Game of Thrones S5 finale breaks 8 million and its previous viewership record!

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How high are we? 8 million+ high!

Okay, I did not expect that. The available data shows that 8.11 million people watched the initial airing of the Game of Thrones season finale, ‘Mother’s Mercy’. This is a new record for the show, outpacing the current season premiere number, which was just a tad under 8 million. A new milestone has been reached.

In terms of ratings, FWIW, the finale performed a fraction of a percentage lower than the premiere (4.14 vs 4.19 – which means that just over 4 % of all television sets in the country were set to HBO when Thrones was on).

Hear Me Roar: This was a peculiar season. So many leaks of all sorts, and unusually swinging viewership number. I guess we will be able to say something more once we compare it to the next season – or then again, perhaps not. Either way, expect a graphic representation of the numbers in a couple of days.

161 responses

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    1. “So many leaks of all sorts, and unusually swinging viewership number”

      I think that matched the content of the season, however unintentionally. Lots of highs and a few lows. Really, anyone looking at it objectively, this season exhibited the show at its best and worst. But I like that. Who can get passionate about a middle of the road show that doesn’t…try to push buttons? Anyway, these number are great, even when you consider the NBA game shattered records of its own, so a lot of people were watching TV. Adding in the inevitable Live + 7 numbers (and the record breaking piracy numbers), this is easily GoT’s most watched season. Reports of its demise has been greatly exaggerated. Now we see what they do with Snow. As Jason Concepcion at Grantland put it, “I don’t think Martin and by extension Benioff and Weiss, have the guts to follow through on this.” Not if they want these same ratings, anyway.

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    2. But…but…didn´t all those ragequitters say that viewers would abandon the show in droves ?

      BWAAHAAAHAAA.

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    3. I never was worried. I had 16 people at my apartment watching the finale, so I imagine that number actually to be higher. I am interested to see how many total people after all replays and other sources actually watched this season. Think it can break 20 million?

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    4. SO happy to hear that
      I loved this season a lot.. unlike many… but the ending pissed me off, especially if that is it for Jon.

      If Jon is gone, they will lose some viewership no doubt. I live breathe eat Game of Thrones, and my interest will shoot down if Jon is actually gone.

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    5. flintwielder:
      But…but…didn´t all those ragequitters say that viewers would abandon the show in droves ?

      BWAAHAAAHAAA.

      A “drove” is apparently a lot smaller number than I’d been lead to believe…LOL

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    6. The show won’t ever reach that number again. Not unless it leaks that Melisandre is going to revive Jon in a specific episode.

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    7. DonalNoyesArm,

      agreed. People want to see if that fade to black on Snow is real and binding, especially with book readers trying to allay fears and saying there’s more Snow. But what do we know anyways as the show and books have caught up on his storyline.

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    8. Yep.I expect 9 mil people to watch premiere.A lot of them will want to find out fate of our beloved characters like: Jon,Dany,Theon or Sansa for that matter.Stannis’ fate seems to be sealed,but again “what if”.It looks like Brienne killed him,but you can never so sure with Game of Thrones.

      Deesensfan,

      Not really.Most of Jon fans(including myself) will be watching show and praying for his return,or some hints about his fate.It’s not like, they’re going to abandon series.No way with all the theories out there.What could hurt ratings is,if some other actor is hired to play him,but that sounds like a total bs to me.

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    9. DonalNoyesArm,

      For sure, people want to see what happened to Jon.
      And bookreaders are now in the dark on most of the story lines so I imagine more of them will want to watch the live initial airing.
      But I think if we don’t got Jon after Episode 1. The viewership will drop.

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    10. DonalNoyesArm,

      Well, maybe. Maybe not. The show will have to plateau some day, right? It wouldn’t be the end of the world. Already, this season has been the first in which individual episodes had lower ratings than episodes from previous seasons. I expect that trend to continue, just as I expect a slight growth in overall viewers. This is all on first viewing, of course. If you add the digital audience, legitimate or otherwise, I imagine the show will keep growing. Anyway, my point is, we’ll probably never see the immense growth between seasons that we saw with seasons two, three and four.

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    11. But guys,i thought after last episode half the viewership will drop,isn’t that true guys,doesn’t matter,i’m sure now with the death of Stannis and Jon next season will get 1.0s and it will get cancelled . That’s what most book purist’s wet dream is,too bad is never going to happen .

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    12. Geralt of Rivia,

      I would probably still watch hoping for his return… but not necessarily live at 9pm on sundays…? A heck, I probably would. I am saying others… and casual viewers probably wont be as interested
      And I definitely agree, if some other actor????? NO THANK You . that would be sooooooooo stupid.

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    13. The season average was slightly higher then season 4. And that is with HBO Now available. Just amazing.

      Next season could have a huge season premiere number just to see if Jon Snow is resurrected.

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    14. DDF345:
      But guys,i thought after last episode half the viewership will drop,isn’t that true guys,doesn’t matter,i’m sure now with the death of Stannis and Jon next season will get 1.0sand it will get cancelled .

      Naw, they will stop the show for the next 10 years so GRRM can catch up.

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    15. Dandelion:
      The show won’t ever reach that number again. Not unless it leaks that Melisandre is going to revive Jon in a specific episode.

      I typically don’t want episode spoilers, but I do want to be spoiled on this. The idea that we’re not going to know for sure throughout most of season 6 – and probably most of TWOW if it comes out anytime soon – whether or not Jon gets resurrected is more frustrating than suspenseful at this point. For anyone who read ADWD when it came out, it’ll have been five years of not knowing and endlessly debating by the time season 6 airs. I like suspense, but that’s too much.

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    16. Deesensfan,

      I don’t know. Considering literally every storyline ended either with a death or a cliffhanger (or sometimes both), I’m pretty sure a hell of a lot of people will be tuning in for the premiere next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the viewership falls steadily after the premiere until a rise in the finale, not unlike this year.

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    17. Luka Nieto,

      That’s what I am saying
      the premiere will be massive, but if there is no sign or hope for Jon, I sense frustration and annoyance and loss of viewership (and when I saw loss I don’t mean the show gets cancelled)
      Its so frustrating to think that a story so good like Jon’s can be fuckin ruined like that
      I really hopenot. I was considering reading the books but now I don’t think I will if that’s that for Jon’s story.

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    18. DDF345: But guys,i thought after last episode half the viewership will drop,isn’t that true guys,doesn’t matter,i’m sure now with the death of Stannis and Jon next season will get 1.0s and it will get cancelled .

      I predict ratings near 0 … for the next 40 weeks or so. Then a sudden rise.

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    19. BTW,why is it common for tv shows to get their highest rating on the premieres and the finale,do a portion of the audience only care for those and not the rest of the episodes ?

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    20. Mark,

      Oh,that means so much coming from you,also you don’t tell me what to do,i’m sure you’re crying and raging that the show continues to be successful so that’s why you attack me with ironically “lame”,12 year old insults . I’m always glad when i get under book purist’s skin,it only shows how weak and pathetic they are .

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    21. Well I think.. that if they release Jon early on in season 6. It won’t be in hte first episode, they might not even check in at the wall in the first episode.

      Revival in the second is more likely, but that’s just IF he returns. It’s either very late into season 6 or very early if they want to avoid the community-backlash, but episode 1 can be ruled out I think they want us to think he’s dead for atleast another week.

      And now I just came to think of something… Before yesterday I would have to spoiler tag stuff like that, we’re freeeeee.

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    22. DDF345,

      You know I’ve always wondered that myself. Perhaps It’s excitement and intrigue that their favorite shows are back/ending? Those are the ones they watch live and they record the rest?

