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There’s a saying around these parts that ‘what is dead may never die’ and with the final season already upon us the maester decided to pen a bit more words before we say goodbye to Game of Thrones as we know it. Today’s lesson: swords. Valyrian steel swords are the best weapons the living have against the dead, so what better moment than now, before the battle is done, to go through them, and a few other named swords as well.
Named swords (and other kind of weapons) can be found in both fantasy and history. Take Excalibur as an example, the legendary sword from the legends of King Arthur -which may be even more popular than the king himself. Or Sting, the Elvish blade that belonged to Bilbo Baggins (and then Frodo) in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Why would people name their swords, though? To be fair, naming inanimate objects (like ships, guitars or even cars) isn’t that uncommon. But when it comes to weapons, there can be a number of different reasons.
A well-manufactured sword wasn’t cheap. Bear in mind that making one can take a lot of time, especially if it’s a labor of love. A sword is a unique kind of weapon – hardly just a piece of pointy metal. It comes in a variety of shapes and designs (two-handed swords such as the claymore, double-edged swords like the greatswords or the longswords, edgeless such as the rapier, curved like the falchion or the katana), each with its own traits.
As an audience, we’re used to see brief montages of molten metal being poured into a cast, then some hammering here and there and ta-da, the sword is done.
A standard, cheap sword could be ready in a matter of days, but a more ornate one could take weeks – at best. It’s not just a butter knife, after all.
Swordmaking was an art, so it stands to reason that a good sword couldn’t be made by any blacksmith. You’d need a swordsmith, someone with the skill to not just shape the iron into a steel blade that is hard enough – but resilient and flexible as well, so they can bend but not break.
But most importantly, a swordsmith needed to know how to temper a blade. Back then there was no way to measure time or temperature like we can nowadays – no clocks or thermometers of any kind. So he had to rely on his experience and trust his instincts.
No easy task, as one mistake may possibly ruin a good blade, and then all that work would go to waste.
And that’s not even half of the process, since the blade would later need to be quenched (in water, oil or brine) and then polished, sharpened and decorated (if requested by the client).
Once done with all that, the blade still needed a hilt. And not just any hilt, there were no “one size fits all” kind of hilt, oh no – it had to fit perfectly, so the blade could be useable. Hilts could be made of metal, hard wood or bone, and decorated by incrusting jewels in it, give the pommel a particular shape or etch patterns in the grip.
As it still happens with people who are good at their job, talented swordsmiths were recommended and thrived thanks to word of mouth. And swords, especially if custom-made, were among the most valuable things someone might have in the Middle Ages. So it’s no surprise that the people who owned a sword would want to call attention to them (especially if we’re talking about kings or skilled warriors).
Some historical swords survive to this day and are on display at museums, such as “Tizona”, which belonged to Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (“El Cid”) or Charlemagne’s sword, “Joyeuse”. And mythical swords keep showing up in fiction and are sold as non-lethal replicas.
There are places like Toledo (in Spain) where you can find “Ice and Fire” swords, from both the novels and the TV show. And it’s in this case where arguably Arya got the last laugh, because Needle can be obtained by collectors but the Hound’s sword is nowhere to be seen (his helmet is another story, but alas, it’s not a sword).
Just a handful of (named) swords have appeared in Game of Thrones, and even less of them remain in play. No doubt that they’ll prove valuable in the battle against the Army of the Dead, so I’d expect to see them along with their owners.
But which ones are they? Here’s a bit of a refresher:
Eddard’s sword, Ice, is no more. But the Valyrian steel greatsword belonged to House Stark for hundreds of years (it comes from the Age of Heroes! Perhaps we’ll see it in the prequel?) before being melted by Tywin Lannister in order to make two other swords.
Greatswords were the largest weapons of their kind, and couldn’t be wielded with only one hand, since they were both long and heavy. They were as big as a person, so GRRM’s description of Ice (as taller than Robb) was pretty accurate.
Despite Valyrian steel is no common steel (it’s much lighter and also sharper, and doesn’t need to be sharpened since it won’t lose its edge), George himself suggests that it’s not likely Ned ever used Ice in battle, since it was so large and heavy (remember Theon had to hold it for Ned to be able to remove it from its scabbard!), which would have made him slow and clumsy.
So it seems it was more of a family heirloom reserved for special occasions (beheadings!) than a sword used for actual combat.
Arya’s weapon, according to actual medieval weapon experts, is more similar to a foil than a medieval weapon, since it’s not a full blade and its most important part was -you guessed it- the pointy end. Although it was used as a practice weapon for small-swords (the weapon of choice between mid 17th and late 18th century) you just needed to take away the protection to make it sharp and dangerous.
Much like Syrio Forel taught Arya about the water dance, the foil wasn’t used to hack, slash or hammer the opponent. It required near-perfect accuracy, since the user would need to target the vital organs of the enemy.
Duel weapons weren’t meant to be used in warfare (they were more useful as sidearms, like a bayonet), but they were highly effective in one-on-one fights, and they were also used as status symbols, not too different to, say, a top hat. If you wanted to look elegant and/or important, carrying a duel sword with you was a must.
Of course, that’s not the case nowadays, though small swords are still part of uniforms in both military academies or institutions.
Longclaw is a bastard sword, which is either ironic or appropriate depending on how you look at it.
Bastard swords were in the middle of the road between greatswords (such as Ice) and longswords (like both Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail). That’s one of the reasons this weapon got a name like that, since it couldn’t be categorized as one or the other.
The grip is long enough it can be held with two hands, but it’s not as heavy as a greatsword, which allows it to be used with one hand, no problem.
But what really makes it stand out from the other weapons in the show is the pommel, which looks like the head of Jon’s direwolf, Ghost. Originally a bear, Jeor Mormont had it replaced so the sword could be a present for his then personal steward.
It should be noted that pommels weren’t just decorative, they were meant to act as counterweights – a heavy pommel will result in a lighter tip, easier to maneuver, whereas a lighter pommel will have the opposite effect (but in that case the blade will hit harder). There wasn’t a blueprint for a “correct balance” since there could be different purposes for a blade.
A heavier tip would be useful to knock an opponent down with a strong enough blow, causing damage both to the body (and possibly the armor or chainmail) in the process. A forceful whack may also either break a shield or make the foe drop it.
On the other hand, a lighter tip was easier to direct to a vulnerable spot – and then thrust. Stick them with the pointy end.
Pommels doubled as weapons in their own right, too, as blunt instruments. Useful for striking enemies in weak spots – the face, for instance. It was a non-lethal (albeit painful) alternative to fell someone, unless the pommel was used to hit repeatedly, in which case things could get messy.
A lot of pommels were plain and round (or shaped like a pear of sorts), but some of them (like Jon’s) were unique, reflecting their owners’ beliefs or culture. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different varieties and all of them tell different stories. We’ll soon get to see how Jon’s story will conclude – and I think the Night King may (or shouldn’t) not be too eager to get close to his valyrian steel blade.
OATHKEEPER / WIDOW’S WAIL
Both Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail are Valyrian steel longswords that were made from Ned Stark’s greatsword, Ice. The longsword got its namesake not for having a long blade, but a grip that was intended for two-handed use. Its purpose was to be a weapon for warfare, and were mostly used by full-plate armored knights.
Longswords have a great reach and were able to cut off limbs or heads with a single clean stroke. If used by a knight on horseback, the thrusting ability of the weapon became especially dangerous, being able to be lodged deep into the bodies of enemy combatants.
They were quick, reliable and strong weapons, useful both for the battlefield and one-on-one duels, which made them a standard military sword for at least a couple of centuries. By the late 15th century they started to decline, though, and became obsolete by the time the 16th century arrived, replaced by rapiers and broadswords, among other kinds of blades.
It’s safe to assume Oathkeeper will remain in Brienne’s hands, and the same can be said about Jaime and Widow’s Wail – though it’s gonna be interesting to see how the Kingslayer handles himself against the undead. Losing his right hand turned him into a mediocre fighter to say the least (he has received help by both Dickon and Bronn in battle), but he remains a brave warrior who’s willing to risk his skin in order to change the outcome of a fight – he did try to take Dany out even if it meant getting burned to a crisp by Drogon.
The name of Brienne’s sword perfectly sums her up – she’s loyal and determined and fulfilled his oaths to both Renly Baratheon and Catelyn Stark (which was quite satisfying to watch, considering Brienne’s quest in the novels has been unfortunate so far). Jaime’s weapon keeps the name Joffrey chose for it (“He really was a cunt”, in the words of the late Olenna Tyrell), which is a bit curious. Conscious choice to honor the memory of his deceased son? Or not enough interest to rename it? Be that as it may, it’s rather apt that, in a way, Ned’s sword is coming home at long last.
The ancestral sword of House Tarly is a two-handed greatsword, a (seemingly) smaller one than Ice however, and thus easier to handle: Sam was able to remove it from its stand with a single hand!
As one of the few remaining Valyrian steel blades, it is sure to see battle against the Army of the Dead soon enough, which is yet another difference with the Stark ancestral sword, which was more of a ceremonial weapon than one designed for combat.
While Ned’s sword was relatively plain-looking, Heartsbane is richly decorated, its hilt depicting a hunting scene and the blade itself sporting a beautiful pattern. The prop makers really went to town with it, and it’s kind of a shame the camera just cannot pick up every detail.
Since Sam is not a fighter and we probably won’t see him riding into battle, he’ll give up the sword so someone else can use it. It’d be far too valuable an asset to waste. In the trailer, and the next episode preview, we see it’s Jorah he gives it to, appropriately.
Assuming Heartsbane doesn’t get lost (if, say, Jorah gets killed), then by the time all is said and done, it should return to Sam’s hands.
It is possible that the show is done with Lightbringer – it was never given all that much attention to begin with, and once Stannis was out of the picture, the sword was gone as well. The legend of Azor Ahai could make its way to the final season if one of my theories regarding Melisandre proves to be correct, but I’m not sure the screenwriters will want to drop some more lore in what surely will be some action-packed episodes.
So why include Lightbringer at all? Well, it has to do with the “magic sword” theme, which I feel couldn’t be left out from the article.
Magic or legendary swords are a staple of the fantasy genre, there’s at least one in most popular written fiction. But they have their roots in real ancient history.
Much like in Game of Thrones, there were swords that passed down from generation to generation, and were kept as a symbol of status (especially if the sword was used in an important battle, killed many enemies or belonged to a famous warrior) and beloved family treasures.
And some of them were believed to hold a soul (or many souls) inside – it could be one of its own, its maker’s soul or the stolen spirits of its victims.
There were swords that were considered to be cursed or bloodthirsty, or even worse, possessed by a demon. It was up to the wielder to see if he was able to control such blades.
The story of Lightbringer in the Ice and Fire novels follows this well-established path, by describing how Azor Ahai’s sword was imbued with the soul of his wife Nissa Nissa after he drove the blade through her heart, turning it into a magic sword made of living fire.
Whether or not a variation of Azor Ahai’s legend will happen in the adaptation remains to be seen.
Hello again. It’s been a while.
Much like the Starks after retaking Winterfell from the Boltons, I feel happy to be back at writing about Game of Thrones. The show is about to complete the final lap, and the journey we started back in 2011 is coming to an end.
It’s both with a sense of excitement and curiosity that I’ll be finally be able to find out how my “Endgame” theories stack up against the final six episodes. I’m expecting to be wrong about a lot of things, but that’s part of the fun, to be surprised by the twists and turns of the narrative.
It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to the show, even if we still have two novels and a HBO prequel to look forward to. There’s nothing quite like it, and I’m confident David and Dan will stick the landing, thus cementing its place as one of the best TV series from our time. Surely not everyone will like the ending, but hopefully it’ll be satisfying for most fans.
But the epilogue is still some weeks away, and even after the credits roll for the last time, there’ll be still a lot to discuss and write about. I hope you enjoyed this new article and the ones that’ll follow, this time with a bit of historical flavor.
The second episode of Game of Thrones Season 8 is right around the corner! While it remains without a title for now, there is plenty of anticipation and fervor awaiting before the Battle of Winterfell arrives on our screens and doorsteps.
The first scene we see in the preview is that of Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the infamous Kinglsayer, standing before the court at Winterfell. As expected, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is less than thrilled to see the sight of the man who had killed her father. This may perhaps be a bit of a misdirect as Daenerys is eager to not be her father, but meeting the man who had stabbed her father through the heart may nevertheless bring forth an emotional, trauma-imbued confrontation. It looks like only Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) may be happy to see his brother.
Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Daenerys may be finding common ground in not trusting Cersei (Lena Headey), which could signal an overcoming of hostilities between the two. It also suggests that the news of Cersei’s betrayal is now within the halls of Winterfell, which is probably not great news for Tyrion.
Arya (Maisie Williams) voices her desire to see this new face of Death as the Winterfell preparations for battle fill the screen in quick edits. Jorah (Iain Glen) appears to be holding Samwell Tarly’s Valyrian steel sword, Heartsbane; Daenerys approaches a brooding Jon (Kit Harington) in the crypts beneath Winterfell, in a scene that could mean Daenerys is now also aware of Jon’s parentage; Arya loosens a bow and arrow in another echo to the series premiere; and last but not least, Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) announces that Winterfell has until sunrise, if that, to prepare for the Night King and the Army of the Dead.
What are your predictions for Episode 8.02? Who do you think will make it? How uncomfortable is Jaime’s first conversation with Bran (Isaac Hemsptead-Wright) going to be? Chime in below!
The Kingsguard is a prestigious order that has been on going for hundreds of years. Their service is invaluable and has undeniably changed the course of history in Westeros. Here are fifteen facts about them that you may or may not know, but will certainly enjoy.
Who Formed The Kingsguard?
The Kingsguard was formed during the reign of Aegon ‘The Conqueror’ Targaryen, the first Targaryen king to sit upon the Iron Throne. It was the suggestion of Visenya Targaryen, his sister and wife, that a group of royal bodyguards were formed after a Dornish assassin made an attempt on her and Aegon’s lives whilst they walked the streets of Kings Landing in 10 AC. She consciously modelled the vows of the Kingsguard on those of the Nights Watch, an ancient order hat was formed during the Age of Heroes.
The Seat of The Kingsguard
The White Sword Tower of the Red Keep, in Kings Landing, that sits upon Aegon’s Hill is where the Kingsguard resides. It is made up of four stories and is a slender building that overlooks the bay. The undercroft holds their armour ad their weapons. It has a meeting room for the Kingsguard in which a large table, carved from a weirwood tree into the shape of a shield, and seven chairs. The Lord commander has his apartments on the top floor and the other Kingsguard members have small living chambers on the second and third floors.
A Oath For Life
To become a member of the Kingsguard, the man must kneel or bend the knee before the king and swear his vows. Once they have been spoken, either the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard or the Hand of the King present him with his white cloak.
The Kingsguard are sworn for life, despite physical and mental injuries and illnesses or age, which is why the vows are not made so lightly. As their vows dictate, the Kingsguard members have to give up their lands, claims and titles – if they have them or are to inherit them. They can no longer have any rights to them, unless they are discharged from the service of the king.
The Various Roles Of The Kingsguard
As their vows state, the Kingsguard are not allowed to marry, father children or hold land. They are, however, allowed to retain and hold certain titles. The Lords Commander Criston Cole and Ryam Redwyne acted as Hand of the King to their respective kings, while Lewyn Martell Aemon Targaryen still used the style of ‘prince.’
Protect The Royal Family
The Kingsguard have to prioritize the royal family above anyone else. The wives, children, family – and sometimes even mistresses and bastard children – of the king have the protection of the Kingsguard.
This is why Arthur Dayne and the other Kingsguard members were at the Tower of Joy, protecting Lyanna Stark – the wife of Rhaegar Targaryen – and her newly born son Aegon Targaryen – whom we all know better as the norther bastard, Jon Snow.
Dismissal Of A Kingsguard
Only a king can dismiss a member of the Kingsguard; when Joffrey was king, he dismissed Ser Barristan Selmy because he was too ‘old’ and when Tommen was king he dismissed his biological father, believed to be uncle, Jaime Lannister in order to lead his army and regain Riverrun.
Transfer Of Tasks And Duties
If a member of the Kingsguard cannot perform any of their tasks or duties because of age or mental or physical health reasons, the other members of the Kingsguard take them up.
Sometimes the Kingsguard have to rely on other people in order to protect the king and royal family. Prince Joffrey has Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane as his sworn shield, Queen Cersei Lannister has Vylarr and his Red Cloaks to protect her.
The Lord Commander Of The Kingsguard
The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard has a seat on the Small Council by virtue of his office. It is his role on the council to give the king military advice concerning warfare. Other members of the Kingsguard must guard the Small Council, one must stand outside the door whilst the council is in session and another at the end of the bridge on Maegor’s Holdfast.
The Kingsguard’s Cloak And Sigil
Only a member of the Kingsguard can use an unblazoned, pure white shield. No one else in the Seven Kingdoms can. The Kingsguard have their own standard; it is a golden grown, encircled by seven silver swords on a white background.
The White Book
Created during the reign of Aegon I Targaryen, the White Book is an uninterrupted history of all of the members of the Kingsguard. Each member has a page which dictates who they are and what deeds they have done in service to their respective kings. It is keep in the White Tower and it is up to the Lord Commander to update the book.
In the entire history of the Kingsguard order, only one member of the prestigious order has ever turned on their king and killed him; Jaime Lannister. Though he had good reason to, as Aerys ‘The Mad King’ Targaryen was planning to burn the entire city of Kings Landing and its residents to the ground.
Dragons, white hair, fire, and blood. If House Targaryen doesn’t come to mind when you read those words, you’re not a true fan of one of the biggest Houses to almost disappear in Westeros.
House Targaryen has been diminished to nobody but just Daenerys (and now Jon Snow) and her two dragons at this point of the Game of Thrones universe (or at least in the TV series), but they were once a great force in Westeros and Essos. From fleeing their original home in Essos, to all the conquering, and to the almost-extinctions of their House and dragons, there’s a lot more to their history than the 7 seasons of the show has shown, and all of it comes from the books and a small series, The Tales of Dunk and Egg.
So grab some wine, huddle over near the fireplace, and read over a few facts that most fans don’t know about the Targaryen. As usual, huge spoiler warning for those who aren’t caught up at this point. There’s even a small theory for your consideration at the end.
The Targaryens were one of the many dragonlord families that lived in Old Valyria, the most dominant country in Essos. A place filled with many treasures like Valyrian Steel and magic items, its population was known for its silver-gold or platinum hair and purplish eyes.
This great civilization was completely destroyed by the Doom – a ginormous cataclysm caused by the eruption of a group of mountains named the Fourteen Flames that brought Earth-shattering earthquakes, multiple strong volcanic eruptions, lakes boiled and turned to acid, and dragonglass rained down from red clouds.
The air was filled with ashes and smoke, and it even killed dragons. This cataclysm broke the Valyrian peninsula into multiple tiny islands, creating the Smoking Sea, and the islands of Velos and Ghozai were completely destroyed by a tsunami.
While some septons fantasize that the cataclysm was punishment for the Valyrians “delving too deep into the seven hells”, it’s commonly believed to be just a series of natural eruptions that wiped everyone but a few of the Targaryens out. When Daenys Targaryen told her father, Lord Aenar Targaryen, about her prophetic dream of the destruction of Valyria, he wasted no time – he moved his family, five dragons, and all of their belongings to Dragonstone in Westeros.
When Valyria was destroyed twelve years later, the Targaryens were the only of the dragonrider families to survive.
Though the Targaryens are currently the only House to have dragons, they weren’t always the only ones. In Valyria, the Velaryon, Celtigar, and the Belaerys were some of the other noble houses who also had dragons.
The Valyrians were excellent dragon trainers and were able to rule for years due to their loyal pet-monsters. The dragons of Valyria had a really long life expectancy, with Balerion the Black Dread living for about 200 years.
It’s said that no dragonrider may ride two different dragons, but that doesn’t mean a single dragon can bond with multiple riders in its long lifetime.
