The Game Revealed: Episodes 7 & 8

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The fourth edition of HBO’s docuseries The Game Revealed is here, giving us a look behind the scenes at the making of episodes 7 and 8 of this season of Game of Thrones.

This week’s video focuses on the filming of the Hound’s return, the creation of the castle Riverrun with a working drawbridge, the siege that brings together several characters for intense moments, Tyrion’s drunken chat with his co-workers, and Arya’s wild chase scene through Braavos.

The Game Revealed includes interviews with episode director Mark Mylod, showrunners David Benioff and D.B Weiss, production designer Deborah Riley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Rory McCann, Ian McShane, Maisie Williams, Peter Dinklage, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jacob Anderson and more.

It has several humorous and interesting tidbits from behind the scenes. Benioff discusses the Hound’s ax-wielding reintroduction scene, noting “Rory’s actually really good at chopping wood in real life. That wasn’t- he didn’t need any stunt doubles, didn’t need any kind of effects, it’s just him there with an ax.” Makes sense- after all, McCann was reportedly a lumberjack in real life before he was an actor.

Mylod, who directed both episodes, has a lot of insight regarding all the scenes, and gets very direct when discussing Jaime and Brienne’s reunion at Riverrun. He says, “The scene between Jaime and Brienne…It is the most reluctant love story in history. They love each other and they hate that they love each other.”

Watch the complete video here:

170 responses

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    1. Love seeing these behind the scenes! Never ceases to amaze me how the set designers pull off these elaborate sets! Soooo much work and how fast! Riverrun…..how? A working drawbridge, the interior, the exterior of the castle…simply amazing! GoT has the best on TV!

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    2. As soon as I watch the episode ends I watch the preview and then listen to D&D. I always watch the “docu” behind the scenes next. It is so very interesting and this one did not disappoint at all. I love Rory!

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    3. I think the they ran into trouble with riverrun shoot in Sept/Oct. Remember reading that they couldn’t get the appropriate licences n stuff to shoot on time. So the whole siege shooting was delayed by a week or so. But kudos to the production team for pulling off such an amazing feat.

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    4. I love these “making of” videos … the work that goes into this series is mind blowing.

      Fantastic job on the Riverrun set !!

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    5. So glad Sandor is back, one of the many complex characters with a back story. Hope he has a role to play up north.

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    6. Blanche Holstein:
      So glad Sandor is back, one of the many complex characters with a back story. Hope he has a role to play up north.

      All roads seem to be leading North. It seems a “War for the Dawn” type event is the end game. (I don’t think any of these points are much of a revelation, but it’s nice to see things starting to migrate that direction).

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    7. Corbyn Stark:
      Mark Mylod also directed Sons of The Harpy & Kill the Boy, which were my fifth and fourth favourite of season 5.

      Sons of The Harpy features Grey Worm & Barristan fighting harpies in the alley; the Princess Shireen speech and all those horrible yet powerful scenes with the FM arresting King’s Landing’s gay population (disturbingly relevant, now).

      Kill the Boy was the one were one of Meereen’s aristotwats was roasted; Jon says “thank you” to Stannis before he leaves CB, and, oh yes, The Stone men.

      For season 5: 1) Hardhome 2) Dance of Dragons 3) Mother’s Mercy 4) Kill the Boy 5) Sons of the Harpy.

      On topic: The Hound is with the Brotherhood; Davos is with the Starks… Basically, two characters are where they really should’ve been in the first place. Probably won’t last now #SaveSerDavos

      No he didn’t.
      Podeswa directed “kill the boy”

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    8. plop_plop:
      Dee Stark,

      I’m just worried about the Jon we saw in the preview… reluctant, scared…Hopefully it’s just a tease!

      There’s a beast in every man and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand…

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    9. I kind of expect a Battle of Bosworth Field moment, for those who know their history! But who will be the GoT’s Sir William Stanley?

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    10. plop_plop,

      My predictions are that he will see a dead little brother, and his concerns will turn into vengeance.

      purely speculating, and I hope im wrong.

      I hope we only get the North next week. This is a huge event, and we need 60 minutes of North.

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    11. Sue the Fury:
      Flayed Potatoes,

      No one deserves Brienne. But she does love him.

      So true. And all these articles and videos with people saying “Of course it can never happen but…” are making me laugh. It could happen if someone got his head out of his ass and realized Cersei is not his epic love, just his dysfunctional sister who used him as a security blanket from the time he was too young to know any better. One that could be replaced by other people when he was gone.
      But I’d be satisfied if he remembered that he was a better man around Brienne and went North to help her like a true knight. Too much to ask? Probably.

      The Long Night: All roads seem to be leading North.It seems a “War for the Dawn” type event is the end game.(I don’t think any of these points are much of a revelation, but it’s nice to see things starting to migrate that direction).

      My husband said it felt like gathering a kickass RPG group for a boss battle 🙂 Brienne, Tormund, Hound, some Lord of Light fighters and shadow binders, 3 Eyed Branraven, Arya the Assassin, Jon…if only someone would send Dany a raven and get those dragons.

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    12. Mylod is one of the best directors of the series right now. High Sparrow and The Broken Man were amazing, and Sons of the Harpy and No One were excellent, too. Any weaknesses in the script (very few in these four eps) aren’t his fault.

      For me, Season 5: Hardhome > High Sparrow >Kill the Boy > Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken > Sons of the Harpy > The Gift > The Dance of Dragons > The House of Black and White > The Wars to Come > Mother’s Mercy

      And Season 6, as of now: The Broken Man > The Door > No One > Oathbreaker > Book of the Stranger > Home > The Red Woman > Blood of My Blood

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    13. Mihnea,

      thank you.

      okay so I have been thinking, we haven’t seen any promo stuff for episode 9 that includes anything else but the north.

      Does this mean episode 10 will have:
      Aftermath of winterfell/LF
      Kings Landing (which wont be a short scene)
      Mereen/Dany/ Battle?
      Greyjoys arriving to Dany
      Euron (???)
      Arya??!?
      BWOB and Hound
      Sam???????
      Bran and Co… + a vision or 2 (oh please)
      The wall?
      edit: Riverrun
      I mean. wow?

        Quote  Reply

    14. Dee Stark,

      I think will get 10-15 minutes of other stuff next episode, then full North.

      In EP10, the longest episode ever, I fully expect them to cover every storyline, except if they give couple of ones a ”finale” in EP9. For example Arya boarding a ship to Westeros..or something like this.

      I think will see a ”battle” in Meereen next episode, can’t really call it that, to be honest. The masters don’t stand a chance against Dothraki, dragons..etc.
      And in EP10 Dany, at last, leaves for Westeros.

