Game of Thrones filming dates and details at Mesa Roldan

Mesa-Roldan-tower

A recent article from Ideal.es reports that Game of Thrones will be filming in Carboneras (home to Mesa Roldan – above) and is seeking some 400 extras. We recently were able to report that the crew would be filming in Almeria but now we’ve nailed down the specifics. The filming will take place October 18th and 19th.

Possible spoilers/speculation under the cut!

Considering the large amount of extras requested, Ideal also reports the local sports arena has been intended to be used for filming.

The Alcazaba and El Chorrillo de Sierra Alhamilla are also on the list of announced locations in Almeria.

Given the nature of Mesa Roldan one would like to speculate that it could be the Tower of Joy but since we’ve already received confirmation it’s elsewhere, we’re free to further investigate!

The uniqueness of Mesa Roldan leaves us to speculate that it could be the setting for Essos but we still don’t know exactly what the location is.

Head on over to Ideal.es for the full story.

What do you think Mesa Roldan could be used for? Let us know in the comments below!

Special thanks to WotW reader Aethar for the heads up! Always very much appreciated!

182 responses

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    1. I googled some pics and it appears like El Chorrillo de Sierra Alhamilla is the location where they build that big dothraki tent right now.

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    2. Looks very like Essos. Some ruined ancient city in the Dothraki Sea or in the Red Waste area? With the remaining populace now living in the space they are building the domed tent-like structures in, as Gravemaster said above?

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    3. I wonder what the odds are of Dany making it to Westeros this season?
      In the unlikely chance she does, perhaps she lands in or near Dorne and travels through the Boneway or Prince’s Pass in the Red Mountains. It feels like it could be an abandoned or ruined structure like one of those…

      Otherwise something on Essos for sure. Maybe someplace Jorah and Daario get off to or a new stop for Dany….

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    4. Battle of Fire is Coming. I think that will be used to represent some parts of Meereen that will be struck by Trebuchets. Tyrion and Varys will defend Meereen from Yunkai instead of Barristan in the books

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    5. The 18th and 19th are for the 400 extras (makeup in the local sports complex) but they say it will all take place from October 10th – 23rd. Is that normal, in the filming world, for setting up and taking down sets? For a two-day shoot?

      I’m guessing something with Dorne…maybe Dany finally lands there and rallies the troops.

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    6. The way I read the article, the GoT crew wanted a place to assemble, select and process the 400 extras and the indoor arena was the facility best suited, not sure if Mesa Rodan would be used for all those extras.
      Because it overlooks the Med from a high bluff, I’m thinking it’s one of the final shots of season 6. Dany standing at the base of the tower among her advisers while overlooking the Narrow Sea with the dragons overhead and hundreds of ships departing the shore far below. Similar in tone to the painting of Xerxes at Salamis. Perhaps Tyrion points out the (white cliffs) of Westeros in the distance.

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    7. Darquemode,

      I think there’s a decent chance we get them setting off for Westeros, but actually arriving seems much less likely.

      Maceless Fan,

      The opposite. Per Daario and Hizdahr, Yunkai completely stood down and how has a council government of masters and freedmen.

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    8. Maceless Fan,

      Mihnea,

      My thoughts as well….
      With the boys off searching for Dany, Tyrion needs a strong plot in Meereen and foiling the Sons of The Harpy feels more likely to me than him prepping another city for an impending battle.

      I guess I can picture Dany riding back to Meereen with a new Dothraki army behind her to save the day… So Maybe there will be a Battle of Meereen. So hard to guess!

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    9. Darquemode: I wonder what the odds are of Dany making it to Westeros this season?

      Extremely small, I hope. 😀 This is good for me, because I want Daenerys and Co. to make some much-needed changes in Essos, eliminate slavery, before getting to Westeros. In the meantime, the Westerosi themselves should be able to create even more destruction and havoc in their own land. 😉

      tyjon,
      That’s a great idea, and also a wonderful visual.

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    10. Mihnea,

      I guess I forgot. Though it will feel kind of weird if the only threat in Meereen are the Sons Of The Harpy. Compared to Yunkai, Volantis, Ironborn, two unleashed dragons, and several sellsword companies. The Battle of Fire in TWOW seems like it’s gonna be a wonderful clusterfuck lol.

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    11. Sean C.,

      Agreed. That’s the most likely scenario for me as well…..
      Dany sets off in the season finale and then Season 7 picks up with her on Westerosi soil.

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    12. Darquemode,

      Well considering that the threat in Meereen won’t be anywhere near as huge as in TWOW, I really hope so. Though since we’re definitely seeing the Ironborn again, maybe we shouldn’t count out the possibility of them showing up as well.

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    13. Darquemode: Agreed. That’s the most likely scenario for me as well…..
      Dany sets off in the season finale and then Season 7 picks up with her on Westerosi soil.

      Given what little GRRM has let us know about Winter, I think this improbable:

      Martin has said that much of Daeny’s plotline will be her journey back to Westeros. If so, then the Battle of Fire probably won’t be all that long: but, then, given the Tyrion chapter that we have, it sounds as if Daeny’s enemies are collapsing even before she returns. My guess is that she returns on Drogon leading a Dothraki horde and just mops up the rest of any resistance: then it will be the journey back.

      The one catch on this, of course, is how they will divide Winter and Spring over three seasons. Will they basically do Winter this year, and then Spring over S7 & S8? Or will they basically do Winter over S6 & S7.5 and Spring from S7.5 to S8? The issue of the stories also comes up here: are Winter and Spring pts. 1 and 2 of one story, or their own stories? If the latter, then a hybrid season could be disastrous. But if the former, then the story could get stale by S8.

      It is tough to guess there: the only people who know what breaks there are in the general plot structure or how many stories are (and what those stories are!) are Martin, Benioff & Weiss.

      Nevertheless, I’ll hazard this guess. Daeny’s S6 will be mostly her returning to Westeros; her S7 will be concluding the Civil War in Westeros; and her S8 will be the Ice & Fire Ragnarok. But that’s just a stab in the dark.

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    14. Maceless Fan: Though since we’re definitely seeing the Ironborn again, maybe we shouldn’t count out the possibility of them showing up as well.

      The one that I suspect might turn up there is Yara. But, again, that’s another stab in the dark. Still, I could see this season seeing Daeny accumulate still characters on her side: she has Tyrion and Varys, and I have long been expecting that she’ll get Arya in Winter; Yara would be a thematically sensible addition, too.

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    15. Im thinking possible setting for some Dothraki action somewhere in Essos OR a possible setting for a Martell army or rally scene involving the sand snakes. After Myrcella it could possibly go that route.

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    16. Wimsey,

      I was honestly thinking of Euron when I said that but that’s a great idea. Dany would definitely be appealing to women like Yara and Arya. But considering that Yara’s storyline in the show is nowhere near in sync with her book counterpart’s storyline, I can’t even begin to guess what’s happening with her next season. Throw in Euron and it’s even more up in the air, unless she gets sent to Meereen instead of Victarion.

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    17. Wimsey,

      I’ve always wondered about when Spring will arrive… or if it even will arrive in any meaningful way. To me the title A Dream of Spring could imply Spring is not there yet. Maybe they reach a sort of equinox where Spring is in sight but has not arrived?

      Maybe the finale plays out w the worst being over, the White Walkers defeated and the realm more or less politically stable signifying a new day, a hopeful rebirth.. A Dream of Spring.

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    18. Maceless Fan: But considering that Yara’s storyline in the show is nowhere near in sync with her book counterpart’s storyline, I can’t even begin to guess what’s happening with her next season.

      My bet is that they are going to give Asha’s plotline (or at least the important elements of it) to Sansa next year. My hunch is that in both cases, Theon will set off after Rickon. However, Sansa will again take over the storyline here, whatever that is. (If my guess that Winter will be a story about choosing between equally appealing sides, then perhaps the conflict will stem from Sansa feeling that perhaps she should be heir to Winterfell and not Bran: but that’s one guess based on another guess, so I would not bet too much on that!)