There are only two dragons left (I mean, Viserion is still around but just on the wrong side of the fight now), and the majority of the ancient dragons died in battle and against each other. It’ll be very sad when the day comes and Drogon and Rhaegal both perish, before or after Daenerys. Here’s hope that there will be some more dragon eggs found throughout Westeros before that – maybe even in Winterfell’s crypts.
3) The Split of House Targaryen
House Targaryen had its own civil war, named the Dance of Dragons, when the successor of the throne could not be properly established after King Viserys I died.
Though the king had officially claimed Rhaenyra as his successor, his son Aegon II was outraged and, with the help of Viserys’ wife, betrayed his father’s wishes and crowned himself King. Once Rhaenyra found out her father had died and Aegon II had crowned himself king, she and her half-brother raged war on each other and split the Targaryens into two sides – those who supported Rhaenyra and those who supported Aegon.
Brother fought brother, dragons killed each other and their riders, and thousands died. It was a tragedy that spread itself in the Targaryen House, and claimed so many lives that the Targaryens never fully recovered from it.
It was a huge contributing factor to the decline of the dragons and the thinning out of the Targaryen line. In the end, Rhaenyra lost and Aegon fed her to his dragon while her son watched. Aegon II became seriously wounded and died a few months later, and Rhaenyra’s son, Aegon III, became king.
4) The Blackfyres
Blackfyre is the name of the Valyrian Steel sword that stays in the Targaryen family line. As with all ancestral items or family heirlooms, the sword was passed down from king to king, until King Aegon IV the Unworthy gave Blackfyre to his bastard son Daemon instead of lawful son, Daeron II.
Daemon then took the name Blackfyre and founded his own cadet branch of the House Targaryen – House Blackfyre – and became known as Daemon Blackfyre.
As King Aegon IV was dying, he decided it’d be a great idea to legitimize all of his bastard children. Daeron II Targaryen succeeded him in becoming King, and Daemon Blackfyre rose up a civil war in a rebellious move to take the throne from him.
Daemon was completely unsuccessful in getting folks to join his cause, though, because he did not have Blackfyre with him at that time – it was in the possession of Aegon “Bittersteel” Rivers, the creator of the Golden Company, far away.
No one knows what happened to the sword Blackfyre after his death, but legend says it was lost. Great going, guys.
5) King’s Landing
We all know King’s Landing as the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, where the King or Queen sits in the Iron Throne and rules and either goes mad or tries to appease the population. However, few of us know that it was actually founded by Aegon I Targaryen, when he departed Dragonstone and conquered kingdom after kingdom.
While many expected him to rule from Dragonstone, he kept an eye on the then-smaller town where he had first landed with his dragons and army. Appropriately named King’s Landing, Aegon made a fort for himself on the tallest hill there and named it Aegonfort, ruling in his seat and supervising the town’s growth.
It was a very strategic place for ruling – he could initiate trade and oversee who entered his kingdom through Blackwater Bay and the Narrow Sea, and King’s Landing flourished and overtook some of the then major cities in Westeros.
6) The Red Keep
The Red keep has an air of secrecy surrounding it, much like the Crypts of Winterfell. Aegon I Targaryen had built the Red keep in order to keep it as a reminder of the fires he had roasted his enemies in, so whenever King’s Landing looked up, they’d see what defiance could result in.
Aegon lived by a simple rule – fear and punishment keep people in line, and it was a lesson he taught his son Maegor “The Cruel”.
Maegor was so cruel and the Red Keep was such a prized possession of the Targaryens that when the builders finally finished building the Red Keep, Maegor had them all executed to keep it’s secrets safe. It’s also said that miles of hidden passageways run behind the walls and under the floors of the Red Keep.
Many like to fantasize that the Red Keep is red because of it’s soaked with the blood of Aegor and Maegor’s enemies. If you think that’s a little mysterious and weird, think back to when Varys said he knows the ways of the Red Keep that only the Targaryen know…
Dragonstone is the Ancestral home of House Targaryen, after Lord Aenar Targaryen took off from Valyria with his family and five dragons and arrived in Westeros, escaping the Doom of Valyria and ultimately the destruction of House Targaryen.
It’s a volcanic island a few hundred miles north east of King’s Landing, and where Aegon I Targaryen was expected by many to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Since Aegon decided to build up King’s Landing instead, Dragonstone was kept as the home of the King’s Heir, namely the Prince of Dragonstone.
Dragonstone is one of the strongest castles in the Seven Kingdoms, thank to to its advanced Valyrian design consisting of strong stonemasonry techniques now lost to the world. Its isolated island location only makes it harder for enemies to break through – a fleet of ships would be required just to transport troops and large siege weapons to its location, and even then they would be forced to make a risky attempt to bring their ships in while under fire from the castle’s own catapults.
Though in the books the castle is eventually taken at a huge cost, it’s a completely different story in the TV show – they even changed the look of it a little.
8) Aegon the Unlikely
Aegon V Targaryen, or either Aegon “The Unlikely” or Egg informally, was the fourth son of a fourth son. He was a long-shot for the throne, but everything that needed to happen happened in the most unlikely, luck-of-the-draw, and amazing sub-plot in the Game of Thrones universe.
The series, A Tale of Dunk and Egg, is excellently written by George R. R. Martin, detailing how a young boy and a hedge knight become King of the Seven Kingdoms and Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
There are quite a few references to these two iconic figures in the world, as Aegon was the younger brother of Aemon Targaryen of the Night’s Watch. We also see Jamie thumbing through the White Book and reading the accolades of Sir Duncan “The Tall.”
Aegon had become the squire of hedge knight Sir Duncan “The Tall” when he was very young, and the two of them go on adventures together,. Aegon, while incognito and not revealing who he really is, experiences the kingdom and hears complaints and sees struggles of the ordinary folk who don’t live in a castle or have riches to their names.
It’s a bittersweet knowledge that plays a part on how he tries to rule when he does become King. The series are currently unfinished, but are an amazing read.
Young Griff is only mentioned in the books, so this is a special spoiler alert for those who haven’t caught up with the books or wish to read them to find out. Before Tyrion is captured by Jorah Mormont, he is on a ship bound for Volantis with Illyrio Mopatis, a sellsword named Griff and his son, Young Griff. Tyrion, in his naturally intelligent way, sees that Young Griff is extremely educated.
He matches this fact with Young Griff’s violet eyes and realizes a very important truth – Young Griff is Aegon Targaryen, the very same Aegon Targaryen who was supposedly killed by The Mountain during Robert’s Rebellion.
As it turns out, Varys switched Aegon with a commoner’s child and smuggled him away to Essos where he lived with Illyrio until Jon Connington (Rhaegar Targaryen’s good friend) adopted him under the sellsword identity, Griff. They dyed Aegon’s hair blue and taught him the way to rule a kingdom as a true Targaryen.
In the books, when we last see Aegon, he is heading to meet his aunt Daenerys to marry her and take back their kingdom. Since this will in no way happen in the TV shows, it makes us wonder just how ridiculously different the outcome of the TV show’s plot and the real book’s plot will be. *cues the shame bells*
10) Targaryen Blood in House Baratheon
Fun fact – did you know Robert Baratheon actually had a legit claim to the Iron Throne, and wasn’t an “usurper”? This isn’t really talked about in the show but, in the books, the origin of House Baratheon is told as is the reason why Robert had the right to be crowned King.
When Ned Stark refuses the Iron Throne, he says that the Baratheon house has an ancient relation to House Targaryen. Confused?
Orys Baratheon, the founder of House Baratheon, was one of Aegon I Targaryen’s greatest generals and his bastard brother. On top of that, Robert’s grandmother on his father’s side was Rhaelle Targaryen.
This does make his claim to the throne true, but does it also have anything to do with Melisandre’s mistake in thinking his brother, Stannis Baratheon, was The Prince That Was Promised? She could’ve just had the wrong strand of Targaryen after all…
11) Relationship with Dorne
When the word Dorne is mentioned, we automatically think one of two things – how beautiful Oberyn was and how annoyingly disappointed we all were with the screen adaptation of the Sand Snakes. But did you know Dorne was like the untamable step-child to the Targaryen?
Though Ellaria Sand showed an undisputed devotion to Daenerys’ cause (even if the fact she wanted revenge against Cersei played a part in it), Dorne wasn’t always standing behind the Targaryen for their trust fall. Dorne was impossible to conquer for about 200 years, fighting wars against the Targaryen and killing those put there to keep the peace.
Dorne finally joined the realm, began to have some influence that was not very liked by the other noble houses, and made marriage pacts with other houses, and finally became the youngest nation of the Seven Kingdoms and the most recent ally to the Targaryen. Dorne: home of the feisty.
In the books, the traditional look of a Targaryen is silver hair and blue eyes. We see that Daenerys does have the silver hair, but her eyes are very blue. Same with her annoying older brother, Viserys, silver hair but no blue eyes. It’s a little weird that the show abandoned the traditional look when they do include that Ned Stark only found out about Cersei and Jaime’s incest through how their three children looked – all blonde like the Lannisters, and none of them looked like Robert Baratheon.
With Jon Snow actually being Aegon Targaryen and not having any of the key looks of anyone in Houe Targaryen, maybe the show decided to dumb down the traditional looks and features so his identity could stay secret?
Another misconception is that all Targaryen aren’t supposed to be harmed by fire. That isn’t true and it’s also busted in the books. Jon Snow, now a confirmed Targaryen, was burned while slaying White Walkers. Viserys Targaryen, Deanerys’ brother, was killed by having melted gold dumped on his head.
In the books, there are tons of cases of Targaryens being burned to death by dragons or fire, and Daenerys’ hair burns away with her clothe when she births her dragons. The fact Daenerys survived that (and the burning down of the Dosh Khaleesi Temple in the books) is a miracle, or just luck. Or maybe she’s the ultimate Targaryen.
While his conquests and burning down of people (some innocent, some not so much) did attract attention, it also attracted enemies and backstabbers. Aegon created the Kingsguard, an elite group of military men sworn to protect him from anyone with their lives.
As we see Daenerys prepping to build her own Queensguard, we see the parallels between her and Aegon I – they were both almost assassinated by a merchant, and they both saw the need to have a constant batch of knights to protect them as their enemies began to move against them.
As the Throne passed down to other houses, the need for a Kingsguard remained, with Jaime serving as the head of the Kingsguard in the first season of the show. It seems that constant protection and insulation is a real need in Westeros if you want to sit on that damn Iron Throne.
14) Incest is… Best?
No, it clearly isn’t. Unless you’re a Targaryen.
For generations, uncles have been marrying their nieces, cousins have been marrying each other, fathers have been marrying daughters, and siblings have been marrying each other in House Targaryen. This was said to be needed to preserve their pure bloodline and the “magic” they have over dragons.
While this did preserve their traditional looks and kept the dragonrider lineage going, it also played a part in their reputation for being insane. It was said in the books that “when a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin”. This refers to their temperament due to their ongoing incest – they could go absolutely bonkers like about half of them did, or they could be normal.
With Jon Sow being confirmed as Aegon Targaryen and his romance blooming with his now-confirmed aunt, Daenerys, we can only wonder how they’ll react to the news of their accidental incest. In one hand, it’s normal for a Targaryen. In the other hand, that’s a little weird. Maybe not looking the same will help them ignore the fact they’re related? Maybe it’ll drive them apart? Or, maybe, we could see House Targaryen being built up again, their lineage restarting…
That is, if they both survive Cersei and the Night King.
15) The Theory of Tyrion
Tyrion Lannister, our favorite dwarf (after Gimli, of course), was hated by his father, Tyrion. He’s currently hated by his sister and he carried the weight of being the cause of their mother’s death while birthing him. But, what if there was more to this hate?
Tywin Lannister was good friends with Aerys II Targaryen, the “Mad King”, long before he became mad. They were such good pals that Aerys made him Hand of the King during his rule. Aerys had long been lustful towards Tywin’s wife, Joanna Lannister, and that bothered Tywin. It’s been documented by some characters that Aerys either raped Joanna or had an affair with her at Joanna and Tywin’s wedding, even pointed out by the fact Her Grace Rhaella Targayren abruptly released Joanna from her services once she found out about it.
There’s also a lot of evidence, both in the show and the books, that Aerys II had a falling out with Tywin during a Tourney when Cersei and Jaime were only 6 years old, and Tywin’s resignation request was declined by the King. Once they returned to King’s Landing, there are some more suggestions that the King was still after Joana, and it all seemed somewhat consensual.
However, if the rumors were true, if they had gotten together more than once, and if they did produce a child… It would mean that Tyrion could be a Targaryen, and the uncertainty of that could be the source of most of Tywin’s hate towards him. Tyrion is very different than his family, and he’s currently sided with Daenerys Targaryen against his own House. Not only that – the fact Aerys had problems conceiving children with his wife and mistresses could also point to him having a dwarf son with Joanna.
Tyrion has said it himself that his own father doesn’t know if he’s his own son, and Tywin Lannister claims he’s no son of his before Tyrion kills him. In the books, specifically in Tyrion I, he is described as having hair so blond is was almost white, one eye green and the other black – much like another known Targaryen bastard, Shiera Seastar. Tyrion was also very interested in dragons from an early age, as the books point out.
There are a lot of good evidences and subtle suggestions that this could very well be true, and it could be a part of how House Targaryen will (hopefully) rise from the ashes.
Ser Jorah Mormont got kicked out of Daenerys’ team of advisors, banished from her sight twice, brought Tyrion Lannister to her – who is now her most cherished advisor and Hand of the Queen, and cured himself of Greyscale after she commanded him to, and he is still not lucky in love. Don’t lie, your heart hurt for him when he realized Daenerys and Jon Snow had something brewing in between them. But Jorah is not a perfect man – he got himself exiled from Bear Island and brought dishonor to his House, and then broke Daenerys’ trust when she learned he was a spy for King Robert Baratheon, telling him of her every move until he fell in love with her. That’s a little creepy, especially since she’s 14 years old in the books, but he is no Littlefinger and he remains as one of the best fighters and an avid member of the Friendzone Club in the show. In his honor, here are some memes that are guaranteed to make you giggle.
Spoilers ahead, as per usual!
Captain Jorah of the boat Friendship, along with his Second in Command, Tyrion. Which failing love journey will they adventure to next?
Apply Milk Of The Poppy To The Burn Area…
Can Jorah have that Aloe Vera back? A new burn has appeared, and it’ll sting until season 8 comes out and we see what happens with this love triangle thing (or square, because Daario?).
Ride the Dragon
Eat your words, Daario. He rode that dragon, indeed.
We’ve all been there – chatrooms. Doesn’t seem like Jorah will have any luck in attracting a girl who is 35 years younger than him when she can have any gorgeous man she wants (ahem, Jon and Daario).
Here we have a Jorah Mormont in his natural habitat and pose, always on the lookout for Daenerys, and always hopeful that she will love him.
Be Strong, J Bear
Jorah, also known as J Bear, has an inner dialogue with himself. Stay strong, J Bear. You shall prevail!
… Get out of our sight, Jorah.
Look At Me
In today’s episode of “I Should Have Said Something”, we see Jorah struggling with his inability to state the obvious and tell Daenerys he loves her. It’s ok, J Bear. We’re pretty sure she knows.
Released From Friendzone (with a Twist)
Oops. I believe this is not the kind of release he wanted from the friendzone…
“Milady” – Hipster Jorah
Dear Milady, respect the Fedora. He’s clearly a sweet man who has much respect for you and has made his wrongs right. Don’t friendzone J Bear!
Fun fact – The Proclaimers had a huge hit back in Westeros. Jorah made sure to memorize the lyrics and do exactly what they say – walk (and saild) about a thousand miles back and forth to her.
Senpai Noticed Me
Remember that time in high school where your crush actually acknowledged your existence? Remember how special you felt? Love lifts us high where we belong, indeed.
This… is just brutal. Poor Jorah has to be reminded that the love of his life has slept with men after men, but never him. Don’t cry, J Bear.
The Burn Book
How cute, J Bear has a Burn Book. What a Mean Boy. This is seriously reminding me of high school.
Why Books When You Can Have a Horse?
Daenerys clearly accepted the wrong presents here – books are much better presents than a horse… if you live in a castle or somewhere where things are close by. Also, look at Drogo’s muscles. He could give her a banana peel and she’s still take it over anything Jorah gave her.
Get It Together, Jorah
Jorah has all the right intentions yet none of the right vocabulary for love. Get it together, J Bear!
Being sexy and a stoic killing machine definitely wins over having someone risk their life for you, right? I mean, Jorah did betray her trust in the beginning, but that was a long time ago! Give him a chance, Khaleesi!
Dany’s FB Moments
Oof. Does anyone have some Aloe Vera Jorah can borrow? Forget Greyscale, this burn will scar forever.
Although we have already composed a list of fifteen of the most satisfying moments in Game of Thrones, there are still so many more to talk about. With the passing of seven years, many satisfying moments have happened, so here are fifteen more moments that went and tingled down our spine in Game of Thrones.
Brienne’s Rescue Of Sansa & Being Knighted
Having just missed Sansa Stark’s signal, Brienne of the Tarth and her squire – Podrick Payne – went in search of her after she escaped her abusive husband, Ramsay Bolton.
Just as the Bolton men found Sansa and Theon Greyjoy – whom helped her escape from Winterfell in the last episode of season 5 of HBO’s Game of Thrones – and were about to take them back to Ramsay – who would surely punish them severally – Brienne charged in on horseback and took them out with Oathkeeper – the Valyrian steel sword that Jaime Lannister gave her to rescue the Stark girls with.
Sansa knighted Brienne, with the help of Theon Greyjoy, like her mother did before her and took her into her service as her sworn sword and shield.
Jeor Mormont Offers Longclaw To Jon Snow
Having saved Jeor Mormont from one of the undead, Jon Snow was gifted with Longclaw – the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Mormont. He reveals that he had a new pommel made in the form of a wolf rather than a bear, to honour House Stark – the House of Jon’s believed to be father, Ned Stark.
Jeor explained the history behind the sword and who it belonged to, and who is was meant for, before offering it to Jon. He tries to refuse, but Jeor tells him that he has earnt it by saving his life.
It emphasises the respect and gratitude that Jon earnt for his heroic act, and emphasises that he is a hero – possibly the overall hero of the entire series.
The Nights Watch Drops The Scythe
As the Wildlings were climbing the Wall, Ed gave the order for the Scythe to be dropped in order to prevent them from crossing the Wall and venturing south to raid and kill people.
The Nights Watch Brother followed his command and dropped it. The large, anchor looking metal weapon was dropped from the top of the Wall and left to swing across the side.
The large, metal weapon scraped into the Wall as it did so and took out all of the Wildlings. They screamed and cried out as it crushed them and knocked them from the Wall.
Daenerys Getting Laid On Her Own Terms
Having not had a romantic or sexual partner since season 1 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen gave into her desires in season 4 when Daario Naharis – whom she had chemistry and tension with since meeting – came to her chambers.
After pouring herself a glass of red wine and sitting in her chair in a seductive manner, she told Daario to take off his clothes since that was what he did best.
Jon Snow & Sam Tarly Losing Their Virginity
Both of the brothers of the Nights Watch, were inexperienced with the opposite sex when they came to Castle Black and thought that their vows would prevent them from ever knowing the intimacies between men and women however they both met and fell in love with wilding woman from beyond the Wall.
Jon fell in love with Ygritte, a wildling warrior woman who was at first his prisoner and then captor. Having ran off into a cave, Ygritte began to strip off her clothes before Jon Snow and asked him to break his vows. Although at first reluctant, Jon Snow soon gave into his desires and lost his virginity to Ygritte.
Sam fell in love with Gilly, a wilding woman who was forced to bear the children of her father – Craster – who gave the male children to the White Walkers. He rescued her from that life and took her back to Castle Black. After saving her from two brothers who wanted to rape her, Sam lost his virginity to Gilly.
Grey Worm & Missandei Get It On
Grey Worm and Missandei have one of the most gentle and sweet relationships on the show. They consummated their tender relationship on the night before Grey Worm was set to take Casterly Rock from the Lannisters.
