Okay!!! Speculation time! There were a number of things that struck me about this episode, like there were things that the makers of the show were clearly trying to establish.
1st with regard to Jon and his title: Let’s start with Jon, I think this episode did an amazing job of telling us that while Jon is a good commander, he is not a good king. He wants to do the right thing but lacks the skills to execute them. He only had to make a non-committal statement and he refused to do that. Till then, no one knew that he had bent the knee, you can see the shock on Davos and Brienne’s faces, even Davos did not see this coming. Moreover, he did not need to bend his knee, by then Dany was already on board and supportive of his cause, the fact that he chose to do so regardless is another bad decision and one that will not end well. Saying that the Northern Lords will not be happy with his decision is the understatement of the century. He was chosen to lead the North and the lords can just as easily choose someone else.
Dany: I actually like her this season. The acting has certainly improved and the layers of her personality are more apparent. She is a problematic character, in that there are times when she genuinely cares and wants to improve the social conditions, but there is a more ruthless side to her side as well and she doesn’t listen to reason once she makes up her mind. I actually like her better like this. I don’t know whether she’ll eventually become a villain though that will be lame and simplistic.
Jon and Dany: This episode also tried to sell us the JonxDany ship and frankly I don’t buy it. I don’t have a problem with the ship per se, just that it’s so shoddily executed. The Jon and Sansa scenes had more chemistry than all the the JonxDany scenes put together. The scene of them making love, should have been a climactic moment and yet it was overshadowed by the reveal of Jon’s parentage and his true name, not to mention Tyrion standing outside their door, looking less than pleased. Their sex scene just ended up being so pedestrian and random. There was no foreplay, no build-up, we literally saw them in the middle of the act and cut while they were still in the middle. Sex scenes usually stay long enough to establish climax, both for the scene since it’s usually a gradual build-up and for the characters, here it was glaringly absent. The scene just feels wrong on so many levels.
Also, we know that it’s only a matter of time before the Aegon Targeryen reveal is made public. I think that when Jon finds out, he’s going to choose to tell Dany and Northern Lords, that’s what the honourable aspect of his personality will demand of him. He won’t be able to continue to stay with Dany once he finds out his true lineage and she won’t trust him once she finds out that he has a stronger claim to the throne. It won’t matter to her that he doesn’t want to rule because ultimately it’s not important. She’s smart, she knows that there are people who support her because they believe that she’s the last Targeryen, when they suddenly find themselves with a choice, one who is male, well, the world of Westeros is a patriachal one…. There will be those who will push him to take the throne, sidelining Dany completely. Add to that, he can ride the dragons just as she does which again, will make her vulnerable. She already stated that the Dragons are her children and without them she would be ordinary and Dany doesn’t want to be ordinary. She’s fought tooth and nail and worked hard to get where she is and I wouldn’t blame her for being pissed off that suddenly this guy shows up and has a stronger claim to the throne that she’s been fighting for her whole life. I don’t see the unsullied and the Dothraki supporting Jon, their allegiance is to Dany and her alone, but the other players, who knows. So basically, the ‘Jon is Aegon Targeyren’ reveal will be the death knell for the JonxDany ship.
What’s with Tyrion, Jorah and Dany’s prophecy: Tyrion’s interactions post Dragonpit were curious to say the least. We saw in episode 6 that Dany disregarded his advice and flew up North to save Jon and his crew and lost a dragon in the process. He also saw her agree with Jon in how to proceed North over Jorah’s suggestion, which would probably be safer. From the close-up of Jorah’s face, we know that he is far from pleased. We also saw Tyrion outside Dany’s room while Jon and Dany are having sex. Tyrion has a very casual attitude about sex and for him to have such a serious look on his face is worrisome. From his conversation with Cersie, we know that he hoped that Jon would bend his knee but I don’t think he’s happy with the fact they jumped into bed.
Add to that, we also know that Jorah loves Dany and he never stopped loving her. He’s known her the longest and probably knows her best among all her current advisers. And again, he’s unhappy that Jon, who just showed up, is suddenly so important to her. The prophecy about Dany says that she will be betrayed for love and people are assuming that Jon will betray her but what if it’s not him but Jorah. Jorah who loves and has loved her for a very long time. Her time with Daario did not bother him because he was absent for most of it and then she left him behind. I think on some level Jorah knew that Daario was never a serious competitor but it’s not the same with Jon. Jon is young, he’s powerful and he’s in his prime, all the things that Jorah is not. He sees the way Dany looks at him and while he may not express it, it doesn’t make him happy. He’ll betray her because he loves her and not to her enemies but imagine that he finds out about Jon’s lineage and before Jon can tell Dany, he tells her instead. It’s one thing for Dany to hear it from Jon, it’s completely different to hear it coming from someone else. I’m not saying that this will happen, it’s merely an example of the kind of betrayal that Jorah would commit. Because, ultimately he still loves Dany and he wouldn’t want her to come to any harm.
