Game of Thrones ratings fall on Memorial Day weekend

Hmmm ...

Hmmm …

For the first time since Season 2 an episode of Game of Thrones aired on Memorial Day weekend, and the numbers say there is a good reason why HBO tried to avoid this holiday in the past. The numbers are in, and they have dropped significantly compared to previous weeks: 5.40 million people watched the first airing of episode 507. The drop in Season 2 was 12 per cent from the episode before, this time it’s 13 per cent.

The repeat at 11 pm has registered on the charts with an additional 0.8 million people watching, for a total of 6.2 million. NBA playoff garnered a lot of attention last week and outpaced Thrones for the first time this season.

Any good news in all that? Well, even with the fall, the number last week matches the records from Season 3. The perfect storm has now subsided, and there is nowhere to go but up. I expect the last three episodes of Season 5 will bring better ratings and more of an appointment television feeling than the earlier part of the current season.

300 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. We live in 2015.I don’t even own a TV.For many years.Most of my friends and coworkers too.And people who still own a TV and cable(generally older folks) still can’t watch something at a certain moment,they will watch when they will have the time.We can’t organize our lives around cable,this system is dated.It just has no place in 21st century.

        Quote  Reply

    2. The rating drop isn’t surprising considering it was memorial day weekend but I don’t think they will rebound that much. The show is not going to comeback and match the highs of last season. It just doesn’t have the hit quality to it that last season had to keep it a blockbuster series. Even episodes like the recent one or episode 5 which get mostly rave reviews from passionate fans of the show still get mixed reactions from the general audience and a lot of “boring” comments. I don’t really blame them, I still really enjoy the show but the plot isn’t as captivating as it used to be. I don’t only blame the show for that because the books have the same issue. There needed to be cuts and alterations to make it work on TV and some show changes have been good but I also think it could certainly be done better.

      One plot in particular has bugged me since it has fallen flat this season after a fairly decent start the is the Kings Landing story. That was one of the few plots in AFFC/ADWD that would translate great to TV as is. Some changes would be understandable but unlike some of the other arcs there was no reason to alter so much of the Kinds Landing plot. The show version of the Margery/Cersei feud and Kings Landing plotline is a dumbed down version that lacks the drama, suspense, and intrigue of the book.

        Quote  Reply

    3. You’re right, there’s no reason to particularly worry about these ratings. It was memorial day. i expect ratings will increase for each of the last three seasons.

      Two Points
      1. The show was always going to reach a peak, and it does seem we have just passed that peak. Why people kept thinking it would continue to grow is beyond me.
      2. How we consume TV has changed e.g binge watching, HBO Now.
      3. This is why D&D want to finish in 8 or 9 seasons. people get bored easily. I’m sure most of the audience will see the series out at 7 or 8 seasons, but if they knew that we’re only just coming up to half way, no way!

      Edit: I’m sure there will be a bit of scaremongering and hyperbole with this thread, so I’m going to check out, but seriously there’s nothing to worry about. They aren’t going to cancel the series or anything.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

      Somehow I doubt we’d get a lesson on the irrelevancy of the “dated” ratings system or the reminder that holiday weekend occurred in America if Game of Thrones drew a 7 or 8 or even a 6 this past weekend. Somehow I doubt we’d get a post (which we all know is coming soon) referencing the piracy numbers and how they serve as proof the show is a smash hit if Game of Thrones drew a 7 or 8 or even a 6 this past weekend.

      But it didn’t draw or 7 or 8 or even a 6. So now we get to learn why.

      Excuses, excuses, excuses.

        Quote  Reply

    5. JamesL,

      Yeah on KL. It seems like pretty much every Unsullied recapper found Cersei’s downfall blatantly obvious and easy to predict. It was more interesting and nuanced in the book.

        Quote  Reply

    6. I was surprised they aired on Memorial Day weekend, too. I thought this was the traditional time out time, and it seemed like a good time considering the Sansa controversy, which, it seems fair to say, is probably going to have a halo effect on the show going forward.

        Quote  Reply

    7. Yes,I understand that verry well.But as I said,I don’t even have a TV.And allot of people of my generation are the same.Times change.I have no use for a TV,what should I do with it?Decorate?I can buy a painting for that.

        Quote  Reply

    8. People need to stop making excuses, first it was the leaks and now it is about how the times have changed people don’t watch TV live anymore, DVRs, HBOgo, etc. Those things didn’t stop the show from putting up huge ratings last season or this season premiere getting 8m viewers. The only difference is that there was no HBONow last season but I don’t think HBONow is that successful to be blamed for the the ratings drop.
      This season hasn’t engaged audiences like the previous few so the ratings are down, that is the real reason. This shouldn’t be surprising because the show is now in AFFC/ADWD material.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Ravyn,

      Agreed. This is what I meant in a previous thread by calling the Sansa storyline “a screw up.” I don’t necessarily mean that having Sansa in the North was a mistake, but that by following through with the rape element, the show A) created a ton of negative buzz at a time when enthusiasm was already waning, and B) gave people a thing to point to when the ratings inevitably started dropping (which, to be fair, I think is more about the show having peaked in terms of popularity, a totally natural thing for a show in its 5th season.) It doesn’t matter WHAT happens in these next three episodes- D&D and Co. have ensured that Sansa’s rape and the negative impact it had on both critical response and ratings (which, again, I don’t think is necessarily directly correlated, but you can bet people will talk like it is) is now the dominant narrative of Season 5.

        Quote  Reply

    10. erin: While that may be true for much of TV, many people consider Game of Thrones an event show, and make a point of watching it live.

      And many other people feel the same about other shows. The vast majority of people who watch all shows watch it when it’s convenient. Memorial Day Sunday has a lot of people (particularly professionals, who are a core of the audience) on vacation. Moreover, it’s now getting some competition with NBA playoffs (they’ve gotten to the “meaningful” part): and sports always is “event” because it’s never worth watching a game after the fact.

      Ravyn: it seemed like a good time considering the Sansa controversy

      The decision to air on Memorial Day was made long before they would have been worried about this. And as this isn’t anymore controversial than things that happened on other HBO shows, they probably would not have cared.

      The bigger issue is that, for whatever reasons, they started Thrones late this year. That was only Episode 7, and it is almost June. Had they delayed, then the series would have been going until the end of June. They want to get going with the summer series: they have to fill TruBlood’s shoes this year, after all!

        Quote  Reply

    11. Ravyn,

      The worst thing the show could have done is take a 2 week break after that Sansa scene and mediocre episode. That is just an extra week of the media and fans bashing and condemning the show. It is best to get a new episode on air so the fandom can move on.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Ser Gerold Dayne,

      I mean no offense but your assertion that people who own a TV are generally older is wildly inaccurate. I’m 33 and I don’t know one person who doesn’t own a TV. Obviously my sample size only amounts to a few hundred people but to list that as a reason for viewers not tuning in would be incorrect.

        Quote  Reply

    13. JamesL,

      Yeah, you’ve pretty much said what I was going to say. I agree with Marko that things will improve next week, but I don’t see GoT’s ratings ever reaching the fourth season’s again. Or rather, not until the finale, in any case.

      My prediction for next week is a 2.8 Nielsen with around 5.9-6.1 million live viewers. That’ll be up three tenths of a point and several hundred thousand live. If the episode is reasonably well-received it’ll stabilize things going forward and the last two episodes will be about the same, perhaps a tick or so higher. We won’t be seeing 5×04’s 3.6 again this year, I don’t think.

      I’m very confident that the AFFC/ADWD adaptation could have gone over better, but I’m all the more confident it could have been handled far worse. I’m not going to bring up my own personal opinion on the season except to say that my season rankings are currently 4>1=3>2=5, but as far as the general public is concerned, all that matters is that there hasn’t been a “killer app” this year. There’s been no Red Wedding, no Purple. This is how audiences are: there needs to be a smash-hit moment by this point in the season or 30% of them (!) will check out.

      I can’t imagine what Star Trek: Enterprise’s second season would be falling to in 2015, lol.

        Quote  Reply

    14. We only just happened to be home on Sunday night due to a change of plans. We watched it around 11pm and then Silicon Valley (Last Week Tonight took the break though 🙁 ). I think it’s fair to say that interest is probably waning somewhat. And that’s okay. It hasn’t tanked. Piracy numbers are still strong (hurrah?) and live TV watching is on its way out. I’m surprised the numbers are as high as they are honestly.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Good to see the drop is consistent with season 2’s and not much worse. HBO need to market the shit out of the last three episodes.

        Quote  Reply

    16. JamesL:
      People need to stop making excuses, first it was the leaks and now it is about how the times have changed people don’t watch TV live anymore, DVRs, HBOgo, etc. Those things didn’t stop the show from putting up huge ratings last season or this season premiere getting 8m viewers. The only difference is that there was no HBONow last season but I don’t think HBONow is that successful to be blamed for the the ratings drop.
      This season hasn’t engaged audiences like the previous few so the ratings are down, that is the real reason. This shouldn’t be surprising because the show is now in AFFC/ADWD material.

      Agree, and the main proof of that will be next year when they don’t air an episode on memorial day either. Just a prediction. They got too cocky.

      I saw 5×07 yesterday and for the first time I was bored watching GoT…

      On the other hand I found 5 and 6 the best of the season (barring the Dorne scenes, which in my mind never happened)

      O well, next season will be exciting again no matter what 😉

      Edit: Many people predicted the ratings would go down because the show was adapting AFFC/ADWD material, but noone predicted the quality would go down also, due to the dumbing down that they chose to do. It could have been streamlined, but still complex. No need to both streamline and dumb down. In my opinion

        Quote  Reply

    17. The idea that huge numbers of people are going to turn off watching the show because of Sansa’s rape is nonsense. Its the internet outrage machine, not an actual indicator of widespread discontent.

      dig,

      If the show had posted a 7 or 8 on Memorial Day weekend – a time they’ve avoided for two seasons straight – it would actually be really noteworthy to talk about how utterly remarkable it would be for the show to hit those ratings in those unfavorable circumstances.

      The fact that this year they elected to show it on MD weekend does actually speak to HBO being less concerned about live ratings than they previously had been, which stands to reason given how its being watched online.

      I love it how people talk about “lol ratings are down” as if it means anything though. Anyone think the show isn’t going to finish exactly when D&D say it will? Anyone think it won’t get picked up for the final season (i.e. Season 7?). No? Then why is this being agonised over? The show’s not going anywhere.

        Quote  Reply

    18. JamesL: People need to stop making excuses,

      Yes, excuses are not good. But to air a new episode on Sunday, the middle of the MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, takes extreme guts! 😀 In the USA, this is the first extra holiday in a long time, it’s almost summer weather and I am surprised that it didn’t fall much, much more. I also agree that ratings, which of course measure American audiences, reflect that they are somewhat fatigued by the unrelenting darkness – it’s time for the good guys to score some victories. The ratings, of course, don’t measure book reader fans. I take myself as a typical example of the ratings. How long can one put up with Cersei’s stupid smugness? It had gone way, way past its expiration date. Now that she’s been thrown in a cell, it’s more interesting. Now I am waiting for someone to do something really bad to the HS as well. Score some victories for the good guys. Ratings (again reflecting American audiences) will bounce back.

        Quote  Reply

    19. It was definitely a good idea to not skip Memorial Day. Can you imagine if we had TWO weeks to brood over Sansa rape-gate?

      Yikes.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Kay: The ratings, of course, don’t measure book reader fans.

      This of course doesn’t stop every dissatisfied viewer from assuming it is vindication for their gripes, which is of course the subtext of all crowing about ratings.

        Quote  Reply

    21. I knew this would happen, Memorial Day, NBA and NHL playoffs. Bad decision by HBO, didn’t they learn anything from the early seasons. This happened from what I read online because of the simulcast across the world for GoT this season, that other distributors were complaining about the skipped weekend the last two seasons and HBO caved to their pressure. Maybe its more important now to cater to the foreign markets because the show generates more revenue overseas than in North America.

        Quote  Reply

    22. Kay:

      I also agree that ratings, which of course measure American audiences, reflect that they are somewhat fatigued by the unrelenting darkness – it’s time for the good guys to score some victories.

      Thakfully For the Watch! is just around the corner! Yay!

      Ummm… 😉

        Quote  Reply

    23. JamesL,

      I think its been a pretty good season, but I’m not a book reader. Good as s4? No. But probably comparable to S3, which, aside from the Red Wedding, is the season that ages the worst, largely because you can see D&D forced into holding off on the RW until the penultimate episode causing them to spin their wheels with characters wandering around and the torture porn of introducing Ramsay. But now I can see why even so many book readers (and critics) thought AFFC/ADWD were going to be tough sell: it’s not just characters spinning their wheels (Dany), but the general bleakness of everything. THRONES always relieved that darkness with a level of catharsis or humor. I feel Arya/The Hound’s frenemy act was one of the great counterbalances to the darkness; Arya is practically missing this season, and when seen, seen, is stuck in the same dark, dank (albeit gorgeously designed) setting seemingly not doing much. HBO’s president described this season as “harrowing” for the characters, and perhaps that’s proven too much for some people, without that release valve. Also, until last week’s episode, Tyrion seems to be the most sidelined he’s been since early in S1, where he’s just wandering on the periphery. Dinklage is always a treat, but here’s hoping his meeting with Dany gets him back into a central role (Entertainment Weekly has said their scenes next week are among the show’s best, so cheers to that).

        Quote  Reply

    24. mau:
      This world is greater than USA.

      Just saying.

      Always worth noting. Please never take any of my ratings comments as arrogance to that end. I am indeed American, but I’m running on all we’re being given, not some ethnocentric agenda. If HBO were to release worldwide totals I’d temper my Nielsen-based extrapolations with the broader picture.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Dorian: This of course doesn’t stop every dissatisfied viewer from assuming it is vindication for their gripes, which is of course the subtext of all crowing about ratings.

      Yes, sometimes bad ratings bring out hordes of people who want to write down their usual laundry lists of what is wrong with D&D’s adaptation.

      mau:
      This world is greater than USA.

      Just saying.

      I am fully aware. 😉 But these reported RATINGS, definitely, most assuredly, do reflect just the USA, not the world. 😀

      Mr Fixit: Thakfully For the Watch! is just around the corner! Yay!

      Ummm…

      But there’s also good dragon action coming up, right? 😉

        Quote  Reply

    26. I haven’t watched a single mediocre episode this season. There were mediocre moments within some of the episodes but I wouldn’t say that a single episode this season was mediocre and nothing indicates that S5 is worse than S4 for example. People want to project their frustrated hopes about things that in their opinions could have happened and unfulfilled expectations about what has happened to what the show offers. In any case the show is much bigger worldwide than in USA and the decision to play an episode in Memorial Day is an indication that the showrunners take into consideration a global audience.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Color me surprised. I really thought with all the controversy and media attention, we’d see a spike, not a drop.

      I’ll be interested to see total numbers when HBO releases them.

        Quote  Reply

    28. John M W:
      Color me surprised. I really thought with all the controversy and media attention, we’d see a spike, not a drop.

      I’ll be interested to see total numbers when HBO releases them.

      There was virtually no chance of it here in the States given that it was Memorial Day weekend. At best I’d have said maybe the drop wouldn’t be so severe.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Ravyn,

      Yes, many of us suspected that the general audiences won’t be as enamoured with this season. Feast and Dance are lambasted for a reason. They are the slowest and bleakest of the books.

        Quote  Reply

    30. mau:
      Jeff O’Connor,

      I think we need to wait fortotal viewers to judge S5.

      I will certainly withhold final thoughts on the season’s ratings success (or lack thereof) until such a time, yes.

        Quote  Reply

    31. dothrakian raven:
      I haven’t watched a single mediocre episode this season. There were mediocre moments within some of the episodes but I wouldn’t say that a single episode this season was mediocre and nothing indicates that S5 is worse than S4 for example. People want to project their frustrated hopes about things that in their opinions could have happened and unfulfilled expectations about what has happened to what the show offers. In any case the show is much bigger worldwide than in USA and the decision to play an episode in Memorial Day is an indication that the showrunners take into consideration a global audience.

      But 90% of the watchers are not book readers, so people getting bored are mostly unsullied.

      In previous seasons, those new watchers that tuned in for the premiere mostly stayed, while in this case they just didn’t show up the rest of the episodes…

      Edit: They didn’t show up for the initial airing*

        Quote  Reply

    32. serum: I’m 33 and I don’t know one person who doesn’t own a TV. Obviously my sample size only amounts to a few hundred people but to list that as a reason for viewers not tuning in would be incorrect.

      I’m 40 and own a TV … and the number of non-sports programs that I watch live on it is zero. The TV is for watching Netflix and the stuff I’ve downloaded (plus the occasional game). Haven’t had cable/dish in more than 4 years and have never missed it.