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    23. DDF345,

      No, the audience watches the “middle” episodes at their leisure, which means that they do not watch them in time to appear on the ratings. The late episodes are when the “big” things happen: and because they want to watch them before they hear about them, they watch them at the time or soon after. And the first episode is, well, the first new material that they’ve had in months, so people are just eager to see it.

      So, you can bet that almost everyone who watched the last episode saw every other episode this season: many of them just didn’t watch until a while after. (The core demographics for cable TV series like Thrones also are the ones with the least time to watch TV, and thus the ones most apt to watch it at their convenience, not when it comes on TV.)

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    24. Deesensfan,

      I predict a forceful and “upbeat” opening — as much as GoT can be upbeat — not unlike the fourth season premiere. Actually, now that I think about it, each time a season ends in Starkicide, the following premiere gives the audience something to cheer about.

      After Ned’s death, in 2×01 Robb offers terms to King’s Landing from a position of power, having won three victories. And that badass scene with Grey Wind and Jaime… nice! Still reeling from the Red Wedding, we are then treated to the brilliant Saloon Chicken Fight in 4×01. Arya retrieves Needle and rides into sunset like a boss. I believe we may get something similar next year to offset all this grimdark we’re in right now.

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    25. Holy Shit!

      Never, never have I thought a fantasy series would have so many devoted viewers.

      I know 1st view ratings don’t mean everything to HBO but its a good way to gauge just how addicted people are to the shows they are providing.

      This basically cements D&D’s ability to ask for, within reason, anything they want to finish off this epic saga.

      Please HBO, please have a spin-off series, when GoT ends you need to keep the pieces in place that make this awesome series and point them towards another epic project.

      And in this way, you will also keep the fans who been watching GoT for seven years coming back to their TV sets.

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    26. Luka Nieto: Anyway, my point is, we’ll probably never see the immense growth between seasons that we saw with seasons two, three and four.

      No, and we do not expect to ever see that in any system like this. The potential audience pool is pretty rapidly drained. This show took longer than most to do that probably because of the genre: many people reflexively expect childish escapism from this sort of thing instead of legitimate character drama. It took a little longer here because people to see past the swords and sorcery to see that, underneath all the veneer, it’s good old fashioned sociopolitical drama mixed with “coming of age” character arcs.

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    27. Balon01: People said the same two seasons ago….

      That’s true. And a show like Breaking Bad increased until the end, though it was a much slower burn.

      I think the set end date really helps Game of Thrones from losing people. If there are people who are wavering, knowing there’s resolution coming two years out will help retain folks. Unlike something like How I Met Your Mother or any other sitcom where the end is announced after people have begun to lose interest, GoT provides a reason to stick with something even if you are getting a little bored.

      I’m not bored, but it’s a nice incentive.

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    28. If they counted UK viewing figures solely on first broadcast then Sky Atlantic’s belated decision to show it at the same time as the USA would backfire a bit…it’s on 2am our time, even I’m not that dedicated!

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    29. Mr Fixit,

      That’s true, and Joffrey’s death shortly after.
      I always thought he will come back, but I am starting to doubt it. Not that I have fallen into Kit and Co’s trap and staged interviews, but I am thinking that if GOT has taught me anything, its that they know how to shatter your hopes and dreams lol… No, that its to expect the unexpected, the expected is that he will come back…

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    30. I am fascinated by their meta-strategy here, assuming Jon is resurrected. How do they handle this during filming? Some possibilities:

      * Don’t even bother. At the start of filming, announce that Kit Harrington is still there and say “Yeah, we aren’t saying, but you’ll need to watch to see what happens.”

      * Announce that Kit is being brought in to film a “Now His Watch Has Ended” scene and maybe a flashback or two, but nothing else. Write Season 6 so Jon isn’t a huge part anyway, so you can film a resurrection scene at the same time.

      * Try the cloak-and-dagger routine.

      * Write it so you’re done with Kit, but not with Jon. Jon’s a warg, or glamored into someone else.

      * Or, he’s just fucking dead, and we are completely screwed up here.

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    31. I think the ratings rise/ebb through a season is common in all shows. People want to pick up where they left off and, later, see how the season ends. Plus, years of ongoing shows has conditioned people to suspect the middle of a season is mostly filler (more true of broadcast than cable) so prime time viewing goes down. Add in the fact that the later episodes in every GOT season are the most impactful, and you have a recipe for a ratings lull for episodes 3-7.

      Alan: Amen. Having a set endpoint helps a lot. It also helps that the seasons are fairly short, allowing people to catch up. While I wish the seasons were, say, 2 episodes longer, I like this format WAY more than the 20+ episodes in broadcast shows. Even shows that interest me fill me with dread knowing that I have to sit through so much padding.

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    32. Another thing to consider.

      GoT isn’t your normal TV show, myself and many of my friends and co-workers watch it as an event. With someone playing host to several friends and family coming over to eat, drink, chill and watch the show.

      I mean, to be honest, its very comparable to sporting event.

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    33. So, looks like Hoyti’s rating predictions were a tad off then.

      Great to see these sorts of numbers. From the comments of certain parts of the fandom, this has been an atrocious, disastrous, terrible season that has irrevocably tainted and ruined the books, literature, and the fabric of society itself. If a “bad” season of this show can perform like this, I’d love to see what a “good” season would do.

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    34. WorfWWorfington,

      They could have already shot scenes of Jon warging and Mel storing his body? Maybe (with all the casting news of Ghost) Jon will be stuck warging this season?

      IDK, I am reaching here, just saying I do not think Jon Snow is dead-dead but we will save this argument for another thread.

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    35. In the last ratings thread, I calculated that this episode would need 7.8 million for season five to outperform season four. So there you have it.

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    36. The show will premiere to big ratings next season but after the premiere it could be all down hill.
      About the Jon Snow issue, if they do plan on resurrecting him why are they going to such great lengths to convince people he is really dead? Why don’t they just keep it a mystery like GRRM has? GRRM hasn’t been going around telling people Jon is dead, he has kept his fate mysterious. Why is the show so desperate to piss viewers off and convince them this shitty cliffhanger is sincere?

      Unlike other shocking death scenes(Neds and the RW) that botherd some viewers this one wasn’t even well done and is nothing to be proud of. Just because it is shocking doesn’t mean it is good. It would horrible storytelling if he is really dead and they shouldn’t want audiences to think he is really dead because it makes the show look like crap and obsessed with shock value instead of telling a good story.

      I wasn’t a big fan of this cliffhanger in the books but it had the potential to be a powerful moving scene in the show but was not handled well at all. It was just a 3 min scene tacked on at the end with no dramatic weight behind it or proper set up. They made a point of showing Olly’s dislike of Jon’s decision to let the wildlings through but there was almost no set up for his brothers turning on him. They should have made it more apparent how betrayed the NW felt by Jon letting the wildlings past the Wall. Throne was a dick about it but he is always that way. We should have seen more dissent and hostility towards Jon from his brothers in previous episodes or at least in ep10 before the stabbing so it wouldn’t come out of the blue and feel like forced shock value.

      D&D said they considered this season mostly in line with the books but next season is the one where the show really goes off the books. That is not good news after seeing some of content this season. Even though the story in AFFC/ADWD was not that great it is still a far higher quality then whatever the hell they were trying to do with some of these storylines this season. Whenever the show goes far off the books(other than Hardhorn) it falls off a cliff in quality and sinks to almost True Blood level amateurish storytelling. So even with Jon Snow still around I would be worried about the quality of next season however without Jon Snow the show is completely fucked.

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    37. Ser Florian,

      The fact is, the Jezebel/Mary Sue/Vanity Fair/Grantland crowd who has talked about the rape culture of the show are talking to each other and not to anyone else who watches.

