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Bait And Switch / Game of Thrones

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  • When we first see Tyrion, he is talking face-to-face with a woman. We don't realize he's a dwarf until she stands up.
  • Tyrion's description of the Wall in "The Night Lands":
    "I found it surprisingly beautiful... in a brutal, horribly uncomfortable sort of way."
  • During drinks together in Season 1, Robert and Ned are reminiscing about their respective "firsts". At first seems like they're talking about sex, but soon it becomes clear they're talking about the first time either of them killed another man in combat.
  • At first, it looks like Joffrey will have Ned Stark spared because Sansa asked him to show mercy. However, Joffrey quickly has him beheaded, justifying giving him a quick death as being merciful later on.
  • Joffrey's initial statement that his mother told him never to hit a woman seems, at first, like an invocation of Even Evil Has Standards. Then he orders one of the Kingsguard to hit Sansa instead.
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  • Tyrion's confession in "The Laws of Gods and Men" quickly shifts into an angry "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • In "High Sparrow", it initially seems Jon might put Alliser Thorne in charge of the latrines, but instead, that job goes to a random steward and Thorne is named First Ranger.
  • Alliser Thorne initially moves to interfere in Janos' execution but then steps aside.
  • Jon is taken aback and pauses when Janos Slynt begs for mercy, then carries out the sentence anyway.
  • In "Kill the Boy", Ramsay subverts the expectations of both Reek and the audience by saying, "I forgive you."
  • In "The Laws of Gods and Men", Yara charges into the Dreadfort to rescue Theon and Ramsay compliments her on having "more balls" than Theon ever did — but implies that he will let his dogs loose if she continues. Instead of either putting Theon out of his misery right then and there, or finding some way to rescue him, Yara declares her brother is dead after what Ramsay has done to him and goes home.
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  • Clingy Jealous Girl Myranda baits Sansa into the back of the kennels in what seems like an obvious trap to Murder the Hypotenuse, but it turns out to be a face-to-face encounter with "Reek".
  • Near the end of "Kill the Boy", Tyrion is pulled deeper into the water by a stone man as the screen Fades To Black as if to create a cliffhanger to the episode. After a long pause, we fade back in for a final scene as Tyrion regains consciousness after being rescued.
  • In "The Gift", Theon is sent to give a signal to Sansa's supporters outside Winterfell. Unfortunately, he obediently reports to Ramsay instead.
  • Tyrion's attempt to break his chains is interrupted by someone looming over him, but rather than a guard, it's another pit fighter who obligingly breaks the chains with his arakh.
  • When Jon returns to the Wall with thousands of wildling refugees in "The Dance of Dragons", known wildling-hater Alliser Thorne looks down on them with contempt for several moments before ordering the gate opened.
  • After Jon had declared his intent to make peace with the wildlings and allow them through the Wall, his young steward Olly privately tells him that he joined the Watch because wildlings raided his village and killed his parents, adding that Tormund led the raid. This seems to be setting up a future confrontation and perhaps reconciliation between the two, but instead Olly takes part (albeit with some apparent reluctance) in Jon's assassination and is executed after his resurrection, never having shared a scene with Tormund.
  • In "Hardhome", the wildling chieftain Karsi is shown to trust Jon and be protective of her children. We think she's being set up to be a new wildling love interest for Jon after Ygritte, but later, as the battle with the undead army begins and she slays wight after wight, Karsi is unable to bring herself to do the same to some child wights, and falls. She is later reanimated to become one of them.
  • It appears that Benjen Stark has been found, only for it to be revealed that the whole thing was just a pretext to get Jon outside, where the Night's Watch conspirators could assassinate him.
  • Hizdahr arrives a bit late to the dais in "The Dance of Dragons" and says something very suspicious about ensuring that everything goes according to plan, but his subsequent actions soon prove that he had no involvement in the ambush. He even loses his life during the ambush.
  • Arya is about to carry out her first assassination for the Faceless Men when her attention is diverted to one of the men on her personal hit list.
  • When it seems as if she is regaining her sight after the first time she is blinded, the scene apparently switches to her point of view, showing us a slowly unblurring scene ... at Castle Black, far from Braavos.
  • Ramsay casually shoots two arrows at Rickon and misses. Then he draws a third arrow and takes careful, deadly aim. He misses that one as well. Then he hits with an arrow that we didn't even see him loose.
  • At first, it looks like Grey Worm will kill the low-born Master whose two high-born companions gave him up to be killed, but instead he kills those two Masters and lets the other one go free, with a warning for the rest of his people.
  • If the viewer knows or suspects that Theon is in the Dreadfort at the beginning of the third season, they might think that the Master Torturer is Bolton's fabled bastard. Then he gets killed. By the real bastard.
  • In "Book of the Stranger", Jorah is seen having stepped at some distance from Daario near their viewpoint over Vaes Dothrak, fumbling with some strings at waist height. We think he's taking a leak, like we've seen male characters do several times before, but instead, he's disarming himself so they can enter the encampment and posenote  as merchants.
  • When we see Tommen step up into the window after having looked upon the wildfire explosion that destroyed the Sept at the end of Season 6, killing his queen and spiritual guru, we sense what he might be about to do but expect some lingering close-ups of his face as he hesitates. Instead, he just falls forward, with the camera remaining on his back all the time.
  • After smuggling Tyrion back to Kings Landing for his secret meeting with Jaime in "Eastwatch", Davos goes to get Gendry back into the narrative for the first time in five seasons. He finds him working at a smithy. It seems from his dialogue that we will have a scene where he has to persuade the reluctant Gendry to go with him, but Gendry needs none of that and gathers his things up to leave right away.
  • A truly epic bait and switch took place in the Season Seven Finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf". After Arya Stark returned to Winterfell and reunited with her sister Sansa, Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish attempted to play the two against each other, nearly turning The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry deadly in an effort to maintain his tenuous hold of power. Finally, Arya is made to stand before Sansa, who as Lady of Winterfell begins to read the charges:
    "You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges— (turns toward Littlefinger) — Lord Baelish?" (cue Oh, Crap! expression on Littlefinger's face)
  • After how many characters the show has inflicted with Death by Adaptation, Bronn's poisoning at the hands of Tyene Sand looks like the end of him for sure — right up until Tyene passes him the antidote after a brief bit of toying with him. Later, when confronted with the crime of striking Prince Trystane, the very man he attacked chooses to let him go free at the small price of returning the favor. Once again, Westeros' most audacious cockroach lives to fight another day.
  • "Winterfell" begins with a young boy moving furtively about a snowy wood, as if trying to conceal himself, looking for a tree to climb. But instead of hiding from the White Walkers, he's angling for a better view of Dany's army arriving at Winterfell.
  • In "The Bells", after the city surrenders, Daenerys flies on Drogon towards the Red Keep in a beeline, while Cersei watches from the balcony. It seems that Dany is going to roast Cersei, along with people in the Red Keep. Instead, Daenerys starts burning the whole city.
  • Near the beginning of "The Iron Throne", we see Arya watching Daenerys give her speech, seemingly plotting how to kill her. However, Arya isn't the one to kill Daenerys and she only issues a warning about to Jon about the woman he loves. After being pushed by Tyrion to assassinate Daenerys to save Westeros, a conflicted Jon is ultimately the one who does it.
  • After Jon kills Daenerys in "The Iron Throne", Drogon looks ready to burn him in retaliation, and he stands still, ready for death finally. But instead the dragon destroys the titular object.


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