Game of Thrones Memory Lane 504: Sons of the Harpy

Dany Header

We’re in the final week of #GOT50! We’ve done it, folks- waited all these months, and there are only seven more days until we’re watching the season premiere of Game of Thrones. Almost hard to believe! And our lengthy Memory Lane is nearing its end. Walking us through “Sons of the Harpy” is a WotW regular, who you can also find on Twitter at @JKozal. Please give a warm Watchers welcome to Jared Kozal! – Sue the Fury


“Go, Ser Barristan. Sing a song for me.”

So passes a bold warrior into legend. The main song of Game of Thrones, as we all know, is the Song of Ice and Fire. But there are other songs as well, for those who don’t make it to the final verse of the main one. The myriad legends and stories – not only of ice and fire, but of love and loss – that populate this world represent a true legacy, for those fortunate enough to earn them.

The weight of the past and the shadow of legends are ever-present in “Sons of the Harpy.” It’s an episode packed with both action and mythology, deftly directed by Mark Mylod and written by Dave Hill (David Benioff & Dan Weiss’s former assistant, writing his first script for the show).

The hour begins in Volantis, where Jorah steals a fisherman’s boat, tossing the unconscious man a few coins for his trouble. He tosses Tyrion into the boat with a similar lack of ceremony, and sets sail. Luckily, Tyrion’s fears that Jorah is taking him to his sister are alleviated when he realizes they’re heading east rather than west. Jorah declares that he means to deliver the Imp to the only Queen he serves – Daenerys Targaryen. For once, fortune hasn’t played a cruel joke on Tyrion – it just so happens that he was headed there anyway!

Tyrion quickly deduces Jorah’s identity, and wastes no time needling him about the risky nature of his plan. Tyrion muses (correctly, as it turns out) that perhaps Dany will be more interested in employing him than she will be in forgiving a man who betrayed her. He makes too much sense for Jorah, who responds by knocking Tyrion out. That’s one way to get to sleep without wine.

Back in Westeros, Cersei is unaware that her despised brother is sailing further away from her clutches (off to serve a younger and more beautiful queen, perhaps). The Iron Bank has called in one-tenth of the Crown’s debt – far more than they can afford to pay back. Cersei dispatches Mace Tyrell to Braavos to negotiate better terms, and gives him his own personal Kingsguard for his journey – the illustrious Meryn Trant. Mace is proud as punch, though judging from the sour look on Meryn’s face and the satisfied look on Cersei’s, he shouldn’t be.

“The small council grows smaller and smaller,” mutters Pycelle. “Not small enough,” Cersei retorts. She’s not done yet.

Cersei and the High Sparrow
Cersei’s next move is to meet with the High Sparrow, who is the new High Septon…though he refuses to join her for a celebratory glass of wine (You’d think Cersei of all people would know better than to trust someone who doesn’t drink. Suspicious). Nevertheless, she offers to reinstate the Faith Militant, granting the High Sparrow an army. “The Faith Militant was disarmed more than two centuries ago,” the High Sparrow reminds her. He claims he never wished for such power. The gleam in his eye says otherwise.

Obviously, this particular relic of the past was buried for a reason. But Cersei isn’t in the mood for a history lesson – she believes she’s found a sword that she can wield against Margaery, and she’s keen to use it. The way that High Sparrow stares directly at her when he says “All sinners are equal before the gods” seems to be lost on the Queen Mother. “What would you say,” Cersei ventures, “if I told you of a great sinner in our very midst, shielded by gold and privilege?”

The High Sparrow smiles. “May the Father judge him justly.”

Justice is an inelegant word for what happens next. The newly-empowered Faith Militant rampage through the capital, doing things that violent religious fanatics freed from all accountability love to do. They smash idols. They break up games of chance. They dump out casks of wine and ale. They invade private establishments to shame and torture all the men and women engaging in consensual activities for money or pleasure. One such encounter between two men receives a particularly harsh sentence from the sneering sparrows, a sentence that Olyvar – who has a personal interest in the matter – witnesses in horror. It ends with Lancel, blood from his newly-carved facial star still wet on his forehead, leading a party of his brothers to seize Loras Tyrell for his supposed crimes – again, all in the name of “justice.”

Lancel

Margaery confronts her husband to demand that, as King, he take action. Tommen’s action turns out to be telling his mother to do something about it, a plan which fizzles when Cersei feigns innocence and ignorance over the lip of her wine glass. Cersei suggests that Tommen speak with the High Sparrow himself. This seems like a bad idea given her stated desire to protect her son at all costs, but serves her short game of screwing over the Tyrells quite nicely.

When Tommen visits the Sept of Baelor, he finds himself in a standoff with the Faith Militant. The High Sparrow is praying, and will not be disturbed. One of Tommen’s Kingsguard offers to make the holy steps run red with blood, but the young king, with cries of “bastard” and “abomination” ringing in his ears, loses his nerve and retreats. When he returns empty-handed, a disappointed Margaery departs to summon her grandmother. Unfortunately, Cersei may have unleashed a beast too great for even the Queen of Thorns to handle.

Far from the chaos his twin sister/lover has wrought, Jaime travels south to Dorne – passing by the Sapphire Isle of Tarth on the way. (The wistful look on his face when he sails past Brienne’s home adds no shortage of fuel to the shipping fire, for those so inclined). Below decks, Bronn quickly deduces that Jaime’s mission to rescue his “niece” is actually a form of penance to atone for setting Tyrion free and getting his father killed. Bronn tells Jaime to give Tyrion his regards if he sees him, but Jaime isn’t quite ready to forgive his brother just yet.

After rowing ashore at night, the two knights take a break from their quest to rescue the princess (“Sounds like a good song to me.”/“Sounds like all the rest.”) to discuss their preferred means of death. “I’ve had an exciting life,” Bronn sagely declares between bites of fresh-grilled snake. “I want my death to be boring.” When asked how he’d like to go, Jaime smiles. “In the arms of the woman I love.”

“She want the same thing?” Bronn inquires. Jaime’s silence is telling, but this is no time for soul-searching. The interlopers quickly run afoul of a Dornish patrol, and Bronn’s knife proves to be even quicker than his wit. He takes down three of the riders, leaving the “slow” one for the Jaime to handle. Jaime’s left-handed fighting abilities still aren’t quite up to par, but his golden hand proves to be a surprisingly useful tool that helps him survive and kill his opponent. As a bonus, it also gets him out of the hard work of digging the men’s graves.

Jaime
Alas, news of Jaime and Bronn’s arrival has already reached the viper’s nest, where Ellaria unites with the Sand Snakes – Obara, Nymeria, and her own daughter Tyene. They’ve captured the Pentoshi merchant captain who ferried Jaime to Dorne, and buried him up to his neck in sand and scorpions. With Doran unwilling to sully Oberyn’s memory by condoning the murder of an innocent girl, Ellaria decides they must get to Myrcella first if they are to start the war that no one but them seems to want. She asks Oberyn’s daughters to join her cause. Tyene and Nym readily agree. Obara delivers her own answer via a speech about her origins, and punctuates it by throwing her spear through the merchant’s skull. Poor greedy fool. He should have been content with Jaime’s heavy bag of gold.

At the Wall- as far as it’s possible to get from Dorne without leaving the Seven Kingdoms – Stannis Baratheon and his wife watch Jon train members of the Night’s Watch. The king is notoriously hard to please, but Selyse notices that her husband is visibly impressed with the young Lord Commander – the son he never had, perhaps? Deeply self-conscious about providing Stannis with a deformed daughter rather than a living son, Selyse jealously muses that Jon can’t be all that special. The Bastard of Winterfell is just the spawn of some tavern girl, right? Right?

Stannis and Shireen“Perhaps.” Stannis muses. “But that wasn’t Ned Stark’s way.” The mystery deepens!

Presumably having exhausted the contents of Castle Black’s meager library, the daughter of whom Selyse is so ashamed visits her father’s office to find out if he feels the same way. In response, Stannis tells Shireen the story of how she contracted Greyscale through his own well-meaning gift. Rejecting all pronouncements of doom, he fought a determined battle to save her life, calling in every maester, healer, and apocathery to stop the dreaded disease. “Because you do not belong across the world with the bloody stone men,” the One True King declares. “You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon. And you are my daughter.”

It’s quite possibly the most touching declaration of love that this lonely little girl has ever heard in her entire life. Shireen’s eyes well up, and she runs to her father to hug him tightly. At the time, my heart swelled. Now, it shatters into a thousand pieces, and there’s only pain.

Meanwhile, Jon and Sam petition lords and ladies across Westeros to send whatever men they can spare to the Wall. But when Sam presents Jon with a letter bearing Roose Bolton’s name, he freezes. “Not him.” Desperate as the Watch is, he can’t stomach the idea of begging the man who murdered his brother for aid. It’s only when Sam tells him they can’t defend the Wall without help from the Warden of the North that Jon reluctantly signs the letter.

As Sam departs, Melisandre arrives to ask Jon yet again if he’ll join Stannis’s campaign to take Winterfell. When Jon insists that his place is at the Wall, Melisandre responds by opening her robe, and her jar of flattery. “There’s power in you,” the Red Woman murmurs, as she guides Jon’s hand over her warm and beating heart. “You resist it, and that’s your mistake. Embrace it.”

Jon is clearly tempted, but resists on the grounds that he swore a vow to the Night’s Watch. Melisandre shoots him an incredulous look – she thinks very little of that excuse. With honor failing him, Jon falls back on his love for Ygritte. “The dead don’t need lovers,” Melisandre whispers, as she reaches down to undo Jon’s tunic “Only the living.”

At that, Jon catches her hand. “I know.” He declares. “But I still love her.”

Jon and Melisandre
Our hearts melt at Jon’s touching display of loyalty to the girl who was kissed by fire. But Melisandre is less impressed. She evokes Jon’s dearly departed in another way – by speaking five very familiar words as she leaves. “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” The look on Jon’s face reveals that he’s just as unsettled as we are.

At Winterfell, Jon’s “half-sister” Sansa visits the crypts to pay her respects to the deceased members of her family. She lights a candle before the statue of her aunt, Lyanna Stark (and discovers the feather that Robert Baratheon left there in the series premiere). Her private vigil is interrupted by Petyr Baelish, who shares his memories of a fabled moment in Westerosi history.

