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  1. And the story of the hero dying and sacrificing himself is just as much of a trope and a cliche as the the hidden Prince. Dying as a hero is something Jon has always dreamed about, that would be a happy ending for him. GRRM isn't just a trope breaker and subverter. He didn't have a problem with Aragon becoming the King, his problem was that we wouldn't know anything about his reign and the real problems he would have to face. We are just told that he was good King. GRRM has gone to great lengths to show what type of rulers Dany and Jon might be, he has devoted books to the subject so one of them will rule at the end. We follow them through their training. There are no perfect rulers in this story, that is one thing that people should remember. Jon doesn't want to be the King, but he has always had a great sense of duty, so even if he doesn't want to become the King he would always try to do his best. But becoming the King wouldn't be a happy ending for Jon, it would be bittersweet. The consequences of all these wars and death will affect Westeros for generations to come, just like Bubonic plague affected the European continent for years. This will not be some happy or easy task. The realm will need someone who is interested in rebuilding. The difference between Jon and the other leaders is that they mostly make decisions in order to stay in power, whereas Jon's main drive is to fight against the White Walkers. This leads Jon into often making hard and unpopular choices. Just like Maester Aemon told him "kill the boy." People don't like the idea of Jon becoming the King because of the hidden Prince trope, but GRRM has actually created a story where the Prince could realistically be qualified to become the King through experience and not because of some divine destiny. GRRM has created a story were becoming a King is not necessarily a happy position to be in.
  2. Rhaegar might have believed that those children wasn't his children, that would be a very good reason for an annulment.
  3. For the most part I ve always been a defender of the show, I can understand their logic and reasons for doing and changing certain things. But I agree there was a few elements in season 6 that I really didn't like, or couldn't explain logically. It does make you a bit nervous for the new season. Some of the elements of this leak also doesn't sound very logical. But as I ve pointed out, and you have also pointed out we are really missing the context here. We do not know how much of these leaks did the person actually know, and how much might be secondhand information or filling in of the gaps.
  4. Yes, I am not referring to physical strength. It is simply that Jon is older and an actual adult. He can negotiate with others and make alliances with others, he has experience of ruling he can fight from the front lines. He received his education from the same source as Bran. Basically he is a good choice as a leader, his only disqualification is his birth, he was born from the wrong mother. Doran has Oberyn who does a lot of the heavy lifting for him. And even so, it isn't like Dorne is stuck in the middle of terrible winter conditions, with an army of the dead approaching them head on. This is also about being practical in the current climate. Again this also counts for the books as well, in books it is actually even obvious since Bran is only something like 10 years old. I am pretty sure in both mediums Jon would be the first choice. The whole idea of the war and all of these terrible conditions within Westeros is a way of breaking down the old laws and norms. People are becoming more willing to look beyond simple rules of succession. I am sure if Bran wanted to be the King in the North, Jon would step down and act as his right hand man, but it is simply easier for the Lords in the North to make Jon the King, especially when it comes to making future alliances. I am not sure if Bran even wants to be the King in the North, he already has the responsibility for being the 3 eyed Raven. And according to these spoilers Bran actually does help Sansa to get rid of Littlefinger. So Bran can be very important for the Starks if he takes a simular role to Bloodraven, when he acted as the hand of the King. I simply dont see how this is going to be something that will be dramatically different from the books. Power resides where people believe it resides. The laws of succession isn't always as straightforward as people would like to present them. Yes, Catelyn was afraid of legitimising Jon, because he always looked and acted so much like a Stark and a true Northerner. She was already fearful that the Northern Lords would rather choose him over her trueborn children. Perhaps they did actually choose Aemon, "Aemon" and "Aegon" is not that different from each other when you hear it. This leaker give out a lot of details, if he/ she is only a causal show watcher then it might be difficult to remember everything correctly. Naming Jon "Aegon", would not be a good choice. Many people will not like it. But they have actually never mentioned Rhaegar's children's names within the show. They have spoken about his children and their death, but they have not been named. Still Aegon would be a terrible choice. So I guess we will have to see. The thing around the annulment of Rhaegar's marriage to Elia Martell is also not the best. I am pretty sure this would never happen in the books. But I do think Rhaegar and Lyanna was married. It would simply just be very difficult to explain or convey the idea of Targaryens with two wifes with only a few episodes left, so I can understand why they would go for something simpler like an official annulment document. This is the big problem with these leaks, most of the finer details and intricacies are missing. We dont know how well this person who leaked these spoilers actually understands the world of ASOIAF. He/ she might not really understand the customs and laws within the story that well. The leaker for example didn't think much of Jon's actual name being "Aegon", until it was pointed out to him. The person also said that Jon would be a glorified hostage of Dany's on Dragonstone because his weapons was taken away upon arrival, but it is customary for a visiting Lord to give up his weapons. We have clearly seen from the videos and pictures this week within Spain that Jon is not a hostage. So even if this leaker is able to provide bullet points about the certain key events of season 7, I am not confident that he knows how to interpret these events to coincide with the rules and law of Westeros.