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    15. Dee Stark,

      The ep. is 70 minutes for a reason.
      – I don’t think we’ll see Arya again this season.
      – I think Brienne and Pod might comes across the BWB and the Hound
      – Jaime & Bronn will be at The Twins I guess.
      – We’ll also have a Dorne scene.

      But yeah, really packed episode.

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    16. Cock Merchant,

      And the poor guy holding the log while Rory chopped at it? At best, wood splinters flying at your face.. at worst, you are relegated to giving Greatjon Umber a high-three.

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    17. A flayed man none:
      In b4 all the whining about how the show doesn’t meet someone’s expectations.

      I agree if it’s just someone whining to whine. Constructive criticism for something being poorly handled by the show though? The end of Arya’s time in Braavos was confusing and haphazard. Areo and Roose were brought down by knives instantaneously without a fight. Those are One stab each and gone.

      Arya’s stabbing was savage in comparison. That was like 3-5 brutal cuts to the stomach. I can see where people would find that confusing or poorly handled. The show this season set up what kind of stab wound will kill a person instantly and then completely ignored it. Couple that with left-handed Arya throwing money bags around with her right hand and walking around the city with a hairstyle she has never worn before and I could see why people had theories. Even if you don’t think it was poorly handled and that’s a valid opinion to have, you should be able to easily see how others might find it clumsy on the part of the showrunners in how they handled it.

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    18. Dee Stark,

      The hype is insane for episode 9 ! The preview on youtube already has an incredible amount of views, and people know that episode 9 is not one to miss. I’m nearly certain one of the last two episodes of the season will break a record. Hopefully by a large margin !

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    19. ManderlyPieCompany,

      How was Arya’s storyline confusing? Her wounds being a bit too serious to survive doesn’t render her time in Braavos automatically stupid. And it was just a small detail in last episode, that ultimately doesn’t matter. The Yara-scene was equally dumb in S4E6, and yet everyone praised that episode. So yeah, I think the source of the complaints is the different expectations (for a big fight, no doubt) not the episode itself.

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    20. Dee Stark,

      69 minutes seems quite short given all they have to cover ! And there might be Dorne too.
      We also have yet to find out where Varys is going.

      Hopefully the episode will have time to breath, if the pace is too frenetic it won’t be as impactful.

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    21. Mihnea,

      Why do we assume there’s any other storyline in ep 9 other than the North? I think it will focus entirely on the BastardBowl. The finale is not 70 mins without a reason: they have to wrap up everything else in that time.

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    22. I don’t think we should write off the FM (from the rest of the story)
      We don’t know if there will be a tie back to that later.
      ___

      Can Arya now cut peoples faces off and use them?

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    23. Dee Stark,

      I did expect the ratings for episode 8 to be higher, but since most people seemed to have thought episodes 6 and 7 were a bit slow, it might have made them think episode 8 wasn’t huge. Of course 7.6 million is still a great number.

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    24. Northop,

      I think, someone noticed, in one of GOT’s videos about them filming in Spain, that somewhere, can’t remember where he said he saw it, it said ”Meereen 609”.

      Of course scene get moved all the time. So things might have changed.

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    25. Markus Stark,

      Agreed my friend. I like jam packed episodes, but I am curious to see how they would do this.
      Maybe they will include Mereen’s battle next episode, and that would give some more room to breath in episode 10

      But a part of me wants episode 9 to be all north, all bastards, all Jon.

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    26. Rhaenys Stark,

      Episodes 4.10 and 5.10 both felt rushed to me because of all the ground they had to cover, even though they remain among the most epic episodes of the show.

      Hopefully 69 minutes will be enough to let things breath this year !

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    27. Markus Stark,

      Mother’s Mercy was definitely rushed. But in the end, it all comes down to a director’s ability to work on the pacing of the episode, even if the script makes it hard to do so (MM was jam-packed with big moments, one after the other, no wonder none of them worked) . Alex Graves did wonders with The Children, David Nutter is no quite as talented, and so his finale fell flat. But Sapochnic is much better, so I expect one of the best finales the show has ever had.

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    28. Dee Stark: Can Arya now cut peoples faces off and use them?

      I hope not, because they never explained that. The faces in the hall were some kind of magic item I assume.

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    29. ManderlyPieCompany,

      I am left handed and I have no trouble throwing bags of coins/stuff with either my hand, nor does it feel unnatural. It is actions that requires more intricate hand motions (hand-eye coordination) like writing or holding a spoon/fork and in Arya’s case a sword.

      I bet you can also throw a bag of coin with either hand a short distance without it feeling unnatural.

      Your other points about clunkiness of Arya’s scene I agree

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    30. Do you think the last episode was Arya’s “finale” for the season?

      I wonder if Dorne will be in the finale?

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    31. Dee Stark,

      Yeah I think it will mostly be North stuff pre and post battle and Mereen battle in 9–visual battles of ice and fire 🙂

      But then they still have so much to cover in 10-so I think we’ll see Sam. All we’ve had of him this season is getting sick on a boat and awkward family dinner. I’d love to have him already in the Citadel (with Gilly in a flat nearby) and finding something/someone very important to the cause.
      Oh and Bran having super important vision at Wall
      Cersei having her trial *cough* burn them all *cough*
      Some kind of Greyjoy/Dany union and Dany finally heading to Westeros
      Jorah with new magically healed arm? Okay just wishful thinking.
      Arya showing up and using some of her experience?
      Which may or may not be connected to that Frey party we saw in trailer where someone-hopefully-will kill all the Freys for Red Wedding payback.
      Jon getting his groove back and maybe getting visits from Howland Reed of ToJ fame and/or Beric (I just think it would be cool to see the two resurrected guys together-although I think it’s possible Brienne and Pod could find themselves among the brotherhood first, where Sandor will hear Sansa needs help and decide to go North)
      Varys says he’s going to potential allies…thinking Dorne or Highgarden because those snakes hate Cersei as much as Olenna and I suppose we have to see them one more time.
      LF ready to claim his reward, and that reward is a chopping block

      This is all really just wishful thinking. But I’ve been very wrong-and recently-so just take it with a grain of salt. 🙂

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    32. Northop:
      Markus Stark,

      Mother’s Mercy was definitely rushed. But in the end, it all comes down to a director’s ability to work on the pacing of the episode, even if the script makes it hard to do so (MM was jam-packed with big moments, one after the other, no wonder none of them worked) . Alex Graves did wonders with The Children, David Nutter is no quite as talented, and so his finale fell flat. But Sapochnic is much better, so I expect one of the best finales the show has ever had.

      Mothers Mercy won an emmy for writing and directing. Nutter got the emmy.