      As for the ratings … of course the doomsayers are strutting and crowing. But the show isn’t going anywhere. Despite being “down”, more people tuned in live on Memorial Day for a mid-season ep than the post-Red Wedding season finale… so apparently the show was not “appointment TV” back in season 3, either.

        Quote  Reply

    33. I don’t know if Memorial Day Weekend was the biggest factor. The NBA Payoffs took the night (on cable) with 7.76 Million Viewers. I don’t know how much overlap there is between basketball fans and GoT fans, but I have been known to watch a live sporting event and DVR GoT on occasion.

      Just saying… you need to look at the entire picture.

        Quote  Reply

    34. I don’t think that anything from the books would make this season “more popular”.

      YG? LSH? Arianne? Meh.

      If D&D wanted to do make more “shocking” season, they needed to cut even more.

      But I like what they did, and I don’t think they should sacrifice quality for “WTF” scenes.

      We had great moments with Cersei, Stannis, Sansa, Theon, Jon, Dany,… Those moments weren’t “OMG” moments, but it was layered.

      And we will have WTF moments in E8, 9 and 10.

        Quote  Reply

    35. Jude:
      Ravyn,

      I don’t necessarily mean that having Sansa in the North was a mistake, but that by following through with the rape element…

      Not gonna go into my thoughts on how good or bad that scene was, but you can’t have the former without the latter.

      You can come up with a reason why the character Sansa shouldn’t have gone to Winterfell and married with the Boltons in the first place, but if it’s already set in stone that she does, you can’t have a wedding consummation without the (most likely successful) rape attempt. To do so would be a character assassination on Ramsay – which would be the writers shying away from a brutal truth for the sake of not upsetting the audience, which is cowardly.

      Anyway, it’s pretty unfortunate that THIS episode had to be the one airing on Memorial Day. The “anti-feminist” ending to episode six will now be cited as the reason for this disproportionate ratings drop.

        Quote  Reply

    36. A Man Grown,

      I’m not saying it wasn’t more nuanced, because pretty much everything is more nuanced on the page than it is on the screen; it’s a general rule for adaptations. That said, it was blatantly obvious and easy to predict on the page as well.

      Anyone that didn’t spend AFFC mentally screaming “Cersei, you moron!” wasn’t paying very close attention.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Mr Fixit,

      Which further validates D&D’s decision to condense them into one season. As one book reader friend said to me about them last year, when predicting this season, “Good luck. Those books aren’t what I would call ‘Tv friendly'”. Its probably safe to say that they’ve at least read detailed outlines of WoW (if not actual chunks of the book) and realize better, more TV friendly stuff lies ahead.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Why does it matter?

      The only reason ratings mattered in earlier seasons was their link to the show’s continued likelihood of being green-lit. Even then there probably wasn’t even a link. It’s HBO subscriptions that matter, right?

      But now either way, there’s no way they won’t finish it. So who cares?

        Quote  Reply

    39. mau: If D&D wanted to do make more “shocking” season, they needed to cut even more

      People maybe want more shocking tv, but I would prefer more complex tv. Leave the shock for the final episodes.

      People loved the show for it’s complexity, even if they didn’t even realized it. Now that complexity is gone in some of the storylines. And some just don’t make sense altoguether.

      And then we have Dorne. 😀

      PS: Who would use a poison in a dagger that takes effect 24h later?? lol…

        Quote  Reply

    40. Pau,

      You obviously have some magical powers that enable you to know for sure that the “audience” in its entirety is bored just because the show’s ratings fall at MD in the US.
      As I perceive the things the audience is global and to amgreat extent has different quality standards than the average US viewer. Season 5 is in my opinion the best so far by all standards.

        Quote  Reply

    41. mau,

      Yup. I’ll reassess once I’ve rewatched the season, but so far S5 has exceeded my expectations. It hasn’t achieved the heights of S3-S4, sure, but it’s been good nevertheless. Looking at the source material, it’s a small miracle actually. And if the final three episodes really deliver, this season will most certainly stay ahead of S2 in terms of quality (which I also liked by the way; maybe I’m just easy to please).

        Quote  Reply

    42. Pau,

      I don’t think airing on Memorial Day had anything to do with cockiness. I think skipping Memorial Day in previous season had a bit to do with HBO using the ratings growth of the show to add to the hype, which Memorial Day bit into. This year, they’d already made the call not to emphasize the ratings themselves (probably for a variety of reasons including the anticipated viewership cannibalization from HBO Now and maybe just some savvy predictions about the state of the audience) before the season even aired.

      The first run numbers really don’t matter to HBO unless they can use them for publicity purposes, and since they’d already decided to forego the publicity angle on first run ratings for the season, there wasn’t as much of a downside to airing an episode on Memorial Day.

      That, plus the fact that they pushed out a lot more global “same day” airings this year, so they’re clearly focusing a bit more on the audience outside the US, for whom Memorial Day doesn’t mean anything, than they have in years past.

      I really just don’t think this was a “mistake” on HBO’s part or was the result of “hubris” the way some people seem to be making it out. That would imply that they’d suffered some sort of negative consequence for having aired the show on Memorial Day, and I truly don’t see where they have.

      HBO knew exactly what it was doing and what the impact on the ratings would be. That they did it anyway tells me they don’t care, which frankly everyone should know by now anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Simeon: And it still is.

      Not in the first airing. That is what appointement TV means 😉

      I’m sure when we will have the plus 7 viewership we will see that. People still watch it, but not on the first airing.

        Quote  Reply

    44. The Rat Kook:
      You can come up with a reason why the character Sansa shouldn’t have gone to Winterfell and married with the Boltons

      About Sansa in WF, they didn’t have real choice.

      They needed someone to marry Ramsay and they needed Sansa to do something this season.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Delta1212:
      Pau,

      I don’t think airing on Memorial Day had anything to do with cockiness. I think skipping Memorial Day in previous season had a bit to do with HBO using the ratings growth of the show to add to the hype, which Memorial Day bit into. This year, they’d already made the call not to emphasize the ratings themselves (probably for a variety of reasons including the anticipated viewership cannibalization from HBO Now and maybe just some savvy predictions about the state of the audience) before the season even aired.

      The first run numbers really don’t matter to HBO unless they can use them for publicity purposes, and since they’d already decided to forego the publicity angle on first run ratings for the season, there wasn’t as much of a downside to airing an episode on Memorial Day.

      That, plus the fact that they pushed out a lot more global “same day” airings this year, so they’re clearly focusing a bit more on the audience outside the US, for whom Memorial Day doesn’t mean anything, than they have in years past.

      I really just don’t think this was a “mistake” on HBO’s part or was the result of “hubris” the way some people seem to be making it out. That would imply that they’d suffered some sort of negative consequence for having aired the show on Memorial Day, and I truly don’t see where they have.

      I agree, they didn’t need to use the ratings as good publicity, but they didn’t expect this huge drop from the premiere to yesterdays episode, which is bad publicity. That’s why I meant

      I’m sure if they could they would go back on that decission

        Quote  Reply

    46. A Man Grown,

      It was even more blatantly obvious in the books. We spent far longer with Cersei being cartoonish and making more and more mistakes, it just became tiresome.

        Quote  Reply

    47. It’s so cute that anecdotal evidence is being tossed around to prove that audiences think the season is “horrible”.

      I’ve got friends too, and a lot of them find this season to be the best yet.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Ross,

      You could argue the ratings doesn’t matter at all to HBO since they don’t sell advertising. It’s all about subscription and buzz to them. I’m not saying Michael Lynton isn’t showing up at the Santa Monica office this morning and saying “Get David on the phone” to talk about the ratings, but these guys are playing the long game. And, as someone else said, like movies now, HBO is playing to a global audience and the domestic one is just one piece of that pie.

        Quote  Reply

    49. mau: About Sansa in WF, they didn’t have real choice.

      They needed someone to marry Ramsay and they needed Sansa to do something this season.

      I’m sure they could have thought of something else…there’s always a choice 😉

        Quote  Reply

    50. Pau: People maybe want more shocking tv, but I would prefer more complex tv. Leave the shock for the final episodes.

      I don’t agree. Shocking tv is what made this show the most popular in the world. The most memorable scenes are death scenes and battles.

      And the show is complex as it ever was.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Delta1212,

      Maybe it was just more interesting to be inside her head than watch her drink and smirk then (even though Lena Headey is amazing). Personal opinion here, of course. I was kinda expecting Cersei’s arc to be the showstopper this season, but so far Jon Snow and Stannis’ scenes have been the best.

        Quote  Reply

    52. mau: About Sansa in WF, they didn’t have real choice.

      They needed someone to marry Ramsay and they needed Sansa to do something this season.

      Oh yeah I’m actually of the same opinion, mostly. More or less, anyway.

      I guess I just made that compromise in my previous post for the sake of skipping ahead to what I saw as the larger issue: a none-raping Ramsay being unrealistic once that plot was already set in motion.

      (Unfortunately it’s too late to go back and edit my comment now)

        Quote  Reply

    53. dothrakian raven:
      Pau,

      You obviously have some magical powers that enable you to know for sure that the “audience” in its entirety is bored just because the show’s ratings fall at MD in the US.
      As I perceive the things the audience is global and to amgreat extent has different quality standards than the average US viewer. Season 5 is in my opinion the best so far by all standards.

      I’m talking about why the ratings dropped from the premiere to the rest of the season, including , but not only, MD. I don’t even know what MD is, exactly.

      I don’t have a magic wand, it’s just my opinion 😉

      And the small sample of my friends, 99% unsullied, who are feeling embarrassed to tell me they don’t like they show so much because they know how much I love it 😉

        Quote  Reply

    54. the drop was expected and I see no big rebound coming as I agree that the show passed its peak; I predict a few things based on recent announcements including this:

      – clear statement by all (D&D, HBO etc) that the show will end in two seasons in 70 episodes to come soon – latest in the summer but could be even as soon as season 5 ends

      – big bloodbath in the last 2 episodes with lots of the cast dead (many from Tommen, Pod, Ramsay, Littlefinger, Stannis, Daario, Brienne, Loras, Jorah, Brienne, Roose not speaking of the confirmed ones like Pycelle and Kevan; others like Margaery, Mel, Queen of Thorns could follow though I think it unlikely, only Tyrion, Dany, Arya, Sansa, Theon, Cersei, Jaime, Varys and obviously Bran are safe for now imho, plus Doran, the Sand Snakes, the High Sparrow); Jon status will be revealed (WW to be, in Ghost etc)

      – ratings may recover for season 6 after this if the “internet will break down” as was claimed but they won;t stay there unless the last 2 seasons are truly spectacular and that I doubt given what was released from Winds which seems to be going down the wandering garden path even worse than ADWD

        Quote  Reply

    55. Pau,

      Let’s not open up this particular can of worms once more. Sansa is in Winterfell, so no point in dragging every thread there. Let’s instead talk about bunnies and other assorted furry rodents, how sweet they are and how good a stew they can make!

        Quote  Reply

    56. Pau,

      Well, you found boring one of the most intricate and wellwritten episodes in the whole GOT. I’m sorry but after that I can’t take your quality claims seriously… 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    57. AngelWatch,

      I think REPLACING all three Sand Snakes with just Arianne would have helped Dorne quite a bit. Apparently they couldn’t do that because the Snakes have a huge role in books 6 and 7 or something.

      Honestly as is Dorne might have been better with Ellaria filling the entire role that she and the three Snakes have filled. There’s too many characters with no development down there.

        Quote  Reply

    58. mau:
      Pau,

      for example?

      The King’s Landingh storyline, as exposed by JamesL comes to mind. But I would add the Mereen storyline too. I didn’t like it in the book, too confusing, but the one on the show is too simple, man. And Dorne, of course

      I like the Northern storyline though, although I don’t understand why Littlefinger had to marry Sansa away. But whatevere, I can suspend my disbelief for that.

      I like Arya’s too

        Quote  Reply

    59. A Man Grown:
      AngelWatch,

      I think REPLACING all three Sand Snakes with just Arianne would have helped Dorne quite a bit. Apparently they couldn’t do that because the Snakes have a huge role in books 6 and 7 or something.

      How? Arianne is another hot blooded girl with stupid plans.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Pau,

      I was asking you about Sansa in WF.

      Littlefinger had to marry Sansa so the Boltons look like a traitors in Cersei’s eyes.

      Meereen is as complex as it needs to be. And I hope we won’t see Meereen after S5E10.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Pau,

      And of course this unprovable anecdotal evidence just so happens to overwhelmingly support your argument.

      Also, the winking smilies are incredibly obnoxious.

        Quote  Reply

    62. mau,

      Because one is better than three if you don’t have time to develop three? Plus the attempted crowning of Myrcella is more interesting than ‘LET’S KIDNAP AND/OR KILL MYRCELLA FOR SOME VAGUE UNEXPLAINED REASON JUST BECAUSE WE HATE THE LANNISTERS”

        Quote  Reply

    63. For a show that is guaranteed to finish it’s run the way David and Dan want to tell it…. people certainly get very upset by these numbers.

      HBO has said they don’t care about these numbers anymore. It is an outdated way to calculate viewership.

      Shame on this site for basically just creating bait click material.

        Quote  Reply

    64. mau:
      Pau,

      I was asking you about Sansa in WF.

      Aah ok. Man, I’m an engineer, not a writer. I’m sure someone with a bigger imagination and good writing skills can think something up 😉

      PS: But I dont hate it myself, I’m just saying that there’s always more options

        Quote  Reply

    65. Pau: Not in the first airing. That is what appointement TV means

      I’m sure when we will have the plus 7 viewership we will see that. People still watch it, but not on the first airing.

      More people watch it on first airing now than did during season 3 … in fact more people watched it on a Memorial Day first airing than did during season 3. In other words, it is “appointment TV” for more people now that it was during the heady days of Dracarys and Lannisters sending regards.

      As for the total audience, it’ll be interesting to see those numbers.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Pau,

      Well, that’s a price you have to pay to stuff everything in a single season. It’s either that or look forward to 2 seasons of Unending Adventures of Billy the Crow and Jane the Dragon!

        Quote  Reply

    67. To be completely honest, I think a lot of the problems with the Winterfell plot this season actually goes back to season 3 and into 4. The problem is Ramsay. They spent too much time with him torturing Theon in season 3. People got tired of it before the season was even out.

      I can see what they were trying to do, but they overplayed that particular hand, and then Yara’s “rescue” of Theon was just… bad. But they forced themselves into that situation when they gave Yara that cool-at-the-time-but-ultimately-lacking-any-pay-off ending in the season 3 finale.

      If they had avoided that and cut down the “check-ins” with Theon and Ramsay to “Theon is held hostage and meets inside man” “Theon is fake rescued, blabs about the Stark boys and then his rescuer turns out to be his captor” “Theon is tortured and castrated all in one go” and hadn’t tried to play up the “mystery” of Theon’s captor and just generally showing him being broken down, it might have worked a little bit better.

      They just really ran into “beating a dead horse” territory very early on with Ramsay, and him being Ramsay, they couldn’t really do anything but continue to beat that horse for the next two seasons.

      I actually appreciate Martin’s choice re: Theon’s character a lot more now. Because being able to do a quick catch up and then move straight into character development made for a much more compelling narrative than having to actually watch two years worth of Theon being Reek and being teased with “will he turn on Ramsay this time? No! Because his storyline doesn’t actually start back up again for two seasons and we’ve already committed to not shuttling him offscreen in the interim!”

        Quote  Reply

    68. A Man Grown:
      mau,

      Because one is better than three if you don’t have time to develop three? Plus the attempted crowning of Myrcella is more interesting than

      It is more interesting, but it is stupid.

      Yes it is easier to develop one character, but I belive that SS have a role to play in S6.

        Quote  Reply

    69. The Bastard,

      Yeah tbh, it’s just not an apt indicator of how popular the show is. When we get the consolidated viewer totals, that will tell a fuller picture.

      Also, I get that some people don’t like the season so far, but it’s so tedious to equate it with the decline in live transmission viewing figures. I wonder what their explanations will be when it rises again – “oh it always rises by the end, doesn’t mean that it’s good”.

        Quote  Reply

    70. I can’t go to a 2 hour movie without somebody next to me opening up their phone to check Facebook. I don’t think ratings and quality have anything to do with each other. A slower season will of course lose some fans. And I could care less. This season has been amazing with high quality television.

      The show will end with a proper conclusion. That is all that matters.

      I am a big fan of the prequel Star Wars trilogy. I can’t read an article about Episode 7 without the author talking poorly about those movies. It does nothing to dull my excitement of the content.

        Quote  Reply

    71. AngelWatch:
      Pau,

      And of course this unprovable anecdotal evidence just so happens to overwhelmingly support your argument.

      Also, the winking smilies are incredibly obnoxious.

