Game of Thrones season premiere running time revealed, and the cast talks moving on without the books

Alfie Sophie

The HBO Schedule has been updated with the season premiere of Game of Thrones, providing a morsel of info. The episode title has not been revealed yet unfortunately, but it does display a running time of 53 minutes, which means that season five will tie season two for the shortest season opener.

The schedule entry includes standard warnings so in this episode we can expect Adult Content, Adult Language, Graphic Violence, and good old Nudity. Sounds like a typical episode of GoT, then.

In other news, several cast members chatted with IGN about where the show is headed now that many characters have run out of book chapters to work with.

Alfie Allen says that his storyline “really is one where nobody knows where it’s going to go,” but that he finds it exciting and terrifying. The actor says, “I try to get it out of David and Dan where it’s going to head, but they’re extremely tight-lipped… it’s more exciting than terrifying… but definitely a bit of both.”

Sophie Turner also finds it exciting, as the show has definitely used up all of Sansa’s story, and we don’t know what’ll be in The Winds of Winter.  She says, “And judging by the end of how season 5 ends, I think it’s going to be the most ambiguous thing ever what happens to her.” Intriguing!

“It’s nice to know that now everyone is on the same page,” Carice van Houten tells IGN. “Nobody knows anymore. Like before in the make-up trailer, people would know a little bit more than we did… there were people who knew where it was going. Now everyone is on the same page.”

For more, and to hear what other castmates had to say, check out IGN’s article. 

 

100 responses

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    1. I wonder how much of the shows future storylines will be based on what GRRM plans for the next book and how much will be the show creators own stories.

      I guess the show creators must be at least trying to make it tie into the next book?

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    2. Arran:
      I wonder how much of the shows future storylines will be based on what GRRM plans for the next book and how much will be the show creators own stories.

      I guess the show creators must be at least trying to make it tie into the next book?

      They wouldn’t be sitting down to pick his brain on character future paths for days at a time before the writing starts for each season if they weren’t incorporating that into the show.

      He’s already told them how everything ends and every year they get more detailed explanations on what he has outlined for the character arcs in the next books.

      So you’ll probably not get the scenes exactly how they play out in the books but the general paths and destination should remain on point.

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    3. Winnie,

      Yes. I mean, they obviously took a lot of inspiration from the “Mercy” chapter for the Polliver scene in “Two Swords” (killing Lommy’s murderer —Raff/Polliver— while repeating the words he had said to Lommy), at a time when that chapter hadn’t yet been released. They must have access to GRRM’s unfinished writings.

      Al Swearengen,

      Money.

        Quote  Reply

    4. don,

      Season 2’s premiere was 52min 40ish seconds without the previously on, with it it was 55 mins long. Season 5’s will probably be about 56 min long (with the “previously on GoT”), so only 4 mins shorter than season 4’s. It’s not that bad.

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    5. Al Swearengen,

      I’d prefer tighter episodes. No need to stuff every episode unnecessarily. The Feast/Dance mentality would ruin the show like it did the books.

      Also, they have used the full 60 minutes before.

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    6. It’s not realistic to have HBO shows go to 60 minutes anyways. None of them do so I’m not sure why GOT fans always think this is somehow going to change. There’s “previously on”, “coming up” “next on”clips, and promos HBO has for its other shows at the end of the hour that need to fit within the 60 minutes as well.

      People get their noses out of joint about the weirdest things in this fandom.

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    7. It’s season 5, by now people should be used to some episodes being shorter. It’s like that with all of HBO’s shows. Some ‘Sopranos’ episodes ran for less than 45 minutes.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Hodor’s Bastard:
      King Tommen,

      If Jaime ends up in Dorne in TWoW, I’ll eat your hat.

      If you believe that Jaime’s not getting back on his book path after he’s done in Dorne this season, then I have lots of hats for you.

      The way they get there may contract or expand but they return to the road mapped out by the books soon enough.

        Quote  Reply

    9. I think Alfie’s off: we’re leaving the uncharted portion of his story and reconnecting with the book in Winterfell.

      Also, I don’t think Theon will make it out of Stannis’ encampment alive.