“I saw her once,” Baelish says “Lord Whent held a great tourney at Harrenhal…”
Oh, how many people had been waiting years to hear someone say those words! Littlefinger recounts how Rhaegar Targaryen defeated Barristan Selmy in the final tilt, and how the crowd exulted in their prince’s victory “until he rode past his wife, Elia Martell, and all the smiles died.” When Rhaegar lay “a crown of winter roses, blue as frost” in Lyanna’s lap, the song of ice and fire truly began. It would prove to be bloodier than most.

Sansa
“How many tens of thousands died because Rhaegar chose your aunt?” Littlefinger asks as he stares at the likeness of a woman whose wild beauty started a terrible war. Sansa expresses her belief that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna. From the way Littlefinger looks at her, it’s clear he knows there’s more to this particular story. But for once, the mockingbird remains silent.

Instead, he turns his attention from the distant past to the immediate future – he’s returning to King’s Landing to answer Cersei’s summons. Sansa will remain in Winterfell. When she balks, Littlefinger tells her his plan (well, part of it, anyway). Stannis is coming south to take Winterfell from the Boltons. When he does, he will name Sansa the Wardeness of the North.

Sansa is understandably skeptical, raising the question of what will happen to her if the Boltons defeat Stannis. In that case, Littlefinger asserts, she will exert her influence over Ramsay, who’s surely already fallen for her by now. He seals his poisoned promise with a kiss from which Sansa doesn’t exactly pull away – but she doesn’t seem to be enjoying it much either. “I expect I’ll be a married woman by the time you return,” she says. Littlefinger smirks – that fact changes nothing for him. But if and when the two meet again, it will be under vastly different circumstances.

DaenerysSansa’s low opinion of Rhaegar stands in sharp contrast to that of someone who knew him well – Barristan Selmy. Far away in Meereen, the man who Rhaegar unhorsed in Lord Whent’s tourney regales Rhaegar’s sister with stories about her famous brother. When Dany touts Rhaegar’s legendary prowess as a warrior, the comment elicits a laugh from the old knight. “Rhaegar never liked killing,” Barristan tells his queen with a wistful smile. “He loved singing.”

The reverie is broken when Daario enters to inform Dany of Hizdahr’s arrival. Sensing Barristan’s distaste for such proceedings, Dany releases him for the evening, and settles in to listen to another appeal for the fighting pits to be reopened. Hizdahr asserts that in the absence of such an ancient and sacred tradition to bind them together, former masters and former slaves have nothing in common but mutual hatred. Blood is all they understand. Only blood can bind them together. “All men must die,” Hizdahr declares, “But not all can die in glory.”

But dying in glory is not the same as dying with honor – as we will soon see.

The quiet streets of Meereen that Dany surveyed from her high perch prove to be a mirage. Things are far more hellish at ground level, as the Sons of the Harpy stage their most brazen attack yet. Swiftly they fall upon the Second Sons and the dutifully patrolling Unsullied to cut their throats before vanishing just as quickly. When Grey Worm arrives with reinforcements, the Meereenese prostitute who led White Rat to his doom directs them into a lethal ambush, after which she drops the façade and dries her crocodile tears.

Once the Unsullied enter the kill zone, they’re ambushed by a party of masked assailants. The Unsullied were trained for battle, capable of defeating any foe when fighting as a cohesive unit in the open field. But in the dark and cramped alleys of Meereen, forced to fight as detached individuals rather than as a unit in tight formation, their long spears are a poor match for the Harpy’s short knives. Grey Worm, skilled warrior though he is, is in deep trouble. He fights valiantly, killing many, but as one Son tangles him up from behind, the blade of another pierces his side. Grey Worm screams (no doubt thinking of Missandei in that moment), and rips the blade out. He continues to fight, but it’s clear that the brave warrior is seconds away from death.
Barristan
That’s when Barristan arrives. Armed with only a sword and shorn of all armor, Barristan kills – count them – thirteen men single-handedly. He slays two as he enters. As the Sons rush to engage him, he fells a third, then a fourth. Five. Six. Seven! Eight! Nine! Ten! After he kills the eleventh, he’s finally hamstrung. Yet he kills two more. A knife pierces his side, then a second. Still the old knight fights, facing his last enemy, though he can no longer stand. The final Son moves in to cut his throat … only Grey Worm rises to impale the insurgent from behind. Barristan falls. Grey Worm tries in vain to rouse him, then collapses himself, as the dust swirls and the bells toll.

“In the name of the Warrior, I charge you to be brave.” Those words are spoken whenever a true knight earns his title. Barristan was more than brave – he was Bold, never hesitant to charge forward, sword drawn, to defend his friends and those in need of help. Most knights his age would have long since retired to a castle by the sea. Instead, Barristan crossed an ocean and a continent to pledge himself to Daenerys Targaryen. “Just once in my life, before it’s over,” he told Jorah “I want to know what it’s like to serve with pride. To fight for someone I believe in.”

Whether or not Daenerys proved herself worthy of his belief is up to the viewer. But ultimately, Barristan fulfilled his truest sense of purpose. “I am a knight,” he had declared, when Joffrey and Cersei ignominiously tried to put him out to pasture. “I will die a knight.”

And so he did. The painter who only used red sang his last song in a back alley of a city far away from the land of his birth. It was not the glorious end that some may have envisioned for a man of his stature. But that doesn’t make his death any less honorable, or the knight any less true.

Barristan Footer
Introductions: The three eldest Sand Snakes – Obara Sand, Nymeria Sand, and Tyene Sand – make their first onscreen appearance in this episode. Gary Pillai’s Pentoshi merchant captain and Christian Vit’s Lead Dornish Guard also debut, only to shuffle off their mortal coils quickly.

Deaths: The merchant captain; four Dornish patrolmen; Numerous Second Sons, Unsullied, and Sons of the Harpy. And of course, Ser Barristan Selmy.

Beautiful Death: The merchant captain (Barristan gets his poster for the next episode).

BD

164 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. It’s nice to have someone write about this marvelous episode who appreciates Barristan’s death. Killing thirteen guys who are all attacking you at once in a cramped alley is beyond impressive (honestly, it may be a bit too unreralistic, no matter how much of a legend Barristan is supposed to be, but I won’t complain). It’s just baffling to me that there are people who say he went down too easily. I think it has to do more with their expectations from the books that Barristan would survive more than anything to do with the actual scene as it is. It’s just so beautifully constructed, with chilling consequences next episode.

      Great episode and write-up, by the way. Having two long Rhaegar stories in one episode, and Stannis doubting Jon’s bastardy, was so amazing after the show had mostly ignored Rhaegar and the question of Jon’s parentage. The episode is also such a visual delight, not only because of the extended action scene at the end but also because of the introduction to the Faith Militant, Sansa in the crypts and Dany and Barristan on the valcony.

        Quote  Reply

    2. So much R+L=J supporting in this episode.

      And Barristan. 🙁

      Btw. i think he will die at the beginning of TWoW.

      This sounds some farewell speech from Barristan in TWoW:

        Quote  Reply

    3. Good episode.

      I understand why some where angry at Selmy dying. I don’t share those complaints but I understand them. I was just glad his death made room for Tyrion.

      But I will never understand those who say he died too ”easly”.
      The man was in his 60’s, far from his prime. but he still took down, what? 11-13 harpies?
      That’s impresive. And I thought he was quite bad ass in his final scene.

        Quote  Reply

    4. On other things.
      The number of R+L=J hints we got in this episode is ridiculous…I loved it.
      Selmy speaking with Dany about Rhaegar was nice and that look LF gave Sansa was just perfect.

      Jon’s scene with Mel was great. And damn that Stannis scene with Shireen is just amazing. I know very well that to some this scene is a abomination, because of what Stannis does in EP9, but to me this only makes his final decision even stronger and painfull. It adds greatly to the characters, their relation and in the end their deaths.

      Luka Nieto,

      Agreed with everything.

        Quote  Reply

    5. Mihnea,

      Yeah that’s exactly my thoughts on it. I get that some people are mad he went out earlier than the books, but when people complain about him dying too easily for a legend like Barristan, it’s like, what scene were you watching?

        Quote  Reply

    6. Pryce continues to impress me.
      That line about him, simply not liking the taste of wine, makes so likable.
      But it’s scary to think that this old, feeble man, unleashed the monster that we see just couple of minutes later.

      It’s a perfect play on the character. He takes care of the people and protects them, but he expects them to follow his strict views, views he most likely doesn’t see as strict, only right.
      But they do it. The war has taken everything from them. The nobles don’t care about them. Only this man right here who tells them they are all equals before the gods.
      Highborn and lowborn both.

      Pryce not only made me like the HS, who I thought was a joke in the books, but he really made me afraid of him.

        Quote  Reply

    7. Mihnea,

      Barristan’s two big speeches this season were absolutely amazing. The first in “The House of Black and White”, telling Dany the truth about the Mad King. When Dany accepts it but protests she isn’t like his father, I get chills each time Barristan says “No, Your Grace, thank the gods. But the Mad King gave his enemies the justice he thought they deserved. And each time, it made him feel powerful and right… until the very end.”. And of course, the sweet conversation about Rhaegar just before his demise, in “The Sons of the Harpy”.

      Barristan’s sendoff this season was truly classy. At last, they made use of Barristan in the way the character deserves, after being mostly ignored in season four (except for his speech about mercy in “Oathkeeper”, which fell on deaf ears anyway): he teaches Dany about Rhaegar, about Aerys, and instructs her on justice, just as he did in his two very similar speeches, one in ASOS and the other one ADWD. As for Barristan’s death, it’s tragic but extremely effective in terms of the storytelling, not only because it turns the Sons of the Harpy into an actual threat and threatens to turn Dany into her father just for a bit, but also because it leaves the position open for a main character to take charge when Dany leaves Meereen: Tyrion. Pretty smart. I’m kind of surprised most of us didn’t guess they would do this.

        Quote  Reply

    8. I just hate how they killed Bazza 🙁 I don’t mind him dying, and I know he took out a decent amount of dudes for his age… it’s the way the scene was shot and edited. The final scream he gives when he is stabbed is just so cliche and cheesy, I’m unsure wether to blame the actor (who usually did a superb job), the script, or the director. The character deserved better than this imo. The music felt off as well.

