Game of Thrones prepares to film the Tower of Joy; plus updated Saintfield spoilers!

Castillo de Zafra

Castillo de Zafra

As reported last month, Game of Thrones will be filming at the Castillo de Zafra in Campillo de Dueñas, Spain, on September 28, 29 and 30th.

The stone-bedded castle, located in the Sierra de Caldereros in Guadalajara province, was unofficially confirmed as the Tower of Joy a while back, and we also received more details at that time of the Legendary Swordfighter character presumed to be Ser Arthur Dayne.

LaVanguardia reports that it’s “estimated to be around 200 people” arriving with trucks and trailers to film September 28th-30th. They say that the castle’s owner, Daniel Sanz, informs them that Game of Thrones has permission to shoot both inside and outside the castle, but that he doesn’t know the planned details of the shooting, only the dates.

The casting breakdown for the Dayne character stated he would be filming in Northern Ireland, indicating studio filming. It’s not known if his stunt double (mentioned in the writeup) will also solely be shooting in N.I. or if we can expect a stunt fighter to turn up for filming at the Castillo de Zafra at the end of September.

The potential significance of the Tower of Joy is not lost on any reader of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. The events that took place at the tower (and the ones hinted at) form the heart of many major fan theories.

Given how isolated the Castillo de Zafra is, though, it will be very difficult for anyone to find out what’s happening at the castle before Game of Thrones wants us to.


Filming news elsewhere: Saintfield, Northern Ireland continues to be a busy hub of activity, though production manages to keep most of it under wraps. One fan spotted this sign yesterday:

MAJOR SPOILERS

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If you recall, Saintfield is where Game of Thrones is filming a massive battle sequence between the Boltons and the wildlings. Our sources say ultimately several armies are involved with this epic battle, and that this week Kit Harington and Iwan Rheon are back on set.

We’ve also heard Game of Thrones is expected to be working in this part of Saintfield throughout September and into the first couple weeks of October. With a shooting period this long, this battle may outdo anything we’ve ever seen on Game of Thrones.

382 responses

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    1. Ravyn,

      Only name I’ve even heard is Katie McGrath, which goes with a grain of salt because it was a “friend of a friend of a source” on 4chan or something. Regardless, I would 150% approve if she was cast. A little aged up (as is everything on this show) but she’s a stone cold stunner and has the Stark look.

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    2. Bergey:
      Ravyn,

      Only name I’ve even heard is Katie McGrath, which goes with a grain of salt because it was a “friend of a friend of a source” on 4chan or something. Regardless, I would 150% approve if she was cast. A little aged up (as is everything on this show) but she’s a stone cold stunner and has the Stark look.

      Ooooh! That would be sweet! She’s gorgeous!! And you’re right, she does have Stark-like qualities!

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    3. “They say that the castle’s owner, Daniel Sanz, informs them that Game of Thrones has permission to shoot both inside and outside the castle, but that he doesn’t know the planned details of the shooting, only the dates.”

      How do I get to be a “castle owner.” I mean, damn.

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    4. People have been fancasting McGrath for years, so that’s probably what that was. She’s a bit too old for the role of a teenager. They’ll probably just pick some random unknown who is a lot more affordable and around 18-20 years old.

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    5. The biggest battle the North (and GoT) has ever seen… 😉 (Can’t wait for this… Epic NEWS!!!) And Gualadajara (Esto es bestial!!)

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    6. OMG, can’t wait!

      Is this battle scene going to make all the other GoT epic battle scenes seem pedestrian?

      I cannot wait to see resurrected Jon Snow aka Azor Ahai rush into battle and slay some A-holes!!!

      Also, we know that the red priestess will now be all about following and doing whatever she can in service of Jon, I guess the wildlings will rally around Jon, what about the Nights Watch? We know not all of them were in on his assassination.

      Any idea who the director will be? If it is that Miguel guy… Things are going to be so good we will be shaking!

      April can’t come soon enough!

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    7. Yes launch the drones indeed 🙂

      Do extras have to sign something to say they won’t tell anyone what they’re doing and anything they might have seen or heard? Just wondering because there don’t seem to be any tweets from people saying “I was in the Bolton army” for example.

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    8. @TheTouchOfFrost So far there has only been 2 flashback scenes confirmed and both of them are from the books,but sure whatever you say dude . At least there isn’t atrocious filler like in the last two books .

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    9. TormundsWoman,

      Damn! Beat me to it; I found this great picture of the Castello, what I like is not only how high it sits above the valley (see tiny trees) but if you look at the lower right you’ll notice a tree and pond set in a hollow below the tower, a perfect spot perhaps to film the initial confrontation, then the battle works it’s way up to the front gate.
      Furthermore, I’m sure they’ll cgi the tower to even greater heights for the show, and maybe continue the wall all the way to the gatehouse. I wonder if the original wall was constructed so, and time and war took it’s toll.

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    10. I’d love for the show to do a spectacular open field battle. We’ve gotten two great sieges but nothing really in open field. I’m envisioning a Braveheart sized battle in the snow.

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    11. Game of Thrones!!!!!

      This is one of those extremely rare cases where we have a proven cash cow, a proven rating monster and just all around a proven top quality show.

      D&D are probably at the point that they can ask HBO for any kind of budget increase they want and will get it.

      I am guessing, if we thought we have seen top notch movie quality scenes before, we aint seen nothing yet.

      I have a feeling these last seasons of GoT are going to be so epic they will make the previous seasons seem small scale.

      D&D are going all in, and undoubtable HBO is in full support with their checkbook.

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    12. Arthur:
      Also, we know that the red priestess will now be all about following and doing whatever she can in service of Jon, I guess the wildlings will rally around Jon, what about the Nights Watch?We know not all of them were in on his assassination.

      It’s not like there are enough watchmen left for them to be numerically significant in any battle. I expect Edd (the only identifiable non-mutineer watchman left) will be onboard, at least.

      We know about the the wildlings, the Boltons and the Umbers. We can assume the Karstarks are probably here too, in whatever capacity.

      The real question mark is if the Valemen are going to be here in some capacity; the actor playing Royce isn’t filming again until December, but (a) he’s not the sort of actor you’d cast for combat scenes anyway and (b) it’s only speculative that he’s with the Arryn army in the North anyway, albeit pretty good speculation. I’ve been wondering if, akin to how several of the characters appear to be holding in place until the last third of the season (e.g., Jaime in KL, Arya in Braavos), the writers are going to keep Littlefinger in KL until around the same time and he’ll show up in the North at the very end (he does get there, assuming the report of him filming at Winterfell is accurate). I’ve been wondering about this since effectively the writers curtailed the Vale plotline and then shuffled its two prominent characters (Sansa and Littlefinger) into different stories; the invasion of the North seems like it’s meant to eventually bring them back together at that point, but given where things stand at the start of TWOW that invasion doesn’t seem likely to happen for a while yet, so perhaps Littlefinger’s invasion in the show is being held off until approximately the point it happens in the book.

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    13. Is there any comparison for how long filming for the battle of the north is vs. how long other major battles (i.e. Hardhome, Blackwater Bay, and Battle for the Wall)? This could give us a better understanding of the scope and whether or not it will take up a full episode like Blackwater and Watchers on the Wall or a partial episode more in the vein of Hardhome.

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    14. Arthur,

      No,HBO doesn’t have limitless money because they don’t grow on trees. No matter how much you look at it GOT is still a tv show and its budget will still look weak in comparison to the Hollywood blockbusters,do you know how hard is to get Avengers type money today ? Because nowadays audiences are more fickle and don’t spend as much money on the theater,studios are starting to see this and are more becoming reluctant on giving out tons of cashflow unless it’s 100% guaranteed they are going to make at least twice the profit . I understand GOT is the most popular show on TV but don’t even try to say they make as much money as those type of movies .

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    15. Let-it-Snow,

      Heh, in the text it’s “tower of joy”:

      Ned had pulled the tower down afterward, and used its bloody stones to build eight cairns upon the ridge. It was said that Rhaegar had named that place the tower of joy, but for Ned it was a bitter memory. They had been seven against three, yet only two had lived to ride away; Eddard Stark himself and the little crannogman, Howland Reed.

      But in fan discussion it has become the Tower of Joy, as a formal name.

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    16. Jon AND Ramsay? SNOWBOWL CONFIRMED.

      …To be fair, most of us were assuming that Ramsay was the one leading the Bolton forces. BUT STILL.

      With the “several armies” bit, it sounds like the Vale forces are probably in there somewhere, but Rupert Vansittart (Yohn Royce) said he was filming in July and December, so I don’t know what to think.

      The thing that puzzles me about the 6×09 Bolton battle spoilers is that Aidan Gillen and Sophie Turner were seen in the Winterfell set. However, we now know that Ramsay is alive and kicking as of 6×09 and has enough soldiers to at least mount a force for this big battle. I suppose Littlefinger and Sansa could flush out the Boltons earlier in Season 6, only for them to regroup outside Winterfell and consolidate their forces for this big battle, but…I dunno. Seems fishy. Sansa would never go back to Winterfell if the Boltons were still there unless she was dragged back by force, but what’s the point of a big battle in 6×09 if the Bolton forces were already broken by Vale soldiers and the Boltons were already chased from Winterfell and on the run?

      …I dunno.

      As for the length of time of the battle, the Hardhome battle scene was about 18 minutes or so (…I think?) and took three weeks to film. So if this battle takes five or six weeks to film, it’s likely going to be considerably longer.

      I’m so excited for this battle. Hardhome was brill, and this is going to be even better. I kind of feel bad for Neil Marshall that he won’t get the chance to do it, but I know that Sapochnik will do an amazing job.

      With respect to other storylines, we know that the Arya/Waif chase scene is in 6×08, and she winds up in the Riverlands in 6×10. So it could be that the 6×08 scene culminates in Arya getting kicked out of the FM for good, and she sits out 6×09 only to pop up in Westeros in 6×10.

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    17. Greywind,

      I expect Dayne to be the only one there from the KG.
      The northeners? Don’t know. depends.

      Do they want a personal duel between Dayne and Ned? 1v1
      Do the want to show how badass Dayne is? Then I expect at most a 3v1

      A 7v3 fight would be way to clunky to film/stage/direct,..etc

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    18. The battle of the Five Armies? Four Armies? At least Three Armies (Wildings with King Crow, Boltons with Ramsey/Roose, Northern Lords with Rickon.)

      Three days at the ToJ? That means a lot of outside sequences, because I doubt they would do the indoor filming there and not in studios in N.I.

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    19. Arthur,

      That’s the spirit bro! Too many ppl nitpicking, just sit back relax and enjoy the ride! We’re gonna have our peaks and valleys but when it’s all over and u look at the whole show collectively it could go down as the best show ever.

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    20. M,

      Sort of following my earlier thought, it’s possible that Littlefinger only shows up at the very end of the season (i.e., after the battle) and exactly how the other characters will interact with him will be left until the following year. This would seem to broadly track what seems likely to happen in the books (once they’re written).

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    21. Claudius,

      I am not saying HBO is going to provide them limitless funds, just saying HBO will gladly increase the budget, within reason, to an already huge budgeted series. Which basically means more battle scenes on a bigger scale moving forward.

      Which pretty much is a must since we all know the last two books will have many battles, so it is only right D&D also incorporate them into the show and HBO agree to pay the tab… It’s not like they wont make their money back.

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    22. Sean C.,

      However, (and I’m not saying this is definitely the case) we do to know if the shooting schedule changed for this, and although Rupert Vansittart might originally have been not been due back until December they altered this. His comments were made back in mid-June, with the WotW article dated 17th June, so it is possible.

      Maybe, maybe not, but I feel like the Vale would be a great late addition to the battle, perhaps when it looks like the Boltons are going to win. I can’t see them being part of the battle at all if Vansittart isn’t filming until December.

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    23. Sean C.:
      M,

      Sort of following my earlier thought, it’s possible that Littlefinger only shows up at the very end of the season (i.e., after the battle) and exactly how the other characters will interact with him will be left until the following year.This would seem to broadly track what seems likely to happen in the books (once they’re written).

      I thought that, too, about Littlefinger showing up in 6×10 after the actual battle to take advantage of the results of others’ fighting. However, based on the 6×09 spoilers, I thought that Jon would be taking down the Bolton banners in Winterfell to fit in with Melisandre’s vision of victory, and there was no mention of Kit Harington being spotted on the Winterfell set, so I dunno.

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    24. tyjon,

      That picture idk man, the scenery is great but there’s like three windows on the whole damn thing, more like the tower of horrors. Still a great choice………. BTW did anyone check out the bastard executioner? Pretty girl with bleach blonde hair, check. Violence, check. Dragon hybrid thingy, check. Three word catchy title, check. Guy dishing out backshots, check. I know I’m forgetting some stuff as well, and this was all before the first commercial! That’s KS recipe for success, take all the elements from GoT put your own spin on it and viola!

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    25. Hm. If it’s e09, it’s going to be in the traditional “game changer” spot. Anyone thought that Jon, NW, wildlings, Umbers, Karstarks AND Boltons are maybe together battling WW? That would be epic, and would confirm some reports from A line casts who got the whole script that s6 will be outrageous.

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    26. Wherever the crew is staying when they film the TOJ sequence, fans in the area NEED to be on the lookout for Sean Bean or other notable actors who may have been cast. There won’t be any pictures of filming, but there’s no reason an actor or two can’t be spotted around town.

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    27. tyjon,

      Thanks for the link to the photo. Incredible! Should make for a powerful scene.

      Greatjon of Slumber,

      That was my reaction as well. I want one of those.

      A question to the editors/mods…
      Will you offer any coverage of Sunday’s Emmy awards? Live tweeting of results perhaps? I will probably be watching the Mets-Yankees baseball game and checking online for Emmy results.

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    28. I really hope that they case Rhaegar one day. I’d like to have the ‘was she or wasn’t she kidnapped answer laid to rest before the series is over.

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    29. M,

      If I recall correctly, Turner and Gillen (the latter not quite as confirmed) were the only people we heard of as filming at the Winterfell sets, so it’s possible that Harrington et al. was filming and we just didn’t hear about it. If nothing else, it seems unlikely that the Boltons have no scenes in Winterfell next season, but I don’t think we heard anything about Rheon or McElhatton filming there.

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    30. RpCola:
      OK here’s as far as I’ve gotten compiling filming so far, skeptical about Bender and the Iron Islands just because I want it to be much earlier than Ep 5.

      http://imgur.com/6vA09uf

      This is really helpful. A few things:

      1. Kingsmoot: I think we know that this is 6×05 or 6×06 (so Jack Bender).
      2. Sept Confrontation: I think the sept confrontation has been confirmed to be 6×06.
      3. Snow Battle: This has been confirmed to be 6×09, not 6×10.
      4. The Bridge that Swayed: Assuming it’s Balon, this would have to be one of in the first five episodes, since the Kingsmoot happens no later than 6×06.

      Looking at the chart, it seems like we have a pretty good idea of what Arya’s arc will be this year:

      -Arya remains blind for a few episodes, visited by the Waif
      -Arya regains her sight, is assigned to work with a theatre troupe (3 episodes)
      -Arya is chased by the Waif and either escapes or is forcibly booted out of the FM
      -Arya returns to the Riverlands
      -episodes Arya sits out: maybe 6×02 and/or 6×09

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    31. Not to be a downer…but just out of curiosity, is there another source that this is the Tower of Joy besides that one spanish publication and/or website? I’m just curious because there is no info on a Lyanna and no info on a Ned that would fit this timeline either. That teenaged Ned they cast is way too young to be part of this scene. So true they could keep that quiet…but how quiet could they keep it, really? We have videos and pictures of filming, knowledge of what’s being filmed, knowledge of what’s going to be filmed, and yet no Lyanna casting info or even a casting call sheet with info that sounds like Lyanna has leaked? No casting info or even a casting call sheet with info that sounds like the proper age Ned. And no casting info or even a casting call sheet with info that sounds like Rhaegar. We’ll see I guess.

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    32. Sean C.: It’s not like there are enough watchmen left for them to be numerically significant in any battle. I expect Edd (the only identifiable non-mutineer watchman left) will be onboard, at least

      Much as I would love to see Edd fighting alongside Jon again, I don’t see how that could happen. No matter how anguished or angry Edd would be over what happened to Jon, Edd would still be Nights Watch, restricted by his vows. Although seeing Edd rebel and escape the NW would be interesting.

      As for epic battle scenes equal to big budget movie style, these guys do an amazing job with the budget they have. Both Hardhome and Watchers on the Wall (Season 4 Episode 9) were as heart-stopping and breath taking to me as anything I’ve ever seen in big budget movie, and Episode 9 translated beautifully to the big screen. Not to jinx any future budget increases that might be had, and if that’s what the guys need, then I hope they get the increases, but sometimes a bigger budget doesn’t necessarily equal a better movie.

      Sue the Fury: They’ll probably just pick some random unknown who is a lot more affordable and around 18-20 years old.

      This made me LOL, Sue. You’ve been doing a great job. We notice and appreciate it.

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    33. tyjon,

      Lol, too slow :p

      Pretty great shot you found, tyjon! What I like about that tree at the bottom left of the screen is that it looks like it could be just great for a

      weirwood hackview intro… *freakout*

      #FlashbacksAreComing

      #PrepareForSerDayne

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    34. SnowBowl/BastardBowl for at least an entire episode! 🙂

      I also doubt this is straight up Jon vs Ramsay – it would be wild to have a temporary alliance against something much bigger.

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    35. Claudius,

      He never compared GoT to big blockbuster movies, but the fact remains that GoT is the one show that is making HBO a shit load of money right now and they need a show like that, especially with the whole HBO Now thing going on. GoT is the one show that most people talk about on HBO right now. D&D may not be able to asked for unlimited money, but certainly for a lot.

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    36. Pigeon:
      SnowBowl/BastardBowl for at least an entire episode!

      I also doubt this is straight up Jon vs Ramsay – it would be wild to have a temporary alliance against something much bigger.

      I’m pretty sure it’s straight-up Jon vs. Ramsay. I think this site has confirmed that there are no White Walkers in this battle.

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    37. This is great. I wonder which armies are involved… Boltons, Umbers and Wildlings are obvious. I’m guessing the Karstarks and the Mormonts will show up as well. But what about the Knights of the Vale? Littlefinger told Cersei he’d take his army up North…

      Have Carice and Liam been spotted this year?

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    38. How about this: Roose tells Ramsay to take the army against the rebelling North. This leads to this battle (Umbers, Boltons, Karstarks, guest appearance by wildings and hopefully White Walkers). Meanwhile, LF attacks Roose from the back in the almost-undefended Winterfell. The season ends with LF in command of Winterfell, Roose dead and Ramsay escaped, defected to the White Walkers.

      Bookwise, Stannis would have attacked Winterfell, killing Roose and driving Ramsay out; Stannis would have perished at the Wall and LF would have taken control of the abandoned Winterfell. By the end of the season, exactly the same configuration.

