Rhaegar Targaryen's Ghost

The Bittersweet Ending That Must Be

107 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, Khorkalba said:

We haven't encountered many Targaryens on the show, so the sample size is far too small to draw any meaningful conclusions.

If we're going by the books, then GRRM's stance is fairly clear. There have been many Targaryens who share a tolerance for fire or heat, but none of them are actually fire proof - including Daenerys.

You can interpret the funeral pyre incident however you like, but I personally don't see it as a sign that Daenerys is intended to be some kind of divine being.

The way I interpreted Dany's fire-proofness is that she is special or is the chosen one, which is why she is immune to fire in the show. It is also possible that the magic that happened when the dragon eggs hatched made her fire-proof. 

5 hours ago, Khorkalba said:

Beric's suggestion to assassinate the NK and wipe out his army seems like quite the bold move for someone who puts himself in the role of only a minor servant.

Beric knows that the lord of light and the NK are on opposite sides. It doesn't seem bold to me that beric would suggest a way to defeat the enemy of the lord he serves

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13 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

Can you name some other Targaryens who possessed the same level of fire resistance as Daenerys?

In the books, Aegon V. He doesn't have a unique case like the dragon hatching, but then that's the point of it being unique. Beyond that, he has a scene just like hers where he bathes comfortably in water that's too hot for someone else to tolerate at all; they both fear burning, and get minor burns at one point; he dies in a fire (although it's possible that he's killed by a falling beam or something rather than burned to death).

In the show, the Vaes Dothrak scene raises the question of whether the dragon hatching really was a unique case. But we don't know the answer to that. Meanwhile, the fighting pit scene went pretty much the same way as in the books, which would imply that she's not normally immune, but we don't know that for sure either.

And of course it's always possible that the show has changed. For example, imagine this:  D&D planned to follow the books on Dany's fire resistance, and did so up to S5. But then GRRM hadn't yet worked out a way to make the Dothraki scene work, and they couldn't wait for him. So they talked about a few different possibilities, and decided that the best choice was the one they used, even though it changed Dany's fire resistance from their original plans. We know they made other changes like that (e.g., they'd originally planned to make wights not susceptible to dragonglass, and even revealed that in the viewer's guide, but then they changed their minds while writing S7), and this one wouldn't be too unreasonable of a change.

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1 hour ago, falcotron said:

In the books, Aegon V. He doesn't have a unique case like the dragon hatching, but then that's the point of it being unique. Beyond that, he has a scene just like hers where he bathes comfortably in water that's too hot for someone else to tolerate at all; they both fear burning, and get minor burns at one point; he dies in a fire (although it's possible that he's killed by a falling beam or something rather than burned to death)

So basically he's fire-resistant, but not as fire-resistant as (show)Daenerys then.
She has never shown any fear of getting burns, nor has she ever had any in the show.

I'm not arguing the fact that book-Daenerys is immune to fire, but show Daenerys genuinely seems to be.

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18 hours ago, Apoplexy said:

It is also possible that the magic that happened when the dragon eggs hatched made her fire-proof. 

No, in GoT she walks into the fire knowing it will not harm her. Her cloths burn right away. She showed to be heat-resistant before and claims to "be a true dragon" and "Visery died because he was not a true dragon", otherwise the molten gold would have done no garm to him.

In the TV show Daenerys is fire-resistant and knows to be.

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2 hours ago, Kajjo said:

No, in GoT she walks into the fire knowing it will not harm her. Her cloths burn right away. She showed to be heat-resistant before and claims to "be a true dragon" and "Visery died because he was not a true dragon", otherwise the molten gold would have done no garm to him.

In the TV show Daenerys is fire-resistant and knows to be.

I can see that Dany believed she wasnt going to be harmed in the funeral pyre. But that's not the same as it being true. Targaryens have believed themselves to be fireproof for centuries. Aerion drank wildfire and died, Aerys believed he wouldn't die when he planned to burn KL, but rise as a dragon.

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20 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

So basically he's fire-resistant, but not as fire-resistant as (show)Daenerys then.
She has never shown any fear of getting burns, nor has she ever had any in the show.

My point is that he's exactly as fire-resistant as book!Dany is, and as show!Dany seemed to be (based both on what we'd seen on-screen, and what they said in interviews) for the first few seasons.

It's no longer clear that show!Dany is the same as book!Dany. It is quite possible that they've changed the rules for her, or even that they had always planned to change the rules and were just misleading us early on—or even, I suppose, that GRRM is planning to change the rules and has been misleading us for even longer, and D&D were just forced to do it before him because he got behind in the books.

