S7E6: Gut reaction “Beyond the Wall”

As always, spoiler warnings for everything that’s happened so far.

In this weeks episode, you will hear our loves!  Our hates!  The potential aphrodisiac abilities of stuffed-crust pizza!  A plethora of Tormund quips to choose from!!!  But we also take a couple of turns away and discuss the upcoming eclipse and how to watch it safely, as well as others that love Jorah as well (like Mallory Rubin at TheRinger.com and Joanna Robinson from Vanity Fair).  There will be laughs, and we are joined by our pets.  We might yell at them (especially me yelling at my cat), but we love them dearly.  Just as much as we love the show.

Good podcasts that I mention are A Cast of Kings and A Storm of Spoilers, both with Joanna Robinson.  The first is spoiler-free; SOS has “The Calm” which is spoiler-free, and “The Storm” which is spoiler HEAVY.  Mallory Rubin is on Binge Mode, solely about GoT.  All three are great pods.

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Officially released images from Episode 7: The Dragon and the Wolf

Let’s get right to it!  Big shout out to WinterIsComing.net where I found the images.

Here we have Theon.  There are two images, both of which appear to be at Dragonstone.  In the trailer we saw an image of Theon kneeling on the beach, looking defeated.  These could be related to that.  Perhaps there was a botched rescue for Yara?

Next up we have one image of Bran.  His costume appears to be similar, maybe a little more heavily furred, but his face…he looks forlorn, sad, as if he has seen something that deeply troubles him but he knows must happen.

Here is one image of Sansa, still at Winterfell, here in the Great Hall by the fire. She is wearing a very thick cape/coat with loads of fur and a hood.  If she is wearing this indoors, along with gloves, we can infer that the weather is becoming even more harsh.  Could this mean the NK is even closer??

Speaking of fur-lined capes, here we see Cersei.  This is not the same dress she is wearing in the Dragon Pit from the trailer, so I’m assuming this is later in the episode when it is getting even colder.  Instead of harsh, cold epaulets on her shoulders, she instead wears black fur, like the northerners have done.

Here we see Jamie and Cersei.  She is wearing the same dress, but her arm is stuck out, palm facing up.  Jamie appears to be bending, leaning in towards her, with his arm up.  I believe this is where we see a big rift between the two, possibly a fight.  Hopefully we are getting a glimpse here of the straw that breaks Jamie’s devotion to her.

Last, but not least, we see Jamie and Bronn on the battlements of Kings Landing.  They appear to be having a conversation that may not be going very well.  This might be when Dany’s army arrives and garrisons outside the gates of KL, which we’re shown in the trailer.

Interesting images left out…Dany.  Out of all of the images and clips we’ve had released thus far, they are still not showing Dany.  I also am sticking by my prediction that we will see Sam and Gilly, another group not shown.

Do you read the images differently than I?  Have any other comments to make?  Please leave them below!

S7E7: what the episode’s title can tell us of what’s yet to come

Well folks, the final episode is coming up this Sunday.

Good news though…we got a title for an episode, and FINALLY IT’S A GOOD ONE.

The season finale is called “The Dragon and The Wolf”.  It is also scheduled at 79 minutes (43 seconds)!

The other titles have been terrible.  “Dragonstone”.  “Eastwatch”.  “Beyond The Wall”.  Not fun episode titles like “The Rains of Castamere” that make you think a little bit.

So how many layers could TDATW have?  Let us begin.

Warning for potential HUGE SPOILERS.  You have been warned.

  1. Literally…Dany and Jon.  We’ve been building up to their burgeoning love story (which, if this is anything like the old GOT we know and love, won’t end well for them).  As I’ve seen all over YouTube and Twitter… #BoatSex #Jonaerys
  2. Fire and Ice.  This is literally what the entire series, A Song of Ice and Fire, has been all about.  Jon is the culmination of a pact made decades before this story began.  It was called “The Pact of Ice and Fire”, in which a Stark male was to wed a Targaryen princess, and produce an heir, forever uniting their houses. While the genders of Jon’s parents are reversed, if he does end up marrying Dany, that would be another version of the Pact coming to fruition.
  3. But wait…is Jon a “wolf”?  I mean, sort of (his mother is Lyanna Stark), but technically he’s a Targ.  If that’s the case, who else could it be referring to?  How about this…RHAEGAR AND LYANNA!!!  Maybe, hopefully, Bran will FINALLY have a vision and we’ll get the flashback that we’ve all been craving!  And when we learn that it wasn’t a kidnapping and raping as the world believes, but actually a marriage that resulted in a legitimate Targaryen (who has a stronger claim to the throne and will put another wrench in Dany’s plan), the world will lose it.  We know who his parents are.  The only piece of information we have not been force-fed is if he is legitimate.  I am convinced that this is the case, and have been for years.  I cannot wait to see this happen. And if I am woefully wrong, I will be available for “shaming” via Twitter @TrainingMaester.