      I’m not saying they are wrong in all their criticisms. I’m saying that they remind me of the Washington Post columnist back in the day who couldn’t believe Nixon won because she only personally knew one person that voted for him

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    38. Great ratings for one of the best, most shocking, most impactful episodes of GoT ever. Here’s to hoping that 6.01 is even higher, with so many potential cliffhangers.

      Jon’s (can’t be dead!)-death discussion has supplanted the never-ending LSH hope or Stannis’ (non?)-demise hope all across the interwebs. It’s quite a change to see book readers pretty much in the dark and very worried. Goes to say that we are truly at the end of published material. And Season 6 scripts are practically finished by now!

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    39. WorfWWorfington,

      D&D wont do an 8th.

      But I am very confident they will split season 7, and both halves of that season HBO will give them a HUGE budget and we will get an epic climax, even in GoT standards, that we all can be satisfied with.

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    40. Arthur,

      Until I hear Season 7 is the last one, I don’t believe that. HBO likes money. It has money. It can give them lots of money.

      Plus, HBO purchased the rights. It can throw money at the next men up too.

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    41. WorfWWorfington,

      They weren’t the ones I was really referring to. A perusal or r/asoiaf would have you thinking the season was an unmitigated disaster… A procession of cheesy sandsnakes, Ramsay dancing with his BFF Ser Twenti Goodman, and DnD insulting books readers.

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    42. Arthur:
      Another thing to consider.

      GoT isn’t your normal TV show, myself and many of my friends and co-workers watch it as an event.With someone playing host to several friends and family coming over to eat, drink, chill and watch the show.

      I mean, to be honest, its very comparable to sporting event.

      Absolutely.

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    43. JamesL: D&D said they considered this season mostly in line with the books but next season is the one where the show really goes off the books.

      D’uh! They were referring to the fact that there isn’t a book out there. They do know the major plot points, however. They also know the story.

      JamesL: That is not good news after seeing some of content this season.

      Except that the strongest stuff from this year was heavily adapted. The problem with Dorne was that it wasn’t adapted enough. But could you imagine the criticisms if they’d kept the Iron Island and Riverlands stuff? (Think big!)

      Now, we don’t know exactly what GRRM gave them for next year. Oh, we can make some educated guesses: obviously, YG’s invasion was there (which might or might not be televised); Daeny is going to head west (which will be televised); Cersei is going to be hell-bent on revenge against the Faith, the Tyrells, and probably most life-forms that didn’t spring from her womb (which will be televised); whatever Euron is doing off of the Reach (which will be televised it seems); the Battle in the Ice will happen (which might already have happened in some time lines in the book, and which has already happened on TV). And we can even make an educated guess about the story: my bet is “choosing sides.” But we really just do not know what is worth keeping and cutting: there is no “Dorne sucked more! No, the Iron Islands sucked more!” angle to this.

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    44. Arthur,

      Season 8 is still a possibility.Anything beyond that, it’s just a wishful thinking.This is not NCIS or CSI.

      What about film(s)?GRRM is very much fan of this.Charles Dance talked about it and recently Kit too.I’m not a big fan this,but it’s another option I guess.They can split season 7 into two parts,and it would work out well.

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    45. Ser Florian: So, looks like Hoyti’s rating predictions were a tad off then.

      Heh, rare that I agree with Hoyti on anything, but note that the prediction was based on the fear that that they were keeping too much Crows filler. However, they basically cut all the plotlines from Crows save those for Arya and Cersei.

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    46. Geralt of Rivia: I’m not a big fan this,but it’s another option I guess.

      HBO is not a fan of this, and I doubt that they would relax their rights on the franchise to permit it.

      Remember, GRRM also is groping for ways to delay the end of the series for his books. However, post-menopausal Maise Williams probably won’t be wanting to play Arya anymore…..

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    47. WorfWWorfington:
      Ser Florian,

      The fact is, the Jezebel/Mary Sue/Vanity Fair/Grantland crowd who has talked about the rape culture of the show are talking to each other and not to anyone else who watches.

      I’m not saying they are wrong in all their criticisms. I’m saying that they remind me of the Washington Post columnist back in the day who couldn’t believe Nixon won because she only personally knew one person that voted for him

      To be fair to most of the writers there, there’s only a couple that have been ridiculous. Greenwald’s criticism has to do with the constant barrage of bad news and hasn’t really been gender-based much at all.

      As for the rest, The Mary Sue’s decision was ridiculous and continues to be if they claim to be a media outlet. The remainder of the wholly negative articles tend to be clickbait, released immediately for page clicks. And there’s been a ton of nuanced discussion as well — Alyssa Rosenberg is a personal favorite. It’s been some of the best discussion of art and politics and gender I’ve seen generated by entertainment.

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    48. At first, I was very unhappy about the whole, Jon Snow is dead and Kit isn’t going to be “filming” for Season 6. Now I’m thinking… well.. if the show can keep the secrecy of Jon’s resurrection, wouldn’t that be a punch in the gut? That’s exactly what Thrones is about… the unexpected… and I wouldn’t mind D&D fibbing about it. I think I prefer them fibbing about it and going through all of the feels during the reveal.

      best.show.ever

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    49. WorfWWorfington:
      Arthur,

      Until I hear Season 7 is the last one, I don’t believe that. HBO likes money. It has money. It can give them lots of money.

      Plus, HBO purchased the rights. It can throw money at the next men up too.

      This is true, but I think they are committed to not handing it off.

      I do not think a movie would ever happen, simply because it’s too much of leap and risk in the minds of the decision-makers.

      But I think it would make money. Not a massive amount, but a safe profit. And after seeing the dragon effects of Ep 9, the “Battle for Winterfell” of Ep 10 and vaguely remembering that there were direwolves in this story once, I would personally love a movie ending with a huge budget for effects. And would gladly pay $20 to see it + $20 for the blu-ray.

      Again, I doubt it happens. But despite the monster budget, they are producing 10 hours on a production budget that would be a 2 hour movie.

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    50. WorfWWorfington,

      Well, D&D will probably burnout eventually.

      Somewhere I read they said they want it to be a 70-75 hour epic.

      So if they split season 7 to 7 or 8 episodes, with a HUGE budget and a years time to finish each half of that split season. I think that’s enough time to really give us a treat.

      If season 7 is split, lets say 7A and 7B with 7 episodes each. that is 74 hours total.

      That adds up to what they said they want.

      So in my mind that is the most realistic compromising outcome.

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    51. Wimsey,

      Except that the strongest stuff from this year was heavily adapted.

      Of course because almost every aspect of the show was significantly altered from the books, so the strongest material was heavily adapted and so was the weakest material. Even the Kings Landing plot which was the storyline that seemed the most in line with it’s book counterpart(along with Arya’s) was done disservice by the little tweaks they made to it. The drama, suspense, and intrigue was far better done in the books version of the Cersei Margaery feud.

      The only improvements on the book would be Hardhome and linking up Dany and Tyrion.

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    52. Alan,

      There won’t be a feature. I believe HBO when they say it would be a betrayal of their subscription base. Also, it would be the most hella expensive R rated movie ever and that’s too big a risk. Maybe they release the finale in IMAX after it airs as a swan song, but I don’t see ending on a feature.

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    53. If David and Dan need 71.23 episodes to tell the complete story then I am all for it. And I think they will get the exact number of episodes they need to get to a correct conclusion. My guess is anywhere from 70 to 75 episodes.

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    54. Deesensfan,

      Don’t worry about Jon Snow.

      They are doing their best to keep the integrity of the season finale’s final scene.

      He will be back, my mom said it best, I asked her if she thinks Jon Snow is coming back, she said something like:

      “Jon Snow has to come back, or there will be no heros”

      And that is pretty much the same thought of every casual viewer, he will be back, don’t even worry.

