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

Jon Snow bleeding into the snow

Yesterday we shared with you the first part of a huge new round table discussion, centered around Game of Thrones season 5. The writers of three websites gathered to talk (okay, argue might be a better word) about the most recent season of the show, and words were exchanged…many, many words, which the very able Marc Kleinhenz was forced to split into 3 parts.

If you missed part I, dive into the fray with yesterday’s post here at Watchers on the Wall.

If you’re all caught up, then please head on over to Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire for Part II of the round table.

Part II features a good many more comments from the writers of Watchers on the Wall, who are a bit more show-friendly than some of our friends at other websites.

Part III will be shared tomorrow at Tower of the Hand, so be sure to swing over there Tuesday.

Enjoy!

224 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. These are physically painful to read. If you hate the show so much, stick to the damn books and leave the rest of us who enjoy be. So sick of the constant negativity. Looking forward at least to more of the comments from WOTW staff, which I’m certain will be much fairer. Glad Sue mentioned to look at this as a TV show and not a novel, which some people are somehow incapable of doing. /rant

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    2. Disaster just like Part 1.

      Again people with same opinion whining about the show…

      Sue the Fury was the only good part.

      And from all people from WOTW they picked a book purist.

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    3. I just scroll ahead for anything Sue the Fury says. She’s the voice of reason.

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    4. well its not only book readers who are complaining about the show atm… A lot of things were just a little bit disappointing, the best example for this is Dorne.

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    5. Sue the Fury: you are a wonderful voice on this panel. I like how you address some declarative statements from the other panellists. Stefan was good too.

      The rest was, well, a lot of essays on why the books are better than the show – which you and Stefan and maybe someone else countered. I think some people have been living with this book material for so long that nothing else can ever make sense for them. It reminds me of some people I’ve seen ranting on, say, Stephen King forums about how Stanley Kubrick is a hack who missed the points of King’s The Shining and just wrote fluff around the few scenes and motifs he did like.

      A word from Alfred Hitchcock on the matter: “What I do is read a story only once, and if I like the basic idea, I just forget all about the book and start to create cinema. Today I would be unable to tell you the story of Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds. I read it only once, and very quickly at that.”

      And Roland Barthes: “It always seems very difficult and rather vain to carry over a technique (and meaning is one) from one art to another; not from a purism of genres, but because structure depends on the materials used; the spectatorial image is not made from the same material as the cinematographic image, it doesn’t lend itself in the same fashion to editing, duration, perception…”

      I just have no idea why you would watch an adapatation, in a world where most cinematic works are already massively altered adaptations from plays, novels, etc and expect, indeed demand, the same thing you got on the page. Unfortunately, most (but not all!) of the criticism laid against season 5 is criticism of that sort.

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    6. taim:
      well its not only book readers who are complaining about the show atm…

      In this manner only book purists…

      They almost didn’t say anything postive about S5, except Hardhome, because even a book purist can’t criticize that episode…

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    7. mau:

      Again people with same opinion whining about the show…

      Sue the Fury was the only good part.

      And from all people from WOTW they picked a book purist.

      Totally agree. The season had some problems, but I agree with Dan Fienberg from HitFix in his podcast last week with Alan Sepinwall when he said that adapting the books more closely wouldn’t have solved those problems. At least Linda wasn’t on *this* roundtable.

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    8. Sue the Fury:
      Part 3 has a lot of WOTW, now that I look at it. That should be more interesting for you.

      Truth is: We are out of books, except for some secondary arcs. If tWoW isn´t released by S6 (which it won´t), the show bashing by book purists will rise to the heavens, just for the spoiler factor.

      So the bashing we are getting now is refreshment.

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    9. mau: In this manner only book purists…

      They almost didn’t say anything postive about S5, except Hardhome, because even a book purist can’t criticize that episode…

      To be fair some of the participants wrote that they still like the show BUT they decided to concentrate on the problems/negative side of things in this discussion 😛

      The positives are only briefly mentioned in one sentence and at the same time almost everybody writes at least one paragraph about each problem they have.

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    10. flintwielder: Truth is: We are out of books, except for some secondary arcs. If tWoW isn´t released by S6 (which it won´t), the show bashing by book purists will rise to the heavens, just for the spoiler factor.

      They’re going to end up in “no-man’s land” — unsure of whether or not to bash the show because it’s deviating from the books… because the scene(s) they bash might end up being directly from the book after all! No wonder Elio and Linda are throwing in the towel! Anyone whose lens for watching the show is how well it conforms to their own personal headcanon derived from the books will simply have no way to evaluate anything from here on out.

      Meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy 20+ episodes of some of the best that television has to offer. And whenever the books finally appear (if ever), I’ll enjoy them too on their own terms.

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    11. Off topic, but when is Kit going to be getting his Curtain Call? It’s been over a week now, and everyone else from “Mother’s Mercy” have had their articles.

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    12. mau,

      As you have asked many, many posters on this site, if you hated part one so much, why the Frack would you read part two? And be one of the first people to shit on it, naturally. Seems funny, given that that type of behavior is what you so abhor.

      flintwielder,

      God, your every comment is so completely predictable. Thanks, as always, for adding to the conversation.

      I personally have enjoyed both parts of this discussion.

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    13. taim,

      Yes exactly. And if you notice they are not complaining that the book was changed, they were complaining about the poor story telling on the part of the writers and directors. This comment in particular was on target – mirrored perfectly the problem I had with Jon’s last scene:

      Literally nothing happened between this event and the moment Thorne plunged a knife into Jon that would invoke more distaste in him for the lord commander. As far as we are concerned, they kept their respective distances in the interim. Then… Thorne stabs Jon. Are we to believe that what drove Thorne to do this was his innate refusal to accept the amnesty of the free folk? We haven’t been given any evidence to allow us to think otherwise. Why, then, did he let Jon and the wildlings through the Wall? Surely, if he hated them all so much, he wouldn’t make this massive blunder. Retrospectively, by the show’s logic and sequence of events, Thorne wanted to kill Jon as he looked down on him from atop the Wall. Yet he lets Jon and hundreds of wildlings arguably loyal to the lord commander through the Wall instead of leaving them to rot on the other side. He then engages in a furtive attempt to kill Jon, without a thought for the hundreds of men and women who will undoubtedly revolt now that their only tie to the Watch has been disposed of.

      Oh yeah and did you all miss this?

      To be fair some of the participants wrote that they still like the show BUT they decided to concentrate on the problems/negative side of things in this discussion

      Personally I enjoyed both yesterday and todays posts. Some differing in opinions among some very intelligent fans of GOT show and book. Nothing wrong with that.

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    14. Matty C:
      mau,

      As you have asked many, many posters on this site, if you hated part one so much, why the Frack would you read part two?And be one of the first people to shit on it, naturally.Seems funny, given that that type of behavior is what you so abhor.

      Because they told us it will be better.

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    15. Rafael,

      It’s a shame that an article dubbed “the final word” on Season 5 has to focus so much on the negative. When writing down my thoughts for each episode I always liked to note at least a couple of positives and a couple of negatives, because there are always good and bad things about each episode. It’s the same with an end of season review (which I may do, but not yet), I would highlight both the positives and negatives of the episode for me. Apart from a couple of notable exceptions, most of the writers here only seem to want to focus on the negatives. Quite frankly, if you can’t at least acknowledge a couple of positive things about the season I would suggest you stopped watching, because this show ain’t for you, unfortunately.

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    16. mau: And from all people from WOTW they picked a book purist.

      Again, you don’t seem to understand how this works. (I’ll ignore that you called Cian a book purist which is pretty funny.) Every writer from WOTW is in the roundtable. The article is just divided into 3 parts because it’s so long.

      Calm the hell down already. It’s just a discussion. If you don’t care for it- well, shrug and drop it. This is the place for polite discussion, not raging out and labeling people things. It’s a total buzzkill.

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    17. I just do not believe many book purists understand how basic time and space laws work.

      It is not physically possible to go into each and every nuance of the Watch turning on Jon in the space of a 10-hour series AND still deal with the other characters.

      We ALL have adaptation issues. To lay mine out, I was annoyed with the addition of Loras into the Margaery-Cersei story.

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    18. This roundtable is plagued by the fact that several of the commenters are not very good critics. It’s not about what their opinions are; it’s the articulation of them.

      Some of the commentators are very good. But in general it reads like a message board flame war, not an honest discussion of detailed elements.

      It’s painful to read and doesn’t elicit nearly enough good thoughts per word.

      Instead of taking pride in the 17,000 words, it should have perhaps been a hint that an editor was needed.

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    19. Valaquen:
      The rest was, well, a lot of essays on why the books are better than the show – which you and Stefan and maybe someone else countered. I think some people have been living with this book material for so long that nothing else can ever make sense for them.

      Cian goes into quite compelling detail about a variety of plots that, solely within the show’s reality, have problems. Brienne’s preposterous plot is a good example.

      WorfWWorfington:
      I just do not believe many book purists understand how basic time and space laws work.

      It is not physically possible to go into each and every nuance of the Watch turning on Jon in the space of a 10-hour series AND still deal with the other characters.

      As far as the complaints regarding the lack of recognizable characters among the assassins, I’m somewhat sympathetic. But the single-biggest problem with that sequence is something the show itself invented out of whole cloth, that being, Thorne letting Jon and the Wildlings through the Wall only to, without any further prompting, then murder Jon.

      Indeed, that scene in episode 9 exists in defiance of all logic and completely unexplained, as Jon apparently took all his people back to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, disembarked them on the north side of the Wall, and then marched 150 miles inland to Castle Black.

      It’s a scene that transparently only exists because the writers wanted to have the image of everybody approaching the gate, and the moment where Thorne looks like he might not let them through, with no further justification ever supplied (a frequent problem with the writing). If you remove that scene and have Jon and co. arrive at Castle Black via the logical route, Thorne’s actions in the final episode are fine.

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    20. Sue the Fury:
      Calm the hell down already. It’s just a discussion. If you don’t care for it- well, shrug and drop it. This is the place for polite discussion, not raging out and labeling people things. It’s a total buzzkill.

      And I will, but we had promise that this part will be more postive.

      I won’t read part 3.

      And I won’t spread my negativity here any more, because there is enough of it.

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    21. Completely off-topic post here, because I don’t know where else to post this! (I have no interest in reading these “discussions”.)

      Weiss and Benioff on S6 and how as usual some stories will follow future-book material closely and some will deviate.
      http://www.ew.com/article/2015/06/22/game-thrones-future

      Also, Emilia Clarke in a gorgeous new haircut. Of course, GoT fans are not on a round-the-clock hairwatch for her as they are for Kit. 😉
      http://www.eonline.com/news/669124/emilia-clarke-gets-a-bob-haircut-hours-before-her-terminator-genisys-premiere-see-the-pics

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    22. mau,

      I didn’t make any promises that Part II in particular would be better, but I did say that there were two more installments and before the end, it does get better. I was late to join the debate and my responses are heavy in Part III. Of course, I didn’t edit the debate so I’m not 100% what will be covered but I can attest that some “book as the holy text” nonsense did get called out.

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    23. Sean C.,

      The show’s geography never explicitly states how one gets to the coast from Castle Black, so we don’t know, in show canon, the proper way.

      But, let’s assume that you are correct. It would make more sense for Jon, who knows he has men, women and children who need medical attention and food, to head for Castle Black. It would then in turn make more sense for him not to approach them from “behind” (that is, south of the Wall) because that could lead to a fatal misunderstanding.

      In turn, he may be just as unsure of the Wildings as he is of his black brothers. That is, if he turns the Wildings loose south of the Wall, he can’t account for them later.

      So, no, there are other reasons. Quite easy to understand actually. But… I’m weird. I don’t think the books are the greatest thing since the Bible.

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    24. don,

      I’m mainly familiar with Bender’s work on Alias, which included some great episodes (I lost interest in Lost relatively early in, and nothing I’ve heard since has made me regret that).

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    25. Gosh, I didn’t realise there were so many highly-skilled producers, directors and script-writers out there. If only GoT had been in the hands of certain members of this roundtable we would have got a fully coherent perfect masterpiece! Ah well, we can but dream.

      In all seriousness, I appreciate the effort that has gone in – and I really appreciate the voices of reason from WoTW (oh I am on the right site, excellent), but overall these discussions are too melancholic, too pedantic, too self-absorbed to get any enjoyment out of reading. I enjoy a good debate as much as anyone and I fully admit Season 5 (and all those before it) was not perfect, but my goodness we need a few more voices of optimism and support in there. Where’s Axey?!

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    26. WorfWWorfington:
      It would then in turn make more sense for him not to approach them from “behind” (that is, south of the Wall) because that could lead to a fatal misunderstanding.

      In turn, he may be just as unsure of the Wildings as he is of his black brothers. That is, if he turns the Wildings loose south of the Wall, he can’t account for them later.

      First, neither of those things are remotely suggested by the show.

      Second, it doesn’t make sense that there is a potential for “fatal misunderstanding”. Everybody would rationally expect any Wildling refugees to come that way. Send ravens and advance people, if need be. Nothing justifies the incredible risk of marching hundreds of miles cross-country which you know to be at risk of White Walker attack. The danger of misunderstanding from a handful of Night’s Watchmen is negligible by comparison.

      Third, even if he was suspicious, what difference would it make? The Night’s Watch has no power to control these guys once they’re through the Wall. Letting them through at Eastwatch versus Castle Black does not make a difference. If anything, with the crews of Stannis’ ships there would be far more men at Eastwatch.

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    27. I’ve been a lurker on all the sites and welcome the exchange of ideas, for it keeps all camps from becoming an insular echo chamber. Now that we’re at the point of it being virtually impossible to ‘spoil’ future episodes, I urge sullied and unsullied alike to spend some time getting to know the good folks on the other boards. Believe me, appreciation for both book and show will likely increase, and trifling differences of opinion on this, that, or the other thing will greatly diminish (or, rather, will no longer be taken as ‘fighting words’).

      All the sites have dandy essays that approach ASOIAF from every conceivable angle and really bring out the wonder of the world that GRRM envisioned and that D&D have brought to life. I would start there–the essays–and leave the more contentious comments sections for later.

      I gotta add that the ‘A Compendium of Theories’ post at (the hated in these parts) Westeros.org changed my life as I’ve known it and indirectly even led me HERE to WoTW!

      That’s right, to go West, you must go East, etc.

      So, let’s not go all Lannister vs. Stark vs. Martell at the drop of a hat. That’s what the Littlefingers of the world want us to do! Studying the enemy in order to defeat it might be how the journey begins, but the way it should end if all parties are smart is to join forces towards a common goal–in this case, a more thorough understanding and appreciation of all that ASOIAF has to offer, and a shared hope that excellence of execution will always be the hallmark of GoT in the seasons ahead.

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    28. I am really glad that Watchers on the Wall exists. I am a book reader and show lover and I appreciate most of the comments here. I really do not have a problem with book purists (my husband is one, but he has after series 2 decided to stop nitpicking and to start to enjoy the show), but I can not stand whining book purists who do not understand the different requirements of books and TV shows.

      Moreover the TV show should also be interesting for Unsullied viewer. I know a lot of unsullied vierwers, all of them love season 5 but some of them have also said that more characters or plotlines would be just too much to follow. I watch the show with several unsullied and I would recommend that to all people who think that there are not enougth characters and plot lines in the show.

      If you watch discussions or forum entries like the above, you would get the impression, that Game of Thrones is the worst TV show ever and Series 5 was just nonsense The numbers are telling another story: The average viewer numbers are higher than ever (despite leaks and Memorial Day and the availability of various platforms like Amazon!) and the IMDB ratings and at Rotten Tomatoes are great.

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    29. Hmm, Cian and Nfriel raise a number of good points.

      I don’t agree on all of them, mind you (the North truly doesn’t recognise Boltons: servants in and around Winterfell, the late Cerwyns, Lyanna Mormont). But there were way more inconsistencies than there seemed to be in prior seasons. Many occurences where characters moved unexpectedly from A to C, with B missing –> That leads to viewers being puzzled and trying to justify what’s happening – instead of enjoying the show. On the other hand, there were also instances of heavy foreshadowing (Olly, Shireen, Cersei, I’d even say Arya) and some needless repetition (Ellaria, Sand Snakes, Meryn), where not only you’re being shown that B that missed for other characters, you’re hammered by that B over your head.

      So overall, this season’s been a very mixed bag for me. A fair amount of good to great, but also a sadly large amount of bad (in terms of GoT).

      I don’t think I’ve ever had to come up with so many inner explanations for why characters acted in a particular way (particularly Dorne characters this season), only for those theories to be repeatedly smashed to pieces leaving only more question marks. It all comes down to me not understanding what and why a number of characters were doing (granted, I may be getting stupid, but I still understand previous seasons).

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    30. The final word is that while the show isn’t “ruined”, it was a stupid idea to condense two books into one season: if they voluntarily did this it was foolish. If they were forced into it due to fears the show would only last seven seasons due to actor contract dispute, then I think they actually did very well in adverse circumstances beyond their control. But no one *voluntarily* does two books in one season – even if it meant Season 5 wouldn’t have a Red Wedding scale climax, they could easily have used Hardhome as a climax. They didn’t.

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    31. mau,

      You don´t have to be a book purist to dislike most of the changes they made in season 5. Even from an objective TV-loving point of view, this season was by far the worst. I can´t get over the feeling that the whole thing is getting too big for the producers and maybe a TV-show in general. They try to squeeze so many characters so many stories of the books into 10 hours of screentime and furthermore they keep inventing unnecessary story arks (like Dorne > everybody not just book purists hated them!!!). The show keeps using more and more clichees and sterotypes story-telling wise (this stupid wilding-mother in episode 8 for example). Well the show still is pretty good, but it keeps getting worse and worse and this is a development that stokes my fears and makes me feel sick, BECAUSE i love the show as much as i love the books!

