George R.R. Martin reacts to Westworld GoT cameo backlash: “It was just a bit of fun”

Westworld Drogon Weiss Benioff

As we reported on this past Monday, the above-pictured key Game of Thrones players—showrunners Benioff and Weiss, and starring dragon Drogon— made an amusing little cameo in Westworld’s latest episode. Then this corner of the internet kind of exploded with reactions ranging from the intended laughter to befuddlement or even anger.

Thankfully, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin is here to bring some much-needed perspective to this whole thing…

In his definitely-a-blog ‘Not A Blog‘ blog, Martin praises Westworld as a “terrific show”, though he had yet another reason to watch when his “friend Jonah Nolan”, the co-showrunner, told him to be sure to watch last week’s episode.

“I was indeed amused when we came on the cameo of The Three Ds: David Benioff, Dan Weiss, and Drogon. I thought it was a fun moment, and it made me smile.”

“Subsequently, of course, the internet has blown up over the cameo, as the internet is wont to do. Some people loved the cameo, some hated it, and everybody, it seems to me, is making way too much of it. Hey, folks, c’mon. It was just a bit of fun. A sort of Easter Egg. You all like Easter Eggs in your video games, don’t you? If you blinked, you could have missed it… kind of like the appearance of Yul Brynner’s “man in black” robot from the original WESTWORLD movie that appeared first season. I have been known to do that sort of thing myself. Sharp-eyed readers of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE long ago noticed the appearance of the Three Stooges in the first novel, and my subsequent mentions of how giants devoured Triarch Belicho and a knight wearing Dallas Cowboys heraldry. And if you missed those… as 98% of the readers did… that’s fine, they were just a tip o’ the hat. I also have houses named after the great fantasists Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny, and Robert Jordan, for what it’s worth. More tips o’ my hat. (I wear a lot of hats).”

George R.R. Martin Game of Thrones Pilot Cameo CostumeMartin then lists the cameos he has done himself over the years, such as Z Nation, Sharknado 3, and his much-discussed Game of Thrones pilot cameo, during the wedding of Daenerys and Drogo, which was cut once much of the episode was re-shot.

“Had I been in Los Angeles at the time of the filming, I might well have been part of that WESTWORLD cameo as well. Jonah and Lisa have also stated that the whole thing was my idea. Which is true. Kinda sorta. No, I had no idea this particular moment was coming until I caught it on HBO… but back during WESTWORLD’s season one, I did suggest to Jonah that, seeing as how the original WESTWORLD film featured a Medieval World, the TV version could easily have a Westeros World.”

“Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy mentioned that I worked in television back in the 80s, when crossovers between shows were more common,” he adds, going on to mention examples such as Simon & Simon with Magnum P.I., and their attempt with Twilight Zone.

“As for the WESTWORLD cameo,” Martin finishes, “Robbie the Robot had a long career in film and television after FORBIDDEN PLANET. Why would we want to begrudge Drogon the same?”

Who indeed.

Daenerys Drogon Season 4 401 Meereen Targaryen

Be sure to read the entire thing at Martin’s blog!

44 responses

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    1. They are really going to turn this cameo into Ed Sheeran type of controversy and everyone is going to talk about this non event for years.

      Benioff and Weiss shoud appear in all shows that struggle with ratings to help them boost media attention.

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    2. Congrats Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss for a magnificent and marvelous cameo. I’ve rewatched it many times and I’ll always be grateful.

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    3. Jack Bauer 24,

      Hey Jack!
      FYI A little while ago today I asked about you and your namesake* in a reply in the 300+ Comment Section under the 3/18/20 post “George RR Martin Spending Time in Westeros…”
      I was curious if you’d seen Kiefer Sutherland in the movie “Freeway.”

      * Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland)

        Quote  Reply

    4. I’m glad that GRRM remained courteous. I wish some of folk who seem to know what is going on in his mind could do likewise (not talking about this website particularly but the fandom in general).

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    5. ”Thankfully, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin is here to bring some much-needed perspective to this whole thing…

      In his definitely-a-blog ‘Not A Blog‘ blog, Martin praises Westworld as a “terrific show”, though he had yet another reason to watch when his “friend Jonah Nolan”, the co-showrunner, told him to be sure to watch last week’s episode…”

      ———
      Exasperated book reader whinging “Screw the blog. Finish the f*cking books fat man!” in 5, 4, 3, ….

