Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 8 “No One” Written Recap Round-Up

arya needle

Cersei chose violence, a showdown at Riverrun, and a girl finally became who she was alway meant to be in the thrilling eighth episode of Game of Thrones season 6: “No One.” Let’s see what the critics had to say!

Here on The Wall, Sue (Sullied) revels in the reunited Jaime and Brienne and the chase through Braavos. Oz (Unsullied) discusses Riverrun, the epic attack on Meereen, and The Hound’s revenge.

Since this episode contained moments from the book series and the past, some authors are noted as Sullied or Unsullied. Be sure to still exercise caution when reading some reviews for book spoilers.

Myles McNutt, A.V. Club (Sullied) – McNutt struggles with the execution of the “No One” theme in Braavos.

Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post (Sullied) – Rosenberg reviews the ways the episode portrayed what our characters do for love.

Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone – Collins explores how the episode brought our characters full circle through Jaime, Arya, and The Hound.

Rob Bricken, io9 – Disappointed by Arya’s lack of payoff, Bricken evaluates the unexpected events in “No One.”

James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly – Hibberd relishes the character driven moments of Jaime and Arya.

Sarah Hughes, The Guardian (Sullied) – Hughes had conflicting thoughts for the episode, saying “parts of No One were up there with my favourites, although it was ultimately let down by some clunky contrivances.”

Neil Miller, Film School Rejects (Sullied) – Miller empathizes with his fellow book readers as two highly anticipated events were snuffed out in “No One.”

David Crow, Den of Geek – Crow rejoices over the end of The House of Black and White storyline (thankful that it’s over) and what’s next for Arya Stark.

Laura Hudson, Wired – Hudson cheers for the “hell yes” moments of this episode including Arya’s escape and The Hound’s revenge.

Alan Sepinwall, Hitfix – Sepinwall laments for what he calls the “least memorable” episode of season 6.

Brandon Norwalk, A.V. Club (Unsullied) – Like his A.V. Club counterpart, Norwalk also struggles with the “point” of Arya’s time in Braavos now that it has come to an end.

Jen Chaney, Vulture – In contrast with Norwalk, Chaney calls Arya’s Braavosi end “absurdly satisfying.”

David Malitz, The Washington Post (Unsullied) – Agreeing with the majority, Malitz also found Arya’s Braavos storyline too long and unsatisfying writing. “There was probably a more direct, less painful, more logical and certainly less time-consuming path to rediscovering her commitment to family.”

Laura Bogart, Salon – Bogart analyzes the theme of identity through Cersei, Jaime, and of course, Arya.

Laura Stone, Hey, Don’t Judge Me (Unsullied) – Stone reflects on Cersei’s new position and Arya’s confrontation with No One.

David Rosenblatt, Squinty Over Analyzes Things (Sullied) – Rosenblatt takes a total analysis approach to “No One” through the Kingslayer himself: Jaime Lannister.

Laura Byrne-Cristiano, Hypable – Bryne-Cristiano focuses on the characters reevaluating themselves and their destinies through Arya and The Hound.

Alicia Lutes, Nerdist – Our newest addition to the round-up, welcome Alicia Lutes! She is beyond enthusiastic for Arya Stark and the conclusion of her journey to No One.

Stay tuned for Bex’s video recap round-up later this week!

It looks like most critics weren’t pleased with the way Arya’s story in Braavos ended but still enjoyed other parts of “No One.” What are your thoughts? Let us know below!

240 responses

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    1. For the first time since I´m into this story,I feel cheated by the writers of the scripts as well as the author of the books…the former because it shows that they are in a hurry to finish this story and don´t even care for the plots holes they are creating and the latter because he is in no hurry to finish a story he is no longer interested in finishing…two faces of the same coin,really 🙁 ps…this is my PERSONAL appreciation on the matter;not offending anyone,I hope

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    2. Jack Bauer 24,

      The past 3 weeks of Dragons on the Wall actually have been quite negative, IIRC. I have my issues with the show, but most reviewers’ criticisms make very little sense and only highlight their superficial understanding of the story.

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    3. I’m not sure if this has been mentioned in other threads, but the synopsis for “Battle of the Bastards” is on IMDb:

      As the Starks prepare to fight, Davos loses something dear. Ramsay plays a game. Daenerys faces a choice.

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    4. AlexG:
      For the first time since I´m into this story,I feel cheated by the writers of the scripts as well as the author of the books…the former because it shows that they are in a hurry to finish this story and don´t even care for the plots holes they are creating and the latter because he is in no hurry to finish a storyhe is no longer interested in finishing…two faces of the same coin,really ?ps…this is my PERSONAL appreciation on the matter;not offending anyone,I hope

      Spot on. This season has been sloppy from a writing perspective and hasn’t been given the same care as the previous seasons. There have been a lot more leaps of faith required from the viewer, predictable / anti-cilmactic plotting, character decisions that are mind boggling and only serve to move the story where it needs to go, and atrociously written scenes that wouldn’t have even made the deleted scenes of previous seasons. Even the VFX in certain spots haven’t been as good. In last episode the Lannister tents outside of Riverrun looked so fake, and so did the ships attacking Mereen, it looked more like a good cut scene from a video game.

      I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was not having the same plot structure from the books that they had in previous seasons? Though I felt they didn’t have that last season and did a fine job. Maybe there was a change of the dynamics in the writing room, i.e. some tension between D & D? Maybe D & D just got fed up with the fan reaction from last season and stopped caring, or maybe they’re in a rush to just get this thing over and done with so they can move on to doing other things in their career.

      Who knows. This season has been a let down for me thus far. Let’s see how the last two episodes go though.

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    5. I haven’t read all of these reviews yet, and likely won’t. But among the ones I have read, it’s interesting to see several critics citing the Arya storyline as their favorite element of the entire episode (most notably Jen Chaney from Vulture, who bumped her review from four stars to five stars for that sequence alone). Then there are critics like Sean T. Collins (always a great read), who champion the episode as a whole. It was a refreshing change of pace to read their thoughts on a day when the general vibe of negativity surrounding the fandom’s usual hangouts grew very tiresome very quickly.

      Obviously, “No One” is far from the most beloved episode of the season (Rotten Tomatoes has it at 85% fresh, the lowest of any episode this season, though still quite positive overall). And there are some critics like Sepinwall who are down on the entire hour, not just the Arya resolution. But it’s interesting to see the divide take shape. It’s not an exact parallel, but it strikes me as a twisted sort of inverse to the reception that “Home” received, particularly with respect to the nature of Jon’s resurrection. The fandom seemed generally euphoric over that development and that episode in general, while several prominent critics were vocally disappointed, or at least underwhelmed. Here, at least in some corners, the opposite seems to be true.

      To be fair, it’s a small sample. I’m not sure I’m all that keen to dig further.

      Jack Bauer 24,

      I’m done with them. I turned off last week’s episode in disgust when they spent twelve minutes whining about the predictability of the Hound’s return – even though it was something they had been talking up for weeks. The breaking point came when paused to openly admit that they were being unrealistic and nitpicky, then resumed doing so. I’m not even bothering with them this week.

      It’s a shame, because I really like Eric and Terri otherwise. But life is too short, and there’s much better Game of Thrones-related content out there. I’ll read their writing and listen to them separately with other conversation partners, but not together.

      Also, the comments section at IGN is a cesspool. It could give YouTube a run for its money.

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    6. I think the reviews kind of echo what many feel, which is that this episode was the weakest of the bunch.

      In general, it feels a little like Kings Landing has really been spinning it’s wheels. Feels like we could’ve gotten to this point a little faster. The way Arya’s story has gone the last 2 episodes has been kind of a let down.

      I still believe the last two episodes will be epic (maybe I should temper my expectations!) but if last week was a good, not great episode, this one was kind of a mess, and to have two just ok episodes in a row feels more disappointing when you realize how long a year is!!

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    7. Well, since Alicia Lutes camps out at this site and reports your stories as her own and uses the comments here to devise “her” theories for Nerdist, I guess it’s only right you include her commentary.

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    8. While I liked this episode, it seems the writers really bungled Arya’s actions. I thought the reveal would be Lady Crane had fit Arya with chain mail under a bag of stage blood, and after showing half of the city how she was ‘dying,’ Arya would then leave Braavos in disguise with the theatre troupe. Instead, Arya has some kind of superhuman healing powers and pretty much dares A Man to kill her with his army of perfectly-disguised assassins.

      Everything else went great. I loved King Tommen depriving Cersei of her ‘ace in the whole suit of armor’ by banning Trial by Combat — Westeros is now not the most barbaric place in that world, at least by one measure. I also loved Lancel’s silent questioning of his militant faith when faced with someone who will fight back against his religious bullying.

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    9. I am happy to hear that many of my semi casual (die hard a but soley watch the show ) loved the episode, and the ties to older seasons

      Yay 🙂

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    10. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I hope the next two episodes are worth it…I adore the show (and the first two books;the other two,I was bored to tears) but that whole Arya line felt rushed and sloppy 🙁 apart from the uncomfortable feeling that every character feels small and diminished…I can understand the story becoming the main character but even that is getting the rush treatment

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    11. I think people just expect certain payoffs and are let down when they don’t happen. I felt kind of the same way about some parts. I was really hoping the Blackfish and his men were going to play a fake out, pretend to surrender, and then slaughter all the Freys as soon as Lord Walder comes. Instead he dies offscreen. And Arya’s stay in Braavos does feel pretty pointless after all this time, but at least she’s finally going back to where she belongs to knock some names off her list, hopefully Lord Walder first.

      Still, that’s like 20 minutes of the hour. I keep rewatching individual scenes on YouTube and it works so much better that way. The good is still really good. I’m a diehard Brotherhood fan. They’re one of my favorite parts of both the books and the show and I’m so amped that Sandor is joining them and they’re going to fight the real war. If we remember back to when Lord Commander Mormont sent out his ravens to ask for more men, he sent those to the entire country. Everyone knows about the Walkers. They just choose to not believe. One of the things I loved about Stannis is he was the only one who cared and came to help. Of all the claimants to the throne, he was the only one willing to put aside his own benefit and fight for the good of the whole land. Now someone else is listening, too, and coming to help. The fact the Hound will be a part of it makes it so much better because he’s always been one of the best characters and a high point of every scene he’s in. Going north means he’ll get to fight alongside the Starks and reunite with Sansa and eventually Arya whenever she makes it back. Those will be great moments.

      Of course, it seems no Cleganebowl is part of what pissed off a lot of people and I always thought it was a silly idea anyway. He needs to fight his brother at some point. That’s his true fight and the reason he kept going all this time, but not as champion of the faith. He doesn’t buy into their religion and those jackass fanatics would more likely lock him up than name him their champion anyway. It wouldn’t have made any sense and would have just been a contrived moment. Make his final encounter with his brother organic and believable if the Mountain actually manages to make it that far.

      It’s a funny thing about rewatching individual scenes, too. I watch the Drogon rescue scene from Dance of Dragons and it works. They did it really well. Jorah’s reunion is emotional and terrific, the look on Tyrion’s face when Drogon lands and starts burning everyone is great. But when it aired, I could barely watch it and didn’t enjoy it at all, because it followed Shireen’s burning and that just devastated me. One of my favorite characters did one of the worst things anyone has done on this show and it ruined him for me. I felt betrayed, felt empty, I wouldn’t even let my wife touch me that night. It’s weird that one scene can have that kind of effect and ruin my enjoyment of everything else when the rest of the episode was really good.

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    12. Dee Stark,

      Lol but do you ever not love an episode? You’re the happiest of fans, unlike the rest of us grumpies!!

      I think a lot of reviews would say and do say that it was a pretty average/mediocre episode.

      Honesty, to me it just felt like a waste. Kings Landing feels like it’s been wheels spinning endlessly – I feel like we could’ve easily have gotten to this point a whole lot faster. Mereen/Tyrion is again the same, just a lot of literally buying time and spinning wheels.

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    13. Adam,

      Agreed. Honestly, when I first heard of CleganeBowl, I thought it was just the moniker for whatever confrontation Sandor and Gregor had. However, the very idea of Sandor fighting for the Faith made me laugh out loud. Sandor is a lot of things, but religious is not one of them. The idea of him fighting White Walkers with the Brotherhood and everyone else, however, now THAT I can get behind.

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    14. AlexG:
      For the first time since I´m into this story,I feel cheated by the writers of the scripts as well as the author of the books…the former because it shows that they are in a hurry to finish this story and don´t even care for the plots holes they are creating and the latter because he is in no hurry to finish a storyhe is no longer interested in finishing…two faces of the same coin,really ps…this is my PERSONAL appreciation on the matter;not offending anyone,I hope

      I bet GRRM works more than you will when you are his age. I find anyone who complains about the lack of a “work ethic” with respect to someone old enough to retire to be a bit absurd. GRRM owes us nothing, and is welcome to write or not write at his own pace. It’s his life.

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    15. Davos Seaworth,

      I thought season 5 was very coherent plot wise and the outcome to most if not all of the story lines had me very satisfied and surprised. I didn’t mind Dorne either or Sansa (this is coming from a non book reader). To me there has been far far more clumsy stuff in season 6 than in any other season.

