Newstar

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  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. That ignores a lot of the other parallels, which are covered here and elsewhere at great length. If Dany is the Henry Tudor figure, then she's certainly not dying. On the contrary: she's going to win.
  14. I believed ASOIAF was once intended to be a fairly straightforward retelling of the Wars of the Roses before he started throwing all the dragons and such in. Even the published ASOIAF books have the WOTR tattooed all over them, which GRRM has cheerfully admitted, much like the Dance of the Dragons novella has the historical Anarchy tattooed all over the plot. The WOTR were tragic, in that a lot of people died, but they ended happily enough in a marriage between a foreign conqueror raised in exile and a young noble with a claim to the throne. The marriage ended the strife between the warring houses and resulted in a prosperous reign, a decently happy union, and a new dynasty. The LOTR books also ended among other things with a marriage between the new king and queen that, like the conclusion to the Wars of the Roses, resulted in a prosperous reign and a happy marriage. GRRM was also inspired by the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy by Tad Williams, which also ended with the hero (Simon "Snowlock," LOL) conveniently discovering he is descended from royal blood, marrying the beautiful princess he loves and being crowned king. To sum up, three of GRRM's main inspirations for ASOIAF--the LOTR books, the historical WOTR, and the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series--all ended pretty much the same way. Why would ASOIAF end any differently? GRRM has said several times that he intends to stick with the same ending. He has also explained what he meant by "bittersweet," and it had everything to do with the ending of LOTR, which all the main characters survived, and nothing to do with epic Greek tragedy.
  15. Sure, why not? Jon marries Dany, Tyrion is their Hand. Tyrion is already Dany's Hand, and he has always liked and respected Jon. Jon and Dany have a lot in common. They should get along just fine. There are all kinds of parallels between the three characters in the books. Jon, Dany, and Tyrion ending up as endgame king, endgame queen, and endgame hand would have a nice symmetry to it. This ending is simple, sure, but maybe in the twenty years we've had to bat around theories, we've been overthinking the ending that's been staring us in the face the whole time. GRRM admitted that fans guessed the books' ending a long time ago. The show confirmed a number of other theories that were once scorned as being "too obvious," after all: R+L=J, the Hound being the gravedigger, etc. I looked up a quote of GRRM's where he explained what he meant by a "bittersweet" ending. He said that he was going for the same tone as the end of LOTR. Specifically, when describing that ending, he said that Frodo lives but is never really whole again, and that people move on with their lives. Also, at the end of LOTR, none of the main (non-villainous) characters died. A number of them ended up happily married, in fact. The "Jon" of LOTR, Aragorn, married Arwen, had a prosperous and successful reign, and a long and happy marriage. GRRM made his hero a thinly-disguised Aragorn. He may well give him Aragorn's ending. The bittersweet element GRRM seems to be hinting at isn't from death, it's from characters being traumatized as Frodo was traumatized, and characters getting on with their lives and doing their own thing. If that's the tone GRRM is going for, we're not going to see any of the major characters like Jon, Dany, or Tyrion die.
  16. Jon and Dany marrying and having a child would put an end to the squabbling over the throne once and for all by uniting in marriage the only potential rivals for the throne with any sort of claim (assuming the news about Jon being the legitimate heir gets out, which I assume it will). A Jon/Dany marriage would also mirror the ending of the historical War of the Roses which inspired GRRM, with Dany as the Henry Tudor (conqueror who raised armies while in exile abroad, touted as a mythical hero to boost popularity) and Jon as the Elizabeth of York (person with a legitimate claim to the throne married to solidify the ruler's claim), although in ASOIAF their union may have a more romantic gloss if the Season 7 leaks are any indication. And yeah, GRRM isn't duty-bound to reproduce the ending of the War of the Roses, but he did do something similar in using another historical conflict for the Dance of the Dragons, which seems to have been based on the Anarchy (a civil war between Matilda and Stephen) and had a similar outcome (female claimant losing the throne to her rival but winning in the long run when her son inherited the monarchy), minus the dragons of course. I believe GRRM once intended ASOIAF to be more of a straight retelling of the War of the Roses, which would further bolster the idea that there will be a Henry Tudor/Elizabeth of York-type ending. Neither Arya nor Sansa work as Elizabeth of York figures--even though Sansa at least bears some resemblances to the historical Elizabeth of York (reddish hair, gentle temperament, etc.), something which can't be said for Arya--because they don't have a claim to the Iron Throne.
  17. I'm on the fence about Sansa, but I think the main five--Jon, Dany, Bran, Tyrion, and Arya--are safe. In GRRM's 1993 outline, he included Dany along with the list of other characters he said would make it through "all three volumes" (as he then planned a trilogy). He has changed a lot since that outline, but he has always said he intends to stick with the 1991 ending. Anyone who isn't one of the main five, including Sansa, is a potential death, but the main five are likely safe.
  18. GRRM planned on sparing Dany in the outline along with the other members of the main five, and he has always said he has always intended to stick to the same ending, so I wouldn't be so sure about Dany dying. GRRM said he will be going for the tone of LOTR with the ending of ASOIAF when he meant a "bittersweet" ending, and LOTR's ending included a marriage between Aragorn and Arwen.
