Game of Thrones wraps filming for season 5!

It looks like that’s a wrap for the filming of Game of Thrones season 5!

As expected, the Belfast-based Wolf and Dragon units of the show have finished shooting in December, based on some tweets from production members.

Sue the Fury: With filming done, how long do you think we’ll have to wait for a proper teaser now with more footage than a glimpse of a door?

90 responses

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    1. Till Mid-January I’d say (like last year), 11th or 18th Jan. is my guess.

      And hopefully HBO’s Year-Ender this Sunday!

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    2. Lovely! Now let’s get one of them year-ender videos for Abyss to make some gifs from…

      BTW I posted this on the Golden Globes thread but in case Luka Nieto didn’t see it there, here’s some very small casting news (the guy admits to only being a featured extra basically) that the GoT wiki could still use having added to it…http://www.castingcallpro.com/uk/view.php?uid=693073

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    3. If we’re going by Season 4, the trailer for Season 5 should come out around January 11th, 2015 (first official trailer for Season 4 came out January 12th of this year).

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    4. I’ve got my fingers crossed for something in the HBO Year End trailer they do every year, but that will likely be just a quick glimpse as well if there’s anything.

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    5. Sue the Fury,

      I know. I don’t expect y’all to make an article about it. Just giving a head’s up to folks who might add the name to the wiki. As with the previous castings I’ve posted of late.

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    6. Fingers crossed for like… 5 seconds of footage in the year-ender video. At least it’d be something! And I hope we get the first teaser trailer in January.

      Greenjones,

      Saw it there, I always look for your posts! Added it to the wiki a few minutes ago. Also, there’re plenty of character articles for extras, as long as they are credited (and for characters who are named or are book characters, even if the actor is unknown.) I won’t create a page for the character or actor yet, though.

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    7. It is a few weeks too early, but isn’t the finale of Newsroom this Sunday?
      That would be a perfect spot for a GoT promo in my opinion! XD

      I can dream!

      Most likely people thinking Jan 11 or 18 are correct. I think the premiere of Togetherness is on Jan 11….

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    8. With the series premiere of Togetherness, and new seasons of Girls and Looking set for January 11th, I think we can expect a little something in between 🙂

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    9. Abyss,

      And as before I’ll permalink and bookmark them. A lot can be gleaned from those gifs!

      Of course you got to start early for s5 with that Dornish footage we got in October. Let’s hope because WOTW put them in the article then, that that sets the precedent for gifsets to come.

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    10. The Teaser Trailer for Christmas would be a perfect present but they’ll probably release it in Mid-January like Season 4 which I don’t mind, I will only watch the official trailer and only one time. Some people should do the same if they can resist 😉 because there will be more spoilers than ever and it’s better to start the Season with a fresh mind (hi Season 1)

      And of course this sunday we’ll have the first glimpses! Yay
      It will keep us warm until the end of the year at least so I’m excited.

      Because it’s really uneventful at the moment to be honest (as expected)

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    11. Most intrigued by Brienne and Sansa since we book readers don’t know how they will handle them.

      Most excited for Jaime and Bronn.

      Most anxious about the Northern storyline. Hope they manage to pull it off with some of the book cast missing.

      Most sure of Tyrion/Varys. That combo is pretty much a lock to deliver good tv

      Most ready for the pit, the walk, and daggers in the dark

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    12. I really hope the promotion is like last year. Getting the trailer in early January was awesome. Given that they just finished filming I’m afraid it’ll be like season 3 where we didn’t get a real trailer until the end of February, a month before the premiere. Man that sucked.

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    13. Turncloak:
      Most ready for the pit, the walk, and daggers in the dark

      So much potential for the last few episodes…..just like last Season. Really really anxious about that. Still have a lot of faith in them though but it will never be the same.

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    14. Josh,

      Yeah……they finished late this year. But Season 3 had a behind the scenes video released on December 3rd so I doubt it will be the same marketing strategy.

