We are taking this information with a grain of salt. Wasn’t it only last month Martin had said in an interview that the writing was going well? It wouldn’t be unheard of for Martin to have finished these books while the show was wowing audiences. After all, it has been eight years since A Dance of Dragons was released. But if the books really are finished, what’s the holdup?
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In an interview at Epic Con in April, McElhinney stated “[Martin] struck an agreement with David and Dan…that he would not publish the final two books until the series completed.” Seeing how this season has been going, it’s no wonder that Dan Weiss and David Benioff, the showrunners, didn’t want the books out just yet. It keeps book readers and show-only people hooked to their TV’s even when things go off course. With the way this final season has been going in terms of controversial arcs, I hope this information is more accurate than not.
There have been no hints from George R.R. Martin that these books are complete, but maybe that is part of a deal struck. But would the actors even know if he did finish the books? This raises more questions than it answers. What do you think? Should we be getting our hopes up?
There isn’t much to cover from last night’s episode, but there is a lot to discuss. Social media is angry, and who can blame them? There was no way to tell that the worst death of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones would be the show itself, even very early on this season.
As soon as the episode opened with an image of Lord Varys penning a letter about Jon Snow, I knew Aegon Targaryen, the true heir to the throne, was going to die. There was no way Daenerys could let him live if this is what the Master of Whispers was going to do. He had it coming for a long time, always lurking in the shadows and turning on pretty much everyone. I don’t like that it was Tyrion to turn him in, it did seem out of character, but I think everyone is just trying to stay alive under the new Mad Queen. Including…Jon Snow.
I thought we would witness another hot and heavy make-out scene between the two relatives last night before both of them remembered that tiny piece of information, but it seems all of this has finally sunk into Jon’s head. Though Daenerys still seems unfazed. Then again, she was born and raised in a family where this kind of thing was normal. I don’t think it plays into Dany’s descent into madness, but I do think she feels rejected in this moment. A moment where she is looking to be loved not feared, and it isn’t reciprocated. This descent into madness makes sense for her character arc, and it’s probably one of the few things that didn’t make me cringe this episode.
Arya and the Hound ride right on into King’s Landing with no issues. Arya announces herself with all of the confidence someone who just killed the Night King should have. “I’m Arya Stark and I’m going to kill Queen Cersei.” Had Arya Stark been the one to kill both threats to the Seven Kingdoms, I wouldn’t have been mad. No one deserves to take down royalty and death in one season as much as Arya.
I really wanted to believe Jaime was headed to King’s Landing to kill Cersei and redeem himself to the highest degree possible. It was working. For about four seasons and we started to see a more human side of the King Slayer, who no longer appeared to be the same man who threw a kid out a window or killed his cousin to escape imprisonment. Monsters are hard to kill, and the monster inside Jaime was probably the hardest thing for him to vanquish. Tyrion shows up where Jaime is being held and helps him escape so both Jaime and Cersei can escape unscathed while Daenerys moves into the city and takes her throne. This is a good plan if Tyrion had the Bran Stark ability to anticipate what would happen. “Ring the bells,” Tyrion tells Jaime, that’s how they will know the Lannister’s army surrenders. If you thought this would go off without a hitch, you clearly know nothing. It is never that easy in the Game of Thrones. You win or you die.
Jaime isn’t too far behind Arya and the Hound heading into King’s Landing, but he gets a surprise. Like Tyrion promised, the boat was there waiting for Jaime and Cersei to make their escape through the dungeons where the dragon skulls are kept. Euron Greyjoy, however, is right behind him waiting to become the man who kills Jaime Lannister. There is a bit of a love triangle rivalry going on between these two, and I thought finding out Cersei had slept with Euron would be enough to send Jaime over the edge and ready to kill his sister. But the fight that goes on between these two isn’t the stupidest thing to result from this scene. Jaime is stabbed twice, and he still runs around the castle like he’s perfectly in tact. Meanwhile, one swift stab into Euron is enough to kill him. The most poetic thing in this episode is Euron believing he is the man who kills Jaime, when actually the crumbling buildings are what get him.
