Game of Thrones Post-Mortem of “Sons of the Harpy”

Grey Worm

Last night on Game of Thrones, “Sons of the Harpy” threw down hard with major moments and the expansion of the Dornish contingent.

Several new interviews and videos offer insight into the episode, but be warned, SPOILERS are coming!

Ian McElhinney talks to Entertainment Weekly about the shocking exit of Ser Barristan Selmy, a character still very much alive in the novels.

Selmy’s death at the hands of the Sons of the Harpy after fighting his way through a pack of them has left many fans of the books shaking their heads. McElhinney himself admits to being “disappointed” but adds that “I think you have to accept—as I have accepted—that the demands of TV are different than the demand of book writing. With TV there’s a pressure to create a number of high points.”

He names several of his favorite moments on the show:

One of my favorite scenes up until this point was the scene where he [tells King Joffrey in season 1] “to hell with this” and storms out. I enjoyed shooting that. I would have liked to work more with people like Lena, for instance. I find it extraordinary I’ve gotten to this stage and never met Peter. The scene where I leave Daenerys and end up in the fight and get killed, it’s a lovely scene and a lovely set up for what happens. It’s very well written, I’m very happy with the way I’ve come to an end.

Check out EW‘s article for the complete interview.

McElhinney and his co-star Jacob Anderson spoke with TVGuide about the big fight scene, with the men sharing how they created the sequence in the narrow area where the Sons of the Harpy trapped Grey Worm and Barristan.

Anderson says, “It was really hard, which why it was good to practice in my flat, at home actually. The first year on the show, I did the same thing because we had quite a long corridor in our old flat. It’s quite good to learn that way. This year, that corridor was tiny. There was like no space, there was barely space for the spear. You could probably have two spears in terms of width on that set. So me and all the Unsullied guys and the Sons of Harpy guys had to be really careful with each other. I’m sure I actually caught a few Sons of Harpy, in fact, I know I did.”

He also says that they wanted the fight “to feel scrappy and they wanted it to feel like they were being ambushed.”

McElhinney explains that there was a stuntman there for him, if needed. “But the bottom line is that nobody ever wants — they don’t want, you don’t want — for a stunt person to be doing the fight for you. You want to get to the stage where you’re doing it yourself. They want that to happen too. It’s always much more believable and much more effective when that happens. So we didn’t need to use a stuntman to cover any of the moves, and that’s all to the good.”

The interview has a lot of good discussion so visit TVGuide.com to read the entire article.

GOT504_080714_HS__DSC9032The Sand Snakes made their big debut last night, and Keisha Castle-Hughes discusses it today with Variety. She describes her character Obara as “very unemotional in comparison to the rest of the Dornish people,” and as the leader of the Sand Snakes.

Castle-Hughes feels the connection between Obara and Nym is most significant.

Her relationship with Nymeria, who’s the second sister who has the whip, is a very important one. I think apart from her relationship with Oberyn while he was alive, Nymeria is the only other person in Obara’s life that she completely trusts.

And you see from the get-go that Nymeria does nothing unless Obara gives her approval. And they’re a really wonderful duo because Obara reacts off of instinct and is very reactive, and even though she’s unemotional about it, she doesn’t have a rational bone in her body. Nymeria is much more rational and might try to think of the long game, and Obara needs someone like that in her life. In fact, Jessica — who plays Nymeria — and I had set up this backstory that Nymeria was literally the only person in the world who could tell Obara no, and she probably wouldn’t take it lightly but she’s the only person that she could ever take advice from.

Keisha reveals that while she trained with Wushu techniques, she also used her knowledge of working with a Taiaha, a Māori weapon that’s similar to a spear.

See what the actress had to say about Jaime Lannister and Pedro Pascal at Variety.com.

LancelThe recently returned Lancel Lannister, Eugene Simon, talks to Terri Schwartz at Zap2it and makes it clear Cersei should be more worried about her cousin-lover.

“I think that he has a list, most certainly, but I do think that she is the rib-eye steak on that list,” Simon says. “A good way of understanding how intimately he is aware of her methods and her choices is even in the first scene that we ever see Lancel meet Cersei; the fact that she’s on that balcony having her wine and the fact that he knows where to find her just demonstrates the extent to which their old, intimate life would have given him knowledge of what she does when she’d wants to be alone. He knows that.”

Check out the full interview over at Zap2it.

Alan Sepinwall over at Hitfix has an interesting piece talking with show producer Greg Spence about just why Game of Thrones seems to make odd choices about what locations do- or don’t- appear in the opening credits.

Basically it boils down to money and time.

It would be untenable, both from a production point of view, and probably from a cost point of view, to make a completely customized 3D animated, 90 second sequence before every single episode. That would be a tremendous financial and creative burden. What you do see is a very complicated 3D build. The guys at Elastic begin working in October in order to deliver the sequences to us in February and March. So it’s quite a bit of manpower and man hours that goes into it.

He further explains that the locations sometimes represent the areas rather than the actual specific locations. “Now, we have the Eyrie, that early in the season we were associating with Littlefinger and Sansa in their trip. They’re not right in the castle, but they’re nearby when they pass Pod and Brienne on the road. So frequently, because those two are in that region and near there, even though we don’t literally go into the Eyrie, that’s the place that we chose to best symbolize where Littlefinger, Sansa, Brienne and Pod are. Until they have a meaningful interaction somewhere else, we would leave that in the main title.”

In this week’s Inside the Episode, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss share their thoughts on the Sand Snakes’ decision to join Ellaria, Sansa’s return to her Stark roots, and Stannis’s love for Shireen.

Sophie Turner talks about Sansa’s decision to continue trusting Littlefinger in this week’s episode.

George R.R. Martin gives background on the High Sparrow and the warrior monks, the Faith Militant.

198 responses

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    1. I was all for Alayne in Winterfell. That made some sense.

      But Sansa Stark handed over to the Boltons is lunacy that cannot be logically explained no matter how much you try.

      D&D have made an error here im afraid.

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    2. Following in Hoyt’s (who I agree with about the Sansa/Bolton thing) footsteps by posting what I did in the other thread here to get the discussion started up in this one!

      Will start of by saying that was far the best episode of the season so far. After a rather pedestrian start the show is firing on all cylinders again.
      The faith militant have unsettled things in KL which is good as it was beginning to be far too calm there. Cersei coming up with the idea for the FM is a change from the books but doesn’t really matter much as everyone blames her for their rise anyway and that she is using it to try and get at the Tyrells makes perfect sense. Having them arrest Loras instead of Marg makes the plot a lot simpler too which works for a TV audience. Feel sorry for poor Tommen who really hasn’t got a clue what’s going on around him. The ominous presence of these religious zealots has probably been one of the strong points of the season so far for me. There’s nothing more terrifying in it’s unwillingness to compromise than someone who believes they have the support of a divine power. Special mention to Mace and awkwardly awful jokes. Great stuff from the David Brent of Westeros.
      Enjoying Jaime and Bronn’s road trip although I’ll be amazed if Bronn gets out of Dorne alive with the way they’re talking. Also did we see some foreshadowing of how Jaime may eventually meet his end? The fight scene was fun and was good to see Jaime isn’t completely useless when it comes to a dust up now.
      The Sand Snakes? Too early to tell. They still seem quite cartoony to me and the accents grate a bit but I’ll give them more time. Was a very abrupt introduction to them and at the moment they just feel like Ellaria’s goon squad.
      Tyrion and Jorah was short but sweet. Tyrion seems to be getting his humourous side back a bit.
      And to Winterfell, where the story still makes little sense to me. If Littlefinger intends to ultimately side with Stannis then why has he placed her with the Boltons where she is in danger. Surely it would have made a lot more sense to wait in the safety of the Vale and then side with the victor as opposed to throw her into the middle of it and then side with the victor! I sense that the main story reason for moving her up there is for a particularly unsavoury scene which, if it happens, I’m not opposed to but it’s a rather contrived way of getting her there. What was good was some more info on the Rhaegar and Lyanna story which is sorely needed.
      The Wall is as stronger story as ever. Jon blowing off Mel was good for his character development ( although the Jon Snuh bit was awful corny) as was seeing the more caring side of Stannis (If Brienne ends up killing him …I swear!). I predict Shireen

      may take the role of Mance’s baby and Sam and Gilly going to Oldtown

      and taking her too out of Mel’s clutches could still be on the cards (Jaime mentioning Oldtown could be a way of easing it into the viewer’s consciousness?).
      To Mereen and it looks like we’ve said goodbye to Barry and Wormy. It’s a shame as Selmy was just starting to come into his own with the warnings about the Mad King and stories about Rhaegar. In the fight scene he was majestic so if he’s gone then it was one hell of a way to go. So…are they alive or dead? Barristan took a knife to the leg, back and stomach as far as I could see. Enough to kill yes but I hesitate to completely rule out him living as he was saved from the throat slit (be a weird thing to add in if he is dead…although may have just been used to keep the ending a cliffhanger . Although GreyWorm seemed in better nick (conscious at least momentarily) that stab wound into his upper rib cage is going to do some serious damage. I think he’ll survive long enough to at least have some interaction with Missandei. I reckon they’ll use their deaths in this scene to foreshadow

      Jon getting stabbed as will add more doubt over him surviving as we’ve already seen two characters die from multiple stab wounds.

      Shall keep my fingers crossed but it appears a lot of good characters could be dying this season which is a real worry because as great as this episode was the show will suffer long term without them.

      EDIT: Barry is dead. It appears EW and HBO don’t want the show to finish on cliffhangers so took matters into their own hands. Great work, guys…seriousley.

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    3. The introduction to the Sand Snakes was effectively destroyed for me, however hilariously, by Obara stomping around in pointy-toed elf boots, in apparent homage to the Ministry of Silly Walk. What the hell was that.

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    4. TheTouchOfFrost: Barry is dead. It appears EW and HBO don’t want the show to finish on cliffhangers so took matters into their own hands.

      Baristan is dead. It was extremely clear to me from the episode itself; I didn’t need EW and HBO to confirm it for me. I definitely enjoyed reading the homage to the actor after his exit episode in the series so thanks to EW for that; it would have been weird for me to have that a week later.
      I am hoping for some Jon and Daenerys story parallels next episode and a funeral of a beloved mentor in each.

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    5. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Yea,
      unlike Crasters Keep and Qarth, the winterfell scenes are actually fantastic.

      They are beautifull written, acted, shot, everything works…
      but the pieces of LF plan just don’t fit whatsoever.

      But show LF has always been portrayed as a guy who gambles and gets away w/ sheer luck. I just hope D&D do have a long term goal with all this. Apparently they’ve been planning Sansa in winterfell since season 2 (hence Myranda who seems to stand in for Myranda Royce)

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    6. Chris:
      Pigeon,

      Or an homage to actual historical shoes like that….

      ‘Hysterical’, anyway. My unsullied co-worker ‘s first impression was wondering what the goose – stepping was about.

      Interesting that the Ep5 trailer completely killed any cliffhanger tension that could have been hyped for a week.

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    7. Keisha Hughes sure spoils a lot in her interview – wonder how HBO feels about that…
      Have to go back and take a look at those shoes now

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    8. Pigeon,

      Well re-watching the scene there was a lot of blood anyway, especially from Barristan. It’s possible though the cliffhanger is meant to be about Grey Worm and not Barristan, since Grey Worm was the last to fall.

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    9. Kay: I am hoping for some Jon and Daenerys story parallels next episode and a funeral of a beloved mentor in each.