Be gentle, please.  But leave your comments below!

The Game of Faces, and why I think she truly is Arya Stark now and not No One

Last night had me damn-near enraged.  I was surprised to feel this way, but as many others have shared my sentiment with her character this season, I feel I am not alone.

The way she showed the scroll to Sansa, then the whole scene with them in Arya’s room.  I am a Sansa fan and as I was watching this scene play out, I felt a red-hot rage wash over me and I wanted Sansa to kill her on the spot.  Screw the consequences.  Arya is too far gone and is more of a danger to her than Ramsey was.

But…these scenes are in stark (heheh, get it?) contrast to their reunion scene in the crypts.  And I admit that I was puzzled with Arya giving Sansa the dagger and walking away.

So who is the real Arya Stark?  Is she loyal to her family, or is she lost?

I believe (or at least I want to believe) that no longer No One and is now truly a member of her house again.

When you watch those scenes again, I think you can start to pick out a narrative.

Go ahead and watch the scene of them in her bedroom again.  I’ll wait.

From Game of Thrones Memes on Twitter

Welcome back!  Let us begin this scene breakdown, shall we?

Oh, actually I am going to go back a little bit and discuss a little shot composition.  I’m not going to go SUPER deep, but hopefully I’ll convince you (and myself).

Arya returns home in Episode 4.  When we first see the two of them together, it is in the same shot.  Granted that Sansa is out of focus, but they are seen together.  Most of their shots are over-the-shoulder POV shots.  They remain close in the scene, physically and emotionally.  We even get close-up shots of their faces to ensure we can read their reactions and emotions.  They are still very close to each other in the scene with Bran.

Switch now to Episode 5.  In this episode, Littlefinger is beginning to wreak havoc on their relationship, and the two characters are shot completely differently in the frames.  I now believe that these shots were chosen to show to the audience, through the language of film, that these women are in opposition to each other.  Their relationship is turning sour and confrontational.  They begin to show this in the way the images are framed in the scene in the Great Hall, but it is still an over-the-shoulder POV shot, though now only through Arya’s perspective. Next we see them walking together until the get into Sansa’s room.  Early on they are shot in the same frame, but the dialogue takes a turn.  When Arya calls out Sansa for liking nice scenes, it cuts to Sansa.  She is now in the right half of the frame with a lot of space behind her.  The next shot is Arya, now in the far left of the screen.  Both are also given harsh and cool lighting, even though there is a fireplace in the room; this was intentional.  Now the girls are viewed as almost combative towards one another.  Their perspectives are diametrically opposed, until Sansa makes a point and Arya softens.  Then they are both shot mid-frame.  When Arya makes her comment about “not if they lose their heads first”, we get a shot showing the physical distance between them, followed by more traditional POV shots and close-ups.  We do not see them together again until…

Episode 6.  They are standing on a walkway, Arya relaying a story from when she was a young girl.  Here she is also wielding both her weapons.  She never turns around but speaks, knowing it was her.  Did she literally know that Sansa was going to come up, that this was staged?

Here she gives what I think is my fave line of the episode, and possibly the entire series.

“He was smiling and I knew what I was doing wasn’t wrong.  The rules were wrong”.

They could have shot the two characters as they had in the last episode but they didn’t.  It more closely resembles their meeting in the crypts, with POV shots, lingering on their faces.  When Sansa takes a powerful position in the conversation we again see them places at the outer edges of the frames.  They come together again for a few frames until Sansa talks about things she has survived, again pitting them against each other.  This scene really shows a tug-and-pull between the two.

I believe this was staged.  It was done outdoors where others, and potentially LF himself, could overhear and see the confrontation, and report back to LF as necessary.  After all, we were shown last episode that he has his own “little birds” in Winterfell.

Later in the episode we see them both in Arya’s room.  Now it’s possible that Sansa isn’t in on the game that Arya is playing with LF, but I’m going to hedge my bet and say she is, but she’s just a really good actress.

They make a point to show to us that Sansa sees the dagger, but leaves it.  She feels she won’t need it.  It’s also interesting how they have Sansa look in the same places Arya did in LFs room, in also the same order (I haven’t compared them that closely so if you have a play by play, please let me know!).  One of the first things that Arya says is to explain the Game of Faces.  I almost imagine her inner voice winking at Sansa saying “this entire conversation we’re about to have is actually a lie, but I’m going to say it with such conviction that you (and everyone else that could be listening) will believe it”.  We’re given several shots of them in the same frame, and others that are more traditional POV shots with traditional camera placement.  Here, the characters are (more or less) facing the camera and not turned to the side.

On a side note, I think Arya’s line again helps us see GRRMs opinion of women…that the “world doesn’t just let girls decide what they’re going to be.  But I can now”.  In his world, women are equally as important and powerful as men though often overlooked and set aside, but the times they are a changing.

I also think it’s interesting when Arya says to Sansa “I can even become you.  I wonder what it would feel like?  To wear those pretty dresses?  To be the Lady of Winterfell”.  If this wasn’t said in such a menacing tone it would be fairly benign.  Perhaps Arya truly does want to know her sister better, to understand her better, whereas when they were young, she only felt resentful.  In a weird and maniacal way, this scene might actually bring them closer together.

The end, when she hands her the dagger, is the most telling.  She is telling Sansa, and the audience, that she will not hurt her.  She is in fact giving something precious and priceless to her sister, a weapon that LF was trying to use to split their family apart.  Ultimately it will bring them closer together.

So, if you believe all of this, how then do you go back and view the scene between Sansa and Brienne?  In this light, I believe that Sansa’s reaction was two-fold.

  1. Brienne was mentioned by LF who would have made a pawn of her.  By getting her out of WF, no matter how much she protests otherwise, she could actually be saving Brienne.
  2. This was exactly what she had petitioned Jon to do when he first got the ravens.  It is what Tyrion would have done.  Brienne is not very politically minded and may not be the best to represent Sansa and Winterfell’s interest down south, but she is sending an emissary.

I’d love to know your thoughts.  Did you interpret the scene one way, and later change your mind?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Please leave your comments below!  And make sure to subscribe on iTunes Podcasts so you can hear our ramblings immediately after watching the show, as well as recaps, and soon…book readings!

S7E6 Predictions: Beyond The Wall

Guess what?!?!

We’re going BEYOND THE WALL!!

I know.  Real shocker.  But this episode is 71 minutes long, which is the longest episode GOT has had thus far.  Don’t worry.  It will be beaten next week at 81 minutes for the season finale.

This time I did not watch the leaked episode.  If you want to see officially released photos and my speculations on what will be going down, check out my last post.  And I’ll apologize for this getting out so late.  I am working this weekend and typing this in my hotel room now.  I work tomorrow and won’t have time to type something then, so here we go!

As far as the title goes, it’s pretty self-explanatory.  The vast majority of the episode will take place with Jon and his dirty dozen north of the wall, on their way to capture a wight (Tyrion should be flogged for this idea).  I think it’s a stupid idea.  Dany seems to believe Jon, at least to some degree, and ought to offer to fly a dragon up and see for herself.  She can have Jon go with her which keeps her by his side, which she wants, and won’t take long, which he wants.  It logistically makes sense.  It’s a CRAZY idea, and even more dangerous, as Jon and Tormund are the only ones there who truly know just how large their army is.  A dragon could easily fly over, swoop down, grab a wight or two, and keep going.  So why aren’t they doing that?!?!

#BecauseReasons

Even casual watchers, like my father, have picked up on inconsistensies (Jamie swimming a half mile, anyone?).  I REALLY wish they would have spent more time working on this show.  It is what it is, and I’ll still watch it, but damn, it’s a marathon but it feels like a sprint.

I expect a huge battle sequence a-la Hardhome or BOTB to take up the vast majority of the episode.  Someone will die.  MAYBE two people will die.  The Hound will survive (there’s been a trailer or image released that has his silhouette in it so he’s fine).  Jon will be fine (he is the hero after all, and his story isn’t finished).  They’re setting us up to think Jorah could die (Dany hugs him, they have a long and touching goodbye).  I swear to the Stranger that if he dies, I may revolt.  Gendry…waste all of that hype just to bring him back for one episode and not even see Arya again?  No way.  He’ll be ok.  He also has to build Valyrian steel swords and armor for Dany and her dragons!  (Ultimate prediction right there, folks!).  Tormund?  He still has to get with Brienne.  Beric and Thoros are my top picks to kick it this episode.  If they die then it will really push up the tension since the only resurrector won’t be there to bring anyone back.