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    33. Mihnea,

      Actually, I think it could have been one of the best episodes of the season. Its story is great, but the execution…it was weird. Stannis’ plot was resolved in the first 10 minutes, which was the most exciting storyline of the season for me, thus it was disappointing that they got rid of it right at the beginning of the episode. I would’ve changed its place with Cersei’s walk of shame. And I’m usually not nitpicking, but this episode had so much potential, that was wasted.

      And ultimately, I don’t think Nutter is a good fit for big episodes.

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    34. Northop,

      I actually liked how quickly they ”finished” Stannis. It reminded me of this quote from the books: ”Stannis is iron, he’ll break before he bends” and that is what I saw. He broke, he didn’t slowly bend and die, it was a ”snap” moment, where you could see him breaking.

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    35. The Long Night,

      Yes! 😀

      I never did ship Brienne and Jaime in a romantic way. I always saw them more like best friends.

      Anyway it was nice to see the behind the scenes especially the Arya jump and the Tyrion stuff. I wasn’t a big fan of the “tell jokes” scene but I like that the actors had fun doing it.

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    36. Northop:
      Markus Stark,

      Alex Graves did wonders with The Children, David Nutter is no quite as talented, and so his finale fell flat. But Sapochnic is much better, so I expect one of the best finales the show has ever had.

      Agreed. Sapochnik is my favourite director so far. Surely Hardhome was excellent because Sapochnik’s direction was excellent. The hype is real for what seems to be one of the best battles in TV and cinematic history 😀

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    37. Jack Bauer 24,

      Yeah, but come on, Scorsese got his Oscar for The Departed, an inferior film to his masterpieces, like GoodFellas or Raging Bull. Awards don’t mean anything. And if you check MM’s Imdb page, many user reviews mention the pacing as an issue.

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    38. RG,

      “Jorah with a magically healed arm”

      Well, he has JC’s greyscale, and may get Vic’s blackened healing via a red priest. I expect he will then try to abscond with another character’s most distinctive feature, with a quick trip over to see Pod…

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    39. Mihnea,

      I really liked this scene too. The ‘Go on, do your duty’ line was 100% Stannis. Glad they didn’t make them have a long conversation.

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    40. We also have to go to a party with Walder Frey in the last episode.

      I’m frustrated by the Arya stabbing. Why couldn’t they have done just the first slash. That wouldn’t have been any less impactful in my opinion.

      But that one in four on this website rate the episode with only one or two stars must have more to do with Blackfish + no LSH & Cleganebowl.

      My guess is that every low vote is from book readers.

      Really looking forward to episode nine where Mereene of course will appear. It’s a song of ice and fire…

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    41. Mihnea,

      I liked his end as well, with all its Greek tradegy-style twists, but it came too soon. It should’ve been at the end of the episode. Just like Tywin’s death.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Rhaenys Stark,

      That was great. He just had enough at that point.

      But the real moment he breaks is when he sees the Boltons charging him. Just look at Dillane’s acting, amazing!! You can see the moment he realizes that all is over.

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    43. Northop,

      Not really the last scene, I still think Jon’s assassination being the last shot, was a great decision. Perhaps a bit later in the episode would have better though.

      Didn’t bother me that much though.

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    44. RG,

      sooo much to cover.

      I need to see arya in westeros, not on a boat. oh please no.

      Maybe the hound will run into the freys ?? 😀 I have always hope it was arya. SHE WAS THERE!!!!!!! SHE SAW THE MASSACRE

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    45. Mihnea,

      Yeah, that’s how I meant it. Naturaly, Jon’s death was the last moment. If there’s one scene that was flawless in that episode, it that one. With the awesome music and lighting…it was great

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    46. Aryamad:
      I wasn’t a big fan of the “tell jokes” scene but I like that the actors had fun doing it.

      Yes, that made me like that scene a little. The one thing that I liked from the beginning was Nathalie Emmanuel’s laugh. Not just because she is very attractive and her laugh super cute, but because I thought that is a very convincingly acted laugh. Good instinct by all involved to basically not act the laughing but have it be real, because acting a laugh is really difficult.

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    47. Watching that chase scene again, gotta admit I loved it. I was so eager for the battle between Arya and The Waif, that when it happened off screen (understandably because it was in the dark), I was bummed. She may have had wires but really impressed with Maisie doing the jump. On a second viewing, it was much cooler.
      And she may be gone but props to Faye Marsay. She has such a great face and while the smirk rarely left, she was the perfect foil.

      Rory and Ian…what a delicious sandwich.

      Aryamad:
      The Long Night,

      Yes!

      I never did ship Brienne and Jaime in a romantic way. I always saw them more like best friends.

      Agreed. Obvious caring and probably even some love in there but I think Brienne is Jaime’s mirror. His reflection of what he could be, who he could be. She is on a hero arc and he has fallen further and further away from that. At this point, I know anything is possible but 6 seasons in and the Cersei hold is just too much for him to truly know anything different.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Dee Stark:
      Mihnea,

      thank you.

      okay so I have been thinking, we haven’t seen any promo stuff for episode 9 that includes anything else but the north.

      Does this mean episode 10 will have:
      Aftermath of winterfell/LF
      Kings Landing (which wont be a short scene)
      Mereen/Dany/ Battle?
      Greyjoys arriving to Dany
      Euron (???)
      Arya??!?
      BWOB and Hound
      Sam???????
      Bran and Co… + a vision or 2 (oh please)
      The wall?
      edit: Riverrun
      I mean. wow?

      I think episode 10 will have big moments for all these storylines, except riverrun, which is probably done.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Kells: And she may be gone but props to Faye Marsay. She has such a great face and while the smirk rarely left, she was the perfect foil.

      A tweet from Faye

      Faye Marsay ‏@FayeMarsay 8h

      What a privilege and a pleasure to have been in #GoT thank you for all the lovely comments- I really do appreciate it. What an adventure. X

        Quote  Reply

    50. Cock Merchant,

      Yeah, I can definitely respect that scene more after seeing that. I’m sure Peter is a master at lightening the mood. He’s pretty damn funny. I can only imagine the other things he said off camera. 🙂

      Kells,

      A mirror is a perfect metaphor! You said exactly what I was thinking.

      Also a “Rory and Ian sandwich” haha! I’ve actually never seen Ian Mcshane in anything before that I can remember but I just love his smile. Very uplifting… which is kind of rare in GoT! 😀

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    51. Sophie just tweeted that she just saw Ep 9. Her verdict: “Guys not going to lie…. Saw episode 9. It’s Unbelievable.”