      Totally on board with that idea…Kill the Boy

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    10. TheTouchOfFrost,

      A very well written analysts of episode 4 most of which I agree with . The Sansa storyline this year has blown my mind I simply did not see this coming and judging by the look on Miranda’s face last week neither did she. There is a whole cart load of shit coming here, so Ramsay may need to watch his back for a change… Setting Sansa up as a potential hostage to fortune may also have serious repercussions for season 6 assuming that if Stannis attacks Winterfell Sansa is on a looser regardless of the outcome. I assumed that Sansa would pick up the Lady Stoneheart arc and use the knights of the Vale to steam into the Frey’s perhaps lifting the siege of Riverrun and free her uncle Blackfish, but by giving her to the Boulton’s instead of the fake Arya arc D & D have certainly stirred the pot. One thing is for certain D & D have so much respect for Sophie Turner that whatever storyline they end up writing Sansa will survive. at least for now

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    11. They are setting up Jon Snow as a very good ruler and Dany as a very bad one.

      I’m not sure what the main purpose to show how bad Dany is. It is either to show the need for Tyrion to come in and potentially be her hand. Or it could be to show she is a great conqueror and a horrible ruler and that will never change.

      Either way, her actions are getting her people killed. She isn’t much without her dragons.

      I hope Jon Snow takes over the entire power of the North….. White Walkers, Wildlings, and Winterfell, and takes down the dragons in the end.

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    12. Kay,

      I honestly thought it looked bad but the saving from the throat slit and the fact he got stabbed in the leg back and stomach gave some slight hope that he may not. Still find it odd that for a lot of people it was a cliffhanger that is no longer. A strange move.

      the serpent,

      At this point, I’m thinking they would have been better having Sansa sit this season out much like Bran is doing. The stuff at Winterfell seems very forced at the moment and makes no sense as to why she is there. I get that people like Sophie (I think she’s ok but not the same great actress some people gush about) but to mess with the story to squeeze her in is silly. For all the Sansa love, as a character she has done exactly jack shit in both the books and show and , for me, at least is perhaps the dullest character in the universe.

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    13. I know the Sand Snakes are getting a lot of shit, but it is nice to see how passionate KCH is about her role as Obara. To me, the scene in episode 4 was her introductory scene, and we will hear more from the other two and get an idea of their personalities as the season goes on. From the interview, I can already tell people are going to be upset with the SS being great warriors,

      particularly with KCH saying Obara matches Jaime blow for blow, which shouldn’t be hard, considering he no longer has his sword hand. I expect the fight to be 3-on-2, with Hotah eventually making it 4-on-2. I just hope we get some character development for the SS, and they come to realize that killing Myrcella isn’t the best of plans.

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    14. Chris,

      That’s a good point, as GW seems to have quite a following with fans.

      TheTouchOfFrost:
      Kay,

      I honestly thought it looked bad but the saving from the throat slit and the fact he got stabbed in the leg back and stomach gave some slight hope that he may not. Still find it odd that for a lot of people it was a cliffhanger that is no longer. A strange move.

      the serpent,

      At this point, I’m thinking they would have been better having Sansa sit this season out much like Bran is doing. The stuff at Winterfell seems very forced at the moment and makes no sense as to why she is there. I get that people like Sophie (I think she’s ok but not the same great actress some people gush about) but to mess with the story to squeeze her in is silly. For all the Sansa love, as a character she has done exactly jack shit in both the books and show and , for me, at least is perhaps the dullest character in the universe.

      THIS.

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    15. HelloThere:
      Hoyti Von Totiy,
      .Apparently they’ve been planning Sansa in winterfell since season 2 (hence Myranda who seems to stand in for Myranda Royce)

      Are you sure about this? Where did this info come from?

      Myranda in the show is NOTHING like Myranda Royce
      Show Myranda is a pscyho, while Myranda Royce is a just a flirty gossip girl.

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    16. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Lol i am suprised you of all people is not bashing Sand Snakes all over the place. That poorly written scene provided a lot of amunition for that. As a fan of Dorne and Sand Snakes i was dissappointed. Generally i think this season had the weakest start from all seasons. Still i am optimistic it will be better in the next episodes, especially since next two are written by Cogman and directed by Podeswa.

      I was one of those who did not wanted to believe Sansa is going to marry Ramsay, but weirdly it is one of storylines i am looking forward most now. It definitely require a suspension of disbelief in regards of everyone´s motivation, but WF is the place of genuine tension and a real fear about what is going to happen to some characters, which is missing in other storylines. I felt this storyline was sick and almost unreadable in the books, so it suprise me i am looking forward to it in the show.

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    17. For the final scene, I tought Barristan death was really well done. He went out swinging his swords as he always intented to. I rewatch the scene and I counted he killed 13 or 14 Sons of the harpy before going down. Pick any fighter and put him in a closed space like that hallway against 15 grown man that knows how to fight and the result will be the same. Like I read in an other comment, people have seen too much LOTR where 2 men can kill 100 orcs. Game of thrones is a realistic show despite the fantasy aspect; 1 vs 15, 1 should lose.

      As for the unsullied getting killed too quickly well we’ve seen throughout the seasons that big names comes with big reputation and they don’t always live up to it. Brienne had no reputation and kicked the ass of Loras, Jaime and the Hound who were all known to be some of the best fighters of the 7 kingdoms. So the unsullied of Astapor were known to have harsh training but they never really had any real fight and we don’t really know what was their training outside of killing babies to get their shield. So it’s really different to fight when some actual men are running at you trying to kill you than just train with fellow unsullied.

      Barristan did live up to his reputation though, went out swinging and had a nice scene with Daenerys just before his death. Certainly a more suitable death than most of the characters who have died before on this show!

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    18. It was fascinating all the foreshadowing that appeared to be going on in this episode. Maybe Stannis does finally make it to the Iron Throne. R+L=J, greyscale, Jamie/Brienne. Oldtown looks a logical ‘new’ location for next year.

      I’ve enjoyed the Sansa tv change so far because she is being thrown in the deep end to gradually become the commanding young Cat character Littlefinger realises she can be but the Stannis/Sansa/LF development is throwing me – it’s so far away from the books. Yet it would slot neatly with what the show is building, after Jon’s position re Stannis at the Wall.

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    19. They took Barry from us, bro’s.

      Damn you, D&D. You just couldn’t take Torgo Nudho instead, could you?

      #neverforget

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    20. TheTouchOfFrost: I honestly thought it looked bad but the saving from the throat slit and the fact he got stabbed in the leg back and stomach gave some slight hope that he may not. Still find it odd that for a lot of people it was a cliffhanger that is no longer. A strange move.

      Well, TV shows also foreshadow. 🙂 Not just books. Barristan’s fate was foreshadowed pretty strongly right from the recap before the episode started. In contrast, there was ZERO foreshadowing for Grey Worm, which is why I believe he survives (at least in the short term). The actual mechanics of the fight were less important, I feel. Also, Daenerys’ story needs to have her “mentor” go at this point and for her to get a jolt to the gut; otherwise she’ll never become an “adult”.

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    21. Yung Wolf:
      They took Barry from us, bro’s.

      Damn you, D&D. You just couldn’t take Torgo Nudho instead, could you?

      #neverforget

      LOL Torgo Nudho 🙂

      My kill list to make the show better would be:

      – Arya
      – Doran, Sandsnakes, Elaria
      – Bronn
      – Gilly
      – Gilly´s babe

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    22. I like D&D and support their adaptation of the material and will argue with people who complain over every little thing. That being said, this was the first decision I don’t like or understand. The character of Barristan did not deserve to go out by being killed by a random extra character. He had more to do in this story in my opinion, even away from the source material. This was the first death where I felt like it was a death for the sake of a death and not vital to the plot. The Sons of the Harpy are dangerous. We know that, they’ve established it. Killing Barristan (while adding to their danger) seems counter productive to me as it doesn’t do anything to move the plot. We already know they’re dangerous and capable of killing. Seems like shock for the sake of shock as this is not a death that’s going to lead to the audience going…ah ha see they’re dangerous. We all already know that.

      It is what it is though. Time to move on. No changing it now.

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    23. I won’t judge the sand snakes based on one scene because I don’t think you should until the season has ended. That scene though was so poorly written and one dimensional. I will say they really didn’t look too intimidating. They looked like children playing dress up. Hopefully they improve from here.

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    24. Regarding Barristan or any character who is still alive in the books dying on the show, what did people expect to happen when season 6 airs before TWOW comes out? To me, this is no surprise, and it’s why I don’t get worked up about it. If we choose to continue to watch the show as it passes or leaves the books behind, we have to be prepared to see our favorites die before we get a chance to read it. I personally think it was too over the top for my tastes, as I don’t think 2 people should be able to kill 20, when they are surrounded in a tight space.

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    25. Tim:
      The character of Barristan did not deserve to go out by being killed by a random extra character.

      But he will die in Battle of Fire by a random extra characters. It’s the same. And Battle of Meereen is cut and he needed to die now.

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    26. The Bastard:
      They are setting up Jon Snow as a very good ruler and Dany as a very bad one.

      In the end they will be in completely opposite situation.Jon will suffer thanks to his radical changes/views among the NW,which will result in the stabbing “For The Watch”,where as Dany will give up and reopen pits.In the she will be triumphant and we should see her flight with Drogon(she will regain control over Drogon).Viserion and Rhaegal not quite.Obviously Tyrion on her side.

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    27. Zeus,

      Yeah, Dave Hill didn’t make a very strong first impression. Sure, you can tell he is Lore Master Jr., but the dialogue and scenes just didn’t do it for me, particularly in Dorne. The Dornish soldier telling Bronn to drop his sword was cringe worthy. Perhaps it was the actor and his delivery, and not simply the writing.

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    28. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      The opinion of a troll doesn’t mean much to me . From all the non book readers all i’ve heard is how this is the most interesting Sansa’s story has been in years .

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    29. Chris,

      That’s a good point, as GW seems to have quite a following with fans.

      TheTouchOfFrost:
      Kay,

      I honestly thought it looked bad but the saving from the throat slit and the fact he got stabbed in the leg back and stomach gave some slight hope that he may not. Still find it odd that for a lot of people it was a cliffhanger that is no longer. A strange move.

      the serpent,

      At this point, I’m thinking they would have been better having Sansa sit this season out much like Bran is doing. The stuff at Winterfell seems very forced at the moment and makes no sense as to why she is there. I get that people like Sophie (I think she’s ok but not the same great actress some people gush about) but to mess with the story to squeeze her in is silly. For all the Sansa love, as a character she has done exactly jack shit in both the books and show and , for me, at least is perhaps the dullest character in the universe.

      THIS.

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    30. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I went to the HBO site and watched the Sand Snakes clip they had posted. I was fine with it. They’ll have more screen time later in the season, we’ll get a better idea of who they are then.

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    31. GaiusB,

      Oh don’t get me wrong , it was a hasty and poor introduction but I will give them the benefit of the doubt that it was the fault of bad editing. Still not keen on them (the accents are pretty poor) and still think they’ll be cartoonish but will give them a stay of execution and another crack of the whip (pun intended) before I pass judgement!

      Kay,

      Oh yeah. As soon as he told the Rhaegar story I was saying my goodbyes! The “not everyone has a noble death” merely compounded it! I can see why they did it but I mourn the fact that the episode that we finally see Selmy be what he is meant to be is the last time we see him!
      Speaking of foreshadowing it strengthens the

      For the Watch!

      cliffhanger when that eventually happens…I think this season so as Barry and Wormy’s deaths are fresh in the memory and let’s keep the stab happiness to one season! Ironic that Ciaran Hinds character also died…as his Ceaser died in a particularly powerful stabbing scene in Rome. Damn I miss that show!

