Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 8 – Hardhome – Recap

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If you’ve sufficiently recovered from that intense episode of Game of Thrones, dive into our recap to see what we thought of “Hardhome.”

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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After being presented to Daenerys as a “gift” at the fighting pits in the last episode, Tyrion is brought back to Dany’s pyramid along with Jorah for the most awkward-silence-filled portion yet of their road show.

You have to admire Tyrion’s chutzpah. As far as he’s concerned, he’s not offering his services to Daenerys- she’s auditioning for him. He manages to talk her into not killing him for the moment by marveling over her progress in the last few years, and advises her not to kill people who are as devoted to her as Jorah has been. With that said, he then tells her she can’t have Jorah by her side. She sends the lovelorn Jorah away again. (He can’t catch a break this month, poor guy.)

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In King’s Landing, Septa Unella pops into Cersei’s cell for a little tormenting- she demands she confess, and of course Cersei remains obstinate. The septa is unmoved by Cersei’s repeated threats.

In Braavos, Arya’s lies have improved. She tells Jaqen of how she is becoming Lana, an orphan who sells seafood. In Ragman’s Harbor, she sees many things, including a thin man who sells ship insurance. As Jaqen points out, the thin man is not honest about paying out people who are owed, and “Lana” will be returning to the docks with a “gift” for the thin man.

After Arya leaves, the Waif tells Jaqen she doesn’t think Arya’s ready, but Jaqen shrugs her off, saying it’s “all the same to the Many-Faced God.” That’s the Faceless way of saying, “Oh god, no one cares. Go away.”

Back in King’s Landing, Qyburn visits Cersei in her cell to update her on pressing matters. Tommen is barely eating or leaving his rooms, and Kevan Lannister has been made Hand of the King. Cersei will be tried for incest and murdering King Robert. She refuses to even consider confessing to the High Sparrow to get out of the trial. He reassures her also that “the work” is continuing. (Damn, Cersei- you know things are bad when your best friend is that creepy mad scientist who plays with dead bodies.)

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At Winterfell, Sansa demands to know why Theon- no, Reek- told Ramsay about her asking for help. She presses him further about her brothers, and eventually he breaks and admits, it wasn’t Bran and Rickon he killed- it was two other boys he burned because he couldn’t find her brothers.

After all these years- her little brothers are alive.

Meanwhile, the Boltons prepare for Stannis’s attack. Roose is confident they can withstand a siege but Ramsay wants to take the fight to Stannis in order to make a statement. He asks for the men to make that happen. (Bonus: Feast for Crows reference!)

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Dany and Tyrion meet- she wants to talk about why he killed Tywin, but Tyrion isn’t drunk enough yet for that.

She may say she hasn’t accepted him yet as an adviser but she clearly has. With Jorah gone and Barristan dead, she’s in need of more councilors. After sparring a bit, Dany admits the obvious, that she’s not going to kill him, and that she wants him to help her get what she wants-the throne, of course.

Tyrion suggests she stay in Meereen, but Daenerys wants to go home. (And to break the metaphorical wheel. Of course I’m not sure how she can accomplish that, but alright.)

Jorah approaches the fighting-slave-owning Yezzan and asks him to take him  back so that Jorah can fight in the great pit of Daznak in front of Daenerys. Yezzan agrees, since Jorah can make him money.

Cersei

The septa returns to Cersei’s cell. Cersei tries bribery with a position at court for about ten seconds before she returns to hissed threats. The septa pours the drinking water out, and Cersei is left trying to drink drops of water from the floor while she cries.

Up at Castle Black, Gilly tends to Sam’s bruised face before their gentle moment is interrupted by Olly bringing in food. Olly has Jon’s trip on his mind, since he’s hung up on his hatred of wildlings (really belaboring this point with his sidelong glance at Gilly as she left, aren’t we?). Sam reassures the boy that Jon has made the right choice in making the journey and allying with the wildlings even if it seems like a bad idea.

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Jon, Tormund and his crew arrive at Hardhome to a less-than-friendly welcome from the wildlings there. Tormund wants to call a meeting with the elders but Rattleshirt questions the alliance aggressively. Tormund settles this by beating him to death. (Dead in the books, dead on the show. I like the balance.)

The elders debate the wisdom of trusting the crows, with the Thenns predictably against it, but Karsi, the female wildling chieftain, is more in favor of trusting Tormund’s judgment. Wun Wun of the giants appears to trust Tormund as well. Jon even admits to killing Mance but Tormund vouches that it was a mercy killing, and for his abilities in general. Basically all gingers love Jon Snow, it is known.

The people of Hardhome load up on the boats, though not all of them. Karsi sends her children off a boat and stays to help others. Some will stay behind, much to Jon’s chagrin. As they’re getting ready, the weather changes, the winds blow and there’s a noise, a rumble…

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There’s something outside the gates of Hardhome- the Thenn leader Loboda screams for the gates to be shut, even though there’s dozens of wildlings still out there. The doors slam shut, with people screaming to be let in. There’s strange figures in the distance approaching…

The cold winds rise and the screams outside the gates die quickly. Inside the gates, everyone stands at the ready, including Jon, Tormund and the wildling leaders. Loboda peeks through a crack in the gates and of course we get a good horror-movie scare of a blue-eyed wight attacking right at us!

Then the fighting starts, and I can’t put it delicately. It kicks an enormous amount of scary, icy ass, with the wights bashing through the fence to get through to the remaining wildlings on the shore.

The living fighters take out bunches of wights and then Jon catches sight of White Walkers on top of the cliffs- and then he remembers the dragonglass that Sam gave him take on the trip. He runs for the hut where it was last seen, the one the giant is tearing up and it’s on fire currently so that should be no problem, right?
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Jon and Loboda run to the hut- and right into a White Walker. Jon goes for the dragonglass while the Thenn leader takes on the White Walker with predictably fatal results. The White Walker turns his attention to Jon then, tossing him around easily and things aren’t looking so good for Our Hero.

Jon crawls through the snow, managing to grab hold of his Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw- and with it, is able to defend himself from the White Walker’s sword that seems to destroy everything else. Longclaw blocks the icy sword, and Jon slices through the White Walker, shattering him completely.

Far above, the White Walker king watches this new development with- I want to say interest, but it’s not easy to interpret the facial expressions of ice zombies.

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The hand-to-hand fighting continues with Tormund holding his own. Karsi is killing many of the undead army but when confronted with a pack of child wights, she freezes. The small wights swarm and kill her.

Edd finds Jon on his knees, and tells him it’s time to leave. Up above, the wights are jumping off the cliff for another attack and the fences are collapsing entirely. Finally, the last survivors retreat with Jon, Tormund, and Edd running toward the boats, and Wun Wun bringing up the rear. Safely on the water, they look back and see the White Walkers and wights on the shore slaughtering the wildlings.

The White Walker king stands on the end of the dock, facing Jon Snow. He lifts his hands.

All the fresh dead on the ground rise, their eyes bright blue.

Jon sees, and then turns away as they sail and leave Hardhome behind.

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Highlights:

Sansa knows!: It feels like pieces of a puzzle coming together, her knowing Bran and Rickon are alive. One step closer to a Stark reunion?

Arya in Braavos, Phase II: I’m enjoying her scenes a lot, and really looking forward to next week when she finishes the job.

The laugh before the storm: Edd and Wun Wun’s moment with the giant’s translated ‘the fuck you looking at?’ had me laughing so hard. It’s nice to have a giggle before the carnage.

Karsi, we hardly knew ya: Birgitte Hjort Sorenson’s character put a face on the wildling people of Hardhome. I liked her, and was sad to see her die.

The king is a character – The White Walkers tend to be ambiguous but I loved how much we saw going on with the White Walkers tonight, especially with their king and how you could see some personality. It’s more interesting than mindless malevolence.

Dany’s Adviser: Dinklage brings out the best in Emilia Clarke, and I already love how Tyrion is pointing out tough realities along with smart advice, exactly what Dany needs in her camp of advisers.

Hardhome VFX, stunts, you name itGame of Thrones went all out and it shows. Holy shit.

401 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. The Wall plotline has consistently, by a country mile, been the best material in this season, and that continued here. My only niggle was the bit with Wildling Lady and the kids, because I guess her uterus was triggered and caused her to become ineffective against them. Strong scenery and action, good character stuff for Jon.

      The brief Cersei scenes were nicely done, and I loved having her lick at the water on the floor while “The Rains of Castamere” plays.

      I know there are a number of Arya fans who have been vocally disappointed both with her episode/screentime count so far this season, and the way the story has been told. Up until this point I thought they were overstating things, but at this point I have to say: this storyline is really boring (and, for the record, I wasn’t a huge fan of Braavos in the books either, but it was better than this), and this episode in particular had an outright baffling dramatic structure. The episode ends with a somber note about whether Arya can successfully kill this guy, but the preceding sequence just laid out plain as day that it should be easy. Is it meant to be a moral question instead? Because the episode really didn’t raise that idea either.

      I liked the Sansa scene on its own, though having watched the Inside the Episode video I find D&D’s interpretation of where this fits into her arc kind of baffling, in terms of how they’ve been telling this story. They say that the news about her brothers’ survival is a total game-changer for her worldview, and comes at a time when she’s in desperate need of hope and motivation — but the Sansa we already met in that scene is the most ferocious we’ve seen her since she came to Winterfell already. If this is meant to be her lowest moment, she should be more like in her first scene last week; between the following scene of her trolling Ramsay and the start of this scene it already feels like she’s rebounding.

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    2. Best episode this season, hands down. It blew Blackwater and WOTW out of the water…it’ll be hard to top it, and yet two more episodes remain. And who knows what surprises are in store for the following seasons? I’m excited.

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    3. Sean C.,

      Okay, listen- speaking as a woman and as a mother, I didn’t read it as “Omg her uterus made her freeze instantly!” It was because seeing dead walking children is freaking horrifying for anyone, whether they’re male or female. Dead children just strike people as worse than regular dead people. They do.

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    4. I couldn’t properly convey my frustration about the sand snakes until this episode, because internally I kept trying to put myself in the writer’s shoes and wondering what I could different and coming up blank because, mostly, I’m not a screen writer. But definite benefit of the doubt. Nope, taking it back now. Nameless wildling mom? In twenty minutes I felt she was a unique, strong, badass character, I understood the basics of her background and current life, and I had an emotional connection enough to track her in the midst of the epic zombie battle and be affected by her death. Afterwards I spent some time worrying about the fate of her daughters! So, clearly it’s not a lack of ability or time that the writers were struggling with. I’m not sure what ball was dropped with the sand snakes, but more of wildling mom and less of prison strip tease please.

      Ahem, otherwise I’m with the consensus of amazing episode.

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    5. It’s not a question of if that was the best episode this season; it blew the others out of the park. It’s more a question of where it ranks among the top episodes of the series. But that’s a discussion for another day.

      Loved:
      Karsi. Nice little arc, and you actually felt like knew her.. in one episode!
      Edd survives. Who predicted that?!
      Sansa might be a prisoner, but she is certainly not a victim, like in the Joffrey days.
      Finally, Arya has something interesting to do.

      Fantastic episode. 9.75/10. This is going to take some beating.

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    6. Sue the Fury,

      I do think that was probably what they were going for, but it’s hard to ignore that, of the half-dozen Redshirt Wildlings they introduced in this episode, they picked the only woman among them for that moment. It’s hard not to think that was influenced by gender stereotypes.

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    7. Morgoth:
      Best episode this season, hands down. It blew Blackwater and WOTW out of the water…it’ll be hard to top it, and yet two more episodes remain. And who knows what surprises are in store for the following seasons? I’m excited.

      I am in complete agreement. I would go further: that was the best episode of Game of Thrones to date, in any season.

      And for the most part, Cersei and Arya’s tale aside, I had no idea what was going to happen. There was some real tension there. I thought they might kill Dolorous Edd!

      Holy shit.

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    8. Amazing episode, Kit and the gang did a brilliant job! It was both terrifying and chilling. This is episode eight, not nine, so I’m eager to see what the ‘big’ episode will be like! The White Walkers scenes are absolutely brilliant, though I am pleased they’re rare to see in scenes (I mean, too much would ruin them). God damn, I’m watching it again! The rest of the episode was good too, I like how Tyrion criticises Danny. Poor Jorah, Ian is a wonderful actor.

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    9. Wow. What a fucking whopper of an episode. Top 3 all time for sure. Maybe even #1.
      Arya – one of best Arya scenes this season imo
      Tyrion/Dany – Holy Fuck
      Sansa/Theon/Reek – Holy Fuck (Winterfell theme at the right moment gets me every time)
      Cersei/Septa/Qyburn – Holy Fuck
      Hardhome – Holy Fucking Fuck Fuck Fuck!

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    10. Can’t believe we can’t have one single episode without people trying to look for excuses to discuss about gender stereotypes. Seriously.
      They didn’t pick her because she was a woman. They picked her because you wouldn’t have cared about the half-dozen redshirt wildlings.

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    11. Sean C.,

      I think it was more that they had recognized that the audience formed a connection with the character easily and wanted a sucker punch death, while being kind of oblivious to the sexist overtones. If that makes sense? Like, it’s definitely a stereotype but I don’t think they recognized that their thought process there was influenced by the stereotype. You know what I wished? I mean, the whole series touts itself for twisting audience expectations and going against cliche- the minute that mom told her daughters ‘I’m right behind you’ my husband and I simultaneously said outloud ‘so she’s gonna die.’ How about if that angry Thenn had been the one shocked and stopped by the sight of the kid zombies and mom made it out by whatever miracle helped Edd live? That’d be a different mix, and we’d get another wildling woman at the wall with Gilly.

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    12. Sean C.:

      — but the Sansa we already met in that scene is the most ferocious we’ve seen her since she came to Winterfell already.If this is meant to be her lowest moment, she should be more like in her first scene last week; between the following scene of her trolling Ramsay and the start of this scene it already feels like she’s rebounding.

      That she was out of bed and dressed lends a lot to the “rebounding” idea as well. It was a strong visual, meant to convey (in my mind, at least) that she’s done crying about this. Very well done.

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    13. Sue the Fury,

      She also had just sent her children to safety and now was seeing children that couldn’t be saved. That would induce a double take in any parent.

      Seriously, Sean, it is comments like this that give all of us bad reps…..

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    14. No praise for certain Lord Snow? 😀 I thought Kit was actually really good in this episode and hold his ground.Skeletons were a bit too much for me,but once White Walkers comes it was something else.Edd is a big bonus,because I was seriously worried about him.Wun Wun was a huge surprise for everyone.

      I loved Emilia’s emotions in her scene with Jorah and Tyrion.After that their tea talk…well it was Dany from last season as Ice Queen.When Tyrion talked about Tywin and why he killed him.Not only he put him on trial,but he slept with his love one.Maybe we’ll see something between those two.Olly/Sam scene was meh.

      Agree with everything else,apart from Arya.

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    15. RosanaZugey: That she was out of bed and dressed lends a lot to the “rebounding” idea as well. It was a strong visual, meant to convey (in my mind, at least) that she’s done crying about this. Very well done.

      But that’s the point: according to D&D, she’s not supposed to be rebounding at that point. She’s meant to be desperately in need of some new hope and motivation, but Sansa at the start of that scenes acts like she already has it. I didn’t get any sense that she was on the verge of giving up before she learned her brothers were alive.

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    16. Morgoth,

      LOL, Morgoth. I blame you :p

      I thought it was a pretty good juxtaposition of the previous scene. Sure, it is terrifying to see kids like that whether you are a parent or not. However, she just put her own kids in the boat so they won’t turn into the exactly what was standing right in front of her. It was horrifying and heartbreaking. The actress knocked it out of the park.

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    17. -“Ice spiders”
      -“A feast for the crows”
      -The Theon revelation
      -Rickon namedrops
      -Kevan is back
      -“The work continues”
      -The insurance salesman
      -Dany and Tyrion
      -Valyrian steel works!
      -EVERYTHING HARDHOME

      Awesome episode. 9.whatever/10

      My only minor complaint: Why is girl Arya is becoming called “Lana” when they introduce a “Lara” shortly after. Like, it isn’t *that* difficult to use more distinct names.

      Thoughts for preview for 509: The Doran quote was fantastic. Of course I don’t know the context, but it reminded very much of a certain character from the books, I’ll just leave it at “She-who-must-not-be-named.”

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    18. That shot of the 4 White Walkers on the ridge, can anybody get a high res screenshot of that? Want to make that my new desktop.

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    19. Wun Wun ! amazing amazing episode! hands down the best yet, Kit Harrington is superb! im all giddy with excitement! waaaaaaaaaah. xD

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    20. Sean C.,

      I don’t see it as one. If I had just put my two little nephews into a boat, hoping with all my heart it would bring them to safety and would then be confronted with a bunch of children transformed into wights (the very embodiment that they are not and that’s what will most likely become of them), it would hit me right in the guts.

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    21. This may not be a new thought at all, but I think it is probable that Valyrian steel is forged with dragonglass. Hence its advantageous properties: Light and effective against WW. Though it would not explain why it is stronger than regular steel.

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    22. Fookin’ awesome episode. I really loved the small shout-outs to book readers–the cat running out in front of “Lara” (aka “Cat of the Canals”), Wun-Wun, confirmation that Valaryian steel does indeed take out White Walkers. Also loved seeing the horror at Hardhome & the Tyrion/Dany scenes (which should have happened already in the books–enough delay!)

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    23. OK. I’ll be the first to say it. What’s up with the name change? Don’t understand what’s wrong with Cat of the canals? Too short?

      But great episode!

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    24. Gods’ Balls… was that a good episode- from start to finish, it surpassed what I was hoping for this episode!

      Dany & Tyrion- We’ve been waiting for this, and the conversation felt legit. Nothing over-the-top to satisfy fan “fuck yeah”, but an honest exchange that felt as idiosyncratic as the characters. Good stuff!

      The Arya story seemed to get a jolt of energy that it needed.

      Dirty, pissed and thirsty Cersei was fascinating. We’ve never seen Cersei so vulnerable. And I have to admit, I hope she does kill that brute-septa. I hate religious fanatics.

      Finally- Hardhome… Blew my frigging mind. GoT has once again proved it’s a TV show that can rival most feature films. The whole attack of the WW, was genuinely terrifying! So well done!

      There is so much more that deserves credit, but those are the obvious highlights. I need to watch this again, to really absorb how good it was.

      Final thought: That Wildling woman, is the best single episode character of the series.

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    25. The last 20 minutes just reinforces how badly done that Sand Snake fight was. We know they can do better. Do we have new hero for action sequences? Marshall has done a good job but Sapochnik just blew him out of the water. Imagine the final battle with White Walkers, Dragons, hopefully Direwolves and Giants done in the style of Hardhome. Gives me shivers.

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    26. Guys, is it me, or Karsi was actually Tormund’s wife? Note that she’s the first to say that she trusts in him (even if he arrives with the NW by his side and kill The Lord of Bones), and Tormund said that Jon was more beatiful that his two daughters. Karsi at the current time had only two living daughters, and in the trailer for the next episode, Tormund is holding hands to one of them while waiting outside Castle Black.

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    27. Also, perhaps Tyrion will fill Barristan’s role in the books after Dany is reunited with her long lost son.

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    28. Sean C.: But that’s the point:according to D&D, she’s not supposed to be rebounding at that point.She’s meant to be desperately in need of some new hope and motivation, but Sansa at the start of that scenes acts like she already has it.I didn’t get any sense that she was on the verge of giving up before she learned her brothers were alive.

