Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 9 – The Dance of Dragons – Recap

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Tonight’s Game of Thrones episode was equal parts heartbreaking and uplifting, in the most literal senses. Was “The Dance of Dragons” everything you expected?

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!

Melisandre

Ramsay’s hinted-at plans for Stannis and his snowed-in camp take effect quickly in this week’s opening scene. His army’s food stores go up in flames, along with weapons and a horse while Melisandre stares dumbly. (Any reason you didn’t see this coming, Red?)

Stannis is still determined to press forward, not back but onward. These conversations are starting to remind me of Kodos in disguise as Bill Clinton on The Simpsons– “We must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!”

Stannis has the horses butchered because he’s thrifty and we know that historically he has no problem eating just about dead anything.

2
Jon and the wildlings arrive back at the Wall. Alliser Thorne psychs them out for a minute with his glowering but of course he opens the gate for them. Jon is bummed out that so many died at Hardhome but Sam reminds him of the many people he’s saved. The Night’s Watch aren’t grateful though- especially Olly with another pointed dirty look.

Surprisingly, Alliser Thorne does tell Jon he has a good heart- only to add, “It’ll get us all killed.”

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Stannis is mulling over his predicament. He summons Davos and sends him off a mission to deliver a message to Night’s Watch, asking for help. It’s a little fishy, because as Davos points out, anyone could deliver this, but Stannis insists he needs his Hand to do it. Davos tries to bring Shireen with him, but Stannis isn’t having it.

I…don’t like the way this is going.

Before departing, the Onion Knight visits the princess and she shares with him the book she’s reading, The Dance of the Dragons. He gives her a gift, a toy stag. He promises to make a doe to match it, and he says he wants to hear the story of the dance of dragons when he gets back. (Well shit- we know how these “When I get back” things always work out on Game of Thrones.)

Jaime is invited to a tense tea with his future in-laws at the Water Gardens. Doran makes it clear he doesn’t want war; Ellaria conveys her feelings concisely by dumping her drink on the ground rather than toast Tommen. Doran agrees to send Myrcella back to King’s Landing, and Prince Trystane will go with her- as long as they agree to let Trystane take Oberyn’s seat on the Small Council. Ellaria flounces out of the meeting.

Bronn is permitted out of his jail cell (while the Sand Snakes play slapping games to amuse themselves) on Trystane’s decision. They have Hotah clock him one as his punishment. (Come on, Trys, you could’ve at least done it yourself. Lame.)

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In Braavos, Lanna the oyster-seller (aka Arya aka No-One) sees her opportunity to assassinate the Thin Man with poison, but is distracted by the arrival of a diplomat- Mace Tyrell of Westeros, welcomed by the Iron Banker Tycho Nestoris. Right behind them is the guard, Ser Meryn Trant.

Arya’s inner Kill Bill sirens immediately start blaring, and she follows them through the streets. Eventually Trant separates from the foolish Tyrell and visits a brothel, with Arya following close behind. Inside Trant is looking for a woman for the night- actually a girl as it turns out, as he likes them very, very young. (As if we needed more reasons to want him dead.) Arya sees him go off with the young girl before they kick her out of the brothel.

Back at the House of Black and White, Arya tells Jaqen she was unable to kill the Thin Man that day because he wasn’t hungry, neglecting to tell him any of the other details. It’s not clear if Jaqen buys it or not.

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In Dorne, Doran demands Ellaria’s allegiance or she will die. Tearfully she kisses his ring as the Sand Snakes look on. Later, she visits Jaime as he writes a letter to Cersei. Ellaria indicates she’s aware of his feelings for Cersei, though not in so many words. She also says that she knows Myrcella and maybe him too had no part in Oberyn’s death.
In her tent, Shireen plays with her new toy, the stag dancing against the flames. Stannis visits her, looking troubled. She tells him about the story she’s reading, the war of the Targaryens in the Dance of Dragons.
Stannis talks about fulfilling his destiny and becoming who he is meant to be, and GOD STANNIS DON’T DO THIS. Shireen in her innocence offers to help him, and her father accepts her offer.

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Shireen walks through the snow now, led by guards, still holding her stag. She sees the stake on a bed of logs, and panics. Melisandre greets her and reassures it’ll be over soon, as the guards bind the princess to the stake. Stannis and Selyse appear, with Shireen’s mother trying to telling herself it’s what the Lord wants, her daughter’s death.

The girl cries out for help, shouting for her mother, and finally Selyse breaks as the torch lights the logs. She runs for the stake, trying to save Shireen for a moment, but the guards hold her back. She collapses on the ground, weeping as her daughter screams. Stannis watches and then can’t look anymore. Selyse wails as Shireen dies. Melisandre is calm throughout.

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At the great pit of Daznak, Daenerys and her crew have gathered to watch the gladiators fight. Tyrion, Daario and Missandei sit with her, and Hizdahr joins them after being suspiciously late. The games begin with a bloody match that does nothing to decrease Dany’s discomfort with the brutal games. Hizdahr, Dany and Tyrion debate the merits of these traditional games, and Tyrion observes that Tywin would’ve liked Hizdahr.

A melee of a match comes up next- six men in the ring, and one of them is revealed to be a Westerosi knight- yes, it’s that pirate-shirted dreamboat Ser Jorah Mormont. He dispatches his first opponent efficiently but his second one, a skilled swordsman, is much tougher. Daenerys hesitates to intervene even when Tyrion suggests she do so to save Jorah.

Another opponent saves Jorah from being taken out by the swordsman, and these two engage. They spar for a bit but ultimately Jorah emerges the victor. Peering up at the dais when Dany sits, he rips the spear from his fallen opponent and hurls it at the dais- killing someone behind her.

It’s a Son of the Harpy. They’ve chosen the chaotic Daznak’s Pit to make their next big attack. Suddenly the Sons of the Harpy are everywhere, slashing at people. Daario orders the soldiers to guard Daenerys. Shockingly, Hizdahr is stabbed and killed by the Sons. (Yes, he really is dead.)

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Jorah jumps onto the platform, and offers his hand to Daenerys. She takes his arm, and he leads her away. Tyrion saves Missandei from another Son. They jump down into the ring and try to make their way to the other side with a handful of Unsulllied, but they’re surrounded by a huge number of Sons of the Harpy.

There’s no way out. They can take out some of the Sons but there’s just too many of them. Daenerys sees the writing on the wall, and takes Missandei’s hand. The women look at each other, and then Dany closes her eyes, preparing to die.

And then there’s a cry. In the sky over the pit, Drogon has returned.

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He swoops into the pit, ripping apart and scorching Sons of the Harpy. They scatter and die. Spears pierce the dragon and he cries in pain. Drogon knocks away the people who try to get near him, everyone except for Daenerys. She approaches him carefully, and climbs atop him.

And Drogon takes flight.

Tyrion and the others watch in awe as Daenerys flies away on the back of her dragon.

dany and drogon

Highlights

Daznak’s Pit– WOW! Just wow. It’s tough to adapt such a huge moment from the novels, so people may nitpick it, but I felt this scene captured the right feel, the impact of Dany taking flight for the first time. The other moments- the fights, her seeming to forgive Jorah, Hizdahr’s death, all contributed to an exciting finish.

Speaking of Hizdahr: Let’s give it up for Joel Fry. He was never used quite enough as Hizdahr but I always loved him in the role. He’s got a nice spark of humor that was unexpected.

Stephen Dillane & Kerry Ingram: A terrible moment for Stannis but a great one for an actor. These two were both great.

Speaking of Stannis: People may think it’s not in character of Stannis to do this, but I disagree. It’s ugly to see, but Stannis has rarely been a very likable person. It’s one of the reasons why he’s a great character. The scenes are so sad  but very well done. Additionally: TWOW Spoilers

In the Inside the Episode for The Dance of Dragons, David Benioff actually says of Shireen burning, “When George first told us about this…”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfLScJVXBHQ So this is apparently a future book spoiler.

Vengeance is Coming: God, I just really want Arya to kill Trant a LOT. But a little build-up is good.

Little moments: Dorky singing Mace bugging Tycho, Daario tell Hizdahr to shut up, Doran getting fierce with Ellaria for a minute. And shout-out to the Daznak’s pit announcer- one of those 2-minute roles where I still noticed how good he was in all the stuff going on.

Hmmm

So about Dorne?: I did like the scene we had there tonight. I’m just wondering where the climax is. We’re in episode 9 and we still haven’t had a real peak in that storyline. I feel like we’re at about midseason down in Dorne which is a little puzzling, because this certainly isn’t midseason.  The pacing’s been off. I love Alexander Siddig though. More of him, please.

641 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I’m not really satisfied with how Dorne came out, it sort of fell flat on its face. So, unless Doran is planning something, the not-so-stealthy mission could’ve been entirely avoided just by asking politely. Also, it was sort of weird how Ellaria was all dickish and rude to Jaime during the lunch scene, but then she goes to chat with him as if nothing happened.
      “So hey, I know you’re in love with Cersei and that Myrcella is your daughter. In Dorne no one would’ve frowned upon that. Well, see ya!”.

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    2. Agreed on all points, but especially Dorne!

      I never expected Trystane to be the one going to King’s Landing to be on the Small Council… So that throws me off. I wonder if Ellaria will scheme to have him killed and/ or take out Doran. It seems a bit far-fethced, but that arc needs something for a finale moment. Jaime leaving with Bronn, Myrcella and Trsytane in tow does not do it….

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    3. lets be honest, shireen’s sacrifice was basically a time bomb waiting to explode, even in the books.
      i was seriously hoping Nym or Ellaria to go to kings landing rather than Trystane. what a waste of Dorne and Sand Snakes honestly.
      show Dorne is so fucking bland compared to book Dorne.

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    4. listen 2 ghost:
      “People may think it’s not in character of Stannis to do this, but I disagree. It’s ugly to see, but Stannis has rarely been a very likable person. It’s one of the reasons why he’s a great character. The scenes are so sadbut very well done. ”

      It was not in character, it was poorly done, and fuck you, this show, your mother, this website, and HBO I’m done with the lot of you.

      Please go and never come back. Thank you.

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    5. As I said in the other post, I think I’d put this in the middle of the pack as far as penultimate episodes go, with Castamere and Blackwater ahead, and Baelor and Watcher behind. Other than Ned losing his head, Baelor didn’t do much for me, and Watcher was a well executed episode that left me cold and meh. My issues here were more of a slow start. The Dorne stuff still makes no sense to me and seems to suffer still from too much slapstick. I like where Arya’s arc is going, I just wish it’d get there. The stuff with Stannis was really well done, but the climax was hard tough, and actually made me wonder briefly why I look forward to entering this world. It being the first major spoiler from WoW makes it interesting, but no less hard to watch (and judging by the Ep 10 preview, seems to have worked). Then the Daznak pit reaffirmed everything that distinguishes GoT from other shows: it just does so much more. It didn’t come close to topping Hardhome, but I don’t think that was the point: From the political bickering in the stands, to the gladiatorial fighting of Jorah, to the exhilaration of Drogon’s burning, and the touching realization from Dany that her dragon will stand there and die by spears instead of leaving her behind, encapsulated the crazy, often brutal, magic of this show.

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    6. I will say this. The Shireen scene was the first time I’ve ever seen my wife cry while watching “Game of Thrones.” Ned’s beheading? The Red Wedding? Oberyn’s Watermelon Head? Not a single tear during these scenes, but Shireen brought out the waterworks.

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    7. WOW!

      That’s It 🙂

      One thing though… when Trant kept demanding a younger prostitute, I thought Arya was going to change and offer herself and though O God… “She” was the one in the Season 5 trailer, looking seductive with the back of some guy’s head in the foreground.
      How did we not see that??? lol

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    8. Zeus:
      Book Stannis would not have done that.The producers don’t like him. Fan fiction

      Yes, it’s a conspiracy. At this very moment, D&D are twirling their moustaches, with cats on their laps, enjoying themselves with all the whining in internet boards. The rascals.

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    9. Zeus:
      Book Stannis would not have done that.The producers don’t like him. Fan fiction

      And yet it was some random guy who suggested that they burn Shireen. And D&D were dumb enough to listen to that Fan Fiction author. They say he has written a lot of fan fiction. 5 books so far….

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    10. God it was horrible and I need brain bleach to process it in my head. However, Stannis and Mel still remain favorite characters and I’m still rooting for them. They’ve never NOT been problematic faves.

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    11. Well, maybe the Sons of the Harpy are the real answer from Yunkai to Daenerys in the TV Show Universe. So, will we see the Battle of Meereen next season? It’s seem that we will see

      dothraki

      at the end of this season.

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    12. So, that 2nd fighting pit scene was SO GOOD btw. There were six fighters, each representing a different culture / style.

      Westerosi knight – Ser Jorah of course
      Mereenese champion – spear guy
      Bravo or water dancer – sword guy
      Dothraki – braid and blue paint
      Mereense pit fighter – had helmet, shield no other armor
      Final guy – don’t remember, anyone?

      Anyway I want say it was the best fight in the show so far.

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    13. Queenofthrones,

      He was the show’s version of a Bearded Priest of Norvos.. (Or if Hotah is not a BPoN on the show whatever he is….) He looked almost just like Areo Hotah and used the same pole axe.

      I was trying to figure out who the shirtless Viking-looking dude was…
      Meereenese pit fighter? Okay, I’ll go with that XD

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    14. Stannis is not right!

      Poor, sweet Shireen. May she dance in seven heavens with all of her favorite characters from her books. Stannis, I get it. You think you have to save the world, and that you are the chosen one. But this…I hope he has to live with the realization that this didn’t save the world or himself. And Mel, you stay away from Jon! Bloodraven will handle things.

      Dorne is really disappointing. What is the point of including the SS? Trystane is going to be on the small council now? Doran has no plan, it seems. What a waste.

      I thought the cgi was fine with Drogon, but scene was a mess. The whole SOTH plot has been basically a generic foil for Dany. So, are we to assume all of the SOTH were killed? How else could Tyrion and company survive?

      Overall, the episode was decent, but nowhere near as good as previous episode nines.

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    15. The Bastard: And yet it was some random guy who suggested that they burn Shireen.And D&D were dumb enough to listen to that Fan Fiction author.They say he has written a lot of fan fiction.5 books so far….

      Winner.

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    16. Stannis is the one true king and actually decent man. Davos is his right hand man and possibly the best human in the series. Enjoy your fan fic

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    17. Dorne fell flat to me again. Ellaria being pissy to Doran the whole time, and then all of a sudden kneeling to him? I didn’t buy it. And that conversation with Jaime really seemed to end strangely. It just stopped. Those were low points for me. Which is sad, because I love all of the actors involved.

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    18. Funny if that is a future book spoiler, since everyone is complaining about it being out of character for Stannis. I hated him until I saw Stephen Dilane’s portrayal, which show Stannis is someone you can root for a lot more than book Stannis.

      But they nailed Daznak’s pit. Every bit as epic from the books. AND THAT SOUNDTRACK — DAMN.

      I’m a little urked that Mel won’t be at the wall in episode 10.

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    19. that line from Inside the Episode, I don’t know. They don’t DIRECTLY say anything, just “when George told us about this…..” I just don’t see how this could happen considering where everyone is in the books, and with the Dance cliffhanger, when is it gonna happen.

      Part of me is thinking D&D are either wrong, or the discussion was edited for the inside segment. It just doesn’t make sense, not even from a character standpoint, but just from a where everyone is in the story. There really doesn’t seem to be time for this to happen.

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    20. Darquemode:
      Queenofthrones,

      He was th e show’s version of a Bearded Priest of Norvos.. He looked almost just like Areo Hotah and used the same pole axe.

      I was trying to figure out who the shirtless Viking-looking dude was…
      Meereenese pit fighter? Okay, I’ll go with that XD

      Good call! I really loved the book nods there. Sword guy fought just like syrio. Indeed, he beat a knight (albeit a lightly armored one)!

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    21. I’m guessing listen 2 ghost just took “Winds of Winter” off his pre-order list?

      Much like Sansa’s wedding night, Shireen’s stake was foreshadowed heavily, and didn’t really surprise me.

      1) There’s a reason why no one in King’s Landing wanted Stannis to be king, up to and preferring his younger brother despite Stannis having a better claim.

      2) Stannis has shown to be more than willing to sacrifice family members to become the king, which he sees as his rightful duty. See: Renly, Gendry/Elric Storm, and now Shireen.

      3) Why bring Shireen to Castle Black in the first place? For this.

      4) Last season, the Red Witch told Stannis’s wife that Shireen had a purpose. This was her purpose.

      5) That heart-warming scene between Stannis and Shireen early on in this season, all a set up to make this episode that much more devastating.

      6) Two episodes ago, the Red Witch dropped hints that Shireen needed to be sacrificed. And thus Chekov’s Burning Stake was set up, and the torch was lit.

      It was sad, it was shocking, but it was also inevitable. Kudos to the actress who played Shireen; she did a fabulous job in portraying Shireen’s innocence. And let’s be honest, “Stannis the Mannis” fanboys aside, Stannis was never somebody to cheer for. This is the guy who was okay with casually murdering his younger brother, and who was more than willing to orchestra Robb Stark’s death simply because he was an “usurper” (never mind the fact that Robb Stark wasn’t usurping Stannis … he was usurping Joffrey who had just beheaded Robb’s own father).

      Stannis has always been a dick, and this was the ultimate dick move.

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    22. If Mel and Selsye burn Shireen without Stannis’ knowledge in TWOW would it still be good characterization ?

      Or how about

      “you will avenge my death, and seat my daughter on the Iron Throne. Or die in the attempt.”

      It was out of character.

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    23. also is

      jon gonna get stabbed in episode 10? Mel’s not at the wall, doesn’t seem like she will be. Unless Jon can warg until she gets there and heals his body, or Martin has another way to bring him back, or Jon’s really in fact dead

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    24. NO! JUST NO!!!

      Stannis is an arse, a stoic and lawful man, not a good one and not a bad one.
      But for fucks sake, Shireen is his only daughter and only child. This series has made an effort to point out that he loves her, awkward as he is. She is literally the only person in the world that he loves.

      But even if not, she is his only fucking heir. Stannis’ entire motivation is to wrestle control of Westeros back into the hands of the true Baratheon family. Not out of greed but because he thinks that is what is right.
      In the books, he ordered his men to continue fighting for Shireen to take the throne, if he died in the war. He doesn’t care about his own life, only his cause. That of the Baratheon family. What the fuck is he fighting for if his only heir is dead?!

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    25. Phil:
      that line from Inside the Episode, I don’t know.They don’t DIRECTLY say anything, just “when George told us about this…..” I just don’t see how this could happen considering where everyone is in the books, and with the Dance cliffhanger, when is it gonna happen.

      Part of me is thinking D&D are either wrong, or the discussion was edited for the inside segment.It just doesn’t make sense, not even from a character standpoint, but just from a where everyone is in the story.There really doesn’t seem to be time for this to happen.

      It is getting old quick when people keep on doubting the few people who know the story’s ending.

      I wouldn’t be shocked if they have even read the majority of TWOW that GRRM has finished.

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    26. I keep thinking about what the reaction would have been like after the Red Wedding if the show had come out first.

      Yes, it was horrible. Yes, the show is unremittingly bleak and increasingly hopeless. But so is the source material. GRRM is just as much to blame for the type of story this is.

      Having said that, I am not enjoying it as much as I used to. That was also the same in the later books however. The story needs to throw us a bone and smite someone who deserves it for once (Ramsay by preference…)

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    27. It will definitely be weird if there’s no more Dorne scenes in E10, given things were left hanging completely, and not in a “ooh a cliffhanger see what happens next year” kind of way, but more of a “there feels like another Dorne scene is coming up after the commercial break” kind of way. And totally agree this felt like it belonged in Episode 7 or so, not 9.

      And it as usual feels like there is waaaay too much left to wrap up in one episode.

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    28. so is anyone worried about watching the next episode in fear of being spoiled.
      Hizdar died, so does this confirm that he didnt actually try to poison Dany, it was the Shavepate all along.
      Battle of winterfell is probably happening next episode, and i dont want to watch but i also want to watch. maybe we’ll find out who wrote the pink letter??

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    29. robb17,

      D&D are a pair of Misogynists, notice how they remove the importance of the Dornish power structure, even replacing Nym with Trystane at the small council. In the books its the only place where women can rule over men, god forbid.

