A new Karstark cast for Game of Thrones season 6

Paul RattrayThere are still a few mysteries remaining when it comes to season 6 casting for Game of Thrones. One of the roles unaccounted for is- was- that of the new Lord Karstark. The batch of casting notices released in June described a role that our sources confirmed to be Karstark, heir to the previous lord Rickard played by John Stahl. Lord Rickard was beheaded in season 3 by Robb Stark, leading the Karstarks to abandon the Stark cause.

The character is described as :

Lord of Northern Stronghold: The show’s looking for an actor in his late thirties or forties to play another lord, one that’s ruthless and calculating. The frightening lord rules a vassal household with a castle stronghold.

According to the notice, the character will be in 3 episodes of season 6. We now know, based on information that has surfaced on the actor’s CV, that the role of Harald Karstark will be played by Paul Rattray .

In the ASOIAF novels, Rickard Karstark’s eldest son and heir was named “Harrion.”

Rattray has appeared in several British series such as Holby City, Doctors, and Birdsong.


headshotIn other casting news:

Irish actor Ruairí Heading will be appearing in season 6, in the role of the Green Recruit. Jack Bender is listed as the director on his CV.

The Green Recruit also appeared on the June casting notice list; it appears to be a small role that was scheduled for one day of filming.

Heading appeared in the RTE series Rebellion and shot a role in the upcoming film The Lost City of Z.


Our final piece of casting info today involves a younger actress, news that WotW reader John discovered.

hannahAccording to the website of the Pauline Quirke Academy, one of their students Annette Hannah filmed a role on Game of Thrones for season 6. The Academy posted on their News page, “CONGRATULATIONS to Annette who recently landed the role of Frances in Game of Thrones!” and shared a photo of the girl on the throne.

The website quotes Annette as saying, “I had such an amazing time and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I especially loved working with Lena Headey, Anton Lesser and Julian Glover!”

Annette’s father says on the website, “I am so proud of the incredibly professional way she worked on her first ever role. Watching her was amazing and the whole process of filming was fascinating.”

In December, a scene was filmed at Shane’s Castle involving Anton Lesser (Qyburn) and some child performers. It’s possible but not confirmed that Hannah is connected to this scene.

179 responses

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    1. As always Sue, great job on the search and report!! Can’t wait to see all of them in the new season, but especially Paul Rattray as the new Karstark! And he is cute, GoT never fails to cast good looking people!

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    2. I keep forgetting how well John Stahl played Rickard Karstark. GoT has some of the best minor characters, I’m sure this new Karstark will be great.

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    3. Is this the dude we see behind Ramsay in that end-of-year shot? A Karstark makes much more sense than an Umber.

      Edit: TheMannis caught it as well. Cool.

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    4. Firannion: Watch your back, Grandmaester Pycelle!

      Ah! Good call: that is quite possible.

      Of course, there are a gazillion other possibilities. Maybe Cersei is trying to steal a page from Margaery’s book. Or maybe she decided to just go all-out Evil Queen and start eating children.

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    5. Bloody Awesome!!!!
      as soon as I saw him, i’m thinking to myself in the back of my head.
      That’s the guy with ramsay in the year ender Hbo video.
      of course someone already came to that conclusion on watchersonthewall, you guys never miss a beat. XD

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    6. Does the year ended picture help confirm that the small jon has not joined Ramsay and only sent a small force of umbers to play the Manderly role in winterfall. I cannot think the umbers will betray the Starks and turn over the heir to winterfell to Ramsay. I can’t stomach the thought the Rickon is on of the people on the burning crosses at the battle for the north.

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    7. TheMannis,
      Hodors Bastard,

      Good eyes, you two! As I said in the Behind-the-Scenes thread, the sighting of the Umber sigil alongside what appeared to be Bolton and Karstark forces had me concerned that the man riding behind Ramsay in the Yearender video might be Dean S. Jagger as the Smalljon. It didn’t really look like him, but I had come close to convincing myself that it might be. Looking at it now, however, it’s pretty clear that the man in question is indeed this Paul Rattray as Harald Karstark. I feel slightly better now.

      Granted, we’re not out of the woods yet regarding where the Umbers’ loyalty will ultimately fall. Not by a long shot. But I’ll take what I can get.

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    8. What we knowish about Frances:

      E5 – Qyburn’s laboratory – Cersei, Qyburn, Pycelle, some others in minor parts, child (Frances).

      Calling it now, the Green Recruit is in the

      Frey troop.

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    9. Stewbie: a small force of umbers to play the Manderly role in winterfall.

      We know

      Fletcher (Manderly) was cast.

      I can’t stomach the thought the Rickon is on of the people on the burning crosses

      We know

      he isn’t.

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    10. Jared: Looking at it now, however, it’s pretty clear that the man in question is indeed this Paul Rattray as Harald Karstark. I feel slightly better now.

      I remember your concerns and others’ skeptical thoughts from that thread quite well. You have incredible instincts, ser! 🙂

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    11. Why is it so difficult for the show runners to use actual book names? I understand the need to change Asha into Yara, but this one? There’s no difference between Harrion and Harald Karstark (and yes, I know Harrion isn’t in a fit condition to be lord in the books).

      It’s Stannis winning the support lf Frey bannerman House Haigh all over again. Why not actually use the vast lore they have at their disposal instead of making things up for no reason at all?

      I realize this sounds a lot purist and it probably is, but it’s very annoying. No, the show isn’t ruined, but seriously? Why?

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    12. Stewbie: I can’t stomach the thought the Rickon is on of the people on the burning crosses at the battle for the north.

      The Umbers siding with the Boltons against the Wildlings would not mean that they are siding with the Boltons against the Starks. Look at it from the Umbers point of view: you have a better chance of defeating both the Wildlings and the Boltons if you unite with the Boltons against the Wildlings, hope that the Boltons take more casualties, and then work to defeat the Boltons later.

      Historically, civil conflicts almost always get put on hold when a common enemy attacks. GRRM is quite the student of history, and he might well be emulating this.

      Jared: Granted, we’re not out of the woods yet regarding where the Umbers’ loyalty will ultimately fall. Not by a long shot. But I’ll take what I can get.

      Along these lines, this is not an “either/or” situation. The Umbers will be opposed to the Wildlings, at least initially. As Jon stresses in Season 3, every boy in the north grows up learning about the 6 Wildling invasions. However, the Umbers also will be opposed to the Boltons. Of course, that opposition probably will have to get put on hold initially: but just because Churchill and Stalin united against Hitler, it was not as if either intended to remain allies with the other after Hitler was defeated. Look for it to be the same thing here.

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    13. As interesting that may be, isn’t here anyone who wants to know something about the “Griffs” (*Bookcharacters which aren’t introduced till now*!!!)? As a bookreader I can only say, I want that they appear!

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    14. Wimsey,

      It will be interesting to see

      The Mormonts and other Stark supporters fighting alongside the Wildlings. I just wonder how the Umbers are going to deal with having to fight fellow northern houses, if the Stark bannermen and Wildlings are in the same army that is.

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    15. They only change it if it sounds similar to another characters name. Harrion and Arianne could sound similar. Maybe she gets mentioned in the show.

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    16. Oh crud, these look like they’re making some composite characters with this “Harold Karstark”:

      In the novels, Rickard had three sons: Harrion, Torrhen, and Eddard. Harrion was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Green Fork, while Torrhen and Eddard Karstark were killed by Jaime at the Battle of the Whispering Wood.

      The TV version moved this around slightly to have Jaime kill one Karstark son in an escape attempt (the novels do have Jaime kill guards in escape attempts, so fine, condense that together because otherwise it would have been off-screen due to budget limitations).

      The problem is that the TV show is shy about introducing characters with the same name, particularly “Eddard Karstark” — even though it’s kind of a point that Ned Stark wasn’t the ONLY person named “Eddard” *in an entire continent*. But whatever, fine, rename him in the TV version, purely a cosmetic change.

      ….but “Kissed by Fire” switched this around; not just our guess but mentioning the sons by name in dialogue. In that episode they stated that Torrhen was killed by Jaime in an escape attempt (fine), and that *Harrion* was killed, off-screen, on the battlefield….presumably leaving Eddard alive. Either that or they didn’t want to use the son named “Eddard” so they killed the other one (didn’t it occur to them to just rename the Eddard son to something else? — then again they may have been looking ahead in Season 3 to the later Northern subplots.

      So is this “Harold Karstark” a renamed third son? Or, is he a condensed version of Rickard’s younger brother Arnolf from the novels?

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    17. huh? can’t think of any possibilities of what this little girl could be doing with pycelle, cersei and qyburn. the only think that makes sense is her being one of varys’ little birds

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    18. Jared: Granted, we’re not out of the woods yet regarding where the Umbers’ loyalty will ultimately fall. Not by a long shot. But I’ll take what I can get.

      I, too, felt a sense of relief the guy riding behind Ramsay was not an Umber. As you said, we aren’t out of the woods, yet, but I still think if the Umbers do appear to side with the Boltons, it is just that…they’re only appearing to, and will turn on them.

      *Fingers crossed*

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    19. I think many of the names from casting may not make it to the screen…we’ve seen them throw out names in the past.