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    32. Why is it so hard to understand that things WILL and HAVE to change when HBO has only given them 10 episodes per season/book to tell a massive story with a huge ensemble?

      Like Sue said, unless they made it like a soap opera, they will never be able to really delve into the story like some people want. In a perfect world, that would happen. But it’s time to give up that ghost and try to enjoy what is still the best show on television.

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    33. ash,

      Well, I really didn´t enjoy this discussion only partially to this point, to be honest, but this is not what I want to address. The Thorne-discussion is way more interesting, at least in my opinion.

      So while I understand your reasons to say that Thorne´s decision to let Jon and the wildlings in can be regarded as a somewhat illogical decision, I do see some quite logical arguments that speak for it.

      First thing would be that no immediate blame can be directed at Thorne for killing Jon, for the simple reason that no one could even know the circumstances of Jon´s death besides the small group of conspiracists who will certainly not reveal Thorne as one of the iniciators. This is the first thing that makes this decision more logical: it provides security for Thorne.

      The second thing is, no matter how much he hated him, Jon Snow still was Thorne´s LC at that time and Thorne holds himself in high regard in terms of honorableness. With around fifty other remaining Watchers on the Wall witnessing Thorne deciding not to let Jon and OTHER members of the NW in (even though they were mostly Jon-Followers), it would have crippled his ambitions to become the next LC, let alone remaining first ranger. After all, the NW is a sworn brotherhood which makes the term of kinslayer apply to their every actions and even the most dishonrable members of the watch wouldn´t accept someone in their ranks that is regarded as the “most accursed of men”. In other words: if Thorne wanted to have political influence, let alone preserve his rank as first ranger, he couldn´t make the disposal of Jon as evident as not letting him in when there were still other NW-memebers with him and quite a lot of witnesses on the Wall itself.

      Third argument for Thorne´s decision is the ambiguity of the circumstances of Jon´s death, he profits of this immensely. In the current situation, the wildlings are too far in the deal to back out, so why not just provide a scapegoat of the NW as the killer of Jon? To paraphrase this quite blatantly: “Oh look, here´s the one guilty for killing the LC, what a foul creature. The late LC´s steward Olly saw him stab LC Snow to death! But hey, no worries, we will carry on his spirit and employ new members of the NW in the higher ranks of the NW to make sure LC´s goodwill will remain after his death. We are sorry for the loss, but it can´t be helped, we need to elect a new LC and move on.” From that point on, he can dispose of one unwanted member of the NW all the while depicting himself as a loyal member of the Watch even after Jon´s death. With his popularity-level, he could even become the new LC or at least make a puppet for his machinations the new LC. Afterwards, he could still think of a masterplan to dispose of the wildlings AND he now would have the political instruments to accomplish that, assuming that his faction will take over the control of the NW.

      Fourth, and honestly maybe not the best argument for it, but still applicable: most Wildlings don´t link their survival in hardhome to Jon Snow at all. We see that besides Karsi, Wun Wun and one other tribe-leader, the vast majority of wildlings still remained stubborn towards Jon´s proposal of a lasting truce, making the occurance in Hardhome more of a run for their own security than an actual political contract between both parties that was forged by Jon Snow. They may be superficially thankful for the NW´s providance of boats to escape Hardhome, but letting Jon take all the applause for it, they wouldn´t and will not do that. So the whole point of this is: the wildlings are grateful to some extent for the providance of the boats and they are now aware that they need to work with the NW to survive the impending doom that is the long night, but certainly they will not care as much about who leads the NW as long as it doesn not drastically alter their conditions of living behind the safety that is the wall. Even Thorne would not be so dumb as to openly face the Wildlings, so like I said before, he will provide one suitable NW-scapegoat and tend to the NW´s business as usual. Most wildlings will be fine with that or are now to far into the deal to make personal feelings or their preferred choice of LC matter too much any more. Yeah, some that based their trust on Jon´s words will be suspicious of the change of leadership withion the NW, but putting the lives of their tribes, women and children at stake for the revenge for a NW-commander, is this really how they would react?

      So you could conclude it like this: Thorne gains:
      – personal security, he can´t be directly framed for Jon´s murder
      – he found a way to establish a rule of his faction without openly rioting or kinslaying
      – he can gain the wildlings´ goodwill just by providing one suitable scapegoat
      – as new LC or a puppet of his as LC, he still has plenty of time to deal with the wildlings and put them to suitable use in the meantime (send them for scoutings beyond the wall, asign them to hunt beyond the wall, travel to Eastwatch, fortify Greyguard and the remaining strongholds etc etc.).

      At least that´s what I thought, you are free to disagree.

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    34. Do these people understand adaptation? Are they capable of judging GoT as a television show? A piece of popular entertainment?

      The books exist. Nothing can take them away. The show is never going to be a word-for-word recitation. It’s incredibly naive to expect such a thing. Maybe someday someone will produce an animated version with every single character and every far-flung location and every obscure reference depicted in excruciating detail. Maybe then these people will get what they really want. Or they could just, y’know, read the books again.

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    35. The Dragon Demands,

      Oh come on, (and this has been explained to you before) it was not an idiotic decision to adapt AFFC and ADWD. It was the only sane decision they could make given the meandering and slow nature of the source material. I liked book 5, but there is no way they could have got two seasons out of it along with 4 without losing most of the Unsullied audience.

      The fact that Season 5 still had reasonable reviews should be seen as D&D’s greatest achievement given the source material.

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    36. Guys, I think everyone is overthinking things a bit.

      It’s a fantasy series, not the Bible. It’s like there are splits between Catholic and Protestant. Sunni or Shiite. We can’t keep fussing for the next 10+ months over what amounts to interpretations of fiction written by a guy who hasn’t finished the story in over two decades.

      I’m Team Sit Back And Enjoy It. Whether or not LSH appears in the show isn’t the end of the World. I’m almost rooting for GRRM to do what he threatened and have the story end with everyone dead and just descriptions of tumbleweeds rolling in the destruction.

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    37. The Dragon Demands:
      The final word is that while the show isn’t “ruined”, it was a stupid idea to condense two books into one season:if they voluntarily did this it was foolish.If they were forced into it due to fears the show would only last seven seasons due to actor contract dispute, then I think they actually did very well in adverse circumstances beyond their control.But no one *voluntarily* does two books in one season – even if it meant Season 5 wouldn’t have a Red Wedding scale climax, they could easily have used Hardhome as a climax.They didn’t.

      I am really glad that they skipped a lot of filler material of books 4 of 5. I know that a lot of people like them, I do not belong to them. I would be happier with them if I would know that GRRM would finish all these plot lines but I do not think that he will and all the time when I read them I can not stop thinking “No another pointless plot which will delay the publication of the last books…he will never be able to finish all that useless plot lines”.

      Some of the plots of book 4 and 5 will be introduced in season 6 (see casting news).

      The rest was already in the books boring as hell. Really, how can someone think that the dumb Arianne plot, the useless Quentyn and Aegon plot or Penny and Tyrion would have made good TV?

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    38. VARGOAT,

      There are many great changes in S5, that have nothing to do with what was shown, but with what wasn’t…

      1. No YG and another secret Targaryen plot
      2. No LSH
      3. No Darkstar (he was SS level)
      4. Brienne didn’t do much this season, but we at least didn’t watch her doing nothing like in AFFC
      5. No Penny
      6. No plot in the Vale no one cares about
      7. No Cersei’s pointless sex scenes
      8. No Tyrion’s rape
      9. No Quentyn Martell

      They should have cut SS as well.

      And some good changes that were shown:

      1. Tyrion+Dany
      2. Varys in Meereen
      3. Jaqen H’ghar
      4. Hardhome
      5. Sansa in WF (90% of it was good, but I had some problems)
      6. Death of Stannis and Shireen
      7. Daznak
      8. Myrcella’s death

      And some bad changes

      1. I wanted some lords from the North, but they will be there in S6 and I wanted to see Sansa urges Theon to escape after he killed Myranda and I wanted her to have some plan what to do next(go to Jon, to the Umbers,…).

      Essentially I wanted stronger pay off from her storyline. Maybe next season? Death of LF?

      2. Dorne (I didn’t like Dorne in the books, but it was better than this)

        Quote  Reply

    39. “Da books are da books and da show is da show.”

      I have been accused of being a book purist for the first time in my life. I don’t believe that to be true. Now, I did attempt to judge this season’s shortcomings on their own merits (which, admittedly is pretty difficult when one has prior knowledge of the books). Maybe it didn’t come across that way, and if that’s the case, it’s my fault – I should have been clearer.

      People will disagree, as is their right. But from a step by step logical point of view, and as a piece of entertainment, season 5 did have many problems. Just as it had many great moments, which I have simply chosen not to mention (I made that clear at the beginning and end of my piece).

        Quote  Reply

    40. Jessica,

      I really wish the “They ruined Dorne” people would explain exactly what it is about book Dorne that is so cool. It is the Boba Fett of ASOIAF. Cool costume, couple of bad-ass lines, but ultimately, worth nothing more than to be digested in a Sarlacc for a thousand years.

      (And no, nerds, I do not acknowledge any of the Expanded Universe crap. Boba Fett is dead.)

      The Dorne of the books is a cool speech and a hot girl looking for a real plot. Doran’s plan is laughable. Arianne’s is worse. Nothing there is worth the damn fuss.

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    41. It is really silly about them arguing about the shows choice to have homosexuality viewed as a religious no-no when it wasn’t so much in past seasons. This argument can be squashed with one simple sentence…

      Cersei gave to much power to the High Sparrow and in his interpretation of the laws of the Seven, he found homosexuality a sin and moved on it and all his followers, being followers, agreed… Arguments over…

      That is the problem with a lot of these book purists who don’t like the show, its a pretty simple problem. They lack the intellectual imagination it takes to fill in the blanks the show leaves. They enjoy being spoon fed every plot twist, like GRRM does in the books, and do not like when, due to time and budget constraints, D&D have to leave a lot of stuff out.

      Is the show perfect? Nope. Do D&D sometimes IMO make mistakes? Yup.

      The one BIG mistake I always think of, and many disagree, is the use of that stupid alternative rock style song after Jamie lost his hand… Awful, this isn’t American Werewolf in London, this is a time period piece, you DO NOT use rock-n-roll type music, that’s mixing oil and water.

      But to sit here and rip apart choices, like the High Sparrow deeming homosexuality sinful to get Loras in prison, you think that is a huge deal? You don’t have a rationalizing imagination that lets yourself fix things like this so you can enjoy the show? Instead you sit there pouting “This wouldn’t happen in Westeros!” LOL!

      Reminds me of the people so upset, saying the Dany/Drogon pit scene was unreal because no one tried throwing a spear at Dany… Mind you, she’s about to get on a DRAGON… But Dany not getting a spear thrown at her is the unreal part…

      They also don’t have an active enough imagination to rationalize it by maybe a simple thought like… Maybe they were all just so stunned in amazement watching?

      IDK, I think I made my point, when you are a book reader and watch this show you have a few choices to make:

      1). Are you going to enjoy the show based on what the show is doing or sit there the whole time getting angry thinking it happened in the books differently.
      2). When maybe some unrealistic things happen or minor plot holes, are you going to poke and pick at it and make a tiny little wound into a mortal wound, or are you going to put your imagination to work and come up with an explanation that fixes it for you.
      3). Are you actively seeking out things to complain about, because subconsciously that’s just what you like to do, or are you actually trying to enjoy the show as a separate story only BASED on the books.

      Watching this show is like looking into a mirror in many ways, who you are, is what you’ll get out of it.

        Quote  Reply

    42. mau,

      1. I wanted some lords from the North, but they will be there in S6 and I wanted to see Sansa urges Theon to escape after he killed Myranda and I wanted her to have some plan what to do next(go to Jon, to the Umbers,…).

      The lords are in Season 6. Presumably, the plan is too.

      But if you compare Sansa to Jeyne Poole in the books, I don’t see how anyone can say she didn’t have agency. Jeyne had to be dragged kicking and screaming. She kept talking about being a good wife and giving Ramsay sons. She was an abused woman who had no strength.

      Sansa found her strength.

        Quote  Reply

    43. WorfWWorfington:
      But if you compare Sansa to Jeyne Poole in the books, I don’t see how anyone can say she didn’t have agency. Jeyne had to be dragged kicking and screaming. She kept talking about being a good wife and giving Ramsay sons. She was an abused woman who had no strength.

      Sansa found her strength.

      No, Sansa was so broken down that she wanted to die. She was totally defeated.

      Sansa was more together than Jeyne, and opened a door, but that’s a far cry from having agency, let alone any sort of character and skill development, which is what she’s supposed to be doing at this point in her story.

        Quote  Reply

    44. WorfWWorfington:
      mau,

      The lords are in Season 6. Presumably, the plan is too.

      But if you compare Sansa to Jeyne Poole in the books, I don’t see how anyone can say she didn’t have agency. Jeyne had to be dragged kicking and screaming. She kept talking about being a good wife and giving Ramsay sons. She was an abused woman who had no strength.

      Sansa found her strength.

      I liked Sansa in WF (and the red bedding) but I wanted stronger pay off from her storyline. Maybe we will get that nexs season. We’ll see.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Cian:

      People will disagree, as is their right. But from a step by step logical point of view, and as a piece of entertainment, season 5 did have many problems. Just as it had many great moments, which I have simply chosen not to mention (I made that clear at the beginning and end of my piece).

      Why?

        Quote  Reply

    46. mau,

      I’m sorry but you’re in full control of your own actions. If you don’t like what’s being said (especially after being so vocal about it in the last one) then avoid this thread. You’re not contributing anything or countering any of their points. All you’re doing is moaning and throwing silly insults like ‘book purist’ about.
      Now this may blow your mind but you can actually like, if not love the show but still be critical of aspects of it. Also, not everyone who criticises the show is a ‘book purist’ and not everyone who’s read the books disagrees with all the changes.
      There’s a lot of black and white thinking by yourself and a lot of other folks around here lately and it leads to people taking more extreme positions. If you can’t accept that people have different opinions to you (for whatever reason) then I don’t think these forums are the place for you.
      Think for a second. How interesting would the article be everyone just said ‘It was all great. Nothing could have been done better and I don’t question any of the decisions made?’.
      Will leave you with two quotes.

      “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale

      “Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
      – Miguel Angel Ruiz

        Quote  Reply

    47. Cian,

      FWIW, I agreed with most of you said. You articulated things that were bothering me that I could never quite put into words.

      Jessica:

      The rest was already in the books boring as hell. Really, how can someone think that the dumb Arianne plot, the useless Quentyn and Aegon plot or Penny and Tyrion would have made good TV?

      I don’t think that most are saying it would have made good TV. The point is that they made some changes that were different than the books (Dorne, for example) and some of those changes weren’t good. It doesn’t mean – at least in my opinion – that giving us Arianne, Quentyn, etc would have been better. I don’t know why critiques of a show adaptation are always met with “well, the book was worse.”

        Quote  Reply

    48. Sean C.,

      No… she said that if she was going to die, she’d rather do it before she became just a vagina and a uterus. She reached Theon, opened a door, and lit a fuse that resulted in Myranda dying and the two of them escaping.

      There are still 20+ hours to go. Patience, grasshopper.

        Quote  Reply

    49. mau,

      I didn’t have time to have an extended discussion, so I had the choice of either going full positive or full negative. Since I am usually so positive about the show, I went for the change of pace that seeking out the negative aspects entailed. When I put some thought into it, the rabbit hole got deeper and deeper.

        Quote  Reply

    50. The Dragon Demands,

      No, it wasn’t a “stupid idea”. Going by GrrM or your “heroes” Elio and Lindaaaaaaaaaaaa’s approach of making the show nine seasons and padding out AFFC and ADWD’s plots for more than a season each would’ve been “stupid”. AFFC and ADWD would’ve made TERRIBLE tv on their own. The most common criticism of this season outside of sullied confirmation bias echo chambers like ASOIAF reddit and AFOIAF was that it was too slow. That was the common theme on facebook, youtube comments, imdb etc. from the mainstream fans. If it had stuck to ADWD and AFFC it would’ve been EVEN SLOWER.

      So, no, your final word (likely a rehash of your “heroes'” smug, charmless video analysis as your “opinions” tend to be) is by no means what the critical consensus is. Not even amongst most purists. It was necessary to bunch AFFC and ADWD together, as will be proved next year when we get deep into TWOW. Hopefully by then though you’ll do what your heroes are doing and wait until TWOW’s published to watch the season (don’t hold your breath though) and allow someone who actually understands that wiki’s aren’t for editorializing to run GoT wiki in your absence.

      Good day.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Sean C.: No, Sansa was so broken down that she wanted to die.She was totally defeated.

      Sansa was more together than Jeyne, and opened a door, but that’s a far cry from having agency, let alone any sort of character and skill development, which is what she’s supposed to be doing at this point in her story.

      The best way to do that was to have some lords from the North on her wedding. Than she could start plotting something. I hope they moved that to S6.

      She didn’t have any political support to do anything in WF this season. She had support from the smallfolk, but that isn’t enough.

      In this circumstances she did the smartest thing. She escaped.

        Quote  Reply

    52. mariamb,

      It doesn’t mean – at least in my opinion – that giving us Arianne, Quentyn, etc would have been better. I don’t know why critiques of a show adaptation are always met with “well, the book was worse.”

      Because the inherent gripe about an adaptation is that the book was BETTER. And in a lot of the complaints this year, the book was NOT better.

      Yes, the Mutiny at Castle Black was more nuanced in the books. I disagreed with adding the anti-gay subplot to King’s Landing.

      (Basically, I disagreed with making Margaery’s “crime” something she actually DID, as opposed to a frame-up. And adding the anti-gay stuff turned the Sparrows, who have some legit beefs, into fundamentalist whack-a-doos)

      Other than that… what have you got? A Dorne plot that was just as stupid in the books? The loss of Penny the Dwarf? Jaime’s Scouring of the Shire moment? Brienne wandering for an entire book and going 10 linear miles?