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    39. I’d say if they wanted Katie McGrath, she would absolutely agree to do it, and probably at half what people think she would ask for. I seen her in Merlin, and a couple other minor roles, and she has a great charisma. They could easily make her look 5/7 years younger than she is, after all, she is only 31, and remember Natalie Dormer as Margaery was supposed to be younger also, but no one could imagine anyone better suited to that role. They’ve probably already picked someone, but I think she would have stole the screen if she had been chosen. Especially if they get Rhaegar’s actor right, the chemistry on screen could be unmatched.

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    40. M: With respect to other storylines, we know that the Arya/Waif chase scene is in 6×08, and she winds up in the Riverlands in 6×10. So it could be that the 6×08 scene culminates in Arya getting kicked out of the FM for good, and she sits out 6×09 only to pop up in Westeros in 6×10.

      Not clear about who the Waif is, after the season’s ending showing Jaqen and not-Jaqen. So, is the Waif really Jaqen, or just some other ill-tempered FM who has taken the Waif face? If she is supposed to be Jaqen, then does that mean that he would be attempting to actually do Arya harm? That would be upsetting, since the original Jaqen from the earlier seasons had such a charming, protective way with Arya.

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    41. ive been loving the filming pics and spoilers can’t get enough! Maybe it’s a good thing the tower shoot is so isolated do we want to know what happens there before we see it on the show (sorry sue)? It’s like the biggest is it true moment for all of us who read the books do we want filming pic of that!!!!!!! I say this knowing full well if WOTW gets pics of the fight I will look at them lol

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    42. Mira:
      I’d say if they wanted Katie McGrath, she would absolutely agree to do it, and probably at half what people think she would ask for. I seen her in Merlin, and a couple other minor roles, and she has a great charisma. They could easily make her look 5/7 years younger than she is, after all, she is only 31, and remember Natalie Dormer as Margaery was supposed to be younger also, but no one could imagine anyone better suited to that role. They’ve probably already picked someone, but I think she would have stole the screen if she had been chosen. Especially if they get Rhaegar’s actor right, the chemistry on screen could be unmatched.

      Someone correct me if I am wrong. I thought Rhaegar was already dead by the time Ned &Co arrive at the TOJ.

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    43. james: yet no Lyanna casting info or even a casting call sheet with info that sounds like Lyanna has leaked?

      On one of the casting calls they were looking for a “young stunner” 18-20. Many people, myself included, think this could be for Lyanna.

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    44. james:
      and yet no Lyanna casting info or even a casting call sheet with info that sounds like Lyanna has leaked? No casting info or even a casting call sheet with info that sounds like the proper age Ned. And no casting info or even a casting call sheet with info that sounds like Rhaegar. We’ll see I guess.

      There was the casting call for the role of “young stunner” who a lot of people think may be Lyanna,

      That role filmed back in August in Belfast.

      Which makes sense as Lyanna would only have indoor scenes unless they are doing other flashbacks (such as the Tourney at Harranhal).

      Rhaegar would not be needed unless they are doing other flashbacks.

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    45. Let-it-Snow:
      Thank you Dragonslayer.

      Shame. We need a mole. Or two. Or three. How many locations are there?

      “I will do it. I will be the mole for Saintfield. Though….I do not know the way.”

      Oops, wrong verse 😛
      Man I really wish I lived in Ireland right now.

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    46. Newbietothegame: Someone correct me if I am wrong. I thought Rhaegar was already dead by the time Ned &Co arrive at the TOJ.

      No, you’re right. There’s no reason to cast Rhaegar for these flashbacks. It’s Ned & company coming to rescue Lyanna, not the R + L lovefest. Rhaegar was already dead and King’s Landing sacked by this point.

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    47. Can’t get more excited for the Winterfell bowl! But that means that a possibility of a White Walker grand appearance has diminished. They will probably do something of modest scale like an eerie showcase of who they are. In any case I am so curious to know what they are planning to do with the WW in the aftermath of the glorious Hardhome…

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    48. Sean C.,

      My prediction is that Littlefinger will show up after Snowbowl is won (or possibly while it’s happening) and seize Winterfell from the newly victorious Northerners, making the whole thing totally for naught.

      It wouldn’t be without precedent. They hung the Vale gun on the wall last season, and with Stannis defeated they’ll have to take it down and fire it at someone. Jon, the Wildlings, and the Umbers would be the likeliest targets.

      Littlefinger seizing Winterfell would also poise Sansa to be the North’s last hope of sorts, as she’d be the only one who could get close to him at that point. I’m sure Sansa fans would appreciate her finally being given such a central role and purpose in the storyline as well. Not to mention…

      “And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow.”

      It would also make the fight against the Others more desperate. I’m sure Jon at least partly intends to help take back the North so he can try to prepare everyone for the coming White Walker invasion, but Littlefinger seizing Winterfell would toss a big wrench into that plan, and I imagine he’d be pretty incredulous to the very idea of the Others even if Jon pleaded to him about it. So you could expect no help from him on that count.

      (It might also teach Jon a harsh lesson on just why the Night’s Watch refuses to take part in the wars and politics of the Seven Kingdoms)

      Really, it just looks like the North is totally fucked in general. I’m sure the Wall will come down at some point (even if Jon was able to prepare everyone), and the Others will sweep through the North like a plague. I imagine the season might even end with a shot of the Others marching on the Wall just to rub it in.

      It’ll be interesting to see where all of this goes. I do think Littlefinger will end up taking Winterfell though, likely in the show AND the books. It might also be how Stannis is killed in the books. He just might be poised to take Winterfell… only to have it snatched up from right in front of him by Littlefinger. How sad for him.

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    49. How old is Lyanna supposed to be in the show? Wasn’t she 15 when Rhaegar crowned her at Harrenhal? 17 when she passed away? Ned then was about 21. I would imagine that the show would go for a 21 year old Lyanna, 25 year old Ned and 28-30 year old for Arthur Dayne? Anyway, I think Adelaide Kane would make a beautiful Lyanna.

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    50. Erik:
      Is there any comparison for how long filming for the battle of the north is vs. how long other major battles (i.e. Hardhome, Blackwater Bay, and Battle for the Wall)? This could give us a better understanding of the scope and whether or not it will take up a full episode like Blackwater and Watchers on the Wall or a partial episode more in the vein of Hardhome.

      The Hardhome 20-minute battle sequence apparently took around 5 weeks to film… they only had 8 hours of daylight to work with each day, so that could well have lengthened the overall filming time span.

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    51. Erik,

      I don’t know but Liam Cunningham said at an interview that they were filming the longest scene they ever shot and it seems like he’s somehow involved.

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    52. Robb Snow: Really, it just looks like the North is totally fucked in general. I’m sure the Wall will come down at some point (even if Jon was able to prepare everyone), and the Others will sweep through the North like a plague. I imagine the season might even end with a shot of the Others marching on the Wall just to rub it in.

      I still wonder if Ramsay is going to somehow contribute to this. Given that we have Wildlings+Umbers vs Boltons, it’s possible that Ramsay will assume that Sansa & Theon fled to the Wall, and that we will get a Pink Letterish scenario. At any rate, I do suspect that this is where Mel saw Bolton banners burning in the snow.

      As for Littlefinger at Winterfell, well, remember that if Jon & the Umbers are triumphant, then they probably will have Sansa and Rickon (now Lord of Winterfell) with them. I doubt that there will be too much to-do about that: the story really needs to get moving onto other things at that point. They can do “southern incredulity” in Kings Landing: I bet that will be a factor for convincing Daeny to go north, and this might be what Sam’s real purpose in the south is (rather than finding the spell to defeat Voldemort in the Library somewhere….).

      Robb Snow: It might also be how Stannis is killed. He just might be poised to take Winterfell… only to have it snatched up from right in front of him by Littlefinger.

      Er, didn’t the

      Pink Letter tell us how Stannis died?

      I think that we need to drop the ideas that much about that letter was fake! (Remember, Jon’s last Dragon chapter happens quite a bit after Theon’s first Winter chapter.) At any rate, I expect something very similar to the Wildlings+Umbers vs. Boltons battle in the book, too.

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    53. This is a wild tinfoil theory, but what if

      Bran warging in time, watches the fight unfold and HR is injured/knocked unconscious, then Ned is being beaten down and Bran fearful that dad will perish, because let’s face it, he’ll have seen that AD is a frighteningly bad ass mofo, wargs into HR and saves his pops.

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    54. M,

      Come on now, she could easily pass for 18-20 and I’d bet 95% of viewers wouldn’t recognize her, look at her credits.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Wimsey,

      Oh I think the Pink Letter is real as well, I just mentioned Stannis getting crushed by Littlefinger as a possibility if it isn’t.

      I’ve also predicted that the Pink Letter will still make it into the show for the exact same reason, especially since Ramsay flat out told Sansa that Jon was now Lord Commander of the NW. Brienne will most likely find Sansa and Theon in the woods and escort them to Castle Black.

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    56. Newbietothegame,

      Someone correct me if I am wrong. I thought Rhaegar was already dead by the time Ned &Co arrive at the TOJ.

      You’re correct. Robert had already killed Rhaegar at the Trident by the time Ned & Co arrived at the ToJ.

      Unless they are planning on showing the tourney at Harrenhal (I don’t think it’s been mentioned on the show yet, has it?) via flashbacks, there’s no need to cast a Rhaegar. This show has done an excellent job of providing exposition via dialogue and avoiding flashbacks, so I’m thinking the use of flashbacks will be sparse throughout Season 6.

      What flashback scenes do we have that is confirmed?

      -Tower of Joy
      -Young Ned, Young Robert, and Young Hodor battling with wooden sticks?

      Anything else?

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    57. Season 6 sounds like it is shaping up to be the BEST one yet. I didn’t know if they would be able to top Hardhome but now it’s sounding like several episodes next season may be on it’s level or better.

      Sheesh.

      THANK YOU D&D AND GEORGE! WE ARE AT YOUR MERCY!!!!

        Quote  Reply

    58. I could not be more excited about the TOJ flashback. I’ve even been watching fanvids, some of them exquisitely done, on this storyline. In saying that, there are a few with Katie McGrath as Lyanna and in truth I don’t favor her as Lyanna. Other than the obvious age problem, she really doesn’t have the look I envision for the character and I think she’s just too well known.

      Popular ladies used for the fanvids are Adelaide Kane from Reign, who I think would be perfect but of course she has her own show. Jessica Brown-Findley who definitely looks like a Stark and is still relatively ‘young’, Gemma Arterton but again age would be a factor and she may look a bit too exotically beautiful, and Eva Green who would be too old, too known, and I really couldn’t see it, even with the fanvids.
      Other mentioned fan favorites for Lyanna have been Kaya Scodelerio, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey (again too old), Sarah Bolger (who I think could pass for an older Arya for sure and she’s from Ireland), Lucy Boynton (only 21 yrs old though her hair would most likely need to be darker) and Hanna Mangan Lawrence.

      Here is one of the fanvids featuring Adelaide as Lyanna and Bradley James as Rhaegar.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS9GeQRWW5s

      This battle scene sounds like it’s going to be pretty epic!
      Has anyone heard anything about Sophie Turner that may help us see which direction Sansa may be taking this season? Has Gwendolyne Christie been spotted?

        Quote  Reply

    59. “this battle may outdo anything we’ve ever seen on Game of Thrones”
      So what do they do season 7?
      Lord! Whatever they have in mind of season 8 is going to have to be moved to an IMAX theater.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Nippled Breastplate:
      M,

      Come on now, she could easily pass for 18-20 and I’d bet 95% of viewers wouldn’t recognize her, look at her credits.

      The casting description as I remember was pretty sparse. She has a couple of scenes including a great final scene where there is a “major twist,” and the only description as to the character is that she’s a “stunner of a brunette” between 18 and 20. That’s IT. She’s beautiful and that’s all. There’s no mention of her personality, her manner, nothing. The main thing about the character–the only thing–from a casting perspective is that she’s beautiful. Even the rum-swilling actress playing Cersei got more of a description than that.

      Given that the main thing seems to be the character’s beauty, they probably cast the most beautiful girl in the 18-20 age range they could find–probably a model who dabbles in acting–as opposed to a “name” actress like Katie McGrath. And honestly, if all they can say about the character in looking for an actress is that she’s a “stunner,” someone of McGrath’s calibre and reputation would be wasted in the role.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Boojam,

      “this battle may outdo anything we’ve ever seen on Game of Thrones”
      So what do they do season 7?
      Lord! Whatever they have in mind of season 8 is going to have to be moved to an IMAX theater.

      At some point, probably in Season 7, the Wall has to come crashing down. Probably with some sort of Ice Dragon bursting from the walls. That’s going to be one heck of a set piece.

      Then in Season 8, we will probably have the White Walkers vs. Dragons vs. Humans battle that’ll end all bittersweet.

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    62. M: “Too old.” (LOL) She’s about 27 or so, and they’re looking for someone who’s 18 to 20.

      Euron’s casting call said “man in his 40’s to late 50’s” 🙂 Just saying.

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    63. M: Given that the main thing seems to be the character’s beauty, they probably cast the most beautiful girl in the 18-20 age range they could find–probably a model who dabbles in acting–as opposed to a “name” actress like Katie McGrath. And honestly, if all they can say about the character in looking for an actress is that she’s a “stunner,” someone of McGrath’s calibre and reputation would be wasted in the role.

      You are most likely right. In truth I’d love to see a full on Robert’s Rebellion miniseries or something even though GRRM says he thinks there’s enough description in the books without doing that kind of a prequel. Looking at the internet though there are a lot of people who would love a full on visual interpretation. But yes, this will be just a small flashback, the most important aspect of it being the real and full explanation of “promise me Ned.” This alone has me going insane while waiting!

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    64. Someone mentioned in the YouTube article that emergency awesome never credits WotW when we all know he’s getting his info from here. So he just put out a new video on, drumroll please, house tarley. And he used a lot of info right from here without one mention of the site. I guess I gotta step in…..random thought: do u think the commentor on here geek furious used emergency awesome to come up with his name?

        Quote  Reply

    65. M,

      Ah thanks, I was thinking it was a definite that Bender directed most of the Ballintoy scenes, I was just stuck on why the Swaying Bridge would happen so late in the season.

      Also I totally agree that Arya will probably sit out episode 2.
      I couldn’t really find anything about the Arab Baths. I believe Tom W. was in Girona during that time frame, but he was never spotted in character. Maybe the Baths serve as the new HoBW?

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    66. M: I’m pretty sure it’s straight-up Jon vs. Ramsay. I think this site has confirmed that there are no White Walkers in this battle.

      I almost wonder if it’s not a 2 sided battle. Sounds like there will be several armies involved. Could it be that there are more than 2 sides in this fight? Boltons v Vale v Umbers v Wildlings v Walkers, all meeting on the same field of battle in an epic clash of armies.

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    67. lisa0527,

      How do we know that the red priestess will be in the service of Jon and following him around? Was there some info on this?

      It’s all opinionated evidence… I read the last book years ago. But I remember little clues, one that stands out is when she is peering into her fire all she sees is Snow (with a capital S).

      IMO she will res him and be convinced he is Azor Ahai and follow him around.

      But you are correct, there is no hard evidence and it doesn’t have to end up that way. I am just assuming.

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    68. The north is getting all the battles goddamit! Where is the battle of meereen, what is the point of staying there it gets so boring and pointless. In the books it is basically only a set up for a battle

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    69. God of tits and wine:
      Someone mentioned in the YouTube article that emergency awesome never credits WotW when we all know he’s getting his info from here.So he just put out a new video on, drumroll please, house tarley. And he used a lot of info right from here without one mention of the site.I guess I gotta step in…..random thought: do u think the commentor on here geek furious used emergency awesome to come up with his name?

      I would have taken this directly to the site administration rather than this public forum. I don’t have a clue who it is, but if it ISN’T Geek Furious, that isn’t very fair to call him out unless you have substantiated proof. I would imagine that if someone used my name for the same thing and I didn’t do it, I would be fifty shades of pissed about it. You can reach the admin from the “contact us” option on the right top side of the site.

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    70. I am at a loss of words to express how excited I am. ToJ filming was one of the things I was most hyped for. And this big Northern fight just keeps sounding better and better. I’m ready for SnowBowl.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Arthur:
      lisa0527,

      It’s all opinionated evidence… I read the last book years ago.But I remember little clues, one that stands out is when she is peering into her fire all she sees is Snow (with a capital S).

      IMO she will res him and be convinced he is Azor Ahai and follow him around.

      But you are correct, there is no hard evidence and it doesn’t have to end up that way.I am just assuming.

      I agree. The way she stayed with Stannis when she thought he was the one. I just don’t want her giving “guidance” to Jon, or sleeping with him and having his shadow babies. Just leave Jon out of the black arts. Of course, who knows how much he’ll be changed if resurrected…

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    72. It sounds as thought there is some concern the casting call for (what we guess/hope is) Lyanna describes little other than her being a “stunner.” It’s quite common for casting calls, whether for film, television, or even stage to specify they’re looking for someone beautiful for this or that role. That does not mean talent is not important. Given the way the show has been able to find many unknown actors who knock their roles out of the proverbial park, there’s no reason to think they won’t be able to find a very talented stunner, and it may well be someone of whom we’ve never heard. For instance, I’m sure there are some exceptionally beautiful young women who have just graduated from RADA, or The Central School, or what have you. Who knows, maybe they’ll even find someone from Julliard (although I know they don’t tend to cast from that side of the pond very often).

        Quote  Reply

    73. Tatters,

      There was a 400-extra scene filmed back in August in a place that’s been used for Winterfell and the Dothraki. Filming took just a week, though.

      Once more, link to a compilation of past news.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      It sounds as thought there is some concern the casting call for (what we guess/hope is) Lyanna describes little other than her being a “stunner.”It’s quite common for casting calls, whether for film, television, or even stage to specify they’re looking for someone beautiful for this or that role.That does not mean talent is not important.Given the way the show has been able to find many unknown actors who knock their roles out of the proverbial park, there’s no reason to think they won’t be able to find a very talented stunner, and it may well be someone of whom we’ve never heard.For instance, I’m sure there are some exceptionally beautiful young women who have just graduated from RADA, or The Central School, or what have you.Who knows, maybe they’ll even find someone from Julliard (although I know they don’t tend to cast from that side of the pond very often).

      Would “that” be the side with the cooties? 😛

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    75. JCDavis,

      I read the comment as wondering whether Geek Furious took his SN from Emergency Awesome, not that he’s the one responsible for posting info. obtained from WotW without giving credit.

      As for using WotW info. and not giving credit, maybe if people who have twitter accounts and youtube accounts start asking on EA’s youtube and twitter accounts why they doesn’t cite/credit their sources, it will do some good.

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    76. God of tits and wine,

      I think the problem is that he is obviously a professional Youtuber because from the looks of things he puts out about two videos every day. If you do something professionally, you should act like a professional. If it was an amateur person I wouldn’t criticise them really, but someone who is a professional. Unacceptable.