      I’m sorry they offended you. Some people think I come off too harsh so I didn’t wanna seem beligersant wiht my opinions

      I already said my personal evidence is anecdotal What is not is the drop from the premiere. That is not anecdotal. There must be a reason for that.

      Also, some reviewers and critics are turning the back on the show. Of course that could be anecdotal too. But I think you are a bit on the defensive tbh

        Quote  Reply

    72. Delta1212,

      As I said above, I think one of the problems with S3 was that D&D knew they had the Red Wedding card to play and had to keep it until Ep 9. That forced them to stretch out stuff that probably made the season seem repetitive, primarily the Theon torture stuff (in fairness to them, the worst of that, the erection/castration scene, was written by GRRM). I can think of other examples, like the Brotherhood without Banners.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Delta1212,

      Weren’t there rumors that they had to promise Iwan Rheon appearances in six episodes of season three before he would agree to appear on the show? My impression was that was the reason they went so heavy on the Theon torture. If Theon/Ramsay had just been in three eps of season 3 and three eps of season 4, there might be less fatigue.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Delta1212,

      If we are speaking about popularity of S5, I think that WF plot creates the most intrigue and interest, so I don’t see any problem with it.

      Even on this site 70% comments are about Sansa and WF.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Delta1212:
      Yara’s “rescue” of Theon was just… bad. But they forced themselves into that situation when they gave Yara that cool-at-the-time-but-ultimately-lacking-any-pay-off ending in the season 3 finale.

      I’m still convinced they had other plans for Yara’s plot when they wrote Season 3 scripts. Alas, something changed a year later and they were left with a dangling plot thread that had to be addressed somehow.

      I suspect something similar may have happened with Gendry as well. The actor was promoted to cast member status in S3. Why do that if you have no intentions of retaining his services down the line?

      Some reshuffling was done between Seasons 3 and 4, seems to me.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Simeon: More people watch it on first airing now than did during season 3 … in fact more people watched it on a Memorial Day first airing than did during season 3.In other words, it is “appointment TV” for more people now that it was during the heady days of Dracarys and Lannisters sending regards.

      As for the total audience, it’ll be interesting to see those numbers.

      Yes, but the % of people watching the first airing on season 3 regardng the total of viewers, was higher.

      Of the 10 people that watched the show, lets say 6 watch the first airing, while now, I think, I predict with my non-magical powers, would be less than 6.

      Even if the total is for this season is higher.

      wink wink, smile smile

        Quote  Reply

    77. mau: If we are speaking about popularity of S5, I think that WF plot creates the most intrigue and interest, so I don’t see any problem with it.

      Even on this site 70% comments are about Sansa and WF.

      The quality of the storylines this year seems to be related to how far north they are on the map… all the northern storylines are great, the KL and Essos stuff is less so but still with good moments, and then you have the material from as far south as south goes… {shudder}

      Well, if this trend continues, the Hardhome stuff should blow everyone away! LOL

        Quote  Reply

    78. Shaz,

      And it is guaranteed to increase next week. Then will it be because of a great episode? Not really.

      HBO has so many ways to watch it. Regular television, HBO GO & NOW, on demand through cable. The first episode over doubled their audience from the initial viewings to the 1 week later. If an audience can over double for a single episode…. what is the point of Nielson for a subscription based company like HBO?

      Like HBO already said it doesn’t matter.

        Quote  Reply

    79. mau,

      Yeah, I’d like to point out there’s a difference between quality and reactions in certain circles. For example, as far as I’m concerned, Sand Snakes and the Dornish plot has been mishandled. But Winterfell and Sansa absolutely have not. Internet being internet should not influence how we feel about things.

        Quote  Reply

    80. A Man Grown:
      mau,

      Because one is better than three if you don’t have time to develop three? Plus the attempted crowning of Myrcella is more interesting than ‘LET’S KIDNAP AND/OR KILL MYRCELLA FOR SOME VAGUE UNEXPLAINED REASON JUST BECAUSE WE HATE THE LANNISTERS”

      I endorse this comment

        Quote  Reply

    81. Pau: Yes, but the % of people watching the first airing on season 3 regardng the total of viewers, was higher.

      Of the 10 people that watched the show, lets say 6 watch the first airing, while now, I think, I predict with my non-magical powers, would be less than 6.

      Even if the total is for this season is higher.

      So the problem is that, not only is the number of first-airing viewers still higher than two years ago, but the number of casual “non-appointment” viewers is even higher still? Truly, this is quite the conundrum. The show is obviously doomed. A victim of its own success.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Do people really care if somebody watches a show on the very first showing?

      Netflix just drops entire seasons at a time and says watch it when you get a chance.

        Quote  Reply

    83. People generally tend to ascribe any declines in viewers to whatever their own personal issues with the program are, which often (though not always) amounts to projecting. I think the most that can be said is that, if there is a decline, it suggests that audience enthusiasm for this season roughly corresponds to reader enthusiasm for the books it is based on (I quite like both AFFC and ADWD, but no one can deny that they are controversial).

      Shows almost inevitably peak, ratings-wise. Cases like Breaking Bad, where that happens in the final season, are extremely rare. If the show has peaked this season, that’s merely how it is. The odds were always against it growing indefinitely (and on some level, I’m not sure that’s desirable from a creative standpoint, as that would only increase incentives for commerce to interfere with art).

        Quote  Reply

    84. I remember a time when people watched movies and television and had no clue what the box office numbers were or how many people watched that particular episode.

      Ah, the good ole days. When the content was the only thing that mattered.

        Quote  Reply

    85. A Man Grown,

      It’s not just because they hate the Lannisters. It’s because the kidnapping might provoke the Lannister to start a war and/or force Doran to start one himself, which is exactly what the Sand Snakes and Ellaria want. – Because they hate the Lannisters. 😉

        Quote  Reply

    86. JamesL:
      The rating drop isn’t surprising considering it was memorial day weekend but I don’t think they will rebound that much. The show is not going to comeback and match the highs of last season. It just doesn’t have the hit quality to it that last season had to keep it a blockbuster series. Even episodes like the recent one or episode 5 which get mostly rave reviews from passionate fans of the show still get mixed reactions from the general audience and a lot of “boring” comments.

      You nailed it here. And they are right, imagine if you are a non book reader …
      In season one they promised Dany in westeros, Starks to get revenge and dead people invading the wall.

      Now this unsullied is watching season 5(!!!), Dany is still in essos, Starks are getting raped and the Whitewalkers… well that for the reason of constant delays in their coming have lost any sense of suspense or feeling danger from them.

      The show has lost many good characters like Tywinn, Joffrey, Robb, Catelyn, Eddard, Old Mormont,… and the new characters they keep bringing are not good enough replacement like they were not in the books.

      I didnt think D&D would fall into this trap. Dont promise people the Others in season 1 if you mean to introduce them in full force in the last episodes of season 5, the suspense just gets lost.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Mr Fixit,

      Why mishandled? Dorne has had so far the least showtime of all plotlines. The only “problem” was just one scene and that because most of the bookreaders waited armed in the corner for the very first misstep (and in my opinion because of the fact that Dorne has been prioritised ahead of the Greyjoys and Riverlands). Dorne in the last episode had the usual quality standard acceptable by the average viewer. I can’t see the logic behind all these people who by force want to sink the whole season just for one scene when this season has been a drastic improvement to all departments in comparison to the previous ones. And if we really want to be fair Dragonteam was boring all along S3&4 and nobody complained. Jaime was boring the whole of S4 and not a single comment was made. Not to mention other boring moments by the standards of the now all too angry commentators who happen to represent a vast majority of the public.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Mr Fixit: For example, as far as I’m concerned, Sand Snake and the Dornish plot has been mishandled.

      I’m not convinced of that yet. Yes, Jaime’s story is lagging behind other characters’ stories. However, if this story were not lagging behind, then another one would be: it is a simple time constraint issue. Moreover, there have not yet really been any obvious situations where key moments in Jaime’s story would dovetail with the “mini-story” of the week. Last week was the gift: Tyrion for Daeny, Lancel for Olenna, Gilly to Sam, Theon to Ramsay, the SS to Bronn. I’m not sure what elements from Jaime’s story could be transposed onto that.

      My suspicion is that this week will provide us with some progress on Jaime’s

      watch me by Tywin II! (or not)

      storyline. If nothing else, then news of Cersei’s incarceration and the additional potential for more civil war might be used as a device to get Jaime interacting with Doran: and I think that is when we’ll get the punchline.

      Will it be great TV? Probably not. However, it will be vastly better TV than either the Riverlands drudgery would have been or the gods-awful Arianne storyline. Personally, I would have been happiest seeing Dorne (as well as the Iron Islands and the Riverlands) cut completely: but Jaime is one of the protagonists, and he’s got part of the story to tell. I don’t know if Dorne is a good setting for that: but I suspect that it might be the best setting of the obvious alternatives. Just as long as it packs some punch of self-realization at the end, I’ll be content.

        Quote  Reply

    89. dothrakian raven: And if we really want to be fair Dragonteam was boring all along S3&4 and nobody complained. Jaime was boring the whole of S4 and not a single comment was made.

      Well, to be fair, I doubt that there has been a single scene on this show that was not criticized by somebody.

        Quote  Reply

    90. mau,

      mau:
      I don’t think that anything from the books would make this season “more popular”.

      YG? LSH? Arianne? Meh.

      If D&D wanted to do make more “shocking” season, they needed to cut even more.

      But I like what they did, and I don’t think they should sacrifice quality for “WTF” scenes.

      The Sand Snakes debacle comes to mind as a quality-sacrificing “WTF” scene. That scene wasn’t in the books. The whole Dorne thing is a horrible mess. YG? LSH? Arianne? Yes, better than Jaime & Bronn in Dorne, Littlefinger jetpacking all over westeros, Olly stares at Jon, Loras’ character assassination and all the other cheesy and cliche stuff the writers are adding in. People are blaming it on the book material. This stuff ain’t in the books folks.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Wimsey,

      It’s true, but none that got so much unreasonable vehemence than Dorne (maybe the Yara scene in S4 but certainly it comes second with a big margin in comparison to the Water Gardens fight scene).

        Quote  Reply

    92. biobi:
      mau,

      The Sand Snakes debacle comes to mind as a quality-sacrificing “WTF” scene.That scene wasn’t in the books.The whole Dorne thing is a horrible mess.YG? LSH? Arianne?Yes, better than Jaime & Bronn in Dorne, Littlefinger jetpacking all over westeros, Olly stares at Jon,Loras’ character assassination and all the other cheesy and cliche stuff the writers are adding in.People are blaming it on the book material.This stuff ain’t in the books folks.

      this is just ridiculous…………

      Loras is not character in the books, and about LF and Olly… Nevermind…

        Quote  Reply

    93. jentarion: the drop is consistent with season 2’s and not much worse

      Hey, get out of here with that reasonable, fact-based observation! This thread is about the fact that there will be no more televisions in the year 2020, and/or whether GoT will make it all the way through Season 6 before being cancelled.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Abyss:
      A Man Grown,

      It’s not just because they hate the Lannisters. It’s because the kidnapping might provoke the Lannister to start a war and/or force Doran to start one himself, which is exactly what the Sand Snakes and Ellaria want. – Because they hate the Lannisters.

      Careful man, some people around here hate smileys more than the SS hate the Lannisters!

        Quote  Reply

    95. Hoyti Von Totiy: Dont promise people the Others in season 1 if you mean to introduce them in full force in the last episodes of season 5, the suspense just gets lost.

      What?!?!? I thought that they were making the mistake of NOT including important details for Seasons 6 and 7 in Season 1! Don’t you know that the audience remembers every word spoken!?!?!? After all, isn’t that what this is all about? (Well, that and bared breasts and buttocks: nudity and world-building are the only reasons why anybody watches TV, you know.)

      Seriously, though, you are not altogether wrong. And, at the risk of “spoiling” stuff for an unsullied, this has been a criticism of the source material.

      However…. (“Is there always a ‘however’ for Wimsey?” “Why, yes there is!”) …..

      It is not as if these have been completely unfired guns. Yes, we’ve seen little of the White Walkers: but we have seen their Wights in action. Moreover, and I think that the show has done a good job of communicating this, the sole reason for the big Wildling vs. Night Watch conflict is that the Wildlings are in all-out retreat from the White Walkers. That was emphasized heavily in Seasons 3, 4 and 5. And they also have emphasized that Melisandre’s goal in this has less to do with who sits on the Iron Throne than it does with defeating the White Walkers. (Of course, whether R’hhlor is any better than the White Walker should be an open question!)

      As for Daeny being slow getting back: yes, I agree. I think that this is a case of both GRRM and B&W delaying the plot in order to tell story. But they absolutely have to get Daeny back to Westeros next year, and they absolutely have to make it a “damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t” wrap up of the Civil War. And while doing this, the absolutely have to advance the White Walkers a bit more and set the stage for whatever this “war” is going to be like in the last season.

        Quote  Reply

    96. dothrakian raven,

      heh, actually, I suspect that Ned’s beheading, the Red Wedding and Sansa’s wedding night all got much more negative reception from Joe and Jane Public than did the SS or Yara. (I doubt that most viewers even recall the Yara scene off the top of their head by now.)

        Quote  Reply

    97. biobi,
      mau,

      Loras is an incidental character and nothing more in the books. He has hardly any development other than he’s a very good fighter, he was in love with Renly (which many readers managed to miss), and that he’s so cocky that Jaime Lannister finds it offensive.

        Quote  Reply

    98. Lol, I haven’t been conscious about Olly’s stares but yes, they’re comical!

      PS: Total off-topic but I got to meet Joe Abercrombie the other day and he is fucking awesome and really funny!. We talked a bit about Whiskies of which we are both great fans

        Quote  Reply

    99. mau:

      The best option was to cut Meereen, but that is not posible, so I think what we got isthe best solution.

      You know, I proposed something along those lines on westeros.org (I think) two years ago. After Season 3 had ended, I wondered if the show might cut Meereen completely and let Daenerys stay in Yunkai. Season 4 would then adapt her ADwD material with Daznak either in late S4 or early S5. The rest of Season 5 would then, I dunno, involve Asshai, or Dothraki (as her early TWoW material suggests) or whatever else seems like an interesting narrative space to explore.

      If this would have worked is anyone’s guess, but then again I’m really not a fan of Slaver’s Bay, especially the ADwD version of it.

        Quote  Reply

    100. biobi,

      Why do people care about travel times? People need to get over this “jet packing” nonsense. And complaining about Olly staring is beyond nitpicking

        Quote  Reply

    101. biobi: Arianne? Yes, better than Jaime & Bronn in Dorne

      Sorry, but Arianne is the absolute nadir of GRRM’s writing. Seriously, could anybody that stuff and not envision Gilda Radner doing it as Rhonda Weiss? In all honesty, I don’t think that it could be done without looking like some sort of bad parody.

      AngelWatch: People need to get over this “jet packing” nonsense.

      Well, what they need to figure out is that most people use these long trips to imply that several days or even weeks have elapsed.

        Quote  Reply

    102. Even I am getting bored of this one-dimensional ratings/viewership nonsense. We should simply be thankful that we have this proverbial cherry on top of an exciting/delicious set of novels. And yesterday, we received even more stellar news about S6…and what amazing discussion threads it initiated! The only numbers that matter are in the quarterly/annual fiscal reports that HBO/TimeWarner will issue to their investors (which includes me!) and the SEC later this year.

      Can’t frickin’ wait for eps 8, 9, & 10!! Then True Detective after that, and The Leftovers, and more John Oliver, Veep, Silicon Valley…etc….fuck yeah!

        Quote  Reply

    103. pau:

      PS: Total off-topic but I got to meet Joe Abercrombie the other day and he is fucking awesome and really funny. We talked a bit about Whiskies of which we are both great fans

      He stopped by that big SF/F/H bookstore you guys have in Barcelona, right?

        Quote  Reply

    104. Mr Fixit: The rest of Season 5 would then, I dunno, involve Asshai, or Dothraki (as her early TWoW material suggests) or whatever else seems like an interesting narrative space to explore.

      Would that have changed much? I suppose it would have moved Daeny up an episode or two, but then they would have felt compelled to let the other stories catch up to hers. Daeny has to be paralleling Jon again, after all: they are Lead 1 and Lead A.

      Also: there is WoW material for Daeny?!?!? When did that happen?