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    16. AlexG,

      I’m just hoping the next episode doesn’t end up with Jon fighting Ramsey one on one, and Ramsey is about to kill Jon and Sansa comes out of nowhere and stabs Ramsey. I will vomit.

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    17. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Unless hounds are involved, there is no way Ramsay is beating Jon. The legend Karl taught him how to fight dirty, and he beat a White Walker. Ramsay just went apeshit on a few Ironborn and got lucky.

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    18. AlexG:
      For the first time since I´m into this story,I feel cheated by the writers of the scripts as well as the author of the books…the former because it shows that they are in a hurry to finish this story and don´t even care for the plots holes they are creating and the latter because he is in no hurry to finish a storyhe is no longer interested in finishing…two faces of the same coin,really ps…this is my PERSONAL appreciation on the matter;not offending anyone,I hope

      LOL, this is perfect!

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    19. I enjoyed much of the episode. Like a lot of people, I was not satisfied with the resolution to the Braavos story. It was a complete failure from the start, IMO. So it’s no surprise that it ended poorly. Other than that, I loved the Riverrun scenes, except for the Blackfish giving up and committing suicide. Kings Landing should have had more forward momentum sooner. We needed to see more of Cersei and Qyburn, especially if what I think will happen occurs. It’s going to feel like it came out of thin air. Meereen was more of the same, wasting Dinklage’s talent. I’m happy to have the Hound back, and even happier that he seems to be heading North. Screw the Clegane Bowl, I want Sandor protecting Arya and Sansa.

      My episode rankings: 2>5>3>4>7>6>8>1

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    20. Why don’t you add Joanna Robinson’s recap over at Vanity Fair? Her thoughts are always worth reading.

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    21. Dee Stark,

      In response to your reply from the other thread, I liked the previous three episodes so not sure how you can sarcastically say it’s shocking that I didn’t like this one.

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    22. Darkrobin:
      Ginevra,

      Haven’t we been warned that anyone can edit IMDb and so it is not reliable?

      Not always right is very different from always wrong. I didn’t say it was worthy of being officially reported. I was wondering if it had been mentioned in the comments. I see that HBO has officially released a couple of very short synopses as reported in the Emmy’s post before this one.

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    23. The Arya storyline was lame before episode 7, but the “stabbing” scene sacrificed Arya’s character and motivations merely to speed the plot along. The Arya we’ve gotten to know and love would never have stood on a bridge in broad daylight and waited for the Waif to stab her.

      The only thing the show needed to do was have Arya lure the Waif into a darkened room with a single candle and Needle. All the rest of the build-up was a waste of time.

      I always figured Arya would kill the Waif and put her face on the wall. End of story. This was the Waif’s test, not Arya’s. So why the BS about Arya standing on a bridge, getting stabbed, running off to Lady Crane for some stitching and the most miraculous dose of milk of the poppy ever ingested?

      Sloppy writing, that’s why. “Well let’s just give Maisie a little more screen time.” Let’s not. Put Arya back in Westeros and let her kill some Freys. Please.

      And Please bring back Nymeria and her pack!

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    24. Sad to say, the Battle of the Bastards is starting to look unsettlingly familiar. Remember how Philippa Boyens screwed up the Two Towers? Eomer disappears with most of Rohan’s fighting men, Aragorn falls off a cliff and all Theoden has to fight with at Helm’s Deep are a bunch of boys and old men. Let’s just make this situation as dire as we can possibly make it.

      Then a bunch of elves show up from Lorien, and they end up being cannon fodder. Philippa just had to have her dead elves. Then came the dawn and Gandalf and Eomer charge down the hill and save the day.

      So now Beniof and Weiss appear to be giving Jon and Sansa the Helm’s Deep treatment. Jon and Sansa face hopeless odds, the giant gets killed right away, and Ramsay smirks a lot. Duh!

      And then we get the deux ex machina. Littlefinger or some turn-cloak Umbers. Dudes, you’re milking this dire straits thing to death. What’s next, tying Sansa to the railroad tracks? Snively Whiplash? Please, please stop insulting our intelligence!

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    25. I just saw someone on twitter that is supposedly a writer say that they need to take a drink everytime got uses a deus ex machina for the last two episodes and I was just baffled.Do people know what even deus ex machina means and when has got ever used them?If something has been established or forshadowed then it very cleary is not a deus ex machina it’s not hard to understand.

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    26. Jenny,

      God from a machine. Write yourself into a corner, then poof! The hand of God delivers the protagonist from peril. I have a master’s degree in English. Wrote papers, sat through the lectures, and read way too many Restoration and Renaissance plays. I know what the expression means.

      The Arya plot got sloppy, and I fear the Jon/Sansa plot might get sloppier next week. That’s all. And season 6 started out so well. Hate to see Season 6 screw the pooch at the very end.

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    27. Jenny,

      Just ignore them ..
      I can’t take those who complain about deus ex machina or plot armor or plot gifts any serious ..

      And sadly this mostly happens with ASoIaf and GOT ..if you Google plot armor or gifts …you will get westeros.org as top result …
      Which shows how this fandom works.

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    28. imogenkronos,

      Then you would know that the vale coming into the battle is not deus ex machina cause we already know they exist and are nearby and ready to fight.It’s the opposite of writing yourself into a corner.

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    29. dragonbringer,

      I’m just so surprised most people don’t know what the terms mean and they throw them around.Game of thrones does everything not you use deus ex machina and people still ignore it.And don’t even remind me of plot armor if I never hear that again it will be too soon.Maybe someone should explain the meaning of the term protagonist and how stories work

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    30. Jenny:
      imogenkronos,

      Then you would know that the vale coming into the battle is not deus ex machina cause we already know they exist and are nearby and ready to fight.It’s the opposite of writing yourself into a corner.

      Agree. Deus Ex Machina is roughly the opposite of Chekov’s gun (or Chekov’s Valyrian steel swords as the case may be).

      If there has been a set-up for an even established earlier in the story, it can’t come from “out of nowhere” and so it’s not Deus Ex Machina.

      And, to be fair, the phrase originates with Greek plays where the audience EXPECTS it to happen. They believed in those gods so of course Athena just shows up and sets the angry townsfolk straight at the end of The Odessey. It would be silly for them to think that she wouldn’t!

      It’s less acceptable in later literature/plays/etc. but, again, if the possibility of an event was mentioned earlier (preferably not ridiculously blatantly so there’s SOME surprise), why are you so surprised when it happens later?

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    31. Oh, and I stopped reading reviews after seeing in multiple places that we should be upset because the Waif’s death occurred “off screen”.

      Wrong. It occurred in the dark. If you want to see it, turn your TV off and make your own battle sounds.

      That was the payoff for Arya’s “blind training”.

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    32. I’m very interested to see how GRRM will resolve the Arya in Braavos storyline, it’s fair to assume I think that the end result is broadly the same + warging. Since this has been spread over three books and clearly a good deal of elapsed Plantetos time I wonder if it will elicit the same complaints over taking too long…?

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    33. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Jon is going to call for a 1 vs 1 with Ramsay. That’s where the line “thousands don’t have to die only one of us” comes from. I think that’s what’s also alluded to in the preview where Sansa says he doesn’t know what Ramsay’s like.

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    34. I just saw this somewhere:
      Arya’s wounds were cleaned and treated by Lady Crane and then she was given milk of the poppy. I looked it up and milk of the poppy works like morphine, meaning as a strong painkiller and anaesthetic. Arya’s wounds didn’t heal, she was still damaged and bleeding from the wound but she just didn’t feel any pain.

      Well, that makes sense.

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    35. Rhaenys Stark:
      I looked it up and milk of the poppy works like morphine, meaning as a strong painkiller and anaesthetic. Arya’s wounds didn’t heal, she was still damaged and bleeding from the wound but she just didn’t feel any pain.

      Well, that makes sense.

      It doesn’t really, because then we would have to imagine that a heavily anesthetized Arya is somehow on top of her game. Of course we don’t exactly know. Yes milk of the poppy is likely supposed to be morphine, like in real life. I’m not an expert, but I don’t think morphine works as a stimulant.
      But like I said elsewhere, a possible explanation doesn’t necessarily make a story more plausible. Plausibility has to to with peoples perception not a supposed realism. If the storytelling depends on stuff no non-expert really understands like wound dynamics, healing and fictional drugs, then it’s not good storytelling, except most people aren’t supposed to get it. If you imply something then make the explanation something that almost everyone can get after a little thought or something that isn’t that important or complex, like the fast travelling Sand Snakes for example, that I defended for that reason.

      I truly don’t know if someone can easily survive those stab wounds with just a little improvised patching up, or even in the first place. I don’t know if it’s possible to chase around with them if you fight for your life. But all in all I find it hard to believe, but I acknowledge that I might be wrong. Still that doesn’t change my first impression. But that’s not the real problem. There are many things in good storytelling that are hard to believe, that’s why we need the often cited suspension of disbelief. But the more the audience have to invest into that suspension of disbelief the better the payoff has to be.

      Don’t make me think Arya is surely dead just to have it be a flesh wound. That’s just a lazy way to get thrills. It’s slightly beside the point whether someone could survive this or not. The fact is they wanted us to believe she will die just to turn around immediately. That’s simply too cheap if it stands by itself as a shock moment.

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    36. Ok. I am late to the game this week. I don’t care about Aryas storyline and never have and really didn’t care about anything In this damn episode except Jaime and Brienne. It was everything I ever wanted and I can die happy. Oh but that interview with NIkolaj was just fucking icing. Yes she has your HEART what. I can. Not. People who think the character has been black washed need to listen to this man.

      I also love that Briennes PLAN was exactly what I originally predicted would happen but was worried it wouldn’t. And then in fact it didn’t but only because the Blackfish is an idiot who likes a castle more than his family and I’m glad he’s dead.

      Ok sleep now.

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    37. One of the worst episodes ever. Only Hound & Brotherhood and Cersei were good, but rest was pathetic.

      Arya was absolutely horrible, she shouldn’t be able to move, let alone jump like that. Compare it to stabbings that Aero Hotha and Roose Bolton got.

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    38. Glad to see professional reviewers share the same issues I do as far as this episode is concerned.

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    39. LawofFury,

      Haha, when Jaime gets smashed in the head with a rock from Catelyn and carries on speaking to her, Jon get’s his face slammed into an anvil by the Thenn guy then smiles at Ygritte. The hound gets repeatedly smashed in the face multiple times by Brienne with a rock then has a conversation with Arya. GreatJon Umber has a couple of fingers bitten off by a wolf then rides into Battle. It’s TV this happens all the time and always will.

      My point being, why complain now?

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    40. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      There’s been some bad writing in past seasons as well. The beginning of this season up through The Door all felt generally strong, while the past three eps have had more issues. With so many storylines going on they’re not going to bat 1.000. You have to be willing to put up with a few clunky scenes here and there to get to the good stuff. I don’t think a show with so many characters and storylines could ever be as “perfectly” written as something like Breaking Bad.

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    41. A fantasy show, where comments like “The Gods have plan for you Sandor Clegane” explain how he survived his injuries and Magic explains why Jon is walking around and how Daenarys isn’t a pile of ash…. but the Gods having a plan for Arya and allowing her to live.. albeit luckily, and the adrenaline of being about to be killed and months of training can’t explain her escape… I find the inconsistency of opinion strange.

      It’s the same when you have a car crash and you say.. wow can;t believe anyone walked away from that.. or wow they must of been unlucky that happened and they died.

      Save yourselves some heartache and try and watch the show for what it is… yes some people have been incredibly lucky “Arya” some people have been incredibly unlucky “Roose” when it comes to there injuries… but that is in a sense more believable than almost everything else on the show.

      Jaime not having the courage to throw his entire life of being in love with Cersei away easily is what I would expect. Tyrion struggling to create a rapport with people of a different culture, his longing for the familiar is absolutely great. Jaime playing on Edmure’s opinion of him to engineer a relatively peaceful outcome is again.. really great to watch.

      As fans…. forgive the odd hiccup.. which are few and far between.. and enjoy. There may never be a fantasy show like this on TV ever again. Don’t spoil it for yourselves by trying to understand how Arya survived some stab wounds, she did.

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    42. Cock Merchant,

      I thought Milk of the Poppy was a soporific but this from the wiki suggests it might not – perhaps once it wears off a bit

      In Meereen, some pit fighters dull their nerves with milk of the poppy before going out to die in the fighting pits.

      ADWD Tyrion’s 11th chapter

      There are mentions of it “dulling the wits”, and I would think that if it doesn’t render someone less mobile after waking reactions would be slowed. I still think they should have kept the wound less life-threatening anyway and avoided the false peril.

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    43. A Man Grown:
      LatrineDiggerBrian,

      There’s been some bad writing in past seasons as well. The beginning of this season up through The Door all felt generally strong, while the past three eps have had more issues. With so many storylines going on they’re not going to bat 1.000. You have to be willing to put up with a few clunky scenes here and there to get to the good stuff. I don’t think a show with so many characters and storylines could ever be as “perfectly” written as something like Breaking Bad.

