to have to deal with him sooner rather than later. And thank God at least one Stark is smart enough to figure this shit out.
posted by schroedinger at 2:06 AM on June 27 [+] [!]


Hmm. Maybe the best ending for Sansa would be Hand of the King in the North.
posted by skewed at 11:29 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


okay so how long do we have to wait before it's appropriate to use reaction gifs of Tommen jumping out the window?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:45 PM on June 26, 2016 [26 favorites]


Also, whoever directed the King's Landing sequence was pretty good, they had a very distinct style, it felt like they were given much more freedom to shoot in a modern style.

Eh they ran a lot of things into fucking ground. Life fifty thousand cuts of Lancel following the kid, crawling towards candles for what felt like three hours. Then Pycell confronted by maybe four or a four hundred urchins all pulling out little knives, several million times each. I was saying "get on with it" several times through the buildup to the explosion. The explosion itself was pretty and green but needed some like street shots of people caught in the blast or screaming, it all felt pretty fake.

(To be fair though I had/am having a really bad headache day and may have missed some shots while rubbing my eyes.)

I feel like they missed an opportunity for an interesting maestercide! When one maester kills another there should be mislabeled bottles, chains ripped off necks, poisonous vapors, and snarking to each other about how the other one is forgetting the fundamental virtue of some plant or mineral. Like, Qyburn sets up some "accidental" lab mishap that tests Pycelle's knowledge, so that Qyburn can end up laughing at Pycelle's failure to mix the right remedy. Or then maybe Pycelle actually manages to save himself and Qyburn's like, "Oh fine you pick this ONE TIME to remember your fucking reagents" and then stabs him in the throat.
posted by nom de poop at 12:26 AM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Arya "Titus Andronicus Stark" FTW. I didn't see that coming, which made it all the more perfect. I hope she and Lyanna Mormont team up for some ass-kicking in the North next season.

I like all the deep-laid symmetries that played out in this one: between Walder Frey's death and the Red Wedding (slit throat, after experiencing the death of his children in an ugly fashion); between Tommen's suicide and Bran's fall; between Aerys's would-be mass murder and Cersei's realized one; and so forth. Also the season's bookending of two brutal and wordless Jaime-Cersei reunions, the first with her realizing their daughter is dead, and the second with him realizing their son is.

(I'm very sad about Margaery, though.)

Also the music and cinematography were brilliant, and Miguel Sapochnik should direct all the episodes henceforth.
posted by karayel at 12:27 AM on June 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


There was definitely room for improvement but that was the only decent cinematography I've seen on this show since Tyrion offed Tywin.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:27 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


ouldn't have been legitimately married because the only legal marriages are done by the Faith. There's no way their secret union is legitimate,

Not true. Marriages in the North don't involve the Faith of the Seven.
posted by corb at 12:34 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh and I'm on Team Sansa's Not Fooled One Bit--she's got Littlefinger's number, after the events of the past season, and I think the glances they exchanged were hints toward future clashes between them, not alliances. That said, she may well be playing along to manipulate him.

Plus, I loved the moment where he went in for the kiss and she hand-blocked him. WAVE IT IN HIS FACE, TELL HIM BOY, BYE.
posted by karayel at 12:35 AM on June 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


street shots of people caught in the blast

The church bell gets shot off like a cannon and turns someone into a blood stain on the street. That was it. Again it's not a movie and not a movie budget.
posted by MillMan at 12:36 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


So what's Cersei's plan? Is she just the mad queen? Like surely the population of kings landing is going to realize what's up, the banks aren't anymore likely to loan to you, going to be hard to find allies, etc. It's kind of sad really.
posted by R343L at 12:56 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


The church bell gets shot off like a cannon and turns someone into a blood stain on the street. That was it. Again it's not a movie and not a movie budget.

After all the green they must have dropped on last episode's battle sequence we're probably lucky we didn't cut to a PA shakily holding up some posterboard with "BOOOOOOM!" scrawled across it in Sharpie.
posted by Justinian at 1:50 AM on June 27, 2016 [43 favorites]


Somebody new did the AVClub Game of Thrones (Experts) recap this week and it made my teeth hurt! I mean, she liked it and all. But really. She refers to Ellaria as a Sand Snake! She repeatedly refers to the "L + R = J" theory! She says that the "he" in Lyanna's whisper to Ned that "he must not find out" refers to Rhaegar rather than Robert! NO THAT'S ALL WRONG. Noooooooo.
posted by Justinian at 2:05 AM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


She says that the "he" in Lyanna's whisper to Ned that "he must not find out" refers to Rhaegar rather than Robert! NO THAT'S ALL WRONG. Noooooooo.

FWIW I watch with subtitles, and they clearly mentioned Robert by name. That certainly doesn't sound like an "Experts" recap though, huh?

Sort of related: Can someone remind me why Jon is the Song of Ice and Fire? I don't have the books to hand, but IIRC, it comes up when Dany sees Rhaegar in a vision, with a woman and a baby, saying 'his is the song of ice and fire' or something? But I'm sure he calls the baby Aegon... Or have I misremembered that?
posted by Pink Frost at 3:39 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


By my math, none of the major houses have a male heir available with the exceptions of Tyrion, Euron and Jon. Sorry Daario.
posted by drezdn at 5:12 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


And Sweet Robin.
posted by drezdn at 5:15 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hi! I haven't read the books. Starting this season I've begun dabbling in the Books Included threads since the show has mostly outpaced the books. Prior to this point I'd tried hard to avoid spoilers (given my horror and delight at the Red Wedding genuinely surprising me). Allow me to present to you a show-only reaction to R+L=J.

- I had been loosely aware that Jon's true parentage was A Thing Book Readers Cared About, just because I'd read recaps and articles of episodes that would do the "This may give us a hint as to Jon's true parentage! Only read this if you want book spoilers!" thing.
- Dabbling in these threads, I saw the R+L=J thing and googled it. So I knew roughly what the most popular theory was.
- Literally nothing in the show has ever made me wonder or care who Jon's parents actually are. The only reason I looked into it is because I knew book readers cared.
- Even learning about the R+L=J theory earlier this season, my reaction to the initial Bran flashbacks to the Tower of Joy were basically "oh, cool. They'll finally explain that thing everyone seems to care about."
- Watching the finale, my husband (who has not googled all this stuff) asked what the point of that scene was supposed to be, I tried to explain that it was A Thing We Should Care About, and he was like "oh. Okay. Cool." Also I had to struggle to remember who the father was meant to be.
- We then had to discuss between ourselves the point of this revelation and it took a while to figure out that it just means Jon is now in play for another house.

So that's my perspective on the lack of excitement from show-only types. We haven't been made to care, or wonder, or even realize it's a huge mystery. *shrug*
posted by olinerd at 5:25 AM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Pycelle learns he has vastly over-estimated how many children he could take in a fight.
posted by drezdn at 5:30 AM on June 27, 2016 [44 favorites]


None of the followers of R'hllor showed up to work at the Sept that day #SeptTruther
posted by drezdn at 5:33 AM on June 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


One thing that strikes me this morning is that with Margaery gone, we have no way of knowing if she took her new faith seriously or if it was actually a clever ruse.
posted by General Malaise at 5:58 AM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


By my math, none of the major houses have a male heir available with the exceptions of Tyrion, Euron and Jon. Sorry Daario.
posted by drezdn at 8:12 AM on June 27


Yeah we were talking about this last night, and I think none have a current male heir, and a lot of the regions don't really have a stable ruler for right now, nevermind the future. Who's ruling Casterly Rock these days? Jaime? That's a presumption, but given that he was a Kingsguard, it seems like a pretty tenuous position. By my count it's (this probably contains notable errors):

The North: Has a current ruler, non-legitimate, but generally accepted, no male heir, with Bran having a technically superior claim to the title, but presumed dead/being a tree wizard.
The Eyrie: Littlefinger, no male heir, shockingly stable all things considered
Riverlands: House Frey in charge, presumably Walder has an heir somewhere in his billion kids. I don't care to check who it is.
Westerlands: Jaime probably? No male heir
Crownlands: Cersei, with no heir
Stormlands: Who even fucking knows. Cersei? It might default to the crown at this point.
The Reach: In the books this would be Willas Tyrell, but I don't think he's been on the show? I assume lady Olenna is just running things and people won't try to stop her.
Dorne: Ellaria seems effectively in charge, I guess.
Iron Islands: Euron has the title, Yara has the ships, and I'm slotting them in the "deeply unstable" camp.

It's funny, because the books presents these houses as institutions that have been around for thousands of years. The Starks and Lannisters at least claim direct descent from the Age of Heroes which is ten thousand years ago, and I imagine some of the others do too, but we're presented with a situation where it would be totally reasonable if the story ended with none of the houses intact in any recognizable form.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:01 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


1. I thought all of the claiming specifically for Jon as King in the North was designed to make us expect him to defer to Sansa, and that when he stood up but said nothing of the sort, rather soaking in the devotion, Littlefinger's look was to be read as, "You see then?" And Sansa's as, "The Iron Throne, you say?"

I read that differently. Sansa knows Littlefinger wants to be King. Littlefinger was betting on Sansa's legitimacy over Jon. But it turns out that The North doesn't give a shit. Littlefinger's plan has just crumbled. He wants to be King. You can't have two Kings. Littlefinger is now an enemy. Sansa knows this.

...or, yeah, what Schrodinger said.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:05 AM on June 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


By my math, none of the major houses have a male heir available with the exceptions of Tyrion, Euron and Jon. Sorry Daario.

Isn't Jaime technically available since he's not in the King's Guard anymore?
posted by bluecore at 6:05 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kevan Lannister was in the sept with everyone else, right? Saves a teleportation for Varys, I suppose.

I think the big difference in the importance of Jon's lineage for readers vs watchers is that readers are a bit more tied in to Jon, since he's a POV character right from the start, when there were relatively few of them. So, all the stuff with him sitting away from the main table and Ned saying "someday I'll tell you about your mother" is experienced through Jon's eyes and it's kind of a big deal from the start. I don't think that connection is possible with the show, where Jon is just a character in those scenes.
posted by LionIndex at 6:09 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


One thing that strikes me this morning is that with Margaery gone, we have no way of knowing if she took her new faith seriously or if it was actually a clever ruse.

The rose drawing she put in Olenna's hand is kind of a tell.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:12 AM on June 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


And makes it kind of a gutshot. Head fakes in stories like these are good and all, but this move felt a touch flaily, like they were teasing a clever inside job and then killed the chief conspirator 15 minutes after she sent the secret signal. I suppose they felt they needed to redeem her to the crowd before killing her off so we wouldn't think she died brainwashed, but the shot they called there was of a clever and strong queen conspiring on the inside to fix things. Instead we get her brother submitting to self-loathing mutilation, everything going boom, and her poor dumb kid husband throwing himself out a window.

On the other hand, they did need to tighten things up and get the story moving, and they did that. The story had gotten unwieldy, and stripping Kings Landing down to Cersei, the Mountain, and Jaime was probably a smart logistical move. There's probably been more story movement in the last half of a season than in the previous two and a half. I'm grateful for that, I just have mixed feelings about how they did it.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:32 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


If Varys was able to travel that span so quickly, you have to figure someone else knows how, too, and they are only days or at worst a few weeks away from someone arriving in Westeros to be all, "Oh, uh, beeteedubs, but a raging dragon queen with a berserker army and a massive fleet are on their way, you guys."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:39 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Isn't Jaime technically available since he's not in the King's Guard anymore?

Yeah, with Kevan Lannister's unexpected early demise in the SEPTSPLOSION, Jaime is totally Lord of Casterly Rock now.
posted by dis_integration at 6:44 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


I only started reading the first book recently but have gone down the rabbit hole of enough wiki reading in the past that everything's been pretty much spoiled for me. Anyway, I watched with my strictly-show-viewing husband and he didn't seem to care much about Jon's parentage. More concerning to me, though, was the fact that he kept insisting that Jaime should be next in line for the crown after Tommen.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:46 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hate to be all Horror Movie Aficionado Admiring the Hellacious Kill here, but can we just reflect for a second on how holy shit wow amazing the shot of the High Sparrow instantly being turned into an exploding green supernova was? Because someone on the GoT FX team deserves a raise for that biz. The entire Sept explodes sequence was stunning, but that was the image that burned into my mind.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:50 AM on June 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


I can't imagine anyone, as hard as they might try to avoid spoilers, who follows the show online hasn't seen R + L = J at some point.

I watch the show with attentive non-book readers who don't read about the show online and their first word was legit "So who's his dad, that kidnapper dude? ned?" they asked to know what's up and I explained R+L=J and their unanimous follow up was "How does that matter at all now?" ... which fair point people.
--On that note I have long thought the song indicates/hints that Jamie knows a few times. He was a member of the king's guard after-all and has a very interesting scene with Jon snow in season 1.

BENJEN.. Am I the only one that though uncle zombie was pretty creepy with his whole "Go thru the wall... just do it. Pay no attention to the mark of the Nights King on your arm that obliterates protective magic... just go thru that wall... I'm on your side. Go thru that wall." I suspect you uncle zombie.

Teleporter. Lady Olena is already in morning when Varys is in Dorne. Dany has had time to have all those ships painted and an invasion readied and her city cleaned up by the time of his return. So I figure weeks on both sides. Still very fast. But then again there have long been hints that V-RYS is kinda magic.

Kaboom Scene. I actually bought a bottle of red wine and my wife and I drank them out of big goblets so that we could drink with Cersei when the Sept blew up. We were so glad that wasn't a fake out. Wine was appropriately bitter.

High Sparrow. I think he sees something is up but is thinking it's going to be an army or something. (building sized explosions being exceptionally rare) If an army is coming they need to be worried but he also wants to keep all these choice hostages with him. Margery knows Cersei better and even if it is an Army coming down the street, they're all still dead.

Shame. Just so creepy.

Music. The cello and strings throughout the episode were great. Loved the long slow painful anticipation.

Non-book reader in the room called pretty brunette creeping on Jamie as Arya like one glance into that scene. Well done.

Don't know what's going on with King Jon and Sansa. Lot of obtuse glancing going on in that scene. I wished Sansa had given the Lady Mormont speech. But maybe that makes her intentions too clear, I don't know.

I loved the Hand of Queen scene. I may have gotten a bit choked up. Those two are my favorite mentally damaged murderers in this wide world of mentally damaged murderers.
posted by French Fry at 6:53 AM on June 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


More concerning to me, though, was the fact that he kept insisting that Jaime should be next in line for the crown after Tommen.

Lineage is through the Baratheons, right? Cersei's only recognized as queen because she was Robert's wife and her children are dead. Also she killed everyone, so who would fuck with her, but still.

Because holy shit, someone on the GoT FX team deserves a raise for that biz.

They spent their money well on this one across the board, yeah. There were more artful uses of editing and music than I've ever seen in this show, too. The non-death, non-CGI dramatic scenes in this show often feel mostly expository, and last night they felt actually dramatic. Of course, there were a lot of things for people to have feelings about.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:56 AM on June 27, 2016


I'm annoyed that the show, which had done such a good job at giving us some Women Doing Important Things this season, went for the "Strongly implied torture-rape of Septa Whatsherface by zombie-Clegane" shot. It's yet another case of the "rape = srs bznss" thing the show did a lot in the last couple of seasons and it really sullied an otherwise dramatic/intense episode for me. I don't think it was needed to sell us on "Cersei is getting her revenge in an intentional and horrible way," given that she just, you know, blew up the sept with much of the KL nobility in it.

Is the remaining wildfyre under the Red Keep now Chekov's Weapon of Mass Destruction? Or would Cersei's plan have involved moving it?
posted by Alterscape at 7:05 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Deleted scene:

INT. KING'S LANDING CONFERENCE ROOM

IMPORTANT RICH OLD PERSON #1
At this point, we have little choice but to crown Cersei Lannister the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

IMPORTANT RICH OLD PERSON #2
Have you gone mad, sir? The line of succession is irrevocably severed after the death of Tommen and Cersei is in no way suitable for this position and in no way entitled to... If anything, she should be put on trial for--

IMPORTANT RICH OLD PERSON #1 GOES TO WINDOW, DRAW CURTAINS, EXPOSING STILL SMOLDERING HOLE IN THE GROUND WHERE THE SEPT USED TO BE.

IMPORTANT RICH OLD PERSON #2
Um. Seconded.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:11 AM on June 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


Lineage is through the Baratheons, right? Cersei's only recognized as queen because she was Robert's wife and her children are dead. Also she killed everyone, so who would fuck with her, but still.

Exactly. I guess Shireen would have been next in line for the crown had she not been burned at the stake, right? Otherwise all that's left is Gendry, and he's not legitimate, though I'm guessing he could pose problems for Cersei if he resurfaced (though I'm also guessing that the Targ kids are going to pose an even bigger problem.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:12 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cersei's only recognized as queen because she was Robert's wife and her children are dead

There's a parallel here with Jon Snow, though: recognition of a claim is more about the recognition than the claim. Tortured rationalizations about bloodlines follow the brute fact; so far, all attempts to put the bloodline first have failed and made everyone miserable or dead.
posted by fatbird at 7:15 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Or, more bluntly: medieval realpolitik.
posted by fatbird at 7:16 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Just to add to the Jaime look: remember in season 3 episode when Jamie explains why he betrayed his oath and killed the king because he was willing to use wildfire to “burn them all”.
posted by kisch mokusch at 7:16 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


The Eyrie: Littlefinger, no male heir, shockingly stable all things considered

Isn't Robin Arryn still notionally the lord, with Littlefinger as notional regent? Or did they whack Robin when I wasn't looking?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:17 AM on June 27, 2016


yup Robyn Arryn is the heir presumptive to the Eyrie and likely to the Riverlands at this point.

Cersei's claim to the throne is by conquest, same as Robert Baratheon's was. She also staged a successful coup, in another nice "black mirror" allusion.
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:21 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Oh right, they didn't kill Robyn. That was probably just a wonderful dream I had.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:27 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


A brief practical question about the entire Faceless Ones face swapping trick. If the faces they switch to were donated (or claimed) and are actual physical faces, does that mean that Faceless One (and people emulating them, like Arya) who are away from Braavos have to travel around with a Sack O' Many Faces?

And does this mean that after her dramatic "A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell" speech and subsequent strolling out, Arya doubled back and said, "And I'll be taking these!" and helped herself to a bag of faces? Or worse yet, does it mean that she killed someone and took their face to use?

I have a feeling the answer is PLOT IS MAGIC, but still.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:28 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


I suppose they felt they needed to redeem her to the crowd before killing her off so we wouldn't think she died brainwashed, but the shot they called there was of a clever and strong queen conspiring on the inside to fix things. Instead we get her brother submitting to self-loathing mutilation, everything going boom, and her poor dumb kid husband throwing himself out a window.

I read her starting to freak out when the High Sparrow wouldn't let her and Loras leave before Cersai's trial as her having had some sort of plan to slip out and run ASAP, which got foiled. She had something brewing, but just didn't have the time/ability to pull it off like she thought she did.
posted by damayanti at 7:31 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


lydhre: Sorry George. There's your delicious delicious reveal, on television for all the world to see.

BUT SHE WHISPERED SOMETHING! He could totally write about that in the next book(s).


schroedinger: BEHOLD THE GLORIOUS MATRIARCHY

War of the uh... 3 to 6 queens, anyone? (Cersei, Dany, Sansa, Yara and team Martel/Sand Snakes?) PLOT. TWISTED.


lalochezia: super creepy "he is your god now. shame shame shame" for the implied actions of the mountain......

Navelgazer: It's interesting to me that, in the absence of the Faith, Cersei is crowned by Qyburn

God is dead, slain by science!

Also, I choose to believe that Ser Mountain's torture is that he's terrible at painting, and he wants honest feedback, but can't speak, so he just keeps painting and painting and painting - like pictionary, but worse.


Parasite Unseen: I want this series to end with Jon in an unconsummated marriage to a mean ten-year-old who pushes him around all the time.

I second this, with a bit of re-phrasing. Lady Mormont pushes no one around. She's a young boss (and not bossy, to be clear).


drezdn: Pycelle learns he has vastly over-estimated how many children he could take in a fight.

To be fair, such hypotheticals are generally assuming unarmed combat. They had knives, and he had a lot of soft spots perfect for stabbing.

But on this, why wouldn't Qyburn kill Pycelle himself, instead of making his little birds do his dirty work? Because it's dirty work? Maybe to indicate that they're capable of this, and open to contract renegotiations at any time, so Qyburn better watch himself.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:31 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: Oh right, they didn't kill Robyn. That was probably just a wonderful dream I had.

Where he managed to shoot himself with an arrow? Yup, I've had that dream, too.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:32 AM on June 27, 2016


One thing I've realized is that if this show shows us anything new in a flashback, we're sure to get the full scene at some point. Like all of the exploding wildfire stuff from Bran's vision in episode 6? All from Lancel's perspective here. This show doesn't bother filming stuff that won't eventually be used in full (which is a viewpoint my thrifty mother would applaud).

Which means at SOME point we're going to get the full scene of Jaime killing the Mad King, which will be lovely and helpful for show-only watchers. (Also Dany's dragons soaring over KL but that was a given, right?)
posted by alleycat01 at 7:34 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Regarding Melisandre being sent north and the pileup of characters in the Neck and Riverlands -- it seems conceivable, if a little too convenient, that they'd all just fall in together: the BoB and the Hound are aligned with the Red God, and can be expected to at least tolerate Melisandre. Arya can just show up whenever. If Meera and Bran do make it through the wall without triggering Spellageddon they'd be expected to head towards the Reed's lands, if not Winterfell. So maybe them, too?


More concerning to me, though, was the fact that he kept insisting that Jaime should be next in line for the crown after Tommen.

Lineage is through the Baratheons, right? Cersei's only recognized as queen because she was Robert's wife and her children are dead. Also she killed everyone, so who would fuck with her, but still.


At this point, Gendry's whereabouts really do matter and should've been addressed somehow.

Westerlands: Jaime probably? No male heir

Well, if Jaime really does kill Circe, there's at least a potential future with Brienne. Maybe Jaime kills Circe and surrenders KL to Dany to avoid the destruction of the city? Goes north to fight the dead?

Or, hell, maybe Jaime winds up as the next Commander of the Watch.


yup Robyn Arryn is the heir presumptive to the Eyrie and likely to the Riverlands at this point.


Edmure isn't dead yet. And may not be killed at this point, given the sudden lack of Freys.

Shame. Just so creepy.

I understand that this may be in character for Circe, but this is implied rape by an animated corpse as punishment. They should've figured something else out.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:37 AM on June 27, 2016


DAQUEE-- ahem-- DAHANDINDANORF! Every throne must have a power behind it, naturally. There's a beautiful symmetry, too, between a queen with a male Hand, and a new king with a female Hand. Two Hands, by the way, with some history (and maybe a rapport) between them.

One nice touch I liked was the brief long-distance shot of the flock of white ravens leaving the Citadel.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 7:38 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


Dawn's Signficance (read top comment as well)
posted by lalochezia at 7:38 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, is it possible Jon might wind up being the King in the North, for the time being, but not the titular Lord of Winterfell?

The Dreadfort is presumably vacant.

I felt like that scene was being played against the Tower of Joy reveal: the Lords of the North ultimately proclaim for Jon in large part because they believe he's Ned's son. Does it matter that he's actually Lyanna's son and a Targ?

Or will that be helpful when Dany shows up (i.e. more inclined to accept a north under his rule, if they don't wind up married).

Plus the whole thing where he was dead and is maybe living on borrowed time.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:46 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Melisandre being sent north

Oops. South, of course.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:47 AM on June 27, 2016


Cersei's claim to the throne is by conquest, same as Robert Baratheon's was.

Robert's (as well as Stannis' and Renly's) grandmother was Rhaelle Targaryen, so they did have a right to the throne by birth as Targaryens.

That said, Cersei's claim seems solely based on conquest, and would be tenuous at best. Heck, the kingdoms just fought a massive war with multiple claimants when there was a rightful heir on the throne.

Also, I can't imagine it's not well known by now that Daenerys Targaryen is not only alive, but mucking about in Essos building an army.

At least, of course, until Gendry rows up to the Blackwater.
posted by General Malaise at 7:49 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's funny, because the books presents these houses as institutions that have been around for thousands of years. The Starks and Lannisters at least claim direct descent from the Age of Heroes which is ten thousand years ago, and I imagine some of the others do too, but we're presented with a situation where it would be totally reasonable if the story ended with none of the houses intact in any recognizable form.

History is written by the winners though. They're going to trace their lineages back as far as they can, and they'll portray any gaps as poor record-keeping rather than actual gaps.

In a world of intermarriage, it's easy enough to find a way to say "our family has always been here" even if "our family" has changed names multiple times and may have been exiled for 50 years before finding a way to reconquer an occupied land.

But yeah, these major houses may fall, and in 100 years, it'll be the Manderleys or Mormonts who've "proudly been standing for thousands of years".
posted by explosion at 7:53 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm surprised we haven't heard more talk bandied about re: Sansa marrying Robin. I half expected that to be Baelish's suggestion to cement the Vale/Northern alliance, since it'd be so easy for Petyr to rule through Robin even after he passes his majority (if he lives that long, which I'm sure no one expects).

But Baelish really f*cked up by spilling his endgame to Sansa in the godswood so baldly. Sansa is nowhere near reconciled to him and his motives, and TBH, even with her new pragmatism and hard heart, I can't imagine she'd be OK with someone as lowborn as Baelish on the Iron Throne. Claiming that Jon will always be a Stark is one thing, but she's still a product of a culture that prizes house ancestry and places firm value on lineage/bloodlines; Baelish has barely a drop of redeeming noble blood in his veins.

PLUS, even if she were inclined to ignore that issue, she surely must know that it would be a problem for the rest of Westeros. I mean, the rest of the nobility has enough trouble accepting Baelish as Lord Protector of the North or Lord of Harrenhal. And they're the ones with the armies and the guns pikes.
posted by alleycat01 at 7:58 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I kinda got the impression that the hall of faces was a central display of all the faces available, not a meatlocker you had to walk into to literally take a face down for disguise purposes. There's a lot of reasons why the latter explanation would be immensely impractical, not least of which is that the Faceless Men sneak into places in disguise pretty often, and if a quick patdown reveals a fannypack full of severed faces, well, problem.