        Quote  Reply

    105. As a closing thought, I’m not concerned with ratings drops compared to previous seasons, or even 3 seasons ago, as the TV landscape seems to be changing rapidly. How people watched in S2 to S5 is completely different (I watch each episode at least 3x on HBO NOW, though I’ve skipped ep 6, tbh, due to that traumatic ending). What worries me is the drop from Ep1 to Ep6 and 7, which indicates not a change in how people are watching, but what they’re choosing to watch, and that comes down to a content issue (full disclosure: I’ve enjoyed this season. I’m just putting on my pointy teachers pet hat to analyze the data). The audience seemed to be consistent for the first five episodes, or so, but somewhere along the way, interest waned. I didn’t put much stock into it since the piracy numbers were breaking records, which is an indication that interest was still high – though most of those piracy numbers came from overseas, apparently. But content wise, I think the bleakness just started to wear on people: not just in the stories and the harrowing treatment of beloved characters, but in the claustrophobic lighting and design (the Dorne stuff being generally bad hasn’t helped). I think its just worn most casual viewers down, and made it easier to find lighter, less demanding choices. I know in my circle, people are watching, but not talking about it as much, and that might just be general fatigue setting in as the show turns a corner to the finish line. I’d be curious to see what the piracy numbers are ep 7, because they exploded for ep 6. Sure, HBO would love for people to, you know pay for this show, but they’re clearly also interested in just people watching in any format, because it generates the kind of buzz that draws subscribers for their other programming.

        Quote  Reply

    106. As a non-book reader, ive said this before on these threads, that I have found this seasons to be in my top faves… even though there haven’t been many WTF moments. Im loving the north story, and I love Danaeyrus so anything that happens with her, I enjoy, and especially the meeting with Tyrion.

      I keep reading about how much changes were made from the books to the show, and it has made the show better… and how Sansa’s story is completely made up… it makes me wonder, why did they not include Bran’s arc this year??? Anyone? Without spoiling? (its one of my faves).

        Quote  Reply

    107. Please explain what this Memorial Day is for viewers outside the USA. It’s only since the internet I figured out what Thanksgiving is. I was taught 4th July in school- in 1976.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Wimsey,

      I can’t speak of the first two but the White Wedding reactions was of another kind. It didn’t so much have to do with the aesthetic quality of the show in general. It was just a sensitive and traumatic scene for many viewers. But when it comes to Dorne it is something else. As if one scene in a not so popular plotline can determine that the show has reached its lowest level or that it has become almost unwatchable. And this is a pattern that apparently comes again and again in certain comments. Even the White Wedding furore has slowed down after all as a criticism on the quality of the show. But not Dorne.

        Quote  Reply

    109. Wimsey,

      Well, it would have gotten her out of the damned Slaver’s Bay a season earlier. Would that accomplish anything? I don’t know. If D&D came up with something sufficiently interesting, I guess. Or cannibalised some of Martin’s earlier ideas about Asshai or whatever (which I’m sure he had).

        Quote  Reply

    110. Ravyn,

      Its funny, everyone has different opinions on the show, and theories on what’s going on. because I reiterate every week that I know over 30 people who watch this show (that are also on season 5), and none of them watch through the PAID HBO tv channel. Except me. Lol. And everyone is loving it
      I truly think that the drop in numbers is mostly due to where and when these people are watching the episode. obviously they may have lost fans… people lose interest. I find it hard to believe though that someone would stop after 4 seasons.. or 4.5. stopping due to losing interest , which i think would generally occur more in the beginning.
      I think in the end, what matters is, that it is still the best show ever, and that people (in the USA since the numbers are for usa) are watching it, just not at 9PM on sundays.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Deesensfan:
      As a non-book reader, ive said this before on these threads, that I have found this seasons to be in my top faves… even though there haven’t been many WTF moments. Im loving the north story, and I love Danaeyrus so anything that happens with her, I enjoy, and especially the meeting with Tyrion.

      I keep reading about how much changes were made from the books to the show, and it has made the show better… and how Sansa’s story is completely made up… it makes me wonder, why did they not include Bran’s arc this year??? Anyone? Without spoiling? (its one of my faves).

      His story in the current books is practically over. Only GRRM & D&D know what happens after that.

        Quote  Reply

    112. mau:
      This world is greater than USA.

      Just saying.

      LIES!!!! LIESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

      What will you say next?

      That the Earth isn´t flat?

      That the pyramids of Egypt are older than the one in Las Vegas?

        Quote  Reply

    113. BeverlyMarsh,

      A reasonable explanation is not an excuse. The last time GoT aired during Memorial Day weekend, it also lost a lot of viewers (in fact, percentage drop was almost identical). That’s why HBO decided not to air new episodes on MD weekend the following two years.

      Elementary, dear Watson!

        Quote  Reply

    114. IN ADVANCE OF ANYONE PANICKING ABOUT THIS, PLEASE REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:

      1. Game of Thrones was already renewed for season 6.

      2. Game of Thrones remains HBO’s signature series.

      3. This was the first time in three years Game of Thrones aired on the Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest travel weekends in the US.

      4. Game of Thrones is projected (by its producers) to go seven seasons.

      5. HBO would receive a substantial amount of negative press and controversy were it to abandon the show with one more year remaining due to falling ratings; this controversy could prevent people from being perennial HBO subscribers.

      6. It is 2015, and what was commonplace five years ago (counting actual viewers in live broadcasts) is no longer the norm, in light of the heavy amount of streaming and delayed viewers.

      Do not panic. There is not only no danger of GoT being canceled, but there is no danger of it not getting a one-season pickup after season six to conclude the story (if not two seasons…)

      There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture…

        Quote  Reply

    115. HBO’s decision to press ahead and air a new episode on Memorial Day weekend likely stemmed from the fact that the show started a week later than usual this year. The additional shooting days and post-production that was required for the last few episodes pushed the premiere date back from the first weekend of April to the second. Taking the usual break would have pushed the finale to the third weekend of June, later than the show has ever ran. It would have delaying their summer programming and subjected the ratings to natural attrition, as fewer people watch TV in the summer. Content of the episodes aside, HBO no doubt knew that a drop in live viewership on this particular weekend was inevitable, and came to the determination that a) the live ratings no longer mattered, and b) the show was strong enough to survive a weekend in which TV viewership is generally down across the board. Both of those conclusions have been proven correct, as these numbers are still quite good, even if they’re not quite in the same stratosphere as before.

      I would love for everyone in the world to be able to watch and love Game of Thrones as much as I do, which is why I always enjoyed watching the live ratings and celebrating each time they hit a new series high. But despite my hopeful enthusiasm, expecting that upward trend to continue indefinitely was never realistic. Irrespective of quality, every show eventually reaches its natural peak with respect to viewership. The structure and circumstances surrounding Breaking Bad contributed to it becoming an exception, but even so the ratings for that show didn’t truly skyrocket until the last eight episodes.

      At this point, Game of Thrones has reached an intense level of cultural saturation and media coverage that few shows ever attain. I would guess almost everyone who might be interested in the show has probably at least heard of it. Furthermore, most of those people have at least some available avenue by which to watch it, if they so choose (a rare luxury for a pay cable show). I wouldn’t surprise me at all if the equilibrium point between potential viewers and casual viewers has been reached. Furthermore, if Game of Thrones’ live ratings were ever going to level off, it makes sense that it would happen during a transitional period in the story (for both the books and the show) that doesn’t feature nearly as many “OH SHIT!” moments to drive the watercooler conversation among casual viewers. As for the cumulative ratings across all times and platforms, I expect they remain close to the extraordinarily high level that they reached last season.

      As for The Thing That Happened and its (nonexistent) relationship to the ratings …

      Personally, I’m glad that a new episode aired on Memorial Day weekend, live ratings be damned. I always hated the break, and it would have been worse this year. Giving the Internet Outrage Industrial Complex a second full week to chew on the end of “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”, devise worst-case scenarios, and write increasingly inane thinkpieces would have been insufferable. Instead, Game of Thrones ran on schedule and delivered its best episode of the season, allowing the healing process to begin for those who were interested in healing at all.

      Game of Thrones is still going strong. It will run for as many seasons as it needs to conclude its story (likely seven), and the ratings are irrelevant to that goal – merely fodder for those of us who like to obsess over such things, for better or for worse. I’m sure that there a few reactionary people and websites who will ignore the context of this dip. They will construe it as validation for their opinion that The Thing That Happened has crippled the show (I can think of one notable Internet character who blocked me on Twitter after last week’s episode when I dared to disagree with him on this – a fact that I’m perversely proud of. Three guesses who). Those people are wrong and their logic is riddled with holes, but let them have their little self-congratulatory pow-wow if they want – provided they have it in a dark, insular corner of the Internet that is far, far, far away from me. The people who truly care about the show have processed everything and moved on – or are at least willing to do so. The people who are determined to remain fixated on the past and draw erroneous conclusions from it? I’m only too happy to leave them behind.

        Quote  Reply

    116. Cameryn,

      Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone is panicking. I know that the show is in no danger of cancellation even if viewers started fleeing en masse. It’s too far along now. Fun debate is fun!

        Quote  Reply

    117. BeverlyMarsh: Lmao next week when the numbers go down what will the excuse be? Fat Walda pooped?

      Well, some fans have commented on the lack of dysentery as read in the books. That could make up for it all at once! However, ratings will be up next week pretty much across TV: Saturday and Sunday TV ratings on holiday weekends always are low relative to the weeks before and after. People have to watch TV for shows to get ratings!

      Deesensfan: But Sansa’s was over too, wasn’t it? What were seeing now is completely made up isn’t it.

      “Heavily adapted” would be nearer the mark. However, showing Bran learning to be a tree god would entertain only hardcore fans: indeed, it’s almost something that South Park or the Simpsons would show as a parody of what hardcore fans would like!

      But another thing to keep in mind is that B&W get to take advantage of criticisms of the source material. One of the long-standing criticisms of the books was the snails’ pace at which Sansa’s character evolved: and GRRM compounded it by giving her only three chapters on Crows (which only had the vestiges of a story starting) and nothing in Dragons. So, creating a story arc that recalled many aspects of Daeny’s story from Season 1 was a pretty good idea. (A better idea involves taking a time machine back to 2002 and telling GRRM to write stuff for Sansa instead of Arianne or Asha; oh, and after your done, go back to 1983 and tell George Lucas that Ewoks are a really, really bad idea….)

        Quote  Reply

    118. Mr Fixit,

      But that has to be very typical. In fact, for established TV shows, that has to be the rule.

      Cameryn,
      And, as Hodor’s Bastard noted above, the only thing that matters is how much money HBO estimates that this series generates for them. Sure, falling numbers for this lessens slightly how much HBO can get from Comcast, Time-Warner, XFinity, etc.: but, then, given that HBO has caused the ratings to drop by porting the viewing to other sources, they clearly think (or though) that it would be profitable to do this.

      And next year will get lots of hype and buzz in advance because, well, it will be shiny and new again, just like it is at the start of every season.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Deesensfan:
      Ashara Dayne,

      But Sansa’s was over too, wasn’t it? What were seeing now is completely made up isn’t it.
      Anyway, thanks for the explanation!

      Deesensfan:
      Ashara Dayne,

      But Sansa’s was over too, wasn’t it? What were seeing now is completely made up isn’t it.
      Anyway, thanks for the explanation!

      Yes, but….
      Readers cannot really speculate as we’ve no clue where Bran’s story is headed. We assume he becomes a trained, skilled greenseer who can see things in the past and future and also use weirwoods to communicate with people far away, like Quaith did with Dany using a glass candle. Hence some ppl have called it the weirwood-net.

        Quote  Reply

    120. I think showDorne is way bellow bookDorne quality, but the (yet unseen) plot there seems to be centered towards end of the season when all characters are together instead of being split into multiple groups like in the first half of the season. So actually i think only first two scenes with SS were misshandled. You know their introduction was done badly when we still not get Tyene named on the show.

      Rest of scenes were normal quality and Tyene´s scene was great, one of those scenes worth of rewatching (not just for boobs, but whole scene was excellently acted and directed, better then i could imagine from the leaked audition and unlike most i was not critical to that).

      If they simply used Doran more, introduced Sand Snakes during their confrontation with him so we could get to know them before the WG fight, let Areo stop the fight very quickly (that would help a lot…) and change SS plan to kill Jaime instead of Myrcella (which would explain the precious timing of their attack and why Nym did not killed her when she had a chance), whole Dorne would be much better.

        Quote  Reply

    121. Wimsey: Well, some fans have commented on the lack of dysentery as read in the books.That could make up for it all at once!However, ratings will be up next week pretty much across TV: Saturday and Sunday TV ratings on holiday weekends always are low relative to the weeks before and after.People have to watch TV for shows to get ratings!

      “Heavily adapted” would be nearer the mark.However, showing Bran learning to be a tree god would entertain only hardcore fans: indeed, it’s almost something that South Park or the Simpsons would show as a parody of what hardcore fans would like!

      But another thing to keep in mind is that B&W get to take advantage of criticisms of the source material.One of the long-standing criticisms of the books was the snails’ pace at which Sansa’s character evolved: and GRRM compounded it by giving her only three chapters on Crows (which only had the vestiges of a story starting) and nothing in Dragons.So, creating a story arc that recalled many aspects of Daeny’s story from Season 1 was a pretty good idea.(A better idea involves taking a time machine back to 2002 and telling GRRM to write stuff for Sansa instead of Arianne or Asha; oh, and after your done, go back to 1983 and tell George Lucas that Ewoks are a really, really bad idea….)

      Haha. I read somewhere else about dragons getting diarrhoea and flying over cities defecating over everyone.
      I tried to reply about Bran’s arc, but my comment is ‘awaiting moderation’ after my appallingly slow connection took ages to even post it. Great thoughts well expressed.

        Quote  Reply

    122. Ashara Dayne: I read somewhere else about dragons getting diarrhoea and flying over cities defecating over everyone.

      Yeah, that was probably me. Sorry about that: I hope I didn’t put you off eating or anything.

      But, seriously, could you see trying to scrape those droppings off of your litter? I mean, you know that they aim for your windows.

      OK, I’ll stop now. I promise!

        Quote  Reply

    123. Cersei’s Brain:
      Simeon,

      How do you watch GoT then?do you have HBO Now?

      Apart from easily downloading via BitTorrent, I searched YouTube for ‘Game of Thrones Season 5 episode 7’ and got very many results named ‘full episode’ at around an hour long. Didn’t check any but I assume it takes time for YouTube to take them all down.

        Quote  Reply

    124. Wimsey: Yeah, that was probably me.Sorry about that: I hope I didn’t put you off eating or anything.

      But, seriously, could you see trying to scrape those droppings off of your litter?I mean, you know that they aim for your windows.

      OK, I’ll stop now.I promise!

      You never know, if it’s anything like bird poop or horse poop it could make good fertilizer.

        Quote  Reply

    125. OT, but can anyone tell me if David&Dan killed the dog, cat, or iguana of someone working for vox.com? Every day those guys churn out articles that promise excitement! adventure! danger! Just in the last several days they managed to put up these little gems (what follows are actual titles):

      Game of Thrones has turned Ramsay Bolton into an irritating, unstoppable supervillain
      By stripping out its politics, Game of Thrones has made the Wall much more boring
      Game of Thrones excels at staging shocking moments, but keeps screwing up their aftermaths

        Quote  Reply

    126. Cersei’s Brain: How do you watch GoT then?do you have HBO Now?

      The way most people here in Brazil watch it… but if something like HBO Now were available here, I’d probably sign up. (When Netflix finally became available, it was absolutely worth it to pay and save myself the bother of searching for torrents of movies and shows.)

        Quote  Reply

    127. A lot of people point out that the show has to peak and level off somewhere and it would be ignorant to expect the show to keep growing. This is true but the ratings haven’t just peaked, they have been going down. The only options are not to go either up or down, there is a middle ground- the ratings could have remained steady. I didn’t expect the ratings to keep growing but I did expect them to at least be steady with last season.

      Then again since we know the show is basically guaranteed a 7th and finale season maybe it is not so bad for the hype to cool off a bit. I loved seeing the show grow into a cultural phenomenon but I also kind of miss when the show had more of a cult fandom. Now controversies like Jaime/Cersei sept scene or Sansa/Ramsay inspire countless articles, think pieces, and media outrage, it becomes a news story basically. Whereas in the early seasons controversies like this would only exist among the smaller fan community.

        Quote  Reply

    128. Jared,

      Unfortunately, I’m going to have to break from the crowd heaping praise on your post and say that I completely disagree about Ewoks being a bad idea. I like Ewoks.

        Quote  Reply

    129. Wimsey,

      Ok but they really didn´t need WW to have Mance want to invade the south.

      They could have made him a great KingBeyondWall who simply wants to get all the freefolk south of the wall to a more fertile lands for a better future.

      When Stannis puts a stop to that THEN introduce WW and have Jon make peace with them.

        Quote  Reply

    130. Mr Fixit,

      Yeah, I keep seeing those articles when I google Game of Thrones. I think that they’re probably just trying to cash in on some of the negative publicity over the last week. They’ll probably change their mind by the end of the season, when they realise they need the clicks. Doesn’t bother me either way, because I sure as hell am not visiting it.

        Quote  Reply

    131. The Bastard:

      I am a big fan of the prequel Star Wars trilogy. I can’t read an article about Episode 7 without the author talking poorly about those movies. It does nothing to dull my excitement of the content.

