Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 3 – High Sparrow – Recap

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Growing pains in new roles take center stage for several characters in “High Sparrow,” tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones. Arya delves deeper into the mysterious House of Black and White, Jon grapples with his Lord Commander position, and Cersei faces off against Margaery in an escalating war between queens. We also welcome back a few characters for the first time this season.

Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The post and the comments section will contain spoilers! If you haven’t read the books yet, please check out our non-book-reader recap. Thanks!


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Arya finds her studies in the House of Black and White aren’t quite what she expected since she didn’t cross the Narrow Sea to become an apprentice janitor. Jaqen (yes, he is No One but a woman will call him Jaqen for simplicity’s sake) reminds her Valar Dohaeris: all men must serve. Her path to becoming a Faceless (Wo)Man must begin with becoming no one, and serving in any way required. She observes the gift of death being administered in the temple to those who ask for it and the bodies being quietly carried off by other servants of the Many-Faced God.

In King’s Landing, the people cheer for their new queen Margaery and ignore Cersei. It seems Maggy the Frog’s prophecy of a younger, more beautiful queen is coming true. Cersei seethes, and wears mourning black to Tommen’s wedding. Nice to see they repurposed the decor from Joffrey’s ceremony, by the way. Why waste a perfectly good everything just because of a little poisoning?

Tommen and Margaery enthusiastically consummate their marriage. (I particularly love the moment when she pretends she hasn’t been internally saying ‘Queen’ before her name for her entire life.) The king is easily manipulated by his bride into thinking that perhaps a permanent trip back to Cersei’s childhood home Casterly Rock is in order for the Queen Mum.

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Cersei does not care for the idea. Sensing Margaery’s hand in it, she goes for a breakfast counterstrike. Margaery throws her “exhausting” night and Cersei’s future grandmotherhood in her mother in law’s face. With her position cemented, Queen Marg isn’t pulling any punches. Cersei unabashedly gets in her face, but she loses the skirmish and retreats with young women’s laughter trailing after her.

Up in the North- welcome to season 5, Bolton Family Fun Hour! “Where No One Has Fun And It’s Actually Pretty Horrible.” We know it’s time because there are flayed bodies serving as a grim reminder of what it means to cross Ramsay and not pay your taxes. Reek cringes, seeing the corpses hoisted high, perhaps remembering what he did long ago to two boys. Roose talks business with his thuggish son about the need for alliances, particularly of the marital kind, and the writing’s on the wall: Ramsay’s getting married.

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Just outside Moat Cailin, Littlefinger confirms to Sansa that he’s taking her home and she quickly grasps what that really means- and that the marriage discussed in last week’s episode is for her. That’s right, Littlefinger has promised her to the Boltons. Sansa understandably rebels, because anyone with an ounce of sense would run screaming into the night. But Littlefinger (after creeping into her personal space as usual) convinces her that this marriage will give her the opportunity to avenge her family.

Following them, Brienne and Pod watch them ride away- and Bri already knows where they’re headed so they take a break. After weeks (months?) of traveling together, Brienne finally gets curious about her companion and has him share the sorry tale of how he came to be in Tyrion’s service- he ate a stolen ham, and was saved only because he was a Payne. After telling her he’s proud to be her squire, Brienne decides to train him properly how to fight and ride so he won’t be the Worst Squire Ever any longer.

After the bonding moment, they segue into another memory, of how Renly won her loyalty and love when he rescued her from humiliation at a ball. Young men subjected her to a cruel prank but Renly danced with her, saving her. (It’s sort of like “Carrie” at the prom with a happier ending, until the shadow baby.) Failing to save Renly in return haunts her, and she vows to have revenge against Stannis for killing his brother.

She’s headed north….Stannis is in the North. Hmmm.

Speaking of Stannis, his bad month at the Wall continues as Jon declines his offer to become a legitimate Stark and lord of Winterfell. The wildlings still aren’t interested in his war either. Stannis takes the opportunity to suggest sending away Ser Alliser Thorne to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.

Davos jumps in to use down-home logic (and to call Stannis the “one true king” again) by having Olly recite the Night’s Watch oath, to remind Jon that being the shield that guards the realms of men is their job. And the Boltons certainly threaten them all, so the Night’s Watch would be doing the right thing in helping out. Jon is still undecided.

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Back in the House of Black and White, Arya is challenged by a pale young woman (Faye Marsay) who she has seen in the temple. The Waif (her actions are Waif-like so let’s call her that even though casting calls had indicated the Waif would be Asian) demands to know, “Who are you?” and hits Arya when she doesn’t like her answers. Arya angrily goes for her Needle but Jaqen interrupts the young women.

The Waif insists she was merely playing ‘the game of faces’ but Jaqen spies Arya’s belongings and draws attention to the fact that she hasn’t relinquished any of herself since coming to the House.

Arya goes to the docks, clad now in the same plain shapeless dress as the Waif, and sinks her old clothes. She takes a few seconds longer to say goodbye to her iron coin before tossing that in as well. And last, she draws out Needle. Arya looks heartbreakingly young in that moment, and when she is faced with saying goodbye to the last piece of home she has, she can’t let go of it. She hides Needle under a bunch of stones by the docks.

Now that she’s cast aside all her belongings (it appears, anyway), Arya is allowed deeper into the House of Black and White. In the next step of her training, she helps the Waif clean and undress the body of the man she watched die earlier. At first Arya tries to ask questions but it’s made clear she needs to let go of those too, and serve.

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Sansa is received at Winterfell by the Boltons, and watched by Reek who hides himself from the woman he knew when he was Theon. Once upon a time, Septa Mordane said, “Courtesy is a lady’s armor,” and you can see Sansa suck up her rage and grief and turn on her charm to win over the Boltons. Roose may not be fooled but Ramsay likes what he sees. Myranda glowers to see her torture boyfriend won over.

Led to her chambers by an old servant, Sansa is given a warm welcome by the woman who tells her, “The North remembers!”

And every book-reading viewer went:

cheer

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At the Wall, Jon psychs out Ser Alliser by making him think he’s on latrine duty before giving him the awesome job of First Ranger, last held by the long missing Benjen Stark. He gives Janos Slynt the job of looking after Greyguard, which Slynt considers beneath him.

He ignores the order and the danger involved in refusing commands in the Night’s Watch until Jon orders him taken outside. Even Alliser Thorne makes no move to help his crony.

He begs for mercy but it’s too late. Jon does as he was brought up to do by Ned Stark, and carries out the execution himself. He passed the sentence, he swings the sword, and Janos Slynt’s head rolls.

Back in King’s Landing, at Littlefinger’s brothel, the High Septon is doing as people in authority often do: play weird sex games with group of young prostitutes. Olyvar oversees the proceedings until the game is suddenly broke up. Lancel and the Sparrows (a seriously uncool boy band) drag the buck-naked High Septon out of the brothel to what sounds like music from The Omen. The religious fanatics force the septon to walk all the way back to…wherever…in the altogether.

Later, the High Septon demands action be taken about these Sparrows taking over the city and in particular he wants their leader the High Sparrow removed. An unsympathetic Cersei is intrigued by this new holy man on the scene and sets out to visit him herself.

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She finds the barefoot High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) humbly ladling out soup to the poor. He offers no resistance to Cersei or the accusations of what the Sparrows have done. He only betrays surprise when she reveals that instead of arresting or executing him, it’s the High Septon who has been thrown into prison.

At the Red Keep, Cersei has a message sent off to Littlefinger via Qyburn’s ravens. Qyburn (who has been chopping off rat tails for Qyburn-ish reasons. Literally no one was surprised when he was booted from the maesters, I’m guessing) obliges…and shushes the large shape spasming on the slab under a sheet.

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Up at Winterfell, Reek is dodging Sansa still while Ramsay chats with his future in-law. Littlefinger admits that he’s heard little about Ramsay. (At this point, I expected Ramsay to look into the camera like he was on The Office. Really, Littlefinger?!)

Roose and Littlefinger assess the waning strength of the Lannisters, and their own motivations and betrayals. The message from Cersei has arrived, after the message went to the Eyrie first and was forwarded on. (Everyone has jetpacks now.) Roose wisely trusts no one and wants to read Baelish’s reply before it’s sent off.

The Tyrion and Varys Roadshow arrives in Volantis after crossing an epic bridge into the slave city. I really dig the attention to detail given to this scene in all respects. Tyrion’s thrilled to ditch the big box and explore the city a bit. They come across a red priestess (Rila Fukushima) who is marginally less creepy than Melisandre (bonus: Thoros of Myr name-drop!). The priestess is full of shout-outs, name-dropping the dragon queen and Stone Men (double-bonus: another greyscale mention this season) before her knowing gaze falls on Tyrion. And then Tyrion obeys his lifelong coping strategy and motto of “Let’s find a brothel.”

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And so he does. He sasses a guard with superb facial hair (we haven’t seen it that good since Rodrik Cassel), cruises by someone with familiar vambraces, and settles in. The brothel is rowdy, packed with Volantenes and prostitutes including one dressed like Daenerys Targaryen. It’s then we see those familiar arms again and realize it’s…Jorah Mormont, drinking his sorrows away in a Volantis brothel after being cast out by his khaleesi.

Tyrion chats with a cynical young brothel worker (Gwyneth Keyworth) whose defensiveness evokes Shae. When she loosens up and invites him to join her in her room, Tyrion surprises himself by turning her down.

Confused and put out, he excuses him to go piss off the tallest place he can find (shout-out to season one!) and as he finishes, someone sneaks up behind him with a rope.

It’s Jorah!

“I’m taking you to the queen,” he says, gagging and tying up Tyrion.

Next week: the Tyrion and Jorah Roadshow?

 

Highlights:

The sights, props, and set design: The interiors of the House of Black and White, with the huge statues, and the creation of Volantis in all its details were just stunning this week.

Brienne and Pod get personal: Brienne’s history is so painful but the scene was beautifully acted, with the characters taking steps forward but also looking back at their motivations.

Maisie Williams: she gets stronger as a performer every year, and the House of Black and White storyline served her well tonight.

Wonderfully creepy Qyburn. And the hints at what’s under that sheet. Anton Lesser is delightful.

Tyrion’s Wit: Tyrion’s scene was sluggish last week but his wit and his spark of life is returning. The sassy sex worker is a bit of a cliche but I liked the actress in Tyrion’s scene this week, and I thought Tyrion’s Volantis scenes were overall a breath of fresh air. I can’t wait to see Peter Dinklage and Iain Glen sharing scenes next week.

Roose and Littlefinger: While Littlefinger’s misstep is baffling, I love watching these two talk. Two amazing actors matching each other step for step.

Alfie Allen: Not a word spoken but you can’t look away.

Jonathan Pryce: Many words spoken, and all of them delivered with such careful nuance. I’m so glad he’s on this show.

Jon swings his sword: Block-fetching of not, it was still a very good scene. Give it up for Dominic Carter, being such a quality jerk character for several seasons.

I didn’t love it:

Clueless Littlefinger: I’m supposed to believe Littlefinger has no idea Ramsay is a torturing monster when Ramsay parades his misdeeds publicly and has for years? Littlefinger who has spies everywhere? Reallllly?? I get that they wanted this plot to happen but it feels like they threw Littlefinger’s intelligence under the bus to make it work.

Book-Reader Woes

Fetch-a-Block Gate:  “Olly, bring me my sword” is a line parallel to “Edd, fetch me a block,” so it doesn’t actually bother me that they changed the line. But I know it’s going to righteously tick off some of my fellow book-readers. We love a good -gate.

343 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. “Edd, fetch me a block” still sounds infinitely more badass than “Olly, bring me my sword.”

      I’m done caring. It didn’t bother me, anyway.

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    2. Yung Wolf,

      They way he said it, he could have said bring me flowers and the effect would have been the same – everyone knew what was about to happen.

      BTW what did Tyrion see on the prostitute that took him aback. Was it greyscale?

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    3. I kind of like it when they change famous book lines. It’s too funny watching book purists moan and whine forever about it, despite the fact it rarely ever makes a difference. I hope D&D do it deliberately because of this reason.

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    4. Roose and Littlefinger was fucking fantastic, no matter how you feel about the change from the books. Aiden has really stepped it up this season and Michael McElhatton is so smoothe, he almost makes me like Roose.

      Jon has arrived. Kit has won back my support. So happy to see my favorite character from the books finally starting to come into his own on the show.

      Jorah, you son of a bitch! Please tell me he has been a frequent customer to the prostitute dressed as Dany. Oh, and the Sorrows is definitely happening, and I worry for Jorah.

      Best episode this season. Best 3rd episode of any season. And yet, I am preparing for fundamentalist rage.

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    5. ash:
      Yung Wolf,

      They way he said it, he could have said bring me flowers and the effect would have been the same – everyone knew what was about to happen.

      BTW what did Tyrion see on the prostitute that took him aback. Was it greyscale?

      I was assuming that it was internal… that he wasn’t mentally prepared to be with a woman yet. He may have killed Shae himself but that doesn’t mean his love disappeared.

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    6. Oh, please. Not another absurd controversy a la “Your sister/Only Cat”. It’s really tiresome to wade through all the whining.
      Btw, who says LF doesn’t know about Ramsay? He pretty much tells Sansa this is a chance to avenge her family.

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    7. Morgoth:

      Btw, who says LF doesn’t know about Ramsay? He pretty much tells Sansa this is a chance to avenge her family.

      Exactly. The only person who said that LF doesn’t know about Ramsay was…LF, and he is of course always absolutely honest.

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    8. I’m very surprised to see anyone hating on this episode here and on other sites. It HAS to be butt-hurt book purists or something because the quality of the episode was very good. I’m seeing “worst episode ever” being written by some. Whatever… I don’t know why I even bother reading comments…

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    9. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Agree with all of this. It really was a superb episode. Out of all the scenes I guess Arya washing dead bodies was a little dull, but it is definitely necessary for her arc, so that’s only a small quibble.

      I praised Anton Lesser last week, and he was great again.
      “So you were attending to the needs of these devout prostitutes?”
      Love it!

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    10. Morgoth,

      LF told Ramsey straight up he doesn’t know anything about him (however informed he always is about every single lord) which is very weird for Petyr. Ramsey explained that he is only a lord for a little while now, which supposedly explains LF lack of knowledge for his particular hobby of torturing people. It makes for a poor LF, no matter how you turn it.

      The line about revenge was for Roose Bolton killing Robb. As Sansa tells Petyr that Roose killed her brother. Not for Ramsey.

      Aiden Gillen is the only reason that storyline works for me. Him and Michael McElhatton. They gave him full plausible (albeit, forced) reasons. They also made Petyr Baelish very less informed than his book counterpart.

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    11. Acting was amazing…everyone delivered when they had to. Gwen, Maisie, Sophie, Kit, Michael and, of course, Alfie without uttering one word.

      Lots of changes from the books and not one change bothers me. A wonderful episode. The interior of the HOBW was exactly how I imagined. Volantis was beautifully done.

      Not sure how Sansa’s story will play out but I can’t wait to see how all of these characters interact.

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    12. Tormund’s Woman:
      Morgoth,

      LF told Ramsey straight up he doesn’t know anything about him (however informed he always is about every single lord) which is very weird for Petyr. Ramsey explained that he is only a lord for a little while now, which supposedly explains LF lack of knowledge for his particular hobby of torturing people. It makes for a poor LF, no matter how you turn it.

      I’m pretty sure Littlefinger just said that as a courtesy so that Roose could talk about his son. Much better than LF saying “hey I heard your son tortures people how’s that working out.” Pretty sure LF knows all about Ramsay

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    13. I admit I absolutely love the Wall. Everything about it. The “Edd, fetch a block” included. Yes I know it’s changed and Ed got cut there, but OMG! Jon and Stannis?!?!?!? I could not wish for better scenes. The slight nod at the end! The whole scene where Slynt whimpers and Jon swings the sword! Where has Kit hidden his acting until now?! Davos and Jon was good too. Liam Cunningham is brilliant.

      Another highlight: Cersei and the HS. I knew Jonathan Pryce is going to own it. And so he did! I need to see the ep again.

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    14. Jerry: I’m pretty sure Littlefinger just said that as a courtesy so that Roose could talk about his son. Much better than LF saying “hey I heard your son tortures people how’s that working out.” Pretty sure LF knows all about Ramsay

      Yeah, I agree. LF wouldn’t just appear saying, “So, how’s that flaying going? Nice fresh corpses you got there, decorating Winterfell’s walls”.

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    15. Jerry,

      I hope you are right. Because that would put LF exactly where I thought of his book equivalent. Ruthless, cunning and smart. But I only go by what the show is telling me. For now he’s reduced to clueless.

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    16. Man that smile sansa gave roose was awesome, shades of arya telling tywin anyone can die. I don’t know if the sansa thing will work but that was my favorite moment of the episode.

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    17. Clob,

      Haters gonna hate.

      On the odd occasion I visit westeros.org I treat most of the comments with layers of irony. I can only presume that it must be the case, because when I despise something (or in this case a TV show) I simply stop watching, but I’m probably not as intelligent as the behemoths of literary knowledge over there.

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    18. As someone else already mentioned, I don’t think LF was as uninformed about Ramsay as he made himself out to be.

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    19. clk,

      No, I didn’t see Volantis, either.

      So, I asked this on the open chat thread right before this one was opened, so I’ll ask it again here:

      Did anyone else catch “Jaqen’s” line to Arya about how there is only one god and she knows his name??? Is that some kind of Braavosi saying, or…

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    20. clk,

      No, it wasn’t there. I guess they didn’t think it was worth the money for just one episode. Shame, but as long as the money was spent well I’m happy.

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    21. Yes, but if Littlefinger knows about Ramsay then he would be chancing it that he’s handing Sansa over to be murdered or gruesomely tortured before he ever profits from it. If that happens to Sansa (torture/abuse/pain) and she’s alive, and he knew, she can run off and then rat out Littlefinger for killing Lysa, remember? And tell people she felt threatened or whatever and that that’s why she lied. People would believe it of him. He has good reason to keep Sansa content and alive. It doesn’t gel, him either not knowing about Ramsay’s torture hobbies without boundaries (he did it to Theon, a lord/king’s son) or LF risking Sansa turning on him because he betrayed her trust.

      Littlefinger is greedy for power but he isn’t stupid. I think it’s a major stretch.

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    22. Wonderful episode. AFFC/ADWD may be great to read with all their details and plot wanderings, but that just doesn’t work for TV. Let the book purists rant – I enjoy the books, but I love how the showrunners are now taking a very large Valyrian steel sword to the books’ Gordian/Meereenese knot, and things are really starting to move along.

      Why think LF doesn’t know anything about Ramsay – why would you believe anything LF says?! Pretend you don’t know anything, ask innocent sounding questions, get people to talk (especially about themselves!) … that’s a good way to find things out, and cross-check what you already know or have heard. LF is a past master of those tactics, and he is only ever interested in LF as #1.

