Entertainment Weekly names the Battle of the Bastards to ‘Best of the Decade’ list

Caption

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in “The Battle of the Bastards.”

With 2019 coming to a close and a new decade on the horizon, Entertainment Weekly is compiling a look back at the movies, music, TV shows and more that changed the pop culture landscape during the 2010’s. And is anyone surprised that something from Game of Thrones on the list? Frankly, I’ll be more shocked if it’s the only thing that GoT makes this list for.

That “thing” is the legendary Battle of the Bastards, from the Season 6, Episode 9 episode of the same name, in which Jon Snow and Sansa Stark defeat Ramsay Bolton’s forces and take back Winterfell. At that point in its evolution, Thrones had become a show of massive proportions — both in its storytelling and its production values — but in spite of this, people were still unprepared for the epic nature of the battle (and the episode itself) when it premiered in 2016.

“There are certain battle sequences committed to film that are unforgettable, and the Battle of the Bastards ranks with the best of them,” said Netflix executive Channing Dungey, who was interviewed for the EW piece. “Dave [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] devoted a decade of their lives to Game of Thrones, and all that work is evident in what feels like the pinnacle moment of the series. The degree of difficulty here is just massive — night shoots, stunt work, the CGI dragons — and director Miguel Sapochnik delivers all with incredible scope and specificity.”

Action aside, the episode is also a masterful example of the emotional, character-driven storytelling at which Thrones had excelled in earlier seasons, from the moment Ser Davos finds Shireen’s burnt toy stag in the ruins of her funeral pyre to the conversation between Daenerys and Yara in Meereen about doing better than their fathers. And who doesn’t love seeing Ramsay being fed to his own starving hounds by a steely-eyed Sansa?

The episode won seven Emmys, including for writing and directing, and “overnight erased any lingering perception that TV is in some respects less than cinema — while also raising the bar for all competitors to come,” according to the EW piece. We couldn’t agree more.

97 responses

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    1. “all that work is evident in what feels like the pinnacle moment of the series. The degree of difficulty here is just massive — night shoots, stunt work, the CGI dragons — and director Miguel Sapochnik delivers all with incredible scope and specificity.”

      What is he talking about ? There were no night shoots or dragons in the Battle of the Bastards.

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    2. Agree about that this was the pineapple of the show. Those 2 episodes 6×09 and 6×10 are just brilliant.

      Nick20,

      There was, at the beginning with Daenerys taking back Slaver’s Bay.

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    3. I will always remember the first time I watched this episode. This battle will be remembered forever. It’s GoT’s version of helm’s deep.

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    4. The execution of this battle and the episode itself was…brilliant…but it’s not really one of my favorites. This is the episode where the whole Sansa/Jon “why didn’t she tell him about Littlefinger” drama started, which was a plot development that will probably drive me nuts in perpetuity.

      Very well executed though and I think the Battle of Meereen was…brilliant…as well.

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    5. So much of it is brilliant for sure and it is my favorite battle of the whole series. But I will also forever see this episode as the point in which GOT starts turning on itself. On the one hand, the episode is trying present Jon as heroic and someone of destiny; on the other, the episode wants to introduce Sansa as an up-and-coming power player. And for some reason, the episode can’t seem to do this without making Jon seem incompetent/stupid and Sansa as petty/stupid. It made no sense for the show to cast shade on two of their leading characters like this. Of course, this was just the beginning…

      So, idk, a flawed masterpiece?

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    6. The opening sequence in Meereen holds the honor of being my most rewatched scene of the entire series. Looking back it is one key moment that adds to the sadness of Daenerys’ end. There was so much joy that she’d finally earned everything she needed to sail… just to see it all fall apart so fast in that fashion. I really do hope the book version is quite different. Loved the episode though and it deserved all the accolades. The BotB raised the bar for that type of battle not just for the small screen but big as well.

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    7. Ok, that guy definitely didn’t know what he was talking about, lol.
      I’d be confused, but I tend to agree with EW because in comparison to the D-battle of 8.3, 6.9 felt far too real.
      Sapochnik did manage to capture the feel of an early medieval times battle; the dirt, blood, brutality and speed, the confusion and the desperation and the uncertaintly of the men fighting.
      Bravo to the directors, producers and cast.

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    8. Normally I used to watch an episode again within a few hours, but I was so drained after watching BOTB that I couldn’t face rewatching it for several days.

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    9. Clob,

      Most rewatched scene for me is hard to say, but it’s gotta be one of the following:

      *The first 20 minutes or so of WOW when the Light of the Seven is playing
      * The last 30 minutes of Hardhome
      * The mutiny at Craster’s
      * Dany speaks her mother tongue and gives Kraznys the dracarys treatment
      * Tyrion’s “confession” during his trial
      * Viserys getting his Golden Crown
      * Dany giving birth to her dragons to end the first season
      * The wildfire scene in Blackwater
      * The Purple Wedding.
      * Tyrion escaping KL at the end of season 4
      * “I Will Be Your Champion”

      Too many to list really.

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    10. lucy,

      Jon wasn’t stupid he got emotional. When that happens people make mistakes that is a very human thing. The episode did not turn Sansa into some powerplayer just because she saved the day. If I saw my brother killed right in front of me I don’t know how I would act. I might have done the same thing Jon did even though it was dumb.

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    11. Fireandblood87,

      Yea, it really was kind of a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t scenario for Jon.

      If he gives in to his emotions and tries to save his brother, then the battle plan is compromised.

      However, if he didn’t do anything to try and save his brother, how would his men react to that? I wonder if they’d start questioning their loyalty to someone that wouldn’t put themself at risk when their own brother’s life is hanging in the balance.

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    12. Mr Derp,

      Excellent choices!

      Some of my personal favorites on my Perpetual Rewatch loop include:
      • From S4e7, in addition to Oberyn “I will be your champion”: Sandor “the pain was bad, the smell was worse…/“You think you’re on your own?”; Hot Pie giving Brienne intel re: Arya; Bronn to Tyrion “I hope to hear them sing it one day”; LF-Lysa “Your sister.”
      • From S2e5? Tyrion outwits and entrails Lancel, and converts him into double agent [my choice for Tyrion’s best GoT scene]
      • From S2? Tyrion-Janos Slynt: “I’m not questioning your honor. I’m denying its existence.” 😁
      • S3, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”: Ygritte – Jon “Oh! A spider! Save me Jon Snow, my dress is made of the finest silk from Tralalaeeday.”
      • S4e8, Sandor & Arya on the way to Bloody Gate, discussing killing as if comparing their golf games
      • Of course, last 9 minutes of S4e1, “Two Chickens” – I mean “Two Swords” [my overall #1 scene of GoT]
      • S5e5? Jon unchaining Tormund = start of a beautiful friendship
      • S2 Gendry-Arya: “You shouldn’t insult people that are bigger than you”… “Then I wouldn’t get to insult anyone”
      • S4e10 Brienne of F*cking Tarth, Arya, and Sandor (“And that’s what you’re doing? Watching over her?”… “Aye, that’s what I’m doing.”)
      • S8e2 Sandor: “I fought for you, didn’t I?”
      S8e5 Arya: “Sandor! … Thank you.” 😥
      • S2? Tyrion & Bronn visit pyromancer
      • S6e10 Arya kills Walder
      • S7e4, Brienne & Arya sparring
      ….
      Geez. Too many to list! I’ve got too many saved video links to count!

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    13. Mr Derp:
      Fireandblood87,

      Yea, it really was kind of a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t scenario for Jon.

      If he gives in to his emotions and tries to save his brother, then the battle plan is compromised.

      However, if he didn’t do anything to try and save his brother, how would his men react to that?I wonder if they’d start questioning their loyalty to someone that wouldn’t put themself at risk when their own brother’s life is hanging in the balance.

