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Season 8: Speculation and Spoilers Discussion

On 10/18/2018 at 8:21 AM, SeanC said:

The kind of support you get when you’re the spokesmodel for a haircare products company.

Fame has its rewards with the negative.

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11 hours ago, nikma said:

It's not like they haven't done that for some other major characters like Arya, Bran, Sam, Jaime,... Why Citadel, but not the Vale? They thought the Vale wasn't worth the time and effort. But Braavos was. And Bran's cave was. And Meereen. Even Dorne. But not the Vale, not LSH, not Young Griff and so on.

The Vale was probably more expensive to film (maintaining the sets of the Eyrie, setting up a major tourney, quite a cast of characters to support or oppose LF and to work with or against Sansa,...). Moreover, Martin likely still has to write most of it. The Citadel is probably easier to fill in for D&D.

And with Sansa in Winterfell, they don't have to create a new character (Jeyne, who did not yet exist on the show) for Theon to save from Ramsay. Whereas Sam still has to do his training.

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It is easier to maintain the set than to build a new one for Braavos or Citadel. And they didn't need a big cast of characters. They could use characters they introduced in S4. It's not like we got every character from the books in KL, Meereen, at the Wall and so on. Every storyline is always simplified.

The Vale was cut because D&D decided it wasn't necessary for the story. Theon didn't need anyone to save from Ramsay. That whole storyline could've been cut, but D&D liked it more and it was more necessary. 

Which will return us to my first point. Of cource D&D will say they like Sophie to explain their decisions. It's the safest answer, because they can't criticize Martin and say that the Vale storyline and Brienne's storyline were unnecessary and that AFFC is unedited mess.

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3 hours ago, nikma said:

The Vale was cut because D&D decided it wasn't necessary for the story. Theon didn't need anyone to save from Ramsay. That whole storyline could've been cut, but D&D liked it more and it was more necessary. 

Which will return us to my first point. Of cource D&D will say they like Sophie to explain their decisions. It's the safest answer, because they can't criticize Martin and say that the Vale storyline and Brienne's storyline were unnecessary and that AFFC is unedited mess.

I agree with you but I firmly believe the main reason was that eventually it will be Sansa & Jon somehow finding each other and taking back Winterfell together. And that is driving what happened in the show.

I know this has been discussed here and have seen that many get irate at the mere mention of the idea. But Sansa & Jon are not both called 'the blood of Winterfell' in the books for nothing; Sansa - 'the key to the North'; Sansa who literally builds Winterfell out of Snow. This is heavy foreshadowing. It's that Jon & Sansa taking back Winterfell  will happen in the books and that drove the choices made by D & D. So yes, the Vale storyline and Brienne's  and Ramsay, etc. have less importance in the TV version which is slashing through plot and combining characters arcs in order to get the storyboard where it needs to be for the endgame.

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5 hours ago, Wouter said:

Moreover, Martin likely still has to write most of it

Which is why he took Sansa's chapters out of the last book, she's starting a whole new phase and didn't want readers confused.

Something's going down at the Vale next book.

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1 hour ago, Stella said:

I agree with you but I firmly believe the main reason was that eventually it will be Sansa & Jon somehow finding each other and taking back Winterfell together. And that is driving what happened in the show.

 

I completely agree that their decisions were influenced by informations they've got from Martin. Sansa and Jon taking WF, Jon vs  Ramsay, the Vale army coming North, LF trying to divide the Starks and dying in "a castle made of snow",... All these things are from Martin. Idea that Sansa's haters have, that she will stay isolated in the Vale and then die at end never made any sense, but since Martin will never finish his story we can never prove them wrong. They will just claim that Benioff and Weiss are Sansa's fanboys and that they've changed the story. 

And this is another thing Benioff and Weiss can't say in their interviews. They don't want to explicitly spoil future books, so they can always use "we like Sophie" as an excuse. That's why their words post-S4 when they explain some od their creative decisions should't be taken as gospel.

In her first chapter from TWOW Sansa is thinking about Jon for the first time in a long time. It makes sense that by the end of that book they will be reunited at WF. 

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This is a good quote from Benioff from 2015.

 

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“We reached that point that commenting individually on what is or is not in the show from the books is a prospect of diminishing returns.” He goes on to say, “Early on in the process, it was something we talked about a fair amount. [The change of strategy is] not out of any disrespect; the fact that people care enough about the books and the show to have arguments about it is something we have huge gratitude and respect for. I just don’t think there’s value in anything we have tosay about it. It opens a Pandora’s box of questions you could spend your whole life answering, and the net result is that what you said will probably make people less happy than if you hadn’t said anything

 

This is the reason why they will always use safe words to describe their decisions. They can't say anything about future books, they can't criticize Martin and call some of his storylines pointless, they can't say that Sansa will end up at WF anyway and they just speeded up a little. 