      Favorite scene of this episode has to be Mel seducing Jon. The music, the atmosphere, the dialogue, it’s just perfect. “There’s power in you. Power to make life, power to make light, and power to cast shadows.” Shouldn’t this scene alone be a 95% certain confirmation of RLJ?

        Quote  Reply

    9. Luka Nieto,

      Agreed.

      His death had a very big impact on Dany. She even lost it for a moment. Thankfully she managed to regain herself later.
      His death also gives room for Tyrion, to take over in Meereen. And I’m glad we are spared that ridiculous locust plot and all that follows.

      Seriously, I couldn’t imagined this season, with Tyrion not meeting Dany. It would have been a huge mistake.

        Quote  Reply

    10. Jaime wants to die “In the arms of the woman I love.” Brienne, perhaps? #Foreshadowing

      Very well written, Jared, btw!

        Quote  Reply

    11. Off topic: Does anything think we will be getting any more Season 6 footage before the premiere? Like a few more TV spots/short promos, as has been the custom for previous seasons?

      The amount of clips that were released after the second trailer sort of makes me think we won’t, although it would be pretty cool.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Mihnea: Seriously, I couldn’t imagined this season, with Tyrion not meeting Dany. It would have been a huge mistake.

      Well, that’s mostly because ADWD generally lacks any climaxes, isn’t it? I think ADWD is a good book… without any sort of ending, for most characters. With a harsher editor trimming the fat and ensuring Martin included the battles in the North and Meereen, ADWD would’ve gone from being a good yet bloated and anticlimactic novel to a truly amazing one.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Mihnea,

      Or maybe he survive it and after the Harpies kills him like they did in the series. That would be more dramatic, because the first is kind of heroic and that’s not Martin’s style.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Luka Nieto,

      Besides. I didn’t really hear complaints outside of the book-fandom.
      I think most people where, pleased/content, the way he went. I know I was.

      I’m just glad they didn’t try to shoe-horn him as ”main” character this late into the story like Martin did. I never liked that.

      Also I remember more people being worried about GW more then Selmy.
      Selmy was a very minor character. His death, in my opinion, serves the story better.
      He gives room to both Tyrion and Jorah.

      Also how much more bad ass can you go, then taking 15 people down with you?
      It’s hard to fight 2 people alone, let alone 15. I think this 60+ year old guy, lived up to his name, and went out like a bad ass.

        Quote  Reply

    15. HBO schedule now has the episode titles for 2 and 3, Home and Oathbreaker.

      Barristan at the age of 60 or something(?) killing like 13 people, if that’s not good enough then I don’t know what is, only problem I had with the scene was that it had some weird cut showing Barristan getting stabbed but the next cut ignored it completely.

        Quote  Reply

    16. r-hard:
      Mihnea,

      Or maybe he survive it and after the Harpies kills him like they did in the series. That would be more dramatic, because the first is kind of heroic and that’s not Martin’s style.

      A popular theory is that Barristan survives the “battle” part of the battle (you know, leading Dany’s army against the Yunkish), but then the Shavepate and his men stab him in the back, both figuratively and literally. Skahaz would have taken over the city by now while all the others were busy fighting (he is left in charge, after all), and he also would have done what he insists throughout all of ADWD they should do: execute all the Great Masters they can, including Dany’s hostage cupbearers, who are all children. Barristan forbids this emphatically, so the Shavepate could kill him for it once he wins against the Yunkai’i.

        Quote  Reply

    17. The R+L=J hints my lord. Littlefinger knows the truth just by the look on his face. Season 6 is for sure revealing the true parentage of Jon Snow, I mean there are way too many hints at it throughout the series. Tower of Joy vision will show us, I have no doubts.

      But anyways, I was sad when Ser Barristan died, he went out like a bad ass. Too bad by the sons of the harpy though, he cut through them like cake!!!!

      7 days. I’m hype af.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Niranjan Pandit,

      I was saying this since i heard this line from Jaime. And that woman will be not Cersei, because he

      leaves her. And in the books he will never meet her again. He will never return back to King’s Landing because he tore Cersei’s ”callback-letter” and then Brienne appears.

        Quote  Reply

    19. r-hard,

      That’s also a possibility.
      But I think one way or another he’ll die before Dany returns to Meereen.
      He needs to give room to Tyrion and Jorah.

      Luka Nieto,

      I still have many complaints about ADWD, but a editor would have been able to fix most of them. Even with a editor though, while the book is better then AFFC(not a hard thing to be.) it still lacks a lot. But with a good editor the book could have went from my first impression of ”ugh” to a ”okay”.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Love this episode so much. Selmys death was sad and I defintely didn’t want him to go yet. But the way he was killed was perfect for the great soldier and warrior he was.
      Also knowing later that tyrion was coming along made me more accepting of selmys death.

      The best part of this episode was all the hints about Jon’s parentage. As a non book reader, I was able to come to the same conclusion that R+L=J.
      He better come back.

        Quote  Reply

    21. tkk,

      I heard that the actor refused a stunt double…? Might be wrong.

      If it’s true, that would explain the quick cuts.

      Connor,

      I doubt LF knows R+L=J.

      I think he just doubts the ”official” story Robert told, from what most people thought.
      That Lyanna went willingly with Rhaegar.

        Quote  Reply

    22. tkk: HBO schedule now has the episode titles for 2 and 3, Home and Oathbreaker.

      The rumors are true, then. Great. I edited my season six speculative summary based on this titles, so I’m glad to hear they are true. I think “Home” may refer to Theon being convinced by Yara to go back home to claim their legacy, and perhaps Sam being back in the Reach, Arya wolf-dreaming of Nymeria, and of course other allusions I may be forgetting. I firmly believe “Oathkeeper” refers to Sansa convincing Brienne to go after Jaime, not unlike the books:

      By episode three Sansa should hopefully be safe at Castle Black (or wherever), and she could send Brienne off to prove herself once she learns of the mutual trust between Jaime and Brienne. She must somehow convince Jaime to follow her back North, and she must hand him over. Reluctant, Brienne may explain Jaime is now a different man who made a vow to keep Catelyn’s daughters safe, yet Sansa could that even if that were true he still tried to kill Bran and fought against Robb. Also, Jaime is a key enemy figure, as the Lord Commander of Tommen’s Kingsguard, a Lannister general, and Cersei’s brother. And then the title is mentioned: the discussion is over when Brienne is reminded of her oaths to Catelyn and Sansa —if Brienne wants to be worthy of Oathkeeper, which was forged from Sansa’s father’s sword, she must obey her or become an oathbreaker. Lady Stoneheart does very much the same in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Mihnea:
      tkk,

      I heard that the actor refused a stunt double…? Might be wrong.

      If it’s true, that would explain the quick cuts.

      Connor,

      I doubt LF knows R+L=J.

      I think he just doubts the ”official” story Robert told, from what most people thought.
      That Lyanna went willingly with Rhaegar.

      I agree.

        Quote  Reply

    24. I remember all these scenes but putting it together like this made it clear this was one big R+L=J episode, wasn’t it? Jon has power, Rhaegar was a lover, the tourney and expression on Littlefinger’s face when Sansa repeats Robert’s theory about what happened to Lyanna, Stannis doubting Ned’s infidelity and Jon’s bastard status… All in one episode.

      I’m still a little sad about Selmy–he never really got to shine on the show imo. But I get that Tyrion’s arrival needed to be sped up for logistically reasons (ie never ending Mereen and yay dragons).

        Quote  Reply

    25. tkk,

      Well that silences all the people who said they were fake.

      Oathbreaker is a cool title. Not sure about Home, but I’m sure it’ll make sense.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Dragonmcmx,

      Myrcella/Jaime return to KL…?
      Dany is back ”home” with the Dothraki….?

      It could honestly mean a lot of different things. Will have a better idea………
      NEXT WEEK!!!!!!…..That felt good..

        Quote  Reply

    27. Mihnea,

      Well since Mel had been eyeing Jon, I started to think that there was more to him than I thought

      In this specific episode, it was stannis’ comment about Eddard that made me think okay, he is not ned’s son!
      The first thing I thought was he was Roberts son with lyanna .
      Then when the rest of the episode kept mentioning rhaegar, I thought okay it must be rhaegar and lyanna – and based on Selmys convo with dany, he seemed like a good man, and that made it even more powerful in my eyes.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Purely in terms of whether the character’s death meets a required scale of “epicness”, Selmy’s was fine. My main problem with that scene is how useless the Unsullied come across as; the stated intent of the creators was that they were supposed to be in quarters unsuited to unit fighting that allowed them to be picked off, but that isn’t what happens onscreen. The wide hallway they’re in is perfectly suited to forming a shield wall.

      The scenes with Jaime and Bronn on the ship work fine; the best scenes to come out of this subplot. The detail of them seeing Tarth is nice (also, I’ve been meaning to at some point make a list of the longest distances traveled by characters within a single episode; I think this is the only nautical voyage where we have rough start and end-points within a given episode).

        Quote  Reply

    29. Mihnea: Myrcella/Jaime return to KL…?

      Pretty sure that one is in Episode 1 (clips say so).

      Dany arrives at Vaes Dothrak in episode 3, also according to clips.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Hey guys!

      Some riddle for you… Last year the episodes were released on itunes on April 13, just one day after the premiere on hbo.

      This year I cannot find any announcement… I wonder how the collaboration hbo/apple last had consequences? Do you know anything?

        Quote  Reply

    31. Luka Nieto,

      Brienne is still in a wintery locale in 605, going by that promo photo.

      Referring to Yara convincing Theon, how do you think she’d come across him that quickly. It seems like she’s in the Iron Islands in 602, since we know there are scenes set there. Granted, I do think “Home” refers to Theon deciding to go home to the Iron Islands, for whatever reason, but I’m unsure if that would involve Yara; it seems like a ton would have to happen in 602 to get them in the same place.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Deesensfan,

      I thought they did a very good job with this.

      From LF’s look, when Sansa says that Rhaegar raped Lyanna, to Selmy saying Rhaegar was a good man.
      Then you have Stannis doubting Ned’s infidelity.

      I really admire them for this. It’s fantastic what they did. Basically in 1 episode they made most people realize who Jon’s parents are.
      And even if some didn’t connect the dots to R+L, I think they planted the seeds of doubt about his parentage.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Luka Nieto,

      Theon’s possibly return to Pyke is the only thing i cannot figure out how could happen logically.