(Plus, we know that Arya's is an available face, so even the face-severing itself would seem to be unnecessary and largely symbolic.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:01 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm sort of hoping that there's still a Centralia style fire burning beneath King's Landing, and that it's going to reach random caches of wildfire, which just start exploding.
posted by codacorolla at 8:11 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


Who's left on arya's list?
posted by KathrynT at 8:11 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I kinda got the impression that the hall of faces was a central display of all the faces available, not a meatlocker you had to walk into to literally take a face down for disguise purposes. There's a lot of reasons why the latter explanation would be immensely impractical, not least of which is that the Faceless Men sneak into places in disguise pretty often, and if a quick patdown reveals a fannypack full of severed faces, well, problem.

That explanation had occurred to me, too. But then, they kind of muddy the waters on that by having the people performing this feat pull a literal hunk of flesh off their faces. Also, it raises real questions about why she would be permitted to use their reservoir of faces, even after pointedly leaving their ranks.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:12 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


drezdn: The Freys will be in turmoil as the three highest Freys are all dead.

Turmoil? They'll be beyond useless, with internal squabbling for the role of leader. They may even let out Edmure. It would be fantastic if he came back and re-took the Riverlands, right when Jamie is dealing with Kings Landing in turmoil, and after Jamie said "If we have to ride north and take them back for you every time you lose them, why do we need you?" Zing! (Though I would have enjoyed some more bitter bickering between the Two Kingslayers.)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM on June 27, 2016


Also in the books, Officious DMV Citadel Guy is actually Jaquen in disguise. I was waiting for them to drop that reveal on us too!
posted by KathrynT at 8:16 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


How many people in this world can/could be called Kingslayers? Depending on how you want to score various claims to being a king, there's Jamie, Walder Frey, Brienne, Melissandre, Khal Drogo, a certain wild boar... there are a fair number of them by now.

I don't mean to cause a sticky sidebar about who is/was/wasn't/isn't a king or who rightfully deserves the Kingslayer title. I'm just wondering how many people there are who could be called that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:18 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hmm, not sure that Cersei's right to rule is only decided via force. She's likely seen as the person with the most legitimate claim right now via marriage, isn't she? I really want to see a chart or something.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:27 AM on June 27, 2016


KathrynT: Who's left on arya's list?

Taken and modified from this annoyingly formatted now-outdated TV Guide list (there's a layer I can't make go away without deleting the element)
  1. Meryn Trant, for killing Syrio Forel - Dead
  2. Joffrey, for ordering Ned Stark's execution - Dead
  3. Polliver, for killing Lommy, stealing Needle and the torture at Harrenhal - Dead
  4. Walder Frey, for orchestrating the Red Wedding - Dead
  5. Rorge, for the torture at Harrenhal and threatening to rape her - Dead
  6. The Mountain, for the torture at Harrenhal - Alive-ish
  7. Cersei Lannister, for her role in Ned Stark's death - Alive
  8. Ilyn Payne, for executing Ned Stark- Alive
  9. Melisandre, for kidnapping Gendry - Alive
  10. Beric Dondarrion, for selling Gendry to Melisandre - Alive
  11. Thoros of Myr, for selling Gendry to Melisandre - Alive

posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 AM on June 27, 2016 [13 favorites]




Speaking of journeys ...

poffin boffin: JAIME'S FACE WHEN HE COMES BACK TO KING'S LANDING

He got all the way from The Twins to King's Landing and no one told him about what happened? he didn't overhear it in some tavern or from someone on the roads?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:31 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


the Lords of the North ultimately proclaim for Jon in large part because they believe he's Ned's son. Does it matter that he's actually Lyanna's son and a Targ?

I'm more and more confused about why Jon's parentage is going to end up being important, and the only thing I can come up with is that he'll have inherited Targaryen FyreMagicke, enabling him to dragonize the icewhatsits. Because, the other consequences don't seem to matter:

1. "Jon's not really a Stark, so the North will reject him" - well, but he is the son of a Stark, and an ex-Black Brother (street cred in the North), and he's never even claimed legitimacy himself, he's had it thrust upon him.

2. "Jon's really a Targaryen, greasing the skids for alliance with Dany" - but the North would no doubt ally with Dany anyway, given how everything is positioned.

3. "Jon is the union of Houses Stark and Targaryen, so Dany will spare House Stark when it comes time for her to BREAK THE WHEEL" - but the wheel is already mostly broken.

4. "Upon learning his true origin, Jon Snow will Get His Groove Back" - Gross. Plus, what's the 'truth'? "Hey Jon, turns out your not Ned Stark's bastard. Still a bastard, tho..."

I dunno. It all just seems like too much setup to be just "plays well with dragons". Or is the key that Jon just always follows his big dumb heart, and that's the quality that the dragons see in those certain people they permit to ride them?
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:31 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm so glad someone made this, because it's exactly what I thought when Sam entered the library.
posted by gatorae at 8:33 AM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Rat Spatula: "Jon's not really a Stark, so the North will reject him" - well, but he is the son of a Stark, and an ex-Black Brother (street cred in the North), and he's never even claimed legitimacy himself, he's had it thrust upon him.

And people followed him into battle, and in that battle they took back Winterfell from the traitorous Boltons. Sansa has a hard sell to change the system from Patriarchy to Matriarchy. See also: Baelish's vision: "A picture of me on the Iron Throne... and you by my side." (My thoughts went back to Dany: "Are you a queen or fish bait?")

All the present or would-be queens have had to fight twice as hard as their male counterparts for recognition (this sort of double standard also highlighted with Dany: men can bring their mistresses to court, but women must hide their boy-toys away).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Jacqueline: Ser Davos confronting Melisandre — for once, we see a man who is acting from a decent, kind place vis-a-vis a girl

Making his pain all the more real. He didn't want to use her to further his goals, get in good with her to get her father's support or something like that.

But sadly, as much as I loved his like "If he commands you to burn children, your Lord is evil," his question "How many died because you were wrong?" rings hollow - Stannis was pretty set on His Right To The Throne, and he caused plenty of death without any benefit or gains in the end, yet Davos followed Stannis all the way to the north.

Religion isn't the only thing leading people to pointless and unnecessary deaths.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 AM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


No matter your feelings about Daario, he did have one of the best quotes of the episode: "Fuck Meereen."
posted by gatorae at 8:43 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


Rat Spatula: "Jon's not really a Stark, so the North will reject him" - well, but he is the son of a Stark

Also on this, I cringed a bit when one of the northern lords proclaimed "I don't care if he's a bastard. Ned Stark's blood runs through his veins." I hope that doesn't come back to bite the White Wolf (who was again sans white wolf).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:44 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


gatorae: No matter your feelings about Daario, he did have one of the best quotes of the episode: "Fuck Meereen."

I liked Dany's reign of renaming, and I wonder what else she's renamed already. Time to rebrand this land of former slavers and slaves!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


gatorae: I'm so glad someone made this, because it's exactly what I thought when Sam entered the library.

I was impressed by the mirror rigs, used to bring light into the library without endangering the books with candles and other flames among the tower of paper and wood.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:50 AM on June 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


So what's Cersei's plan? Is she just the mad queen? Like surely the population of kings landing is going to realize what's up, the banks aren't anymore likely to loan to you, going to be hard to find allies, etc. It's kind of sad really.

Cerxit
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:51 AM on June 27, 2016 [30 favorites]


Walder said Edmure was in the South.

His accent made it sound sort of like 'south', but listening to it again I'm pretty sure he's saying "Edmure's back in the cell." That's what the wiki says, anyway.
posted by homunculus at 8:52 AM on June 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


2. "Jon's really a Targaryen, greasing the skids for alliance with Dany" - but the North would no doubt ally with Dany anyway, given how everything is positioned.

I know that Jon +Dany is a lot of people's end game, but for me I feel like confirmation of Jon's parentage just makes them natural rivals. They've both got a claim on the Iron Throne, with Jon's claim being stronger by traditional rules (second son of a first son) and Dany's more supported a "pick your successor" principle (no idea if that's been explicitly covered in the show). There's always the Targaryen incestuous marriage possibility, but I'm not sure I'd want to be the one trying to get Westeros behind more incest right now. Why Jon would want to march south and claim the Iron Throne when he's got a nasty winter and the white walkers to survive in the North, I've got no idea, but that's, to me, the natural import of his parentage. To me, it would also be more in keeping with the subversion of fantasy tropes that at least GRRM is trying for, for our two protagonists to wind up fighting than marrying and ruling together.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:54 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


lol what if the endgame is Bran negotiating an alliance between Jon and the Night's King to overthrow the tyrannical foreign dragon queen
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:05 AM on June 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


Walder said Edmure was in the South.

His accent made it sound sort of like 'south', but listening to it again I'm pretty sure he's saying "Edmure's back in the cell." That's what the wiki says, anyway.


This transcript agrees: "Edmure is back in a cell. Can't go killing my son by law. It wouldn't be right. Give the family a bad name."
posted by filthy light thief at 9:14 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


The series will end with the white walkers invading King's Landing, Cersei blowing them up with the remaining wildfire so that everyone in Westeros is dead. Cue the end credits being Daario presiding over endless smallfolk grievances in Meereen.
posted by gatorae at 9:14 AM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Anyone else notice that the big chandelier thingies in the library are what are spinning around on fire in the intro to the show?
posted by lazaruslong at 9:17 AM on June 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


I mean, so many crazy fan theories have been thrown out there about the endgame, that when it finally comes, someone is going to look like a genius.
posted by 2ht at 9:17 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


One last D&D D&D recap before we enter hibernation again. It was certainly entertaining to watch as:

• Margaery successfully grapples her father to keep him from going to Loras, then rolls well on an Insight check. Sadly she fails her Persuasion check against the High Sparrow (who fails his own Insight check – maybe given disadvantage on the roll because of hubris?);
• Cersei casts delayed blast fireball as a 9th level spell, doing, oh gee I don't have enough d6s to roll that damage. She casts from a scroll, perhaps, as we've not seen evidence before that she has levels in Wizard, certainly not a Wizard capable of casting spells of 9th level;
• Tommen takes falling damage to the tune of 1d6 per 10' fallen, enough to kill a low-level character such as he;
• Arya either uses the Disguise skill with a massive bonus, or casts the disguise self spell, and delivers what might be ruled a coup de grâce to Walder Frey;
• Littlefinger fails a Persuasion contest against Sansa (who I feel had advantage on the roll);
• Bran casts a ritual much like commune or divination to see past events;
• Lady Mormont aces a check – choose Persuasion or Intimidation or Performance to your taste – to have the Northern lords acclaim Jon as KitN;
• Cersei knocks out of the park an Intimidation roll against all of King's Landing, and has herself crowned.

I wish I could recap either of Dany's scenes, or Sam's arrival at the Citadel, or Davos's big scene with Melisandre, but I felt none of them lent themselves to sessionification. But now, while we wait for S7, we get to draw up floorplans of the Citadel's library, randomly generate NPC names for the north, review the rates-of-travel rules for land and sea, and continue our standing debate on the specific types of dragons represented by Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 9:23 AM on June 27, 2016 [18 favorites]


it would also be more in keeping with the subversion of fantasy tropes that at least GRRM is trying for, for our two protagonists to wind up fighting than marrying and ruling together.

While this is true, in practice it feels off for both the characters and the storytelling. For one, Jon doesn't seem to have much interest in ruling Westeros. I know that's been a selling point for him as a king/ruler, but like ... can anyone see him actually retaining the Iron Throne without at least an iota of ambition to do so? (I recognize this is not a super convincing argument given his leadership history, but his LC post didn't exactly go well, and we've still to see about KitN. It just feels off to me ... at some point I'll figure out how to better verbalize it.)

Re: storytelling, it seems like Jon and Dany have to be on the same side against the WW because if they're not ... where's the tension? Dany's got dragons; she'll annihilate him and his ragtag Northern allies. She's basically a superhero and he's too-obviously mortal. Unless he joins her forces/gets secret Targ dragon kinship abilities, it's hard to see how his sheer willpower and innate righteousness will get him through to the endgame.
posted by alleycat01 at 9:24 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I took a look at a map to see just HOW fucking unacceptable the length of Sam's journey vs. the length of Varys' journey was

Maybe Varys borrowed a dragon for the trip.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:24 AM on June 27, 2016


ALSO! the soundtrack for S6 is now on Spotify, and the finale's amazing 10-minute opener ("Light of the Seven") is available to be your newest office soundtrack.

I find that VENGEANCE goes well with spreadsheets.
posted by alleycat01 at 9:26 AM on June 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Why Jon would want to march south and claim the Iron Throne when he's got a nasty winter and the white walkers to survive in the North, I've got no idea, but that's, to me, the natural import of his parentage. To me, it would also be more in keeping with the subversion of fantasy tropes that at least GRRM is trying for, for our two protagonists to wind up fighting than marrying and ruling together.

We're supposed to get fixated on the fact that Jon is the hidden prince - not just the Prince who Was Promised, but the king-in-hiding whose return to the throne will make all things right which is very much the trope of high fantasy, where the idea of the "true king" and the health of the realm and the land often get intertwined (e.g., Arthur, Aragorn, etc).

But the series as a whole has shown again and again that it isn't bloodline so much as might that determines who rules; and that who the ruler is matters less than their ability to make sound decisions. I don't think Jon gives a fig about ruling at this point except as far as it would cement his ability to raise an army against the Others. In the end, his parentage may not matter much at all so much as what Jon accomplishes before he is revealed as Stargayern. Last night he was acclaimed King in the North (rules of inheritance, succession, and bastardy ignored) because he's viewed as being some kind of magnificent leader (for reasons that remain unclear to me, but I'm out of shrugs to give). Jon, in other words, is earning his titles, like he did with the Watch; and after he's earned them, it's going to be discovered he should have them by blood all along. (And there's some humour from the fact that Davos and Tormund just last week were talking about the fact that they both got into trouble following Kings, and that Jon was no King). Last night, Winterfell came down to people making a choice about who to follow, which might be an important step forward for governance in Westeros. And there's been other examples here and there - the Night's Watch elections, the Kingsmoot, that show that there might just be other ways of selecting leadership.

What happens when Jon and Dany meet? I think at that point things are going to be pretty desperate, and the cold realities are going to be much more pressing than competing claims. Dany will likely buy into the suggestion that if she wants the seven kingdoms, she's going to have to fight to make sure they exist (aka the Stannis argument)...and deciding who is in charge in the aftermath might again come down to choices that other people make, because I suspect Dany might not come out of this with three nuclear weapons behind her claim.
posted by nubs at 9:29 AM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


The series will end with the white walkers invading King's Landing, Cersei blowing them up with the remaining wildfire so that everyone in Westeros is dead.

As satisfying as it was to watch Dirty Bathrobe Man get his comeuppance, it occurred to me last night that all the wildfire is probably gone now, which could be an issue further down the road.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:34 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


and continue our standing debate on the specific types of dragons represented by Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion.

uhhh they're red dragons with scale color variations. breath weapon trumps everything else for determining dragon types, how is this even a debate
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:35 AM on June 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Gold dragons breathe fire as well. Plus, there's the matter of limb number. The GoT dragons are certainly curiosities.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 9:44 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Would the "dragons" technically be wyvern then?
posted by LionIndex at 9:48 AM on June 27, 2016


I was impressed by the mirror rigs, used to bring light into the library without endangering the books with candles and other flames among the tower of paper and wood.

filthy light thief: those were the same sorts of orrery map rigs as the one in the opening credits - we just got to see them from the outside rather than the internal shot.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:48 AM on June 27, 2016


look even if we're just spitballing I'm not sure I can sit here and countenance in good faith any sort of argument that Dany's dragons are metallic and not chromatic
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:50 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


It seemed like what went off last night wasn't enough to level the city, which was Aerys II's plan, so I think there are still caches of wildfire around KL. Per the ASOIF wiki:
Thousands of jars of wildfire were gathered and placed in key positions under King's Landing. Hundreds were placed under the Dragonpit and the Great Sept of Baelor, under every one of the city's gates and even under the Red Keep itself. The pyromancers did their work in secret and did not trust their apprentices with the knowledge.
posted by alleycat01 at 9:52 AM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don't even know what you guys look like, but in my head, each of you is pushing your glasses back up your nose as you make each comment in this dragon identification conversation.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:54 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


Dany's dragons are metallic

Drogon is black, Rhaegal is green, and Viserion is cream-and-gold.

But they all breath fire. Make of that what you will.

*pushes glasses up nose*
posted by nubs at 9:55 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Mine's a pince-nez and I lift it sneeringly to my eyes as I scan the entry for "dragons" on the ASOIF wiki
posted by alleycat01 at 9:58 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Would the "dragons" technically be wyvern then?

Wyvern.
posted by homunculus at 9:59 AM on June 27, 2016


nubs: I don't think Jon gives a fig about ruling at this point except as far as it would cement his ability to raise an army against the Others.

I have hope on this count that all he really wants is to keep the living safe from the frozen undead, and that he'll tell Sansa as much some time soon, to quash any misgivings Sansa has about his desire to rule, and put an end of Littlefinger trying to make a divide between Daughter of Cat and The Bastard.

Last night he was acclaimed King in the North (rules of inheritance, succession, and bastardy ignored) because he's viewed as being some kind of magnificent leader (for reasons that remain unclear to me, but I'm out of shrugs to give).

The reasons seem to be 1) he talks a good game, 2) came back from the dead, 3) isn't someone to seek out leadership for glory, but to do something good (keep people alive), 4) actually fights in his own battles, and 5) has a penis.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:00 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I will have the Citadel glasses I already ordered off of Etsy permanently jammed up into my frontal lobe before I entertain any sort of classification metric other than breath weapon
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:01 AM on June 27, 2016 [11 favorites]



A brief practical question about the entire Faceless Ones face swapping trick. If the faces they switch to were donated (or claimed) and are actual physical faces, does that mean that Faceless One (and people emulating them, like Arya) who are away from Braavos have to travel around with a Sack O' Many Faces?


Advanced Faceless Men can change their face without materials. We see Jaquen do this when he leaves Arya after giving her the coin. We never see Arya get this training, and her reveal suggests she's using the Buffalo Bill method here, so I'm guessing she murdered a random girl to take her face.

It seemed like what went off last night wasn't enough to level the city, which was Aerys II's plan, so I think there are still caches of wildfire around KL.

There are. In the books Jaime mentions several caches, and the Pyromancers discover one of them when fulfilling Tyrion's order. Ironically, it's the one beneath the Sept of Baleor, so that should have been cleared.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:02 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Anyone else notice that the big chandelier thingies in the library are what are spinning around on fire in the intro to the show?

I take this as confirmation of my theory that Planetos is a generation starship with an artificial sun—its surface is clearly concave in the credits, you guys—and that the maesters are the only ones who know. Presumably their knowledge and organization is handed down through the centuries from the original Crew.
posted by The Tensor at 10:08 AM on June 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


I don't even know what you guys look like

in my head they are all actually dragons, nerd dragons sitting atop a hoard of nerd dragon facts
posted by poffin boffin at 10:09 AM on June 27, 2016 [21 favorites]


metafilter: they are all actually dragons, nerd dragons sitting atop a hoard of nerd dragon facts
posted by lalochezia at 10:10 AM on June 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


I need to believe that the beginning of the OMG MAESTERBRARY scene is a shoutout to this.
posted by gnomeloaf at 10:12 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


in my head they are all actually dragons, nerd dragons sitting atop a hoard of nerd dragon facts

I can live with that.

I will have the Citadel glasses I already ordered off of Etsy permanently jammed up into my frontal lobe before I entertain any sort of classification metric other than breath weapon

May I suggest, ser, that perhaps our taxonomy of dragons is incomplete owing to the absence of long-term naturalist studies of them in the wild?
posted by nubs at 10:15 AM on June 27, 2016


metafilter: they are all actually dragons, nerd dragons sitting atop a hoard of nerd dragon facts

"I call myself Smaug the All-Knowing, but by internet friends call me Smaug the Smug. It's OK, because they're often wrong about things that I know."
posted by filthy light thief at 10:16 AM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Margaery died because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and even though she saw it coming and tried to save everyone, was prevented from leaving by fools who were also going to die. She did everything right. And that's probably the most becoming of all of the show's deaths to GRRM's vision, but damn if it didn't set me off all night.

Littlefinger: Do you want to be a queen?
Margaery: I want to be *THE* queen.

I loved her to death, but she was ambitious has hell from the get go. She was brilliant because she was trained from birth to be a weapon of politics. Just because she and Tommen actually ended up being a good couple doesn't really stop her from being a devoted player of the most lethal game there is. The ambition to try and make the climb might be all that is needed to justify the fall.

It's interesting to me that, in the absence of the Faith, Cersei is crowned by Qyburn. It may not matter to us now, in our modern era, but this is a big deal that really pokes holes in any legitimacy she's even pretending to here. Coronation comes from the Faith because that means something, even if its all a shadow. Coronation coming from one's subservient, which Qyburn most definitely is, has next to no value. In the U.S. and elsewhere, we still pay lip service to this idea, with Presidents swearing their oath upon the Bible (strictly speaking they may swear upon anything, but it's always been a Bible) to show that they admit their leadership to a higher power than themselves. Cersei might have some trouble holing onto her reins.

A testament to how much was going on in this episode that I didn't even consider this, and it's a good point. I hope the wider-world implications of what Cersei has done become apparent next season, because I can't imagine the smallfolk taking well to blowing up the Sisteros Chapel.

But, you're actually wrong on the historical points. Several presidents famously did not swear on bibles. LBJ and Theodore Roosevelt didn't swear on them the first go round, obviously as a matter of circumstance, but JQ Adams and Franklin Pierce intentionally swore on books of law rather than the bible to indicate their oath to the Constitution. (Which still supports your larger point - but that higher legitimacy isn't always divine.)

By the averages, though, 101% of Presidential Inaugurations have involved the swearing on bibles. Obama, Nixon, Truman, and Ike all swore on a the proverbial-made-literal "stack of bibles."
posted by absalom at 10:17 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


i mean first of all they would have to be the pince-nez sort of glasses and not actual ear-around glasses because dragons don't really have ears? or at least not all of them from what i can tell.

pince-snout, whatever
posted by poffin boffin at 10:17 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


May I suggest, ser, that perhaps our taxonomy of dragons is incomplete owing to the absence of long-term naturalist studies of them in the wild?

you can rectify that
posted by alleycat01 at 10:17 AM on June 27, 2016


"I call myself Smaug the All-Knowing, but by internet friends call me Smaug the Smug. It's OK, because they're often wrong about things that I know."

I am now thinking about introducing dragons in tabletop RPGs that don't sit on tops of hordes of gold, but hordes of facts and knowledge and having sniffy little disagreements with each other about interpretations of various essays and works of art and the PCs can unwittingly provoke them into destructive rages by bringing up ideas and points of view that contradict their worldviews.
posted by nubs at 10:21 AM on June 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Can dragons grow neckbeards?
posted by Nelson at 10:22 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


also here are some unusual dragon hoards

(sorry about the store link but the artist does not tag very well on their tumblr and this was the only place where they were all listed)
posted by poffin boffin at 10:23 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


tag urself im hoard of memes
posted by poffin boffin at 10:24 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Just because she and Tommen actually ended up being a good couple doesn't really stop her from being a devoted player of the most lethal game there is. The ambition to try and make the climb might be all that is needed to justify the fall.

She just didn't count on Cersei's rageflip of the game board. And what is interesting to me is that Cersei's maneuver here is quite reminiscent of Daenerys.

In the absence of the Faith, Cersei was crowned by the Westerosi equivalent of a scientist.

More than that - Qyburn was wearing the Badge of the Hand.
posted by nubs at 10:36 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


KathrynT: Who's left on arya's list?

Taken and modified from this annoyingly formatted now-outdated TV Guide list (there's a layer I can't make go away without deleting the element) 1.Meryn Trant, for killing Syrio Forel - Dead
2.Joffrey, for ordering Ned Stark's execution - Dead
3.Polliver, for killing Lommy, stealing Needle and the torture at Harrenhal - Dead
4.Walder Frey, for orchestrating the Red Wedding - Dead
5.Rorge, for the torture at Harrenhal and threatening to rape her - Dead
6.The Mountain, for the torture at Harrenhal - Alive-ish
7.Cersei Lannister, for her role in Ned Stark's death - Alive
8.Ilyn Payne, for executing Ned Stark- Alive
9.Melisandre, for kidnapping Gendry - Alive
10.Beric Dondarrion, for selling Gendry to Melisandre - Alive
11.Thoros of Myr, for selling Gendry to Melisandre - Alive


If she's just working down in order, then she'll head for King's Landing, but simply having her kill Cersei wouldn't be satisfactory. And how do you even kill the Mountain? Could she somehow end up working for / with Jaime while trying to get into position and figure out a solution to the Mountain? Remember how she got along with Tywin in an odd way? I think Illyn Payne is probably also in King's Landing.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 10:38 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think Illyn Payne is probably also in King's Landing.

I believe that the actor who played Ser Ilyn has passed away; I suspect they might just let this name slide as I think bringing back the mute headsman so Arya can kill him is not really needed as far as her overall arc goes.
posted by nubs at 10:41 AM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ah, that makes sense. I didn't realize the actor had died. I figured he'd just be an extra killing in a sequence of episodes set in King's Landing.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 10:44 AM on June 27, 2016


she and Tommen actually ended up being a good couple

I see this sentiment a lot, am I the only one who is incredibly skeeved by their 6-12 year age difference?
posted by French Fry at 10:49 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ilyn Payne is played by Wilko Johnson, who seems to still be alive (and beat cancer recently!). So there's always a chance he could come back.
posted by saturngirl at 10:50 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


am I the only one who is incredibly skeeved by their 6-12 year age difference?

NOPE.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:51 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]



I see this sentiment a lot, am I the only one who is incredibly skeeved by their 6-12 year age difference?