      KaKa:
      huh? can’t think of any possibilities of what this little girl could be doing with pycelle, cersei and qyburn. the only think that makes sense is her being one of varys’ little birds

      I’m pretty sure that’s the show’s incarnation of Penny…remember that they killed a dwarf last season and she could possibly have some scene of her protesting her brother’s murder or maybe even something more sinister (Sir Robert Dwarfhead Strong?) Actually seeing the murder or her crying to Cercei about her murdered brother makes for better TV than her explaining the details to Tyrion.

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    20. Stewbie:
      Does the year ended picture help confirm that the small jon has not joined Ramsay and only sent a small force of umbers to play the Manderly role in winterfall.I cannot think the umbers will betray the Starks and turn over the heir to winterfell to Ramsay.I can’t stomach the thought the Rickon is on of the people on the burning crosses at the battle for the north.

      Nope. It just proves that at some point in S6 Harald Karstark rides behind Ramsay on a horse. But Karstarks with Boltons and Umbers eventually ending up opposing them makes sense.

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    21. Ralf Zillmann:
      As interesting that may be, isn’t here anyone who wants to know something about the “Griffs” (*Bookcharacters which aren’t introduced till now*!!!)? As a bookreader I can only say, I want that they appear!

      I still am frivolously holding a barely smoldering torch for a scene at the end of S6E10

      in which Varys, after secretly arriving back in Westeros, introduces his refugee friends from Volantis, the Griffs, to Kevan and Pycelle, with a Sand Snake or two providing support. As Kevan’s eyes widen with recognition, someone gives an adapted version of the Fire and Blood speech before daggers go stabby-stabby and jaws drop around the globe.

      🙂

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    22. I’m not looking forward to it if true, but just mentioning Qyburn and children together gives off some serious Mengele vibes.

      Ew.

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    23. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      And just because the Umbers are willing to side with the Boltons against the Wildlings, it does not mean that they intend to remain chummy with the Boltons after the Wildling threat is eliminated. One constant theme in these stories that is very true-to-life is that sometimes you have to put aside lesser enmities in the face of greater enmities: and that way you can survive to kill your lesser enemies later! 😀

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    24. BTW, Arya never talked to Tywin…

      Aleph:
      Why is it so difficult for the show runners to use actual book names? I understand the need to change Asha into Yara, but this one? There’s no difference between Harrion and Harald Karstark (and yes, I know Harrion isn’t in a fit condition to be lord in the books).

      It’s Stannis winning the support lf Frey bannerman House Haigh all over again. Why not actually use the vast lore they have at their disposal instead of making things up for no reason at all?

      I realize this sounds a lot purist and it probably is, but it’s very annoying. No, the show isn’t ruined, but seriously? Why?

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    25. Matsuki,

      She is playing a child, not a dwarf, so that idea is pretty much out. (Dwarfs do not look like children: in many ways, they look the opposite of children, particularly in limb:torso ratios and head:body size ratios.)

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    26. Sean C.,

      Heh, given that approximately zero percent of the audience knows that, and given that two people can have the same first name, I really doubt that is the reason!

      (I just watched seadon 3 and I have zero memory of that: but I am no better at retaining names of unshown characters than are most people.)

      Hodors Bastard,

      At this point, I think that it is too late for YG. My bet now is that this is just going to be a plot-for-the-sake-of-plot digression and/or that GRRM is doing something that on which the general audience will call BS (e.g., the Darkflame conjecture).

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    27. I think she’s going to go mad and try to get Qyburn to try bring her daughter back by replacing her blood with that of other young girls. Hey he made one zombie…

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    28. I resemble these callous remarks about Harrion sounding like carrion or like a thing rather than a name. Marion is my middle name, and not once in my 62 years has it occurred to me to associate it with carrion. Not only does Harrion rhyme with at least one ‘real’ name, but it’s also only one letter off from Harrison, of which my autocorrect is reminding me even now as I type!

      What Harrion evoked for me was a harrier: a kind of hawk, which seems like a perfectly reasonable sort of thing for a medieval warrior to want to name a son if he wants him to grow up fierce. I would add that in an alternate world, a real name is anything that the author so designates. There are plenty of odder-sounding names in Planetos – some with more Qs, Xs, Ys and Zs in them than the back pages of the phone book.

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    29. Aleph,

      Because is Harrion Karstark is all ready in the show. He died off screan in the whispering Wood. Robb to lord rickard: I saw Harrion die on the battlefield, and torren…’

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    30. The wildlings dont fight for every lord but Jon Snow.I belive they fight because he talked with them..this means he is alive and well 🙂

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    31. The wildlings dont fight others war only if is Jon Snow who calls for they’r help.This means he is alive and well

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    32. Hodors Bastard: Is this the dude we see behind Ramsay in that end-of-year shot? A Karstark makes much more sense than an Umber.

      And yet, the Umbers are fighting for the Boltons… Which you should really have accepted by now, since Umber mounted men can be seen alongside Boltons and Karstarks in the recent “Inside GoT” feature. In the Bolton army tracking shot, you can spot the Umber sigil on a horse just behind the camera.

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    33. Hodors Bastard,

      Luka Nieto,
      Just remember that there is a ‘lord who changes his allegiance’. It does not have to be a Manderly. Could be some Umber. GreatJon’s brother, or something, while SmallJon works for Ramsay, or the other way round.

      Just a touch of family drama to showcase the effect of the civil war.

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    34. I just thought of a much darker theory with the new young actress.
      She said she enjoyed working with Lena Heady and also that she’s only in one scene. If she is only in one scene and Cersei is involved it probably won’t be one of the little birds.

      She does look like Myrcella however, and Cersei has just learned what Qyburn can do with reanimation. What if myrcella’s death is cersei’s breaking point and she starts giving Qyburn test subjects in an attempt to bring back her daughter. This would completely tie back in to her delusional Feast for Crows storyline

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    35. Yaga:
      Hodors Bastard,

      Luka Nieto,
      Just remember that there is a ‘lord who changes his allegiance’. It does not have to be a Manderly. Could be some Umber. GreatJon’s brother, or something, while SmallJon works for Ramsay, or the other way round.

      Just a touch of family drama to showcase the effect of the civil war.

      I’d say that’s quite possible! That doesn’t change the fact that the new Lord Umber and at least some of his men are possitively fighting for the Boltons in the Battle of the Bastards, even if he has a relative who takes Lord Manderly’s role and changes allegiance. The only thing that makes it unlikely is that the person who surprisingly changes sides is described as a Lord in his own right, which Lord Umber’s relative wouldn’t be. Even if he was, even if this fake-named “Fletcher” is an Umber instead of a Manderly, the fact remains that Lord Umber and Umber men are fighting for the Boltons in season six. The Umbers may be Stark supporters, but I’m pretty sure that, especially considering they live so far up North, they aren’t happy that an army of wildlings is coming their way.

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    36. Yaga,

      The lord who changes his allegiance is almost certainly this new Karstark. How better a way to dramatically give hope to the northern story after 6 seasons of suffering than to not only find out that the Starks still have loyal support but that even those families that have seemingly been wronged by the Starks will rally to their name against a blatant evil.
      Really what reason could any remaining Stark supporter have to go to the Boltons, and at the same time how many Bolton supporters would have reason to defect back to the Kings of Winter

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    37. Jfrinkr: The lord who changes his allegiance is almost certainly this new Karstark

      That makes no sense. They can’t be the same person. Different casting calls for different roles. The new Lord Karstark had the casting call you can see quoted above, in the news report; the “Fletcher” character who changes sides had his own casting call, and a completely different description.

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    38. Luka Nieto,

      Sorry I didn’t realize that the Fletcher character is actually described as that. I thought there was just a confirmed rumour that a lord does switch allegiances.
      I still do think the Karstarks will defect from the Boltons back to the Starks though

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    39. Jfrinkr:
      Luka Nieto,

      Sorry I didn’t realize that the Fletcher character is actually described as that. I thought there was just a confirmed rumour that a lord does switch allegiances.
      I still do think the Karstarks will defect from the Boltons back to the Starks though

      I think the survivors will be pardoned and allowed to switch sides, when the battle is inevitably lost for the Boltons, but not before. If that’s not the case, if the Karstarks and Umbers switch sides before the battle… Well, the battle will be finished before it even starts!

      Also, we’ve already seen the Boltons, Karstarks and Umbers together, in the same army, mixed in, in the field of battle; if they were going to switch sides, they would do it before the armies are actually prepared for battle.

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    40. I must say I really liked “Arnolf Karstark” as a name. Same with “Cregan”.

      Sue the Fury,
      Actually, now that you’ve pointed that out, I think it’s one of his best 🙂

      Ralf Zillmann,
      Speaking of “Gryffs”, I wonder if the Whitehills will get any mention, or if Harald will be based on Gryff or Ludd (Telltale Game reference).

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    41. It’s kinda funny that sticklers for the books and for its canon are arguing they should’ve used Harrion instead of inventing Harald Karstark. What about the canon of the show? Shouldn’t it supersede that of the books, when using the latter creates continuity issues? Harrion is dead in the show! One resurrection per season is already more than enough; Harrion should stay dead. That said, yeah, they could’ve used the Arnolf name. Usually they change names when they are going another way with a character; they probably don’t want people to compare ADWD’s Arnolf Karstark to the show’s new Lord Karstark, which is a wise decision in my book.

      Tywin of the Hill: Speaking of “Gryffs”, I wonder if the Whitehills will get any mention, or if Harald will be based on Gryff or Ludd (Telltale Game reference).

      The game takes from the show, yet I very much doubt the writers of the show will ever use any lore that Telltale has developed on its own.