      That would let the show keep Yara as a tertiary character supporting one of the main character’s contribution to the story (whatever that is). That written, it would let Yara seek out Daeny to spite Euron rather than to aide and abet Euron. If I am correct about the story being about choosing between equally appealing/unappealing sides, then that would make a small contribution to that story. But, again: that’s a guess. It’s certainly the type of story GRRM would devise, but so are lots of other “damned if I do/don’t” stories.

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    19. Mihnea,

      That’s if they even introduce the dragonhorn on the show. They haven’t introduced the Horn of Joramun either, which reaaally pisses me off. I hope you’re right.

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    20. Mihnea,

      I doubt that they will bother with that plot device. It is going to be very much like Merry Brandybuck’s Numenorean sword: despite what Tolkien fans insisted, the audience had no problem accepting that the Witch King died without it being in the film.

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    21. Darquemode: Maybe the finale plays out w the worst being over, the White Walkers defeated

      But what then of R’hllor? This will not be just about defeating the White Walkers. This might be about humans figuring out how to extract themselves from under the yokes of gods. It might be about realizing that the White Walkers are much less the enemy than R’hhlor (whatever the hell that is) is.

      The only thing that we can really anticipate is that, in the end, the cumulative experiences of Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Arya and Bran (and possibly Sansa) will be huge. Some parallel in the way these characters evolve from Thrones -> Spring will basically be the overarching Story of Ice and Fire, and also the crux to the “final solutions” (whatever those are).

      Regardless, I agree with you about the title. I suspect that the Dream will be the “dream” to which you aspire. And I suspect that the “spring” might be much less a seasonal spring than a “spring for mankind” once they remove the dual threats of the White Walkers and R’hllor and whatever else is out there.

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    22. Wimsey: The one that I suspect might turn up there is Yara.But, again, that’s another stab in the dark.Still, I could see this season seeing Daeny accumulate still characters on her side: she has Tyrion and Varys, and I have long been expecting that she’ll get Arya in Winter; Yara would be a thematically sensible addition, too.

      Ok Wimsey, I’ll bite. What evidence leads you to think that Arya will join Dany? How do you see that happening in terms of the plot? And what kinds of themes do you associate with both Dany & Yara?

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    23. Wimsey,

      I seem to recall GRRM saying that things like whether the gods of the various religions were real was the sort of thing he was never going to answer definitively.

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    24. The original article also makes mention of new locations: the Tabernas desert, and the municipalities of Sorbas and Pechina.

      This is Sorbas, and this is Pechina. Both look really cool!

      BTW, a better translation of “El Chorrillo de Sierra Alhamilla” would be “El Chorillo, a hamlet in the Alhamilla mountains.”

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    25. Maceless Fan,

      The horn of Joramun is fake/non-existant. Mance simply made a bluff, hoping, that the threat of destroying the wall, would convince the NW to let the Wildlings in.

      I would not compare the two. One is actoully real after all.

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    26. Wimsey,

      I totally agree with this, and I also feel that A Dream Of Spring has dual meanings. This has never been about defeating the White Walkers and because the details of the events that occurred thousands of years ago are lost to history, our characters are going into this without all of the facts. And we still don’t know the exact role of the Three Eyed Raven and the COTF in all of this, either.

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    27. Sean C.,

      I would be okay with that, or maybe actually prefer it!

      Either way I do expect some answers along the way like the relationship between the CotF and the White Walkers etc.

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    28. Mihnea,

      Yeah, the horn that Mance found was a fake, but that doesn’t mean that the actual horn isn’t real. A lot of people ( myself included) believe that the broken horn that Jon found with the dragonglass and gave to Sam is the actual horn. That would make a lot of sense as to why a regular horn is just lumped in with a bunch of dragonglass.

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    29. Maceless Fan,

      He said:
      – The gods (if they even exist) will never show up.
      – No deus ex machina in the form of gods or magic.
      – The others have nothing to do with R’hllor (or his nemesis).

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    30. Maceless Fan,

      This may be an instance of me splicing together books and show, but wasn’t the Horn of Joramun name-dropped on the show? Isn’t that was Mance was supposedly trying to find?

      I’m of the mind if the horn found with the dragonglass isn’t the Horn of Joramun, it’s still pretty important…except, I don’t recall seeing it since they found it. In the show, we know they took the stash of dragonglass to Hardhome, or at least a good part of it, but what happened to the horn? Or, am I just forgetting something?

      I love the idea of the structure at Mesa Roldan being Drogon’s perch.

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    31. Sean C.: I seem to recall GRRM saying that things like whether the gods of the various religions were real was the sort of thing he was never going to answer definitively.

      Richard Fuller: How real are the gods? Is it giving too much away to say how real the gods are in the world of Westeros?

      George RR Marin: How real are the gods in our world?

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    32. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      The horn being found mixed in with the dragonglass only happened in the books, in ACOK I think. It’s cracked and Jon gives it to Sam so he can use it as a drinking horn, and Sam takes it with him to the Citadel. In the show, the Horn of Joramun is never mentioned from what I remember, and no horn is found among the dragonglass.

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    33. tyjon: Dany standing at the base of the tower among her advisers while overlooking the Narrow Sea with the dragons overhead and hundreds of ships departing the shore far below.

      Yeah, I think the Wall will fall this season in the penultimate episode and the finale will end with Dany with Westerns in her sights. I don’t think she’ll land there this season, either, as that would be firing all their money shots in one season.

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    34. Maceless Fan,

      I wouldn’t discount it completely yet. The agreement with Yunkai was made with Dany. Dany and Drogon are long gone as far as everyone knows from Meereen and Yunkai might sense that as a weekness. Rhaegal and Vyserion are still in the catacombs and no one is brave/nuts enough to release those.

      It would be the perfect moment strategically for an outside power to attack Meereen, when there is internal strife. Sons of Harpy actually, might be themselves looking for allies outside the city anyway what with 9000 Unsullied in the city, no? This could go in so many directions!

      The Mesa Roldan has to be something pretty dramatic. I have no idea what though.

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    35. Luka Nieto,

      I knew I remembered a horn being found with the dragonglass on the show (and thanks for the link), but I thought Ygritte said something about a horn in the show, too…that Mance was looking for it. Ah well, I guess I really am splicing things together in my head.

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    36. A bit off topic. Are they filming in the Water Gardens this year? Because it would be pretty odd if they decided to drop Dorne this season

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    37. Maceless Fan,

      That’s why i was asking what happened to it. It seems like it would be pretty important, but who knows, maybe it’s one of those things they thought would be important, but once they got more info from martin, they realized it wasn’t. Or, they just figured they could show the horn being in with the dragonglass on a “previously on” and reintroduce that way, when it become important. Hell, I have no clue.

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    38. Ravyn,

      It would be cool to see The Wall fall at the end of this seasson. However, I’m not sure if two entire season battling the Others would be too much. Although judging by the speed at which they appear to travel it might take them 4 seasons just to make it to Winterfell.

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    39. The dragonglass was heavily featured last season. If Sam reintroduces the horn to us next season, as many suspect will happen in the books, they could remind us easily with a “Previously on” and/or some dialogue in which Sam explains the horn was found among the dragonglass. Personally, I don’t think they’ll follow up on this, even if it becomes crucial in the books, but they could.

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    40. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I guess they could technically address it with a previously on, but it would come across as a little awkward because it hasn’t been acknowledged at all. But like you, I’m clueless as well lol.

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    41. Darquemode:
      I wonder what the odds are of Dany making it to Westeros this season?

      It will happen. D&D said that they don’t want 3 seasons of Meereen, so we will have S4, 5 and 6 in Meereen and she will left that place an the end of E10.