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21 hours ago, nikma said:

Puting Sansa in WF for example eliminated a lot of problems from the books, but they can't say that.

Except it...didn't?
Putting Sansa in Winterfell was a narrative trainwreck that only looks worse and worse the more you see how its effects reverberated through subsequent seasons.  The Sansa/Littlefinger dynamic, especially, was irretrievably fucked up by it, and it's directly responsible for a majority of the nonsense around Sansa's supposed character/skills growth that never actually happened.

Putting Sansa in Winterfell is one of those things where you can see why it appealed to the showrunners, in terms of combining disparate threads, increasing interactions between main castmembers (which they've acknowledged all along is one of their primary considerations), while believing that they could hit the same basic character beats in a different setting.  But they did not actually pull this off, and the result is mostly an advertisement for why Sansa was supposed to have her own separate storyline in the first place.

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5 minutes ago, SeanC said:

Except it...didn't?
 

Except it did. It simplified the show, merged a lot of separate storylines and allowed Benioff and Weiss to continue and finish the story.  Percentage of people that had any problems with Sansa/Littlefinger dynamic is so small that it didn't affect the show's popularity, support from the critics, industry and Academy. They did their job. 

And it's not like Sansa's own separate book storyline was universally loved even by the hardcore book fans. 

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38 minutes ago, SeanC said:

Putting Sansa in Winterfell was a narrative trainwreck

Disagree. 

38 minutes ago, SeanC said:

The Sansa/Littlefinger dynamic, especially, was irretrievably fucked up by it,

That was exactly one of the points of that plot.

39 minutes ago, SeanC said:

around Sansa's supposed character/skills growth that never actually happened.

That was not a point of the plot. The opposite was.

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26 minutes ago, nikma said:

Except it did. It simplified the show, merged a lot of separate storylines and allowed Benioff and Weiss to continue and finish the story.  Percentage of people that had any problems with Sansa/Littlefinger dynamic is so small that it didn't affect the show's popularity, support from the critics, industry and Academy. They did their job. 

And it's not like Sansa's own separate book storyline was universally loved even by the hardcore book fans. 

If you’re talking about whether it affected the show’s long-term popularity, then no.  I acknowledged that purely from a production standpoint the allure of reducing the number of stories and characters is obvious.

However, the talk about “problems” with AFFC appeared to be referring to quality issues, and that’s what I mean.  Sansa’s book story makes sense.  Her show story does not.

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1 minute ago, OhOkayWhat said:

That was exactly one of the points of that plot.

And yet they were left playing out the Sansa/Littlefinger “does she trust him?” arc over two more seasons when that made no sense based on Season 5.  It’s a transparent example of them trying to revert to a book concept after making huge changes that should preclude such a story.

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That was not a point of the plot. The opposite was.

Which is my point, precisely — instead of showing her gradually develop gameplaying skill, we get her doing nothing whatsoever and yet the show wants us to think she’s become a great gameplayer anyway.  The whole thing is a succession of unearned payoffs and huge discrepancies between what the writers think happened and what actually occurred.

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22 minutes ago, SeanC said:

However, the talk about “problems” with AFFC appeared to be referring to quality issues, and that’s what I mean.  Sansa’s book story makes sense.  Her show story does not.

And who has the right to objectively judge the quality? You didn't like Sansa's storyline in the show, and that's fine,  but there is not a single reason why D&D should regret putting her in WF.  It solved so many problems that GRRM now has.  As you said it didn't  affect the show’s long-term popularity, it didn't affect the support from the critics or the Academy, it gave them the oportunity to finish the story. It even helped Sophie to get some major roles. It really made Sansa and Sophie one of the faces of the show, which she really wasn't in the first 3-4 seasons. It was success at every front. And it was entertaining to watch her in the last 3 seasons. One of the best decisions they've made IMO. 

I don't think Sansa really has a story in the books yet (in the Vale). Her chapters are just set-up for the actual story, GRRM just planted the seeds, but we still don't know what will happen there and how. 

Edited by nikma.
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5 minutes ago, SeanC said:

And yet they were left playing out the Sansa/Littlefinger “does she trust him?” arc over two more seasons when that made no sense based on Season 5.

See to me it was crystal clear that she did not trust him. "Only a fool trusts Littlefinger." Her actions throughout 6 & 7 are perfect examples of "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" regarding LF. Sure the hype by HBO, the show runners and the actors contributed to this confusion - they want us to buy into the idea of Sansa being a player who resents Jon. Drama. But that wasn't the actually story shown. It was fake.

