Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2 – Winterfell

There’s still time before we get the next episode for Game of Thrones, so let the theories commence.

The summary for the episode is as follows:

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) receives an unexpected visitor. Jon (Kit Harington) faces a revolt. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) plans the conquest of Westeros.

We have these screencaps from the promo for next week’s episode:

I believe this is from the beginning of the episode, before the said revolt. For one, everyone in the Great Hall look a little relaxed, or as relaxed as they can be in a situation like this. This is the place where the guy says that a Targaryen can not be trusted. I’m curious as to how that came up and who brought it up? Could it be that Jon is maybe considering an alliance with Dany and her forces and brought it up in the Great Hall. That seems plausible considering the number and size of her forces which would surely be an advantage in fighting off the White Walkers.

These are the other screencaps from the promo:

The riders are clearly riding out of Winterfell, you can see the corridor in the background (in red) it’s the same place where I think Sansa is, standing there, watching the men and Jon ride out. And she looks worried, so clearly the revolt is by no means something trivial. I am also curious how Jon handles the House/people who revolted.

Also, the seeds of the revolt are present only in episode 2 since we saw no evidence of any unrest among the Northern Lords in episode 1. I have a feeling that the cause could be a possible alliance with Dany, there is nothing else on the agenda that is nearly as volatile.

Then there is also this:

Jon strangling LF but sadly not killing him. I’ve tried to stay away from the leaks regarding the show because the few I read bordered on silly and were bad ideas. I know there are leaks about this scene but I have a feeling that LF was probably skulking around in the hopes of catching Sansa to whisper more poison in her ears and instead runs into Jon who proceeds to strangle him. Also this screencap from the series trailer:

also looks to be from the same episode. I’m tempted to say that this is before he gets his throat squished but it could be after as well. For one, he could be leaning against the wall for support and that evil smile on his face can also be read like he just discovered something important about Jon and/or Sansa. Both of them have more to lose since they came to Winterfell, for the first time in a long time, they are home and in relative safety and yet not completely in the clear.

Evil/Dark Daenerys and other Misc. Thoughts

I’ve read a lot of metas that state that Daenerys will turn evil by the end of the show or will go mad and I can’t help but think that that probably won’t happen.

She’s far from perfect and not really suited to ruling. She is great at swooping in and setting people and cities free but the everyday governance is something that she still has trouble with. She can also be ruthless but the same can be said for ALL the characters in GOT. Nothing new there.

Additionally, we’ve already had the Mad King in her father and the Mad Queen in Cersie Lannister, now that one is well and truly mad and it is a scary prospect because of just how in-control she is and the sheer amount of power she has. It’s not just me who sees it, one only needs to look at Jamie and the look of utter disbelief on his face as Cersie says one outlandish thing after another and even stating that Tommen betrayed her. But back to Daenerys.

Daenerys is far from perfect but that’s what makes her an interesting character. She also has the wisdom of recognizing people who can serve well as advisers (see Tyrion) and actually listening to them. She also does not display any signs of impending insanity. If it does come to down to a battle involving her and Cersie, she might just win. She has the numbers to beat Cersie, barring any unforeseen calamity (or Euron’s gift to Cersie which could be a person or could be something that negates Daenerys’ use of dragons since those are her most powerful weapons) Whether or not she’ll get to rule or not is anyone’s guess.

I though this season would be the battle of the two Queens and the next season would focus on the battle against the Night King’s army, but so far it seems like the North at least is only gearing up for one fight and that’s against the Night Walkers. So it could go either way. If next week’s promo is anything to go by, the Northeners will not support Daenerys’ quest for the Iron Throne. They don’t trust outsiders and they trust Targaryens even less. Can’t see that going well for Jon, especially if he’s gone to her to join their forces. Ugh!!! So many possibilities!!

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 – Sansa and Jon (part 2)

So this is the part where I focus on the framing of these two characters and the many parallels between Sansa and Jon and Catelyn and Ned and also a contrast to Jamie and Cersie. Let’s begin.