So, I'm not arguing that show!Dany is the same as Aegon V, I was just answering your question by providing the example of the most fire-resistant Targaryen we know of other than her from the books. So, if you want to go looking for quotes for evidence to prove that show!Dany is in clearly different than other Targaryens, now you know who to search for.

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Jon must kill Daeny (who is finally pregnant) to save the day somehow. Maybe making a new lightbringer? 

 

The good guys win, but Jon doesn't want to be king as he is sick of all of this. Gendry takes the throne in his place.

 

The story ends with Jon hailed as a hero and the new legend of azor ahai, but you see now that the hero does not live happily ever after. Jon lost a wife, his future child, and most of his family. So you are left feeling Glad the good guys won, but super sad that it cost one good man so much. 

 

And so ends the song of ice and fire. Which turned out to be a rather sad song when all things are considered. 

 

That's what I would do. 

Edited by MrJay

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Would prefer an ending with many deaths we will never forget but showrunners may please the fanbase instead.

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8 hours ago, MrJay said:

Jon must kill Daeny (who is finally pregnant) to save the day somehow. Maybe making a new lightbringer? 

 

The good guys win, but Jon doesn't want to be king as he is sick of all of this. Gendry takes the throne in his place.

 

The story ends with Jon hailed as a hero and the new legend of azor ahai, but you see now that the hero does not live happily ever after. Jon lost a wife, his future child, and most of his family. So you are left feeling Glad the good guys won, but super sad that it cost one good man so much. 

 

And so ends the song of ice and fire. Which turned out to be a rather sad song when all things are considered. 

 

That's what I would do. 

Welcome to the Boards -- :cheers:

My sense of where the story is going is closer to what you write here than anything else that has been written above in this thread. I tend to think that either Jon or Dany (but not both) will die to "save the world" (and the other one). I go back and forth regarding which one I think dies -- but I tend to think it would be more "subversive" for the female to be the one who dies -- and more tragic if she is pregnant with their child.

Another reason I think Jon is the one who lives is because Dany has been trying to become Queen of Westeros -- and GRRM generally is not interested in letting people who really want the throne to get what they want in the end (I am assuming that D&D were being honest when they stated that the show will end basically with the same outcome for the main characters as the books plan to have -- based on the broad outline provided to them by GRRM).

Jon does not want to be King -- which is why I think GRRM is more likely to have him become King. The only way to win the Game of Thrones is not to play the Game of Thrones -- Dany has played (and so must lose) -- whereas Jon has never played (and will not want the job but will take it out of duty).

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8 hours ago, MrJay said:

Jon must kill Daeny (who is finally pregnant) to save the day somehow. Maybe making a new lightbringer?

And how exactly do you imagine that he'll be persuaded to do this?

He banished Melisandre for killing Shireen, so he's certainly not going to listen to her... and I really can't see him murdering a pregnant Daenerys based on something Sam discovers in a book.

Bran could potentially have a vision about Lightbringer, but even then it seems completely out of character for Jon to go along with the idea based on a vision. And I don't think Bran's purpose in the story is to spend 5+ episodes trying to convince Jon. It seems far more likely to me that his final act will be to battle the NK and weaken him in some way, either through time travel or through warging.

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2 hours ago, Khorkalba said:

And how exactly do you imagine that he'll be persuaded to do this?

He banished Melisandre for killing Shireen, so he's certainly not going to listen to her... and I really can't see him murdering a pregnant Daenerys based on something Sam discovers in a book.

Bran could potentially have a vision about Lightbringer, but even then it seems completely out of character for Jon to go along with the idea based on a vision. And I don't think Bran's purpose in the story is to spend 5+ episodes trying to convince Jon. It seems far more likely to me that his final act will be to battle the NK and weaken him in some way, either through time travel or through warging.

There won't be that sort of build up or convincing of Jon -- if it happens. And such action likely would not be exactly like the original Nissa Nissa perhaps. For example, Dany might be mortally wounded and Dany begs Jon to kill her so that he can ride Drogon and continue the battle. I am sure there are numerous other scenarios in which Jon is forced to sacrifice Dany in some way to save humanity.

Also remember that the third betrayal of Dany -- the betrayal for love -- presumably has not occurred yet. Jon killing Dany could be the betrayal for love.