  5. We will have wait and see what they will say to each other. According to the spoilers Jon tells Theon that the only reason he isn't dead is because he saved Sansa. But from the footage it seems like there might be a few more words spoken then that. Jon is never going to explain to Theon why or how he became the King in the North. He also will not discuss or explain his allience with Dany to Theon, that is between him and Dany. Even Dany doesn't have to say much to Theon, she made a deal with Yara. Theon is simply not on the same level Dany or Jon, they do not have to humor him. So basically there isn't much for them to say to each other.
  6. Some of the succession within the show has been terrible, Dorne is by far the worst and most illogical. But I do believe the main reason for that is because they wanted to minimize Dorne's presence as quickly as possible. In the show and even in the books, the laws within Weseros's society is begining to crumble. All of the first and best choices within Weseros's society has been killed. That leaves a big gap, and makes usually linear concepts such as succession much more complicated and open ended. Throughout the story we are always reminded that power lies where people believe it resides. If the first and best options are gone, people are going to start weighing their option. Westeros has been ravished and more wars are looming, that makes people more weary of their choices. It is easy to follow succession in peacetime when there are no threats, but this is not the current climate. Even within the books, even without Robb's will I think Jon would still be chosen as the King in the North. This is winter and wartime, people are not thinking to far ahead right now. The North are not as hard on bastards as Southerners, Jon has experience in ruling and he has a small army. We see for example Alys Karstark go to Jon Snow, because he is Ned Stark's last son. She basically treats him as if he is a King. Basically the only obstacle for Jon is that he is bastard, but he was always a more high ranking type of bastard since he was acknowledged by Ned and since he grew up with his trueborn siblings, the North knows him. I dont think it is too big of a stretch to predict this outcome even without Robb's will. Sansa's marriages will always be a problem, it isn't fair since she didn't want to marry a Lannister and whoever Littlefinger is lining up for her in the Vale, but this is the reality of the situation. Sansa has no experience in ruling and military matters, and she is allied with Littlefinger. They wouldn't be able to get Sansa a husband who could do these things for her, because she is already married, and I dont see book Sansa being able to do these things. I actually think the North might follow Arya, she is more like the Mormont women and North has no problem with them, she is also unmarried. She is still a young girl with no experience, but I think the North would follow her the easiest. The problem is if Arya herself would interested. Bran at least has some experience, he ruled Winterfell for a while. The problem is how long will it take for him to reach home? It doesn't seem as if he will be going home anytime soon within books. And just like Arya I am not sure if he will be interested. Some leadership tasks might be difficult for him. Rickon would just be a boy Lord, and most Lords would just try to use him in order to gain power. The situation within the North is too unstable right now for a boy Lord. So basically I dont really see how the situation is much different between the books and show. In books there is simply no one else available right now. Arya, Sansa and Bran are not available and they might not be available for a while yet. Perhaps Stannis should be counted as an option. They will help Stannis to try and get rid of the Boltons, but they are not really going follow a Southerner. The Manderly's are trying to get a hold of Rickon, but I can actually quite easily see them declaring Jon as the King in the North even without Robb's will. In the show they only had Jon and Sansa as choices. So the whole situation is actually very similar. If the other siblings does appear I dont think it would be a big issue, since all of the Starks have basically been trained for different roles, and there are bigger problems and concerns to deal with. I dont know if the show will specifically address it or not, but it is a situation that can easily work itself out without being addressed.
