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  1. Chris24601

    Past Episodes Discussion

    Honestly, Zod using Seg’s memory as a rallying point is going to bite him in the ass when Seg returns and is able to broadcast a message for the resistance (not a spoiler, just a prediction based on basic story structure). Underestimating the El’s has always been his downfall. I’m 99% sure at this point that the House of El also includes Nyssa at this point. I can’t shake the suspicion that between Seg’s heroism and the cloning thing causing her to dissociate from being a Vex that baby Kor-Vex is going to get a meaningful name change to Jor-El by the time it’s all over. I’m also wondering if the resolution to Zod won’t be using the base premise from season one against him. Just convince Lyta to NOT make a baby using Seg’s DNA and this version of Zod disappears (she’d have another son who becomes a General and Superman’s enemy... but it wouldn’t be his uncle).
  2. Chris24601

    S06.E05: The Gospel of Josephine

    I feel sorry for Maddi. No matter what happens her de-facto mom is dead. From the description of the procedure the only way they’re getting Clarke back is by uploading the end of season three version in the Flame; i.e. the one who’s never even met Maddi and wouldn’t remember or have technically even done anything since taking out the City of Light (can a memory backup be responsible for the actions taken after the backup happened?). For that matter; the version of Clarke who comes back would also initially think she’s six years younger, that Earth is still habitable, Octavia wasn’t Bloodreina and Jasper, Monty and Harper are all still alive and she’s not a Nightblood. It’s gonna suck for them barring some hocus pocus involving having once carried the Flame letting her original brain not be wiped out by the process.
  3. Chris24601

    S06.E03: The Children of Gabriel

    My guess is Becca’s chip and whatever is in the Primes’ heads (which has to be why the Grounders 2.0 cut them off) are like the difference between iPad and Kindle; they both do the same basic thing, but are slightly different. For example, the gal Jordan was hitting on seemed to regard that night as her last. I’m wondering if the Prime version doesn’t grant memories, but takes over the person entirely (and after hundreds of years of cult-like indoctrination becoming a meatsuit for a Prime is seen as a great honor). It could be that the alpha version of the tech that completely overwrites the brain was already in existence by the time the bombs fell, but Becca’s Commander AI version was an upgrade that worked out how to have the personalities ride along without taking over.
  4. Chris24601

    S08.E05: The Bells

    Actually, it’s NOT his genetic fate. That was the point of Varys’ line about already knowing which way his coin had flipped. Genetically speaking Jon isn’t inbred at all. He’s the result of outbreeding which pretty much resets your genetic clock because all the DNA that was damaged by inbreeding would be patched over by the healthy set from Lyanna. That’s also likely why Jon has pretty much zero obvious Targaryen features and looks like a traditional Stark (see Arya and Benjen on the show); there was so little good DNA from the Targ side to work with. So no, Jon’s not going to go mad like Dany. The recurring theme for Jon is that he’s very good at war and a natural leader; but he takes no pleasure in those things. That reluctance to use power (but being able to if needed) is why he’ll actually make an excellent king.
  5. Chris24601

    S08.E05: The Bells

    Well, as I said, there's a reason Jungian archetypes show up all over the place in fiction (its probably as or more common than the Cambellian Monomyth and the two aren't mutually exclusive). That reason is because they do give the author a pre-established conflict (a blueprint as you will) via the simple formula of "Shadow Archetype 1 tries to become the True Archetype while opposed by Shadow Archetype 2." In this case an Impotent King (which could also be someone who doesn't know they're supposed to be the king) needs to become the True King while being opposed by a Tyrant King (or a series of them depending on the story; many of Jon's adversaries have had tyrant traits; Thorne, Ramsey, Dany, even the Night King (when he was showboating) to an extent. Typically in heroic tales the protagonist's shadow archetype is the more passive of the two alternatives because going from passive to active is seen as heroic. The more aggressive archetype is more generally used in redemption stories where learning restraint is an important step in achieving their redemption. The archetypes can further be used to establish a supporting cast. The King archetype isn't achieved on its own. They need someone to motivate and inspire them to start down the path (the Lover), they need to receive instruction in who they really are (the Magician who provides hidden insights), and they need to be reminded of the importance of duty and family (the Warrior). Throw in shadow archetypes for the King, Lover, Magician and Warrior and you've now got multiple conflicts to wrap your story around.
  6. Chris24601