      You got nothing. Learn to love it.

        Quote  Reply

    53. WorfWWorfington:
      No… she said that if she was going to die, she’d rather do it before she became just a vagina and a uterus.

      She wanted to die, rather than continue the way she was — you can see that from her reaction when Myranda tells her that she’s not going to kill her. The final conversation between the two of them is an explicit debunking of everything Sansa said in the bath scene in episode 6: it turns out that Winterfell isn’t her home, they can frighten her, and they have so thoroughly beaten her that the best she can hope for is to die quickly.

      As for “reaching Theon”, she made a single attempt to do that, and then gave up and then resumed berating him and telling him how much she hated him. There was no design to “reach him”. It was purely her taking out her anger. This inadvertently appears to have affected him, but that’s no different than any of the other people (e.g., the Hound) that she has affected without meaning to. All of Sansa’s attempts to actively do something this season, and there were hardly any, met with resounding and complete failure.

      Unrelatedly, on the issue that has been discussed here regarding the Faith Militant and homosexuality, I don’t think the Faith suddenly making homosexuality a big deal was problematic. Fundamentalist movements can affect rapid changes in social norms, e.g., the rise of Wahhabism in much of the Middle East. The problem with the show’s depiction of homosexuality is squarely on the awful caricature they’ve turned Loras into.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Sean C.,

      1) It’s symbolically important for the wildlings to let them finally through the notorious gate at castle black.

      2) You see in episode 7 that Jon head towards the gate in the wall so they definitely travel towards the coast north of the wall. This is the place where Salladors ships are. It’s rather smart to leave the ship in the sea north of the wall because in the show cannon Stannis wasn’t able to get a single northern lord to his side. He is still considered a usurper. When he would have left his ships south of the wall they could get targeted.

      3) It is told and shown many times: The WW are the artists. They led Jon go at the end of episode 8 as a kind of message just as they let go Will in season 1 and Sam in season 2. They would never attack the surviving group of wildlings on their way back.

      4) When travelling with the wildlings south of the wall they could get in trouble with the Eastwatch-by-the-sea. After almost everyone is killed at castle black, the amount of NW in Eastwatch is probably much larger. Jon can never convince them that letting the wildlings south of the wall is a good thing. He wasn’t even able to do that properly for the 50 remaining nights watchmen at castle black. So informing Eastwatch on beforehand by letter could never persuade them. Jon realizes that the most important thing is getting as much wildings south of the wall as possible. Persuading Eastwatch of his intentions can be done later.

      5) In the case that despite all forementioned reasons Jon would somehow sail to the south side of the wall at eastwatch, they could run into a lot of trouble when they are spotted by northeners. The northeners could alarm the Last Heard who would send cavalery to deal with such a large amount of wildings south of the wall, before Jon can explain his intentions.

      6) By letting them through the gate at castle black, the wildlings can settle them in the Gift near castle black itself. This is far away from any of the northern strongholds.

      7) When travelling north of the wall; any lost bands of wildlings that are still near the wall could join the group. Every wildling is a whight less to fight. It’s now or never. Jon isn’t going to send another rescue mission, because the other wildlings are scattered to much across the land north of the wall.

      I agree that I didn’t like the fact that the show didn’t gave a more clarified explanation, and most of the above is never mentioned, but despite the fact that the show never explains why he travels north of the wall back to castle black, it’s not so weird at all.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Sean C.,

      She made MULTIPLE attempts to reach him. One before the flaying. One after. Got him to crack about Bran and Rickon. And she found out about Jon. She escaped.

      Moreover, you are confusing NOT being able to get something done with giving up. So, the first whack at Theon didn’t work. She didn’t stop. So the first time with the candle didn’t work. She didn’t stop.

      But you’re also acting like this is the end of her story. That as soon as Ramsay raped he, she was done. That is offensive, and stupid.

      Frankly, most of the problem with Sansa’s scene this year is from people wayyyyyyy too invested in Sansa’s virginity

        Quote  Reply

    56. Sean C.,

      Regarding the anti-homosexuality of the show….depending on how Part III is edited there might be quite a lot about it. I went back and forth with another person regarding whether there was any basis for it in the show.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Cian:
      mau,

      I didn’t have time to have an extended discussion, so I had the choice of either going full positive or full negative. Since I am usually so positive about the show, I went for the change of pace that seeking out the negative aspects entailed. When I put some thought into it, the rabbit hole got deeper and deeper.

      I don’t agree with your choice but you have every right to do whatever you feel.

      And i think that we have every right do disagree.

      Because, I believe, you knew that many writers on this article are rigid book fans. We didn’t need another full negative approach.

      In my opinion. You can disagree. You can say that you didn’t know or didn’t care what others will write, but I think that everyone knew what view TOTH has on this show.

      I and many others, didn’t like this text, because we wanted some sort of balance.

      But fine. It just review. Nothing important.

        Quote  Reply

    58. There was much to love about this season, but even more to dislike. To put it simply: this season is the first season of GoT that I didn’t fully liked. I hate to say it, but the writing was sloppy, putting shock above good stories.

      lets start with Stannis. In the show, he is depicted as a stubborn, strong-willed tactican. First they have this scene with him declaring his ultimate love for his daughter (get it, shock is on its way!) and then they do what? Let him burn this same daughter. And of course, most of his army deserted him, as he could and should have known because Stannis is a tactican above else, and so this sacrifice was utterly pointless. Don’t give me the crap that he was burning people from the beginning as D and D state; these people were not his daughter and their burning did not have the same consequense of CERTAIN DEFEAT. Its terrible writing.

      Next dorne. The sand snakes have one goal and that is to kill / hurt myrcella in order to go to war with the lannisters. They have all the access in the world to myrcella to do her harm. Their plan? Some crazy fight (could have killed her there), some pointless scenes after their laughable attempt, and then, at the end, they kill her with a kiss. Well. What about that. It made everything before completely pointless. But it was a shocking twist so there is that. Terrible writing.

      Next: the faith militant. They are depicted by the voice of their leader to abide the gods and punish highborn and lowborn alike for their sins. They like to punish highborns a lot more and have no problem killing among other things; but apparantly that is not a problem. I have no problem with religous fanatics being overly fanatic and foresaking their stated moral high ground, but I do have a problem when opponents like CERSEI don’t bring this up when they are confronted by them. Its sloppy writing all over the place.

      Littlefingers plan: complete bullocks but it created a storyline so there is that.

      I did like the storylines at the Wall, Winterfell and Mereen quite a lot. But none of them were without some serious issues either.

      I wonder how this has come into being; what happened? Its almost as if the writers considered the eindpoint far more important than the road; valuing shocks above truly emotive scenes (which can only arise when the path leads us there slowly and logically).

      I sincerely hope that the next season will be as good as the previous four seasons; love the show; but I am not fooling myself into thinking this was good television.

        Quote  Reply

    59. mariamb,

      Trystane:
      Sean C.,

      I agree that I didn’t like the fact that the show didn’t gave a more clarified explanation, and most of the above is never mentioned, but despite the fact that the show never explains why he travels north of the wall back to castle black, it’s not so weird at all.

      BUT, BUT, BUT…..it is not in the books and everthing which is not in the books or different in the books is stupid…..by default ;-)…..

        Quote  Reply

    60. WorfWWorfington:
      She made MULTIPLE attempts to reach him. One before the flaying. One after. Got him to crack about Bran and Rickon. And she found out about Jon. She escaped.

      Moreover, you are confusing NOT being able to get something done with giving up. So, the first whack at Theon didn’t work. She didn’t stop. So the first time with the candle didn’t work. She didn’t stop.

      No, she made one attempt to reach him, in episode 7. The episode 8 scene was not an attempt to “reach him”, it was her ranting at him. Nor did she “get him to crack”; she didn’t have the slightest idea there was anything to crack. That was wholly unintended on her part.

      But you’re also acting like this is the end of her story. That as soon as Ramsay raped he, she was done. That is offensive, and stupid.

      No, I am not acting like this is the end of her story. I am acting like this is the end of her story this season, and the end the story of her venture to Winterfell, both of which are true. Her story this season was one of total victimhood within a ridiculous plot, and her story at Winterfell was one of non-stop and total failure. Anything that she may accomplish in the future will be done via means that she should have been using in the first place. Episode 10 was the final point where Sansa’s going to Winterfell in the first place had to justify itself, and it didn’t.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Dame Pasty,

      I just posted about that at Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire. Now I wish I’d waited to see what you and others had to say. It looked like that’s the end of it though.

      I am pretty much on the same page with Sean on that one. However, unlike him I have always seen Loras as an underdeveloped character in the books too. We don’t know too much about him really and what we do know is meant to reflect the youthful Jamie Lannister, as far as I am concerned. It’s a PoV issue more than anything else; not bad writing by Martin.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Tormund’s Woman:
      Dame Pasty,
      Loras as an underdeveloped character in the books too. We don’t know too much about him really and what we do know is meant to reflect the youthful Jamie Lannister, as far as I am concerned. It’s a PoV issue more than anything else; not bad writing by Martin.

      I don’t think that every character needs to be developed. He was undeveloped in the books, he is just plot device in the show, and it is fine.

      Why this story needs Loras as a complex character?

        Quote  Reply

    63. Trystane,

      The reason why Jon Snow arrived with the wildlings south of The Wall is because when Stannis arrived at the end of season 4 to save The Wall he had to dock all his ships to the south of the wall to move his troops in place as fast as possible.

      Stannis’s troops didn’t come out of The Walls Gate… All Jon did was dock the boats back where he found them, south of The Wall.

      Why are people so hungup on this? Really? You’re going to belittle a show because of where boats were docked?

        Quote  Reply

    64. Arthur,

      Basically we live in the age of nitpicking-as-criticism. People have been numbed by things like CinemaSins into thinking that tiny logistical observations actually count as substantive artistic critiques. If someone looked at GrrM’s books with the same level of scrutiny as some people do the show, they’d find quite a few holes there too (particularly in travel times and timeline inconsistencies) but, alas, in an adaptation based on books as rabidly loved and over-analyzed as ASOIAF, nitpicking becomes the main recourse of the bitter fan.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Greenjones,

      I agree…

      It is pretty sad really. This is such an amazing show.

      It seems to me people are just actively seeking to find little “errors” (their perceived errors since it may be different from the books or not completely explained through show canon). And focus on these tiny little things and pick at them and make them so much bigger then what they really are.

      I am not watching the show because I care where boats are docked, or I care if homosexuality is a sin in the fantasy realm of Westeros. If a character I like gets neglected screen time or D&D storyline vision of that character goes in a different direction that I felt from the books, I am not going to get angry and dislike the show.

      You know why? Because this isn’t the damn books, it’s the show! What is so freaking hard to understand about that?

        Quote  Reply

    66. Arthur,

      Theres nothing hard to understand about it. You want the show to be at it’s highest quality possible, but unfortunately, at least imo, it hasn’t been. Hense the criticisms. It’s not a book purist thing, i’m sure most people would prefer it strays from the books, but it needs to keep up the quality that’s been established.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Arthur:
      Greenjones,

      You know why?Because this isn’t the damn books, it’s the show!What is so freaking hard to understand about that?

      Which really is the essence of it. And yet apparently, so few posters get this. Really I hope most of these self-important AFOIF, ASOIAF reddit and tTotH people don’t watch s6 next year and just sit on their hands waiting for TWOW. For once then the well might not get poisoned discussion-wise. Without TWOW they won’t be able to argue from their false positions of authority anymore (which is 100 % percent why Elio and Lindaaaaa are skipping s6, because it will make them utterly irrelevant, as they always should have been really). I imagine the posters from those sites that do watch will make it all about “this s6 moment probably isn’t in TWOW but that one for sure is…” and try to find the source material in the show, even when there’s no actual published source material to refer to…

      Basically fuck ’em.

        Quote  Reply

    68. mau: In this manner only book purists…

      They almost didn’t say anything postive about S5, except Hardhome, because even a book purist can’t criticize that episode…

      The super-slow boat? The amazingly coincidental timing of events? The over-the-top Hollywoodization of the scene? The far-too-fast killing of the people outside the walls?

      Naah, finding nitpicks is pretty easy, even for the good bits.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Chad Brick: The over-the-top Hollywoodization of the scene? The far-too-fast killing of the people outside the walls?

      The sudden death of the people outside the walls is in the books, or mentioned at least. Tormund to Jon…

      “A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up … how do you fights a mist crow? Shadows with teeth … air so cold it hurts to breath, like a knife inside your chest … you do not know, you cannot know … can your sword cut cold?”

      They choked on the white mists. And then got torn apart by Wights, probably.

      And if by “over-the-top Hollywoodization of the scene” you mean a thrilling 20 minute action sequence, that drove home truly how much of a threat the Others are, as well as giving us a glimmer of hope in the form of Valyrian steel and Wun-Wun, then sure.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Xanth,

      So, “the highest quality possible” would be D&D portraying every characters storyline to the satisfactory of how you (or another person who doesn’t agree with D&D portrayal currently) think it should be?

      I got a simple answer:

      This isn’t the books, it’s an adaptation. How so and so’s storyline arc went in the books and how the show changed it and ruined it, based on this fact, deems that argument irrelevant… This isn’t the books.

      And a more complex answer:

      A hundred people can read the same character PoVs in GRRM’s saga and each come out with a different idea of how that character’s storyline should play out on TV. How on earth can D&D create a storyline for that character for TV and not have people, like you, upset by their decisions? Don’t you understand that it would be impossible?

      D&D have stated over and over again, this is the show, their interpretation, their TV adaptation, so please stop comparing it to the books.

      You have to separate the two. I also had a hard time doing this, I ALWAYS have to watch the episodes twice because the first watch I am always thinking about how I would have done this scene or that scene. The second watch I am able to just focus how D&D did it and enjoy it for what it is.

        Quote  Reply

    71. mau,

      I’m not the one you should be asking that. But since you seem to have calmed down, and I did say that one (other than me) may argue the point that Loras has been reduced to a plot point (or better said that his homosexuality has been reduced to that and implicitly Loras has been reduced to that), here is why I think one can and may argue that point.

      When the show writer translates a non-POV tertiary character to screen and dedicates time to it or writes scenes that normally you wouldn’t read in the books for it, because the source writing cannot do it (ex: Loras making love with Renly -both non-POVs) , then you may create the expectation that it is a character that will develop naturally into a supporting character for one of your protagonists, rather than be a plot point. It didn’t happen to Loras. I’m not hung up on it. Plus we don’t even know how it will turn out for him. Maybe this is just a detour and

      he may yet take become KG and take Dragonstone! lol

      I was making a different point there anyway.

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    72. Tormund’s Woman,

      Much like you, I actually think that Loras

      being a member of the Kingsguard got all the more likely due to being accused by the Faith. The Kingsguard is both a place of honour (at least it should be) and sexual abstinence, so what could be a logical option for the High Sparrow to kill two birds with one stone?
      Officially apologizing for accusing Loras of his “foul love for men” and putting him into a place of very high honour and thus redeeming him in the eyes of the public. Bird one. On the other hand, the High Sparrow is of course not buying that loras didn´t have intercourse with men, so what better than to include him in a conglomerate of people taking oaths to stay abstinate which will also be punished severely when forsaking these vows? Bird two.
      Those changes can only be verified by Tommen (machinated by Cersei, of course), but this should not be a problem since Cersei would then also not have to marry Loras any longer.

      It would be such an elegant solution, me thinks.

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    73. Greenjones:

      Basically fuck ’em.

      But there’s so many of them, and I dare say I would not consider many of them attractive enough.

      btw – You forgot to mention the inevitable contingent of people who will determine even if something is likely straight from TWOW, they’ll insist D&D didn’t handle it well, or that it will be done much better in the books, yes, even without a single written word to use for comparison.

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    74. Knight of Storm´s End,

      Thanks for that – I think you made very good points about Thorne’s actions, ones I really hadn’t considered at all. Esp forgot that really, the Wildings weren’t following Jon because they agreed with his peace, but because it was security from the WW. Need to think on this some more

      Someone upthread asked what was so good about Dorne in the books. Well to be honest, I was bored with it on first reading, and really didn’t care about it. On second reading (many years later) I was caught up in Arianne’s arc, and thought it interesting, but still it wasn’t one of those stories that I expected. What I do remember liking was the descriptions of the place, and when I heard what they were using for Highgarden I was ecstatic. But in reality not only did we see little of that gorgeous place, but the show ended up making the story arc as boring for me as when I first read it. So…..in answer to your questions – it wasn’t, and the show didn’t make it better.

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    75. I love how bent out of shape people on here get when others dare to even criticize the show. The moment you buck the trend you’re automatically dismissed as a book reader, why can’t it be that the quality of writing from the show has dipped in recent seasons? You don’t need to have knowledge of ASOIF to know that the show isn’t up to the same caliber as it use to be.

      This other notion that “oh AFFC and ADWD suck” also doesn’t hold up, it’s an adaptation so D & D have the ability to improve on the material, which frankly I don’t believe they did at all during S5. Dorne\”Bad Pussy” being a prime example.

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    76. Trystane,

      1) How is Castle Black and more notorious than any other castle? Furthermore, this is a survival situation; they should be attempting to get south of the Wall as quickly as possible, and don’t have time for symbolic gestures.

      2) Even if we accept that the writers had Jon go north through the gate with this in mind (rather than, as I suspect, simply getting the directions wrong, as they do again with his return) that still doesn’t explain why Jon and company could not have come south of the Wall through Eastwatch and then marched 150 miles to Castle Black south of the Wall instead of north of it.