      Oh, I’m agreeing with you. I haven’t seen the Inside the Episode, so I can’t really comment on D&D’s interpretation, but I think, with the exception of her asking Theon to light the candle in the previous episode, Sansa has not presented herself as a desperate/hopeless “victim”, at all. Her situation is bleek, but she’s handled it with strength, dignity, and resiliance. And let me tell you, I’m EXTREMELY pleased about that. I’ve absolutely dreaded just the IDEA of a re-victimized Sansa. That she ISN’T that way is pleasently surprising.

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    29. Wow, completely happy with this ep. It’s been awhile since I felt that way.

      Tyrion can now add “complicated relationship counselor to the powerful” to his advisor CV.

      And I just want to add that I think Dany and Tyrion kind of bring out the best in each other. Dany can get kind of grandiose, and Tyrion can get a little too far into his own smartassery. But they were both calling each other out like bosses and actually had productive conversations because they wouldn’t put up with each other’s crap.

      It was obvious to me that Dany wasn’t going to kill Tyrion, but I don’t think it was obvious to either of them–at least not in the throne room scene. Definitely felt like a high-stakes two-way job interview. It was pretty clear by the time they went up to her chambers, but the power dance was still fun.

      Also loved the little foreshadowing nod from Sam to readers–“he always comes back.” 😀

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    30. Did no-one notice the scene when Arya was playing the game of faces with “Jaqen” about her day as Lana? As soon as the name “Lana” was dropped, a cat ran past in the canals as Arya/Lana was walking.

      To me that was a bit of a middle finger to book readers.

      I.e. Cat of the Canals? Nah, Lana is better.

      Why change something so small like that?

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    31. Sam: “I’ve been worrying about Jon for years, but he always comes back.” Wink,wink.

      The preview for the next episode shows Melisandre gazing into the flames and looking stunned. Get to the Wall, Mel! Azor Ahai is ready to be reborn!

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    32. First episode this season that had my heart racing! Hardhome was amazing, I like that they us see all (well most) of the other stories first then just deliver that final sequence uninterrupted. I’m not quite sure what to make of the zombies, I know a lot of people will say “GoT goes Walking Dead” or something along those lines, but this is where the show was gonna go since the beginning. I’m glad the rumors of Tormund’s demise were unfounded.
      And Kevan Lannister is coming back!

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    33. holy fucking shit. the last 15 min was GOT meets 28 days later.
      i had hoped the wildling chief Karsi would survive. she was honestly such a badass character.

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    34. Not sure why the Arya hate. Her Braavos storyline reminds me very much of the YA fantasy trope where the protagonist kid essentially serves an apprenticeship and comes out a hero. For example, Taran Wanderer or some of the Dragonriders of Pern books. Or even popular movies like Karate Kid. The protagonist has to do the grunt work and take abuse until they pay their dues and gain mastery. Then the kid can win the contest, save their people, take vengeance or whatever.

      This being Game of Thrones, the kid is learning to be an assassin, from members of a death cult. 🙂

      In the books I enjoyed Arya’s chapters more than most POV characters’. And although I’m not a purist, I have enjoyed seeing the Arya scenes come to life very much how I imagined them.

      I still am stymied by people who have never encountered this “difficult apprenticeship” plot before. To them I want to say:Bro do you even read? and do you think life is never a rough grind, and that grind should never be portrayed on the screen in 2 minute installments?

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    35. Link to the preview:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfaS_YB9eCc

      Wun Wun in front of the Wall and Alliser Thorne coming out to greet him. Should be fun!

      Wonderful episode. Not a single wasted minute. Fast-paced, thrilling, witty, info-dense, it had it all. Also, all of Cersei’s crimes are already out – D&D are not wasting time. Hardhome was brilliant and tragic. Tyrion and Dany were a highpoint and it’s too bad that we won’t get quite a few episodes of this. Terrible children of terrible fathers drinking wine. Arya’s and Sansa’s stories made nice progress, especially the confession about Bran and Rickon. Cersei drinking water off the black cell floor. No wine. 🙁

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    36. Another great detail: they may look like Walking Dead zombies, but arrows in the brain don’t stop them. And I think Olyvar took different advice from Sam’s talk than the message Sam intended.

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    37. That was awesome but I’m having a hard time accepting that you can kill wights with regular weapons instead of having to use fire. It would be one thing if they had been consistent from the beginning but they established it the way it is in the books in season 1. I’m okay with getting stepped on by a giant kills them though 🙂 That and how fast they are moving is an adjustment. Obviously having fire everywhere makes it difficult/impossible to have such a scene at all so I’ll just have to suck it up. I just wish they’d thought of such things back at the beginning of the series and adjusted accordingly.

      And we have it confirmed that Valyrian steel can kill WW which was of course suspected but not known yet in the books.

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    38. Sean C.,

      “Gender stereotypes” is it really a stereotype when it is true? The female sex of almost all species has evolved to be caregiver and nurturer of the young, this is true all throughout nature and not some human social construct. And even if it is a stereotype is it really something to be offended by, “oh no a woman being compassionate towards children”, as if being compassionate and caring is a negative stereotype.
      People are way too desperate to whine about nonsense like this nowadays.

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    39. About to rewatch because that was dope. That battle wasn’t even pitch black!

      Also, Arya isn’t Cat because Jaqen would whack her across the face for using a girl’s mom’s nickname! So we get a wink (not a Fuck you, damn!) with an actual cat in the cannals.

      Nah. My quibble?

      “WILDLINGS KILLED MY PARENTS.”

      …we know.

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    40. MUGger: And I think Olyvar took different advice from Sam’s talk than the message Sam intended.

      I agree. Although I think it’s just Olly. Olyvar is the male prostitute in King’s Landing.

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    41. RosanaZugey,

      Legit really pleased with where Sansa’s story seems to be going. If she laid in bed and cried and Theon manned up to save her just.. No. She’s pushing him and it’s working. She will save him or they will save each other.

      When he opened the door and she was put together and sitting there waiting for him, I was so happy.

        Quote  Reply

    42. So Sophie and Peter are the only ones to have 8/8 episodes this season. Kit and Lena is minus 1.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Randa Noyce: “WILDLINGS KILLED MY PARENTS.”

      …we know.

      I thought last week Jon should have told him that those were different Wildlings and were dead now but I forgot that Tormund was there too. Kids got a right to be pissed at Tormund at least. Besides I think it’s setting up a certain event we all think Olly will be responsible for.

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    44. For the love of all that is good, if there’s a curtain call for Iain Glen next week, I will be as big a wreck as with the Hound. Even fully expecting it.

      I loved Arya and Jaqen’s scenes, and Arya’s new character. That smile as she walks away. Jaqen practically rolled his eyes at the Waif.

      Tyrion being the voice of reason with Dany – was SO hoping that would happen, and it did. 🙂

      Hardhome! So great. Tormund has a way with conversation with the Lord of Bones. Why do I think that he and Sandor would have been good friends? 😉

        Quote  Reply

    45. Cersei’s Brain,

      Honestly I think the problem with Cat is that her mother was called that. I see that as a decent reason for change. Don’t want to make it seem like she chose the name herself bcuz she was thinking of her.
      Cersei’s Wine Goblet,

      Honestly I thought that too. But he wasn’t rowing and I think not likely.

        Quote  Reply

    46. It looks like they’re setting Olly up to be the perpetrator of such act, but I think it’s a red herring. I sorta think he’s going to defend Jon when that moment comes.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Morgoth:
      It looks like they’re setting Olly up to be the perpetrator of such act, but I think it’s a red herring. I sorta think he’s going to defend Jon when that moment comes.

      That would make me happy, but it would be such an overcorrection at this point.

        Quote  Reply

    48. The show finally has the budget to do an epic battle scene in the daytime and they hit a home run.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Random trivial observation – they seem to like Sansa to be taller than every guy she meets this year. Every still photo is her looking down (literally) on LF, Ramsay, Theon…

      Sophie is my height, but apparently we’re amazons. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    50. Pigeon:
      Randa Noyce,

      Maybe Olly and Obara should get together and repeat obvious facts all day.

      I would say Nymeria but I could see how you’d get the two confused. She was the OTHER one who rolled her eyes last week.

      Truth be told, other than Nymeria’s lacking development and that first scene I’m completely fine with the SS and Dorne stuff.

        Quote  Reply

    51. I loved this episode!! I love what’s happening to Cersei. I loved Arya in here cool outfit. Sansa just has to do something really bad to that monster, Ramsey. Loved the exchange with Dany & Tyrion. Felt sort of sorry for Jorah.
      The best part was the battle!! Wow!! And Jon Snow is just as pretty as ever!!! So glad he’s not dead!! For a minute, I almost had a heart attack thinking that the Whitewalker had killed him!! Is the giant going to dog paddle back to Castle Black? Can’t wait for next week!!
      I hope they show that battle at IMAX!!

        Quote  Reply

    52. Pigeon,

      As D.B. Weiss said sometime last year, Sophie’s pretty much taller than anyone on the show except Brienne and Hodor. I think she’s 6 feet tall.

        Quote  Reply

    53. hexonx,

      To quote Broad City, “Oh, I forgot about [their] precious little assholes.”

      I’d rather have a Thorne scene. Wouldn’t you rather a Thorne scene? Don’t the UnSullied deserve more Thorne, too? Instead of suffering blunt force 14 year old trauma?

        Quote  Reply

    54. What I want to know is how the &%#$*# did that giant get on board one of those ships?

        Quote  Reply

    55. Sue the Fury:
      Sean C.,

      Okay, listen- speaking as a woman and as a mother, I didn’t read it as “Omg her uterus made her freeze instantly!” It was because seeing dead walking children is freaking horrifying for anyone, whether they’re male or female. Dead children just strike people as worse than regular dead people. They do.

      Yup I thought this was obvious. These are people not robots with no emotion.

      And Arya’s material in this episode was fucking fantastic. The music was spot on the cinematic a of her as Lana of the canals were incredible.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Is Sallador still in Braavos?

      Cuz Arya’s first customer is one of his hot tub buddies.

      Do y’all think Arya will get blinded as punishment for going off book and crossing Trant off her list?

      Kersi: “I fookin hate Thenns.” Gods be with her.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Chrysee:
      RosanaZugey,

      Legit really pleased with where Sansa’s story seems to be going. If she laid in bed and cried and Theon manned up to save her just.. No. She’s pushing him and it’s working. She will save him or they will save each other.

      When he opened the door and she was put together and sitting there waiting for him, I was so happy.

      You know…I’m also thinking it’s the angriest we’ve ever seen her. I don’t recall her ever being that angry before (perhaps someone can refresh my memory if I’m wrong). She was angry and unsympathetic….and it was glorious! 😉 I think we can all confidently say that the actors/producers were not lying when they claimed that even though she’d be in the same position, she would respond differently. This Sansa is not the previous Sansa. And I think anyone who’s been paying attention can clearly see that.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Sean C.,

      They made it a point to show Karsi put her two little girls in a boat, and to show that she loved them.

      If Karsi had been ‘Wildling Chief Male’- assuming WCM showed an equal amount of love and affection for his girls as Karsi in that brief scene- would we blame his uterus? Good question.

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    59. I think this comment that Sam makes to Olly from S5E8 is germane to a certain upcoming, greatly anticipated event:

      Sometimes a man has to make hard choices. Choices that might look wrong to others, but you know are right, in the long run.

      I believe that Olly is going to weigh this advise when he considers his options to prevent what he thinks is a great wrong: Allowing the wildlings south of the wall.

      Great performances from Kit Harrington and Lena Headey. I also loved the marvelous banter between Tyrion and Daenerys. And it’s fun watching Arya transform into a lethal killer. What a great episode.

        Quote  Reply

    60. GameofHype:
      Did no-one notice the scene when Arya was playing the game of faces with “Jaqen” about her day as Lana? As soon as the name “Lana” was dropped, a cat ran past in the canals as Arya/Lana was walking.

      To me that was a bit of a middle finger to book readers.

      I.e. Cat of the Canals? Nah, Lana is better.

      Why change something so small like that?

      I think the far better question is: Why get upset about something so small like that?

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    61. Huzzah! Dornish Red and Arbor Gold all around!

      This episode was incredible. I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t been said already.

      I was going to write more but I took a moment to see what the Unsullied of Previouslytv thought of the episode and then I read Gingerella’s response…and almost punched a hole in the wall.

      I’m done with them.

      Almost ruined the high I got off that ep. So I better rewatch the HD episode!

        Quote  Reply

    62. Giulio,

      Well, yes, but I was just thinking if there wasn’t anything else to it. For example, dragonfire might be the only way that a resilient steel and dragonglass alloy can be made. Just a thought.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Fantastic episode.

      I am wondering why it was necessary to recast Rattleshirt for that one scene while wearing his mask? Did the original actor decide not to come back?

        Quote  Reply

    64. The Free Folk: That Wildling woman, is the best single episode character of the series.

      I’d have to agree. Both Karsi and Loboda were very well fleshed out for the time they were on screen and she in particular stole the attention.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Pigeon:
      Random trivial observation – they seem to like Sansa to be taller than every guy she meets this year. Every still photo is her looking down (literally) on LF, Ramsay, Theon…

      Sophie is my height, but apparently we’re amazons.

      Ravyn:
      Pigeon,

      As D.B. Weiss said sometime last year, Sophie’s pretty much taller than anyone on the show except Brienne and Hodor. I think she’s 6 feet tall.

      The actors heights:

      Petyr is 5’10
      Ramsey 5’8
      Theon 5’7
      Sansa 5’9 (With the shoes w heels she wears she is around 6ft)

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    66. Sean C.,

      I thought that what they were going for was that those Wight kids were HER family, which she’d already mentioned earlier in the episode. Yes, maybe it’s a stereotype that mother has a closer connection to kids. But it’s a realistic one. And it gave a powerful role to a woman, and a woman warrior, at that — something there are very few of in this world.

      Best episode of the season, and possibly of the show!

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    67. Why change ‘Cat of the Canals’ to ‘Lana’? I don’t get that at all. I thought Arya looked great in her new outfit too! Less like the little girl lost she’s been.

      Is it me or is Dany emerging as a new kind of Cersei? I get want I want or i shall….. WAIT ON! Who was that girl in those old ‘Just William’ books? (I shall sqweam and sqweam and sqweam…..) Read those to someone who’s blind a short while ago, hence why it’s still registering. Violet Elizabeth Bott!! Spoiled daughter of some millionaire.
      Jorah is a pathetic clown. That’s all I’m going to say.
      Where was Tyrion’s one-liner to crush Dany’s ‘break the wheel’ speech? It was crying out for it and the Tyrion we know wouldn’t miss the chance. Dragons or no dragons.
      Let’s face it, Dany hasn’t got a clue. All she has is one dragon on the loose, and a couple locked up in some vaults. Her unsullied are as useful as paper in a turd-making factory. Let’s face it, they’re lost without Barristan.

      Sansa had already started on her upward curve last week. Seeing her dressed and sat, waiting at her table was right to see too. Then, when she gets it from Reek’s mouth about what Theon really did….. Sansa can face anything now. She’s not as alone as she’s been lead to believe.

      The one thing I hope for now is that Ramsey and his 20 get done good and proper. What an arrogant twat! As much as I was hoping for Sansa to take her revenge on him, it’d be brilliant for Yara to arrive. Shall we allow Sansa to see to Roose, Trotsky-style? Why not!

      So, the big set piece comes along. Hardhome.
      Tormond really dealt with Rattleshirt! It had to be a Thenn leading with the dissension in the ranks. Whatever the giant says, go along with it.
      When it all starts to kick off, it didn’t relent. Action everywhere!
      Who came away not feeling they’d learned anything from this sequence? Valyrian Steel kills White Walkers. (Probably a reveal that Azor Ahai isn’t about a person but more about making this steel.) I can only think of calling Jon’s WW as an Ice Knight. Is that what becomes of Craster’s Sons?
      Was the overlord really Night’s King? Must be a fan of The Undertaker – that’s his ‘bring up the lights’ move. Can’t he cross sea-water? Clearly, if he could, he’d freeze the sea, and didn’t. Another weakness, perhaps? I wonder if he was also saying to Jon, all this could be yours, if you join me.

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    68. The Free Folk,

      Perfect episode. Finally, dany and tyrion, arya progresses, battle update with the boltons, cersei finally starts to pay for her horrible actions, and the white walkers attack left me on edge of my seat! Also glad to see more white walkers as the skeletons are just ugly to look at. I cringed when i saw them fighting with hodor and them.

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    69. Just spitballing, but did the children that killed Karsi remind anyone else of the Children of the Forest from the Bran/Jojen/Meera scene?

      Also the leader of the WW had a noble looking getup, any significance/hinting at his past life?

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    70. Perfect episode:
      Dany and tyrion finally get together, lol, “jorah cant catch a break”.
      Arys progresses
      Update with the boltons
      Sansa learns about her brother. Now, lets see, that is 3 living family members she knows about now!
      Cersei finally getting a taste of her own medicine or water off the ground no less.
      Lastly, a great white walker attack scene that left me on the edge of my seat! Also, as someone else posted, im glad to see more white walkers as those wights are just ugly to look at. I first cringed watching them fight with hodor and bran. Where are those children from the forest when u need them.? Anyway, loved it. Btw, cant really compare this to blackwater or the wall imo. Each was quite different.

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    71. Fantastic episode, Best so far this season

      Let’s just say the “new fight co-ordinator” referred to be the Sandsnakes would have salvaged his reputation with that brilliant Hardhome battle, though to be fair a lot of people have involvement and they were pressed for time in Spain, this will no doubt be the one-month long scene Harrington was referring to

      Loved every moment of it, little nuggets of humour in there (who couldn’t laugh at Wun Wun throwing Wights off and roaring, I half expected him to start dragging the boat with him as he waded past to the ships but they needed the stare-off)

      The WTF look on the Wight Walkers face was priceless when Longclaw didn’t shatter. I guess that’s Valyrian Steel = Dragonsteel confirmed

      It was good they had a standout scene to portray that

      Have to say the production was fantastic as well, felt more like watching a movie than a TV show, the lighting/atmosphere was great and a more bleak lookin Nights King was better too

      Pity we couldn’t have had something similar for Fist of the First Men as well…

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    72. In other areas, enjoyed the Tyrion/Dany dialogue in an Arya/Tywin at Harrenhall sort of way

      Emilia Clarke seems to be doing better having Dinklage to bounce off, Dany is doing better for having someone who isn’t a fawning yes man to interact with

      Enjoyed the Arya stuff, great to see her with new hair, new costumes etc and great to see around Braavos

      Some people (hilarious Preston Jacobs videos…) were criticising the “boring” game of faces but it is part and parcel on being able to adopt a new identity, it’s not just a new face it is a new identity with convincing backstory and this scene was good in that it was showing how she was learning to notice small things

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    73. Tonight’s episode was INCREDIBLE!!! OMG that whole section on Hardhome with the fight to the end was absolutely amazing. Just WOW!!! That was just so amazing. Like WOW!!!! The whole episode was great, but that section was jaw-dropping.