      There hasn’t been near as many duds as there have been this season, which is to say there haven’t been many, but they’ve set the bar really high. And Breaking Bad isn’t close to perfectly written, plenty of bizarre scenes in that one as well that had me scratching my head.

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    44. Jenny:
      If something has been established or forshadowed then it very cleary is not a deus ex machina it’s not hard to understand.

      The sequence of introducing a conflict, foreshadowing a quick resolution, pretending the conflict will end badly, and then fixing the situation with an (external) resolution has been used too many times for step three to still work.

      Arya’s situation is a prime example. I don’t think there was ever a single person who doubted that this is how things would end. Worse, by using the ‘he’s back because you didn’t see him die’ trope and choosing to move supposed death scenes off camera (the Hound, Stannis, Waif, Blackfish) the show is lessening the impact of these ‘victories’ because there’ll always be this doubt in the viewer’s mind about what actually happened.

      The Waif was also just a prop in Arya’s story, and are the Masters in Mereen any different? This is very different from the stories in which we got to know both sides; e.g. the Lannisters and Robb Stark, or Cersei/Joffrey and Eddard Stark. Also, GoT could kill Eddard and could kill Robb and continue the story, but they are running out of time fast. There are only 15 episodes to go (give or take one or two), and are we really going to go into Season 7 with Ramsey Bolton rallying the North to fight the White Walkers? I don’t think so. I haven’t heard from anyone who thinks so. Perhaps we’ll be reminded that Ramsey is supposed to be the bad guy by him killing his Stark hostage, but that kid hasn’t been meaningful ever. He’s just a prop, and the outcome of that battle isn’t really in doubt.

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    45. James Morris,
      Well yes I agree we have some clear protagonists.But it has been like this since the begining you just had to see them for what they are.It’s easier to kill some of your faux protagonists in act 1 but you can’t do that at the end of act two or the beginning of act three otherwise the story and character development is all for nothing.But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have the battle or the characters shouldn’t struggle.Do you want Jon to go there and say to Ramsay you may just as well yeild cause I’m a main character?It doesn’t work like that.And there have always been secondary and terciary characters some are just needed to advance the story.They can’t all be protagonists.

      And about the offscreen deaths and fake outs game of thrones rarely uses it especially compared to the books.Yes the hound didn’t die but we have the waif face and stannis was confirmed dead by everybody there is no doubt about that.The Blackfish the same but it’s no big deal to leave things a little open ended once in a while even though game of thrones rarely does it

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    46. Sacred Lime,

      That’s not fantasy, that’s super science-fiction or comix with meta-humans that can survive impossible damage to their bodies.

      A song of Ice and Fire is more down to earth fantasy, with more shades of grey in their characters and their motives. There are no elves, dwarfs, etc…. there are some things like this – with White Walkers, Dragons, Children of Forest, … but it’s nowhere near Middlearth or Azeroth kind of stuff.

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    47. A Man Grown,

      Breaking Bad could very often be mind-numbingly tedious. Every domestic dispute between Walt & Skylar was like watching EastEnders, only with different accents.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Corbyn Stark: Breaking Bad could very often be mind-numbingly tedious. Every domestic dispute between Walt & Skylar was like watching EastEnders, only with different accents.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Chad Brick,

      I agree whole heartedly with this
      Let the man live

      It’s like some of the stuff I read yesterday.. D&D don’t owe us anything either . Their show, free to do as they please

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    50. Nadia,

      I am 🙂
      Hahaha grumpies ?

      I agree that some stuff could have been tied up already, but for example, it’s likely something major is going to happen in KL and had to wait till the finale to do so?
      Mereen, well I don’t know, I care more about Danys story then mereen so I’m happy she’s back there now

      Of course there are somethings Like the aforementioned two that I would have preferred different, just like maybe another Jon convo with Mel or someone about the rebirth, but I won’t let it bring me down

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    51. Most reviews I read where preaty positive, I admit though I do not read reviews by book-readers so I may be biased.

      Watched the episode last night, with 5 of my friends, all completely unsullied, and they thought it was ”good” and one of then really liked it.
      Although the consensus was, that last week was better, and I agree with them.

      1 one of them was really angry though, that Tommen denied him a ”awesome trial”, he thinks will get a ”long, boring, normal trial”, I think he’ll be preaty happy, if what we speculated will happen, with Cersei and all, he didn’t even think of Wildfire.

      All agreed, though, that they would have liked seeing the Mountain kick some more ass. And again I agree here.

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    52. Dee Stark,

      Our hero/heroes are in mortal danger and out of nowhere, with no forshadowing or clues(this is the most important part, in my opinion.), he is saved by something/someone.

      The Eagles in LOTR are a good example I think, but I haven’t really saw the movies in a long time, so they might have been forshadowed.

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    53. Dee Stark,

      It basically means: a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object.

      For example if the vale comes to the battle or the dragons come to save dany that’s not deus ex machina cause it has been established many times before and we know they exist and are nearby.

      But for example if Jon appears to be loosing and some teenage mutant ninja turtles lol come and save him that would be a deus ex machina but game of thrones never does that

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    54. I really don’t know how people think the battles should be written? Something has to happen to change the situation.

      Give me one battle in history or TV or film that didn’t have ” deus ex machina”.

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    55. mau,

      None in GOT/ASOIAF.

      If anything this was used quite a lot. Tywin an KL, Stannis at the Wall.
      Rob finding a convenient path to attack the Lannisters…..etc.

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    56. Jenny:
      imogenkronos,

      Then you would know that the vale coming into the battle is not deus ex machina cause we already know they exist and are nearby and ready to fight.It’s the opposite of writing yourself into a corner.

      I agree. The Vale army showing up and winning the Battle of the Bastards will not be deus ex machina. It will, however, be a trope, and sadly one that GoT has dipped into far too often. Specifically, it’s going to be another Heroic Last Second Rescue.

      At the battle scale, both Blackwater and the Wildling assault on the Wall, the two largest battles shown in the screen version, ended this way. At the individual / small scale level, it has occurred multiple times this season alone. For example, Brienne saving Sansa and Theon, Benjen saving Meera and Bran (these two were almost identical in every respect, right down to the details and plot holes!), Daario saving Jorah, etc. Hell, if you didn’t predict the exact millisecond that Daario’s knife was going to pop through the Dothraki’s chest, you were slacking. This predictability is not a good thing, and I suspect it is going to infect the two battles we get next week. Is the outcome at all in doubt? No. Will the Ironborn save Dany and the Vale save Team Stark? As sure as sunshine and rain. Will a few secondary characters die, but the Plot Armored major characters live? You betcha.

      I am not terribly looking forward to next week. Yeah, it is going to be a visual spectacle. But I worry it is going to be an utterly formulaic one. If I want that, I can just watch the latest comic book movie trash.

      E10 should be better. It’s much more of a wild card, and I suspect a lot of the notes that it hits will be from the books. D&D are clearly deviating even more and more from GRRM’s version of the story, but the big stuff at the end of the season tends to track back to canon.

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    57. mau:
      I really don’t know how people think the battles should be written? Something has to happen to change the situation.

      Give me one battle in history or TV or film that didn’t have ” deus ex machina”.

      Hardhome.

      Next question?

      Bonus Answer: Snow Battle in The Empire Strikes Back.

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    58. Besides Jon’s resurrection and Daenerys the Unburnt my bar for realism on this fantasy television show is EXTREMELY high!

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    59. mau:
      I really don’t know how people think the battles should be written? Something has to happen to change the situation.

      Give me one battle in history or TV or film that didn’t have ” deus ex machina”.

      By your definition, unless it’s “line up across a field from each other and shoot until one side runs out of people” ALL battles are won by your version of Deus ex Machina (i.e., timely arrival of reinforcements)

      I doubt they rolled their eyes at the Battle of the Bulge when reinforcements arrived (“oh, they’re SO dramatic…”)

      They can’t all be battles of attrition and any “heroic stand” NOT won by your definition of Deus definitely happen… They’re just called losses!

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    60. Dee Stark:
      Nadia,

      I am
      Hahaha grumpies

      I agree that some stuff could have been tied up already, but for example, it’s likely something major is going to happen in KL and had to wait till the finale to do so?
      Mereen, well I don’t know, I care more about Danys story then mereen so I’m happy she’s back there now

      Of course there are somethings Like the aforementioned two that I would have preferred different, just like maybe another Jon convo with Mel or someone about the rebirth, but I won’t let it bring me down

      I agree. There are flaws in the TV series and I always point them in my reviews but I will not allow them to ruin my enjoyment because there are always positive things in the episodes which usually outweigh the negative.

      Contray to belief of certain people on this site, I’m not the kind of guy who is all like “TV series is perfect and the producers can do nothing wrong”, otherwise I would not bother writing my reviews and would give every episode a 10 rating and we all know that is not the case. But if I’m dissatisfied with something, I have no intention of ranting and raving all over the site about it because after all, I watch the TV series for entertainment, not to get frustrated. I’m under stress more than enough time in my life… Instead I want to keep the vibe positive and same goes for my reviews.

      Unlike the movies, I usually never give TV series’s episodes grades lower than 6 because if the TV series is really good, a certain episode has to be reaaaaly bad in order for me to dislike it (Yes, a rating lower than 6 means I disliked the episode more than I liked it). And considering that apart from storyline, my ratings are also based on entertainment, visuals and performance, it is simply impossible for GoT to get a grade that low because at least two of these factors are always great. Even more… Although GoT is my second favorite TV series (the first one being LOST), it is the only series that I never gave a rating lower than 7 mainly because of the factors I listed above.

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    61. I actually enjoyed it while I was watching and some bits were great for me: especially Riverrun and KL. I guess I’m that blood-thirsty, butI liked the whole „I choose violence“ scene: the sparrows’ smuggness snd Cersei’s hesitation about Lancel. Tommen banning trial by combat was an interesting move. The characters conversations were very good (Jaime and Brienne), I even liked the part with those silly jokes and tipsy Missandei.
      But then reading all the negative I thought it was quite legit and took some of it in. So from now on I’ll try to pay less attention to it because it really does affect the way I feel about an episode and in a way ruins it for me.

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    62. Dee Stark,

      Deus Ex machina is a lazy label used by lazy people, just like cliche, mawkish, lackluster, and everything else critics use to hate things that are perfectly fine.

      They often use these labels selectively as part of a negative bias against someone or something involved in the making of this thing they decided to hate in advance, whilst often overlooking the fact these very same labels can be applied to something they automatically like because of a positive bias towards someone or something involved in the making.

      Michael Keaton puts it better than me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d5KovCbU8w (contains strong language… like fucker).

      Off-topic: The whole “Pecker” quote from 603 had been bothering me for some time. I thought it was an anachronistic Americanism… till last night, when I suddenly remembered the word is used in “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy”. Now I have found peace with it.

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    63. Chad Brick,

      I agree that this battle will be a visual spectacle. But I expect some good scenes between Jon and Mel, and Jon and Sansa. I hope for good scenes between Tyrion and Dany as well, and I can’t wait to see the Greyjoys with them.

      But I also like a visual spectacle. We finally need that this season. In S6 there weren’t any action scenes at all, except Bran in E5.

      Every other battle scene was intentionally anticlimatic. In KL in E6, at the Wall in E2, in Riverrun in E8,…

      Except E5 there wasn’t a good fight scene this year at all.

      Yet.

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    64. mau:
      Chad Brick,

      That wasn’t a battle, just a massacre.

      Having a Jon massacre Ramsay’s army just like that would be pointless.

      Nice dodge. If the good guys lose, it is not a battle!

      Ok, how about the Battle of Stirling in Braveheart?

      I always liked the battle scene at the end of The Last Samurai, too. No deus ex there, either. But the not-as-good guys won that one. I could find dozens if I felt like it, btw. Do you really want to keep pressing the matter?

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    65. Chad Brick,

      I guess you can see it that way but it doesn’t bother me at all.Knowing the outcome doesn’t influence my enjoyment and it’s still exiting.The vale may come but they come with strings attached and it will have consequences.And we will still see our main characters struggle.Those battle you mentioned were still really good even though it ended that way.By that reasoning we should have jon and dany sit everything out until season eight cause we know they are not going to die.They should just go around announcing to their enemies that they are main characters so just surrender.Plus it’s an open field battle there is just so many ways it can go.I get where you are coming from just offering my perspective.And I was just annoyed with people misusing that term.

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    66. mau,

      I would have preferred a battle where both sides were even, with Jon’s side winning after much work and bloodshed. The Riders of LF coming at the last minute isn’t deus ex-machina, but it’s a tired trope we see too often and that she show has already used.

      To answer your question: the opening battle in Gladiator, Hardhome, that battle in season 1 where Robb tricked Tywin (they ran out of money to film it, but we didn’t get a heroic last minute rescue for Tywin). I’m pretty sure some of the battles in Troy and Kingdom of Heaven didn’t have any deus ex-machina in them.

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    67. Jared,

      I much prefer to listen to Teri Schwarz with Josh Wigler on PostShow recaps Book Readers Club each week.. They do a nice deep dive and Josh offsets the negativity with some good insight.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Lord Parramandas,

      I agree with you very much! I don’t mind discussing, critiquing, but I come here to have positive fun discussions and it just felt so negative. As I mentioned before, I wont partake in the discussions after next week, especially more so now that people are already expecting they wont enjoy the battle.