The one thing everyone was worried about was the number of scorpions Cersei’s army had to shoot down Drogon. They already took down one dragon with three clean hits, but every shot they take this episode seems to miss both Dany and Drogon. I have no problem with this because this is the most realistic element of the entire show. Arrows miss a moving target, no one is surprised. The one thing on my mind was how long does it take to turn those scorpions? How long does it take to reload? They had two or three men on each one just reloading arrows and turning the crank. It couldn’t be an easy feat, so it leaves a wide window for Drogon to attack. That’s exactly what happens. Drogon and Daenerys take that city by storm, burning every single ship in the Iron Fleet and every scorpion along the walls. This leaves Cersei with nothing but fear in her eyes, but she believes her army will fight for her to the last. Before the bells can even ring, the Lannister army has thrown down their swords in surrender.
Daenerys and Drogon are perched on a building top when the bells ring. She knows Cersei is in the Red Keep, and even with the ringing bells there was nothing stopping Dany from flying over and just killing Cersei with fire. The fighting below has completely ceased. There is a standoff between Jon and Grey Worm’s men and the Lannister army. Until Daenerys decides she is going to burn the whole damn city to the ground. Grey Worm makes the hasty decision to end the ceasefire on land by throwing his spear into one of the Lannister men, and the fighting resumes. Until this moment, the innocent bystanders got to do just that: stand by safely. Once the fighting resumes, it is every man, woman, and child for themselves. And no one on their own two feet is any match for a dragon.
While King’s Landing is burning down, Arya and the Hound find their way into the Red Keep. This is the most touching scene in the whole episode because this relationship developed into something beautiful. This moment is earned. The Hound looks at Arya and tells her to get out of King’s Landing because she’s sure to die if she stays. Basically, he tells her that she deserves more than death on a vengeance spree. It is the first time Arya calls him Sandor, neither one shielding their emotions from the other. I want to believe that this is the moment Arya basically says “fuck this” and runs away to Gendry. There’s a moment after she flees, in which she sees someone who looks like him, but alas, it isn’t. The Hound, on the other hand, is off to Clegane Bowl.
Qyburn, Cersei, and the Mountain are all off to a safer place in the castle when the Hound finds them on the steps. Clegane Bowl ensues. Qyburn is killed at the hands of his own creation, Zombie Mountain, which should have been predicted by anyone who has read Frankenstein. Knowing she doesn’t want to get in the middle of a brotherly squabble, Cersei walks right past the Hound. At first I felt like he should have killed her, but by this point I don’t think her dying would have ended the rampage going on outside the castle. Clegane Bowl was intense, the Hound doing everything he can to kill his older brother even though the Mountain seems to be pretty much immortal. Even a knife to the eye isn’t enough to kill this Zombie monster. So Sandor Clegane ends it the only way possible: taking both of them out the tower window and into the flames below. It’s poetic justice if I’ve ever seen it. I just wish the Hound could have survived until the end.
Jaime does meet up with Cersei eventually, and the two make a mad dash to escape. Jaime, not realizing the castle is quite literally crumbling around them. How are we surprised that the escape route was completely blocked off? Both of these characters deserve to die at this point. Jaime’s arc was completely destroyed in this episode, and if he didn’t die I would be afraid of what would happen next. Cersei cries in the dungeon wanting their baby to be safe. Are we supposed to feel bad? She could have just surrendered last week. When the roof caves in, I found myself grateful that it would be the last time I’d have to see her face.
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The real story of this episode is Arya’s. Arya does everything she can to make it out alive, while buildings and people burn around her and the Dothraki kill anyone with whom they come into contact. There were so many moments I thought it was curtains on her character, but she kept on fighting. Her escape from King’s Landing on horseback makes sense, but I have no idea where she could possibly be going. I want to say she’s heading off to Storm’s End to find Gendry, who’s waiting for her with open arms. But this show is sick and twisted, so who knows.