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Just now, Stella said:

See to me it was crystal clear that she did not trust him. "Only a fool trusts Littlefinger." Her actions throughout 6 & 7 are perfect examples of "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" regarding LF. Sure the hype by HBO, the show runners and the actors contributed to this confusion - they want us to buy into the idea of Sansa being a player who resents Jon. Drama. But that wasn't the actually story shown. It was fake.

It's interesting that the only people who find some things confusing in the show are some book readers. Show watchers have no problem following and understanding the story. That's why some scenes in Sansa's storyline in the last 3 seasons are some of the most iconic and memorable scenes this show ever had. 

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Anyone else feel that they are trapped in a hell dimension where they are forced to hear the exact same thing over and over again until their brains explode? 😱 Can we please move on from this Sansa debate? Or at least move it to her thread? 

Edited by GraceK.
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42 minutes ago, SeanC said:

And yet they were left playing out the Sansa/Littlefinger “does she trust him?” arc over two more seasons when that made no sense based on Season 5.

That's exactly why that relationship is complex. It's goes beyond the trust issues. It's also about if keeping Littlefinger near is useful or not.

46 minutes ago, SeanC said:

yet the show wants us to think she’s become a great gameplayer anyway

The Show shows us things on screen. Whatever we think the show "wants us" to think is in the mind of the audience.

48 minutes ago, SeanC said:

and huge discrepancies between what the writers think happened and what actually occurred.

We don't know what they really think. Interviews are mostly advertisement material.

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32 minutes ago, Stella said:

See to me it was crystal clear that she did not trust him. "Only a fool trusts Littlefinger." Her actions throughout 6 & 7 are perfect examples of "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" regarding LF. Sure the hype by HBO, the show runners and the actors contributed to this confusion - they want us to buy into the idea of Sansa being a player who resents Jon. Drama. But that wasn't the actually story shown. It was fake.

Going by the show's own outlines, it was not all fake.  The extent to which any of that translated into the show is an incomprehensible muddle, though.

29 minutes ago, nikma said:

It's interesting that the only people who find some things confusing in the show are some book readers. Show watchers have no problem following and understanding the story. 

That isn't true.  There was plenty of show-only viewer dislike/confusion of many parts of Sansa's story, particularly her motivations, and particularly in Season 7.

12 minutes ago, GraceK said:

Anyone else feel that they are trapped in a hell dimension where they are forced to hear the exact same thing over and over again until their brains explode? 😱 Can we please move on from this Sansa debate? Or at least move it to her thread? 

Yeah, fair enough, we're straying from the topic.

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10 minutes ago, GraceK said:

Not sure if I already posted this but heres some interesting tidbits 

http://watchersonthewall.com/interview-roundup/#more-165990

 

 

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However, he did express his delight at finally getting to respond to the fan greeting, “Are you Jon Snow” with “Not anymore.”

Quote

 

As for facing the finale of season 8 of Game of Thrones, Williams seems eager to move forward.

“I got to the end and I didn’t want more. I had exhausted every possible piece of Arya,” she said. “And this season was quite big for me. I had a lot more to do … mainly because there’s just less characters now, so everyone’s got more to do.”

 

 

Proof that cast wanted show to be over and that negotiations for S9 or S10 would be really hard. And expensive.

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2 minutes ago, SeanC said:

That isn't true.  There was plenty of show-only viewer dislike/confusion of many parts of Sansa's story, particularly her motivations, and particularly in Season 7.

I'm sure you can find some show watchers who are confused about almost anything in the show, but that wasn't the general sentiment. Just like with any adaptation majority of complaints are coming from hardcore book fans. Benioff and Weiss made a show that is successful at every front, loved by the audience and the critics. 

Changes that they've made with Sansa helped both the character and the actress. Sansa is more popular than ever. And Sophie got an oportunity to be part of some major movies, thanks to challenging scenes D&D wrote for her, where she was able to show her talent. 

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10 minutes ago, SeanC said:

Going by the show's own outlines, it was not all fake.

The outlines are just a previous version of the narrative. The final decision about it is whatever we see on screen.

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3 minutes ago, OhOkayWhat said:

The outlines are just a previous version of the narrative. The final decision about it is whatever we see on screen.

And much of what is onscreen is impenetrable, contradictory, or nonsensical; and often the writers' subsequent explanations for what they were going for are not in sync with what we see onscreen.

Which, to turn things back toward speculation going forward, is why it's always more important to pay attention to how the writers see things as opposed to you or I might think about the characters based on what is onscreen.

