Game of Thrones Roundtable: Targaryens, Dragons and Questionable Writing

Game of Thrones Season 7 has come to end, leaving fans shocked and unable to process everything that went down in the 70+ minutes of glorious television dedicated to the season finale. After a season that featured Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen preparing to fight it out until the end, our main characters finally realized they have a bigger issue to deal with: The Dead.

The majority of the main Game of Thrones players gathered for what could be considered the Westeros version of a United Nations conference to discuss the war between the living and the dead, and most key players came to their senses and headed North to fight this threat.

The final season of Game of Thrones is eons away. However, rest assured, the hiatus will be anything but a GOT-free zone. But enough small talk. Let’s dive right in and dissect what went down…and we don’t mean Jon.

The first of many fan services during this episode: Littlefinger getting his ass handed to him before the ever-so-satisfying execution. Sansa finally came to her senses — better late than never — and the Stark siblings made Littlefinger squirm in oh, so delicious ways. Thoughts? Was Littlefinger’s punishment enough, or should there have been more torture involved after all the shit this dirtbag has spewed?

Lizzie: I don’t think this was about Sansa coming to her senses. I think the showrunners want to play it like Sansa and Arya were always plotting behind Littlefinger’s back. Which, yeah, right. I would have believed that if they’d actually, you know, set the stage instead of trying to deliver the “gotcha” moment and making the rest nonsensical, at best. But, whatever, bad writing, Arya and Sansa completely OOC for two episodes, all to get rid of a man, who, really, should have known better because he’s always one step ahead.

Budget for dragons, I tell you. They need budget for dragons.

Was the punishment enough? Probably not, but there’s little they could have done that would have been enough. At least Littlefinger’s gone, and the Stark siblings got the better of him. So, I guess that’s a win. Plus, they kept the Nights of the Vale. That’s a big deal, considering what’s coming.

Shana: I wouldn’t really call this fan service. I’d call it the character coming to his inevitable end, with the bonus that fans were looking forward to Littlefinger’s death — preferably at the hands of one or more Starks — for years now.

Was the punishment enough? I mean…I’m going to have to get into that whole, pesky “books versus series” thing here. I would very much have preferred for Lady Stoneheart to have taken Littlefinger down. (If you don’t know who that is, read a goddamn book sometime.) But since Game of Thrones hasn’t bothered with her, though, seeing Littlefinger’s trial or whatever was about as good as could’ve been expected.

I just wish the build-up would have made more sense. And that’s coming from someone who didn’t hate Arya after that argument with Sansa.

Anam: Littlefinger is basically responsible for 85% of the Starks’ problems. He’s meddled his way into all of their lives — and all for personal gain. So, yeah, seeing his demise at the hands of the remaining Stark siblings was a sight for sore eyes. Would I have liked to have watched him suffer more? Absolutely.

As far as Sansa goes, I’m glad she’s no longer taking advice from Littlefinger. Were the writers trying to say she played him the whole time, or that she somehow decided that “hey, maybe blood is thicker than water,” though? It’s hard to tell. Game of Thrones didn’t spend enough time answering these questions because of everything else that had to happen during this finale. It would have been nice to have seen more of the process on how Sansa got to that point than to do a total 180… but alas.

The sisterly moment at the end was cute, though.

The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.

With the battle ahead, there’s only a matter of time before more Starks die, so we might as well make the most of the family bonding time.

Sarah: Considering all the damage Littlefinger has wrought in his single-minded pursuit to gain power of every kind — especially to the Stark family — it was incredibly satisfying to see him get taken down once and for all by Sansa and Arya. Personally, though, I think Sansa had her senses all along; but the writing didn’t show that very well in the pre-finale buildup between her and Arya.

If the development had been done better, we might have anticipated the Stark sisters working together to manipulate and trick Littlefinger for once. I’ve never been one for torture, and I think the best punishment for him (aside from death) was to have the rug pulled out from under him so quickly as he’s done to others.

Bravo, ladies! You outwitted the conniving sonofabitch.

Another fan service: Jaime finally standing up for himself and telling Cersei to more or less fuck herself, considering he left to go North and will not be taking care of her anymore. Jaime was committing “treason,” as Cersei called it. Do you think she has the guts to kill him? Or will the White Walkers take care of that?