      3) In the instance where they are referred to as artists, they butcher men and horses without leaving a single survivor. Furthermore, they butchered thousands of people at Hardhome in front of Jon. He has no reason to think that they care about toying with him, and even if he did, he has no reason to take such a risk by staying North of the Wall any longer than absolutely necessary. There is no tangible benefit to traveling to Castle Black north of the Wall rather than south of it.

      4) There is absolutely nothing in the show that suggests that the men at Eastwatch by the Sea are somehow less amenable to the wildlings coming south than the men of Castle Black. Furthermore, if Jon was that concerned about more than 1/3 of the Watch openly rebelling against him, then he would never have made the trip. If convincing them beforehand was virtually impossible, then convincing them afterward with a veritable horde of wildlings in their midst, as you suggest Jon was trying to do, would be even more difficult. It’s also important to note that in season 1, Lord Commander Mormont tells Jon that Cotter Pyke’s rangers found wights and burned them, which suggests that Pyke would be more understanding of how necessary it is to get the wildlings south of the Wall before they too become wights.

      5) If miscommunication was that big of an issue, Jon should have sent letters to, or met with, all relevant parties, like Eastwatch, Umbers, etc. Again, if an attack from the Umbers or other Northern lords near the Wall was that much of a possibility, then Jon would never have considered settling the wildlings right next to Northern lords in the Gift, because they Umbers would have eventually attacked them. Also, if the Umbers cared at all about fighting wildlings, they would have helped the Watch when they got Aemon’s letter.

      6) Where the wildlings go through the Wall has absolutely no bearing on where they eventually settle. If they can walk 150 miles north of the Wall to get to Castle Black and settle near there, then they can walk 150 miles south of the Wall after entering through Eastwatch.

      7) The show makes no reference to any remaining bands of wildlings near the Wall. If they were there, Tormund would have mentioned them, and it would have made far more sense for Jon to secure those wildlings closer to the Wall first before going a significantly longer distance to Hardhome.

      8) No, it is extremely weird that Jon makes a point to borrow Stannis’ ships and promise that he’ll return them, and that the show actually spends a portion of its precious CGI budget showing the fleet, only to completely forget about them next episode so that Jon can approach Castle Black from the wrong direction, on the wrong side of the Wall, for a cheap stare-off. At the end of the day, the only reason this scene existed was so that we could have a “dramatic” scene where Jon and Alliser face off for a few seconds (which was ruined anyway in the stills from the episode HBO released beforehand, showing Jon at Castle Black), completely devoid of any logical connection to the preceding events, which in turn muddies the motivations behind Alliser’s eventual mutiny, a problem that is in and of itself representative of this season’s repeated abandonment of both consistent characterization and internal logic for shock value.

      Jessica,

      Where is this whining about “book purists” coming from? The vast majority of the arguments made by the roundtable have been about the show’s own internal flaws, not indiscriminate condemnation of any and all deviations from the book.

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    77. Man, that guy who says hes not coming back for season 6, but spends all this time doing a roundtable and giving his opinions……….
      I am not really sure what point they were making regarding the homosexuality portrayal? I didn’t feel like it came out of nowhere. It was obvious that the Sparrows have recently begun going around Kings Landing and doing their thing where as before they weren’t as prominent.. clearly the people of kings landing needed help as the city becomes worse and worse, so the Sparrows were also there providing for the needy, Meh.. didn’t seem out of place.
      As for Meryn Trant… I actually think that what they showed us about him a good way to explain why he did that to Sansa. The hound wasn’t a very nice guy but didn’t agree with such behaviour. This explained to me more why Meryn Trant was okay with Joffrey’s behaviour.
      FTW – for a regular TV audience – the faces of Olly and Thorne and some other NW brothers that gave him a stare down and expressed discontent with Jon bringing the wildlings, I think was enough to show people that the brothers were betraying him. Personally I don’t think that they needed more familiar faces to give the effect. I hated that scene and it bothered me that he would have to go this way, but in terms of who stabbed him and who we knew, I think it was enough to convey that it was a mutiny. Why does it have to be exactly like Caesar?
      I am ignoring Sansa complaints. They are just ridiculous. Stannis as well. 7 seasons only. They cant go in too much detail.
      I couldn’t finish reading the article to be quite honest.. I skimmed through the rest and saw someone mention how during daznak’s pit he asked himself a bunch of questions why this how that why this — meanwhile I got chills watching it. Some people have trouble enjoying things lightly. Ah well.
      Oh and Sue, your parts were my favorite.

      I cant wait to binge watch season 5.. gonna start this week! Except, not sure how I can watch FTW. That one really hurts.

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    78. TheTouchOfFrost:
      Think for a second. How interesting would the article be everyone just said ‘It was all great. Nothing could have been done better and I don’t question any of the decisions made?’.

      How interesting would the article be everyone just said ‘It was all bad’ ?

      And we just got that.

      I don’t want them to be fanboys of the show, but I also don’t want to read hate watching comments and comments from person who stopped waching the show in E4 this season. (and not only I, because there are many others who didn’t like this text)

      I don’t want, and I won’t. .I didn’t like part 1, I thought part 2 would be better. I was wrong. I won’t read part 3. End of story. Problem solved.

      As I said, I don’t want to spread more negativity here, because there is enough of that.

        Quote  Reply

    79. si91,

      LOL… You are still hung-up on Jon arriving south of The Wall?

      As I already stated:

      The reason why Jon Snow arrived with the wildlings south of The Wall is because when Stannis arrived at the end of season 4 to save The Wall he had to dock all his ships to the south of The Wall to move his troops in place as fast as possible.

      Stannis’s troops didn’t come out of The Walls Gate… All Jon did was dock the boats back where he found them, south of The Wall.

      Why are people so hungup on this? Really? You’re going to belittle a show because of where boats were docked?

      There, Jon arriving south of The Wall in the TV show storyline explained.

      Please pick another nitpick…

        Quote  Reply

    80. Arthur,

      Jon didn’t arrive South of the Wall. He arrived North of the Wall, and that is the problem. It made no sense for him to travel North of the Wall when he could have gone South. The reason this is being nit picked is that it is logical inconsistency that did not need to be there. Jon and company could have arrived at the Wall without incident, but didn’t so that Alliser could have a meaningless face off with Jon. However, this weakens the rationale behind Jon’s eventual assassination because nothing changed between Jon’s arrival with the wildlings and Jon’s eventual assassination, so that the mutineer’s supposed motive was Jon’s bringing the wildling South makes no sense. If Alliser had such a problem with that, he should have left Jon and the wildlings North to die, instead of letting them in.

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    81. si91,

      OMG, I messed up!

      I meant why he arrived NORTH of The Wall…

      Because, my imaginative thinking, didn’t Stannis arrive with his army NORTH of The Wall. His army didn’t come through The Wall’s gate.

      So that being said, he most have docked his boats NORTH of The Wall, lets say, for the saving of time to deploy his troops as fast as possible.

      So Jon just docked them where he found them, NORTH (not south my bad) of The Wall.

        Quote  Reply

    82. si91,

      Thorne has been characterized as someone who puts the Watch above everything. Jon still had supporters at the Wall, so locking him out could have led to a civil war. Also, Stannis was still alive and was in full support of Jon as Lord Commander. It was only after Stannis died that Ser Alliser made his move, doing so at night so no one would know he had a hand in it. In the morning, when Jon is found dead, Alliser can take charge and put all the blame on the wildlings.

        Quote  Reply

    83. mau,

      It was far from all bad. There was a lot of criticism and as to why folks didn’t think certain things worked but it was all contructive and reasoned. IF it was just people saying this was great and then everyone agreeing them then what would there really be to discuss?
      It was a season that was always going to be under the magnifying glass and I think that’s fair. I think most people agree it was good but not great ( but good GoT as others have mentioned is still better than the vast majority of TV). There were parts that quite rightly need criticising. The fact that people care to do it shows how much they care about the show not how much they dislike it.
      Hate to say it but your earlier rants and ones of others come off as very fanboyish. Going at people’s throats because they dare criticise your show. Glad you’ve chilled out a bit but you’ve got to realise this will continue and to be part of the community you’re gonna have to accept that it’s gonna happen. Next time just walk on by.

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    84. Arthur,

      The complaint about landing north of the Wall is one of the more nitpicky arguments I’ve seen in a while. To me, it makes sense that you walk over to the entryway North of the Wall, rather than walk past possibly hostile areas south of the Wall.

      But even if it doesn’t make complete sense, is it really worth complaining about? To me, having a dramatic face-off with Thorne (and the reaction from the Night’s Watch to seeing the wildlings) was worth any small inconsistency. The only people who noticed and cared about this were book-reader nitpickers, which is the litmus test for whether it’s a legit complaint or not.

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    85. Hodor Targaryen,

      I agree, but my whole point is they can’t even nitpick this.

      Because freaking Stannis arrived NORTH of The Wall with his army at the end of season 4. He didn’t dock his ships south of The Wall and come out of The Wall’s gates when he attacked.

      So he must have docked NORTH of The Wall to deploy troops faster, so now realizing this, doesn’t it make sense Jon docking them back NORTH of the wall and walking to the gate?

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    86. 1) Half of the angry fans…. The backlash was predictable. The moment GRRM and D&D confirmed the show would pass the books. Many of the online folks were going to hate this season no matter the quality. They were going to justify their hate and mask it as legit critisms.

      2) Other half of the angry fans… once something becomes too popular, some people just want to tear it down. We have seen this in our society a million times. People are either building something up or trying to ruin it. There is very little status quo in our society.

      3) The quality of the season has not changed from last year. The season started slowly like every season (minus season 4) and built up towards the end.

      4) I have seen half of the people complaining saying the show rushed the plot lines. The other half said the season was too slow. D&D literally can’t win.

      5) The source material… books 4 & 5 are not adaptable for television. Too many new characters. Too many pointless plot points for the established character . The content had to be changed. This is the same two books that GRRM has been stuck on and can’t push the story forward after a decade. The show greatly improved on a horrible foundation.

      6) I am a firm believer that if the Red Wedding happened on television before it happened in the books… that the book readers would be complaining about how poorly the show is doing. There has been a real swagger by book readers because they knew what was going to happen. The show stole that power from them. And with that power gone…. backlash ensued.

      7) For the folks complaining about the finale being rushed or having too many cliff hangers… blame GRRM for that one. Book 5 pushed too many main plot lines to the end of that book. And the show tried to give GRRM more time to finish book 6 before spoiling the content. This is why Jon’s fate was a cliffhanger. This is why Bran was not included. The show suffered out of pity for the author to catch up.

      8) Keep up all this garbage talking. You folks are ruining it for yourselves. Major companies will be afraid to touch great science fiction and fantasy television shows if all they are going to get is an ungrateful fan base.

      9) I am a firm believer that the books aren’t half as good as some people think. Too much talk about food. Many times it is 100 pages or more before the plot advances. Books 4 and 5 needed heavy editing. And for as much smack talking as GRRM does about Tolkien universe…. his universe is filled with too many corny concepts. Too many fake deaths or rebirth or characters being confused. The show has greatly improved on many of the horrible pitfalls of the books and is overall much better because of it.

      10) Dorne was bad this season. Even great shows have small blunders.

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    87. Arthur:
      si91,
      OMG, I messed up!

      I meant why he arrived NORTH of The Wall…

      Because, my imaginative thinking, didn’t Stannis arrive with his army NORTH of The Wall.His army didn’t come through The Wall’s gate.

      So that being said, he most have docked his boats NORTH of The Wall, lets say, for the saving of time to deploy his troops as fast as possible.

      So Jon just docked them where he found them, NORTH (not south my bad) of The Wall.

      Stannis unloaded his men at Eastwatch, because they needed to be north of the Wall for his surprise attack. He certainly didn’t leave them there, and if the show changed that, again, that’s both an illogical change, a change not suggested in the show itself, and a deliberate one that, as I explained in my main point, exists only to create a scene between Jon and Alliser and the visual of the Wildlings passing through the main gate that undercuts the logic of their subsequent confrontation. My whole point was that if they writers had not created that scene, Jon’s assassination would work much better.

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    88. Hodor Targaryen,

      There are no “possibly hostile areas” south of the Wall, because if there were, Jon would not consider settling the wildlings there. The dramatic face off with Thorne was ultimately meaningless and anticlimatic. More importantly, as Sean C points, out, the face off means that Alliser was okay with letting the wildlings through, only to suddenly and inexplicably change his mind to such an extant that he was willing to murder his Lord Commander. This is sloppy writing, and deserves criticism because the scene that threw a wrench in the works was both illogical and unnecessary. If you wanted to see the reaction of the brothers when the wildling arrive, you could have seen that whether they arrived from the north or from the east.

      Arthur,

      Even if Stannis docked north of the Wall near Eastwatch and Jon returned the ships there, they should have crossed south of the Wall *through Eastwatch* and proceeded to Castle Black behind the Wall, instead of going north of it to return through Castle Black.

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    89. Sean C.: No, Sansa was so broken down that she wanted to die. She was totally defeated.

      Sansa was not so broken down that she wanted to die: rather she was willing to die before she would let them break her down.

      If I’m going to die, let it happen while there’s still some of me left.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Sean C.,

      Why can’t you use you imagination and rationalize that? Off the top of my head I can think of many things.

      1). Jon wanted to take them through the main center gate because they would all have to be there eventually to assign out lots of land whatever.

      2). Maybe a lot of Stannis’s men are still all camped around that East Watch area and Jon didn’t want to bring a band of Wildlings roaming through Stannis’s armies camp.

      3). Maybe they thought it best, after what they have just seen, to collect and burn any remaining corpses from the battle at The Wall.

      Just use your wit and imagination, in an hour long show with so many storylines D&D can’t fill in every blank.

        Quote  Reply

    91. TheTouchOfFrost:
      mau,

      It was far from all bad. There was a lot of criticism and as to why folks didn’t think certain things worked but it was all contructive and reasoned.

      I don’t think that everything was constructive and reasoned.

      But the problem is, they just said what they didn’t like. And what they liked? Nothing, it seems.

      And everyone needs to mention Dorne. Fine, we get it. But I don’t think that Dorne was good in the book either. The main problem is – we don’t care. We don’t care about the characters, their plots, their lives,…

      IF it was just people saying this was great and then everyone agreeing them then what would there really be to discuss?

      You don’t get it. I don’t think that any show can be just people saying this was great and then everyone agreeing.

      Because, every story has its problems.

      But, if you see only problems, I think that is really annoying and that was the reason people hated this article.

      Tell me what positive they said about the show? They said some things in 2 sentences and then the whole text of ranting.

      There were parts that quite rightly need criticising.

      I agree, but there were parts that were great and outstanding this season.

      90% of the scenes were fine, good or great.

      The fact that people care to do it shows how much they care about the show not how much they dislike it.

      Some of them, maybe. Some of them are just annoying nerds. You can’t tell me that person who is so proud of stopping watching the show care about objectivity.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Young Dragon,

      Killing Jon and putting the blame on the wildlings will cause civil war too. In fact, a civil war between the brothers at Castle Black would be less destructive than a civil war between the wildlings and the Watch now that the wildlings have come South of the Wall.

      Arthur,

      This isn’t an issue of failing to fill in blanks, it’s an issue of creating a blank that wasn’t necessary. The possible explanations you give don’t make any sense. The problem is not that they are at Castle Black, but that they got there going North of the Wall when they have literally no reason to do so. If they need to be at Castle Black to redistribute land, they could just as easily have gotten there by coming south through Eastwatch and going to Castle Black behind the protection of the Wall. Additionally, Stannis has no soldiers at Eastwatch beyond those needed to man the ships, and if they had any problems with wildlings, they would never have agreed to help fetch them in the first place. The corpses from the Battle at the Wall were all burned in the finale of last season, and have absolutely no bearing on the route Jon takes to get to Castle Black.

        Quote  Reply

    93. si91,

      Even if Stannis docked north of the Wall near Eastwatch and Jon returned the ships there, they should have crossed south of the Wall *through Eastwatch* and proceeded to Castle Black behind the Wall, instead of going north of it to return through Castle Black.

      Please see my comment above, all it takes is a little “outside the books” imagination to answer this perceived “error of logic”.

      Here is the link Arthur,

      I mean, I thought of these things in 2mins. Why couldn’t you?

        Quote  Reply

    94. Sean C.: Stannis unloaded his men at Eastwatch, because they needed to be north of the Wall for his surprise attack.He certainly didn’t leave them there, and if the show changed that, again, that’s both an illogical change, a change not suggested in the show itself, and a deliberate one that, as I explained in my main point, exists only to create a scene between Jon and Alliser and the visual of the Wildlings passing through the main gate that undercuts the logic of their subsequent confrontation.My whole point was that if they writers had not created that scene, Jon’s assassination would work much better.

      Not an illogical change. A change nobody but people wanting to hate on the show would care about.

      Stannis attacks the Wildlings. Do we need to know how it was set up? Who cares.

        Quote  Reply

    95. si91,

      We don’t know the plan on how to deal with the wildlings yet. Maybe Thorne is planning on making a pact with the Boltons. We’ll know more next season, but so far, his actions and reasoning is consistent with his character.

        Quote  Reply

    96. The same BS like every season.

      Without Tysha Tyrion did’t have motive to kill Tywin…

      Without PL, Thorne didn’t have motive to kill Jon…

      yada yada yada …

        Quote  Reply

    97. Sean C.: She wanted to die, rather than continue the way she was — you can see that from her reaction when Myranda tells her that she’s not going to kill her. The final conversation between the two of them is an explicit debunking of everything Sansa said in the bath scene in episode 6: it turns out that Winterfell isn’t her home, they can frighten her, and they have so thoroughly beaten her that the best she can hope for is to die quickly.

      I’ve never been a Sansa fan, but I must say that I strongly disagree with your interpretation of Sansa as broken and wanting to die. Are you saying that she should have stayed so she could be tortured and raped over and over and over again, and that would prove she had agency? Or would that actually prove she had arrogance and stupidity? For she that fights and runs away may live to fight another day.