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    23. Terrific episode, best of the season thus far. I’m a bit concerned about where they are taking the Sansa storyline, but I’m willing to wait and see how they handle it rather than tear it to shreds before we know how it goes down.

      Was that woman with Arya The Waif? Always imagined her to be a lot younger if so.

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    24. So this is where we get our got on now. Looks like I’m late to finding this site. I thought the fandom packed up and left westeros.

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    25. clk,

      D&D can’t be bothered to change locations in the intro from episode-to-episode. They’ve been neglecting it the entire series.

      It is known.

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    26. Morgoth,

      Yeah, after all he’s been doing this a few years. I’d say he knows all, and has always had a very good poker face. Anyway, something tells me he’s wanting revenge as much as Sansa does. He’s not going to let anything happen to her.

      Loved Margery’s asking how to address Cersei. Eyow!

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    27. Remember Roose talks to Ramsay about keeping peace in the North, and that flaying people alive won’t cut it now that Tywin is dead. I doubt Roose would allow his son to toy with Sansa and torture her the way he did with Theon. (IIRC, Roose did scold Ramsay for torturing Theon, as he’s useless now to negotiate with Balon Greyjoy…who, btw, is still alive. That hanging thread is bugging me)
      I’m not saying he will be nice and kind to her, heh, but he’ll show some restraint, me thinks.

      @Nymeria Warrior Queen: Not Syrio Forel. He’s dead.

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    28. Not sure if Littlefinger is clueless or just pretending, since I never take anything he says at face value. For all we know, he knows exactly what he’s getting Sansa into and doesn’t care as long as he finds another place to stir the pot.

      I’m still nervous about Sansa taking over Jeyne Poole’s story arc, since in the books LF was the one who had Jeyne “broken in at one of his brothels.

      eta: spoiler tags hate me tonight, can’t get them to work.

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    29. haven’t posted in a while now, especially in these threads since the constant bivkering annoys the ess out of me, and i am steadfastly going to refuse to get into it this year, fruitless dicussion that never goes anywhere.

      having said that, i am not sure if it’s just me or if it was the episode or what, but for the first time in a long time, and maybe ever, as much as i have loved the show, my heart was actually pounding as i watched this. i felt physically anxious. the last time i felt that anxious with this series was when i was reading the book chapter for the red wedding the first time.

      i’ve got to say i really really love not knowing what will happen next. watching the show with too much knowledge really just saps the fun out of it.

      no amount of bickering over little or even big controversies will change that.

      finally, for the record, there is no chance littlefinger, who knows everything about everyone at all times, doesn’t know about ramsey. littlefinger’s only true love after cat is “climbing the ladder.” i don’t think he has an ounce of affection for sansa but sees her as a powerful piece on his chessboard, nothing more and nothing less. if he really cared about her he would not bring her to winterfell. as usual, i think he is two steps ahead of the boltons and everyone else. only difference now is that sansa knows it and may be using him to her own ends as well.

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    30. I’m getting much more positive reviews from my unsullied friends about this episode than the previous two. They all loved it. And from browsing the previously.tv board, the non-book readers all seemed to love it as well.

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    31. OMG. Sophie Turner and Michael McElhatton killed that scene. Sansa armouring herself up in her courtesy, and Roose not being fooled for an instant — yet knowing that it really doesn’t matter. Absolutely electric. I hope they get many more scenes together this season, because their chemistry was spectacular.

      Superb episode overall, I thought.

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    32. This was an excellent episode overall. I really like that Pycelle got pissed off when the small council was discussing the High Septon’s extracurricular activities. He can obviously relate haha. Really looking forward to the eventual conversation between Theon and Sansa. Littlefinger makes his machinations slightly more up front in the books when it comes to Sansa marrying Harry the heir. I’m a little more confused about how he’s going to achieve his goals on the show. And one thing that has been bothering me since season 3 (as far as book to show changes go), is that the members of various northern houses who went to the Twins with Robb got left by the wayside. This continues to bother me because not only did their presence throughout several books make the book’s red wedding that much more impactful, it makes the current events make no sense. Roose is only able to gain the allegiance of a lot of the northern houses because it was established that his father in law Walder Frey, holds many of many of their kin hostage. By doing away with that in the show, why would those same houses have any reason to even entertain the idea of swearing their swords to the man who not only betrayed and murdered their king, but also had a hand in murdering their family members?

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    33. Morgoth,

      I’m not one of those who subscribes to the JH=SF (and a bunch of other people, too), but it definitely struck me.

      Also, I think Roose sees Sansa as his best chance to hold onto the North. I don’t think he’ll allow Ramsay to harm her.

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    34. I actually think LF pretending to not not know about Ramsey is pretty much a LF move.

      “Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you. Remember that, Sansa, when you come to play the game.”

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    35. Jerry,

      Don’t get why LF would put Sansa in this situation then – after all the work he went through to obtain her as an asset. Maybe they have a plot in place though. Guess we’ll see-

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    36. Great episode. My only quibble was with that one vulva shot that seemed a bit gratuitous. Although that might have just been because I was very close to my laptop so it was right up in my face!

      I still have some reservations about the Sansa and Ramsay storyline but as long as he doesn’t torture her I’m okay with it. Show Ramsay is smarter and more restrained so I’m hoping he’ll recognize that treating her poorly would be politically unwise. We’ll see.

      I couldn’t care less about block gate. The line in the book is a cheer line not because the line itself is so great, but because of the context. We’re happy because Janos – one of the people responsible for Ned’s death – got what was coming to him. Even though Jon doesn’t know he’s avenging Ned’s death, it’s what he’s doing.

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    37. Loved this.

      Couldn’t Littlefinger be knowing about Ramsay and still say that he doesn’t know much about him? Why would he act as if he knows that he’s wedding away a girl he cares for to a monster?

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    38. I actually have yet to see anyone complain about them changing “Edd, fetch me a block”, probably because they utterly nailed the scene. It was one of my favorite Jon Snow moments in the books and I was so pleased with the way it was executed.

      I’ve made my peace with the fact that they’ll be going off book in many ways but I am super nervous about how Sansa’s storyline is going to play out. I’m trying to withhold judgment until we see more of it… we’ll see.

      Agreed with the comments above that Littlefinger is feigning ignorance about Ramsay. I snorted when he claimed he knew nothing about him. Also agree that Volantis looks amazing, and I can’t wait to see more of Pryce as the High Sparrow.

      Is anyone else wondering how the Margaery-Cersei plotline is going to play out now that Margaery and Tommen have consummated their marriage?

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    39. Yung Wolf,

      I love how they keep pushing this Olly character to the forefront. DO YOU LOVE HIM NOW? Do you need him to kill someone else and slowly nod at you like a badass?

      The biggest reason this scene worked in the books was because Janos Slynt was the man who not only betrayed Ned, but also dragged him to the executioner and kicked him to the ground to die. This wasn’t even in the show, so it doesn’t matter. Meh.

      Everything in King’s Landing was perfect though.

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    40. Dang my post got eaten.

      I LOVVED this episode.

      Loved loved loved.

      D&D are keeping in all of the best book moments and making them really shine. Loved everything jon, stannis, Brienne. High sparrow = great. Tyrion stuff, very good. Thank you writers for whitewashing in this case.

      And the NEW stuff! I’m so excited! I anticipated sansa/brienne was going to be my favorite arc and so far it TOTALLY is. Forget the reek chapters, this is 100x better! What’s going to happen ahhhh!

      Only part that dragged at all was Aryas stuff and even that was spectacular. Maybe Margaery was a little too unsubtle. also was wondering wtf was with the rider knowing to find LF&S at winterfell? Did they forget that the last two episodes they were traveling to a top secret location in cognito??? Anyway, nitpicks.

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    41. Robb17,

      I feel like you can use that line from the books to explain all the seemingly stupid shit Littlefinger does on the show. I’ll say this, the happenings at Winterfell could have been handled much worse, considering how far D&D went with the changes. I did not expect to enjoy that storyline when I heard of Sansa and LF’s involvement, but now it may be what I’m most interested in.

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    42. Sue the Fury,

      true, but where will sansa run off to? and who will she tell who actually cares? the boltons don’t care that lf killed lysa, pretty sure sanse isn’t going to run to tell the lannisters. will she go back to the vale? and even fi she tells them, why wouldn’t they think she had something to do with it? after all, she didn’t tell them before, why hide it unless she had something to do with it, and it’s not like lf was so beloved in the vale that sansa would have to worry about them protecting her from him. honestly the only people who would really care would be the tully’s and where the eff are they?

      i also think, anyway, that lf knows the boltons would never let sansa leave and he also knows they are not stupid enough to torture her, cruel as they may be.

      if anything, i think the boltons look kind of stupid for letting someone who wants them dead and who clearly still holds some loyalty from the people into their inner circle.

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    43. Also I was absolutely ecstatic and screamed at the TV when Rila Fukushima came. Honestly didnt know she was even cast. Loved her in “Wolverine”

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    44. Dyamanda,

      It’s okay, you don’t need to use them in this post anyway. Unless you’re posting something from The Winds of Winter, I guess. Anything from the published books 1-5 is fair game.

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    45. Minty,

      Yes, but you forget the show also wrote him a murder without him having a prepared alibi. He almost blowed his game in the Vale away, and Sansa stepped in to save his ass. Which actually came as a surprise for him. Thus, he has a huge precedent of carelessness. You cannot play the LF knows-all anymore, without some people asking themselves: does he truly know?

      However, there’s still a possibility where he’s playing Sansa into the Bolton’s hands, and he willingly and knowingly sold her out to that Ramsey the Devil Incarnate to further his cause, knowing that after that one does a number on her she’s never going to open her mouth about the Vale incident. Maybe. It’s a possibility. Although not one that pleases me, because quite frankly, I hoped he’s going to be Sansa’s tutor in the game of thrones for a while…

      Edit: Maybe Roose won’t let the Sansa Torture and Abuse show happen! Or who knows, perhaps Theon finds himself a hero inside and decides to save Sansa from a life worse than death. Oh, I do hope she’s not joining the ranks of Ramsey’s Girls. I do hope. Or I will freaking riot.

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    46. I absolutely adored the episode. I laughed out loud at the Margaery scenes, Natalie’s acting was so sharp. Arya’s content was also miles ahead from last week’s episode’s. About the whole LF and sansa thing: For me it was quite clear that he was lying when he said he had not heard of Ramsay (I mean, there were actual flayed bodies hanging from the walls), he probably knows that Roose wouldn’t let Ramsay do anything to sansa before the north was 100% secured, wich would at least give LF more time to figure things out. And the North remembers part was just perfect.
      The wall plot was great, amazing acting by everyone as usual. I really liked what they did with Volantis (The red priestess’ actress did and amazing job with the acting considering she had such a small role), my only complaint is that there is no Volantene or Bravosi Valyrian this season, wich I think would have given a bigger depth to those locations.
      Overall, a great episode, surely the best of the season so far. Looking forward to next week’s episode (specially because Nym, my godess, is in it).

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    47. I definitely don’t get the vibe that Margaery will be arrested. There is nothing Cersei can pin on her now that Tommen consummated the marriage.

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    48. good episode, but we just past the rubicon river. The entire LF and Sansa plot makes 0 sense at the moment, I don’t know what they could do to salvage the plot. LF knowing nothing of Ramsay is just ridiculous, totally removes and depth to the scenes with him and Bolton- LF comes across as an idiot. What does he gain by having Sansa in Winterfell? Is LF now HBO’s master of coin trying to saving as much as he can for the budget? Just odd.

      I didn’t see it coming, but “The North Remembers” scene was weak. A random old lady tells her this better not be the only thing that makes it to the screen from Manderly’s plot :/

      I really don’t like the foreshadowing of Brienne/Stannis- that would be ridiculous, but at this point who knows.

      Loved that they used the same song from Theon/Rodrick, Robb/Karstark, scene felt rushed though.

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    49. Personally the season keeps on getting better and better (the season opener lacked the wow factor for me)

      I think it’s time to finally acknowledge Maisie Williams as an actor; not a child actor. The scene with needle? Not many people can pull off a non word scene and it’s the second time she’s nailed one (her parting ways with the Hound).

      Everything just clicked: Cersei thinking she has control over the Capital, Jon at the Wall, Tyrion and Jorah (Yup, I squealed like a baby when I saw him) BUT I’m having mixed feeling about the whole Sansa thing. Don’t get me wrong, the performances were top notch from Littlefinger vs Roose, Alfie Allen who I strongly believe is one of the best actors in the series and c’mon, Ramsay’s smile is just adorable; I know I’m not alone in that one… But the thing I’m not buying is the plot were Jon rescues Arya. Mainly because:

      A) Well… Mance. Duh! and
      B) I don’t think I buy suddenly Jon caring for Sansa.

      Maybe Brienne will be the one to get her and Theon out and go to Castle Black were Hey; Stannis might still be in?

      IDK… What do you guys think?

      I have to end this with the obvious…
      WHERE IS GENDRY?!!!!!!

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    50. I think it’s important to remember that the show has gone to some lengths to indicate that Ramsay’s hobbies seem to be confined to the Dreadfort for the most part. He does not have a reputation that precedes him like he does in the books (with the whole Lady Hornwood stuff which has not occurred in show canon).

      Robb certainly felt comfortable enough entrusting him to be the one to liberate Winterfell (bad decision but whatcha gonna do?). And if the Starks are unaware of what kind of guy Ramsay is as a member of the house of one of their main bannermen, then I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that he’s been flying mostly under the radar.

      As Ramsay said, he’s been a bastard son of a minor house lord up until very recently so no one would have bothered to find our anything about him until now.

      I don’t think it’s inconceivable that LF isn’t fully aware of who he’s dealing with here. And at the same time, he knows this kid is a Bolton, so he’s not going to be sunshine and lollipops either. LF isn’t Varys. He’s got spies in important places but he’s not all seeing and knowing. The Boltons weren’t a house to really bother with knowing about until Roose made his move.

      That explanation doesn’t bother me as much as it seems to for others.

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    51. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      I definitely don’t get the vibe that Margaery will be arrested. There is nothing Cersei can pin on her now that Tommen consummated the marriage.

      Yeah, I think Loras will take Margaery’s place. Instead of sending him to take Dragonstone, she’ll unleash the sparrows on him.

      I wonder if Brienne will actually face Stannis this season. I fear for The Mannis.

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    52. Some thoughts:
      – I have seen the inside of the HoB&W and I am very content. That made my season so far.
      – Give Lena Headey the Emmy already! Cersei’s glare….
      – Love the “walk” by the High Septon. Another walk down/up that Baelor alley….
      – Love Qyburn!
      – King Tween and Marg…ugh.
      – Sansa at WF & LF’s strategy…No fucking comment except THEY SAW THE FLAYED REMAINS AT MOAT CAILIN, didn’t they?
      – Brienne and her campfire talks. yay
      – Jon is da boss at CB but why is this season so much about Olly? Ugh. And why does Jon need Olly to fetch his fucking sword? Good riddance, Slynt…that’s all I’ll say.
      – Stannis nods!
      – A Red Priestess supports Dany? They are making that connection quite obvious…..interesting.
      – Varys handed Tyrion off to Jorah. He knew exactly what he was doing. Now the game begins (for both V & T)
      – Was that brunette whore in Volantis sort of Pennyish???
      – Another Stone Men reference. Yeah!

      An “oh well” episode. Next please.

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    53. clk,

      He was definitely referring to death. The reason Arya said that in season 3 is because that’s what Syrio Forel taught her. I think Syrio is dead, which is why the line struck me so, and why I asked if that’s just something Braavosi say.

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    54. jonathan pryce as high sparrow is genius. man that guy can act and can come off as creepy even when he is humbly and charitably feeding the poor and decrepit. he and cersie have great chmeistry and should have some great scenes together.

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    55. Hodor’s Bastard:
      Some thoughts:
      – Another Stone Men reference. Yeah!

      LOL Grayscale matters. I wonder who’s getting it… If it is Jorah, I fear for my Unsullied friends. Big Jorah supporters.

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    56. Yeah, I’m thinking that the amount of greyscale references so far definitely point to the writers incorporating something major happening with the disease in the future, whether from the books or not.

      Maybe Jorah gets greyscale at the show’s version of the Sorrows, thus bringing the disease to Westeros via Danaerys? What was it that someone teased after seeing the filming at that bridge where the Sorrows were speculated to happen this season? “All men must die” or something?

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    57. Morgoth: Yeah, I think Loras will take Margaery’s place. Instead of sending him to take Dragonstone, she’ll unleash the sparrows on him.

      Yep. I think that’s what the whole Olyvar/Loras scene was setting up.

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    58. I’m glad other people liked the look Stannis gave Jon. It made me ridiculously happy for some reason. I also like that they preserved Davos’ ADWD plot a little bit by having him talk up Stannis. Since Sam spilled the beans about Bran and Rickon still being alive, I wonder if Stannis is going to be the one to send him after Rickon.

      I never realized that Brienne was creeping ever closer to Stannis until this episode. I’m very curious about where this is going.

      Was anyone else afraid that Arya was going to actually throw needle away? That would have turned me into a raging purist! The fact that they kept it the same as the books confirms my suspicions that Arya will never truly be No One. I’m hoping the show finally has her doing some warging this season.

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    59. I guess I’m kind of a purist but this episode was near perfect there was nothing I’d change story and directing wise. Best episode in a while!

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    60. johnnytata:
      Sue the Fury,

      true, but where will sansa run off to?and who will she tell who actually cares?the boltons don’t care that lf killed lysa, pretty sure sanse isn’t going to run to tell the lannisters.will she go back to the vale?and even fi she tells them, why wouldn’t they think she had something to do with it?after all, she didn’t tell them before, why hide it unless she had something to do with it, and it’s not like lf was so beloved in the vale that sansa would have to worry about them protecting her from him.honestly the only people who would really care would be the tully’s and where the eff are they?

      i also think, anyway, that lf knows the boltons would never let sansa leave and he also knows they are not stupid enough to torture her, cruel as they may be.

      if anything, i think the boltons look kind of stupid for letting someone who wants them dead and who clearly still holds some loyalty from the people into their inner circle.

      I think that Roose not viewing Sansa as a threat makes perfect sense because she’s a woman. Woman in most of Westeros (especially to someone like Roose) are only viewed as pawns in their politics. But Roose doesn’t realize that Littlefinger has been teaching Sansa the game, and underestimating her just because she’s a woman will probably be his downfall.

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    61. LF knows everything about Ramsay. C’mon guys, of course he does!!!!

      I still just can’t get past Sansa/Sophie sounding like she has a bad head cold. Yeah, she can’t help it, neither can I. It’s gonna take a lot to make me a fan at this point.

      Theon, on the other hand – where was Alfie hiding this??? He’s perfect this season, he even looks completely different. Kudos to him, he’s killing it.