I’m going to add Tyrion to this mix just on the basis of what I saw this episode. I think both Jorah and Tyrion are concerned about the important that Jon suddenly has in Dany’s life and that his actions, while honourable have the potential to be problematic.
Sansa and Arya: Littlefinger finally played the wrong sisters against each other and paid for it with his life. Having watched the episode, I am not entirely convinced that the sisters were putting on a show for LF’s benefit. I think there was genuine antagonism on both side till Bran sat them down and spoke to them, that obviously happened off camera but it’s not hard to guess that because of what he said in the Great Hall. He’s the one who tells Sansa and Arya about all the ways that he’s fucked with their family and that finally leads to both of them putting aside their differences and uniting. I think we also got to see Sansa as Queen in the North with Arya acting as her hand. Season 8 will out Jon’s parentage and place him not as a Stark but the true-born son of Rhaegar which completely changes the power dynamic in the North. Jon will no longer be the King in the North, Bran is the three-eyed raven and Arya has no interest in ruling, which leaves Sansa. The scenes establishing her as a good ruler were no accident, neither was the scene where Lord Glover and Royce both said that they made a mistake is choosing Jon and they should have chosen her instead. In Jon’s absence, she stepped up in a big way and is the only one who can keep the North united under House Stark while still helping Jon with his quest against the WW. There was a reason when Arya and Sansa repeated Ned’s words there was no mention on Jon, and this is telling when Arya brought him up so many times in their previous encounters. Winterfell is House Stark’s seat of power, there must always be a Stark in Winterfell and Jon, now Aegon is not a Stark at all.
Just as Tyrion pushed Dany to control some of her more impulsive decisions, Arya will do the same for Sansa. Sansa wants to protect Winterfell, her family and herself and that may sometimes cloud her judgement, it’s at those times that Arya’s position as the Hand will be important, she can speak frankly to her sister, in a way that no one else can, not even Brienne.
What does this mean for Jon and Sansa, honestly, I’m not sure. They could get married, a political alliance between House Targeryen and House Stark, to cement the relationship between the North and the South, but if Jon is meant to rule the Iron Throne, then there is a problem because I don’t see Sansa leaving Winterfell. Arya has no desire to be Lady of Winterfell and while Sansa might want to be QitN, she has no desire to rule the Seven Kingdoms. of course, this could be a moot point if the IT no longer exists at the end of the show and there are various theories that support this. Also, judging by Jon’s reaction to the city in this episode, he wasn’t too impressed by what he saw of the crowded, cramped living conditions. He grew up in the North, he’s used to the wide-open landscapes. Plus, he’s also a bit too attached to his fur coat, to the extent where he even wore in Dragonpit and it was clearly hot there. I don’t think he’ll want to move South. So a Jon and Sansa political wedding is still a possibility and certainly more plausible than the Jon and Dany could-be-relationship.
Brienne and Jamie: So Jaime finally stood up to Cersie and saw that she has lost her mind and so blind that she can’t see she is dooming both her city and her unborn child to death. He leaves her and makes his way North. Season 8 will see Brienne and Jamie get together. He will also share the news that Cersie’s promise of her armies marching North to fight alongside Dany’s and Jon’s was a lie. Brienne always brings out the best in him, the man he could be and he finally has the chance to let that side of him rise to the fore. I don’t see him join Dany’s camp because he did see her burn his soldiers alive, but the Lady of Winterfell? Now that is possible. Especially since Brienne is still oath-bound to serve Sansa. But, where does this leave poor Tormund?
This just struck me, with Jaime leaving for the North and possibly joining Sansa’s camp, does it add more weight to the theory that ultimately it’s Sansa who will dethrone Cersie? She was indirectly responsible for Joffrey’s death and now she has Jamie on her side as well, she has “stolen” the one man who always stood by her side. I’ve always believed that the final showdown must be between Sansa and Cersie. LF was one of her abusers, Cersie was the other and just as it was Sansa sentencing LF, it needs to be Sansa who eventually bests Cersie at her own game. Sansa learned from both LF and Cersie and who better to beat her than the the ‘little dove’ that everyone underestimated? They have history while Dany and Cersie do not and it just makes more sense.