Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 7 Preview: The Gift

“We march to victory, or we march to defeat, but we go forward.”-Stannis Baratheon

From the HBO Game of Thrones official synopsis, “Jon prepares for conflict. Sansa tries to talk to Theon. Brienne waits for a sign. Stannis remains stubborn. Jaime attempts to reconnect with family.”

Check out the official photos here!

The Gift is written by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and directed by Thrones newcomer, Brit Miguel Sapochnik.  From the looks of the trailer, it seems like we won’t have long to wait to see the effects of last week’s episode in Winterfell and King’s Landing!

Geoffery:  Looks like this week will be heavy on the Night’s Watch, which is great as I’ve really been enjoying their storyline this season.  I’m also hoping for some proper fallout from last episode’s divisive end scene.

188 responses

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    1. Hodor!

      I have high, high expectations for this episode :
      – I’m really looking for more Dorne, to have at last REAL scenes with a REAL length. And a good Doran / Hotah / Jaime /Trysane dynamic (as I saw in set photos that there was going to be a dialogue in a beautiful room inside the Water Gardens). I need an explanation about WHY they needed to attack in the middle of the day and in front of everyone.
      – Intrigued about how Sansa is going to react after the scene, and despite everything I am very confident about that

      I can easily say I am very optimistic about the rest of the season, it is going to improve drastically, I am pretty sure of it. Just give it some time.

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    2. I’m really excited for it, this seems like the episode that will pretty much set the end- game of Season 5 for the Wall, Stannis, Marge & Cersei. Dorne will finally get a bit more fleshed out due to the fact that finally all three groups are in the same place. I guess it will be quite a talky one, love that.
      And of course, I can’t wait to see King Stannis in action once again.

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    3. Yung Wolf:
      Gd75,

      Oh, nice edit. You just used that shameless “Hodor” so you could have first post.

      I see what you did there.

      Yeah, Gd75. Just go away. Me and YW don’t need you ’round these parts. Oh, something of substance to say about your comment or the topic?…Nah.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Note to Davos: stay the hell out of Melisandre’s way. You had your chance at King’s Landing and you blew it.

        Quote  Reply

    5. Qwerty,

      😀

      Well, honestly, this article is somewhat useless because most of us have already seen both the preview and the pictures of the episode.

        Quote  Reply

    6. It will be a great episode for sure, hope we get to see Jon arriving first at eastwatch, that would be a sight to remember

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    7. Winter is Here!

      Also hope Dorne will get better now.

      Really excited for this episode.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Yung Wolf,

      These posts are for conversational purposes. Do you ever post anything that isn’t rude? If you’re not having fun, go somewhere else.

        Quote  Reply

    9. I think I’m most looking forward to Olenna kicking ass and taking names (especially after seeing that photo of her) and seeing the scenes in Dorne. I’m quite interested to hear what Jaime has to say to Myrcella.

        Quote  Reply

    10. Sue the Fury,

      Like most people, I think you misinterpret my posts if you find that they’re “rude”.

      I’m not wrong, though. And, believe it or not, we’re conversating right now!

        Quote  Reply

    11. Joffrey’s Cunt:
      It will be a great episode for sure, hope we get to see Jon arriving first at eastwatch, that would be a sight to remember

      I agree…
      can’t wait for this episode!

        Quote  Reply

    12. Greatjon of Slumber,

      Thinking the same, and I’m pretty sure this episode will kick off a lot of important things for the end-game of Season 5.
      I’m also glad that Dorne will get to redeem itself with many more indeptht-conversatios between Doran and the Lannisters. It now has the potential to be more than the worst part of an over – all very strong season.

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    13. Anyone else think there might be some Arya scenes alluding to “The Gift” of mercy?

        Quote  Reply

    14. Brotherhood without Banter,

      Didn’t she already have that “gift of mercy” scene (with the young dying girl)?

      Like the cynical “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” from this past episode, I am expecting an equally cynical interpretation (other than the obvious wildling relocation reference) of “The Gift” for this episode.

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    15. Brotherhood without Banter,

      Honestly I don’t think so and I don’t hope so either.
      Every character is more or less confirmed for this episode (am I wrong?) except Arya. It would feel too rushed to have Arya, unless they make the episode 1h10 hour long…

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    16. Does anyone else think that Ramsey might be showing Sansa “what happens when Ramsey gets bored”? She looks like she might be looking up at a flayed person. Or maybe she is just looking disgusted because Ramsey is disgusting.

      I am really hopeful that Sansa gets her revenge on the traitors in Winterfell. It is killing me that Sansa has to endure so much torture. She is strong, she will fight through it and live to see Winterfell restored.

      I also can’t wait to see what Olenna does. I think she has the opportunity to take control of KL and I hope she does it without the help of LF. Though, I think she is smart enough to know that he is only in the game for himself.

      I hope we get a more substantial Ghost scene soon and that the budget wasn’t blown on the dragons although it was pretty much worth it because they have been spectacular!

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    17. Yung Wolf:
      Qwerty,

      Well, honestly, this article is somewhat useless because most of us have already seen both the preview and the pictures of the episode.

      This article is not useless! It serves to bump the articles full of complainers further down the front page.

      Looking forward to this season’s end game, which should be starting this episode. Eager to see what they are going to set up for season 6!

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    18. My description on xfinity for E7 says (and I quote), “Stannis’ stubborn streak prevails”. Hahaha

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    19. Gd75:
      Brotherhood without Banter,

      Honestly I don’t think so and I don’t hope so either.
      Every character is more or less confirmed for this episode (am I wrong?) except Arya. It would feel too rushed to have Arya, unless they make the episode 1h10 hour long…

      People are pointing to the fact that Arya isn’t listed in the HBO synopsis, but it’s also been pointed out in other message threads here on WotW that there’s a history of episodes concluding with the storyline of someone who wasn’t listed in the HBO synopsis…

      I’m pretty optimistic that Arya will be in this Sunday’s episode. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    20. The Cersei/Maergery showdown was a highlight for me in Feast, so I’m looking forward to that confrontation, I think shit will hit the fan. That look that Natalie gives at the end is like a snarling animal!

      Judging by the small preview, Sansa’s in “get me out of here mode”, I just hope it’s her driving her escape, and that she begins to plot some revenge. I mean we deserve this!

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    21. Simeon: This article is not useless!It serves to bump the articles full of complainers further down the front page.

      Very true, the debates and crying about last episode got old about 30 minutes afterwards.

      But I don’t know if this article really accomplished that. *cough* Sue! *cough*

      🙂

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    22. Simeon: This article is not useless!It serves to bump the articles full of complainers further down the front page.

      Looking forward to this season’s end game, which should be starting this episode.Eager to see what they are going to set up for season 6!

      Makes it time to start complaining, then! Where is STRONG BELWAS???

        Quote  Reply

    23. Beacon:
      Note to Davos: stay the hell out of Melisandre’s way. You had your chance at King’s Landing and you blew it.

      Not to be nitpicky, but I have a feeling Tyrion blew that one.

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    24. So excited for this episode!

      I’ve been hiding away from the GOT fanbase for the past few days…
      Im sure I missed a hell of a shitstorm and Im very thankful for that

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    25. Queensmoot,

      What’s a Wung Wolf? You were almost clever. Almost.

      Your answer is no. Believe me, if there was a way to ignore every habitual whiner that had a broken sarcasm detector and zero sense of humor, I would.

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    26. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      *highfive* that’s what I’m looking forward too. Jaime has felt the guilt Cersei put on him and the responsibility to do something about his role that he never assumed. It’s always a pleasure to see NWC act. This will be a bit of a challenge to be sure. In Myrcella’s eyes he was always the uncle of no involvement. Because that’s how it was in KL. Makes for a challenge for Jamie to connect.

      And the Olenna should be good too simply because she thought she was in the driver’s seat. Cersei just upped the game, taking down not only Loras bit Margery too! Hah. The old woman needs to spin some serious plots to get the Lannister and her grandchildren off the hook.

