A Murder of Crows: The final word on season five, part I

Nearly five months ago, we asked a simple enough question: what if Game of Thrones’s fifth season sucks? It seems only natural, now that season five has come and gone, to attempt to answer that question – and it seems only right to once again invite along the kindly folks from Tower of the Hand, who helped us kick off the great debate (and bar room brawl) that originally ensued.

It turns out, however, that wrestling with inquiries of quality, controversy, and definitiveness is so huge and so overwhelming, we needed to ask along a few extra voices to help us sort through everything and discern what’s what. That’s where the uber-nerds of Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire come in.

Yes, that’s right – we’re now a three-site inter-roundtable. It’s an epic discussion for the ages.

Sand Snakes lol

Except that “discussion” is actually less appropriate than “argument”; yes, it turns out that Game of Thrones viewers and Song of Ice and Fire readers tend to be impassioned, hard-headed, and verbose fans who aren’t afraid to crack a few heads in order to make a point. Who knew? (And who knew there were so many raw nerves to expose along the way?)

Responses in our 17,000-word(!) roundtable ranged from “It was so bad, I stopped watching early in the season” to “The show is still adapting the books, but the training wheels are now off.” That’s quite the gamut, and exploring it from one end to the other took a lot of time – so much, in fact, that we had to divide this up into three parts. Below is the first, with the second appearing tomorrow over at Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire, and the finale showing up at Tower of the Hand on Tuesday (we promise the debate only intensifies with each subsequent chapter).

Have your compasses out? Good – it’s time to navigate the minefield.


Brynden B. Fish

BryndenBFish (Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire):

Let’s focus on four specific elements:

  • Did the season work overall?
  • Were the characters strong independent of previous seasons and in relation to other seasons?
  • Were the big moments of the series packing excitement?
  • Will you watch season six?

Chris Kesner

Chris Kesner (Tower of the Hand):

I liked the season. It had a different overall structure to previous seasons in that it seemed to build towards a climax more with the latter episodes. The first half was quite slow, and the season lost the faith of many fans in the middle with Sansa’s rape and Shireen’s death, but the final three episodes were great. “Hardhome” was the standout, and I thought each scene in the finale was also a standout. Considering they merged two long novels, I think the showrunners pulled it off, as, let’s be fair, books four and five are the weakest in the series. As well, seasons three and four came off the best novel, A Storm of Swords, so following up one’s best material is often difficult and challenging.

We need to move into the larger climax of things in the final two novels/seasons, and let’s hope Martin still has his gusto and the showrunners can take the very strange road of adapting the final season of a series before the novel comes out, as A Dream of Spring is nowhere on the horizon. One can only hope we’ll get to read The Winds of Winter before season six comes out.

Militant Penguin

Militant Penguin (Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire):

Did the season work overall?

To encapsulate my response in one phrase: lack of immersion.

Unlike the previous seasons, I just wasn’t encapsulated by the show. I just didn’t care overall apart from when it came to the Stannis changes, but that’s an external and not an internal thing. To me, there was just no tension or emotion in this season. It just felt hollow, and there was no reason to give a damn or emotionally invest in characters anymore.

With previous seasons, you were drawn into the show and felt less like a passive viewer and more of an in-universe observer, as pretentious as that sounds. Stuff like the music and the effects drew you in and made you feel – hate, joy, love, fear, and even morbid laughter at times.

I wasn’t at all emotionally engaged with this season.

The Dance of Dragons

Episode nine (“The Dance of Dragons”) is a good example to highlight the issue I had. The previous penultimate episodes definitely made me feel something before:

“Baelor” – sadness for Ned, hatred for the Lannisters, and sadness and pride both for Robb and Catelyn.

“Blackwater” – hatred for Joffrey, morbid laughter with Cersei, pity for Sansa and Lancel, pride for Tyrion, Podrick, and Bronn, and awesomeness for Stannis.

“The Rains of Castamere” – dread for Robb, Catelyn, Talisa, and the northerners, morbid laughter with Walder Frey and the Blackfish, fear from Roose Bolton, happiness and sadness for Robb and Talisa, pride for Robb, happiness for Edmure, hatred for the Boltons and Freys, sadness for Grey Wind, and horror. It’s my favourite episode, and I fucking love and hate it all at the same time.

“The Watchers on the Wall” – pride for Jon, Grenn, Sam, and Thorne, sadness for Grenn and Pyp, sadness for Jon seeing Ygritte die, morbid laughter at Hob, the giant archer, and Janos Slynt.

“The Dance of Dragons” – meh.

What didn’t work for me

Dorne was an unmitigated disaster, save for Siddig, Flynn, and Coster-Waldau. It was cringe worthy – everything from the dialogue, choreography, and editing to the writing. It was downright embarrassing at times.

Loras being gay stereotyped right into imprisonment was another thing. All he does is have sex with people. He’s not even a character. He’s practically a walking fleshlight.

The Unsullied are apparently less Spartans and more “Meet the Spartans” at this point. Barristan died as bad-ass as he could have.

Really, really shit writing and characterization. This affected a lot of people: Stannis, Olly, Sansa, Melisandre, Selyse, Sand Snakes, Ellaria, Loras, Doran, etc. A lot of plot contrivances.

At times, shitty choreography.

Littlefinger’s ridiculous plan.

Too many black-and-white characters. Not enough grey.

Too many cuts of good arcs and characters for showrunner-created stuff.

House of Black and White

What did work for me

The House of Black and White, along with Arya.

Acting was on point for a lot of the season, save for our serpent friends.

Effects were great, as always, except for Dany on Drogo in episode nine.

“Hardhome” was excellent. One of the best the series has ever done.

Faith Militant and Sons of the Harpy were suitably imposing and intimidating.

I liked Daznak’s pit and the gladiator showcase. A lot of good, differing fighting styles.

Cersei’s walk was well executed.

A lot of great chemistry between the cast members.

Excellent music, as always.

Final thoughts

If you asked me if the season sucked, I’d say it didn’t, per se. It had a lot of good going for it that prevented it from sucking outright. It was just “meh” to me. I wasn’t at all emotionally engaged. It was an entire season of “oh, well, that happened,” mediocre writing, and bad changes.

Season five was about a 6/10 for me.

If I could say a few things to David Benioff and Dan Weiss: stick to the material as best you can, ask yourself if something you’ve written actually makes sense before filming it, and don’t show bias with your characters or paint them in either pure white or pitch-black morality.

Dame Pasty

Dame Pasty (Watchers on the Wall):

Did the season work overall?

Yes, overall. I think it was a good season, and even bad GOT is still better than 90% of TV out there.

Were the characters strong independent of previous seasons and in relation to other seasons?

Ultimately, I think one can make a convincing argument that Jamie’s and Brienne’s arc was weaker this year, because they had less to do and it seemed like they had less personal development. However, one of the things many love about this show is how much closer to real life it is than any other fantasy has ever been – and that means accepting that people don’t only progress forward (Sansa being a good example), and they don’t always have big moments stringed along in a perfect rhythm. Taking a longer view, it didn’t bother me that some had less to do or their character development didn’t progress as quickly or as forward as we would like. What matters to me is that the overall story was moved along and I was entertained at the same time.

Sansa's sex scene

And judging on that question, there was one storyline that took up a lot of time and energy but produced very little entertainment, character development, or overall story progression: Dorne. The only things it managed to do was introduce Doran, who will probably play a bigger role going forward, to give Jamie something to do (and to mirror his being away from King’s Landing at this point in the story), and to kill off Myrcella. In which case, they could have done more with less – fewer Sand Snakes, and a tighter, more focused script. I think had they used one Sand Snake, it would have vastly improved the story.

Were the big moments of the series packing excitement?

The last two episodes, basically. Seemed like they packed way too much into the last two episodes, particularly in the finale. There were things in Dorne that could have been distributed throughout the season better, I think.

Will you watch season six?

Yes, but if Jon is truly dead or they leave him out for all of season six, my enthusiasm will be pretty much shot. I know that sounds childish, but it’s true. I’ll watch, but I won’t anticipate it the way I have in the past, and I will care a great deal less about the outcome. I probably won’t continue my video reviews, either.

I never expected anyone to get a storybook “and they lived happily ever after” ending, and I was totally prepared for all my beloved characters – the main ones (Jon, Tyrion, Arya) – to die in season seven. It had always seemed that GRRM had set them up (and Dany, too) to survive to the final season, at least. And, yes, I know they say no one is really safe. But there has to be a balance between trying to surprise people and trying to keep them coming back for more, and that means they have to invest in characters. To invest years and years into a character who just dies without any resolution of any kind… seems silly.

And, no, I don’t think Stannis’s death fits into that category. Stannis did many things for which he deserved to die. His ending and his arc made total sense to me.

Jon’s simply doesn’t. Remy

Slynt (Tower of the Hand):

I began the season already slightly disinterested (whereas I was excited about season four), partially because I knew we were heading into book spoiler territory, partially because I didn’t expect to like the major deviations that were coming (Ser Jaime Lannister going to Dorne), and partially because I just wasn’t in the GOT zone when season five began.

I was pleasantly surprised by the first episode and thought it was quite good, then it went downhill (rather steep slopes, too) throughout episodes two to five, before beginning to pull itself together for two great episodes (eight and nine) and a finale that I would have done differently if I had any say in the matter.

I was quite negative about season two the first time I saw it, and I found myself enjoying it a lot more on the second round, when I knew what to expect and could just focus on the story actually shown (as opposed to gnashing my teeth at the changes from the books) – and maybe, maybe this could happen with season five, as well, but I don’t think so, because season five is flawed in a few ways that a re-watch can’t mend; it has nothing to do with the changes to the book’s story, but the technicalities. Many actors were given little to work with, the fight choreography is visibly less interesting/realistic than it has been before, a number of characters that were introduced detracted from, instead of enriched, the story (the Sand Snakes, in particular), the writing was extremely uneven this season (I’m not sure I’ve cringed before, but I did several times during this season), and – in my opinion, of course – there were a lot of what I call sloppy or lazy decisions/directing; stuff like having Theon and Sansa jump off the castle wall when there’s clearly too little snow below them for any realistic chance of not breaking every bone in their bodies and the Sons of the Harpies explicably making up 50% of the crowd at Daznak’s Pit.

Jon Snow bleeding into the snow

The worst decision, from my point of view, might be the end of the finale, with Jon Snow dead. It’s such a downer. After five seasons of doom and gloom, I believe it would have been a smarter choice to give the audience some kind of hope for the future (read: incentive to continue watching), as Jon is, arguably, the character with the most heroic qualities.

There were some decisions that were great, too. Having Jaqen H’ghar be the Kindly Man was a good move, for example.

I didn’t get particularly upset about any of the shockers – Sansa/Ramsay, Arya stabbing the living fuck out of Ser Meryn Trant, the burning of Shireen – and I won’t be upset if Sansa ends up raped or Shireen ends up burning in the books, either. From the early pages of A Game of Thrones, we’ve known this is a brutal story in a brutal society. I still think the Red Wedding looms over all other shockers, both in the books and on the show. Now, the Red Wedding was an absolute game-changer, and it remains to be seen whether the other examples I cited will be similar game-changers. For now, it looks like the rape of Sansa was included just for shock value, which is sad (and I’d be a little ashamed if I were the writer) or to reinforce the cruelty of Ramsay Bolton; if she ends up with his child, or whatever, though, it might just have some plot relevance.

I feel the whole internet agrees that the Dorne storyline was a particularly underwhelming experience, and that Cersei’s story with the High Sparrow was the storyline that felt most TRVE FVCKING METAL to the books. In between these two extremes, we had a variety of stories told, mostly good, but perhaps nothing truly great. Stephen Dillane was awesome this season – his best work on the show, in my opinion. Lena Headey too, was great, but she’s been consistently great ever after I accepted her portrayal of what used to be a favorite character of mine.

Real Housewives of Westeros

I was skeptical about season five because it was going to adapt two very difficult – and, at times, dreadfully boring and slow – books, yet I found myself wanting the show to stay closer to the source material. Somehow, they managed to lose some of the parts of the books that were good. Yet, at the same time, it is nice to have a version of Ice and Fire with actual forward momentum.

In conclusion, four words: finish the book, George.

SomethingLikeALawyer

SomethingLikeALawyer (Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire/Tower of the Hand):

I stopped watching Game of Thrones this season due to one reason: the writing. The show of past seasons was, for the most part, crisply written. There were snags, yes, especially when it came to original conceptions for plots, like Tanner’s Keep and Grand Theft Draco; there were always problems with a lot of the original inserts. After all, one of the things I’ve vociferously protested was the drying up of the westerlands mines because of the effect that this would have had on a resource-driven medieval economy, the Lannisters, and their bannermen (since the Lannisters don’t own all of the mines in the westerlands). I didn’t necessarily forgive the series for it, but I let it slide because I could hardly say that most of the writing staff would have as strong a historical economic background.

This season, however, events were particularly clumsy, exposing more characterization and setting inconsistencies. As the show has progressed, the original show writer conceptions have become moved increasingly to the fore (by necessity, I admit, as the writers run out of published material), and it’s these plots that I find to be poorly written, poorly characterized, and lacking in the brilliant subtlety and greyness that the setting has tried to promote. They’ve relied more upon shock and external viewer hang-ups to sell their story. That’s lazy writing, so count me out.

Stefan

Stefan (Tower of the Hand):

I think I have always come down on the side of the people who enjoy GOT more than they loathe it, and I still think season two was “the worst” of them. That includes the caveat that GOT is pretty good overall, so this is more a relative thing. I would say that this season landed between seasons two and three in overall quality, along with one and four. This also means that I will definitely watch season six. I don’t see why not.

One of the biggest problems in analyzing and grading the series seems to be that it is invariably tied to the books in a way comparable works like True Blood aren’t. The latter sticks for its own reasons, not because of bad adaption choices or constraints of the medium. For GOT, it is sometimes hard to make out what’s what. So, let’s go through the plots to determine it.

The Wall: best dragon for this storyline. Without Thorne being part of Jon’s murder, it would be perfect. So it’s “only” extremely good, and who would have thought we’d ever say that about the Wall two seasons ago?

The north: very mixed. It began strongly but unraveled as they made the singularly bad decision to frantically overdo Ramsay. The Sansa controversy is most likely overblown, in retrospect, but the structural problems here can’t be ignored.

Ramsay Sausage party

King’s Landing: consistently good. I would have liked a little bit more emphasis on the cost of the war for the smallfolk and the relations to the High Sparrow, but the overall quality was good. And, yes, I am purposefully ignoring Littlefinger.

Dorne: I ripped through the various reasons why it sucked in my reviews. It was a fundamentally bad decision to do it like this – not the idea of Jaime being there, in general.

Braavos: consistently great. Very well streamlined.

Meereen: consistently meh. I am especially troubled by their setup for season six because I don’t think it works. Tyrion and Danny were great, though.

Interestingly, my pervasive feeling this season was one of being engaged (minus Dorne). The episodes were mostly incredibly exciting and suspenseful to watch, and I really dig the fact that we simply don’t know what will happen next. The show is still adapting the books, but the training wheels are off. They made their own choices about themes and plots and characters, and I really like some of them. The finale with Stannis, for example, was breathtaking and genuinely well done as an arc, despite feeling slightly rushed in the actual episode. The same is true for Arya, for example.

I genuinely was positively surprised by how much focus on theme there was this season, and how much they tried to tie this in with artistic choices. There were several moments where the decision to throw logistics out of the he window wasn’t precipitated by plot necessities, but by the conscious decision to give the scene a poetic quality. Think of Arya getting blinded after her revenge, getting blind with vengeance, and blinding Meryn Trant. Or Stannis, being betrayed three times and then going down to his judgement day. Or Jon, getting the full Caesar treatment. These are decisions that sometimes aren’t possible in literature and take full advantage of the medium.

Meryn Trant in the red light district

Generally, the creators – despite what many critics say – are not going for the lowest common denominator. Like Martin himself does, they throw in crowd-pleasers from time to time, but one has to admit that, in regards to the artistic quality of the show, they are aiming high. Those who are aiming high take more risks than those playing it safe, and GOT is a very risky show.

Therefore, overall, I liked season five. Give me more. And cut Dorne, please.

Brynden B. Fish

BryndenBFish (Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire):

Did the season work overall?

I don’t know. When I tried to come up with an overall theme that the season was built around, I came up short. In A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, the theme of the ruling class of POV characters was the nature of political power and how, generally, more noble figures (Jon/Daenerys) don’t necessarily rule any better than the morally ambiguous to evil (Cersei). Much of this was couched into internalized struggle with these characters over whether they should play the game of thrones or maintain vows (Jon), make tough compromises for peace or embrace fire and blood (Daenerys), or whatever it was that Cersei was struggling with in Feast.

Moving outside of the thematic side, I can say that individual episodes were strong, and there were individual scenes in weak episodes that were also strong (Stannis/Shireen — no, not that scene. The one where Stannis tells her about not giving her to the bloody stone men). But, overall, at this moment, I’d have to say that season five is the weakest season yet. So many scenes and episodes were built around the “the scene calls for it” dialogue, plot, and action instead of dialogue and action that flows organically. Think of how natural Oberyn’s monologues were in season four compared to how stilted Obara’s monologue was in season five. Even internally, within the season, we have Hardhome, in which the stakes couldn’t be higher for the battle, compared to the joke of a Battle of Winterfell, where no one cared if the Boltons or Stanley Barton won.

And given the success of Arya and the Hound’s road movie arc from season three and four, the show attempted to replicate that with a bunch of road comedies: Jaime/Bronn, Tyrion/Varys, Tyrion/Jorah, Brienne/Podrick. Did it work? Tyrion and Varys were entertaining. I liked Bronn singing the Dornishman’s wife. Brienne talking about Renly at Moat Cailin foreshadowed episode 10 well enough. Otherwise, the repeated use of this was kind of boring.

Brienne and Pod

Were the characters strong independent of previous seasons and in relation to other seasons?

It really depends on the characters. Kit Harington as Jon Snow really pulled his own weight this season. Lena Headey and Jonathan Pryce were outstanding in their respective roles and as foils to one another. But the issue I see is that for many of the others, the character development was off significantly:

  • Daenerys had a series of external conflicts with the Sons of the Harpy and didn’t seem too much at war with her own identity.
  • Jon came off as the unmitigated hero, instead of the complicated commander of the Night’s Watch who agonizes over whether he should take the Stark name and lordship over Winterfell, help Stannis Baratheon or try to help his family. (I’ll keep it vague for those of you who may read the books after this season).
  • And Tyrion… I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the Tyrion of A Dance with Dragons. I don’t miss all those drifting down the Rhoyne River with him, but I miss the rawness of Tyrion’s actions and words (hat tip to Jim, who put it like that in our latest podcast). I did not get the sense that Tyrion’s murder of his father or Shae really had much of an impact on his personality in the show, whereas, in the books, Tyrion is quite psychologically impacted by everything that goes down. He sinks into a murderous, alcoholic, suicidal depression, and that makes for some interesting character development. In season five, Tyrion’s a bit too jolly for my taste – especially having murdered his father and former lover.

Were the big moments of the series packing excitement?

Some, yes. Some, no.

  • Janos Slynt’s execution: yes, it will was still good, even if blocks were not present.
  • Barristan’s final scene: yeah, I think so. I don’t get bent out of shape that the Sons of the Harpy were unarmored and that they killed Westeros’s greatest swordsman. Both Barristan and Grey Worm got swarmed and failed to use unit cohesiveness and… I’ll stop there.
  • Sansa’s rape: excitement is not the right word at all. I’m still not all right with cutting out Sansa’s agency and replacing one monster (Joff) with another (Ramsay). I still don’t get why they didn’t have Sansa play as Alayne Stone and act as Littlefinger’s agent in Winterfell. So, no on this.
  • The Sand Snake attack: absolutely not. (As an aside, the showrunners took one-dimensional characters from the books and managed to make them even more boring and sillier. How is that possible!?)
  • Hardhome: Lord have mercy, yes.
  • The Burning of Shireen: I’m really divided on this one. On the one hand, it was amazingly well-acted and poignant. On the other, the show did the whole “tell, not show” bit on Stannis’s desperation. Had they kept in some of the horrors of the march from Dance with Dragons, this could have been more palpable… though maybe not as acceptable to folks who have read the books.
  • Daenerys flies away: no. This relates back to the character question on Daenerys. Instead of using Drogon’s return as the moment where Daenerys rejects the compromises she’s made towards peace and embraces her Targaryen side, they made Drogon the vehicle of rescue for Daenerys. They made Dany out to be the victim instead of the aggressor and Drogon out to be the rescuer instead of the person who kills at random.
  • The Battle of Winterfell: no. I didn’t care who won or lost the battle. And I think it would have been a much, much more interesting scene if Stannis won the battle after sacrificing Shireen. Did blood-magic work? If so, was Stannis right to sacrifice one child for the salvation of all? These would be the questions we’d still be asking today, but the battle was a wash, and no one cared that Stanley likely died.
  • Theon and Sansa’s jump: I guess yes, though I didn’t feel the dramatic tension for them to jump off right now!
  • Cersei’s Walk of Shame: CGI issues notwithstanding, this was an incredible scene. I felt more sympathy for Cersei from this scene on the show than I did from reading it in A Dance with Dragons. Bravo, Lena!
  • Meryn Trant’s “mercy”: the scene itself was effective and showed that something might be broken in Arya’s moral compass. But really, guys, did we need to make Meryn Trant out to be a pedophile? Or a pedophile that gets off on beating children? Did the showrunners have to brow-beat us into thinking, “Yes, well, this is an appropriate punishment for Trant.” Why not just have Arya hear Trant say, “I hate Braavos. It’s where that fucking water-dancer was from, after all” or something like that?
  • Jon’s Caesaring: this will be controversial, but no. We didn’t need Olly giving Jon knife-eyes every scene they were in to foreshadow what would happen. We needed Jon to be a little more nuanced than the simple hero cut down by selfish villains. What do I mean? Well, Davos and Jon had what seemed like a pivotal scene, where Davos basically tells Jon that he needs to get his hands dirty by playing the game of thrones and supporting Stannis Baratheon. I thought this scene was the precursor to Jon secretly giving Stannis a battle plan to win the north and Jon’s slow movement towards the final breaking of his vows. Gods, what I would have done to have the Pink Letter in the show. Instead, we’re treated to “Benjen!” “It’s a trap!” Stab. At least they kept “For the Watch” in place.

Snow days

Will you watch season six?

Yes. While I’m with Remy that George needs to finish that damn book, if he’s not done before season six, I’m going to watch the show. There is no way around spoilers these days, unless you unplug from the grid or stop talking to people. Plus, I like the show. I wouldn’t say it’s the greatest piece of television currently on air (hello, The Americans!), but it’s good TV, and, at the very least, it causes me to write this 1,300-word response. That’s saying something about its impact and effectiveness, at least as far as I go.

Stefan

Stefan (Tower of the Hand):

I agree with you on the interestingness of Tyrion, but given the widespread and quite bitter criticism that his arc earned in the books, I wouldn’t have sent the series’s flagship character down that route, either. Some things are economic suicide, and this would be one of them. Besides, had they made a dark and brooding Tyrion, the criticism that the show is too dark and brooding already would have gotten all the more intense.

Brynden B. Fish

BryndenBFish (Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire):

I agree that the showrunners didn’t want to fix what wasn’t broken with regard to Tyrion’s characterization. Everyone loves him. Still, though – and this might just be me as a salty book reader – it didn’t feel like organic character growth; Tyrion conducting himself normally after going on a murder spree of people who he’s had a complicated relationship with just took me out of his characterization.

Another lightning-rod of controversy topic that’s worth addressing is the show’s depiction of the Faith Militant and the arrest of Loras Tyrell for homosexuality.

I think that the showrunners felt the need to make modern people quickly turn against the Faith Militant, so they chose them to be anti-gay to spark that reaction. And, look, let’s be honest here: HBO viewers probably slant further to the left politically than your average American. In fact, I remember a survey saying as much around the time that season three aired (can’t find the link now). So, having the Faith Militant become gay bashers seemed like a cheap way to turn the audience against the feed-the-poor types that they seemed to be in earlier episodes. And that seems like pandering to me.

SomethingLikeALawyer

SomethingLikeALawyer (Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire/Tower of the Hand):

It’s a quick-and-dirty solution meant to get the plot back on track, since infidelity isn’t as large a concern as it was in medieval times (or, hell, 50 years ago, when adultery was punishable under the law). Margaery is old enough to consummate her marriage to Tommen, which destroys the “Margaery isn’t a virgin” argument, and Cersei needs a way to destroy the Lannister-Tyrell alliance in her paranoid fury in the wake of Tywin’s murder by Tyrion. Problem is, a quickly-stitched solution shows its seams, and they relied on the viewers’ knowledge of anti-gay religious fundamentalist movements to sell the plot point and hope they wouldn’t notice. Again, poor writing.

Though perhaps it’s colored by the fact that the previous seasons were pretty good television, so I knew they knew better.

Season 5 banner

Be sure to check out part two at Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire tomorrow, followed by part three at Tower of the Hand on Tuesday.

Previous Murders

Should Game of Thrones be boycotted forever more?

“The Wars to Come,” season five, and you

What if season five sucks?

The year in review

Casting the recastings in a new light

Westerosi immersion

The best – and worst – season of Game of Thrones

347 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Dorne was an unmitigated disaster, save for Siddig, Flynn, and Coster-Waldau.