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25 minutes ago, nikma said:

Proof that cast wanted show to be over and that negotiations for S9 or S10 would be really hard. And expensive.

True. That's one of the reason why the whole "if we had 10 seasons then..." ideas don't make a lot of sense. And there are lots and lots of criticism that makes precisely that, one of their main points

9 minutes ago, SeanC said:

And much of what is onscreen is impenetrable, contradictory, or nonsensical;

Disagree.

 

9 minutes ago, SeanC said:

and often the writers' subsequent explanations

 

9 minutes ago, SeanC said:

to pay attention to how the writers see things

We don't know how writers really see things. We know what we see on screen. Magazine interviews, behind of scenes material, comic-con answers, etc it's mostly publicity material.

Edited by OhOkayWhat.
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I think writing a 3 seasons of the show where almost nothing makes sense is a great accomplishment. How is even possible to write a story where nothing makes sense? D&D should get award for that only. 

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Started ~ 18 minutes ago 4 PM ET.  SO Far NO New INFO

Edited by GrailKing.
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37 minutes ago, GrailKing said:

Started ~ 18 minutes ago 4 PM ET.  SO Far NO New INFO

 

Could someone translate (provide a summary, I mean)?

Edited by Brn2bwild.
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4 hours ago, OhOkayWhat said:

Disagree. 

That was exactly one of the points of that plot.

That was not a point of the plot. The opposite was.

It was so bad that they couldn't even make the Winterfell storyline make sense.

The Winterfell storyline is an idiot plot in that it requires characters to act like idiots to make the storyline work.

Even monkeys could see it was stupid.

3 hours ago, nikma said:

It's interesting that the only people who find some things confusing in the show are some book readers. Show watchers have no problem following and understanding the story. That's why some scenes in Sansa's storyline in the last 3 seasons are some of the most iconic and memorable scenes this show ever had. 

Mostly because show watchers don't pay too much attention to how things work. They just accept it. I mean most show watchers didn't even get that Jon was Rhaegar's son at the end of season 6. Most of them didn't even know who Rhaegar is.

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7 minutes ago, WindyNights said:
3 hours ago, nikma said:

 

Mostly because show watchers don't pay too much attention to how things work.

Mostly because they don't nitpick everything.

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38 minutes ago, WindyNights said:

It was so bad that they couldn't even make the Winterfell storyline make sense.

I have read lots of criticism about that plot and not even once I have read 1 single specific point that render the whole plot inconsistent.

42 minutes ago, WindyNights said:

The Winterfell storyline is an idiot plot in that it requires characters to act like idiots to make the storyline work.

I will say it again: characters making mistakes =/= writing mistakes. People make mistakes the whole time. And sometimes they are big.

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14 minutes ago, OhOkayWhat said:

I have read lots of criticism about that plot and not even once I have read 1 single specific point that render the whole plot inconsistent.

I will say it again: characters making mistakes =/= writing mistakes. People make mistakes the whole time. And sometimes they are big.

If I have to assume plain stupidity on the part of a character, it's called holding the Idiot Ball thereby making an Idiot Plot. 

So Littlefinger's plan doesn't make sense. He gives Sansa to the Boltons but expects Stannis to win expecting him to name Sansa the Wardeness of the North. Why doesn't he just wait for Stannis to win then and then reveal Sansa?

Littlefinger sells Sansa on a plan for revenge against the Boltons but he never presents a plan to her. And then once he reveals to Sansa that he expects Stannis to win and she should seduce Ramsay in the meantime, it's nothing at all what he sold her on. There is no plan.

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1 hour ago, Brn2bwild said:

Could someone translate (provide a summary, I mean)?

 

"If you think this contains spoilers, you haven't been paying attention" :D (sorry, but it's so true).

Edited by Happy Harpy.
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3 minutes ago, WindyNights said:

but expects Stannis to win expecting him to name Sansa the Wardeness of the North

That's what Petyr says. Nothing more.

 

4 minutes ago, WindyNights said:

And then once he reveals to Sansa that he expects Stannis to win and she should seduce Ramsay in the meantime, it's nothing at all what he sold her on. There is no plan.

Again, that's what he says. The whole point is to keep her unaware of any real plan.

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12 hours ago, nikma said:

It is easier to maintain the set than to build a new one for Braavos or Citadel. And they didn't need a big cast of characters. They could use characters they introduced in S4. It's not like we got every character from the books in KL, Meereen, at the Wall and so on. Every storyline is always simplified.

They used minimal number of characters for the citadel: only Sam's maester was a really principal character. For the rest, you had a few other maesters who barely figured, the scribe when he entered, and characters that were already in the show: Gilly and Jorah. The latter most likely won't be involved with this storyline in the books, as he hasn't contracted grayscale there.

