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Old 04-14-2019, 01:44 PM
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Game of Thrones season 8 open show/book discussion thread


This thread is for discussion of the show, the books, and how they might relate, or pretty much anything you want to discuss. If you happen to get an actual spoiler (like some entertainment magazine discovers and reveals a future plot point), then treat that, and only that, like a spoiler. Everything else - show, book, supplemental DVD material, worldbuilding books, and whatever else, is fair game.

As we have done in the past, there will be weekly episodic threads for TV show discussion only. 8.01 is here.

Last year's version of this thread.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:32 PM
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Girding my loins. Not sure if I have the strength for this.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:24 PM
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In the "look back at the episode" sequence after the show, one of the showrunners flat out said "only Targaryens can ride dragons". I know that's not the case in the books, and I didn't think it had been established on the show either. I had assumed it was just a common misconception.

Like Dany being fireproof, I guess that misconception people have about the books has made it into canon in the show. If that were the case, I wonder why Jon thought he could ride a dragon? Because Dany told the dragon to let him? Or is that something we're supposed to know but the characters don't?
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:26 PM
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The dragons had been friendly with him previously. I don't think there's any reason for him to believe he absolutely couldn't ride them. Lots of guys have done potentially dangerous things to impress a woman.
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:00 PM
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... I wonder why Jon thought he could ride a dragon?
Well, whatever the rules are no one knows them. Danni even tells Jon he won't know till he tries.

We see in Season 7 a dragon carrying a whole load of people in that rescue scene and certainly none were Targaryens except for Danni who was driving.
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:14 PM
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Jon is only half Targaryen, so would not necessarily have all of their qualities (like the trademark hair color).
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:29 PM
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Jon is only half Targaryen, so would not necessarily have all of their qualities (like the trademark hair color).
That would explain why he's such a poor dragon pilot, I guess.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:14 AM
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Jon is only half Targaryen, so would not necessarily have all of their qualities (like the trademark hair color).
Everyone is only half [insert family name here].

Remember John Arryn and then Ned Stark figured out Robert Baratheon's kids were not his because of their hair color. Both of them die for that revelation.

I asked the group I was watching with why Jon's hair is not blond. No one had an answer for it.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:48 AM
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In the "look back at the episode" sequence after the show, one of the showrunners flat out said "only Targaryens can ride dragons". I know that's not the case in the books, and I didn't think it had been established on the show either. I had assumed it was just a common misconception.
Wait, what makes you think that's not the case in the books? I mean, yeah, they don't need to necessarily be Targaryen, but they do seem to at least need to have Valyrian blood. All the non-Targs who rode dragons during the Dance of Dragons were said to be 'dragonseed' (i.e. bastards of either Targaryens or Velaryons).

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Everyone is only half [insert family name here].

Remember John Arryn and then Ned Stark figured out Robert Baratheon's kids were not his because of their hair color. Both of them die for that revelation.

I asked the group I was watching with why Jon's hair is not blond. No one had an answer for it.
No one in your group knows the difference between dominant and recessive traits? The obvious assumption is that dark hair is dominant and blonde hair is recessive (like our own universe), which is why they knew Robert's kids weren't his - because his own dark hair would've carried over to the kids. There's no reason to think the silver Targaryen hair isn't recessive either, especially with all the Targ inbreeding that happened.

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Old 04-15-2019, 02:56 AM
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Everyone is only half [insert family name here].
Err, we are talking about the Targaryens here...they liked to keep it in the family. As it were.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:28 AM
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In the "look back at the episode" sequence after the show, one of the showrunners flat out said "only Targaryens can ride dragons". I know that's not the case in the books, and I didn't think it had been established on the show either. I had assumed it was just a common misconception.

Like Dany being fireproof, I guess that misconception people have about the books has made it into canon in the show. If that were the case, I wonder why Jon thought he could ride a dragon? Because Dany told the dragon to let him? Or is that something we're supposed to know but the characters don't?
What misconception is that? In the books, anyone who has tried to go near the dragons who isn't a Targ has been burned to death. The books went to great length to show this via particular characters. Which non-Targ has rode a dragon in the books?

Also, Dany is definitely resistant to fire/fireproof in the books. The misconception is that that all Targaryens are fireproof. They invariably learn this about themselves in unfortunate ways.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:27 AM
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What misconception is that? In the books, anyone who has tried to go near the dragons who isn't a Targ has been burned to death. The books went to great length to show this via particular characters. Which non-Targ has rode a dragon in the books?
Well, historically, all the other Valyrians?
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:31 AM
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What misconception is that? In the books, anyone who has tried to go near the dragons who isn't a Targ has been burned to death. The books went to great length to show this via particular characters. Which non-Targ has rode a dragon in the books?

Also, Dany is definitely resistant to fire/fireproof in the books. The misconception is that that all Targaryens are fireproof. They invariably learn this about themselves in unfortunate ways.
Dany is not (GRRM has explicitly said this) fireproof. She's resistant to heat of the hot bath variety, but she cannot withstand fire. Her survival of Drogo's funeral pyre was a one time magical ceremony that involved a blood sacrifice and the birth of dragons.

In the books, who has gone near the dragons that wasn't an enemy besides Quentyn? Sample size of 1 seems to be pretty small. I don't think it's in the main series, but I'm pretty sure that the World of Ice and Fire also explicitly says dragon riding isn't uniquely Targaryen. At a minimum, other Valyrian houses had and rode dragons.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:04 AM
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Well, historically, all the other Valyrians?
If you dig into some of the GRRM ASOIAF material outside the main series of books, there are several non-Targaryens who have ridden dragons, including "smallfolk" (i.e. peasants) called up during times of war. During the "Dance of the Dragons" (Targaryen civil war that essentially wiped out dragon-kind about a century or so prior to the events of the show), there were more dragons than Targaryens, and some of the Targaryen lords promised noble titles and land to any person who could tame a dragon and ride it into battle on their side. Most would-be dragonriders were roasted, but a handful of random non-Targaryen smallfolk successfully tamed dragons, and a few of those tried (and failed) to use their dragons to carve out kingdoms of their own.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:52 AM
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Wait, what makes you think that's not the case in the books? I mean, yeah, they don't need to necessarily be Targaryen, but they do seem to at least need to have Valyrian blood. All the non-Targs who rode dragons during the Dance of Dragons were said to be 'dragonseed' (i.e. bastards of either Targaryens or Velaryons).
They may have been referred to that, but there wasn't any evidence they were. In "Fire & Blood" it speaks to how Jacaerys Velaryon asked for dragonseeds to ride dragons for Rhaenyra, but had it open to anyone would could claim a dragon. At the very least no one had any idea if Hugh Hammer, Ulf the White, and Nettles had any Valyrian blood.


I also thought it was interesting that Jon was said to be named Aegon (I don't recall if that was mentioned last season.. it may have been). I guess it's somewhat a not to the Aegon (or fAegon depending on your view on the matter) in the books - I can't imagine Rheagar would call two of his sons the same name.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:06 AM
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I guess it's somewhat a not to the Aegon (or fAegon depending on your view on the matter) in the books - I can't imagine Rheagar would call two of his sons the same name.
No, in the books Jon will be Aegon, too, I'm almost positive. Rhaegar read a prophecy which at first he interpreted to apply to himself, but later realized it would be his son instead. He named his firstborn Aegon because of the prophecy. He knew the first Aegon was dead already by the time Jon was born, so he rolled the dice again and named Jon Aegon. Third time's a charm, and Jon will ultimately be the one who fulfills the prophecy.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:16 AM
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That was a better episode than most of Season 7.

Bran, however, remains an absolute black hole of enjoyment. Every second he's on screen is a waste.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:27 AM
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That was a better episode than most of Season 7.

Bran, however, remains an absolute black hole of enjoyment. Every second he's on screen is a waste.
I feel the opposite, at least in this episode -- I got a big kick out of how disconcerting he is to every other character and how uncomfortable they are around him. As they should be!
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:29 AM
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I feel the opposite, at least in this episode -- I got a big kick out of how disconcerting he is to every other character and how uncomfortable they are around him. As they should be!
Agreed. I really enjoyed that about Bran.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:40 AM
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I kinda liked it that he told Sam he was waiting for an old friend referring to Jamie.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:50 AM
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That was a better episode than most of Season 7.

Bran, however, remains an absolute black hole of enjoyment. Every second he's on screen is a waste.
I don't know about "waste". But he's definitely a disturbing little creep now. You'd think he and his family would make more use of his god-like powers. But I guess he's so off putting that even omniscience isn't enough for people to overcome their reluctance to talk to him.

I agree this was a great episode though. Fast paced, but no teleportation. A lot of big things happened, so I don't know if I'd call it a "table setting" episode any more than any other episode. Sansa and her (ex?) husband reunited. Sam (and Jon) learned about the Scorching of the Tarlys. Jon finally rode a dragon and learned he's Rhaegar's son and heir. I'm really interested in how Dany will take that news.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:51 AM
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They may have been referred to that, but there wasn't any evidence they were. In "Fire & Blood" it speaks to how Jacaerys Velaryon asked for dragonseeds to ride dragons for Rhaenyra, but had it open to anyone would could claim a dragon. At the very least no one had any idea if Hugh Hammer, Ulf the White, and Nettles had any Valyrian blood.
Yeah, but there's also no evidence that they weren't, which is what DrCube was claiming.

Thinking about it more, it does seem a bit strange to be that GRRM would intend that there be a blood link for dragon riding, and do the whole 'secret royalty' plotline with Jon, given that he enjoys deconstructing the usual fantasy tropes. Maybe his intention is that there is no blood link for dragon riding and that what we've seen (such as Fire and Blood, written from a maester's POV) is just the people of Westeros trying to convince themselves there's a link when there's not. And that Jon's plot is not going to end happily...

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Old 04-15-2019, 01:05 PM
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...some of the Targaryen lords promised noble titles and land to any person who could tame a dragon and ride it into battle on their side. Most would-be dragonriders were roasted, but a handful of random non-Targaryen smallfolk successfully tamed dragons, and a few of those tried (and failed) to use their dragons to carve out kingdoms of their own.
Were any of those smallfolk actually Targaryen bastards (either male or female), perhaps?

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...I also thought it was interesting that Jon was said to be named Aegon (I don't recall if that was mentioned last season.. it may have been)....
Yes, we saw Lyanna on her bed of blood tell her brother Ned that the child's name was Aegon Targaryen, and swearing him to keep it secret.

Remind me, who is older, Jon/Aegon or Dany? And by how much?
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:13 PM
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Were any of those smallfolk actually Targaryen bastards (either male or female), perhaps?
Some of them may have been, but IIRC for at least some of them it was very unlikely (i.e. they hailed from a region of Westeros with no Targaryens nearby).
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:13 PM
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I believe Jon would be older by a few months.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:20 PM
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Remind me, who is older, Jon/Aegon or Dany? And by how much?
Based on the books, Dany is older, by about 9 months or maybe a year. GRRM even clarified that in an interview at one point. She was born during Robert's Rebellion, while Jon was born just after the rebellion. I'm not sure it has been addressed in the show.

It shouldn't matter for the succession though. Aerys died before Rhaegar, so Rhaegar was technically king. Then his kids were murdered by the Mountain, possibly making his brother Viserys the heir for a short time, but then Rhaegar had another son by Lyanna. At no point was Dany ever actually an heir to the throne, despite what she thinks. It will be a tough pill for her to swallow.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:33 PM
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Wiki says Dany was conceived around a month before Aerys's death, and was born in 284 AC. Lyanna died in 283 AC at the Tower of Joy, so Jon's older by a few months to a year.

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Some of them may have been, but IIRC for at least some of them it was very unlikely (i.e. they hailed from a region of Westeros with no Targaryens nearby).
Of the four successful 'dragonseeds', Addam is a Velaryon bastard, Hugh and Ulf are both bastards on Dragonstone (aka Targ Central) and Nettles is from Driftmark, which is the seat of House Velaryon and right next to Dragonstone. So, again, doesn't mean they really do have Valyrian blood (or that it matters), but also not proof that they don't.

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Old 04-15-2019, 01:38 PM
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It shouldn't matter, IIRC, whether Aerys II died before or after Rhaegar, as the son of the first son is first in line over a second brother. At least it does in Earth primogeniture.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:45 PM
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Of the four successful 'dragonseeds', Addam is a Velaryon bastard, Hugh and Ulf are both bastards on Dragonstone (aka Targ Central) and Nettles is from Driftmark, which is the seat of House Velaryon and right next to Dragonstone. So, again, doesn't mean they really do have Valyrian blood (or that it matters), but also not proof that they don't.
Thanks! For some reason I thought there were more than just four. Maybe my memory is off.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:27 PM
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Wiki says Dany was conceived around a month before Aerys's death, and was born in 284 AC. Lyanna died in 283 AC at the Tower of Joy, so Jon's older by a few months to a year.
Okay thanks, I misremembered. Dany was conceived shortly before Jon was born, so he's older. But they're only about nine months apart, either way.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:13 PM
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I don't know about "waste". But he's definitely a disturbing little creep now. You'd think he and his family would make more use of his god-like powers. But I guess he's so off putting that even omniscience isn't enough for people to overcome their reluctance to talk to him.
I think it's just that he simply doesn't work as a character or a plot device. He was useful to provide exposition we otherwise could not have known, but the problem with a person with Godlike vision is it kind of takes the drama out of a lot of situations. So you have to make hinm refuse to just fucking say what needs to be said and speak in pointless riddles.

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I'm really interested in how Dany will take that news.
If it's anything other than wanting to kill Jon I'll be disappointed. Being Queen of the Seven Kingdoms has been her life's purpose.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:17 PM
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If it's anything other than wanting to kill Jon I'll be disappointed. Being Queen of the Seven Kingdoms has been her life's purpose.
I think wanting to kill Jon, followed by being talked out of that by Tyrion who suggests a marriage instead would be acceptable.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:55 PM
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If I've learned nothing from all the short stories and world-building books that have been released instead of TWOW, it's that it doesn't really matter who is supposed to be the true legal heir. Targs with dragons turn into assholes and will burn everything down to rule over the ashes.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:33 AM
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I think wanting to kill Jon, followed by being talked out of that by Tyrion who suggests a marriage instead would be acceptable.
Assuming they both survive S8 - which I highly doubt - they could co-rule, as William and Mary did in England in the late 1600s.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:22 PM
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Here's NPR's funny take on who's gonna die - no spoilers, but wildass guesses aplenty: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/10/71106...lturehappyhour
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:37 PM
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I don't know if they're sticking with this in the show, but my understanding from the books is that a dragon/wannabe dragon rider formed some sort of psychic bond for life which prevented that rider from riding any other dragon or that dragon from accepting another rider (although the "owner" could bring passengers along). Daenerys might not have wanted to bond her spare dragon with Jon Snow on a lark like that, I would think.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:04 PM
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Dany is not (GRRM has explicitly said this) fireproof. She's resistant to heat of the hot bath variety, but she cannot withstand fire. Her survival of Drogo's funeral pyre was a one time magical ceremony that involved a blood sacrifice and the birth of dragons.

In the books, who has gone near the dragons that wasn't an enemy besides Quentyn? Sample size of 1 seems to be pretty small. I don't think it's in the main series, but I'm pretty sure that the World of Ice and Fire also explicitly says dragon riding isn't uniquely Targaryen. At a minimum, other Valyrian houses had and rode dragons.
what about the scene where she walks out of the big fire at the Dothroki place?
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:56 PM
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She also handled very hot dragon eggs (they'd been roasting on the fire for a long time) with her bare hands with no ill effect. When her handmaiden saw her she exclaimed "Khaleesi, no!" and grabbed them out of her hand, then immediately dropped them as her hands were badly burned.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:19 PM
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She also had he dragons shoot fire around her in the house of the undying. And in the books she was on fire when she flew off on Drogon from Mereen.

