Game of Thrones: Eastwatch   Show Only 
August 13, 2017 7:00 PM - Season 7, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Daenerys demands loyalty from the surviving Lannister soldiers and Drogon assists her; Jon heeds Bran's warning about White Walkers on the move; Cersei vows to vanquish anyone or anything that stands in her way; the boys decide to go hunting together.

Episode trailer

Directed by Matt Shakman

Writers:
David Benioff ... (created by)
George R.R. Martin ... (based on "A Song of Ice and Fire" by)
D.B. Weiss ... (created by)

Full cast and crew credits
posted by Brandon Blatcher (357 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
That is not a fucking choice, Dany. You asshole.
posted by lydhre at 7:01 PM on August 13 [17 favorites]


Fried Dick. Even better then Spotted Dick.
posted by soakimbo at 7:01 PM on August 13


Gendry + rowing joke = I'm dead
posted by gatorae at 7:02 PM on August 13 [90 favorites]


Davos to Gendry: "I thought you'd still be rowing."

LOLOLOL nice one, writers.
posted by TwoStride at 7:02 PM on August 13 [27 favorites]


I am Extremly here for Gendry the murder puppy.

And remember how we thought they might deal with the dragons sniffing out Jon's Targness subtly? Lol.
posted by The Whelk at 7:03 PM on August 13 [20 favorites]


Also, may I just state that "capture a zombie to convince Cersei to fight the army of the dead" is possibly the STUPIDEST FUCKING PLAN I have ever heard of.
posted by lydhre at 7:03 PM on August 13 [65 favorites]


Hey Bran, time to come up with receipts on both Prince "Ragger" and on Littlefinger.
posted by rewil at 7:03 PM on August 13 [13 favorites]


SAM! LISTEN TO WHAT GILLY IS SAYING! WHY, SAM!

I always knew it.
posted by Justinian at 7:03 PM on August 13 [31 favorites]


Um, anyone catch Jon is Rhaegar's legitimate son? True heir to Iron Throne? 'Cause Sam sure didn't.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:04 PM on August 13 [37 favorites]


Dany recreating the burning of Brandon & Rickard Stark really cemented my Mad Queen opinions.
posted by gatorae at 7:04 PM on August 13 [7 favorites]


Ugh that's one of my stealthing pet peeves. WAIT UNTIL HE'S FARTHER AWAY, ARYA. (And also, don't fall for his tricks.)
posted by TwoStride at 7:04 PM on August 13 [8 favorites]


I hope little Sam took that book with him, because big Sam was definitely not paying attention to the Targaryan gossip rag.
posted by lydhre at 7:05 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


Gendry
Jon Snow
Tormund
Thoros of Myr
Berric Dondarrion
The Hound
Jorah Mormont

Wow
posted by zarq at 7:05 PM on August 13 [40 favorites]


It's the Westeros A-Team.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:06 PM on August 13 [42 favorites]


Davos passes his charisma check!
posted by drezdn at 7:07 PM on August 13 [14 favorites]


After the last episode where they made a point of Jamie and cersei sleeping together, I knew there was going to be a pregnancy storyline! Also, all that rowing really set Gendry up well on his career path.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 7:07 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


Nope. Needs more "the big woman".
posted by Night_owl at 7:08 PM on August 13 [38 favorites]


I love that Gendry wields a hammer, just like his dad.
posted by gatorae at 7:09 PM on August 13 [20 favorites]


anyone catch Jon is Rhaegar's legitimate son?

Good thing that Sam missed it, or that scene would have needed Rick Moranis in a giant helmet looking into the camera and asking "everybody got that?"
posted by Zonker at 7:09 PM on August 13 [27 favorites]


I do love how Sam completely ignores the actual key fact there cause it's couched as boring beaucratic gossip.

Where is Winterfell getting so this leave in beard conditioner I have Tormund exact same hair texture and if I kiss a day it's like rat nest city.

"People won't like that" he is going to KILL her.
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


I dunno, trying to convince Cersei makes sense. Sending a team of men when there are dragons is silly. Especially since one of those dragons gets along just fin with Jon.

But that's a nice gang to get together for a bit of hunting.

Poor Jamie, sucked right back into Cersei's craziness. I do wonder if she's actually pregnant though. It would be like her to manipulate Jamie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:10 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


I demand some ice zombies next week, there has been a disturbing lack of killing ice zombies.
posted by Justinian at 7:10 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


I guess that it's better that they got the bullshit resolution of the cliffhanger out of the way in the first scene. Somehow we go from seeing Jamie sinking to the depths with about 80 pounds of armor and sword on him last week to just having him crawl up on the riverbank this week.
posted by octothorpe at 7:10 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


How is stealthy assassin Arya getting caught by Littlefinger, who's completely untrained?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:11 PM on August 13 [16 favorites]


This episode was pure fan service. I enjoyed it, but jeez. And that rowing joke? Twitter is writing the dialogue now, apparently. What I wonder is, are we being set up with false heroes now, who will be cut down later? That would've been the GRRM way of things before, but who knows anymore.
posted by dis_integration at 7:11 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


Also lol last week us talking about his there isn't any Lannister Legacy for Cersei to be fighting for, well now she has one! Cause everyone loves incest babies right?

Also I have decided Jorah can totally get it but only in a thatched roof cottage with an earthen floor. I don't make the rules, that's just how it is.
posted by The Whelk at 7:12 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


How is stealthy assassin Arya getting caught by Littlefinger, who's completely untrained?

I don't think he caught her, he put the letter there knowing she'd find it. He wanted her to see it.
posted by Justinian at 7:14 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


Yeah LG finds out there's discord between the Stark sisters and is trying to exploit it by making it worse (somehow, we can't read the note but it's signed Sansa)
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


Littlefinger didn't catch Arya. He set the whole thing up to manipulate her. The show has him carrying the idiot ball so often that you forget that that stuff is what he does. He's been pulling those tricks his whole life, and he's good at it.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:15 PM on August 13 [18 favorites]


Also I can't be the only one thinking Cersei's pregnancy has some Qyburnish weirdness going on? I dunno, he gives me the heebie jeebies.
posted by Justinian at 7:16 PM on August 13 [31 favorites]


Yeah, Littlefinger definitely planted that scroll.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 7:17 PM on August 13


How is stealthy assassin Arya getting caught by Littlefinger, who's completely untrained?

Because Arya is deadly assassin who is also arrogant as fuck. She has the skills, but not the experience and doesn't know that yet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:17 PM on August 13 [25 favorites]


We paused on the Sansa note and it seems it's the one Cersei made her write back in season one, about Robert's death and Joffrey's ascension to the throne.
posted by lauranesson at 7:17 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


Seriously, though, they have a pretty-much-omniscient character *right there.* They can't have a Littlefinger-engineers-discord-between-sisters plot be at all plausible, so there's gotta be some turnabout coming. Right? Oh god, please don't be dumb.
posted by rewil at 7:18 PM on August 13 [10 favorites]


Also I can't be the only one thinking Cersei's pregnancy has some Qyburnish weirdness going on? I dunno, he gives me the heebie jeebies.

My first thought when Jamie asked who they would say was the father was, "It was the Mountain, obvi".
posted by dis_integration at 7:18 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Ok, and if Cersei somehow has Bronn killed because he "betrayed" Jaime I will stop all of my complaining about Dany and be team BURN THEM ALL IN THE SOUTH.
posted by TwoStride at 7:19 PM on August 13 [11 favorites]


I mean it's Qyburn, aka Maester THEY CALLED ME MAD AT THE UNIVERSITY it's like a 50/50 chance she's carrrying an ice spider.
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 PM on August 13 [44 favorites]


The witch prophesied that Cercei would have 3 children, so that doesn't bode well for this pregnancy.
posted by gatorae at 7:20 PM on August 13 [18 favorites]


... well given that her first 3 are all dead maybe she gets a reset on her prophecy clock? Maybe Qyburn hooked her up with multiples.
posted by TwoStride at 7:22 PM on August 13


Going back to Copronymus' comment from the last episode, if Gendry survives whatever happens next week, then there could be an actual smith in that group instead of Sam. You could also possibly swap out Jorah for Jamie, but I would really like to see Jaime defect and head north.
posted by noneuclidean at 7:22 PM on August 13 [13 favorites]


I'm on Team Fake Pregnancy. That's the one thing that will keep Jaime from turning on her no matter what she does.
posted by something something at 7:22 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


I mean it's Qyburn, aka Maester THEY CALLED ME MAD AT THE UNIVERSITY it's like a 50/50 chance she's carrrying an ice spider.

Qyburn is like one of those creepy doctors who run fertility clinics and... surprise!... every one of the dozens of babies born through there has the same father...
posted by Justinian at 7:22 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


Does Westeros lack winter hat technology?
posted by drezdn at 7:22 PM on August 13 [44 favorites]


There is more heat between Danys and Tyrion than Danys and Jon. And her and Jonah ... get a room. Not buying this pairing other than if Gilly of the photographic memory and autodidact tendencies finally get through to ANYONE.

Sounds like Bronn forgot to dip the tips before shooting Dracarys.
posted by tilde at 7:22 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Does anyone remember how in the last thread I said Sam was going to find proof of Jon's parentage in those scrolls and books he was carting around and having to copy? Because my husband doesn't remember me saying it and it's making me mad.
posted by something something at 7:25 PM on August 13 [25 favorites]


Sam stumbling across it would have been bullshit. Gilly stumbling across it and then Sam not listening to her because he's a dumbass is awesome.
posted by Justinian at 7:26 PM on August 13 [51 favorites]


The most shocking part of the episode was definitely our band of hero misfits going north hatless in winter. It was absurd.
posted by gatorae at 7:26 PM on August 13 [12 favorites]


How fanservice? None more fanservice.
posted by Alterscape at 7:27 PM on August 13 [12 favorites]


Dany burning the father and son alive just seemed stupid. Make a big deal about being different...and then harken back to the Mad King? At least stick to beheading, it doesn't emphasize how not-of-Westeros she is. And she can't trust those knees will stay bent.
posted by ghost phoneme at 7:27 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


Also, just because convincing Cersei makes sense and is a rational idea, that doesn't mean Cersei will believe any proof she sees with her own eyes. She's kill them all, first chance she gets.

Also, I'm strangely quiet about this episode, it feels like filler to set certain pieces on the board for the next big set piece. Which isn't bad, but obvious. Little too much WINK WINK to the fans while we're sitting around the fire.

Did enjoy Gendry's return and the quick bonding with Jon, total Bastard Bros!

Also enjoyed the lack of Euron. If we could keep up with that, just have an exhausted Grey Worm and some troops return home.

Hopefully the Hound makes it to Winterfell with Thoros, so the former can be teased about being beaten by a woman.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


It seems unlikely we will get a Gendry and a Hound and a Jon reunion for Arya, right? It's a little too This is Your Life for GRRM.
posted by gatorae at 7:29 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Oh god, you reminded me that Sea Ramsay exists. I had managed to forget, BB.

The Hound better fight The Mountain before the series ends or I will be very upset.
posted by Justinian at 7:32 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


Ok but Cersei's pregnancy is definitely fake, right?
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:33 PM on August 13


I'm so sick of Cersei. I really wish Arya had gone to Kings Landing to kill her. And yeah, the whole "lets capture an ice zombie to prove to Cersei they're real" is stupid. Capture one??? There's like, only 8 episodes left - don't they need to kill all the zombies?

I did enjoy seeing Drogon sniffing around Jon though, fan service or no... and I lol'ed at Davos's "still rowing" comment.
posted by kira at 7:42 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


sigh.

Nice rowing joke but... sigh . Felt like filler.
posted by French Fry at 7:45 PM on August 13


There's like, only 8 episodes left - don't they need to kill all the zombies?

After leading up to it for seven seasons they'll show the whole battle with the walkers as a 60 second montage at the end of an episode.
posted by octothorpe at 7:46 PM on August 13 [11 favorites]


Re: Cleganebowl

The Hound is now with the squad of dudes about to go to King's Landing with a wight. Where a certain Ser Robert Strong is pledged to protect the queen.
posted by Night_owl at 7:46 PM on August 13 [16 favorites]


Cersei knew Tyrion had contacted Bronn, but kept quiet about it, probably to see what Jamie would do, whether he would be loyal to her.

It would be nothing for her to fake a pregnancy to keep him loyal, which she only reveals after he's clearly trying to speak up for Tyrion. And she's promising to be all like "Jamie is my baby daddy"? Oh hell, she's manipulating the fuck out of him and the fool is falling for it.

If everything goes well, she'll "lose" the baby at some point. If things don't go well for whatever that crazy fox is scheming up, then no harm, no foul.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:46 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


Were we supposed to believe they swam in armor all that way? After we saw them sinking like stones? That was even worse plot magic than Sea Ramsay.
posted by gatorae at 7:47 PM on August 13 [10 favorites]


Due to illness the part of Gendry will be played by Christian Bale.
posted by Mick at 7:48 PM on August 13 [27 favorites]


Were we supposed to believe they swam in armor all that way? After we saw them sinking like stones? That was even worse plot magic than Sea Ramsay.

Yeah, but I like Bronn, so I'm totally willing to buy this ridiculousness, especially since Jamie's armor was all muddy. Bronn obviously swam down, got Jamie out of the mud and swam back up with some 200 of handsome boytoy, 'cause it's Bronn, he shoots Dragons outta the sky, dodges flames! Saving a dumb boy from his own foolishness is nothing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:52 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


I can't find where I read it, but the hat thing was a directorial choice since hats cover too much of the face and interfered with being able to read expressions, etc.
posted by JenMarie at 7:58 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


Does Westeros lack winter hat technology?

It would interfere with their fantastic hair product technology.
posted by chris24 at 8:03 PM on August 13 [15 favorites]


Eh, it was OK. The King Kong plot with a white walker is insanely, insanely dumb. Especially sending two legitimate kings of Westeros on the journey.

Also, Gendry would probably be the most popular claimant for the throne. He's lived as a commoner, Robert was somewhat popular and he's also the last legitimate, non-insane king that a generation remembers. Apart from that, Gendry has the sort of fresh-scrubbed fantasy boy hero thing. Thus, I'd imagine he's dead meat.
posted by codacorolla at 8:04 PM on August 13 [14 favorites]


I love that the dragon that has taken a shine to Jon is Rhaegal, his father's dragon.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:05 PM on August 13 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't pay good money to HBO to have Jon Snow's beautiful curls hidden under fur caps, no matter how stylish. Gimme my hair porn!

Also, what fucking sense does it make to drag Gendry into this now? What point would Davos have in bringing a possible Baratheon heir north?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:05 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


I'm kinda rooting for Gendry to get some Thor-like powers with his hammer, now.
posted by TwoStride at 8:06 PM on August 13


(Leaving Viserion to be turned into an ice breathing wight evil dragon, just like his namesake Viserys.)
posted by elsietheeel at 8:07 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


And, man, I realllllllly hope the Stark sisters are pretending to play into Littlefinger's inane convoluted soap opera plot so that they can turn the tables on him at the last second, because if they fall for it, then the show is doing both characters a huge disservice.
posted by codacorolla at 8:08 PM on August 13 [25 favorites]


I bet you guys hate it when people's space helmets have lights on the inside too.
posted by Justinian at 8:11 PM on August 13 [25 favorites]


Justinian: "I bet you guys hate it when people's space helmets have lights on the inside too."

As my wife can attest, I complain about that every damn time (and then she elbows me in the side for talking in the theater).
posted by octothorpe at 8:14 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


And, man, I realllllllly hope the Stark sisters are pretending to play into Littlefinger's inane convoluted soap opera plot so that they can turn the tables on him at the last second, because if they fall for it, then the show is doing both characters a huge disservice.

I disagree, Baelish's plan is brilliant, but it hits on an uncomfortable about Arya: she's an arrogant little shit with magical assassin powers who's a wee bit of a socio-path.

The letter was what Sansa wrote under duress in season 1 about Ned plotting to steal the throne (total fabrication). Because Arya has such a limited view of the world, she will utterly hate Sansa for even daring to put that to paper.

The sisters were never close and this will only drive them apart. Hell, if Sansa told Arya her story, Arya would be confused as why Sansa agreed to marry Ramsey and then just didn't kill him when he turned out to be an abusive asshole. That's the way Arya thinks and Baelish figured it out, who knows how.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 PM on August 13 [7 favorites]


Yup, definitely sparks between Gandry and Jon. Sorry Dany. I loved, loved when Jamie admitted that Joffrey was terrible to Cersei's face. How will time on the show work now that Cersei's pregnant? A time skip between seasons? Between eps? The writers have always played fast and loose with time, more so this season.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 8:17 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


The "who knows how" is the writers going "we need Sansa and Arya to fight and it doesn't matter how it happens." It's bad writing, if that's actually what occurs.
posted by codacorolla at 8:18 PM on August 13


I trust Arya. She has grown and trained with masters of deception. She will be fine. Baelish is too insignificant to take her down. She's not Ned. Her scene where she calls out Sansa was just about perfect.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 8:21 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


When Jon started walking towards Drogon, my husband joked, "He's going to boop his snoot!" AND THEM HE DID! HE BOOPED THE SNEK'S SNOOT!
posted by web-goddess at 8:31 PM on August 13 [67 favorites]


The "who knows how" is the writers going "we need Sansa and Arya to fight and it doesn't matter how it happens." It's bad writing, if that's actually what occurs.