I often tell The GF that if we had just met earlier, I'd have been the coolest kid in Middle School.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:53 AM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think they make a good couple; maybe more that Margaery was just a better role model than any of his other f*cked-up relations. He was infatuated and trusting with her, but she was clearly manipulating him. Though (a) who can blame her and (b) still the healthiest relationship he's ever had.
posted by alleycat01 at 10:55 AM on June 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


Ilyn Payne is played by Wilko Johnson, who seems to still be alive (and beat cancer recently!). So there's always a chance he could come back.

Whoops! I knew he had cancer and I guess my brain got ahead of reality there. Will add this to my trove of nerd facts.
posted by nubs at 10:55 AM on June 27, 2016


I don't know what's "good" about a woman in her mid twenties manipulating a teenager through sex and mind games for personal political gain.
posted by lydhre at 10:56 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


They should just say Ilyn Payne died in the Sept explosion with everyone else and chop off that loose head thread. Arya's list needs culling down to the Greatest Hits to get it over with. Meryn Trant was tedious; Walder Frey was awesome.
posted by gatorae at 10:57 AM on June 27, 2016


I see this sentiment a lot, am I the only one who is incredibly skeeved by their 6-12 year age difference?

No, but it seemed better than most of the relationships we've seen on the show. Neither of them tried to physically or emotionally torture the other, he adored her, and her use of him was relatively benign and tempered by some genuine kindness and affection.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 10:57 AM on June 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Advanced Faceless Men can change their face without materials. We see Jaquen do this when he leaves Arya after giving her the coin. We never see Arya get this training, and her reveal suggests she's using the Buffalo Bill method here, so I'm guessing she murdered a random girl to take her face.

I hear the really low-level guys have an even more primitive technique.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:08 AM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Nelson: Can dragons grow neckbeards?

Aherm, this isn't a neck beard, it's a natural dragon growth that flourishes in dark environs. Some cultures even treat them as a sign of maturity, and my mom says I can keep it as long as I fix her laptop whenever she gets what she calls "bugs" in it. I tell her she should just let me block ads, but she says she likes some of the animations and worries she'd miss them.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:11 AM on June 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


Can dragons grow neckbeards?

The wikidragon can.
posted by nubs at 11:13 AM on June 27, 2016


This thread moves too fast.

As to dragons. Guys! These things have not spoken word one, nor polymorphed, nor cast so much as a cantrip. All of that is forgotten in your obsession over breath weapons and counting toes. These are not True (Chromatic) Dragons.

In D&D terms, these are clearly drakes or linnorms.

*pushes up glasses*
posted by absalom at 11:26 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


well, come on, they've been raised by a human who's figuring everything out as she goes along. this is the dragon equivalent of being raised by wolves. of course they're developmentally delayed.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:29 AM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


The Starks and Lannisters at least claim direct descent from the Age of Heroes which is ten thousand years ago, and I imagine some of the others do too, but we're presented with a situation where it would be totally reasonable if the story ended with none of the houses intact in any recognizable form.

The Lannisters still have a bunch of cousins running around the Westerlands. (They are, in fact, running the Westerlands: Tywin seems to have treated his domain as a family business, delegating the important executive duties and fiefs and castles to competent members of the house, like Kevan, and finding prestigious sinecures for screw-ups like Lancel. No other regional house is permitted anything like authority in the West, and it's probably been that way since the Reynes of Castamere were extirpated. If the main branch dies out, there will be intricate by-laws in place for determining succession.

Compare the situation in the North, which is poor, thinly peopled, and too big to centralize. There just aren't many duties or fiefs or castles to spare for surplus Starks, so there aren't a lot of surplus Starks. Benjen went to the Wall after Ned began having kids, and if things had gone differently, Bran and Rickon probably would have ended up there too after Robb started his own family.

All of this goes a ways to explaining the difference between the Lannister and Stark styles of governance. The Lannisters derive their authority from a deep base of family support, so they can afford to have contractual, unsentimental relationships with other houses. The Starks must rely on their vassals and alliances, so they cultivate honor and integrity as a way of maintaining those bonds.)
posted by Iridic at 11:31 AM on June 27, 2016 [17 favorites]


So I've been working on my EU RPF and I think I've got the roles nailed down:

Nicola Sturgeon: The Queen in the North
Jeremy Corbyn: Alternately kindly and shouty old man, about to be caught in a conflagration
Boris: Burned everything to the ground, beginning to regret this decision
Jean-Claude Juncker: Khaleesi, Stormborn, Breaker of Chains, etc
posted by BungaDunga at 11:35 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


So what's Cersei's plan? Is she just the mad queen? Like surely the population of kings landing is going to realize what's up, the banks aren't anymore likely to loan to you, going to be hard to find allies, etc. It's kind of sad really.

We still don't know if Mace's negotiations with the Iron Bank were successful (unless I missed it) but even if he got them to agree to wait on collecting the Crown's debt, that agreement is probably gone with Mace. I hope the show picks this thread back up next season; I want to see the look on Cersei's face when Qyburn tells her that they're running out of money.

Another problem: food. Back during the war, King's Landing was running out of food. It was the Tyrells who started feeding the city after they allied with the Crown, so that's gone. Meanwhile, most of the farms in the Riverlands were destroyed during the war, and the Freys wouldn't be competent enough to start shipping food to KL anyway. And now Winter has started. Cersei doesn't even need enemies to bring her down, she'll do it herself.
posted by homunculus at 11:41 AM on June 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


So I've been working on my EU RPF and I think I've got the roles nailed down

Ewww. Don't bring that in here.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:43 AM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


This thread moves too fast.

When you play in the Threads of GoT, you post or you die.
posted by nubs at 11:45 AM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


"I am now thinking about introducing dragons in tabletop RPGs that don't sit on tops of hordes of gold, but hordes of facts and knowledge..."

Like the Arkon in Sagara's Chronicles of Elantra. And the general idea about dragons in those books is that while very often a dragon's horde will be material, it can also be something like a body of knowledge or a nation.

"I take this as confirmation of my theory that Planetos is a generation starship with an artificial sun—its surface is clearly concave in the credits, you guys—and that the maesters are the only ones who know. Presumably their knowledge and organization is handed down through the centuries from the original Crew."

The ship would be so large that it's hard to imagine why a civilization that could build such a thing would need it to be a ship and go somewhere. So I like the idea that it's just a giant space habitat with a regressed civilization and the weirwoodnet is an interface to what's left of its senile controlling AI (perhaps damaged in the impact event that destroyed Old Valyria). In fact, it would fit nicely in the Culture universe as a derelict artifact of an long-gone, ascended civilization. And Planetos is quite like the sort of place that "Cheradenine Zakalwe" came from. Maybe Varys is actually a Special Circumstances agent.

"9.Melisandre, for kidnapping Gendry - Alive
10.Beric Dondarrion, for selling Gendry to Melisandre - Alive
11.Thoros of Myr, for selling Gendry to Melisandre - Alive"


I think that Arya is heading for a confrontation with all three, along with a reunion with Sandor Clegane. I didn't realize that those three were on her list and I think the show is setting up with this.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:59 AM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think when she looked at him she realized they were going to have to deal with him sooner rather than later. And thank God at least one Stark is smart enough to figure this shit out.
posted by schroedinger at 2:06 AM on June 27 [+] [!]


Sansa knows:
Littlefinger killed Lysa
Littlefinger and Lysa conspired to kill Jon Arryn

and Sansa likely knows:
Littlefinger (and Olenna) conspired to kill Joffrey
Bran (trueborn son of Ned Stark) might be still alive somewhere (because Theon told her he didn't kill Bran and Rickon and Rickon's long-term (ish) survival suggests Bran might have as well)

Is anyone buying this "Sansa betrays Jon" narrative that's floating around? (I think Benioff/Weiss also alluded to this but can't find link.) Bc if she doesn't use this knowledge to bring Littlefinger *down,* her character will have been done a huge disservice, IMO. I don't know if Sansa wants power at this point, but she does want to be safe!
posted by sideofwry at 12:04 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I see this sentiment a lot, am I the only one who is incredibly skeeved by their 6-12 year age difference?

What really weirds me out is that Dean-Charles Chapman was around 17 when they were filming the sexy-time scenes in Season 5 and Natalie Dormer was 32. I mean, I know it's just acting but still.
posted by schroedinger at 12:09 PM on June 27, 2016


I think when people say "good couple", they mean "medieval hellscape good couple", i.e., "the best you can reasonably expect to get."
posted by corb at 12:13 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


when "INCEST MURDER TWINS" isn't even the farthest end of your scale it really messes up the relationship grading curve
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:19 PM on June 27, 2016 [21 favorites]


Is anyone buying this "Sansa betrays Jon" narrative that's floating around?

If they go that route it absolutely makes no sense in the context of her character. Drawing on Littlefinger for the battle was a last resort. What he did by turning her over to Ramsay can't be so easily forgotten. She has made it clear, repeatedly, that she doesn't trust him, and I don't think she even likes him.

I'd totally believe her manipulating his feelings to advance her and Jon's interests--there's a reason she stopped him kissing her but still said "It's a pretty picture" instead of "ew, you're a gross old man". In fact, I could see her do the double-agent thing and pretend to betray Jon for Littlefinger in order to get herself into a position to undermine Littlefinger's power over Robin Arryn and the Vale so she can subvert him at the most opportune moment. Obviously without Jon's knowledge, because Noble Jon would never countenance that kind of manipulation. I think it would be some poetic justice for Littlefinger to get tricked into thinking he finally got the Psuedo-Cat he wanted only for her to knife him in the gut.
posted by schroedinger at 12:21 PM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Is anyone buying this "Sansa betrays Jon" narrative that's floating around?

No. Sansa knows Littlefinger is a threat, especially now that Jon has gained power - Littlefinger is going to seek to use him towards his end goal, and Sansa knows she needs to protect against that. The narrative arc for Sansa should be to best Littlefinger at his own game; use him to further her ends and then drop him - and, given the push to bring the show to an end, the last thing the show needs right now is to set up another power couple out for their own ends.

Of course, the show will likely have Sansa do that by not talking to anybody and acting all weird and mysterious and untrustworthy, for the sake of drama!

One thing I'm interested in, and I do not know if anyone else cares, is the relative schemes of Littlefinger and Varys. Littlefinger wants the Throne & Sansa; Varys wants Dany on the Throne as he thinks she will create stability (heh). But the increasing feel I have is that the Throne is becoming irrelevant - the North, the Reach, the Iron Islands, the Vale and Dorne are out; the Riverlands in chaos again and that whatever emerges from here (a council of 7, perhaps? The Westerosi Commission?) will only further that. So I think that as vital as Littlefinger and Varys have felt at times, they are about to be sidelined unless they can adapt.

Because everyone is so invested in the Iron Throne, I can't help but feel that part of the "rug-pulling" aspect of the series will be to make it meaningless - or at least, to mean less.
posted by nubs at 12:33 PM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Of course, the show will likely have Sansa do that by not talking to anybody and acting all weird and mysterious and untrustworthy, for the sake of drama!

If Sansa is smart, she won't tell Jon "don't let me catch you around here again, child-murdering sorceress who can raise the dead! or you'll be in BIG trouble!" Snow a goddamned thing, because Jon Snow, bless his heart, is a moron.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:36 PM on June 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


Another problem: food. Back during the war, King's Landing was running out of food. It was the Tyrells who started feeding the city after they allied with the Crown, so that's gone.

The Tyrells were the other power in the Southwest of the Kingdoms (well, the part north of Dorne). The destruction of the sept isn't going to be an event that exists in isolation. There was already a line dropped in the Dorne scene about the houses being at war.

Cercei's* plan to feed the populace and survive the winter presumably involves seizing most of the Tyrell holdings. After all, Cercei knows the Lannister mines are exhausted. They needed a new source of wealth anyway.

*After all these years this spelling still grates. Circe, dammit.

posted by snuffleupagus at 12:39 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Mountain, for the torture at Harrenhal - Alive-ish

I think this is going to be the "get hype" thing. You don't get more David vs. Goliath than Arya vs. Zombie Mountain.

I think that Arya is heading for a confrontation with all three, along with a reunion with Sandor Clegane.

This comes first IMO, so the hype-getting could involve Hound vs. Mountain too. But this show gets on-the-nose enough sometimes that I don't think they'll resist little Arya vs. Big Fucking Zombie Man.

Ilyn Payne is played by Wilko Johnson, who seems to still be alive (and beat cancer recently!). So there's always a chance he could come back.

I'm having emotional whiplash on this one. It was my understanding that his cancer was terminal and so the writers set the character aside out of respect. Now it seems he's in remission and I guess could come back? So the question is: Do the writers let a long-gone character that most viewers have forgotten just stay gone for simplicity, or do they bring him back now that Johnson is on the mend, only to murder his ass horribly for all to cheer?
posted by middleclasstool at 12:39 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think that Arya is heading for a confrontation with all three, along with a reunion with Sandor Clegane.

Melisandre falls in with the BoB. That assembles most of Arya's list for a convenient encounter in the Neck or the Riverlands.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:41 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


If Sansa is smart, she won't tell Jon "don't let me catch you around here again, child-murdering sorceress who can raise the dead! or you'll be in BIG trouble!" Snow a goddamned thing, because Jon Snow, bless his heart, is a moron.

He knows nothing, it is known.

It's not so much that she won't tell Jon as the show will keep us, the viewer, from understanding if she's playing Littlefinger or working with him, because that's an easy way to create tension and suspense.
posted by nubs at 12:44 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'd totally believe her manipulating his feelings to advance her and Jon's interests--there's a reason she stopped him kissing her but still said "It's a pretty picture" instead of "ew, you're a gross old man".

For me, I think the jury is still out on what exactly Sansa feels for Littlefinger. He is obviously much older than her and an incredibly dangerous creep besides, but their chemistry was such before he gave her to the Boltons (!) that I actually had thought they were a couple. Personally, I think he gave her to the Boltons because he feared for his own life otherwise, and that he really does have some weird transference thing going on where he equates Sansa with Cat. Like, I think his feelings for her, however weird and bizarre, are for real -- and appropriately given the moral universe in which the characters live, it is by opening his heart to Sansa that he has finally put himself in mortal danger from which he can't escape. His love for her will get him killed, I'm sure of it. But I don't know this means she has no love for him. He may represent the surviving dreams of the old Sansa, and I don't know that I would write off the importance of that.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:47 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I felt like the 'pretty picture' line was a gently mocking dismissal. Along the lines of 'dream on.'
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:49 PM on June 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


What really weirds me out is that Dean-Charles Chapman was around 17

I'm sad to see this actor go. I know that Jack Gleeson by all reports is a super-great guy, but I really felt Chapman was the better actor. Some of the scenes with him--with Margaery, with Cersei, with others--were really moving. And Tommen was such a tragically good character. I guess his death feels a little like Ned's--he was an honorable ruler, but far too naive and trusting, and he just got in way over his head.
posted by torticat at 12:50 PM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


He may represent the surviving dreams of the old Sansa, and I don't know that I would write off the importance of that.

See, it's funny because I just wrote in an email to a friend that even if Baelish does legitimately want to please her/appeal to her desires, he's about 5 seasons/2 husbands out of date in his knowledge of what she wants -- I don't think she has a single drop of desire to be Westeros's high queen anymore. She doesn't have "surviving dreams"; her dreams are to survive -- and for her remaining loved ones to survive.

I guess it depends on if they take her storyline further in the direction of vengeance and blood as maybe they hinted at with Ramsey's death. But to me you could make the case that the bloody things she's doing now, she's doing because they need doing in order to keep herself safe ... since she now understands that "no one can protect [her]."
posted by alleycat01 at 12:54 PM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


One thing that strikes me this morning is that with Margaery gone, we have no way of knowing if she took her new faith seriously or if it was actually a clever ruse.

I thought it was clear that it was entirely a ruse.

One thing that strikes me, though, is that we also have no way now of knowing what kind of man the High Sparrow really was. I never trusted that guy for one second, with all his false humility and veiled threats. He, too, was manipulating religion in an attempt to grab power. ...but I guess we'll never know that for sure, now.
posted by torticat at 12:56 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


"9.Melisandre, for kidnapping Gendry - Alive
10.Beric Dondarrion, for selling Gendry to Melisandre - Alive
11.Thoros of Myr, for selling Gendry to Melisandre - Alive"


If Ayra kills Beric, can't Thoros just resurrect him?

But? if Arya kills Thoros first, Beric is out of luck? Except Melisandre could do the resurrecting...?

Lots of possibilites.
posted by Sprocket at 12:57 PM on June 27, 2016


In addition to everything else, I enjoyed the scene with Jon and Sansa on the rampart. It had a callback to two episodes: first, Jon's "We cannot fight a war amongst ourselves," was Ned's exact wording to Arya in S1E3 — in fact, all of Jon's dialog there and his kiss on Sansa's forehead were very Ned-like — and second, Sansa looking out while snow was falling was a clear callback to the snowcastle she built at the Vale in S4E7, with the exact same score even.
posted by tempestuoso at 12:57 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Does anyone else wonder about those ugly hats that only House Frey wear? Why only them? Haven't they noticed they look silly?
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 12:58 PM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Didn't Thoros or Beric make some mention of the resurrected person being diminished every time they're brought back?

Maybe Beric's candle has burned too far down?

Does anyone else wonder about those ugly hats that only House Frey wear? Why only them?

It's a closely guarded secret, but Lord Frey was a HUGE Smurfs fan.

Seriously, though, I've thought of these as the Frey's 'schnook hats' since they first introduced. In fact, that, the style of tunics they wear and the hooked noses gets a little too close to certain old European visual stereotypes for my taste.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:03 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I never trusted that guy for one second, with all his false humility and veiled threats. He, too, was manipulating religion in an attempt to grab power. ...but I guess we'll never know that for sure, now.

I think he was a true believer who got sucked under by his own hubris. I'm sure he believed the Seven were directing his steps, but unfortunately, he got to thinking that granted him Plot Armor he didn't really have. Margaery's outrage at Loras' mutilation made it plain that the High Sparrow felt emboldened to straight up lie to the queen about what was going down -- he took it too far, and either the Seven made Cersei their agent of punishment, or the Seven just don't exist, and he learned that a little too late. I can say for sure that if I were on this show, I would be all about the Red God, scary as shit or not. Have the Seven ever done anything for anybody? Doesn't seem so.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:05 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


But guys, what about Ser Pounce? I both am hoping Ser Pounce is still alive, and am relieved that we didn't see a shot of the poor cat looking wistfully down from the window.
posted by culfinglin at 1:10 PM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


GRRM is writing r+l=d+a into canon as we speak.

The wmd can't go down much like that in the book - weren't the caches under the sept recovered? how would they be located on short notice anyway?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:10 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


He is obviously much older than her and an incredibly dangerous creep besides, but their chemistry was such before he gave her to the Boltons (!) that I actually had thought they were a couple

I think we saw different things, then. The way I've read their interactions, Littlefinger's creepy-ass intentions have always been clear, but at best Sansa's just been a bemused recipient rather than willing and reciprocating.

I'm annoyed that the show, which had done such a good job at giving us some Women Doing Important Things this season, went for the "Strongly implied torture-rape of Septa Whatsherface by zombie-Clegane" shot.

For what it's worth, I got the torture but not the rape on account of the placement of Clegane at her side, rather than walking around the end of the table or something similar. Yes, that could've changed later, he could've used non-PIV methods, but I felt whomever set up that shot was trying to telegraph that sexual assault was not what they were intending to imply. Let's be real, if GoT wanted you to think she was being rape, they wouldn't be shy about it.

But to me you could make the case that the bloody things she's doing now, she's doing because they need doing in order to keep herself safe ... since she now understands that "no one can protect [her]."

This is my feeling, too. Sansa has never shown an interest in ruling. Her interest in being queen existed inasmuch as it was the logical ending to the lords-and-ladies noble-prince beautiful-princess fairy tale she had in her head. She didn't want power or control. Contrast the way she spoke and dreamed of being Queen in those early episodes to Margaery "I want to be the Queen" Tyrell.

Perhaps if she saw becoming Queen as part of keeping herself safe . . . But having lived in King's Landing and seen what goes on in the Red Keep, she likely has no illusions about that. Better to hole up in the fortress of Winterfell, and build the armies necessary to make sure nobody threatens her and her family again.


One thing that strikes me this morning is that with Margaery gone, we have no way of knowing if she took her new faith seriously or if it was actually a clever ruse.

One thing that strikes me, though, is that we also have no way now of knowing what kind of man the High Sparrow really was.

I imagine this is the sort of thing we'll find out in the books (if they're ever written). With the caveat that Margaery is only a tenth of the badass in the books that she is in the show.

I am also wondering how Tommen's death will go down in the books. He's not a lovestruck, mooning 14-year-old grappling with his mother's sociopathy and his difficulty handling the weight of his responsibilities. GRRM is pretty bad about having his child characters display physical and emotional maturity way beyond their years, but I still don't think he'd have a previously amiable, relatively happy-go-lucky pre-teen choose to jump out a window.
posted by schroedinger at 1:15 PM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


Dr. Cerseistein, or whatever Caersei's personal mad scientist/pseudo maester's name is had a conversation with Cersei in ep 8 or 9 where he reported on the status of that secret she'd had him looking into the legitimacy of for some time. So it wasn't short notice.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:17 PM on June 27, 2016


weren't the caches under the sept recovered?

Two caches were found in ACoK - two hundred jars under the Sept; 300 under the Dragonpit.
posted by nubs at 1:20 PM on June 27, 2016


But guys, what about Ser Pounce? I both am hoping Ser Pounce is still alive, and am relieved that we didn't see a shot of the poor cat looking wistfully down from the window.

Oh, I have you covered. I have decided this is canon:

Ser Pounce is out happily chasing mice and gets a bit turned around in the streets of King's Landing. A cat-loving trader on their way to Dorne is charmed by his sweet personality and takes him on their caravan. In Dorne, somewhere way in the south of Dorne, the trader has dinner with a merchant friend who is also a fellow-cat lover. The trader is worried Ser Pounce will get lost if he keeps with the caravan, so they give Ser Pounce to the merchant. The merchant has children who love Ser Pounce and play with him whenever he wants, and is a fairly content fellow who is not a social climber and is rich enough to spoil the kitty without being so rich that they have enemies. They also own a pretty little cottage and a small side-business in some sleepy town in the East that they use as a vacation or a second home when things in Westeros appear to be getting a bit hairy. Ser Pounce spends his days sunning himself on terraces, chasing insects and mice in the gardens and wine cellar, and eating choice tidbits of meat fed to him by his devoted owners. He lives to a ripe age and passes away quietly and painlessly in a favorite patch of sun.
posted by schroedinger at 1:22 PM on June 27, 2016 [47 favorites]


But guys, what about Ser Pounce? I both am hoping Ser Pounce is still alive, and am relieved that we didn't see a shot of the poor cat looking wistfully down from the window.

schroedinger: Oh, I have you covered. I have decided this is canon

Or, he could still be in that box. WE WILL NEVER KNOW!

(Sorry, I'm sure you get enough box-cat jokes)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:26 PM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


The only boxes Ser Pounce is in are the boxes he wants to be in, because like any good cat owner the merchant leaves empty boxes around because Ser Pounce looks so damn adorable sitting in them.
posted by schroedinger at 1:30 PM on June 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ser Pounce spends his days sunning himself on terraces, chasing insects and mice in the gardens and wine cellar, and eating choice tidbits of meat fed to him by his devoted owners. He lives to a ripe age and passes away quietly and painlessly in a favorite patch of sun.

I approve of this addition to the canon.
posted by culfinglin at 1:35 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yes, that could've changed later, he could've used non-PIV methods, but I felt whomever set up that shot was trying to telegraph that sexual assault was not what they were intending to imply. Let's be real, if GoT wanted you to think she was being rape, they wouldn't be shy about it.

That GoT implied sexual torture but left the door open for it to be something other than sexual torture felt like a tiny bit of progress, maybe
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:38 PM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


I feel like it was probably just plain old torture. The Mountain hasn't exactly shown finesse in his methods.
posted by culfinglin at 1:39 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I read it as torture, too. Zombie Mountain doesn't strike me as having any sexual urges to pursue.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:44 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


(And I cannot believe I wrote 'just plain old torture.') Man, this show really does change the grading curve, doesn't it?
posted by culfinglin at 1:44 PM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


In a certain corner of Pretty Little Liars fandom (shut up) that exists in a walled-off corner of Reddit (shut up some more) we have determined that all the pets whose plot-threads have been abandoned are being lovingly cared for by Officer Barry Maple.

So I'm pretty sure that's where Ser Pounce is. Barry Maple's benevolence transcends universes.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:48 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure how one reads "rape" out of that scene at all, except that perhaps the viewership is primed to expect it. Yes, she's a septa, yes, he's a brute, but Cersei makes no mention of her "virtue" or any other synonyms for chastity nor sexual references.

She just makes it clear that she'll suffer.
posted by explosion at 1:49 PM on June 27, 2016


I'm not convinced that Zombie Mountain is human enough to eat and go to the bathroom anymore. I really doubt he has erections, much less any aims to use them.

He's just walking, thoughtless meat doing Cersei's bidding at this point.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:51 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm not convinced that Zombie Mountain is human enough to eat and go to the bathroom anymore. I really doubt he has erections, much less any aims to use them.

GREAT now I'm wondering what zombie erections look like.
posted by culfinglin at 1:56 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


She just makes it clear that she'll suffer.

Also she reinforces the bit about "I told you my face would be the last thing you see." So I assumed Zombie Mountain was going to start by blinding her.
posted by dnash at 1:57 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Circei feels up the Septa while she's talking about how she likes to fuck Jaime. Then there's the 'this is your God now' line which might as well be ripped directly from Kink.com scripts, and then SHAME SHAME.