    S08.E05: The Bells

    Actually, the point is to overcome the shadow and become the true positive expression of the archetype. The king must have enough self-confidence to both trust his own judgments (i.e. not give his power away) and to not need external shows of their power to boost their own confidence. The true king can confidently reside in a hovel and still be able to provide order and the opportunities for his people to grow. And I went into this in a past episode thread, but it bears repeating; the two shadows don’t complement each other, they always make each other worse because they both suffer the same flaw (insecurity with their power in the case of the king) they just express that flaw differently. In the case of an Impotent King and a Tyrant King, the Impotent King is insecure with their power and so gives it to the Tyrant, who just uses that power for even more grandiose displays to mask their insecurity. That fact (and the show running on reverses) is why I could predict that the premiere would be the high point for Jon and Dany... because they are toxic for each other. The key distinction, and why season five for me particularly, is that Sansa and Arya targeted people they specifically knew were guilty. Dany didn’t. Ramsey’s death was actually the height of irony. Those were HIS own dogs that he’d chosen to starve for a week so they’d tear apart whoever he threw in there after the battle (I believe his plan was Jon, after he’d raped Sansa in front of him). If he’d just treated his own dogs humanely and fed them, he’d have had nothing to fear from being locked in that pen with them. He was literally undone by his own cruelty. Likewise, even as Arya killed all the adult male Freys who’d been involved in the Red Wedding, she was careful not to let any innocents drink the poison. Her desire was to punish those who were guilty and no one else. But for Dany, the moment where I became utterly convinced by the narrative that Dany would ultimately be the villain though was when we she threw a man to her dragons to be burned and ripped apart AFTER admitting she didn’t know if he was guilty or innocent. All she cared about was her pain at Selmy’s death and scaring the others into line. Before that it was the moment that Hizdhar informed Dany that his father, whom she’d crucified, had been opposed to the Masters’ crucifixion of the slaves for which she’d had 163 random Masters crucified as punishment. She didn’t care enough to find out who was innocent or guilty of the particular crime, she just wanted people to suffer for it and her self-righteousness to be assuaged. That’s actually been the most defining trait of Dany’s violence... she cares more about shows of power when she feels she’s been wronged than with actually punishing the guilty... going all the way back to Mirri Maz Dur who was burned alive for killing the warlord who ordered her village burned, her people killed and her to be gang raped... because Dany cared more about the Warlord than the slave seeking justice. Another key distinction is that in the case of Sansa, Arya and Tyrion... they were punishing someone who had done wrong to them first. Dany was the one who started the fight with all the Masters, starting with going back on her deal with the slavers who sold her the Unsullied and killing them all. Yes, slavery is bad, but she went in with zero plan for the long term with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, then got pissed at people when it turned out to not be as easy as a Saturday Morning Cartoon to deal with... and didn’t particularly care whether the particular person she was punishing because she was pissed off was innocent or guilty. I understand that people read things differently, but how much of that reading you made came down to how Dany felt about things vs. objective facts? The Dothraki are objectively murderous raping pillagers, but because they were helping Dany they were “good guys” and the slave who killed Dany’s dreams of conquering Westeros with Khal Drogo’s horde was the “villain.” Objectively, Dany bargained in bad faith with the Unsullied slave traders and betrayed them, but that’s okay because they were asshole victims and Dany got an army to replace the Dothraki with. Objectively, Dany crucified 163 people selected at random from the Masters of Mereen without even bothering to determine who had actually decided to crucify the slaves along the roadside. But that’s okay because they were slavers and probably guilty of something (if the crime is being a slaver... execute them all. If the crime is crucifying slaves, execute the ones who actually ordered it... that’s what actually makes it tyrannical). She fed a man of uncertain guilt to her dragons, but that’s okay because Selmy had been murdered by the Sons of the Harpy last episode and someone needed to be made an example of to keep the former Masters in line. And in retrospect he was almost certainly innocent since the Sons of the Harpy were later learned to have been funded by forces outside Mereen... so the idea that Dany doesn’t kill innocents to keep her subjects in line has actually been disproven since season five when she did precisely that. That’s the difference between Sansa, Arya and Tyrion punishing the guilty for their specific crimes and Dany punishing people based on what will best keep her subjects in line. Daenerys has always been “More of the Same.” It’s now just too obvious for people to be able to make excuses for it anymore. I’m actually kinda relieved it went that way. I was dreading years of debates over whether what Dany did was justifed or not if they’d gone with something more muddy... like the city didn’t surrender and she’d just gone nuclear on the Red Keep and the innocents within died from the collateral damage. We’ve been spared that. There’s no room for doubt anymore that she’s a monster. Madness or deliberate choice is largely irrelevant... the monster needs to be stopped regardless.
  7. Chris24601