      In all fairness, it was Davos who gave the order: “Follow your commander!”

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    14. Grandmaester Flash:
      Normally I used to watch an episode again within a few hours, but I was so drained after watching BOTB that I couldn’t face rewatching it for several days.

      That’s how I felt about the last half of S5e8 “Hardhome.”

      I’ve also rewatched Ozzy Man’s review of “Hardhome” numerous times:

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    15. Ten Bears: In all fairness, it was Davos who gave the order: “Follow your commander!”

      I think Davos had a man-crush on Jon, but just never said anything 🙂

      I mean, I still can’t figure out why exactly Davos wanted Mel to resurrect Jon so badly to begin with.

      In all seriousness, I think at that point in the battle, Davos had no choice, but to signal the attack since the commander was in trouble. Once the commander dies, so does the cause, and so does the army fighting for him.

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    16. Mr Derp,

      ”I mean, I still can’t figure out why exactly Davos wanted Mel to resurrect Jon so badly to begin with.”

      That… was never made clear at all. Plus, did Davos even know about Red Priest(ess) resurrection abilities?

      That whole request by Davos kind of came out of left field. (For that matter, so did Mel’s latching onto Jon as the PTWP… just because someone had to be the PTWP because Stannis wasn’t??? Why not Hot Pie?)

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    17. Ten Bears,

      Correction (Damn Auto-Correct!) 😡
      ***
      “From S2e5? Tyrion outwits and entraps (NOT “entrails”) Lancel, and converts him into double agent [my choice for Tyrion’s best GoT scene]”

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    18. Ten Bears,

      It really was never made clear, and I thought that was a bit frustrating since it’s out of character for Davos to encourage magic, or to ask Mel for help at all. He just became loyal to Jon out of nowhere. Sure, there was mutual respect there, but that’s a far cry from trying to bring someone back from death and then clinging to them after they’ve come back as if they were BFF’s this whole time.

      The only explanation I’ve heard for Davos’ motivation to resurrect Jon was that he saw something in Jon and thought he was worth the fight or something to that affect, which is a pretty poor explanation. I’m definitely open to better interpretations.

      Maybe he just had nothing else to do at that point.

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    19. Mr Derp,

      I think that it was sth more like Stannis’ own purpose, of the type “you have to fight for the realm to get the realm” thing which played out between Davos and Stannis at some point –if I’m not mistaken this is the reason why Stannis decided to head North in the first place. Also, Davos says to Jon at some point that Stannis “sees sth in him”. So, Stannis and Davos went to the Wall to fight for the realm, and at no point did they show that they thought the threat from beyond the Wall was unreal. Since he was named LC, this war was mainly Jon’s war, so when he was murdered Davos would have thought “oh, we’re screwed”. In addition, I got the feeling in the inside Jon’s room scenes that Davos wasn’t exactly sure that he’d make it out of CB alive -Jon’s friends probably wouldn’t anyway. That’s why they called Ghost and Tormund. So…
      I know it’s rather complicated, but I think that was the logic of it.

      Of course, book-wise, I don’t think that Melissandre will need any instigation to resurrect Jon. She knows that the threat is real and she won’t be defeated like she was in the show. In addition, in the books there’s an entire sedition and everything Jon’s built is in danger of collapsing spectacularly, so he has to come back.

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    20. lucy,

      I think I agree with you, I hadn’t really thought about it like that, but you’re right.
      However, in terms of human relationships, these two are in reality two strangers and they don’t trust each other, or they don’t listen to each other. I got the feeling that Sansa needed to learn to speak her own mind, and Jon needed to start listening.

      And, in this context, perhaps the problem was that they ended up at exactly the other end. By season 8 Sansa couldn’t stop talking, and Jon simply wouldn’t stop listening.

      LOL LOL LOL

        Quote  Reply

    21. Efi,

      Davos definitely had a habit of being the good guy in Westeros. One example was when he risked his own life to save Gendry from Stannis and Mel, so there is precedent for Davos going out of his way to help people.

      However, he was always weary of Mel and her magic. It just seemed really out of character for him to ask Mel to do something like resurrect somebody. Especially when it was someone that he barely knew very well at all and the fact that he was so distrusting of Mel’s magical abilities.

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    22. Mr Derp: However, he was always weary of Mel and her magic. It just seemed really out of character for him to ask Mel to do something like resurrect somebody. Especially when it was someone that he barely knew very well at all and the fact that he was so distrusting of Mel’s magical abilities.

      That always struck me as strange too, especially when I first saw the episode.

      Ten Bears: (For that matter, so did Mel’s latching onto Jon as the PTWP… just because someone had to be the PTWP because Stannis wasn’t??? Why not Hot Pie?)

      I don’t know if this is right or not but I got the impression it was because, for the first time, Mel managed to bring somebody back to life, Jon, after having her faith shaken upon Stannis’s loss — and that the Lord of Light willed Jon’s resurrection.

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    23. Adrianacandle,

      I found the whole resurrection thing to be pretty underwhelming, and honestly, rather pointless in the end. It was just a plot device to get Jon out of Castle Black. There really wasn’t anything else to it.

      I completely understand that D&D wanted to downplay magic in the show, but I think, in this case, they downplayed it a bit too much to the point where it was just kind of bland. Also, if people don’t get resurrected very often in GoT since magic is downplayed, then it really should’ve been a much bigger deal when Jon WAS resurrected. It wasn’t the “holy shit” moment that it really should’ve been, IMO.

      Davos randomly asked Mel to bring Jon back, she did, Tormund made a cock joke, and then it’s back to normal like it never happened. I dunno. Just underwhelming.

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    24. Mr Derp,

      I think the downplaying of magic contributed to the lesser significance but I get what you’re saying and I kind of agree with it. While the resurrection did serve to release Jon from the Watch and I think it also made the wildlings willing to follow Jon when Tormund said Jon had died for them, it wasn’t even discussed much and neither was Jon’s leaving the Watch.

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    25. Adrianacandle: I think it also made the wildlings willing to follow Jon when Tormund said Jon had died for them

      I would agree with that, but Jon had already risked his life for the Wildlings at Hardhome and successfully got them across the Wall, so he should’ve had their loyalty already without having to die. Just my opinion, of course 🙂

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    26. Mr Derp: I would agree with that, but Jon had already risked his life for the Wildlings at Hardhome and successfully got them across the Wall, so he should’ve had their loyalty already without having to die. Just my opinion, of course 🙂

      Some people just aren’t satisfied until a person dies and comes back to life! 😉

      But I agree, what Jon did before should have been enough to win loyalty and maybe, in addition to that, the explanation Jon gave that a Bolton-run North wouldn’t be safe for them either. I think Tormund made some of those above arguments (“If it weren’t for him, none of us would be here. All of you would be meat in the Night King’s army. And I’d be a pile of charred bones just like Mance.”) Yet, the wildlings still seemed kind of hesitant — and then Tormund made that speech, talking about how Jon died to help them, which seemed to win them over and sealed the deal.

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    27. I might be in the minority but I didn’t like BOTB -Sansa showing up with the Vale crew just felt too contrived to me. Personally I thought Hardhome was spectacular and my favorite battle by far.

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    28. kathy:
      I might be in the minority but I didn’t like BOTB -Sansa showing up with the Vale crew just felt too contrived to me.Personally I thought Hardhome was spectacular and my favorite battle by far.