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    27. Gd75:
      Qwerty,

      Keep your sarcastic comments for yourself dude. And if you have nothing to say, don’t say anything, better for everyone.

      WOOOOOOW, Gd75.

      Yes, I was being sarcastic.

      But, unless you two are friends and neighbors in real life and this is just a thing you do, if you can’t tell which of us was insulting you and which was defending you, then you is dum.

      …dude.

      Even more so since you identified the sarcasm but couldn’t figure out at whom it was directed.

      That’s the last YW hijacked post for me.

      Deleting this bookmark since moderators have no control here.

      (Check me out! I’m like The Mary Sue! Screw you guys, I’m going home. Cartman out.)

        Quote  Reply

    28. Tormund’s Woman: And the Olenna should be good too simply because she thought she was in the driver’s seat. Cersei just upped the game, taking down not only Loras bit Margery too!

      I am not sure why Loras is not in the driver’s seat – isn’t he supposed to be one of the best fighters in Westeros? He should just stare down the High Sparrow and ask him if the Faith’s best warrior really needs to die over a dispute about buggery.

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    29. Ignoring all the other stuff…

      Does anyone feel 99% confident that the “You’re losing all your friends Tarly” comment is during

      Aemon funeral pyre scene

      and is really a direct comment on that? The fire reflected on their faces, the look of horror on Sam’s face…

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    30. Lady Wolfsbane,

      Hmmm…I hadn’t thought about that. Then again, I’m in denial about

      having to lose Aemon. I know it has to happen, but I’m just trying not to think about it.

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    31. Hoping these “friends” Sansa is talking about are more than just Brienne, Pod and the seniors of Winterfell. It’s about time we see some Northern soldiers kicking ass other than Boltons.

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    32. Gd75:
      Qwerty,

      Keep your sarcastic comments for yourself dude. And if you have nothing to say, don’t say anything, better for everyone.

      The “say anything nice” adage was adapted by Margaret Atwood into my favorite quote from her, which likely says rather unfortunate things about me.

      If you cannot suck anything nice, then don’t suck anything at all.

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    33. I’ve just realised, the thing Sansa’s looking up at is probably just the weather.

      And Ramsay uses the opportunity to make some upsetting comment about the Starks, ‘cos Winter.

      That or she’s looking up at Bran’s tower again, thinking about placing the candle. Basically I’m just saying: I don’t think Ramsay’s showing her some flayed corpses or anything horrible like that, like a lot of people are suggesting.

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    34. I was just reading through the interview with Eugene Simon linked over on the twitter feed, and this quote leaped out at me:

      “You will get a better understanding definitely of the origins of the Faith as the series goes on.”

      Of course, that may not apply to this episode, but I found it intriguing.

      One of Roose Bolton’s leeches: Hoping these “friends” Sansa is talking about are more than just Brienne, Pod and the seniors of Winterfell.

      I hope so, too, but if there are others, I’m not sure Sansa would be aware of them, yet.

      Shaz,

      I’d like to know to whom the old lady was referring, too. It may not be Manderly, but I get a feeling there are some movements going on with someone big (pardon the pun)…pieces being moved into place, and those who know are being very hush-hush about it. Then again, it could just be wishful thinking.

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    35. Lady Wolfsbane,

      Preview speculation:

      Good catch, that’s definitely more fire illumination from below than a single brazier would put out. And it makes sense if Aemon dies after Jon has left, leaving Sam feeling even more bereft. Sad if Jon misses the funeral, though.

      Does this Stannis being stubborn thing allude to bad-weather + lack of supplies = Stannis refusing to slow/turn around from his march to battle? I could see that happening, with Davos disagreeing, since he would have a good grasp of logistics.

      I’m still wondering where Melisandre falls in terms of what the plan should be.

      Also, with regards to Margaery, wouldn’t her best option be to claim she’s pregnant? At least then they might allow her better conditions pre-trial.

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    36. Lady Wolfsbane,

      i dont think so Thorne will not shame Aemon like that …i think he tells that to Sam when Jon is leaving

      and that Aemon scene is going to happen after jon left and we are going to have Fat PInk mast this episode shudders

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    37. The Rat Kook,

      If you saw my reply to you feel free to ignore it. I deleted as I realised you weren’t talking about whether or not she was upset, but what she might be looking at (I have no clue, no change there then).

      I do still like your picture though, even more so now that I’ve noticed the hat also looks like a mini version of the mushroom cloud you get from nuclear bomb detonations :O)

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    38. Greatjon of Slumber,

      I agree, but the season has been heavily relying on the payoff- it better be satisfying! D&D have these last 4 episodes to show us what they’ve got up their sleeves.

      I agree with the people that want to see how Dorne bounces back from the disappointment it was so far. Now Dorne is entering GOT’s comfort zone, which is a lot of talking.

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    39. Knight of Storm’s End,

      Hodor’s Bastard,

      I’m thinking Tyrion is given as a gift to Dany for the wedding. Him being a Westerosi and all. We’ll see.

      Also, this must be the episode where we’ll see Yezzan, right? I don’t understand why he was shown in that casting video at comic con alongside actually important characters.

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    40. One of Roose Bolton’s leeches: It’s about time we see some Northern soldiers kicking ass other than Boltons.

      heh, there won’t be a remnant of some Northern army hidden away somewhere. The show will play with what they’ve presented us. Ultimately, whatever happens here has to be down to Sansa, Theon and Brienne: they are the three main characters involved. Manderly’s Magical Military Might would be a very, very arbitrary resolution: and B&W have always made things less arbitrary, not more so.

      Chad Brick: He should just stare down the High Sparrow and ask him if the Faith’s best warrior really needs to die over a dispute about buggery.

      One, they’ve made no mention of the possibility of trial by combat: we’ve seen that for secular issues, but not ecclesiastical ones. Two, I really doubt that the High Sparrow would blink at it: he is a fanatic who would firmly believe that the gods would cause the right person to win.

      dragonbringer: i dont think so Thorne will not shame Aemon like that …i think he tells that to Sam when Jon is leaving

      I seriously doubt that Thorne would care about a dead man’s feelings. I doubt that he’d care about a living man’s feelings, for that matter!

        Quote  Reply

    41. jentario,

      I’m actually quite intrigued as to how slaver YzQ is portrayed since they are not going the sickly, aromatic, “yellow whale” route with him (I assume). But, yes, let’s get on with it and get Tyrion to Meereen, with cock intact.

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    42. jentario,

      I thought it was The Gift as in

      the promised deed to the actual land from Jon to Tormund.

      But that’s a pretty cool idea you mention there.

      Lulu’s Mum,

      LOL! I see no pic in the thread that is posted by the The Rat Cook, but somehow I feel you are talking about Olenna.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Those extra stills are beautiful.

      I’m intrigued by the Tommen/Cersei scene. I wonder just how much she will manipulate him and how much genuine affection/empathy she will demonstrate. If he’s truly distraught about Margaery, would she relent? Probably not, but it could make for a compelling scene if there were flickers of conscience or conflict there.

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    44. Tormund’s Woman: I thought it was The Gift as in

      Oh I’m sure that’s the obvious meaning of the title…but it may also be a “cynical” metaphor for a few other things going on…

        Quote  Reply

    45. Dany’s distressed look on Carne’s new stills, could that be her reaction to seeing Jorah in the fighting pits ?

        Quote  Reply

    46. Tormund’s Woman:

      Lulu’s Mum,

      LOL! I see no pic in the thread that is posted by the The Rat Cook, but somehow I feel you are talking about Olenna.

      Hi TW *waves*

      I was talking about the Rat Kook’s profile picture, the cartoon rat with the mini mushroom cloud chef’s hat.