      In the books he may escaped with Asha and that’s how, but in the series i really don’t have any idea IF it happens in the one of the very first episodes(1-3)

        Quote  Reply

    34. Sean C.,
      Was Brienne’s promotional picture tagged as belonging to any specific episode? Anyway, in my speculation she would still be up North by then. At least, I don’t have her in the Riverlands until episode six or seven or so.

      As for Theon, I assume that on the way to Castle Black they pass near Deepwood Motte, which remains under Yara’s control…? Honestly I’m completely unsure about how this will go down. Anyway, whether Theon decides to go back home himself or Yara convinces her, the title fits.

        Quote  Reply

    35. r-hard,

      Depending if Theon is there for the KM. If he is, then I think he goes there around EP4, I think the KM is in 5..? Then he goes with Yara to Dany. But I could be very wrong. For one we have no info on Theon going to Dany, only Yara going to Volantis. So I really have no idea what will happen there.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Luka Nieto,

      Yeah, Brienne’s is from 605, same as the Mel-on-horseback image.

      The mechanics of getting Theon from where we know he starts the season to where he ends up is one of the areas I really have no clue about. I think he has to be on his way by episode 3 at the latest, though, and “Home” seems like the sort of title to prompt such a development.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Mihnea,

      I guess I’ll cover it from now on, though it is just speculation. That said, it’s based on a few spoilers of where certain characters end up, so that may be too revealing.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Someone probably brought this up, but the scene between Jaime and Bronn about Jaime wanting to die in the arms of the woman he loves and the question about whether she would want the same, sounds like foreshadowing to the V******* Prophecy.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Mihnea,

      There was a spoiler on Reddit, I think, last year that claimed Yara and Theon went to Volantis. The former going is now confirmed, so I think we can assume the latter is also true. Neither character would have anyone in particular to interact with if they separated, other than, I guess, Euron.

        Quote  Reply

    40. WolfOfWinter,

      I thought the same thing when I rewatched it yesterday, though it had never occurred to me before. This foreshadowing seems like a substitute (one of many to come, I’m sure) for the Valonqar prophecy, which is more blunt.

        Quote  Reply

    41. WAAAH! Barristan Selmyyy!

      It was only the second time I’ve actually cried during the whole run of GOT (the first time was the Red Wedding even though I’d had it spoiled, the third time would be Maester Aemon).

      This write-up made me cry all over again. Thank you, Jared. Need to go and compose myself now. Snif.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Overall I liked this episode.

      Two things:

      1 – Ultimately my feelings on killing off Barristan are ambiguous. We’re nearing the endgame of the novels and for all we know, Barristan might die in the next one; moreover we knew that entire subplots might have to be condensed out. So I can’t really judge it. I mean, at least they gave him a big send-off instead of a random death. At any rate there are things in Season 5 I’m far more upset about – mild disappointment, but not enough to really get “upset” about.

      2 – The introduction of the Sand Snakes was a little clunky, though others have said this in more detail. We know from casting reports and even promo pics that they had more dialogue scenes filmed which would have built them up as characters more. Also the camerawork while Obara is giving her speech is weird. In and of itself this wasn’t enough to be outright distressing, but fits with the trend (disastrously shown in the rest of the season) that they really didn’t put much effort into writing the Sand Snakes subplot.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Sue the Fury:
      Mihnea,

      I really doubt that for several reasons. The most obvious being McElhinney doesn’t have the power to refuse a stunt double.

      Why not? I know for a fact that Iain Glen almost never uses his stunt double. Why is he allowed to refuse that and not McElhinney? Is it because of his age?

        Quote  Reply

    44. Dragonmcmx: Why not? I know for a fact that Iain Glen almost never uses his stunt double. Why is he allowed to refuse that and not McElhinney? Is it because of his age?

      That’s not the point. The point is that if an actor can actually do the stuntwork, as Glen mostly can, he is allowed to do so. If the critcism of the scene is that there are too many quick cuts to hide that McElhinney couldn’t do the stuntwork properly… they would’ve just used a stuntman instead, even if the actor wanted to do all the work himself. Anyway, I’m pretty sure they used a stuntman for at least parts of it.

        Quote  Reply

    45. The new posts are still not showing on the main page for me. I can access these only through the Twitter feed.

        Quote  Reply

    46. The Dragon Demands: Ultimately my feelings on killing off Barristan are ambiguous. We’re nearing the endgame of the novels and for all we know, Barristan might die in the next one […]. So I can’t really judge it.

      Yet another demonstration of your inability to judge the show as anything other than an adaptation, in which adherence to the source material is assumed to correlate directly with quality. You never judge the show by its own standards and merits, despite the many times you deny it and claim your criticism has nothing to do with the fact the show is different from the books. “It’s about HOW it is different”, you claim. That seams reasonable enough, and there are many who genuinely hold that view and I respect them… except that, in your case, when a time like this comes in which you don’t know if the books will do something similar, suddenly you aren’t able to judge whether you approve of it or not. Rather telling, isn’t it?

        Quote  Reply

    47. Ack, I wrote a longer edit but it got cut off:

      Overall I greatly enjoyed the episode – I also liked finally getting more Rhaegar/Lyanna backstory, and I actually think that the TV show adapted the Faith Militant fairly well given time constraints. I wish they’d had a little more time to emphasize that they see themselves as the good guys and champions of the poor who are suffering terribly in the war — we do see *some* of that in Season 5 (High Sparrow handing out food aid, Cersei’s remarks about al the septs destroyed and clergy killed). I’ve seen some reviewers dismiss them as broad-stroke “evil fanatics”, but I’ve seen enough other reviewers picking up that it’s a morally grey world, and their popular disgust revolt happened for *a reason*, this is how such movements started in real life – peasant revolts in the Middle Ages caused a lot of destruction but were started by legitimate grievances after the rulers abused their power – raising questions of who’s to blame, etc. etc.

      Again, wish this was a little more clear, but there was enough in there — I mean their main target is *Cersei*, one of the main villains since the beginning.

        Quote  Reply

    48. I like the Sand Snakes. *runs away*

      Jokes aside. I think they’re introduction was..all right.
      I have the same complaint that I had with the books. Obara telling her backstory to people that already knew it.

      But I thought the context was better in the show and her actually killing that guy made it relevant. *runs away, for real this time*

        Quote  Reply

    49. Luka Nieto: Yet another demonstration of the fact that you can only judge the show by how it adapts the book and never by its own merits, despite the many times you deny it and claim your criticism has nothing to do with the fact the show is different from the books. “It’s about HOW it is different”, you claim. That seams reasonable enough… except for the fact that, when a time like this comes in which you don’t know if the books will do something similar, suddenly you aren’t able to judge whether you approve of it or not. Rather telling.

      Things worked in the books. When you change them, there’s *a chance* that they might not work.

      Sometimes these changes are actually good: Missandei/Grey Worm subplot, more focus on the Tyrells, etc.

      Other times, they don’t work so well, i.e. Season 5 Dorne subplot.

      Yes, I am judging it as “an adaptation” but also if it goes by its own merits.

      But I don’t think you’re getting my point: if I were slavishly devoted to every line of the novels, I’d be annoyed they cut out the Young Griff subplot. As it stands, I think that the Season 5 Tyrion plotline worked quite well on its own merits (I miss the stuff they cut, but you wouldn’t know it from the high quality of the storyline they ultimately produced).

      —–>I’m not so much judging them on “how well they adapted it” but “changing something raises the possibility that something will not work well”.

      …..I mean, conversely….I can’t think of an example of a time that the TV show was “too” close to how the books did something, and it didn’t work well in the medium of television a result.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Mihnea:
      I like the Sand Snakes. *runs away*

      Jokes aside. I think they’re introduction was..all right.
      I have the same complaint that I had with the books. Obara telling her backstory to people that already knew it.

      But I thought the context was better in the show and her actually killing that guy made it relevant. *runs away, for real this time*

      Oh don’t get my wrong, I really like the actresses. It’s more that I feel bad they weren’t given more material to work with. By “more” not just quality, I mean basic time limitations, they didn’t get enough dialogue to round them out better as characters. Going into the season, I thought the TV-Sand Snakes were going to be great (even if they were a bit condensed). Which is why I still hold out hope they can be improved in Season 6.

        Quote  Reply

    51. The Dragon Demands: …..I mean, conversely….I can’t think of an example of a time that the TV show was “too” close to how the books did something, and it didn’t work well in the medium of television a result.

      Yes, because novels are just wonderful scripts! Come on… Are you suggesting that everything that has been adapted directly from the books has resulted in a successful translation to the visual medium? I love the show, but come on. Some things simply work better on a novel, especially stuff that involves inner narration and must be turned either into something more ambiguous or conversely more obviously expository. This was especially evident in season one. I’m surprised to hear you say otherwise. It’s not controversial to claim some stuff works better on film and other works better on text, is it? That’s why I approve of D&D moving away from strict adherence to the books. They are now working with their own structure based on Martin’s major plot points and story beats, which means they can make each story arc fit better for a ten episodes TV season… instead of, you know, a novel, which is a very different thing, structurally.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Well when were specific points when you feel the TV series did something TOO close to how the novels did it, and suffered for it?

      We’re talking about changes here: if they change something, it might be bad; so I scrutinize it – some changes are indeed for the better, a few sometimes are not. If it isn’t a drastic change, I generally don’t have to worry.

      But this bickering is taking time away from my current work on the wiki….

        Quote  Reply

    53. D & D seemed to have some pretty harsh words for Ian McElhinney in their season 4 commentary. iirc, they seemed pretty annoyed that an actor would plead their case to not be killed off, even going as far as saying that it makes them want to kill the actor off even more. They didn’t mention the actor/ character by name at the time since this was before season 5 even aired, but I wonder if there was bad blood between them and Ian McElhinney for them to air out their grievances in a DVD commentary.

        Quote  Reply

    54. The Dragon Demands: But this bickering is taking time away from my current work on the wiki….

      Oh, yes:

      “Race and Ethnicity in Game of Thrones”

      Because you of all people are well-equipped to handle such a hot topic. Gods protect us!

      “The Dothraki in the novels were presented with more nuance.” Are they any less of a rapist bunch of conquerors? Martin himself said he regretted painting them in such a one-dimensional manner!