C'mon. They've just learned to be less explicit about it. The sternly asexual Septa tortured Circei for having sex -- with Jaime and Lancel both. Now Circei is going torture the Septa with sex.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:57 PM on June 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


I didn't see anything that makes me think The Mountain is specifically going to rape the septa, but rape has been a part of his m.o. as Gregor Clegane so there's no reason to think he's not going to. I was surprised we didn't see his other famous maneuver given all the discussion of Cersei's promise that her face was the last thing the septa would see before she died. I figured Ser Strong would get all thumb-eye-pokey and then Cersei would explain the septa's just done seeing, she's not dying just yet.
posted by mzurer at 1:58 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Or, what dnash said while I was typing that up.
posted by mzurer at 1:59 PM on June 27, 2016


GoT seems to have a somewhat voodoo version of the zombie: they're decaying people re-animated to serve as unthinking, obedient slaves.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:00 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


So what sort of secrets do you all think the Citadel is going to hold? I bet "dark" and "terrible" will be apt descriptors, with the veil slowly falling from Sam's eyes.
posted by codacorolla at 2:01 PM on June 27, 2016


Didn't Thoros or Beric make some mention of the resurrected person being diminished every time they're brought back?

Maybe Beric's candle has burned too far down?


Beric said that he was "a bit less" every time he was brought back, but one of the things that struck me when we saw him again this season is that he appeared to be fine. Whatever way it is that he feels diminished doesn't seem to affect his drive or morale. I think the showrunners must have dropped that notion, but if they haven't then they're not doing a good job of showing it.
posted by homunculus at 2:05 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think we saw different things, then. The way I've read their interactions, Littlefinger's creepy-ass intentions have always been clear, but at best Sansa's just been a bemused recipient rather than willing and reciprocating.

I read their dynamic as something more akin to Stockholm syndrome--he's rescued her from the nightmare of the court and Joffrey, and is her only bulwark of safety in the Vale (where she's threatened by Lysa's jealousy). He dotes on her in a creepy paternal-slash-romantic way, which in her fucked-up world probably feels like protection. But when he gives her to Ramsay, the illusion is shattered--not just her mistaken belief in his benevolence, but her belief in the whole patriarchal protection racket writ large: "No one can protect me. No one can protect anyone." She's done, yo.

(and if the showrunners decide to pursue any romance plotline between them that's not wholly about Sansa stringing Baelish along only to deliver a satisfying takedown/vengeance in the end, I hope they get blown up with wildfire)
posted by karayel at 2:08 PM on June 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


snuffleupagus-I'm with you on this one. i was sure that this was sexual torture given the nature of some of the things Cersei disclosed and the kind of sensual way she talked about these things. to me this implied sexual torture was far more effective for me than a lot of other stuff (see:Ramsay Bolton) they've done recently to ruffle viewers. That scene genuinely unnerved me even though I was very Anti-HS.

OK here's a side note no one has addressed: Does Daario really strike ANYONE as effective middle management? Like just a second ago Mereen was all turmoil. I get that Dany's show of strength would put down the thought of revolt if she was there, but now she's leaving. Mereen hasn't really known any long period of stability since Dany's arrival and now she's leaving some rando in charge? It feel like "Hey we gotta get out of Mereen, here's some kind of hand wavy stuff that also let's us off the hook with a character most people don't care about anyway."
posted by miss-lapin at 2:12 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Chrys Reviews: Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 10

Recap: Wild at Heart
posted by homunculus at 2:14 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I feel like it was probably just plain old torture. The Mountain hasn't exactly shown finesse in his methods.

I read Septa Unella's fate as one of unspecified acts of horrible cruelty, even more horrifying for being unspeakable, indescribable, and unshowable by writers who otherwise had no reservations showing us an episode where people are atomized by fire, crushed by a church bell, stabbed over and over again, who leap off a windowsill, and have their throats cut after being served eyeball pies, etc.

So if we don't get shown what happens to Septa Unella, that seems obviously purposeful.

Perhaps continuing in the vibe of the Frankenstein narrative, her ultimate fate is to become the Mountain's undying better half. But leaving out the details (for now) is telegraphing that the torture she will suffer before her death, whenever Cersei wants that to happen, is beyond description.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:18 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Does Daario really strike ANYONE as effective middle management?

No. And the idea that he and the Second Sons are going to be in charge of keeping everything afloat there is just goofy. Mereen's going to be a full-on shitshow in T minus 4, 3, 2 ...
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:19 PM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Chrys Reviews: Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 10

"cersei is definitely going to anders our ass and we have to get out right the fuck now"

Ser Pounce and Ser Pounce-a-lot crossover adventure time is now.
posted by rewil at 2:34 PM on June 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


rape has been a part of his m.o. as Gregor Clegane

So were migraines.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:35 PM on June 27, 2016


But those got better.

miss-lapin: Does Daario really strike ANYONE as effective middle management?

I took him to be more of a trusted associate, vs perfect selection for the job.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:37 PM on June 27, 2016


"Shame, shame, shame" implied zombie rape plainly enough to me. The only argument against this I can see is that GoT, like, doesn't do subtlety.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:39 PM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


AFAIC Ser Pounce is being mentored by Balerion. One day he will take the elder cat's place as the real king of the castle.
posted by homunculus at 2:46 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping that Jorah Mormont is cured, travels home to the North to joint Danerys in the fight against the Night's King, does something stupid, and is publicly called out by Lyanna Mormont (his cousin?)
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 2:48 PM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Does Daario really strike ANYONE as effective middle management?

No. And the idea that he and the Second Sons are going to be in charge of keeping everything afloat there is just goofy. Mereen's going to be a full-on shitshow in T minus 4, 3, 2 ...


I don't buy that this is actually going to happen. There's going to be some dramatic reason to send for the Second Sons to change the tide of some battle or standoff, carry out an end run, go retrieve some magical artifact from the smoking ruins of Valyria, etc.

If Jorah gets cured he might actually be able to govern Mereen, but that will never happen because in character he would insist on chasing after Dany, and on the metalevel D&D won't be able to resist sending him home for dramatic confrontations, skeleton-fighting and scenery chewing.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:49 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


culfinglin: GREAT now I'm wondering what zombie erections look like.

You could ask Tina for her thoughts on this (SFW).


DirtyOldTown: GoT seems to have a somewhat voodoo version of the zombie: they're decaying people re-animated to serve as unthinking, obedient slaves.

A note on zombies: voodoo (or Vodoun) zombies can also be living people who are controlled, as seen in some early US zombie films.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:54 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm hoping that Jorah Mormont is cured, travels home to the North to joint Danerys in the fight against the Night's King, does something stupid, and is publicly called out by Lyanna Mormont (his cousin?)

Along those lines, could see either Dany or Lady Mormont sending Jorah to the Night's Watch as soon as he shows up. Dany because, 'oh god, you again?' and Lady Mormont because she knows Jorah's history.

And if Jon's only alive as long as he's needed to fight the Night King, maybe Longclaw winds up back at Castle Black with Jorah.

GRRM probably wouldn't do that, but this is TV now.

I wonder if Davos will wind up on Bear Island.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:54 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, you guys haven't read the Ser Pounce chapter of The Winds of Winter that GRRM released?

Yeah, Tommen landed right on top of him.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 3:00 PM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Oh, I don't think they're actually going to show Mereen's falling to pieces on-screen. It's more of a head-cannon thing.

I just keep picturing this final, Office Space-esque meeting between Tyrion, Varys, and Daario where V and T say, in essence, "Look, I know that you guys have devoted your lives to being the most feared sellswords in Essos, but right now, we really need you to stay on top of, like, municipal pest control, and drainage-- and oh yeah, we're repaving the spice market. You guys need to make sure that project comes in under budget. Ok, byeee!"
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:02 PM on June 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


Maybe Qyburn finding the secret formula for Viagra will help in the online forum wars to come.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:10 PM on June 27, 2016


Oh, I don't think they're actually going to show Mereen's falling to pieces on-screen.

Expect it to be fully 3/4 of the next book though
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:13 PM on June 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


THANK YOU to alleycat01 for posting the Spotify link to the soundtrack! The music brings so much to this show, and this episode was really spectacular. I sing with the Seattle Symphony, and we've done a lot of "pop culture" type shows recently -- I sang the Distant Worlds Final Fantasy show last year, we're doing the live to projection soundtrack while we show the Fellowship of the Ring in a couple weeks, that sort of thing -- and two thirds of the way through this episode I turned to my husband and said "A dollar says I'm singing a 'The Music of HBO's Original Series Game of Thrones' concert within a decade."
posted by KathrynT at 3:14 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Or you'll be singing the soundtrack to Game of Thrones: the Broadway Musical

we all know it's gonna happen
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:22 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nah they have a different ensemble they use for that kind of thing, it's a completely different choral sound
posted by KathrynT at 3:23 PM on June 27, 2016




The one scene that needs to happen is a face to face standoff between Sansa and Cerci.
posted by sammyo at 4:05 PM on June 27, 2016


Using mercenaries as urban peacekeepers is a horrible idea that has failed already on the course of the show and will just allow the Fire God cultists to take over the city as a mirror to the Faith's experience in King's Landing.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:32 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Motion to refer to sept splodey time as The Green Trial.
posted by flaterik at 4:59 PM on June 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


Varys sure loves to travel. Any reason why he couldn't just meet them in Dorne with fresh coffee and donuts?


Re-watching the final scene, it looks like maybe he did! There are ships in the fleet with Dornish sails (red-orange and yellow) and also maybe Tyrell (green and yellow). So, maybe there's a huge time jump in there-- we're watching the fleet not at the beginning of the voyage, but *after* they've met up with the Dornish and Tyrell fleets, and they picked up Varys on the way.
posted by damayanti at 5:12 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's funny, because the books presents these houses as institutions that have been around for thousands of years

Jon's illegitimate coronation is good evidence that being the Stark in Winterfell is kind of like being the Dread Pirate Roberts.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:16 PM on June 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


Did anyone spot a rowboat in the fleet?
posted by flaterik at 5:16 PM on June 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


I'm not sure how one reads "rape" out of that scene at all, except that perhaps the viewership is primed to expect it.

yeah, seriously, when has this show ever, EVER EVER EVER? E V E R? just done a fadeout when they could've shown a graphic rape scene instead? literally not once, not ever. that scene was straight up plain old run of the mill zombie torture, no rape included.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:18 PM on June 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


yeah, seriously, when has this show ever, EVER EVER EVER? E V E R? just done a fadeout when they could've shown a graphic rape scene instead? literally not once, not ever. that scene was straight up plain old run of the mill zombie torture, no rape included.

Yeah, that's what I'm saying!

Did anyone spot a rowboat in the fleet?

Gendry is the One True King
posted by schroedinger at 5:22 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


WHO IS FEEDING SER POUNCE NOW???
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 5:30 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just had a ship pop into my head and now cannot get it out:

MurderArya and SeriousTyrion.

Age difference would be creepy but not as much so as the Jon Snow bullshit. (From GRRM's original pitch)
posted by corb at 5:31 PM on June 27, 2016


I'm putting 50 Braavosi coin on The Hound making Clegane Bowl 17 happen, and valonquar'ing Circe's white neck in '18.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 5:33 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


WHO IS FEEDING SER POUNCE NOW???

he's got plenty of deep fried sparrow to snack on right now
posted by poffin boffin at 5:38 PM on June 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


Ok, so dragon chat: I have to say that I am very pleased indeed that four-limbed dragons are becoming the norm. Six-limbed dragons make no sense, and worse, they just look so awkward.
posted by Pyry at 5:49 PM on June 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


So, is Lancel supposed to be a pedophile? Because why else would he break off his mission to secure Cersei and chase a random kid?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:57 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who during the septsplosion was thinking "The HS blowed up real good" a la celebrity blow up from SCTV?
posted by miss-lapin at 6:06 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


WHO IS FEEDING SER POUNCE NOW???

I answered this, it's canon, we've all decided this is canon.
posted by schroedinger at 6:12 PM on June 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Before this show ends Olenna Tyrell and Lyanna Mormont need to share some screen time.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:26 PM on June 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


Wildfire doesn't melt marble. #Septtruther

You're not the only one who doesn't believe the lies.

Also, someone already took care of the obligatory Overwatch meme.
posted by sparkletone at 6:36 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


#septtruther isn't so crazy when you consider that maybe we should have asked for Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen's long form birth certificates.
posted by gatorae at 6:43 PM on June 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


if she doesn't use this knowledge to bring Littlefinger *down,* her character will have been done a huge disservice, IMO. I don't know if Sansa wants power at this point, but she does want to be safe!

Not quite caught up yet, but I think that's basically the argument for an alliance with Littlefinger. She has no power in Winterfell, now. The lords (and one tiny badass Lady) of the North are Jon's. It wasn't for the Knights of the Vale, i.e. Littlefinger, i.e. her, everyone in that room would be Bolton puppy chow by now. But that seems to have got forgot pretty quick, in their rush to acclaim Jon. A bastard with no legit claim on the Lordship of Winterfell itself, for chrissakes, never mind kingship of the whole North. So who's protecting Sansa? Who's on her side? Noble, kind Jon? Zombie Jon? Who just crowd-surfed his way into a place as ruler that should legally have been hers? Or Littlefinger? Littlefinger, the bastard who sold her down the river. Littlefinger, the guy who rescued her from King's Landing. When it comes down to it, what Sansa's learned in the past few years is that she needs someone on her side or she's fucked. So who's a better bastard, in this mean old world? Who can she tie to her, with bonds that won't break? Jon, who wouldn't listen to her about Ramsay? Whose nobelness and stupidity are a completely circular Venn diagram? Or Littlefinger, who's in love with her? Littlefinger, who is clever and ruthless and to whom she is useful. Jon doesn't need her, now, for anything. I mean, if he had the merest crumb of realpolitik in his body his best move would be to marry her off to the heir of a house that's useful to him, tout suite. What sounds better to Sansa, vis-a-vis the rest of her life: 30 years of shoveling out the barn, running from zombies and popping out heirs for whatever scraggle-bearded lout takes over the Umber place? Or Queen Consort of the Iron Thone? Maybe getting to taste a piece of fruit again once before she dies?
posted by Diablevert at 6:51 PM on June 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh, I have you covered. I have decided this is canon:

I still choose to believe that Mountainstein quietly and secretly takes very good care of Ser Pounce in his down time, patting him softly with his giant cold zombie hands and not at all eating him.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:01 PM on June 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


Dark horse valonquar idea: What if it's Bran, and he does it by warging into Mountainstein?
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:07 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am persuaded that the true valonquar is youngest sibling Joe Clegane, an escalator technician in White Harbor.
Joe likes to unwind after work with a jigsaw puzzle and a frosty mug of cream soda. Some evenings, while he's piecing together the sky, he likes to put on a vintage episode of A Riverlands Home Companion. (Joe has the complete series burned to a stack of MP3 CDs. He wasn't sure about the new host at first—who could possibly hold a candle to Ser Garson Kayler?—but he's slowly warming to Criss Thyle's buoyant tenor voice and brilliant lute technique.)
posted by Iridic at 7:26 PM on June 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


The high Septa things - I'm sure the decanter of wine thing is a nod to waterboarding, without actually showing waterboarding anybody, but I'm not sold that what was unshown was not a sexual/rape thing.

The 'shame shame shame' thing couldn't really refer to anything else, and erect zombie penis notwithstanding (now THAT's something the show should show) there are certainly other instruments of sexual violation.

And it's consistent with Cersei; sex feels good (to Cersei) because thinking makes it so - sex feels bad (to high Septa) because thinking makes it so.

Cersei's new Star Trek cosplay Romulan costume; she had it commissioned before Tommen too a dive - did she embrace "prophecy" and sacrificed her last child for better positioning?
posted by porpoise at 8:43 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who during the septsplosion was thinking "The HS blowed up real good" a la celebrity blow up from SCTV?

Now I'm way to curious about whether or not this would come to mind for Joe Flaherty himself.
posted by juiceCake at 8:51 PM on June 27, 2016


After sansa turned down littlefinger, maybe she had a chat with lady mormont and put her up to proposing jon as kingindanorf to ensure that she wouldn't get the position? She seemed much less surprised than jon about what happened...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:58 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


If Jon Snow knows nothing, and you lose a little of yourself everytime you die and come back does it mean that he now knows less than nothing?

And knowing he's the Harry Potter of Westeros suddenly shifts things around for me. Would make Sansa = Hermione?

But I mean confirming L+R=J shows why he knows nothing ... His parents were romantic fools who started a war with their secret love child. And Baratheon is even more an asshole than he already was. Wtg patriarchical bullshit. So much for subverting the tropes.

Even after I explained the significance of Jon being Dany's nephew (heh I actually explained it that she is his aunt but geeze is he a nephew) to my show-only watching buddy he rolled his eyes at Snow having a better claim because he is a boy ...
posted by tilde at 8:58 PM on June 27, 2016


(If Jon Snow is Harry Potter then I want to know who Neville is).
posted by tilde at 8:59 PM on June 27, 2016


Pod.
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 PM on June 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


What does Lyanna whisper to Ned?
posted by clockzero at 9:08 PM on June 27, 2016


Having just rewatched a big chunk it's interesting what got lost, to me, in that first 20 minutes because the overall arc is so Godfather-style compelling. Especially:

Does anyone have any idea what the second "little bird" could have taken from Lancel? Lancel gets stabbed, then another kid comes, crouches behind him, and... probably swipes something. It's called out in dialogue, Lancel says something like "what are you doing?" right before the kid scrams.

Also, a really nice touch: Arya repeats the "my lord" vs. "m'lud" mistake that caused Tywin to call her out 4 seasons ago -- in disguise as a serving girl (again) she (again) refers to the lord of the house as "my lord," repeatedly, rather than the "m'lud" her assumed character ought to be using.
posted by range at 9:18 PM on June 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Does anyone have any idea what the second "little bird" could have taken from Lancel? Lancel gets stabbed, then another kid comes, crouches behind him, and... probably swipes something. It's called out in dialogue, Lancel says something like "what are you doing?" right before the kid scrams.

I thought he was checking to make sure Lancel had been crippled by his attack.
posted by clockzero at 9:21 PM on June 27, 2016


I figured that this episode must have taken place over several months, with weeks at least between each scene after the Sept blew up. It must have taken many weeks for all the lords who didn't participate in the battle to arrive at Winterfell, weeks for Olenna Tyrell to arrive in Dorne, weeks for Jaime and Bronn to get from the Twins to King's Landing, weeks for Arya to arrive at the Twins, weeks to arrange Cersei's coronation. Weeks to get the fleet going and meet up with the Tyrells and the Dornishmen.

It doesn't explain why the Sept is still burning when Jaime and Bronn arrive in King's landing, but maybe wildfire burns for a really long time.
posted by surlyben at 9:26 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


What if it's Bran, and he does it by warging into Mountainstein?

Oh my god you could warg into him, how would you not
posted by middleclasstool at 9:31 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Before this show ends Olenna Tyrell and Lyanna Mormont need to share some screen time.

YES PLEASE
posted by culfinglin at 9:53 PM on June 27, 2016


And what is interesting to me is that Cersei's maneuver here is quite reminiscent of Daenerys.

Yeah, I thought this was a really interesting parallel - Dany pulled basically the same move to get out of Vaes Dothrak, burn down the big temple with everybody inside. They're both dancing on the edge of madness.

Other thoughts in no particular order:

-I, too, haz a sad that Margaery didn't find a way to slip out of the sept in time. Dear Natalie Dormer, please make your way back to regular weekly appearances on my television screen as soon as possible, please and thanks.

-That said, I did find the Sparrow's reluctance to let anyone leave the Sept to be understandable - I think he was fully expecting Cersei to send in an army to try and murder him and all his followers, in which case showing fear/running away would be a PR disaster for the faith militant whereas dying as martyrs battling the evil queen's forces would, in the long term, play into the Faith's hands even if he wasn't around to see it. A true believer, he just never imagined anything like a full-on wildfire explosion until too late.

-Sansa has grown up a lot! So has Arya. But I still think that Jon's #1 most-absolutely-crucial, preserve-him-at-all-costs value to Sansa (though she does not know it) is that Arya actually likes Jon. If Sansa does the foolish thing, and sides with Littlefinger to betray Jon, I lay the odds of Arya showing up to murder her annoying stupid older sister to be Extremely High.

Even if Sansa picks Team Jon Snow, I find it hard to imagine a happy sisterly reunion. Sansa and Arya working together would be a force to be reckoned with, but somehow I find it much easier to envision them working at cross-purposes. After Arya's cut a bloody swath through the Riverlands, anyways, which will happen first.

-While on the subject of Arya, I was highly amused that Jaime's complete lack of interest in the serving wench that was checking him out is probably the only reason he's alive right now.

-The books make a point, I think, of the fact that Ser Gregor is a sadistic monster, even mentioning at one point IIRC that although he is a rapist, he gets more enjoyment from simply inflicting pain than any sexual satisfaction. And that was while he was alive (though having him take his helmet off and having Cersei explicitly call him by name suggests there's maybe some of the original Gregor left), so yeah I expect Zombie Mountain is just going for straight-up sadistic torture.

-It so obviously should've been Grey Worm on that boat standing next to Missandei instead of teleport-abusing-Varys, that at first I thought it was Grey Worm and was like, "wait, what is Grey Worm wearing?". But no, it's the writers just flagrantly disregarding travel times again, argh. (Or working in some kind of crazy long time jump between the rest of the episode and that scene...possible, given that the Dothraki seemed to have time to learn how to help with sailing a ship a bit.) It really irks me to have such an otherwise solid episode end with a stupid detail all wrong.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:59 PM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


What if it's Bran, and he does it by warging into Mountainstein? - how would you not?

...I thought he smelled bad...on the outside...
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:02 PM on June 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


I did find the Sparrow's reluctance to let anyone leave the Sept to be understandable - I think he was fully expecting Cersei to send in an army to try and murder him and all his followers

I thought it was a power play. Immediately capitulating to Margaery's advice would make him look weak in the eyes of everyone there.

I'm going to pretend there was a long time between Varys and Oleanna meeting up and Dany actually sailing. After all, think of how much time it would take to print all those Targaryn sails!
posted by schroedinger at 10:37 PM on June 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


GREAT now I'm wondering what zombie erections look like.

Umm... if you really want to know you could watch this film. But you really shouldn't.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:45 PM on June 27, 2016


Also, I can't imagine it's not well known by now that Daenerys Targaryen is not only alive, but mucking about in Essos building an army.

Her newsletter is popular at the Wall. I imagine the news has spread all over Westeros by now.
posted by homunculus at 12:04 AM on June 28, 2016


Before this show ends Olenna Tyrell and Lyanna Mormont need to share some screen time.

OMG, THIS NEEDS TO BE A SPINOFF!

SIX SEASONS AND A MOVIE.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:57 AM on June 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think they are already sailing past Dorne on their way to KL. You can see ships with both House Tyrell and House Martell sigils.
posted by baueri at 3:18 AM on June 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Or, Varys brought the fleets of Dorne and the reach to help bring Dany's army to Westeros. I don't think the chunk of the Iron Fleet that Yara brought was quite enough to do the trick, but maybe with the addition of whatever slaver ships didn't get dragonized.

Besides, the trip across the sea is obviously only a couple hours long. They were out in mid-ocean for that shot, and everyone on board is standing at attention - are they supposed to hold that pose for two weeks or something?
posted by LionIndex at 3:33 AM on June 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


yeah, seriously, when has this show ever, EVER EVER EVER? E V E R? just done a fadeout when they could've shown a graphic rape scene instead? literally not once, not ever. that scene was straight up plain old run of the mill zombie torture, no rape included.

I'd argue that the show's most notorious rape scene - Sansa's wedding night - was done just about exactly this way.

That said, I'm more confused on what was going on with Septa Unella and Robert Strong. The context sure makes it seem like that's what's going on, but then positioning and what little we see seems to go against it. I'm happy to leave it to my imagination and then ask my imagination to focus on more important things.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:39 AM on June 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


I hate to say it because I was seriously repulsed but yeah, I'm pretty sure that's zombie rape torture.

1. The way Cersei clearly gropes her and makes her squirm while going through her list of things she enjoys.
2. Zombie Mountain takes off his helmet, which he's never done before. I don't exactly remember because I was looking through slotted fingers but I think his breastplate too?
3. Shame, Shame, Shame.
4. It's Clegane. He really likes raping people.
5. "He is your God now" reads as pretty clearly a Master thing.

I get that the show doesn't do subtlety that well but...I think showing graphic Zombie rape would be a bridge too far for them. Implying it is horrifying enough frankly. Yeesh.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:02 AM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Great episode, more satisfying in terms of justified actions than many this season. The Citadel library reminds me of the Unseen University library, with the books all chained to the shelves.
posted by harriet vane at 8:09 AM on June 28, 2016


Small point, probably too small for the show to acknowledge, at this late stage, but: will everyone else think Jamie put the hit on Walder Frey?

I mean, at this point I wouldn't put it past Arya to literally sign her name in blood at the scene. But barring that, if she just kills a bunch of Freys and peaces out, and does it in a stealthy enough manner that people suspect a Faceless Man hit....wouldn't the finger naturally point to the Lannisters, there? Cersei just blew up their other alliance, after all. And Faceless Men cost money, usually. So the Riverlands will be thrown into anarchy, again, and the Lannisters will be blamed?
posted by Diablevert at 8:32 AM on June 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


A girl is a bad motherfucker.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:38 AM on June 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Walder Frey strikes me as the kind of guy who gets killed and everyone's a suspect.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:41 AM on June 28, 2016 [21 favorites]


Walder Frey strikes me as the kind of guy who gets killed and everyone's a suspect.

This week on Murder She Scribed...
posted by leotrotsky at 9:09 AM on June 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Is there anyone left in a position to give an official shit about who killed Walder Frey?
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:12 AM on June 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


With him and his 2 favored sons dead, I imagine the 100 Frey power struggle will take up most everyone's time and effort.

They probably all suspect each other anyway.
posted by French Fry at 9:16 AM on June 28, 2016


What does Lyanna whisper to Ned?

Don't try to the pie.

Also, I can't imagine it's not well known by now that Daenerys Targaryen is not only alive, but mucking about in Essos building an army.