      You may not be in the minority. I liked the first part of Battle of the Bastards (Dany + dragons vs. Masters’ Armada). However, like you, I wasn’t thrilled with the second half, i.e., the sudden appearance of Sansa with the KotV:

      Not only was it contrived and repetitive (see e.g., Brienne ex machina suddenly appearing to save Sansa and Theon in S6e2), but it ignited the whole “Why didn’t Sansa tell Jon” debate. Without any explanation for her concealment of this vital information, it made some segments of the fandom infer that Sansa was selfish or obtuse – and may have even caused avoidable casualties among the armies fighting for Team Stark. And as I’ve whinged about in the past, it left poor Sophie to twist in the wind when she was asked in interviews and con panels why Sansa withheld the availability of sorely needed forces. Far from making Sansa appear to be a “savvy politician” or “smarter than Jon”, it made her look shortsighted. (Her apology to Jon in the next episode didn’t really explain why she did it; his retort that “we have to trust each other” let her off easy.)

      “Hardhome” was f*cking amazing. I’ll never forget yelling at my TV: ”Listen to Edd! F*ck the glass! Get the hell out of there!!!”. By the time NK walked to the edge of the dock and reanimated all of the corpses on the shoreline [including Karsi 😢], and then stared at Jon as his boat drifted away, I was spent.

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    29. Adrianacandle,

      Didn’t Mel latch onto Jon as a PTWP candidate before she resurrected him? I forget… I do know that she gave him the Lord of Light lap dance spiel in mid-S5, before he was killed.

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    30. Ten Bears:
      Didn’t Mel latch onto Jon as a PTWP candidate before she resurrected him? I forget… I do know that she gave him the Lord of Light lap dance spiel in mid-S5, before he was killed.

      Oh yes, the lap dance… and the, “Are you a virgin?”/”No.”/”Good.”

      I don’t think Melisandre started on all the Jon is the PTWP stuff until 6×04, as far as I can recall. Per the attempted seduction and virginity questions, it seemed Melisandre was, erm, drawn (for lack of a better word) to Jon prior to this, as she is in book 5 (but no lap dance/virginity questions there) but that might have been because she sensed power within him, which happens in the books.

      Davos: Will you stay here at Castle Black?
      Melisandre: I will do as Jon Snow commands.
      Davos: You serve Jon Snow now?
      Melisandre: He’s the prince that was promised.
      Davos: Forgive me, my lady, I thought that was Stannis… What happened down there?
      Melisandre: There was a battle. Stannis was defeated.

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    31. Adrianacandle,

      It seemed that Mel had that lap dance/religious pretext ritual down cold. It worked on Gendry. Jon resisted because he was still hung up on Ygritte.

      It did seem that Mel “sensed” Jon had some kind of innate “power” in his blood though she never came out and said it.

      Or maybe it was just his six-pack abs and pretty hair that spurred her to give him a Lord of Light-approved strip show and lap dance.

        Quote  Reply

    32. lucy:
      …. But I will also forever see this episode as the point in which GOT starts turning on itself. On the one hand, the episode is trying present Jon as heroic andsomeone of destiny; on the other, the episode wants to introduce Sansa as an up-and-coming power player.And for some reason, the episode can’t seem to do this without making Jon seem incompetent/stupid and Sansa as petty/stupid. It made no sense for the show to cast shade on two of their leading characters like this…

      Yeah, I too hate to nitpick things when 95% of the show was extraordinary. However, in retrospect I have to wonder if they could’ve constructed a few scenes to demonstrate that Sansa had evolved into a “player” and wasn’t just being “petty/stupid.”

      I truly wanted to see the supposed “savvy politician” we were told about by the showrunners in interviews, but weren’t really shown on screen. Perhaps they could’ve showed Sansa figuring out LF’s silly S7 sister vs. sister scheme, instead of opting for a last-minute “Gotcha!” moment in S7e7.

      For that matter, when Arya said to Jon in S8e1 that Sansa was “the smartest person I’ve ever met”, I wondered how she came to that conclusion. (Not Tywin? Not Sandor? Not Syrio?) A few setup scenes would’ve been nice, because all we saw was Sansa getting snookered by LF in S7 even after declaring in S6e10 that “only a fool would trust Littlefinger.”

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    33. Ten Bears: Or maybe it was just his six-pack abs and pretty hair that spurred her to give him a Lord of Light-approved strip show and lap dance.

      LOL yes. This is what I’d go with — she would have the power to detect abs underneath all those layers.

      When Melisandre opens her robes to show her LoL-preserved nude body to Jon, she tells him, “Do you feel my heart beating? This power in you, you resist it, and that’s your mistake. Embrace it. And her, “The Lord of Light made us male and female. Two parts of a greater whole. We are joining this power. Power to make life, power to make light, and power to cast shadows,” seems drawn from this passage featuring a fully clothed Melisandre who was getting snuggly with Ghost:

      [Melisandre] gazed at Ghost. “May I touch your… wolf?”
      The thought made Jon uneasy. “Best not.”
      “He will not harm me. You call him Ghost, yes?”
      “Yes, but…”
      “Ghost.” Melisandre made the word a song.
      The direwolf padded toward her. Wary, he stalked about her in a circle, sniffing. When she held out her hand he smelled that too, then shoved his nose against her fingers.
      Jon let out a white breath. “He is not always so…”
      “…warm? Warmth calls to warmth, Jon Snow.” Her eyes were two red stars, shining in the dark. At her throat, her ruby gleamed, a third eye glowing brighter than the others. Jon had seen Ghost’s eyes blazing red the same way, when they caught the light just right. “Ghost,” he called. “To me.”
      The direwolf looked at him as if he were a stranger.
      Jon frowned in disbelief. “That’s… queer.”
      “You think so?” She knelt and scratched Ghost behind his ear. “Your Wall is a queer place, but there is power here, if you will use it. Power in you, and in this beast. You resist it, and that is your mistake. Embrace it. Use it.”
      I am not a wolf, he thought. “And how would I do that?”
      “I can show you.” Melisandre draped one slender arm over Ghost, and the direwolf licked her face. “The Lord of Light in his wisdom made us male and female, two parts of a greater whole. In our joining there is power. Power to make life. Power to make light. Power to cast shadows.”

      She did like her little shadow assassin baby… 🙂

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    34. Adrianacandle,

      I loved the Seth Meyers skits, Melisandre at a Baby Shower and Jon Snow at a Dinner Party.
      I’ve always wondered why he didn’t do more of these. The possibilities are… endless. Arya attends a Sweet Sixteen? Sandor as flight attendant?…. and on and on.

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    35. Ten Bears: I loved the Seth Meyers skits, Melisandre at a Baby Shower and Jon Snow at a Dinner Party.
      I’ve always wondered why he didn’t do more of these. The possibilities are… endless. Arya attends a Sweet Sixteen? Sandor as flight attendant?…. and on and on.

      I know! I would have loved to have seen more! Cersei at AA…

      Sandor as a flight attendant… yes, that is what I’d like in life.

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    36. Scenes that stand out? So many as mentioned but I’d like to go back all the way to season 1 to add the “Tywin skinning a stag scene”. An original screenplay scene and a fascinating way to introduce us to one of the most important book characters who wasn’t a POV in the books.

      And then all the Tywin and Arya scenes…

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    37. Fireandblood87,

      This right here. Jon loved his siblings. Robb was gone , Bran and Arya presumed dead. He saw a slim chance to save the baby of the family and took it.

      I loved this battle. It was realistic and violent. Jon’s stance as he drew his Longclaw in the face of so many charging enemy was stunning. Jon fighting his way to the surface of the body pile was intense. It was as he was reborn and found new meaning to his life.

      I agree with EW’s opinion. Although I personally would call a tie between BoB and Long Night. Both elicited a strong visceral response in me.

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    38. I absolutely love this episode, Miguel S directed the hell out of it, just brilliant.

      There were some issues with the writing (Sansa not telling Jon about TKTV or Ramsay not even knowing that there was a massive army in he north) BUT it was still manageable because of how incredibly entertaining and those details could be easily scratched I guess.

      Also, could we just mention what an extraordinary actor Kit Harrington is!? Seriously, he is an amazing action actor, his stunts, his face during the fight, my god, what a performance.