  19. Dany totally would name her kid Rhaegar. Jon on the other hand may have mixed feelings about his dad. I don't think it will be one big happy family. I fully expect the Starks to split up: Jon will head south with Dany and Tyrion to rebuild Westeros, Bran will remain at Winterfell as lord, Arya will go west of Westeros, and Sansa will do...something else, I guess, unless she gets Winterfell and Bran falls into another category. I think a lot of fans will be disappointed unless they know the ultimate mates (if any) of all the surviving lead characters and the number and names of whatever kids they have, LOL. I doubt GRRM and D&D will indulge them, though. I think Lena missed her Emmy shot when it was revealed that she used a body double for the walk of shame. Ideally, he'd direct the whole thing, but of course with their filming schedule they have at least two units shooting concurrently in different locations (often different countries). Sapochnik is a marvel, though. His absence will be felt in Season 7.
  20. GRRM has always said that he was thinking of the ending of LOTR when he meant "bittersweet." In LOTR, a lot of terrible things happened, and a number of the characters were traumatized, but all the non-villains survived. The bittersweet part is not about necessarily dying or living, I think, it's about the psychological burden of everything the characters have gone through and the difficulties of rebuilding. There's this quote from GRRM: It's about characters picking up the pieces, dealing with their trauma, and getting on with their lives, not about heartbreaking deaths. Also, while Jon, Dany, Sansa, Tyrion, etc. may survive, a number of their friends and other loved ones who make up the secondary cast may not. Jaime will likely die, and that will devastate Tyrion. Dany will likely lose Jorah and her dragons. Those losses, along with the losses that the top characters have already suffered over the course of the first six seasons (Ned, Ygritte, Drogo, Catelyn, Robb, etc.), provide plenty of bitter to offset the sweetness of the top characters surviving. Me, neither. It's going to be crazy.
  21. No, the book reader audience is negligible compared to the show-only viewers, and the book readers wouldn't have kept the series from cancellation if the show-only viewers hadn't tuned in en masse. Many shows with small but diehard fandoms get cancelled, because the show never catches on for whatever reason with a wider audience. GOT didn't succeed because of the book readers. It succeeded in spite of them; a lot of the book readers have abandoned the show in recent seasons, but the show's success and popularity have only increased. In fact, I'm sure if some book readers had had their way, the show would have been cancelled when it started to diverge significantly from the books. However, the book readers bailing out of the show has had no effect on the success of the show. Again, that wouldn't have saved the show without the visual spectacle, shocking twists, etc. A lot of shows had characters that people cared about which have either teetered on the ratings edge for years before being euthanized or which were cancelled outright very quickly. I'd also add that ASOIAF didn't reach a mass audience because people cared about the characters, since sword and sorcery fantasy is a popular genre with no shortage of options for readers, it was because the books brought gritty realism to the genre and took fantasy cliches and turned them inside out. It was fantasy for people who don't read fantasy. Mass success, not just piddling success with a small core of statistically negligible but diehard fans, depends on branding. ASOIAF has a brand: gritty anti-Disney fantasy with shocking twists, sex and violence. GOT has a brand, too: eyepopping visual spectacle, shocking twists, sex, violence, and not only zombies but also dragons. "Characters that people cared about" has nothing to do with the mass success of either GOT or ASOIAF. It's nice to have, of course, but it has nothing to do with becoming a phenomenon.
  22. I agree. I think we'll be shocked in the end at just how predictable the ending turned out to be.
  23. They would save massively on actor salaries. They'd probably cast a bunch of cheap talent to start out with, as they did with GOT, and go from there. I doubt they'd be throwing a Season 6 GOT-level money at the show to start out, though. GOT had to earn its $100 million/season budget. Season 1 of GOT only had $60 million to film and I don't know where it all went, because frankly a lot of Season 1 looked like Xena Warrior Princess or one of those life of Jesus TV movies that come out every few years in terms of production values.
  24. Indeed. It's going to be great. I have no idea what they're going to do in Season 8, beyond some vague notion of the Others being defeated, and I love it! D&D have said that they feel the need to keep topping themselves with bigger and bigger set pieces every year. I'm guessing that for Season 8, they're going to pull out allllll the stops, and it's going to be great. Can't wait! It won't be long before we need to start a thread for Season 8, LOL.
  25. God, no. She was Lysa with a crown. Look at how she's described on AWOIAF: Sound familiar? Cersei at least has the Lannister trademark bitchy charm. Who wants to read a series with Lysa as a lead character? She was insufferable enough as a secondary character in ASOIAF. ...There's also all the crazy, horrible shit Rhaenyra did, but honestly I didn't care enough about any of the DOTD characters to get too worked up over all the awful things she did, LOL. I've always been impressed with Carly Wray. She also has experience writing medieval stories as she wrote for The Bastard Executioner, although I don't know whether that's much of a feather in her cap, since I heard that series was terrible.