Headey confirms she’s expecting; George R.R. Martin promises surprising deaths in season 5

Cersei

Congratulations to Lena Headey! The actress confirmed today she is expecting her second child, due this summer.

Headey has a four-year-old son with her ex-husband. Her pregnancy with son Wylie coincided with the filming of portions of season 1 of Game of Thrones.

What does this mean for the show, which will begin shooting season 6 this summer?

Probably not a lot, as far as viewers go. Headey’s condition was disguised during the filming of season 1 with costuming and body doubles with none the wiser. Costumes, doubles and camera shots should do the trick this time as well.

Best of luck to Headey!

And in less joyous news, George R.R. Martin tossed out this ominous warning to Showbiz411 at the Writers Guild Awards last night:

People are going to die who don’t die in the books, so even the book readers will be unhappy. So everybody better be on their toes. David and D.B. (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss co-creators of ‘Game Of Thrones) are even bloodier than I am.

When asked about how many seasons total we can expect, Martin was uncertain, saying, “We will have a 7th, 8th or 9th, no one knows. They only renew one or two seasons at a time. After we do season 6, maybe we’ll get a renewal for 7th and 8th. That all depends, Television is a very changeable medium.”

Head on over to Showbiz411 for the complete interview.

 

312 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Congratulations Lena!!!!!!

      Oh and Hodor!!!

      I think Grey Worm, Hizdar, Yezzan, are all gonna die – probably when Rhaegal and Viserion escape. Also think Ser Alliser and regrettably Edd will die at Hardhome.
      Brienne and Podrick are possabilities too.

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    2. could you guys imagine how scandalous it would be if Nikolaj was the father. omg i would need to grab some popcorn for that.

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    3. We will have a 7th, 8th or 9th, no one knows

      No George. We’re going to have 7. What is it going to take for you to accept this?

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    4. The denial runs deep.

      Reminder in advance to cover your spoilers discussing the death stuff if you’re basing it on filming spoilers or book knowledge. 🙂

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    5. The last time an actress got pregnant on one of Martin’s shows, he brutally killed her off and doomed the series.

      Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

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    6. I’m thinking that Arya kills Meryn Trant instead of Raff (obviously… though who knows, maybe Mace Tyrell is in danger as well), Hizdahr or Grey Worm dies in Daznak’s, either Daario or Jorah die freeing the other two dragons, a few second-tier wildling / NW at Hardhome, one of the Sand Snakes (or Ellaria) during the show’s version of the Queenmaker plot and Myrcella because I anticipate Trystane being involved in a marriage scheme involving Dany, either in the role of Aegon or Quentyn / Arriane. Bronn’s days might also be numbered, which is sad because he probably hasn’t gotten a chance to murder his new wife’s sister yet. It would be a shame to let an ambitious plan go to waste! lol

      I love the idea of GRRM saying that D&D are bloodier than he is. That’s like the black hole calling the black crayon black. lol

      He does need to shake free from the concept of this show running nine seasons, though. The producers have been saying seven for a while now and I can see it stretching to eight max, but I don’t think any HBO drama has ever gone more than 8, let alone a series with a serialized storyline.

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    7. Regarding the pic above (oh you are sly, Sue!), it looks like the full circle of life, with reality and fiction criss-crossing. With every birth there shall be a death. Watch out for valonqars and eunuchs! 🙂

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    8. All I’m picturing is an epic romantic scene after Cercei and Oberyn talk about Marcella on their walk… hehehe… Congrats whoever the daddy is!
      Oh, Lena better put that baby on the Iron Throne! Who needs Dragons and White Walkers, put a Dornish Lannister in charge!

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    9. But who’s the father?! I hope it’s not considered rude, but the fact that there’s no news of a partner in her wiki page has me more curious. It’s cool if she doesn’t like people prying into her personal life, but admittedly it gets people more intrigued. :p

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    10. The other problem with 8 or 9 seasons is keeping the main cast that long. I do think that George has to get out of his denial here: in truth, the show would have to go 20 seasons at the rate he’s working. (Having to add stuff about Arya dealing with menopause in order to kill time would probably start to bore the audience.)

      As for who dies, well, my bet is on incidental or secondary characters who’s roles can be easily taken by other characters. Still, it is a good touch. One of the things that made the Red Wedding so shocking was the brutal killing of Talisa. For the most part, we book readers knew it was coming (although there were a few hold-outs that Talisa was a Lannister plant a la Jeyne Westerling), the brutal fashion of her killing PLUS the added bonus seeing another Ned Stark killed was a real kick in the mid-section for us.

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    11. Darren,

      I think it more probable that

      Tommen pre-deceases Myrcelle. After all, they are doing the prophecy, and that does state that they shall all have gold crowns. Tommen needs to die first for that. Who knows, maybe that will happen this year: I would expect it to happen reasonably early in Winter.

      As for Trystane replacing Aegon, that is silly fan conjecture. It seems to be predicated on the idea that it will be “too late” to introduce Aegon in Season 6. That is errant nonsense. Season 6 is the time to introduce him: he was only an incidental character in Dragons, so it would have been a waste of precious time to include him this year.

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    12. Darren,

      Bronn

      may be in Dorne precisely because he started offing all his relatives; perhaps it was wiser to not be in the capital for a while? There’s no real reason for him to be there otherwise; he wouldn’t be likely to leave his awesome new life.

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    13. I anticipate George is talking about minor characters like what they did a season ago with Grenn and Pyp. I’d be really shocked if they took a major character George plans on having to the end and kill them this season.

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    14. Yung Wolf:
      inb4 everyone starts speculating that Pedro Pascal is the father.

      Ha that was my first thought. They did seem awfully close in pictures. Probably because they’re both quirky and eccentric, flirty thespians.

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    15. per,
      Yeah, that is another good example. Their deaths added a LOT of power to Episode 9. (My wife was almost in tears!) There is still a substantial cast of secondary and incidental characters who’s contributions to the story can be easily taken over by other characters.

      The other thing is that it might provide some early tastes of Winter: anyone offed would be a probable candidate for death there. (Jojen’s death last year orobably answered questions about his fate at the end of Dragons!)

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    16. Darren

      Jorah die[s] freeing the other two dragon

      This is my greatest fear this coming season. I can totally see him trying to do something like that to impress someone else, especially since the original person that does it wasn’t cast.

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    17. Congrats to Headey. As for GRRM, there are 3 huge red flags here:

      1) George seems bitter that the show is passing his writing pace. He knows who dies this season on television. As a result, he is coming very close to the line of spoiling the show. I have predicted in the past that he will actually spoil parts of the end story as “revenge” for the show passing him. Over the last year he has continued to get closer and closer to this tactic.

      2) From the article: “Yeah, it’s the hottest show on TV now, but will it be the hottest show on TV two years from now? Hot shows come and go and television changes, and I’ve lived through that before. I certainly hope that we get to tell the entire story. Because whatever happens with the show I’m going to finish the books, it will be seven books.” It’s almost as if he wishes the show would fail so the books can finish first. That is the subtext of what I get here.

      3) And the show is ending after 7 seasons. He needs to come to terms with this. He is either in denial or just so made about it that he will continue to say there is enough content for 9 seasons. Personally, I want the show to end after 7 seasons. If it goes on too long it would hurt the quality. The main story lines need to end in a reasonable time.

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    18. After GoT ends what does HBO have that’s really good besides possibly True Detective?

      I mean how many people get excited and tune in every week to watch Looking, Girls or shows that IMO were epic fails like The Leftovers.

      I mean what does HBO have that you folks really can’t wait to see besides GoT? Veep? Togetherness? They got nothing IMO.

      Because of that reason I honestly think it’s possible for GoT to last longer then 7 seasons.

      If GoT only lasts 7 seasons it’s because D&D have decided that’s a big enough hunk of time from their lives devoted to all things GoT for 24/7 all day everyday.

      There is no way in hell HBO wouldn’t renew this series for 9 seasons if that is what D&D end up asking for.

      I’m personally worried because their seems to be nothing in the horizon coming to HBO anytime soon.

      An easy remedy for this would be for HBO to start planning some kind of GRRM spinoff series, like Dunk and Egg or some other GoT prequel about Roberts rebellion.

      By doing this HBO can keep all the GoT fanbase on lock while still continuously growing the fanbase at the sametime. Also HBO can rest easy knowing their money spent on another epic production will be a success and pay for itself completely while yielding devidents at the sametime.

      All this makes so much sense to me which is why I think it’ll probably happen.

      If a dumbass like me can figure it out I’m sure an HBO executive can…

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    19. The Bastard,

      You are very much reading what you wish to read in between the lines! I do agree that GRRM is in some denial about the shows hopefully slowing down to let him catch up: but the rest of your interpretations are very subjective.

      All of that written, someone needs to lock him in his house and feed him only broth until he finishes a set of chapters for a protagonist; give him a week off, and then repeat for the next protagonist; week off, repeat.

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    20. Arthur,

      People said the same thing after the Sopranos & Sex and the City era. That there wouldn’t be anything left.

      HBO seems to continue to be fine.

      The show makes sense to go 7 seasons. It is long enough to tell a story without lingering too long. The show runners can’t do it forever and the show would likely suffer without their high quality writing.

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    21. Arthur: After GoT ends what does HBO have that’s really good besides possibly True Detective?

      HBO is always working on new series. Some flop, others succeed. They’ve had a good track record so far. The fact that you and I don’t know what they have in the pipeline is no evidence that they do not have things in the pipeline.

      (The Bastard provides good examples: “the end is near” has been a refrain for a decade now, yet HBO is still going strong.)

      The bigger issue facing HBO and other cable stations is how much longer their business model will remain viable. A lot of it will have to do with whether Net Neutrality laws are made effective in the US. If they are not, then the internet providers (who also are cable providers) will be able to charge more for you existing Internet service under the label “high speed” and sell slow-speed internet at lower rates That will strongly affect what HBO, Showtime, etc., do because that will greatly reduce the market for streaming shows via Netflix and other sources: and thus help subscription rates for HBO, Showtime, etc. On the other hand, if the rules are passed, then the Cable TV package model almost certainly will die out soon: and it will just become cases of production studios (which HBO has become) offering their wares on the Internet at some subscription fee per series or cost per show.

      Obviously, they are hoping to keep the current business model (which is more profitable): but if that doesn’t happen, then the way that HBO, Showtime, etc., do series might well change.

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    22. Most people don’t care if the books are ever finished anymore. As long as they can find out the ending through the television show, that will satisfy the vast majority of fans.

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    23. Wimsey,

      I’m sure that it’ll mostly be secondary characters, but I think anyone who doesn’t have a clear purpose heading into the Winds stories that the show is keeping might have their number come up as well. I don’t think Jorah or Hizdahr will last long into Winds, so the show may decide to off them now to streamline things next season.

      It is a good point the prophecy dictates that Tommen will die before Myrcella in the books, but I think it’s possible she could die first on the show (although Tommen dying this year wouldn’t shock me, I expect him to be killed by Nymeria Sand in Winds). My theory is that the adaptation might take some shortcuts by changing the prophecy (maybe it doesn’t mention crowns, just shrouds) or how the Queenmaker plot goes down (Maggy said the crowns needed to be gold, not Lannister-approved lol). No big deal, it’s all tinfoil with no evidence to base it on anyway.