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    15. Excellent! We had pretty much deduced as of last week that today would be the last day of principal photography for Season 5, but it’s nice to have it officially confirmed. Now our hopes and attentions turn towards:

      -HBO’s Yearender/Looking Forward video. I would hope that we might see that as soon as this Sunday, either shortly before or shortly after the finales for The Newsroom and Getting On. It would only be 5-6 seconds, but as I recall last year we were able to glean a reasonable amount from it.

      -The first official full trailer for Season 5. If we’re lucky, we should see this in January (I seriously hope that we never get a repeat of the promotional strategy for Season 3, when we didn’t see a full trailer until January. That was interminable). The most likely date would probably be January 11, accompanying the season premieres of Girls and Looking, and the series premiere of HBO’s new show Togetherness.

      (As it happens, David Benioff’s wife Amanda Peet is one of the stars of Togetherness. Obviously Benioff doesn’t control HBO’s promotional department, and premiering the Season 5 trailer in front of Peet’s new show wouldn’t necessarily give it a boost unless HBO announced that they were doing that beforehand. But it would be a nice gesture. I think that Togetherness looks good, BTW. The Duplass brothers have done some interesting work in recent years, and I’ve always really liked Amanda Peet as an actress).

      -Another video from the Three-Eyed Raven. I have to admit that I’m in the dark on this one. After all of the publicity that the first video got, I’d have thought that they would have sent out another one by now. Maybe they’re waiting until after the Season 5 trailer premieres to kick that campaign off in earnest?

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    16. Jared,

      The timetable for the 3 eyed Ravens teases was to deliver 4 a month. So I expect another 6 second tease this weekend. I just hope the new image shown is not another piece of furniture

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    17. Turncloak,

      Yeah, I remember when I got that message I thought that it would make sense for them to release roughly one new update per week. To be fair, however, there was never any additional information that implied that would follow such a schedule – that was just my assumption. I hope that you’re right, and that we’ll see another one soon (although I expect that whatever images they show won’t be much more dynamic or revealing than the last one).

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    18. Ron,

      That is a scary thought, because it really will be based on little more than plot outlines/draft TWOW. Guess it will be exciting for D&D as it will be a marked difference from the seasons to date.

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    19. Greg,

      I wonder what will be announced at the end of #12DaysOfWesteros on Dec. 21? Most likely it’s simply hype but it being the first day of winter and all….one can hope…

      Nah…GRRM won’t give us that sort of gift.

      One thing that is for sure….there ain’t no Christmas in Westeros. :/

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    20. Sooooo …. do we have any idea whether Patrick Malahide or Gemma Whelan filmed at all for this season?

      I know Gemma has been filming Mapp and Lucia but so was Mark Gatiss so not sure if that’s relevant or not.

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    21. Hodor’s Bastard: One thing that is for sure….there ain’t no Christmas in Westeros.

      True: with no solstice, and with no guarantee that spring was 3-4 months away, there wouldn’t be a celebration of any sorts. Indeed, I’ve always found winter solstice celebrations a bit odd, at least among northern populations. (There aren’t many populations far enough sough for this to be an issue during the other solstice.) Zagmuk, Saturnalia, etc., made a bit more sense: “winter” in those regions is pretty pleasant. However, Yule is a bit weird to me….

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    22. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Prepare to be disappointed. Here is GRRM’s tweet:

      @GRRMspeaking: #12DaysofWesteros is NOT a countdown to the release of WoW, we’re sorry for those of you who were misled, just spreading Christmas Cheer 🙂

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    23. Josh: I really hope the promotion is like last year.

      Realistically, we can expect the promotion to get less and less active. Far and away the biggest promotion for Season X is Season X-1. Given how the ratings have been steadily increasing, and given how popular the show is among the viewers, promotion is going to get less and less return per dollar. HBO would be wiser to spend those $$$ promoting newer shows that need to build up an audience.

      We saw something very similar 11 years ago with the last Lord of the Rings film. There was one short trailer, released only a few weeks before the movie came out. Tolkien fans (desperate to see a trailer!) screamed that this would kill the audience, but because the first 3 hour trailers were so popular, King sold both more tickets immediately and more tickets over all.