      Siddig, Flynn and Coster-Waldau are thus mitigating factors, meaning that Dorne can’t be an unmitigated disaster. I agree, otherwise (and to be honest, NCW was not at the top of his game this season; in his final scene with Myrcella I thought he seemed confused as to what Jaime was meant to be feeling, and it was easily the least-compelling scene he’s ever acted in).

        Quote  Reply

    2. I’d like to binge watch the series before making final judgement, I’ve found it easier to appreciate the show without one weeks gap between episode.

      My initial rating would be 6.5 or 7 /10 based on the weekly viewing, lowest of the 5 series so far but not so bad or dull as to be as terrible as some will claim.

      I shall be buying the boxset…by then some of the negativity should have levelled off too.
      ~~~
      And a BTW – do we really know that Meryn F. Trant was a paedophile or is this just an assumption? What’s to say he was just into sadism and never actually touched the girls?

        Quote  Reply

    3. “there was just no tension or emotion in this season”

      Silliest thing said in the entire piece.

      No tension or emotion? Come on…

        Quote  Reply

    4. LOL

      Is this westeros.org?

      Bunch of book purists whining…

      We like WOTW because it is great place for show fans, we don’t want fanatics from TOTH…

      Horrible article…

      I’m disgusted….

      Who is next guest here? Linda?!!

        Quote  Reply

    5. GeekFurious,

      Yeah, I think that Hardhome was the most tense thing they’ve done, along with Sansa’s wedding night. It was great stuff, really.

      The Stannis talk with his daughter, Shireen’s death scene, and Jaime’s conversation with Myrcella were also some pretty strong emotional moments for me.

        Quote  Reply

    6. Militant Penguin,
      This what I really really hate about book purists on this season.. so easy to kick at D&D and how they should stick to source material… BUT you and they NEVER EVER say what source material is that is missing! And you know why?? Cause it SUCKS. Seriously I wish every unsullied could see the crap that was missing. Everything good to excellent out books four and five is in the show. Please tell the people about how great Sansa’s storyline is! How we all should have seen the wonderful adventures of Tyrion the buffoon! Or how we should have lingered and expanded Mereeen even more since it lacked the necessary detail to be more exciting. The totally kickass and badass stuff that Jamie does! Please let us have the great negotiator in the show to entertain us. Or the 10’s of characters with the 100’s and 100’s of pages that do nothing for the overall plot and are freaking meaningless (as those of us with a brain realized on reading it) to the final storyline. Put spoilers in and give us all details on what should have been here that was not! Such BS that is hiding behind books that unsullied have not read. Want to know why the show will be seven seasons? Because D&D do not believe there is any good material worthy of going longer. Why do you think they split book 3 into two seasons? Cause it was excellent.. Why did they take 1200 plus pages and make little more than a season for it? Cause it was mostly crap.

        Quote  Reply

    7. It was ludicrous to try to adapt two full length novels into one TV season.

      It resulted in massive, bad condensations to the storylines of Sansa, Stannis, and Dorne.

      I can’t believe they did this voluntarily, but I’m not sure. Either the actor contract crisis made them panic that there might be only seven seasons OR they thought adapting books four and five by stopping in the middle of each concurrent novel would have been boring — that they wanted yet another Red Wedding style climax and weren’t willing to devote two seasons to the payoff.

      Other storylines were condensed but enjoyable on their own, within reason.

      But really: Sansa, Stannis, and Dorne *did not* work well this season, I’m stunned if they were proud of how Dorne went.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Anyway, my longer thoughts:

      In terms of assessing the writing of this series, there are definitely strengths. But the writers also have evident flaws, and one of the biggest is that they aren’t overly focused on the details and implications of the changes that they make. And, to be clear (since it’s become a cliche to accuse people who don’t like the show that they only like it because the writers changed things), adaptational changes are nothing new, and a series this size is not going to be adapted without them. I don’t have a problem with that. But D&D, even when they come up with what is potentially a good or effective way to streamline the series, fall down on the details and themes in executing it.

      Could Sansa going to Winterfell have worked? I suspect it could have. It didn’t, in the final product, because the writers apparently could stretch the bounds of logic to get Sansa there, but once she was there couldn’t stretch their imaginations to find anything for her to do other than play Jeyne Poole’s role, and either didn’t realize or didn’t care that this completely shreds her character development and results in an arc that is just a restatement of the previous four seasons, just even more depressing. And in the process, it’s bizarre how much this change was allowed to overwhelm Theon’s arc, to the point where he doesn’t even have scenes of his own.

      Could Jaime in Dorne have worked? I suspect it could have. But the problems with the Dornish story this season have been extensively documented elsewhere, so I’m not overly keen to restate them.

      Amongst the other stories this season, several worked pretty well, though many are still dogged by the writers’ lack of concern for the small details and the thematic content. Even with the way I thought “For the Watch” was not prompted very well, Jon’s story was clearly the crown jewel of the season. Arya’s was very slow to start (but I’m not a fan of the Braavos story in the books either), but had a very strong ending.

      The Dragon Demands:
      It was ludicrous to try to adapt two full length novels into one TV season.

      As far as that goes, that’s one area where there was no fully satisfying solution available. There’s a reason that those books were split (mostly) geographically, rather than chronologically, and it’s because GRRM did not write 2 books’ worth of story for each character. You could not have extended any of those plots over two seasons (in many cases, one would have been a stretch; the apportionment of material becomes highly asymmetrical by that point).

        Quote  Reply

    9. I already posted my thoughts on Season 5 in another thread, so I’ll just copy them here:

      Overall, I thought this season was really good, despite a slow start.
      I did have some problems though.

      The Dorne storyline was… yeah…
      Admittedly, I didn’t really like it in the books either, but the one part of it I DID like was Doran’s speech/masterplan… which wasn’t in the show.
      Also… wasn’t there supposed to be some “secret” actor in Dorne this season? I guess that was bullshit…

      I also didn’t like how Stannis’ storyline ended (and NO, I am NOT a Stannis fanboy).
      It wasn’t the fact that he failed in his attack, or even that he died, that bothered me (in fact, I felt the way he died was very fitting and in character). What bothered me was that, after all the buildup, the whole thing ultimately felt anticlimactic and pointless. If he (or one of his men) had killed either Ramsay or Roose, I may have been satisfied. As it was though, it seemed to accomplish nothing, and he kinda came across as incompetent… which he isn’t.
      I also kinda feel it would have made a better story if all the black magic DID get him what he wanted, but then maybe what he did to everyone he loved made him feel it wasn’t worth it… or something.

      Otherwise though, I felt every storyline ended (if you can call it that, lol) in a satisfactory way, and had appropriate buildup.
      I will say though… I’m not exactly horrified at the prospect of waiting 10 months for the next season. As much as I love this show, I feel like I could use a bit of a break.

        Quote  Reply

    10. Good stuff as always. Again, I’not buying the argument that people are not watching season 6. You are too engrossed in the fandom to do otherwise. What if GRRM delays TWOW to 2017? Are you going to abandon the fandom threads? 99% of them will be based on the show.

      I say sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. We’re getting Ser Arthur Dayne, Euron Crow’s eye, and Northern Lords for crying out loud. Not to mention Septon Meribald/Elder Brother (CLEGANEBOWL!)

      Whoever skips season 6 after all this hype is insane

        Quote  Reply

    11. Actually, need to add:

      If Littlefinger ends up raping Sansa in the next novel, and they just condensed this a lot, I won’t be as annoyed.

      Stannis might die in the next novel – but even so, they should have shown it as a substantive battle, not a cake-walk for the Boltons. Half of me suspects this was a fake-out; yes Ramsay won, but by stupidly attacking instead of staying behind his strong walls, he lost men he can’t afford to lose, and Roose berates him for it. That might fix this.

      Meanwhile, the Dorne storyline, even this condensed in raw screentime, was very badly written and clearly an afterthought. Not the overall idea of sending Jaime to Dorne, but the execution of it.

        Quote  Reply

    12. As far as that goes, that’s one area where there was no fully satisfying solution available.There’s a reason that those books were split (mostly) geographically, rather than chronologically, and it’s because GRRM did not write 2 books’ worth of story for each character.You could not have extended any of those plots over two seasons (in many cases, one would have been a stretch; the apportionment of material becomes highly asymmetrical by that point).

      Well, then adapting every storyarc from two novels. Why not just put Sansa on hold like Bran?

      What I strongly think is it would have been better to push Dorne entirely to Season 6 rather than try to squeeze it in now. Just send Jaime to the Riverlands, with characters we already know, instead of having to introduce new ones.

        Quote  Reply

    13. The Dragon Demands: Well, then adapting every storyarc from two novels.Why not just put Sansa on hold like Bran?

      Since you mention Bran, they didn’t adapt every story arc. They cut Bran entirely (he was virtually out of material anyway), merged a couple of others, kept Sam at the Wall and will presumably have his travels to Oldtown occur between seasons.

      In retrospect, putting Sansa on hold would likely have been better than what they did, but I expect the writers would ardently insist that this storyline was furthering Sansa’s role as a gameplayer, even though it wasn’t at all (and, of course, their overriding concern was that they wanted to have Sansa replace Jeyne because Ramsay raping Sansa would create more shock).

        Quote  Reply

    14. I started watching Game of thrones at season 2 just before Blackwater episode, and i totally got hooked , i waited till the end of season 4 and then read all the books ( i enjoyed both show and books) but i must say this season is really big disappointment for me , for various reasons ( i mostly agree with statement of Militant Penguin)

      – terrible Dorne / dialogue lines , combat sequence in water gardens,
      – Trying to replicate shock and critical acclaim of Red Wedding in season 3 but failing miserably.
      – they whitewash some characters (Tyrion, Cersei) while they demonize others like Stannis , plot holes in the Battle of Ice and really disappointing sequence , Sansa and Theon do nothing most of the season but what they have been doing / getting raped/

      – no depth in this season , Northmen are useless and just peasant or two still says ” The North Remembers”,
      and I could go on

        Quote  Reply

    15. Arya Havin’ a Larf?,

      He clearly drew sexual satisfaction from what he was doing, whether or not he actually engaged in intercourse or sexual touching along those lines. Touching is not really required to be a pedophile.
      But the girls were old enough that he’d be at least a hebephile, not really a pedophile. Unless he would’ve been interested in actual children if they’d offered them. :\

        Quote  Reply

    16. I have to agree that the writing this season was a lot poorer than normal. I think it was mainly due to time constraints for D&D – they might have spent so long working out how to cram two books into one season they didn’t have time to create a particularly well-written script.

      That’s not to say the season wasn’t entertaining. Hardhome was clearly excellent tv and most episodes had some genuinely exciting moments, but it felt like they were only exciting because we were already invested in the characters.

      Overall, I’d say Season 5 is the worst yet. But only because I love Seasons 1, 3 and 4 and think Season 2 is not so far behind them.

        Quote  Reply

    17. Lack of intensity this season?
      Not the best show on television?
      Jesus, were we watching the same show?
      Ugh why are we posting this stuff on this site.
      I agree with a few smaaaaaaaaaaaallllllll things, mostly the Jon comments about how they ended it. It could have been done better and if they do fully kill Jon and Kit Harington off, my enthusiasm will go down a little 😐
      I have to rewatch the season but I would give it a 9/10…. that may go down if Jon dies forever.

      Edit: Meryn Trant has been a freak since Season 1, they didn’t over exaggerate his behaviour in the last two episodes. He had no problem ripping Sansa’s dress and beating her in Season 2 (??).

        Quote  Reply

    18. Aside some of the choreography on the Dorne Scenes, it doesn’t matter too much.

      The Season is amazing when binge-watching them, as all Seasons are in my opinion.

        Quote  Reply

    19. “Season 5 was a disaster”,”AFFC and ADWD are bad and boring”.What I don’t understand is why do you people watch a show that you don’t like and read books that you don’t like.After Hardhome I’ve seen someone saying he rates the episode 0/10.Go watch something else then,stop spreading your cheap negativity.I mean,the haters don’t affect me but it’s just not fun anymore.With other less succesfull shows it’s so much better because you only talk with people that actually like the show,it’s only them that watch it.With GoT it’s hate,hate,hate again and again.Don’t know if next season I will check forums,sites,groupes about the show anymore.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Most of the season was excellent, but Dorne was definitely a huge disappointment. I expected much better from the writers here. If they must continue with Dorne in the next season it needs to be limited solely to Doran, as Ellaria and the Sand Snakes’ stories should be over now. They got what they wanted and are now fugitives who should be on the run from Doran, and never seen in the show again.

      Bex,

      Agreed.

        Quote  Reply

    21. My only real complaint about this season is that the finale left a lot of things unresolved, or delayed a lot of pay-off. This is true in the books too, so I don’t hold it against the show and get a feeling that D&D held some things back to give GRRM some breathing space for TWOW (for season 6 I doubt they’ll be able to extend the same favour).

      Additionally, Dorne was spread very thin. The Sand Snakes got no dialogue other than “Oberyn was my father!” and “For Oberyn!” and this made it next to impossible to like them, especially when putting them up against favourites like Bronn and Jaime. Everything Dorne did could have been resolved by episode 6 or 7, but instead it was chopped up and spread out and it feels like a lot is missing. Doran and Areo get around 2 minutes of screentime in the first 8 episodes. I’m kind of shocked. The flipside is that Dorne was fairly bad in the books and I can barely remember what went on there.

      And for me that is a big positive on the season — I know a lot of book purists will bend over backwards to justify the reams of rubbish that GRRM stuffed AFFC and ADWD with, but I’m glad to see it gone. I’d prefer it if the show didn’t spend 3 seasons, as GRRM suggested, with Brienne wandering around the countryside and all of the other inertia. Inert this season was not, despite complaints about how slow it was at times.

        Quote  Reply

    22. I agree with the people that thought Dorne was the weakest locational storyline this season.

      I was not at all happy about Dorne. But as far as the rest of this season’s storylines, I really can’t complain.

      And I also agree if Jon Snow is gone for a whole freaking season, not saying myself, but I have talked to a lot of people and that would really make them lose excitement over the show.

      I am not saying if D&D actual cut Kit that the show will fail I am just saying a lot of Sunday’s excitement will be lost because sooo many people were really invested in Jon Snow.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Deesensfan:
      As an unsullied, it didn’t bother me. It could have been done better.
      How do you think the overall unsullied population feel about it?

      My unsullied friend`s are kinda growing tired of the show but are still watching it weirdly….

      If you are looking at season 1-5 as a single story things just arent developing in the right way. After RW everything lost momentum and the show (like the books) has not picked it up to this day.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Season 5 was excellent. It was the entire Dorne storyline that was a let down. Don’t know what they were thinking. However, that was just a small blip on an otherwise stellar season. Can’t wait for next year.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Sue the Fury:
      Arya Havin’ a Larf?,

      He clearly drew sexual satisfaction from what he was doing, whether or not he actually engaged in intercourse or sexual touching along those lines. Touching is not really required to be a pedophile.
      But the girls were old enough that he’d be at least a hebephile, not really a pedophile. Unless he would’ve been interested in actual children if they’d offered them. :\

      You saw something I didn’t then..pray tell! I didn’t really get that from when he was also beating Sansa who (character) was also around 14/15yo at the time, rather a cold detachment in fact. Just struck me as a violent sadist whose motives were not actually sexual but simply about power over victims, under the broad banner of Physical Child Abuse . I guess it’s a good thing that I can’t see how anyone gets sexual gratification from that!

      Anyway, hairsplitting aside, Meryn F. Trant was clearly a shitbag!

        Quote  Reply

    26. mau,

      I agree, if i wanted to read book purists whine i’d go to any other GoT related website on the internet ( TotH, westeros.org, WiC, r/asoiaf…………………..ect) since every one of them is infested with that kind.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Hoyti Von Totiy,
      Interesting, that makes me sad to hear.
      I haven’t got that impression from most of my unsullied friends (and me) – I have from some though….
      But I do see so muchhhhhhhhh protest against Jon going and I really think that will affect interest in the show, no matter how dumb that sounds.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      So… not a single person on the entire internet likes Dorne.

      #itoldyouso
      #dornefiller

      I realize you’re probably trolling, but there were aspects of Dorne that I enjoyed. And that others enjoyed. Let’s avoid blanket statements.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Deesensfan:

      Interesting, that makes me sad to hear.
      I haven’t got that impression from most of my unsullied friends (and me) – I have from some though….
      But I do see so muchhhhhhhhh protest against Jon going and I really think that will affect interest in the show, no matter how dumb that sounds.

      I can live with Snow dying but what bothers me is that they changed his last words as he lay dying to “Olly”!!!!???

      #facepalm

        Quote  Reply

    30. Sue the Fury: I realize you’re probably trolling, but there were aspects of Dorne that I enjoyed. And that others enjoyed. Let’s avoid blanket statements.

      No i am not trolling and PLEASE name here in public those aspects you found enjoyable.

      p.s.
      Doran was good his acting i mean, but at the end he turned out to be a guy sitting in a chair doing nothing, knowing nothing and plotting nothing.

      Doran was anti-Chekhov’s gun he was left hanging on the wall.

        Quote  Reply

    31. mau,
      Exactly i’m utterly disappointed with article but you know what’s amazing? D&D doing their job and doing it brilliantly and they don’t give a f…k about haters i’m proud of them

        Quote  Reply

    32. Sean C.,

      Whaaaaaat!!! He owned it!!! Finally someone apreciated him! He was overwhelmed, as I was by that whole scene. I found it do good that it almost made omence for the dragging, anticlimactic dorne-storyline. But then again, I actually apreciated the b-movie/exploitation take on the sand snakes. Tyene, espicially I felt was a fun addition and I thougt the actress brougt a lot of life to her character. The storyline overall was messy, but I really think people overreact. It was no way near a disaster. It was fun!

        Quote  Reply

    33. While I think that discussions like this one are sorely needed and deem them essential for a fandom that consists both of book-readers and show-watchers alike, I do have a problem with people trying to argue solely relying on their own view on their preferred format, like many of the TOTH and Westeros-guys do. One thing I always asked myself when reading their opinions on some episodes of GoT:

      When did these six word “I will stop watching the show” become so acceptable as a tool of expressing one´s opinion and why do some of these people deem this as the strongest possible fortification for their arguments? It´s not, mostly in these cases it is evident that the person saying these words already had strong tendencies towards one side of the franchise (most often the books) long before the actual discussion and now tries to convince the other participants of their view by adding some simulated weight to it.

      What they forget is that, even though they never like to hear it, GoT is an adaptation of the ASOIAF-books, but that doesn´t mean it has no right to stand for its own or it can´t follow through with changes to the source-material if it´s deemed appropriate. If there is an adaptation, changes will be made, if they are wanted or not.

      One can´t just say ” I will stop watching the show” and just because it doesn´t fulfill the exact role he/she wanted it to fulfill, even though it´s a whole other format than the books, deem this as a reasonable argument for the correctness of this point of view. It´s a self-fulfilling prophecy: he/she subliminally made up his/her mind long ago and now when scenes or dialogues do not correspond with that pre-set opinion, it is taken as an affirmation that the opinion was right all along.

      So what I´m trying to say is: the hardcore-bookreaders really need to make sure what they expect of an adaptation and communicate what they think/feel about the changes in a way that does respect GoT as one part of a franchise, not just the spawn of the all-hailed ASOIAF. Yeah, it is an adaptation, but an adaptation still is a stand-alone SOURCE-MATERIAL, even though it´s on TV and not in bookform. If they can not manage to succeed in this change of mind, they should not wonder why they are often regarded as an unreasonable conglomerate of deniers that rather like to complain (about a thing they claim to be inferior to the books anyway) than effectively offering real solutions or constructive criticism.

      If it´s so flawed as some of them claim, why don´t they just tell us how everything could be made better, how every bit of plot-material could be thrown into the show and which material is “worthy” in the first place, they mostly stay very vague concerning such questions.

      You´re a vital and maybe the most well-informed part of the fandom, book-purists, don´t get me wrong, yet still that doesn´t automatically elevate your opinions on the matter on such a higher level that the rest of the fandom should just nod and say “they´re right” while most of you don´t offer real input in addressing problems. Just don´t swing the verbal hammer by saying “I will stop watching the show”, that isn´t fair, it really doesn´t help in improving your arguments and what´s saddest about it: it divides showwatchers and bookreaders, something that isn´t desirable in any way.

        Quote  Reply

    34. I must admit that was a very annoying read. There’s two things that really confuse me:

      1. Many of the people on the roundtable are apparantly experts at determining whether something is “good writing” or “bad writing”. Or is it just because one is based on the books and the other is not?

      2. I really have to laugh out loud when I read those “won’t watch season 6” claims. I have never ever in my life spent a minute on a forum talking about a tv show I didn’t like. Which is normal, because you don’t care. I don’t watch. I don’t discuss. Where Game of Thrones is concerned, NONE OF US here are anything remotely close to that point. So don’t pretend to quit the show. You don’t have to try and shock us, because you won’t succeed. See you all next year, purists!

        Quote  Reply

    35. Hoyti Von Totiy: they changed his last words as he lay dying to “Olly”!!!!???

      I’m with you on that point and the ultimate trollish use of Benjen. I really thought we would get “Ghost” while Jon bled out and the light faded from his eyes. Oh well.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Bex,

      Agreed…I was waiting for you to chime in with something along those lines! But that got me thinking…did any of our WotW admins participate in this roundtable, maybe to be transcribed at a later date? I would have loved to see a wider spectrum of opinion on the season!

        Quote  Reply

    37. Dutch maester:
      1. Many of the people on the roundtable are apparantly experts at determining whether something is “good writing” or “bad writing”.

      Whether something is good or bad writing is inherently a matter of opinion. Any consumer of entertainment is entitled to make that assessment for themselves.

        Quote  Reply

    38. mau:
      LOL

      Is this westeros.org?

      Bunch of book purists whining…

      We like WOTW because it is great place for show fans, we don’t want fanatics from TOTH…

      This is funny on so many levels. I wouldn’t even know where to start.

        Quote  Reply

    39. I’m a book purist and I love the show, but I’d like to make clear how lazy, superficial and inconsistent the screenplay of this season was, even without comparing the show with the books.

      1. Dorne’s plot was insulting for a lot of reasons, especially this: the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard snakes in the palace of one of the most powerful Lords of Westeros, a subject of the Crown, of his own family. Like a thief. Without a plan (“I like to improvise”).

      2. Myrcella died without the crown mentioned by Maggy the Frog. A flaw in the screenplay? No golden crown for Myrcella, no valonqar: did we really nead this flashback?

      3. How could Sansa marry Ramsay? A wedding in Westeros is NOT automatically null if unconsummated. From the Wiki (http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Customs): “In the Faith of the Seven, a marriage that has not been consummated can be set aside by the High Septon or a Council of Faith. An annulment granted by the High Septon requires no witnesses and must be requested by at least one of the wedded pair. The role and procedure of a Council of Faith is unclear”. But even without considering the books, who can really believe that a marriage of a noble lady celebrated by a High Septon in front of the most powerful Lords of Westeros can be broken without an official statement?

      4. Petyr. He told Cersei in the show “Knowledge is power”, so I found unrealistic he didn’t know who Ramsay was. Moreover, his plans entailed that he lost Sansa anyway, both if the Boltons won the battle of Winterfell (she’d have remained under their control), and if Stannis did (he’d have had no mercy for him, as he tried to empower the his enemies legitimazing their leadership in the North). His behaviour has no sense for me.

      5. Daenerys flying away after a conscious command to Drogon, leaving the city and her friends in trouble. I’ve seen around a lot of memes about it.

      6. Daenerys took her ring off in the last episode. I can’t believe it was to leave a sign for Daario and Jorah. Such a tiny thing, in the middle of nowhere. Do they really think we are SO stupid?

      7. What’s the sense of the grayscale for Jorah? I was pretty sure he would have died to save Dany from the Sons of the Harpy, but he simply became a mortal threat for everyone around him.

      8. Jaqen switching from a body to another, Arya seeing her face in that corpse, washed away the few things I seem to know of the Faceless Men.

      9. What did the show fans undestand of Melisandre? Does she have power or not? What is she looking for, and why?

      10. Stannis. They depicted him as a brave commander, the father of the year, just to butcher his charachter. I feel treated like a monkey to train. Killed by Brienne (you had ONE job lady) for Renly (?!). Who cares for Renly, a phantom of the second season? I can find online a thousand of fan fictions better than this crap.

      11. Someone please explain me the sense of Hardhome, if Jon had to die HATED by his brothers. Everyone loved Hardhome, a very spectacular battle, yes, but with a very poor sense, considering that it wasn’t enough to make Jon a hero in the Night’s Watch eyes. I think that Hardhome made very difficult for the show fans to understand why the Night’s Watch murdered him.

      12. Weiss (http://bit.ly/1JSNARS): “In a book, you can present that kind of ambiguity. In a show, everybody sees it for what it is. It’s that rule: if don’t see the body then they’re not really dead”. Dude, we had to check the HBO site and the biographies of Myrcella, Jon and Stannis to understand if they were dead or not, so you EPICFAILED your mission.

      A prayer to the showrunners: PLEASE, don’t touch the Greyjoys, leave them in the books.

      A prayer to Mr. Martin: avenge us.

      A few words to people saying we’re just a “bunch of book purists whining”. Game of Thrones is one of the greatest show of all time. But if there is someone in the world who can dare a critique, it’s exactly we, the readers. Because we know the greatness of the story, we know the real potential of an adaptation, we know how and where they fail: and after this season I can say they fail wherever they don’t follow the books. I’m really, really scared of the sixth season, the first not based on the original written source material.