      Trystane as Aegon the secret Targaryen doesn’t make much sense (the secret Targ card is going to be needed later anyway) and I can see Aegon being introduced off-screen at the end of this season or at the start of Season 6 (the Golden Company was mentioned a few times last year), but I think that they might be heading in the direction of writing him out of the story completely.

      The assumed (mine anyway) macro-storyline for the last two(?) books is Aegon takes the Iron Throne, Dany invades and fights Aegon, the White Walkers invade and anyone still alive fights them. If the show sticks with 7 seasons for 7 books, they’ll need to trim about a season’s worth of storyline to get back on track and merging Aegon and Dany’s invasions might be the way that they do that. Not sure how all the details on that would shake out, but until I see evidence pointing otherwise, I think fAegon’s a book-only storyline.

      KG,

      Makes sense. Or maybe Jaime shows up with a cart full of gold and Bronn tells Lollys that he’s going out to get a pack of cigarettes and he’ll be right back. lol The guys on this show aren’t exactly the best husbands, after all…

      argilac’s antler,

      The dragons need to be freed and I fully expect that the person who frees them will get barbecued (possibly even in that dragon flame shot from the trailer) for their trouble. I doubt it will be an extra or even the new character played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, so it will be someone that’s already established. The most likely candidates (imo) are Jorah, trying to win his way back in with Dany by using the dragons to defeat her enemies or Daario, who is reckless and rumored to be taking a Brown Ben Plumm-ish position on using the dragons to win the war against Yunkai.

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    24. The Bastard:
      3) And the show is ending after 7 seasons.He needs to come to terms with this.He is either in denial or just so made about it that he will continue to say there is enough content for 9 seasons.Personally, I want the show to end after 7 seasons.If it goes on too long it would hurt the quality. The main story lines need to end in a reasonable time.

      Eight seasons tops. It depends on how much content is supposed to wrap up all the story-lines in the show (not the books, obviously). I can see it extending to eight, but not nine.

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    25. Congrats to Ms Heady.

      I’m of the opinion as before, the show will run 8 seasons. No more, as D&D want others things and spend time with their families. It may close on a series of movies, but D&D will just executive produce those. The production crews will probably remain virtually intact, but writing, producing and directing will go to others.
      As for HBO, they have Westworld in the works, and of course future GoT spin-offs, as the tv and movie rights of World of Ice and Fire belong to HBO, for how many years, I have no idea, but Dunk and Egg still belong to George.

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    26. Arthur: I mean what does HBO have that you folks really can’t wait to see besides GoT? Veep? Togetherness? They got nothing IMO.

      I for one am excited about Westworld, that could be fun and so could Dark Tower if they decide to move forward with it. ☺

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    27. Wimsey: The other problem with 8 or 9 seasons is keeping the main cast that long. I do think that George has to get out of his denial here: in truth, the show would have to go 20 seasons at the rate he’s working. (Having to add stuff about Arya dealing with menopause in order to kill time would probably start to bore the audience.)

      A Dream of Spring ends with this passage:

      “And Rickon looked back, on his 96th name-day, wondering about those stories of a vengeful force in the Riverlands…and what happened to that Russian in the Pine Barrens, for that matter.”

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    28. Arthur,

      You’re mistaking HBO’s business model with network television’s business model. HBO sells its product on quality over profit. They’re concerned with keeping their subscribers happy, not with maximizing the amount that they can charge for advertisements.

      I can’t think of one example of HBO keeping a show on the air longer than the show-runners wanted it to. In fact, they have a reputation for keeping unpopular shows on the air longer than profit dictates so that the storylines can be wrapped up (Treme, for example).

      If D&D tell HBO that they need 9 seasons to finish telling the story, it’s likely that HBO will give it to them, but if that was their plan, why would they be taking ginsu knives to the plot of Feast / Dance this year? Imo, it points to them prepping for a 7 season run, with a possibility for extra episodes stretched out Breaking Bad / Mad Men style or 8 seasons.

      The Bastard,

      I don’t buy the GRRM versus D&D concept. It’s easy to hear a quote and jump to a conclusion that you already suspect (what’s the official name for that fallacy, conclusion bias?), but George has always been the show’s biggest cheerleader and there’s no way he’s going to sabotage the show for “revenge” against the show-runners for writing faster than he can. We’re talking about a professional author and executive producer who has a contract with HBO (who owns the rights to all of his ASOIAF materials), not a teenager on facebook, looking to settle a grudge.

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    29. Greatjon of Slumber,

      Nice. Or Bran could have some weird vision that BR would dismiss as a parallel universe or something, while subtly changing the subject.

      I know it was a terrible movie, but in Macgruber there’s a joke where he assembles a super team and then puts them into a van with a bunch of explosives, which then goes off, killing the entire team. Who else would like to see a youtube video with

      Aegon, Jon Connington, Euron and Victarion Greyjoy, Arianne and Quentyn Martell and Lady Stoneheart

      getting on a boat to Westeros that blows up from the Wildfire in the cargo hold? There’s your Season 5 deleted scene for the DVD set. lol

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    30. Lets face it, Game of Thrones could go TWELVE seasons and still finish before GRRM. I don’t think that, by an off the cuff mention of an eighth or a ninth season, he is in any sort of denial. The past three books have taken him a decade and a half to write. Even a ninth season would be in 2019, well before ADOS would be published with his writing pace.

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    31. A longish post for me!

      I figure Trystane being aged up sets him in the Quentyn role of dragonchow.

      Unlike a lot of people, I think Jorah still has a prominent role to play in the story to come. I think he’s the “mount to dread.” Remember how GRRM made a point of how scary he was looking after rejoining the sellswords?

      1. He’s got Tyrion,
      2. He’s got Plumm (there’s nothing that would please Dany more than his head on a plate)
      3. When Plumm is dead, he’s got an entire company of men to bring with him.

      And when he does arrive, he is not going to be taking any of her shit anymore.

      This, I do so predict! (gong sound effect)

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    32. Wow, GRRM needs to give up this 9 seasons dream and start writing his books. Hurry the F up and you won’t have to worry about your ending getting spoiled.

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    33. Ghost,

      Ghost:
      Wow, GRRM needs to give up this 9 seasons dream and start writing his books. Hurry the F up and you won’t have to worry about your ending getting spoiled.

      That ship has sailed. Nine seasons is only four years away. No matter what the show will outpace him to the end. My opinion is that he said nine because he doesn’t really know, but doesn’t think seven seasons is enough. None of us know the outline for the rest of the series.

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    34. Greatjon of Slumber:…and what happened to that Russian in the Pine Barrens, for that matter.”

      Speaking of loose ends…. 🙂

      Actually, didn’t you see him sitting in the Crossroads Inn near the bathroom just before everything went dark? Or was that Blackfish?

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    35. I will be devastated if the show will go 7 seasons I will be full of joy if it goes 8 I will be annoyed if it goes 9 I will be in heaven with 8 seasons and 1 movie. I know I won’t ever like any show as much as this one and I want it to go on as long as possible but I also don’t want it to lose quality or have a…..dexter 8th season. Come on true blood got 7 seasons and over 80 episodes you’re telling me got will have less than that?! I noticed not many hbo shows ever went over 7 seasons I think only entourage had 8 but GOT also has only ten episodes a season so I’m fine with a 20 episode 7th season 🙂

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    36. The final 2 books could each be 1,500 pages and a 1 season might be enough to cover each one.

      I assume a huge battle happens in the last book. It could take 500 pages to talk about the entire battle, and it would only take 2 or 3 episodes to show it. It is the character building that takes the large amount of time on screen. And that happens in the earlier seasons.

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    37. KG,

      I would modify that:

      Trystane probably is going to be an amalgam of Arianne and Quentyn. As I am fond of joking, they made one good protagonist between the two of them!

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    38. Darren,

      I think it is pretty clear what is going on. GRRM has given the finger to his fan base. He has consistently talked about more seasons then the show runners have said they will do. He is grasping at straws because the show is going to finish before him.

      And my theory about him ruining the show in some capacity…. Look at the last year of him making comments. Slowly he is increasing what he is spoiling about the show. It is getting increasingly worse over time. I don’t think it is anything personal with D&D. He is just mad at the situation.

      When you add both of those things together, it is heading towards a bad outcome.

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    39. The Bastard,

      “Look at the last year of him making comments. Slowly he is increasing what he is spoiling about the show. It is getting increasingly worse over time.”

      I don’t follow you here. What comments are you referring to? He’s given the finger to his fan base?

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    40. The next time D&D kill off a major character that isn’t dead in the books, it will be a first. So far the list is Mago,Irri,Rakkharo,Talisa(Jeyne),Pyp,Grenn, and their ilk. I see that continuing. My best guesses are:

      Trant(for sure),Ser Alliser, and Sweet Robbin. The biggest character I could see would be Grey Worm or Daario. Bronn is too entertaining for D&D to want to kill off.

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    41. The Bastard,

      GRRM has spoiled nothing. He has teased us and provided another reason for (non-fundamentalist) book readers to look forward to the new season. But none of us are any the wiser about what will happen.

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    42. Wimsey,

      GRRM used to be very tight lipped about the upcoming story. Then last year he started to give details out about book 6 and talk about how more characters would be killed. He even referenced how characters being together in the same place would allow him to do this,

      Now he is going into the show and talking about more characters being killed who aren’t killed in the books yet.

      He also went out about Robb Starks’ widow and how she will be in the book in the future.

      Since the news of the show going only 7 seasons came out, GRRM has absolutely been much more free flowing about information not yet published or seen in the show.

      And my prediction is that it will get even worse as we get farther along.

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    43. Wimsey,

      Definitely, but there aren’t many characters in her storyline. Book-Robin is a goner for sure, but Show-Robin might be replacing Harry The Heir (though he wasn’t in the trailer). Brienne and Pod are probably going to interact with Sansa early this season, but then go elsewhere. Littlefinger is going to King’s Landing at some point this season. Other than the Lords Declarant from last season, who else is there to kill in her storyline?

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    44. The Bastard,

      He was giving the finger to people, were asking what would happen should he die before finishing the brooks. It had nothing to do with the show in particular, people have been asking that rude qustion long before it even started.

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    45. Abyss,

      I never said him giving the finger had anything to do with the show. I said he gave the finger to his fanbase, since almost everybody has questioned him finishing the books in a timely manner.

      It is just another sign he is not doing well…..

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    46. The Bastard,

      I did find the video you’re referring to. So what? The type of fans who would hound him about his age and weight deserve to be flipped off. It’s not like he’s going to ruin his series just to get even with them.

      As for the other examples, that sounds like him promoting The Winds Of Winter to me. Martin offering up that “characters will die” as a spoiler is like the weatherman telling me that “January will be cold” is spoiling winter for me. Killing beloved characters is GRRM’s brand and he’s just throwing raw meat to his fans to keep them interested. If he ever mentions any specific characters that he’s killing off or how, you may be on to something, but for now, I think you worry too much.

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    47. Darren,

      I’m not worried. The show will finish first and I think that is a great thing.

      And why would he be promoting an upcoming book when he hates people asking him when it would be released? Makes no sense. Additionally, he is giving very specific contexts for how he can kill of characters.

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    48. The Bastard,

      Well, cross-promotion for the book and the show anyway. Specific contexts? Are you referring to him saying that he can kill characters off because their storylines are coming together so he doesn’t need as many POV characters or something else? If it’s just that, I don’t think he’s really revealing much, just teasing possibilities. By the end of Dance and the Winds preview chapters, we can see many of the storylines weaving together in the direction of an end-game, so I think it’s still very general to say that this will allow him to kill off more characters.