      As for myself, I almost don’t care about seeing any trailers. Personally, I find them frustrating as they don’t show much. About the only worthwhile thing about them is reading all the illogical conclusions to which fans jump upon seeing them!

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    24. Turncloak,

      Yeah…many were foolishly hoping for some goofy announcement…no one really believed it was a TWoW progress announcement…but maybe another preview chapter? The fandom is quite desperate. Spoilage is coming.

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    25. Darquemode:
      It is a few weeks too early, but isn’t the finale of Newsroom this Sunday?
      That would be a perfect spot for a GoT promo in my opinion! XD

      I can dream!

      Most likely people thinking Jan 11 or 18 are correct. I think the premiere of Togetherness is on Jan 11….

      Well…if you want people to WATCH the trailer, you won’t do it on the Newsroom season finale.

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    26. Wimsey,

      Yeah..our winter solstice does give many hope that spring is 90 days away and days will start getting longer. But it must get worse before it gets better…

      Many folks have speculated on why “Planetos” has such bizarre seasonal cycles. Yeah, yeah, yeah…there is that magical thing…but some have actually attempted to explain it (I have linked one of my favorites). But if summer/winter seasons varied so much (based on some of the celestial physics discussed) how did they actually account for years? Was Planetos even in the same relative space-time position every N days with respect to its sun (or suns)? Or maybe harsh winters just seem longer….like they do here. 🙂 In any case, I believe there is quite a plausible debate over the length of an average year in Westeros, not that anyone in Westeros cares.

      History and historical timelines in Westeros and Essos are whacked….just ask the dueling maesters in TWoI&F.

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    27. Hodor’s Bastard: In any case, I believe there is quite a plausible debate over the length of an average year in Westeros, not that anyone in Westeros cares

      Well, the Westerosians (and Essosians, I think) count the length of seasons in years, so their concept of a year is something independent of that: I had assumed that they were (consciously or not) picking up their planet’s rotation around it’s sun. Humans have known that for thousands of years: although it would seem probable that we were aware of seasonality first, it’s been long enough that we’ve been aware of how the same stars appear overhead at sunset every 365 or so days that we don’t actually have records of people not knowing that.

      I forget: does Planetos have a moon? I seem to recall mention of months, but I don’t know for certain if I have!

      At any rate, I doubt that this will every be too relevant to the plots or stories. I think that Martin just wanted to have seasonality that was extreme in duration as well as in intensity.

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    28. Wimsey,

      There is at least one moon. I remember a description of it. I just find the concept of a year in “Planetos” debatable, especially if seasons vary greatly in length. (I assume the star charts would be screwed up as well) 🙂

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    29. Wimsey: I forget: does Planetos have a moon? I seem to recall mention of months, but I don’t know for certain if I have!

      Yes , seems, described more than once and tho only implicit the length of day is pert nearly same as in this alternate universe Earth. Seems GRRM even describes a solar system like sun.
      Seems someone genned up a reasonable eccentric orbit for Planetos to explain he seasons but don’t know where I saw it.

      One notes besides Direwolves and Dragons there are Terran-like squirrels, deer, wild boar , elk?, fish, ravens, birds , insects ,plants and trees and lots of onions!, and so forth … lots of earth-like flora and fauna in GRRM’s alternate universe.

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    30. Ah, OK: I remember now! Moreover, the old Dothraki legends say that there were two moons once, but that they got too close and something wonky happened. It is now coming back to me: that actually was relevant to ideas people had for Planetos’ weird seasonality back in the 1990’s.

      Boojam: Seems someone genned up a reasonable eccentric orbit for Planetos to explain he seasons but don’t know where I saw it.

      Axial precession would be a better explanation. That would also work best if Planetos had another large moon with an eccentric orbit. Our moon is responsible (in large part) for the wander of our axis, which in turn affects seasonality on our planet. (Other factors, such as the alignment of the continents, also are important.) Having one large moon makes it present but also pretty stable; if there were other large bodies with more eccentric orbits, then theoretically the precession could be more complicated.