The details are difficult to determine, as GRRM could have constructed all sorts of scenarios we could not imagine to line up such action. But the foreshadowing and clues hint at Dany dying by Jon's hand in some fashion. Arguing that Jon will not be persuaded to take this action is not really a strong argument because if GRRM wants Jon to be convinced to take the action -- Jon will be convinced. Nothing in the story makes Jon killing Dany impossible. GRRM (and by extension, D&D) has as many ways as his imagination can invent to lead to such a resolution.

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8 hours ago, Khorkalba said:

And how exactly do you imagine that he'll be persuaded to do this?

He banished Melisandre for killing Shireen, so he's certainly not going to listen to her... and I really can't see him murdering a pregnant Daenerys based on something Sam discovers in a book.

Bran could potentially have a vision about Lightbringer, but even then it seems completely out of character for Jon to go along with the idea based on a vision. And I don't think Bran's purpose in the story is to spend 5+ episodes trying to convince Jon. It seems far more likely to me that his final act will be to battle the NK and weaken him in some way, either through time travel or through warging.

I'm gonna be honest. I don't really know. Mainly because the story so far is so ..."UGH" that any ideas would just be damage control IMO. So I can answer this one of two ways.

 

1. Show logic:

Mili ports back during the great war and tells someone about Azor Ahai. Everyone is all like "Oooh, Azor Ahai. Yeah, we know that prophecy. We have only been mentioning it for years and building it up. Prophecies are legit now and they are always exactly as they seem." Then someone convinces Jon and Daeny and they have a little scene. Daeny dies, a sky beam appears, and all the dead die and the day is saved...Directed by Zack Snyder and Michael Bay.

 

2. My logic (salvage attempt)

Jon doesn't trust Mili but Azor Ahai is bigger than her. Daeny seems to sort of believe it too. Daeny feels she is the chosen one and Jon agrees. When Jon is about to allow himself to get stabbed by Longclaw (why else is he keeping the damn thing?) Something happens and the plan goes to crap. Daeny get's injured in a battle and by the time Jon reaches her it's basically too late. (Also, no one can rez anymore because reasons...A bit of show logic here). So someone tells Jon that he is the chosen one, and Daeny is gonna die anyway....(sigh)

 

I can't do this. Honestly, this plot seems so silly and cliche that I cannot even logic it out in a way that is satisfying and fits in with the in world rules. Prophecies are often twisted or full of crap. Azor Ahai most likely does not exist as we all know it. The Red God will find a way to keep his chosen alive, but only if they have a role to play. Killing the Night King to win the day is honestly rather dumb, and I have no idea why suddenly killing a WW kills any of the dead he raised. 

 

I really see no way to save this story without resorting to generic fantasy tropes, and to my understanding, GoT/ASOIAF is supposed to be subverting those tropes and showing us that war is messy, complicated, and not glamorous as well as good and evil being merely perspective. I can't save this.

Edited by MrJay

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2 hours ago, MrJay said:

 

I really see no way to save this story without resorting to generic fantasy tropes, and to my understanding, GoT/ASOIAF is supposed to be subverting those tropes and showing us that war is messy, complicated, and not glamorous as well as good and evil being merely perspective. I can't save this.

This is a common misconception, and the sooner it dies and people realize that A Song of Ice and Fire is more or less bog standard High Fantasy, the better. This doesn't mean that the show can't show us that war is hell and not everything is black and white however.
GoT did a good job in the beginning of making people believe that it was different, by suddenly killing characters people believed to be the protagonists, but really, at the end of the day, we have characters like Jon Snow; young underdog bastard who's raised with a hidden identity but who is also secretly the heir to the entire kingdom. It doesn't get more High Fantasy than that.

As for Azor Ahai, I'm starting to believe that this refers to both Jon and Dany: Jon is the prince who was promised and Dany is the princess who was promised, and that they together will save the world. The show sure seems to be heading that way. They might both die, they might both survive, but I seriously doubt that either of them will kill the other.

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On 9/3/2017 at 5:36 PM, Vibalist said:

Jon dying to save Daenerys, who carries his heir, or vice versa, is not subversive. It's bog standard fantasy.

You can't have your cake and eat it. Either you get a traditional ending, or you get a truly subversive one where both Jon and Daenerys end up somewhere very far from the Iron Throne, won't be heroes after all, and might die anti climactically and humilliatingly.

Excellent points - agreed.

On 9/3/2017 at 6:25 PM, Vibalist said:

Another way to be subversive is to have Daenerys on the Iron Throne. And then she turns out to be a horrifically incompetent ruler.