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    49. argilac’s antler:
      Darren

      This is my greatest fear this coming season. I can totally see him trying to do something like that to impress someone else, especially since the original person that does it wasn’t cast.

      No please! No my bear!
      Praying for D&D to spare my bear! He hasn’t gotten his kiss yet for God’s sake!

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    50. Wimsey,

      I think you’re right about the early deaths in Sansa’s storyline- I certainly think Sweet Robin will be moving to the nightlands very soon but I have a funny feeling that Littlefinger, at the hands of Sansa could be the big death of season five. Considering that Littlefinger’s main purpose in the story is destroying the Starks and he’s pretty much achieved that goal, I’m really not quite sure what’s left for him to do other than be brought down and then die. The only thing I can think of is if he makes an alliance with Aegon by having Sansa marry him which I think has a less than 5%chance of happeni g in the book.
      A possible scenario could be- Brienne and Pod come across Sansa and Littlefinger in the Vale, Sansa rejects Brienne and Littlefinger has them thrown out of the Vale and they travel to the riverlands where they are captured by the BWB, amongst them are LS and the Blackfish. Upon hearing that Sansa is alive in the Vale but is with Littlefinger, the Blackfish travels to the Vale where he finds Sansa, along with Littlefinger and possibly one or more of the Lords Declarent. Blackfish, knowing the extent of Littlefinger’s betrayal of the Starks, tells Sansa everything and a trial ensues where Littlefinger is found guilty. I would love it if the final scene of the season is Littlefinger being executed the Stark way by having Sansa executing him herself ( possibly opening his throat with a dagger)
      rather than some random executioner doing it. Of course I’m possibly completely wrong but it’s always fun to speculate!!!

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    51. Josla,

      I love showMormont – Iain Glen has made him such a sympathetic character who you really warm to despite the betrayals. I think it’s all in that deep soft voice!
      BookMormont is harsher, far less likeable, and a bit pathetic. No less interesting for it, though.

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    52. I can see GRRM being irked that him finishing AFTER the show may affect his sales of the books…but talk of revenge, sabotage, etc. is tinfoil hat conspiracy nonsense. With the amount he writes, it could easily go 9 seasons and still be good, unfortunately, I think the limiting factor for the show is ultimately going to be the show runners…the workload they’ve taken on is enormous and they obviously don’t want to drag it out any longer than is necessary.

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    53. I think the dragons will have wargs to get them out of the catacombs. The wargs, or warg (it could even be Danerys), would also be able to control them so they would be useful.

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    54. Wimsey:
      I do think that George has to get out of his denial here: in truth, the show would have to go 20 seasons at the rate he’s working.(Having to add stuff about Arya dealing with menopause in order to kill time would probably start to bore the audience.)

      LOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL !!!!!

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    55. for me people who are predicting that jorah or darrio will be dead by trying to free dragons are not paying attention to the castings and how the show is making the whole scene and dont understand the characters in that arc ..

      its not so much that they are predicting the death of jorah(who still has more story to go jeor’s final wish and dany’s promise comes to mind) that bothers me ..but the way they predict its like sam gets killed by ghost ..

      that particular scene will be done by the masters who tries to kill them when their mother is in the pit facing the SOH…the names EATON and burnt bodies were cast for no other reason

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    56. greywind’s ghost,

      I dunno about the Baelish theory, I think he’s got a part to play in exacting revenge on the lannisters/bolting/freys for the killing of Cat, who knows what’s happening I just know I can’t wait to find out

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    57. My biggest worry is for

      Barristan

      – he has been massively side-lined in the show vs the book; in show world he is quite incidental in his current surroundings, and perhaps most worryingly

      is not in Daznak’s pit in the photos we’ve seen – has he already been killed by this point? Will they even give his role in Dragons to Daario?

      That would upset me greatly!

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    58. Yung Wolf:
      inb4 everyone starts speculating that Pedro Pascal is the father.

      The son of Pedro and Lena will be the Stallion who Mounts the World.

      btw,

      Bronn is going to die in Dorne,

      and that will break my heart D:

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    59. Marry Me Natalie,

      They’re all certainly possible scenarios, however I think that he’s well and truly moved on from Cat and is totally revoltingly lusting for Sansa and I think that the Lannisters, Boltons and Freys will be taken out by other characters, although in Roose’s case I think he’ll last deep into A Dream of Spring as I think he has an important role in the overall story’s endgame. I really do believe that Littlfinger’s gunna be taken out much earlier than people expect and it’s gunna happen this season!

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    60. Congrats to Lena! Such a beautiful lioness will have without any doubt a beautiful, cute lion cub.

      KG,

      I hope you’re right! Given that

      Jorah is still alive by the end of ADWD and has a lot to say in the battle of Mereen, why would D&D kill him this season? Who’s going to command her army in westeros? Daario? I very much doubt the sellsword is going to follow her to the wall. Selmy? He’s MIA in the Daznak’s scene but he’s alive right before it (as seen in the trailer), I fear he may be one of those who’s not going to make it to the end of the season. Tyrion is a strategist, not a warrior… So I hope we still have Jorah around for a while.

      I don’t think any of the main characters (who are still alive in the books) will die this season. People are very invested in those characters, and I’m sure S5 can be shocking enough if they just use the best of AFFC/ADWD. I don’t think the series’ rankings will suffer this season either, after all it isn’t flawless tv but it’s very good tv, and it has a huge fan base, so no need to give away a major spoiler from TWOW just to keep people watching the show. GRRM is just teasing us (and maybe throwing some shade on D&D?)

      And I hope the series goes to S7-S8 maximum. I want my not-happy ending sooner than later (don’t want to wait 6-10 more years until the release of ADOS), and I don’t want the producers to stretch the plot for three seasons. I’ll affect the quality for sure.

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    61. KG,

      Lollys’s been cast, so they’ll do something with Bronn’s story from the books. Whatever it is, it has to happen in one or two episodes, because by episode three they’re already on the move.

      Wimsey,

      Doesn’t the Queenmaker plot, though a failed plot, count as Myrcella being crowned? If not, yeah, I hadn’t even considered it, but Tommen must die first and Myrcella, who will be conveniently back in the capital, will be crowned.

      Oh, and one of our major disagreements: Aegon. If anything, he should’ve been introduced (and, yes, given something to do) earlier, both in the books and in the show. Or not introduced at all. As I see it, if he’s not in season five, as all evidence suggests, we’ll never see him. At least, I hope so: introducing such a major character, a new (claimed) Targaryan conqueror (who invades Westeros just after meeting him, when we’ve been waiting for Dany to do the same for five books), and most crucially, introducing him only a season before the show ends… sorry, but no, I don’t think so. He’s already too much of a “Targaryan Ex Machina” in the books; the lack of foreshadowing so far and delaying him to season six would only aggravate that problem, in my view.

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    62. Darren,
      argilac’s antler,

      Actually, we can be almost sure that’s not the case. Won’t be Jorah, Barristan, or Grey Worm. Surprisingly, it will be extras.

      Two slave masters were cast exactly for that purpose. We don’t know their motivations (killing the dragons, I’d assume), but the fact is one of them ends up eaten and the other one burnt. And we’re sure they’re not Drogon’s victims at Daznak, because one of them’s been cast as “Catacomb Master.”

        Quote  Reply

    63. Arthur,

      Arthur:
      After GoT ends what does HBO have that’s really good besides possibly True Detective?

      I’m personally worried because their seems to be nothing in the horizon coming

      Keep an eye out for Utopia , it was amazing on Channel 4 in the UK and I imagine a HBO version with a bigger budget could be spectacular.

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    64. Darren:

      Martin offering up that “characters will die” as a spoiler is like the weatherman telling me that “January will be cold” is spoiling winter for me.

      It may not spoil your Winter, but as an Australian it’d certainty spoil my Summer.

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    65. Luka Nieto,

      I totally agree with you re

      Aegon. I really don’t know what to think about Aegon’s absence in S5. Isn’t his storyline important enough, if only because Daenerys has to choose between duty and her own ambition?
      All I know is that, if he’s not introduced by S5, they better not introduce him at all. We’ve been told that Daenerys is the only “official” targaryen heiress. For five years people have waited for her to arrive to westeros. They may like her or hate her but they’ve known from the very beginning that she’s one of the main players in this game. If I were an Unsullied and Aegon appeared suddenly in S6 just before the big war in the north, I’d be totally pissed off. It’d look like a cheap story twist. “Look! We’ve got one more targaryen. He’s been hiding for five years and now that things are getting crazy up here, he’s come to kick some ass. He’s just been trained and educated properly and thoroughly, that’s why it took him so long to appear!”
      By S6, I wouldn’t want to spend time getting to know new characters. I’d expect just the different storylines to meet and be streamlined so we have a proper, clean ending in S7.

      I know GRRM started writing fiction so he could add as many characters as he wanted, without the natural constrictions of a TV show/movie. But now it turns out we’re talking about a TV show (the books are just a hope of spring in the future), and I don’t think adding main characters at the end of a tv show works at all. It didn’t work for me with the books, either.

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    66. If you total the number of pages of material contained around the various fan-sites, and condensed them into a formula that works…..?
      Considering how much speculation there’s been concerning fan theories about heritage and ancestry, and all the future speculation for character arcs…..?

      Best guess = approximately 4 clear variants for ending the books. There will be sub-levels of these, but I’d go along with bringing like and similar together in a cohesive form.
      How many pages? In print? Let’s go with the quotes bandied about and comparison to previous books. 1500-1750 pages for each.

      What would we have? In summary?

      (1) The Battle of Fire – to sort out Meereen. Let’s not have just 1 piddly mushy battle. It cries out for more. Take back Astapor, and install a proper protectorate for the people. Take back Yunkai, and leave the people feeling truly liberated. On to Meereen, where there’s been various skirmishes going on for years. It’ll be bloody! It’ll be messy! F-U if you’re on the wrong side!
      That won’t be the end of matters. Dany still needs to learn what rule means.
      (2) The Battle of Ice – to begin the winning back of The North. While some see this as one almighty battle, it isn’t happening, folks. Battles in blizzard conditions? It’s a game of cat and mouse, prod and poke. First, there will a skirmish over a stretch of ice covering water. That’ll deal with a selection of those even Roose wants to be shut of. Next comes the taking of Winterfell – and Stannis shows Roose what it’s all about. One problem: it’s as tough on those outside as it is on those inside Winterfell. This will be very unglamorous but totally unavoidable. Winter is upon all those wrapped up in this.

      I’m not using the spoiler tags for those because there are so many theories and scenarios out there, why bother? They’re available for anyone to read. You’ll find plenty of vid-theory too.