      The longer and nastier winters (as well as the longer and warmer summers) would coincide with deeper “dips” in in the axis, with dips “towards” the sun giving you summers and dips “away” from the sun giving you winters. The essentially unknown “Southeros” continent probably would be getting the opposite, at least if it extends far enough south to have temperate regions.

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    31. FictionIsntReal,

      There’s only the two (for s3 there were 3 units but not anymore apparently). Since the end of October (or maybe a tad later, someone could probably answer better than me on this) they’ve been only in NI (and IIRC before late August/September they were only in NI too) but when they shot in Croatia and then in Spain, they either had one unit in NI while the other was in Croatia or Spain or they had both units in Croatia or Spain.

      So in short the two units referred to in the article’s tweets, dragon and wolf, are the only units.

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    32. I can’t believe we still have no clue which characters are involved in the snowy battle… It’s down to Hardhome or Winterfell, but it could go either way really (there were many details that point to Hardhome being included, but Winterfell makes much more sense narratively). It’s possible we’ll get both, but who knows.

      Anyway, filming’s done. In another post someone said that HBO’s yearender will come out in the 15th, so we’re bound to see the first couple of shots from season 5 then.

      I’ll tune in in the weekend, hopefully we’ll have something to talk about

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    33. Pete.,

      I don’t think she will be included, but she wouldn’t have been sighted even if anything had been filmed. That’s the kind of think you film in secret. I still think LSH’s out, but not having seen it being filmed is not hard evidence of it.

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    34. Pete.,

      Everyone has lost hope on LS. It’ll make her appearance all the more delicious. Just when you are done mourning for her, she’ll pop up, rearing her grotesque head…

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    35. I can’t wait ! Alot of things we might know from the trailer like which battle will be done hardhome or winterfell and where will Davos be …etc

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    36. Pete.,

      If she appears, then she will appear when she becomes relevant to the stories. (And, no, she wasn’t relevant to the Crows or Dragons story.) The earliest that might be is Season 6. Remember, they could bring her back and keep her veiled for a while, too.

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    37. jentario,

      I know, right?! I would have thought the big battle that was going to be filmed in November and moved from Iceland to somewhere else would have some huge leaks! But no, unless I missed them.

      I’m going with Hardhome for that. Short in time yet large scale battle. Mostly extras involved and CGI which you won’t see big leaks about, I suppose. Just a guess.

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    38. TheTouchOfFrost:
      Sooooo …. do we have any idea whether Patrick Malahide or Gemma Whelan filmed at all for this season?

      I know Gemma has been filming Mapp and Lucia but so was Mark Gatiss so not sure if that’s relevant or not.

      Anyone? I’ll even take scraps!

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    39. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I’d love to be able to answer this question…alas I’ve heard nothing. My guess is that if we get any bits it’ll be from Gemma rather than Patrick. IIRC, Gemma made an appearance in the first trailer for S4 despite her minimal role, so I’m also holding out hope for a glimpse when the new trailers hit.

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    40. Clitorismestra,

      They need to use Selmy more!!! A few scenes with him offering true leadership insight to Dany, a few displays of swordfighting skills to protect Dany and a few more anecdotes about her batshit crazy father would be appreciated. 🙂

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    41. Wimsey: True: with no solstice, and with no guarantee that spring was 3-4 months away, there wouldn’t be a celebration of any sorts.Indeed, I’ve always found winter solstice celebrations a bit odd, at least among northern populations.(There aren’t many populations far enough sough for this to be an issue during the other solstice.)Zagmuk, Saturnalia, etc., made a bit more sense: “winter” in those regions is pretty pleasant.However, Yule is a bit weird to me….

      Not so weird It’s a couple of different things playing into it.

      1. The winter is setting in. You need to make sure you have enough food to survive, and enough food to keep your animals alive. It makes no sense to feed them partway through the winter, so you slaughter those you’re not going to keep at the beginning of winter, and salt or smoke the meat. Of course, you’ll want to eat some of the meat while it’s still fresh, so there’s a feast with lots of meat. (And naturally, you throw in a bit of sacrifice for your gods, to thank them for the past year and ask for a mild winter.)