        Quote  Reply

    77. SciFiFantasyGirl,

      I’d be unhappy if she felt she could lead and manipulate Jon the way she did Stannis. It didn’t turn out very well. There’s a line in the book where she basically suggests that her plan is to slowly win Jon over and get him to do her bidding. That would be a pretty sad story line for Jon. Also I just can’t see Jon becoming a servant of R’Hllor.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      The major problem with the “Stunner” description in casting call is that basically all UK actresses between 18 and 27 are stunner’s. Most of those in the age range of 22-27 could pass for 19-20/21. Nina Gold I am sure realizes this, therefore the extra info of brunette and 19-20 to me at least indicates that she WANTS a real brunette (no dye jobs) that is 19 to 20 y.o., basically it’s a role to help jump start a young career.
      We know already the role is cast, the question is, what young lucky lady was offered the part.

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    79. Robb Snow,

      I disagree. I think the Bolton army will be out looking for Sansa and will run into Jon and Co. While they’re fighting and WF is vulnerable, LF will take it. Jon will turn to WF only to find it full of Vale troops. What happens at that point is anybody’s guess.

      Jon could meet with Sansa and convince her of the threat so that she turns on LF who is unwilling to help Jon. Or LF could prevent Sansa and Jon from meeting and tell her lies, turning her against Jon, who will have to turn South in order to get more allies and spread the world about the WW. In fact this second scenario would have him moving southward setting up a nice little meet in S7 with Dany, who is finally returning to Westeros and moving Northward.

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    80. Wimsey:
      I think that we need to drop the ideas that much about that letter was fake!

      There are way too many issues with that letter to do that. The show has already made substantial changes to the plot, so while it can’t be ruled out, it doesn’t make sense to take the show’s version of events as confirmation of anything (besides which, among other things, if Stannis is dead, how can he burn Shireen as the writers said he will?).

        Quote  Reply

    81. tyjon,

      I disagree, but it may just be a matter of semantics. I said “beautiful” in my post, when I should have said “extraordinarily beautiful.” Sure, there are plenty of beautiful young actresses running around all over the place, but few I would consider exceptionally beautiful…one of those traffic-stopping beauties. For instance, I think of the first time I saw Catherine Zeta-Jones. It was in Zorro. I was absolutely transfixed, almost distracted, by how gorgeous she was. No, I’m not commenting on her acting, nor am I suggesting were she however many years younger she’d be right for it, I’m just using that as an example of what I think they mean. It’s a means of thinning the pool. If they go through the headshots of, say, 100 beautiful women, they’d only find maybe 5-10 of them who qualify as “stunners.”

        Quote  Reply

    82. Dame Pasty:
      Jon could meet with Sansa and convince her of the threat so that she turns on LF who is unwilling to help Jon.Or LF could prevent Sansa and Jon from meeting and tell her lies, turning her against Jon, who will have to turn South in order to get more allies and spread the world about the WW.

      Details about this story are sketchy, of course, but I have a hard time seeing how that would work. What would Sansa be doing all season if Littlefinger gets to her so quickly as to keep her away from the Northerners? If there’s going to be any payoff at all to the stuff about Sansa learning about her brothers last season, one imagines she has to find them, particularly since Rickon is back and the Umbers are at the big battle being filmed.

      Now, assuming that the Vale invasion thing is indeed based on what happens in the books, the seeming changes do pose some questions — most particularly, in the books one imagines that Sansa and Littlefinger will be coming North together, but in the show Sansa’s separated from him and it seems like she must be interacting with other factions this year.

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    83. What about Kristofer Hivju, Liam or Carice? No news about their involvement? Especially Kristofer as the the only recognizable Widling leader should be involved in this battle.

        Quote  Reply

    84. As an unabashed and unapologetic admirer of all things “epic scope” it thrills me speechless to think that so many armies are here and that this could be a bigger splash production-wise than anything we’ve yet seen.

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    85. Dame Pasty:
      SciFiFantasyGirl,

      I usually don’t like those fan vids but that was really well done! It gave me the feels.Thanks!

      I save them on my youtube channel for the different verses I’m into so if you ever want to see some other beautiful ones I’m your girl! There are some really talented people out there who obviously have a love for this verse. Some like me write collaborative fanfic and others make some really great visual representations 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    86. Dany,

      He doesn’t. He lives in Ireland so him being around Belfast isn’t a hard guarantee of filming the way it is for someone, but I have heard unconfirmed rumors that he is filming at the moment.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Bergey,

      It’s interesting if you google Katie McGrath, there’s a video of her and Natalie Dormer doing the ALS ice bucket challenge together -if they know each other, Natalie could have recommended her for Lyanna…

        Quote  Reply

    88. I hope one of the trailers for S6 features on ominous off-screen “Promise me.” without giving anything away. Getting chills just thinking about it.

      Roughly 29 weeks to go until the season premiere…

        Quote  Reply

    89. M,

      Well, I would not go that far. I said, I have not heard about anything like that yet. And I think White Walkers would be hard to forget. But since they’re going to be filming for more weeks, I’m not ruling anything out.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Geralt of Rivia:
      What about Kristofer Hivju, Liam or Carice? No news about their involvement? Especially Kristofer as the the only recognizable Widling leader should be involved in this battle.

      Hivju was spotted in Belfast on September 15th, according to someone on Twitter. Carice used to Tweet whenever she left Amsterdam for GOT filming, but she isn’t doing that this year (presumably to avoid spoilers). I haven’t seen anything about Liam Cunningham being in Belfast.

      Re: the White Walkers…Thanks for clarifying, Sue, I misunderstood the word from this site on whether there would be White Walkers. If anyone’s seen the big battle scene at the end of Gangs of New York, I wonder if it might play out similarly…the two sides confront each other to fight, only for a third side (the White Walkers, in this case) to show up and flatten both. We’ll see, I guess.

        Quote  Reply

    91. lisa0527:
      SciFiFantasyGirl,

      I’d be unhappy if she felt she could lead and manipulate Jon the way she did Stannis. It didn’t turn out very well. There’s a line in the book where she basically suggests that her plan is to slowly win Jon over and get him to do her bidding. That would be a pretty sad story line for Jon. Also I just can’t see Jon becoming a servant of R’Hllor.

      Exactly. I really can’t see Jon being used as a pawn like that. He’s always been a very strong individual thinker, and often makes choices that are for ‘the greater’ good so to speak; very unselfish as we saw with his choice of returning to his brothers over staying with Ygritte who he loved so much. Melisandre’s main objective it seems is to have Azor Ahai as power hungry and herself being the main instrument of that power, making him believe that she/R’Hllor is the key partner so to speak.

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    92. Matt:
      I hope one of the trailers for S6 features on ominous off-screen “Promise me.” without giving anything away. Getting chills just thinking about it.

      Roughly 29 weeks to go until the season premiere…

      That would be very fitting…and SO chilling!

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    93. Where is Sean Bean in all of this? Will he be back for the Tower of Joy scene? I’ll be disappointed if they cast a younger actor who “sorta” resembles him instead of “young-ing” him up with make-up or effects.

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    94. Dame Pasty: I think the Bolton army will be out looking for Sansa and will run into Jon and Co. While they’re fighting and WF is vulnerable, LF will take it. Jon will turn to WF only to find it full of Vale troops.

      These northern battle speculations are so fun. Thx for that one. But who do you think Jon will lead if/when he is revived? It’s not like the NW/wildlings are another BwB….or is it? Will Jon lead anybody (initially) in his second life, especially to battle the Boltons? Will the wildlings willingly follow him unconditionally, especially since there is that undesirable wight/undead stigma in the north? Although Jon may indeed fight Ramsay in a BastardBowl, who will Jon be leading, if any? It will be interesting how they address that.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Matt,

      I hope one of the trailers for S6 features on ominous off-screen “Promise me.” without giving anything away. Getting chills just thinking about it.

      Oh wow dude, you’re on to something golden here! Just thinking of hearing some women’s voice with the words “Promise me” also sends shivers down my spin.

      That definitely needs to be in one of the trailers…

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    96. Sean C.: There are way too many issues with that letter to do that.

      No, there really were not any issues with the letter. Most of the complaints were based on very questionable assumptions about what Ramsay would or would not do. (Yes, people in Westeros call the the Night Watch “Crows.” Yes, Ramsay would call Jon a Bastard repeatedly. Yes, Ramsay would have demanded Stannis’ family and Mel plus Val and the Wildling “Prince.” And, yes, not only would Ramsay have asked for his Reek, but only Ramsay would have done so.)

      And, of course, Shireen will not be burned in exactly the same circumstances as on the show. Remember, the writers didn’t say who burns her. (My bet is that her mother is solely responsible for it in the book; indeed, it might a futile gesture in denial of what happened to Stannis that she hopes will aid him.)

      Dame Pasty: I disagree. I think the Bolton army will be out looking for Sansa and will run into Jon and Co. While they’re fighting and WF is vulnerable, LF will take it. Jon will turn to WF only to find it full of Vale troops. What happens at that point is anybody’s guess.

      Alternatively, once Ramsay et al. figure out that Sansa & Theon are not hiding somewhere in Winterfell, Ramsay might jump to the (sensible) conclusion that she is at the Wall as

      happens in the book, which in turn could lead to a Pink Letter.

      If Sansa really flees to the Umbers (which would be impossible without an act of a god; good thing that she has family connections now!), then the rallied Wildlings and Umbers could wind up uniting against the Boltons as a result. It might not even be planned: King Crow and the Wildlings might march out on them and the Umbers might wind up succoring them.

      I do suspect that Bran will be involved with a bit of this, too.

      All of that stated, I don’t know what will happen when people “return” to Winterfell. LF might be there. Of course, White Walkers might be hot on their heals by then, too. There are lots of possibilities!

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    97. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      tyjon,

      I disagree, but it may just be a matter of semantics.I said “beautiful” in my post, when I should have said “extraordinarily beautiful.”Sure, there are plenty of beautiful young actresses running around all over the place, but few I would consider exceptionally beautiful…one of those traffic-stopping beauties.For instance, I think of the first time I saw Catherine Zeta-Jones.It was in Zorro.I was absolutely transfixed, almost distracted, by how gorgeous she was.No, I’m not commenting on her acting, nor am I suggesting were she however many years younger she’d be right for it, I’m just using that as an example of what I think they mean.It’s a means of thinning the pool.If they go through the headshots of, say, 100 beautiful women, they’d only find maybe 5-10 of them who qualify as “stunners.”

      I agree with all of this. However, I don’t know how important talent is when they’re casting primarily for beauty, since if that’s their main consideration (and the casting call certainly suggests that it is), they’re far more likely to end up with an Emilia Clarke type (stunning, can’t act) than a Michelle Fairley type (decently attractive but no great beauty, fantastic actress).

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    98. Hodor’s Bastard: It’s not like the NW/wildlings are another BwB….or is it? Will Jon lead anybody (initially) in his second life, especially to battle the Boltons? Will the wildlings willingly follow him unconditionally, especially since there is that undesirable wight/undead stigma in the north?

      Between having saved them at Hardhome (and risking so much to do so), and after having nearly been killed for doing that, it would be quite believable if the Wildlings did decide to follow Jon. Perhaps not “unconditionally”: but he would have earned their respect, which is everything to them.

      That written, I would be surprised if their is much left of the “Nationalist” fringe of the watch to participate at that point…. And I do wonder if this will wind up being important.

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    99. The way I imagine the battle is this: In Episode 9 or 10, they are on the battle field. The Boltons show up with their mounted army (that I’m assuming they got from the Stannis deserters?). It looks grim for the Northern lords that have come to face them. Then enter Jon Snow and Melisandre to flank them with his wildlings and this will be the big “OMG” moment of the episode, although I think we’ll know he’s been resurrected by E1 or E2 so it won’t be because we thought he was dead.

      Or I guess it could possibly be the other way around, since we could be following Jon and Mel around all season. The big WTF moment could be the Northern lords showing up to the battle with Rickon or Sansa. Or Theon and his sister/uncle showing up with Iron Island forces. Or even Little Finger showing up with his forces. Honorable mention would be that somehow Bran intervenes, although I’m not able to imagine how.

      I guess what I’m saying is that SOMEONE unexpected is going to show up on the battlefield to essentially save the day at some point. Who that will be and what army they’ll have at their backs I’m not sure, although my best guess would be Jon Snow because he’s just that guy.

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    100. In regards to the speculations about Sansa meeting up with Jon or Ricken or even Arya (however unlikely), can we just take a moment and appreciate the feels that are going to come with any of those reunions. None of them know the fate of the other in the show except for Sansa who knows that Bran and Rickon escaped. To actually SEE that they still have family out there and they’re not alone after everything that has happened….

      I know I will probably (definitely) cry.

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    101. Josh L.: What flashback scenes do we have that is confirmed?

      -Tower of Joy
      -Young Ned, Young Robert, and Young Hodor battling with wooden sticks?

      Anything else?

      IF the young “stunner” casting call was for Lyanna, it described more than one scene she would be in. So, I believe she will be in the one with young Ned, Benjen and Hodor, perhaps the Harrenhall tourney and then TOJ, the last with the “twist”, which the casting call stated also. So….. I would add Harrenhall to the list of flaskbacks.

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    102. Wimsey: No, there really were not any issues with the letter.Most of the complaints were based on very questionable assumptions about what Ramsay would or would not do.(Yes, people in Westeros call the the Night Watch “Crows.”Yes, Ramsay would call Jon a Bastard repeatedly.Yes, Ramsay would have demanded Stannis’ family and Mel plus Val and the Wildling “Prince.”And, yes, not only would Ramsay have asked for his Reek, but only Ramsay would have done so.)

      I’m not stating that Ramsay didn’t write the letter; the theories that someone else wrote it are generally extremely convoluted. But that doesn’t mean that Ramsay knows what he’s talking about, and the Theon chapter in TWOW is full of stuff suggesting that Stannis has some sort of complicated gambit in the works.

      And, of course, Shireen will not be burned in exactly the same circumstances as on the show. Remember, the writers didn’t say who burns her. (My bet is that her mother is solely responsible for it in the book; indeed, it might a futile gesture in denial of what happened to Stannis that she hopes will aid him.)

      Which would make what the writers of the show did pretty extreme character assassination of Stannis, if that was true (though I don’t think it is).

        Quote  Reply

    103. Wimsey: Between having saved them at Hardhome (and risking so much to do so), and after having nearly been killed for doing that, it would be quite believable if the Wildlings did decide to follow Jon. Perhaps not “unconditionally”…

      Yeah…I get the feeling they have a strong bond, but one that endures after death? Wildlings are a superstitious lot. I’m highly intrigued by how GRRM will work this out. Surely, it won’t be as simple as “I’m back from the dead…I’m still your buddy…onward to Winterfell to save my sister/cousin!”

        Quote  Reply

    104. Josh L.: Tower of Joy
      -Young Ned, Young Robert, and Young Hodor battling with wooden sticks?

      It’s not Robert- it’s young Ned, young Benjen, and young Hodor.

        Quote  Reply

    105. M,

      Many thanks. Just hope that Tormund will survive this one too. Edd too, well if he makes it to Winterfell with Jon. I have this bad feeling ever since Hardhome episode. Maybe Davos would rather stay behind or maybe doing something different.

      Hodor’s Bastard,

      I kinda expect Tormund and Widlings to follow Jon after his upcoming resurrection. Everyone including Mel, Tormund, Davos will be in awe and will follow him. Widlings will eventually bend the knee in some way (out of awe) like with Daeny. Remember Jon and Tormund scene from 5×07, and how Wildlings and Tormund would never ever bend the knee before him. Not to mention that Jon risked his life and his NW brothers and saved all of them.

      Although I’m not expecting Jon and Widlings to team up with Umbers and others, because it would be much complicated than that. Northerners hates Widlings and Widlings won’t be exactly friendly with them either. I can see them being united against common enemy which would be Boltons and Karstarks. Vale is a bit of a mystery to me. Littlefinger is a sneaky guy, so he’ll probably take an advantage at the end of this battle or somewhere during. That’s his style, because he already planned to turn his back on Boltons with Stannis.

      I just can’t see a clean victory for Jon & co and happy Stark reunion.

      😀

        Quote  Reply

    106. My other half has forbade me to reveal any spoilers. Six months of a zipped lip with all this fantastic info swirling around!

      btw, am I the only one who would like to see Davos lop off Mels pretty little head? I mean, poor Shireen was like his granddaughter, and the devotion to Stannis. No way he’ll let her off that, right?

        Quote  Reply

    107. M,

      Or, they could come up with a Jennifer Connelly type…someone who is both gorgeous and a great actor.

      I’m in the Emilia confuses me camp. There’s no question she is off-the-charts beautiful, and some of her work in the show I’ve really enjoyed. There are other parts I have not enjoyed really at all. I liked her much better in Season 5 than in season 4, where I didn’t like her that much. I thought she was fantastic in Astapor and I liked her in season 1. A lot of seasons 2 and 3 (with the exception of Astapor), I felt about the same as I did about her in season 4.

      I l-o-v-e the idea of voice-over “promise me” in a trailer.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Blanche Holstein:
      btw, am I the only one who would like to see Davos lop off Mels pretty little head? I mean, poor Shireen was like his granddaughter, and the devotion to Stannis. No way he’ll let her off that, right?

      He’d have to learn what happened first, and I expect the writers set it up the way they did because Mel isn’t leaving the narrative anytime soon.

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    109. One thought is that if they are doing a big battle scene, for it to have any bite, someone of some importance is going to have to die. (To be fair, no one very important died in Blackwater, and the show sort of did the same at Hardhome by introducing a very sympathetic character and then killing her off in the same episode.) So who, if anyone, is going to get the chop? Smalljon? The other Northern lord (a Karstark, I think)? Ramsay? Tormund? Davos? All of the above? I think Sansa and Rickon are safe, since I doubt they’d be anywhere near the battle. I likewise doubt Jon would be resurrected only to be cut down in battle. I doubt they’d kill too many major characters at once, but I’d imagine at least one or two would have to go.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Bergey:
      Ravyn,

      Only name I’ve even heard is Katie McGrath, which goes with a grain of salt because it was a “friend of a friend of a source” on 4chan or something. Regardless, I would 150% approve if she was cast. A little aged up (as is everything on this show) but she’s a stone cold stunner and has the Stark look.

      Holy shit she looks exactly how I imagined Lyanna!!!

        Quote  Reply

    111. If we can get this exchange in the episode, I will be thrilled:

      Ser Arthur Dayne, “And now it begins.”

      (Dayne then unsheathes Dawn, and shows it so viewers will know it’s a special sword…)

      “No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.”

        Quote  Reply

    112. M,

      Ramsay is toast, one expects. Among the heroes, Tormund is the only recognizable Wildling character, so I expect he’s safe. Davos, no idea — we’re up to the quest for Rickon in his plot, which is probably either going to be resolved or rendered irrelevant this season; but I kind of feel like the writers would want him to learn the truth about Shireen at some point, so he’ll probably be kept around longer. The Northern lords could serve as redshirts, I suppose.