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    6. As always, George R.R. Martin gets it far more than his most vociferous “fans” do. They should take a cue from him, and chill.

      mau:
      They are really going to turn this cameo into Ed Sheeran type of controversy and everyone is going to talk about this non event for years.

      Real talk: I still sincerely love that scene in “Dragonstone” (not necessarily because of Ed Sheeran, but he doesn’t detract from it in any way). Rewatched it just the other day. It’s such a good character moment for Arya, and exactly the kind of slowed-down, morally complicated interpersonal drama that some viewers claim they wanted more of in the latter seasons. Well … it’s there!

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    7. Jared,

      • Allow me to echo that by re-posting my 3/25/20, 10:12 am, 11:02 am and 1:09 pm comments under the March 23 article “Westworld creator explains Benioff, Weiss…cameo”

      [3/25/20, 10:12 am reply to Mr. D]:
      Am I the only one who didn’t mind Ed Sheehan’s appearance? After all, it was the showrunners’ gift to Maisie Williams.

      —-
      [3/25/20, 11:02 am reply to Mango]:
      I too didn’t get all the fuss. Ed Sheeran had nine words of dialogue in that entire scene. His presence did not detract one bit from the substantive conversations between Arya and two of the Lannister soldiers.

      For that matter, why didn’t people whinge that it was unnecessary to cast Pete Postlethwaite’s son as one of the soldiers?

      S7e1 Arya and Lannister soldiers

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywOoPIWARU0

      ——
      [1:09 pm reply to Mr. D]:
      “…I just thought it was really nice of the showrunners to cook up a surprise for Sheeran fangirl Maisie Williams: for her to show up on set, and see Sheeran as one of the Lannister soldiers.
      (Note: I heard that Sophie ruined the surprise, but still…)
      Anyway, no big deal. I didn’t understand the backlash then and don’t understand it now. It’s not as if they cast Ed Sheeran as Howland Reed. Or Kendall Jenner as Lyanna Stark. Or this ex-reality TV poseur as NK… [image link deleted]
      ——————

      • Also, as I’ve previously suggested, I thought this 4 minute scene in S7e1 captured the spirit of the books’ “Broken Man” speech better than the speech scripted for Brother Ray in S6e7, “The Broken Man.”
      Like the conscripts described in the books’ “Broken Man” speech, the friendly Lannister soldiers were just ordinary civilians conscripted into military service by their lords, i.e., like most boys, forced to leave their families to “fight in someone else’s war.” Whatever illusions of adventure they may have had were dispelled by gritty reality, and they were just homesick young men longing to return to their families.
      I thought that scene was quite effective in humanizing the Lannister soldiers, as well as showing that Arya had not lost her humanity…Even though she’d just single-handedly exterminated House Frey. 🗡👸🏻🔪🍹

      * (I’m still not sure why the showrunners didn’t just adapt GRRM’s well-written dialogue, either verbatim or in condensed form. Even I, a pre-books fan, was familiar with that iconic passage from the books (delivered by Septon Meribald? to Brienne and Pod, I think), describing the effects of the depredations and deprivations of war on the ill-equipped young men forced to do the fighting and dying.)

      • I completely concur with you that: ”It’s such a good character moment for Arya, and exactly the kind of slowed-down, morally complicated interpersonal drama that some viewers claim they wanted more of in the latter seasons. Well … it’s there!”
      Like you, I “sincerely love that scene.” It’s always worth a rewatch.

      Finally, thank you for commending the show and the showrunners for a scene like this. While many fans – including yours truly – felt that not all aspects of the latter seasons fired on all cylinders, sometimes fans’ critiques create a disproportionate amount of noise, drowning out appreciation for the b******nt achievements of the show. It’s nice to have some balance…

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    8. Ten Bears,

      I think, ironically, The Broken Man speech didn’t belong in “The Broken Man” episode, because that speech was about horrors of war and speech Rey gave was about redemption and second chance, which served purpose in Sandor’s story.

      Scene in “Dragonstone” with Arya and Lannisters was light-hearted. I don’t think dark and somber speech would fit.

      Place for version of The Broken Man speech could have been 802 or 804.

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    9. mau:
      Jared,

      It’s also set up for her final choice in the Bells and beginning of her rehumanization arc.