      Interesting rating explanation, it does make sense, with a show that has so much more to offer than most other TV shows (visuals, CGI, etc) its quite hard to have a bad episode, haha.
      I have never seen Lost.

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    69. Corbyn Stark: They often use these labels selectively as part of a negative bias against someone or something involved in the making of this thing they decided to hate in advance, whilst often overlooking the fact these very same labels can be applied to something they automatically like because of a positive bias towards someone or something involved in the making.

      I didn’t decide to hate E08 in advance. Why would I, after considering E05 the best episode in ages, and being perfectly happy with E06 and E07?

      E08 was trash because it was trash. We had our second big deus-ex of the season (the first being Littlefinger and Robin, this time Arya), and a bunch of scenes which could have been bangs but turned out to be whimpers. Even the scene I liked most – the Hound’s – crossed the annoyingly-tropey line with the childish games among the bad guys and how the first dude to die stood there like a fool as his friends were freaking out. This is not only a lame trope, it is one GoT has already done and didn’t need to repeat.

      And of course, there were precisely 4-7 bad guys, just enough to be badass but not so many to be implausible. I think I need to write a new Evil Overlord rule that states that my lackies will always congregate in groups of at least ten, or two or less.

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    70. Flayed Potatoes,

      Again Hardhome was were antagonists won. There are almost never “coming at the last minute” trope there.

      Robb’s battle was unimportant one and it wasn’t even shown. It wasn’t a climax of the storyline. We never saw him capturing Jaime, both in the books and the show.

      When you have a big climatic battle where the protagonists are going to win there is always some twist involved and there is a moment where it looks they are going to lose, but they win at the end.

      Again the opening battle in Gladiator is not a climax, it is an opening battle.

      Jon’s side winning after much work and bloodshed? How? There just be a reason why his side suddenly is winning. You need some twist there. LF was not the only option, but something has to hapen.

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    71. Finally got round to watching the episode. Sorry, haven’t read any comments yet, but just had to come in and say how much I liked the episode.

      Favourite moments: Jaime & Brienne, Jaime & Edmure; Cersei in the Throne Room; “I prefer chicken.”; “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home!” AAAH!!!

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    72. Important points:

      Cersei chooses violence, Jaime goes out of his way to avoid bloodshed. Hm.

      Varys warns Tyrion about making alliances with fanatics. (Hello, Cersei!)

      Beric is seemingly aware of the real war up north.

      I hope Brienne and Pod don’t row as long as Gendry!!!

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    73. Chad Brick,

      Even D&D said that Hardhome is not a battle. But again, if antagonist are going to win, there is rearly a twist involved. When the protagonists are wining there is always a twist.
      Yes, it’s a trope, because it is entertaining.

      It was used always in the books. And every theory for the upcoming battle between Stannis and the Boltons in the books has a twist in it. And Meereen as well.

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    74. So far both the battle they did in show comes from straight out of the books .

      Battle of blackwater and battle at castle black …

      And we also have victarion arrive at the battle of meereen to turn the tides which will be happening with yara on the show..

      And the interesting thing is stannis marching to wall and Of brokering an alliance between Tywin and tyrells were both shown in show which can’t be said about the books…

      Let’s not pretend the books does not have this type of things with all those fake out deaths as cliffhanger and last minute savings…
      If we are going to be critical then we must be fair..

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    75. Lord Parramandas: Unlike the movies, I usually never give TV series’s episodes grades lower than 6 because if the TV series is really good, a certain episode has to be reaaaaly bad in order for me to dislike it (Yes, a rating lower than 6 means I disliked the episode more than I liked it).

      Pretty much my criteria too.

      The lowest rating I have ever given is 0/10 for “Let He Who Is Without Sin” from ST: Deep Space 9 series 5.

      I have never seen such a poor storyline, so poorly directed and with a cast who clearly couldn’t believe they had to act that script – everyone was so wooden it was a total embarrassment and someone should have just chucked the script in the bin after reading the first couple of pages.

      It was shockingly bad and if anyone ever thinks the Sand Snakes scenes were 0/10 then you must watch that ( probably on youtube if you are a masochist) and reassess. Add to that some of the later Ferengi based stories! And this from a series that gave one of he most compelling Sci-Fi episodes of all time with “In the Pale Moonlight” a clear gold standard 10/10.

      This I why I get a trifle annoyed with some of the hyperbole about how bad episodes or part of episodes are on GoT. Generally I rate around 7.5 which is still very good, and 9 for the very best GoT episodes and none has com in lower than 6.5 – yet! So, GoT has yet to reach acceptably near perfection in my view, and this is mainly due to the number of storylines they have to try and juggle per episode – inevitably one or two just don’t quite gel or look superflous.

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    76. Mihnea,

      🙂

      that’s pretty much the consensus on IMDB also. all over 8 except 1 (S506)(which I completely disagree with, its actually in my top 20 lol)

      Next time I do a rewatch of all six seasons, im going to document my ratings, will be interesting to see them formally

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    77. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      If I didn’t think this show is great 90% of time I wouldn’t waste so much time here.

      If something disappoints me, I just lose interest and I stop caring.

      I just can’t understand people who spend so much time on something they think is mediocre.

      I understand that you can’t stop watching after 6 seasons, but wasting your time on the internet on the show that you don’t really like? What is the point?

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    78. I enjoyed the episode. I know Arya’s recovery wasn’t very logic, but everyone had crazier and unbelievable theories. So, they were disappointed it wasn’t more complicated IMO. I love Lady Crane, her short relationship with Arya and her dead body was interesting. The Waif was very creepy and I like Arya’s plan to fight her in the dark… I love the scene between Arya and Jaqen … He looked proud of her. I still don’t understand who died instead of Jaqen in Season 5… It doesn’t matter … Arya is coming home and she will kill some Freys, hopefully. For me the payoff of Arya’s training must be in killing some enemies and protecting herself.
      I love Brienne and Jaime together. They shouldn’t be able to see each other in the dark and at that distance but I love the farewell. Jaime looks around that nobody is watching and says goodbye. I’m very intrigued to watch Jaime’s reaction to Cersei’s actions in episode 10.
      I love the stubborn old Blackfish, but he should have escaped with the help of Edmure like in the books. The problem was they included him in the Red Wedding and he wouldn’t run away twice.
      Cersei’s moment of violence was too short. I though Lancel was going to die … But her big revenge is in motion.
      I love the hound, but I hate the previous scene between the outlaws, that was so annoying. Why did they do that to Steve Love???? But the Hound kills them … I like his meeting with Beric and Thoros. This definitely confirmed there won’t be Lady Stoneheart, so some people is disappointed.
      The scenes between Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm telling jokes was weird. They just don’t work together. At least Peter had the huge scene with the dragons this season and the one with Kinvara was also cool. Fortunately, Drogon arrive.

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    79. Lord Parramandas: With “in my opinion“, this comment would have sounded a lot nicer.

      All value judgements are opinions. There is no need to say it, because it is inherent in the type of statement I am making. I could insert it in order to soften the blow, but I don’t care to pull my critical punches. E08 was by far the biggest disappointment of the season just as E05 was the best, and I am certainly not alone in either opinion. A major deux-ex nonsense plot ending in a whimper, plus extra whimpers, plus another repetitive Tyrion scene…just too much bad, mixed with a few mediocres at best. If the whole show were like E08, I’d be embarrassed to call myself a fan and having had recommended it to so many people. Thankfully, the E05’s make up for it. I have a lot of hope for E10 as well.

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    80. Dee Stark,

      UUU is my top 20 as well!!

      I should do that, to be honest. For example I think I’m rating S1 far to high, it’s mostly nostalgia and I admit it is. Sean Bean and Mark Addy, were and still are among my favourite actors the show ever had! They alone make me rate S1 so high.

      But on rewatch I think I’ll drop this nostalgia…but it’s preaty hard, because these 2 actors were amazing.

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    81. Dee Stark:
      Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Interesting. I have never heard of that show you refer to

      Ive never given lower than an 8/10 for any GOT epi

      It’s the only show in the Star Trek franchise I have watched every episode in every season. We get a different view of The Federation and Earth than just “boldly going” rather different to the creator’s original vision, and it has proper story arcs.

      It also has the problem of 20+ episodes per season meaning you get a lot of variability in quality and a lot of filler. That’s why I think GoT restricting itself to 10 per season was a good option.

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    82. mau: I just can’t understand people who spend so much time on something they think is mediocre.

      Because I’d sit through E08 ten times just to see the last ten minutes of E05 once. It’s not really complicated. Overall, it is the best show on TV right now, despite its missteps.

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    83. Chad Brick,

      I’m perfectly aware of your harsh style of writing, that’s why I usually do not respond to your comments. I’m just saying that with “in my opinion” the comment actually feels more like a personal opinion and less a rant. BTW, I actually really enjoyed this episode, certainly more than previous two. I’ve gave it a middle 9 and placed it on rank 22 (see my full review on book readers recap for additional information.)

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    84. mau:
      Chad Brick,

      If you think this is the best TV show, you can’t think it is mediocre.

      It’s not. It ranges from incredible to poor, though fortunately with a good average. Most TV is garbage and not even remotely worth my time. In fact, GoT is the only thing I’ve watched this year (in English at least, and my Japanese is still too bad to distinguish good from mediocre).

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    85. Dee Stark:
      Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Interesting. I have never heard of that show you refer to

      Ive never given lower than an 8/10 for any GOT epi

      I gave a couple episodes a 7 – The Night Lands, The Prince of Winterfell, Lord Snow, Breaker of Chains, Dark Wings Dark Words, The Bear and the Maiden Fair, The Ghost of Harrenhal, The Kingsroad, The House of Black and White – but with execption of the first two, these are all high 7s (7,2+) and I seriously consider putting The House of Black and White among 8s

      Mihnea:
      Dee Stark,

      UUU is my top 20 as well!!

      I should do that, to be honest. For example I think I’m rating S1 far to high, it’s mostly nostalgia and I admit it is. Sean Bean and Mark Addy, were and still are among my favourite actors the show ever had! They alone make me rate S1 so high.

      But on rewatch I think I’ll drop this nostalgia…but it’s preaty hard, because these 2 actors were amazing.

      After season 4, I had to move several season 1 episodes from 9 to 8, mainly You Win or You Die, the Pointy End and also Fire and Blood, but I restored the latter one back to 9 during this year’s rewatch. Season 4 exceeded my expectations and set up the new criteria and in the last two years I found season 1 really dull on rewatch, especially in terms of visuals.

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    86. I want to ask you guys all a question .

      Since people always talk about Lost and Breaking bad and Wire let’s leave them for a second …and for the record I like all the above shows..

      Who loves the shows like dexter .,castle .,Psych and the Mentalist …because I love all the above shows even though they had their ups and downs mainly dexter and castle ..I want to know am I the only one in GOT fandom who loved these shows.

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    87. I know no-ones really interested in my opinion ;), but in terms of long running TV series that have a novelistic structure which I have seen, I think this is pretty much up there with Babylon 5, Farscape and Battlestar Galactica Re-imagining ( I was one of the few it seems who liked the last season and way it ended).

      Yes I’m a sci-fi nerd…and no it’s not at all faint praise; all these sci-fi shows broke new ground in their own way regardless of genre.

      For the best overall for consistency over an entire run it’s hard to beat The Wire but comparing contemporary social documentary drama with pseudo-historical fantasy seems ludicrous, they are very different beasts a bit like saying a camel is better than a horse.

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    88. Lord Parramandas,

      I saw your review, nicely written by the way, and to answer a question you have, I think Faye is about 30 years old. Shocking, I didn’t think she was older then 20-25, at most!

        Quote  Reply

    89. Mihnea,

      I will always say season 1 and AGOT as best out of ASoIaf and GoT mainly because it was the only book and season that had a coherent story imo..
      I know many will say ASOS as best book but i think AGOt beats it everytime..

        Quote  Reply

    90. dragonbringer,

      I watched some dexter, but it wasn’t really my thing, sadly.

      Besides GOT, the only series I watched ”religiously” was House. I loved the actor but sadly the last couple of seasons took a bit of a drop, for me at least.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Finally things are picking up in Meereen. Varys’s warning to Tyrion, and apparently Varys is off to make friends in Westeros. Dorne? Olenna Tyrell? (Both hate Lannisters.)

      Tyrion tries to teach Missy and GW to drink and be merry, and is finally making some headway. Tyrion’s interrupted joke from Season 1, about the honeycomb and the jackass in the brothel… is interrupted again!! grrrr! hahaha!

      The Masters have come to make war, and Tyrion admits he was wrong in trying to make a treaty. They argue but then, TA-DAH! Dany is back! Loved the way she just walked into the room, with Drogon flying in the background. Hopefully we’ll now see a quick wrap of the damned Meereenese storyline!

      In King’s Landing, Cersei doesn’t like one bit that she’s been ordered around by the High Sparrow, and chooses violence. Look at her smug, satisfied smile as she wins the first round. haha, she’s in for a surprise!