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    32. TheTouchOfFrost,

      This season will end on the posivive note or should I say Fire ending like Dany with Drogon meeting Khalasar or they will skip that.Dany could even set sail to Westeros in the finale.Yeah cliffhanger works well in ep.4,but not in the finale.

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    33. tyrion101356,

      I didn’t say I hated the episode, just that you could tell it was a new writer, and I thought the dialogue was clunky at times. I enjoyed the Stannis/Shireen scene, though I’m not sure why if Stannis loves her so much, he allows Selyse to treat her so poorly. But it was a good scene that made me warm and fuzzy inside, and it continued to set up the greyscale epidemic.

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    34. I am absolutely fine with the changes. In principle, 26 eps to go and wrap up. Not much time left – they have to start tightening up the arcs.

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    35. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      There were way too many scenes where a question was answered with lengthy exposition. Hes got a ton of good ideas, but I don’t know if D&D really should’ve given him a whole episode.

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    36. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Good call, last night I was thinking “if Littlefinger expects/wants Stannis to win then why the hell didn’t they just go to the Wall and have her join with Stannis?” But waiting in the Vale until after the Stannis/Boltons battle would make even more sense.

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    37. The Bastard,
       

      I would say that her situation is much more difficult to handle than Jon’s. Mereen is a huge city and she is an outsider while Castle Black has less and less people every day. Also let’s not forget that (presumably) by the end of the season Jon is going to be on the sames shoes as Danny or even worst…

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    38. The Bastard:
      They are setting up Jon Snow as a very good ruler and Dany as a very bad one.

      That is a poor comparison. Im talking about the books here

      Dany has to rule a city-state with a huge population that is going trough reforms.

      Jon Snow rules over a hundred and so of NW (and only thanks to Tarlys plotting) and a few thousand wildlings who have been very tame since on the southern side of the wall.

      Dany = alive with her dragon on “dragonstone”
      Jon = stabbed to death by his own men

      So if u ask me Dany > Jon

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    39. Geralt of Rivia,

      I dunno. Personally, I think it may end with a particular scene involving Jon and the Nightswatch… or Dany’s big finale. Both of which will leave the viewer with a ton of questions!

      A Man Grown,

      Find it hard to believe LF’s thought process was ‘I’ve just secured the most impregnable fortress in Westeros and am the de facto ruler of the Vale and the Riverlands, am the Lord of Harrenhall plus I have the only known Stark in my custody and are still in the good books of the Crown. Right, let’s go and walk into the lion’s jaws and give her away to a guy I don’t know anything about who is most likely going to be defeated soon.’

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    40. TheTouchOfFrost:
      Geralt of Rivia,

      I dunno. Personally, I think it may end with a particular scene involving Jon and the Nightswatch… or Dany’s big finale. Both of which will leave the viewer with a ton of

      You know what would be crazy, if it ended with Drogon flying Dany away to the actual Dragonstone in Westeros.

      Now THAT would make GRRM cry bloody tears.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      I don’t get the skepticism of LF’s plan. By making an alliance with the Boltons via Sansa, he ensures that he has some influence/control over the North. Whether Stannis wins or not, Sansa is likely to retain some degree of power…which is to say, LF is likely to retain some degree of power.

      I’ve seen some say that LF should wait, but I don’t get that criticism. His alliance with the Boltons is stronger if he comes in their time of need, not after they’ve defeated Stannis. More fundamentally, people keep asking “Why act now?” But I ask them…why not? Sansa is important to, and therefore probably safe from, the Boltons, why is waiting till after the battle so obviously the smarter thing to do?

      I think really this is all coming from knowing that Ramsay is a fuckin nut and pretty unpredictable, but not knowing much about Ramsay, it seems like a safe bet that the Boltons won’t harm their best chance at keeping the North in check. His plan makes sense to me.

        Quote  Reply

    42. The Bastard: They are setting up Jon Snow as a very good ruler and Dany as a very bad one.

      I’m not sure what the main purpose to show how bad Dany is. It is either to show the need for Tyrion to come in and potentially be her hand.

      Just AWESOME logic, bro! Jon Snow is MALE, so a very good ruler of about 50 people, half of whom didn’t vote for him, while Daenerys is FEMALE and naturally a very bad ruler. So of course, FEMALE Daenerys has to be taught lessons by MALE Tyrion, who of course, has had an impeccable record till now, and isn’t on the run from an entire continent. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    43. Hodor Targaryen,

      I won’t go so far as to say it makes sense to me, yet, but it’s making more sense as it progresses, more than I thought it would.

      For those suggesting LF should have taken Sansa to the Wall, that makes less sense to me than going to Winterfell. The main reason for that is it’s better to show up at Winterfell in the spirit of an already agreed upon “alliance,” than it is to try and get to the Wall, which would take them past Winterfell, where Bolton guards would almost certainly have stopped them and taken them to Roose, anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Hodor Targaryen,

      Because he can make the move after whatever has gone down. He didn’t even need to reveal he had Sansa until there was no challange in the north.
      The reason not now is IF she manages to stay safe whilst in the Bolton’s clutches and marries one, If Stannis wins he’s not reknowned for looking favourably on his enemies. Would he prefer to have Sansa backing him? Sure but he generally doesn’t care about public opinion so if he thinks she is with the Boltons she’ll get burnt. It’s a stupid risk to take whatever way you look at it.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Hodor Targaryen,

      The thing is he is leaving there all by herself with absoluteley no protection, no fail-safe if you will. Why go to all that trouble of getting her out of KL just to hand her over to an even bigger pscyhopath?

      Or…..maybe ….. the old TNR-washerwoman …. works for Littlefinger… and she is a faceless-man … who was known as Benjen Stark before!?

      Now THAT makes more scence then just goving Sansa to the Boltons 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    46. Kay,

      It has nothing to do with their sexes. Dany is a rather naive ruler who was basically raised by a psychopath. Jon was raised by one of the most honorable men and greatest leader in westeros.

      All leaders need help and Dany actually had two good ones to help her but one is now dead and she banished the other one. So yes Tyrion would help her as he has Tywins cunning but with more compassion.

      Not everything dealing with a man or a woman is sexist.
      Jesus

        Quote  Reply

    47. Kay: Just AWESOME logic, bro! Jon Snow is MALE, so a very good ruler of about 50 people, half of whom didn’t vote for him, while Daenerys is FEMALE and naturally a very bad ruler. So of course, FEMALE Daenerys has to be taught lessons by MALE Tyrion, who of course, has had an impeccable record till now, and isn’t on the run from an entire continent.

      Or…..Jon is just a better ruler. Ya know, and has nothing to do with gender. Le gasp.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Yeah, and going to the Wall would be more of a gamble. Stannis isn’t likely to harm Sansa, even if she is married to one of his enemies. But the Boltons aren’t likely to take kindly to Sansa joining Stannis early on. So going to Winterfell seems like a more conservative, and safer, decision than going to the Wall.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Zeus:
      Kay,

      It has nothing to do with their sexes.Dany is a rather naive ruler who was basically raised by a psychopath.Jon was raised by one of the most honorable men and greatest leader in westeros.

      Ned Stark is one of the greatest leaders of Westeros to you? lol

      Jon Snow was raised by a naive honorable fool (Ned) who got himself killed in a couple of months time down south at witch time managed to start a war that killed tends of thousands of men including himself. Pure briliance at work there.

      Viserys >>> Ned Stark

        Quote  Reply

    50. Rats. No one asked why the Eyrie , in season 4, was not in the opening ‘map’ sequence when it was in the show!

        Quote  Reply

    51. I won’t criticize the Sand Snakes yet, although I will criticize the writing/editing, which felt so rushed, and didn’t do these characters justice. I’ll be happy to see them in future episodes and look forward to it.

      I’m holding up the introduction of Oberyn himself with the introduction of his daughters… and it just doesn’t compare. I’m no TV writer, so I’m not sure what I would have done different, but that’s their job to figure out.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Tim,

      I posted this in the other thread but I’ll post it here too…

      I think a lot of these extra character deaths on the show are for budgetary reasons. People always talk about special effects and CGI when it comes to the budget but seem to forget how much it must cost HBO to pay for this massive cast. I have a feeling they are pressured by HBO to trim the cast wherever they can. At least I would hope that is the main reason for some of these random character deaths like Jojen and Barristan and not because D&D think the show is creatively better without them.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Hodor Targaryen:
      But I ask them…why not? Sansa is important to, and therefore probably safe from, the Boltons, why is waiting till after the battle so obviously the smarter thing to do?

      Because even if you don’t know that Ramsay is a lunatic, it’s rather easy to die in a war zone. If Stannis does defeat the Boltons, she might be killed in the sack (including Roose just deciding to do what Cersei was going to do at Blackwater and kill her for the satisfaction, seeing as there’s no benefit to him of letting her go off to join Stannis). There’s simply no benefit to them going to Winterfell, and an insane amount of risk, when they could get all the same benefits either by just actively joining Stannis and rallying the Northmen to his side, or by waiting to see which of the two wins.

        Quote  Reply

    54. JamesL,

      I have the feeling that D&D think it is exciting to see all these characters die. To me it is exciting to see them in danger and not necessarily dying, but that’s just me.

        Quote  Reply

    55. SebLeb:
      For the final scene, I tought Barristan death was really well done. He went out swinging his swords as he always intented to. I rewatch the scene and I counted he killed 13 or 14 Sons of the harpy before going down. Pick any fighter and put him in a closed space like that hallway against 15 grown man that knows how to fight and the result will be the same. Like I read in an other comment, people have seen too much LOTR where 2 men can kill 100 orcs. Game of thrones is a realistic show despite the fantasy aspect; 1 vs 15, 1 should lose.

      Except that GoT has gone “unrealistic” many times, such as Daario, Grey Worm and Jorah at the back gate, or Ygritte, Tormund and Styr at Castle Black (where each of them seemed to kill half the remaining crows, except Jon because he was an invincible Jedi just like them).

      Think about it this way: did you ever think, even for a heartbeat, that Bronn was in danger when took on four mounted soldiers? That’s every bit as bad odds as Selmy faced.

      The problem is that the greatest knight of a generation never got his invincible Jedi moment and that his death was pointless. He should have died in dragon flame.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Wow. If you really think viserys is better than anyone that’s horrible.

      Ned was pretty much beloved by all of his subjects as a kind and just ruler. Dany’s psycho father with whom she shares many traits was a maniacal despot. Her brother was as bad only without the power. Ned wasn’t perfect but there’s no doubt that Jon was raised in a better manner than Dany.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Josla:
      JamesL,

      I have the feeling that D&D think it is exciting to see all these characters die. To me it is exciting to see them in danger but not necessarily dying, but that’s just me.

      I wouldn´t mind they were killing people off if it meant that the suvivors get more screen time, but D&D have gone down GRRMs path where for evry character killed we get 2-3 new ones that are a bleak shadow of the killed character.
      :-/

        Quote  Reply

    58. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      To be fair, Viserys thought he could invade Westeros by giving a present to an unruly bunch of barbarians who won’t cross large expanses of water then decided to single-handedly threaten them in their own house. Lad wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer!
      Agree on the character replacements. We’re losing a lot of good ones (more before the season is out by my reckoning) and we’re not getting anything near as good back. Still think the loss of Tywin is looming very heavily over this season.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Zeus:
      Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Ned was pretty much beloved by all of his subjects as a kind and just ruler.

      Eddard Stark rule:

      – Boltons have rape-flay parties in the north
      – Umbers pratice “first night” privilages
      – Skagoosi eat people
      – Mormonts sell poachers to slavery
      – starts the Wo5k by naively pointing out what everyone in Kl already knew

      Was he a goood man, yes.
      Was he agood leader/ruler …. NO!

        Quote  Reply

    60. Geralt of Rivia:

      None of what you wrote means that Jon will be a bad ruler and Dany is a good ruler.

      Really, I don’t see what you wrote as Dany being ‘triumphant’, because it comes right after something terrible and is possibly her lowest point ever. Both of them are parallel in that they are on the verge of losing everything.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Zeus: Dany is a rather naive ruler who was basically raised by a psychopath. Jon was raised by one of the most honorable men and greatest leader in westeros.

      Jon was raised by a mostly honorable man who was terrible at politics and sent his young family towards ruin. But he had the backing of the “right family name” in the North. And still Winterfell slipped away from his family’s grasp…. But anyway, what the story is showing to me is that each person has to grow/learn life on their own quite aside from what they learnt.

      Pigeon: Or…..Jon is just a better ruler. Ya know, and has nothing to do with gender. Le gasp.

      Le gasp indeed! Let’s find out how much better Jon is, straight out of the gate, shall we? Still quite a few episodes to go, yeah?

        Quote  Reply

    62. Hoyti Von Totiy: Eddard Stark rule:

      – Boltons have rape-flay parties in the north
      – Umbers pratice “first night” privilages
      – Skagoosi eat people
      – Mormonts sell poachers to slavery
      – starts the Wo5k by naively pointing out what everyone in Kl already knew

      Was he a goood man, yes.
      Was heagood leader/ruler …. NO!

      You seem like you’ve read the books so I’ll explain it simply.

      Roose explicitly tells Ramsey any of the bad things he did he kept secret. Something along the lines of peaceful kingdom peaceful rule. So I doubt the Starks knew of his goings on. The north is much larger than any other kingdom and they have no master of whispers.

      Umbers. Only a rumor.

      Skagosi? How much rule do the Starks really have over skagos. No one seems to go. Also I would guess that like in real life the tales of cannibalism are exaggerated. Most South Pacific islander were charged with it to scare people and for overtly racist reasons to think theyre better

      Uhm Ned caught and banished Jorah. The rest of the Mormonts don’t do it.

      I would say little finger started the war by taking advantage of the situation.

        Quote  Reply

    63. It looks like Stannis is marching east in the episode 5 trailer. Anyone else think he is headed for Deepwood Motte? It also appears like he might be heading towards it in the map scene. Of course, he could just be marching through the Wolfswood and avoiding Deepwood altogether, but why not just march south? Maybe they will just have him pick up a few mountain clans.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Hodor Targaryen,

      I agree Stannis is not likely to harm Sansa.

      Phyllis Ashley,

      I agree the Sand Snakes’ scene could have been written and/or edited better. Even the simple addition of something like “Am I with you?” before Obara’s monologue would have served as jumping off point for her, instead of having it seem like it came out of nowhere. I think it also would have helped tie in the passive mourning…the tears, and fighting…the spear, with how they view themselves versus Doran, instead of just making it more about choosing to be a warrior long ago. It would have also helped if Tyene and Nymeria had more than 3 lines total between them.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Hoyti Von Totiy:
      Hodor Targaryen,

      The thing is he is leaving there all by herself with absoluteley no protection, no fail-safe if you will. Why go to all that trouble of getting her out of KL just to hand her over to an even bigger pscyhopath?

      Or…..maybe ….. the old TNR-washerwoman …. works for Littlefinger… and she isa faceless-man … who was known as Benjen Stark before!?

      Now THAT makes more scence then just goving Sansa to the Boltons

      I viewed it, that on LF original plan, he did not took account that Cersei will have him summoned to Kingslanding too soon, prior to Stannis attacking Winterfell. He has to adapt his plan accordingly.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Kay,

      Yes Kay what I was saying was your reaction to the comment as being sexist was unfounded.

      That said I am fully on board as to GRRM taking a character you love in the first book and showing their demise into a despot. A reverse Jaime Lannister. And a despot with horrible fire breathing killing machines.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Hoyti Von Totiy: Eddard Stark rule:

      – Boltons have rape-flay parties in the north
      – Umbers pratice “first night” privilages
      – Skagoosi eat people
      – Mormonts sell poachers to slavery
      – starts the Wo5k by naively pointing out what everyone in Kl already knew

      Was he a goood man, yes.
      Was heagood leader/ruler …. NO!

      Oh no you didn’t.

      Firstly, the Boltons verbally agreed to give up flaying after they bent the knee to House Stark. It was only rumored that they still secretly practiced flaying… And obvious, if only the Starks had an HBO subscription.

      Umbers, just as the Boltons did, denied practicing it. And even if they did, there are far worse crimes to accuse someone of. Deal with it, and don’t get married at Last Hearth. I hear that The Twins have excellent, affordable wedding packages available these days that are surely worth the travel.

      Skagosi cannibalism is also rumor and can’t be proven. Not to mention that it is an island off the coast of the Eastwatch that nobody gives a buggering harpy fuck about.

      Ned found out about the selling of poachers by Jorah and punished him accordingly for it.

      Don’t you dare pin the WOFK on Ned. That can be blamed on many other people before it can be blamed on him.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Hoyti Von Totiy: Are you sure about this? Where did this info come from?

      Myranda in the show is NOTHING like Myranda Royce
      Show Myranda is a pscyho, while Myranda Royce is a just a flirty gossip girl.

      That’s not necessarily entirely true of Myranda Royce, there are hints that state otherwise.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Unbelievable how Boltons are at ease although Stannis’s army is at the Wall. In S04E10 Stannis gets the Wall, but Boltons haven’t noticed/heard anything about Stannis so far? S05E04 – not a single word about Stannis by Roose or Ramsay as yet. In S05E03 Roose is more concerned about the fact that Cersei might find out about his traitorous plans than about the fact that Stannis is in the North. Bungled screenplay perhaps?

        Quote  Reply

    70. In the Sansa video, Sophie’s wearing an outfit I haven’t seen before. Its look seems to evoke Catelyn.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Before people judge Dany’s rule in Meereen too much,
      just think about it…

      It would take her GENERATIONS to reform an entire civilization with centuries of histories and traditions. Shes fighting an IMPOSSIBLE battle.

      This is the frustration of Meereen. There is no winning for her there.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Hmmmmm.

      When Dan and Dave don’t have the books to fall back on, I’m afraid their writing is not so strong.

      It is too predictable. Too sign-posted. “Sing a song for me” = blatant sign-post to “Go and die honourably for me”. All the Dorne stuff – very sub standard.

      I still enjoyed the episode. The Stannis-Shireen scene was one of the finest in the season so far. But I am just starting to see the disparity between a true master of the dialogue (GRRM) and very good, but slightly hackneyed script writers (D&D). Just a personal opinion, which makes me worry a bit for season 6 and beyond – not plot-wise necessarily, but script and dialogue wise certainly.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Ross,

      This episode wasn’t written by them though. This episode was written by their assistant Dave Hill, his first episode ever.

      Im actually of the opposite oppinion.
      D&D have proven in episodes 1-3 to be masters w/ writing great dialogue and character moment.
      Im more worried about their ability to handle plotlines w/o plotholes. For example, the winterfell scenes are all incredible. Acting, writing, dialogue…. But dig deep into LF motives and you realize they don’t add up

      but I still have faith. All this is still relatively minor to me.

      Cersei’s stuff is still 10/10 perfect

        Quote  Reply

    74. A Man Grown,

      Because there is a possibility that Stannis won’t win. And then? What would he have done with her? What are the options if he had done as you say and failed?

        Quote  Reply

    75. What is all this nonsense about Jon being a good ruler? What has he done to deserve such praise? What hard decisions did he have to take? So far, he’s nothing without Sam.

        Quote  Reply

    76. TheTouchOfFrost,

      We’ve had it confirmed from Ian McElhinney himself, on Thronecast, after latest episode aired in UK. Also, he questioned the show’s decision. Farewell, Ser Barristan (The Truly Bold).

      What you say about Shireen sounds like it’s probable. I’m also wondering something else.

      Does Olly go as well? I don’t know if you got that impression too.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Ross,

      D&D didn’t write this episode. I actually believe their dialogue improved a lot in season 4, and so far season 5 has been a bit of a step back. I don’t worry about their dialogue, but I do agree about them going back to the same well every time a character’s death is upcoming and giving them a sweet scene. You knew Barristan was a goner. You know something bad is going to happen to Shireen and/or Stannis. It all started with Renly’s death in season 2, and continued with Robb and Talisa in season 3. It’s audience manipulation, and it is getting a bit worn out.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Pigeon,

      ace,

      Carne,

      Whoa, sorry all I was talking about something different than what Carne linked.

      On this question, though, I hope he was talking about Gatehouse Ami 😉

        Quote  Reply

    79. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Ah, thanks all, didn’t know this wasn’t a d and d written episode. I stand corrected on that front – but still maintain the gap in quality is starting to grow a little. I’m no purist and I don’t mind changes – I just want to see a well written story that makes sense within its own universe.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Ross,

      Benioff is a great writer. He wrote 25th hour which was a very good book. He wrote the screen play for Troy which was the hottest script in Hollywood being passed around at the time. Sadly the movie didn’t do the script justice.

      If this is bad writing then 99.999% of everything ever written for television is bad.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Probably my least favourite episode so far this season.

      The awkward Sand Snake scene was a big letdown, and the final fight scene (which could have been awesome) was ridiculous and completely unbelievable.

        Quote  Reply

    82. ZappaCreed,

      Aye I saw. Feel sorry for the guy as he seemed genuinely gutted to not be able to play out future scenes as Selmy.
      I’m thinking

      Olly

      will stay at the wall and could even be part of the

      ‘For the Watch’ rebellion after all his parents were eaten by Wildings

      . Although he may not simply because

      Varys disposing of Pycelle and Kevan will feature children stabbing someone to death so to have Olly do it too will lessen the impact.

      Tyrion Pimpslap,

      This has made me worry for a lot of characters. In particular Bronn and Stannis as they’re both getting a lot of feel good stuff and there’s some very obvious sign posts ot them dying. Jaime too but not this season I don’t think. If we lose Mance, Selmy, Bronn and Stannis all in one season then I will be geninely worried for Season 6 as that’s a lot of popular/entertaining/authroative characters gone in one fell swoop. This season feels less than others without the looming presence of Tywin. They need to give more screen time to/introduce really charismatic characters to replace those we lose. High Sparrow is a start but The Sand Snakes just aren’t cutting it so far.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Lex,

      The final fight also makes no sense. Why would the harpies wear masks if they’re doing an all out assault where some of their members will die? It should be easy to identify which families they serve when they unmask the dead bodies. In the books I recall it only being assassinations

        Quote  Reply

    84. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      It started with Yoren 😉

      Not sure I agree, though. This show has so many deaths each season and so many characters giving nice speeches that it’s easy to come to the conclusion that he/she is dead meat, which doesn’t necessarily make it true. Sure, there were Yoren and Barristan, and others, but there were also many deaths that weren’t “foreshadowed” at all (unless you consider a bit of screentime devoted to these characters before their deaths “manipulation”): Shae, Pyp, Grenn, Jojen, lord Karstark, Lord Cmdr Mormont, Qorin Halfhand, Jory and Rodrick Cassel, maester Luwin, Ygritte, and many others.

      When confronted with literally dozens of deaths of primary and secondary characters, of course there’ll be those where you’ll be able, in retrospect, to point out some cases of this, especially when armed with book knowledge (or suspicions) of what’s to come. In a similar vein, there were many sweet or illuminating scenes after which nothing of the sort happened to the character involved, but since we book readers knew what was (or wasn’t) going to happen, we didn’t even think that those scenes could be falsely construed as some kind of prelude to a death that would never happen. Couldn’t an Unsullied viewer think that Jorah, Sam, Bronn, Davos, Pod, or any number of other characters were also about to bite the dust following some unexpectedly sweet scene? And yet they’re still with us (knock on wood)!

        Quote  Reply

    85. Barristan Selmy’s death is a mercy killing at this point as far as I’m concerned. The character has been butchered since day 1.

      Which makes me wonder, why even re-introduce him in Astapor? What has he done since? He spent all of last season standing around in the background of some scenes, then rush in some Rhaegar/Aerys dialogue a couple episodes before killing him and that’s it. Bravo.
      Maybe he’ll find some peace in non-existent-character heaven with Strong Belwas.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Lex:
      Probably my least favourite episode so far this season.

      The awkward Sand Snake scene was a big letdown, and the final fight scene (which could have been awesome) was ridiculous and completely unbelievable.

      If you mean by unbelievable that they managed to kill all the Sons of the Harpies before they succumbed to their wounds, I agree.

        Quote  Reply

    87. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Although there seems to be a good indication/foreshadowing that

      Olly will be involved in FTW, I have to wonder what the heck he wants. Jon essentially saved his ass. He killed Ygritte, who Jon loved. Fair enough, vengeance vs the wildlings. Jon killed the Thenn who really did eat his family. Jon made him his little sidekick. I don’t know, but I think if he is a big player in FTW, he’s just a c*nt.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Zeus,

      In the books it was a shadow war. They took out individuals, not an entire group of Unsullied. The show seems to want to make them a more overt threat.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Renly’s Peach:
      Barristan Selmy’s death is a mercy killing at this point as far as I’m concerned. The character has been butchered since day 1.

      Now who’s going to eat the poisoned locusts?

        Quote  Reply

    90. Pigeon,

      Hey, kids are easily led!
      On a sidenote, where’s Ed this season? Can’t remember seeing him yet which is a shame as his relentless moaning makes me chuckle in both book and show.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Renly’s Peach,

      What all did he do in the books after he was revealed to Dany? He helped infiltrate Meereen with Jorah,told some stories, and fought Khrazz. I’m not saying the show handled him all that well, I don’t think they did until this season, but I think his importance in the books once he joins Dany is overstated.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Yes, because that is so very easy to show on screen. They would need a few more episodes to set up each person and why they are assassinating them.

      Different mediums…

        Quote  Reply

    93. Renly’s Peach,

      BarristaN was certainly a pretty minor character throughout, but he wasn’t a waste. They had some good scenes with him and Jorah, and he was sort of the more conservative voice in different discussion. People are butthurt because for two seasons he wasn’t doing what he was doing in the books, providing exposition and (very occasionally) getting in a fight.

      Honestly, I personally find his scenes with Jorah to be more interesting in the show than in the books. And the amount of exposition he gave was just right for my tastes. I wish he had one fight scene early on to establish him as a great fighter, but I think that was pretty well remedied with this last episode. He was a minor characyer who left a decent impact, pretty well adapted.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Barristan Selmy is not an important character in the long run, and the show has made it obvious that its the main characters they want to focus on.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Zeus: Why would the harpies wear masks if they’re doing an all out assault where some of their members will die?

      Why do members of Anonymous (or people in general in wider contexts) wear the Guy Fawkes mask? It’s not only to protect their identity, the mask is also a symbol, the same is true here.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Selmy was tied for 19th for the number of episodes he was in. Hardly a main character. Especially when you consider there was guys like Ned and Robert who had less then 10 episodes and were main characters of the show.

      He went out swinging a sword. That’s what matters.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      He saved Daenerys’ life not once but twice, was the main catalyst for Jorah’s exile, was her only voice of reason as a teacher to fill in the gaps Vicerys neglected to tell her, and spearheaded a coup to take control of Meereen and rule the city in her absence.
      I really wouldn’t say any of this was minor or “overstated.” He’s a huge presence in her storyline.

      HelloThere:
      Barristan Selmy is not an important character in the long run.

      You have no idea if this is true or false because he’s very much still alive in the books and fighting a war.

        Quote  Reply

    98. It is not about how many red shirt peons Selmy killed. In fact, the dozen or so he did kill was borderline corny as it was. What people don’t like about his death was that it was to no other end other than to kill a dozen or so red shirt peons and perhaps give a crippled Grey Worm a second shot at getting some well-deserved Cuddle Time.

      I’d rather have him assassinated in his sleep than that.

      The editing was odd too. Killing him outright is one thing. Leaving us in a state of uncertainty is another. Leaving us 99.9% sure he is dead, and then spoiling it in next weeks preview was just bad directing, period.

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    99. Renly’s Peach,

      The show just confirmed he is not a major part of the story for the end by killing him off.

      Actually, the show has without question shown us who the main players are already.

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    100. Renly’s Peach,

      He saved her life once in the show and was the voice of reason in her council. He also gave her backstory on her family that Viserys withheld. As for the coup, he was played for a fool by the Shavepate.

      Before this season, I would have agreed that he was a waste in the show, but at least he was given some good material before his death. I think the reason he was killed was to up the ante and demonstrate how much of a threat the SOTH have become.

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    101. Definitely best episode of the season to date. First of all, the storylines that had weaknesses before like Jon’s or Dany’s are just flourishing this season. Barristan’s death is really sad but to me it just tells me his time in the books it’s almost up, and with the battle of Meereen gone this comes as understandable streamlining. The Faith Militant scenes are exactly what I imagined reading the book. And I really dread Stannis leaving Castle Black. His presence there has really livened up that storyline.

      Also, I know this is irrelevant by now since it’s obvious LS is out and Brienne has a new story, but Michelle Fairley gave this really interesting interview to The Belfast Gazette as part of her Northern Ireland project where she explains what the original plan was. I guess they changed their minds though she seems in the dark too. I’ll just transcribe the GOT related bits.

      CB: What were your favorite filming locations in N. Ireland?
      MF: It’s got to be the cliffs where we shot part of series 2, I believe it was. It was breathtaking. It made me fall in love with the country all over again. But all the locations offered an embarrassment of riches. I remember the actors on set just being just astounded at the beauty of it. And you know, now you have tourist guides that take you through the areas featured on the show, so it has really done wonders for the country as far as tourism is concerned. A lot more people just want to come here and explore the country.
      CB: Do you miss working on the show?
      MF: Oh, definitely. It was a terrific experience. I’m still friends with quite a few of the cast members, so in that sense I still feel like part of the family. I just had great fun throughout.
      CB: You talk about the show in the past tense. There were rumors a few years ago that your character might return in some shape or form?
      MF: I know, I know. But no, I haven’t filmed anything since the third series. It was a great way to go, and I felt the scene made its mark like it was supposed to.
      CB: Still, there was general disappointment after you confirmed the character was written out in an interview.
      MF: Well, I didn’t confirm that, because at the time I just didn’t know. I still don’t know. The only thing they made clear from the get-go was that if we went down that route it wasn’t something that would happen right away. You have to wait for the story to circle back to it in a way that feels natural and makes sense. David and Dan don’t feel the story is quite there yet. But I’m still in touch with the boys and I know they’re busy writing the next series. So I don’t know. I know Lena (Headey) and Gwen (Christie) keep pestering them about it and they won’t say a thing. They like to keep you in the dark, those two!

      Mod Edit: Troll alert: anyone linking back to this post- this interview doesn’t exist anywhere else, and the poster is replying to their own post as Lyanna and Arthur Dayne to get support for it, so it’s very likely this is a fake. -Sue

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    102. It is very clear why the show had to kill him off now….

      I think he dies in Meereen from the Greyjoys in the books. And since the show is not introducing the Greyjoy plotline, he needed to die another way. In the show, once Dany leaves Meereen, it will probably never be shown again (like Qarth). So Selmy can’t be left behind like in the books.

      He can’t die in the pits because it probably didn’t make sense to have him die and for her to fly off at the same time. Makes her look heartless. So Selmy needed to die before the pit started. It all makes sense when you think it through.

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    103. The Bastard,

      Yeah the show also apparently confirmed Littlefinger is an idiot who’s gonna hand Sansa over to the Boltons and that Jaime’s gonna sail down to Dorne after he’s done in the Riverlands.
      You’d be a fool to try and piece together what’s gonna happen in the books based on what they do in the show. This is a different thing now; we have to accept it.

      Tyrion Pimpslap,

      A rushed and hamfisted patch fix is still rushed and hamfisted. I mean, really. They finally had him talk about Rhaegar in the literal previous scene before he dies. C’mon now. They had two and a half seasons to build this character into something and chose the last two episodes before he dies to do so.

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    104. Renly’s Peach,

      Littlefinger is playing his game. Not exactly a fool. He just doesn’t care about the pieces involved.

      I wouldn’t say the two are different. D&D just needed to get around all the junk in books 4 and 5. If you look at the majority of the characters, they will end up exactly where they are supposed to in the show by the beginning of the TWOW.

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    105. Renly’s Peach,

      I still don’t think Barristan is THAT important in the books. Yea, hes a great character and he does a lot for Dany, but lets face it,
      once Dany leaves Meereen, Barristan’s journey is done. I don’t see him following her to Westeros. I think hes gonna die there.

      Yea, the show never really fleshed out Barristan, but…
      thats the kinda stuff u need to read the books to get.
      Its tough when we are dealing w/ a piece of literature that designed with the INTENT of being unadaptable…
      I liked Barristan in the show, but so many of my unsullied friends thought he was another pervy old man who wanted to get in Danys pants like Jorah… that annoyed me.

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    106. Chad Brick: In fact, the dozen or so he did kill was borderline corny as it was.

      Aren’t you the guy who was complaining Selmy didn’t kill enough Sons of the Harpy, and if he was going to die, that should have been his “Jedi” moment?

      Chad Brick: What people don’t like about his death was that it was to no other end other than to kill a dozen or so red shirt peons and perhaps give a crippled Grey Worm a second shot at getting some well-deserved Cuddle Time.

      You really think his death was to no other end than to kill some guys and so Greyworm gets some cuddle time? You really think nothing else will result from The Sons of the Harpy killing at least one and maybe two of her, in essence, Small Council…that is won’t even serve as a catalyst for anything?

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    107. HelloThere: Yea, the show never really fleshed out Barristan, but… thats the kinda stuff u need to read the books to get. Its tough when we are dealing w/ a piece of literature that designed with the INTENT of being unadaptable…

      Well, the story hardly was designed to be unadaptable: after all, no story is unadaptable. GRRM just wanted to do things (particularly with the plot) that don’t work on TV. Ultimately, there just are things that you can do in the written/visual medium that you cannot do in the visual/written medium (and vice versa 🙂 ).

      Either way, Barristan was not a well-developed character in the books by any stretch. Oh, he gets a little bit of development in Dragons, but really he’s there to provide a 3rd party PoV on Daeny and on Mereen.

      At any rate, Barristan’s death was excellent television. In a way, it combined both the epic (the lone warrior taking out multiple opponents all focused on him) with the realistic (he’d die no matter how good he is). Moreover, it really has put a major gun on the wall for the rest of the year: this will have a huge effect on what the audience expects from Daeny the rest of the way.

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    108. The Bastard:

      Littlefinger is playing his game.Not exactly a fool.He just doesn’t care about the pieces involved.

      Littlefinger marrying Sansa off to Ramsay Bolton (whom he apparently doesn’t know anything about) and expecting her to somehow survive winter/a war/”seduce” Ramsay/become Warden of the North on her own is the definition of foolish.
      But I’m really not gonna beat this horse any more cause I’m sure I’m not close to being the only person around here who’s incredibly perplexed and disappointed by this plot line.

      HelloThere:
      I liked Barristan in the show, but so many of my unsullied friends thought he was another pervy old man who wanted to get in Danys pants like Jorah… that annoyed me.

      And that’s a direct result of the show under-using him. He’s nothing like Jorah – he’s supposed to be the complete opposite of Jorah. But not only did they relegate him to background status, they even gave some of his lines to Jorah, further reducing him.

      I don’t have a problem with the show choosing which characters to highlight over others — after all, this is a gigantic cast, I can’t expect everybody to get the same time in the spotlight. But like I said, why even introduce him at all?
      This just reeks of BwB/LS retconning stank.

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    109. I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, but let me write: wow, just wow! Those were two great episodes. The twists and turns caught a book reader like me off-guard. And as a former former fan (Crows made me a former fan, the show + Dragons made me a fan again), I have to say: I love it. This is, I suspect, in no small part because they are deleting all of the stuff from Crows that I disliked so much. However, it really has more to do with the fact that the story-telling is benefiting from the alterations: it’s really clear where they are going and what they are trying to do. The Sansa and Brienne storylines in particular have benefited: I couldn’t figure out what the heck GRRM was trying to do with them, but the show has done a much better job of making their storylines parallel the other main characters’ storylines.

      I think that is the best part right now: it should be clear to the audience that all of the lead characters are “reaching up” to be something bigger than before; however, it’s equally unclear who is going to succeed, who is going to fail, and who is going to do a little of both. That is, I suspect that the audience knows exactly what the story is: and they have to be wondering what the resolutions are going to be.

      On a couple of side notes, I did find it amusing how much of Sansa’s story is clearly adapted from Winter stuff: Littlefinger’s advice to her at Winterfell only slightly paraphrases his advice to her in Winter.

      I also found it really telling that there is was so much emphasis on both Rhaegar and Lyanna. Just what was Littlefinger thinking during that pregnant pause after Sansa retells the accepted version of events? One wonders if he somehow knows more. Barristan’s little tale about Rhaegar was equally enlightening: we now know that Rhaegar was quite the Renaissance man.

      Like, wow….

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    110. Renly’s Peach: And that’s a direct result of the show under-using him. He’s nothing like Jorah – he’s supposed to be the complete opposite of Jorah. But not only did they relegate him to background status, they even gave some of his lines to Jorah, further reducing him.

      That really cannot be true. Barristan has only a few lines as Barristan in Swords, and he’s not present in Kings. Moreover, those kind of lines from supporting characters don’t develop the supporting characters: they are foils for developing the protagonist. In all of the cases where Barristan or Jorah do these things, it’s Daeny that is important.

      Now, Barristan does get a little development in Dragons. But none of it really contributed to the story, and I really cannot see it being relevant to much of anything in Winter.

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    111. HelloThere: one of my unsullied friends couldn’t remember who sansa was until I said she was tyrion’s wife….

      heh, yeah, this is something that never ceases to shock many fans: many people have better things to store in their synapses than that fans’ favorite franchise! And yet those people still enjoy the franchise.

      But that is a big reason why all of these TV shows devote a bit of time re-introducing characters each season and reminding the audience visually of relevant scenes from prior episodes. The show makers know fully well that most of their audience (regardless of the show) are not “fans”: they are just regular viewers who enjoy the program each week.

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    112. Wimsey,

      Not that it matters, but Barristan was in Clash. That’s where he meets Dany. And he did have more than a few lines in Storm. He’s with Dany through all of Slaver’s Bay.
      I wish I could remember what the exact quotes were, but I do distinctly remember Jorah stealing some of his lines last season. Which were completely out of character and made Barristan look like an ass.

      At the end of the day, there’s not much left I can say. The character was horrifically underused, period; I don’t think many people disagree with that. Let’s just hope they send him off with a nice scene next week? Idk, idc.

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    113. Wimsey:

      .Just what was Littlefinger thinking during that pregnant pause after Sansa retells the accepted version of events?One wonders if he somehow knows more.Barristan’s little tale about Rhaegar was equally enlightening: we now know that Rhaegar was quite the Renaissance man.

      I’m not sure I know if Littlefinger knows anything specifically, but he probably guesses that there was more to the story than what is popularly told. I think the pause worked remarkably well to create a kind of self-conscious irony or reflection upon Sansa’s understanding of Lyanna’s story (the popular or superficial version of that story) versus Sansa’s own superficially precarious position in Winterfell: that is, on the surface of things she is being used and is an incredibly vulnerable situation, being married off to the people who betrayed and murdered her brother, but Littlefinger knows (and so does Sansa even if she doesn’t see the parallels between herself and Lyanna yet) that it’s more complicated than that: that Sansa willingly put herself into a really volatile and dangerous situation, like Lyanna may have.

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    114. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Oh, I would quite enjoy your suggestion that Shireen take the place of a certain baby, as long as she goes where that baby went. And then… Mel can burn her mother instead! Oh I would love it…. here’s hoping you’re right!

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    115. Renly’s Peach,

      Wimsey,

      Welcome.back, Wimsey.

      Barristan was not significantly diminished on the show. They cut a fight scene, and of course the whole mystery of Arstan Whitebeard isn’t in there. But he had some solid scenes with Jorah, provided advice and counsel in S4 that established his kind and naive nature, and he brought up relevant information from the past when it made sense to do so.

      The thing is, in the books, there’s more talk of the past, and Barrisyan’s oft-spoken of reputation elevated him in a way that it can’t in a visual medium.

      But Barristan was never a significant character in the books until Jorah got banished. Really, he wasn’t really important until the tail end of the fifth book. He was a supporting character with cool backstory, and backstory is a lot easier to appreciate in the books generally.

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    116. Callum,

      That makes it sounds like LS could still happen in season 6. Certainly didn’t see that coming, but then I’m not surprised. D&D don’t follow “traditional storytelling” most of the time. Sounds like they’re waiting to use her when she actually affects the plot.

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    117. Pigeon:
      Zeus,

      Because like most rioters/anarchists, they’re cowards.

      Or they are people who have been savagely wronged by an invader who knows nothing of their culture.

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    118. Arthur Dayne:
      Callum,

      That makes it sounds like LS could still happen in season 6. Certainly didn’t see that coming, but then I’m not surprised. D&D don’t follow “traditional storytelling” most of the time. Sounds like they’re waiting to use her when she actually affects the plot.

      It doesn’t even even preclude this season. I’ve always felt that if they were going to bring in LS, they could do it by having Fairley’s scenes already filmed back when she was on set for S3. Most of the scene could be covered with a body double in any case, so it might involve only having put a minute or less film in the vault. However, I have a hard time squaring LS with the apparent Brienne as Abel – Mors Umber – Asha plot line that seems to be developing, so I think it unlikely she is in.

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    119. Arthur Dayne: D&D don’t follow “traditional storytelling” most of the time. Sounds like they’re waiting to use her when she actually affects the plot.

      That’s frackin’ hysterical! Anton Chekhov is laughing in his grave at that one!

      Seriously, you are quite correct. B&W use things when they are relevant, and that has always meant that LS was never going to re-appear before Season 6. (I mean, she’s on all of 2 pages in Kings, Crows and Dragons combined….)

      Chad Brick: I’ve always felt that if they were going to bring in LS, they could do it by having Fairley’s scenes already filmed back when she was on set for S3.

      They could never have done that. These sorts of productions are much too fluid for that to work. Moreover, LS will appear only if GRRM provides some substantial plotline for her in Winter and/or Spring: and that means some substantial filming.

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    120. Does anyone else think that Ser Barristan’s death in episode 4 is the catalyst that Dany needs to free Viserion and Rhaegal in episode 5? My only reasoning for thinking this, really, is the glimpse of the dragon (can’t remember which one at the moment) in the preview for episode 5. What other reason would Dany, or anybody else for that matter, have for going to see the dragons, if not to finally free them? Perhaps losing Selmy (not just Daario’s urgings) was what finally made her realize that a Dragon Queen without her dragons isn’t really much at all…

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    121. Renly’s Peach: Not that it matters, but Barristan was in Clash. That’s where he meets Dany.

      Not as Barristan: or at least not until the end. If you want to develop character, then it really cannot be with them incognito!

      Hodor Targaryen: The thing is, in the books, there’s more talk of the past, and Barrisyan’s oft-spoken of reputation elevated him in a way that it can’t in a visual medium

      True: but the limitation of the written medium is that it can only tell and never show becomes a strength here: past-tense and present-tense become the same.

      That written, Barristan was sort of iconized in those discussions: we never got a feel for the real man under the “too good to be true” nobility. I suspect that was because nobody knew him well: and, of course, his character just wasn’t important for the story itself.

      Hodor Targaryen: Welcome.back, Wimsey.

      Aw, thanks!

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    122. Dogs: I’m not sure I know if Littlefinger knows anything specifically, but he probably guesses that there was more to the story than what is popularly told.

      It also is quite possible that the “other” version of the story (Lyanna ran off with Rhagar) got around, too: but never near Sansa’s ears. Whether or not Littlefinger know’s the truth (and how much of the “truth” he knows!), he probably knows the alternative stories.

      What was useful is that the audience got two completely conflicting impressions of Rhaegar. I mean, the prince who sneaks out to sing for the public and then donate the money (or occassionally just get drunk on it like a common person!) and a guy who kidnaps and rapes seem incongruent. I just hope that the audience was able to connect the person about whom Sansa was speaking (and LF was smirking) to the person about whom Barristan was speaking: the old “show don’t tell” adage exists for a reason. Unfortunately, this really could not be shown: particularly because (I suspect) what really was being shown is what other people thought/felt, not Rhaegar & Lyanna themselves.

      Still, it was good stuff.

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    123. Nymeria Sand: Does anyone else think that Ser Barristan’s death in episode 4 is the catalyst that Dany needs to free Viserion and Rhaegal in episode 5?

      Possibly. I wonder if it might not be a bit more long-term than that: it might set up the catalyst for Daeny going home. I do wonder if we are going to start with Barristan dead, or if he’s still gravely wounded and about to die; if the latter, then he might have some parting words that give us a hint about exactly how B&W might fire a Barristan’s Death gun later.

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    124. Yung Wolf:
      Zeus,
      I was more replying to the anti rioter anarchist part of his post but if you want me to bite I will. Danaerys conquered based upon what she thought was right or wrong. Much like a certain president of the USA who had a family name. Didn’t end up well for the Iraqis or The Mereneese. Sometimes a strongman keeps a certain peace

      Our first Harpy sympathizer.

      This should be good.

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    125. Wimsey,
      You have some good points there. For some reason I think the first shot we’ll get in Meereen in episode 5 will be Dany standing at Selmy’s funeral pyre/death bed, whatever it’s supposed to be called. But I like your idea that Selmy might not yet be dead and therefore have just a few more bits of information to relay to Dany. If that is so, what would that information be? What else is so important for Dany to know about her father or brother that Selmy would spend his last words on it? Hmmmm an interesting thought.

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    126. Wimsey

      They could never have done that. [filmed LS in advance]. These sorts of productions are much too fluid for that to work.Moreover, LS will appear only if GRRM provides some substantial plotline for her in Winter and/or Spring: and that means some substantial filming.

      If they introduced her mid-season you are correct. If she were an end-of-season reveal, all that would be necessary is a line or two and mere seconds of film. D&D can plan that much in advance, especially if it is important for secrecy and logistics.

      In any case, whether or not LS has some impact on the fate of Westeros is irrelevant, as it is all but certain she has a major impact of two of the story’s main characters, Jaime and Brienne. Whatever arises out of their upcoming three-way clash in TWOW will have to be replicated somehow in order for the character arcs to remain the same.

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    127. Abyss: Abyss

      Agreed. The mask is a symbol. The Sons of the Harpy work undercover only when they wear no masks.

      Who are they? Ex-slavers? Unlikely. Ex-slaves? Probably not. It seems they are free Meereenese who fight against Daenerys’s occupation in the first place. Most likely their motivation for fighting is not ex-slavers’ money, they seem very devoted to the cause. And there’s no evidence that they fight to reestablish slavery.

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    128. Alright, I get that it’s difficult to animate everything for the opening credits, but why put Dorne?? And not Sunspear or the Water Gardens??? They used the Eyrie not “The Vale”. Inconsistencies like this really bother me 🙂

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    129. HelloThere:
      Renly’s Peach,

      I still don’t think Barristan is THAT important in the books.

      He’s not. He is THAT important in modern Westeros history – a history that gets diminished when its greatest knight of a generation gets taken out by Level 3 Peons. Numbers don’t matter – Bronn’s absurd killing of 3.9 mounted soldiers was far more implausible than Selmy’s fight. The could have at least given Selmy the best fight of ONE EPISODE.

      It was a depressing end for him, made worse by the weird editing. Either cliffhanger, or don’t, please. And certainly don’t spoil your sorta-cliffhanger a minute later in next week’s preview!

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    130. People take choreographed fight scenes too seriously…
      A TV show is a TV show… and GOT has never been great w/ their fight scenes.

      Barristan Selmy might be a legendary knight, but hes still old, as is the actor, and therefore there are limitations in what they can show.

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    131. HelloThere: and GOT has never been great w/ their fight scenes.

      I really don’t think that has anything to stand on. GoT had very good fight scenes. The Hound vs. Beric Dondarrion, The Hound vs. Brienne, the fight at the inn with Puliver and his men etc.

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    132. Chad Brick: He’s not. He is THAT important in modern Westeros history – a history that gets diminished when its greatest knight of a generation gets taken out by Level 3 Peons. Numbers don’t matter – Bronn’s absurd killing of 3.9 mounted soldiers was far more implausible than Selmy’s fight.

      Jaime is the greatest swordsman in Westeros and we never saw him in action in the books or the show before he lost his hand(except Ned vs Jaime in the show).

      They told us he was great, but we didn’t see any of Robb Stark’s battles in the show or the books.

      Why is this so different?

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    133. mau,

      Also, Khal Drogo never got a single fight in the books
      he died of an infection… why don’t people complain he never got a “hero’s” death…

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    134. HelloThere:
      GOT has never been great w/ their fight scenes.

      What?

      Oberyn vs the Mountain, Brienne vs the Hound, the Hound vs Beric Dondarrionion, Arya and the Hound vs. the Lannister men, Ser Alliser Thorne vs Tormund Giantsbane, Jaime and Bronn vs Dornishmen, Bronn vs. Ser Vardis……

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    135. HelloThere:
      mau,

      Also, Khal Drogo never got a single fight in the books
      he died of an infection… why don’t people complain he never got a “hero’s” death…

      Yes. Khal Drogo died of an infection. And the Hound too, in the books. GRRM dosen’t like “hero’ death”.

      Barristan will die in Battle of Meereen in TWOW and he will be killed by some random dudes from Astapor or Yunkai. Just like in the show.

      But of course, book purists will say that that make sense, because GRRM did it. If he ever finish TWOW.

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    136. TheTouchOfFrost,

      The point about Ian being gutted over the decision is key. I’m not sure if other people can view Thronecast. but it is worth checking out. You also get a clear impression of how much Ian knows the books.
      Was he hoping for a battle sequence to show his skill marshalling troops? It’s inferred by Robert Baratheon, alongside his admiration of Barristan standing by his Prince. That would be one of the roles Kingsuard have. It was shown with The Hound at Blackwater (even if that was a turning point for him). That would’ve been the glorious way to go (in anyone’s eyes).
      Sure, it was heroic (possibly ironic) but it felt clumsy. At least he got to fight, as Ian told everyone.

      My question now is – how will Dany respond? She’s lost the only contact left with her family.

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    137. Sheeeessshhhh…book readers sure do whine and cry a lot! Omg Barry would have never been beaten by hacks in golden masks!

      Get over it…he went out gloriously, not one of my non book reading friends complained about his death.

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    138. mau,

      I feel we’re crossing over here….. hence need for spoilers.

      Don’t you think Sons of Harpy want to disarm Dany of her ultimate weapons? It makes sense of re-working arcs that seem to be cut.
      It’s possible all the same but….. Dany may need to be with her family, her dragons. Perhaps even wish for Drogon to come back. The big point is that Dany doesn’t know how to control any of her dragons.
      Outside of the citadel, who knows the most about dragon-lore?

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    139. I’m so confused why the best episode so far got the most negative reaction from book fans.

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    140. Chad Brick: Whatever arises out of their upcoming three-way clash in TWOW will have to be replicated somehow in order for the character arcs to remain the same.

      True: however, there is more than one way to skin a cat! What is interesting, however, is that B&W have now put a strong parallel in the plotlines and storylines for Jaime & Brienne. I am wondering if that is going to go somewhere.

      (I also wonder if a conjecture of mine that would lead to the uniting of the Dorne plotline with Sansa’s story line might be being served this way.)

      mau: Book purists, not book fans.

      No, they are fans. However, they are fans of the narrative details and/or the exact plotlines rather than of the stories. There are, after all, many aspects of a tale (be it from a book, movie, TV show or poem) that one can enjoy.

      The problem arises when these fans lose sight of the fact that details serve story, not the other way around: GRRM (and all other authors) have a story in their head, with general character arcs and plotlines underlying that story. GRRM is basically trying to find details to adapt his vision to a written telling of his story; B&W are trying to find details to adapt GRRM’s vision to a visual telling of his story. Those fans (and they exist for all fandoms) who love the details rather than the stories wind up viewing the original books (or the older TV shows for fandoms like Doctor Who or Star Trek) as history, and thus they want future adaptations/sequels to be documentaries of that history rather than adaptations of (or sequels to) those stories.

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    141. Chad Brick: He’s not. He is THAT important in modern Westeros history – a history that gets diminished when its greatest knight of a generation gets taken out by Level 3 Peons.

      Even if it were true, then, so what? This is a story, not a documentary. It’s about how people like Daeny, Jon, Tyrion, etc. (and not Barristan) respond and evolve to events and people around them. Westeros’ history is pretty ancillary to all of that.

      Moreover, 1) the Harpies are not supposed to be “level 3 Peons”: they are supposed to be members of Mereen’s former ruling class, i.e., people like Barristan himself and thus trained in martial arts because nobility from such cultures were so trained; 2) the “lone warrior” taking out piles of opposing soldiers (even “level 3 Peons”) is wonderful epic fodder and it also is complete BS; quite frankly, having Barristan take out so many as he did was a bit “Dungeons and Dragons.” Sure, Lord of the Rings got away with it: but Barristan is no Legolas or Gimli or Aragorn. This audience is too sophisticated to buy an outcome that did not at involve Barristan getting defeated in one form or another.

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    142. Hoyti Von Totiy: LOL Torgo Nudho

      yes…and FrankenMountain

      My kill list to make the show better would be:

      – Arya
      – Doran, Sandsnakes, Elaria
      – Bronn
      – Gilly
      – Gilly´s babe

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    143. Lady Wolfsbane,

      If it does happen then I get the horrible feeling that it will be because Stannis is no longer about. Personally, I lean more and more towards wanting him to be King the more I read / watch. He’s the ruler Westeros may not want but needs. If Brienne the Bore kills him off in this silly revenge story then that’s yet another great character we lose.

      ZappaCreed,

      I expect she’ll do what she normally does. Try and make a statement to show what a firm but fair leader she is only for it to blow up in her face!

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    144. TheTouchOfFrost: If Brienne the Bore kills him off in this silly revenge story then that’s yet another great character we lose.

      Will you consider it a “silly revenge story” if (I believe it is more a matter of when) Martin gets back to Brienne wanting to kill Stannis? I could be wrong, of course, but I really don’t think Martin is just going to leave out that part of her story.

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    145. HelloThere: Your posts are definitely always the best

      My blushes!

      Nymeria Warrior Queen: I could be wrong, of course, but I really don’t think Martin is just going to leave out that part of her story.

      Indeed, that has been an end-target for her for a while, it seems. At the very least, I suspect that she’ll be left in some circumstance where killing Stannis or not killing Stannis becomes a quandary: say, perhaps, one of fulfilling an oath by killing Stannis (!honor!) vs. serving a greater-good by keeping Stannis alive (!honor!). The show seems to be accelerating plotlines that could lead to that.

      (I must say, what they have Brienne doing on the show is a bit more engaging than what it was in the book, too! I was surprised recently to realize that there were 8 Brienne chapters in Crows; yet for all the fact she was the second or third most prominent protagonist, I don’t remember her doing anything…..)

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    146. Wimsey,

      If I remember AFfC correctly, only Cersei has more chapters than Brienne. Needless to say, that’s highly alarming. I like Brienne as much as the next guy, but after 3 books of following Starks and an occasional Lannister, Targaryen, and the like, to have Brienne of Tarth practically be the primary protagonist of the fourth novel is preposterous. And it’s not as if she accomplishes much of anything in her 8 chapters, especially if we remember that the devastation and plight of the Riverlands have already been covered in great detail in Arya’s chapters in ACoK and ASoS as well as Jaime’s chapters in this very book.

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    147. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Well, yes as she’s barely mentioned Renley for the last couple of books and her prime objective is the safety of Sansa and Arya. Plus the potential meeting up with Jaime to test her commitment to honour against her personal feelings would be a lot more interesting. She’s moved on as a character from Renly and Stannis. Hooking her into a revenge story is a backwards step for her development as a character. Wouldn’t have as much issue with book Brienne doing it as she’s actually quite likeable. Show Brienne isn’t and IMO is the dullest character in the show for the past couple of seasons as she doesn’t do anything. One of the criticisms of this show (which someone else pointed out but I forget who) is that it’s getting more and more obvious when characters are going to die.
      Also, I have no problem admitting that I will be personally pissed off by it because I don’t like show Brienne and her killing off, besting and putting out of action characters who are genuinely interesting so as we get to see more of her boring wandering and complete lack of chemistry with Pod. I’m sure many will disagree but that’s my opinion.

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    148. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I agree with the thread of Sam, Gilly and Shireen going to Old Town. I think the balance of loss between Dany and Jon will be in the deaths of Sir Barristan Selmy and Maester Ammon Targaryen. Jon sends Sam to Old Town to study at the Citadel to become a Maester and return to the Wall, Gilly and the baby go to Sam’s family homestead…..wait until Gilly sees THAT castle! Don’t know who is going to mentor Shireen.
      Mel is definitely not done with Jon but not with sex any longer-she will be the one to “bring him back”. She probably learned that power from Thoros of Myr.
      Woohoo!!!!! Lovin’ this season! Since Olly and Ghost were AWOL I can only suppose that one of the steward’s jobs is to walk the Lord Commander’s dog…….

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    149. Reserving judgement on the Sand Snakes unitll theyve interacted with Doran and been fleshed out a little more, cant judge them on that scene alone and Ellaria is a joke now any scene with her this year is going to be fingernails on a blackboard material. I dont know much about the other two but KCH is fantastic hopefully she gets better material to work with in future episodes.

      No problem with Barristan, he went down swinging as he would have wanted. Thought the Red Velvet/Jon scene was stupid. All around great episode though, bring on the unleaked episodes 🙂

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    150. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Oh, right, I momentarily forgot how much you can’t stand show-Brienne, so there’s probably little she could do in the show you wouldn’t deride.