  7. Theon is never going to be Jon's ally of choice, he would never willingly be allied to Theon. Theon's only saving grace right now is that he is allied with Daenarys. If Jon had run into Theon in the North he would be a head shorter. First and foremost Theon betrayed Robb, because of Theon's actions Winterfell was sacked and burned. Some of the Lords like Roose Bolton lost respect for Robb because he lost his own castle. One betrayal lead to the next. On top of that Theon beheaded Ser Rodrick, it is Theon's fault that a lot of faithful Winterfell servants died, Maester Luwin being one of them. Even if Theon didn't kill Bran and Rickon, he still murder two innocent children, and he didn't just kill them he burned their bodies and hanged them. Jon really has no reason to forgive Theon for his previous crimes, even if Theon is now a changed man and even if he did help Sansa. Theon still committed these crimes. Theon committed treason and murder, these are not acts that can be easily forgiven or forgotten. The Northern Lord's would see Jon as weak if he didn't actually kill Theon. The only thing Jon would be interested in discussing with Theon is his betrayal of Robb and his death, Jon doesn't have to explain himself or his actions towards Theon. Theon has been on a redemption arc, and we as the audience can understand that, but this has no bearing on Jon's character within the story. But, Theon is allied with Dany so Jon cant really do anything against him. Jon actually killed Olly for far less.
  8. How do they know Bran is still alive? Yes he might have survived Theon, but where is he now? What happened to him? Last Jon heard about Bran he was going beyond the Wall. That is not a save place for anyone, nevermind a crippled boy. How are they going to get to Bran, if they knew he was alive? From the information they have available to them they would most likely think that Bran was dead. Jon actually did try to save his true legitimate brother, and a lot of people in North witnessed it. They cant sit around and do nothing. They have White Walkers who might be attacking the North and they have hostal Lannisters in the South. And Winter is really starting They need someone right now. If Bran returns and they see his skills, perhaps they will be impressed with him, and perhaps he would become the ruler. But as long as Bran isn't there and no one knows where he is or if he is alive, it is all a moot point. This situation is very similar to Arya's situation. Everyone knew she was alive when they had last heard from her, but everyone mostly assumes that she is dead because she disappeared.
  9. No one knows where Bran is, he might have survived Theon's attack but he could be dead beyond the Wall right now. The North cant sit around and wait until he shows up one day, life goes on. When Bran shows up at Winterfell then it might become a subject of discussion, but even then the Northerns also follow strength to a certain degree. Bran is a crippled teenager, they might just decide to stick with Jon. Although Bran actually does have some experience in ruling at Winterfell, so it will be interesting to see what happens when he arrives.
  10. I am surprised that some people who complain about GoT, admires Mr. Robot. It is very predictable and cliched. I could practically predict the whole season from watching the pilot. It just seems like a show that is trying way to hard to be artistic and interesting.
  11. The books have taken a long time, and in the meantime people have created their own solutions based on their favorite characters. The show has deviated in many ways, but their beats for the main characters seems intact to a certain degree. People really want Stannis to win, and people have created many theories as to how it will happen, but Stannis just isn't a main character. I think the Night Lamp theory is sound and Stannis will win that skirmish outside of Winterfell against the Freys. But that is all he is going to win, he is going to be stuck outside of Winterfell. I think the whole situation will just become even more desperate. He could just stay at Winterfell after initial battle, or he could go back to Castle Black. I think it is likely that he could die around Winterfell due to his stubbornness. Stannis is already there, i dont see him going back. Personally I think it is more likely that Melisandre and Selyse will burn Shireen after the news of the Pink Letter. Selyse might even be remorseful afterwards and kill herself. In the meantime the Wildings and loyal Nights Watch Brothers will take over the Nights Watch. Jon will be revived, he was already on his way to attack Ramsay before getting stabbed. I think he will still launch a campaign against the Boltons. A lot of Jon's arc in ADWD have been about bending the rules of the Nights Watch. The old rules simply isn't working anymore. I think Jon will just once and for all decide to screw the rules, the most important message about the Nights Watch has always been about protecting the realms of men. That is the only vow that Jon will adhere to. He will realize that he needs to take the North in order to have a proper defence against the Others. One of the biggest catalysts for the North remains to be the Frey prisoners. We clearly see Lord Manderly come into action once his heir has been released as a prisoner. The remaining prisoners have been taken from the Freys. It seems like the Brotherhood Without Banners will release those prisoners imminently. Or it may have already happened. This will kick the rest of the North into action, and it cannot be far away. Jon will march onto Winterfell with the Wildlings. The conditions in the North is much, much worse then they have been in show. The Wildlings will do well in these conditions. Perhaps the Karstarks under Sigorn and the Thenns will join him. Jon will perhaps meet-up with other Northern Lords and they will take Winterfell back. In the meantime the tension within Winterfell will be stretched to the limit, no one really trust each other. I wouldn't be completely surprised if Ramsay actually does murder Roose. Or it could be the other way around. I think one of them will kill the other one, and since Roose is concerned with Kinslaying, it seems more likely that Ramsay will kill him. If only Ramsay is left in Winterfell then the other people within Winterfell will plot to kill him. And I do think that Jon will become the King in the North, it has been in works for a while now, it seems to be an important plot point in his arc, he needs more authority. Robb's will is there, but even if Rickon is there I think Jon will still become the King in the North. The Northerners also likes to follow strength at times, and Rickon is simply too young. I am not sure what Sansa will do, that plot has always been very disconnected from the rest. Sansa might go North eventually. But at the same time she could get kidnapped by Shadrich and end up in Aegon's' court. I could perhaps see the Riverlands declaring for Aegon. As long as Littlefinger is involved with the Vale they will not side with Aegon, Varys wouldn't he allow it, he wouldn't trust Littlefinger. The Vale also have no reason to side with the crown if something were to happen to Tommen. Due to arbitration they may just end up aligning with the North. The Vale could have gone for independence like the North, but their biggest problem is that they don't have a proper King to follow. So they will end up as allies of someone else.
  12. Sansa has not proven that she would be a good ruler. People really, really want to see Sansa as a big player of the game, and she is learning, but right now people are simply assigning skills, agendas and motives towards her actions in order to make her more competent than she truly is. Actually most of Sansa's actions this season has not been that astute. She hasn't even displayed more political skills then Jon has. It starts with their first strategy meeting, at first she suggested that they should recruit the Karstarks. Then she is fully convinced that the North would fight for the Starks, while you can see that Jon is not so convinced. In the war council before the battle she just sits around and says nothing. When they speak with Lord Glover, Jon quickly reads the situation and backs off, where Sansa does not. Littlefinger comes to here in Molestown, and he begs forgiveness. This is where Sansa truly had Littlefinger in the palm of her hand, he was in debt. But she sends him away because she miscalculates the support that they would receive in the North. Later when she contacts Littlefinger again, the tables have turned, and now she will owe Littlefinger once again for providing the Vale. And then we have to look at the fact that she was withholding information. It is bad enough that she is withholding potential tactical information from Jon as the commander, but what about their Northern allies? Will houses Mormont, Mazin and Hornwood actually be happy with her for withholding the information about the Vale? It was their men and soldiers who were dying on the battlefield. The main function of a leader is always people management. It is about organizing people and using people to best of their abilities. That is the functional part at least. The most important aspect of being a leader is that you are essentially taking responsibility for the lives of other people. People are placing their lives and trust on your judgement, and that is no small or idle matter. It is one of the higher purposes of life. And this in my opinion was where Sansa truly failed as a leader. These armies of Wildings and Northerners were the responsibility of Sansa and Jon. These people are willing to give their lives to their cause. Sansa withheld crucial information that directly involved their lives. These men or soldiers were placed into more danger than just fighting a battle, their lives were in fact further compromised before they even set foot on that battlefield. And this is directly because of Sansa's decision to withhold important information. Sansa did not have any consideration for the people who were fighting for her, she did failed in taking responsibility for these people's lives, and that is the most important task as a leader. And yes Jon failed as well in this department. But the situation is also a bit different with Jon. Jon has always taken responsibility for other people's lives, even before he was actually in a leadership position. It starts with Sam and eventually moves onto all of the Nights Watch and the Wildlings. We have also seen Jon making extraordinary sacrifices, to preserve the lives of those he takes responsibility for. We have seen him kill Qhorin Halfhand, a man he truly respected and admired in order to gain information about the Wildling attack. He left Ygritte the first girl he ever really loved, and basically signed her death warrant in order to warn and protect his Nights Watch Brothers. Jon does take responsibility for the people he leads, he has a natural understanding and empathy with them which is something that Sansa seems to lack. Of course this could at times also become a double-edged sword for him, because it means he can at times make sentimental decisions, such as within this battle. His purpose for going to this fight was always to protect his family and to try and safe Rickon, when he had the smallest chance to do it, he took that chance. But Jon's decision does show the Northerners that he is completely trustworthy, since he tried his best to save the trueborn Stark heir. Of course Jon was also fighting on the frontlines right next to his soldiers. The North knows exactly where they stand with Jon. By comparison Sansa's decisions looks very opportunistic and calculating. She also did not bat an eyelid at Rickon lying around dead before her eyes. I think this is really the aspect that troubled me the most of Sansa's behaviour. This was basically Sansa's first real chance to move some pieces, this is first time she has had some of her own power and were she was able to use it. Personally I do think she made quite a few mistakes, but that happens to all of the characters. She hasn't really graduated to a master player yet, she is still in the process of learning her craft. She also did do quite a few things right. She really worked on Theon to create her own escape. It was also good that she united with Brienne and that she knew that she was able to trust her. It was a good decision to send Brienne to Riverrun for the recruitment of troops. She did save the day in the Battle of the Bastards even though her executing of the matter was terrible. And she was right to warn Jon about Ramsay's sadistic tendencies. At first I also thought that Sansa and Jon was acting out of character, but then I thought a bit further about the matter and now I don't actually think they were acting out of character. Of course I would still like to see the final episode and the conclusion of their arcs this season. Only when their arcs have been completed for the season we would be able understand their journeys this season.
  13. I have always thought that stories about Southern Knights being the best fighters are a bit exaggerated, they get very good PR because they take part in Tournaments. But have you ever seen Jaime or for example Barristan Selmy think about how good someone like Qhorin Halfhand might be? No, we don't see that, because Qhorin Halfhand will never take part in a tournament. He might have been known in the North, but no one cares in the South. But someone like Qhorin Halfhand and even other rangers within the Nights Watch were constantly facing life and death battles, they had to be good in order to survive. Jaime is obviously one the best, but unlike Qhorin Halfhand he hasn't yet mastered fighting with his left hand. Mance Rayder had to fight his way to the top beyond the Wall. Greatjon Umber was also known as a good swordsman within the North, but he will never take part in a Southern tournament. Generally in my opinion I think Southern swordsmen are a bit overrated and Northern swordsmen are a bit underrated, espcially within the context of the books. In the books I think Jon might be on his way to become a good swordsman, not Arthur Dayne like or anything like that, but very good. He is obviously younger in the books. Jon is older in the show, so he would naturally be better than in the books, but a lot of the exceptional swordsmen are already dead at this stage so Jon is likely one of the top swordsmen left. But more than anything else I think the real issue is that Kit Harington is the best swordsman on the show. You can see that a lot of these fight scenes within the battle was shot in one fluid take. Compare that for example to the fight between the Hound and Brienne. That fight scene was much more choppier, it had a lot more cuts. It does make more sense to use of an actor's natural abilities especially if he is going to be in a lot of fighting scenes, rather than to shoot more fighting scenes in Dorne.
  14. The Manderly army is still out there they were mentioned a few times, they did not fight for the Boltons so they are still there. On top of that, and this is perhaps the most significant point, the snow started falling again just after the battle was over. We will soon see heavy snows in the North. Any Southern army will struggle, that is the North's most significant defence. But I could see Littlefinger hanging around for a while yet. Jonos Slynt was at the Wall, it would have been interesting if he had bragged about him and Littlfinger betraying Ned. But unfortunately that did not happen in the show. It would have been interesting if Jon knew about that betrayal.
  15. I think it might actually be the opposite, or an ironic statement. Like when Robert tells Ned that there might be Kings hiding underneath the snow. Jon will soon become a King. I think some of Jon's fire might have been returned during the battle. He did not want to live, but when he is buried underneath the bodies, he decides that he wants to live. Melisandre has a similar moment. When she sees herself walking along the battlements of Winterfell while the Bolton banners are falling down, she sees that her vision has come true, exactly as she predicted. She regains some of her confidence. Davos will place Jon in a difficult position, with regards to Melisandre. But at the end of the day it was Stannis who give the order, Stannis was in command, the final decision for the burning of Shireen was always with Stannis. Davos has to learn to accept that fact.