I don’t know what’s going to happen next week. Daenerys finally has her throne, but will this really be the last war? Can she still find a way to rule with grace and dignity? I think she can. I think taking King’s Landing with blood and fire isn’t off from her character. I think it’s just something that had to be done even with the surrender bells going. While she could find a way to rule peacefully, I don’t think the writers will let her. With just one episode left, I think we’re going to see more characters die than ever. If the Mad Queen doesn’t execute them, they’ll die fighting against her.
It’s been common knowledge that HBO would be working on a prequel series for Game of Thrones since the seventh season came to an end. It’s no surprise considering George R.R. Martin has been writing prequel stories, in-between books, and pretty much anything except the final two books of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. That’s not to say we aren’t excited for any prequels HBO throws our way.
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It’s conjectured that there are five prequels set to be produced by HBO with a different writer for each. Currently, there is one under production which George R.R. Martin has refe rred to as The Long Night, though the title of the show has not been confirmed. HBO released an announcement confirming that this prequel would take place before Targaryens and Iron Thrones and serve as the origin story of the white walkers.
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Casting has of course been confirmed for the series both through press releases and George R.R. Martin himself. Naomi Watts is set to star alongside Josh Whitehouse, and filming is even supposed to start sometime this year. This means we could have the prequel as early as next year. The pilot is already being written by Jane Goldman and Martin, with additional scripts in case it is picked up by HBO. Set to direct the pilot is S.J. Clarkson, who has previously worked on hit series like Orange is the New Black and Dexter, both book to series adaptations.
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From Old Nan we learned The Long Night was the years and years of winter that came before the spring thousands of years before we reach the current plot line of Martin’s story. We learn from the Three-Eyed Raven that this was the period of time when the White Walkers were first created by the Children of the Forest. This prequel may just be where we get some answers. It’s been folklore that fire can kill a wight or white walker, but Daenerys’ dragon fails to kill the Night King in the Battle of Winterfell. I think if HBO is going to make a series of prequels that lead up to where we are now, this would be the place to start. We’ll get to know the origins of Old Nan’s stories, and we may even get the answers we need for the current series.
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No other prequel plots have been confirmed as of yet, but Martin has said in a blog post that there are three currently in development, including this, with five total up in the air. Martin has been straying from accidentally dropping anymore nuggets of information, but he did say to check out Fire & Blood for a hint. What do you think? Are you as excited as we are for this series?
There’s a lot that I loved about this episode, and there was a lot that made me super angry for some of these characters. At some points the writing seemed like genius set ups for the rest of the season, and at others it felt like pure laziness. Let’s hop right on in.
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The episode opens with a funeral for the dead. We get the chance to finally mourn the fallen before moving on to the final battle phase of the season. True to form, Jon Snow gives a really moving speech that can reduce anyone to tears about the importance of what these fallen comrades stood for and the best way to honor them going forward. Getting drunk in the Great Hall of Winterfell seems the best way to mourn and celebrate the death of the Night King, and I’m sure it was great for healing many of those emotional wounds.
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The scene in the Great Hall was fantastic. Watching Brienne, Jaime, Tyrion, and Podrick all make the attempt at drinking each other under the table with a drinking game renewed my faith in this show. Gendry desperately searching for Arya after having his bastard name stripped and given land broke my heart. As much as I loved the chemistry between these two lovebirds (former lovebirds) I knew Arya would never agree to be the Lady to his Lordship. The girl is a trained assassin, saving the world. She don’t need no man. He wasn’t the only one to have his heart broken. Tormund finds himself completely tossed aside by Brienne, but he’s very quick to get over it and find someone else.