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    151. Kay: Well, TV shows also foreshadow. Not just books. Barristan’s fate was foreshadowed pretty strongly right from the recap before the episode started. In contrast, there was ZERO foreshadowing for Grey Worm, which is why I believe he survives (at least in the short term). The actual mechanics of the fight were less important, I feel. Also, Daenerys’ story needs to have her “mentor” go at this point and for her to get a jolt to the gut; otherwise she’ll never become an “adult”.

      “Kill the girl………”

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    152. Hoyti Von Totiy: That is a poor comparison. Im talking about the books here

      Dany has to rule a city-state with a huge population that is going trough reforms.

      Jon Snow rules over a hundred and so of NW (and only thanks to Tarlys plotting) and a few thousand wildlings who have been very tame since on the southern side of the wall.

      So if u ask me Dany > Jon

      Ahem…..TWOW is supposed to be out before season 6 so the cliffhanger of Jon’s stabbing death will be resolved. I think D and D and George have had a chat about this and the show will take a slightly different route to the same end. After all, Edd never fetched a block but all roads led to Rome.

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    153. TheTouchOfFrost:
      Pigeon,

      Hey, kids are easily led!On a sidenote, where’s Ed this season? Can’t remember seeing him yet which is a shame as his relentless moaning makes me chuckle in both book and show.

      He was sitting right next to Sam in the lunchroom. He got up first when Jon ordered Slynt to be taken outside and challenged Thorne to step aside. He was also standing next to Jon when Mance was barbecued. I miss his Eeyore type comments too- so far he hasn’t had a line. 🙁

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    154. honeyimhome: He was sitting right next to Sam in the lunchroom. He got up first when Jon ordered Slynt to be taken outside and challenged Thorne to step aside. He was also standing next to Jon when Mance was barbecued. I miss his Eeyore type comments too- so far he hasn’t had a line.

      He does not have a Grenn (and a Pyp) to throw lines with.

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    155. Lady Wolfsbane:
      TheTouchOfFrost,

      Oh, I would quite enjoy your suggestion that Shireen take the place of a certain baby, as long as she goes where that baby went. And then… Mel can burn her mother instead! Oh I would love it…. here’s hoping you’re right!

      Now that would be good, redemptive television! But, sadly, Selyse does not have king’s blood running through her veins so not on Mel’s radar. Maybe there’s an alternate list with the names of folks who just need killing……..I know I have a list like that-maybe Mel does too!

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    156. honeyimhome,

      It’s just not the same without his moaning! Shame they didn’t slip a few lines in for him. Thought the toilet digging was going to be his duty for sure!

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    157. Kay: Also, Daenerys’ story needs to have her “mentor” go at this point and for her to get a jolt to the gut; otherwise she’ll never become an “adult”.

      I’d score that a 10 out of 10! 🙂

      Seriously, you are dead on about that.

      Mr Fixit: And it’s not as if she accomplishes much of anything in her 8 chapters, especially if we remember that the devastation and plight of the Riverlands have already been covered in great detail in Arya’s chapters in ACoK and ASoS as well as Jaime’s chapters in this very book.

      In a way, I blame the editors. Writers will always over-write: and because authors are too close to the topic, they easily loose sight of what really is and is not important to their own stories. A good editor should have told GRRM that Brienne’s stuff could be cut in half (or more) easily. However, I have long since realized that publishers simply do not take scifi/fantasy at all seriously (or give scifi/fantasy readers much credit), and they just don’t put in the effort.

      And that’s a shame, because Crows’ bloated narrative coupled with the five years it took to generate it really hurt GRRM’s reputation in the general fantasy world 10 years ago. Given that many people were hoping that GRRM would be the one to make the general literary world start taking fantasy seriously, a book that was almost the stereotype of everything for which fantasy gets trashed was a major set-back.

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    158. honeyimhome: Ahem…..TWOW is supposed to be out before season 6 so the cliffhanger of Jon’s stabbing death will be resolved

      Well, back in 2007, they were assuming that TWOW would be out by the time the series premiered……

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    159. Wimsey,

      I would hardly say AFFC represents the fantasy stereotype.

      AFFC is very much a large and detailed account of “aftermath”. Its meandering and its almost soley focused on characters and their internal journey and struggles.
      Maybe not the most compelling read though.

      (I enjoyed it immensely on rereads though)

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    160. Wimsey,

      Personally, I thank the Seven for Anne Groell. Cutting Brienne’s chapters would have made the whole war of the seven kingdoms about the lords and their armies. The ordinary and downtrodden people completely nonexistent and just pure background. If that! But that’s not what I really wanted to say. What I wanted to say is:

      So good to read your Wall of Texts, Wimsey!!! I almost gave up on you ever posting 🙂

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    161. Barristan:

      Sad to see him go, but I understand that they are cutting characters. I still can’t get over the fact that non-warriors armed with knives and armored with robes are able to massacure a group of highly trained and well-equiped soldiers even with the advantages of numbers and surprise. But I do buy how a highly-skilled but well past his prime knight can take out 12 or 15 of the same robbed smucks coming at him one at a time before being overwhelmed.

      Dorne:

      Liked the fight scene, and nervous but curious about where it’s going. Obarra was the only SS I liked after that first impression.

      Faith Militant:

      Ho boy that got violent fast! Cerci has certainly opened up a can of worms. Too bad Olyvar didn’t die. The fact that Barristan is dead and that badly-scripted stereotype is alive is a crime.

      Sansa:

      Even though alot of the details dont quite add up, this is one of the few major story changes that might work out. Very curious about how they will handle it.

      Tyrion and Jorah:

      Nice scene where Tyrion smuggly pieces things together.

      Jon and Mel:

      “You know nothing Jon Snow”.

      Delivered well even though the context was a little different.

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    162. Callum,

      Well let’s see-
      1. this interview doesn’t exist anywhere else.
      2. The Belfast Gazette only posts government news, not celebrity interviews.

      3. You replied to your own post under two different names- Lyanna and Arthur Dayne.

      I think it’s safe to say: different day, another troll hoping desperately for LS. Maybe even the same one. Anyway, “Callum” is a crock.

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    163. Tormund’s Woman,

      I have mixed feelings about Brienne’s chapters in AFFC. I hated Nimble Dick and Stinky Goose stuff. Alternatively, I loved her time with Septon Meribald and Elder Brother and the “aftermath of war” perspective.

      HelloThere,

      AFFC is better on a re-read because we know what to expect. Much of it moves at a snail’s pace: too much wandering, too much of Cersei guzzling wine, and yes, too much of characters’ internal struggles. Quite a different experience after ASOS.

      Wimsey:

      Indeed, that has been an end-target for her for a while, it seems.At the very least, I suspect that she’ll be left in some circumstance where killing Stannis or not killing Stannis becomes a quandary: say, perhaps, one of fulfilling an oath by killing Stannis (!honor!) vs. serving a greater-good by keeping Stannis alive (!honor!).The show seems to be accelerating plotlines that could lead to that.

      I think this is exactly where Brienne’s story line is headed and I look forward to it…as long as she doesn’t harm Stannis. (After his sweet scene with Shireen, she needs to give Stannis the benefit of the doubt.)

      I don’t find Show Brienne to be a bore. I enjoy every minute that GW is on screen. Others clearly disagree. I’m interested in seeing what is planned for her this season.

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    164. I was at the time of watching ok with the Unsullied/Barristan scene, the Barristan part i am still ok with, but someone mentioned that in season 3 i think when Dany is first talking to Missandei about the unsullied she says “The Unsullied are trainied with short sword, shield and three lengths of spear” or words to that effect, and yet patrolling a city where the majority of the areas are confined they were patrolling with Longspears, does seem a bit daft really.

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    165. mariamb:
      Tormund’s Woman,

      HelloThere,

      AFFC is better on a re-read because we know what to expect. Much of it moves at a snail’s pace: too much wandering, too much of Cersei guzzling wine, and yes, too much of characters’ internal struggles. Quite a different experience after ASOS.

      I think part of the reason I enjoyed AFFC and ADWD a lot more on re-read was that I read them a lot slower. The first time through, I was kind of racing to the big reveals at the end so that I could hop on places like this and discuss with everyone else. The second time through was in bits and pieces, in whatever order I pleased (usually one POV or POV set, e.g. Dorne, at a time), and with me usually looking up any minor character or line whose identity or meaning had slipped my mind. It is only then that you really realize how many layers there are to what GRRM writes and how good those books really are. I’ve never seen their like in terms of complexity in the fantasy sphere, and only rarely in literature in general.

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    166. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Is this going to be a dilemma for Dany? For sure, the temptation to unleash her dragons will be there. Also, she knows the destructive force of one must multiply if two are on the loose. Then, she’ll pause. How do you tell who the Sons of the Harpy are without their masks? There would be more chance of innocents being slaughtered. Dany will recall the young child’s charred remains. Dilemma resolved, yet the anger within her remains.

      Will the temptation to release the dragons be too great for anyone else? I can see there would be SotH wanting to eliminate them from the equation, effectively taking away Dany’s ultimate weapon. There’s chance for propaganda too, should the dragons kill any of those trying to free and then kill the dragons. That would play into winning over public opinion.

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    167. Roose On The Loose:
      I was at the time of watching ok with the Unsullied/Barristan scene, the Barristan part i am still ok with, but someone mentioned that in season 3 i think when Dany is first talking to Missandei about the unsullied she says “The Unsullied are trainied with short sword, shield and three lengths of spear” or words to that effect, and yet patrolling a city where the majority of the areas are confined they were patrolling with Longspears, does seem a bit daft really.

      Daario says something along similar lines about Unsullied, from a different perspective, when they uncovered the Harpy in the wall. Also, whoever wrote this episode forget, on purpose, to arm the Unsullied with short swords. Think Roman Legions = Unsullied. They went to appropriate weaponry almost automatically.
      Someone has down-played Unsullied training, skills and weapons knowledge. It’s a huge error with the writer, as that’s where the buck stops.

      There’s something else forgotten too. Three. It’s a big number with Dany.
      Who hasn’t seen the stills of Danzak’s Pit? Isn’t that where show logic should’ve placed Barristan, alongside Jorah and Daario? One for Duty; one for Love; one for Gold. You can decide who Love or Gold should be. Duty is Barristan.

      It may seem like crying over spilled milk, but, come on, when the show gets something wrong, it gets something horribly wrong. You can see how clumsy those longspears are while Unsullied patrol. Wrong is wrong!
      Grey Worm on patrol too? I’d question that as well, as he’s Captain of Unsullied, and shouldn’t be far from Dany’s side.

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    168. ZappaCreed,

      Problem is that she can no longer control them…except perhaps Drogon. Not entirely sure they’re going to be much use in the assault on Westeros. I think she needs to just cut and run and make a break for Westeros. Mereen isn’t going to change for a few generations and even then it’s going to require an iron fist and a lot of blood shed. Unless she butchers about half of the population of Slaver’s Bay and has generals and allies (She’s recently lost three) who rule with the same vision as her then she’s backing a loser. Part of me wants to see her burn the f*cking story quagmire that is Mereen to the ground as she leaves but that would be a pretty dramatic character development! She’s currently losing men and generals in a vain attempt to hold a shit hole of a city! Time she started playing the percentages!

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    169. Just read something i felt like sharing.

      to be read in the voice of the Hound

      “The best swordsman who ever lived, killed by the sons of the fucking harpy.”

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    170. Did I miss a time lapse, because it seems to me that Lancel went from having his star cut into his forehead, dripping blood, to standing before Loras with it perfectly clean and half healed….

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