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    42. jentario,

      Take a look at the pics posted by Luka of Pechina. There were some lovely location shots that looked very much like the Alcazar, just a little plainer and less lush, with large indoor pools (and no, I do not mean the resort pools ;-)). Unfortunately, my Spanish skills are limited to tourist necessities so I have no idea what they might be.

      Luka: There were also pics of what looked like a movie set of facades of mud buildings and narrow streets. Any idea what those are?

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    43. Maceless Fan,

      “There will always be some fans who will think it’s blasphemy,” Benioff noted. “But we can’t not do something because we’re afraid of the reaction. I like to think we’ve always done what’s in the best interest of the show and we hope most people agree.”

      ” Also, we’re on a relatively fast pace. We don’t want to do a 10-year adaptation of the books, we don’t want to do a nine-year adaptation. We’re not going to spend four seasons in Meereen.

      http://www.ew.com/article/2015/05/24/game-thrones-tyrion-dany-meet

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    44. mau,

      They may not be spending four seasons in Meereen, but three is still quite a bit. Well, to be fair, it was only about half of season four, and maybe (hopefully?) only half of season six, so maybe it ends up being more like two whole seasons in Meereen.

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    45. Is there anything else in close proximity to this tower or is it isolated on the cliff? It looks like it overlooks a shoreline though so maybe Slavers Bay or……..fuck it, I have no idea

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    46. Luka Nieto:
      mau,

      They may not be spending four seasons in Meereen, but it’s basically three. Well, to be fair, it was only half of season four, and maybe (hopefully?) only half of season six, so maybe it ends up being more like two seasons.

      See one Slaver’s Bay city, you’ve seen them all. Look at it that way, and they did/will spend 4 seasons there. I can fully understand reader/viewer impatience (now that’s a euphemism!) regarding Dany’s return to Westeros.

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    47. When Dany does finally show up in Westeros there will be nothing left for her to rule. Bit that’s a good thing because she has shown us she shouldn’t rule

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    48. mau:
      Ravyn,

      Yes. and that is the reason they put Tyrion and Varys there and why they cut plot in the Vale. No more isolation for characters.

      Yeah, I don’t get the people who bitched that Tyrion got there too fast (I know, they’re book people who, well…never mind0. Him arriving there was probably the first interesting plot development in Mereen. I still get a charge out of that “I am the gift” moment.

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    49. The way I see it, Dany will definitely be doing some sacking and/or razing next season.

      Volantis is “waiting”, and Yunkai has defied her one too many times. Fire and Blood.

      The Tattered Prince plot point was set up for a reason in the books, and I do actually see Dany giving him Pentos, especially if she somehow discovers Ilyrio’s plots.

      She probably wouldn’t sack Pentos in the show, though I suppose they could just give us the fun of a random sacking. Yunkai is in a similar place, though I could see some variation on the Battle of Fire.

      From there, I think the season/book will end with her on Dragonstone, looking towards King’s Landing (“It’s strangely green tonight, isn’t it?” 😛 )

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    50. Quinton,

      Since Dany will be with the Dothraki again this season, maybe her bloodriders will have something to do, finally. And yeah, she has to land on Dragonstone first with the whole “to go forward, you must go back” stuff. And speaking of which, where the fuck is Quaith??

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    51. Maceless Fan,

      They haven’t done anything since seasson 2. They’re not even heavily featured background characters.
      And I wish they would have put Quaithe to good use.

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    52. Maceless Fan,

      The real question is, where was Dany’s character development last season?

      They started off well by having her wear white all season (passiveness) but didn’t really go anywhere with this. No hallucinations on the Dothraki Sea, no turn towards “Fire and Blood”, which was ultimately the entire point of her ADWD arc. By the end she still wanted to go “home” to Meereen.

      I agree about Quaithe, though. They don’t even need the same actress, what with the mask.

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    53. Chekhov’sOlly,

      That’s what I thought as well. Kind of like how Jon was reading letters at the end of S5, which I took as a cheeky reference to the Pink letter, acknowledging that book-readers were waiting for it to happen, but it didn’t. I love those little details.

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    54. Quinton,

      I couldn’t agree more. Like I enjoyed how she flew away on Drogon well enough, but because they didn’t have Drogon snapping at her and her whacking him across the face with a whip, her character suffered. That scene was supposed to be about her staring down and taking control of that wild, dangerous side of herself, and bringing her one step closer to really understanding who she is. Instead, Drogon just saves her ass and she just became another damsel in distress. And the absence of Quaith has only made the situation worth. Like why even introduce the character if she’s not gonna do what she was meant to do for Dany’s character?

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    55. 2 things –

      1) They’ve made Dany so tame and regal, and weirdly loving. That scene with Drogon, it didn’t feel like a struggle for her. “I’m going to break the wheel” in a pristine white gown drinking wine is LAME compared to Fire and Blood. At some point, she’s not Mother Theresa, she’s Daenarys Targaryen. She doesn’t just need to be beautiful and queenly, she needs to be fierce. I love Emilia Clarke, but she has to stop playing her so stoic. Cersei can be quiet, but you can feel a million emotions churning underneath.

      2) If the horn isn’t relevant on the show, how does the Wall come down? Because it kind of feels like it has to.

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    56. ore: – No deus ex machina in the form of gods or magic.

      Ah, but that does not preclude non “deus ex machina” involvement from “gods” or magic. We’ve already seen R’hllor (whatever it is) and magic have very strong influences on things. However, another way to phrase deus ex machina as we currently use it is in terms of Chekhovian guns: a DEM device is a pistol that is pulled out of nowhere to be fired late. In this case, GRRM (and B&W) have hung the R’hllor, White Walker and magic guns on the wall for future use.

      Maceless Fan: It’s funny you that you bring up the dragons because with no Quentyn, who the fuck is going to be stupid enough to release them?

      Heh, finding a way for two dragons to escape captivity should require next to zero imagination! I kind of thought that they might have them both break out of captivity last year to help rescue Daeny. However, perhaps they are going to wait for Tyrion to do so. A buried detail in the books that so far has had little relevance is that he is fascinated with dragons. Well, that fascination could become very relevant (and useful to the plot) this year.

      Quinton: The real question is, where was Dany’s character development last season?

      ?? There was quite a bit of dynamic development for Daeny last year. They deliberately paralleled it to a lot of the same sort of evolution that Jon was undergoing. In both cases, the “kill the girl/boy, become the woman/man” had to do with juggling idealism with pragmatism, and dealing with no-win situations. The hallucinations would have been pennies on the pound compared to that.

      And, of course, the way that she deals with Drogon was really telling. In the midst of a battle, with spears being thrown and a dragon screaming in her face (which was quite well done as an effect, by the way), she still walks up to him (with an excellent portrayal of “forced calm”), soothes him, pulls out a spear or two, and flies off. In terms of dynamic development, it bordered on apotheosis!

      At this point, we really should be taking stock in the parallels in how the main characters are evolving (both in books and on screen). Those commonalities will huge in the end.

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    57. Nadia: 2) If the horn isn’t relevant on the show, how does the Wall come down? Because it kind of feels like it has to.

      My bet is that it won’t be the horn either on the show or in the books. Instead, it will be the Pink Letter…..

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    58. Joffrey’s Cunt,

      If you look over to the twitter feed at the top of the page on the right, you’ll see where Sue (I’m guessing it was Sue) said,

      “You’re going to have to back that up with some more info. That’s a pretty steep claim.”

      They responded,

      “Can’t back anything up and it’s our own sources, we’ve questioned it ourselves and we shall await to see.”

      They also made another tweet saying Jon was the son of

      Rhaegar and “Alyana.”

      hahaha

      Not to be rude, it may be a good source, usually, I don’t know, but that’s quite the fuck-up on the name.

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    59. Quinton:
      Maceless Fan,

      The real question is, where was Dany’s character development last season?

      They started off well by having her wear white all season (passiveness) but didn’t really go anywhere with this. No hallucinations on the Dothraki Sea, no turn towards “Fire and Blood”, which was ultimately the entire point of her ADWD arc. By the end she still wanted to go “home” to Meereen.