      I’m almost as proud of Jon in these 3 episodes of S5 as Stannis is. Never a strong feeling one way or the other about him in previous seasons, he keeps nailing it. That moment when he makes you believe that maybe, just maybe he’ll not go through with it with Janos, and then he does? Well….*slow clap*

      They’ve sped up Arya’s storyline. Good. If they are fitting in what many think they will this season, they need to. Amazing interior scenes, and I think I’ve already voiced my glee for Tom Wlaschiha. That moment when Arya held Needle….I held my breath. She looked so small.

      Tyrion just saying no….also hurt my heart a little. His incredulousness at his own change of heart. Eff yeah Jorah. Ser Friendzone grows a pair, and I like it. I’d love for him to keep them.

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    62. WeirwoodTreeHugger: Was anyone else afraid that Arya was going to actually throw needle away? That would have turned me into a raging purist!

      Yes, for a second I was afraid she’d chuck it in the water, which is a testament to Maise’s acting. I probably would have turned into a raging pursit if she had, too…hahaha.

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    63. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Yes! I have never been a fan of the theories that other characters are Faceless Men (Daario, Euron, etc.) but I may be swayed to this one. Too much similarity here.

      And another mention of greyscale! Gives me the shivers.

      I loved this episode! The verbal sparring of Cersei and Margaery, Stannis/Davos/Jon, the HoBaW, septon shaming, religious fanatics (in KL and Volantis), Pod wins Brienne over, The Bolton clan. I agree with Sue that some of the motivations for the Sansa arc have me scratching my head, but it is hard to divorce my book knowledge from the motivations shown on the show in Littlefinger’s case because he and his plots are so complex. I feel somewhat the same way about Jon’s arc because, just from what was shown, Jon seemed more blood thirsty than I remember him being in that scene. I need a rewatch with pausing capability to be sure I’m giving the scene a fair chance. The high points of the episode for me, though, were seeing Jorah’s vambraces and then the tortured look on his face as he listens to the Khaleesi whore’s banter; Tyrion’s revelations while talking to the dark haired whore; and Emmy’s all over for Maisie as she contemplated letting Needle sink! The range of emotion on her face was extraordinary!

      And did anyone else expect something from the shrouded body in Qyburn’s lab, yet still jump and squeak when it rattled? Such fun!

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    64. Renly’s Peach:

      I love how they keep pushing this Olly character to the forefront. DO YOU LOVE HIM NOW? Do you need him to kill someone else and slowly nod at you like a badass?

      They want you to remember him so that when he goes all tearful Brutus on Jon Snow later on, you won’t be goiug “Huh? Who’s that kid?”

      The biggest reason this scene worked in the books was because Janos Slynt was the man who not only betrayed Ned, but also dragged him to the executioner and kicked him to the ground to die. This wasn’t even in the show, so it doesn’t matter. Meh.

      In the show, a good part of what makes it work is that he’s the asshole we saw murder an infant right in front of her mother’s screaming face. That wasn’t in the books, so maybe you didn’t remember it? My Unsullied housemates sure as hell did. They’ve been baying for his blood for years now.

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    65. WeirwoodTreeHugger:
      I’m glad other people liked the look Stannis gave Jon.It made me ridiculously happy for some reason. I also like that they preserved Davos’ ADWD plot a little bit by having him talk up Stannis.Since Sam spilled the beans about Bran and Rickon still being alive, I wonder if Stannis is going to be the one to send him after Rickon.

      I never realized that Brienne was creeping ever closer to Stannis until this episode. I’m very curious about where this is going.

      Was anyone else afraid that Arya was going to actually throw needle away? That would have turned me into a raging purist!The fact that they kept it the same as the books confirms my suspicions that Arya will never truly be No One.I’m hoping the show finally has her doing some warging this season.

      I like your theory about Stannis being the one to send Davos after Rickon. Makes perfect sense. Though I’m not sure how he will find out where Rickon is because he doesn’t have Wex Pyke to send him in the right direction lol. I also agree that Arya really needs to start warging. So does Jon, for that matter. Or at the very least it needs to be established that he has that power, even if he doesn’t realize he does. Especially because I agree with the popular theory of Jon=Ghost=Jon again.

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    66. Really didn’t enjoy that episode, thought it was rather poor if I am honest.

      At least the scene with Jon and Janos was nailed right, it was pretty much perfect.

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    67. ALSO, so if Brienne and Pod are going through the swamps (I guess?), does that mean they will run into Howland Reed and he will join them on their way to Winterfell, thus proving that Howland Reed is in fact the HOODED MAN IN WINTERFELL?!?!?!

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    68. afartherroom: In the show, a good part of what makes it work is that he’s the asshole we saw murder an infant right in front of her mother’s screaming face. That wasn’t in the books, so maybe you didn’t remember it? My Unsullied housemates sure as hell did. They’ve been baying for his blood for years now.

      I actually remember him being part of the bastards massacre now more than the Ned thing from the books. I think possibly because it was shown on Previously Ons a bunch of times, and of course it was a horrible thing to happen. People may not remember his name but they certainly remember that guy who was a total prick.

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    69. Maceless Fan,

      This would have worked spectacularly if they had only made Bran and Jon meet up at Craster’s Keep last season. Bran tells Jon that Rickon has gone to Last Hearth; Jon later tells Stannis this in confidence; Stannis sends Davos on a covert mission to Last Hearth.

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    70. Quiddity: Was that woman with Arya The Waif? Always imagined her to be a lot younger if so.

      Yes it’s her. She’s credited as Waif in the HBO promo pics released after the episode finished so it’s definitely her.

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    71. I already hate that little shit Olly, perhaps they’re making it too obvious?

      Brienne’s story – well done. Every girl can relate to being a self – conscious teen, vulnerable to the cruelness of others. Almost made me like Renly.

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    72. WeirwoodTreeHugger:
      Great episode.My only quibble was with that one vulva shot that seemed a bit gratuitous. Although that might have just been because I was very close to my laptop so it was right up in my face!

      Agreed that this shot was gratuitous to the point of distraction. Strangely, the Marge/Tommen scene went too far in the opposite direction; the scene strained so hard to protect Natalie’s modesty that it reminded me of A Shot In the Dark or Austin Powers.

      But these are quibbles. This was a very strong episode, IMO.

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    73. Yung Wolf,

      Bowen Marsh is in the show. He was cast this season, and has been in all three episodes. He is basically just a featured extra though, in the same manner as Othell Yarwyck. Olly makes more sense than either of them for FTW.

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    74. Absolutely loved this episode. Brienne talking about Renly and Arya trying to toss Needle were highlights for me. One of Gwendoline’s and Maisie’s best acted scenes on the series so far imo.

      Margaery/Cersei stuff was great. (Can’t believe people had a problem with the Marge/Tommen scene either. One of the few ‘healthy’ relationships that have been portrayed imo.)

      And Alfie’s already having a standout performance this season and he hasn’t had a line yet!!!
      And how big is the budget this season? Volantis and Braavos looked incredible.

      And in regards to LF/Sansa stuff; I think that we definitely need to see the entire season before we judge how much his sense his plan makes. And even if he does know about Ramsay; I can totally buy that he would risk Sansa to further his cause. He may be obsessed with her, but if he can use her to garner more power, I think it’s totally in character for LF (show-LF, at least) to take that chance. Either way, Sansa and LF in WF were a highlight of the episode. So much good stuff.

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    75. I’m thinking maybe LF doesn’t intend for Ramsay to live long after the marriage. Once LF feels he has control of Winterfell, he won’t be needed. Without an heir or the backing of a stable Tywin led Lannister regime, Roose doesn’t have any power.

      I’m guessing this is the show’s way of bringing back the Starks in the north in a more efficient way than the books.

      I understand the necessity of condensing things but am still sad about the loss of Wyman and his Frey pies.

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    76. Why the Olly hate? He’s obviously being set up for the moment when Jon gets “Caesared”. In a way, it’s understandable. Wildlings massacred and ate his family.

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    77. The Bastard:
      Maceless Fan,

      She hasn’t killed anybody…. yet….

      Yet being the operative word haha. Also keep in mind that there are ways that Sansa could bring about the end of House Bolton and not actually have to kill anyone directly. I’m more inclined to believe that Sansa will do it more indirectly. It would be yet another parallel between the Stark sisters because Arya is more the type to kill directly with sword. Arya defends herself the best way that she knows how. As others have pointed out, Sansa is using her courtesy like a shield. And possibly a sword as well.

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    78. afartherroom:

      They want you to remember him so that when he goes all tearful Brutus on Jon Snow later on,

      you won’t be going “Huh? Who’s that kid?”

      My every single chocolate chip cookie rides on that wild hypothesis you have there!!! It would also be ironic because the kid killed Ygritte… Poor Olly.

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    79. King Tommen,

      Very, very good point about Robb. If Robb, the King in the North, didn’t know anything about the son of one of his right hand men (!!!) then it’s totally plausible to me that Lf doesn’t know either. Why would anyone care about the hobbies of a bastard anyway? But I’m right there with you. It’s just not hard for me to buy.

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    80. Liked the episode for the most part. Lots of good bits but felt, much like the first two, disjointed at times. There is so much story to tell, I can see why the writers feel the need to merge plots, but it just makes me wish they had more episodes to flesh some things out.
      Teared right up when Arya was holding needle. The HoBW is pretty cool but another dark as hell set. Maisie has a good cry.
      Still wary of Sansa in Winterfell but it’s obvious (or maybe not) that Theon will play a big role into Sansas’ season end.

      The rescue of Jeyne Poole now being the rescue of Sansa from sadistic wedding sex with Ramsey. Or something of the like.

      So, who is Brienne avenging now? Is she still trying to “save” a Stark girl or is she back to wanting to avenge Renly? I liked her camp side chat with Pod, touching to hear the back story of why she felt connected to him, but her whole plot has become nonsensical. If she ends up at WF, she could avenge Catelyn. If Stannis shows up, bonus plan. Though I think her targets have been seriously misguided up to this point. I wouldn’t mind if she is the one to take out Melisandre but Stannis? Hell no. I don’t care what kind of hero arc the writers have her on, not Stannis. Never Stannis.

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    81. Dogs:
      Maceless Fan,

      This would have worked spectacularly if they had only made Bran and Jon meet up at Craster’s Keep last season. Bran tells Jon that Rickon has gone to Last Hearth; Jon later tells Stannis this in confidence; Stannis sends Davos on a covert mission to Last Hearth.

      Agreed. Who else besides Bran and Meera know where Rickon went? And when we Finally do see Rickon and Osha again with (presumably) the Umbers, with the Umbers now be in open rebellion against their new liege lord Roose Bolton? I posted a little while ago about my thoughts regarding the lack of Walder Frey holding northern hostages on the show. Because that hasn’t been established on the show, why would a lot of the northern houses follow the man whose directly responsible for murdering their family members at the red wedding?

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    82. Tormund’s Woman: LOL Grayscale matters.

      Heh. Why am I now imagining that as the tagline of a charity drive? “Only YOU can help us find a cure for grayscale. Grayscale Matters!”

      Seriously, though, I guess Grayscale really does matter. Has it been referenced in every episode so far this season? Brrrrrr…

      Pigeon:
      Theon, on the other hand – where was Alfie hiding this??? He’s perfect this season, he even looks completely different. Kudos to him, he’s killing it.

      No kidding. Do you think he lost weight purposefully just for this season? The boy looks positively gaunt. I wish he’d looked this rough last season; I think it might have really helped sell his plotline (which could really have used the help last season, IMO).

      I know it’s going to cause an avalanche of cries of “whitewashing,” but I think I’m–I dunno, relieved?–by how they’re writing Tyrion this season. Yeah, he’s a lot lighter than book Tyrion. A lot lighter. That’s okay, really. I’ll take this more sympathetic incarnation of his character over the sister-rape-fantasizing, whore-hatefucking version, thanks.

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    83. Kells,

      I think she’ll have to end up choosing between her oaths, breaking one in the process. Save Sansa? Avenge Catelyn? Avenge Renly? I think it will be very interesting…

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    84. How on earth can Littlefinger not know that Ramsay, who has been flaying his away around the north with abandon and is keeping everyone in line with the fear of such, is an absolute monster? And how can he know that Stannis has superior forces to the Boltons? What, is he Orell in disguise and snooping on them from above? And if Stannis DID have superior forces, the Boltons would be totally screwed. In the books, the Boltons have about a 3:2 manpower advantage and a huge home turf advantage, offset by the fact that their alliance is not held together tightly and a lot of the northern lords have reason to hate the Boltons and thus might betray them. This leads to a balanced dynamic where a quick win on a single battlefield might cause minor lords to switch sides, snowballing everything in favor of the side with the early victory. In the show, *Stannis* has the superior forces, and enough so to offset the home turf advantage? In that case, just about all the northern lords would side with him and the Bolton/Freys would be toast…especially because they just spit directly in the face of the crown and thus have no hope of any backup from that direction.

      This marriage gains the Boltons little and costs them a lot, requires LF to believe things that are either untrue or in contradiction with the entire strategic situation in the north, and requires Sansa to be…well, Sansa. I guess we can bank on the last part.

      Gaah, this plot and the Jaime-in-Dorne one are just not flying, in my opinion.

      That being said, I liked the Jon/Slynt scene and everything with the High Sparrow. Pryce nailed it. Brienne finally shedding the crap-on-Pod routine was also highly welcome.

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    85. Well, to start things off, long time lurker, first time poster!

      I am Sullied, but am by no means a book purist. I believe the two mediums are their own separate entities, and I enjoy both of them immensely. I absolutely loved this episode on numerous levels!

      The one aspect of the episode that gave me pause, as many others have expressed concern about as well, was Littletinger’s behavior and emotions. At first, I too scoffed when Littlefinger told Ramsay that he did not know much about Ramsay. Yea right! That’s not very Littlefingery! I figured Littlefinger was feigning ignorance for whatever reasons. However, the more I think about it, the more I begin the fall in with Sue’s line of thinking. If Littlefinger does know of Ramsay’s sadistic behaviors, why would he not only bring Sansa to Winterfell to marry the man, but also leave her there to fend for herself?? Based on the letter received from Cersei- which I believe to be a summons to King’s Landing for whatever reason- Littlefinger will be leaving Sansa at Winterfell soon. Whether Littlefinger was telling the truth and knows little about Ramsay, or he does know but is still willing to leave Sansa alone at Winterfell with her future husband, neither of the two options strike me as making very much sense to Littlefinger’s character in the show. Perhaps I should withhold my judgments, confusions, and ramblings until a few more episodes have aired and possibly more motivations and truths have been unearthed, but it’s something that is just irking me and will not seem to go away!

      Also on my mind: what are people’s thoughts on the very strange and hard-to-read look that that Volantene Red Priestess gave to Tyrion? And where do people think the show is going with the (2 this season) Greyscale references?? That is something by which I am very intrigued!!

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    86. Wow… so anyone who didn’t like this episode is now considered a book purist D&D hating piece of shit is that it? I suppose we should all just be like “OMG BEST EPISODE EVER!!! GAWD D&D ARE THE BEST!!!”

      The parallel between book purists and show purists is truly something ironic.

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    87. King in the North Carolina: Strangely, the Marge/Tommen scene went too far in the opposite direction; the scene strained so hard to protect Natalie’s modesty that it reminded me of A Shot In the Dark or Austin Powers.

      Great. Now on my rewatch, I’ll be imagining Margaery holding up melons and clocks. 😉

      I thought they handled the Margaery and Tommen scene very well. It could have gone very wrong very easily, imo, but it didn’t.

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    88. Yung Wolf:
      Big Mac,

      That… is actually plausible. Especially since Bowen Marsh is no longer in the show and probably won’t be coming back.

      Michael Condron has been cast as Bowen Marsh for this season.

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    89. afartherroom,

      A friend of a friend of a friend (one of those) was part of a group with the show at the premiere in San Fran. He overheard a guy saying that Alfie goes to some pretty extreme lengths to lose weight for the show (nothing tawdry, just things like running everywhere he goes instead of driving, back and forth over long distances, along with dietary restrictions). It sounds miserable, I have to hand it to him.

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    90. I think it’d be great if she told everyone to go eff themselves, and went off on another adventure with Pod in tow. Kingsguard?

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    91. Nightflayer,

      Typical book purist response. The vast majority of comments here seem to suggest that the viewer thought the episode was excellent, but with a few quibbles. I don’t think there’s a single one claiming that D&D are faultless. The fact is that there aren’t really any people who are “show purists”; just people who understand the different medium. They are both happy to praise and criticise, and won’t go in deliberately looking to criticise or praise a particular aspect of the show. This is very much unlike a book purist, who will watch every episode looking for areas to criticise.

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    92. Hello, first time posting, but I lurk.

      A lot of people are saying that Ramsay and Roose are not dumb enough to torture Sansa, and I agree, but I know one person who is.

      Myranda.

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    93. Pigeon,

      Wow. That’s some serious dedication. Good for Alfie! Now I feel a bit guilty for my earlier comment, though. “Dammit, Alfie, couldn’t you have emaciated yourself more last season?”

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    94. Nymeria Sand: what are people’s thoughts on the very strange and hard-to-read look that that Volantene Red Priestess gave to Tyrion? And where do people think the show is going with the (2 this season) Greyscale references?? That is something by which I am very intrigued!!

      She had been talking about Daenerys when she saw Tyrion. My guess is she saw something about Tyrion and Daenerys in her fires. Your guess is as good as mine with the greyscale references. My guess is Jorah is picking up that part of JonCon’s thread, and if so, hopefully that means he makes it to Westeros. From there, though, I have no clue.

      Great screenname, btw. 🙂

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    95. Nymeria Sand:

      The one aspect of the episode that gave me pause, as many others have expressed concern about as well, was Littletinger’s behavior and emotions. At first, I too scoffed when Littlefinger told Ramsay that he did not know much about Ramsay. Yea right! That’s not very Littlefingery! I figured Littlefinger was feigning ignorance for whatever reasons. However, the more I think about it, the more I begin the fall in with Sue’s line of thinking. If Littlefinger does know of Ramsay’s sadistic behaviors, why would he not only bring Sansa to Winterfell to marry the man, but also leave her there to fend for herself?? Based on the letter received from Cersei- which I believe to be a summons to King’s Landing for whatever reason- Littlefinger will be leaving Sansa at Winterfell soon. Whether Littlefinger was telling the truth and knows little about Ramsay, or he does know but is still willing to leave Sansa alone at Winterfell with her future husband, neither of the two options strike me as making very much sense to Littlefinger’s character in the show. Perhaps I should withhold my judgments, confusions, and ramblings until a few more episodes have aired and possibly more motivations and truths have been unearthed, but it’s something that is just irking me and will not seem to go away!

      Also on my mind: what are people’s thoughts on the very strange and hard-to-read look that that Volantene Red Priestess gave to Tyrion? And where do people think the show is going with the (2 this season) Greyscale references?? That is something by which I am very intrigued!!