      (forgive my english, I’m italian)

        Quote  Reply

    40. deekan:

      We don’t know that Doran’s plotting nothing, yet. He just appears to be, which is what it looks like to the Sand Snakes in the books also. Both Dorne and King’s Landing storylines have not caught up with the books. Despite the differences between the book and the show, they didn’t hire Siddig to sit around and do nothing, they casted because he WILL be important.

      Maybe he will be next season. But from a viewers perspective did we have to go trough an entire season of him doing nothing?

      You can say Dorne stole minimal screen time but in this show every minute counts as pure gold.

      Just look how the last episode was overstacked with plotlines.
      Instead of building up FTW and the events that lead to it we got an over simplified 5 min sequence that makes NO GODDANM SENSE!!!!

      Why would Allister Thorne after delivering “you have a good heart” line, let 5000 wildlings trough the wall and then kill Jon?

        Quote  Reply

    41. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      We don’t know that Doran’s plotting nothing, yet. He just appears to be, which is what it looks like to the Sand Snakes in the books also. Both Dorne and King’s Landing storylines have not caught up with the books. Despite the differences between the book and the show, they didn’t hire Siddig to sit around and do nothing, they casted because he WILL be important.

      We simply haven’t seen enough of him to tell the difference between what he says and what his actual intentions are.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Emma Seljan:
      2. Myrcella died without the crown mentioned by Maggy the Frog. A flaw in the screenplay? No golden crown for Myrcella, no valonqar: did we really nead this flashback?

      Since English is your second language, I should clarify this point: “crown” in English can also mean the top of your head, so to have a “golden crown” can be a metaphor for having blonde hair. So Myrcella did have one.

      I’m curious, though, if you read the novels in Italian, does the translation unequivocally refer to a crown in the sense of kingship?

        Quote  Reply

    43. It had ups and downs ( like every single season before) but I overall enjoyed season 5.
      I feel sorry Sansa has been Jeyne Poole’d but I must say I found this change interesting, at least; the Wall was handled very well and King’s Landing too. I may be in the minority but I also liked the whole Stannis team arc this year and I loved everything Braavos.
      Tyrion and Daenerys’ stories were okay.
      Brienne/Pod, Jaime to Dorne and Dorne in general have been underwhelming (as much as the absence of Bran) but honestly, next year we’ll probably have the return of Rickon, the certain return of Bran, very interesting characters in the casting calls (GET HYPE!)…
      I could never even considering leaving the series now!

        Quote  Reply

    44. Deesensfan,

      Ghost.That’s why all the talk about him warging into Ghost.I hate this too…Olly that’s just meh.Not to mention the use of Benjen.That was great trolling by D&D.The whole FTW was meh,but that and Dorne is my only complain about season finale.Otherwise it was great.

        Quote  Reply

    45. arent there going to be 7 seasons? If so, it would be stupid to have Jon sit out for a whole season and then have him coming back. They also cannot just skip over the wall storyline.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Except for the Episode 6 scenes, I…really didn’t think Dorne was that bad? Though it feels like much of it is set-up for payoff in Season 6. My biggest complaint is we didn’t see more of Prince Doran. Hopefully next season it will be a meatier role.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Season 6 is going to rock. The Ironborn making a return alone gets me hyped. I know some people didn’t like those parts of the books much, but I sure did. I’ll miss Damphair and Victarion somewhat, but having Euron in and Yara back is enough for me.

      I have to agree with Dame Pasty and other commenters though that if Jon is really dead or sits out Season 6, it will bother me a bit. I hope we’ll at least see some clue that he survives if nothing else, like the mutineers return to collect his body only to find it disappeared. That’d make for some juicy drama.

      Either way though, I’m confident the show will continue its winning streak despite some of the stumbles in Season 5. Looking forward to it.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Umm, I liked:
      – 2 out of 3 Jamie & Myrcella’s scenes. In fact the last one was a gem with Jamie trying to come clean and Myrcella accepting him for who he truly is.
      – Doran vs Ellaria
      – Ellaria & Jamie scene
      – Bronn getting the antidote in the cell scene
      – And “Bad Pussy” was so cheesy and bad, it has become quite my favorite line and scene from Dorne. I’d watch that over many other good scenes in the show.

      Let me put it this way. Chances of you getting it 100% right with “No one liked Dorne” have just decreased by one poster on the internet. That’s like 99,9999999999999999999999999% now.

      I think I’m #NoOne. I should apply for FM and make Arya’s storyline a bigger chunk of the next season. 😛
      #moreArya

        Quote  Reply

    49. Wow this isn’t really a debate when everyone bashes the show and praises the books. There was a few storylines that weren’t as good as they coulve been, but overall, I liked this season. I kind of wished they would have ended the season with a scene of Bran, but it worked well enough.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Sean C.: I’m curious, though, if you read the novels in Italian, does the translation unequivocally refer to a crown in the sense of kingship?

      Absolutely. In italian we have: “D’oro saranno le loro corone, e d’oro i loro sudari”, no possible misunderstanding with blonde hair. Thank you so much for your clarification, another evidence of how poor the italian translation is (there’s a huge debate on translation problems here).

        Quote  Reply

    51. Tormund’s Woman:

      – And “Bad Pussy” was so cheesy and bad, it has become quite my favorite line and scene from Dorne. I’d watch that over many other good scenes in the show.

      Bad pussy needs a fat pink mast.

        Quote  Reply

    52. D&D tried to pull a “Darkstar” with Dorne but it doesn’t work without him in flesh and blood.Ellaria is boring,no one cares about her.With Doran introduced in ep 2 they had enough time to make him do a partial reveal of plans around ep 9.Not all,just something so it wouldn’t feel like nothing happended in Dorne.Surprised to see they delayed it.I guess they expected the conflict between SS and J&B to be more impactfull.But it wasn’t.

        Quote  Reply

    53. mau,

      You know it’s okay to criticize the show for what it is right? Theres no need to be a D&D apologist when this season was without the doubt the worst season of the show. People criticize because they care enough to criticize, I for one criticize the show with the small hope that MAYBE it will improve, I suspect most people on Westeros.org, despite how much you personally hate it, feel the same way. I’m glad an intelligent article like this is on this site, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Who knows if people had more of this mentality during season 4, maybe this season could have been great, maybe. Ultimately I think D&D won’t change their ways when it comes to how the show has in many ways been dumbed down, but one can hope.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Ser Gerold Dayne,

      If Doran had revealed his plans, then that would have stopped Ellaria from making her move, and fucking things up. Instead, just like the books, Doran’s plan (if he has one) won’t be revealed until after Ellaria (or Arianne in the books) has put her plan into action.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Dovaogēdys,

      Yes, several if us did submit replies. Mine was the last out of all of them and will be on one of the other websites, which will be interesting because I am on the other end of the spectrum.

      Marc had a lot of material to work with but there was plenty of back and forth!

        Quote  Reply

    56. Xanth:
      mau,

      Theres no need to be a D&D apologist when this season was without the doubt the worst season of the show.

      In your opinion.

      People are happy to read friendly constructive criticism, but most of the stuff that comes from book purists is just really tiring to read, and for that reason i won’t be reading parts 2 or 3 of this discussion.

      For me, I would say this season was the third best, but I will only really evaluate how I feel when I binge the season next week, but I do get tired of some of the vitriol spouted from some book purists.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Let me state my current opinion on the matter in the most simple way… The books are great, and the show is STILL great. Can’t wait for Winds of Winter and S6! 😀

        Quote  Reply

    58. As a book reader you have all the right to criticize s5 if you liked AFFC and ADWD.If you hate those books of course I will consider your opinion totally subjective.People who don’t like the last two books just assume s5 it’s the worst season like it’s obvious.Yet s5 had the highest ratings of them all and has the most universally acclaimed episode in all GoT so far,Hardhome.Not to talk about the fact that with Jon’s and Stannis’s deaths s5 is a bigger game changer than any other season so far.

        Quote  Reply

    59. The Americans is indeed the best show on tv.

      One of the selling points of Game of Thrones is that it depicts a society with very different mores from ours. The fact that our society treats infidelity very differently from theirs shouldn’t have been such a bar to depicting it that way. I think it is a mark against the show that they felt they had to lean on contemporary associations with religious opposition to homosexuality, and reduced Loras to just that trait in the process.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Even if this was the “worst” season of GoT… One season has to be the worst, and the worst season of GoT is still far and above the rest of the dross we get on TV.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Ser Florian,

      Corect.That’s why Ellaria would have died mid-season if it was after me,we have her for 2 years allready and I don’t see why.It is what it is now,we’re ready for a third season of Ellaria’s adventures(eye rolling).

        Quote  Reply

    62. Ser Florian:
      Even if this was the “worst” season of GoT… One season has to be the worst, and the worst season of GoT is still far and above the rest of the dross we get on TV.

      That’s one of the line of argument in relation to the show that I really don’t care for. There are many other shows putting out stronger work this TV season.

      I mean, obviously there’s tons of junk programming out there, but I don’t think saying GOT is above that is a particularly strong defence. This is a show that clearly aspires to be rated alongside shows like Mad Men and The Americans, which are far superior in terms of plotting, character development, theme, etc.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Again book purists please please give us specifics on what was so much better in the books that was in the show! Just cracks me up because there is little to nothing you have… and as for George “saving the show” have you actually read the chapters posted online? Do those seem like chapters from books 1 to 3? or the crap from books 4 and 5? Has it dawned yet that there will be 7 seasons cause the outline he gave D&D is not overly impressive on what remains? Again this was toughest season to do cause the source material was so ungainly and so uneven… Next season is completely on D&D if it is crap I will be first to call them out. But I cannot stress enough how many poor storylines are in books 4 and 5 and all purists have yet to state a compelling storyline that should have been included because they do not exist. And for all the loose ends well that was the books too… seriously folks want to bash the show that is fine but stop with nebulous dumbing down of series or cannot trust them to follow the base material… it sucked look at reviews on amazon… look at how 1200 plus pages could not even make two seasons. get off your high horses and face reality the incredible three books that started the series where this was arguably the best fantasy series ever has rapidly dropped to below mediocrity. Prove me wrong state something awesome that is there that should be here! Prove that Sansa, Brienne, Jamie, Tyrion, etc.. had better storylines in the books… you cannot and have not done so. So what we have is a loud minority of folks with blinders on worshipping George and his series which started off incredibly but then took a serious nose dive whaling on the show that we will never see the likes again. And instead of being thankful that they are trying to edit the hell out of something that had no editor before and making something useful from it… you will bitch instead. Or the fact that we have been jerked around so badly by George where he told us at end of book 4 with half the characters missing: don’t worry next book will be out shortly since I basically have written it already and just decided to split it in half or the major Jon Snow cliff hanger… well excess of 4 freaking years for each of these events at least now I only have 10 months more.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Jeb,

      I think the point is that this season is bad not from a book purist perspective as highlighted in this article. It’s bad from a lazy writing perspective.

        Quote  Reply

    65. For those disappointed by the seemingly one-sided nature of this debate, keep in mind there are two more installments left. Plus there were lots of exchanges that won’t be published because they went too far afield and made the convo too long. Ultimately though, I can attest to the fact that it did not end up being one-sided when all was said and done.

      Ser Florian,
      I couldn’t agree more! GoT is still an excellent show and well worth watching, all the negativity aside. WoTW remains a true GoT fan site.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Xanth:
      mau,

      You know it’s okay to criticize the show for what it is right? Theres no need to be a D&D apologist when this season was without the doubt the worst season of the show.

      Typical book purist’s behavior. Arrogance and ignorance.

      Without the doubt? Well, you see I doubt it. And millions of fans from all around the world.

      People criticize because they care enough to criticize,

      This article in nonsensical mess , just like everything book purists write, because they are not able to understand anything that is different from the books.

      Books which they re-read 1745 times until they convince themselves that AFFC and ADWD are great.

      And then they quote 6 monologues (and always the same 6 monologues which GRRM finished after 11 years) from those books admiring “deep and complex world” that GRRM created.

      I for one criticize the show with the small hope that MAYBE it will improve, I suspect most people on Westeros.org, despite how much you personally hate it, feel the same way.

      IMO most peple on Westeros.org are literally insane. And first of all Linda.

      I’m glad an intelligent article like this is on this site, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

      This article is the worst thing that was ever written on this site, because this was the only place where normal people could escape from book purists, and now it is ruined.

      Who knows if people had more of this mentality during season 4, maybe this season could have been great, maybe.

      This season was great.

      You didn’t like Dorne? Oh, why? Dorne this season was just like AFFC and ADWD. Plot no one cares, characters no-one cares, without climax or proper resolution. Just like GRRM’s writing.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Please read the article. Only 1 of the commenters (Lawyer) has sworn off the show for the following year. The rest of them have indicated that they intend to watch Season 6, whether or not they found Season 5 overall enjoyable or engaging.

      I like that WotW is a large enough space to consider the thought-out opinions of all watchers. For me anyways, it is possible to critique a work of art & still love it. Others’ critiques do not diminish my enjoyment but give me reasons to think more deeply about the show.

        Quote  Reply

    68. There are lots of points I could make but being limited by mobile typing and by the fact that I enjoy much more the positivity than the negativity of the whole article, I’m just going to make a note on this:

      Jamie’s and Brienne’s arc was weaker this year, because they had less to do and it seemed like they had less personal development.

      I agree Bri was slow with little movement. The show decided to fold her into Sansa storyline and there was much happening in the North already. I don’t know how they could have made significant her support to Sansa’s escape, since Sansa herself needed to come slowly to the conclusion that she needs to get away. So they decided to close the Renly’s revenge. It had to be a difficult writing. I myself felt it forced because of the little set up. However, I give full credit to Gwen and Dillane for the execution of Stannis. It was a really good scene IMO.

      But I disagree about Jaime. I think he made a huge step into becoming the father he could have been if he had been allowed to do so. I have already mentioned how much I liked his and Myrcella scenes. And on the upside of Dorne, he also got some confidence regarding his new sword skills 😛

        Quote  Reply

    69. I, for one, rather enjoyed Missandei/Grey Worm. It was important to show that Daenerys’s side characters, you know, have *lives outside of her*.

      Benioff and Weiss thought that one up, and to their credit, a criticism before Season 4 was that we never actually had two non-white characters have a scene together before that didn’t involve a white character at all.

      Grey Worm might not have a man’s parts, but he has a man’s heart; these people have *emotions*, you know, and lives.

      Besides, it’s not like it took THAT much time away from other things. I thought it was a good idea and done well.

        Quote  Reply

    70. mau: This article is the worst thing that was ever written on this site, because this was the only place where normal people could escape from book purists, and now it is ruined.

      Can’t agree more.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Tormund’s Woman:
      I agree Bri was slow with little movement. The show decided to fold her into Sansa storyline and there was much happening in the North already. I don’t know how they could have made significant her support to Sansa’s escape, since Sansa herself needed to come slowly to the conclusion that she needs to get away.

      I don’t think that was a factor. Sansa decided that she needed to escape quite quickly, after Ramsay raped her. She was desperate to escape by episode 7. Brienne’s lack of involvement had nothing to do with Sansa herself needing to come slowly to the conclusion”, it was because Sansa spent episodes 7-10 a prisoner in a locked room.

        Quote  Reply

    72. The Dragon Demands: A TV adaptation inherently gets compared to source material, that’s why it’s called an “adaptation”.

      However, I’m seeing a lot of TV-first viewers with no knowledge of the books also calling the Dorne storyline very weak.

      Yeah, while I did really like this season, I’m not gonna say the Dorne storyline was great television (even after separating it from the books in my mind).
      That said, I think the main problem was we needed MORE of it, not less, as some feel.

        Quote  Reply

    73. The Dragon Demands:
      However, I’m seeing a lot of TV-first viewers with no knowledge of the books also calling the Dorne storyline very weak.

      Because Dorne had a true spirit of AFFC and ADWD.

      It is fortunate that that was the only storyline that was a true representation of those books.

      If it wasn’t, we would have Tyrion outside of Meereen, Sansa outside of plot, Stannis on cliffhanger, non-existent WW and 56 new “nobody cares” characters(and we got only 3).

        Quote  Reply

    74. Big Mac: Yeah, while I did really like this season, I’m not gonna say the Dorne storyline was great television (even after separating it from the books in my mind).
      That said, I think the main problem was we needed MORE of it, not less, as some feel.

      I agree. The screentime was so minimal that they had to take shortcuts with characterization. Maybe the greatest asset of the story is the greyness. Many things in this season were too much black and white (including Dorne).

        Quote  Reply

    75. Big Mac: Yeah, while I did really like this season, I’m not gonna say the Dorne storyline was great television (even after separating it from the books in my mind).
      That said, I think the main problem was we needed MORE of it, not less, as some feel.

      Well, a need for more space is hardly unusual in this show. But what was actually written in Dorne doesn’t really give confidence that more time would have noticeably improved it, because they didn’t make very good use of the time they were already allotted.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Dutch maester,
      I strongly agree with your post. I read this article, made by the staff of a game of thrones fansite, and I find one of the questions asked to be: ‘Are you going to watch season 6?’….. WTF!!! Of course they’re gonna watch the next season, otherwise why is their opinion relevant to us? It is embarassing what this fandom is becoming, how over half of the comments on this site are negative towards the show. And I feel like the staff of WOTW encourage this negativity. It started out as critisism, but came to the point, where now we have this article, where the staff come across as judges, not fans! In many ways it’s a slightly arrogant article, where they seem to elevate themselves to experts, judging DD, calling them bad writers. The love for the show is slowly and sadly dying on this site, and I realise now that the staff has part of the blame. This article was a sickening read and this site should be for those of us who realise that DD are great artists, those of us who do not judge their work, those of us who just sit down with our popcorn, lean back and absorbe this amazing saga. This should be a place for us to go and talk about how fucking great the show is. We’re the fans after all, the ones who truly deserve it!

        Quote  Reply

    77. mau: This article is the worst thing that was ever written on this site, because this was the only place where normal people could escape from book purists, and now it is ruined.

      The site is ruined because of one article? Don’t you feel that’s being a bit melodramatic (you know, one of the things for which book-purists are regularly criticized)?

      While I disagree with much of what was stated by the various contributors to this part of the article, I feel like the other two installments will balance things. I would guess this portion of the round-table was published on this site because it, overall, is the furthest from the general views held by the contributors and posters here, just as I suspect the more show-friendly feedback will be posted on TotH, where more people want a stricter representation of how things transpire in the books. It lends itself to more debate that way, and the roundtables are about debate.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Am I really the only one who feels this way????
      Well, then I guess the site is just not for me.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Let me see how strong arguments are in this article.

      “The Dance of Dragons” – mehvery stong argument

      Loras is not even a character. He’s practically a walking fleshlight. and he is a character in the books? One good quote and that is all.

      The Unsullied are apparently less Spartans and more “Meet the Spartans” at this point – even in the books it is established that they are not street fighters

      Really, really shit writing and characterizationand another very stong argument

      Too many black-and-white characters. Not enough grey – LOL, I expect this purist was whining because of whitewash of Cersei, and “blackwash” of Stannis. He don’t want grey, he want his favorite characters to be represented just like he wants.

      stick to the material as best you can – HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAH

        Quote  Reply

    80. Xanth,

      No, it’s not. As Jeb said, that’s only your opinion. Plenty of people loved this season and thought Dorne was its main and perhaps only real weak point (and I agree that it was). And like Danielle SB said, you can critique a work and still love it. I’ve had some gripes with every season except perhaps Season 1, but none of them were so serious that I thought the entire show was terrible.

      Hyperbole is a real problem in this fanbase. I think book purists especially have a tendency to greatly exaggerate some of the show’s faults and use those to make the entire show seem like complete schlock even though near universal critical and fan praise completely contradicts that notion. I think it’s also why so many people dislike book purists and think so little of their opinions on these matters, and why this thread in particular is so contentious.

      If you dislike the show, then fine. But none of your criticisms are fact, and don’t try to pass them off as such, especially to people with opposing viewpoints. It won’t work and just makes you look like an ass.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Nymeria Warrior Queen: The site is ruined because of one article?Don’t you feel that’s being a bit melodramatic (you know, one of the things for which book-purists are regularly criticized)?

      Well if this is just incident, fine. But if me are going to read this type of articles more often, that it is not melodramatic.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Sean C.,

      I was mostly bored by the Dorne storyline in the book, but it wasn’t badly-written. I felt the way they portrayed Ellaria in the show was badly-written. The sooner she dies on the show, the happier I’ll be.

      The Sand Snakes, I feel, simply needed more development. Honestly, I was actually starting to like Tyene. I feel that with more development, they could have been… adequate characters.
      Though yeah… the “bad pussy” line was bad…

      And of course, there was not NEARLY enough Doran. Hopefully next season…

      Didn’t mind Trystane and Myrcella surprisingly – I expected them to be the worst part…

      I’ll withhold judgement on what it did/didn’t do for Jaime until I see what they do with him next season.

      So yeah, it was certainly badly-written at points (Ellaria needs to die, and I’d be reasonably happy with Obara dying too), but ultimately, I still feel it just needed more.

        Quote  Reply

    83. mau:
      Let me see how strong arguments are in this article.

      These are summations from people trying to keep it relatively short.

      Loras isnot even a character. He’s practically a walking fleshlight. and he is a character in the books? One good quote and that is all.

      Loras is not a POV or even significant character in the books, but he does have a character, as a brash but skilled young knight who (reading between the lines, at first, though by the third/fourth books it’s hard to miss) is in love with Renly and mourns his death. That he’s not a prominent character doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a character.

      The Unsullied are apparently less Spartans and more “Meet the Spartans” at this point – even in the books it is established that they are not street fighters

      Which is not the same thing as them being hapless redshirts (apart from Grey Worm).

      Too many black-and-white characters. Not enough grey – LOL, I expect this purist was whining because of whitewash of Cersei, and “blackwash” of Stannis. He don’t want grey, he want his favorite characters to be represented just like he wants.

      Cersei is really not grey in the books, but regardless, if “his favourite characters” are grey in the books and not represented as such in the show, I’m not sure how that’s inconsistent. GRRM’s fine moral shadings are one of the things people love about the books, and something the show generally prefers to downplay, so I’m not sure why you think that’s somehow an inadequate point of criticism.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Sadly, this “debate” shows why nobody takes Fantasy fans seriously. Here we have a discussion about an adaptation of a novel: and absolutely nobody is discussing how well (or not) the TV show communicated the book’s story on screen. Not one of them ever even mentions the story!

      Obviously, the critics and the audience do not care whether the show tells the same story as the books did: they only care that it tells a story coherently. However, this season did do that, and it did tell GRRM’s “kill the boy become the man” story quite well.

      That written, Dorne did suck a bit. It just sucked a LOT less than it did in the books! But it finally got to the story in the end.

        Quote  Reply

    85. mau,

      Sorry if I seemed a bit harsh, but I’ve seen lots of your comments over time, so it seemed to me like you would know better than to think the site is suddenly going to do a 180. If you look at the comments throughout the comments section made by the contributors to this site, it seems pretty clear that while they respect the opinions of others, they are big fans of the show. Bex even stated (and I’m paraphrasing here)reading through this “part 1” made her grateful a place like WotW existed (I took that to mean she’s grateful a site which is primarily a fan site for the show (not that that means there can be no criticism of the show, just that overall it is more show-friendly than many of the other popular sites).

        Quote  Reply

    86. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Found this gem on Reedit:

      http://imgur.com/gallery/t8NHg

      Wow, nice article, whoever wrote that really took the time to point out the differences between the book storylines and the show storylines.

      However, they really exaggerated and sought to put the shows storylines in a negative light.

      There is no way the show can be an complex as the books but this article does put into light some questionable changes the show runners sought to pursue.

      I LOVE the books and the show. I guess I can separate the two and respect them both for what they are.

      But it appears some people will constantly make these comparisons and not just except the fact they are two separate things…

        Quote  Reply

    87. Robb Snow: If they must continue with Dorne in the next season it needs to be limited solely to Doran, as Ellaria and the Sand Snakes’ stories should be over now.

      They cannot end what they never started! Ellaria & the SS did not have stories: they were foils in Jaime’s story. As E & the SS are back, then they will all be foils for a lead character again. Which one, I have no idea.

      I honestly do no know what I would have done with Jaime this year. Unfortunately, both the Riverlands and the obvious alternative backdrops (Dorne and the Iron Islands) all were so awful in the books that I would have cut all of them. However, Jaime had a story to tell and it had to be done someplace: and it could not be Kings Landing.

      Perhaps this was the best of three bad choices.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Wimsey:
      However, this season did do that, and it did tell GRRM’s “kill the boy become the man” story quite well.

      You use that phrase a lot, but you cannot reduce every plotline in those novels to that phrase. That doesn’t describe many of them. It’s meaningful for some, but there are numerous other themes involved. The Stark kids’ POVs are all on their own interlinked track, for instance, and “kill the boy” is really not the best summation. Sansa and Arya’s stories, thematically, are about identity, and their attempts to suppress their true selves to be someone else (which also serves as a counterpoint to Theon, who has already done that and is fighting his way back). The Stark kids are also on the beginning of training arcs. Then there’s a cluster of storylines that are about what it means to be a ruler, and to rule well; Jon and Dany’s stories have a ton of parallels in that regard, and you can also bring Cersei into that equation, though she’s in a different age and stage than them. The various Lannister POVs are also dealing with many of the same ideas, such as the fallout of preceding events, and the meaning of Tywin’s legacy.