      Stannis is bad, caring only for what he believes is his right. But most medieval rulers were this way in real life, often sacrificing their children metaphorically speaking, to reach or maintain power.

      Draznak’s Pit was all that I had hoped for, amazing, and loved the Daario, Hizzy and Tyrion interplay, lightening up the scene, prior to the butchery. Now Dany’s 40 days and nights in the wastelands begins, and she leaves the others to survive the quagmire of Meereen.

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    30. Zeus:
      Book Stannis would not have done that.The producers don’t like him. Fan fiction

      Sure about that? When TWOW comes out we’ll see who stannis really is. It’s no secret he’s a pawn of R’hillor. His champion. That’s a FACT!!

      Old Gods/Children have Bran

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    31. I didn’t have a problem with the Shireen scene. Having said that, I want Stannis to die a horrible and painful death now.

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    32. The Bastard,

      I just don’t even know how Mel would convince Stannis to do it if she can only tell him by writing him a letter since she’s at the wall in the books. She’s there in person in the show, and we’ve seen how convincing she is when she’s in his presence, but without her actually being there, just doesn’t seem like a raven would do it.

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    33. robb17:
      so is anyone worried about watching the next episode in fear of being spoiled.
      Hizdar died, so does this confirm that he didnt actually try to poison Dany, it was the Shavepate all along.
      Battle of winterfell is probably happening next episode, and i dont want to watch but i also want to watch. maybe we’ll find out who wrote the pink letter??

      Stannis wrote The Pink letter. It is known!

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    34. Well I’ve never really been a fan of Stanis but this season had him growing on me. I knew they were gonna burn Sheerin but it didn’t make it any easier to watch. I can officially say I’m off his bandwagon. I found that scene way worse than the Sansa scene a few weeks back but either one would not make me stop watching the show. The Tristane to Kings Landing I found interesting. No idea where that’s going. And I agree with everyone else concerning the Sand Snakes. They just see so wasted and unimportant. I thought the Dany fighting pit scene was good. Drogon looked great. The CGI with Dany ridding him, not so much. Which was kinda a disappointment after the great special effects last week. The Hizdahr killing was def a shocker for me. I was almost positive he was the leader of the Harpy. So I wonder who it is? Or if it’s even important.all in all great episode. Def not better than hard home but solid. I can’t wait for next week. They have so many things to hit on

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    35. Phil,

      George was just trolling D&D. It won’t happen in the books. Stannis would let the world end before burning his daughter. He doesn’t believe in this Rh’llor nonsense anyway.

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    36. Stannis is a kinslayer and he’ll pay for it. He should have known. The bad you do doesn’t erase the good, nor does the good erase the bad.

      And Dany… How could someone call that pity excuse for a ruler bad ass? She just ran to safety and left Tyrion and Miss Sunday behind. Twice. Jerk.

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    37. Make sure my daughter sits the throne. Yup totally going to happen in the books. I get why people hate stannis and I obviously get why people love him. But that’s out of fucking character. Good episode overall but that was not the correct other

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    38. The episode was great! Though Hardhome still tops it in my opinion.

      Dorne was okay this season, it’s probably the least liked part of the whole series, but it’s still better than most off what we’re offered with on TV to begin with.

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    39. Phil:
      The Bastard,

      I just don’t even know how Mel would convince Stannis to do it if she can only tell him by writing him a letter since she’s at the wall in the books.She’s there in person in the show, and we’ve seen how convincing she is when she’s in his presence, but without her actually being there, just doesn’t seem like a raven would do it.

      And yet it will happen in the books.

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    40. I’m out off team Dragonstone… This ist not the one true king!

      as shocking as this moment was, the flight of Drogon made it up for me! Really loved that scene… Coming in just like a flying torch, roasting some Harpy (Dragons ARE weapons!) and leaving with Dany… Great!

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    41. I though the last scene was pretty well done. There was some cheesy CGI and crowd shots but overall the right feeling of dread and relief was there.

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    42. Phil,

      Jon is not dead.He still has a part to play, in the war to come.No way.He will warg into Ghost for sure.No other choice.

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    43. Come on, Sue.
      Stannis would NEVER had given his daughter and heir to the flames. Never. Nor in the books, nor in the show, because it doesn’t make any sense!!! Why have that scene together in ep4? Why have him reject Mel`s proposal in ep7? So now he changes his mind just because he is out of supplies or because he hopes the ice will go?

      He was STARTING to be a likable character. All efforts gone. Now people will cheer for Brienne or even the Boltons, seven save us.

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    44. R’hllor is the Devil and Stannis is the Antichrist.

      At this point I’m willing to believe the White Walkers are the good guys.

      I’m going to go back to crying now.

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    45. Oh and I don’t think GRRM just said to them “look, why don’t you have Shireen killed by his father? It will be a great shock!” .
      I think he just told them that she was going to be burned by Mel in TWOW and they decided to do the scene the way they wanted to. Even if it destroyed Stannis character.

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    46. I felt nothing for the second half of the episode. Even when Drogon did his thing, which would normally have me quite exhilarated, nothing. Shireen being burnt alive left me emotionally drained.

      I hope Night’s King gives Stannis a big, wet kiss.

      Pretty bad when Selyse The Zealot is the only decent person in the whole scene.

      I pity Davos when he returns to find nothing but a charred stag toy.

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    47. The death of Shireen-

      I’m not posting this to take sides in any debate, that will obviously explode all over the internet over this. I’m making no judgment on D&D, GRRM, or anyone else, as to the merits of it all in the storytelling process.

      But for me, personally… I just don’t know if I can handle anything that horrific, and tune in next week, not knowing if something like that could happen again! Trust me, I am the last person who would ever expect to find themselves in this situation. It’s NEVER happened before- that a scene in a TV show, or a film, left me this devastated.

      My whole group that watches every week with me, had to pause- have a few beers, before returning to the rest of the show. And the rest of the show… was fucking brilliant! Because we watched it while still reeling from earlier, it really did interfere with enjoying the end the way we would have.

      I have been looking forward to Dany and Drogon taking flight all season, but it was completely overshadowed by that horror.

      Maybe I’ll feel different later, but holy hell, do I need step back for a few days.

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    48. Any one else wonder if Davos will be able to stand by Stannis after this? I don’t see him taking this very well at all.

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    49. This episode blew me away….really like it….anyway the big moment for me was Dany flying off on Drogon..I think the show did a fantastic job of capturing this moment from the books,to think how far we’ve come,from A Baby Drogon perching on Danys shoulder to this mind blowing scene.As far as the Stannis and Shireen scene,I wish I could say I was shocked by it, but I can’t.I think Stannis has always come across to me as a fanatic I hated him in the books and now I despise him in the show..for those saying this was out of his character,I would protest that,he had no problem killing Renley to get his bannermen,he had no problem killing his brother and sister in law(and many more in the books!)because they would not stop worshiping the seven,…so for me it was only a matter of time before I figured he would do this in the books,..when Melisandre suggested they burn Shireen I knew her days were numbered

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    50. That Melisandre wasn’t sent back to the Wall was the most shocking thing for me.

      So

      with Davos there, it seems like he’ll witness FTW. Does he bring Jon’s body back to Stannis’ camp, and that’s where Melisandre resurrects him? But that’ll be a multiple days journey… It’s very possible that Jon will really be dead after FTW.

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    51. TheMannisthatRides,

      Stannis is totally a cool dude in the books, for sure. And what happened in the show makes no sense at all. How could we forget the moment when he wanted to burn Edric Storm alive? Not his son, but a child nonetheless.
      Good times.

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    52. TheMannisthatRides,

      Because Stannis is a desperate man. I get he does whatever it takes to survive but this is who he is and is why he is R’hllor’s champion.

      Now I’m starting to think Azor Ahai is not the same as The Prince that was promised of the true Hero.

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    53. I loved the scenes between Doran and Ellaria, specifically him telling her in no uncertain terms that she is all outta strikes.

      Poor dear Shireen. I disagree that Stannis didn’t care. ‘Forgive me.’ Will very much miss Kerri Ingram, and her scene with Davos broke my heart.

      Alliser showing a little humanity again. Yay! For effs’ sakes, quit with the fucking Ollie snark. We get it, already.

      My highlight – my dear Jorah. I figured he’d be a curtain call tonight. Iain Glen is just so good.

      One other little moment I liked – Dany reaching for Missandei’s hand. Because in the end, we don’t want to be alone.

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    54. Going against the Crowd, but I thought Episode 9 topped last week’s.

      Thought Hardhome was excellant but the Daznak’s Pit scenes were quite literally Awesome!!!
      So many charcters I love involved, some many possible deaths, so much tension and touching moments (Dany taking Jorahs hand)
      … and then … Drogon Arrives!

      Never seen the like on a TV show and right now, can’t think of any Film that beats that scene.

      It is Most Definately my favourite episode!!! 🙂

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    55. The Family Name:
      R’hllor is the Devil and Stannis is the Antichrist.

      At this point I’m willing to believe the White Walkers are the good guys.

      I’m going to go back to crying now.

      The Children of the forest are the good guys. It is known!

        Quote  Reply

    56. Sword of the Morning,

      He will be witness to it.That is basically show version of Pink Letter.It’s a interesting change. I just fear that hey will leave Jon’s fate on cliffhanger like in the books.He will be stabbed and his will turn white.He will warg into Ghost.It would feel out of nowhere, since it wasn’t properly established,but who cares, right.

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    57. Phil:
      that line from Inside the Episode, I don’t know.They don’t DIRECTLY say anything, just “when George told us about this…..” I just don’t see how this could happen considering where everyone is in the books, and with the Dance cliffhanger, when is it gonna happen.

      Part of me is thinking D&D are either wrong, or the discussion was edited for the inside segment.It just doesn’t make sense, not even from a character standpoint, but just from a where everyone is in the story.There really doesn’t seem to be time for this to happen.

      Denial is not just a river in Egypt, it seems.

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    58. I am pleasantly surprised to find that most early press reviews has been positive for this episode. Contrary to what happened with Sansagate, most critics have coincided in pointing out that Shireen scene was really moving but meaningful (to plot and characters alike). I was fully expecting a huge press backlash like three weeks ago, but so far it has been mostly the usual suspects (you know them) complaining about everything, again…

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    59. I loved and hated this episode all at once. I cried for Shireen and Selyse and then teared up over and over in Mereen: Dany and Jorah’s touch, Dany reaching for Missandei’s hand and Dany touching Drogon and riding away. Such beautiful moments after such horror.

      I enjoyed the moments of humour too: the banter before the fighting and especially Jaime slut shaming his daughter, reminded me of Cersai’s cutting remarks about Margery’s sense of style 😉

      And the interior decorating in Dorne is on point! Stunning! Everything and everyone so colour coordinated.

      Fantastic episode and so looking forward to next week!

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    60. I pretty much liked the entire episode. Even Dorne – which I think is very long game, with Doran playing the Lannisters with ease, now that Tywin is gone. Tywin would’ve been the only worthwhile intellectual opponent to Doran. No one else. Ellaria has now been clued into the game.

      hexonx: I didn’t have a problem with the Shireen scene. Having said that, I want Stannis to die a horrible and painful death now.

      The more painful and more horrible, the better. Also, I want it next Sunday. I just cannot wait for the next season. Shireen’s fate was telegraphed from last season and that Selyse-Mel scene. It was inevitable. Even then, some instinct probably told Selyse not to take Shireen with them. It will be interesting going back to those scenes now.

      Arthur: Dany finally did what she was always meant to do…

      Be a Dragon Rider…..

      As she flew away, I kept thinking Dragonlord! Drogon would have stood there and be killed rather than leave Mom and get away. It was great to see Daeny recognize that and jump in to save her “son”.

      Now what about Viserion and Rhaegal?

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    61. Anybody else find the Daznak stuff underwhelming? I think it was the weird CGI when she mounted Drogon that threw me off. It looked clunky and very jarring in some shots. I also prefer Drogon showing up first and causing all the chaos, not these harpy mooks again.

      Hardhome was handled better. Which is ironic, cause this is what most us were looking forward to.

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    62. Josh L.:Much like Sansa’s wedding night, Shireen’s stake was foreshadowed heavily, and didn’t really surprise me.

      It’s precisely because Shireen’s immolation was so heavily-foreshadowed that I thought something would stop it from happening. That kind of “evidence orgy” seems exactly like the kind of misdirect the show would use.

      “You think we’re going in this direction but, wait, we’re actually doing this!”

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    63. Oh yeah, Dany and Tryion’s facial expressions when Jorah was in the ring were amazing.
      Also Tyrion saving Missandei, and the brief Dany and Jorah and Dany and Drogon bonding moments…so good.

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    64. I’m not at all surprised that Stannis would make a utilitarian decision between his daughter and everyone else. That said, I hope he comes to pay for his decision before his end.

      As a side note: from a philosophical perspective I find a few of these responses interesting. Many people have been confronted with the same scenario, literally and hypothetically, sacrificing one (your child) for the good of many. Obviously there are no winners when faced with an impossible moral dilemma, such as this.

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    65. There’s been speculation for years over at Westeros that Mel would burn Shireen. That there were hints in the books that this could happen combined with the revelation from the inside the episode should shut up the purists. But I know it won’t. It’ll likely go down differently in TWOW, but to whine about D&D committing character assassination is just dumb.

      I feel conflicted because on the one hand, I’m pretty excited to get a major book spoiler for the second episode in a row. On the other hand, this is easily in the top five most horrifying things to have happened in the story. Shireen and Tommen have always brought out the dormant motherly instinct in me. Kerry Ingram was fantastic at just ripping my heart out. I have a feeling Tommen is not long for this world either.

      This might be the darkest season yet. I didn’t feel that as much reading the books because they were much more slowly paced.

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    66. Nero Martell,

      That’s my question, what is Devos going to do?

      Even Stannis had enough sense to know to send Devos away before he pulled that shit because it would never float with Devos.

      We all know in the books Stannis sends Devos out on a search mission for Rickon, maybe Stannis pulls this shit while Devos is away on that mission in the books. So the show just kind of rushed to this event a lot sooner instead of waiting.

      Again, the question is, in the books when Devos learns of this is he going to stay loyal and still serve Stannis? A man who would burn to death his own sweet innocent daughter? I doubt it, maybe he somehow hooks up with Jon Snow and serves the nights watch, leaving behind the laws of the seven kingdoms and all that shit and taking the black…

      I’m talking out my ass, I have no clue but all I know is Devos is not going to follow Stannis after this, how can he, Devos is a man of character and Stannis has lost his way to the point of no return.

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    67. I completely buy that Shireen will be sacrificed in the books by burning. It is very heavily foreshadowed.

      But: I really don’t buy that it is by Stannis, the same guy who just send Justin Massey to get sellswords and put her on the throne if he dies. I see Mel doing it in the books but not Stannis. Interesting, I’ll reserve judgement until TWOW comes out.

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    68. Hardcore: “You think we’re going in this direction but, wait, we’re actually doing this!”

      You can’t do the unexpected all the time. Then it doesn’t become unexpected. I think they mix it up pretty well. Keeps you guessing.

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    69. He’s fighting for the belief that he’s Azor Azhai reborn and the only savour against the long night and the great other, by now his designs on the iron throne are a distant memory

      Foowombats:
      NO! JUST NO!!!

      Stannis is an arse, a stoic and lawful man, not a good one and not a bad one.
      But for fucks sake, Shireen is his only daughter and only child. This series has made an effort to point out that he loves her, awkward as he is. She is literally the only person in the world that he loves.

      But even if not, she is his only fucking heir. Stannis’ entire motivation is to wrestle control of Westeros back into the hands of the true Baratheon family. Not out of greed but because he thinks that is what is right.
      In the books, he ordered his men to continue fighting for Shireen to take the throne, if he died in the war. He doesn’t care about his own life, only his cause. That of the Baratheon family. What the fuck is he fighting for if his only heir is dead?!

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    70. Morgoth,

      He did not “want” to burn him. He refuses the first two times Melisandre urges him to make it happen. But after witnessing the “power” of the leeches (three kings dead) and having the possibility of waking a goddamn dragon, anyone could at least think of it.
      Keep in mind that bastards were not highly considered in Westeros.

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    71. Renly’s Peach,

      Dany needed to be more rough looking. Her being all nice and pristine, with her hair and wardrobe no worse for wear just looked odd. I liked Drogon in the pit, but once Dany climbed on him, it looked off. I also wasn’t crazy about Drogon Ex Machina.

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    72. So–now that the prime suspect for the leader of the Sons of the Harpy is dead, who IS the leader?

      Also, RIP Shireen, Stannis is no longer the man(nis), & Drogon & Dany 4ever!

        Quote  Reply

    73. Least favorite episode of the season. The Daznak stuff was intense and exciting but otherwise…

      Dorne scenes were fine but it seems to end the storyline with an elipsis instead of an exclamation point…

      And Stannis killing Shireen. I would not say it was out of character for him. But what was interesting about him was how he would teeter back and forth from positive to negative. He was a truly grey character who was fascinating for that reason.

      Now, I have no sympathy for him. He is basically a villain in my eyes. Say what you will of Cersei, but she would never kill one of her kids. It was disturbing and just…awful. It wasn’t a terrible act that made him more interesting, it instead wiped away all of the mixed feelings I had about him and replaced it with hatred. Ugh.

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    74. Used To Be King Stannis: Now I’m starting to think Azor Ahai is not the same as The Prince that was promised of the true Hero.

      Wait, you’re just now realizing that a guy who plunges his sword through his wife’s heart, is not a true Hero? 😀

      Here Be Dragons: Going against the Crowd, but I thought Episode 9 topped last week’s.

      I think on balance, both episodes were equally powerful. I give a very slight edge to Ep. 9 too, for the juxtaposition of the absolute low of Shireen’s death to the exhilarating high of Daeny flying away on Drogon.

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    75. Nero Martell,

      I think he’ll be at the wall for a while helping Jon or something. I suspect when Stannis and Davos meet again, Stannis will be a completely different person and Davos will most likely have to ice him.

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    76. good thing when those guys were throwing the spears at drogon that one of them didn’t decide to throw a spear at dany. and i assume jorah doesn’t want to spread his greyscale to dany – why would he touch her? nitpicking at stage direction on a great episode

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    77. Kay: Wait, you’re just now realizing that a guy who plunges his sword through his wife’s heart, is not a true Hero?

      lol honestly I think sometimes people forget what books they’ve been reading.

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    78. I was one of those who said, “I will quit this show if they kill Shireen.”

      I was wrong.

      It took me a little while, but I remember reading many many things that were as, or even more, horrible than Shireen’s death. Hell, the daily news tells us despicable things every day. But, the news stations sanitize the reports so they won’t shock us so much that we have become numb to most things.

      Her death was brutal. But, it is part of the story. It jolted us and reminded us that humans are illogical and chaotic. They make up whatever reasons they need to convince themselves that they are justified in committing heinous acts upon other humans.

      We need that reminder every now and then.

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    79. Man, I figured that Shireen scene was coming ever since Episode 5, and was steeling myself up for it, but fuck that was atrocious and heart rending to have to watch. Couldn’t really get through it, it was that fucking horrible.

      Figured Selyse would have to do something redeemable though, but FUCK, couldn’t have come sooner!!!!!!!!!

      Not really anyone left to root for in the Battle of Ice, to quote a very pointedly stated redditor, I for one welcome our new cold, dead overlords.

      This honestly has to be stated more, but Kerry Ingram is a fucking amazing actress on par or even above the Stark girls, and that is absolutely no disrespect to them. I see Oscars/Emmys in her future, she is superb, super adorably cute, and brought an incredible pathos and gravitas to the role. Shireen is one of my favourite characters, but this being Game of Thrones, and her being super nice, cute, and Lawful Good there was no fucking way she was making it out alive. No way she was making it out the back of TWOW either, but FUCK, having a face to the screams will make it just as bad to read. Gonna miss such a great performance, and (IIRC) the last lawful good pure and absolute hero besides Jon/Sam/maybe Brienne.

      Bring on the battle between the child murderer and the child molester. Never thought I’d be rooting so hard for Littlefinger. GoT must be unique in engineering a situation where you really want both sides to just completely murder each other!!!

      Daznak’s Pit was awesome, as was Alexander Siddig (way more Doran please!), but fucking fuckballs fuckitty fuckererton fuck!!!

      Hell of an episode, but I’ll really miss Shireen, and need some hardcore northern vengeance on a couple of child abusing mofo’s.