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    10. Felt Pelt,

      Theon’s arc in Season 3 wasn’t entirely made up; most of it was taken from memories in “ADWD Reek I” and “ADWD Reek II.” Even if that wasn’t the case, the fact is that we already reconnected with his book material in Season 4. Granted, Yara’s assault was made up, but everything else, which basically comes down to the Fall of Moat Cailin, was from the books (ADWD Reek II.) Season 5 will adapt the rest of his ADWD chapters, and just maybe even some from TWOW. Alfie was probably talking about not knowing what’s next after season five, which is where he left it, not after season four.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Yivo,

      Why is that silly? We want him to finish the books, right? Then instead of complaining about it on here every day they should go and tell him in person. Sounds reasonable to me.

        Quote  Reply

    12. I think it’s about time for a WotW roundtable to speculate on Season 5. Like a storyline by storyline best guess based on what we know to this point. I would love to hear what the ideas from the staff here are on how Brienne’s, Sansa’s, Winterfell and Stannis’ stuff is going to play out in particular.

      Make it happen y’all.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Luka Nieto,

      Sure of course. I think sadly if Alfie wants to know about the rest of his time on GoT, all he has to do is pick up the book or go to the wiki. I see the Stannis as the likely winner of the battle due to someone else’s point that it is more interesting for him to fight White Walkers than the Boltons. I don’t see a way he pardons Theon.

        Quote  Reply

    14. King Tommen,

      Personally, I’d like them to wait until we have a second trailer. All storylines north of King’s Landing are such a mystery that there’s simply not much to go on. I know it’s supposed to be speculative, but it’d be great if they had more to base their theories on. So hopefully in the next trailer we’ll find more clues regarding where (or how far) these characters are going —Sansa & Littlefinger, Brienne & Pod, Theon & the Boltons, Stannis & the Night’s Watch.

      Felt Pelt,

      Speculation is speculation and I don’t have much to back it up, but… he’s not going to die. He just isn’t. Not early in TWOW, anyway. Many ASOIAF theorists seem to agree with me on that.

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    15. The runtime of GoT has always been hugely disappointing.

      If you take out the recap time, the opening themesong time along with the credits and next episode preview this means the actual runtime on GoT episodes are like on average 45 mins, if that.

      Plus D&D want to rush through all the book content and make it a 7 season series.

      All this doesn’t add up well IMO.

      Rush rush rush… Why?

        Quote  Reply

    16. King Tommen,

      🙂
      If J makes it to the Riverlands in the show, I’ll gladly eat a hat.
      Also, if J makes it out of the Riverlands alive in the books, I’ll be prepared to eat another hat with PB&J.

      Why do I get the feeling that Jaime, LS, Brienne, Sansa, Thoros, LF, BF, Stranger and the Gravedigger are destined to slam dance in TWoW?

        Quote  Reply

    17. Renly’s Peach,

      What, so complaints about someone online aren’t allowed, you have to make a complaint in person? I’ve got to go to my Governor’s house if I think he’s doing a bad job? Or fly around the world to New Zealand and tell Peter Jackson about his adaptation mistakes during the Hobbit? It’s a silly thing to say.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Arthur,

      Because the pacing otherwise would be atrocious. Even now the pacing in some story lines is glacial. Also the last two books aren’t worth adapting, so there’s that.

        Quote  Reply

    19. Luka Nieto:
      Felt Pelt,

      Speculation is speculation and I don’t have much to back it up, but… he’s not going to die. He just isn’t. Not early in TWOW, anyway. Many ASOIAF theorists seem to agree with me on that.

      I’ve always thought of Theon as the “Gollum” of ASOIAF. We’re going on a long journey with a character who has done despicable things but strives to redeem himself and his ambitions/weaknesses will play some (probably fatal) inadvertent role in the end game.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Luka Nieto,

      Because he’s too central a character? I guess Stannis could fall into his own icetrap/Yara could mount a rescue mission, etc. I just felt he came to the end of his arc, and had his shining moment in ADWD (the best part of it). All that’s left is a realistic and brutal execution.

      Are there prophecies that reference Theon? Googling shows someone thinks there is in a reference to deaths in front of Weirwood trees. Maybe Yara will secure permission to do the deed or something. On the other hand (before his escape) he says the gods are not done with him.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Yivo,

      What’s the point of complaining if the person you’re complaining about never gets the message? Then you’re just shouting angrily at a wall. Not a silly thing to say at all.

        Quote  Reply

    22. King Tommen,

      Indeed. My only evidence for Theon’s survival is a thematic one. It’d just be ridiculous if he dies now. Yeah, yeah, it’s GRRM and he kills lots of people, yadda, yadda, yadda. He still sticks pretty closely to most conventions, or else the books would be shit.