      This is getting the spoiler treatment….? No, because the same applies. Also, none of this has appeared on page yet (or been presented in the show for that matter).
      Enter The Legions of The Damned (aka The Others)!!!
      There’s a scene in World War Z that would fit here. It’s over the dead that The Undead will rise and scale The Wall. You can guess the rest? Maybe there is a POV to be introduced? How else would we see what’s going on within the ranks of The Others? Unless…..
      Where has Benjen been? Mystery potentially solved?
      Does it make sense that someone will track where The Others are? I’m not talking about White Walkers or Wights. I’m not even talking about the guy and his gang revealed on the show that time. He looked more like a wizard, to match the likes of Melissandre.
      The real seat of power behind these most mysterious of creatures hasn’t been seen in books or on the show. (Leave your protests aside, and think for a moment. Was it that big a deal? Why reveal who The Others are that soon in the show?) Does it make sense to have a match for The Night’s Watch within the ranks of The Others?
      Think about this for a moment – Hadrian’s Wall isn’t the only one in that area, marking the border between Scotland and England. There is another. It makes sense for some kind of guarding obstruction somewhere in the Lands of Always Winter. It’s a tactic adopted by some forces with ring fences and defence lines for major battles from ancient times all the way through to just prior to the time of Oliver Cromwell.

      There will be one almighty WAR not battle: The War to end all wars. The War for….. Night or Day, Winter or Summer…… The casualty list will be mighty huge. You’ll hardly recognise anywhere once it ends. All wars do end. None last for eternity.
      Say farewell now to all those characters you’ve come to love.
      Say farewell now to all those you’ve come to hate with equal or more passion.
      Not even D&D can count the number of the fallen. GRRM simply gives up, just saying some off-the-cuff line, when he’s really holding all the aces….

      Rickon doesn’t wake from a dream at the close of the final book. Only the silverfish remain….. to begin the cycle all over again. To evolve as everything is predestined to evolve. To ultimately destroy all it builds up, all over again.

      Piss on that fire! I want an almighty conclusion with lots of idiocy, connivance, betrayal, denial, kinslaying, kingslaying, queenslaying….. The bittersweet ending to beat all others into submission!

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    67. KG,

      I agree that Bronn is a possibility. As far as we know, Lollys could appear in one episode right before he leaves for Dorne. Dany’s entourage is too large now that Tyrion and Jorah are there. One or two have to die; I’m guessing Barristan or Grey Worm. Hizdahr could easily be eliminated as well. I also think that Jorah has a greater role to play so he will be around for awhile. Knowing so little about Brienne and Pod’s story line, it seems that one or both of them could go.

      Congrats to Lena!
      GRRM’s denial about 7 seasons is astounding.

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    68. very worried about Stannis especially after checking out news report about Stephen Dillane’s future work this year. I always believed Stannis survived War of Ice in TWoW, at least in some sort.

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    69. H. Stark,

      Season 6’s to be written soon, so they’d better iron out the TWOW details with GRRM. Glad to hear that’s exactly what happened.

      Also, The Bastard, is he also distancing himself from the show in this interview, somehow? He still talks about the project as if he were a part of it, he met with D&D and Bryan Cogman to help outline Season 6… but yeah, I’m sure he secretly hates it.

      BTW, “The Sand Snakes will be big this year.” So, not small roles. Not that it actually was a possibility, but still.

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    70. Waxfoot,

      Also, book!Jorah is not quite as pretty. Ian Glen may be older, but he’s hot, so many viewers ship it more than book readers would, I guess – which makes me think they will milk his story a bit more.

      As for who dies, I think

      one of the sand snakes may be up for slaughter, in place of Arys. That way, if anyone dies in Dorne, we would not need to loose the fun that is Bronn and we would still have Jaime to be the valonquar. Although, without Tyrion, does the story as it is on the show still need Bronn?

      I think the idea that Myrcella dies has merit. Yes, she doesn’t have a crown yet, but the show could easily work around that, either by chaning the wording of the prophecy or by having the sand snakes put a crown on her somehow, if only by calling her “the rightful queen” and giving her a diadem.

      As for other “early” deaths, I’m thinking Stannis. That would be a shock since he has been a major player since season 2, but once Winterfell falls, and once Mel turns her sights on Jon, he’ll become less significant. The problem with that is that someone has to continue the Northern storyline on the anti-Bolton side, and we probably won’t see Manderly (which is the the worst cut for me – I couldn’t care less for LS or the nuncles). So maybe not Stannis, Idk.

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    71. Luka Nieto,

      I really enjoy that folks project their own feelings on to others. Are you a personal acquaintance of GRRM as to know his inner feelings? Oh well. Haters gonna hate.

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    72. TFT:
      Arthur,

      The Leftovers wasn’t a fail. Great show.

      I really liked it too. It was weird and I really don’t know why I liked it to be honest but I agree that it was not a fail. It kept me curious and wanting more…

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    73. Patchy Face,

      I thought he was pointing out pertinent facts to be honest not projecting he’s feelings: Martin still talks about the show as he’s part of the team and he met once more with Cogman to iron out S6 details. It doesn’t look (according to these facts) that Martin “hates” the show and Luka was sarcastic in the end with “yeah, I’m sure he hates it”.

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    74. The elephant in the room that no one seems to be taking about
      is the Daenerys storyline

      people are not going to wait 9 seasons just to see Daenerys finally get to westeros and D&D are smart enough to realize that

      Daenerys story can only be dragged out for so long but eventually people will get tired of seeing her sit around doing nothing and that will start to affect the tv shows ratings ( especially if they are trying to do 9 or 10 seasons)

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    75. H. Stark

      That’s a good sign, since it means that GRRM is still working with them to keep season 6 as faithful to the future books as can realistically can be. He could have just cut them off in hopes of forcing them to diverge from his material and keep his books as fresh as possible, but I’m glad to see he cares more about working with them. I’m sure he’s not happy about changes and about them passing him, but I think he’s come to accept it at least, and isn’t bitter at them.

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    76. afeastfordances,

      It’s certainly good to see he’s still closely collaborating with them, even though he has no time to write a script. Some book readers want the show to diverge completely from the books so that it doesn’t spoil TWOW, but I myself will be happier if the show keeps following the outline of events and character developments of the novels, even if big changes are bound to happen.

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    77. Luka Nieto,

      Well the showhas been slowly departing from the books since season one and has increased in popularity. Some will even say that the seasons have gotten better as well. If D&D can make S5 the best yet, then it would be perfectly natural for GM to feel some sort of resentful jealousy and or protectiveness toward any modification or success of his “baby”, published or in theory only, that he has little control over.

      However, I am sure he is looking at the big picture and knew full well that this would happen when he cashed in his muse.

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    78. Luka Nieto,

      Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of that, but I would be disappointed if GRRM went that way. Given the phrasing, I would accept something like Viserys fate for her (following the words but not the meaning), but this would be the opposite: following the implications and not the words. Prophecies usually are ironic and do exactly what they say, and not what you think that they mean!

      Still, you might be correct. I will caveat my assumptions accordingly from hereon!

      Spaniard SheBear,
      Regarding YG, the show has followed a pattern of introducing new characters in the season when they become relevant rather than when they appear in the books. This is in big part book vs. screen differences. One, TV & film have to employ actors: and that is a non-trivial cost. So, hire people to play Jojen, Meera, Oberyn, etc., when they become necessary, and not before. Books, on the other hand, do not: at worst, there is a small increase in publishing costs for extra pages.

      Two (and a sort of corollary to that), books can (sometimes!) “warm up” the reader to characters that become relevant later in the story or series and develop them some before they become important. Thus, the same “instant development” that the books and show used for Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon were immediately were used for Oberyn, Jojen & Meera, Davos, etc.

      Third (and a sort of corollary to both above!), TV and book audiences have different expectations. In books, you always have to have named characters around the protagonists: you cannot write a “Greek Chorus.” Therefore, we know that there will be a lot of names that do not mean much. On TV and film, people expect developed characters to amount to something that season: it’s basically a Chekhov’s Rule that applies to film and stage that doesn’t apply to books. (Cedric Diggory didn’t have to have a payoff in the Prisoner of Azkaban book; he did if he had been in the Prisoner movie.)

      The upshot? YG was never going to be in this season. He’s an incidental character with no payoff at the end. In the few similar cases so far, the characters were “postponed” and he would be, too. Moreover, there is an advantage to this: in the books, YG is/will be a big surprise for all of the protagonists save one in Winter. By withholding him until Season 6, he will be the same surprise for the audience that he is for the characters, and that will make it easier for them to walk in the characters’ shoes.

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    79. Season Five will be the moment D & D jump the shark. They are going to ruin this show in spectacular fashion and I will be there to tell you “I Told You So.”

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    80. Al Swearengen,

      You’ll say “I told you it’d be shit” anyway, regardless of how the critics and the audience rate the season, so you may as well say it now. It will be just as valid and ring true in just as many ears.

      I really don’t know what you get out of this —watching the show, interacting with the fandom. If you think the show is shit or it will be shit, why not save yourself the trouble and stop watching?

      Wimsey,

      Your arguments are sound, but don’t you think there is something to say about Aegon being perceived as a sort of Deus Ex Machina? Aegon being introduced in season six would mean giving us a new major character and throne contender in the second to last season, even later than the books. He’d be introduced invading Westeros, when we’ve been waiting five years for Dany to do the same.

      Anyway. Assuming you’re right and he’ll appear in season 6, you think it will be kept an absolute secret during season 5? Because, in my opinion, if neither Varys or Illyrio give any hints about Aegon in season 5, I will then be 100% sure he’s cut. What about you?

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    81. Rygar,

      I had hoped that was just a momentary glitch in the Matrix, but alas D & D turned out to be as incompetent as I feared 🙁

      Penny Dreadful > Black Sails > GOT

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    82. Luka Nieto: Season 6’s to be written soon, so they’d better iron out the TWOW details with GRRM. Glad to hear that’s exactly what happened.

      From what we have been told, B&W already know the general plot synopses and the stories for WoW and DoS, and they have known them for some time. Again, the demands of book -> screen adaptation mean that the exact plots they use will not be the same: characters will be condensed, plot lines will be amalgamated, etc., but it will be with an end game of the same conclusions and the same story (or stories if Winter & Spring tell different stories).

      In terms of GRRM supposedly distancing himself from HBO, if anything, then the opposite is true. We have read several times that the higher-ups at HBO are not happy about GRRM’s failure to complete the last two books. This is a weird circumstance for a production studio: ordinarily, they would fire a writer who failed to deliver the goods like this. However, “buying the rights” and “hiring to write” are two different things!

      Still, HBO would love it if Winds of Winter came out soon. That is essentially free advertising for the series (not that it needs it anymore). Obviously, this will not be like Harry Potter books coming out: but it will be an event nonetheless.

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    83. Luka Nieto,

      An interesting thought. In a way, though, isn’t

      Aegon more of a Spanner Demon in the Machine rather than God as Machine? OK, he might solve some problems: but for every problem he solves, he will create many more! My honest expectation is that Aegon is going to be the sand-grain around which the pearl of Winter’s story and basic plots form. I do not think that Aegon is ever going to be a main character. However, his arrival is going to precipitate the actions of the all of the main characters. Moreover, I can see it causing a lot of division among them when people are forced to choose between Aegon and Daeny: even though those people would prefer to be on the same side as both. And, of course, how Stannis fits into this will be critical. In particular, I can see the three “at large” Starks winding up on three different sides: Aegon’s, Daeny’s and Stannis’. Jon could wind up being an even bigger wild-card emerging from Aegon’s arrival once we learn that he and Aegon are basically brother’s: basically, Aegon could come to represent Robb in Jon’s mind!

      Moreover, if Varys and Illyrio do not give any hints, then I will not be surprised. They gave no hints in the books, after all: their intention seems to have been for Tyrion to learn when the rest of the world did, not work it out for themselves.