Yeah, Tywin was trying to align with Dorne because they were the only region that had resisted dragons. Tywin explicitly said he was preparing for war with Daenerys and her dragons.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:17 AM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


erect zombie penis notwithstanding (now THAT's something the show should show)

You would think that but I was assuming season 4 would feature a gratuitous shot of Theon's mutilated business just because it works be shocking and bizarre but it never happened. There was even a context for it when Ramsay was bathing him! I assume the CGI costs too much for special effect genitals.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 9:20 AM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cialis: What is dead may never die®
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:27 AM on June 28, 2016 [13 favorites]


I had a weird thought. What if this episode was named Winds of Winter because it's the plot of the whole book?
posted by vanar sena at 9:27 AM on June 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


House Frey has a LOT of claimants, and they are (on the surface) now one of the most landed and powerful forces in the Riverlands. I bet that there's a lot of finger pointing (some at the Lannisters, but many more at other Freys) and a giant destabilizing fight for succession. Meanwhile the Lannisters are being eaten alive by similar forces (since Cersei doesn't seem long for the world, Jaime can't inherit and likely doesn't want to at this point, and many possible claimants died in the sept).
posted by codacorolla at 9:39 AM on June 28, 2016


Small point, probably too small for the show to acknowledge, at this late stage, but: will everyone else think Jamie put the hit on Walder Frey?

I don't think so. Emmon Frey, the second son of Walder, gets Riverrun to form House Frey of Riverrun, while Stevron Frey - the firstborn - is still waiting for the Twins. So I suspect that the death of Walder, along with death of Black Walder and Lothar Frey, is going to lead to a lot of suspicion amongst the assorted offspring that Stevron got tired of waiting.

Even if they do blame the Lannisters, the Freys and the Riverlands are still reeling and in chaos and not going to be able to do much anyways.
posted by nubs at 9:40 AM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Really, the story of Westeros right now seems to be a total breakdown of the partriarchy that both kept smallfolk down as well as keeping the trains (ox carts, I guess?) running on time previously. There's opportunities for new powers to arise, but also massive destabilization. This is before the Dragon Queen has even stepped a sandal on their shores.
posted by codacorolla at 9:43 AM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Small point, probably too small for the show to acknowledge, at this late stage, but: will everyone else think Jamie put the hit on Walder Frey?

Absolutely no Frey is going to go against Cersei Lannister at this point.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:44 AM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Really, the story of Westeros right now seems to be a total breakdown of the partriarchy that both kept smallfolk down as well as keeping the trains (ox carts, I guess?) running on time previously. There's opportunities for new powers to arise, but also massive destabilization

My one line summary for the series is: "A series of institutional failures and crises leaves a society unprepared to face an existential threat."
posted by nubs at 9:46 AM on June 28, 2016 [18 favorites]


My one line summary for the series is: "A series of institutional failures and crises leaves a society unprepared to face an existential threat."

For my money, that's accurate. I think the big question for me going into the final stretch of this thing is whether the Northern forces will end up fighting Daeny, or if they'll recognize the position they're in, and band against the zombies. The fantasy inversion that GRRM seems to be going for suggests another round of pointless infighting ending with the decimation of humanity. Satisfying storytelling for people who've been following this on TV for 7 years suggests a pretty rote "the heroes argue then ultimately join together" ending.
posted by codacorolla at 9:51 AM on June 28, 2016


"A series of institutional failures and crises leaves a society unprepared to face an existential threat."

I think that is essentially it. What do people think about how the storylines are gonna shake down as we are only getting 7 episodes next season?

I think Cersei's impending death will hang over most of that season with it coming at the end. Most likely Jamie will do the deed but maybe they'll mix it up with Arya or Dany? With Melisandre heading south maybe we'll get Cersei as LSH? If she dies halfway through the season I bet that is what happens and if so she ends up siding with the wights.

I'm gonna assume we get some of Band of Brothers action with the Hound with likely encounters with Brienne, Pod, Arya, and Melisandre. I don't think anyone, including the writers, care much about the Freys so no one will get blamed for Walder's death, they'll just move on. It'll just be fighting in the Riverlands and Edmure retakes River Run. I'm curious how long they are going to drag out Dany and her army in Westeros - the place is in disarray, they have a mad woman on the throne, Dany is offering stability of a sort. So probably various lords and ladies bending the knee to their conqueror. Bran's marked by the Night King so I'm guessing he's gonna demolish the wards once he gets to the other side of the wall. Sam will find the definitive document that talks about how to destroy the legions of the dead and the white walkers. They are gonna drag the King in the North/Sansa/Littlefinger on forever - it'll be all gloomy looks and confusion.

Finally, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Gendry will return but with real sore arms from all the rowing! Hopefully with his commune. The BoB get him to Kings Landing and he marries Dany.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:59 AM on June 28, 2016


What does Lyanna whisper to Ned?

Well, that's the teaser they want us to keep hanging on. My guess is that it was something to the effect of "Rhaegar didn't rape me, I loved him. This is our son. Raise him. Keep him safe."

So Ned gets to walk away from the Tower of Joy with the following on his mind:

-the nature of the death of Ser Arthur Dayne (which I pointed out in an earlier thread creates an interesting tie/bond between Jaime Lannister and Ned)
-Jon's parentage and how to explain that when he gets home to his new wife and new son;
-if the theory that R+L were in love is correct - that it wasn't an abduction and rape scenario - that a chunk of the foundation for the Rebellion that just happened was false...I mean the Mad King was still the Mad King, but honestly: wouldn't House Stark jump at the chance to have their only daughter of that generation married to the Crown Prince? Couldn't a broken betrothal be smoothed over, as could the situation with Dorne. It's not like it never happened before. (and it's not like polygamy was unknown in Targaryen history)

So yeah, dear old honorable Ned had a lot of honorable lies. This season has given us a whole new perspective on him.

The fantasy inversion that GRRM seems to be going for suggests another round of pointless infighting ending with the decimation of humanity. Satisfying storytelling for people who've been following this on TV for 7 years suggests a pretty rote "the heroes argue then ultimately join together" ending.

I am kind of envisioning the following:

-Dany and crew will land in Dorne; this gives them a chance to consolidate forces after the crossing, join with the forces of Dorne and the Reach (hopefully under the command of Lord Randall Tarly so Sam's Dad can show us just how tough he is), and marches on KL. This also puts Dany and Jon at the far ends of the continent from each other, so we can draw that out...but it also puts Sam close to Dany to get her aware of what the fuck is going on beyond KL; we won't have a Maester hightailing it off to join Dany in Meereen, but rather that knowledge connection can be made pretty quick.
-Jon in the North will lead his forces to the Wall to make his stand, where things will go badly, and they get pushed down towards the Riverlands/KL.
-Everyone meets up in KL and nukes the Others. People die. Shit blows up real good.
-The destruction of KL paves the way for something new happening in terms of a governance structure. Historically, KL is just the place where Aegon the Conqueror made landfall and built his camp for the invasion; there's nothing special about the place as far as it continuing to be a seat of power.
posted by nubs at 10:09 AM on June 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


-The destruction of KL paves the way for something new happening in terms of a governance structure

In the books we learn that Aegon I dated his reign from his conquest of Oldtown, since it was the cultural center of the kingdoms.

In the show, Dany leaves Daario in charge while the Mereneese choose their leader/ government.

I'm calling a Parliment in Oldtown as the final political situation. Possibly with a constitutional monarch.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:27 AM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm calling a Parliment in Oldtown as the final political situation. Possibly with a constitutional monarch.

It might make sense, as Oldtown is also home to the Citadel and the Maesters - an emphasis on learning and reason as opposed to faith, superstition, and magic. And it would be very much in keeping with the agenda of the Maesters:
...Sam hesitated a moment, then told his tale again as Marywn, Alleras, and the other novice listened. “Maester Aemon believed that Daenerys Targaryen was the fulfillment of a prophecy... her, not Stannis, nor Prince Rhaegar, nor the princeling whose head was dashed against the wall.”
“Born amidst salt and smoke, beneath a bleeding star. I know the prophecy.” Marwyn turned his head and spat a gob of red phlegm onto the floor. “Not that I would trust it. Gorghan of Old Ghis once wrote that a prophecy is like a treacherous woman. She takes your member in her mouth, and you moan with the pleasure of it and think, how sweet, how fine, how good this is... and then her teeth snap shut and your moans turn to screams. That is the nature of prophecy, said Gorghan. Prophecy will bite your prick off every time.” He chewed a bit. “Still...”
Alleras stepped up next to Sam. “Aemon would have gone to her if he had the strength. He wanted us to send a maester to her, to counsel her and protect her and fetch her safely home.”
“Did he?” Archmaester Marwyn shrugged. “Perhaps it’s good that he died before he got to Oldtown. Elsewise the grey sheep might have had to kill him, and that would have made the poor old dears wring their wrinkled hands.”
“Kill him?” Sam said, shocked. “Why?”
“If I tell you, they may need to kill you too.” Marywn smiled a ghastly smile, the juice of the sourleaf running red between his teeth. “Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords?” He spat. “The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons. Ask yourself why Aemon Targaryen was allowed to waste his life upon the Wall, when by rights he should have been raised to archmaester. His blood was why. He could not be trusted. No more than I can.”
posted by nubs at 10:34 AM on June 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


ASK THE MAESTER
posted by Navelgazer at 10:37 AM on June 28, 2016


DAARIO: You're back!

DANY: We're back.

DAARIO: You brought friends.

DANY: Yes, this is my nephew Jon and his sisters, either or both of whom will probably try to murder me at some point, so keep an eye on them, ha ha.

DAARIO: How'd the conquest go?

DANY: Oh, not good, not good. Horde of ice zombies pretty much overran the whole continent as soon as I made landfall. Not a lot of people left alive. Not much to rule. Bad scene.

DAARIO: Well, that's a bummer. I suppose you'll be wanting me to turn Meereen back over to you.

DANY: Ohh, would you? I'd really like something to rule. Kinda had my heart set on it. I mean I know I was soooo over this place but at least the people here are alive people and not reanimated ice zombies.

DAARIO: I totally get it.

DANY: Daario, you are awesome. Thanks for holding down the fort.

DAARIO: So, are we still a thing, or...?

DANY: Eek, no, sorry! Jon and I...well, you know...Targaryens gonna Targare, right?

[laughter]

Follow the further adventures of Daenerys and friends Mondays on HBO in the new multi-cam Game of Thrones spinoff multi-cam sitcom, Meereen, Myself, & I!
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:38 AM on June 28, 2016 [27 favorites]


Couldn't a broken betrothal be smoothed over, as could the situation with Dorne. It's not like it never happened before. (and it's not like polygamy was unknown in Targaryen history)

Well no, the marriage had occurred, two kids were born, etc etc. No way that was going to be smoothed over with the Martells.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:44 AM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


-The destruction of KL paves the way for something new happening in terms of a governance structure. Historically, KL is just the place where Aegon the Conqueror made landfall and built his camp for the invasion; there's nothing special about the place as far as it continuing to be a seat of power.

I see the Night's King climbing a frozen Iron Throne as the entire city is eerily quiet because the only remaining survivors are white walkers. Only Arya gets away by not playing the game anymore and taking a ship to see what's West of Westeros.
posted by bluecore at 10:44 AM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


multi-cam Game of Thrones spinoff multi-cam

plz extend edit window thx mods

posted by prize bull octorok at 10:47 AM on June 28, 2016


Well no, the marriage had occurred, two kids were born, etc etc. No way that was going to be smoothed over with the Martells.

Maybe, maybe not. Kings have set wives aside before. (and just to be clear, when I said the situation with Dorne I meant the R-E marriage; the broken betrothal would be between House Stark and House Baratheon).
posted by nubs at 10:52 AM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


After all our discussions here about the Proper Succession, this bit from Ask the Maester is just too delicious not to quote
We’re in a revolutionary period of Westerosi history; the traditional rules of who inherits what and who can rule where have gone out the window like King Tommen.
posted by Nelson at 10:54 AM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


That is a good line. So, the stuff I miss/or wish was in the series is in the boat with Gendry; and the mounting number of rules being ignored have gone out the window with Tommen.
posted by nubs at 10:56 AM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would like there to be a little tag after the credits of the very last episode showing Gendry rowing up to a completely obliterated Kings Landing and asking a random passerby "What did I miss?"
posted by Falconetti at 11:18 AM on June 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


-if the theory that R+L were in love is correct - that it wasn't an abduction and rape scenario - that a chunk of the foundation for the Rebellion that just happened was false...I mean the Mad King was still the Mad King, but honestly: wouldn't House Stark jump at the chance to have their only daughter of that generation married to the Crown Prince? Couldn't a broken betrothal be smoothed over, as could the situation with Dorne. It's not like it never happened before. (and it's not like polygamy was unknown in Targaryen history)

I don't think this makes any sense. Well, in an alternate timeline where, when Brandon and Grandpa Stark show up at KL and demand Lyanna back, Rheagar and Lyanna great them hand in hand and Rheagar's like "sorry bout the kidnapping but actually factually we're in love and I'm totes going to marry her" then maybe the thing could have been fixed somehow. But what actually happened was that the Mad King tortured them to death in front of all the court then demanded John Arrayn hand over Robert and Ned so they could get the same. That's when the rebellion happened. There we no going back once the elder Starks were murdred ---- Rheagar nicking a noblewoman might have been offensive, but a king who murders his lords could not be bourn. So I don't think Lyanna being willing changes anything about the righteousness of the rebellion. The Mad King caused the rebellion, you can't airbrush him out.
posted by Diablevert at 11:42 AM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


We’re in a revolutionary period of Westerosi history; the traditional rules of who inherits what and who can rule where have gone out the window like King Tommen.

I wonder if having Pycelle killed is more evidence that Cercei was expecting Tommen to either off himself or at least become incapacitated. The maesters would be the ones to look up family lines and see who can inherit the throne. So put her own crooked guy in charge to declare her queen before Oldtown even finds out what happened.

There are plenty of ways this can and will go wrong but even at her most devious Cercei is about short term gains over long term planning.
posted by Gary at 11:44 AM on June 28, 2016


asking a random passerby "What did I miss?"


And that random passerby... young Griff.

then the screen fades out....
posted by Ashwagandha at 11:46 AM on June 28, 2016


Diablevert, that's what I'm thinking - if Rhaegar and Lyanna had been around, or even just openly proclaimed their love - you still have a crisis, but it's a different crisis because people aren't getting killed at that point.

I mean, it might all be a moot point - the Mad King being what he was, there were pieces in motion that likely make some level of revolt/rebellion high likely. Lots of evidence that the noble houses were jockeying for something, so this might just be the particular flash point.

Whatever, I should deal with the reality in the fantasy story we have.
posted by nubs at 11:49 AM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Right, but you were saying the learning that Lyanna loved Rheagar taints Ned's decision to rebell, that we've learned something about his character --- e.g. he was more enraged than dishonoured. But after what happened to his father and brother I just can't see that. As far as hiding the knowledge, he had to in order to spare Jon's life, no?

Honestly I don't think anything from season 6 really changes much about our understanding of Ned, unless you take Bran's line literally, that Ned went around bragging all the time about killing Dayne. For me it makes far more sense that Ned's version was, "Aye, I killed him. He was a great warrior, and if not for Howland Reed I would have died," and everyone else interpreted that how they liked. In Bran case, the favoured interpretation would be "my father was an awesome badass."
posted by Diablevert at 12:00 PM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wonder if having Pycelle killed is more evidence that Cercei was expecting Tommen to either off himself or at least become incapacitated.

It's interesting that they gave that to Qyburn. In the books it was Varys, who is obviously working against Cercei's interests.

There's a theory that Qyburn is a Dornish plant/opportunist. (He and the Red Viper have similar histories and could possibly have been buds.) The show may be obliquely confirming that, since Cercei's obvious move would be ordering Pycelle to observe the trial, if she wanted him dead.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:02 PM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


The show may be obliquely confirming that, since Cercei's obvious move would be ordering Pycelle to observe the trial, if she wanted him dead.

My thought was the reason to avoid murdering him at the trial along with everyone else is that Pycelle was Grand Maester to Aerys, and so would almost certainly have known about the wildfire caches. Murdering him away from everyone else eliminates the chance that he figures out what Cersei's up to in time to evacuate the Sept.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:12 PM on June 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Right, but you were saying the learning that Lyanna loved Rheagar taints Ned's decision to rebell, that we've learned something about his character --- e.g. he was more enraged than dishonoured.

OK, yeah, I've wandered from my original point in my head and maybe didn't state my thought clearly from the outset. From where I'm sitting, trying to be in Ned's head, changing things from "Rhaegar abducts Lyanna" to "Lyanna runs away with Rhaegar" alters some important things. While the rebellion doesn't officially start until Jon Arryn defies the king following the deaths of Brandon and Rickard, the popular sentiment is that Robert did this to avenge his lady love. Revealing that it wasn't about that undermines the popular sentiment, which is maybe no big deal, but it also is something that Ned has to bury for the sake of his friendship with the King. The lie here for Ned is one that exists between him and Robert, mostly, about the pretext of the war and Robert's own perspective on things. For Ned, the war was about avenging his sister, brother and father; for Robert it was about Lyanna. Robert loved Lyanna and fully believed that love was returned.

Maybe I'm not articulating it well, but that's where I'm at with the thought.
posted by nubs at 12:22 PM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm curious how long they are going to drag out Dany and her army in Westeros - the place is in disarray, they have a mad woman on the throne, Dany is offering stability of a sort.

Dany is also bringing a Dothraki horde to Westeros. Stability isn't their thing. The lords of the North were pissed off at Jon for letting the Wildlings through, and this is much more extreme. The Westerosi should freak out that a horde has been delivered to their shores. Once they arrive, maybe the Dothraki will put the Lords of Westeros at ease by remaining obedient to Dany and forgoing the pillaging and raping that has characterized their culture for centuries, but that would be totally out of character for them as well as uncharacteristic of how the story has always handled unintended consequences.
posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Pycelle was Grand Maester to Aerys, and so would almost certainly have known about the wildfire caches.

I don't believe he did. That knowledge was very compartmentalized, and Jaime took some pains to kill the Pyromancers who were aware of it. If Pycelle knew about it Jaime would likely have killed him too.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:41 PM on June 28, 2016




Once they arrive, maybe the Dothraki will put the Lords of Westeros at ease by remaining obedient to Dany and forgoing the pillaging and raping that has characterized their culture for centuries, but that would be totally out of character for them as well as uncharacteristic of how the story has always handled unintended consequences.

Maybe she can keep them from pillaging in the Reach and Dorne, but the Stormlands and the Crownlands are going to be devastated. The Riverlands also, which have already been torn apart by so much war.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 2:10 PM on June 28, 2016


Some stray thoughts/musings:

1. I was sad that Margaery died, as well, but I loved how the scene worked between her and the High Septon/Sparrow. It was complex and well-done, in large part due to Jonathan Pryce's absolutely marvelous work. Margaery realized that some awful danger was imminent, but ironically, it was his incredulity that doomed him, his inability to believe in something. That was wonderfully subtle dramatic irony. And the way she calmly dismissed his officiousness in the face of imminent destruction -- she pulled away the veil of pretense, and he scoffed, but he also started to realize that he might be in over his head w/r/t Westerosi realpolitik. Then, once he began to realize not only that he was complicit in the nonsense of politics and all the other players knew it, it seemed his faith was suddenly, swiftly, awfully shaken -- not only had he been beaten, but he seemed to realize that he had embodied all the sins he'd publicly condemned, and was about to die from that hubris. In the end, he was just another out-maneuvered player, and his gods weren't going to save him, either directly or through his militia and politicking.

2. Jon Snow saw nothing after his stabbing because he never actually died -- he is given non-normal vitality by the strength of whatever magic Daenerys and her dragons are involved with.

3. There is magic but there are no gods in this world.
posted by clockzero at 4:06 PM on June 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


It's important to remember that Ned only found Lyanna after Rhaegar was already dead - the rebellion largely successful. And he was willing to kill the brother of the woman he loved to get through to Lyanna - I don't think Ned did know she went willingly until he reached the Tower.

And that's the real tragedy of Ned - why I think he went back to the North and stayed there. It was all unnecessary - and if he had paid attention to his sister, he might have known, and everything might not have become terrible.
posted by corb at 4:10 PM on June 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Pycell's been taking shit about Qyburn for years. The point was that it was absolutely personal.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:22 PM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


3. There is magic but there are no gods in this world.

The sept exploding, taking the populist leader of a people's rebellion with it, is definitive proof that the Seven don't exist for both the audience, and for the people of Westeros. The brotherhood scenes show (I think - it wasn't super clear) that the Red God is gaining traction among the smallfolk, and Daeny is about to bring a literal miracle of blood and fire under the same banner. I truly do believe that,

A) Rhollor isn't really a God, so much as a malevolent and powerful supernatural force, and
B) The Seven's time in the West is drawing to a close.
posted by codacorolla at 4:22 PM on June 28, 2016


Or perhaps R'lhor isn't malevolent OR benevolent. It might just be a force and deeply flawed humans like Mel make deeply flawed human assumptions about it.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:26 PM on June 28, 2016


Very possible. He might be the sentient computer that controls the fusion drive of the world-ship.
posted by codacorolla at 4:28 PM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Rhollor isn't really a God, so much as a malevolent and powerful supernatural force

an old god escaped from the deep roads
posted by poffin boffin at 4:33 PM on June 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


Oh - in the establishing shot of the Citadel, the title-card astrolabe made an appearance, correct? There was a little ring of something just off camera that looked like the band that they overlay text onto in between the map stuff.
posted by codacorolla at 4:37 PM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, it was in the easter egg link above: it does indeed.
posted by codacorolla at 4:39 PM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Very possible. He might be the sentient computer that controls the fusion drive of the world-ship.

Preston Jacobs has some interesting theories based on his conviction that ASOIAF is really a SciFi story and that clues can be garnered from GRRM's other (mostly SF) works.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:47 PM on June 28, 2016


Dany is also bringing a Dothraki horde to Westeros. Stability isn't their thing. The lords of the North were pissed off at Jon for letting the Wildlings through, and this is much more extreme.

Yet Dorne and Highgarden are ok with it, to the point that they'll be there on the shores when Dany reaches Kings Landing.

But then what? Kings Landing is in disarray and Cersei has a weak army. There's not much she can do, especially against 3 dragons. The only thing she could do is try to blow up the city? And then has never sat well with Jamie. After that, news spreads. The Riverlands won't be much trouble.

I can't imagine the North would actually side against Dany. Tyrion is there to talk to and explain things and both Jon and Sansa trust him a bit. Hell, when Jon hears of dragons, he'll probably be like "OH HELL, WE HAVE ICE DEMONS, CAN YOU HELP?" Then director Miguel Sapochnik gives us the grand battle and then there's an episode to tidy things up.

Huh, that could done in 13 episodes. I had thought that was cutting it short, but really, there's not much left and certainly not much to fight over. At worst, Dany might fuck it up by trying to force everyone to bend the knee, instead of just asking.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:13 PM on June 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Huh, that could done in 13 episodes.

They're giving themselves 15.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:39 PM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


13-15 is what I've heard. A few to clean up the Westeros battles, a few side stories (Brotherhood, Arya etc) then it's off to deal with the White Walkers, with all their potential back story. Maybe Miguel Sapochnik does a two episode battle to really go out with a flair.

Then it's just a matter of time before Battle of the Bastards re-enactments start.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:03 PM on June 28, 2016


A) Rhollor isn't really a God, so much as a malevolent and powerful supernatural force

...maybe the whole point of the ice zombies, metaphysically speaking, is to defeat R'lhor?

If it turns out that Dany is basically an emissary of Satan and we find ourselves in the position of rooting for the ice zombies, I'll take back every bad thing I've ever said about this show
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:38 PM on June 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


In the books, the lingering question is how to tame the dragons. In the show we learn that the Others are a weapon gone rogue. So maybe the real question is how to tame the Others?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:44 PM on June 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Once they arrive, maybe the Dothraki will put the Lords of Westeros at ease by remaining obedient to Dany and forgoing the pillaging and raping that has characterized their culture for centuries, but that would be totally out of character for them as well as uncharacteristic of how the story has always handled unintended consequences.

I suspect that Daenerys' feelings with respect to easing the minds of the Lords of Westeros approximate those of Daario with regards to the Mereenese: fuck them.

The show at this point is clearly pointing to Westeros reverting to an essentially pre-Targaryen state of affairs: the central monarchy is too weak and mistrusted and regional lords are taking up the roles (and in the case of the Starks, Greyjoys and Dornish, even the formal status) of the old Seven Kingdoms which existed before the arrival of Aegon the Conqueror. Even the central church of the Seven, which was the one unifying cultural force in the pre-Conquest days, has been destroyed by a ruler who has been repudiated by no less than four of the great Houses/Kingdoms: Stark (the North), Tyrell (the Reach), Martell (Dorne), Greyjoy (the Iron Islands). She basically has the allegiance of the Lannister home territories in the Westerlands and the Riverlands (if the Freys maintain their hold after the death of Walder). In effect, the united kingdom of Westeros no longer exists as of this season.

With this in mind, look at Daenerys' recent evolution. Her increasingly violent response to challenges, her clear understanding and acceptance (as per her conversation with Tyrion last season) that none of the great Houses of Westeros will support her in her claim. Her speech about "breaking the Wheel". I think that what we're going to see is less like the negotiated Restoration that Varys and Tyrion were thinking of when they set off to find her and more like a second Targaryen Conquest: Daenerys will invade with her army and her dragons, will demand the fealty of the regional lords/kings and kill anyone who refuses. In which case, the "optics" of having a Dothraki horde by her side is less important. After all, Aegon the Conqueror had a predominantly foreign army too, before his first victories began to gather native adherents to his side.

I fully expect to see a Tyrell-Dornish army face the choice between surrender or a new Field of Fire, and possibly to see Jon or Sansa re-enact the decision of The King Who Knelt. And I'm increasingly certain that King's Landing will be turned into the new Harrenhal by either Daenerys' dragons or (possibly) by Cersei via wildfire.
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:52 PM on June 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


ChurchHatesTucker: You're making me think now about this season in terms of what the characters do when their backs are truly against the wall. We know that the Children of the Forest, when facing extinction, created the White Walkers. We know that Bran, facing down those White Walkers, destroyed a young man's life through time in order so that he could give Bran another minute or two to escape.