      Better to die while there’s still something left than to become a physically and emotionally castrated Reek.

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    98. Arthur,

      Because, aside from the fact that, as I mentioned earlier, your explanations don’t make any sense, I shouldn’t have to make excuses for the writers. If Jon is shown sailing back to Eastwatch, there’s no reason why he should suddenly be North of the Wall, least of all for some meaningless stare-down.

        Quote  Reply

    99. I was utterly disappointed in reading this roundtable discussion not because I dislike discussion and criticism, but because I dislike circlejerk. The only real argument here was “No, I hate it more than you!” and “You’re wrong, X storyline was the worst, not Y storyline!” It was a competition in who could out-hate the others.

      Valid criticism is interesting and appreciated, which is why I read the comments here, though I rarely participate. This roundtable was…just …bad.

      I did not love everything about this season, not in the least. But it becomes difficult for me to logically criticize when I am faced with a wall of irrational outrage, and this is irrational outrage.

      With any work of fiction, the reader/viewer is required to suspend disbelief. This is where the nitpicking becomes ridiculous. A fantasy story requires even more suspension of disbelief than other fictional works. I mean, you can believe that a woman stepped into a funeral pyre with three eggs and walked out unscathed with three dragons but you can’t believe that a reactionary militant religious organization which has destroyed the majority of wine in the city would have a stricter view of incest and homosexuality than all the other characters we have met before? Uhm. What?

      Who cares where Stannis docked his ships? Who cares from which direction the Wildlings approached? That is not the story. It does not matter. What matters is the Wildlings made it to the Wall, that Thorne reluctantly let them in and that Jon was not convinced it would work. What matters is that Thorne was seething with resentment when Aemon died. What mattered is that Jon did not bring Thorne into his inner circle and instead had that discussion with Sam, whom he let leave the Night’s Watch with a Wildling woman. That’s the story. Not “The boats approached from the North.” This is not a historical battle re-enactment. This is a fictional drama with some pretty soap opera-y overtones.

      I would really love the “I’m never going to watch this show again. D&D are poo-poo heads!” people would just go away so that everyone else could discuss the show, its great moments and its flaws, intelligently and articulately without having to defend against poor reasoning and inane arguments.

      Oh…and people don’t know what the fuck “lazy writing” means, so they should stop using the term. “Lazy writing” is a character monologuing to an empty room to convey backstory or extended use of voiceovers to relay character thought. It is not lazy writing when you don’t like the story being told.

      So please stop using the term “lazy writing” to criticize the plot of a story you do not like or enjoy. Using the incorrect term is…lazy writing.

        Quote  Reply

    100. si91:
      Arthur,

      Because, aside from the fact that, as I mentioned earlier, your explanations don’t make any sense, I shouldn’t have to make excuses for the writers. If Jon is shown sailing back to Eastwatch, there’s no reason why he should suddenly be North of the Wall, least of all for some meaningless stare-down.

      Who cares. Who Fricken cares. If that is the level of detail you need to get down to in order to complain about the show… the fault is on you not the writers.

        Quote  Reply

    101. mau,

      Anyone who follows the majority of those who took part in that Roundtable knows the vast majority of them regualrly heap praise on the show. It also gets treated very well by the critics and viewers alike. One roundtable that may have leaned more towards the negative isn’t a reason to throw the toys out of the pram.
      Dorne was probably the only part of the whole series of books that really dragged for me (along with some of Brienne’s wandering). I didn’t know anyhting nor care anything about the characters before and with no other characters I cared or knew about around thre I struggled to stay interested. Only really Doran and Arianne who made themselves even slightly distinguishable. The hsow had the chance to adapt away some of those problems and sending Jaime down there was a good idea. Problem was the execution was awful. Can’t blame that on the books!
      Again, you’re name-calling because people have a different opinion to you! Maybe the person who isn’t going to watch it anymore is being genuine? Is there any reason why he cant hold that opinion? Do they deserve to be ridiculed because of it? You don’t agree with the article. Fine, but you can’t say people are wrong for holding their own opinions.

        Quote  Reply

    102. si91,

      Again…

      Why can’t you use you imagination and rationalize that? Off the top of my head I can think of many things.

      1). Jon wanted to take them through the main center gate because they would all have to be there eventually to assign out lots of land whatever.

      2). Maybe a lot of Stannis’s men are still all camped around that East Watch area and Jon didn’t want to bring a band of Wildlings roaming through Stannis’s armies camp.

      3). Maybe they thought it best, after what they have just seen, to collect and burn any remaining corpses from the battle at The Wall.

      Just use your wit and imagination, in an hour long show with so many storylines D&D can’t fill in every blank.

      As much as you can nitpick to try to tear something down I can reverse nitpick and put it back together again.

      However, if you want to argue something like D&D using all their budget to have CotF throw silly fireballs and leaving an underwhelming looking Bloodraven, I would agree that was really bad.

      That Bloodraven should have been Bran’s HUGE payoff, he spent FOREVER looking for him and we get some lame old man sitting in a chair basically. They ruined that payoff, IMO, and instead focused on CGI skeletons and fireballs, that was a poor choice, IMO.

      If you want to say, Dorne storyline this season was weak and silly 75% of the time, I would agree.

      But going on and on about Jon arriving north of the wall instead of south, really?

        Quote  Reply

    103. Vinny Chase:
      These are physically painful to read. If you hate the show so much, stick to the damn books and leave the rest of us who enjoy be. So sick of the constant negativity. Looking forward at least to more of the comments from WOTW staff, which I’m certain will be much fairer. Glad Sue mentioned to look at this as a TV show and not a novel, which some people are somehow incapable of doing. /rant

      Haven’t watched/read anything yet but pretty much this

      I constructively criticise at times, but a lot of people don’t seem to grasp that in terms of depth and exploring themes a visual medium has to do it differently to novels

      As long as it’s intelligent

      Eg everyone hates Olly but there was a point, which goes into children and destruction of innocence, thematically they represent future, eg with the Others there is no future (child Wights), with R’hlorrism there is no future (Shireen but also Baratheon dynasty/House has crumbled), the Night’s Watch has turned on itself and IMO will crumble (Olly stabbing LC in the heart)

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    104. TheTouchOfFrost:
      mau,

      I’m sorry but you’re in full control of your own actions. If you don’t like what’s being said (especially after being so vocal about it in the last one) then avoid this thread. You’re not contributing anything or countering any of their points. All you’re doing is moaning and throwing silly insults like ‘book purist’ about.Now this may blow your mind but you can actually like, if not love the show but still be critical of aspects of it. Also, not everyone who criticises the show is a ‘book purist’ and not everyone who’s read the books disagrees with all the changes.There’s a lot of black and white thinking by yourself and a lot of other folks around here lately andit leads to people taking more extreme positions. If you can’t accept that people have different opinions to you (for whatever reason) then I don’t think these forums are the place for you.Think for a second. How interesting would the article be everyone just said ‘It was all great. Nothing could have been done better and I don’t question any of the decisions made?’.Will leave you with two quotes.

      “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale

      “Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
      – Miguel Angel Ruiz

      Clap, clap, clap, clap!

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    105. People who really love the show are the ones that are truly sad that it didn’t reach his full potential in the last season, and wish it can get better but pointing out its flaws.

      Those that can’t see anything wrong with someone/something are either in love or lying. The show is not perfect, Why can’t we talk about what we didn’t like without being accused of being book purists? I don’t even remember the books anymore ffs, but this season had many flaws that have been pointed out in the discussion. People just choose to ignore it and instead focus on insulting the reviewers.

      For me its a 6.5/10 and it’s a shame because it used to be a 9/10.

      O well, such a shame

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    106. I don’t go to theforce.net and see that website bashing the Star Wars movies or television shows. I never saw theonering.net guys bashing the middle-earth movies (and they could have with the hobbit trilogy). They really celebrate the content as a fan website should.

      There is no reason to see the GOT websites bashing the show. There are many places people can go online to bash anything they want. These fan websites should be above them. It is about celebrating the content.

      That’s not saying that the show is perfect. It isn’t. These websites aren’t the place to make people feel bad about the show. Think about that for a second. This website is publishing material that is attempting to get the fans to think more negatively about the show they are supposed to be celebrating.

      Sad what places like this have become. And WiC is even worse now. And the Westeros Forum makes the others look like happy places.

      When I want to celebrate Star Wars I have a place to go. There is no longer a place like that on the Web for Game of Thrones. The crazies have taken over.

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    107. Sean C.,

      I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the pre-season writer’s room for season 5.
      While I enjoyed season 5 I have the overall feeling that the story would have been served better by adapting AFFC/ADWD over two seasons instead of 1 season. I have read umpteen unsullied reactions to this season and many of the complaints revolve around rushed story lines, not enough dialogue and not enough episodes.

      Aside from their love of the Reek/Jeyne Poole arc would you consider Sophie Turner’s rising status as a strong factor for D&D placing Sansa in Winterfell? After all “[they] love Sophie.” In your opinion could the mismanagement you have seen with Sansa’s overall arc be
      attributed to D&D being too afraid to give Sophie a chance at a meaty storyline? Or is it because they thought the Vale arc would be too boring for the mainstream audiences? For that reasoning I point to the very loud hatred the UnSullied have demonstrated for the Arya arc.

      Or was there (outside of the shock value factor and substituting Jeyne with Sansa) necessity for Sansa’s character to lose her virginity in some fashion? Could Harry Heir or (ugh) Littlefinger be impregnating her in the future?

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    108. The Bastard: There is no longer a place like that on the Web for Game of Thrones. The crazies have taken over.

      You mean the people that don’t agree with you? Or maybe is that the show is not as good as it used to be?

      So you are saying that even if the show gets much worse, like bad (instead of just good as the last season was) people should not say it so the people that would rather be blind to it would have a place to go to feel reassured of their insecurities??

      So far I’d say 90% of people that write here think the show is great, even if some (most?) think it could be better, or that season 5 had more issues than season 4.

      It’s not the end of the world

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    109. The Bastard,

      So it’s my fault for expecting logical consistency from the writers? It’s wrong for me to hold them to a high standard that really shouldn’t be that hard for them to reach, considering that they clearly go out of their way to fall short if it means contrived drama?

      Arthur,

      This isn’t an issue of failing to fill in blanks, it’s an issue of creating a blank that wasn’t necessary. The possible explanations you give don’t make any sense. The problem is not that the wildlings are at Castle Black, but that they got there going North of the Wall when they have literally no reason to do so. If they need to be at Castle Black to redistribute land, they could just as easily have gotten there by coming south through Eastwatch and going to Castle Black behind the protection of the Wall. Additionally, Stannis has no soldiers at Eastwatch beyond those needed to man the ships, and if they had any problems with wildlings, they would never have agreed to help fetch them in the first place. The corpses from the Battle at the Wall were all burned in the finale of last season, and have absolutely no bearing on the route Jon takes to get to Castle Black.

      Furthermore, where exactly do you draw the line with this “wit and imagination” stuff? Your complains aren’t really all that different, after all. Why not just use some “wit and imagination” to imagine Bloodraven in all his glory instead of the weak CGI we eventually got? Why not just imagine the Manderly’s since they were cut in favor of Porne? Hell, why not just counsel everyone to stop watching the show and use their “wit and imagination” to imagine everything since the show keeps making mistakes?

      HotPinkLipstick,

      For someone who spent a lot of them whining about lazy writing, your own post was full of vague condemnation and lazy generalizations. You do realize that the roundtable members were as critical as they were because they have genuinely enjoyed the show in previous seasons and are thus rather disappointed because it did not measure up to its established reputation, right? They hold it to a high standard, and I really don’t think it’s fair to demand that they lower it.

      All of your criticisms of the roundtable discussion are off point. For instance, comparing Dany’s dragons hatching with the Faith’s homophobia is ridiculous. The former is a supernatural event and therefore we aren’t supposed to expect any logical explanation behind it. With regards to the latter, however, the criticism made by the roundtable was *not* the homophobia per se, but rather that it was suddenly introduced with little background information in previous seasons to suggest that homosexuality was anything more than distasteful, let alone a religious sin that warranted arrest and punishment. All that they’re really asking for is more context; that really isn’t too much to ask. The roundtable in turn presents this as part of a very legitimate larger criticism that the sparrows literally appear out of nowhere with no explanation connecting the suffering of the smallfolk during the war to sparrow’s reformist agenda. People who are criticizing the show are not criticizing it because they refuse to suspend their disbelief (note that the roundtable doesn’t say anything about the supernatural events that require suspension of disbelief) but rather the appalling lack of internal logic and the contradictory/two dimensional characterization that occurs in main plotlines. They are not calling plotlines they don’t like lazy writing, they dislike the plotlines that they dislike precisely because the writing is full of holes….making it lazy. Not everyone enjoys television that requires them to turn their brains off.

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    110. I do agree with what Stefan said about how the the lack of a real Northern presence affected season 5 negatively; I’ve said the same thing since last season. We’re not given a clear enough picture on how the Bolton’s rule is being contested in the North beyond an old women, and a lord that we don’t even meet who refuses to pay his taxes. And I’ll also mention that the North shouldn’t even be entertaining the idea of letting Roose rule. The Freys don’t have (as the show has shown so far) any hostages from noble Northern houses and Roose murdered their king and helped slaughter their kin. Those hostages were the only reason that many of the lords didn’t just storm The Dreadfort in retribution.

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    111. si91,

      Okay, I respect your opinion but I do not want to argue about such a petty thing any longer.

      To me, I could care less about if Jon Snow arrived North or South of The Wall.

      I came to terms with it in a way that I can still enjoy everything about that episode. I guess things like that are really important to you and just eat away at your soul and in your opinion ruin the show.

      You keep searching for tiny little insignificant things like that to ruin your experience while watching the show for yourself if you want. Doesn’t bother me none.

      The reasons I gave you make perfect sense in my mind.

      Btw, how do you know where the huge bulk of Stannis’s forces pitched camp? The books? Because they never made that fact known in the show.

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    112. Pau: You mean the people that don’t agree with you? Or maybe is that the show is not as good as it used to be?

      So you are saying that even if the show gets much worse, like bad (instead of just good as the last season was) people should not say it so the people that would rather be blind to it would have a place to go to feel reassured of their insecurities??

      So far I’d say 90% of people that write here think the show is great, even if some (most?) think it could be better, or that season 5 had more issues than season 4.

      It’s not the end of the world

      The show hasn’t gone down in quality. Sa me quality as past seasons.

      And I’m saying that other fan websites take the high road on the content they are covering. They are servicing people who enjoy the content. They don’t bash it like these websites are starting to do.

      The GOT community in general has turned into a nasty set of people and places. And the websites who cover it are certainly partially to blame.

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    113. si91

      No. You’re just wrong. This, THIS is the problem. People can’t discuss issues with the show logically and intelligently because instead of understanding the terms people use, such as “suspension of disbelief” and “lazy writing”, as actual terms of art, you willfully misunderstand and nitpick at the terms. Terms you really should know if you’re going to criticize.

      I can’t express my valid issues with the show because I’m forced to defend against your irrationality. You’re wrong. Instead of addressing issues, you move the goal posts. Instead of defending against points, you build up straw men to knock them down.

      I don’t care if they used to like the show and want it to be better. I don’t care that once upon a time they loved it. I don’t care that it’s not fulfilling their expectations. I care that they are writing terrible, nonsensical, bad critique.

      And I’ve read your other posts and …well…you’re going to continue to throw arrows and call whatever you hit the target. That’s bad critique as well.

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    114. Arthur,

      The main difference between us is that, when the show made it very clear that Jon was trying to get as many people south of the Wall as possible, I was surprised that he showed up North of the Wall, when he had no reason whatsoever to be there. The very fact that we have to *make up* explanations as to why he is there bothers me. Apparently, it doesn’t bother you. We’ll have to agree to disagree regarding that. As far as Stannis’ forces are concerned, we know he showed up at Eastwatch, but he obviously didn’t stay there because he brought his men to Castle Black to fight Mance’s horde. The book explicitly tells us that he only left a handful of virtually useless people, like the old and wounded, at the Wall; he took his best men to fight. The show gives us no reason to believe he left a substantial number of men at the Wall, let alone at Eastwatch. At any rate, the fact that Stannis let Jon borrow the ships in the first place suggests that Stannis’ men should know not to interfere with what Jon is doing, lest their king, who does approve of Jon’s actions, get angry.

      HotPinkLipstick,

      It would be easier to take you seriously if you spent less time whining about how the roundtable is “terrible” “nonsensical” “bad” and a “circlejerk” and more time actually explaining why you thought it was so awful. It’s criticism like this that makes me wonder whether you even read the roundable discussion, because believe it or not, they actually did talk about things they liked. You claim you want to discuss the show logically and intelligently, yet your slamming of the roundable contains precious little of either. Petulantly saying “You’re wrong” and accusing me of being irrational without explanation does not constitute a logical or intelligent argument. You accuse me of strawmen, yet your own nonsensical misrepresentation and criticism of the roundtable’s discussion on homosexuality was exactly that. I mean seriously, if contemptuously dismissing something as a “circlejerk” with little context is an intelligent criticism by your standards, then I really don’t know what to say. In contrast, the roundtable was far more nuanced and not nearly as shrill as you are being.

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    115. si91,

      I guess it all comes down to our opinions of what we view as important aspects of the show, and not so important aspects of the show.

      You find these details important while I do not and because of that I do not mind rationalizing things in my head to come up with my own reasons when the show does not specifically explain them.

      We are all entitled to our opinions and we all have different tastes in music, art, whatever. If Jon arriving North and not South of The Wall really bothers you, as apparently it does, then I don’t know what to say other then…

      I highly doubt more then .05% of the GoT viewership noticed or even cared about such a thing, only folks like us would even think of it, and the vast majority of folks like us rationalize it away and don’t let it bother us.