      2. It’s only the beginning of the cold season, but it’s the middle of the dark season. And if you’ve ever spent a winter far north (or far south, for that matter) you know that the dark is no small part of it. Here in Stockholm, Sweden, the sun is only up for a few hours at this time of year. Go a bit farther north, and the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon at all for a while. It takes a toll on you now, and must’ve been so much worse before the arrival of electric lighting. Celebrating the fact that the day is about to get longer, even if it’s a slow process, is very understandable.

      Hodor’s Bastard:
      Wimsey,

      There is at least one moon. I remember a description of it. I just find the concept of a year in “Planetos” debatable, especially if seasons vary greatly in length. (I assume the star charts would be screwed up as well)

      There’s a passage in TWOIAF which references first Speton Barth, saying the seasons are magical and not natural, and then the writings of another maester, who argued that “the seasons might once have been of a regular length, determined solely by the way in which the globe faces the sun in its heavenly course. The notion behind it seems true enough – that the lengthening and shortening of days, if more regular, would have led to more regular seasons – but he could find no evidence that such was ever the case, beyond the most ancient of tales.”

      Give that pretty much any quote from an old story or another maester which the maester “authors” dismiss as absurd seems to be true, I’d say that this one is too. And then the length of a Planetos year may come from a time when that actually equalled four seasons, before whatever magic happened that disrupted it.

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    42. Hodor’s Bastard,

      With Jorah gone, I hope that’s exactly what happens. In fact, that’s pretty much as it was in the books; Barristan doesn’t have any particularly meaningful conversations with Dany until Jorah is exiled (including the revelation that Aerys was truly Mad.) The only difference is in the books Jorah is exiled earlier.

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    43. People are still talking about LS?? Let that mute go. We already have a more relevant character that’s gonna be in the same position and who is far more important.

      Sometimes I think people rather want to see the reactions of LS reveal and not realizing that’s a weak story plot, I know it, George knows it and many should too.

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    44. Lyanna Mormont,

      Well, if a planet has a tilted axis, then you’ll get four seasons once every year (rotation around the sun) as a result! That’s how we get ours, after all.

      What you would need to get Planetos’ screwy system is major wandering of the axis. Earth gets thats from both precession and wander in obliquity. If Planetos’ precession is such that the north is pointing “away” from the sun for several orbits, then you would get extended nasty winters in the north. (The south would get an extended delightful summer: but Westerosians would know nothing about that.)

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    45. Cool! Now all we need from Santa Jesus is a trailer …just in time for the holidays and the new year!

      Onwards to Season Five! Huzzzaaaahhhh!

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    46. loco73,

      Rumor has it the HBO yearender promo comes out tomorrow and that’s bound to offer a couple of seconds of season 5 footage if last year is anything to go by. Fingers crossed!

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    47. jentario,

      It’s coming today, he was talking about the boxing Yearender and last year it came out a day after the one that we’re looking forward (checked on Youtube)

      🙂

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    48. Wimsey:
      Lyanna Mormont,

      Well, if a planet has a tilted axis, then you’ll get four seasons once every year (rotation around the sun) as a result!That’s how we get ours, after all.

      What you would need to get Planetos’ screwy system is major wandering of the axis.Earth gets thats from both precession and wander in obliquity.If Planetos’ precession is such that the north is pointing “away” from the sun for several orbits, then you would get extended nasty winters in the north.(The south would get an extended delightful summer: but Westerosians would know nothing about that.)

      Oh, sure. But if that’s how it works, then how would you define a solar rotation well enough to base your concept of a year on it to begin with? It won’t be from the lengthening or shortening of days, it won’t be from seasons changing. Is their astronomy advanced enough, and respected enough, to be able to set down that standard? Was it, back in the Age of Heroes?

      I think they once had a year and seasons similar to ours, they defined their calendar from that, and then something changed. Perhaps it happened at the time of the (first) Long Winter. The seasons have changed, either because of a screwed up axial tilt or because of something magical, but the calendar has remained.

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    49. Balerion The Cat,

      Same for me because I’m french, I will be disappointed if there’s nothing when I wake up 🙁

      If it’s not tonight, It’s tomorrow but it makes more sense to air it after the finale of The Newsroom, the last show of the year.