She goes to say goodbye to him and he explains how he feels for her, that she is his weakness because he is frightened of losing her and not seeing her again. She admits she feels the same and he, passionately yet gently, kisses her.
Following the romantic gesture, she begins to undress herself and then proceeds to undress Grey Worm but he is reluctant to let her see his naked form until she tells him she wants to see him. He allows her to and she smiles at him lovingly and begins to kiss him tenderly.
They – nervously and sweetly -consummated their relationship on what they believe could be their last night together.
Jorah Is Greeted Back By Daenerys
After having had an emotional goodbye with Jorah in which he confesses his love for her, Jorah returned to Daenerys after getting rid of the Greyscale that he contracted while sailing through old Valyria.
She and Jon Snow were standing atop the cliffs of Dragonstone when the Dothraki told her that a man claiming to be her friend was there. She turned to see Jorah behind them.
Daenerys looks ready to cry at the sight of her longest and most trusted friend. She informs Jon Snow of who he is and he tells Jorah that his father was a great man.
Jorah offers Daenerys his service, if she will have him. She then tells him it will be her honour and then embraces him warmly and affectionately.
Daario Kills The Champion Of Mereen
As Daenerys and her army approaches the gate of Meeren, the lords send out a single ride who Jorah explains is their champion. He further explains that they want her to put forth her own champion to fight him.
The champion of Meeren then proceeds to urinate over the floor and spouts out insults to Daenerys and her army. She and her closest allies discuss who to put forward as her champion. She struggles to choose because many of them mean a lot to her and are important to her cause.
Daario offers himself as the champion, saying he was the last to join her cause and wants to prove himself to her.
While the champion is charging towards Daario, he stands there facing him seemingly unperturbed. He draws his dagger and throws it at the horse, killing it instantly. The horses fall makes the dust swell up and the champion rises to kill Daario but he withdraws his sword and kills the champion.
The Meeren archers shot arrows at him but they all miss and he – to return the favour – urinates on them.
In the books however, it was Strong Belwas, a Book Character we’ll never see in the show, that kills the champion and defecates in his corpse rather than take a leak the way Daario did…
Daenerys Sails For Westeros
Having accumulated three dragons, an army of unsullied soldiers, a hoard of Dothraki, and the alliances of Houses Greyjoy, Martell and Tyrell – Daenerys Targaryen finally sailed for Westeros to conquer and claim the Iron Throne in the final episode of season six.
The scene began with the Greyjoy theme swelling in the background while Theon looked at the flickering Golden Kraken sail, he looks at his sister and Queen, and the pair look ahead. The camera then pans to Grey Worm on another ship with some of the unsullied. Then there is an overhead shot to emphasize the sheer amount of followers Daenerys has.
The Dothraki are shown on another ship, and then the dragons are shown gliding over the water. The camera turns – as the Targaryen theme takes over and swells – on the leading ship to reveal Daenerys and her small council; Tyrion Lannister, Missandei and Varys. Daenerys and Tyrion share a look before the three dragons fly over the ship and towards Westeros.
Bran & Rickon Were Never Killed By Theon
When Theon Greyjoy revealed the two burnt, hanging corpses in the courtyard of Winterfell, it was believed that Bran and Rickon Stark were dead. Maester Luwin wept, having loved the two youngest Starks deeply, and would have fallen to his knees had the Ironborn not held him up. The episode ended with Theon looking at the blacked bodies.
The next episode, while Maester Luwin is looking at the still hanging corpses solemnly, he sees Osha – the Wildling looking after the Stark boys – sneaking into the crypts of Winterfell with food. He follows her and she explains how they escaped and doubled back to Winterfell – where they would be least expected to be.
Jon Snow’s Parentage Is (FINALLY) Revealed
After years of speculation, and people trying to prove different theories true, it was finally revealed in the final episode of season six of HBO’s Game of Thrones that Jon Snow was the son of Lyanna Stark, the she wolf of Winterfell, and Rhaegar Targaryen, the dragon blooded prince.
The show used Bran’s visions as a way to flashback to Jon’s birth at the Tower of Joy, in the Red Mountains of Dorne. The younger Ned Stark knelt by his dying sister, who was weak and covered in her own blood in the birthing bed, while she begged him to protect her infant son from the wrath of Robert Baratheon.
Ned was then handed the infant from the Dornish maid and he looks down at the small bundle. The camera closed in on the dark eyed infant and then transitioned to a close up shot of the adult Jon Snow.
Littlefinger Gets Executed
Littlefinger spent the majority of season seven trying to turn the sisters, Sansa and Arya Stark, against each other the same way he once did with their mother – Catlyn Stark – and her own sister – Lysa Arryn.
At first, it was seemingly working in his favour, with Arya accusing Sansa of treachery against her family – which she believes is punishable by death – and Sansa telling Arya that she could not have endured all that she herself did.
In the final episode of season seven, Sansa called a meeting in the Great Hall of Winterfell and called Arya forward. They discussed the matters of loyalty, family and what one should do to someone who betrayed their family. The exchange seemed as though Sansa was accusing Arya of treachery, as Littlefinger had put it in her head that Arya wanted to kill her, but after Sansa stated what the accused was being trailed for – she turned to Littlefinger and asked him how he answered to the crimes he was accused of.
Shocked at being outsmarted, he denies the crimes but Bran and Arya prove that they know he is guilty. Having been denied protection from the knights of the Vale, he pleads with Sansa for his life. She makes it clear he is going to die and Arya slits his throat with the same dagger that he had given an assassin to kill Bran with many years prior.
Jon Snow & Sam Tarly Killing White Walkers
The two Nights Watch brothers – Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly – are two of the only known people who have managed to actually kill a White Walker.
Jon Snow, while trying to rescue the wildlings from Hardhome, faced the onslaught of the army of the dead as they began to savage the folk beyond the Wall. When he ran into the tent to retrieved the valuable dragonglass – that was known to kill the undead – he came face to face with one of the White Walkers. Their battled and it appeared that the Walker had the upper hand but Jon managed to slay it with Longclaw, his Valyrian steel sword that Jeor Mormont gifted him many years prior.
Sam Tarly, while trying to get Gilly and her newborn son back to safety, was forced to face a White Walker. Although terrified, he shouted at the Walker to stay back but it proceeded to attack and shattered Sam’s sword. While Sam was knocked on the ground, the White Walker to attack Gilly and her baby but Sam stabbed it in the back with a piece of dragonglass and it died on impact.
Jon Snow Kills Olly & His Murderers
When Olly was introduced, we felt bad for the poor kid: he had just witnessed his village and family get slaughtered by Wildlings. The Magnar of Thenns even taunted him about eating his parents when the slaughter would end.
Olly killing Ygritte during the Battle of Castle Black in the same manner she had killed his parents brought a conflicting sense of justice. He had avenged his parents’ death, but Jon also lost his first love; a sad moment in Game of Thrones.
But when Olly took part in the conspiracy to assassinate the Lord Commander over a difference in opinion, that’s when everything changed. Giving Jon the last Stab ala Brutus to Ceasar was the tipping point where Olly was now a hated character, even spawning an infamous sub reddit called “F***Olly”
After Jon’s ressurection, it made sense for him to execute Olly, Thorne and all the other conspirators, as is law in the Nights Watch. Olly didn’t even have the decency to explain to Jon, nor give any last words. Just when we thought Jon would reconsider executing them, as brothers of the Nights Watch are needed for the Great War ahead, that swing of the sword brought Justice and Punishment! That closeup of Dead Olly was weird as well….
Notable Entry: Robb Is Named King In The North
While we already had covered Jon Snow’s Coronation as King In The North in Part 1 of this article, nevertheless, we figured this one should be there as well.
The northern lords gathered together to decide which king they should declare for. Despite wanting to declare for Renly, Robb Stark reminded them that just as Bran could not surface him in the succession of Winterfell, Renly could not surpass Stannis.
They argued that he could not mean to join Joffrey for he executed Ned Stark – Robbs father – but Robb repeated that Renly could not surpass Stannis. Greatjon Umber tells them all that none of the southern kings mean anything to him for they do not know anything about the north. He points his sword to Robb and declares him King in the North.
The other northern lords and Theon Greyjoy follow suit, all declaring him King in the North in unison as Catelyn Stark looked up at her son while the House Stark theme swelled in the background.
The Resurrection Of Jon Snow
Having been murdered by his own men in a mutiny in the last episode of season 5, it was unknown for a year as to whether – the White Wolf – Jon Snow would return to HBO’s Game of Thrones.
After finding his dead body, Davos, Ed and several other loyal brothers carried his body inside and brought Melisandre to him. She washed his body, cut his hair and uttered a spell while gliding her hands over him. Thinking her magic had left her, she believed that she would be able to bring him back.
Melisandre left, followed by the brothers of the Nights Watch and eventually Davos. Ghost – Jon’s albino direwolf – however, perked up and looked at his owner’s body. Jon’s face came into view and in the last moment of the episode, he gasped and opened his eyes.
While we already looked into a Disney Version Of Game Of Thrones, we here have an excellent adaptation of our favorite women in Game of Thrones specifically re-imagined as Disney Princesses this time.
Artist Sam Tsui also known as DjeDjehuti on DeviantArt made those stunning looking renditions of Game of Thrones Characters as Classic Disney Princesses.
Someone needs to pitch this idea to Disney Studios with a complex change in violence, language, and sex scenes. Totally doable, right?
Ariel as Melisandre
Seeing our favorite Disney redhead (I still love you, Merida) dressed as The Red Witch has me singing “wish I could be part of your world”. What a great mashup.
Aurora as Cersei
Aurora is a much sweeter and pleasant princess than Cersei ever was, but you can’t deny how much she looks like her in this.
Belle and Margeary
Belle is a perfect Margaery – kind, sweet, beautiful, and graceful. Even though she gets her happily-ever-after with her handsome prince, we can all pretend Margaery lives on through her because of this picture.
Cinderella as Catelyn Stark
Our favorite mother is portrayed by our favorite step-daughter. Hard working, honest, and loyal, Catelyn and Cinderella do have somethings in common – except the hair color.
Elsa as Daeneys
The Mother of Dragons takes a cold turn in this picture as Elsa. Their elemental differences aside, they do look like they could be sisters from different misters. …Wait. Can we confirm that they are not related at all?! Come on, Disney…
Grandma Fa as Olenna Tyrell
My two favorite grandmas mashed up into one. My day, month, and year has been made. Their personalities are very similar and they’re both highly loveable. Oh, Lady Olenna… You are missed.
Jasmine as Ellaria Sand
Gorgeous, exotic, and partnered with beautiful men – Jasmine and Ellaria might as well be the same person, with one tiny exception – Jasmine is much less petty and vengeful than Ellaria was.
Lilo as Arya Stark
Lilo and Arya are both spunky, morbid, and dark little girls. One of Disney’s only young girl protagonists, these two are an excellent mashup as well.
Merida as Ygritte
Wild red curls, badass attitude, awesome accent, excellent aiming with a bow and arrow… Ygritte is Merida, and Merida is Ygritte.
Mulan as Brienne
Yes. Even though we don’t witness Brienne’s early years and struggles, she did go through a lot to become the respected knight that she is. She didn’t have to lie about being a woman like Mulan did, but these ladies show the world that women can do the same (if not more) as any man can. So much yes.
Rapunzel as Sansa Stark
Who better to portray Sansa, who’s been locked up in a tower time after time, oppressed by abusers and had a pretty tough life, than Rapunzel? She also knows how that feels, and has magnificent hair as well.
Snow White as Shae
The illustration is beautiful, but there’s a reason why I’m giggling a little at the artist’s choice. These two have nothing in common, except they both seem to really like having dwarves around… Ha.
Tiana as Meera Reed
You may be scratching your head at this one, but here’s what the artist himself had to say:”Meera is of course the spunky girl helping Bran and crew reach the three-eyed raven north of the wall — The Reeds are the rulers of the Cranogmen, who live in the swamps and marshes and are sometimes called ‘frog-eaters’ — so I figured this Tiana, a bayou beauty herself, would be a perfect fit!”
It’s no secret that George R. R. Martin is not only one to believe the good guys should always win because they’re “good”, but he is also a genius when it comes to circumstance and situations. Nothing in his stories ever happen for no reason, and both the show and the books are full of symbolism. While some moments go unnoticed, if you look back at some character deaths and choices, there’s a very pronounced connection between what they did and how they kick they bucket.
Some of these instances are shown only in the books, others in the deleted scenes feature of the Game of Thrones DVDs, and some are in plain sight – just waiting to be connected by the audience.
Here’s a few of those instances that jumped at us, in no special order. These are full of spoilers, so don’t read these until you’re all caught up!
The Perpetrators Of The Red Wedding Meet Identical Fates
The Red Wedding still haunts us to this day. How could it not? Nobody expects their guest right to be infringed upon and be murdered by those who posed as allies. We’re not the only ones haunted by that gruesome wedding, though, and it did curse its perpetrators – they each died in the ways they killed the Starks.
Take Roose Bolton, for example. He stabbed Robb Stark in the stomach, saying the Lannisters send their remarks. When his turn to die came around, his own bastard son Ramsay stabbed him in the stomach after Roose told him his little brother had been just born.
Walder Frey, head of House Frey and the host of this wedding, has Catelyn Stark’s throat sliced. In turn, Arya Stark avenged her mother and brother by slicing Walder’s throat.
Tywin Lannister was personally not present at the Red Wedding, but it had been the Lannisters who set in motion for the violence that took place. On his orders, Robb Stark is ultimately killed by being shot by a crossbow. Tywin also met his end by a crossbow, shot by his own son Tyrion. There’s a little more to that one, and we’ll come back to it in a bit.
Stannis, Renly Baratheon & Their Female Assistants
This one is a little harder to catch, but very satisfying when you do. Stannis Baratheon got his “assistant”, Melisandre, pregnant with a demon who then infiltrated his younger brother Renly’s encampment and killed him.
Long after Renly’s death, it was Brienne of Tarth, Renly’s own “assistant”, who kills Stannis off after confronting him about what he had done. The lesson here is to never send out your female assistant to do your dirty job. Looking at you, Stannis.
Ygritte, Olly & Some Arrows
Ygritte’s unfortunate and heartbreaking (not just for Jon, but to us too) death mirrors how she killed the father of little Olly, a farm boy from a village in The Gift (land controlled by the Night’s Watch). She shot him through the chest with an arrow during a Wildling attack on their village.
On the night the Wildlings attack Castle Black and fight the men of the Night’s Watch, Olly shoots an arrow straight through her chest, avenging his father and thinking he had protected Jon Snow from her. Poor misunderstood kid.
The Sand Snakes Each Die With Their Own Weapon Of Choice
Though this is one of the most obvious instances, we can’t help but point it out. The three Sand Snakes we see on the show, Oberyn Martell’s bastard daughters, were killed in the same fashion as their preferred methods of combat and weapon choices.
Obara Sand, who used a spear to fight, was impaled by Euron Greyjoy with her own spear when he attacked their ship.
Nymeria Sand, who took to the whip, was strangled by Euron Greyoy in the same attack on their ship and with her own whip.
Tyene Sand, who shared her father’s knowledge on poisons, was taken by Euron Greyjoy and handed to Queen Cersei, along with her mother Ellaria Sand. She’s then poisoned by Cersei with the same poison she once used against Bronn in Dorne, the Long Farewell. It’s also the same poison her mother, Ellaria, used to kill Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella. How ironic.
Ned’s Ice Cold Head Rolling Irony
Our beloved Ned Stark was first introduced to us carrying out a beheading for a man accused of deserting the Night’s Watch, with his sword Ice in hand. Nine episodes later, his very last sighting is on the chopping block, beheaded by his own sword under orders of King Joffrey Baratheon.
It would’ve been even more ironic if his sentence had been carried out by the King himself, as per Ned’s own quote “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” But, we are talking about King Joffrey, and we all know he’s not an honorable man whatsoever. Rest easy, Ned.
Fall Of House Stark & Baratheon Foreshadowed In The Pilot
In season 1, we see this happening right in the beginning. In the first episode, when Ned is on his way back from beheading the Night’s Watch deserter, they come across a dead stag and a dead Direwolf. The stag killed the Direwolf, which symbolizes two things: King Robert inevitably lead Ned Stark to his death by summoning him to King’s Landing, and the fact that King Joffrey Baratheon is the one who orders Ned beheaded.
We do know Joffrey is really not a Baratheon (but an incest-produced child by Cersei and Jaime Lannister), but he still has the House name under his belt. What’s even more chilling is that the stag that killed the direwolf was killed by a mountain lion, once again foreshadowing the end of House Baratheon by the Lannister infiltration in their family and their takeover of he Seven Kingdoms.
It’s even weirder to think that, on the episode where Ned Stark find the direwolf pups, Theon Greyjoy holds a knife to the throat of one of the pups, symbolizing his sudden yet inevitable betrayal (if you get the non-Game of Thrones reference, high-five).
Arya, Polliver & Needle
Ever since Jon Snow gave Arya her thin, small blade which she adorably named Needle, she and her trusty sword have had many adventures in Westeros. One of the most memorable and ironic deaths delivered by Needle has been Polliver.
Polliver had murdered Lommy, an orphan from King’s Landing who had been captured with Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie by Lannister men. Polliver stole Needle from Arya, hence gaining a spot on her kill list, and taunted poor Lommy, who had injured his leg, before using Needle to stab him in the throat.
Arya eventually gets Needle back and stabs Polliver in the throat in the same way, but not before using the same taunting lines he used on Lommy: “Something wrong with your leg, boy? Can you walk? I’ve got to carry you. Funny little blade. Maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it.” Arya is such a badass.
“People die at their own dinner tables, they die in their beds, they die squatting over their chamberpots. Everyone dies, sooner or later.”
Littlefinger said this in season 4, and it has predicted 3 big deaths in the show: Walder Frey, Shae, and Tywin Lannister.
Sure, the “at their dinner table” could apply to Joffrey as well, but this was said after he was poisoned at his own wedding.
However, we do see Walder Frey die at his dinner table, while eating a pie made out of his sons and drinking wine. We see Shae the whore betray Tyrion at his trial and then be found and strangled by him on his own father’s bed. We then see Tywin Lannister sitting on the toilet, only to be fatally shot and killed by Tyrion.
While Littlefinger had nothing to do with those three deaths, it’s absolutely insane how accurate he was in his seemingly innocent predictions. Let’s never forget the look in his face when he realized he was on trial in Winterfell – he never predicted that one.
Lysa Arryn & The Moon Door
Lysa Arryn, Catelyn Stark’s crazy sister, lived in the Eyrie with her son Robin. Her favorite method of execution was to throw her victims through the Moon Door, an hatch in the High Hall which opens up and provides a hefty fall down to the floor of the Vale. Ironically enough, she is thrown door the Moon Door herself by her lover-turned-momentary-husband Petyr Baelish, or Littlefinger.
Tywin Lannister Foreshadows The Demise Of Houses Baratheon & Tully
This one is full of symbolism from Seasons 1 & 3. Specifically, we’re talking about Tywin Lannister skinning a stag while talking to Jaime Lannister in their encampment as they get ready to invade the Riverlands. That is huge symbolism for the fall of House Baratheon, even though the Lannisters don’t actually kill the Baratheons off with weapons. But they do in a way: the Lannisters take over the Seven Kingdoms, which was ruled by King Robert Baratheon. Though it’s not known to the public at first, Cersei Lannister’s children are not Robert’s children – they’re a product of incest between her and her twin brother Jaime. So, in a way, Tywin did kill the Baratheon House by marrying off his daughter to Robert and her disgusting acts of incest.
Also, in a deleted scene from Season 3, Tywin Lannister is seen fishing and then smashing the fish against a rock, then gutting them. The Sigil for House Tully, which Catelyn Stark came from before marrying Ned Stark, is a fish. What about it?
Remember the Red Wedding? She, her son Robb, and the majority of the attendees from both House Stark and Tully were murdered that night. Who was the mastermind behind this attack? Yep, good ol’ Tywin Lannister.