Nah, on further thought it makes sense. Baelish (and Sansa) saw the duel between Arya and Brienne. From what watching that it's very clear that Arya is ridiculously talented, while also being very arrogant. If Baelish didn't peg her personality at that point then the character would be poorly written.

It was also clear that Sansa was troubled by the duel and Baelish has her number also. This whole plan is actually a pretty good one of his.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:38 PM on August 13 [12 favorites]


I loved, loved when Jamie admitted that Joffrey was terrible to Cersei's face.

He mostly couched it in terms of how Tommen would have been easier for Olenna to control, which was smart. Those are terms Cersei can understand.

I'm worried about how Arya will proceed. She has been so self-focused that it would be understandable if she has trouble empathizing with Sansa's position over the years as a pawn between powerful and evil people.
posted by JenMarie at 8:40 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


She needs to get back to working down her list.
posted by sammyo at 8:44 PM on August 13


Chekov's gun should really be renamed Gendry's hammer
posted by dame at 8:44 PM on August 13 [12 favorites]


Wow show, talk about jumping the Stark.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:00 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


The Hound is now with the squad of dudes about to go to King's Landing with a wight. Where a certain Ser Robert Strong is pledged to protect the queen.

GET HYPE

Also, I'm kind of digging how Littlefinger gets that siblings can hold onto old grudges even after they've both been through just an amazing amount of shit. Arya thought that Sansa was trying to fuck her way to the top (she might have a bit more sympathy for her sister if she knew what hell Ramsay put her through, but I don't think that anyone has clued her in yet), and Sansa thought that Arya was some weird little tomboy who wasn't getting with the program (and even though she's clearly learned how to fight well, I don't know that Sansa likewise knows that her sister is a magical ninja who did for all the Freys). I think that Baelish is planning on holding Arya in reserve against the day when Sansa maybe feels like he's served his purpose.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:05 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


My prediction: Cersei will have twins, and giving birth to the second (a boy) will be what kills her.
posted by tempestuoso at 9:11 PM on August 13 [16 favorites]


I was totally not really here for the conversation last thread about "do Daenery and Jon have chemistry?" - if anything I would have put myself on Team Not Believing It but Also Not Caring Yet.

and I was kind of buying into the whole 'well maybe Emilia Clarke ain't that hot at the romantic scenes' thing, I guess.

but then in this episode? Man. The look on her face when she saw Ser Jorah again? No, I was wrong. She can totally sell whatever she wants with those eyes. And I'm not claiming that she loves Jorah, just that her range as an actor is just fine, and therefore: anyone who was saying last ep that there was chemistry between her and Jon is just wrong, because there's no evidence to back that up.
posted by komara at 9:12 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


Last episode, komara, I'm with you. But this episode, if you watch him fondling her dragon, you can see her respond.
posted by Night_owl at 9:14 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


I really want to be on Team Gendgame, but I know he's a murder puppy.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:14 PM on August 13


Oh, I missed that Dany was sitting on the dragon while Jon booped it's snoot, so NM that was Drogon. But I'm still saying Jon is going to ride Rhaegal and Viserion goes eeeeevil.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:17 PM on August 13


Re the dragons - does Dany ever ride any of the dragons besides Drogon? (They all look the same to me, so I've always assumed she's riding the dragon that always seems to be rescuing her.) Also, I'm a little surprised that they just ignored Drogon(?) getting an arrow in the wing joint. Seems like that should have more of a lasting effect, tbh.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:20 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


That Gendry is back in the picture suggest that he's a *legit* part of GRRM's cannon. If he ever finishes writing the damned thing, I expect a lot of Gendry in it.

Interesting take on the warhammer melee weapon; historically, warhammers were a lot lighter and were an anti-armour kind of weapon (often with a piercing backend), rather than as a uber-lethal anti-personnel hand weapon.

Yeah, well, another bit of fan servicing to have Gendry be a heavy warhammer wielder, and being a deus ex plotila successor to the throne.
posted by porpoise at 9:20 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


I trust Arya. She has grown and trained with masters of deception. She will be fine. Baelish is too insignificant to take her down. She's not Ned. Her scene where she calls out Sansa was just about perfect.

How was that scene perfect? What Arya was saying was completely irrational. Sansa should behead her bannermen for insulting Jon? I hated that the writers were manufacturing weird, artificial Stark drama again for no reason.
posted by armadillo1224 at 9:21 PM on August 13 [26 favorites]


Gendry
Jon Snow
Tormund
Thoros of Myr
Berric Dondarrion
The Hound
Jorah Mormont


The Magnificent Seven, Westeros-Style.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:23 PM on August 13 [21 favorites]


Daenerys' eyes were wide with amazement when Drogon let Jon pet its about, but they got all soft and glisteny when Jon said he was heading north, and again when he said his brusque "have fun storming the castle" farewell. It's on.

Did anyone get what Qyburn said to Cercei as Jamie entered? Something like "I can get you something for that..." which she seemed to dismiss...
posted by nicwolff at 9:23 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


There's zero chance the showrunners will try to get the fans on the side of incest, Targaryen history or no Targaryen history. Theory confirmed, she will never see his Valyrian steel, IYKWIMAITYD. Jorah however will, like Moses, likely die within sight of the promised land, because the showrunners are jerks like that.

I'm hoping Arya and Gendry become a murdercouple, though.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:24 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


What Arya was saying was completely irrational and mostly false.

I thought it was a rather nice mirror to Sansa's scene earlier this season where she speaks of divesting the Karstarks and Umbers from their houses. That said, there was definitely some "I have to stomp out of the scene here, because if we talked this out like adults, we'd probably end with something rational, rather than an ongoing plotline" to it.
posted by aureliobuendia at 9:26 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


They practically asked Daenerys for her long-form birth certificate, I have no pity for the Tarlys.
posted by asteria at 9:26 PM on August 13 [8 favorites]


While Dany was talking up her dragons (I did like her "HOW DARE?!" look when Jon didn't agree 100% on their beauty right away), I wanted Jon to at least mention Ghost. A direwolf's not as cool as three dragons, but still. Give the puppy a shout-out.
posted by rewil at 9:26 PM on August 13 [13 favorites]


Apart from the completely asinine character elements necessary for Littlefinger's plot to work, also think about the plausibility of the plot itself:

Littlefinger has been sneaking around Winterfell, purposefully so that Arya can see him, so that he can lure her to a hallway where he knows that she'll overheard him getting a scroll from the Maester, so that he can sneak off down the hallway and confirm that she's gotten it from his hiding place in his mattress. Granted, we can all write fan fiction in our heads making excuses for the plausibility of this scene (plus, blah blah blah, giant ice walls and dragons), but if you've ever seen any soap opera ever before, this sort of dumb shit wouldn't pass muster. That sort of bad Snidley Whiplash shit would be beneath Stefano DiMero.
posted by codacorolla at 9:27 PM on August 13 [14 favorites]


I love that the dragon that has taken a shine to Jon is Rhaegal, his father's dragon.

I thought it was Drogon? Daenarys was riding him.
posted by torticat at 9:28 PM on August 13 [7 favorites]


Anyway, do Wights have infectious bites, as is the standard for Zombie type things? Or do they need the magic of White Walkers to animate them? Because the idea of King's Landing becoming a city of the dead is hilarious to me, although very improbable.
posted by codacorolla at 9:32 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


The Gold Cloaks that Ser Davos bribed were fairly cooperative and genial, which is a bit of a dramatic irony that they died for ultimately meaningless reasons, as revealed in the next scene. It also revealed Gendry to be a killer just like his dear old dad.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:39 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Much fanservice, so rowing joke, wow.

I don't think Bronn and Jamie should have both survived although I loved the byplay between them. Also, battle fallout, all these dudes bending the knee in fear ... like I mean I guess that's how you win wars and all but it doesn't seem very reliable.

How did Jamie get back to Kings Landing?

Cersei has really started distancing herself from Jamie this episode. Like when she says, "A soldier should know his" rather than "you." And then she's all "never betray me again" while obviously betraying him but also OF COURSE HE'LL BETRAY YOU AGAIN, CERSEI, HE'S GOING TO KILL YOU TO REDEEM HIMSELF.

Boy does that dragon smells the Targ on Jon Snow. Also, if anybody sees a making of with the dragon skin, all movey and shifty, I'm curious to see it. It's a little hilarious how people keep interrupting Dany trying to get to the truth of Jon being killed and resurrected. And speaking of, is it wrong that I a little bit hoped that Jorah gave Dany greyscale when they hugged?

Question: Sam says, Nobody survives north of wall, not the whatever, not the wildlings -- but the wildlings did, for like a really long time??? (Also, does anyone else think GRRM had some bad experiences with academia?)

I'm not totally sure I'm sold on Dany buying the dead army, but that is slightly redeemed by Jon saying he has to convince her at the end of the episode. Also, awwww, Dany's a sucker for handsome brave morons racing off beyond the Wall. Jon Snow continues to have zero game.

Arya seemed unreasonably mean to Sansa in that scene, and I will be super-furious if Arya is gulled by Littlefinger.

The final scene was very heroic uplifting-y and I got pretty excited about it.

I don't exactly object to it, the costumes are cool and look good and are still differentiated and all, but I'm very unclear on why EVERYONE is now wearing black EVERYWHERE and for EVERYTHING. It's just an awful lot of unrelieved black for no apparent reason. (Tyrion looks hella good in his narrow-cut black leather doublet-thingie, btw. It's got a much sleeker line than his red or brown ones of earlier seasons.) Also -- on the topic of Tyrion's costuming, he now wears a silver hand (the Baratheon hand was gold) ... did Dany or someone in her court or Tyrion himself just go ... have a knockoff made in a different metal? If so, weird, guys. Weird.

I liked how fanserved I was and how many long-delayed storylines are starting to come into focus and how many are starting to draw together. But it did feel a bit rushed and jumping-around-ish, and you notice the artificiality of the plot machinations a bit more when it's all drawing together than when it's laying down tracks for later. (Which, I mean, it's a story, the plot is obviously artificial, but ... well, I wondered several times if it will feel as rushed and man-behind-the-curtain-y in the books when they eventually occur.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:50 PM on August 13 [10 favorites]


Going back to Copronymus' comment from the last episode, if Gendry survives whatever happens next week, then there could be an actual smith in that group instead of Sam. You could also possibly swap out Jorah for Jamie, but I would really like to see Jaime defect and head north

I won't lie, someone mentioned Gendry in response, and I just kind of thought, "Yeah, maybe, but why would they bring Gendry back?" And then they did, with a distinctive weapon and, soon, zombie-fighting experience. Also he's one of the very few people left who can probably re-cast Valyrian steel (he was apprenticed to the guy who turned Ned's sword into Widow's Wail and Oathkeeper), so he could easily turn Sam or Jamie's sword into a Valyrian hammer for himself. I'm completely comfortable slotting him in as Smith and seeing who ends up being the Warrior, since there are a few candidates out there and I think it'll end up being whoever's left with a Valyrian sword in the endgame.

It's kind of funny, I came up with this as a crazed thought in the midst of a post-show discussion with friends and almost dropped it because it's a little out there, but they keep bringing back stuff that they could easily have dropped and refusing to kill otherwise apparently disposable characters. I know people liked Gendry, but if he'd just fallen off the face of the earth entirely and we'd never heard from him again, I wouldn't really have considered it a plot hole, just like that Valyrian dagger that Arya ended up with. They have so little screen time that they're teleporting everyone back and forth across the map constantly, but they really, really wanted to bring back Joe Dempsie for 2 more episodes and re-acquaint everyone with subplots they completely dropped for 4 or 5 seasons? Every plot south of King's Landing is completely done forever with almost every major character dead, but Brienne and Melisandre are affirmatively alive and doing basically nothing? It feels like there's something going on with these pieces, even if it's not my theory.
posted by Copronymus at 9:51 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


Also, may I just state that "capture a zombie to convince Cersei to fight the army of the dead" is possibly the STUPIDEST FUCKING PLAN I have ever heard of.

Yup. How are they going to keep the one wight from infecting everybody?

I don't really understand why they don't take the queen(s) to the zombie rather than the zombie to the queen(s). Obviously, it would be complicated and difficult, but the odds seem better and the risk seem a LOT lower regardless!

I hope little Sam took that book with him, because big Sam was definitely not paying attention to the Targaryan gossip rag.

It's OK, Sam has Gilly with him, and Gilly will remember.

I think probably, she's going to bring up the secret marriage thing to say that she and Sam should be or are secretly married, just like R + L, and someone else will put the pieces together about Jon when she does.

Or she herself could put the pieces together about Jon, but I don't remember how much she actually knows about his family history?

To be honest, anyway, I don't really like the show making Jon legitimate. He'd be as good of a king whether his parents were married or not. I know it's a weird thing to be all "but my modern sensibilities!" about, but y'know.

Oh and that reminds me. Kind of interesting the show made a big deal about the Tarly family being destroyed. And then Sam abandoned the Citadel. Is he going to be the next Lord?

I do wonder if she's actually pregnant though. It would be like her to manipulate Jamie.

On the one hand, it seemed AWFULLY convenient. And babies mean hope, which is not at all compatible with Cersei's obvious hopelessness.

But on the other hand, she actually has wanted to marry Jaime for years and they have been sleeping together. And I can see her having "change baby" twins.

Also, it would be tragic but somehow expected and fitting if Cersei died in childbirth. She always hated/resented being a woman so much. And she was so hard on Tyrion for "killing" their mother the same way.

Anyway, I think it's probably not true, but I hope it's true. Probably just like Jaime! Heh.

Dany burning the father and son alive just seemed stupid. Make a big deal about being different...and then harken back to the Mad King? At least stick to beheading, it doesn't emphasize how not-of-Westeros she is. And she can't trust those knees will stay bent.

I agree that she shouldn't have done it, and for just those reasons...but since she isn't from Westeros, she doesn't really understand the connotations of it. And she clearly doesn't realize how closely she's hewing to her father and how similar her mistakes are going to seem to his in retrospect. I find that believable, because that seems like it'd be just the trouble of being raised in exile.

In this episode, I think that the real contrast was meant to be between Dany and Sansa. Sansa is cold-blooded and able to keep her ambition at least somewhat in check, but has poor advisors and is, if anything, too cautious and deferential. Whereas Dany is extremely brave and aggressive, and has very good advisors, but is too reckless and single-minded. And (ha) hotheaded.

It seemed like the show was also setting up Dany and Cersei to come off as very similar -- they were even dressed similarly. It was interesting that the show talked about Cersei being the mother of a monster (Joffrey) and then showed the dragons being very frightening, too.

Strange that Sansa never got pregnant with a Bolton, right? I mean, thank goodness! But strange.

Apart from that, Gendry has the sort of fresh-scrubbed fantasy boy hero thing. Thus, I'd imagine he's dead meat.

Now I'm imagining them dragging Gendry back to King's Landing as a wight, and saying, "well but he's still got the best claim to the throne!!"
posted by rue72 at 9:53 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


Sansa was thinking about whether she could take Jon's place and Arya called her on it. Don't forget that Sansa had Cersei for a role model, someone has to be her conscience.

What could have Dany have done instead of killing the Tarly men? If she takes prisoners, she has to feed and guard them. Let them go and they're an enemy at her back. Is the problem how they died? Would it have been better to have the Dothraki kill them? Honestly, my only quibble is that she didn't let Drogon eat them. He deserves a reward for a job well-done.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 9:54 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


"PUNK-ASS BOOK JOCKEYS!!" - Sam leaving the Citadel.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:55 PM on August 13 [8 favorites]


I don't really understand why they don't take the queen(s) to the zombie rather than the zombie to the queen(s). Obviously, it would be complicated and difficult, but the odds seem better and the risk seem a LOT lower regardless!

The odds of Cersei agreeing to this are somewhere between zero and zero.

if you watch him fondling her dragon, you can see her respond

I just... I just... uhh... yeah.
posted by Justinian at 9:58 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


How are they going to keep the one wight from infecting everybody?

It's not an infection, the Night King is raising the dead.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:58 PM on August 13 [11 favorites]


Someone (I think it was either Jamie or Tyrion) made a quip about a Great House being entirely destroyed, and I think they meant the Tyrells, but how many Great Houses are even left? There are absolutely no (legitimate) Baratheons left alive, and I don't think there are any Martells, either. Technically, the Freys might not have been a Great House, but they had temporarily been supreme in the Riverlands and they're all dead, too. There's a part of me that's desperate to know who is running 2/3 of Westeros since the last 2 seasons have decapitated the ruling structure for the vast majority of the continent.
posted by Copronymus at 9:58 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


Now I'm imagining them dragging Gendry back to King's Landing as a wight, and saying, "well but he's still got the best claim to the throne!!"

He's just a little rotting, he's still good, he's still good!
posted by codacorolla at 10:01 PM on August 13 [12 favorites]


The odds of Cersei agreeing to this are somewhere between zero and zero.

Who said anything about agreement?

She downs wine like it's going out of style and weighs like 90 lbs. She's still not that easy to kidnap, being queen and all, but that's still probably an easier job that cutting down an undead army just to pick off one zombie and drag it all the way back to King's Landing without causing a massive outbreak of zombie-itus or leading all the rest of the living dead back to the Red Keep as well.