      I agree about Quaithe, though. They don’t even need the same actress, what with the mask.

      She may still have her Fire and Blood moment, as I suspect it now involves her capture by the Dothraki. Perhaps the Dothraki will take her to Vaes Dothrak to see the Dosh Kaleen, and they will provide a prophecy to Dany, in a fashion similar to the heart eating ritual? That would eliminate needing Quaithe’s reappearance, but still get the job done.

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    60. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Yeah that was me.

      Irish Thrones has posted some good sightings around Northern Ireland, since they are local and sometimes will hear that GOT is filming somewhere. But this is different, this is a major plot spoiler. And frankly, I don’t trust sources who I haven’t spoken to that quickly and easily. Too many liars out there trying to float their pet theories as a fact.

      I’m sure some websites will run and publish this immediately as a story without verifying any of it, but I’m running the rumor through my usual sources. Fake Stoneheart hype is annoying, so sometimes people are willing to step up and deny it, as they have done before for me. If I hear something, I’ll let you know.

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    61. Wimsey,

      I really doubt that Book Ramsay will be in any position to attack the Wall, and even if he did, how would he ever be in a position to physically destroy it?

      GRRM made a point of showing Sam in continuing possession of a horn retrieved from north of the Wall. One expects there’s a point to that.

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    62. Sue the Fury,

      Thanks, and I really appreciate your caution. I’d rather wait until something is verified, one way or the other, than have y’all run with something which could turn out not to be true just because it will generate activity (and I know I’m far from alone on that). I know that is never how you’ve done things, and it’s one of the reasons this is such a respected source.

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    63. Cellar Door,

      Yeah, someone reminded me about that. And again, they could always reference that scene in a “previously on”, but it will come across as weird because there’s been no actual mention of it lol.

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    64. Quinton: no turn towards “Fire and Blood”, which was ultimately the entire point of her ADWD arc.

      Daenerys did feed one of the Masters to R and V in a Fire and Blood moment. As for her character development, tbh, I saw massive doses of learning and character development for her in S5, compared to her horribly poor storyline for most of Season 4. She first tried to rule a powder keg with strict justice (Mossador execution), then roasted Masters, agreed to a compromise by marrying Hizzy and opening the fighting pits hoping for peace, and then, finally chose her identity as a Dragonlord by flying away on Drogon. Next, the meeting with the Dothraki will cement her resolve. I think (I may be wrong) she will realize that a rotting wound (slavery and an exploitation-based economy) has to be lanced; there can’t be compromises.
      I agree with you about her Season 5 clothes: I hated the drabness and that white color. I hope for better wardrobe choices next season.

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    65. Wimsey,

      Haha I know, I was just kinda thinking out loud with that one. And if it is Tyrion that breaks them out of Dragonjail, I know that he won’t meet the same fate as poor Quentin. And I do sometimes miss the Tyrion that’s obsessed with dragons and whore hotspots.

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    66. LadyLyanna:
      Is Gendry still rowing his boat?

      Haha I’m sure he was done rowing quite some time ago. He either went back to King’s Landing, or he’s headed for the Wall. And unlike his book counterpart, he knows that he’s one of Robert’s bastards so I’m very curious what he’ll do with that info.

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    67. Quinton
      The real question is, where was Dany’s character development last season?

      Here’s my question…what is Arya’s character development supposed to be? And no, I don’t mean that as a slight towards Arya (as a character) or Maisie’s performance…I mean it as a genuine question. What is Arya supposed to be developing into, character wise? I mean, we can talk about all the skills she’s acquiring, and the ‘training’ she’s receiving from the Faceless Men, but I don’t see that her actual CHARACTER has changed much (nor do I see it changing). She remains a stubborn, wild-child, who’s impulsive and kills people (feel free to argue about that characterization). I feel like, with a lot of characters, you can see their development over time. They either no longer believe what they once believed (i.e. Sansa…that the world is rainbows, kittens and songs), or behave in ways they once behaved (i.e. Tyrion, Jon, Jamie, etc), but Arya remains constant. What/how is her character progressing? What has changed in her from Book/Season 1 till Book/Season 5?

      Edit: Even with Brienne (another ‘warrior’ type character), you can see that her mind has changed about things. I think you can genuinely argue that she’s learned (through her interactions with Jamie) that honor comes in many form and that everything/one is not necessarily as they appear. Arya…I don’t see any sort of “paradigm shift” of that sort in her thinking or her character. But, I’m more than willing to be proven wrong. Someone show me what I’m not seeing.

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    68. RosanaZugey,

      I honestly feel like Arya’s real changes in the show are only now just going to begin. Plus Arya in general is very different from the other characters in story. Where some are trying to change who they were (Jaime) and some are trying to balance the different aspects of who they are and what’s required of them (Dany, Jon) Arya is trying to maintain who she always was. And even though she’s assumed many different identities and is becoming a faceless person, the fact that she couldn’t get rid of Needle means that she can never truly become someone else. That’s how I see it, anyway.

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    69. RosanaZugey

      I see Arya’s story as a parallel to a real-life situation of someone who has been through severe trauma/war and because of it – hatred, pain loss and thirst for revenge – has got caught up in a militia/zealot group and is going through indoctrination and training. If she doesn’t get away from it soon it will consume her.

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    70. Maceless Fan:

      I honestly feel like Arya’s real changes in the show are only now just going to begin. Plus Arya in general is very different from the other characters in story. Where some are trying to change who they were (Jaime) and some are trying to balance the different aspects of who they are and what’s required of them (Dany, Jon) Arya is trying to maintain who she always was. And even though she’s assumed many different identities and is becoming a faceless person, the fact that she couldn’t get rid of Needle means that she can never truly become someone else. That’s how I see it, anyway.

      I really like that you said, “what’s required of them,” because I think a lot can be said about characters HAVING to change in light of their circumstances (and not as a result of them). But that’s a different conversation for a different day. 😉

      Here’s my thing; Arya, from Book/Season 1 has had ‘vengeance’ as her primary motivator. Five seasons/books later, her primary motivator remains vengeance, and nothing about how she sees the world has changed. She still hates who she hates, and loves who she loves. She still kills for revenge, and believes she’s completely right for doing so. Her MIND has not changed, at all, about anything. I feel like she came into the story as a fully “developed” character, and that’s how she’s remained this whole time. The only thing that has changed is her skill set, not her character.

      So, if Arya’s main contribution to the story is vengeance for House Stark…what happens when all of their enemies are dead? What happens when she’s scratched everyone off her list? What does she live for then? What is her contribution after that? If she hasn’t learned to see the world in a different way; or learned to want something other than vengeance, then I’m not sure the ‘future’ holds much for her other then death.

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    71. RosanaZugey,

      I remember reading an interview with GRRM where he was talking about the after effects of war. This was quite awhile ago, so not completely sure I remember completely but he seemed to be especially interested in “children soldiers” and the trauma they lived through. I think Arya may be the personification of this. How she will survive (in a non war environment) in the long run is hard to predict. I would say that Arya is a character that has changed dramatically since S1 – she was a sweet tho feisty little girl and now a cold blooded killer.

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    72. LordDavos:
      RosanaZugey

      I see Arya’s story as a parallel to a real-life situation of someone who has been through severe trauma/war and because of it has got caught up in a militia/zealot group and is going through indoctrination and training. If she doesn’t get away from it soon it will consume her.

      You know, when that Petra individual (I think it was Petra) did that article about Theon and PTSD, I remember thinking, ‘ALL of these characters are suffering from PTSD, not just Theon. And we’re SEEING how they all live out–and through–their traumas.’ And I want to apply that to Arya (and take her story as another reaction to traumatic events), but Arya has hated the Lannisters since they killed Micha/Lady, and she still hates them 5 Books/Seasons later.