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    55. I do wonder how they are going to market the show next season… If everyone is on a cliffhanger and they show footage of Season 6, then it kind of loses any potential of “where are they/what if…”.

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    56. Season 4 averaged 6.85 Million viewers for the first showings on HBO.

      Season 5 averaged 6.88 Million viewers for the first showings on HBO.

      Now consider that this season had a few leaked episodes, a Memorial Day Weekend, and HBO Now taking away some viewers… And it is safe to say the popularity of the show increased slightly from last season.

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    57. Wimsey:

      Except that the strongest stuff from this year was heavily adapted.The problem with Dorne was that it wasn’t adapted enough.But could you imagine the criticisms if they’d kept the Iron Island and Riverlands stuff?(Think big!)

      Dorne was heavily adapted — it maintained only the barest commonalities to the book, and it was pretty terrible.

      Cersei finished strong; this was very close to the books. Arya was as well. The Theon/Sansa story was essentially Theon’s. Even Tyrion’s story was shockingly close to the books.

      I think D&D made some strong adaptation choices. The trip to Hardhome was great; putting Sansa in Winterfell was great. Overall, I’m iffy on Stannis simply because the Winterfell battle and end was so rushed, but I thought up to that point it was very good.

      But Dorne was a debacle and they strayed heavily. Dany was decent but lack the nuance and complexity of the books. Perhaps that was unavoidable — but we also seemed to drop the whole “chain your dragons plotline” somewhere in there.

      They were pretty darn faithful considering they were putting 2 books into one. They had to make cuts and it’s tough to argue against what they cut/combined. But the weird re-writing of Dorne but accomplishing almost nothing… just bad.

      It happens.

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    58. Arthur,

      Not to mention it would make no sense for the show to build him up with such a great face-off with The Nights King if there was no payoff for it later.

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    59. Alan: To be fair to most of the writers there, there’s only a couple that have been ridiculous. Greenwald’s criticism has to do with the constant barrage of bad news and hasn’t really been gender-based much at all.

      They did resort to it in their finale podcast a little, saying the show had specifically marked woman for brutality, but, y’know, that sort of comment came and went and Greenwald elaborated on his views some more (he thought Cersei’s sexual shaming was, well, brilliant and earned after five years of developing her.) My fiance almost leaped out of bed when they started the “Violence towards women” thing and started recounting the innumerable examples of barbarity practised on men.

      I loved that Greenwald doesn’t buy Jon’s fate at all and he laid out great reasons why not reviving him would be bad writing (for the books and show).

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    60. Ravyn:
      Alan,

      There won’t be a feature. I believe HBO when they say it would be a betrayal of their subscription base. Also, it would be the most hella expensive R rated movie ever and that’s too big a risk. Maybe they release the finale in IMAX after it airs as a swan song, but I don’t see ending on a feature.

      I don’t think there would be a feature.

      But it would make money. It’s not too really a big risk — there’s a huge, rabid, worldwide base of people who would watch it. There’s 20M households in the US alone that watch legally. And while you won’t get all of them, there’s more than 1 person per household, and there’s pirating, and there’s a big international market. It lacks the upside of a standalone film but there’s a floor that they could easily budget to.

      I’ve never seen anything from HBO saying it would be a betrayal of their user base. Do you have a link? I can see the logic, but I never saw them saying that.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Arthur:
      Deesensfan,

      Don’t worry about Jon Snow.

      They are doing their best to keep the integrity of the season finale’s final scene.

      He will be back, my mom said it best, I asked her if she thinks Jon Snow is coming back, she said something like:

      “Jon Snow has to come back, or there will be no heros”

      And that is pretty much the same thought of every casual viewer, he will be back, don’t even worry.

      D&D “told” me he’d be back by the slight visual changes in Jon, the odd blood pooling and mostly by the sudden change of music from somber theme to mysterious music and back to somber when it went to black. 😉

        Quote  Reply

    62. Alan: I don’t think there would be a feature.

      But it would make money. It’s not too really a big risk — there’s a huge, rabid, worldwide base of people who would watch it. There’s 20M households in the US alone that watch legally. And while you won’t get all of them, there’s more than 1 person per household, and there’s pirating, and there’s a big international market. It lacks the upside of a standalone film but there’s a floor that they could easily budget to.

      I’ve never seen anything from HBO saying it would be a betrayal of their user base. Do you have a link? I can see the logic, but I never saw them saying that.

      The quote was from Michael Lombardo the president of HBO. Sorry I can’t dig for it now, but it’s out there, essentially saying “we started this with our subscribers and for their $$$ each month the expectation would be we finish it with them.” He said it last year.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Valaquen,

      I was thinking what if Martin is pulling a Hitchcock/Psycho switch of main characters. But that doesn’t compute either. Greenwald is right: it’s Too Late in the game for that, and would just be bad storytelling. I just can’t get past how adamant Kit and Weiss were. Almost no wiggle room.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Deesensfan,

      Well, look at it this way.

      A Song of Ice and Fire.

      GRRM is really good at what he does. He has killed off major characters and we all feel like our favorite characters can die at anytime, however, if you look back, most of the deaths were launching pads for other characters. Ned’s death launched all the Stark children on their way, Khal Drogo’s launched Dany on her way.

      Other deaths were sparky characters who, like a candle, burned so bright but for only half the time aka The Red Viper.

      Yes, some were dead ends like Robb Stark.

      Jon Snow is a different beast all together then the others who have been killed off. We have so much time invested in him watching him grow from a boy to a… hero basically.

      Also, GRRM gives it away in a Q&A he had with fans. They asked him something like “Does Jon Snow ever find out his true parentage?” And GRRM said “Eventually yes”. Now did that happen in the show yet? Don’t you think that would be a very important event?

      There you have it…

        Quote  Reply

    65. Arthur,

      Yeah you totally make a point and I agree with you…
      But I don’t know GRRM too much to judge on whether he would be even more cruel to lead us to believe that about Jon, only to find out he was just mindfucking us.
      But at this point, D&D are doing whatever they want with the show… and would they mindfuck us also? Would they actually flush the story down the toilet just like that?
      I just don’t know, and its annoying to have to wait.
      I cannot even fathom the wait for the bookreaders, and totally feel for you.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Deesensfan,

      GRRM likes to be a shocker, he said himself he wants his reader to turn each page with a feeling of fear that their favorite character can die at anytime.

      However, an epic fantasy still needs a traditional hero or two (Jon and Dany).

      But that doesn’t mean GRRM isn’t going to try to shake you up a little and leave you in a state of fear about them.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Arthur,

      I guess
      I pray to the Lord of Light that’s true

      Carice Van Houten (Melisandre) on Jon Snow, after episode 4:

      What’s going on with Jon Snow? Why is Melisandre pursuing him?

      He knows that world down south. He knows it better. We need him to sort of guide us in a way. And there’s also something else about him that we don’t really reveal. In the series we don’t find out just yet what it is. And it’s not just an attraction from female to male. Yes, he’s an attractive young man but that’s not her main goal, I think. Although she might like some nice interaction with a slightly younger person, maybe, for a change. [laughs] We feel that there’s something about him that she can sense, but we don’t go into it that deep just yet.

      http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/05/04/game-of-thrones-star-carice-van-houten-on-that-scene-with-jon-snow/

        Quote  Reply

    68. I do believe Jon Snow is dead. Season six, though will give us Jon Targaryen. Very much alive.

      They’ll build his funeral pyre and tell us (as mentioned above) that he’s back as a corpse a la Charles Dance in Episode 1. They’ll load him on the pyre, Jon Snow fans will be livid screaming at the TV in tears. Davos will be amongst the crowd, Melisandre will be looking down from above. He’ll be unburnt and Melisandre will see him for what he is, and give us Jon Targaryen, the Unburnt.