Just saying!
posted by rue72 at 10:02 PM on August 13


I don't really understand why they don't take the queen(s) to the zombie rather than the zombie to the queen(s).

Because 1/you leave your castle unguarded and someone on the enemy's team could capture it and 2/it would be really easy to die in the chaos of travel from poison, random wild animals, enemy trap.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 10:03 PM on August 13


Also numbers. One queen, thousands of ice zombies? Or thousands of breathers, the queen, and one zombie?
posted by Night_owl at 10:05 PM on August 13


If you're going to the trouble to kidnap one of the queens, you might as well kill them.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 10:06 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


In a previous thread there was mention of how the Church of the Seven hasn't had any plotline about the inevitable succession struggle, since it just had somewhere close to 90% of its leaders blowed up. Similarly, I was thinking today about how both Dorne (with what's-her-face presumably disappeared beneath KL) and The Twins (with the Freys being made extinct by Arya's super assassin abilities) would probably be in the midst of a succession struggle. From everything we know about both locales, they would probably be brutal, local civil wars. More plotline that would be interesting to know about, but I'd hold close to a 0% chance of ever seeing on screen.
posted by codacorolla at 10:10 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


Ha! That was like an all-comedy show. "Thought you might still be rowing" HA
posted by mwhybark at 10:11 PM on August 13


Gendry
Jon Snow
Tormund
Thoros of Myr
Berric Dondarrion
The Hound
Jorah Mormont


Seven rings for seven kings etc
posted by mwhybark at 10:12 PM on August 13


Because 1/you leave your castle unguarded and someone on the enemy's team could capture it and 2/it would be really easy to die in the chaos of travel from poison, random wild animals, enemy trap.

Dany could go no problem, because she can just fly off on a dragon, observe, and circle back. The other two dragons could stay to guard her shitty seat at Dragonstone. And all the people who decide her war strategy AND her armies are there, so eh. It's not exactly unprotected.

I understand her not wanting to, but it doesn't seem like it would be really that rough logistically. She'd probably have the easiest time of it out of anyone because of her mode of transport.

If you're going to the trouble to kidnap one of the queens, you might as well kill them.

I mean, sure. If I were Jon, I maybe WOULD be like, let's just kill Cersei and be done with this Iron Throne crap, and then you go sic everybody and everything that breathes on the Ice Zombies, k, Dany?

But if they want to keep on dragging out the War of the Five Kings some more, which apparently they do, they might as well just convince the people already at the head of the armies that there are ice zombies to fight and then take those leaders' already-organized armies to the battlefield against the living dead, rather then try to deal with all the upheaval of introducing new people as the the military leaders and re-organizing all the soldiers under them (with all the squabbling and politics that that will entail) and only then going to the ice zombie battle(s).
posted by rue72 at 10:14 PM on August 13


Thoughts and Observations:
• Jon getting some Dragon love. This is obvious foreshadowing. If this is a hint that Jon will ride a dragon and be on the Iron Throne at the end of this, I'm going to be pissed. It's Dany or Bust.
• I want a separate show with Ser Davos after the end of this entire mess. He retires and buys an Inn and it's basically Fawlty Towers, but with Ser Davos and Hot Pie.
• Sansa and Arya, ugh *pulls hair* get your shit together, get on the same page, have it out, put it all on the table, ugh, so frustrating that they're being manipulated by Littlefinger, it's too obvious and it makes me want to scream.
• For the longest time I thought watching Joffrey was going to be the most satisfying death in this series, but I'm wrong, watching Cersei die is going to be more satisfying. It cannot happen soon enough. I'm hoping to hell that it's Jamie that pulls the trigger.
• This other sub-plot about going north to capture a white-walker is as someone said up above, the dumbest fucking thing ever. I agree. DUMB. DUMB. DUMB.
• Tyrion and Jaimie's meeting felt a bit off. I was expecting more intensity.
• Sam.....LISTEN TO GHILLY!! *throws heavy book at Sam*
• I kind of want The Magnificent Seven to be a thing, like they all get tattoos (Bros before Westeros) after they survive this thing and they meet up once every 10 years to talk about 'That time we went North'. Just make this happen.
posted by Fizz at 10:23 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


Cersei knowing that Tyrion was in KL but not capturing him was the most out of character thing that has happened on this show in six years. Doesn't matter if she wants to pursue an armistice with Dany, Tyrion's existence isn't a necessary condition for that, and even if it were, it would have taken a level of self-control and delayed gratification that is wholly inconsistent with anything that Cersei's ever done on screen.

I kind of wanted to congratulate her on her new baby though.
posted by skewed at 10:28 PM on August 13 [8 favorites]


It's interesting how Gendry has grown more Robert-like since we've seen him last. That scene with Jon Snow was just super charming and really displayed some Baratheonish good-humor.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:30 PM on August 13 [18 favorites]


I'm very unclear on why EVERYONE is now wearing black EVERYWHERE and for EVERYTHING

They wear it for the poor and the beaten down, livin' in the hopeless,. hungry side of town.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:31 PM on August 13 [20 favorites]


Cersei knowing that Tyrion was in KL but not capturing him was the most out of character thing that has happened on this show in six years.

Yeah, I agree.

Apparently, she's trying to play the long-game, though, so I guess she felt she had to let him go back to Dany for some reason. Interesting that very soon after, she mentioned that she was trying to think like Tywin. It seems like she's got some kind of legacy-building long-game, based on that Tywin reference, but...I can't really think what it could be, or how Tyrion could be used as a pawn in it?
posted by rue72 at 10:36 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


I was so excited for a moment there. Jon and Gendry bonding was a good start. And then Jon, Jorah, Gendry and Davos all traveling together on a trip that would take at least a few weeks, well that's gotta be good for at least a few minutes of dialogue between this group and I couldn't wait... and then it was over, they'd arrived. Phooey. But now that they've added the Hound, Tormund, Thoros and Beric, I would love it if half of the next episode was just this group walking through the cold and talking, talking, talking. Maybe Bran will join the conversation speaking through a Raven.

...but I'm not holding my breath
posted by homunculus at 10:36 PM on August 13


> Also, what fucking sense does it make to drag Gendry into this now? What point would Davos have in bringing a possible Baratheon heir north?

Actually, I think that makes sense. Davos might feel somewhat responsible for Gendry since he set him free and sent him to Flea Bottom. And he's looking for all the competent help he can find, and since Gendry's already been exposed to magical weirdness thanks to Melisandre, he'd get up to speed quickly. So since Davos needed to be in KL anyway, I can see him looking Gendry up.
posted by homunculus at 10:43 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


> Also he's one of the very few people left who can probably re-cast Valyrian steel (he was apprenticed to the guy who turned Ned's sword into Widow's Wail and Oathkeeper)

Actually, on the show it was a blacksmith from Volantis who Tywin hired to reforge the Valyrian steel.
posted by homunculus at 10:43 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


I want a separate show with Ser Davos after the end of this entire mess. He retires and buys an Inn and it's basically Fawlty Towers, but with Ser Davos and Hot Pie.

And Lady Mormont as Sybil, bossing him around. Comedy GOLD.
posted by culfinglin at 10:49 PM on August 13 [13 favorites]


There's a part of me that's desperate to know who is running 2/3 of Westeros since the last 2 seasons have decapitated the ruling structure for the vast majority of the continent.

John Snow: Then who is your lord?
Woman: We don't have a lord!
John Snow: (surprised) What??
Man: I *told* you! We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune! We're taking
turns to act as a sort of executive-officer-for-the-week--
John Snow: (uninterested) Yes...
Man: But all the decisions *of* that officer 'ave to be ratified at a
special bi-weekly meeting--
John Snow: (perturbed) Yes I see!
Man: By a simple majority, in the case of purely internal affairs--
John Snow: (mad) Be quiet!
Man: But by a two-thirds majority, in the case of more major--
John Snow: (very angry) BE QUIET! I *order* you to be quiet!
Woman: "Order", eh, 'oo does 'e think 'e is?
John Snow: I am your king!
Woman: Well I didn't vote for you!
posted by happyroach at 10:54 PM on August 13 [18 favorites]


I don't understand. The Lannisters have had their army decimated, they won't be attacking any time soon, they're setting up for a siege. Isn't this the perfect time to for Dany to jump on a dragon, break the siege at Casterly Rock, then take a side trip north to see this "Army of the Dead" for herself, then burn up two-thirds of them. Or bring all three and completely destroy them.
posted by Marky at 11:09 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


If this is a hint that Jon will ride a dragon and be on the Iron Throne at the end of this, I'm going to be pissed. It's Dany or Bust.

I'm hoping for an air bud situation: ain't no rule says [a literal dragon] can't [sit on the iron throne].
posted by Pyry at 11:09 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


ain't no rule says [a literal dragon] can't [sit on the iron throne].

Sniff. In that case, I'm Team Ghost/Nymeria co-leadership!
posted by TwoStride at 11:17 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Of our Magnificent Seven, we have Jon Snow and Beric Dondarrion, who both have died and have been raised from the dead, The Hound, who was left for dead and somehow got better, and Jorah Mormont, who had a terminal illness and was cured.
posted by zsazsa at 11:23 PM on August 13 [31 favorites]


Oh and I can't believe that Jaime and Bronn got away. They fell in the river RIGHT IN FRONT OF DANY. WTF.
posted by zsazsa at 11:24 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


Isn't it possible that Cersei lied about her knowledge of the meeting? Bronn is Jamie's right hand (heh), it would be easy enough to guess who would serve as the go-between. Also, there's a beat, maybe two beats, before Cersei responds to Jamie's revelation. I think that was Cersei controlling her rage and surprise.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 11:24 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


My wife informed me that Gendry would be necessary to King Jon's war effort, as a magically-gifted smith would be needful to craft the dragonglass blades. I started to talk about how doubtful I was about the particular plot point due to the differences between blade-knapping and blacksmithing and then Ser Davos calls him "Clovis," which shut me the fuck right up for a couple minutes there.
posted by mwhybark at 11:27 PM on August 13 [26 favorites]


Was the Citadel on fire when Sam left or was that just smoke coming out the top? It looked very much like flames for a split second.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 11:27 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Sam blowing off Gilly's Very Important Information because he's too busy seething at the maesters for blowing off his own Very Important Information was a nice touch. And by "nice" I mean the parallel was appreciated even though it didn't lessen my urge to yell at him. He didn't find out what happened to his dad and brother before he took off, did he?
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 11:30 PM on August 13 [9 favorites]


Was the Citadel on fire when Sam left or was that just smoke coming out the top? It looked very much like flames for a split second.

That flame is supposed to be there, Lighthouse of Alexandria-style. You can see the flame in the show credits when they zoom around Oldtown.
posted by zsazsa at 11:34 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


TORMUND GIANTSBANE MY GRIMY GINGER PRINCE
posted by poffin boffin at 12:04 AM on August 14 [17 favorites]


I think Varys is spying on Dany and that's how Cersei knew Tyrion was in KL. He's for the people and ending the war really helps people.
posted by toomanycurls at 12:43 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Next week:
Jon Snow casts FROWNY MCSADFACE at WHITE WALKER! It's super effective!
Jon Snow has used a pokeball! Aww, it appeared to be caught!

So, some thoughts.

1. I really, REALLY need Arya to actually be smart and see through Littlefinger's ruse. Just once I need a Stark to see danger coming and then actually rub a couple of IQ points together to meet the challenge and overcome it. Just. Once.

2. I won't comment on the pregnancy storyline as to whether it's real or not because I read the HBO hax notes which have been 100% accurate so far, but I will point out that Cersei is giving Jaime what he's always secretly wanted--an open relationship, free of externally imposed shame or stoppage. That's a very powerful thing to give someone, their dream come true. It would be difficult to resist. Which is why I hope he totally resists the shit out of it.

3. I rolled my eyes at the Gendry fan service, but I loved him striding up to Jon, going, HI, I AM THE KING'S BASTARD. LET US BE FRIENDS. He's got no plot armor, so I will try not to get too attached, but he's super adorable and earnest.

4. I don't know why Tyrion can't say, "My Queen, choosing between death and eternal servitude is similar to slavery, and not much of a real choice. So, maybe ixnay on the racarysday?"

5. Sam doesn't listen to his wife when she reveals important information because he's too self-absorbed in the injuries dealt to his ego to pay attention? I mean, he white knighted her and everything! I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!
posted by xyzzy at 1:56 AM on August 14 [19 favorites]


DANY AND JON: TAKING THAT DRAGON TO BONESVILLE

we all know what she means by bend the knee, awwwww yeaaaaaaaah

*heavy funk music kicks in*
Who's the dark-haired Northern King
That's a sex machine to the Dragon Queen? (Snow!)
You're damn right

Who is the man that would risk his neck for his Night's Watch brother, man? (Snow!)
Can ya dig it?

Who's the wolf that won't cop out when there's Walkers all about? (Snow!)

Right on

You see this wolf Jon is a baaaaad mother (she's his aunt!)
But I'm talkin' about Jon Snow (we know, it's gonna get weird!)

He's a complicated man but no one understands him but his dire wolf (Jon Snow!)
--------------

I am really sad none of my GoT watch-party buddies listen to MBMBAM because the entire episode I kept yelling "Yeah, they're horny for this one!" and they thought it was funny but not for the right reasons.
posted by schroedinger at 2:00 AM on August 14 [11 favorites]


In all seriousness, I liked this episode but there were things that bothered me:
  • So the Maesters are portrayed as a bunch of snooty academics with no connection to the world around them and literally live in an ivory tower. Could they be leaning into this any harder?
  • The whole Dead Guy Recovery Party has a delightful X-Force vibe to complement the Winterfell X-Men, but boy is it a great example of B&W just shoving the characters into dumb situations for the sake of plot advancement. They're sending the King in the North beyond the wall instead of, like, literally anyone else? And they're not even gonna take horses? Seriously?!
  • I am going to be so pissed if Arya doesn't see through Littlefinger's bullshit. First, everything we know about Mega-Assassin training indicates he shouldn't have detected her watching him. Second, I'm pretty sick of them forcing otherwise intelligent women to behave like idiots for the sake of drama.

posted by schroedinger at 2:11 AM on August 14 [14 favorites]


I don't think, btw, that Cersei's pregnancy is fake. Just before her interview with Jaime, she is talking to Qyburn, who says, "I could give you something." And she says, "that won't be necessary."
posted by torticat at 2:33 AM on August 14 [12 favorites]


But oh Jaime, you goddamned IDIOT. Drawn back into Cersei's toils because of the promise of another incestuous child. Because the other ones turned out so well. My god, she is the worst possible mother and he is the worst absentee father. Jesus Christ, Jaime, you idiot.
posted by torticat at 2:37 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


I loved half of that and thought the remainder was intolerably stupid. Most notably the bit where Tyrion, probably the most recognisable person in Westeros, massive bounty on his head that has led to every other dwarf that moved being killed just in case they were him, decides to walk into the city ruled by his sister, who wants him dead. OK, so they try to play it that Cersei knew he was there, and didn't care - but it's not like he could have predicted that.

Jaime and Bronn somehow surfacing completely alone, even though they'd gone into the water in the middle of battle. Dany not bothering to stick around to see what happened to the knight who decided to kill her.

OTOH I loved the echo of the Mad King when Dany killed the Tarlys. I don't really expect this to happen, but we're all expecting Jaime to re-enact his King Slaying with Cersei - could this set up Tyrion as Queen Slayer?
posted by Pink Frost at 2:38 AM on August 14 [5 favorites]


Sam's missing the bit about the maester granting an annulment to a guy named Rhaegar was just outrageous. It doesn't matter what he knows about Jon's parentage; he knows who RHAEGAR was. And I'm sorry, Sam is sharp. He couldn't possibly be so consumed with the maesters' skepticism about the white walkers that he would miss THAT. Stupid writing.
posted by torticat at 2:51 AM on August 14 [9 favorites]


if you watch him fondling her dragon, you can see her respond

Also (I'm not sure if that was a joke, but I'm going with it), there were definitely some jealous vibes coming from Jon as he watched Danaerys's reunion with Jorah. I think both actors have the range; maybe it's just supposed to be a slow burn.

Still, D&D's belief that the cave scene was SUPER HOT is just stupid. (Brandon Blatcher's reaction to it, of course, excepted.)
posted by torticat at 2:56 AM on August 14 [7 favorites]


For a moment I wondered how Sam would feel about being the new Lord Tarly, but then realised he can't be, having taken the black. Then again, vows don't seem quite what they used to be.
posted by vanar sena at 2:59 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Still, D&D's belief that the cave scene was SUPER HOT is just stupid.

those of us clinging to what particles of levity remain left in this show loved that scene and all Dany/Jon scenes because it gives us an opportunity to call out the dumbass innuendo jokes that our friends definitely love us shouting in the middle of the episode

don't take that away
posted by schroedinger at 3:10 AM on August 14


Dany not bothering to stick around to see what happened to the knight who decided to kill her.