      Nice to know I’m not alone in this opinion. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    132. Ashara Dayne:
      Please explain what this Memorial Day is for viewers outside the USA. It’s only since the internet I figured out what Thanksgiving is. I was taught 4th July in school- in 1976.

      Memorial day is when americans remember how they created Roman law, built the great pyramid of Las Vegas and discovered the continent of Europe.

      Right?

        Quote  Reply

    133. It was the 2nd highest rated cable show for the night after the NBA play-off. However, it has also dropped for last 3 episodes, which are the ones after the leaked episodes.

        Quote  Reply

    134. Mr Fixit:
      Cameryn,

      Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone is panicking. I know that the show is in no danger of cancellation even if viewers started fleeing en masse. It’s too far along now. Fun debate is fun!

      Preventative medicine more than anything 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    135. Mr Fixit:
      OT, but can anyone tell me if David&Dan killed the dog, cat, or iguana of someone working for vox.com? Every day those guys churn out articles that promise excitement! adventure! danger! Just in the last several days they managed to put up these little gems (what follows are actual titles):

      Game of Thrones has turned Ramsay Bolton into an irritating, unstoppable supervillain
      By stripping out its politics, Game of Thrones has made the Wall much more boring
      Game of Thrones excels at staging shocking moments, but keeps screwing up their aftermaths

      Probably because it’s 2015, and in the grand tradition of taking all the idols and smashing them, it’s now become popular to slam GoT. To be fair, GoT had four seasons’ worth of honeymoon, but it’s now open season.

      (Which I don’t understand. This past ep was as good as anything they’ve ever done.)

        Quote  Reply

    136. Hoyti Von Totiy: Ok but they really didn´t need WW to have Mance want to invade the south.

      Plot vs. story! Making Mance an conqueror makes him a bit of a bad guy, even if he’s just trying to get some “lebensraum” for his people. Having Mance leading his people from a fate worse than death makes him more of a Moses figure. And that creates the great internal conflicts on which this year’s story rests, at least for Jon. The Men of the Watch have to recognize that this trivial enmity with the Wildlings is nothing compared to the threat of the White Walkers or their Wights. However, it is very human to lose sight of the big picture due to current emotions. And that is the sort of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” conflict that these sorts of audiences drink like a slightly chilled IPA on a hot summer day…..

      Hoyti Von Totiy: When Stannis puts a stop to that THEN introduce WW and have Jon make peace with them.

      The audience needs to know that the WW are the cause of all of this. In Chekhovian terms, the WW are a gun hung in the very opening act and then fired once per story. In this case, the firing is basically a shot that you hear rather than one that you see: but you saw the gun earlier and you heard it go off, and you’ve seen what it’s done.

      And, again, this sort of audience isn’t looking at the WW as “evil” or “good.” Instead, they probably are seeing it in terms of, say, a rival corporation who’s exact goals are unclear to you. (OK, actually, that makes them “evil”: but no more evil than the audience members, I suppose! 🙂 )

      That written, I am equally certain that the audience also wishes that the rival corporation would get a move on: we keep seeing their small deeds, but not their big ones. (I suspect that might be about to change: B&W just re-hung some obsidian blades on the wall, and I expect them to be fired next week or the week after.)

      Again, these stories are all about how you cannot have things both ways in one sense or another: you cannot be both the girl/boy and the woman/man, you cannot be allies with both members of warring parties, you cannot have a stable love-hate relationship, etc. The issue here is Jon recognizing that the NW vs. Wildling feud is the petty feud of children next to the WW vs. (seemingly) the World feud of adults. Jon gets it: but his task is making the NW understand that.

        Quote  Reply

    137. Delta1212:

      Unfortunately, I’m going to have to break from the crowd heaping praise on your post and say that I completely disagree about Ewoks being a bad idea. I like Ewoks.

      Strange you should say that. One of the first cartoons I remember following was Ewoks in the late 80s. I even collected sticker pictures for the album. Also, these days I have a little poodle that looks remarkably like an Ewok. (His name is Dex, to complement my other dog — a mongrel — whose name is Dee Dee. Anyone care to guess how they got their names? 😉 )

        Quote  Reply

    138. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      And how the first American, Jesus of Nazareth, preached the truth of capitalism!

      Ashara Dayne,
      Seriously, Memorial Day began as a holiday to honor soldiers killed in the American Civil War. (We have Veterans Day at the same time that UKers have Remembrance Day: strictly speaking, Memorial Day is for those who died whereas Veterans Day is for Veterans in general.) As it is on the last Monday of May, is traditionally is considered the unofficial start of summer in the US. There is a three day weekend, so many people take short vacations. That results in a general decrease in TV viewing except for (some) sports games. As a result, many TV series are not shown on Memorial Day weekend in the US.

        Quote  Reply

    139. Wimsey: The issue here is Jon recognizing that the NW vs. Wildling feud is the petty feud of children next to the WW vs. (seemingly) the World feud of adults.Jon gets it: but his task is making the NW understand that.

      Ok but you could have lets say only Mance and a few of the Freefolk who went far north to LOAW know about WW, with the rest of the FF and NW in the dark about it or thinking its a childs story.
      Remember how in movie “Jaws” Spielberg showed the shark only at the end?
      Well he did it for a purpose to add suspense and keep the suprise.

      The momentum of WW should have keept growing slowly trough tales, storys like Old nans and hints and glimpses too add the sense of doom and fear to reach its peak and their big reaveal when they attack.

      This way its kinda lame they seem like the slowest invading force in the history.

        Quote  Reply

    140. JamesL:
      The rating drop isn’t surprising considering it was memorial day weekend but I don’t think they will rebound that much. The show is not going to comeback and match the highs of last season. It just doesn’t have the hit quality to it that last season had to keep it a blockbuster series. Even episodes like the recent one or episode 5 which get mostly rave reviews from passionate fans of the show still get mixed reactions from the general audience and a lot of “boring” comments. I don’t really blame them, I still really enjoy the show but the plot isn’t as captivating as it used to be. I don’t only blame the show for that because the books have the same issue. There needed to be cuts and alterations to make it work on TV and some show changes have been good but I also think it could certainly be done better.

      One plot in particular has bugged me since it has fallen flat this season after a fairly decent start the is the Kings Landing story. That was one of the few plots in AFFC/ADWD that would translate great to TV as is. Some changes would be understandable but unlike some of the other arcs there was no reason to alter so much of the Kinds Landing plot. The show version of the Margery/Cersei feud and Kings Landing plotline is a dumbed down version that lacks the drama, suspense, and intrigue of the book.

      Glad you pointed this out. That was my big problem with the last episode not encapsulated everything wrong with this season. Cersei’s arrest, which should be *major* lacked any sort of suspense or tension, and almost acted as a b-plot of the episode. Which is frankly just bizarre.

      She should have been scratching septal’ eyes out, running down dark corridors, with oblique, twirling camera angles whilst demonic music plays in the background. There should have been a sense of absolute terror. There was nothing.

      This isn’t the books’ fault, nor is it entirely the ‘changes’ that are the problem. It’s that they have failed to make compelling television. No excitement, drama, suspense, nothing.

      As I have said previously, D&D are burnt out. They should have given the show to protégés.

        Quote  Reply

    141. These ratings posts are so funny because there are always exactly two reactions…

      AHHH THE SKY IS FALLING THE SHOW IS A FAILURE

      THIS JUST MEANS THE SHOW IS BETTER THAN EVAR BECAUSE EXCUSE EXCUSE EXCUSE

      The Rat Kook: To do so would be a character assassination on Ramsay – which would be the writers shying away from a brutal truth for the sake of not upsetting the audience, which is cowardly.

      I don’t follow. Ramsey was shown having clearly consensual, non physically damaging (if vaguely kinky) sex on at least two occasions with Myranda. Why would it be character assassination for him to do the same with Sansa?

      Plus, unlike with Myranda, Ramsey should have very good reason to not leave marks on Sansa if only because Roose commands it. But, they seemingly dropped the “we need Sansa to win the north” plot point completely…

        Quote  Reply

    142. Queenofthrones:

      Plus, unlike with Myranda, Ramsey should have very good reason to not leave marks on Sansa if only because Roose commands it.But, they seemingly dropped the “we need Sansa to win the north” plot point completely…

      + They kinda didn´t notify or invite to the wedding any of the other Lords in the north … and that was kinda the whole point of the wedding her right?

        Quote  Reply

    143. Hoyti Von Totiy: + They kinda didn´t notify or invite to the wedding any of the other Lords in the north … and that was kinda the whole point of the wedding her right?

      Maybe they did and nobody showed up. “Yeah, wedding you say? Kinda busy that weekend, you know, winter and all. I’ll be sure to send along a gift.”

        Quote  Reply

    144. Queenofthrones:
      These ratings posts are so funny because there are always exactly two reactions…

      AHHH THE SKY IS FALLING THE SHOW IS A FAILURE

      THIS JUST MEANS THE SHOW IS BETTER THAN EVAR BECAUSE EXCUSE EXCUSE EXCUSE

      Does it feel good to be so wrong?

      If you actually bother to read the posts, you’ll see that no one resorted to such hyperbole. No one (and I mean literally no one) is calling the show a failure because of diminished ratings and also no one (and I, again, mean literally no one) interprets these ratings as a sign that the show is better then ever.

      So what are you on about really?

        Quote  Reply

    145. Wimsey: Sorry, but Arianne is the absolute nadir of GRRM’s writing.Seriously, could anybody that stuff and not envision Gilda Radner doing it as Rhonda Weiss?In all honesty, I don’t think that it could be done without looking like some sort of bad parody.

      Well, what they need to figure out is that most people use these long trips to imply that several days or even weeks have elapsed.

      Arianne is one of the best characters in ASOIAF. She is the embodiment of feminine power. not only is she a brilliant character, but her set pieces are all exciting and actually, pretty cool.

      No doubt show fans would have loved her as well. It only took a flash of Tyene’s boobs for them to fall for her.

        Quote  Reply

    146. mariamb,

      Thank you! I always enjoy reading your comments as well. 🙂

      Delta1212,

      Hey, I like the Ewoks too! I’ve heard that Lucas’s original plan for the Battle of Endor was to use Wookiees, and I can’t deny that would have been awesome (as it was, the battle on the Wookiee homeworld was re-purposed for Episode III). But I’ve got a soft spot for those little furballs, even if I thought the ease with which they took down an entire legion of the Emperor’s best troops required more suspension of disbelief than I generally like my operatic space fantasy to ask from me. 😉

        Quote  Reply

    147. Mr Fixit,

      AngryGoTFan. Over the past two years, I had managed to mostly shield myself from his outbursts, save for the few unfortunate times when he turned up in this comment section or one of his tweets made its way into Axey’s Twitter recap. But after Episode 6 aired, one of his tweets ended up in my feed … somehow. He was demanding to know how any single person could ever support the show over the books after this horrible, horrible, horrible thing it had done. I don’t know why I even considered the possibility that he wasn’t merely seeking validation in his own echo chamber, or why he might be interested in hearing a dissenting opinion parsed out in increments of 140 characters or less. Maybe I was just tired. Regardless, I took the bait and sent him a series of tweets explaining why I still supported the show – namely, because I believe the writers have both a plan and a right to tell this particular story. I also asserted that the books feature their share of horrific sexual violence as well. I didn’t expect him to respond at all, but he did – just not with words. He blocked me almost immediately.

      Once upon a time, I thought that guy was satirical. I never found him funny, but I gave him credit that he was framing his reactions in deliberately over-the-top fashion for dramatic effect. I’ve since learned that even that modicum of faith was misplaced. He’s something else.

        Quote  Reply

    148. Jared,

      Huh. I too thought it’s his funny shtick. Apparently, he’s serious. Well.

      Speaking of serious, I find it darkly amusing that Elio and Linda, of all people, are actually the most reasonable among the purists regarding this season. Never thought I’d see to live the day, but the baton seems to have passed over to ToTH, sad to say.

        Quote  Reply

    149. Jared,

      *ahem* I would like to apologize for the awful anti-Ewok sentiment that I expressed earlier. It was unthinking and disrespectful. Some of my best friends are Ewoks. Why, one moved into my neighborhood, and I said “hi” to him the other day. Well, sort of: I did ask how you can get into your house when you cannot reach high enough to get to the doorknob, but the relevant syllable was expressed, and that’s what makes us friends.

      I want to thank my wife for her emotional support in all of this. To denigrate Ewoks as if they were Jar-Jar Binks is unconscionable, and I sincerely regret it.

        Quote  Reply

    150. Mr Fixit,

      have a sense of humor. Of course no one was that hyperbolic but that is indeed the sense I have always gotten from the first reactions to any ratings post.

        Quote  Reply

    151. Hoyti Von Totiy: + They kinda didn´t notify or invite to the wedding any of the other Lords in the north … and that was kinda the whole point of the wedding her right?

      Right? I mean I get they don’t want to have to cast more people but it wouldn’t have been difficult to have a bunch of extras in lord-y looking clothes and have Roose thank them for their presence blessing the marraige. I mean what was even the point of Theon giving her away as himself when there wasn’t anyone there to witness…?

        Quote  Reply

    152. JamesL,

      The piracy of the episodes after the leaked ones also set new records , 2 and 3+ million in 12 hours according to Variety. You can’t discount that number, either.

        Quote  Reply

    153. Queenofthrones,

      Sorry. I somehow managed to miss that you were kidding (that ‘excuse’ part riled me up for some reason). How about this: next time we disagree, you may yell at me in your best Canadian Colonel Tigh voice (I do suggest wearing an eyepatch while doing that).

        Quote  Reply

    154. Queenofthrones: Right?I mean I get they don’t want to have to cast more people but it wouldn’t have been difficult to have a bunch of extras in lord-y looking clothes and have Roose thank them for their presence blessing the marraige.I mean what was even the point of Theon giving her away as himself when there wasn’t anyone there to witness…?

      And send Jon an invitation like in the books….

      Did Roose and Ramsey forget about Locke? You know that guy they sent to find Bran and Rickon fuc*ing Stark? LOL ?

      I mean seriously. They have Sansa marry Ramsey and notify noone and ignore that she has 2 living brothers + a half-brother who they suspect is sheltering them.

      Jesus what has happend to this show?

        Quote  Reply

    155. Cameryn,

      As I said, I think some people are fatigued with the bleakness. Usually, we get some catharsis or humor to balance it out, but Tyrion seems curiously off to the side until the last episode, and there’s no Hound-Arya frenemy stuff, or Pedro Pascal doing his Han Solo swagger.

        Quote  Reply

    156. Queenofthrones: Right?I mean I get they don’t want to have to cast more people but it wouldn’t have been difficult to have a bunch of extras in lord-y looking clothes and have Roose thank them for their presence blessing the marraige.I mean what was even the point of Theon giving her away as himself when there wasn’t anyone there to witness…?

      Thank you! My thoughts as well. Why the pretense with Theon if no one else was there? Why do they need Sansa to hold WF since it doesn’t appear that anyone else in the North is objecting?

        Quote  Reply

    157. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      There are a lot of Black Brothers who can confirm that Locke got killed in action by a bunch of NW mutineers. Why would Roose think there’s anything more to it? And even if he suspects foul play, it happened dozens of miles north of the Wall at a place that’s been burned to the ground. What is he supposed to do? As far as he knows, Bran and Rickon have vanished off the face of the earth; none of the sources he undoubtedly has throughout the North have seen them. At one point, in 4×08 I think, he even said that the kids were likely dead. What’s the problem here?

        Quote  Reply

    158. mariamb,

      For the same reason that conquerors throughout real history resorted to exactly the same behaviour, often marrying wives/daughters of the previous rulers: for increased legitimacy. Just because there are no lords present in Winterfell doesn’t mean no one is objecting to Bolton rule. In fact, we have two noble houses expressly mentioned as not giving a fuck about them: Mormonts in that awesome letter to Stannis and Cerwyns that Ramsay flayed. Also there are Umbers who we are led to believe are sheltering Rickon and of course Howland Reed who sent his two kids to find Bran.

      I’d say that in show canon there are plenty of people Roose is right to be worried about.

        Quote  Reply

    159. Hoyti Von Totiy: Did Roose and Ramsey forget about Locke?

      They could easily have learned that he never came back from the Craster mission. It hardly staggers credulity, at any rate. And they could easily have learned that the party came back with nobody. After all, they know that Jon Snow is Lord of Castle Black now. News of comings and goings clearly happens.

      Hoyti Von Totiy: I mean seriously. They have Sansa marry Ramsey and notify noone and ignore that she has 2 living brothers + a half-brother who they suspect is sheltering them.