      – Tyrion/Dany… amazing. Loved every moment. I loved their conversations. Loved hearing them talk about their families. Loved. It. Oh, and how Tyrion said the Starks are gone, and I’m like… uhm, actually, nope. Only Ned, Catelyn and Robb. Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon are still out there. What a shock to Westeros when all of those bad-ass Starks come out of the woodworks and show ’em all what’s what. Ned and Catelyn done raised them up some survivors, yo!

      – Cersei… hoisted by her own petard and so sweet.

      – Sansa/Theon-Reek… The scene was beautiful. Her finally breaking through Ramsey’s control to bring forth Theon out of Reek was amazing and seeing that radiant joy beginning to bloom when she realized her brothers were alive was my favorite Sansa moment.

      – Arya… just the fact that she was in tonight’s episode was fabulous because I wasn’t expecting to even see her. (Not sure why they changed her “character’s” name from ‘Cat’ to ‘Lana’ as it was in the books, though. Seemed so unnecessary, but oh well. Small thing, though when you take in the whole awesome of the episode.) Having Arya out and about and beginning to step out in a new character was intriguing… but for me anything with Arya is great to watch and could never drag.

      And, hmm, I think the point of the Arya/Thin Man set-up and the why of them was all explained in the scene between A Man and the Waif. They basically foreshadowed that Arya’s not ready for this when the Waif said she wasn’t and A Man said ‘eh, the Many-Faced God cares or doesn’t, whatevs! He has his plans.’ So Arya is being sent on this mission not because she’s ready or not but because the Many-Faced God has his reasons…

      – Sam/Gilly/Olly… Knowing that they are still hiding out to the point where Olly needs to bring them food says just how bad it is at Castle Black right now with Jon gone. And I liked the conversation with Olly… I like that he’s questioning, he *wants* to understand. (Of course, I’m rewatching the seasons and just last week watched the episode where his village was attacked and so I can more easily sympathize with him.)

      – Ramsey/Roose… It so clearly showed the difference in how their minds work and why Roose is still around and why, yeah, Ramsey probably won’t live a very long life.

      – Hardhome… I LOVED the moment when the White Walker king saw Jon take down the White Walker fighter and we really saw him just looking at him. So cool. And how he made sure that Jon saw him awake the wights at the very end. It was so chilling. So effectively done without music, just the sound effects of the water lapping and the battle sounds.

      Just what a FANTASTIC episode. So, so, soooooooooo good. Just mind blown.

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    74. That was a great episode but I really wish they would stop with the skeleton wights. I was hoping after the mostly negative reaction to them last year they would have ditched that idea. It would be alright if there were just a few like that but almost all of them look like skeletons and imo they come off more cheesy than creepy or intimidating.

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    75. Watched the episode again… just to make sure about all the holly fucks I was throwing around! Yep… all definitely well earned and shouted…LOL!

      Wun-Wun and Dolorous Ed “The fuck you looking at?” moment… priceless!

      Not much more to say about this amazing piece of television I just saw… other than that it was another fantastic addition to another great season of “Game Of Thrones”!

      I guess now it’s becoming clearer and clearer why this is “A Song Of Ice And Fire”….

        Quote  Reply

    76. Uh almost forgot… loved it when Ramsay said “Let’s leave a feast for crows”… nice nod to the novels.

      Can’t remember the title of the individual books being mentioned since Season One… but nice touch there!

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    77. next episode looks great cant wait

      the pits in the trailer looked smaller but in the promo we are seeing huge pit ..

      i dont think we need to worry about vfx after tonight episode

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    78. Randa Noyce: Also, Arya isn’t Cat because Jaqen would whack her across the face for using a girl’s mom’s nickname! So we get a wink (not a Fuck you, damn!) with an actual cat in the cannals.

      THIS! I also hope she

      can warg into them

      cutie cats.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Tremendous episode, and not just for the show, but for the information on the greater storyline of the books. GRRM has been surpassed by the show.

      Folks commenting on how the Sand Snakes and the North seem like two different shows, well, it’s because they are. They have two production units, and you can definitely tell where the professionalism and the passion is.

      How will folks appraise Melisandre and R’hllor now after seeing the exponential growth curve of the Army of the Dead? Ends justify the means? Sometimes they really do! (Ramsay) Bolton has blundered. Ramsay will be rolled up by Stannis, hopefully with the help of Asha/Yara Greyjoy, and simultaneously Sansa and Theon will escape with Brienne’s help.

      Will Brienne continue to hold a grudge against Stannis given that he is a major asset in the battle against the Army of the Dead? Stupider things have happened. There isn’t much between the South and the Army of the Dead but the Night’s Watch (soon to be thrown into chaos) and Team Dragonstone.

      The end game is upon us!

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    80. Wonderful Episode.

      But I do want to know how other viewers felt the beginning of the Wight siege went down..?

      We saw a snowfalls from disant cliffs, then the very fast approach of something thru the gathered ranks of wildings before the Thenn closed the gates. Next we witnessed Wildings banging on the gates and within moments they were Silenced and dispersed.Seconds later the wights attacked,

      My Musing is… what quickly silenced or killed those wildings outside the gates so quickly?
      Did a killer fog take them out?
      A magical spell?
      Anyone have any thoughts?

      I ask cos I’m Absolutely Convinced that The Wall will be broken apart for White Walkers to continue their conquest… Wights can climb it but I’m betting a passage in the Wall has to be broken down for WW to pass thru.
      Magical Properties!!! 😉

        Quote  Reply

    81. Sue the Fury:
      Sean C.,

      Okay, listen- speaking as a woman and as a mother, I didn’t read it as “Omg her uterus made her freeze instantly!” It was because seeing dead walking children is freaking horrifying for anyone, whether they’re male or female. Dead children just strike people as worse than regular dead people. They do.

      Agreed! My son went to see zombie movies at a drive-in with my ex husband when my son was about 13. He swears up and down that the scariest thing in the movies was the zombie little girl. It’s not just women like Sue said – zombie/ice zombie kids are creepy. Remember the girl from Episode 1, Season 1 – creepiest white walker other than the Night’s King turning babies into White walkers!!

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    82. As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,
      Through streets broad and narrow,
      Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”

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    83. Birgitte Hjort Sørensen was so good,only 1 ep. and it felt like we knew her the whole time.
      10/10 episode.Haters can keep on hating.

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    84. The endgame has started.

      … but has Olly’s gun changed its target bearing? I think it’s possible that there isn’t going to be a ftw

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    85. Leuf:
      That was awesome but I’m having a hard time accepting that you can kill wights with regular weapons instead of having to use fire.It would be one thing if they had been consistent from the beginning but they established it the way it is in the books in season 1.I’m okay with getting stepped on by a giant kills them though That and how fast they are moving is an adjustment.Obviously having fire everywhere makes it difficult/impossible to have such a scene at all so I’ll just have to suck it up.I just wish they’d thought of such things back at the beginning of the series and adjusted accordingly.

      And we have it confirmed that Valyrian steel can kill WW which was of course suspected but not known yet in the books.

      First thing first, who said they were killed? As you could see, they got lots of arrows to their heads and were keep going. They though can be dismembered to a point they won’t be able to move or posses a threat, or even get stab and get stuck in the ground or onto other objects. Anyway, they work with magic, and we know that magic needs object forms and geometrical forms…. like for example a cross, a satanic symbol or many other things like this. For example, if you tear a cross apart it might not posses the power anymore. It could work the same way with those “zombies”, but it’s unclear what or how much do you have to destroy their body. Anyway, it is a locomotor “machine” if you destroy the key points it will become useless.

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    86. Absolutely LOVED that episode. The battle at Hardholme had me on the edge of my seat and shouting at the TV for someone to grab the damn dragon glass! Why did they leave the only weapon guaranteed to take out WW’s on the floor somewhere? By the way, didnt Sam give Jon one dagger? Does it have magical procreation qualities?

      Karsi was wonderful. I was barracking for her the whole battle and was sad to see her die. I guess we’ll be seeing more of her anyway. I wonder if she’ll come face to face with her children at some point? Maybe there’s a point of where their humanity overrides the magic and the wights are reversed?

      I was even hoping the Thenn would make it and I fucking hate Thenns 😉 It was great that he redeemed himself though.

      I can’t believe there’s only 2 more episodes until our watch begins again…

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    87. Pigeon,

      Sophie is actually “only” 5’8”(173cm) but on game of thrones she is wearing shoes with big footwear to make her look very tall.

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    88. I think the zombie apocalypse at the end was not very well done.
      Too much a Z-War style film editor drum solo.

      It was a visual and narrative mess.

      It suggests a production team (in particular D and D)
      so out of original ideas that they opted for cliched Hollywood “more is better” action orgy typical of Michael Bay.

      A lot of flash and bang for the visually and narrative-ly EASILY impressed.

      I enjoyed everything until then though.
      YET…I yearn for the confidence and sophistication of seasons 1-3.

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    89. Absolutely amazing. Perfect 10. The fact that we get to see Dany and Tyrion together before they even meet in the books is my favorite change by far. Sansa finding out that Bran and Rickon still live was great. The Hard home battle was fucking nuts, and Jon is the man!!! King Crow lol. RLJ easter egg?

      And now the big 9!

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    90. “I’ve been worrying about Jon for years, but he always comes back.”
      Completely a nod to book readers. That’s how I’m taking it and nothing anyone says will dissuade me! XD

      Kit is such a natural at those fight sequences! The man needs to walk around with a sword permanently affixed to his arm. Epic battle scenes aside, I loved the exchange between Tyrion and Dany.

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    91. The winter’s supposedly come, ‘n yet HH, a far-north settlement, is practically without snow? Well, I expected arctic-like landscape. The HH scene in the episode is a disappointment.

      I also cannot see the purpose of rescuing about 5000 Freemen as the waste majority of them is left behind.

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    92. ron,

      We were expecting an asshole like you to come out and say that a near perfect thing was actually bad.

      No, the fight was perfect. the visuals and ESPECIALLY THE NARRATIVE were pretty much the best ever in history of television. Actually, on par with the best movies ever. The second half of the battle was all about NARRATIVE. It had Hollywood Dayz in the first half and and then in the second half the narrative was amazing. The battle was just PERFECT from the first to the last second. I have never feel more stifcation watching a battle, anything than this episode. In those last 17 minutes I felt like I was going to explode. I even had tears in my eyes. Practically I couldn’t believe how good that was.

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    93. Uknow.0,

      I don’t understand why people say that winter has come. I mean winter hasn’t come yet, yet I still hear “winter has come”. Winter won’t come until season 7.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Did Longclaw have that effect because it’s Valyarian steel or is the sword special? Just the way that scene was framed made me wonder.

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    95. Wow. Just wow. A stunning episode, the last 20 minutes were relentless. A big kudos to the cast, crew and production for pulling that off.

      It ranks up there with Blackwater for me, both entirely different in their make up. The Night’s King was arrogant as when he summoned the dead “bish, keep your eyes on me whilst I do so voodoo ish”. Loved it. I like that they didn’t overdo it with the make-up, he looks otherworldy but not silly. I also loved the Night’s King keeping his eyes on Jon, really telling those moments. The final defeated look of Jon, Tormund and co was amazing, showed how blindsided they were by the WW. Both Kit and Kristoph were brilliant, as was the actress that played Karsi, really went with through the motions with her, however brief her on-screen time was. The whole battle sequence slayed, i’m going to rewatch it and relive, so much to take in.

      I think Arya’s storyline is going to be this season’s love it/hate it arc. I for one thought her scenes were shot brilliantly, her scenes heightened through the voiceover.

      Even though the Sansa/Theon scene was brief, the reveal that her brothers were alive was a game-changer for her, Sophie knocked it out the park. Finally Sansa broke through to Theon. Waiting with bated breath about how the WF storyline will conclude this season.

      Tyrion/Dany was executed perfectly, no histrionics but two characters sussing each other out. Well played.

      Finally, Cersei’s despair was good to see, felt bad when she drank the water from the floor though. Kevan’s back uh-oh!

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    96. LordDavos:
      Did Longclaw have that effect because it’s Valyarian steel or is the sword special? Just the way that scene was framed made me wonder.

      Valyrian steel does the trick just like Dragonglass.

      When looking in the archives of the Night’s Watch for a way to combat the Others Samwell Tarly reads about dragonsteel. He and Jon Snow think Valyrian steel may be meant by this…and so it was!

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    97. We were expecting an asshole like you to come out and say that a near perfect thing was actually bad.

      I’m normally more keen than anyone to shout down the haters, but I think you’ll find views like Ron’s are fairly common among those who are attracted to the show for the political intrigue.

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    98. Arya Havin’ a Larf

      Yes that’s probably just what it was.
      So intense! Watched it twice. I was impressed by how well the Dany/Tyrion scenes were handled.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Sergei Walankov: I’m normally more keen than anyone to shout down the haters, but I think you’ll find views like Ron’s are fairly common among those who are attracted to the show for the political intrigue.

      I actually preferred last week’s episode, not that this one wasn’t also very good. I think it’s one of those that needs a rewatch because the fighting in the large set piece battles when placed at the end of the show tends to overshadow the dialogue and moods earlier and during the battle. I’m not really into fight scenes and battles for their own sake…but just see them as a way to move the story forward (which this one obviously does of course).

      PS anyone else having trouble posting comments? Takes me several attempts due to errors

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    100. I did not like it much. This type of high fantasy stuff does nothing to me, Jon is boring if he is not surrounded by interesting and well acted characters like Ygritte and Stannis.

      Battle was well done, but all i could think during that was how much better the whole season would be if they relocated a quarter of this battle budget, filming time and screentime to the Dornish storyline, that have seven new characters and two regurals, yet everything about it looks like a cheap afterhought.

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    101. Is anyone thinking Sansa/Cersei won’t feature in Ep 9, judging by the preview? I know they don’t always show what’s in the episode but I’m thinking their big moments will be in the finale.

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    102. So if the Night’s King is the same one described in Old Nan’s stories, and is therefore a Stark, does anyone here think he was able to tell that he and Jon are from the same family? I had actually forgotten that he was a crow himself until I took a closer look at his clothing, and then considered what the implications of being the Night’s King could be.

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    103. Shaz,

      i hope they sit out of this episode atleast sansa she had appeared in all 8 episodes so she can sit one out

      the reason i want them to sit out is because the episode will be 53 mins long and we will be having mercy and STannis and Ramsay …then we have to go to Daznak …

      and we will have jon arriving in wall and Dorne which must be short

      so i hope they can have a 25 mins length of daznak if not more

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    104. Of the Night:
      Haven’t had a chance to see it yet. Were there

      dead things in the water?
      No, thankfully no. Or Jon and the rest of the gang wouldn’t have made it back to the boats. Though I’m fairly certain that’s also because the NK allowed them to.

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    105. alin:
      ron,

      We were expecting an asshole like you to come out and say that a near perfect thingwasactually bad.

      No, the fight was perfect. the visuals and ESPECIALLY THE NARRATIVE were pretty much the best ever in history of television. Actually, on par with the best movies ever. The second half of the battle was all about NARRATIVE. It had Hollywood Dayz in the first half and and then in the second half the narrative was amazing. The battle was just PERFECT from the first to the last second. I have never feel more stifcation watching a battle, anything than this episode. In those last 17 minutes I felt like I was going to explode. I even had tears in my eyes. Practically I couldn’t believe how good that was.

      alan
      You have no idea what I was talking about.

      You are a fanboy zombie.

      I’d prefer asshole to that …so thank you!

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    106. i just have to take a moment and mention i felt sorry for cersei …licking water from the ground awful …

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    107. Well, since today is the first day of Winter for the Southern Hemisphere (and we are a day infront), Winter has truly come. I feel a chill in the air just thinking about it.
      What an episode.

      Oh and, Lana Del Arya. “Born to Die” indeed.

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    108. Uberstellar:
      In twenty minutes I felt she was a unique, strong, badass character, I understood the basics of her background and current life, and I had an emotional connection enough to track her in the midst of the epic zombie battle and be affected by her death. Afterwards I spent some time worrying about the fate of her daughters! So, clearly it’s not a lack of ability or time that the writers were struggling with. I’m not sure what ball was dropped with the sand snakes, but more of wildling mom and less of prison strip tease please.

      In “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” the whole of Dorne lasted 6.5 minutes with the Sand Snakes getting less than half that time. So tonight, the Chieftainess may have gained more screen time than the Sand Snakes in this season. I agree that more development could and should have been done for the SS, though.

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    109. dfsddsa

      Wun Wun looked taller than 11 ft. (3.5m) and your estimate of his weight is probably low as well, at least to my eyes. He looked big enough that he’d easily capsize one of those boats should he try to climb aboard. It wasn’t like they had the Queen Mary waiting in the harbor after all — those tiny things appeared to be little more than rowboats with sails.

      Of course it’s a detail that most people will and should overlook. Like how did Indiana Jones survive at sea by tying himself to the periscope of a sub for 500 miles. Everything else that’s going on is so good you don’t want to think about it.

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    110. Here Be Dragons,

      Here Be Dragons:
      Wonderful Episode.

      But I do want to know how other viewers felt the beginning of the Wight siege went down..?

      We saw a snowfalls from disant cliffs, then the very fast approach of something thru the gathered ranks of wildings before the Thenn closed the gates. Next we witnessed Wildings banging on the gates and within moments they were Silenced and dispersed.Seconds later the wights attacked,

      My Musing is… what quickly silenced or killed those wildings outside the gates so quickly?
      Did a killer fog take them out?
      A magical spell?
      Anyone have any thoughts?

      I ask cos I’m Absolutely Convinced that The Wall will be broken apart for White Walkers to continue their conquest… Wights can climb it but I’m betting a passage in the Wall has to be broken down for WW to pass thru.
      Magical Properties!!!

      Wight can’t climb the wall. To climb a wall made of ice you need tools, technique and intelligence. Wight are beast that all can do is to throw axes or swords. Only a single weight out of Thousands was able to climb that small wooden wall… actually almost. And even then he probably climbed the wall because under him was formed a huge pile of other wights(see world war Z movie).

      So we will see them getting through the gates or breaking down the wall using some magic.

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    111. ron,

      I thought they did quite a good job in making it more than just a bunch of zombies killing everything. My takeaway was “epic” not because of the quality of the fighting, but because an epic should take you on a journey and I was exhausted by the end of it, and not because of any sort of monotony. The fighting was great, yes, but there was a lot of storytelling that evoked an emotional reaction in the audience: the leaders falling, the wildlings seeing their people slaughtered, Jon realising how bad things are, among others. I think that’s all they can ever aspire to do with these types of sequences.

      I’m curious–if the last 20 minutes genuinely didn’t work for you, what would you consider some “good” sequences from television or film? What are some examples of sequences that DO manage to move beyond “Z-War style film editor drum solo[s],” to borrow your words? Because based upon the typical indicators (thrilling action scenes, connecting with the audience and evoking an emotional reaction, etc), this episode did what it set out to do. It didn’t feel hollow or underdone at all.

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    112. Zalos:
      I call it right now. Olly and Allister are red herrings. Get ready for a shocker!

      I don’t think so. No one who lived through Hardhome would do that.

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    113. It’s been a long time since I could say this, but there are not enough ways to say how much I loved this episode.

        Quote  Reply

    114. First time in a long long time a TV series has left me speechless. No more to do, just tip my hat to everybody involved in creating probably the most exhilarating battle and one of the best episodes of TV (not only because of Hardhome) that I have ever been honoured to see.

