TV: Game of Thrones

Requiem

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So Littlefinger died. Told more lies than he ever should have. Though to be fair, it was all Bran, honestly, haha. I still doubted Arya would ever actually want to hurt her family though. It was all part of the lying game.

Solid episode. Cersei is such an idiot. My guess is she dies in childbirth. It'd be only fitting since she was never meant to have more than three children.

We also got the pre-fight banter for Cleganebowl, but one fighter was oddly quiet. We'll see how things go at the weigh in next year.
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
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Disappointing episode, if you ask me. A lot of it - the meeting's results, Cersei plotting a backstab, and the Wall coming down - was pretty predictable, as was Jonaerys finally gettin' it on. Cleganebowl, which I wanted more than just about anything, sadly did not happen and just got teased more. If it doesn't happen, D&D are actually the worst fucking showrunners of all time.

Littlefinger dropping the ball that badly was pretty pathetic to watch, too. While it seems to me that, most likely, Sansa and Arya went to talk to Bran offscreen, that doesn't excuse Littlefinger legit admitting to killing the Lady of the Vale in front of her ex-vassals. He could perhaps have weathered the Stark-related charges and slipped out with an escort, but "I did it to protect you" was one of the worst things he could say, especially since sticking to script by asserting that she'd killed herself (when nobody present but Sansa or Bran, two of his accusers, could know for certain otherwise) would make it look like the Starks were just trying to off a powerful potential competitor with poor evidence - which, to no small extent, they were. The fact that one of the most intelligent and manipulative characters in this show completely shit the bed when it came to his own life-or-death trial is fucking retarded, and while surprise is no doubt a factor in his poor showing it was, in my opinion, heavily overplayed.
 

The Hound

Just Monika
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While he shouldn't have admitted it I don't think it would have mattered either way, the houses of the Vale were more than willing to believe anything Sansa said that would have rid of themselves of Littlefinger since they couldn't stand him to begin with. I was just happy that Sansa for the first time in the entire fucking series wasn't the stupidest person in all of Westeros.

So I had a complaint and maybe ya'll can illuminate the logic or confirm my suspicion. Pretty much why would Cersei tell Jaime all about her plan and then let him leave? That seems incredibly stupid. My only guess is she wanted him to go and this is just part of her plan (or perhaps I just missed something) because he's now on his way north to tell everyone of Cersei's obvious betrayal. That scene just confused me and I thought it could have been done better by having Jaime tell Cersei he's breaking his oath to Daeny and Jon and then sneaking away to join them. That would have been a nice comparison to Jon who couldn't lie for the betterment of the Realm to show Jaime the Oathbreaker being able to use a lie and it would have been a more powerful move by Jaime for him to betray her. Instead it kind of looks like he's a bitch, afraid of the Mountain, Cersei and the White Walkers.
 

Jeroth

Mach Ambassador
Moderator
Also no Cleganebowl 0/10 would not boatsex again.
We got just a preview for it. I was really hoping for it, but honestly, the episode made up for it.

I'm glad the Sansa & Arya plot line didn't go full retard. I was going to be enraged if Sansa trusted the man who wed her to the Boltons.
 

Requiem

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Cersei is just an idiot pushing everyone away because she can't bear to let anyone close anymore. All she cares about is her baby, even to the point of pushing Jaime away, especially since she knows the dead are a real threat. She genuinely would let the rest of the world die if it meant she and her baby were alive afterwards.

As for Jaime leaving her, he realizes the threat. She's truly making a bad decision as queen, so he's going to leave and do what he can to stop the dead. He's not running away from danger, he's running into it.
 

13thforsworn

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Cersei is just an idiot pushing everyone away because she can't bear to let anyone close anymore. All she cares about is her baby, even to the point of pushing Jaime away, especially since she knows the dead are a real threat. She genuinely would let the rest of the world die if it meant she and her baby were alive afterwards.

As for Jaime leaving her, he realizes the threat. She's truly making a bad decision as queen, so he's going to leave and do what he can to stop the dead. He's not running away from danger, he's running into it.
This is why I think Jaime will be the one to kill Cersei in the end. Add Queenslayer to his list of accolades and titles.
 