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    42. Hodors Bastard,

      That’s an interesting idea. A variant on it could fit with Varys’ purported S6 departure from Mereen. But, there’s a long road ahead and it may fit D&D’s purposes better to (as I suspect they will) cut the Griff’s out of GoT completely and do this scene with just Varys, Pycelle and the little birds. Qyburn, I suspect will last at least as long as Sir Robert Strong does.

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    43. Luka Nieto,
      I’m horrible with visuals. Have we seen any banners apart from Stark, Umber, Karstark and Bolton?

      My spoiler file tells me there was some speculation about the Mormonts and the Hornwoods during the initial batch of spoilers: http://watchersonthewall.com/exclusive-exciting-news-about-northern-ireland-filming/ (there was also some speculation about a weird banner that looked a bit like the Payne’s). Would it be possible for you knowledgeable folk to go back to that report and maybe compare the banners? (there was also a casting call for a young lord that could be the one whose dad Ramsay flayed in s5).

      I’m also thinking that Wilding, Umber-Stark, Umber-Bolton, Karstark, Bolton and Vale – is – already Six Armies.

      If so, how about a plot of where
      – Jon convinces the Wildings to fight against the Boltons
      – Sansa/Davos do the same for the Umbers
      – except one of the Umbers defects to the Boltons, grabbing Rickon on the way as a hostage (Umbers hate Wildings)
      – and so we have Wilding and Umber-Stark vs. Umber-Bolton, Karstark and Bolton
      – …with Littlefinger coming in late?

      This sounds actually pretty reasonable for me for a season-long plot.

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    44. Jfrinkr,
      Honestly, I think the show will be doubling down on Cersei’s AFFC arc and

      she will be an incidental test subject for Qyburn

      . Like a maid Cersei sends to him, or something.

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    45. Hodors Bastard,

      (After having a frustrating 10 minutes with my iPhone in my local coffee shop, I’ve now managed to place my reply to Hodor’s Bastard, rather than quoting you, which is what I did initially. Please ignore the identical post later in this thread!!)

      That’s an interesting idea. A variant on it could fit with Varys’ purported S6 departure from Mereen. But, there’s a long road ahead and it may fit D&D’s purposes better to (as I suspect they will) cut the Griff’s out of GoT completely and do this scene with just Varys, Pycelle and the little birds. Qyburn, I suspect will last at least as long as Sir Robert Strong does.

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    46. Luka Nieto: Which you should really have accepted by now, since Umber mounted men can be seen alongside Boltons and Karstarks in the recent “Inside GoT” feature

      I’ve also accepted the fact that I live in denial. My eyes deceive me often these days.

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    47. Hodors Bastard,

      There have to be some shifts in attitudes and loyalties over the season, and they really should be in response to what the lead characters do. This probably is another case of our forgetting that the characters (particularly the incidental ones) knowing much less than we know. To the Northerners, this will be “just” another Wildling invasion: but Wildling invasions are major events that put domestic events on hold. It will be up to Jon and Sansa to convince them that there is something different this time. But remember: none of the northerners watched the Hardhome episode (HBOFlame is available only in Essos!) and they are not going to believe that it happened!

      But to re-beat the drum, the Umbers are no more obliged to turn Rickon over to the Boltons just because they are siding with the Boltons against the Wildlings than Truman felt obliged to share the A-Bomb with Stalin just because the US was siding with the Soviets against the Germans.

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    48. Regarding the Umbers, I still believe they are tricking the Boltons and hiding Rickon, Shaggydog and Osha. The Greatjon could be a hostage of the Freys and Smalljon could be forced to support the Boltons to keep his father alive. Or they might think it’s the best way to protect Rickon in Last Hearth. Once the fight is over, they could reveal to Jon and Sansa that they have Rickon save.
      Because there were several kids in the set, the girl could be just one of Varys little birds during Kevan and Pycelle’s murders … But I also believe Cersei may attempt to bring back Myrcella and sacrifice young girls for that.
      The Green Recruit sounds from House Reed, maybe Meera’s cousin.

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    49. Seej:
      I think she’s going to go mad and try to get Qyburn to try bring her daughter back by replacing her blood with that of other young girls.Hey he made one zombie…

      Wow. That’s a brilliant conjecture.

      On another dead people experimentation note, I’m the lone vote in being most excited about the face removal in the HoBaW in the Best Seat in the House video. I hope we get a better look into that process.

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    50. Wimsey: There have to be some shifts in attitudes and loyalties over the season, and they really should be in response to what the lead characters do.

      Oh, this will be great fun. Part of this escalating passion play is discovering which houses will stand with the new wardens of the north and who will “remember” (…and like others have stated…which houses will have divided loyalties for nefarious game-playing reasons). All that should be apparent early on…then the wildling/nationalist/reborn/undead/WWZ2 factor shall further complicate attitudes. In any case, I do believe there will be much treachery, mummery and culinary tomfoolery about to last the season!

      But I do fear for Osha….

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    51. I don’t have a problem with the name change, especially given that Harrion is claimed to be dead. Sure it might have been better to be consistent between book and show from the beginning, but given season 3, the show should at least be consistent with itself!
      Plus Harald fits for the period, like the King defeated by William the Conqueror, nice historic nod 😉
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Hardrada

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    52. Thank you much Sue & Crew for all you do for us. Great news about the casting. Personally, I don’t care what the characters are called. I guess I just love the show (and the books) but I don’t mix them up. There are characters I would love to see, but it’s okay if you look at the show as a standalone vessel, that we don’t see them.

      As to the Umbers and Karstark’s I think we are probably in for watching some descension in the ranks of both families. I am so excited for this battle.

      As to a trailer, I’ve just about given up..HBO keeps giving us little bites but maybe (looking on the bright side) this is all leading up to a really awesome trailer.

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    53. Yaga: I’m horrible with visuals. Have we seen any banners apart from Stark, Umber, Karstark and Bolton?

      The original leaked picture from the battle was a lineup of Stark loyalists from behind. Aside from the obvious, the Stark sigil, we could see Mormont banners, Hornwood banners and a sigil that couldn’t be identified (it could be pretty clearly seen; it’s just that it doesn’t seem to exist in the books). On the Bolton side, everything we’ve seen points to those three big houses fighting together with no one else —Boltons, Karstarks and Umbers.

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    54. Actually nothing at all to do with GoT, but if you saw the top photo out of context you’d think it was. Drogon spotted in Wales – my he has grown and looks like the super obscure House Caerphilly might be making an appearance in S6! 😉 😀

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    55. Ginevra,

      Ah, but what does “mummer” mean here: a) fake? b) real but supported by a mummer? c) fake and supported by a mummer?

      It might mean nothing, but the exact word choice could be critical: mummer’s dragon (possessive) vs. mummer dragon (descriptive).

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    56. Hodors Bastard: In any case, I do believe there will be much treachery, mummery and culinary tomfoolery about to last the season!

      But I do fear for Osha….

      Did you mean pie foolery? That would be … delicious.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Lulus Mum,

      Hi, Mum! *waving*
      You don’t post many comments, but every time they are worth reading. I’ll never forget the donkey ears used to make an elicopter, I imagine you with those although I don’t know what you look like.
      Love the dragon and how he seems to come out from the soil. Maybe he’s guarding some buried treasure 😉

        Quote  Reply

    58. Hodors Bastard,

      That is a good point: Osha no doubt will be stressing the real readon why the Wildkings are fleeing. I suspect that she will earn some leeway given that she saved Rickon and possibly Bran: but she also could be in danger of pushing the Umber’s forebearance too far with her silly stories.

      That written, given that neither Osha nor Rickon are main characters, we probably will not see any of that: I think that it really is going to be down to Jon somehow convincing people that the White Walkers are back and that this is not a smokescreen for a Wildling invasion.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Ginevra: Did you mean pie foolery?That would be … delicious.

      Depends on the specific original ingredient I guess…and if it’s served with fava beans and a nice chianti….f-f-f-f-f-tttt! 😉

        Quote  Reply

    60. Lulus Mum:
      Actually nothing at all to do with GoT, but if you saw the top photo out of context you’d think it was. Drogon spotted in Wales – my he has grown and looks like the super obscure House Caerphilly might be making an appearance in S6!

      I never realized Drogon was the Welsh Dragon! I hope we get Nessie. Maybe she’ll show up in the Battle of the Bastards or the War of the White Walkers. Wun Wun could ride her.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Sue the Fury,

      Harrion sounds like Harrier hawk. It’s an awesome name. Harold is dorky sounding, and has “old” in it. He’s the NEW Karstark with the word “old” in his name. Silly.

      Why we care about this, lord only knows, I doubt we’ll even hear his first name, he’ll just be Lord Karstark… but I will defend that I liked the name just fine!

      Thanks for all the updates, fun fun fun…

        Quote  Reply

    62. Wimsey: I suspect that she will earn some leeway given that she saved Rickon and possibly Bran: but she also could be in danger of pushing the Umber’s forebearance too far with her silly stories.

      That is precisely why I am fascinated by her and her predicament. She is another gem in this vast field of great supporting characters. I wonder how much, if any, they will say about Bran’s journey. Heck, Bran may whisper it himself via the trees near Last Hearth. She may be considered disposable or be heralded as a wildling liaison.