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    80. Pretty much agree with 100% of what Sue said. Especially in regards to

      1.) Stannis. COMPLETELY in character for him; it’s just much harder to stomach when it’s someone we know and like that he burns, and much harder to continue supporting Stannis after this. But kudos to all the actors; holy shit was I emotional, and a lot of the reason for it was, surprisingly, Selyse.

      2.) Dorne. I actually quite liked the scenes there tonight, but like Sue said, it very much seems like a mid-season scene. I liked all the acting, especially from Siddig and Varma. I read the scene as Ellaria being genuinely sorry for involving Myrcella in her shit, but who knows. But it does seem like we haven’t gotten to the climax yet, and this storyline may very well be over. (Also sad Nym is apparently not going to Kings Landing. Will the Snakes just drop out after this season?)

      And Meereen was even better than I was expecting. Dany reaching out to touch Drogon, mirroring the scene in episode 2. GREAT fighting choreography for Jorah. Dany taking Jorah’s hand. Jorah spearing that Harpy. The music when the Harpies appear in the crowd (Praise Djiwadi!) Tyrion saving Missandei. Missandei and Dany holding hands when they thought it was over. EVERYTHING WITH DROGON. So damned good

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    81. Renly’s Peach,

      Yeah, the editing was a bit stilted. There were maybe 20-30 seconds too much of Dany & co. standing in the middle of the pit before Drogon came. And when she mounted Drogon, he should have burned the rest of the Sons of Harpy before they flew out of the pit.

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    82. I have no issue with what Stannis did (from a characterization standpoint, obviously it’s horrible!). I’ve never even a Stannis fangirl, so I don’t see this as “ruining” his character because I don’t think he was ever a very good guy. Obviously he loved his daughter, but if this is the only way (as far as he knows) to save the world from darkness.. Sacrifice her now and have a chance, or refuse and she and everyone else dies in the long winter. I hate to see people say that his scene with Shireen in episode 4 was worthless now.

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    83. Stannis murdered his own brother to get to the iron throne. I don’t see how its out of character for him to burn is own daughter to get whats his by right. tears of Stannis fanboys are so tasty right now.

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    84. 1. Was anyone else bothered Drogon was so easily pierced by those spears? I seem to remember dragon’s skin being described as armor-like, with very few ways to injure/kill a dragon (except the eye). Now dragons seem less indestructible than WWs, which concerns me…. Maybe I’m the only one this irked. Additionally, I wish Drogon would have been more ferocious towards Dany, I felt like the book described Dany getting on Drogon as more of a struggle against his wild fury.

      DOES Dany have Greyscale? I almost threw my remote at the TV when Jorah’s bare-ass-hand touched Dany’s also bare hand!!! SAFETY FIRST: NO GLOVE, NO LOVE, JORAH.

      2. Trystan is less annoying than the Sand Snakes, and he seems much more competent than Ellaria and the SS. Why is this? Why is Dorne so lame?

      3. Totally saw this coming with Stannis, even in the books, and although someone’s comment earlier made a good point about it being out of character with book Stannis, I still think it’s coming as an act of desperation. *I most definitely cried* Does anyone think Davos will stop supporting Stannis?

      ~All that being said– I still love this show, I am pleased with the overall pace of this season, and I hope to see more character stories from the books develop next season. Hardhome probably won’t be topped for a long time since the bar was set so high.~

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    85. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      At the risk of sounding “book purist” and getting rotten fruit thrown at me, I gotta say I miss book Dany at this point. It was more human and frantic in the book.
      And I really wanted to see her throw away all her “queenly” attire, jumping barefoot into the pit with a whip in hand and taming Drogon.

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    86. The Shireen scene was brutal but holy shit the performances were amazing. Really hope Stannis survives for awhile. I wanna watch Stephen Dillane ride this character all the way down to the darkest psychological hell.

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    87. El Witcher:
      Stannis murdered his own brother to get to the iron throne. I don’t see how its out of character for him to burn is own daughter to get whats his by right. tears of Stannis fanboys are so tasty right now

      And was there an outcry? Thinking no…

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    88. I have a few endgame theories and no one to really share them with, so I’ll share them here, along with some questions. I’d love some feedback.

      First theory: Can adults be turned into WWs? Might Jon get WW’d somehow after his death? Might he become the Night’s King and (after some shit) sit the Iron Throne? Then Dany comes and it’s ice vs. fire, except something (?) happens and Jon remembers his humanity or gets a new body or something and he gets one of the dragons and then he’s ice and fire blah blah blah.

      Second theory: Bran and Bloodraven have a hand in Jon’s revival — do they have the power to do this somehow? I think Bloodraven might; he makes me uneasy. Or maybe if the Children and the WWs are connected somehow, and I think they are. They use Jon as their champion, then blah blah same thing happens as above mostly.

      Third: he’s actually dead, but I don’t believe that. The symbolism fits too well; he’s dead, he’s alive again, he’s freed from the Night’s Watch vows and ShowDany saw SNOW ON THE THRONE after all, even if she didn’t understand what it meant for her.

      Disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of Jon so I’m not sitting around concocting fantasies that he’ll be on top — I just think he’ll end up that way from the way the books point to him as one of the heroes. I do not, however, think he’ll marry Dany. I’m not wholly sure she won’t freak the f out if she finds out she is not in fact the last Targaryen and all this time some boy had a waaaaaaaay better claim than she did. Maybe she’ll go back to Essos and try to rebuild Valyria. I hope she does. I don’t like her too much but she still deserves happiness and the house with the red door. And anyway, this season, didn’t Tyrion (or someone) give her a spiel that her home was pretty much in Essos because like, who cares about a continent she’d never seen anyway? Very telling.

      Also, I do think Dany has greyscale now, and it will ultimately tie into her battle vs. ice. Remember how…I think it was Val, or Val’s sister, freaked out in the books about Shireen’s face? The wildlings know something’s up, yo.

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    89. Another classic episode 9. I cried for that one scene . Trystane’s “one condition” made me laugh. The end sequence was spectacular. Cannot wait for what will surely be a jam-packed finale.

      Interesting nugget with regards to Stannis:

      There is a cool, concise essay floating around online (I don’t have the link, sorry) that essentially argues that book Stannis’s arc necessitates he sit on the Iron Throne, albeit briefly. The essay outlines his arc as the basic: uses bad magic/does bad “stuff” to obtain a goal. He then *does* obtain said goal before karma kicks him in the a** in some yet to be revealed way. As a basic character arc structure, it fits well for both book and show Stannis, the moral absolutist. And tonight’s episode only helped in driving it home, imo. Stannis will have some level of success before having to face consequences for sacrificing everything he loved (throwback to 2×10 anyone?).

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    90. Queenofthrones,

      YES! Choreography was fantastic, and I loved the diverse fighters. I saw the one guy kind of dancing around with a skinny blade and yelled BRAAVOSI! My family was confused

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    91. I really hope D&D don’t think ending Jon’s storyline this season with “FTW” will be a good idea. They need to show the aftermath. It is a really cheap cliffhanger if they plan on resurrecting him. Don’t try and trick the audience into thinking he is dead just to piss them off if he is not really dead. It will be a huge downer to end the season with a scene like that however ending it with a resurrection would be an awesome ending.

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    92. I really think Davis is going to kill Stannis. Or maybe he’ll be stab a dozen times, kind of like murder in the orient express. There are a lot of candidates for that (I volunteer).

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    93. Lionthing,

      An interesting thing to notice regarding the show is the fact they’ve completely omitted all talk of warging and Ghost connections when it comes to Jon. That’s always been a popular fan theory: Jon “dies” only to have his spirit or consciousness warged into Ghost for a short amount of time before Melisandre revives him. It’s also supported by the fact the entire DWD prologue was Varamyr Sixskins, who’s only purpose is to explain that. Dying as a warg.
      But yeah.. no warging, no Melisandre, no Varamyr, barely any Ghost.

      So it’s gonna be pretty interesting to see what goes down in Castle Black next week. Cause it’s gonna tell us a lot about the next book, too.

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    94. Just watched the episode 10 preview and that first second of the clip you can see, (probably Dany) standing on the top left of that cliff…

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    95. The only thing I missed from the books in the Daznak’s Pit sequence is Dany’s clothes burning when she touched/got on Drogon. It would nicely explain why she couldn’t/didn’t take anyone with her and also remind the audience of her (situational?) fireproofness.

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    96. My hunch is that Melisandre has gotten it all wrong. Melisandre’s visions of Dragonstone are what brought her to Stannis, believing him to be Azor Ahai, but Danaerys was born on Dragonstone. As Melisandre says in Dance With Dragons “When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone.” We all know who woke dragons out of stone, what will Stannis do when he realizes what he has done to poor Shireen, and that Melisandre’s visions have mislead him?

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    97. From where is people getting the silly idea that Dany has greyscale now? Because she held Jorah’s hand? By that same logic Tyrion’s got greyscale too!
      Come on. She’d have to touch the infected part to get the disease.

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    98. Arthur,

      I think you might be right re: the cliff. Dunno though.

      It’s also a cool preview, although that brief shot of Tyrion and co. made me giggle, if only because their bemused expressions are like “Well, fuck me sideways, this isn’t Lord of the Rings at all.”

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    99. JamesL,

      Everyone and I mean EVERYONE I talk to about GoT LOVES Jon Snow now.

      If they choose to kill him off at the end, that would be a major downer way to end the season for sure, hope that’s not how it ends.

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    100. ok, so I’m still not sure I agree with burning Shireen, nor do I really know what to make of the comment in the inside segment, but I think we all have to stop for a moment and really just applaud Kerry Ingram. She’s been great in the other episodes this season, but she really just sold the three scenes in this episode. The scene with Davos, with her father, and her final scene. I was mentally begging and crossing my fingers, and even talking out loud while watching by myself, for someone to step in, trying to rationalize how she could survive even as Mel lights the fires. Not only becasue it’s terrible that a father would burn his own daughter for his cause, but becasue Kerry as an actress just really pulled off EVERY MOMENT of the previous scenes she was in this episode.

      Just fantastic work, and another example of the caliber of child actors this show has managed to get and the amazing and touching performances they have gotten out of them.

      I would love a behind the scenes with the cast and crew (especially Kerry) on how it was to film that scene.

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    101. I’m Just Sayin’,

      I don’t get the “out of character” for Stannis. Its been clearly established that he blames Davos for convincing him not to bring Melisandre to the Blackwater and that, whether he cares or not for the Lord of Light, sees it as his clearest path to the the throne, which he sees as his destiny. His zealotry may not be religion, but power, but its zealotry nonetheless.

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    102. Phil:

      but just from a where everyone is in the story.There really doesn’t seem to be time for this to happen.

      The ice cells? Remember GRRM mentioning those three times like Checkov’s Gun in ADwD? Someone’s body is going in there to be preserved longer than you think, before it gets back up.

      And if there was any doubt of that, tonight’s “Inside the Episode” comment and the very difficulties you point out confirm the purpose of the Ice Cells.

      Of course. the show has a very different metronome than the books do. They can’t use the cells for very long on the show, if at all. The audience would go bugfuck. So, this gets moved up ahead of schedule and here we are.

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    103. Was anyone else actually really tense during the pit scenes? I knew Dany wasn’t going to die, or Tyrion, but anyone else was fair game really. We’re clearly at the point where we’re passing the books and nobody is safe anymore. It feels both bad and good to be pretty much unsullied. It’s being overshadowed by Shireen’s death, but Hizdahr dying before the marriage even happens is kind of a big deal. It confirms he’s not the one behind the SotH. What’s strange is that the Shavepate and the Green Grace were never introduced. I guess in the grand scheme of things the SofH are not a big deal and we’re almost through with the Meereen arc? Anyway, sorry I’m rambling. I’m a bit drunk, but I was not sure Daario and Missandei were going to survive. Even though I think greyscale is going to be thing in Westeros, I wasn’t entirely sure Jorah was going to make it either.

      Next week a whole mess of people could possibly die. Theon, Ramsay, Roose, Stannis, Brienne. Even Sansa (no)! I feel officially unsullied now. I am both giddy and terrified. Like I was watching season one. Like I was binge reading the books after that. It’s kind of glorious.

      That said, I agree with the common disappointment in Dorne. Tonight would have been the perfect time to go into the planned Targaryen-Martell alliance. It would have been the perfect lead in to the Daznak’s Pit scene. I hope something happens next episode with them. They wouldn’t have cast the Sand Snakes if they weren’t going to play a major role I don’t think, but what? They seem kind of pointless so far. I was sort of liking Nymeria tonight though. I hope they start actually developing that character. Tyene is kind of annoying. Sorry to say.

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    104. Lion of Night,

      Interesting. I could totally see that re: Stannis’ success. But i could see it going the opposite way as well. He sacrifices Shireen and then… loses the battle. Total defeat. He somehow survives and is forced to confront the possibility that his faith was misguided. All of the struggles and (literal) sacrifices had no impact on the outcome. Pure futility. He murdered his own daughter for nothing. That sounds like quintessential GRRM.

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    105. Renly’s Peach,

      Totally disagree, i loved drogon saving the day and dany flying away. The special effects were good enough imo. Also, i thought the whole scene was almost as great as hardhome but u really cant compare as the battles were different.

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    106. Sroit,

      Well renly did commit treason. Shireen did not. But anyways I will admit I was a Stannis fanboy to the bone until tonight. I guess it’s time to find a new person to back. Like a walder frey, knowing this story he will end up being the hero by the end. Though at his age the story would have to be finished by wed.

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    107. Arthur:
      JamesL,

      Everyone and I mean EVERYONE I talk to about GoT LOVES Jon Snow now.

      If they choose to kill him off at the end, that would be a major downer way to end the season for sure, hope that’s now how it ends.

      It does have to happen next episode though doesn’t it, with the way Olly has been built up? We’ve had to live with it as a cliffhanger for what, 5 years now? I don’t mind giving the unsullied that feeling for 1 year. Besides if he is resurrected somehow that would spoil TWoW.

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    108. One of my friends texted me, “Hey, wouldn’t it have been totally miserable if they played Shireen’s Song over the end credits?”

      I told him that, if this had happened, I would have had to burn my house down so I never had to look again at the place where I had experienced such sadness.

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    109. WeirwoodTreeHugger:
      There’s been speculation for years over at Westeros that Mel would burn Shireen.That there were hints in the books that this could happen combined with the revelation from the inside the episode should shut up the purists.But I know it won’t.It’ll likely go down differently in TWOW, but to whine about D&D committing character assassination is just dumb.

      I feel conflicted because on the one hand, I’m pretty excited to get a major book spoiler for the second episode in a row.On the other hand, this is easily in the top five most horrifying things to have happened in the story.Shireen and Tommen have always brought out the dormant motherly instinct in me.Kerry Ingram was fantastic at just ripping my heart out.I have a feeling Tommen is not long for this world either.

      This might be the darkest season yet.I didn’t feel that as much reading the books because they were much more slowly paced.

      Tommem…..oh boy,you do know the last part of Cersey’s prophecy right?

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    110. Aw you guys what if

      Dany doesn’t have greyscale, but can carry it, and she GAVE IT TO MISSANDEI WHEN THEY HELD HANDS LIEK BFFS

      omg

      I need to stop before I break my own heart.

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    111. Didn’t notice at first that Shireen was clutching the wooden stag the entire time. Bet Davos sees it and goes Nissa Nissa on Mel.

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    112. Stannis is portrayed FAR more warmly in the show than in the books. He couldn’t care less about Shireen in the books.

      And Stannis is a usurper with delusions of grandeur. So that does not bother me. I have always wanted him to die. Now, just more grist for the mill.

      What DOES bother me as Stannis sends his only child to the flames is the omission from the show of this critical bit of information:

      Balon Greyjoy is not dead; at least, not to the knowledge of Stannis. That is a BIG oversight.

      Two is not three, your Grace“. Even if Davos was not there to say it, Stannis would have remembered THAT before he consigned his only heir to the flames on the word of Melisandre, who has not yet been proven correct on the last casting she did using King’s Blood.

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    113. Renly’s Peach:
      Lionthing,

      So it’s gonna be pretty interesting to see what goes down in Castle Black next week. Cause it’s gonna tell us a lot about the next book, too.

      I never bought that theory and the show seems to be proving me right. You’re right. There’s no build up at all to that. I think he’ll maybe be resurrected pretty quickly. Enough to change him, but not so much he loses his humanity. I think he’ll emerge from this a little darker and less noble. With the edge it’ll take to actually defeat the WW and work the power that is likely in his blood. There’s a reason that kill the boy and let the man be born was repeated over and over in his chapters. If he’s dead or inside of Ghost for the remainder of the series I’ll do the unthinkable and vote Republican in the next elections. That is how certain I am.

      ETA: I meant to quote Renly’s Peach’s whole post. Not sure what happened.

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    114. With Shireen’s death hitting us all so hard, I wonder how people would react if something happens to Tommen too in the next episode. Although he’s nowhere near as popular as she is…was.

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    115. The show likes parallels. With Mel not being at the Wall, it will clearly be Ghost to the rescue for Jon as Drogon rescued Dany. The wolf won’t be flying though…

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    116. Lionthing,

      Very true, and good one. That would have been way too sad. ,but man I know everyone is getting a good kick out of giving those of us that use to be Stannis fans a hard time and the good ole told u so comments. It’s all good. This series tends to rip the heart out of us all at some point and characters we use to defend end up making us all have our foots in our mouths. It’s a love hate with this series

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    117. Rygritte: Didn’t notice at first that Shireen was clutching the wooden stag the entire time. Bet Davos sees it and goes Nissa Nissa on Mel.

      I don’t know. He pretty much knew what was going to happen and did nothing to stop it. It seems he is still 100% behind Stannis.

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    118. SteelWind,

      To be fair, I think Stannis saw Shireen as his only way to get out of the current mess they were in — like, that awful blizzard/wintery shit that day, with attacks from the Boltons. Even if he knew about Balon, I think he still would have popped Shireen into the oven just to survive long enough to GET to Balon.

      I do admit this is an oversight though and I wish they’d at least give us a line or two to write the Greyjoy claim out, if it doesn’t exist in the show universe anymore.

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    119. Loved-
      Daznek pit scene with drogon saving the day.
      Jon and his survivors along with wun wun arriving at the wall

      Not so much-
      Stannis going thru with sacreficing his daughter. Oooh. Wait til davos gets back.
      Dorne situation. Does anybody else think doran is up to something? Do they even know at all about cersei?

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    120. SteelWind,

      Has Stannis even shared a scene with Shireen in the books? Maybe one, as I recall. Shireen isn’t really much of a character in the books. Kerry Ingram made her stand out in the show. As for Balon, I’m pretending that he is already dead and it is common knowledge, only the show just hasn’t felt the need to mention it.

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    121. Oh, wait! I have an idea.

      Maybe Davos defects and goes to find a certain wee Stark…meeting up with Sansa along the way?

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    122. Sunfyre,

      Yes that would work well too! IIRC, part of the reason the essay argued the other way was due the the failure that Stannis has already experienced throughout the show/books, namely Blackwater. His crutch and excuse not to fail is the R’hllor voodoo. But yeah, I do think your proposed version is an interesting idea for the full arc.

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    123. Shireen was one of the strongest, most intelligent and curious female characters on the show – all without having to use manipulation or sex appeal as a ‘weapon’. Take heed, Westerosi girls….

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    124. As a big fan of Stannis, I won’t pretend to not be at least a little disappointed in him. But that does not impact my view of the episode, which overall was phenomenal. This doesn’t necessarily change what I’d like to see in the end (Stannis fucking shit up for Danny), I just want Stannis to face some degree of repercussion for his actions, book and show alike.

      My fear, however, is that the show will end his arc here. If in the books he really does lose the battle outside Winterfell and retreats to the wall only to sacrifice Shireen there, there may be no reason for them to keep him around. He deserves to suffer for what he has done but I still want the guy around. Stannis represents a pillar of the show that no one but maybe Jon does. I guess the important thing is that neither Brienne or Ramsay get to kill him… that would really bum me out.

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    125. People keep talking about the Inside the Episode. You know they put that “When George told us” in there just to stave off the wave of hate coming their way.

      Obviously, book fans have no idea how this could happen in the books given the current locations of the characters. If Shireen burns in the book, it can’t be to win the battle of Winterfell, so what would it be for? And when would it happen?