The King Eats, The Hand Takes The Shit
Jaime Lannister once said “The King eats, the Hand takes the shit”, regarding the relationship between Kings and Hand of the Kings. Isn’t it ironic that his son, King Joffrey Baratheon, literally died eating at his wedding after drinking poisoned wine and then his own father, Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, died while taking a shit?
Couldn’t be more accurate in the literal and figurative meanings of this saying.
Jamie’s Guilt – “Cousincide”
The irony here is pretty grand. Jamie Lannister killed his own cousin, Alton Lannister, in order to escape his captivity by the Northern armies. Alton had been Jamie’s squire before, and they had what seemed like a nice little chat while being in the same cell. Alton asks Jamie if he ever thought of escaping, and Jamie says he has a plan.
Alton offers help and scoots closer in order to hear what he needs to do. Jamie tells him that the one thing he needs to do is to die, and so Jamie beats him to death, attracting the attention on the guards. Jamie then kills the guard and escapes.
Fast forward to season 4, when Jamie visits Tyrion in his cell right before the trial by combat fought by The Mountain and Oberyn Martell. Tyrion is running down the list of names for different kinds of familial killings and declares there’s a word for every kind. Jamie displays some guilt, unseen by Tyrion, and says “cousins”, to which Tyrion replies that he’s right – there’s no word for cousin-killing. Let’s call it cousincise in honor of Alton, poor kid.
Oberyn Martell Poisoned Tywin Lannister
This one is a mind-blowing theory that caters more to the books then the show: what if I told you that Oberyn Martell, the handsome Prince of Dorne, master of poisons actually poisoned Tywin Lannister prior to both their deaths?
In Tyrion’s trial for the murder of King Joffrey, Grand Maester Pycell shares that one of his poison vials was missing. It was “Widow’s blood, this one is called, for the color. A cruel poison. It shuts down a man’s bladder and bowels, until he drowns himself in his own poisons.” That wasn’t the poison that killed Joffrey, but someone other than Tyrion took it. Who did? Oberyn.
Go back to when Mace Tyrell, Tywin Lannister, and Oberyn are breaking bread at the solar. This was the perfect opportunity for Oberyn to poison Tywin with such an awful chemical.
This goes deeper in the book, with Oberyn stating he was thankful for Cersei blaming Tyrion for the poisoning, because he’d probable be the one accused if Tyrion wasn’t immediately blamed. “Who knows more of poisons than the Red Viper of Dorne, after all?” He then follows that with a very seemingly random line. “Your father may not live forever.”
Sure, nobody lives forever, but why would he bring Tywin’s death into this conversation?
The description of Tyrion’s thoughts after shooting his father in the toilet also point that something was foul – and not just the magnificent crap he was taking. “But the stink that filled the privy gave ample evidence that the oft-repeated jape about his father was just another lie. Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold.”
In the books, the details regarding Tywin’s funeral after Tyrion shot him in the toilet only point more to this theory, with Tywin rotting visibly, his face greenish, eyes sunken, and a “foul white fluid was seeping through the joints of his splendid gold-and-crimson armor to pool beneath his body.”
With the Widow’s Blood vial missing, Oberyn present in King’s Landing and breaking bread with Tywin Lannister before Tyrion’s trial, and the descriptions of both Tywin’s death stinks and his deterioration at his funeral, there’s very little left to the imagination – though Tyrion ultimately delivered the blow that killed Tywin, Oberyn absolutely dealt him a slow and painful death ahead of time. Depending on how you look at it, Tyrion basically did his father a favor.
Karl Tanner, The Dirty Mouth Stabber
Karl Tanner, the murderous mutineer ringleader of the Night’s Watch, gets the same deathblow he dealt to Craster – a lovely stab through the mouth. His style of combat also includes fighting dirty, which he also gets dealt before his death.
Jon Snow and a handful of men from the Night’s Watch interrupt Karl, who is at this point despicably attempting to rape Meera after taking her, Jojen, and Bran captive, and a fight ensues. Karl fights dirty – spits in Jon’s face to distract him among other tactics – until one of Craster’s daughter-wives stabs him in the shoulder before he gets to finish Jon off.
Forgetting that you should never turn your back to your opponent in battle, he does just that to try and kill the girl, and Jon stabs him through the back of the head and out his mouth. Good riddance, creep.
Maester Aemon: The ONLY Character To Die Of Old Age In Game Of Thrones
This, ladies and gents, is the only man to have died on natural causes in this show (at least that we have seen). Yep. Our beloved Maester Aemon of the Night’s Watch – Aemon Targaryen, great-uncle to Daenerys Targayen, unknowingly great-great-uncle of Jon Snow (ahem Aegon Targaryen) – dies at the lovely age of 102, being the longest living person in Westeros at the time, of natural causes and old age.
Though it was beyond sad to see him go, it also gives us hope that any one of our current favorite characters can also die of natural causes and the George R. R. Martin doesn’t just kill everyone off in gruesome ways. Unlikely, but hey, we can hope.
While the casting for the Game of Thrones show is nothing short of absolute perfection, it’s normal to sometimes wonder what our beloved characters would look and act like if they had been cast with different celebrities and actors. Whether you love these celebrities and or characters or hate them, whether they’re actors or politicians, whether they would’ve been perfect for the role or not, you can’t deny it’s fun imagining what could have been. We should also take this moment to thank our lucky stars that none of these were actually cast for our favorite roles, and give a round of applause for the HBO show’s casting team. Without any further ado, here are 17 funny instances where some of our favorite characters get a makeover, sometimes a sex change, and possibly a change in behaviors. There could be some spoilers ahead, as always, because the internet is dark and full of spoilers.
Jack Nicholson as Tyrion Lannister
Everyone’s favorite jokester. Am I talking about Tyrion or Jack Nicholson? Both! Though Peter Dinklage is superb at portraying Tyrion, one can only imagine the way Jack would carry the character to where he is by the end of season 7.
Rowan Atkinson as Daario Naharis
Daario would be a completely different person if Rowan Atkinson had been playing him. Imagine a Mr. Bean type character, complete with awkward moments and funny noises.
Nicolas Cage as Ned Stark
The internet’s favorite actor to poke fun at – Nicolas Cage. I can almost see him saying “Winter is Coming” National Treasure style.
Donald Trump as Tyrion Lannister
Whatever your political stance is or how much you may dislike or like Donald Trump, him as Tyrion has to make you giggle. He’d be a perfect candidate for playing him in the earlier seasons, before Tyrion became a more mature character.
Albert Einstein as The Mountain
Brains…. Both the now-undead Mountain and Albert Einstein love brains! The Mountain loves to smash them, and Einstein uses his for science. I don’t think he’d be great at being a bodyguard, though…
Hillary Clinton as Daenerys Targaryen
Love her or hate her, Hillary as Daenerys would have been an awesome performance. They both make incredibly unforgettable expressions and they’re both bossy, rule-worthy women.
Nicolas Cage as Sansa Stark, Laurence Fishburne Morpheus Sitting on the Iron Throne
Though Nicolas Cage would make an excellent Lady of the North, especially during her whiny years, I don’t think that’d be a good fit. However, I’d love to see Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) sitting on the Iron Throne, offering blue or red pills to Westeros. Surprise: you live in a made-up reality and you’re actually trying not to get killed by machines! What a twist.
Christopher Walken as the Night King
If Christopher Walken dances as the Night King in the same way he did for Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice”, while brandishing his weapon of choice (icy spear for the win), I believe Westeros would bow down to him.
Scarlett Johansson and Jude Law as Daenerys Targaryen and Jorah Mormont
The beautiful Scarlett Johansson would probably smile more often than Daenerys does, and Jude Law would make an absolutely charming Jorah. Who knows, Dany and Jorah might have been a thing if he had been cast for it…
Meryl Streep and Woody Allen as Selyse and Stannis Baratheon
The Devil Wears…. Fiery guilt and braids? Meryl Streep probably wouldn’t have let Stannis burn their daughter alive. But, then again, Woody Allen’s Stannis would’ve probably married his own daughter. Or at least have adopted another one and then married her.
Sharon Stone on the Iron Throne
Ah. Here we have the famous Sharon Stone scene from Basic Instinct where she does her cop interrogation without wearing any undies. I can only imagine that if Cersei didn’t get things her way as she normally does, she’d probably resort to the same kind of… attention-grabbing efforts to get her point across.
Donald Trump as Daenerys Targaryen
Now, this… Would have been interesting to see. We know that Emilia Clarke has the best eyebrow expressions in the show, but Trump Daenerys would definitely have the best fishy lips, and the best army. Huge Unsullied army.
Clint Eastwood as Daenerys Targaryen
Badass Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino style, asking people “where are my dragons?!” would have been priceless. The amount of ass-kicking would also double what it currently is from Daenerys.
Will Smith and Hillary Clinton as Jon Snow
Two very different approaches to Jon Snow – Will Smith and Hillary Clinton. One is too cheery, while the other might go Prince of Belair on everyone.
Nicolas Cage as Jon Snow
Even if Nicolas Cage played Jon Snow, he’d still know nothing. Still better than envisioning Cage as Sansa Stark, though.
Rowan Atkinson as Daenerys Targaryen
Definitely not beautiful or graceful or fierce. Just funny sounds, faces, and disaster.
Donald Trump as Joffrey Baratheon
Joffrey Baratheon – the most hated King in the Seven Kingdoms. Fans hated him. Characters hated him. Nothing else needs to be said about having Trump play him instead of Jack Gleeson.
In a fantasy world, the appearance of characters is rather different to that of the modern, real world. Wigs, prosthetics, coloured contacts and more are used to transform the actors and actresses of HBO’s Game of Thrones into their onscreen counterparts. Here is a list of twenty actors and actresses who look completely different in real life to how their look on the silverscreen.
20 – Varys
Conleth Hill – the Irish actor who portrays the Spider, Varys – unlike a lot of actors on HBO’s Game of Thrones does not wear any facial prosthetics or a wig, but he does however don a bald head. Hill has thick grey hair and a moustache, whereas Varys is bald headed and clean shaven.
19 – The Hound
The Scottish actor Rory McCann who portrays The Hound – one of the most dangerous fighters in Westeros – wears a shoulder length wig, facial hair prosthetics and special effects facial make up in HBO’s Game of Thrones. The Hound’s onscreen appearance creates a stark contrast to McCann’s balding head, light stubble and unburnt face.
18 – Septa Unella
The English actress, Hannah Waddingham, who portrays Septa Unella – the woman who marched Cersei Lannister, naked, through the streets of Kings Landing while crying out ‘shame’ –
Starkly contrasts her onscreen character on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Waddingham had well styled, honey blonde hair, a made up face and is well dressed in figure fitting clothing whereas her on screen counterpart has her hair hidden beneath her headdress, is plain faced and wears loose fitting, conservative grey clothing.
17 – Leaf (Children of the Forest)
Kae Alexander, the Japanese actress who portrayed Leaf – the leader of the Children of the Forest – wore yellow contacts, full body prosthetics and a greyish green wig on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Alexander endured a process that latest between nine and ten hours to be transformed into Leaf. Her off screen appearance contrasts sharply with that of Leaf’s because she has long, black hair, tanned skin and wide dark eyes.
16 – Wun Wun
Welsh actor Ian Whyte, who portrayed Wun Wun – the wildling giant – wore a large foam body suit and silicone rubber prosthetic makeup on his head on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Whyte – while being extremely tall off screen at the height of seven foot, eleven inches – is slenderly built, has short dark brown hair and a slim face.
15 – Osha
Although the English actress, Natalie Tena, who portrays Osha – the wildling woman who cares and protects Bran and Rickon Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones – does not wear any facial prosthetics or even a wig, she does look entirely different from her on screen character. Tena often has well styled hair, a made-up face and a fun style of clothing whereas Osha has wild hair, a dirty face and ragged clothes.
14 – Yara Greyjoy
Unlike the actresses who portray the other queens in Westeros, Gemma Whelan – the English actress who portrays Yara Greyjoy, the believed to be rightful Queen of the Iron Islands – does not wear a wig on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Whelan has a lightly made up face, neatly styled hair and femininely cut clothing whereas Yara has a plain face, windswept hair and masculine style clothing
13 – The Waif
Faye Marsay – the English actress who portrays the Waif, an acolyte of the Faceless Man – wears her bobbed hair in a braided style, has a plain and sometimes dirty face, and wears loose fitting, plain coloured clothing. Marsay wears her hair sleeked back stylishly, her face well made up and wears modern, fitted clothing that suits her frame.
12 – The Night King
Richard Brake – the Welsh actor who portrays the Night King (In Season 5 before he was recast), the leader and creator of the undead army that has now entered Westeros – dons full bodied prospects and coloured contacts on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Brake has medium length, honey blonde hair, fair skin and a well defined face whereas his onscreen counterpart has icy, blue skin, hauntingly electric blue eyes and ice horns upon his bald head.
11 – Karsi
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen – the Danish actress who portrayed Karsi, a wildling woman who fought with Jon Snow at the Battle of Hardhome – dyed her hair and had a plain, dirty looking face on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Hjort Sørensen has honey blonde hair that is styled elegantly, a well made-up face and wears stylish clothes that suit her tall but slime frame unlike her on screen counterpart who has ragged, dark hair and wears animal pelts.
10 – Jaqen H’ghar
Tom Wlaschiha – the German actor who portrays Jaqen H’ghar, a Faceless Man who trains Arya Stark – wears a wig and unfitting, plain clothing on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Wlaschiha has short, blonde hair and wears fitted, very stylish clothing unlike his on-screen counterpart whom has shoulder length red hair with silvery white strips and wears poorly made, almost ragged looking clothes.
09 – Brienne Of Tarth
Gwendoline Christie – the English actress who portrays Brienne of Tarth, one of the greatest warrior in Westeros – wears her hair in an unkempt, messy style, has a plain face and dons the intricately designed armour that Jaime Lannister had made for her on screen character on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Christie styles her short blonde hair elegantly, has a well made-up face and wears sophisticated and well-fitting clothes that suit her tall frame.
08 – Hodor
Kristian Nairn – the Irish actor who portrays Hodor, the largely built, simpleminded servant of House Stark who cares for and protects Bran Stark – dons a beard and has his hair cut significantly short, a dyed pale blonde. Nairn has longer hair that’s often spiked up, has tattoos and wears simple, casual clothing. He also dons a facial star tattoo that was removed via makeup on set.
07 – Pyat Pree
Ian Hanmore – the Scottish actor who portrayed Pyat Pree, a warlock from Qarth and one of the Thirteen – wore dark blue facial makeup on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Hanmore has some light white hair, though is mostly bald, and dons a plain face whereas his on screen counterpart has sunken in eyes with thick black bags and blue lips.
06 – Shireen Baratheon
Kerry Ingram – the English actress who portrayed Shireen Baratheon, the Stag Princess – wore facial prosthetics and dyed her hair darker on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Ingram has honey blonde hair and wears a made-up face that makes her look older whereas Shireen has Greyscale covering one half of her face and has limp, dark brown hair.
05 – Gilly
Hannah Murray – the English actress who portrays Gilly, the wildling lover of Sam Tarly – like her fellow wildling women actresses dons a dirty, plain face and wild, unkempt hair that she dyed for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Murray has lighter hair that is styled in neat waves, an elegantly made up face and wears tightly fitted clothing whereas her onscreen counterpart wears animal pelts and then plain dresses.
04 – Viserys Targaryen
Much like Emilia Clarke, the English actress who portrays his on-screen sister, English actor Harry Lloyd wore a lace front wig for his short stint on HBO’s Game of Thrones as Viserys Targaryen, the exiled heir to the Iron Throne. Lloyd endured a two hour process every morning in order to transform into the unhinged prince whose shoulder length, silvery curls and pale eyebrows were the complete opposite to his own short styled, black hair and dark eyebrows.
03 – Robert Baratheon
Mark Addy – the English actor who portrayed Robert Baratheon, the Stag King – wore a wig and donned a wiry beard on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Addy has extremely short hair and is clean shaven, and is slightly slimmer in build that his onscreen counterpart.
02 – Euron Greyjoy
Pilou Asabaek – the Danish actor who portrays Euron Greyjoy, the captain of the Silence and king of the Iron Islands – wears facial prosthetics, a beard and black lined eyes on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Asabaek has a face lightly lined with stubble and does not have a scar beneath his left eye.
01 – Daenerys Targaryen
Emilia Clarke, the English actress who portrays the ‘Dragon Queen’ – Daenerys Targaryen – wears a waist length, lace front wig on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Clarke’s off-screen appearance – which consists of shoulder length, dark brown hair and dark brows – contrasts with the silvery hair and pale eyebrows of the Mother of Dragons
Have you ever wondered what the Game of Thrones gorgeous world and characters would look like if they had been reimagined by Walt Disney studios? I mean, they’d have to do some real adapting for it to be accepted by Disney and its audience in the first place, but that’s beside the point. The Dornish men and women, the Northeners and Southeners, Wildings, wights, dragons… How would they look in the cartoonish, perfect world of Disney? Fret not, my sweet summer child – artists Fernando Mendonça and Anderson Mahanski not only answered that question, they took us to the world of Westeros in the most innocent, playful, and beautiful way imaginable. Below you’ll find their art as well as other artists, so get your inner bubbly, innocent child ready for some amazing new Disney character we will probably never see on the big screen or Walt Disney World.
Melisandre & Her (Goofy) Shadow
Here we see a beautiful Melisandre (who reminds me of Megara in Hercules) walking her shadow baby, who had killed Renly Baratheon on the fateful night she gave birth to a demon. Totally not Disney appropriate, but you can’t deny she’d make an awesome villain in their universe.
Oberyn & The Mountain
This scene could play out as a silly game of “guess who’s behind you”, but we all know better.
Jon Snow & Ghost
A completely innocent moment between Jon Snow and his pet direwolf. One can only imagine what adventures they’d get themselves into. Also, poor squirrel.
Our favorite Spider and Spymaster (screw you, Littlefinger) looks up to something as he listens to one of his little birds. I wonder if they’ve been lying to him ever since Cersei took over and cleaned house in King’s Landing…
The Hound & Arya Stark
I can see this as the poster for the movie “F*ck the King – The Adventures of A Girl and The Hound”. Coming to an end in 2018, rater R for mature language, gory images, and lewd content. I’m actually sad it’s not a real thing.
Jaime Lannister & Brienne Of Tarth
Tale as old as time… Beauty and the Beast. Though Brienne is both beautiful and very muscly, calling her the Beast seems a little unfair. But let’s be honest, the early version of Jaime absolutely fits as a diva. Maybe he should’ve been drawn as Gaston instead?
Cersei would be a perfect Disney villain. Beautiful, smart, and gutsy, she puts the majority of witches and evil queens to shame with her evil plans and dirty work.
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to drink wine I go. He’d be the Disney character all children would love – funny, a little unlucky, intelligent, and cute. As long as they don’t include his sex addiction from earlier seasons, he’d be Disney appropriate.
Hodor & Bran Stark
Here we have what should have happened with these two. Hodor and his happy-go-lucky soul and demeanor, and Bran Stark as a curious, innocent child. Rest in peace, sweet giant.
The (Frozen) Night King
Let it go, let it go… The Night King is very Elsa-like in this picture. But it’s a good thing he doesn’t smile in the show, that’s a little creepy.
Daenerys, Drogon, Jon, & Ghost
This is not drawn by Fernando Mendonca, Anderson Mahanski, or Sam Tsui, but it’s a great illustration nonetheless. I do wonder who that little dragon is, and why Dany is giving Jon the side eye.
Daenerys & Drogon
Very Jasmine and Rajah-like, this illustration makes me want a Daenerys Disney movie right now. From her expression to the details on her clothes – they nailed it. Drogon, however, has eaten too many lambs.
Daenerys & Her 3 Dragons
Viserion, Rheagal, and Drogon remind us of the dragon the evil witch Milicent turns into in Sleeping Beauty. Daeneys is channeling her inner Elsa in this picture as well, and this could make for a more serious Disney movie.