Of note I did see that Jorah was packing up a box of things that were gently clanking around.  I saw a similar box being taken out of the mines in the last episode so I suspect they will be outfitted with dragon glass weapons.  Plus Jon has a Valyrian steel sword.  Beric has a fiery sword.  It’ll be epic.

Other than that…I’m not sure how else the title could be interpreted.  Perhaps it refers to beyond the wall of Winterfell?  Maybe it hints at what lies underneath Arya’s proverbial wall that she has built up so high?  I’m stumped.

Images released have also hinted at Dragonstone, of course, and Winterfell.  I’m not sure just how much we’ll get to see at Dragonstone that’s of great importance.  Dany still wants to take on Cersei, but she is distracted with Jorah and Jon both going rogue up north.  Her costuming should reveal some clues.  I do hope that while sitting next to the fire and sipping wine that Tyrion and Dany will discuss the Unsullied at Casterly Rock and what to do with them now.

I think plot/screentime-wise a larger portion than Dragonstone will be devoted to Winterfell and Littlefingers machinations up north.  He is doing what he does best…

Littlefingering (heh heh).

He will be trying to widen the gap between Sansa and Arya.  He is acutely aware the Bran knows more than he lets on (though he may be in denial about it), and that Bran is not swayed by him at all which he discovered when he saw Arya with the dagger.  Also, Bran will not be Lord of WF, so why waste time there?  I don’t know why he would want to get between Sansa and Arya other than to try to get Sansa come to him about the situation, rely on him, so he can prove himself still useful.

Will Arya buy the narrative that he’s concocted?  I believe in the show that she will.  Book Arya should be able to figure out this is all a ruse and not fall prey, but show Arya never truly completed her training.  If nothing else, the whole Braavosi plot line with the play shows us that Arya’s soft spot is her family, that she is not a complete ruthless killer and can still make decisions for her own.  She failed the test with Braavosi Cersei, who was a decent human being (by Westerosi standards), and played to Arya’s own moral code.  Arya does not seek Justice which is bound by blindness and balance; she seeks vengeance.  She views the world as the house that trained her…black and white.  This is why I predict that Arya will die before the series is complete.  The only thing that could save her (besides GRRM liking her character so much) is a hard lesson she will have to learn which will push her to change her world view…so she can begin to see things as shades of gray.

I digress.

I’m sure we’ll get to see Bran and I pray to every freaking god there is that it’s not a boring one.  He needs to DO something.  His plot line is killing me at the moment.

I do not expect to see Sam this episode, nor much of anything out of Kings Landing.  Maybe a couple of scenes since we haven’t seen Tycho in a bit.  Also need to see Cersei weasel herself around Jamie.  That way it will feel even better when Jamie realizes what she has become.

I do think Cersei is pregnant.  I also believe she will miscarry either in the finale or early next season, and that this will begin her true unravelling, which will be completed when Jamie breaks away from her.  Her previous 3 children were her hold on humanity.  I believe Jamie and her new unborn child will be the end to her sanity.

So what do you think?  

Leave your predictions below!!

If you get to this post after seeing the episode, what would you have changed?  Would you have killed off a different character?  Let me know!

A Grumpy (Cat) Game of Thrones

Hi folks!  This is a fun little post here.  I love Grumpy Cat and have a daily calendar.  Recently I noticed that some of the pages can also apply to the GOT/ASOIAF world, so behold!  Below is my shrine to Grumpy GOT.

No Tarder Sauce, that is NEVER good. ESPECIALLY during a new episode of GOT.
Gendry is back!
This might be the way to Dany’s heart, Jon.
Especially if your name is Jon Snow. Or Beric Dondarrion.
It’s ok tho. #WinterIsHere
…says every ice wight (and possibly fire wight).
Speaks for itself, really.
Not beyond the Wall! There’s too big a storm to breathe in anything good. Wights might be a bit smelly, tho.
Advise for every Westerosi still alive.
There is! But not for long…
– Littlefinger
– the Night King
– Arya and Branhattan

New S7E6 Official HBO photos released! What do they hint at for our characters???

North!

Brooding, but now with his mouth open! Finally. A variant.

There were actually SEVERAL images released of characters alone.  I’m going to start out in what I assume is chronological order based solely on lighting.  Most of the images of the characters appear to be earlier in the day (though, as if I need to remind you, WHAT day and how much time has passed since we left them in “Eastwatch” vs these is beyond me).  

