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Aria used her lessons well.  I didn't think she could still do that after leaving the service of the many faced god.

Give this to Cersi, she's not a woman to cross lightly.

As it happened, my wife and I stayed up Sunday night and watched the finale. I was surprised that as much happened as did, because I assumed they blew their season budget on "Battle of the Bastards"! But a lot did happen, not just F/X, but advancing the plot(s) considerably, giving us Luis' predicted bloodbath and setting up the finale in (reportedly) the remaining 14 episodes.

Those last shots of the show established that Varys has recruited House Martell (Dorne) and House Tyrell (Highgarden) to Dany's fleet, which already includes the Khal horsemen, half of House Greyjoy, most of the Masters' fleet, three dragons, Varys and Tyrion Lannister. I'm not sure how much is left of the Tyrells -- everybody we met from that House is dead except Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) -- but as Luis mentioned, they provide the food to King's Landing, so even if the House is reduced, she's still important.

I'm not sure where Tyrion's sudden belief in Dany comes from. The books, maybe? Because on the show they've only been in the same room a few times, Tyrion is a cynic's cynic and, honestly, Dany has been a terrible ruler every time she's been in charge. Oh, well. I've accepted crazier stuff.

I hated to see the end of Margery. She had demonstrated skill at the Great Game, and was probably the most fleshed out character of the season, with lots of screen time. She kept out-maneuvering Cersei, but the latter ended up winning through sheer brute force. Of course, the prophecy that Cersei will be replaced by a "younger, more beautiful queen" wasn't Margery, as she thought -- it'll be Daenerys. Already the part of the prophecy where Cersei would be preceded in death by all of her children has come true. Quite ironic, given Jaime's speech earlier in the season about what a passionate mother she was. Her passions, arguably, drove all her children to early graves. (And, as Luis predicts, her queenship doesn't seem destined to be long-lived. I wonder if even Jaime is still on her side, given his expression at her accession.)

Speaking of which, the parallel plotlines I've mentioned before continued in this episode, with the deaths of the last male heirs of the major houses (Tommen Lannister, Walder Frey's two sons, Lancel Lannister, Loras Tyrell). And with Cersei's accession to the throne, all the major houses except House Stark are run by women now, and arguably Sansa is in charge there, or at least co-charge. Ditto with Yara Greyjoy -- and if Dany takes the Iron Throne, Euron won't be around for long, as she'll install Yara as queen. I don't mind parallel plotlines -- it helps me keep track of things! -- but it's not something we saw before the writers ran out of George R.R. Martin material. It's a trope of more traditional writers, and I suspect something Martin would never do.

There are still some major characters the final episode didn't tell us about, so we don't know where they are or what they're doing. That list includes Brienne of Tarth, last seen in rowboat; The Hound, last seen with the Brotherhood; Jorah Mormont, sent on a mission to cure himself by Dany; and Euron Greyjoy, last seen vowing to marry Dany and take the Iron Throne. Again, I'm not complaining, but I wonder what they're up to.

Also, we never saw the Blackfish die. I lean to thinking he's probably very dead, but the only proof we have is a guard telling Jaime Lannister that it happened, which is pretty weak proof. Then again, Jaime would probably want to see the body, and maybe he did and they just didn't show that to us. Still, a thought worth keeping around.

Speaking of dead, Benjen Stark is at least partly White Walker, since he can't pass the Wall, which we are told have enchantments on them to prevent such a thing. Which raises the question: How will the Night's King get all his Walkers past the Wall? (Blow it up, probably.)

And speaking of the North, we finally get quasi-confirmation of what we've all suspected, that Jon Snow isn't the bastard son of Ned, but instead is the bastard son of Lyanna Stark and the Mad King. That makes him both a Stark and a Targaryen -- and Daenerys' half-brother. I wonder if he can ride a dragon, too?

And one question I have is whether the Starks and Daenerys will see eye-to-eye. Story logic says they'll join forces to topple the Lannisters and then turn a united Westeros to face the White Walkers, but as we've seen over and over, Martin likes to smash expectations to tiny pieces. Even if the show writers are handling things episode to episode, the larger picture is all Martin, and surely the ending as well.

It's going to be a long wait until Season 7!

  I think Sansa remembers Tyrion well.  All the time they were together he never miss-treated or forced himself on her.  Compared to the person she might have married and the person she was forced to marry later I think she regrets not sticking with him.  Not that she had a lot of choice at the time.  She could convince John and if you are facing ice zombies fire breathing dragons are a good weapon to have handy.  As to Tyrion's affection and respect for Daenaryes, I think there is a lot unseen.  In fact the last few episodes have seemed a bit rushed to me.  It takes a while to get from there to there and within a few scenes we have Vary's going to Dorn and back, Aryia going from Bravos back to Westeros and it didn't take the Grayjoys long to get to Mareen.

 As someone who's worked in a similar place I loved that shot of the big library.

I think comics readers, especially, have an unspoken joy for big libraries.

 It'd be my first choice of a place to haunt.

Captain Comics said:

I think comics readers, especially, have an unspoken joy for big libraries.

Just a note, Captain: Lyanna's son is widely suspected to be a Targaryen, to the point that there is a specific name for that hypothesis and a fair percentage of fandom is certain that such is the case.

But odds are that his father is not the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, but rather his son, Rhaegar.  Meaning that he is Daenerys's nephew instead of half-brother.  A popular assumption is that Lyanna fell in love with Rhaegar and may even have secretly married him.

Tyrion, by his turn, is suspected by some of being Aerys' son.  There are those who see his interest in dragons as a hint towards that.  If true, that makes him Daenerys' half-brother and Jon's uncle.

And yes, Oldtown's library was certainly impressive!

Thanks, Luis, I got my Targaryens mixed up.

And I wish they'd added Oldtown to the opening map thingie! Unless they did, and I somehow missed it.

You didn't miss it, Cap.  As a matter of fact, there wasn't a single new location added to the opening credits map this season.  Bear Island, Oldtown or Deepwood Motte would have all made for great additions since we visited all of them for the first time this year.

The only change they made was to restore the Stark family's dire wolf sigil to the Winterfell animation for the first time since the season 2 finale.


Captain Comics said:

And I wish they'd added Oldtown to the opening map thingie! Unless they did, and I somehow missed it.

  I wonder if they'll change the King's Landing sigil when Dane takes over?

Didn't realize it till I caught the episode again tonight, but the musical pacing on this one was really spot on.  If you listen to it the different sound scores really added to the story without being intrusive.

The music was pretty awesome in "Battle of the Bastards" as well.

I've been thinking on the Night's King and how he might cross the Wall. My first thought was that he'd blow it up (with magic, probably), but then I remembered how Bran Stark was touched by the Night's King while greenseeing, and the mark left on his arm somehow allowed the dead to enter the Three-Eyed Raven's tree, which had previously been magically protected. Now I'm thinking that if Bran crosses the Wall, it will allow the White Walkers to do so as well.

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