On the other hand, the Vale requires a set of allies and adversaries for Littlefinger (those could be provided by the Vale lord and lady already introduced in S4, but at only 2 that's a very limited number) as well as a separate set of potential allies and adversaries for Sansa (taking the book roles of Myranda, Mya, Harry the Heir, Lothor Brune and the Mad Mouse). And then there is a tourney, which requires a lot of effort and money to film (the limited S1 budget of GOT couldn't really do the KL tourney justice). It would also require a couple of knights to be added, to act out whatever Martin is planning there.

The advantage of a separate Vale storyline is that we could actually have seen Sansa gradually gaining insight into Vale politics (and LF's intentions) and come out on top in the end, in a much more subtle fashion than actually happened. Sure, the scene at the end of S7 where Sansa condemns LF was gripping TV, but I feel this came at the expense of a logical storyline for the rest of that season (and even during S6, where Jon and Sansa had no reason to not work together). Sansa also would have had a more natural opportunity to help secure food for the north (as that seems to be of major importance in the books).

In the books, I suspect Sansa will be involved with the Vale for some time still. The fact that Sweetrobyn is still around by the dragonpit in S8 points to this character not being without importance in the books, to.

As for who would take Winterfell, I still think that a major difference may be that Stannis looks to take it early in TWOW. What then causes him to burn Shireen is admittedly unclear. No doubt Jon, and possibly Sansa, will take up the pieces afterwards.

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1 hour ago, Wouter said:

On the other hand, the Vale requires a set of allies and adversaries for Littlefinger (those could be provided by the Vale lord and lady already introduced in S4, but at only 2 that's a very limited number) as well as a separate set of potential allies and adversaries for Sansa (taking the book roles of Myranda, Mya, Harry the Heir, Lothor Brune and the Mad Mouse).

I don't think that the Vale requires that many characters.

KL, the Wall, Meereen,... all had a lot more characters in the books. The Vale could've been the same. They've told Daenerys' story in Meereen with only one character from that place. And another character that was killed after 2 episodes. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Wouter said:

And then there is a tourney, which requires a lot of effort and money to film

A tourney that could've been cut or simplified like a lot of other events from other storylines. Kingsmoot was  simplified, the whole Dorne's storyline, Meereen, there are a lot of moments and characters that were cut from KL, the North, Riverlands and so on. They didn't need to be completely faithful to the books. 

 

1 hour ago, Wouter said:

The advantage of a separate Vale storyline is that we could actually have seen Sansa gradually gaining insight into Vale politics

We are going in circles it seems. I never said that there are no advantages of a separate Vale storyline. I said that "we like Sophie and that's why we gave her WF storyline" is just safe excuse for Benioff and Weiss where they avoid to say their true reasons, like disliking Vale storyline or finding it unnecessary or saying things about Sansa's future in the books.

You can like Sophie and give her Vale storyline. It's not like they had to have Ramsay's marriage storyline. If they thought  Sansa gradually gaining insight into Vale politics was more important that Theon's redemption arc they would've cut Theon's storyline, not Sansa's. In S4 Theon and the Boltons were in only 3 episodes. If they thought the Vale was more important they could've had 3 episodes in S5 as well.

But they can't say this openly because that would, as Benioff said,  probably make people less happy than if they don't say anything. 

Edited by nikma.
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2 hours ago, OhOkayWhat said:

That's what Petyr says. Nothing more.

 

Again, that's what he says. The whole point is to keep her unaware of any real plan.

There's no real plan then which just makes things even more bewildering. Can you explain LF's "real plan"?

Edited by WindyNights.
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45 minutes ago, WindyNights said:

 Can you explain LF's "real plan"?

Fake alliance with Bolton + Tricking Cersei + Lannister vs Bolton + Bolton vs Stannis + Use of Vale knights = Winterfell

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1 minute ago, OhOkayWhat said:

Fake alliance with Bolton + Tricking Cersei + Lannister vs Bolton + Bolton vs Stannis + Use of Vale knights = Winterfell

Yeah. It's his typical MO. Create chaos, divide people, turn everyone against everyone and then profit.

But here he got Jon as KITN so he was fucked. His attempt to divide the Starks was a desperate move that killed him.

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53 minutes ago, nikma said:

Yeah. It's his typical MO. Create chaos, divide people, turn everyone against everyone and then profit.

But here he got Jon as KITN so he was fucked. His attempt to divide the Starks was a desperate move that killed him.

Yes. Also he did not count on some members of the Night Watch killing Jon and Jon leaving the Night Watch too.

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