      Beyond that, very few of the storylines in this season have anything to do with “kill the boy and let the man be born”, anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I undersand that, but I think that this article would have been better with 2 book purists and 2 contributors to this site.

      Wimsey could easily write for “our” side.

      What we’ve got wasn’t real discussion.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Robb Snow: Hyperbole is a real problem in this fanbase. I think book purists especially have a tendency to greatly exaggerate some of the show’s faults and use those to make the entire show seem like complete schlock even though near universal critical and fan praise completely contradicts that notion.

      Well, this fanbase, and the Harry Potter fanbase, and the Tolkien fanbase; and, of course, we get the equivalents in the “continuity purists” in the Doctor Who fanbase, and the Star Wars fanbase, and the Star Trek fanbase….

      If I omitted a fanbase that does this, then I omitted a fanbase!

        Quote  Reply

    91. Sean C.,

      No Sean. Slowly is definitely the word I want for the argument I was making. You are talking about Sansa getting away from Ramsay. You are talking for Sansa and from her POV. I, however, speak for Brienne. She only knows that Cat’s daughter is not safe with LF. She has has offered Sansa her help early in the season, before she even knew where the they are headed, because unlike Sansa she knows Petyr is not to be trusted. For Brienne the Stark girl took a long time to ask for help. About 7 episodes while she stood around waiting. Hence slowly.

      But I understand why you are against my wording and I’m not holding it against you. Sansa did good with what was available to her after the wedding horror and she reacted fast and efficient. Too bad Theon didn’t find his balls a bit earlier…

        Quote  Reply

    92. Wimsey: They cannot end what they never started!Ellaria & the SS did not have stories: they were foils in Jaime’s story.As E & the SS are back, then they will all be foils for a lead character again.Which one, I have no idea.

      I don’t know who they could foil. If they really want to send one of the established Sand Snakes to the Citadel, I guess they could foil Sam somehow. Tyene might be able to pass for a boy (no offense to Rosabell), but I’d really just rather they cast Sarella for that.

      Wimsey: Well, this fanbase, and the Harry Potter fanbase, and the Tolkien fanbase; and, of course, we get the equivalents in the “continuity purists” in the Doctor Who fanbase, and the Star Wars fanbase, and the Star Trek fanbase….

      If I omitted a fanbase that does this, then I omitted a fanbase!

      Point taken.

        Quote  Reply

    93. mau,

      I feel like you. I always come here after an episode and I post about something amazing in said episode. I rarely get any replies. But threads have been mile long talking about how big of a disaster Dorne was, how dragging aryas storyline was, how they ruined stannis, how sansas wedding night was added for shock value when a wedding night is usually what naturally follows a wedding, how bad an actor Emilia Clarke is, negativity and negativity again! This season was just as good as the others! I’m not blind, Dorne was messy and had a weird pace, but it was no disaster! It’s not as if the cheesyness of Dorne was the result of a failure. It was a deliberate artistic choice to give that subplot a more xena-like, campy feel in order to create some light in the darkest season yet. I mean come on, the Whole premise: A knight and his helper go on a quest to foreign land to save a princess. Jamie and Bronn was like buddy-buddy-couple from a b-movie and Myrcella in her pink dress was a Disney Princess. The Sandsnakes, as I mentioned earlier, was like something from an explitation movie, violent, sexy, over-the-top and campy. The show has always had an exploitation edge to it, which, personally I really apreciate. To me GOT is a show like Xena and other 90’s swords and magic tv-shows, the difference being that Thrones is also utterly deep, has a huge budget and amazing cast. Dorne fell a Little flat compared to the season other storylines, but only because of the pacing and stucture. The overall feel of the subplot worked as it was intented in my opinion, as a campy, light, entertaining sidestory, with an inevitable and very thrones-like ending: The horrible death of the princess and the knight’s failure to save her.
      It was a 7 out of 10 to be sure, maybe even 6, but to call it a disaster is a huge overreaction! Why not talk about what worked instead? They was a nice little story in there, one of redemption and fatherhood. Alexander Siddig was perfect as Doran. Trystane came across to me as quite… I dont know, quite cool actually, as if he’s the perfect merge between Oberyn and Doran, loved the way he deliverede the line ‘A fleebite!’ Tyene was a lot of fun! Bronn is always a lot of fun!

        Quote  Reply

    94. Sean C.: You use that phrase a lot, but you cannot reduce every plotline in those novels to that phrase.

      Stories are like control sentences: every storyline should relate to that. So, to correct this, every storyline should elevate (not reduce) to the overall story; every plotline should feed one or more storylines that combines with the others to rise to the story. “Story” is a gestalt concept, after all: it is something that springs to being from the interaction of the storylines that otherwise would not be there.

      Otherwise, if it’s not relevant to the story, then it should not be in the tale. The point of a tale is to tell a story, after all: not to “world-build” or create plots or anything like that. If you want that, then read history books: it’s all world-building and plot, and no story.

      Sean C.: Sansa and Arya’s stories, thematically, are about identity, and their attempts to suppress their true selves to be someone else (which also serves as a counterpoint to Theon, who has already done that and is fighting his way back).

      And for Arya, her contribution to the story was “kill Arya Stark and let no-one be born.” Theon’s contribution to the story was “kill Reed and let Theon be re-born.” Sansa effectively was not in the story in the books: she had just started to think about leaving Sansa in the Eerie and letting Alayne be born, and then she disappeared. On the show, it was killing Barbie and becoming Boudica (and with some strong parallels to the Boudica tale along the way).

      Bran, of course, is killing the boy and becoming the Tree God in the books. However, that wasn’t in the show.

      So, yes, it all rose to the story that GRRM told.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Damphairintheshowplease!:
      Am I really the only one who feels this way????Well, then I guess the site is just not for me.

      I don’t think that you are the only one. Personally I still enjoyed the article.

      Robb Snow,

      People in general have the tendency of exaggerating the bad experiences. In marketing there is for example the 0-3-11 rule. The rule states that if a client’s expectations are merely met, he/she will tell zero people. If you have gone above and beyond a client’s expectations, they are likely to tell three people about you and their great experience. However, if you fall short of a client’s expectations they will tell at least 11 people of their less-than adequate visit.

      And with GoT the expectations are generally very high which makes the situation quite challenging.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Robb Snow: I don’t know who they could foil. If they really want to send one of the established Sand Snakes to the Citadel, I guess they could foil Sam somehow.

      Well, where are they going? That is the big question. However, I suspect that they will create problems for one or more major characters this year. They could create situations for Sam: but I’m betting that it’s something else. I suspect that only someone having read Winter would have a good hunch :grumble:

      Robb Snow: Point taken

      Oh, and I also apologize to that fanbase for forgetting them, too! 😀

        Quote  Reply

    97. Wimsey:
      Sansa effectively was not in the story in the books: she had just started to think about leaving Sansa in the Eerie and letting Alayne be born, and then she disappeared.On the show, it was killing Barbie and becoming Boudica (and with some strong parallels to the Boudica tale along the way).

      Sansa becoming “Alayne” was a consistent feature in all of her chapters in AFFC. That should be obvious, given that her second chapter is titled “Alayne”.

      On the show, her story was being brutally raped and abused all season and not doing or attempting to do anything. How you get from there to “kill Barbie and become Boudica”, I have no idea — particularly as she already had her big transformative moment last season, only for this season to immediately undo all of that to reset her to Season 2 Sansa. The endpoint of Sansa’s story was becoming so beaten that she was eager to be killed to end her suffering, and then being rescued.

        Quote  Reply

    98. mau,

      Fair enough. I think, when taken as a whole, it will be pretty balanced, but I can see why one side being so strongly represented in this particular part (with most of the opposing voices saved for other parts) would be less than enjoyable for some. I suppose I’ve seen and enjoyed enough of Marc’s work, I trust his editing choices. I’ll be interested to see the feedback for subsequent parts, especially given I think the more pro-show voices on the more “stick to the books-esque” sites should be a great counterpoint to the feedback here. I could be wrong, of course, but I’m getting the sense of the parts being split in a sort of Hegelian Dialetic way…one part thesis, one part antithesis, and the thrid part synthesis.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Damphairintheshowplease!,

      Excellent post! It’s a shame that negativity is often very vocal.

      In my opinion it’s still a good thing that there is some interaction with different sites. So many problems in the world originate from narrow perspective and biases. Of course it’s true that this is a fan site so why am I even talking about this?!? 😛

        Quote  Reply

    100. Bub1083:
      Bex,

      Absolutely agree.The amount of hatewatching on other sites baffles the mind.

      Yeah, it’s an interesting phenomenon. The good thing is that at least Thrones has emotional impact in most of the watchers. Indifference would be the worst case scenario.

        Quote  Reply

    101. Sean C.: Sansa becoming “Alayne” was a consistent feature in all of her chapters in AFFC. That should be obvious, given that her second chapter is titled “Alayne”.

      Yes, but there were only three, which does not a contribution to story make. Basically, she started pointing in a direction: but we didn’t see her get there or even start out.

      Sean C.: How you get from there to “kill Barbie and become Boudica”, I have no idea — particularly as she already had her big transformative moment last season, only for this season to immediately undo all of that to reset her to Season 2 Sansa.

      Moments are not transformative, at least not like that. That was a statement of where she intended to go: for the first time she got it into her head that she could be the one in charge.

      This season was her trying (and failing) to do that. She tried to play the game for the first time: taking lessons from Cersei, she was trying to use marriage as a means of access to power and control. It didn’t work: but it shouldn’t have worked the first time. One constant aspect of stories like this is characters trying, failing, and learning from that. However, we did get a character in the end with a backbone: she stood up to prospective death quite well. And, in the end, she rescued Theon from Reek just as much as Theon rescued her: remember, they take the leap together.

        Quote  Reply

    102. mau,

      You don’t seem to understand that this is part 1 of a 3-part article (divided into 3 because of the length- read the intro). There are multiple people from this website contributing. It just shook out that most of the TOTH people responded first.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Pseudo-intellectual blowhards. This season was the most sophisticated, from a literary perspective, even though certain elements (like the Sand Snakes) didn’t work as well as they could have. You have to wonder if any of these reviewers have read a book outside of Martin’s. Season 5 rivals season 1, 3, and 4, IMO, and is significantly better than season 2.

      This fandom is so full of people that think they are intelligent, but are dumber than most other fan bases. The fact that so many think saying “more grey, less black and white” constitutes analysis, is proof of that. What’s not grey, and why? What is the purpose of those characters from a character, narrative, AND symbolic level? There are strong literary and artistic reasons to include both characters that have a grey morality (or a pragmatism that overrides morality sometimes) and more archetypal personages who offer symbolic and thematic value, and/or foils.

      Instead of just blurting out “that’s too black and white – shame!” try actually analyzing the broader landscape of each episode, and the season itself, and make some observations about why the characters were treated the way they were.

      D&D are Joyce and Beckett scholars, and it shows in the literary quality of the show. This goes over the heads of a lot of people, who in turn (ironically) accuse the showrunners of being dumb or lazy. No, YOUR ANALYSIS is lazy. Don’t quit your day jobs.

      In fact, quit talking about the show and just cross-post Alyssa Rosenberg’s column from the Washington Post. She’s a billion times more insightful than you hacks.

        Quote  Reply

    104. Damphairintheshowplease!: They was a nice little story in there, one of redemption and fatherhood.

      Which was a nice wrap-up, as Jaime set out to be just like his father and do “whatever it took” for the family, just like Tywin would have done. Instead, he wound up being something Tywin could never have been: a dad.

      It could have been better executed, perhaps, but it was executed. (I didn’t particularly care for the Sand Snakes, either: but they didn’t particularly gall me, either.)

        Quote  Reply

    105. @ Watchers on the Wall

      I’m a book reader.

      Please keep these staff from other book purist sites/GRRM zombies away from WoTw.

      They have their own sites/forums to bash D&D and GoT.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Wimsey: And, in the end, she rescued Theon from Reek just as much as Theon rescued her: remember, they take the leap together.

      Not to mention the fact that Sansa being in Winterfell was the reason Theon found back to himself in the first place. His genetic sister tried to do that for him, but she failed and in the end gave up on him, but Sansa, for all her hate for Theon, still sees him as a quasi brother and confronted him with that fact. That’s what drove Theon literally over the edge.

        Quote  Reply

    107. mau,

      When a person refers to people criticising the subject the obviously love and feel passionate about with ten pages’ worth of opinions, references, thought out comparisons and discussions as “bunch of whining haters…” well thank them for letting you know you can go on and ignore them.

        Quote  Reply

    108. StannisBurnratheon:
      Pseudo-intellectual blowhards. This season was the most sophisticated, from a literary perspective, even though certain elements (like the Sand Snakes) didn’t work as well as they could have. You have to wonder if any of these reviewers have read a book outside of Martin’s. Season 5 rivals season 1, 3, and 4, IMO, and is significantly better than season 2.

      This fandom is so full of people that think they are intelligent, but are dumber than most other fan bases. The fact that so many think saying “more grey, less black and white” constitutes analysis, is proof of that. What’s not grey, and why? What is the purpose of those characters from a character, narrative, AND symbolic level? There are strong literary and artistic reasons to include both characters that have a grey morality (or a pragmatism that overrides morality sometimes) and more archetypal personages who offer symbolic and thematic value, and/or foils.

      Instead of just blurting out “that’s too black and white – shame!” try actually analyzing the broader landscape of each episode, and the season itself, and make some observations about why the characters were treated the way they were.

      D&D are Joyce and Beckett scholars, and it shows in the literary quality of the show. This goes over the heads of a lot of people, who in turn (ironically) accuse the showrunners of being dumb or lazy. No, YOUR ANALYSIS is lazy. Don’t quit your day jobs.

      In fact, quit talking about the show and just cross-post Alyssa Rosenberg’s column from the Washington Post. She’s a billion times more insightful than you hacks.

      Thanks ,you said this so much better than i could’ve.

        Quote  Reply

    109. Sean C.,

      I agree strongly with you – the grand overall arcs were, really fantastic on the whole. It was the detailed writing that lacked so much this season. I personally find very little fault in the cuts they made, or the changes in arcs they made in theory. The execution was where I cringed, or looked away. Some poor stunt direction and a couple poorly directed scenes in general too. But if only D&D had had the finesse that their excellent broad strokes set up for…

        Quote  Reply

    110. Wimsey,

      Excellent analysis. I have tried to point this out numerous times during the sansagate. I hope that somebody would get it but thus far it has appeared to me that every time I explain this to somebody I encounter three new guys who are preaching the same bullshit.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Wimsey: Yes, but there were only three, which does not a contribution to story make.Basically, she started pointing in a direction: but we didn’t see her get there or even start out.

      “There” was Alayne’s headspace. She became Alayne by the second chapter.

      This season was her trying (and failing) to do that.She tried to play the game for the first time: taking lessons from Cersei, she was trying to use marriage as a means of access to power and control.It didn’t work: but it shouldn’t have worked the first time.One constant aspect of stories like this is characters trying, failing, and learning from that.However, we did get a character in the end with a backbone: she stood up to prospective death quite well.And, in the end, she rescued Theon from Reek just as much as Theon rescued her: remember, they take the leap together.

      No, she wasn’t trying to gain power by marriage. She was (in a way the writers never bothered to justify) trying to “avenge” her family on the Boltons, which was just a fig leaf so that the writers could get her to Winterfell so that she could be helplessly abused all season.

      As for “trying, failing and learning from that”, Sansa didn’t try anything (apart from methods of running away), and there’s nothing to learn from. She didn’t develop a single skill this season (apart from lockpicking, I guess).

      And as far as “prospective death”, she wasn’t “standing up” to it. She wanted to die, because the Boltons had broken her will to live by showing that she was powerless and would spend her life being raped and mutilated. That is, for Sansa, complete defeat.

      And as for the idea that she “rescued Theon from Reek”, that absolutely doesn’t hold water, if you mean she did so as a stratagem. She spent pretty much the entire season saying she hated him (including in their most recent interaction), and rescuing him was not her intent (she made a single stab at that as a means of escaping, but abandoned it thereafter). Sansa has been unwittingly inducing reactions of protectiveness from people since the beginning (see, e.g., the Hound, even though the show gutted that story), so that’s nothing new.

      Unless you think Jeyne Poole in the novels is learning to play the game of thrones, there’s no way Sansa’s season 5 can support the notion that it’s furthering her arc. It’s another season of pure victimhood, made even worse by the fact that she had managed to put herself in a strong position last year only for the writers to immediately strip all of it away to put her back where she was.

        Quote  Reply

    112. Jeb,

      The thing is these are not criticism you can feel the hate behind most of their words it’s just disgusting

        Quote  Reply

    113. I don’t remotely care about differences between screen and novel in a positive or negative sense. The only time I find such discussions remotely useful is when there’s something interesting from the novels being discussed that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. From what I can tell, I missed hours of of turnip counting, an abomination zombie, pearls on a pig, and endless descriptions of food on tables. It’s really kind of sad that eventually most every discussion degrades into a massive “BAWWW!!” session by Faith Militant book howlers. Lets save that GOT version of Godwin’s Law for when there’s nothing else to discuss please. This is time for a nice long baww over how badly the series has degenerated….

      After season 5 (which I watched in a single 10 hour cram fest) the first thing I googled was to see how many other people thought it sucked – particularly in comparison with previous seasons. Despite some epic moments, it was by far the worst one yet. It just seemed to lack substance, the storyline is still not getting anywhere, more “no good deed goes unpunished” bad things happening to people, and yet more bad people getting away relatively scot free with their wickedness means the high risk involved with becoming invested in any new characters prevents any chance of growing to like anyone not already on the very short and blood splattered list.. I’ve almost entirely joined Team White Walkers now. The moment I see anyone genuinely nice (or even remotely likeable for the most part), I instantly know they’re going to die a probably horrific death while some loathsome nasty PoS smirks arrogantly gleeful at their handiwork.

      Cercei’s walk of shame… This was painful to watch for the viewer. Not because “ogmz the humiliationz!” but owing to the fact it was stupendously stupid! Seriously, they let this delusional psychotic rage-bitch go free after tormenting her in a stone cell for weeks on end? seriously?? Pure and utter waste of a whole tenth of the entire episode that could have been used more productively elsewhere – like providing some real [read: not ridiculously short-sighted and juvenile] reason for “The Ides of Castle Black” final scene. This was definitely NOT a fitting punishment for everything she’s done since the series’ inception (and everything else she’s clearly done prior to then), so I just don’t understand the sudden turn of sympathy for her. To my mind it’s sort of ironic in a crappy way that she was held for her crimes by a clergy that actually believes in redemption when she’s one of the characters that truly deserve to be “purified” by the Red Witch. Also, I agree with Brynden Fish when he pointed out that playing up to modern socio-political agendas to vilify the Sparrows was just lazy…

      Dorne… After reading so many comments from the Sullied over the past year or two I expected a lot from Dorne. I didn’t care about main characters not being where they were “supposed” to be, I just wanted to see the spectacle and, more importantly, plot growth. After all, Dorne is part of Westeros – something needs to stir their nest so the ants are mobile when winter reaches their homes too, and since there’s apparently there’s a missing Targaryen from the series (plus the riverlands plot sounded like it stinks anyway) I liked where things were going when Jaime picked up Bronn and headed off. What we got however, was something that appeared more like a high budget youtube parody.
      The infamous and deadly Sand Vipers were comically terrible in their brief battle sequence and pretty much every line of dialogue. The wise and grand king Doran Martell seemed wishy washy (Siddig can now add that to his otherwise very respectable list of screen skills, thanks GoT..). Ellaria had turned so cartoonishly villainous that I half expected to hear her refer to Jaime and Bronn as “Moose & Squirrel.” Penelope Pitstop, err, I mean Myrcella, offered no real drama to the plot aside from making Jaime look awkward moments before she died.
      Also, her death was clearly imminent even if you were busy trying to remove your palm from your face during the poisonous farewell kiss, simply because she knew the truth of her parentage. Everyone knows that confirmed knowledge of that sordid secret has been a death curse since season 1.

      Stannis… I’d been looking forward to his demise (not certain I’ll say “death” just yet. It’s a case of “pics or it didn’t happen” and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him wearing black next season.) ever since his introduction during The ‘Grateful Dead’ Pyres on the beach. I guess when you make a deal with the Devil’s Priestess, you have to do a whole bunch of evil sacrificial stuff to cement the deal, then watch your hopes and dreams dashed repeatedly before your eyes, plus destroy every last member of your own family before they finally swallow whatever is left of your soul.

      Meereen… Militant Penguin hit the nail right on the head when he said:

      The Unsullied are apparently less Spartans and more “Meet the Spartans” at this point.

      It seems their short swords are for decorative purposes only and if you trap them in close quarters where their fancy spear dancing is less effective, they’ll die without having drawn them.

      At least by the end, two of the very few redeeming characters in the series that haven’t been “shock value butchered to prove humanity is not worthy of redemption” are there now.

      Daeny is just one-dimensionally boring on her own and if Tyrion hadn’t been in the arena with her I doubt I would have cared if Drogon accidentally bit her in half as well. Especially since dragons are far easier to kill that I had expected; and thus far less relevant than we’d been led to believe, prior to seeing the affect a couple of spears had on him. Imagine how quickly that story arc would have ended had the massive horde of Harpy Sons been archery inclined, or even had a half dozen more spears handy…

      Winterfell… I stopped caring about Sansa in the first season. She hasn’t matured in any way whatsoever. It was sort of sickly amusing that she thought she was going to be the new Lady Stark of Winterfell and sparred verbally with her hosts before finally realising during her moment of marital hesitation in the Godswood that she was even less safe than she was at Kings Landing. People bawwing over the rape scene? Did they think Ramsay was going to be a gentle lover and treat her like a delicate flower? If it were not for that, then we’d not have seen the first massive conflict in Reek as he stood there bearing witness and his weakly plotted rediscovery of that Ironborn heritage would have been even more implausible.

      Redeeming moments?
      Hardhome was awesome. (Yay for the White Walkers!)
      Arya’s revenge was cathartic.
      Varys and Tyrion are working as a team about as far from the wall as they can be (maybe there’s some redemption due humanity, so long as it’s not Westerosi..).
      Seeing Cersei’s clever little plan backfire on her stupid ass and sitting in a dark cell being bitch slapped by an embittered old nun.
      Seeing the look of anguish on Selyse as she suddenly snaps out of her nasty sour-faced zealotry and realises that yes, it’s her baby girl up there screaming for help on the bbq kebab spike.
      The harrowed expression on Melisandre’s face as she squirrels her way in through the gates at Castle Black.
      Gilly and that damned baby that never ages (it must be still waiting to be fed to the White Walkers) being carted out those same gates.
      Finally some more dragon CGI.
      The season is over…
      Will I watch next season? Maybe.. Definitely if one of two things happens.
      1) Jon does get resurrected.
      2) The White Walkers go on a massive slaying rampage across Westeros and the Night King sits atop the Iron Throne.
      Otherwise I may well just skim for snippets of interesting scenes once the whole thing is over and I find the dvd’s in a bargain box at Target….

      Yes, when you generate an utterly nihilistic world view message and atmosphere in a tv series where sinister characters constantly win and the only purpose in investing people’s emotions into anyone of any decency is so their death can be all the more devastating, then you lose all future investment stock options. If there’s nobody significant left to care about, there’s no show left to care about (or the viewer will turn darkside and begin to support the White Walkers.)
      /end rant…

        Quote  Reply

    114. Xanth,

      Which is pure nonsense the only problem with season 5 was lack of proper screen time for dorne storyline other than that there is nothing wrong with writing this season

        Quote  Reply

    115. Vindictive Sting,

      Nice rant (didn’t agree with it but it was fun to read nevertheless). Just want to point out that the motivation for the Cersei’s punishment was mainly political. High Sparrow wants to undermine the authority of the nobles and the walk is ideal for that.

        Quote  Reply

    116. Sean C.: “There” was Alayne’s headspace. She became Alayne by the second chapter.

      Rubbish. Alayne was a place on a psychological road map for her. She hadn’t begun the journey yet by the end of her third and final chapter: and then we got a 10 year blackout.

      Sean C.: No, she wasn’t trying to gain power by marriage. She was (in a way the writers never bothered to justify) trying to “avenge” her family on the Boltons, which was just a fig leaf so that the writers could get her to Winterfell so that she could be helplessly abused all season.

      These are one and the same: the only way to get revenge was to get the power that the marriage might afford her.

      Sean C.: As for “trying, failing and learning from that”, Sansa didn’t try anything (apart from methods of running away), and there’s nothing to learn from. She didn’t develop a single skill this season (apart from lockpicking, I guess).

      Again, rubbish. She forced her will (or tried) on Theon and Miranda. She tried initially to sound out Ramsay. (He hid what he was well.) She went in there with the intention of a sham marriage that she could ultimately use to her advantage. Unfortunately, it turned out that she wed a psychopath.

      And she developed a backbone this season of the sort that we’ve never seen from her. She has developed a sense of initiative of the sort that we’ve never seen from her. This was (as GRRM has done so often with other characters) dynamic development through catharsis: old Sansa has burned away and something new is arising. Now, what exactly will she get from this? I don’t know: in big part, because we have no idea what “Alayne” is going to be. (The one Alayne chapter that we have is a step towards a general destination rather than “the woman let born”.)

      I mean, seriously: it was not that subtle!

