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  1. An eagle-eyed poster over at /Freefolk spotted Gwendoline Christie's Brienne stand-in in the background of the Kristofer Hivju BTS pic. It's likely from the same scene as the Tormund/Brienne pic from the first batch of S7 pics. I wonder if Jon leaving Winterfell, Tormund talking with Brienne, and Sansa and LF watching the proceedings all take place in the same scene. There didn't look to be CGI snow in the LF/Sansa Season 7 still released previously, though, so maybe not. Why would it be short-lived if Jon and Dany fall in love and survive the war? It's also not "this early." Remember that Season 7 and 8 are essentially an extended version of the final season D&D hoped for, since they originally wanted seven seasons. So Jon and Dany are banging at what would have been 7x05 under the old scheme (since D&D claimed that they've planned out the final season for a long time). There's nothing early about that. Based on what we know about Season 7, he's demonstrably incorrect about that, and Kit doesn't know anything about what happens beyond Season 7, just like the rest of the cast members. This is "towards the end," and it's still a pretty slow burn as far as their interactions go from what we know of Season 7.
  2. Yes. However, if it's from the first two episodes, like most (all?) of the Season 7 stills released in the last batch, then it's more likely Littlefinger and Sansa watching Jon leave. Lads2 said there are a few scenes where LF and Sansa are watching what's going on in the courtyard. If the shot of Arya is indeed from the scene where Arya returns to Winterfell, it would be from 7x04 according to Lads1. Arya's fancy brown leather outfit and cloak from the HBO promo must be from after she returns to Winterfell, but then we already knew that.
  3. New Season 7 photos at, peeps, coming in hot! 1. Dany on Drogon at what looks like the ambush. 2. Jon on horseback at Winterfell in a snowstorm, looking back. 3. Arya on horseback, wearing a different outfit from her brown leather gear from the other promos. 4. BTS pic of filming Lena as Cersei on the throne with NCW as Jaime by her side (looks like the same scene from the earlier Season 7 stills). 5. BTS pic of Gwendoline Christie at the Winterfell set while wardrobe people fuss with her armour. 6. BTS pic of Kristofer Hivju in costume in what looks like the Winterfell courtyard set. 7. BTS pic of Aidan Gillen and Sophie Turner overlooking the Winterfell courtyard (looks like the same scene from the earlier Season 7 stills).
  4. It seems to me that you're ignoring everything Jon and Dany have gone through to argue that if they end up in love, together and on the throne that the ending will somehow not be bittersweet. I disagree with that argument, for the reasons I have said, particularly in relation to GRRM's own explanation of what he sees as "bittersweet" (which I cited upthread). Possible Season 7 promotional news! Apparently the Long Walk promo has been scrubbed from the GOT official FB page...maybe to make way for something else??? I still think we're a few weeks out from the official trailer, but who knows?
  5. I disagree. It cheapens the love Dany, Jon, Bran, Arya, etc. had for everyone and everything they've lost along the way to suggest that they'll have an unreservedly happy ending just because they achieved success and found love. That was GRRM's point about "bittersweet" endings. It's not about mass death and catastrophe, it's about the damage people suffer through loss and trauma that casts a pall over what may seem otherwise like happy endings. Let's take Jon. Let's suppose, best case scenario, he survives Season 8 and wins the war without losing anyone else that he cares about, he accepts his parentage and legitimacy without having a mental breakdown, and he marries Dany to ascend the throne. None of that would negate everything he has already endured: almost dying on multiple occasions, actually dying the one time, losing his adoptive father, losing his first love under horrible circumstances, losing friends in wars, losing mentors, losing Robb, learning of an existential threat to Westeros, failing to avert the Hardhome massacre and almost getting killed by a WW, being betrayed and murdered by his own men, learning that there's no afterlife, executing a child, almost being crushed to death in battle, being helpless to save his brother as he's murdered before his very eyes, going on a suicide mission and getting swarmed by wights in Season 7, etc. etc. He's been through some shit. Even if Jon breaks even in Season 8 in the tragedy department, none of his previous experiences will be wiped out by a happy marriage and ascension to the throne, and his previous sufferings will temper whatever sweetness that ending would otherwise have. He'll have to carry around what happened to Ned, Ygritte, Robb and the rest of them for the rest of his life, and no happy marriage and shiny crown will eliminate that. I could do a similar list for Bran, Dany, etc., but you get the idea. More to the point, it's questionable how happy ruling Westeros will be for Jon and Dany, given the state Westeros I expect will be in by the end of the series. It's going to be a very tough job, and I don't think Jon or Dany, who both know well how hard it is to lead, will be under any illusions that ruling Westeros will be an easy or fun task.