      Although there is a picture of Olenna in the additional shots Carne linked to where she’s holding the scroll upright and really looks like a little kid proudly carrying an ice cream cone (although she hasn’t noticed the ice cream’s gone) ;O)

      EDIT: I just looked at that picture again, why do the (presumably Tyrell?) guards behind her have such ridiculously long belts? I’ve heard of one size fits all but I think the mammoth from ep 4.09 could probably get into one of them. Apart from anything else they really look like a trip hazard! ;O)

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    47. Roose On The Loose,

      i am thinking it is a reaction she will give to the fighting pits themselves for how brutal that pits are ..it may also that she sees tyrion and stops them make him and claims his as a gift

      i dont think she will know its jorah till episode 9 because jorah is going to wear an helmet …probably made by yezzan or hizdar so that dany cant recognize him

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    48. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      That is truly one of the greatest GoT images there will ever be. One of the others is Michael McElhatton in his Roose gear having a fit of the giggles from the Sansa in Winterfell video. I can’t watch the video but someone (I think it might have been Greenjones?) posted a still in that thread for which I am eternally grateful :OD (That’s supposed to be a very smiley face btw, I can’t usually post proper smileys like other people do and have to go old school.)

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    49. Wimsey,

      Gah.. I know.. I just cant get over the fact that we didn’t see a single fight between Stark soldiers and Lannisters, besides the massacre back in season 1, which wasn’t what I was looking for at all 🙁 It didn’t have to be a full sized battle, just a small fight showing how tough these guys really are. I’m still hoping to see just a few Umber soldiers amongst Stannis’s army. We already saw a Flaming Stag marker placed on Last Hearth on that map Roose had.

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    50. Someone updated the screentime count. Sansa has had more time on screen than Dany and Tyrion.

      And yet you guys insist that she hasn’t been overexposed and that she isn’t favoritized by D&D. Ha.

        Quote  Reply

    51. (lurker mode off, first time to comment ever since WotW was born)

      anybody knows who is in the fight scene (in the preview) after the “friends in the north” part? Is that Brienne?

      TIA

        Quote  Reply

    52. New photos are nice! Wonder if Jaime’s kids will ever learn he’s their dad? Will Gilly’s kid ever grow any bigger? Daenerys has just seen Jorah fighting in the pits! Perhaps that will be the end of the Meereen segment in this episode? Lady Olenna looks very determined. Hopefully this episode will begin the end for Cersei.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Wolf Runner,

      yeah i think its some sort of warm up match before the original pits in episode 9 …dany goes to check on how the fit fighting actually works whether everyone is free man or not ..

      i think she will see Tyrion there and oppose having him fight in the pits and take him as a gift from hizdar

        Quote  Reply

    54. Pigeon,

      no they dont

      i think there was a post about here where they had set up some sort of auction ring back during filming …

      in the trailer we can see jorah fighting with the helmet and dany standing watches with hizdar and a with the Photos that got released for this episode in which Carne linked we can see dany watching this fight taking place

      i dont think jorah will die this season .. iam sure he will make it too westeros with dany…

      in the books i think he will become the 1000th LC of nights watch after the War …but i dont know where they are going with the greyscale in the show

        Quote  Reply

    55. Pigeon,

      Thanks for the link, Pigeon. It’s a great interview.

      “And I don’t want to be an asshole to anyone. If I watched somebody on television every week and I met them and they were an asshole to me, it would break my heart. But it is an overwhelming life.

      Maisie’s a good ‘un. It’s ridiculous how agitated some people become over her acting like a teenager from time to time on social media. She is a teenager! It’s okay for her to act her age every once in a while.

      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I love that picture so much! It gives me a grin every time I see it.

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    56. dragonbringer: Looks like GRrm is going to read a chapter from WOW

      Yeah, he reads it at noon CT on Saturday. There may be some live tweeting about it. Lots of speculation at Westeros regarding the PoV. I’ll flip if it is a new Samwell chapter at Oldtown. 🙂

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    57. Hodor’s Bastard,

      “And Sam turned yet another page. This tome was more tedious than the last, and the rumbling in his stomach set his mind towards last night’s supper. Tender beef or at least it seemed tender after years of Three-Fingered Hobbes fare. And the the gravy Nothing makes vegetables so enjoyable as a good gravvy. Sam put the tome down: the strangely titled “Deus ex Machina” chapter could wait until tomorrow.”

      And then the Iron Islanders came by and killed everyone.

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    58. ace,

      Thank you.

      Warning: Very spoilery –

      Watching that clip, it was so spoilery that I was a bit shocked initially, even though I knew it was coming. The first few minutes just showed me, once again, how well this show can treat certain characters. I was actually moved to very real tears by what was glimpsed there in terms of Aemon’s passing. Good on D&D for allowing for that lovely old man to have a dignified exit scene. The Dany/Daario scene looks good, we need to see what’s going on in Dany’s mind. The High Sparrow/Cersei scene looks absolutely intense. Those long stares between the two of them before the penny drops…I am very psyched for this episode.

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    59. ace: http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/36y9va/spoilers_all_osncom_has_the_inside_the_episode/

      YES!! 🙂

      Cersei finally taken down by what she herself created. She really is too stupid to be allowed to live. 🙂 Maester Aemon’s funeral – he seems to have played the biggest role in Sam’s journey in the series. Daario’s advice to Daenerys is very harsh, I think she will not heed it, and then at Daznak’s after the Harpies have attacked, she and Drogon will do exactly what he suggests. It’s time.

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    60. This show needs to have a great episode now more than ever. I would like Dorne to stop sucking but considering the dumb scene that leaked between Bronn and one of the Sand Snakes which happens this episode I’m not getting my hopes up.

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    61. Wimsey,

      Awww….yet another AFfC condescension. 🙂 But surely, you could find something more crafty and uplifting to state about Book 4. It’s too easy to lambaste it, as many have. Challenge yourself to find something positive to say about it, like the magnificent prologue-final chapter link via “Pate”, the inferno-like journey of Brienne, the mystical setting of the kingsmoot, Aemon’s passing of old age (unique!), Arya’s transformation, Queenmaker, Cersei’s spiral and Jaime’s cynical riverlands tour.

      I still believe if books 4&5 had been written in chrono fashion (via the Boiled Leather approach) and was edited a bit more assertively (without dropping the Dorne/Ironborn stuff), there would be much more healthy, helpful discussion and anticipation about its diverse set of arcs.

      And I have confidence that a smart editor of your stature could have adapted the post-RW riverlands storyline for TV to be quite interesting and relevant with Jaime and Bronn (and a host of other fun personalities) in the mix. But oh those darned budgets always get in the way, so they must combine creatively.

      But…yes…back to your Samspeak. Sam is a great reader, isn’t he? 🙂 What is he going to learn? (Oldtown will matter!)

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    62. Tyene: He has a good voice.
      Obara: He’s a singer, if he was a fighter we might’ve been in trouble.
      Bronn: It’s against my code to hurt women.
      Obara: It’s amazing how many men we beat seem to have this code.
      Bronn: I wouldn’t say you beat me.
      Tyene: And how is your arm?
      Bronn: Wonderful. Wouldn’t feel right to leave Dorne without a new scar.
      Obara: You think you’re leaving Dorne?
      Bronn: No great hurry. Dornish women are the most beautiful in the world.
      Tyene: Thank you.
      Bronn: I said Dornish women, I didn’t say you.
      Tyene: I’m not the most beautiful woman you have ever seen?
      Bronn: I’ve seen quite a few women in all the Seven Kingdoms.
      Tyene: Tell me one woman more beautiful than I am.
      Bronn: Well, now in King’s Landing there was an absolute…
      Tyene: There was a what? In King’s Landing you were saying…
      Bronn: Was I?
      Tyene: …there is a woman more beautiful than I am.
      Bronn: Was there? My memory’s not what it was earlier.
      Tyene: And how is your arm now.
      Bronn: You seem concerned with it. You must really like me.
      Tyene: And how is your head?
      Bronn: My head? You don’t even want to know what’s going on in there.
      Tyene: What was that, are you sure you’re feeling alright?
      Bronn: Sure, a bit woozy but that’s to be expected after a good dust-up.
      Tyene: Your nose is bleeding.
      Bronn: It’s not it’s the dry air.
      Tyene: My dagger was coated with a special ointment from Asshai. It’s called the Long Farewell. It can take some time to work some times several days. But if one single drop makes contact with the skin…death.
      Tyene: The only antidote. Who is the most beautiful woman in the world? Who? Who, sorry?
      Bronn: You.
      She takes whatever the antidote it is from or off of her necklace and gives it to him.
      Tyene: Don’t drop it. I think you’re very handsome as well.
      She blows him a kiss and laughs.