      This too. ✅

      Plus, not only did Arya not objectify the soldiers as enemy targets merely because they were Lannister soldiers: she felt at ease with these generous young men who shared their food with her out of generosity, because as one of the soldiers explained, he’d been taught to “be kind to strangers and they’ll be kind to you.” (Quite a contrast to the the selfish Frey doofuses in S3e10 who told a hungry Arya to “f*ck off.”)

      As you intimated, turning away from the vengeance trail in that beautiful final scene with Sandor in S8e5, followed by her attempts to rescue civilians as she ran with them through Dany’s Inferno, capped off her “rehumanization arc” quite nicely.

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    10. mau,

      ”I think, ironically, The Broken Man speech didn’t belong in “The Broken Man” episode, because that speech was about horrors of war and speech Rey gave was about redemption and second chance, which served purpose in Sandor’s story.”

      Fair enough.
      I guess I was just a little disappointed that the impressive speech from the books didn’t make its way into the show.

      Hmmm. I’m curious. (I’m not disputing what you’re suggesting.) Where in 802 or 804 do you think the book version of the speech would have been appropriate?
      I liked Arya’s reconciliation with Sandor on the WF battlements in 802 (“I fought for you, didn’t I?)
      Wouldn’t dialogue about the horrors of war have been out of place in an episode in which humanity was preparing for a great war?
      Maybe 804 would’ve been a good place, e.g., when Dany was pushing the exhausted, depleted alliance armies to march south to go to war against Cersei? Arguably, despite Dany’s assistance in fending off the AotD and Jon’s unilateral subjugation of the North to her rule, the Northern armies might have considered Dany’s fight to topple Cersei and seize the Iron Throne as “someone else’s war” – with the prospect of mass casualties on top of the thousands of men already killed in the defense of WF.

      Nevertheless, screen time was at a premium. I wonder if there was enough “space” in S8e4 to insert a long soliloquy and do it justice.

      Ooh! I know! Excise that cackling clown Euron to free up some room! Then, have someone like contrarian Sansa or dubious Tyrion provide some exposition about the horrors of the war that awaited their forces once they reached KL.

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    11. The LightKing:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I agree. It was probably the most brilliant cameo I have ever seen. May be Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss should write some Westworld episodes.

      I stopped watching WestWorld midway through its first season. From the descriptions of the recent cameo by Benioff and Weiss, I was under the impression that their scene was very brief – a one-off goof just for fun. I have not seen it and I have no overwhelming desire to see it.

      If you say without hyperbole that it “the most brilliant cameo [you] have ever seen,” I will defer to your judgment.

      P.S. I am NOT arguing with your assessment of the Benioff & Weiss WestWorld cameo. I just want to share with you for your enjoyment what I thought was a great cameo, by William Hurt in the movie “A History of Violence” (2005).

      [Spoiler Warning ⚠️. If you have not seen the movie and intend to, you may want to forego watching this clip. It’s 1 minute, 40 seconds long. The entire scene may have lasted five minutes max. William Hurt got a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for it nonetheless.]

      ———

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    12. Ten Bears,

      I don’t know where exactly but thematically anti war The Broken Man speech would work perfectly as a set up for anti-war episode like The Bells. That’s why I said 804.

      Maybe Sandor could give that speech to Arya on their jorney to KL. Put that scene between Jaime leaving WF and KL’s negotiation scenes.

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    13. mau,

      I think place for that scene would work well. Jaime leaving WF was really somber scene. So having another somber and dark 5 minutes scene after that with Arya and Sandor would probably fit well.

      Scene about horrors of war just before that scene at KL’s gates, where last desperate attempt to avoid horrors of war failed.

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    14. mau:
      Ten Bears,

      I don’t know where exactly but thematically anti war The Broken Man speech would work perfectly as a set up for anti-war episode like The Bells. That’s why I said 804.

      Maybe Sandor could give that speech to Arya on their jorney to KL. Put that scene between Jaime leaving WF and KL’s negotiation scenes.

      Yeah, 8×04 could’ve worked. Maybe with a 2-3 minute backdrop of freaked out grunts and redshirts getting slaughtered. (As I remember the book speech, it focused on poorly armed “common folk” used as
      cannon fodder by their lords, while the knights got to ride horsies and wear armor.) Professional soldiers like the Golden Company mercenaries or the regulars in the Lannister standing army with their pretty uniforms were kind of different from the rag tag conscripts described in the book’s “Broken Man” speech, if I recall correctly.