      Last, I just want to point out that not everything that gets said in the Inside the Episode is smart or makes sense. In fact, in this one Benioff says that the first time we meet Stannis and Mel they are burning people on the beach at Dragonstone. I just watched s2e1, and guess what. They were burning big-ass statues, not people. Sure, I get that they burned people later, but I’m just saying, clearly they do let errors slip into these little interview things.

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    126. Would have been 10/10, even 11/10…

      …except for Shireen. For me, that was the most upsetting thing of the season by far (yes, worse than the Sansa scene). So upsetting, I couldn’t even fully enjoy the great pits / dragon scene afterwards.

      Although that dragon scene was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in GOT, and on TV.

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    127. WeirwoodTreeHugger,

      I was convinced they were going there. CONVINCED. Dany’s companions seem like redshirts in the show sometimes — cute ones, but redshirts nonetheless.

      I’m glad she’s okay (for now) and that her and Dany seem to be such good friends. (Woo female friendship!) I almost thought Missandei was gonna go with Dany onto Drogon, which would have been so funny if only for how dejectedly all of us spitballers would have had to put most of our Targaryen theories away.

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    128. Arthur:
      Just watched the episode 10 preview and that first second of the clip you can see, (probably Dany) standing on the top left of that cliff…

      Yes, I too think it was Daeny. Drogon must be recuperating close by. Big tears in his wing.

      Phil: but I think we all have to stop for a moment and really just applaud Kerry Ingram.

      Kerry Ingram is completely phenomenal. I think she’s going very far. She brought this happy, joyous girl to life masterfully.

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    129. Sam: If Shireen burns in the book, it can’t be to win the battle of Winterfell, so what would it be for? And when would it happen?

      Well, that is exactly the point. The books are not out yet so we have no way of knowing the exact circumstances surrounding it. Of course we can’t comprehend events that haven’t occurred yet! People have guesses, but they are still guess. We’ll be in the dark on that front until the books are published.

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    130. What an episode! There is so much to discuss – first and foremost with respect to Daznak’s Pit, which was incredible. I’ve been waiting years to see Drogon land on those sands and to watch Dany fly away on his back. The scene did not disappoint – if anything, it exceeded my expectations. As the dragon and the Dragon Queen soared away into the sky, I felt much like Tyrion and the others who were standing in the arena below, stunned into silence by the sight of something they never truly believed they would witness.

      But all of that can wait. Tonight, there’s one scene that I need to focus on, lest the memories of my initial reaction fade in the slightest. That scene of course, is the sacrifice of Shireen Baratheon. I don’t even know where to begin.

      When reports (and footage) of this scene leaked before Episode 9 aired, I didn’t want to believe it was true. I tried to resist, but ultimately I broke down and watched it, because I had to know. When I saw the footage was indeed legitimate … well, I was horrified, to put it mildly. I have an extremely strong stomach when it comes to graphic violence, trauma, horror, and death. I’ve watched many shows and movies that feature those things in abundance, and none of it particularly phases me. But this … Shireen’s cries are going to haunt me for a long, long time. I had to go outside and run for an hour, with the volume in my headphones turned up to full blast, just to clear my head after what I’d witnessed.

      Within the context of the episode, the scene made far more sense. The sequence of events encompassing the lead-up to the burning and the burning itself is incredibly well-done – beautifully shot, acted, and staged. Of course, it also may be the single most painful thing I have ever seen in any film or TV series I have watched. Ever.

      I want to make one thing absolutely clear – I am not mad at Benioff and Weiss for making this creative decision. I do not consider it a cheap ploy for shock value, nor do I view it as a betrayal of the story they’ve been telling on screen or of Martin’s source material. Indeed, if you watch “Inside the Episode” this week (note: this week’s video should be required viewing for all book readers), we learn that the burning of Shireen actually comes from George R.R. Martin himself. It will be interesting to see when it happens in the books, and under what circumstances. It may not be in the lead-up to the Siege of Winterfell, but Stannis has many battles left to fight. Sadly, it appears to be inevitable.

      As certain book readers (i.e. purists and committed fans of Stannis) melt down in rage at what they’ve seen tonight, I find it to appropriate to remind them of that very important fact. I see that the default stance that many are taking in the face of Shireen’s death by fire being confirmed as book canon is that Stannis Baratheon would never, ever, EVER do such a thing. Clearly, Melisandre and Selyse will burn her behind his back, and Stannis either won’t find out until after it’s happened or he will be unable to stop it, no matter how much he wants to. To that line of reasoning, I have very little to say to that other than “We’ll see.”

      The sacrifices that Stannis would make in his quest for the Iron Throne have been foreshadowed since Season 2, when Melisandre spoke to him after his defeat at the Blackwater.“This war is just begun. It will last for years. Thousands will die at your command. You will betray the men serving you. You will betray your family. You will betray everything you once held dear… and it will all be worth it, because you are the Son of Fire. You are the Warrior of Light. You will sweep beside this pretender and that one. You will be King.” And they have hinted at the sacrifice of Shireen for a long time as well, most strongly in the scene between Selyse and Melisandre in Season 4.

      All of the clues were there, but I was only too happy to live in denial. I have never been possessed by the overwhelming affection that many members of this fandom feel for Stannis Baratheon. But I certainly respect him as a character – especially this season. I wanted so desperately to believe that this was a line he would not cross. And I adored Shireen, particularly in the show. Among the many characters I feel like Game of Thrones has improved upon in their translation to the screen, she was at the very top of the list. As portrayed by the exceptionally talented Kerry Ingram, Shireen brought kindness, intelligence, and much-needed warmth to every single scene in which she appeared. I hoped that the character would make it to the end of the story, and that she would be safe and relatively happy. Hell, as recently as a few days ago I was devising intricate scenarios that would allow Stannis to wrestle with the question of whether or not to sacrifice his daughter without actually following through. Alas, it was not to be.

      For years, we the Sullied audience have speculated about, analyzed, and rejoiced in the reactions that the Unsullied audience have to things like Ned’s execution, the Red Wedding, and Oberyn’s death, among many others. To be sure, we felt the emotional significance and dramatic power of those moments as they played out on screen. But the element of surprise was not ours to savor, so we turned to watching the Unsullied to experience that charge vicariously. We spoke about it in tones of amusement, glee, and occasionally envy. We wondered what it would be like to be in that position, and either looked forward to that moment or dreaded it (or both). I know I certainly did.

      For me, that moment arrived tonight. This was the first time since I began watching the show that I’ve experienced that potent combination of shock, sickness, anger, despair and, above all, complete and utter awe at the audacity of such a move. Knowing that such a moment is indeed coming in future books, whenever they arrive, only makes it that much more heartbreaking.

      We’ll see how this episode settles with me over the course of the week. I’ve currently seen it twice, and I was every bit as entranced and horrified by the second viewing as I was by the first. I have every expectation that time and distance will allow me to look at the scene with a more dispassionate eye, and analyze it accordingly. I have no doubt there is going to be a backlash – leaving aside the purists for a moment, the tiresome charges of “Nihilism!”, “Sadism!”, and “Gratuitous Violence!” will undoubtedly be renewed by certain critics. The thinkpieces will hit the virtual presses, fast and hot, louder and more inane than ever.

      But I will deal with that nonsense later (or not – if the Internet Outrage Industrial Complex reaches a certain threshold in the next 24 hours, I may disconnect entirely). Tonight, I’m spent. I have never been more emotionally wrung out by an episode of television in my entire life.

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    131. Sam:
      If Shireen burns in the book, it can’t be to win the battle of Winterfell, so what would it be for? And when would it happen?

      Well look at it this way:

      If Stannis wins at Winterfell, he might live long enough to be a part of the Long Night and then sacrifice her there. It could be something like the “ultimate sacrifice” or maybe that last step to getting lightbringer to actually radiate heat, fulfilling the AA prophecy.

      If Stannis loses, maybe he escapes with his life and makes it back to the wall with a rag-tag force and then maybe sacrifice Shireen to take down the boltons with some form of magic or another. It really could go either way and as much as I wish it weren’t the case, I don’t doubt that Stannis might seriously be faced with this decision in the books as well.

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    132. On a different note,

      Whither Davos?

      Does anybody think Davos will continue to serve Stannis after this? I cannot see it; just cannot.

      Given the camera POV that Davos provides in the books, the death of Stannis removes the need for Davos, frankly. GRRM is not likely to prove much help. (Hmmm. Well, unless the books go to Starks vs. Karstarks and Davos is with Manderly and, ultimately, Rickon. Then matters may well be different!!)

      While the show need not go in that direction…what will become of him? It might be the way to get Rickon and Osha back in the game through Davos (though Sansa & Brienne seems a clearer path to that).

      I just cannot see Davos staying with the man after this. Indeed, I would be very upset if he were to do so, given how carefully they have cultivated the relationship between Davos and Shireen.

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    133. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I don’t know if they’re “lying,” but I’d be willing to bet a small amount that the resonance and impact of the scene in the books will be significantly different. To the point that the Stannis fans will feel they can still defend Stannis? Maybe not, but I would expect something that at least made more sense than the way they presented it tonight.

      I haven’t trusted D&D with Stannis since the moment they depicted him as consenting to allow Melisandre to burn people just for not being R’hllor believers.

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    134. LordDavos:
      The show likes parallels.With Mel not being at the Wall, it will clearly be Ghost to the rescue for Jon as Drogon rescued Dany. The wolf won’t be flying though…

      Yep. That’s my guess too.

      Jared: For me, that moment arrived tonight.

      Awww…… welcome to the world of the Unsullied. 🙂 It’s, I think, a more thrilling ride.

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    135. Stannis vs Bolton battle, reveal of what Stannis gets for sacrificing Shireen. Dany mereen conclusion? Sansa makes her big move in winterfell? Jon and the nights watch comes to a head? And yara has to appear in this episode somehow. Plus cerseis arcs conclusion and possibly one more dorne scene to make all that worth it. That’s a lot for an hour

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    136. Hodor Targaryen,

      Actually if you remember from S02E09 (and this may have been referred to in the books but I forget) she is sitting on the Iron Throne about to poison Tommen.

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    137. I also really liked the Titan in the background of the scene of Mace and Meryn’s arrival in Bravo. Nice touch.

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    138. While a lot happened in this episode, I have little room in my mind or heart for anything but Shireen. She was a sweet, clever, loving girl, and her fate was horrible. Try as I might, nothing I can write can fully convey how appalled I am by what happened to her.

      Tension concerning Shireen’s fate had been rising for a while, but I brushed it off. Surely the stern but fair Stannis would never hurt his little girl, the heir to his claim? Even in a show as bloody as this, couldn’t one sweet child be safe? However, as soon as Stannis ordered Davos away, alarm bells started ringing. When Davos gave Shireen the wooden stag, and we saw it outlined in flames, my inner monologue was reduced to NoNoNoNoNo… I could see it all unfolding with tragic inevitability, but I didn’t want it to happen. I felt like Sansa witnessing her father’s execution, crying and begging for someone to stop what was happening but completely powerless to prevent evil from occurring before my eyes.

      The weight of this terrible decision clearly pulled Stannis down into new depths of self-loathing. I could see the awful toll it took on him. But, frankly, I don’t much care. I care about what this did to Shireen. Going from a scene where she affirmed her love for her father, straight into one where he betrayed her utterly to an agonising death, was about the worst transition I think any character has experienced on this show. It’s not just about physical pain, but about having the foundation of your world, parent love, ripped away and used as the tool for your torture.

      It was all extremely effective. I have no sympathy for Stannis now. Whereas previously I was worried about Brienne clashing with him, I now think she should go for it, if she gets the chance. I had been on Team Stannis. It wasn’t that I found him to be the most sympathetic, morally-upright character, but rather that he did have a “genuine” claim to the throne (debatably, more genuine than any other) and seemed to be operating on the basis of duty rather than ego or a lust for power. Now, I don’t really care if duty or something else motivates him, because *nothing* can justify what he did.

      My other main thought, totally disregarding all other developments, is that I’m surprised that Hizdahr and Dany didn’t get married before he died. I was half-hoping that Hizdahr would be killed by the Sons of the Harpy at Daznak’s, because that seemed fully in-keeping with the way the showrunners decided to write him (as a well-intentioned noble whose values clash with Dany’s in spite of him often being reasonable), but I couldn’t be sure that they’d actually choose that. What I didn’t see coming at all was that they wouldn’t even wed. I was assuming that we’d have a brief scene for their wedding, like Margaery and Tommen, and that the games at Daznak’s Pit would be a “celebration” of their union.

      Before Hizdahr was even murdered, I found myself feeling quite bad for him a few times during this episode. In particular, when Daario leaned in and placed his blade very close to Hizdahr’s neck, I cringed. Daario and Dany treated this like a joke, but given that Dany had previously threatened to have Hizdahr killed (and had already killed his father), I think it would’ve been appropriate to show a bit more decency towards him. Frankly, given how they treated him, I’m somewhat amazed that Hizdahr’s last act was to try to get Dany to safety. It’s a very interesting choice to give so many sympathetic characteristics to someone who used to own slaves and who is in favour of gladiatorial games (two things that, today, we consider barbaric). I think it was good writing that gave as much complexity to Meereen as it could get, given the time and number of characters it had been allotted (by comparison with the books).

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    139. The Shireen moment was just wrong. Bad move.

      Moving on to the commonly discussed For The Watch…. I don’t think it will be this season. Its too quick for it to happen in EP10, I think it’s more the pink letter rather than FTW, especially as Samwell says “What are you going to do?”. I think Jon will make his decision in S6, and then FTW will happen.

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    140. So Hizdahr is dead and thus not the leader of SoH….So that Dario theory??

      The Stannis stuff. Knew it was coming but damn that’s still the first time I’ve felt uncomfortable watching a scene on this show. Not because it was a child but because it was an innocent person in the GoT word and the fact Seylese finally broke and went back into mother mode when it was too late added to it.

      Still we need a few of the bad eggs killed soon please!

      Loved this season and its gone by very quickly but role on episode 10!

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    141. I’m not outraged about how Shireen’s death was handled, but I have to grant that it would have been better if we’d been set up for it with a scene where Melisandre successfully fucked with Stannis’s mind in some way. As it stands, we went from their lovely moment together circa episode four to this, with no real transition. Quite often when things seem unsatisfactory to me in the show, it’s for this sort of reason – the consistent underlying problem being too much story packed into too little time.

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    142. Chris: By the way…what was the song Mace was singing?

      Good question. Number four on the Westerosi hit parade, whatever it was.

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    143. 1. Loved the episode, although I was heartbroken by the shireen scenes.
      2. I actually really enjoyed the dorne scenes in this episode, although I am wondering what the payoff for this arc will be next week.
      3. Drogon and the pit was everything I dreamed it would be three years ago, when I started reading the books. It was a wee bit stilted when dany actually took off, but that’s a very minor complaint.

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    144. The whole episode surprised me:

      Pleasantly, when Alliser Thorne didn’t give Jon a horrible time about letting the group through the gates Wun Wun made it through.

      Unpleasantly when Ramsay was obviously successful in running a tactical mission, destroying Stannis’ food, arms and transportation.

      Pleasantly when Ramsay himself wasn’t given any actual face time.

      Horrified, disgusted and unpleasantly surprised when Stannis actually did go through with killing his little girl. I was never a big Stannis fan, but never thought he would actually allow Shireen’s death. Lunkhead. Asshole. If Davos doesn’t desert your fool ass, and kick Melisandre’s hard, I will be very surprised again.

      Pleasantly, when neither Hizdhar nor Dario was the secret brain behind the Sons of the Harpy, then unpleasantly when Hizdhar got shafted.

      Pleasantly, when Jorah was successful in the tourney, made the astonishing shot with the javelin and climbed to the dais to collect his Queen.

      Pleasantly, with the Dorne scene in general – Doran finally told Ellaria to chill the fuck out, and she did, although I doubt for very long. (Oh, you love Cersei very much? hmmmm) Tyrene giving her older sister some attitude and Bronn sprung from jail. Jaime had a few words, nicely delivered. Although, as big as news that Cersei was locked up would be, surprised that it hadn’t seemed to reach Dorne yet.

      Pleasantly, when Tyrion kept his wits, protected Missandei and got them both the hell off the platform.

      DELIGHTED with the scenes with Drogon and Dany ultimately flying off. Some people were not happy with the CGI. Heck with you. If the budget called for Drogon to be a tiny bit smaller than he might have been, so that we had the scenes at Hardhome and Wun Wun, I’m cool with that. That whole tournament segment was breathtaking. The shade Tyrion, Dario and Hizdhar were throwing at each other, the Harpy Heads popping out of nowhere and DROGON.

      Oh, and Arya’s scenes were good, too, but is she going back to the whorehouse to be Trant’s whore? Uh oh.

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    145. LordDavos:
      The show likes parallels.With Mel not being at the Wall, it will clearly be Ghost to the rescue for Jon as Drogon rescued Dany. The wolf won’t be flying though…

      Don’t be so sure lol

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    146. Baihu83: So Hizdahr is dead and thus not the leader of SoH….So that Dario theory??

      Doesn’t make sense to me. If he wanted her dead he’s had plenty of opportunity. And if he didn’t want to be implicated and let the Harpies do it, he would not have protected her so well. Maybe one of the Harpies didn’t get the memo to leave Hizdahr untouched.

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    147. Always been quite sure the Leader of the Harpys is the Green Grace. But read an interesting comment from someone earlier suggesting they’re Ghiscari nationalists who hate both Dany and the masters.

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    148. Thronetender: Unpleasantly when Ramsay was obviously successful in running a tactical mission, destroying Stannis’ food, arms and transportation.

      In a way Ramsay is responsible for the Shireen burning. Another reason to hate him, as if we needed another.

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    149. Chriss:
      Always been quite sure the Leader of the Harpys is the Green Grace. But read an interesting comment from someone earlier suggesting they’re Ghiscari nationalists who hate both Dany and the masters.

      Yeah, weren’t they killing masters in the stands?

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    150. The show really does need a few moments of uplift and inspiration to leaven all the horror. I can’t think of any scene that’s fit the bill since “Dracarys”. Maybe though the story is playing a longer game, in which these things come later and are all the more satisfying for it when they do.

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    151. Rygritte,

      That’s a shitty trade off considering azor ahai tempered lightbringer w the blood of the person he loves most, all Stannis gets is decent weather on the way to winterfell. Perhaps he negotiated for more, off camera in the tents. Kings landing and winterfell at least for that large a sacrifice. And a stone dragon

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    152. Aside from discussing whether characterization was good or inconsistent for team Dragonstone in this episode, I don’t get why everyone quotes Melissandre to point out the burning was foreshadowed. From what we understand in the book she constantly mistakes her visions of Jon for Stannis. To me that dialog about betraying everyone is directed to Jon (or would have been in the context of the book). Clearly it was not always the writers’ intent but to me it still fits perfectly Jon’s story, especially considering FTW, and then -we can only hope- the part where it’s worth it as in saving the realm from the WW. Hasn’t anyone thought the same thing?

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    153. hexonx,

      Yeah, yeah.

      Also, I think there’s a compelling case to be made. We know that Martin was likely inspired by the Iraq war for this storyline, with Dany effectively being the west. It would fit with that. Dany going in, destabilising the region, and in the power vacuum, allowing a competing regional force to attempt an insurrection. It also works very well narratively, as when Dany realises this, she can broker a treaty with the Masters to expel the nationalists, with them vowing to abide by civility and govern Meereen themselves.

      The Green Grace being the Harpy would also allow this narrative closure. They could reach an understanding, allowing Dany to leave Meereen in her hands.

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    154. Sergei Walankov: I have to grant that it would have been better if we’d been set up for it with a scene where Melisandre successfully fucked with Stannis’s mind in some way. As it stands, we went from their lovely moment together circa episode four to this, with no real transition. Quite often when things seem unsatisfactory to me in the show, it’s for this sort of reason – the consistent underlying problem being too much story packed into too little time.

      I agree with that, and it’s not like they didn’t have time. This episode was on the shorter side. They had time to add in a 2-3 minute scene with Mel & Stannis.

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    155. Chriss:
      hexonx,

      Also, I think there’s a compelling case to be made. We know that Martin was likely inspired by the Iraq war for this storyline, with Dany effectively being the west.

      Which would make the Sons of the Harpy a kind of prophetic allegory for ISIS.

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    156. It’s so cute how Sam and other purists think D & D are spending so much time and energy worrying about their opinions of them that they would go through all the trouble of essentially lying in the Inside the Episode just to dodge their nerd rage for a spell. Seriously? Get over yourself.

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    157. WeirwoodTreeHugger:
      It’s so cute how Sam and other purists think D & D are spending so much time and energy worrying about their opinions of them that they would go through all the trouble of essentially lying in the Inside the Episode just to dodge their nerd rage for a spell.Seriously?Get over yourself.

      Isn’t the case that’s being made ‘You know, everything so far in the books suggests that Stannis really values Shireen as an heir, and has no intention of burning her, so, perhaps when she gets burnt it’ll be without Stannis’ knowledge’? A theory which makes sense to me.

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    158. I’m still wondering if Hizdar is still alive… His death could have been staged for Dany’s eyes. Re watch the scene and you will see.

      I would not rule out Hizdar emerging next week as the Harpy.

      Or I could be wrong! 😉

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    159. fly on the Wall,

      Okay, yeah, mercy kill, sure. But you know what I mean, Cersei would never kill her child for her own ambition. Stannis mercy killing Shireen wouldn’t have outraged me, but this obviously isn’t that

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    160. Chriss,

      I’ve suspected the Green Grace as well.. I also like the nationalist theory… Maybe the two are not mutually exclusive? Maybe the Graces religion goes back before the Masters took over Meereen?

      I wonder if the young and beautiful priestess in the leaked list of roles to be cast for Season 6 could be the show’s version, a much different version of the Green Grace/ The Harpy of the books.

      I assumed the end of the Meereen arc would be different than the books, but maybe Jorah, Tyrion and company have to deal with the Green Grace and Sons of the Harpy in the beginning of next season…

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    161. WeirwoodTreeHugger,

      Seriously. Sometimes the GoT fan base is even more annoying and full of themselves than the Star Wars fan base. All Benioff did was state an off hand fact and all the book readers lose their shit because now they’re the ones being spoiled. Boo hoo.

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    162. Here Be Dragons,

      Thought exactly the same. Although that could yet happen. My mind was blown at the possibility of Arya having the brass to offer herself to Trant in order to get close. Whoa.

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    163. I wonder if this is again a misguided Melisandre, trying to follow the legend of Azor Ahai.
      Azor Ahai had to kill the one he loved, to temper his weapon for slaying the Others. Suppose Shireen was the only person Stannis loved.
      And again the legend fits better with Dany. She burned Khal Drago to wake her weapon, the Dragons.

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    164. Hightower:
      Azor Ahai had to kill the one he loved, to temper his weapon for slaying the Others.

      I wasn’t aware of that. That would have been a good hook for the Melisandre-softening-up-Stannis scene which, as I mentioned earlier, we needed but didn’t get.

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    165. Thronetender,

      He seems to suspect that something is up with Arya though, not? A lot of looks passed between them. And I don’t think she could take on another face without Jaqen knowing….

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    166. After breathlessly watching last week’s jawdropping episode, “Hardhome”…I was simultaneously thinking…in what way could they follow-up such an episode? The answer to that question was tonight’s episode “The Dance Of Dragons”…which was yet another triumph to add to this amazing show.

      Tonight’s episode once again re-affirmed (as if it ever needed that), why “Game Of Thrones” is the show that it is, why I am a fan and watch it again and again…

      As horrrendous as the scene with Shireen was, I watched it and watched it in awe…not because of its nature, but because any show that is willing to put such a scene on, and display it in such a vivid and unflinching way, not for shock value or cheap thrills and controversy, but because it serves the story and the characters, a scence that comes off as both as horrible and moving, anger inducing and supremely sad, deserves respect and then some! It is our ambitions, our decisions and ultimately our actions which in the end come to define us as individuals, like it or not.

      In a perhaps dual function, the scene with Dany and Drogon, served both as a stark contrast but also a reminder of the sameness of people in different places and situations making a decision and acting acording to it. That goes for Jon, Arya and everyone else also.

      Beyond that there no need for me to rehash the rest of the episode and the superb way in which it unfolded and played out. Other posters here have already done a great job with that.

      Weirdly enough…the line that comes to mind to best capture what I thought and felt watching this episode…is the tagline for the new season of “True Detective”…

      “We Get The World We Deserve”…

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    167. Show Stannis sends Davos with a letter to Castle Black asking for aid, does this confirm that Book Stannis is behind the ‘Pink Letter’? (Davos’ letter might replace the ‘Pink Letter’ as the catalyst for the

      mutiny…?

      )

      And I wonder how Ser Davos will respond to the burning of Shireen? I think (like book Davos) he will abandon Stannis when he learns of the burning (which will happen in the books).

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    168. Hodor Targaryen,

      I’m not sure it’s a fair comparison..
      I agree Cersei loves her children (at least the blonde ones), but I also think Cersei’s power is tied to her children. She cannot kill them and retain any of her standing. Honestly, I think part of Cersei’s love for her children is the power that comes along with them.

      Personally I find both Stannis and Cersei psychotic, just in different ways.

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    169. Kay:

      Awww…… welcome to the world of the Unsullied. It’s, I think, a more thrilling ride.

      Oh, I agree! As I’ve said on multiple occasions, I’m quite looking forward to the experience of being Unsullied, both for the rest of this season and for future seasons of the show. The death of this one particular character under such horrific circumstances just happened to a particularly harsh introduction to that new reality. 😉

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    170. Who is Sansa speaking to when she says ‘If I’m going to die, let it happen while there’s still some of me left’. At least she’s outside. She says it quite formally but maybe not as defiantly as she would if she were talking to Ramsay. Maybe it’s most likely Theon.

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    171. Am I the only one that thinks Davos won’t make it to Castle Black? He’s conveniently heading towards Last Hearth, where Rickon is supposedly hiding out in the show. They could somehow tie him to his book equivalent and up the stakes surrounding the remaining Starks.

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    172. I agreed with one in person in the above comments – THAT scene was so sad, devastating, that I couldn’t enjoy Daznak Pit and had to rewatch the show to actually enjoy the last part.

      Not surprising, but anyone who murders his own brother for the sake of ambition, can sacrifice his daughter. When the chips are down, Stannis showed his true colors. I was surprised by Selyse – I think she talks herself into believing, but deep down she loved her daughter enough not to actually see her burn.

      Question: will Davos abandons Stannis when he finds out?

      So Davos is off to CB to ask LC Snow for horses. Is this the decision that will get the pretty King Crow iced?

      So ‘tomorrow’ we’ll see the Thin man die? Or will fresh little girl Lanna the Cockle Seller decides to bed Meryn Trant? I don’t think The No One bought her excuse.

      In the previews for next episode, I think Sansa was psyching Theon with the paraphrase “if I’m going to die, at least I die with some piece of me left”?

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    173. At first, I was furious about the Shireen burning scene and wanted to send D&D an angry email, giving them a piece of my mind.

      However, I think that was just an initial emotional reaction. Having thought about it, the scene was extremely well done and effective, and it WAS in character for all involved… as much as I may wish it wasn’t…

      I can’t wait to read Kerry Ingram’s Curtain Call.
      Joel Fry deserves one as well.

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    174. Gods, but the more I think about it tonight the more I’m hoping for a miracle eighth season. I don’t want this show over in 21 or even 25 more episodes. It feels like there’s room for one more year of things going big in some places but building up in others before the stage for the endgame should even begin to be set.

      Or maybe I’m just realizing we just watched the 49th episode and coming to grips with what that means for how much is left. But I mean, I don’t know, you know? Euron, Randyll, if the sixth season is well and truly the penultimate “miniseries event” then I guess those guys are going to be pretty goshdarn crucial to the book story. And then there’s Dorne, which I think Sue did the astute job of finally nailing why it feels off — because it really does seem like we hit its mid-point in the ninth episode of the season.

      And with so much going on next week all over the world, what, are they going to package six minutes of Dorne into a suitable finale? Is Ellaria going to jump outside as Jaime’s group is leaving, and be like, “haha, well, I meant what I said to you ser, but I can’t help loving Oberyn, and that makes me crazy” and then she and the Sand Snakes go on a kamikaze run and kill Bronn?

      It’s not impossible, silly as it’d be, but more likely this is it, this is the end of the Dornish subplot for now. Line up characters like Doran and (I guess) Trystane because they’ll be needed later on, I suppose.

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    175. Quinton,

      He will make it to Castle Black.Jon will receive the show version of pink letter and it will start his demise.It’s pretty clear.

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    176. My favorite characters… Now everyone hates them 🙁 I am really bummed because while I am not a “Stannis the Mannis best ever” type of fan I was still rooting for him and Melisandre despite their shortcomings and sometimes unethical actions. Now I have to wait and see. I hate the fandom fight 🙁

      That was very depressing to watch. I cried 🙁 Shireen realizing what is happening and screaming for her father and mother to help her was horrible!! Kerry Ingram is an amazing actress and I love that she brought so much energy to the part of Shireen. I loved that they gave her a lot more character development in the show.

      It seems like a lot of book speculation/predictions is that Shireen will be burned for some purpose as well. However, most think it will be Melisandre without Stannis’ knowledge because in the book they are all back at the Wall, not with Stannis. It seems to me that it is really hitting home because it is Stannis that is making the choice, and I agree!! I am curious to know how D&D’s talk with GRRM regarding this scene in the “Inside the Episode” influenced their decisions in this season and how it will play out in TWOW.

      I still really enjoyed Daznak’s Pit!! I was happy to see Daenerys riding Drogon 🙂

      Mace Tyrell singing to the Iron Bank… the only tactic the Crown has left!!

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    177. Jeff O’Connor,

      Frankly, I wouldn’t put your idea past D&D. They have abjectly failed Dorne. Big Martell fanboy, but would gladly see the next TV twist be Dorne being wiped off the map by a meteorite.

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    178. davyJones,

      No it wasn’t out of character for Stannis to burn Shireen. He wants the throne. He already showed a willingness to kill family members to get it (Renly). He loved his daughter, but he wants the throne more.

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    179. TheMannisthatRides,

      Did anyone stop to think about the forgotten “Glamour” scene that never happened? What if they moved it and replaced LofB/Mance with Shireen? Maybe Shireen isn’t really dead and they just burned Yara at the stake instead.

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    180. I think that Sansa quote in the preview must be to Theon because it links to what he said in Hardhome about the Theon part of him being removed piece by piece.

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    181. Phil,

      simply jon’s resurrection theory is wrong never gonna happen , jon will warg into ghost its foreshadowed a lot and melisandre selyse and shireen can always take a short trip to winterfell ” when george told about this ” is very clear , stannis knows no mercy Hes never been a suitable king

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    182. “…and you are MY daughter!” Hypocritical, Rh’llor-fanatic, cold blooded arse!!!

      I am still quite angry.

      Dear Stannis, the one and only true king of Westeros,…

      You did not see a solution for your dilemma, but throwing your daughter in the fire. Well, royal blood has magic powers. Great deal! Sacrifice a daughter to become what you always claimed to be. I think, that was pretty selfish.

      Why don’t you throw yourself in the fire? You have royal blood too! Might have saved your family and your men as well… That would have been a true and noble saviour sacrifice, right? However, you prefer to stay alive and burn someone that did not have the choice, by hasard your daughter… Oops! Hope, you are pretty happy with your choice! And before you start whining about, like “I am a broken man now and I had no other choice…” Only cowards have no other choice! (as depicted above)

      Do the seven kingdoms a favor and get yourself kicked by a giant.

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    183. Have thought about it a bit more

      TV show explores themes differently to books which is something I think it often lost on books purists

      So for all the sloppiness and illogicality that comes from LF taking Sansa to Bolton held Winterfell and Stannis who is obsessed with claiming Kingship destroying his legacy which is what many Kings are obsessed with

      It’s worth noting that thematically the children stand for the future, and in a world where there is too much Ice/Otherism or Fire/R’hlorrism there is no future which brings us to the question of balance

      Last week we had the Ice side with the Child Wights, Jon raised a very good point when he said “I am asking you to think of your children now” and it was a brilliant line thematically.

      In the hut it turned Karsi’s opinion, and then later she is ensuring the survival of her own children while staying behind to sacrifice herself in effect while Stannis is doing the opposite. Karsi cannot raise her knives against the Wight Children when her maternal instinct kicks in and they maul her to death. This week we Uber Mel devotee Selyse finally crack and her maternal instinct kicks in as Shireen is being burned

      Either way under either excess Ice/Otherism and Fire/R’hlorrism there is no bright future.

      Stannis has destroyed a part of himself when he has burned Shireen, and also his lineage.

      I expect the Tyrion line about “destroying those devoted to you leads to no devotion at all” will become a theme so I expect we get Davos abandoning Stannis once he hears at the Wall which would be the opposite of Ser Jorah. I am hoping we actually get him devoted to Jon instead, Jon knows Rickon is alive so hopefully we get the Manderly speech from Jon and a mission to either Skagos or Last Hearth

      This brings me to Sansa, who has her innocence destroyed by Ramsay earlier, and I expect this is the shows path to making her a dark person as we are seeing with her hostile treatment of Reek (which is getting a response interestingly). We saw this in this episode with Trant wanting to effectively destroy a young girl. This makes me wonder how the Arya/Trant storyline is going to play out. Eg there’s a possibility it may not go smoothly for Arya and her innocence is destroyed in the process.

      Under such a scenario this would make sense thematically as “becoming no one” and being devoted to H of B&W means the destruction her identity and the death of the innocence of Arya Stark.

      That’s just a theory and it may be a case of Jagen H’gar coming in to finish the job properly. Big wtc if he puts on a Syrio Forel face while doing it….

      there’s something fascinating about Syrio Forel and Jagen H’gar, in that Syrio with his “what do we say to death? (aka H oB&W) – not today” though that could tie in with her relationship to Needle (and Jon)

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    184. As for little moments, that announcer was great

      Also, Daario with the knife taunting Hizdahr…

      And of course the conversation about the big men/little men ending with the big Gladiator suddenly slicing off the smaller guys head

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    185. For mine, the Gladiator aspect of Daznaks was fantastic

      The Drogon bit was a bit underwhelming though, eg he wasn’t quite big enough (well, compared to how I imagined him at this point) and the CGI with Greenscreen view was a little obvious

      This is a TV show though, I think we have been spoiled with movie-level quality production so I can give that a pass

      As an episode overall, it was great but Hardhome was quite brilliant and a tough act to follow

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    186. Jared,

      Hate to be the one to do this, but, as your post was seemingly near-on perfect grammatically otherwise, the word is ‘faze’ not ‘phase’.

      Great speech though!

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    187. Ghost’s Lunch:

      This makes me wonder how the Arya/Trant storyline is going to play out. Eg there’s a possibility it may not go smoothly for Arya and her innocence is destroyed in the process.

      I feel like this would be a really bad thing to have happen in 5×10, all things considered…

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    188. My personal Davos speculation, with Davos at the Wall:

      It is not Melisandre, who saves/resurrects Jon Snow… It will be Davos! Hence, the new top believer in team Dragonstone. 😀

      Honestly,

      I presume, it will be a huge cliffhanger… No resolution whatsoever, just a dying Jon in the Snow and a long fade out.

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    189. People are jumping to way too many conclusions about d&d saying when George told them about this. While I have no reason to doubt Shireen will burn for Stannis, considering where everyone is at in the novels, it makes absolutely no sense that Stannis could, or even would, give the order, unless George is willing to make even bigger leaps of logic than what has been seen in the show so far.

      Given Mel’s reaction to the news of Stannis’ supposed demise at the end of Dance, it’s quite easy to guess when that sacrifice will take place–hint, immediately.

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    190. Everything concerning Shireen’s death was shot, written and acted perfectly. It makes total sense from a narrative and character perspective.

      And I hated it…

      But…was I supposed to?

      I’m not sure whether my visceral reaction to it shows the strength of the scene or if it shows the weakness…

      Maybe I just have to admit that a father burning his daughter at the stake is just too heartbreaking for me to appreciate how well done everything involved with it was. Maybe it is too dark for me personally, and I will never like that scene, due to no fault on GRRM’s or D&D’s part…fuck, what a scene, the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen on television ever.

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    191. Why were the Sons of the Harpy killing nobles? Why were the slaves allowed to run free? When the mass of Sons came in at the end I noticed many of them were wearing slave garb.

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    192. Ghost’s Lunch:

      the big Gladiator suddenly slicing off the smaller guys head

      I’ve seen this sort of death onscreen before and wonder how accurate it really is to fall down on your knees before toppling over? I’m constantly losing my balance and falling into walls etc (although I have near-permanent ear/sinus pain so maybe I need to see a doc about that…), and I just imagine that a sudden & total loss of consciousness would result in more of a crumpling/collapse, along with huge spurts of blood from the carotid artery.

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    193. Heh, some folks on other sites are thinking Hizdahr is not dead and are convinced he’s behind all this. Would HBO update its site with false information? I doubt it.

      My money’s on the whore. She’s a person of power of influence, but she took the role to become “no one” — that’s thematic this season, in any case — so that she might see through the eyes of the city itself and lay in broad daylight (heh) for her soldiers to report to her.

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    194. I think the public opinion of Stannis is doomed after this episode.

      Great episode, absolutely thrilling! I was rejoiced to see Jorah reunited with Dany. Hizdhar’s death has saddened me, I did like him and think he had the makings of a decent ruller (provided he’d get some firm guidance).
      What bothered me a bit were the circumstances of Dany’s escape. In the books, there is chaos, sure, but in the show she just leaves her friends in danger and flies off, wind in her hair and all. She just seemed so selfish in that moment … And, sure, the Sons have had scattered by the time she took off, but seeing as Tyrion and co. were surrounded only moments before that, what’s to stop them from coming back the second Drogon’s out of sight? Can’t say I find it all too logical.

      I’m still not a fan of Ellaria. Her character makes no sense to me. She is all feist and anger and bloodlust one moment and all understanding the next. “I know your daughter had no part in the terrible thing that happened to the man I loved. Perhaps even you are innocent of that.” Um, of what, precisely? It’s not like he was murdered in a dark alley by assassins cloaked in crimson and gold. Or put on a trial and unjustly condemned to death. He volunteered to fight a man he’s wanted to fight for over a decade. And if desire for revenge works for Snakes in the books, it still doesn’t work for Ellaria as she was right there when he was making all the decisions. So, yeah, perhaps Jaime is indeed innocent of Oberyn’s death.

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    195. Queenofthrones:
      So, that 2nd fighting pit scene was SO GOOD btw.There were six fighters, each representing a different culture / style.

      Westerosi knight – Ser Jorah of course
      Mereenese champion – spear guy
      Bravo or water dancer – sword guy
      Dothraki – braid and blue paint
      Mereense pit fighter – had helmet, shield no other armor
      Final guy – don’t remember, anyone?

      Anyway I want say it was the best fight in the show so far.

      Yeah I basically see Daznaks in two pieces

      The Gladiator fighting was great, the dialogue the Main Stand was great, Daario was really enjoyable

      Hizdahr was very well set up, from the “where have you been?” to the point where they have everyone on him, and then he ends up getting stabbed like so many of the others in the Masters Class.

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    196. The Bastard:
      Team Stannis all the way.Who else is still with me??

      Episode 10 is going to be a bloodbath.

      Yeah I’m still all for him taking Winterfell from the Boltons, expect it in the books and in the show, but in books and show I don’t expect him to live long after that (as is the case for many established characters, eg I don’t expect Littlefinger to be alive for much longer in the books either)

      I reckon Brienne will face an interesting dilemma, eg the opportunity to fulfill her oath to save Cats daughter or to kill Stannis at the time, one will have to be deferred…

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    197. I was wondering from where were the 6 champions in Daznak’s Pit ..

      I think they were:

      -A Westerosi (Mormont)
      -A Meereenese (the last one standing)
      -A Braavosi (water dancing with Jorah)
      -A Dothraki (long braid, blue pigments)
      -A Summer Islander? (the black guy)
      -A … ? (Can’t recall)

      Am I right? Someone to clarify me..
      Thanks

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    198. Jillybean:
      Any one else wonder if Davos will be able to stand by Stannis after this? I don’t see him taking this very well at all.