Con of Thrones has announced an exciting addition to the Game of Thrones convention taking place on Nashville this upcoming July: The Ringer’s Binge Mode podcast!
Wonderful returning guests Jason Concepcion and Mallory Rubin will be in attendance for all three days of Con of Thrones 2019 and participate in a multitue of panels. They are the hosts of Binge Mode, which is not only the most-popular Game of Thrones podcast on the Apple Podcasts charts—it’s on the top 10 list of podcasts overall!
Binge Mode joins a growing guest lineup, such as other returning fan-favorite podcasts History of Westeros and A Storm of Spoilers, as well as Game of Thrones starring cast members Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), both of whom will be attending the convention for the first time ever. And let’s not forget about the wolf dogs, with whom you’ll get the opportunity to take a photo!
Con of Thrones, the premier convention for fans of Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, will take place in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Music City Center, on July 12–14. Tickets are still available at ConOfThrones.net/register!
Watchers on the Wall are proud to be the official programming partner for Con of Thrones, working with Mischief Management. Look for regular updates and additional info at the official Con of Thrones Facebook, Twitter, andInstagram, with more to come in the near future. We hope we see you in Nashville this Summer!
If you were wondering about what the Night King’s spiral-like symbols signifies, especially after its last startling appearance during the season eight premiere, the writer behind the episode is here to tell all—and it really appears to be all. Also, there’s that small matter of Jon learning the truth about his parents and royal status…
At the New York Post, Lauren Sarner interviews the writer behind “Winterfell”, Dave Hill, who admits “there’s always a lot of pressure” writing Game of Thrones, though it was especially challenging to write Jon learning the truth about his parentage:
“This scene was trickier than many because Sam is conveying information that we the audience already know, and that Jon has to hear pretty much in its entirety to get the full effect,” Hill explains. “But it’s tough to balance so much necessary exposition and rehashing (for the audience) with the emotional charge that makes the moment actually land with the audience. Luckily for me, John Bradley and Kit Harington could perform the words of a phonebook, and David Nutter would win an Emmy for directing it.”
Speaking of another key scene in “Winterfell”, Hill opens up about the spiral symbol we have seen the White Walkers use many times, though never as gruesomely as in Last Hearth. The symbol has been described before as a way to show they have a culture, distinguishing them from their mindless thralls, but there’s more to it than that:
“As we saw with Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven,” Hill begins, referring to one of the most consequential yet oft-overlooked visions in season six’s ‘The Door’, “The spiral pattern was sacred to the Children of the Forest, who created the Night King by sacrificing a captured man in a spiral ‘henge of stones.’ The Night King then adopted the symbol as a sort of blasphemy, like Satan with the upside-down cross.”
That’s simply fascinating. Honestly, I don’t know how it never occurred to me that recreating the Children’s Stonehenge-like art with body parts may have been a purposeful perversion instead of just an honest replica. Thankfully, others in the fandom have been more astute than me. In fact, Watchers on the Wall’s own contributor JoeMagician advanced this theory on his Youtube channel just a few days ago!
Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) unleashes his mad fury in season seven’s “Stormborn”
In recent interviews, Pilou Asbæk talked about what’s motivating Euron in season 8, Bella Ramsey reflected on Lyanna Mormont’s strength, and Isaac Hempstead Wright joked with Jimmy Kimmel about the the theory that Bran is the Night King.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Asbæk discussed the evolution of Euron Greyjoy and revealed that quite a lot of the differences between Euron in season 6 and 7 had to do with Asbæk’s increased creative input. For example, Euron was toned down considerably in the Kingsmoot from what had been originally planned.
“I had some great lines at the Kingsmoot that they took away,” he said. “I had some lines where he’s talking to Yara and then, there was like 20 more lines where he was being ruthless, where he was like doing a comedy show for the Iron Islands. And [David Benioff and Dan Weiss] were like, ‘This is too much.’
By contrast, in season 7 when Benioff and Weiss wanted to omit Euron’s “two good hands” line, Asbæk felt comfortable enough to fight to keep it.
“Because I had more confidence in season 7 and felt like I belonged more, I went to them like, ‘Guys, don’t take it away. I know exactly how to be this guy, he’s gotta be charming, he’s gotta be arrogant, he’s gotta look Jaime right in the eye and say it with the biggest fucking smile — because he’s an idiot and a prick and that’s what I like about the character,” he said.
Discussing Euron’s motivations this season, Asbæk doesn’t seem to think that Theon and Yara are really on their uncle’s radar.
“I don’t think Euron gives a shit [about them].” he said. “For Euron his main focus is power and Theon doesn’t have any. Yara and Theon are nothing to him. They’re not a concern.”
Cersei, on the other hand, is very much at the forefront of Euron’s mind.
“He thinks Cersei is sexy and he wants to be the king with her and wants to be on the Iron Throne,” he said. “Because what’s more sexy than a powerful lady? He wants to become the king of the Seven Kingdoms. He’s also blackmailing Cersei — if you want a fleet you gotta do stuff.”
As for Euron’s longevity … of course, Asbæk couldn’t disclose if, how or when Euron dies, but he did strongly hint that, whatever happens, Euron won’t go out quietly.
“My agent sent me a text that said the most likely character to die first is me,” he said. “So a lot of people are gonna lose money … I do some cool shit,” he said.
Bella Ramsey, who plays Lyanna Mormont, recently spoke to The Cut about her fan favorite character.
“I wasn’t sure whether people would like her or not, because she’s quite a unique character. But I’m very glad and very grateful that people do like her,” she said. According to Ramsey, playing Lyanna really is as empowering as it looks.
“I think [I’ll miss] the opportunity to stand up in front of a load of grown men and shame them,” she said when asked what she’ll miss about Game of Thrones “I think playing confident characters also helps with your own confidence. Say you’re in a situation where you’re feeling anxious or nervous — you can become a character and work through it that way. I’ll miss that about her.”
When asked which character she’s rooting for the most (aside from her own, of course) Ramsey named Arya: “She’s little and powerful. There’s this great line from the show Matilda: ‘Even if you’re little, you can do a lot. You musn’t let a little thing like this stop you.’”
Fun fact, Kerry Ingram was one of the actresses who originated the role of Matilda in the West End. So, in a way, Ramsey just praised Arya with the wisdom of Shireen Baratheon.
Lastly, 20-year old Isaac Hempstead Wright appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to discuss what’s it’s like to have spent literally half his life on a hit HBO show.
Hempstead Wright could “neither confirm nor deny” the theory that Bran is the Night King (by all means, keep adding gasoline to that dumpter fire) and offered some insight (pun intended) into how he does that unsettling Three-Eyed Raven stare.
“I’m kind of getting good at this sort of intense stare but it’s actually aided by the fact that I’m completely blind when I’m on set. I don’t have glasses and I don’t have contact lenses.”
He also demonstrated his ability to do the warg-eyeroll sans CGI. It’s fun! Give it a look.
You’ve waited, and waited, and waited some more! But now that the season eight premiere is finally behind us, it’s time for your patented Watchers on the WallVideo Recap Roundup, featuring analyses, reviews, reactions and a few funny additions!
Kicking things off we have Westeros History, with an into almost as good as the show’s!
There’s also this wonderful (and unexpected) Game of Thrones collaboration with… Sesame Street, of all things! Did you want to see Elmo teach Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Cersei (Lena Headey) respect? Well, probably not, but I’m sure now you do:
My journey with Game of Thrones began underneath a quiet tree at night, at the edge of the campus green. It was not as a grand of a tree as the Weirwood in the Winterfell courtyard, but it was quiet and pleasant. It was an odd moniker of a tree, a symbol between the wide open grass and the parking lot right next to it. It was the smokers’ tree, hovering above a bench perched precariously on the dirt ground. I didn’t smoke, but it was a place to be. I wanted to belong, perhaps.
On a quiet night, a couple of friends mentioned that they were going to go watch Game of Thrones. The title perked my ears, for it sounded like something I would enjoy just based on those words alone. My friends joked that it was a show full of people having sex and killing each other for power, and therefore I would enjoy it. I raised my eyebrows jokingly, walking into the second episode of the series with that description as my only context. I instantly fell in love with Arya. I wanted Sansa to stab Joffrey. I screamed internally as Lady was executed for the sake of the hideous Lannisters. I was in, hook, line, and sinker.
I binged the first season when it came out as a set and then I simply needed to know what happened next. Season two was not there yet, but the books were. I delved into A Song of Ice and Fire with relish, finding my takes on characters and their journeys divided between the two mediums. I preferred show Cersei to book Cersei but I found something deeper in book Tyrion than the show’s version, who was excellent in his own right. I threw A Storm of Swords across the room when Arya reached the Red Wedding. I got to the end of A Dance of Dragons and rolled my eyes audibly.
Sometimes I think about how much my life has changed since that moment in the auditorium. I was barely an adult then, having just turned eighteen. I was in my first year in college, far away from my family and basically unsure of pretty much anything. I graduated, went back to school because I wasn’t sure what to do, and then become an adult with a minutely paying job and an apartment. I am now a little bit more of an adult (not quite sure how much) and in law school. I gained several dear friends, lost some, and learned how to forge a more independent relationship with my family (still working on that one). I became a better writer. I really got into baking.
The most significant thing that happened to me during this Thrones era was my acceptance of my sexuality. It first hit me over the head when I was in fourth grade (his name was Gregory). It continued to hit me over the head and in my chest and in other parts until I was about twenty-three. I simply had to tell someone for otherwise it was going to burst out of my chest like wildfire. I texted a friend (whom I brought into the Thrones fandom, btw) and he responded with a “Oh, yeah, I thought so.” It perhaps felt a bit anti-climactic but it was affirming. People assumed and not everyone who did treated me with scorn and distaste.
The more I grew into the world, the more open I started to become about being gay. There was something about the necessity of it that is ever-present, never contained, eager to leap out of the closet. My interactions with the Thrones fandom increased substantially during this period. I talked to more and more fans as just a gay person. With every interaction where we simply talked, tweeted, or theorized at lengths in with the cast and crew of Watchers, it helped me become more comfortable in my own skin. It’s one thing to theoretically know that people can know a defining characteristic about you but not define you to by it. It’s another to find a community where you are able to experience exactly that.
And did I mention Oberyn? My beautiful pansexual hero, so crisply written on the page and brought to great life by Pedro Pascal. He was the absolute antithesis of everything I was taught someone like me was simply not allowed to be. He was brown and a hero. A warrior. Fiercely loyal. He was confident and even though his hubris caused his death, hubris was something queer characters of color are almost never allowed. He was open in his sexuality. The perils to that in the real world are obvious. He was in love, committed, but also open about wanting to be with others. For a world that deems such open sexuality with disparagement, Oberyn and Ellaria’s fierce ability to be in love and lust was important. To say that I was sad to see him die would be an understatement.
Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire had an intense impact on me as a writer. When the show first premiered, I was an eager writer but without a sense of voice. A part of that was not knowing who I was, so the writing often felt voiceless, listless. The words would appear on the page, on the screen, but they often seemed to be without a purpose. There were gorgeous scenes, scenes that I could see in my mind as painted across a vast canvas. But they seemed to lack a depth. How did characters grow? How did they learn and adapt while remaining true to themselves? What was poetic justice? What did it mean to love something but recognize when it is problematic? How do you retain on your focus on the stories that needed to be told?
I searched for the answers to those questions in both Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire and I became a richer writer for it. It didn’t really matter whether or not the answers were what I was looking for. The process was valuable and rewarding in and of itself. The process of analyzing, world-building, and character enrichment were what I was hopefully able to bring to my own writing. When I joined Watchers on the Wall as a features writer, I was thrilled that I would be able to dig deeper into the multiple layers of writing in the series, both on a plot and a character level. I gained a better sense of what it meant to be a writer creating a world, a reader looking into one, and the necessity of balancing both as I wrote my own novels into being.
The show is coming to an end. The books are still coming. And there will be more characters to know and fall in love with in spite of ourselves in the spinoffs to come. I hope to continue being on that journey with you and perhaps we can stop at the Inn at the Crossroads for a pint of ale and a lemoncake. Or two.
You can follow Akash Singh on Twitter at @AkashSmarts and starting May 15th, you can find his writings on akashjsaran.com.
“The northmen are loyal to Jon Snow. Not to her. They don’t know her. The Free Folk don’t know her. I’ve been up here awhile and I’m telling ya, they’re as stubborn as goats. If you want their loyalty, you have to earn it.” —Davos Seaworth in “Winterfell”
With these words, Ser Davos encapsulated the political situation that the Stark/Targaryen coalition faced as it tried to prepare the North for an invasion by an enemy that comes out of the distant past, out of the songs and stories of old.
Daenerys’s problem is that the northmen she has come to aid are not recognizing her claim; the problem the North has is having gone unexpectedly from being an independent kingdom to being relegated to vassal state status once again under an outsider queen with a large, hungry foreign army; former King in the North Jon Snow has the problem of competing private and public loyalties, as what he wants to do and what his people and family want him to do are not exactly aligned; and everyone has a big problem in that face-eating wights are streaming into the North, looking for faces to eat. (Reports of actual face eating might be exaggerated for artistic license.)
In the overall list of policy and personal problems, an army of wights should take priority. So why do these other problems even exist now that the Wall has a hole in it? Why are they given narrative and screen time?
Because wights are simple, with uncomplicated motivations. Humans are not like wights.
The North might be excused for not jumping in on the Queen Daenerys train with the fervor one might expect from a population threatened by supernatural horror. Even if we assume that the existential threat of the White Walkers has fully taken seed in the northmen’s consciousness already, they’re still collectively suffering with the stages of political grief, in the loss of the King in the North Robb Stark. They’re being buffeted with political whiplash in declaring their first King in the North after centuries without, losing him months later, getting saddled with a Bolton Lord Paramount, watching an army of outsider knights install Sansa Stark (whom they initially refused to help) as Lady of Winterfell, declaring a new King in the North to scratch their need for a homegrown hero king, and then having him months later set aside his crown and abdicate his authority to a Targaryen queen. The new kid in town.
In fact, their unwillingness to follow Daenerys is consistent with a previous example.
The last time an outsider monarch showed up to defend the North from a threat beyond the Wall, it was Stannis Baratheon, whom they also rejected.
Bear Island knows no King but the King in the North, whose name is Stark
Stannis routed Mance Rayder’s refugee army at the Wall, and offered to remove the Boltons for the low low price of recognizing him as king. But Stannis was not the King in the North. After centuries of being ruled by southerners, the start of the War of the Five Kings sparked the desire to have their own traditional king, and it took deep root.
The moment that Ned Stark was dead and Robert Baratheon’s acknowledged-heir Joffrey had his claim disputed by both of Robert’s brothers, the independent spirit of the North had practically manifested in the shape of the hulking Greatjon Umber:
Catelyn was thinking of her girls, wondering if she would ever see them again, when the Greatjon lurched to his feet.
“MY LORDS!” he shouted, his voice booming off the rafters. “Here is what I say to these two kings!” He spat. “Renly Baratheon is nothing to me, nor Stannis neither. Why should they rule over me and mine, from some flowery seat in Highgarden or Dorne? What do they know of the Wall or the wolfswood or the barrows of the First Men? Even their gods are wrong. The Others take the Lannisters too, I’ve had a bellyful of them.” He reached back over his shoulder and drew his immense two-handed greatsword. “Why shouldn’t we rule ourselves again? It was the dragons we married, and the dragons are all dead!” He pointed at Robb with the blade. “There sits the only king I mean to bow my knee to, m’lords,” he thundered. “The King in the North!”
And he knelt, and laid his sword at her son’s feet.
— A Game of Thrones, Catelyn XI
The North would object to the R’hllor-worshipping Stannis on religious grounds, too:
Greatjon Umber: Even their gods are wrong.
Daenerys’s storyline had featured echoes of Stannis’s ever since she first occupied his former holding of Dragonstone. Both couldn’t get the lords of Westeros to recognize their claims, both had inconsistent results in trying to oust the Lannisters out of King’s Landing, both had Melisandre of Asshai insinuating that they were the Prince(ss) That Was Promised, and both eventually were convinced by their respective Hands to set aside their southern campaign priorities and make their focus in the North.
Like Stannis, Dany is in the North wanting to be given her due as monarch of the Seven Kingdoms, and relies on Jon Snow to facilitate this. Stannis tried to get a political lever in the north by offering Jon legitimacy and making him Lord of Winterfell. Jon refused.
Dany tried to get a political lever in the North by accepting Jon Snow’s fealty. Which removed his King in the North status, and made him …
Lyanna Mormont: Nothing at all?
It might be a problem that Daenerys is so closely following the model of Stannis in her interactions with the North and its established northern power. Instead of being so much of a Stannis, perhaps she should adopt some of the compromise practicalities of his peachy little brother, Renly.
Renly doesn’t get much credit due to his attempt to seat himself on the Iron Throne. Much of the criticisms leveled against him are fair. He could have supported Ned Stark during the transition period of Robert’s death and avoided much bloodshed (including his own.) Renly could have served his brother Stannis as advisor, rather than opposing him as rival usurper. Stannis did not like Renly, but Stannis liked so few people that it probably didn’t matter. Renly decided to defy both his brother and precedence to attempt to usurp the throne. But he was prepared to make one interesting move as king.
When Catelyn Stark was acting as an ambassador for her son Robb’s wartime court, she attempted to treat with both Renly and Stannis, to forge a coalition against the true threat of the Lannisters. Stannis rejected this out of hand, considering Robb a thief and a usurper. Renly at least was willing to listen. He recognized that between the Stark forces in the Riverlands and his combined Reach and Stormlander forces, King’s Landing would quickly fall. In exchange for Stark support, he would allow Robb to remain King in the North on the condition that Renly was recognized as Robb’s superior.
Then Renly was abruptly murdered by a shadow assassin and those plans were ruined.
Unfortunately, when Jon swore fealty to Daenerys, he didn’t plan ahead and keep his crown as the Wartime Winter King, or King Pro Tem, or some other designator to establish a reasonable limit that the northmen could get behind. Daenerys would have to agree to be flexible in this, which doesn’t sound too out of character. After all, Daenerys told Tyrion that she was willing to consider independence for the Iron Islands and she’d touted breaking the inflexible wheel of the political system currently in vogue in feudal Westeros. She might have allowed Jon to keep his crown conditionally. But that didn’t happen. He came back to the North crownless.
Even if Daenerys decided at this stage to declare Jon a kind of sub-king, in hopes of satisfying the northmen’s need for a King in the North, it wouldn’t be like Renly and Robb, two monarchs, coming to a power-sharing agreement. That boat has sailed.
Jon had already abdicated his power to Daenerys and if the northmen were grouchy about acknowledging her power, they’d just as be grouchy about Jon having his authority reinstated by her. The derived authority would be seen as hollow.
Lord Glover: Nice try. But I’m still staying in Deepwood Motte with my men.
Jon himself is disadvantaged by essentially being powerless, with Sansa Stark the legitimate face of authority in the North. And it might get worse when his identity as Aegon Targaryen becomes known. He’d be another damn Targaryen.
Ser Davos has proposed Daenerys marrying Jon, to wed north and south together in a political marriage and smooth things over. Although Davos should be respected for his forward-thinking, this plan is not likely to come through. Not that it’s a bad plan, but the show’s history indicates that once any plan is stated out loud, it is doomed.
Varys convinces Ned to confess, take the Black and live? Joffrey beheads him.
Robb has his uncle Edmure marry a Frey to smooth things over? Red Wedding.
Tyrion plans to take Casterly Rock with the Unsullied thanks to his knowledge of its cisterns? Jaime leaves it abandoned to capture the wealth of Highgarden.
Based on the show’s history of things being undercut, a proposed political marriage won’t solve things so simply. The evident fly in the wedding soup would be Jon probably not wanting to marry his aunt.
Daenerys: I don’t see why not. I’m not his sister. Jaime: Not that there’s anything wrong with that either.