      Actually, I like your idea about Sandor giving that speech to Arya on their way to KL. That’d work well.

      Wasn’t the book speech prompted by a question Pod asked Septon Meribald (?) about the Hound? He’d be a good candidate.

      Besides, the dynamic duo only had that one short scene (2 minutes, 20 seconds) as they rode off from WF. [Link below] I enjoyed that scene a lot, especially their inside joke at the end:

      Sandor: “Going to leave me to die again if I get hurt?
      Arya: “Probably.”
      (They both chuckle)

      With Jorah (Iain Glen) and Beric (Richard Dormer) gone, Sandor (Rory McCann) was probably the best “voice” left on the show to deliver such a speech.
      Besides, a speech by Sandor to Arya about the brutality of war would have been a good bookend to their S4e8 conversation on the way to the Vale, in which they were casually talking about killing as if they were chatting about their golf games.

      The only tweak I’d have to your suggestion to place “that scene between Jaime leaving WF and KL’s negotiation scenes“ is that I’d leave those KL negotiation scenes on the cutting room floor. I wanted someone to bitch slap Tyrion to shut him up during his “your baby, your baby” appeals to Cersei. A waste of screen time – especially compared to a hypothetical extended Sandor-Arya scene.

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    15. mau:
      mau,

      I think place for that scene would work well. Jaime leaving WF was really somber scene. So having another somber and dark 5 minutes scene after that with Arya and Sandor would probably fit well.

      Scene about horrors of war just before that scene at KL’s gates, where last desperate attempt to avoid horrors of war failed.

      Edit. I just saw your followup comment (above). Yup. ✅ A scene right before the scene at the city gates “where the last desperate attempt to avoid the horrors of war failed.”

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    16. I really don’t care about “Westworld” that much. It’s pretty much an afterthought now. I gave up after the second episode in the first season and never missed the show at all.

      But it was worth seeing this cameo, if only to also see how fucking stupid people are and how easily they get riled up judging by their utterly idiotic and moronic comments and replies…

      We get it, you hate Season Eight of GOT, or Season Seven, or Season Five to Eight or the entire show and D&D ruined your fragile psyche and shattered your precarious existence. Just an impolite FYI, most of the people who watched and enjoyed the show…don’t give a flaming shit…

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    17. I still haven’t watched the scene. I could right now… Okay, done. That’s the extent of it? It’s not something I’d ever get worked up over. It is a bit goofy I suppose, but even if GoT was currently running I don’t believe I’d care.

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    18. I think the criticism of the cameo is dumb and over-dramatic.
      I also think the reaction of the criticism is dumb and over-dramatic.

      Just another day in the “oh no he/she din’t!” era, where everyone feels slighted and disrespected in perpetuity.

      Nothing to see here, folks.

        Quote  Reply

    19. Ten Bears,

      …a speech by Sandor to Arya about the brutality of war would have been…

      … a completely redundant waste of precious screen time, as “brutality of war” was either front and center, or almost always in the backdrop, of the Hound & Pup Road Trip. This point had already been explicitly recalled in the scenes where Hound & Friends find and bury the mortal remains of Rabbit Stew Sally and her dad.

      “Horror and brutality of war” was also delivered full in the face to the audience in the latter minutes of “The Bells,” which included Arya desperately trying to escape Dany’s Inferno and the Hound throwing his life away to kill a man who was already dead.

      Even worse, having *any* male character deliver such a speech to a female graduate of the HoB&W would have been the absolute height of Mansplaining.

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    20. Tensor the Mage, Who Knows A Tavern-Told Tale or Two,

      From: Ten Bears, Whose Words Carry the Same Iron of Life…and Death

      By definition, any dialogue between Sandor and Arya could not be “a completely redundant waste of precious screen time.” I’d pay good money to watch those two insult and curse each other for an entire episode.

      Really now… It would be “the absolute height of Mansplaining” for Sandor to give the Broken Man-type speech to “a female graduate of the House of Black & White”?