      If he’s a Targaryen, then his, Dany’s and Tyrion’s mothers all died giving birth to them. If Tyrion is also actually a Targaryen, that’s two things they all have in common and could be “the Lord’s chosen ones, born amidst salt and smoke”.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Alan,

      The Dorne stuff is overrated in the books too. It is the Boba Fett of Song of Ice and Fire.

      Bad-ass look. Cool costume. Imposing presence.

      But once you dig down, there ain’t much there.

        Quote  Reply

    70. THE SKY IS FALLING! FANS ARE TURNING AWAY FROM GoT IN DROVES BECAUSE THEY ARE MOVING AWAY FROM THE BOOKS!! THE PRODUCERS ARE RUINING THE SHOW AND DUMBING IT DOWN AND… blah blah blah…

      Highest. Ratings. Ever.

      Back to your fan-crazed theory crafting caverns, everyone.

      (I’m elated. Not only is there no danger of the show not going the full duration, but it continues to deserve HBO’s high budget and its status as the network’s flagship show.)

        Quote  Reply

    71. Valaquen,

      The violence against women issue would not be an issue if D&D hadn’t screwed up the Jaime/Cersei thing last year. That is the sin they are paying for. And they deserve to.

      It’s one thing to show rape or other abuse. It’s another thing to film a rape and then try to deny it was one.

        Quote  Reply

    72. I had been wondering if perhaps the show had hit a viewer ceiling with the adaptation of the third book, widely considered the best one. Being wrong is fun.

      Additionally, we’re now at the point in the adaptation that I wonder at the need for a separation of reader and non-reader. We all pretty much know the same things now…

        Quote  Reply

    73. 2011-“The progam will loose viewers after the death of Ned”
      2013-“The progam will loose viewers after the death of Robb and Cat”
      2015-“The progam will loose viewers after the death of Jon”

      yeaaaa right genius

        Quote  Reply

    74. WorfWWorfington: D&D hadn’t screwed up the Jaime/Cersei thing last year. That is the sin they are paying for. And they deserve to.

      And it taught them: they didn’t follow the book at all this year!

        Quote  Reply

    75. WorfWWorfington: The Dorne stuff is overrated in the books too.

      Well, in fairness, most of the people I remember posting “No, the Iron Islands were worse!” usually were not rating Dorne highly. Sucks > Really Sucks, that is all. (It’s not like I was posting that the Iron Islands was quality literature when posting “No, Dorne sucked more and your mother wears army boots!!!”)

        Quote  Reply

    76. Cathair: I do believe Jon Snow is dead. Season six, though will give us Jon Targaryen. Very much alive.

      Well, if R+L=J is true, then Jon still is no more a Targaryen than Gendry is a Baratheon: perhaps he goes form Jon Snow to Jon Sand, but that is about it. Only if people can find some proof that Rhaegar married Lyanna will he become Jon Targaryen.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Arthur: Now did that happen in the show yet? Don’t you think that would be a very important event?

      And, unfortunately, it would not be unheard of if a clause in the contract says that they cannot televise it before GRRM publishes it. In 2008, that seemed a no-brainer: the series is supposed to be done now, after all.

      (This is irrational fear getting the better of me, I know!)

        Quote  Reply

    78. Excellent news, and well deserved. A truly great finale.

      And a great season overall, despite being quite dark, and having a few flaws (Dorne, etc.).

        Quote  Reply

    79. Cathair,

      That was one time magical event and it should stay that way.Kit is out of next season,but here is the twist.Ghost (Quigley wolf that plays him on the show) is supposed to be back for next season so…

      what if,Kit/Jon is truly out of season season 6,and his spirit is inside of Ghost.It’s one of the theories out there,but it makes sense in the light of these comments in media.I hate to say this,but Ghost could be sacrificed for Jon to be brought back.Remember “Only death can pay for life.”

        Quote  Reply

    80. For everyone talking about how important Jon’s story is, that is exactly the kind of thing GRRM subverts. Jon’s parentage, “all I see is Snow,” Azor Ahai…all those things are supposed to make you think Jon plays a huge heroic part in the coming battle, not lying dead betrayed by his Night’s Watch companions.

      And yet, the more I think about it, leaving Jon Snow dead strikes me as exactly what GRRM might do.

      There will be no reborn prophesied hero to save Westeros. Instead, all those left are going to have to put their petty quarrels aside and deal with Winter themselves.

      And given how many years there were between books and that GRRM knows all the fans think Jon will survive, do you really think that troll will actually write to expectations?

      I don’t know, I really think skipping a full season of Kit is crazy, and so is recasting Kit.

        Quote  Reply

    81. WorfWWorfington:
      Valaquen,

      The violence against women issue would not be an issue if D&D hadn’t screwed up the Jaime/Cersei thing last year. That is the sin they are paying for. And they deserve to.

      It’s one thing to show rape or other abuse. It’s another thing to film a rape and then try to deny it was one.

      That’s one fuck up I’ll concede. I wished they would extend the scene or something. They removed the GW Bush head prop when people complained years after the fact.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Do all my friends remember me frantically trying to convince them to watch this show that’s going to be on HBO, and it’s going to be about Thrones and Dragons and Sean Bean and it’s going to be awesomeness?

      The only other time I did that – I did the same thing with Survivor. There’s going to be this show and Mark Burnett is doing it and they’re going to eats rats on an island, but it’s like REAL people doing it but seriously people are going to want to watch people suffer.

      GoT is like reality T.V. it’s impossible to explain until it exists… and then you can never go back…

        Quote  Reply

    83. Deesensfan,

      I just think it has to be one or the other, because the third choice makes no sense:

      If Jon Snow is resurrected, then surely he’s important enough to the show AND books that they can’t just keep him out of an entire season, ie 1/2 of the entire build up till the end?

      Can they bring him back and then ignore him for a whole season?

      Or resurrect him at the end of the season or in season 7? That is bizarre to me.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Another thought is that the show has constantly emphasized King’s blood. Shireen in theory was a king’s blood sacrifice.

      But someone else has king’s blood – Jon Snow. And they made a real show of focusing on the blood.

      SO – can Jon’s own king’s blood play a role in his own resurrection?

      I am desperately reaching here…

        Quote  Reply

    85. Wimsey: Well, if R+L=J is true, then Jon still is no more a Targaryen than Gendry is a Baratheon: perhaps he goes form Jon Snow to Jon Sand, but that is about it.Only if people can find some proof that Rhaegar married Lyanna will he become Jon Targaryen.

      Very true, I forgot about marriage & the bastards of Westeros and I was talking about a bastard -.-

      Geralt of Rivia:
      Cathair,

      That was one time magical event and it should stay that way.Kit is out of next season,but here is the twist.Ghost (Quigley wolf that plays him on the show) is supposed to be back for next season so…

      Interesting theory but

      If Jon is just appearing as Ghost, the entire thing will feel very lackluster to me and poorly written. It’s an interesting theory, I’ll give you that. Storywise though, it feels very flat and too mythical. I think the unburnt thing will be a good tie in to Dany.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Nadia,

      No I agree with you
      He either comes back, or he doesn’t.. that’s it. I cant see it happening any other way. Holding on to his body… hiding it or anything like that is just plain obvious that he is coming back.
      I am not writer, but the showrunners should be careful in how they play this out. Cause it could end up sucking, especially if they chose to end his story.
      Should they chose to end his story, it means that Jon’s purpose was soley to emphasize the importance of winter is coming, and that it is actually coming, and setting up the WW getting south of the wall (with hardhome since hardhome wasn’t even in the books). THAT WOULD SUCK

        Quote  Reply

    87. Wimsey: And, unfortunately, it would not be unheard of if a clause in the contract says that they cannot televise it before GRRM publishes it.In 2008, that seemed a no-brainer: the series is supposed to be done now, after all.