Well, Dany might have assumed they both died, and in any event she was still trying to pull that bolt out of her dragon so she could fly him back to Dragonstone. I imagine saving Drogon was more important to her than confirming a couple more casualties in the battle.
posted by torticat at 3:10 AM on August 14


I won't comment on the pregnancy storyline as to whether it's real or not because I read the HBO hax notes which have been 100% accurate so far

xyzzy, would you memail me what you know? I'm curious--and obviously not spoiler-averse!
posted by torticat at 3:13 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


omg Kevin Eldon as a Goldcloak I never realised I needed this.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:52 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]


Tormund asking after the big woman: I've decided if everyone dies and the White Walkers win, I will still consider it a happy ending as long as Tormund and Brienne get one glorious night together.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:36 AM on August 14 [12 favorites]


Unless the showrunners are idiots, there's no chance that the show ends with any of them on the Iron Throne, right? I mean, "okay, Dany's the queen now, Targaryen rule is the new thing again" or "Great news! Jon Snow's the first bastard king ever! Kidding, Targaryen rule is the new thing again" is a really, really unsatisfying conclusion to all this. You don't set off a thing of this scale and end it like it's a freakin' horse race. Maybe you divide the kingdoms again, maybe you tear the monarchy down, maybe civilization barely survives. But you don't just plop someone on the throne and declare a winner.

However. There is an exception. If Tormund Giantsbane winds up king of the continent and Brienne of Tarth its queen, then that would be deeply, deeply satisfying. And ripe fodder for a spinoff.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:09 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]


So, this plan of theirs, that relies on them being able to catch and keep a zombie and also definitely definitely relies on apparating between Dragonstone, Eastwatch, and King's Landing?

This is a dumb plan. This might be the dumbest plan. This is a plan so dumb that I kept waiting for it to be not actually the real plan but some kind of head-fake.

However, the fan service was strong otherwise, which I'll allow. I snorted at the Gendry rowing joke (and as soon as Davos said he had business in Fleabottom I was like GENNNDRRYYYYY!!!! and then we see shots of a faceless smith and oh hell yeah it's Baratheon Bastard time) and was bouncing up and down on the couch when Drogon was like "I sense something--a presence I've not felt since..." Though I actually thought that Dany was going to slide down off Drogon then and there and be like NO ONE EVER PETS MY DRAGONS AND KEEPS THEIR HAND WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOU I KIND OF WANT TO SHAG YOU BUT ALSO MAYBE WE ARE RELATED BUT ALSO THAT NEVER STOPPED ANY TARGARYENS BEFORE SO LET'S GO. But instead she was just like, "Hey, like my dragons? Blah blah blah Daneryscakes." Boo. Disappointing.

Unless the showrunners are idiots

I have some bad news for you, dude.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:12 AM on August 14 [18 favorites]


Dany could go no problem, because she can just fly off on a dragon, observe, and circle back. The other two dragons could stay to guard her shitty seat at Dragonstone. And all the people who decide her war strategy AND her armies are there, so eh. It's not exactly unprotected.

I understand her not wanting to, but it doesn't seem like it would be really that rough logistically. She'd probably have the easiest time of it out of anyone because of her mode of transport.


If they really wanted to build up the sexual tension with Dany and Jon, this would have been a much better way. They go off for a long dragon ride to see the army of the dead, maybe they spend the night in a cave/hotspring, maybe he saves her life somehow (he catches her as she was falling or something), maybe she catches a glimpse of Jon without all those layers and furs...sexy times! But instead we have a poorly shown sexual attraction and Jon hasn't even gotten a dragon ride yet (either kind! lol)
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:22 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]


Also I kind of don't understand why everyone is freaking out about Asshole Dad and Earnest Son Tarly being barbecued. It's war. A bajillion random Lannister redshirts just got roasted and lacerated by a Dothraki horde while they were just innocently in the middle of escorting a wagon train. This is the same show where in the first 15 minutes of the first episode the guy we all agree was definitely Too Moral For This World beheaded a guy because he ran in terror from zombies instead of sticking around to man his post (read: die screaming and then be resurrected as a wight). "Bend the knee or die" seems like a more lenient choice than what seems to be the normal state of affairs on Westeros, which is generally "die anyway, we can't trust you to be loyal so whatever you say or do now is worthless, prepare to be beheaded."

Also also I like Arya being a little shit. She has always been in danger of becoming everyone's plucky self-insert (she's not like those other dumb girls! she's tough and scrappy! and now superpowered!) but newsflash: she was severely and repeatedly traumatized at a very young age and is still actually pretty young and does not, in fact, have any of her shit together. She's a pocket-sized murder vengeance machine. She's not going to just slot back into life at Winterfell. She never got along with Sansa and just because they've both been through two very different forms of hell doesn't mean they have any more in common than they did before. She is 100% going to stow away with the King's Landing Zombie Delivery Service and try to kill Cersei.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:24 AM on August 14 [38 favorites]


Asshole Dad and Earnest Son Tarly being barbecued

Great Houses, Nobility and all that. You can't just go roasting the important people who matter like you can all the plebe dragonfodder.
posted by dis_integration at 6:27 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I see a huge difference between killing in battle and executing POWs. That is no way to build loyalty, just terror.
posted by lydhre at 6:31 AM on August 14 [11 favorites]


I have some bad news for you, dude.

I feel you, but I'm sticking to my story. They've made their bad choices, and they're struggling mightily with getting out of the corner Martin painted the story into by suddenly tossing aside characters and plotlines and quietly allowing Einstein Rosen bridges to manifest all over Westeros, but I haven't yet seen anything that tells me they're that bad.

Still, Dragonstone to north of the wall in ONE episode. And you don't send a message to your sisters that you've made it out alive and have a bold new plan? Especially after learning that two siblings you thought were dead aren't? The fuck.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:58 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


The time distortions are reaching the point where they are going to need to bring christopher Nolan in to direct the final season so that he can start peeling back the layers of this cross dimensional dream within a dream bullshit.

Bwwweeeaaaaaammmmmmmmmm
posted by French Fry at 7:04 AM on August 14 [6 favorites]


Dear diary,

Little brush with celebrity this morning: I met the Crown Prince!! And served as witness when the High Septon annulled his marriage and remarried him to the missing Stark daughter! Guess she wasn't so "missing" after all (wink)!

No formal reception, but there was a little picnic luncheon after the event in the Dornish foothills. Before he opened the picnic baskets and let us eat, the Prince made me and the 72 other famished guests swear eternal secrecy about what had happened that day, "no matter how relevant the information may become." I don't regret complying, because that food was absolutely incredible. Highlights: olive salad, raisin-glazed chicken, olive salad, lemon curd tartelettes, olive salad, olive salad, olive salad amen.
posted by Iridic at 7:07 AM on August 14 [33 favorites]


Some clever person studying linguistics is going to write their thesis some day on how Game of Thrones uses real-world prejudice about UK accents to signify class in a fantasy world setting.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:10 AM on August 14 [17 favorites]


kira: There's like, only 8 episodes left - don't they need to kill all the zombies?

octothorpe: After leading up to it for seven seasons they'll show the whole battle with the walkers as a 60 second montage at the end of an episode.

Or they'll pull a Highgarden Heist Part Deux and just show a few scenes of the aftermath.

Jon: "Wow, that was a tough battle. Thank goodness the dragons came in at the right moment."
Jorah: "Indeed, too bad we lost so many good men, like [lists names of the dead]."
Tyrion: "I'm glad the undead giants didn't squash me, I'm short enough as it is."
All: *laughing*
posted by filthy light thief at 7:13 AM on August 14 [25 favorites]


Justinian: I bet you guys hate it when people's space helmets have lights on the inside too.

Oh, that's an obvious one. In space, no one can hear you scream, so they they have to be able to understand your emotions through exaggerated facial expressions.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:16 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I mean, on the one hand, the episode was clunky and full of fan service.

On the other hand, pretty much anything was going to be a come-down from last episode, and when they showed Gendry's hammer, Mr. Machine had to lie down and put his face into the couch for a moment, because he was so excited. He then spent the rest of the night doing his imitation of Jason Concepcion imitating Robert Baratheon.

"GODS I WAS STRONG!"

[spit out toothpaste]

"GODS I WAS STRONG!"

[gargles with mouthwash]

"MEN SHIT THEMSELVES WHEN THEY DIE NOBODY EVER TELLS YOU THAT"

[washes face]
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:26 AM on August 14 [11 favorites]


Or they'll pull a Highgarden Heist Part Deux and just show a few scenes of the aftermath.

To be fair, that's how Tolkien handled a similar situation in "The Hobbit."
posted by drezdn at 7:40 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


longdaysjourney: Also, I'm a little surprised that they just ignored Drogon(?) getting an arrow in the wing joint. Seems like that should have more of a lasting effect, tbh.

Elsewhere, someone pointed out that Khal Drogo also got stabbed in the shoulder, which lead to his slow demise. Which lead to the birth of the dragons. In other words, we'll see what happens, nothing is certain.

I'm also surprised no one talked about Jon Snow's dragon petting. That seems pretty major, in the way that everyone with Dany and Jon would talk about it afterwords unless it was some weird secret between them for now.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:43 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


armadillo1224: What Arya was saying was completely irrational. Sansa should behead her bannermen for insulting Jon? I hated that the writers were manufacturing weird, artificial Stark drama again for no reason.

I disagree: Arya saw her father be soft to insults to his person, and then she saw him beheaded by a snot-nosed psychopath. She has learned the hard, swift form of politics, which is reliant on pain and fear, when it's not straight-up killing your opponent. She's also speaking from the young arrogance of an assassin who has killed bigger, stronger people, and just fought a hell of a fight with Brienne.

On the other hand, Sansa has learned more of soft politics, that pleasing people can also lead to reliable support. In fact, she's seen the leaders who rule by pain and fear get toppled, so she's learned a different lesson. And she's no warrior like Arya, so she handles politics like a noble person who strives for honor and respect.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:49 AM on August 14 [10 favorites]


rewil: While Dany was talking up her dragons (I did like her "HOW DARE?!" look when Jon didn't agree 100% on their beauty right away), I wanted Jon to at least mention Ghost.

Let's be honest, Jon forgot about Ghost. And I loved how Dany is a bit of a crazy cat dragon lady. "Are they not beautiful?" she asks with slightly crazed eyes. "Yes, yes, beautiful," says Jon, without complete conviction. And just like a cat lady, Dany would have scoffed to hear about how great Jon's big doggo is.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:52 AM on August 14 [21 favorites]


Other thoughts:

- Put me down for thinking it's absolutely motherfucking PERFECT for Littlefinger to manipulate Arya this way. Like, I get as viewers, we don't want Arya and Sansa to fight, but this is exactly, perfectly right. The whole theme of this season is the difficulty of leaving behind old feuds and hatreds -- did we forget how much Arya hated Sansa in the first season? Did we forget how much contempt Sansa had for Arya? Did we forget that Arya driving Nymeria away proximately caused Lady to be killed? Did we remember the part whether Arya asked Sansa is whether she has to call her Lady Stark now, and Sansa saying yes?

Their reunion in the crypts was warm, and there was a soft little smile on Sansa's face when she said yes -- but man, as that scene specifically and EXPLICITLY SAID, their stories aren't over.

- Let's also be clear. Arya is a fucking goddamn badass at rogue skills, but she isn't, how you say, emotionally balanced. Did we forget that she's a fucking mass murderer? I mean, the Freys deserved it by the calculus of the show, and Arya might have turned aside from her murder-train because she heard Jon was in the King in the North, but think about the cold-blooded quality of poisoning the wine. Arya kept Walder's wife from drinking it, and maybe she could count on his fearsome miser beat-the-shit-out-of-anyone-stealing-from-me to keep anybody from sneaking a sip -- but she couldn't guarantee there wouldn't be collateral damage.

And yeah, we all saw the GIANT FUCKING SMIRK on her face when rolling up to Brienne, right?

When you're an murder-dealing death cultist assassin, every problem looks like one you should solve with y'know. Murder-dealing death cultist assassin-ing. And Littlefinger correctly read that, as he has read so many Starks in the past. Arya is high on her own supply, and not terribly politically savvy -- compare her likely reaction to what happened, IIRC, when Robb and Catelyn got the note from Sansa. They recognized that the hand was Sansa's, but the words were Cersei's. Is Arya likely to have the same political savvy? Is she going to think clearly about Sansa, when she is so short-sighted that she doesn't see Sansa HAS to be planning how to hold the North if Jon doesn't come back?

- As a side note, so much of the show has been about portraying OTT patriarchy -- all the torture and rape and screaming women, right? In more subtle moments, you get that iconic scene of Lena Headey talking about how excited she was to marry Robert, and how her wedding night turned out, along with that incredible line about how they hurt girls everywhere. And the Maester's low-key misogyny.

But one of the patriarchy side effects that I've been thinking about recently is how it sets women against each other, even if they should be allies. And we're seeing that play out not only with the reminder of the note that Cersei forced Sansa to write, but directly between Sansa and Arya. They have every reason to band together, but the world hasn't set them up to be able to do that.

- I do like the idea that Sansa is hesitant to tell Arya the full depth of what happened to her. It strikes me as very true, not only to Sansa's character development, but how many actual, real-life survivors of sexual assault deal with it.

tl;dr: Arya is a Level 20 rogue with a low-ass WIS. I hope Sansa succeeds in both her insight and persuasion check when this comes to a head, as it kinda has to really fucking soon.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:58 AM on August 14 [43 favorites]


Also I kind of don't understand why everyone is freaking out about Asshole Dad and Earnest Son Tarly being barbecued. It's war. A bajillion random Lannister redshirts just got roasted and lacerated by a Dothraki horde while they were just innocently in the middle of escorting a wagon train.

Yeah, it's war. But Danaerys' isn't just there to burn and conquer, she wants to be an adored ruler (She's there to win and make friends!). She makes speeches about being different and creating a better world. I can't remember which episode it was, but she also believes her army will prevail because her soldiers fight out of loyalty, unlike the Lannister army.

She already has a PR problem with her foreign army and her father's insanity. Tyrion needs to hammer that home to her. If she had just beheaded the Tarlys it is more of the usual, so wouldn't really gain her points, but probably not lose her too many either. Burning them alive and threatening more of the same? Way to seemingly validate Cersie's message and undermine her own.

Go ahead and be ruthless, but be smart about it. Make surrender more appealing than fighting to a pointless death in future battles. Behead the leaders who won't bend the knee, keep low level nobles for ransom, take all the weapons and armor, then send the commoners off to go about their business. Sure, some will probably return to Cersei's army, but they'll have to be re-equipped (and fed), which costs money. Others will head home and undermine Lannister propaganda. If Cersei starts going after deserters with a vengeance, that just helps Dany recruit more local soldiers with each battle. Soldiers that look at her as their protector rather than just another tyrant.
posted by ghost phoneme at 8:07 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]


mwhybark: My wife informed me that Gendry would be necessary to King Jon's war effort, as a magically-gifted smith would be needful to craft the dragonglass blades. I started to talk about how doubtful I was about the particular plot point due to the differences between blade-knapping and blacksmithing and then Ser Davos calls him "Clovis," which shut me the fuck right up for a couple minutes there.

Good connection! The Clovis culture is a prehistoric Paleo-Indian culture, named for distinct stone tools found in close association with Pleistocene fauna at Blackwater Locality No. 1 near Clovis, New Mexico, in the 1920s and 1930s. [Wikipedia]

More thoughts: A nice bit of Cersei's mirror: "I know what Cersei has told you. That I've come to destroy your cities, burn down your homes, murder you, and orphan your children. That's Cersei Lannister, not me. I'm not here to murder, and all I want to destroy is the wheel that has rolled over rich and poor to the benefit of no one but the Cersei Lannisters of the world. I offer you a choice-- bend the knee and join me."

(Well, I'm here to murder you on the battlefield, or at least when you're hauling a ton of grain that could have fed a lot of people, but when you're a soldier, anywhere you stand becomes a battlefield, right?)

- No, Dickon, nooo! You had so few lines, and so much promise!

Cersei: "So we fight and die or we submit and die. I know my choice. A soldier should know his."
(My imagined reply from Jaime: "who's this 'we' that will be fighting?")

I was so excited to make a joke about Jorah getting from the Citadel to Dragonstone via Gendry's aqua uber service, but then GENDRY IS BACK and the Onion Knight got to make a joke about it! -_-

So, Jorah's going to survive greyscale only to be turned into an undead soldier, right? At least we get (the awkward plans for) a reverse heist, sneaking something into King's Landing.

"We did not choose you to rule us, my lady. But perhaps we should have." I really wanted someone to ask if they could impeach Jon Snow, or consider his post abandoned after some while, so they could all have a do-over.

Arya: "And if Jon doesn't come back, you'll need their support so you can work together to give you what you really want."
Sansa: "How can you even think such a horrible thing?"
Arya: "You're thinking it right now. You don't want to be, but the thought just won't go away."
(Sansa: "Get out of my head!")

Not only should Jon Snow put on a hat, but he should also grow some serious facial hair. The wildlings aren't super scruffy for nothing, ya know.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM on August 14


That new detail about Jon being true born.... The thing is, I'm trying to imagine the scene when at last it all comes out. Like, the war with the wights whittles down our characters to just the main ones, and everyone's all in one room for the first time, and all the hidden story of Jon's parentage gets hashed out. It would be as corny as the final scene of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, complete with Gilly doing the Little Buttercup song spilling all the details. And everyone just goes "You mean all this time...?" followed by a hearty laugh and a big happily ever after chorus.