      The reason why I have a hard time thinking that B&W will cut this is simple: this is the sort of stuff that these audiences love. Sibling against sibling, friendly enemies, etc. The only way I can see them cutting it is if: they go straight to the Walkers vs. R’hllor vs. Trees Battle, which I expect to induce similar “on which side should I stand?” dilemmas. We don’t know what the White Walkers are or what they represent: but my guess is that once the characters learn, then they are going to take different sides OR at the very least have very mixed feelings about what they are doing. It’s not going to be Good vs. Evil by any means. The one hint that this is what they might be doing is:

      reports that Jon is carried off by White Walkers at the end of the season.

      Of course, there are multiple scenarios that might match as well, so it’s no proof.!

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    84. ProfessorArtNerd: I still read “gold shall be their crowns” to refer to cersei’so kids’ hair color, not literal crowns

      It’s a lame prophecy that has only one literal meaning! Double entendres are all the rage in prophecy land. Moreover, the first meaning (golden hair) is a good disguise for the second meaning (wearing golden crowns of state): it hides the fates implied by the line.

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    85. Wimsey,

      So on your eyes the YG speculation will keep on until Season 6 airs in 2016, then? That’s almost exhausting to think about 😛

      Anyway, you may be right. We’ll have to wait and see. Wait a lot.

      P.S. When I wrote “Deus Ex Machina” I knew I wasn’t using it properly. You’re right: YG solves nothing; he complicates things. Still, my point was he comes out of nowhere.

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    86. Luka Nieto: Anyway, my point was he comes out of nowhere.

      True, he does. However, insofar as all of the main characters in the book are concerned, he is going to come out of nowhere in Winter. And, let’s face it, he comes out of nowhere for one character in Dragons. At some point, he comes out of nowhere!

      However, I think that our speculation will end with the casting for Season 6 is announced. If he’s not mentioned at that time, then he is out.

      (That written, having binge-watched the entire series, he is mentioned a bit, directly or indirectly. The audience will not remember details the way the fans do, but they will remember the general Czar’s family scenario with only a little prompting.)

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    87. Al Swearengen,

      I guess it never occurred to me until now, but I finally realized you are not even being serious with your posts. You are playing the role of a troll. If you are being serious, which I doubt, then at least I know your opinion of quality TV is shit.

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    88. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Ditto. Just had the same realization. It’s all an act! And if it’s not, I feel sorry for him.

      Wimsey,

      Dunno… last season they had the perfect opportunity to at least say his name, during one of many of Oberyn’s speeches about Elia and their children. I was surprised it didn’t happen. It’s just a small detail, I know, but that one among with many others are what leads me to think the character is cut.

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    89. Luka Nieto: Dunno… last season they had the perfect opportunity to at least say his name, during one of many of Oberyn’s speeches about Elia and their children.

      The reference to the children was the important part. In fact, that was the most important part! People would not remember the names of the kids. They will, however, remember that there were children killed and that those were children of the royal family. That makes them think of things like the Czar’s family: and once you have that in their minds, then an Anastasia is easy to remember.

      Indeed, given the many references to Oberyn’s nieces and/or nephews last year, I would say that they are almost a gun on the wall at this point! (If we get multiple references to them this year, then I’d raise that to a gun on the wall, even if neither are named more than once.)

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    90. Luka Nieto,

      Do you know, one thing occurs to me: I have no idea why they would do it, but given the way the show is set up, there is no reason why the daughter could not be used instead of the son. I’m not speculating that they are: but it’s very general right now!

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    91. Al Swearengen:
      Season Five will be the moment D & D jump the shark. They are going to ruin this show in spectacular fashion and I will be there to tell you “I Told You So.”

      You are a lucky man, Al Swearengen. My “I Told You So” moment is still a few years off.

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    92. I am reading a lot of bitching by book fans. I myself read the books and no matter how different the series are gonna get, you have to look at them as a different story . So long as the story is coherent by itself and it remains great, I don´t care.

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    93. Wimsey,

      Aegon or fAegon, Targ resurgence or another Blackfyre Rebellion, Golden Co or Second Sons….although quite interesting as Act II ponderings and adjustments to ASoI&F, those details aren’t what fascinate me. JonCon is the fascinating character. His bittersweet Targ dutifulness, his active greyscale (a disease vector in Westeros), thoughts of his own pending mortality, his possible delusion of purpose, and his role as mentor and strategist are intriguing and hopefully expanded upon. I’m inclined to think that, as his PoV and lifelight goes, so goes Aegon/fAegon.

      Even in this complex show, at this point I doubt it will delve into the complexity that is necessary to depict the plight of the Griffs. I say leave the Griffs, the uncles Greyjoy, the Dayne/Darkstar factor, Oldtown and the un-amalgamatable Arianne to our imagination. 🙂

      The plot in the riverlands though…I’m still hoping for a resurgence of show activity there soon.

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    94. GRRM needs to stop trolling and fantasizing about additional seasons. If the show had 12 seasons it would still finish before him.

      His inactivity in writing has led to this situation and he has noone to blame but HIMSELF.

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    95. dee,

      I still don’t get you people thinking the prophecy will happen verbatim. Prophecy coming true exactly as stated is a fantasy troupe, and George despises such obvious literary shenanigans, his story turns such genre staples upon themselves. Never believe in the obvious in ASoIaF. Remember crowns can mean more than one thing and so can shrouds, wedding shrouds cloaked the bride (Myrcella?) also priestly shrouds, a Nightswatch cloak is a shroud. George will not be obvious, you’d think book fans would have realized this long ago.

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    96. Hodor’s Bastard,

      The part that makes me a bit sad about cutting

      JonCon /fAegon is that I had this super crackpot theory that JonCon will unleash the grayscale from the south while Shireen might do that from the north. I know that technically they say she doesn’t have it anymore but remember the wildlings think something else (per Val). And in the end who knows maybe THAT will be the Westeros undoing rather than the Others.

      What can I say. I like crackpot 😀 This cut totally messes up that theory.

        Quote  Reply

    97. tyjon,

      One thing about prophesies…they are like statistics, sermons and palm readers. They can take historical facts, statements and innuendo and blend them into any message that is desired. I’m sure, with some interpretation, all the prophesies contained within ASoI&F will come true, in one form or another. 🙂

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    98. Tormund’s Woman,

      Cool thoughts, TW! I share your concerns and your insight into the grotesque (and indeed contextually relevant) possibility of introducing an active greyscale vector into Westeros from afar. Film at eleven…a once-contained disease is on our shores again! Even if GRRM or GoT don’t explore it, I will always be fascinated by Shireen’s passive child-with-greyscale tolerance vs JonCon’s active adult-with-greyscale possibilities. Both have massive impact on those surrounding them.

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    99. Gratz to the lovely Lena 🙂

      So…death! My money is on Bronn, Robin Arryn, Obara (maybe more of the Sand Snakes too) , Myrcella , Grey Worm , Myranda and Meryn Trant!

      Is it possible for these to be spoilers if they don’t happen in the books? Or is the spoiler warning for discussing theories further that may reference them?

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    100. My fear is that of the characters I really care about, Brienne and Pod, Greyworm and Shireen may die in Season 5. Amongst others, not sure about Daario, Stannis & wife, Bronn. Some Lannisters. There are quite a few regulars being introduced next season. If D&D don’t want to expand the cast, at least that many will have to die.

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    101. Hodor’s Bastard: I’m inclined to think that, as his PoV and lifelight goes, so goes Aegon/fAegon.

      Yeah, OG was an almost a worthwhile new protagonist. His (weak!) contribution to the story mirrored Tyrion’s and Theon’s: the wretch was reaching up to re-achieve his former self.

      However, regardless of what they do with OG, YG is going to be (as I wrote above) the sand grain for the pearl of story and major plot in Winter. Ultimately, what is going to be important is not OG (or YG) himself (or himself), but what they mean for Daeny, Jon, Arya, Sansa, Tyrion, Jaime, etc. YG is never going to be a protagonist in the books. OG might be a minor one: but the show does not need all of the minor ones. Heck, many have argued that the book didn’t need them: and they aren’t entirely wrong.

      And, as I noted, this is the sort of story that HBO series and other cable TV series delight in telling.

      Tormund’s Woman,
      The other big problem I see with this is that it is all plot and no story. It’s tough to see how this “invasion” would cause the “I should do X not Y/no, I should do Y not X” dilemmas upon which GRRM bases his stories. Well, not unless he’s going to make it pro-vaccine vs. anti-vaccine in some weird way….

      But, at any rate, there is no reason to assume that the Griffs are cut. They would not have been in Season 5 under any circumstance.

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    102. tyjon: wedding shrouds cloaked the bride (Myrcella?)

      Even if you stretched shroud to include the wedding cloak, then it doesn’t work: only Myrcelle would get one, and then only from a house that had Gold as its color. (Cloaks and shrouds are different things, anyways.) The obvious part of the “gold shall be their crowns” has come to pass: the hair. The ironic part now has for Tommen (Joffery was always going to get the crown). That suggests that the prophecy referred all along to crown of state.

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    103. For the Guy who wrote the article; they don’t need to use tricks this time, what is wrong with you? The filming will start AFTER she will give birth.

        Quote  Reply

    104. On the lively topic of S5 deaths:

      Highly Likely: Trant, Pycelle, Myranda, Grey Worm, Kevin, Melara, Aemon, Slynt, SweetRobin, various Braavos seedy folk, Hizdahr (Drogon roasts him), many tertiary Meereen folk and SotH, an SS (Obara?), many wildlings & some Thenn

      Possible: Jorah, MtF, another SS, Trystane, Lancel, Mace Tyrell, Loras, some Freys, Yezzan

      Surprising (improbable): Tommen, Pod, Bronn, Mance, Rhaegal, Daario, Balon, Alliser

      Gravely Wounded: Jon, Myrcella, Ser Pounce, Ramsay

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    105. Sansa is so going to die this season. I’m all on board the theory that she’s taking the Lady Stoneheart role so we’ll still see her in the show but technically Sansa will die and in the end even be the one to kill her captor Littlefinger. I would love to see that!

      And lol to George saying that even the book readers will be angry over these deaths. Nothing would make her more happy than to see book readers whine and moan over more changes to their beloved story. Team D&D all the way!

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    106. Cumsprite: You are a lucky man, Al Swearengen. My “I Told You So” moment is still a few years off.

      I feel I should know this already but what is your prediction?

        Quote  Reply

    107. Hopefully some Boltons after Stannis kicks into Winterfell. Probably Gray Worm and/or Barristan, some Night's Watch characters at Hardhome (maybe Olly for the shock factor, Thorne could also get it, hopefully not Edd), Hizdahr (since he isn't with Dany after the fight breaks out in the Pit), and maybe Theon and Loras. Oh, and obviously Meryn Trant.

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    108. WalkerWhite,

      Hmmm, I’m thinking that fan-fiction sites are the only place that you will see anything close to that! Whatever GRRM is going to do with Sansa in Winter, it won’t be that.

      However, I do think that you are entirely correct: there is always a core of fans that loves to gripe about how bad adaptations are. Alternatively, they like to gripe about how much better the old books/episodes were than the new ones. Because, you see, nobody understands* the characters as well as Joe Fanboy or Jane Fangirl: and that includes Martin, Rowling, Pratchett, etc.

      *: best said in a whining drawl.

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    109. Of the Night: I feel I should know this already but what is your prediction?