      The Boltons would NOT notify the other Lords of the North about Sansa yet for two reasons. One, they do not want the Lannisters to know anything about it. Yes, the Boltons are done with the alliance: but they do not want the south to learn this yet. Two, they don’t want any Stark sympathizers getting valiant ideas about saving Sansa before she’s with child. The Boltons aren’t accepted yet: but they might be if it’s clear that they’ve subsumed the Starks; until that happens, do not let the Northerners know.

      Now, eventually the Boltons will want the other Northerners to know: but only after they need to give the other northerners a reason to choose the Boltons over the Lannisters.

      So, really, if it was the other way around, then we should be complaining about unsound tactics by the Boltons. (Really, they are gambling here, anyway: but in any gamble you have to place your bet on the outcome you think most apt to succeed.)

        Quote  Reply

    160. Ravyn:
      Mr Fixit,

      Which further validates D&D’s decision to condense them into one season. As one book reader friend said to me about them last year, when predicting this season, “Good luck. Those books aren’t what I would call ‘Tv friendly’”. Its probably safe to say that they’ve at least read detailed outlines of WoW (if not actual chunks of the book) and realize better, more TV friendly stuff lies ahead.

      GRRM has said many times that he grew weary of writing for TV for numerous reasons (primarily because he’d write stuff that was never made), so he decided to return to novels because he could write whatever he liked without having to consider the constraints of the screen. I expect he’d have been happy to write all the screenplays instead if he knew they’d be made; he’s done enough of it. He didn’t write it anticipating a TV series. If only he had time to do both, but he can’t.

        Quote  Reply

    161. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      Well yeah, but what is he supposed to do? Bran and Rickon are gone and probably dead. He can look all he wants but he’s not gonna find them. And he probably has dedicated resources to this problem.

        Quote  Reply

    162. Mr Fixit:
      Jared,

      Huh. I too thought it’s his funny shtick. Apparently, he’s serious. Well.

      Speaking of serious, I find it darkly amusing that Elio and Linda, of all people, are actually the most reasonable among the purists regarding this season. Never thought I’d see to live the day, but the baton seems to have passed over to ToTH, sad to say.

      Linda’s gone soft since she got a puppy

        Quote  Reply

    163. Mr Fixit,

      Can Dex say omelet du fromage?

      Which I just remembered caused the self destruction of his lab when he couldn’t say his password: Star Wars

        Quote  Reply

    164. Mr Fixit,

      This is the thing I am saddest about losing. I understand why they did it, but I do feel like Manderly provided some much needed catharsis to that plotline that is missing without him or some analog that hasn’t been introduced.

      Plus he’s awesome. Probably my favorite tertiary character in the whole series.

        Quote  Reply

    165. Queenofthrones:

      I don’t follow.Ramsey was shown having clearly consensual, non physically damaging (if vaguely kinky) sex on at least two occasions with Myranda.Why would it be character assassination for him to do the same with Sansa?

      Plus, unlike with Myranda, Ramsey should have very good reason to not leave marks on Sansa if only because Roose commands it.But, they seemingly dropped the “we need Sansa to win the north” plot point completely…

      Yeah there was that scene with Myranda you’re right. I guess my argument there is Myranda doesn’t bore him, and provides him with a different sort of thrill, by being almost as horrible as he is. As much as Sansa has developed as a character, I think it’s unrealistic to expect her to be suddenly capable of aggressive-kinky sex like Myranda is. He does threaten Myranda as well it has to be said: if she suddenly stopped being interesting as he thought she might, I think something awful would have happened to her too.

      With someone like Sansa, Theon, or basically any other normal human being, the joy/interest in that relationship for Ramsay comes from sadism, torture and domination. He just loves horror and violence in his relationships, and gets bored without it. Myranda provided some of that “horror quotient” herself; with the others he has to do “all the work” if you get what I mean.

      As for him needing Sansa, yeah that was pretty dumb of him. But Ramsay’s not rational like Roose, or even what I’d call intelligent. I think he’s prone to losing control of himself. Or, he saw the marriage as the “point of no return… now I can do what I want to her”.

        Quote  Reply

    166. Jared:
      Mr Fixit,

      AngryGoTFan. Over the past two years, I had managed to mostly shield myself from his outbursts, save for the few unfortunate times when he turned up in this comment section or one of his tweets made its way into Axey’s Twitter recap. But after Episode 6 aired, one of his tweets ended up in my feed … somehow. He was demanding to know how any single person could ever support the show over the books after this horrible, horrible, horrible thing it had done.

      So, in other words, violent rape and torture was okay with him when Ramsay did it to Jeyne Poole… just not okay when it was done to Sansa. It was fine when it was in a book, but not fine when he had to see it on TV. Television doing it is wrong, but it’s perfectly fine for GRRM to write about it, especially when the victim is underage…

      I *loathe* hypocrites.

        Quote  Reply

    167. Cameryn,

      angryGameOfThrones fan loves to bash the show every chance that creature gets.
      (Samuel L Jackson Voice) Mothafucka act like he can’t pick the damn book and read instead.

        Quote  Reply

    168. Conrad66:
      the drop was expected and I see no big rebound coming as I agree that the show passed its peak; I predict a few things based on recent announcements including this:

      – clear statement by all (D&D, HBO etc) that the show will end in two seasons in 70 episodes to come soon – latest in the summer but could be even as soon as season 5 ends

      – big bloodbath in the last 2 episodes with lots of the cast dead (many from Tommen, Pod, Ramsay, Littlefinger, Stannis, Daario, Brienne, Loras, Jorah, Brienne, Roose not speaking of the confirmed ones like Pycelle and Kevan; others like Margaery, Mel, Queen of Thorns could follow though I think it unlikely, only Tyrion, Dany, Arya, Sansa, Theon, Cersei, Jaime, Varys and obviously Bran are safe for now imho, plus Doran, the Sand Snakes, the High Sparrow); Jon status will be revealed (WW to be, in Ghost etc)

      – ratings may recover for season 6 after this if the “internet will break down” as was claimed but they won;t stay there unless the last 2 seasons are truly spectacular and that I doubt given what was released from Winds which seems to be going down the wandering garden path even worse than ADWD

      I actually think only the Starks, Jon and Tyrion are safe. Maybe Jaime & Varys, depending on whether Dany survives. I just feel that Dany will gain the throne only to be deposed again. I hope not, though. Either Sansa will be queen or there will be no monarchy. I hope I survive long enough to find out. Two years oughta do it.

        Quote  Reply

    169. mariamb,

      I never would have expected that the face of Northern resistance to the Boltons and Freys would be in the form of two 70-something commoners.

        Quote  Reply

    170. Delta1212,

      I hear ya. Maybe they could’ve populated Winterfell with a couple colourful broadly-sketched characters that give the audience a bit of that book feeling. I actually most miss Winterfell itself. In the books Theon has those long walks through the castle, drowned in memories and deep regret that served to really bring Winterfell to life almost as a character in its own right. It’s a big deal, to return to the place where everything started, after having been away for 2 whole books. I wish the show strived a bit more to convey that feeling of loss and change and history. The wedding scene, actually, was great in that regard, perfectly encapsulating the beautiful eeriness of the Godswood and how all that Bolton scum simply had no goddamn right to even stand there and defile it with their presence.

        Quote  Reply

    171. Mr Fixit,

      Delta1212,

      It was Manderly but it was more than Manderly. It was the tension that surrounded the Boltons, inside WF and outside. I want to feel that someone other than me cares about the Starks and the honor of the North.

      Now if Rickon reappears with his wolf and the mighty Umbers at his side, I can forgive the loss of Manderly and Dustin.

        Quote  Reply

    172. A Man Grown:
      JamesL,

      Yeah on KL. It seems like pretty much every Unsullied recapper found Cersei’s downfall blatantly obvious and easy to predict. It was more interesting and nuanced in the book.

      That’s an understatement.

      After the High Sparrow episode earlier this season, every Unsullied review I read predicted that Lancel / HS would blow up in Cersei’s face. It was ridiculously obvious and made Cersei look like an idiot. Book Cersei was nowhere near that dumb, and was engaging in many complicated plots at once, and while it was clear that at least one of her spinning plates was going to crash down on her head, it wasn’t obvious which one it was until that beautiful passage where the HS says “No” and reveals the tortured Kettleblack to her. Book Cersei was a good player who got beat by even better players (Varys and LF most likely had their fingers in her downfall, and who knows who the HS really is), not a reactionary idiot that would fall into the most obvious of traps.

        Quote  Reply

    173. Ravyn:
      Delta1212,

      As I said above, I think one of the problems with S3 was that D&D knew they had the Red Wedding card to play and had to keep it until Ep 9. That forced them to stretch out stuff that probably made the season seem repetitive, primarily the Theon torture stuff (in fairness to them, the worst of that, the erection/castration scene, was written by GRRM). I can think of other examples, like the Brotherhood without Banners.

      Ravyn:
      Delta1212,

      As I said above, I think one of the problems with S3 was that D&D knew they had the Red Wedding card to play and had to keep it until Ep 9. That forced them to stretch out stuff that probably made the season seem repetitive, primarily the Theon torture stuff (in fairness to them, the worst of that, the erection/castration scene, was written by GRRM). I can think of other examples, like the Brotherhood without Banners.

      Definitely agree with this. I thought they’d show it much earlier; every week when they didn’t move that plot forward or only inched it forward I was wondering when it’d happen. I thought LSH would be ep10. But they had to copy seasons 1/2.

        Quote  Reply

    174. Hoyti Von Totiy: + They kinda didn´t notify or invite to the wedding any of the other Lords in the north … and that was kinda the whole point of the wedding her right?

      Clearly, Ramsay was secretly marrying Sansa in order to firm their claim on the North. You know how it works

      1: Marry Sansa
      2: Loose all legitimacy with respect to the crown
      3: Beat the crap out of Sansa and rape her repeatedly
      4: Steal underpants
      5: Rule the North!

      LF should have died in Episode 2 at Moat Caitlin, where Roose would have flayed LF himself and sent Cersei a note saying that he had some fine presents for her (and oh, could I borrow a few thousand Lannister soldiers for a couple months?).

        Quote  Reply

    175. Wimsey:
      Hoyti Von Totiy,

      And how the first American, Jesus of Nazareth, preached the truth of capitalism!

      Ashara Dayne,
      Seriously, Memorial Day began as a holiday to honor soldiers killed in the American Civil War.(We have Veterans Day at the same time that UKers have Remembrance Day: strictly speaking, Memorial Day is for those who died whereas Veterans Day is for Veterans in general.)As it is on the last Monday of May, is traditionally is considered the unofficial start of summer in the US.There is a three day weekend, so many people take short vacations.That results in a general decrease in TV viewing except for (some) sports games.As a result, many TV series are not shown on Memorial Day weekend in the US.

      Great, thanks for that explanation. You don’t have Whitsun, then, in the US?

        Quote  Reply

    176. Hoyti Von Totiy: + They kinda didn´t notify or invite to the wedding any of the other Lords in the north … and that was kinda the whole point of the wedding her right?

      Lords were at the wedding.

        Quote  Reply

    177. Chad Brick: It was ridiculously obvious and made Cersei look like an idiot. Book Cersei was nowhere near that dumb, and was engaging in many complicated plots at once, and while it was clear that at least one of her spinning plates was going to crash down on her head, it wasn’t obvious which one it was until that beautiful passage where the HS says “No” and reveals the tortured Kettleblack to her.

      Really? I thought Cersei’s downfall was much more obvious in the books. I, at least, saw it coming from a mile away. I also think Show Cersei’s plan was a lot smarter than Book Cersei’s. Rather than fake Margarey’s criminal activity, she manipulates her into committing a real crime.

        Quote  Reply

    178. Chad Brick:

      LF should have died in Episode 2 at Moat Caitlin, where Roose would have flayed LF himself and sent Cersei a note saying that he had some fine presents for her (and oh, could I borrow a few thousand Lannister soldiers for a couple months?).

      That would have been incredibly stupid of Roose. The Lannisters are in a sorry state and Littlefinger is a much better ally to have against Stannis.

        Quote  Reply

    179. Young Dragon: Really? I thought Cersei’s downfall was much more obvious in the books. I, at least, saw it coming from a mile away. I also think Show Cersei’s plan was a lot smarter than Book Cersei’s. Rather than fake Margarey’s criminal activity, she manipulates her into committing a real crime.

      This is important. In the show Margarey is guilty.

        Quote  Reply

    180. Chad Brick,

      What’s the problem with it? I haven’t read the books so I don’t really care about book Cersei. The Cersei I got to know in the show is not the smartest person in the world right from S1. She has no sense of playing the game other than showing off her loyalty to the clan Lannister to which she belongs. She hasn’t done anything in the show to prove that she has a political criterion. And when she tried she did always the wrong way. Without the protection of the class she belongs to and the power her family has she is an absolute nothing. A spoiled, vicious and sadistic bitch whose only redeeming quality in this world is her uncompromising love for her children one of which was an awful copy of herself. So in S5 we have this woman making one mistake after the other. Sending off her brother to a meaningsless mission, giving power to fanatics in order to satisfy her hatred against Margaery and isolating herself politically by disempowering the little council. Lena Headey does an excellent work in depicting just that. So what happens in S5 is not shocking. It is obviously inevitable. The viewer wants to see this woman fall down. And what a pleasure was to see her thrown in the dungeons! So I don’t see how this depiction of show Cersei does any harm to the show itself as it is implied in your comments…

        Quote  Reply

    181. Chriss: Arianne is one of the best characters in ASOIAF. She is the embodiment of feminine power. not only is she a brilliant character, but her set pieces are all exciting and actually, pretty cool.

      No doubt show fans would have loved her as well. It only took a flash of Tyene’s boobs for them to fall for her.

      Yeah but the actress was only 18 and had the boobs of a 14-year-old. No woman over 21 would have boobs like that without expert surgery. Unless she failed to develop normally and was given hormones or something. And I am serious. It’s quite worrying the number of youtubers drooling over them. I’m hoping it was the way it was shot but they all go on ad nauseum about how perfect they are. They were like top 0.001% for lack of droopage. Ros’s were far more normal, despite being top 1%. If hers created a similar reaction then fine.

        Quote  Reply

    182. Chad Brick: That’s an understatement.

      After the High Sparrow episode earlier this season, every Unsullied review I read predicted that Lancel / HS would blow up in Cersei’s face. It was ridiculously obvious and made Cersei look like an idiot. Book Cersei was nowhere near that dumb, and was engaging in many complicated plots at once, and while it was clear that at least one of her spinning plates was going to crash down on her head, it wasn’t obvious which one it was until that beautiful passage where the HS says “No” and reveals the tortured Kettleblack to her. Book Cersei was a good player who got beat by even better players (Varys and LF most likely had their fingers in her downfall, and who knows who the HS really is), not a reactionary idiot that would fall into the most obvious of traps.

      Additionally she was under immense pressure to rearm the faith militant and finally caved for good reason. In the show she inexplicably offers to do so. I miss the Kettleblacks.

        Quote  Reply

    183. I think a big issue was the deaths of Joffrey and Tywin. To many people, they were the show’s big villains, not the one-brief-appearance-per-year White Walkers. For an anecdotal example, I have one friend that used to love the show, but quickly lost interest after Joffrey’s death.

        Quote  Reply

    184. Young Dragon: That would have been incredibly stupid of Roose. The Lannisters are in a sorry state and Littlefinger is a much better ally to have against Stannis.

      Then (1) why is Littlefinger not offering any help against Stannis, nor does Roose seem to expect any, and (2) why is Roose allowing Sansa, Littlefinger’s emissary/protege, to be brutally raped and abused every night?

        Quote  Reply

    185. Hope next episode ticks up! The ratings may not matter much for the show’s future, but I still worry about the budget sometimes. Fingers crossed…

        Quote  Reply

    186. dothrakian raven:
      Chad Brick,

      What’s the problem with it? I haven’t read the books so I don’t really care about book Cersei. The Cersei I got to know in the show is not the smartest person in the world right from S1. She has no sense of playing the game other than showing off her loyalty to the clan Lannister to which she belongs. She hasn’t done anything in the show to prove that she has a political criterion. And when she tried she did always the wrong way. Without the protection of the class she belongs to and the power her family has she is an absolute nothing. A spoiled, vicious and sadistic bitch whose only redeeming quality in this world is her uncompromising love for her children one of which was an awful copy of herself. So in S5 we have this woman making one mistake after the other. Sending off her brother to a meaningsless mission, giving power to fanatics in order to satisfy her hatred against Margaery and isolating herself politically by disempowering the little council. Lena Headey does an excellent work in depicting just that. So what happens in S5 is not shocking. It is obviously inevitable. The viewer wants to see this woman fall down. And what a pleasure was to see her thrown in the dungeons! So I don’t see how this depiction of show Cersei does any harm to the show itself as it is implied in your comments…

      The love for her children is always trotted out as her redeeming quality. ALL mothers love their children unconditionally and would die for them unless they are selfish junkies or something. Even they probably do. Raising children is damn hard. My mum was overly strict to the point that I thought she didn’t love us. Now I know better. Being soft and letting them do what they want and buying them excess toys/clothes just makes life ten times harder as you have to tidy up and clean after them constantly. Then they start refusing to go to school or pretending to be sick etc etc etc. Being a good parent is finding a balance and never losing your temper. Something most parents simply cannot do. Living in a palace with an army of servants is something else. Anyone can love their kids and always be nice to them if they don’t do all the work.
      Rant over
      Sorry
      But I think Selyse is too maligned.