      On a related note, if Natalia/Osha gets her accordion out and belts out a wildling tune to save herself, I may die. That voice…

        Quote  Reply

    63. Wimsey:
      Ginevra,

      Ah, but what does “mummer” mean here: a) fake? b) real but supported by a mummer? c) fake and supported by a mummer?

      It might mean nothing, but the exact word choice could be critical: mummer’s dragon (possessive) vs. mummer dragon (descriptive).

      I am certain the possessive is used as a play on “mummer’s farce,” a farce presented by a mummer. We are to think this dragon is farcical and fake, perhaps presented by a mummer but not necessarily, in this case, despite the possessive. YG may be a true Targaryen bastard or even heir, but IMO he is still no true dragon, truly capable of being a dragon rider, truly embodying fire and blood – much like Viserys. The dragon has three heads, but YG is not one of them.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Seeing lots of people use the old yearender footage of Ramsay… there have been multiple videos of the footage without the GoT title plastered over it 😛

      I’ve taken the liberty to rip off Abyss and put all current footage into GIFs. Hurry up HBO, I need more!

      http://imgur.com/a/hfmMe

        Quote  Reply

    65. Ginevra: I hope we get Nessie.Maybe she’ll show up in the Battle of the Bastards or the War of the White Walkers.Wun Wun could ride her.

      I like the way you mix verses. I’d certainly would have liked to see that!

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    66. Wimsey:
      Heh, given that approximately zero percent of the audience knows that, and given that two people can have the same first name, I really doubt that is the reason!

      Seeing as the writers would hopefully remember their own past writing, why would that not be the reason? And sure, the same name can be used multiple times, but the writers have fairly consistently avoided doing that and changed instances where GRRM used the same first name. Indeed, when they had Harrion be killed they were presumably doing so to avoid using the name “Eddard” again.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Alright, here my prediction of the Northern Season 6 plot. Much of it may be speculation, but I think it is interesting to think about.

      We have the following major parties at the start of the season:

      1. Boltons: weakened by loss of Sansa and the battle against Stannis.
      2. Sansa: on the run with Theon.
      3. Jon: currently deceased.
      4. Davos/Melisandre: currently without a purpose, hanging around with the ******* of the Night’s Watch.
      5. Brienne: will not take part in the Northern plot, as she will head south towards the Riverlands and meet Jaime at the siege of Riverrun later in the season.
      6. House Umber: will be introduced as a pivotal player in the politics of the North and not only because they have Rickon.

      These are my predictions about the plot, partly based on S6 spoilers, book stuff and my own tinfoil:

      – Wildlings are marching south. They are angry because of the assassination of Jon. Their presence south of the Wall causes tensions with the Umbers, who despise Wildlings.
      – The Umbers are unaware of the recent developments at the Wall and the Hardhome disaster. They consider the Wildlings intruders and may demand answers from the remains of the Night’s Watch. Smalljon Umber will represent the Umbers, yet we may see some other family members as well to cause internal tensions.
      – Meanwhile, Sansa is on the run with Theon. Their paths will separate at a certain moment. Sansa is heading to the Wall and Theon does not want to go there, because he fears Jon’s wrath for his betrayal of the Starks.
      – Sansa will hear somehow of Jon’s assassination. She decides to head for the nearby Last Hearth instead, since she believes the Umbers are still Stark loyalists.
      – Around the same time, Jon Snow is resurrected by Melisandre. Things go down at the Wall. The Night’s Watch may be almost fully wiped out by the Wildlings. I believe a few of them that did not participate in the mutiny will remain at Castle Black to keep things running. Edd will be put in charge as interim Lord Commander [he is still alive for a reason after all and not killed or send away like Grenn/Pyp/Sam. Killing him at Hardhome would have been the easy solution if he does not have a further purpose in the overall story].
      – Davos pledges his allegiance to Jon Snow/Melisandre and their wildling coalition. Although he is still on bad terms with Melisandre, he believes in their purpose: uniting the North so they will stand a chance against the White Walkers. Therefore, they need to retake Winterfell and wipe out the Boltons. Davos believes in the realm and since Stannis died fighting for Winterfell, he feels that helping Jon retake it is the right thing to do (also because Stannis saw something in Jon as Davos told Jon in S5). And Melisandre has seen herself on the walls of Winterfell so she will definitely come along with them.
      – The Boltons pretend they still hold a firm grip on the North and did not lose Sansa. They call their banners in order to demand the formal allegiance of their bannermen. Their plan is to flay anyone who might be disloyal to them. The Karstarks are the first house to respond and ride for Winterfell (to mirror their answer on Stannis’ letter in the books).

      Status halfway during S6:
      – Jon Snow/Melisandre/Davos: marching south with an army of wildlings. First stop: Last Hearth.
      – Sansa: heading for Last Hearth to seek refugee at the Umbers. Theon is on his way to the Iron Islands.
      – The Boltons: Calling their banners to demand the allegiance of their bannermen. House Karstark is so far the only one who responds. The Boltons are unaware that the other Houses are still considering their position.

      The plot thickens:

      – Sansa is the first to arrive at Last Hearth and receive a warm welcome. The fate of Rickon is revealed and the two siblings reunite. The Umbers are still dealing with the wildling problem and the Bolton’s letter. They realize they have more than enough bargaining power to start a rebellion. Sansa tries to convince them to fight for the Starks and help her take down the Boltons. Yet, the house is divided. Some argue they should not head into another war and wait their chances with the Boltons. Others think they should make their move now with two Starks under their roof.
      – Before they can take a final decision, their meeting is disturbed with the arrival of Jon Snow et al. Sansa cannot believe her eyes since she heard he had been assassinated. However, there is no time for a happy reunion since the Umbers are furious about bringing wildlings to their home. Furthermore, they consider Jon to be a bastard without any claim, a deserter to his Night’s Watch oath (they are not aware of his passing and resurrection) and a traitor who sleeps with wildlings (the last part is not incorrect :P). Davos and Sansa will try to give some level-headed arguments, Davos will speak about the Wild Walker threat which shocks everyone.
      – Ultimately, the conflict is resolved in a disputed way. The Umbers will support Sansa/Rickon, but not Jon. However, they will also not fight him. Part of the Umber family will pledge their allegiance of the Boltons. This is a false allegiance and they will await their chances to turn their cloaks against them [as a viewer we are unaware of the latter part and this will be revealed in the final part of the season].
      – The Umbers send secret messages to the other Major Houses that they have the true heirs to the North and rebel against the Boltons. They also send a letter in which they swear fealthy towards the Boltons. They propose a meeting with the other Houses that will support their cause. They quickly receive the support of the Mormonts (since Lyanna Mormont was mentioned in S5) and a few other Houses.
      – The Boltons are getting impatient since they did only hear from the Karstark and Umbers. Lord Karstark is present at this meeting while an Umber representative is on his way (it still appears part of the Umbers have forsaken the Stark cause). Ramsay is proposing the bold course to ride out and kill everyone who did not answer yet. Roose is willing to stay inside Winterfell and not risk their losses like they did with Stannis. [This conflict may escalate to the point that Ramsay kills Roose and Walda.]
      – Episode 7-8: The Northern Lords meet in secret. Sansa is present at this meeting. There is confusion about the allegiance of the Umbers. Smalljon Umber holds the famous North Remembers speech (Manderly is not cast :() and reveals their true purpose: killing the Boltons from outside and within.
      – End of Episode 8: The Boltons are surprised as their scouts report that a wildling army led by a certain bastard is marching towards Winterfell.
      – Episode 9: The Boltons are preparing for battle against the wildling army. To warn Jon, Ramsay has burned a few people and put them on the crosses. However, another army of Stark loyalists reaches Winterfell (Mormont/Stark and other banners are shown but no Umbers). The fight commences. Ramsay rides out with a Bolton/Karstark army supported by a small Umber army.
      – Jon Snow leads the wildlings. The Stark loyalists are led by Smalljon (in secret) and Davos. Melisandre/Rickon/Sansa are kept safe from the battle.
      – Although the Boltons are taken unaware, part of their army retreats behind the safe walls of Winterfell. The wildings fight fiercely, but undisciplined. Ghost fights like a bad ass. Heavy casualties on both sides, but the Boltons seem to be on the winning side.
      – Major deaths in battle (pure speculation): Tormund Giantsbane, Lord Karstark, Davos. Roose also dies in battle, if he is not killed by Ramsay.
      – Just as things seem to go fine for the Boltons, they are stabbed in the back by the Umbers and the Vale army led by Littlefinger arrives. The Vale troops support the Starks/wildlings. The scattered remains of the Bolton army retreat into Winterfell, but are mostly wiped out by the Umbers who remained in Winterfell. Ramsay is taken prisoner. Fat Walda is taken prisoner, if she is not dead already.
      – Post-battle meeting (E10): Littlefinger, Sansa, Jon, Ramsay are present in Winterfell. What remains of the loyalist/wildling armies is camping outside the walls. Littlefinger tries to lure Sansa/Jon into his plans, but they don’t take his **** and focus on the White Walker threat. Ramsay is executed. Winterfell is retaken by the Starks. TWIST: Jon/Sansa take Littlefinger prisoner, what is to be done with him remains unresolved. Wun Wun is freaking out about something. Rickon is installed as official Lord of Winterfell, while Sansa takes the castellan/regency duty on her.
      – Final scene in the North: Jon receives a letter from Edd that the White Walkers have arrived at the Wall and that things are looking sour: “Dead things in the woods, dead things on the Wall”.