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    115. dragonbringer,

      25 minutes of Daznak is ridiculously long. That won’t happen. Likely it’ll be 13 minutes or so in total so let’s say there’s about 40 left for the rest:
      – Braavos (10 minutes)
      – Stannis / Ramsay (?) (15 minutes)
      – Dorne (10 minutes)
      – Wall (5 minutes)
      – No KL, WF or Brienne.

      Come to think of it, they’ve really pushed Brienne aside after episode 3, haven’t they?

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    116. Dutch maester,

      i am thinking

      Arya 10 mins

      jon 8 mins

      Stannis 10 mins

      Dorne 6 mins

      Meereen 20 mins – we may have a marriage and intro to the pit and starting fights ,..jorah return fight ..dany trying to stop the fight while jorah is in danger and Sons of the harpy attack and round them up ..drogon showing up …dany puts herself in front of drogon and controls him and flies him

      other two dragons may get released and fly with her too …so 20 mins looks reasonable

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    117. Karsi is my favorite single-episode character of all time. Sure, I’m bummed we won’t see her (alive) ever again… but what a way to enter the show and exit it.

      Thank you, and goodnight.

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    118. ron:
      I think the zombie apocalypse at the end was not very well done.
      Too much a Z-War style film editor drum solo.

      I HATE zombies & rarely like anything zombie related… but that was beautifully executed. But if you want to believe something brilliant wasn’t, by all means… go on believing that.

        Quote  Reply

    119. GeekFurious:
      Karsi is my favorite single-episode character of all time. Sure, I’m bummed we won’t see her (alive) ever again… but what a way to enter the show and exit it.

      In her brief screen time she was able to embody the entire existence of the Wildlings. It was extraordinarily well done.

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    120. I found a continuity mistake in the episode. around the 42:30 mark you’ll see him first kinda alone in the picture, then it cuts to him standing in the back of jon snow. i know its kinda implicated jon was there before, but it looks weird. thought for a sec, there were two tormunds. ^^

      awesome episode.

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    121. I really enjoy the outdoors set of Braavos – the look and sounds of it. It’s so close to how I imagined it when reading.

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    122. mariamb: In her brief screen time she was able to embody the entire existence of the Wildlings. It was extraordinarily well done.

      And that’s a testament to her talent as well as everything and everyone working on the show, especially the writing and directing. I don’t think it is just an example of how to write a great female character, but just how to quickly make an audience invested in a character and root & fear for them, WITHOUT KNOWING THEIR NAME.

      If I was teaching a film class, this would be an episode I’d use to teach a great many things.

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    123. Loved this episode. The season started very well, before tailing off a bit in the last few episodes, but this was comfortably the best so far. The scenes leading up to it were all of high standard, but the second half with Hardhome was extremely well executed. It was intense, chaotic, brutal rather than deliberately made to look pretty or badass, and also slightly scary, exactly how GoT fight scenes should be, especially when the White Walkers are involved. If only some of that formula could be applied to whats been going on in Dorne this season.

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    124. That was an amazing episode. When there’s a good plot-point justifying it, VFX can be the star of this show.

      Highlights:
      – Qyburn!
      – Qyburn’s work!
      – Kevan sort of!
      – WUN WUN!!
      – Edd’s alive!!!!!!!!
      – Longclaw!
      – Alfie Allen and Sophie Turner omg the acting.
      – King’s Landing, Meereen and Braavos plots all interesting. Not amazing but they were solid support to an already strong episode. It was a real winner this week.

      Really the only way it could have been better is if we’d seen a giant spider mount. But hey, they got a shout-out! If the spiders are indeed real, there’s always the opportunity for them to escalate in a later season 😀

      *book spoilers including Winds of Winter sample chapters*

      Ok, so I was sad that Theon/Sansa didn’t progress quite as much as I thought they would. If next week is 53 minutes long, they might not even appear at all which means it’s all been leading to a finale moment in episode 10. And what an amazing finale it will be, certainly; I’m just worried that if Stannis dies this season, there’s now no time for the stuff we’ve read in Theon’s TWOW sample chapter. I don’t know, was anyone else looking forward to that as much as me?

      I’ve sort of been working on this theory too, that the only way Theon makes it into act 3 of this story is if he somehow serves/saves Stannis against Ramsay. That way Stannis would repay him similarly to how he repaid Davos. In other words, no execution; he’d see Ramsay’s torture as the equivalent to him taking Davos’s finger bones.

      Anyways, can’t wait for episode 9!

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    125. JawRah Mormont: i know its kinda implicated jon was there before, but it looks weird. thought for a sec, there were two tormunds.

      There were multiple big wildlings with long ginger hair. One of the other Wildling Elders who aligned with Jon looked a lot like Tormund (they could have been TV brothers): someone commented that clearly gingers love Jon.

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    126. Arya Havin’ a Larf: He and Jon Snow think Valyrian steel may be meant by this…and so it was!

      Fans have suspected that Valyrian steel would work against the White Walkers (we called them “Others” back then!) since the 1990’s. At this point, I do not remember if there is anything in the books that made us think that, or if we were just thinking “Numenorean Swords and the Witch King.” Probably a little of both.

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    127. Okay so, prediction time:

      I guess with Arya I can only assume she has the choice of killing her contract insurance man or killing trant and either way it’s going to hurt her.

      Cersei’s story will probably be very similar to the books as it already has been and I’m starting to think with this Kevan build-up that he will be the final book scene of the series mentioned by the creators.

      I haven’t seen that shot of Margaery hugging Tommen’s chest from the trailers so far so I’m assuming that’ll be when she’s temporarily released like in the books.

      Jon’s story is a weird one to try and speculate but I’m going to guess that he’ll return to the wall and Thorne might try keep him out but eventually he’ll be let in by Sam or something. The walkers probably only have that one episode this season like they normally do to keep the threat alive so perhaps the rest of the season will just be as it is in the books with slight variations.

      Sansa’s story is reaaaaaaaaallly hard to predict but I’m going to merge it with Stannis so bear with me. Stannis’ camp is raided by Ramsay who kills Selyse or something which enrages Stannis (not sure if we’ll see Ram die this season it depends on what his book story is in the future I guess). Stannis now has personal reason to rage on Winterfell ruthlessly like Robert did with the Targaryens (I know he didn’t siege KL himself but I mean his general driving of that whole war).
      With Stannis and his camp distracted, Melisandre steals Shireen away and returns her to the wall after looking into the flames and seeing a vision (I think that she could see Jon’s sword not breaking as a sign he is AA reborn… I don;t know I haven’t given it much thought).

      The guard placed on Sansa lessens with Ramsay’s temporary departure from Winterfell. Bearing this in mind, it could be easier for her to escape but to be honest I can’t even think of how this will happen everything I guess will sound like a silly fantasy. But Brienne must have a part to play in it somehow like why is she there?

      Jaime in Dorne? God knows but I’m going to guess he pledges allegiance to Doran or something and disregards Cersei’s letter. I thought that the Snakes would devise the plan to make Myrcella queen with Bronn and Jaime but it’s too late in the season for that so I don’t know what’s going to happen. I hope something interesting happens for the sake of Dorne being a cool place with potential but unfortunately so far a kind of dull story-line.

      So where does that leave Brienne and Jaime? I think that their reunion in the books is very important so my little prediction is that their stories is the north and south have made them change and develop more (Bri perhaps learning that her oath is too hard to keep or something and Jaime learning that the Lannisters are a bad family I don’t know maybe that sounds ridiculous). When they meet again, they are so different from what they were but now on the same boat so where it goes from there is beyond me.

      Sorry if that all sounds stupid but I hope some of it is worth reading 🙂

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    128. Wimsey,

      i think sam mentions something about dragon steel that can be used against the others …but they were not sure what is dragon steel ..

      “The armor of the Others is proof against most ordinary blades, if the tales can be believed,” said Sam, “and their own swords are so cold they shatter steel. Fire will dismay them, though, and they are vulnerable to obsidian.” He remembered the one he had faced in the haunted forest, and how it had seemed to melt away when he stabbed it with the dragonglass dagger Jon had made for him. “I found one account of the Long Night that spoke of the last hero slaying Others with a blade of dragonsteel. Supposedly they could not stand against it.” “Dragonsteel?” Jon frowned. “Valyrian steel?” “That was my first thought as well.” “So if I can just convince the lords of the Seven Kingdoms to give us their Valyrian blades, all is saved? That won’t be hard.” His laugh had no mirth in it. “Did you find who the Others are, where they come from, what they want?”

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    129. Wun Wun looked taller than 11 ft. (3.5m) and your estimate of his weight is probably low as well, at least to my eyes.

      I’ve heard he’s actually only 5’9″, but looks taller in heels.

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    130. Cersei’s Brain:
      OK. I’ll be the first to say it. What’s up with the name change?Don’t understand what’s wrong with Cat of the canals?Too short?

      But great episode!

      yeah, too short, but “Your Sister of the Canals” was too long, so they opted for a totally new name.

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    131. Wimsey: Fans have suspected that Valyrian steel would work against the White Walkers (we called them “Others” back then!) since the 1990’s.At this point, I do not remember if there is anything in the books that made us think that, or if we were just thinking “Numenorean Swords and the Witch King.”Probably a little of both.

      I think the idea has always been that both were forged by the fire of dragons… so…

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    132. Eddard the Headless Thompson Gunner,

      My explanation, maybe a naive one, is that Wun Wun would walk all the way to the Wall. He could go to the safety of the open sea just off the bay and then back to the shore and walk through the shoreline to the Wall. In any case that would have been safe considering the fact that the WW achieved their mission and the NK wanted to send a message via Jon. So probably he walked. If somebody can bring the map of the area then it migh be clearer to see this possibility on map…

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    133. GeekFurious,

      There also was the idea that the Valyrians might have done something like plunge the blades into sacrifices for the final magical touch. The Niki-Niki allegory that we first get in Clash hints that this might be the case, or that at least this is a way to forge a sword that hurts White Walkers. It’s also (like dragon’s breath) an old mythical metaphor.

      There certainly are other “classics” that could be applied here, too.

      This written, I don’t think that the tactic is going to become “let’s get all the Valyrian steel we can!” There isn’t enough. Moreover, look for the “solution” to the White Walkers (Others) to be a character-device rather than plot-device.

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    134. dragonbringer,

      Right, but that came out in Dragons: people were speculating on this possibility as far back as the late 1990’s, I think. It’s gotten to be so long ago that the memories probably are blurring: but when I read that part of Dragons, I remembered the discussions from long ago among fans.

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    135. Forget about book changes that was as good as any battle I read in the book . This is my 3rd time watching it , it was flawless . Best episode of the season 10-10 , the wall stuff is my favorite stuff to watch and it was awesome. As a person who watches the walking dead ( but hate it , and question why I do after every episode. You can say that the one episode in thrones that really does zombies -(about 30 out of 60 minutes). Was better than any episode they ever did . I feel like 7 seasons isn’t enough . There’s way to much juicy ass storyline they can still do . You don’t have to introduce YG at 5 but if you get permission to do 10 and you can make an extra 20-50 million to do it why would d and d not do it . There’s so much material left in winds and a dream of spring . That I’d feel real short changed as I show lover first. The show got me to read fantasy books that reminded me of dungeons and dragons . I’m a white guy from the mean streets of Philadelphia who youse to rap in my early 20s I’m 32 now , and this show got me to read fantasy books . In all reality if they don’t do atleast 30 more episodes , I’ll be pissed . Thrones is a better show as a whole than Star Wars is as a movie collection . They gotta really go for
      It and do the full story. That was a better book change than the hound vs Briene times ten. . I watched it 3 times.
      It was as good -better than the red wedding as a whole . That was great . They need to go for atleast 8 seasons . I’d offer them about 15 million for every season
      They can do past 7. And just do the whole story . They draw back they can make 5-6 epidoses still material left in – feast/dance than get to winds after Martin finishes. So season 6- feast dance winds /7 winds – season 8 end of wids. Ados Season 9 ends a dream
      Of spring .

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    136. No other words necessary than BEST EPISODE EVER!!!!!!!
      Of course with my name, how else could I describe it?

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    137. That might have been the best episode of GoT to date. Definitely the best of the season.

      Wun Wun was awesome

      Ramsay with the “A Feast for Crows” line

      Tyrion and Dany

      Alfie and Sophie

      Kit was absolutely amazing. The whole Hardhome thing was just sick

      We finally got some serious Others action

      NotVal and her “I fucking hate Thenns” lol

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    138. 10/10 INCREDIBLY IMPRESSIVE! EPIC EPISODE!
      Tyrion & Daenerys, amazing scene, amazing dialogue!!
      Hardhome… NO WORDS! Congrats Mr.Harington, amazing performance!! Tormund(Hivju), Edd(Crompton) all the cast!!!
      I LOVE GAME OF THRONES!!! 🙂

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    139. Sue the Fury,

      This was her hubris. They made a point of showing her sending her children to safety. That was job one. It then shows us her humanity in that the wights are children. I felt it was a strong showing of character.

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    140. Morgoth,

      How the Hardhome even could remotely match to black water? When I was watching the black water episode, I have not yet read the book, it was such a thrill experience to me, and until the last moment, I have no idea what would go down, now when I was watching the hardhome episode, I too have no idea what is in store, but everything is so predictable, as soon as I saw Jon arrived in Wildling’s camp, I immediately know the white walkers would atack, and Jon would try to save them, and when I saw that white walker, I immediately know Jon would be the second “slayer”, there was no surprise at all

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    141. It’s just me or Lara (Lharra?) the prostitute with Saladhor San in season 4?

      I’m curious about the hooded man in Hardhome!

      Alfie and Sophie were amazing. That really was perfect.

      I’m excited for Mereen for the first time in my life.

      I pity Cersei. I don’t think she’s half as bad as most people seem to think, and I really really hate religious fanatics. I agree with Qyburn, it’s the death of reason.

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    142. Hardhome was a landmark episode for me. So many awesome shots and scenes…D&D and the director showed their finesse with the characters. Some thoughts below:

      – Finally, we got the Sansa scene that I needed to absolve last week’s “Promise” scene. The Starks live!
      – I’m glad Ramsay is busy planning the battle with Roose rather than abusing Sansa. 20 men? Why the heck am I worried about that? Someone is going down…soon! Will Ramsay be shirtless when he attacks?
      – Escape from your room, Sansa, and become the ghost of WF! Please! Watch out Roose!
      – Lena/Cersei’s expressions and words hold every moment of my attention! She’s so defiant with others, then licking the floor to quench her thirst in private. Septa Unella is always a treat. “Confess!”
      – Qyburn is perhaps the most honest and direct person in KL. His interaction with Cersei is priceless. May his “work” continue unabated!
      – Arya’s scenes are such a delightful diversion. I will order some oysters today in her honor.
      – I honestly thought Olly would attack Sam or give him spoiled food, especially after Sam’s dust up with the other NW men. Why weren’t Sam and Gilly talking about leaving? They are in danger.
      – Jorah…banished again! But like a boomerang, he is destined to return! Infinite loop until he gets his kiss!
      – Tyrion and Dany…great exposition but I’m on the fence regarding their ultimate partnership.
      – So much about the Hardhome scenes that were spectacular
      – Lord of Bones, welcome back! Bye-bye! That’s how it is done north of the wall! Tormund!
      – Karsi…I was so hoping you would be Val. So well portrayed. Too soon, too soon! Why do I think that she will be haunting CB, looking for her children and Jon?
      – I believe WWs are wardens for the wights (previous debate we had). No doubt there is WW around when a wight is afoot.
      – Wun Wun is almost too good to be true. Very well integrated! His discarding of wights like gnats, especially as he waded into the sea, was almost the highpoint of the episode! But how did Wun Wun get aboard a ship?
      – The wight attack was a bit WWZ but it was daunting and effective. Under the WW control, they are highly expendable, viciously recyclable, and serve as a fearless front line like no other army ever assembled.
      – Loved the Four White Walkers of the Apocalypse shot!
      – Jon is ascending in leadership and battle skills. I loved his evasive skills against the WW before he realized the true value of his gifted sword. Valyrian steel is rare for a reason! Use it wisely.
      – Tormund and Edd survived…yay!
      – I absolutely agree with Wimsey and others that the look between the Night’s King and Jon was one for the ages. This will continue!
      – I guess wights can’t swim
      – I didn’t miss Dorne at all

      The rewatch was even better.

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    143. General observations.

      My unsullied wife was absolutely thrilled about the Tyrion / Dany team-up. By far her favorite part of the episode.

      The scene where Sansa discovers that Bran and Rickon are still alive was powerful. Well done by both Sophie and Alfie.

      My one (very) minor complaint with this episode was with the Arya storyline. No, not the changing of the “Cat” name (really, who cares?). But rather, the fact that J’aqen gave Arya the poison she needed to kill the Thin Man. In the books she figured out how to assassinate the Thin Man (and only the Thin Man and not his guards) all on her own by noting how he licked every coin and poisoning a gold coin. This change kinda takes away some of Arya’s problem-solving skills, but I get that it was probably a timing issue and it’s a minor nitpick.

      Kinda surprised that they didn’t have Arya’s very first assassination in this episode. My speculation? Episode 9 we get Arya killing the Thin Man, and being given the ability to change faces. In Episode 10, we will get the Mercy chapter, with Arya seeing Trant / Mace, face-shifting into that Bravoosi prostitute we saw in the promos, and crossing Trant’s name off her list. We will end Season 5 with Arya becoming blind.

      Cersei licking water off the dirty ground was a powerful scene. She’s going to break next episode, and the Walk of Shame will be in Episode 10. The only question I have is when Ser Robert Strong will make his appearance. Are they saving him for Season 6?

      Over in Meereen, it’s going to be a busy episode next week. My only question is, who (if anybody) will perform the Quentyn Martell role of being roasted by Viserion / Rhaegal and setting them free? Maybe they’ll wait until Episode 10 to do that scene? My initial guess was that it’d be Jorah, but now that he has Grayscale I’m guessing Jorah will survive to bring it to Westeros. My second guess is Grey Worm, but why bother saving him in Episode 4 / 5 only to make him roasted dragon food? So that leaves … Hizdahr zo Loraq?

      As for the main event … Hardhome! I’m glad that D&D seems to have learned last season’s lesson and not have an entire episode dedicated to the Wall. The Wall simply isn’t interesting enough nor does it have enough characters to support an entire episode (a misstep of last season’s “Watchers on the Wall,” IMO). This episode was perfect, however, in the amount of time dedicated to the battle at Hardhome. And what a battle it was!

      One of the best episodes in GoT history. I’ll note that both of the widely acclaimed scenes (Tyrion / Danys, Hardhome) were not in the books. Not too bad for “fan fiction.” Season 5 of GoT is far better than “A Feast for Crows / A Dance with Dragons.” The producers definitely cut out the right parts of those bloated novels.

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    144. So what does Sansa do with her new info? The Bolton claim to Winterfell is legitimized by Ramsay’s marriage to Sansa, the last surviving Stark. Obviously they know she isn’t, but they don’t care because it suits their purpose. If she were to make it known.. She has no value to them anymore. While Sansa needs to be kept healthy enough right now to produce an heir, if it were made public that Bran is alive and he is the real Stark heir, there’s no reason for Ramsay to even be this careful with her..

      As much as I want Sansa to just stab someone in the neck at this point, I’d rather her strength come from information and politics. Where are you Littlefinger?

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    145. Two things…

      First — If Jorah taking over the greyscale storyline signifies it’s importance to the end game, it has me wondering what a fight between a Wight and a Stoneman would be like?