      F*CK, at least we get more Bronn.

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    63. Have things changed, where spoiler tags are now also going to include show spoilers? I hit the “show spoilers” box, since I’ve read the books, and assume only book material will show up. I’ve inadvertently read a crap-load of leaked show spoilers this season, and it sucks.

      If this is the ‘new normal’ for spoiler content, I won’t be clicking that box.

      On a related note- is it just me, or even beyond the leaked first four episode, has this season seen more leaks than the last four seasons combined?

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    64. Ozy,

      iam actually more worried about Obara’s accent in that scene than with bronn and tyene

      Hodor’s Bastard,

      two things what i like about AFFC

      Aemon’s last chapters and sam at oldtown

      cersei oh god it was fun to read those chapters love to hate cersei …

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    65. dragonbringer,

      Interesting clues. The next Dany chapter should be a major turning point for her (she has gone east, now she must go west). Like Samwell, GRRM has been keeping Dany’s next steps (or flight?) very close to his vest. Either way, it should be an interesting read…some are even predicting a revised Aeron chapter.

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    66. The way Stannis says his lines reminds me of the way Dany says her Wheel lines we have seen in the previews…

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    67. Ozy,

      Yikes! The “adapted” truth about the SS hurts. 🙂 It would be a shame to see Bronn go down via poison. I’m rooting for Bronn vs Hotah just for the heck of it!

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    68. ace,

      Damnit, Emilia naked under covers again.

      Where’s that perv executive who’s supposed to represent the perv side of the audience when we need him.

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    69. Sooner or later we will have to admit that Obaras lines form last ep will be an all time GOT classic: “I am Obara Sand, daughter of Oberyn Martell. I fight for Dorne! Who do you fight for?” And then a bit later Bronns line: “You fight pretty good for a little girl!” Maybe the best comic scene in S5 so far.

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    70. Hodor’s Bastard,

      yeah many believe Aeron because in the past GRRm teased the audience about that chapter but audience chose Arianne ..so he may read that chapter ..

      but thinking about it the show may choose to spoil some stuff from Dany chapter in the finale …so he will read it like he did with Mercy and alayane

      i dont think Bronn is going to die ..they wont do that

      Pigeon,

      the actress playing Tyene is same age as Sophie …think about that

      JamesL,

      i dont know whether i feel happy or sad about Emilia not doing those scenes anymore

      but anyways the executive cant help you on this i think ..its upto the actors comfort …he may have a nameless prostitute for tits and ass show

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    71. Ozy,

      I don’t see what the problem is with a light hearted scene like that. Also, could we get a Tyene-Bronn relationship similar to Arianne-Arys Oakhart?

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    72. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Well she flashes her tits to him in the scene which even to me as a member of the perv side of the audience just seems silly and forced. And in Dany’s scene with Daario it’s the exact opposite issue, it seems forced and unnatural to hide the nudity.

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    73. Ozy,

      That’s my transcript of the Tyene audition from almost a year ago. Now seeing how they’re characterized, I’m pretty sure the lines I assumed then were Obara’s are probably Nym’s.

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    74. We have different opinions. I find a symmetry in the scene and yet it is very lighthearted and comical. Not for a minute do I think that it was shit. It was good quality bmovie stuff.

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    75. Hodor’s Bastard: But surely, you could find something more crafty and uplifting to state about Book 4. It’s too easy to lambaste it, as many have. Challenge yourself to find something positive to say about it

      It was nominated for the Hugo award and otherwise received strong (but not raving) critical reviews. Of the 15 books nominated for the Hugo that year, the year before, and the year prior, only ONE has a better net review score on Goodreads (Old Man’s War by John Scalzi), implying that regular readers loved it too. Really, anybody that gripes that GRRM only wrote the second best scifi/fantasy book in a three year period needs some perspective.

      Yeah, a lot of people were pissed when they read it and found there was no Tyrion, Jon, and Dany. Most fans got over that eventually, and most people that have re-read AFFC/ADWD like them a lot better the second time around.

      The problem wasn’t that AFFC/ADWD were bad books, but that they did not fit the kind of rhythm TV shows need. The first three books and four seasons typical had around eight POV’s running concurrently. The show really cannot handle more than this, but at its peak, the AFFC/ADWD had as many as seventeen concurrent POVs depending on how you count them. This may or may not be good literature, but it is impossible to adapt this directly as TV. Imagine how people would scream if Arya only showed up every third or fourth episode! Another problem that is plaguing this season, in my opinion, as that 10 episodes is just too short for the material being covered, but 20 would be too many. About one episode’s worth each for the Northern Conspiracy / Davos / Manderly and another for the Greyjoys, along with a couple episodes’ worth just padding out some of the other POVs across the course of the season, would have made a better story from my perspective.

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    76. Ozy,

      I don’t want to be judgmental but because many people bring here their friends, mums, dads, cousins opinion as a criterion of good or bad quality. Unfortunately it is not. I mean it is an opinion of good or bad quality. But not a criterion. Just to remind you. So yes my dad loved this scene and my mum and her best friends think that Sand Snakes and in particular Obara are the coolest thing in S5, if you don’t mind…

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    77. That audition scene is fine, it reminds me on Jon/Ygritte scenes from season 2. Sand Snakes need some dialogue and characterization. Especially Tyene and Nym.

      But SS non-introduction really crushed my confidence in the writers. Instead of adapting perfectly written confrontation of SS with Doran from Areo´s chapter that introduced everything you needed to know about SS, Doran and all that family and political drama going on in Dorne, they choose to do what is without doubt the worst introduction of any character in the show.

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    78. Wimsey: Wimsey says:

      Chad Brick: He [Loras] should just stare down the High Sparrow and ask him if the Faith’s best warrior really needs to die over a dispute about buggery.

      One, they’ve made no mention of the possibility of trial by combat: we’ve seen that for secular issues, but not ecclesiastical ones. Two, I really doubt that the High Sparrow would blink at it: he is a fanatic who would firmly believe that the gods would cause the right person to win.

      I suppose that could be an answer, but if so, the show-writers need to make it clear. It is obviously in contradiction to the books, and unsullied expectations as to how things should work. Why would they assume that the route Tyrion very prominently used twice is closed off to Loras because of technicalities?

      Book Loras would have eaten anyone the Faith or Cersei could have thrown at him for lunch, which is precisely why Cersei played all those games to prevent him from championing for Margaery. It’s a pretty dramatic departure for his character to turn him into someone who could not defend himself or his sister physically, and unless the show makes it clear that he is not allowed this opportunity, people may assume he is a wuss or a coward.

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    79. I can see this episode will have a great intrigue. But as for violence, besides jorah fighting, what do you think, will something happen at the gift?
      The guy who trained ghost says the wolf will have is big moment this episode. Maybe he made a mistake and that happens in “Hardhome” instead. I just don’t see that fitting this episode, there’s already too many storylines in it.

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    80. I haven’t read all 1 000 000 comments lately so this is not an original idea I’m sure and not something for this episode but

      Since we have no sign of Euron and the Ironborn in the series for ages

      and Euron says he found the Dragonhorn on Valyria IF it is important, now we have Jorah/Tyrion with the pirates on Valyria might they find it here or could the pirates have got it without knowing what it is? Tyrion presenting the Dragonhorn to Dany at some point

      Of course they could introduce all this in season 6

      It’s probably a bad idea but I’m just putting it out there.