      Status at the end of Season 6:
      – Rickon Stark, Lord of Winterfell.
      – Sansa Stark, castellan of Winterfell and supporting Rickon.
      – Melisandre, red witch of Winterfell 😛
      – Littlefinger, prisoner of Winterfell
      – Jon Snow: Stark general
      – Edd: interim Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch
      – Dead: all Boltons, Tormund, possibly Davos. If Davos survives, he will probably have a serving role in Rickon’s new government.

      That’s it! This post became much longer than I expected. Hope you like it anyway. Time will tell how much I did predict right 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    68. Kelsier,

      Nice prediction, but a bit too optimistic for my taste. Here’s my idea of how at least the Battle will be going:

      Spoilers and Predictions below.

      Jon is resurrected and flees Castle Black with Melisandre and Davos. They go to the wildlings to help. The Watch asks the Boltons to help contain the Wildlings. Ramsay somehow finds out that Jon is alive and the Pink Letter happens. Jon, who didn’t feel right about leaving the Watch this whole time is now determined to teach Ramsay a lesson. He attempts to rally the Northern houses to his cause, but despite Tormund and Davos (who we will now refer to as “the masters of the art of convincing others”) backing Jon, most of the Northerners refuse to follow a bastard.

      Meanwhile, Sansa has been captured by one of the Northern Houses (dunno about Theon, heard that he’s gonna back at the Iron Islands), though noone except the captors know about her. Sansa finds out about Jon and his mission and convinces her captors (who are anti-Bolton) to go back him. Ramsay does some real bad shit which makes most of the Northerners hate him even more (kill and flay two known characters whom he will burn during the battle, as it has been confiremd, possibly two nobles?). Jon and Sansa manage to gain support of most of the Northern Houses and prepare to meet the Boltons in battle.

      Littlefinger is present too, though I’m too lazy rn to figure out how he will play into the whole thing.

      Anyways, episode 9 will hopefully be 50 minutes of pure awesomeness, combining the directing of Hardhome, the budget of Watchers on the Wall and the fights of Blackwater all in one epic episode.

      Jon eventually meets Ramsay on the Battlefield, and the two have an epic duel. Ramsay dies, not in some epic cruel cliche death, but it is satisfying nontheless because Jon has become much more cunning and ruthless since his own death. After the Battle, Jon finds Sansa dying in the snow, they share a sad moment, and Jon becomes much more hateful after witnessing another member of his family die. After that, Jon is seen walking to the top of a hill as the camera moves past him, revealing thousands of Northmen flooding Winterfell in one epic long CGI shot (this song is played). The Battle of the Bastards is won. Cut to black.

      But of course, this is Miguel Sapochnik we’re talking about. I thought I had an epic prediction for Hardhome, but D&D and Sapochnik surpassed everything I have hoped for a hundred times. Episode 609 will no doubt be the show’s finest hour to date.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Shy Lady Dragon,
      Afternoon Shy one *uses my giant donkey ears to wave back*. Thanks for your always kind words. It’s fun to join in with discussions on here but definitely a bonus if you can make someone else smile as well as entertaining yourself 😀

      Ginevra,
      *uses one ear to carry on waving at SLD and turns the other in the opposite direction for you* I don’t speak dragon so not sure about his accent but the Welsh flag has a dragon on it so they could all have a shared ancestry from there.

      Looks like we may be seeing more of the fantasy/supernatural elements of the story coming to the fore in this latter part of it, and we are now heading firmly into not-yet-published territory, so more strange creatures are certainly a possibility. Personally I am holding out for giant killer penguins and flying zombie nazi sharks and will not lose hope until the very last episode has finished. Ooh that reminds me, gonna put my money where my mouth is and do myself an avatar…….

        Quote  Reply

    70. Seej:
      I think she’s going to go mad and try to get Qyburn to try bring her daughter back by replacing her blood with that of other young girls.Hey he made one zombie…

      This is A VERY strong possibility because if I remember conversations from last years posts- this girl being in the presence of Pycelle and Qyburn left room for speculation. While most thought she might be being experimented on by Qyburn – some thought she maybe a victim of Pycelle’s lustful nature and this caused a tremendous uproar in some of the following posts- me being one of them.

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    71. Jaime’s girl,

      Wrong Harald. Hardrada was defeated by King Harald, which is a large part of why the Saxons weren’t ready for the Normans.

      Which only makes your naming theory even more intriguing. ?

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    72. just wanted to mention that Raleigh Ritchie a.k.a. Jacob Anderson was on BBC Radio 1 in the UK this morning. He was there to promote his album but they asked about game of thrones and he said 3 things and afterwards said that 1 of them (or at least one of them) was real. i can remember 2 of them, one was that he had a musical jacket and the other was that they had ‘Shetland Unicorns’ – which of course immediately got me to thinking about Skagos where there are supposed to be unicorns.
      Shetland ponies are those very small hairy ponies from the scottish islands.
      Personally i can’t imagine that he could possibly have made this up, its just too obscure – so maybe we will see skagos or some skagosi on GOT S6 whoop!

      R1 website here, im not sure if you can re-listen to the show or not. you used to be able to.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mrh21

        Quote  Reply

    73. Dragonmcmx,

      Nice predictions!

      [SPOILER BELOW]

      Sophie Turner recently had a slip of the tongue that she is safe for this season, so no dramatic goodby between Jon and Sansa I suppose 😉

        Quote  Reply

    74. Kelsier, Dragonmcmx,
      Some good thoughts there guys, there are so many possibilities my tiny mind starts to melt when I think about them.

      As a general remark about

      snowbowl and who may be on which side, I seem to remember when we heard about the two bodies on burning crosses that one of them was a character we already know (although not necessarily well known). This led me to think the other isn’t, ie it’s a person we’ll meet for the first time in S6. Possibly from one of the Houses – or a part of a House – who fail to support the Boltons. I reckon Ramsay would happily kill anyone who didn’t actively fight for him, so staying neutral would be as dangerous as pledging allegiance to TeamFingersCrossedPleaseLetThemWinBigTime.

      Also I was tickled to see from the behind the scenes video that the fighting is not, as I first thought, on a flat open piece of ground, but appears to have at least one raised side and really could be referred to as a bowl 🙂

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    75. Ravyn,

      Until you realize that they’re showing episode 1 at an event on April 10th and the internet will be flooding with spoilers for the following two weeks.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Dragonmcmx,

      That’s infinitely preferable to having the entire first four episodes leak in advance. Last year, they showed the first two episodes at the premiere, so even that’s tighter this year.

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    77. Ravyn,

      They did? I remember reading a summary (hopefully I’ll be strong enough to resist this year :P), and I’m pretty sure it was only the first ep.

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    78. H.Stark,

      That would be a major disappointment, and I don’t think it’s true since many members of the cast and crew have stated that the pacing picks up much sooner this season.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Dragonmcmx,

      Hmmm could be, still I think she will survive this season. Setting her up to do some bigger stuff (“Sansa is finally getting the respect she deserves this season) and then killing her off sounds like bad storytelling in my opinion. If she dies, I think it will be in S7 or S8.

      HunterMac87,

      Thanks for the compliment! Much of it may be tinfoil, but a man can dream 😉

      Sean C.,

      Nice call, didn’t know that! Yet, it could still work. One episode for the meeting at Last Hearth with Sansa/Jon and another for “The North Remembers speech”. We will not see him in the actual battle (which would be weird in my opinion). But yeah, it could be that I am all wrong. However, I do believe that the Umbers will be quite pivotal in the next season, given the wildlings situation, their protection of Rickon and their strategic location for both Sansa and Jon. Whatever their exact role will be, my guess is that they will somehow be the catalyst between Jon’s, Sansa’s and Rickon’s stories.

      Shy Lady Dragon,

      Thanks! Even though I would like this version myself, I hope it will be a lot different. After all, GoT should not be that predictable 😛 although I really hope and think that by the end of the season the Bolton/Northern conflict is resolved and the Starks somehow hold Winterfell again so that they can focus on the White Walker threat. If **** goes down and winter has come you need the Starks. At least that is what the show/books have been telling us for years.

        Quote  Reply

    80. I wouldn’t be so sure of that. They could just as easily turn cloaks mid battle, the Karstarks planned to join the Boltons this way in ADWD after all.

      Luka Nieto: I think the survivors will be pardoned and allowed to switch sides, when the battle is inevitably lost for the Boltons, but not before. If that’s not the case, if the Karstarks and Umbers switch sides before the battle… Well, the battle will be finished before it even starts!

      Also, we’ve already seen the Boltons, Karstarks and Umbers together, in the same army, mixed in, in the field of battle; if they were going to switch sides, they would do it before the armies are actually prepared for battle.

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    81. Kelsier,

      Thanks! A bit neat and tidy at the end.. I think it’s going to be a bit more messy. But lovely to read, and I agree with 90% of it!

        Quote  Reply

    82. Kelsier,

      Nicely done. I think a great deal of what you posted is quite plausible. I’ve never believed all Northern Lords will side against Jon and the Wildlings, although I’ve left myself open to the possibility some will (obviously, the Karstarks will, but I mean other houses). I think you address both sides of that. You ideas don’t stick to a strict formula, but allow for different people to think in different ways, as opposed to everyone thinking in the exact same way, which, I believe, is far more realistic.

      Thanks.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Kelsier,

      Whoa…interesting work. Definitely looking forward to some trojan horse scenarios within the Bolton ranks, especially on the battlefield!