      (This is irrational fear getting the better of me, I know!)

      HBO, one of the most powerful entertainment divisions of Time Warner – itself one of the most powerful media companies in the world – would never sign a contract preventing them from continuing their production because of delays by the writer.

      I work in media publishing. Rest your irrational fear; it’s baseless. 🙂

      (This is the problem our book readers will face starting next year… and believe me when I say I sympathize with it greatly. Considering the fact that Dany did end up meeting more Dothraki, and Myrcella died, and it very much looks like Euron Greyjoy is coming next year based on the early casting info, I’d say they’re sticking to the books much more than anyone had thought – which means they’re definitely going to start wrecking the story for book readers. The basic story outline, anyway.)

        Quote  Reply

    88. Arthur,

      Right but if you think the show does heroes, I think you’re going to be mistaken.

      The more I think about it, the more I wonder if GRRM is going to completely destroy the hero myth with Jon.

      All those clues about his parentage, the prophesies, his sword, everything – and then he dies. There’s no inspirational hero to save Westeros, there’s no happy inspirational ending, there are just these crappy people and poor masses and feuding families and they all have to figure out a way to survive or die. Jon Snow is the hero lost.

      Or he comes back as something not heroic.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Lady Wolfsbane: GoT is like reality T.V. it’s impossible to explain until it exists… and then you can never go back…

      Yeah, not seeing that analogy at all… GoT, sure. Reality TV? I’ve watched precisely one season of Survivor (the first one) and none of the many other knock-offs around. I went back. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    90. Deesensfan,

      i

      ts that they know how to shatter your hopes and dreams

      That is almost what Jaquen said to Arya when asked if she’s ready to be no one So the showmakers want us all to be no ones? 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    91. Nadia: Or he comes back as something not heroic.

      I would actually kind of like to see that – JS as a white walker or something. Of course, in the book, the “Came Back Wrong” trope is already fulfilled by another Stark. Since she’s AWOL on the show… might they shift a bit of that over to Jon…?

        Quote  Reply

    92. JamesL,

      .

      They should have made it more apparent how betrayed the NW felt by Jon letting the wildlings past the Wall

      Not sure how much they needed too. Sam and Aegmon talked about the hostility and hate from the rest of the watch, and even Jon joked about not having many friends. So I think the audience knew

      One thing I would have liked is for one or two on the NW to express their support for Jon (aside from Edd and Sam), men who knew about WWers and what was coming, men who understood that they were all humans Jon still might have died, but at least his dream might not have died with him

        Quote  Reply

    93. Nadia:

      Or he comes back as something not heroic.

      I think this is what will happen. And then we’ll say Jon was better off dead for real.

      Be careful what you wish for.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the Night’s King, not Melisandre, who ends up resurrecting Jon.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Arthur,

      “Jon Snow has to come back, or there will be no heros”

      this. that being said, if he doesn’t, Im going to be very curious how they work the Wall story in without him.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Simeon,

      Meh, I hate most reality T.V. too… but reality T.V. didn’t exist yet, and Survivor was a phenomenon that created a new genre of television when it came out. We can only hope for GoT? 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    96. Cathair: Interesting theory but

      Book spoilers below:

      In the books, the idea that Jon’s mind goes into Ghost’s is set up very strongly. There’s a prologue examining the procedure. There’s Melisandre looking into her fire for Jon and seeing the image flicker from Jon to Ghost to Jon. There’s the ice cells that they put dead bodies in that are so cold that they stay perfectly preserved (so Jon’s body could be ready for him). There’s Ghost’s name.
      The show has set up almost none of this. Oh, Bran has gone into Summer, but Jon has never gone into Ghost that I remember. The prologue isn’t there; Melisandre’s visions aren’t there; the ice cells have never been mentioned, etc. Perhaps all this book evidence is a red herring by Martin — it’s not impossible. But I suspect he goes into Ghost in the books. I have no idea what the show will do — go into Ghost without explanation? Have Melisandre revive him? Have him not die? Have him die and never come back? But Jon always comes back!

        Quote  Reply

    97. Wimsey,

      Wouldn’t that be Jon Waters, since he was born in the Crownlands and his father was a member of the ruling family at the time? (or at roughly the time)

      I thought Baratheon bastards were Stone.

      Anyway, I’m just not sure we need to do the mental gymnastics. I think they are either lying to us outright — in which case he’s Jon Snow, played by Kit Harrington — or telling us the truth, and Jon is dead dead dead and we don’t know WHAT the hell is happening next.

        Quote  Reply

    98. The Bastard:
      Season 4 averaged 6.85 Million viewers for the first showings on HBO.

      Season 5 averaged 6.88 Million viewers for the first showings on HBO.

      Now consider that this season had a few leaked episodes, a Memorial Day Weekend, and HBO Now taking away some viewers… And it is safe to say the popularity of the show increased slightly from last season.

      No, it is not safe to say it has improved slightly. It has improved slightly without HBO now, leaked episodes or memorial day. If you consider those things the show popularity has improved DRAMATICALLY.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Luka Nieto,

      As you say, maybe or maybe not. I could see the show plateauing if we did not know how long it will run. No one could withstand forever the pain of losing favorite characters or being shocked time after time. But the finnish line is rapidly getting closer. Doomsday is upon “us” and it would be really interesting to see what happens then and after it… Will it come full circle, or will something completely different arise? And will anyone “win” the game of thrones in the end… I think there are plenty of things to keep people tunning in. Of course if D&D fumble the ball badly, all of the above can go to hell, but it doesn’t seem so.

        Quote  Reply

    100. I wonder why we didn’t see ghost at least try to help Jon out, or ghosts reaction to the stabs…. like cutting to him or something…
      Was it just bad writing / production??? Or did it mean something?
      The direwolves connection to each other and to their starks has been shown to us numerous times before. but not this time? That’s so lame..
      And Ghost saves Sam and Gilly but not Jon?
      So lame…

        Quote  Reply

    101. DDF345,

      I love the show dude. Loving both the show and the books is possible FYI. Accepting or liking some changes and disliking others is possible. Calling people weak and pathetic for no reason only shows how much of a sad little bully you are. You even admit that you enjoy being a dick. Doesn’t get more pathetic than that really.

        Quote  Reply

    102. Nadia: All those clues about his parentage, the prophesies, his sword, everything – and then he dies. There’s no inspirational hero to save Westeros, there’s no happy inspirational ending, there are just these crappy people and poor masses and feuding families and they all have to figure out a way to survive or die. Jon Snow is the hero lost.

      Jon Snow has never lived or had any influence south of Winterfell. His entire life has been spent either at Winterfell, the Wall, or beyond the Wall. He has taken no part in the rest of Westeros. The idea of him having anything to do with crappy people and poor masses at King’s Landing, and feuding families is more wishful thinking on the part of fans, for something that has never actually been hinted or shown. His story, as actually shown, is with the White Walkers and their threat, and integrating the Wildings into the overall populace of Westeros. Jon Snow as the hero, is a hero of the White Walker/Winter/Night threat. I think fan expectations have made him The Hero of the entire world who will magically right every wrong that ever was. It is possible that the WWs will be on the back burner for a bit, until the end game, when Jon will be back in action. Still as a resurrected hero, or as a resurrected Winter Soldier for the WWs. But before the end game, the myriad problems in Westeros (and problems in Essos) have to be addressed. Jon Snow has played no part in those. So perhaps he has no part in the immediate future but only in the end-game.