      Second — Interesting to see Tyrion’s still considers Jamie one of the few people he can trust, after earlier this season hearing Jaime say he’ll kill Tyrion if he ever gets the chance. I hope that’s not foreshadowing…

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    146. ron:

      I enjoyed everything until then though.
      YET…I yearn for theconfidence and sophistication of seasons 1-3.

      I couldn’t disagree more. I thought that everything about the Hardhome scene was fantastic. It was probably the show’s best action sequence to date. I’d also argue that season 5 is already better than season 2 (the show’s weakest, IMO) and is poised to surpass season 3 depending on the last two episodes. As crappy as Dorne has been, it’s no worse than Qarth or the season 2 Robb / Talisa romance arc.

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    147. ThroneDrone: Second — Interesting to see Tyrion’s still considers Jamie one of the few people he can trust, after earlier this season hearing Jaime say he’ll kill Tyrion if he ever gets the chance. I hope that’s not foreshadowing…

      And also an interesting twist on their relationship in AFFC/ADWD. In the books, Tyrion hates Jamie, while Jamie is conflicted about his feelings for Tyrion and understood why he killed their dad.

      As for season rankings …

      This is subject to change depending on the last two episodes of S5, but as of right now I have them ranked as this:

      4 > 1 > 5 = 3 > 2

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    148. Rygar,

      Yes, Ry. I thought exactly that! Well, minus the Tarth part. Which totally screws with #BookCanon because Mel clearly says: “dead things in the water”.

      O. M. G. The show has jumped the shark!!!!!!!! Where the hell is Al?! LOL

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    149. Noob Takes the Black: If Sansa knows, we don’t have need for Lord Manderly.

      Yeah..the awesomeness that is Manderly is probably relegated to the page. GRRM will do him justice but the show is probably going to use the Umbers for that purpose (Rickon!). For me, Sansa back in WF is premature and forced (GRRM has her on a “slow burn” path for a reason), but I find her semi-Jeyne Poole predicament intriguing, almost like a mental “what if?” exercise that the show is gifting us. Theon is bringing it well though. I need a weirwood moment though.

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    150. Rygar:
      Ok so the WWs and Wights can’t swim.

      Everyone move to Tarth!!!!

      Nothing says they can’t, only that they didn’t. It looks to me like the Night’s King deliberately allowed Jon and Co to escape. He was taunting them.

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    151. wycoff: It looks to me like the Night’s King deliberately allowed Jon and Co to escape. He was taunting them.

      Makes sense. I’ll accept that. Although I agree with Rygar that Tarth and the Summer Isles are looking pretty good as winter approaches!

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    152. Josh L.:

      As for season rankings …

      This is subject to change depending on the last two episodes of S5, but as of right now I have them ranked as this:

      4 > 1 > 5 = 3 > 2

      I agree with those rankings, though I might have 1 = 4.

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    153. Josh L.:

      As for the main event … Hardhome!I’m glad that D&D seems to have learned last season’s lesson and not have an entire episode dedicated to the Wall.The Wall simply isn’t interesting enough nor does it have enough characters to support an entire episode (a misstep of last season’s “Watchers on the Wall,” IMO)

      I don’t think there was any problem with 4×09 Watchers on the Wall per se. That was a great episode in its own right. In my view, the problem was in its placement in the coveted slot “9”, which had been reserved for the culmination of season-long storylines: King’s Landing and Oberyn should have been there. Even more importantly, WotW got in the way of the building momentum on multiple fronts, especially KL. People were left hanging with regards to Tyrion, Dany (after she had banished Jorah), etc.

      One simple solution would’ve been to make WotW episode 7. Thereafter comes the great trifecta of episodes – 4×08 Mockingbird with ‘fly, Lysa, fly!”, 4×09 The Mountain and the Viper and, of course, the finale. I think the final episodes would have had a better flow this way.

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    154. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Yes today is a good day for a nicely vinegared portion of oysters after that indescribable treat last night! I think Sam and Gilly will be ordered to leave CB to Oldtown by Jon after his Longclaw discovery. The holy trio in this episode was Dany, Cersei, Jon but we all know that the real one was Qyburn, Karsi, Wun Wun. And CONFESS!

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    155. Did my ears deceive me or did Lana aka Arya say the words “Oyster Card”? Was that a strange little tribute to London Transport?!

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    156. Tormund’s Woman,

      It was clear that the Night’s King left Jon escape in the manner of sending a message to the rest of the world and probably because he would like to have a special rendezvous later on with him… So that leaves unanswered the question if WW or the wight s can swim. In any case he wasn’t so afraid to come nearer to the water walking confidently along the pier…

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    157. dothrakian raven,

      Found in today’s Westeros Times classified ads:

      WANTED AT THE WALL: All Valyrian Steel and Dragonglass/obsidian artifacts. Haul your ass to the wall and help save the world. Wildfire and battle-trained Dragons are requested as well. BYOB.

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    158. Did my ears deceive me or did Lana aka Arya say the words “Oyster Card”?

      Oyster cart. Though I wouldn’t have thought carts specifically for oysters were a thing.

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    159. Sergei Walankov: Oyster cart. Though I wouldn’t have thought carts specifically for oysters were a thing.

      Ah ha, I thought maybe she needed a license to sell seafood 🙂

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    160. Best episode for sure

      Someone could please explain me the logic of tyrion saying to Dany that she should not keeping Jorah around?

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    161. Ravyn: tall

      Taller than Sansa: Brienne, Hodor, Tywin Lannister (maybe), The Hound, The Greatjon of Umber, The Mountain, Robert Baratheon (meant to be taller, not a comment on Mark Addy’s height), all of the giants, possibly Mance Rayder.

      Shorter: Everyone else.

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    162. When Tyrion said to Dany that maybe her purpose (destiny) was to stay and rule/conquer Essos, perhaps the writers included this line intentionally, to prepare viewers for the end game. Maybe Dany is to remove a system(s) and those that control it, so when the refugee’s fleeing the Westeros apocalypse arrive, the culture shock will be lessened somewhat. Sounds like a bittersweet ending to me.
      The reason I say this is that personally I think GRRM loves the Old Norse religion and dislikes the desert religions that took control of a large portion of the globe and GoT is his way of rewriting a wrong. The Old Gods (WW win) and the desert religions (Seven and R’hillor) are sent packing back to where they came).

      Kundry,

      Because he probably figured out Jorah was lying and has the GS.
      BTW, does anyone believe Meereen isn’t infected now, what about the guards who shackled Jorah. Meereen will get its delayed plague, in season 6.

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    163. Hi book readers, non BR’er here.

      just wondered, can someone tell me how this season was adapted so far? based on what i heard of the size of the books 4 & 5, i figured we’d get maybe half of each, but it seems from what i’m reading, A Dance With Dragons biggest events are being adapted into this season – which makes me assume the ending or big events of AFFC is as well. Does this mean that D&D adapted both books entirely into 1 single season? Thats pretty impressive despite making cuts.

      can someone also tell me – how much material is likely left from those two books to put into Season 6? is Season 6 almost all non adaption material?

      thanks

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    164. Birgitte’s character’s death was really sad. I liked her, and I was looking forward to her being the replacement Val.

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    165. Kundry: Someone could please explain me the logic of tyrion saying to Dany that she should not keeping Jorah around?

      Tyrion seemed to place significant weight on the fact that Jorah could have unburdened himself to Dany on many an occasion and chose not to do so. So the idea that his loyalty was one that shifted wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that Jorah didn’t feel like he could tell her this secret, after plainly becoming, in her words, “my most trusted advisor and dearest friend” would be reason enough to avoid keeping him around. He could have, after being in her employ for this amount of time, could have told her himself, and been honest, but he chose to disassemble, and Dany couldn’t forgive it.

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    166. How has no one mentioned that Brienne also is in possession of some Valyerian steel? That can’t have been an accident.

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    167. Seriously thinking now that I’ve got to revise my list of top 10 GOT episodes all-time now thanks to Hardhome. Right now it leans kinda like this:

      1. Blackwater
      2. Fire and Blood
      3. Hardhome
      4. The Rains of Castamere
      5. Baelor
      6. The Watchers on the Wall
      7. And Now His Watch Is Ended
      8. The Lion & The Rose
      9. Kissed by Fire
      10. The Gift

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    168. Are people going to give Melisandre a little credit now? What you saw last night was the essential reason she came to Westeros in the first place.

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    169. Aldebaran:
      Birgitte’s character’s death was really sad. I liked her, and I was looking forward to her being the replacement Val.

      Totally. She really crushed it this episode. Shows what good writing and great acting can do to make you care about a character you’ve only seen for 10 minutes. And yes, she’s easily one of the best one-ep characters, ever.

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    170. Leuf,

      OK……the skeleton army personnel aren’t blue-eyed wights. The skeleton army are just creepy walking dead that were “food” for the wights……Jon said as much. And, those creepy skeleton things popped out of the snow and attacked Bran, Jojen, Meera and Hodor and were killed by slicing, dismembering and pine cone bombs. So, level 1 are the skeletons that can be killed with arrows and swords, axes and other sharp objects. Level 2, wights……blue-eyed mindless killing machines that have to be burned to destroy them…….they are the main fighting force. Level 3 are the White Walkers…….they are the ones riding horses and overseeing the carnage. Plus, if they get pissed enough, will join the fray, as we saw with Jon’s successful confrontation. Lastly, the Night’s King……….ruler of the lands beyond the Wall.
      What an excellent episode!!!!!!!! Took me awhile to get down to a normal heart rate so I could drive safely home from my daughter’s house!
      Along with producers, directors and writers let’s don’t forget Nina Gold……..Can we remember how young and starry-eyed Maisie, Kit, Alfie and Sophie were?????? How did Nina “see” the future? Kit is a freaking AWESOME Jon Snow! I would follow him anywhere!!!! 😀

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    171. So there we go. Finally an episode I really, really liked. And it was almost entirely off book! So much for purism!

      No, what we witnessed here is the power of wonderful direction. All of it was a hundred times better than ever other episode of this season. Some episodes dipped to *network quality* bullshit this year. But this was wonderful, in every sense.

      Managed to bring the creepy and daunting nature of Cersei’s situation to the fore, lovely shots of Dany and Tyrion – which showed them off well, captured Theon and Sansa’s tension perfectly, and of course Hardhome. What a triumph.

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    172. Greatjon of Slumber: Totally. She really crushed it this episode. Shows what good writing and great acting can do to make you care about a character you’ve only seen for 10 minutes. And yes, she’s easily one of the best one-ep characters, ever.

      The only problem I had with the episode was the scene when she was waving her children off. It was like movie cliches 101. You knew she was dead.

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    173. How good is Peter Dinklage? He makes everyone around him so much better, truly a mark of greatness. Dinklage for Emmy! Who’s with me??

      Awesome episode. Just a perfect example of why I love this show and the books from whence they came.

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    174. HBOsWail,

      To be honest, there’s not much that can be said without potentially spoiling season 6. Nothing of any worth, anyway. There are many interesting plot points in Feast/Dance that will be moved to season six instead – well, possibly in some cases, definitely in others (these things have already been confirmed by news articles if you already know what to look for).

      What I will say is the actions or thought processes of a few main characters got heavily condensed this season, due to the constraints of a particularly cruel 10 hours. Personally, I’m thinking of Cersei and Reek there. Jaime and Brienne don’t seem to have real arcs at all, not to mention there’s the issue of Bran. Finally, the Dornish plot has generally not been handled too well. Hopefully episode nine or ten remedies this a little.

      Don’t get me wrong season six will be 80% new material. But I’d say there’s a special 20% the book readers have been wanting to see for a while.

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    175. Wimsey: Fans have suspected that Valyrian steel would work against the White Walkers (we called them “Others” back then!) since the 1990’s. At this point, I do not remember if there is anything in the books that made us think that, or if we were just thinking “Numenorean Swords and the Witch King.” Probably a little of both.

      The books call Valyrian steel dragonsteel as opposed to dragonglass. The books also imply that both dragonglass and dragonsteel are dragon-forged, not only by their nicknames but with other nods. Put that together with the rarity of and emphasis on Valyrian steel, and I think I reached the connection on my own. And if I did, surely very many more did on reading the series all those years ago – even without the Stannis comment as confirmation. There are many things I didn’t come to on my own with the one reading.

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    176. Pigeon:
      For the love of all that is good, if there’s a curtain call for Iain Glen next week, I will be as big a wreck as with the Hound. Even fully expecting it.

      I loved Arya and Jaqen’s scenes, and Arya’s new character. That smile as she walks away. Jaqen practically rolled his eyes at the Waif.

      Tyrion being the voice of reason with Dany – was SO hoping that would happen, and it did.

      Hardhome! So great. Tormund has a way with conversation with the Lord of Bones. Why do I think that he and Sandor would have been good friends?

      Anyone else think part of the Waif’s problem is that she was Jaquen’s fav before Arya came along?????

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    177. HBOsWail:
      Hi book readers, non BR’er here.

      just wondered, can someone tell me how this season was adapted so far? based on what i heard of the size of the books 4 & 5, i figured we’d get maybe half of each, but it seems from what i’m reading, A Dance With Dragons biggest events are being adapted into this season – which makes me assume the ending or big events of AFFC is as well. Does this mean that D&D adapted both books entirely into 1 single season? Thats pretty impressive despite making cuts.

      can someone also tell me – how much material is likely left from those two books to put into Season 6? is Season 6 almost all non adaption material?

      thanks

      They adapted book 4 and the whole of book 5 (a two part book, like book 3 – which they needed two seasons for). Some think this was a wonderful idea as those books are a bit slower. I think it was a terrible idea.

      Because it’s resulted in most of book 4 being either cut or underplayed and rushed. It looks like the rest of this season will focus on book 5. After this season, we’ll all be almost totally blind. Although, I think they intend to implement some important parts of books 4 & 5 that they didn’t have time to. Though no doubt these are being put in as a matter of necessity rather than a free creative endeavour – so I expect they’ll be heavily stripped to their barest parts.

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    178. I figured something would happen at Hardhome, but I did not expect shit to go down in such epic manner, wow! That was incredible. A nice stand-out was the Wildling Chieftainess, what an awesome character. She’d been on screen for like 15 min and I was so sad to see her die!
      Also, given that Valyrian steel is Dragon Steel, how cool would it be for S6 to have a Harry Potter-style Horcrux treasure hunt across the realm to find any and all remaining Valyrian steel swords? I nominate Sam.

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    179. Cersei’s Wine Goblet:
      The hooded guy rowing Jon’s boat…

      Benjen?

      RIGHT!?!?!

      I literally sat up straight and repeated “who is under the hood” about five times before the end of the episode expecting to see Benjen.

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    180. One of the best so far!! Totally thrilled with all parts and not critical of the small changes. There were good reveals this episode that do confirm things that never or haven’t happened in bookverse.

      LOVE me my Game of Thrones and everyone on it. I feel for the first time that we are building to some sort of ending of it all, even if it is two years away.

      Keep on rockin’ my world D & D!!!

      (to write more would be redundant as already said just as well by others)

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    181. Rat Kook:
      HBOsWail,

      To be honest, there’s not much that can be said without potentially spoiling season 6. Nothing of any worth, anyway. There are many interesting plot points in Feast/Dance that will be moved to season six instead – well, possibly in some cases, and definitely in others (these things have already been confirmed by news articles if you already know what to look for).

      Quite a few character’s thoughts/actions got heavily condensed this season though, due to the restraints of a particularly cruel 10 hours. Cersei and Reek come to mind for me personally. And the Dornish plot has generally not been handled too well. Hopefully episode nine or ten remedies this a little.

      Don’t get me wrong season six will be 80-85% new material. But I’d say there’s a special 15-20% the book readers have been wanting to see for a while.

      thanks so much for replying and sharing.

      yup i could tell very easily how condensed everything is, i think unfortunately no matter what they did they were going to upset one type of audience or another. for someone like me, and perhaps the book readers – dialogue heavy character development is potential for greatness – its what makes the action and drama really impactful when it does go down. unfortunately the average viewer that has the most influence on production decisions (since they provide the largest share of viewership/income?) don’t appreciate this as much. the show clearly feels obligated to win viewrship with surprises and action. it seems to me that this might be one of the reasons the show is condensed (amongst bigger reasons like 10 hours, but of course they could spend more episodes or seasons on the same material to let it all breathe but then there are other reasons why this won’t happen)

      i realise i’m rambling now but yes, i can sense it despite not being a book reader/familiar with the books. the first 3 seasons it seemed to me, have the most room to breathe and allow for character development. in an ideal world Oberyn for example would’ve been introduced back in season 3 (even if it was the last couple of episodes).

      I’ve read a little about book characters cut from the show, belwas sounds cool, cold hands sounds interesting – but the only character i find a real loss is that Arianne Martell. i think the missing siblings of the martells and tyrells is a shame too.

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    182. HBOsWail,

      “I’ve read a little about book characters cut from the show, belwas sounds cool, cold hands sounds interesting – but the only character i find a real loss is that Arianne Martell.”

      Are you me? Seriously. Arianne is an amazing character. I understand why they’ve cut her – because she opens up an actual real, depthful story for Dorne rather than the ‘revenge!!!’ one they’ve decided upon in the show. But yeah. Even if you don’t want to read the books, you should read the Dorne chapters in books 4 & 5.

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    183. WOW, just WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I’ve liked the season from the get-go and even found Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken to be among the shows best episodes. It’s nice, though, that Hardcome came and left no doubt: This season is every bit as great as the others.
      It amazes me how this fandom go through te same process each F####ING year! It started i season one already, people complained that it was to slow, that nothing really payed off. Until the last 4 or so eps, then the Whole World loved it. IT’S CALLED A F#####ING BUILD UP!!!!! Baelor, Blackwater, Rains of Castemere, The Watchers on the wall, The Children and Hardhome wouldn’t be so incredibly riveting and haunting if it wasn’t for that built up. I’s the same with Aryas arc this season, it is getting so much negative attention. ITS BUILDING UP! Stop complaining, lean back and pay attention to the detailsm and it will be so much more rewarding, with the inevitable payoff comes.
      I was just waiting for the fandom to make a 180 degree turn and start loving the show Again. Seriously, if it’s the same next year, and people once more fail to apreciate the built up and start posting how they’ve given up on the show, then I believe it proofs that the majority are too stupid to be worthy of the show. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about Dissing Dorne (thats a legitimate complain. I actually like it, but I still understand how the b-movie take on that storyline can irk some people the wrong way.) I’m talking about the Guys who has now, 5 times in a row, called D&D amateurs and annonced how they are giving up on the show. If D&D haven’t prooved to them yet, that they can handle this, then these people should Watch other shows. They do not deserve the greatest, most thought-out, ambitious tv-project in history.

      That was the rant, now onto the episode itself:
      I’ve seen people talking about how this might be best episode of the series. It’s still a bit early for me to decide, as I’m still processing, but I agree that is probably the most important episode to date.
      Brilliance:
      – Birgitte Hjort Sørensen: What a cameo! She put so much humanity and nerve into that minor characte. What a great actress!
      – Dany/Tyrion conversation: It never occured to me (even while reading the books) just how much Dany needed Tyrion, exactly how effective of a match those two are, until that converation.
      – Wun Wun: Just pure awsomeness!!! Is he the last living giant?
      – The fight itself: Te built up, the closed gates, the sudden silence and cold, the Walker WHO fights Jon, the wights storming from the Cliff to the ground, the Free Folk desperatly running to the boats, The nights king raising his arms in the end.

