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Lord Stackspear

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  1. I agree. At some point, it’s not worth thinking about S8 anymore, but I am amazed at how often I think about S8 and just how bad of an ending it was for this story. Before S8, about once a year, I would get great joy from re-watching all prior seasons and/or re-reading the books. I would always find it illuminating to visit the characters earlier in their development knowing what I know now about where their stories end up. It made their characters seem richer and deeper. But, after S8, I just always think, what would be the point in re-watching or re-reading - everything ends with Dany going insane, Jon having to kill her, and some stupid non-sensical council where the world I knew and loved no longer exists. It makes everything that came before seem pointless and without meaning.
  2. Really, it would have been nice to see something less than a total and complete victory in Meereen for Dany. It could have been a great way to begin Dany’s descent into darkness if that’s where the story was going to take her. Instead, what did we get? Dany returning from the wilderness to neatly and quickly clean up Tyrion’s mess on the back of Drogon and with the help of the Dothraki. From what we can tell of the story the show told, Dany’s dragon show, combined with some deft executions of her slaver enemies, some Dothraki screamers to help secure the city, and leaving her lover in charge, she has effectively eliminated slavery from the Bay of Dragons (fka Slaver’s Bay) and a solid period of peace and stability has taken hold. And, all of that happened with relatively few casualties. A true people’s revolution (with the help of a few dragons). There is absolutely nothing in the show to suggest anything else happened. Believable? Not really, but it’s the story the show told. Just another one of many reasons that Dany’s turn in the final episodes of the show seemed so out of character. Her victory in King’s Landing was even more swift and absolute, yet she couldn’t help but go on a killing spree of innocents after she had so clearly achieved her objective? Ok, if you say so, D&D.
  3. Those seem like plausible theories to me, I just feel like the show didn’t really show enough to conclude that either one of those things could have or would have happened in the absence of the catch-a-wight story sequence. I really wish the show would have given us a little bit more explanation of all the magic going on - it seems like they really wanted to stay away from going into any depth on the magic stuff. I understand not wanting to go full in on explaining the magic - it’s nice to have some mystery to how it all works - but I think a little more would have helped a lot of things make a little more sense.
  4. Maybe. Unless I’m mistaken, the Horn of Joramun is only in the books - I don’t ever recall it being mentioned on the show. And, even in the books, as I recall, Mance only claims to have found it - we don’t know if it ever actually was found or if it works. In the show, we’re told the wall has magic woven into it and also that the wights/white walkers can’t cross water - maybe that’s not true, but it’s what Jon says. There is the whole thing with Bran and his “mark” but it is never laid out that that would enable the army of the dead to cross the wall - it’s a fool’s errand trying to make out what exactly Bran’s powers are and are not in the show, so who knows. I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that there really isn’t anything presented on the show to suggest those things would have happened. As such, I think it’s unclear whether the army of the dead could have come south absent taking one of Dany’s dragons, at least that’s the story the show seems to tell. I do hope GRRM, if he ever finishes the books, has a better story to tell than what they did in the show for the wall coming down.
  5. I see those two things much differently. I think it's pretty reasonable for Dany to think she has the North because the King in the North bent the knee to her and loves her. If he is truly a King the North follows, why should she think she has more politicking to do absent her advisors informing her of additional politicking she should do? And that's exactly what happens. If anything, I see the North/Sansa's continued distaste for Dany despite her sacrifices for the North as Sansa effectively spitting in Dany's face. Dany didn't do anything to make Sansa naturally trust or mistrust her - to the contrary, she sacrifices a great deal by going North (albeit, not out of purely altruistic reasons). Sansa repays this with political scheming despite Jon asking her to promise not to do so. I'm not saying Sansa should have developed some sort of deep trust for Dany, but a smart leader would recognize that Dany is a powerful ally, and maybe it makes sense to support her despite your misgivings. IMO, the main reason the show does this is to make Sansa look prescient with respect to Dany's eventual fall in KL. For me, it was another failure of storytelling. A better story, would have been Sansa hearing about or seeing some sort of clear lack of good judgment in Dany that foreshadowed Dany's fall - maybe Sansa could have had spies on Dany that witness a conversation where Dany seems to be losing it over something or acting in a selfish manner. As to Dany dragging her feet to go North, I don't really see that either. The wall fell because of the whole catch-a-wight, Dany swoops in to save us, and Viserion dies story line. Had this stupid scheme not happened, it's not clear that the wall would even have fallen. All of this happens at the urging of Jon and Tyrion to appease Cersei, and, as the show tells it, it all seems to happen pretty quickly. As soon as it comes to resolution, they go North - and Dany doesn't fly her dragons, she goes by boat and horse to ride with Jon and show her alliance with Jon (at Jon's urging). I just don't see any dragging of her feet. Should she just have believed Jon as soon as he showed up on Dragonstone? I don't see how a smart leader would not have had a high degree of skepticism toward the things Jon came to tell about the NK and army of the dead. And once she fully sees the threat humanity faces (although maybe she doesn't really care about that and just wants vengeance - that's open to interpretation), she vows to Jon in tears that they will defeat the NK. Seems like a high degree of grit and determination to me.
  6. Just a couple of thoughts. One, I think the reason for killing people matters more (or at least differently) than the reason one has for saving people. An unjustified killing is murder and something that is a moral wrong in the eye’s of most societies. Saving people for selfish reasons, although not as honorable as doing so for selfless reasons, is not something that completely negates the act of saving such people. You’ve still committed a morally good act, you just did not have morally admirable reasons for doing so. Two, I think we still only have two clear reasons the show gives for why Dany fought the NK - her love of Jon and vengeance for the NK killing Viserion. Any further speculation about what did or did not motivate her is not something the show chose to show us. I don’t think her conversation with Sansa tells us any more here - Dany is responding to the accusation that Jon bent the knee because he loves her. Dany is trying to tell Sansa that Dany loves Jon and that is, in large part, why she’s here. Calling it “Jon’s war” in this context doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about the common people of the North or that she doesn’t also view the NK as an existential threat to humanity. There isn’t explicit support in the show that she does care about the common people and the threat to humanity either - the most we get is Dany in tears when Jon bends the knee saying “now I know” about the threat Jon has been telling her about, but that isn’t clear evidence of what is her driving motivation.
  7. Whatever your reasons, I'm just happy you like me. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I mean, I'm probably too dumb to understand anything rational, so emotions are basically all I have left to enjoy in this world. At some point, I hope you stop telling me all your rational thoughts. They make too much sense!! They make my head hurt!!
  8. Agreed that it doesn’t prove that she wanted to save the North. The absence of such explicit statement regarding her motivations also does not prove the part of your post I’ve underlined. Her motivations are open to interpretation based on aspects of the show other than dialogue (such as tone, facial expressions, music, cinematography). Obviously, we disagree on what the show depicted in this respect.
  9. In your prior post, you stated that “she didn’t care about anything else like defending the innocent, or even Night King and the army of the dead.” The dialogue in S6:E6 appears to indicate that she did care (at least about the NK, nothing is said about innocents) and that it was more than just a tertiary issue for her. As to what exactly her priorities were at this point, I don’t know that the dialogue itself indicates one way or the other what was her greatest priority. For me, I look at the way each of these two scenes in question were filmed. The first one takes place on the ship with Jon injured and in bed - it’s an intimate scene and Dany appears to be on the brink of tears. She seems honored that Jon is going to bend the knee to her and determined to defeat the NK. If I had to conjecture, it would be, in part, out of her grief at losing Viserion and, in part, out of the love she has developed for Jon. The scene in the dragon pit where she is asking Jon what she should do now with Cersei refusing the truce is a quiet scene on side of the dragon pit between Jon and Dany where they are talking about what to do next. They both seem uncertain. Dany appears to be struggling. Jon, rather than emphasizing again that the fight against the NK is the only one that matters, just listens to her - one might surmise that he also feels conflicted over the right course of action for Dany and for him. If Dany’s question was meant to convey that she didn’t care about the NK and only really cared about the IT, I don’t think it would have been unreasonable to expect a stronger statement from Dany and/or some sort of reaction from Jon. I suppose it’s possible she is just playing Jon, pretending that she cares about the NK when, in reality, she doesn’t care and thinks she can just easily burn the NK and his army. The impression I get from these scenes is that, yes, Dany is fixated on taking the IT (she has been the whole season and for most of the show), but she also seems to realize that the NK is an existential threat that must be defeated. She commits herself to that cause whether it be because she lost a dragon to the NK or because she loves Jon - not sure what she thinks about the common folk of the North. At the same time, because she does want to take the IT, she feels torn as to the best course of action should Cersei not cooperate. Ultimately, because Cersei fakes cooperation, she doesn’t have to face the question of whether to take the IT or fight the NK first, but it seems clear that she views both as significant priorities.
  10. In the immediately preceding episode, however, we have the following dialogue: Jon: I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I wish I could take it back. I wish we'd never go. Dany: I don't. If we hadn't gone I wouldn't have seen. You have to see it to know. Now I know. The dragons are my children. They're the only children I'll ever have. Do you understand? We are going to destroy the Night King and his army. And we'll do it together. You have my word. So, I think you could argue that Dany’s words in the next episode are a complete reversal of this sentiment, that she no longer cares about defeating the NK, but I would argue that the more natural reading of the words you’re quoting (particularly in light of the tone of the scene in which the words are said) are that she was simply musing with Jon as she struggled about the right course of action if Cersei didn’t agree to stand down. She’s having a moment of open questioning with Jon about the right path forward - I wouldn’t say she is definitively saying she doesn’t care about the North or destroying the NK. If the show writers were intending to communicate that Dany was ready to go back on her word and abandon the fight against the NK if Cersei didn’t stand down, I think they should have shown this conversation as more of a conflict between Jon and Dany - more of a moment of hostility and tension where Jon starts to question why he bent the knee if his Queen was not going to keep her word. And, something like that could have been a good way to start to show Dany becoming so obsessed with the IT that it was going to be here doom. But, they couldn’t do that - after all, they were laying the predicate for the boat bedroom romp that would follow soon after this scene.
  11. Best line from that article: "Here's the problem: The show hasn't portrayed this change in Dany's character particularly well. Indeed, my interpretation of what's happening here is mainly informed by my reading of Martin's books." I think I actually read that article real-time when it was released. I remember thinking at the time and having conversations with friends about how the books really depicted much more inner turmoil with Dany. I thought GRRM was trying to create within Dany a sense that the reader could not know whether she was going to choose her peace-loving, liberator side or her fire & blood side. Much like the way GRRM has said he wants you to fear on every page you read that the character you're reading about could die, I thought he was trying to turn Dany into this character where on every page you read, you wondered whether she would choose a more thoughtful and peaceful resolution to her struggles or choose to simply burn them all. Most friends who were show watchers only thought this was crazy based on what they saw on the show, and they were right to think so IMO. Dany takes control of the Dothraki by killing relatively few - it was more inspired than fearful. I don't think they all bowed to her after she emerged from the fire primarily because they feared her - they believed in or were inspired by her. She returns to Mereen and, as best we can tell in the show, has eliminated slavery in what they are now calling "Dragon's Bay," has established a peace, and did it all with relatively few casualties. Then she sails for Westeros, and, again, chooses restraint over fire & blood. She forms alliances with Dorne and Highgarden and, even if the face of losing those allies, chooses more of a surgical strike in the loot train battle than pure fire & blood. Then, she chooses to believe Jon Snow and falls in love with him, sacrifices a dragon, suspends hostilities with Cersei to save humanity and, even though the Northerners treat her like garbage, she realizes the fight against the dead is bigger than any of that. Despite all of this predicate, we are supposed to believe that Jon's lineage reveal + Jorah's death + Northern rejection + Missandei's death + Rhaegal's death + basically a complete and total victory in King's Landing causes Dany to just say f*** it, I'm burning everyone - men, women, children, friend and foe. And, to boot, it's not just because I'm down and depressed, it's because I have a new vision of a world order where all shall bow before what I have decided is good for humanity. If they choose not to conform, they shall burn. It didn't work for me.
  12. Aww, thanks. I’m glad to you like me despite the fact that my views are so “utterly irrational” that you can’t even afford them being called an “opinion.”
  13. Well, I’m very happy for you that those are all additional examples of a great story that were completely logical and made for a great narrative story. For me and many others, they are not. You can dismiss us as members of a mob who are simply out to bash the show runners if you want. I’m not going to spend any more time explaining my opinions to you. I respect that you have a different opinion and we’ll just have to leave it at that.
  14. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the story points I thought did not make all that much sense, but I’ll give you a few examples I think are illustrative of where the story telling failed in the last two seasons. I expect you’ll disagree, but whatever. And, for the record, I agree with you about Arya’s character arc - it was one of the few (perhaps the only) major characters in the show who had a final two season arc that was pretty well done. Season 7 1. The plan to go beyond the wall and bring a wight to convince Cersei to cease hostilities and join the fight against the dead. The idea that anything could convince Cersei to do anything other than look out for herself was stupid. The only purpose of this whole story line IMO was to find a way to kill one of Dany’s dragons and bring the wall down. Multiple aspects of it were rushed and didn’t make sense (for example, the idea that a raven got a letter to Dany and then Dany flew her dragons in time to save them - sorry, was just a perfect example of bad story telling). 2. Burning/execution of the Tarly’s - everyone want’s to argue that this was some big foreshadowing of Dany’s cruelty and penchant for mass murder. It wasn’t. When you need two characters to tell you how bad it was because it wasn’t self-evident, that’s bad storytelling. Everyone who wants to cite this as evidence seems to read a lot of things into the story that were not presented or even remotely implied in the telling of the story. 3. Littlefinger’s trial/execution - I’ve rewatched the season several times. It was not a well told story. Yes, you can fit the pieces together by imagining what took place off screen, but a good story should give you enough hints that a very perceptive watcher might have suspected it, but still ended up being surprised. I think this story was deliberately told so you would be shocked, not so it would make sense Season 8 1. Dany’s tyrannical turn to burn thousands of innocents after she had won and was feared. I’m sorry, but the way it as depicted on screen (combined with what the showrunners stated) allows only one rational explanation IMO - Dany had a sudden psychotic break that was predetermined by her Targaryen lineage. I know a lot of people want to come up with all this foreshadowing and evidence that we all missed. I disagree. There was foreshadowing and evidence of Dany making very bad decisions and there are ways the story could have been told where I could explain her actions in a different manner. That’s not the story the show told. I guess it’s a satisfying story for some people to watch one of the main characters suddenly lose it and go crazy - I don’t think it is. 2. Dany’s sudden transformation into a radical fascist. Again, just didn’t make sense. It’s like she had this sudden delusional break. I don’t see the evidence for this ideology developing in her. Even if you can believe that her losses drove her to kill thousands of innocents, where is the evidence that she was developing this tyrannical ideology? Ok, sure - everyone wants to quote her saying either they can live in my new world or they can die in my old one - well, after that, she established a pretty good peace in Slaver’s Bay, then came to Westeros and decided to put her quest for the throne on hold to save humanity from their final doom. I don’t see evidence that she was starting to craft a new ideology where everyone in Westeros needed to die so she can make room for some new tyrannical regime. 3. Rhaegal’s death - this is definitely a more minor one, but it is just so illustrative of the stupidity in the last season. Dany “forgot” so one of her dragon’s were killed by some cruise missile spear that, come one week later, was as ineffective as could be. Look, I get it - we had to see the odds between her and Cersei as being even, we had to be fearful that Drogon might die in the battle of KL, we had to believe Dany had continued to lose everything. But, it didn’t make any sense - it was merely a story point to help us get form A to Z. Earlier, I mentioned the idea of a toddler telling a story saying “and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened” - this is a pretty good example of this. 4. The aftermath of Jon killing Dany - so many story problems with this, but I’ll just say, the world of Westeros we had come to know over the past 6-7 seasons appears to devolve into some Disneyesque happily ever after with all these lords suddenly agreeing to follow a Stark king (minus the one actual Stark kingdom). What was presented in the aftermath of Dany’s death was an unrecognizable world to the one that came before it. I could go on. There are more examples. I’m sure you’re going to want to go line by line though my post and tell me why I’m wrong - go for it. I probably won’t respond because at a certain point, this is a waste of time. I’m happy for you if you found the last couple of seasons to be a satisfying end to this story. I don’t think people like myself are just creating a mob mentality to bash D&D - and let me be clear, those are the only two guys I am criticizing. Every one else involved in the show clearly did an amazing job - I hope they get lots of awards for what they did. But, I think there is room to criticize the story D&D wrote and to be deeply dissatisfied with how they finished the show. They had a monumental task to finish this story in a satisfying, coherent way - I don’t envy the job they had, and it’s easy to criticize from the comfort of your own couch. But, one has to wonder whether if they had simply handed the show off to someone else, or decided that Star Wars could wait and they were going to stretch out the last couple of seasons and/or do one more season whether they could have put together a better story. We’ll never know, but, for me and many others, the story they told was a failure.
  15. I could spend a lot of time addressing all of your response to my post but I'll just focus here because I think this is the crux of the debate. With respect to GoT Seasons 1-6, I would agree that the story was complex. There were a lot of moving pieces that were finally starting to converge into a single narrative story line. It was going to be a difficult task for the show runners to bring the disparate story lines into focus and deliver a satisfying and logical end to the such a complex show with complex characters whose stories had been intricately told over 6 incredible seasons of story telling. IMO, the show runners failed. Seasons 7 and 8 weren't too complex and complicated for people to understand. They weren't "too smart" such that significant parts of the audience just weren't able to follow and make sense of what happened. The seasons were rushed. The story lines were rushed. Things happened that simply did not make sense. The rich, complicated, fascinating, intriguing story that was GoT became a series of dots that needed to be connected no matter how ugly the final shape appeared to viewers. The result was a problem with the narrative story, not the audience. People like me aren't mere casual viewers. I've read the books twice, I watched most of the episodes in the series more times than I can count. I've invested countless hours of my life in this story. I'm not just upset because I'm some Dany-loving fanatic - I've never seen her as a purely "good" character. I'm disappointed because the the narrative story the show runners decided to tell had serious flaws that did not make sense. More power to you if you think the last two seasons were a satisfying end to this complex story that made narrative sense and provided a satisfying ending. I wish I were you.
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