      In the Throne Room, uncle Kevan blocks Cersei from the King and sends her to the gallery “among the other ladies of the court” (who shrink away from her), humiliation to Cersei because she doesn’t think she’s just another lady about court.

      Poor King Tommen.
      I loved the pictures of how he’s surrounded by Mace, Kevan, Pycelle, looking rather uncomfortable on the Iron Throne. Well, time for the royal proclamation. After much prayer and reflection, Tommen has decided to outlaw trials by combat. Cersei and Loras will be judged by seven septons.

      Cersei’s face was a picture! Lena Heady is so great!

      But never fear, Qyburn has something up his sleeve. Some old rumours have apparently proved to be more, much more, than just rumours.
      I haven’t yet had time to think what rumours those are, but I’m looking forward to Cersei trying to use them to her advantage.

      Sandor in the Riverlands. Are we seeing the beginnings of another strange alliance? Notice how Beric and Thoros used almost the exact words as Brother Ray last episode. (Though their god is R’hllor.)

      Has Thoros seen the real war in the flames, like Mel did? Are they heading north? (BTW, the Twins is along the way…)

      In Braavos, I was happy to see that Lady Crane had taken Arya’s suggestions re. her final speech in the play. 🙂 Then she finds the wounded Arya and helps her. (Arya learns it pays to be nice to people.)

      I wonder what Lady Crane did to the young actress’s face? She isn’t all saintly and good. Loved Essie Davis in the role.

      I’m wondering about the Waif’s words after she’d killed Lady Crane. “The Many-Faced God was promised a name.” I thought it was a face. Is the Waif a heretic?

      Loved how Arya took out Needle, almost kissed it, closed her eyes… and sliced off the candle: darkness!

      Next shot. In the temple, Jaqen follows the trail of blood to the Hall of Faces. Notice how the Waif’s eyes had been put out, same as Meryn Trant. Is that becoming Arya’s trademark?

      “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home!” I was fist-pumping and cheering! Though I found Jaquen’s expression hard to interpret. Was there a slight smile?

      Anyway, will Arya land in the Riverlands? Where Sandor and Beric & Thoros currently are? Will they make their way northwards, passing by the Twins… and pay Walder Frey a visit?

      The Arya thing played out pretty much as I had expected, before I read the zillion theories on the interwebs last week. But Jaqen left me wondering if there might be a Faceless Men twist sometime later.

        Quote  Reply

    92. dragonbringer,

      Hey!
      I haven’t even seen Lost or BB. I have seen The Wire, Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, to name a few. Love them. I have other favorites.

      I have not seen the other ones your mentioned. I have seen 24? lol

        Quote  Reply

    93. Cock Merchant,

      As I recall when Milk of the Poppy has been used it typically makes the user sleep. Ned, Tyrion. In fact, Tyrion is quite insistent not to have it after the Blackwater as it induces sleep and dulls his senses. He preferred I believe dreamwine instead to dull the pain.

      The arguments will go back and forth – Arya was acting stupid, it was all part of a plan, how did she know she wouldn’t get her neck slashed, she knew the Waif would try to inflict a slow, painful death, how could she recover, it was only a flesh wound, but look at the depth of the daggar and the twist, she had a week to recover, she had only a day, and so on and so on. No one is going is convince the other to change their position. And so the posting go on. It’s like the Stannis and Sansa postings – a lot of sound and fury

        Quote  Reply

    94. Dee Stark,

      Boardwalk was amazing!

      Funny thing, or sad but I like to keep positive, I didn’t want to watch the series at first. Wasn’t really my thing.

      But one of my fathers friends, a extremely close friend of the family for more then 30 years, since I was a little kid, kept telling me of this series, and how much he loved it and how good it was.

      Sadly he passed away 2 years ago, cancer, and after couple of days I saw Boardwalk on HBO and decided to watch the entire series, in my mind in a way to remember him.
      I am glad I decided to watch it in the end!

        Quote  Reply

    95. Lord Parramandas,

      Thanks for that, I like reading people’s different ratings for the episodes.. which was your fave? 😉

      Most of my lower rated are from season 1/2. Lowering being in the 8’s still 😛

      I agree, doing a rewatch of season 1 you can see a big difference in terms of visuals, but it makes sense considering.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Mihnea

      Then you will be shocked to learn the age of actor thomas sangster who played jojen reed ..I think he is over 25 and I was shocked when I knew ..

      I have not yet watched house ( iam guessing you mean House of cards right).
      I watch penny dreadful and Got now.
      Am thinking about watching HoC and once upon a time during the offseason

        Quote  Reply

    97. Lord Parramandas:
      Chad Brick,

      I’m perfectly aware of your harsh style of writing, that’s why I usually do not respond to your comments. I’m just saying that with “in my opinion” the comment actually feels more like a personal opinion and less a rant. BTW, I actually really enjoyed this episode, certainly more than previous two. I’ve gave it a middle 9 and placed it on rank 22 (see my full review on book readers recap for additional information.)

      I just went through about 1000 recent posts on various threads, looking for people using “in my opinion” or its equivalent. There were about 20 actual instances of its use, almost all of them by precisely two people….two people who happen to disagree with each other quite vehemently, ironically (not me, btw).

      So I would argue that it is not the norm here to preface one’s opinions with a statement that it is an opinion. Of course it is, which is why ~98% of posts don’t bother to state what we already know.

      I am happy you enjoyed E08. Obviously, you enjoy very different things than I do, but you indeed have the right to that opinion.

        Quote  Reply

    98. Jared:
      I haven’t read all of these reviews yet, and likely won’t. But among the ones I have read, it’s interesting to see several critics citing the Arya storyline as their favorite element of the entire episode (most notably Jen Chaney from Vulture, who bumped her review from four stars to five stars for that sequence alone). Then there are critics like Sean T. Collins (always a great read), who champion the episode as a whole. It was a refreshing change of pace to read their thoughts on a day when the general vibe of negativity surrounding the fandom’s usual hangouts grew very tiresome very quickly.

      Obviously, “No One” is far from the most beloved episode of the season (Rotten Tomatoes has it at 85% fresh, the lowest of any episode this season, though still quite positive overall). And there are some critics like Sepinwall who are down on the entire hour, not just the Arya resolution. But it’s interesting to see the divide take shape. It’s not an exact parallel, but it strikes me as a twisted sort of inverse to the reception that “Home” received, particularly with respect to the nature of Jon’s resurrection. The fandom seemed generally euphoric over that development and that episode in general, while several prominent critics were vocally disappointed, or at least underwhelmed. Here, at least in some corners, the opposite seems to be true.

      The ending Arya sequence may have been may favorite part of the episode, although I liked Riverrun about as well, too, so it’s hard for me to choose. Certainly Riverrun felt tighter while the chase had greater entertainment and payoff value. Despite the looseness of her storyline, I was still able to love Arya luring the Waif to her hidey hole, recovering Needle, slashing out the candle, leaving a trail of blood in the HoBaW, and defiantly placing the Waif’s bloodied face in the Hall. I enjoyed this episode more than I enjoyed “The Red Woman.”

      Part of the beauty of Game of Thrones is its ability to make different people see and appreciate so many different things. If you don’t love this character, that’s okay: there are 2000 other named characters in the series to choose from, dozens of whom are major. If you don’t love this storyline, that’s okay: almost every episode has four or five other storylines for you to appreciate.

      I was shocked when perhaps my second favorite episode this season, “Blood of My Blood,” was rated as the second all-time least favorite of any season on IMDb, above only UUU’s rating in all GoT episodes ever – although actually now “No One” is tied at 8.3 with “Blood of My Blood.”

      For BomB, I loved, loved, loved both the Benjen reveal and all of the awesome snippets we got buried in the quick flashes of Bran’s visions, especially the hints of a wildfire explosion yet to happen. I loved Margaery’s subtle duplicities and the twin pillars reveal, as well as all of the pomp and circumstance that accompanied the QoT and Mace. As one who appreciates costumes and set design as well as a huge fan of Sam Tarly, the Horn Hill scenes were pure ecstasy for me. It’s always a joy to see Essie Davis and her troupers. I loved the beauty and power of Drogon, whose CGI has never been perfect, carrying a surprisingly tiny Dany. And I thought the smirk and maniacal gleam in Dany’s eyes was intentional and fitting with the rest of her storyline.

      Professional critic writers and reviewers are not going to let quibbles keep them from enjoying everything else the show has to offer in the same way that overzealous, overdramatic fans might. And so, for this week’s episode, I can see how critics would be more likely to remain overwhelmingly positive about a show that has so much to offer, while many fans express only overwhelming disappointment. It would be interesting if Rotten Tomatoes could give an amalgam of all critical reviews for episodes like it does for movies. Then we could compare the two (critics versus fans) with respect to ratings in other episodes to get something well beyond anecdotal evidence.

        Quote  Reply

    99. dragonbringer,

      House M.D. I think that’s how it’s called on english.
      Here everyone calls it Doctor House.

      I know of Thomas, he is older then the Mountain LOL. Who is supposed to be older then Sandor!

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    100. I have loved every second of this season.

      Except I’ve hated 75% of Aryas scenes. The only scene of hers I liked were her training montage and her talking with lady crane.

      I also hated Tyrions drinking sessions.. And double dates that they did it twice.

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    101. Dee Stark,
      Hey ,
      I have watched wire and sopornos as well..Broadwalk not started yet ..

      Dee you missed vikings ..I love that as well..

      I recommended you Lost I think you will Love it..

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    102. talvikorppi: Next shot. In the temple, Jaqen follows the trail of blood to the Hall of Faces. Notice how the Waif’s eyes had been put out, same as Meryn Trant. Is that becoming Arya’s trademark?

      I always think back to:

      Melisandre: I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.

      So much talk on eyes (blinding, killing, eye stabbing)

        Quote  Reply

    103. dragonbringer,

      The early years of Dexter were very good … but as most series (and GoT is an exception) the quality declined IMO over the years.

      Even The Wire the last season to me again jumped the shark with the whole fake serial killer – the first two seasons were among the best TV I’ve watched 3 and 4 very good but not great and then 5

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    104. I wonder, does anyone know if there has previously been a long-running fictional TV show in this beginning-middle-end style with multiple concurrent storylines in multiple locations?

      I am pretty sure that no screenplay writer starting from scratch would even contemplate offering this kind of template for TV production. Pretty sure it’s inconceivable outside the US TV networks.

      Of course we mustn’t forget to give due praise to GRRM for imagining and inspiring the whole thing to start with, but even he as an experienced screenwriter would surely have baulked at writing it as anything other than a novel.

      IMO ‘Game of Thrones’ is breaking new ground and pushing the boundaries of what is possible for even a generous network budget – and I think it’s not that surprising if it doesn’t always get it right. Even if it’s ultimately successful we may never see it’s like again

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    105. No love for “The Americans”? That’s my favorite show, currently airing, after GOT. I like House of Cards and Mr. Robot as well.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Dee Stark,

      Thanks! I have only seen the original Star Trek because my father watched it, when I was far too young to understand it. I know there are some episodes like City on the Edge of Forever that are considered classics so I must get to watch it properly now.

      BTW Deep Space 9 has an original StarTrek crossover episode based on “The Trouble With Tribbles” – if nothing else watch that as it is huge fun!

      Now I like season 5 of The Wire, even though the fake serial killer plot was a bit false it was really about the real hard-hitting news the newspaper chose to ignore instead.

      “The Americans ” is very good, just about to start watching season 4 tonight here.

      I tried Mr Robot, liked the first episode but couldn’t real get into it after.

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    107. Mihnea,

      lol amazing how TV works isn’t it

      Dee Stark,

      Aah you mentioned vikings later . I watch that and love it.

      Darkrobin,

      Agree about wire I too disliked it…

      I know iam in minority but I did like dexter season 5 and 6 …7 and 8 not very much . same thing happened with castle ..

        Quote  Reply

    108. dragonbringer,

      I have watched a bit of dexter and I have seen seen a couple of seasons of the mentalist.I watched like five seasons of castle but then I tuned out I’m afraid.I did enjoy the first seasons though.Have you watched the west wing?It’s a bit old but it’s easily one of my all time favourites

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    109. Jenny,

      Hnmm no not knew about west wing . I will look at it now and put it in my watchlist .

      Seems like no one know about Psych or doest see it.. it was one of my favorite shows such a fun filled series. .

      The only series I didn’t finish till now and dropped is true blood and sleepy hallow.

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    110. The Jaime scenes were my favourites, but also liked most of the other Riverrun stuff.

      Don’t shoot me, but I’m getting a bit tired of Bronn’s “banter”. His scene with Pod was a bit… OK, it served a couple of purposes. To crudely remind us viewers of the JaimeBrienne ship (though, would Bronn fuck Brienne? Ah, yes, he would, actually. She’s an heiress, she’ll have a castle one day.), and to contrast what honourable to a fault Brienne has been teaching Pod v. Bronn’s street smart, dirty fighting tactics – though Brienne fought pretty dirty against the Hound in S4. And so far Pod’s fighting has been stabbing people in the back (Blackwater, to save Tyrion’s life, and in the North, to save Brienne’s life). I didn’t like the way Bronn grabbed poor Pod’s crotch.
      Oh, yeah, and the seed is sown that Bronn isn’t very loyal to Jaime, preferred serving the little brother (Tyrion).