      *Thinks* Wait!

      ….She hated The Hound for killing Micha, and then she ended up liking him enough to not kill him for vengeance…so perhaps that could be used as a ‘character development’ moment (and a counter-argument for what I’ve been saying).

      That aside…we talk/argue so much about Sansa’s ‘character development’, and yet, we ignore Arya’s. Becoming a ‘bad ass assassin’ is not character development, it’s an acquired skill set. I guess I’m just wondering why we question the development of one Stark sister and not the other? And my God…I am NOT turning this into a Sansa/Arya death match. I love both of those characters and appreciate their stories, so PLEASE do not take this as, ‘She’s just trying to start shit between Sansa/Arya fans.’ I’m just thinking…ok, we’ve argued to the death about how/why/when/what Sansa’s character is becoming….so someone tell me about Arya’s character and HER development.

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    73. RosanaZugey,

      Adjusting to a world where all her enemies are dead is something that Arya would have to adjust to (if she survives to the end, that is). When we first met her, she wasn’t trying to kill anyone but be a female warrior in a society that usually doesn’t encourage that behavior. No real hate at that point. Then her friend Mycha gets killed and that’s when the seed was planted. The subsequent deaths of her family members, mixed with the horrors she witnesses watered the seed and now it’s a full blown murder plant…or something haha. And this is why her ultimate path will lead back to her family, especially Jon. She needs to remember love, otherwise she’ll just be another Rorge, Biter, Ramsey, etc. A psychopath, fueled by hate and bitterness.

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    74. That structure would be a pretty dramatic staging ground for a fiery public speech from that new priestess they were casting. Just a thought.

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    75. RosanaZugey,
      I think that is precisely her arc: people get caught up in childish thoughts of vengeance and never evolve. Witness the conflicts all around us. The desire for vengeance leads to your own destruction and the destruction of what you hold dear. We saw it in Arya’s final scene with Trant. She will NOT have a happy ending.

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    76. RosanaZugey

      Maybe it is because Arya has largely been on the road, experiencing a lot, whereas Sansa has mostly been stuck in one area, that it simply seems to the viewer as though Arya has been through more character development.

      I’ll be interested to see whether GRRM comes up with any suggestions to how someone like Arya can recover.

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    77. Cersei’s Brain:
      RosanaZugey,

      I remember reading an interview with GRRM where he was talking about the after effects of war.This was quite awhile ago, so not completely sure I remember completely but he seemed to be especially interested in “children soldiers” and the trauma they lived through.I think Arya may be the personification of this.How she will survive (in a non war environment) in the long run is hard to predict.I would say that Arya is a character that has changed dramatically since S1 – she was a sweet tho feisty little girl and now a cold blooded killer.

      Hummmm. Ok, ok. I can dig this. Your last line made me remember the look of horror on her face when she killed the stable boy, and then fast-forward to season 4 and the look of utter delight when she killed Poliver (or Season 5 when she killed Meryn). Ok. Yeah. Score one for that example. *Thumbs up*

      You know, I think the great part of this series is exploring these greater themes; this notion of, “the human heart in conflict with itself,” and to borrow from a Natalie Grant song, “…how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life, and you survive.” These themes/examples are what–to me–make this series great. So, if Arya is the personification of a “child solider” character, then her “non-development” (as I perceive it) is perhaps, the point.

      I wonder if Arya was ever meant to be anything other than this, though. I keep thinking back to her conversation with Ned and how he goes on about how she’ll one day marry a high Lord and have Princes and Princesses (sp?), and she responded with, “No. That’s not me.” I think Martin intended to put her down this path from jump…so it’ll be interesting to see how it ends up. And if she ends up dying in battle or whatever, are we supposed to view her as a tragic character, or as one who went out doing exactly what she wanted? Is she the tragic result of a child who became a cold-blooded killer as a result of war, or is she a ‘warrior’ who went out doing exactly what she wanted to do? Questions, questions.

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    78. Maceless Fan:

      Adjusting to a world where all her enemies are dead is something that Arya would have to adjust to (if she survives to the end, that is). When we first met her, she wasn’t trying to kill anyone but be a female warrior in a society that usually doesn’t encourage that behavior. No real hate at that point. Then her friend Mycha gets killed and that’s when the seed was planted. The subsequent deaths of her family members, mixed with the horrors she witnesses watered the seed and now it’s a full blown murder plant…or something haha. And this is why her ultimate path will lead back to her family, especially Jon. She needs to remember love, otherwise she’ll just be another Rorge, Biter, Ramsey, etc. A psychopath, fueled by hate and bitterness.

      Excellent post. Bravo. And lol about your “murder plant”. *Laughing emoji*

      I think Arya’s destiny is very much intertwined with Jon’s. In my “wild and crazy theory” moments, I always think Jon’s going to eventually put a sword through her heart to forge light-bringer. That….or I think she’ll end up as Queens Guard to Sansa. Either way, I couldn’t agree with you more…her ultimate path will lead her back to her family.

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    79. Firannion:
      That structure would be a pretty dramatic staging ground for a fiery public speech from that new priestess they were casting. Just a thought.

      How dare you stay on topic in the mist of all this divergence! 😉 :p

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    80. Ashara D:

      I think that is precisely her arc: people get caught up in childish thoughts of vengeance and never evolve. Witness the conflicts all around us. The desire for vengeance leads to your own destruction and the destruction of what you hold dear. We saw it in Arya’s final scene with Trant. She will NOT have a happy ending.

      And that, to me, makes her story perhaps more tragic than Sansa’s. I mean, people are always “poor Sansa”, but even through the worst of the worst, she holds on her compassion, her sensitivity, her ‘humanity’. Arya is very different in that respect. And yet…popular opinion says Arya is ‘strong’ and Sansa is ‘weak’. This whole comparison brings up a good discussion about how we define strength, and who, in the end, is a more tragic figure. Is the one who “loved and lost” really more ‘tragic’ than the one who never loved at all?

      LordDavos:
      RosanaZugey

      Maybe it is because Arya has largely been on the road, experiencing a lot, whereas Sansa has mostly been stuck in one area, that it simply seems to the viewer as though Arya has been through more character development.

      I’ll be interested to see whether GRRM comes up with any suggestions to how someone like Arya can recover.

      Oh, I look forward to seeing how GRRM resolves these characters and their internal struggles. Is there ‘hope’ for people who have been through hell and back, or do they simply fall into the void? Can’t wait to find out the answer (if there is one).

      Also, I think people have looked at Arya as developing more than Sansa because Arya has developed into what they WANT to see. She is the vehicle for the audience’s hatred and frustrations. I think Arya appeals to what we all would WANT to do if someone killed our whole family; but Sansa represents what we’d ACTUALLY do in the same situation (well, the majority of us, anyways). And because Arya fulfills our desire for vengeance, we give all her actions the ‘thumbs up’ without actually processing the fact that a child has lost her ‘soul’ and become nothing but a killing machine.

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    81. Ravyn,

      So you think the last episodes of season 6 will be The Wall falling to the north, and Dany coming with her dragons and army from the south?

      That would be an unbelievably awesome setup for season 7!!!

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    82. Ashara D: The desire for vengeance leads to your own destruction and the destruction of what you hold dear.

      There was a very brief tiny moment in Season 5, when Arya is walking away from Jaquen after he gives her the poison with which she will kill the Thin Man. She is walking towards the viewers, with her back to him, and she has a slight, satisfied smile on her face. A smile because she has been trusted to kill someone, who is a complete stranger to her, who did not hurt her family. This was no vengeance killing, just a kill to mete out “justice”. I found this image as powerful as the killing of Meryn Trant in that it showed how Arya had begun to savor killing.

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    83. Kay

      She feels a sense of power and control.

      RosanaZugey

      I think the joke between Jon and Arya in book 1 re Needle is pretty damning foreshadowing of a bad end for Arya.