See, her only experience is with conquest and war. She doesn't know how to keep a kingdom stable or how to deal with the politicking. Turns out Tywin's iron fist was much better suited for Westeros. By attempting to transition society out of feudalism, Daenerys takes on too big a task, breaks too many traditions at once, tries to change too much at a time. Her intention to break the wheel comes to nothing, people no longer believe in her humanism, and feudalism persists. Turns out you need an actual strategy beyond fire and blood and tearing down the system in order to effectuate change.
 

This would tie in with what we've seen of her so far. Logically, Meeren should be in ruins after she left Daario Naharis - of all people - behind to rule it. If that's not horrifically bad leadership, I don't know what is.

I thought up until midway through ADWD in the books (and midway through S6 on the show) that Daenerys was going to be the final villain, maybe a victorious villain.  Would love to see it still happen.

On 9/4/2017 at 2:31 AM, Khorkalba said:

I want to see something unexpected, like the White Walkers actually winning. The bittersweet part can be that they retreat into hibernation afterards, allowing the Children of the Forest to repopulate Westeros.

Alternatively, if the White Walkers really MUST be defeated to spare the feelings of precious little daffodil viewers, then it should be a pyrrhic victory in which almost all human life has been wiped out (including Dany and Jon), forcing the survivors to live out the rest of their days in Essos or make a very primative new beginning in Westeros with no castles or iron thrones.

I am Team White Walkers on the show now.  This would be fine by me.

On 9/4/2017 at 4:13 AM, Vibalist said:

Yet another cool ending would be if all those prophecies didn't mean anything at all, and neither Jon nor Daenerys were special. Have Melisandre and all these others be followers of false religions that don't predict the future, have the so called Chosen Ones be normal people who, by sheer coincidence, fit the descriptions in the prophecies. Make them die anticlimactially, like Stannis in the show, who was also 'special'.

Or make the White Walkers/Others a benevolent race merely defending itself from what it perceives to be human aggression. Make the heroes wipe them out, only to realize afterwards they've committed genocide on an entire people they could have negotiated with. Make it a story about prejudice and fear of 'the other' and how it leads to war.

Just make it something else than one hero sacrificing him/herself to save the other one, or prophecies. That's not subversive.

I love all of these ideas.

 

I'll add another - Jon dies heroically, Daenerys dies in childbirth, Tyrion raises their son, and flash forward a few years and we find their son is like the Joffrey and Mad King Aerys combined and everything is awful, proving once again that sleeping with your family members is a terrible idea that no one should root for.

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9 hours ago, MrJay said:

I really see no way to save this story without resorting to generic fantasy tropes, and to my understanding, GoT/ASOIAF is supposed to be subverting those tropes and showing us that war is messy, complicated, and not glamorous as well as good and evil being merely perspective. I can't save this.

The show isn't going to try to break any fantasy tropes. There is just no way. Personally I think they are just going to have a happy ending with a death of either Jon or Dany. They won't be able to think/do much more than that IMO.

While the books obviously broke/subverted A LOT of fantasy tropes (especially if you consider how fantasy books were back in 1996) I don't know how GRRM will keep doing it. Jon is falling into the generic fantasy trope so hopefully because of him dying this somehow plays out differently. If he does fall in love with Dany, that's right into another generic fantasy story. I hope GRRM still has an ace up his sleeve for the books, but as far as the show goes, I personally wouldn't expect it to do any breaking of tropes.

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Also, didn't GRRM compare his bittersweet ending to the "bittersweet" ending of LOTR? Is it just me or does that movie not really have a bittersweet ending? It seemed pretty much like a happy ending to me. I guess the hobbits home being overrun was the bittersweet part but for me personally it didn't seem THAT bittersweet to me. But I may be way wrong obviously.

Edited by btfu806

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25 minutes ago, btfu806 said:

Also, didn't GRRM compare his bittersweet ending to the "bittersweet" ending of LOTR? Is it just me or does that movie not really have a bittersweet ending? It seemed pretty much like a happy ending to me. I guess the hobbits home being overrun was the bittersweet part but for me personally it didn't seem THAT bittersweet to me. But I may be way wrong obviously.

I've heard this as well, and I agree: LotR has a happy ending, not a bittersweet ending.
The Scouring of the Shire isn't really bittersweet, because only a few non-named hobbits actually die in that final battle.

The only bittersweet part of the LotR-ending imo is how Frodo is so scarred by the ring that he has to leave his friends behind forever and travel with the elves to Valinor.  It's a sad farewell between Frodo, Sam (who later joins him), Merry and Pippin, but it's still a happy ending imo.