      Brienne’s face when she sees Jaime riding along in the siege camp. Surprise, happy, confusion, disappointment? I don’t think the show has ever detailed the oaths Jaime swore to Cat before she freed him. In the books, we find out that

      Jaime had sworn never to take up arms against Starks or Tullys.

      Be that as it may, Jaime hasn’t stormed the castle yet, though he told Blackfish he would.

      Jaime is proud of Brienne, that she found and protected Sansa. Again tells her that Cersei wants Sansa dead, for complicity in Joff’s murder. Jaime tries to explain the realities of war to Brienne. Stops. “Shouldn’t argue about politics.” Yes, Jaime, we know. Your motivation has never been about politics or power. It’s [watch this space].

      Brienne calls him out on his honour as a knight. “There’s honour in you, I’ve seen it.” (aww.) Jaime (slightly annoyed). “I’m a Lannister. Don’t ask me to betray my house.” – It should be noted that in a feodal society, house is everything. Betraying your house is very dishonourable.

      Brienne comes up with a plan, and Jaime seems secretly delighted though he tries to argue for the sake of it. “Blackfish is even more stubborn than you (wench).” Jaime gives his permission, and notice how moved/happy he is when Brienne demands his word. Someone who wants his word and trusts it. Brienne could not have given him anything better even if she’d tried.

      Like she tries to give him back Oathkeeper, the priceless Valyrian steel sword he gave her for a purpose. Maybe Jaime feels he’s not worthy of such a sword? Anyway, he refuses. “It’ll always be yours.” (aww…) Jaime admires Brienne.

      The goodbye, if Blackfish doesn’t surrender the castle, honour will compel Brienne to fight with Sansa’s kin. Jaime: “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.” (aww…) Brienne’s lingering look before she stomps out, and Jaime looking after her.

      Blackfish of course says no. Brienne tries her best, tells BF how Jaime sent her to find and protect Sansa, gave the sword for that purpose. BF is moved by Sansa’s letter, but the answer’s still no.

      Defeated, Brienne asks Pod to find the maester to send a raven to Sansa. “I failed.” Poor Brienne takes it to heart somuch.

      By now, Jaime has been reminded of his vows/honour twice. BF (last ep) and Brienne.

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    111. ghost of winterfell,

      OK, I thought the hacking part looked much more realistic than is usually shown – real actual linux! LOL

      The big reveal (not to spoil for others) kind of lost me a bit .

      ~
      ‘Castle’ I kind of liked but after 4 seasons I lost interest in it.

      ‘West Wing’ is very good (and I don’t get US politics at all!) though it slips off a bit after season 4

      For pure daft entertainment I like ‘Person of Interest’ although the “all seeing eye” does actually raise some good ethical questions too about the blur between AI and life. Mostly it’s just fun.

        Quote  Reply

    112. dragonbringer,

      Ah I googled psych and it sounds like fun.I love a good detective show I watched so many seasons of Bones so I’m going to watch it.Fun fact apparently the guy who plays gus also plays a character on the west wing.And yeah I couldn’t finish true blood either I think I stopped after the first four seasons

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    113. dragonbringer:
      Who loves the shows like dexter .,castle .,Psych and theMentalist …because I love all the above shows even though they had their ups and downs mainly dexter and castle ..I want to know am I the only one in GOT fandom who loved these shows.

      I’ve not watched much of The Mentalist or Castle, but I’ve loved Nathan Fillion in Firefly and Dr. Horrible. I loved Psych so much, perhaps more than it deserved, but the quirky humor was exactly my style. And I loved Dexter, too. I love Lost more than all of these, though.

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    114. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
      I know no-ones really interested in my opinion ;), but in terms of long running TV series that have a novelistic structure which I have seen, I think this is pretty much up there with Babylon 5, Farscape and Battlestar Galactica Re-imagining ( I was one of the few it seems who liked the last season and way it ended).

      All of this has happened before and will happen again.

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    115. Ginevra,

      Firefly is wall to wall joy, but so short lived. Was a show ever more badly treated by its network?

      I tried ‘Lost’ for a few episodes in the 1st season but just couldn’t get into it at all. I decided not to go onto ‘Lost’ fan forums and tell everyone why I didn’t like each episode though 😉

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    116. Jenny,

      Ah you reminded me about bones which reminded me criminal minds both of which I have yet to start..but will do one day surely..

      Ah if gus is in west wing i will start watching it immediately..I promise you will love him in psych …

      Ginevra,

      I loved firefly too..it’s what made me watch castle which lead to psych which lead to mentalist.

      I think Nathan fillion as castle and stana kartic as Kate Becket were awesome ..and I loved Ryan and espo as well..

      Michael C hall and simon Baker as Dexter and patric Jane in mentalist are also great actors and were awesome in their repective roles .

      Same goes for actors James roday as Shawn spencer and Dule hill as guster and timothy as Lassiter and Corbin as henry Spencer ..love all of them

        Quote  Reply

    117. Dee Stark:
      Lord Parramandas,

      Thanks for that, I like reading people’s different ratings for the episodes.. which was your fave?

      Most of my lower rated are from season 1/2. Lowering being in the 8’s still

      I agree, doing a rewatch of season 1 you can see a big difference in terms of visuals, but it makes sense considering.

      If you want to know, here is my full list:

      58) The Night Lands (7/10)
      57) The Prince of Winterfell (7/10)
      56) Lord Snow (7/10)
      55) Breaker of Chains (7/10)
      54) Dark Wings, Dark Words (7/10)
      53) The Bear and the Maiden Fair (7/10)
      52) The Ghost of Harrenhal (7/10)
      51) The Kingsroad (7/10)
      50) The House of Black and White (7/10)
      49) Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken (8/10)
      48) Valar Dohaeris (8/10)
      47) The North Remembers (8/10)
      46) The Climb (8/10)
      45) Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things (8/10)
      44) Mhysa (8/10)
      43) Oathkeeper (8/10)
      42) Winter is Coming (8/10)
      41) The Wars to Come (8/10)
      40) First of His Name (8/10)
      39) Walk of Punishment (8/10)
      38) The Red Woman (8/10)
      37) The Pointy End (8/10)
      36) What Is Dead May Never Die (8/10)
      35) You Win or You Die (8/10)
      34) A Man Without Honor (8/10)
      33) Sons of the Harpy (8/10)
      32) Blood of my Blood (8/10)
      31) The Broken Man (8/10)
      30) Mockingbird (8/10)
      29) Kill the Boy (8/10)
      28) Valar Morghulis (9/10)
      27) Garden of Bones (9/10)
      26) Oathbreaker (9/10)
      25) Fire and Blood (9/10)
      24) High Sparrow (9/10)
      23) The Old Gods and the New (9/10)
      22) The Wolf and the Lion (9/10)
      21) No One (9/10)
      20) A Golden Crown (9/10)
      19) The Gift (9/10)
      18) Two Swords (9/10)
      17) Second Sons (9/10)
      16) Kissed by Fire (10/10)
      15) Home (10/10)
      14) The Dance of Dragons (10/10)
      13) Baelor (10/10)
      12) The Lion and the Rose (10/10)
      11) The Laws of Gods and Men (10/10)
      10) Book of a Stranger (10/10)
      9) And Now His Watch Is Ended (10/10)
      8) The Mountain and the Viper (10/10)
      7) The Rains of Castamere (10/10)
      6) Mother’s Mercy (10/10)
      5) The Children (10/10)
      4) Blackwater (10/10)
      3) Hardhome (10/10)
      2) The Door (10/10)
      1) Watchers on the Wall (10/10)

      In time, the list may change a bit but this is how it currently looks like.

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    118. Markus Stark:
      Ginevra,

      Don’t they ? Unless I misunderstood what you’re talking about, Rotten Tomatoes does have such amalgams of critics’ ratings : http://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/game-of-thrones/s06/e08

      Oh! Thank you. I thought the one rating they gave for episodes was the fan-likeability rating rather than the critics’ thumbs-up ratings, but I see now, at your link, that the one rating is the critics’ consensus. They give both for movies, but I like that, if they have to give just one, they do the critics because IMDb does the fans.

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    119. On battles, there’s nothing wrong with a climatic battle that is just a close-fought affair that ends with the good guys winning and there not being any twist. Kingdom of Heaven, especially the Director’s Cut, did this a lot and it was always satisfying (likewise, when the “bad guys”, who weren’t bad they just weren’t the protaganists, won battles) I’d be perfectly happy just seeing Jon and co. beat Ramsay and co., no reinforcements necessary.

      We expect action scenes where the heroes just win, I don’t know why we can’t have battle scenes that are like that too.

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    120. Lord Parramandas,

      Thanks for posting! Interesting. I won’t do all mine but my top 3 in no special order

      Blackwater
      The Rains of Castamere
      The Door

      with The Children just bubbling under

      Propping up the bottom are No-one and The Red Woman BUT the big caveat is I have seen these only once so far whereas I often rate upwards on a second viewing. And binge watching > seeing one episode / week

      Season 1 does quite well in my list, nothing to do with book comparisons, I just like the slow build, and setting up the universe and characters. I seem to be in a minority who likes ‘The Kingsroad’…

        Quote  Reply

    121. Fez,

      unfortunately the battle for Winterfell has been long set up for a last minute swoop in by LF.
      Jon and co simply don’t have enough people to fight, and if not for the Knights of the Vale, Jon and co would probably go down like Stannis.

      People SHOULD be expecting this, and not sure why others are expecting otherwise?

        Quote  Reply

    122. Lord Parramandas,

      My thoughts exactly. I’ve never been comfortable reviewing episodes for a serialized TV series, apart from a handful of “marquee” episodes. To me, it’s like assigning a rating to a chapter in a book. It just doesn’t feel right to me.

      Dragonbringer: I watched Castle up through Season 7, but lost interest when it kept going after finishing nearly every major plot thread.

      Ser Not Appearing: I think GOT is the first live-action series to meet your description. The only live-action show that comes close is Babylon 5 (a dear personal favorite of mine). However, there are a few Japanese anime series that have done something like this, specifically the two Fullmetal Alchemist series. The first was coming out when the manga was still being written, so it took a path similar to GOT, while the latter was made after the manga finished and followed it nearly word for word. I highly recommend both as they have more than a few character (and possibly plot) parallels to GOT.

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    123. Davos Seaworth,

      Thanks, the difference with B5 (while definitely multi-stranded) is that was all shot on studio sets whereas GoT production has had to go out to numerous real locations as well, which always causes headaches never mind filming in many different countries. I think this, plus the true multinational collaboration is where GoT may be unique.

      I’ve never been into anime, but I promise to check that out 🙂

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    124. My favourite scene by far was the one between Jaime and Edmure. Thanks, NCW and Toby Menzies for your great acting! Thanks to the director and cinematographer, especially for those close-up shots of Jaime making his final speech (=threat). One half of his face in light, one half in darkness.

      Jaime gave Brienne a deadline, nightfall. It’s dark now. He goes to Edmure’s tent, and starts out nice and genial, apologises for the Freys’ bad treatment of Edmure – makes a point it was on Jaime’s word Edmure was bathed and fed – and tries to offer fairly good terms of surrender. Comfortable rooms at Casterly Rock, a good education for his son (oh, yeah, apparently Roslin Frey Tully has already given birth to the baby, the Tully heir, unlike in the books)…

      Edmure’s having none of it. Throws the kingslaying in Jaime’s face, and then, brilliantly, “How do you live with yourself?” Everybody wants to think they’re decent, how can Jaime tell himself he’s decent? Edmure gets under Jaime’s skin. Just look at Jaime’s face. He looks to the side, down. He’s vulnerable, even in his armour (NB. in the previous scene with Brienne, Jaime was not wearing armour). Edmure got him exactly where it hurts, has hurt for twenty years. The boy who wanted to be the perfect knight and became what he is today. Ouch.

      That’s the third time Jaime is reminded of vows/oaths/honour. Blackfish, Brienne, Edmure.

      Jaime changes tack. Invokes Cat and Cersei and their fierce motherly love. They would do anything to protect their children. Start wars, burn cities, free worst enemies… “The things we do for love.” Which is Jaime’s primary motivation for doing anything. He doesn’t want to rule, he’s not looking for power. He just wants to love and be loved. Stupid man. Or maybe not so stupid.

      Edmure walks alone to the gates of Riverrun. The bridge pictures are a nice echo of the bridge pictures of Jaime last ep.

      Tense moments with the Blackfish and the captain of the guards, but the drawbridge is lowered for Edmure, then hoiked up again.

      Jaime and the Freys look from a distance. Jaime doesn’t know if his ploy has worked of nor, Black Walder Frey complains about giving up their most valuable hostage.

      Edmure is the Lord of Riverrun and orders a surrender. The things he does for love (of his newborn son). Jaime’s gamble worked. The captain of the guards gives Edmure a disappointed, even disgusted look, though. And it was not easy for Edmure, that shot of him hanging his head in shadow profile. Poor Edmure. The shame. But all the lives saved.

      Blackfish helps Brienne and Pod escape, he’s going back to fight and probably die. Brienne has a honourgasm whan BF tells her she can look after and protect Sansa better than BF.

      Jaime alone on the battlements. A Lannister guard stops by to say the Blackfish died fighting. Jaime doesn’t look happy. (Book info: Blackfish was one of young Jaime’s idols, along with Ser Arthur Dayne and Barristan the Bold).

      Jaime has won the castle as instructed. The only blood he’s spilled is Black Walder Frey’s when he clocked him one with his golden hand, and Blackfish’s by his soldiers. He should be jubilant. He’s not. He’s one unhappy bunny.

      He hears a water noise. Notices Brienne and Pod escaping in a boat. Looks around to make sure nobody sees him, and raises his golden hand in a farewell salute. Brienne reciprocates. The End.

      D&D better not keep Brienne&Pod rowing as long as Gendry!!!

      The resolution of this siege continues a showcase of Jaime’s non-violent diplomatic efforts. First Dorne, now Riverrun. He’s not the rash, hot-tempered, arrogant and violent shit he was in S1. Yeah, he’s still got a swagger and arrogance about him, maybe for show, but he’s beginning to see the bigger picture, and the smaller, i.e. himself.

      Cersei chooses violence, Jaime goes out of his way to avoid it. The Lannister twins are not the same. I hope Jaime realises that some day soon.

      Oh, and Lancel didn’t get killed this ep, so he’s still alive to spill the beans to Jaime about Cersei’s infidelities and other dishonourable schemes.

      Disclaimer: this was written by someone who finds Jaime the most interesting and compelling character in the books ATM. Also, someone who doesn’t think Jaime will survive the series.

      Really looking forward to the next two episodes. Ep 9 looks like being mostly North, maybe glimpses of Meereen/KL… I can’t believe we’re already less than two weeks away from the 10 month wait! [wails]

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    125. Best episode in the series is ‘Home’ ( S06E02 ).

      It included all the storylines.

      You got Bran, a vision with young Ned, Benjen, Willis, Lyanna;
      Nightswatch with the mini battle between the traitors ( Allister and co ) and the Wildlings;
      KL included Mountain choosing violence, bit of family talk with Jaime, Tommen, Cersei, verbal confrontation between Jaime and Highsparrow;
      Mereen had Tyrion releasing the dragons;
      Arya, Waif and Jaqen in Braavos;
      Ramsay murdering his beloved lord father in Winterfell;
      An emotional scene with Sansa and Theon saying their goodbyes;
      Pyke had the return of Euron overthrowing( literally ) his dear brother;
      Last but not least return of Jon fucking Snow.

      Jampacked with characters and action. Even the credit music was the best.

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    126. Last time I checked ToTH fan ratings

      1) Blackwater – 9.38
      2) The Pointy End – 9.33
      3) The Rains of Castamere – 9.28
      4) Baelor – 9.25
      5) And Now His Watch is Ended – 9.24

      It’s a fairly predictably bias towards the early seasons, which is not to say that some episodes i season 5 score quite highly, not much love for season 6!

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    127. OK, now I’ve got my first impressions off my chest. Now I’ll go and see what everybody else is saying 😀 while trying to watch the footy. (Euro 2016 championships in soccer, to our American friends.)

      Tonight’s first game is Austria-Hungary… and?

      Sorry, bad European history joke. There used to be an empire in central Europe, in my country school history books call it Austria-Hungary. The Habsburg empire. Whatever, but Austria is playing Hungary this evening. Later, Portugal and tiny Iceland will “clash”. I bet Lem Lemoncloak (Johannes Haukur) and Frankenmountain (Hafþór Björnsson) will be cheering their team on! I will, too.

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    128. Halfman:
      talvikorppi,

      A great post about Jaime! Thank you for this!! **applauds**

      Hey, I’m glad someone appreciates my Jaime rants. 🙂

      I love the show, it’s so well made, the only TV show I actively watch. I don’t mind the book/show divergence, the books are the books and the show is the show, and I’ve tried to grin’n’bear it about show!Jaime and the mess of his storyline for the past couple of years, so I’m just so over the moon that show!Jaime is getting some character development and maybe approaching book!Jaime.

      I still cannot get it out of my head, the close-up of Jaime talking to Edmure. Half light, half dark. Menacing, vulnerable, gambling. Nikolaj and Toby nailed it. Oooo, I’m still having palpitations! haha!

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    129. And from TV.com which represents probably a more wider band of “typical” viewers (i.e. casual/unsullied)

      1) Hardhome – 9.6
      2) The Children – 9.5
      =3) The Laws of God and Men – 9.3
      =3) The Door – 9.3
      5) The Mountain and the Viper – 9.2

      Amazing, Rains of Castamere is only 10th

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    130. Dee Stark,

      Oh I know. I fully expect a last minute swoop by Littlefinger (followed by some other Northerners randomly showing up after the battle, maybe Howland Reed?, so that LF doesn’t have the only army left in the North afterwards). I’m just saying there’s no need for there to be. Even if D&D wanted LF to side with the Starks in the battle, they could have him joining in as the crushing blow when the Starks already have the Boltons on the verge of breaking.

      A battle can be dramatically satisfying with this overused ‘twist.’

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    131. Mihnea:
      talvikorppi,

      Nicely said. Very nice write-up of Jaime!

      Aw, I’m glad my ramblings about Jaime resonate with some of the WotW’ers, especially a regular, busy contributor like yourself.

      I was anticipating this episode with bated breath. Make or break for the show to have any similarity to Jaime’s book arc, and D&D delivered. It’s not the same, it’ll never be the same, but close enough for me and I’m happy about Jaime’s unhappiness. 😀

      Austria-Hungary is still 0-0.

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    132. Dee Stark:
      Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Wow!

      Imdb has it differently:

      Hardhome 9.9
      Rains of Castamere9.9
      The Door, The Lion and the Rose, The Laws of Gods and Men, The Mountain and the Viper, and Blackwater all have 9.7

      What do you care about what anybody else says?

      You like/not like, give mental scores and rankings, if you’re that way inclined.

      I don’t score or rank GoT episodes, I just like them. Some more than others. It doesn’t matter, and every episode is better when you binge watch the whole season.

      So many people complain “nothing happened in this episode” but are happy when the “boring” set up pays off in a later episode.

      Jeesh. *shakes head*

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    133. Everyone has been played by D&D regarding the Arya story. Do you think after 3 seasons, the Faceless Men/Arya story just ends so cleanly and nicely? Arya is a Stark, and Jaqen smiles and lets her go? Aww, how happy and nice. Nope, that is the wrong show.

      When a girl returned to the House of Black and White, Jaqen called her “No One”, because that’s what she is. When a girl announced she was Arya Stark and is going home, Jaqen smiled because he knows “Arya Stark” is the identity being used for the assassination that a girl/No One will carry out. She will have a high-level target that “Arya Stark” could get close access to, like Jon Snow.

      Just watch for this twist to happen!

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    134. Jenny,

      Yes I would know that. I used deux ex machina anyway, so shoot me.

      Writing not any less sloppy, still expecting Snively Whiplash to tie Sansa to the railroad tracks. What made the first four episodes work so well was the writing, with just the right amount of suspense, drama and comic relief.

      Even episodes 7 and 8 had good writing in a few scenes, like Jaime and Brienne at Riverrun or Cercei and the Queen of Thornes. But the Arya stuff and the Mereen stuff was just plain sloppy. Hated the last two Sam and Gilly scenes too. All that hateful Daddy crap for a Valyrian steel sword?

      I’ve got a bad feeling about the battle of the bastards. That’s all. I hope I’m wrong. I love being pleasantly surprised.

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    135. talvikorppi: I wonder what Lady Crane did to the young actress’s face? She isn’t all saintly and good.

      I wonder what was in that “hidden” vial that she retrieved before the Waif nullified her? I doubt it was more milk-of-the-poppy or a cooking spice.

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    136. If i was HBO, at this rate I’d tell d&D goddamned finish it properly or you won’t be finishing it at all, and I’d probably threaten to hire new show-runners. But that’s just me

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    137. talvikorppi,

      I don’t care what other people think
      It doesn’t affect my love for the episodes
      Was just curios what’ the favorites are
      Nothing wrong in that

      I loved this epi 😉

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    138. Hodors Bastard: I wonder what was in that “hidden” vial that she retrieved before the Waif nullified her? I doubt it was more milk-of-the-poppy or a cooking spice.

      Yeah, I wondered about that, too, but got distracted by her delicious red shoes (I want, I want!)

      But yeah, your standrad head-ache med wouldn’t be on the top shelf. Top shelf so high you have to bring a stool to climb on. So Lady Crane wasn’t all nice and cuddly. We just give her a pass because she helped the big fan fav Arya.

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    139. Dee Stark:
      talvikorppi,

      I don’t care what other people think
      It doesn’t affect my love for the episodes
      Was just curios what’ the favorites are
      Nothing wrong in that

      I loved this epi

      That’s the right attitude! 😀

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    140. Dee Stark:
      talvikorppi,

      I don’t care what other people think
      It doesn’t affect my love for the episodes
      Was just curios what’ the favorites are
      Nothing wrong in that

      Ditto! Always interesting to see if there’s a consensus but if others don’t rate the ones we do ourselves – macht’s nichts!

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    141. To me the first five episodes of this season (with episode 1 kind of meh) were far superior in writing to anything from season 5. The last 3 episodes have felt very much like season 5 in my opinion. Whether the first 4 seasons feeling more tightly written to me had to do with them following GRRM’s writing much more than in recent years…I cannot say. But this show always felt like a film to me. A well done tightly written film. Since season 5 it’s felt like a TV show. A typical one hour TV show. It’s good…but no longer great.

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    142. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
      And from TV.com which represents probably a more wider band of “typical” viewers (i.e. casual/unsullied)

      1)Hardhome – 9.6
      2) The Children – 9.5
      =3) The Laws of God and Men – 9.3
      =3)The Door – 9.3
      5) The Mountain and the Viper – 9.2

      Amazing, Rains of Castamere is only 10th

      IMDb has “Rains of Castamere” and “Hardhome” tied for first, http://graphtv.kevinformatics.com/tt0944947. Pay no attention to the rating for “No One.” Apparently graphtv has started pulling their weekly numbers before each episode airs so the ratings for the current episode is only from those who haven’t seen it! But the other episodes should be reasonably accurate.

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    143. Dee Stark,

      A good sci-fi show (albeit a cheesy one) is Sliders. It’s a 90’s show where a man discovers a way to “slide” between alternate universes. He is accompanied by his “girlfriend”, a professor and a soul singer. They meet the alternate versions of themselves and tackle social problems from the 90’s. It stars Jerry O’Connell, Jonathan Rhys-Davies (Gimli son of Gloin) and the two other’s names I can’t recall.

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    144. talvikorppi: What do you care about what anybody else says?

      Jeesh. *shakes head*

      If I didn’t care about what anyone else says, I wouldn’t go to a fan website to read what everyone else says, and I sure as hell wouldn’t go to a posting of a compendium of reviews and critiques of the episode. But perhaps that’s just me.

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    145. Ginevra,

      That’s an interesting graphic, it shows how the early episodes in the season tend to be the lowest rated.

      It has been said before, and I’ll say it again 😉 you really need to view each season as a whole because, when you have longer story arcs, so much doesn’t pay off until the later episodes. Unless you course you have a real jawdropper early on like The Lion and the Rose.

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    146. Aah, stop our stupid Austria-Hungary jokes. Hungary leads two nil. 2-0 at 89 min.

      Maybe, hopefully, Iceland can give a good game later tonight.

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    147. talvikorppi: Aah, stop our stupid Austria-Hungary jokes.

      I bet Tyrion could tell us a few 🙂

      Three Austro-Hungarians walk into a bar…

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    148. Ginevra: If I didn’t care about what anyone else says, I wouldn’t go to a fan website to read what everyone else says, and I sure as hell wouldn’t go to a posting of a compendium of reviews and critiques of the episode.But perhaps that’s just me.

      I think you’ve cracked it. We’re all fans. We’re all having fun here, finding shared ground, fun, despite cultural and personal differences. That’s why I like WotW.

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    149. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Agreed
      and though I look at those graphics for curiosity purposes, its hard to tell what people actually feel.
      The number of votes for each episodes vary significantly, and actually the top rated episodes like Hardhome and Rains have sometimes 3 times more votes than other episodes…

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    150. Ser Not Appearing in this Series: I bet Tyrion could tell us a few

      Three Austro-Hungarians walk into a bar…

      I DEMAND to know what happens when a honeycomb and a jackass are in a brothel! 😀

      Hungary won 2-0, a bit of a surprise. I like surprises. Let’s see if Lem Lemoncloak’s and Frankermountain’s team, Iceland, can surprise Portugal later today.

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    151. Dee Stark: and though I look at those graphics for curiosity purposes, its hard to tell what people actually feel.

      So much this. It could be just “Yay Joffrey died!” or “Arya went badass!” or “woo hoo, torture porn and bewbs!” but I like like to think most people who vote are being objective.