      Tatters,

      Jon knows Bran is alive, though not where he is. One can infer that he knows about Rickon, though that wasn’t mentioned.

        Quote  Reply

    113. As much as I expect to see Jon return (in whatever form), I can’t quite get over the idea that these “sources” claiming him to be on set in Saintfield are trolling us, and hard.

        Quote  Reply

    114. mau,

      That’s possible, though they’d have to cast a Rhaegar.

      I’m not sure how they’d structure these flashbacks, though. If you show Lyanna and Rhaegar getting hitched before the Tower of Joy, you’d take away any sense of surprise from that sequence; but if it comes after the Tower of Joy, that could potentially seem a bit anticlimactic. The casting description referred to a twist, which to me suggests that the Tower of Joy comes last.

        Quote  Reply

    115. Sean C.: I’m not stating that Ramsay didn’t write the letter; the theories that someone else wrote it are generally extremely convoluted.But that doe

      Sean C.:

      Which would make what the writers of the show did pretty extreme character assassinationof Stannis, if that was true (though I don’t think it is).

      What this even means?

      Stannis in the show is their character. They can write him whatever they want.

        Quote  Reply

    116. Shouldn’t the major portion of these actors be heading to LA for the Emmys about now? If they win best ensemble cast…usually everyone takes the stage. Would be pitiful for like only four people to be there.

        Quote  Reply

    117. Blanche Holstein,

      It will happen eventually. I think Davos will come across the site of Shireen’s burning at some point and find the stag figurine he gave her among her burnt remains. Then it’ll be payback time.

        Quote  Reply

    118. Nymeria Warrior Queen: I l-o-v-e the idea of voice-over “promise me” in a trailer.

      It might be effective, if not overly spoilery. I just wish they hadn’t already used it, to ridiculous effect, between Sansa and Theon/Reek last season.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      M,

      Or, they could come up with a Jennifer Connelly type…someone who is both gorgeous and a great actor.

      There are very, very, very few of those. Beauty and talent in equal measure is very rare. Not nonexistent–Elizabeth Taylor, Charlize Theron, etc.–but yeah, very rare. Most often you see gorgeous + untalented or passably attractive + extreme talent, and this is equally true on Game of Thrones. It’s pretty clear where the talent vs. beauty tradeoff was made in most instances in Game of Thrones casting for the actresses.

        Quote  Reply

    120. Blanche Holstein,

      I prefer Arya to be her downfall and similiar treatment like with Ser Meryn Trant. Show kinda foreshadowed their meeting.

      Dwm,

      You can find some photo(s) with Kit and Iwan hanging in Belfast. Sue’s sources are spot on, yet again.

        Quote  Reply

    121. JCDavis,

      Do you mean Best Drama? There’s no ensemble cast award at the Emmys (there should be, but that’s another story). But everyone does typically go on stage for a series win.

      mau,

      They can indeed do whatever they want. But it’s an enormous disservice to the books to adapt Stannis that way, if that’s what they did — but I don’t think that’s the case. I expect that was them trying to tell a condensed version of GRRM’s plot for him.

        Quote  Reply

    122. Sean C.,

      I much prefer that Sansa and Jon meet. And that she finds Rickon and together they reunite and restrengthen WF and the North (with LF trying to thwart her or take control or maybe leaving WF) while Jon goes south to gain more support from the southern regions. I’m hoping that if LF does stay Sansa finds a way to kill him or have him killed. That would give her plenty to do, wouldn’t it?

      Hodor’s Bastard,
      I’m thinking Jon will head back south with some Wildlings and some of the Vale troops, all volunteers. The Vale men wanting to go home and the Wildings who want to continue to follow Jon. Why would the Wildings fight for him up north? He makes them a deal. They were already granted lands in the gift but maybe the NW doesn’t honor that. So Jon promises to enforce that either as de facto ruler in the North or he offers lands more near WF or he promises to talk to Sansa on their behalf about enforcing the Gift and/or give lands near WF. Why would they go further south? More promises for money/land and/or a growing loyalty to Jon. But why? Well, Jon rising from the dead and not being a wight will come across as some strong juju that many will follow (dare I say like a resurrected savior figure?). Jon and Dany’s story have run parallel. Since many have followed her because of her dragons and her “magic”, this same type of phenomenon may happen for Jon (particularly if Mel proclaims Azhor Ahai–although one might think her credibility damaged due to the Stannis fiasco).

      Wimsey,
      So we differ on where the battle will occur–you think the armies will come together at the Wall and I think they’ll come together near WF (because Jon will have gotten the Pink letter). And your scenario included the pink letter. I don’t think Jon will need the motivation of the pink letter but it would be nice if they stick to the books in this case. He will probably want to find Sansa and see his home again after his resurrection no matter what, but the pink letter adds some urgency to the matter. In your scenario, LF slimy bugger that he is could still take WF while the Bolton troops march to the Wall. After Jon/Umbers/Wildings defeat Boltons, then Jon and/or Mel return to WF because we’re 99% certain that she’ll get there. And they’ll still have to resolve the LF situation, which leads back to my scenario. As for the WW, I think it is still too early for them.

      HOWEVER, someone mentioned an ice dragon bursting out of the Wall. I’m thinking that “ice dragon” at the wall is a metaphor for Jon and when Mel resurrects him and he leaves the Wall the magic of it will dissipate and they will see it start to slowly erode and begin to falter. It won’t go boom and fall but it will start to weaken, which will ratchet tension ep by ep until it does fail enough for the WW to breach it. If I was writing the story, that’s how I would do it.

        Quote  Reply

    123. Sean C.,

      I don’t think that the main information from ToJ will be relationship between Rhaegar and Lyanna. It will be about Jon.

      We know from casting descriptions that Lyanna will have a few scenes. And we know that they didn’t cast anyone or do anything that will suggest that they are doing Harrenhall flashback. We know nothing about Rhaegar yet, but it is easier to hide one actor than a big sequence like that tournament.

      In my opinion, only option for Lyanna scenes is Rhaegar. Well, maybe Ned, but they will show them like a children and they will probably have a big scene in ToJ, so I don’t think it is him. I can’t see why would they write another unimportant scene with Ned.

      So, yes, for me Rhaeger is the only option.

        Quote  Reply

    124. mau:
      Kay,

      Harrenhall would be too big, I think her other scene will be with Rhaegar. Secret wedding maybe?

      I haven’t read the books and I don’t subscribe to popular theories. I have extreme doubts about any marriage for Lyanna at all. I just feel that Harrenhall was, in hindsight, a place of great importance, where a chain reaction (and the fall of a 300-year-old dynasty) was started. It was also mentioned in the show in Season 5. It would be cool to see Rhaegar give Lyanna the crown of winter roses, as her second appearance, and then her sad death, as her last and “twisty” appearance. It would also be interesting to see the Mad King observe it all. In the unaired pilot the Mad King was featured, so it’s not impossible that he would make an appearance – he was mentioned a few times last season also.

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    125. Geralt of Rivia: Widlings will eventually bend the knee. Remember Jon and Tormund scene from 5×07, and how Wildlings and Tormund would never ever bend the knee before him.

      Yes…I assume it will be complicated, Hardhome bonding (simply to stay alive) or not…but this is where I am perplexed. I can understand the wildlings residing in the Gift and defending their new turf but fighting for the northern cause? Maybe the Stark name is revered enough among the wildlings to fight for their name? In any case, the Thenns and giant(s) in the book would be ideal allies with the northern & Jon’s causes but the Thenns in the show, in no shape or form (unless they can be forgiven/absolved for eating the cousins and ancestors of many in the north, and be willing to change their diet significantly), cannot be allied with Jon or the northerners. It is a conundrum. To eat or not to eat? Send the show!Thenns to Skaagos I say!

        Quote  Reply

    126. Sean C.,

      I also think that Stannis killing Shireen is something that makes sense and is something that GRRM would write. But even if that doesn’t happen in the books, I don’t think that Stannis is important enough to sacrifice more coherent show without him for his “proper” ending from the books.

        Quote  Reply

    127. Sean C.,

      An event like that cannot stay quiet, especially with all those Stannis men witnessing, even in primitive conditions. Then again, perhaps she’ll kill Davos.

        Quote  Reply

    128. mau,

      But if you reveal Lyanna and Rhaegar’s real relationship in advance, absolutely everybody would immediately see the significance of that, which would take away rather a lot of the impact of the Tower of Joy. It would just be an extended confirmation of the obvious.

      Blanche Holstein,

      Those sellswords have wandered offscreen to never be seen again. Whether in real life they would report what they saw (which I agree), the truth becoming widely known would short-circuit Mel’s role in the story, so it can’t happen.

        Quote  Reply

    129. mau,

      Maybe they could use separate young Lyanna and young Rhaegar scenes in one episode without revealing the connection between them, then in another episode a secret marriage scene cut with the TOJ scene to spring their “twist” (assuming Stunner= Lyanna).

        Quote  Reply

    130. mau,

      THAT would make A LOT of sense. Especially if Rhaegar honored Lyanna’s traditions and they got married at a weirwood tree. Perfect setup for a Bran vision.

        Quote  Reply

    131. Dame Pasty:
      SciFiFantasyGirl,

      OT but what other verses are you into?I’m currently rewatching Firefly with my daughter (it’s her first time seeing the series).I LOVE me some Firefly verse.

      OT
      https://twitter.com/MySciFiFantasy?lang=en
      https://www.facebook.com/scifi.fantasygirl
      This about sums it up….lol Anyone who wishes to add me and talk about other loves we may share is more than welcome. I’m also on tumblr but not quite as much. http://scififantasygirl.tumblr.com/
      And yes, Firefly is among my faves. It’s uniqueness within the science fiction genre is it’s charm 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    132. mau,

      That was my original theory…
      Little snippets of various scenes interlocked in one vision somewhat like Dany’s HotU visions.

      I guess it really depends on when they want to have the flashbacks/ reveal Jon is alive. All those related visions in one scene/ episode means they need to reveal Jon is alive earlier. Not a bad thing IMO.

        Quote  Reply

    133. Sansa’s wedding ceremony in S5 lasted for about 120 seconds. And they made it intentionally long. For R+L it can last 60 seconds, and than return to Bran and than another big scene at ToJ.

      I believe they can afford 10 minutes of screentime for those scenes to reveal R+L=J. Well, they can make it even 15 minutes long. It is that important.

        Quote  Reply

    134. Dame Pasty: he promises to talk to Sansa on their behalf about enforcing the Gift and/or give lands near WF….. Jon rising from the dead and not being a wight will come across as some strong juju that many will follow (dare I say like a resurrected savior figure?).

      Ah…thanks for that response. I have a feeling there will be a “what’s in it for us?” rationale in there somewhere. For some reason, I haven’t been thinking along the “resurrected savior” lines for the wildlings. Too pragmatic, I guess. Maybe Jon is the next Mance for the wildlings and the next AA for the rest of the world.

      [OT: every time I see a post from you, my mind starts thinking of pies and donuts…my eyes see Dame Pastry instead,] 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    135. Darquemode,

      I don’t think that all flashbacks will be in one episode. Flashback with Young Ned can be in separate episode. But Rhaegar and Lyanna and than ToJ will/must/can be in one episode.

      They can spend 10-15 minutes to prepare the scene with Bran, and than one short flashback with Lyanna and Rheagar, few lines with Bloodraven in between and than big ToJ flashback to end an episode.

        Quote  Reply

    136. M,

      You’re right in that Connelly was an extreme and rare example. However, there are some really, really beautiful women who are good actors, maybe not phenomenal, but good.

      I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂

      Hodor’s Bastard,

      I think it would only be overly spoilery for those who know what it means, and while I can’t speak for anyone else, I’d be so over-the-moon about it, I wouldn’t care it was spoilery. It would be, for me, like the moment in the season 5 trailer when we saw Tyrion seeing Drogon fly overhead. I was flipping out over that!

        Quote  Reply

    137. A question for all the GOT scholars…. Is it possible for Bran to communicate through dreams/visions to Rickon? Could that possibly spur Rickon to get the Umbers and other Stark allies to group together for a coming war of the north? Or maybe even Sansa? I feel like there is going to have to be some sort of intervention, divine, magical or what have you, to get everyone to meet at a certain spot for the battle. But I could have easily missed previous discussions about this so forgive me if this has been touched upon already.

        Quote  Reply

    138. Exciting stuff

      Sounds like it could be Jon-led Wildlings + Umbers on behalf of KitN Rickon with Vale allies perhaps vs Boltons and loyalist Karstarks?

      Reckon Wun Wun will make an appearance too, expected him to be jettisoned but they spent some serious CGI dough on bringing him into it at Hardhome

      Any idea who id directing, if it Sapochnik who directed Hardhome it will be exciting, that worked as it was horror film massacre though and this seems to be a battle

        Quote  Reply

    139. Nymeria Warrior Queen: when we saw Tyrion seeing Drogon fly overhead. I was flipping out over that!

      Yes, that was indeed flip-worthy! An ethereal phrasing of those treasured words in a montage of past and current embraces, escapes and battles would be wonderful and would greatly help me get past the atrocious use of it in S5.

        Quote  Reply

    140. They aren’t going to film any wedding(which I am skeptical even happened) between Rhaegar and Lyanna. I’m sorry, but that is unneeded. The most important thing they have to get across is that Jon is the son of Ice and Fire. Whether they were married or not doesn’t matter. Jon will never be king simply through inheritance. It’s his blood that matters, not his legitimacy.

        Quote  Reply

    141. mau,

      Right, I do expect Bran to see visions in multiple episodes and see some things not related to TOJ.

      I didn’t mean all the visions in totality…
      I meant all the visions related to Lyanna, Rhaegar, and the TOJ could all be in one vision instead of spread out over multiple episodes.

      I think if I had my way I would like those flashbacks to be spread over multiple episodes (at least 2) to build drama, but I can see the point of placing them all the L+R=J visions in one vision or episode..

        Quote  Reply

    142. SciFiFantasyGirl: Is it possible for Bran to communicate through dreams/visions to Rickon?

      Rickon may hear a word or two as the wind rushes through the trees. Or maybe Shaggy Dog will find a way to show him something of importance?

        Quote  Reply

    143. Coleman: There was the casting call for the role of “young stunner” who a lot of people think may be Lyanna,

      That role filmed back in August in Belfast.

      Which makes sense as Lyanna would only have indoor scenes unless they are doing other flashbacks (such as the Tourney at Harrenhal

      The Harrenhal set at Linen Mill studios isn’t standing any more (I was there two weeks ago) so doesn’t look like HH is involved in any flashbacks (yet at least)

        Quote  Reply

    144. Kay,

      It was also mentioned in the show in Season 5. It would be cool to see Rhaegar give Lyanna the crown of winter roses, as her second appearance,

      I concur, This was the event that started the domino’s falling and a spectacular visual to boot. To exclude this would be a crime to fans, especially since we’ve had a shout out concerning it. We don’t need to see the tourney, just the crowd cheering, Rhaegar riding up to Lyanna and everyone going quiet when he gives her the roses. D&D should just merge the kidnapping/elopement with the tourney, cut back to Bran then have ToJ.

        Quote  Reply

    145. Hodor’s Bastard,
      Sugar donuts dancing in your head? I’ll accept Pastry as an alias.

      SciFiFantasyGirl,
      Hodor’s Bastard,
      As HB says, in the books, he can talk through the weirwood trees but he has not shown any ability to present himself in dreams. That doesn’t mean that GRRM won’t let that develop in the next book or that D&D could employ it….just that he hasn’t yet. He does get visions of the past/present/future in his own dreams though.

      What if the Umbers have a weirwood tree and that’s where Rickon hears Bran’s voice telling him to go to ???? to help his brother and sister out? That could be very cool.

        Quote  Reply

    146. Blanche Holstein,

      I’m in the same position Blanche. Nobody in my family wants to know the spoilers.
      That’s why I’ve come here, to be with my own kind. People who need to know.
      I hate surprises, even nice ones. But most of all I had to know Jon Snow survives, someway. I’m now 99% sure, afraid to be 100%. I was 100% sure poor Shireen would be alright, Stannis loved her, he wouldn’t harm her. Well I was 100% wrong wasn’t I.
      My husband and I [no I’m not the Queen] have been arguing about Jon Snow for five years [not 24/7 of course]. He says Jon’s not coming back [mostly to wind me up] and I had always believed he was still alive, in the book. He did only get stabbed four times, he could be ok, him being special. I’m now going with the resurrection theory. Whatever it takes Jon must come back.

        Quote  Reply

    147. mau,

      My guess is a

      Harrenhall tourney one, the Laughing Tree adaptation maybe

      I understand some children and young possible Starks were on the casting call lists. I could be wrong.

      EDIT oops looks like the idea was put forth already by others but you dismissed it. Still think it could be it. It doesn’t have to be a big scene as you mention. It can be adjusted.

        Quote  Reply

    148. Hodor’s Bastard: Rickon may hear a word or two as the wind rushes through the trees. Or maybe Shaggy Dog will find a way to show him something of importance?

      That’s along the lines of what I was thinking. Something could somehow be communicated through Shaggydog, or the Weirwoods. I mean, if

      Theon (c’mon…fucking Theon?!?)

      can hear something through the Weirwoods, I’d think Rickon would certainly be able to. I know, I know…one is the books and this is the show, I’m just saying there’s a precedent for it in the books, so it isn’t, imo, entirely out of the realm of possibility.

        Quote  Reply

    149. SciFiFantasyGirl,

      I will be right there with you at the tissue box… :'(

      RE: who will be the big death in the Snowbowl (get hype)
      What if it is Rickon, making Sansa truely the key to the North?

      I am looking forward to the ToJ sequence for one simple reason:
      I GET TO SEE A DAYNE!!!!!

        Quote  Reply

    150. TormundsWoman:
      mau,

      My guess is a

      I understand some children and young possible Starks were on the casting call lists. I could be wrong.

      The TOJ scene can be the final scene. It can show how it all ended so badly. I am excited.

        Quote  Reply

    151. Let-it-Snow,

      Imagine, if you will, being on the other side of the country visiting family. It’s during the season, and of course you can’t wait to watch that week’s episode until you get home. Then imagine you discover your 78 year-old step father is a GoT fan. You discuss the show a bit, and ask if he’d like to watch the episode with you. He says, I’d love to, but, no. My lady-friend and I watch it together, so I’m going to wait for her.

      Then imagine the episode is Hardhome, and you can’t breathe a word.

      I’m good at not spoiling my Unsullied friends, and it isn’t even that difficult for me. Having to keep my mouth shut about Hardhome, on the other hand, was soooooo hard. He asked if I’d watched the episode and was it good. I kind of squeaked out an, “uh-huh,” and left the house asap.

        Quote  Reply

    152. mau,

      They could all take place at the Tower Of Joy. She could share one with Arthur Dayne, perhaps as they hear of Rhaegar’s defeat and the sack of King’s Landing.