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    39. Ten Bears,

      I LOVE THAT SCENE! My god, Arya’s storyline in Harrenhal was perfect, it showcased her strength, resilience and out of this world intelligence.

      Ooooh! I love how we both represent the fandom for each of the stark sisters! You and Arya and me with Sansa!

      My favourite scene is Sansa’s in the Vale of Arryn, I just love that storyline.

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    40. Battle of the Bastards was my third favorite episode of the entire series, which was followed by my favorite episode. The battle was one of the best battles I’ve ever seen, in both television shows and movies, and was my second favorite battle of the series after The Long Night.

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    41. I’ll never forget how I felt after the first time I watched Battle of the Bastards: exhilarated and exhausted, awed and inspired, and above all, grateful to everyone who made it happen. It was climactic and cathartic in the best possible way. What an absolute cinematic triumph!

      Ultimately, IMO, all of the major battle episodes in Game of Thrones – Blackwater, The Watchers on the Wall, Hardhome, Battle of the Bastards, The Spoils of War, The Long Night, and The Bells – are spectacular achievements in their own way (while I don’t consider The Rains of Castamere and Beyond the Wall to be ‘battle episodes’ in the same way, they are similarly grand in ambition and scale). You really can’t go wrong when choosing your favorite. Battle of the Bastards stands out for me because seeing Jon and Sansa lead the Starks and their allies to victory over the Boltons, ending Ramsay, and reclaiming Winterfell was so incredibly cathartic. At the time, it felt like the greatest possible triumph for that beloved house after all that they had suffered – which made Jon being named King in the North in the next episode all the sweeter, and Sansa eventually becoming Queen in the North such a perfect culmination to the entire series.

      (And yes, the Dany portion of the episode is phenomenal as well)

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    42. Ten Bears,

      Arya should’ve had a scene/conversation with Mother of Dragons Queen Daenerys Targaryen and Arya should’ve said something to Jon about being Aegon Targaryen in season 8.

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    43. Ten Bears: You may not be in the minority. I liked the first part of Battle of the Bastards (Dany + dragons vs. Masters’ Armada). However, like you, I wasn’t thrilled with the second half, i.e., the sudden appearance of Sansa with the KotV:

      Not only was it contrived and repetitive (see e.g., Brienne ex machina suddenly appearing to save Sansa and Theon in S6e2), but it ignited the whole “Why didn’t Sansa tell Jon” debate. Without any explanation for her concealment of this vital information, it made some segments of the fandom infer that Sansa was selfish or obtuse – and may have even caused avoidable casualties among the armies fighting for Team Stark.And as I’ve whinged about in the past, it left poor Sophie to twist in the wind when she was asked in interviews and con panels why Sansa withheld the availability of sorely needed forces. Far from making Sansa appear to be a “savvy politician” or “smarter than Jon”, it made her look shortsighted. (Her apology to Jon in the next episode didn’t really explain why she did it; his retort that “we have to trust each other” let her off easy.)

      “Hardhome” was f*cking amazing. I’ll never forget yelling at my TV: ”Listen to Edd! F*ck the glass! Get the hell out of there!!!”. By the time NK walked to the edge of the dock and reanimated all of the corpses on the shoreline [including Karsi ], and then stared at Jon as his boat drifted away, I was spent.

      Same here. I preferred Hardhomme. For me, Hardhomme had more dramatic tension.

      However, I think many fans prefer BofB. Anyway, with hindsight maybe the NK was not all that fearsome given how he went down in the final season. Ramsey personally killed more persons than NK. So maybe BofB ranks above Hardhome.

      This BoB episode (and its lead up) made Sansa look dumb/silly/spiteful – why did she not mention the possibility of help to Jon. This news may have affected his battle plans and saved Northern lives. Of course, I do not think Jon even asked Sansa to get help from her other cousin’s army.

      Also, at the start of the battle, Jon charged forward to save Rickon, simultaneously betraying his men. He had little choice given Rickon’s predicament but some leaders would have held their ground given the responsibilities to persons under your leadership and your responsibility for their lives. Even if he had to help his bro, he could also have specifically instructed them not to abandon the plan even to save him. Of course, it was Davos – not a warrior – who ordered the death rush. Davos, now on the Council, making stupid decisions.

      It made Jon, Davos, and Sansa look like poor leaders. BoB required too many nonsense decisions to set up the action.

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    44. Mango,

      Hardhome was incredibly tense and scary, but ultimately more of a massacre than a battle, but hey whatever floats your boat.

      The leader of the White Walkers oversaw the brutal massacre of over 100K wildlings, and was directly responsible for their subsequent resurrection. “They call him ‘the Night King’. They say he rides into battle on the back of a giant undead dragon. They say he can make more armies out of corpses when he wants. They say he can’t be killed. I don’t believe them… anyone can be killed.”

      Sansa didn’t want to use the Knights of the Vale because it would place them in Littlefinger’s debt. She wanted Jon to wait and try to get more Northern houses on his side (which according to her was possible), but Jon wanted to rush the attack before the snows blocked their way. A reasonable fear; after all it happened to Stannis. But Sansa was right: it wasn’t enough. That’s when she made the decision to send the raven to Littlefinger asking for help. And Jon wouldn’t have wanted Littlefinger’s help, not after Littlefinger sold Sansa to the Boltons prior.

      Jon didn’t betray his men; half the reason for the whole damn battle was to try and save Rickon. If he had succeeded in rescuing Rickon, it would’ve accomplished that objective while putting no soldier’s life in jeopardy. After Rickon’s death, Davos ordered the charge because Jon was obviously going to snap and get himself killed – Davos’s timing with that charge saved Jon’s life, and if Jon had died there, all would have been lost. Without Jon alive, his army would’ve fled or been slaughtered before the KotV even got there, and they couldn’t have possibly taken Winterfell alone.

      And I do believe that’s the first time I’ve heard Davos’s placement on the Council as Master of Ships “stupid.” I challenge you to think of someone better for the job.

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    45. I watched till episode 5×03. And I really can’t get into this season. Too many things are rushed over. Mance dead within one episode. Looking back on season 3 and 4 and then 5×01 his character is rushed through. Who is Mance? The leader of the Free folk, end explanation. Even at the end of season 4 when he got captured you feel like there is still so much of Mance to be explained.
      No talk about Shae in Kings Landing, I wonder why they didn’t ask themselves what Tywin did with a naked whore when all his live his was against whores.
      Why would Jaime tell Cersei that he freed Tyrion. And it seems common knowledge (Didn’t Bronn also knew he did that?) And why isn’t Jaime trialed for releasing prisoner nr 1? If it’s common knowledge.
      I also asks myself why the Sandsnakes would warn Cersei that they were going after Myrcella, with the snake with the necklace of Myrcella. That also seems pretty “idiotic” to do to warn your enemy of your plan.
      I find the House of Black and white not really interesting with rewatch, I don’t know why. Even when Arya is one of my favorites.
      Sansa saying she will marry Ramsay also feel strange of multiple reasons. 1. If she is going to use the name of Sansa that means her marriage with Tyrion he needs to die or the marriage needs to annulled. Which means she need to lay prove that she didn’t consummate the marriage, which seems something I don’t see Sansa doing. I also didn’t love the fact that whole of the Vale knew Sansa was Sansa, especially LF guards, he is not that stupid to let that happen and let Cersei get to know that Sansa is with him. Just one needs to spill it and Cersei knows. But well we overlook this part. 2. Why would Sansa just marry somebody who murdered her family and is known for skinning their enemies, yes she know, it’s common knowledge, it’s not something that the Starks (Wardens of the north) wouldn’t know about their bannerman, else the Starks would be the worst Bannerman in history, which Ned wasn’t. And Maester Lewin would have teached them about it. So why would she trust Ramsay. 3. LF he doesn’t know Ramsay? The one that has spies everywhere doesn’t know it?
      I didn’t like the Dorne moments.
      Where was Illyrio? There’s not even mention where he is, even when they are at his palace.
      I couldn’t get into Daenerys scenes, except the Mad Queen scene.