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Old 04-16-2019, 10:05 PM
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I don't know if they're sticking with this in the show, but my understanding from the books is that a dragon/wannabe dragon rider formed some sort of psychic bond for life which prevented that rider from riding any other dragon or that dragon from accepting another rider (although the "owner" could bring passengers along). Daenerys might not have wanted to bond her spare dragon with Jon Snow on a lark like that, I would think.
Not necessarily. While dragon and dragon rider supposedly form some sort of bond, that doesn't mean that the dragon would be bonded to that rider for life. For instance, Balerion, Aegon the Conqueror's dragon was also ridden by Maegor I (and Aerea after him).
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:37 AM
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Not necessarily. While dragon and dragon rider supposedly form some sort of bond, that doesn't mean that the dragon would be bonded to that rider for life. For instance, Balerion, Aegon the Conqueror's dragon was also ridden by Maegor I (and Aerea after him).
Yes, but Maegor couldn’t have ridden Balerion while Aegon was alive, nor Aerea while Maegor still lived. The death of either rider or dragon breaks the bond.

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Old 04-17-2019, 07:48 AM
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what about the scene where she walks out of the big fire at the Dothroki place?
That's not in the books.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:54 AM
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And in the books she was on fire when she flew off on Drogon from Mereen.
This is not true.

She dodges Drogon's flame. It is near her, but doesn't engulf her. It burns her hair and her skin. The fact that she has open, leaking burns after this proves she's not immune to fire.

And the scene were she picks up the hot dragon egg isn't in the books either.

There's only one scene in the books that shows she's immune to fire, and the author explicitly said it's a one time thing. Dunno why people don't take his word.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:55 AM
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Pretty sure Selmy said her head was literally on fire.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:34 AM
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I guess Martin gave the HBO producers the ability to expand her immunity to fire. Or maybe it never came up in the discussion about the show .
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
I guess Martin gave the HBO producers the ability to expand her immunity to fire. Or maybe it never came up in the discussion about the show .
Certainly not he only difference between the book and the show. And the Dothraki scene is pretty sweet, I'll give them that.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:31 AM
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In the aftershow chatter/explanations, one of the writers said "Only Targarians can ride dragons, this should have tipped Jon off" about his true identity.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:46 AM
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In the aftershow chatter/explanations, one of the writers said "Only Targarians can ride dragons, this should have tipped Jon off" about his true identity.
Yeah, it was David Benioff himself (2:56), indicating that this must be true at least in the TV show universe. But he doesn't follow up with the obvious corollary that Dany must have known of Jon's ancestry (at least that he's part Targaryen) or she would never have invited him to ride. Time will tell whether this is significant or just bad writing.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:59 AM
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I actually find Dany being immune to fire more consistent and more plausible than a one time thing. I mean it's fantasy magic either way but since a Targs are special and different and have an unusual relationship to dragons it makes sense that they have fireproof as a superpower. It also cements her as being special just beyond being a targ since viserys didn't have it.

And even though I can't justify this logically, I feel like a person having this as an innate trait feels less magicky than people being able to cast spells making then fireproof temporarily. And I prefer fantasy with the last possible magic.

It's all nonsense anyway but the show's version of it seems more elegant and thematically consistent to me.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 04-17-2019 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:05 PM
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Yeah, it was David Benioff himself (2:56), indicating that this must be true at least in the TV show universe. But he doesn't follow up with the obvious corollary that Dany must have known of Jon's ancestry (at least that he's part Targaryen) or she would never have invited him to ride. Time will tell whether this is significant or just bad writing.
Well there is also no reason for Dany to know about the "only Targaryens can ride dragons" rule either.
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