      She kind of dropped out of Murder University before earning her degree, so she wasn’t really a “graduate.” Still, no need to quibble over such technicalities. In my show canon + head canon I’ll assume she was bestowed with an honorable doctorate for dispensing the gift to NK using a nifty dagger flip move she said No One had taught her.

      Couldn’t one argue that Sandor’s final speech to Arya (in S8e5) to urge her to forego revenge and abort her hit on Cersei, was also “mansplaining”? I never perceived any hint of sexism in their interactions. Nor would an iteration of the book’s “Broken Man” speech have come off as “mansplaining” by a mentor in the martial arts to his protege.

      You know what though? I’m going to retrieve and re-read the speech from the books and try to assess if it would have come off as gratuitous if delivered by the “reformed” Sandor to Arya to impress upon her the brutality of war and its corrosive effects on one’s humanity. Because arguably, by S8 Arya was quite experienced in such matters and would not need a lecture.

      And you are right that at least as to Sandor, his evolved perspectives on (and regret for) his own history of brutality ”had already been explicitly recalled in the scenes where Hound & Friends find and bury the mortal remains of Rabbit Stew Sally and her dad.”.

      His guilt and remorse, and the value of helping rather than harming people, were also addressed in Sandor’s talks with Ray in S6e7, with Beric in S6e8, and with Arya herself albeit briefly in S8e2, i.e., fighting for others instead of only for himself.

      (I gotta say though that as always, I admire your counter-arguments and rebuttals. 🧐)

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    21. Clob,

      I’m more surprised that the contrived outrage alluded to in the title post (“George RR Martin reacts to Westworld GoT cameo backlash”) arose from a silly little one-off appearance by Benioff and Weiss in another HBO show ten months after GoT ended, rather than the news that the Big Kahuna himself decided to weigh in.

      Along those lines, for those who’ve been assuming or hoping that George has been in enforced seclusion, hard at work on writing TWOW, his recent Twitter comments suggest he may not be laser-focused on ASOIAF. (He is excited over the debut of an illustrated, re-released edition of “A Storm of Swords.”)

      ————-

      GRRM Twitter

      https://mobile.twitter.com/grrmspeaking

      March 25, 2020

      “Many artists & writers, whose incomes are uncertain at the best of times have been effected by COVID-19. My friends Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman pointed me toward a website to assist creatives: https://artistrelieftree.com
      Check it out… and if your own circumstances allow, donate.”

      ————-
      March 23, 2020

      “The world could use some color right about now. Very excited to debut the cover and some exclusive art from the illustrated edition of A STORM OF SWORDS with beautiful new lithograph like illustrations from Gary Gianni, coming Nov 3!”

      https://bit.ly/39atwKW

      ——
      March 20, 2020

      “Good news, Wild Carders. what better way to spend a day in self-quarantine than reading a great new story?
      And it’s FREE.
      https://tor.com/2020/03/18/the-visitor-kill-or-cure-mark-lawrence/… Check it out.   I think you’ll really enjoy this one.   The Visitor is an amazing character, and Mark’s a wonderful writer.

        Quote  Reply

    22. Ten Bears:

      I enjoy your well-written comments too. I hope other readers do as well.

      By definition, any dialogue between Sandor and Arya could not be “a completely redundant waste of precious screen time.”

      Sure, they had great dialog and delivered it well, but we were not talking about their dialogs, but rather about a speech delivered as a lecture from one to the other. As you noted, “…by S8 Arya was quite experienced in such matters and would not need a lecture.” That’s why it would have been both “the absolute height of Mansplaining,” and “a completely redundant waste of precious screen time.”

      One of the hidden-in-plain-sight delights of Game of Thrones was the sleek economy of storytelling D&D employed. They advanced the story rapidly from the start, adapting GRRM’s sprawling, thousands-of-pages-and-counting epic into something that would fit into a mere 73 hours or so of screen time. Even in dialog scenes between characters who will die long before the end of the tale, one will find information to advance the story, or complete the backstory, or show that different characters have different memories of the same event. Or there will be thematic elements to such a scene which help to compose the overall picture. There is very little wasted or ‘filler’ anywhere in the entire show.

      Any complaint about lack of fan service (e.g., “I would have liked another scene with…”) backhandedly recognizes this tight economy D&D successfully employed. I personally do not believe anything was “missing,” nor do I believe in any need for more seasons, episodes, scenes, or even lines of dialog. (If anything, I would have trimmed or eliminated a few scenes, such as Tyrion’s flop at telling jokes to Grey Worm and Missandei.) Does this leave some viewers wanting more? It certainly does, which is another mark of great storytelling.