      What I did love was Jon’s coronation as Lord Commander, brilliantly done. His execution of Janos. I love Gilly Shireen moment. Letter of Lyanna Mormont. I love Arya putting needle in the rock. Brienne moment about the past.
      I loved Tanda Stokeworth that scene was brilliant.
      I love Tywin’s funeral and the feast afterwards and Margery and Tommen together, and Margery scheming against Cersei.
      I love the Tyrion looking through the hole of the chest when he is brough from the ship to the mansion, and Arya rowing around Braavos, beautiful scene, it feels like you’re really there.
      And I like the way the Harpy statue was thrown down, perfect introduction of that storyline.

      I will wait till 4 till tomorrow.

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    46. The story in the north was one of my biggest disappointments in S6 (among many others) so when we get to 6.9, I didn’t really care. They did a poor job with Jon being brought back from the dead and the whole rivalry between he and Sansa was forced and silly. Then the whole outcome to the north in S6 was predictable and tropey. Dan and Dave proved to be very below average without George plotting wise and I don’t think that bodes very well for whatever series they’re writing for Netflix.

      Sure, the battle itself was cool (like all of the others), but when you don’t give a shit about what’s going on with the characters and story, then it all really doesn’t matter. And after a while, watching two big armies collide with one tracking shot mixed in somewhere gets old. Plus the battle strategy that D & D put in there seemed out of place and forced. Not to mention the beginning to the episode was a dud, rife with bad dialogue, then you had the whole Rickon being shot with an arrow and Jon charging into battle, both super lame beats.

      I find it depressing that Hardhome and BoB get so much more recognition than some of the smaller, but more emotionally packed big moments of the earlier seasons. But alas, it seems most people can’t even tell the difference between the story telling in the earlier seasons vs the late. Hence why we’ll always keep getting fed watered down garbage and people will just continue to eat it up because they’re easily entertained and will love anything GoT. And this is why the clown Miguel Sapochnik is a co-showrunner on the new series. Because people don’t give a shit about good story telling or can’t even recognize what was different about the earlier seasons that set them apart. They just want big dumb dragon battles. Like it wasn’t enough that we get x amount of bullshit Disney / Star Wars movies / shows per year, but now you needed GoT to be just as lame. Nice job!

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    47. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      ”…I find it depressing that Hardhome and BoB get so much more recognition than some of the smaller, but more emotionally packed big moments of the earlier seasons.”

      I understand your point as it applies to Battle of the Bastards. However, I thought that “Hardhome” was so good because it had emotionally packed, interpersonal moments – not just in the first ~ 30 minutes preceding Jon’s arrival in Hardhome (e.g., Tyrion & Dany scene), but also Jon & Tormund, and Jon, Tormund and the Wildling chieftains. (I wouldn’t have been gutted by Karsi’s death and reanimation were it not for the introduction to her character before the sh*t hit the fan.)

        Quote  Reply

    48. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I basically agree with you. People want dragons and dragon fights, amazing Ninja warriors even in Star Wars, more show, more spectacle, less story, sigh! That’s what sells in the end today, isn’t it?
      Perhaps it’s a trend, perhaps it’ll go away (I tell myself), perhaps there’ll be a movie without too much spectacle, that will be a story to watch.

      From wiki:
      “Tragedy is, then, an enactment of a deed that is important and complete, and of [a certain] magnitude, by means of language enriched [with ornaments], each used separately in the different parts [of the play]: it is enacted, not [merely] recited, and through pity and fear it effects relief (catharsis) to such [and similar] emotions.”

      Believe it or not this is the ancient definition of tragedy by Aristotle.
      For many, there was no catharsis at the end of GoT, and the dragons are much to blame for it, because they somehow forgot the “enactment of an important and complete deed” and put everything they had on dragons and dragonqueens.
      Of course, just to be fair, many would disagree with me; many would see “mercy and fear” in the dragon’s actions, e.g. the burning of the Lannister army in 7.4, or the burning of the Ghyscari in 6.9. Many liked 6.9 because it had dragons, not because of the BotB.

      However, I need to point out two things, just to set the record straight.
      The battle plan is a classic plan; you let the enemy push back your main column and then you attack from the sides. It’s very ancient; Themistocles was the first to do it in Marathon, and then many others after him. That classic. They prefer it when the enemy is stronger and it’s a pitched battle.
      Jon explains it at the council they had.
      The way the battle evolved is Roman. It actually played out by the Romans (just don’t ask me which battle, I don’t remember anymore). The Romans were famous for their “turtles”, the way they used their shields against the enemy.
      Jon charging after Rickon dies, which you didn’t like, is from the books. It’s not him, it’s another one, but it’s from the books and if you read the abstract you’ll easily visualize KH playing it out. (that poor guy in the books died though)
      So the battle as it was, was a good one, no matter if you didn’t like it (I believe you should review your opinion and ease up a bit).
      It was actually so good I couldn’t believe it.

      In terms of cinematography I have one thing to say. I watched two movies about medieval times recently (both produced by Netflix). They both copied the BotB. It’s going to affect many such movies to come I believe.

      [if you think that medieval reality was any different, you’re wrong; these things are described in ancient sources]

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    49. Efi,

      ”From wiki:
      “Tragedy is, then, an enactment of a deed that is important and complete, and of [a certain] magnitude, by means of language enriched [with ornaments], each used separately in the different parts [of the play]: it is enacted, not [merely] recited, and through pity and fear it effects relief (catharsis) to such [and similar] emotions.”

      I do not understand what this means. 😳

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    50. Ten Bears,

      Try to figure out how it sounds in ancient Greek, then!

      Tragedy literally means (in ancient greek) ode to a goat; because the theatrical contests were part of a wider celebration in honor of Dionysus, when people drank too much and masked themselves like animals (in orgies, not in a sexual meaning) and celebrated the rebirth of nature and the coming of spring and harvest that began soon. This celebration took place in February-March.
      Enactment of a deed is theater. You don’t simply recite a story, you play it out. Theater.
      It has beginning, middle and end, therefore magnitude, and therefore the audience walks away being better people. “Catharsis” comes in the end, and is the end-result of this magnitude. It is effected by strong emotions that a good story is bound to provoke in you, such as pity (or mercy) and fear (for the unknown of human destiny, or the gods). The story, every story, is supposed to be cathartic, to mean something for the soul of the people.
      “language enriched” is the different parts of a tragedy, the proze and choir (chorus) that comes between the acts.

      It’s theater, pure and simple, only it began in poetic form. If you watch Oedipous, or Antigone, it’s in poetic form, it’s poetry and the best translations try to keep that (imagine Shakespeare, he was also writing poetry).

      When Antigone dies in the end, you know she has died for something grander, the right to bury her dead so that they don’t get eaten by vultures; and her fiancee dies with her because he loves her that much, and his father the evil king knows he’s inflicted this tragedy on himself by insulting the gods with his denial to bury the dead of the battle. It’s perfect, it’s poetic, it’s grand and speaks volumes about the human soul.
      (don’t laugh)

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    51. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I agree half with you, and half I disagree fully with you.

      I agree that I prefer the writing of the earlier seasons when not everything was about the one big battle of the season. I personally liked that season 1 till 4 did the “switching” between getting to a massive character based moment that changed everything, Ned’s dead and Red Wedding. And the other 2 build up to a big battle. And with my rerun I enjoyed the Red wedding more because it was packed with emotion and character moments which score for me higher than battles.
      I personally watch a whole season of wondering from place a to b from one character in a season (like Arya did in season 4) than a whole pack of adventures that they did in one whole season (Tyrion season 5 from Pentos to Volantis to Valyria to Meereen to the ruler of the city).
      I also agree that it’s a shame that we’re not more critical, it only results into having more basic storytelling in the future shows.