So what can be done? Jon might not be able to do much, but there is someone who can.
Sansa Stark could start to rectify the situation by prioritizing the world’s needs over her relatively newly-embraced northern pride and working with Dany on public relations.
Since Sansa now eclipses Jon as the symbolic authority in the North, especially after performing as an effective civil administrator in getting her people ready for winter, Sansa could help her people accept Daenerys through example and also reassure Daenerys that she’s welcome in the land she’s trying to save.
Dany is somewhat of a fish out of water, and Sansa should empathize since she’d been raised throughout her childhood by Catelyn with an eye to the south. When Jon and Sansa were doing their recruitment tour of the North and trying to muster support, Sansa had setbacks dealing with the irate northern lords. It has only been recently that she’s kind of hit her stride as the Lady of Winterfell. Sansa also seized effective power with an army of outsiders, the knights of the Vale. So she might be able to bond with Daenerys over their similar experiences. Hopefully she still can.
And even though it might be difficult, it might not be too difficult.
Davos wouldn’t be warning Tyrion and Varys about the northern disposition if there were no problems he foresaw, and Daenerys is not wrong to be worried about Sansa not showing her the respect she expects. With Jon crownless, Sansa is the symbol of legitimate power in the North and symbols have power. Daenerys spent seasons in Meereen learning the difficulties of working with a population that didn’t accept her.
The northmen are not the Meereenese slavers, angry that Daenerys was disrupting their position and the economy. But Daenerys is a Targaryen and her father burned Rickard Stark alive. Some of the older men who watched Daenerys march into Winterfell with a dragon-bannered retinue might have fought against Rhaegar’s similarly-bannered forces at the Trident during Robert’s Rebellion. The fact that Randyll and Dickon Tarly chose death by dragonfire rather than bend the knee is going to reinforce any association Daenerys might be trying to avoid with her mad father Aerys. (Honestly, Randyll Tarly was so abrasive, he actually found a way to be an irritant in death.)
The folksy phrase the North Remembers seems a bit of a misquote since the northern lords were reluctant to rally to Sansa’s side against the Boltons. The North was not remembering its oaths to House Stark at that moment, but the North always seems to have a better memory when it comes to grudges. And the North remembers this grudge.
The northmen have now lost their second King in the North in a handful of years. They barely had time to get used to Jon Snow the White Wolf before he abdicated for a southern ruler, something the Greatjon had railed against. Robb’s death allowed the northern lords to either accept or deny Stannis as king (they denied), but Jon’s swearing of fealty to Daenerys forced the decision on them unbidden.
They’re as stubborn as goats. If you want their loyalty, you have to earn it.
Daenerys has yet to earn their loyalty. Still, the northmen do seem willing to play ball.
Wee Lord Ned Umber requested wagons and horses to extract the Umbers from Last Hearth, he addressed Sansa and Jon as “m’lady” and “m’lord”, respectively, and Daenerys as “my queen.” So, on the surface, this doesn’t seem to be a problem, right? The northmen can call Daenerys queen, and she can go about her business marshaling her forces against the wights.
However, Dany being recognized as queen – sincerely being recognized – will only come after she earns it by facing the wights. The doomed Ned Umber called Daenerys queen and now he’s dead. Dany should honor his example and act as his queen, engaging with the Army of the Dead that killed him before making further demands on the North.
All the major actors currently in the North are going to have to make some changes if this is going to work out. The only faction that doesn’t have to change a thing is the Army of the Dead. They have their role covered.
Even though it makes sense that the humans in the North should set aside all these issues, at least until they can secure their long term survival, from a narrative perspective the story, the characters and their world demand that this conflict exists and that these conflicts be resolved.
The Night King and the wights are an overwhelmingly clear threat, and humanity is obviously going to resist them. Even if the North refuses to bend the knee to Daenerys, she’ll fight for them – for the living, because it is so evidently the correct thing to do. What kind of person would ignore the manifest threat of the White Walkers?
But Game of Thrones has never been a straightforward good versus evil show.
Since the White Walkers represent such a monolithically motivated force, our heroes and villains and those in-between who represent the opposition to the supernatural threat will have to make up the difference in complexity and having cross-purposes. If the Night King represents cold and brutal order, then the defenders of the realm must be messy and chaotic and very, very human.
Or else it’s boring. And Game of Thrones is not boring.
Seven long years have passed since HBO’s Game of Thrones first aired the silver screen, and in all of that time many satisfying moments occurred. Whether it be a deceased character being avenged or a character coming out on top after having endured hardships, the moment has happened. We have composed a list of 15 of the most satisfying moments that we all know we enjoyed watching.
The Reunion Of Jon Snow & Sansa Stark
7 long years had passed since the cousins, believed to be half siblings – Jon Snow and Sansa Stark – had last seen each other before he rode north to join the brothers of the Nights Watch and she rode south to Kings Landing to further her courtship with Joffrey Baratheon.
Sansa – having escaped her abusive husband Ramsay Bolton in the last episode of season 5 – ventured to Castle Black in season 6, where Jon was believed to still have been the Lord Commander of the Nights Watch.
Weary and tired, the believed to be last member of House Stark, Sansa rode into the courtyard of Castle Black and dismounted nervously as the brothers of the Nights Watch and wildings stared at her with curiosity.
She looked around until she caught sight of Jon Snow standing on the ramparts. Without taking his eyes off of her, he made his way down the stairs and onto the courtyard. They stared at each other bewilderedly before fiercely embracing as the House Stark theme swelled in the background.
Daenerys Takes The Khalasar
Having been captured by the Khalasar in the last episode of season 5, Daenerys Targaryen was taken back to Vaes Dothrak where her fate was to be decided by the many Khal’s who had gathered there.
When she was brought before the Khal’s, they began to discuss what to do with her including taking turns raping her or giving her to the Masters of Yunkai. She, talking in fluent Dothraki, told them about the promises Khal Drogo made her the last time she was there.
They mocked her but she told them they were small men who were not fit to lead the Dothraki people but she was. They told her they would definitely rape her as well as let their bloodriders do so as well but she merely smiled and placed her hands on the fit pits.
She told them they would not serve her, they would die, before pushing all of the pits over which caused the temple to be engulfed in flames. As she stepped out of the burning temple unharmed, the Dothraki bowed to their new leader.
Daario Naharis Joins Daenerys’ Cause
While Daenerys was bathing, Daario Naharis, Ed Skrein version, snuck in her tent and held Missandei at knife point. It seemed as though he was going to kill her but he released her and revealed himself. He – under Daenerys command – let her go.
They discuss why he is there and he reveals that he killed his captains, who wanted him to kill Daenerys. He explains why she should trust him and as he does, she steps out of the bath and is dressed by Missandei.
He withdraws his sword and bows before her, pledging his sword, lie and heart to her and her cause.
Jon Is Named King In The North
In the Great Hall of Winterfell, the northern lords discussed what to do for the coming winter and the White Walkers that come with it. They appear to dismiss Jon Snow’s warnings and say that they wish to return to their own castles.
There is tension in the room but Lyanna Mormont, the lady of Bear Island, stands up and dresses several of the lords who were directly affected by the Bolton’s – whom Jon defeated and liberated the north from. She states that she and House Mormont have always remained loyal, and that the only person they will address as king, is a Stark – whom, despite not having the name, Jon is.
The other lords apologise for not committing to his cause at first and begin to pledge their loyalty. The entire hall, even the Wildlings and Knights of the Vale, raise their swords and declare him the King in the North.
The Death Of Viserys Targaryen
Spiteful and cruel, the Beggar King – Viserys Targaryen – violently abused his younger sister – Daenerys Targaryen – and threatened her if she should not comply with him in episode 1 of season 1.
His cruelty became even more apparent when he sold her as a bride to a frightening Dothraki warlord in exchange for an army, especially when she begged him not to and he told her that to claim his throne – he would let the Khalasar of 40 thousand men and their horses rape her.
When his sister began to break free of his control, he tried to beat her – whilst she was pregnant although he did not know at that time – but she hit him round the head with a golden belt, which in hindsight acted as foreshadowing for his satisfying death.
After having drunk excessively, he stumbled into Khal Drogo’s hut and shouted about wanting his crown. When he was told his place is back with the common Dothraki people, he threatened the lives of Daenerys and her unborn child.
Khal Drogo had him restrained and his arms broken while he melted his golden belt. Daenerys looked on as her husband poured molten gold over her abusive brother’s head and watched emotionlessly as he fell to ground with a chilling clank.
Tyrion Escaping & Killing Tywin
In season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister, having been accused of the murder of King Joffrey I Baratheon and having lost his trial by combat – waited in the dungeons of the Red Kept for his impending execution. His elder brother, Jaime Lannister, however freed him after and emotional goodbye.
Instead of meeting Varys, whom was going to take Tyrion across the Narrow Sea to Essos, Tyrion took a crossbow and went to his father’s chambers – where he found Shae, his former lover who spoke out against him at his trial.
He killed her by choking her to death, though it pained him greatly, before finding his father using the toilet. He fired several shots are being goaded by Tywin and watched his father slump against the wall behind him.
The Hound Joins The Brotherhood Without Banners
Having seen the corpses of the people who took him in and cared for him, Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane picks up an Axe and goes to hunt them down. He finds the murderers ready to be hung by the Brotherhood without Banners.
They discuss their reasons for both wanting to kill the murderers. Beric Dondarrion tells the Hound that he can kill one of them but the Hound claims that he wants to kill two of them. He then kills the two he was given permission to kill.
He then sits around a fire with the Brotherhood and eats. As he does so, Beric tells him that he should join them. Thoros of Myr explains that the Brotherhood have a purpose that the Lord of Light has given them. Beric tells him is not to late to begin helping and he agrees to join them.
Arya Stark Killing Walder Frey & Wiping Out House Frey
Having betrayed Robb Stark – the elder brother of Arya Stark – and orchestrated the Red Wedding – in which the murder of Robb, Talisa – Robb’s pregnant wife – and Catelyn Stark – the widow of Ned Stark and mother of Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon Stark – in season 3 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Walder Frey had his name put on Arya’s list of names.
After serving Walder Frey a pie made from his sons in the last episode of season 6, Arya cut off his face and posed as him in the first episode of season 7. She poisoned the wine that she served to the member of House Frey and reminded them of the atrocity they committed during the Red Wedding.
Before she walked out of the hall nonchalantly, she removed the face of Walder Frey and revealed herself as Arya Stark – the girl who avenged the Red Wedding.
The Death Of Ramsay Bolton
Manipulative and psychotic, the former bastard, Ramsay Bolton, made his onscreen debut while posing as the man sent to rescue Theon Greyjoy. Playing one of his many sick games, he freed Theon and then had him caught and brought back to Winterfell.
He tortured him in many ways but the cruellest was when he cut off Theon’s genitals and sent them to his father – Balon Greyjoy. He took everything away from Theon and forced him to go by the moniker ‘Reek’ and made him sleep in the kennels.
After being legitimised, he was betrothed and married to Sansa Stark to secure the north but he turned abusive the night of their wedding when he forced Theon to watch him rape her. He beat and raped Sansa until her eventual escape in the last episode of season 5 of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
After losing the Battle of the Bastards, he was chained up in the kennels. Sansa gained her revenge when she allowed his hounds to eat him alive.
Jon Snow Executes Janos Slynt
Having betrayed Ned Stark and being generally crooked to begin with, Janos Slynt was sent to the Wall by acting hand Tyrion Lannister. Once at the wall, it didn’t take long for Janos to grow hatred and resentment towards Jon Snow, siding with Alliser Thorne against Ned Stark’s “Bastard”.
Slynt showed his true colors during the Battle of Castle Black, where he cowered away with Gilly and her baby, while the rest of the Nights Watch was fighting the Wildling attacks on both sides of the wall.
Jon Snow being (rightfully) elected as the new Lord Commander of the Nights Watch only added insults to Janos’ injuries. When ordered by the new Lord Commander to take men and re-build Greyguard, an old Nights Watch castle now in ruins, the former Commander of the City Watch decided to confront the Lord Commander and contest his orders.
Slynt, again, showed his true colors once he realized Thorne wouldn’t have his back then, and he was sent to the executioner’s block, only for Jon Snow to chop his head, in the same way his “father” Ned had lost his due to Slynt’s treachery; A poetic moment that brought some sort of justice for Ned Stark’s Death.
Tyrion’s Confession At His Trial
Having been wrongly blamed for the murder of King Joffrey I Baratheon, his uncle – Tyrion Lannister – was made to stand trial for the crime.
Despite being given the opportunity to live and join the Nights Watch, Tyrion chose to make a confession after being prompted by Shae – his former love – who told the court he and Sansa Stark – his wife whom she grew jealous off – planned to murder Joffrey.
He stood at his podium and confessed that he was guilty, not for killing Joffrey but for being a dwarf – which he states he was on trial for all his life.
As Tywin tries to send him away for causing commotion amongst the people, he demanded trial by combat as the House Lannister theme swelled and he and Tywin stared at each other hatefully – ending the episode.
Arya Stark Butchers Meryn Trant
Having killed Syrio Forell, the former swordsmanship teacher of Arya Stark in season 1 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the perverse Kingsguard – Meryn Trant – made his way onto her list of names.
While in Braavos, Meryn Trant visits a whorehouse and asks for young women. Arya posed as one and while the other two girls screamed in pain as he beat them, Arya made no sound. He sent the other girls away and continued to beat her until revealed herself and leaped at Meryn Trant.
She stabbed him in the face multiple times and stuff cloth into his mouth while she taunted him and told him about why she was going to kill him. While telling her was no one, and nothing, she slit his throat.
Daenerys Burns The Slaver, Spoke Valyrian All Along
While in Astapor, Daenerys negotiates with a slaver to buy an army of unsullied soldiers. He speaks in Valyrian and his serving girl – Missandei – translates what he says but leaves out the insults he throws at Daenerys, believing she cannot understand them
She, solemnly, trades Drogon to the slaver in exchange for the army. He continues to insult her while struggling to hold onto Drogon. She tests out the loyalty of her new army by speaking commands in Valyrian.
Shocked that she speaks Valyrian, the slaver struggles to hold Drogon who is fighting to break free. Daenerys tells the unsullied to kill all those who have enslaved people. They do as she says and the slaver commands people to kill her but she says Dracarys and Drogon burns the slaver alive.
Jon Snow Kills The Mutineers, Avenges Jeor Mormont
Having killed Jeor Mormont in a mutiny at Crasters Keep, Karl Tanner made himself an enemy of the Nights Watch and Jon Snow. To avenge their Lord Commander, Jon Snow and a small group of Nights Watch Brothers venture north beyond the Wall and attack the group.
Although Karl has the upper hand at first because of his dirty tactics and fighting styles, Jon eventually earns the upper hand when one of Crasters daughters – whom Karl and the other mutineers raped and abused – stabbed him in the back.
While he was distracted by her, Jon stabbed Karl through the scull with Longclaw, the Valyrian steel blade that Jeor Mormont had gifted Jon with for saving his life many years prior.
The Purple Wedding: The Death Of Joffrey Baratheon
Petulant and cruel, the False King – Joffrey Baratheon – found great pleasure in taunting and abusing people. His first act of true cruelty on screen was when he cut the butchers boy’s face until Arya Stark stopped him. He threatened her and shouted obscenities at her until her direwolf, Nymeria, attacked him.
His true nature, however, reared its ugly head when he was crowned King Joffrey I Baratheon. The power having gone to his head, he executed Ned Stark on false charges of treason despite promising Sansa to grant him mercy.
From then on, he continued to taunt and abuse Sansa Stark by forcing her to look at her fathers decapitated head, having his Kingsguard beat and humiliate her, and threatening to rape on her on her wedding night to his uncle – Tyrion Lannister.
During season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, on his wedding day, he taunted them both by having a company of dwarf actors act out the War of the Five Kings. He laughed as Sansa was close to tears as the dwarf mimicking her brother was ‘killed’.
When he began to spluttered and choke after drinking from the poison cup, his face purpled and blood poured from his nose as he died painfully.
Game of Threads is back to assess all of the beautiful costuming work featured in Season 8! Because of the nature of these final two seasons- everyone in survival mode and trying keeping warm, and the epic battles teased in the trailer- there might be less content to work with to warrant weekly recaps, but I am very excited to dive into this final season, none the less!
Let’s begin with “Winterfell”. As I’ve said previously, Michele Clapton likes to use the first episode of each season to root us back into the world that we’ve become familiar with, and she does this by dressing the characters in costumes from the previous season, or riffs on them. Arya is the first major character we see, and she’s wearing her signature Ned/young-Lyanna hybrid look while watching the royal procession arrive. This whole scene is interesting because while the show runners said that they wanted to mimic the royal arrival in Season 1, the tone is a great deal heavier in terms of costuming. Obviously the world has changed so much since Robert Baratheon arrived with all the pomp of the Lannister gold. Everyone is in all black, the Unsullied in sleek, matte black leather armor, which really stands out next to the muted grey tones and furs of the Northerners that are gathered to watch, further establishing the company as outsiders. As a side note, I am excited to say that as many requested, there will be an entire article dedicated to all of the different armor featured over the course of the series.
The only person not in black is Daenerys, who is wearing a modified version of her epic white fur coat that she debuted last season. The patterning in the fur panels is less geometric and more streamlined, and instead of contrasting brown fun, this one has been crafted with Targaryen-red running though the white like veins. She also adds a red silk cravat and strips of red silk ties at her sides, and of course, her version of her crown: her chain and dragon pin. Additionally, white has often been used as her royal color in the past. Back in Season 5 when she was stationed in Meereen, she often wore white to establish her rule over the city, and wearing it here is meant to show the Northerners that she has come to Westeros to do the same.
Jon is, of course, wearing his familiar Ned Stark cosplay. There’s still a loftiness to his costume that shows his importance, whether he wants it to be noticed or not. Tyrion and Varys are also in familiar costumes but with the added warmth of fur vests and trimmings for the climate. Missandei has a newly fashioned ensemble in heavier fabrics and furs as well, all while keeping in step with the Unsullied and the rest of team Dany.
As Jon, Dany, and company are received in the courtyard, you can see the obvious ties that unify Jon, Sansa, and Bran. A Stark costuming motif has always been piles off fur which, while practical, also elevates them as an important, noble family. Sansa and Jon, especially, have very similar silhouettes and colors which contrast Dany’s white, more form-fitting outerwear. Sansa and Jon are a visual unit, even if he’s an emotional unit with Dany. Sansa also continues to wear her Lady of Winterfell dresses that have been visually synonymous with her reclaiming her agency, as well as the respect from her people in the leadership position that she’s in.
It becomes even more obvious when the three are seated in the great hall, addressing the lords and ladies of the North. From the very first season on, Dany is constantly finding herself in situations where she is the outsider coming into a new culture, and it’s reflected in her clothing every time. She may have various fabrications and aspects of the regional dress here, but there’s absolutely nothing Northern about what she is wearing.
Speaking of dressing to rule, we swing down to King’s Landing to check in with Cersei, who is waiting on Euron and the Golden Company. It’s hard to tell in the coloring of the scenes if she is wearing the beautiful red velvet ensemble that was featured in her character poster, or if it’s an all black version. Judging from the outdoor scene with Qyburn, I think this is black velvet and we have yet to see why she all of a sudden starts incorporating Lannister red back into her rotation. The elements of this costume draw on a lot of details that Cersei wore last season. The epaulettes are a similar shape but the metal has been twisted in the same spine-like way that was featured on the back of the coat she was wearing in the Dragon Pit, as is the treatment that runs from the neck and sternum of the dress, all the way down to the hem. She has even more layers of protection with this, while also adding warmth for the cooler weather rolling in. There is much more hardware and detailing here than in the past, signifying her ever-increasing paranoia once again. Interestingly, the metalwork in her new gown is in warmer, slightly more golden tones than her previous cold-silver hardware that she and her Queensguard were wearing last season. Perhaps most significant is the use of the lion pendant that she and Myrcella wore previously, but it’s now strung through her armor as a symbol in her mind of being the only Lannister left, now that Jaime has abandoned her.