    S08.E05: The Bells

    That’s like saying the Japanese ended all resistance in the Pacific through their knockout punch at Pearl Harbor. Or that Tarkin ended all resistance to the Empire forever by destroying Alderaan. Sometimes committing an atrocity, particularly one this extreme, just makes people resist harder. Particularly when they think Dany’s going to kill them anyway (see Tyrion, Jon, Sansa and anyone in proximity or who was ever allied with them). One of the reasons in war throughout history that armies honored surrenders was because giving your enemy a way out makes them far more likely to do so once it’s clear victory can’t be achieved and this protects your own side from the casualties they’d take in having to wipe the enemy out to the last man by offering them no quarter. Dany just ensured that a lot of people are going to resist her to the death (costing her men and material) and for others that cooperation will only come at the end of a spear (requiring her to spread her forces thin). Her dragon can only be in one place at a time (her enemies only strike where the dragon isn’t and if she retaliates on innocents she just encourages more people to feel they have nothing to lose. Assymetric warfare by people who feel they’ve got nothing to lose is a bitch when the main tools in your arsenal are an irreplaceable city-leveling beast and the fear it instills. Yeah, she destroyed those Scorpions, but unlike her dragon, it’s possible to build more and one good shot from ambush is all you need to remove the key to her reign of terror. Or you poison it’s food.- One lucky knife-strike or arrow or successful poisoning by someone with nothing to lose and everything to gain by Dany’s death is all it would take too... her armies lose control of the dragon. Welcome to the land of the paranoid tyrant like Saddam Hussien, Ghadaffi or Kim Jun Un. Constantly on the move with decoys, food tasters and regular purges of the leadership lest they get enough influence to betray you.sleeping in a different bed (or even, according to some accounts, occasionally on the street) every night and constantly altering her schedule lest all the people willing to end her reign of terror find and end her. Dany thinks fear is the best motivator and it can be, to a point, but history has proven that when all you have is fear and nothing else... it’s just a matter of time.
  8. Chris24601

    S08.E05: The Bells

    But, but, but. Excuses, excuses excuses. The asshole victim trope doesn’t change that Dany’s always favored extreme violence in dealing with anyone she feels has wronged her and has from the beginning. ”She’s always been a monster. You loved her anyway.” So, how about Mirri Maz Dur, a slave that Dany burned alive because the slave had killed the leader of the band of murderers and rapists who burned her village, killed her family and friends and gang raped her? Mirri’s village was slaughtered by Khal Drogo to get a ships to take his horde to Westeros to conquer it for Dany. One of his victims fought back and Dany burned her alive for it because, from Dany’s perspective, Mirri Maz Dur had wronged her. Go ahead. Tell me why she deserved to die if Dany was truly the Breaker of Chains and truly cared for those oppressed instead of as means to an end? She may remove the physical chains, but the yolk of fear and terror has always been her hallmark. Dany’s claims of doing it for the common folk have always been lip service to justify her desire for the Throne. She’s long since forgotten Jorah’s words to her... “The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are.” That’s left in PEACE, Dany. Not left in PIECES. If she’d had the slightest care for the common folk she’d have stayed in Mereen and built a better world there. Instead it was just a stepping stone left in the care of a man who didn’t care a wit about it. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Daario’s restarted the slave trade in her absence. Now that the facade can’t help her she methodically razes the city targeting every side street to maximize the carnage. In her mind this is for the greater good... so that future generations will know the “prosperity” of living under her every whim; to terrified of her wrath to do more than scrape the ground and obey. Next will come the purges. They always do in a reign of terror. All who were insufficient in supporting the “glorious revolution” must be removed; only they won’t be marched to the gullotine, but before the dragon to burn alive. To remind everyone of the penalty for failing to worship the Queen. Tyrion for releasing his brother. Jon for refusing to slaughter innocents and being a threat to her rule. Sansa for not wanting to live as one of her glorious subjects. The more I think on it... Dany’s story is exactly that of Anakin Skywalker. She started as a slave, then gained a power (dragons/the Force) that let her choose her course and at first seemed to use it for good ends, but there was always the undercurrent of darkness (the slaughter of the sand people as revenge for his mother). Last night was her decision to give in to the darkness to get what she most wanted... this was her slaughter of the Younglings moment. The moral event horizon she’d stood on the precipice of for years, but from which there is now no escape.
  9. Chris24601