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    152. talvikorppi: Hungary won 2-0, a bit of a surprise. I like surprises.

      Since this has been a week of underdogs rising (Wales > Slovakia, Peru > Brazil, Venezuala > Uruguay, etc.), I am ready for Bran & Co to face the 5000-yr-old Night’s King and his lieutenants and the modest Stark army to face the formidable Bolton/Umber forces!

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    153. Mihnea,

      They were,but so subtly that it looks DexM…and really,only helped a little…not resolved anything…It was Sam and Frodo´s courage and determination which gave the final outcome…

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    154. Dee Stark:
      talvikorppi,

      Go Portugal!

      Aye, I cheer on Portugal because I’ve got in-laws there (and Ronaldo, heh), but I want Iceland to put up a good fight, as fellow Nordics.
      I can almost understand their unique language because I understand and speak generic “Scandinavian” (Swedish/Norwegian/Danish).

      Look up the Icelandic police drama “Trapped”, watching it gives you vitamin D defiency, so wonderfully dark – because it takes place in the winter. If it was during the summer, it’d never even get dark. Where I live, several hundred km’s south of the Arctic Circle, the sun sets about 11pm, rises before 4am. Never gets dark. Yay!

      I’ll be cheering for Iceland in this game, but I won’t mind if Portugal win. It probs will.

      Ah, the joys of not having your own country playing. You can cheer for good football or underdogs or whatever. Just enjoy the tournament. 🙂

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    155. Dee Stark: The Hand of Rh’llor remember?!?

      Oh, you saw my comment from Sunday? 🙂 Yes. It was a most generous gift from the lord of light, but hopefully it whips the forces behind the “beautiful game” back into shape. It is obvious that other countries have studied their game and have learned well.

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    156. talvikorppi: I can almost understand their unique language because I understand and speak generic “Scandinavian” (Swedish/Norwegian/Danish).

      Can I ask you something about that? In the show Broen / Bron when the Swedish and Danish police talk to each other are they speaking Swedish, Danish or each their own language? I know there is some mutual intelligibility for the native speakers but I don’t know how much. Is the Malmö or Skåne dialect closer to Danish?

      Your username actually looks like Finnish to me so I suppose you might not be able to answer!

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    157. ghost of winterfell,

      I’ll give the Americans some love. Season 4 was super. Less almost superhuman capabilities (e.g., the pulling of the tooth with the pliers in the washroom without making a sound) that rang a little false in earlier seasons. And also Mr. Robot … just started that one

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    158. Ginevra: It would be interesting if Rotten Tomatoes could give an amalgam of all critical reviews for episodes like it does for movies.Then we could compare the two (critics versus fans) with respect to ratings in other episodes to get something well beyond anecdotal evidence.

      Metacritic kinda does that, but they also have the unfortunate practice of basing a season’s score on either screener reviews of the first few episodes or, even worse, just the first episode. To me, that’s like rating a book based on the first few pages or a movie based on its opening 10 minutes.

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    159. Ser Not Appearing in this Series: Can I ask you something about that?In the show Broen / Bron when the Swedish and Danish police talk to each other are they speaking Swedish, Danish or each their own language? I know there is some mutual intelligibility for the native speakers but I don’t know how much. Is the Malmö or Skåne dialect closer to Danish?

      Your username actually looks like Finnish to me so I suppose you might not be able to answer!

      Yeah, I’m a Finn, but I learned Swedish (Finlandsvenska, Finnish Swedish, which is different from Riksvenska, Swedish Swedish) in school, and from my Swedish-speaking Finnish friends. Speaking Finnish Swedish/generic Scandinavian with a Finnish accent is an asset when in Norway. Just so that you’re not Swedish.

      Southern Swedish accents/dialects are mutually intelligible with Danish., so the polis in the Bridge will have understood each other.

      It’s a continuum. I’m fluent in the eastern and northern variety. When I’m in northern Norway, I speak something, it’s not proper Swedish, it’s not proper Norwegian, but it’s Scandinavian. At least it’s not English. As a Nordic, I want to speak my kind of “Swedish” or “Skandinaviska” to my fellow Nordics. Ah, jävlars, va sku man säga, jag låtar helt galen nu.

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    160. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      For me, i rate Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica as up there with some of the best Sci-Fi/Fantasy. J Michael Staczinsky pioneered the story arc structure which, at the time just wasn’t done. Most Sci-Fi had a weekly story of the week structure, but Babylon 5 had ongoing character arcs and a 5 season storyline. Battlestar Galactica was a great, gritty ongoing story that really delved into the aftermath of a near-genocide and the effects it would have on the survivors and their pursuers. So yeah, completely agree with this.

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    161. Dee Stark:
      talvikorppi,

      LOLI agree… just relax and watch the game.

      You are from Norway right?

      Nej, jag e frå Finland.

      So, not a Norski. A Finn.

      Cheering for Iceland on tonights footy match. (Portugal is 1-0 up at half time. 🙁 )

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    162. I’m still going through all the comments here, but a major point everyone seems to have missed about Arya’s Braavos story line is that she was betrayed by someone who she considered her friend. Remember, at the end of season 2, Jaqen promised her that becoming a faceless man would allow her to knock off the names off of her kill list. Instead, she joined a cult that just assassinate people, good people bad people, didn’t matter. She was blinded and beaten up when she knocked one name off her list. The final straw and what must of hurt Arya the most, was that Jaqen, her ‘friend’ allowed her assassination by the waif. I feel that hurt her the worst above the beating and stabbing she received.

      So I guess the lesson learned for Arya was trust no one.

      Oh, as for Arya’s plot armor, I believe it’s the god of the north that is protecting her. Remember, she was praying before the wierwood tree before she drank the poison and she didn’t die. She obviously wasn’t ‘no one’ at that point.

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    163. Red Nightmare: When a girl returned to the House of Black and White, Jaqen called her “No One”, because that’s what she is. When a girl announced she was Arya Stark and is going home, Jaqen smiled because he knows “Arya Stark” is the identity being used for the assassination that a girl/No One will carry out. She will have a high-level target that “Arya Stark” could get close access to, like Jon Snow.
      Just watch for this twist to happen!

      That would be very difficult, because in the books we can see inside Arya’s head, making it more or less impossible in that media. While it would work on TV, it would be an epic change to the story.

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    164. ghost of winterfell,

      The Americans is an extremely underrated show. I really love it. I watch Homeland and Vikings as well, but none gets me as invested as GOT.

      I gotta say this season’s felt a bit weird though. Maybe I read too many crazy theories so then the actual episodes feel underwhelming in comparison. But the truth is that apart from a few moments, particularly involving Bran, everything’s felt forced and anti-climatic to me. Be it the writing, or the directing, I don’t know. I hope to be moved and surprised with these last two episodes the way I was with The Door.

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    165. My least fave episode this season. Other than the Hound scenes, I found it lacking something. I would rather not see Tyrion at all than to have him waffling on about making jokes again and trying to get people drunk this time too. It did nothing for me. Looking forward to an amazing episode next week!!

      Bring back Jorah already

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    166. It’s almost like Larry took over.

      Markus Stark:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      The past 3 weeks of Dragons on the Wall actually have been quite negative, IIRC. I have my issues with the show, but most reviewers’ criticisms make very little sense and only highlight their superficial understanding of the story.

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    167. guest,

      Aphrodite rescuing Paris from Menalaus is an excellent example. A much-relieved Paris proceeds to ravish Helen. Homer knew the bond between sex and death, that’s for sure.

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    168. Ginevra: Part of the beauty of Game of Thrones is its ability to make different people see and appreciate so many different things. If you don’t love this character, that’s okay: there are 2000 other named characters in the series to choose from, dozens of whom are major. If you don’t love this storyline, that’s okay: almost every episode has four or five other storylines for you to appreciate.

      That’s a great point! I genuinely love pretty much every storyline on Game of Thrones, and am happy to spend time with pretty much every character this wonderful show has to offer. But I fully acknowledge I’m in the minority. The fact that the show has so much to offer has helped it generate a passionate fandom and a massive audience, but they all enjoy it for different reasons. Expecting everyone to be happy with every storyline every week is unrealistic.

      Of course, that broad appeal cuts both ways. With a show this vast, pretty much every storyline is going to have its detractors. Those people may love and enjoy the show overall, but hate one part or character in particular. Unfortunately, that’s what they’re more likely to express on the Internet (though some characters’ detractors are more consistently vocal than others. Dany’s anti-fans have been so loud for so long that I’ve basically tuned them out entirely).

      If you read enough people’s opinions, you’ll find a detractor of almost every storyline every single week. That can give you the sense that the episode is being attacked from all sides, when it’s just a bunch of different people voicing a variety of opinions, positive and negative. On the flip side, when too many people latch on to a particular vein of criticism – as happened with Arya’s storyline – it can sound like the Internet is engaging in groupthink, and no one is forming their own original opinions.

      You have to pick what you’re going to focus on, or it all becomes cacophony.

      I was shocked when perhaps my second favorite episode this season, “Blood of My Blood,” was rated as the second all-time least favorite of any season on IMDb, above only UUU’s rating in all GoT episodes ever – although actually now “No One” is tied at 8.3 with “Blood of My Blood.”

      IMDB’s rating system is far from perfect, but it does provide a modestly informative sample for comparision purposes at least. Still, I must admit have no idea why “Blood of My Blood” is that relatively low, other than I expect some people viewed it as a bit of a cooldown after “The Door” (the third-highest rated episode of the entire series). Like you, I loved that episode, especially the scenes at Horn Hill and the return of Benjen north of the Wall.

      Still, I can understand why that wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Not to cast aspersions on the people who frequent the IMDB forums (though I would certainly not recommend it), but there do seem to be a lot of people there who watch the show primarily for the death, excitement, and overtly epic moments. A quieter hour like BoMB is liable to slip for that reason.

      Professional critic writers and reviewers are not going to let quibbles keep them from enjoying everything else the show has to offer in the same way that overzealous, overdramatic fans might. And so, for this week’s episode, I can see how critics would be more likely to remain overwhelmingly positive about a show that has so much to offer, while many fans express only overwhelming disappointment

      Indeed. Whether they love something or hate something, critics know how to moderate their opinions through language and perspective. Good critics do anyway (there are plenty of clickbait artists who wear the title in name only). You’re less likely to get the genuinely euphoric highs that you would from a fan reaction, but you’re unlikely to see the scathing, vitriolic lows either. It can serve as a nice counterbalance if you know where to look.

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    169. Cersei’s Brain,

      I listen to that as well. You’re right – it’s far better than Dragons on the Wall. I think it helps that they record that particular show later in the week, so that they have more time to process the episode. Furthermore, Josh is much more upbeat and knowledgable about the show than Eric seems to be (he’s doing some nice work covering GoT for The Hollywood Reporter). He and Terri seem to have a much better rapport than she and Eric do.

      I know that Terri has some conflicting feelings about the show passing the books, and it frequently seems like she’s trying to work through those feelings out loud. That’s fine, but it grates on me after a while, because I almost always strongly disagree with her on those issues (I must admit I am utterly sick of her calling this the “season of fanservice”. It’s trite and pejorative. When she suggested, even lightheartedly, that the writers were looking to Reddit fan theories for inspiration to the write the show, I nearly spit out my coffee in revulsion. After everything they’ve done to make such a popular, beloved, and acclaimed show, Benioff and Weiss deserve far more respect than that). Josh is far better at countering that sort of thinking than Eric is.

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    170. Jared:

      Indeed. Whether they love something or hate something, critics know how to moderate their opinions through language and perspective. Good critics do anyway (there are plenty of clickbait artists who wear the title in name only). You’re less likely to get the genuinely euphoric highs that you would from a fan reaction, but you’re unlikely to see the scathing, vitriolic lows either. It can serve as a nice counterbalance if you know where to look.

      Amen. Having outsiders weigh in from time to time is desirable and even necessary at times. That’s why I’ve come to enjoy SFDebris, Chris Stuckmann, and even Brad Jones’ midnight screening reviews. Even if they aren’t super familiar with the material, they will usually give it a fair hearing. Even better is that they stay miles away from fandom squabbles. That said, every now and then some well-aimed vitriol can be downright hilarious. Roger Ebert’s review of North comes to mind.

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    171. 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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    172. ArgonathofBraavos,

      I just saw that you left the same comment on “The Game Revealed” article, so I’ll leave the same reply here that I left to it there.

      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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    173. I didn’t really “get the point” of the Tyrion / Grey Worm / Missandei scenes in the previous episodes, but this is a classic case of just wait and see.

      The scene in “No-one” was a nice payoff as they finally seemed to click and share a moment of common understanding and burgeoning friendship – before all hell breaks loose.

      All the awkwardness and slight cringeworthiness of the earlier scenes was deliberate and knowing and the resolution was nice moment for all three. Grey Worm and Missandei had essentially been brought up having to entirely suppress their individuality and personality; and you can’t break through that in an instant.

      So for those who still dismiss those scenes as a waste of time, to quote Kosh “Ah, you seek meaning? Then listen to the music, not the song.”

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