      I can’t believe this is not even episode 9! Without a doubt one of the shows signature episodes!!!!
      CAN WE START APPRECIATING THIS AMAZING GIFT THAT IS GAME OF THRONE!!!!!!!!!!!????????

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    184. HBOsWail,

      Believe me when I say that you do not, repeat DO NOT, want to see books 4 and 5 adapted over two seasons, which would have been needed to truly do them “justice”. It doesn’t have anything to do with, as you put it, “obligated to win viewership”. It has everything to do with it being absolutely, totally impossible to simultaneously cover something like 17 different storylines (no I’m not exaggerating). Sure, we can debate the successes and failures of this, and any other, season, but condensing the source material was the only reasonable option on the table. Those who say otherwise, and there’s plenty of them, are deluding themselves.

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    185. Mr Fixit,

      Blunt indeed.

      No one is saying they didn’t have to be condensed. We’re simply saying they could have been condensed better.

      Like this episode, for example. Off book, but brilliant.

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    186. What was great about this episode was that I didn’t want to see any of the wildlings die even that Thenn. To introduce character in one episode, like the Thenn, Wun-Wun and the girl wildlings, and then to be one the edge of your seat hoping they don’t die is great writing and acting all around.

      I didn’t mind the wights at all. I mind some of those “zombies” I mean some of them have probably been in the ground for years hence why they are only skeletons. Don’t see how people don’t understand this. Also they moved fast but not too fast and if they really were like the Zombies from World War Z they would have torn down that wooden wall in seconds. I thought they did a great job of having different looking zombies and not giving them these ridiculous abilities. Also I’m curious as to how good of fighters the White Walkers are. Although the I think the Nights King is gonna tell ’em to get their shit together next time they see Jon.

      Also can they really not go in water or was the Nights King like “here’s your warning humans”. Just like every character in this show I believe he has an agenda that is more than killing everybody. There’s gotta be a reason he’s coming south after thousands of years.

      Episode was fantastic, easily in my top 3, felt like there was nothing bad about this episode.

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    187. HBOsWail,

      To answer your questions as completely as possible:

      1. Yes, they are adapting the vast majority of the AFFC and ADWD in this season. However, certain elements (Theon, Daenerys, Brienne) were already adapted in season 4, while (as you noted) many other (sub)plots have been cut from the show.

      2. There will be basically no material left from the released books in season 6, aside from bits of material concerning Samwell, the Greyjoys and (possibly) Brienne. All other storylines will have caught up with or got ahead of the books. Keep in mind, though, that the showrunners have access to everything George RR Martin has finished from TWOW, meaning that while we don’t know it, (parts of) future episodes might be based on unreleased chapters from the next book.

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    188. Chriss: They adapted book 4 and the whole of book 5 (a two part book, like book 3 – which they needed two seasons for). Some think this was a wonderful idea as those books are a bit slower. I think it was a terrible idea. Hi there. I understand why they did it, i think it could’ve worked out ideally if they had 12 – 13 episodes, or did two part seasons like The Walking Dead. but at the end of the day, all these problems boil down to the source material – GRRM’s books. they must be excellent of course, but clearly they go beyond the scope of even average books that are easily adapted into movies. these books were written from the get go to be so big that they were unadaptable. the problem lies there, if we all tried to figure out the way to solve each little hurdle it becomes an insanity.

      Because it’s resulted in most of book 4 being either cut or underplayed and rushed. It looks like the rest of this season will focus on book 5. After this season, we’ll all be almost totally blind. Although, I think they intend to implement some important parts of books 4 & 5 that they didn’t have time to. Though no doubt these are being put in as a matter of necessity rather than a free creative endeavour – so I expect they’ll be heavily stripped to their barest parts.
      I’m excited to see what happens in S6 then. it is a shame the 4th book got a little underplayed.

      Are you me? Seriously. Arianne is an amazing character. I understand why they’ve cut her – because she opens up an actual real, depthful story for Dorne rather than the ‘revenge!!!’ one they’ve decided upon in the show. But yeah. Even if you don’t want to read the books, you should read the Dorne chapters in books 4 & 5.

      I can’t wait to read the books when I’m ready, i look forward to missing characters particularly this one. I understand the budget/hour constraints being a reason they cut her, it sucks. I actually had another suspicion that perhaps her story is centred around what might be a “Dead End” regarding the Griffs (they appear to be cut right? so fan speculation suggests the Griff is a false plot) as i Understand Arianne was important for really seeing into the heart of Dorne and its culture / values. but Plot wise? i guess don’t know what she had. just me making up assumptions on other reasons she mightve been excluded.

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    189. Chriss,

      Sure, they could’ve done some things better. No episode, no season, no series is perfect. But like it not, there’s only so many storylines and so much material you can cram into 10 episodes. It was either this or an additional season of AFfC/ADwD – and that is not something I’d recommend.

      Think about it. What is the one most repeated criticism by the Unsullied? That the season has been slow, “treading water”, which is the exact same thing people have been saying about the last two books. Whatever else they may dislike, this is the absolute Number One. Can you imagine what’d they be saying with even less happening plot- and storywise?

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    190. I like to think that the White Walkers are coming south either (a) because they’re scared of something too, even farther up north or (b) because they want to protect Westeros from Dany and her uncontrollable dragons.

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    191. dothrakian raven,

      Hah, I’m sorry if I mislead you or anyone else! My comment was completely tongue in cheek. I sometimes like to make fun of book canon and the changes to it (the Mel prophecy of seeing dead things in the water), even though I’m probably a bigger fan of Martin’s work than I could ever be of the HBO series.

      Those skeletons are so light they could probably float if their master so chooses, all the way to the boats. Or if they are still heavy with rotting meat, they could probably walk all the way to Braavos ot the bottom of the sea. I was just taking my cue from Ry. It’s his fault. And I also think I just grossed myself out talking about rotting meat over my second morning coffee. Yuck.

      Ginevra,

      I think because it’s been so long I’ve read those clues you mention in the books, the dragon steel = Valyrian steel has become a fact to me! Called it from the Previously On shot, when Longclaw was reintroduced in the Mormont / Jon scene that an Other will get dead by Valyrian steel. In fact I was surprised it was considered a bit of a bit of a revelation though obviously thinking from a show viewer only perspective it made sense to see it so.

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    192. wow! what a great episode. and yes, almost off-book!

      Some extra notes that I haven’t seen mentioned.

      – Kevan has been summoned by pycelle: loved this part of the books! great that we’ll see him again. ADWD epilogue might actually happen!
      – Ramsay’s Plan: I think that Ramsay will

      do his thing like he did in ACOK when he got into winterfell claiming to be somebody else

      – Next week’s episode: MAN DAZNAK LOOKS AMAZING! looking forward to that!

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    193. Mr Fixit,

      I agree people have been saying it’s slow, but honestly, I think they’re using that as a euphemism for boring. And I think that stems from a bunch of storylines which seem to happen just because. Like, do you know that loads of the Unsullied think the Faith Militant are just this little cult. Other things like this. I think the problem is that they are failing to build on these stories. There’s been little tension or suspense. Cersei’s story, with some real effort, should have been Emmy worthy. Her arrest should have been a massive shock. As it was, it was like just another plot point. No big deal. And Dorne, I mean Jesus Christ. Lazy is the word I’d pick to describe the effort put in so far this year.

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    194. Boooring!

      I want to see Arya sweeping floors, Cersei drinking vine and smiling, Brienne looking trough the window, SandSnakes dancing, Doran sitting in his wheelchair … that´s GOT not this unnatural action packed stuff.

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    195. Really good episode, all the Hardhome scenes were excellent. I love Wun Wun, he’s so freaking badass!

      Only issues I had was the stuff between Dany and Tyrion, especially the cheesy “break the wheel line” ugh.

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    196. Even a day removed, I can’t believe how fantastic that episode was.

      It is easy to find the haters of the show now. The people who just want to bash it for no real reason. If they can’t enjoy this episode…. they should find a new show to watch.

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    197. MP,
      I am worried that the wildlings who left hard home before Jon snow will not have a cozy welcome at the wall when they get there before Jon snow. Remember most of the men at Knights watch despise Jon snow and his decision to become a wildlings ally.

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    198. wycoff:

      Good list.I’d keep Blackwater at 1 and move Hardhome and Rains of Castamere above Fire and Blood.

      No TOP list is valid without Kissed by Fire up there somewhere. 🙂

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    199. Forgot to add that I don’t see any of the NW that went to Hardhome with Jon joining in on FTW. They’ve seen the real enemy and already fought along side the Wildlings. I think all of them are with Jon now. I think Bowen Marsh, Olly and maybe one or two others (the two that tried to rape Gilly possibly) will be in on it. Don’t think Thorne will be apart of it for some reason

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    200. Mr Fixit: No TOP list is valid without Kissed by Fire up there somewhere.

      I think I probably had that at #11. That’s a great episode, too, and its closing scene of Tywin admonishing his children is one of the best episode ends that isn’t directly related to a random act of violence.

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    201. I don’t have words to describe this, just that it was the best hour of television I’ve ever seen in a long time, I had goosebumbs for 20 minutes straight, thank you so much D&D.
      Just want to add that Tormund smashing Rattlshirts skull made me lol, and Jon Snow saying the F word for the first time! It was great to hear

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    202. Damphairintheshowplease!,

      I agree. I have also been quite baffled by the comments saying that the show has been boring (in my opinion the whole season has been very exciting). Of course it’s completely subjective what people like and what they consider as boring. One of the most interesting observations that I have made during my life is that people are VERY different.

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    203. Chriss,

      You’ll get no argument from me on Dorne. That thing fared worse than Stafford Lannister at Oxcross. 😉 I totally disagree about Cersei, though. That is how you do a scene. That whole segment with her visiting Margaery, then stopping by the High Sparrow for a little victory smirk… then HS’s monologue and stare contest… brrrr, that was some truly magnificent stuff.

      Shall we add Sapochnik to the list of GoT’s top directors?

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    204. Uberstellar,
      The thing with GoT is there is a *team* of writers and a *team* of directors; they’re coordinated at the top by producers/writers D & D but it’s not one homogeneous body of work.

      For example the prison strip episode was directed by Jeremy Podeswa (GRRM has the first writing credits on this episode, go figure!) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3866842/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_wr#writers whereas this one, “Hardhome” was directed by Miguel Sapochnik http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3866850/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_wr#writers

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    205. DeCo,

      He didn’t!

      Watch that scene again, you see his cold-mistlike breeze pushover the flames and push the flames back as he walks through. It looks really cool!

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    206. Rafael,

      Seconded. I too find this season very gratifying to watch. A misstep or two aside (looking at you, Dorne), and taking into account that the source material itself is a bit weaker than AGoT-ACoK-ASoS, I find this season very enjoyable.

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    207. I guess it’s unclear if the WW can swim. I’d venture to say the wights probably cannot swim all that well. As someone else said, they’re full of holes, so that’s a problem. But if the Night’s King was really controlling everything at that moment, he’d be dumb to let his new thousands of recruits jump into the water, when they can easily walk.

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    208. Can anyone tell me what happens at Hardhome in A Dance with Dragons? I read the book, but have no memory of it.

      I heard that this attack does not take place in the books. If that is the case, why is it that fans were clamoring for the Hardhome scene? What’s so special about it in the books?

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    209. Chriss,

      Cersei’s inprisonment wasn’t shock in the books (at least for me it wasn’t). It felt just inevitable.

      I like AFFC/ADWD but I think that this 1 season decision serves the story (momentum keeps up whereas the books suffer more from the “middle-point” problem). This leaves more room for the final seasons (also contract issues and max length of the series).

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    210. Joffrey’s Cunt,
      LOL, I liked that too. Was that Jon or Edd though? I could have sworn it was Edd and I bet the actor ad-libbed it. It was definitely appropriate. I would have been just saying the F-bomb continuously until I was on the boats and safe and even then I probably would have continued to periodically pop off with one.

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    211. DeCo,

      It was Cotter Pyke that went by sea. Later after the pink letter, Jon Sends Tormund

      A Wiki of Ice And Fire:

      Melisandre may have seen a vision of Hardhome when she looks into the fire in her chambers at Castle Black:

      “ Snowflakes swirled from a dark sky and ashes rose to meet them, the grey and the white whirling around each other as flaming arrows arced above a wooden wall and dead things shambled silent through the cold, beneath a great grey cliff where fires burned inside a hundred caves. Then the wind rose and the white mist came sweeping in, impossibly cold, and one by one the fires went out. Afterward only the skulls remained.[5] ”
      Lord Commander Jon Snow sends Cotter Pyke with eleven ships from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to bring the wildlings south from Hardhome. Many ships are wrecked by storms during the voyage. When Cotter arrives at Hardhome with six ships left, the situation has grown very bad. Wildings are eating their own dead and there are presumably wights in the forest and in the sea. Slavers have already taken some of the wildlings to Braavos, and the wildlings try to take Storm Crow by force which costs Cotter six of his crew. Cotter sends a raven to plead for help via land from Jon, since traveling by the sea is far too dangerous.[2]

      In Braavos, Arya Stark tells the Kindly Man that she knows why the Sealord seized the Goodheart and that the slaves on the ship are wildlings from Hardhome. She tells him that it is an old ruined place, accursed. Arya remembers Old Nan’s tales of Hardhome.

      While Selyse Florent and Bowen Marsh advocate letting those at Hardhome die, Jon intends to lead a ranging by land. After Jon receives a letter, Tormund instead receives command of the planned ranging

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    212. Rafael,

      Definately!! I’m just amazed how they keep dissing it while still watching and being dedicated. I’ve read the books but I dont judge when i watch an episode. I just take it in.

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    213. How can the writers create a fully three dimensional human being that we care about and know the history of (without clunky expositional dialogue) in Karsi (female wildling) and completely drop the ball with the Sand Snakes? Or is Birgitte Hjort Sorensen simply more charismatic than the three actresses playing the Sand Snakes?

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    214. Dame Pasty,

      Yeah I think the one you’re thinking about it was Edd who said it, When the the wights are jumping of the cliff. That was funny too, but I meant when Jon was doing his great speech, when he said: “(…)And even then it may not be enough, but at least we give the fuckers a fight.” I think it was the first time we hear him say the F word

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    215. Incredible episode. The only flaw is that it ended. 🙂

      Everyone’s talking about the battle sequences, which were amazing, but let’s pause to remember what must be one of the most chilling moments in the history of this show: the moment all of the wildlings bashing on the gate trying to get into the interior of the Hardhome keep go completely silent, and all we see is a gentle mistfall seep under that gate. Just incredible.

      I defy anyone to tell me this season sucks. 🙂

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    216. Dunner:
      How can the writers create a fully three dimensional human being that we care about and know the history of (without clunky expositional dialogue) in Karsi (female wildling) and completely drop the ball with the Sand Snakes? Or is Birgitte Hjort Sorensen simply more charismatic than the three actresses playing the Sand Snakes?

      First of all, SS are bad characters in the books, also.

      Karsi had more screen time than SS. And she is one character, they are three.

      Tyene Sand was fine, because she had one real scene, Obara gets lots of hate, but her lines were from the books, and Nymeria didn’t say anything.

      With more time in S6, SS will be ok.

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    217. mau,

      Not even close. Though I wouldn’t consider either feast or dance to be weak books. Hell Feast for Crows is my 2nd favorite book in the series. This season is weak for different reasons then it’s source material, just like last season.

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    218. …EP9 THEORY…
      (First post, so I don’t know how to use spoiler tags) so beware of spoilers…

      I have a theory about the Daznak Pit, we know eventually that we will get Dany, Jorah, Tyrion and co surrounded by Harpys in the centre of the arena. And we all assume this is when Drogon will arrive, roast the Harpys and take Dany away. My theory is that in this moment Drogon will accidentally burn Jorah as he’s roasting the Harpys, leaving Jorah’s fate unknown to the viewers until ep10. Where he will wake up, miraculously relatively unharmed. Only small burns on his left arm, it isn’t until later when he checks his arm for grey scale that he notices all his infected tissue has been burnt, curing him. What do you think? This might be too convenient, but can you think of a better way to cure Jorah?

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    219. Cahir Mawr Dyffryn aep Ceallach,

      I spoilered your comment. But in future, it’s very easy. Like so:

      [*spoiler*] text [*/*spoiler*]

      Remove the * and make sure you leave a space after the opening tag but before the text and a space after the text before the closing tag. Okay?

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    220. Joffrey’s Cunt,

      Yes! I did notice that one at the time but forgot about it. It was appropriate too…talking to the Wildlings in a way they are familiar with and to emphasize just how much he wants to go down swinging, if he has to go down at all.

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    221. We’re all assuming that Doran is asking Jaime for his allegiance, but doesn’t Ellaria make more sense? She did openly go against him, after all, and he might be less indulgent now than when he was brushing off her insults a few episodes ago.

      I’m not seeing how Sansa’s plot gets resolved with only two episodes left. I expected more from her storyline this episode. So far, we have a candle escape plot that appears to be DOA (since Theon ratted Sansa out, and Brienne is waiting for a signal that will never come), and Chekhov’s corkscrew. We also know thanks to their CVs that Fat Walda won’t be in the final two episodes but that Myranda will be in one of them. Aidan Gillen also apparently said he won’t be in the last two episodes of Season 5, which leaves him heading north with his Vale army but out of the action for the rest of the season.

      From this episode’s developments, it doesn’t sound as if a big Battle of Winterfell is in the offing this season. Roose intends to wait Stannis out, and Ramsay seems to be gearing up for a precision strike, not a big confrontation.

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    222. I have to say, taking Edd to Hardhome was a stroke of genius by David and Dan.

      What better way to make the book readers as tense and uncomfortable as the Unsullied?

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    223. Soooo…

      Does anyone else think D&D are building up that young kid (Jon’s steward) hatred for the wildlings killing his family issue for the sole reason to have that kid be the one who stabs Jon Snow to death?

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    224. Dame Pasty,
      Exactly! I loved the ballance between humor and horror, it helped break the ice (no pun intended) and the soundtrack really helped creating that creepy environment though.

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    225. Two things, I definitely think the kid is going to be the one to stab Jon Snow, and who was the shrouded person in the boat?! Some have said Benjen Stark, or it could be Val?? Who else?? Another crazy idea, what if Mance did glamor and it is him?? Probably Not but we are so off book now who can know what will come next! Also, wouldn’t it be crazy if we find out whether or not Jon lives via the show and not the books!!! Was anyone else thinking “fucking Azor when Jon took out the WW?

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    226. M: From this episode’s developments, it doesn’t sound as if a big Battle of Winterfell is in the offing this season. Roose intends to wait Stannis out, and Ramsay seems to be gearing up for a precision strike, not a big confrontation.

      That is fine with me. In a way, it is similar to Roose’s position and the Frey/Manderly attack/disposition in ADwD (which may have had dubious results). There is also the matter of WF imploding from within. Ramsay’s sortie should be quite fun, although quite worrisome.

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    227. Did anyone else take note when Sam – speaking to Olly – said, “Don’t worry, Jon always comes back…”

      Foreshadowing?

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    228. Arthur: Soooo…

      Yeah…and I hate it. Olly is sooooo obvious.