    S08.E05: The Bells

    Tens of thousands is wishful thinking. King’s Landing was home to over a million people. If Dany only killed 10% of them then she matched Hiroshima. If she killed 20% then she matched the deaths from every nuclear bomb ever dropped. Half the population feels more realistic... Half a MILLION people burned to death or slaughtered by her troops. Dany also obliterated the food stores and many of the buildings there with her indiscriminate fire so those who did survive face starvation and death from exposure to the elements as winter drags on. And she is ABSOLUTELY making that charnal house the seat of her Empire. She decided to be feared so she use the shell of the city to remind everyone of what she can do to them if she feels like it. This is her better world; Do as I say or watch everyone you’ve ever loved die screaming. Side-bar: I can’t believe I actually missed it because it was right in front of my face... ANOTHER sign of Dany’s end was basically in her beginning. The True King is Ordered and Generative and one of Dany’s most called back points is that she is barren. She’s always been the opposite of generative. * * * * Whoever rules after she’s brought down won’t be doing so from King’s Landing. Its a mass grave. It needs to be buried and markers placed to remember what happened there. If it’s Jon (and I expect it will be) I expect the ending of the series to mirror its beginning... the King comes to Winterfell, only instead of it being to pull the Starks apart, it will coming home to unite them. And really, who else is there? The Great Houses are gutted and what’s left of the characters we actually care about are almost entirely in Jon’s camp. Dany and Greyworm are all that’s left of her camp. Jon, Arya, Sansa, Bran, Davos, Brienne and Pod, Tormund, Sam and Gilly, Tyrion and Bronn are all that’s left of the cast and every last one of them has reason to back Jon once Dany is deposed and many even have authority to back it up. Sam Tarly has as much claim to the Reach as anyone (Cersei made the Tarly’s the new Lords of the Reach) and he loves Jon. Bronn wouldn’t care as long as he gets his castle. Sansa’s the Lady of Winterfell and the one who floated Jon to Tyrion in the first place. Her cousin is Lord of the Vale and easily led. If Sansa’s uncle (or infant cousin) isn’t returned as Lord of the Riverlands then Sansa herself is the next in line. Sansa brings three of the Seven Kingdoms to Jon’s camp all by herself. Dany may have legitimized him, but Gendry bonded with Jon in battle and would support someone who brought down the person who murdered virtually everyone in his home. After betraying Varys and Dany proving Varys right, I expect Tyrion (now Lord of the Westerlands with the death of his older siblings) to be wracked with guilt and looking for some way to do right. Probably by backing Varys’ choice. That leaves the Ironborn and the new rulers in Dorne as the only powers who wouldn’t be already in Jon’s camp and I don’t think they’d have too many objections. Throw in Jon’s lesson in this episode... that it doesn’t matter if he wants the Throne or not. It HAS to be him; the one who absolutely hates the power, but loves the people; or THIS is what will keep happening... and you have the True King archetype in a nutshell. The True King knows that being King isn’t about him or what he wants. It’s about his duty to the people. He is king not to impose his will, but to protect them and give them the ability to grow. Jon, with Sansa (the lover), Arya (the warrior) and Bran (the magician) standing by him is the truest expression of the True King archetype. Throw in Davos as Hand, Sam as Grand Maester and Brienne as head of the Royal Guard and probably got as close to perfect leadership as a place like Westeros is ever going to see.
  10. Chris24601