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    84. Arthur,

      I think if the Wall is coming down, it’ll be one of Sapochnik’s episodes which we know are 9&10. Hardhome seemed to be his audition for it and he aced it. Not sure about Dany landing in Westeros. If that happens it’ll probably be the very end of ep10, though I suspect Jon’s resurrection could also take that spot. In short, I have no idea.

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    85. RosanaZugey,

      Arya’s a strange character, in that the narrative requires that she doesn’t evolve a huge amount over the course. She’s become more ruthless, yes, but still clings tight to her revenge.

      The point of this is to show that revenge is corrosive, cyclical, and has no real end – just as we see in the Dorne storyline. Hence Arya herself is cyclical and won’t evolve while she clings to her revenge.

      That’s not to say she won’t let go of her revenge at some point. I think the climax of Arya’s story will be letting go of revenge, and then perhaps dying.

      My pet theory is that she will reconnect with the Riverlands storyline and give her mother (who, IMO, has to reconnect with one of her children before dying) the ‘gift of mercy’, metaphorically ‘saving her’ like she failed to do at The Twins. This would demonstrate to Arya the toxic nature of revenge. This would maybe culminate in her having the opportunity to kill Walder Frey, only to leave him be, aware that his house was in ruins.

      Afterwards it would probably make sense for her to travel North, reconnecting with the heart of the story and her family.

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    86. Wimsey: will be the Ice & Fire Ragnarok. But that’s just a stab in the dark.

      Pretty sure that season 6 would have the first half of the winds of winter and season 7 the second half of it. Season 8 will be Spring. WHY? It is logic actually. You see martin will probably have like 20 percent of book 7 written by the time D&D will be writing season 8, so there will be a lot of detail missing, so the spring will be easily fitted in only one season.

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    87. Chekhov’sOlly,

      How do you know the speed that they travel?

      They are just wondering around right now, they don’t travel anywhere yet. Winter hasn’t come yet in westeros and they also might not be fully prepared as well. They are lurking not traveling.

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    88. Luka Nieto,

      Pretty sad right. All the castings pretty much scream LS anyway so i really dont see what the freaking problem is. Would really make s6 an event to watch if LS finally appear. To enact revenge and they finally can do justice to all that “north Remembers” they have been promising us on the show since season 3 ep 10. So to finally bring in LS would be much welcome and D and D would be forgiven for all their weird changes as well.

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    89. I just read some comments G.RR Martin made about the series, “forcing”, “not happy”, ” i don’t think of tv characters” “wrong tv show deaths” sound so bad to me…… i am afraid season 6 is going to be a mess… 🙁

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    90. Michael,

      There is a guy named Lachlan in the casting call. “He’s the big leader of a group of renegades who have turned on the land that they swore to protect. They’re now extorting the poor and vulnerable. He appears in 2 episodes in season 6.”

      I somehow doubt that with LSH, the new BwB would be extorting the poor and the vulnerable. Killing Frey and Lannister soldiers? Yes. But not becoming bandits.

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    91. Michael,

      God I hope not. LSH is one of the worst ideas Martin had for those books. What’s more important: it’s a bit too late now, in the context of the show. The show has moved on. Also, I don’t see how anything we know about Season 6 points to her inclusion. The bandit group is the closest, yet they are acting like bandits, “turning on the land they swore to protect” and “extorting the poor and vulnerable.” Whoever these people are, they are not led by someone bent on revenge against the Freys. They’re bandits, even if they happen to be the remnants of the Brotherhood. LSH doesn’t really fit there. Also, one of the casting calls is for the leader of this group —a male bandit named Lachlan.

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    92. Luka Nieto,

      Why WOULDN’T they report on that rumor? It’s huge.

      In fact I came on here explicitly to check if WotW was reporting it too… I know some of you lot are a cranky old resentful bunch because of what happened with WIC.net, but really it’s time to get the fuck over it. Seriously.

      WotW is better, everyone knows it, but when some of you lot go out of your way to attack WiC.net, it reminds me of an Android user desperately trying to list all the reasons wrong with an iPhone, while iPhone just sits back and says nothing. And it’s pathetic.

      Back on topic; if that rumor is true… holy shit!

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    93. Ser Matt the Sullen,

      Why wouldn’t WOTW report on that? Because it’s merely a rumor, that’s why. WOTW seems to have higher standards than that; it doesn’t debase itself with clickbait and unsubstantiated rumors. I’m sure that, just as Sue explained above, if they manage to confirm or deny the rumor, it will be reported on. However, as of yet, they have no reason to do so —they’re not that desperate.

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    94. Luka Nieto,

      Sure they’re not desperate, but that’s not the point. The point is, everything is a rumor pretty much until someone confirms it from the show or we watch the episode.

      And this is not some small thing like “Oh look Walder Frey at the airport”, this is LSH. Reported to be appearing from a source that is close to the production. R+L+J was also rumored, but we all know that’s true already 😉

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    95. Ser Matt the Sullen,

      WOTW has trusted sources. They report on those sources. That’s how journalism works (even fan journalism —or it should.) WOTW don’t know IrishThrones’ supposed sources. They won’t report on it until they can confirm or deny their rumors.

      By the way, for those worried we are getting fewer casting news this year:

      This is the current state of the new cast members we know of and the reported new characters for season six. And this is how it was for Season 5 on August 30 last year. Not so different after all. We had a few more major casting news last year, but this year we have maaaany more reported new characters from leaked casting calls, even if their actors are as of yet unknown.

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    96. Cersei’s Brain,

      People’s concern seems to be about our inability to find out stuff this year, not that there actually are fewer new characters. I was trying to explain that, last year by this time, we were pretty much in the same place. Maybe it was worse: though we learnt about a few more major casting news thanks to the Comic Con reveal, this year we know about maaaany many more new characters.

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    97. I heard back this morning from a source whom I trust, who hasn’t steered me wrong ever-

      they denied this latest rumor.

      I’m sorry someone is fucking with IrishThrones but the info is not valid.

      But on the upside, I do have some actual new info/confirm today for you all so I’ll post that and we can have fun with that later on.

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    98. Cersei’s Brain,

      I remember reading an interview with GRRM where he was talking about the after effects of war. This was quite awhile ago, so not completely sure I remember completely but he seemed to be especially interested in “children soldiers” and the trauma they lived through. I think Arya may be the personification of this. How she will survive (in a non war environment) in the long run is hard to predict. I would say that Arya is a character that has changed dramatically since S1 – she was a sweet tho feisty little girl and now a cold blooded killer.

      Really interesting discussion about Arya. Its funny, when I see her, its not as a cold blooded killer. I still see the child in her. Maybe its my hope that the child is still there, esp since she is still a child.

      I read a book back in the 80s called Children of War by Roger Rosenblatt, that looks at this issue of what happens to children in an environment of non stop war (he covers Arab-Israeli conflict, Cambodia’s Pol Pot Regime, Vietnam). Very sobering account of how these children grow up and what hope there might be later. Here’s the link to the NYT review of the bookIt might be an interesting read if you are interested in delving further into the real world

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    99. RosanaZugey,

      Also, I think people have looked at Arya as developing more than Sansa because Arya has developed into what they WANT to see. She is the vehicle for the audience’s hatred and frustrations. I think Arya appeals to what we all would WANT to do if someone killed our whole family; but Sansa represents what we’d ACTUALLY do in the same situation (well, the majority of us, anyways). And because Arya fulfills our desire for vengeance, we give all her actions the ‘thumbs up’ without actually processing the fact that a child has lost her ‘soul’ and become nothing but a killing machine.

      Yes. This.

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    100. Sue the Fury,

      Thank you, I imagine the LS hype will live on until the last episode of the last season has aired. 😉
      But yeah, I’m looking forward to some actual new information.

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    101. It’s kinda obvious don’tcha think?! Tyrion is finally gonna find out where all the whores go!