      But it is what happens afterward that is intriguing. Will Mel revive him? Will he warg into Ghost? Will Wun Wun go berserk? Or will the WWs and unKarsi invade and carry him away?

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    229. M: Ramsay seems to be gearing up for a precision strike, not a big confrontation.

      Seems like he’s doing this to give Sansa an opportunity to escape. He will survive & write a letter.

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    230. Johnny Law,

      Yes. The wording could describe how book readers have felt since ADWD was published, and Sam’s words reassured me that Jon will be coming back.

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    231. Pasti: Guys, is it me, or Karsi was actually Tormund’s wife? Note that she’s the first to say that she trusts in him (even if he arrives with the NW by his side and kill The Lord of Bones), and Tormund said that Jon was more beatiful that his two daughters. Karsi at the current time had only two living daughters, and in the trailer for the next episode, Tormund is holding hands to one of them while waiting outside Castle Black.

      also, she used the same expression that Tormund uttered about the Thenns: “I [email protected]#$ng hate Thenns”

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    232. Hollyoak: I heard that this attack does not take place in the books. If that is the case, why is it that fans were clamoring for the Hardhome scene? What’s so special about it in the books?

      It does not take place in the books, it’s only inferred that terrible things are happening because of the WW and wights attacking this remote outpost where the Wildlings are trapped. So to build it out, add Tormund and Jon into the mix, and create a scene like that, is a brilliant stroke of adaptation. It’s a great way to use some bare material and make something interesting while skipping other things that work in the book but might not translate.

      As for the wights not swimming, the ones without holes in them are weighted down by heavy Wildling clothing, they’d more than likely sink. One supposes the WW could have frozen the sea with their hands, but then the whole thing just turns into the movie Frozen, and we have to hear Tormund singing “The cold never bothered me anyway” and what not.

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    233. My theory on the hooded canoe mystery man:

      random extra #137 who couldn’t act for shit so they told him to just put his hood up. Haha. Seriously I would love it if it was him but then that would really complicate the whole mutiny. The shot from the preview of the gang all looking up at the wall appears to be rather Benjenless too sadly. I’d trade in my Gold hand for a copper one to know what happened to that guy!!!

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    234. Can’t really say anything that hasn’t already been said, brilliant, just brilliant, this is the only episode other than the Red Wedding that I have actually stood up from the couch to watch and gone “fuckity fuck fuck fucking fuck” as the credits were rolling.

      Shout out to the The Nights King for giving Jon the “come at me bro” on the jetty.

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    235. Uberstellar,

      LOL, my boyfriend and I said the same thing after that “I’ll be right behind you” goodbye to the kiddies scene. …I mean they may as well have had her say “Yep, only 2 days left to retirement.” (LMAO) …But hey, I can forgive that as this was the best episode of the season so far and I’ll be on pins & needles until this Sunday (because this ep. is one tough act to follow, though I’ve no doubt D&D will somehow manage it). <3 🙂

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    236. For the first time since reading the books after season 2, I felt like I truly didn’t know whether primary characters would live or not. I didn’t realize how much I missed that anxiety!

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    237. KG,

      That shows me how much I remember of physics LOL So, it’s the reverse situation then: the zombie with meat on them could totally float to the boats while the skeletons could walk underwater! Either way, swimming is not something to worry about with them.

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    238. In Inside the Episode, David Benioff says that the Night’s King sees JS as a possible threat.More evidence of Azor Ahai . Also is it totally out of the question to think that the “hooded man” on JS’s getaway boat is actually the "hooded woman" aka LS?

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    239. Batmahon:
      Also is it totally out of the question to think that the “hooded man” on JS’s getaway boat is actually the "hooded woman" aka LS?

      The hooded man is just some random NW Brother. You can see his face in several shots during the scene.

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    240. Tormund’s Woman,

      Oh shit, imagine an army of the undead walking up out of the ocean, thanks for freaking me out even more.

      Its technically possible they could have given chase over water i guess, i think though that the nights king was just giving an initial sally to show his power and show that no matter how many you kill his army grows ever larger.

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    241. Are the white walkers afraid of the drown gods? Or are the drown gods not real or are part of the god of death?

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    242. Batmahon:
      Also is it totally out of the question to think that the “hooded man” on JS’s getaway boat is actually the "hooded woman" aka LS?

      Yes, yes it is.

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    243. M:
      I’m not seeing how Sansa’s plot gets resolved with only two episodes left.

      Yeah, I’m struggling to see how all of the stuff they’ve set up so far is going to pay off in the time remaining. There has to be some payoffs to both the awl/corkscrew and Sansa’s making use of Ramsay’s inheritance weakness (and, more generally, to the notion that Sansa is here to avenge her family, which hasn’t really been borne out at all so far), Theon has to get his hero moment, so do Brienne and Podrick, it’s been clearly foreshadowed that Brienne will come face-to-face with Stannis, and Sansa’s being reminded of the existence of Jon seems like it has to mean something too.

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    244. Yeah it all happened so quickly, I can’t wait to watch it and rewind and pause. Those kid-wights were so fucking creepy. I already made that little skeletor dude my background. I didn’t even mind that the kickass chieftainess was taken down by the kids. I thought it was cool, albeit a little on the “classic tv set up” side. Did anyone notice Brann, Bill, and Brent from Mastodon as Wildlings?? I totally didn’t, and I know those guys! Hahaha, amazing. Re-watch will include looking for them, I’m sure.

      Seems like there’s more to discuss from this episode than the rest of the season’s episodes combined!!

      Ramsay is marching with 20 men. WTH is going to happen? I feel like the burning camp shots from the season preview are going to come from this storyline. Perhaps Ramsay and his guys set fire to Stannis’ camp in the night, in the snow? Maybe this is how a Baratheon dies- either Shireen or Stannis. And the line “…a feast for the crows…” Oh man, great writing. So ominous.

      Speaking of ominous, how eerie was Sam and Ollie’s conversation about Jon? “Jon always comes back.” Gave me chills. Nice one. I fully believe if we have a FTW moment with Jon, it will come from Ollie, perhaps also Thorne.

      I’m still over the moon at the appearance of Wun Wun. I’m such a fan. They made him so bad ass too, just perfect. And Tormund vs Rattleshirt, whoa. I love Tormund. Short, sweet, brutal. Next?

      Jon’s speech and the free folk’s discussion was done so well. The Thenn’s negative response, the rest of them trusting in Tormund, even Wun Wun, “TORMUND”. The music was awesome too, a perfect accompaniment to the already beautiful and frightening scenery.

      So, let me get this right. The Night’s King can control a giant frozen tornado-lanche that can suck you up into the air and turn you into a wight. Is that what I saw? “Close the Gates!!!” Oh, shit. The Walking Dead, that’s how you do it.

      Who else was on the edge of their seats when Jon and the Thenn go looking for the Dragonglass and in walks a fucking White Walker??? I couldn’t even blink!!! Amazing scene; my husband and I both were yelling and gasping, and when John shattered him with the Valyrian steel, we both cheered! Longclaw! So awesome.

      Did they end up leaving all the Dragonglass behind?? If so, FUUUUUUUUUCK. I hope they have more. I still see the dragons flying north and burning thousands of the wights with dragonfire (wayyyyy in the future).

      Kicking it off with Tyrion and Dany was brilliant. I love that he remained his quick-witted, tell-it-like-it-is self, and wasn’t all star struck and quiet. I really wonder though, how well Jorah is going to like him after telling her to exile him once again. They didn’t really touch on that, but it has to come back somehow. We shall see. (On a sidenote, Iain Glen’s acting was superb, all in facial expressions and little else.) I’m kinda surprised Tyrion didn’t ask to see the dragons. He has loved them all his life, read of them, dreamed of them. I would think he would be desperately curious to actually see one. Right? Maybe next week. (Although I think he, and all of Meereen, will have their fill of Dragons next week.) I loved his recounting of her life story to her in the throne room, it was very well done. And huzzah for The Wheel speech.

      The multiple short scenes with Cersei in her cell were just enough to express some of her breakdown, and I think it was done in the best way for tv. Qyburn’s visit was done well, too, and very revealing. We know that Pycelle is responsible for sending for Kevan Lannister, and I’m not surprised whatsoever. I’m sure he’s thrilled with the whole situation! And meanwhile, the King is on a hunger strike. What a feeble child. And Qyburn’s last words, “The work continues.” He has to be talking about Franken-Mountain, aka Robert Strong. GET HYPE!!!!!!!!!!!

      Arya’s scenes were great! It really was so like the books, with just slight differences. I love Braavos, it’s my kind of town. Wardrobe and set designs blow me away. And her hair and gloves were sick. Lol

      Jeez, longest post ever. Sorry. Just so much beef in this episode! A lot to chew!

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    245. Batmahon:
      In Inside the Episode, David Benioff says that the Night’s King sees JS as a possible threat.More evidence of Azor Ahai . Also is it totally out of the question to think that the “hooded man” on JS’s getaway boat is actually the "hooded woman" aka LS?

      The hooded man is clearly Benjen 😀

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    246. Has this question been asked, discussed or answered..? Does the weapon of a White Walker possess any special power or does it all come from them wielding it? Owning an ‘ice’ sword that shatters regular steel would be deadly against normal foes. Jon left his combatant’s on the ground.

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    247. Sean C.,

      As to the female warrior, the way I figure it is that the kid with the whole head was her son (she had two daughters on the boat, but child mortality is high in a pre-penacillion world).

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    248. Blind Beth,

      Arthur,

      The foreshadowing of Ollie always giving Jon the evil squint eye is kinda depressing…hope it’s just a tease…if Jon is half Targarayan he definitely needs to meet Dany somehow…she’s his aunt, for cripes sake…don’t do it B&B…

      maybe Ollie will take out someone less…like gilly or sam…dk, haven’t read the books

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    249. Kundry:
      Best episode for sure

      Someone could please explain me the logic of tyrion saying to Dany that she should not keeping Jorah around?

      The logic is that Jorah was never completely honest with Daenerys, despite multiple opportunities over a long period of time. He also never once apologized for having done what he did. That is not the sort of person one should keep around as a trusted advisor. One would always second guess such a person. Jorah has the unfortunate habit of never being completely honest with those to whom he is “completely devoted” to. Even as of now, he is completely silent about his greyscale.

      Dunner: How can the writers create a fully three dimensional human being that we care about and know the history of (without clunky expositional dialogue) in Karsi (female wildling) and completely drop the ball with the Sand Snakes?

      Simple. The writers should give each of the Sand Snakes a similar amount of time that they gave to Karsi. If and when they do, all will be well. 😉

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    250. I’m still in love with that episode.

      I did want to take a moment to point something out regarding the structure of the season as a whole, however. I’ve noticed many fans sounding off about how they’re fretful over the fact that a lot of things which have been built up all season long are not going to have sufficient time to be resolved before next year. I agree that in some cases this is rather unfortunate and perhaps a critical analysis of the fifth year on the whole, but I’m also fairly forgiving since it’s not something the show has been a stranger to in the past.

      The third season was particularly guilty of the same problem on multiple fronts; most memorable to me personally would be the Ramsay/Theon scenario seemingly looping ad nauseum, Stannis’ wound-licking sulking not even entertaining the notion of going anywhere until the very end, and, most blatant of all, the Joffrey/Margaery wedding getting hyped and hyped and hyped and yet (as we could all mostly tell was the case) not happening until the following year. I think general perception of that season is going to be permanently altered by 3×09, which has sort of become the third season in a nutshell to the point that people sometimes forget the rest, for all its ups, and all its downs.

      I was loving Season 3 for other reasons, and I think it’s certainly stronger than 5 (actually, I feel like 2 and 5 are probably the weaker links in the series overall) but it had the same thing going. If Season 5 concludes and we’re still left with lots of dangling material, while I recognize that all this could have an unfortunate blowback effect on the show’s reputation overall, and I see that the current American ratings may well reflect audience frustrations, personally I’ll just maintain full confidence that the early episodes of Season 6 will feel as packed as Season 4.

      tldr; leaving various season-defining arcs head-scratchingly unfinished isn’t something Game of Thrones hasn’t been guilty of in past seasons, so I kind of give Season 5 at least a partial free pass on if/when it happens.

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    251. All sorts of foreshadowing/paving the way here:

      > Sansa’s vigor to survive getting a push – she was gonna fight anyway, but now she has a reason to survive.

      > Olly – the continuous focus on him and Sam’s advice make it pretty obvious that he has a role to play. Most of the viewers don’t know what’s to come, so they have to set it up beforehand.

      > That look between Jon and the Night’s King: that was personal. He wasn’t making a general threat to the human population of the planet, he was giving Jon the finger. The NK issued a personal challenge. I think they will fight it out eventually, and this is how the show set that up.

      What do you guys think about their wordless communication? Haven’t read anything about it in the comments, but maybe I missed it.

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    252. Greatjon of Slumber:
      Seriously thinking now that I’ve got to revise my list of top 10 GOT episodes all-time now thanks to Hardhome. Right now it leans kinda like this:

      1. Blackwater
      2. Fire and Blood
      3. Hardhome
      4. The Rains of Castamere
      5. Baelor
      6. The Watchers on the Wall
      7. And Now His Watch Is Ended
      8. The Lion & The Rose
      9. Kissed by Fire
      10. The Gift

      Excellent list. You included 3×04, which makes me very happy because my best friend and I both harbor a love for that episode that seems to run far deeper than the bulk of the fandom. It’s like damn, it’s not even the final sequence. It’s the final sequence on top of the perfectly-shot mutiny directly preceding it.

      I’ll go ahead and post my top 10, I suppose.

      In special edition countdown order, because I’m weird.

      10. Two Swords
      09. First of His Name (pretty dark-horse pick, it seems)
      08. Valar Morgulis (also a pretty dark-horse pick, it seems)
      07. Baelor
      06. The Rains of Castamere
      05. Hardhome
      04. The Lion and the Rose
      03. Blackwater
      02. And Now His Watch Is Ended
      01. The Watchers on the Wall

      For the record, #11-15 are all stacked with glaring exceptions. (And one or two further Season 5 considerations, too, so it’s not like I wasn’t at least a fair bit satisfied with 2015’s offerings before last night.) It’s a damned good show when a full third of episodes aired thus far elicit a stunned response from me and the generous awarding of the proverbial “four stars”.

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    253. dubq:
      Toast,

      Probably because it is cheaper to pay a “Featured Extra” in a mask than to recast an actor to come back for a scene like that.

      It’s possible the original guy wasn’t available. I doubt cost comes into play. The first guy was a nobody, and its not like this actor is someone everyone recognizes. It’s funny now to think about how prominently he appears in the trailers for this season, when he has all of 1 minute of screentime before Tormund bludgeons him to death.

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    254. dee,

      The “Inside the Episode” featurette has been said to include D&D outright stating that the Night’s King recognizes a potential threat in Jon Snow, so there’s some showmanship to end all showmanship in there but the Night’s King is nevertheless seeing in Jon a highly noteworthy foe. Where things go from here is anyone’s guess, but as a series-long Jon fan and a shameless fan of certain heroic fantasy cliches in general, I can tell you I’m excited.

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    255. Dany and Tyrion: I feel average about. Having them meet so soon was probably one of the few true “fan-fiction” elements of the show adaptation. And the omission of the Greyjoys and Martells from both the wheel speech and Tyrion’s lines leading up it was curious.

      Cersei: “Confess””Confess””Confess”. It’s going well. Kevan in back in town! Quburn’s work continues!

      Arya: So Cat-of-the-Canals is now Lana-of-the-Canals. No biggie. And combing it with the insurance guy contract is a brilliant move. They’ve made some good adaptations choices in the way Arya’s material is being shuffled around.

      Winterfell: “Feast for Crows” drop! And the Sansa/Reek stuff is not bad and the plot seems to be moving along. With Ramsay out of the castle perhaps things will pick up.

      Sam and Olly: Foreshadowing!

      Lord o’ Bones: Gone before we got to know him again. Putting to rest any sort of Mance glamour theories in the show forever. Did anyone see if he was risen as a zombee? Now that would have been ironic.

      Hardhome: The show is now so different than the books that a whole battle that wasn’t is. And it was grand. Only flaw was that the wildlings locked out of the gate were probably killed way too quickly for the number that were there, but forgiven as a possible time constraint. The wight children was a creepy touch. It is something the zombee genere rarely has but logically should be present. The last from the genre that I saw that touched on it was probably the anime High School of the Dead, and it was similar in that they appeared in a group and similarly caused a character to freeze. But I agree, NotVal/NotHarmaDogshead’s fate was sealed when she loaded her kids up in the boat and told them to wait for her. And it was cool to see the theory about Valyrian Steel being effective against WW was true.
      And Wun-Wun! Woot-Woot!

      Brienne: Presumably having tea with Sir Illifer the Pennyless and the Mad Mouse.

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    256. Mr Fixit:
      HBOsWail,

      Believe me when I say that you do not, repeat DO NOT, want to see books 4 and 5 adapted over two seasons, which would have been needed to truly do them “justice”. It doesn’t have anything to do with, as you put it, “obligated to win viewership”. It has everything to do with it being absolutely, totally impossible to simultaneously cover something like 17 different storylines (no I’m not exaggerating). Sure, we can debate the successes and failures of this, and any other, season, but condensing the source material was the only reasonable option on the table. Those who say otherwise, and there’s plenty of them, are deluding themselves.

      I disagree. I’d be VERY happy with 20 hours of film from AFFC/ADWD. Equally I understand the average show watcher would not.

      That being said, 10 hours seems too short even for them. Something like 12-14 would have really been best, but obviously not possible due to numerous constraints set by the realities of TV production. An extra hour for Manderly/Davos/Northern Conspiracy/Pies would have made this season a hell of a lot better, for starters. Dorne needed more time, and the Iron Islands and Riverlands needed any time at all. There are far too many loose ends in the latter.

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    257. Jeff O’Connor,

      oh, awesome. Gotta go watch that.
      I’m excited as well. If Jon doesn’t end up the BAMF to end all BAMFs at teh end of the series, I’ll truly be disappointed, because it feels like that’s where it’s heading.

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    258. Chad Brick,

      Sure, 12 or 13 episodes would have been ideal. I remember there was some speculation — wishful thinking really — a year or two ago that ideally, following the end of Boardwalk Empire, GoT would be moved to a summer/autumn slot for Season 5 that would give it several extra months to shoot and produce additional episodes. Alas, it was not to be.

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    259. Ozy:
      Thank you D&D.

      Heh, yeah, let’s not forget that they wrote this one (or at least, the bulk of it) next time certain parties come around claiming that everything their pens touch turns to shite.

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    260. Can I just say how relieved I am that they finally came right out and said in the post-show interviews that the lead WW is the Night’s King officially? So we can stop pretending there’s the slightest chance he isn’t him. NK, hell yeah.

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    261. Leuf: Obviously having fire everywhere makes it difficult/impossible to have such a scene at all so I’ll just have to suck it up. I just wish they’d thought of such things back at the beginning of the series and adjusted accordingly.

      Ah, but the problem is: how would you set that many frozen corpses on fire? Unless they had vats of oil handy (or wildfire or someone magical like a Priest of R’hllor or a Child of the Forest), then it would be tough to show them getting set on fire: if normal corpses are hard to burn, then frozen ones would be doubly so.

      Really, the only “flaw” was arrows seeming to kill them. Being cut apart by heavy swords, clubs and axes should have stopped them.