      “There were several major problems in how the TV series handled Robb Stark’s wife, needlessly changing her into a noblewoman from Volantis.” How do you define the “needlessness” of it? And this takes the cake: “In the novels, it is a plot point that the aristocracy of Volantis are white/caucasian, descendants of Valyria like Daenerys. The half-Chilean Oona Chaplin looks nothing like this, and should not have been cast as a Volantene.” Do I even need to say how that is absolutely outrageous? Heimdall in Norse mythology and Marvel comics was white too. Are you one of the idiots who whined at Idris Elba’s casting?

      Then in the next section about racending you make exactly the opposite point. You also say that Tyene looks nothing like Oberyn or Ellaria, which is not only highly subjective but a bit of a WTF, because they look pretty similar. You also consider Italians to be North European Caucasians. Okay. Do you need a map? Us Southern Europeans are deeply connected by blood with South and Central Americans, which Pedro Pascal happens to be.

      Oh, and the best part: “Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, co-authors of the World of Ice and Fire sourcebook and authorities on the issue, were among those to roundly condemn the TV adaptation’s woeful handling of race in its casting policies.” Oh, of course this was all about them. Another Elio & Linda propaganda piece in the GoT wiki. Why am I even surprised?

        Quote  Reply

    55. Luka Nieto,

      I don’t know if I should laugh..or cry..

      I think Tyene looks very much like Oberyn’s daughter. More importantly I think she acts like him.

      During that prison scene, my father even said that she smiles like Oberyn and has the same crazy eyes.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Jon’s “half-sister” Sansa

      Haha I see what you did there, Jared 😛

      RIP Ser Bazza. I wish he had stuck around to tell Dany more stories about what was going on in Westeros because, boy does she need them.

      The Mel-Jon scene: she must have seen him in the flames or purposely tried to find something about him, otherwise she wouldn’t know about Ygritte. Mel is such a mystery to me.

        Quote  Reply

    57. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      D & D seemed to have some pretty harsh words for Ian McElhinney in their season 4 commentary. iirc, they seemed pretty annoyed that an actor would plead their case to not be killed off, even going as far as saying that it makes them want to kill the actor off even more. They didn’t mention the actor/ character by name at the time since this was before season 5 even aired, but I wonder if there was bad blood between them and Ian McElhinney for them to air out their grievances in a DVD commentary.

      Probably. They were very petty about it imo.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Mihnea,

      Yeah, in the first draft of this Memory Lane I made note of the fact that Obara’s speech is essentially lifted directly out of the books. It didn’t really work for me there, and unfortunately it comes across as stilted in the show as well. The Sand Snakes’ introduction is by far the weakest scene in an episode that I otherwise consider to be stellar.

      I’m glad to hear you speak up for Obara, Nym, and Tyene, though! Too many people decry them as history’s worst monsters, especially on other sites (I’ve heard sufficient complaining about the “bad pussy” line to last me ten lifetimes. Obviously it’s far from the show’s finest bit of dialogue, but it’s not that bad. I wouldn’t exactly consider “Myrish swamp” or “fat pink mast” to be any better).

      Personally, I was excited for the Sand Snakes before Season 5 because the concept behind Oberyn’s badass daughters was cool, and I really liked all of the actresses that they cast. I thought the characters had great potential, and I hoped that the show could realize it. (In the novels, the Sand Snakes do essentially nothing. They give their vengeful speeches in the first Areo chapter of AFFC, and then Doran wisely locks them all up. And that’s the best Dornish chapter in AFFC, in my opinion. It’s all downhill from there).

      Ultimately, it was a case of that potential not being realized. But since the characters will be returning in Season 6, I harbor hopes that they’ll be used better. As others have noted, the late conception of the Dornish storyline and the accelerated writing and production schedule for it didn’t do anyone any favors. More time should solve a lot of those issues.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Sean C.:
      Luka Nieto,

      Maybe Pod takes Theon somewhere on the coast where he can get on a ship for the Iron Islands, while Brienne takes Sansa to where she needs to be (Castle Black, I hope). Then, Pod and Brienne reunite and head over to the Riverlands.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Flayed Potatoes:
      Jon’s “half-sister” Sansa

      Haha I see what you did there, Jared

      I have no idea what you’re talking about. 😉 Pray tell, is there anything in this episode that could ever inspire anyone to question that relationship? I don’t see it.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Luka Nieto: It’s just baffling to me that there are people who say he went down too easily.

      Too many fantasy fans buy into the Tolkien Supermen, who leave heaps of dead around them in battle. You, on the other hand, have the right of it. Given that the Harpies are noblemen, they should have been well-trained fighters themselves. (It’s sometimes called the Stormtrooper paradox, too: we are supposed to believe that the enemy is deadly on one hand, yet main characters chew them up and spit them out as if they were Tolkien Orcs or Lucas Stormtroopers.)

      From the perspective of story, this also was a much more effective way of making the audience feel Daeny’s rage than was killing off of another red-shirt. OK, sure: to most of the viewers, he was “old knight” as opposed to “Friendzone knight”: but you always saw his face in the background with Daeny. They wisely developed most of the connection between Barristan and Daeny’s family in this episode, so it was fresh on people’s minds, too.

      But perhaps the best thing that this did for the story was that it hastened Tyrions’ arrival: by the end of the seasons, Tyrion has taken over Barristan’s plot role. And because this is probably going to be a huge plot role in the next season, it is really important to have it occupied by one of the mainest of the main characters rather than a background character.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Luka Nieto: How do you define the “needlessness” of it?

      Indeed, if the show was to elevate Robb to a protagonist (when he’s not even a PoV character in the books), then it really had to do something like that. A “clinger” from a one-night stand was not going to cut it!

      Luka Nieto quoting someone else, so don’t blame him for the inanity of it:In the novels, it is a plot point that the aristocracy of Volantis are white/caucasian, descendants of Valyria like Daenerys.

      yeesh. So, not only do they not understand the difference between story and plot, they do not understand the difference between narrative details and plot? Are there any literary concepts that these people do grasp?

      (That is a rhetorical question, by the way: I know that the answer is “no”….)

        Quote  Reply

    63. Jared: I have no idea what you’re talking about. Pray tell, is there anything in this episode that could ever inspire anyone to question that relationship? I don’t see it.

      Oh of course not!11 We all know Jon is Ned’s son with a tavern slut!111 😛
      #SELYSEKNOWS #MANSLUTNED #TIMETRAVELLINGFETUS

        Quote  Reply

    64. Jared: Pray tell, is there anything in this episode that could ever inspire anyone to question that relationship?

      Wait: didn’t that line confirm Ashara Dayne as Jon’s mother by Ned to you?!?!?

      😀

        Quote  Reply

    65. Luka Nieto,

      How is it possible somebody could be so utterly clueless as to how an encyclopedia works? I guess I do owe him awe, just not the kind he wants.

      And that bit of Linda and Elio propaganda is truly hilarious. LINDA called out the show as being racist? REALLY? If I recall, she was incredibly upset that Xaro Xhoan Doxos was black.

        Quote  Reply

    66. In watching this episode again, a year later, I find myself being much less critical of the end fight. At the time I thought it was a little too choreographed, but upon viewing it again, it was good.

      I’m not a book reader so I have no marriage to Barristan. My only issue with his death is sometimes D & D feel the need to kill off a character just because something needs to happen (which isn’t totally unreasonable). But Barristan was such a minor character on the show that his death had little weight for me. I would’ve preferred him to stick around and help out Tyrion, but I see why they knocked him off too. I felt the same way about Jojen. D & D had stated that it was the season finale and a death was needed, but we hardly knew Jojen so again it had little weight for me. Think it would’ve been better to have him stick around as he was somewhat interesting.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Not sure if you’ll even see this, but there’s a problem with your jQuery countdown feature. It shows the correct time when you’re viewing a specific post, but from the main page it’s three hours behind. Minor problem, but you might want to let whoever writes your JavaScript know.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Mihnea,

      I agree with you, I like the Sand Snakes as well, and really didn’t mind the Dorne plot at all. I actually wish they had more time to flesh it out. My only issues with it were:

      1) Jaime and Bronn infiltrating the Water Gardens too easily and everyone coincidentally meeting same spot, same time for a big fight. Understand it’s TV and things need to happen, but this was a little much for even me.

      2) Jaime and Ellaria scene in the castle was very odd to me.

      3) The ending was too predictable. And she planted the kiss on Myrcella for wayyyy too long. A short, subtle peck would’ve been better and less knocking the viewer over the head with it.

      Otherwise I enjoyed the new characters and hope to see more of them in season 6.

        Quote  Reply

    69. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      1. I know most people don’t like this sort of coincidences. But they have never bothered me. I understand why people may not like them but for some reason they never bother me at all.

      2. I agree!!! That is the only scene I really don’t like/understand. Some said she wanted to gain Jaime’s trust..? That scene was really weird to me. Hope they shed some light on it.

      3. Ha! As a book-reader I was quite suprised!! I didn’t see it coming. It made sense and I liked it, it still is my favourite part of Dorne, but I guess I made a mistake of thinking about what happens in the books.
      Perhaps I was simply denying the obvious, because I really didn’t want it to happen! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    70. r-hard,

      My bad. I haven’t been following anything. Honestly, this site (and the posters) do a great job of masking spoilers, but I probably shouldn’t be in here at this point as people are bound to slip.

        Quote  Reply

    71. LatrineDiggerBrian: I would’ve

      LatrineDiggerBrian: Think it would’ve been better to have him stick around as he was somewhat interesting.

      He had done everything interesting that he was supposed to do. Jojen (book or show) is just a foil for Bran. Who Jojen (or Barristan or any of the foils) are is not really important: it’s what they do, and what issues they create for the Brans, Daenys, etc., are what is important. Besides,

      Book!Jojen probably gets served as oatmeal shortly afterwards. So, there was not much available with which to make him potentially interesting.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Mihnea,

      With #2, the only thing I can think of is they were trying to throw people off the scent of what Ellaria was about to do. But to me it just seemed off that she would be allowed to openly wander into his room. I would think they would want to keep them separated.

      And with #3, maybe I won’t be as critical during this rewatch. The expectations are so high when it first airs, that’s when I find myself being most critical. I’ve found during this GOT50 thing that I’ve come down off of some of my criticisms (especially of season 4).

        Quote  Reply

    73. Wimsey,

      Interesting!

      Are you a supporter of that theory Wimsey? I never liked it. But now with Jojen dead in the show I must admit it seams much more likely.

        Quote  Reply

    74. I liked Dorne a lot 🙂 I want more dorne

      Makes me wonder, with the return of the iron born story (zzzz) and seeing Walder in the trailer, there is even MORE content this year, but less episode run times.

        Quote  Reply

    75. LatrineDiggerBrian: I haven’t been following anything. Honestly, this site (and the posters) do a great job of masking spoilers, but I probably shouldn’t be in here at this point as people are bound to slip.

      At this point, it is almost all speculation and conjecture from us. Book readers might know a little about some stuff concerning the Iron Islands early in the season: but the rest of it seems to be from Winds of Winter. The trailers make it pretty clear that even the Riverlands stuff that some Book!Fans hoped was from Crows actually is from Winter instead. As none of us have read Winter, so we cannot spoil anything.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Mihnea: Are you a supporter of that theory Wimsey? I never liked it. But now with Jojen dead in the show I must admit it seams much more likely.

      I did wonder if that was what was happening when I read it. Something about the way it was set up and Jojen’s lines shortly before then made me very suspicious. There were a couple of other things that come up in the book that also made me think this plausible:

      Manderly’s revelation to Davos that northerners still practiced blood sacrifice to weirwoods – doubly telling in that the very worldly Davos did not know this – as well as Bran’s ‘witnessing’ of a sacrifice to the tree at Winterfell.

      The show did not quite confirm the suspicion, but it did make it seem much more probable to me.

        Quote  Reply

    77. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I agree with 2. That was the only scene I didn’t like. All others I either liked or understood at least!

      As I said on number 3. I was really hoping she wouldn’t die. It broke my heart when she did. Jaime’s face is just…painful.
      Most likely I was trying to justify it with book-info! Something I never do.
      Well I was hoping it will go a different route then the books, but a ”happy” one. I was hoping she would go to KL with Trystane and….bla bla.

      They did go a different route then the books. But they went the other direction. 🙁
      Deep down I knew she could die but I was just hoping she wouldn’t.
      And seeing her survive that kidnapping attempt, I thought she was safe…..Alas I was wrong.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Wimsey:
      LatrineDiggerBrian: I would’ve

      He had done everything interesting that he was supposed to do.Jojen (book or show) is just a foil for Bran.Who Jojen (or Barristan or any of the foils) are is not really important: it’s what they do, and what issues they create for the Brans, Daenys, etc., are what is important.Besides,

      Yes Wimsey, I understand the purpose of supporting characters. I think we disagree in the fact that Jojen didn’t have much else to do. It’s hard to say this without knowing Bran’s future. Probably with Barristan you have more of a point. Either way, it’s a minor grievance on my part as whether they lived or died would’ve made little of a difference. And I didn’t read what you wrote in the spoiler section.

        Quote  Reply

    79. The Dragon Demands,

      One advice for Game of Thrones Wikia: Do not put every single detail in the “In the books” section. Just discuss basic polt points. In some cases, the section is many times larger than the show description and even longer than the article on the actual Wiki of Ice and Fire. People don’t need to be informed about every single difference on the main page. That’s why there are links to that site and Differences pages.

      I really want the Wiki to give a feeling that the site is primarily about the show. Like I said many times before, I have no problem with comparison as long as it doesn’t overshadows the show itself.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Wimsey: At this point, it is almost all speculation and conjecture from us.Book readers might know a little about some stuff concerning the Iron Islands early in the season: but the rest of it seems to be from Winds of Winter.The trailers make it pretty clear that even the Riverlands stuff that some Book!Fans hoped was from Crows actually is from Winter instead.As none of us have read Winter, so we cannot spoil anything.

      I’m not even talking about the books. I actually wikied the books after last season finished so I know what happens (which isn’t much). I don’t watch any of the trailers, clips or making of videos. And I certainly don’t read any set reports. I watched all the promotional stuff before season 4 and was disappointed about how much was ruined. They showed images of Oberyn fighting Ser Gregor, that was something I preferred not to know among other things.

      Alas, my tolerance for spoilers is quite low compared to the average person so I know I’m toeing the line by even being in these posts. I might eventually bow out in a couple of episodes.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Luka Nieto,

      The reason why I dislike Barristan’s last scene has nothing to do with the context actually. I love the idea of this legend dying in some back alley halfway across the world and he does take down an insane amount of men. That last scene with Daenerys is beautiful and you just know his song is about to end. It is simply that I find the choreography distracting in that scene. I have been impressed with most fights in GoT, but this one feels somehow rushed and uneven. There are a few moments in Barristan’s last stand that almost feel like Monty Python to me, followed by better sequences immediately after. Grey Worm and his men look way better. I don’t know if this is because of editing or simply that they are younger actors (I read somewhere McElhinney wanted/did most of that himself, which might be why it looks rather stiff at times). Maybe its the lack of blood throughout. The choreography/editing just feels off to me.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Good episode but the first one from the season that I have some significant annoyances with. The Faith Militant arrived on the scene way too quickly after Cersei’s talk, which in and of itself was too short. The pointed dialogue about sinners was gold, but there was very little back and forth on the Faith Militant themselves, their history, and why the Sparrow would see their banishment as a predicator of the Targaryens’s downfall.

      Cersei should have used the Crown’s debt to the Seven as a bargaining chip, a swift stroke that would have added to the tragedy and made more sense in the logical process of thinking. The High Sparrow ought to have made more pointed notes about the Faith Militant itself and how they serve the poor without adding to the Crown’s expense. Any dig at the philanthropy of the Tyrells would have been a nice touch.

      I get that they’re working with a limited storytelling tapestry here, but the transition from the conversation to the marching in the streets happened way too suddenly. The transition was jarring.

      The dialogue with the Sand Snakes was cringe-worthy. Exposition is always difficult to tie in smoothly, but Obara’s monologue was so clearly done here for the sake of the audience that it felt out of place. They already did a flashback with Cersei and this would have been a great place to do a flashback with fan-favorite Oberyn coming to reclaim his bastard daughter.

      I don’t have a problem with Ser Barristan dying here (clearly done to make room for Tyrion after apparently a hot debate in the writers’s room). I have a problem with the fight choreography, which fell quite flat in places (one shot of Ser Selmy hitting a Harpy in the back with his sword and he just tumbles).

        Quote  Reply

    83. Flayed Potatoes:
      The website still isn’t displaying the new posts. Am I the only one experiencing this problem?

      Same here. Even updating the page made no difference. I then cleared out the cache in Firefox and now all the latest posts are there.

      A great recap (as always)… Regarding the death of Ser Barristan Selmy, even the actor Ian McElhinney who portrayed him was well pissed off about that. I presume he had read ADWD to see if his character was still alive at the end and it was. He was none too happy that D&D was going to kill him off in that episode!

      The scene with Stannis and Shireen was heartwarming and for a time I thought that he really loved and cared for his disfigured daughter. As we know that didn’t last for long after Melisandre later persuaded him to sacrifice her to the Lord of Light.

      Melisandre’s final words to Jon were a surprise also? “You know nothing – Jon Snow” which only Ygritte ever said to him… How did she know that? I guess will we learn more of Melisandre’s powers in S6.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Well here is my impression (just some points):

      A solid episode overall, my seventh favorite of season 5, preceeded by Kill the Boy and followed by The Wars to Come. All these are rated 8/10.

      What I really liked in this episode, is the elevation of Sparrows and Sons of the Harpy as the real threat. The second ones are mostly background problem in the books who killed a bunch of redshirts but highly dangerous on TV. Also, I found those masks really creepy. Several people called them “idiots with knives” and I constantly remind them, that contray to Astapor, Meereen had its own army. That means that even noblemen probably have fighting experience. Furthermore, it was established, that the assassinations are performed by lower class, which are probably even more skilled in fighting. So I have no problem with killing ser Barristan, who was unarmored and past his prime. Even the best knight can’t have eyes all around his head. And of course, he is still just a man and songs are not to be believed.

      As it concerns Sand Snakes, I had problems only with Obara. I found Tyene perfectly fine and Nymeria was seriously underused. I think they have a potential and can be further developed in future seasons.

      My favorite scene: “Cooper. This is Darnell”. And of course “I thought the sharks were going to eat us” and Bronn was all like “You screwed up”.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Akash Singh,

      Yeah, another minor gripe is the quick rise of the Faith Militant. I have wondered why they didn’t ‘word-drop’ them in season 4 (I assume they knew they were including this plotline). They have often used that to great effect, even early on with the BwB. Fortunately, Pryce’s performance is so captivating I am not as perturbed by it as I otherwise would have been.

        Quote  Reply

    86. r-hard:
      Flayed Potatoes,

      That’s how Theon will meet Gendry.

      -Yo bro King’s Landing is that way?
      -Sorry man i don’t know.
      -Anyway safe rowing!
      -Yeah you too man!

      And then they both join Westeros’ Olympic rowing team. Right on time for Rio 2016.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Jared –

      Excellent summary and analysis, yet again. As another poster noted, your comments on Barristan made me as emotional as the episode itself.

      So glad to be sharing GoT and ASoIaF with you and the WotW community.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Oh, I forgot to add something. Stannis and Shireen scene. It pains me, that several people now dismiss this scene as “irrelevant” just because Stannis sacrificed her. It was not like that Stannis lied in this scene. For me it was a really powerful moment and I was sure that at least one of them is going to die (I call that The Walking Dead syndrome – when a supporting character suddenly gets a lot of screentime, they are going to die soon.) Stephen Dillaine absolutely nailed this scene and it was one of the few moments, when we see Stannis’s tender side.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Ser Barristan’s premature death is one of the most discussed changes the show made compared to the books. And though I don’t think that this was a fitting end for Show-Barry, I’m sure there was a good reason for D&D to kill him off at this point of the story. There are two possibilities, why he was not needed any longer:

      1. Book-Barry will die in the Battle of Meereen and the show cuts the battle or has it happen off-screen with Tyrion being the one who takes care for the preparations.
      2. Book-Barry will somehow get involved with (F)Aegon later in the story. Maybe he comes to believe that Dany is dead and leaves Meereen to support Aegon, whom he would consider his “true king”, or he abandons her course to assure himself that Prince Aegon is alive and well – thus becoming one of Dany’s three treasons. Ser Barristan is one of the few characters who could verify, if Young Griff is the real Aegon or just a pretender. If he is fake it would be a fitting and bittersweet end for Barry to reveal this to the masses or maybe even try to kill Aegon (especially if he is a Blackfire) and get himself killed in the process upon realising that he left “his true queen” to serve someone who turns out to be a pretender. As the show cut the whole Aegon-plotline and all the characters who are involved in it (Young Griff, JonCon, Arianne Martell etc.) this end was not possible for TV-Barry. That’s why he “died in an alley, butchered by cowards who hide behind their masks”.

        Quote  Reply

    90. I have to say I prefer the Sparrows (and the whole King’s Landing arc as a whole) in the books. I don’t even know what’s their reason for existing in the show, since they’ve made Cersei present their reason for the books as her own idea. The whole trial was very difficult to comprehend (as seen in The Gift, Cersei doesn’t even know what the punishment for Loras and Margery will be), and worst of all, Cersei doesn’t do anything “illegal”, so her Walk of Shame doesn’t feel as earned. I also found her detention in the Gift predictable, which her counterpart in the book was anything but (I knew the Sparrows would give her trouble, but I didn’t expect it to be at that time, when her plan seemed foolproof).
      I also didn’t like them making all the Sparrows look the same (buzz cut and a Seven-Pointed Star carved in their foreheads), or making them all act like Neo-Nazis. They look like a bunch crazy bigots imposing their will on the common man, rather than the expression of smallfolk rage they should be.
      I did like Jonathan Pryce’s acting, however.

        Quote  Reply

    91. LatrineDiggerBrian: It’s hard to say this without knowing Bran’s future.

      I see… trees… visions…. photosynthesis…. more visions….

      But not much for Jojen to do anymore! Seriously, Jojen did serve a huge purpose up to that point. Jojen basically coaches Bran through Warging 101. Bran has very little control over his link to Summer when Jojen appears. Jojen pushes Bran from being someone with the ability to warg into a novice Warg. That should have been enough to make Jojen “interesting” to most viewers.

      Now that Bran is with the Old Gods, Jojen no longer has anything to offer. Bloodraven can teach Bran far, far more than Jojen knows. If Jojen’s earlier deed did not make you interested in Jojen, then there really were not going to be anymore opportunities for him to become interesting.

        Quote  Reply

    92. 1. Why did Mel ask Jon if he was a virgin? And why the negative answer was good?
      2. Why and how did she say “you know nothing..”?

        Quote  Reply

    93. I still maintain that making Tyrion the ruler of Meereen makes no sense. He’s a dwarf who just arrived to the city, who Daenerys didn’t completely trust and who has no connections to either the freedmen or masters.
      It think they should have killed Grey Worm instead of Barristan, or reversing GW and Tyrion’s positions so that GW is the ruler and Tyrion his adviser.

        Quote  Reply

    94. TheKingWhoCares,

      I think that the most probable explanation is a third choice: the things that he does in the books will work better if done by by one of the main protagonists.

      Tywin of the Hill: I don’t even know what’s their reason for existing in the show, since they’ve made Cersei present their reason for the books as her own idea.

      ?? The High Sparrow makes their reason for existing in the show abundantly obvious: they are a populist reaction to the War of 5 Kings. I am not too sure how they could have made that more obvious on the show than they have. The show has made it really obvious that the common folk have suffered greatly because of the war. The show has made it really obvious that the Church of the 7 basically preaches the same morality as Abrahamic religions in our world, while the nobility live under their own moral code that frequently contradicts that morality, yet the nobles and church hierarchy had managed to peacefully co-exist with each other.

      Part of the reasons why I think that viewers will have no problem understanding this is that it happened in real history quite frequently. Thus, Joe and Jane HBO Subscriber recognize this pretty easily: and they also will be viewing the High Sparrow as a potential Ayatollah character rather than a do-gooder.

      Tywin of the Hill: I still maintain that making Tyrion the ruler of Meereen makes no sense.

      It makes no sense to you perhaps, but the show set it up sensibly enough. Daeny accepted Tyrion as a potentially very useful advisor. Whether she fully trusted him is irrelevant: she was not there, and they needed someone with experience at ruling who was Daeny’s man in charge. But either way, neither Barristan nor Grey Worm could be used in this role. Neither is a primary character, and this role really has to be filled by one of the characters carrying the story. At any rate, I really doubt that the viewers are having any problem following this.

        Quote  Reply

    95. koempel,

      Yes, the fact that it was an old man didn’t help. I thought it was fine, and the music and the context elevated it, but it’s true Barristan’s coreography wasn’t as great as many others in the show. The fast editing in a few moments tried to hide it, but it only made it a bit confusing.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Tywin of the Hill:
      I still maintain that making Tyrion the ruler of Meereen makes no sense. He’s a dwarf who just arrived to the city, who Daenerys didn’t completely trust and who has no connections to either the freedmen or masters.
      It think they should have killed Grey Worm instead of Barristan, or reversing GW and Tyrion’s positions so that GW is the ruler and Tyrion his adviser.

      I agree. Either GW or Missandei (who was even promoted to chief adviser by Dany beforehand) should have been in charge.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Remarks in these comments refer to the lack of development of both the Sand Snakes and the High Sparrow/Faith Militant, citing time constraints.
      This is why many are worried about abbreviated seasons 7 & 8.
      A lot of the ignored plot threads worked for the better, I think, but if the writers are going to include a thread I hope they have the grace to give it its due.

        Quote  Reply

    98. Northerner: 1. Why did Mel ask Jon if he was a virgin? And why the negative answer was good?

      She intends to seduce him, and sex with virgins sucks. Seriously, she probably intends to discern just how beholden to his vows Jon is, as it is pretty clear that he is an idealistic young man.

      Northerner: 2. Why and how did she say “you know nothing..”?

      Presumably R’hllor put the thought into her head at one point or another.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Wimsey,

      When does the High Sparrow mention the Wot5K?
      And I don’t think that is “obvious”. When I ask my Unsullied friends why did the Sparrows appear, they just shrug or say something like “they’re fanatics and they want to get the power”.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Tywin of the Hill: Cersei doesn’t do anything “illegal”, so her Walk of Shame doesn’t feel as earned.

      Of course she does. You understand the laws are different in this fiction, right? Fornication and incest would be illegal, especialy once the Faith is given the power Cersei gives them. She’s also accused of treason and regicide, which are incredibly serious crimes both in the fiction and in reality. So I don’t know what you’re saying here…

        Quote  Reply

    101. Sinead: lack of development of both the Sand Snakes and the High Sparrow/Faith Militant, citing time constraints.

      Incidental characters and groups of characters do not need that much development. Both of them are well-enough developed to communicate what they are: two different thorns in the sides of the Lannisters that come from weeds that they, themselves, at least partially grew.

      For comparison, neither are well-developed in the books, either. The High Sparrow is sufficiently poorly-developed that fans have contrived some ridiculous conspiracy theories around him. The Snakes are just vengeance muses being used by one minor character or another playing off of the family hatred of the Lannisters.

      Ultimately, both are “you reap what you sow” motifs that are fine in this sort of story: the decisions of the main characters early in the series have created unforeseen side-effects later in the series.

        Quote  Reply

    102. Wimsey:
      But either way, neither Barristan nor Grey Worm could be used in this role. Neither is a primary character, and this role really has to be filled by one of the characters carrying the story. At any rate, I really doubt that the viewers are having any problem following this.

      Why does it have to be filled by a main character? If that were so, they should have replaced Kevan with Jaime.
      And yes, many of my friends found it odd that Tyrion went from zero to hero in just 3 episodes. I even read a review by an Unsullied who said it wasn’t written well enough.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Tywin of the Hill: When does the High Sparrow mention the Wot5K?

      He brings up several times what the actions of the nobility have done to the common people.

      Luka Nieto: You understand the laws are different in this fiction, right? Fornication and incest would be illegal, especialy once the Faith is given the power Cersei gives them.

      What it also illustrates is how the morality of the nobility (i.e., the Rules of the Game of Thrones) is very different from the morality of the Church (i.e., don’t have fun). Cersei was guilty of violating the laws of the Church. Of course, as Queen, she was also guilty of violating the laws of the land: adultery by a Queen was considered to be treason in most European countries of comparable social evolution.

      But, again, this is something that I doubt that the audience has any problem grasping: what is fine under one code (e.g., secular law or noble Honour) is not fine under another code (e.g., religion). Cersei is guilty of violating all of these things: but where it comes up big time is Margaery, who has to violate either one code or another when forced to testify about Loras. Margaery selling out her brother by telling the truth would have been an unforgivable sin in the eyes of other nobles: but lying about anything is unforgivable in the eyes of the church.

      This sort of thing is almost certainly going to continue to be important this season. The Tower of Joy in particular is almost certain to leave a certain character in really unpleasant straits along these same lines!

        Quote  Reply

    104. Tywin of the Hill: Why does it have to be filled by a main character? If that were so, they should have replaced Kevan with Jaime.

      Because the audience is watching the show for the main characters. They are not watching it for world-building or faux history or other things like that: they are watching it to see how Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, etc., evolve in response to new challenges to their preconceptions, abilities, etc.

      Er, and where could they have replace Kevan with Jaime? Kevan has been nothing but a background character on the show the entire time.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Wimsey: Because the audience is watching the show for the main characters. They are not watching it for world-building or faux history or other things like that: they are watching it to see how Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, etc., evolve in response to new challenges to their preconceptions, abilities, etc.

      Don’t speak for all the audience. Tyrion could evolve just as well as an advisor in Meereen.

      Wimsey:
      Er, and where could they have replace Kevan with Jaime? Kevan has been nothing but a background character on the show the entire time.

      When he’s offered the regency.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Mihnea,

      Luka Nieto,

      I totally agree with you on Barristan’s death. The function he seems to show in his last POVs in the books, other than his military one, is to provide further backfill on Rhaegar and the situation at Aerys court and Robert’s rebellion. I thought it was a noble death and maybe you can nit-pick the fight choreography (mostly due to the Unsullied using long spears in close quarters as opposed to in a phalanx-type battle formation), but I think it was handled very well.

        Quote  Reply

    107. Wimsey: He brings up several times what the actions of the nobility have done to the common people.

      Too subtle. That can mean anything. And he doesn’t push for his cause until Cersei gives him power. And he doesn’t do anything that shows him caring for the smallfolk. He seems more worried with imposing his agenda than protecting the little man.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Tywin of the Hill:

      It think they should have killed Grey Worm instead of Barristan, or reversing GW and Tyrion’s positions so that GW is the ruler and Tyrion his adviser.

      I believe the show did set up Grey Worm as the ruler of Meereen in the Season 5 finale, with Tyrion as his advisor … though of course, he’ll be making most of the decisions. When Daario claims that Tyrion is the only one who has experience running a city, Jorah questions why the Meereenese would listen to a foreign dwarf who barely speaks the language. Daario agrees that they wouldn’t – but they will listen to Grey Worm. At least, the freedmen will.

      So Tyrion’s going to be the de facto ruler, but I believe that Grey Worm and Missandei have been established as the public face of Dany’s administration in her absence. We see Grey Worm wearing formal clothes in the Season 6 promo photos, suggesting that he’ll be spending more time as a politician and less time patrolling the streets.

      As for why Grey Worm survived … many people are speculating that when Dany finally leaves for Westeros, Missandei and Grey Worm will stay behind in Meereen to maintain the new order. It does seems like the only relatively clean way that the show can ensure Slaver’s Bay won’t collapse into a failed cesspool of chaos in her absence – something which would reflect poorly on her qualifications for ruling Westeros.

      That being said, it does looks like Tyrion is treating with the masters by himself in the Season 6 trailer. I guess we’ll see.

        Quote  Reply

    109. Luka Nieto,

      I meant that, in this season, and on her struggle with Margaery, she didn’t do anything illegal or as morally wrong as to deserve the Walk of Penance. Also, so much time had passed since Robert’s murder I didn’t care about it anymore, and I found Lancel’s confession predictable. I didn’t have the same impact on me as the book.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Lonely Cat,

      Thank you so much! The feeling is mutual! 🙂

      Luka Nieto,

      Thanks, Luka! I was glad that I was granted the opportunity to write about Barristan’s death. I can understand if people have issues with his early exit or the way the scene was filmed, but I found his last stand to be incredibly powerful. It was a worthy end.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Wimsey,

      Still there are plenty of creative ways he could’ve stuck around and his capacity could of changed from mentor to comrade in battle or whatever. Meera is sticking around for Christ sakes, and she’s much more useless than Jojen.

        Quote  Reply

    112. Barristan was not as minor a character as some upthread claim. In addition to being a character, he also functioned as the concepts Honor with a capital H, Service and Steadfast Loyalty. He was relied upon as a knight, kingsguard and warrior. In a world where almost everyone else was working their own agendas, he was a rock. He educated Daeny, but did not have time to do all that was needed.

      In the book, after Khaleesi left, he picked up the slack and

      devised the strategy, got buy in from the combatants, organized the battle, and was poised to lead the attack. He gave the ASoIaF official Battle Speech, a speech on par with the official Effects of War on the Smallfolk Soldier speech we will see in Season Six.

      A death too soon, as we should expect for GoT by now.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Okay, so my Chrome also didn’t work ….

      Great review. Great episode … it’s amazing how better Season 5 looks now than it did a year ago … I think watching an episode every day versus every week helps …

      There was a lot of foreshadowing in the first half of Season 5 and it bears fruit in the second and then probably in this season …

      The Wall scenes are masterful. The lighting, the sets … amazing

      A few comments …

      I found Cersei sending Tommen to the High Sparrow out of character … for someone so protective of her children, she relied on her assumption/knowledge that Tommen would back down to high level … also I wonder what exposing him to the calls of abomination and bastard will do to him, if anything.

      I’ve previously expressed my issue with the introduction of the Sparrows … and I agree with the comment above … my Unsullied friends thought they were evil from the get-go … no moral ambiguity there … the High Sparrow essentially is the Savonarola of Westeros.

      This has always interested me – what have her fires revealed.

      Mel: You only need faith, my king.
      Stannis: And you, my lady, what do you need?
      Mel [staring intently at Jon Snow]: To serve my lord.

      Mel spent a lot of time at Castle Black seeing Jon in her flames …

      As she said: There’s power in you. You resist it. that’s your mistake.

      The nod to Robert’s feather in the crypts?

      Is LF so gullible to think that Ramsay “has already fallen for you” based on one short conversation? He leaves her with a “men can be outmaneuvered and you’ve learned to maneuver from the very best.” Does he believe this or is this just to placate Sansa while he spins his webs …

      Dorne – well the Jamie and Bronn scenes are great

        Quote  Reply

    114. this is just the worst episode I remember seeing in the show. I felt that at first watch, but in the re-watch it just pumped in my face.
      The rush with the sparrows was unbelievably horrible, chaotically paced, some ellipses were absurd. The setting up and resolution of arming them happens so fast that it’s almost implausible. The scenes are all strange and the episode as a whole is very unexciting, and that battle at the end is pure lame. I went to google and reddit to find about who wrote this piece of crap and the story of how D&D invited Dave Hill to write it was scary.
      I didn’t like the direction in ep 3 so much, but compared to this one that was perfection.

        Quote  Reply

    115. Hope the site will be working back tomorrow ! It’s frustrating not to see new article on the second website you go the most. ^^

      I’m confident you guys are doing all in your power to fix it, so good luck to you ! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    116. Not over-the-moon about this episode. In retrospect, its swings and roundabouts almost presage the wild fluctuations in quality of the entire season. Compensating for the wooden introduction of the Sand Snakes there’s the heart-warming poignance of the Shireen-Stannis scene (t0 be cruelly recalled in episode 9), and for the horror of watching moony Sansa being led to the slaughter that is Ramsay there was the glorious scene of Barristan the Bold going out in a cloud of elderly superhero glory. Jonathan Pryce is finally beginning to make up for the loss of Sean Bean, Charles Dance, Ciaran Hinds and other magnetic British acting A-listers. The HS always seemed a hypocritical phony to me, but here’s he’s starting to show his wolf’s fangs beneath his sheep’s clothing. One must admit, though–it’s lovely watching Cersei connive her way into this fakir’s trap. In sum, I consider this a reasonable transition episode, nothing more.

      Oh, and happy birthday, Sean.

        Quote  Reply

    117. Tywin of the Hill,

      The poor people don’t have business. That’s why they are poor.

      He closed high end brothels and bars. Because whoring and drinking are sinful.

      The sparrows are just as worse in the books. They force the septons to pick the HS, they enslave them. Not to go into that entire thing, where the HS likes to wip himself.

      The reason they seam ”better” in the books is because we don’t see them. We only hear trough Cersei that they closed some brothels, witch she quickly dismiss. We see their true colours in the show.

      They also have stars on their foreheads in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    118. Tywin of the Hill,

      The first thing you see of him is feeding the poor! And clothing them!
      Of course he doesn’t push for his vision then, because he lacks power!

      Cersei of course gives it to him, to get rid of the Tyrrels. She doesn’t realize he will use that power to disperse justice to all, her included.

      In his eyes this is how he helps the poor, by serving justice. Something he thinkls is his duty as High Septon.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Tywin of the Hill,

      Same here. Speak for yourself. I don’t want world building.
      I want to see the main characters.

      I don’t want Tyrion to be side-lined for a minor character. Yes a minor character. That is what Selmy was in both show and books, until Martin tried to push as something big, because he failed to get Tyrion there in time.

      As much as you might rage here. GW is a very liked character. While Selmy was a background one. GW is also the commander of the Unsullied. A far more important position then Selmy’s.
      Not to say he is a native, someone who commands respect, especially among the freedman, like Daario himself says.
      He is far more important then Selmy.

        Quote  Reply

    120. Mihnea,

      Mihnea, you said you weren’t talking to me. LEAVE! ME! ALOOOOOONE!
      Do I tell you anything when you say that the Sand Snakes were good, or that you liked Sansa’s story, or that the last 2 books sucked? Then do me a favor and do the same.
      Regarding the sparrows in the books, only some of then carve the star, and there’s a difference between “Preaching chastity along the Street of Silk” and killing whoremongers.
      The septons had been ignoring the problems of the common people for far too long, wasting their money on ludicrous expenses. The High Sparrow had every right to force them into electing him (it’s not any different of what the Crown had been doing for centuries) and make them learn the value of hard work (he doesn’t order them to do anything he’s not willing to do as well).

        Quote  Reply

    121. Why would Littlefinger know anything more about Rhaegar? He was a kid at the time, and most of those involved are dead.

        Quote  Reply

    122. FictionIsntReal,

      Many people throughout the Seven Kingdoms strongly suspect that Rhaegar did not kidnap or rape Lyanna – that she went with him willingly. It’s not surprising that Littlefinger would suspect that as well, especially considering how many informants he now employs. Pretty much everyone who met Rhaegar, even briefly, seems to share an opinion of him that’s more in line with Barristan’s – that he was a fine and noble person, and not likely to commit such an evil act. Even Ned Stark never speaks ill of Rhaegar – though one would think he’d have good reason to, considering that his sister died after she disappeared with the Prince.

      But Robert Baratheon, who was betrothed to Lyanna and claims to have loved her, despised Rhaegar with every fiber of his being for stealing her away from him. It’s hinted that deep down, even Robert knew that Lyanna went with Rhaegar willingly, and that she may have loved him as well. Of course, that only made him hate Rhaegar even more. After Robert killed Rhaegar and became the new King, the idea that Rhaegar was a monster became the “official” version of events. As Cersei once told Joffrey, “Some day you shall sit on the Throne, and the truth will be what you make it.” The idea that Lyanna was kidnapped and raped by Rhaegar was Robert’s story, and it was an easy enough story for the public to believe, especially with the Mad King as Rhaegar’s father.

      As Sansa says in this episode, Ned never talked about Lyanna with his children – which presumably means he didn’t talk about her relationship with Rhaegar either. Sansa wasn’t alive at the time of the Rebellion, so all that she would have heard is the “official” version of events. But Littlefinger has been around long enough to hear different versions of that story – enough to know that Lyanna wasn’t kidnapped or raped, as Sansa suggests. That doesn’t mean he has the full story, however – it’s highly unlikely that he knows that Jon may have been a product of Rhaegar and Lyanna’s union. It’s strongly implied that Howland Reed – and potentially Wylla – is now the only living person who knows the truth about Jon, though Bran and Bloodraven may discover it another way.

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *