Game of Thrones: Post-Mortem of “The Wars to Come”

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The season premiere of Game of Thrones  finally arrived last night, bringing with it prophecies, darkness, and a painful end for one notable character. The morning after, we have several interviews and videos examining “The Wars to Come,” its new tricks (that flashback!) and the choices that led to one character’s death.

In Entertainment Weekly, George R.R. Martin talks about the Maggy the Frog-Young Cersei scene  (which David Benioff says is “not technically a ‘flashback’ because it opens the episode rather than breaking from a previously established setting to flash back to an earlier time.” Thanks, Benioff. I’m calling it a flashback).

“Prophecy is a staple element in fantasy, but it’s tricky,” Martin says to EW. “You want to play with the notion of prophecies coming true but in an unexpected way. You want to be unpredictable about it. Shakespeare is the ultimate example of that—when the forest of Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane Castle, MacBeth will fall. Everybody laughs—how can the forest come to the castle. [Malcolm] came camouflaged with branches and so on. Also, during the War of the Roses, one of the lords was prophesized that he would die at a certain castle. So he always took pains to avoid that castle. But then in the first The Battle of St Albans, he was wounded and died outside a pub that had that castle on its pub sign. You have to look at prophecies carefully and look at the weasel-wording. Maggy the Frog tells Cersei a prophecy, but could Cersei make it happen through her efforts to avoid it?”

MAJOR SPOILER
comments below the cut!

EW also has a new interview with departing cast member Ciaran Hinds, who checked out of Game of Thrones last night after a mercy killing with an arrow from Jon Snow, saving him from burning to death tied to Melisandre’s stake. The death of Mance Rayder in A Dance with Dragons is more complicated than it seems at first glance, which left some book-reading viewers with a few questions after watching the newest episode.

When asked about the possibility of the character ever returning to the show, Hinds says:

In the books there’s a lot more than there is in the television series. It’s impossible to recreate everything that’s in the books. You can’t be absolutely faithful to the book, and why would you want to be? It’s a different medium. You have to make decisions and bold decisions and there are so many other characters, that there is enough in the pot. I imagine that if Mance were to come back, like in the books, he’d come back in a different guise, as a different person—it wouldn’t involve me, probably. Then you have to think: Well, in the story, if you can imagine him coming back, does it make sense for him to still be involved when there’s still so much else going on? These are huge decisions [the showrunners] have to deal with and so far they’ve been dealing with them brilliantly, so far as I can see.

Check out the complete interview to read how Hinds learned of his character being killed off and his feelings about Mance’s final choices.

HBO has released its usual next-day bonus videos, giving us extra insight into the episode:

In “Inside the Episode: The Wars to Come,” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discuss opening season 5 with the flashback, Varys presenting Tyrion with a new way to live, and Jon’s intervention in Mance’s death.

George R.R. Martin elaborates on the enigmatic prophecy from the witch who foresaw Cersei’s troubled future.

Ciaran Hinds and Kit Harington talk Mance’s fiery end in “The Wars to Come,” and the men’s motivations in the moment.

One last morning-after note: Carice van Houten is doing a Q&A with the Wall Street Journal Speakeasy so head on over to their Facebook to submit questions and see Carice’s answers starting at 1:15PM EDT.

112 responses

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    1. trarecar,

      And a lot of viewers to gain respect for him. Even Stannis looked somewhat impressed.

      Anyone else want to slap the smug expression off Selyse’s stupid mug?

        Quote  Reply

    2. I have some questions about Jon’s mercy shot (guess this is as good a place as any). It’s clear that Jon defied Stannis, which is dangerous. And he defied Melisandre as well. But it was more than just denying her the kill, Mance would have been a kingly sacrifice and she’s been obsessed with King’s blood and the power that gives her (e.g., shadow baby). Surely Mance’s burning wasn’t just punishment but (as it was implied in the books) an attempt by her to gain some power for a particular spell casting purpose. What do you think that purpose was? And if Jon denied her that, how will she get more “kings” blood.? And is this all related to her flirting with Jon (that “are you a virgin” question)? Remember how she slept with Gendry in order to ensnare him and get his blood? Does she see a “king” in Jon?

        Quote  Reply

    3. I’m so glad “Inside the Episode” is back. I always enjoy hearing D&D (and George for that matter) discuss character motivations and development. Its also fun to have that viewpoint to add to the inevitable discussion that happens within my weekly GoT viewing “group”.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Interesting. The interview with Hinds only confirms that he’s not coming back. Not that Mance is gone. The possibility that

      Tormund is Mance

      that was being discussed last night is still open. Not that I think they should do that. Just saying it’s possible.

        Quote  Reply

    5. Dame Pasty,

      Its also interesting because until this point, “king” has exclusively referred to team Stannis’s definition of “king”, which involves someone with Baratheon blood. I’d imagine that the Mance sacrifice functioned as more of a general offering to the Red God (sort of like Axell Florent) instead of for a specific purpose. So for Jon to shoot Mance was to deny the Red God and offering and to defy the wishes of the “one true king.” Both Mel and Stannis seem interested enough in Jon though, so I think severe repercussions may be replaced with repercussions in the form of trying to recruit Jon for some unknown purpose.

        Quote  Reply

    6. Lion of Night,

      I think in the books

      Melisandre’s definition of a king was much broader than “of Baratheon blood” because she wanted to kill Mance’s son….

      VERY BIG SPOILER stuff here

      So if Jon’s parentage speculation is correct, Jon would definitely qualify and then I wonder if she has seen who his real parents are in the fire…in which case, I could totally see him being a “tool” for her to use….and potentially a replacement for Stannis. Didn’t you get the impression in the books that he might be Azor Ahai and that she might be doubting her support of Stannis as such? It was clear to me that Stannis was never really Azor Ahai–told via Davos’ perspective of how the sword wasn’t really on fire and that it wasn’t really hot and via Stannis’ own doubts about the prophecy or the religion.

        Quote  Reply

    7. i think the reason

      Jon shoots Mance is simple. He’s not Lord Commander yet so he can’t order a firing squad to do it like he did in the books. Very minor change from the books but they kept the same motivation

        Quote  Reply

    8. Melissandre could have done a Tormund/Mance switcharoo like she did with Rattleshirt in the books, but there’s no clue at all of this taking place so it would seem “cheaty” if revealed later on. In the books Rattleshirt dies like a coward in Mance’s place, trying to say he’s not the real Mance, but you have no reason to doubt that he is so you just lose some respect for Mance, until they reveal it was all illusion. But at least there is some clue dropping to plant the idea in your head before it is revealed.

      I am more inclined to think that D&D are the ones doing the switcharoo. Tormund had more screentime than Mance and we’ve learned to like him via his interactions with Jon Snow. Having him become the new wildling leader and taking the place of Mance in the coming Nightwatch/Stannis/Wildling cooperation plot makes sense, in a way.

        Quote  Reply

    9. The final scene was based somewhat on the books. I’ve seen some people online today complaining about that. Jon did order his men to shoot Rattleshirt who he thought was Mance with arrows to give him a quick death with dignity. What they did in the show obviously ups the stakes quite a bit, but it is based on the book plot.

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    10. First and foremost, Mance is formerly of Nights Watch. That says it all there. Jon did the right thing and according to traditions of those who take The Black. It’s on par with what Ned taught too.
      Stannis and Melissandre haven’t a clue about the order of Nights Watch and how it governs itself. NW don’t serve whoever sits or claims The Iron Throne. NW serve the Realm, of Men.

        Quote  Reply

    11. ZappaCreed,

      Mance was also a deserter, and as such, should have been condemned to death. I would have liked that to have been brought up at some point in the episode. Maybe a scene with Jon telling Stannis that, and asking for the right for the NW to handle his execution.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Turncloak,

      Was about to post this. This makes it a really logical change, but it does make one wonder why they didn’t just turn around the events of episode 1 and 2 to keep the chronology from the books. The only reason I can think of is ending the first episode with a bang.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Maybe I’m stretching a bit, but I thought Mance implied that option to Stannis when he stated “I once lived here”….after that statement and Mance’s “wars to come” assertion, Jon did the right thing and gave him the dignified mercy kill. Effectively Mance was executed by a fellow Night’s Watchman for his “crimes”. It works for me.

        Quote  Reply

    14. I thought it was a great premiere. This season so far seems to be better paced and executed. Stannis’ parts are much more intriguing this time around, especially alongside Jon. Every scene doesn’t look like it’s wasted screentime, and I hope the trend keeps up for the rest of the Season, or better.
      (And yes, I’ve seen the first four episodes, which I do feel bad for doing so but I’ll still be watching them as they air on TV to support the show, and why skip on one of the most awesome show there is?)

        Quote  Reply

    15. A favorite moment from last night:
      Margaery walking in on Loras and Olyvar…completely nonchalant, self assured…nibbling on food and sitting down on the bed.

      Margaery is 1000x more interesting because of the marvelous Natalie Dormer.

        Quote  Reply

    16. WeirwoodTreeHugger:
      Interesting. The interview with Hinds only confirms that he’s not coming back. Not that Mance is gone.The possibility that

      that was being discussed last night is still open.Not that I think they should do that. Just saying it’s possible.

      If for some reason the script/story leak from earlier in the winter about Tormund is correct, it would seem like way too much trouble to go this route. Also I just feel like the show is going to axe the idea of glamouring completely, never mention it, as far as the show is concerned it doesn’t exist.

        Quote  Reply

    17. Big Mac,

      The original four (Sue, Axey, Marko and Oz–not counting Winter Phil) left the “other place” 6 months ago. The rest of us have joined WotW since that. None of us ever post at the “other place”. Anything they’re doing that uses names like Twitter round-up, Curtain Calls, Usullied recaps, etc is not truly theirs. The other site does not “own” those and the titles and ideas originated with the original four users mentioned above. Therefore, those articles will appear here and only here by the original authors. And please note that the quality of the “other” sites posts are nowhere near as good as what you will find on WotW and haven’t been since “the crew” (as I like to call them) left.

      Please spread the word. The REAL Twitter Recap, Curtain Calls, Unsullied Recaps, etc live at WotW and WotW alone.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Pigeon:
      trarecar,

      And a lot of viewers to gain respect for him. Even Stannis looked somewhat impressed.

      Anyone else want to slap the smug expression off Selyse’s stupid mug?

      Nope. Selyse is one of my “problematic” faves in the book and in the show too. The smirk while watching another BBQ is spot on.

        Quote  Reply

    19. Excellent, excellent beginning to what looks like another great season in the making. I liked the tone, the pacing…Jon and Tyrion and Cersei were outstanding!

      Though the show might differ from the novels, I think that it actually mirrors quite accurately, the whole atmosphere and environment of the last two books in ASOIF! It is that sense of false quiet. ..the eye of the storm…the calm before the plunge with trouble brewing and boiling just below for surface and waiting to ignite!

      The more calm and quiet pacing stands in welcome and well thought out contrast to some of the more frenetic and frenzied opening episodes of seasons past!

      “Do you know what it is like to push your shit through one of those breathing holes?!”

      “No I only know what it is to pick up your shit and throw it overboard!”

      “He handles the sword like a girl with palsy!”

      “Can I drink myself for death on the way to Mereen?”

      There we already have classics zingers…

      Loved it!

        Quote  Reply

    20. Tara Fitzgerald is excellent in working with silences and grimaces. She has not that many lines but what a work she does with that spartan yet elegant face of hers! One of the best minor roles…

        Quote  Reply

    21. After rewatching the season premiere in TV quality (I streamed it earlier cos I gave in!), you realise how breathtaking the show really is. So easy to overlook all the details – the sets, CGI, the natural scenery, the dialogue etc, it just flowed easier than some of the previous eps. Well done D&D, not an easy job.

      Also Sophie’s, Natalie’s and Lena’s facial expressions are on point, so much conveyed through so little dialogue. Wow.

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    22. Dame Pasty: Anything they’re doing that uses names like Twitter round-up, Curtain Calls, Usullied recaps, etc is not truly theirs.

      Unfortunately, it isn’t just names they’re using. As someone mentioned on another thread (and I didn’t want to believe it, so I had to check for myself) , they copied Oz’s “spoiler note” for his unsullied review word for fucking word (ok, they left out a couple of hyphens). Unreal.

      Back to last night’s episode: I hadn’t processed Mance’s death enough to get beyond Jon killing him as an act of mercy. Thanks to those of you who pointed out that by virtue of Jon being the one to kill him, it was also upholding the punishment for deserters of the Night’s Watch (and the added note about how that would have been what Ned did, too).

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    23. Dame Pasty,

      Yeah I totally agree about Jon! In the books, and presumably in the show soon, Mel has/will have misread the signs. My first response was just from a purely show cannon POV looking at *why* Mance was killed in the show. I don’t think Mance’s death as an isolated incident really has any deeper meaning. If we’re talking about Jon however, yeah there’s a lot going on. I for one will be keeping an ear out for R or L references in the next few episodes 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    24. mau,

      Did she say that on the show or in the book? Not being a book purist, just trying to understand. In the books,

      she must have considered him legit enough to want to kill his child. So if she said that in the show, they are taking a different tack. Which is fine, since they don’t have Mance’s son in the show anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Hodor’s Bastard,
      I did NOT know that but I will probably try to remedy it. Thank you!!!!

      Lion of Night,

      Wouldn’t it be weird (at least it would be to me) if a character that I can’t stand, Melisandre, would be the one to

      reveal the awesome news that Jon is R+L’s child?!

      You’ll be able to hear my brain explode on the other side of the globe. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    26. Dame Pasty,

      If someone is gonna tell that to Jon(let’s say R+L=J is true,which I think it is)it’s gonna be Bran with Bloodraven not Mel.I fully expect him to reveal that,but there will be other who will reveal that to the world and candidates for example:Tyrion,Sansa,Jaime.

      Once the reveal will be done.I am asking myself,but what that means for the story?So many questions will be asked.
      Who’s gonna believe him?How would Jon react and for that matter Dany and others?If he’s legitimate kid,IT is possibility for him or not?And what about prophecy?I am more interested in potential concequences of R+L=J than reveal itself.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Yea, it is nice that a lot of people have found this place but it is still not as robust of a fan community as WIC was. It is noticeable with the lack of commenting on here post episode airing compared to the amount at WIC during GoT season.

        Quote  Reply

    28. You know I’ll add the flashback (or whatever it was) to the list of things the show has done better than the novels. In general, the sourcematerial is superior, but in this instance it’s clear that the show was much better.

      I always disliked that flashback in the books, it was just to jarring. Cersei went from a deeply flawed but relatable human being to an evil queen stereotype

      Being a murderer at ten can make some people look at you in a different light. It was a very wise decision to cut the murder out of the Flashback

        Quote  Reply

    29. Geralt of Rivia,

      I’ve been wondering that as well?

      What kind of impact will it have on the storyline? Will he be alive to hear the news? Maybe it will be some kind of bittersweet ending, knowing that he had a right to the Throne but someone else has already claimed it and is accepted by the people? Maybe he will just pull another Aemon and stay with the Night’s Watch after all? Or maybe something else entirely?
      I’d love for him to become the new king beyond the wall.

        Quote  Reply

    30. To the few that think Mance is still alive in disguise: what purpose would that serve in the show? Ciaran Hinds has been clear that he’s done. So why disguise Mance as Tormund or Rattleshirt when you can just have Tormund or Rattleshirt serve the same role… if that role is even needed! Not to mention it would really cheapen Mance’s death if the producers simply said “Gotcha!”

        Quote  Reply

    31. The Family Name:
      To the few that think Mance is still alive in disguise: what purpose would that serve in the show? Ciaran Hinds has been clear that he’s done. So why disguise Mance as Tormund or Rattleshirt when you can just have Tormund or Rattleshirt serve the same role… if that role is even needed! Not to mention it would really cheapen Mance’s death if the producers simply said “Gotcha!”

      + Mance didn’t really have a presence on the show. Tormund is a well established character by now and I’m also sure he’s loads cheaper than Ciaran Hinds, who’s a much more famous actor.

      I’m sad to see Ciaran go, but I do think they did the character justice in his final appearance. Not a big fan of how the show used him (a waste of Ciaran Hinds considerable talents) or created the character overall, but this was the best send-off they could give him and I welcome it. Bringing him back from the dead in the show would cheapen the great moment we just had.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Overall, not a bad start. The Mance death didn’t have the same impact on me as I would have thought it would. I think this is because show Mance has none of the charisma of the book version. He’s pretty much been there as a figurehead for the Wildings and not the romanticised leader of the Free Folk(sneaking into Stark banquets playing his lute!) he should/could have been. With him gone, I fully expect Tormund to pick up this torch. It’s an acceptable change as it saves the cast getting too cluttered although I’ll miss his antics in Winterfell. I thought Mance’s reasons for not bending the knee and Stannis’ lack of concern about Wildings crossing the wall as long as he gets an army was a little too simplified but I guess there isn’t the time to show the moral quandries they’d have in full.
      Elsewhere, pretty much building for the rest of the season. Can’t grumble at that as it kind of mirrors the books in that after the culmination of so many arcs at the end of Storm of Swords then there has to be some set up or reload time!
      Still not sure about this Sansa thing, but hopefully that will become clearer make more sense in coming episodes. Brienne also seems to be a bit rudderless at the moment and is passing the time by being an arsehole to Pod!
      Mereen was the only disappointment of the episode for me. Things seem to be getting increasingly cheesier there between the characters. Maybe it’s because I’m not one for love stories but I think they’re detracting from more interesting things going down. Can’t wait for Barry to tell Dany she’s being a bit of a dick though! Could tell he was aching to do it! Perhaps he’s learnt his lessons from serving the Mad King and won’t just accept it…and after he and the rest of the Kingsguard kept telling Jaime not to speak out whlist they were guarding Aerys during all of his wacky endeavours (burning Starks, raping his sister, etc,etc).