Edit: I don't really buy the "there must always be a Lich Nightking"-theory were Jon somehow will become the next Nightking, but that's the only way I can see GoT have a similar ending to LotR: Evil is vanquished, the realm of men is saved and the future looks bright, but Frodo had to leave his friends behind and was prevented from having his happy ever after with them - and Jon has to leave Daenerys and their child behind when he becomes the new Nightking, leaving a heartbroken Daenerys with a throne she no longer really wants.

Edited by MinscS2

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5 minutes ago, MinscS2 said:

I've heard this as well, and I agree: LotR has a happy ending, not a bittersweet ending.
The Scouring of the Shire isn't really bittersweet, because only a few non-named hobbits actually die in that final battle.

The only bittersweet part of the LotR-ending imo is how Frodo is so scarred by the ring that he has to leave his friends behind forever and travel with the elves to Valinor.  It's a sad farewell between Frodo, Sam (who later joins him), Merry and Pippin, but it's still a happy ending imo.

That is very true, I forget how scarred Frodo is by the whole thing and leaving his friends behind (I need to see the movies again, it's been a while) but you're right, it's sad for the moment but a happy overall ending. 

Maybe that's the GOT ending, Jon is scarred by everything and has to ride out on a ship to Valinor with some elves ... or errr ... freefolk or something?

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12 minutes ago, btfu806 said:

That is very true, I forget how scarred Frodo is by the whole thing and leaving his friends behind (I need to see the movies again, it's been a while) but you're right, it's sad for the moment but a happy overall ending. 

Maybe that's the GOT ending, Jon is scarred by everything and has to ride out on a ship to Valinor with some elves ... or errr ... freefolk or something?

Exactly.
I extended my thoughts on that theory in my last post:

Quote

I don't really buy the "there must always be a Lich Nightking"-theory were Jon somehow will become the next Nightking, but that's the only way I can see GoT have a similar ending to LotR: Evil is vanquished, the realm of men is saved and the future looks bright, but Frodo had to leave his friends behind and was prevented from having his happy ever after with them - and Jon has to leave Daenerys and their child behind when he becomes the new Nightking, leaving a heartbroken Daenerys with a throne she no longer really wants.


I made a different post recently, where I ponder the fact that Dany's ultimate goal has already started to shift. Instead of the Iron Throne being the most important thing for her, family is becoming more and more important for her instead. We might very well reach a point in season 8 where she considers being prevented from being with Jon something that will cause her more heartache and sadness, than being prevented from actually ending up on the Iron Throne and ruling:

Quote

I'm really looking forward to her reaction when she finds out about Jon/Aegon:


Daenerys hates the fact that she's the last Targaryen, that she cannot conceive children, and that her family will die with her. She always missed having a family and a home. Taking the Ironthrone and doing as much for the realm as she can before she dies and House Targaryen passes into history has become the goal for her, everything else is pointless from her point of view, because she can't have children, nor has a loving family to spend her time with. It's her only purpose at this stage, the only thing she lives for.

The revelation that Jon Snow, a man she loves and respects, is actually Aegon Targaryen, son of the brother she had always idolized, turns everything on it's head. Suddenly she's not the rightful heir to the Ironthrone, however, she's also no longer the last Targaryen, she has a family, one she actually love, and her house no longer dies with her. If we assume that she becomes pregnant, she will take this as fate: Jon isn't just someone she respects and loves, he's the one who broke Miri Maaz Duur's curse and who helps her continue the Targaryen dynasty. Suddenly, taking the Ironthrone is no longer her only purpose, she has other things to live for: Jon and their child.



 

Edited by MinscS2

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What I suggested above (following up on MrJay) as the ending does not seem like that happy an ending to me -- but let me expand on what could be the ending. I am not specifically predicting this ending, but I think it is quite possible.

Assume that Dany dies in battle before giving birth, so Jon loses his lover (or wife perhaps by this point) and his child. Assume further that Jon feels in some respects responsible for her death (in some way, Jon has to choose between saving the "world" or trying to save Dany -- and chooses to let Dany die). Also assume that Westeros is in tatters -- with a huge percentage of the population killed in the War against the WW. Sure, the WW get defeated and Westeros starts the rebuilding process. And perhaps Jon becomes King -- but he does not really want to be King and takes it out of obligation because there is no one left to take the position.

Such an ending seems completely in line with the clues that have been set up in the books and in the show. And I think that while this ending does not undermine every trope in the fantasy legion (I really don't think that a satisfying ending could), it certainly qualifies to me as bittersweet (maybe even more bitter than sweet).

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