  6. Too much of what? Too much happiness? Even if everything goes swimmingly for the main five after Season 7, and they win at pretty much everything and suffer no further devastating losses, the ending will still be bittersweet. Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Arya and Bran have all been through terrible, terrible things: they have all lost friends and family members, they have all suffered devastating betrayals, they have all come thisclose to death (and one of them actually died), etc. etc. They're all pretty traumatized already in their own way, from Dany's visceral hatred of slavery (from having been sold into marriage) to Bran fleeing into his visions because the present sucks so much. I think that's what GRRM meant when he was explaining a bittersweet ending: although characters move on with their lives, they're never the same because of everything they've gone through. Back in the outline, GRRM not only said that the main five would make it through the series, he also described the story as the main five "coming of age." Usually, coming of age stories don't end with the deaths of the main characters. If you pair that with 1) his insistence that he has always meant the ending to be the same and with 2) the Season 7 spoilers indicating that Jon and Dany fall in love, then Jon and Dany being endgame king and queen seems like a foregone conclusion. I don't think so. Those events take place long before the WOTR even begin...unless you're suggesting Sansa travels back in time to give birth to Dany, LOL. If Sansa is anyone in the WOTR, as pointed out upthread, she's Anne Neville, particularly considering the outline where Sansa was supposed to marry Joffrey: -married off at the age of 14 to Henry VI's son and the heir to the throne, Edward of Lancaster (the "Joffrey" of the WOTR) -married off to Richard III (Tyrion) to secure her wealth and land for House York, as she was the heiress to a vast estate (source) Anne Neville died of consumption, but that seems like a rare affliction in Westeros, so Sansa's probably safe from that fate. There were rumours that Richard III poisoned Anne so that he could marry Elizabeth of York, though (which GRRM would likely well know), so given that Tyrion has already used poison once before, Sansa had better watch her back, LOL.
  7. He was talking about Internet message boards and how they'd already guessed the ending, but that he was going to stick with the plan regardless (or words to that effect). Well, sure, but that price according to GRRM's understanding of "bittersweet" will involve psychological trauma of the kind Frodo endured, not death. Except that's exactly what he did with the DOTD, and we know he once intended ASOIAF to be a much more straightforward retelling of the WOTR. Maybe, but we know Dunk and Egg wind up as kingsguard and king, and that Egg marries for love and has a relatively decent, long rule (26 years). It all goes to shit much later (Summerhall), but as far as we know they have many happy years before that happens. We know that eventually Egg gets the throne and he's able to marry the person he loves and reign for many years. Why not Dany?
  8. Firstly, Maegor was Aerion's son. Jon and Aegon are Aerys' grandchildren (well, supposedly in Aegon's case), and no one thought that Rhaegar was mad. In fact, since Rhaegar lacked Aerys' madness, it stands to reason that no Great Council would think that Jon or Aegon was at risk. But I'll handwave that for the sake of argument. Maegor's claim was voidable because of the madness of his father in the eyes of the Great Council, and so it was voided, but until the point they made that decision, his potential claim was valid. It was not voided until the Great Council made that decision. We don't know that Great Councils consider themselves bound by precedent. Even if they do, it's questionable how much of a precedent the case of Maegor sets, since in every instance the potential insanity of the heir would have to be examined on a case by case basis rather than making a blanket disqualification. Even assuming as you suggest that there is a precedent of denying a claim on the basis of inherited insanity and that that precedent would be applied, that wouldn't happen automatically to result in a preemptive disqualification of all of a madman's heirs. That determination would need to be made by the body with the authority to make that decision, as in the instance of a Great Council. Until and unless the Great Council goes through the exercise of ruling out Jon, Dany, and Aegon on the basis of insanity, all otherwise valid claims are presumptively valid. The disqualification of Maegor on the basis of insanity only opens the door for other heirs to be disqualified; it doesn't automatically disqualify them. There's no Great Council regarding King Aerys II's descendants, so as far as the law is concerned, while madness may be a basis to void one's claim, until a body with the authority to do so can make the determination that the claim should be voided, the claim is presumptively valid, as it was with Maegor. Jon, Dany, and Aegon's claims aren't disqualified from the get-go. They're valid until a Great Council makes that determination. No Great Council has been assembled to decide such matters, so Jon, Dany and Aegon's claims, whatever they may be, are presumptively valid. The big thing to me is that Maegor was an infant when his fitness as an heir was assessed. They had no idea how he was going to turn out. Jon, Dany and Aegon are much older, and presumably any Great Council would be much more hesitant to issue a blanket disqualification on the basis of parentage, as they could get a much better sense of the capacity for madness of the three.
