Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) by Sarah J. Maas Review

OK, finally done with this and I’m giving this series a break till the final book comes out next year since I know the next book ends in a cliffhanger and the one after that focuses on Chaol and I simply can’t tolerate that.

Chaol is a piece of shit and a hypocrite and if he died in the series, I’d do a happy dance, though I know that that won’t happen. All he did was whine and complain and wallow in self-pity and it was annoying as hell. Seriously, you could skip his entire chapter and not miss much. Add to that he is horrible to Aelin without ever considering what she’s gone through. It’s perfectly fine for Dorian to have magic but not fore Aelin, how does that work? Besides, her entire family was murdered by the king this dipshit spend years serving and never once questioned his own loyalty. When he went to Endovier to bring Celaena for the tournament, he never once blinked at the brutality in that camp and yet now, suddenly, NOW he cares about slaves and doing the right thing? I’m sorry but that doesn’t ring true. I can’t say I hate a character more than hate this waste of space (literally)

Next comes Rowan. I was glad when he showed up here that’s how frustrated I was by the way the plot was progressing. I still think he’s highly problematic and a huge douche though, that hasn’t changed. Brooding guys who are actually assholes are no longer cool or did the author miss that memo? A lot of it is also manipulation on the author’s part. She’s consciously murdering her own character by writing him so poorly (Chaol) so that Rowan looks more appealing. I dislike being manipulated like that.

What the author does very well however is give us a whole hos secondary characters that are a pleasure to read. I loved Manon in the previous book and though there were moments here when she seemed to have left her brains somewhere else, she bounces back in spectacular fashion. My new favourite (vying for the spot with Manon) is Lysandra. I love this girl and I was glad to see genuine friendships between women, women who worked well together and care about each other. Lysandra is a badass and while she may not have ever been skilled with a blade, she was never weak. She was willing to protect a small child even if that meant that her own freedom was denied. That’s a different kind of bravery but no less important. I even loved Asterin, loved that she was loyal to Manon but never stopped questioning her decisions when she felt that the decisions were wrong. I hope we see more of her and the Thirteen. Even Elide, though she wasn’t featured heavily, she still made an impact and I liked that she while she may have a disability, she used every other resource she had to make sure she could protect herself. She was one smart cookie. Even Nesryn, I liked that she didn’t immediately get googly-eyed over that asshat Chaol. Nesryn deserves better

Kaltain Rompier deserved better. She was portrayed as a vapid, shallow and toxic women but she’s come a long way. She was being used by the King and Perrington the entire time and no one saw it. She was left alone with no one to protect her or look out for her. But she blew me away at the end. I loved what she became and was one of the best parts of the book.

I like Dorian and that hasn’t changed. He remains someone who is willing to help his people and those he cares about even it means that it puts him in a precarious position. The end of the book leaves me wondering if we’ll see something develop between him and Manon.

I wish Aedion had had more to do. Once Rowan shows up, Aedion gets pushed to the background which was unfortunate. Aedion and Aelin were clearly close when they were younger and I happy with their reunion and I would have liked to see them interact more. Hopefully we’ll see that in the next book.

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Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas Review

Where do I start? Heir of Fire has its moments, it is fast-paced and action-packed but there are still problems. First, I really don’t understand Rowan. The author one brooding idiot for another. Speaking of, Chaol has become an even bigger idiot and I didn’t even think that was possible. The only thing that I like about Rowan is that, unlike Chaol, when he sees Aelin’s powers fully manifest, hesitate he’s not scared of her or repulsed by what he sees. He takes it in his stride and even helps her.

I vastly prefer Dorian to Chaol, have from the beginning. He always had more of a backbone than Chaol. He offers more understanding to Aelin than Chaol ever did. I have no doubt that Dorian and Aelin will not get together but if they had, I would liked them together. They both see aspects of each other but don’t turn away in judgement and fear.

Maas does create some very interesting secondary characters and I have to say that I like Manon, her band of Thirteen and Abraxos. She is bloodthirsty and doesn’t apologise for it.

Another problem with the book was that there were too many POVs. To the point where they broke to narrative flow and that was jarring. And also Chaol’s pov chapters were boring as hell. I am surprised that we didn’t have more chapters from Rowan’s pov.

Anyway, here’s hoping book 4 is better.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas Review

This was certainly a very thrilling and eventful read. There were parts that I really enjoyed. I loved Nehemia and even Celaena had certain characteristics that I liked. I liked that she’s so feminine and she fully embraces that femininity. All too often in fantasy and most YA fiction, the female characters who shun their femininity are the ones who are proclaimed as badass, whereas the ones who are feminine are presented in a negative light and often viewed as weak. In that sense, Celaena is refreshing. She is very feminine, she likes pretty dresses and she likes looking nice. None of this detracts from her skill with a blade or with the darkness inside her.