      1). you are assuming that littlefinger cares about sansa. i personally do not think he does. this is not just based on my knowledge of the books. i am pretty sure that most people think of little finger as a scheming power hungry backstabber who has the pulse of the politics of westeros better than anyone else on the show. they made such a point if him caring only about climbing the ladder. this is a power move. a gamble, for sure, but a power move nonethelss and sansa is an assett he is looking to cash in. i honestly think if it helped him gain his goal, he would help ramsey flay sansa.

      2). yeah, i think that lok was worth a thousand words, but wish i knew the words.

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    96. Loved this episode, and glad to be able to finally talk about it. 😉 One thing I’ve really enjoyed this season compared to previous ones is that they seem to be getting better at segueing between scenes, so that there is some sort of flow or connection between them. I remember various past episodes that seemed much more disjointed at times, almost like clip shows.

      If anyone doubted that greyscale would be “a thing” — it’s going to be. They’re not just hanging a gun, but a damn arsenal.

      I loved the Wall storyline especially – it’s really coming into it’s own, and the interplay between Jon, Davos, and Stannis is great.

      The High Sparrow himself is fantastic, and Qyburn is perfectly creepy.

      Well, anyway, loved this episode – can’t wait for next week when a couple more important guns get hung on the wall…

      And, please, give the bookreader/showwatcher nonsense a rest. I’ve read all the books, I love the show. I think I’ve enjoyed this season more than any of the others so far because it’s the first time I don’t really know where some storylines will go, so I can actually enjoy the show on its own terms, without constantly making comparisons. If that keeps up, next year should be *gold.* 🙂

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    97. This is the first episode where I was truly excited for Sansa’s story! Wow, the possibilities. I think Littlefinger has made some serious mistakes and forgotten that Sansa also learnt from and observed Cersei. My preditions at this point are: she will marry Ramsay and have him wrapped around her little finger, and will get him to kill Roose for her. Then when Stannis arrives, Sansa Stark is married to Ramsay, who didn’t do anything bad to any Stark, so the happy couple will get Stannis’ blessings. 🙂
      Stannis, though? Call me crazy, but I think he’s gonna meet his end at Brienne’s hand, for having shadowbaby murder his own kin, Renly.
      Cersei will strike at Marg through her brother. But Cersei herself is playing a dangerous, dangerous game with the High Septon, who’s supersharp, which sadly, Cersei is most definitely not. 🙂
      Arya’s story was a bit boring for me. But yay for Volantis, for the Red Priestess sensing something in Tyrion, for the slaves listening to talk of remaking the world, and for Jorah! New road trip ahead. Who’s gonna get greyscale? Jorah? Someone else who goes to Westeros from Essos?

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    98. Seriously doubt that D&D are going to take Sansa the way that GRRM took Jeyne Poole. Jeyne Poole was a fake and Ramsay knew it. Sansa is authentic, and Roose will not allow anything bad to happen to her. Whatever bad thing happens to her is probably the result of something Myranda does. And I can’t wait to see her get hers.

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    99. If Ramsay is manipulated or charmed by Sansa, he’s a complete disappointment.

      Qyburn “sushing” the corpse was kind of awesome. I half expected him to hand him a teddy bear.

      The High Sparrow is all the more enjoyable to watch since you know what lies behind the calm, seemingly reasonable demeanor.

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    100. Nymeria Sand: Also on my mind: what are people’s thoughts on the very strange and hard-to-read look that that Volantene Red Priestess gave to Tyrion? And where do people think the show is going with the (2 this season) Greyscale references?

      So totally book-Unsullied here, but I think the Red Priestess’ (Rila Fukushima, yay!) look suggested something special she sensed about Tyrion. Almost like she suddenly felt a sixth sense about him and sought him out with her eyes. Would I be very surprised if Tyrion had a bonding moment later with poor chained-up and incensed Viserion and Rhaegal? Nah. 🙂
      The greyscale references are massive at this point. I almost feel that there will be an epidemic in Westeros sooner or later.

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    101. And it’s because of Turner’s strength, Benioff continued, that it made sense to give Sansa a dramatic storyline this season and to use Ramsay’s engagement for that very purpose. In fact, the showrunners first thought about putting Sansa and Ramsay together since back when they were writing season 2. “We really wanted Sansa to play a major part this season,” Benioff said. “If we were going to stay absolutely faithful to the book, it was going to be very hard to do that. There was as subplot we loved from the books, but it used a character that’s not in the show.”

      Writer-producer Bryan Cogman had some insight too: “The seeds were planted early on in our minds,” he said. “In the books, Sansa has very few chapters in the Vale once she’s up there. That was not going to be an option for one of our lead characters. While this is a very bold departure, [we liked] the power of bringing a Stark back to Winterfell and having her reunite with Theon under these circumstances.”

      Besides, Cogman pointed out: “You have this storyline with Ramsay. Do you have one of your leading ladies—who is an incredibly talented actor who we’ve followed for five years and viewers love and adore—do it? Or do you bring in a new character to do it? To me, the question answers itself: You use the character the audience is invested in.

      That all said, just because the writers are mining another character’s storylline for Sansa, it doesn’t mean what happens next on HBO’s series will be the same as it was for that other character in the books. So while Martin’s fans might think they now know where Sansa’s story is headed, the showrunners could have more twists planned. ”
      http://www.ew.com/article/2015/04/26/game-thrones-sansa-ramsay-interview

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    102. afartherroom,

      Haha! Well that’s just some fourth – party hearsay, but I imagine most actors doing that sort of role would have to suffer a bit for it. Imagine being in a 2 minute shot of an episode and having completely transformed yourself over months for it. Amazing (obviously he’ ll be in more than that, but you know what I mean). Makeup and wardrobe are pretty genius on this show as well.

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    103. I liked the episodes but I’ll be screaming internally about Sansa in Winterfell with the Boltons for as long as that storyline goes on. “The North Remembers” was the best thing about that story. It does seem like Sansa is clueless or has forgotten Littlefinger’s role in her father’s death.

      Arya was heartbreaking with Needle. I know that they couldn’t include her thoughts in the books unless she made an awkward speech to herself, but I think they did quite well at visually showing why she hesitated. Anyone watching the show should remember her ‘my brother gave me that sword’ from last season and hopefully get why she kept it.

      Margaery was burning Cersei left and right with the comments about not having wine for her because it was too early for them and her dig about the change in the title. I loved that whole scene. I do wonder if Natalie Dormer felt like a pedophile because of the Tommen/bed scene LOL She’s only twice his age in RL 😛

      The show is relying a bit more on meaningful looks without too much explanation like between the priestess and Tyrion. I was getting a little tired of Tyrion/Varys spelling everything out in the first two episodes so its good to have a few things that make you wonder.

      Loved Slynt being gone and the way Thorne acted like he was going to block Edd fro taking him then stepping aside. Thorne may be a jerk but he’s honestly a loyal to the core brother even if he hates Jon being their leader – he respects the position. Ever since 4×9 he has gone up so many notches in my book.

      Loved Brienne telling the Brienne the Beauty story and her warming up to Pod finally.

      Overall – solid episode despite the horrifying storyline with Sansa.

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    104. I’m very concerned for Sansa’s story arc, but otherwise the episode is really good.

      I loved every scene, the acting was incredible. Sophie and Maisie are such incredibly talented young ladies!

      Every episode seems to keep building and building toward a goal… and even book readers don’t know what the goal is! I think that makes it more exciting than knowing everything… soon we will all be like Jon Snow and know nothing.

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    105. Rygritte: Benioff: “There was a subplot we loved from the books, but it used a character that’s not in the show.”

      So D&D loved the fArya subplot, eh? Oh my.

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    106. i think that if book readers didn’t have knowledge of the books they wouldn’t be so worried about the sansa arc. honestly.

      for example:

      “It does seem like Sansa is clueless or has forgotten Littlefinger’s role in her father’s death.”

      or, sansa has finally learned to stop being a little priss and understands that sometimes to survive, and/or, even better to get what you want, you might have to ilterally get in bed with some evil people. i think based on what we have seen in the show this is completely plausible and much better than her riding around the vale meeting random people i wouldn’t care about.

      channel your inner yoda.

      “you must unlearn what you have learned.”

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    107. I said some stuff in the past about the likelihood of a Sansa and Ramsay wedding. I freely admit to being wrong. I also said some stuff about it not making sense. I’m still not ready to admit defeat on this one but I hope to be able to in the future. So far the weakest link is Littlefinger’s apparent cluelessness, but since he is known for not revealing everything there is still a small degree of hope. I want to be wrong about it not working, truly I do. Time will tell. The acting was top notch from all and overall I loved the episode.

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    108. Hodor’s Bastard, Forgot to add the rest:

      Benioff also provided some thoughts on why Sansa chose to go along with Littelfinger’s plan to marry her to a family who killed her loved ones. “Sansa started as such a naive innocent,” he said. “She’s been traumatized by what she’s seen and she spent almost a couple years in shell shock. At a certain point she’s either going to die or survive and become stronger. She’s chosen the latter option and she’s learned from an incredibly devious teacher in Littlefinger. The interesting thing about Littlefinger is he seems to have no almost no weaknesses aside from his affection for Sansa. He’s been obsessed with her since that early episode at the joust.”

      When I noted it seems surprising that LIttlefinger would give her up to another man, Benioff replied, “That’s the thing about Littlefinger—as much as he might care for Sansa, he cares for nothing more than power. And now he sees an opportunity to gain more power for himself.” http://www.ew.com/article/2015/04/26/game-thrones-sansa-ramsay-interview

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    109. why would little finger give away anything that he knows or has heard about ramsay. if he is playing them then if would not be smart to reveal anything. knowledge is power and knowledge you have that others’ don’t know you have is even more powerful.

      why are people taking him at face value? what has he ever done on the show that is actually at face value? you can’t see why he would lie to ramsay? and even if he isn’t, he knows the boltons are murderous backstabbers (just like he is), so what difference does it make? just because ramsay is more brutal? he’s still murderous and backstabbing, and i am sure little finger has considered this.

      little finger is also arrogant and i am pretty sure there isn’t a murderous backstabber out there that he doesn’t think he can outsmart.

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    110. My favorite part of the episode was fDany. Poor Show Jorah still tryin’ to get outta the friendzone & into the endzone.

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    111. King in the North Carolina
      Strangely, the Marge/Tommen scene went too far in the opposite direction; the scene strained so hard to protect Natalie’s modesty that it reminded me of A Shot In the Dark or Austin Powers.

      Fully agreed. Poor Natalie Dormer looked twice her age next to Tommen, the overflowing prudery of that scene sent her straight into the elderly club.

      Surprisingly, best moment of this episode for me was Brienne’s scene. In season two, her acting was so one-dimensional I thought she was CGI.

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    112. and anyway, if ramsay, a no one bastard from nowhere has managed to rise up the ranks to become an heir to a man who has just taken the north through murderous backstabbing, i’m pretty sure little finger is smart enough to put two and two together that this kid is not to be trifled with.

      finally, what kind of idiot accepts a wedding proposal without vetting the potential groom? what do we need, a montage with some 80’s music in the background of little finger cronies scouring the countryside to ask questions? maybe that will be some extra footage from the dvd.

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    113. Robb17:
      Also I was absolutely ecstatic and screamed at the TV when Rila Fukushima came. Honestly didnt know she was even cast. Loved her in “Wolverine”

      This caught me too. She’s on the rising star list, for sure. (Tatsu, on ‘Arrow’, is another good character that Rila has.) That makes me wonder where her character may be going. Where’s the sense in having someone as recognisable as Rila give a one-off performance? Could this be another re-writing of a book character within the context of the show?

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    114. I have no idea how to comment back to people or mention their names properly. My apologies for being a newbie!

      But to @NymeriaWarriorQueen : Nymerias of the Seven Kingdoms Unite!! Hmmm the thought that the Red Priestess had perhaps seen a vision of Dany and Tyrion in her fires intrigues me even more!! The more I think about it, the more I fear that you might be right about Jorah taking on some of JonCon’s unfortunate arcs. This upsets a woman. Jorah does not deserve to die of greyscale. However, thanks to Shireen, we do know that there is a cure out there.

      To @johnnytata : After rereading my post, I can see how one could assume that I think Littlefinger cares about Sansa. I wasn’t very clear about my thoughts on that. I actually do not think that Littlefinger feels any affection for or obligation towards Sansa. Like you, I think that he views her as a prize to be able to cash in, as you put it. The reason I think it makes zero sense for him to leave her with Ramsay- if he indeed knows the truth about Ramsay- is because of all the effort he has put into obtaining that said prize, as well as the importance and leverage her name will give him in his quest to climb his sacred ladder of chaos. Also, you put it perfectly, that look said a lot, but what it said I have no idea!!

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    115. Of course, Sophie never said that Sansa’s scene of horror was directed at herself. Maybe she will join Ramsay in a hunt for her competition.

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    116. OK … Wild speculation about when things may be going (plus trying to stay in sync with show GOT and not get lost with book GOT)
      I feel D&D may play another “Coloured” wedding on us and the glee for them is most of us viewers are in the dark about about proceedings in Winterfell but come a “Wedding Scene” (Ramsey & Sansa), we’re all going to “O Fuck, How many are going to die at This One?” but instead we get a “Shit Yeah” moment when, just before the the cloak swap (and hopefully quite a few Northern Lords attend, Littlefinger or better yet Sansa, turns to the gathered guests and asks for their protection and vengence against the Bolton traitors.
      I think LF knows full well what he’s doing and pretty sure he’s placed Sansa there to win back the North and maybe has included Stannis in this plan. (why he’s only got 6 Knights of the Vale with him… I’m betting he’s contacted Stannis to raid Winterfell)
      Maybe he even plans on joining Stannis and, with the North & the Vale in tow, destroying the Lannisters. (He surely could never forget nor forgive Cercei pulling that “Power is Power” scene on him?)
      Trouble is, will it be Too Cliche to play that card again…?

      other theories then…

      Have a strong feeling that psycho Ramsay girlfriend is going to try and kill Sansa but will be killed by Theon who then pleads with her to run with him
      They escape, followed by Brienne and Pod but encounter Stannis, Brienne tries to kill him but dies.

      I’m look forward to events in Winterfell. So many characters could end up been there and the politics are to hard to guess at. :o)

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    117. I don’t get people saying the LF stuff “makes no sense”.

      First, you HAVE to assume he knows more about Ramsay than he says. (It’s like that old joke; you know he’s lying because his lips are moving…)

      Second, he’s not sending Sansa to go live with Ramsay alone in his torture dungeon. LF is confident that Big Daddy Roose would never let anything happen to such a valuable asset.

      I get the feeling people are just looking for reasons to hate it because it’s such a big deviation from the text. In a tv-only context, it was actually done quite well, and favorable reaction from the Unsullied crowd seems to support my opinion.

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    118. Simeon,

      And, please, give the bookreader/showwatcher nonsense a rest. I’ve read all the books, I love the show. I think I’ve enjoyed this season more than any of the others so far because it’s the first time I don’t really know where some storylines will go, so I can actually enjoy the show on its own terms, without constantly making comparisons. If that keeps up, next year should be *gold.*

      This. I was trying to express this elsewhere but the words didn’t come out right so I deleted it. This has been bugging me for a while now, and yes, I wish this would just stop. Many thanks

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    119. Jeb,

      Isn’t that Bowen Marsh sitting to Jon’s right at the table in the picture above? Kinda looks like the actor who’s cast to play him.

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    120. To be clear, while Bowen Marsh was cast, his role in the first 3 episodes is to sit silently as an extra with the other NW leadership group and not say anything.

      He may as well be “Night’s Watch senior member #3”. So at the end of the day, while there is a Bowen Marsh on the show, he’s inconsequential.

      I think we’re definitely heading down the road of Thorne being the main antagonist to Jon with Olly as the surprise participant in FTW (because of his pretty awful history with Wildlings).

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    121. I just typed in MIchael Condron and looked at his CV photo and that is definitely him sitting next to Jon Snow in the above pic. He is the first steward so it makes sense he’d be sitting up there at the big boys table.

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    122. I was very surprised that Tyrion speaks Valyrian. Very cool little detail that I didn’t pick up on the first time I watched it.

      Marge screwed up BIG TIME. As a viewer, it’s probably nice to see Cersei “get what’s coming to her”, but it really looked like she was willing to surrender… right up until Marge stuck the knife in and twisted it repeatedly. She’s skilled at manipulating people, but that gloating is going to be her downfall (as Olenna was saying last season). A little grace goes a long way, your Grace.

      The Dreadfort is very remote and far from King’s Landing. I could find it plausible that Roose has been able to keep his bastard’s “proclivities” under wraps (killing all of your victims helps). Littlefinger has a network of spies, but I can believe that it’s possible that he doesn’t know every detail about every player in the Seven Kingdoms. I also think it’s quite possible that he knows exactly what Ramsey is, but he’s lying about it.

      The rules establishing that an unconsummated marriage is no true marriage dictated that Tommen’s wedding required a bedding, as does the alliance with the Tyrells, which requires an heir of Lannister and Tyrell descent. I doubt that both of these plot points happening in the same episode was an accident.

      Olly is definitely going to ace Jon and I think it will be this season. He practically goes cross-eyed whenever he hears about the wildlings (for good reason), so I doubt he’s going to take it well when Jon starts making deals with them and going on rescue misisons to save them.

      Will Jorah catch greyscale sailing Tyrion through / around Valyria? His relationship with Dany is very similar to Jon Connington’s with Rheagar.

      In the Qyburn / FrankenGregor scene, the camera hung just long enough that anyone who has ever seen a horror movie knew that something was going to happen. lol

      Regarding Rickon, lots of people know or could know that Rickon is still alive. Jon can probably deduce that Rickon is alive, Theon knows and could tell Sansa, Roose and Ramsey know (though they have no reason to tell Stannis). It wouldn’t surprise me if Rickon became a plot point for Season 6.

      Sansa’s storyline is by far the most intriguing to me (because it’s mostly new material). There are so many wildcards involved… Ramsey’s nature vs. Roose’s need to secure the North, Myranda’s jealousy (how about that kiss with Ramsey in the trailer and that look in this episode?), Theon’s future interactions with Sansa, Brienne’s in the area and Stannis will be soon as well, Cersei will eventually find out. I like this much better than a full season of her hiding in the Eyrie, babysitting Robin.

      I wonder if the “Mother of Dragons” prostitute was the role played by Emilia’s body-double?

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    123. There is a Stark back in the North (well if you don’t count Bran and MIA Rickon…LOL!). Hearing one of my favourite GoT phrases uterred with such gusto “The North Remembers”…uhhh that was the cherry on top of a tasty cake made out of Episode Three…

      And yay for Jon… 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch! Hmmm that sounds awesome, awesome indeed! I really liked the scene with Pod and Brienne, very touching! The High Septon and a preview of things to come!

      And the High Sparrow himself ! Only an amazing actor of Jonathan Pryce’s caliber can take such a subtle entrance of a character and give it the underlying gravitas and the smouldering fire of absolute belief that belie that man! Nina Gold scored a coup in getting Jonathan Pryce’s and Alexander Siddig cast on “Game Of Thrones”!