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    50. Lyanna Mormont: Oh, sure. But if that’s how it works, then how would you define a solar rotation well enough to base your concept of a year on it to begin with?

      The same way that humans always have, regardless of how much seasonal variation there is wherever they live: by the stars at night. For example, at this time of each year, Sirius (the brightest star for us) is about as prominent as possible at night (rising around sunset and peaking around midnight). That happens the same time every year. The dramatic constellations in our sky at this time of year (Orion, Gemini, etc.) are the same every year. Conversely, the stars that were prominent in summer are now gone from the sky: if you see them at all, then it’s right after the sunsets or right before it rises.

      Now, there is slight drift over centuries (that’s why the astrology definitions of when the Sun is in, say, Aquarius, are now nearly a full month off from when the sun really is in Acquarius!): but within any one lifetime, they are the same.

      Humans have been using stars for things like navigation since as far back as history can record these things: and you cannot do that without understanding that you have to use different stars in June than in December, but you always can use the same stars in June as last June. (Learning that you could travel far enough that the June stars changed was part of what led people to figure out the world was round, not flat.) Humans also have believed that stars somehow affect things (they often are thought to represent gods or actually be gods looking down upon us) because, well, doesn’t that explain why it’s always Decemberish when Sirius is prominent?

      On Planetos, there would be a greater amount of North-South shifting of stars in the sky within lifetimes: but which stars were prominent in the sky the day you were born and the day you turned 60 would be about the same. That would give the Maesters, Septons, druids, etc., all they need.

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    51. Any confirmation about the return of any of these characters?
      -Thoros
      -Edmure
      -Blackfish
      -Walder Frey
      .
      .
      -Anyone from Riverlands??

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    52. chamush,

      Not sure about Edmure, Thoros or the Blackfish but I know Walder Frey won’t return in S5. Here’s the actor back in September confirming this.

      Walder has some unfinished business. He still has Edmure Tully in his prison.

      Yes! And I spoke to [showrunner] David Benioff, and he said, “You’ll be back, you’ll be back.” But not in this season, not the one they’re doing now. Not for season five. But he’s got more to do in the books, and I hope he’ll be back at least for some kind of divine retribution, which has to be coming his way at some point. Surely he can’t get away with all that? I’d like to think he survives just a bit longer for that. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back for season six, but I haven’t heard anything definite.

      http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/david-bradley-strain-game-of-thrones-chat.html

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    53. Wimsey,

      Says who? You? It’s D&D’s fanfic opinion (and most likely budget) that has determined this course of action, certainly not storyline continuity.

      Like the Greyjoy plotline(s), a missing Blackfish is not “obviated” by anything other than HBO economics. I will miss the Riverrun standoff. Hopefully, we will see the BF in another spoilerish context soon.

      ——–

      Regarding your Planetos celestial mechanics contributions (which I respect), sometimes we must suspend our disbelief and consider that normal celestial physics don’t apply. Maybe there is another force at work in this system. In order to work, fantasy must rise above standard academic education…. otherwise things get a bit mundane. 🙂 Travel, mail, domestic relations, and “annual” weather patterns on Planetos must all be considered flexible and non-academic, imho.

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    54. Wimsey,

      That’s certainly true of our world because Earth’s axial tilt is (for purposes of this discussion) constant. This June’s stars are in the same place as last June’s star, as you noted. But if Planetos’ axial tilt varies wildly and unpredictably, stars wouldn’t be in the same positions at regular intervals, right?

      How *do* Westerosi know the length of the year, i.e. the time it takes Planetos to make one orbit around the Sun?

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    55. Mr Fixit,

      What stars are in the night sky is dependent on where a planet is in it’s orbit, not on the tilt. The tilt affects only how high stars are. Sirius is in the night sky now because Earth is between Sirius and the sun. Now, if our axis rotated with the planet AND if the axial tilt varied, what would happen is that Sirius would be very high in the sky some Decembers and very low on other Decembers; however, December is when it would be in the night sky. It could never be in the night sky in June because the sun is in between Sirius and Earth at that time.