        Quote  Reply

    187. mariamb,

      No, I know exactly what you mean. It still felt like the North was there, and even if the Bolton’s were technically ruling it, it was still Ned’s North. Manderly is the biggest and loudest focal point for that, but it wasn’t just him and they’re definitely missing that whole aspect, which they could have done with or without Wyman the Pieman.

      …I do mourn the loss of “Had he lived, he’d have grown up to be a Frey” more than even the pies. And now I’m sad they cut his character because that just would have been awesome.

        Quote  Reply

    188. Ashara Dayne,

      So…you’re saying it’s immoral for men to be attracted to her? I imagine a lot of the people commenting about her looks (and chest specifically) are of a similar age to her. And even still, to say that her getting naked is encouraging people to be attracted to girls that are much younger than her…it’s quite a stretch.

        Quote  Reply

    189. Cameryn: GRRM to write about it, especially when the victim is underage…

      I generally agree, but… Jeyne Poole was not underage. She was (as her wedding vows clearly stated) goes “a woman grown and flowered.” Like most societies until very recently, menarche=adulthood for females. Our concept of “statutory rape” simply did not exist. Now, pedophilia is condemned – at one point, they castrate and hang a pedophilic septon, for example – but they do not recognize the existence of sexually mature children. If you are sexually mature, then you are an adult, and that’s that.

      dothrakian raven,
      Contrary to Chad Brick’s assertions, Book!Cersei is in much dumber than TV!Cersei. On TV, Cersei has done the analog of letting lose a man-eating tiger in the hopes that it would devour her enemies. In the books, Cersei essentially sticks her head in the man-eating tiger’s mouth: instead of being undone by someone who’s presence she could not control, Cersei is undone by her own plant that she sends into the Church to frame Margaery. Moreover, for all intents and purposes, she does it twice: not only does she stick her head in the Church Tiger’s mouth: she sticks her head in the Iron Bank Tiger’s mouth, too. It is almost comical to read: in both cases, people are stunned at her decisions. The reason, of course, is that nobody can believe that anybody would be so dumb as to re-arm the Church or try to stiff the Iron Bank. However, in Cersei’s mind, they are shocked and awed at her bold leadership and deft intelligence!

      There are a couple of lesser doozies that she pulls, like entrusting her navy to a rapscallion member of a family that long had Targaryen sympathies: you can guess where those ships are going now. But the other factor is that she spends most of the book drunk, too: she would have been putting the cast of Madmen under the table.

      What is common to both, however, is Cersei’s obsession with getting rid of Margaery and thereby thwarting the prophecy that was shown at the outset of the season. It pretty much blinds her to everything else. The difference is that TVCersei is not thinking through the possible consequences of her actions all the way; BookCersei is not thinking through the possible consequences of her actions at all.

        Quote  Reply

    190. Hoyti Von Totiy: Are you serious? This is Roose Bolton we are talking about.

      And he therefore knows that Bran & Rickon probably walked right into Mance’s army, too. At this point, Roose isn’t going to worry about them. In the off chance that they return, they can be denounced as pretenders. Indeed, realistically he has to know that, truly or falsely, someone claiming to be Bran and/or Rickon probably will challenge his rule.

        Quote  Reply

    191. Chriss,

      I’m sorry, but that is errant nonsense. Arianne does not embody any feminist ideal. She embodies a spoiled brat who cannot think beyond her own wants. Add to this that she’s a fool – her attempt to play the Game of Thrones was childish and doomed to either failure or spectacular failure – and in many ways she is a very anti-feminist character. Arianne too easily comes across (as many noted 10 years ago) as the girl failing miserably at a man’s game. Indeed, she’s basically Cersei Minor: and given that the book already had Cersei, we didn’t need it again.

      And, sorry, but all I could hear when reading her chapters was Gilda Radner’s voice! Arianne is singlehandedly why I was on the “Yes, the Iron Islands suck, but Dorne Sucks More” side of the argument. (Others felt that Asha’s colossal belly flop coupled with Victarion’s idiocy trumped Arianne. Eh, there is no accounting for taste.)

        Quote  Reply

    192. Sean C.,

      1. Giving Roose Bolton Sansa is Littlefinger helping him against Stannis. With Sansa, Bolton could unite the North against Stannis and his invading army.

      2. Allowing Ramsay to harm Sansa does go against Roose’s character, but I had the same problem in the book in regards to fArya.

        Quote  Reply

    193. Ashara Dayne,

      I see a lot of women drool over ridiculously chiseled guys that 99.9% of men will never look like. People are shallow and like to look at people that don’t realistically look like the people in their lives. It would certainly be empowering for the average person if more people drooled over realistically shaped boobs or guys with a slight beer gut, but that’s not really how our society works.

        Quote  Reply

    194. Delta1212,

      I don’t quite understand that either.

      People with great bodies shouldn’t be disregarded just to make the rest of us feel better. They don’t look the way they do to spite other people; someone like Rosabell or any of the other good-looking cast members in the show, female or male, just happen to look the way they do (though of course they likely have to work out a bit too 😉 ) and I for one am damn glad to be able to see ’em all in the show.

        Quote  Reply

    195. Just to show you how silly this site comments have become….

      I looked at the ratings in the key demographic (18-49) From Tuesday (May 19th) to Monday (May 25th).

      On network television, exactly one show beat Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones had a 2.5 and The Voice had a 2.9. It beat out the Survivor and Modern Family Season Finales, Dancing With The Stars, MLB, NHL, and the America Ninja Warrior Season Premiere.

      On cable, it beat out everything for the week except NBA Basketball Playoffs. And this was on a week that was expected to get lower ratings because it was Memorial Day Weekend. The same weekend that was skipped for the last 2 years for this very reason.

      This show is going to see its conclusion. Everything else is just stupid talk.

        Quote  Reply

    196. Ashara Dayne: Great, thanks for that explanation. You don’t have Whitsun, then, in the US?

      Nope. Memorial day is full of war movies, flowers and flags at military cemeteries, parades, a huge concert in DC that talks about the sacrifice of soldiers who gave their life for our country.
      That being said it is also considered the opening of summer since it is now always a three day weekend. Folks do family picnics, go to the beach or mountains and generally do the first outdoor stuff of summer. And you can start wearing your summer clothes and shoes…. and since so many people aren’t home most series in the US skip the weekend

        Quote  Reply

    197. Aldebaran,

      I was afraid some people would feel the same way. Losing Tywin especially slowed the momentum, and Ramsay and Roose just don’t carry the same weight, largely because the Boltons strike me as more one note. Even Joffreys torments had some puckish humor to it (like when he took away Tyrion’s step ladder at the Sansa wedding and giggled about it).

        Quote  Reply

    198. The Bastard,

      I think it’s the trend line is what concerns people, more than the actual number. But it coming in second to a broadcast show is impressive since HBO is only on 20 million homes.

        Quote  Reply

    199. Wimsey,

      Is it possible for you to say that you don’t like Arianne without insulting those of us who do? I enjoyed her chapters. Can you honestly say that anything that we have seen so far in Dorne is a major improvement?

        Quote  Reply

    200. Ravy,

      This season is also getting high marks on IMDB. The median score is 2nd best for the series so far, with every episode but one doing 8.5 or better. IMDB scores have been excellent predictors of future interest in TV and film series in the past, so that’s good.

      Ravy: Losing Tywin especially slowed the momentum, and Ramsay and Roose just don’t carry the same weight, largely because the Boltons strike me as more one note.

      True. However, I think that a big chunk of the audience recognizes that these are the sorts of stories where the real antagonist for each lead character is that character him/herself. One thing that I think has come through very well throughout the show is that all of the lead characters are in constant moral quandaries and dilemmas.

      Again, I wouldn’t worry too much about the show’s future.

        Quote  Reply

    201. Ravy,

      Okay, let’s talk about rating trends then….

      The Sopranos…. Peaked at Season 4. True Blood…. Peaked at Season 3/4 (Tied). Boardwalk Empire… Peaked at Season 1. Big Love…. Peaked at Season 1. Six Feet Under…. Peaked at Season 2.

      Actually, Boardwalk Empire & Big Love limped along for their final season ratings, and HBO still have them a proper run.

      No major drama in HBO history (that I could find) has ever peaked in viewership numbers on the 5th season or later. Some had major spikes for series finales (like The Sopranos).

      I couldn’t find all the numbers for a comedy like Sex and the City. Although the premiere episode of their final season dropped compared to the previous season by about a million viewers from 7.3 to 6.4 Million. And then the last episode of the show did over 11 Million. Keep in mind that was during a time when people had to watch it live or not at all. But it still shows that even super popular shows lose viewers in the later years.

      Game of Thrones is running a natural and normal viewership course here regardless of what people think of the actual content. Not to mention it has international appeal.

        Quote  Reply

    202. Some general thoughts…

      On the ratings, I think its a variety of factors, none of which should be all that surprising. Last season was the climaxes of the best book in the series. This season is adapting the 2 weakest books in the series and is forced to either rush through many plotlines, or vastly change many plotlines because of either massive blunders GRRM made writing, or the simple fact that while sufficiently written, much of the material does not cleanly fit in the television show structure they have. As such, you have not only a weaker overall season (that even show fanatics like myself can admit), but this is also coming after such an epic season last season that makes it look even worse.

      I would also add that various other factors have come into play, such as the new methods through which people can watch the show, the leaks (which did quite a bit to kill a lot of the buzz around the show early this season, even if we’re now beyond the leaked episodes) and the mere fact that the ratings couldn’t keep going up forever. It had to plateau eventually and we have come to that.

      And this season proves without a shadow of a doubt that D&D were correct to wrap up all of books 4 and 5 by the end of this season. Had the showrunners done what the psychotic book purists out there want, it would have been far, far worse.

      As for Cersei and the nuances of her storyline in the books versus the show, I fall on the side that it isn’t any more nuanced in the books than the show. Cersei is a cartoonish villain in the books. She sacrifices major long term sacrifices for short term gain (building boats instead of paying off debt). She is completely ignorant of history (rearming the faith). She is easily manipulated (Taena Merryweather completely snowing her). She is a horrific person (sending multiple individuals to a fate worse than death with Qyburn). She is delusional (gaining weight from drinking so much and not realizing it). She is pathetic (Myrish Swamp scene). Need one go on? I don’t deny that the show hasn’t pulled this off as well as it could have (why in the world didn’t she have Lancel murdered?). I also don’t deny that her storyline is wildly entertaining in the books. I find it hard to argue that there is more nuance to her in the books though. I think its the opposite. Cersei is a better written character in the show.

        Quote  Reply

    203. Quiddity: And this season proves without a shadow of a doubt that D&D were correct to wrap up all of books 4 and 5 by the end of this season. Had the showrunners done what the psychotic book purists out there want, it would have been far, far worse.

      “psychotic book purists” are about as common as purple unicorns. Can you cut the name calling, please?

        Quote  Reply

    204. And people were thinking the show was better than the books

      No accident IMO that it is weakening as it diverts from the source material

      Before it was “minor” things like Tyrions rationale for going to the Tower of the Hand but now it is delving into major things like Sansa’s Alayne arc and the Ironborn are all over the place

      They really needed to forge a plan from the outset for seven years and make it consistent

      The inconsistency and not the need to make changes is what’s impacting it, it has shock value etc but the show unlike the books is difficult to get immersed in

        Quote  Reply

    205. Quiddity: I also don’t deny that her storyline is wildly entertaining in the books. I find it hard to argue that there is more nuance to her in the books though. I think its the opposite. Cersei is a better written character in the show.

      Let’s compare Book Cersei’s core scheme to TV Cersei’s.

      TV:

      1: Re-arm the faith, get nothing for it
      2: Since the faith is punishing sexual deviants, target Loras
      3: Ignore the trial-by-combat option
      4: Hope that Margarey perjures herself
      5: Get her convicted of pergury, a very minor crime
      6: Don’t worry that you are also a sexual deviant, and a member of the faith knows this intimately

      Book Cersei

      1: Re-arm the faith in return for the blessing of Tommen’s kingship and erasure of the crown’s debts to the faith
      2: Have Kettleblack seduce Margaery
      3: Have him confess
      4: Convict Margaery of adultery, a serious crime for a queen
      5: Have Kettleblack sent to the Wall, where he will lead a mission to assassinate Jon Snow

      Book Cersei had guaranteed payoffs in #1, much higher payoffs in the case of a win (#4 and #5), and a weak point in Kettleblack, who may or may not be trust-worthy. TV Cersei has no guaranteed payoff, a lame winning payout (#4), and a weak point that was 100% sure to foil her plan (#6). And of course the directors and Cersei both have ignored #3, leaving a plot hole for the former and more stupidity for the latter.

      Smart people do not engage in risks with near 100% chances of failure and low payouts. TV Cersei clearly did…and Book Cersei did not.

        Quote  Reply

    206. Chad Brick:

      TV:

      1: Re-arm the faith, get nothing for it
      2: Since the faith is punishing sexual deviants, target Loras
      3: Ignore the trial-by-combat option
      4: Hope that Margarey perjures herself
      5: Get her convicted of pergury, a very minor crime
      6: Don’t worry that you are also a sexual deviant, and a member of the faith knows this intimately

      Book Cersei

      1: Re-arm the faith in return for the blessing of Tommen’s kingship and erasure of the crown’s debts to the faith
      2: Have Kettleblack seduce Margaery
      3: Have him confess
      4: Convict Margaery of adultery, a serious crime for a queen
      5: Have Kettleblack sent to the Wall, where he will lead a mission to assassinate Jon Snow

      TV:

      1. She rearmed the faith so they would arrest Loras.
      2. See above.
      3. There was never a trial, only a pre-trial. Trial by combat isn’t an option yet.
      4. It was either Margarey perjures herself or she throws her brother to the wolves.
      5. You have no idea the severity of perjury in their world. To a man like the High Sparrow, lying to one’s gods is probably a serious crime.
      6. She isn’t a sexual deviant in the show.

      Book:

      1. Yes
      2. He failed.
      3. Have him confess to a crime neither of them committed which is easily discovered.
      4. In which she is innocent.
      5. Jon Snow isn’t a threat, so this plot is useless.

        Quote  Reply

    207. The Bastard,

      That’s an intersting trend line list. Thanks. I didn’t realize the Sex and the City finale did so well since that show was clearly past its shelf life. Just goes to show that any show ending with a dip will still draw huge numbers for the last episode. IT’s almost like a cruel joke, like “Hey we stopped watching when it mattered, but now that you’re gone…”

      Ultimately, I don’t know how much you can glean from a weak Memorial Day number. I guess next week we’ll know better. If what is rumored to be in the next two episodes don’t bring people back in droves, I’m not sure what will. Just reading about what might go down in Hardhome (ep8) and Mereen (ep 9) has me squeeing.

        Quote  Reply

    208. Who cares what people think anyway? People like Coldplay and voted in the nazis – you cant trust people.

        Quote  Reply

    209. Wimsey,

      I liked Arianne a lot, and a bunch of people agree. You have an opinion about Arianne, that doesn’t make it a fact. She was at least a character with 3 dimensional motivations, and was complex enough to be (in my opinion) interesting- unlike the Sand Snakes. Best case scenario would have been to keep Arianne and send Jaime to Dorne and get him to join forces with Areo to stop the Queenmaker plot (and have Myrcella killed or disfigured in the process).

        Quote  Reply

    210. Why is it that people who know little to nothing about TV, cable, and Nielsen ratings are always the ones who post so confidently about why an insignificant thing has happened and why it is significant?

        Quote  Reply

    211. Come on people put two and two together! No Hodor. No Bran. No Meera. No Creepy Tree people. THATS why the ratings are falling!

      It’s simple math!
      2 + 2 = Hodor!

        Quote  Reply

    212. dig: Somehow I doubt we’d get a lesson on the irrelevancy of the “dated” ratings system or the reminder that holiday weekend occurred in America if Game of Thrones drew a 7 or 8 or even a 6 this past weekend. Somehow I doubt we’d get a post (which we all know is coming soon) referencing the piracy numbers and how they serve as proof the show is a smash hit if Game of Thrones drew a 7 or 8 or even a 6 this past weekend.

      We have never gotten HBO’s ‘internal’ viewers numbers which they said would come out every two weeks, would like to see those.