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    103. My personal standing ovation for Hear Marko Roar for the pictures and subtitles he chose to put in these articles.
      Pure GOLD!

        Quote  Reply

    104. Nadia:
      Arthur,

      Right but if you think the show does heroes, I think you’re going to be mistaken.

      The more I think about it, the more I wonder if GRRM is going to completely destroy the hero myth with Jon.

      All those clues about his parentage, the prophesies, his sword, everything – and then he dies. There’s no inspirational hero to save Westeros, there’s no happy inspirational ending, there are just these crappy people and poor masses and feuding families and they all have to figure out a way to survive or die. Jon Snow is the hero lost.

      Or he comes back as somethingnot heroic.

      I could easily see this being the case. Actually, the real “hero” (to the extent there is one) might end up being Tyrion, and I would be just find with that.

        Quote  Reply

    105. WorfWWorfington:
      Wimsey,

      Wouldn’t that be Jon Waters, since he was born in the Crownlands and his father was a member of the ruling family at the time? (or at roughly the time)

      I thought Baratheon bastards were Stone.

      Anyway, I’m just not sure we need to do the mental gymnastics. I think they are either lying to us outright — in which case he’s Jon Snow, played by Kit Harrington — or telling us the truth, and Jon is dead dead dead and we don’t know WHAT the hell is happening next.

      Northern bastards: Snow
      River lands: Rivers
      Vale: Stone
      Storm lands: Storm
      Iron Islands: Pyke
      Westerlands: Hill
      Reach: Flowers
      Crown lands: Waters
      Dorne: Sand

        Quote  Reply

    106. WorfWWorfington,

      Where was the Tower of Joy located? For some reason, I thought that it was in Dorne, but I realize that I probably thought that because a Dayne was there.

      JamesL: The only improvements on the book would be Hardhome and linking up Dany and Tyrion.

      There were other improvements. Accelerating Tyrions ascension, giving Sansa any storyline at all, making Brienne’s contribution to the story clear, making Theon’s rebirth due to another protagonist and his own volition rather than being forced out of him by incidental characters and having Jorah make amends with Daeny before it was done all come to mind. And, of course, there is always addition by subtraction: cutting the Riverlands, cutting the Iron Islands, cutting Arianne and cutting Quentyn all improved things relative to either the books or (particularly!) relative to what the TV show would have been with any of them. It is too bad that Dorne could not be completely cut, too, but as it probably will be important in next year’s plot, and as Jaime’s story had to be set somewhere, I endured it.

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    107. I love Tyrion, but I’m of the mind there will be multiple ‘heroes’ so to speak. The books and the show have made me love multiple POV characters, I’d be bored if we have to rally behind one singular hero. I pray that the next book/season is Stark heavy, Sansa, Arya and Bran need to enter the main plot and actually drive it forward in their respective own ways.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Deesensfan:
      Luka Nieto,

      That’s what I am saying
      the premiere will be massive, but if there is no sign or hope for Jon, I sense frustration and annoyance and loss of viewership (and when I saw loss I don’t mean the show gets cancelled)
      Its so frustrating to think that a story so good like Jon’s can be fuckin ruined like that
      I really hopenot. I was considering reading the books but now I don’t thinkI will if that’s that for Jon’s story.

      The 1st ep. of season 6 will be titled Jon Jump`s
      the shark

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    109. If Jon Snow is gone and his parentage isn’t important, it was bizarre that they had so many possibly pointless hints and references this season when they’ve been very good at making every scene count and using little details to foreshadow other things and come back to them later. Plus it leaves a lot of plots and storylines unfinished. Why keep Mel and Davos alive at all, let alone bring them to the wall? Why highlight Tormund and the Wildlings so much? What of Bran and his visions? And what’s going to happen to Jon’s body? Odd that they wouldn’t have a scene of him being buried, or burned, or something. I hope that if Jon is dead, that they have some good plan for what to do with the characters around the wall and in the north in general, because it seems pretty weird without him.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Nadia:
      For everyone talking about how important Jon’s story is, that is exactly the kind of thing GRRM subverts. Jon’s parentage, “all I see is Snow,” Azor Ahai…all those things are supposed to make you think Jon plays a huge heroic part in the coming battle, not lying dead betrayed by his Night’s Watch companions.

      And yet, the more I think about it, leaving Jon Snow dead strikes me as exactly what GRRM might do.

      There will be no reborn prophesied hero to save Westeros. Instead, all those left are going to have to put their petty quarrels aside and deal with Winter themselves.

      And given how many years there were between books and that GRRM knows all the fans think Jon will survive, do you really think that troll will actually write to expectations?

      I don’t think GRRM is the subversive writer he’s cracked up to be, but I would love something like this.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Ravyn: The quote was from Michael Lombardo the president of HBO. Sorry I can’t dig for it now, but it’s out there, essentially saying “we started this with our subscribers and for their $$$ each month the expectation would be we finish it with them.” He said it last year.

      Thanks!

        Quote  Reply

    112. Ravyn:
      Valaquen,

      I was thinking what if Martin is pulling a Hitchcock/Psycho switch of main characters. But that doesn’t compute either. Greenwald is right: it’s Too Late in the game for that, and would just be bad storytelling. I just can’t get past how adamant Kit and Weiss were. Almost no wiggle room.

      Plenty of wiggle room. He dies. He’s dead. He gets resurrected. This isn’t CPR.

      Or they could just lie.

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    113. M: I don’t think GRRM is the subversive writer he’s cracked up to be, but I would love something like this.

      Bad writing ≠ subversive writing.

        Quote  Reply

    114. M: I don’t think GRRM is the subversive writer he’s cracked up to be, but I would love something like this.

      Bad writing ≠ subversive writing.

      Alan: I believe it is technically in Dorne.

      OK, that is why I guessed Sands. But I’m not even sure that is how it works. (Obviously, Ned would have used “Snow” for Jon to hide where he was born because under all X+Y=J conjectures, Ned is determined to keep mummy secret.)

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    115. Deesensfan,

      And Ghost saves Sam and Gilly but not Jon?

      I wondered about that too, and actually suspected that Jon did warg into ghost to protect Sam (probably farfetched, I know) But Ghost would at least have protested, unless they locked him up or killed him too

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    116. ash,

      Well to me if they locked him, they should have showed us him going crazy in his cage, just like we saw Grey Wind go crazy in his cage when Robb was in danger. Then if they did kill him, they should have showed us as well… just like they showed us Grey Wind’s death. I think that the direwolves significance has been emphasized and the fact they didn’t show Ghost during the For the Watch retardedness is WEAK

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    117. The way I figure it, Ghost had enough time to help Sam and Gilly, but didn’t have enough time to help Jon.

      Here’s how.

      Let’s say Ghost can somehow pick up on “oh shit” distress signals from Jon and from people important to Jon. (I assume this is the case, because otherwise, Ghost showing up to help Sam and Gilly was a coincidence, and I don’t think it was meant to be seen as one.)

      Sam’s “oh shit” distress signal went off the moment those guys came in and started creeping out on Gilly. While Gilly and Sam tried to fight them off, Ghost was running to their assistance. Ergo, he was able to show up before the attack was over.

      But Jon’s “oh shit” distress signal didn’t go off until he saw the word “TRAITOR.” Prior to that, he was excited, eager for news of his uncle, not nervous or scared.

      The moment he realized something was wrong, he was getting stabbed.

      So by the time Ghost could sense Jon’s distress, it was too late.

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    118. Topher Snow: I do wonder how they are going to market the show next season… If everyone is on a cliffhanger and they show footage of Season 6, then it kind of loses any potential of “where are they/what if…”.

      Oh, god. They’ll do another Sight campaign. I think The Sight set the tone for this season. It cursed the season with leaks, misinformation, & every other debacle.