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    23. Felt Pelt,

      “…Yara could mount a rescue mission, etc…..”

      I just coughed up my soup since I laughed so hard. Stop being so funny. We’ve been through this already…Yara is not doing that well with rescue attempts in the show.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Arthur,

      More like 50 mins on average, if not more. The opening and ending credits are ~3 mins long (both of them combined) and the average GoT episode is 53-54 mins. Anyway, I think complaining about runtimes is silly, you could have a 70 mins episode full of filler or an epic 50 mins episode. I would go for the 50 mins episode.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Yivo,

      Sometimes a slow pace makes for more intense storyline payoffs.

      Also, GoT can use it’s huge cast of characters as an advantage and stagger payoffs so even though several storylines move slow there can always be one coming to a climax or close to it per episode.

      The thing about GoT that makes it special is the complexity of the intertwining storylines coupled with the amount of character development. That sheer fact makes for a slower buildup but more intense emotional payoff…

      IDK man I always kind of compare TV series payoffs to orgasms. The more foreplay and time you take to build up to the orgasm the more intense and worthwhile that orgasm is. This GoT series has so far been the master of foreplay that has lead to intense payoffs. That’s what makes it different and unique.

      So basically this theory of “Things moving to slow to captivate audiences” really holds no relevance IMO.

      We aren’t talking about your average Mob Wives audience here…

        Quote  Reply

    26. They should get a part what those videgames earn. Like, launching GoT Minecraft and GoT monopoly.

      And start a game of thrones theme park already. Sort of like a disney land type playboy mansion. First mature medieval theme park.

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    27. They should finance a GoT direwolf puppet simulator. Sort of like those Nintendogs years ago. But more epic and bloody. It will be a hit in Japan.

      I also know that a GoT simcity would be a success. Trying to manage the wall or keeping kings landing clean.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Arthur,

      Well, I think any storyline that drags too long just ends up being boring. What you seem to be saying here is that nothing can go on so long that the payoff isn’t worth it, and I’m going to have to disagree there. Bran meeting the three eyed raven wasn’t all that exciting, despite it having been 4 years building up to it, because that storyline had so little payoff along the way that it no longer excited. That’s just me of course. Maybe you love the Bran storyline. You would be wrong, but that’s fine.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Yivo,

      I agree with you there.

      I love book Bran but TV Bran’s story is boring.

      I actually was underwhelmed at Bran’s storyline payoff and pissed that D&D wasted all that CGI budget on that lame scene instead of showing Drogon kill people.

      I should caveat what I’m saying about slow paced storylines having a bigger emotional payoff to slow paced storylines done correctly.

        Quote  Reply

    30. I think i heard Kanye West craves a GoT cameo. I dont know how we can make money out of that but we can surely put him on a promotional album? It should be called ‘Bound 2 Throne’? Instead of catch the throne it will all be kanye west singing about these crazy rich people and black brothers being bound to a wall fighting angry white people. It will also feature the first lesbian sex in a GoT music video. Should be kim and dany, while kanye is rapping over them. Then khal drogo comes in and conquers kanye.
      Promotion+rap=$?

        Quote  Reply

    31. Yivo,

      I think the thing a lot of people fail to realize about book Bran vs TV Bran is while reading the books there is no need for a CGI budget to imagine Bran’s adventures.

      I like Bran because I love those Dire Wolves and going into their eyes and things like that. Book Bran is fun for me for those reasons.

      But D&D can’t afford all the CGI to make TV Bran’s storyline visually impressive like that so instead you get Hodor carrying around a little crippled boy which does get rather boring after a while.

      But my imagination can run wild while reading book Bran’s chapters so because of that reason, for me anyway, I enjoy book Bran very much.

      I do love when Bran Wargs in the show, the little they show of it anyway.

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    32. Felt Pelt,

      In terms of what they’re laying the groundwork for in the books, Yara needs to bring him back alive to declare the Kingsmoot invalid because the heir wasn’t present. That’ll be what the Ironborn need to get rid of Euron. If they’re largely excising that storyline in the TV show, then there wouldn’t be anything, that we know of, that would require him to stay alive.

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    33. Arthur,

      Because quality>quantity ,something Martin apparently doesn’t understand and that’s why we are in the this position right now where the show will pass the books . The Red Wedding episode was only 52 minutes yet it was better than a ton of other episodes that lasted longer that season . Martin made ADWD’s page count surpassing ASOS yet the former is regarded as one of the worst and the latter as one of the best books .