I was also very pleasantly surprised about how important Nehemia was, both to Celaena and the plot. She was an amazing character and easily one of my favourites. I loved their friendship and they could be themselves with each other.

I even liked Dorian for the most part and it pretty apparent that he was never going to be the love interest, he wasn’t broody enough. (I don’t get this fascination for brooding guys who are nothing but glorified assholes) Anyway, Mr. Broody Extraordinaire aka Chaol was positively insufferable. He made a number of bad calls that even cost someone’s life. He was wilfully blind and dumb and followed his king’s orders even when he was troubled by them. He constantly judged Celaena and yet he was far worse because Celaena had no illusions about herself and her world but Chaol thought he was better and honourable, all the while serving a king who was cold and cruel and one who took pleasure in that cruelty. I had no patience for him and his whining. Seriously, yuck! I am hoping that he isn’t the main love interest, I simply cannot tolerate him. He’s an absolute idiot…

Well, now I’m off to read the next book.

Sansa Stark vs Cersie Lannister – Part 2

I’ve already written one meta about Cersie and Sansa which you can read here.

Having seen all of Season 7, I have to say I am even more convinced that the final showdown must be between Sansa and Cersie for a number of reasons.

First off, there are parallels, both Sansa and Cersie are usually overlooked and underestimated by those around them. Dany doesn’t suffer from this because of her dragons, but neither of these two women have that luxury. They are both ordinary (and I use that term very loosely) women who have nothing but their wits to keep them alive. They have had to become smart in order to survive. Cersie had to do it because she was stuck in a love-less marriage with Robert, a man who never really had any ambition to be king and was therefore not as careful as one might have been had they cared about the position. Cersie also knew what had happened to Rhaegar’s wife and children and would not let that happen to herself or her children. In the earlier seasons, her entire focus is on the survival of her family and all her actions lead to that. Sansa, on the other hand, had to learn because her very survival depended on it. She had no alternatives, no protectors, no one to speak up for her.

There was something else that struck me as I was starting this meta, in a way, Cersie was a surrogate mother to Sansa. It makes sense, Sansa was twelve when she went to KL and her mother did not accompany the two young girls, which in itself if quite strange. And before Ned lost his head, Cersie made herself into a mother figure for Sansa. Sansa looked up to her and admired her, wanted to be like her. After Ned’s death, Sansa’s life became a living nightmare but, in a weird way, she still had Cersie who would occasionally advise her, in a way a mother would (albeit it was otten harshly delivered, but that did not lessen the importance of the advice itself). It was Cersie who told Sansa that she could try to love Joffrey, implying that he was already a monster and even Cersie could not always control him. In her most formative years, it wasn’t Ned or Catelyn who were with Sansa, it was Cersie. I’ve also stated that, in those early years, she did care for Sansa, in her own twisted way. This gives Sansa an insight into the kind of women she really is which is why there is a part of Sansa that does admire her, because she’s survived where other, more able players have not.

Game of Thrones has been setting up Tyrion as a master strategist and this season just served to illustrate that that reputation may have been premature. He pledged to serve Dany and help her become queen of the Seven Kingdoms and was outmaneuvered time and again by Cersie. In the beginning when Dany’s war council were going over plans of taking KL, it seemed like a great plan, using Westerosi forces to take KL and the Unsullied to take Casterly Rock but while he was feeling smug, he forgot that he was dealing with Cersie. Cersie who learned from her father who was indeed a great strategist. Even at the end, she played both her brothers, especially Tyrion. That entire conversation is a very finely staged performance on Cersie’s part. Every action and word was carefully chosen. When she placed her hand on her stomach, it felt so out-of-character for her. This is Tyrion, she doesn’t trust him, she doesn’t even like him but she does have him figured out. She knew that he did genuinely love Tommen and Myrcella and he does regret that they died. Here’s another thing to consider, Tyrion does have a blindspot where his family is concerned. He hates his sister but she is his sister, there will always be a part of him that sees her through the lenses of a younger brother. Cersie has no such concerns, she would burn the world down and happily watch it burn.