        Quote  Reply

    153. Claudius:
      Arthur,

      No,HBO doesn’t have limitless money because they don’t grow on trees. No matter how much you look at it GOTis still a tv show and its budget will still look weak in comparison to the Hollywood blockbusters,do you know how hard is to get Avengers type money today ? Because nowadays audiences are more fickle and don’t spend as much money on the theater,studios are starting to see this and are more becoming reluctant on giving out tons of cashflow unless it’s 100% guaranteed they are going to make at least twice the profit . I understand GOT is the most popular show on TV but don’t even try to say they make as much money as those type of movies .

      Then they should make a kickstarter of sorts. I’ll gladly contribute with my money in order to have more episodes per season.

        Quote  Reply

    154. The only flashbacks I can see Lyanna being involved in:

      -Lyanna being betrothed to Robert (and showing signs of disliking it)
      -Tourney at Harrenhal (pretty much impossible to keep a secret if they film this)
      -Tower of Joy

      Film space is limited (only 10 hours!), and anything more than those three scenes is a waste.

        Quote  Reply

    155. Ashara D:
      SciFiFantasyGirl,

      I will be right there with you at the tissue box… :'(

      RE: who will be the big death in the Snowbowl (get hype)
      What if it is Rickon, making Sansa truely the key to the North?

      I am looking forward to the ToJ sequence for one simple reason:
      I GET TO SEE A DAYNE!!!!!

      That would be right up D&D and GRRM’s alley! A family reunion followed immediately with a tragic death of one of them.
      *goes out to buy more tissues*

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    156. Bronn’s Bro.,

      Money’s isn’t the determinant of how many episodes there are. D&D (and the whole crew) simply don’t have enough time to make any more. They film with two crews for almost half the year, and the CGI is only finished shortly before broadcast.

      The whole crew work their socks off. More money wouldn’t equal more episodes.

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    157. Dame Pasty: Hodor’s Bastard,
      Sugar donuts dancing in your head? I’ll accept Pastry as an alias.

      SciFiFantasyGirl,
      Hodor’s Bastard,
      As HB says, in the books, he can talk through the weirwood trees but he has not shown any ability to present himself in dreams. That doesn’t mean that GRRM won’t let that develop in the next book or that D&D could employ it….just that he hasn’t yet. He does get visions of the past/present/future in his own dreams though.

      What if the Umbers have a weirwood tree and that’s where Rickon hears Bran’s voice telling him to go to ???? to help his brother and sister out? That could be very cool.

      Thanks for your thoughts guys. It will be interesting to see if there is a communication of sorts 🙂

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    158. mau,

      So would having a cheesy wedding, when it has no significance to the story. We know they are casting Arthur Dayne. I would guess he would have more than one scene too. The odds of them including Rhaegar are very slim.

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    159. Jeb:
      Bronn’s Bro.,

      Money’s isn’t the determinant of how many episodes there are.D&D (and the whole crew) simply don’t have enough time to make any more. They film with two crews for almost half the year,and the CGI is only finished shortly before broadcast.

      The whole crew work their socks off.More money wouldn’t equal more episodes.

      It’s true. During one of the SDCC’s D&D and Carolyn Strauss said they literally work on the show, pretty much every day for the whole year and that there just isn’t enough time to do anything longer than the 10 episode run that they do. I can imagine it has been even harder now that there is no more source material to draw from when writing. Probably lots more talking with GRRM, more decision making, feasible adaptation ideas and all in keeping with continuity in regards to what they have made while they were using the books as their template. Some many of the show’s episodes are like mini-movies with the way there are filmed and produced. It’s probably a miracle that they can do what they do every year as it is 🙂

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    160. mau: It can have a significance to the story.

      Actually, the elopement is the definitive answer of whether Rhaegar’s feelings were indeed reciprocated by Lyanna, squashing the notion of him kidnapping and raping her. If R+L=J is true, then Jon finding out the real story behind his true parents’ relationship can put his mind at ease about so many things that he had been wondering and worrying about. So I think a glimpse, however small of an exchange of vows would give a great meaning and feeling to the flashback and the consequences of it.

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    161. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      mau,

      So would having a cheesy wedding, when it has no significance to the story. We know they are casting Arthur Dayne. I would guess he would have more than one scene too. The odds of them including Rhaegar are very slim.

      (I meant to have this quote included in my response to Mau as my response was directed to both of you:)

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    162. Robb Snow: My prediction is that Littlefinger will show up after Snowbowl is won (or possibly while it’s happening) and seize Winterfell from the newly victorious Northerners, making the whole thing totally for naught.

      It wouldn’t be without precedent. They hung the Vale gun on the wall last season, and with Stannis defeated they’ll have to take it down and fire it at someone. Jon, the Wildlings, and the Umbers would be the likeliest targets.

      Littlefinger seizing Winterfell would also poise Sansa to be the North’s last hope of sorts, as she’d be the only one who could get close to him at that point. I’m sure Sansa fans would appreciate her finally being given such a central role and purpose in the storyline as well. Not to mention…

      “And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow.”

      It would also make the fight against the Others more desperate. I’m sure Jon at least partly intends to help take back the North so he can try to prepare everyone for the coming White Walker invasion, but Littlefinger seizing Winterfell would toss a big wrench into that plan, and I imagine he’d be pretty incredulous to the very idea of the Others even if Jon pleaded to him about it. So you could expect no help from him on that count.

      (It might also teach Jon a harsh lesson on just why the Night’s Watch refuses to take part in the wars and politics of the Seven Kingdoms)

      Really, it just looks like the North is totally fucked in general. I’m sure the Wall will come down at some point (even if Jon was able to prepare everyone), and the Others will sweep through the North like a plague. I imagine the season might even end with a shot of the Others marching on the Wall just to rub it in.

      It’ll be interesting to see where all of this goes. I do think Littlefinger will end up taking Winterfell though, likely in the show AND the books. It might also be how Stannis is killed in the books. He just might be poised to take Winterfell… only to have it snatched up from right in front of him by Littlefinger. How sad for him.

      It is sometimes very difficult to predict what exactly Littlefinger is planning. Littlefinger does have the Vale behind him, but I dont think that means that the Vale will follow him blindly.
      If Winterfell is already under Stark control would the Lords of the Vale actually agree to attack Winterfell? I dont think they would.

      There would be no advantage or reason for the Lords of the Vale to hang around in the North and to see a Stark dynastic war play out, while the Winter would become worse and worse.
      Winterfell is not such an easy castle to besiege, especially in the dead of Winter.
      In general there is actually not much of a reason for the Vale to march North, or for them to be interested in the North in the first place. Littlefinger could very likely overplay his hand by going North.

      As for Jon he is focused on the main essence of the Nights Watch; guarding the realms of men. The Nights Watch has lost sight for their true purpose ages ago, all of the other regulations are petty against the original purpose.
      Jon cant stop thousands of wights and White Walkers with 50 Nights Watch men and a few Wildlings. The Boltons are not going help him, and as long as the Boltons are in control of the North the other houses will not be much help either.
      Jon is basically in a position where really has to take control of the North himself, that is the only way to ensure that he will have the support for his cause. Or at the very least he needs some in the control of the North who will support his cause.

      The Starks might end up fighting against each other, but it seems somewhat unlikely at this stage.
      For Sansa to help Littlefinger to try and take Winterfell by force when it is already under Stark government might be a bit problematic. I am not sure that it would make sense for Sansa’s to character betray her heritage again. And the rest of the North might not actually support her, being the wife of a Lannister and then a Bolton, and her open support for Littlefinger and especially if she conspires against her own family.

      If Sansa ends up going to the Wall she could perhaps see or learn something about the White Walkers. Sansa could then perhaps do something like convince the Lord’s of the Vale to help fight against the White Walkers.

      Littlefinger is shrewd and he obviously has his reasons for wanting to go North but it just seems like anyone who isn’t a Northerner or a Wildling are going to struggle a bit.

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    163. tyjon: I concur, This was the event that started the domino’s falling and a spectacular visual to boot. To exclude this would be a crime to fans, especially since we’ve had a shout out concerning it. We don’t need to see the tourney, just the crowd cheering, Rhaegar riding up to Lyanna and everyone going quiet when he gives her the roses.

      Exactly my thoughts. I am speaking strictly of fans who are show watchers only, who haven’t spent years discussing Lyanna’s romances or Jon’s All-Awesome-Targaryenness . The tourney (and I would definitely include KotLT, because THAT is what drew Rhaegar’s attention to her in the first place, I believe) started the events that started the domino effect, led to Robert’s rebellion, to the fall of the Targs, to Robert being King, Ned retreating to the North, Dorne sitting in sullen revenge-minded silence, Lannisters getting extra powerful calling all the shots, everyone playing the Game of Thrones and corruption at the center. It’s so much, much MORE than Jon’s parentage. It’s what led to the story that we have been watching from Season 1. It’s the all-important backstory, that will be explained as the series slowly draws to an end.

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    164. Pigeon:
      mau,

      I don’t understand how they could be married, unless bigamy is ok.

      http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Polygamy
      Excerpt: House Targaryen was known to flout convention and openly practice polygamous marriages. Aenar Targaryen took multiple wives with him when he left Valyria for Dragonstone.[2] Aegon I Targaryen was married to two women who were also his full sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. When Aegon married his sisters, this was considered unusual although there was precedent for it.[3]

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    165. SciFiFantasyGirl,

      They didn’t have to get married for their relationship to be consensual. Personally, I hope a possible marriage doesn’t have an impact on the story. The Targaryens were overthrown. So the line of succession means nothing.

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    166. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Well two impacts world be: 1. that Rhaegar wasn’t a rapist (given that Lyanna was a willing participant in all of it). And 2. (which story wise could prove to be the most important) that Jon isn’t a bastard as he’s spent his entire life believing.

      Although, I agree that a wedding isn’t earth shatteringly important to the story I’d like to see it for Jon’s sake just so he would have the peace of mind knowing that he isn’t a bastard, even if he’s the only one of a handful who knows.

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    167. Galli: as long as Roose and Ramsay both suffer drawn out and painful deaths.

      Can you imagine if Thoros worked for House Bolton? Screw the WWs, Ramsay would be unstoppable! Heck, Ramsay would probably want to die just to experience revival. A complete corruption of the nature of R’hllor.

      What does R’hllor get out of resurrection anyway? Wouldn’t it be like sitting down to a wonderful 5-course meal, seeing and smelling everything, senses working overtime…then having it all taken away from you as you were just about to enjoy that first bite?

      Come to think of it, every major house in Westeros needs their own red priest/priestess. A true game changer, and trendy.

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    168. Galli,

      I think Ramsay is gonna lose his shit and kill Roose and Walda at some point prior to Snowbowl, then finally die himself in battle with Jon.

      If Ramsay somehow loses his pillar and stones before he dies (perhaps Ghost can help there), I will literally jump for joy.

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    169. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      SciFiFantasyGirl,

      They didn’t have to get married for their relationship to be consensual. Personally, I hope a possible marriage doesn’t have an impact on the story. The Targaryens were overthrown. So the line of succession means nothing.

      Jon has been known as a ‘bastard’ all his life. Even though the circumstance would be different, if R+L weren’t married, he’d still be a bastard, but if they wed, he’d know that he wasn’t one after all. And it’s pretty clear throughout the show and books how much being a bastard bothers him.
      Like I said, all it takes is just a small glimpse of their joining. There doesn’t even need to be words, just the image of it would suffice.
      But this is just my opinion. If D&D and perhaps GRRM wants them to be married and thinks it’s important in the telling of the story then it will be added at some point. If not, there will be another scenario and outcome I’m sure.

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    170. Robb Snow:
      Galli,

      I think Ramsay is gonna lose his shit and kill Roose and Walda at some point prior to Snowbowl, then finally die himself in battle with Jon.

      If Ramsay somehow loses his pillar and stones before he dies (perhaps Ghost can help there), I will literally jump for joy.

      I’m thinking he will kill Walda for sure. (God only knows how gruesome that could end up)
      I’d like to see a Stark kill Roose though. And Sansa or Theon kill Ramsay.

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    171. TormundsWoman:
      mau,

      I understand some children and young possible Starks were on the casting call lists.

      I suspect those lists are incomplete – there are some roles that would have already been cast and others that were too spoilery to reveal. So I agree that there might be an even younger version of Lyanna, to show how like Arya she was (didn’t Bran see a vision of her and Benjen playing with swords once? That could be a cute scene). I’m hoping that at some point there’s a Howland Reed character as well, and that maybe we’ll see Lyanna scaring off some bullies!

      To me, showing the crowning at the tourney or a marriage ceremony would lessen the impact of the R+L=J reveal. They did say that the last scene would have a twist.

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    172. Roger: Is Clive Mantle confirmed out of the show?

      He was never asked back after he was unable to do season 2, as far as anyone knows. That’s why we have Smalljon in season 6.

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    173. iridium: I suspect those lists are incomplete – there are some roles that would have already been cast and others that were too spoilery to reveal. So I agree that there might be an even younger version of Lyanna, to show how like Arya she was (didn’t Bran see a vision of her and Benjen playing with swords once? That could be a cute scene). I’m hoping that at some point there’s a Howland Reed character as well, and that maybe we’ll see Lyanna scaring off some bullies!

      To me, showing the crowning at the tourney or a marriage ceremony would lessen the impact of the R+L=J reveal. They did say that the last scene would have a twist.

      Yes, I expect the casting wasn’t a complete list because they knew it would leak. If the had specific actresses in mind for Lyanna they may even have send info privately through managers to keep it quiet. And as for people getting their undies in a wad over the “young stunner” description and thinking its all they are looking for because there’s no further description… Did you ever think that was deliberately done so ad to throw people off? If the described her in the leaked casting there would be no doubt who it was and subsequently no surprise reveal.

      I don’t think it would take away from it if handled correctly. They could go about it in a montage (just a like 30 seconds or something) like Bran’s vision when he placed his hand on the tree, just snippits of important events inLyanna’s life. A glimpse of first meeting Rhaegar (KotLT), presenting the crown to her, running off together, the kiss at the wedding, finding she’s pregnant… Tiny slivers that could show they were in love. And of course, this would happen after the inital parentage reveal, or it could be uncovered or explored deeper in season 7.

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    174. Does anyone know who will be at New York comic con and if game of thrones will have a big presence there? Just wondering if it’s worth the drive

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    175. NewJeffCT:
      If we can get this exchange in the episode, I will be thrilled:

      Ser Arthur Dayne, “And now it begins.”

      (Dayne then unsheathes Dawn, and shows it so viewers will know it’s a special sword…)

      “No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.”

      The show will change it to; “No, Ser Arthur, now I shall slay you with swords whilst Howland Reed throws a net on you, rendering you tangled in the net.”

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    176. mau:
      Darquemode,

      Or they put everything in one episode? ToJ and their weeding flashback( if they want to do that, can be maybe a 30-60 second scene) ?

      That would be amazing. I really hope the show includes at least one Rhaegar/Lyanna scene. I will be so happy if they do.

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    177. Hodor’s Bastard: What does R’hllor get out of resurrection anyway? Wouldn’t it be like sitting down to a wonderful 5-course meal, seeing and smelling everything, senses working overtime…then having it all taken away from you as you were just about to enjoy that first bite?

      That is one of the big questions that we should be asking! That written, I would re-spin it: what does R’hllor get out of having people burned alive that he offers such great rewards for monkey flambé?

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    178. K Noelle: The show will change it to; “No, Ser Arthur, now I shall slay you with swords whilst Howland Reed throws a net on you, rendering you tangled in the net.”

      I….I can’t stop laughing…..

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    179. Yaga:
      West of Moon,

      Why are you assuming a marriage as a determinant of a non-rape? Especially after Sansa last year?

      I did say ‘if Lyanna was a willing participant’ in all of it. Then it wouldn’t be rape.

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    180. SciFiFantasyGirl: I’m thinking he will kill Walda for sure. (God only knows how gruesome that could end up)
      I’d like to see a Stark kill Roose though.And Sansa or Theon kill Ramsay.

      If Ramsay takes the time to flay Walda, he might be running so late to the battle that it’s all over by the time he gets there. We’re talking a fair bit of skin real estate there.

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    181. Dame Pasty: So we differ on where the battle will occur–you think the armies will come together at the Wall and I think they’ll come together near WF (because Jon will have gotten the Pink letter).

      I don’t know if the armies will necessarily meet at the Wall: Jon certainly would not wait at Castle Black even with a large force because, as we saw in Season 4, the south side of Castle Black is easily attacked. One big advantage of a Pink Letter as a plot device is that would get Jon’s army out into the open field, which would be an intermediate scenario, or might actually get Jon & Co. all the way to Winterfell. And, of course, Ramsay knows that Sansa knows that Jon is Lord Commander: so, once he figures out that she’s not in Winterfell, that would be one of the first places he would expect her to flee. Thus, everything is in place for the armies to meet somewhere between the Wall and Winterfell. (I still think it very possible that Ramsay will wind up hitting Castle Black if only because I think that a strong possible effect of Jon being deposed in the book is that the “Nationalists” will take over, and they will simply ignore Ramsay’s letter: and then pay a steep price when Ramsay does the unthinkable and assails Castle Black.)

      Dame Pasty: What if the Umbers have a weirwood tree and that’s where Rickon hears Bran’s voice telling him to go to ???? to help his brother and sister out? That could be very cool.

      That would work if Sansa goes to Jon first. I’m still betting that Bran will wind up guiding Sansa and Theon to Rickon. That way any scenes with Rickon would feature at least one lead character, and it would make Sansa & Theon more “active.” However, there probably are a number of general scenarios in which Bran could orchestrate Rickon’s restoration by nudging Sansa, Jon and/or Theon. My “bet” above is based primarily on the fact that the show went out of its way to show Sansa learning that Rickon is alive: but that might have been a red herring.

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    182. Wimsey,

      Well, I must admit I was rhetorically spinning on that very “what R’hllor gets” question you were raising a few weeks back! Now it has come full circle, and I still don’t know any more than before. Another round then?

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    183. iridium: So I agree that there might be an even younger version of Lyanna, to show how like Arya she was (didn’t Bran see a vision of her and Benjen playing with swords once? That could be a cute scene).

      Bran probably will be much further along in his abilities when he returns than he was in the book chapters depicting this. As one of the producers noted, training montages are generally pretty dull!

      West of Moon: Did you ever think that was deliberately done so ad to throw people off?

      Um, no. After all, the ad put people onto the idea that they were casting Lyanna (or had cast Lyanna: we learned of the casting call after the part had been filmed). If they had it arranged Lyanna’s casting in advance, then they could have said nothing and surprised more people when she appeared during the season.

      Remember, they put out casting calls because they need to fill roles. They no doubt would prefer a system in which they could simultaneously get all of the capable actors and actresses (or, in truth, their agents) to know about the part and absolutely nobody else. Until they invent flashy things, that’s not going to happen: and eventually, most casting calls get leaked. (In this case, WotW did not learn about it until a month after the part had been filmed; so, in that case they did a good job of keeping it hushed up.)