        Quote  Reply

    117. Abyss: That’s what drove Theon literally over the edge.

      Indeed, that was the other good thing about having another lead character at Winterfell: Theon got pulled out of Reek by another main character rather than by set-extra level characters.

      The big question is: whither from here? Do they go Bran & Rickon hunting? Or do they fall in with the Vale army? Or do they basically do both? THat is, now that Sansa knows that they might be out there, does she work to find them from afar?

        Quote  Reply

    118. snuuh,

      To be fair I suppose the folk from the other sites were invited to give their opinions. I don’t think I’ll read the other two parts of this article however. Some people go on as if George RR Martin is the only writer who has written about characters who are neither wholly good nor wholly bad with the famous “grey” word, but myths and literature throughout the centuries have featured characters with both good and bad points. I haven’t seen any good points in either book Ramsay or show Ramsay yet. That being said ASOIAF is for the most part an intriguing tale and I’m thankful to GRRM for creating it. I do sincerely hope he finishes it. I did though wonder why the heck the show-runners

      made show Ellaria such a fury though; or made the show Sand Snakes want to harm Myrcella – though I appreciate Darkstar wasn’t cast.

      I inserted spoiler codes but they aren’t working.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Oh dear me, after all the Sansa’s rape reaction was blown out of proportion, the accusations of bandwagonning, hypocricy, selctive outrage and whatnot I was laughing my behind off while reading some of the comments.

      “Why watch a show/read a book you hate ERMAHGERD”
      “We don’t want book purists on this site”
      “The show is GREAT! D&D is GREAT anubody who says otherwise is a NEGATIVE HATERRRR!!1111oneone”

      First of all how is one to form an opinion about something without experiencing it for oneself? You’d have to watch the show and read the books to find out whether they are good, bad or anything in between.

      Being critical of something doesn’t mean you hate whatever it is you’re criticizing, it just means that you see flaws here and there and are calling them out. I believe every person in the article gave a very nuanced opinion, they explained what worked for them and what didn’t and why. Just because you disagree with them, doesn’t make them book purists, haters, negative nancys or whathaveyou.

      I thought the article was very interesting and that everybody wrote a well thought out piece and raised a few things I didn’t think about at first although I think are valid criticisms. Tyrion being a tad too upbeat after what he went through in King’s Landing for example. I agree that this season was the most uneven season so far but I know from previous seasons that they can do better and I’m hopeful that they’ll bring thir full A-game consistently for season 6.

      As for TWOW getting released before season 6 airs. I highly doubt it. Accroding to Martin he’s still battleing the Son of Kong and he usually announces the release of new material several months in advance. There’s about 8 to 9 months till the new season so if by the end of August he doesn’t announce that TWOW is ready to be published then I’m sure it likely won’t be released in 2016, let alone before April.

        Quote  Reply

    120. Bex:
      This roundtable really made me appreciate the existence WatchersontheWall.

      Gosh, YES! I couldn’t read this whole thing; do we really need these sorts of articles on this site?
      Whatever! Will continue to check back about Season 6 news and discussions by regular WotW posters, (and secretly keep fingers crossed that most of these people involved in this discussion do NOT watch any more episodes of GoT.)

        Quote  Reply

    121. Wimsey: Well, this fanbase, and the Harry Potter fanbase, and the Tolkien fanbase; and, of course, we get the equivalents in the “continuity purists” in the Doctor Who fanbase, and the Star Wars fanbase, and the Star Trek fanbase….

      If I omitted a fanbase that does this, then I omitted a fanbase!

      I warn you, don’t venture into the Japanese manga fanbase… ever. If you don’t care for anime, then it won’t matter, but apparently every anime ever adapted from manga is utter and complete shite… and most of those are slavishly faithful to a fault when compared to a standard book->TV/film adaptation.

        Quote  Reply

    122. Simeon: I warn you, don’t venture into the Japanese manga fanbase… ever.

      You are not the first person to tell me that! But, no, I’ve never been near them.

      I have read that the Twilight fanbase was something else, too. But, again, I never got near it.

      But, again: would William Shatner’s Saturday Night Live skit have been anywhere enar as funny as it was if fanbases were not pretty much ALL like that?

        Quote  Reply

    123. I don’t understand where these people come from saying Season 5 is the worst. Yes everyone is entitled to their own opinions for sure, but I just dont get it. Everyone I talk to loved this season and thought it was one of the best. And I know a lot of people who watch the show. I am so sick of the whining about the book differences and how the differences ruined the show. Man GRRM said it himself that the SHOW IS DIFFERENT THAN THE BOOKS. There never has been or NEVER will be a show like Game of Thrones. I have never had friends or acquaintances text me to discuss a friggin TV show. These same friends of mine text me to discuss Champions League football game also text me to discuss a TV show. Only game of thrones can do that

      And for those saying they wont watch anymore, peace out!!!!

        Quote  Reply

    124. Deesensfan: Man GRRM said it himself that the SHOW IS DIFFERENT THAN THE BOOKS.

      And GRRM also has said that they are telling the story but in different ways. People really need to step back and ask: what are the books and series both saying?

      Deesensfan: BRING JON SNOW/KIT HARINGTON BACK AND THIS SHOW IS GOLD lol

      It seems that Sunday is a “Jon is coming back, I’m sure of it!” day for me. But I know that Monday is not….. 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    125. Wimsey:
      These are one and the same: the only way to get revenge was to get the power that the marriage might afford her.

      Nonsense. The marriage didn’t afford her any power at all, nor did it have the potential to. Sansa was already in a place of power in the Vale, and, not coincidentally, that is what both the book plot and Littlefinger in the show is exploiting; and there are apparently tons of disaffected Northern houses in the show, which is why the Boltons want her in the first place.

      Again, rubbish.She forced her will (or tried) on Theon and Miranda.She tried initially to sound out Ramsay.(He hid what he was well.)

      Bravado is not “playing the game”, nor did she ever try to sound out Ramsay (indeed, they barely had any scenes together.

      And she developed a backbone this season of the sort that we’ve never seen from her.She has developed a sense of initiative of the sort that we’ve never seen from her.

      Sansa had a backbone in King’s Landing. If you’re mistaking her insulting Ramsay for a backbone, that’s actually stupidity; the reason she didn’t insult Joffrey to his face in King’s Landing was because it was a dumb thing to do, not because she lacked the courage. And I don’t recall seeing any initiative either. She was completely passive and reactive, never attempting to do anything other than run away (which she also tried in King’s Landing; indeed, to the extent that anything this season represents a new development, it’s only because the writers so much of her King’s Landing story and made her far more passive there than she was in the books), and both times she failed completely at that.

      The comparisons to other arcs in the show tell the tale, because when the writers are trying to show a character developing skills, they don’t have them be passive and never attempt or accomplish anything, which is what Sansa was this season (but she wore a cool dress and occasionally had a “cool” one-liner, which was enough to make some people think otherwise). This season was about Sansa replacing Jeyne Poole and acting out Jeyne’s arc, which is the farthest thing from empowering or progressing the character.

        Quote  Reply

    126. Wimsey,

      Exactly… except I hope they don’t change Jon’s arc if GRRM keeps him alive. That, I will be picky on LOL
      But that would be huge.

      🙁 WHY CANT MONDAY BE “JON WILL BE BACK” DAY ALSO *grunts*

        Quote  Reply

    127. I’ve already expressed my thoughts on season 5, so now looking to the future… I am very much looking forward to season 6.
      I’m excited for Euron, Randyll Tarly, OldTown, Tyrion & Varys running Meereen, seeing where Arya goes from here, seeing the Boltons (and maybe Freys?) get what they deserve, catching up with the Dothraki, and (HOPEFULLY) the return of the Hound!
      I’m also interested in Jaime’s journey from here. I didn’t particularly like his book storyline, but I loved his conversation with Genna. Hopefully we can get something like that with Kevan next season.

        Quote  Reply

    128. Wimsey,

      I put that under spoiler protection, because some of it is based on things that happen in the books, but it it’s still only speculation.

      My guess would be that they get found by Brienne and Pod. That would give Brienne something to do next season (protecting Sansa, as she wanted). They could meet one of the Northern lords later on, which would bring Theon in a similar sitation as he is in the books right now (being officially accused for his crimes against the Starks). Sansa could roughly have the role here as Yara has in the books.
      Given that Davos has lost his King, he could get a pardon from Sansa (as we saw, the north most likely is still loyal to her and accepts her as the true Lady of Winterfell) under the condition that he brings her back her brothers. That would basicaly make Sansa the show version of Wyman Manderly (I doubt Davos will go after Bran) and fit Sansa’s new theme auf learning to play the game of thrones. For that to work better Rickon and Osha would not have made it to the Umbers as they intended, or else the search for him would be pretty short I would imagine.

      All that is of course written with the goal to make this part of season 6 as close to the books as possible. There is no reason D&D and the other writers can’t or shouldn’t invent things that work better in their version of the narrative.

        Quote  Reply

    129. I think my least favorite season overall was Season 2, and it was still excellent. Season 4 is still the best so far IMHO, with 5, 3, and 1 (in that order) not far behind.

      And to be frank, if this season feels uneven, it’s because – and I’m just going to say it – the source material is kind of uneven. I love the first three books to bits, but AFFC and ADWD could be real chores to read at times. Both could’ve done with a lot of trimming and consolidation, which D&D attempted to do with Season 5. It didn’t always work out as was the case with Dorne and perhaps some things at Winterfell, but for what it was I think they did a respectable job hitting all the essential notes without overstuffing things like the last two books.

      And every day is “Jon will be back day”, until the day Jon comes back. Which is definitely happening, my friends. Have faith.

        Quote  Reply

    130. It blows my mind how someone didn’t like Hardhome. It was absolutely fantastic and I thought it was the tensest and most eerie episode this season by far. And I read the books so knew (well, thought) Jon would make it but I was nearly shouted at my TV when the White Walker fought and nearly killed Jon… damn.

      Anyway, I thought the episode was by far the best this season and one of the best the show has done, one of the best episodes I’ve seen of any show I’ve watched in fact. How could someone have hated it?

        Quote  Reply

    131. Too often…. the diehard fans are the worst fans…

      And nothing is funnier then somebody on a fan website saying they don’t watch the show anymore. Why even waste your time commenting for the round table then?

      The show continues to be amazing. The worst part this year was Dorne and the diehard fans. Everything else was either as good or better then previous seasons.

        Quote  Reply

    132. I pretty much completely agree with everything Brynden said.

      The finale in particular was incredibly rushed. I predicted that it would be rushed and everyone here attacked me for expressing my concern. The showrunners could have waited til next season for the Battle of Winterfell. It was a huge future book spoiler and it was barely a battle at all. It wasn’t necessary to include that this season.

      Dorne was a disaster. I still cringe when I think about Ellaria’s blind, misguided vengeance and eventual murder of an innocent child. Not to mention the Lannisters now have the show version of the Martell heir in their possession, so killing Myrcella is putting Trystane in immediate peril as well. The touching moment between Jaime and Myrcella that lasted 2 seconds before the poison kicked in also felt cheap and contrived. The Sand Snakes were poorly characterized, as well. They came across as silly, ridiculous caricatures. Too bad, Dorne had so much potential to be great.

      The show could have stuck to the published material, but the writers chose to stray from the books and the quality of the season suffered for it.

      Don’t blame GRRM. There was enough published material to fill this season, the showrunners did not have to spoil TWOW.

      Just my opinion, but I’m not the only one who feels this way.

        Quote  Reply

    133. Considering the fear I had for how this season would pan out it actually worked out pretty well.
      Some things that didn’t work were present though.
      I don’t want to say I told you so but…the Sand Snakes were as bad if not worse than I imagined they would be. What was to blame? Bad writing? Bad acting? Not getting enough time? Most likely a combination of all of the above although won’t slam the actress’ as they had poor material to work with.
      Brienne was poor again this season. She just doesn’t seem to do anything relevant except action sequences that serve no real purpose. The after-inn chase was probably the worst part of this season for me. Plus her and Pod have no chemistry and she’s actually starting to come off as a bit of a dick! Hopefully they’ll give her something to do and make her more endearing next season as she’s not carrying her weight in the show for the past couple of seasons.
      The contrived reason for sending Sansa to Winterfell was a very messy way of wedging her into another story. Thankfully, when she was there it made for great TV but I really think there were better ways of doing it.
      My major beef with this season was that there wern’t the intriguing/slick verbal exhanges present in previous seasons. Olenna/High Sparrow, Tyrion/Hizdahr and some of Jaime and Bronn’s stuff as well as anyhting involving Alfie Allen were good but the rest didn’t have any real depth. I hope this is addressed as this kind of thing is much better to watch than Pod running around a wood or Sand Snakes monloguing.
      So yeah. Weakest season yet mainly because of a painfully slow start but far from being bad. Good but not great. Roll on Season 6. Bring me my Euron!

        Quote  Reply

    134. K Noelle,

      Multiple characters storyline were far too boring for a television adaption. And don’t blame the show for spoiling the 6th book. GRRM didn’t even have real conclusions to books 4 and 5 despite having over a decade to get them out.

      The show was given inferior source material and vastly improved upon it for the show.

      There is a reason it is taking the author years to get through the books right now. He is stuck.

        Quote  Reply

    135. Deesensfan,

      There was something similar yes, I mean Jon didn’t travel to Hardhome in the books so we never actually see what happens there. He did receive a letter from Cotter Pyke however, and that letter described some of what went on but never talks about the Night’s King or seeing the massacred Wildlings and Crows being raised from the dead or anything. It was more of a passing event in the books, it wasn’t the big, big event that it was in the show.
      I for one am really glad the show dedicated an entire episode to it… well, about half an episode but you know what I mean.

        Quote  Reply

    136. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Indeed, things weren’t looking up for Cotter Pyke and co. last we heard. And since most of the Wildlings at Hardhome died and became part of the Others’ undead army in the show, it can be safely assumed that a similar fate befalls them in the books as well.

        Quote  Reply

    137. Deesensfan,

      Not really sure. Maybe it was to show him as more of a hero, or maybe they simply wanted more action? Or they wanted to show us more White Walkers because we only get a little glimpse of them each season? I think they also wanted to show us how truly dangerous the White Walkers are, I mean, we have heard about how dangerous they are but have never really seen the proof of that. After Hardhome we finally see just why they are the greatest threat on the show.

        Quote  Reply

    138. Deesensfan,

      Might be that Cotter Pyke returns with the remnants of the Wildlings from Hardhome instead.

      Although it’s possible Jon still ends up going there after his resurrection. It’s hard to tell at this point.

        Quote  Reply

    139. The Bastard:
      K Noelle,

      Multiple characters storyline were far too boring for a television adaption. And don’t blame the show for spoiling the 6th book. GRRM didn’t even have real conclusions to books 4 and 5 despite having over a decade to get them out.

      The show was given inferior source material and vastly improved upon it for the show.

      There is a reason it is taking the author years to get through the books right now. He is stuck.

      100x THIS!

        Quote  Reply

    140. Deesensfan,

      Exactly.

      I am glad the show took such a big departure from the books in that episode. Seeing what happened there was much more interesting than just reading a few lines about it. Don’t get me wrong, the letter from Cotter Pyke is really creepy and shows just how good GRRM is at writing horror, but actually seeing it was better.

        Quote  Reply

    141. Cumsprite,

      I didn’t say anything offensive. All I did was say that I was disappointed with Season 5, am I not allowed to criticize the show or something?

        Quote  Reply

    142. The show might have had a few bad moments, but to call the whole season “meh?” I think a lot of us are getting so accepting of the “nobody is safe” credo that we’ve become jaded. Definition: tired, bored, or lacking enthusiasm, typically after having had too much of something. Or from the Urban Dictionary: The end result of having a steady flow of negative experiences, disappointment, and unfulfillment fed into a person, to the point their anger circuits just sort of burn out and they accept disillusionment.

      Or fail to be impressed. Sounds like a lot of us. No wonder I read that D & D are anxious to go on to other things. It’s must be rather dreary to have to deal with this kind of adverse reaction year after year, when for the most part they’ve done amazing things with the material. The music that accompanies each episode is a gift unto itself.

      If they don’t bring back Kit, though, I just might join the merry bands of naysayers for a while. Oh, I will still tune in, I know that much about myself, but ….. what…? What will I do … I will see, next season. How much longer now?

        Quote  Reply

    143. My major issue with the season was the lack of depth to the northern and sparrow plot lines but the casting news for the northern lords and Septon Meribald might make up for that next year. Maybe Sam and Gilly’s trip south will provide a bit of context on the impact of war that was lacking.
      But adapting those two books was a tough job and some things inevitably came up short.

        Quote  Reply

    144. Deesensfan:
      Young Dragon,

      Least favorite is different than saying it was BAD
      Least favorite is your opinion

      Thinking the show is bad is also an opinion. I have no problem with people who don’t like the show because quality is subjective. It’s only when people say x doesn’t make any sense or x character would never do that where I voice my disagreement.

        Quote  Reply

    145. Rafael:
      Vindictive Sting,
      Nice rant (didn’t agree with it but it was fun to read nevertheless). Just want to point out that the motivation for the Cersei’s punishment was mainly political. High Sparrow wants to undermine the authority of the nobles and the walk is ideal for that.

      Thanks, and this sort of insightful confirmation is what I like to gain from the Sullied.

      I had a suspicion that this was a motivation, and saw that in some ways an upheaval from the common folk would also play into Daeny’s theme of ‘power to the people’ and “break the wheel” if/when she finally arrives in Westeros. The problem was, that train of thought got completely overwhelmed by the ridiculous 6 minute “Shame! Shame!” accompanied by dancing naked men being punched in the face spectacle. Utterly nonsensical wasteful time allotment when every minute is as precious as forged Valyrian steel. The result was that it made in retrospect High Sparrows quiet smirk seem more in tune with Pycelle’s ogling once Cersei made it back to the keep, and effectively undermined the message of the Sparrows’ real intent.

      I also truly don’t understand all the sudden sympathy this generated for Cersei. There’s no amount of public humiliation that could possibly make amends for everything she’s brought upon the realm. Comments like “Nobody deserves that!” you’ve gotta be frickin’ kidding me… I was tempted to throw poop at my tv screen just to join in.

      I still like the story and the show, but I do believe that the season just lacked something that for instance season 3 had, or even season 4. It’s sort of weird, I’m glad Tywin is gone, but I miss Charles Dance. His screen presence is incredible. I wonder if that had something to do with it… Particular when I consider that the very very few (clearly) surviving characters on my blood splattered list of “genuine likeables that I invested in before I saw that such investment is designed to give you finger when they get butchered” are finally in relatively good places now. Hmm…

      Anyhow, I’ll be interested to see the further adventures of “Moose & Squirrel” because they’re entertaining despite the fact I don’t care if they die – but if they do kill off Jon I’ll be completely supporting the White Walkers from then on with an Aerys II style “FREEZE THEM ALL!” mindset.

        Quote  Reply

    146. The Bastard:
      Too often…. the diehard fans are the worst fans…

      And nothing is funnier then somebody on a fan website saying they don’t watch the show anymore. Why even waste your time commenting for the round table then?

      The show continues to be amazing. The worst part this year was Dorne and the diehard fans.Everything else was either as good or better then previous seasons.

      True. But I think it works both ways. With some fans of the books and with some fans of the show. In all my wanderings through the interwebs for years I think some of the most antagonistic posters I’ve run across are fans of a movie or show who can’t understand or can’t accept why others don’t love it 100% as much as they do. I’ve seen it with Star Warts prequel fans, LOTR fans and others. Heck I’ve even seen it with fans of certain sports teams.

      As others have said, it is a discussion of opinion. And people have different opinions and different tastes. It would be kind of boring if everyone thought the same way about the show (or about the books for that matter).

      Personally I enjoyed the season OK and thought the general arcs in most story-lines were good. But I thought the execution in things like giving characters consistent and organic motiviations were sometimes lacking.

        Quote  Reply

    147. I continue to be befuddled as to why this always has to turn into book vs show comparisons. The book and the show can both have ups and downs (& they do!)… But not necessarily in the same scenes or the same types of problems. This season was good in parts and not so good in other parts but it did seem the writing was not as sharp or cohesive as other seasons. Don’t think this has much to do with the books – just think things were rushed. I do expect a rebound next season as we aim for the finale.

        Quote  Reply

    148. The Bastard:
      K Noelle,

      Multiple characters storyline were far too boring for a television adaption. And don’t blame the show for spoiling the 6th book. GRRM didn’t even have real conclusions to books 4 and 5 despite having over a decade to get them out.

      The show was given inferior source material and vastly improved upon it for the show.

      There is a reason it is taking the author years to get through the books right now. He is stuck.

      The more time that passes the more I believe it true that he is stuck. It’s always interesting to note that the book most say is the best, ASoS, was the quickest release at less than two years after the previous. He released the first four books in nine years and then shortly after the fourth the show began its development. In a decade he’s only managed to finish one book!? I’ve felt that if one knows what they want to write then it’s easy to write it. The show should have been extra incentive to focus but he’s writing more slowly than ever.

        Quote  Reply

    149. Thronetender:

      If they don’t bring back Kit, though, I just might join the merry bands of naysayers for a while.Oh, I will still tune in, I know that much about myself, but ….. what…?What will I do … I will see, next season.How much longer now?

      This!!!

      Chimeny,

      Okay that makes sense then. I just hope it wasn’t added in also to end Jons story as a hero and to bring awareness to us and the characters about the true threat of WW and the significance of valaryian steal

        Quote  Reply

    150. Deesensfan,

      My friends (you’re not alone on this) will be really pissed,if Kit is being replaced by someone else.Quite frankly,I was never a big fan of his and especially after season 3,but last two seasons were great from him.I’ll give him that.Just don’t freak out over his Curtain Call. 😀
      To them show-Jon is Kit,just like Emilia is Dany,Tyrion and Peter Dinklage and so on…Tbh I don’t mind changes in the cast,but not at this stage of story,and not with main characters.It would be very strange for many reasons,but it’s not out of picture,just yet.

        Quote  Reply

    151. K Noelle:

      The show could have stuck to the published material, but the writers chose to stray from the books and the quality of the season suffered for it.

      Don’t blame GRRM. There was enough published material to fill this season, the showrunners did not have to spoil TWOW.

      It’s been obvious for a while that the show was going to spoil the books and the possibility was always there that it would begin this season. And GRRM most definitely is to blame. The moment he signed over his work, he gave himself a deadline. He failed to meet it. If you’re not prepared to be spoiled, perhaps you should stop watching.

        Quote  Reply

    152. Dolorous Methuselah,

      You are right. It is a discussion of opinion. But when one opinion is that they don’t watch the show anymore or hate everything about it… they serve no purpose to the discussion anymore. In fact they should probably find something they do enjoy more. I don’t go to websites about 50 shades of grey because I saw the movie and thought it was garbage. Why would I feel the need to comment on something I obviously don’t enjoy?

        Quote  Reply

    153. Young Dragon: It’s been obvious for a while that the show was going to spoil the books and the possibility was always there that it would begin this season. And GRRM most definitely is to blame. The moment he signed over his work, he gave himself a deadline. He failed to meet it. If you’re not prepared to be spoiled, perhaps you should stop watching.

      I would ever go as far as to say David and Dan were far too nice this season not spoiling enough. They kept Bran out who would have spoiled a ton. They could have gotten to the fate of Jon Snow.

      They gave GRRM an extra year to finish book 6 before the show really passes the books completely.

        Quote  Reply

    154. Al Swearengen,

      Indeed, that line made me roll my eyes hard. Whoever the reviewer was who called the Sand Snakes “B-movie bad girls” hit the nail right on the head. Both the characters and that line (and most Sand Snake dialogue really) come straight out of some schlocky 70s grindhouse flick.

      Hopefully those three and Ellaria are out for the rest of the series.

        Quote  Reply

    155. Thronetender:
      The show might have had a few bad moments, but to call the whole season “meh?”
      I think a lot of us are getting so accepting of the “nobody is safe” credo that we’ve become jaded. Definition: tired, bored, or lacking enthusiasm, typically after having had too much of something. Or from the Urban Dictionary: The end result of having a steady flow of negative experiences, disappointment, and unfulfilled fed into a person, to the point their anger circuits just sort of burn out and they accept disillusionment.

      That about sums it up in a nutshell. Most specifically the Urban Dictionary portion. New characters sadly offer nothing of significant value to the viewer on a personal level beyond dubious suspicion, wondering if they’re another villain or just the next victim. Ultimately a mere stepping stone on the journey to the conclusion. So despite all the splendour and majestic spectacle of story telling, it’s all eye candy because we pretty much stopped caring who lives or dies about 2 seasons ago and it won’t take more than one or two more popular character deaths to turn the entire series into a genuine “meh..” regardless of who’s left standing when the snow melts.

      Realistically, I can easily envisage Rickon’s bones rotting away in a boggy marsh and Bran getting skewered by the Night King’s spear the moment he emerges from the cave to assist the world with his newly learned powers (but not until after a good full season and a half of making him seem incredibly important and well liked again), which kind of says it all really.

        Quote  Reply

    156. The Bastard:
      Dolorous Methuselah,

      You are right. It is a discussion of opinion. But when one opinion is that they don’t watch the show anymore or hate everything about it… they serve no purpose to the discussion anymore. In fact they should probably find something they do enjoy more. I don’t go to websites about 50 shades of grey because I saw the movie and thought it was garbage. Why would I feel the need to comment on something I obviously don’t enjoy?