      But what about Deepwood Motte?

        Quote  Reply

    84. Lady Wolfsbane,

      Thanks! It will definitely be messy 😉 as long as the Ramsay dies and there is some Stark victory, I will be a happy man!

      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Thanks to you too. I think you are absolutely right. There are many possibilities, but I really think there will be some division. Some will support Jon, others the Boltons and/or Sansa. My guess is also that there will be those different factions and that although Jon/wildlings and the Stark loyalists face a common enemy, I think it is far too optimistic to think they will cooperate as a union. Those stubborn Northerners hate wildlings and one deserted Night’s Watch bastard (their perspective) is not going to change that unfortunately. Given the circumstances, they will accept but not respect each other.

      Hodors Bastard,

      Yes, Deepwood Motte. What about it… sadly I believe this will not be part of the show, although it plays a prominent role in Stannis’ campaign in the books.

      For the average show watcher who has not read the books, the internal Northern political conflict with many Houses and Lords is really confusing and difficult to translate to the show (but it is my favorite part of ADWD). The show is doing what it always does: streamlining things. They (re)introduce a few houses by name, others are just mentioned or left out at all.

      So what do we have?
      1. House Karstark – known by the average viewer for Lord Rickard’s betrayal and execution in S3. They are easy to reintroduce and side them with the Boltons. Karstarks are mad with the Starks => so let’s join their enemy.
      2. House Umber – less known, but the Greatjon appeared in S1. Still, I think it is a pity they did not reintroduce him. I really loved his character and he is supposedly alive. Furthermore, Rickon headed for Last Hearth at the end of S3 (does not happen in the books). So, the Umbers have been around and it is not that much of a stretch to reintroduce them to the main plot. I also think they will play their part in the tensions with wildlings south of the Wall. I feel this is a plot point that needs to be dealt with and who is a better candidate than the most Northern stronghold, which also happens to be fierce Stark loyalists and the protectors of Rickon? Siding them against Jon makes sense and will provide some interesting television, I suppose.
      3. House Mormont – known for Jeor and Jorah Mormont. The average viewer will probably not associate Jorah with a Northerner, yet he is really not an Andal 😉 also Lyanna Mormont was mentioned in S5. Therefore, I think the Mormonts will be reintroduced as Stark loyalists.

      Basically, that’s it when it comes to Northern Houses in the show other than Starks and Boltons, as far as I remember. Glover/Manderly/Flint and others, they could be mentioned but I don’t think we will see them fleshed out. And since the show really has to streamline the Northern campaign (remember what they did with Stannis), I doubt we will see more than one Northern stronghold. Given its location and the presence of Rickon, Last Hearth is the most viable option. We might also see Karhold, but sadly that’s it. There was also no Asha/Yara nor Stannis at Deepwood Motte, so they kind of already dropped that plotline.

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    85. If the Umbers end up siding with Ramsay in some shock “twist” and Rickon gets killed, I’ll be pretty pissed. So there better be a good explanation for why they’re hanging out with Ramsay.

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    86. Testing, testing, one, two, penguin apocalypse

      Yay, finally managed a pengalypse piccie 😀 Sorry carry on everyone else, I’m just entertaining myself. Tiny things and tiny minds…..

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    87. Shy Lady Dragon,
      It’s a long story but I’m hoping giant killer penguins are going to make an appearance. They can’t fly, no, but I reckon scaled up to Wun Wun size, they could cause a lot of damage with their flippers. Slow and clumsy, but deadly with it! 😀

      Lady Wolfsbane,
      And who better than the mighty Pingu to lead them? 😀

      EDIT: Flora Linden Thank you, Mr Solo 😀

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    88. Kelsier,

      But why would the Northerners be divided concerning the Wildlings? The Wildlings have long been enemies of the Northerners, and the hatred there is old and deep. Indeed, in many ways, someone in the Bolton’s position could not wish for anything better than a Wildling invasion: people always put aside “domestic” grudges when facing “international” threats. (Add to this that the War left many of the houses very weakened, they actually would be more reliant on the Boltons in case of such an invasion: indeed, modern conspiracy theorists in the Northern Westeros probably would be convinced that the Boltons arranged the whole thing just to divert attention from their deeds AND to expand their power much the way that they convinced themselves that the Bush administration arranged 9-11!)

      As for the Wildlings wiping out the NW Nationalists, I would be surprised if the Nationalists would have assassinated Jon without knowing that they had support against the Wildlings. In the books,

      there are a lot of Northerners at the Wall who are very unhappy about Jon letting the Wildlings into Westeros

      : in our discussions of whether Stannis’ skeleton crew would side with the Nationalists or the Loyalists, we’ve left out this force. I think it quite possible that both in the Winter book (should it ever be released) and the Winter season, this force (arriving in one and present already in the other) will support the Nationalists against the Loyalists and the Wildlings.

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    89. Wimsey,

      You have some valid points, let me clarify myself a bit:

      1. Of course the Northerners hate the wildlings. That’s what is causing the division! Because there is more at stake than just wildlings entering the North. Let’s assume that some Northerners are not such big morons like most of the Night’s Watch. If they hear from a level-headed person (Davos, anyone?) that the dead are marching south, some might bury their grudges. I think some Northerners are smarter than the Night’s Watch and more eager to believe such stories than the Lannisters and others in King’s Landing. The Northerners know their legends. They may be skeptical, but they will probably at least agree that things are complicated. There is this undead bastard, whom some believe to be Eddard Stark’s last living son. On the other hand there are wildlings whom they hate. But there are also Boltons they hate and I’d doubt they like ice zombies and Others. Alltogether the division is not about whether or not they should like the wildlings, but about how they should sort out their priorities.

      2. About the Night’s Watch, I think the NW in the show and in the books are vastly different. In the books the NW have valid reasons to assassinate Jon, even though we may hate it as a reader. Jon almost ignores his advisors at every opportunity, is a bad communicator, proposes a suicide mission to Hardhome (a strategical blunder if you ask me) and seals his own fate with confessed oathbreaking. The NW considers Jon as dangerous and unpredictable so they murder him. It is sad, but somewhat understandable. However, the NW in the show are just a bunch of morons. They murder Jon because they are angry about the wildlings and have no more than three brain cells. The dead are coming towards us, so let’s murder our leader! Even the way it happens is kind of childish with that stupid sign. Oh, I almost forgot the kid with his personal grudge against Jon. I am definitely not a book purist, but the way this went down I really felt they kind of butchered the NW motivations and made them look plain stupid and villainous.

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    90. Kelsier,

      Oh, boy. Just so you know, Wimsey is adamant (unless he’s changed his stance) no one, not a single Northerner, will believe in the WW threat, no matter who tells them of it. He thinks any story about them, any word or hint of their return, will be summarily dismissed.

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    91. Kelsier,

      I think the NW in the show and in the books are vastly different. In the books the NW have valid reasons to assassinate Jon, even though we may hate it as a reader.

      *sniff* And I claim you as a brother… it’s so true, it’s so glorious…

      Me, peon in the Night Watch (book version): Stab stab stab you, Jon of the stupid Pink Letter, Jon who does all his best Leadership stuff in his head or behind closed doors. You sent away Aemon I dunno why. You want us to leave the Wall my home and my life and march south to fight people in a game of thrones. I hate you.

      Me, peon in the Night Watch (show version): Wait, WTF did you guys stab him for? Watch out – here’s his wolf? Weren’t any of you at Hardhome, he’s got a magic sword and is the only one who can single-handedly save us from the zombies I know are real and… Oh crap now we’re dead.

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    92. ladywolfsbane: he’s got a magic sword

      Ygritte certainly thought so. *angelic smiley*

      *Sorry, I just felt the overwhelming urge to make a bad dick joke. Carry on.*

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    93. Kelsier: Yes, Deepwood Motte. What about it… sadly I believe this will not be part of the show, although it plays a prominent role in Stannis’ campaign in the books.

      Yes…I was simply trying to add some levity to your analysis. A few months back, there was some silliness going on here and elsewhere about Deepwood Motte…not worth re-exploring… 🙂 But thanks for the notes and follow-up. Can’t wait to watch this play out.

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    94. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Kelsier,

      Oh, boy.Just so you know, Wimsey is adamant (unless he’s changed his stance) no one, not a single Northerner, will believe in the WW threat, no matter who tells them of it.He thinks any story about them, any word or hint of their return, will be summarily dismissed.

      Hmmm I am not so sure about that. There have been signs of bad stuff happening beyond the Wall since book/season 1:
      – Disappearance of Ser Waymar Royce, execution of Gared/Will
      – Disappearance of Benjen Stark
      – Great Ranging => Fist of the First Men
      – Betrayal of Lord Commander Mormont (although this is not directly related to the WW threat)
      – Wildlings marching south with Mance Rayder
      – The rise of Sam the Slayer :’)
      – Hardhome

      Based on this I think at least some Northerners will decide that they believe something bad is going on. This is mainly because I believe some Northerners still hold the NW messages at high value, contrary to how King’s Landing views them. But yeah, Jon is not the best messenger in this case. Anyway, I could be totally wrong and they could dismiss him. If that’s the case, Jon will not find much support among them. That’s what I think will end up happening anyway. Time will tell us what will happen exactly 🙂

      ladywolfsbane,

      Hahaha, you just made my day! You couldn’t be more right. Man, this is one of the best examples of which the show’s streamlining did not end up well. Pink Letter or not, they really burned the Night’s Watch credibility in the show together with Stannis and his entire family.