After sleeping with Euron, Cersei once again wears a similar pale blue robe to the one that she wore after sleeping with Jaime last season. The moody lighting can make you miss the color and details while watching, but this one has the sleeves trimmed in fur for extra warmth. Michele Clapton has said in the past that the use of blue signifies a sense of hope for the characters. Is this a reference to the child she is carrying? At this point, I’m not certain that Cersei really the type of person that would stop drinking even if she was pregnant. Or is the color of “hope” a reference to the hope that Euron and the Golden Company will be enough to defend her city? It also highlights her vulnerability when she is intimate with someone. She is literally stripped of her armor and black, high neck gowns.
Coincidentally, Euron’s shirt is also in the blue-grey color family, showing that his greatest “hope” or aspiration, bedding Cersei, has come true.
I’m so excited to see the armor for Sansa that’s been teased, in action, as well as potential new armor for Arya, Dany, and maybe even Cersei!
I’m always excited to see Theon in his Greyjoy armor.
Sam gets some nice leathers to wear before he learns that he’s the last male Tarly…
The men are dressed in a way that is true to their character and, while mostly utilitarian, is distinguishable from one to the next.
Along with Helen Sloan’s photos, there is this beautiful screen capture of Gilly (Hannah Murray), Little Sam (not so little anymore!), and Sam (John Bradley).
We may not even know a title yet, but we already have promotional photos for the second episode of season eight! There’re things we expected, like Jaime’s trial and everyone planning for war… and stuff we didn’t expect, too!
Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
We start with the weirwood tree, and Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright). We’ve seen this a lot since Bran returned to Winterfell — which vision could he be having this time?
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
We’ve seen a low-res version of this photo of Sansa at dinner before. She looks thoughtful, maybe even a bit sad? It’s so hard to tell in the dim lighting — apparently all of Winterfell is light by a single candle these days.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
It looks like Jaime has will have some kind of trial in Winterfell, and if the armed guards behind him are any indication, it will be tense to say the least. Will Brienne speak for him?
Hannah Murray as Gilly. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
Gilly makes an appearance, at last! Hers and Sam’s is one of the sweetest relationships in the show. Who is she talking to here, though? For some reason, I don’t think it’s Sam.
Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm and Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
It’s Westeros’ other sweetest couple! Although this looks like another solemn meeting…is Missandei preparing to say goodbye to Grey Worm for good?
Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
Davos usually has a speculative look — as one of Jon Snow’s closest advisors, he should — but this looks even more intense than usual. Is this the same scene with Gilly? Who is he looking at and is it the same person she’s seeing?
Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
Bran seems to go only one of three places these days: the godswood, his room and Winterfell’s courtyard. He’s facing toward someone or something, though, not toward the fire as he usually is when he’s in his chamber.
Conleth Hill as Varys, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys and Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
Varys, Jorah and Dany are looking solemnly at something (or someone?). This seems like a planning session or war council of sorts, perhaps.
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
Based on the lighting and positioning, this photo of Tyrion, cup in hand, looks like it’s from the same planning session as the Varys/Jorah/Dany photo.
Kit Harington (left) as Jon Snow and John Bradley as Samwell Tarly. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
Jon and Sam also look like they’re part of the planning session mentioned earlier, and Sam looks as though he’s feeling more concerned for his friend than usual.
Harington and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
Another photo from the strategy session? Arya would be at home there, and they look as though they’re glancing down at a map or a table.
Bella Ramsey as Lyanna Mormont. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
Lyanna Mormont has come out as no fan of Jon’s recent decisions, but what has our little she-bear wearing armor? It looks like this is outdoors — you can see some of the dragonglass-studded weapons from the trailer in the lower left corner.
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
Finally, we have another view of Daenerys in the library at Winterfell. She’s sporting a new coat and looks thoughtful. It fits previous photos that hinted at a chat with Sansa in the library. Hopefully they start getting along! The Preview and a new piece of concept art at the official Making Game of Thrones blog confirm this meeting.
What do you all think about these new Episode 2 photos? Let us know in the comments!
There have been some exciting guest announcements for Con of Thrones 2019 including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and John Bradley, but for a pack of Stark-loving nerds like us, the latest one just might be the coolest- and the fuzziest. Con of Thrones announced this week that they’re welcoming the Wildefell Wolves to this summer’s gathering in Nashville, TN, with the wolf dogs making their appearances on Saturday, July 13, 2019.
Once you have your tickets to the convention, you can purchase your own photo session with a wolf dog for $35! What’s a House Stark cosplay without a direwolf by your side, right? So reserve your photo before the photo spots are all snapped up.
In addition to the photos, the good folks at Wildefell Wolves will be leading a panel at the con entitled “Wolfolution.” The lecture offers a look back at the real life dire wolves (Canis Dirus), and the grey wolves (Canis Lupus) that lived along side of them, touching on the lore that surrounds the wolves and a Game Of Thrones direwolves comparison.
It was announced by the Royal Mail earlier this week that 2 limited editions sets of “Game Of Thrones” Stamps would be released. The 2 sets would comprise of one that includes 10 stamps with favorite characters from the show, and another set with 6 stamps that will encompass the Iron Throne as well as 4 Fantasy “Elements” from the show: Direwolves, Giants, Dragons and White Walkers.
Here’s a first look at them, before their official release January 23rd 2018:
First Set: 10 Favorite Characters From The Show
Jon Snow At Castle Black
Ned Stark In The Winterfell Weirwood Tree
Olenna Tyrell In The Royal Gardens
Tywin Lannister At The Chamber Of The Hand
Tyrion Lannister At The Blackwater Bay
Cersei Lannister In The Throne Room
Arya StarkIn Braavos/The House Of Black & White
Jaime Lannister At The Sept Of Baelor
Sansa Stark & The Knights Of The Vale Re-Taking Winterfell
Daenerys Targaryen & Her Dragons In Mereen
Set #2 – The Iron Throne & Fantasy Elements From The Show
The Night King & The White Walkers
Wun Wun, Giants & Wildlings
Ghost & The Other Stark Direwolves
Drogon & The Pyramid Of Mereen
The Iron Throne
How To Get Them
There are 2 sets that each come with the stamps mentioned above, as well as special edition sets.
The thirst for cool Game of Thrones merch is never quenched, but luckily, there are always new goodies just around the corner. The latest addition? Popular international retailer Primark has announced they’re teaming up with HBO for an official new line of Game of Thrones products, and they’re now in store! The fun collection features a diverse assortment, with everything from “Mother of Dragons” bags, nightwear, phone cases, luggage tags to “Hodor” doorstops. (Too soon? Nahhh!) Arriving just in time for season 8, fans will find something up their alley, no matter which Great House you pledge allegiance to!
A few of our favorites from the Game of Thrones collection:
Winter is Here Ale Mug
House Stark Direwolf Headphones
I Drink and I Know Things Flask
Direwolf Sigil Boyfriend-style Nightshirt
Dragon Egg Tealights
Not a Queen, A Khaleesi Mug
With prices ranging from €3/$4 to €13/$15, the product line is affordable for all fans. Head down to your nearest Primark quickly to get your hands on the collection! Primark can be found in eleven countries: USA, Republic of Ireland, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, France, and Italy. Find the nearest Primark using this Store Locator!
Thanks to HBO and Primark for the season premiere survival pack, offering us a sneak peek at a few of these items!
In new interviews about “Winterfell”, the season eight premiere, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau discusses Jaime’s cliffhanger with Bran; John Bradley talks about Sam’s scenes with Bran, Jon, and Dany, about whom he has a pretty harsh and controversial outlook; and the creators behind the new title sequence offer all the details. Also, in a wonderful piece, Game of Thrones producer Bernie Caulfield finally gets the recognition she deserves!
Speaking to Patrick Shanley of The Hollywood Reporter, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau talks about his short but significant appearance in the season eight premiere:
“I’m sure [Jaime] went through all kinds of scenarios of what would happen when he made it to Winterfell. I think that’s the last thing he expected to see,” Coster-Waldau says. “It’s the same conundrum as in episode one of the whole show: if this kid—if this young man now—tells anyone what he knows, Jaime’s in trouble. But then again, [Bran] did say earlier on in the episode that he was ‘waiting for an old friend’, so…”
Later in the interview, he also discusses his experience with Lena Headey and the writers, keeping all the secrets, the ending, and Jaime’s relationship with Brienne.
Meanwhile, at Variety, Coster-Waldau looks back on the show’s legacy:
“I think working with an amazing group of people, especially on an experience as strange as this, is the best [part of the Game of Thrones experience],” the Danish actor says, “and I will miss seeing all of these people. As an actor, I’ve never worked on anything this long. Families have formed on this show. People have gotten married and divorced. Kids have been born. It has been quite something.”
“It never ceases to amaze me that this show has traveled so far,” Coster-Waldau reflects. “I think if before someone explained to you what this show was, I don’t think you’d ever think it was going to be the biggest show in the world.”
At The Wrap, John Bradley discusses his immense—and stellarly performed—role in “Winterfell”, beginning with Sam’s scenes with Bran… or rather, the three-eyed raven:
“There’s something really eerie and disconnected about it,” Bradley says. “When you are acting against Isaac, when he’s in character, it’s like you’re speaking to him from the other side of a wall.” Though Bradley admits that can be a challenge, it also “injects something into your performance. You find yourself overcompensating for the lack of response that you get, like people would do if they were talking to somebody like that.”
As for Sam’s devastating moment with Dany, Bradley has some harsh words about her, though he’s speaking strictly from Sam’s perspective: “Sam is now very, very aware that Dany is very imbalanced and very volatile and in quite a dangerous state with people,” he claims. “She says, you know, ‘They refused to bend the knee.’ And that’s a very pragmatic way of dealing with it, ‘They disobeyed me, and so I killed them.’ And in that moment he sees what a dangerous figure she is and that’s what motivates him to tell Jon.”
“He’s probably dreading telling Jon Snow that very sensitive piece of information because nobody wants to hear that,” Bradley says. “It’s only because of […] Jon actually being the true heir to the Iron Throne, it’s only because things are in such a precarious state with the person who everyone thinks should be on the Iron Throne, who is such a volatile character — that’s what is actually pushing Sam on to relay the information.”
He also says Sam sees Dany as “psychopathic,” so it’s fair to say Sam isn’t team Dany.
Also at The Wrap, CG director for ElasticKirk Shintani discusses the work of his team of designers and animators on the award-winning Game of Thrones title sequence, which was for the first time ever completely remodeled from the ground up for season eight:
“In the crypt, you’ll see Lyanna Stark’s statue in the very beginning. And it goes really fast,” Shintani helpfully points out, as an example of their attention to detail, which he attributes to showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss: “They wanted to make sure that things like that are in there for the fans and they can recognize that stuff and that stuff is kind of a reward for paying attention and following along.”
They have also added elements they have wanted to do for years, such as army movements being marked, which we see as golden dots “representing the White Walkers’ march south.” There’s also the change in the astrolabe; while it told the history before the events of the series before, it now depicts major events from it, namely the fall of The Wall, the Red Wedding, and the birth of Daenerys’ dragons:
“I think adding these new scenes to the astrolabe is meant to be a reward to the viewers, that they have witnessed events that have turned into a lore that have been realized in the relief sculptures on the astrolabe bands, much like the existing depictions on the astrolabe bands on Seasons 1-7 that we don’t experience on the show,” Elastic‘s director explains. “So in a way, it’s kind of a new chapter where we’re acknowledging that in the first seven seasons, we witnessed massive historical events.”
For those avid to get as much as possible from the premiere, you may get hints of future episodes if you pay close enough attention: “Everything that’s there, is there — if that makes sense,” Shintani enigmatically says, before clarifying: “All the little bits and pieces that we wanted to put in, they’re always kind of there, whether or not they are noticeable or if you actually pay attention to them. That’s kind of something that we wanted to make sure of, that it felt like it’s a set piece that’s sitting there and you happen to catch something in Episode 1 at a certain point and time. And as the episodes progress, you know, as the set piece changes, the things that you notice happen later, you might find little hints of those same things in the previous episodes.”
As a tease for the series finale title sequence, Shintani claims they were “finally able to put some of the things” they’d wanted to do for years. What could that possibly mean?
Producer Bernie Caulfield with showrunners D.B. Weiss (left) and David Benioff (right)
Finally, for something less premiere-related, there’s a wonderful new feature about Bernadette Caulfield in The New York Times which you should all read in its entirety, so I’ll only offer a few highlights here. If you don’t know who Bernie Caulfield is, she’s one of the main producers in Game of Thrones, the one who makes the intricate production machine run smoothly if you believe the showrunners—and you should:
“We only made it this far because of Bernadette Caulfield, the greatest producer alive,” co-showrunner David Benioff says. “The single best thing that ever happened to the show,” he says together with fellow showrunner Dan Weiss. “Without her, the whole thing would have collapsed under its own weight long ago.”
“There are so many versions of ‘Game of Thrones’ that would have fallen apart under the strain of producing 10 increasingly big hours of television on a 12-month schedule,” they elaborate. “Pretty much every version except the Bernie version.”
And the cast agrees, having nothing but praise about her. Emilia Clarke calls her “the beating heart” of the show; Sophie Turner sees her as “the woman” she wants “to grow up to be like”; Lena Headey says she’s “the true Mother of Dragons.” You get the gist.
Caulfield, of course, doesn’t take the credit. “Well, I wish I was that important, but obviously it takes a major team to put it together,” she says. “My job is to make whatever they write on the page come to the screen.” Oh, that easy, is it?
I won’t give away any more, as I insist you read the feature in its entirety. It’s worth it!
The final season premiere of Game of Thrones (excuse me while I reach for my Costco-sized box of tissues) came with great expectation and went. It was just shy of an hour, bursting with moments of hilarity, discomfort, and a moment or two of questionable dialogue. It was gorgeous and cinematic, as we have come to expect from the HBO juggernaut. Ramin Djawadi continues to be the proverbial handsome God of Music.
The sharpest note of “Winterfell,” however, was not a singular scene but rather how deeply the writing harkened back to the pilot episode of the show: “Winter is Coming.” The echoes were present from the opening scene to the closing shot. Some of the callbacks were more subtle than others, but in the context of this being the beginning of the end, it largely worked. The key was for the show to toe the line of tapping into to our deep sense of nostalgia but in away that feels like the story is moving forward, that things have changed, maybe irrevocably.
The opening scene harkens back to Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) climbing stones and trees to catch a better glimpse of the arriving Baratheon royal family. Here it is an unknown boy doing the same to catch a glimpse of the arriving Targaryen army. Arya (Maisie Williams) is once again initially missing from the welcoming party, rushing to observe her memories from the past in the flesh and seeing the dragons with an eye of wonder. Fittingly, it is Sansa (Sophie Turner) who formally welcomes the new arriving party, a key reversal from a pilot where she wanted nothing more than to be as far away from the North as humanly possible.
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) remarks to Sansa about the beauty that she holds, a remark a younger Sansa took with great pride from Cersei (Lena Headey) but now looks upon with a sharp disinterest. Sansa understandably worries about the grain and supplies rations now that there is an army of Unsullied, Dothraki, and two fully grown dragons. It’s a valid concern echoed by Catelyn’s (Michelle Fairley) pilot concerns about the amount of alcohol alone Robert (Mark Addy) was going to consume.
In the macabre, destroyed halls of Last Hearth, Lord Ned Umber (Harry Grasby) unfortunately continues to remind us why it is a bad idea to name a child “Ned.” The limb, um, artistry, around his displayed body is reminiscent of the design the White Walkers left in their wake at the beginning of the series. When he awakes, his eyes pop and I was instantly reminded of the young girl in the pilot, whose piercing blue eyes instantly told the audience that there was something terrible amiss.
Arya and Jon’s (Kit Harington) reunion held a significant amount of pathos. Arya and Jon spent little screen time together, but their importance on one another’s character development was immense. When she presents Needle to Jon, it mirrors the heartbreaking scene in season one where Jon gave her that very sword, a sign that he believed in the path she was choosing for herself. The additional pathos in this nostalgic comeback comes from Jon not realizing yet how much Arya has changed since the last time they had seen one another. It mirrors additionally how Jon has yet to fully realize how much Sansa has changed and how much more capable she has become.
Bronn (Jerome Flynn) echoes Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) brothel dalliances in a callback that was maybe gratuitous but ends on a note of poignant tragedy. In the latter’s case, he was interrupted by his brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and in this case, it is arguably the less pleasant company of Qyburn (Anton Lesser). Qyburn’s arrival signals further memories from “Dark Wings, Dark Words” (Episode 3.02) and “The Children” (Episode 410). The most infamous crossbow in Game of Thrones history, it was a tool of manipulation by Margaery (Natalie Dormer) against Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and it was used by Tyrion to discover that Tywin (Charles Dance) did not in fact shit gold.
The writers making that particular crossbow a potential weapon by which Bronn is going to kill Tyrion and or Jaime is more than just “a keen sense of poetic justice.” It’s a beautiful layering that exemplifies the types of callbacks and nostalgia that lift a story instead of just giving it a cheap emotional punch. Tyrion was often used to psychological abuse by his family, often finding some reprieve only in Jaime’s presence. Bronn arguably became his truest friend, the one with whom he was able to forge a deep friendship in spite of their numerous difference. For that friendship, never absent their respective realities, to be attacked by the same crossbow Tyrion used to put an end to his abusive father is heartbreakingly poignant.
Hello and welcome to all new Watchers on the Wall, and, hey, what’s happening, it’s been a while, to all old Watchers on the Wall (The Night’s Watch takes anyone of any age). “What kind of title is this?,” you ask, “Why isn’t there a review in here?” Well, as you might have realized by now…Game of Thrones is pretttttty prettttttty popular, and there are already a fair amount of reviews on the Internet. So vast is the Internet, that we decided it would behoove us to gather all these reviews in one place.
Every Monday night (or Tuesday morning, as the case may be) I’ll be deconstructing the multitude of reviews out there, boiling them down to one short summary sentence that will perfectly encapsulate what the original author was saying, no questions asked…kidding. What I will do is attempt to summarize the original review as best I can, and if my tease whets your appetite for their style of review, you are encouraged to head over to their site and let them know…after of course letting us know your thoughts in the comments below. All squared? Jolly good, let’s dive in.
Here at Watchers on the Wall, we encourage you to ‘Always Support the Bottom.’ This naturally extends to your support of our editor-in-chief Sue the Fury, and her ‘Sullied recap‘ of the episode, in which her background knowledge of the books informs her perspective on the episode. Once you’ve done that, you would do well to support our peerless Oz of Thrones‘s ‘Unsullied recap,’ in which his fearless determination to avoid reading the books has outlasted all others, continuing on for 8 full seasons. After this, you can check out what these Internet critics thought of ‘Winterfell‘:
Kathryn VanArendonk, Vulture – In which she thinks the season 8 premiere is the best premiere since season 1 because of the way it combines necessary plot milestones with sequences of straightforward indulgence.
Kelly Lawler, USA Today – In which she says the episode concluded with a pitch-perfect callback to the series premiere.
After 67 hours of material aired, “Game of Thrones” has singlehandedly proven itself to be the best Television Series ever made. Based of George RR Martin’s “A Song Of Ice And Fire” Book Series, the HBO show has pushed all boundaries and expectations for what Television was supposed to be. We look at the best 15 episodes from the 60 episode run so far, covering Seasons 1 to 7, along with all the elements that makes them worthy of this list:
– The Red Wedding. The most shocking moment in Television History. Robb Stark, his mother Catelyn, his pregnant wife Talisa all get slaughtered at the Twins during the wedding of their ally and relative Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey. Walder Frey and Roose Bolton’s treason would end the War of the Five Kings which had been decimating Westeros ever since Robert Baratheon’s death.