      I am not trying to dismiss your opinion but I am just saying you are in a HUGE minority of people that would even notice this, and in even a greater minority of people who care.

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    116. I really am baffled at the negative response to this Round Table. I would often jokingly describe myself as a book “purist”, except that I am realistically willing to forgive book changes and story line consolidation for the sake of good television story-telling…

      My problem is not so much the fact that changes from the book have been made. My greatest issues have to deal with terrible writing and adaptation that resulted from these changes… Cian’s comments in the Round Table Part II beautifully summarize my issues with Season 5, and they’re all central to whether or not the writers and show-runners can create a solid piece of work despite the adaptation that I may or may not necessarily agree with as a book-reader.

      Most of my complaints, and most of those by other book readers as far as I have been able to tell, are complaints I’m surprised more Unsullied don’t share with us. I must say that I disagree with Sue’s comments in the Round Table, namely:

      Characterization has to be simplified. Half the audience can barely keep track of people’s names, and some of you guys want incredibly complex backstories with hinted-at plot turns?

      The show, in the past, has done a fantastic job at simplifying plots and characters in a way that is digestable for television. I don’t think that the complaints have anything to do with the inclusion or lack of convoluted and extensive backstories, as Sue suggests. It has all to do with, for example,

      1) whether the character simplifications are done believably (Dorne, where characters can be omitted, and those kept are artfully crafted and not reduced to arguably racist incarnations of sex and vengeance);

      2) that even when used sparingly in any one episode or across the season, that these characters are written in a way in which watchers become invested in then, positively or negatively (e.g., Karsi the wildling was done fantastically);

      3) that the pacing is done in a way that makes sense (see Cian’s comments on the careful and steady crash-and-burn that was The King in the North, versus Stannis’s two-episode long demise);

      4) that the quality is consistent across episodes (see the GRANDEUR that was “Hardhome”, and apply that to every. damn. episode.);

      …and etc.

      Again, nothing to do with us being “book wankers”.

      Finally, I disagree that just because some show-watchers are unable to remember every character’s name that it necessarily requires the writers pander to them for it by reducing plots and characterization to less-than stellar scripts. Show-watchers are intelligent enough and appreciative of well-constructed writing to not only follow along, but continually demand a high-quality product (especially following the preceding four seasons which are consistently solid, despite some minor complaints or now-past controversies).

      Relatedly, this is directed at Sue: is this Round Table meant to be the be-all-end-all of Season 5 discussions on WotW? Or, will the website be open to further discussion (i.e., I was thinking of writing a follow-up to my guest post from before the season started)?

      I apologize if I rehashed anything already discussed in the comments, as I didn’t take the time to read through this entire comment thread. 🙂

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    117. Knight of Storm´s End,

      Whoaaaa!!! you truly think

      Loras gets out of this? I really didn’t think so, and joked regarding that it may not be over for him and a KG appointment and taking Dragonstone is still in the cards for him. It’s not that your speculation is without merit. I just don’t think the Tyrell’s are coming both out of this unscathed.
      My crackpot speculation on this is that somehow Loras will never confess, even when the supposed trial is conducted and request a trial by combat like Tyrion did; so will Cersei.

      And it might be they’ll pit Ser Robert Strong vs Loras Tyrell. That way Cersei & Loras will have both their trial by combat and whoever is left standing gets out of it. That would be Cersei by the grace of Ser Robert Strong, KG.

      I wonder if it can be done. Is it overkill? Probably. LOL It has been a very long day. I hate Mondays.

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    118. Phyllis Ashley: arguably racist incarnations of sex and vengeance

      I’m sorry for taking just that tiny little phrase out of everything you wrote, but while I may not agree with much of your assessment (and that’s fine always agreeing with everyone would be boring), that is the only part which made me go, “huh?”.

      To what (or whom) are you referring as being “arguably racist incarnations of sex and vengeance?”

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    119. I think most of the problems this season came from them trying to condense two books into one season (though in their defense, given the material in question, I think it was the only way to do it). As such, I’m looking forward to next season when the writers should have more freedom.

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    120. Cumsprite,

      LOL Nobody blames Martin here Mr. Sprite. Not for this. Not unless they’re your people. (Yes, it’s like you own them…)

      Oh, maybe if you mean it’s his fault that he wrote some of the most intricate, exciting, and quite controversial books in the genre so far and thus have created a very diverse fandom with lots of diverging opinions.

      In fact so interesting, that the screen adaptation has us here debating on which side of the Wall should Jon have landed the ships! I rest my case with that. Not even HP fandom had this kind of ship wars. #RomioneForevah #ThereIsNoHarmony

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    121. I can’t really complain about the Dorne and Ironborn changes since I skipped all their chapters. I guess I was right in not wasting my time, the show runners have the same mindset as me, we connect in some ways I guess LOL.

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    122. Ginevra,

      HAH! A #Hinny. I knew it! I knew I could not trust someone who’s handle is Ginevra! :p As long as the boy who lived is still on board of your ship we’re all good.

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    123. Ser Florian: Chad

      I take that line to mean that the Others project an aura of extreme cold around themselves, which in turn causes the air to mist up as any water vapor will condense. It certainly doesn’t imply that they can send some sort of magical fog anywhere they wish that kills people within seconds, but that is apparently stopped by leaky wooden walls. It actually takes quite a while to kill people with hypothermia (hours for air, 15-30 minutes in ice water), so the idea of everyone outside the wooden gate dropping dead from the cold within seconds doesn’t make a lot of sense. In any case, the show really hasn’t displayed this element of the Others to any significant extent, including moments after the scene we are discussing.

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    124. Tormund’s Woman,

      I’ll see your LOL and raise you a ROFLCOPTER. Had GM not sold the rights of ASOIAF to HBO or at least kept pace with their adaptation, these discussions wouldn’t be nearly so contentious. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it.

      And I see we are back to “my” people. I don’t have people in the manner you imply. Your implication denies a modest and sprawling tribe agency. I hear that’s a bad thing.

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    125. Arthur:
      si91,

      I guess it all comes down to our opinions of what we view as important aspects of the show, and not so important aspects of the show.

      You find these details important while I do not and because of that I do not mind rationalizing things in my head to come up with my own reasons when the show does not specifically explain them.

      We are all entitled to our opinions and we all have different tastes in music, art, whatever.If Jon arriving North and not South of The Wall really bothers you, as apparently it does, then I don’t know what to say other then…

      I highly doubt more then .05% of the GoT viewership noticed or even cared about such a thing, only folks like us would even think of it, and the vast majority of folks like us rationalize it away and don’t let it bother us.

      I am not trying to dismiss your opinion but I am just saying you are in a HUGE minority of people that would even notice this, and in even a greater minority of people who care.

      Count me as in the 0.05%, and yes, I thought it absurd. This to me is writing at its worst – an illogical plot hole merely to slightly enhance the look of one scene.

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    126. Chad Brick,

      Sorry, but “writing at its worst”? Apparently you never had the questionable pleasure to watch something with truely bad writing, like the movie “The Happening”. – And it’s not illogical (to use that term in a fantasy world is at least problematic, btw) , that is something that can’t be explained with valid reason (think recasts for example). Arthur has given a lot of possible explanations. Here are some of mine.

      1. Jon wanted to test Thorne’s loyalty and at the and was tricked by him.

      2. Jon was making a statement by bringing the Wildings trough the Wall. The Wall was a symbol of rejection and restriction for them for thousands of years, Jon doing what he did is him showing that this time is over now.

      3. Jon found it to risky to land in a port south of the Wall. Letting the Wildings settle in the Gift is problematic in it’s own right, but at least that land belongs to the Nightwatch. What do you think would have happen if Jon had arrived with ships full of the people who raided their for for ages in a southern port? Do you think the local Lords and Ladys, let alone the common people, would have been okey with that?

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    127. Young Dragon:
      si91,

      Thorne has been characterized as someone who puts the Watch above everything. Jon still had supporters at the Wall, so locking him out could have led to a civil war. Also, Stannis was still alive and was in full support of Jon as Lord Commander. It was only after Stannis died that Ser Alliser made his move, doing so at night so no one would know he had a hand in it. In the morning, when Jon is found dead, Alliser can take charge and put all the blame on the wildlings.

      I agree that it makes sense for Ser Alliser to open the gate, though I’m not sure that Stannis really factored in to it. If Thorne locked Jon and the wildlings out, he could have lied about it if Stannis returned, and said that Jon had died at Hardhome. Since the ships were back, there were obviously some survivors, but if Thorne became Lord Commander after Jon’s death, and decided not to let the Wildling mob through, Stannis probably wouldn’t do anything against him.

      I’m going to just ignore the fact that Jon traveled on the North side of the wall rather than docking at Eastwatch in the first place. Sure, it doesn’t seem like the most sensible choice for him to make, but as many people have pointed out, there are various ways of rationalizing it, and the truth is probably just that Eastwatch hasn’t been very well established in the show (just a few mentions), and they wanted to show a confrontation with Thorne. Sure, it’s “TV logic”, but I’m willing to accept that, and it doesn’t really bother me much.

      As for Thorne opening the gate, and then murdering Jon shortly after, I think it’s possible that he may have originally intended to lock him out and leave him to die, but changed his plan for one reason..or rather Wun reason.

      Castle Black had about 50 men left after the battle last season, and that included Slynt (dead), Aemon (dead), Sam (supports Jon), Jon, Edd, and the others who went on the hardhome expedition. I’m guessing that Thorne had less than 40 men on his side. Some of those remaining at Castle Black may have still supported Jon despite the controversial mission, or at least wouldn’t want to leave their brothers to die north of the wall, even if they did disagree with the Hardhome mission.

      Thorne was in charge of the Castle while Jon was gone, and he was probably the best fighter remaining there by a fair margin. If Jon returned with a rabble of wildlings, and Thorne ordered the men to leave the gate shut, some might have grumbled, but he probably had enough supporters to keep them in line, and Jon would be helplessly trapped outside the wall.

      Wun Wun changes the equation a bit though. The mob of Wildlings looked to be about 2500-5000. Trapped on the north side of the Wall, they’re not a threat, but the inner gate is probably still a wreck from Mag’s attack, and they’ve already seen that it’s possible for a giant to lift the outer gate. If Wun Wun gets the gate open long enough for Jon, Edd, Tormund and himself to get through, along with a few other wildling fighters, Thorne’s guys aren’t going to stop them.

      He might have been able to take down Wun Wun before he could get the gate open, but it’s a significant risk. Jon knows exactly how weak Castle Black’s defenses are. Thorne is up on the wall with a bunch of his guys, and whoever was left defending on the ground is not going to stand up to Jon, Tormund, Edd and Wun Wun long enough for Thorne to even get down there to reinforce them. A failed mutiny just as thousands of wildlings are pouring through the gate would put him in a very bad position.

      On the other hand, letting the wildlings pass straight through Castle Black and on to their new homes in The Gift puts them where they conveniently aren’t nearby when Jon gets stabbed in the night. Thorne’s a ranger, and would probably prefer his odds ambushing Wun Wun and Tormund in their sleep before they ever learn of Jon’s fate, and when they aren’t expecting hostilities, rather than trusting in a gate that’s known to not be giant-proof.

      He probably expects that if he can take out the leaders in an ambush, the rest of the wildlings will scatter or begin fighting each other now that they’re away from the threat that made them unify in the first place. A few thousand leaderless wildlings south of the wall isn’t a good situation, but it’s not the worst situation either.

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    128. I never really understood why this show, which is one of the highest rated on IMDB and has great critical reviews, is always so nitpicked by fans. I’ve been following it since season 2, and, from those early days, people have been criticising it up to heavily for almost all things, ridiculing one aspect that they didn’t like (things like Where are my dragons, The Bear and the Maiden Fair, and the Yara scene) while mostly ignoring all the positives. For some reason, the positivity never seems to match up with the acclaim that the show receives.

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    129. Sunfyre,

      You’re right. It’s these people’s last stand, so I guess it’s only fitting that they give it their all. For s6 and s7 they won’t have a leg to stand on. They’ll be entirely irrelevant. And by the time TWOW and ADOS come out (if both even do), who’s really going to bother sticking around for them to compare the two mediums after the fact? That is if the people swearing off of the show now can truly remain unspoiled…

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    130. Arya’s attack on Meryn F Trant.

      Was anyone else thinking

      Melisandre: I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.

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    131. Tormund’s Woman,

      Oh, you were joking? Didn´t realize that. Quite funny actually that you were joking, since I had a similar discussion with some friends some time ago and back then, I had been in the minority for thinking that Loras might get out of this unscathed. So it seems like I still am, indeed.

      Interesting how there are valid arguments for both sides, I guess that this coheres to quite some extent with the alterations the Tyrell-family-tree has run through so that now no one really has an idea what is crucial for their plotlines and what not.

      He might get out of this (if he does he will become KG, I think that this outcome results inevitably in that) but he might just as well get not and it really boils down to an open warfare between Lannister and Tyrell (& Martell). Ah, it´s all just so intransparent as of now…I don´t know.

      Sadly, I guess we´ll only have clarity once WOTW or Season 6 comes out, this may be one of the most difficult topics to speculate about in the moment.

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    132. I respect Cian and her opinion, but her opening words say it all:

      For the purposes of this final roundtable, I am focusing on the negative. That is not to say that I have a negative view of the season; rather, I have a mixed-to-disappointed opinion of it, but I acknowledge the many positives.

      So, although there are many positives and although the season isn’t bad (in fact, Cian ends her post with “I adore the show and believe it’s one of the best currently on TV”), on this occasion that is all about presenting a plethora of opinions good, bad, and ugly, the point is to focus solely on the negative. Really? Because, obviously, the negatives are pretty much all that’s worth discussing and the positives are kinda boring anyway.

      If such an approach to reviewing and critiquing is becoming the norm, well, count me out.

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    133. bristolcity:
      I never really understood why this show, which is one of the highest rated on IMDB and has great critical reviews, is always so nitpicked by fans. I’ve been following it since season 2, and, from those early days, people have been criticising it up to heavily for almost all things, ridiculing one aspect that they didn’t like (things like Where are my dragons, The Bear and the Maiden Fair, and the Yara scene) while mostly ignoring all the positives. For some reason, the positivity never seems to match up with the acclaim that the show receives.

      It is even worse at the Westeros website. The general discussion threads never get as many posts as the thread intended to complain about the show.

      Just a bad online fan base this show has attracted.

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    134. Knight of Storm´s End:
      Tormund’s Woman,
      Oh, you were joking? Didn´t realize that.

      I was 🙂 I even put there

      Loras taking of Dragonstone next besides becoming KG, which now has become as useless as nipples on breastplate and I added a small caps LOL at the end of that speculation.

      Could have put :p, but I used that yesterday a few times already. Didn’t want to overdo it! I think internet is ill equipped for jokes though because sometimes it’s all in the tone anyway…

      As for the Loras speculation: I wouldn’t rule out the KG appointment, if he beats the HS accusations. As you pointed out it’s a perfect punishment for the Tyrells as they effectively lose the heir of Highgarden to KG, however Dragonstone now belongs to Tommen as the next Baratheon after Stannis and ruler of Westeros so I think it’s pretty clear that at least won’t be happening.

      On the funny side note: as for the sex abstaining KG- I think that Sam workaround still applies! They’ve sworn to father no children and take no wife IIRC

      Ginevra,

      Ooh, no Ginny! What did you go and put Jon on a ship for?!?!? Mel & Jon are my Asoiaf ship. My only ship! (After which I hope someone stops her from burning more people.) I think we may just have a new ship war coming!!!! *closes doors* *bars windows* just kidding 😉

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    135. The way most of the criticism is usually framed is in terms of comparison to the books. But that usually wouldn’t be a problem if people actually knew what they are talking about. But often the criticism goes in a different direction immediately. A simple misunderstanding of what the story in the books really is or a lack of a grasp on the logic of certain situations often shows the real root of that kind of criticism. One of the prime examples of this is the Jamie – Cersei rape scene that “wasn’t rape in the books”, but it really was.

      We often hear the “logic” argument when talking about character decisions, that people don’t like. That’s not really what logic means. Even if you understood a character fully (which usually isn’t the case to begin with) then their actions aren’t totally logical to everyone and at any time, sometimes you simply lack information that the show doesn’t care to give for various reasons. Sometimes that reason might be to hide poorly developed plots, and you could criticize that (it still wouldn’t necessarily be a lack of logic), but often it’s simply not to overcomplicate or overexplain things only few in the audience care about. Often the motivations are simply apparent only later on, and that reveal might be part of the story.
      For example Thorne opening the gates for Jon could be explained in multiple ways, one of the simplest being that he wanted to betray him, and that wouldn’t work if he first openly disobeyed him.

      Sometimes we simply don’t have a good explanation for events, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. That’s only a problem if we absolutely need an explanation, but we rarely do. Of course opinions of what is and isn’t a needed explanation differ widely, but that discussion would be entirely different from what is and isn’t “logical”.
      The fact that Jon didn’t take the ships to south of the wall is one example of this kind of perceived problem. Maybe they should have explained that, but why exactly is that so important to anything? I would have liked an explanation, but ultimately I don’t care enough.

      It makes it impossible to take criticisms seriously if they are constantly framed in a way that makes it obvious that there are fundamental misunderstandings. The appeal to the books is often just an appeal to authority that really has nothing to do with the argument.

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    136. Cock Merchant: For example Thorne opening the gates for Jon could be explained in multiple ways, one of the simplest being that he wanted to betray him, and that wouldn’t work if he first openly disobeyed him.

      Good point, left outside with Tormund and a host of Wildlings he would remain a threat, or at least a nuisance.

      “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

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    137. Cumsprite:
      And I see we are back to “my” people. I don’t have people in the manner you imply. Your implication denies a modest and sprawling tribe agency. I hear that’s a bad thing.