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    102. Sue the Fury,

      Thanks Sue. That is exactly the reason, after seeing this rumor elsewhere, that I came straight here to verify.

      Pity though, as I’d already purchase first-class tickets on the LSH-Express! haha

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    103. Luka Nieto,

      She is one of the best and that tey are returning to Riverlands and including Freys like merrett Frey and BWB. Is a very strong hint LS could happen this season. Also they HAVE to make good on that “North Remmebers” stuff they have been spewing since season 3 ep 10. Or do you not think the Starks deserve revenge like in the books ?

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    104. ash,

      Thanks for the link – definitely will read. I am very interested about this subject (esp as relates to African countries).

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    105. Michael,

      I feel that one of GRRM’s underlying themes is that revenge is a horrible violent cycle that never results in anything good. I believe in S3 Cersei and Tyrion have a conversation about how trying to wipe out your enemies only creates more enemies until you are consumed.

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    106. Michael: yeah why would they even tell you if it were true or not. Think about about that for one second if its a surprise.

      Why would they tell IrishThrones if its a suprise? Why do you believe that this rumor is true?

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    107. Michael,

      Or do you not think the Starks deserve revenge like in the books ?

      I know you weren’t talking to me, so I apologize, but your comment caught my eye.

      No I don’t think the Starks “deserve” revenge, because I think a major theme of this story is that revenge begets more revenge, and violence begets more violence, and in the end the revenge you think you want to see isn’t really all that satisfying anyway. I guarantee you that any revenge we continue to see on the show will leave us feeling extremely conflicted. Whether they show that through Lady Stoneheart in Season 6 or through some other method entirely, I’m not sure. Either way, the outcome will be the same: “I thought I wanted to see that, but now that I saw it, I feel ill.” Which is the whole damn story, in a nutshell.

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    108. kit_hepburn: I guarantee you that any revenge we continue to see on the show will leave us feeling extremely conflicted.

      That is exactly why I am looking forward to any further exploits of LS/BwB/Brienne in the books. LS embodies revenge and hate, which will probably introduce more chaos and dire reaction into the arcs of others (possibly her children) than not.

      (And LS should stay in the books, for our imaginations to ponder)

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    109. Cersei’s Brain,

      This. I think one of the great things about this series is that it makes you question your own reactions to these kinds of events. People talk about loving Arya and her search for “justice” for her family, when she’s really thinking in blacks and whites like a child thinks. She’s not getting justice by killing–she’s simply killing. Hopefully, this makes the reader/viewer question their support of such measures and changes their thinking in the real world. Can we move beyond “an eye for an eye” as a civilization? Can we think a little deeper about the ramifications of some of the ridiculous, sound bite “solutions” being put forward by politicians and so-called candidates? For all our sakes, I hope so. Trumpites, I’m looking daggers at you! (Not that there would be any such knuckle-draggers on this site. Just sayin’.)

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    110. Maceless Fan: a full blown murder plant

      Hahaha…now I want to go out and buy a Venus Fly Trap (since it’s a plant that kills things) and name it Arya. 🙂

      What a great conversation about Arya, y’all. Thanks. I wish the coffee had kicked in a bit more so I could contribute something other than the silly comment above, but alas, my mind is still full of cobwebs.

      Sue – Thanks for confirming for us the rumor is false.

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    111. Sean C.: I really doubt that Book Ramsay will be in any position to attack the Wall, and even if he did, how would he ever be in a position to physically destroy it?

      Why isn’t he in position to attack it? He has destroyed his main foes, and he wants his wife and his Reek back. He’s also a bit unhinged. He’s a northerner who knows how to deal with winter, too.

      And Ramsay won’t destroy it by blowing it up or anything. However, he might very well be the pebble that causes the avalanche of events taking it down. In particular, he does swear to kill everyone at the Wall: and that most certainly is not an empty threat from him.

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    112. Cersei’s Brain: I feel that one of GRRM’s underlying themes is that revenge is a horrible violent cycle that never results in anything good.

      True, but also somewhat misleading. One of the “themes” of GRRM’s work is that there are no themes. Good deeds and bad deeds often are punished, and there is no “Instant Karma” for either. This is not, say, Lord of the Rings where upholding (Tolkien’s notion of) “natural law” always leads to good things whereas going against it always leads to bad things, or even Harry Potter where magic derived from love is more powerful than magic derived from hate.

      That written, I think that the evolution of the primary characters (all of whom have experienced trauma, failure, ridicule, etc., in the pursuit of “good intentions”) will be critical in some way in the end. I don’t know how: but the willingness to try to understand others keeps swimming just under the surface.

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    113. Luka Nieto: What’s more important: it’s a bit too late now, in the context of the show. The show has moved on.

      I don’t know that it is “too late”: it would have been “too early” to do it before this year, as LSH has no role in the Crows/Dragons stories. (Not unless they were going to heavily improvise to wedge her into scenes or to create completely novel ones for her.)

      However, at this point, there are no important characters that LSH could affect. (And, let’s face it: the most important character she seems to be affecting in the books is Jaime, who is only the 7th or 8th most important character in the books.)

      Really, the only way I could see LSH becoming used on the show is if she is the one backing Ellaria & SS. But I have no idea how the mechanics of that would work. It seems pretty convoluted and farfetched, too: I am sure that they have a simpler explanation in mind.

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    114. kit_hepburn: I guarantee you that any revenge we continue to see on the show will leave us feeling extremely conflicted

      The dark secret that revenge holds is that it rarely-to-never as satisfying as those seeking it believe it will be. It then becomes an addiction, as in any other addiction, where more and more is needed to give even the least effect.

      Yet, in human experience, some revenge, in small and wisely doled portions, is necessary and actually cathartic and satisfying. On the show at least. Many viewers were elated at Joffrey’s demise; it was the same when Myranda took a nose-dive into the courtyard. Wishes that Ramsay dies horribly are all over these threads, and I’ll throw my wish for a twisted demise, perhaps at Theon’s hand, right in there with everyone else’s.

      It’s when revenge is compounded (i.e. “if they take one of ours, we take five of theirs, blah blah”) that it turns from being “reasonable” to becoming a horrific waste of humanity and an extremely unwise lesson to teach. Compounding begets compounding. Perhaps in terms of dollars, not so bad, but in mindless human destruction, to be avoided. If all our time is spent compounding hate, what have we at the end but a lot of fucking hate? Not the future I hope to see for the world, neither the imaginary one of GoT, nor the real world in which we all live.

      (But I still want Ramsay to be harshly kicked to the curb in pieces.)

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    115. Mark:
      Sue the Fury,

      Would the source be able to tell you “Yes, LSH is in” and not lose their job? Honest question here, since I’m not sure how these things work.

      this is what i wondered too. Its not like a “trusted” member for the show would say yes to this lol. I mean come on not when the source knows Sue is gonna post it here anyway to all to see. Noway they would say anything on this matter

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    116. Michael,

      HBO doesn’t which members of production are sources for WotW so the sources are relatively save. Do you rember the past offseasons in this community? If Sue’s sources confirm or deny something, they have been 100 perfect correct.

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    117. Michael: this is what i wondered too. Its not like a “trusted” member for the show would say yes to this lol. I mean come on not when the source knows Sue is gonna post it here anyway to all to see. Noway they would say anything on this matter

      You’re right. No way they would say anything on the matter. Sue’s just making up all of it. end sarcasm

      Look, if you don’t want to believe it, that’s your prerogative, but to go so far as to, in essence, accuse Sue of fabricating things is rather sad.

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    118. Sean C.:
      Wimsey,

      I seem to recall GRRM saying that things like whether the gods of the various religions were real was the sort of thing he was never going to answer definitively.

      Honestly, it’s cooler if he doesn’t, and we’re left to wonder. At one point I was convinced that the Seven were essentially ‘false gods’ made up to control people by the maesters. There’s textual evidence for most of the other gods. The Many-Faced God’s followers can have special powers. The Red God’s followers can have special powers. The Old Gods of the North seem to be in contact with the Children of the Forest, and they somehow send the direwolves. (I don’t personally care about the Drowned God because I find his religion a bit boring.) What do the Seven ever do? Does a prayer to them ever work? I thought not.