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    23. Dame of Mercia,

      Have the people who claim to have special insights into Martin’s mind ever been right about anything? It seems that the people who take Martin at his word about what he thinks & feels are nearer the mark!

      And, man: there is a lot of internet egg on a lot of internet faces from all of those who were convinced that Winds of Winter and Dreams of Spring would come out shortly after the TV series ended!

        Quote  Reply

    24. Wimsey,

      …that Winds of Winter and Dreams of Spring would come out shortly after the TV series ended!

      Yes, the idea that Martin was intentionally keeping those books from his publisher, willfully violating his contract with them in a legally-actionable way, so that the books would be released after interest in them had dropped considerably … for what purpose was he doing this, exactly?

      Certain minds have a tendency to conspiracy theory, even when the conspiracy they posit consists of one guy acting against his own best interest!

        Quote  Reply

    25. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.
      I thought it was really funny.
      I’d think it would be funnier though if Drogon was dead, tongue hang out etc. I was kind of disappointed that he was still alive. If I’m not mistaken the scene may be taken from 7.6.
      It appears that many people take things far too seriously.
      Relax, folks, it’s just TV. It’s not real, Jon and Dany are not real. Geez.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Tensor the Mage, Who Knows A Tavern-Told Tale or Two,

      Reply from: Ten Bears, Who Believes It is Good that Warriors Such as We Meet in the Struggle of Life…or Death

      ”Any complaint about lack of fan service (e.g., “I would have liked another scene with…”) backhandedly recognizes this tight economy D&D successfully employed.”
      ***

      If anything, I would have trimmed or eliminated a few scenes, such as Tyrion’s flop at telling jokes to Grey Worm and Missandei.) Does this leave some viewers wanting more? It certainly does, which is another mark of great storytelling.“

      ——

      I’ll be the first to admit that I’m prone to the “I would’ve liked another scene with…” syndrome. As far as I’m concerned the show should’ve been ASOAAS: A Song of Arya and Sandor.

      I also recognize that there are lots of Theon superfans who loved Alfie Allen’s portrayal, and wished there were more Theon scenes. The same holds true for other characters.

      And yes, I agree a mark of great storytelling is the audience is left wanting more (instead of “enough already!”)

      As it is, if I want to rewatch my two favorite characters I can be content with my own one hour+ “filleted” version of the show:

      While I don’t vouch for the completeness of the following compilation video linked below, and I would have added the explicit callbacks to Sandor in Arya’s S5 “Game of Faces” scene with Jaqen 2.0 and her S6 interrogation by the Waif, I can entertain myself with the scenes collected in the video.

      Regardless of any whinging about the show (e.g., “more Jon & Arya!), I can’t fault the showrunners for any aspect of their portrayal of the story of Sandor & Arya. They did a fabulous job. And yes, I will be “forever grateful” for it.

      Arya & Hound S3-S8
      (1 hr, 13 min)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lFU60FqISo

      From “What in Seven Hells are you doing with the Stark bitch?”

      to…

      You’re the worst sh*t in the Seven
      Kingdoms
      !”

      to…

      Sandor! Thank you.” 😪

      🗡👸🏻💙 🐕🐓🐓 4eva

        Quote  Reply

    27. Efi,

      ”… It appears that many people take things far too seriously.
      Relax, folks, it’s just TV. It’s not real, Jon and Dany are not real. Geez.”

      Yes. You’re right.
      And on that note, I may continue my reply to you from an earlier thread under the GRRM/Tormund coronavirus article. (It’s reached over 400 comments, and our exchange initiated by the song you liked got buried in it…)

        Quote  Reply

    28. Jack Bauer 24,

      Oh okay, now Im more than certain you are just a trolling account HAHAHAH

      Anywho, I dont necessarily understand the backlash, They were just having a little bit of fun with this meta joke, goodness, people are REALLY triggered by everything this days, arent they?

      I get that you were disappointed by seasons 7 and 8, but are they gona have to endure this tsunami of hatred all there lifes? God, thats awful!

      Also guys, PLEASE STAY HOME AND BE SAFE! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES AND YOUR FAMILIES!