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    81. Lulu’s Mum,

      Aha! Good to know I wasn’t completely loosing it looking for something that was not posted 😀

      Yes, Olenna’s plans must have come to fruition because it looks like she’s got something in that roll. Interesting, as you pointed out that she has lost her “icecream cone” in the last pic in the plaza! And background looks the same as the previous “icecream cone carrying” pics same long belt guards too.

      I’m thinking she wouldn’t be doing same day courier delivery work herself if that wasn’t a royal decree from Tommen to pardon his wife for the perjury charge!!!

      Elementary, my dear Watson!

      And now, on to the next case: “why do the Tyrell guards have such long belts?” That one’s a toughie. In fact we haven’t yet solved “what is the pointy thing at the end of Sansa’s necklace?” LOL I think they do it on purpose having these out of ordinary props paraded in front of us and then leave us hanging.

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    82. Hodor’s Bastard: And I have confidence that a smart editor of your stature could have adapted the post-RW riverlands

      No, I edit science papers. And by “edit,” I mean I decide “we will/will not publish this paper” based largely on what 2-3 others have said in reviews. When I do make recommendations, it is “cut this section, it’s not germane” or “you should use Method X instead of Method Y” or “one way to test Reviewer #3’s concern is to do Z.” (It’s all pro-bono: being an editor for scientific journals is basically a minor honor, not a professional position.)

      This would be like a case where I get a manuscript that basically is just going into trivial details about already published data with no discernible hypotheses being tested. (For a technical paper, the hypotheses tested is equivalent to the story of a tale, although we are much less subtle about it!) Now, I might write that this might be of interest to a journal publishing details-for-the-sake-of-details for arthropods or corals or molluscs (and such journals do exist): but they are not of interest to a general readership. So, basically, I probably would reject a manuscript analog of the Riverlands without review. And, yes, I really do think that is how bad this stuff is!

      Hodor’s Bastard: What is he going to learn? (Oldtown will matter!)

      I hope that it doesn’t! I will be very disappointed in GRRM if, in the end, things are as important as characters.

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    83. Dorne has really turned out to be bad, hasn’t it? Hopefully, things change in the last four episodes. I’m surprised this managed to go beyond the planning stages in the writers’ room, since it must have been obvious from the start this wouldn’t work. Not enough screen time, weakly drawn characters… I think it’s worse than Yara in the Dreadfort last year because that was only one botched scene. The arc it belonged to, Theon&Ramsay, was actually very good; that one scene didn’t do any significant damage to it. Here with Dorne, the whole storyline is silly and problematic.

      That said, I am of the opinion that is the only botched arc this season. Everything else is very good or excellent and the season has surpassed my expectations given the source material.

      The Wall and Stannis are great, no doubt about it. Jon has finally come into his own, Sam is, as always, a pleasure to watch, while Stannis is at his best: hard, determined, unyielding. Going by the Inside Episode 7 feature, it looks the next episode will be very good on this front.

      Dany is surprisingly good and unbloated (as opposed to the books). The politics of Meereen have been substantially simplified, but what’s left is concise and on point. I look forward to Daznak’s and what it means for the endgame.

      King’s Landing looks good if a bit rushed; I’d like the Faith Militant characters to have a little more ‘room to breathe’, but I trust the best stuff is yet to come. I miss a more overt connection between the Sparrows and the suffering of the smallfolk. As of now, it isn’t entirely clear that the movement is a consequence of the breakdown of social order as a result of war and its ravages. Nevertheless, that quibble aside, the scenes in KL are, as usual, among the strongest. It’s a pleasure to watch Cersei, Margaery, Kevan, Qyburn, Lancel, High Sparrow, Queen of Thorns (and Littlefinger in the previous episode) spar and maneuver.

      Sansa and Winterfell are a highlight as far as I’m concerned. I know many do not agree (to say it mildly), but I am extremely happy with how D&D&BCog managed to make sense of this significant deviation. We’ll see how it goes, but for now, and with all the ‘outrage’, this may even be my favourite storyline of the season. Grim, tense, unpredictable, and expertly shot (the wedding was eerily beautiful, almost like from a dark fairytale). I am very pleased.

      Arya’s arc is quite slow and simmering, but I appreciate the mystery, languor, otherworldness, and quiet patience it asks of viewers. I imagine her scenes may feel perfectly paced when binge-watched.

      Tyrion and Jorah are perfectly fine, I guess. Nothing to rave about (though the journey through the ruins of Valyria was very nice), though far from bad. Since I’m apparently one of the few who actually liked Tyrion’s atmospheric journey down the river in the books, I miss some of those ‘lost world’, ‘mists of time’, introspective melancholy feelings those chapters evoked in me (I urge everyone to read Martin’s Fevre Dream if they’re into dark, slow, almost romantic journeys down a river — with vampires to boot!)

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    84. Mr Fixit: Dorne has really turned out to be bad, hasn’t it?

      Has it? There hasn’t been very much of it to really say anything. It hasn’t been “bad” so much as it hasn’t been much of anything. In six episodes, it’s probably had all of 15 minutes of air time!

      Now, I admit that I might be making the classic “better does not mean good” mistake, but, then, I’m not suggesting it’s good. However, I can see the seeds for a decent payoff for Jaime’s story in any number of ways. (After all, I’m not 75% sure where they are going with this…. 🙂 )

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    85. Wimsey,

      Well, sure, we have to see how it ends before we can say anything more definitive. But if after 6 episodes we don’t have much of anything to show for it, and the scenes we did have were rather… nondescript, it says something. Anyway, I do hope it changes for the better in the remaining 4 episodes.

      That said, what do you think of other storylines? As evident from my previous post, I actually think that this season has been very good, surprisingly so in fact, considering the source material’s glaring narrative problems.

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    86. Mr Fixit: That said, what do you think of other storylines?

      I think that they’ve been good: taken together, I think that they story is really adding up quite nicely. I really like the way that they’ve parallelized Jon’s and Daeny’s storylines, and although Sansa’s has been painful to watch, it also has been quite powerful. Moreover, it, too, now has strong parallels to Jon’s and Daeny’s storylines: we now have three very different takes on literal and figurative “sleeping with the enemy.”

      The storyline that I think is lagging the most right now is Theon’s: but that might be picking up. I think that we saw Smeagol stirring at the end of last week. Jaime’s is next in terms of lag: but, again, Dorne has not had much screen time yet. However, they have several storylines here, and it’s never going to be the case where all proceed at an equal pace, so some of them (here, Theon’s and Jaime’s) will lag behind others.

      Again, I think that it will really gel in my mind next winter when we do the annual binge-watch. For series like this, things are much better judged as a season. Indeed, remember the complaints about the “gratuitous” Loras and Olyvar scene from the beginning of the year? One would not say that if one watched the first six episodes over a short period of time!

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    87. Chad Brick: It was nominated for the Hugo award and otherwise received strong (but not raving) critical reviews

      Actually, it got ripped by the critics. It got compared to Jordan’s series frequently: and that is never favorable. Sure, it got a Hugo nomination: but that was because of who wrote it. (That is why so many bad books get Hugo nominations.)

      And, yes, it is a bad book. Part of what makes a book “good” is clearly presenting a story. However, people had a hell of a time figuring out what the story was in Crows. Sure, the story became clear when Dragons came out, but the story should have been clear then and there. Part of why GRRM’s prior three books had gotten generally good marks (and had actually started attracting the attention of mainstream literary critics) is that GRRM presents modern stories very clearly in those three books. (Of course, it helps that mainstream literary critics are suckers for the Faulkneresque type of story!) And then this came along.

      Chad Brick: I suppose that could be an answer, but if so, the show-writers need to make it clear.

      The fact that it’s not being used as an option makes it clear that it either is not an option, or that it is not an option that Loras wants to use. Remember, the general viewers know that secular law and ecclesiastic law are never one and the same, even in societies like this. Indeed, that point already has been made pretty clear on the show: the Crown has limited say in what the Church does.