Which brings us to Sansa. We spent the entire season worried sick over whether Sansa would indeed betray her family. Of course, the makers never gave any proof to set up that betrayal but that’s besides the point. If Tyrion was Cersie adversary, LF was Sansa’s. As we found out at the end, Sansa’s problems from the beginning were the handiwork of LF, if not for him Robert would not have come North and would not have betrothed Sansa and Joffrey. The Starks would have stayed home, healthy and whole. But LF’s hunger for power got the entire plot going. He then betrayed Ned and then used and abused Sansa. Sansa suffered some of the worst abuse at the hand of the Boltons and that match was arranged by none other than LF. Like Tyrion (and mind you I love him) LF also has too high an opinion of himself, he’s started believing his own publicity. Throughout this season, he tried to sow the seeds to dissent, first between Jon and Sansa and then between Sansa and Arya. And it would have worked except all season, LF was telling Sansa to think about the bigger picture, to view everyone with suspicion and always play out scenarios in her head so that nothing ever surprises her. This was great advice, except LF thought that for some reason, he was exempt from all these scenarios. Killing him would have been easy but to do so without losing the support of the Knights of the Vale, that was going to be exceedingly tricky. That scene where LF finally meets his end, that too is very carefully constructed, it’s the Knights of Vale who line the Great Hall with Lord Royce present, who already didn’t like him very much but couldn’t openly oppose him for fear of Sweet Robin. She sets him up perfectly, so much so that he never sees it coming.

So Season 7 saw both Cersie and Sansa outplay men who thought themselves to be smarter than the women they were trying to manipulate..

It also set them up in contrast to each other. In Season 6, Cersie burned down the Sept with all those people inside, not to mention all the collateral damage. Whereas Sansa was more worried whether they had enough food to make sure that everyone would be fed and they could take in refugees when the fight against the WW really came. She takes a personal interest when she really doesn’t need to and her people see this. This is evident when Arya comes to Winterfell and the two sentries don’t want to bother Lady Sansa, not because they’re scared but because, in a strange way, they’re protective of her.

Season 7 has so far established 3 main groups, Dany and her quest for the IT, Cersie and her quest for who-knows-what and the North that just wants its own independence and also survive both the WW and Cersie. I’ve stated multiple times that I don’t see Jon retain his crown in Season 8 which makes Sansa the QitN. Jaime recently left Cersie and rode North to fight against the WW and while there he will join Sansa and not Dany. Dany burned his men alive, he doesn’t like her and he doesn’t trust her. Jaime redemption arc started when he was paired with Brienne and tasked with getting the Stark girls safely delivered to their family. Plus he knows Sansa, he knew her father and mother and while he may not have liked them very much, I believe he does respect them. I personally can’t wait for him to meet Sansa and see the capable woman that she’s grown into. Jaime is often blinded by his love for Cersie but he’s starting to see that most of it may have been one-sided. When it is time to make a final choice as to who he will support, I believe he will pick Sansa, simply because she’s the better candidate. The fight against the WW will end with the elimination of one of the groups and I don’t believe it will be the Starks. They’re the protagonists of the series. I believe that Cersie will make it out alive as well with Dany sacrificing herself in the fight against the WW.

In the Starks vs Cersie battle, there will be one key difference from the BotB, Jon will seek out and heed Sansa’s counsel when it comes to how best deal with Cersie.

Anyway, that’s what I think and this post got way longer than I thought it would, but I hope it makes sense.

Varys and Sansa in Season 8

So, I was doing rewatch for Season 7 and in the episode where Dany and Varys have that very tense exchange, he says something very interesting, he says to Dany, “I choose you because I know the people have no better chance than you” This is a very telling line, he doesn’t support her because he believes that its hers to inherit, or that he buys her vision for the kingdom (which let’s face it, is vague af), it’s none of those things. He literally says that he supports her because she’s the only viable option they have currently. We’ve already seen that he’s very worried about her temper tantrums, especially when they result in burning men alive. She’s more than capable of falling in the same trap as her father, the Mad King, the seeds are already there, the shades of tyranny, the very thing she claims to be fighting against. He even tells Tyrion that he must find a way to make her listen.

But who’s the one person that he knows close to nothing about, Sansa Stark. As of now, Jon is KitN and Sansa is ruling in his stead. I don’t see him holding on to his powers for too long though. For one, Jon is an elected king and as such cannot take decisions unilaterally, not when the decision affects all the other Northern territories. And I am not even talking about Lord Royce and the Lord Glover but Lyanna Mormont, I can’t imagine her being too happy that yet again they must bow to another Southern Ruler and one who has no ties to the North or even the continent.

Add to that, we also know that next season will definitely spill the beans about Jon’s real parentage. He was chosen, in a big part, due to fact that, at the end of the day, he is Ned Stark’s son. But when they find out that he’s not, well, it’s going to fall apart soon.

