All posts by Gene Lyons

White Walker sacrifice

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Hey guys, found you guys because of the westworld podcast and really enjoy the podcast!

While thinking about how Jon is going to capture a white walker I caught myself trying to remember how someone turns into a walker? Do they have to be killed by a walker or actually resurrected by the snow king? If you “turn” by just being killed by a walker, I could see a situation where someone puts themself in a cage as a sacrifice. As soon as the sacrifice is killed, they could drag the cage back to the wall. The question is who would sacrifice themselves?

Thanks, Max

Circus freak road show

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Good Evening Hosts,

I’ve been following your podcast since Westworld and as soon as I finished watching this weeks episode I thought to myself, “Big D is going to have a fit over this one.”

C:\analysismode.exe

Bottom line: Is the show becoming predictable due to poor writing or because it’s hard to keep obvious story points mysterious this late in the game? Also, is the show doing an adequate job portraying the passage of time.

As this season has gone on more and more often the “tin foil” theories have turned out to be correct. Be careful what you wish for because it seems like your traveling roadshow of freaks is coming true this season. On top of that as I predicted to my friends Gendry was magically found smithing along the way, and Jaime floated down the river to safety (without removing his armor), and Samwell finds proof of John’s parentage (though he annoyingly ignores it). Additionally, people travel from near Kings Landing, to Dragonstone, to Kings Landing, back to Dragonstone, and then all the way to the wall in one Episode. Just how much time passed?

The show seems to have lost any sense of pacing. From what I recall the reason we were getting less episode this season was because they didn’t have enough material for the full 10 episodes, but it feels like they’ve already cut out plenty of relevant material. Here’s hoping they still manage to give a satisfying ending (Looking at you Sopranos).

C:\asyouwere.exe

-thewhiteboardist

C:\tinfoiltheory.txt The white they bring back as proof will be Hodor.

Why doesn’t Little Sam age?

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Sam told the maesters he let Bran Stark through the wall “years ago.” You’ll remember Gili and Little Sam were both there when this happened. So why does Little Sam look so young (maybe two years old?) in a scene after Sam just said that?

I see three reasons this might be:

  1. Oversight of the show (but is that likely in a scene right after Sam relates an event to the timeline?)
  2. Something weird about the calendar in this universe and their definition of “year”
  3. It was deliberately done as a hint that Little Sam is a special baby somehow

Thoughts?

7 gods and 7 men leaving Eastwatch

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I can’t have been the only person to notice that seven men heading north of the wall echoed the roles of the seven gods, some literal some more symbolic.

  • The Father is Berric Dondarrion – who represents divine justice.
  • Thoros is the Mother – who represents divine mercy.
  • Jon Snow is the Maiden – pure and innocent.
  • The Crone is Jorah – wise and experienced.
  • The Warrior is the Hound, which is obvious.
  • The Smith is Gendry, which is also obvious.
  • The Stranger is Tormund, a stranger to Westeros given he comes from far north of the wall.

What do you guys think of this idea?

Brady

Varys vs Littlefinger

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So, I’ve been mulling these two over for a while this season and I’m not going to put forward a theory per se but rather some thoughts on what these two characters represent.

In the beginning of the series, we see that these two are the “eyes and ears” of whatever monarch they currently serve. They seem like they are the same type of person in that they both have a web of people securing information. But they also seem to have no love lost with each other. Early on, it seems like that is because they are simply vying for power.

Now however, in season 7 we have had a long time to get to know these characters and there have been some reveals of each character in the interim. Naturally, my understanding of who these men really are and what they represent has morphed along with the new information. To be fair, we still don’t know exactly what is going on with Littlefinger’s continued presence at Winterfell and we did not get a dialog of explanation as we have with Varys to Dany when she questions his loyalties.

Right now (and this could change) it seems to me that Littlefinger is still making a power grab. That his motivation is still to rise to power in whatever way he can. That may be getting Sansa to marry him, it may be to report back to Cercei to leverage information for elevated station or it could be some other thing we haven’t yet seen. I know there is a theory that he will turn out to be a good guy in the end but week to week, so far, I’ve seen no evidence of that. I feel that Littlefinger still represents all that is wrong with monarchical rule. That the only person he really cares about is himself.

Now to Varys. Over the years we’ve seen him act similar to Littlefinger for the most part. Different means used to, seemingly, the same end. But getting to see his exchanges with major characters in Season 7, I think his endgame is completely different than that of Littlefinger.

First, Varys history is being born a slave and being sold off to a sorcerer for a large sum of money. Admittedly he does not like anything to do with sorcery or witchcraft as a result of the ritual performed using his severed genitalia. He also spends his life rising to greater and greater station and prominence until he finds himself next to a King serving as his Master of Whispers. In the season 7 dialog with Dany he says that it’s not true that his allegiance has changed depending on who sat the throne. He tells us, for the first time, what I think his true motivation to be. He says he has always been in favor of what is best for the people of Westeros. He talks a bit about his past and how he sees the masses trampled by the games of the rich and the powerful. We are led to believe in this exchange that he is backing Dany because he thinks she is different than the others and will be the best option for the people. Dany believes this and retains his council.

But here’s the rub, as I see it…. there is clearly a mole in Dany’s council. We have seen this several times in what appears to be leaked information to Cercei/Jaime. You guys have spoken about it at length on your podcast. I agree with you that the mole is likely Varys. This led me to question why that would be. Why not help Dany get rid of Cercei knowing what a horrible Queen Cercei is and will continue to be? Why not unseat her for a better Queen? He knows that for the most part Dany has a heart and will likely be a just, even if tough, ruler.

I think it’s because Varys wants no monarchy at all in Westeros. I think he wants a DEMOCRACY…. of the people, by the people, for the people. If he is the mole in Dany’s council this explains why. Not only would his sale and castration have turned him against witchcraft but also against subjugation of the poor by the rich. The powerless by the powerful. Wouldn’t the greatest screw you to it all be that the boy whose genitals were severed and offered to the Lord of Light becomes the man who gives the power to the people?

George R.R. Martin has said that the end of this saga is bittersweet. Perhaps the bitter is that none of our beloved characters attains the Iron Throne and the sweet is that the people of Westeros become a free and Democratic people with the Night King defeated and all of the would-be monarchy. Perhaps they are free to live and worship as they wish.

So as it stands right now Littlefinger seems to embody all that is wrong with the power struggle of a monarchy. Despite his humble beginnings, he has decided to play the game to attain power for himself without care for the others who still toil below. Varys seems to want the people to prevail. For them to have a better life and to have greater control over their own destiny.

I think it would be fantastic if, in the end, we see a democracy emerge from all the fighting and power-grabbing. If this happens it would finally be an end to a power struggle that started with the Children of the Forest and the First Men and has continued on, unabated for something like 12,000 years. Perhaps this is all the author’s commentary on the value of Democracy. Perhaps the slave boy finally hands the keys to the kingdom to the people…..

-Christina