      As for Tyrion, well…now he’ll learn that it would have been better to stay in “that fucking box”…and the price you pay when you want to talk to a person with hair!

      I also got quite a kick from seeing Rila Fukushima, whom I last saw as the badass samurai chick Yukio in “The Wolverine”, now as a Red Priestess in Mereen on GoT!!!

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    124. I thought this episode was absolutely fantastic from beginning to end. So many dynamic scenes, especially in Winterfell and at the Wall. Jon’s execution of Janos Slynt was perfect (I really don’t care that the iconic line was changed). Jon’s sitdown with Stannis and Davos was wonderful as well, especially Davos telling Jon that “The best was to help the most people might not be sitting in a frozen castle at the edge of the world” and “As long as the Boltons rule the North, the North will suffer”. I expect Jon will be weighing both of those pieces of advice in his mind quite often as the season goes on.

      Speaking of the Boltons, the scene in which Roose Bolton and Petyr Baelish discuss their tenuous alliance was just cracking. It was a pleasure to watch Michael McElhatton and Aidan Gillen play off one another (and cheers to McElhatton finally getting his name in the opening credits). But as much as enthusiasm as I have for Roose, my favorite moment in the episode had to be Sansa giving him the death stare for a brief moment before she observed the expected formalities and hid her hatred behind a mask of courtesy. The North Remembers … and so does she.

      All that, and I didn’t even cover Margaery throwing some expertly-calibrated shade at Cersei as the Queen Mother seethed, Brienne’s monologue about the ball on Tarth (a riveting scene that Gwendoline Christie absolutely crushed), and Arya’s initiation into the House of Black and White. That sequence included both what I thought was the funniest moment of the episode (Arya indignantly exclaiming “Cunt!” after the Waif struck her) and the most emotional moment of the episode (Arya tearing up as she contemplates giving up Needle, and ultimately being unable to do so). I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tyrion’s time in Volantis (Stone Men reference!) and capture by Jorah. And, of course, I wouldn’t dream of overlooking the debut of the legendary Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow. His introduction was, by design, fairly innocuous, but everything is set up for him to become a major player. He and Lena Headey worked together extremely well.

      I’m sure I’m still forgetting things – I watched the episode twice tonight, so it’s getting quite late. I’ll have to revisit these thoughts in the morning. If anything, however, I expect that my enthusiasm for this episode is only going to grow stronger. That was impeccably crafted TV.

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    125. Brilliant episode! This is what I’ve come to expect when watching Thrones. I love the changes to Bolton storyline. With Sansa & Brienne to the mix…it is going to be good!

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    126. So what do people think? ‘Ramsa’ seems like the obvious choice and ‘Sansamsay’ is a bit of a tongue-twister, but I personally think ‘Ramsansa’ seems unpleasantly apt, given the upcoming wedding night.

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    127. Has just rewatched the episode and did anyone else find Cercei’s emotional state a little out of character as she’s been openly scorched by Margeary at the ladies dinner party…?
      She appeared like a innocently, wounded woman, at a lose for words and almost sympathetic to viewers. No matching barbed compliments nor predatory glaring… it seemed out of place for Cercei to just take the rip and not retort, apart from interrupting Margeary mid-speech.
      (Is she remembering Uncle Kevin’s remarks that she is the “Queen Mother, Nothing More”?)
      As she walks out with the Lannisters guards she seems herself again but I did find her vulnerabilty during the exchange odd and out of character

      Anyone else…???

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    128. The Sparrow plotline is getting very intense! Jon’s story has been great too.

      I think the Bolton plotline will end with Sansa killing Ramsay when Stannis shows up outside Winterfell. Or maybe she will kill Roose…whichever one of them remains behind in the castle while the other is out fighting Stannis. I’d love to see her stealthily stab Roose in the same fashion he did to Robb.

      Personally I don’t like the hints toward Brienne trying to get revenge for Renly.

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    129. Here Be Dragons,

      I thought that was what was so great about it: Cersei is finally finding herself out of words, out of quick barbs to throw around. It makes her move to ally herself with the sparrows that much more desperate. Also, her message to Littlefinger, and her emphasis on the word “immediately” to Qyburn, seems to convey that she really believes that Littlefinger is still her ally, and that she really needs him. I really like how her plot is shaping up, and Lena Headey’s acting is subtle and superb.

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    130. S05E01: Sansa ‘n LF leave the Vale (heading for Winterfell). Distrustful LF deceives all, Royce included, into thinking they were going to the Fingers. S05E03: LF receives a message from Cersei. A rider conveys it from the Eyrie to Winterfell (where Sansa ‘n LF are at the moment). Apparently, Cersei (who’s in KL) thinks LF’s still in the Vale. Now, if nobody at the Eyrie knows LF ‘n Sansa left for WF, how is it possible that a rider delivered Cersei’s message to LF?

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    131. Just a quick note.

      Littlefinger doesn’t have spies everywhere, only Varys has that much influence. And I find it very plausible, that he doesn’t know anything about Ramsay. I don’t think Ramsay ever left the confines of the Dreadfort much.

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    132. Am I the only one who found the scene in which Sansa actually arrives in the Winterfell courtyard to be vacuously uncathartic for Sansa? I don’t even know if the Stark theme played, but the directing certainly wasn’t focused on communicating any sense of Sansa’s emotional tumult at coming home. And I mean, yes she was visibly distraught at meeting the person who killed her brother, and she met a lady who said “the north remembers,” but the director seemed to barren out any sort of cues for the viewer of Sansa’s individual emotions journey of returning to the place where she was born and raised. Even from the first, abrupt shot of that scene, the sudden cut and yell of “Gates Opening!” or whatever, and them swinging in, and then the Vale riders rushing into frame. This could have been intentional of course, and obviously the set has changed from season 1 and 2 (it looks like they actually re-used the Dreadfort set from season 4?), but it didn’t feel like Winterfell at all, or at least it didn’t feel like a poignant emotional reintroduction to the place that re-established the viewers’ emotional connection to the place. And Winterfell is probably the most emotionally resonant location of the entire series. I don’t know, just rambling.

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    133. Dogs,

      I wouldn’t have thought her character believes she’s losing power yet… if anything, she believes she’s never been stronger with no men controlling her.
      She obviously knows Margeary is dangerous and has increasing influence on Tommen but not enough for her to become desperate.
      The normal Cercei would just strap on another sexy steel breastplate and continue with her “power is power” motivations.
      She’s only gone to the High Sparrow to, in her mind, “Stick another sycophant on her pocket” and maybe set up the plan we know is coming judging by the previews ;o)

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    134. Good episode but I think it was a bit overhyped by some of the people who watched the leaked episodes. I didn’t think it was any better than episodes 1 or 2, in fact I think episode 2 was better.

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    135. Uknow0,

      Could easily believe LF paid the Maester at The Eyrie well to keep his travel plans secret but forward all messages to him on the route he would be taking.

      No Biggie for me 😉

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    136. Dogs,

      I’m not sure Sansa would feel all that connected to WInterfell, especially now that most of the people she associated with her home are dead.
      Alike Ayra, she couldn’t wait to leave Winterfell for King’s Landing and be a real Lady and coming back to a burnt ruin in the cold North isn’t that heart-warming.
      Pretty sure if I was riding into that place my resolve would be focused on the man who murdered my brother and now assumes my fathers role.
      But I think she will find that carthartic moment when she, and we know it’s coming, visit the crypts. Be a lovely time to remind viewers of Lysanna and maybe for Sansa to show she’s not going to go down like her Aunt…? ;o)

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    137. Here Be Dragons,

      I guess Sansa would only be the vehicle of the emotions, which are actually for the viewer. Like I said, there is probably not a single place more symbolically and emotionally resonant as Winterfell in the entire series, and the re-introduction to that space this episode after so much time felt abrupt and a little graceless, directorially.

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    138. Dogs,

      I feel you on the missing symbolism of returning to Winterfell, but feel it should have been reintroduced and viewed thru Theon’s eyes. Had they done that I would certainly have wanted to see his face now that he’s stated Ned was more of a father to him.
      I’m sure we’re going to see a Winterfell returning to it’s former status and grace. I’ll be stoked to see the Weirwood grove again. 🙂

      PS …ain’t we ALL such Brillant directors in our minds ;D

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    139. Cracking episode. No weak moment for me, sure I have hundreds of questions about Sansa’s storyline but will wait and see. There really is beauty in not knowing, viewing scenes with a hint of trepidation is a lot of fun.

      That stare the red priestess gave Tyrion was telling, love moments like that. Sansa’s death stare at Roose was icy as, Sophie’s ability to convey so much without words really is brilliant. I’m also ready for her to visit the crypt with some nice exposition about her ancestors.

      For me, and this is my opinion, the season gets stronger with each ep.

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    140. Nymeria Sand:
      I have no idea how to comment back to people or mention their names properly. My apologies for being a newbie!

      Just hit the reply button under the message you are replying to and it will add the necessary code to the comment box. If you reply to multiple people in the same comment it can cause your message to get stuck in the spam filter so usually easier to reply in separate messages.

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    141. Of the Night,

      Oooo … Definately a “Grey” wedding but I don’t see D&D allowing us an adjective…!

      Maybe they’ll take a page from GRRM’s former modis operati, just when we think we know what’s going to happen and can give this wedding a colour, they pull an unexpected twist that George hasn’t really been able to deliver since the Red and leave us stunned and maybe applauding their audacity 🙂

      One thing I Definately Feel is that the Boltons won’t see out the end of this Season.

      (Hope I’m wrong as both the actors are doing a terrific job with their characters but feel their power is severely undermined with Stannis up north and no Lannister pact to back them up)

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    142. General thoughts

      Pretty much everyone hit it out of the park this week

      Pryce was brilliant, I was a bit worried they’d make them out to be cultish nuts but he is genuinely a man of the people which is good because he seems like a kindly man and he’ll blindside Cersei

      Just quietly that was the way Littlefinger should have been but anywho

      Volantis looked brilliant

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    143. Pigeon:
      LF knows everything about Ramsay.C’mon guys, of course he does!!!!

      I still just can’t get past Sansa/Sophie sounding like she has a bad head cold. Yeah, she can’t help it, neither can I.It’s gonna take a lot to make me a fan at this point.

      Theon, on the other hand – where was Alfie hiding this??? He’s perfect this season, he even looks completely different. Kudos to him, he’s killing it.

      I’m almost as proud of Jon in these 3 episodes of S5 as Stannis is. Never a strong feeling one way or the other about him in previous seasons, he keeps nailing it. That moment when he makes you believe that maybe, just maybe he’ll not go through with it with Janos, and then he does?Well….*slow clap*

      They’ve sped up Arya’s storyline.Good. If they are fitting in what many think they will this season, they need to. Amazing interior scenes, and I think I’ve already voiced my glee for Tom Wlaschiha. That moment when Arya held Needle….I held my breath. She looked so small.

      Tyrion just saying no….also hurt my heart a little. His incredulousness at his own change of heart. Eff yeah Jorah. Ser Friendzone grows a pair, and I like it. I’d love for him to keep them.

      Yeah they really need to speed Arya up

      As for ALife Allen, didn’t say a word but conveyed so much, fantastic

      Even looks the part too, I like how the hair is longer etc

      Agree LF is just being polite and he is giving a hint about his fondness for Sansa to say “don’t mistreat her”, this is politics as much as anything, Sansa can help cement the Boltons hold on the north but at the same time if people hear Sansa is there getting tortured this = Northern rebellion which disrupts LF and Roose alliance building.

      That said I got a certain Alayne 1 Lyn Corbray vibe

      I can see why that is released, I’d really be wtf but given I can see they are merging north and Vale after reading Alayne 1 I can make some sense of it

      At the same time the dialogue between Roose and LF was brilliant, the mis-step is on purpose, Roose is formidable and this is pointing to him having the measure of LF + it is hinting at the fact LF is slightly out of his depth in the north

      this all feeds into my suspicion LF time is coming up in books and show, probably early season 6

      This makes sense if Theon/Reek has to rescue Sansa ala Jeyne Poole, it ultimately represents a miscalculation by LF

      I actually wonder if they’ll flay him early next season when Sansa escapes…

      As for LF going to KL, this seems odd, but if he hears of Stannis at CB while there, he can fetch a Vale army as ‘allies’ on the way back up to fill the Manderly role, at least that is my hope

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    144. Nymeria Warrior Queen: Yep.I think that’s what the whole Olyvar/Loras scene was setting up.

      Agree

      This actually make some sense in a visual medium using establisehd characters, eg Olyvar is Kettleback

      Only thing is they obviously break a rule to allow for the whitewashing of Cersei to give some “justification” to her suspicion of Marge

      I could stomach this if D&D didn’t ban so many other great flashbacks and didn’t undermine otherwise aweseome characters and make an exception for Cersei

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    145. Speaking of Olyvar, that High Septon role play was correctly blasphemous but seeing him dressed up in that beard as the Father was rather comical

      As was Pycelle going on about peoples private lives etc…

      And of course who can forget Qyburns lab! The big Easter egg is obviously what’s under the blanket but I did notice a candle next to him too…

      Have to say the actor playing Qyburn is fanstastic

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    146. Another strong episode, very happy with this season so far, its really high quality, especially in comparison to how i thought it would be given the change of pace in the books at this stage.
      The wall especially is the highlight of this season for me so far, another great book scene , and this one was done again brilliantly. Ending was good too, Tyrion’s scenes were interesting, just wander if by excluding what happens with him and the prostitute in the books, they are ditching the darker side he shows in the books. Wouldnt mind them not showing it this time, as long as they do it eventually. Jonathan Pryce looks great as the High Sparrow too, his performance was very good just from a relatively mundane scene of dialogue. Same goes for Alfie Allen, didnt realize till i read this post that he didnt have a line of dialogue, he acted it so well.
      In terms of the Winterfell plotline, knew this change was coming and its been growing one me since, my one worry was them not addressing the impact that LF marrying Sansa Stark off to the boltons would have on both their alliances with the Lannisters, and i was happy that it at least came up, otherwise it would have been a major plot hole. As for LF not knowing about Ramsay, whose to say that he doesnt? Its probably not the best to bring it up talking to him and Roose, when he is about to marry Sansa off into their family. He tells Sansa to avenge her family, so clearly his end game in this is to have her taking over the north from the boltons somehow, like he plans for her to do in the books with Harold Hardyng.

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    147. I miss “Edd, fetch me a block,” like many book readers, but I miss Dolorous Edd as Jon’s steward even more…

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    148. Sue the Fury,

      Yeah I got a “Lyn Corbray” vibe out of his conversation

      Plus the deliberate misstep when talking with Roose

      This is all to show Roose has the measure of him on one hand, but it is all hinting at the fact that LF is out of his depth. Not subtle but this is a TV medium so they have to be kind of obvious with so many things

      Ties in with the fact I think he has over stretched himself in the Vale (Alayne observations re Lyn) and I expect SR will kill him about early to mid Winds.

      They are merging North and Vale book plots, eg Ramsay is also Ramsay the heir and Myranda is Myranda Royce. Pod at the inn is Mad Mouse/Ser Shadrich with his trip over Dragons line, I reckon Brienne + Jaimie will fetch Alayne out of the Vale, in the show I expect they have merged this with Mors Umber

      Part of me hopes that LF returns north with a Vale army to fill the Manderly role once they hear about Stannis but I’ not holding out too much hope. Reckon after Theon escapes with Sansa as Jeyne Poole we may even see a LF flaying in early S6

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    149. But Rob Stark and Cat didn’t know anything about Ramsey. Theon, who grow up in the North, didn’t know who he is. Sansa don’t know antything about him.

      Why would LF know? Lord Varys in S2 admitted that he lost all his “little birds” in the North because of Theon.

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    150. Here Be Dragons:
      Dogs,

      I’m not sure Sansa would feel all that connected to WInterfell, especially now that most of the people she associated with her home are dead.
      Alike Ayra, she couldn’t wait to leave Winterfell for King’s Landing and be a real Lady and coming back to a burnt ruin in the cold North isn’t that heart-warming.
      Pretty sure if I was riding into that place my resolve would be focused on the man who murdered my brother and now assumes my fathers role.
      But I think she will find that carthartic moment when she, and we know it’s coming, visit the crypts. Be a lovely time to remind viewers of Lysanna and maybe for Sansa to show she’s not going to go down like her Aunt…? ;o)

      Yeah Lady dying was a disconnection of her affiliation with Winterfell but it’s also cutting ties with her siblings, I expect her to become a RL Queen based in Harrenhall, what’s more I expect her to go to war against her northern siblings

      Sansa is very much Catelyn Tully’s daughter and very much a Southron

      I’m willing to put this aside given I can see they are merging North and Vale, I’m applying a wait and see approach despite squirming at small things, eg no “Edd fetch me a block” plus this is all ridiculously un-Littlefingerish

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    151. Just for the info, the cathedral that appears above the bridge of Volantis is not Córdoba but Salamanca, my hometown. The Catedral Nueva de Salamanca (google it)

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    152. mau:
      But RobStark and Cat didn’t know anything about Ramsey. Theon, who grow up in the North, didn’t know who he is. Sansa don’t know antything about him.

      Why would LF know? Lord Varys in S2 admitted that he lost all his “little birds” in the North because of Theon.

      Yeah it seems absurd, but they might just be able to give LF a pass because not even Ser Rodrik properly understood him and Ramsay was able to disguise himself as the original Reek and then trick Ser Rodrik, eg Domeric was always the heir and Ramsay was ‘quietly’ growing up at a mill (on Bolton lands…) until about 1.5 years ago in the books

      In the early books Ser Rodrik only talks about general clashes between Boltons and Manderly’s in the forests over Hornwood lands, it’s only after he returns does he start speaking about Ramsays deeds so tbf even in the north Ramsay was something of an unknown entity so I think we can just about get away with LF not being fully aware

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    153. Here Be Dragons,

      I too felt a weird empathy for her. I think she will have our sympathy a bit this season. Yes we love to hate her, but she is an awesome character who’s very real insecurities are coming to the fore. You’d have to be made of stone to not care a little bit!

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    154. Terrific episode. So many good things but I was particularly struck by how Jon finally had the presence and authority of Ned about him.

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    155. Tormund’s Woman: LOL Grayscale matters.

      LOL. No. It doesn’t. Unless there is a ridiculous deus ex greyscale, there are simply not enough hours in the show or pages in the books left to have greyscale be important.

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    156. A flawless episode. Amazing dialogue combined with even better performances. So much emotion in almost every scene. All about letting go of the past…..but not really. Loved it.

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    157. I think the theme of this episode was “keeping your enemies close”. Sansa and the Boltons, Jon and Ser Alliser, Cersei and Margaery.