Which makes me wonder now if all of it is going to come to nothing. Like, they never, ever find out. I mean, I don't think it's even clear if Bran has put all the pieces together. If he has, he doesn't seem to have told anyone - you'd think maybe he might want to mention to his sisters "oh, BTW, Jon's not actually our half-brother." And even if Bran has the parentage piece, does he have the annulment bit too? Because if only Gilly has that part, she doesn't know (yet) about there being a kid. I can easily imagine one or both of them dying before they get really heard by anyone else, let alone both together, and the whole thing turns into an exercise of the audience sighing and wondering what might have been.

In other words, in the long run is this whole thing a comedy or a tragedy?
posted by dnash at 8:15 AM on August 14 [5 favorites]


Is the Jon Snow's parentage thing like the Lannister children's parentage thing? Dumb detective spends whole season figuring it out, finally puts all the pieces together, then gets beheaded so it doesn't matter?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:34 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Arya: "And if Jon doesn't come back, you'll need their support so you can work together to give you what you really want."
Sansa: "How can you even think such a horrible thing?"

Sansa would be a fool to NOT be considering what needs to be done if Jon doesn't return - and from her limited POV, that would seem very likely. Honestly, Sansa should have looked her in the eyes and said, "of COURSE I'm considering that! To do otherwise would be dangerous for myself, and everyone left in my care! Get a clue, you little psycho!"
posted by Windigo at 8:35 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]


Also I kind of don't understand why everyone is freaking out about Asshole Dad and Earnest Son Tarly being barbecued. It's war.

Killing them instead of ransoming them was imprudent, because they were lords with people sworn to them. Now what is going to happen to the Tarly's banner men or sworn men or even to their smallfolk?

These aren't mercenaries or even Cersei's people, they're people who are loyal to the particular place they're from, to their particular house, who followed their lord into battle because of their loyalty to their home. They were the old Lord Tarly's people, and now they're the new Lord Tarly's -- not Dany's.

It would have been smarter for Dany to create some kind of vassal relationship with their house (even if she had to install a new warden/lord there), so that they would continue to bend the knee to their own lord, and their lord would bend the knee to her. That was the kind of dynamic the Boltons took advantage of earlier in the War of the Five Kings, and a new upstart family from around the Riverrun region could have been taking advantage of now.

Dany is still in the mindset that she's killing "masters," and their "slaves" will be happy to be free and/or now loyal to her. She doesn't understand the vassal/ruler relationship. But killing the masters and then subsuming their slaves is not how Westerosi society functions, because it isn't truly capitalist.

Also, she shouldn't have burnt the Tarlys alive, because that is considered barbaric in Westeros. She thinks of the dragons as her strength, so when she burnt the Tarlys, she was thinking she was just showing her strength. But because of her ancestors' deeds, burning people alive (esp with dragon fire) has other connotations
(of madness, capriciousness, cruelty, barbarism, etc). Really bad choice in terms of PR!
posted by rue72 at 8:51 AM on August 14 [14 favorites]


Honestly, Sansa should have looked her in the eyes and said, "of COURSE I'm considering that! To do otherwise would be dangerous for myself, and everyone left in my care! Get a clue, you little psycho!"

RIGHT????

Though I get why Sansa only responded to the back end, because it's the real accusation that Arya is making -- that Sansa doesn't want Jon back, which just. What a vicious thing to say, right? Completely understandable from where Arya is, and how she's been hanging out with death cultists and sociopaths for the past umpty-jillion episodes, but completely at odds with Sansa's path and the very real emotional bond that she's forged with Jon. After all, the conflict with Jon and Sansa for the past season-ish has been very much Sansa being GODDAMMIT JON I DO NOT WANT TO LOSE YOU LIKE I LOST DAD AND ROBB PUT ON A FUCKING HAT.

It makes my heart hurt, thinking that Arya might fantasize about what it would have been like to come back to Winterfell and not have Sansa there/in charge.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:53 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]


A few thoughts:

This was the most obvious "GRRM is no longer writing this story" episode for me. Bringing a white walker to Cersei is stupid, she's inconsequential to Jon's plan. Her armies, and the people of the south, are either going to bend the knee and help, or be overrun by white walkers, period.

the Tarly's being roasted is also stupid. Noblemen are held for ransom,not imprisoned or killed. Surely the Tarly lands have grain and stores that can be paid or held against the good behavior of the lords. there was no need for Dany to prove how ruthless she is.

As much as I like the magnificent 7 idea, it's also stupid to think that Jon would go there instead of going to Winterfell to see Arya and assure his bannermen that he had accomplished something at Dragonstone. Why the F was that boat not loaded to the gunnels with Dragonglass if they are going to the wall to fight WW's???

The scene with Ghilly was fanservice and nothing more. Sam would have no reason to think that that bit of trivia was significant, or that it had anything to do with Jon. also having him peace out just as he's gotten access to the important scrolls seems lame as well.

all in all in a season that seemed to be short on episodes that simply move pieces into place, this episode was a lot of that. weak.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:53 AM on August 14 [10 favorites]


Ice zombies and dragons are fine and dandy but Kevin Eldon took me right out of the story. He'd already been in it playing an actor playing Ned Stark. No need to cast him again.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 8:55 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


tl;dr: Arya is a Level 20 rogue with a low-ass WIS. I hope Sansa succeeds in both her insight and persuasion check when this comes to a head, as it kinda has to really fucking soon.

I hope Brienne can talk some sense into both of them. They seem to (finally) both respect her opinion.

Also — I'm vexed that Bran is surrounded by ravens, and yet is the worst communicator on this show except Ser Illyn Payne and Ser Strong/The Mountain.
posted by culfinglin at 8:56 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


What are y'all's thoughts on the significance of Jon saying "I wish you good fortune in the wars to come" before parting ways with Dany considering that's the exact same thing (and the last thing) Arthur Dayne said to Ned before the fight at the Tower of Joy?

And Dayne's not the only one who uttered that fateful parting phrase before blood is spilled: another character in a previous episode says a very similarly worded farewell before shuffling off -- Mance.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:01 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


If Jon had gone back to Winterfell, then immediately left on yet another crazy quest, I think he'd really start to lose support from his bannermen. At least this way they still think he's down south for a while.
posted by Wulfhere at 9:04 AM on August 14


This show is still fun to watch and it's exciting to see all the characters come together (based on the history we have with them) but god the bad writing is just so irritating. I almost don't see the point in deeper speculation because it seems like they've realized their deadline is rapidly approaching and they're just cramming desperately without thought to actual timeline or character motivation. Dumb, inconsistent character decisions are being made all around (well, ok, Jon was always kind of dumb) and I feel like we're all giving D&B more credit than they deserve with some of these theories. And the time traveling! Why did they set up these final two seasons if they were just gonna do a rush job (was it because they were going to get that new show? I really don't know if there was a reason, someone help me out)?

I guess I just have to turn off my brain and enjoy the pretty visuals and epic moments even if they don't make a while lotta sense. I'll be very pleasantly surprised if they pull it off in a satisfying way but for now I'm definitely getting LOST-finale-disappointment flashbacks.
posted by sprezzy at 9:07 AM on August 14 [7 favorites]


The scene with Ghilly was fanservice and nothing more.

It's a huge revelation about the parentage of a major character, that legitimizes any claim he might have to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. It also lets us know that proof of this exists in a book written by a Maester, and not just from Brandon "The Three-Eyed Raven" Stark, who has become a mystic and is not exactly a compelling source to the Maesters of Oldtown. Said Maesters would probably be asked to confirm Jon's right to the throne if a claim were made.
posted by zarq at 9:08 AM on August 14 [16 favorites]


The audience is now aware of four people who have legitimate claims to the throne:
Cersei. Dany. Gendry. Jon.

We can't assume Dany will live. Any or all of these people might die in the upcoming war. Those who survive may very well either keep or ascend to the throne.
posted by zarq at 9:11 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Winterfell is landlocked, and I thought they took REMARKABLY FAST sailboats to Eastwatch, so I didn't expect Jon to stop at Winterfell. One might plausibly send a raven, but that's a different plot hole.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:12 AM on August 14


Do not the burning deaths make Sam the eldest Tarly? With rights to his family castle and if tumblers (pretenders) fall just a certain way, a right to the Iron Throne?
posted by sammyo at 9:15 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Though I get why Sansa only responded to the back end, because it's the real accusation that Arya is making -- that Sansa doesn't want Jon back

Don't forget that this comes on the heels of Arya noticing that Sansa is staying in their parents' chambers. I think the major difference in worldview between Arya and Sansa is that Arya imagined Winterfell wouldn't change from the place she left, or wouldn't change as much as she had. And, given her age, that's not too surprising. Sansa was raped nightly in those same chambers, so they wouldn't hold the same nostalgia that they do for Arya. Sansa is about turning Winterfell into a fortress so no one can hurt her and the people she loves again. Sansa has become a planner, and Arya is still stuck in her eternal present of revenge. Then again, Sansa has been able to watch her two most hated torturers die horribly.
posted by gladly at 9:16 AM on August 14 [7 favorites]


Do not the burning deaths make Sam the eldest Tarly? With rights to his family castle and if tumblers (pretenders) fall just a certain way, a right to the Iron Throne?

I was just wondering about his mother. Is she still alive?

I think that Sam is probably going to have to take the lordship and swear fealty to Jon (or Jon's successor -- whether Dany or Sansa or whoever), in order to get ahold of troops for the White Walkers battle.
posted by rue72 at 9:19 AM on August 14


sammyo: No, Sam relinquished all those rights when he took the Black.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:19 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]


I kind of want Dany to end up on top, just because she started the series being sold off by her brother, so she's really come the furthest up. So I'm hoping she doesn't die or go full-on Mad King.

If the truth about Jon's parentage comes out, I'm wondering if he'd *want* the iron throne rather than just being kingidanorf. And, yeah, Sam is now the eldest Tarly, so we've got the heirs (or plausible heirs) to houses Baratheon, Tarly, and Stark (Sansa), all potentially working with an heir to Lannister (if we burninate Cercei and Jamie) and Targeryan. I forget the actual status of Tyrion's marriage to Sansa, but I suspect that'll rear it's head again now that both parties are on the same continent.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:20 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


sammyo: No, Sam relinquished all those rights when he took the Black.

Yeah, well, so did Jon. Shit happens! :P
posted by rue72 at 9:22 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


Shit happens!
Fair enough. When Sam comes back from the dead and all the lords call for him to be elected king, then I guess it'll happen.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:24 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Also, totally destroying the white walkers (and possibly the Wall, depending on how things go) might change things for the Night's Watch.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:25 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


This was the most obvious "GRRM is no longer writing this story" episode for me. Bringing a white walker to Cersei is stupid, she's inconsequential to Jon's plan. Her armies, and the people of the south, are either going to bend the knee and help, or be overrun by white walkers, period.

The timing matters. This is an enemy who raises the dead. Those wights then fight in their armies. If Cersei and Dany's forces don't stop the Walkers before or shortly after they enter the Seven Kingdoms, then they will be fighting a massive, overwhelming force and will probably be overrun. They need Cersei. Or they need to push her off the throne and act. Now.
posted by zarq at 9:26 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Sam will be released from his vows after the Wall falls and the Night's Watch is disbanded, which pretty much has to happen, otherwise the story doesn't really make any sense (great the war is over, let's go back to patrolling the wall for illegal immigrants!), so I imagine that either Sam survives and eventually becomes lord of Tarleyville or whatever it's called, or if he dies, it could go to Gilly's son, who is thought to be Sam's son as well. I don't think issues of bastardy will be much of an issue post-war.
posted by skewed at 9:27 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


Of all the people sent to the north to find a Wright only Tormund hasn't been left for dead/presumed dead/come back from the dead, etc.

Tormund is gonna get bit and zombie'd.
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


And considering Lord Tarley's intense disdain for the wildlings, having his house, lands and title pass on to a wildling is the kind of irony I think the show is going for.
posted by skewed at 9:30 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]


I thought this thread wasn't doing references to the previews for next week?
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:31 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


So, how are we all feeling about the idea of Bran the Builder actually being a time travelling Brandon Stark?
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:34 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Oh sorry -- mods please delete if not appropriate.
posted by mefireader at 9:35 AM on August 14


Fair enough. When Sam comes back from the dead and all the lords call for him to be elected king, then I guess it'll happen.

No need for all that. All you need to keep people from giving a shit about the minutiae of the rules is a sufficient crisis. Literal zombies at your door, and here's a smart dude what's killed one of them, has shit tons of information on What Needs to Happen Now, and is a bestie of House Stark. He left the Watch without getting executed, so I think it's safe to say that rule bending is a thing that's catching on in Westeros.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:36 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


At least this way they still think he's down south for a while fnarr fnarr

So can Ice Zombies go past the wall if they're carried? Or do they self destruct? Or do the spells of protection get broken? Or did Bran already mess them up??
posted by KateViolet at 9:41 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


And I mean, Sam went to the Wall in the first place because his dad thought he was a coward and wanted to take him out of the line of succession. It's not like he was driven out of town on a rail because he committed a crime or did anything that would ordinarily get him exiled.

If his mother is still alive, then she can also help him skirt the rules so that they can hold the House together. She could be lady with him as her advisor, or Dany could legitimize Gilly's son and the son could be the next Lord Tarly and Sam and/or his mom could be the baby's regent.

If Sam's mother is dead, then I would think that some other upstart house will want to usurp and things could be more complicated. But I don't think that a usurper is likely given how fast the show is moving lately.
posted by rue72 at 9:41 AM on August 14


> Dany burning the father and son alive just seemed stupid. Make a big deal about being different...and then harken back to the Mad King?

That was stupid, especially since Jon had recently reminded her that that's what her father did to his grandfather and uncle. They've made it clear that Dany understands how fucked up her father was, but that got thrown out the window last night. I get that they want to make her character darker (Darth Dany?) and she may become the true Mad Queen by the end of the story, but having her make stupid decisions when her character ought to know better by now isn't a good way to go about it.
posted by homunculus at 9:50 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


So can Ice Zombies go past the wall
They had to fight zombies in Castle Black in an early season. I think those were corpses that were brought back over and then risen. Which honestly seems like a much better plan (put the corpse in the cage before its a zombie,) though good plans aren't really Jon's thing anymore.
posted by Wulfhere at 9:53 AM on August 14


Yes. Cersei burned things to the ground because she was boxed in from all sides and was acting out of desperation, Dany burns things to the ground because hey, she's got WMD's, so why not use them. Not very sympathetic, nor very sane.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:55 AM on August 14


Then again, Sansa has been able to watch her two most hated torturers die horribly.

She should mention that to Arya, so they can bond, lol. But Sansa doesn't revel in killing, Arya does, so it won't come up.

Of course Daenerys should have executed the Tarlys. She isn't playing games, this is war. Either bend the knee or die.

Note that Jon has repeatedly and pointedly refused to bend the knee and is very much alive.

Also consider Oleana telling Dany to "Be a Dragon". I don't think that was total cheering on by Oleana, she pushed Dany to be a bit harsher, so Oleana might look better in comparison, I bet. She may have been advising, but make no mistake, she had her eyes on cutting Dany down.

God, I so miss Grandma.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:56 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I think we're being set up for some weird magical edge cases. Like, what happens if Thoros and the Night's King try to resurrect Beric at the same time? At the very least, that's gonna void poor Beric's warranty.

Tormund is gonna get bit and zombie'd.

There's another revivification option on the table. If Benjen is still around and is truly on the level, he has first hand experience with the creation of sentient wights via dragonglass. It's not quite what you call living, but it beats the alternative.
posted by Iridic at 9:57 AM on August 14 [7 favorites]


Of all the people sent to the north to find a Wright only Tormund hasn't been left for dead/presumed dead/come back from the dead, etc.

Back when the wildling were fighting the Night's Watch he did get shot with multiple arrows and basically ignored the damage and kept fighting. I'd call him an honorary immortal.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:00 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I would place a bet on roughly half the named ranging party dying. My guess, in terms of probability:

[Most Probable]
  • Thoros of Myr
  • Berric Dondarrion (both him and the above have hit the end of the runway for plot importance, so the only meaningful thing might be to give some exposition about R'Hollor to Jon, and then die heroically)
  • Jorah Mormont (he seems to have had a complete character arc, and I don't see what he does if he survives, plus he fucking sucks and this is more than a little wishful thinking)
  • Gendry (I can see plot significance for him, but not in a way that fits with the super streamlined race to the finish that the show is currently in. They also gave him enough emotional resonance in this past episode to make him dying meaningful)
  • Tormund (he's gotten a little bit of a love story plot, so they've tied the audience enough to him to give him a knife twist death, plus he doesn't seem that important otherwise, on the other hand he's a fan favorite)
  • The Hound (they're not going to throw away more fan service with The Mountain fight, but I could see a fake-out death where he's seemingly overcome by walkers only to show up next season having actually survived)
  • Jon Snow (this would be a legitimately surprising death, but I don't see a way that the plot works without him, he's a fan favorite (I guess!?) and Kit Harrington's contract probably doesn't allow for it)
[Least Probable]

If I was going to bet, I'd put even money on the top four, and take Tormund, but only with odds. I'd give odds on Sandor and Jon surviving. I can also see a situation where some people survive, but they're split up, and come back south at different intervals in the plot.