      I respectfully disagree. I appreciate all opinions. If people have been watching the show until now I don’t mind at all hearing their thoughts on it. If they’ve watched up until a certain point I for one give their opinion on the parts they’ve watched equal respect as anyone else who has watched that part. (If they’ve never watched the show of course I don’t think they would be able to comment on it because they’ve never seen it).

      Also, I may be overlooking things but I don’t think I have seen very many people (or anyone really) say they hate everything about the show.

      I have seen people get very riled up at criticisms of the show. I think the term used in some forums is knighting for the show (which actually kind of fits in a GoT forum 🙂 )

        Quote  Reply

    157. Thronetender: No wonder I read that D & D are anxious to go on to other things. It’s must be rather dreary to have to deal with this kind of adverse reaction year after year, when for the most part they’ve done amazing things with the material.

      The other thing is that by the end of Season 7, it will have been 10 years that they’ve been doing this. In TV land, that is a (very!) long time. At some point, creative people start looking too forward to the next project: so, having a definite end in sight is really important: right now, the “end” has to be more important to them than the next “start.” The same would go for the actors: keeping Dinklage, Clarke, Headey, (!hopefully!) Harrington, etc., for another two years is about as much as they can hope to do.

        Quote  Reply

    158. Geralt of Rivia,

      I will freak out over a CC! LOL
      And yeah cast changes don’t bug me…. but Jon Snow cast change? Sorry that’s not Jon Snow, I don’t care if its a resurrected Jon Targaryen… that isn’t Jon Snow to me. No connection with the character

      Edit : did anyone see True detective! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now that’s some dark shit!

        Quote  Reply

    159. This article would have been a lot more interesting with some actual perspective from non-readers. Just sayin.

        Quote  Reply

    160. It will be interesting watching the book purists squirm next year (if GRRM doesn’t get TWOW out in time). They won’t know what to think about most plot lines. “Is it safe to trash this storyline? What if it is actually in the book?” Prepare for a lot of indecision and waffling.

      We got a glimpse of this on a small scale with the immediate online reactions to the burning of Shireen. Saw a lot of people walking back their initial reactions upon learning it came directly from GRRM. Will they hesitate before throwing judgements like “bad writing” around next year? Think of the potential embarrassment when they discover all that “bad writing” comes straight from the books.

        Quote  Reply

    161. Al Swearengen,

      Bad pussy is a grumpy cat! YOU KNOW THAT AL!

      LOL Stop trolling and tell me if you liked TD S2 first ep. Taylor Kitsch’s girlfriend. Totally thought: Al would like her. :p

        Quote  Reply

    162. Season 5 was my least favourite, from an artistic POV as well as personal one. One example was the handling of Sansa in general and the removal of agency despite all her fine words and almost complete regression to Season 2-3 Sansa. Moreover, they made a bad job of Dorne–the Spanish landscape and scenery were terrific but the people (Doran excepted) were 50 shades of bad. I sensed from Episode 1 that D&D were so busy improving (usually) due to lack of text that they didn’t think through consequences of some of their changes. Despite some splendid scenes and set pieces (Hardhome, Cersei’s WOS, most of Arya’s development, Valyria, Dany’s flight on Drogon, and almost anything Tyrion was in), overall the season felt like a slog to re-set the pieces and move forward next season. That worked perfectly in Season 1, where they had a coherent story following the first book, but here it was patchy at best. I love the show and expect it to come roaring back, but some people are abandoning it. To my mind, that is the ultimate judgment on this season.

      I forget who wrote this:
      4. Petyr. He told Cersei in the show “Knowledge is power”, so I found unrealistic he didn’t know who Ramsay was. Moreover, his plans entailed that he lost Sansa anyway, both if the Boltons won the battle of Winterfell (she’d have remained under their control), and if Stannis did (he’d have had no mercy for him, as he tried to empower the his enemies legitimazing their leadership in the North). His behaviour has no sense for me.

      Littlefinger is so machiavellian that he may well have known and set Sansa up anyway. He’s good at predicting behaviour and knew that even a sadist like Ramsey could not kill Sansa but would painfully put her in her place. It would suit LF’s longer game–controlling the North and the Stark. A Sansa broken and broken in by Ramsey would be more tractable once LF took the North and took her. LF is playing all sides against the middle, yes, but when he twice spoke of Warden(ess) of the North IMO he revealed his deep intention. He aims for revenge, to replace Ned Stark, have his title and his woman (sort of), and eradicate his memory. Frankly, I’ve always thought LF suggested–openly or subliminally–to Joffrey to kill Ned. Why not? It opened the way LF could get everything he really wanted. We’ll probably never know for sure, but it makes sense to me. Everything LF does makes sense ONCE we know what he’s aiming at. Even the ladder of chaos is only the means to an end.

        Quote  Reply

    163. “Yes, overall. I think it was a good season, and even bad GOT is still better than 90% of TV out there.” – Dame

      That’s the way I feel too.
      I think this was a weird season.
      First we get Sansa’s anti spoiler story , I mean book wise that didn’t happen, and seemingly it aint gonna happen in Winds or Dream, I guess?
      That Sansa may go North I can see, not much of a spoiler there if it happens.

      Stannis is removed from the story as an acting character? I really should say Team Stannis. I mean page-wise , George ?, spend five novels, well when we read it 6.? something novels building the Stannis arc and somewhere in Winds GRRM says … Forget it!?

      We know , for instance, the Ser Barry arc continues in novel 6, and the convergence of several arcs at Meereen so something has not been spoiler there, but even if the show and page end at the same place the whole story arc is gonna be the sum of different histories, wonder which will be the better?

        Quote  Reply

    164. What a bunch of book wanking pseudo intellects. Am I supposed to feel stupid for liking a tv show with dragons and ice elves? This is why the general public will never take sci-fi and fantasy seriously.

        Quote  Reply

    165. Deesensfan:
      Tormund’s Woman,

      I saw her too. I am a woman, and safe to say she was a hottie
      But so is Taylor! Yum!!!!

      Too bad the show started off even slower than the first season. Unlike that one though, this one appears like it will involve less freaky (which made season 1) and more standard corruption and deceit.

      What was with the drums when McAdams’ character is just getting ready in the locker room? It feels like that’s suppose to be their dramatic background music but I don’t know. If they’re going to use if for whatever, like eating a cheeseburger, than perhaps I’m wrong.

      I think the current 62% on Rotten Tomatoes is pretty accurate.

        Quote  Reply

    166. What makes me love Game of Thrones so much is that despite the fact that I was born Human…. I self identify as a fire breathing dragon. I have even begun to wear wings in public. I just hope that real dragons won’t hate me for wanting to be one of them.

      Joking aside…. I agree with El Witcher. This is why television channels are so afraid to do science fiction and fantasy shows. Even when they hit a home run (like with Game of Thrones), they will still get crapped on by a portion of the fan base. They just can’t win. And this is why we can’t have nice things.

        Quote  Reply

    167. Young Dragon:If you’re not prepared to be spoiled, perhaps you should stop watching.

      You’d pretty much have to stay off the internet for the next six years in order to remained unspoiled. It is not really a viable option. You’d certainly have to avoid all media or forums related to either the books or the show, as well as the main-stream media for several months each year. You’d also have to worry about casually being spoiled when people refer to GoT when discussing other media. Your chances of surviving years of this without hitting the major spoiler points are about zero. It is not even worth it to try. For better or for worse, we have to deal with the fact that D&D are going to show us the main plot points, not GRRM.

        Quote  Reply

    168. K Noelle: The show could have stuck to the published material, but the writers chose to stray from the books and the quality of the season suffered for it.

      Well, there was one big problem: half of the published material was Crows, and that material is really, really not good. Can you see the audience that grooved on the Sopranos, the Tudors, Breaking Bad, Dexter, etc., putting up with the nothingness of the Riverland plots? Or the general silliness of the Iron Islands plots? Or characters like Arianne? Even the cut Dragons material would have been death on screen. Again, can you see this audience putting up with Quentyn’s “I’m-not-worthiness”? Or having major parts of the plot (such as post-Daeny Meereen or post-Tyrion YG) with no lead characters present?

      Sticking to that material would have made for a disastrously awful season.

      To keep this audience interested, the show had to stay focused on the major players. (That was, after all, the hugest of Crows failings.) And, no, there was no “what about all of the focus on the Sand Snakes?”: all along they were nothing more than foils for Jaime; it was clear that their sole purpose in this tale was to make his trek difficult and help bring his character to whatever self-realization it was going to be that would feed the story. Jaime is, after all, a major character with a definite arc: and this season did a lot to push him much further away from the Season 1 character than we’ve ever seen before.

      Remember, if this audience cared about the fodder of fantasy novels, then they would read fantasy novels. They don’t: they read the novels that get nominated for Pulitzers and Bookers instead. If we want them to swallow the fantasy, then it darned well better be heaviy-coated with character-driven drama.

        Quote  Reply

    169. mau: Typical book purist’s behavior. Arrogance and ignorance.

      Without the doubt? Well, you see I doubt it. And millions of fans from all around the world.

      This article in nonsensical mess , just like everything book purists write, because they are not able to understand anything that is different from the books.

      Books which they re-read 1745 times until they convince themselves that AFFC and ADWD are great.

      And then they quote 6 monologues (and always the same 6 monologues which GRRMfinished after 11 years)from those books admiring “deep and complex world”that GRRM created.

      IMO most peple on Westeros.org are literally insane. And first of all Linda.

      This article is the worst thing that was ever written on this site, because this was the only place where normal people could escape from book purists, and now it is ruined.

      This season was great.

      You didn’t like Dorne? Oh, why?Dorne this season was just like AFFC and ADWD. Plot no one cares, characters no-one cares, without climax or proper resolution. Just like GRRM’s writing.

      Why are people even allowed to post such hate-filled rants here? Just asking. Is it because the first sentence is so juicily ironic?

      By my browser’s count, the word “purist” is used 34 times on this thread, and all but a couple of them are intended as insults. There is certainly a side in this debate that needs to grow up, and it is comprised of people like Mau.

        Quote  Reply

    170. Fucking hilarious>
      Butthurt bookwankers out in droves, whining their sorry asses off…here at WotW ? Of all places ? Don´t you have westeros.org for that ?

      I myself am damn happy that D&D made the best out of that self-indulgent, sprawling mess called *aFfC/aDwD*.

      And if anyone thinks tWoW will be better…please, pretty please ?
      Won´t be out for S6 anyway, so who cares about the books by now ?

        Quote  Reply

    171. Chad Brick,

      Cry yourself a river, Chadster. You bookwankers are simply reaping what you are sowing. All you do here is shit on the show and shit and shit. No more, no less. Your Goddess Linda first of all. Don´t be surprised that people shit back.

        Quote  Reply

    172. Deesensfan:
      Chad Brick,

      Haters of the show are worse
      This show is a masterpiece and we are blessed to have it! People will be crying when it’s over.

      Heh, read the last few posts, and revel in the irony of what you just wrote. I could easily cite 30+ anti-purist insults on this thread alone. Flintwielder just tossed out around five them in a mere two posts. Can you do the reverse? Heck, can you find even one? You made the claim, now back it up.

        Quote  Reply

    173. Chad Brick: Just asking. Is it because the first sentence is so juicily ironic?

      Strictly speaking, that wouldn’t be irony: it would be (if we accept the rest of your post) hypocrisy. Those are not the same concepts. (Irony is something that appears to mean one thing but really means another; hypocrisy is a double standard.)

      That written, the “purists” (or “fundamentalists” or whatever you want to call them) do make Fantasy/SciFi fans in general look bad. They complain about trees when the rest of the world pays attention to the forest that those fans never can see. However, many of us know perfectly well what a story is: and we shouldn’t be tainted by association with those that do not.

        Quote  Reply

    174. Back what up ? This constant whining of the show and what was done wrong is ridiculous .
      I don’t think many posters here are like that .. There’s a few but the article is what people are commenting about
      This is how the show is. The show is not the books – enough of that crap
      Just enjoy the show, and if you don’t, stop watching. It’s okay to complain about thinks you don’t like.. But when it comes “that’s not what the book says” well it’s not meant to be.

        Quote  Reply

    175. Chad Brick,

      The poster I was responding to was criticizing D&D for spoiling the books though, whereas, as you said, spoilers are inevitable. Remaining spoiler free today would be difficult, but not impossible. If he/she wants to have a chance of remaining unspoiled, ceasing to watch the show would be his/her only course of action.

        Quote  Reply

    176. Chad Brick: Heh, read the last few posts, and revel in the irony of what you just wrote. I could easily cite 30+ anti-purist insults on this thread alone. Flintwielder just tossed out around five them in a mere two posts. Can you do the reverse? Heck, can you find even one? You made the claim, now back it up.

      Again, cry yourself a river.
      What are you even doing here ?

        Quote  Reply

    177. Sometimes the people who post here bother me quite a bit. People are allowed to dislike something with your mighty Game of Thrones or not think it’s the greatest single thing in the history of the world and it doesn’t mean they’re wrong, or book purists at all. It means they have a different opinion than you. Simple as that. I find it strange that some of you have this cult of personality like opinion where anyone who questions or dislikes something opposite of you it means they’re a “book purist” or something along those lines.

      You honestly want this site to be the opposite version of westeros.org? That site is book fanboys, but some of you are helping turn this site into show fanboys.

        Quote  Reply

    178. Doug:
      Sometimes the people who post here bother me quite a bit. People are allowed to dislike something with your mighty Game of Thrones or not think it’s the greatest single thing in the history of the world and it doesn’t mean they’re wrong, or book purists at all. It means they have a different opinion than you. Simple as that. I find it strange that some of you have this cult of personality like opinion where anyone who questions or dislikes something opposite of you it means they’re a “book purist” or something along those lines.

      You honestly want this site to be the opposite version of westeros.org? That site is book fanboys, but some of you are helping turn this site into show fanboys.

      Wrong comparison. Here, you can voice your opinion, even if contrarian. At westeros, you get silenced and disposed of if you don´t follow the site owners´ line.
      Try again.

        Quote  Reply

    179. Deesensfan,

      Hello! This is my first comment. I’m a book reader, not a purist though, I love the show and really like to see changes on screen as they are refreshing. For instance, I’m glad they brought back Jaqen (his face at least) instead of casting someone else to play the Kindly Man.

      Yet, I will disagree with you on your last sentence. If we are allowed to point that something worked better on the show than the books, then we are allowed to do the opposite, as long as it makes sense and is done with respect.

      For example, I think they could have handle Theon sudden comeback better. Maybe include a 3 minutes long scene in a previous episode where he goes to the Weirwood Tree. They already had the set, and only needen one actor (Alfie), and I think would have been a great emotional scene that made his redemption more believeable and to remind casual viewers that Bran is out there perfecting his skills. “Theon”.

      See? I just mentioned a scene in the books that would have been easy to shoot, without disrespecting anyone.

        Quote  Reply

    180. Doug,

      No one cares if you don’t like the show or not. Book wankers seem to think the whole world needs hear what they have to say about a tv fricken series. Who cares man? Did the tv show give kids in Africa fricken aids or give poor book wankers cancer. I really don’t give two shits about Benioff or Weiss. I like Game of Thrones because of the actors, sets, costumes, directors, special effects. Maybe you should read something else other than fantasy and you’ll see how mediocre GRRMs writing is.

        Quote  Reply

    181. flintwielder,

      Hey there, I think you might need to chill a bit.

      Have you read the books? I wouldn’t go as far as to call the last two books a self-indulgent mess.

      I’ll admit I didn’t like aFfC so much as the previous ones. I enjoyed it though, specially Jaime’s and Cersei’s chapters. Watching Jaime’s inner struggle and his journey, and Cersei becoming more erratic and paranoic by the hour. But I agree, it wouldn’t have been entertaining to watch that on screen.

      As for aDwD, could you please tell me why you disliked it? When I finished reading it I was eager to discuss it on forums and was surprised by some negatives respones as I really enjoyed it. Tyrion’s journey and how he begins to sucumb into dispair, until his life takes a turn for the better with the Griffs, Daenery’s political moves, which start to backfire, the Northern Conspiracy and the Manderly’s, Jon’s rise and fall, Arianne’s Queenmaker plot, the inclution of more Ironborn culture and Dragonbinder, which could be a gamechanger.

      I don’t know…maybe I’m one of the few that loves character inner struggles, not necessarily from outside forces like big battles.

      I would argue the part I disliked was Quentyn’s, but I really liked everything else. Should I be ashamed?

        Quote  Reply

    182. No real shame in criticizing the show and thinking some things could’ve been done better, shouldn’t have been added or removed from the source material, or are just plain bad. The problems start when the only thing someone talks about are all of the show’s faults, and especially the faults compared to the books. And it’s often not even a matter of what’s in the show compared to the books is better or worse. It’s only that it differs from what’s in the books. That’s the root of so many “arguments” people make against this show, and it’s difficult to take seriously.

      I know most people who consistently criticize the show probably don’t actually feel this show is complete and utter garbage, but it’s certainly an easy impression to get about you when the only things you have to say about the show are how terrible it is, and more specifically how terrible it is compared to the books. It’s getting tiresome to read through this sort of stuff and makes people more prone to lash out at you than engage you in any serious discussion, as this thread has clearly demonstrated.

      Perhaps some of you should scale back on the negativity a bit and critique the show in a somewhat less abrasive, repetitive, and hyperbolic manner. And with a bit less emphasis on “in the books.” Then perhaps you won’t get as many volatile reactions from Unsullied and other less critical book readers.

      Just my two cents.

        Quote  Reply

    183. This quote: “After all, one of the things I’ve vociferously protested was the drying up of the westerlands mines because of the effect that this would have had on a resource-driven medieval economy, the Lannisters, and their bannermen (since the Lannisters don’t own all of the mines in the westerlands).”

      I can’t even….

        Quote  Reply

    184. Clob,

      The drums and the horn motif sound that followed it was used several times in the episode. It’s clearly being scored as a pulpy crime noir. A modern James Elroy yarn like LA Confidential.

      Reviews from RT are based on the first 3 episodes. Most of those reviews state that episode 3 is when things start heating up.
      While I did find the first episode slow (yet still intriguing if a little clichéd in some aspects) we had all three cops meeting for the first time so I think the stirring of that proverbial stew has begun.
      Lets see if it surprises everyone in the next few eps.

        Quote  Reply

    185. Some of the grammar in this article is so poor that it’s actually hard to read. Where’s Stannis when you need him? 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    186. Ross:
      This quote: “After all, one of the things I’ve vociferously protested was the drying up of the westerlands mines because of the effect that this would have had on a resource-driven medieval economy, the Lannisters, and their bannermen (since the Lannisters don’t own all of the mines in the westerlands).”

      I can’t even….

      🙂 Yeah…ASOAIF reddit, AFOIAF and tTotH have made for some pretty fucking pedantic posters who have some seriously selective, goofy critiques of the TV show, that’s for sure. The followups to this article featuring more of the WOTW staff (Axey and Sue in particular) ought to make for a refreshing counterweight to some of the fussing and nitpicking found in this one though.

        Quote  Reply

    187. Robb Snow,

      You meant to answer my post? I think it’s a good thing to critisize as long as it is constructive. But I agree, there’s a difference between that and total bashing of the producers. It’s a damn shame, but I don’t feel that quoting the book in some aspects is bad. Everytime someone says “in the book”, followed by his comparison gets tagged as a “bookwanker”, when it’s not always like that.

        Quote  Reply

    188. Something felt really odd this morning and I couldn’t place why, then I realised – no GoT episode to watch on catch up.

      Damn I miss the show already! GRRM – get the damn next book finished before I piss meself.

        Quote  Reply

    189. and don’t show bias with your characters or paint them in either pure white or pitch-black morality.

      Yes, GRRM never does this. There aren’t enough eye rolls in the world.

        Quote  Reply

    190. Militant Penguin kind of mirrors my view on the season. Slynt and Brynden B. Fish make some great points, although I don’t agree with everything they said. Anyway, I’m watching Season 6…. my purist days are long gone :)) . I’m very excited to see if the show is as predictable as it seems, now that I’ll have the point of view of an unsullied.

        Quote  Reply

    191. Arya Havin’ a Larf?,

      Perhaps Trant developed a liking for hitting young girls because of Sansa – I mean, I doubt he ever did something like that before, but Joffery’s ‘orders’ gave him license and he found he liked it and got sexual arousal from it – just a thought, perhaps just trying to justify it a little 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    192. Tomtom,

      Oh no, it wasn’t meant as a response to you specifically. I was just touching on the general theme of numerous posts before it.

      I had a longer response to this but when I submitted it it said the request timed out, and when I refreshed everything I typed was gone (it’s usually still there after I refresh). In brief, I wanted to say that Linda from Westeros.org and the people she surrounds herself with are a big reason people have such negative reactions to people critical of the show and those who favor the books. They’ve set a terrible example and the fanbase for both the show and books would be better off without them.

        Quote  Reply

    193. Mr Fixit,

      Yeah seriously. The fact that the guy running the GoT wiki would say anything positive about those two unprofessional hacks, let alone that they’re his heroes, demonstrates how completely and utterly unfit he is for his job.

        Quote  Reply

    194. wow,

      i never returned to westeros.org because the commenters there are so off putting and now this site might potentially become like them (although the opposite side). lol what a turn of events.

      can the site moderators remove hateful comments on all sides, it actually hurts discussions. or actually disable comments on these types of posts because it is kinda pointless since GRRM purists and D&D apologists wont actually convince the other and arguments just result to bashing and name calling.

      love this site but lets prevent this to become like the others. thanks

      On-topic: its useless to ask “will you be watching season 6” cause i think all will still watch. its just the question of enthusiasm. maybe you watch as it airs or just watch it if you feel like too.

      but guys, hate the season or not, i think the majority agrees the dorne plot was not good. lol

        Quote  Reply

    195. Robb Snow:

      And to be frank, if this season feels uneven, it’s because – and I’m just going to say it – the source material is kind of uneven.

      You know, it’s kinda crazy that this point is so rarely brought up. AFfC/ADwD are pretty maligned books, particularly in hardcore circles (if you don’t believe me, check Amazon scores of those two books; they only recently started improving a bit with the influx of new readers due to the show. “The old guard” that was with the books far longer has been much more critical of them). Isn’t it funny that when book readers criticise Season 5, they’ll mention absolutely everything except that the source material is somewhat… problematic, shall we say? It’s like when the show is good, it’s good because of the books, but when it’s (supposedly) bad, then it has nooooothing to do with the source… nope!

        Quote  Reply

    196. Mr Fixit,

      Honestly, it might seem very controversy-seeking, and maybe it is, but I think that the sudden influx of positive scores for ADWD and AFFC may also have a lot to do with the publishers or Amazon (obviously not GRRM) actually planting false reviews. The sudden meteoric rise in the number of reviewers started happening just before the mass-market paperback release, and most of the 5 star reviews are basically two words or so now. I might be reading too much into it (I probably am), but I don’t think that a lot of those reviews are legit. Have you seen the posts about it on Amazon’s forums discussion board and on Is Winter Coming? They have graphs on this, and it does seem a little suspicious.

      Anyways, getting back on-topic.

        Quote  Reply

    197. Al Swearengen:

      No no please tell me what “bad pussy” is, I am genuinely curious.

      Glad to oblige!

      Bad is an adjective, used here to describe the noun that follows. Pussy is a noun that means a little cat. Here it is used as a metaphor for a part of female anatomy that Lindaaaaaa from Westeros likes to call a cunt, though it’s more likely that Tyene meant it as a synecdoche, using pussy to denote herself and not just a part of herself in which Bronn is likely most interested.

        Quote  Reply

    198. I’d be too tiring to respond to all of this. Let’s just say I agree with Wimsey, as I usually do, and with StannisBurnratheon, in that the “opinions” (they don’t even deserve that title, technically, since most are not even reasoned) shared by the contributors to this article are shallow as fuck. “Badly written”, “Too black and white” and all that other nonsense are not real criticism or analysis. The most frustrating thing is that they feel more intelligent than those who only watch the show… because they read a fantasy book. Yup. A fantasy book that they read and analyse as if it was a history book instead of a piece of literature —they know all the irrelevant world-building, and couldn’t care less about the actual story. What is the expression? They can’t see the forest for the trees. How much it shows… they only care about PLOT —they are the equivalent of Biblical literalists… and there’s nothing worse! Let’s not get into the stories D&D actually DID tell in this season… Fuck that, we’ve got puerile comparisons to make.

      The Dragon Demands,

      It shows in the wiki, unfortunately.

      The Dragon Demands,

      You and your incapability to write a single non-biased thing in the wiki is what’s ludicrous. You’d be laughed out of Wikipedia.

      Thank God you’re not writing the show. I’ve told you this a hundred times: AFFC & ADWD are meandering enough already, and they have no climaxes for many of their characters by the end of it, let alone by the half-way point, which would be your ideal season five endpoint —in the middle of AFFC and ADWD… where exactly NOTHING is happening in terms of character arcs (and not much more in terms of plot.) D&D made the only possible decision GRRM left them with.

      It’s so tiring having to read all the insufferable fanboys who treat those freaking books as gospel —or maybe even worse, history books. They are FICTION. The Dragon Demands, I hope you realize that, when D&D invented Maegor III or Orys I for the show (BECAUSE WHO CARES), you didn’t even consider the possibility that they invented new kings. The actor HAD to have misspoke; or there has to be a incredibly convoluted reason this somehow does NOT contradict the precious book canon. You don’t even see how absurd you seem, which is amazing to me.