      What I disagree with is what you state about Migual S. His work on the show as a director is out-standing. Especially when it comes to horror and emotion. He does not decide what to film, he film what is written in the script. He put that to screen.
      And I disagree about the prequel. If people are disappointed with season 8 (or 5 to 8) than the thing with the prequels is that George is more involved. He maybe not write the episodes, but he will give advice which Condall will listen too. He is in the process with the decision which parts will be in the season. And he also decides the pacing, George will stop rushing with the prequel. If he says so many season for fire & blood part 1 they will listen. And I think he will also be the “script approval” person I think that’s what George does with the prequel. He maybe not write an episode but he makes sure Condall listen to him and not “go their own way”.

      Ten Bears,

      And I like the horror-vibe of that episode. What people tend to forget is that ASOIAF and GOT are not fantasy shows, that’s not how George write his books, and that’s not how the story was shown to us, did we forget the first scene we saw of the show? It’s horror that’s what GOT is. There’s a reason why George keeps things mysterious when it comes to magic, because it’s not fantasy it’s horror. The way he describes things is not Tolkien/Rowling way of writing or other fantasy books. It’s more like a horror story. And that’s where hardhome succeeded in.

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    52. kevin1989,

      ”… And I disagree about the prequel. If people are disappointed with season 8 (or 5 to 8) than the thing with the prequels is that George is more involved. He maybe not write the episodes, but he will give advice which Condall will listen too. He is in the process with the decision which parts will be in the season. And he also decides the pacing, George will stop rushing with the prequel. If he says so many season for fire & blood part 1 they will listen. And I think he will also be the “script approval” person I think that’s what George does with the prequel…”

      Translation: The Big Kahuna will not be finishing writing “The Winds of Winter.” 😉

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    53. Not only one of my top 3 GoT episodes (along with Winds of Winter and The Long Night), but one of my favorite TV episodes of all time, even rivaling my golden trio of LOST episodes. The special feelings and excitement I get in this episode… absolutely amazing.

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    54. kevin1989,

      F*ck yes! “Hardhome” was more of a horror show than a “fantasy” story.
      (When that Wildling peeked through the hole in the gate and all of a sudden a wight face pressed up against it, I nearly jumped out of my chair.)

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    55. Lord Parramandas,

      ”Not only one of my top 3 GoT episodes (along with Winds of Winter and The Long Night), but one of my favorite TV episodes of all time…”

      I think Sue mentioned that at some point watchersonthewall will have Awards voting for all eight seasons. I suppose Battle of the Bastards, Winds of Winter, and The Long Night will be among the finalists for “Best Episode.”

      For me, S4e7, “Mockingbird” will always be #1 – it’s chock full of interpersonal moments I like rather than big budget action sequences.

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    56. Ten Bears,

      No.41 for Mockingbird here on my ranklist (although GoT is the only show in my case where I’m fully fond of all 73 episodes. Sure, I enjoy some more than others but no low moments for me regarding episodes as whole)

        Quote  Reply

    57. Ten Bears,

      The thing that he needs to do for the prequels is maybe 1 max 2 weeks per year.
      A couple of days thinking of where the story will roughly be. It’s not that many POVs as AsoiaF/ GoT had. It’s more straightforward. I don’t think Martin’s job with the prequel is deciding where every single detail lands or every cliffhanger of every episodes but merely:
      – Which part of the book will be roughly in the season, give a take a couple of chapters more or less. (Could even be done in just a day deciding together max 2)
      – Give his view once the season is divided into episodes with the summary per episode if he thinks something is missing, need more attention or doesn’t make sense to be in the season. (one day max 2)
      – Reviewing the scripts once done and give his notes (2 maybe 3 days)
      – Give his ok with the editted script of his notes (1 day)
      That means that Martin is busy per season roughly 5 a 8 days per season. That leaves him 51 weeks per year to write winds of winter. I think Condall and MS will take the bigger part of what a producer, writer and director does. Martin is only there to secure it’s faithful to his book and has the vibe of his books. He won’t write an episode, he won’t go location hunting, he won’t go deal with HBO except if MS or Condall are having problems with that which I doubt.

      And as for Winds, my believe is that he is almost done. He had already spoken about thinks that is happening at the end of the books. Or in interviews that he had just written a plottwist which will happen at the end of the book. (Maybe it doesn’t say anything if he had written only those characters till the end, most of the time he writes a couple of chapters per character and move to the next).

      I also believe dreams will hit the stores in a couple of years. I also think he will release Fire and blood part 2 and end those books. I even think he does that before releasing dreams (to make sure not another show will end before his books end). And I think he will release one dunk & egg story but I fear the rest of that saga will not see the light of day. And maybe he even writes dream first, many state he will first write Fire and blood and dunk and egg story once he finish winds, but those commenters are twisting his words, in may he stated he will write at least 2 dunk and egg but in November he changed his mind that after he finish winds he needs to make choice to write dream, fire & blood or dunk and egg first. That change make met think that he will first does dream and fire before dunk and egg.

      The thing people also don’t know is that martin knows what will be in winds, he already updated his maps with his artist who does that for him. He updated Braavos with the inclusion of the sealord palace and he added many more things (that will be important in winds) and don’t forget he admitted he is a slow writer but that he doesn’t know which book he will publish, but he stated ‘YOU WILL GET THE END OF ‘A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE”

      But who knows. Personally I believe he will finish them, the way he speaks points more towards that, there are always commenters who are going with: “George will not finish his books, so D&D is the real story and are better writers etc” Kind of arguments and thoughts. Still I’m a bit annoyed that George won’t say how far he is with writing, if he would just give a rough estimate as in: Im around 70% of the books or something. (I think he is around 90/100% or even writing his chapters he wan’t for the beginning of dreams, Martin’s write style is always write 200/300 pages for the next book, then you know for certain you’re end-chapters per character are as they should be.

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    58. Ten Bears,

      That suspense was amazing. You knew something was going to happen, but you couldn’t put your finger on it yet.

      Ten Bears,

      Same here, I loved Mockingbird. Arya & the hound, Oberyn giving his talk with Tyrion and becoming his champion. Sansa in the snow with the castle thinking of home. That episode was just brilliant. It’s maybe not my nr 1 but it rate high. I think for me winds of winter remain my favorite.

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    59. Lord Parramandas,

      I’ve also begun to rank each character’s best scene. For example, after considering eight contenders, most of which were in Seasons 1 and 2, my choice for Tyrion’s #1 scene was…

      Tyrion and Lancel S2e4

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    60. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      The story in the north was one of my biggest disappointments in S6 (among many others) so when we get to 6.9, I didn’t really care. They did a poor job with Jon being brought back from the dead and the whole rivalry between he and Sansa was forced and silly. Then the whole outcome to the north in S6 was predictable and tropey. Dan and Dave proved to be very below average without George plotting wise and I don’t think that bodes very well for whatever series they’re writing for Netflix.

      Sure, the battle itself was cool (like all of the others), but when you don’t give a shit about what’s going on with the characters and story, then it all really doesn’t matter. And after a while, watching two big armies collide with one tracking shot mixed in somewhere gets old. Plus the battle strategy that D & D put in there seemed out of place and forced. Not to mention the beginning to the episode was a dud, rife with bad dialogue, then you had the whole Rickon being shot with an arrow and Jon charging into battle, both super lame beats.