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    262. Leuf: That was awesome but I’m having a hard time accepting that you can kill wights with regular weapons instead of having to use fire.

      It’s not that it kills them (they can’t be killed, they’re dead already) but they get crippled to the point that they can’t move anymore or “the power that moves them” decides “Well, this one is broken now, let’s get out of here…”.

      Wimsey: Really, the only “flaw” was arrows seeming to kill them.

      I don’t think that was the case. One had an arrow in his head and was still pretty agile. 😉

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    263. Abyss,

      Ah, well, maybe I mis-saw it then! Now, I could see arrows knocking them off of walls: arrows can pack quite a wallop. Still, falling doesn’t seem to really harm them much: Wile E. Coyote could take lessons from them!

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    264. I must say that this episode was kind of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, we had the most amazing battle sequence (by far) this show has ever done (and not even in the books), something that completely caught me off guard. It was just so good that I feel like it’s not even right to nitpick. This is really the show as I have always imagined it. Great stakes, great atmosphere, great characters and when shit gets real, great action.

      EDIT: One question though, when the NK reanimates all those wights, were that just the fresh kills or did he also bring the wights Tormund and company took down back to life?

      The rest of the episode on the other hand was rather dull at times. Tyrion and Daenerys was awful, something I had not expected. Like, I was convinced that would be brilliant and it just wasn’t. Mainly because Tyrion’s advice was terrible. I was sitting there and just thinking that if Daenerys did the opposite of everything he advized her, she would already been halfway on her conquest of Westeros.

      Winterfell just felt way to rushed. Particularly Sansa suffered from this, I just don’t buy this sudden shift between her and Theon. Nor do I understand where the confession comes from. And Ramsay’s whole give me twenty good men plan already sounds cringe-inducing. I hope he has the sense to choose men who aren’t affraid of dogs for his party, unlike Yara’s epic fuck-up of last season.

      The rest of the episode was okay I guess. Arya’s arc is really weird (both in this season and the corresponding books) and I felt like this scene was just way to clunky in the dialogue department. Luckily the actors sold it and the atmosphere was great, so that compensated for the clunky dialogue.

      Cersei was great, but a bit short perhaps. I’m also not really sure whether or not Qyburn has already completed his work or not.

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    265. honeyimhome: Anyone else think part of the Waif’s problem is that she was Jaquen’s fav before Arya came along?????

      The Waif was always just a placeholder in Jaqen’s heart.

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    266. Wimsey:
      Sue the Fury,

      She also had just sent her children to safety and now was seeing children that couldn’t be saved.That would induce a double take in any parent.

      Seriously, Sean, it is comments like this that give all of us bad reps…..

      Absolutely, and for all we know, they could be kids that she knows from her village. Seeing those children really got to Karsi and it was executed very well IMHO.

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    267. Sean C.:
      The Wall plotline has consistently, by a country mile, been the best material in this season, and that continued here. My only niggle was the bit with Wildling Lady and the kids, because I guess her uterus was triggered and caused her to become ineffective against them. Strong scenery and action, good character stuff for Jon.

      The brief Cersei scenes were nicely done, and I loved having her lick at the water on the floor while “The Rains of Castamere” plays.

      I know there are a number of Arya fans who have been vocally disappointed both with her episode/screentime count so far this season, and the way the story has been told. Up until this point I thought they were overstating things, but at this point I have to say: this storyline is really boring (and, for the record, I wasn’t a huge fan of Braavos in the books either, but it was better than this), and this episode in particular had an outright baffling dramatic structure. The episode ends with a somber note about whether Arya can successfully kill this guy, but the preceding sequence just laid out plain as day that it should be easy. Is it meant to be a moral question instead?Because the episode really didn’t raise that idea either.

      I liked the Sansa scene on its own, though having watched the Inside the Episode video I find D&D’s interpretation of where this fits into her arc kind of baffling, in terms of how they’ve been telling this story.They say that the news about her brothers’ survival is a total game-changer for her worldview, and comes at a time when she’s in desperate need of hope and motivation — but the Sansa we already met in that scene is the most ferocious we’ve seen her since she came to Winterfell already. If this is meant to be her lowest moment, she should be more like in her first scene last week; between the following scene of her trolling Ramsay and the start of this scene it already feels like she’s rebounding.

      Yup, you’re “uterus”-comment has instantly catapulted you as the WotW #1 mysogynistic a-hole. “loving” that Cersei needed to lick the floor is also a good way to add to that. Good luck recovering from that.

      “I’m pleased with how D&D+S have pictured Cersei’s fall from grace due to the Faith in such a horrid, yet cinematically pleasing way, as if she’s bowing down to pray in an almost religious repentive way” would’ve been less mysogynistic.

      About Braavos, Arya’s book chapters went on and on, the pace in the show ups it at least twofold. Arya’s warging ability has been thrown out of the window completely, so the actual blindness in her book arc is obviously skipped since it served to “inadvertently” train that part of her. This episode ended on a somber note for Arya? Really, she got a bottle of poison and walked off smiling, having achieved something. The Waif moaning at Jaqen is not a “somber note” that we need to take seriously, it’s coming from jealousy, setting up for some conflict with her later on, aka probably her ticket out of there. I think you really read the scene incorrectly. Jaqen is apathetic to the success of her mission, but the Waif is fuming that Arya’s getting this privilege after such a short time. It’s definitely not about whether Arya can pull it off or a moral question – it’s about the Waif feeling replaced, playing second fiddle.

      About you assessing Sansa’s emotional state and motivations. I’m bring up the fact that you used “her uterus was triggered” in a previous argument to show your understanding of the logic of women. You haven’t got a clue.

      Sansa’s in need of hope and motivation, a hand reaching out. Stinky comes in again and rejects answering to her again, refusing to give her hope or a fair answer in any case. This would frustrate anybody, especially somebody who’s looking for the exact opposite of that. She’s asking why? Why won’t she answer him. He says he can’t. She becomes desparate and begs again why?! Still hoping that behind Reek, there’s a bit of a person that can give her some glimmer of hope, but instead he gives her nothing at all, but keeps on refusing and denying her plight, to which she finally kicks off as a spiteful girl, rightfully so. She wasn’t rebounding prior to Theon divulging the Rickon/Bran-info. She was simply frustrated about being denied in every way possible, and putting up a facade to hide her tormentedness, similar to when she stabbed at Myranda, but cried afterwards as well.

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    268. Greatjon of Slumber: I guess it’s unclear if the WW can swim. I’d venture to say the wights probably cannot swim all that well.

      I am sure they can all swim, but I’m also pretty sure you can’t catch a boat while swimming, not when you have most likely clothes on and a weapon in your hand.

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    269. Ser Oromis Locke

      Sean C was clearly being sarcastic with the uterus comment. He thought the writers were going for a gender stereotype there.

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    270. LordDavos,

      Perhaps it wasn’t the most tactful way to say in some people’s view, but i get what he meant, seeing as the MTV interview goes there:

      “Of course, one of the elements that stood out the most story-wise was Karsi, a Wildling warrior woman (played by “Pitch Perfect 2″ star Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) who managed to show up in the battle’s first act, steal viewers’ hearts with her headstrong determination and courage, then break said hearts when she was eaten by a gaggle of dead children. According to Sapochnik, this unforgettable scene almost never came to pass — because Karsi was initially a man.

      “She was a guy originally, and then somewhere in the process we thought it might be cool if she were a mother, and show her sending off her own kids to make that moment with the corpse children really resonate emotionally,” Sapochnik explained.”

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    271. What did you tap into in that final moment when those creepy zombie children took her down?

      Well a lot of credit to the script there for planting the children theme earlier. I think it’s pretty clear that she could cut down any man but that she’s incapable of thinking of defending herself against those kids. I think it was pretty easy to tap into that. – Birgitte

      http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/06/birgitte-hjort-sorenson-game-of-thrones-wildling-undead?mbid=social_twitter

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    272. Jeff O’Connor: Excellent list. You included 3×04, which makes me very happy because my best friend and I both harbor a love for that episode that seems to run far deeper than the bulk of the fandom. It’s like damn, it’s not even the final sequence. It’s the final sequence on top of the perfectly-shot mutiny directly preceding it.

      I’ll go ahead and post my top 10, I suppose.

      In special edition countdown order, because I’m weird.

      10. Two Swords
      09. First of His Name (pretty dark-horse pick, it seems)
      08. Valar Morgulis (also a pretty dark-horse pick, it seems)
      07. Baelor
      06. The Rains of Castamere
      05. Hardhome
      04. The Lion and the Rose
      03. Blackwater
      02. And Now His Watch Is Ended
      01. The Watchers on the Wall

      For the record, #11-15 are all stacked with glaring exceptions. (And one or two further Season 5 considerations, too, so it’s not like I wasn’t at least a fair bit satisfied with 2015’s offerings before last night.) It’s a damned good show when a full third of episodes aired thus far elicit a stunned response from me and the generous awarding of the proverbial “four stars”.

      That’s a really nice list. And I like some of your lesser-known ones in the top 10. It’s hard for me to exclude the ones I included, in part because GOT, while being great at small moments, generally kicks ass at Big moments too. In a way, maybe it’s more interesting to do a top 10 list of GOT episodes excluding all #9 eps so for me that would right now look like this:

      1. Fire & Blood
      2. Hardhome
      3. And Now His Watch Is Ended
      4. The Lion & The Rose
      5. Kissed by Fire
      6. The Gift
      7. A Golden Crown
      8. The Laws of Gods and Men
      9. What Is Dead May Never Die
      10. Valar Morghulis

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    273. Bub1023: Absolutely, and for all we know, they could be kids that she knows from her village. Seeing those children really got to Karsi and it was executed very well IMHO.

      I thought they were relatives…. and that’s why it hit.. wasn’t til folks here called them children that I thought of them that way… She’s a comparatively slight person so I figured the skinny’s were relatives

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    274. Aah, the classic dilemma though – what would you do with Jon for three full episodes? All of the stuff from the finale would be thin stretched over three episodes and you wouldn’t have the Wall buildup from ep7 or ep8 because you would have already had the battle. So you’d have to cut those scenes. Not to mention all of the other things that would have to be shifted and/or cut.

      I also often catch myself thinking they should have done this or that differently (especially when it comes to pacing or plotting) but I think people don’t appreciate just how complex a balancing act D&D are pulling off every single season. This stuff isn’t always about what works best artistically. Often things have to be put in a certain order just to make sense. I frankly can’t believe they’ve been able to do it, even GRRM has been quoted numerous times saying it couldn’t be done.
      Mr Fixit,

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    275. Pigeon

      Personally I agree with what posters have said that it worked in the context that the character was a mother and had just put her kids on the boat. I thought that the character was appealing because she came across as believeable.
      I just find it a bit annoying when posters feel they have to insult people they disagree with.

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    276. LordDavos,

      Definitely agree, especially since no one is ever going to be of one opinion with a show this vast.

      Really wish we would have had more time with Karsi, but in the time she did have, she was amazing.

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    277. Pigeon

      I suppose there was extra impact in having such a short, intense character story. I much preferred her to Val in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    278. DiggertyDough,

      In this instance, Stannis arrives at the beginning of 4×08, making that episode longer then usual instead of the finale. Then you have the option of either including other finale scenes in that episode, leaving the Wall out of 4×09 and 4×10 (just like Sansa and Theon). Or you could move the burning of the black brothers, Ygritte, and Jon’s convo with Tormund to 4×09, again leaving them out of the finale. In my opinion, these are reasonable options.

      Note that I don’t have too big a problem with how things turned out in Season 4. I still think it’s tied with S1 as the best season. This is just me speculating on how to make things better still.

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    279. Is there a difference between
      – the fast moving skeletons
      – the slow zombies
      – the two nights watchmen in season 1
      I am a bit confused with the fact that those two night’s watchman came back alive after they have been at castle black for a while because there were no WW to resurrect them.

      I can assume that the slow zombies are corpses that have only been recently resurrected and the fast moving skeletons are under the spell of the WW for a longer time but those two wights from season 1 confuse me now that I think of it.

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    280. I’m days behind so I’m not going to read all the comments, will skip over to the post mortem, but just want to say Thank you for another stellar recap Sue, and holy shit this was a good one! Best episode of the season by far!
      To everyone who thought Edd would turn against Jon I say NO- look at how clutch he was in battle! Three cheers for Dolorous Edd!

      After what Edd has seen now there is no way he would participate in FTW!

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    281. Uberstellar:
      Sean C.,

      I think it was more that they had recognized that the audience formed a connection with the character easily and wanted a sucker punch death, while being kind of oblivious to the sexist overtones. If that makes sense? Like, it’s definitely a stereotype but I don’t think they recognized that their thought process there was influenced by the stereotype. You know what I wished? I mean, the whole series touts itself for twisting audience expectations and going against cliche- the minute that mom told her daughters ‘I’m right behind you’ my husband and I simultaneously said outloud ‘so she’s gonna die.’ How about if that angry Thenn had been the one shocked and stopped by the sight of the kid zombies and mom made it out by whatever miracle helped Edd live? That’d be a different mix, and we’d get another wildling woman at the wall with Gilly.

      See how easy it is to rewrite without the stereotype? Or make Karsi see her sister, her brother, an old uncle to the boat….I totally agree with you about the need to subvert the cliche.

      Moreover I don’t think there’s anything wrong with these observations by Sean C and others that the wildling woman hewed to a gender stereotype. The actress in her interview even said this – that the writers/producers wanted to make it about her and children to make the emotional reaction of her death stronger! So, we’re not just making shit up here.

      Comments section is for comments, people! Even for, and maybe especially for, those who may disagree with us.

      PS Loved the episode to bits!! Minus a point for NO GIANT KILLER PENGUINS, though.

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    282. I too let out a few laughs when Wun Wun asked Edd what he was looking at. Glad they both survived.

      Can’t lie, when Wun Wun was making his way into the water and everyone in the boat was looking up at him, I was like, oh great he’s going to pass out and knock the boat with Jon over.

      But really, what an amazing episode. This might replace WOTW as my favorite episode.

      Kit totally nailed it too this episode, “I’m not asking you to forget your dead!”, that line gave me chills, and when he drew Longclaw and called the Nights Watch with him, chills.

      Episode 9 will probably break the internet.

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    283. I just found you fuckers!

      Anyway, sorry if someone mentioned this already, but about the whole White Walkers not-walking into the ocean…

      I wondered about this a few times whilst reading the books, as one end of the Wall terminates at the sea. What was to stop the Others from just going around the Wall to conquer the South? Either the magic imbued in the Wall permeates beyond it (unlikely, imo, as I seem to remember the book saying specifically that spells were enchanted into the ice of the Wall itself), or Walkers and wights cannot cross it for whatever weakness there may be. Unless it’s frozen, I guess.

      Yes? No? WTF?
      I missed you sons-a-whores!

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    284. chameleon:
      PS Loved the episode to bits!!Minus a point for NO GIANT KILLER PENGUINS, though.

      We woz robbed! 🙁 I’ve only seen the episode once so far but I looked out for the shot of Jon pulling the “oh fuuuuuuck!” face – which was what started the speculation in the first place – and I think it might be when he’s looking at Wun-Wun doing his wight stomping thing. So he was looking at a giant, who was killing things. I was two thirds right then, yay! 😉

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    285. Daniellica,

      Maybe they’re so cold the water freezes around them, forming an icy prison, and they drift around the sea forever in a big iceberg that can never thaw. Next time I see an iceberg, I’m going to imagine a white walker frozen in the middle of it.

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    286. Just a wild thought that came to mind while watching video recaps and reading the excellent comments here:

      What if people need to go to back to Valeryia to search for the secret to forging valeryian steel or to get more dragon glass or

      perhaps recover that Dragon horn that’s apparently mentioned in the books?

      What if Jorah’s dragonscale affliction – if eventually more advanced – makes the Stonemen no longer see him as a KOS threat? Wouldn’t that be an asset (while still being perilous since he’d also be having to hold on to his own sanity) for a quest party?

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    287. Regarding Arya’s tactics:

      anyone else think she’ll use the poison on the oysters instead of the coin? The show has set her up as an oyster vendor, not a cutpurse.

        Quote  Reply

    288. Ser Hodor Halfmast,

      Valyrian steel is forged with human sacrifice and Dragon flame. I believe it holds some of the magic from the dragons fire and that is why it is effective against the Others.

        Quote  Reply

    289. I guess I´m one of the few who wasn`t overly impressed by this last episode…
      While the action sequences and the VFX were outstanding and took the whole thing to a new level in television, some things were lacking in my opinion. I thought the scenes from the southern storylines and across the narrow sea were outstanding but i think the north could have done better. While a lot of scenes feel rushed in my opinion ( for example the scene with Theon confessing to Sansa >> where was the development? Reeks decision to suddenly come clean was not comprehensible to me) they use a lot of screen time for bombastic action scenes and fighting sequences. Don´t get me wrong i loved most of it but some of them were just too cliche. The wildling lady was the game of thrones version of just another “hes dead jim” character. The oldest trick in the world for a television series. Show a character.. make the audience like her, empathise with her because she has children etc. kill him off and all that in one episode. I must confess i expect more than that from this show. More than just transferring what everybody has seen a hundred times before to the world of Westeros. What makes the books of Martin so great is that they try to avoid this narrative cliches and stereotypes and try to tell a believeable and unique story.

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    290. Uberstellar,

      I really don’t think it’s a matter of stereotypes. Warrior or not, she’s a mother who’s terrified for the lives of her own children. No doubt her deepest fear is that they’ll be killed and transformed into these undead things. And then, out of nowhere, she’s confronted with her worst fear; dead, walking, rotting children. She freezes up in shock, horror and despair. It doesn’t make her some “weak, fragile female.” It just makes her human.

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    291. Sue the Fury,

      She could have recognized a child as a friend of her kids, or one could have been one of hers that she lost or a relative. Hard to tell from a few seconds… I might have froze too in that instance, but maybe not crossed my arms and laid down.

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    292. IMO Karsi didn’t just cross her arms and lie down. That makes it sound like she just gave up.

      She made a warding off gesture just as she was bowled over by the kids swarming at her. She was too shocked to run and too horrified to do anything but raise her arms in abject terror. You see it a lot in films and TV when someone is about to die (in a sudden accident or violent murder etc), they instinctively cross their arms as if trying to shield themselves from the inevitable impact/blow etc.

        Quote  Reply

    293. HBOsWail:
      Hi book readers, non BR’er here.

      just wondered, can someone tell me how this season was adapted so far? based on what i heard of the size of the books 4 & 5, i figured we’d get maybe half of each, but it seems from what i’m reading, A Dance With Dragons biggest events are being adapted into this season – which makes me assume the ending or big events of AFFC is as well. Does this mean that D&D adapted both books entirely into 1 single season? Thats pretty impressive despite making cuts.

      Some subplots from Books 4 and 5 have been cut completely. That saves a lot of space. Others have been combined neatly: for example, rather than “Most of [the wildlings] are at Hardhome” there’s a fair amount of wildlings near Castle Black as well. And others have been combined non-neatly.

      Many characters who are aloneish, like Daenerys (who obviously has never had another major character to interact with until last episode) or Cersei and Tyrion, who previously had many family members around to interact with, spend a lot of time mulling on their situations and interacting with very minor characters before their real plot happens. This is easily cut.

      Oh, and there’s diarrhoea. (seriously).

        Quote  Reply

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