      Weeelll… I was wrong, because it seems like one single prayer in the entire series does. It’s

      Sansa’s prayer during the Blackwater for Sandor Clegane. While listing all the people she cares about (COUGH!) she prays for the Mother to save his life and calm the hatred and anger within him. I noticed this when I was reading, but I didn’t notice what someone geekier than me has pointed out, that he then rides Stranger onto a ship called Prayer. Nawwh. And starts brutally killing everyone on the ship, of course, cause that’s what he does. Anyhow, what Sansa asked for seems to have happened. This is very ironic as Clegane’s an atheist, isn’t he?

      Conclusion: The Seven are not statisticians. 1 prayer in millions, those are really bad odds.

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    119. ash:
      RosanaZugey,

      Yes. This.

      I agree with this (that Arya is vastly traumatised, and that she embodies vengeful elements that many audience members wish they had in their personality)… with the caveat that Arya’s toughness earlier on is a bit of a sham. She would have got herself killed ages ago if she hadn’t had the astonishingly good luck to keep running into badasses. In fact, I’m sure a few of us here would likely have been naive enough to keep smart-mouthing people in tough situations as she does, with dire consequences if we were not as lucky as her. Thanks to Syrio Fiorel, she escapes Joffrey and King’s Landing, where her sassing would have meant she lasted about a fortnight around King Psycho. Sansa’s approach was the only way to survive there, saves someone else’s life at least temporarily, and was not stupid at all, even if Sandor often derided it. Yoren gets Arya out of the city and keeps her safe from people chasing her. Then the BWB look after her. Then Sandor Clegane does. I like her a lot as a character, especially on the show, but I don’t get why 300-odd British people a year are naming their daughters after her. If I wanted to name my daughter after a strong, kick-ass GoT character, I would choose Brienne.

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    120. LordDavos:

      RosanaZugey

      I think the joke between Jon and Arya in book 1 re Needle is pretty damning foreshadowing of a bad end for Arya.

      I have a feeling that when all is said and done, we’re going to find that Book 1/Season 1 basically told everyone’s endgame.

      Ravyn:

      Maisie has said this same thing in interviews: that it’s a bit disconcerting that people “root” for Arya the more of a killer she becomes.

      I remember her saying that, and at the time, I didn’t think too much about it. Quite frankly, I was loving the murder train. However, when I think about it now, and especially in the context of this conversation, I very much understand why she kept insisting that we should not be celebrating her decent into full-blown murderer.

      Quinton:

      Arya’s a strange character, in that the narrative requires that she doesn’t evolve a huge amount over the course. She’s become more ruthless, yes, but still clings tight to her revenge.

      The point of this is to show that revenge is corrosive, cyclical, and has no real end – just as we see in the Dorne storyline. Hence Arya herself is cyclical and won’t evolve while she clings to her revenge.

      That’s not to say she won’t let go of her revenge at some point. I think the climax of Arya’s story will be letting go of revenge, and then perhaps dying.

      My pet theory is that she will reconnect with the Riverlands storyline and give her mother (who, IMO, has to reconnect with one of her children before dying) the ‘gift of mercy’, metaphorically ‘saving her’ like she failed to do at The Twins. This would demonstrate to Arya the toxic nature of revenge. This would maybe culminate in her having the opportunity to kill Walder Frey, only to leave him be, aware that his house was in ruins.

      Afterwards it would probably make sense for her to travel North, reconnecting with the heart of the story and her family.

      Excellent analysis, and a really great theory to boot. Not killing Walder Frey would be immeasurably more “shocking” then her actually carrying out the deed. I just can’t see it though. I can’t see her letting go and living for something other than killing. Granted, that I can’t “see it” doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It just means that I lack imagination. 😉 But honestly, I think her character was specifically designed for the purpose of exacting revenge, and as of right now, I don’t think that will change. But who knows. I hope you’re right in the end, because I’d prefer to see that outcome then a dead Arya who knew nothing but hatred, revenge, and killing all her life.

      You know, I liked the pairing of The Hound and Arya because I always looked at them and thought that Arya would end up like him. I’m interested to see how they bring back The Hound and what his demeanor will be. Would kind of answer the question of whether or not there’s “hope” for characters like that, or if they will die with the love of killing in their hearts.

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    121. ash:
      Cersei’s Brain,

      Really interesting discussion about Arya.Its funny, when I see her, its not as a cold blooded killer. I still see the child in her.Maybe its my hope that the child is still there, esp since she is still a child.

      I read a book back in the 80s called Children of War by Roger Rosenblatt, that looks at this issue of what happens to children in an environment of non stop war (he covers Arab-Israeli conflict, Cambodia’s Pol Pot Regime,Vietnam).Very sobering account of how these children grow up and what hope there might be later.Here’s the link to the NYT review ofthe bookIt might be an interesting read if you are interested in delving further into the real world

      Wow. If just the review of the book is poignant and disturbing (I read that review this morning and all I can think is portable guillotines and children decapitating children), I can only imagine the actual book. But that’s ‘real life’. And it’s disturbing, horrific, and downright disconcerting.

      I know there are a lot of people (perhaps even the ‘majority’ of viewers) who watch this show purely for entertainment purposes. They watch to be entertained; to see a really good story and get a lot of action in the process. I imagine these individuals are in the, “It’s not real!!!!!!” camp. And that’s totally fine. But for me, I love the themes. I love the questions. We can have a million discussions just like this one, about everything from the “nature of humanity” to the purpose/role of religion in society. It’s great to discuss these things, and I’m glad we are. I like hearing people’s thought/ideas. 🙂 So, yeah. Thanks for jumping in here with a great article.

      Thronetender: The dark secret that revenge holds is that it rarely-to-never as satisfying as those seeking it believe it will be. It then becomes an addiction, as in any other addiction, where more and more is needed to give even the least effect.

      Yet, in human experience, some revenge, in small and wisely doled portions,is necessary and actually cathartic and satisfying. On the show at least. Many viewers were elated at Joffrey’s demise; it was the same when Myranda took a nose-dive into the courtyard.Wishes that Ramsay dies horribly are all over these threads, and I’ll throw my wish for a twisted demise, perhaps at Theon’s hand, right in there with everyone else’s.

      It’s when revenge is compounded (i.e. “if they take one of ours, we take five of theirs, blah blah”) that it turns from being “reasonable” to becoming a horrific waste of humanity and an extremely unwise lesson to teach. Compounding begets compounding.Perhaps in terms of dollars, not so bad, but in mindless human destruction, to be avoided. If all our time is spent compounding hate, what have we at the end but a lot of fucking hate?Not the future I hope to see for the world, neither the imaginary one of GoT, nor the real world in which we all live.

      (But I still want Ramsay to be harshly kicked to the curb in pieces.)

      What a great post. Love it.

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    122. RosanaZugey: You know, when that Petra individual (I think it was Petra) did that article about Theon and PTSD, I remember thinking, ‘ALL of these characters are suffering from PTSD, not just Theon

      Yes, it was Petra, I think the first article she did here. I thought the article was very well done and brought up a number of exceptional points. However, the original reception to it by a lot of the more, um … militant of the contributors here was not generous or open. . I don’t know if she’s had the desire to contribute anything since. I hope she does.

      Despite the nastiness from some, the article made a good impression on many of us, since the points she made have been remembered. For sure, many of the characters are traumatized, Theon more so than the others, but Arya leads a close second. No matter what label you put upon it, PTSD or whatever, it is something profound that they deal with. Though Theon showed small signs of rehumanizing himself, I don’t foresee Arya coming out of this undamaged. Her arc is possibly part of the “bittersweet” GRRM was talking about.

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