‘Game of Thrones’: How That Marriage Annulment Gilly Discovered Is a Huge Development for Jon Snow

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(Warning: This post contains major spoilers for “Game of Thrones” through the Aug. 13 episode.)

At the end of Season 6, “Game of Thrones” revealed something fans of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books have suspected for years: that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) isn’t the son of Ned Stark (Sean Bean), but of his sister, Lyanna, and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.

That was a huge moment. It means that Jon is both a Stark and a Targaryen, although still a bastard. But what Gilly discovered among the scrolls of the Citadel adds another wrinkle to Jon’s backstory — and it could seriously affect the line of succession for the Iron Throne.

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Gilly discovered in the notes of High Septon Maynard, who served during the Mad King’s reign, that “he issued an annulment for a ‘Prince Ragger’ and remarried him to someone else at the same time in a secret ceremony in Dorne.”

The episode glosses over this bit, as Sam immediately starts whining about how much he hates the maesters before deciding to quit his training at the Citadel and head off to wherever. But that’s a monumentally important bit of information Gilly dredged up there and it’s worth discussing.

What she’s describing is that this Septon annulled Rhaegar Targaryen’s marriage to Elia Martell. The person that Rhaegar then secretly married in Dorne is almost certainly Lyanna Stark, Ned Stark’s sister who died at the end of Robert’s Rebellion after giving birth to Jon Snow — as we saw in the season 6 finale.

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Robert’s Rebellion, the war that brought down the Targaryen dynasty, started specifically because of Rhaegar and Lyanna. She was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, but according to the histories, Rhaegar kidnapped her and whisked her away. When Ned Stark’s brother went to King’s Landing to demand Rhaegar return her (and when Brandon, Ned’s brother, told Rhaegar to “come out and die”), the Mad King threw him in the dungeon. Ned’s father rode south to beg for Brandon’s life — and the Mad King burned both Starks alive.

That put the Baratheons, the Starks, the Tullys and the Arryns to war with the Targaryens. Robert killed Rhaegar at the Battle of the Trident, and Lyanna died giving birth to Jon Snow. Ned Stark took Jon home and told everyone the child was his bastard, to protect his true identity from Robert, who was trying to wipe out every Targaryen to secure his claim to the throne.

If Rhaegar and Lyanna were officially married at the time of Jon Snow’s birth, that means he’s not a bastard, he’s Rhaegar’s trueborn heir. And that gives him a pretty great claim to the Iron Throne — better, in fact, than Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) claim as the last Targaryen. That’s probably going to create some friction in the future, and might change the discussion about just who needs to bend the knee to whom.

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‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: Cersei Kicks Off Her Revenge Tour in ‘The Queen’s Justice

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After a raucous ending to the second episode of “Game of Thrones” Season 7, with some of the Daenerys’ most trusted allies being captured by Euron Greyjoy. In Episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice,” she starts by making a new one — Jon Snow (Kit Harington).

The show opened with a big meetup we’ve been waiting for between Jon and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). And one between Jon and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who haven’t been in the same place at the same time since Season 1. Their meeting is a pretty cordial one, even though Tyrion and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) ask Jon and his men to turn over their weapons.

“This place has changed,” Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) tells Jon, right before the two hit the deck as Drogon flies just past them. They’re a little out of their depth when it comes to dragons.

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Tyrion and Jon caught up on one of the key events that’s taken place since they last saw each other — including Tyrion marrying Sansa (Sophie Turner). Tyrion assures Jon the sham marriage went unconsumated, although Jon doesn’t give him a hard time about it.

“She’s much smarter than she lets on,” Tyrion says about Sansa. “She’s starting to let on,” Jon returns.

From atop the cliffs at Dragonstone, Melisandre (Carive van Houten) watches Jon and Davos’ arrival. Varys (Conleth Hill) finds her there and asks why she didn’t meet the man she spoke so highly of on the beach. Melisandre suggests she’s going to take a back seat in the coming intrigues as the war against the dead looms. Varys doesn’t buy it. But when he suggests she should leave Westeros, she says she’s not going anywhere.