      Hodors Bastard,

      You’re most welcome! Can’t wait for Season 6 as well 🙂

      Mr Fixit,

      Yeah, kind of. As a certain deceased Lannister would call it: “Madness and stupidity”.

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    95. Kelsier: If they hear from a level-headed person (Davos, anyone?) that the dead are marching south,

      I think that you have too much persuasiveness riding on Davos, who was not at Hardhome and has never seen a WW/Other, nor even so much as a crawly disembodied appendage of a wight. He accepted Melisandre’s premise that the WW were the real threat because Stannis did. Now that he has no Stannis to follow, he may lose enthusiasm for being a spokesperson for Jon’s position (although seeing him rezzed may persuade him).

      My other biggest quibble with your scenario is the idea that Brienne would ride off to the Riverlands and leave Sansa to fend for herself in the snow. Sansa has hundreds of miles to cover, does not know how to hunt or forage or start a fire or make herself a shelter. She would die if she tried to get to Last Hearth all by herself.

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    96. Lulus Mum: Drogon spotted in Wales – my he has grown and looks like the super obscure House Caerphilly might be making an appearance in S6

      That would be too…cheesy. ::rimshot::

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    97. I guess everyone is forgetting that King Brandon “the breaker” Stark sided with the Wildlings to bring the Night’s King down. And I’m sure House Umber was involved in that war and it is a house that “remembers”. I’m still very hopeful that 5000 wildlings south of the Wall will not make the Umbers side with the Boltons. Since there’s no Manderly, I would assume the Umbers will have to betray the Boltons in some way. The “stirring” speech has to be for the Starks.

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    98. Lulus Mum:
      Testing, testing, one, two, penguin apocalypse

      Yay, finally managed a pengalypse piccie Sorry carry on everyone else, I’m just entertaining myself. Tiny things and tiny minds…..

      I love the GoT lettering in “Soon”! I’m not betting on the penguins, but I am betting on ice spiders – at least in the books where the special effects are free.

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    99. Nymeria Warrior Queen: Ygritte certainly thought so.*angelic smiley*

      *Sorry, I just felt the overwhelming urge to make a bad dick joke.Carry on.*

      All men must claim to have magic swords. It is known.

      Not all men claim their swords radiate fire. Only Stannis the Mannis. And now he’s dead. He really should have seen a doctor about that.

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    100. ladywolfsbane:
      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      It is good… but now all I can think of is a cheezy GoT porn rip-off“I am the sword in the darkness, ba-by. Are you ready to… make your vow?

      Mmmm… not-so sexy…

      Okay, now I’m picturing glow-in-the-dark condoms.

      I am the sword in the darkness. I am the stalker in the walls. I wear the shield that guards the seeds of man.

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    101. Luka Nieto:
      It’s kinda funny that sticklers for the books and for its canon are arguing they should’ve used Harrion instead of inventing Harald Karstark. What about the canon of the show? Shouldn’t it supersede that of the books, when using the latter creates continuity issues? Harrion is dead in the show! One resurrection per season is already more than enough; Harrion should stay dead. That said, yeah, they could’ve used the Arnolf name. =

      …no one…..said they should resurrect Harrion? Weird.

      The actual question was: why not just name them either Eddard Karstark or Arnolf Karstark? Why invent a name when you can *re-use* a name? Possibly to acknowledge when it’s a composite character I guess (“Alton Lannister” was a heavily changed analogue to Cleos Frey, but stated to not be that closely related to Jaime). Still I wonder what their long-term plan was for Karstarks back in Season 2, though I assume it might get mentioned at some point.

      But I suspect condensation is at play here, so I’m not particularly upset; heavily condensed characters getting renamed to acknowledge their condensation is okay.

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    102. Kelsier: I’d doubt they like ice zombies and Others.

      Well, they won’t like the wights and White Walkers. However, both the show and the books have been pretty clear that there are two camps where these things are concerned: those who think that the Walkers used to exist but are long extinct, and those who think that they existed in the first place. Yes, Jon sent out Ravens: but so did Mormont regarding the wights, and nobody believed those, either.

      I think that a key thing that it is always easy for an audience to forget is that although we have seen a lot of wights and Walkers, the peoples in the story south of the Wall have seen nothing of them. So, they will not be being stupid or stubborn by not believing the old fairy tales. Instead, this should sound the same to them as it sounds to us when the crazies pronounce that Jesus or Elvis or whomever is coming back this November, or that aliens are performing full body scans routinely along a certain stretch of highway. That is what White Walkers returning would sound like to the Westerosi Lords, at least according to everything we have read and seen!

      The other thing that we have to remember is that this is a story, not a history. For something big like this, having one (or more) of the lead characters struggle to get anybody to accept the possibility of an oncoming disaster (be it political disaster, economic disaster, health disaster, natural disaster or supernatural disaster) should be an integral part of the story, and not just some arbitrary event along the way. Moreover, we should expect to see the other leads (Daeny with the Dothraki, Tyrion in Mereen, Arya with the Faceless Men, Bran either with or through the Tree Gods) should be doing the same sort of thing elsewhere.

      Kelsier: In the books the NW have valid reasons to assassinate Jon

      The reason is the same in both media: the “Nationalist” faction cannot accept allying with the Wildlings under any circumstances. Marsh flatout tells Jon in the books: letting the Wildlings into Westeros is treason. We have yet to learn the full extent of the Nationalist plot in either medium: but I suspect that it started brewing with that exchange and that it is wider than just those people sticking knives into Jon. (This is why I now think that we blundered by overlooking the fifth faction at the Wall when this happens in the book.)

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    103. ladywolfsbane: Weren’t any of you at Hardhome, he’s got a magic sword and is the only one who can single-handedly save us from the zombies I know are real and… Oh crap now we’re dead.

      No, none of the Nationalists were at Hardhome. And chances are pretty good that they think that the story is greatly exaggerated if not outright fabricated, much as certain people in our world claim that stories of what is happening in Syria or Central America are fronts to mask invasions. Fear and hatred are very powerful tools for getting people to see what they want to see. And the simple truth is that the Nationalists hate the Wildlings so much (both in the books and on the show) that it is impossible for them to see the Walkers and their wights as an equal threat. Sadly, human history is full of these sorts of mistakes…..

      It really was much the same in the book. It was quite clear that Marsh cannot wrap his head around the threat that the White Walkers and their wights pose: all of his solutions basically end up with the Walkers getting most of the Wildlings as new Zombies. Again, this is another classic pattern in human history: yes, my cousins, brothers and I put aside our differences to when our old family enemy attacks, but we never realize in time that our old family enemy is nothing when the totally new threat appears. As such, convincing someone like Marsh that the Walkers are as dangerous as the Wildlings (never mind orders of magnitude more dangerous) might be impossible.

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    104. Wimsey,

      I’m stunned when I see people failing too understand something so simple…
      Alltough the people who complain and say this didn’t made sense are all book-readers. So that answers part of the problem.
      Never seen someone who only watches the show to not understand why Thorne did it. They act like the entire watch was at Hardhome or that the entire watch took part in the in the assassination.
      Mormot got killed by people who SAW the Walkers/Whights.
      Also they pretend that everyone saw Jon kill the WW.. I would be suprised if anyone managed too see that in the madness that was taking place.

      Also disagree with their pretext, that now that their brothers saw the WW they should accept the truth and support Jon. It already happened once, after what remained of Mormots man returned to the wall. Guess what happened, no one believed them. So why should those who where not at HH believe them now?
      Or people saying Jon got murdered because of the PL, witch in my opinion is completly false. Marsh and co. where clearly ready to do this for some time, the PL only hurried them to act.

      As always wonderfully written Wimsey and completly agree.

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    105. ladywolfsbane:
      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      It is good… but now all I can think of is a cheezy GoT porn rip-off“I am the sword in the darkness, ba-by. Are you ready to… make your vow?

      Mmmm… not-so sexy…

      I used to be really impressed whenever I heard the NW vow. But now I’m sure I won’t be able to stop laughing no matter how dramatic the scene might be :))

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    106. LastKiss:
      wow, not one response for the shetland unicorns?

      i thought that was prettyexciting.

      They’ll fit in perfectly with Nessie and the giant penguin apocalypse.

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    107. Ginevra,

      lol
      it may mean we have skagosi at the battle of the bastards!

      i swear he couldn’t have made it up, ive never heard him say he’s read the books

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    108. The Dragon Demands,

      My comment wasn’t directed at you. In fact, among those here who doubted the validity of the name change, you were the one who made the most sense, as you knew Harrion was dead in the show. Others didn’t, and that was my point —they were acting as the defensors of canon, bothered by the invention of this Harald character, while advocating for something that would create a continuity mistake in the show. Many here have suggested using the book’s Harrion instead of this Harald… even though he is dead in the show.

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    109. The Dragon Demands: Possibly to acknowledge when it’s a composite character I guess (“Alton Lannister” was a heavily changed analogue to Cleos Frey, but stated to not be that closely related to Jaime).

      That’s exactly it. When they make up a composite character or a character that is very different from the original, they like to change the name. I think it’s a sound strategy, generally. Fewer book readers will get pissed about this or that character getting butchered. Well… some will get pissed anyway, of course —but still fewer than if, for example, Talisa had been named Jayne while still maintaining the rest of Talisa’s character. Never understood the hate towards Talisa, by the way. I thought she was certainly a more interesting character than Jeyne, though that on its own is not an achievement —I believe she was a great character on her own right, and her romance with Robb was quite lovely.