      Come now, Mr. Sprite. Of course we’re back. We never left to begin with! And have you read the threads lately?! Your people are anything but modest. You’re right about the sprawling though. The Balkanization is real!

      Cumsprite:
      I’ll see your LOL and raise you a ROFLCOPTER. Had GM not sold the rights of ASOIAF to HBO or at least kept pace with their adaptation, these discussions wouldn’t be nearly so contentious.

      I think you are wrong on both counts and that pot will go south side with me today!

      Had Martin not sold the rights to Asoiaf to HBO or to anyone for that matter – this site wouldn’t exist to begin with. Thus no discussions AT ALL. Which makes this: “wouldn’t be nearly so contentious” completely irrelevant; non-existent discussions cannot be contentious.

      Had Martin sold the rights and kept the pace, these discussions would be just as contentious. Most of the heated disagreements in these specific “A Murder of Crows” parts or the comments that follow, are truly about adaptation changes to the published material actually.

      Like someone I know likes to type: In summation – Not. Martin’s. Fault. I’m taking my LOL and your ROFLECOPTER. You only have yourself to blame for losing this. You shouldn’t have blamed Martin.

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    138. Mr Fixit,

      That was the weird thing. It’s framed as a “final word on the season”, yet it’s solely focused on criticism —And, at least in the case of Cian, it’s done knowingly. Why is that?

      As for Thorne… yeah, because staging a low-key, secret mutiny after all the wildlings and Night’s Watch Jon-loyalists are out of view is SO INCREDIBLY STUPID compared to killing Jon in plain view of thousands of wildlings and all the Night’s Watch. Yeah. Of course. As always, finding fault in the show’s logic comes down to differences to the books.

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    139. Abyss:
      Chad Brick,
      Why did Jon bring the Wildlings to the gate north of the Wall? It makes no fucking sense, whatsoever. He just lost tens of thousands of Wildlings to the Others, who are north of the Wall and cannot easily get south of the wall. This move is what we call a plot device, which makes for a lovely dramatic effect but is logically unsound. Books, television, and movies do this all the fucking time. Good ones. Yes. My babies, with their fresh perspectives on life, are kind enough to teach Mom how it is. Just last week, my eldest said,

      Shouldn’t they just close down Jurassic Park? Something goes wrong in every single movie!

      And then watching Mulan with my youngest, I was all, “There is no way that tiny dragon could have pulled that much weight up and over a cliff!” Emma rolled her eyes and was all, “It’s pretend, Mom. Dragons can’t talk, either.”

      So, yes, Jon should have approached from the south. Jurassic World should never have opened. And dragons can’t talk, either. But we suspend our disbelief for the sake of the story. If you’re not willing to suspend disbelief, stick to non-fantasy and nonfiction.

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    140. Tormund’s Woman:
      Had Martin not sold the rights to Asoiaf to HBO or to anyone for that matter – this site wouldn’t exist to begin with. Thus no discussions AT ALL.

      Kinda proves my point, doesn’t it?

      [[Rocky theme plays]]

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    141. Ginevra,
      Ooh, no Ginny! What did you go and put Jon on a ship for?!?!? Mel & Jon are my Asoiaf ship. My only ship! (After which I hope someone stops her from burning more people.) I think we may just have a new ship war coming!!!! *closes doors* *bars windows* just kidding

      Mel, the Red Women from Hell, Mel? You must be joking. A kraken would be kinder. The only way I could possibly ship Mel and Jon is if that ship were short-lived and if Mel became his Nissa Nissa, sword through her heart and all. “Wham, bam, wait till I tell Sam. I’ll take Longclaw back now, please.”

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    142. Abyss:
      Chad Brick,

      Sorry, but “writing at its worst”? Apparently you never had the questionable pleasure to watch something with truely bad writing, like the movie “The Happening”. – And it’s not illogical (to use that term in a fantasy world is at least problematic, btw) , that is something that can’t be explained with valid reason (think recasts for example). Arthur has given a lot of possible explanations. Here are some of mine.

      1. Jon wanted to test Thorne’s loyalty and at the and was tricked by him.

      2. Jon was making a statement by bringing the Wildings trough the Wall. The Wall was a symbol of rejection and restriction for them for thousands of years, Jon doing what he did is him showing that this time is over now.

      3. Jon found it to risky to land in a port south of the Wall. Letting the Wildings settle in the Gift is problematic in it’s own right, but at least that land belongs to the Nightwatch. What do you think would have happen if Jon had arrived with ships full of the people who raided their for for ages in a southern port? Do you think the local Lords and Ladys, let alone the common people, would have been okey with that?

      The boats were at Eastwatch. They could have walked on either side of the wall no matter where the boats landed, as they could pass through Eastwatch. The north is death and has no road. The south is safe and has one. It also would prevent any possibility of Thorne et al locking them out, which would also be death. What kind of idiot chooses the former in order to “test Thorn’s loyalty”? You don’t test someone’s loyalty by trusting them with your life. You test their loyalty beforehand with small stakes so that you CAN trust them with you life when you need to. In this case, Jon didn’t but did.

      Ginevra: But we suspend our disbelief for the sake of the story. If you’re not willing to suspend disbelief, stick to non-fantasy and nonfiction.

      My “suspension of belief” does not extend to pure idiocy, nor is anything where characters engage in it regularly something that is even good, let alone great. It is immensely annoying to watch characters make ridiculous choices that no rational person would make, except in narrow cases where that is the arc of the story. I don’t want GoT to mimic silly summer blockbusters. I can get more stupid spectacle than I could ever want without having one of my favorite series of books turned to drivel (not that it is there yet, thankfully!)

      Good writing is about seemingly intelligent or difficult choices leading people astray (and then sometimes back again), not what should be catastrophically stupid choices disappearing down the plot hole by the next scene. Any time another “That makes no freaking sense” moment comes on screen, I am no longer thinking “What will Jon/Dany/Tyrion/Arya/Sansa/Whoever do next” but rather “So what are Dan and David up to now?” I am outside the show, not in it, and that is where I want to be.

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    143. mau,

      I agree that some of the changes made perfectly sense for a TV-show and i understand that Literature doesn´t work the same way as Television (I´m currently doing my Bachelor on this topic ;))
      But I can honestly say that most of the changes (that were changes that didn´t happen) would have been better than what they did show. First there is no possibility that Darkstar would have been as bad as SS. 2nd cutting LSH is NOT!!!! a good thing. It was a good idea to send Sansa to Winterfell, but the way they did it was sloppy in more than one occasion. Another thing I´m not quite sure about is the exclusion of YG, while it was a good move for Tyrions storyline not to make things more complicated than they need to be, YG would have given the whole Dorne storyline somewhat of a purpose.
      And as I already said the main problems I had with this season did have nothing to do with changes that were or were not made but with the process and execution of this season. Most parts of the first half of it were seemengly pointless or simply boring. A lot of the writing and storytelling was sloppy and rushed (The whole LF arc (he was jetpacking again!!), Barristans death and so on) Finally most of the fightscenes (in the first 7 episodes) were not up to the standards that we were used to at that point (Briennes chase through the woods, Barristans death, stonemen) I just can´t get over the feeling that most of the budget, energy and love for this series was used for the last 2 episodes. There has always been a tendency towards the last to episodes and thats a development you find in most of the other TV-shows around as well but still some of my most beloved episodes in the Series have been within a seasons (0106, 0203, 0304)

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    144. Chad Brick: Any time another “That makes no freaking sense” moment comes on screen, I am no longer thinking “What will Jon/Dany/Tyrion/Arya/Sansa/Whoever do next” but rather “So what are Dan and David up to now?” I am outside the show, not in it, and that is where I want to be.

      Odd, because when I am reading the books I think “so what is GRRM up to now?”.

      Meanwhile for the show I’m thinking what will Jon / Dany /Tyrion / Arya / Sansa /Whoever do next?”.

      Funny old world. Maybe you should stop watching the show and I should stop reading the books…

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    145. Tormund’s Woman,

      I wouldn´t even be certain about Dragonstone not appearing again. Truth is, if Dragonstone has a role to play, which it has at least in the books, we will see it again. When he was at the wall, Stannis often mentioned that they had dragonglass on Dragonstone, maybe, just maybe, now that Sam is back in the lands of mild climate, this imformation could prove crucial for the NW.

      I basically see three options about Dragonstone:

      1.) Create a Penrose-situation, the men at Dragonstone remain loyal to Stannis even after his death and a Tyrell-Host (maybe even led by Loras) takes Dragonstone in a violent rush. Reasons for that would remain unknown or this option is just used as a good excuse to thin out the characters present in KL so that the really important players can be focused on more exclusively.
      2. ) Dragonstone is not important at all and will automatically be regained by Tommen without further mention.
      3.) Dragonstone is important, most likely in terms of having vast ampounts of dragonglass, then it will be mentioned again and maybe one or two characters need to go there ( Loras, Randyll Tarly or maybe even Sam).

      Be that as it may, everyone of these three options is possible and makes sense/could make sense if fleshed out enough. Another argument against it would then be how everything would fit in their schedule, but since we don´t know too much about that atm anyways, still all three of these options remain possible.

      I´m really looking forward to how they will handle all these complex situations and most of all, which of all the plotlines will prove crucial and which will be exposed as detours from the actually important archs. 🙂

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    146. Chad Brick,

      No the boats were not at Eastwatch. They are north of the wall. It would be too dangerous to let the boats in a port south of the wall, because they could get targeted as the northeners see Stannis as a usurper. Stannis would never let his ships south of the wall before taking Winterfell and winning the northeners for his case by defeating the Boltons. Sallador could drop everyone south of the wall and sail back north, but in my previous reaction I already stated why it would be more logical for Jon and the wildlings to approach CB from the north.

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    147. VARGOAT:
      mau,

      .

      First there is no possibility that Darkstar would have been as bad as SS.

      Men call me Darkstar, and I am of the night = You want a good girl, but you need the bad pussy!

      2nd cutting LSH is NOT!!!! a good thing.

      It is. With Jon coming back, LSH would be overkill.

      It was a good idea to send Sansa to Winterfell, but the way they did it was sloppy in more than one occasion.

      I said I had some problems, but that storyline is not over. We will see next season what will happen.

      Another thing I´m not quite sure about is the exclusion of YG, while it was a good move for Tyrions storyline not to make things more complicated than they need to be, YG would have given the whole Dorne storyline somewhat of a purpose.

      It the same like LSH. Jon is secret Targaryen. YG would be another overkill.

      And as I already said the main problems I had with this season did have nothing to do with changes that were or were not made but with the process and execution of this season. Most parts of the first half of it were seemengly pointless or simply boring.

      With source material they had, it was the best possible way to do the first half of the season.

      A lot of the writing and storytelling was sloppy and rushed (The whole LF arc (he was jetpacking again!!), Barristans death and so on) Finally most of the fightscenes (in the first 7 episodes) were not up to the standards that we were used to at that point (Briennes chase through the woods, Barristans death, stonemen)

      Jetpacking? So, you want to watch LF traveling to KL for 10 eisodes?

      Only one fight scene was bad, and the rest were up to the standards that we were used to. Barristan fight was on the same level as Ned vs Jaime in S1.

      I just can´t get over the feeling that most of the budget, energy and love for this series was used for the last 2 episodes. There has always been a tendency towards the last to episodes and thats a development you find in most of the other TV-shows around as well butstill some of my most beloved episodes in the Series have been within a seasons

      Last 3. And that is 33% of this season. And episodes 507 and 503 were really good as well.

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    148. bristolcity:
      I never really understood why this show, which is one of the highest rated on IMDB and has great critical reviews, is always so nitpicked by fans. I’ve been following it since season 2, and, from those early days, people have been criticising it up to heavily for almost all things, ridiculing one aspect that they didn’t like (things like Where are my dragons, The Bear and the Maiden Fair, and the Yara scene) while mostly ignoring all the positives. For some reason, the positivity never seems to match up with the acclaim that the show receives.

      It’s just the nature of a dedicated fanbase who have been living with this story in a different incarnation for two decades. I went back to this site’s beginnings (over at WiC) and if you look at the posts where the first screenshots were released people were taking an eyeglass to the texture of the snow (“Not how I imagined it,” seriously) and complaining that moving the Blackfish’s appearance ahead a season fundamentally changed the nature of Robb’s campaign, complaining about guards wearing gambesons, Arya not having a ‘horse face’, etc etc:

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    149. I read part I, only read a few bits of part II and will not be reading part III. This roundtable is just so negative… I’m a fan of both books and show and while I can’t deny season 5 had some teething problems, it was by no means the utter disaster that you guys are making it out to be. I mean, hello, the finale reached the highest audience in the show’s history. Clearly it’s doing something right.

      Overall I enjoyed the series. In hindsight, there are some things I would’ve liked to see done differently (Sansa manipulating Ramsay rather than Sansa+Joffrey pt.2; a more serious side to Dorne, keeping the Sand Snakes as background characters and introducing Arianne to have that Doran/Arianne storyline). That said, the good still far outweighed the bad.

      I do hope the people who keep saying “I won’t be tuning in for season 6” stick to their guns. God forbid we have to put up with them moaning this time next year about how they’re not coming back for season 7.

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    150. ash,
      Half the Nights watch recently chose as their Leader, he’s still popular in castle black, though less and less. Thorne can’t just go ahead and kill him, he needs a superior following in order to make a mutiny. Thorne needed to let Jon carry out his order to the full, he needed the watch members to have that experience of utter dread when they See the wildlings pass, swing the giant and so on. After that incident it would be much radier for him to get them to join him in the mutiny. He needed that last thing to make them come over. Plus, opening the gates puts Jon within his reach so he can kill him, instead of just outside his gates at the head of I dont know how many wildlings. I espects Thorne to send a kill squat to The Gift first Thing next season. It’s easy to find mistakes when your’e looking for them, which you only do because it wasn’t exactly like the books. The show did so well with the relationship between Jon and Thorne, something they built over all 5 seasons which is partly why the Nights watch story is so good!

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    151. Joshua Atreides:

      I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the pre-season writer’s room for season 5.
      While I enjoyed season 5 I have the overall feeling that the story would have been served better by adapting AFFC/ADWD over two seasons instead of 1 season. I have read umpteen unsullied reactions to this season and many of the complaints revolve around rushed story lines, not enough dialogue and not enough episodes.

      The problem with this is the lack of closure AND more importantly the fact that if they would have made AFFC/ADWD two seasons there would be only 1 season for the climax. They want to finish the series in 7 seasons for various reasons (not to outstay its welcome, committing actors, avoid mental burn out etc).

      Edit: You are talking only about serving the story and I spelled out practical problems.

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    152. The faith bullying the homosexuals is definitely realistic. In many societies in history, homosexuality was actually tolerated amongst the noble and Royal classes. There were even some kings of England who were homosexuals on the down low. And the faith looking the other way out of corruption occurred amongst the Vatican as well with certain poops. Of course it was the lower class men of the people who’d be more fanatical because they have nothing to lose.

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    153. Knight of Storm´s End,

      I think I’m in your the #3 speculation camp. Important because of the dragonglass connection, yet only mentioned. Whoever rules Westeros at that time, will willingly part with it if that is the only way to stop the Other’s invasion. Assuming that finally the IT management and whoever is CEO at the time gets a clue about what’s coming from the North, that is. And yes, these are really interesting times to be speculating.

      Ginevra,

      Tyene said it worst! For me, #Jelly (Jon + Melly) is a case of “wants good girl/needs bad pussy”. And in this case I have no doubt that #BadPussy gets the punishment it deserves. (and that is why I like the worst line of show Dorne! so many innuendos, so little time)

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    154. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I probably should have clarified on that point, but I’m known to go off the rails about how much I was disappointed with Dorne and was trying to prevent that!

      So, in literature in general, people of color and their cultures are often portrayed as animalistic, less civilized, and other problematic qualities. These are often expressed in terms of violence and sexuality. In GRRM’s representation of Dorne, the people and royal household are varied, complex, and not simply, as Bronn so eloquently stated early in the season, driven by wanting to “fight and fu*k, fu*k and fight”.

      This article from Hypable eloquently expresses all my concerns without rehashing it myself. This article was written about mid-way through the season, so there’s extra bits of evidence the author likely could have used from episodes 9 and 10: http://www.hypable.com/game-of-thrones-underserves-dorne/

      Hopefully that clarifies things?

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    155. Cumsprite,

      No way! it doesn’t! You said :

      Had GM not sold the rights to HBO these discussions wouldn’t be NEARLY SO CONTENTIOUS.

      Which implies that there WOULD be discussions just not so heated. I took advantage of your bad wording and won that shit! Don’t try to switch now Mr. Sprite.

      #NoRetcons #NoBacksies

      PS. Don’t you butter me up either, buster! #Boysenberry of the tribe my ass. Next comment, you’ll slap me with Dance sucks, Martin sucks and there are only 168 pages of Winds written…

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    156. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I should also ask….!

      Feel free to discuss whatever it is I said you don’t agree with. 🙂 I am actually really interested, considering as a I said before that most of the complaints I have with Season 5 are those I thought even Unsullied would share with me.

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    157. Tormund’s Woman,

      Pffft. If there were no discussion of book/show conflict the discussion wouldn’t be nearly so contentious because … wait for it … it wouldn’t exist at all. Just as you said. My wording was carefully crafted to include that very permutation: I am not your average bundle of loosely incorporated proteins.

      Dance does suck. Martin is an indulgent so-and-so with the self-awareness of creamed spinach. And his progress on TWOW is … soon to be updated. You heard it here first.

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    158. Chad Brick:
      My “suspension of belief” does not extend to pure idiocy, nor is anything where characters engage in it regularly something that is even good, let alone great.

      Excellent! I’m so glad that you are able to suspend your disbelief for flying dragons, ice spiders, wights, Others, Lady Stoneheart, tiny and magical Children of the Forest, and a magical sword when it is beyond your skill to believe a character would make a choice that was illogical.