      Yeah this I suspect is where Tyrions line about “killing thsoe devoted to you is no way to inspire devotion”, eg Shireen was obviously totally devoted to Stannis

      So personally I am now wondering if that is the last straw and show Davos defects at the Wall, show Jon knows Rickon so I am hoping we get Jon giving Davos the Manderly speech while fetching him to get Rickon

      Even if Davos doesen’t defect, Jon can still get him to find Rickon as a substitute liege Lord to Stannis in the north as a way around the issue brought up by Alys Karstark

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    199. Queenofthrones:
      So, that 2nd fighting pit scene was SO GOOD btw.There were six fighters, each representing a different culture / style.

      Westerosi knight – Ser Jorah of course
      Mereenese champion – spear guy
      Bravo or water dancer – sword guy
      Dothraki – braid and blue paint
      Mereense pit fighter – had helmet, shield no other armor
      Final guy – don’t remember, anyone?

      Anyway I want say it was the best fight in the show so far.

      As someone who participates in stuff like this (er, the foam/bamboo-based variety, of course) and occasionally gets the amazing opportunity to go free-for-all with six combatants, this was glorious to me as well.

      If only there were room for a seventh in that pit. And I could fly across the world for it. And the producers were inexplicably OK with having someone who uses tai chi swordfighting. >_>

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    200. Sam,

      Keep that denial coming son,it won’t change that it will happen in the books too,maybe not the exact way .

        Quote  Reply

    201. Few questions…
      How did Davos cut out that beautiful stag statue as he has just 1 finger on his right hand?

      Jorah held Daenerys’s hand ‘n helped her out of the mess. Doing so, did he infected her with greyscale?

      Who is worse, Meryn the Child Molester or Stannis who ordered to burn his daughter alive at the stake? In any case, Stannis is bigger religious zealot than his wife (who tried to save their daughter).

      My impression about the Pit scene… The dragon was great, the battle sucked.

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    202. Nice performance from Kerry ,Dillane ., Tara and Carrice …it was disturbing to watch that scene

      No way Alliser is going to stab Jon after he said “you are going to get us all killed ”

      Arya will she change the face or be as Arya itself when killing Meryn

      More of Alexander Siddig please

      Trystene’s one condition LOL…so now he is going to take the place in small council i thought it will be NYM

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    203. I saw read one critic who said Dany was selfish for flying away on Drogon. But she had to get him out he was getting so many spears at close range.

        Quote  Reply

    204. Now to Daznak pit :

      i thought they were setting up Hizdar to be head when he was late to attend the fights

      Some good conversation with Dany hizdar and Tyrion ….So dany now comes back to destroy that city ..

      Did anyone notice that while Masters are getting killed …Slaves were not …this is interesting i am not sure where will it lead

      Darrio’s story and little man gets his head chopped off

      Dany’s reaction when she hears Westerosi knight

      Darrio telling to shut up Hizdar

      anyone else got feared that what is jorah doing for a second when he threw that spear towards the stage ….

      loved the bravossi fighter

      So hizdar is not Harpy …glad he is not …its always been a legion and not a single person like dany comes to conclusion in the books

      tyrion saves missandei (Watch out GREYWORM)

      anyone notice Darrio’s nod and to go get her look to jorah when jorah went to hold dany’s hands

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    205. LordDavos,

      And it’s not like Drogon would have taken anyone else on his back but Dany,seriously what is with the logic flaw missing from some of these people,i think everyone should think through a little before they make a review because dumb things said like this can be avoided .

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    206. I had Shireen’s burning spoiled for me by a friend’s snapchat. He did it on purpose. I felt like doing a Mel too him.

      Now Stannis has no heir, but he can make another. This is his last chance to take the North, and he needs it.

      I always knew that the riding would be corny, but goddamn that scene was magnificent.

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    207. Dany and Drogon :

      i know it will not be same as in the books …but i liked what they did here

      Drogon comes and helps and does not care about him getting hurt but stays to protect Dany

      Dany gets to remove the Spear and stands unafraid in front of drogon …

      i see people complain about dany leaving with drogon at this point she was trying to save Drogon and the sons are already killed and running back with their tails tucked

      would have been nice if drogon burned dany and she bathed in fire again like in the books and that dress was just asking to be burnt

      No GREYSCALE to dany …remember Dany helps the victims of palemare outside the meereen and she does not get affected

      the looks from tyrion darrio jorah and missandei said all that needed to be said ..

      and tyrion now is a believer

      and the soundtrack is the best way to end the episode .. i must have already heard it 100 times…nice job RAMIN once again

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    208. I was hoping that Brienne would take out Ramsey, but now it would be a coin toss between him and Stannis. Hmmmmm ……. Maybe Stannis could take out Ramsey, then Brienn moves in to avenge Renly. This is GoT so it’s more likely Ramsey flays Brienne.

      Never thought Hizdar was the Harpy in the books or on TV. Far to neat and tidy, and he had too weak a character – not faking it. It’s a mass movement like I always assumed. The common citizens don’t like a foreign dictator swooping in and changing everything any more than the rich do. Only the freed slaves were better off.

      I wonder how the rest of team Dany are going to get out of that pit, through town and back up to the Great Pyramid? Teleport?

        Quote  Reply

    209. Uknow.0

      Sadly, it is probably Ser Meryn, as he does not actually kill them.

      ……… on the other hand he wants a “fresh one every day”. Yeeuurck.

      Although she was 17 during filming I do NOT want to see a semi naked Arya next episode D & D. She looks a good deal younger and pandering to kiddy fiddlers tastes is just not on. DON”T GO THERE. EVER EVER EVER!!!!!!!

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    210. Okay I got to pointlessly come back for this.

      I have long predicted Stannis will burn Shireen, I do not understand what blinds his fans so. But narrative is what matters, and as always with book to show changes it lacked. In the books, Stannis’ army have been shown starving and dying out to the point of redundancy. Here it is an episode of trouble, then Ramsey ninja arson, boom pyre. FFS in the show Stannis haven’t even seen the power of the leeches since Balon Greyjoy is apparently still alive and kicking.

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    211. Don’t understand why complaining about the show is bad- if I feel or don’t feel a certain way about something, why wouldn’t I share my opinions? Same with the books, there are many things there that I do not like, we are all of us different after all?

      Never liked Stannis much but the question if he is “capable” of killing his own daughter does not come into it. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, maybe all of us are? – a scary thought. However, the writers of the show and the book (!) are making conscious decisions to make some things happen in a certain way. And if they are pleased with themselves now for showing burning of a little, innocent girl on a stake for the “shock value” then I feel that I am entitled to criticize them.

        Quote  Reply

    212. Jillybean:
      Dorne fell flat to me again. Ellaria being pissy to Doran the whole time, and then all of a sudden kneeling to him? I didn’t buy it. And that conversation with Jaime really seemed to end strangely. It just stopped. Those were low points for me. Which is sad, because I love all of the actors involved.

      It struck me that Ellaria kneeling was the price for the Sand Snakes freedom.

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    213. When they say that George told them about the scene I think they meant about the burning of Shireen. She will be burnt by Melissandre in the books but not with Stannis’ permission and blessing because he’s freakin’ snowed in right in front of Winterfell and Shireen is at the Wall.
      This is what he says just in TWOW:
      "It may be that we shall lose this battle," the king said grimly. "In Braavos you may hear that I am dead. It may even be true. You shall find my sellswords nonetheless."
      The knight hesitated. "Your Grace, if you are dead — "
      " — you will avenge my death, and seat my daughter on the Iron Throne. Or die in the attempt."

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    214. MissVanity,

      Likely he’ll change his mind.

      The reaction from Stannis fans reminds me of the Unsullied during Baelor, Rains of Castamere, etc. I distinctly remember book readers insisting that show watchers get with the programme and accept the deaths. Seems to me that they are unhappy that they no longer have foresight into future events. Some people have said that once the book material is covered on the show then purism will drop. Unfortunately, I think the show will now have to contend with book readers’ expectations and imaginings of how things will go down, rather than the actual events themselves. So now we have Stannis fans saying that Stannis would never do what D&D -who are privy to the end game and future material- say that he does. Of course, many purists have aways been conspiratorially minded, Stannis diehards moreso than anyone else. Especially given that he’s a meme-character around places like 4chan. Oh well.

      I’m looking forward to the show wrapping up and tempers cooling down, by this point. Then people can watch it from beginning to end as a complete entity and a little more divorced from their own expectations and demands.

        Quote  Reply

    215. Aaaaand that’s why you disallow large parcels for spectators at the stadium!

      Before I went to sleep, I saw a different picture in the recap, that I didn’t remember from the episode…. Was the post edited? Was it somehow a 5.10 picture? It showed

      (Can’t get the spoiler code to work this morning… It was an Arya picture)

        Quote  Reply

    216. Zeus:
      So I guess there’s no one to root for in the battle of ice. That’s great

      Yup.

      Hopefully Brienne & Pod will rescue Sansa and everyone else involved will all kill each other.

        Quote  Reply

    217. DROGON EX MACHINA!!

      Selyse’s reaction was a nice twist.
      Stephen Dillane and Lena Headey really owned the season.
      I really thought Shireen would have made it. Felt the same way as when I saw Ned die.

      Oh and I don’t think they will ever be able to shoot in El Real Alcazar now that everybody saw Indira Varma spill wine on the floor.

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    218. Renly’s Peach:
      First for Renly not having burned his family members.

      First for saying Renly is more responsible for all the horrors in Westeros than an other person except Littlefinger, and even that is debatable. If that peach-loving pansy had just obeyed the lines of succession, Stannis would be king, all the Starks but Ned would be alive, and everyone would be gearing up for the clash with the White Walkers.

      At least we still have the Mannis, now more than ever. It took a lot of guts to make that call, and he certainly didn’t shy away from it. Bravo to him. Most people in his place would have chickened out and ran, whereupon his retreating army would collapse and the whole lot of Baratheons would have been left friendless, homeless, deeply in debt, and sooner or later strung up or burned anyway. I, for one, vote for the lesser evil, and I am glad Stannis agrees.

      I just finished watching a second time, this time with my unsullied wife. Man, she was ranting about that scene – the one where one of the contenders from the crown showed the most vile cowardice. You know, when Dany up and left her friends to die in a pit of vipers. It’ll be interesting to see how D&D write their way out of that one. I had no good explanation for that scene for my wife. Even if a big wad of Unsullied showed up right at the nick of time, the gates were all locked. What’s to stop the dozens of harpies from killing Tyrion and crew? If twenty can take out Selmy, Grey Worm and a few random Unsullied, the 50+ that seemed to be around at the end of the scene can certainly whip Daario and Jorah. I guess Daario will just have to be ten times as awesome as Selmy, yet again.

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    219. I was SO sure Shireen wouldn’t die in this whole story, let alone this episode or this season. There was even one naive, happy part of my brain left which thought Shireen might sit on the Iron Throne at the end of all this. Go ahead, laugh at me, but you’ll be pleased to know that part of my brain (or my soul) is now dead.

      I mean jesus! This is the first time I’ve ever been shocked to the point where I just sat there with my mouth gaping open, repeatedly grabbing the sides of my head and pulling my hair and yelling “what the fuck?!

      This must be how people felt during the Red Wedding, a scene which was spoiled for me. Wow. I finally got to experience that kind of moment raw and pure… and it just hurts. I’ll call it good story later*, but for now I just feel sad.

      (unrelated BOOK SPOILER alert)

      I was also a little sad when the new “Forgive Me” song started playing, because after listening to the sample on Amazon, I was sooo sure that would play as Theon entered the godswood. But now everything about that seems a bit less likely, too. Mind you, I’m not such a Theon-fanatic (Theonatic?) that that sadness wasn’t completely overpowered when I saw what was happening to Shireen, though.

      *I am starting to see good story reasons for it already, in fact. When that DICK Stannis gets exposed as the phony he surely must be, there will be no doubt left, because he’s finally taken Mel’s concept of magical-boons-via-royal-sacrifice to its absolute maximum.

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    220. *CONTAINS WOW SPOILER* (tags not working–but it’s the same spoiler that’s been mentioned multiple times upthread)

      I am not a particularly diehard StanFan. I like the character but more because he’s interesting than because I think he’s a great person.

      And I’m fully aware, thanks for the book spoiler D&D, that apparently Shireen has the same fate in the books. Which honestly I’m not super surprised about, it’s clear something terrible will happen to her, and at one point she dreams of dragons coming to eat her.

      I still don’t think the Stannis/Shireen stuff was handled well, I found it more uncomfortable and disturbing than “heartbreaking.” It felt bad in a bad way, not bad in a good way. Among other things, it means that we aren’t seeing Stannis fight a battle based on his own ingenuity rather than dark magic–and he’s supposed to be this legendary commander.

      Basically Stannis is supposed to have only about two good points: he values truth and justice, albeit in a very extreme fashion; and he’s a great battle commander. Burning an innocent child to win a battle with magic kind of nullifies both of those things in one fell swoop.

      I’m not saying it’s absolutely out of character for Stannis to ever burn Shireen, I’m just saying this particular scenario didn’t work for me, so it felt really horrifying for no reason.

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    221. Jared,

      As usual, an eloquent post. Since I was spoiled about poor Shireen earlier in the day, I was prepared and muted her screams. Dillane, Fitzgerald and Ingram delivered on what must have been a difficult scene to shoot.

      Tyrion Pimpslap,
      Jillybean,

      There has to be another scene in Dorne in the finale, right? Because if not…what was the point? Can’t imagine that Doran’s “big” plan is to put Trystane on the small council. Hotah needs to do something with that axe. Regardless of where this story line goes, it has been a disappointment.

        Quote  Reply

    222. TheBerylfly:
      Okay I got to pointlessly come back for this.

      But narrative is what matters, and as always with book to show changes it lacked. In the books, Stannis’ army have been shown starving and dying out to the point of redundancy.

      Which was entirely undermined narratively when Stannis sent Davos back up to the fully-stocked Walmart at the Wall, which has already re-loaded with enough food to cover the couple of tons of food per day that Stannis’s army would need. Why would the Night’s Watch have enough food to feed an army of 6000? Even if they had a year’s worth of food and were willing to part with all of it, that would only last Stannis’s army three days. It was ridiculous for Stannis to hang around the Wall so long in the first place (back in first half of the season). There can’t be any extra food left up there at this point, and even less so with ~1000 wildlings showing up. Yes, I understand this was a plot device to get rid of Davos, but that doesn’t stop it from undermining the “Stannis has no other good choice” element of the ethical dilemma he was facing.

        Quote  Reply

    223. Oh, and Arya’s scenes were good, too, but is she going back to the whorehouse to be Trant’s whore?Uh oh.

      I think we know why GRRM released the ‘Mercy’ sample chapter now, plus Maisie said she had the most difficult scene in S5 that she’d ever had to shoot – so put your two and two together…

      As for Stannis, I have felt when reading the books that we are being led up the garden path with Stannis often appearing as the best of a bad bunch when it comes to the contest for the Iron Throne, now whether we see in TWoW that Stannis has an irretrievably bad side we shall have to wait and see but some of the preciousness from fellow book readers seems premature to me.

      Really going to miss Shireen and Kerry though, she was like a glowing beacon of innocence in a world going ever more mad…

        Quote  Reply

    224. Nathan:
      Don’t understand why complaining about the show is bad- if I feel or don’t feel a certain way about something, why wouldn’t I share my opinions? Same with the books, there are many things there that I do not like, we are all of us different after all?

      Never liked Stannis much but the question if he is “capable” of killing his own daughter does not come into it. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, maybe all of us are? – a scary thought. However, the writers of the show and the book (!) are makingconscious decisions to make some things happen in a certain way. And if they are pleased with themselves now for showing burning of a little, innocent girl on a stake for the “shock value” then I feel that I am entitled to criticize them.

      Yes, this.

        Quote  Reply

    225. Blind Beth: Stannis fight a battle based on his own ingenuity rather than dark magic–and he’s supposed to be this legendary commander.

      Agreed, whole-heartedly. Assuming book-Stannis does indeed sacrifice Shireen, it’s only going to be after he shows his out-smart the enemy chops, not before. Now any victory he has will seem like something he purchased from the gods with blood. It is a great diminishment of his character.

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    226. Here is how it should have happened. Selyse kills Shireen and Stannis beheads her on the spot and cries over the pyre for 5 minutes. Then he orders M chained up and sacrifices her to the Old Gods, Weirwood style.

        Quote  Reply

    227. mariamb:
      Jared,

      As usual, an eloquent post. Since I was spoiled about poor Shireen earlier in the day, I was prepared and muted her screams. Dillane, Fitzgerald and Ingram delivered on what must have been a difficult scene to shoot.

      Tyrion Pimpslap,
      Jillybean,

      There has to be another scene in Dorne in the finale, right? Because if not…what was the point? Can’t imagine that Doran’s “big” plan is to put Trystane on the small council. Hotah needs to do something with that axe. Regardless of where this story line goes, it has been a disappointment.

      If

      Trystane does in fact equal Aegon this almost makes sense. Tommen gets wacked, “Trystane” and Myrcella seize power, then reveal?

        Quote  Reply

    228. Lauren:
      davyJones,

      I can see that happening. I still can’t process what I watched last night because it just wasn’t the Stannis I recognize.

      As much as I was Team Stannis in the books, I can’t help but wonder if the Stannis we recognize is mostly informed by the one Davos sees rather than the one that actually exists.

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    229. So, what if we throw the whole idea of Jon warging into Ghost in the next book and start to embrace the idea of Melisandre sacrificing Shireen to resurrect Jon?

        Quote  Reply

    230. Zeus:
      So I guess there’s no one to root for in the battle of ice. That’s great

      It’s a fun reversal of the Blackwater, where each side had people you were kind of rooting for and either outcome would have negative cons- Wait, does Sansa being Robb’s sister count as having King’s Blood?

        Quote  Reply

    231. Ravyn,

      In my opinion every episode 9 of every season was better than this one. It was intense , real intense but I personally like episode 2- 3-5-7-8 better this season . I’ll give this episode a b-. So stannis has to confront the iron born ? We know yara will be in this last episode and if he defeated them right after the sacrifice it would be enough for his non believer men to start beleiving in the red god . I have mixed feelings about the episode . I think next weeks episode will be extra juicy

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    232. Delta1212: As much as I was Team Stannis in the books, I can’t help but wonder if the Stannis we recognize is mostly informed by the one Davos sees rather than the one that actually exists.

      This. And we have not been privy to Stannis’ thought processes in the book, after all this is a man who was happy to use dark magic to dispose of his brother. As for an heir, well he’s not too old to ditch Selyse for someone more fertile and produce more (and male) offspring .

      I don’t dislike Stannis but the man is a very cold pragmatist.

        Quote  Reply

    233. I think we know why GRRM released the ‘Mercy’ sample chapter now, plus Maisie said she had the most difficult scene in S5 that she’d ever had to shoot – so put your two and two together…

      Do you have a link to where she said this? That is also what Sophie said about her scene….

      It is quite clear where they are going with this after having Meryn ask for young prostitutes and saying he will be back, let’s just hope they handle it as tastefully as possible and avoid more controversy.

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    234. 1)as far as we know in the movie ,Balon Greyjoy is still alive ,which means Melisandre’s magic has flaws, so what guarantee does Stannis have that by offering his daughter ,the succes of the battle of Winterfell will be his?
      2)whas it that hard for the showrunners to imply some sort of storm on the sea which would explain the unusual appearance of Jon Snow ,Tormund and the rest of the wildings at Castle Black? i wonder if D&D had looked on Westeros’ map , i mean the only way they could have got directly to Castleblack was thru that army of skeletons they created!

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    235. JamesL: Do you have a link to where she said this? That is also what Sophie said about her scene….

      It is quite clear where they are going with this after having Meryn ask for young prostitutes and saying he will be back, let’s just hope they handle it as tastefully as possible and avoid more controversy.

      Here it is

      Q: Has there been a scene so far in Game of Thrones that was particularly difficult?

      Williams: There’s actually a scene in the coming season… which was my most difficult scene to film. And I think fans are going to be really excited about it. More emotional than we’ve seen Arya in previous seasons.

      http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/maisie_williams_most_difficult_game_of_thrones_scene_coming_season_5-2015-01

      I can’t think it relates to any scene so far, even though the hiding of needle and suicide girl scene were emotional.

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    236. “Any reason you didn’t see this coming, Red?”
      She did see it coming. There’s this moment where she’s still in her tent, looking into her brazier. Suddenly her eyes grow wide in terror and she goes outside.

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    237. Ghasterly Rock:
      I had Shireen’s burning spoiled for me by a friend’s snapchat. He did it on purpose. I felt like doing a Mel too him.