      It’s sad to see all those blogs and tumblrs and such over-analyzing every piece of useless worldbuilding. How many blogs are there analyzing the books as literature? Fuck all, at least in comparison.

        Quote  Reply

    199. The sentence “there was enough material to fill this season without spoiling TWOW” or “there was enough material to fill two seasons” says a lot about the mindset of this kind of book-reader. It’s all about plot; material; things that happen. No matter that D&D wanted to tell a story. No matter that they wanted to, say, tell Stannis’ story in the North in a single season. No matter they wanted to NOT cut every characters’ story arc in half just to fill in as much detail from the novels as possible.

        Quote  Reply

    200. croccifixio,

      I agree with you that the factionalism and negativity on this site are becoming very off-putting. I don’t think it should be up to the moderators to fix, though. I think it’s up to the community to either keep engaging in those kind of discussions or find something more worthwhile to discuss.

      For a change of pace, here’s something positive. I wasn’t sold on the idea of Thorne being part of “for the watch”. I was afraid that if he was too enthusiastic about it, he would just come across as a flat villain. I hoped that they would just have him conveniently absent, like they ended up doing with Edd. In the end, I think Owen Teale really hit it out of the park with his delivery of that line. It fit show Thorne’s character perfectly and the scene would have been less engaging for me if he wasn’t there.

        Quote  Reply

    201. Tomtom,

      I have an issue with Theon’s turnaround scene, but it didn’t need any additional scenes. Just a close-up of Theon, with a sort of “waking up”, “sudden realization” face, after Sansa said “If I’m gonna die, let it be while there’s still some of me left.” That is more than enough to tell us what’s happening inside Theon’s head. The joys of a visual medium. The acting, direction and editing can transmit much more (and more effectively) than lots of unnecessary exposition… something that a lot of people here don’t understand —not that what you suggested, Tomtom, was exposition.

        Quote  Reply

    202. Mr Fixit: You know, it’s kinda crazy that this point is so rarely brought up. AFfC/ADwD are pretty maligned books, particularly in hardcore circles (if you don’t believe me, check Amazon scores of those two books; they only recently started improving a bit with the influx of new readers due to the show. “The old guard” that was with the books far longer has been much more critical of them). Isn’t it funny that when book readers criticise Season 5, they’ll mention absolutely everything except that the source material is somewhat… problematic, shall we say? It’s like when the show is good, it’s good because of the books, but when it’s (supposedly) bad, then it has nooooothing to do with the source… nope!

      Exactly. Myles McNutt over at A.V Club made the observation that George sort of went side-to-side with the narrative in most Feast and Dance. That’s really true , except that GRRM is a natural born story riffer so one can read chapter after chapter and in the end turn around and say “What was that”.
      There was a real Blivit problem with this season, not that there was not in previous seasons but cramming 100 lbs of prose narrative into a 10 lb visual narrative bag is hard to do. Add to that more production duties for D&D even with delegation to Bryan and David Hill and I thing the shows creators are stretched to the point of floundering for imaginative solutions for story adaption.

        Quote  Reply

    203. Luka Nieto:
      Durrandon’s Fool,

      I was a bit disheartened when I saw Thorne there, for very much the same reasons, but the actor sold it for me too.

      Maybe one issue was the apparent lack of time between Thorne letting JS + wildlings back in after ‘Hardhome’ and FTW. I took Thorne’s words “You have a good heart Jon Snow, it’ll get us all killed” as being like a final warning that he had to show a change of manner and policies (being sullied).

      It’s been pretty clear that Thorne only allows JS and his breaking of the NW rules to lead on sufferance but it may well be that he hoped JS would come to see the world his way, but finally ran out of patience. It perhaps needed another scene to show the shift from reluctant tolerance to whispers of conspiracy but it could have been clunky and ruined the shock for unsullied.

      Just like Arya, JS broke the rules and paid for it.

        Quote  Reply

    204. Mr Fixit: Isn’t it funny that when book readers criticise Season 5, they’ll mention absolutely everything except that the source material is somewhat… problematic, shall we say? It’s like when the show is good, it’s good because of the books, but when it’s (supposedly) bad, then it has nooooothing to do with the source… nope!

      I pretty much share your opinion on that. Like I said before, claiming that the books are better in every aspect is a self-fulfilling prophecy brought up by some (not all, to clarify that) book-purists convinced about the correctness of their opinion: they subliminally made up their mind quite some time ago since they appreciated the books long before the show, and now when scenes or dialogues do not correspond with that pre-determined opinion or do not fulfill their expectations, it is taken as an affirmation that their opinion was right all along.

      This also seems to be the reason why these hardcore-purists think that enjoying scenes like the “battle for Hardhome” does not contradict their assumption that the books are better in EVERY aspect; they do not deem such alterations necessary, but just as a welcome addition (much like fanfiction), whereas the plots from the books can still be regarded as the universal truth that is both necessary and right in every aspect. This way, good or great scenes that do not appear in the books are branded/easily forgotten as “nice yet still unnecessary, if it would have been vital, it would have been included” and readily disregarded concerning their impact, while the books can still preserve their status of the all-hailed guideline. Missteps, on the other hand, are thus inevitably judged way harder since they origin from altered plotlines which are deemed gratuitous per se, proving their pre-determined opinion right once again.

      It´s a circle and it´s a dangerous one, yet sadly some people, especially some on Westeros and a few on TOTH, still scorn the show for the exact same reasons. Whenever they are asked what especially they found so bad about it, hollow phrases like “bad writing”, “only black and white characters”, “unnecessary shock effects” are thrown around to back up their arguments while simultaneously blocking off any further indepht-discussion what EXACTLY was so horrendous.

      I sometimes ask myself if they do that in order to detract questioners from disclosing some flaws that are evident in the books or if they think that loving a format (ASOIAF in contrast to GoT) requires total resistance to any sort criticism, constructive or not. Maybe even both?

      I just can´t understand why those two formats just can´t exist in the eyes of some without drawing a parting line, even if they cross the exact same line whenever they feel the urge to address something they deem a disgrace to the books. Why not enjoy both, love them for their obvious strengths, accept them for their difference and provide fair, constructive criticism when it´s needed? It´s not that hard…

        Quote  Reply

    205. Mr Fixit: Isn’t it funny that when book readers criticise Season 5, they’ll mention absolutely everything except that the source material is somewhat… problematic, shall we say? It’s like when the show is good, it’s good because of the books, but when it’s (supposedly) bad, then it has nooooothing to do with the source… nope!

      I will tattoo that on my forehead.

        Quote  Reply

    206. cosca,

      Both of them are lucky they’re not anywhere near me i mean who they think they are insulting D&D like that? you know it’s an insult to the words like idiots and assholes calling them with those

        Quote  Reply

    207. I just read this which sums up season 5 quite tidily in 16 words

      1) Build to a turning point,
      2) offer a character a rare win,
      3) penalize them for taking it.

      I feel a haiku coming on.

        Quote  Reply

    208. Daughter of Winter,

      The main thing that I despise about them is their fucking hypocrisy. Don’t accept invitations to premières if you hate the show so much. there are a lot of people who would love to have that opportunity, but you waste two tickets every time, and then moan about being bored and tired when watching the episode. It is incredibly selfish. Why George is prepared to associate himself with two such hateful people is beyond me. Elio is at least savvy enough to try to make an attempt to hide his hatred for the show, but Linda isn’t even pleasant enough to do the same. As others have said, these two people cause a lot of problems within the fandom, and it is a shame that they are able to get so many people to follow them, because they are not a good example of fantasy fans at all.

        Quote  Reply

    209. The nitpicking iis ridiculous. Half tthese reviewers ddon’t even seem to know what tthey wwant with tthe sshow. Let eem stick iit. DDon’t nneed eme.

        Quote  Reply

    210. Jeb,

      Exactly
      And in GRRM case let me tell you that he should think about himself ( while taking a long look in mirror) that why he even allow himself to think about working with such a vile creatures

        Quote  Reply

    211. This was probably my favourite series since season 1.

      Loved Stannis’ arc and Jon[‘s story was handled well.

      The dialogue felt so much better than last season to me. Season 4 is proabably the one I’d rate the lowest just because the dialogue frequently felt stilted and tensionless.

        Quote  Reply

    212. This was my favorite season.

      And people should really stop putting so much focus on episode 9, it isn’t what it used to be in the first three seasons and that’s completely fine. Now we get three or four exciting episodes instead of just one.

        Quote  Reply

    213. Durrandon’s Fool:
      croccifixio,

      For a change of pace, here’s something positive. I wasn’t sold on the idea of Thorne being part of “for the watch”. I was afraid that if he was too enthusiastic about it, he would just come across as a flat villain. I hoped that they would just have him conveniently absent, like they ended up doing with Edd. In the end, I think Owen Teale really hit it out of the park with his delivery of that line. It fit show Thorne’s character perfectly and the scene would have been less engaging for me if he wasn’t there.

      I didn’t mind Thorne being there, but I would have preferred to have him take the last blow, not the first. Correspondingly, I would have preferred that Olly NOT stab Jon, but bail at the last moment. The ending was so bleak that I feel that Jon’s last act in this world being the saving Olly from becoming a murderer would have been a tiny bit of silver lining a very black cloud. Also, after Olly’s bajillion and two evil glares and glowers this season (definitely overdone, unsullied were picking up on it like wildfire the last few episodes), having him not stab Jon would have been a refreshing change of pace.

      E10 was actually one of my least favorite episodes ever, despite the excellent Cersei scene (one of the show’s best ever). Mostly this was because of Stannis, whose abrupt end was so far out of line with his character or anything I can image as good storytelling that it soured me for quite a while. “Man sacrifices his daughter to the Gods in order to save the world, the Gods respond by telling him to bleep off, so the man suicides himself and his army to no end whatsoever?” What kind of story is that?

      I liked the second half of the Arya scene, but the first part with Trant bugged me. Here, I feel that D&D fell into the black-and-white trap. Prior to E09, it wasn’t even clear that Trant deserved to die. Being a thug cop enforcing the laws of a thug king really isn’t death worthy, especially in Westeros. Rather than have Arya make a semi-unethical kill, however, they decided to paint Trant as black as could be before he was murdered in a grisly manner. Maybe some people liked this, but I did not.

      Dany dropping her ring was also dopey and took me right out of the show. The Dothraki Sea is around the size of the US Great Plains. Good luck dropping a ring somewhere between Bismark and Amarillo, and hoping someone you know happens to find it. Of course, it will be Daario, because growing up in the fighting pits trains one to be a Super Aragorn hunter as well. Clearly. It is known.

      The Sansa/Theon scene was fine for what it was, though I was really hoping for something with a weirwood as part of Theon’s arc. Honestly, once this fundamentally idiotic plot got set up after the first few episodes, I mostly enjoyed it. I also disagree with those that think this arc involved little character development for Sansa. S5E10 Sansa would crush S4E08’s “Whee, look at this black dress!” Sansa like a bug.

      And Dorne…oh, poor Dorne. Why would Jaime have allowed Ellaria within a hundred miles of Myrcella? Jaime’s negotiation skills may be rising, but clearly he is incompetent when it comes to guarding the Kings and Princesses from, well, pretty much anything.

      I certainly found this season to be the least enjoyable to watch, partly because of the major plot holes, partly because relatively few scenes reasonably reflect anything in the book (which is what I am watching for…there is lots of “good TV” out there, more than I will ever consume…I don’t need more), and partly because pray-harder-eats-goddamned-leather-master-tactician Stannis Baratheon kills his daughter rather than fleeing back to the Wall, which apparently is like a ten minute walk away, then incompetently suicides his forces after incompetently running his camp. For me, that scene was the worst thing in the show ever, by a wide margin.

        Quote  Reply

    214. Across 5 seasons production design and cinematography are so good I will always give the show 5 points right there. The cast , even if different from on-the-page are so good the show always get another 2 points. So GoT gets a 7 from me even before an episode starts.

        Quote  Reply

    215. Chad Brick: “Man sacrifices his daughter to the Gods in order to save the world, the Gods respond by telling him to bleep off, so the man suicides himself and his army to no end whatsoever?” What kind of story is that?

      You have to read more Greek tragedies.

        Quote  Reply

    216. My favorite quote has to be:

      I stopped watching Game of Thrones this season due to one reason: the writing.

      Woohoo! We get to read a Season 5 critique from some guy who didn’t watch the season! What the fuck are you doing writing about GoT if you can’t even condescend to watch it?

      My second favorite quote describes the season as:

      Really, really shit writing

      Shouldn’t that be “shitty”? “Shit writing” would be writing about Tywin shitting on the shitter when his life quickly went to shit. “Shitty writing,” on the other hand, would be opening a piece with a word like “encapsulate” twice in a row.

        Quote  Reply

    217. Mr Fixit: Isn’t it funny that when book readers criticise Season 5, they’ll mention absolutely everything except that the source material is somewhat… problematic, shall we say? It’s like when the show is good, it’s good because of the books, but when it’s (supposedly) bad, then it has nooooothing to do with the source… nope!

      I’ve mentioned a number of times that AFFC/ADWD are not well structured for a TV (or movie adaption). At their height, there were something like 17 simultaneous POVs going on in AFFC/ADWD. The show typically has around 8, and that is all it can handle due to the limitations of the medium and the expectations of the casual audience, which make up the vast majority of viewers. This doesn’t mean that the books or the show are bad, just somewhat incompatible. Honestly, I really liked how AFFC/ADWD was structured, and felt that GRRM attacked one of the biggest tropes in all fiction, and certainly in fantasy/sci-fi: the small-world problem where a handful of protagonists are repeatedly at the center of everything. A real world, with hundreds of millions of people, just wouldn’t work this way. While some snowflakes would indeed be a bit more special than others, the idea that only 3-5 people are allowed to be the “main” characters of an 8000 page work is fundamentally wrong. Heck, I recently read an excellent book (Cloud Atlas, much better than the movie), which had six fully-developed protagonists in a mere 500 pages. I’ve certainly read more than 83 pages about Stannis, Brienne, Arienne, etc, so why are they less important? Being secondary in a work of this scale is more than being the primary protagonist in your typical 500-page novel.

      As another point. The books are ALWAYS better than the show/movie in my opinion, as long as I like them*. There are no exceptions to this, and it is fundamental to how I enjoy both mediums. Good books are just a lot richer and deeper than anything that can be put on screen and thus I enjoy them more.

      * If I dislike them, the movie gets the pain over faster. Anything Hunger Games and the last few Harry Potter books, I am looking at you.

        Quote  Reply

    218. Whattthey don’t sseem to get is tthat tthe sspirit oof tthe sstory iis being adapted ffaithfully. Thee characters aare bbeing sserviced aas best they ccould. The mmajor story bbeats aand character bbeats are being serviced wwhich is more tthan alot of oother shows and mmovies ccan ssay ffor tthemselves. Martin hhimself ssaid he wrote tthe sseries tto be unfilmable. The ffact that they have been aable tto be faithful as they hhave bbeen to the ooverall story and major tthemes and ccharacters is testament to a job well ddone bby BBenioff aand WWeiss.

        Quote  Reply

    219. Mr Fixit: Which part? The one with cunt-stained fingers or that other one with There aren’t enough misfortunes I could wish on them (talking about D&D)?

      I Googled that and… wow, what a person she is. How GRRM doesn’t distance himself from this person boggles my mind, but maybe he and D&D don’t read Twitter anyway. I wonder if Cogman has seen these remarks. Disgusting behaviour. And this is someone who said that sites posting leaked casting details (like WotW) are “not very classy”.

        Quote  Reply

    220. Emma Seljan:
      3. How could Sansa marry Ramsay? A wedding in Westeros is NOT automatically null if unconsummated. From the Wiki (http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Customs): “In the Faith of the Seven, a marriage that has not been consummated can be set aside by the High Septon or a Council of Faith. An annulment granted by the High Septon requires no witnesses and must be requested by at least one of the wedded pair. The role and procedure of a Council of Faith is unclear”. But even without considering the books, who can really believe that a marriage of a noble lady celebrated by a High Septon in front of the most powerful Lords of Westeros can be broken without an official statement?

      The North follow the Old Gods, so I cannot imagine the Boltons or other Northerners thinking that they need permission from the leader of a religion they do not follow.

      2. Myrcella died without the crown mentioned by Maggy the Frog. A flaw in the screenplay? No golden crown for Myrcella, no valonqar: did we really nead this flashback?

      Her hair is a golden crown. The royal crown was a red herring in the show, and it could be in the books, as well.

      6. Daenerys took her ring off in the last episode. I can’t believe it was to leave a sign for Daario and Jorah. Such a tiny thing, in the middle of nowhere. Do they really think we are SO stupid?

      Daario explained that he and Jorah were great trackers, so I’m assuming they might be able to determine that hundreds or even thousands of Dothraki were riding around in circles around something that might be worthy of a closer inspection.

        Quote  Reply

    221. Chad Brick: Man sacrifices his daughter to the Gods in order to save the world, the Gods respond by telling him to bleep off, so the man suicides himself and his army to no end whatsoever?” What kind of story is that?

      In my opinion there was nothing wrong with that story. Sometimes shit just happens.

        Quote  Reply

    222. This feature should really end here. Some really bogus nonsense. What’s the point of involving other site editors? They don’t even write right!

      Right write?

        Quote  Reply

    223. Luka Nieto: You have to read more Greek tragedies.

      Because “Hero sacrifices Daughter (or maybe a deer), wins a war fought over a cute girl, and upon returning home with a different cute girl is murdered by his two-timing wife for a variety of purported reasons, but mostly because she was bonking someone else and so was he” is clearly The Story of Stannis Baratheon.

      Perhaps you are referring to Idomeneus, but his very sparse story would not count as a tragedy, and to have any analogue to the show, you’d have to have R’hllor rewarding Stannis but then other gods punishing him. There is also Jephthah from the Bible, but he was not punished and went on to be victorious, while his tribesmen honored the passing of his dead daughter every year. It is also not clear whether he actually sacrificed his daughter or just locked her up inside.

      PS: I’ve read a LOT of books, including all the world’s major religious works from cover to cover. I really don’t need to read more Greek tragedies.

        Quote  Reply

    224. Rafael,

      Lol.. I agree.

      But I also think that D&D did a great job in turning his story tragic. He got what he deserved, in my opinion. And obviously R’hllor didn’t reward him for the sacrifice because he isnt the chosen one. He rewarded someone, we just dont know who yet. And D&D really made you feel fucked up things for Stannis. I was cheering him on throughout the seasons until he sacrificed Shireen. And then I wish for his ultimate demise. But when that time came, I felt bad for him and wanted him to prevail against Bolton.
      Thus, I think that D&D did a great job in ending Stannis’s arc.

        Quote  Reply

    225. A very inconsistent season. The highs were high, the lows were low. Some really satisfying parts. 5.5/10. May add a half point for Hardhome.

      Ginevra,

      Not to mention that hundreds of horses ran around it in a circle. Ummm look whats in the center….it aint gonna be a tootsie roll. Will not take an Aragorn to find that token. Hope D and J brought enough lembas.

        Quote  Reply

    226. The biggest problem of the season was the feeling of the “fast forward” button in many storylines, especially Stannis

      But at the same time, its better than letting the story stagnate over two seasons. They clearly want to get the story moving, and in the long run, might prove to be the smarter decision.

        Quote  Reply

    227. Rafael: In my opinion there was nothing wrong with that story. Sometimes shit just happens.

      Lots of shit happened to Stannis. The man boiled the glue out of his books and at it in response. He most definitely didn’t curl up into a ball and order his men to die.

        Quote  Reply

    228. I loved the season overall, because they nailed the things I was most excited to see:

      Walk of Shame
      Hardhome Battle
      Tyrion and Dany
      Arya House of Black and White

      The storylines they faultered in were storylines I really didn’t care too much about.
      Im just excited that we are out of “setup” phase, and hope the endgame will be amazing

      Chad Brick,

      They fast forwarded through his character’s end.
      Oh well, lets move on now. They clearly had two choices between meandering through AFFC/ADWD, or compressing them and moving the story forward.
      Im kinda glad they went with the latter
      I will read and obsess over the meaty details of Stannis’s downfall in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    229. Yes there are strong emotions but misplaced ones. I dont think people will stop watching. The strenght og the show relies now on its total unkowingness. That will drag people out of caves and watch the show. This is the asurabs of D & D imo why did they done so many unreasonable and unnecessary change coz they know that no matter what, people will see season six. I myself will look into the next season with dread and disatisfaction just to make sure that killing Jon for good was the dumbest decision. The red wedding if can be undone will remain untouched imo. Maybe many will go with me on this as it catapults every storyline into many interesting stories as with the beheading of Ned. But with the death of Jon do we really need to explain what will happen next?

        Quote  Reply

    230. Chad Brick:

      As another point. The books are ALWAYS better than the show/movie in my opinion, as long as I like them*. There are no exceptions to this, and it is fundamental to how I enjoy both mediums. Good books are just a lot richer and deeper than anything that can be put on screen and thus I enjoy them more.

      I am curious: do you find Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? better than Blade Runner?

        Quote  Reply

    231. Chad Brick:

      As another point. The books are ALWAYS better than the show/movie in my opinion, as long as I like them*. There are no exceptions to this, and it is fundamental to how I enjoy both mediums. Good books are just a lot richer and deeper than anything that can be put on screen and thus I enjoy them more.

      The Godfather?

      You know your statement reads like confirmation bias?

        Quote  Reply

    232. Damphairintheshowplease!:
      mau,
      I feel like you. I always come here after an episode and I post about something amazing in said episode. I rarely get any replies.

      If you state something that we all inherently know and agree with, there isn’t much to discuss. We read. We nod. We move along. If, however, you state something that is blatantly untrue (accidentally did that one a few times!) or if you take a stance that is despised by many, the threads will erupt in debate and discussion. Just ask the trolls. If you want to elicit reactions but still remain positive about your experiences with the show, my advice is to post: an opinion that’s likely to be met with a good deal of controversy or disagreement; some profound new insight into characters, themes, theories, and storylines; or a few intriguing questions that provoke unique and complex answers.

        Quote  Reply

    233. Did anyone else realize this, oh so delicious, bit of irony? Stannis, of all characters, did, after all, in the end, end up becoming a page in someone else’s history book.

        Quote  Reply

    234. OK Roundtable folks. I think you’re being a bit disingenuous.

      I agree that, Dorne was an unmitigated disaster and that even includes Doran and Jaime (excepting starry eyes at Tarth Jaime and Bronn + Lollys, but they weren’t even in dorne yet so that doesn’t count). I also am never gonna be over what they did with Sansa… it comes down to laziness, a lack of imagination, along with the apparent belief the showrunners espoused that the scene where Ramsey rapes someone with Theon participating is “a great scene” which makes me feel very ill.

      That said, this season had some REALLY great stuff in it! It seems people lose the forest for the trees and forget everything pre ep 8 in their “overall” reviews of the season. Like in Season 4, Joffery died in the 2nd episode, we had a 3 epi long murder mystery arc that I thought was really good, we had great material in other arcs too, but by the time we got to the end, no one even bothered to mention it in their overall impressions.

      This season, many arcs had their strongest moments in the first 4 episodes and people seem to have forgotten that.

      The arc with Mossador (ep 2 I believe?) for example, was easily the best material in Mereen all season (and I’m even counting the fan-pleasing interaction between Tyriona nd Daenerys), and at the time everyone was raving about how well acted and executed it was. There was awesome tension you could cut with a knife, and it was different enough from the source material that it was hard to tell what direction they would go for spoiled fans. Yet, now no one even mentions it, yet they mention Barristan’s death sometimes as a highlight which IMO was pretty lame in comparison and less important to plot and character.

      I also found the early material with Sansa and Littlefinger and the encounter with Podrienne (not to mention Stannis and Jon at the wall!) to be completely enthralling. I felt that it set up perfectly an arc for all characters involved that was exciting and full of promise. Plus holycrap R+L=J all over the place. I also think that LF this entire season was EXCELLENT, especially the way he played Cersei like a fiddle. Yet no one mentions it, or if they do it’s to complain that he was dumbed down? I don’t get it. This is a better, more dynamic character than the book, because he takes risks that sometimes fail (book LF is a pretty contrived character, he’s practically a villain sue IMO).

      Yet, because of the way things turned out with Sansa, and Stannis, no one seems to remember the early episodes and how great they were, how they made us feel very excited about what was to come.

        Quote  Reply

    235. Off-Topic Otto:
      This feature should really end here. Some really bogus nonsense. What’s the point of involving other site editors?

      Weird how people don’t say this when they agree with the people.

      These are the same people we had in earlier roundtables like the one right before season 5 started. This is the follow-up to that conversation. Do you guys seriously think we’re going to refuse to publish it just because a lot of them were negative about GoT after the season ended? I personally think what a lot of them had to say was completely wrong but I’m not going to claim it has no right to be seen. Opposing opinions exist.

        Quote  Reply

    236. Overall I think that D&D are doing a great job considering what a massive undertaking this series is and the problems they face (e.g. the book situation). What frustrates me about the series is not that they make changes (which are necessary), but that most of the time, they still hit the resulting book-story-points – even if it makes the characters and their actions seem inconsistent.

      Having Stannis all but declare how much his daughter means to him and still making him carry out what he did – it seemed weird. Having him lead his army in the middle of an open field when they are surrounded by Bolton soldiers and still end up in a wood as the last man standing – was weird. The same with Dany holding hands with Missandei as they are facing death, but walking away moments later to leave her friends alone in an arena with people still throwing spears at them.