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    110. Luka Nieto,

      Most of the anger against Talisa comes from the fact that she proved some theories wrong.
      Like Jayne being pregnant and so on.

      Agree tough, her romance with Rob was really sweet and her being at the RW made it even more tragic/dramatic.
      Of course some will say they changed her just so they can kill her and use her as a shock factor……

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    111. Mihnea: Of course some will say they changed her just so they can kill her and use her as a shock factor……

      Well, many book readers originally thought the same thing about Ned’s execution or the Red Wedding, even though right now it would be pretty much impossible to envision the books or the show without these events.

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    112. LastKiss,

      :Googled: :Kindled: Okay, now your theory is a bit more plausible than Giant Penguins – Sorry, Lu.

      The island sat at the mouth of the Bay of Seals, massive and mountainous, a stark and forbidding land peopled by savages. They lived in caves and grim mountain fastnesses, Sam had read, and rode great shaggy unicorns to war.

      Martin, George R. R. (2005-11-08). A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4) (p. 248). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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    113. Mihnea,

      I liked Talisa much more than Jeyne. In the show Robb’s wife was a living, loving, thinking woman, with a real story of her life and even sense of humour. I was devastated while watching the Red Wedding because I saw the tragic end of what might have been a beautiful family. And they planned to name their future son Eddard… this made me cry.

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    114. Firannion,
      Ba dum tish. What’s the best kind of cheese to lure a bear out of hiding? Camembert 😀
      (Note for anyone this doesn’t make any sense to, it’s a French word which we English pronounce as camanbear.)

      ladywolfsbane,
      Now I’m imagining Grenn and co seducing that attacking giant with their vows in ep 4.09. Come over here big boy, wanna sword fight? 😉

      Ginevra,
      Books schmooks, there’s GRRM cannon, D&D show cannon and Lulu’s Mum cannon, which is whatever I want it to be at any given time. Now I’m imagining this happening. I don’t see why not, they have the budget for it 😀

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    115. Mihnea:
      Luka Nieto,

      Most of the anger against Talisa comes from the fact that she proved some theories wrong.
      Like Jayne being pregnant and so on.

      Agree tough, her romance with Rob was really sweet and her being at the RW made it even more tragic/dramatic.
      Of course some will say they changed her just so they can kill her and use her as a shock factor……

      Yes. I remember the outrage on westeros.org when Talisa was killed. The (unlikely) theory about Jeyne being pregnant almost became a fact (“Jeyne is still alive and pregnant in the books”). This usually happens when book readers overanalyze the books.

      Several westeros.org members (including Elio and Linda) actually complained that RW was not violent or bloody enough – that instead of a shock, the whole wedding should have been done as a horror movie. Elio’s and Linda’s very biased review of this episode (calling the episode not good and in their eyes the TV RW seemed to be done just for shock value) was the first sign for me that westeros.org might not be a proper (show) fansite after all.

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    116. Wimsey:

      The reason is the same in both media: the “Nationalist” faction cannot accept allying with the Wildlings under any circumstances.Marsh flatout tells Jon in the books: letting the Wildlings into Westeros is treason.We have yet to learn the full extent of the Nationalist plot in either medium: but I suspect that it started brewing with that exchange and that it is wider than just those people sticking knives into Jon.(This is why I now think that we blundered by overlooking the fifth faction at the Wall when this happens in the book.)

      Mihnea:

      I’m stunned when I see people failing too understand something so simple…
      Alltough the people who complain and say this didn’t made sense are all book-readers. So that answers part of the problem.
      Never seen someone who only watches the show to not understand why Thorne did it. They act like the entire watch was at Hardhome or that the entire watch took part in the in the assassination.
      Mormot got killed by people who SAW the Walkers/Whights.
      Also they pretend that everyone saw Jon kill the WW.. I would be suprised if anyonemanaged too see that in the madness that was taking place.

      Also disagree with their pretext, that now that their brothers saw the WW they should accept the truth and support Jon. It already happened once, after what remained of Mormots man returned to the wall. Guess what happened, no one believed them. So why should those who where not at HH believe them now?
      Or people saying Jon got murdered because of the PL, witch in my opinion is completly false. Marsh and co. where clearly ready to do this for some time, the PL only hurried them to act.

      As always wonderfully written Wimsey and completly agree.

      I strongly disagree with you that the motivations to assassinate Jon are the same in the books and the show. It is not about whether or not show watchers understand the motivations of Thorne and co. My main problem is that these motivations are clear, but very one-dimensional in the show compared to the books.

      Ok, let’s first agree on a few points. No, not all NW were at Hardhome and the WW threat most likely does not convince the hardcore NW to like wildlings. And it is very likely no one saw Jon kill a WW. But that’s not my point. My point is that although both the books and the show NW kill Jon because of the wildings, in the show it is only reason aside from the personal grudge of Alliser Thorne. Really, in the books it makes sense from NW perspective to act the way they did, while in the show they did just look like a bunch of morons and villains to me.

      Show:
      – Alliser Thorne hates Jon Snow, because he hates Eddard Stark.
      – Olly hates wildlings because they killed his family.
      – Jon Snow becomes Lord Commander and starts a coalition with the wildlings.
      – Alliser Thorne hates both wildlings and Jon Snow.
      – Olly starts hating Jon Snow, because he loves wildlings.
      – Wildlings are allowed south of the Wall.
      – Alliser Thorne, Olly and others decide that Jon Snow is a traitor and has to die.
      – “For the Watch” => a better final message to Jon would be “For the What?!”
      – No problems are solved. Jon is dead, NW leaderless, wildlings are still roaming south of the Wall. And yes they don’t give **** about it, but WW are marching towards the Wall.

      Books:
      – Bowen Marsh is kind of neutral toward Jon Snow.
      – Jon Snow is elected Lord Commander.
      – Jon Snow starts a coalition with the wildlings. Bowen Marsh hates wildlings, but does not complain much.
      – Bowen Marsh and others give Jon advice on multiple occassions on many topics. Jon Snow mostly ignores them, making them feel disrespected.
      – Jon Snow manages to send away his friends (Sam/Aemon) or estrange from them (Pyp/Grenn).
      – Jon Snow does not really communicate his plans and remains vague. The only communication he has with his advisors is about dismissing their views. Wouldn’t that turn a man sour?
      – Jon Snow starts to actively help Stannis => giving advice about the Boltons and Deepwood Motte and using clan scouts => hereby endangering the neutrality of the Watch.
      – Jon Snow sends Mance Rayder on a secret mission => hereby endangering the neutrality of the Watch.
      – Jon Snow mingles in Karstark affairs by marrying Alys Karstark => hereby violating the neutrality of the Watch.
      – Jon Snow proposes a rescue mission to Hardhome => hereby endangering the scarce resources and strategic advantage (behind the Wall) of the Watch.
      – Jon Snow is a confessed oathbreaker after the Pink Letter.
      – Bowen Marsh and others stab Jon with tears in his eyes: “For the Watch”.
      – Some problems may be solved: Hardhome and Winterfell mission will probably be cancelled (for now) and by killing Jon they can justify it by stating that he violated the neutrality of the Watch. Boltons and Karstarks may accept this.

      Well, that totally makes a lot more sense to me. In many cases I approve of the streamlining of the show. Examples: Tyrion meeting Dany, Brienne vs. the Hound etc. But this is not about not understanding the NW motivations, but about losing its credibility and its moral ambivalence in the Season 5 plot.

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    117. Kelsier,

      Why do so many assume that the Pink Letter was the reason for Jon’s assassination? It may have been just the catalyst.

      Also on TV, the assassination was done in secret. Do you think the officers will loudly shout “We killed Jon Snow”? They may as well blame the wildlings for it.

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    118. Has anyone thought about post battle. The Starks will win and both Boltons and Karstarks will go extinct so which new house will inherit Karhold or the Dreadford? What about Hornwood castle , House Hornwood is extinguished(besides one bastard)…., how about House Mormont with no male heirs, , House Flint of Widows watch with no male heirs. This will be intresting to see on how GRRM will fill these gabs. I know the Tallharts have a claim to Hornwood Castle, but the rest will be interesting. Maybe one of the castles will go to the supreme leader of the wildlings ….House Tormund of the Dreadford…something like that.

      Were talking about the show now….

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    119. Kelsier,

      I simply don’t agree with you.

      I won’t reply to your points because the conversation will go in circles, I know this from personal experience.

      I literally said all I had to say in my comment and Wimsey’s comment also reflects my view, so I don’t see what’s the purpose to write all of it again.

      Let’s simply agree to disagree.
      To me the motive was the same: the wildlings. The PL only hurried the assassination in the books, that’s how I see it.
      Also find your points on the shows assassination comically, if I wanted I could easlly do the same with the events from the book.

      If anything the more personal vibe I got from the show added to the moment. Allister instead of Marsh, witch I taught was a very good decision. Even Olly.

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    120. Lulus Mum,

      How did I miss this post? I love it! I’m fully expecting exactly this.

      Mihnea,

      FTW was already in motion before anyone but Jon knew of the letter. I’ll go back and find the book quotes later, when I have computer access, where there is blatant conspiracy underfoot while Jon is just beginning to read the letter. And obviously D&D realized that the letter was not the impetus for FTW.

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