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Season 8: News, Spoilers And Leaks

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I just want to add that since reading the books and watching the series this is the first time I’ve gone in search for leaks. Thanks D&D, this is what you have lead me to. 

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I do believe that we're getting the TWOW ending here, or at the very least the political stuff will mostly come before the Long Night. May there be a cleanup like the Scouring of the Shire after the Others are defeated? Sure. I just don't see all our vaguely sympathetic characters all teaming up to take down one bad guy on the Iron Throne at the end of the books (unless that guy is Euron. He's a way that dark, eldritch stuff could hypothetically continue after the Others. Not that I am fully into that happening, of course).

Anyway, it seems that D&D never liked the primordial mysticism so are bringing the focus back to the politics. Not the nitty gritty details of who is actually running the Riverlands, mind you, but the very vapid "who gets the throne" plot line. I am surprised that none of the leaks give a solid answer for that, all things considered (Bran? Yeah, right. He has done nothing but be an exposition machine for 3 seasons and gave up his claim to Winterfell multiple times). Personally I think the IT being destroyed is something that Martin would go for, but I don't know, maybe D&D don't think it's as "dramatically satisfying."

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Looking strictly at the "dance of the dragons" in episode 3, I can see it as a battle with Euron instead of the Night King. Its main feature was that it took place inside a storm, something Euron likes to associate himself with - Will it be revealed in the books that he can summon storms with his blood sacrifice? Perhaps. It's either that or krakens.

Aside from that, the dragons interacted very little with the troops below, certainly not enough to make us believe that George has some special role in mind for them in the battle with the dead. I also subscribe to the idea that the last stand at Winterfell probably belongs to Stannis (and he will likely lose), so perhaps these were two events from the books that were baked into one and doctored to fit their Night King invention?

If Euron killing Rhaegal is a plot point from the books, then it is likely that both him and Viserion will die in this battle, since I doubt George will equip the ironborn with scorpions as efficient as modern AA guns. It goes without saying that the battle will take place somewhere on and above the Narrow Sea. The ironborn are a sea power, which would be wasted in a land-based plot line.

The question is, what is this battle for and when does it take place? On one hand, I really like how well it fits with some elements of the Exodus, but on the other the show and the leaks kind of crushed that. Still, there are only two or three reasons to fight Euron at sea. One is to allow the refugee ships to cross, the other is to allow Dany's transport ships to cross to Westeros, and the other is to rescue someone from the Silence.

The second option seems most likely, but even then it doesn't take all the wind from my sails. If Jon is going to ride Rhaegal, that means Jon would have to meet Dany over in Essos before she crosses over,or he won't get a chance. And even if we accept that Jon doesn't really need to ride a dragon in the books, Euron is still more likely to be an endgame villain than a midgame one, meaning Dany won't be crossing over very soon, and we'll see at least one more book's worth of Essos material from her.

This is in line with another one of my theories, that Missandei's death and Dany's first descent towards darkness (if we don't count all the crucifying and endorsement of torture, of course) will happen in Norvos, due to the machinations of a vengeful Mellario Martell. Am I starting to sound crazy? Well, you just don't understand...

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35 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

This is in line with another one of my theories, that Missandei's death and Dany's first descent towards darkness (if we don't count all the crucifying and endorsement of torture, of course) will happen in Norvos, due to the machinations of a vengeful Mellario Martell. Am I starting to sound crazy? Well, you just don't understand...

To me, a little bit. :P At this point Mellario has been a flat enough character that I very much doubt she is going to play a significant role in the story. Doran or Arianne would be far more likely candidates for Martells upset about Quentyn. And while I don't mean to characterise your speculation as this, I am just sour on any Mellario speculation after hearing one too many Mellario Blackfyre and babyswapped Quentyn theories.

Nathalie Emmanuel's Missandei is quite an original character, so I really don't think it's farfetched to discount her death as something entirely fabricated by Benioff & Weiss. I mean, her romance with Grey Worm plays a large part in how her death is portrayed on-screen, and somehow I doubt Martin will have a 10 year old become his romantic interest. 

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3 hours ago, Maia said:

In this case, I could see Dany getting killed by FAegon et al. and her function for Jon's narrative having been to deliver Drogon for his use, as some have previously speculated. Once riderless, Bran/Bloodraven would be able to draw him to Jon's location. Or, it could indeed be some Nissa Nissa stuff and then Jon is going to kill her. 

God I hate this. If Daenerys dies then I will accept no other death than her sacrificing herself in a heroic way (and not in a Nissa Nissa way which I don't  even believe is literal). And I'll continue to hold that belief until i read the last books and even if the show does something else :P

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34 minutes ago, Vaith said:

To me, a little bit. :P At this point Mellario has been a flat enough character that I very much doubt she is going to play a significant role in the story. Doran or Arianne would be far more likely candidates for Martells upset about Quentyn. And while I don't mean to characterise your speculation as this, I am just sour on any Mellario speculation after hearing one too many Mellario Blackfyre and babyswapped Quentyn theories.

Nathalie Emmanuel's Missandei is quite an original character, so I really don't think it's farfetched to discount her death as something entirely fabricated by Benioff & Weiss. I mean, her romance with Grey Worm plays a large part in how her death is portrayed on-screen, and somehow I doubt Martin will have a 10 year old become his romantic interest. 

Missandei's death in the tv show is  logical consequence of aging her up to become a love interest and having to reach the same end as the books.

Now on the tv show I would want Grey Worm to kill the Mountain, but then Cleganebowl won't happen ...

After season 4 the tv show should have officially left the books. Given how the Night King ended in EP 803 I would have preferred he had been killed by Jon at Hardhome, assisted by Bran warging from the  cave. Bran were to stay in the cave and Jon would get killed by the Nightwatch upon his return. Give the Battle of the Bastards to Stannis and ...

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Vaith said:

To me, a little bit. :P At this point Mellario has been a flat enough character that I very much doubt she is going to play a significant role in the story. Doran or Arianne would be far more likely candidates for Martells upset about Quentyn. And while I don't mean to characterise your speculation as this, I am just sour on any Mellario speculation after hearing one too many Mellario Blackfyre and babyswapped Quentyn theories.

I wouldn't discount her... Stannis was a "flat character" as well back in AGoT.

What makes me fairly confident that she will play a part is the fact that all three Dornish PoVs point at her in some inconspicuous but important way:

  • Arianne's failed plot ends with the question of who exactly betrayed, who was Doran's informant. If you go back and look for the clues, they point to Andrey Dalt, and Andrey Dalt was sent to Norvos to serve Mellario, opening the possibility that Doran could have sent him there to inform her about Quentin's mission.
  • Quentin tells himself that he should have visited his mother shortly before his death, reminding us she is on the continent. And while his arc served a purpose in freeing the dragons and might serve another in souring Dany's relationship with Dorne, both of these outcomes could have been achieved without Quentin if George really wanted them to happen (Dorne would be more loyal to Ellia's supposed son anyway). And Mellario is set up to be the kind of person who would go mad if she lost her children...
  • Finally, Areo Hotah is inexplicably Norvoshi, and has his own memories of Mellario. Areo is literally a fly on Doran's wall, he could have been anyone. That George chose to give him this origin could be very telling.

Personally, I would really love to be right about her, because Mellarion playing an important part would really make the Dornish chapters click into the story.

43 minutes ago, Vaith said:

Nathalie Emmanuel's Missandei is quite an original character, so I really don't think it's farfetched to discount her death as something entirely fabricated by Benioff & Weiss. I mean, her romance with Grey Worm plays a large part in how her death is portrayed on-screen, and somehow I doubt Martin will have a 10 year old become his romantic interest. 