      Please explain to me the logic for the following book scenes:
      1. Why did LF and the QoT go through all the trouble of giving Sansa the hairpins of poison when they could have brought in the poison themselves when Sansa’s hairpins were never used to frame her?
      2. How did Bran survive the fall from the Broken Tower?
      3. How did Jaime cup his “hands” (page 614 of SoS) at Harrenhal to shout to the guards while rescuing Brienne when Jaime only had one hand?

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    159. Ginevra: Excellent!I’m so glad that you are able to suspend your disbelief for flying dragons, ice spiders, wights, Others, Lady Stoneheart, tiny and magical Children of the Forest, and a magical sword when it is beyond your skill to believe a character would make a choice that was illogical.

      Please explain to me the logic for the following book scenes:
      1.Why did LF and the QoT go through all the trouble of giving Sansa the hairpins of poison when they could have brought in the poison themselves when Sansa’s hairpins were never used to frame her?
      2.How did Bran survive the fall from the Broken Tower?
      3.How did Jaime cup his “hands” (page 614 of SoS) at Harrenhal to shout to the guards while rescuing Brienne when Jaime only had one hand?

      4. How does Jon negotiate a loan with the most feared bank in the world when he has no assets or any way at all to pay it back? ( ADWD Chapter 44)

      And the biggie:
      5. How does Arya, a nine year old girl, survive at all from King’s Landing to Harrenhall and post escape from Harrenhall through to leaving for Braavos? ( I’m delighted that she does, but hey!)

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    160. Trystane:
      Chad Brick,

      No the boats were not at Eastwatch. They are north of the wall. It would be too dangerous to let the boats in a port south of the wall, because they could get targeted as the northeners see Stannis as a usurper. Stannis would never let his ships south of the wall before taking Winterfell and winning the northeners for his case by defeating the Boltons.

      “Stannis landed his knights at Eastwatch, and Cotter Pyke led him along the ranger’s roads, to take the wildlings unawares,” Giant told him.

      Martin, George R. R. (2003-03-04). A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) (p. 1043). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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    161. Tormund’s Woman:
      Tyene said it worst! For me, #Jelly (Jon + Melly) is a case of “wants good girl/needs bad pussy”. And in this case I have no doubt that #BadPussy gets the punishment it deserves. (and that is why I like the worst line of show Dorne! so many innuendos, so little time)

      I prefer Margaret Atwood’s advice to Tyene’s, for some reason.

      If you can’t suck something nice, don’t suck anything at all.

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    162. Luka Nieto,

      Yes, I know, but I was just rebutting that “Stannis would never” bit with the books, which do mention Eastwatch. The show never says where the fleet is, does it? I couldn’t find it.

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    163. Ginevra,

      The show never acknowledges any of this. Still, an unexplained plot point is not a plot hole. There is a difference. When countless reasonable explanations exist, when something is easily explainable even if it goes unexplained, it cannot be said to be a plot hole. For example: last we saw the ships in “Hardhome”, the seas were rocking them violently; so maybe they couldn’t arrive to Eastwatch safely. That seems the obvious explanation. The show has previously had many of these shortcuts —the only difference is that in those cases there was a book equivalent, and in the book the detail was filled-in, so it wasn’t considered a plot hole by book readers but simply a narrative shortcut.

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    164. Arya Havin’ a Larf?,

      I’ll give it a shot.

      1. Sansa wasn’t to be framed. Sansa was plausible deniability should the hairpins (hairnet?) be discovered.
      2. Starks are tough. Bran landed on soft turf, not stone (like show Myranda). Sansa is so tough she’ll probably cushion Theon’s fall.
      3. Jaime ‘cups his hands’ because he has phantom limb syndrome.
      4. Jon gets money from the bank because if the Walkers overrun Westeros, the Iron Bank loses ALL of its investments on the continent. (Working from memory here; can’t recall if the book offered another explanation.)
      5. Arya survives because she’s got plot armour (naturally), has allies and protectors every step of the way, is a scrappy and resourceful lass, and has luck as well as pluck. Millions are killed in wars, plagues, and so on, but most people actually survive them.

      Gee, that was fun. Got any more? I can rationalize anything, as I’ve proven in my myriad posts!

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    165. Rodrik the Reader,
      Well played!

      The answer is a shorter and more simple one: GRRM invites his readers to join the dots by using their wisdom, intelligence and imagination to join the dots. The Showrunners are imbeciles who couldn’t write a thank you note that wouldn’t insult the intelligence of a 2 year old [/linda@westeros.org mode]

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    166. Mr Fixit,

      You can disagree all you want, and that’s fine. I understand that my quite balanced and logical post looks a lot worse than intended surrounded by the mindless book-praising negativity of a lot of the others.

      But one thing I can confirm you’re 100% wrong about is that I am not a “her”.

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    167. Cock Merchant,

      I agree with you. So many book readers want an explanation when there’s really no need for one. Or rather, there are multiple possible explanations and it’s up to the audience to take their pick.

      So, Thorne. Why did he let Jon through and then betray him? Why not simply refuse to let him through? Is it a plot hole? Is it a sign of lazy writing? My answer: only if a viewer lacks imagination and wants everything served on a silver platter, all the time (maybe unconsciously) being tied to the books. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three perfectly plausible explanations:

      1.) Thorne didn’t want to leave Jon out of his reach and alive. He knows that Jon is crafty and he knows that Jon is the rightful Lord Commander with at least some support among the brethren of the Night’s Watch. Leaving Jon out there would open up a bunch of possibilities down the line for Jon to make a move. Thorne wanted certainty.

      2.) Thorne wasn’t in on the assassination plan by the time Jon returned, or the plan didn’t even exist yet, or it was only in the brewing stages, or many thought Jon wouldn’t be able to reach a deal with the Wildlings at all. It’s quite possible that many thought they’d never see Jon again. Only after he’d returned (from pretty much a failed mission that cost the lives of some NWmen), the mutineers agreed that something must be done lest this Wildling-lover dooms them all.

      3.) Thorne and the mutineers only dared to move against Jon when they received news that Stannis had been killed and his army destroyed. Seeing as how Jon and Stannis came to respect each other, Thorne feared that when Stannis found out that Jon had been murdered, all their heads would end up on spikes. With Stannis dead and Roose firmly in control of the North for the time being, they may have felt emboldened to finally deal with the irksome bastard Stark.

      As you can see, there are plenty of reasonable explanations for Thorne&Co’s actions. One just has to be open to explanations and interpretations that don’t appear in the books. Of course, there are a bunch of other instances that are very similar of people (sometimes eloquently) bitching about illogic and plot holes, but in truth being stuck in book reader mode and not willing to see the situation from a different angle.

      Ah well, their loss.

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    168. Mr Fixit,

      I thought Oz of Thrones was a girl and Sue the Fury was a boy. A boy named Sue. But that’s before Sue was Sue and when Sue was Ours the Fury. And then he was a she and she said, Hey, babe: take a walk on the wild(ling) side. Of the Wall. That’s why Jon was on that side! Because Sue said so.

      #notondrugsnonono

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    169. Luka Nieto,

      For a port that constantly holds ships large enough to cross the Narrow Sea (yes, I know – only according to the books), I find it hard to imagine Eastwatch as a more precarious place to dock than Hardome. And I find it difficult to believe that rocky seas are more dangerous than a 150 mile hike ( or thereabouts) on the same side of the Wall as the Others. But truth be told, this still doesn’t bother me because stories take artistic license all the time. I’m perfectly okay with that.

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    170. I just find the responses to this ironic.

      Book readers = Terrible they complain about everything. Leave us alone to enjoy the show.

      Sue the fury and other show defenders = Best part of the critique. Voice of reason. Great part of the discussion.

      You’re too wrapped up in needing your own opinions validated by someone else to realize you’re as bad as the book purists. Truly.

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    171. For Ginevra upthread: But… but… I thought I was defending D&D! I really must read posts more thoroughly before responding. (Or, I gotta stop sneaking onto WoTW while at work.)

        Quote  Reply

    172. Cumsprite,

      I gotta say: Modesty becomes you, you special bundle of loosely incorporated proteins! Momma raised no fool but I got this one. I’m not give it back. It’s ours, it is, and we wants it. We earn it fair and square. Wording and implying was the key and you failed to make your point properly. #NoPermutations

      Dance did not suck. It was a good book. And Martin wrote chapters for the next one besides the 168 pages. Cersei ones too besides the previews.

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    173. Rodrik the Reader:
      Arya Havin’ a Larf?,

      I’ll give it a shot.

      2. Starks are tough. Bran landed on soft turf, not stone (like show Myranda). Sansa is so tough she’ll probably cushion Theon’s fall.

      4. Jon gets money from the bank because if the Walkers overrun Westeros, the Iron Bank loses ALL of its investments on the continent. (Working from memory here; can’t recall if the book offered another explanation.)

      2. I lol-ed. Because it is super funny! You succeeded in proving that it was Sansa who really saved Theon and she was most definitely moved to WF, not to trigger Theon’s transformation but to literally save him from dying. I have to say as a true non-fan of that particular folding of storylines, this makes perfect sense. Jayne Poole would not have cushioned anything. She’s not a tough Stark.

      4. I thought we don’t know the insides of the Tycho/Jon deal because Martin purposely omitted that. I did wonder what exactly exchanged hands there. Because none left the negotiations feeling like they’ve got the better deal. Plus I just looked in my Dance from Kindle and here is what Jon thinks:

      Tycho Nestoris had left behind a copy of their agreement. Jon read it over thrice. That was simple, he reflected. Simpler than I dared hope. Simpler than it should have been.

      Definitely left out something on purpose!

      I always said that IB will win the IT (ok, I lied, maybe I didn’t before Dance) Perhaps the IB knows Jon is AAR/TPTWP. So they really are banking on the winner.

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    174. Tormund’s Woman,

      You are worse than my 10th grade English teacher. Shrunken, wrinkly thing who parked in the handicapped spots of the student parking lot even though she didn’t have the tags. Occasionally, she’d have to leave the building to keep her car from being towed after a student used a pay phone (pre-cell days, folks) to rat her out.

      What I am trying to say is, watch where you park, Mrs. Metzger.

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    175. Cumsprite,

      #BringIt
      #HitMeWithYourBestShot
      #SnitchesAreBitches

      Also, a Ms. Metzger is one of my fave Regency Romance author. It’s how I balance my Classical Russian Lit. Your Ms. Metzger seems a badass rule breaker. I like her.

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    176. Tormund’s Woman,

      I changed her name to protect the innocent. Meaning me. Lemme tell ya about Mrs. “Metzger”: our end of the year thesis had to be hand-written on a blank piece of A4. All margins, spaces, indentations, EVERYTHING had to be exact. She was the Marine DI of English teachers and she was awesome. Almost makes me feel bad for calling the cops on her.

      ETA: once I got my hands on the art department’s light box, the indentation bullshit got a lot easier. Still a pain.

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    177. Cumsprite,

      Hahaha you smartass! there’s not an innocent bone in that body of yours! Tell me it was cursive handwriting… She sound just as awesome as I imagined.

      On a scale from 1-10 I’m deliberating how much is truth. I come up at 4! That’s pretty good actually.

      PS. I bought yesterday an orphan copy of Watership Down that was sitting all upset and lonely in a corner of an second hand bookstore. It better be good. You see the last book with bunnies I read was Peter Rabitt. And I was not a fan. He was getting into trouble.

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    178. Tormund’s Woman,

      Busted. There are many untruths about my Metzger story. The A4 thing is not one of them. Print, not cursive. Because that’s how they rolled at the nation’s oldest university when she studied there. Probably in the inaugural class.

      I will be happy to detail the untruths in fleabottom CHAT. Shooting the shit in this thread is awkward.

      ETA: Woundwort ran the trains on time.

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    179. Tormund’s Woman,

      Tycho Nestoris had left behind a copy of their agreement. Jon read it over thrice. That was simple, he reflected. Simpler than I dared hope. Simpler than it should have been.

      “Then, after adjusting the lampshade at what he desperately hoped would seem a jaunty angle, he strode from the room.”

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    180. Tormund’s Woman,

      Yup, in this scenario, Theon is the damsel in distress. Wait till he gets a load of Brienne. Total inversion of the hero trope, with two titanic women dragging the little fellow to God knows where along with equally befuddled new best buddy Pod. I can’t wait!

      As for the Iron Bank: maybe they were in on the hit. The Iron Bank always collects, but does it always pay? I say the Iron Bank pays in promises like Littlefinger but inevitably leaves someone else holding the bag. A city dandy like book Tycho would be horrified by both Stannis and the Watch and would think nothing of signing a contract not worth the paper it’s written on just to get out of there, especially with the knowledge that the other parties–both Jon and Stannis–are bad bets not long for this world.

      If Meereen is Iraq according to some, why can’t the Iron Bank be the so-called Vampire Squid that is Goldman Sachs? Book Jon is like the hapless folk who got NINJA (no income, no job. no problem) loans a decade ago. Look how that turned out.

      The knock on banks for centuries has been that they finance all sides in every war, then make the losers pay not only their own debts but the debts of the victors as well. Don’t know if George will take the tale in this direction, but as a subplot, it would be kind of a hoot.

      In the show, of course, Tycho remains in Braavos, serenaded by Mace.

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    181. Rodrik the Reader,
      Tormund’s Woman,

      It’s good question why GRRM leaves it so vague as ” after an hour they came to an agreement”. It’s definitely not like GRRM not to write half a page of excruciating detail down to the terms for the last oat grain if he can, so IMO:

      1) He’s inviting reader speculation as to why Jon seems to have got such a cushy deal
      2) All will be revealed in the fullness of time
      3) Both of the above
      4) It doesn’t matter two shits

      Either way we give latitude to GRRM that this wasn’t just a plot convenience, whereas the same doesn’t tend to be extended to the TV adaptation.

      In the show of course with the loan instead from the IB to Stannis it now comes down to what collateral they are expecting since they clearly can’t get any return from Davos.

      BTW a comparison can be made between the IB and the Italian bank Medici of the mediaeval era, and interestingly the Medici bank collapsed partly because of a loan to Edward IV during the Wars of the Roses which he couldn’t pay back due to a decline in the wool trade (amongst other things).

      So while we think of the IB as this monolithic power that always gets its due, maybe it is yet another institution that will fail in a parallel to the modern world and end as another splintered cog in the broken wheel. (Or not – just food for thought!)

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    182. Arya Havin’ a Larf?,

      Excellent points! Very much appreciated the info on the Medici bank. As for what collateral Stannis has, well, Dragonstone would seem to have a monopoly on the rare earth element of obsidian, so maybe the Iron Bank is playing a longer game than we anticipated!

      In addition, a small loan to Stannis might’ve meant bigger loans to the other Houses needing to combat him. Either way, the bank wins. They’re playing their own game–and need to be taken down by someone playing an even bigger one (Dany?).

      I do recall from the text that kings who don’t pay what they owe simply disappear and are replaced by kings that do. Not sure if the bank uses the Faceless Men to settle the delinquent accounts.

      But I think we’re right–and so are D&D–in thinking this might be too much subplot for the already overloaded show.

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    183. Rodrik the Reader:
      Arya Havin’ a Larf?,

      Excellent points! Very much appreciated the info on the Medici bank. As for what collateral Stannis has, well, Dragonstone would seem to have a monopoly on the rare earth element of obsidian, so maybe the Iron Bank is playing a longer game than we anticipated!

      Thanks, yes the Dragonstone with its abundance of obsidian as collateral did occur to me after I wrote that post, and they made a thing of it on the show after all in “Kill the Boy”.

      They are certainly owed a vast amount of capital with what the Iron Throne owes them ( and seemingly little chance of getting it back ). What we know from the books is rather more than what we know from the show so far (i.e. calling in debts, refusing new loans, and having a vested interest in seeing a fast end to civil war/rebellions in Westeros)

      And off on another tangent we know the Braavosi are fearful of dragons so is the IB also behind the quest to find the “The Death of the Dragons.” tome through the FM? I wonder if that will come into play in season 6 at all.

      Could well be that the IB has quite a big role to play – and whether we can learn it from TWOW or season 6 first…

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    184. Rodrik the Reader:
      The knock on banks for centuries has been that they finance all sides in every war, then make the losers pay not only their own debts but the debts of the victors as well.

      LOL Banks don’t truly lose as long as they don’t put their money in the same country’s war nest and balance their investments right. I think IB qualifies for that or they wouldn’t hunt Houses opposed to the one they already backed to reduce their risk. To top it all off, IB most likely got a big tax write off with Stannis in their Braavos tax return :p.

      Also, the write off doesn’t mean they forfeit the right to collect if anyone steps up on THAT Baratheon camp of turns out Stannis/ Shireen are up for a resurrection! Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Well, for Planetos… mostly taxes.

      I think IB’s got it all covered.

      Arya Havin’ a Larf?:
      Could well be that the IB has quite a big role to play – and whether we can learn it from TWOW or season 6 first…

      I tought that Roderik is right, that it would be too much for the show. But then they went ahead Tywin Lannister said his mines went kaput a while ago. So I’m not so sure now. I think there might be something to that subplot!

      Probably they have their own Red Priest predicting the outcome of the war because otherwise they would send an envoy to the Others to negotiate something and have an investment for THAT side as well :p

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    185. Rodrik the Reader,

      I always got the impression that you paid the debts you owed the Iron Bank or you paid “the iron price.”

      “The Braavosi have a saying too.” Pycelle’s jeweled chain clinked softly. “The Iron Bank will have its due, they say.”

      And I thought I read that if you didn’t repay Iron Bank debts, they made it a point to fund your enemies, but I cannot find that so I might have imagined it. Though this attitude would explain funding Stannis, I’m not sure why they funded Jon and the Night’s Watch, except if they believed Jon and the NW would save the world from the Long Night.

        Quote  Reply

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