For starters, if we just look at the way these two are framed in a shot, they almost always have the other in the shot. It is only in a tight shot that we see them solitary, anything wider, and they are both in the frame whether it is an over-the-shoulder or a profile two-shot. That’s not accidental, they are specifically placed that way. Also, look at what the camera focuses on

When Sansa grabs his arm to get his attention, he looks down at her hand. Now, if this were a platonic relationship between a brother and sister, there was no need for that look. Again, none of this accidental, these are as per specific instructions by the director. The actor doesn’t decide how he’s going to play a scene, not when you’re dealing with foreshadowing or putting in hints that you maybe want the audience to pick up on, these are decided by the writers (in the case of television because the directors keep changing from one episode to another) and the director (specifically in the case of films) This goes back to the forehead kiss in season 6, that long lingering forehead kiss which ends with Jon looks at Sansa’s lips before leaving. I won’t go into details regarding that since there are plenty of metas already on the subject.

As for parallels, Sansa continues to sit on Jon’s left at the table, a position occupied by the consort/wife of the king, not the mother and not the sister, just the consort/wife. This is also not random placement, a lot of thought and research went into this, there is another blogger who wrote an amazing piece on this with in-depth details, I’ll update the post with the link to it if I can find it. But go back to Season 1 and Ned would sit in the middle with Catelyn on his left, Coincidence? I think not. Then there’s this:

Another parallel to Ned and Cat in Season 1, the positions are almost exactly the same. These similarities are too on the nose to simply an homage to a previous couple, also where is the need to echo Ned and Cat unless the writers are steering us in a certain direction without explicitly stating where it is that we’re headed.

Now, kindly observe their position as they argue:

They stand so damn close to each other. This struck me even back in Season 6, when they have an argument in the tent about BotB, they are literally in each others’ faces. In fact they stand close to each other, even when they have a normal conversation, almost in each others’ personal space.

Now, look at Jamie and Cersie, an actual romantic pair (whether or not they will continue to be that remains to be seen)

Look at how far apart they are standing, the distance is enough that even though they may both be in the same frame one of them is always out-of-focus. And look at the sheer distance between them, they might as well be standing on either side of the room. Also note, the scene involving Sansa and Jon is immediately followed by the one above, also not an accident but one that clearly presents a contrast both in terms of character placement and over-all tone.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 – Sansa and Jon

Having seen the episode, I know that a lot of people are a little confused about the Sansa and Jon interaction in the meeting hall with the Northern Lords. It was confrontational and aggressive from both sides.

I can understand Jon wanting a united North to face off against the Night’s King and his undead army which now also includes massive giants. It makes sense to have those houses pledge themselves to House Stark and fight for them. But…. Sansa is also right in saying that the Lords who did fight for them, and who lost men on that battlefield when they fought for House Stark. Lords from much smaller houses and fewer men also deserve to be rewarded for supporting them when there was no guarantee that they would win. Could they have done it better, of course! But we need to keep in mind that they haven’t been around each other for a very long time. They are used to being on their own. Suddenly being thrust together and having to work together is going to be learning process and not something they’ll figure out overnight.

It wasn’t this scene that made me mad though, it was the one after it, where Sansa is trying to get through to him and he keeps ignoring her. It’s like he’s deliberately not listening to her. At the end of Season 6, Jon tells her that they need to trust each other and yet he continues to not trust her. She told him before the BotB about the traps Ramsay lays and that they will not get Rickon back. She even explains to him why Ramsay will never let Rickon go and Jon throws it in her face saying that her advice was far too obvious. And yet on the battleground, Jon fell for the trap, hook, line and sinker. If not the Knights of the Vale, they would have all died. But no, this season, he’s conveniently forgotten all that. Trust goes both ways and as someone who has repeatedly suffered at the hands of those Sansa had trusted, to say that she has trust issues would be a serious understatement. But I digress. Throughout that entire scene, it seems more like Sansa is talking at him and he only hears selective bits and pieces. When she tells him that he must be smarter than Ned and Robb, he once again throws it in her face, saying, “How should I be smarter, by listening to you?” And she replies, “Would that be so terrible?” By this point, she is imploring him to listen to her. And promptly after this, after reading Cersie’s message, Jon once again disregards her council. She’s lived at King’s Landing and she lived with Ramsay, would it be so outlandish to think that she can offer valuable insights. She tells him not to ignore the threat Cersie presents and Jon just disregards her.