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“I have to die in this strange country. Just like you,” Melisandre tells him.

Jon’s reunion with Tyrion was a pretty easygoing one, but the meeting between Dany and Jon was a little more tense.

The big thrust of the meetup was Danaerys asking Jon to bend the knee. In trying to convince him to pledge fealty, she asks for his forgiveness for the sins of her father, Aerys Targaryen, who killed Ned Stark’s father and brother.

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“I ask you not to judge a daughter by the sins of her father,” she says. But she still demands Jon’s fealty, and he refuses to give it. The gist of the discussion is that Jon doesn’t care about the Iron Throne — he’s only worried about the the Night King.

Davos takes his turn at trying to convince Daenerys to back Jon, with one of his great, impassioned speeches. “He was named Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, he was named King in the North,” Davos tells her. “It wasn’t his birthright. He has no birthright, he’s a damn bastard.” He also mentions that Jon took a dagger to the heart for his people, something Dany notes for later.

It doesn’t quite work, though, and Jon and Davos are kept on Dragonstone without the ability to leave — not quite prisoners, but not quite guests.

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Out in the Narrow Sea, we find Theon, not quite dead yet. He’s yanked out of the water by the last remaining ships of the Iron Fleet.

Meanwhile, Euron rides through King’s Landing with Yara, Ellaria (Indira Varma), and Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) in tow. He offers the captives as the priceless gift he mentioned last time he saw Cersei. In return, Cersei promises him “what his heart desires” when the war is won. She names Euron commander of the crown’s naval forces to go with Jaime commanding the Lannister armies. Euron takes the opportunity to taunt Jaime again, this time with the fact that Euron will soon be with Cersei.

Cersei heads to the dungeons next to get her revenge on Ellaria for murdering Cersei’s daughter Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free). She gets her poetic vengeance by murdering Tyene the same way Ellaria killed Myrcella — with “the Long Farewell,” with Cersei giving the last Sand Snake a poisonous kiss. She leaves both of the women locked in their cell, ensuring that Ellaria will have to watch Tyene die.

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Next, Cersei meets with a representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos, to whom the Iron Throne owes a ton of money. She needs to convince the Iron Bank not to back her enemies, and makes a solid case for why investing in her rule is a safer bet than investing in Daenerys, especially since she cost the Iron Bank a ton of money by destroying the slave trade in the Free Cities.

Back at Dragonstone, Tyrion and Jon have a broody meeting out on the cliffs, where Jon tries again to convince Tyrion about the threat of the White Walkers. Tyrion admits he believes Jon, but he can’t convince Dany, who has no reason to believe him. So he asks Jon for something he can do to help. Jon mentions the huge amount of Dragonglass in Dragonstone.

Tyrion goes to Dany and asks him to give Jon a concession to ease tensions between them: Let him mine the dragonglass. When Dany meets with Jon, she takes Tyrion’s advice, offering him the Dragonglass as a sign of good faith.

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Meanwhile back at Winterfell, Sansa flexes her leader muscles, making some smart calls about preparing for winter. She notes that if there’s a war during the winter, Winterfell is the place everyone is going to fall back to defend. And it’s going to need a ton of food to survive.

Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) gives Sansa some decent advice for not trusting anyone — she should consider all outcomes all the time of every event, so nothing ever surprises her. Easier said than done, one expects. But their discussion is cut short by another major reunion: Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) showing back up in Winterfell with Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick). Bran tries to explain what being the Three-Eyed Raven means to Sansa, although he’s not especially clear. When he brings up her wedding to Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), though, she gets overwhelmed and takes off.

At Oldtown, Archmaester Marwyn (Jim Broadbent) inspects Jorah (Iain Glenn) now that he’s seemingly been cured of greyscale overnight. He gives Jorah a clean bill of health but knows the risks Samwell Tarly (John Bradley-West) took to cure him. After Marwyn departs, asking Sam to meet him later — presumably for his punishment — Jorah tells Sam he’ll seek Daenerys now that he’s cured.