Dany's relationship with Missandei is different in the books, but no less strong. Take this passage for example:

Quote

 

"I would sooner stay with you. On Naath I'd be afraid. What if the slavers came again? I feel safe when I'm with you."

Safe. The word made Dany's eyes fill up with tears. "I want to keep you safe." Missandei was only a child. With her, she felt as if she could be a child too. "No one ever kept me safe when I was little. Well, Ser Willem did, but then he died, and Viserys … I want to protect you but … it is so hard. To be strong. I don't always know what I should do. I must know, though. I am all they have. I am the queen … the … the …"

"… mother," whispered Missandei.

"Mother to dragons." Dany shivered.

"No. Mother to us all." Missandei hugged her tighter. 

 

There's certainly a maternal relationship there, perhaps closer than with Dany's other "children", which as it happens would make her a perfect target for a vengeful mother. And I believe it would really shake Dany to lose this protege, it would be Eroeh all over again, but much more personal.

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38 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

I wouldn't discount her... Stannis was a "flat character" as well back in AGoT.

What makes me fairly confident that she will play a part is the fact that all three Dornish PoVs point at her in some inconspicuous but important way:

  • Arianne's failed plot ends with the question of who exactly betrayed, who was Doran's informant. If you go back and look for the clues, they point to Andrey Dalt, and Andrey Dalt was sent to Norvos to serve Mellario, opening the possibility that Doran could have sent him there to inform her about Quentin's mission.
  • Quentin tells himself that he should have visited his mother shortly before his death, reminding us she is on the continent. And while his arc served a purpose in freeing the dragons and might serve another in souring Dany's relationship with Dorne, both of these outcomes could have been achieved without Quentin if George really wanted them to happen (Dorne would be more loyal to Ellia's supposed son anyway). And Mellario is set up to be the kind of person who would go mad if she lost her children...
  • Finally, Areo Hotah is inexplicably Norvoshi, and has his own memories of Mellario. Areo is literally a fly on Doran's wall, he could have been anyone. That George chose to give him this origin could be very telling.

Personally, I would really love to be right about her, because Mellarion playing an important part would really make the Dornish chapters click into the story.

AGOT had Stannis be revealed as the true Baratheon heir to the Seven Kingdoms, and it was pretty damn clear that we were going to see more of him in the books. For Arianne and Quentyn, neither of them think about Mellario all that much, and any set-up for a future role is at least rather mild. I'm also personally of the "No One Told" theory, but hey.

I don't think it's that inexplicable that Hotah is Norvoshi. He was Mellario's personal guard in Norvos and joined the Martells when she married in. Not too indicative of Mellario having a larger role, given that e.g. Stannis has many Florents in high positions.

I mean, Asha spends a chapter with her maternal uncle, Lord Rodrik the Reader. But I don't think it's particularly indicative that Alannys Harlaw will come out as a major player in the Ironborn storyline. 

47 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

There's certainly a maternal relationship there, perhaps closer than with Dany's other "children", which as it happens would make her a perfect target for a vengeful mother. And I believe it would really shake Dany to lose this protege, it would be Eroeh all over again, but much more personal.

Could I see Missandei dying? Yes, sure. It's just that Nathalie Emmanuel's Missandei is so different, I personally see little reason to find how exactly this might have been transplanted from the books.

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25 minutes ago, Vaith said:

I don't think it's that inexplicable that Hotah is Norvoshi. He was Mellario's personal guard in Norvos and joined the Martells when she married in. Not too indicative of Mellario having a larger role, given that e.g. Stannis has many Florents in high positions.

I'm thinking in narrative terms, why did George choose to create this particular character over a different one? Why not someone who was actually from Dorne? It could have been anyone, from a survivor of the Battle on the Trident to one of Oberyn's ex paramours, or maybe even one of the Sandsnakes. Why have a character from Norvos if he isn't using that for something?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lady Anna said:

God I hate this. If Daenerys dies then I will accept no other death than her sacrificing herself in a heroic way (and not in a Nissa Nissa way which I don't  even believe is literal). And I'll continue to hold that belief until i read the last books and even if the show does something else :P

I am pretty sure Daenerys own actions will be her own demise in the books. She is going to lose everyone and everything along the way.

Edited by longest night

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30 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

I'm thinking in narrative terms, why did George choose to create this particular character over a different one? Why not someone who was actually from Dorne? It could have been anyone, from a survivor of the Battle on the Trident to one of Oberyn's ex paramours, or maybe even one of the Sandsnakes. Why have a character from Norvos if he isn't using that for something?

Why did he forget about the Isle of Faces and the Daynes?  Those were lovely little tidbits he created, that presumably could have gone somewhere and they went nowhere.  The books are full of these dead ends, flights of fancy, things that people think are clues but are nothing but extra worldbuilding ,that may or may not have been better off cut depending.  And we see what it lead to, everyone is a secret Targ, no one who is dead is dead, Rhaegar's rubies, the colors of the rivers and the corn code.  

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9 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

But the one area they seem interested in is the battle for the Throne. They butchered the revelation of Jon’s identity to the World. But clearly it will happen. And clearly a bunch of people who matter are going to believe it. Something you have consistently rejected for years.

I rejected the idea that Jon Snow could become a Targaryen pretender in his own right rivaling Dany's claim and challenge/defeat her in a war for the throne. I never rejected the idea that there could be schemers within 'the Targaryen camp' favoring Jon over Dany. That certainly could happen, although I don't believe for a second that this will happen in the books.

What did you mean by Azor Ahai/promised prince up there? In the show there is either no such person or said person was, indeed, Arya - if the hero/savior is going to defeat the Others. That was done by her, after all. If the hero/savior of Targaryen descent is also not going to defeat the Others in the books then I'd say it is rather evident now that Daenerys Targaryen is the promised princess/Azor Ahai reborn because the parts of the prophecy we know fit best with the thing she did.

After all, at this point we don't know what the savior person is supposed to do besides being born amidst smoke and salt (check for Dany), wake dragons from stone (check for Dany), and be associated with a bleeding star (check for Dany).

5 hours ago, Maia said:

I strongly suspect that parts of this plotline belong to FAegon, instead of Jon. As well as the name itself. Which would also very much crimp any shock value the revelation might have otherwise had, and make it even more suspect. Because let's not forget, that in the books we have another character lusting after the Iron Throne in him and also in Stannis. One who thought that it was his destiny to sit on it for all his life, rather than just the last couple of years. In fact, in the books Dany would know that she might not sit on it, after all, even before she sets out, so...

I think we can take as pretty much a given. Jon is partially Aegon, Cersei is partially Aegon, and nothing is left of the actual Dany-Jon story aside from them having a romantic relationship.

In fact, we can strongly expect that Sansa's mistrust of Dany is actually mirroring Arianne's later behavior (because of Quentyn's and Viserys III's demise and her fears that Dany is going to oust her (and her child?) from power), and that Varys actually represent some people (possibly even dragonriders) in camp Dany starting to wonder whether Aegon would favor them more than Dany, etc.

In fact, I'd not be surprised if 'Mad Dany' is actually going to be 'Mad Aegon' in the books. The golden boy is not the hero of this story. A lot of people originally thought/wanted to believe he would die soon (a completely stupid idea, in my opinion, because the character would then have basically no purpose at all), and I often entertained the idea he would become the Plague King, harming his people by inadvertently bring the grey plague to Westeros. But there is also the chance that he is actually going to turn out to be manifestly unsuited to rule under a pressure, because he might have a rather large ego or develop one such now that he can be who he was raised to be. Add a lot of pressure to that and his star could rise and fall as quickly as Rhaenyra's did after she had taken KL.

Don't take me wrong, I certainly can see cruel Dany in the books, and harsh Dany. But Westeros will need utterly ruthless and brutal people to get it through the War for the Dawn. And whoever went through that is not going to fault her for burning down KL and/or executing people. They will likely have to make much more severe decisions long before that - abandoning people to the Others for strategic reasons, being forced to condemn even more to certain death by cold and starvation because their limited supplies will be reserved for men who can actually fight the Others, etc. Not to mention all the blood sacrifices to R'hllor and Bran that are likely to come.

The idea that the people defeating the Others would bicker in this childish fashion is literally completely unthinkable. I mean, just imagine how this kind of behavior would read in a POV chapter. How completely impossible it would be for George to even write stuff like within the framework of his story. Even if he wanted to. Every character in those books is written as a person with a set of beliefs and motivations which cause him to react to events in a certain way. They are written as if they are real people, basically. Which means they cannot just bitch on cue unless they have good reasons for that. Which they don't.

5 hours ago, Maia said:

I dunno, much depends on whether GRRM intends to wimp out on the Long Night, the Others being a real danger to the whole of Westeros at the very least, if not the whole world, and the long, severe multi-year winter winter,  like the showrunners did, or not. If he is actually serious about it, then the Winterfell segments likely belong to Stannis and culminate in it getting overrun, rather than the show's "deus ex Arya".  Some of the older castles probably have forgotten magical defenses, but the recent damages to WF might have disrupted them and left the castle vulnerable. From Old Nan's tales it seems like the cold and the darkness were the main killers during the last Long Night and human enclaves could survive for a time, even with the Others prowling the woods outside them.

George is definitely planning to build this all up. He recently said the show would have needed another five (!) seasons to do his story justice, which says a lot about the material he knows he still has to write.

Chances are about zero that there is going to be proper/great war for the Iron Throne after the Others are defeated, nor is there any reason to believe that Dany or anyone would not try their best to limit warfare in winter and strike hard and fast at the enemy when the Second Dance properly starts.

There may be some cleaning up to do then, but not another grand finale. Possibly it will be less a cleaning up but rather another cruel betrayal or attack. Some last shit move from Cersei/Euron, Littlefinger, or whoever else might be still around from the main mortal antagonists.

5 hours ago, Maia said:

In this case, I could see Dany getting killed by FAegon et al. and her function for Jon's narrative having been to deliver Drogon for his use, as some have previously speculated. Once riderless, Bran/Bloodraven would be able to draw him to Jon's location. Or, it could indeed be some Nissa Nissa stuff and then Jon is going to kill her.

That I cannot really see, even more since I cannot *really* see Jon coming back to the mortal sphere again. He is not going to come back unchanged from death. Not in the books. So ultimate death/sacrifice to defeat the Others or at least a retreat from the human sphere very likely stands at the end of his arc. And the whole three headed dragon stuff makes it pretty much impossible for me to assume either of them is going to be a mere sacrifice to empower another character.

5 hours ago, Maia said:

If the Long Night is intended to be short-lived in the books as well, than anything can happen, of course. Except that I had a distinct impression that it was always supposed to resolve after Dany's invasion of Westeros.

That was the original plan of the trilogy setting, and I expect it to remain that way.

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5 hours ago, Xemi said:

That leak has already been disproven, Rhaegal is already dead, Bran didn't say anything about the WWs or NK, it was Sansa who told Tyrion about Jon, not Bran and Sam, etc.

I suspect that whoever wrote that leak probably knows someone who knows someone who worked on set. As far as I know, it hit the web prior to episode 4 leaking on Sunday, and it got a bunch of general spoilers right (Rhaegal gets killed, Brienne and Jaime have sex, Missandei is captured and beheaded). I really wish that Jaime trying to save Cersei was true, but I don't have any faith in the Ds at this point.

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10 hours ago, Westerosi said:

Not sure about this Simon guy, but what I have read is that Sansa just stays cements her status as Lady of Winterfell. There have been some rumors though that she schemes her way into the iron throne but I doubt that cause it seems like they want to get rid of the “iron throne” concept altogether. I hear Drogon literally melts after Dany and he flies away with her body. 

Jamie will just kill Euron but will end up injured and then him and Cersei will die together. 

One of the alleged leaks says that Sansa will "betray Tyrion," but that sounds like one of the angry fanboy conspiracies we've been hearing since season five.

Also, Yara not killing Euron is laaaame.

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SPOILER EP 5

Spoiler

"Varys dies next episode (Dany burns him alive), Dany and Unsullied fuck up kings landing and they begin to surrender but the surrender bells that sound off in a tower literally "break" Dany mentally and she goes pure mad targaryan. It sounds like it is setting up Jon and Grey Worm confrontation. Grey Worm also lets his anger get the better of him as Lannister troops surrender he says fuck it and throws a spear at a soldier which starts a crazy riot where Dany's army starts raping and pillaging everyone. Jon is like wtf apparantly but gets caught up in the battle to really do anything (lannisters start attacking again). There was a leak I read earlier I'll try and find it because what my source was telling me was very similiar to that leak and they more or less confirmed everything in that leak 100% true." 

"Yeah i think Unsullied are just indiscriminately killing (women and children) and Dothraki go on a rape rampage. Source didnt get specific but I dont see Unsullied doing any penetrating except with an actual spear. Cleganebowl happens this episode (5) and they do both die. Grey Worm and Jon have a big stare down and Grey Worm thinks Jon is gonna start killing Unsullied so hes like waiting for Jon to turn on Dany so he can kill him but a Lannister soldier distracts Jon instead. Source says they are heavily saying Dany is going mad so I would put some weight to the leaks saying Jon kills Dany. I mentioned that to the source and they just said "Oh yeah definitely leading up to that" so take that for what it is.

No mention of Arya unfortunately, she must be more for episode 6? Not sure.

Honestly when they told me "bells make her snap" my jaw hit the floor. Im personally not liking these and the more silly ones (Bran becoming the king) have a very real possibility of being legit imo. Hopefully the execution is better."

Source: GOTit1111, he was correct about EP 4

 

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1 hour ago, Cas Stark said:

Why did he forget about the Isle of Faces and the Daynes?  Those were lovely little tidbits he created, that presumably could have gone somewhere and they went nowhere.  The books are full of these dead ends, flights of fancy, things that people think are clues but are nothing but extra worldbuilding ,that may or may not have been better off cut depending.  And we see what it lead to, everyone is a secret Targ, no one who is dead is dead, Rhaegar's rubies, the colors of the rivers and the corn code.  

You really think George has “forgotten” about the Isle of Faces? Curious then that it was above the Gods Eye where Aemond and Daemon Targaryen battled in Fire and Blood. The Isle of Faces also shows up there in the stories of Addam Velaryon. 

Perhaps more importantly, Martin once replied when asked about what’s afoot there, that:

“The green men and the Isle of Faces will come to the fore in later books.”

He also somewhere said that he wishes he’d said even less about it all because it gives too much away about the very end, but that quote I can't find just fight now. See also this related post.

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2 minutes ago, CrypticWeirwood said:

You really think George has “forgotten” about the Isle of Faces? Curious then that it was above the Gods Eye where Aemond and Daemon Targaryen battled in Fire and Blood. The Isle of Faces also shows up there in the stories of Addam Velaryon. 

Perhaps more importantly, Martin once replied when asked about what’s afoot there, that:

“The green men and the Isle of Faces will come to the fore in later books.”

He also somewhere said that he wishes he’d said even less about it all because it gives too much away about the very end, but that quote I can't find just fight now. See also this related post.

Martin says a lot of things. He said the show would never outpace the books and here we sit, 8+ years and counting and the show turned to shit before our eyes and still no book.  

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Amaretto said:

Today's leak...I don't think I'm even going to bother watching the final 2 episodes.

Only the very last episode has all the really big payoffs, the final twists and mysteries and the third of the three WTF moments. The next episode is more or less predictable.

Edited by CrypticWeirwood

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