      Anyway, I don’t understand why people think LF is completely loyal to Sansa. His ambition was more important than Catelyn when he brocured and secured the Lannister-Tyrell alliance, ensuring the deaths of Catelyn and Robb. And Sansa is just a reminder of Catelyn, not Catelyn herself.

      Also, I think a part of Sansa’s resolve when she’s deciding what to do while looking at Moat Cailin, is not just okay I’m gonna kill the Boltons, but also her cutting ties from LF. No more loyalty to him. And now that I think about it she rides off without him 2 seconds after.

      The only bad thing about the episode was the anti-climax end. In the books when Jorah said he was taking Tyrion to the Queen and Tyrion 180% believed he meant Cersei I was like COME ON??? It’s like GRRM thought both Tyrion and the reader had no wits. So yeah, I didn’t think it was the end scene when it happened, because it’s not really a bombshell.

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    158. Yeah Littlefinger comes off as an idiot in not knowing about Ramsay and his speech to convince Sansa to agree was incredibly vague. “Avenge them.” HOW??? What the hell are you talking about? Are you asking Sansa to stage a one-woman red wedding?

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    159. mau:
      But RobStark and Cat didn’t know anything about Ramsey. Theon, who grow up in the North, didn’t know who he is. Sansa don’t know antything about him.

      Why would LF know? Lord Varys in S2 admitted that he lost all his “little birds” in the North because of Theon.

      LF was my one quibble this week, and I still expect that he knows, and has something up his sleeve.

      As to why he’d know: Audience knows Ramsay is psycho, so the expectation would be that a brilliant and wily character like LF would know as well, especially if he’s preparing something as intricate as an alliance that’s supposed to get him the north, via Sansa. The last thing LF would want is a psychopathic, uncontrollable husband that would break his alliance with Sansa.

      If the idea is he doesn’t know, then maybe they should have explained HOW he doesn’t, a bit more.

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    160. Strange Jorah being in a brothel that employs a specialist Kaleesi impersonator prostitute. Was he there to have sex with a pretend Dany? Ser Jorah, how could you? 🙂

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    161. Ghost’s Lunch,

      I think Sansa is more Ned tbh. I see more parallels between Arya and Catelyn. Maybe it hasn’t always come across on GoT, but in the books that’s how I see it. I feel as though Sansa’s “Northern credibility” is constantly questioned ever since she “betrayed” her family, sure she had an idealistic notion of Southern life but now I’m inclined to think she’ll be involved in restoring North. I don’t think she’ll be Queen of the North for the reason that LF has referred to her as the key quite a few times, but it’s always been quite overt, and we know how Mr Martin likes to alter the trajectory of his characters to dramatic effect. I believe she’ll forge a plan of her own in the end, without LF’s guidance cos I think he’ll lose her as a bargaining chip soon.

      Their dynamic is fascinating, one of the best pairings on the show, like he’s creating a monster and in the end she’ll probably be his downfall.

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    162. Ned Stark didn’t know either. Littlefinger doesn’t have a network of spies. He has his people to be sure, but they don’t much leave the whorehouse. Varys has the little birds, not LF.

      That said, I think LF is being a little rash. Placing the last Stark in the middle of the North, do you think that will keep her by your side. I don’t think the danger to him here is the Bolton’s, but Sansa turning on him with the northerner’s loyalty. Lucky he’s going to KL.

      Saw further uphead someone suggesting Brienne killing Stannis.
      I think the Theon/Sansa (who she also has no reason to trust) is in, and she flees to Stannis (perhaps the northmen presence protect her from Ramsay’s grasp, but don’t align with her, with hostages and Bolton remaining power).

      Brienne tries to slay the Stan (Davos or Mel slay her?) and makes Podrick swear to protect Sansa.

      Stannis will probably win and Sansa then rules Winterfell at the end of the season. She might have a north/Vale/riverlands army to assist Jon against the others or she might embark on an anti Lannister/pro Targaryen campaign who knows.

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    163. So, can anyone tell me why LF and Sansa do not skip the “Play lovey dovey to the psychopath who has been flaying his way across the north while waiting for Stannis the Heroic to rescue you” and either

      A: Go directly to Stannis, and take the offer that Jon turned down

      or

      B: Rally some lords of the Vale to attack the Twins, causing the Bolton-Frey alliance to crumble?

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    164. This is the strongest episode so far. Damn while Brienne of Tarth was delivering her monologue I felt hot tears flow like Niagara falls down my cheeks. Gwendoline nailed it.
      I was underwhelmed by the scenes in House of Black and White, mostly because the book descriptions and dialogue were far better, but that Arya with Needle scene was just how I imagined it in the books. Thank goodness they kept that scene. And I think I know who is the man who will unfortunately pass by those moutain of rocks.

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    165. Ashara D: Yes! I have never been a fan of the theories that other characters are Faceless Men (Daario, Euron, etc.) but I may be swayed to this one. Too much similarity here.

      Not really, imo.

      Arya knows death. She saw people get killed and killed some herself. Jagen knows/can see that. The fact that he used similar words as Syrio doesn’t mean he is/was Syrio

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    166. Daphne,

      I had no issues w Aryas scenes. I like the mystery of the setting and the unknowing of what’s to come next. D&D did a great job there by putting the viewers in the same shoes as Arya. We know the past, we also don’t want to let it go (how many of us thought of Arya jumping into Jon’s arms when she was crying over Needle), yet we now must take a blind jump into unknown territory.

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    167. Jeb,

      I certainly wouldn’t call the people over at westeros.org haters. I actually prefer that website a lot more then this one because they tend to call out D&D stupidity when necessary. We’re only four episode into this season but already this season is off to a really rocky start (though not nearly as bad as last season) . There’s a lot of flaws and it’s good to talk about them, even if we know D&D would never listen.

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    168. Chad Brick,

      If LF wants his candidate on the throne, he wouldn’t make an alliance with Stannis. Stannis is not the type to give up, or give anything to LF.

      Twins are in the south, vulnerable to the Lannisters. It would take LF and allies months, possibly a year, to starve them out. Meanwhile, it’s winter, and they’d be in trouble, too.

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    169. Also is the Volantis red priestess some kind of Benerro/Moqorro merge? I guess not because Moqorro went with Jorah and Tyrion on their journey and I only saw two people in that boat in the Sorrows

      Maybe she’s just there to set up the Lord of Light backing Daenerys/another dragon and not Stannis

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    170. mau,

      I agree. There’s this strange belief that Westeros is so small that a single man can know all there is about every single noble house around. Seven Kingdoms are HUGE, a continent-sized land with countless noble houses. If Ned, Robb, Cat, Theon, and various other Northern nobles had no clue about some random bastard son of House Bolton, why would Littlefinger? Ramsay of the show is much more “low-key” compared to his book counterpart. There was no Hornwood affair, for instance. I very much doubt that anyone outside his close circle knows about his nice little psycho hobby.

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    171. Maria:

      As to why he’d know: Audience knows Ramsay is psycho, so the expectation would be that a brilliant and wily character like LF would know as well, especially if he’s preparing something as intricate as an alliance that’s supposed to get him the north, via Sansa. The last thing LF would want is a psychopathic, uncontrollable husband that would break his alliance with Sansa.

      But no one knows about Ramsey and who he is. LF doesen’t care about Ramsey, he is focused on Roose, and Roose is focused on him.

      They both don’t care about Ramsey and Sansa, and that is the reason why their plan will fail.

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    172. Chad Brick:

      A: Go directly to Stannis, and take the offer that Jon turned down

      And what if Stannis lose?

      or

      B: Rally some lords of the Vale to attack the Twins, causing the Bolton-Frey alliance to crumble?

      Open war against Riverlands, the North and KL? Why?

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    173. mau,

      You could be right. However, he tells Sansa that this marriage will be part of taking revenge for her family, and Boltons are people who must be punished for what they did to Robb. Also, LF wants control of the North, the Riverlands, and the Vale. He can assert far more control over the north through Sansa, than through the Boltons. So I wouldn’t be surprised if some kind of a pink wedding is part of his plans–Sansa marries the Boltons, who don’t survive the reception, leaving Sansa (and LF, through her) as lady/lord of WF.

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    174. I watched episode 3 over a week ago and I liked it better the second time and in high definition.

      I love the pace the show is taking the story. The books feel like they aren’t going anywhere in the last 10 years and the show just couldn’t do that.

      What an amazing show.

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    175. Maria,

      Oh wow…. he could be going to kings landings to get some lannister troops to bring north. Who then slaughter the bolt on at a wedding.

        Quote  Reply

    176. Jorah and the Greyscales will be

      playing two shows in Meereen. One in the Pit and one turning the kiddies loose. What’s he got to lose? He’s a dead man either way.

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    177. Mr Fixit,

      Because some people expect that LF knows everything, that he is smarter than everyone, …

      But he is just ordinary man, very smart, but he is not Superman, he will fail and he will lose everything.

        Quote  Reply

    178. Morgoth:
      Oh, please. Not another absurd controversy a la “Your sister/Only Cat”. It’s really tiresome to wade through all the whining.
      Btw, who says LF doesn’t know about Ramsay? He pretty much tells Sansa this is a chance to avenge her family.

      Agreed, He is playing at being stupid. But still……….putting Sansa within the vicinity of Ramsey is a dangerous game. I

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    179. “Up at Winterfell, Reek is dodging Sansa still while Ramsay chats with his future in-law.” … ???
      Ramsay’s future in-law? Who is that? Littlefinger is not related to Sansa Stark!

      Also, I was under the impression Tyrion was upset that he wasn’t having a physical sexual reaction to that whore. I thought his drinking had caught up with him.

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    180. Rygar:
      I love how briefly intimate D&D summed up Tyrion’sinner turmoil with one brilliant scene with the whore.

      There were several scenes of this type in the episode, and the actors carried all of them brilliantly — Tyrion with the whore, Arya when throwing away Needle, Sansa when meeting Roose, Cersei when trying not to react to Margaery’s provocations. It’s quite a skill to be able to transmit to the viewers such a range of conflicting emotions simultaneously… entirely through facial expressions.

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    181. Happy Hodor:
      Strange Jorah being in a brothel that employs a specialist Kaleesi impersonator prostitute. Was he there to have sex with a pretend Dany? Ser Jorah, how could you?

      Not strange at all when you think about it. (Not to mention that the poor guy ended up in the friendzone *yet again* when the khaleesi-whore went with someone else… LOL)

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    182. cubicz:
      All content aside, did anyone else notice how well directed this episode was? Loved the shots

      That panning shot up and over the Long Bridge was absolutely amazing. Cinematography this season has been excellent.

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    183. Conor:
      So this is where we get our got on now. Looks like I’m late to finding this site. I thought the fandom packed up and left westeros.

      Welcome to the Wall Conor of House Newbie. The season gathers and now your watch begins. Yes we have rapers and thieves (and the occasional spoilers, but Sue keeps her sword sharpened for those). We are here for this night and for all the Sunday nights to come.

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    184. AnnieNY,

      He is her uncle “by law” and has the right to sell her off just like her father would have in Westeros, so yes LF is Ramsey’s prospective in-law. We were reminded in the Brienne scene last week. The fact that her does not give a shit about her and is just rolling the dice to see if it comes out well for him does not negate that fact.

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    185. Cumsprite: LOL. No. It doesn’t. Unless there is a ridiculous deus ex greyscale, there are simply not enough hours in the show or pages in the books left to have greyscale be important.

      They name-drop greyscale in 3 of the 4 episodes so far this season, mention the Stone Men, and even describe the disease in considerable detail. There is no way they do that if it doesn’t matter. *How* it matters remains to be seen, but at the least, I think “Jorah Connington” is now pretty much a given.

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    186. Hodor’s Bastard,

      HAH! Like I see it mentioned on this thread: It’s a freaking arsenal on that Wall.
      Some guns will go off soon like so… Dan Weiss: “Benioff, fetch me a knife!”

      Cumsprite,

      Awww, you think Martin’s writing will not include the grayscale as an important twist of some kind, even after all these hints in the show you do not watch and the books you do not like! It’s happening, Mr. Sprite. I know. Your heart is breaking.

      PS. The League of Grumpy Nay Sayers of ASoIaF announced they miss a member!

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    187. Great episode. So many highlights, and agree with Tyrion Pimpslap as the best “Episode 3,” though “What Is Dead May Never Die” gives it a very strong run for its money.

      –Theon spoke no words in this episode, and a great callback to his “burning” of Bran and Rickon with the flayed bodies.
      –Qyburn’s “It doesn’t matter” was a great droll line, and also felt like a callback to Bronn’s “You wouldn’t know him” to Tywin in season 1.
      –The Arya stuff is incredibly tense and creepy.
      –Loved Brienne speech. She handled that really well.
      –I’m always overjoyed to see the Moat Cailin scenery. They’ve really nailed that, even without giving you a sense of the Neck itself and the “bog devils” and “frogmen” from that part of the world, it’s enough for me just to see the marshlands and the fog. It’s so well-done.
      –Sansa/Ramsey is quite the plot diversion, but it’s awesome all the same.
      –“The North Remembers.” YEAH.

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    188. Morgoth:
      Why the Olly hate? He’s obviously being set up for the moment when Jon gets “Caesared”. In a way, it’s understandable. Wildlings massacred and ate his family.

      He is purely an invention of the show and he is totally predictable:
      -from the moment his family got killed by Ygritte´s raid party it was clear he will be the one who will kill Ygritte
      -if you had any doubt about that or about how exactly it will happen, next episode mentioned he is the best archer from his village
      – than he murdered Ygritte (a popular character for many including me) from behind and delivered that stupid nod
      -as if the injury was not big enough, Jon almost adopted that little shit. That is no way how to treat someone who killed your girlfriend Jon!
      -an iconic quote from the books was changed for him
      -he continue to be predictable Chekhov´s gun this season too

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    189. What did you guys think of Owen Teale (Alliser Thorne)? The hatred emanating off of him during Jon’s latrine talk; the surprise when he’s named First Ranger. His annoyance and satisfaction when Janos Slynt pats him on the shoulder and carves out his own doom, respectively. Rarely have I seen facial expressions tell so much!

      Just like Alfie Allen, he totally killed it without saying a word.

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    190. No one has mentioned this yet – Margarey’s wedding dress was spectacular!
      Alfie Allen – yaaaassss!!
      Watching with Unsullied friends & Jon Snow is now the favorite character- nice job Kit. Also, everyone jumped at RS spasms. Lol

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    191. I’m going to try, as best I can, to justify Littlefinger’s not knowing much about Ramsay Bolton. So let’s have at it:

      Until Season 4, the outside world of Westeros really doesn’t know a lot about Ramsay Snow, as he’s known at the time. He leads the march to Winterfell, sacks the city, kills everyone inside save the Stark kids, Osha and Hodor (who don’t know who did it), and flays the Ironborn who were guarding the castle. He takes Theon Greyjoy captive, and given the sack of Winterfell, nobody’s really clamoring for news about Theon. He spends the third season ensconced at the Dreadfort, torturing Theon. And during this entire time, he’s known only as Roose Bolton’s bastard. Littlefinger has a lot of spies, but he notably hasn’t ventured north of the Vale in his entire time on the show – how deep does his network run? Do we ever get a sense that he had spies at Winterfell? No. So the even more secretive and impregnable Dreadfort, where would his network be? Unclear, but really – Littlefinger may have spies “everywhere,” but that could be a pose; in King’s Landing, sure; in a few other places, fine. But he hasn’t been Master of Coin for some time, and you have to pay spies. At some point, resources become important. And we really only know about his spies because he keeps saying he has spies.

      The only ones aware of the torture of Theon are Roose, Ramsay, Locke (dead, corpse charred at Craster’s Keep), Asha and Balon Greyjoy, and a few random members of the Ironborn that made it out of the Dreadfort with Asha (the rest were on the boats). Everyone on the Iron Islands would be more like to keep quiet about it; Balon’s not exactly going to advertise the torture of his only remaining son. And there’s no internet, y’know. You could argue that more people would be aware of what happened at Moat Cailin, but how many pass through that castle from the south to north other than Roose Bolton’s armies? Who else would try to enter that castle? It’s unclear.

      Word of the brutality of the Boltons would become more apparent as they spend more time in Winterfell and flay more people and terrorize more people in the North. Again, though, there’s a difference between how one treats their enemies and how they treat their significant others – by all accounts Roose is perfectly decent to Fat Walda. So it’s one thing to say that Littlefinger is aware that they’re harsh, uncompromising people and another to say Ramsay likes to take women out and hunt them. And again, his spy network cannot be anywhere near as extensive – Lord of the Vale is just not the moneymaking position that Master of Coin is.

      So Littlefinger may have an idea that he’s a creep, but any more than most other people he knows? It’s less clear. Or he’s playing a long con again, and figuring he can twist the situation into some direction he can manage.

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    192. James:
      What did you guys think of Owen Teale (Alliser Thorne)? The hatred emanating off of him during Jon’s latrine talk; the surprise when he’s named First Ranger. His annoyance and satisfaction when Janos Slynt pats him on the shoulder and carves out his own doom, respectively. Rarely have I seen facial expressions tell so much!

      Just like Alfie Allen, he totally killed it without saying a word.

      Oh totally. Great stuff.

        Quote  Reply

    193. mariamb,

      Wow, I wouldn’t consider his role “thankless” at all. He’s gotten several meaty monologues, a bit of action, and a solid role in general as a nemesis/jerkwad/guy who actually understands shit. He’s an interesting, layered tertiary character.

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    194. Greatjon of Slumber:
      mariamb,

      Wow, I wouldn’t consider his role “thankless” at all. He’s gotten several meaty monologues, a bit of action, and a solid role in general as a nemesis/jerkwad/guy who actually understands shit. He’s an interesting, layered tertiary character.

      Wow – guess I didn’t explain myself well.

      I agree that he is an “interesting, layered tertiary character.” I mentioned “thankless” because the average viewer may perceive him to be – as you state – Jon’s nemesis and kind of a “jerkwad” without giving proper attention his “meaty monologues.” But, as I said, I am not one of those. I think that he has brought incredible depth to the character.

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    195. mariamb,

      ah ok. I understand now. When I think “thankless,” I think mostly of numerous Hollywood films (and some TV shows) that waste talented actors – usually women – in the roles of the hanger-on, best friend, prostitute, girlfriend, or disapproving wife (think just about every female character on True Detective, for instance).

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    196. Greatjon of Slumber,

      A perfect summary. There is no reason to think that Littlefinger, or indeed almost anyone of consequence, knows about Ramsay’s proclivities. The word may well be staring to spread what with Ramsay’s most recent indiscretions (that poor Northern lord he flayed), but by and large he’s much more low-key than in the books.

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    197. From the Wiki, about Daenerys’ visions from the Undying: “A great stone beast takes wing from a smoking tower, breathing shadows.”
      I wonder if this is a reference to greyscale and its spread.
      If only Jorah were to get it, I don’t know if there would be so much talk about it. It might refer to a widespread calamity in Westeros coming ahead.