      What Planetos would not be able to have is any constant “North Star.”

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    56. Wimsey,

      Okay, fair enough. But what about November or January or other months? It’s not like a star is in the night sky for only a single month. Also, what about stars that are, when viewed from a given latitude, relatively low over the horizon? Tilt the planet some more, and the star drops below it. And since the tilt is supposedly all over the place at irregular intervals, it would be very difficult to work out the math.

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    57. Thats very disappointing, from a story telling point of view it makes no sense to have this huge event “red wedding” and then totally abandon where it happened, the people who were involved, people who were impacted by it!

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    58. Hodor’s Bastard: Like the Greyjoy plotline(s), a missing Blackfish is not “obviated” by anything other than HBO economics. I will miss the Riverrun standoff. Hopefully, we will see the BF in another spoilerish context soon.

      I don’t think that is true. Blackfish serves one purpose in Crows:

      to show that no matter what Jaime wants to think that he is, he is not Tywin II.

      . That’s it. So, if Jaime’s not there and if no other protagonist is there, then Blackfish does not have a purpose: i.e., the plotline in which he is an element is obviated. As Blackfish himself is not a protagonist, he doesn’t have a storyline or a plotline of his own. (For myself, I won’t miss the Riverrun bit at all: I found that as tedious as I found the Dorne or Iron Islands segments; however, that is my subjective taste and not a reason why I would advocate cutting it even if is a reason why I might selfishly hope that they cut it!)

      And this is a key thing that fans have to remember: no matter how “interesting” (or dull) we find events in a particular area, those areas and events exist for one reason and one reason only: to put the protagonists in situations where they have to do/say/think/act the things that tell the story. Plot exists to serve story: and if it’s not serving story, then the plot is superfluous no matter how much you or I enjoy it. (Conversely, if the plot does serve story well and in a unique way, then it is important, no matter how much you or I hate it. What we like and what is important to the story are two different things.

      Economics are not an issue here, either: time is and succinct story telling is. The latter is particularly relevant. Martin has too many separate plotlines for a book, nevermind a TV series. One thing that summarizes the many complaints about Crows and Dragons is excess plotlines. Now, novels can handle more plotlines than can TV series or movies: so if the number of plot lines gets to the point where it interferes with literary storytelling (and I think that it does here), then it is way past the point where it will interfere with storytelling on screen.

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    59. Mr Fixit,

      Mr Fixit: Okay, fair enough. But what about November or January or other months? It’s not like a star is in the night sky for only a single month. Also, what about stars that are, when viewed from a given latitude, relatively low over the horizon? Tilt the planet some more, and the star drops below it. And since the tilt is supposedly all over the place at irregular intervals, it would be very difficult to work out the math.

      This works for every month: for every month there is a particular set of constellations that are at “opposition” to the sun: that is, the Earth is (in general) between those stars and the sun (on a 2D plane, anyway). The North-South issue does affect what we can see: we northerners cannot see Canopus (the 2nd brightest star), Alpha Centauri (the nearest star) or the Southern Cross, unless we get close to the equator. However, north-south the line of stars that are rising as the sun sets, that pass overhead at midnight and that set as the sun rises is the same at the same time each year. Once every rotation, that line crosses particular azimuth line.

      Astrology works on this principle. The sun is “in” Aquarius at the same time every year. Six months later, Aquarius and the other constellations “above” and “below” it (on a N-S lines) are at opposition: i.e., they are directly overhead at midnight. That works for all 12 (really, 13) zodiac constellations. This probably started the belief that something about the gods associated with those stars affected peoples’ lives. Now, tilting the Earth more would make Aquarius lower in the sky: and if you get far enough north, that is below the horizon. (When the sun is in Aquarius, Santa has to leave the lights on all day.) However, the constellations that always are “above” Aquarius still follow the same trajectory. They are the set of stars that basically invisible during December and prominent in June every year at some point on the Earth, regardless of the tilt.