        Quote  Reply

    29. Tensor the Mage, Who Knows A Tavern-Told Tale or Two,

      Supplementing my 3/27/20, 7:26 pm reply, in which I wrote:

      ”You know what though? I’m going to retrieve and re-read the speech from the books and try to assess if it would have come off as gratuitous if delivered by the “reformed” Sandor to Arya to impress upon her the brutality of war and its corrosive effects on one’s humanity…”

      So I went back and retrieved and re-read the “Broken Man” speech from the books. I cut and pasted the text of it below.

      I thought the speech wasn’t so much about the horrors of war, as it was a comparison of a common man’s illusions of adventure and glory of war versus the ugly reality of disease, starvation and trauma once he actually experiences war.

      Septon Meribald’s speech explicitly mentioned the Hound: “The singers love to sing of good men forced to go outside the law to fight some wicked lord, but most outlaws are more like this ravening Hound than they are the lightning lord. They are evil men, driven by greed, soured by malice, despising the gods and caring only for themselves. Broken men are more deserving of our pity, though they may be just as dangerous.”

      However, while I still feel that the speech could’ve and should’ve been adapted for Brother Ray in S6e7, I do agree with you that it would have been out of place and inappropriate for a S8 Sandor – Arya scene.

      I also still maintain that the illusion vs. reality of war theme from the book passage was touched on in the friendly Lannister soldiers’ conversation with Arya in S7e1, while Brother Ray’s speech in “The Broken Man” episode, S6e7, focused more on the opportunity to do good deeds to achieve some measure of redemption for prior acts of violence, i.e., that “it’s never too late” to stop killing people, and start helping people. That was also echoed in Beric’s words to Sandor in the next episode, “You can still help a lot more than you’ve harmed, Clegane. It’s not too late for you.”

      Bottom line: The place for the book’s “Broken Man” speech was in S6. By S8 it was too late to shoehorn it in.

      ————————

      The “Broken Man” speech
      (from “A Feast for Crows” Brienne V)

      “Ser? My lady?” said Podrick. “Is a broken man an outlaw?”

      “More or less,” Brienne answered.

      Septon Meribald disagreed. “More less than more. There are many sorts of outlaws, just as there are many sorts of birds. A sandpiper and a sea eagle both have wings, but they are not the same. The singers love to sing of good men forced to go outside the law to fight some wicked lord, but most outlaws are more like this ravening Hound than they are the lightning lord. They are evil men, driven by greed, soured by malice, despising the gods and caring only for themselves. Broken men are more deserving of our pity, though they may be just as dangerous. Almost all are common-born, simple folk who had never been more than a mile from the house where they were born until the day some lord came round to take them off to war. Poorly shod and poorly clad, they march away beneath his banners, ofttimes with no better arms than a sickle or a sharpened hoe, or a maul they made themselves by lashing a stone to a stick with strips of hide. Brothers march with brothers, sons with fathers, friends with friends. They’ve heard the songs and stories, so they go off with eager hearts, dreaming of the wonders they will see, of the wealth and glory they will win. War seems a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know.

      “Then they get a taste of battle.

      “For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after they’ve been gutted by an axe.

      “They see the lord who led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now. They take a wound, and when that’s still half-healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from the marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water.

      “If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron halfhelm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the smallfolk whose lands they’re fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chickens, and from there it’s just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don’t know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they’re fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world . . .

      “And the man breaks.

      “He turns and runs, or crawls off afterward over the corpses of the slain, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. The broken man lives from day to day, from meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them . . . but he should pity them as well.”

      When Meribald was finished a profound silence fell upon their little band. Brienne could hear the wind rustling through a clump of pussywillows, and farther off the faint cry of a loon. She could hear Dog panting softly as he loped along beside the septon and his donkey, tongue lolling from his mouth. The quiet stretched and stretched, until finally she said, “How old were you when they marched you off to war?”

      “Why, no older than your boy,” Meribald replied. “Too young for such, in truth, but my brothers were all going, and I would not be left behind. Willam said I could be his squire, though Will was no knight, only a potboy armed with a kitchen knife he’d stolen from the inn. He died upon the Stepstones, and never struck a blow. It was fever did for him, and for my brother Robin. Owen died from a mace that split his head apart, and his friend Jon Pox was hanged for rape.”