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    184. Wimsey: unblended scotch. Neat, please.

      Fussy. Just the devil’s cut here tonight, W.

      By the way, what’s the difference between Whiskey and Wimsey?
      Answer: A few letters and about 80 proofs
      🙂

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    185. Wimsey,

      Nice old nan cameo.

      Has anybody discussed what we may learn about “young Benjen?” I’m starting to wonder if we will learn anything about why he went to wall in the first place. I have seen some ideas floated about Hodor’s origin story- namely that some accident left him in his disabled state. Was “young Benjen” involved?

      Pardon any ignorance if there are any solid theories/insights into this. Just on my mind with the talk of “young” winterfell flashbacks…

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    186. I pray whoever choreographed the Jamie and Bronn sword fight vs The Sand Snakes , doesn’t come anywhere near this fight lol… That was atrocious. Or maybe the director was to blame ?

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    187. This is just a crackpot theory that I have wondered about, but I like to believe that the crown of winter roses was a prelude to Rhaegar giving Tohrren Stark’s crown back to Lyanna. The crown of the King of the North might be what is also currently hidden in Lyanna’s tomb. Ned may have found it at the ToJ.

      Rhaegar may also have given it to Lyanna to literally crown her his future queen if they had just gotten married, who knows. Otherwise, Torrhen’s crown may have more direct bearing on future events as far as the future of Winterfell and the North is concerned, if someone finds it again. It might not influence events by itself, but might end up being used symbolically by different agents when the time comes.

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    188. Sister Kisser:
      Wimsey,

      I have seen some ideas floated about Hodor’s origin story- namely that some accident left him in his disabled state.

      What makes me queasy about the scenario of the young Starks being involved in giving Hodor an accidental TBI is the fact that it would feel like a rehash of the Dumbledore siblings’ duel with Grindelwald that ending up killing Ariana.

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    189. Morna the Witch:
      Torrhen’s crown

      Oh, I like this tinfoil! I’ve read lots of speculation about what the Mysterious Something in the Winterfell crypts might be, but this one is new to me. Seems more plausible than Ned lugging Rhaegar’s harp around, or trying to hide Dawn.

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    190. Sister Kisser

      The problem is that in the books Hodor is young, a different generation to Ned and Benjen, so anything like Benjen hurting Hodor wouldn’t work as a reason for him going to the wall. The show could invent that as a reason, of course. But with something like that it would be a big change from the books.

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    191. The thing about the battle news I like the most is just simple – there will be lots of Jon Snow next season. 🙂
      There’s got to be plenty of lead up scenes with him before he gets to the fighting.

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    192. Sister Kisser,
      I think we won’t learn anything -it will be just a fun cameo scene (well, “fun” if a TBI is involved). Like, Bran will warp to the past using Hodor and Hodor’s memory as an anchor.

      Morna the Witch,
      I think it’s crackpot. I can’t see Torrhen and the really distant past being introduced on the show now (as opposed to in the DVD extras). Besides, this would go against this new theme on the show of people trying to arrange for themselves a new future (“break the wheel”) instead of clinging to the past and past mistakes and old traditions.

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    193. Mark Wilson:
      How about Aisling Franciosi (Katie from The Fall) to play Lyanna?

      She’s attractive but if what they speculate about the “Stunning Brunette” casting call equalling Lyanna, then her part of the story has already been shot in August and is in the can – so Lyanna has already been cast. So I would surmise the shooting at the castle next week will be for exteriors.

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    194. iridium,

      To me, showing the crowning at the tourney or a marriage ceremony would lessen the impact of the R+L=J reveal.

      Huh! You have to build up to ToJ, otherwise there is no impact.

      There must be a couple scenes of Rhaegar and Lyanna, the when and why’s. Then the penultimate scene of Ned going to rescue his sister and finding her dying from childbirth complications, with whatever twist D&D have added.{/spoiler] You can’t go into it cold. Furthermore the actress will be in a few scenes, so unless those scenes are just her and her siblings, It’s a safe bet that at least one involves Rhaegar.

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    195. Legitimate or bastard, I don’t think discovering that he’s not a son of Eddard Stark will help improve Jon’s mood. He hero-worships Ned. He’ll be more angsty than ever.

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    196. Sean C.,

      Wait, is Littlefinger supposed to be in King’s Landing at all? He hasn’t been seen since the mid-season, when he said he was going to the North. I know this is Littlefinger we’re talking about, but I just assumed he was going to the Vale and then the North, and we just weren’t seeing it?

      M,

      Or maybe those scenes with Sansa and Littlefinger in Winterfell were from 6×10, once the “good guys” have won the day.

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    197. tyjon,

      I agree. I think the reveal is going to happen through a series of short flashbacks (images, really) leading up to the long one which is the ToJ. Things we could see: Rhaegar crowning Lyanna then running away with her, Brandon and Rickard storming into King’s Landing and getting executed by the Mad King, then flashes of battles, Robert killing Rhaegar in the Trident and finally… the ToJ. The whole sequence could take 5 minutes.

      The Hodor flashback would be in an entirely different episode.

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    198. lalla,

      He’ll eventually understand all of that (after some time) about his parentage. Finally some peace for his poor soul. One thing is certain in my mind and that Ned will always be his true father no matter what.

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    199. Josh L.: Unless they are planning on showing the tourney at Harrenhal (I don’t think it’s been mentioned on the show yet, has it?)

      Littlefinger told the story to Sansa in detail, almost word for word from Ned’s thoughts in aGoT, in Winterfell’s crypts last season.

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    200. Ghost’s Lunch,

      Kit Harington is going to look particularly short when he is surrounded by Wun Wun, Tormund, Smalljon Umber and maybe even Brienne in that battle 😀

      It’s gonna be so great. Snowbowl cometh.

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    201. While I find Rhaegar and Lyanna’s story as romantic as everyone else I do think we should spare a thought for his poor wife Elia Martell. It must have been awful for Elia that her husband chose Lyanna over her at the tournament and then to run away with this young girl.
      Of course we don’t know if Elia was in love with Rhaegar. It was after all an arranged marriage. But this woman was an innocent in all that happened as were her children. And they certainly didn’t deserve the fate that was brought upon them by Rhaegar’s infidelity.

      I would like to believe that Elia wasn’t in love with Rhaegar, only fond of him. Although reading the description of him and his personality it’s hard to imagine she wouldn’t be. [The drawing of him on Wiki Ice and Fire is just how I thought he would look]

      Hate to be a downer on all the romance but I really felt compelled to mention Elia Martell as she has been so overlooked.

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    202. jentario,

      The Hodor flashback would be in an entirely different episode.

      I guess I’m on the tail end of this discussion, so there is talk Bran wargs into Hodor and accesses his memory? Therefore the Stark kids flashback is thru Hodor’s eyes, which would be plausible.

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    203. Let-it-Snow,

      Looking at it from one point of view Rhaegar and Lyanna, if they were – or perceived themselves to be – “in lurve”, acted very irresponsibly. Show Oberyn said that (pre-show) Elia loved Rhaegar but he left her for another woman – I can’t remember what the books say offhand. I’ve sometimes wondered if R&L are GRRM’s spin on the Tristan and Iseult love story (though T & I had the excuse of being under the sway of a potion) – in one version of Tristan and Iseult they live in “Joyeuse Garde” and Rhaegar ensconses Lyanna in the Tower of Joy, though of course GRRM as has often been said mixes and matches real history, counterfactual history and myths (and I have sometimes wondered if he borrowed from ancient ballads {Eppie Moray that type of thing}).

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    204. Luka Nieto:
      Ghost’s Lunch,

      Kit Harington is going to look particularly short when he is surrounded by Wun Wun, Tormund, Smalljon Umber and maybe even Brienne in that battle

      It’s gonna be so great. Snowbowl cometh.

      well the guy who plays Ramsey seems to have the same height.

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    205. Luka Nieto: Littlefinger told the story to Sansa in detail, almost word for word from Ned’s thoughts in aGoT, in Winterfell’s crypts last season.

      Usually I am all about “Show, don’t Tell!” This is a rare exception. I suspect that the key point will be Ned’s comprehension (and ours along with it) that Rhaegar did not kidnap and rape Lyanna, but that Rhaegar & Lyanna eloped. They could have something as simple as Ned wanting nothing to do with the child because of his preconception, and the dying Lyanna setting him straight. “I loved him, he loved me, the son is important: promise me!”

      Showing that Ned and everyone else was wrong before we see Ned learn the truth has a bad effect: people reflexively view ignorance is stupidity, and it diminishes lead characters if we know (not just posit!) something before they do.

      Still: I would love to see this part in a room full of Dayneites! (Not to be petty or anything: but deep down inside, I’m a small, small man…… 😉 )

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    206. Luka Nieto,

      Kit Harington is going to look particularly short when he is surrounded by Wun Wun, Tormund, Smalljon Umber and maybe even Brienne in that battle ?

      It’s gonna be so great. Snowbowl cometh.

      Which is perfectly okay, we all come in different shapes and sizes and short people can be heros too!

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    207. Dame of Mercia: Show Oberyn said that (pre-show) Elia loved Rhaegar but he left her for another woman

      One speculation (that has since shown to be partially correct) is that Elia knew that Rhaegar needed another son and that she also knew that she could not bear anymore kids. The latter now is known to be true, but we do not know if Elia was that deep in Rhaegar’s council. Still, if she was, then she might have magnanimously let herself be set aside without telling anyone the reasons why.

      That is, of course, speculation that goes way (way) back.

      Regardless, the show needs to stay focused. The point of this scene will not be world-building. The point of this scene will be to tell us about Jon’s parentage, and possible to give us some clue about a (literally and figuratively!) preconceived destiny for Jon. It’s not “how Lyanna Met Rhaegar” and it’s not “Elia: My Life as the Spurned Wife (from a household of vindictive killers).”

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    208. Luka Nieto:
      Wait, is Littlefinger supposed to be in King’s Landing at all? He hasn’t been seen since the mid-season, when he said he was going to the North. I know this is Littlefinger we’re talking about, but I just assumed he was going to the Vale and then the North, and we just weren’t seeing it?

      That’s what I assumed too, but I’m speculating otherwise since based on the filming spoilers we’ve gotten so far it’s really unclear what Littlefinger would be doing in the North for most of the season, since it doesn’t sound like the Valemen are at “Snowbowl” and, in any event, the stakes for that battle would be markedly lower if the Boltons had already been driven from Winterfell (and the Vale’s forces should massively outnumber the Boltons on their own). If the “late arrival” theory is true and Littlefinger only arrives in Winterfell at the end of the season, I’m speculating that the writers would probably find something else for him to do in the intervening period, and that would most likely be more KL.

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    209. lalla: I don’t think discovering that he’s not a son of Eddard Stark will help improve Jon’s mood. He hero-worships Ned. He’ll be more angsty than ever.

      I could see the opposite being the case. Knowing that his uncle was willing to lie and dishonor himself for Jon’s mother’s sake (and, in the end, for Jon’s sake) might have a very different effect. Ned actually did a lot for Jon, and Jon (uptight about his honor and the conflicting strains on his honor as Jon is) would actually appreciate that more than would most people.

      Of course, this would raise a separate question: ToJ is probably how we (and Ned) will find out about Jon: but how will Jon find out about Jon?

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    210. The first item Jon would do last season is send Raven’s out from CB to all of Westeros about the WW army at HH, and pretty sure by early next season the talk in the small council will concern this and of course the FM, therefore could Jaime be sent north after the Sept debacle to verify the information sent from CB concerning the WW, and is accompanied by a small retinue of soldiers. he’ll be in the Riverlands by the end of the season, just in time to cross paths with Arya in season 7.

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    211. tyjon: The first item Jon would do last season is send Raven’s out from CB to all of Westeros about the WW army at HH, and pretty sure by early next season the talk in the small council will concern this and of course the FM,

      I’m rather surprised they didn’t spend any seconds describing spreading that urgent message. That’s sort of an important follow-up to Aemon’s previously distributed message. Maybe there are no more ravens? In any case, I believe Sam will be the dire message bearer about the wildlings, Gift, and WWs in S6 as he makes his way south.

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    212. Wimsey,

      I think the battle will happen at or near Last Hearth. Sansa will flee there and Ramsay will attack to get her back. Davos, Jon and Wildlings will arrive on the scene when they go to Last Hearth to find Rickon. They probably won’t know Sansa is there.

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    213. A bit off topic: I just saw a news bite about the pope going to Havana and it struck me that if you put him in the GOT costume he could be a doppleganger for Jonathan Pryce’s High Sparrow. LOL

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    214. Wimsey: Of course, this would raise a separate question: ToJ is probably how we (and Ned) will find out about Jon: but how will Jon find out about Jon?

      Maybe Milasandre will tell him. She seems to know an awful lot about him. Maybe she saw his parentage history in one of her fires.

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    215. tyjon: pretty sure by early next season the talk in the small council will concern this and of course the FM, therefore could Jaime be sent north after the Sept debacle to verify the information sent from CB concerning the WW,

      That wouldn’t happen: the story would be dismissed as a hoax, as most people think that the White Walkers went extinct eons ago or never even existed at all. People would think that it’s just another desperate ploy by the Night’s Watch to get more men and/or supplies or even that it is a Stark Sympathizer trying to draw the southerners into some sort of trap.

      Indeed, chances are very good that most of the Night’s Watch did not believe most of the Hardhome story, anyway!

      Lisa0527: think the battle will happen at or near Last Hearth. Sansa will flee there and Ramsay will attack to get her back.

      But why would Ramsay think that she flees to the Umbers? He has no information suggesting that she would have any particular reason to go there. He knows neither that Sansa knows Rickon is alive nor that Rickon is with the Umbers. What Ramsay does know is that he told Sansa that her brother is now Lord Commander. That really looked like a gun hung on the wall to me!

      GOT Fan: Maybe she saw his parentage history in one of her fires.

      The problem with that is that it does not seem that Melisandre gets such direct information from the fires, either in the books or on TV. Instead, she gets snippets of what is, what was or what might be. She has to piece together what those snippets represent herself. That’s why she’s almost always right in a general way while being wrong about the specifics.

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    216. Wimsey:
      Of course, this would raise a separate question: ToJ is probably how we (and Ned) will find out about Jon: but how will Jon find out about Jon?

      Most likely Bran. Howland Reed (if he makes it to the show), Melisandre or Littlefinger (I doubt that, but it’s still a possibility).

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    217. Luka Nieto: Kit Harington is going to look particularly short when he is surrounded by Wun Wun, Tormund, Smalljon Umber and maybe even Brienne in that battle

      He can handle it. In the scenes he had with Kristofer/Tormund, while trying to convince Tormund to go to Hardhome and rally the wildings, they stood face to face. You could see Jon pulling up every inch of himself to not back down to Tormund’s overwhelming height, and it worked. At the scene in the hut with the wildings, they were all taller, yet he delivered the “I’m not here to make friends” speech to full impact, and they declared him King Crow. Kit makes it work.

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    218. Geralt of Rivia: Most likely Bran. Howland Reed (if he makes it to the show), Melisandre or Littlefinger (I doubt that, but it’s still a possibility).

      Bran presents similar problems to Melisandre. Even if Bran sees it, then how will he communicate it to Jon? Whispers through the trees or dreams will seem like just voices in the air or visions to Jon.

      I really doubt that Littlefinger knows that Jon is Rhaegar’s son. Oh, Littlefinger might have heard stories that Lyanna ran off with Rhaegar rather than being abducted: but, then, those stories would surely have come into being regardless of the truth. But that is very different from inferring that Jon is anyone other than who Ned purports Jon to be.

      Howland Reed is still my preferred bet.

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    219. So Jon vs Ramsey huh ?
      This is one of the reasons why I dislike the show , they keep cutting Sansa from the Game !!
      I mean ALL her brothers keep their rules in this game expect her
      Bran and his visions and his magical skills , Jon on the wall and the ruling and everything , Arya and being a Faceless and her fighting skills as Hobaw .. and Sansa ? D&D make her a pointless character and all what she doing is crying and obey other people’s orders and just follow their directions without doubt like what happened with Petyr Last season and being a hostage from a monester to another

      While in the books she learned ALOT about the Game maybe more than the other players and she trys to figure out a way to bring Winterfull back . How they dares and cut this from the show and take it from her and instead they make her a hostage again and bring her back to the start point ?!!!

      God I hate D&D !!!

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    220. blood of winterfell,

      Ah yes.. Learning from LF qoutes. ”Always keep your hands cleen (Like I do when I’m eating oranges)”, ”whoo, Harry…”

      Yes ”learning…”. Learning how to go and cry when Harry, calls her basterd, eating lemoncakes, or baby-sitting Robin. Yes that is what the Game entails.

      Beside who ever said Sansa will play the game of thrones?

      I’m willing to bet money, she will never do, in neither the show or the books.

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    221. Wimsey: Bran presents similar problems to Melisandre.Even if Bran sees it, then how will he communicate it to Jon?Whispers through the trees or dreams will seem like just voices in the air or visions to Jon.

      It’s rather unlikely that Bran is not going to have any substantive interactions with other characters for the remainder of the series.

      Yaga,

      Yes, that information was in the initial casting announcement. The new Lord Karstark is in three episodes, by comparison.

      Mihnea:
      Beside who ever said Sansa will play the game of thrones?

      George R. R. Martin. And the writers of the show, for that matter.

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    222. My heart will break if they haven’t cast Jessica Brown Findlay as Lyanna Stark. She’s an amazing actress and I can’t imagine anyone else playing the part.

      Katie MacGrath *would* have been amazing if she was a little younger. I don’t understand the hype about Adelaide Kane. I know it sounds superficial, but Adelaide comes across as a bit too airy-fairy in any scenes that I’ve watched of her. I always imagined Lyanna Stark as a strong female character, Jessica Findlay Brown definitely carries herself that way.

      Although, I’m sure if they *have* cast an up-and-coming fresh theatre/drama school grad as Lyanna, she’ll be equally as talented as Jessica. Nina Gold has done well with her choices, particularly so when it comes to the younger actors on the show… for example, Kit Harington’s performance has been amazing as Jon’s character has developed throughout the years. It would be a shame for them to merely cast someone for their looks, this role could really kick start an actress’ career. I’d like to see the role of Lyanna go to someone with talent.

      In recent seasons, they’ve made a noticeable effort to cast actors that look related to their family members (e.g. the Lannister kids aged up and the recent Tarly family casting). I hope this is the case for Lyanna and Rhaegar. I also hope Rhaegar resembles Viserys and Dany, as well as Jon (assuming the theory is right). Knowing that they cast an Arya that looked nothing like ‘book Arya’, I don’t expect too much similarity between the actress playing Lyanna and Maisie Williams.

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    223. Sean C.,

      Yup! Found it already myself. 🙂 There is also a ‘Housemaid’ with Northern English accent, and a ‘Father’, an alpha-patriarch, same. 🙂 She’s in two episodes, he’s in one. Any speculation who they might be?