    S08.E05: The Bells

    So much This! For perspective, I do have a background in English Lit and have even studied screenwriting. For me, Dany going off the rails like this in the 11th hour was as subtle as a freight train. That said, I can see why people would miss it in the moment. It’s why I mentioned it felt like a psychology experiment. Because Dany’s arc plays on the dark side of the power/revenge fantasy. Who hasn’t, after hearing about the latest atrocity on the news, wished they had the power to go in there and make the perpetrators pay? To go Fire & Blood on the wicked? That’s basically the same sorta arc that makes characters like Deadpool so popular. The asshole victims give you a reason to feel the horrible fates (in many cases vastly disproportionate to the crime... see the What Measure is a Mook trope) inflicted upon them are justified, even written for laughs (see the Golden Company Captain getting wrecked here... or Deadpool killing a guy with a Zamboni). Getting vicarious revenge on the wicked feels good... it’s seductive. It’s Superman without the moral restraints. But look at the other key message in this very same episode; even as Dany is consumed by her need to make these people who would not love her pay... Sandor Clegane pulls Arya back from the brink... keeps her from following down the path he and Dany have lost themselves to. Look at the disappointment that Cersei wasn’t made to suffer more. She’s not only been removed from power, but she died in horrific circumstances wishing for her baby to live. But that’s not good enough. She needed to suffer more. And in that... you can understand WHY Dany burned them all. The city surrendering with minimal resistance wasn’t good enough. They needed to suffer more... so she made them suffer as she felt they deserved. Dany is the dark mirror held up to everyone who just wishes “they” could be made to pay. We don’t want to think we have THAT in us... but how many cheered her on when she crucified and burned alive men without caring about actual innocence or guilt? How many would follow someone who offered you the chance to make “them” pay? From a psychological perspective, I think the massive “I hate this!” reaction is entirely predictable and even intended. It’s putting the audience in Jon and Tyrion’s shoes... wanting to believe the best about Dany despite all the evidence, then confronted with the worst. You don’t want to believe you’ve so misjudged this person you’ve followed for so long. And I think that’s the point. The show wants you to question your devotion to leaders who preach revenge. To question our own need for revenge (isn’t it enough that Cersei is dead and out of power?). To ask us to be Arya... who turns away from revenge and in so doing saves herself... and not Jaime who, for all his efforts, couldn’t overcome the poison in his life. Or even, dim as he can be sometimes, to be Jon, who tries (however futily) to stop the violence being committed against the innocents there (not out of revenge on the people perpetrating it... he pulled the one Northman off the girl and tried to get him stop what he was doing and only killed him when he attacked Jon... but to actually save the victims). Or to be Varys, who sees a way that doesn’t end in more deaths than the Hiroshima bomb and risks his life to try and that come to pass using words not blades. GRRM is a man who registered as a conscientious objector rather than serve in war or run away/dodge the draft. Dany the great benevolent conqueror was NEVER going to be the ending for a man with convictions like that. People who find ways make peace and who try to save others, who stumble and fall but keep trying to the right thing are his heroes.
  11. Chris24601

    S08.E05: The Bells

    Its an element of Jungian psychology that manifests itself often in fiction because Jungian archetypes are ideal fodder for creating interpersonal conflicts. To really understand it, you have to start from the ideal archetype of this kind... the King (or True King to make it easier to distinguish). Other really common archetypes are the Lover (best represented in the show by Sansa), the Magician (best represented by Bran) and the Warrior (Arya... notice the trend?) and those other three are also wrapped up how the True King becomes actualized in basically the ways Sansa, Bran and Arya have interacted with Jon... which is why it was so easy to predict he'd end up the king while Dany would fail for want of those interactions. Anyway, each of the Archetypes is based on a balance... The King provides order and stability to those under him and encourages their growth (the terms Ordered and Generative are often used as shorthand). And when that archetype falls out of balance it is said to become a Shadow Archetype... a Shadow King in this case. Generally each archtype can swing out of balance in two directions based on a particular weakness the archetype is vulnerable to. In the King's case, that weakness is their self-confidence, their belief in themselves. The Shadow King is insecure in their power and so veers in one of two directions; the Impotent King surrenders that power to others (Jon) and the Tyrant masks that insecurity with grand displays of power and titles to make sure everyone knows they're in charge (Dany). Generally speaking, when employing these archetypes and their shadows in fiction the story will present a protagonist who falls short of the balance in one way or the other (but typically the more passive option of the two for any archetype) and then set them up with an antagonist who is the OPPOSITE type to cause them to grow into the properly balanced archetype in the course of the story. I've been predicting Dany going Tyrant for a while now specifically because; A) Jon was the more passive of the imperfect king types. B) the True King is typically realized by interactions with The Lover (provides the initial motivation and passion to act. Jon was ready to run away until Sansa turned up and convinced him to fight for the North), The Magician (who provides key, often hidden, knowledge to help the King fully know himself... Jon's true heritage in this case) and the Warrior (who reminds the king of his duty to his people and, often, to his family... Arya). Dany lacked interactions with similar figures. C) This show has further always run on reverses. Jon starting on the outs with the Starks and surrendering his power means by the end he'll have come around to appreciating the Starks and reclaiming his power. Likewise, Happy Jon and Dany (and Dany feeling all superior basking in the awe and a bit of terror she instilled) at the start meant it was 100% going to be the two as enemies by the end and Dany recognized as queen at the start means she'd be overthrown by the end. That's a brief overview, but hopefully it helped.
  12. Chris24601

    S08.E05: The Bells

    This didn't come from nowhere. If it had I wouldn't have been able to discuss the whole Shadow King aspect for weeks now and call up numerous references across the seasons hinting to this. And I've skirted around it in previous threads because calling it by its name would have instantly put people off, but as I mentioned previously, there are two types of Shadow King; Jon has been one type; the Impotent King (but in seeing the slaughter is going to be moved to take up the role of True King because while he doesn't WANT to be king, he sees now that he NEEDS to be in order to protect people from things like this happening), but I'd only ever called Dany by the generic Shadow King title, not name for the specific manifestation... The Tyrant. Dany has always been the Tyrant. She's fought it for years, but its always been where her story was headed. And the Tyrant masks their insecurity in their own power with grandiose titles and, most importantly, massive displays of power meant to instill terror. From the moment Dany said "Let it be Fear" everyone in King's Landing was her target. The surrender just meant she couldn't even pretend to mask it. The Galactic Empire needed Alderaan, one of the Core Worlds of the galaxy, to burn as a sign of their unbridled power. They needed everyone under their thumb too terrified to even dare resist them. Kings Landing was Dany's Alderaan. The biggest target on the map wiped out in maybe an hour. If only 10% of the city's population were killed we're looking at a death toll in the range of a HUNDRED THOUSAND people who had already surrendered. Does anyone think it was limited to just 10%? 25%? 50%? If she can't be loved, she's decided to be so feared that no one will ever dare question her authority... or that of her masked stormtroopers in black armor who slaughter surrendered people and innocents on her command or of her horde of murderous pillaging and raping horsemen as she burns innocents alive from the back of a great black dragon. How much more crystal clear does it need to be? GRRM gave this ending to D&D to write their show with and its crystal clear in retrospect... the entire point of Dany's arc has been to see the character arc of THE VILLAIN going from Nobody to Nightmare right alongside the protagonists... disguised by sympathetic moments and asshole victims at first, but becoming ever more obvious as the seasons wore on. Let's not forget that her first victim was a slave who killed her master and that Dany had her burned alive. Everything she's ever done since has been about acquiring the power she'd need to conquer a land she'd never set foot in her life because she felt it was owed to her. It honestly feels like a giant psychology experiment... how hard would it be to get the audience to root for the villain? How long would they keep defending her even as her actions got even more extreme? And of the characters in the show, Sansa was the one who saw it clearly and decided to do something about it. Then again, she's been the one in closest regular vicinity to psychopaths. She learned to recognize the signs. Dany had already ignored her suggestion to rest the troops. Rhaeghal and Missandie would have died anyway. Jon would have still refused her sexual advances. "Let it be Fear" would have still been Dany's command. The ONLY thing Sansa telling Tyrion changed was giving Varys the feeling he had an option other a woman teetering on the edge of unending rage. Now its left to Jon, Arya and Tyrion to find a way to stop the Tyrant before its too late.
  13. Chris24601

    Season 8: Speculation and Spoilers Discussion

    The yellow is all secondary fires... stuff the wildfire set on fire (ships being mostly wood with canvas sails and ropes for rigging. Yeah, I don't see people confusing the two if they're actually present for the destruction. Basically you'd need zero survivors screaming about green fire to really pass it off as dragonfire. Another significant difference is that Wildfire is explosive while dragonfire just burns. There's no shockwave from dragonfire; it doesn't do things like hurl pieces of the target hundreds of feet. They may not have modern forensics, but even a layman could tell the difference between "this got blown apart" and "this got melted into slag." Doesn't mean Cersei wouldn't try it as a last resort to just poison the well on Dany, just that anyone who really wanted to examine things would see it was a setup. The big question in that case would be "how many would care?" How many would be more than ready to believe the worst about the Dragon Queen and her army of foreign invaders? I'm more inclined to think Cersei's just flat out miscalculated. She thinks her scorpions give her the advantage and she's just been trying to goad Dany into something that will get her killed and maybe even cast Cersei as the hero who defeated the Dragon Queen. But I think she has completely underestimated the degree of Fire and Blood Dany is still capable of bringing and that will be part of her undoing.
  14. Chris24601

    S08.E04: The Last of the Starks

    Eight HOURS? I think you’re less than informed about the physiological impacts of combat. The Battle at Winterfell was less than the episode’s runtime (the events probably occurred in close to real time actually) or there wouldn’t be a human left alive. Even short duration combat is extremely exhausting even for those trained for it. There’s a reason boxing and mixed martial arts use 3-5 minute rounds with 1 minute rests between. Real hand-to-hand fombat is like running all out, you can do it for a few minutes at a time and adrenaline can buy you a bit more, then you need to stop to catch your breath for a minute after that or you’re going to fall over and not get back up. Side-bar: that’s one reason the Army of the Dead was so terrifying... they literally do not get tired. They just keep coming at full strength until you stop them or they’ve killed you. They are to humans what humans are to just about every other species on Earth (see “Pursuit Predation” for why humans are basically the Terminators of the animal kingdom). /Side-bar. An hour long battle is basically like going fifteen rounds in a boxing ring. Even for professional boxers, a twelve round bout takes 2-3 WEEKS to recover from and that’s with optimal conditions (marathons take a similar amount of time to rebound from... you’re moving around soon enough, but your endurance and immune system don’t fully come back after that level of nutrient depletion without a couple weeks of lighter activity). Eight hours of combat would be fighting eight fifteen round matches in a row. There’s not a professional fighter on earth who could survive that (that’s the sort of punishment that, if the person taking those hits was somehow still alive, would takes months to years of physical therapy to recover from). Marching is a comparative cakewalk (Humans are built for it evolutionarily speaking). 10 miles/16 km a day (which is about what medieval armies managed) can be maintained for weeks or months without significantly impacting performance. But marching IS taxing enough to keep those troops from getting the type of post-battle rest they need to recover their fighting strength. Her troops are going to arrive about as depleted as they were before they started marching and will be nowhere near the fighting strength they’d have if they’d even rested a couple of weeks before heading out first. Further, the wounds everyone was sporting throughout the Winterfell portions of the episode were still fresh. Arya still had a fresh shiner as she left with the Hound. That means the war council was just DAYS after the battle... probably the morning after the funeral/wake/party. So Sansa was 100% dead-on right to point out the troops needed to recover (she’s seen the after effects before from the Battle of the Bastards) and Dany was an obsessive sociopath for demanding they march to get her Throne NOW! Dany’s that person who always screws up what they’re working on because they keep trying to cut corners to get to the end. The end result is they end up having to spend more time, effort and money than if they’d just done the job the right way in the first place. Dany’s rush to get the Throne is what has doomed her to either being the monster everyone fears or just flat-out losing to Cersei. It’s the same impatience that’s delivered her setback after setback throughout the series. She’s been able power through it up to now Because Dragons, but technology marches on so now something exists that’s removed that edge and we start to see the disadvantages of a force composed primarily of light cavalry and light infantry that were largely invisible when fighting similar forces and with the cover of what amounts to a modern day ground attack craft like the A-10 or AC-130.
  15. Chris24601

    S08.E04: The Last of the Starks

    The Republic of Venice outlasted a ton of monarchies surrounding it for more than a thousand years. That said, I’m expecting King Jon/Aegon is endgame in this particular story. I think he’ll go back North and rule from Winterfell though so he can have Bran and Sam and Sansa on his small council more easily. The story began with a King coming to Winterfell and pulling all the Starks apart as a result; proper story symmetry suggests the ending will be The King coming to Winterfell to reunite all the Starks.