      I find it depressing that Hardhome and BoB get so much more recognition than some of the smaller, but more emotionally packed big moments of the earlier seasons. But alas, it seems most people can’t even tell the difference between the story telling in the earlier seasons vs the late. Hence why we’ll always keep getting fed watered down garbage and people will just continue to eat it up because they’re easily entertained and will love anything GoT. And this is why the clown Miguel Sapochnik is a co-showrunner on the new series. Because people don’t give a shit about good story telling or can’t even recognize what was different about the earlier seasons that set them apart. They just want big dumb dragon battles. Like it wasn’t enough that we get x amount of bullshit Disney / Star Wars movies / shows per year, but now you needed GoT to be just as lame. Nice job!

      I share your appreciation of the quieter moments with story/character building. But well done battles can also be a part of this story building effort. In both these areas, I think Hardhome is better than BoB.

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    61. Mango: I share your appreciation of the quieter moments with story/character building. But well done battles can also be a part of this story building effort. In both these areas, I think Hardhome is better than BoB.

      True, as long as the build up is done right with enough character build moment. Not just a battle for battle sake. And having a battle heavily on the character moments like Blackwater, hardhome (Karsi, Watch wildling building) BoB (Jon getting his will to live back his rebirth scene brilliant), Beyond the wall also has a nice character moment with Jorah and Jon and many more, the character grow because of that episode.

      And I try to wonder which character moment Long night had, it had Theon but Theon died, Bran itself didn’t effect Theon’s death, he is the same before as after episode 3. For Arya it also didn’t change much, she didn’t become arrogant for killing the NK, she became the same old Arya we know, who doesn’t like the spotlights. Maybe Daenerys changed but not really, we have seen her broken before with Drogo death and her child (both human and dragon), it was mostly plot-based battle. to defeat the WW (which in itself is not bad). If others can point out a moment that really show a character grow moment that the Long Night brought (episode 3 itself not 8×01 and 8×02 it’s all about the battle) than I would love to hear it.

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    62. kevin1989,

      -Sansa was able to truly grieve for Theon and recognized him as an honorary Stark when not too long ago she wanted him to die or be tortured by Ramsay forever. She is able to watch him be burned on the funeral pyre, which says something about her ability to look things in the face, so to speak.
      -Daenerys couldn’t bear to look upon Jorah’s body burning, and turned away. Again, this says something about her. And are you seriously saying the death of Jorah had no impact on her?
      -Literally everyone was just glad to be alive, and for just that one night, they’re all able to cut loose and enjoy being alive (except Dany)
      -Davos’s whole moment with Melisandre weighed heavily on him from then on
      -Jaime and Brienne fought side-by-side for much of the battle, which really made their relationship move from “dysfunctional friends” to “genuine comrades”
      -Jon’s real passion was his fight against the WW, so with that finished, his heart’s not really in it anymore, and now he’s just a soldier being sent to fight in a southern war

      “One of two things will happen: either the dead will defeat the living, in which case all of our troubles come to an end, or life will win out. And what then?”

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    63. Farimer123: she is able to watch him be burned on the funeral pyre, which says something about her ability to look things in the face, so to speak.
      -Daenerys couldn’t bear to look upon Jorah’s body burning, and turned away. Again, this says something about her.

      This is not accurate.

      We do not see a single shot of Sansa watching Theon burn. Sansa’s moment with Theon was before the bodies were burned.

      We do, however, see Dany watching Jorah burn for a good few seconds before she turns away. It looked like she turned away because everyone else did too.

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    64. Farimer123,

      ”…everyone was just glad to be alive, and for just that one night, they’re all able to cut loose and enjoy being alive (except Dany)..”

      —————
      “The dead are dead. You’re not.”
      S. Clegane

      (from S8e4)

      Gendry: “Have you seen Arya?”

      Sandor: “You can still smell the burning bodies, and that’s where your head is at.”

      Gendry: “I just want to thank her for–”

      Sandor (sarcastically): “I’m sure you do.”

      Gendry: “Look, it’s not about that.”

      Sandor: “Of course it’s about that, you twat. Why shouldn’t it be? The dead are dead. You’re not.”

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    65. Farimer123,

      – About Sansa: Yes it shows her affection, in episode 4 not 3. Episode 3 was only the action of it. But did it changed who sansa was? No she still was the same Sansa as in 8×02. Yes she had a loss, which she had already in 1×09, she is already use to loss. That loss didn’t push Sansa towards a new Sansa that the long night brought. A new sansa would have been that for instance after the Long Night she decides to follow Daenerys. If the long night didn’t happen, it wouldn’t have altered Sansa’s story for episode 4 till 6. She would still dislike Daenerys and would still betray Jon’s word.
      – About Daenerys: Again that is episode 4 not 3. But did it really changed Daenerys? Her darker self was already in earlier seasons right? It was not that Jorah’s death push her there. (Missandei’s death maybe). Maybe you can say that it upped Daenerys “Savior” complex that let to her last episode: I know what’s best, they don’t get too choose. But did Daenerys have a moment like Tyrion becoming brave, Sandor being afraid and walk away from who he was, Joffrey’s dog. Cersei willing to kill her child. Or Jon feeling his first lost, Sam becoming brave in watchers on the wall. Or in episode 6×09 where Jon who has been on a death wish for almost a season has his rebirth scene where you see he finally feel the will to live again. I’m talking character based changes, not plot-based changes that the long night was for Daenerys to become the Tyrant, which was only done for her plot-ending. The only thing that I can think of with daenerys is her taking means in her own hands with that sword which she never done, she found battle courage.
      – Again you point out another episode than episode 3. That was episode 2. And of course they were happy to be alive, it’s not that in episode 2 they had a death wish, and the battle against the dead finally make our heroes see that they want to live (like in 6×09). You can literally give any battle and state: The heroes want to outlive this battle. Of course they want that’s human nature. Every movie with action has that trope but I’m talking about character building moments where the battle changed the character after the battle than what they were before. So in that case, look episode 2, then episode 4 which character seems changed because of the battle?
      – Again with Jon, you talk about episode 4 to 6, not episode 3. And how did he changed he saw Daenerys as his queen before and after the battle. Jon didn’t grow as a character because of the battle. But he did grow after the Bells, which had a huge Jon character build moment, same for Arya, Same for Daenerys, Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei etc. They all changed. Arya stopt her revenge path, Daenerys embrace her inner dragon, Tyrion will live with the blame of the massacre, Jaime got back to Cersei but this time his heart isn’t heavy anymore, Cersei let go of her power and we see the real Cersei for the first time, one who is always afraid.
      – That quote you state shows a plot-device which every action movie show, either we live or we die. And it doesn’t matter which character would be in it at the end of the episode, if you would have changed Sandor for Qyburn the result would be the same, Qyburn would be glad to be alive. But what does set a character aside from others, their motivation, their personality etc, those are the changed that a battle should give, we should see how it effected them and grief is not an answer, we all grief for lost-ones.

      – Yes Davos moment I agree fully, this is a character build moment what I’m taking about. He hated Mellisandre for a long time, and finally he understood what she went through, he maybe still dislike her actions, but it changed him, he finally saw why she did it. But as stated above I saw this moment. But Davos and Mellisandre as Secondary and tertiary characters not main. But it seems Davos was the only character that had a moment of character-building at the end of episode 3.

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    66. kevin1989,

      Actually I think it was a good moment for Sandor. It is there that he faced fire and death together. When I saw these posts, it’s the only thing I could think of.
      Oh, and let’s not forget Melisandre. 8.3. was her ultimate performance. She knew what was going to happen, so she did it anyway.

      Because otherwise all they wanted to show was the desperation of the battle. Therefore no hero is a hero, no one is more brave, no one really comes out a better person –not even Sandor. It’s pretty pessimistic, come to think about it.
      Arya did what she always did, so no growth.
      Jon and Dany didn’t do what they always did.
      Tyrion and Sansa only did some out-of-character stuff.
      Nope; it sucks.
      Just Sandor and Melisandre. Their role was meaningful.