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    88. Re: Sansa

      Does anyone think that Sansa is in the Godswood when we see her crying in the trailer? Maybe after Ramsey kisses her and leaves she hears Bran’s voice from the Heart Tree?

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    89. Wimsey:
      However, people had a hell of a time figuring out what the story was in Crows.

      Who were those people? The story in AFFC is quite clear. AFFC is a much better book than ADWD, for that matter, because it presents a whole story, rather than the awkward chop-job that ADWD turned out to be.

      Joshua Atreides:
      Re: Sansa

      Does anyone think that Sansa is in the Godswood when we see her crying in the trailer? Maybe after Ramsey kisses her and leaves she hears Bran’s voice from the Heart Tree?

      The background definitely doesn’t look like the Godswood, more like the courtyard. I think people hoping for a sign of Bran in the trees are doomed to disappointment this season.

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    90. dragonbringer: yeah many believe Aeron because in the past GRRm teased the audience about that chapter but audience chose Arianne ..so he may read that chapter ..

      He just read the Alayne chapter at the KC con. Nothing new. Get hype…not.

      Edit: Funny that we posted in sync!

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    91. Perhaps Ramsey will display a flayed Myranda in the courtyard as a “wedding gift” to Sansa. I would be content to see only her reaction to this, and no more.

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    92. Wimsey: I really like the way that they’ve parallelized Jon’s and Daeny’s storylines, and although Sansa’s has been painful to watch, it also has been quite powerful.Moreover, it, too, now has strong parallels to Jon’s and Daeny’s storylines: we now have three very different takes on literal and figurative “sleeping with the enemy.”

      Four takes. You are forgetting Jaime’s plotline, which seems to be headed for negotiations between Jaime and Doran (and which also echoes this ‘sleeping with the enemy’ motif by means of the background romance of Trystane and Myrcella.)

      And yes, Crows was a book that needed editing badly, as was ADWD. It’s often the case that once an author reaches a certain level of profitability, they stop being edited very much at all. The power balance between author and editor shifts over to the author’s side, and from the publisher’s point of view…well, the book’s going to sell gangbusters anyway, so best not to risk losing the golden goose by forcing the issue.

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    93. Sean C.: Who were those people?The story in AFFC is quite clear.AFFC is a much better book than ADWD, for that matter, because it presents a whole story, rather than the awkward chop-job that ADWD turned out to be.

      Interesting how many people vehemently disagree on which of the two books is better. If I had to guess, I’d say it has something to do with ADwD having a clear(er) narrative momentum and overall structure while AFfC seems more concerned with worldbuilding, atmosphere, and symbolism. A reader’s affinities would then naturally draw him more to one or the other.

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    94. Wimsey: So, basically, I probably would reject a manuscript analog of the Riverlands without review. And, yes, I really do think that is how bad this stuff is!

      Sad to read. Sorry you were so disappointed with the post-RW, post-Tywin expansion of the ASoI&F universe. But I think you’re missing the dystopian, dissonant wonder that is at the heart of AFfC. I agree that most of it wouldn’t have translated well to TV but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Regardless of your disdain for it, I still believe you could extract some gold nuggets from its meandering stream if you wanted to.

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    95. I wonder how news of Cersei’s arrest will affect matters in Dorne, especially poor Myrcella’s status, and her relationship with Jaime. Will Cersei be arrested because of incest and Tommen not being a Baratheon, or just adultery with Lancel? In any case, the sins of the parents will affect the innocent Myrcella and Tommen in a dreadful way, and quite soon, I imagine. 🙁

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    96. Sean C.: The story in AFFC is quite clear.

      Really? Without Dragons, what would you say that it was? (Of course, it’s hard to do that now because Dragons states the story pretty clearly.) At any rate, my best guess as to what the story was in 2005 turned out to be a miss simply because I didn’t get the Dragons’ (literal!) side of the story.

      As for Dragons, the story is very clear from that. Part of it is because Jon’s, Daeny’s, Tyrions and Theon’s storylines are much more emphatic than any in Crows (save perhaps Cersei’s). But also it reflects the concluding Arya and Jaime chapters clarifying what GRRM was doing with those two in Crows. (What I had mistaken for failure was actually ashes before the arising, I know think.)

      Hodor’s Bastard: He just read the Alayne chapter at the KC con. Nothing new. Get hype…not.

      BOOO!!!!! *throws lamprey pie at GRRM*

      🙂

      Mr Fixit: If I had to guess, I’d say it has something to do with ADwD having a clear(er) narrative momentum and overall structure while AFfC seems more concerned with worldbuilding, atmosphere, and symbolism.

      True: but the fact that the argument exists is (much like the “Dorne sucked more!” vs. “No, Iron Islands sucked more!”) not a good thing.

      However, I think that the biggest failing of Crows was different even from that. What GRRM tried to do was tell a story about people changing themselves and fighting themselves along the way. To do that, the characters have to be well-developed: you cannot see change until you understand where you start. Unfortunately, only 4 of the protagonists had been previous protagonists in the prior books (Arya, Sansa, Sam & Jaime): and only one of those (Jaime) got any number of chapters. Moreover, the chapter that really clinched the story came in Dragons. Brienne and Cersei were new as protagonists, but they’d been around enough that they did not need much development. Cersei’s stuff was fine, although it could have been cut in half easily. Brienne’s stuff did not suffer from our not knowing her: it suffered from it being so unclear as to where she was trying to go.

      All of the other leads were incidental characters before (e.g. Asha) or completely new (Arianne). As a result, GRRM had to resort to a lot of third party PoV in a desperate attempt to play catch-up: and that bogged down the narrative. This was the first time that he used 3rd party PoV chapters extensively: we got them in the prologues and epilogues, but not in the main text themselves. It also made things confusing: who was the important character, and who was the character there to tell us about the important character?

      Dragons had only one new main character (Quentyn), and his arc was fully executed. Also, his storyline was considerably simpler: it was very easy to see where he started, and easy to see where he was trying to go. But I think not trying 3rd party PoV helped there, too. The other 3rd party PoVs were Barristan and Connington: but GRRM managed to work those into minor arcs paralleling the main characters.

      Now, both books suffered greatly from a word:content ratio that was much higher than GRRM’s prior books. Obviously, GRRM’s not the first author to do that in a series (see Rowling, J.K.). That is where some judicious editing of the traditional sort would have helped. But editing of the cleaver sort would have helped, too.

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    97. Kay,

      She’ll probably be arrested (like in the books) for everything Lancel says- which is sex with him when she was a widow and the Robert and whine plot- and on top of that for Stannis’s claims of incest and bastard children. The only thing the High Sparrow has direct proof of is the sex with Lancel, and for that Cersei will do the Walk of Shame. But the Walk doesn’t absolve her of the other crimes, which she’ll have to go through a trial for. And that’s where Mountainstein comes in, because it’ll definitely be a trial by combat (Cersei has no chance in a real trial).

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    98. Wimsey,

      While I agree with you that Crows got a bit muddy, I wonder if it might help you to appreciate things like Brienne’s chapters just a little bit more if you keep in mind that in literature, characters don’t necessarily have to be people at all. The “characters” embodying the themes of the story can also sometimes be the surroundings, or the natural world, or even a nation. It’s a common use of the “pathetic fallacy,” which is the literary term for when human things like emotion or growth are attributed to the environment. It’s a kind of personification, or an anthropomorphism, if you will, of the natural world.

      A good part of Crows, as I read it, was really about the Seven Kingdoms themselves, which have their own way of demonstrating how the child must be killed for the man to be born. Just as the 7K appear in Dany’s House of the Undying vision as a beautiful woman being ravished, so in Crows, the 7K are personified to reiterate some of the themes of the work. Through the eyes of Brienne and others, we are watching the “child” be killed, and the first stirrings of something new and strange rising up from the ashes.