Requiem

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Jaime Lannister, the Regicide.

Killing her would count as a double kill too right? Unless of course she doesn't lose the baby/have the baby before he kills her. She's not supposed to have more than three kids after all.
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
Really enjoyed the episode but seriously I think the Theon fight might have been the worst 5 minutes of GoT I've ever seen. His redemption is pretty much this:
I honestly thought they were doing a Cool Hand Luke tribute for a while, there.
Solid episode. Cersei is such an idiot. My guess is she dies in childbirth. It'd be only fitting since she was never meant to have more than three children.
Nahhh... that'd technically make four before she dies. Prophecy that says she'll only have three kids has been pretty damn accurate regarding everything else so far, and besides, do you really expect her to live another six to eight months at this point?
Disappointing episode, if you ask me. A lot of it - the meeting's results, Cersei plotting a backstab, and the Wall coming down - was pretty predictable, as was Jonaerys finally gettin' it on.
Still, Cersei played it pretty well with the hinting at her pregnancy with Tyrion. Not terribly subtle, mind - though since she was already behaving very erratically in the first place just by speaking with him instead of having him murdered, I guess I won't blame him too much for not getting suspicious at how thickly she was laying on the pregnant-lady act.

There's also the possibility that Tyrion expects nothing but betrayal from Cersei anyway, but isn't concerned enough about anything (he thinks) she can pull off to let it keep Danaerys from heading north. Given how badly he's been getting nerfed in the show lately, though, (I still prefer him to recent book Tyrion tbf), I doubt that's gonna end up being the case. Not to mention that with the kind of losses they can expect to suffer as a result of bringing their habitually-shirtless steppe warriors so far up north in the dead of winter, even the remaining Lannister and assorted Reach forces alone could potentially be a serious problem for whatever's left of Danaerys' troops when the Northern fight is over.

Can we just take a moment to consider how Tyrion's supposed to be the most Tywin-est remaining Lannister, (although Book Jaime puts on a pretty good show himself), yet D&D have been having him just constantly getting shown up by making wrong calls since at least as far back as Season 6? (Possible exception for not assaulting King's Landing, though that's pretty debatable at best; probable exception for not burning the [two] Tarlys, though he got overruled regardless; likely exception for telling Danaerys not to go beyond the Wall, although he got overruled again, and Dany's decision to ignore him was arguably worth the alliance she picked up from it.(?))
Littlefinger dropping the ball that badly was pretty pathetic to watch, too. While it seems to me that, most likely, Sansa and Arya went to talk to Bran offscreen, that doesn't excuse Littlefinger legit admitting to killing the Lady of the Vale in front of her ex-vassals. He could perhaps have weathered the Stark-related charges and slipped out with an escort, but "I did it to protect you" was one of the worst things he could say, especially since sticking to script by asserting that she'd killed herself (when nobody present but Sansa or Bran, two of his accusers, could know for certain otherwise) would make it look like the Starks were just trying to off a powerful potential competitor with poor evidence - which, to no small extent, they were. The fact that one of the most intelligent and manipulative characters in this show completely shit the bed when it came to his own life-or-death trial is fucking retarded, and while surprise is no doubt a factor in his poor showing it was, in my opinion, heavily overplayed.
You ask me, coming out with the "[you can usurp the throne from your half-brother if you want to, and also you need to murder your sister Arya before she murders you first]" was the most amateur-hour scheming we've seen this season. Botching the trial defense didn't really matter, by comparison. Lord Royce, who commanded all of his troops, was bound to be eager to get rid of him at the earliest opportunity, sham trial or no. Remember when Littlefinger not-so-subtly threatened to have him thrown out the Moon Door at even the slightest provocation?

Also, I wanna point out that the Maester was a loose end in his scheme from the very beginning. I wouldn't have called bullshit if Sansa had just worked it all out by herself, really, especially since her first reaction to seeing the letter (that was shown to us) was to ask Baelish how she'd gotten hold of it. Lying about it to her was dumb, given that the next obvious choice for her would be to question the Maester if she hadn't already done so.
Pretty much why would Cersei tell Jaime all about her plan and then let him leave? That seems incredibly stupid.
Nah. By the time he reaches Jonaerys they'll be already too far north with their forces to do anything about it really, besides play along and hope they can still beat Cersei's forces with whatever they have left after the Walkers are finished. She's obviously lost him for now; rather than try to hold onto him and probably kill him in the process, she's still harboring some hopes that by letting him go now, she can get him back when the war is over and that oath of his has been fulfilled.
That scene just confused me and I thought it could have been done better by having Jaime tell Cersei he's breaking his oath to Daeny and Jon and then sneaking away to join them. That would have been a nice comparison to Jon who couldn't lie for the betterment of the Realm to show Jaime the Oathbreaker being able to use a lie and it would have been a more powerful move by Jaime for him to betray her.
That'd shatter Jaime's entire character arc, though, since the whole point of it is that he doesn't wanna be the Oathbreaker anymore, and it was a really unfair label for him to have picked up in the first place. At the time, anyway.

As for Jon's stark honesty in the face of evil, I gotta say, they really overplayed that shtick. Thing is, as the show's pointed out several times before, anyone with King rank or higher in Westeros has the authority to annul an oath. Danaerys could have just been like "okay Jon Snow I relieve you of your vow to serve me now please swear that thing Cersei wants for a treaty bada-bing bada-boom we good, we done, ez-pz let's get this show on the road, people."

Also, side note, it would have been really cool if somebody had thought to propose that they resolve the war for the Throne by having their champions go 1v1. And then Clegaaaaanebowl, babyyyyy!
 

The Hound

Just Monika
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You say that Jonaerys are too far away but considering everyone can teleport I don't see how letting Jaime leave to go to the wall with the news that Cersei is absolutely breaking their agreement helps Cersei at all. I mean what if Jaime (and I know this is crazy) sends a raven with this news, doesn't that then change Jonaerys's plans since they don't have a temporary stay of combat? It just doesn't seem like it benefits Cersei in anyway to let him go, short of thinking he was going to be loyal to her and him breaking that loyalty. Which is what I was trying to say he should have done, instead it comes off almost as stupid as what Jon did, would it have benefited Jaime or anyone else if the result of him being honest was Cersei having the Mountain kill him?

Like to me it feels like she definitely has something up her sleeve to risk letting him tell Jonaerys.
 

Easy

Right Honorable Justice
Member
You say that Jonaerys are too far away but considering everyone can teleport I don't see how letting Jaime leave to go to the wall with the news that Cersei is absolutely breaking their agreement helps Cersei at all. I mean what if Jaime (and I know this is crazy) sends a raven with this news, doesn't that then change Jonaerys's plans since they don't have a temporary stay of combat? It just doesn't seem like it benefits Cersei in anyway to let him go, short of thinking he was going to be loyal to her and him breaking that loyalty. Which is what I was trying to say he should have done, instead it comes off almost as stupid as what Jon did, would it have benefited Jaime or anyone else if the result of him being honest was Cersei having the Mountain kill him?

Like to me it feels like she definitely has something up her sleeve to risk letting him tell Jonaerys.
He'd need Qyburn's cooperation to send a raven, and the raven news wouldn't get to them until they arrived at Winterfell anyway. They're only trained to fly to specific castles, and can't be sent to traveling people. Letting Jaime go is beneficial because killing him upsets her plans for the future a lot more than the alternative. Not to mention that without Jaime around to protect it, Euron Greyjoy's pretty definitely going to murder her baby even if and when she does win the war for the throne.

Also, side note. Euron Greyjoy's been a huge disappointment in the show, compared to the extremely horrifying, mysterious, magnificent bastard he is in the books. Motherfucker's got a a suit of Valyrian steel plate armor, a Scrooge McDuck vault-tier hoard of treasure, warlock brew on tap, and tosses dragon eggs overboard on a whim. Having the TV version slap all the Sand Snake's shit by himself just ain't enough to make up for leaving out all the rest of that.
 
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13thforsworn

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Also, side note. Euron Greyjoy's been a huge disappointment in the show, compared to the extremely horrifying, mysterious, magnificent bastard he is in the books. Motherfucker's got a a suit of Valyrian steel plate armor, a Scrooge McDuck vault-tier hoard of treasure, warlock brew on tap, and tosses dragon eggs overboard on a whim. Having the TV version slap all the Sand Snake's shit by himself just ain't enough to make up for leaving out all the rest of that.
For what it's worth, Euron's crazy murderous persona isn't boring.
 

Requiem

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So I started writing something in discord, but then couldn't stop myself from writing a long thing about how we "fix" the final moments of the latest episode. Don't read if you haven't seen Season 8, Episode 3.

Because I can definitely see the NK seeing Jon, putting a hand up, then gesturing for Jon to come to him as he drew his sword and prepared for a duel. If we go into the duel (as a hypothetical writer, not a viewer) with the idea that the NK knows he can only be killed by being stabbed/in contact with both Dragonglass and Valyrian steel at the same time, then we know that the NK is cocky/confident in his supposed invulnerability. The idea that anyone, let alone Jon, would be able to get both the steel and the dragonglass in him at the same time would seem foolhardy and impossible to the NK. This also might come out of nowhere, breaking the rules of the white walkers in general, but since the NK is the first of them, I didn't think it would be too impossible to make this change. It explains why he would willingly walk into dragon fire and then keep going without thinking about it. It also subverts the "Jon is always the hero" 'Problem' that the writers were having (not that I personally see it as an issue, but eh, we're addressing it anyways).

So with this in mind, we have the NK intentionally duel Jon and disarm him after maybe a minute or two of intense action. Jon gets thrown against a pile of wights, but the NK commands them not to kill. The generals maybe stab at Jon once or twice, with one of them kicking Longclaw even further away from Jon's grasp (thus giving the generals some amount of presence in the climactic final scene). This leads to Jon, covered in bite wounds, cuts, scrapes, burns, and down on one knee, weaponless save for a dragonglass dagger in his boot. He gets grabbed by the NK and picked up into the air. We hear bones creaking, muscles straining, maybe even stretching sickeningly. Jon pulls a Lyanna Mormont, has his own David and Goliath moment, which adds a hint of symmetry to the moment and makes you think we're gonna get a repeat of that same moment, but with the main antagonist. This, imho, is the right way to subvert the audience's expectation. It's not like the audience has a problem with Jon dueling the NK if it had gone that way. Hell, the audience doesn't even necessarily have a problem with Arya getting the final blow, it's that the way she gets the final blow comes out of nowhere and, quite frankly, doesn't make thematic sense for her, her character, for Jon, for the smarmy bastard the NK is, and just for how the audience wanted things to go. A little fan service, especially right before the main moment of catharsis, isn't really all that bad, writers. But I digress.

The dagger goes in the NK's neck, maybe the chest so the NK can't reach for it immediately. Jon expects to fall to the ground as the NK explodes into ice, but the moment doesn't come. The audience is shocked and everyone around the world is gasping as they watch the simulcast (maybe. I don't know how it airs globally, lol). Then out of nowhere you see the valyrian steel dagger that was meant to kill Bran come flying through the dark. The NK has his hands full pulling the wings off the butterfly that is Jon Snow, utterly convinced he's prevented any chance at his untimely demise, so he fails to react with his inhuman, preternatural ability. It's not that he couldn't have simply moved Jon into the path of the dagger, but that he was so cocky, he didn't think anyone would try to put up a fight after Jon. So the dagger sinks into his back, parallel, in another direction, with Jon's dagger. The NK explodes, the army of the dead finally rests.

And then, as the hypothetical writer of this scene, you can play with the major themes of the episode and the series throughout the scene. Having Jon and Arya kill him together plays into that whole ambiguous nature of the gender of Azor Ahai. Maybe they're both Azor Ahai. Maybe the prophecy was really misinterpreted. Maybe this is where the show naturally deviates from the books and hell, why not? We still get three episodes to explore and discuss it, but the main, major moment of the prophecy happens and we have both Arya and Jon at the center of it. Then, when they kill him with daggers and not swords, it's referencing small weapons, like needle if you would. In a very limited sense, Jon and Arya are like daggers themselves, as a bastard and a woman, respectively, in a society that does not appreciate or care for them. What I mean is, look at how widely appreciated swordsmen are in the seven kingdoms. You don't hear people talking about "the greatest dagger fighters the kingdom had ever seen" and it's okay, it's not a major thing that tends to happen in fantasy genre fiction anyways. So you get to play with symbolism a little, while also talking about Jon and Arya's place in the world, from lowly bastard and a girl to King/Warden in the North and A Girl, emphasis on the capitalization.

There's more I could say, but ultimately I'll just say that while I don't have a problem with subverting the audience's expectations, I do have a problem with seemingly subverting those expectations in a malicious or "prankster" kind of way. In the Game Revealed video for this episode, you see the show leads talking about how they didn't want Jon to be the guy who defeats the NK and that's fine, honestly. What's not fine is them sort of smirking. The dude is so pleased with himself that he came up with the idea and it's annoying. (Side note, another show, How I Met Your Mother, did this thing where they had something planned years in advance and wrote things a certain way to subvert audience expectations and it absolutely blew up in the writer's faces there. They may not have done it "maliciously" or in a "haha jokey" way, but they still did it and it didn't work, same as it didn't work here in GoT.)

Jon really didn't have to be the one who gets the final blow. The audience would have liked that, sure, but they would have been fine with him not getting it so long as he still got the chance to actually fight the NK. It's a real shame because it was a moment the show and the overall narrative had been working towards for years. To throw away a chance at seeing Jon duel the NK just to "subvert" expectations is utterly silly. The smart thing to do is to absolutely include the duel. You take Arya, the girl who doesn't fit the Noble mold, Jon, the bastard, and Bran, the cripple with supernatural powers who doesn't even see himself as Bran anymore, and you place them at the epicenter of the most important battle in humanity's history (for the show, of course). It's three characters the rest of the world would have otherwise shrugged off who end up facing down the long night and ultimately beating it. Throwing Jon out of the last scene with his one main antagonist (he doesn't give a fuck about Cersei) really is just bad subversion. Same in reverse with Arya. It would be like Jon assassinating Cersei while Arya gives a speech to rally the troops, it just isn't what the audience wants.

So subverting things by having the "rules" for killing the NK be different from an average White Walker is fine. You get the actual subversion in there, it tricks the audience, it gets them to gasp, it brings the scene even lower than it already was, but then you get the payoff with Arya appearing (not from the gate where she actually does in the real scene, but off to Bran's left, as if Arya jumped off a battlement, into the Godswood tree, and then either jumped down to throw the dagger or she throws it from a branch itself).

This serves the purpose of Arya helping secure the final blow, gives Jon (and the audience) a sense of closure by having him literally face his one true enemy, subverts expectations in a heartstoppingly fun way and not a shitty, pranky way, all while still allowing for crazy prophecy shenanigans to continue on into the later episodes. How do we interpret the prophecy now in a world where it's essentially been fulfilled? Who ultimately is Azor Ahai? Is it multiple people? Is it Arya? Is it Jon? Is it no one? (I hate this last one since the show goes out of its way to show the Red Lady and the Red God are pretty damn real, but hey, it's possible.) You lose out on this fun discussion stuff by failing to let Jon be present for the NK's death. It's a dumb subversion for the sake of pulling the rug out from under the audience. You don't wanna pull the rug out from under them, you want to surprise them by wrapping them in a blanket, but suddenly ripping the blanket off, only to put a better, but still very different blanket on them than the one they originally expected.

And okay, damn, there we go. That's the end of this post. Wow it's long. I haven't done one of these in a while...
 
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Requiem

Well-Known Member
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Also, just to share it, I think everyone was hoping for this fight, but times ten, complete with Jon scrambling for dragonglass after losing Longclaw. Throw in my personal "subversion of expectations" and you get a fight with the NK while still keeping Arya involved.

 

Firedemon

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So this Mad Queen stuff is kinda... Meh, for me. It's at least not a total ass pull, the show has been hinting at Dany doing something horrible for a while now. But I feel like their hints have been pretty flimsy and silly. For example, Dany never needed to burn King's Landing. All she needed to do is fly up to the Red Keep and destroy it with Cersei inside. Maybe fly around and blow open some gates and burn all the scorpions like she ended up doing, but that's really it. The proposition of Dany actually burning King's Landing and killing a significant number of civilians (or even soldiers, really) never made any sense. So all this "No Dany, plez no burn city" from Tyrion and everyone else in S7/S8 was dumb because they should have just told her "Go burn the Red Keep instead." Burning the Red Keep is even in line with her breaking the wheel because the Red Keep is a symbol of power for that wheel (more so the throne itself though). But on top of that, why did anyone assume Dany was talking about really burning the city and civilians anyways? Dany talks about attacking the city with her dragons, but she never actually advocates just flying over and firebombing everything. But Tyrion and Varys kept acting like that was what she meant and what they are keeping her from doing.

The better decision, in my opinion, is to build up Dany's increasing cruelty. Dany has always been cruel. She didn't care about Khal Drogo killing her brother, she set the Unsullied loose on all the masters of Astapor (not just their own masters who had wronged them), she put up a trail of crucified masters at Meereen (no way did all 163 of those guys earn that), and did plenty of other over the top things that are escaping me. Dany's ideas of justice have no sense of proportion and are more rooted in revenge. Dany probably enjoys this retribution to an extent, in contrast to Jon who never liked killing in any form. Jon always gave men he executed a swift death, either via beheading or hanging. Dany's kindest execution is burning to death and seems to think that any wrong makes you deserving of any punishment.

Here's a possible alternate path that continues along this cruelty arc. Rewind to S7 and Varys goes and talks to Davos after Jon arrives on Dragonstone. Varys asks Davos to help smuggle him to King's Landing to reestablish his spy network. Davos and Jon talk it over and generally agree that helping Varys with this could get them on Dany's good side, maybe Varys says that having spies in King's Landing to keep an eye on things might make it easier for Dany to safely withdraw to the North and help fight the AotD. Stuff happens, Dany proposes she just burns the Red Keep, then Varys and Tyrion discuss his spies' findings and conclude that Qyburn has been having something set up all around King's Landing, but they don't know what. Tyrion thinks it's wildfire because of what Cersei was doing before the Battle of the Blackwater and the destruction of the Sept of Baelor. They tell Dany that using her dragons on the Red Keep could potentially set off all of the wildfire and kill everyone. Dany agrees not to and we get some battle like we got in S7 and Dany and Tyrion see the scorpion. But this time, instead of only burning Randall and Dickon Tarley, Dany burns every last soldier that wouldn't bend the knee, one at a time, with no chance to recant and bend the knee. Tyrion is already concerned by the sheer destruction the dragons wrought on the battlefield, but now is starting to see the crueler, darker side of Dany. Tyrion and Varys reassess their intel and conclude that Qyburn has actually been stashing these scorpions all over the city (maybe hidden on rooftops, or in a few pieces to be quickly assembled by Lannister soldiers). Dany is pissed about this because King's Landing was ripe for the taking but Tyrion and Varys's mistake gave Cersei time to fortify the city against her dragons. Jon finally convinces Dany to detour North, that stuff happens, then it's time to deal with Cersei. Some stuff happens, Varys and Tyrion find out that Qyburn has definitely been stashing scorpions around the city but also stashing wildfire like they initially thought. Dany no longer cares about the risk and says she's going to attack the Red Keep and burn it down, and if that does set off the wildfire caches that's fine. She attacks the Red Keep, killing Cersei and destroying the keep, but thankfully it only sets off the wildfire near the Red Keep and not the entire city. People start trying to flee the city (because fire bad), while Dany's army outside the gates and the Lannister forces keep eyeing each other. Drogon and Rhaegal land on the ruins of the Red Keep overlooking the city, waiting for some definite indication of surrender. A single scorpion from within the city is fired at Rhaegal by some panicking soldiers and kills the stationary Rhaegal. Enraged, Dany takes Drogon to destroy the single scorpion, detonating the rest of the city and leaving large swathes of it ruined and in flames. The Dothraki being Dothraki take this as their cue to go rape and pillage what remains as the gates blow open, the Unsullied and Northern Armies charge in for some actual reason as well, Jon goes full surprised Pikachu.
 
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