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Later, Marwyn asks Sam how he managed to cure a man with a procedure lots of other maesters have failed to execute properly. “I read the book and followed the instructions,” Sam tells him. Marwyn doesn’t punish Sam, instead telling him he should be proud of his accomplishment. Then he makes him copy a bunch of gross, rotting scrolls.

“You expected a reward?” Marwyn asks him. “Your reward is not being immediately expelled from the Citadel.” Sam can’t catch a break.

Next, we see a location we’ve never been to before on the show: Casterly Rock. In a lengthy montage, Tyrion explains the fight Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and the Unsullied will face at Casterly Rock. The fortress is impregnable, which means the fight over the walls will be tough. Luckily, Tyrion has some insider info — his father, Tywin (Charles Dance) put Tyrion in charge of Casterly Rock’s sewers. Because of that, he knows a secret entrance that will get Grey Worm into the Rock. He and the Unsullied manage to take Casterly Rock, but they’re struck by Euron’s navy, losing all their ships.

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Meanwhile, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) took a page from the strategy book of Robb Stark and went where his enemies weren’t — attacking and taking the Tyrell fortress of Highgarden.

With the castle occupied, Jaime finds Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) alone in her room. They have a discussion about how bad Cersei is, but Jaime isn’t swayed. “She’s a disease. I regret my role in spreading it. You will too,” Olenna says.

Jaime finishes the discussion by offering Olenna a quick and painless death by poison. After she drinks it, Olenna admits to killing Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). “Tell your sister. I want Cersei to know it was me,” she says, as Jaime walks out. Even though she’s lost, Olenna at least gets the last word.

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‘Game of Thrones’ Poop Montage Explained: John Bradley Gives Us the Scoop (Video)

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“Game of Thrones” star John Bradley is the focus of what has become the breakout moment from the show’s Season 7 premiere, a montage showing the daily life of his character, Samwell Tarly, as he trains to become a Maester.

It’s a fantastic sequence, but the catch? Samwell has perhaps the worst job ever, mainly because of how much human poop he’s required to deal with. The montage shows Sam lugging heavy books around the stacks in the Maesters’ library (but forbidden from reading the ones that he needs), emptying chamber pots and cleaning out the communal toilets, serving other maesters food that looks suspiciously like the stuff in the chamber pots and communal toilets … rinse and repeat. It’s so gross that Sam (and the audience) spends a lot of time dry-heaving.

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So how did they make the excrement look so real? Bradley managed to soak up the secret during the shoot.

“Apparently, I now know, if you need to recreate human excement onscreen, the best way to do it is to soak fruitcake and add a bit of water in there and you’ve got just the stuff,” Bradley told TheWrap.

“Every day’s a school day,” he added.

But now that you know, Bradley definitely doesn’t want to see any recreations. “Please don’t send me your DIY poop videos,” he says. “I’ve seen far too much of those.”

Watch the clip above.

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‘Game of Thrones’ 101: What Can Kill White Walkers, and What Exactly is Dragonglass?

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(Note: This post contains spoilers for all of “Game of Thrones” through season 6.)

Season 7 of “Game of Thrones” will have plenty of battles, including more spats with the Night King and his White Walkers, a group of monster ice people that lead an army of the undead.

White Walkers are pretty close to unkillable, but a few characters on the show have bested them. With the right weapons, the White Walkers go down just like anybody else. Unfortunately, those weapons are pretty rare.

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But there are two known substances that can kill White Walkers: Dragonglass and Valyrian steel. The latter is forged into a handful of swords that are scattered among the Great Houses of Westeros. The former is a tough-to-find rock that not a lot of people know about.

In a flashback in Season 6, we learn that the magical Children of the Forest first used Dragonglass to create the Night King thousands of years ago, when they were at war with the First Men. Due to some confluence of magical consequences, it seems that the stuff that created the White Walkers is also some of the only stuff that can destroy them.

So what exactly is Dragonglass? In the parlance of our world, it’s obsidian, a form of black volcanic glass. In Westeros, where the show takes place, it’s fairly rare. Samwell Tarly (John Bradley-West) first discovered a cache of Dragonglass weapons north of the Wall at the Fist of the First Men, and it was Sam that first managed to, somewhat accidentally, kill a White Walker with an obsidian dagger. Likewise, when the army of the dead assaulted the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven in season 6, Meera Reed jabbed a Walker with an Obsidian-tipped spear and was shocked when that turned him into a million tiny pieces of ice.

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Dragonglass is hard to come by, but as it turns out, there’s one place in Westeros where the stuff is available in large quantities: Dragonstone. The small volcanic island and its castle were previously held by Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane). We know from the trailers for “Game of Thrones” Season 7 that Daenerys will be landing at Dragonstone when she finally makes it across the Narrow Sea to Westeros.

So with Dragonstone in play, there’s at least a possibility that the Seven Kingdoms will be able to get hold of enough Dragonglass weapons to stand a chance against the White Walkers before the big battle.

For a while, it seemed to the Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), Sam and the rest of the Night’s Watch that Dragonglass was the only way to kill a White Walker, and weapons made of the stuff were in extremely short supply. But when the Night’s King attacked Hardhome, the wildling city north of the Wall, Jon discovered that his Valyrian steel sword Longclaw was also capable of killing a White Walker.

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Valyrian steel is extremely rare, mostly because the means of forging it was lost to history. Legend has it that Valyrian steel was made using dragon fire and magic spells — but since Valyria was destroyed by the Doom hundreds of years ago, and there haven’t been any dragons up to now, the secrets of how to make more of the stuff went with the city.

We know of only a few Valyrian steel blades in the Seven Kingdoms. Jon’s Longclaw is one; Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) has another called Oathkeeper; Sam stole the Tarly family Valyrian steel sword Heartsbane and took it with him to Oldtown. There’s also Widow’s Wail, the sword Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) first gave to King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and which passed to King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) when Joffrey died. We’re not sure where it is now that Tommen is also dead.

In the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books, there are other Valyrian steel swords, but we haven’t seen them factor into the show yet. It’s still possible they’ll show up, however.

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It’s also worth noting that while Dragonglass is effective against White Walkers, shattering them into ice, they’re useless against the undead army of wights the Walkers are bringing with them. Regular steel swords can handle the dead, as can fire, but the relatively weaker obsidian is actually a liability against them.

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‘Game of Thrones’: Jim Broadbent Lets Slip Clues About His Season 7 Character

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“Harry Potter” alum Jim Broadbent has spilled a few of the beans as to which character he’ll play when “Game of Thrones” returns later this year.

In an interview with ScreenCrush, Broadbent described who he’s bringing to life to the show. And it makes a kind of sense, given his turn in two “Harry Potter” movies as Professor Horace Slughorn. Broadbent didn’t name his character outright, joking in the interview that he couldn’t reveal much in the way of details. But then he dropped some useful information, saying, “I’m a maester, an archmaester. I’m an old professor character.”

Makes sense, since Season 7 finds Samwell Tarley (John Bradley-West) venturing out to Oldtown, the home of the headquarters of the maester order. Maesters, for those who can’t quite remember, are Westeros’ mixture of doctors, scientists and teachers.

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They often serve in castles under lords, handling all their science-minded junk and administering medicines. Sam is hoping to replace Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughan) back at the Wall, and to dig through the enormous library at the Citadel for information that might help defeat the White Walkers.

Broadbent is known for roles in “Moulin Rouge,” “Hot Fuzz,” “Gangs of New York” and “The Chronicles of Narnia,” among a whole lot of others — and several of the roles have a scholarly angle. He says he appears in five episodes of “Game of Thrones” Season 7, with at least one pretty big scene. ScreenCrush put the existing facts together to guess that he’ll play the role of Maester Marwyn from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series.

Marwyn, it’s worth knowing, is hoping to track down Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) after hearing she’s got dragons. But since we’re still waiting for author George R. R. Martin’s next book in the series, “The Winds of Winter,” we don’t yet know what Marwyn’s motivations might be.

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Though ScreenCrush speculates that Broadbent’s theoretical Marwyn will be searching for Daenerys, it also suggests he won’t find her in Season 7. Broadbent said all his scenes were shot on set — so probably he’ll mostly be hanging out with Sam in Oldtown, at least for now.

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