When LF said that Jon was named the KitN and he can unnamed just as easily. That wasn’t just word-babble on LF’s part, also, we know that Sansa does not covet Jon’s power and position. So what purpose did that line serve? It was to remind the audience that Jon’s position is that of an elected leader and when the leader does not fulfill the duties or the people who elected him are unhappy with his decision, are well within their rights to elect someone else.

If you think about it, Jon hasn’t actually done since he became KitN. He upped and left to go South. It was Sansa who was left saddled with having to make sure that Winterfell and the North were gearing up for Winter, that they have enough food to make sure that the refugees are fed and making sure that the army has armor which would also keep them warm. As KitN, Jon did nothing. His people asked him to stay in the North and he ignored that.

And her strategy to take down LF without losing the Knights of the Vale was a masterstroke. She genuinely cares about her people, they love her and she’s politically savvy, she can play the game, something that both Jon and Dany lack. I think it’s plausible that Varys would switch sides to her. Remember that he doesn’t side with any king or queen but with the ordinary people. Who then is better suited? Someone who burned soldiers alive and their food stores or the queen who’s making sure that her people will be fed during the Winter. Dany has to be constantly held back, first by Tyrion and then by Jon when she’s about to make an impulsive decision and that decision is almost always a very unwise one. That’s not a balanced ruler. Either way, I don’t see Varys sticking with Dany for too long. What are your thoughts, feel free to add or disagree..

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer Review

This was surprisingly good. I started it with no expectations and it sucked me in and kept me engaged from beginning to end.

The writing style was simple and to the point which I appreciated, this wasn’t a book that needed flowery language. The narrative is from Juliet and Declan’s point of view with alternating chapters. I also liked that the chapters started with a letter and were followed by the POV of the person the letter was addressed to. The plot itself was quite simple but that’s not a criticism, since the book is more about relationships and trying to get out the cycles that we get stuck in. The writing also really drove in just how isolated both Juliet and Declan were, both of them grappling with guilt and grief. I also really appreciated that while a love story was present, it was very much in the background. It developed slowly and organically with none of that insta-love bs (I’ve realised that I have no patience for that anymore)

I also liked the letters and they were used. We got to see Juliet and Declan interact in real life and then contrast that with their letters to each other and it really helped establish their relationship where they tell each other things that can’t share with anyone else without the fear of being judged.

I was really pleased with the characters as well. They were well-rounded, flawed and very human. They were easy to relate to and sympathise with. Juliet and Declan were especially engaging, and not just because they were the central couple but because they were written so well. Juliet, having lost her mother a few months ago is not dealing well. Her mother was a photo-journalist and Juliet idolised her to the point where she often overlooked her father. Everyone expected her to get better, like there’s some kind of invisible timer and the more they tried to get her snap out of it, the more entrenched she got. I never felt like her struggle was superficial, because she really did try and just couldn’t.

Declan, on the surface was the quintessential bad boy, he was rough and had a tendency to brood. I expected this to be yet another bad-boy who would be mean to the main girl and suddenly they would be in love and I was so glad that this didn’t happen. He is mean but makes an effort not to be. Appearing mean and dangerous is his mask to make sure that no one bothers him. He was being consumed with guilt and so deeply lonely but so used to being dismissed that he doesn’t want the chance of opening himself to people only to be let-down.

Juliet and Declan came together accidentally and ended up being each other’s life-line. Their friendship grew slowly and deeper feelings developed more slowly. I actually liked their relationship.

There were a whole number of secondary characters who were absolute gems like Rowan and Rev, Juliet’s and Declan’s best friends respectively. They were there throughout even their friends weren’t really interested in having them around and maybe even pushing them away, this was especially true for Juliet and Rev was literally Declan’s safe place. Juliet’s father was so supportive and it was heart-warming to see them slowly come back to each other. Declan’s English teacher, Mrs. Hillard was another gem. She bothered to look beyond Declan’s rough appearance and gave him a chance when everyone else had written him off. Melendez was another surprise, coming through for Declan when he only expected more trouble from him. The only thing that rang false was the reconciliation with Declan’s mother and step-father. It was too fast and it was a little hard to believe all the antagonism (especially on his stepfather’s part) was nothing but a series of miscommunication and misunderstandings. The fact that his mother never stood up for him, never made him feel like he was important was hard to overlook. He was lucky to have Rev and his parents who were also amazing.

Letters to the Lost was a refreshingly good read, character driven with a whole host of compelling characters who will draw you in immediately. The plot itself is engaging and never drags. Definitely worth a read.

Game of Thrones – The Wolf and The Dragon – Speculation and Theories

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.