I get that this is the training period of sorts but if Jon continues to behave the way he does, things will not go well for them. Which leads me to address the notion that Sansa will betray Jon which I just think is implausible and it would be awful writing. Throughout the above scene, while trying to get through to him, Sansa is also telling him that he’s doing a good job and the people respect him. She’s trying to build his confidence. That doesn’t sound like someone trying to tear you down. It would have been so easy for Sansa to tap into his insecurities and make him believe that he’s doing a shoddy job but she doesn’t. When LittleFinger approaches her, she shuts him down and doesn’t entertain him. One could ask, why continue to keep him there? Well, I believe part of the reason she hasn’t asked him to leave is because she doesn’t trust him and she’d much rather keep him where she can keep track of what he’s up to. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.

In the promo for next week’s episode, the commander of the Knights of the Vale I think, says that a Targaryen can not be trusted. Well, once it is revealed that Jon is also a Tagaryen, looks like it won’t be easy for him to hold the North or Winterfell. But that won’t happen for a while I think. I have a feeling that Bran will reveal that bit of information to Sansa alone considering that Ayra is back on her way south to King’s Landing. Also, this puts a spanner in my theory that Arya will help Sansa kill LittleFinger. Guess, it’ll just be Sansa now, and maybe Brienne will help but I don’t see her do anything that would being dishonour to her knighthood. I’ll be happy as long as he’s dead and far away from Sansa.

 

Sansa and The Hound vs Cersie and The Mountain

This struck me yesterday when I saw a GIF of Sansa with the Hound. Mind you, I don’t ship them, I much prefer Sansa with Jon or Sansa just happy as Queen in the North at Winterfell. But I was thinking that since Beric and his men are headed North, it’s too big of a coincidence with Sansa at Winterfell. These two have to meet up but Sansa is no longer the Little Bird, defenseless and scared. She is home and is a far tougher woman than the one The Hound remembers and he too is a changed man.

Also bear in mind that Gregor, the Mountain, took pleasure in killing, for Sandor, it was always more matter-of-fact. He did it because it was his job but that was it. Unlike his brother, he didn’t revel in it.

We know that he didn’t like Joffrey and wasn’t quite as ruthless as some of the other knights, he didn’t like hurting women and children (this is conjecture on my part) and he did feel protective of Sansa to an extent, though, he also threatened to rape her, so there’s that too. But of late, he seems like someone who wants to get away from all the killing, he wants a quieter life.

Sansa, at Winterfell needs someone who is strong and loyal to her, like the Mountain with Cersie, though not blindly. That is not the relationship I see Sansa cultivating with her advisers and inner circle. She is strong and politically savvy, and she knows the importance of having trustworthy people around her but who are also honest and straightforward with her. The Hound could occupy such a place at Winterfell at Sansa’s side and help her.

Which brings me to the point of this post. The people who have the most painful history on the show are Sansa and Cersie and The Hound and his brother, Sandor and Gregor. Cersie made Sansa’s life hell while she was at King’s Landing while Cersie thinks that Sansa was involved in Joffrey’s murder and Gregor literally burned his brother, almost killing him. Contrast that with Dany who has no dispute with Cersie save for the Iron Throne, there is no great drama in a showdown between these two characters because they share no history.

What if the whole Dany vs Cersie plot is a smokescreen, a red herring and the real fight will indeed be between Sansa and Cersie and it will be a battle of wits with Sandor at Sansa’s side and Gregor at Cersie’s. Sansa has grown up at KL and she knows the court games and she knows Cersie, knows the way she thinks, much like she knew about Ramsay. You mean to tell me that GRRM and D&D won’t capitalise on that? And then there is the advantage that Cersie, on the other hand, doesn’t really know Sansa anymore. The Sansa at Winterfell bears more resemblance to her mother, Catelyn Stark than the girl who was held hostage at KL.

I see Arya play a big role in this plot as well since Cersie has been on her list ever since her father was executed. But it will still be primarily orchestrated by Sansa. That’s a showdown I’d love to see and hope we see it. Sansa needs to be the one to bring down Cersie. Sansa and Arya both.