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It is in these scenes we approach the first moment that made my blood boil. The Hound approaches Sansa to tell her that all of the things that happened with Little Finger and Ramsey Bolton would never have happened had she left King’s Landing with him back in Season 2 during the Battle of Blackwater. She defends Little Finger and Ramsey by saying she needed those things to happen to her to no longer be “the same little bird.” First of all, no woman needs betrayal and sexual abuse to make them stronger. Second, are we forgetting that she had already been psychologically and physically abused for two whole seasons before the Hound leaves? And he played a part in it? He only saved her once, and it wasn’t from Joffrey.
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Daenerys makes a swift exit from the party after Jon Snow finds himself surrounded by northerners still proclaiming him as King because he can ride a dragon. I don’t blame her. Dany’s been riding Drogon for what? Three seasons now? I feel like the writers could have used this as a moment where Dany does make a stand for herself as Queen to these northerners, but instead they use it as tool to have her slowly start to deteriorate. When she re-enters, it’s just her and Jon Snow. The two start to go at it like they forgot they’re now related, and that isn’t even the one thing that is standing in Dany’s way? She can’t get past Jon’s true identity. She begs him not to tell anyone else, to hide this from his own family, just to protect her claim. The important thing here is that it is not the familial relation that is keeping them from loving each other, which is either a very good thing from a Targaryen perspective or very creepy from pretty much every single other perspective. More on this later.
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Bronn finally graces us with his appearance, wildly swinging around the crossbow that Qyburn gave him earlier this season. And what an entrance he had! Truthfully, I have never seen a scene in this show that had the same comical effect as this one while also being quite terrifying. I really thought he was going to shoot one of them in this scene. Tyrion is always thinking ahead, and he reminds him of his promise to always pay double. Cersei promised him River Run, so Tyrion and Jaime are promising him High Garden. The problem is as follows: Daenerys has to come out victorious, both Tyrion and Jaime have to live, and they would have to convince her to follow through on this. No problem for Tyrion to achieve, but Jaime is still the man who killed her father.
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The one thing I did love in this episode is that Jaime finally found out how to love someone that isn’t his sister. He drunkenly follows Brienne to her room after the party to finish the game. Brienne, not amused by this excuse, still goes through with sleeping with him. Jaime even decides to stay behind at Winterfell instead of going towards the fight in King’s Landing. For Brienne? Because he’s only got one sword arm? So at least one of the Lannister brothers can survive to give Bronn his land? I want to believe he stays behind for Brienne, until he finds out his sister is against the ropes. He immediately takes leave for King’s Landing, and Brienne tries to stop him but it’s a fruitless attempt. Jaime reminds her that he’s not the “good man” she’s come to know over the last several seasons, but a monster that pushed a boy out the window and strangled his own cousin. All for Cersei. This has become a minor moment of controversy in the episode, but I don’t think we could expect anything else from Jaime. Leaving Brienne crying in the cold, though, is not cool. Let’s just hope he’s going there to fix his wrongs and take out his sister. Once a kin(g) slayer…
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Before we get to King’s Landing, Jon Snow has an atomic bomb to drop on his former family. Under the Weirwood tree, he meets Sansa, Arya, and Bran. While Arya isn’t completely against Dany riding in on her dragons, she doesn’t trust her. We already know Sansa is pretty much over her presence in Winterfell, and neither one like the way Jon bows to her in strategy and planning. After swearing them to secrecy (yeah okay) he and Bran let Sansa and Arya in on their secret. Sansa didn’t wait to inform her (former?) husband of this little tidbit, and he runs and tells Varys. Sorry, Dany, but the secret is a secret no more. Varys already is questioning his allegiance to the Dragon Queen as soon as he finds out there is someone else, and this is an on-going conversation between the two after their plans are thwarted by the Golden Company.
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That’s right, as Dany and her fleet are sailing into King’s Landing the Golden Company is there waiting to take down her and her dragons. Every time she approaches to take down Cersei something goes terribly wrong. There’s that brief, victorious shot of Dany and her two dragons flying above her ships, and it is over faster than it starts. Rhaegal is shot down by Euron Greyjoy and the Golden Company. That’s not all they manage to take. Each of her ships is destroyed, leaving her unsullied and advisors completely shipwrecked. Missandei is the only one who can’t be found on shore because she’s been captured. I guess Cersei didn’t need those elephants after all.