LOVE this man
Looking fierce, as always
Just a little chat…dead man to dead man. At least Jon looks like there’s a hint of a smile on his face.

Based solely on lighting I’d guess the Jorah image happens a little later, but it’s still not at night, nor is it in the middle of a blizzard. There were a few “group” shots as well.  Nothing too special to say about Jon and Beric speaking other than perhaps they are commiserating on both their resurrections?  That would be an interesting conversation, to hear them both discuss possible reasons for their lives still going on.  Perhaps Beric could provide more info to Jon as he has come back six times so far.  

Here is one final image in decent lighting…a group shot.

Tormund, Jon, Jorah, Thoros, and Gendry. Where are Sandor and Beric??

Though it’s actually not a full group shot as we don’t get to see the “red shirts” as many people refer to them (I’m talking to you Joanna Robinson!).  They’re nameless assistants and presumably unimportant to the overall plot of the episode and show.  Two of the Super 7 are not easily visible.  If you look closely you can see another pair of feet and legs behind Jon and to the left.  

As far as commenting on the costuming we can see Tormund carrying an axe.  Everyone appears to be appropriately dressed in wildling gear, though I only see one with the hood up (Gendry, the southerner).  What isn’t visible here but was notable at the end of Episode 5 is Thoros.  He is in his normal getup, much like Melisandre, likely relying on the heat from R’hollor (The Lord of Light) to keep him from being frostbitten.

Things do take a literal and metaphorical dark turn for the group as you may well have guessed.  I suspect these all occur when the Dead Army and White Walkers arrive and the storm follows.  This battle is sure to be another spectacle, like Hardhome on steroids.

I got my sword up and ready! Jorah can NOT have it back.
Can ANYONE see ANYTHING?? No? OK. Just get into a circle and swing outwards. That’ll help.

Notably this episode is 71 minutes long so it won’t be ALL in the Lands of Always Winter.  We do get to go back to Winterfell.  Here we see Sansa reading over some papers with Brienne by her side.  Brienne is notably NOT in her armor, which doesn’t happen too often.  She is still in attire that resembles the other men (and Arya).

Wanna bet this is not a letter from Jon saying that he’s secured dragonglass and has put himself into mortal danger?

Speaking of Arya…

“Jon was my fave. He taught me to brood so well” – A

It seems in this photo that Arya is about to be approached by Sansa, unless they did a walk-and-talk and Sansa is following behind while Arya watches over something.  I would hope that Arya would confront her sister directly about the scroll, but I won’t let my hopes get up too high.  I think there is still more tension to come from them this episode.  I also foresee Littlefinger getting in the mix and making things worse, at least for the time being.  Arya’s face here appears more stern.  Her proverbial walls are still up.  We’ll have to see if the literal northern Wall stays up as well.

We also do get images from Dragonstone.

“Well, I may not know as much as I thought. But I damn sure do still drink. Join me, Khaleesi!” – T “WHERE ARE JON AND JORAH?!?!?!” – D

Dany still in her usual dark garb, but perhaps trying to relax a little, keep warm, and have a drink with her Hand.  How long will he get to keep his job, do you wonder??

 

SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD

 

 

 

HOLY SHIT.  

D and T are walking towards her dragons, plural!  Here we see Drogon on the right, and Rhaegal on the left.  You’ll know it’s Rhaegal by the slight green tint.  If you’re colorblind…trust me.  Viserion is not in this image.  The creamy white/gold dragon is Viserion, hinting at her brother Viserys’ hair.

Dany is in a KICK ASS new dress.  What does this mean?!?!

  1. It could signify a change, a softening in her stance.  Also the fabric of the skirt appears to flow in the wind, so it is literally lighter.  When zooming in, her top/coat still appears quite thick and fur-lined.  Overall it is also even less protecting than before. Still no armor.  Also remember her house colors being  black and red; this could signify that she is aligning herself more with Jon (grey and white).
  2. It could also be some camouflage.  If she is going to go further north to help, the white could help her blend into the surroundings.  Bad thing is that when seen from above it would make it easier for her to be spotted as her dragon is black and red.  This could just be so that the show watchers have an easier time delineating her from the dragon when she is atop it (dragons are sexless).

This just makes me even more eager for this weekend’s episode.  I do think that we will still get at least something in Kings Landing as well, but this is the next-to-last episode of the season (gasp!) which means we are likely in for a wild ride.

What are you most looking forward to?  Please comment below!