      Now Stannis has no heir, but he can make another. This is his last chance to take the North, and he needs it.

      I always knew that the riding would be corny, but goddamn that scene was magnificent.

      CornY? No. You mean amaizing!

        Quote  Reply

    238. Arya Havin’ a Larf?: This.And we have not been privy to Stannis’ thought processes in the book, after all this is a man who was happy to use dark magic to dispose of his brother.

      His brother was a traitor, and more responsible for the horrors in modern Westeros than anyone except Littlefinger. And why is killing someone with magic any worse than killing them with poison, a sword or a noose? Renly’s death was actually quick and painless.

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    239. Ok so Shireen is burned. How will the Lord of Light make up for this? Anyone?

      Next week will end with for the watch, total devastation and then a sprankle of hope. Someone returning from the grave… It would be perfect timing, already foreshadowing Jon’s resurrection.

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    240. So, what’s the consensus? Does Stannis die in 5×10 courtesy of Oathkeeper? What’s the culmination of Winterfell/Stannis/Brienne storyline? I’m totally in the dark here. Also curious to see Davos’ reaction. The show built up his and Shireen’s relationship for a reason, I think. Will Sansa screw someone with her…well, screw?

      So many questions…

        Quote  Reply

    241. tyjon:
      robb17,

      D&D are a pair of Misogynists, notice how they remove the importance of the Dornish power structure, even replacing Nym with Trystane at the small council. In the books its the only place where women can rule over men, god forbid.

      Stannis is bad, caring only for what he believes is his right. But most medieval rulers were this way in real life, often sacrificing their children metaphorically speaking, to reach or maintain power.

      Draznak’s Pit was all that I had hoped for, amazing, and loved the Daario, Hizzy and Tyrion interplay, lightening up the scene, prior to the butchery. Now Dany’s 40 days and nights in the wastelands begins, and she leaves the others to survive the quagmire of Meereen.

      No, you don’t get it. Stannis didn’t kill his daughter because he thought it was his right to become king. He killed her because he was told and seen himself as the saviour and the last hope for westeros. You could even say that he was heroic by burning Shireen. You can see it as a altruist fact that came from stannis. He is ready to sacrifice everything that he has or care(more or less) in order to save westeros. He would even sacrifice himself if he knew that it was needed to save westeros.

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    242. Every year people predict Bronn will die and every year they are wrong. Bronn us the ultimate survivor. Glad hes alive!!!

        Quote  Reply

    243. Chad Brick: His brother was a traitor, and more responsible for the horrors in modern Westeros than anyone except Littlefinger. And why is killing someone with magic any worse than killing them with poison, a sword or a noose? Renly’s death was actually quick and painless.

      Sure, Stannis is a saint. Allowing Mel to burn Rattleshirt alive (in the books) was just a sign of affection 😉

      Mr Fixit:
      Arya Havin’ a Larf?,
      My guess is Maisie means getting rid of Needle. We’ve seen this one already.

      I wouldn’t have thought it was that difficult, as brilliant as it was.

      Cuddling up to a hebephile, even just acting though…

        Quote  Reply

    244. Wimsey,

      What are your thoughts on the Dorne plot Wimsey?

      Alan Sepinwall said “Dorne has been a near-total missfire all season” in his latest review.

      I agree with him. At least they didn’t kill off Bronn.

        Quote  Reply

    245. Mr Fixit,

      That’s a good point. There’s immense amount of ground to cover in that story, and we’re not even talking about everything that has to happen in other storylines. I’m expecting some cliffhangers at/near Winterfell…

      Also, will we see Littlefinger ? And if so, where?

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    246. Chad Brick: His brother was a traitor, and more responsible for the horrors in modern Westeros than anyone except Littlefinger. And why is killing someone with magic any worse than killing them with poison, a sword or a noose? Renly’s death was actually quick and painless.

      I’m pretty sure Cersei is more responsible than Renly, since it’s the creation of her psychotic bastard child (for which Jaime shares some blame) coupled with her assassination of Robert that directly lead to the outbreak of war in the first place.

      Some of that was helped along by Littlefinger, who sewed the chaos more intentionally and with clearer eyes than any of the other players, but the chaos is really rooted in a combination of Robert’s apathetic rule and Cersei’s incompetent malevolence.

      Robert was too drunk to pay attention to what was going on around him, and Cersei destabilized the succession as a result of an ambition that far outstripped her political acumen. Just from that, war was inevitable. Renly was just a bit of an opportunist that tried to take advantage of the chaos instead of really helping to end it.

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    247. The award for the worst fictional parents in history goes to…..

      Hard to sleep after that.

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    248. 2222: No, you don’t get it. Stannis didn’t kill his daughter because he thought it was his right to become king.

      This is a point where subtle differences in phrasing make all the difference in the world. Stannis, Daeny, etc., do not feel that they have “a right” to be monarch. They each feel that it is right that it is right that he/she be monarch, and (and this is really critical to understand) that it is wrong for him/her to not do everything in his/her power to become monarch.

      In Stannis’ case, this is further magnified: he’s been convinced that he is a prophesized savior, and that if he doesn’t take the Throne, then everybody dies. He already noted that one man’s fate in the face of millions means nothing, and we already know that Stannis is the least hypocritical person around.

      And, really, everyone should have realized that he’s the last sort of person that you would “want” to be king!

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    249. Turncloak,

      Yeah, I was cautiously optimistic about Dorne going in, but nothing really happened. I wouldn’t call it disastrous or anything dramatic like that, but a misfire is a good description. It just really didn’t go anywhere, and I’m not sure whether or not they’re going to pull the trigger on the only thing that made me give a single shit about Dorne in the first place, since they’ve only got one episode left with very little time available for Doran to be giving any monologues.

      Edit: You know what Dorne was? It was a season-long Yara raid.

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    250. Turncloak: What are your thoughts on the Dorne plot Wimsey?

      I’ve been largely indifferent to it. It’s been neither good nor bad, which makes it the worst storyline of the series.

      The big thing is that I do not think of this as a “Dorne plotline” so much as “Jaime’s storyline.” And I think that they’ve been very (very!) slow to unravel the “kill the boy [girl], let the man [woman] be born” aspect of Jaime’s storyline. Basically, it’s been done for every other lead character already save Arya, Theon and Sansa: and basically all of the dominoes are in place for Arya, Theon and Sansa next week.

      I will admit that I have breathed a mental sigh of relief that these things were not much worse. I have made no secret of the fact that I consider the stuff in Dorne from Crows to be GRRM’s absolute nadir as a writer. My biggest criticism of BookDorne (Arianne) was cut completely, so I probably am seeing the “lack of bad” rather than any “good.” And I have made no secret of the fact that I consider the plotline behind Jaime’s story in Crows to have been unnecessary. And that, too, has been cut.

      Still, I am hoping for some defining

      “You are Not Tywin II: Tyrion is” (or “You have a Soul!”)

      moment for Jaime next week. And if it doesn’t happen? Well, they’ve done so many other storylines for the other protagonists so well that I think that they still come out way ahead. This show has a LOT of protagonists: and if 10th place is “average television,” then that is pretty good! (And Jon’s, Daeny’s and Tyrion’s all are top-of-the-field: and with a good conclusion, Cersei’s, Sansa’s, Theons and Arya’s could be top-of-the-field, too.)

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    251. Delta1212: As much as I was Team Stannis in the books, I can’t help but wonder if the Stannis we recognize is mostly informed by the one Davos sees rather than the one that actually exists.

      We don’t just see Stannis from Davos’ perspective, we see him from Jon, from Sam, from Cat, from Melisandre, from Asha, and from Theon.

      That’s enough different people to have a decent perspective.
      No need to doubt your view of Stannis, what you should wonder is whether D&D actually paid attention in all those chapters when they read it.

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    252. Cuddling up to a hebephile, even just acting though…

      Agh… I think I’m going to vomit… for the second time, that is. The first was when I read the Mercy chapter and needed some brain bleach.

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    253. Nymeria the wolf,

      Actually, given the parental issues all over this series, I’m still not 100% convinced Stannis is a lock for that. Front runner maybe, but he’s got a lot of competition.

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    254. In Stannis’ case, this is further magnified: he’s been convinced that he is a prophesized savior, and that if he doesn’t take the Throne, then everybody dies.He already noted that one man’s fate in the face of millions means nothing, and we already know that Stannis is the least hypocritical person around.

      A lot of people seem to be missing this, especially unsullied. Stannis has every logical reason to believe he is the prophesized hero that will defeat the ultimate evil. His choice was between killing his own daughter and potentially (even likely) everyone dying. I don’t think D&D did a good job of capturing this element, and thus made Stannis’s choice look selfish. Stannis did not kill Shireen so he could have a fancy chair. He killed her because he believed it necessary to save the world.

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    255. Delta1212: I’m pretty sure Cersei is more responsible than Renly, since it’s the creation of her psychotic bastard child (for which Jaime shares some blame) coupled with her assassination of Robert that directly lead to the outbreak of war in the first place.

      Some of that was helped along by Littlefinger, who sewed the chaos more intentionally and with clearer eyes than any of the other players, but the chaos is really rooted in a combination of Robert’s apathetic rule and Cersei’s incompetent malevolence.

      I’d place Cersei at #3. She’d rank higher, but a lot of the chaos she was responsible for was second-order and unintentional. LF’s was obviously intentional, and Renly’s was a direct and inevitable result of his treason. Either way, Renly bears a lot of responsibility for the current situation. Stannis had every right and reason to kill him, and the means hardly matter. In fact it was about as clean as it possibly could have been.

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    256. Chad Brick: A lot of people seem to be missing this, especially unsullied. Stannis has every logical reason to believe he is the prophesized hero that will defeat the ultimate evil. His choice was between killing his own daughter and potentially (even likely) everyone dying. I don’t think D&D did a good job of capturing this element, and thus made Stannis’s choice look selfish. Stannis did not kill Shireen so he could have a fancy chair. He killed her because he believed it necessary to save the world.

      OK I see where you are coming from now. I agree but how to get that over in a way that isn’t too clunky – or alternatively just leave the audience to figure it out? Perhaps we get that in the next episode…

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    257. Think about the long term implications of Stannis sacrificing his daughter… He no longer has an heir. Presumptions that he can just have another doesn’t hold much weight with all the proof of past failings preserved in giant Mason jars back on Dragonstone. If he were to win the throne, and actually hold onto it for the rest of his life, he’s setting the realm up for more chaos when he dies. With literally no living Baratheons left (Gendry is still a bastard, and Stannis would NEVER legitimize him, you can go to the bank on that), who would succeed him? His only other option would be to set Selyse aside and take another wife with the hope of producing children. Again, as unbending as Stannis is, I would seriously doubt he would do that. (but then, I used to could say I seriously doubted he would burn his only living child, so there you go….)

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    258. My word, Linda was raging on Twitter last night, including this gem:

      “Since D&D care nothing about spoiling book readers, I feel like having a massive campaign to spoil the big one in ep 10. #GameofThrones”

      I think this confirms many people’s belief that part of the reason from some book readers this year is the fact that they are being spoiled.

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    259. Chad Brick,

      You have a point. One of the consequences of GoT’s lack of prophecies and mythology building is that viewers have a much dimmer understanding of Stannis’ true motives. In the show it does seem his primary motivation is winning the throne, hence his sacrifice of Shireen seems extremely selfish and borderline crazy.

      I think the show should have done a better job of portraying the weight of destiny on Stannis’ shoulders and his (presumed) status as Azor Ahai, the only person who can defeat the WWs and save the world through immense personal sacrifice (Nissa Nissa). Stannis’ colossal inner struggle needs to be depicted in mythological, larger-than-life terms (think Abraham and Isaac) of a man who’ll do whatever it takes for (what he thinks is) the higher good. But in order to succeed at this, the show needed to more clearly state exactly what it is that Stannis is fighting for, and that it’s a much broader canvas than simply taking Winterfell from a bunch of psychos.

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    260. Jeb:
      My word, Linda was raging on Twitter last night, including this gem:

      “Since D&D care nothing about spoiling book readers, I feel like having a massive campaign to spoil the big one in ep 10. #GameofThrones”

      I think this confirms many people’s belief that part of the reason from some book readers this year is the fact that they are being spoiled.

      No, Linda’s objection was not the show spoiling stuff, it’s D&D on the inside the episode stating that it happens in the books. It’s D&D spoiling the books outside of the show she objected to.

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    261. Yes, Renly was a traitor. Yes, Stannis had the right to kill him. In battle. He was treasonous on using blood magic and for that will be accused as a kinslayer.
      Ow, but he was just trying to avoid a bloodbath? He saved thousands of lives by acting before it came to that? That’s Tywin’s reasoning behind the red wedding. Don’t act like one is justified and the other is evil.

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    262. Syrio: We don’t just see Stannis from Davos’ perspective, we see him from Jon, from Sam, from Cat,from Melisandre, from Asha, and from Theon.

      That’s enough different people to have a decent perspective.
      No need to doubt your view of Stannis, what you should wonder is whether D&D actually paid attention in all those chapters when they read it.

      Oh, I’m aware of the fact that we aren’t completely restricted to Davos’s view. But it’s through Davos that we generally see Stannis at his worst, which I think blunts some of the atrociousness of things that he’s done, and deflects a lot of it onto Mel, and our perspective on Stannis is especially Davos-heavy early on, which creates something of a frame through which all of Stannis’s subsequent actions are viewed.

      I don’t deny that the things I liked about Stannis are still there, but there is a harshness and rigidity to Stannis that has been explicitly called out in word and deed on many occasions. I think that Davos’s perspective has done a lot to emphasize the virtue of that attitude in order to blunt the very obvious negative consequences a bit.

      Because that rigidity is really only a positive quality of it has a limit beyond which Stannis will bend. We’ve skirted that limit (as with, e.g. Gendric) and gotten just enough wobble (through Davos’s eyes) to allow us to believe that Stannis is inflexible, but not inflexible to the point of horror. The thing is, though, we’ve never seen a test where that has been concretely demonstrated. Davos has always been around to save him from being tested, or to gloss over Stannis’s responsibility in those acts which have been terrible in favor of blaming Mel.

      But, for different reasons in each universe, Davos isn’t there to bend where Stannis can’t, and we may now be seeing the fallout from that.

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    263. Jeb: “Since D&D care nothing about spoiling book readers, I feel like having a massive campaign to spoil the big one in ep 10. #GameofThrones”

      I think this confirms many people’s belief that part of the reason from some book readers this year is the fact that they are being spoiled.

      That tantrum is even sillier seeing that ep. 10 has been spoiled for years by thousands of internet trolls already… and books 6 and 7 will be completely spoiled in the next two seasons anyway. Pathetic, really.

      Even more ironic, since the only fault for the books being spoiled is the author’s. If DwD had come out in 2006 as originally announced, he could have had WoW in 2010 and DoS in 2014. No books would have been “spoiled.”

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    264. Chad Brick: I don’t think D&D did a good job of capturing this element, and thus made Stannis’s choice look selfish.

      It was heavily emphasized in Seasons 2 and 3, but not in this season. It might have been a mistake to not remind the audience of this during this episode, or a couple of weeks ago. Particularly because, at this point, the audience has to be looking at Jon and Daeny as the Saviors to Be.

      Mr Fixit: I think the show should have done a better job of portraying the weight of destiny on Stannis’ shoulders and his (presumed) status as Azor Ahai, the only person who can defeat the WWs and save the world through immense personal sacrifice (Nissa Nissa).

      Again, I think that it might have helped. It gets hard to say what the audience is going to remember at this point. Fans frequently err by assuming that audiences will remember small details (like who Tysha was or that Theon has uncles) that are not emphasized. However, this was a big point of emphasis in Seasons 2 and 3, and maybe in Season 4, too. Moreover, Melissandre has constantly reminded people that this is about a much bigger war: more than once she states that the Iron Throne is almost irrelevant. She alone should remind the audience that this is all based on prophecy and soothsaying. So, obviously nothing major is needed: that would be rehash. Still, I cannot help but to think that a small reminder that Stannis believes that this is about more than the Iron Throne would be nice.

      However, this is a small quibble. I suspect that the audience generally gets it: but I also think that most of the audience has long seen Stannis for what he is. “Team Stannis” is a fandom-only phenomenon, I will bet.

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    265. Syrio,

      D&D are really in a no-win situation with the Lindas of the world. They obviously felt the need to say that Shireen’s demise was GRRM’s idea because they knew they would be ripped for changing things from the books, yet now they’re getting ripped for “spoiling the books” (Oh, for fuck’s sake, Linda; what are they supposed to do? Wait until George finishes the books in 10 years- if ever- before shooting the next season?! Unreal…). D&D might as well just ignore people like her, because they will hate them no matter what.

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    266. Delta1212:

      Edit: You know what Dorne was? It was a season-long Yara raid.

      Haha, your description nails it! Having seen the Dorne storyline, and unless something truly epic happens in 5×10 — which I honestly can’t see — I don’t know why GoT even bothered introducing it this year. The whole arc amounts to a failed rescue/kidnapping/murder attempt and a conversation with Doran. What the hell is that about?

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    267. Syrio: No, Linda’s objection was not the show spoiling stuff, it’s D&D on the inside the episode stating that it happens in the books.It’s D&D spoiling the books outside of the show she objected to.

      Another case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      “D&D are hack writers ruining GRRM’s masterpieces!!!!”
      “Actually, that was GRRM’s idea.”
      “D&D are hack writers spoiling what happens in GRRM’s masterpieces!!!”

        Quote  Reply

    268. Syrio: No, Linda’s objection was not the show spoiling stuff, it’s D&D on the inside the episode stating that it happens in the books.It’s D&D spoiling the books outside of the show she objected to.

      On the flip side of that, people who have wanted to remain unspoiled for the show have been having to dodge tons of story-related media for years.

      I guess now it’s our turn.

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    269. Delta1212: Oh, I’m aware of the fact that we aren’t completely restricted to Davos’s view. But it’s through Davos that we generally see Stannis at his worst, which I think blunts some of the atrociousness of things that he’s done, and deflects a lot of it onto Mel, and our perspective on Stannis is especially Davos-heavy early on, which creates something of a frame through which all of Stannis’s subsequent actions are viewed.

      I don’t deny that the things I liked about Stannis are still there, but there is a harshness and rigidity to Stannis that has been explicitly called out in word and deed on many occasions. I think that Davos’s perspective has done a lot to emphasize the virtue of that attitude in order to blunt the very obvious negative consequences a bit.

      Because that rigidity is really only a positive quality of it has a limit beyond which Stannis will bend. We’ve skirted that limit (as with, e.g. Gendric) and gotten just enough wobble (through Davos’s eyes) to allow us to believe that Stannis is inflexible, but not inflexible to the point of horror. The thing is, though, we’ve never seen a test where that has been concretely demonstrated. Davos has always been around to save him from being tested, or to gloss over Stannis’s responsibility in those acts which have been terrible in favor of blaming Mel.

      But, for different reasons in each universe, Davos isn’t there to bend where Stannis can’t, and we may now be seeing the fallout from that.

      The thing is, Stannis only really starts to become likable in the books when we stop seeing from Davos’ perspective. The last Davos chapter with Stannis in it is before they sail for the wall. And Stannis doesn’t really start to become likable to book readers until after that, when we see him from perspective from other characters but specifically NOT Davos. So no, Stannis’ likablility is not related to Davos.

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    270. Delta1212: Edit: You know what Dorne was? It was a season-long Yara raid.

      They seem to have one of these plots every season:
      Qarth/dragon-napping, Talisa-Robb love story, Yara raid, Dorne
      Can’t think of one for Season 1, but the rest all seem to have that one plot/storyline that just falls flat on its face. Oh well, if just one out of 10 storylines sucks, I can still live with it.

      I think the Euron Greyjoy fans should be nervous, however… 🙂

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    271. Delta1212: On the flip side of that, people who have wanted to remain unspoiled for the show have been having to dodge tons of story-related media for years.

      I guess now it’s our turn.

      Has nothing to do with people not wanting to be spoiled, has everything to do with D&D going out of their way to declare a spoiler when they had no need to.

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    272. Syrio: No, Linda’s objection was not the show spoiling stuff, it’s D&D on the inside the episode stating that it happens in the books. It’s D&D spoiling the books outside of the show she objected to.

      Well, if GRRM had finished the book years ago (as was assumed would be the case when they started planning the series), then this would not be an issue. They are going to be spoiling stuff all of next year and the year after: what does one tidbit now matter?