      There’s more talk about it in Westeros next episode too.

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    198. I’m afraid for Sansa now. I don’t think Ramsey will hurt her, that would be dangerous for the Boltons and would really piss off Roose, but I’m afraid that she could hurt Theon. For all she knows, Theon betrayed Robb, burnt Winterfell and killed her two little borthers. She has all the reasons to hate him, and she’s very pissed now.
      Also, Ramsey would like that. He could say he hurt Theon because he hated him being a kinslayer and Sansa and Ramsey can bond over it.

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    199. Simeon: They name-drop greyscale in 3 of the 4 episodes so far this season, mention the Stone Men, and even describe the disease in considerable detail.There is no way they do that if it doesn’t matter.*How* it matters remains to be seen, but at the least, I think “Jorah Connington” is now pretty much a given.

      I think HBO is setting up for a scene that would be jarring if there was scant context. “Jorah Connington” makes sense. But, unless greyscale makes the infected person immune to dragons/zombification/walkers or whatever, it’s import is no more than any other myriad of ways someone in Westeros can get killed, maimed or shunned. Might as well say every sword matters because someone could get stabbed with it. Or that a bad case of the clap lurks behind every corner so readers/watchers should be on notice.

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    200. Quick question: Do people think Arya will get her face cut off like in the books? Do you think they’ll show that?

      lalla,

      If she’s willing to ally with the man who murdered her brother I’m sure she’s willing to ally with the man who (supposedly) killed her other brothers, especially since he’s so hard to be mad at now that he’s all broken

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    201. ash,

      I thought Tyrion saw the tear that marked her as a slave. And then I waited for the ‘stop whitewashing Tyrion’ crowd to start howling 🙂

      I don’t like Littlefinger being SO clueless, but I also didn’t like the idea of his throwing Sansa to the lions den so…I don’t know. I am still very leery of this change from the books.

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    202. Great episode, lots of interesting comments. A breath of fresh air after the bitter gloom over at Tower of the Hand and Westeros.

      One question: does anyone else think we will be seeing the Red Priestess again? I find it hard to believe they would cast Rila Fukushima for one (great) scene.

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    203. Clob,

      Let’s fix this then. AWESOME episode!!!! so good that even missing the “Edd, fetch me the block” line was not bothersome in the least. Enjoyed the hell out of Sir Alliser’s internal struggle (albeit short) of whose side he was actually taking. Olly scrambling for Longclaw was pretty cool too. And the lunchroom cleared quite quickly with Jon’s request to escort Lord Slynt out. I guess after the Mance’s barbecue a beheading was just the ticket to lighten the mood! Hey, did we see a very small smile flicker across Stannis’ face??????
      Again, great episode-praying next week’s will maintain the high bar.

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    204. Maceless Fan: I think that Roose not viewing Sansa as a threat makes perfect sense because she’s a woman. Woman in most of Westeros (especially to someone like Roose) are only viewed as pawns in their politics. But Roose doesn’t realize that Littlefinger has been teaching Sansa the game, and underestimating her just because she’s a woman will probably be his downfall.

      Yes … Sansa and one 90 year old washerwoman are going to bring down Roose Bolton.

      #iBELIVE
      #TooTaly
      #maybenotreally
      #getherwetReek
      #shesfu*ked
      #NORTHREMEBERSTHATTHESTARKSCANTDONOTHINGRIGHT

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    205. Xanth:
      Jeb,

      I certainly wouldn’t call the people over at westeros.org haters. I actually prefer that website a lot more then this one because they tend to call out D&D stupidity when necessary. We’re only four episode into this season but already this season is off to a really rocky start (though not nearly as bad as last season) . There’s a lot of flaws and it’s good to talk about them, even if we know D&D would never listen.

      Why is it good to focus on the flaws? Is it somehow wrong to want to enjoy the show?

      If you thought AFFC and ADWD were going to be adapted faithfully, you don’t know much about television. I think we all knew that season 5 wasn’t going to be a Westeros travelogue and characters would have to be condensed. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books, but as is they would make terrible TV. So why the surprise and/or anger at the changes? What’s to be gained by grousing about them? Why should we make ourselves miserable when we can enjoy ourselves?

      Also, why should D&D listen to people who don’t understand the realities of producing a TV show and know less than they do about what’s happening in the end of the series? Why are you a special snowflake who knows so much better about how the show should be made?

      That’s why we are contemptuous of the cranky purists. Not because we think anyone is above criticism.

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    206. While so many seem to be afraid for Sansa, I’m more afraid for the characters that will continue to be sacrificed because of her. That’s a much bigger discouraging thought for me.

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    207. Greatjon of Slumber,

      Even if LF is actually ignorant of Ramsay’s true nature, I can’t get past Sansa and LF venturing into & past Moat Cailin’s atrocities without absolute trepidation regarding their extremely dangerous decision. But I’ll survive.

      We should always keep in mind that LF coveted Cat but hated the Starks, for the most part.

      In any case, I am cautiously looking forward to the development of “The North Remembers” with Sansa (and a few others) in the mix….her marriage could be the ultimate trojan horse! Also, I guess Theon is going to play a subordinate/supporting role to Sansa this season. Will he intervene between Sansa & Ramsay or Sansa & Myranda, or both? She’s bound to recognize him in the next episode or so.

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    208. WeirwoodTreeHugger:
      Maceless Fan,

      Maybe Melisandre will see something in the flames?That’s about the only way they could do it.If Stannis wants a Stark ally in WF it makes sense for him to seek Rickon.

      What is a “Rickon”? I know its not one of the dragons since they have names now …

      Maybe it is the name of Gillys babe or one of Walder Freys whelps …

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    209. Anyone else think “let them fight” when the eastern Priest is looking at Tyrion…

      I expected the Waif to be more like her when I heard they were after an Asian actress.

      This makes some sense as they want to emphasize they are in the east

      The Waif hitting Arya was funny, probably because they are both English girls and I got a real private (or is that public school in England) school girls arguing vibe out of that one

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    210. As for LF, makes sense if he is trying to screw everyone

      Eg someone like LF wouldn’t project a weakness, eg that he is fond of Sansa

      Might make sense in a political sense if he knows exactly what he is, eg marriage to Sansa can help cement Bolton hold, but marrying Sansa to Ramsay may indirectly undermine Roose, eg people are icky about the Red Wedding as we saw with the old lady and “the North remembers” and if people hear he is torturing Sansa this would stoke a rebellion

      I doubt that’s it though, show LF is very different to book LF, eg Varys wouldn’t let Tyrion roam around as he did and out of his sight

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    211. Overall, great episode. 9/10. I’m really liking Season 3 so far. It’s like a slimmed down Feast/Dance, which is actually really enjoyable.

      Everything with Jon Snow was awesome, Kit is bringing it this season. You see, Janos Slynt? That’s what happens when you fuck with Ned Stark.

      Really enjoyed Arya and Jaqen in the temple. Lena acted the shit out of Cersei’s scenes with Margaery. Loved Brienne’s apology to Pod, and her Renly story!

      My one problem was the Sansa plot, though. I really don’t think I like it. But I’m not sure if I don’t like the writing, or if I’m just terrified for poor Sansa.

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    212. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      clk,

      No, I didn’t see Volantis, either.

      So, I asked this on the open chat thread right before this one was opened, so I’ll ask it again here:

      Did anyone else catch “Jaqen’s” line to Arya about how there is only one god and she knows his name???Is that some kind of Braavosi saying, or…

      She told him in Harrenhal that Death was the only true god (which she learned from Syrio)

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    213. They need to hurry along Tyrion’s plot. It’s terrible in the books and isn’t so great in the show either. He’s just traveling around in circles in both. First we get Tyrion’s epic road show with Varys and now we’ll get Tyrion’s epic road show with Jorah. There’s only so much of that you can do before people wake up and realize…hey…nothing’s happening and there’s really no plot here is there?

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    214. Pigeon: Brienne’s story – well done. Every girl can relate to being a self – conscious teen, vulnerable to the cruelness of others. Almost made me like Renly.

      It mostly made me remember why i hate stannis.

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    215. Has anyone else noticed the parallel between Jon executing Janos, and Daenerys executing Mossador last week? Both men begged for mercy, both rulers went through with their execution anyway… reminds me of Book 5, paralleling Jon and Dany’s ruling style.

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    216. I thought LF saying he hasn’t heard of Ramsey Bolton simply meant he wasn’t aware of the name change. After all, Ramsey became a Bolton on a hilltop w/ just Roose and himself present. LF surely didn’t have spies out in the middle of nowhere when that happened. The next sentence from Ramsey was something to the effect “I used to be a bastard.” I don’t doubt LF knows a bit about the bastard Ramsey Snow. He was probably just wanting to confirm they’re one and the same person.

      If there are two absolutes that we know, it’s 1). LF genuinely cares for/loves Sansa and truly believes he’s not putting her in real danger (perhaps bc he knows Roose would not let Ramsey beat or mistreat his wife for political reasons and 2). LF wouldn’t proceed into this plan without knowing a lot about the person Sansa is planning to wed. It’s too unlike LF to have a risky plan and not know every detail.

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    217. Brendon:
      King Tommen,

      Very, very good point about Robb. If Robb, the King in the North, didn’t know anything about the son of one of his right hand men (!!!) then it’s totally plausible to me that Lf doesn’t know either. Why would anyone care about the hobbies of a bastard anyway? But I’m right there with you. It’s just not hard for me to buy.

      Didn’t Robb know in the book? Course in the book they had him marry Lady Hornwood by force so it was more than just being a torturing bastard.

      According to the Wiki:
      “Ramsay is feared throughout the North, and quickly gains infamy after the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings. He callously practices rape, murder, and other sick indulgences around the lands adjacent to the Dreadfort. Ser Rodrik Cassel attempts to put an end to his atrocities after Ramsay forced himself upon Lady Hornwood. Rodrik’s party comes across Ramsay shortly after he had raped and killed a peasant girl and his companion Reek had raped the corpse. Ramsay is able to survive by switching clothes with Reek, who is killed in his place. Rodrik yearned to put Ramsay-disguised-as-Reek to death too, but he needs him as a witness to many of Ramsay’s crimes.”

      So people knew about him in the North so I can’t believe that Littlefinger didn’t know.

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    218. Random thought also:

      This episode brings another what I assume will be a one-episode wonder (with last week being Elizabeth Cadwallader’s perfect Lollys Stokeworth), with Rila Fukushima as that creeeeeeeepy Red Priestess. I watched that scene thinking, “Oh, I so want more of her.”

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    219. Enjoyed the episode and everything is unfolding very nicely.
      Arya in Braavos is building slowly but surely and I think they waif (I guess they abandoned the Asian actress pre-requisite for her….unless there’s a face switch?) giving her a slap was due as she is/was starting to get a bit full of herself as a character.
      Kings Landing is simmering between the two queens and Jonathan Pryce was captivating as the High Sparrow. I sense he’s going to be a highlight of this season for me.
      The Wall stuff was very well done and it was great to see Slynt finally get what he deserved and yet I still had a flicker of sympathy for him as he admitted to be being scared. Stannsi and Davos rinse everything they can from every scene they’re in as does Alliser Thorne.
      Volantis panned out nicely and the scene with the red priestess was interesting (wonder if they’re going to go somewhere with that?). Tyrion has lost a lot of his sparkle and isn’t as amusing as a character as he once was which is good as he’s not going to be a barrel of laughs after what he’s been through. Nice little bit of social commentary about how Dany has become a Essos celebrity as she becomes more well known.
      Now onto the the not so good. The Boltons were at their best and Littlefinger tried his hardest but the Northern storyline is still making no sense to me. LF not knowing anything about whom he is about to mary his prize asset too is ridiculous and Sansa walking into the arms of those who murdered her brother with no explanation as to why she should do so is daft to say the least. They tried an explanation but it was a weak one. I’ll roll with it but it’s gonna take some bloody great acting to snmooth over the rather contrived way in which they all ended up at Winterfell. Alfie Allen will give it his damndest but I’m not sure the others can step up especially as their characters are being changed massively from where they once were. Also…why did they bother stopping at Moat Caitlin?!
      Honestly couldn’t care less about Brienne and Pod anymore. They have no purpose and are just being tacked onto other people’s storylines. They have no chemistry between the two of them and Brienne’s revenge mission against Stannis completely changes her character. She’s just not very likeable and isn’t as sympathetic (even the boys used to laugh at me convo with Pod did nothing…didn’t she tell Jaime to stop moaning about having his hand chopped out and then that bothers her?!) as she needs to be. I hope she does find Stannis and he puts her out of her misery as she’s easily the most disposable and dull character in the show at this point in time. Then again, it is Brienne so she’ll have to win whatever fight she gets in as apparently beating people is the only way you can build her as a character.
      But yeah, generally going pretty well but some stuff needs some serious work (hesitant to say the stuff that’s wandering furtherst from the source material) and some further explanation needed for certain things happening. (Littlefinger needs to pull some sort of plan out of his arse as his current actions are not in line with his character at all at the moment. Silly gambles with no major rewards).

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    220. Hodor’s Bastard: Even if LF is actually ignorant of Ramsay’s true nature, I can’t get past Sansa and LF venturing into & past Moat Cailin’s atrocities without absolute trepidation regarding their extremely dangerous decision. But I’ll survive.

      You have a point. But really I’m just responding to you because it’s another opportunity for me to say how much I love the shots of Moat Cailin. It’s so goddamned grim.

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    221. Whether the show-runners intended it or not, I’m just going to view Littlefinger’s comment on Ramsay as being tactful/reserved. He should know about him, but it wouldn’t have been wise for him to say something like “Oh I’ve heard all about you” and risk angering him.

      Even if I’m totally wrong and they messed up, I still have to convince myself of Littlefinger’s intelligence by any means necessary. The story depends on it, really.

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    222. Robb17:
      Also I was absolutely ecstatic and screamed at the TV when Rila Fukushima came. Honestly didnt know she was even cast. Loved her in “Wolverine”

      I agree. No way they cast her for just that one scene, I feel like Tyrion and Jorah will run into her later. Also it’ll be interesting to see if they focus in on her saying Dany is the savior VS Melisandre who says Stannis is.

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    223. I’m shocked by the number of people who think Littlefinger wasn’t lying his ass off about not knowing about Ramsey. I totally believe he knows.

      As for what does Liitlefinger gain? The North. That’s pretty clear in the scene with Roose. LF got one pawn in the Vale which LF now controls. He’s using his other to seize the North. It’s Sansa, he’s fixed her in Winterfell where the people’s of the north can rally arond her, turn on the Boltons and his pawn has the North. OR he formed a tie to the North by helping Roose cement his position by selling his pawn to Roose. Either outcome is a win for Littlefinger. He benefits either way. ( and remember of ‘loved’ Cat but would betray thee it out if her and resented her too. LF is not above a bizarre mix of love hatred. Marrying Sansa to Ramsey is passive aggressive as hell. Part of him delights in seeing Ned and Cats daughter suffer… While he can play her hero because if Roose doesn’t think Littlefinger won’t doublecross him someday, he hasn’t been paying attention.

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    224. Random casting spoilerish question

      any thought on the rather-not asian waif? Do you think… there might be a SECOND waif later, one with a different face? Or maybe they just changed direction…

      I totally owned “the seven” prostitutes though. Although someone else added the fact that they would be with the High Septon to complete the explanation for the Smith casting. Kudos to them too!

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    225. WeirwoodTreeHugger,

      I would disagree. Books 4 and 5 would make fantastic tv, hell the stuff that was interesting in those books is the stuff that’s ultimatly being cut, thats a damn shame. But that’s not the reason to hate on this (and last season) the reason is that d&d are dumbing the story down with bad, cheesy, and whitewashed writing. You can enjoy the show to a point but it’s inherently wrong to give it any more then maybe a 7/10, IMO, for what d&d are doing; watering down a piece of art for mass appeal. At least people over there recognize that.

        Quote  Reply

    226. Is it just me or does anyone else see a similarity between the Tyrells and the Plantagenets of real history? Time will tell.

      Also, while I’ve enjoyed the episodes so far this season, I’m also finding the writing rather loose and banal and just not on a par with that of previous seasons. Who is writing these episodes? I don’t care enough to go and find out.

      I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the TV show is a completely different thing from the books and this makes all the changes far more palatable. For me there are still way too many loose ends, though, and a lot of characters who have seemingly fallen off the map, but perhaps all will come together in the end.

        Quote  Reply

    227. Hoyti Von Totiy: What is a “Rickon”? I know its not one of the dragons since they have names now …
      Maybe it is the name of Gillys babe or one of Walder Freys whelps …

      Rickon is the youngest Stark. Went off with Osha last season. Or was it Season 3?

        Quote  Reply

    228. A note on Littlefinger: I don’t believe for a second that he doesn’t know who he is dealing with. He’s not dumb enough to tip his hand, and there’s no way that telling Ramsay anything he knows about him will help his position.

        Quote  Reply

    229. Here Be Dragons,

      The fact that Sansa built a Winterfell snowcastle last season makes it pretty obvious that she still has a strong connection to that place.

      I know she couldn’t wait to leave for King’s Landing back in Season 1 but she has changed a lot since then.

        Quote  Reply

    230. Does anyone else just believe that Littlefinger isn’t that smart, even in the books? He is incredibly lucky, that’s for sure, and that jives with Showfinger admitting that he is a gambler.

        Quote  Reply

    231. The reason why people aren’t assuming automatically that Littlefinger is lying is because of a couple reasons, I think.

      1. They didn’t actually show anything to make us think that. If a character is deceiving someone, there should be some indication of that to the audience. To just turn around some time later after playing it straight and be like, “Ta da, just kidding!” is not good writing (or acting, if it was an acting choice).

      2. Like I said further up the post, if he’s lying and he’s consciously putting Sansa into Ramsay’s torturous hands, it’s a terrible plan because she has a lot of him and she can screw him in return easily. Both ways, the plan sucks and makes me think less of Littlefinger.

        Quote  Reply

    232. I think that Owen Teale gives more an irritating performance than makes an irritating character. I mean Alliser is not a sympathetic character and there should be a lot of potential in his confrontations with Jon but Owens performance make this unsympathetic man a really boring one. A forced, one-dimensional and exaggerated rhetoric just to prove that he is Alliser. Too much effort with such poor results. With one exception, that is this episode where he uttered just a few words. But then again everybody was on top form in this episode. We got the politics back in a variety of forms and it was an opportunity that no actor or actress missed. The highlights for me was Sansa’s two looks, the one on the top of the hill and the other towards Roose, the three Cerseis (Cercei + Margery, Cercei + Tommen, Cercei + HS) and the crown of all Jon. I strongly believe that this is his season.

        Quote  Reply

    233. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      For book LF, I always thought he’s more of a combination of opportunist and cunning planner on the curveballs the other players are throwing his way. Too many players to plan for absolutely everything, and he knows it. So he’s playing the chaos for at least a part of it, true. However that makes him smart, not necessarily lucky.