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    60. Wimsey,

      Ok…I see your perspective. You seem to prefer stories that get from plotpoint A to plotpoint B efficiently, have characters with well-defined roles, have relatively provable science, and have minimal distractions within the world-building effort. Essentially, you have a very academic perspective of the art/science of writing. AFfC and ADwD have obviously tested those tenets of novel writing…almost to the point of outright aggravation/desperation by many in the community.

      I actually prefer the colorful meandering, the exploration of character, the unexpected uprising of minor figures to major gamers, the “and magic occurs here” pseudo-science, and playing games with the concept of death. So, while not as “punchy” as AGoT, ACoK and ASoS, AFfC & ADwD do provide those non-standard factors and increase the depth (and complication) of the tale. I guess I am more fascinated by the creation of the maze rather than the solution to it…..maybe, like Ragnarok, there is no real solution other than ultimate destruction of the iron throne and chaos/reboot. But now that GRRM has created this monstrous and glorious clusterfuck, I am equally fascinated at how he attempts to unravel the knot and proceed. Can he do it? We all wonder.

      Regarding D&D’s approach to the clusterfuck, as I’ve stated several times before, they have chosen, based upon their unique insight and opinions, which established paths to take to the endgame. These paths are NOT the only paths that matter (as you have suggested), they are simply the paths chosen out of many options. I repeat, there are many ways to the endgame and D&D have chosen which ones they will take, modify and explore further, inventing and amalgamating stuff along the way to satisfy their own whims and fancies (and budgets and allowable time). I personally think they respect GRRM enough to leave certain threads alone (Greyjoy, Griff, LS, Arianne, etc), saving their path to the endgame for his robust imagination. But I also think they are taking liberties with the book canon that are almost catty and petty (forced meet-ups, questionable changes to beloved quotes, and jabs at others/critics – Orson and his beetles, among others)….just because they can, and because they believe it would make good cinematic sense as they adapt the tomes.

      As I get increasingly anxious for more written world-building and world-destroying, I respect the challenge that D&D have. They have big picture stuff but they don’t have the details (witty quotes, subtle thoughts, disturbing sequences, hearsay, minor char development, etc) that have made the books so ridiculously awesome. It’s the supporting stuff (BF, LS, BR, YG, queenmakers, etc) that does matter in this tale and that is where I will seek the brutal beauty during the telling.

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    61. Hodor’s Bastard: Essentially, you have a very academic perspective of the art/science of writing.

      I think this is a bit of an overstatement. Literature affords more opportunity for the meandering and world-building that TV does not, which by its nature has to eschew internal monologues and pare back on plotlines that are more or less dead-ends — which you seem to acknowledge as well. Even D&D’s narrative “cul-de-sacs” with both Yara and Jon at Craster’s Keep were difficult and they were relatively contained. So while some of the writing in the latter two books was very very strong – all of Cersei’s stuff, the Septon Meribald/Quiet Isle bits, Theon, some of it is meandering and leads nowhere (Nimble Dick Crabbe, perhaps some of the Greyjoys, though I like Victarion).

      And D&D have managed to maintain a story that literally has what – 8, 9, 10 protagonists or rather, main characters who we will see through to the end? Dany, Jon, Arya, Sansa, Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion – that’s 7 super-important people that we get a LOT of, to say nothing, then, of the next tier – Davos (arguably on the first tier), and Bran (only on this tier b/c of screen time), along with Stannis, Melisandre, Samwell Tarly, Brienne, and Theon.

      And so, perhaps the Blackfish will become important again, but his primary purpose in ADWD was, as Whimsy said, to help Jaime realize he’s not Tywin II, and also, to escape from Riverrun into the river lands. But he’s already done that, and the Freys have Riverrun, so that meandering can be dispensed with.

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    62. Rygritte,

      As far as I know, the verb “to be happy” in Dothraki is “layafat”. I doubt the Dothraki have anything like a traditional holiday but they do acknowledge stuff like birthdays (“asshekhqoyi”) and destiny (“fasqoyi”) and feast day (“vitteyqoyi”).

      So maybe… “Layaf fasqoyi!” would be appropriate? 🙂

      To any expert Dothraki linguists out there, if I am wrong in my lafayat conjugation, please correct me.

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