        Quote  Reply

    52. Were Mark Mylod’s episodes last year good?

      Hope he doesn’t come back in the last two seasons. Boo Terminator Waif

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    53. Echoes in a Well,

      His episodes were OK. I don’t really blame him for the Arya stuff. That’s the writing. That said, he’s a pretty anonymous director, nothing terrible, nothing outstanding. I’d rather have Jack Bender return, though that seems unlikely.

        Quote  Reply

    54. ghost of winterfell,

      Its probably the twins, but when included it in my list, I called it Riverrun, because theyre celebrating taking back riverrun..

      Dee Stark:
      Mihnea,

      thank you.

      okay so I have been thinking, we haven’t seen any promo stuff for episode 9 that includes anything else but the north.

      Does this mean episode 10 will have:
      Aftermath of winterfell/LF
      Kings Landing (which wont be a short scene)
      Mereen/Dany/ Battle?
      Greyjoys arriving to Dany
      Euron (???)
      Arya??!?
      BWOB and Hound
      Sam???????
      Bran and Co… + a vision or 2 (oh please)
      The wall?
      edit: Riverrun
      I mean. wow?

        Quote  Reply

    55. RG,

      I like your wishful thinking. Here are questions about the next two episodes:

      – Where is Jorah going and what price will he pay for a magically healed arm? I’m expecting that a red priestess will heal him and accompany him back to Meereen. I hope he hurries.
      – Does Sam still head to the Citadel with Gilly, baby and Heartsbane? Absolutely no idea but, before too long, all Valyrian steel will be needed in the North.
      – Where does Brienne’s journey take her? Probably to a less-than-pleasant encounter with the Hound and the BWB.
      – How does Arya get back to Westeros and where is she headed? Hopefully she heads North because the wolves need to reunite.
      – Who is on those burning crosses? This is making me crazy. Possibilities: red-haired wildling that isn’t Tormund, Mel (?), Ramsay’s maester,

      And, finally, yes – none of them deserve Brienne.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Chuck,

      Trailers.

      The scene were Walder Frey celebrates something. There are also Lannister man there. Most likely they celebrate the victory at RR.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Chuck,

      My guess is Dorne to secure an alliance with Ellaria. There was speculation in the “who is Olenna writing to” post that she may be headed there, too.

      But I am consistently wrong with my predictions.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Mihnea,

      The Martells and Tyrells were never allies right? The Tyrells still have the largest army in Westeros and maybe one of the best battle commanders in Tarly….I wonder if we will ever see them put to use.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Dee Stark,

      Imo we’re getting all the storylines in episode 10 except for Euron, Edmure, and maybe The Hound:

      – Bran arriving at the Wall with his squad (1-2 scenes)
      – Winterfell: aftermath of Bastardbowl (at least 2 scenes imo)
      – Freys at the Twins (maybe with Jaime)
      – Arya (2 scenes maybe)
      – King’s Landing (2-3 long scenes)
      – Dorne (short scene)
      – Sam arriving in Oldtown maybe (short scene)
      – end of Meereenbowl with Dany’s squad and Yara’s squad meeting (2-3 scenes; I don’t think there’s time for her to sail to Westeros this season)

        Quote  Reply

    60. Chuck,

      Yes, I think so. She’ll skip episode 9 and that will be used as “travel time” if that makes sense. I actually think this season finale will be similar in some ways to the season 3 finale. The show will place some of the characters in the geographical areas they need to be in and give us an idea of where they’ll be heading next season (sort of what they did this episode with The Hound/BwB).

        Quote  Reply

    61. Chuck,

      Yeah I think so too. The fact that the show took the time to remind us of her list makes me think she’s going there. And she also said she wants to go home (North). It’s not like she has the skills to go south and kill The Mountain.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Chuck,

      Touche lol.

      She’d have to figure out where to stab him though. He’s covered in armor. KL DAYTIME CHASE CONFIRMED!

        Quote  Reply

    63. RG
      My husband said it felt like gathering a kickass RPG group for a boss battle ? Brienne, Tormund, Hound, some Lord of Light fighters and shadow binders, 3 Eyed Branraven, Arya the Assassin, Jon…if only someone would send Dany a raven and get those dragons.

      LOL! “LFM 4 War for the Dawn. Need tanks/heals. Full on melee!”

      This also reminds me can Brienne meet up with Sandor as they journey North? And can we get a spin off series of Brienne+Sandor+ Tormund? Forget Cleganebowl. I want that.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Flayed Potatoes,

      Now I’m picturing a mortal kombat style fight between Arya, the Mountain and the Night’s king for some reason.

      In any case glad Arya is coming back to Westeros. It’s about damn time she and Jon meet up.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Dee Stark:
      Markus Stark,

      Agreed my friend. I like jam packed episodes, but I am curious to see how they would do this.
      Maybe they will include Mereen’s battle next episode, and that would give some more room to breath in episode 10

      But a part of me wants episode 9 to be all north, all bastards, all Jon.

      I reckon the Battle of Meereen will form a part of E09 along with the BotB. If not in that episode, certainly in E10. Especially after Dany turning up unannounced and Drogon was seen to fly off behind her through the open doorway.

      Its about time we saw ALL Dany’s dragons in action seeing that Tyrion unchained the two locked up in the catacombs. Quite what Dany’s reaction to Tyrion will be for releasing them will be interesting, but with Meereen under siege, she’ll probably agree that wasn’t such a bad thing for Tyrion to do 😉

      Although the battle scenes in GoT have always been epic (and without doubt the BotB next week will top them all) there’s just something special/visceral seeing those dragons in action. S5E09 ‘Dance of Dragons’ for me was a ‘show stopper’ when Drogon flew into the arena.

      Well just have to wait to next week re Meereen, but I’ll be surprised if the whole of E09 is devoted to the BotB and the North.

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    66. Jack Bauer 24,

      No and Yes (someone has confirmed that Dorne will be in the final). I think the Frey celebration deserves an Arya intervention. Someone has to make Walder choke on his laughter. I hope.

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    67. Flayed Potatoes:
      She’d have to figure out where to stab him though. He’s covered in armor.

      Always in the eyes! That’s basically Arya’s specialty. She’d have to jump pretty high though.

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    68. Grayven Reyne:
      RG,

      “Jorah with a magically healed arm”

      Well, he has JC’s greyscale, and may get Vic’s blackened healing via a red priest.I expect he will then try to abscond with another character’s most distinctive feature, with a quick trip over to see Pod…

      Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life
      At last, I’ve found you.

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    69. Northop:
      ManderlyPieCompany,

      How was Arya’s storyline confusing? Her wounds being a bit too serious to survive doesn’t render her time in Braavos automatically stupid. And it was just a small detail in last episode, that ultimately doesn’t matter. The Yara-scene was equally dumb in S4E6, and yet everyone praised that episode. So yeah, I think the source of the complaints is the different expectations (for a big fight, no doubt) not the episode itself.

      I believe my words were confusing or “poorly handled”. It’s not stupid. The showrunners set a precedent this season that if you take a single stab wound –Areo and Roose– you die. Arya took 3 and a twist. Areo Hotah is a gigantic man. He put up no fight. Roose is a seasoned fighter and just went down without a fight. I can see how it would be confusing. The other part that was confusing was that Arya wasn’t acting like Arya. She had money bags. She is left handed and was using her right hand with the money. She wasn’t carrying Needle and in the episode prior was in hiding waiting for someone to come after her. In the episode she was attacked in she was really non-chalant AFTER saying to the boat guy, “We leave at dawn tomorrow” i.e. we need to get outta here ASAP and then was completely blind-sided by that old woman.

      We can disagree. That’s 100% fine by me, but to say that confusion on anyone’s part is unfounded isn’t fair. I think it wasn’t executed properly. I also don’t think the payoff to our time in Braavos wasn’t as good as it could have been. There are very few triumphs for characters in ASoIaF. So when we get one like we did in Braavos, I would like it to count. I don’t feel like Arya learned anything in her time there she couldn’t have learned had she stayed in Westeros.

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    70. So far the big battles have started and essentially ended in one episode. Maybe it will spill over a bit into episode 10… I guess that’s one way that more of Meereen could be covered in 9.

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    71. So Arya’s headed to Westeros. Sansa better stop worrying about Littlefinger and start worrying about Littlesister.

      I don’t think their meeting will be warm.

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    72. Anon:
      So Arya’s headed to Westeros.Sansa better stop worrying about Littlefinger and start worrying about Littlesister.

      I don’t think their meeting will be warm.

      I’m not so sure, I think things have changed and after Braavos Arya will put a lot more value on what’s left of her family.

      Now Littlefinger might have something to worry about, since Arya saw him at Harrenhal with Tywin.

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    73. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      You could be right about her sublimating their conflict to achieve a greater end. I don’t think Arya can forget, though, how Sansa comforted Joffrey after he threatened to gut her with his sword…and then later, the lie.

      I think it’s been eating at her this whole time.

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    74. Dee Stark,

      I’m very apprehensive about the upcoming battle. WunWun had two arrows in him. And, Ramsey’s soldiers have spears. If spears can injure Drogon, they can injure WunWun. For the first time in the series, I’m actually anxious about events. The stakes are so high.

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    75. ManderlyPieCompany: That’s 100% fine by me, but to say that confusion on anyone’s part is unfounded isn’t fair. I think it wasn’t executed properly. I also don’t think the payoff to our time in Braavos wasn’t as good as it could have been

      I tend to agree with you. It wasn’t as good as it could have been. I’m usually one of those who gushes over most of the episodes, or puts whatever criticisms I have in the gentlest of terms. But this annoyed me, and I’ve spent a few days wondering why. I finally figured it out:

      Before I started watching GoT, fantasy was not my favorite. But GoT pulled me in by handling the Fantasy/Reality ratio perfectly, so that when fantasy elements showed their faces, they were met with awe and willingness to accept, not a groan of “oh, that’s stupid.” The writers formed their bedrock of reality as far as human emotions, most day-to-day living and the general setting so well, that whatever fantasy was launched from it flew beautifully. Murderous Smoke babies? Sure, why not? Dragons, direwolves and giants? yes, please. Even jet-pack travel, ravens and 400 year-old-women who were smoking hot were fun. The ratio held.

      But in this episode it was not only skewed, it was brazenly ignored. Doubly annoying, because with a modicum more thought and a bit better writing, it could have been perfect. The reality is that even a toughened, grown man would be in horrible pain and mostly immobilized by the wounds Arya took. period. The only salvation she had was a an actress who must have been the world’s best surgeon and a little milk of the poppy, then Arya was up and running and making 14 ft jumps. Nope, can’t be. Fantasy to Reality was torn to pieces. The whole bedrock cracked and opened, like the Doom. Don’t make the wounds so horrible; show her using one of those special potions she learned to make while blind. SOMETHING. But doing nothing in way of explanation? Lazy. Brazen. Disrespectful.

      I’m glad that Arya made it out, seemingly with Jaqen’s blessing, but … yeah, it could have been done better.

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    76. 209 – Battle of the Blackwater -entire episode in KL
      409 – Battle for Castle Black – entire episode at the wall
      609 – Battle of the Bastards – entire episode at WF

      … It is known

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    77. I keep coming back to this exerp from the EW article from May 5, 2016.

      “In a muddy field, Jon Snow is fighting a dozen men. Yet even the toughest heroes can’t handle dozens of enemies by themselves. During one scene, Jon Snow is overwhelmed, and he goes down swinging. Fighters pile atop him. Harrington is pressed into thick, soupy mud and crawling bugs. Jon Snow came back from the dead once, but if he perishes again, one shouldn’t expect him to be saved a second time”.

      In the trailer for episode 9 we hear Jon telling Mel “if I fall, don’t bring me back”. He also told her the same thing in episode 3 – I have a feeling he will fall, but he will not need anyone to bring him back – something has to happen with Jon in episode 9. If not, what’s the point of bringing back this shell of a hero.

      The season started off with a BANG and then….absolutely nothing.

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    78. My mini-spout upthread was in no way a negative comment on Maisie’s acting, by the way. She was spectacular – she’s carried the whole thread beautifully and made us believe in the thing every step of the way. so grats, to her.

      But, that’s the whole deal – you (the show, the writers) dragged us into a total fantasy situation: the idea of a cult of people who could instantly transform themselves by using someone else’s preserved face. You show us many of the inner workings of that cult, and the training sessions, which included, if only for a brief glimpse, the making of potions. You show the lead character of that thread successfully using some of those elements, prior to this scene. You give her an almost mortal injury, then show her surviving that, almost as though she were super-human, without the use of even ONE of the fantasy elements. A whole fucking arsenal of hung guns, and not one of them was shot in the resolution of that final situation. strange.

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    79. When the flaming crosses were shown last year, during filming, and the whole site went nuts trying to figure who was on those crosses, Sue took the time to reassure us that Rickon wasn’t on one of them. For that I thank her. It’s a tiny sigh of relief in advance. Yet, in the preview for ep 9, Jon looks saddened to the point of being catatonic, so somebody he values highly must meet a horrible end. Davos, maybe? His discovery of what happened to Shireen makes him wild or careless and/or suicidal? Ye gods, I hope not. I’m looking forward to and dreading this episode at the same time. I hope it’s not Tormund, either, I really like that guy.

      I’m loathe to part with any more beloved characters, but, yeah, I know, if you think this has a happy ending, yadda yadda. I hope that becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy for Ramsay. Even after a hiatus of four episodes, seeing his leer in the previews made me mad. It’s really time for him to be gone.

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    80. ManderlyPieCompany,

      No, I agree that her wounds were too much. One slash would’ve been enough. They were probably worried that the Waif would look clumsy, so they had her stab Arya a few times to make her threatening. But they could’ve come up with a better solution to do this, that’s true. But! All other parts of the story work for me. Arya didn’t expect that she’d be hunted by the FM; remember, the Waif kept telling her she should go home. She clearly thought that was an option. But she needed a place to stay at while finding a ride home, and she found a little hole somewhere. It was dark, so she brought a candle. Then, she bought herselsef a ship back to Westeros. Then, the Waif attacked her. She, now aware of being hunted, walked through Braavos confused, something many found weird and tried to explain with theories of her not being Arya. She seeked Lady Crane’s help, who gave her milk of the poppy. The milk dulls out the pain, which made her be able to jump and run around without trouble, because she didn’t feel anything. But later when she falls down the stairs, amongst the oranges, she realizes she’s bleeding badly – rewatch the scene, you’ll find that moment quickly. She wasn’t aware if it before, but now she is, and she decides to use it to her advantage. She baits the Waif into following her, and then blows out the candle, effectively turning the situation around.

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    81. VegoDread,

      It would make sense to kill of Jon for good this time. I remember Kit saying something along the lines of ‘I finally now how long I’m contracted’ which sounds pretty final. Almost like a ‘I’m back for one last time’. And he said that before his resurrection.

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    82. Thronetender,

      How does Sue know who’s on the cross before the episode airs?

      I have worked on the show, knew about Hardhome months in advance, but not specific details. Hell, I knew about Sansa going to Winterfell with Littlefinger, but I didn’t see the wedding night coming…

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    83. Chuck:
      Flayed Potatoes,

      Now I’m picturing a mortal kombat style fight between Arya, the Mountain and the Night’s king for some reason.

      In any case glad Arya is coming back to Westeros. It’s about damn time she and Jon meet up.

      As much as I enjoyed every minute of the Jon/Sansa reunion, Jon/Arya is the one I want to see so damn bad. Simply because the bond was established early and I want her to show him needle.

      I am kinda thinking we will see Arya back in Westeros by episode 10. This will be after the BotB and depending on how that shakes out, it could be a slight time jump (a week or two, maybe a bit more).
      I don’t expect another Stark reunion this season but I would be really happy with a BwB/Arya reunion. It might be way to fic-y for its own good but I actually think Arya would be happy to see Sandor. She has been on the other side (doing other people’s bidding without question) and while I think she softened to him slightly, this new perspective might give her a new appreciation for what he did for her and what they went through together. She also knows that he will get her home.

      Darkrobin:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I think the Frey celebration deserves an Arya intervention.Someone has to make Walder choke on his laughter.I hope.

      This would be the absolute best topper of the season. I’m a little worried that any Frey slaughter may come at the hands of Jaime and Lannister soldiers.

      Wasn’t there a rumor at one point that there is some big celebration that Jaime is part of with the Frey’s and he decides to have his own “Red Wedding”? As if avenging the Starks is suddenly his storyline. Oy.

      I could be way off base because we know there has been so much speculation going around. Anyway, Walder Frey and company need to meet the pointy end and for me, this is Arya’s kill. I would boo-hoo his demise, no matter how it happens, I just want it to be at the hands of Arya so damn bad.

      Anon:
      So Arya’s headed to Westeros.Sansa better stop worrying about Littlefinger and start worrying about Littlesister.

      I don’t think their meeting will be warm.

      I can understand why it wouldn’t be. Sansa lied to protect Joffrey. But I think Arya will be happy to see family, that she might not forget but be ready to move forward. This brings me back to season 1 and Ned telling Arya how they may be different than the sun and moon but the same blood runs through their veins. Her Dad was her hero and she took everything he said to heart.
      One thing that kind of does bug, since we have seen Jon and Sansa together they haven’t mentioned Arya at all. Or Bran. Maybe I missed it and it was probably a conversation we are to assume happened off screen but it just seems like a conversation we should’ve been privy to. If for no other reason than to emphasize to the viewer that they are, to quote Jake and Elwood, “getting the band back together”. Obviously, they have a HUGE fish to fry with Ramsay but Sansa knows Arya is out there somewhere and any search or inquiry about her hasn’t been mentioned.
      I am sure that is job number one, should they retake WF and the north but it’s still a small bone I have.

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    84. kells,

      One thing that kind of does bug, since we have seen Jon and Sansa together they haven’t mentioned Arya at all. Or Bran.

      …It’s very odd, isn’t it? I too thought that as soon as Sansa rested a bit, she’d start looking for her sister, or send Brienne to do it.

      I guess Brienne herself has forgotten that part of her oath to Catelyn.

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    85. Thronetender:

      But, that’s the whole deal – you (the show, the writers) dragged us into a total fantasy situation: the idea of a cult of people who could instantly transform themselves by using someone else’s preserved face. You show us many of the inner workings of that cult, and the training sessions, which included, if only for a brief glimpse, the making of potions.You show the lead character of that thread successfully using some of those elements, prior to this scene. You give her an almost mortal injury, then show her surviving that, almost as though she were super-human, without the use of even ONE of the fantasy elements. A whole fucking arsenal of hung guns, and not one of them was shot in the resolution of that final situation. strange.

      Yeah, I wanted to see evidence that Arya would be taking some great learned skills with her when she left, as well. And I think we did see that, albeit in a subtle way. We saw at the end of Season 5 that she knew how to put on a face. And we saw in this episode that she knew how to take one off. I think we’re supposed to assume she knows the magic in between and that this ability has been added to the Arya toolbox for use later on in Westeros. Or at least I very much hope so. I cannot imagine she’d never wear another face.

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    86. Echoes in a Well:
      Were Mark Mylod’s episodes last year good?

      Hope he doesn’t come back in the last two seasons. Boo Terminator Waif

      I found it shocking that he was suggested to be nominated for “No One.” He told Maisie that she should do even more superwoman stuff than she did, and she had to beg and insist that she hold back. Seriously. That’s what she said in an interview. Although then in the Ep7 & 8 Revealed, Mylod said that the writers said that this was supposed to be the greatest footrace in the history of television – from a teenager who’d just been gutted. Seriously. So maybe it wasn’t his fault. Then again, maybe the stabbing wasn’t meant to be quite so severe. I have no idea. Something got lost.

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    87. Tyrion will find out Jorah got greyscale saving his butt. If Brienne meets the BWB, Sandor will find out Sansa is going to war to take back Winterfell. Arya will, too, if she meets them. Arya deserves more reunions besides Needle. I thought for sure when she drank poppy milk, she would have a warg dream. I hope the Lannister/Frey armies returning to the Twins get attacked by an enormous wolf pack led by a gigantasaurus Nymeria.

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    88. Aryamad:
      I’ve actually never seen Ian Mcshane in anything before that I can remember but I just love his smile. Very uplifting… which is kind of rare in GoT! ?

      Days after “The Broken Man,” I watched him in Doctor Thorne and loved it. Now I’m watching Hunted, good but not great thus far, with Stannis and Ellaria.

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    89. Ginevra,
      Mylod said his main objective was to make the audience think they were watching Arya die up until the very end….and apparently the only way to do that was to make it unrealistic.

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    90. Mihnea,

      I know, were I in Ireland and able to get out there I would love to see the outdoor set they made. As country folk I can appreciate why the farmer whose land they rented would be less than thrilled with this prospect. (I would never trespass myself nor would I encourage anyone else to go a-creepin’ through the hedges that don’t belong to them.)

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    91. kells,

      I would boo-hoo his demise, no matter how it happens, I just want it to be at the hands of Arya so damn bad.

      I actually will miss Lord Walder. He is a villan of the old school – not some sociopath or psychopath like Joffrey and Ramsay, but an old man who feels he’s been slighted all his life, then one slight too many, and he gets the reward he thinks he deserves, well until he doesn’t …

      I’m excited for the possibility of a Sansa/Sandor reunion next season (as well as Arya/Sandor). If Sansa doesn’t learn about LF’s role in Ned’s execution before then, Sandor could tell her what went down in the Throne Room. And if LF hadn’t bit the dust by that time anyway, which he probably will have, that could be very interesting.

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    92. Ginevra,

      I agree. We all knew Arya was going to survive, right? And return to Westeros? And that she would essentially be herself but stronger?

      So the only question was how her FM experience would end. If you combined episode 6 and 8 and left out 7 and had a minor injury (a slash) in 8, maybe we all would be applauding the chase and the visuals.

      Instead we all arguing over why she was in the open and how servere her wounds were and whether the recovery stretched the fiction we will except for recoveries from similar injuries in similar chase scenes (the Omar jump off the balcony in The Wire also comes to mind). I’m hoping that is not what they intended … to sew confusion (of course they didn’t intend for “that” scene to be a rape of Cersei by Jamie either so …)

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    93. Ginevra: Days after “The Broken Man,” I watched him in Doctor Thorne and loved it.Now I’m watching Hunted, good but not great thus far, with Stannis and Ellaria.

      Oh, and I forgot Balon Greyjoy and Mr. Echo, who was only in one episode of GoT, are also in Hunted.

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    94. mariamb: And, finally, yes – none of them deserve Brienne.

      OK, for the fun of it, a little off-the-wall conjecture, based on what was said in the recent episodes:
      Jaime and the army and Bronn!! come riding to the castle at Riverrun, and comment on the piss-poor methods the Freys are using to set up their site and siege. Jaime tactfully informs Bronn it will be his job to do the work of setting them straight, to which Bronn replies “You promised me a lordship, and a castle and a high-born beauty for a wife,” thus reminding us of the promise made to him in season 5, when Lallys Stokeworth was taken from him. He was quite willing to marry Lallys, so we already know that he’s not so rigid on the beauty part, but the high-born with a castle part is a must.

      In this episode he’s toying with Pod about whether or not Jaime and Brienne are hooking up, and makes the remark “I’d fuck her.” Hmmm. Is that so? That was never mentioned before. Are we being set up for Jaime offering Brienne to Bronn? This is purely wild thinking on my part, and I doubt Brienne would consider it for even a second, but it crossed my mind when he said that.

      Also, more wild thinking: Pod’s talented, um, “member” was mentioned again or at least the size of it, to remind us that his sexual skill was such that even whores were utterly charmed and worked for free. He is also from a high-born family, isn’t he? Wouldn’t it be nice if Sansa got a chance to benefit from some of that skill? Pod is such a cutey. Oh, see, these characters have become so real, we’ve all become matchmakers.

      None of that will make a bit of difference until after we see who’s cooked meat in this battle. Gross way of putting it, but that’s about the size of it.

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    95. What the Flick, and Ben in particular (and sometimes Cenk), are the most insightful reviewers out there, next to Ozzy Man. And they seemed to really love “No One,” including the scenes that a number of fans had no patience with, such as the drinking game with Tyrion (which I thought was a nice character moment for Grey Worm and Missandei, who I care about). This confirms to me that I think the episode was spoiled, for a lot of fans, due to a convergence of expectations. These are:

      1. Expectations for a hugely epic episode 8, created by last year’s Hardhome
      2. Expectations for Cleganebowl
      3. Expectations for the Blackfish
      4. Expectations for some major twist with Arya

      These expectations obscured what was otherwise a very character-rich and story-rich episode. I mean, the Hound’s arc alone is brilliant. He has, due to his experience with McShane, and then his run in with the Brotherhood, developed a personal purpose that he’s never had before. Whether it’s vengeance, or fighting to defeat the coming winter winds, he’s got something beyond survival to work for. Then, we had Tyrion humbled, proving that good politics in Westeros is not necessarily good politics in Essos. His compromise deal with the Masters was clearly perceived as a sign of weakness, and they exploited it. Then we had some absolutely masterful character work with Jaime, Brienne, Edmure and the Blackfish, and even Pod and Bronn. Scenes that breathed, despite the fact that we’re embarking on a two-season homestretch towards the endgame. And then nice filmic touches, such as Arya’s cutting of the candle, which was a welcome subtle departure from GoT’s normal MO of showing the brutality (heck, we’d already gotten two decapitations and a groin-removal – we didn’t need to see the Arya and Blackfish fights). If you watch the episode again, without the above-mentioned expectations in mind, it really holds up as one of the top episodes this season. Doesn’t reach the heights of “The Door,” but it’s certainly far better than a lot of fans are giving it credit for.

      I agree that the Arya storyline was a bit padded, though. But I see that as a problem with last episode, not this one. Her idling on the bridge in broad daylight was an odd out-of-character moment, and should have been altered (e.g. have it happen in the dark, along the canal), or cut completely, and let Arya confront the waif without being wounded.

      In any event, “The One” is a really strong episode. I think this is a clear case of fandom having difficulty detaching itself from self-inflicted expectations. In my view, the discerning, critical general audience that watches this show seems to have been rather pleased with it.

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    96. Aryamad: I’ve actually never seen Ian Mcshane in anything before that I can remember but I just love his smile.

      Ian was an absolute treat and I’m so sorry he’s not a regular. You’ve never seen him in “Deadwood”? You are missing an excellent performance then. It’s also an HBO series, that was cancelled far too soon, and McShane was a marvel in it. It’s certainly worth the binge-watch, but be warned. The language throughout every episode is saltier than the oceans. The dialogue beneath the profanity was positively brilliant, imho, showing that characters who are not particularly polished can still be wildly intelligent.

      I don’t know if you were a regular on this site last summer, when his casting was announced. The “cocksucker” references were not our beloved fans being awful, that word came from the mouth of almost every character in the series, and it was marvelous.

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    97. Anon:
      kells,

      …It’s very odd, isn’t it? I too thought that as soon as Sansa rested a bit, she’d start looking for her sister, or send Brienne to do it.

      I guess Brienne herself has forgotten that part of her oath to Catelyn.

      I think Brienne is on oath overload. Maybe one girl is better than nothing, since she wasn’t exactly batting a thousand in the successful oath business. I just wanted some type of urgency to find both Bran and Arya and at this point, without it even mentioned, I understand wanting a Jaime/Brienne reunion at some point but when Sansa sent her away, I figured she would be sending her to find Arya. Maybe after she met with the Blackfish. Sansa knows she is out there. I would assume she told Jon. Get to steppin’ siblings!

      Darkrobin:
      kells,

      I would boo-hoo his demise, no matter how it happens, I just want it to be at the hands of Arya so damn bad.

      I actually will miss Lord Walder.He is a villan of the old school – not some sociopath or psychopath like Joffrey and Ramsay, but an old man who feels he’s been slighted all his life, then one slight too many, and he gets the reward he thinks he deserves, well until he doesn’t …

      I’m excited for the possibility of a Sansa/Sandor reunion next season (as well as Arya/Sandor).If Sansa doesn’t learn about LF’s role in Ned’s execution before then, Sandor could tell her what went down in the Throne Room.And if LF hadn’t bit the dust by that time anyway, which he probably will have, that could be very interesting.

      I will miss Walder, too! David Bradley has been fantastic. As much as we hate some of these characters, the actors have been so good and so solid, that the show does lose something when they meet their end. As much as I hate Cersei and Littlefinger, Lena and Aidan are amazing. I don’t want either to die because the intrigue they provide adds so many layers!

      I think we will get a Sandor/Arya and Sandor/Sansa reunion next year. Of course, SanSan loving me isn’t thinking it will be butterflies and rainbows but Sansa spent 3+ seasons in hell. I would love her to have another person who cares, in his own way and with no desire or care about her “status”, on her side. Plus, before she was sent through the cesspool that is Littlefinger and Ramsay, she had Sandor offering to take her away and keep her safe. If that promise doesn’t ring in her ears, looking back, I don’t know what would.

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    98. ArgonathofBraavos: In my view, the discerning, critical general audience that watches this show seems to have been rather pleased with it.

      Rather pleased doesn’t equate to “blown away.” I, too, was rather pleased with it for all the points you mentioned. I just thought they handled Arya’s survival of a knife twisted in her guts in an unrealistic way. Even in super-hero movies when one of the heroes is in a dire situation, they show a super-power being used to get that hero out of it. We hadn’t been shown that Arya was a super-hero, in fact, we were shown that she got her poor little ass kicked badly many times. Yet, at the end, without even an additional dose of milk of the poppy, or a sip from healing waters, or a Zippitty-do-dah from Jaqen, she walks away looking whole and healthy. It’s a blip.

      I am a discerning viewer; I love and seek out all the delicious nuances of character development and great talk, and go zingy with admiration when I detect them. So is Oz a discerning viewer, since you used him as an example, and he was not blown away either. Yes, I’ll grant you, I WAS kind of expecting Hardhome. but accepted that this wasn’t it. I rather liked the episode, where I have loved almost every other episode this season, even when many of the other viewers found some of them too quiet. This one just had that huge – blip.

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    99. Rygritte: I hope the Lannister/Frey armies returning to the Twins get attacked by an enormous wolf pack led by a gigantasaurus Nymeria.

      LOL – gigantasaurus – LOL yeah, me too.

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    100. ArgonathofBraavos,

      I think your analysis about the strengths of “No One” and the way that all of the expectations and theories contributed to the divided response that the episode received is precisely right! I completely agree with everything you’ve said here. 🙂

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    101. Man you guys are some deep thinkers. I wish I had the creative mental energy to dwell on such detailed story complexities and nuances.

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    102. Ginevra,

      Speaking of, I watched Zero Dark Thirty 3 or so weeks ago randomly on my 15 hour flight from Hong Kong. I was shocked to see Stannis in it 🙂 Made me smile

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    103. Aryamad: I never did ship Brienne and Jaime in a romantic way. I always saw them more like best friends.

      Brienne and Jaime know each other’s characters better than anyone else because they have been through hell together. The unspoken topics at their RR meeting have more to do with their journey to KL than repressed romantic feelings. Hollywood cliches about sex replaced the complexities of their history together.

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    104. Rygritte: I hope the Lannister/Frey armies returning to the Twins get attacked by an enormous wolf pack led by a gigantasaurus Nymeria

      I have been looking forward to Frey genocide by wolf pack since wolf dreams. Others deserving of death by canids are the remaining Boltons. Death by direwolf is so poetic.

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    105. Does anybody think one of Brans vissions will be the famous ‘lost’ scene of Neds father burning in front of the iron throne?

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    106. Thronetender: Rather pleased doesn’t equate to “blown away.” I, too, was rather pleased with it for all the points you mentioned. I just thought they handled Arya’s survival of a knife twisted in her guts in an unrealistic way. Even in super-hero movies when one of the heroes is in a dire situation, they show a super-power being used to get that hero out of it. We hadn’t been shown that Arya was a super-hero, in fact, we were shown that she got her poor little ass kicked badly many times. Yet, at the end, without even an additional dose of milk of the poppy, or a sip from healing waters, or a Zippitty-do-dah from Jaqen, she walks away looking whole and healthy.It’s a blip.

      Please remember that Jaqen follows a trail of blood which leads directly to the pool of healing waters/death pool first. Granted, we didn’t see her actually sip from it, but it was plainly implied in the way it was shot that she went there first, then down to the Hall of Faces. So I am not too worried about how healthy she looks while confronting Jaqen in that final scene.

      However, I am still pretty annoyed that they made her initial stab wounds look so dire (in the execution).

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