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    224. GOT Fan,

      Funny you say that. Was thinking today that the current Pope and the High Sparrow seem to have pretty similar views (albeit different religions), at least regarding the poor. Don’t they call him the Barefoot Pope?

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    225. I’m not super up to date with spoilers and rumours, so I think I missed out on Arya in the Riverlands stuff.

      Is it confirmed? Why do people think she’ll be in Westeros at the season’s end?

      Thanks to anyone who answers lol

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    226. Sean C.,

      I direct you to the previous thread, where we had our last ”disscussion”.

      Please don’t reply to me. I do not have the neccesary energy, to enter a endless argument with you. So please simply ignore my comments. Thats what I’m doing with yours. I simply find no reason, why we should talk.

      Thank you.

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    227. Yaga,

      The Father character is most commonly assumed to be Lord Rickard in the flashbacks with the young Ned et al.

      Mihnea,

      You asked a question in a public forum. I gave an answer, to anyone reading who might be interested.

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    228. Sean C.: It’s rather unlikely that Bran is not going to have any substantive interactions with other characters for the remainder of the series.

      They will be substantial: but they will not be direct. Tree Gods do not seem to be able to communicate with others save through oblique manners, and nobody is going to get to where Bran is plugged into his tree. Bran quite probably has had is last “face-to-face” with any major characters.

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    229. Sean C.,

      Please provide me an article, or video, where either GRRM or anyone else says: ”Sansa, will play the game of thrones”

      Not Sansa will be more involved. Not Sansa will be more active, or anything like that.
      But this exact phrase, ”Sansa will play the game of thrones”

      The question was sarcastic, but even if it is a genuine question, in the future, please refrain from replying to me. I have not replied to a single one of your posts, since I said I will ignore your comments (Until you replied to me directly), I would appreciate if you do the same.

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    230. Mihnea,

      You seem to have a habit of getting into debates with posters, then saying you won’t discuss it further, then replying again. Why don’t you just not engage with those who clearly are not going to change their minds, nor are you?

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    231. Pigeon,

      I have not entered a disscussion, with Sean C. neither do I wish too.

      It is him who replied too me, I simply informed him that I don’t want to enter a debate with him, on no subject.

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    232. blood of winterfell,

      Sansa has appeared in 3 chapters in 15 years. In those chapters, she has not once shown anything that would resemble playing the game. She does start to try and manipulate HTH in her TWOW sample chapter, but there is no hint of her being politically inclined. We’ll see, but George’s original outline for the story did not include Sansa as one of the main 5 characters. A lot has changed since then, but I doubt she will be a key to the end game. At least not as much as Jon or Bran.

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    233. Yaga,

      Awesome! Thanks!

      I was going to try to stay away from spoilers this year but just couldn’t.

      Although spoilers aren’t as spoilery as they have been in the past, so that’s a good thing. Even though we know Theon is going here or Arya is going there, their storylines are still a big mystery to us.

      Exciting!

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    234. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Completly agree.

      I like the idea of Sansa trying to whoo, Harry (I will not say manipulate, because in my opinion, there is a long way from flirting with someone, too manipulating him). But that is in no way playing ”the game”.

      And neither do I belive Sansa even , wants to play ”the game”.

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    235. Wimsey:
      tyjon: ….verify the information sent from CB concerning the WW….

      That wouldn’t happen: the story would be dismissed as a hoax, as most people think that the White Walkers went extinct eons ago or never even existed at all. People would think that it’s just another desperate ploy by the Night’s Watch to get more men and/or supplies or even that it is a Stark Sympathizer trying to draw the southerners into some sort of trap.

      Indeed, chances are very good that most of the Night’s Watch did not believe most of the Hardhome story, anyway!

      That’s sad. How the NW has devolved in mission and respect since they were founded 5000+ years back! Their primary mission is to warn of the next Long Night, defend the realms of men, and sacrifice themselves as necessary. In recent decades and/or centuries, they have only skirmished with wildlings (rather than treating with them, extending their watch), snuck off to Mole’s Town, allowed their castles to fall into disrepair and seen their population dwindle to almost nothing, with their ranks filled with convicts rather than servicemen.

      Now that their mission faces them with dire conviction, it is met with incredulous skepticism within and without. Since Hardhome, the horns should be blaring in sets of three whole notes over and over and ravens should be flying.

      Their ignorance shall be a short bliss. May Jon (the man not the dead boy) and Bran curtail the sleeping ignorance of the land soon!

      …I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men….

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    236. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Sansa has appeared in 3 chapters in 15 years. In those chapters, she has not once shown anything that would resemble playing the game. She does start to try and manipulate HTH in her TWOW sample chapter, but there is no hint of her being politically inclined.

      “I never asked to play”, in her own words. But she’s in the game regardless, and much of her Act 1 story was in suffering at the hands of various game players and trying to survive and escape. Now in Act 2 we see her learning how politics and court intrigue are done as a participant in Littlefinger’s schemes. You’re correct that she doesn’t have her own agenda yet.

      None of that means she’s literally going to be at Littlefinger’s level or whatever by the end of the story. Even with the five-year-gap that would have been unlikely, and GRRM himself remarked that the absence of the gap will affect the younger characters (though from the sample chapters he released, I question how much that will really be the case; in both Sansa and Arya’s it really felt to me like he was mostly just ploughing on as if the characters were indeed noticeably older).

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    237. Mihnea,

      “She is beginning to at least try to understand how she can play the game of thrones and be, not a piece, but a player, with her own goals and moving other pieces around. She is not a warrior like Robb or Jon Snow, she’s not even a wild child like Arya, she can’t fight with swords, axes, she can’t raise armies, but she has her wits, the same as Littlefinger has.”

      One of the most obvious structural parallels in the entire book series is the comparative training phases of the Stark siblings. We see Arya with the Faceless Men, learning the tools of the trade to become a skilled commando; we see Bran with Bloodraven, learning to be a greenseer; and we seen Sansa with Littlefinger, learning to play the game of thrones. The latter is certainly not as action-oriented thus far (or proceeding as fast as some people would like), to be sure, but it’s there nonetheless.

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    238. tyjon:
      The first item Jon would do last season is send Raven’s out from CB to all of Westeros about the WW army at HH, and pretty sure by early next season the talk in the small council will concern this and of course the FM, therefore could Jaime be sent north after the Sept debacle to verify the information sent from CB concerning the WW, and is accompanied by a small retinue of soldiers. he’ll be in the Riverlands by the end of the season, just in time to cross paths with Arya in season 7.

      “The grumkins are attacking, they massacred a village beyond the Wall. Send help ASAP.” Why would anyone would be interested? They (except Stannis) pissed on Jeor Mormont when he informed them of the wildling menace, and that was a credible one. Even if they hadn’t that sparrow problem to distract them, they would just laugh at Jon’s letter thinking he has gone mad.

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    239. lalla,

      Yeah, at this point, the White Walkers haven’t been heard from in 8000 years. Really, it’s more surprising that the Night’s Watch is still around at all than it is surprising that most of Westeros doesn’t take the idea of the Walkers returning seriously. The Wildlings are the only real threat the Watch has been concerned with for several millennia, and the Wildlings are really only a concern for the North.

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    240. lalla,

      I’m sure they’d send someone north to investigate, someone you want out of the city that can cause more harm than good in the long run. Jaime would be at the top, especially if he causes trouble with the FM, and Kevan doesn’t want that, plus one less witness to call for a trail, or arrest even. We know RR is in Frey hands, so therefore why is Jaime heading north.

      1. Mentioned in above statement
      2. Cersei is not in charge, therefore can’t force him to go anywhere or kill Sansa, which leads to #3.
      3. Jaime is disgusted with everything KL and heads north to find Brienne/Sansa, very possible.
      4. Jaime fills guilty and decides to join the NW, possible.
      5. Small council hears rumblings about the North civil war and has Jaime lead an army.
      Not likely because the south won’t care.

      Sean C.

      So the nobles in the south will play their games, ignore the WW threat until all the surviving people from the Riverlands and Northward pour into the south, escaping the blitzkrieg of WW, then perhaps the small council will form a committee to investigate, after all it could be a trap by the North to lure an army to destruction.

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    241. tyjon,

      On the fifth option, Littlefinger has already been given the task of “pacifying” the North for the Crown, so Jaime wouldn’t be sent to do that.

      We’ve heard about a gang of bandits in the Riverlands, so Jaime may be sent to try to restore law and order there.

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    242. tyjon:
      iridium,

      Huh! You have to build up to ToJ, otherwise there is no impact […] You can’t go into it cold. Furthermore the actress will be in a few scenes, so unless those scenes are just her and her siblings, It’s a safe bet that at least one involves Rhaegar.

      Yeah you’re right, the crowning would be fine in retrospect. I just remembered that Baelish has already told the story in the show as well. But I maintain that a wedding would be too much.

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    243. Hodor’s Bastard: Now that their mission faces them with dire conviction, it is met with incredulous skepticism within and without

      Nicely written!

      When the handful of NW returned from the Great Ranging, after seeing the “artwork” of the WW, (the swirls of bodies and horses heads) there should have been no further doubt. Yet, Thorne did not believe. I thought when Thorne briefly redeemed himself by his grudging apology to Jon regarding blocking the tunnel, that the word about the wildings and White Walkers would get out then, to the men and the world at large. Seeing the mammoths and the giants, and the biggest fire the North had ever seen, just as Jon described, would convince the rest of them. Yet, Thorne did not believe.

      What will it take? I don’t know how the writers intend to end Thorne, but it should be in a way that makes that jealous, murderous fool finally believe – like a direct kill by a WW.

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    244. GOT Fan:
      A bit off topic:I just saw a news bite about the pope going to Havana and it struck me that if you put him in the GOT costume he could be a doppleganger for Jonathan Pryce’s High Sparrow. LOL

      Draco Malfoy in a few decades!

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    245. mau:
      Ghost’s Lunch,

      It is Sapochnik .

      Awesome, hype levels just exploded

      He has to be careful though, he has set himself very high expectations after Hardhome, some of the best TV I’ve ever seen let alone GoT

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    246. Thronetender: that makes that jealous, murderous fool finally believe – like a direct kill by a WW.

      Yes…the ides of Thorne was a conundrum. What will it take, indeed! If Ghost doesn’t get to him first, I will accept a hearty WW handshake. Nice to finally meet you!

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    247. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Isn’t Thorne a Targaryen loyalist? I can’t remember. I would actually love it if Thorne has a road to Damasacus moment when Jon is reborn as Azor Ahai. And if he learns Jon is
      Rhaegar’s son so much the better.
      Thorne as Jon’s kingsguard would epic.

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    248. Hodor’s Bastard: I just wish they hadn’t already used it, to ridiculous effect, between Sansa and Theon/Reek last season.

      I loved all of the promise me’s. Foreshadowing and illustrating how different people respond/how seriously they take it.

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    249. Sean C.,

      Thank you for providing a video!

      But I simply don’t see this as confirmation that Sansa will play ”The game”, just like I don’t think Arya will ever fully become a FM. I think the same with Sansa, she will never truly do, neither will she want to do, what LF does.
      I see this as confirmation, that Sansa will be more active, something I never denied, but in no way her starting to manipulate people,..etc.
      I see this as Martin, explaining Sansa’s decision of lying for LF. I think you over think what Martin said here, as you often do, in my opinion.. You see him explaining Sansa’s entire arc, I simply see him explaining Sansa’s decision to lie for LF.

      Thank you again for providing a video tough.
      But this disscussion will simply not lead anywhere. We both see the same thing, but we reach very different conclusions. So I see no point in disscussing this anymore.

      We will see wich one of us, will be right when TWOW/S6 comes out. One thing tough I’m certain, I will be nowhere near as angry, with Sansa playing the game, as you where when she did not.

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    250. Joshua Atreides: Thorne a Targaryen loyalist

      Interesting. I forgot about his pre-RR days. I wonder how he will react when he returns from his beyond the wall ranging, if he and others (including Jon) ever find out about R+L=J. As for the show, Thorne (as an amalgamated Marsh) is probably doomed.

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    251. Rygritte: all of the promise me’s.

      Yes, there are several other uses of the phrase throughout ASoI&F

      but Lyanna’s dying words are so fucking iconic they make me shiver! I had a double-take when I heard Sansa say it to Theon/Reek in such a hopeless/throwaway situation, almost like the showrunners were winking to us book wankers. Maybe they were just teasing us with it before its definitive use…

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    252. Mihnea:
      But I simply don’t see this as confirmation that Sansa will play ”The game”, just like I don’t think Arya will ever fully become a FM. I think the same with Sansa, she will never truly do, neither will she want to do, what LF does.

      What do you mean “playing the game”, precisely? If you mean will she become a sociopath like Littlefinger, no, I wasn’t saying that.

      Arya won’t be a Faceless Man, but she will use the skills she learns from them, which is what makes her a strong combatant. Sansa won’t be Littlefinger, but she will use the skills she learns from him, which is what allows her to be a politician. Sansa’s arc shows how she needs to play, whether she wants to, because her only options are to act on her own behalf or else to just continue being pushed around by everyone else.

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    253. mau,

      Determining the actions and plans of others, finding allies (via manipulation, appeal to common interest, what-have-you), political manoeuvring against other players of the game, etc. All the things we’ve seen in the story, and in Sansa’s story in particular. She began the story unaware of the game’s existence; she tried to survive it and then and stay away from it; but that’s not possible, as she’s coming to realize, which means she’ll have to play. I’ve never really understood why this notion is still controversial. Nobody really debates that Arya is becoming a skilled fighter, and Bran a magician, but Sansa’s arc, which is directly paralleled with theirs, is saturated with the game of thrones and the consequences of her not being able to play it, and features a mentor in the game of thrones (who is also probably her chief antagonist), is not learning to play the game of thrones? She doesn’t really want to be a player, that’s true, but Bran didn’t want to be a greenseer either, nor did Arya decide to become a child soldier. They have their parts thrust upon them, and they all have to deal with that.

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    254. Sean C.,

      For me it is not controversial that she will be part of politics in some way. It is controversial how.

      The whole idea of “learning to play politics” is something I can’t understand. I don’t think that you could learn some lessons and step by step become a politician. Politics is something chaotic and extremely hard, where you must seize every possible opportunity.

      GRRM put her in ideal environment, separated from the rest of the story, so she could learn something. But that environment is what makes it false. She is too safe in the Vale, her obstacles are too easy to overcome, made just for her, there is no sense of urgency, danger,… There is no challenge. Everything is made like a school.

      I am againts the mystification of politics and that “learning to become a player” arc. There are two important elements that every god politician must have:

      1. Contacts (allies)
      2. Money

      And that’s it.

      Sansa can the smartest person in the world but without allies or gold she can’t be a politician. She doesn’t need to learn anything more, she is old enough, she has enough experience, she only needs an opportunity to get allies or gold. And that is a politics.

      Everything else she will achieve by being part of politics, not only by watching other people and hiding.

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    255. mau,

      I fully agree, that putting her in the Vale was a big mistake, it feels like the hole point of the Vale existing is to give Sansa a safe place where she can grow/learn.
      But it is exactly this that makes it feel, for the lack of a better word, fake.
      She is simply put into statis until she learns/grows, or gets an army,..etc.

      Someone said it very well, around 2006-2007, can’t remenber it very well where I read it, it was long ago.

      That Martin has basically put her into Dragon ball Z’s Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
      If you are not familliar with the series, that is a place, where the ”hero” went when he could not defeat the enemy. Time is non-existant in that place, so Goku/Gohan could train there for years, then simply come out when they where strong enough to defeat whoever they where fighting.

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    256. Mihnea,

      I have the exact same feeling about Sansa/DBZ parallel.

      I think that is the problem with GRRM writings in the last two books. He lost control of the narrative and he is not able to develop characters and move plot at the same time.

      So we ended up with tasks for major characters no one cares about. Meereen and the Vale are places people are not interested in. We don’t feel like having Sansa achieve something there means anything to the plot.

      Puting her in the North and connecting her to the Boltons, Theon, Jon, Rickon, Brienne is what made S5(and what will made S6) interesting for Sansa, because if she starts being a politician in some capacity in S6 it will feel like something relevant and important, because the North and WF were the first places we saw in this story.

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    257. Has anyone seen this Reddit thread?

      Could be complete BS, but

      they claim to have friends that are extras in the Northern battle scene and that a Stark dies in the battle, which has been heavily suggested to be Sansa by said friends. How Sansa ends up in the battle is beyond me, but perhaps she dies in an event that is somehow related to the battle? Who knows. Personally I think Rickon makes the most sense if a Stark really is going to die. Also, they mention that Theon and Yara flee to Volantis after the Kingsmoot.

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    258. One key thing to remember about Sansa is something that we only had confirmed this year: GRRM did not originally plan to make her one of the primary protagonists of the series. His original outline and proposal made those Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Bran and Arya.

      However, he obviously decided to make Sansa one of the bigger players after that. And that probably created one big problem: from the start, he had an end-goal for the “Big 5” to which he’s been working towards (both creatively and practically). His goals for Sansa had to be shoehorned into that.

      At this point, my bet is that B&W have decided that whatever GRRM has Sansa do in the books simply does not contribute enough to the stories and/or plots for Winter and Spring, and that they needed to come up with something else for her to do. That was obviously the case for Crows/Dragons: Sansa has three fairly meaningless chapters there that contribute nothing to the Crows/Dragons story and next to nothing (if not nothing) towards whatever the over-arching story connecting the tales is. They probably saw parallels in upcoming plot-items for Sansa and events in the north, and decided to transplant Sansa’s story there first so that she could be part of the Crows/Dragons story, and subsequently so that Northern events important to the overarching plot would have a lead character there that could then tie those events to the overarching story.

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    259. mau:
      So we ended up with tasks for major characters no one cares about. Meereen and the Vale are places people are not interested in. We don’t feel like having Sansa achieve something there means anything to the plot.

      I find the Vale plenty interesting, as do many others (people are free to disagree; I don’t find Braavos especially interesting, but tons of people love that setting, including GRRM). Beyond which, the Vale has been set up as a major factor in the next phase of the war in the Seven Kingdoms, seeing as it’s one of the only uncommitted armies and has major resources. It’s very relevant to the plot.

      As far as learning politics, there is definitely a lot to learn. It’s the difference between reading people (which Sansa was starting to do in KL), and learning to formulate plans and make use of that knowledge. We see her now learning to help Littlefinger carry out his plans, which is mentoring in the nuts and bolts of it. And I wouldn’t say the setting is too easy. There are potential allies there, but there are potential foes too, and plenty of wildcards with their own agendas.

      Even if you simplify politics down to allies and gold, that just shows how the Vale is the right environment to learn to play politics, whereas she couldn’t do that in King’s Landing (too isolated, no allies or support base) or, in the show, in Winterfell (same problem, which was what made it a complete rerun of her King’s Landing story). The Vale is the challenge of, once she has arrived at the point where she wants to strike out on her own (a process you have to build up to), building her own support. That’s learning politics, learning to appeal to people and bring them on your side, as well as out-manoeuvring opponents.

      That’s why I hope the new Lord Karstark is meant to be somebody she’s going to have to win over to the Stark cause, because otherwise the Northern story in season 6 really doesn’t have anything political for her to do (assuming the show is going to remember that that’s what she’s supposed to be doing). There’s no accomplishment in running to people who already support you, and she’s not a general, so it’s not like she’s going to actually fight a battle. They’ve taken her out of her own plot and shoved her first into Theon’s and now, seemingly, into Jon’s.

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    260. ladysansa,

      I would put my money on BS. However, it would not be ridiculous if

      Sansa was at the big battle. It is not unreasonable that she would flee to the Umbers if she somehow learns (Bran!) that Rickon is there. Given what she has seen and learned, it also would not be unrealistic if she insisted on participating in some way. Remember, Northerners are a bit more “liberal” where women are concerned, and she is Lady Stark.

      That written, the fact that neither Turner nor the actor playing Rickon have not been sighted on these sets is pretty strong evidence that they are not there. It is not conclusive – their parts could be filmed separately – but strong evidence nonetheless.

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    261. Sean C.: because otherwise the Northern story in season 6 really doesn’t have anything political for her to do (assuming the show is going to remember that that’s what she’s supposed to be doing).

      Sure it does: if she’s going to get the Umbers to go to war. At this point, they might well have Sansa take the role of Rickon’s “agent.”

      But the bigger issue here is that we don’t know what the story for Winter is. Thus, we do not know what identity crisis Sansa needs to have in order to contribute to that story. Even if playing politics is relevant to what happens next, then the important thing is whatever crisis it induces for Sansa: and we simply cannot assume that “convincing the Karstarks” is going to be relevant to that. Really, that sort of thing never would be relevant to a GRRM story: the relevant part would be Sansa overcoming some scruple to do so in order to placate another scruple.

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    262. Sean C.,

      When we speak about the Vale it is obvious that LF will use them as a tool to achieve his goals. In the show and the books. Maybe even Sansa will do that in S6 or S7 (TWOW or ADOS).

      So, yes, they are important, because they will play important role in the North in the show(and probably in the books). But they have supporting role and the show played it that way. And I liked that. We didn’t spend too much time in the Vale, it didn’t become Meereen 2.0.

      When you start reading professional reviews about the show, majority of critics have problems with Meereen and Bravos. And when I say majority I think majority of those who have some problems with narrative structure of the show. There are many who don’t. And it is obvious why they have problems with Meereen and Bravos.

      D&D are trying to solve problems with Meereen by putting Tyrion and Varys there, and they put Jaqen H’ghar, Meryn Trant and Mace Tyrell in Bravos for the same reason. Did they succeeded in solving those problems? Maybe. There is no consensus.

      And creating 3 separated storylines for Brienne, Theon and Sansa is is a risk they simply cannot take.

      And the Vale as a setting is too easy. Yes, there are many characters with their own agendas, just like in Meereen, but that is not the way you write serious obstacles for your character. Every character there is created only for Sansa’s development, just like every character in Meeren is there to develop Dany. So, you don’t feel them as a characters, they are just plot devices. Safe playground for Sansa.

      Every characters is a plot device to some extent, but when it is so obvious then you just can’t have the illusion that that place really exists and that Sansa really has some challenge.

      We know that Sansa is safe, because she is the only important character there, just like Dany in Meereen. GRRM is trying to make sense of danger for her, but that doesn’t work, because we know that it doesn’t make any sense for Sansa to fail there. Just like we know that Arya can’t die in Bravos or Dany in Meereen.

      In S5 in WF Sansa didn’t have important allies or support base, yes. And that is what makes her situation realistic. When she started making allies in the Vale, LF sensed the danger from her (S4E8, Sansa Stark: I know what you want. Petyr Baelish: Do you?), and Tywin’s death was good opportunity to use her as his pawn again and to kill this union with Vale lords in its crib.

      The same applies to Roose Boltons. He doesn’t want to allow her to have any contacts with the Northern lords. For him she is just broodmare for Ramsay.

      It is normal for experienced politicians like LF and Roose to don’t give any opportunity for beginner to do anything. They want her as their pawn, but she want to survive, to take control of her life.

      In S6, for the first time since the show started, she will be free from the Lannisters, the Boltons and LF. What will D&D do with Sansa and her newly acquired freedom remains to be seen.

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    263. Sean C.: Determining the actions and plans of others, finding allies (via manipulation, appeal to common interest, what-have-you), political manoeuvring against other players of the game, etc

      Pretty much agree with what you’ve written. The one small thing I might add here is having a specific goal to work toward. Whether that goal is made known to those a politician is trying to influence, is up to the politician. Once Sansa finds a tangible goal worthwhile to her, other than mere survival, she’ll use her newly learned skills to excellent purpose. Love Sansa, hope she succeeds, would be horrified if she killed, as events in other threads suggest might happen.

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    264. mau:
      In S5 in WF Sansa didn’t have important allies or support base, yes. And that is what makes her situation realistic.

      That’s precisely what makes it unrealistic, because she would never have agreed to go there, for precisely that reason. It’s also why the scenario doesn’t serve her character at all, because it doesn’t allow her to grow in skill or learn anything, and requires her to completely forget anything she learned up to that point; she has, if anything, completely regressed and is even less effective than she was in King’s Landing.

      I don’t really get the idea that Dany and Sansa being the only characters in their given setting is somehow unusual. For much of the series (and certainly in books 2-3), having multiple POVs in the same place is the exception, rather than the rule. Indeed, Sansa is unusual in that she was consistently in the same place as other POVs from Book 1 to Book 3. Getting off on her own is a vital part of her development, as she now has her own stage, which every other POV gets the benefit of at various points (many for very long stretches).

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    265. Sean C.: No, that’s precisely what makes it unrealistic, because she would never have agreed to go there, for precisely that reason.>

      When she agreed to go there she thought that LF will be with her.

      It’s also why the scenario doesn’t serve her character at all, because it doesn’t allow her to grow in skill or learn anything,

      So, you find unrealistic that experienced players wouldn’t allow amateur (and potential threat) to grow and make her own political partners?

      I don’t really get the idea that Dany and Sansa being the only characters in their given setting is somehow unusual.For much of the series (and certainly in books 2-3), having multiple POVs in the same place is the exception, rather than the rule.

      Yes, Cat was the only POV in Riverrin, but the Riverrun was not isolated form the rest of the story. The same applies to Jaime, Davos, Theon.

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    266. mau: If we ever get TWOW in our hands I think we will have better understanding of reasons for D&D’s decisions in S5 and S6.

      Conversely, I think that some of their decisions tell us a lot about what to expect in Winter. I think that quite a few old fan scenarios (obviously, many concerning Stannis!) clearly are not happening.

      I, myself, had speculated that we would see a “three-way” fight between Stannis, the Targaryens and the Lannisters that would then turn into a three-way between Stannis, Daeny and Aegon, with the latter having one Stark in each camp (Rickon with Stannis, Arya with Daeny and Sansa with Aegon). I was betting on a story about choosing between sides when you either liked or disliked both sides nearly equally. We still might see that story (or something similar): but I am betting that the mechanics will be very different.

      I think that other ideas we can discard are that events in the Riverlands or the North being hugely important to the over-arching plot or story. However, I think that something else told us that: GRRM’s original synopsis, in which he states that the over-arching story will revolve primarily around 5 characters (Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Arya and Bran) who are uninvolved with the plots in those regions.

      That written, it is pretty clear that a lot of people firmly believe that Winter will show that B&W had no idea what was coming, despite everything that GRRM himself has stated! We saw the same thing with the Harry Potter films: many fans with seriously erroneous ideas about where the series was going were convinced that Rowling was not telling Kloves anything about what was coming up in the books. Dragon eggs were not big enough to produce the egg left on those fans’ faces!

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    267. Sean C.: That’s precisely what makes it unrealistic, because she would never have agreed to go there, for precisely that reason.

      But, once again, this is based on your “absolute” ideas about what people would or would not do. People never are as absolute as this. Moreover, given everything that Sansa learned from Cersei in Kings Landing, it is quite understandable that she would begin to see the merit in the idea: once married to the Boltons, she could work to undermine them from within just as Cersei seems to have done to the Baratheons. And, of course, this is something that is always key to GRRM’s stories: people doing things that they do not want to do for Reason A but want to do for Reason B.

      And, of course, it did serve Sansa’s character greatly: she killed the girl quite thoroughly. A key moment for all GRRM primary characters is some catharsis: and this was it. Now, Sansa might not be this prominent in the books: she was a late-addition “lead” character, and she never has been anywhere near as important to the stories as the original Big 5, and she even has been less important than other “late-comer” protagonists such as Jaime and Theon. Indeed, she was completely irrelevant to the last story. So, this decision kept her relevant in the Season 5 story, as well as setting up her potentially being much more relevant to the Seasons’ 6-8 story then her book contributions will be. (In particular, they now have an opportunity to make Sansa a true lead character involved in a plotline involving Rickon’s restoration, whereas it looks like minor leads will do that in the book.)

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    268. Wimsey,

      I agree that we already know many spoiler from TWOW, but I would like to read details. I would like to know how Stannis will die in TWOW, why he will burn his daughter, will Sansa be raped by Harry, and how she will get to the North, how Myrcella will die in the books, when and how Dany and Tyrion will interact,…

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    269. Wimsey,

      I agree.

      Sansa has a potential to be part of “The North remembers” plot in the show.

      In the books, it seems, that she will arrive in the North when the party is over. If that really happens, what will be the purpose of her “learning to become a player”?

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    270. mau:
      So, you find unrealistic that experienced players wouldn’t allow amateur (and potential threat) to grow and make her own political partners?

      I wasn’t speaking to realism, I was speaking to the fact that it doesn’t serve her character. GRRM could have put Sansa back in a situation where she had no ability to grow or develop skills and where she had no potential allies, but he didn’t do that, because that was her story in King’s Landing. If he had wanted, he could have just left her there. He removed her from King’s Landing specifically to allow her to grow beyond what she could do in KL.

      Wimsey: But, once again, this is based on your “absolute” ideas about what people would or would not do.People never are as absolute as this.Moreover, given everything that Sansa learned from Cersei in Kings Landing, it is quite understandable that she would begin to see the merit in the idea: once married to the Boltons, she could work to undermine them from within just as Cersei seems to have done to the Baratheons.

      I have an absolute belief that nobody with an ounce of brains would choose to march into their enemy’s stronghold with no plan and no allies, yes. And the Cersei comparison is a non-starter. The Baratheons and the Lannisters were not (openly) enemies, which is what allowed Cersei and the Lannister party to build up power at court. The Starks and the Boltons are enemies, and Sansa makes no effort to pretend otherwise — hence why she spends all her time in Winterfell glowering at people, and makes no effort whatsoever to ingratiate herself with them or gain any kind of influence. Nor is there any reason to believe that the Boltons are suddenly going to give her power to destroy them, when she is their powerless hostage, which she becomes the second she sets foot in Winterfell. Basically, this would require Sansa to have no idea how society works, even though she just spent several seasons witnessing upfront how power is maintained in court.

      It is, in short, a plan that only an utter moron would agree to, and requires Sansa to be far more detached from reality than she was in Season 1, when her arc is heading in the opposite direction. Indeed, that’s why the idea that this season represented “killing the girl” is so bizarre — Sansa was more childish and naive than ever.

      mau:
      Wimsey,

      In the books, it seems, that she will arrive in the North when the party is over. If that really happens, what will be the purpose of her “learning to become a player”?

      Well, for one thing, the story doesn’t end with the fall of the Boltons. And her story is very strong intertwined with that of Littlefinger, one of the series’ main villains, and the man more responsible than anyone for the death of her father and most of the misfortunes that have befallen Sansa in the story.

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    271. mau: I would like to know how Stannis will die in TWOW, why he will burn his daughter, will Sansa be raped by Harry, and how she will get to the North, how Myrcella will die in the books, when and how Dany and Tyrion will interact,…

      I am betting that it is Selyse who burns Shireen, not Stannis. At this point, I am pretty sure that the “Pink Letter” was correct: Ramsay wipes out Stannis’ army, but after Theon & Asha/Yara escape or are sent away. At this point, I am betting that Selyse winds up burning Shireen in denial of this and hoping to conjure up the magic necessary to “save” the already destroyed Stannis.

      I suspect that this reconstructed Time Line is largely accurate, at least insofar as the Northern events are concerned: (https://i.imgur.com/UWeRf3V.png)

      As for Sansa and Harry, well, if Harry the Heir were a modern character, then he would have “date rapist” written all over him. I think that the one Winter chapter sets up a character who: 1) has an eye for pretty girls; 2) is disdainful of the lower classes (including bastards); and 3) and feels that he is free to do as he will with pretty girls who are not high-born. Sure, “Alayne” might charm him: but that is the wanton wiles of a slutty bastard, not the chaste flirting of a high-born woman. At any rate, this might be the final issue that removes Sansa’s delusion that breeding counts for anything.

      As for how Myrcella dies, I have few clues about that! This whole part of the books seems like such a pointless digression by GRRM that I have had problems thinking much about it. I had assumed that Myrcella would outlive Tommen: but perhaps I was wrong about that. I suspect that she does not last long due to machinations in Dorne.

      mau: In the books, it seems, that she will arrive in the North when the party is over. If that really happens, what will be the purpose of her “learning to become a player”?

      I’m really undecided now about Sansa. I had thought that she would get the idea into her head that she is now Heiress to Winterfell, and wind up supporting Aegon in order to press her claim. Of course, having another Stark girl wind up with another charming young Targaryen would have a certain symmetry to it, too. However, my basic model for that got “Pinked” by Stannis’ defeat. (I had assumed that Ramsay was exaggerating about defeating Stannis when he actually had only defeated the vanguard of Stannis’ army, and many ideas hinged on that.)

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    272. Wimsey:
      At any rate, this might be the final issue that removes Sansa’s delusion that breeding counts for anything.

      That happened rather a while ago. Sansa is not under any illusion that Harry is a particularly nice guy, or that anybody is nice purely based on status.

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    273. Sean C.,

      Well, sort of. But she still gets disappointed when Harry is not the storybook Prince. Sure, now she has advanced to a point in which she scolds herself just after thinking it, but that is still her first instinct. “Butterflies in her tummy” is not something Sansa should have by this point, by TWOW, if she wants to survive the game. In the show she already doesn’t. And, while ‘Alayne I TWOW’ is quite a jump in Sansa’s characterization, she still definitely has those infantile thoughts and feelings.

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    274. Sean C.: That happened rather a while ago. Sansa is not under any illusion that Harry is a particularly nice guy, or that anybody is nice purely based on status.

      Between which lines did you read that? Sansa certainly never thinks that to herself.

      Luka Nieto: but that is still her first instinct. “Butterflies in her tummy” is not something Sansa should have by this point,

      Actually, it was unclear to me to what extent Sansa was having “oooh, cute boy!” butterflies, and to what extent Sansa was having “it’s show time!” butterflies. She is performing here, and part of her performance is “seducing” Harry. It might be stage-nerves as much as cute-boy nerves.

      That written, she certainly seemed taken aback by Harry’s reaction to her: for all that she’s seen how the world treats bastards, it again never seems to have occurred to her that she would be treated like that if people thought that she was a bastard. But, again, this is something that should help burn away her delusions about breeding: she’ll now realize (hopefully) that all along people seen bastards in a certain light because they knew that the bastards were bastards: there is no “inner light” that shines through and instantly reassures people that a noble-lady masquerading as a bastard really has the “qualities” of a noble-lady.

      That could be key: one trait unifying the lead characters is that they all come to judge people by their choices, tools, weaknesses, etc., rather than by their ancestors.

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    275. Wimsey: Between which lines did you read that?Sansa certainly never thinks that to herself.

      We’ve been following her for several books now, as she learns about the falseness of people like Joffrey and the Tyrells, and associates more and more with people of lower social status. Her time as a bastard (a high-status one, but a bastard nonetheless) is a big part of that, as were her interactions with the Hound, Dontos (though he also turned out to be false), Mya, Lothor Brune, etc. It’s rather obvious from the way she evaluates people that her worldview has changed.

      Luka Nieto,

      I don’t see anything suggesting she thought he was going to be a storybook prince. That’s why she was so nervous about meeting him (the butterflies in question), given how awful her relationship history has been to this point. She notes that he’s very good-looking (which he is; noting that a person is sexually attractive isn’t immature), and then reminds herself that that doesn’t mean anything (honestly, one of GRRM’s less-subtle bits of writing in that chapter, but apparently he thinks some people need such a blatant summation that Sansa has learned stuff since Joffrey).

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    276. Wimsey,
      Sean C.,

      I was unfair. I’ve just read that part again and it was different from what I remembered. In fact, I do recall loving the chapter when I first read it (evidence: I wrote about it in my blog). So basically ignore what I just said.

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    277. Sean C.: We’ve been following her for several books now, as she learns about the falseness of people like Joffrey and the Tyrells, and associates more and more with people of lower social status

      We see her witness the falseness of individuals, but we also read her view those as exceptions to the generalizations that she had held. We do not read her make the important new generalizations necessary for her to function properly. She certainly has not yet made any generalizations about people from lower social statuses not necessarily being what her old beliefs told her that they would be: she has had few interactions with people of “lower” status. Her interactions with Robert’s bastard daughter, for example, do not cause her to think: “Gee, bastards might not be what mummy told me that they were.” (That written, to her credit, she never attributes Joffery’s behavior to his being a bastard.)

      So, on the contrary, I would state that not only is it far from “obvious” that Sansa has learned to judge people on a case-by-case basis, that to the contrary we still see that she holds some generalizations that will cause her problems, and we have not seen that she has learned the necessary generalizations to judge people after you ignore who their parents are. She is making some key mistakes with Harry already, at least in terms of failing to work out what he is from what he says and does in her presence.

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    278. Wimsey:
      She is making some key mistakes with Harry already, at least in terms of failing to work out what he is from what he says and does in her presence.

      And what is he, that she’s missing?

      As to the rest, with good writing you don’t need to have a character state “gee, I’ve learned a valuable lesson about bastards!” to show that their attitude has changed. Sansa’s allies have consistently been people of low social status, and she has evinced no belief that one’s class status is a reliable indicator of your behaviour. We’ve seen her assessing people as individuals, consistently.

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    279. Wimsey: And, of course, Shireen will not be burned in exactly the same circumstances as on the show.Remember, the writers didn’t say who burns her.(My bet is that her mother is solely responsible for it in the book; indeed, it might a futile gesture in denial of what happened to Stannis that she hopes will aid him.)

      I am more starting to think that, in TWOW, Melisandre will sacrifice Shireen in order to resurrect Jon. Now believing that Stannis is dead (due to the pink letter), she is finally convinced that it is Jon and not Stannis who is Azor Ahai. Selyse will probably also be devastated by Stannis death notice and might not be in the right state of mind to object to much.

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