– Another Stark Direwolf dies: Grey Wind
– Jorah Mormont, Grey Worm and Daario Naharis take Yunkai for Daenerys
– Sam and Gilly reach the Wall
– Jon Snow reveals he’s always been with the Nights Watch
– Cersei’s plans come to fruition: The Sept of Baelor is destroyed by Wildfire with her enemies inside
– The episode with the most significant character deaths: Pycelle, High Sparrow, Mace Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Margaery Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, Lancel Lannister, Septa Unella, Tommen Baratheon, Walder Frey
– Ramin Djawadi’s unconventional yet still daunting music, “Light of the Seven”, during the entire scene.
– Arya is back in Westeros, taking Walder Frey off her list
– Samwell arrives at the Citadel
– Jon banishes Melisandre from Winterfell. Davos threatens her as well
– Lady Olenna puts the Sands Snakes back in their place
– Dorne and the Reach ally with Daenerys Targaryen
The season is HERE! And with it comes a deluge of articles, recaps, videos and podcasts for every episode — and The Night’s Cast, the official podcast of Watchers on the Wall, is pleased to be part of the onslaught!
Join us every Tuesday morning as we recap and react to Sunday’s episode. This week, naturally, it’s the premiere episode, “Winterfell” and Vanessa and Samantha are here to break down some of the details.
The hype for this final season of Game of Thrones is unparalleled. More people than ever are watching the show, and more of them are doing so as soon as possible to avoid getting spoiled. What did that result in, ratings-wise? Let’s have a look!
Entertainment Weekly reports that the season premiere, “Winterfell,” was viewed by a record-breaking 17.4 million watchers in the US on Sunday evening. EW points out the 17.4 million make the season eight premiere HBO’s biggest telecast ever and 2019’s most-watched scripted content, surpassing The Big Bang Theory‘s 14.1 million viewers earlier on the year, despite it being aired on a broadcast network. However, there is a catch: these 17.4 million were across multiple airings, and including some streaming services.
On first airing, the traditional metric, The Wrap reveals it was viewed by 11.8 million, so the record-holder remains the season seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” at 12.1 million. On overnight telecast and partial streaming, “The Dragon and the Wolf” had an at-the-time record-breaking viewership of 16.9 million, so “Winterfell” did at least break this less concrete and comparable rating of overnight viewership, if not live.
Moreover, season eight has a new record average viewership for now, breaking last season’s record of 10.3 million, which we’ll see develop (probably upwards) as the season continues. Crucially, “Winterfell” beats all previous season premieres, surpassing the previous record-holder, season seven’s “Dragonstone,” by about 1.7 million viewers:
In terms of growth, it’s too early to say, as there’s only a single episode available, but for now season eight, with 1.5 million over season seven, is comparable to the jumps in viewership characteristic of earlier seasons, which ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 million. The show plateaued a bit going into seasons five and six, with slightly higher viewership on average but no big jumps, and then absolutely skyrocketed in season seven with 2.6 million higher viewership than the previous season. Unless season eight improves dramatically on first airing, it’s unlikely to break season seven’s growth record.
Though it’s a pity the premiere didn’t break every ‘live’ (first airing) records, to be fair more people than ever watch television via streaming nowadays. With our viewing habits changing, there’s simply no perfect comparison to be made with earlier seasons.
The final season of Game of Thrones opened with a solid premiere episode full of callbacks, reunions, dragon riding, and yes – plenty of shade. From the stunning visuals, to the interesting character moments, to the grisly reminder of the White Walker threat, the premiere has set the stage for a compelling end to the series, and I’m excited to see what happens next. In the meantime, let’s go behind the scenes of “Winterfell” with today’s interviews and videos!
First up, Entertainment Weekly brings us an interview with episode writer, Dave Hill. He reveals that they initially thought about using a cold open before making the decision to go a more traditional route, and have the premiere mirror the pilot. Hill also explains what Daenerys’ arrival means to the northern crowd. “We start off with a little orphan boy, to see what to a commoner, to the people on the ground where it’s the most exciting thing they’re ever going to see in their life — a Targaryen queen who also has dragons. Everyone can’t help but look even though what they see makes them afraid. They have a new monarch with monsters to fight other monsters.”
Dany didn’t get the warmest of welcomes, especially from Sansa. “Sansa sees her as the foreign interloper. She trusts her family and no one else. You can see from Sansa’s view that Jon went to meet with this southern queen who burned her grandfather and uncle alive and suddenly Jon bent the knee to her.” Hill adds, “Sansa starts off this season very suspicious and not at all friendly with Dany.” Perhaps he is hinting that the season won’t end that way? Let’s hope Team Stark and Team Targaryen pull together before the White Walkers arrive.
Another character in for a hostile reception is Jaime Lannister, who arrived at Winterfell in the final scene. Hill admits, “It’s an emotional punch that works really well. I knew it was a scene that [Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] was absolutely going to nail.” It will be fascinating to see Bran’s interaction with him next week – will Jaime be forgiven?
Check out the entire EW article for Hill’s thoughts on the Jon/Arya reunion, Jon’s parentage reveal, and more!
Speaking of that parentage reveal, another EW interview gives us Kit Harington‘s take on how Jon feels about it, saying it’s “the most upsetting thing in the world.” to his character. “If Jon could go back in time and say: ‘Whatever you’re about to say, don’t tell me,’ he would. He’d happily be in ignorance.”
Harington confesses that getting Jon’s reaction just right wasn’t easy. “You mark the particularly tricky scenes that you’re going have to concentrate on and this was one. He finds out such a massive piece of information. Not only does he find out who his mother is but also that he’s related to the person he’s in love with. It’s hard for any actor to play. It’s not a two-hour movie but eight seasons of playing a character who’s finding out.”
While Sam is clearly trying to push Jon to stake his claim to Westeros, Harington firmly states Jon isn’t interested. “He has no ambition for the throne. He’s never wanted that.” The news also complicates Jon’s life at a time when he needs to focus on defeating the White Walkers with the help of his ally and lover, Daenerys. “The end of the world might be coming soon but at least he’s in love with somebody and knows who he is, and then comes this sledgehammer.” Will their relationship survive once the truth is out? Perhaps we’ll know the answer on Sunday.
Head over to EWfor the rest, including commentary from Samwell himself, John Bradley.
John Bradley also shares his perspective on the scene with Making Game of Thrones. “Sam is the one Jon trusts more than anyone: He knows Sam wouldn’t tell him unless he was 100 percent sure. It’s a big emotional moment for Jon because his relationship with Ned is something he always took pride in. As soon as that’s questioned, Jon reacts quite violently — you see it in Kit’s eyes. But he quickly computes that Sam is saying this for all the right reasons and has Jon’s best interests in mind.”
Bradley explains Sam’s reaction to his father and brother’s deaths, saying, “it comes as a surprise how much it affects him emotionally. There’s a moment where he rationalizes his father’s death and he looks for a positive — at least Sam can go home now…But when Daenerys mentions Dickon’s death, that really rips Sam’s heart out. Dickon is just another casualty of Randyll’s toxic masculinity.”
“This is the moment he decides to tell Jon about his heritage because he can foresee problems [Daenerys] may cause for Jon in the future. Sam realizes he is dealing with a very important, but dangerous person.” Sam should tread carefully if he doesn’t want to lose Daenerys’ vitally important support before the White Walkers arrive. The fallout from this reveal could have dire consequences for everyone involved.
Speaking to The New York Times, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright discuss their characters’ reunions. On Sansa and Tyrion, Turner remarks, “They never filed for a divorce or an annulment, so I guess they technically are still married! I don’t think it’s as awkward as people would say because Sansa has been through so many rocky relationships that her relationship with Tyrion actually seems pretty sweet, in retrospect.”
Williams says of Arya and Gendry that she doesn’t know if they “have a lot in common anymore. And Arya’s never really been very good at communicating verbally how she feels on the inside anyway…It’s weird for her to be reminded of the girl that she was, you know, and how she last felt when she was with certain characters, because I feel like she’s sort of severed that part of herself.”
We haven’t quite gotten a reunion between Jaime and Bran, but Hempstead Wright teases that Jaime may be off the hook for pushing Bran out of a window as far as he’s concerned. “It had to happen, I reckon. It’s given him incredible abilities, which made him far more significant than he could have ever dreamed of being, had he not had the power…he certainly doesn’t hold grudges. He kind of transcends all the petty quarrels of most of the other characters.” Maybe Bran can help the rest of the Winterfell crew get on the same page before it’s too late.
Hempstead Wright is featured in an article by The Hollywood Reporter as well, in which he elaborates on what Bran’s priority is this season. “His sole focus is that he wants the living to survive. He’s on the side of the living. He’s the ancient arch-nemesis of the Night King. He’s so far beyond any petty squabbling or wanting to get revenge or a comeuppance on someone. He doesn’t view the world like that anymore. He just views things as timelines that intersect and have to end up in certain places.” Ancient arch-nemesis? That’s quite an interesting phrase. Hopefully we’ll find out what he means in the episodes to come.
About those upcoming episodes, Hempstead Wright cautions us to prepare ourselves, saying “The first episode was quite funny. I suppose that’s a warning, to ease you back in before all the pain that’s about to come. The rest of the season might not follow quite as happily.” Keep your tissues handy – we will probably need them!
For more on Bran’s reunion with Jon, the parentage reveal, and more, go to THR.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has his own thoughts about Jaime encountering Bran again. Speaking to EW, he says that for Jaime “it’s like: ‘What the hell?’ and then, ‘Oh my god, that’s the kid.’ I think he knows Bran didn’t die, but he doesn’t expect to meet him.” Jaime intended to go to Winterfell “to fight the good fight” and now he’s “in deep sh–.” He adds, “This is the Lord of Winterfell that I tried to kill and I’m sure he wants revenge. That’s what Jaime expects.”
There may be a happier reunion for Jaime, however – seeing Brienne again. “For Jaime, he would assume she would be there,” Coster-Waldau admits. “I don’t think that was the reason he went. They’ve both been very good at compartmentalizing whatever feelings they have for each other.” We may finally get to see those feelings surface, especially knowing the end may be coming for all of them soon. Braime forever!
In a final article from EW, Lena Headey confesses she wasn’t initially on board with Cersei’s decision to have sex with Euron Greyjoy. “I kept saying, ‘She wouldn’t, she wouldn’t, that she would keep fighting, but [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] obviously know what they’re doing and were adamant Cersei would do what she had to do.” Headey came around to the idea, however. “Cersei is such the ultimate survivor in all of this. She refuses to fall to her knees. She goes to the place where she doesn’t want to go, which makes it more powerfully sad because of who she’s not with.”
Pilou Asbaek admits there were many conversations about whether to include the scene. “Cersei has only been with two people throughout the entire series — the fat king and her brother.” (Actually she has been with her cousin Lancel as well, but I digress). “We had a lot of discussions. Would it be out of character for her to be with Greyjoy for power? We discussed it so much that we almost ended up going, ‘Maybe it’s too much.’ Then we decided to try it out and see if it works. Sometimes you have to show different sides of a character.” Will this be the only time Cersei has to give in to Euron’s desires? I don’t see him giving up that easily…
In this week’s “Inside the Episode,” David Benioff and Dan Weiss break down Daenerys’ arrival to Winterfell, long awaited reunions, and Jon’s first dragon flight.
The next two videos are from HBO’s website, so apologies in advance if they don’t play for those of you outside the United States. In this one, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner and Nathalie Emmanuel discuss Team Targaryen’s frosty Northern reception.
Kit Harington and Maisie Williams share their thoughts on Jon and Arya’s emotional reunion.
In “The Game Revealed,” we get an in-depth (and at times hilarious) look at the making of the season eight premiere from several of the cast and crew.
In case you missed it, check out next week’s preview!
Spoiler note:The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers (book fans can discuss the show-only here). We ask that all Sullied book-readers refrain from posting any mentions/references to the books in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. No spoilers, at all! This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand or afterwards, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!
The wait for the beginning of the end is finally over. The feelings are real. The emotions are real. The reunions are real. And the inevitable is real. This phenomenon that many of us have been nothing short of fanatical about is coming to its denouement. Like it or not, agree with it or not, there are only a few short mornings we have like this left.
Let’s put aside our differences and analyze, discuss and ponder as adults. We all know that this is not going to end necessarily the way we want it to. It’s numerically impossible. But I can promise you this: It’s going to be glorious and painful and triumphant and downright miserable all at the same time. Join a man… and let’s do this together!
Welcome to the in-season, boys and girls! I am your Unsullied leader and this post is where show-viewers only get to release their likes/dislikes/understandings/misunderstandings in a safe environment guarded against those who may judge us for being uneducated idiots (although we value all feedback constructive pleasantries).
How about that new intro???
The Unsullied Parade
What better way to ring in the new season by reminding us who is still alive and heading to Winterfell (it has been almost two damn years, so thanks HBO).
Arya is clearly waiting for the Unsullied to throw her some beads and to see who entered a float in this years’ version of the winter celebration. She wanted to yell at Jon. I wanted her to yell at Jon. But we save the reunion for later and I’m content that we did.
Arya was unimpressed with the Hound float yet loved the Gendry one, but not nearly as unimpressed with the local’s Django Unchained reaction to Worm and Missandei riding horses.
The dragon balloons were incredibly life-like and a huge hit with the parade attendees, other than Sansa.
It starts off well enough with Jon finally reuniting with Bran and quickly realizing that the little boy he used to know is vastly different. Before Dany can fully enjoy Sansa’s expected warm greeting, Bran breaks up the party.
“This is nice and all, but we ain’t got time for this shit.”
Inside the gathering hall, Little Lord Umber tells Sansa that he needs horses and wagons to round up the folk at the Last Hearth. I yelled at him from my couch that he didn’t need to go; that the intro already told us where the AOTD’s first house call would be. He couldn’t hear me.
Next up was the always bashful and shy Lady Mormont who is confused on how to address King/Lord/Pushover Snow. Jon begins his same season 7 spill on how he didn’t choose to be king when thankfully, Tyrion steps up.
How many times does everyone in the North need to be reminded that there are thousands of frozen zombies coming to destroy them?
Understandably, Sansa is perturbed by anything having to do with the newcomers. There is nothing wrong with her having doubts. But complaining about what everybody is going to eat when the dead are en route to kill everyone is just one example of why many don’t like her. The writers don’t do her any favors.
Yet, she then reveals her wisdom by letting Tyrion know that he’s not very clever if he thinks Cersei’s army is coming North. She’s right of course, and where this series leaves her standing is still a mystery. As I said, her arc is still a work in progress.
Eight Years Waiting on No One
Arya and Jon finally reunite with a hug that probably made you cry (or at least think about it) where they compare swords and have a laugh. Arya reinforces that Sansa is looking out for the best interests of the family.
When they ask me to write this post, they ask me to give my true feelings on the episode, so that is what I will do. Seeing Arya take up for Sansa is heart-warming and refreshing considering the differences the sisters have had. But all of a sudden she is the smartest person she’s ever met? OK. That’s not Sansa-hating. I don’t hate her. That line just seemed like an extreme in an effort to emphasize Arya’s support for Sansa. Having said that, we get the point.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). Photo: HBO
“The dead have broken through the Wall.”
Cersei still doesn’t get it. Or maybe she does and she’s just mad.
Regardless, Euron brings in the Golds along with newcomer Strickland and reveals that Yara is alive and somewhat well and tied up below the deck of the ship.
Cersei once again fends off the romantic advances of Euron only to seemingly have second thoughts. You have to assume she realizes that she really has no one left and to keep his loyalty, she has to give him what he wants.
What she really wanted was elephants. Apparently Euron doesn’t have one (hehehe).
And sorry Euron… there’s already one in the oven. Or is there?
Ser Bronn of the Brothelwater
Nobody in the KL seems all that worried about the frozen dead. Everybody’s just getting naked.
I’m not going to elaborate on the deal with Bronn because I already have. My conjecture is almost always admittedly wrong. But not on this one.
The Redemption of Theon
Theon’s atonement tour is in full swing already as he rescues Yara from Euron’s yacht. I’m not going to say it was excessively easy, but I’m not saying it wasn’t. Yara makes it clear that she is going to retake the Iron Islands while Theon feels the need to continue to pay restitution for his prior indiscretions and head back to Winterfell to help the Starks. And yes, this makes me very pleased.
The Dragon Roller Coaster of Love (say what)
Look… I try to be upbeat and positive about everything so I’m going to do my best to give this sequence a pass. I suppose there needed to be a Disney-esque moment where a special romantic interlude was included to help sell the deep love that Jon and Dany now apparently share with each other. But God, this was cheese. I had hoped the first time Jon rode a dragon it was going to be something awe-inspiring. Instead it was kind of aww-ful.
And then, let’s-get-down-to-business-take-the-throne-with-fire-and-blood Dany is all of a sudden so smitten that she suggests climbing into a waterfall with Jon for 1000 years where no one would find them. I completely understand what they are trying to accomplish here. But this seemed forced, especially with the dead on the doorstep.
But, oh well… if you disagree, sound off below.
I’m more interested in knowing what Dany was about to say about Sansa before she was interrupted. “If she can’t respect me…”
No One, a Bastard and a Hound
Arya reunites with two former sidekicks at once meeting both the Hound and Gendry at the same time. The Hound/Arya could have been a little more riveting considering their time together was one of the more entertaining pairings of the series. However, I’m sure there’s more to come.
But were the sparks flying with Arya and Gendry or was that just weapons being forged?
Different Kind of Sparks
We knew a showdown was coming between Jon and Sansa and the fact that he is no longer a King. It didn’t last long and while Sansa’s concerns are legitimate, Jon defends himself and reminds her again that they were in desperate need of help to fight the dead.
If there is a library scene, you can bet your ass that Sam is going to be in it. But it doesn’t go well for Dany as Sam gets very emotional after realizing she barbecued his father and brother. Remember, Tyrion begged her not to. And Sam and Jon remain very close.
Sam then retreats and finds Bran who tells him that now is the time to tell Jon the truth. Jon understandably doubts Sam after being told he’s not the King in the North, but rather the King of the fucking world. Episode 2 is going to be very intriguing.
Beric and Tormund are alive as is Edd and other Crows. Considering the Last Hearth was in that fancy new intro, this is likely where they are with blood everywhere yet no bodies, save one: Little Umber. And his eyes are bluer than Tormund’s.
Waiting for a Friend
At the end, a hooded figure rides into Winterfell that ends up being Jaime F-ing Lannister. And guess who is there to greet him first… his old friend.
Episode 801 Personal Awards
“What do dragons eat, anyway?” “Whatever they want.”
“Poor girl. The pox will take her within a year.” -Qyburn
“That fucking family.” -Bronn
“Did you bend the knee to save the North, or because you love her?” -Sansa
“You gave up your crown to save your people. Would she do the same?” – Sam
“I’ve always had BLUE EYES!” – Tormund
Favorite Sequence: Jon and Arya reunion, Jaime arriving in Winterfell to Bran
The “Ow, That Shit Hurts Award” goes to: Bronn, for having to stop in the middle of the act and then stuff it in his pants
Two Guys I’d Most Want to Grab Some Sour Goat Milk (but preferably a beer) With: Beric and Tormund because, dammit, one of them is going to die soon
Official Season 8 Penis Count: Zero (but close)
Overall Thoughts: Despite my minor complaints, I really liked the episode. The reunions seemed a bit rushed and didn’t necessarily meet expectation. However, there was a fair amount of methodology necessary and if the payoff is five episodes of holy shit moments coupled with incredible storytelling, then I can absolutely live with it.
To be honest, I’m just glad the damn show is back.
That’s it for me guys and gals! Thanks for putting up with my perspective and please share yours below.
Until next week, hang out and stay awhile. Invite a friend to join us. And may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz
**SPOILER NOTE: The Management of this fine site would like to remind you that spoilers (book or leak) are not allowed in Unsullied posts. This includes spoilers covered by code or otherwise. Personally, I appreciate feedback from Sullied and Unsullied alike, so long as they do not include any type of hinting or conversation related to the written verse. However, spoiler coded comments do tend to lead to further Sullied conversation and for that reason, we ask that you please refrain from posting any SPOILERY content whatsoever in Unsullied posts. Thank you for the coop, ya’ shits. -Oz