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    67. Efi,

      How can I forget Sandor. His moment was big yes. But I wish that it even a main character had a big moment. Especially when it’s a big battle like it was. If it was split in 2 or 3 mini battles of 20/25 minutes I wouldn’t mind if all it was about surviving, but when a whole episode is revolved around the battle, I want some important character development of the main cast. Especially when it comes to battle against the death.

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    68. As spectacle BoB is a grand, intense mediaeval battle and centerpiece of an excellent episode. But for many it is forever tainted by Jon not knowing the Vale army was coming. He didn’t know Stannis deus ex machina would rescue him in S4E10, but in 6.09 his sister knew Vale deus ex machina would but did not tell him. It interfered with his JOB, doing him a disservice by undercutting his personal self-determination. It seemed in point of fact, vaguely emasculating. Worse, men died, he nearly died, and Rickon–who might have been saved–died because Jon was allowed to go into battle with inferior forces and hobbled battle plans. Regardless of her motives, Sansa owed more to the brother who took her in than to argue with him and then stymie his military planning. Most fans find Winds of Winter eminently rewatchable, but the BoB, good as it is in execution, is not my cup of tea. Hardhome, Watchers on the Walls and Blackwater were unalloyed joys.

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    69. kevin1989:
      Efi,

      How can I forget Sandor. His moment was big yes. But I wish that it even a main character had a big moment. Especially when it’s a big battle like it was. If it was split in 2 or 3 mini battles of 20/25 minutes I wouldn’t mind if all it was about surviving, but when a whole episode is revolved around the battle, I want some important character development of the main cast. Especially when it comes to battle against the death.

      You have raised a good point. Some important character development should have happened.

      There are few things more intimidating to the average human that facing death. Yet fighting death itself and the dead seemed to have had no profound impact on the main characters – either individually or on the group’s dynamics.

      Even fighting humans in conventional war often changes individuals and teams – you would expect more from fighting death.

      I wonder what GRRM plans to do in his story on this issue.

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    70. Oh and Adriana the butter tarts were very tasty thanks for the receipt.

      Mango,

      True, I still remember Blackwater how Cersei was willing to let her child die. She didn’t fear death, she fear they would get in the hands of Stannis. Stannis was also changed, his devout for the Fire god was bigger after it.

      As for the books

      I really begin to feel that something drastically will change compared to the books. I really think in the end Aegon will survive and be king with Sansa on his side, and he will be the queen that has no claim but the people chose him. Daenerys sees that this is what she fight for, breaking the wheel. I think Aegon is in fact Lyanna + Rheagar child, that Ned Switched for his own child with Ashara that was named Jon. What is important for this is that in the end Aegon is really part of the bigger picture and not just a thorn in the side of certain characters and the battle against the death is even more important. Because the Daynes are tied to the Long Night. That means Nissa Nissa needs to happen, that means that to defeat the White Walkers, Jon needs to sacrafice his love (Daenerys), the question is does this work. And if the rumors are true that before Ned married Cat, he married Ashara Dayne, and Ashara is alive that also means that Jon is the rightful lord of Winterfell and his siblings are bastards. Which means to defeat the White Walkers that will be revealed. Which is a huge choice to make, family or duty.
      As for Bran I really think he will become King of Winter, he seems to die in his last chapter, or for better words that blood is his own gut-blood, the tree branch has gutted him.

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    71. I also think how Arya comes back to westeros. [/spoiler] Myranda Royce will order a Faceless Man to kill Alayne, Arya will become a full Faceless Man or almost, her next job is the Sealords Palace. After that Alayne, there she will make a choice, Sansa or No-One. She will make Sansa. Sansa lives. [/spoiler]

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    72. kevin1989: Oh and Adriana the butter tarts were very tasty thanks for the receipt.

      Oh, good!! I was wondering how you’d like them! And thank you for the wentelteefjes recipe!! I really, really liked it — you’re right, it is even better than french toast and I love french toast 🙂 🙂 🙂 And it’s also such a nice thing to bring next time I must go to a brunch potluck!

      Now I prefer wentelteefjes to french toast and Dutch pancakes to regular pancakes — how they’re so thin and almost crepe-like! I guess it’s true: “if it’s not Dutch, it’s not much.” 😉

      I am enjoying this discussion going on 🙂

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    73. Mango,

      To tell you the truth I expected that Jon would tell Dany about his identity after the battle. That would seem more meaningful. After facing death, the truth seems something inescapable, like nothing matters before death, identities and stuff are all meaningless without life. I found it emotionally pretty underwhelming that the reveal happened before the battle.
      But they were in a hurry, needed to take Daenerys to that specific point of going mad and it couldn’t all have been accomplished in ep. 4 without the reveal of ep. 2. It’s all Doylist decisions. So…

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    74. Adrianacandle,

      The cinnamon is amazing with it.
      And I found the coconut and walnut amazing with the tarts.

      Agree, I prefer dutch pancakes. It’s less heavy (right word for it?) so you can eat more. But I like the Italian crepes also.

      And true, we’re pretty good with bakery stuff, (except I like American cheesecake more), but not so much with normal food, then I prefer asian or Italian.

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    75. kevin1989,

      Cinnamon is one of my favourites, especially on hot chocolate, so I’ll try it with this!

      I think “less heavy” is the right way to put it! Other pancakes are so doughy but these are thin and rollable and come in both dinner and desert styles! What more could you want?? I think my favorite is cherry pancakes 💖

      It’s true, Dutch baked goods are the best but I do love snack shops in the Netherlands and the Albert Heijn to-go stuff! 😍

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    76. Adrianacandle,

      Cherries, I love them, I can’t wait for the next season when they are in the store again.

      Mr Derp:
      You guys should try Captain Crunch French Toast.It’s amazing.

      Captain crunch? Is that a Marvel Character?
      Superpower: Crunching toast. He is the arch enemy of superhero “Hot Pie”. Captain crunch can only be defeated by a good layer of gravy.

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    77. kevin1989,

      Lol, that reminds me of a South Park episode where one of the superhero characters is called MintBerry Crunch.

      Captain Crunch French Toast is exactly what it sounds like. French Toast coated in Captain Crunch cereal.

      Combine in a bowl and whisk together:

      3/4 cup of heavy cream
      3 eggs
      2 Tablespoons of sugar
      1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
      A pinch of nutmeg
      A few generous pinches of cinnamon

      Pour 3 cups of Captain Crunch cereal in a ziplock bag and close. Crush into fine bits with a rolling pin and pour in a separate bowl.

      Dip a few slices of the bread into the cream mixture until soft, but not completely soaked. Let excess liquid drip from the bread, then press into cereal crumbs to coat evenly. Place on a sheet pan and repeat with remaining slices.

      Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, add butter as needed, and cook the bread until caramelized on both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes total.

      Add a dollop of the whipped cream topping or butter on top of the French toast and serve with berries.

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    78. Mr Derp: I know, right? It’s almost more of a dessert than a breakfast

      It really is!! And it’s my top go-to comfort food. I have great love for Lucky Charms too — it doesn’t have the same punch as Cinnamon Toast Crunch but damn, do I love that mixture of alphabet-shaped Cherios and mini marshmallows.

      And that recipe you gave to Kevin is amazing!! XD I’ve GOT to try that!!!!

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    79. Mr Derp,

      I’ll have you know I transmitted the recipe to my sister (the family chef/baker), and will be feasting on Captain Crunch French Toast within a fortnight (two weeks).

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    80. The directing of The Battle of the bastards was good, but I was bored during the whole episode because I knew Jon was going to win anyway and the rest of the scenes weren’t interesting enough. Somehow I never felt it. I did like the first part with Dany and the dragons. Battles are more interesting when you are rooting for both sides to win: like in Blackwater and Watchers on the wall. But despite that, Hardhome was also very good. And Winds of Winter, not a battle, will always be my favourite.

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