  9. D&D don't include much dialogue that doesn't directly advance the plot in some way, so seemingly random comments like Arya talking about west of Westeros, Tyrion mentioning that he'd like to own a winery, Jaime commenting that girls like Sansa don't tend to live very long, etc. stick out quite a bit. Arya's two Starks behind ending up as Lady of Winterfell, so assuming she and her siblings make it out of the books, she's going to need somewhere other than Winterfell to end up, since Arya's unlikely to want to spend her life bumming around Winterfell. Going on an expedition to see what's west of Westeros seems as good a fit as any, particularly for someone like Arya who once dreamed of traveling the world in AGOT. I don't think anyone would think anything of Arya talking about going west of Westeros if they weren't thinking about plausible endgames for Arya beyond Winterfell. Also, GRRM has taken a lot of inspiration from LOTR. When talking about his own "bittersweet" ending in mind for ASOIAF, he specifically referenced Frodo being devastated by what he's gone through and the characters moving on with their lives. In the LOTR ending, Frodo eventually wound up sailing away and departing Middle-earth. I wouldn't be surprised if GRRM works in a "Frodo"-type ending for one character, where one character can't readjust to normal life after the war after everything they've suffered and winds up sailing elsewhere to find peace, and if so, Arya seems like a likely candidate. Arya did have a friendship with Gendry, and we know Gendry's coming back this season, so it's not out of the question. As for the pairing everyone off part...while I don't think everyone is going to get paired off, LOTR ended with a few marriages (Aragorn/Arwen, Sam/Rosie, and it was implied Eowyn/Faramir would get together).
  10. I don't really see him as anybody. I guess I lack imagination, LOL. In all seriousness, though, the list of actors and actresses who have wanted to appear on GOT is about a mile long.
  11. Great post. I agree that many have an intuitive sense that Dany will die because it feels right for the story, and I'll freely admit that I thought so as well for a long time but thinking of the WOTR, LOTR and the outline--coupled with reading GRRM's quotes about what he considers to be a bittersweet ending--has made me wonder if perhaps I've been overthinking it all this time. Sansa certainly does bear some resemblances to Elizabeth of York, but she wouldn't be able to fulfill the role of healing warring factions to end the war the way someone with a claim to the Iron Throne would, and I also doubt that Dany would be marrying her any time soon.
  12. He may, he may not. We'll have to see if indeed there's a Jon/Dany relationship, I guess. I do object to the idea that he would necessarily have an Oedipus-level reaction when learning the news, though, particularly considering what seems to be a blase attitude in the north towards uncle/niece marriages. Moving away from Jon/Dany, I do think Jon will be the endgame king, but that seems to be a pretty uncontroversial opinion, I guess. The show seems to be pushing towards that more loudly than anything else. If anyone other than Jon wound up as king, I'd be shocked at this point. I do look forward to seeing what the main five will end up doing if they do survive the series as GRRM suggested they would back in 1993. Maybe it is as simple as Jon being king, Dany being queen, Tyrion being Hand, Bran being lord of Winterfell, and Arya going off to have adventures or something.
  13. Other than those already listed, I think the show's book spoilers have more to do with spoilers by omission: by looking at what's been left out, we can make conclusions about whether those plots really mean anything in the grand scheme of things, and a lot has been left out. I think most of the big show spoilers by inclusion are things fans were already pretty much agreed on: R+L=J, the Hound is the gravedigger, Stannis will die, etc. etc.
  14. You may have a problem with reading incestuous romance, but GRRM has no problem writing it. He loves writing material about the historical Targs, who frequently practised incest. Heck, the biggest love story of ASOIAF to date is between a brother and sister....maybe to soften up the readers to accept an aunt/nephew endgame pairing. With your degree in medieval history, once you were informed that the DOTD was based on the Anarchy, you could have predicted the ending of the DOTD without even reading the novella. He threw it into a blender with high fantasy, added dragons and some GRRM-type twists (Blood and Cheese, e.g.), but the outcome was still the same. That's my point. If ASOIAF is similar, and there's even more reason to believe the ASOIAF ending will match that of the WOTR, then we can do the same when it comes to predictions. The plot will weave all over the place just like the DOTD did, include all sorts of fantastical elements and GRRM twists, but it will end in the same place as the historical equivalent did. As for Jon being horrified that the woman he loves is his aunt, we don't know how Jon would react. However, we do know that there are two uncle/niece marriages in the Stark family tree, no Targs required. We also know that Alys Karstark in ADWD was not outraged because her "uncle" was trying to marry her (he was really her cousin, but she considered him her uncle), but because of what he was trying to accomplish with the marriage (rob her of her birthright, get an heir off her and kill her). We don't know of any aunt/nephew marriages in ASOIAF, but if uncle/niece marriages are apparently no big deal in the North, I have trouble believing aunt/nephew marriages would be considered a sin against nature in the North.
  15. GRRM used the Anarchy as the basis for the DOTD and gave it the same ending. All indications are that he intends to do the same with ASOIAF and the WOTR. Not plagiarism: inspiration. I think the ending will be shocking in how predictable it will turn out to have been. GRRM has made it clear that anyone expecting tragedy in the ending will be disappointed, and the outline spelled out that the main five would survive, no matter how many other characters proved expendable. Coupled with the WOTR, the ending is staring us right in the face.