      Of course, you are still welcome to dislike the book. 🙂 I’m not crazy about it myself. But since you seem to enjoy reading for theme, you might find yourself appreciating the novel a little bit better if read with the above gloss in mind.

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    99. Wimsey,

      That said, in the interest of adaptation, I see trial by combat as a probability. We know that the Faith allows trials by combat by virtue of being a direct invocation to the gods as well as their allowance of the method for Cersei. Furthermore, Loras’ trial by combat provides him an opportunity to be injured and thus be unable to be Margaery’s champion.

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    100. jentario:
      Arya Havin’ a larf?,

      The show most likely won’t have the horn

      I don’t know if you’re familiar with the expression “being horny”, as in wanting sexy time? but here in the UK a variation on that would be people saying they “have the horn”. With that in mind the show very definitely does have the horn, just not the one you’re talking about! ;O)

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    101. jentario:
      Kay,

      Is it known already that there is going to be another Trial by Combat and it’s result, in the show? The way the common folk were shouting at poor Tommen, it seems that the incest is already widely know. Would HS not want to strike with all he has, at Cersei? To streamline the plot? If the incest gets publicized soon, then I see its repercussions in Dorne to be a very meaty storyline, and also the showrunners’ decision to send Jaime to Dorne this season.

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    102. Kay:

      If the incest gets publicized soon, then I see its repercussions in Dorne to be a very meaty storyline, and also the showrunners’ decision to send Jaime to Dorne this season.
      Regarding Cersei’s predicament in KL…I wonder if Jaime’s reaction to a desperate letter from her will be entirely different in the show than what it was in AFfC (which was indifference)?

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    103. Tormund’s Woman,

      Aaah you credit me with more insight that I actually have, I just meant literally that she looked like she was holding a cone but that the scoop of ice cream which should be on the top had fallen off. Although as you say it’s obviously something important otherwise they wouldn’t be showing it and she hardly needs to take a job as a messenger delivery service. Unless she’s started doing Olennagrams – send a personal message to someone you hate, delivery guaranteed to include withering putdowns and total disdain for the recipient! ;O)

      As for the belts, they have buckle holes in them quite a long way down, suggesting they would fit someone much larger than normal guard size. They are presumably made of fairly tough leather and it would be difficult to punch the holes through without modern machinery, so perhaps that’s what Sansa’s necklace was originally intended for, although I think we’re all hoping certain people get to find out exactly how pointy it is, preferably about 134 times in any vulnerable body part. Maybe the Eyrie (where it presumably came from) had a sideline in producing belts. They could just chuck them through the moon door for collection at the bottom rather than bother to bring them down the side of the hills. That’s one mystery solved then. Aren’t you glad I confine my crazy ideas to here rather than have any actual input into the show! ;O)

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    104. Tormund’s Woman,

      My attempt at a sensible guess as to what’s in the scroll. It could well be something from Tommen, but I also wonder (spoiler covered for anyone who hasn’t watched the trailers)

      if the scene of her in the brothel saying something along the lines of “they’ll never find what’s left of you” is related to it. She might get Littlefinger to force Olyvar to withdraw his testimony, or go direct to Olyvar himself. Or Littlefinger might offer to do it as a sign of their ‘alliance’. He’s very good at convincing people he’s doing something for them when it’s entirely for his own benefit. Whatever happens I think it looks bad for Olyvar, no matter what he does now someone powerful, the Faith, Littlefinger, the Tyrells, possibly Cersei, or some combination of them will be after his blood. I’d be really surprised if he gets out of this unscathed, or maybe even alive. Ooh just remembered, someone said the seal is blue which is apparently Arryn colours, and could point to LF.

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    105. Wimsey: Actually, it got ripped by the critics.It got compared to Jordan’s series frequently: and that is never favorable.Sure, it got a Hugo nomination: but that was because of who wrote it.(That is why so many bad books get Hugo nominations.)

      Amazon keeps a list of professional editorial reviews for books. If you look at AFFC, NONE of the dozen or so blurbs there are negative. AFFC was positively received by critics and other major authors. Yes, there were a few very loud detractors, but they were mostly wrong and stupid in hindsight, much like “purists” like Linda. While a Hugo is not a perfect proxy for critical acclaim, it is a strong indication that professionals found the book to be good. Public reviews at sites such as Amazon or Goodreads confirmed this. AFFC may be the weakest of the five, but it is far, far from a bad book. I’ve read about half of the Hugo nominees from that three year stretch. None are even remotely as good as AFFC.

      AFFC may be difficult to adapt to TV because of its structure, but it was a great book when perceived as half of the whole rather than isolation.

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    106. Ozy,

      Pshaw. That’s nothin’. A little bird just delivered this secret transcript to yours truly at House Weisenheimer:

      HouseBO: So, guys, break down the Battle of Ice for me.
      D&D: Ramsay assaults Shireen, not so much for her character arc, but for Stannis’s. Classic ‘This Time It’s Personal.’
      HouseBO: Is that Ramsay/Shireen thing wise? Haven’t we gone to that well already?
      D&D: Callback to last week’s episode. A girl has to become a woman, you know?
      Cogman: And then, Mel walks around naked, distracting Bolton’s army and melting all the snow with the heat of R’hollor. This’ll be big. Red Sea CGI big.
      HouseBO: DeMille or Ridley?
      Cogman: Ridley of course.
      HouseBO: Sansa and Theon?
      Hill: Slip through enemy lines and start a romance. Callback to Missandei/Greyworm. Plus, market research shows us that castrati are GoT’s core male demographic. This kinda thing gives beta boys hope.
      HouseBO: Okay, how’re the movies going?
      D&D: We see a trilogy. A total reboot based on George’s original outline in the book proposal. It gives us more freedom. We’ll emphasize the Jon/Arya romance. It’s gold.We already got Charlize for Cersei, Baldwin for Aerys, and Viggo for Ned. Cruise is still holding out, though. His people say he doesn’t want to play a dwarf.
      HouseBO: Does Tyrion have to be a dwarf?
      D&D: Nah.
      HouseBO: Directors?
      D&D: The show directors are all hacks, so we’re lining up Peter Jackson for one and two, and George Miller cuz of the Giant Ice Spider chase at the end.

      Not liking what I just read, I cast the transcript into the flames. My Red Priest sees the future:

      HBO press release — D&D have left GoT to pursue other opportunities as showrunners of ‘The Walking Dead’…. Bryan Cogman is excited to join the staff of The Eve Ensler Institute for the Study of Women, calling it ‘character building’… David Hill is back at the Iowa Writer’s Workship…

      My Red Priest tells me that in years to come, this tale will be told, and retold:

      For a thousand days, the boys were the best at almost everything. Then, they turned their back on Sansa, and were gone. The Doom of Sansaria consumed them all.

      The lesson for all showrunners to come was: you can go Half Sansa, but never go Full Sansa. Never!

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    107. The fact that it’s [Loras demanding a trial by combat] not being used as an option makes it clear that it either is not an option, or that it is not an option that Loras wants to use.Remember, the general viewers know that secular law and ecclesiastic law are never one and the same, even in societies like this.Indeed, that point already has been made pretty clear on the show: the Crown has limited say in what the Church does.

      No, it does not make it clear that it is not an option. Why do you think this? Your “solution” to squaring the circle is to event some law that is in contradiction to the books and has never been mentioned in the show. That’s not “obvious” by any stretch. Rather, it is poor writing. If Loras is not using the combat option because he can’t, then D&D need to make this clear to the audience. Otherwise it appears as some combination of plot hole and cowardice on Loras’s part.

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    108. Hodor’s Bastard:
      What is he going to learn? (Oldtown will matter!)

      I hope that Sam will first and foremost find out how to defeat the Others. In that vein, I hope he’ll settle the riddle to The Sphinx, which many fans already have. I hope he’ll find the secret to making Valaryian steel because this dragon-forged steel may be critical to bringing down the White Walkers (why else would GRRM make such a big deal and so rare?), and the dragons themselves could be critical, as well as the candles. And I hope he’ll discover who the prince that was promised is.