      I’ve been over this before. GURM dies in an avalanche of VHS porn wanking it to HBO audition tapes in his library tower.

      Sheesh.

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    110. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Here’s the side question: do you think that anyone will die that isn’t earmarked for death in Winter? Or will it just be secondary characters that won’t be necessary? (After all, the cast is large, and they do need to add cast next year: so, anyone expendable is, well, expendable.)

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    111. Al Swearengen,

      Penny Dreadful and Da Vincis Demons are my top tv guilty pleasures but I wouldn’t rank them up there with GOT. you’re making us people who watch these shows look bad man LOL

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    112. Elmo Tully: Penny Dreadful and Da Vincis Demons are my top tv guilty pleasures

      Yeah, Penny Dreadful is a good example of the difference between “enjoyable” and “good.” Fortunately, my ego is strong enough to withstand the shame of liking it.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Twilite,

      Twilite,

      LOL, you people are really funny and naive if you think HBO will end the series after only 7 seasons :))) Game of Thrones is the most successful and profitable series in history of HBO. The amount of money they get from Subscriptions, Merchandises, Blu ray and DVDs is unreal. Also they has been already financed by Croatia ministry with DOZENS of millions just because the series boosts the tourism. The show is a gold mine for HBO. Something that they will never have again after it ends.

      I expect 9 seasons.

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    114. Larin,

      Even the most profitable shows have to end sometime, and HBO have made it clear that they are deferring to B&W in this case. Who want to end this in 7 seasons. What the hell would you put in those extra seasons anyway? Not like there’s an overabundance of material to adapt.

      Also, people keep saying HBO is done for whenever one of their flagship shows ends. It wasn’t true last time either.

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    115. Wimsey,

      Good question. Like many, I get frustrated at the spoilery aspect of what you are implying, but it is something that we have to live with. As Hoyti Von Toyti stated above, it’s GRRM’s own fault for loving his millions more than his baby. Oh well.

      BUT, to answer your question directly…I don’t think it is all spoilery and destiny. As you often argue, secondary characters are there to serve a purpose and can be woven in and out of a protagonist’s arc (or several arcs) at the will of the author or adaptor. As we have seen, D&D are somewhat flexible regarding that…and have raised secondary characters to a level above and beyond their book levels, and have neglected others. Are the showrunners simply using different paths and techniques to get to the same net result/destination (e.g., Locke, Gendry, Talisa, Trystane?, etc.)? Who knows? But my feeling is that D&D want to place their own creative stamp on this series and have chosen their deviations accordingly…possibly to challenge themselves or possibly (hopefully) out of respect to GRRM in order to let him finish his tale with an original look and feel (Riverlands, Ironborn, Oldtown, Arianne, Griffs, etc).

      However, if Jeyne Westerling and *possible* secret child die a horrible death in TWoW’s prologue without something more added to the tale, I will be disappointed. But if Trant or Swann die at the hands of a Sand Snake, I won’t be disappointed.

      So, I will answer “Yes & No” to your question. There will be some essence of spoilery in the deaths of a few but there will probably be some attempt at originality in the deaths of others.

      The whole Jaime-in-the riverlands-thing is mind-boggling though, as I’ve mentioned previously. D&D aren’t even touching that hot potato.

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    116. Wimsey,

      There isn’t anything currently good on tv so I can get away with liking said shows lol. I’ve tried to watch the flash tv series but too much teen melodrama.

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    117. Seeing that GRRM & D&D are meeting about s6 snd the fact hes thinking 8+ seasons proves s5 wont pass the books just yet. Nobody has proof of nothing yet. Nobody knows for sure if griffs/LSH has been cut like does anyone really think hbo would let that leak if they were included?? Not a chance. These book purists just go off and tear d&d down without the season even airing yet haha all they do is base there predictions on shitty leaked set photos/castings and say how they are ruining the show lol hbo only lets leak wat they want. Nobody knows where this season will end. Seeing hardhome live almost guarantees FTW will be next season. Just cuz u see a photo of tycho & arya doesnt mean nothing at all lol right away people thinking of mercy scene cuz of one photo? Lol why cant everyone (book readers/show viewers) just chill and start going off after the s5 finale…people scanning countless interviews and pictures for just a scent of a spoiler then whats the point of watching it? I think d&d have done a better job then anyone thought they could and grrm must think so too. I encourage any book reader who hates the hbo adaption to get off the couch put some money together and try to make your own version…oh thats right u cant…so appreciate the people who worked hard to show this epic story to the rest of the world and if u cant then stop watching the show and keep waiting for TWOW & ADOS to release and in the words of the hound ” JUST SHUT UP ABOUT IT”

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    118. Wimsey:
      andrew,

      Yes, because women just immediately slingshot back into pre-preganancy weight and stamina…..

      *shakes head*

      That’s a very unfortunate remark. Every pregnancy is different, so you can never make a statement like that, but if we want to generalize, I’m prone to think just the opposite. From my own experience and my friends’, too, a lot of women look very much the same they looked before the pregnancy, just a few weeks after birth. Especially if you’re wearing Cercei’s beautiful dresses, that aren’t as tight or revealing as other characters’ costumes. So I think she can start filming very soon after she gives birth, and no one will notice.
      Now what she’s going to do with a newborn while filming lasts, that’s a completely different story, especially if her cub is as noisy and restless as mine!

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    119. I wish people would stop clucking about the ending. Why can’t we just enjoy it in the present?
      Cast and crew are always talking about unspecified impending deaths, Grim is just saying what he’s been saying for years, and with a cast this huge, it doesn’t mean much. It’s not like he’s saying

      “Oh and Jon Snow dies. Fuck all of you.”

      Murder is a beloved ‘Thrones staple.
      I do think he’s bitter, though. Who wouldn’t be? If I were George, I’d be annoyed about the show’s pace too. Writing sucks. Any author will tell you that it’s a slow, painful labor of love. Seeing someone else flying through your story as you’re still battling through it has to be frustrating, like watching someone else raise your child.

      Speaking of children, congratulations to Lena. This season will be the most Cersei-centric yet, so maybe D&D will give Lena some time to chill and focus on other parts of Westeros. She’ll

      be confined for a lot of it anyway, right?

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    120. Hodor’s Bastard: Like many, I get frustrated at the spoilery aspect of what you are implying, but it is something that we have to live with. As Hoyti Von Toyti stated above, it’s GRRM’s own fault for loving his millions more than his baby.

      Yay and nay. I write a lot (albeit research papers), and sometimes things just take longer because you get hung up in particulars. (Yes, we all warn grad students never to do this: but we all fall into the trap once in a while.) Just last year, I wasted nearly a month on a single figure that was for the discussion, not even the results! As Voltaire warned, the perfect is the enemy of the good: and it’s too easy sometimes to get hung up on getting things exactly. I suspect that GRRM has done that. What he needs is someone to pull his nose out of the minutia and remind him of the big picture. I had hoped that interacting with B&W would do that: in particular, I hoped that discussing the over-arching plot and the basic stories for Winter and Spring would let “simpler” solutions gel in his head. Oh well….

      Hodor’s Bastard: However, if Jeyne Westerling and *possible* secret child die a horrible death in TWoW’s prologue without something more added to the tale, I will be disappointed. But if Trant or Swann die at the hands of a Sand Snake, I won’t be disappointed.

      lol…. Yeah, that idea was one of the mistaking a shadow for a tree and missing the forest for that shadow. It reminds me of the Harry Potter fans who were convinced that Neville was the chosen one rather than Harry because the explanation as to why he wasn’t seemed too obvious to them. (Women drinking abortificants copiously don’t have secret kids: and Rickon is the lost Stark Heir, anyway.)

      My thought is along the Jojen lines. I was one of those who assumed that he was dead at the end of Dragons, so having him snuff it a little early struck me as fine. Sweet Robyn strikes me as a good candidate for that sort of death: I don’t expect him to survive the early chapters of Winter, and Sansa is already in Winter, so no problem.

      Similarly, characters like Trant are completely swappable: so offing one of them could be good drama. (Grenn & Pyp were like that, although there was more of a personal touch there given that my wife had actually met the actors.)

      Hodor’s Bastard: The whole Jaime-in-the riverlands-thing is mind-boggling though, as I’ve mentioned previously. D&D aren’t even touching that hot potato.

      heh, as you know, I’m more apt to call that a “beaten dead horse” than “hot potato!” Just as long as Jaime is not being Tywin II but fooling himself into thinking that he is, then it will work fine: that’s the real potato here. This is actually an example of where I think that GRRM obsessing over details hurt him: he really needed a quick denouement for the Riverlands over a chapter or so, and then to dive back into one of the over-arching plots. After all,

      Aegon’s invasion and Daeny’s subsequent invasion probably are going to make all of this so irrelevant (to readers and the characters) that we’ll realize that we could have been reading Winter years ago, at least on a chapter per month rate of production from GRRM.

      Out of curiosity, why do you consider that a “hot potato”? I don’t see anything controversial or awkward about that, and certainly nothing approaching what would be too controversial or awkward for HBO. The problem I saw is that it’s just dull.

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    121. Wimsey,

      Yes, for the show it may not work, but

      the emotional dilemma in killing Shireen (Val’s suggestion of putting a pillow over her mouth or something simillar) versus: no she’s cured (Jon’s outrage at Val’s suggestion) is already in the works. The story has already started. It is not all plot. I got attached to the little thing and I don’t see her only as a plot device to be unleashed over Westeros so as to serve a bigger purpose. I only theorized that crackpot because I feel Martin has set up something there. That’s all. It may just be me.

      jentario,

      Well, I have to say Jent that I didn’t expect to see you type

      the Boltons!

      I think you might be right about

      Grey Worm though. They are developing that character more in the show so his death will be rather more meaningful if it happens. Missandei and Dany will be heartbroken.

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    122. As for GRRM’s foreshadowing, I’m guessing these are the candidates in order of likelihood:

      Meereen Aristocrat #1-928
      Grey Worm
      Hizdahr
      Bronn
      Pod
      Jon Snow
      Shireen

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    123. Tormund’s Woman,

      GRRM laid down a potential plot line, but no storyline there. Obviously, there is a plot element of

      what is Gray Scale, and is it somehow relevant to anything like R’hllor or White Walkers or Tree Gods or Dragons.

      The Wildlings seem to know (or believe) something about it that the “southerners” do not. Melissandre is oddly mute on the subject, which suggests that the Red Church does not have a stake in this. But none of that contributes at all to the story in Dragons: Jon’s attempt to rise to commander does not involve any “hard” decisions regarding gray scale where Lord Commander Snow must act differently than Steward Jon Snow would like.

      For this to do something for a Martinesque story, then we would need a situation where characters think “Because they are sick, we must do X and not Y” while at the same time thinking “Because they are sick, we must do Y and not X.” Moreover, for the story to be a proper sequel to the first 4 stories, it really has to follow from what was set up in Thrones through Crows/Dragons: and this doesn’t. YG and relatives, on the other hand, do follow from that: and they are going to induce a lot of “Because of who YG is, we must do Y and not X” and “Because of who DT is, we must do X and not Y” dilemmas for the the remaining protagonists. Having taken so much time to set them up, he basically would reduce them all to red herrings if he didn’t! (On the other hand, if almost nothing comes of GS, then it really wouldn’t be a red herring: it’s not been that much of an issue.)