      Highlight of the episode: Sweetrobin’s pathetic whimperings as he trys to swing a sword against some bemused servant which parralled nicely with Olly getting knocked down but getting back up again for more. “Get that shield up!”

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    33. TheTouchOfFrost:
      …Can’t wait for Barry to tell Dany she’s being a bit of a dick though! Could tell he was aching to do it! Perhaps he’s learnt his lessons from serving the Mad King and won’t just accept it…and after he and the rest of the Kingsguard kept telling Jaime not to speak out whlist they were guarding Aerys during all of his wacky endeavours…

      Yeah…that slight smirk and rolled eyes he gave after Dany’s queenish remarks to Hizdahr was priceless. You could tell he was thinking “Fuckin’ Targs…here we go again…. He needs to have a certain conversation with her…soon!

        Quote  Reply

    34. Hodor’s Bastard: You could tell he was thinking “Fuckin’ Targs…here we go again…. He needs to have a certain conversation with her…soon!

      I had the opposite interpretation: he was exasperated by Hizdahr failing to understand what having a Queen meant, and rolling his eyes at these silly foreigners (even if it is their country). It’s sort of like his insistence on using “your grace” in the books!

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    35. WeirwoodTreeHugger: Interesting. The interview with Hinds only confirms that he’s not coming back.

      You are not trying hard enough: with some effort, you could read his words to be confirmation that Mance is just fine, that LS is in this season, that Deepwood Motte is happening, and that INSERT BIG NAME HERE is playing Euron.

        Quote  Reply

    36. It definitely feels like we’ve entered the ‘calm before the storm’, and that we’re building towards the series’ climax. It’s a different vibe, but I like it.

      All the story-lines were good, though Jon’s seemed to lack emotional punch, which is especially disappointing given the rich characters it has to work with. The Mereen storyline seems a little sudden, though it was nice to see Dany acting a little more human.

      Looking forward to episode 2!

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    37. “Maggy the Frog tells Cersei a prophecy, but could Cersei make it happen through her efforts to avoid it?”

      It would be extremely disappointing if we got any other outcome!

        Quote  Reply

    38. Wimsey,

      Oh, Selmy knows better. Dany is stuck in “Half Measure” mode, trying to learn the art of compromise, but he knows that “Full Measure” is coming. He needs to have a convo about Daddy with her…soon! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    39. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Think he was getting flashbacks to Joffrey too.
      On a sidenote, it looks like Euron=Daario is dead in the water. No way could he have nipped to Pyke and back with Loraq (or whatever his name is) in tow! Plus , he’s given himself a backstory to. Looks like I can fully go back to thinking he’s just a greaseball as opposed to a greaseball with a purpose!

        Quote  Reply

    40. Can someone please answer a question for me which I cannot find the answer to. Did they show a traditional 2 minute recap of episode 4 at the season premiere? Because its on non of the files online! Also they did not have recaps for the subsequent episodes after the season 4 premiere right? Why not? and if not then why did they drop showing the yearly recap this time! Someone please answer! Thx

        Quote  Reply

    41. Motherofmadness,

      Did they show a traditional 2 minute recap of episode 4 at the season premiere?

      I assume you mean *season 4?
      And yes, they did show a recap before the premiere and will show a short recap before every episode the rest of the season.

        Quote  Reply

    42. JamesL,

      thank you! and yes I meant season 4. typo. If anyone can share a link for it I shall be grateful. I’m really interested in the way they edit it and had my own versions in my head. Just curious to see if it matches! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    43. So, I just hopped over to the other site for a junk food fix and couldn’t help but notice their unsullied thread and twitter recap! Good job they were pretty average to say the least!

      However one thing stood out. They’re suggesting that.

      Brienne will fight the mountain.

      Now this strikes me as utter rubbish which would be typical of the click bait rumour mongering I expect from there (one of the reasons I still visit it by the way). But can Sue or anybody else here confirm my scepticism?

        Quote  Reply

    44. snuuh: Guys, what happened to the twitter reactions recaps ? And the links to video reviews of each episode ?

      Nothing’s happened. Twitter recaps were never up on Mondays. They go up on Tuesdays.

      Video review round-up even later actually, as a lot of vidcappers take a few days to get their footage and editing together. The print review/recap round-up will be posted tomorrow, though. So basically, same old same old. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    45. Hodor’s Bastard,

      I am not sure of that: it really is not “better” given Westerosian values. Moreover, he already has counseled her againsy politic compromise before when warning that the Masters would find loopholes in employment that would reduce that to slavery.

      TheTouchOfFrost,
      How could that crazy conjecture ever have been “live?” Those two are half-worlds apart from each other at many points.

      Sometimes fan theory is a more egregious abuse and misuse of the word “theory” than conspracy theory is!

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    46. Has no one mentioned it yet? We now know he was in fact a book reader & is the person who dies in the show who is alive in the books. Although I still feel like Bronn is not making it out of Dorne

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    47. Thomas,

      It is not really clear if they did the switch or not. the Mance arc in the books was pretty crazy though, turned out he wasn’t really dead and now he is doing a black ops mission that seemed to have went wrong.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Galli: I definitely think that Mel has magic related reasons for burning people.

      Awww……. I await the day when her life is fulfilled and she becomes a crunchy snack for Drogon before he flies off to tackle the WWs. Melissandre would be so, so happy to have served the Lord of Light’s “fire-made-flesh” – a dragon. 🙂

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    49. Sue the Fury: Nothing’s happened. Twitter recaps were never up on Mondays. They go up on Tuesdays.

      Video review round-up even later actually, as a lot of vidcappers take a few days to get their footage and editing together. The print review/recap round-up will be posted tomorrow, though. So basically, same old same old.

      Well,it’s already Tuesday here in my neck of the wood ..LOL

      Most of the good video reviews went up a few hours after the episode aired :

      What The Flick?! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRuRGUozxTs
      Flicks And The City – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrMi4wP-ZCw
      Phil TheIssuesGuy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1st07Xjg4zI
      AfterBuzz TV – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp3lDwZ04m8
      ThinkHeroPro – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c6AXN87d7w
      IGN – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHTf3NKIqlo

      Only one missing is the one from SourceFedNERD.They are late!

        Quote  Reply

    50. ctid,

      JEEBUS. I’ve never even thought of that, and I like it. Honestly, at this point I feel like Brienne should tell the Starks to go eff themselves and get a more deserving storyline.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Wimsey,

      I wish I remembered what Hizdahr actually said at the time, but I remember thinking it sounded a lot like something Barristan had said earlier.

      I actually think Daenerys is trying to be full measure, and Barristan is arguing for half measure. He was the one not wanting the masters to be crucified, he was the one who thought burying White Rat in the Temple of the Graces was a bad idea too…he doesn’t want to rock the boat too much, pretty conservative, that’s the opposite of “full measure” in my opinion.

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    52. Oh my god, people. *MANCE* is dead! Accept it! Yes, I read the books. This is the show. They aren’t fucking around with glamour here, he’s just dead. Tormund is alive. So is Rattleshirt.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Hodor Targaryen,

      Crucifying those masters isn’t really a “full measure”, it’s the definition of a half-measure. Dany pissed off the masters, but left them otherwise in-tact. “Full measure” would be exterminating or dispossessing the entire master class, as she did in Astapor.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Sean C.,

      Well I’d say she’s like 75% measure, but that doesn’t sound as cool.

      But seriously, looking at how she wants to do things, and what advisors like Jorah and Barristan want her to do, she is the one who wants to go “full measure” (or mostly full, anyway). She doesn’t want to be somewhat just, she wants comolete justice served to those the masters. That was the logic behind the crucifying, that was not a compromise position to leave some.masters alive and kill others, it was a radical one. And in fact she’s expressed a desire in seeing all the masters, in Yunkai at least, dead. The people most adamant about compromising are her advisors.

      I don’t see how you can see the execution of over a hundred masters without trial as a half measure, when no one was calling for the comolete extermination of all slave owners. She has consistently been the one to propose or put into action the most extreme option on the table. Which I’m not saying is a good thing, but seeing her as half measuring and Barristan as a full measure advocate seems to completely ignore their past discussions.

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    55. I don’t think they will be the doing “FArya” thing, I have a feeling they are going to go in a completely different direction with that so there really is no reason for glamour Mance and the spear wives to go there. In that case a fake out Mance death seems pretty pointless.

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    56. Regarding Tormund

      in the books did Jon not ask Val – who I appreciate has not been cast in the show – to go and find Tormund (book Tormund still being free at that point)

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    57. I just watched it again, (3rd time ) didn’t the lil actress playing lil cersei get casted for 3 episodes ,

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    58. Hodor Targaryen:
      She has consistently been the one to propose or put into action the most extreme option on the table. Which I’m not saying is a good thing, but seeing her as half measuring and Barristan as a full measure advocate seems to completely ignore their past discussions.

      Yes…I tend to concur. My original point with the “Half measure/Full measure” reference was that Dany, being a Targ queen in both ambition and genetics, is going to have a tendency to go full measure with regards to rule. Selmy may be the best advisor on her team to save her from herself in Meereen…but he knows full measure is coming as Dany’s dragons get bigger, as Dany learns to control them, and as she sets her sights on Westeros.

      On the other hand, he has seen out-of-control full measure in progress and its effect (Mad Aerys & Joffrey) and I believe he respects and fears it. While in Meereen, he hopes she is more half measured during her daily ruling activities but the art of compromise is not yet her best trait. Ruling Meereen is not like “conquering” Astapor and Yunkai (as you say, “75% measure”) and Selmy is there to throttle her extreme tendencies when it is unnecessary, it seems…and he knows it. Hence, he has these subtle reactions during Dany’s decision-making process. He also knows that one of these days, Dany will be able to whip out the Dragon card (serious Full Measure) to enforce her actions via the Unsullied/Second Sons.

      But as Wimsey implied above, will Selmy’s vast experience with rule in Westeros matter in Slaver’s Bay? What is the best “half/full measure” balance while in her current state of existence?

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    59. trarecar:
      Jon putting Mance out of his misery is also a nice way to get lots of his fellow Watchers mad at him.

      It can go two ways

      Those who really hate the Wildlings wouldn’t have liked it because they would have wanted to see the Wildling leader suffer

      There’s some though who would have recognised it as Jon asserting the integrity of the institution of Night’s Watch and butting in against a King no less to ensure Mance is executed by a member of the NW as a NW deserter as per NW customs as opposed to dying as a religious/magical sacrifice.

      It’s probably similar to how some felt it was necassary for loyal NW members to be the ones who put the mutineers who killed LC Mormont

      In terms of the books, it’s probably half the reason Coldhands which is the Wight of a former NW member is diverted from guiding Bran and co to killing the mutineers by Brynden Rivers.

      Sure some of it is food but has to be remembered Bloodraven is a former LC of the NW which is why he chose Coldhands to serve him as a NW Wight and why they helped Sam and wouldn’t have had much time for the mutineers who killed a LC

      It actually reminds me of the fact that Bloodraven is many things and one them is perhaps a NW deserter given he kind of just left his post as LC. Counter argument is that he is in Mormonts Raven so he would say that he is always there with the NW in Raven form so hasn’t deserted

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    60. Ep 1 broke the Sky Atlantic record in the UK, this is the channel it airs on here. This is just factoring in the initial viewing for the premiere at 9pm, and consolidated figures will be released later this week.

      That’s pretty big tbh!

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    61. Sue, I don’t want to interfer too much with the site’s posts, but do you think it’s possible to have three separate discussion threads for the coming episode? I haven’t watched the leaked episodes, but I am sullied. The sullied episode thread felt useless because most spoiler-tagged posts discussed the leaked episodes, while the unsullied thread left me unable to articulate what I wanted. It’s a very frustrating place to be stuck in. Making a sullied/non-leak-post and a sullied/leak-post could help in that regards to the group that’s stuck in the middle. Mostly also because the sullied post for the next episode will not be about 5×02, because the people have seen the leaks will use it to refresh the discussion for post-5×04, instead of discussing 5×02 mostly.

      So if it isn’t too much trouble, it would make my day, come Sunday/Monday.

      Cheers, Ser Oromis

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    62. The Wars To Come is probably the best premiere in my opinion. It has a clear focus on ideals, very much seen in both Jon, Tyrions and Danys stories. Dany is facing an uprising and constantly has to confront her own ideals. Tyrion and Varys has that long discussion about the best possible ruler, which is very much about ideals too.

      And of course the last sequence, which in my opinion is one of the best, most athmospheric and brutally phillosofical scenes in the whole series. Mance Rayder is an idealist, and we see the long discussion, where Jon basically tries to get him to abandon those ideals. And the last bit, where he stands tall at the pire, and slowly breaks and starts showing fear and dread, as the flames creep up around him. He has chosen to dye for his beliefs, but the very human fear still catches up with him and its so heartbreaking to watch. It gets really discusting and brutal just before it ends, and that last look between Mance and Jon, is just a great little bit of mercy in the middle of a discusting scene.

      Can we please get a curtain call for Ciaran Hinds, who wasn’t everyones favorite Mance Rayder, when he got cast, and who wasnt always used the same way as he was in the books, but whose arc ended up being about a true freedom fighter, who payed the ultimate price for his ideals. And did he own that last sequence or what. I’m gonna vote for him, when the wotw awards are to be decided.

      So yeah, a brilliant premiere in my mind 🙂

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    63. Spoiler —–Based on info I have , I just have some intresting thoughts about season 5, I beleive that some missing charectors will make it into this season or by the end of the story , Morelike the later half in this season.(“Most of the early on scene deaths we’re based on budgeting decisions for future actors and antagonists “) these are words spoke by a friend of mine in the entertainment scene ;based on probabilities I’m gonna say the young griff/Jon con story line has a far better chance of happening than some people expect I’d say it’s 80% probablity this season 88 % percent by season 6 ,I’d say stoneheart is 28% likely this season – if she ain’t in this season she won’t be in , Euron greyjoy 45 % this year, 95 % by season 6, victorion greyjoy 25% this year 35% by next year . The damper 2% this year 10% next year, ice dragons 50% this year 100% by season 6 or 7 . Arianne , Quentyn , strong belwas and cold hands are out but there’s hope for some others .although it’s clear there hiding big secrets and all the trailor stuff we had was mostly from first. 4 episodes, with the confirm
      Of the leaked episodes I’d say we have some more hope now . And the show is deff doing a big reveal by the end of this season the question now is who????

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    64. Grand maester giz,

      I’m pretty sure that the Griffs are completely cut from this show. They’re useless fluff that contribute nothing to the storyline. Danys’s invasion of Westeros will pretty much follow what the Griffs have done in the books so far.

      I’m also 95% positive LSH is cut from this show as well (she might make an appearance in Season 6, depending on how important her role is in Winter, but I’m guessing that any revenge on the Freys on the show will be performed by the Brothers without Banners led by the Blackfish).

      Euron I’d say is a 50/50 possibility for Season 6, again depending on how important he is to the overall story (plus there’s that hanging fruit of Balon Greyjoy’s leech to deal with). If Euron is in, he’ll most likely be a composite of all of Theon’s uncles. Victarion and Damphair are definitely cut.

      Sam’s journey to Oldtown will probably be in Season 6. I’m guessing Sam and Gilly leaves for Oldtown either during “Kill the Boy” or shortly after that. Sam won’t be around for “For the Watch.” Sam will leave Castle Black towards the end of the season, and we won’t see Sam again until Season 6 (other than maybe the Sam / Arya meeting in Bravoos in a latter episode). I’m guessing Oldtown will be an important part of Season 6, with the maester conspiracy, the real Jaqen H’ghar, and the fourth Sand Snake all hanging out there. (Pure speculation here.)

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    65. wowramin has really stepped it up this season. the growth of the bravos theme is amazing.the harpy and fairh militant themes are quite cool.

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    66. Season 5 is starting to look like a tightly wound up clock ticking down. The first episode was far far from boring, and at a measured pace, was suspended beautifully between past and future. Having said that, The only sticking point in the episode was Emilia Clark’s acting, which has been scene chewing over all four seasons, but just seems to get worse instead of better. Unlike Harrington the former mouth breather who has gotten so so much better in the acting department, Clarke just gets more and more cringeworthy. The makeup department also seems to have shortened her forehead by moving the wig forward, and with the closed neckline and cape, she looks and acts about five, with a unusually immobile face. It’s the one thing the show got wrong, casting Clarke.

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    67. Harlequin:
      Season 5 is starting to look like a tightly wound up clock ticking down. The first episode was far far from boring, and at a measured pace, was suspended beautifully between past and future. Having said that, The only sticking point in the episode was Emilia Clark’s acting, which has been scene chewing over all four seasons, but just seems to get worse instead of better. Unlike Harrington the former mouth breather who has gotten so so much better in the acting department, Clarke just gets more and more cringeworthy. The makeup department also seems to have shortened her forehead by moving the wig forward, and with the closed neckline and cape, she looks and acts about five, with a unusually immobile face. It’s the one thing the show got wrong, casting Clarke.

      clarke is better this season.
      you seem to have a vendetta against her,keep your venom away from our site.

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    68. Harlequin:
      Season 5 is starting to look like a tightly wound up clock ticking down. The first episode was far far from boring, and at a measured pace, was suspended beautifully between past and future. Having said that, The only sticking point in the episode was Emilia Clark’s acting, which has been scene chewing over all four seasons, but just seems to get worse instead of better. Unlike Harrington the former mouth breather who has gotten so so much better in the acting department, Clarke just gets more and more cringeworthy. The makeup department also seems to have shortened her forehead by moving the wig forward, and with the closed neckline and cape, she looks and acts about five, with a unusually immobile face. It’s the one thing the show got wrong, casting Clarke.

      go back to westeros.org, imdb or golden derby where your fellow trolls are.

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    69. Josh L.,

      See I have a friend who makes movies and knows a lot of people in the industry and I know Gary Oldman had intrest on being in the show and there’s gonna be a big name actor joining the cast . He fits best as Euron in my mind. And the kickasstorents leak revealed that almost every scene that was shown in 90 percent of all the trailors comes in first four episodes this season ,and that’s because of a big reveal . Now why would hbo every year have a sneak preview of the upcoming season except season 5. Now why do you think young griff , stoneheart and euron aren’t important to the story?? Euron will be way way ,more important to Danys storyline than the harpy . I mean the clues are all there, and I understand it sucks to look forward to someone and not get it , but we shall see , personally I think there gonna do euron and YG this season

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    70. Not trolling at all. Just don’t think she’s a good actress at all, and going forward may end up doing disservice to the character. The innotation of her delivery for example is so stuff, go back and take a look at last season, her delivery is so off- reminds me of whatshisname from tricky, ‘ I will break you!’

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    71. Grand maester giz,

      There were plenty of late-season material in the trailers. All the Hardhome stuff, Jorah at the gladiator’s pit (as well as some of the huge battle that’s going to be the climax of that storyline), and a dragon breathing fire into the TV screen

      (most likely Rhaegal frying whoever assumes Quentyn’s role in freeing them).

      And that’s also typical of the trailers that we’ve seen GoT do so far. Heavy on the scenes from the first few episodes, and a few scenes teasing the climax of the latter episodes (last season’s trailer, for example, had Oberyn doing his spinning jump right before his big battle with the Mountain, Tyrion’s “If you want justice, you’ve come to the wrong place” line, and a few scenes from the big battle at Castle Black). Nearly everything else was from the first four episodes.

      That pattern seems to hold up for the Season 5 trailer as well.

      In any case, we’ll see what happens.

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    72. Josh L.,

      Yeh but only from Daniks put hard home and dorne which was on the hbo in
      The life special so what about the rest of the story? That leaves a lot of material

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    73. Grand maester giz,

      Besides that we’ve got very lil glimpses into the rest of the story and my buddy told me about the Charlie day Danny devito thing weeks before it was posted . The basic idea is the show spent more time protecting the plot lines this year than any other year before . The Jaime duck thing to , the show is gonna introduce certain charectors differently to shift payroll around and make it more practical for people who don’t know the story inside an out , why bring stoneheart in for one moment in season 4 than forget about it why not bring her in when it’s vital to the story same with griff same with euron . It’s not gonna not do all three that’s all I know

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    74. Grand maester giz,

      And the latest I hear is it’s most likely gonna be 8 seasons but that depends on George if he doesn’t get the book done certain story lines which are being discussed now for 6 would have to change than it that case it would be 7 or 7 and a half but in the case that the whole books done and there’s enough to make 9 seasons with the outline a ados than they’ll draw back in time from book story to show story to introduce more to it in a way that doesn’t comprise the story . Basically all parties involved right now are in a stand still

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    75. ctid,

      Eugh. That would be horrible. They’d have Brienne win of course because having her beat men is a lot easier than actually giving her any character development! Folks want the Cleganebowl!

      Wimsey,

      I was very dubious and then watched this ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crn_eg-1ekU#t=964 ) which brought me round to it a bit more. Certianly a lot of links even if it is , in most likelyhood, a stretch to be true. Sure Euron has a part to play (well…at least in the books ) if he’s been labelled as the biggest threat to Dany. Having someone talk his way into her emotions, heart and bed in which to try and gain her/her dragons is way more dangerous than any outward enemy. May just be I like the idea of her not seeing the threat that is right beside her should it come to pass but hey, we can speculate away until everything is ruled out.

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    76. Hodor’s Bastard: What is the best “half/full measure” balance while in her current state of existence?

      This is what “wisdom” is, and you only get it through experience. In this case (as in the books), Daeny does have to go it somewhat “blind.” Her particular individual ideals and her (and Barristan’s) general Westerosi ideals do not mesh with the locals: they both are (effectively) “foolish” in this world in the same way all people are foolish in a strange culture.

      Ultimately, however, it will be the character development that is important: that in turn will probably become a big plot issue (as well as a story issue) in the season and book to come.

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    77. TheTouchOfFrost: Certianly a lot of links even if it is , in most likelyhood, a stretch to be true.

      As GRRM has not hung a Time Turner gun on the wall, the conjecture is easily falsified: Daario and Euron cannot be the same person if they are two different places at the same time! Unless the Euron at the Kingsmoot is fake, I suppose…. (If I recall, he doesn’t actually do anything other than glower, so I suppose that could be evidence that he is a fake.)

      TheTouchOfFrost: Sure Euron has a part to play (well…at least in the books )

      It almost cannot be a big part, though: I mean, I think he has yet to even say a line in the books! Whatever contribution Euron (or, more probably, Victarion) makes will be so small in proportion to the whole plot that it would overly magnify it to include it on the TV show. The fact that B&W cut the Greyjoys indicates that they view their ultimate plot contribution as either insignificant or just as easily done by someone/thing else. My guess is that they are going to be logically equivalent to Merry’s Arnorian sword.

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    78. Ser Oromis Locke,

      King in the North Carolina,

      I, too, don’t want to create extra work for anyone, but somehow limiting discussion of anything from leaked episodes to one place would be great. Ultimately, it may even result in less work, in that if everything is directed to and contained in one place, mods wouldn’t have to “patrol” the threads as much. I was thinking something along the lines of a special “article” along the lines of “while we don’t condone the viewing of leaked episodes, but if you must discuss them, discuss them here, and, no, linking to them is still not allowed,” or something along those lines. Maybe even a special note about it at the top of the home-page. Maybe even do that with a link to the forums, and have the discussion in the forums. I’m just thinking “out loud” here.

      I don’t know if it’s possible, and maybe the best solution is not to allow any discussion of the leaked episode, at all.

      I know people on all sides of this are doing their best to be respectful/accommodate/whatever, but given the whole “what to do with conversations about leaked episodes” will be going on for the next three weeks, maybe there’s a cleaner solution which will make everyone’s experience (including the mods) better. 🙂

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    79. Wimsey,

      It’s possible as Daario goes missing for large chunks of the books and Euron is rarely spotted. In that video, they actually work out the timeline and work out that it is possible, although unlikely, that he can travel between the two locales ( talk of blood magic to make his ship sail faster). In a world of dragons, wights and ressurection, a bit of fast travel isn’t completely ridiculous! Again, it’s unlikely but ruling something out completely is always a bad idea.

      It’s pretty hard to say really. I mean you would have thought Young Griff was pretty crucial but it looks like he’s gone. If they’re stripping it right back then he could become less important. But at what point does a fishing rod become a stick with a piece string attached to it?!

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    80. Wimsey,

      Oh and…

      He’s certainly got a flair for the dramatic!

      “ Godless? Why, Aeron, I am the godliest man ever to raise sail! You serve one god, Damphair, but I have served ten thousand. From Ib to Asshai, when men see my sails, they pray.”
      – Euron, to Aeron Greyjoy

      “ We are the ironborn, and once we were conquerors. Our writ ran everywhere the sound of the waves was heard. My brother would have be content with the cold and dismal north, my niece with even less … but I shall give you Lannisport. Highgarden. The Arbor. Oldtown. The riverlands and the Reach, the kingswood and the rainwood, Dorne and the marches, the Mountains of the Moon and the Vale of Arryn, Tarth and the Stepstones. I say we take it all! I say, we take Westeros. ”
      – Euron, at the kingsmoot

      “ I am the storm, my lord. The first storm, and the last.”
      – Euron, to Rodrik Harlaw

      “Perhaps we can fly. All of us. How will we ever know unless we leap from some tall tower? No man ever truly knows what he can do unless he dares to leap.”

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    81. TheTouchOfFrost: It’s possible as Daario goes missing for large chunks of the books and Euron is rarely spotted. In that video, they actually work out the timeline and work out that it is possible,

      Gee, that’s not a negative evidence argument or anything, given that Euron is basically never in the narrative in the first place. Their reasoning is ridiculously Procrustean. I suppose they were posting the same stuff about Dumbledore actually being Slughorn in disguise when Snape killed Dumbledore!

      Seriously, there is a reason why Occam’s Razor is the most basic principle in critical thinking. My poor icon would be spinning in his grave if he were not completely recycled into the ecosystem by now.

      TheTouchOfFrost: He’s certainly got a flair for the dramatic!

      “Melodramatic” is nearer the mark. Did GRRM really write that puerile drivel? If so, then I had completely blocked it from my memory. I guess that my primary memory from Crows is that I was pretty firmly in the “Dorne sucked worse than the Iron Islands” camp, and although I remember that I acknowledged that both were bad (with one bad and the other worse), I guess that I’d forgotten how bad both parts were: really, it was worse and worst!

      I think that the other thing I forget is how poorly written Crows was. GRRM does not have the best prose ever, but it evolved into a pretty effective form by Swords. It was pretty good again in Dragons. However, I remember being struck by how awful it was in Crows: it was almost like parts had been written by a different author. (I recall that this was a common complaint at the time, too.) It has a lot to do with why I’ve never been able to re-read the book.

      Hopefully Crows will remain the nadir of GRRM’s writing career.

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    82. Harlequin,

      Actually I don’t mind Emilia Clark as Dany, though I know you are not the only person who has issues with her casting. I have become “Sullied” since the show started; when I first watched it I had not read or listened to any of the books so I don’t know if things would be different if I had read the books first and formed a mental image of how Dany should be. Offhand I can’t think of any other actresses who could do an authentic English accent (and of course I’m not the one who decided to cast {mostly} English sounding people) and are petite and could pass for a teenager, though of course I’m sure such actresses exist.

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    83. Wimsey,

      You certainly do lack imagination! YES it is unlikely. NO it is not impossible. That is the basic point I’m trying to get across! You even seem to agree but present it in an argumentative way!

      Different strokes for different folks. You can dislike it all you like but be careful as you’re walking a dangerous line of pompousity. Personally, I enjoyed his rather outlandish personality and almost cartoonish characterisation.

      Crows was fine. Was always going to be in the shadow of ASoS and a lot of it was building and bedding new characters in. Probably the worst book in the series but worst doesn’t automatically mean bad.

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