Although Davos isn't with them, I could also see him biting it in the eventual assault on the wall. In a lot of ways his story is done, and he would be a meaningful death without much plot importance to score for the walkers.
posted by codacorolla at 10:11 AM on August 14 [6 favorites]


Gendry (I can see plot significance for him, but not in a way that fits with the super streamlined race to the finish that the show is currently in. They also gave him enough emotional resonance in this past episode to make him dying meaningful)

This would be so delightfully bizarre if they decided to bring Gendry back in just for a rowing joke, let him smash some heads, and kill him in the next episode. That would be A+ advanced TV trolling. Here's hoping.
posted by dis_integration at 10:15 AM on August 14 [6 favorites]


Gendry is confusing because his mere presence is an outright assault on Daeny's legitimacy. How does she react to another claimant to the throne (much less the son of the man who removed her from her birthright) being brought into her camp? Is Davos TRYING to provoke a fight? Does he want Gendry melted down to ash? I can't fathom a way that any of that works out, so him getting killed, and the show ignoring the above seems like the clearest path forward.
posted by codacorolla at 10:28 AM on August 14


I don't think, btw, that Cersei's pregnancy is fake. Just before her interview with Jaime, she is talking to Qyburn, who says, "I could give you something." And she says, "that won't be necessary."

Opposite of that. Qyburn was the one who diagnosed the pregnancy in the first place, and he knows exactly who the father would be. He's offering abortificants, and she's declining them.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:42 AM on August 14 [6 favorites]


Opposite of that. Qyburn was the one who diagnosed the pregnancy in the first place, and he knows exactly who the father would be. He's offering abortificants, and she's declining them.

Or Cersei set up the scene to be manipulate Jamie. Because Cersei.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:11 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


This was the most obvious "GRRM is no longer writing this story" episode for me.

It's been pretty obvious since the show started to neglect to introduce characters from the books that are either outright red herrings or, at best, needlessly complicate things. I mean, object to some of the more risible recent plot developments if you must--lots of people have raised plausible objections to them in this very thread--but let's not pretend that the guy who has written himself into a series of ever-tighter corners is some sort of unimpeachable genius.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:13 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]


Further thought makes me think that Cersei wouldn't be above aborting the child to get back at Jamie in some way. Even if she's really pregnant, her entire demanor is pretty ice cold and ruthless. She's changed. Before she would have moved heaven and earth to keep a child of Jaime's. But now? Oh man, she's cold.

Which reminds me that the initial trailer for this season implied some sort of connection between the Night King and Cersei. Don't know how much I'd buy into that, but worth mentioning.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:18 AM on August 14


Or Cersei set up the scene to be manipulate Jamie. Because Cersei.

Yeah, except that would be narratively completely unnecessary - Jamie completely missed what it was Qyburn was there for other than being a creep, and all it took was Cersei just saying 'sup preggers' and Jamie was all bout it with barely a thought.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:23 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


call it now: Jon Snow is going to fuck a dragon.
posted by mullacc at 11:23 AM on August 14 [13 favorites]


She's changed. Before she would have moved heaven and earth to keep a child of Jaime's. But now? Oh man, she's cold.

I know they're brother and sister, and I know Jaime has done terrible things, and their relationship is creepy, and oh my God, I was fucking enraged when D&D failed to acknowledge that Jaime basically raped Cersei next to the body of their dead son

but oh my God, when his face FUCKING LIT UP AT THE IDEA OF ANOTHER BABY

AND THEN WHEN CERSEI SAID THAT SHE WOULD TELL EVERYONE IT WAS HIS

AND HE SAID THAT PEOPLE WOULDN'T LIKE THAT

AND THEN SHE INVOKES DAD

It was kinda incredible. Like, I thought him throwing in her face how, in Olenna's shoes, she'd prefer her grandchild to be married to Joffrey or Tommen was going to be the A++ drama tops in that scene, but damn. The way Lena Headey played that, with just the single silent hand laid on her abdomen?
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:26 AM on August 14 [9 favorites]


"We have to think like father would have" implies to me that Cersei will agree to the armistice, have Jamie march her armies to the Wall, ready to turn on Dany's forces at a signal. Essentially, a giant Red Wedding… and, like the real-world sources of that event, plenty of historical precedents for such a move.

Further prediction: Jamie sees the true threat of the Night King before the signal is to be given, and is faced with a choice; Cersei's "don't betray me again" underscoring his decision.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:30 AM on August 14 [9 favorites]


I agree Bora: giant red wedding at the wall is coming. Or at least that's what Cersei is planning.

Cersei is going to give her baby to the Night King (just like Craster did), in an attempt to have that baby, a Lannister, rule Westeros.

Maybe Jamie will kill the baby.... dunno. Clearly he's going to betray her.
posted by about_time at 11:38 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


Further prediction: Jamie sees the true threat of the Night King before the signal is to be given, and is faced with a choice; Cersei's "don't betray me again" underscoring his decision.

Yep, and with the added significance of Cersei carrying their child. That's gonna be a helluva choice for him.

Naturally, the next question is "What happens when Jamie does betray her? The Sept is gone, so what else can she destroy?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:39 AM on August 14


The scene with Ghilly was fanservice and nothing more. Sam would have no reason to think that that bit of trivia was significant, or that it had anything to do with Jon.

I don't understand this line of thinking. Sam would know all about the history of Robert's rebellion. He would know that Rhaegar's abducting Lyanna triggered that whole chain of events. Why would he not think that an annulment of Rhaegar's marriage might be big deal? It's not like Rhaegar had had a whole string of wives; Elia was the only one.

I'm not saying it would have any significance to the project Sam is currently obsessed with, nor that he would have any reason to connect it with Jon. But it certainly would merit a "wait, what?"

It's okay, though, I'm sure Gilly filed it away for future reference.
posted by torticat at 12:05 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]


I'm not saying it would have any significance to the project Sam is currently obsessed with, nor that he would have any reason to connect it with Jon. But it certainly would merit a "wait, what?"

He wasn't listening.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:10 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Some clever person studying linguistics is going to write their thesis some day on how Game of Thrones uses real-world prejudice about UK accents to signify class in a fantasy world setting.


I know Rich Janda over at IU has taught summer courses on linguistics in Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, including some discussion of reproduction of language ideologies in the books/movie adaptations. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's since done a Game of Thrones version of the course.
posted by damayanti at 12:12 PM on August 14


They recognized that the hand was Sansa's, but the words were Cersei's. Is Arya likely to have the same political savvy? Is she going to think clearly about Sansa

I doubt that the writers are going to go this deep, but Arya might want to question why Littlefinger would be hunting down that particular raven message, saying "this is the only copy in winterfell? the lady will be most grateful" or whatever, and hiding it in his goddamn mattress. Like who is that message a danger to? It's ancient history. Joffrey's dead; the northerners know that Sansa was coerced by the Lannisters, and that all of that happened before she watched them chop off her father's head.

I mean Arya could figure out that the only usefulness of the message is as a wedge between her and Sansa--because why the hell else might Littlefinger want it?

As I said, though, I doubt she will, because I don't think these writers think with any level of complexity.
posted by torticat at 12:18 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]




I am (perhaps) unduly confident that Arya is going to take the message to Sansa and ask her if she realizes that Winterfell's maester is working with Littlefinger in an obvious plot to sow discontent between the remaining Starks, and if there is any reason that Littlefinger shouldn't be gutted right now. Sansa will then explain that Littlefinger's influence with the Vale means he can't be discarded out of hand, but that they both need to put aside their differences and work on this threat together.

I mean, otherwise, what was the fucking point of sending Arya to ascetic-ninja school? She's supposed to see the angles objectively, not fall for the first attempt to play on her emotions?
posted by skewed at 12:28 PM on August 14


I mean, otherwise, what was the fucking point of sending Arya to ascetic-ninja school? She's supposed to see the angles objectively, not fall for the first attempt to play on her emotions?

Perhaps, but Arya didn't learn that lesson. She's a super assassin with no goddamn real world experience, so she's just going around, mouthing off.

Meanwhile, Baelish rose from nothing to be Lord of one of the seven kingdoms. OF COURSE, he's going to outsmart a 12-16 year old girl. Sansa realizes that and is moving carefully. Arya thinks she can just kill people with no repercussions.

She's going to be livid with Sansa and yes, they'll argue. Those two have always argued.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:34 PM on August 14 [4 favorites]


Sam is focused on one thing: finding a solution to the WW problem. Trivia about house Targ is absolutely going to come across as noise, not signal.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:45 PM on August 14


Ellaria might know about the annulment given her relationship with Oberon Martell, who was Elia's younger brother. And Oberon said a bunch of cryptic stuff about his motivation to fight The Mountain who, IIRC, killed Elia and her child. So anyway, if Ellaria is still alive in Cersei's dungeon, might she find a way to leverage this information about Jon Snow for her freedom? She's then a candidate for killing Cersei too.
posted by carmicha at 12:56 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Opposite of that. Qyburn was the one who diagnosed the pregnancy in the first place, and he knows exactly who the father would be. He's offering abortificants, and she's declining them.

Yeah, that was exactly my point.
posted by torticat at 12:57 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I know Rich Janda over at IU has taught summer courses on linguistics in Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, including some discussion of reproduction of language ideologies in the books/movie adaptations. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's since done a Game of Thrones version of the course.

I'd love to see something like that. I'm an American but I'm a shameless anglophile when it comes to tv and film and the regional accents in the UK are a fascination of mine. Even as someone with a vague, slipshod understanding of the differences, it's really striking to me how accents in GoT are used as a class signifier.

This article even has SoundCloud links breaking down the accents.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:57 PM on August 14 [4 favorites]


But Sansa doesn't revel in killing, Arya does

Did you SEE Sansa's smile as she walked away from the dog kennels, leaving Ramsey there?
posted by torticat at 1:00 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Building on my earlier thought, above, if Ellaria tells Cersei about Jon Snow's legitimacy and parentage, it motivates Cersei to go north... for the chance to kill him (and maybe as well as Dany while they are in convenient proximity). Then it no longer matters if she believes in white walkers and maybe the Gang of Seven don't have to go through the catch-a-monster exercise and implausible time travel after all. Warming to my theme, it gets her and Jamie and Jon to Winterfell, along with Bran, Sansa and Arya, just like in the very first few episodes.
posted by carmicha at 1:01 PM on August 14


It's a huge revelation about the parentage of a major character, that legitimizes any claim he might have to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. It also lets us know that proof of this exists in a book written by a Maester, and not just from Brandon "The Three-Eyed Raven" Stark, who has become a mystic and is not exactly a compelling source to the Maesters of Oldtown. Said Maesters would probably be asked to confirm Jon's right to the throne if a claim were made.

Oh man and then the maesters are all like, but of course! I'm sure we have that book here somewhere, and they rummage around for a while, and we cut to wherever Sam and Gilly have ended up and pan over to Sam Jr to see that he has chewed and torn and scribbled to unreadability the only existing evidence that Jon was a legitimate Targ and heir to the throne.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:08 PM on August 14 [10 favorites]


I just watched the episode and am in the process of catching up in this thread but I just had to say...

They better not harm a single hair on the head of my precious ginger muffin, Tormund Giantsbane.

Also, they better not kill the Hound before he has a chance to reunite with his two little birds.

In fact, I'm rather attached to all 7 of them.

I'm going to be a nervous wreck next episode.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:11 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


Did you SEE Sansa's smile as she walked away from the dog kennels, leaving Ramsey there?

Yes, saw. Am saying there's a slight difference from Sansa enjoying the death of abuser/rapist/general asshole enemy-husband, and the sheer joy that crosses Arya's face every time she bests anyone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:34 PM on August 14 [8 favorites]


I thought that anybody who dies on the other side of the wall is being raised up as a white walker, right? That's why they got attacked the first time... Also why they burn the bodies of the dead.

So why go on a quest to capture a white walker? Why not just find a dying person and offer to pay their family for the corpse? Or walk through the gate and draw straws. Short straw sacrifices themselves. Then on the other side, they prop up the sacrifice, tie him up, and kill him. Instant zombie prisoner. No need to fight white walkers and probably die.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:34 PM on August 14 [6 favorites]


Also, I was so stoked that they went ahead and used my dragons sniffing out Jon Snow Eau de Targ script notes.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:37 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Gendry
Jon Snow
Tormund
Thoros of Myr
Berric Dondarrion
The Hound
Jorah Mormont


The Magnificent Seven, Westeros-Style.


Anyone who has ever played D&D knows how disbelief-suspension-straining it is to rationalize how a party of, say, a righteous holy warrior, a dark elf necromancer, an easygoing hobbit pickpocket, a grim dwarven combat engineer and a half-elf ninja all came to know one another, let alone work together. My theory is that Game of Thrones to date has been a seventy-hour backstory for GRRM's adventuring party.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:38 PM on August 14 [37 favorites]


Getting a Wight isn't totally insane. But having to walk out there on foot to do so is. Jon should be like "Hey girl, I know we're getting friendly, so how about we take one of those dragons for a spin, survey wall and all that? Stop by my castle on the way up, meet the fam, kick it in the Gods Wood, knowwhatiamsayin?"

But nope, gotta take the boys and got out hunting, alone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:41 PM on August 14 [6 favorites]


Jon has never, ever had enough game to proposition Dany, even after Drogon boops.
posted by gladly at 1:45 PM on August 14 [9 favorites]


Gendry
Jon Snow
Tormund
Thoros of Myr
Berric Dondarrion
The Hound
Jorah Mormont


(Mostly) dead men walking off to fight the army of the dead.
Gendry was wanted dead by the Lannisters and by Stanis, Berric and Jon have been resurrected, The Hound was left for dead and Jorah had an incurable disease up until last week.

Not sure about Thorus but maybe he's just the link to the Fire God.
posted by toamouse at 1:59 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


FFS the distance from Hardhome to Eastwatch is miniscule compared to winterfell-to-dragonstone-to-eastwatch and the WW's don't have to sleep. How can the army of the dead not have been there for like a month beating at the gates.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:05 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


a seventy-hour backstory for GRRM's adventuring party.

"Before you guys cross into the perilous, snow-blasted wastes beyond the Wall, let's go around and get your character builds."

"Okay: I was an elven mage in my last campaign, so this time I thought I'd shake things up a bit and play a human fighter! His name is Jon, and his paren-"

"Wait, I also rolled a human fighter. That's not going to be a problem, is it?"

"Human fighter here."

"Human barbarian. I, uh, I'd figured I was gonna be the tank."

"Human fighter."

"Human fighter."

"Two levels of human cleric, light domain..."

"Oh, thank god-"

"...four levels of fighter."
posted by Iridic at 2:12 PM on August 14 [23 favorites]


How can the army of the dead not have been there for like a month beating at the gates.

They have to wait for all the legless zombies to crawl along the frozen wasteland, and the headless zombies keep stumbling off in the wrong direction. It's like herding dead cats.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:16 PM on August 14 [18 favorites]


AND THE CLERIC MULTICLASSER DIDN'T EVEN TAKE TURN UNDEAD
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:18 PM on August 14 [14 favorites]


I should hope not, joyceanmachine. Think of the effect on his party.
posted by The Gaffer at 2:22 PM on August 14 [13 favorites]


Am saying there's a slight difference from Sansa enjoying the death of abuser/rapist/general asshole enemy-husband, and the sheer joy that crosses Arya's face every time she bests anyone

Fair. And I do take (and loved) joyceanmachine's point

And yeah, we all saw the GIANT FUCKING SMIRK on her face when rolling up to Brienne, right?

I guess I see those smirks of Sansa's and Arya's as pretty damn similar, though. Neither of them dances a jig after taking revenge; they just walk away with that tiny cold smile.
posted by torticat at 2:45 PM on August 14


Getting a Wight isn't totally insane. But having to walk out there on foot to do so is.

Yeah, even if they couldn't borrow a dragon, at the very least, couldn't they round up 7 horses so they didn't have to go on foot?
posted by litera scripta manet at 2:46 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


omg Kevin Eldon as a Goldcloak I never realised I needed this.

ahem, The Actor Kevin Eldon
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:54 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


I like how Jaime was all "THE DRAGON DESTROYED A THOUSAND WAGONS". These guys just throw "thousand" around willy-nilly, it destroyed like six dude and all the barrels were obviously empty.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:09 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


ahem, The Actor Kevin Eldon

You're right of course, my mistake.

I also recognised his buddy but I don't remember what from. I feel like Mark Heap, David Cann, Julia Davis and Amelia Bulmore all need to be in this before the series concludes so it can be like an extended episode of Jam.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:12 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


So, Jorah's going to survive greyscale only to be turned into an undead soldier, right?

Hmm! Perhaps previous greyscaling renders one immune to white walkerism?
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:29 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


I like how Jaime was all "THE DRAGON DESTROYED A THOUSAND WAGONS". These guys just throw "thousand" around willy-nilly

I was starting to wonder if it's just how they say "a lot" in that world. The way ancient Chinese texts use "ten thousand".
posted by uosuaq at 3:38 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Ice zombies and dragons are fine and dandy but Kevin Eldon took me right out of the story. He'd already been in it playing an actor playing Ned Stark.

Dammit, I just remembered this too! Yeah it took me out of the story too but really there isn't any "story" left to be taken out of, it's just a bunch of shit happening.

Another poster above notes how obvious it is that GRRM is no longer writing the story. While I ditched the novels after 2.5 books because they weren't going anywhere, I do appreciate that GRRM was (possibly) moving a lot of pieces into place and was having fun creating the world and its history and so forth.

I also appreciate that this season has picked up the pace somewhat, compared to the last two seasons. But it's picked it up too much and it is just bouncing around without rhyme or reason. D&D might be able to write a script and oversee the scriptwriting of others, but they sure as hell don't know how to write or tell a tale.

In a lot of ways it feels like we are getting the worst of both worlds, no matter which source we turn to. GRRM waffles on too much in the books, and D&D don't know shit about fuck. It was better when they were constrained by the source material, but also had the option to carve off a lot of the fat.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:40 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


I want the actor Kevin Eldon to appear in every episode now... he's like from a family of 12 brothers or something. Ice zombie for sure.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:40 PM on August 14


I will point out that white walkers are the super powered ice monsters, the foremost of which is the Night King. 99.9% of the army of the dead is made up wights which are skin and bone zombies raised by the power of the walkers.

The (super stupid) plan is to capture a wight, which if they animated by the power of th walkers maybe will just be a corpse once it reaches kings landing.

We've seen thousands of wights die but only the white walkers we've seen die are the ones Jon and Sam defeated.
posted by French Fry at 3:42 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


I want the actor Kevin Eldon to appear in every episode now It'll be like Clone Club came to Westeros!
posted by TwoStride at 3:45 PM on August 14


So, Jorah's going to survive greyscale only to be turned into an undead soldier, right?

Can't wait for Dany to order him to find a cure for being undead.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:53 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


I think there's another shoe to drop as far as greyscale goes. It seems like a weird thing to introduce unless it's important at some point. Either it has implications for dragons or white walkers or it's supposed to mirror real-world diseases that have had a major impact on world history. The problem is that it's a pretty slow-acting disease so it can't really be thought of like the Black Death. It's unlikely to take out large numbers of people because it takes months or even years to progress to its final stages.

So I wonder if under certain conditions it's a more dangerous disease. Maybe Jorah is fine now but the treatment will lead to a relapse to a more fast-acting and virulent form of the disease, and at some point he will be patient zero for a serious plague that can affect the course of the war.
posted by llachglin at 3:56 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


GENDRYYYYYYYY

i will cherish the gift of this one last week we have together before your inevitable death next episode
posted by vortex genie 2 at 4:07 PM on August 14


GENDRY IS NOT A REDSHIRT!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:13 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]


You guys are writing my D&D D&D recap for me.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 4:23 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


I think there's another shoe to drop as far as greyscale goes.

I dunno, I feel like the writers just got tired of that plotline and wrapped it up. Maybe it'll be relevant in the books, but on the TV show I suspect it's not going to matter.
posted by Pyry at 4:24 PM on August 14


> Maybe Jorah is fine now but the treatment will lead to a relapse to a more fast-acting and virulent form of the disease, and at some point he will be patient zero for a serious plague that can affect the course of the war.

Maybe the zombies are going to level up to being plague zombies after they eat Jorah's corpse.

I'm going to be actively annoyed at both GRRM and the showrunners if Jorah isn't some sort of patient zero, though. The only reason for Jorah to be given JonConn's greyscale storyline is if somehow JonConn/Jorah's greyscale ends up mattering.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:31 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


It'll matter in the sequel: Gendry & Greyscale! Two lovable misfits travel Westeros solving crimes and infecting the population - with hope! (And greyscale. May not be suitable for all viewers.)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:43 PM on August 14 [9 favorites]


Why is nobody mentioning: Danaerys just horribly murdered Jon Snow's _best friend's_ father and little brother. How do you think Jon will feel about that? How will Sam feel about Jon working with her?

Also: the implications for Sam's mother and sister are not necessarily good. What will happen to them, especially since Sam doesn't yet know about the situation? Will the crown just set someone up to take over the castle? Maybe a distant/worse cousin, or maybe a friend they want to reward? Might his little sister be forced to marry someone?

All this could bode very, very ill. Love is the death of duty.
posted by amtho at 6:34 PM on August 14


What if the greyscale gives him some sort of protection against the White Walkers?
posted by drezdn at 6:40 PM on August 14


Danaerys just horribly murdered Jon Snow's _best friend's_ father and little brother. How do you think Jon will feel about that? How will Sam feel about Jon working with her?


Meh: Dad Tarley seemed to loathe Sam--unfit to be a soldier, deserted the Night's Watch, brought home Wilding--and then Sam pretty much cut ties when he swiped the sword and took off in the dark of night.
posted by carmicha at 6:41 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Why is nobody mentioning: Danaerys just horribly murdered Jon Snow's _best friend's_ father and little brother.

Because Randall Tarly was hard ass warrior who refused to yield.

How do you think Jon will feel about that?

Jon won't give a shit about the man who threatened to murder Samwell, unless he took the black, or the brother who didn't stand up for him.

How will Sam feel about Jon working with her?

Samwell won't care too much about the father who threatened to murder him. He might miss his bro, but I'm betting he'll get over it and worry more about his mother and sister.

What if the greyscale gives him some sort of protection against the White Walkers?

Yeah, I'm the Stone men seemed similar to the Wights, so I'm betting Jorah's cure will have some sort of effect. Just a question of whether its a positive or negative one.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:46 PM on August 14 [6 favorites]


So what happens when Sea Ramsey finds out his intended bride is proudly preggers with her bro's baby? I can't imagine he is gonna be pleased.
posted by pointystick at 6:47 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Sea Ramsey wouldn't care about the baby if he actually had a shot at the crown. He wouldn't have any issues with killing the baby as soon as he finished killing Cersei. And her bro.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:54 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Not that there's any chance of that. Sea Ramsey is way out of his league.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:55 PM on August 14


Yeah, that was exactly my point.
posted by torticat at 12:57 PM on August 14 [1 favorite +] [!]


Derrrrp, I somehow read your comment and inverted it. So yeah, I agree then!
posted by FatherDagon at 7:04 PM on August 14


Also: the implications for Sam's mother and sister are not necessarily good. What will happen to them, especially since Sam doesn't yet know about the situation? Will the crown just set someone up to take over the castle? Maybe a distant/worse cousin, or maybe a friend they want to reward? Might his little sister be forced to marry someone?

Ordinarily, I would expect Dany to grant the Tarly title and lands to another family (one that's loyal to her) and include marriage to the Tarly widow and/or daughter as part of the deal. Giving the lordship to a loyalist would be good for both the loyalist and the Queen, and uniting him in marriage with the former family would appease the natives (because that former family is who they have actually sworn loyalty to). That's exactly what happened with the Boltons, and why it was so important for Ramsey to marry a Stark daughter (and to be given the name Bolton, while Roose was at it).

But I think that Dany is assuming that she can hold the Tarly lands directly (through fear and force, apparently) and isn't really interested in establishing another lord there or making use of the Tarly alliances. If anything, I think that she thinks that she's freed the people of Riverrun by deposing/killing their lords, and that it would be unnecessary or even counterproductive for her to appoint them a new master (other than herself!) -- because I think she's still thinking in "Essos" terms.

In any case, I'm not really that worried about the Tarlys, because they've still got Sam, and Sam has a lot of very powerful connections, and has become brave and responsible besides. Not sure how Sam is going to react to hearing about his brother and father's deaths, though. There wasn't really any love lost between him and them, but...I dunno! They really didn't seem too bad in these last couple episodes. I mean, does anybody remember them taking hands right before being executed? Come on!
posted by rue72 at 7:49 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Sea Ramsey wouldn't care about the baby if he actually had a shot at the crown. He wouldn't have any issues with killing the baby as soon as he finished killing Cersei. And her bro.

Yeah, agree completely. He's in it for the wedding, not the marriage! As far as I know, his plan is to wed her, bed her, kill her, and inherit the throne from her.

I'm probably being too generous, but maybe that plan is even a justification for why he went on and on about his cock at the Kingsmoot. His pitch was that he was going to win a kingdom by marriage, so he had to emphasize his (physical) ability to consummate that marriage. Although that's still stupid because Yara would also be able to consummate, but wtvrs.

But in any case, I also don't think that Cersei is seriously considering marrying him. Jaime even more or less warned him. Euron will be dead by the end of the war, one way or another.

I wonder what will happen to Yara then?! Probably the only one who cares lol. I don't know why, but I find the Greyjoys so interesting.
posted by rue72 at 8:02 PM on August 14


man, cersei's really going in hard on the vulcan aesthetic, isn't she
posted by Ragini at 8:13 PM on August 14 [9 favorites]


horribly murdered Jon Snow's _best friend's_ father and little brother

Yeah, that might make it plot-plausible that Sam signs up for the Dany fanclub newsletter.

Guess no-one has to be worried about retrieving House Tarly's bit of Valerian steel.

Quick poll: Jon Snow's BFF

1) Tyrion (from the wall, from before, and now now)
2) Sam (from the wall+, far away now)
3) Gendry (we just met but we're so totally alike! bro-hug!)
4) Other
posted by porpoise at 8:18 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Well, dogs are supposed to be man's best friend but Jon Snow knows nothing and left Ghost at home.
posted by Gary at 8:26 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


"Put me down for thinking it's absolutely motherfucking PERFECT for Littlefinger to manipulate Arya this way. Like, I get as viewers, we don't want Arya and Sansa to fight, but this is exactly, perfectly right. The whole theme of this season is the difficulty of leaving behind old feuds and hatreds -- did we forget how much Arya hated Sansa in the first season? Did we forget how much contempt Sansa had for Arya? Did we forget that Arya driving Nymeria away proximately caused Lady to be killed? Did we remember the part whether Arya asked Sansa is whether she has to call her Lady Stark now, and Sansa saying yes? "

I am pretty fucking sure Arya is going to stab Sansa (if for no other reason than everyone spent season 1 jokingly warning Arya NOT to stab Sansa with Needle) and it's still really friggin' annoying that Littlefinger is apparently the architect of their fight. If it turns out Arya was playing Littlefinger when he thought he was playing her, okay. But if Littlefinger's lame-ass manipulations turn out to be the reason Arya stabs Sansa, imma be pissed off. I mean, largely because it's a plot that hinges on people not talking to each other about a super-important issue, which is always an irritating plot.

Re Cersei's pregnancy: she could also be turning down abortifacients from Qyburn because he offered them because the child ISN'T Jamie's, but she feels confident she can scam him into thinking it is. I think we simply don't know enough to know whether Cersei is pregnant or fake-pregnant (and if so, hiding it from whom), and if she's pregnant, who the father actually is. I assume that plot will get forwarded next ep and we'll get some hints both about what fiction Cersei prefers and about what realities are possible.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:35 PM on August 14 [8 favorites]


Lyanna Mormont has the exact same weird clipped English accent as Young Elizabeth in 'The Crown' Episode 5.

I didn't know where to put that so I decided to put it here.
posted by aiglet at 8:42 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


> I mean, otherwise, what was the fucking point of sending Arya to ascetic-ninja school? She's supposed to see the angles objectively, not fall for the first attempt to play on her emotions?

Remember the Waif? The supposedly selfless assassin-monk with no ego who was actually just a vindictive adolescent? She wasn't training Arya to be an ascetic assassin, she was teaching her to be a catty assassin. The "women are catty" trope* is a recurring theme on this show, and with the Sand Snakes gone it's Arya's and Sansa's turn. Arya is doing exactly what she was trained to do, not wasting any time talking to Sansa or showing any curiosity about what her sister has been through these last few years (though neither has Sansa towards her) and diving straight into Contrived Sibling Melodrama. The Waif would be proud.

*I put a couple of relevant links (the first has one book spoiler, the second has a bunch) in the books thread.
posted by homunculus at 8:46 PM on August 14 [6 favorites]


> But I think that Dany is assuming that she can hold the Tarly lands directly (through fear and force, apparently) and isn't really interested in establishing another lord there or making use of the Tarly alliances. If anything, I think that she thinks that she's freed the people of Riverrun by deposing/killing their lords, and that it would be unnecessary or even counterproductive for her to appoint them a new master (other than herself!) -- because I think she's still thinking in "Essos" terms.

Actually Horn Hill is in The Reach, so whoever Dany appoints as the new Warden of the South will probably control it and Highgarden both.
posted by homunculus at 8:46 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Well, dogs are supposed to be man's best friend but Jon Snow knows nothing and left Ghost at home.

And none of the other Stark children have bothered visiting Ghost. Jerks.
posted by homunculus at 8:47 PM on August 14




Remember the Waif? The supposedly selfless assassin-monk with no ego who was actually just a vindictive adolescent? She wasn't training Arya to be an ascetic assassin, she was teaching her to be a catty assassin

I assumed that the lessons were actually what they seemed to be, which was learning to let go of your past self and be subsumed by your new identity/lack of identity. But Arya's ego -- which we all cheered for -- kept her from learning this final lesson before she left, so she got the physical assassin skills but not enough of the psychological stuff that makes the Faceless Men so effective.

Of course, if she HAD completed the transformation, she wouldn't be at Winterfell now. Makes sense why the Faceless Men live apart from the rest of society -- can't have people with connections to their pasts (i.e. personal vendettas) running around with super assassin powers.
posted by Ragini at 9:09 PM on August 14


also i hope she kills littlefinger and uses his face just enough to keep his men around until the war is won. good riddance. weird little robin can have the vale after that.
posted by Ragini at 9:18 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


Arya is suspicious. I think she's looking for a reason not to trust her sister -- there hasn't been a real reason, Sansa has proven herself trustworthy at every turn and has even been bullheaded in her loyalty to Jon, but Arya CAN'T trust people, she very literally is unable to now, so she's got to find a way to not trust Sansa regardless. That's why she kept trying to goad and misread Sansa after the meeting with the bannermen. She was looking for Sansa's sore spot, trying to get her to flip so that she'd have a reason to turn on her herself. And all Littlefinger did was give her that reason. It's flimsy and artificial, but Arya's going to cling to it because she needs it.

I don't think it's about cattiness or Arya being stupid. Arya is incredibly wary, closed off, distrustful -- that's what kept her alive. But now Littlefinger is using that inability to trust against her. That's pretty signature Kings Landing realpolitic, to use someone's virtues and strengths against them, to exploit them. Really any of the Lannisters would probably have done the same (really, they did -- Cersei DID force Sansa to write that letter in the first place).

The good thing is that although Arya has learned to be no one and nothing, through this trick, Littlefinger is unwittingly teaching her how to feel and connect again. By fanning the flames of her paranoia and hurt feelings and childish grudges, but still. Those hurt feeling and childish grudges are all ARYA'S, they're not "no one's." And they're more complex and real than what she's been feeling (or not feeling) while fighting and training and endlessly reciting her list and even while killing.

I'm not really that worried for Sansa. She's seen worse. She's seen meaner, angrier, more manipulative, and even just flat out crazier, and she's gotten through. And I think she's got emotional intelligence that Arya lacks. (And it also doesn't bother me that Arya lacks it. She's very young, and she emotionally crippled herself for most of her life as a survival strategy. It would be kind of mind-boggling to me if she were at all emotionally sophisticated TBH).

My worry is more for Arya, that she's going to want to dig deeper into self-protection-via-sociopathy. Hopefully, she'll take Brienne as a mentor instead.

Anyway, it also amuses me that Littlefinger is trying to play the sisters against each other, given his history with the Tully sisters of his own generation.
posted by rue72 at 9:19 PM on August 14 [6 favorites]


wait how many eps are left this season, 1 or 2
posted by poffin boffin at 10:24 PM on August 14


2
posted by gnuhavenpier at 10:35 PM on August 14


25 years and down to 8 hours of television! Never thought I'd live to see the day.
posted by Justinian at 12:05 AM on August 15 [3 favorites]


Makes it easier to care less every time GRRM announces new "side" projects.
posted by ersatz at 2:46 AM on August 15


This episode felt like running an RPG where the DM throws in this really cool side quest, "it's awesome, you're going to go into the wilds and capture a zombie against amazing odds!" but the plot has progressed too far and no one wants to do it now. "Maybe like 8 sessions ago Greg, but we just picked up an NPC ally with 3 fucking dragons, where gonna finish this war thing, that should take like 5 days tops! also Jenny's character is King in the north now, she can't go on a suicide mission"



Also it appears Cersei got all the intelligence in Tywin's will.
posted by French Fry at 7:06 AM on August 15 [13 favorites]


Arya may be running on borrowed time, wouldn't the faceless men be unhappy with their, ah, intellectual property (killing while masked) used by an unauthorized agent?
posted by sammyo at 7:55 AM on August 15


Regaring Kevin Eldon, this article says "IMDb lists all three of Eldon’s performances as under the character Camello, and if that’s correct, it means that the character must have realized theater wasn’t his thing and moved to Westeros to become a City Guard" (emphasis added).

It looks like his IMDB entry has been updated to credit the last performance as "Goldcloak" instead of "Camello." Still, I like the career change explanation.
posted by exogenous at 8:49 AM on August 15 [2 favorites]


I feel like that life choice would put him in the "dumber than Jaime" camp.
posted by DebetEsse at 10:04 AM on August 15


I trust everyone noticed the subtle glances between Jon and Daenerys this time around? They so wanna bone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:16 AM on August 15 [4 favorites]


Dany wants to bone. zombie Jon Snow still knows nothing and just wants to go adventuring in daNorf.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:26 AM on August 15 [7 favorites]


They were basically telegraphed with a fog horn and a big flashing siren .gif. It would be difficult not to notice them.
posted by codacorolla at 10:27 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Iridic. I had totally forgotten about Benjen Stark. (note to future readers catching up - link is to GOT Wiki which could be updated with spoilers after the time I'm writing this.)
posted by larrybob at 10:35 AM on August 15


I mean, I saw them, but I didn't find them believable at all. They are sneaking looks like a couple who thinks they are supposed to bone and are wondering if it's going to be tolerable.
posted by lydhre at 10:54 AM on August 15 [3 favorites]




BTW, the Night King enjoys Drake.

Small clarification - this is a youtuber dressed up like the Night King, not the actual actor that plays the Night King. It's been reported incorrectly by a couple media outlets:

"In reality, this isn't from the official Game of Thrones set, and The Night King is actually a she — YouTube sensation Lilly Singh, to be precise. In celebration of season seven, she created several Thrones videos, including, "If White Walkers Made a Rap Diss Track" (which is probably where the Drake clip happened)."
posted by bluecore at 11:39 AM on August 15 [3 favorites]




FWIW, Jon is totally Dany's established type: confident, capable badass.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:01 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


Dany wants to bone. zombie Jon Snow still knows nothing and just wants to go adventuring in daNorf.

Oh, they gon' smash, or I know nothing about cliche TV narrative arcs. But it seems like Dany wants him to "bend the knee" first, if you know what I mean. She's a woman who knows what she wants.
posted by dis_integration at 2:03 PM on August 15


She didn't ask him to bend the knee this episode. I'm guessing she will with a husky voice and big eyes in the season finale.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:09 PM on August 15


Or, if he finds out his heritage, he may ask her to bend the knee in the season finale.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:29 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


I can't find where I read it, but the hat thing was a directorial choice since hats cover too much of the face and interfered with being able to read expressions, etc.

It was brought up in an interview with Kit Harington again today. He wanted a hat too, but "... it’s a decision they made a long time ago, the decision that we need to see faces more than heads being warm".
posted by Gary at 5:49 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


FanFare: don't know shit about fuck
posted by rocketman at 6:15 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


> Also: the implications for Sam's mother and sister are not necessarily good. What will happen to them, especially since Sam doesn't yet know about the situation? Will the crown just set someone up to take over the castle? Maybe a distant/worse cousin, or maybe a friend they want to reward? Might his little sister be forced to marry someone?

Yeah, Randyll didn't seem too concerned about leaving his wife without a husband or son to look after her in the middle of a godsdamned war. Anyway, as I understand it, if Sam's sister Talla is of age, then she is technically the Lady of Horn Hill. Sam is ineligible to inherit because he joined the Night's Watch. Talla is already betrothed to a yellow-toothed fellow named Symun Fossoway, and she's clearly not happy about it. But once they're married, Talla's husband will effectively become the new Lord of Horn Hill.

One of the things that isn't clear to me is who has dominion over House Tarly right now. I was assuming Dany would in my comment above, but the Tarly men never bent the knee and it doesn't seem like Dany has actually claimed any territory on the mainland since she defeated the Lannister army, so I suspect that the Ladies Tarly still regard Cersei as their liege. Which would mean that Cersei could set aside Talla's engagement if she wished to. It occurs to me that Jaime might try to talk her into that, because he just happens to have a friend who he owes a big favor to, and who is looking for a wife and a castle, and Jaime might feel some responsibility towards the remaining Tarlys since their patriarch and his heir died in service to Cersei, so he might want to be sure they have a more competent protector than some yellow-toothed apple-lord. Bronn and Sam as brothers-in-law? Oh yes please!
posted by homunculus at 6:44 PM on August 15 [5 favorites]


25 years and down to 8 hours of television! Never thought I'd live to see the day.

You're still not. There will be more unfinished plots left than characters.
posted by corb at 11:48 PM on August 15


man, cersei's really going in hard on the vulcan aesthetic, isn't she

Close, but not quite.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:35 AM on August 16 [3 favorites]




I'm trying but I cannot resist pointing out that the second link there is a Romulan, not a Vulcan. Well, half-Romulan, even if that pic makes it look like Tasha Yar mated with an oversized upholstery cushion rather than a Romulan General.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:44 AM on August 16 [6 favorites]


The good thing about the massively sped up timeline we're working on is the Quest Beyond The Wall should take approximately 1/2 episode.
posted by Justinian at 10:36 AM on August 16 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that was my point--she looks more like Sela than she does like any Vulcan.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:12 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


If they keep everything consistent, Cersei's belly should be noticeably larger each time they cut back to King's Landing next episode. I expect to see her walk the kid to preschool in the season finale (to screams of "Shame!" no doubt...)
posted by about_time at 11:13 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


FWIW the next episode has leaked and Reddit is horrible and full of spoilers.
posted by Catblack at 11:35 AM on August 16


Meh. I wanna talk about the show, but there's really not much to talk about, is there?

There's a plan to grab a wight, some of the people on that trip are gonna die. Cersei will get her proof, not give a damn, and will go along with some plan before backstabbing everyone at some. A dragon will probably die. The heroes will win, but at some cost.

There will be more hints that Jon isn't the Stark we all thought. THAT they wanna slow roll.

It's not like I'm gonna stop watching, but there isn't a whole lot left to discuss yeah? Based on this season, all the character reunions will be rushed, with little nuance.

So here we are.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:40 AM on August 16


If you don't care at all about these characters, then I agree there is nothing to see. But I want to see these events acted out.
posted by about_time at 12:05 PM on August 16


It's not like I'm gonna stop watching, but there isn't a whole lot left to discuss yeah?

?!???!????! There are 325 comments here in a post that *you* made.
posted by skewed at 12:54 PM on August 16 [7 favorites]


Halloween Jack: Ah, okay! Because the Vulcans also go for that high-collared look, so I was confused.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:10 PM on August 16


If you don't care at all about these characters, then I agree there is nothing to see. But I want to see these events acted out.

Oh absolutely, it's the character interactions that are the most anticipated moments of the show. But plot seems to be leaving a lot of that by the wayside.

Which makes me wonder why they're going so fast. As it's looking now, it feels like another 60 minutes, spread out over eight episodes, would have done the characters nicely. Remember the conversations between Tywin and Arya back in season 2? Those were gold moments for what they revealed about the characters. It would be great to see something similar as the various character encounter each other again. Sansa and Arya should be having huge moments like this. Or Arya and Baelish, what a scene that would be!

The scene of the "Magnificent Seven" at East Watch, where all those characters met each other again feels like it should have been a huge thing. But it went by pretty quickly, in order to get the plot along. Those character beats are what I miss.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:04 PM on August 16 [12 favorites]


Well dammit, now I have to wait til Monday to get some mefi discussion of the leaked episode.
posted by yoHighness at 7:56 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen the leaked episode so I don't know anything but I have this odd feeling that the show is about to jump the shark somehow. The pace has been sped up, the writing has been MUCH looser, and it's been escalating even from the beginning of the season. I think this week is gonna be bananas.
posted by clockzero at 11:43 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


I agree, BB.
posted by about_time at 9:40 AM on August 17


Like with Arya and Sansa, there's a ton of possible character interactions. They're sisters, but never really got along. Now they're older and have been through so much, yet are still fundamentally different people with different takes on the world.

How can Arya understand that Sansa agreed to submit to a wedding in order to gain control? Let alone why didn't she kill Ransom before the wedding night?

How can Sansa understand how easily killing comes to Arya? Let alone that Arya is utterly capable of handling herself with help? That's just completely bizarre and odd in Sansa's mind.

Now that they're reunited, how or can they work together? How do they even discover how to do that? The answers to those questions are really interesting, but the show doesn't seem to care about asking them at all, except in the shallowest ways possible. For instance, would Arya be as upset about Sansa taking their parent' room if she new Jon gave the chambers to her? Why wouldn't Sansa mention that, to try and bring Arya to her side?

Rant over.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:31 AM on August 17 [3 favorites]


Which makes me wonder why they're going so fast.

Because D&D are in a hurry to get to work on their next brilliant idea. As far as HBO was concerned, seasons 6 and 7 could have been full seasons and they could have had a 9th season if they'd wanted it.

Remember the conversations between Tywin and Arya back in season 2? Those were gold moments for what they revealed about the characters. It would be great to see something similar as the various character encounter each other again. Sansa and Arya should be having huge moments like this. Or Arya and Baelish, what a scene that would be!

So much this.

Now that they're reunited, how or can they work together? How do they even discover how to do that? The answers to those questions are really interesting, but the show doesn't seem to care about asking them at all, except in the shallowest ways possible. For instance, would Arya be as upset about Sansa taking their parent' room if she new Jon gave the chambers to her? Why wouldn't Sansa mention that, to try and bring Arya to her side?

And this! Rant away!
posted by homunculus at 11:04 AM on August 17 [2 favorites]


Why doesn't Arya kill Baelish and use his face to secure his troops for House Stark?

One subtle thing the show has done well is set up the importance of grain for the coming winter. It's been mentioned several times and in several ways. So far, it sounds like Winterfell is stocked or getting prepared as it can, while the South is potentially screwed (because of Daenerys attack). Interested to see where it goes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:36 PM on August 17 [4 favorites]


Which makes me wonder why they're going so fast.

I am reminded of what HBO did with Boardwalk Empire's last season, which, though not as fast as GoT currently has been since last season, was far to fast compared to the previous seasons and really disappointed me for what was one of HBO's, in my opinion, best shows. At least they acknowledged a massive time jump if memory serves.

I still think the first season of GoT was the best (I feel the same way about the first book as well) but most of it has been enjoyable.

Even though I found the later books somewhat boring and unfocused (and the show at many points did a great and necessary job of streamlining the books due the reality of financing such an expensive show), but I, like others, have felt the show has really declined in terms of characters since it has gone beyond the published book material. Is it because it is so popular that it has become more mainstream in it's sensibilities and therefore has declined?

I miss the development of Jaime's character for example. That through seasons 1 and 2 (and possibly 3, I can't quite recall) was interesting to me. Now his development has slowed when the show has sped up. This is true of many of the characters of course.

In Dany and Jon I see the actors doing quite well (given their limited opportunity in the current plot) with portraying their relative youth, vulnerability and desire for a new world, a new way of governing, in conflict with the way things have been done for quite some time and how difficult it is to create and develop a plan for doing things differently having a lack of models or being overwhelmed by the dominant governing models of their time.

Exploring that more would be interesting to me. We get only glimpes now and a few words here and there. Exploring them and the rest of the characters would be more interesting to me but it's just shortcoded with a glance here, a widening of eyes there, and some words in between swordplay.

In addition to Boardwalk Empire I'm also reminded of other shows that experienced very disappointing declines, among them X-Files, Battlestar Galatica (the SyFy version) and Doctor Who (that decline was quicker than most). I realize these things are relative to what each of looks for in quality drama but I'm now on a numb watching period which usually precedes giving up altogether (this was a long process for me for Doctor Who given I've watched the "franchise" since childhood but once I gave it up I haven't missed it all).

I enjoyed episode 4, The Spoils of War even though most of what happened was predictable. This isn't always a bad thing as long as it's executed, at least for the most part, well. But I feel that they won't be able to do that consistently and we'll see equally grand predictable events that bore or baffle (i.e. sinking rapidly in water, in full armour, and then swimming to another shore in said armour) rather than entertain. I realize there is always a line of what you buy and what you don't. Sure, the real world does not have dragons or magic but we still think most of the characters, although fictional, extraordinary, and heroic, as characters in fiction often are, are mortal and it jars when their mortality is used in one moment for peril and erased in the next because look, they just swam out afterall!

I'm just confused by this repeated pattern of abandoning what made a show popular in the first place. In most reviews by "fans" and comments by fans in shows I enjoy there is a consistent love for the characters rather than just plots and often the most cherished episodes are the ones without a barrage of action. I'm not saying great action and great plots are not appreciated, they are. But they are no substitute for characters and short changing the characters for plot doesn't work.
posted by juiceCake at 2:35 PM on August 17 [2 favorites]


Because D&D are in a hurry to get to work on their next brilliant idea. As far as HBO was concerned, seasons 6 and 7 could have been full seasons and they could have had a 9th season if they'd wanted it.

FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE.

I'm just confused by this repeated pattern of abandoning what made a show popular in the first place. In most reviews by "fans" and comments by fans in shows I enjoy there is a consistent love for the characters rather than just plots and often the most cherished episodes are the ones without a barrage of action.

I think the problem is - okay this is going to be curtailed somewhat because we are in show only, but GRRM essentially sets up very, very complex character arcs, where characters are acted on by a multitude of other characters and events, and we can lovingly see them turn, so that there really aren't too many "shocking twists" of characters action at least, even if there are 'twists' of what happens to characters.

But whether D&D or HBO, they are trying to get to the End Points And Highlights, and so they're skipping out a lot of that character development. And so it's not that they're just abandoning what made the show great - it's that they have no way to get to what made the show great, because the streamlining has meant they can't have the same payoffs, because the characters don't even exist in many cases.

And it's worth noting that in many cases they are far, far beyond the books, so far that GRRM probably hasn't even written anything except the major high points. It's hard to remember, but Tyrion and Varys and Olenna and the Sand Snakes haven't even met Dany in the books yet. We are in uncharted territory, and so D&D seem often like they want to play things kind of safe.
posted by corb at 3:27 PM on August 17 [6 favorites]


Sounds like they're playing it safe, just finishing things up and leaving Martin to flesh out things in the book. Meh, I say, MEH. Go big or go home!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:23 PM on August 17 [2 favorites]


I would bet actual money on the book series never being finished.
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:52 PM on August 17 [3 favorites]


Ikea issues instructions for turning its rug into a GoT cape
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:19 PM on August 17 [4 favorites]


So far, it sounds like Winterfell is stocked or getting prepared as it can

So they'll have food for southron armies to fight the army of the dead.
posted by Night_owl at 8:55 PM on August 17


Sokka - if it does, my bet is that it'll be by a third party like what happened with Robert Jordan/Wheel of Time.

I guess the future debate would be whether HBO/D&D did a better job or the hypothetical ghost/substitute writer.
posted by porpoise at 10:30 PM on August 17 [1 favorite]


For instance, would Arya be as upset about Sansa taking their parent' room if she new Jon gave the chambers to her? Why wouldn't Sansa mention that, to try and bring Arya to her side?

Because like daytime soap operas, they have to create gripping drama out of situations that basically functional humans would avoid simply by sharing facts in normal conversation. This is the level the show is operating at right now.
posted by vanar sena at 11:19 PM on August 17 [8 favorites]


basically functional humans would avoid simply by sharing facts in normal conversation

WHAT PART OF ARYA STARK IS STILL FUNCTIONING AFTER THE PAST COUPLE SEASONS
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:25 AM on August 18


I'm not sure what the yelling is about, but IIRC there were a minimum of two people in every discussion.
posted by vanar sena at 6:43 AM on August 18


Well clearly the Killbot mode is stuck in the on position. But she's also developed some baking skills, so there's hope!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:31 AM on August 18 [3 favorites]


On travel times: This hilarious map shows how far Jon Snow has traveled compared to the White Walkers. Source is some guy on Reddit; the ensuing discussion points out they're not called White Runners afterall. While fact checking this very important map I came across an attempt at a travel timeline, which in turn derives from this thorough animated timeline map (Flash required). I think it's fair to say the fans have thought about this more carefully than the showrunners.
posted by Nelson at 7:26 AM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Jon and Dany could work as travel bloggers for that world, they've both been all over it. Include Missande for that Southern flair!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:26 PM on August 20


It's a shame that Sansa and Arya can't have a decent conversation. Because if the political astute Sansa knew that Arya was very good at killing people, she just might marry Baelish, only have to have Arya kill him. That way Sansa would be command the Vale herself and potentially Winterfell, if Jon doesn't return (for whatever reason).

Or they could simply kill him, have Arya impersonate him, then faux Baelish and Sansa marry. Later Arya is herself and Baelish's body is discovered.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:14 PM on August 20


Baelish holds no heritable power, though. His rights over the Vale is just because Robin Arryn likes him.
posted by corb at 4:33 PM on August 20


The substitute in Robin for Baelish in the above plan, with the addition of killing Baelish, y'all know why.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:40 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Hey, could someone else make a show only post for tonight? Up in the mountains and the signal is flaky.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 PM on August 20


so no-one else thought of this? just me?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:42 AM on August 21


I assume Sam and Gilly are going to use a stargate to get back to Castle Black, but if by some chance they take the actual road from Oldtown, they're going to be going pretty close by Horn Hill (bottom left on this map). If Dany sent her Dothraki to occupy it, Sam might find out about his father and brother the hard way.
posted by homunculus at 10:38 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


Beautiful Death: He'll do
posted by homunculus at 10:40 PM on August 22


Is that a Beautiful Death for the two random soldiers? Hang we ever had that before?
posted by corb at 5:03 AM on August 23


I assume Sam and Gilly are going to use a stargate to get back to Castle Black, but if by some chance they take the actual road from Oldtown,

I hope they stop by scenic "Tower of Joy."
posted by drezdn at 5:27 AM on August 23 [2 favorites]


Forbes "Modeled Behavior" blog: Why is Game of Thrones' Westeros Still Poor?
posted by zarq at 7:14 AM on August 23 [1 favorite]


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