Arya, backed into a corner by the Waif, turned out the lights to make the environment more favorable to herself. Jaime, backed into a corner by his vows and his growing internal and external conscience (in the personage of Brienne) found a way to talk his way through his mission with no bloodshed on his account (and actually grew a little himself through it all.)

Sansa, as the only one in a room full of combat veterans to see the writing on the wall, snuck around her compatriots and made a deal with the devil to try to ensure their victory. Jon, on the field and literally with his back to a wall made of corpses, had to rely on the assistance of his family - a lesson he seems to have learned well.

Tyrion compromised with monsters but kept the city alive for a while. Dany overthrew a city's leadership and took the population with her. Jorah, with a little nudging, renounced his fatalism to instead find refuge and even hope in his sense of duty and devotion.

Loras cracked under the pressure, Margaery stuck to her guns and became even more resourceful while isolated from aid.* Tommen stepped out a window, and his mother destroyed the city so that she could be, in the words of the show, Queen of the Ashes.

And Melisandre still hasn't made a choice.


*This is probably why Margaery's death affects me so much more than the others have - in no way does it feel like her story was "told." It just suddenly ran out of pages.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:09 PM on June 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't buy this whole Generation Ship thing -- GRRM is not Gene Wolf.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:20 PM on June 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


...more like a second Targaryen Conquest: Daenerys will invade with her army and her dragons, will demand the fealty of the regional lords/kings. After all, Aegon the Conqueror had a predominantly foreign army too, before his first victories began to gather native adherents to his side.

Some key differences:
-Aegon's army was about 1,600 men, compared to Dany's estimated numbers of somewhere over 100,000 - which is a staggering difference.
-Aegon and his two sister-wives had three full grown dragons - Balerion was said to be able to swallow an aurochs whole. So Dany is likely to need that numerical difference.
-Aegon landed with the support of three minor Houses, and his first conquest was over Lords Darklyn and Mooton. Dany will land with the support of two major (though damaged) Houses - Martell (I'm giving the Sand Snakes that because all rules of normal succession appear to have not only gone out the window with Tommen, they apparently got stabbed in the Water Gardens first) and Tyrell.
-Aegon landed in the midst of the usual political strife; Dany is landing at a time when there is a major, largely unknown, supernatural force about to descend.

I see what you're saying - the 7 Kingdoms are essentially no more, and there are some similarities to the situation at the time of Aegon's conquest...but this series has never been Wheel of Time; history doesn't repeat itself. This will be something new.
posted by nubs at 7:32 PM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


What does Lyanna whisper to Ned?

My half-assed lip-reading saw "His name is Jon", but who knows. When I first saw the episode and saw that I assumed they made it inaudible so as not to spoil the baby-adult face morph shot.
posted by schroedinger at 8:38 PM on June 28, 2016


I'm annoyed thinking about waiting a year between abbreviated seasons (when, frankly, GoT already has just about the shortest seasons on television), but when all's said and done, I have a feeling the remainder of the series will be better for it. This season would have been even better than it was with about two hours shaved down from it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:38 PM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


B) The Seven's time in the West is drawing to a close.

Were any of the priests of R'hllor on Dany's ships? I'm not clear on whether their partnership applies only in Essos, or if Dany is bringing a new faith with her. The Faith of the Seven is weakened and the populace is demoralized, so this would be the perfect time.
posted by homunculus at 9:39 PM on June 28, 2016


My half-assed lip-reading saw "His name is Jon", but who knows. When I first saw the episode and saw that I assumed they made it inaudible so as not to spoil the baby-adult face morph shot.

I have no idea what she said, but "His name is Jon" would be...odd. I always assumed that Ned named the baby after Jon Arryn, his closest friend after Robert. Why would Lyanna name the child Jon? It's not a Stark name, or a Targaryen name, for that matter.
posted by AdamCSnider at 10:42 PM on June 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I thought she said his name was Aegon
posted by coriolisdave at 11:14 PM on June 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


That's what I thought, too. Certainly the first syllable looked like "Ah" or "Ae" but I wasn't sure of the consonant.
posted by glitter at 11:32 PM on June 28, 2016


The Faith of the Seven is weakened and the populace is demoralized, so this would be the perfect time.

Cersei wiped the official state church off the map. Melisandre is heading south by horse, towards King's Landing. R'hllor would probably love a cold-hearted murderer like Cersei; the only trick would be how to redirect her murderous self-interest into supporting the new god in town.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:44 PM on June 28, 2016


I watched that whispering scene a few times to get the hang of the actors' mouths since I'm a pretty good speechreader. I would say 80% certainty she first says "his name is Aegon". I see where someone got "Jon" out of that because of the ending stop, but her jaw doesn't set up for a J, it transitions. Definitely an -on ending, starts with an "eh" (like in air) sound.
posted by E. Whitehall at 1:29 AM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, the ruler of King's Landing (aka London), just blew up part of the city for the lulz. Meanwhile the North (aka Scotland) is claiming independence again. Uh-oh.
posted by elgilito at 1:46 AM on June 29, 2016 [10 favorites]


"Aegon" fits the naming scene we get from the visions in the House of the Undying (at least in the books.)
posted by Navelgazer at 4:27 AM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cersei Lets It Go
posted by Jacqueline at 4:38 AM on June 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


The events in King's Landing have the little birds on one side and Sparrows on the other.
posted by clockzero at 8:25 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, you're saying the storyline in King's Landing is for the birds, then?
posted by nubs at 8:34 AM on June 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


I re-watched the scene like seven times and I'm sure she whispers "Rosebud..."
posted by Nelson at 8:45 AM on June 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


You're a father, nubs, aren't you
posted by clockzero at 8:50 AM on June 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


So, you're saying the storyline in King's Landing is for the birds, then?


Shame! clang Shame! clang Shame! clang
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:51 AM on June 29, 2016 [10 favorites]


After the whole Shaggydog thing, I think there's at least a chance that GRRM also thinks that plot is for the birds.
posted by Copronymus at 9:10 AM on June 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


The show has maybe gotton too dumb and too short for this, but I was thinking....Dany's position is interesting, because on the one hand her strength and her newfound ability to fully control the dragons seem to be related to her fully embracing her conquering nature. Fire and blood. That's what binds the Dothraki to her; she can't afford not to let them have a hell of a lot of rope for raping and pillaging, if she wants to conquer. Yet to rule she needs to restrain these impulses --- and she worries about that, worries about being mad, and that's why she listens to Tyrion and values him, she knows he's a check on those impulses. On the throne in King's Landing now we have a Queen who has also fully embraced her conquering side, who has decided that from now on, no quarter. If you are against me, you shall be destroyed. There can be no dissent. This is not a stable set of affairs and we expect it to crumble. But could that be Dany's arc, then, for the next season? At first letting her dragons (of whatever species) off the leash, and then coming to King's Landing and being presented with the consequences of that --- not needing to conquer the capital because it has already been destroyed through Cersei's hubris? It would maybe be an interesting final twist, that. To have her greatest victory stolen from her because her enemy destroys themselves before she can get to them. And therefore she decides that her true purpose is in fact the war in the North.
posted by Diablevert at 9:34 AM on June 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


After this season's end, one almost feels wistful about Tywin basically running the show.
posted by clockzero at 10:08 AM on June 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


You're a father, nubs, aren't you

I wasn't when the books started.
posted by nubs at 10:09 AM on June 29, 2016 [17 favorites]


Dany's position is interesting, because on the one hand her strength and her newfound ability to fully control the dragons seem to be related to her fully embracing her conquering nature. Fire and blood...On the throne in King's Landing now we have a Queen who has also fully embraced her conquering side, who has decided that from now on, no quarter. If you are against me, you shall be destroyed. There can be no dissent. This is not a stable set of affairs and we expect it to crumble. But could that be Dany's arc, then, for the next season?

I've been thinking a bit about that too - Dany and Cersei both pulled very similar moves this season to get themselves past obstacles (basically, blow them up and burn everything and to hell with the collateral damage). The key difference I'm seeing is the scene in ep 9, where Dany's initial response is to burn everything down - the Masters and their cities - and Tyrion talks her into another path. Cersei no longer has any checks or balances against her nature. (Which makes me wonder if the valonqar prophecy will come true as Jaime strangles her because she's preparing to nuke KL to stop Dany - Jaime becomes the King and Queen slayer).

And "Fire and Blood" has taken on a bit of a different meaning for me since I re-read the last Sam chapter in AFFC, where Maester Marwyn reveals that all Valyarian sorcery ran off of fire and blood (which we've all kind of figured out anyways), but it made me think that the words of House Targaryen might mean a little bit more than just what appears to be a promise of destruction.
posted by nubs at 10:21 AM on June 29, 2016


Re-watching the Tower of Joy scene, it seems like Lyanna is either saying (as several people suggested) "his name is Aegon" or "he's / he is Rhaegar's." I still really wish they could have shown Rhaegar at some point in the series; perhaps Bran will converse with him before the series ends.
posted by clockzero at 10:22 AM on June 29, 2016


Fools! Nobody puts Littlefinger in the corner!
paraphrased from a comment from somewhere else i forget
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 10:22 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


That urchin who stabbed Lancel, tho. He must've gone to the Sandsnake School of Stabbing, wherein you learn to incapacitate your much larger, deadlier trained opponent with one dagger thrust. Can't help but note that the Waif maybe should apply for lessons.
posted by alleycat01 at 10:47 AM on June 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


it made me think that the words of House Targaryen might mean a little bit more than just what appears to be a promise of destruction.

"It's not a motto, it's a recipe."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:48 AM on June 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


That urchin who stabbed Lancel, tho. He must've gone to the Sandsnake School of Stabbing, wherein you learn to incapacitate your much larger, deadlier trained opponent with one dagger thrust. Can't help but note that the Waif maybe should apply for lessons.

The whole thing bugged me - why, if you can stab that precisely and well, leave him alive? I actually had a momentary thought that Lancel was going to pull it off and that Cersei's whole plan would be snuffed out and wouldn't that be a fucking interesting twist - show us her plan to blow everyone to hell, only to have it come undone? Lancel's stabbing existed only to give the audience some insight and in all honesty he could have died with his last sight being the seeping wildfire and the burning candles without the whole crawl. And yeah, it's kind of strange that the professional assassin only gave Arya some mild stomach upset while one of the little birds severs a man's spine.

(This has been another "things I go ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about on this show" report, part 6,993 in a series)

posted by nubs at 10:56 AM on June 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


"It's not a motto, it's a recipe."

Looking forward to Arya and Dany having a recipe exchange.
posted by nubs at 10:57 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


It would be cool if in the endgame the Maesters and the Citadel become a powerful player much like the Sparrows and the Faith did, previously. Though obviously they would operate in a different way.

Wildfire muskets for the smallfolk, anybody?
posted by Apocryphon at 11:19 AM on June 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wildfire muskets for the smallfolk, anybody?

Just think about that for a moment.

Wildfire is somewhere between a low and high explosive, it seems -- it burns, but it can detonate under the right conditions, as well, and it combusts at an extremely high temperature. For a bullet propellant, you would want (I think) something that detonates and then decomposes very fast. Wildfire decomposes very slowly, which is one reason it's so terrifying.
posted by clockzero at 11:30 AM on June 29, 2016


"It's not a motto, it's a recipe."

It's a cookbook!
posted by The Tensor at 11:32 AM on June 29, 2016


IIRC, the knife thrust was from behind and to the side, which if it was an instantly incapacitating/killing injury, implies a kidney. Which will drop someone instantly, render them unconscious and kill them very quickly. But, of course, Lancel didn't fall unconscious, he seemed unable to walk. I don't even know if it's possible for an adult to sever someone's lower spinal cord with a knife thrust, much less a child. Film and television are very unrealistic about abdominal (and chest) wounds; basically whatever works for the plot is what happens. Which is somewhat reasonable in that it's all dependent upon what the internal damage is and so can range from instant death to something easily survivable.

I've never quite understood why some people see R'hllor as evil -- within the universe of the show all of the gods are seen to be pretty harsh and historically gods have mostly been the same way. Gods do what gods do, which is to tell people what they want from them and they will stomp you to death with their giant god feet if you don't. Or not.

It's always just seemed to me to be elemental. I mean, d'uh, the title of the series. But I think in this world "ice" represents death while fire represents life. We think of fire as destructive, but Melisandre explains on several occasions that her god is about passion, and I think it makes sense that we colloquially tend to talk about the heat of passion and the destructive potential of passion. And its creative potential. Cold and ice is unchanging, fire is change and dynamism. For human sensibilities and purposes, each can sometimes be a very bad thing, but the overall concept is the opposition of stasis and change. Death and life. As they say, life is change.

So R'hllor is the natural enemy of whatever the Night King represents. "The night is dark and full of terrors." R'hllor can give life, and R'hllor can take a living sacrifice and use that, too. Life is, in a sense, the coin of R'llor, the medium of exchange of R'hllor's power, which makes sense because fire is change and activity and transition.

In the books, none of the other clerics of R'hllor are as sinister as Melisandre. I've always seen her faults as her own, not the inevitable mark of her god. Thoros can resurrect people, but we don't see him making sacrifices and whatnot. Nor the other priestesses we see in Essos. R'hllor can be appealed to/channeled in this way, but it takes a certain kind of person to think that's a good idea. Melisandre has her own idiosyncratic take on her faith, I think, and most of the reason she's sinister is because she is too willing to see people's lives as a means to an end that she pridefully is very certain she apprehends. It's her pride that's her vice. If the gods of Planetos actually exist, and R'hllor is a god, I think that the people that Mel sacrifices are pretty much beneath R'hllor's notice except as a means to express his purpose.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:15 PM on June 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


It would be cool if in the endgame the Maesters and the Citadel become a powerful player much like the Sparrows and the Faith did, previously. Though obviously they would operate in a different way.

This seems to be, in many ways, the story of How the Enlightenment Came to Westeros, so science that moves out of the purview of lords and into day-to-day life may be a part of that. Right now the Maesters operate essentially at the whims of whatever lords they are assigned to, often without much effect (ignoring Maesters seems to be a part of courtly training for young nobles). In a new version of Westeros that shakes off monarchy, we might see Maesterdom begin to take a similar role to universities in European Enlightenment.

However, I think that the Maesters are already secretly very powerful, and that the degree of their power will be a major reveal for the final stretch of the story.
posted by codacorolla at 1:42 PM on June 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think there's something to the idea of ice = stasis, given that the Walkers appear to have been created by the CotF to hold back change. But attempting to keep things frozen and unchanging isn't healthy. Fire produces change, but fire also consumes and destroys if not channeled appropriately.

I think what we've got here is two sets of approaches that in their extremes are destructive. Too much change too fast is destructive; so is not allowing for any change, as keeping things frozen doesn't allow for leaving behind methods or ideas or whatever that aren't useful or productive or that become unhealthy over time.

I think that there's a default to wanting to describe something as "evil" as part of the genre we're in, where we usually wind up with a Big Bad for the forces of good to face off with. In this case, I think we're going to find that neither side is really "evil", but that each has a motivating force that is problematic when unchecked.
posted by nubs at 1:48 PM on June 29, 2016 [4 favorites]




However, I think that the Maesters are already secretly very powerful, and that the degree of their power will be a major reveal for the final stretch of the story.

I assume you're right, or else this whole stretch with Samwell is pretty pointless. The books have (through Marwyn, who may not be reliable) said that the Maesters in charge are anti-magic and hinted at them killing the last dragons. They may be another set of antagonists when Dany arrives. Hopefully the reveal is more substantial than finding out Valyrian steel is neat.
posted by Gary at 4:15 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Watching the scenes compilation above, it occurs to me that there isn't a great reason to keep Ned from Lyanna at the ToJ, is there? Possibly a good reason to keep Robert Baratheon away, but if Rhaegar's dead anyway, Lyanna surely knows she can get Ned to keep the secret.
posted by mzurer at 4:41 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


"It's not a motto, it's a recipe."

It's a cookbook!


Wild Braised Sparrow Surprise ~ by contributor Queen Cersi Lannister, first of her name.
posted by tilde at 5:01 PM on June 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


However, I think that the Maesters are already secretly very powerful, and

OMG yes, we get to a showdown between three or four queens in the throne room. Cut to the Maesters inner sanctum. The oldest peering at a special viewer globe growls, "no no no, this is boring, reset the damned thing". The timelines spin backwards to the poor guy running into Ned Stark at the beginning. Ned says: take him to the dungeon we must know why he is so scared. Quick clips of the first season, Bran talking to his mother "they were both naked in the tower", Robert looking pained "yes yes, no more wine", Drogo and his wife riding in front of a huge horde, smiling at each other.
posted by sammyo at 5:04 PM on June 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


Okay, speaking of mottos, I just confirmed from the wiki that House Frey's words have never been given in print or in the show. So I would now like to submit for consideration, "Spraying ever, praying never."
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:10 PM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would suggest that House Frey's motto be the same as Alberta's, "Fuck you, got mine".
posted by LegallyBread at 6:21 PM on June 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


And we all know what House Sand of Dorne's words have to be.
posted by homunculus at 6:29 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dear show writers: please do not show the Maesters' library being burned. We don't need to have that kind of thing made more real.
posted by amtho at 6:32 PM on June 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


isn't a great reason to keep Ned from Lyanna at the ToJ, is there? Possibly a good reason to keep Robert Baratheon away, but if Rhaegar's dead anyway, Lyanna surely knows she can get Ned to keep the secret.

The incident at the TOJ says more to me about the men involved than anything else. The war is over at this point; this is the meaning behind dreamNed's formal recollection of the exchange - he's basically pointing out to them that it is over and they can stand aside.

But the 3 knights of the Kingsguard are making a choice about their vows in that moment. They know what happened to Rhaegar's other children in the sack of KL; they also that Jaime disgraced his vows and is still a member of the Kingsguard along with Ser Barristan.

So while they could kneel here to Ned and yield, they make the choice to honour their vows to the end and to die defending a member of the royal family from a rebel. (Depending on the question of the status of R and L's relationship at this point, the babe is the King).

This is why DreamNed is sadly saying "this is the end" because it is the end of these men, who are choosing to die in battle, with honour intact, in a fight that is meaningless otherwise. It would not at all surprise me to learn that, in the books, Arthur Dayne's death happens because he steps back to allow Ned to recover his weapon or a different disadvantage - he could beat Ned, but that wasn't the plan. The plan was for him and his companions to die nobly in the last battle of the war.
posted by nubs at 6:36 PM on June 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


I wonder if they'll bring back Sean Bean for flashback Ned? Bran's ability to see through time might give some ability for him to gain some insight into a father who was far more complicated than he knew. That's a very interesting and human story.
posted by codacorolla at 7:34 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


R'hllor can be appealed to/channeled in this way, but it takes a certain kind of person to think that's a good idea.

I wonder what, if anything, R'hllor is going to make of Cersei unintentionally offering most of the nobility in King's Landing to him? Is there some red priest(ess) in KL who suddenly is just brimming full of power?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:06 PM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wonder if they'll bring back Sean Bean for flashback Ned? Bran's ability to see through time might give some ability for him to gain some insight into a father who was far more complicated than he knew. That's a very interesting and human story.

I would be intrigued to see that, but I think it would also be a pretty serious digression for the show to take now unless there's some other really important point that needs to be/can be delivered that way.
posted by nubs at 9:38 PM on June 29, 2016


> -Dany and crew will land in Dorne; this gives them a chance to consolidate forces after the crossing, join with the forces of Dorne and the Reach (hopefully under the command of Lord Randall Tarly so Sam's Dad can show us just how tough he is), and marches on KL.

Landing in Dorne might get sticky once Tyrion finds out that Ellaria killed his niece. Tyrion wants to bring down House Lannister, but he was fond of Myrcella and he wouldn't blame her for their family's wrongdoings. He's going to be pissed. He's not going to compromise his duty to Dany, but I think he's bound to seek some kind of personal retribution against Ellaria.
posted by homunculus at 11:34 PM on June 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


What does Lyanna whisper to Ned?

One redditor lady commenting/speculating on that.
posted by futz at 11:38 PM on June 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


All I can hear in that scene is "His name is [complete absence of voices]-ys..."

Which is Targaryen enough for me, I guess.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:51 PM on June 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


The oldest peering at a special viewer globe growls, "no no no, this is boring, reset the damned thing".

Haneke's Funny Games of Thrones.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:05 AM on June 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


Dany and crew will land in Dorne

Why would they land in Dorne? Dany has three dragons, she only needs one to completely take Kings Landing, the seat of power for Westeros. Everything to the South of it is held by her allies, it would be pointless to start at Dorne.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:57 AM on June 30, 2016


Landing in friendly territory is obviously preferable.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:21 AM on June 30, 2016


Hasn't it already been noted that there are Martell and Tyrell flags in the armada, and Varys' presence on the ship would imply that they've already stopped in Dorne, and are now on the way to KL? or wherever she decides to make landing.
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:04 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think it's clear at this point that realistic or not, D&D are just fucking tired of travel scenes.
posted by corb at 7:16 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why would they land in Dorne? Dany has three dragons, she only needs one to completely take Kings Landing, the seat of power for Westeros. Everything to the South of it is held by her allies, it would be pointless to start at Dorne.

Because attempting an amphibious assault landing is hard, especially when the bulk of her force is Dothraki screamers and might not be effective assault troops coming off the boat. Because her dragons, while powerful, are still relatively small - Drogon got in trouble against the Sons of the Harpy in an arena. Because she would have a secure supply line. And from where I'm sitting at the moment, King's Landing is the seat of Cersei, ruler of about 2 of the 7 kingdoms - it isn't the seat of power anymore, it's a seat amongst others.

But whatever. It's just another thing for me to go ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ over.
posted by nubs at 7:39 AM on June 30, 2016


Also, Varys and Tyrion both personally witnessed the Battle of the Blackwater.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:44 AM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hasn't all travel between KL and Dorne been by sea so far? I'm sure it is much faster. Hard to imagine landing in enemy territoty could be worse than spending days/weeks walking through it.
posted by snofoam at 7:45 AM on June 30, 2016


Well, the other alternative is that the Martell and Tyrell fleets sailed to Mereen first, in order to help with Dany's troop transport problem. Either way though, I definitely hope that we don't spend the first three quarters of season 7 with Dany futzing around in Dorne and/or looking regal on the deck of a ship.

As for where she should land, there is a definite push and pull between wanting to make an uncontested landing, and not wanting to have to march her huge army too far.

Landing in Sunspear would be ridiculous. It's SO far from King's Landing by land, and much of that is through desert, where it would be impossible to keep a large army fed.

Similarly, we know that King's Landing is easy to defend against a sea attack, so it's unlikely she will choose to just sail right into Blackwater Bay. Of course, it's still not entirely clear to what degree she is able and/or willing to use the dragons as the nuclear option. Probably she could send the dragons in as a vanguard, burn Cersei's fleet (and optionally King's Landing itself) to the ground and then land amidst the rubble. That would probably not help her make friends with those she intends to rule, however.

Landing in Maidenpool might make sense, especially if they get the news about the Riverlands being without a lord. The city was all but destroyed in the War of the Five Kings, and is a short march along a wide road from King's Landing.

On the other hand, there's Wyl. While technically in Dorne, it's closer to King's Landing than it is to Sunspear. They would get to make land in friendly territory and then have to march through the Stormlands which, IIRC, are still not really in the fold with the new Lannister dynasty in King's Landing.

Personally, I like that option best as a viewer, since it means minimal time actually in Dorne while still affording us several episodes of Dany and her horde actually in Westeros (which should be interesting) before the big inevitable battle at King's Landing (penultimate episode of season 7, surely).
posted by 256 at 7:51 AM on June 30, 2016


Hasn't all travel between KL and Dorne been by sea so far? I'm sure it is much faster. Hard to imagine landing in enemy territoty could be worse than spending days/weeks walking through it.

Land in Dorne - somewhere in the West end of Dorne - or the southern end of the Reach (Oldtown, perhaps. Hi Sam!). The Kingsroad goes through the Reach, which is Tyrell territory. So, yes, a longer trip, but it isn't through enemy territory and she has the chance to consolidate forces, possibly gain some more allies (The Stormlands have been without a leader for so long (I mean, they were technically Tommen's, but nobody seems to give a shit about them) that they might just band up behind Dany), and make some decisions - maybe you want to have 40 or 50,000 Dothraki go plunder the Westerlands, for example.
posted by nubs at 8:04 AM on June 30, 2016


Dany's greatest problem at this point is the impractical size of her army. Keeping that many people and horses (and dragons) fed and watered and sanitary is a massive undertaking. They are a moving large city. Hungry, thirsty, sick soldiers don't stay loyal and focused long.

This makes landing anywhere but Kings Landing make tons of 'real world' sense as you can develop a supply line that doesn't depend on destroying the country you move thru.

But this isn't the kind of issue the show has cared about since season 3 so.. who knows!
posted by French Fry at 8:05 AM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Keeping that many people and horses (and dragons) fed and watered and sanitary is a massive undertaking. They are a moving large city. Hungry, thirsty, sick soldiers don't stay loyal and focused long.

This makes landing anywhere but Kings Landing make tons of 'real world' sense as you can develop a supply line that doesn't depend on destroying the country you move thru.


Next week on Game of Thrones Logistics! :)

I mean, yeah, that's where I coming from with my thinking - I'd like at least a nod to the practical difficulties that this army has - but I'm also trying to just let it go and remember the fact that this show is far more about the spectacle than anything else.
posted by nubs at 8:11 AM on June 30, 2016


The Dothraki are pretty good at being a large moving city. And raping and pillaging and slaving on the way. I really am fascinated by the growing feeling that Daenerys is going to be a force for evil. Perhaps she and her horde are the Fire counterpart to the Night King's threat of Ice. They annihilate each other in one final cataclysmic battle. Littlefinger and Varys step out of the ruins as joint leaders of a new capitalist democracy whose founding principles come from The Citadel.
posted by Nelson at 8:15 AM on June 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Logistics is my career, so it's a deep rabbit hole I generally avoid. #1, if multi-year winters were a thing the north would simply be migratory. You can't store 3-12 years of food for a city.
posted by French Fry at 8:17 AM on June 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


When you look at how many liters/cubic meters of food you'd need you run out of 0's on the calculator pretty fast.
posted by French Fry at 8:24 AM on June 30, 2016


Although you do get to the point were the Cubic Kilometer almost becomes practical and that's pretty dope.
posted by French Fry at 8:27 AM on June 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


Logistics is my career, so it's a deep rabbit hole I generally avoid. #1, if multi-year winters were a thing the north would simply be migratory. You can't store 3-12 years of food for a city.

