Grinning about your suggestion about the Archmeister. He did seem a little too ready, or tongue-in-cheeky, about Sam's immediate promotion.
Fire and Ice... I did enjoy the duel of wills between Jon and Danerys, but she's his aunt. Considering much closer incest in King's Landing, I guess we're over that already. It's funny how my allegiance has shifted. Since season one, I've been thinking no one but Danerys should rule the Seven Kingdoms--also really liked Robb Stark--but I prefer Jon to her. Of course, a marriage would solve that, maybe.
You're definitely right about Tyrian being led by something other than solid strategy. It seemed sort of like smart counterinsurgency; like learning from real world mistakes in the Middle East--win hearts and minds. Her attempt to do that resulted in catastrophe for her.
Cersei blew up a lot of people and had a purge of a popular religion. I'm surprised she doesn't face an uprising from her own people. Maybe some covert ops would be the best way--foment an uprising, assassinate her, and perhaps the people would be more agreeable to a new queen (king)?
Ah, the fun of armchair realpolitik.
Still waiting to see what Arya makes of all this.
Grin. Arya, the assassin.