The Case Against Targaryen Restoration

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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23 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    I agree that destroying King’s landing prior to their surrender would have been tactically justifiable i.e. the strategic bombings of WWII. It was clumsy storytelling for Dany to essentially make the decision in the heat of the moment, but the accelerated timeline for Season 8 is to blame there. A little bit of my own fan fiction would have shown some Unsullied sneaking into King’s Landing the night before and when the inhabitants tried to ring the bells, the Unsullied would have prevented it from happening. That would have demonstrated Dany planned this and wanted to remove surrender as an option. Very different take away then.

    I have heard it argued, persuasively so, that Jon’s ultimate decision to kill Dany was based on her expanding the scope of her plans. In her speech to her armies from the steps of the Red Keep she essentially says she plans to rule the world which will means years of war and more cities (likely) being burnt. Then, telling Jon that she will be making the choices for those people, he realizes she cannot be left in power.

    I think a lot of Jon’s decision is based on his experiences with the Free Folk and the mentorship of Mance Rayder. I think he bought in to the idea of freedom and choice. While King of the North he made it clear repeatedly that he did not rule the Free Folk and that they were assisting the northerners by choice. Tormund’s observation that he has the ‘true north’ in him and Jon’s decision to head north of the wall with the Free Folk at the end of the series seems to confirm his love for their way of life. In light of that, how could he ever accept Dany’s plans?

    As for the future of Westeros, assuming Jon will be in some kind of leadership position north of the wall, the Starks now control the entire continent. Many of the great houses are extinct. Again, looking at the example of England, there is certainly potential for another civil war in the future, but it seems that if Sansa and Bran/Tyrion can maintain the peace, they may have several good decades ahead of them.Report

    • North in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Yes, this, especially the latter paragraph. Let us not forget that in addition to being direct sovereign of the independent North and elected sovereign of the remaining Kingdoms Sansas’ cousin Robyn is direct lord of the Vale (the Kingdom least touched by the war and a boy who she is personally close to) and her Uncle Edmur is direct lord of the Riverlands (which connects the Vale to both the North and the Kings holdings around Kings Landing. The Lannisters are reduced to a reviled dwarf, the Tully’s are extinct and the Baratheons consist of Gendry who has feelings for Sansa’s sister. The whole Kingdom is functionally under the Starks thumbs with the exception of the Iron Islands and Dorne.Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to North says:

        I would guess that Sansa could have a heart to heart with Yara down the road and maybe leverage their shared love of Theon. In the short term, she pretty efficiently put Yara in her place by reminding her she was pledged to a tyrant when they were in the Dragon Pit.

        Dorne is the real wild card for me, but perhaps the attendance of the new prince was a good sign. I don’t think there will be any marriage alliance as it seems fairly obvious they were positioning Sansa as Queen Elizabeth.Report

        • North in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Yeah but Dorne has always been the odd Kingdom out. Last to be brought under the Tagaryens and, frankly, never got the impression that it was very integrated with the rest of Westeros. More like a vassal Kingdom than a province of the old order.

          And yes, Sansa definitely was giving off a Queen Elizabeth vibe. I dunno what they’re gonna do for an heir there. Is matrilineal marriage even a thing in this world?Report

          • Mike Dwyer in reply to North says:

            I believe they allowed Queen Elizabeth to name her successor, who was Mary, Queen of Scots’ son. I assume Sansa could do the same, although without an actual family member, she would probably have to consider a child of Edward Tully or Robyn, but geez, they aren’t even Northerners (although to be fair, James was Scottish, so I guess there is precedent there as well).

            They really, really made it look like they were setting up a sequel at the end, rather than wrapping up a series, but HBO swears that isn’t the plan. Time will tell…Report

            • North in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Well sure but Mary Queen of Scotts was Elizabeths’ cousin anyhow so James was kind of in the line of succession there anyhow (Henry the VII was their common great grandfather). The Starks appear to be plumb out of breeding males altogether. If Sansa doesn’t do something unusual then it’ll be audios to the Starks.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to North says:

        There was a Tully at that Great Council thing at the end where they picked Bran — Edmure. Granted he was a moronic Tully, but he was a Tully. I suspect there’s more cadet members scattered around that part of the Seven Kingdoms, despite the war (admittedly, that area took the brunt of the war between Lannister and Stark)

        I’m fairly certain Sansa called him “Uncle” specifically.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to North says:

        Is Tyrion the Lannister heir? I believe that his father (at least in the books) forbid him from inheriting. Would that still apply if all the other heirs are dead? I suppose Bran could also overrule that.Report

        • North in reply to Michael Cain says:

          The only surviving son of Tywin Lannister? By all rights he should. Tywin, of course, could have written any rules he wanted but Bran could very summarily annul them. IIRC in the books there were quite a number of extended relatives for Lannisters so the overall house probably is not in as dire straits as the Starks but man oh man it’d be a bad thing to be a Lannister in the Six Kingdoms after Cersei- especially if the Westerlands are mined out of gold.Report

  2. North says:

    Yeah it’s probably for the best but I presume Martin would have built up to it a lot better than the abreviated final seasons of the show did.Report

    • Mike Dwyer in reply to North says:

      It’s going to be very interesting to see what he writes, if the books are ever completed. Unless he has been sandbagging, the odds are not good on that front.Report

      • North in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        I have no choice but to moodily agree with you. I would so prefer the books; I’d absolutely love to see what he intended to do with Griff and I SO wanted to see Martin’s version of Sansa. Like the film version but minus the rape and with better agency I’d presume.Report

  3. I haven’t read this post because I’m still mulling over watching the series. I wonder if it’s worth the hoopla. Do you all recommend it?

    Other than LOTR, I usually don’t watch/read a lot of fantasy or sci fi (I realize those terms aren’t necessarily interchangeable). I do like a good story, though, and I’m not opposed to consuming works from those genres. The last series (of anything) I’ve watched were Call the Midwife and the first two seasons of The Good Place.Report

    • North in reply to gabriel conroy says:

      Where the show tracks the books it’s pretty good. Then it degrades severely in quality, once it outstrips the territory covered by the novels, regressing rapidly to mean Hollywood drek.
      The books are excellent generally but there’s serious doubt as to if they will be finished. I couldn’t in good conscience recommend you read them and I’m pretty meh on the show.Report

  4. George Turner says:

    The other day this Game of Thrones reviewer showed up on my feed.

    It was interesting, as were many of the comments. I think the last season fatally damaged the franchise.Report