There's some discussion online suggesting the North used to send armies down to the southern regions during the winter raiding and pillaging and getting rid of excess population.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 8:44 AM on June 30, 2016


Logistics is my career, so it's a deep rabbit hole I generally avoid. #1, if multi-year winters were a thing the north would simply be migratory. You can't store 3-12 years of food for a city.

lol I don't know if you heard, but they have a greenhouse in the courtyard, so
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:48 AM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I mean, that is the reason Winterfell is the seat of power in The North - everyone else can huddle around it during Winter and use the geothermal heating and stuff to keep themselves fed during the winter. How The Vale deals with winter is a lot less clear to me.

Meanwhile, while the stepstones lead Team Dany straight to Dorne, I think that with the Tyrells (Tyrell? Singular?) on her side now, landing anywhere but The Reach is ludicrous. She's bringing a big-ass party and The Reach is where the food comes from. Plus they can make a nice attack on Casterly Rock and the Iron Islands from there and make Oldtown into the new Capital to gain greater recognition in Westeros than Cersei's seat at KL.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:53 AM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I know there is the hot-springs and the greenhouse, but still it's a matter of scale! (no one may care about this, I know)

I want a GoT movie like the martian, just explaining to me how this shit happens. Measter Matt Damon, 10 years in a holdfast.
posted by French Fry at 8:53 AM on June 30, 2016 [12 favorites]


what if the greenhouse is 600 feet tall

checkmate
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:05 AM on June 30, 2016 [8 favorites]


lol I don't know if you heard, but they have a greenhouse in the courtyard, so

Is it in the courtyard? Because the inner walls are about ten stories high.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:06 AM on June 30, 2016


Lichen for everyone!
posted by amtho at 9:29 AM on June 30, 2016 [8 favorites]


I just realized that there will be no new episode on Sunday and no subsequent snarky commentary here, which I have grown to love so much. :(
posted by culfinglin at 12:11 PM on June 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


You all saw the thread on how Westeros doesn't make sense, right? Size, population and armies specifically.

Justinian mentions the Winterfell greenhouse and how it wouldn't actually get any sun in the winter. Some speculation that the sun obviously doesn't sit lower in the sky during winter :D
posted by Pink Frost at 12:20 PM on June 30, 2016


I just realized that there will be no new episode on Sunday and no subsequent snarky commentary here, which I have grown to love so much. :(

I'm relieved, actually. My snark stores are running low, much like Winterfell's food during the winter, and I need some time to replenish.
posted by nubs at 12:25 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, the other alternative is that the Martell and Tyrell fleets sailed to Mereen first, in order to help with Dany's troop transport problem.

That's what I assumed had happened. Tyrion said that still had barely enough ships even with the Ironborn and the Masters' ships. When I saw Varys I assumed he'd brought the Dornish and Tyrell ships back with him. Also, that whole scene felt like the beginning of a voyage, so I assumed they were heading out from Mereen (FINALLY!)

Of course, now they have to get to Westeros. Since winter has officially started, the seas should start getting rougher and stormier. And Euron is still out there, and he's probably finished building his new fleet by now (and the coast off the Reach is his main hunting ground.) Maybe his only purpose on the show was to get Yara and Theon to go to Mereen and we won't see much of him until the end, but if the writers intend to reuse him as an antagonist, then whatever they do with him pretty much has to happen at sea. And if it turns out that he does have a dragon horn, then Dany is bound to lose a bunch of ships and maybe a couple of dragons before she even gets to Westeros. Right now her forces are so much greater than anyone else's that an easy victory is guaranteed, so I expect the writers will want to chip away at that and level the field a bit before the fighting starts (and the Dothraki won't be an issue if they never make landfall.)
posted by homunculus at 12:26 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


And Euron is still out there, and he's probably finished building his new fleet by now (and the coast off the Reach is his main hunting ground.)

Well, yeah, but on the other side of the continent. Dany has to cross the Narrow Sea, Euron's playground should be the Sunset Sea. I mean, it looks like the books have Euron reaving as far as Oldtown, but Dany should really be able to land just about anywhere on the east coast of Westeros without having to deal with him.
posted by nubs at 12:41 PM on June 30, 2016


I mean, it looks like the books have Euron reaving as far as Oldtown, but Dany should really be able to land just about anywhere on the east coast of Westeros without having to deal with him.

Sure, but the books also have Euron sending Victarion to Dany as his representative. On the show Euron was going to go himself, so I'm assuming he's probably still planning on seeking her out (or at least hunting down Yara and Theon.) If he doesn't know that Yara and Theon have allied with Dany, then I'd assume he's still hoping for an alliance/marriage, and if he does know, then he's probably realized that Dany and her dragons are now a threat to him. I can't see Euron waiting at Pike for Yara and Theon to come for him with dragons backing them up, but I can see him wanting to strike first by infiltrating and sabotaging Dany's ships at night. And if he has Dragonbinder, then he's definitely coming for her dragons. So I think there are a few scenarios which could throw them against each other, assuming the writers don't just want to forget him.

Also, once Cersei finds out that Dany and her fleet are on the way, she may seek an alliance with Euron since they have a common enemy. That could be entertaining, though I doubt Jaime would be pleased.
posted by homunculus at 2:42 PM on June 30, 2016


As for where she should land, there is a definite push and pull between wanting to make an uncontested landing, and not wanting to have to march her huge army too far.

What about Highgarden? You get close to Euron's fleet, but the show is going to have to resolve that anyway. It's a march to King's Landing from there up the Roseroad but the Highgarden troops did it fine when they saved the Battle of the Blackwater.
posted by Gary at 2:45 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


> (no one may care about this, I know)

Sir, I for one would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Logistics is something wedging itself into my life and I am now constantly annoyed with people who either can't be bothered with it or couldn't logistic themselves out of a wet paper bag.

S.M. Stirling does a reasonable job of worldbuilding with global logistics after tech distruption in his Emberverse and Nantucket series. Any other authors do a good job of such things?
posted by porpoise at 2:48 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Or, how many episodes left, what works for showrunners and how many snow monsters to kill? Where did Stanis land to ride in and save the Men of the Wall from being slaughtered by the wildlings? They may need to stop at Bear Islands for heavy bearskin coats for the Dothracki and go direct to the big battle.
posted by sammyo at 3:13 PM on June 30, 2016


Even though I haven't read the books, I was aware of the R+L=J theory of Jon's parentage and always thought it highly likely, but watching the reveal still moved me.

I kept thinking why Ned didn't tell Catelyn the truth, even though she surely would have been trustworthy enough: because Catelyn's bitterness towards the child was necessary. That way nobody would doubt that he was Ned's. Jon had to be subjected to coldness and disdain as Ned's bastard for his own protection. And Cat's lovelessness was the perfect cover.

That's a wonderful little piece of fine tragedy, where decent people have no choice but to hurt each other terribly. Lyanna had no-one but Ned to protect her child. Ned had to lie to everyone, betray his friend and king, and hurt his young wife terribly. Catelyn was put in an impossible position, and had to endure it for years and years. And the only way for Jon to be safe was to grow up humiliated.
posted by sively at 3:18 PM on June 30, 2016 [18 favorites]


I just realized that there will be no new episode on Sunday and no subsequent snarky commentary here, which I have grown to love so much. :(

I say we watch a completely unrelated show and pretend it is a new GoT subplot from West of Westeros.
posted by srboisvert at 3:23 PM on June 30, 2016 [8 favorites]


but I can see him wanting to strike first by infiltrating and sabotaging Dany's ships at night.

Euron and twenty good men ships, eh? Well, could be. Lots of possibilities. I wonder how much of the decision to truncate the last two seasons is down to CGI budget and rendering time needs, because they might need a lot to handle everything that might be coming.
posted by nubs at 3:24 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I say we watch a completely unrelated show and pretend it is a new GoT subplot from West of Westeros.

That might make Ballers interesting.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:22 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Regarding logistics, I've been powering through Naomi Novik's Temeraire series at the same time as GoT and I couldn't help but wonder whether Dany had a dragon transport ship in her fleet or had anyone working on dragon rigging. Figuring out how to best house, supply and remunerate a corps of dragons is a key tactical advantage in the battles throughout the series.

Check it out, porpoise (and my fellow logistics nerds)!
posted by kittydelsol at 4:29 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Tyrion's design for Bran's saddle (based on is own) suggests that dragon rigging may yet come into play (at least in the books.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:33 PM on June 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


That might make Ballers interesting.

Let's not start talking crazy now.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:54 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Futz that reddit theory you link to makes sense to me. Martin is always paralleling his storylines and those (Maegor the Cruel / Jaehaerys I and Cersei / Jon Snow or Jon Snow & Sam and Jaehaerys I and Septon Barth) appear to be likely suspects.

As to where Dany and her army land, I don't know about the rest of the Army but it would be fitting if she landed on Dragonstone and made that her base of operations. Aegon I launched his invasion of Westeros from there and that big map table would make a good location for Dany and her commanders (and Tyrion to quip in) to talk about the invasion. It is technically her ancestral seat and there are caves or whatever for dragons to live in. I know in the books it is laid siege to by Loras Tyrell & Aurane Waters but as far as we know the place is abandoned in the show.
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:08 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Futz that reddit theory you link to makes sense to me. Martin is always paralleling his storylines and those (Maegor the Cruel / Jaehaerys I and Cersei / Jon Snow or Jon Snow & Sam and Jaehaerys I and Septon Barth) appear to be likely suspects.

I just read the reddit theory and I like it, but I think there's another possibility for Jon's name that's close to 'Jaehaerys': 'Jacaerys', as in Jacaerys Velaryon who created the Pact of Ice and Fire during the Dance of the Dragons. Shireen talked about the DoD last season, so maybe that was a clue (and/or a plug for Martin's novella, which I read a couple of weeks ago.) Jon is the fulfillment of the pact.
posted by homunculus at 7:10 PM on June 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


Ah! Jacaerys would make sense too! Good find!
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:14 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


How can you have dragons and NOT use Dragonstone for your sekrit base of operations?
posted by culfinglin at 8:10 PM on June 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


So it looks like the Game of Thrones website confirmed that Rhaegar is Jon's father (via). Now, that could just be someone in the marketing department taking liberties, but if that were the case it would already have been taken down, I think.

This seems like an odd way for the show to announce that Rhaegar is Jon's father, right? To almost say it on the show, but not, and then say it in a blog post? Maybe they just agreed with a lot of people in this thread that it wasn't as big of a deal in the show world, and everyone pretty much knew anyway.

Sorry if this has already been shared. This thread is as big as Westeros, or maybe bigger, depending on how big Westeros actually is.
posted by lunasol at 9:14 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


How can you have dragons and NOT use Dragonstone for your sekrit base of operations?

The same reason you don't book circa 1964 Beatles to play the Cavern Club. Sure, it's a part of the history and lore, but it's hilariously too small and how well do you think you're going to keep this a secret anyway? Aegon's forces (aside from the relative size of the three dragons) were a fraction the size of Dany's and he didn't have an allegiance with the most fertile and least Wintry parts of Westeros to make landfall and plan logistics.

Now, while I think from Dany's perspective, especially with advice from Tyrion and Olenna (obviously I don't think much of the show's version of the Sand Snakes & Ellaria and neither should anyone else), Oldtown makes the most sense as a landing spot. House Hightower has maintained an allegiance to House Tyrell which may well survive Tyrell's "Children of Men" position right now, plus they don't like war if they can help it and they really like The Faith, so it seems sensible that they would allow in at least a good deal of Dany's forces with the understanding that they would go forth to exact righteous vengeance against Cersei Lannister, now the greatest living enemy of the Faith.

HOWEVER, and this is why I particularly like this theory, this is a series about palace intrigue and power struggles blinding people, including the viewers, to the much more pressing issues bearing down on them. Tyrell's position (and if it weren't already plainly obvious, the show has had Lady Olenna outright discuss her menopause with Tywin) means that House Florent, House Highgarden, House Redwyne, House Tarly, and on and on could all be vying for Highgarden now. And that same historically privileged protection from the ravages of Winter that makes them so attractive means that they will be particularly ignorant to the Walkers. Dany could land and find herself suddenly in the middle of a minor civil war in which she has no real side and which is tearing apart a region that was supposed to come ready-made for her arrival.

IN ADDITION, the Archmaesters of the Citadel (at Oldtown) hate magic, loathe dragons, and have nothing but contempt for Targeryens (hence Aemon being at the Wall.) We didn't get all of that information from Lady Dustin and Marwyn, etc., without there being a showdown of some sort coming between the Maesters and the Dragons.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:20 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Reading this thread, something I've noticed is everyone is assuming Dany keeps her host together.

But she has so. many. people.
What if she splits it?

If we assume (for narrative tidiness) she swings around the bottom of Westeros and lands at Oldtown (to meet up with Sam), she's got a straight shot up the road to Kings Landing. As well as one up to Lannisport. If she divides her forces in two she can take both Lannister strongholds at the same time - thus splitting the Royalist forces and uniting the South. The Western forces can then swing up through Riverrun (and turn it into another Harrenhall if it refuses to yield) to re-combine with the Eastern forces on their way up to re-take the North.

She could even reserve some of her forces to attack Lannisport from the Sea at the same time, and continue on North to fulfil her promise to Yara by retaking the Iron Isles. Those forces can then take the North from the West.

Might require a bit of raven-flight to coordinate (or a happy minion on a dragon) but it's doable.
posted by coriolisdave at 9:32 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


So it looks like the Game of Thrones website confirmed that Rhaegar is Jon's father

I came out of the last episode feeling pretty confident that Rhaegar was Jon's father. If the historical timeline for the show is the same as it is in the books (and if human gestation takes the same fraction of a year on Planetos that it does on Earth) then Rhaegar's pretty much the only game in town, in terms of Jon Snow's paternity. The only other males who might have been in contact with Lyanna would have been those in Rhaegar's employ-- so I guess there's a vague chance that it could have been Arthur Dayne or someone like that, but plotwise, it would feel really weird and sloppy to me, and I doubt it'll end up being the case.

What's less clear to me is how consensual Lyanna and Rhaegar's relationship was. That, to me, is why the name question is important: Lyanna (presumably) wouldn't be sending her baby off with Ned with a secret, Targaryen name if she had negative feelings toward Rhaegar.

Interestingly, the chart that Lunasol linked also shows Lyanna's relationship with Rhaegar as being "Abuducted by." So I don't know if we're supposed to see that as a settled question now, or if this chart just kind of slipped through and isn't canon, or if it's smoke and mirrors, or what.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:54 PM on June 30, 2016


swings around the bottom of Westeros and lands at Oldtown (to meet up with Sam)

Are we assuming then that Dany's fleet is quite far from the coast of Westeros? Because of the presence of the Highgarden and Dorne ships I was assuming they are much closer, possibly even as close as the Stormlands. Unless, as mentioned above, they met in Meereen. Hard to say based on what we've been given.

The show has been keen to wind down storylines so the idea of them landing in Oldtown might make some sense because Sam is there. I assume at some point Sam will be telling Tyrion what he found in the library or what plot the Maesters are up to (if the show bothers to give us anything about the Maesters beyond just being there to give Sam something to do). Or maybe it is Sam who convinces Tyrion that they need to deal with the White Walkers? I'd love to have some Tyrell / Highgarden machinations but I'm not sure if the show has the desire to go there beyond a single episode. They are in the home stretch and unlike Martin I think they want to have less bulk to the narrative to get to the good stuff. I'm happy to be wrong though.

how well do you think you're going to keep this a secret anyway?
I doubt they will be keeping their arrival a secret or even trying to - at this point they are the biggest army in Westeros and they have dragons. The moment they set foot anywhere everybody is going to know. Dragonstone makes sense if you consider that her army likely won't be there on the island but out pillaging or in the case of the Dorne / Highgarden forces occupying or laying siege to King's Landing. It is also likely abandoned. Dany just needs to hop on a dragon to keep an eye on the various factions or to troll Cersei - maybe a 15 minute flight? And for the show runners, they likely still have the production materials for the set so it could conceivably be cheaper.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:27 PM on June 30, 2016


As to where Dany and her army land, I don't know about the rest of the Army but it would be fitting if she landed on Dragonstone and made that her base of operations. Aegon I launched his invasion of Westeros from there and that big map table would make a good location for Dany and her commanders (and Tyrion to quip in) to talk about the invasion. It is technically her ancestral seat and there are caves or whatever for dragons to live in.

That's what I've been thinking too. I think the first thing Dany will want to do when she reaches Westeros is have a coronation ceremony, with her allies as witnesses, so that she can present herself to the realm as the returning rightful heir to the throne rather than a foreign invader with some local allies. With this move she could start rallying many of the people to her side before the real fighting even starts. IMO the symbolism of a coronation is too important in Westerosi culture to forgo the ceremony, which would eventually be followed by another grand ceremony after she's taken back the kingdom.

The coronation would be done somewhere with symbolic value, and the first place that comes to my mind is Dragonstone, the ancestral seat of House Targaryen. It has great historic significance since it was the heart of Targaryen power, and it has personal significance for Dany since she was (storm)born there and that's where she and her brother fled the realm from. Hopefully they still have plenty of ravens.

And Dragonstone makes sense if Dany wants to go straight for the throne with her overwhelming force (shock and awe!) Tyrion has undoubtedly told Dany how much the people of KL hate Cersei, and he has personal experience with how the city responds to an invasion by sea. He's a great asset and I think Dany would want to put his expertise to use. She wouldn't need to land her entire force on the island; while she's having her ceremony her ships would start droping the land forces off in the neighboring area and then head back out to blockade Blackwater Bay. Once the ravens have flown, her land forces would start claiming the Crownlands.

(Of course, once they actually get there and Tyrion hears about the Sept of Baelor, he'll realize that Cersei will burn down the whole city before giving up and probably urge Dany to hold off on the attack while they figure something else out.)

And hey, maybe Gendry is there; he may have decided to just go back to land and hide out rather than risk the sea, and once Stannis left for the North he could have just stuck around. Dany could legitimize him and make him the new lord of the Stormlands.
posted by homunculus at 11:59 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tyrion arriving at King's Landing on dragonback and summoning Cersei to Dragonstone.
posted by whuppy at 5:53 AM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


...with a beautiful powerful woman who tells Cersei that Tyrion is the secret of her success.
posted by amtho at 6:49 AM on July 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


At this point, Gendry's whereabouts really do matter and should've been addressed somehow.


GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 7: EPISODE 1: SCENE 1

EXT. OCEAN - MORNING

Aerial view: A lone MAN in a BOAT rows vigorously in the early morning light.

Cut to: The man in the boat, framed against the rising sun in silhouette, rowing toward the camera. He stops rowing and turns to face the camera, his face obscured in shadow.

Over the shoulder: We see the back of the man's head as he gazes towards his destination. On the bow of the boat is a HELMET in the shape of a BULL'S HEAD. In the far distance the towers of KING'S LANDING can clearly be seen.

Cut to: Wide shot of the boat and the man still looking toward King's Landing, away from the camera. The shot lingers for a few seconds. As the man begins to turn to resume rowing, but before his face can be seen, the boat is SMASHED to PIECES by a GIANT SHIP entering the shot from the right. As the ship passes, we see DEBRIS from the boat spinning in its wake.

Aerial view: A vast ARMADA OF SHIPS with black and red sails. The wreckage of the boat is clearly visible behind the FLAGSHIP. THREE DRAGONS swoop down toward the wreckage and BLAST IT WITH FLAMES as the armada proceeds without pause.
posted by logicpunk at 9:41 AM on July 1, 2016 [11 favorites]


The coronation would be done somewhere with symbolic value, and the first place that comes to my mind is Dragonstone, the ancestral seat of House Targaryen

A few other significant things about Dragonstone that might factor in: the island is supposed to have vast stores of obsidian (hence the name), and might prove a quick way to outfit a large anti-walker force. It is also Dany's birthplace. And, while I'm not sure it means anything in the context of the show/discussion of where Dany might land, it was also traditionally the seat given to the Crown Prince in the days of the Targ dynasty. (which is why it was always mildly amusing to me to have Stannis gripe about losing Storm's End and being given Dragonstone by Robert - it was a huge signal of of his importance to the realm and position in the line of succession while Robert's legitimate children were unborn).
posted by nubs at 11:17 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Interestingly, the chart that Lunasol linked also shows Lyanna's relationship with Rhaegar as being "Abuducted by."

That's the only story the show has offered so far (via Robert.) I'd be surprised if they contradicted that.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:21 PM on July 1, 2016








Eh, I don't think she's standing on as firm a ground as she thinks when saying that Jon's proclamation was a-historical, because it made much more sense to have Sansa as ruler as she brings alliances and can remain on the throne while Jon fights.

To take England, for example: William the Conquerer was a bastard, who had to fight a civil war with his nobles starting at age 9 to consolidate his power in Normandy. Henry II named his liegitmate daughter heir; she was the former Empress of Germany, mother to the heir of the Holy Roman Empire, and married to one of the most powerful nobels in France. Still got the throne of England nicked out from under her by her first cousin, a dude. Edward III and Henry V both led armies while having no male heir; later on during the 100 Year's War, both Edward and the Crown Prince fought in the same campaign, with Edward III deliberately declining at one point to send extra troops to protect the prince when the fighting got heavy. Though he did have other sons by that point.

As for Cersei, she controls all the armed forces in the city and has killed all the nobles powerful enough to raise their own forces as well as the only outside power and its leader. It's true that the common people of the town might have rioted. But historically, most of the big peasant revolts seem to have had leaders, and Cersei killed him, too. Killing the leaders generally tends to put an end to revolts pretty quickly. Plus we have been shown that she's been sending her minions out to straight murder people caught speaking against the crown.
posted by Diablevert at 2:09 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Because attempting an amphibious assault landing is hard, especially when the bulk of her force is Dothraki screamers and might not be effective assault troops coming off the boat.

She has three dragons. At this point, it's just a question of how much of the city does she want preserved for her kingdom. There's simply no logic reason that Cersei and whatever forces she can muster aren't gone in half day, tops. Then the matter of landing troops isn't a problem at all, other than the question of what to do with them.

Dany's already made alliances with 3 of the kingdoms (Dorne, Highgarden and the Iron Islands). The North is a shoo in for another alliance, Baelish won't attack her directly, so he'll pledge obedience. That leaves the Riverlands, which is currently a mess and Castley Rock. I guess turn the Dothraki loose there, to completely wipe out any Lannister resistance and more importantly, give the Dothraki something to do. Idle Dothraki aren't good for anyone. Unless Dany has used her plot powers to make them much more amendable to not raiding everything.

I suppose Euron could show up with a small fleet and maybe some magical device he found in his travels that could defeat or control dragons. That would make a nice "ROH ROH" moment, seeing a dragon go down or go against Dany.

But all that's just treading water, waiting for Bran to cross the Wall, which would allow the Night King to get the final party started, to get this all wrapped up in 13-15 hours. I guess Sam will find out something at the Citadel that helps or hurts the fight against the Night King and that'll have to be factored in.

Hopefully Gendry shows up, but only in the final episode.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:36 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eh, I don't think she's standing on as firm a ground as she thinks when saying that Jon's proclamation was a-historical, because it made much more sense to have Sansa as ruler as she brings alliances and can remain on the throne while Jon fights.

I agree that being a-historic compared to real medieval politics isn't much of an argument, but I think she's got a good point about how inconsistent it is with Westerosi attitudes about bastardy, which are rooted in both prejudice and history, and those lords would (mostly) know about that history. For me, the issue of Jon's bastardy is whether or not Jon is now both the King in the North and the Stark in Winterfell. If he's just the King in the North and not the leader of House Stark (and could create his own new house if he wanted, assuming he's legitimately released from his Night's Watch vows), while Sansa is the Lady of Winterfell and head of House Stark, then I think it all works out considering the extreme circumstances that led there. But if Jon has also supplanted Sansa as the Lord of Winterfell and the head of House Stark, then it's totally inconsistent, imo, and it makes the expected tension between Jon and Sansa artificial. It particularly wouldn't make sense to have Lord Royce and the knights of the Vale declare their support for Jon the bastard when Ned Stark's trueborn daughter, who they were sent to help because she's their lord's cousin, is sitting right there. Waving away the customs surrounding bastardy (like they've done with kinslaying) isn't a good way to advance the story. I hope they clear it up next season.

(Jon might have won over Lord Royce by telling him how his son Waymar was actually killed by the White Walkers (in the first episode, no less!) and not the wildlings as he probably assumes. Jon was there when Ned executed Will, so he should have put the pieces together after he became Lord Commander. OTOH, Royce won't be happy if he's still around when Brienne gets back, since she killed his other son.)

One obvious reason for overlooking Jon's bastardy is because everyone understands they need him to fight the White Walkers, but that highlights another oversight: Jon appears to be an oath-breaker who abandoned the Night's Watch, and that's something the Northern lords would care about. It's debatable whether his watch resumed when he came back to life, but even if Jon convinces them that opens another can of worms: he was resurrected by the Lord of Light, but all most Westerosi know about R'hllor is that he's the fire demon who Stannis sacrificed people to by burning them alive. The First Men of the North might take it in stride (winter has come, desperate times, elemental forces, etc,) but the knights of the Vale are devout in their faith in the Seven and would look at Jon's resurrection as blasphemous necromancy. Melisandre was exiled before the meeting so she can't make a case, and Jon and Davos basically think she and R'hllor are evil so they're not going to make a convincing argument. So far hardly anyone has reacted to Jon's resurrection and it's implications, so that's another thing I hope the writers address next season.
posted by homunculus at 7:13 PM on July 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I imagine the conversation like this:

LORD OF HOUSE NITPICK: Wait, why should we follow Jon? He's an oath-breaker.
JON: No, my watch ended when I died.
NITPICK: Say what?
JON: I was murdered by my own men. Melisandre's fire god brought me back to life.
TORMUND: He was dead. I saw his dead little pecker.
JON: Thanks, Tormund.
NITPICK: Who is Melisandre?
JON: The Red Woman. We exiled her for sacrificing Stannis's daughter to her evil god.
DAVOS: I saw her give birth to a shadow assassin once. It was horrific and it murdered Renly Baratheon. But credit where it's due, it won a major battle for us without a drop of blood being shed.
GHOST OF WUN WUN: Wait, what?
LORD ROYCE: No Bloodshed?! My son Robar was killed by Brienne of Tarth! If I ever cross paths with her...
SANSA: Uh-oh.
MAESTER WOLKAN: Are you talking about R'hllor, aka the Lord of Light, the demonic fire god from Essos?
DAVOS: That's the one.
NITPICK: Wait, so Jon's a wight?
JON: No, I'm alive, I just...
ROYCE: Okay, we're going home.
ROYCE: Sansa, want to come with us and marry Robin? We could use some adult supervision in the Eyrie.
SANSA: No thank you. I'm the Lady of Winterfell now.
LADY LYANNA: No, Jon is the King in the North and the Stark in Winterfell now. I don't care about the implications.
SANSA: WTF? But I'm trueborn!
JON: Uh...
LITTLEFINGER: I can work with this.
BASTARD SON OF HOUSE MORMONT: Hey, I just heard the news!
*Lyanna tears his head off with her bare hands.*
LYANNA: Someone forgot their plot armor.
NITPICK: Kinslayer!
OBARA SAND: No one cares about kinslaying anymore!
TYENE SAND: Bad Pussy!
*Lyanna tears their heads off with her bare hands.*
SANSA: Okay, that was worth it.
BRIENNE OF TARTH: I'm back.
TORMUND: *Swoon!*
ROYCE: Knights of the Vale, attack!
*Littlefinger ducks out*
*All hell breaks loose.*
*Credits roll*
posted by homunculus at 7:17 PM on July 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


> Huh, that could done in 13 episodes.

They're giving themselves 15.


If the showrunners were willing to shoot the usual 10 episodes per season, that would leave room for a 5-7 episode mini-series within the series about Sam and Gilly's adventures in Old Town. It could feature colorful characters like the Front Desk Maester, Archmaester Marwyn (before he goes to find Daenerys), Alleras (who has a secret), Lazy Leo (who may be the rightful heir to Highgarden, but no one there will answer his ravens), Pate (who may or may not be Pate), Archmaester Walgrave and his ravens, and special guest appearances by Lady Barbrey Dustin, the terror of the complaint department, and Roderick the Reader, who finds the new order on the Iron Islands unpalatable and now spends his time hiding in the Citadel library.

The first episode could start with Sam findng the message Maester Aemon sent to the Citadel about the Battle of the Fist and the Mutiny at Craster's misfiled under 'myths & legends', and have another scene with Sam firing up a glass candle and getting an invite from Bran to connect to weirwood.net. And there would be much drama surrounding the selection of a new Grand Maester to replace Pycelle, and the bombshell discovery of his personal diary. Meanwhile, Gilly gets a job at an inn and becomes friends with Sam's runaway sister Talla, ship captain Quhuru Mo (who loves to tell the tale of how he once met Daenerys and her dragons in Qarth) and his daughter Kojja Mo (who makes Sam nervous), and an odd, lonely fellow called the Alchemist, who seems to be having an identity crisis and talks Gilly's ear off about it. C'mon D&D, you know you want to.
posted by homunculus at 12:21 AM on July 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think she's got a good point about how inconsistent it is with Westerosi attitudes about bastardy, which are rooted in both prejudice and history, and those lords would (mostly) know about that history....Jon [also] appears to be an oath-breaker who abandoned the Night's Watch, and that's something the Northern lords would care about.

I think you raise a bunch of interesting issues, and perhaps in an alternate universe GRRM is addressing them. For the sake of your own sanity, I think you'll just have to apply a poultice of Headcannon directly on the affected area, for three reasons:

1) They've got 13-15 episodes to bring about Ragnorak, you think think they're going to spend a single minute of them on the deep undelying movites driving a hoard of tertiary characters who've got about 5 lines to share between them for the duration?

2) The show has chopped and hacked away at the fat of the books to keep the plot moving forward, and sometimes the scars have been raw and ugly, yet the showrunners don't seem to notice. I think that's likely to be the case here. Because in a book in which Jon was acclaimed King of the North after the sequence of events depicted in the show, all the tensions you bring up would likely be in play. I suspect that GRRM's book will arrive at the same point after a different sequence, however: Battle of the Bastards happens, just as in show Knights of the Vale show up to help win it, except in the book version, Sansa arrives with them and Littlefinger basically lays her down like the Ace of Spades, expecting that all historical precedent will ensure that she is named Lady of Winterfell and that through her he'll control the North. In this context, the reamining Northern Lords are compelled to overlook Jon's bastardry, his reassurection becomes a sign that he's their true savior, All Hail the White Wolf, etc., etc. Because the other option is not a Sansa who's helped lead the rebellion and has just as good a reason as any of them to hate the Boltons, proven herself a true Stark, etc., but a Sansa who's maybe a Lannister, maybe a kingslayer, and definitely, definitely definitely in Littlefinger's pocket. IOW, the show gave Sansa the Jeyne Poole plot in order to give her something to do for a season besides chit-chat with Littlefinger, and now they're going to tip her back into her book plot and just hope that Aiden Gillen gives good enough side-eye to paper over the cracks.

3) Overall, and kind of either way: While the historical Westeros we have heard described is one in which Jon's being a bastard, a Red God zombie minion and an oathbreaker would certainly be....baggage....in terms of his making a claim on the throne, the story were are watching here is also one about a society in the midst of rupture. The kind of upheaval where, as in Rome after Ceasar or England in 1066, the unthinkable can become the accepted in a finger snap. Or at least following a big enough calvalry charge. In terms of the motives of the Northern Lords, what they're likely to think or want, as a group, the one big truth that's been made clear through all of this is simple: The only thing binding the North to the South, post-Rebellion, was the friendship between Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark. Without that bond, nor any new one to replace it, the North would just as soon be independent, and the South can't hold them. Even the Boltons were plotting to break free when they no longer needed the Lannister alliance. So in other words, bastard-schmastard, the North wants out and if Jon can give that to them they want Jon. Just like they wanted Robb.
posted by Diablevert at 6:54 PM on July 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Jon is just the ultimate dude fantasy of failing up and never having to keep your promises.
posted by dame at 9:56 AM on July 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


in terms of his making a claim on the throne, the story were are watching here is also one about a society in the midst of rupture.

Jon Trump of House Brexit
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:00 AM on July 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Actually, the parallels between Cersei Lannister and Trump are striking.
posted by amtho at 11:51 AM on July 5, 2016


Why do you have to degrade Cersei like that?
posted by French Fry at 12:08 PM on July 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Winter is Trumping
posted by homunculus at 2:03 PM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


So in other words, bastard-schmastard, the North wants out and if Jon can give that to them they want Jon. Just like they wanted Robb.

Sure, and it's not implausible within the story, I just wish they'd put in a bit of effort to make it cohesive.

They've got 13-15 episodes to bring about Ragnorak, you think think they're going to spend a single minute of them on the deep undelying movites driving a hoard of tertiary characters who've got about 5 lines to share between them for the duration?

Nah, especially since they've decided to do shortened seasons it's guaranteed that they're going to gloss over this kind of stuff as they race to the end.

For the sake of your own sanity, I think you'll just have to apply a poultice of Headcannon directly on the affected area

Actually, nitpicking about this stuff helps keep me pleasantly distracted from all the shit in the real world that could drive me insane (see above.)
posted by homunculus at 2:04 PM on July 5, 2016


Actually, the parallels between Cersei Lannister and Trump are striking.

'Game of Thrones' Real-Life D.C. Counterparts: Election 2016 Edition (autoplays)
That means Trump's Westerosi spiritual twin could also be … Cersei Lannister. Both desire to crush their enemies completely, are obsessed with gold and, if you believe The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, find their family members disturbingly attractive. Shivers.
posted by homunculus at 2:14 PM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is why DreamNed is sadly saying "this is the end" because it is the end of these men, who are choosing to die in battle, with honour intact, in a fight that is meaningless otherwise. It would not at all surprise me to learn that, in the books, Arthur Dayne's death happens because he steps back to allow Ned to recover his weapon or a different disadvantage - he could beat Ned, but that wasn't the plan. The plan was for him and his companions to die nobly in the last battle of the war.

Here's another theory, which I really like: Rhaegar's Orders Theory

This Game of Thrones Theory May Explain What Really Happened at the Tower of Joy
posted by homunculus at 2:42 PM on July 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


I like it, but it presupposes a lot of things that Rhaegar knew when he left Lyanna, specifically that Ned Stark and only a handful of men would come to the Tower in the event that the war went badly for Rhaegar. What if Ned had been leading a force of 2-3,000 men? What if Ned hadn't been the person to lead troops into the south at all to accept the surrender of the forces at Storm's End? He only left KL because he and Robert fought over the killing of the Targ children.
posted by nubs at 2:54 PM on July 5, 2016


Good points. I suppose Rhaegar might have given a final order to Dayne and Hightower that, in the event of his death, they were to keep the child's identity secret from everyone except Ned (and maybe Benjen too) and not to harm Ned should they encounter him, in which case it would play out they way it did even though the meeting at the Tower was by chance. Also, if R+L were together consensually, then he may have told the KG to follow Lyanna's orders in his absence. But yeah, it's a stretch.
posted by homunculus at 7:10 PM on July 5, 2016


What if Ned had been leading a force of 2-3,000 men?

I have no idea of the answer to this: Was the Tower some kind of strategic or desirable spot during the war? If the only desirable thing in that tower was Ned's sister, there's no way logistically that they could or would have spared a small army to rescue one life, even hers. They had an army to defeat and a monarch to overthrow. It seems reasonable to think that Ned would have only been allowed a small group of men to go after her (and indeed if they were behind enemy lines, a smaller unit would have had an easier time getting through undetected).
posted by middleclasstool at 5:29 AM on July 6, 2016


But the ToJ happens after the Battle of the Trident and the Sack of King's landing. There is no war. It's totally reasonable that Ned could have had a retinue of at least a few dozen. He has no idea how many people are there. It happens to be a couple kings guard, but there'e no reason there might not be 50-100 men. As the "big secret" is of course a secret; so Ned wouldn't have known to expect secret tiny guard.

What if any of Ned's friends had brought crossbows?

I think this, like many other things, has fan theories running way mast the source material. It's a coincidence that pivots many things but still a coincidence.
posted by French Fry at 6:16 AM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Was the Tower some kind of strategic or desirable spot during the war

No, I don't think there's any significance to the spot except that it is where Rhaegar and Lyanna went and it is located in the Mountains of Dorne roughly where Dorne and the Stormlands kind of adjoin. But basically, after the Sack of King's Landing, Ned winds up leading a force south to lift the siege of Storm's End and accept the surrender and fealty of the Lords of the Stormlands/the Reach who haven't yet done so. So he's leading an army of some size as part of that process; and while him taking 2-3,000 men to the ToJ might be an extreme exaggeration, so is him only bringing 6 - he could have very easily arrived with 20-25 men or 40 or 50 or whatever; there's a point at which Ned would have had too many men for 3 members of the Kingsguard, no matter how awesome, to be able to kill them all but for Ned. And there's no way to know in advance that (a) Ned would be the one to lead the force to Storm's End and (b) that he would only bring 6 men to the ToJ unless Rhaegar had some kind of access to visions/magic. Which is certainly possible, but if he did then he knew what would happen at the Trident and it would seem to beggar belief that Rhaegar acted the way he did if he had that kind of foreknowledge.
posted by nubs at 8:18 AM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm still totally confused about the significance of R+L, in the context of official marriages and relationships. Does Westerosi realpolitik care if Jon was a true love child? Unless there was an official secret marriage he's still illegitimate vis-a-vis the Targaryens. Then again the North seems fully willing to follow Jon at Winterfell despite his illegitimacy in the Stark family, not to mention his being a reanimated corpse, so maybe he gets loyalty. But still, what does it really matter who his birth parents are? Are they headed to some sort of bloodline power, like he can control dragons?
posted by Nelson at 9:30 AM on July 6, 2016


The significance of the bloodline is what is important from a political standpoint. Why did Cersei have many of Robert's bastards put to death? Because as long as they are around, they are a potential threat to her children (who are also bastards, but are commonly accepted as trueborn) - the history of Westeros includes a lot of bastard children who made problems for their Houses. Legitimate or not, Jon has a Targ bloodline that comes through the direct line of succession (Aerys - Rhaegar - Rhaegar's oldest male child), and that can be used to put forward a claim on the Throne. Ned hides Jon's parentage because Robert knows that any surviving Targs from Aerys line are a potential threat against him and he has no compunctions about having them killed. In a political sense, the bloodlines are an agreed upon method used to prop up the system of inheritance and titles and so forth. (Robert's legal claim actually derives matrilineally through his grandmother, which makes it pretty weak as established tradition was to follow the male lines of Houses - but if that claim is honored as part of the fiction needed to keep things running, why not a bastard if the situation is dire?)

As for the R+L relationship, the fig leaf of Lyanna's "abduction and rape" - i.e., that the relationship was non-consensual - is there primarily for Robert, I think. I used to be of the belief that their relationship did not include a marriage and that Jon was illegitimate, which would mean he would need to be both revealed and get legitimized to have a strong claim (although Dany would still be ahead of him legally, she would have the disadvantage of not being as known as Jon to some Westrosi Houses and he has a penis); now I suspect that there will be a reveal of something in Lyanna's crypt (a wedding cloak or mayhaps a silver harp) to make it clear what Jon's parentage is and his legal status. I honestly expected Sansa to become Queen in the North and legitimize Jon at the end of the season; that it didn't happen that way makes me think they are going to drop the reveal of Jon's parentage and legal status on him at the same time. But honestly, one of the things the series has shown is that there are legal claims and there are claims made at the point of a sword, and if you have to pick only one, it is better to have the sword when it comes to realpolitik. But having both is the point of the system - the bloodline helps get you the swords.

In terms of bloodlines and magic, how that works isn't clear - while the Targs seem to have some special affinity with dragons, it may not be bloodline related as there are examples of other people becoming dragon riders. Jon's northern bloodline seems to be tied into his warging abilities, and maybe that combination of warg ability and dragon affinity will play a significant role, but the show also seems to have really shied away from warging in the last couple of seasons.
posted by nubs at 10:22 AM on July 6, 2016 [5 favorites]




while the Targs seem to have some special affinity with dragons, it may not be bloodline related as there are examples of other people becoming dragon riders.

There are? I thought all known dragon riders thus far all had Targaryen/Valyrian blood, like the dragonseeds.
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM on July 6, 2016


From the wiki: "It is unconfirmed if the successful candidates truly had Targaryen blood, or if they did, if that ancestry is what allowed them to master the dragons" So maybe I'm overstating, but my takeaway from the Dance was that some people rode dragons who weren't Targ.
posted by nubs at 12:20 PM on July 6, 2016


I fully expect to see a Tyrell-Dornish army face the choice between surrender or a new Field of Fire, and possibly to see Jon or Sansa re-enact the decision of The King Who Knelt. And I'm increasingly certain that King's Landing will be turned into the new Harrenhal by either Daenerys' dragons or (possibly) by Cersei via wildfire.

I already knew this backstory, but with how little show is remaining i'm now fully convinced we're getting a prequel series ala hobbit just because all of this would make for such good TV.

Maybe even a couple movies instead.
posted by emptythought at 12:38 PM on July 6, 2016


Tower of Joy question for the book readers. We saw 5 people there on the show, which made it seem like it was an abandon fort that Rhaegar had his guards take Lyanna to to hide her for the duration of her pregnancy. So how did Ned even know to look for Lyanna there?
posted by zinon at 12:50 PM on July 6, 2016


Game of Thrones Season Seven May Be Delayed Due to InClement Weather
posted by The Tensor at 1:21 PM on July 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


my takeaway from the Dance was that some people rode dragons who weren't Targ.

Hmm, I had had the opposite takeaway: that all those who became riders were seeds with some trace of Valyrian blood. But it's ambiguous. When I got to the part about Nettles, I wondered if Brown Ben Plumm could have bonded with Viserion if he'd played his cards differently, but if she wasn't a seed then Nettles actually proves that anyone can win over and bond with a dragon (in theory).

If that's the case and the show does it that way too, then Tyrion might not need to be a secret Targ to ride a dragon since he's already earned some good faith with Rhaegal and Viserion.
posted by homunculus at 2:14 PM on July 6, 2016


One thing that would be a problem with Cersei's actions is, IIRC, the Tyrells were providing much of the food to feed King's Landing.
posted by drezdn at 2:26 PM on July 6, 2016


Game of Thrones Season Seven May Be Delayed Due to Inclement Weather

Winter is not coming

Tower of Joy question for the book readers. We saw 5 people there on the show, which made it seem like it was an abandon fort that Rhaegar had his guards take Lyanna to to hide her for the duration of her pregnancy. So how did Ned even know to look for Lyanna there?

I don't think this question was ever directly addressed. Certainly somebody knew where to find Rhaegar when shit started to get real, because Rhaegar shows up to take command of the royal army after the Battle of the Bells, so it could be that somebody tipped Ned off when he got to Storm's End?
posted by nubs at 2:55 PM on July 6, 2016






Since they can't start filming the next season yet, and they're going to do shortened seasons anyway, it'd be nice if the showrunners used the spare time to go back and shoot some of scenes which felt like they were missing from the last few seasons. They could fill in some of the details and add dialogue that would flesh out the story more, and do some scenes some just for shits and giggles. HBO wants to milk the franchise for everything it's worth anyway so they'd probably go for it. They could include the scenes as DVD extras and/or insert them into reruns. Here are some scenes I'd like to see:

- Alliser Thorne tries to show the hand of the wight to Hand of the King Tyrion Lannister, but it has disintegrated into dust. Tyrion mocks him.
- Gregor Clegane (played by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) and his men ride out of Harrenhal and attack and burn a village, showing the Mountain in action and living up to his reputation.
- Robb tells Catelyn that he wants to create a will in which he'd legitimize Jon Snow and make him his successor, but she objects and argues against it, and we don't see if he goes through with it.
- At a Small Council meeting, Varys tells Tywin that he suspects Arya may have escaped King's Landing with the Night's Watch. Tywin realizes that his cup bearer at Harrenhal was actually her and starts laughing, to everyone's amazement.
- Loras, sometime after he slept with Olyvar, realizes that he's still mourning Renly and delivers the "when the sun has set, no candle can replace it" line.
- Brienne's and Margaery's conversation about women's lot in Westeros.
- Tyrion thanks Brienne for keeping Jaime alive and bringing him home. Dialogue ensues.
- Jaime, after freeing Tyrion from the Tower of the Hand and parting ways (but before Tyrion killed Tywin) goes back and tells him the truth about Tysha.
- Maester Aemon tells Sam about his bastard cousin Brynden who came to the Wall with him: the former spymaster ("a thousand eyes, and one"), Hand of the King and a reputed sorcerer with a Valyrian steel sword who became the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch before disappearing on a ranging.
- Euron Greyjoy finds a suit of Valyrian steel armor while exploring the ruins of Valyria.
- Orell the eagle returns to harass Jon, only to be destroyed by Melisandre's fire magic.
- Bran watches Sansa's wedding to Ramsey through the heart tree in the godswood and whispers to Reek when he's alone after the ceremony. Theon freaks out, but later seems more collected than he's been for a long time.
- Lord Commander Snow gives control of one of the abandoned Wall castles to a group of Wildling spearwives who want their own base. Their leader is Karsi's twin sister Torsi, who tells Jon how she once had to destroy one of her own children after he turned into a wight. They rename the castle "Crone Keep."
- Wun Wun plays fetch with Ghost.
- Wun Wun gets drunk.
- The Storming of the Dragonpit in full CGI budget-busting glory. After the roof collapses Shireen wakes up from the dream with her book beside her.
- Tyrion and Jorah in their boat encounter another boat with two travelers, one a middle-aged exiled knight from Westeros and the other a haughty youth with blue hair, both called 'Griff'. They watch in horror as the two and their boat are suddenly swallowed whole by a giant turtle. A regally dressed fellow in another boat laughs and assures them that the world is better off without those guys.
- Tyrion tells Daenerys that he met her great uncle Aemon at the Wall. Dany is overjoyed that she has a living relative (neither know that he recently died.)
- Mace Tyrell updates Kevan on the crown's debt to the Iron Bank and the state of the kingdom's economy, as well as the status of the navy.
- Ellaria and the sand snakes are completely overwhelmed by the day-to-day business of governing Dorne, and are informed that several of the houses sworn to the Martels are rising up against the kinslayers who assassinated their liege lord and his heir.
- We see Frey tax collectors harrassing the farmer and his daughter from a first person POV, watching from cover. After the Freys leave the farm (the farmer and daughter go inside and close the door), we follow them down the path which leads through the forest. One of the Freys looks back and screams "wolf!" as the POV character attacks, joined by other wolves. Arya wakes up in the House of Black and White, still blind, and Jaqen H'ghar asks her why she was growling in her sleep.
- Bloodraven tells Bran and Meera who he used to be and shows Dark Sister to them.
- Bloodraven shows Bran (via weirwood.net) the destruction of High Heart to help him understand why the COTF were desperate enough to create the Walkers.
- Bloodraven shows Bran (via weirwood.net) Rhaegar crowning his aunt Lyanna as the Queen of Love and Beauty at the Tourney at Harrenhall. He also shows him Rhaegar's death fighting Robert at the Trident.
- Leaf shows Meera around the cave system and tells her about the things she's seen during her long life. She points out that 'Children of the forest' is a derogatory term and that 'Those who sing the song of earth' is the preferred nomenclature.
- Sansa and Brienne are amazed when they learn that holy shit the White Walkers are fucking real. Jon tells them that the Walkers are vulnerable to Valyrian steel, but Brienne keeps quiet about Oathkeeper and Sansa (who recognizes Valyrian steel but doesn't know its origin) respects her silence.
- Sansa and Jon have a conversation about the experiences they've had since they left Winterfell, including their encounters with Tyrion. Ghost insists on having his head scratched by Sansa throughout the conversation.
- Ian McShane delivers the Broken Man speech.
- Cleganebowl shown as a dream sequence (I assume that's as close as we're going to get.)
- A couple of Lannister soldiers at Riverun are desperately looking for the corpse of the Blackfish. Another soldier comes and asks if they found him, and they lie that they killed him but his corpse fell into the water. The soldier shrugs and goes to report to Jaime.
- Edmure and some Tully rebels are in chains being marched back to the Twins. The Tully bannerman who opened the drawbridge rants angrily at Edmure about the flaws of the feudal system while Tom of Sevenstreams (played by Tom Waits) walks alongside them singing a song about a floppy fish, much to Edmure's chagrin.
- Bran asks Benjen why he didn't warn the Night's Watch about the White Walkers before they were slaughtered at the Fist of the First Men. We see a flashback of Benjen frantically trying to mount a giant elk and getting thrown off it over and over again. Benjen tells Bran that he was delayed.
- Arya stumbles out of the room where she killed the Waif with her stomach wounds reopened, and makes her way to the House of the Red Hands to get herself patched up before confronting Jaqen. Or, if that's too boring: Arya strolls out of the room where she killed the Waif, looks at the camera and says "a girl is the best at what she does, but what she does isn't very nice" as she retracts her Valyrian steel claws and lights a cigar.
- As Cersei leaves the room where Tommen's corpse is displayed, Ser Pounce attacks, biting and clawing her ankles. Thus begins a war which the brave and loyal cat will wage against the Queen's lower extremities until one of them is dead.
posted by homunculus at 12:12 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]




Alt Shift X (Finally!)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:32 AM on July 14, 2016






The only explanation is Sophie Turner accidentally submitted an episode she wasn't in.
posted by General Malaise at 11:36 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's crazy. She's been great this season and last. I'd put her above Emilia Clarke or Maisie Williams.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 11:54 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised by the lack of Sophie Turner too. It might've split the vote to have some many GoT members up for Supporting. But the biggest, more glaring snub for Supporting Actress, I'd argue, is Alison Wright for The Americans. That's shocking.
posted by bluecore at 12:07 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Samuel Jackson's recap.
posted by culfinglin at 3:45 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]




Reading through that Mary Sue roundtable, I found myself being about 70% "fucking exactly" and 30% "yeah, but." It's a really great breakdown of the issues from a perspective quite a lot different from the more lazy one of "violence against women is bad, therefore good fiction shouldn't portray violence against women."

I really do think this is the crux of the issue in terms of combatting the response that violence against women happens and therefore should be included in realistic fiction: "I think that’s the thing – individually, a case could be made for any one of these. It’s the fact that there’s ALL of it that’s troubling. "
posted by 256 at 4:38 PM on July 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


MeFi thread about a post by Mike Dash concerning the First Servile War, a somewhat successful slave rebellion in Roman Sicily led by one Eunus.

I draw a line between Eunus and Varys. You'll have to read the whole Dash post, I think. I believe I am on to something here.
posted by mwhybark at 7:32 PM on July 22, 2016 [2 favorites]












Well, I guess that answers the Septa Unella question.
posted by corb at 9:57 AM on August 3, 2016


An aged knight of House Mallister and member of the Night's Watch, Denys first appears in the flesh in GRRM's A Storm of Swords as a rival to Jon Snow who desires to become Lord Commander.

Ugh. I get tired of the lazy writing in these articles; is this sentence saying that Denys desires to become Lord Commander? Or that Jon Snow desires to become Lord Commander? Because if the later, it's even lazier writing.
posted by nubs at 9:50 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think it's the former.
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM on August 13, 2016






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