      These inconsistencies occur near the seams of D&Ds own creations/alterations and the stuff that needs to happen from the books. I hope that these instances can be handled with more care in the future.

      Also, I have no clue why some of the effects of Dany riding Drogon felt like something from an entirely different show. Looking at them, I guess it’s because the camera is fixed in at least 2 very unnatural, almost geometrical positions: 1 view shows Dany/Drogon stricly 90 degrees from the side, 1 view shows them exactly from behind. In both these shots, the camera does not move much in relation to them, while everything else is moving. This makes it seem rather cheap and destroys the illusion. Maybe there wasn’t any budget left. In the finale, there was that scene with Dany trying to get on Drogon which was expertly and perfectly done. I don’t get it.

      I do look forward to Season 6 though, but I do hope that they work on the inconsistencies and on the pacing. I loved almost all the episodes, but I felt that the finale was a bit overkill (literally). I hope that they don’t feel an obligation by now to come up with a certain death count.

        Quote  Reply

    237. Not finding pt 2 over on Wars and Politics… Am I missing something or is it not posted yet? (Sorry – need my fix)

        Quote  Reply

    238. So when Cersei has her trial and it is revealed that Tommen is not a Baratheon, does that make Gendry the last Baratheon? I almost want to cry.

        Quote  Reply

    239. Queenofthrones,

      Excellent post! The only point of disagreement is that I think that Sansa in Winterfell was quite good, especially the wedding material in Episode 6.

      I too find it amusing how many people in retrospect, after having problems with Sansa and Stannis in particular, totally forget the very strong early and middle episodes and pretend like nothing happened there (except for Barristaaaan! How dare they????) and that only Eps 8-10 were noteworthy. Then again, doesn’t the fandom go through the same song and dance every season, claiming that the beginning and oftentimes the middle of the season is slow and boring?

        Quote  Reply

    240. Mr Fixit,

      Hm, indeed, the reviews until episode 6 were all saying the show is stronger than ever, especially due to its departures from the books. After the Sansa thing (which also contained the wonky Dorne scenes) everyone jumped on a different consensus that the show was troubled all along.

        Quote  Reply

    241. Queenofthrones:
      Yet, because of the way things turned out with Sansa, and Stannis, no one seems to remember the early episodes and how great they were, how they made us feel very excited about what was to come.

      It’s true that longer comprehensive analyses might talk more about the early part of the season, but there’s a very obvious reason why these discussions are dominated by the ending: because a story is only as good as it’s ending, and in an entirely serialized format that puts tremendous weight on the conclusion. If the conclusion is bad, it retroactively hurts the earlier content, because people come to see it as having been sold a bill of goods.

      Look at The X-Files, where fans tend today to love the standalone stories but regard the myth arc episodes as disappointing, once you know that they aren’t going anywhere (or, at least, anywhere satisfying). And this show is 100% arc.

        Quote  Reply

    242. In A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, the theme of the ruling class of POV characters was the nature of political power and how, generally, more noble figures (Jon/Daenerys) don’t necessarily rule any better than the morally ambiguous to evil (Cersei).

      Many readers and viewers consider “For the Watch” to be proof of poor leadership, and that seems to be the sentiment from this viewer’s season critique, but here is what George says when asked about the mistakes that Jon made as Lord Commander:

      Were they mistakes? I guess they were mistakes in some ways since they led to him losing control of part of his group. But it might have been wise and necessary decisions in terms of protecting the realm and dealing with the threat of the White Walkers. I’m a huge student of history, and all through history there’s always this question of what’s the right decision. You look back with benefit of hindsight at a battle that was lost and say, ‘The losing general was such an idiot.’ Was Napoleon a genius for all the battles he won? Or an idiot for losing at Waterloo? Partly I’m reacting to a lot of the fantasy that has come before this. Ruling is difficult whether you’re a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch or the King of England. These are hard decisions and each have consequences. We’re looking at Jon trying to take control of Night’s Watch and deal with The Wildlings and the threat beyond The Wall, and we’re looking at Cersei and Dany in their kingdoms and their choices.

      I would argue that George’s themes aren’t that noble figures rule as poorly as ignoble ones but rather that ruling is complicated and it’s difficult to know what the right decision is. The show has consistently echoes the ruling-is-complicated theme with Cersei manipulating the small council to her will and then unwittingly giving her power to the High Sparrow; with Tommen being the nicest Brady in the Bunch but a worse king than Joffrey, something no one thought possible before this season; with Dany floundering over what to do about the masters and the Sons of the Harpy and over which advisors to trust; and with Jon feeling the burden of isolation that comes with killing the boy and letting the man be born.

        Quote  Reply

    243. Sue the Fury,

      Thank you! And THIS is why I like WotW!!!

      I didn’t interfere with all the bashing and name calling bookwankers, showwankers, etc., as well as the requests for outright censorship of the show critique because I really wanted someone who runs the site to openly state that different opinions are welcomed here! They always have been and it really makes for interesting discussion many, many times.

      If anyone is interested in sites with only book bashing or only show bashing, I know sites!!!

        Quote  Reply

    244. Mr Fixit,

      Could not disagree more. I felt that the first two episodes were tedious, then we get a gem with episode 3, which was matched by episodes 7 and 8. The show, imo, got better towards the middle end, including Sansas wedding, with a slight dip again with Nutters eps, but I dont care for his style so I am bias.

        Quote  Reply

    245. Rather inevitably this has turned into another vapid book vs show argument. Bit disappointed at how some people have been quite aggressive and downright rude yet escaped chastisement.
      Looking forward to when we get more into off-season and the more immature and confrontational posters here drift away. It’s a lot nicer site to be around when people who have different opinions treat eachother with respect and politeness instead of trying to instigate a contrived flame war of ‘bookreader/purists’ ( or book wankers if you’ve yet to go through puberty) and ‘show watchers/unsullied’. Seriously, it’s a complete non-issue and only people insecure in their own opinion feel the need to nail their colours to a mast in such an obvious way. Never thought GoT viewers would simplify themselves as much as Twilight ones but this whole thing reeks of Team Jacob/Team Edward. Is that really how you people want to be thought of?
      Stop it. Now.

        Quote  Reply

    246. Rygar,

      As far as season-long assessments go, I think the early/middle portions were generally better (when the first four episodes came out, I said they could possibly be the strongest first four of any season).

      Jon’s story remained strong all the way to the finale, and while I thought “For the Watch” had issues with how it came about, I don’t think those issues cause huge retroactive problems (except perhaps with episode 9).

      King’s Landing/Cersei was reasonably consistent, though as it went on I found many of the plot revisions to be somewhat creaky. It ended strongly, though.

      Arya’s story is the only one that I thought got markedly better at the end, as the first few parts were kind of dull.

      I disliked the Sansa plotline from the beginning, and it pretty much bore out all my concerns as the season went on.

      The one case where I think the final episodes caused real problems for the story that has otherwise been proceeding strongly as a whole is with Stannis. I don’t think his downfall arc was very well-handled.

        Quote  Reply

    247. Sue the Fury,

      I’m fine with even the harshest criticism. But one of the contributors didn’t even watch past episode 4, how can they give a reasonable overview of the season?

        Quote  Reply

    248. TheTouchOfFrost:
      Rather inevitably this has turned into another vapid book vs show argument. Bit disappointed at how some people have been quite aggressive and downright rude yet escaped chastisement.Looking forward to when we get more into off-season and the more immature and confrontational posters here drift away. It’s a lot nicer site to be around when people who have different opinions treat eachother with respect and politeness instead of trying to instigate a contrived flame war of ‘bookreader/purists’ ( or book wankers if you’ve yet to go through puberty) and ‘show watchers/unsullied’. Seriously, it’s a complete non-issue and only people insecure in their own opinion feel the need to nail their colours to a mast in such an obvious way. Never thought GoT viewers would simplify themselves as much as Twilight ones but this whole thing reeks of Team Jacob/Team Edward. Is that really how you people want to be thought of?Stop it. Now.

      Yes, yes, but you managed to omit one crucial piece of information. What is the colour and girth of the mast?

        Quote  Reply

    249. Sue the Fury,

      I’m fine with even the harshest criticism. But one of the contributors didn’t even watch past episode 4, how can they give a reasonable overview of the season?

      I agree, they can’t.

      Which I told them, when I chimed in. But every writer at each site was participating, especially the ones who had done the roundtable at the beginning of the season. This was a followup to that one like I already said.

        Quote  Reply

    250. Mr Fixit: Yes, yes, but you managed to omit one crucial piece of information. What is the colour and girth of the mast?

      ‘Twas on the good ship Venus

        Quote  Reply

    251. Sue the Fury,

      Agree – that’s what I thought. But isn’t that often the case with these interviews?

      This was an interesting comment:

      “It would be nice if people kept watching it,” Weiss said. “The idea is to tell a unified story that’s 70-odd hours long and do that successfully…”

      Now he’s saying “70-odd hours?” Can we take that to mean that the idea of a final season of more than 10 episodes – or even a split final season – is an actual possibility?

      Also, is this the first confirmation of overall viewership?

      The fifth season of HBO’s epic thriller averaged 19.1 million viewers per episode when including all forms of viewership (streaming, DVR playback, repeats).

        Quote  Reply

    252. Overall, I felt this season fell short of the best seasons (4 and 1), and is about on a par with Season 3. The premiere was a bit weak, episode 2 pretty good, and then we had several very strong episodes despite dealing with a lot of tough, uncompromising subject material – with 5, 7 and 8 being the standouts for me this year. I think Episode 9 was actually the weakest of the 9s so far, and the closer, for me, depends on whether the end of Jon Snow was really the end or not. Basically, the collective weight of the Sansa rape, the near-Gilly rape, burning Shireen, and the death of Jon kind of made everything a downer, and left the show devoid of the little bits of hope that usually came out of the ending. As some have said, it’s possible that the show is currently sitting at its “end of Empire Strikes Back” moment, which explains some of it, but if it’s so relentlessly harsh the rest of the way, it’s going to be a difficult viewing experience from now on. When there is death, and pain, but also hope in the world, you can count on different feelings and emotions. If it’s just a relentless pile of “Life sucks and we all just die,” well, that’s why I stopped watching “The Walking Dead.” Not that GoT is anywhere near as bad as that show, but it was a bit depressing. I don’t expect a happy ending – obviously – but something more on the order of “The Wire,” which had ups and downs at the end of every season, not just downs.

      WHAT WORKED:
      –Count me as a fan of Sansa’s storyline. Sansa is not a stone killer, and I don’t expect, or want, her to turn into a cold-blooded murderess. She’s merely trying to survive, and expecting her to live AND Hulk Out at Ramsay is unrealistic.

      –Hardhome. Holy effing crap was that amazing.

      –Jonathan Pryce was a consistent delight, and he really inhabited that character well, and his parry with Diana Rigg was great.

      –Lena Headey and Kit Harington were brilliant this year, and I know where my votes are going for WOTW awards.

      –Bronn, because Bronn.

      –Having Tyrion and Dany meet was great. That and other moments were what made The Gift and Hardhome so pleasurable to watch.

      –The one-off characters, or near-one-off characters: We’ve all discussed Karsi, who was amazing, but the Red Priestess played by Rila Fukushima was a great add for just a few minutes, Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje was great as the slaver, Enzo Cilenti was terrific as Yezzan, and we saw the best of Ciaran Hinds that we’d seen through the entirety of his performance as Mance Rayder.

      –Tormund Giantsbane beating Rattleshirt to death. “Gather the elders, and let’s talk.”

      –Jon fighting and killing the White Walker with Longclaw. Awesome. There’s no way his story is done.

      –Justified really kicked ass this year. Yes, I know, that’s not about GoT, but whatever.

      –Stannis and his entire arc/downfall, and sending away Davos, his conscience.

      –Barristan going down like a champ, taking out 11-12 guys before succumbing.

      –Tyrion and Jorah’s buddy comedy and the great visual of the Stone Men, who were truly terrifying. Valyria’s Doom was really great looking.

      –The Walk of Atonement was really well done.

      WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

      –The Episode 6 end was kind of cringe-y.

      –I don’t think there was enough to show how desperate Stannis would have been. The snow didn’t look all that deep. It’s mostly done through exposition. There’s some of it, but even a few shots of horses dying would have helped. That said, I thought the choice to do the overhead shot that shows Ramsay’s cavalry overwhelming Stannis, mirroring “The Children,” was a brilliant move. It may have been done for budgetary reasons, but that’s fine – the money was better spent in Hardhome than here.

      –The writers really have ruined Loras as a character. He started off well in Seasons 1-2, full of swagger, good swordsman. Gay, yes, but cunning, per his way of goading Gregor the Mountain to fall from his horse. But basically every other character element has been stripped away and he’s now “the gay one.” You know you’re not effectively showing how good someone is with a sword if you have to have multiple scenes of them practicing their fighting. He comes across about as convincing as Joaquin Phoenix in “Gladiator.”

      –Dorne, Dorne, Dorne. Doran comes across as weak and ineffectual rather than cunning and deliberate. The Snakes (save Tyene(!)) had no personality, and a potentially interesting relationship – Jaime/Myrcella – could have been offset with the Doran/Arianne one if they’d thought that through. I love Indira Varma but didn’t find her that impressive this year, and thought DeObia Oparai was underused.

      EPISODE RANKING, BEST TO WORST:

      1. Hardhome
      2. The Gift
      3. Mother’s Mercy
      4. Kill the Boy
      5. High Sparrow
      6. A Dance of Dragons
      7. Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
      8. Sons of the Harpy
      9. The House of Black and White
      10. The Wars to Come

        Quote  Reply

    253. I watched all of Season 5 and will watch Season 6. I will say Season 5 for me, was the worst season so far. Although I liked KL, HoBaW and Wall, the show runners use the shock factor to replace good writing.

      Alex Sidig is such a great actor and his lines were meh. The whole Dorne storyline was completely disappointing. A group of great actors were completely under used.

      I am one of those odd balls who liked some parts of AFfC and ADwD very much and felt they could have been adapted with small changes for a more cohesive version than what we received.

      Have to admit all of my all time favs have had down periods in their writing, shouldn’t be so surprised GOT has flaws.

      Must say the writing most of this season was just not up to par. Praying next season will be much improved.

        Quote  Reply

    254. Greatjon of Slumber,

      Nice review although I would put S2 ahead of S3 and 5 because for me 3 and 5s inconsistency was worse than S2s shortcomings. Agreed on 4 and 1.

      I actually thought 503 had some of the best acting this show has ever put out. So many amazing performances. My favorite this season.

        Quote  Reply

    255. Greatjon of Slumber:
      –Count me as a fan of Sansa’s storyline. Sansa is not a stone killer, and I don’t expect, or want, her to turn into a cold-blooded murderess. She’s merely trying to survive, and expecting her to live AND Hulk Out at Ramsay is unrealistic.

      That’s just it, she’s not merely trying to survive. The whole idea (at least, in-universe; in reality it was just the writers’ excuse to make her Jeyne Poole) is that her character decided to go on the offensive and avenge her family (by sitting around and doing nothing).

        Quote  Reply

    256. Rygar:
      Greatjon of Slumber,

      Nice review although I would put S2 ahead of S3 and 5 because for me 3 and 5s inconsistency was worse than S2s shortcomings.Agreed on 4 and 1.

      I actually thought 503 had some of the best acting this show has ever put out.So many amazing performances. My favorite this season.

      I liked that episode quite a bit, particularly given the intro of Pryce. I also thought Headey was great in that one, plus Kit, too; his scene executing Janos was one of the best handled of the year.

      As for season-by-season rankings, I’m probably going 4>1>3>5>2. If, as said, Jon is alive or resurrected, I might put 5 ahead of 3, but only slightly.

      Sean C.: That’s just it, she’s not merely trying to survive.The whole idea (at least, in-universe; in reality it was just the writers’ excuse to make her Jeyne Poole) is that her character decided to go on the offensive and avenge her family (by sitting around and doing nothing).

      Well, yes, but that depends on how long you expect such a plan to take, and how it might be carried out. If Doran Martell has taken 17 years to get back at Tywin Lannister, the idea that Sansa has to figure it all out in a few months is really unrealistic. You could argue she could have shivved Ramsay with the corkscrew, and I might be sympathetic to that argument. But really, it’s Littlefinger who tells her to avenge her family…what’s her plan, exactly? Does she have one? Not really. So, y’know, as Littlefinger once said, “Early days, my friend.”

        Quote  Reply

    257. Greatjon of Slumber:
      Sansa is not a stone killer….

      Sansa, killer of stones. What is dead may never die. What never lived may never fly. Seriously, I agree that Sansa is no stone-cold killer. Using the auger as a weapon would have gone against the grain of her character.

        Quote  Reply

    258. mariamb,

      I would like to read EW but it gives me a message that I have read ten articles and now have to pay to read. I have too many great sites to come to without paying for a site I will only use for GoT’s.

      Is there a way around this???

        Quote  Reply

    259. I really can’t stand when people (book readers, no less) bitch about Ramsey being over the top on the show. If anything, he was rather tame compared to his book counter-part (Lady Hornwood, anyone?). Anyone who has a problem with Ramsey’s show characterization should take their gripe up with George. Not that I’m defending everything D and D have done, but they haven’t done wrong by Ramsey in the slightest.

        Quote  Reply

    260. I’m sure other people have mentioned it, but the worst thing about this season was the constant, hammering foreshadowing. We get it, we’re not imbeciles. I think they need to give the audience a bit more credit. Even the unsullied I work with knew Olly was after Jon Snow. The show didn’t used to be like this, which is why TRW was a real shocker. Yeah, a couple bread and salt comments here and there but they didn’t club us over the head with it.

      And Dorne sucked bad. BAD. So bad that I feel sorry for the actors, who thought “Hell yeah, I’m on GoT! Everyone loves that show…”

        Quote  Reply

    261. Maceless Fan:
      I really can’t stand when people (book readers, no less) bitch about Ramsey being over the top on the show. If anything, he was rather tame compared to his book counter-part (Lady Hornwood, anyone?). Anyone who has a problem with Ramsey’s show characterization should take their gripe up with George. Not that I’m defending everything D and D have done, but they haven’t done wrong by Ramsey in the slightest.

      If/when people say that, they are not talking about Ramsay’s cruelty or cunning, they are talking about the sometimes over-the-top antics of the actor. Book Ramsay was by far an even worse monster than TV Ramsay, but I never imagined him as corny.

        Quote  Reply

    262. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Believe it or not it wasn’t sarcasm in fact you’re one of the commenters here that i genuinely respect anyway i’m so sorry that you felt insulted my sincere apologies

        Quote  Reply

    263. Maceless Fan,

      What? I’ve never encountered a book reader complain about Ramsay being cruel. In fact, any book reader would know that tv Ramsay is a chill dude compared to books Ramsay. At least he brings some sort of twisted humour in the tv show, but in the books? FUCK. NO. He did many more things that I think the tv series wouldn’t be able to show.

      Maybe the complains are because there is no backlash whatsoever for his actions. He’s like “I flayed the son of a Lord with his whole family watching, now he’ll pay his taxes” and life goes on for him like nothing. Either he drinks Felix Felicis every morning, or it’s the writeres favourite character.

      I like that they are keeping him around because he is a great character to root against and his creepy interactions with everyone are gold, but if they want him to live I would like to have some valid excuse.

        Quote  Reply

    264. Mr Fixit: I am curious: do you find Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? better than Blade Runner?

      I was thinking about this last night and Sheep/Blade Runner was one of the two arguable pairs in my mind, the other being Heart of Darkness / Apocalypse Now. In both cases, the books are very short (~200 pages), which is why I think it is possible for a standard-sized movie to be able to exceed them in complexity, which is the core of of what interests me. There are probably other good movies out there based on short stories or novellas where this is also the case, but I cannot find any example of a real novel. I’ve never read The Godfather so I cannot compare.

        Quote  Reply

    265. I don’t post much, but this one statement I couldn’t ignore and it led to another and brought me to my main point later on:

      In season five, Tyrion’s a bit too jolly for my taste – especially having murdered his father and former lover.

      I find it so ludicrous the idea that anyone could have watched the show and said that Tyrion wasn’t weighed down by what he did to Tywin and Shae, and that he was jolly. Jolly!??! Just because he wasn’t saying how miserable and guilty and bummed he was in every scene it wasn’t obvious that he wasn’t weighted down with misery? Really!??! The guy wanted to drink himself to death. L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y! That was the entire point of the the first 2-3 episodes. For two to three of TEN episodes, one of THE main characters did nothing but bitch and moan about wanting to literally drink himself to death. It was only when the fact that two such different people as Varys and Jorah appeared to be so high up on Dany and then him seeing Drogon did he begin to stir to life again.

      As for Jon not feeling conflicted about being a Stark or a man of the Night’s Watch, again, because we didn’t have full episodes devoted to it (as opposed to more than a few scenes–which we did) doesn’t make it clear that he WAS conflicted.

      And here is my main point: I honestly think that because so many ASOIAF experts (ie, those who have read the books so many times and know the ins-and-outs so well) can recall so much of the series so easily that they underestimate just how much the show can and does convey without the internal monologues that the book does with the thousands of words that GRRM uses.

      I’ve only read the books once. I’m only doing my first re-read now and I just got to Dany’s wedding night in GOT so I don’t remember a LOT of stuff and trust me as a show watcher who just has vague recall of the books, all of this stuff I see books purists complaining about that wasn’t conveyed, as a book reader, I completely saw while watching the show.

      I read the books and have a darn good recall so I remember enough of what was *supposed* to be conveyed and 9.9/10 times, the show gets across what the books got across… maybe not as detailed or as nuanced… but they get their point across.

        Quote  Reply

    266. Laura:
      I’m sure other people have mentioned it, but the worst thing about this season was the constant, hammering foreshadowing. We get it, we’re not imbeciles. I think they need to give the audience a bit more credit. Even the unsullied I work with knew Olly was after Jon Snow. The show didn’t used to be like this, which is why TRW was a real shocker. Yeah, a couple bread and salt comments here and there but they didn’t club us over the head with it.

      See, that’s the reader talking. Do you think that all over the Internet there would’ve been such howls of disbelief after Jon’s death had it been so obvious as you posit? The Unsullied probably surmised there’s something fishy about this Olly kid and that maybe he’d move against Jon in some way. But to pretend that the entire audience, give or take a few, knew Olly’d kill Jon in the finale… I call bullshit on that. Typical reader bias.

        Quote  Reply

    267. Mr Fixit,

      Exactly. The reader bias is SO strong. Readers who complain ad nauseum about the show don’t seem to realize just how much IS conveyed from the books through the television show that they are so sure is missed because D&D have done such a horrible job translating book to screen and haven’t captured every beat. No, no, no, no.

      And then on the other end of the spectrum, they think the show is so in your face about other things assuming it’s an anvilicious sledgehammer that only a moron could miss when in fact it would only be THAT obvious to book purists who have read, re-read and know the books very well (or in the case of Jon’s stabbing, know the shockers).

        Quote  Reply

    268. JenniferH,

      Yup. A bunch of book readers goes on and on about how the show doesn’t foreshadow events and is too murky on character motivations, etc., while another bunch of readers at the same time complains about anvils dropping left and right and the show having the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

        Quote  Reply

    269. Mr Fixit: See, that’s the reader talking. Do you think that all over the Internet there would’ve been such howls of disbelief after Jon’s death had it been so obvious as you posit? The Unsullied probably surmised there’s something fishy about this Olly kid and that maybe he’d move against Jon in some way. But to pretend that the entire audience, give or take a few, knew Olly’d kill Jon in the finale… I call bullshit on that. Typical reader bias.

      I call bullshit on… your face.

      Ok, so I am a book reader. Only made one pass through the books in 2010 and read random chapters here and there. Shireen’s burning was not in the books, but it’s been telegraphed for a year. Ellaria didn’t poison Myrcella in the books, saw that coming a mile away. I could go on…

      I don’t think D&D do a bad job on the whole, or I wouldn’t watch the show. They have made major missteps, as I think most will acknowledge. Or did you like that “bad pussy” line? lol. But, they do just as much to better the story given to them. This year, I would say the wheels fell off a bit, but it doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for seasons 6 or 7. My bias isn’t book-reader based. My bias leans more toward I love good TV and I want this show to be good and epic and awesome and finish out on a Breaking Bad seasons 4-5 level, not a Lost season 6 level.

        Quote  Reply

    270. Tormund’s Woman,

      Why do you and others think Arya’s story is so epic? her story is indirectly involved with everything else in the show and all she does is clean and sell goods at the market. How is that great television? Episode 9 they spent like 10 minutes of her just staring at Trant. Now if she comes back to Westeros and say becomes Roose Bolton’s cup bearer, that would make her arc more interesting and involved.

        Quote  Reply

    271. Roosey,

      You’ve got the wrong poster. I like Arya’s story, and I think it was well done this season and that Maisie killed it, but I never said it was “epic”. Nor do I think it to be honest.

      And if you missed it, I was teasing Hoyti with #moreArya because he’s forever wishing they’d cut her storyline and puts #AryaFiller or #cutBraavos etc. It’s the basic-messing-with-the-troll reaction. Though Hoyti is probably not exactly kidding. I did however meant everything I said about Dorne.

        Quote  Reply

    272. Tormund’s Woman,

      I agree Maise did great with her role. She is a big fan favorite which means they will provide much screen time her way. I just think her story could be better served with her more involved with the game back in Westeros.

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *