Game of Thrones Post-Mortem of “Hardhome”

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Coming off a huge Game of Thrones episode like “Hardhome,” there’s a feast of interviews, so let’s check out the highlights!

Episode director Miguel Sapochnik talked to MTV about creating “Hardhome” and discussed how the character of the wildling chieftainess Karsi (played by Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) came about:

She was a guy originally, and then somewhere in the process we thought it might be cool if she were a mother, and show her sending off her own kids to make that moment with the corpse children really resonate emotionally. […] As the sequence was refined, she emerged as this clear representative of all the Wildlings, which was organic, and it made us care. Then we started casting and saw Birgitte’s work and she got the part.

As for the wights, the director says they didn’t see them as zombies:

Wight children

Movement was a big thing. […] Making them feel like they swarmed where possible. The writers wanted to distinguish them as not zombies. They are puppets for the Night’s King. And they don’t think; [they] just pick a target and go after it until it’s dead, or they are cut into enough pieces they can’t chase it any more. Once you have the rules you just apply them to every beat, and see where it takes you story-wise.

Check out the rest of the interview over at MTV.com.

Birgitte Hjort Sørensen herself spoke with the New York Times today about filming her role on the show, and whether her character knew she was saying goodbye to her children for good.

I think she knew the chance of seeing her kids again was small. I don’t think she really knew exactly what was coming. But she knew there was a good chance she would never see them again. You say “maternal” and certainly she was in that moment. But I was quite pleasantly surprised that this was a role where gender really didn’t matter. I didn’t feel I was “the woman chieftain.” I felt like we were all on the same team together. That was a fun experience for me because it’s rare.

Hannah WaddinghamHannah Waddingham, the actress playing Cersei’s jailer Septa Unella, talks to Vulture today. She explains the perspective of the grim holy woman.

[I]n her eyes, she’s devout and she’s been chosen to take up the mantle here of being the main torturer. And she doesn’t see it as torture. She thinks she’s cleansing her, cleansing her soul. I think she’s trying to teach Cersei that you have to strip everything back. These are the most simple things — sleep, food, water, nobody talking to you, total isolation.

She also says, ” I don’t think she knows [Cersei] from Adam, other than what she’s been told: ‘We have a woman coming in, and she’s done these things, and we need to cleanse her.’ So she’s extracting these deep layers from Cersei, without saying hardly anything to her at all.”

Entertainment Weekly spoke with Kit Harington about the fighting he did on “Hardhome”:

Every fight I would shoot three times. […] First against a man in a [greenscreen-projectable suit], the second with man who’s not in a green suit, but has full-on makeup to look like a dead person, and the third time I would just fight [without an oppoent, striking open air]. It gave them the option of using whichever way looked the best. [The Battle of Castle Black in] episode 9 last year was the hardest thing I’ve done. This was twice as hard as that. It was exhausting.

Swing by EW for more details on the making of the big battle.

The MakingGameofThrones blog has a nice peek at some of the costumes and weapons from the latest episode. Here’s Loboda’s getup and his axe. Head over to the blog to check out the rest with commentary from weapons master Tommy Dunne.

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In this week’s Inside the Episode, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discuss Theon’s revelation, Daenerys and Tyrion’s one-on-one, and the massacre at Hardhome. Pay particular attention to how Benioff refers to the leader of the White Walkers at the 3:43 mark of the video. With Sapochnik’s mention above and Benioff’s comment, it’s now safe to officially call this character the Night’s King. Go wild, book readers. (As if we didn’t already, last year after “Oathkeeper.”)

Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke discuss Daenerys and Jorah’s feelings over his betrayal and his attempts to win his way back to his khaleesi’s affections.

151 responses

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    1. You know what i fear?

      That this episode was “it” for this year and we will be back to seeing Doran sitting in his chair and talking about nothing anyone cares about, Arya sweeping floors and killing someone minor like Trant…

      Since Ramsey is taking only 20 men to ambush Stannis there will be no BFW this season. 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    2. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      You know what i fear?

      That this episode was “it” for this year and we will be back to seeing Doran sitting in his chair and talking about nothing anyone cares about, Arya sweeping floors and killing someone minor like Trant…

      Since Ramsey is taking only 20 men to ambush Stannis there will be no BFW this season.

      Didn´t they say ep 10 would *break the internet* ?

        Quote  Reply

    3. Tibatonk,

      To be honest, even if episode 8 was the best we get this season, I wouldn’t be that annoyed. Sure, I hope that at least one of the final 2 betters it, but that was one hell of an episode.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Rafael:
      How can we go BACK to Doran just talking something if he has maybe got something like 5min of screentime in the whole season.

      5 min with Doran is 5 min less somwhere else where its intresting.

        Quote  Reply

    5. flintwielder: Didn´t they say ep 10 would *break the internet* ?

      I think by they mean FTW by that. Don´t get me wrong i get that some unsullied people will find

      Olly shanking Jon

      shocking but i dont see ANYTHING topping episode 8.

        Quote  Reply

    6. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      You know what i fear?

      That this episode was “it” for this year and we will be back to seeing Doran sitting in his chair and talking about nothing anyone cares about, Arya sweeping floors and killing someone minor like Trant…

      Since Ramsey is taking only 20 men to ambush Stannis there will be no BFW this season.

      Not really they will still do the big Danny moment next episode, plus cercei’s stuff, plus Night’s watch going crazy, also I think we will see Gregor Clegane again, and something with Stannis / Boltons / Melissandre.If anything I hope this 2 episodes won’t be to crowded with rushed key moments.

      Also I belive in Dorne Aero Hotah will throw down with Bronn, Arys Oakheart style.

        Quote  Reply

    7. flintwielder,

      yeah, but I think that is because of

      ‘For the Watch’.

      I do believe they will do that major cliffhanger, even though I hope they won’t. Also, the expected advancement in Cersei’s plotline will probably make for a lot of animated water cooler conversations.

      Episode 9 is usually the episode with the greatest WTF moment, but this time around I fear they will try to achieve that in Dany’s storyline and with the dragons heavily involved, which I will be totally underwhelmed by. But that is, I believe, a matter of taste.

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    8. Jeb,

      But didn’t you hear what Hoyti said? Next episode might feature scenes in which nobody is hit in the head with an axe. It’s gonna be terrible.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      You know it’s not true. Hardhome is a landmark a culmination which was carefully prepared from ep1. But we still have 2 more eps with things to happen. Dorne is working for me. My objections about Dorne are not what the many want to see. Actually my main objection is that Dorne has less screen time than Karsi had yesterday. That’s the problem. I think the general setting is nice but somehow its development would need some more time to breathe. Looking at the times of each episode until now I think there was a lot of time from the 50mins or the 53mins that could be added to Dorne. Let’s say that the showrunners had invested 10 more minutes to the already shown scenes in which they would care to make the whole result seem more refined it would have worked much better. Take for example Sidding. He is almost non existent and the expectations were so high on this actor. He has less time than the Winterfell old lady. (Personally I am not impressed by Sidding’s work as well but that is because of his non existent development). Ellaria who is supposed to be part of the main cast has almost the same screentime as Fat Walda and Lollys put together. Apart from this the whole season was a joy to watch, a ladder to climb and a view like that of HH to be rewarded with and more to come. The best season of all if S1 doen’t stop resisting within me…

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    10. I am opposite, while I did think last night was more than anyone could ever hope for…..certainly we have to believe that D & D and actors can still amaze us with content.

      I think seeing something crazy great with the dragons would blow many peoples minds and also, Jon dealing with his Ides of March problem as well as the WoS with Cersie….all in two episodes to come. I will toss in a sneaking suspicion regarding Varys back at KL causing some interesting trouble.

      I sure do hope that the majority of viewers will NOT say this show last night is the apex of this whole series and it can only be downward from this point. I don’t believe that and we have far to go to reach the end yet….and hey, spoilers for no one this time, only speculation from 6 onward. For my part? I am so excited, last night just got me totally in love with GoT’s again.

      I will appreciate each episode for what IT has as opposed to having to compete with another episode.

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    11. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Just because you don’t like curly hair Jon does not mean FTW Will not be shocking or an important moment because you’re wrong.
      I’m surprised you’ve made it this far trolling around.

        Quote  Reply

    12. So, IMDB is usually wrong, but last night they were right, and with that in mind, Yara and Balon are slated for future episodes. I really, really want that to be true.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Great episode. I am one of those people who recognizes that not every episode will be solid action a la Hardhome. (I’m unsullied). There has been unevenness to be sure. Wish they kept Karsi alive – I fell in love with her the moment she came on screen (maybe because I love the actress in Borgen).

      Love the Sansa arc. I disagree with D&D (if you can actually disagree with the producers) in the sense that I don’t think Sansa was at all hopeless here until the revelation of her brothers being alive. She wasn’t weepy anymore – she has “moved on” from ep6. I think her character’s power and strength is one of a slow burn. She’s methodical and the revelation added a new dimension to her calculations. And she knew how to push Theon/Reek’s buttons. Definitely, she has new reason to fight and light that candle in the broken tower.

      Can’t wait for the next two episodes.

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    14. “MTV News spoke to “Hardhome”’s director, Miguel Sapochnik, over email following the episode, finding out first-hand what it’s like to direct the series’ first major non-book-mandated battle sequence… and apparently, worrying about what George R. R. Martin did or did not write was the last thing on his mind.

      “I haven’t read the books so I didn’t have to worry about what was and what was not in them,” Sapochnik said. “I got the outline document for the sequence first, and then spoke to Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff] to get a sense of what they wanted to get out of the piece overall. I think it’s important to know what you’re aiming for. Then I just went off and tried to imagine it — drew some stuff, wrote notes, listened to music.”
      Hehehe……. 😀
      Also,
      “And at least during the tougher, colder, battle-planning moments, Sapochnik could rest his mind knowing that his warm and sunny scenes with Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage were on their way.

      “[There was] a bit of nerves, a bit of searching for the right tone, but they are both excellent actors and as they found each scene, they locked in and then it was just a case of sitting back and watching them do their stuff!” Sapochnik said.”
      Hehehe….. 😀

      dee: I fear they will try to achieve that in Dany’s storyline and with the dragons heavily involved, which I will be totally underwhelmed by. But that is, I believe, a matter of taste.

      Most assuredly. It IS a matter of taste. I think Episodes 8 and 10 will resonate with most of the book readers posting here. Episode 9 will resonate with show watchers (along with 8 and 10). In fact, I can guarantee that a few posters here will find Daznak’s pit quite underwhelming and enjoy some other two-minute sequence in ep. 9 far, far better. Like your statement, long before the episode has aired, their minds are made up.

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    15. Has there been any indication they’ll be releasing the Season 5 soundtrack next week? Ever since the show started, the score is always released the Tuesday before the finale airs.

      Amazon currently says the physical copy will be released July 17, but is there any sign we’ll get it digitally in 7 days? Would there have been an announcement or leaked tracklist by now if they were?

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    16. Can we jump back in time, remove the Sand Snakes, and give Doran and Karsi that time? Bring the SS back when they decide to give them a more than fleeting plot.

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    17. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      “Some unsullied peolpe”? Actually, unsullied watchers are in the vast majority when it comes to GoT, just like it is with every popular series. Saying that FTW wouldn´t be all too shocking or it would be regarded as such only by a “some” is very far from reality or at least a severe misjudgement, sorry.

      Imagine it this way: most people watching GoT are unsullied or casually watching. You may argue that there is quite some build-up for FTW, but if you think about it again, you may realize that most of these people will see the tensions in the NW, but they won´t think Jon will really die or sth really unsuspected will happen to him, not after a five season-long build-up. They most likely expect a major event, but not that Jon couldn´t handle the situation or that he will meet a grisly demise.

      The book-readers expect it and thus they think it´s all clear for everyone to see what´s going to happen, but if you think of everything about Jon Snow: his build-up, his privation, his loss of Ygritte, his new position and the freshly backed-up Targaryen-Theories concerning him, they will NOT see such an anti-climactic event coming in the near future. Especially not after Hardhome.

      Thus there will be A LOT of talking after this episode and it wouldn´t be right to deny the possibility of FTW “breaking the internet”(taking into account that “breaking the internet” is quite a poorly defined term at best).

        Quote  Reply

    18. Ravyn,

      All due respect to Mr. Bay, but if they said tomorrow that any of these episodes, especially Hardhome, were going to be on the big screen, I’d be knocking f***ers down to get the first seats, just like last year. GOT on wide-screen is amazing.

        Quote  Reply

    19. Pigeon:
      Can we jump back in time, remove the Sand Snakes, and give Doran and Karsi that time? Bring the SS back when they decide to give them a more than fleeting plot.

      More time with DS9’s very own Dr. Julian Bashir sounds good to me. Doran could certainly use it and I know Siddig’s worthy.

      How about we remove the Sand Snakes and clone Indira Varma? Four Ellarias would be terrifying… ly sexy.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Plus I’m looking forward to whatever they show, EXCEPT if they want to burn Shireen or kill any of the remaining Starks, including Jon. Cripe, they won’t KILL kill, Jon, right? That can’t be. ACCCH I can’t even think about it. Please kill Ramsay, though, that would be excellent

        Quote  Reply

    21. Kay, I have looked forward to

      Dany’s

      scene in the next episode since I read it…more than most other

      big moments

      in the series if not all. I know it will be nowhere near as good as in the books, but I’m excited to watch

      her butt fly off.

      I will squeal & clap my hands like a fool if her dress is

      burned and bloodied

      by the end of the season.

        Quote  Reply

    22. *book and show spoilers, including TWOW and episode 10 synopsis*

      As much as I disagree with people saying Hardhome was “it” for the series, I am starting to think the purpose of Ramsay’s skirmish (probably in episode 9) is going to be more about excitement and upping the tension rather than actually developing the plot.

      First off, we know Stannis survives because the synopsis for episode 10 reads “Stannis marches”. Second: I am about 90% sure that Ramsay survives, too. The reason I say that is because I don’t think Theon and Sansa are in episode 9, much less escaping in it. If they escape in episode 10 with Ramsay still absent from the castle, that escape means so much less for Theon and Sansa’s character development.

      And yeah, because of some interesting stuff in TWOW sample chapters, I’m also inclined to think Stannis will stick around for at least a bit of season 6. All this adds up to me thinking that the Battle for Winterfell will not be fully resolved in episode 10. And that is why there’s going to be a skirmish in episode 9; so we don’t all write bad season reviews.

      As an aside, though… maybe it’s not purely about action/excitement. Maybe the attack causes Team Dragonstone to disband for Reasons, or maybe Ramsay really will kidnap Shireen as I’ve seen some people theorise. Could Theon escape with Shireen instead of Sansa? I don’t think he will – it’s not what people have been waiting for – but it might be worth thinking about.

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    23. I assume Ramsay will do the classic “sneak in and burn their supplies” tactic. Or at least that’s probably the intention…he may get distracted.

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    24. did anyone notice the moment sam says something like “don’t worry about jon…somehow he always comes back” to olly?
      it was delivered in a way that seemed important..
      foreshadowing?
      *fingers crossed*

        Quote  Reply

    25. Pigeon: Bring the SS back when they decide to give them a more than fleeting plot.

      They don’t have any plot. They are foils in Jaime’s story and plotline. Hopefully this will come to something: Jaime’s storyline, which started with such promise at the outset of the season, really has lagged. Of course, when you have X storylines, then one of them is going to come in Xth place on the “lag” scale”: and when X is as high as it is on GoT, it’s almost a given that the Xth place storyline will be well behind some of the others.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Rat Kook,

      Because of the Ep10 synopsis’ info re: Stannis, I’m do think it’s very possible Ramsay dies next week. Would his being dispatched by Team Stannis be as satisfying as Sansa/Theon doing it? Absolutely not, but Thrones has never really rolled that way. I was on the fence about whether the two Boltons would survive the season, but the recent news about Euron’s imminent arrival has me convinced both are done for.

        Quote  Reply

    27. As a book reader, I would expect the next two episodes to bring several story lines to the point where they are in the books:

      – Arya’s story is right where it should be; Sansa needs to finish up the Jeyne Poole plot by escaping, with Theon in tow; Jon – well, FTW looks to be in our future; /Drogo needs to fly away with Dany and Dany needs to find the Dothraki; Tyrion looks to be taking Ser Barristan’s role; Cersei’s WoS; Sam and Gilly move south; Stannis is pretty much where his story is in the book

      But that leaves those who are totally outside their book plots – Brienne, Jamie, Littlefinger, Davos, Varys, all the Greyjoys, the Dorne story,….. – and those who haven’t shown up in the show (yet)?

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    28. The White Walkers have never been my favorite storyline, but last night’s scenes were amazing. Chilling. I actually took a surprised, excited gasp when the white mists appeared outside of Hardhome. The Night’s King watching on the hill quietly thinking – frightening. I also loved, loved, loved everything Cersei. She’s so awful, but I feel such glee reading her chapters and seeing Lena bring her to life.

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    29. Well, that was a pretty great episode wasn’t it!? Great use of the incident at HArdhome to make good television. Throw in a couple of main characters and streamline it and that’s what is known as a good adaption! Made up that Ed survived as when he wasn’t in the hut I was worried. It’s a shame the majority of the Wildings introduced were slaughtered but I guess that’s what happens when White Walkers attack. The Walkers themselves were used sensibly and Wun Wun (if it is he) was putting in work!
      Speaking of “work” it’s good to see Qyburn’s “little” project is still under way. The few scenes with Cersei were well done and really showed her position. Samw and Olly had a nice moment and the Tyrion and Dany scene was interesting although I still the “wheel” speech was pretty corny. Poor old Jorah had a bit of tough time again but the guy just won’t quit it!
      Theon and Sansa was an interesting situation and they seem poised to do something. Ramsay going after Stannis may lead to the seperation of him and his daughter but I’m really not sure where they’re going with this one. Hopefully Stannis and Ramsay will both make it to next season as they’re interesting characters who I think would be missed if they departed this early.
      But yeah, Hardhome. Those blue-eyed bastards are rolling deep now!

        Quote  Reply

    30. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Also, now Valerian steel has been confirmed to be effective against walkers. I sense SAm getting his hands on Heartsbane and Arya and Needle playing a role…Perhaps Brienne and Oathkeeper too?

        Quote  Reply

    31. I love Sapochnicks GOT work! I loved episode 7 as I felt how everything was slowly clicking into place, and I am amazed at episode 8.It’s been almost a day and I a still excited. I will have to go to Oz’s same hardware store to find something to repair my couch, as I spent the last 15 minutes clinging to the edge of it. :o)

      Now regarding [For the Watch] if it takes place at all and it if is supposed to happen this season, somehow I feel it may not go as so many people are predicting. The focus on [Olly] has been too obvious for too many episodes. I feel D&D are toying with us, leading us in the wrong direction only to surprise us in the end, just as it happened with yesterday’s episode. There was a lot of information on Hardhome from the beginning of the season. Some people talked about WW but not many saw coming what went on yesterday.

      In the books, Jon made a valid point about what could happen in Hardhome, but he could not offer any evidence to support it. However in the show, if the guys who stayed at the Wall don’t want to believe in Jon’s or Tormund’s words about what happened there, the other surviving brothers can provide quite a compelling story about how in the army of the dead crows and wildings fought together, just as they had to do to stay alive.

      Admittedly there are not many bright people waiting at the Wall, but I think some of them would prefer to stand by the guy who had the vision to understand what could happen?

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    32. Ok but did anyone else see the resemblance between main wight boy and the I Like Turtles Kid?
      Cus I saw it.

        Quote  Reply

    33. I have free tickets to watch Episodes 9 & 10 on the big screen in two weeks…

      …but now I really wish it was Episode 8 instead!

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    34. Must admit I kept thinking why not set the gate on fire at the point where it looked like they were being overrun!

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    35. I really doubt that Ramsay is gone this year, but that’s just a hunch.

      This is the third time that they’ve made a point of having Jorah check his arm. His greyscale is not progressing nearly as quickly as I had thought it might….wonder if that’s significant.

      One of my favourite back and forths last night:

      Cersei: “All lies.”

      Qyburn: “Of course, your grace…” (translation: *cough cough cough…..yeah right, girl*) 😉

        Quote  Reply

    36. Damn, I was really sad to see Karsi go down. The actress is really good and she looked like a character with a lot of potential. Particularly after that line about the ancestor. That was really nice.

      EDIT: Also, the director really should rent 28 Days Later when he has the chance. Thrones wights and the zombies in 28 DL had a lot in common.

      Chris:
      I assume Ramsay will do the classic “sneak in and burn their supplies” tactic.Or at least that’s probably the intention…he may get distracted.

      Lol, you know he’s going after Stannis himself. Burning supplies is way to subtle and smart for Ramsay.

      Aisling:
      The White Walkers have never been my favorite storyline, but last night’s scenes were amazing. Chilling. I actually took a surprised, excited gasp when the white mists appeared outside of Hardhome. The Night’s King watching on the hill quietly thinking – frightening.

      I completely agree

        Quote  Reply

    37. Aisling,
      Veltigar,

      Given that they almost certainly are going to be focal in the final plot arc, that might be a bad thing for you both! At any rate, understanding the “why” of the White Walkers probably will be very important in the end.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Pigeon,

      That response plus “the work continues” were my favorite lines of the episode. I wish we could have more time with Qyburn. Anton Lesser is so brilliant in his understated performance.

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    39. I disagree

      for the watch has to happen next season for fear of it getting out that Kit is filming. Only people like us who obsessively follow the show in the off season will know. The vast majority doesn’t do anything more than watch the episodes and sometimes the promotional material put out. I doubt that they are going to mess with the storytelling just for that. A few weeks ago, I agreed that they might put it off till season 6 because Jon’s storyline started the season behind the others. After that conversation between Sam and Olly however, there’s little doubt it’s happening in the finale. Good thing too. Unlike the first two seasons, three and four didn’t go out with a bang at all. It would be nice to have a jaw dropping end to the season again.

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    40. Anyone notice how this episode ends with a big “Ice” event, and

      next week will end with a big “Fire” event? 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    41. Beacon,

      What if Ramsay tries to go after Melisandre? Or just ends up in her tent? Mayb the difficult decision is choosing between Selsye and the red woman? I’m thinking of Selsye falling in the snow and Mel looking surprised in the preview. But the Shireen story seems more important somehow. I don’t know!!! But that’s really fun

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    42. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Needle is not Valyarian steel. It was forged at Winterfell, commissioned by Jon to give to Arya. Ned even recognized the forger’s mark when Arya showed it to him at King’s Landing just before he authorized her “dancing” lessons.

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    43. Ooo also. I’m having too many thoughts:

      Anyone else think that Tormund & Wun Wun escaping alive is pretty significant? Especially with what the Wall plot may entail for the rest of the season?

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    44. In this post I discuss book and show events. Please only read on if you’re up to date with the books.

      I get the excitement with Episode 8 titled “Hardhome”. I also want to give credit to D&D for creating a deviation from the books that was actually great. Not only because it was great television, but because it was actually well written and produced. I am referencing Jon Snow heading to Hardhome and back.

      This should make the impact of episode ten even greater, but also serves to provide a well needed understanding of what the real threat is, who leads them, what some of their weaknesses are, but also some of their strengths – I’m sure there’s still a lot more than what meets the eye, but since the story is being condensed we needed to see that now (from the viewpoint of a main character) to allow more free time next season for other events, since we won’t be spending “as much” time at the wall or beyond next season, whether or not Jon Snow is resurrected early next season (that’s a separate conversation), we’ll be heading South (as per Melisandre’s vision).

      I also feel like I should point out the hypocrisy of those who claim how “the books sucked” because “they’re too slow”, but enjoyed the scenes with Cercei being “stripped”, and Sansa and Theon conversing, and Tyrion and Daenerys meeting. Books four and five were both filled with thrilling conversations and DNM’s such as those (it’s what gave the characters from Sunspear for example some “character” and impact, and those very characters are currently lacking exactly that, but in time they might gain that from strong dialogues). People just complain because they want to see certain characters conversing, but not others. They consider some of those conversations “slow”, but others “thoroughly entertaining”. I find all conversations entertaining and the majority of my problems with D&D is because they cut out those conversations. I find the “too slow”, “too boring”, “too extreme”, “too negative”, “too fast”, “too gay”, “too straight” complaints ridiculous to be honest (both with regards to the show and the books). I like and enjoy reading complaints where people point out how certain things are logical or illogical and why they are so (this however generally applies only to the show), I find those who say “George done this wrong” or “George done that wrong” also ridiculous. We judge the show based on the source material, not the other way around, and we should judge deviations with regards to whether or not they fit logically into that source material. That’s how I see it anyway.

      My prediction for some of the elements in the next two episode and into next season (I’ll try and go for predictions that I haven’t seen mentioned)…

      Sam will leave for Old Town next week, or early in Episode 10 (yes that’s nothing new). Some have already noted how Jon Snow will realise having lost Aemon, they will now need a Maester at the wall (long-term plan). I’ll go further and say the Iron Bank will pay the Wall a visit (that’s because this will further emphasise the importance of Jon Snow and his long term plans for the Wall and his men, thinking ahead and into the future as a leader, just like in the books, right before his men back stab him) and Sam will leave with the Iron Bank representative (but he’ll head straight to Oldtown I think). I say this because I have a feeling that “Pate” will also be heading to Oldtown (I can’t decide yet whether or not he’ll take Arya with him and she’ll just meet Sam in Oldtown that way)… Or mayhap they have them meeting in Bravos, and taking the same ship back to Westeros (Sam and Pate and Arya and Needle); if this doesn’t happen it will definitely allude to Arya needing to stay in Essos for a reason, but that’s just how I see it right now… I could see her and needle and Sam being in the same area when Sam receives the news of Jon, and her clutching to needle trying not to show her emotions…I’m going to stop analysing now because that thought hit me in the feels…

      I will say this however, I have a feeling the season will end with several major cliffhangers and that’s why “it’ll break the internet”… Cercei’s last scene will be her staring at Ser Robert Strong or being carried by him (before the trial, aka unknown outcome)… Jon’s last scene will end emotionally and we know how (maybe with an extra surprise that will either confirm or deny his resurrection next season, or leave us in further confusion), Daenerys’ last scene will end with her being revealed pregnant maybe or just the Kalasar heading straight at her, or maybe her with Greyscale which she gets from Jorah saving her… Brienne and Stannis will meet eye to eye as their final scene maybe… Or some other form of cliffhanger where a really hard decision needs to be made by Brienne choosing one loyalty over another loyalty… Dorne and Jamie will march with Aegon/Trystane/Marcella towards King’s Landing (maybe)… Arya maybe getting a new face, or a new “weird” mission, or going blind… Varys will take out, well we know… Would be interesting if Varys has a kid assassin called Aegon with him in the room (don’t see that happening, just a random thought, it’s more likely he’ll tell Kevin that Aegon is heading to King’s Landing right now with Jamie before he assassinates him)

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    45. Mustafa. S.,

      My guesses are that:

      1. Brienne will meet Stannis with Sansa at her side. Brienne will want to kill Stannis, but will refrain from doing so on Sansa’s orders. Because, oath-keeping. 2. Arya will *be* Pate or some iteration of the character.

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    46. Lion of Night,

      Good points, I could see that happening too.

      I’ll add:

      Sansa will give Davos the order, through Stannis maybe, to go in search for her brother Rickon… Or to fetch her brother Rickon from a place that will be revealed by other show characters.
      This might happen early next season though… Maybe Brienne will even join Davos on the journey… Or maybe winterfell will “fall” and they will head south together

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    47. The sound editing of Hardhome was Emmy worthy. The moments of still and quiet with nothing but the elements making a sound created a sense of space and time, feeling very in the moment and real. I liked how they didn’t rely on music to set the tone and used a howling pack of dogs instead.

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    48. Lion of Night,

      Hmm.

      What if…

      Arya ends up killing Euron over in Oldtown? I love Arya and I keep wondering what is going to be her storyline after she leaves Braavos. As much as I’d love to see her get revenge on Cersei, Walder Frey or Roose, her becoming no one would imply that she won’t kill for her own personal gains anymore. Thus, the assassination of a major character like The Crow’s Eye would give her an interesting, worthy payoff, while still maintaining that she’s working for the Many-Faced God.

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    49. dee,

      Thematically, having next episode focus heavily on dragons and their power, would be rather fitting as a follow up to Hardhome. Ice and fire. Generally I feel season 5 is the one that feels most like it’s about what it’s really about

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    50. We can’t forget the amazing ost that Ramin Djawadi made for this episode. The music had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, same as it did on The Watchers on the Wall. And last but not least, a big round of applause to Fabian Wagner, the director of photography. The photography on the battle was the best we saw to date on the show. It feel like we were watching an epic film.

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    51. LordDavos,

      And? It wasn’t an enumeration of all the great Houses, not by a long shot. No House Arryn, House Bolton, House Greyjoy, House Frey or House Tully either. Tyrion essentially picked the sides in the War of the Five Kings (Renly would have been a Tyrell King in all but name). It was more about “Who of the wannabe Kings/Queens would or would not back you?”.

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    52. If it’s true that Balon is in the finale, is there any chance that Arya is the assassin who kills him? They seem to be speeding up the plotlines and I suspect the FM are training her to do something in Westeros. Why not kick it off with Balon? Probably unlike, but just a thought

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    53. Abyss

      Of all the major houses the Martells are the most natural potential allies for Dany. Her brother was married to one. Dorne is the most likely landing spot for her should she go to Westeros. They are quite a large omission from Dany/Tyrion’s discussion about possible supporters, though Tyrion was pointing out the difficulties she faced.

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    54. WeirwoodTreeHugger,

      That would actually be pretty cool in my opinion, though it’s quite a stretch time wise. That would be a long journey from Braavos. It’s really hard to guess what Arya will be doing next season, since I have no idea what she’ll be doing next book (beyond the sample chapter).

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    55. You know when an episode is really great when 85% of the voters in the Westeros.org poll (!) have rated “Hardhome” with a 9 or 10.

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    56. Ep 9 will be rememberd for a very long time and it will be a symbolic parallel with this one.Ep 10 this season will shock the audience like never before.

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    57. wizardeyes:
      Hoyti Von Totiy,

      As always, I go through the episode preview in play-pause-play mode to analyse the scenes. So some questions and observations:

      – the burning tent scene in 0:18, will that be the work of Ramsay?
      – when you pause on 0:18 and hover the pointer at the red bar at the bottom, you get the “burning village” scene but its not in the preview.. how come?

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    58. wizardeyes,

      That look on Mel’s face.This can’t be good.Daznak’s will be THE SHIT this season.It will be very nice parallel between Ice (Others) and Fire (Dragons) , but as well as Dany and Jon.Jon ran away and Dany will fly away.Only to return stronger, one with Dothraki and other one with Widlings.

      Yes, I’m hinting at Jon’s ressurection.Night’s Watch will be basically done.You have Tormund,Wun Wun,bunch of widlings,some loayl men of NW.This can’t end well for Olly and others.Sam said something about Jon that makes me think “He comes back” or “He always comes back”.I was scared that he will die there at Hardhome,but this to me hints at this ressurection.

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    59. LordDavos,

      The reason it is not mentioned is probably because

      in the next episode, Doran will reveal to Ellaria and/or Trystane their heart’s desire: “Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood” (possibly with his plan to marry Trystane to Dany as a show version of Arianne-fAegon).

      In order for that to be a major surprise, Tyrion couldn’t mention them last episode.

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    60. LordDavos,

      You say that now, because (I guess) you have read the books, but it isn’t that obvious. Her brother was not only married to a Martell he also dishonored her by running of with a Stark and Elia Martell and her children died (to a large part), because of the madness and foolishness of her father. The Martells are not natural potential allies.

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    61. Rat Kook,

      It could be this or she saw something bad in her vision potentially like some danger to her champion/AAR/Warrior of Light.Ramsay is going all ninja style on Stannis and Jon will face a big challenge at the Wall,resulting in FTW.Stannis said this “If a man knows what he is etc, and then straight shoot at Mel’s look like oh god.It will be fun.

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    62. Abyss

      Maybe consider self-interest a bit more. They have been part of the royal family in the near past – a rare honour under Targ rule since they tended to keep the bloodlines pure. Only really the Baratheons had blood links to the Targaryens. Sure it didn’t turn out well for Elia but the Lannisters get a lot of the blame for that. Being part of the royal family brings power and influence. The fact that, as Tyrion says, there are few other houses who are obvious candidates to help Dany, means there’s a sharp opportunity waiting for one who can.

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    63. LordDavos,

      Well, I don’t necessarily see the honour thing, not when it comes to the Martells. They see themself as royalty to begin with. How did Oberyn put it? “My sister, Elia, she married Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and became the princess she already was.”
      As for power and influence, yes, sure, but that goes for everybody else as well.

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    64. Is there a difference between
      – the fast moving skeletons
      – the slow zombies
      – the two nights watchmen in season 1
      I am a bit confused with the fact that those two night’s watchman came back alive after they have been at castle black for a while because there were no WW to resurrect them.

      I can assume that the slow zombies are corpses that have only been recently resurrected and the fast moving skeletons are under the spell of the WW for a longer time but those two wights from season 1 confuse me now that I think of it.

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    65. Rygritte:
      Favorite line:

      Another Edd gem: “Oh Fuck!” after the wights rise up from falling off the cliff.

      Nothing else would have been more perfect in that moment.

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    66. Trystane,

      They’re all Wights. About the two nightswatch men (I think it was only one actually), we simply don’t know if the WWs (or the NK) have to be around to resurrect Wights and if so how far away “around” means here. I think it’s save to say that they don’t have the power to just resurrect all the dead in Westeros when they are not around, but that’s not to say they can’t do it with a few.

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    67. Absolutely stellar episode! It has only raised the bar for episodes 9 and 10. Perhaps they will not top Ep 8 in terms of quality thoughout, but surely we have some amazing things coming!!
      I fucking love Edd, I fucking love Tormund, and I fucking hate Thenns.

      No way Edd is in FTW now, not after what he’s just seen.

      Nice joke with Wun-Wun also.
      Excellent casting for the Karsi character with Birgitte H S. In Nina Gold We Trust once again. Really made an impression in just one episode.
      Qyburn one of my favorites once again. Anton Lesser makes the most of his screentime and deftly delivers his subtle lines.
      Love the Arya stuff- nice to see this developing and getting to see a bit of Braavos outside of THOBAW.
      LENA HEADEY FOR AN EMMY PLEASE!!!! Killing it once again with very short scenes. Made the most of them. Cannot WAIT to see more

      and her WoS!

      Emmy pleeeeeeease!
      Dany and Tyrion was just brilliant- D&D did some nice writing here! I love Peter Dinklage in every single second. (Only thing I’m not a fan of is the break the wheel bit)
      Which brings me to Sansa and Reek/Theon. I must agree with others that I was surprised by how D&D interpreted this one in their post interview. I didn’t see it that way, and if that’s what they meant to convey well this viewer (sullied) didn’t get that. I’m curious about what will happen next as there seem to be many ways it could go down.

      The stage has been set for Ramsay to lead a small party to face Stannis. This is low-risk for Roose if he stays safe behind Winterfell’s walls, ready for a seige. It’s a good chance for Ramsay to prove himself to his father and Roose can either have Stannis taken out/weakened or Plan B chillin at Winterfell until Stannis dies of cold. So many ways things could work for Team Stannis- Mel sees something new in her fires? Doesn’t burn Shireen but realizes she needs to go back to Castle Black in time for FTW? Sansa and Theon can escape (aided by Brienne and Pod?) and run into Stannis. I agree it seems unlikely we’ll get a whole Battle of Ice and instead will have the skirmish with Ramsay. Asha are you coming? Can Balon die already??

      With so much ground left to cover in Eps 9 and 10 I doubt we will see much/any of Littlefinger.

      Really hoping Varys returns in Ep 10 though 🙂 They laid the groundwork by mentioning Kevan’s return, heh.

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    68. Rygar,

      Too many fucks were given in that episode. lol

      Seriously though, i think Hardhome took the record for most f words by a long shot. Even Jon got to swear for once.

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    69. KrakenDaughter:
      Simeon,

      I never heard about the trolling campaign, do you know who’s behind it?

      Davos’ Luck,

      Really?! Elio& Linda hated it……….aaaas usual.

      I’m sorry but I have stopped caring about what Elio and Lindaaaa think. They just hate everything that’s not book canon.
      How could they not appreciate this episode for what it was? at least visually and as great television? and so many book references and details snuck in there! we even got a wun-wun name drop! Arya’s storyline is very faithful to the book (apart from her blindness) and right on track. Do they like anything??

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    70. Abyss,

      It’s almost as though the thing doing the resurrections is winter itself (or the coming of winter). And the White Walker “magic” just empowers/accelerates the effects of winter. They’re the epicentre.

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    71. Elio gave the episode a 9/10 in the poll on Westeros.org, with his only complaint being that he prefers shambling zombies to the fast kind. His official reviews focus on the differences between the books and show because that’s what his whole shtick is, but I think he’s been entirely reasonable in his opinions about the show on its own merits.

      Linda is a different matter of course.

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    72. If you guys know me, you must know I am not a skeptic of the show. At all. I’m enthusiastic about pretty much all of it. Still, after this episode completely blew my mind, I wonder if the last two episodes can deliver.

      Make no mistake, I have read the books —I know what’s coming. Although the Battle of Ice has been seemingly substituted with more of a sneaky raid by Ramsay, it’s still awesome that it’s gonna take place this season, unlike in the books, in which it’s left on a cliffhanger and we still haven’t read the battle. In the show, it’s gonna be in the very next episode, judging by the promo. Then there’s Daznak’s Pit, and the aftermath to Jon’s actions in Hardhome. And Dorne finally paying off next episode! It’s all quite exciting.

      Still… wow. This may be the best episode of the TV series for me. Tyrion and Dany was even more amazing than I could’ve ever imagined. How is it that I never connected the obvious link between them? The “terrible fathers” stuff was golden. And everything else, too. Not a single bad scene in the episode; the weakest was Olly’s and Sam’s, but honestly it was just a way to introduce Hardhome for those who didn’t remember where Jon was and what he was doing. In terms of exposition, it was flawlessly written and delivered. The foreshadowing is a little too strong, but that may just be for book readers, I’m not sure. And finally there is Hardhome. I can’t say anything that others haven’t said, so I won’t.

      Now… I want to see the resolution to the Battle of Ice as portrayed in the show and that’s gonna be just great. Hopefully Ramsay dies! Painfully. Daznak’s is gonna be amazing. I’m sure we’ll get some long due pay-offs in episode nine with Arya and Dorne. Episode ten has Cersei’s and Jon’s climaxes for the season, judging by the synopsis (and the title, for Cersei.) So it’s gonna be great!

      Still… I wonder, unless D&D made up something just as good as Tyrion & Dany meeting up and the setpiece at Hardhome, which is sort of in the books but only mentioned, I can’t see any of those episodes surpassing episode eight. Hopefully they will, though!

      Just a stray spoilery thought:

      Is anybody else REALLY hoping we get one or two more Tyrion & Dany scenes before the shit hits the fan at Daznak’s Pit? They’re gonna be separated for a while after Dany flies away on Drogon’s back (I imagine until the middle of season six or so, maybe earlier), so I hope their relationship is fully exploited next week.

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    73. Trystane:
      Is there a difference between
      – the fast moving skeletons
      – the slow zombies
      – the two nights watchmen in season 1
      I am a bit confused with the fact that those two night’s watchman came back alive after they have been at castle black for a while because there were no WW to resurrect them.

      I can assume that the slow zombies are corpses that have only been recently resurrected and the fast moving skeletons are under the spell of the WW for a longer time but those two wights from season 1 confuse me now that I think of it.

      My guess is Othor or the NW Wights who tried to killed Mormont were being controlled from afar, which is more difficult so they are a bit slower. In the case of Hardhome perhaps if there are four WW around in close proximity to the horde of Wights perhaps that makes them faster

      Know what you mean though, the ones descending on Fist of the First Men at the end of season 2 were lumbering along

      In this case I think they wanted to give a sense of them swarming really fast and overwhelmingly and come out of nowhere – hence the speed

      Could be the Night’s King can make them run given the potency of his powers, and other WW can only make them move at walking pace?

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    74. KrakenDaughter: I never heard about the trolling campaign, do you know who’s behind it?

      No idea. I just know that the GoT board on IMDB because overrun with trolls sometime last season (such than on-topic discussions became virtually extinct) and that over the last couple of months, the scores of episodes there have all been going down (all of them have gone down, not just a few here or there). Seems like a fair assumption that some people are trolling the scores, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

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    75. Glad the episode is getting pretty much universal acclaim from show watchers and critics alike. Not here for the ignorant “reminds us why we love this show” remarks though.

      I attended Thronecast yesterday, Carice was the special guest. She is radiant and very lovely. I do feel for the GoT actors though, contractually obliged to not reveal even a slither of info about the show. Not even through facial expression. She did say that kissing Kit was her favourite kiss so far ha! Sue Perkins (the presenter) referred to episode 9 & 10 as huge, making the “break the internet” reference again for the latter. Really hyped tbh. I think these last 3 eps could be the biggest, most surprising conclusion of a season to date.

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    76. The wights from season one had blue eyes before they were brought back to Castle Black so they had to already be wightified. My best guess is that the WW have enough control over the wights that they could make them play dead (but like dead-dead, zombie-dead) until there was a good time to attack Mormont. Neither WWs or their magic can cross the Wall, so they didn’t raise them while they were in Castle Black.

      That’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

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    77. Luka Nieto,

      Agreed on the Dany-Tyrion thing.

      with Barristan gone, if they do any kind of battle in Meereen, Tyrion will be the one leading the troops. They need to establish a relationship a little bit more first.

      On the wights being slower in season one, there are two possibilities.
      1) The budget was lower so the wights had to be entirely done with actors. No fast CGI movements.
      2) The object wasn’t necessarily to kill Mormont. Maybe this attack was meant just to throw a scare into the NW or lure them up north. So they were easier to kill.

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    78. Ghost’s Lunch,

      yeah I was thinking that perhaps when the wights are resurrected that it takes time to adapt to their new “life” form. And that the NK has already a giant army of wights who were transformed long ago. Maybey he hid the bunch of wights that was waiting near the weirwood tree in S4E10 as well. You can also see that when that the newly resurrected wights at the end of S5E8 are moving quite slow actually as if they are still waking up. It would also explain why the girl in S1E1 was so slow.

      I personally think that the NK wanted to send Jon a message at the end of the episode. To show how powerful he is. Maybey the WW at the end of S2E10 (which according to their armor are propably no WW luitenants) just resurrected some wildlings and corpses to send a message to the nights watch. If the wights aren’t under the WW spell for a very long time yet this would explain why they were rather slow AND why Sam was actually able to run away from them…

      And maybe Othor was indeed controlled from afar. However this one is more tricky to explain I think. Because when they first see them, there eyes are not yet blue if I remember it correctly. When the attack on Mormont takes place Othors eyes ARE blue. Sam also notices before that their bodies were not yet decaying however they are death for quite some time. Maybey the WW first conserved them in a way and later really resurrected Othor from afar so he could attack during the night. The fact that the WW primarily “marked” Othor could explain why there powers would still work with the giant (magic) ice wall in between them. Othor was also a rather slow wight so this would also fit with my theory from above.

      But maybe it’s all wrong… who knows…

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    79. WeirwoodTreeHugger:
      Luka Nieto,

      Agreed on the Dany-Tyrion thing.

      I agree and I hope so, even if it is very short. It could go a long way to establish their relationship. Do you think they are going to go ahead with Dany’s marriage to Hizdahr or just have episode 9 happen with them as an engaged couple. If there is time for the wedding there may be more time for Tyrion.

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    80. WeirwoodTreeHugger: My best guess is that the WW have enough control over the wights that they could make them play dead (but like dead-dead, zombie-dead) until there was a good time to attack Mormont.

      Yeah…that’s a big deal, imho. Dragon fire and wildfire can be used to wipe out many wights at a time but all is lost unless the local WW controller/reanimator, who may direct the actions of the mindless many, is terminated or rendered powerless/impotent. I doubt anything other than physical contact with obsidian/valyrian steel will stop a WW, as we have seen. Maybe dragon fire will stop them as well, but I doubt it. Westerosians (Stannis!) should start manufacturing loads of obsidian arrows! I wonder what a powerful warg could do as well? So much to ponder!

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    81. Aisling,

      I love the books, but I am much more creeped out and weirdly fascinated by the walkers in the show. They’re just, humanoids with Intelligence but apparantly lacking any warmth what so ever. Cold all the way through, and strangely beatiful too. I Mean that Walker Jon fought looked soooo mysterious and trippy. The Way they’re built it up, i just want to know more and more about them. The show has visualised Martins Others in a brilliant Way in my opinion. A little information here, a little more there, nothing for a long time, our forgetting about them mirroring Westeros’ lack of concern. And then in Hardhome, just as Nights watch and wildlings are about to figure it out and work together, they turn up and show us exactly what they are. Narative-wise, the perfect Way to establish a rising supernatural threat in a long tv-saga. And next episode we’ll See just what dragons are capable of. So the subsequent rise of ice and fire while ignorant houses fight in the middle (which is partly what makes Martins novels unique) is brilliantly translated to the screan, and that is why i think this season, to me, will be the best yet. The ice and fire theme is coming to fruition with hardhome and the dance of dragons (which i Can only imagine will be as visually mindblowing). And if FTW is in episode 10, then how Can it not be the best scene yet. Get us a scene of all 3 sandsnakes stripping, let Doran have his speach, and that arc Will be salvaged too 🙂

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    82. Ravyn,

      Would have taken out a few wights though which were the majority of the army. Either way, would have been a distraction at least!

      Conan,

      Addy Stark,

      Grogin13,

      Rygar,

      My mistake! It was late and I just started listing named swords from the show! Interestingly, Dark Sister was last seen with Bloodraven so maybe Bran may get his hands on it. There are a ton of them lost too so I think at least another one will turn up, probably around Slavers Bay or Braavos. Blackfyre is probably them most likely although I have a sneaky feeling Euron may have got hold of Brightroar sailing around Old Valyria! Of course I’m not sure nay of this will make it into the show!

      Wimsey,

      I dunno. That wight at Castle Black went up pretty quickly! I would have thought the Wildings would have realised that fire stops wights and developed some sort of defensive strategy based on that.

      Wolf Runner,

      Wonder just how many got onto the ships? Hard to tell from the episode but I think the large majority did. Still a bit disappointed Karsi pretty much stood there and let mini-wights rip her apart!

      Did anyone else get the feeling D&D felt they had to make up for the lack of a Fist of the First Men fight? I mean they did and then some but it does make me lament some of the other battles we missed out on earlier in the show’s existence ( a Whispering Woods/Battle of the Green Fork episode would have been swell!). Still looking forward to them bringing out the giant Ice Spiders in the last battle with the Walkers!

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    83. Am I the only one who thought of the Game of Thrones logo with the circle and the four house animals when Dany spoke of breaking the wheel?

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    84. All unsullied reviewers that I’ve read notice the show focus on Olly, but they can’t tell why. So it’s not so painfully obvious as sullied think it is.

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    85. TheTouchOfFrost: I dunno. That wight at Castle Black went up pretty quickly! I would have thought the Wildings would have realised that fire stops wights and developed some sort of defensive strategy based on that.

      Jon used a lantern there, it probably had some sort of oil in it. – That said, Jeor Mormont used a torch at some point, but IIRC it was already down, he not actually “killed” it with the fire, he was just making sure for it not to come back.

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    86. With careful consideration 1.blackwater 2.Hardhome 3.moutain and the vipor 4.reins of castamear 5. and now his watch has ended 6.watchers on the wall 7. Kissed by fire 8.. Baelor 9.kill the boy 10. The children

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    87. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Yeah, without dousing the wights with something flamable (or bringing in wildfire or magical fire), the audience would not buy the wights burning. Most people know that bodies are hard to burn and that cold frozen things are really hard to burn. (People freeze to death in winter despite having wood aroubd them and lighters because getting cold wet wood to burn is really hard.) This audience is more sophisticated than average to boot, so it really would not fly. Moreover, this is not suspending disbelief in the same way that accepting magic or dragons or undead is: the fire, ice and flesh are supposed to be fire, ice and flesh.

      As Abyss notes, the one in Castle Black got doused with an oil lantern. That wouldn’t quite be enough, but at least it was something. There is no reason why the Wildlings would have large vats of oil or pitch at their disposal, so this sort of defense really would not have been an option for them even if they knew about it. (Wildfire would really be good, one would think: but, again, resources….)

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    88. Wimsey,

      I’m happy to let it go for enjoyment’s sake but I still think they were woefully unprepared for a wight attack especially as they have plenty of experience with them…much more than the Night’s Watch that’s for sure. Their scouts and lookouts should hang their heads in shame! 😛

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    89. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Refugees rarely are prepared for anything. Besides, if the Wildlings had effective means of fighting Wights, then they would not have been forced to such desperate tactics to try to get past the Wall. Even the Giants seem hard pressed by the Wights.

      As for their scouts, I think they were rolling their heads pretty quickly!

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    90. Wimsey,

      A better contigency plan though surely?! I dunno. I think if they had a couple more giants and a few more torches there then it could have been a very different outcome. I guess it depends on how handy the whitewalkers are against them and how far the powers of their sorcery extend.
      I dunno. Those wights tend to lumber a lot until they get into attack range. One of them should have at least given some sort of warning before they were knocking on the front gate!

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    91. TheTouchOfFrost: I think if they had a couple more giants and a few more torches there then it could have been a very different outcome

      I don’t know what torches would have done for them. The only thing that could have helped would have been a ring of fire around the walls: but where would they get the fuel? There was not an abundance of wood in the area, and keeping such a thing going in icy conditions would require a ton of fuel.

      But suppose that they could have set up a huge fire rine. Given how many wights they had, it would have been temporary setback: all the Walkers need to do is compel a first wave of wights to throw themselves on the fire at a few points, and that would pretty much smother the flames at those points. The next wave has bridges over the flames at those point, and the carnage begins. (Also, it seems like Walkers kill flames well themselves: the Walker in the hut seemed to cause the flames to die down.)

      More giants would have been great: but it seems that the remaining giants went elsewhere, or perhaps did not survive. In the aftermath of the battle, it probably was potluck as to who ended up where, or who made it to Hardhome alive. Moreover, given that the giants also are fleeing for their lives, they obviously are not enough on their own.

      I am not sure why you think that they should have any reasonable contingency plans. The whole reason they are fleeing en masse is because they have no defenses against the White Walkers or their wights. That’s the plan you use when you have no other options.

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    92. I have a hypothesis. What if the White Walkers turn out to be total pussies compared to the wights? After all, they’ve grown accustomed to slaughtering people who can’t defend themselves for the last few millennia.

      Take the one Jon fought, for example. He was all marching around like the Terminator…until he discovered LongClaw didn’t shatter like any other POS southern blade. Then he was all bulgy “What the f*ck” eyes and two strokes later, he was the frosting for a Frozen-themed birthday cake.

      Wouldn’t this also kind of explain why they always hang back from a battle and let the wights do their fighting? Sure dude, it’s “battle strategy”….riiiight.

      I mean, even Sam Tarly killed one. And we all know how well he can fight.

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