George R.R. Martin Teases How Westeros' Fate Is Linked To Beric Dondarrion

Friday, 14 July 2017 - 11:50AM
Game of Thrones
Friday, 14 July 2017 - 11:50AM
George R.R. Martin Teases How Westeros' Fate Is Linked To Beric Dondarrion
Image credit: HBO
If there's a theme to Game of Thrones Season Seven that screams out from all of its marketing and publicity, it's the notion of everything finally being tied together. A show about a lot of different characters and locations has now boiled down to a few key plot points, and it looks like we're set to see everything come together for the show's climax.

This being the case, recent comments made by different people involved with Game of Thrones, about very different characters, seem almost like they fit together. What do Beric Dondarrion and Sansa Stark have in common? A connection to Jon Snow, and a danger of losing their humanity as part of a growing internal and external war.

Speaking about Dondarrion, who has now been resurrected (yet again) and who will be playing a big part in the upcoming season despite having been missing for a while, George R.R. Martin noted that his fate almost exists as a prophetic warning about what's coming for Westeros as a whole:

Opening quote
"[P]oor Beric Dondarrion, who was set up as the foreshadowing of all this, every time he's a little less Beric. His memories are fading, he's got all these scars, he's becoming more and more physically hideous, because he's not a living human being anymore. His heart isn't beating, his blood isn't flowing in his veins, he's a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we're getting back to the whole fire and ice thing."
Closing quote


It's easy to see how the internal struggle within Beric reflects the politics of Westeros as a whole—there is fire within him where we're used to seeing ice, hinting at the arrival of Daenerys and her dragons to the frozen North. Dondarrion also serves as a warning to Jon Snow, who's similarly escaped death once, and who has to pay a price for it—a price that may well involve fire, if he's not able to forge an alliance with Daenerys upon her arrival in Westeros.



Meanwhile, Kit Harrington has been teasing his character's relationship with Sansa Stark, and how one of the alliances that previously seemed stable may end up getting very rocky as Sansa grows more ambitious:

Opening quote
"I think Sansa twists [Jon] in a way that no one else can. She infuriates him, she speaks up at times when it's more helpful for him for her to not speak up. Essentially he's got a problem: He's leader, and she's testing him, and as a leader you can't have someone question you. But when it's your sister there's not much you can do about that. What are you meant to do? Punish your sister or execute your sister? So she's a real challenge for him and she knows that. I think she's infuriating to him and she knows that. But she knows she's cleverer than Jon, in many ways."
Closing quote


This is certainly reflected in everything we've seen of Sansa in the run-up to Season Seven—Sophie Turner has noted that Sansa is going through some changes and may be less than eager to side with her brother when all is said and done.

So Jon Snow's got Daenerys approaching on one side, and Sansa on the other. He's trying to balance everything and make peace work, but the looming specter of Beric Dondarrion hints at just how bad things can go if it all falls apart. Ultimately, it looks like we'll be seeing a lot of disparate story arcs collapsing into one another in this season. There is only one storyline in the show from here on out: the story of the growing song of ice and fire, as the show's various characters are forced to face the music.

Finally, the title of the books makes sense.
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