      Also for this weeks episode no piracy numbers yet? That I have seen.

        Quote  Reply

    213. Mr Fixit:
      Jared,

      Speaking of serious, I find it darkly amusing that Elio and Linda, of all people, are actually the most reasonable among the purists regarding this season. Never thought I’d see to live the day, but the baton seems to have passed over to ToTH, sad to say.

      I fin this very amusing too, as I tried to say in that infamous post with the TotH people

      I think Elio mostly stayed on the same place, and it’s other critics that shifted from totally loving the show, to despising it. He will always prefer the books, but he never hated the show.

      Even when Elio was showing his weekly dose of dissapointment, he rated the show highly (7-8/10, or B’s or whatever he uses). I think now he mostly rates it the same, for what people been saying (haven’t been able to read any reviews from anyone this year, due to not being able to watch the show until later on during the week).

      I was pretty much in shock after reading the post about what did the people at TotH think about this season. And also after reading the comments, where most of them agreed with them. I couldn’t disagree more, but I think they expressed their concerns very eloquently. So who knows, maybe they have some points.

      I missed on the comments of that post the show fans that you can find in all the other posts of this site trying to rebut their points

        Quote  Reply

    214. Mr Fixit: Speaking of serious, I find it darkly amusing that Elio and Linda, of all people, are actually the most reasonable among the purists regarding this season. Never thought I’d see to live the day, but the baton seems to have passed over to ToTH, sad to say.

      Still seems the subset of posters are special class of critics , no matter the site.
      Still running a 97 over at Rotten Tomatoes. A 91 over at Metacritic. I can’t figure if IMDB gives a season rating , and I don’t know what to make of viewer ratings at IMDB , even tho the sample size is large.

        Quote  Reply

    215. Pau,

      Interestingly enough, once you factor in Elio’s and Linda’s basic disappointment that’s become a regular fixture in their reviews, they don’t think this season is bad at all. They even said that the first four episodes may well be the show’s strongest opening batch to date. They thought Ep. 5 was especially well done, as expected from Cogman. I was most surprised by their thoughts on 5×06. Aside from Dorne, they characterised the episode as pretty good, yes, Winterfell material included, believe it or not. And now, they believe that 5×07 is also a solid episode.

      I know they’ll never really love the show and that they’ll always call it a ‘betrayal’ in some sense of Martin’s source material, but when all is said and done, it’s far from bad in their opinion.

      I’m not writing this because I think their reviews should merit some kind of special attention — actually I regularly disagree with them, and have for years — but it’s saying something when even the uncrowned king and queen of Purist Kingdom seem reasonable and restrained compared to the Stygian depths of Pandemonium elsewhere.

        Quote  Reply

    216. Boojam: Still seems the subset of posters are special class of critics , no matter the site.
      Still running a 97 over at Rotten Tomatoes. A 91 over at Metacritic. I can’t figure if IMDB gives a season rating , and I don’t know what to make of viewer ratings at IMDB , even tho the sample size is large.

      Metacritic is always a year late though, because they can only watch the first 4 episodes AND often they don’t wanna be the odd one off.

      Probably next season numbers in metacritic will reflect their final opinion of this season, as weird as it may sound. Probably some critics will start hating on the show because it’s the “in” thing to do

      Anyway, the show will finish, no worries, and probably next season will be more exciting than this one, for obvious reasons, as will the final one.

      And in 5-10 years from now we will have a better perspective of the show as a whole. Some shows get better reviews as the years go by, like The Wire, and with some is the opposite.

      And in this case we will also have another discussion when the 6th and 7th (8th?) books come out, if they ever do

        Quote  Reply

    217. Boojam,

      IMDB ratings usually favour cult shows and shows with especially dedicated fanbases. That’s why, for example, Supernatural still gets very high marks in its 10th season even though it is a pale shadow of what it once was.

        Quote  Reply

    218. Mr Fixit:
      Pau,

      Interestingly enough, once you factor Elio’s and Linda’s basic disappointment that’s become a regular fixture in their reviews, they don’t think this season is bad at all. They even said that the first four episodes may well be the show’s strongest opening batch to date. They though Ep. 5 was especially well done, as expected from Cogman. I was most surprised by their thoughts on 5×06. Aside from Dorne, they characterised the episode as pretty good, yes, Winterfell material included, believe it or not. And now, 5×07 they thought was also a good solid episode.

      I know they’ll never really love the show and that they’ll always call it a ‘betrayal’ in some sense of Martin’s source material, but when all is said and done, it’s far from bad in their opinion.

      I’m not writing this because I think their reviews should merit some kind of special attention — actually I regularly disagree with them, and have for years — but it’s saying something when even the uncrowned king and queen of Purist Kingdom seem reasonable and restrained compared to the Stygian depths of Pandemonium elsewhere.

      I have to agree with you, and I think that that was the case in past seasons too. I don’t think they really see it as a betrayal, I think that’s what most people liked to think they thought. But if you, or whomever, were to read a random review of one of the episodes by them without knowing it was from them, or better yet, without knowing who this people are, they would say it was a pretty positive review.

      I think they suffered from being the epitome of “book purist”, so people would automatically disagree with them, even if they has some good points. Also it seems that Linda is a very bad person.

      What is Allan Seppinwall saying about the show? He was a good reviewer

        Quote  Reply

    219. Pau:
      And in this case we will also haveanother discussion when the 6th and 7th (8th?) books come out, if they ever do

      I don’t know about you, but I hope that Martin writes the eighth book. I miss a clearer narrative with beginnings and endings as was the case with the first three books. I’m afraid that the story has become so large and unwieldy that the last two books are in danger of becoming a hodgepodge of a little bit of everything. We already see this with Battles of Meereen and Winterfell ending up in Winds instead of capping off Dance as would have been appropriate. So, three more books might give Martin just enough space to actually make them coherent again.

        Quote  Reply

    220. Mr Fixit: I don’t know about you, but I hope that Martin writes the eighth book. I miss a clearer narrative with beginnings and endings as was the case with the first three books. I’m afraid that the story has become so large and unwieldy that the last two books are in danger of becoming a hodgepodge of a little bit of everything. We already see this with Battles of Meereen and Winterfell ending up in Winds instead of capping off Dance as would have been appropriate. So, three more books might give Martin just enough space to actually make them coherent again.

      I have mixed feeling about this…if those books are more like the first 3, go ahead. If he needs 3 books to make it more coherent, again go ahead.

      But I’m a bit tired of waiting too, so if he needs 15 more years to write them, I’m not sure I will care by then.

      I hope we can read TWoW next year, and after that we can elaborate a more well sounded opinion.

        Quote  Reply

    221. Mr Fixit,

      “The stygian depths of pandaemonium” is the best characterisation of how S5 has been received so far by a lot of people (mainly those who want battles, fights and lots of badass machismo in every episode + those who make up the hardcore book jihadists who cannot reconcilliate with the fact that they have lost control of the book material).

        Quote  Reply

    222. Deesensfan:
      I am a non book reader.
      Is it my understanding that after season 5 is done, the show is caught up fully with all the books that are out?

      Essentially, though the show and the books don’t 100% match. So at the end of S5, we will already have seen some parts of the unreleased book 6, but not quite all of books 4 or 5. Some of these character announcements are consistent with some of the missing parts of books 4 and 5 being included in S6.

        Quote  Reply

    223. Chad Brick: Essentially, though the show and the books don’t 100% match. So at the end of S5, we will already have seen some parts of the unreleased book 6, but not quite all of books 4 or 5. Some of these character announcements are consistent with some of the missing parts of books 4 and 5 being included in S6.

      Mr Fixit:
      Deesensfan,

      Yes. There may be little bits that are yet to be covered, but that’s pretty much it.

      Ahh
      that makes me sad. I look forward to reading the books. I guess ill see a lot of differences though.
      Based on most comments, they’ve changed a lot of stuff. But have they changed major story lines? (without spoiling!)
      Also, why is it taking so long to release the books.

        Quote  Reply

    224. Deesensfan:
      Ahh
      that makes me sad. I look forward to reading the books. I guess ill see a lot of differences though.
      Based on most comments, they’ve changed a lot of stuff. But have they changed major story lines? (without spoiling!)
      Also, why is it taking so long to release the books.

      Until this season, I’d say the show as pretty faithful, and only minor changes, like combining two minor characters into one or cutting small side plots, were the norm. This season has been different, with many of the major plots being heavily revised and some major plots / characters being cut completely. This is because the directors are trying to cram about 2000 pages of material into one season, after averaging more like 800 pages for each of the first four. This, of course, has led to more discontent and disagreement among fans.

      Anyway, read the books. They are awesome. All five of them. GRRM writes with an insane level of complexity and detail, so I forgive him for taking five years to write 1000 pages.

        Quote  Reply

    225. Chad Brick,

      Thanks for the clarification….
      I can see why there is discontent. But even GRRM himself said the show is not the books.
      I cant wait to read them!

      I was hoping to read them after the show was done.
      I wonder if I start now after season 5 (that they’ve pretty much caught up) will I be spoiling anything not yet seen?
      Sorry for all the questions! LOL

        Quote  Reply

    226. Wimsey:

      Arianne does not embody any feminist ideal. She embodies a spoiled brat who cannot think beyond her own wants. Add to this that she’s a fool – her attempt to play the Game of Thrones was childish and doomed to either failure or spectacular failure – and in many ways she is a very anti-feminist character.

      Take out the feminist angle, and that’s the exact description of Ellaria and the Sand Snakes in the TV show. From that point of view, Arianne and her story were included.

        Quote  Reply

    227. Deesensfan:
      Chad Brick,

      Thanks for the clarification….
      I can see why there is discontent. But even GRRM himself said the show is not the books.
      I cant wait to read them!

      I was hoping to read them after the show was done.
      I wonder if I start now after season 5 (that they’ve pretty much caught up) will I be spoiling anything not yet seen?
      Sorry for all the questions! LOL

      Hey Deesensfan, I love reading your fresh take on the show on the comments of the unsullied recaps 😉

      After this season you can go ahead and read the 5 books safely

        Quote  Reply

    228. pau,

      Thanks Pau! 🙂
      I always have theories.. I think I over analyze things sometimes hahaha. And im obsessed… so… haha
      Woohoo! Im excited for that. Somebody had told me that the books have details that weren’t included in the show, that may be a spoiler for show. But I guess not.

        Quote  Reply

    229. Deesensfan:
      pau,

      Thanks Pau!
      I always have theories.. I think I over analyze things sometimes hahaha. And im obsessed… so… haha
      Woohoo! Im excited for that. Somebody had told me that the books have details that weren’t included in the show, that may be a spoiler for show. But I guess not.

      I think they referred to who Jon mother was, which in the book had some very vage tips on book one, and in the show has some tips in this season, as you already discussed on the unsullied recaps

        Quote  Reply

    230. A Man Grown:
      Delta1212,

      Maybe it was just more interesting to be inside her head than watch her drink and smirk then (even though Lena Headey is amazing). Personal opinion here, of course. I was kinda expecting Cersei’s arc to be the showstopper this season, but so far Jon Snow and Stannis’ scenes have been the best.

      This has been a big surprise for me, too. I was really looking forward to that whole arc, because she’s a terrific actress and the material was so meaty, but….meh. It was telegraphed from beginning to end, and had no dramatic power for me. Jon and Stannis have been killing it, and now Tyrion and Jorah.

        Quote  Reply

    231. Delta1212:
      To be completely honest, I think a lot of the problems with the Winterfell plot this season actually goes back to season 3 and into 4. The problem is Ramsay. They spent too much time with him torturing Theon in season 3. People got tired of it before the season was even out.

      I can see what they were trying to do, but they overplayed that particular hand, and then Yara’s “rescue” of Theon was just… bad. But they forced themselves into that situation when they gave Yara that cool-at-the-time-but-ultimately-lacking-any-pay-off ending in the season 3 finale.

      If they had avoided that and cut down the “check-ins” with Theon and Ramsay to “Theon is held hostage and meets inside man” “Theon is fake rescued, blabs about the Stark boys and then his rescuer turns out to be his captor” “Theon is tortured and castrated all in one go” and hadn’t tried to play up the “mystery” of Theon’s captor and just generally showing him being broken down, it might have worked a little bit better.

      They just really ran into “beating a dead horse” territory very early on with Ramsay, and him being Ramsay, they couldn’t really do anything but continue to beat that horse for the next two seasons.

      I actually appreciate Martin’s choice re: Theon’s character a lot more now. Because being able to do a quick catch up and then move straight into character development made for a much more compelling narrative than having to actually watch two years worth of Theon being Reek and being teased with “will he turn on Ramsay this time? No! Because his storyline doesn’t actually start back up again for two seasons and we’ve already committed to not shuttling him offscreen in the interim!”

      This x1000. I just didn’t see in those torture porn scenes the “deep thoughts” about torture and audience “complicity” (meaning us somehow “wanting” to see Theon tortured after what he did) that many claimed D&D were trying to show. It’s not the actors’ fault, both Iwan and Alfie are great, but IMO GRRM made the right narrative choice by keeping most of it off-screen.

        Quote  Reply

    232. Sean C.: People generally tend to ascribe any declines in viewers to whatever their own personal issues with the program are, which often (though not always) amounts to projecting. I think the most that can be said is that, if there is a decline, it suggests that audience enthusiasm for this season roughly corresponds to reader enthusiasm for the books it is based on (I quite like both AFFC and ADWD, but no one can deny that they are controversial).

      But…this is projecting, too. This season actually hasn’t followed the books that much, with completely new storylines for Sansa and Jamie, altered storylines for Tyrion and Jon, and jury’s still out for the rest until we see what happens with Stannis, Brienne and the others. Nothing about the Riverlands (which contains much of GRRM’s anti-war themes, it should be noted, including Septon Meribald’s speech IIRC)…nothing about the Vale…or Arianne or fAegon…or the real battle in Mereen…etc. So it’s hardly fair to blame any perceived lack in quality in the show on any perceived lack of quality of the book source material!

        Quote  Reply

    233. Hoyti Von Totiy: Why do they watch it then?It´s called game of THRONES and the only person intrested in the goddamn throne is Stannis. Everyone else is in filler duty.

      /small voice yeah, there is part of me that watches GOT for the dragonz and weirwood.net and candles burning and talking and stuf. iz that wrong? /small voice

        Quote  Reply

    234. Wimsey: The difference is that TVCersei is not thinking through the possible consequences of her actions all the way; BookCersei is not thinking through the possible consequences of her actions at all.

      Wow, I so totally do not see this. Where do you see in the show Cersei even in part “thinking through the possible consequences of her actions”? Did I miss a scene?
      I agree with Chad Brick and others that Show!Cersei is an idiot, whereas Book!Cersei seemed a lot more nuanced (and I don’t see her as a falling down drunk, either, but it’s been a long time since I read the books….)

        Quote  Reply

    235. jentarion:
      Wimsey,

      I liked Arianne a lot, and a bunch of people agree. You have an opinion about Arianne, that doesn’t make it a fact. She was at least a character with 3 dimensional motivations, and was complex enough to be (in my opinion) interesting- unlike the Sand Snakes. Best case scenario would have been to keep Arianne and send Jaime to Dorne and get him to join forces with Areo to stop the Queenmaker plot (and have Myrcella killed or disfigured in the process).

      This! And not just because anything would be better than what we’ve gotten to date from SS/Ellaria. I rather liked Arianne. Since when is it necessary for a character to be flaw-free on GOT? She’s driven and mercurial and sexy and overconfident and full of fire, just like….hmmm, Oberyn? The “Han Solo” of Dorne? (tm Ravy, NAILED IT.)

      And Pau, this is for you 😉

        Quote  Reply

    236. chameleon:
      I agree with Chad Brick and others that Show!Cersei is an idiot, whereas Book!Cersei seemed a lot more nuanced (and I don’t see her as a falling down drunk, either, but it’s been a long time since I read the books….)

      Show Cersei’s plan was 1000x smarter because it involved getting the Tyrells arrested for crimes they’ve actually committed. All Book Cersei does is make stuff up about Margarey, a plot that is easily discovered.

        Quote  Reply

    237. chameleon: This!And not just because anything would be better than what we’ve gotten to date from SS/Ellaria. I rather liked Arianne. Since when is it necessary for a character to be flaw-free on GOT?She’s driven and mercurial and sexy and overconfident and full of fire, just like….hmmm, Oberyn?The “Han Solo” of Dorne?(tm Ravy, NAILED IT.)

      And Pau, this is for you

      Hahaha! 😉 😀

        Quote  Reply

    238. Delta1212,

      I totally agree with this. I also think next episode’s ratings will rebound but probably rating wise, the show hit it’s peak and it’s following a typical ratings life span of a TV show. HBO will not cancel it and D&D will have the time to end it how they want to.

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

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