      Show LF is definitely less of a cunning planner. Making Lysa fly with no alibi or story only to have Sansa save him — definitely lucky.

      This WF storyline seems to be on the same vein for me. However he played Sansa like a violin there with “avenge them”. Took all of what? 1 min speech? So you have to wonder is he really THAT good of a pep talker or is Sansa erratically written, changing her mind in a span of seconds: “No, you can’t force me/ Yes, let’s go to WF and marry the son of the man who killed Robb.” Take your pick. I lean towards LF being convincing. I like Aidan Gillen too much 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    234. Sue the Fury,

      I agree but hopefully some interesting stuff regarding “the North Remembers” will happen. While LF zooms south to KL, Sansa and Theon should listen carefully to the sounds of the trees whilst in the godswood.

      Oh, and the abbreviation for Winterfell is no longer WF. It is now WtF. 🙂

      ——

      On another note, didn’t you just love seeing that beautiful Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw, slice Slynt’s head off so cleanly?

        Quote  Reply

    235. Greyscale comment/question; (how do I create spoiler shading? Sue please help me shadow out the book only references.)
      In the books a character not in the show, Val, keeps calling Shireen a dead girl. On enough occasions to make me think it’s significant. The show has highlighted talk of Greyscale far too often in this short season to not have some significance.
      Red Velvet told Selyse that the Red God needed Shereen at the Wall. Made me think of the book reference from Val.
      So what is the significance of Greyscale at the Wall? Are the Others aka White Walkers tied to it somehow?

        Quote  Reply

    236. It is interesting that so far this season we haven’t seen any private discussions between Stannis, Davos and Mel about their campaign, the NW, the wildlings and Jon. After years of discussions of Stannis’ prospects we are now on the outside of Team Stannis looking in.

        Quote  Reply

    237. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Ditto. I have 4-6 people over every week for new episodes and this was a crowdplease. I was also very happy to see more than just the one friend talking about Jon. He’s finally winning Unsullied over left and right.

      Stellar episode. Beats out 3×03 for best third.

        Quote  Reply

    238. LF is still pulling strings. At the point he says he is uniformed about Ramsay, he is still trying to nudge Sansa in to going through with her part in all of this while also appearing ignorant of the crazy bastard to the Bolton’s. He can’t come right out and say “Ramsay is a sadistic prick! RUN!!!” he is trying to manuever the players around.

        Quote  Reply

    239. Sue the Fury,

      I do not understand it. Firstly how could they show us a sign that LF knows and secondly why should they have done so. Viewers are not babies to be fed with all necessary information by D&D. We are at a stage of GOT that the majority of the viewers know who LF is and what he is capable to know and to do. I think it was very wise to make it seem vague giving way for interpretations. But I don’t see it as a weakness. And then Ramsays idiotic smile and reply speaks for itself.

      LF puts Sansa in danger as much as he puts himself. It has been made clear that Sansa is not a victim anymore. She is a player and she has to play a great role in the wars to come (I suppose that was the meaning of the “Avenge them” scene. It has been made more than clear that everybody involved in this storyline are playing with the fire and that will be exciting to see it unravelling… I think the whole thing with what LF knows or not is much ado about nothing.

        Quote  Reply

    240. TheTouchOfFrost:
      Ryan,

      Think Mel has jumped ship to Jon now!

      Well yes in the books, but not yet in the show. I do believe the synopsis for EP 5 does say she “reads the signs” or something like that. So I would guess she sees “snow” then.

        Quote  Reply

    241. Sue the Fury:
      The reason why people aren’t assuming automatically that Littlefinger is lying is because of a couple reasons, I think.

      1. They didn’t actually show anything to make us think that. If a character is deceiving someone, there should be some indication of that to the audience. To just turn around some time later after playing it straight and be like, “Ta da, just kidding!” is not good writing (or acting, if it was an acting choice).

      2. Like I said further up the post, if he’s lying and he’s consciously putting Sansa into Ramsay’s torturous hands, it’s a terrible plan because she has a lot of him and she can screw him in return easily.Both ways, the plan sucks and makes me think less of Littlefinger.

      1. On that one, agreed. See Homeland Season 3 for best example of this.

      2. Again, I’m still thinking there are things Littlefinger doesn’t really intimately know. One man can only know so much, and to consider him this omniscient genius elevates him to a level that nobody else occupies. It’s true that he’s a player who really has few other peers – Varys comes close, for one – but there’s an element of luck that comes into play here too; Littlefinger probably figured he could shield Sansa from the Lords of the Vale, but Anya Waynwood got in the way, and he was saved by Sansa’s own belief in the devil she knew in that situation. It doesn’t appear Westeros has newspapers, and ravens are used in necessary situations, correct? They’re not for just the daily gossip. And given Ramsay was ensconced in the Dreadfort for most of the run of the show, that Littlefinger wouldn’t know much other than he likes to flay people (which, it’s in their words anyway), is more plausible. He can’t see or know everything, not in a world where communication is by unreliable avian species.

      We know Ramsay likes to torture people through elaborate “Most Dangerous Game” style activity, but does Westeros? Who would have bothered to talk about the bastard of the Dreadfort? Anyone who knows about what’s happened in Winterfell is gone; nobody has any real sympathy for the Ironborn, or understanding of what happened at Moat Cailin (assuming the flayed bodies were left inside the holdfast, and not outside, and they travel between the major castles and not inside them).

      I know, I’m stretching it, but I remain wary of Littlefinger-as-superman act. Too much could have gone wrong. He’s lucky, just as Walter White was. Lysa Arryn could have thrown Sansa immediately through the moon door without him walking in the room. He had to depend on the stupidity of Catelyn Stark to arrest Tyrion in order to spark the war, though I’m not sure he thought she’d be so dumb as to then take him to the Eyrie. His entire plan to wed Margaery to Joffrey falls apart if Stannis is successful and sacks King’s Landing. A lot of moving parts.

        Quote  Reply

    242. I, for one, do not trust that old lady who said “The North remembers”. She’s probably on Ramsay’s payroll.
      When she said that line, I thought, “YES!” About a second later, I thought “What Would Reek Do?”. The answer is that he would not trust her.

        Quote  Reply

    243. Greatjon of Slumber:

      I know, I’m stretching it, but I remain wary of Littlefinger-as-superman act. Too much could have gone wrong. He’s lucky, just as Walter White was. Lysa Arryn could have thrown Sansa immediately through the moon door without him walking in the room. He had to depend on the stupidity of Catelyn Stark to arrest Tyrion in order to spark the war, though I’m not sure he thought she’d be so dumb as to then take him to the Eyrie. His entire plan to wed Margaery to Joffrey falls apart if Stannis is successful and sacks King’s Landing. A lot of moving parts.

      I think Littlefinger tries to plan for every possible result he can think of. In his mind, if Sansa fails, he can retreat to the Vale where Robin, his other pawn, is waiting for him to use. Or he can find some way to ally with Stannis, although I doubt Stannis would fall for it.

      Problem is he doesn’t take into account unexpected things. Luck is a huge part of his success, not only his cunning, but I don’t think he realizes that. He’s starting to juggle too many schemes and it’s going to blow up spectacularly.

        Quote  Reply

    244. I have always found Jon to be boring in both books and show, but I have to admit, season 5 Jon has been terrific so far.

        Quote  Reply

    245. Dogs,

      I loved Sansa’s face as she road into Winterfell….I thought it was all she could do to control it. I thought there was soo soo much going on under the surface…

        Quote  Reply

    246. Yes, the Lady Hornwood affair hasn’t happened. But I have a terrible suspicion that the Lady Hornwood affair is going to happen to Sansa (maybe not the fingers, but the starving to death).

        Quote  Reply

    247. I have to say, when Arya exclaims, “C*nt!” at the Waif, I feel that Sandor would have been so proud. Warm fuzzy Hound memory. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    248. TBH, this is turning out to be my favorite season since season 1. One thing ~ they are really using the great GoT music this season ~ the Winterfell theme, Stannis’ theme, Dany’s theme, Jaqen’s theme, etc. ~ as various scenes end, the music really wells up and I just get goosebumps.
      Jon is actually smiling this season, and he’s making smart decisions, and his hair looks great 🙂 And Dany too ~ she has stopped being so shrill and she’s listening to her advisors and her hair looks much softer around her face 🙂 And Jaqen ~ huge Jaqen fan girl here ~ those eyes and that voice – my god ~ I wish his hair were a little longer with more red highlights and I wish he would allow Arya to do something besides sweep the floor ~ but it’s ok ~ he’s back and that’s all that counts.

        Quote  Reply

    249. Do we have any info on how many episodes Rila Fukushima is appearing in this season? She’s a decently well known actor (not to mention she has very distinctive features, I recognized her immediately from The Wolverine) and it could be possible she’s taking on a pseudo-Moqorro role. Traveling by boat with Tyrion and Jorah, introducing R’hllor and the Azor Ahai prophecy to Dany, etc. I’m sure other people had the same thought, just wondering if we have any info to glean from CV’s or stuff like that. I hadn’t even heard she was cast.

        Quote  Reply

    250. Robb17,

      She is a excellent actress with such an ethereal beauty, definitely and up and coming actress. Loved her in Wolverine, but Arrow needs to utilize her more often.
      I agree D&D wouldn’t hire such an actress for a one shot scene, she just killed that scene, and evoked her Red Priestess as far more frightening, lovely and dangerous than even Mel’s ( I know sacrilege). I mean she even scared Tyrion and Vary’s, which is an accomplishment. I have a feeling she will end up in Mereen too.

      My favorite scene’s were those in Winterfell, Roose and Ramsey, Roose and Baelish, take your pick. I like the fact that McElhatton is questioning LF motives and his sincerity, any smart person wood. I smiled when he told LF that he is privy to any correspondence with Cersei, that’s how you control Baelish. Actually McElhatton’s Warden is the only one deserving of his title atm, shrewd, cunning, intelligent, frightening, yet with a soft spoken charisma, the way he handles both his son and LF is priceless. Did anyone catch his line about Sansa’s virginity and only the brothel will care about that, it sent shivers down my spine. I’m thinking Roose himself his going to pull a “jus primae noctis”, which if it happens won’t please Ramsey in the least.

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    251. alikat,

      Well…yeah. But literally none of that happens in the show, so it’s a very different story. Robb and Cat trust ‘Roose’s bastard’ to take back Winterfell, not knowing anything about him. The only people that know about Ramsay are Reek, the people he tortures (who are dead), the Greyjoys, and the Boltons. It’s obvious that Roose has kept Ramsay under wraps, and it’s also obvious that Ramsay’s hobbies are carried out discreetly, and even sometimes involve killing Bolton soldiers who are on his side. And I doubt that the Greyjoys are sending letters to all of the Seven Kingdoms to tell them that the Greyjoy heir has had his dick chopped off and is still missing.

      And, if Lf does know, I also don’t get why everyone thinks it’s unbelievable that he would put Sansa in danger. She’s not Cat. Who is to say that LF hasn’t been planning to use her since day one? Why does everyone insist that he’s head over heels for her? He even betrayed Cat and the Starks several times. He was instrumental in getting Ned and all the Stark people in KL killed in season one. I just don’t think that he cares for Sansa more than he cares for power. I’m sure he hopes to keep Sansa relatively safe, but I think he’s willing to put her in harms way if it helps him.

      (Sorry for rambling!)

        Quote  Reply

    252. Loved Rila Fukushima as the red priestess, especially that knowing stare she gave Tyrion at the end of the scene. The scene was probably a one-off, but I’d love to see more of her.

        Quote  Reply

    253. Did anyone else find it odd that Littlefinger wouldn’t look Sansa in the face during his “avenge them” speech. He looked at her lips and off to the side but never in her eyes. It seemed an odd choice and I’m not sure if it is on purpose or not.

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    254. It just struck me like a lightning!

      The Greyscale is gonna replace the Pale Mare!

      Because they just cant show thousands of people shitting themselves to death.

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    255. Two things I only noticed upon a 2nd viewing:

      -The similarity between the flayed bodies, and when Theon displayed the bodies of “Bran and Rickon”.
      -Maester Aemon is absent because he’s not feeling well. 🙁

      Fantastic episode.

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    256. The similarity between the flayed bodies, and when Theon displayed the bodies of “Bran and Rickon”.

      I noticed that too, and later realized that was why Theon avoided Sansa’s eyes.

        Quote  Reply

    257. Think so too……dammit. Unless the kid is somebody’s favorite nephew or the D & D team owed a big favor to a non-relative. Those smarmy looks the little shit gives Jon just make me want to slap him.

        Quote  Reply

    258. honeyimhome:
      Think so too……dammit. Unless the kid is somebody’s favorite nephew or the D & D team owed a big favor to a non-relative. Those smarmy looks the little shit gives Jon just make me want to slap him.
      (BTW, this is a reply to the first one who said they thought that Olly was being primed for the first stab……don’t know why the reply tag didn’t stick).

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    259. A random thought: Greyscale doesn’t appear to be your average disease – it seems to come from the magical side of GoT. So I think it has a magical reason for existing in the story. What if it armors the sufferer and makes a Stone Man proof against dragon fire?

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    260. I have some questions regarding this episode. First, does Roose Bolton know that Sansa knows that he’s the one who betrayed her mother and brother and drove a dagger through Robb’s heart?
      Secondly, everyone is concluding that Marg was being a bitch to Cersei. If you see Natalie Dormer’s performance she has always tried to be nice to Cersei and seemingly wishes that they could be friendly, so when Cersei visits her she would genuinely want to be polite. Even though the comment about the wine was not appropriate but I don’t feel she was it was necessarily a jibe, cuz everyone knows if Cersei’s fondness for wine and she seemed to have genuinely wished she could have offered her some as courtesy. Same with the Dowager Queen question. She was trying to make small talk as well as confirming what to call her publicly on formal occasions because she is those things now its no secret!? What do you guys think?

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    261. Motherofmadness,

      Although I like that you are giving her the benefit of the doubt, I really think that she’s getting her jabs in now that she has more power and title. Not even Cersei would want to hear references to her son’s sex life, and I think that the asking about what to call her was really a sore spot now.

      She HAS played nice with Cersei and tried to ingratiate herself, and has continually been put in her place. Remember what happened back in season whatever when she told Cersei that they would be ‘sisters’ when she married Loras, and Cersei basically ‘Reign of Castamere’d her ass to her? I think that now that she trumps Cersei, Margaery is handing it back, albeit diplomatically with the cover of courtesy (and in full view of others). And Cersei won’t forget it.

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    262. WHERE IS THE STANNI-LOVE!!!

      I belong to the small minority who actually love show-stannis, but I can still see how people would have a problem with how they handled him in s3 and s4. It seemed like he was stil pretty popular after season 2, particularly because of his role in Blackwater. Then people (bookreaders) became extremely negative toward hisshow character. And it is understandible, since 3 and 4 had him mostly just moping in the Champer of The Painted Table. I would argue that his depression in those seasons was perfectly portrayed, and that they were nesceary in the long run, but I still completely undestand the other opinion.

      But now, there can be no doubt that they are completely nailing him season 5 and taking full advantage of Stephen Dillane range as an actor, and I want people on this forum to acklowledge that!!!

        Quote  Reply

    263. honeyimhome:

      Think so too……dammit. Unless the kid is somebody’s favorite nephew or the D & D team owed a big favor to a non-relative. Those smarmy looks the little shit gives Jon just make me want to slap him.

      Yes, he deserves to be slapped, for witnessing his entire family get slaughtered by Wildlings, to have a creepy Thenn tell him he’ll eat his parents, to be left as the only survivor, and be all alone in a place filled with strangers and have no place in the world. Oh, and

      be squire to a guy who’s chummy with the Wildlings, the people who destroyed his life.

      What an ingrate.

        Quote  Reply

    264. Damphairintheshowplease!:

      But now, there can be no doubt that they are completely nailing him season 5 and taking full advantage of Stephen Dillane range as an actor, and I want people on this forum to acklowledge that!!!

      My opinion:

      Stephen Dillane is a very, very cool guy.

      Stannis Baratheon. . .not so much.

      I give Dillane 100% credit. He makes Stannis more compelling and intriguing, no matter what. If not for Dillane’s casting, I don’t care for Stannis at all.

        Quote  Reply

    265. You may be right! Good thinking 😀

      Pedrissimo:
      It just struck me like a lightning!

      The Greyscale is gonna replace the Pale Mare!

      Because they just cant show thousands of people shitting themselves to death.

        Quote  Reply

    266. Think so too……dammit. Unless the kid is somebody’s favorite nephew or the D & D team owed a big favor to a non-relative. Those smarmy looks the little shit gives Jon just make me want to slap him.

      Flora Linden,

      Oh…….how about some love for the fictitious character who killed Magnar of the Thenns.. the guy who actually ate Olly’s parents. Now what was his name……..? Oh wait……is it Jon Snow? Geesh…..this is fantasy. Olly doesn’ t really exist……and doesn’t have to be defended. Again, geesh……..

        Quote  Reply

    267. Jeb,

      For me, it isn’t bothersome because it changes the story, it’s bothersome because it seems to be for no reason. Imagine if they redid the original Star Wars trilogy and this happened:
      Leia: “Han, I care about you.”
      Han: “Of course.”
      (and hopefully you’re a Star Wars fan, too)
      It wouldn’t change the movie, but it just isn’t the same, it doesn’t have the same punch as what you’ve come to know an love. The loss of that specific line doesn’t bother me, but there have been some I’ve been sad that we missed. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still love the show, though. I do think that hoping that it’s done on purpose to piss people off is a bit of a dick move, but whatever. *shrug*

      On a happier note, I loved the Marg/Cersei scene! They absolutely nailed it, twas wonderful! I’m a bit skeptical of the Sansa storyline for the reasons that many have already posted, but you can’t deny that the acting is as strong as ever, and I’m anxiously hopeful for the rest of the season

        Quote  Reply

    268. Damphairintheshowplease!,

      I get the impression lots of people on this particular site really like both book and show Stannis. I don’t happen to be one of them, but that’s because I don’t like Stannis as a character; I find him to be a hypocrite. I will say, however, I have enjoyed Stephen Dillane’s work on the show, and I think he’s only gotten better.

        Quote  Reply

    269. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Damphairintheshowplease!,

      …I don’t like Stannis as a character; I find him to be a hypocrite.I will say, however, I have enjoyed Stephen Dillane’s work on the show, and I think he’s only gotten better.

      Couldn’t have said it better myself! Stannis may be the one true king of Westeros, but I don’t find him to be a likable character at all. Dillane, on the other hand, is magnificent.

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    270. I truly doubt Sansa has forgotten LF’s role in Ned’s death. Even if she wasn’t privy to all the details, she must have figured out the broad strokes. I think that he believes he’s raising a protege, when he’s really creating his own killer. I think in TWOW or Season 7, Sansa guts him and says, “The North remembers.”

        Quote  Reply

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