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    273. Wimsey: It was heavily emphasized in Seasons 2 and 3, but not in this season.It might have been a mistake to not remind the audience of this during this episode, or a couple of weeks ago.Particularly because, at this point, the audience has to be looking at Jon and Daeny as the Saviors to Be.

      Another issue that differs from the books is that presuming Stannis actually sacrifices Shireen in TWOW (not totally clear, but more likely than before), he will almost certainly know that

      Dragonstone has fallen, and thus he has no home to return to.

      It’s possible that he already knows this, but I can’t recall it being mentioned in his POVs off the top of my head. Either way, if he doesn’t, he will learn sooner or later.

      Stannis is all-in in the Game of Thrones, and it is Win or Die. He can’t run, he can’t stay, and he only had one horrible way forward. He made the right choice.

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    274. Fienix: With literally no living Baratheons left (Gendry is still a bastard, and Stannis would NEVER legitimize him, you can go to the bank on that), who would succeed him?

      The Baratheons would have some other heirs, probably even some with a Baratheon surname. If not, then because all of the noble families are tightly interlinked, some descendant of an aunt or great-aunt would become heir. People would figure this out quickly enough. (This comes up a couple of times in the books as background details for different plotlines.)

      And, remember: Stannis isn’t doing this to make his grandson king, and he never was.

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    275. Chad Brick,

      I don’t get your point.

      Books are more complicated always. Every big scene was more complicated in the books.

      Stannis killing Shireen in TWOW will be will be no exception, it will have more layers

        Quote  Reply

    276. Wimsey: I’ve been largely indifferent to it.It’s been neither good nor bad, which makes it the worst storyline of the series.

      The big thing is that I do not think of this as a “Dorne plotline” so much as “Jaime’s storyline.”And I think that they’ve been very (very!) slow to unravel the “kill the boy [girl], let the man [woman] be born” aspect of Jaime’s storyline.Basically, it’s been done for every other lead character already save Arya, Theon and Sansa: and basically all of the dominoes are in place for Arya, Theon and Sansa next week.

      I will admit that I have breathed a mental sigh of relief that these things were not much worse.I have made no secret of the fact that I consider the stuff in Dorne from Crows to be GRRM’s absolute nadir as a writer.My biggest criticism of BookDorne (Arianne) was cut completely, so I probably am seeing the “lack of bad” rather than any “good.”And I have made no secret of the fact that I consider the plotline behind Jaime’s story in Crows to have been unnecessary.And that, too, has been cut.

      Still, I am hoping for some defining

      moment for Jaime next week.And if it doesn’t happen?Well, they’ve done so many other storylines for the other protagonists so well that I think that they still come out way ahead.This show has a LOT of protagonists: and if 10th place is “average television,” then that is pretty good!(And Jon’s, Daeny’s and Tyrion’s all are top-of-the-field: and with a good conclusion, Cersei’s, Sansa’s, Theons and Arya’s could be top-of-the-field, too.)

      That’s a good way to look at it. I liked Arianne’s chapters but I did find her extremely naive. That will come to bite her in TWOW. The blood oranges will be falling hard on Dorne in TWOW once

      Dany’s makes them pay for allying with the Blackfyre pretender.

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    277. Chimeny,

      The one and only. She’s become completely insufferable in the past few years. As is the case with- ironically enough- Stannis and Melisandre- no one likes a rigid, fanatical zealot.

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    278. Syrio,

      D&D did not go out of their way. Benioff was interviewed. He was asked questions. He answered the questions honestly. It was the decision of a mid-level marketing producer at HBO to put that comment in the Inside the Episode video.

      It’s really funny how people react to everything these guys do as though it’s a crime against humanity. They’ve been working their asses off for six years to bring us a truer adaptation of this story than would ever be possible in any other visual medium, and people act like they’re giving everyone cancer.

        Quote  Reply

    279. So next episode we’re having

      Winterfell + Brienne
      Stannis (we still didn’t have the scene with Ramsay with blood in his face)
      The Wall
      King’s Landing (and it should be long)
      Braavos
      Dorne (Jaime’s voice is on the trailer)
      Meereen
      Wherever Dany is

      Maybe even Yara and the Night’s King.

      Can we have two hours please?

        Quote  Reply

    280. Simeon: They seem to have one of these plots every season:
      Qarth/dragon-napping, Talisa-Robb love story, Yara raid, Dorne
      Can’t think of one for Season 1, but the rest all seem to have that one plot/storyline that just falls flat on its face.Oh well, if just one out of 10 storylines sucks, I can still live with it.

      I think the Euron Greyjoy fans should be nervous, however…

      Actually, I think Dorne is the first storyline in all five seasons that falls on its face. Other “debatable” arcs, however good or bad they might have been, had a clear payoff and point to them. Whether we’re talking about Qarth, Jon and Halfhand, or Theon torture, all of these storylines had character arcs with a beginning and an end, and they served a narrative purpose. Dorne, however, could have been cut completely and I don’t think it would’ve made any difference.

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    281. Ok – I’ll admit it. In got sucked in by Dillane’s portrayal of Stannis. If I had stuck with my book Stannis impression, the Shireen sacrifice would not have surprised me at all. Stannis has to go….

        Quote  Reply

    282. Mr Fixit,

      You know what I suspect it is? Both the books and the show have been drip-feeding end-game players and factions into things as the story progresses, but there has been less and less short-term payoff for each newly introduced plotline as the story has expanded and gotten closer to the end.

      Imagine Stannis introduced in season 2 without Blackwater as an immediate justification for his character’s existence while we wait for his faction to move into place for the finale.

      Dorne had a smaller payoff in AFfC than Stannis did in Clash, and the Ironborn had almost no payoff at all.

      There isn’t room left in the show to give each new group their own set piece, but they also can’t wait to introduce all of these characters until the final moments of the story.

      I think both GRRM and D&D are struggling with how to introduce needed characters without really having anything for them to do yet.

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    283. “It’s easy to confuse what is and what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favour.”

      Tyrion’s best and best-delivered line of the season.

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    284. Simeon,

      Another case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      “D&D are hack writers ruining GRRM’s masterpieces!!!!”
      “Actually, that was GRRM’s idea.”
      “D&D are hack writers spoiling what happens in GRRM’s masterpieces!!!”

      Ha! Sounds very Monty Pythonish, and very true

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    285. Delta1212,

      You’re probably right. Though, they could’ve given Dorne some small payoff.

      For example, I don’t understand why no ‘Fire and Blood’ reveal? That would be something, right? Hell, that’s almost the only piece of ammunition that book!Dorne defenders have in their arsenal.

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    286. Wimsey,

      They did remind us, exactly two weeks ago. When Mel first suggested sacrificing Shireen in “The Gift”, she said it must be done because Stannis must be king when the Long Night comes or else everyone dies. They could have reiterated it this episode, but they DID remind us about this, quite recently.

      Mr Fixit,

      That’s coming next week. Though I agree it’d have fit better this episode. It’s titled “The Dance of Dragons”, after all. Don’t know why they didn’t climax the Dorne story this episode. Guess Jaime has to receive a certain letter from Cersei next week, so they couldn’t move things around too much.

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    287. Mr Fixit: Actually, I think Dorne is the first storyline in all five seasons that falls on its face. Every other “debatable” arc, however good or bad they might have been, had a clear payoff and point to it. Whether we’re talking about Qarth, Jon and Halfhand, or Theon torture, all of these storylines had character arcs with a beginning and an end, and served a narrative purpose. Dorne, however, could have been cut completely and I don’t think it would’ve made any difference.

      I don’t think I can judge that until I actually *see* the end of the Dorne storyline. It still seems like there should be another scene next week … if there isn’t, then you are right that it served essentially no purpose.

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    288. Spidey-Dan,

      The creators of the show did a lot of great things with it and I am sure they are working hard and deserve the praise.
      But sorry if I think that their decision to rape Sansa, stab pregnant Talisa in the belly and burn Shireen (and many other “turning of the screw” moments) unnecessary and horrifying at the same time. The idea that somebody sits there in the writers’ room and thinks about the ways to make terrible events even more terrible on screen scares me. Martin’s imagination is scary enough, is it really necessary to make it even more gruesome???
      And what is wrong with people justifying Stannis’ decision to kill his daughter? Are you all mad?

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    289. Syrio: Has nothing to do with people not wanting to be spoiled, has everything to do with D&D going out of their way to declare a spoiler when they had no need to.

      I agree. I’d prefer D&D be a bit more circumspect in this matter, and not flagrantly reveal what is and is not in the books (as far as they know).

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    290. The Instant Gratification Generation….

      Episode 6 was horrible. I can’t believe what they did to Sansa. I am quitting the show.”

      “Episode 8 was awesome. Best one of the series. The White Walkers are epic.”

      “Episode 9 was horrible. I am quitting the show. I can’t believe they burned Shireen. And the graphics are the worst of anything I have ever seen in my life.”

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    291. Nathan: And what is wrong with people justifying Stannis’ decision to kill his daughter? Are you all mad?

      That is just the Stannis fanatics going through the five stages of grief… there was denial yesterday, anger last night, now they have entered the bargaining stage…

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    292. Chad Brick,

      It’s comments like these that make one wonder if GRRM’s stories have provided any social or ethical value. It’s fine to understand the choice Stannis made in context of his character. But to actually believe it was “the right choice” betrays an extreme utilitarian philosophy that is deeply disturbing.

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    293. Nathan: And what is wrong with people justifying Stannis’ decision to kill his daughter? Are you all mad?

      What do you consider the alternative? Forward is death. Staying is death. Running is death. Not only for Stannis, but Shireen as well. Stannis was faced with the type of choice debated in every Philosophy 101 class, and yes, he made the right one given the information he had. Committing the lesser evil yourself is better than letting the greater evil happen on its own. He reminds me of Harry Truman, who killed hundreds of thousands in order to save millions. The buck stops with Stannis, too.

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    294. ctid,

      Yeah in the books Stannis is his own man and cares about his regal lineage, and as a King if it might be the Queens men, they have already made Stannis out like a zealot with the Axel Florent burning etc

      In this episode though Selyse breaking was a good counter to Karsi with the child Wights, in this case the show is exploring from an Ice and then Fire perspective

      People are hard on Selyse, but basically she is feeling insecure because of her perceived failure to produce male sons for Stannis – refer to Sansa’s throne room discussion with her Septa in season 1 – and then her daughter has Greyscale. She then turns to R’hlorrist religion and is over-the-top and overcompensates in her blind devotion but in the end her matriarchal instinct kicks in as with Karsi when faced with child Wights

      It’s interesting to note at the start that Karsi’s children are front and centre with Tormund when just behind Jon when they approach the gates, obviously think back to Jons “I’m asking you to think of your children now”, so we have one case of saving the children and another case of the children being sacrificed so Jon is a good counter to Stannis in this regard

      In the show it was good that Shireen was discussing a Dance with Dragons, and Targaryen infighting, and so the theme of family members turning on eachother and infighting to the point where they destroyed eachother, which is what is happening to the Baratheons (eg Stannis having killed his brother and now daugher in the show at least)

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    295. ArgonathofBraavos:
      Chad Brick,

      It’s comments like these that make one wonder if GRRM’s stories have provided any social or ethical value. It’s fine to understand the choice Stannis made in context of his character. But to actually believe it was “the right choice” betrays an extreme utilitarianphilosophy that is deeply disturbing.

      I don’t consider sacrificing one person to save millions a particularly extreme utilitarian choice. One for two is much more challenging. How many people would you allow to die in order to spare yourself of having to kill someone with your own hands?

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    296. Mr Fixit,

      As that is also the only reason I like Dorne, I’m holding out hope that they cover it next week.

      Just not very much hope, if I’m being honest.

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    297. Ghost’s Lunch: In the show it was good that Shireen was discussing a Dance with Dragons

      Hell, yeah, almost forgot about all that with the controversy. But that was a serious lore-drop right there, at least as much as the Lyanna-Rhaegar stuff, maybe even bigger. I think that part would have gotten a lot more love from the fans (even the book fans) if it hadn’t been so completely overshadowed!

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    298. mau:
      Chad Brick,

      I don’t get your point.

      Books are more complicated always. Every big scene was more complicated in the books.

      Stannis killing Shireen in TWOW will be will be no exception, it will have more layers

      My point is that on TV, it appears that Stannis sacrificed Shireen in order to improves his odds of getting a fancy chair, which of course means he made a horrible choice. This is decidedly NOT the choice he will be making in the books. Assuming he actually makes this choice, it will be between Shireen and everyone, at least in his reasonably-well-founded beliefs. D&D didn’t include enough “pro-sacrifice” arguments, and now everyone hates him. The book, as you noted, will be more subtle (indeed, it already is on this matter by a wide margin).

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    299. Ravyn:
      WeirwoodTreeHugger,

      Seriously. Sometimes the GoT fan base is even more annoying and full of themselves than the Star Wars fan base. All Benioff did was state an off hand fact and all the book readers lose their shit because now they’re the ones being spoiled. Boo hoo.

      Well said, I watched the first few seasons of the show and then read the books from mid-way through season 4 so see both sides of the coin and I’m a little easier on the showrunners and don’t criticise every little change

      Book readers would smugly troll and spoil the plot for show-watchers all the time and now the tables have turned

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    300. Chad Brick: I don’t consider sacrificing one person to save millions a particularly extreme utilitarian choice.

      It’s not exactly sacrificing one to save millions. It’s sacrificing one to maybe potentially save millions because somebody said it would. It would be one thing if you were guaranteed to save millions of lives… but the dilemma being posed here is not as clear cut as that at all.

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    301. Wimsey: Well, if GRRM had finished the book years ago (as was assumed would be the case when they started planning the series), then this would not be an issue.They are going to be spoiling stuff all of next year and the year after: what does one tidbit now matter?

      Or he could have waited to sell the rights until after he’d finished the books and they were published, to give his readers a chance to get there first. Radical I know but…

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    302. dont know. the show sometimes make non book scene that are great and sometimes they just dont work.
      Personally all the small things just keep adding up and I like the show less & less.

      Lokking forward to the books.

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    303. I really feel like allowing Shireen to be burned goes against the character of Stannis, further the feeling I get from the books is that Shireen is the person Stannis holds most dear and that she would be the last person he would hurt. Then again tWoW might prove me wrong. I want to believe that at least in the books Stannis will remain redeemable, in the show he now seems truly damned.

      All in all, first time I am truly angry at a TV show, angry and sad.

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    304. Jeb:
      My word, Linda was raging on Twitter last night, including this gem:

      “Since D&D care nothing about spoiling book readers, I feel like having a massive campaign to spoil the big one in ep 10. #GameofThrones”

      I think this confirms many people’s belief that part of the reason from some book readers this year is the fact that they are being spoiled.

      I wonder when her GoT screeners and event invites will cease? Does she expect the show to go on hiatus while George catches up? What a dreamer, such delusions!

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    305. Wimsey,

      Exactly. How is it D&D’s fault that George has slowed considerably since he sold the rights. He can take as long as he likes, but actors age. the amount of moaning we have had for three or four recasts has been huge, but how many recasts would have to happen if we were to drag it out until he has released the last book?

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    306. Few random neural firings:

      * Not totally convinced Hizdar is dead. Those were some pretty lame knife thrusts on him. Could be a re-direct.

      * Seems like the good guys could have helped Drogon a bit more…

      * It helps to remember that Stannis murdered his brother, burned his in-laws and generally likes to burn people. It helps a little.

      * That said…I am anxious to see what happens is Melisandre basically says, “Um, yeah, I think it may actually be that kid on the Wall I’m thinking of… Sorry.”

      * So, at some point, the Bran/Rickon information needs to go from Theon and Sansa to Jon or Brienne or Davos.

      * What’s the working theory? Ramsay sends a letter to Jon, mentions that “Stannis burned his daughter and still lost” and Davos loses his shit? And Jon then finds out about Sansa and loses his?

      * Arya could have poisoned the dude and still gone back or Meryn, right?

      * Just so you know, some of the same people who called for a march on the world over the Sansa scene are making jokes now. May they all rot in their own hypocrises.

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    307. Arthur:
      JamesL,

      Everyone and I mean EVERYONE I talk to about GoT LOVES Jon Snow now.

      If they choose to kill him off at the end, that would be a major downer way to end the season for sure, hope that’s not how it ends.

      lol

      Ides of Olly the season ending scene for sure now!

      Looking forward to the Ides of Marsh youtbue compiliations – and that’s the sound of millions of women screaming at once lol

      Obviously after seeing the entire season I can see the sense in Olly being the one to kill Jon in TV show theme terms, in a way it would be the opposite of Stannis killing Shireen but also we’ve seen several episodes discussing the notion of children in some way

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    308. Jeb,

      Wos this woman is unhinged. You’d think D&D had kidnapped her child or something. She does make me cackle every so often, I won’t lie.

      The episode was brilliant, bleak and utterly heartbreaking in a different way to the Hardhome massacre. Dany and Drogon was brilliant as was the whole sequence at the end. So much tension and emotion.

      The big death was gut-wrenching, but this show always is, I was half expecting tbh with how they portrayed the Dragonstone crew this season. The whole scene was expertly constructed, all the actors knocked it out of the park.

      Next week will be huge. So sad that we’ve reached the end of the road again wahhhh.

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    309. By the way, I am pretty pleasantly surprised at the great critical and audience reception that this episode is receiving. People are raving about it on the GoT facebook page, it has a 9.6 on IMDB, and all reviews I’ve seen, apart from Forbes (who has read the books and thought this was made up), seem to love it.

      I, too, loved it a lot- it’s probably my 7th or 8th favourite episode of the entire show. 507-510 has the potential to be the best run the show has had.

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    310. My feeling is that D & D just don’t care about the circumstances and the context of the events. They just want to show the book events, even if the context is completely different.

      This already happened with the death of Tywin for example. Tyrion did it on his own, without Varys guiding him to the Tower of the Hand. The event (death of Tywin by the hand of Tyrion) is the same, but the context is different. In the book maybe Varys was not totally innocent regarding Tywin’s death.

      This is not an event-driven story, this is a character-driven story. And sometimes I wonder if D & D remember that.

      Of course Shireen is going to be burned in the books. But I’m 100% sure that the context and the circumstances will be different. I’m sure Stannis won’t have any part in this and the deed will only be done by Melisandre in order to wake up Jon (waking dragon from stone). The event is the same, the context is different. And of course the character of Stannis is completely different. Maybe it’s what they want. I mean, he is the most amazing battle commander of Westeros and cries when Ramsay burns some tents ? Are you kidding me ? This makes no sense at all. And book Stannis wants his people to make Shireen the queen in case he dies.

      Well, I’m not buying it at all. It’s a complete waste. I’m looking forward to The Winds of Winter, and people will speak about it again, when they will see that Stannis has nothing to do with the burning. We will see what people think then.

      Sorry for the not-very-good English.

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    311. bristolcity,

      Current ranking of “episodes 9” on IMDB (though the most recent one will probably drop a little over time):

      9.7 – The Rains of Castamere
      9.6 – The Dance of Dragons
      9.2 – Blackwater
      9.0 – Baelor
      8.9 – The Watchers on the Wall

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    312. Chad Brick: The book, as you noted, will be more subtle (indeed, it already is on this matter by a wide margin).

      Yes, but they always were and always will be. Nothing strange.

      GRRM has way more space for every plot.

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    313. WorfWWorfington:
      Fewrandom neural firings:

      * Arya could have poisoned the dude and still gone back or Meryn, right?

      Maybe, but that would spoil the Arya!Lana disobeying instructions aspect and not really being ready to be No-one which they are probably trying to set up. A man knows she was lying.

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    314. I saw Andy Greenwald’s review of this episode and he says

      if Olly shanks Jon next episode then he’ll probably give in to his despair. The guy’s a good reviewer but so precious! He let his complaints about episode 6 bleed into his reviews of the later episodes, then hailed the massacre at Hardhome (it had the decency to be exciting, so no moral foul) and is now deeply hurt by the loss of Shireen (which I understand, but he seems personally affronted somehow.) Then he makes some point about the show being unable to withhold violence towards females (again, he discounts Hardhome, despite describing it as being a massacre of men, women and children.)

      I just find this behaviour kind of odd. It’s funny but a lot of anonymous commentators are better at analysing shows and movies than most reviewers these days.

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