        Quote  Reply

    34. Arthur,

      Book Bran was way more boring than Tv Bran in my opinion
      I felt like his chapters went on forever.

      Sure tv show Bran was also boring but they didn’t focus on him nearly as much as they did in the books and thankfully he got to the Three eyed raven way quicker than he did in the books.

      if the show was just like Bran’s storyline in the books he would still be in season 5 wondering around looking for the Three eyed raven lol

        Quote  Reply

    35. Arthur,

      About the 7 season, you have to consider the uptick in the regular actor’s salary beyond seven seasons. Plus, who knows if some of the actors wants to move on after doing GOT for seven years.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Arthur:
      Yivo,
      I think the thing a lot of people fail to realize about book Bran vs TV Bran is while reading the books there is no need for a CGI budget to imagine Bran’s adventures.

      In the books there is no need for CGI budget to imagine dragons.

      If you are referring to The Children, all CGI that was used in that scene was the director’s idea, not D&D.

      So please stop blaming D&D for everything you don’t like in the show. There is like a thousand other people that work on this great show. Sometimes final product is worse than D&D’s imagination, sometimes is better.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Jad,

      It already has reached the premiere date, that’s how we know how long the ep. is. The schedule doesn’t say the ep.’s name though.

        Quote  Reply

    38. rew,

      I personally think GoT is one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

      Doesn’t mean I can’t find things to criticize it about.

      Also directors choice or not D&D get the last word on all decisions so it was their choice to distribute CGI budget on that episode instead of putting it someplace else.

      Listen, I love this show but it’s far from infallible and my opinion is just my opinion.

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    39. Sophie’s ambiguous comment makes me think more and more that she is

      either taking on the LS role of indiscriminate vengeance and we will have Brienne and Pod strung up by their necks (scene ending with “SWORD!”). Brienne was in KL, so Sansa wouldn’t be too keen on going anywhere with a Lannister hired-gun and would view her as a threat. Or, she will go stabby-stabby with her pointy necklace and get Littlefinger right in the jugular, rip off his mockbird pin, place it on her lapel as she shoves him out the moon door.

      I can dream!
      Don’t know if any of that even qualifies as a spoiler but better safe…

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    40. Arthur,

      No, they explicitly said that the skeletons were Alex Graves suggestion. And that skeletons weren’t 100% CCI, only parts of legs and arms, and noses.

      Obviously they can’t control everything. And Alex Graves can’t control everything. I believe he has many assistants, and his assistants have assistants

      When you read the books you have only GRRM’s vision. But in the show you have D6D’s vision of GRRM’s vision. And then directors’s vision of D&D’s vision. And then actors’s vision of the director’s vision, and then…

        Quote  Reply

    41. Kells,

      No, I believe she will kill Robin Arryn, and then at the end of the season, LF and Sansa will decide to attack Freys and take Riverlands. I believe this will happen in TWOW/s6.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Tim Plester (Waldo Frey) uploaded this photo 15 hours ago – from a GOT set (obviously an old pic).

      https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10968481_10153111180917387_1841801088123823509_n.jpg?oh=ad2b3f05d675b21f0025c582e1bf5f42&oe=554916F9&__gda__=1430913692_64f1cc33c30d9169417462b5e7414fbc

        Quote  Reply

    43. rew,

      I understand what you are saying and agree It’s a collaborative effort to make a successful show like this and that, like an NFL QB, D&D get to much of the credit and blame for all things GoT when it’s also a huge team effort.

      What I’m saying is that D&D do get the final say on all things GoT and have the most influential outcome of this shows success.

      This show is D&D’s TV adapted vision of the world and characters in GRRM’s books.

      Although I understand many people help D&D create the show, in the end, the responsibility of its success falls solely on their shoulders.

      So IMO they should reap all the praises and criticism.

        Quote  Reply

    44. rew,

      I’m rather interested in the progression of that Bran/skele-wight scene from paper to film. I remember reading that the scene & episode was in post-prod (CGI work) up to a week or so before broadcast…and that D&D had gone to HBO specifically to get an increase in budget for it. [Someone correct me if I am wrong…the increase in budget could have been for a variety of reasons for that effects-heavy episode]

      I guess I am quite interested in what was in the original script for ep10/Bran and what didn’t work for AG that caused him to change it. Obviously, D&D believed in him to get the extra funding for it. Personally, I wish it could have been different/darker but it didn’t disappoint as much as the depiction of BR (3-eyed crow) and the fire-balling CotF later in the scene. So much potential for greatness there but it just seemed like they got tired and sloppy at the end. They crammed a lot in that episode (in all of AG’s episodes, really). I chalk it up to AG being overworked last season (4 episodes). Probably should have brought in another director to relieve his pressure.

      I’m really looking forward to the fresh perspectives the 5 S5 directors are bringing to the table.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Jad: Since the schedule on HBO.com will be reaching the day it premieres, we should be getting an episode title next Sunday.

      Yep, that’s what I’m assuming. Last year they updated like clockwork so that’s mostly how we were able to get one episode title every week, a while before the premiere.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Turncloak: Well, they took down the schedule quick. I can’t see anything past April 4th

      It’s still there. You have to actually search for Game of Thrones, and scroll down to the last episodes listed.

        Quote  Reply

    47. She (Sophie Turner) says, “And judging by the end of how season 5 ends, I think it’s going to be the most ambiguous thing ever what happens to her.”

      After that statement, my money is on Sansa being kidnapped after a violent confrontation in the Vale/Riverlands near the end of the season. But by whom? BwB? Brienne? BF? Frey/Lannister infiltrators? A certain dog? Nymeria? Gendry? House Forrester? Osha? Howland Reed?

      And, yes, major TWoW spoilage ahead. Maybe a Sansa preview chapter to be released soon? (fingers-crossed)

        Quote  Reply

    48. Yivo:

      What, so complaints about someone online aren’t allowed, you have to make a complaint in person? I’ve got to go to my Governor’s house if I think he’s doing a bad job? Or fly around the world to New Zealand and tell Peter Jackson about his adaptation mistakes during the Hobbit?

      I’m saying it would certainly carry more weight. Your online complaining isn’t any more special than the other hundreds of peoples’.
      So yes, I’d start buying that plane ticket if I were you. Get it while it’s cheap, before summer. You can knock on his front door, yell “HURRY UP!” and then quickly run away. Then hop on your next flight to New Zealand.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Kells,

      She doesn’t really have any reason to send Brienne after Jaime though, at least none that I can think of. I also really don’t like the idea of her replacing LS.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Or Sansa somehow gains control of the vale and has all their men behind her and the season ends with her saying and now we get revenge or something ambiguous. Im really tired of her being a victim and the vale needs to join the fight.

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    51. Dogcheese,

      He’s not still imprisoned at the Twins after the RW, like in the books? He really is loose? It would be great to see him again. Maybe he is hosting Osha/Rickon?

        Quote  Reply

    52. Dogcheese,

      I guess I just want to be surprised with Sansa’s situation. There are all these secondary characters running around in the Riverlands…Do something with them! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    53. Kells: Sophie’s ambiguous comment makes me think more and more that she is

      I find it somewhat paradoxical that ambiguous comments could make you more certain of something! I would go with: we have little clue what is going to happen for her other than she’s now going to start acting like the Heir to Winterfell.

      Crabber’s Son: Im really tired of her being a victim and the vale needs to join the fight.

      heh, well, what might be tiring to you or me is not necessarily relevant to GRRM’s game plan!

      Dogcheese: Wouldn’t be a bad time to bring back the GreatJon, considering he is still loose somewhere presumably in the Riverlands.

      If the actor had come back, then we would have heard about it. Moreover, the audience has long forgotten him: he was never more than an incidental character and he has not been on the show in 4 years.

      At any rate, the Riverlands represents a dead horse. GRRM nearly pulled a Jordan (and I don’t mean Michael) by beating said dead horse even further in Crows. The story lines set there could have been done in other places, and the overall plot could have been pushed quite a bit further along had GRRM done that. Hopefully whatever Winter holds for Sansa will be put into play: and that might stir up the pot a bit. B&W would be wise to avoid GRRM’s mistake, and push keep the same story but set in regions that are going to be important later.

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    54. King Tommen: We’re going on a long journey with a character who has done despicable things but strives to redeem himself and his ambitions/weaknesses will play some (probably fatal) inadvertent role in the end game.

      So far we have not seen any intent towards redemption from Theon. (I know that people read that into

      rescuing the Arya stand-in, but he never once thinks anything along the lines of “if I save her, then I’ll make up for some of what I’ve done.” His limited thoughts on this are about getting away from Ramsay.

      Instead, it probably will be more along the lines of rebuilding himself. He probably cannot truly be Theon again, but he could still become someone that Theon might have been. He certainly can still stop being Reek!

        Quote  Reply

    55. King Tommen:
      I think it’s about time for a WotW roundtable to speculate on Season 5. Like a storyline by storyline best guess based on what we know to this point. I would love to hear what the ideas from the staff here are on how Brienne’s, Sansa’s, Winterfell and Stannis’ stuff is going to play out in particular.

      Make it happen y’all.

      Make it so!

        Quote  Reply

    56. The average episode of GoT is 55 minutes. So without the intro and credits it would be an average of 52 minutes. That seems fine to me, not sure why everyone is whining.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Patchy Face,

      The link doesn’t work anyways. I imagine it’s part of the same trolling campaign we’ve been suffering through on this particular subject for the past several months.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Wimsey,

      1.Firstly, Theon does want to help her independently of escaping Ramsay. That is why he tries to help her even before the escape. Secondly, if he didn’t care about her, why would he have risked it for her?
      2.About him truly being Theon again or not, it’s safe to say that he has grown a lot from preReek Theon and that’s what matters. Nobody is ever truly the same after a traumatic or hard experience. But that’s what makes people people. They grow.

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    59. OrtMeyer: The average episode of GoT is 55 minutes. So without the intro and credits it would be an average of 52 minutes. That seems fine to me, not sure why everyone is whining.

      The running time should above is the listed time on the schedule, which means it includes the intro/credits, so the episode would only be like 49/50 minutes.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Wimsey:
      At any rate, the Riverlands represents a dead horse…..Hopefully whatever Winter holds for Sansa will be put into play: and that might stir up the pot a bit.B&W would be wise to avoid GRRM’s mistake,

      {sigh}

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    61. This could work out okay, or could be the start of the fall off a cliff. I say that because, for one, AFFC and ADWD are not great and would be difficult to translate to TV anyway, and two, David and Dan are not as great as some credit them for either. I’m not sold on their writing ability. Everyone credits them as such great writers but seem to forget the major plot points from season 1-4 are part of the best 3 books in this series. So, yes, while adding scenes and changing certain things around in season 1-4, they still did follow the major plot points from the source material.

      Now they have to follow an outline from the source material, which means largely make it up themselves. We’ll see how that goes, in terms of pacing, dialogue, story change, transition back and forth, etc. It’s a lot different than some may think. While still having to do that in season 1-4 they at least had the benefit of a 1200 page template on how to do those things. That’s gone now.

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    62. goodkinghenry: 1.Firstly, Theon does want to help her independently of escaping Ramsay.

      Actually, that isn’t true. He is basically

      being forced into doing it by the Wildlings.

      Now, Theon is aware of who fArya really is: but that never seems to mean much to him. The big kick is that he never thinks anything like “I can atone for X, Y or Z.” That is the critical ingredient in a redemption arc.

      (Ditto this for Jaime’s arc, which often is labelled “redemptive.” Jaime is never really trying to make up for his past actions: to the contrary, he winds up doing “right” things while trying to show the world that he’s hard enough to do “wrong” things!)

      goodkinghenry: Nobody is ever truly the same after a traumatic or hard experience. But that’s what makes people people.

      True. Hence my description of Theon becoming someone that he might have become.

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    63. Jesterr223456,

      I don’t think that is entirely it. I think that it is more that this has some of Hodor’s Bastard‘s favorite stuff from the books, even if it’s not germane to the overarching plots. After all, the stuff we like in a book (or series or film) and the stuff that is important for communicating story, plot or theme in the same book (series or film) need not be one and the same. And Hodor’s Bastard can like anything that appeals to him: there is no fault or shame or anything like that in our tastes.

      (Hodor’s Bastard is also a big Blackfish fan: and one of the perils of falling in love with incidental characters is that you often can love them only sporadically!)

      That written, I do agree with you (I think) in that this represents a nadir for GRRM as an author. I, myself, pretty much gave up on the series after Crows, to the point that I found I had forgotten many basic things when the HOB series started. People unflatteringly suggested that GRRM had gone the way of Robert Jordan with that book (and I, myself, felt that Crows “jumped the T’vern” or whatever the joke phrase was that people were using in 2005 in reference to Jordan’s once really good but eventually really bad series). I felt that Dragons put GRRM back on track, but I, myself, was one of the people ready to write off SoI&F in 2005.

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