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It’s the final minutes of this episode where I found the biggest problems with this show. The suggestion that keeps being brought up by Varys is that Jon and Daenerys can be wed and rule together. This would be absolutely nothing new to the Targaryen family, a step up even from marrying siblings. Varys thinks that alone Dany is dangerous, just a hop, skip, and a psychotic break away from being her father’s daughter. Tyrion thinks Dany is too strong for Jon or to share the throne. The books and show continually build up Dany as wanting help in ruling. When she notices she’s losing face in Mereen she makes a marital pact that she never follows through with. I would argue she’s been sharing her power with Jon since he bent the knee. She’s never turned away help, whether it was advisors or a witch who swears she can save her husband. All this does is build up to the moment where it’s no longer about who is going to kill Cersei but who will have to kill the other: Jon or Dany? We know they’re going for a controversial ending, and I believe this is the set up.
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At the end of the episode, Dany an Tyrion approach Cersei and Qyburn with each of their armies to establish a surrender, Cersei’s surrender to be exact. Daenerys, at least Varys, wants to avoid the bloodshed of innocent lives. Dany wants to make sure that if someone is blamed for the destruction of King’s Landing, it’s Cersei. Cersei refuses to surrender or release Missandei, and Daenerys will not surrender even if it means saving one of her trusted advisors. This scene was the most frustrating because it does absolutely nothing for the plot of the story. I’m sure it enrages Grey Worm to watch the woman he loves beheaded on the walls of the Red Keep, but he would be enraged in next week’s battle whether or not Missandei died at this exact moment. I’ve always said the deaths in this series were all for a purpose. They all played a role in the developing plot, but this was just a waste. Look at the glorious deaths they gave Theon and Jorah last week, both men who have had their fair share of horrible deeds died heroes’ deaths. More than that it doesn’t make sense for Cersei to kill Missandei, when keeping one of Dany’s trusted advisors alive in the Red Keep could prevent her from burning it to the ground.
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It looks like we are setting up for another big battle next week. The trailer gave us nothing to work with in terms of theories, so I want to know yours. My fingers are crossed that Jaime is returning to kill his sister, he’s probably the only one who can get close enough to do it. So many have theorized that Arya will Jaime and use his face to kill Cersei. Let’s face it, if there’s anyone that can kill the biggest threat to the realm twice it is Arya Stark. And if anyone deserves it, it’s Arya Stark. She is heading to King’s Landing for some unfinished business. One of the names on her list? Who knows…
Last night was the ‘Battle of Winterfell’. This is the battle producers and fans have been hyping up since last year when they began to build the set of Winterfell instead of using green screens. The threat of the Night King has been building up since the very first episode when a wight tries to kill two men of the Night’s Watch. People have been waiting for the battle between the living and the dead for years, and for some, well many, they have some legitimate complaints. Tread lightly, spoilers ahead for those of you who haven’t watched last night’s episode yet.
No one is too upset that the battle lasted one and only one episode. After all, there is still a war for the Iron Throne that we seem to forget about every time the Night King is brought up. No, most of the complaints lie in the fact that people struggled to watch last night’s episode. By that I mean the episode was entirely too dark to see anything. You couldn’t tell if the men falling on spears and into pits were the living or the dead. It was hard to see where your favorite character was in the midst of all this chaos. There were moments where you couldn’t even see what was happening on the screen. It was just pure darkness.
Was this a creative element that went completely wrong or did HBO have a purpose? Either way, it won’t stop fans from taking to social media to complain. We certainly don’t blame them. It’s hard enough knowing someone you love died without having to wait until next week’s episode in daylight to see who made it out alive. Did you struggle with watching last night’s episode? Because of the dark, I mean.