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    119. I enjoyed this Finale~

      Whether if Jon snow lives or stays dead, I’ll still be watching this franchise, for sure. For those who thought Season 5 was slow, it becomes extremely good when binge-watched.

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    120. If Kit is not in season 6, then my money is on Melisandre resurrecting Jon Snow, but putting a glamour on him (ala Rattleshirt/Mance) to look like Stannis.

        Quote  Reply

    121. WorfWWorfington: Alan

      It’s not the Boba Fett if only because only about half the people like Dorne. I really enjoy all of Dorne — Arianne, Quentyn, the slow burn of Doran, and the disastrous consequences. Thematically, it’s pretty close to Stannis’ on the show (not in the books necessarily).

      But either way, they changed it, and I don’t mind that — what I mind is that they changed it to something much less interesting and much more pointless. They might as well have cut it if this was the result.

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    122. Ravyn,

      HBO has also just released a film based off Entourage, which appears to have been a commercial and critical failure.

      They haven’t had that great of luck making movies out of their series, except for Sex in the City, and even there, it was no great shakes. I’d be surprised that HBO management would be too open to a GOT movie right now, for just that reason alone. It just hasn’t worked out well for them.

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    123. Dragon Tender,

      I could see with how little new imagination the entertainment industry seems to have now a days a large swap coming down the pipe.
      HBO hands off the rights to GoT in return for rights to LoTR.
      GoT gets made into a epic 3 part movie and LoTR gets made into a 5 season series.

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    124. In my opinion, the Starks, the Lannisters, and the Targs should be issued the most powerful plot armor. Sure you can lose one or two of each, but eliminating one of the families is a guaranteed way for viewers to lose interest.

      By the same token you can’t place them in perpetual jeopardy (like Sansa) without providing the viewers the occasional break where a character is reasonably safe.

      I believe Stannis and Mrycella are very probably permanently dead, and Jon is technically dead with a strong possibility of resurrection. Theon and Sansa are likely injured with an outside chance of Theon being dead (unless he has a further Greyjoy part to play). Oh and for any Trant truthers, I refer you to the Monty Python dead parrot sketch.

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    125. Dragon Tender,

      That is not the same. Those shows finished on HBO and then years later decided to get the cast back together and make a movie. GoT is telling a heavily serialized story and HBO feels it would be wrong to start it on their channel and then force subscribers to go to the movies to see it finished.

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    126. Shock Me:
      Oh and for any Trant truthers, I refer you to the Monty Python dead parrot sketch.

      Just ship him back to Qyburn, I bet he could still make that King’s Guard “voom”.

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    127. As good news as this may be, it appears that the grief of the showwatchers has entered the “Anger Phase” .
      I was just on previouslytv.com and this season as well as the entire series is being utterly eviscerated on every board there. StillShimpy the great UnSullied has become a book reader! I’ve seen articles in newsprint and electronic media saying the series (book and show) has lost its way and is going down the same disappointing road as Lost…
      Let’s hope this is an emotional reaction to the finale and not the beginning of a complete backlash.
      Hopefully the “Bargaining phase” is coming.

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    128. High Sparrow:
      Pau, where are you?

      Getting ready for the Sonar this weekend and Glastonbury next week!!! 😀

      PS: Anyway if I remember correctly you said viewership would climb to 8M in episode 7 and instead dropped to 5.4M as we said it would due to the Memorial day thinguie. I said it would climb again until 8M on the finale at some point and I was right, although I said it before the huge drop. If you would’ve asked me after I would have said 7-7,5M tops

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    129. Regarding next season, if Jon comes back he will come back in the first 4 episodes, which are the ones sent to the critics. I’m sure it will get leaked somehow if that’s the case.

      Regardless if he comes back or not the ratings next season for sure will be higher, because we’re reaching the end and book readers won’t want to be spoiled, so will watch the first airing.

      People say no show has seen a ratings increased over all their seasons but that is exactly what happened with Sons of Anarchy and what is hapening with The Walking Dead. I’m sure it will happen with GoT too

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    130. Joshua Atreides:
      And man does the NY Times hate this show.
      It’s almost like they are being paid to hate it.

      I love how downright nonsensical some of these hate reviews are. Like it’s not enough to criticise, but you have to resort to lies to prove your point. For example, in his long litany that strives to explain how nothing changed this season, the “reviewer” also says this:

      …when you look at the overall framework, nearly all the characters are where they were when the season began: The usurping Boltons are still in Winterfell; Sansa is still on the run; Arya is still hiding in Braavos; the dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen and the sly dwarf, Tyrion, are still marooned in Essos; the Lannisters still occupy the castle in King’s Landing.

      What does this even mean? Lannisters have been “occupying” King’s Landing since Season 1. In fact, this is the first season that depicts their gradual fall from power, and the weakening of the Crown’s grip on the city with Cersei and Margaery imprisoned, Tommen incompetent and ineffectual, and a radical religious movement gaining popular support and increasing secular power.

      What about “Tyrion still marooned in Essos”, as if he’s been there for years? He just got there, for fuck’s sake, traveled over half the continent and managed to become Dany’s right hand man! In what universe does that amount to treading water?

      The same goes for this guy’s bullshit on Arya: “she is still hiding in Braavos”, he knowingly states. Still? Yeah, she just arrived at the beginning of the season and is still there, which is total departure from her Seasons 1-4 storyline and clearly a new narrative development.

      Do these guys think while writing this trash? We’re not talking about opinions, these are outright fabrications and lies.

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    131. Wanted to add: I like how a supposedly renowned outlet like NYT is resorting to argumentum ad populum to “prove” its point, with pearls of wisdom such as this:

      …a wildly popular show that seems […] to be losing faith with a growing number of its viewers.

      and this

      The question is how much longer we’ll care at all.

      Okay, I’d like to know who these we are that the reviewer seems to think he’s a spokesman of. I’d also like to know which metric he uses to ascertain that the show is losing faith with a growing number of viewers. Is there a metric aside from viewing figures, which contradict him utterly? Or should we accept the anonymity of the Interwebz’ most vocal as proof of anything?

        Quote  Reply

    132. Mr Fixit:
      Wanted to add: I like how a supposedly renowned outlet like NYT is resorting to argumentum ad populum to “prove” its point, with pearls of wisdom such as this:

      …a wildly popular show that seems […] to be losing faith with a growing number of its viewers.

      and this

      The question is how much longer we’ll care at all.

      Okay, I’d like to know who these we are that the reviewer seems to think he’s a spokesman of. I’d also like to know which metric he uses to ascertain that the show is losing faith with a growing number of viewers. Is there a metric aside from viewing figures, which contradict him utterly? Or should we accept the anonymity of the Interwebz’ most vocal as proof of anything?

      You could say mid-season there was some dissent in some critic’s and viewer’s opinions, but after the last 3 episodes all that is forgotten.

      The more people care about something the more extreme their reactions. Like Barça for example, 4 months ago we all wanted the president gone, the coach gone, and almost the Camp Nou burned!! Then we went and won everything and is the best team ever. Reading those opinions I always though “look, like GoT!”…and reading WotW I think “look, like Barça fans!”.

      I’m sure it’s the same everywhere else 😉

        Quote  Reply

    133. Deesensfan:
      Pau,

      Typical Barca fans!

      Hahaha!

      In Madrid is the same but opposite, 4 months ago they were the best of the world and after losing everything they sacked the coach and want to sack half the team 😉

        Quote  Reply

    134. Deesensfan:
      Pau,

      Typical Barca fans!

      By the way Natalia Tena (Osha on the show) is playing in Glastonbury next week with her band Molotov Jukebox and I’ll be sure not to miss her…just to make you hate me even more 😛

        Quote  Reply

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