      “The War of the Ninepenny Kings?” asked Hyle Hunt.

      “So they called it, though I never saw a king, nor earned a penny. It was a war, though. That it was.”

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    30. Ten Bears:

      Thank you for quoting “The Broken Man” speech in entirety. Martin grew up in a time when his government was sending men like him to fight in a war it had lied to create, and then not caring for them after they returned “broken,” with what we now call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The difference between story and reality is never more cruel than in war.

      (In case you’re not aware, the “lightning lord” is a book-only appellation for Beric. His shield has the device of two lightning bolts, and he’s known for striking out of nowhere and then disappearing without a trace.)

      Oh, and thanks for giving me a chance to notice yet another thing I had missed. In a scene about the Hound, and therefore tangentially about Arya, Martin slipped in another reference to certain remorseless killers (emphasis added): “…And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world . . .”

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    31. “Then this corner of the internet kind of exploded with reactions ranging from the intended laughter to befuddlement or even anger.”

      It’s unlike people on the internet to be angry.

        Quote  Reply

    32. In case anyone missed this:
      No free Game of Thrones. 😡
      Even so….

      per Variety.com Apr. 2, 2020:

      April 2, 2020

      HBO Will Stream 500 Hours of Free Programming, Including Full Seasons of ‘Veep,’ ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘Silicon Valley’”

      HBO is unlocking its biggest trove of free programming ever — in a goodwill gesture as people look for a diversion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
      The WarnerMedia-owned premium cabler is making almost 500 hours of programming available to stream for free for a limited time on HBO Now and HBO Go services without a subscription, starting this Friday, April 3.

      The list of free programming includes every episode of nine HBO series: “The Sopranos,” “Veep,” “Succession,” “Six Feet Under,” “The Wire,” “Ballers,” “Barry,” “Silicon Valley” and “True Blood.”
      Also streaming for free are 20 Warner Bros. movies in HBO’s current catalog including “Pokémon Detective Pikachu,” “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love”; and 10 HBO documentaries and docuseries including “McMillion$” and “The Case Against Adnan Syed.

      Notably, however, HBO megahit “Game of Thrones” is absent from the free-streaming fiesta.

      The move by HBO to put such a huge amount of original content in front of the paywall effectively serves as a major sampling strategy ahead of WarnerMedia’s scheduled launch of HBO Max in May. HBO Max will include everything on HBO, plus a host of originals, library titles and licensed content — for the same $14.99 monthly price.
      All of the programming will be available to stream without a subscription starting April 3 by downloading the HBO Now or HBO Go apps (or by visiting hbonow.com or hbogo.com). The content will also be made available for free via participating distribution partners’ platforms in the next several days, according to HBO.

      HBO content available to stream without a subscription includes:

      Full Series
      1. Ballers (5 Seasons)
      2. Barry (2 Seasons)
      3. Silicon Valley (6 Seasons)
      4. Six Feet Under (5 Seasons)
      5. The Sopranos (7 Seasons)
      6. Succession (2 Seasons)
      7. True Blood (7 Seasons
      8. Veep (7 Seasons)
      9. The Wire (5 Seasons)

      Warner Bros. Movies
      1. Arthur
      2. Arthur 2: On the Rocks
      3. Blinded By the Light
      4. The Bridges of Madison County
      5. Crazy, Stupid, Love
      6. Empire of the Sun
      7. Forget Paris
      8. Happy Feet Two
      9. Isn’t It Romantic?
      10. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
      11. Midnight Special
      12. My Dog Skip
      13. Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase
      14. Pan
      15. Pokémon Detective Pikachu
      16. Red Riding Hood
      17. Smallfoot
      18. Storks
      19. Sucker Punch
      20. Unknown

      Docuseries and Documentaries
      1. The Apollo
      2. The Case Against Adnan Syed
      3. Elvis Presley: The Searcher
      4. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter
      5. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
      6. Jane Fonda in Five Acts
      7. McMillion$
      8. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
      9. United Skates
      10. We Are the Dream: The Kids of the MLK Oakland Oratorical Fest

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    33. I find it seriously odd that a short Easter Egg cameo like this could cause negative reactions. Especially with a declining show like WestWorld. People need to relax especially with everything going on in the world right now.

        Quote  Reply

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