Lizzie: No, I don’t think Cersei has — not the guts — but the heart to kill Jaime. She couldn’t even kill Tyrion, which absolutely does not make her a good person. These are her brothers we’re talking about. She just doesn’t want to be alone in this world, even if they’re not by her side.

Cersei being able to kill her brothers would have gone against her character, because as mad as she’s become, she’s always held the Lannisters to be superior, in a way. And yes, she’s tried to have Tyrion killed many times before, but not in front of her while she gave the order. That takes cold blood.

But back to Jaime.

I don’t find his storyline fan service as much as the only thing that made sense considering the journey they put him in during Game of Thrones Season 3, then promptly forgot about in Season 5 for the sake of a rapey scene that wasn’t even in the books. This is who Jaime was always supposed to be, and the series took a hell of a long time getting him to a point where he could see Cersei for what she really was.

As for Jaime’s fate, I think if they’re consistent with the redemption arc — and they might not be, as they’ve proven before that they suck — he’s gotta die up in the North, probably protecting a Stark. That’s what makes sense.

Shana: Cersei already proved that she won’t make the order to murder either of her brothers. Jaime knew it wasn’t going to happen, called her bluff, and peaced out. As he should have.

Forget about the White Walkers: The best thing here would be for that whole, “what goes around, comes around” statement to ring true. Jaime broke his oath as a member of King Aerys’ Kingsguard. Why not have a Targaryen — either Dany or, apparently, Jon Snow (I refuse to call him Aegon. Fight me.) — betray Jaime?

Anam: Considering Cersei couldn’t kill Tyrion, the brother she loathes, she’s not going to kill her love nugget. Which brother will screw her over in the end? Tyrion? I don’t think he wants to.

Cersei doesn’t want to be alone, even with the incest baby she’s got growing in her stomach. So no, I don’t think she would do it. She was bluffing, and Jaime saw right through her. He saw her true colors in the face of this impending terror and decided to head North. Good for him. I don’t think he’ll last until the end. Game of Thrones Season 8 is going to be a bloodbath, and I’m sure Jaime will be one of the casualties.

How?

I don’t know; but there are plenty of contenders, for sure. I like Shana’s idea of a Targaryen doing the honors, poetic ending to the saga.

Sarah: Cersei, for all her ruthlessness, even in that deeply diseased heart of hers, finds it difficult to stomach killing the last family members she has left — even while verbally condemning them. When the dead come marching she’s going to have bigger problems on her hands than Jaime, but it makes me afraid that he will indeed not make it out alive when the show ends.  

Jaime has been one of my favorite characters since season 3; and because I love him now, of course he’s going to die! I don’t have any luck with characters in shows like Game of Thrones, but he better get one solid I-love-you-but-I-can’t-say-it-straight moment with Tyrion and Brienne beforehand. Come on, Game of Thrones season 8.

Please??

SHIPCEST, yay or nay? Jon and Dany finally decided to deal with that sexual tension that’s been around since the day they met. At the same time, Bran’s commentary on Jon’s true lineage is playing in the background. (Way to kill the mood, dude.) Historically, the Targaryens are known to keep it in the family, so to speak…But this revelation, that Jon Snow is not a bastard but instead Aegon Targaryen, the heir to the Iron Throne, will no doubt put a damper on this budding relationship. Thoughts?

Lizzie: This is one of those things that, from having read the book, I figured was coming. And considering incest is, like, no-big-deal in Westeros, I figured if it was done well, maybe I could be into it if I could really — I don’t know — submerge myself into the rules of the world? Problem is — it hasn’t been done well. No fault to the actors, who I think actually have really good chemistry and who gave it their all. I just don’t know that the show is actually selling us a love story; they’re selling us a tragedy. That I buy.

I just don’t think Game of Thrones has time to go full tragedy with only six episodes left. So, either Jon dies and Daenerys becomes pregnant (because FORESHADOWING AS SUBTLE AS AN ANVIL); or she dies during childbirth; or they both die and someone else raises the kid. Either way, I don’t think this ship is going to have a happy ending. And, honestly, the Bran commentary, the incest reminders and the fact that it was just so damn rushed make it hard for me to root for it.

(As for the heir thing, I have a hard time seeing Jon as the type of guy who cares or who would fight Daenerys for it. If we had two seasons to go, maybe. As it stands, they have bigger things to worry about, so the revelation is probably only important cause INCEST.)

Shana: As I already said here, anyone who ships Targaryencest while condemning the Lannisters’ relationship is a hypocrite. Also, incest is gross and just ew in general. No.

Chemistry? What chemistry?

Anam: Incest is icky.

HOWEVER.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t pulling for Jon and Dany to schtup from the get-go. The characters have had this push and pull, with both of them being very much alphas and not wanting to give in to each other — right up to the handholding, nickname-calling moment from episode six after she thought he was dead.

Tyrion even said something along the lines of “Jon’s in love with Dany.” The foreshadowing was strong with this one. You had to be really dense not to see it coming.

That being said, having the lovemaking — which will, no doubt, result in a baby, as Lizzie mentioned — while Bran’s commentary was going on left a really weird taste. You know this is incest; but after years of Lannister incest making us gag, the whole idea of Jon and Dany seemed a little less taboo. They don’t know what they are to each other; and it wasn’t confirmed, not canonically anyway, until the deed was happening.

Wanting this to happen, yeah it’s a little hypocritical. But it’s Game of Thrones. This show messes with your morals.

Either way, whenever Jon and Dany learn the truth, that’s probably going to put a stop to the sex. I’m sure it’ll also put a damper on the platonic relationship, seeing as how Jon has a stronger claim to the throne than Dany. She’s gone this whole series thinking she’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and has built an army around this.

Not to mention Jon bent the knee — although this probably also had to do with the fact that he wanted to bend his knee for other things — I don’t think Dany will take lightly to the fact that she’s not the rightful heir and the person who is, is the one she let into her heart and bed.    

Sarah: The incestous elephant in the room always made me hate loving Jon and Daenerys’ scenes. Honestly, I loved their chemistry and getting to know each other even with a shortened season; but because of the family ties, I can’t put myself in the I SHIP THEM camp. I know my heart will get broken next season if I do because the Game of Thrones writers like romance, but they love tragedy even more.

The sad part is I don’t even think Jon would want the Iron Throne even though he’s got the strongest claim — legitimately — on top of the revelation that he and Dany are related. It’s got all the markings of a story climbing to a blow up and how it’ll land is anyone’s guess, but I am sadly certain it won’t end with happily ever after.

Speaking of Aegon, like the name? Or was it a lazy rewrite of the books?

Lizzie: What a load of BS. Seriously, Aegon? Let’s not even go into how that’s just taking a storyline that they cut from the book to make SUPER EXTRA OBVIOUS in case you didn’t already think so, that Jon is “The Prince Who Was Promised” because that’s not even my biggest issue with the name, believe it or not. No, my biggest issue with the name is that Rhaegar, like in book canon, ALREADY HAD ANOTHER SON NAMED AEGON.

Yes, his firstborn son with Elia Martell is named Aegon Targaryen. So, either Rhaegar is the most unoriginal person ever, or he cared so little about his firstborn that he was basically like, “yeah, let’s erase that one and name this one the same thing.” Or, he somehow knew his first son was dead and was desperate to have a son named Aegon. All of those possibilities sound lame, so in the end, you know what it is?

Bad writing. That’s what it is.

Shana: Garbage re-write of the books. There’s already a hidden Aegon Targaryen in A Dance with Dragons. Rather than find a way to keep that story intact, though, they decided to throw Jon Snow in there as Aegon and forget all about “Young Griff.”

I figure it was their way of making the whole secret Targaryen thing “work,” but that’s lazy and stupid, too. “The dragon has three heads,” so um. They could’ve kept the actual Aegon on Game of Thrones AND had Jon Snow be a magical, hidden Targaryen.

Then again, that would’ve meant leaving out their ice dragon. And, like, special effects! Sooo. Oops?

Lazy.

Anam: Who in their right mind gives two children the same name?? You cannot replace a child by giving another one the same name. That’s not how it works.

Lazy, lazy, lazy.

They’re either trying to totally forget about the first Aegon Targaryen and say Jon is the only son of Rhaegar named Aegon, or they’re saying Rhaegar was really stupid and couldn’t come up with another name. Either way, this was stupid. And they really should have known that the fans would pick up on this little detail.

Sarah: When I found that Aegon it was the name of Rhaegar’s other son, my eyes might as well have rolled into the back of my head. First off, Aegon is not the best name (kudos to giving him a better one, Ned) and how typically ripped-off it was just left a bad taste in my mouth. Fact of the matter is a lot of book fans still continue to watch this series, so of course they are going to pick up on this seemingly small detail. It’s just flat out lazy writing, and no amount of reasonable excuses can hide that.

The Night King and his army broke down The Wall with the help of a dead dragon. The shit’s about to hit the fan, and everyone in Westeros is more or less screwed — including Tormund, whose fate is not known. Is he still alive? Is he dead? How are they going to kill the dragon? Drogon vs. Viserion?

Lizzie: I love Tormund and don’t want him to be dead, but at least if he were dead and they confirmed it, then it would mean something very important has come back to Westeros: consequences.

I don’t think that’s the case, though. I think Tormund’s probably alive; and he and Gendry, who I assume was also around and also not dead, will run back to Winterfell to warn Jon and Co. before the White Walkers come. Moving an army takes time and all that, even an undead one.

As for the dragon, I’d assume it would be hard to defeat Viserion. But then again, killing him wasn’t hard to begin with, so they just need someone with good aim. I’m starting to think Jaime could have killed Drogon — or hell, Bronn could have — with a little better aim. But since that’s probably anticlimactic, I guess it’ll have to be Drogon; and then they’ll both die, because Game of Thrones has to kill a lot of people in the last season so we forget that, for the past three seasons or so, they’ve gone from the show that kills everyone to the show where everyone is safe.

Shana: I’m one of very few people who probably doesn’t care about Tormund one way or another. With that being said, we didn’t see a body. Soooo, he’s probably managed to save himself.

As far as defeating Ice Viserion goes, I have absolutely no idea. Whatever the stupidest, yet most visual-effect-heavy garbage is that the writers can come up with…That’s it. That’s how he’ll die.

Maybe Arya Stark will kill him, take his face, and spontaneously turn into a dragon.

…I’ve seen stupider ideas, after all.

Anam: Tormund had better be alive. He’s played too major of a part for a lazy off-screen death. Not to mention, I really want to see him and Brienne together again. So, because there was no confirmation of said death, I’m going with the fluffball somehow survived a crashing wall of ice, a fire-breathing undead dragon, and a tribe of White Walkers.

The dragon is a bit of a problem. He tore down The Wall within minutes of his blue fire… isn’t fire supposed to kill the undead? How is it still breathing fire? That was definitely not ice or cold, or whatever, seeing as it tore down an ice wall.

But Viserion is going to be problematic. The people of Westeros are screwed, even if they have two dragons on their side. I do think it will come down to Drogon and Viserion to parallel their namesakes. Khal Drogo killed Viserys; and the poetic ending would be Drogon killing Viserion, for good this time. This isn’t going to be easy on Dany by any means. Dead or not, that’s her child. She already watched Viserion die once.

It wouldn’t be Game of Thrones without some insane, visually-stimulating sequence of events that takes tons of manpower and CGI to produce and leaves us wanting more.

Sarah: If I had to bet, I’d say Tormund is alive because unless you die onscreen, it’s likely you aren’t dead at all….yet. Seriously he’s had way too much screen-time to not die a gruesome — if honorable — death.

But the question remains: How the hell is everyone to defeat an entire wight army and dragon?

The dragon poses the biggest risk, and I know it’ll break Dany’s heart to have her two remaining dragons fight Viserion. But I do think that’s the only way to defeat him. It’s going to be a gigantic, long fight to the death with the White Walkers.

And people will die. It’s just a matter of who — and how. So, if we have to lose people, there had better be some kickass special effects with the dragons, along with awesome, earnecharacter moments in Game of Thrones Season 8.

So many questions, such a long hiatus. Make sure to watch Game of Thrones when it returns in a million years 2019.

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Anam Ahmad

Anam is a self proclaimed TV nerd who loves all things TV. Anything with a fantastical or SciFi twist, a drama, or a show produced by Shonda Rhimes usually catches her eye. She’s a DC native so naturally she’s an activist when she’s not sitting in front of the television.

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