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    109. Chad Brick,

      Half of a book is not a good book. And the pacing in it was beyond terrible. There were a number of good things, yes, but I think they are outweighed by the fact that most of the book feels pointless in hindsight- the story is basically a series of characters planning something and failing. Cersei, Arianne, Brienne, Asha and Victarion all end up retreading and it gets tedious. Especially since the rest of the characters aren’t doing anything interesting either (Sam’s chapters especially were hard to get through, but nothing much happened to Arya and Sansa either).

      I don’t think it’s a good book by any means, but I’ll give it an “okay” because of the few good moments it did have.

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    110. jentario,

      I’ve always been of the opinion that Feast, barring Cersei’s chapters, which are the only with a clearly identifiable storyline, is a prologue/epilogue book. Jaime and Brienne function as epilogue to the War of the Five Kings, ‘documenting’ the destruction and horror in the wake of war. Everything else is essentially one huge prologue for The Winds of Winter, that amounts to little more than moving the pieces from A to B. That isn’t an ideal way to structure a book.

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    111. Ginevra,

      That’s a whole lotta hopes for Sam to accomplish! 🙂

      If he survives “Pate”, the possible corruption with the Citadel, and Euron’s outreach, then maybe Samwell will stumble onto a few lost secrets regarding obsidian, Wall spells, horn blowing, CotF alliances, weirnet strategies, dragon taming, Valyrian steel forging….we’ll be lucky to get info on any of those. Hopefully, he has access to a few ravens to communicate his findings effectively.

      But I have a feeling “faceless Pate” (Jaqen) will have something to say about the dissemination of information from the Citadel. He’s there for a reason, much more than an assassination, imho. Maybe Alleras/Sarella will play a role as well. Very intriguing. We’ll see.

      Then again, maybe Sam has had enough and will travel back to Horn Hill with Gilly to live out his days before the spider riders conquer all.

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    112. jentario,

      What did you just read?

      Satire born of GoT exhaustion. Been in-country too long, I guess, and can’t take any of this as seriously as I used to. I don’t know where you are in your ASOIAF experience, but I’ve done all the line-by-line readings, considered all the prognostications, enjoyed all the theories, and wanted to end my current Watch on a note of levity. Way past time for a sabbatical, and I didn’t mean to offend. It’s been a blast. Cheers!

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    113. Hodor’s Bastard,

      But, again: if that happens, then won’t it undermine the story greatly? That basically turns the Citadel into a Deus ex Machina. Moreover, why does the story (or the audience) need these explanations? For example, why something hurts the WW is not very important: they know now that it does. Learning about

      the weirnet or historical trivia about the Children

      wouldn’t help them much: they’ve pretty much downed their access to it. And it seems really improbable that they have information about

      how to forge Valyrian steel: if they did, then they’d be forging it, even if in secret, and making a mint on selling it.

      If that were the case, then GRRM should have provided us with some hints, such as people commenting on why so much has become available or making note that there were still “back alley” ways to acquire it, etc. However, both book and show imply that it’s really hard to acquire.

      Honestly, my thought is that Book!Sam at Oldtown is going to serve a very different purpose: it’s going to put him in proximity with Daeny once she returns, or possibly with Daeny’s nephew. Either way, Sam will be the link between that camp and Jon.

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    114. Mr Fixit: I’ve always been of the opinion that Feast, barring Cersei’s chapters, which are the only with a clearly identifiable storyline, is a prologue/epilogue book. Jaime and Brienne function as epilogue to the War of the Five Kings, ‘documenting’ the destruction and horror in the wake of war.

      That would not be very good writing! An epilogue should be one chapter: not 15! Moreover, there clearly were signs of storylines in both Jaime’s and Brienne’s arcs. However, Jaime’s did not really crystalize until his Dragon’s chapter: that’s when we see that his “failed” quest to

      show the world that Tywin’s son was Tywin II

      really was a successful quest to show that he actually was bigger than that. (Similarly, Arya’s arc goes from apparent “failed” quest to

      put aside Arya Stark and become nobody

      actually was successful, and that she really had graduated to a next tier.) Brienne seemed to have something happening with rising to Patron Saint of Vows to the Dead: but it was murky.

      The other arcs got chopped to pieces by too few chapters (Sansa & Sam) or having the narrative divided between new protagonist (Arianne or Asha) and 3rd party PoVs (all of the other Dorne & Iron Island chapters).

      There are several old sayings in my biz along the lines of “If you don’t have a point to make, then drown the audience in details.” (“If you cannot blind them with brilliance, baffle them with BS” is a common one.) I think that GRRM made the mistake of drowning his point with too many details. The Cersei, Jaime and Brienne chapters all could have had half the words without sacrificing any content. The new protagonists added nothing to the story and made the story more difficult to understand because we didn’t know who the characters were.

      Along these same lines, although the Jon, Tyrion and Daeny stuff in Dragons along with the Cersei stuff in Crows was much better than the rest, those, too, still used far too many words (and chapters) to make their points. And although I know that many fans love the details, it baffled GRRM’s brilliance with BS!

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    115. Chad Brick: Amazon keeps a list of professional editorial reviews for books.

      Um, the reviews that Amazon lists are the reviews of the series up to that point that were included on the book jacket! They are not the reviews of Crows itself. Indeed, they recycled the same reviews that were on the book cover for Clash: so, really, they are the reviews of the first two books.

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    116. Wimsey,

      Geez…so pessimistic! I don’t care for a deus ex machina solution either but it would be intriguing for Sam to uncover a few nuggets of lost info (or info that the Citadel maesters have intentionally kept private). I hope Sam’s adventure at Oldtown is an intellectual exercise rather than a strategic one. I don’t consider uncovering lost info to be deus ex machina at all, especially after Stannis and Jon have both (in book and show) said “keep reading.” Uh…even you can call that a “hanging gun”…..Oldtown’s mysteries do matter.

      In any case, it is about damn time that the Citadel and NW have a well-defined link, don’t you think?

      Perhaps Sam will meet Dany as she travels west, but I think Sam and Faceless Pate (and maybe Alleras/Sarella) will have their own adventures obtaining/protecting this info from Euron and corrupt maesters. Then again, maybe Tyrion (another book reader!) will direct Dany to Oldtown & Sam, per Jon’s request, to learn about strategies in dealing with the WWs, wights and long-lost magical qualities of the land.

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    117. Wimsey: That would not be very good writing!An epilogue should be one chapter: not 15!

      I agree. That’s why I said that it’s not a good way to write a book.

      And yes, Martin definitely spent way too much ink on those books. For instance, AGoT and AFfC are of roughly the same size, yet the former has 73 chapters and the latter 46. That points to pronounced bloat issues within the chapters themselves. Essentially, when Martin split the original book 4 in half (and decided to leave the majority of beefy bits for ADwD), he had too little story left for all those hundreds of pages left to fill in Feast. And he filled’em alright.

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    118. Wimsey:

      And it seems really improbable that they have information about how to forge Valyrian steel: if they did, then they’d be forging it, even if in secret, and making a mint on selling it. If that were the case, then GRRM should have provided us with some hints, such as people commenting on why so much has become available or making note that there were still “back alley” ways to acquire it, etc. However, both book and show imply that it’s really hard to acquire.
      The maesters at the Citadel couldn’t burn the glass candles (dragon glass/obsidian) until the return of the dragons, and so they believed the burning of the candles to be impossible and made a mockery of magic and those who believed that these candles ever could burn (or that the Others ever existed). And yet now the candles burn. (Like so many arrogant intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals in our own world, these maesters made a mockery of anything that couldn’t be proven by science using the knowledge and technology of the day.)

      The instructions for steel-making, just as the lighting of the candles, might only work now that the magic has returned and now that there is a great need for Valyrian steel. If that’s the case, even if the maesters did come across these instructions, they would have quickly tossed them aside once the instructions did not work.

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