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    124. For the watch,

      I hear your frustration, but isn’t fantasy speculation and jibjab primarily what makes this rabid fanbase (and associated websites) worthwhile? I swear that last year at this time, the various prognosticators’ version of the Yara-Reek-Ramsay intervention was 10x better than what we saw onscreen. And now we’re finding out that much about the scene was cut and unfilmed…and what we did see has to be explained by BC. Ugh…not great. Many scenes in S4 deserve serious discussion & criticism. It’s not just a “purist” thing.

      Asking the fanbase to quiet themselves is a futile act, quite possibly worse than Quentyn’s ridiculous ambitions.

      One question I have for you: Regarding your handle “For the Watch”…that’s a fairly purist phrase. If D&D changed it to “In the name of national security” like they are apt to do, what would you think?

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    125. Why is there still debate over the amount of seasons? D&D have said that there will be 7. I’d say they are serious considering how much they have already caught up to the timelines in the books not to mention that parts of The Winds will be in S5.

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    126. Spaniard SheBear,

      One of the big mistakes men make when dealing with pregnant women is assuming that they’ll be back to working shape within a couple of days. “I never missed more than a couple of days due to illness” and lines like that are commonly heard. The way we men should think of it is like getting surgery. (And, of course, given what high proportions of births, especially for older women, actually do involve surgery, that’s not too surprising!)

      Most of my colleagues (including my wife!) have taken a month or more to get going again, due to the physical exhaustion from the last month (when fetuses are draining a ridiculous amount of a woman’s resources, and even shrinking her brains somewhat!): and that’s not even taking into account having to take longer if the kid is a bad sleeper or anything like that. Of course, most of my colleagues delayed having kids until their late ’30’s and early ’40’s, so their recovery times were lower than those typical for women in their ’20’s: but Headey is that age, too.

      Now, academia is more mentally demanding than acting: but acting still is mentally demanding AND physically demanding. My colleagues had (and always took) the options of not doing field work or anything like that for a few months after delivery: an actress would not have that option!

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    127. jentario,

      I don’t think we’ll get to the actual Battle of Winterfell yet this season. The storylines at the Wall have a lot of ground to cover, so I think that’ll happen at the beginning of Season 6 and Stannis’ big battle this year will be at Deepwood Motte. My guess is that Theon reuniting with Yara will be the climactic, E9 or E10 moment in the Winterfell / Stannis story this year and the Crofter’s Village / whatever happens at Winterfell will happen early on next season. I don’t think that it would be done that way out of any deference to Winds or GRRM, but Stannis has a lot to do this year, covering the end of Storms and all of Dance.

      As for catching up to the end of Feast / Dance, I think a lot of the storylines will be pretty close to caught up by the end of the year. Sansa’s story will either be spoilers or new material, Dany’s already going to Daznak’s Pit, Tyrion’s already in Meereen, Cersei’s taking her walk of penance, Theon’s already in Winterfell at the start of this season, Arya’s filmed a chapter from Winds that was set up in the prologue of Dance, there’s no reason why the Dornish storyline would take more than one season and Jaime and Brienne’s stories have already been altered signifigantly. The only storylines I can think of that might not end at the same place as the current books are Jon, Samwell and Stannis (and Stannis will probably be caught up to meet up with Theon’s story). As for beyond the end of Dance? Probably not much this season other than more set-up for the Night’s King or some other hints like Mel’s interaction with Arya.

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    128. Wimsey,

      Excellent post! I do have a small fear that D&D are going to simplify the agendas of the different sides and it would make the decisions more clear cut. We’ll see 🙂

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    129. Wimsey,

      The Stone Men always intrigued me when I was reading those chapters. Very mysterious and perhaps a sign of the potential threat a greyscale outbreak could have?

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    130. Luka Nieto,

      Although that “joke” wasn’t the primary focus of my comment, some things still tug at my intestines:

      “The Lannisters send….”
      “Your sister…”
      Cersei’s “No” instead of “Not here…”
      [Ghost in jail]

      🙂

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    131. Darren,

      Stannis himself doesn’t have that much ground to cover.

      If they are going to make any significant use of the actor after he leaves the Wall, and if Stannis is gonna be enough of a focus to have his own arc (I say “yes” to both,) there needs to be a climax. Something needs to happen by the end —something needs to pay off, something needs to be resolved in his story. Deepwood Motte may be enough, but… I really don’t think so. Stannis won’t take Winterfell this season, but I’d bet that we’ll see the Battle of the Ice at the Crofters’ Village, between the frozen lakes. Stannis has been seen with his armor on, a face dirtied up by blood splatters, all in a background of woods and snow —he’ll enter into battle this season, and it doesn’t look like it will be in any sort of castle.

      Also, please note that the Battle of Ice and the Battle of Winterfell aren’t necessarily the same thing. First Stannis needs to fight the Freys (and maybe the Manderlys?) in the ice, and then if he succeeds he needs to march to Winterfell or wait for the Boltons to march out as well. Either way, that sounds like two battles to me. GRRM has confirmed the Battle of Ice takes place right at the beginning of TWOW —but that doesn’t mean the fate of Winterfell or the conflict between Stannis and the Boltons will be resolved right there and then.

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    132. Never really understood why he said “Jamie Lannister sends his regards” in the books. Didn’t make sense to me when I read it. But I am dumb.

      ETA: edited my post. Suck it, Pau.

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    133. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Yeah, the Grey-scale is a useful “world builder” sort of thing. It’s Planetos leprosy, even with an analog of a leper colony. Moreover, I could see (and actually have read) stories set up around this sort of plot. However, GRRM has been telling a different sort of story than this.

      I think that the give away that this is just World Building detail is the fact that it’s not correlated with dragons or White Walkers. The books and show have made clear that certain powers are now much stronger than before: Wildfire is easier to make, magic is easier to cast, priestly powers from the Red Church are stronger than they were, and the dead come back as wights much more often than before. However, never has the show or books suggested that Grey Scale is becoming more common in recent years (i.e., since both White Walkers and Dragons returned to the world). Gray Scale has for some time been a problem for people “hyper-exposed” to the disease (like leprosy, it seems like it takes a very particular type of exposure: you don’t get this in the way that you get bubonic plague), but we never are told that it’s getting worse (or better).

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    134. Hodor’s Bastard,

      funny how the entire series LF only referred to catelyn as cat and then in the one scene he should say cat he says ur sister. I think they shouldve changed the scenes where he referred to Catelyn as Cat to Lady stark instead, because most fans got confused and thought he was talking to ser pounce off screen.

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    135. Wimsey:

      The Wildlings seem to know (or believe) something about it that the “southerners” do not. Melissandre is oddly mute on the subject, which suggests that the Red Church does not have a stake in this.

      Not yet….
      Val sure seems to have a need to burn Shireen post-haste. Why would a wildling have such a strong reaction? One has to wonder. GRRM has brought it up enough in the text (in Davos/Stannis, Jon’s, Tyrion’s, and (soon-to-be) Arianne’s arcs), and introduced a PoV with it, for it to matter. In Meereen, they also facing an attack that uses disease (bloody flux) as a primary weapon. GRRM is exploring something here, imho, perhaps more than a plotpoint.

      Like I mentioned up-thread, the juxtaposition of greyscale’s Westeros presence in a child (passive) vs adult (active) may prove thought provoking, like ebola has in real-life. It is almost destined to be a secondary character by itself.

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    136. Tormund’s Woman,

      I agree GRRM is setting up something with the

      Greyscale, especially, as you already pointed out, with the two people in Westeros we know of as being infected, JonCon and Shireen, being in the far south and the far north (at least as far north as you can go without hitting the Wall). I don’t think they just happen to be located on opposite ends of Westeros. I also remember Val’s description of it, in relation to Shireen, and how it reminded me of a description of the White Walkers. I just looked it up, and here’s Val’s exact quote: “The grey death sleeps, only to wake again.”

      Who knows what it means, but I don’t think it all pure coincidence.

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    137. Hodor’s Bastard: Why would a wildling have such a strong reaction?

      Well, they are not exactly the most sage of people! Some of their superstitions are bound to be just that.

      Hodor’s Bastard: In Meereen, they also facing an attack that uses disease (bloody flux) as a primary weapon.

      That is a little different! Dysentary has been laying armies low since time immemorial. It seems to have no bearing on gray scale.

      I really do not think that gray scale is going to be an important player in any way. For one thing, we know that it is very hard to get gray scale: and if GRRM and/or B&W wanted to introduce the idea that it was more virulent now that dragons or White Walkers were back, well, they all missed that chance.

      Conversely, if nothing comes of grey scale, then it is no red herring: sure, it’s come up off and on in the texts, but so has eating and defecating. It has not been a pervasive issue like dragons, White Walkers, who should be king/queen or lost Targaryens.

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    138. Wimsey: Some of their superstitions are bound to be just that.

      Maybe so, but there are at least a few examples of things the Southerners have written off as superstition/legend/or as existing only in the distant past which the Wildlings know to be real/still exist: Giants, CotF, and the biggie, The White Walkers.

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    139. Wimsey,

      I don’t think you are wrong about

      Shireen’s greyscale ADwD portion as complete non-contribution for Jon’s rise in NW but I do think it is a starter, to contribute to the North story in WoW, in the context of a plague wiping out Westeros, should Martin wish to continue that.

      Were Jon not to “die” at all, I wouldn’t have put it past Martin at my first reading of Dance to be a bigger part of his “hard decision making”, with Val pushing for Shireen’s disease to be cured just by a knife.

      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Yay! not the only one on this bandwagon then! LOL

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    140. Cumsprite,

      Ah ok. Like when he recently stated that S5 will have deaths of characters still alive in his books and will piss off many a book fan, forgetting that this has happened already in previous seasons. Shit stirrer indeed.

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    141. Wimsey: Well, they are not exactly the most sage of people! Some of their superstitions are bound to be just that.

      I don’t consider Val to be a normal wildling. She’s about as normal as Mance. There was something else, something almost prescient, in her observations of Shireen’s passive greyscale.

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    142. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Oh for sure i see wat u mean…I like both the books and the show and yes it is the source of good debates thats how i stumbled on to this site. Im just saying that the HARDCORE purists need to chill a bit atleast til the season airs lol theres some charachters that are for sure being combined for adaption and yes some will be cut but we wont know who until the show airs. Like HBO is not going to announce so & so playing a certain somebody whos reveal is going to be among there best moments and if they are going to film something like that its going to be in studio. I really enjoy both books/show and yes id love it if every detail was the same but thats impossible on a TV budget. My handle FTW is just because it is still the most shocking scene since RW and I highly doubt they are going to use it in same episodes as daznak/walkofshame i really think d&d will build that scene as a shocker but hey I could be wrong cuz like I said nobody knows but them.

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    143. Nymeria Warrior Queen: existing only in the distant past which the Wildlings know to be real/still exist: Giants, CotF, and the biggie, The White Walkers.

      True: but there is one huge difference. The “southerners” have not been living with Giants, Children or White Walkers in very long amounts of time. They have been living with Grey Scale. Indeed, the people of Essos have much more experience with it. They also are culturally more advanced that the Westerosi, who in turn are culturally more advanced than the Wildlings.

      So this is more of the reverse: the Wildlings seem to have little first-hand knowledge of greyscale whereas the Westerosi and the Essosi do; conversely, the Wildlings have first-hand knowledge of Giants and White Walkers whereas the Westerosi and Essosi do not.

      Hodor’s Bastard,
      Val does not seem to be any more astute that Ygritte was. Indeed, she says a lot of the same things!

      At any rate, people seem to be forgetting that the books establish pretty clearly that the disease is not easily communicable from one person to another. It’s not a plague disease. (I am assuming that GRRM’s knowledge of history has taught him the difference between virulent and contagious!) Again, if GRRM (or B&W) had established that this changed when dragons or WW turned up (which would have been fair game: many other things did), then this would be a possibility. However, a gun fired late has to be hung early: and this particular gun never has been hung.

      I do begin to see why people don’t think Martin can cram everything that they are expecting into two books! However, I don’t think that Riverland Revolutionaries and the Great Grey Scale Plague are going to be plot points of much (or any) relevance. Instead, look to YG, YG’s auntie, and then north of the wall for the primary plot devices for books 6 & 7.

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    144. Just wondering if the photo has been chosen to have any relevance to Lena being pregnant?!

      Pycelle (technically Cersei’s doctor) wiping clean a bizarre fork/forcep tool as Cersei looks at him questionably whilst looking like she’s going to be sick.

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    145. Wimsey: However, I don’t think that Riverland Revolutionaries and the Great Grey Scale Plague are going to be plot points of much (or any) relevance.

      Exhibit 243a why AFFC/ADWD were literary masturbation.

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    146. Wimsey,

      I see your point, but I believe the Wildlings have knowledge, or remnants of knowledge, the rest of Westeros does not, with the possible exception of the

      crannogmen.

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    147. Luka Nieto,

      Maybe. I would call that the best-case scenario and Liam Cunningham (Davos) has said something about the show going past the books, so maybe that’s what he meant.

      We should be able to figure out early on in the season if there’ll be time for the Battle of Ice. If Stannis leaves the Wall by mid-season, there’s a good chance. If Theon’s story in Winterfell is accelerated, it’s a definite possibility. I still say it’s unlikely they’ll get that far, but I didn’t expect Lysa to go through the Moon Door in Episode 7 last year either.

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    148. Darren,

      Yes, last season I believed people were being crazy about “Mockingbird” being the episode in which Littlefinger kills Lysa. They were right. And then, in the next episode, they burnt through two and a half of Sansa’s three AFFC chapters. Instead of a trial and then a whole siege, we got a single trial with those responsible for the siege in the books (which I really liked, but I was nonetheless surprised by.) The show can shock us in terms of the pace in which they decide to adapt the books, sometimes even when it’s already began airing, so I don’t know if we’ll be 100% sure of what Stannis’s climax will be by the middle of the season. Though I really hope so.

      Hopefully the next trailer or other promotional material will show small glimpses of Stannis and his storyline that, while not spoilery to show watchers, will still point book readers to whether the Battle of Ice is gonna happen this season or not. One of last season’s trailers had Baratheon cavalry killing wildlings, but it was only in quick cuts so only book readers understood what was happening.

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    149. Cumsprite: Exhibit 243a why AFFC/ADWD were literary masturbation.

      Not really. People tend to take two extreme views: A) everything is a gun on the wall that must be resolved, and Z) everything that isn’t immediately relevant to the plot or the story is a waste.

      The truth is in between. Chekhov’s Gun metaphor mentions the wall: and if you are going to hang a gun on a wall, then you need: 1) a wall; and 2) other things on the wall to make it look like a wall. That is, you need some backdrop. In literature, general details like this are that backdrop. (This is also true for stage, TV or movies, although props, costumes, etc., also are tools.) Storytelling also demands general devices. Let’s say you want a character who is racing against time. Let’s say that you want to highlight differences between erudition in cultures. Let’s say that you want to use different ideas about how the gods punish people. Disease is a great device for all of these things, and that’s how GRRM has used gray scale.

      Nymeria Warrior Queen: I see your point, but I believe the Wildlings have knowledge, or remnants of knowledge, the rest of Westeros does not,

      But have they demonstrated any deeper knowledge beyond their different experiences? The Wildlings might know about White Walkers because they’ve met them, but they remember nothing about how to fight them: they do not seem to know about obsidian, for example. Now, the Westerosi forgot this, too: but at least they wrote it down! (And, as so often is the case, they didn’t think that the words that they used would be arcane centuries later….) Off the top of my heads, there does not seem to be any “lore” that they recall that the Westerosi do not know: the difference in knowledge simply reflects different day-to-day experience.

      The really important contrast here is what people from Essos think. They are much more knowledgable than people from Westeros in many areas (or so it seems). However, they don’t hold the same views as the Wildlings, and they do not seem to fear plagues of Gray Scale. They consider the victims more pitiable than dangerous. Also, we should not fall into the “noble savage” trap: GRRM has expressed disdain for that in the past.

      My thought goes back to why this was not “literary masturbation.” Val’s response shows us that Wildling culture is a very harsh one in many ways: they cannot and do not take chances, and they really cannot afford to keep the infirm. I genuinely think that GRRM is using this as a tool for developing characters rather than as a big plot device.

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    150. Wimsey:
      The Bastard,

      You are very much reading what you wish to read in between the lines!I do agree that GRRM is in some denial about the shows hopefully slowing down to let him catch up: but the rest of your interpretations are very subjective.

      Agree

      Wimsey:
      ,

      All of that written, someone needs to lock him in his house and feed him only broth until he finishes a set of chapters for a protagonist; give him a week off, and then repeat for the next protagonist; week off, repeat.

      Don’t agree 😀

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    151. Pau,

      Because they dislike D&D and/or the show, yet they lack the necessary confidence to stand on their own (perfectly valid) opinions —they need to feel validated by the original author: “Secretly, George hates the show as much as I do… secretly he’s just as bothered by all the changes.” Well, that’s my guess anyway.

      The conspiracies won’t die down, though. In the ASOIAF subreddit, I’ve seen many people who actually believe GRRM is feeding wrong information to D&D, so that the show won’t spoil the books.

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    152. Pau,

      The fact that he still insists on saying there could be infinite number of seasons, despite everything D&D has said, implies to me that he’s not entirely happy with D&D, or at least doesn’t care about what they say.

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    153. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I agree. Something is being set up with…

      greyscale. While I don’t think that it will be the Great Plague, I think that it will come into play somehow. If so, Jon Connington may be the one to watch rather than Shireen. Do we know how it spreads from one infected person to another?

      Wimsey
      Let’s say that you want to use different ideas about how the gods punish people.Disease is a great device for all of these things, and that’s how GRRM has used gray scale.

      This is an interesting comment. Maybe GRRM is using greyscale as punishment.

      But punishment for what deed for poor Jon Connington? For trying to reclaim his family’s castle and bring (in his mind) Rhaegar’s son to the throne? It will be a sad and unnecessary end for him…which is GRRM’s style.
      Did we get filming reports that suggested that Tyrion and Jorah would take the boat trip down the Sorrows? If so, it is possible that Jorah is infected with greyscale since Connington appears to have been eliminated from the show. This would touch on similar plot points: an exile from a prominent family in Westeros returning there with a Targaryen…and a disease that resembles dragonskin. Just a thought…

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    154. mariamb,

      God’s punishment for being gay!

      That’d be a rather unexpected development —the Red God is real, and he’s a homophobic dick. Sorry, bad joke. Anyway, it’s not like most people pick up on the fact that Griff is gay, so… spoiler alert?

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    155. Luka Nieto:
      The conspiracies won’t die down, though. In the ASOIAF subreddit, I’ve seen many people who actually believe GRRM is feeding wrong information to D&D, so that the show won’t spoil the books.

      Now that is funny!

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    156. Twilite:
      Pau,

      The fact that he still insists on saying there could be infinite number of seasons, despite everything D&D has said, implies to me that he’s not entirely happy with D&D, or at least doesn’t care about what they say.

      Yet he just met with them to discuss the future of the show (have you?), so he knows more or less what will be in season 6. He also knows what will be left to tell after that. He definitelly must have talked to D&D about how many seasons they will/could have, and would need. What D&D have said in public is irrelevant because they have talked with him directly.

      And he could be a bit of a douche, but he’s a pretty smart guy. So if it’s definitelly 7, he knows. And if it’s between 7 and 8, he knows too. People say things for many reasons, specially in an interview. For all we know it’s HBO who just wants 7, and the 3 of them want 8 and are trying to force HBO’s hand…or they really just don’t know. We’ll see

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    157. Luka Nieto:
      Hodor’s Bastard,

      You mean they are wrong or that I haven’t seen those people? I swear, I have! Although it did look more like a vein hope of not being spoiled, and not a firm conviction.

      Yet I’m sure are the same people that say Martin won’t finish the books, so why should they care 😉

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    158. Luka Nieto,

      Oh, you definitely have seen, read and heard these people! I may actually be one of those deluded ones who think that GRRM may (possibly contractually) be saving a few things just for himself to tell.

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    159. Pau,

      No, what D&D have said in public is not irrelevant, since we’re talking about D&D’s opinions. What possible reason would they have to say “7 seasons for sure” in public, then say “9 or more seasons” to GRRM of all people? Not to mention that there’s no way in hell that 9 seasons or more would seriously ever be on the table. GRRM is either delusional or bullshitting.

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    160. mariamb,

      JonCon got it in the water helping Tyrion escape the Stone men who were pulling him under IIRC. Which makes it interesting because Tyrion doesn’t get it. Maybe JonCon had an open wound?!

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    161. Twilite,

      They say 7 seasons because they have contracts for that long and maybe dont want to announce ahead of time that everyone will get to renegotiate their salary. Its also a matter of success and finances its better not to say 9 seasons and then be forced to cut down to 7 due to budget or failed contracts. Game of thrones is like Hbo’s own star wars or something they will go as far as they can when it comes down to it. Just a matter of time before we get the game of thrones theme park with the Seven kingdoms as different sections with their own themes. Lol that actually would be awesome im gonna go draw the schematics now.

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    162. Luka Nieto,

      …many people who actually believe GRRM is feeding wrong information to D&D, so that the show won’t spoil the books..

      I just spit up my caffeine saturated drink, well ya never know, the longer he delays WoW release, the likelihood this might lend credence in some small way.

      D&D: Hey George, what happens concerning Theon? (spolier)After all, know way Theon lives long in Stannis’s custody, after all we know how legalistic he is.(/spoiler)
      GRRM: Theon actually becomes King, the story is all about his fall from grace and slow rise to redemption.
      D&D: But, but, everyone hates him and he cannot procreate.
      GRRM: Almost all that know and hate him will die, and Mel will sacrifice Asha so Theon can have his balls back.
      D&D: Well this basically means almost the entire Northern cast dies.
      GRRM: That’s where the WW invasion comes in.
      D&D: Thanks George, man we have to seriously make some changes for the next season.
      GRRM: Glad to be of assistance. (laughing to himself, boy if they only knew what was really going to happen in Winds and Spring)

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    163. I’m actually looking forward to being surprised for once by not knowing what’s coming next like I was in Season 1! After Ned was beheaded I picked up the books and at times it can definitely taint and skew your view on the show… which is awesome in its own right!

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    164. Tormund’s Woman,

      Yes, Tyrion didn’t contract it but Connington did. Logically, an open wound would do it but I doubt that’s the answer. It’s a terrible, unnecessary twist of fate for Connington. Watching (f)Aegon fail in his attempt to sit the Iron Throne should be sufficient punishment.

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    165. mariamb: But punishment for what deed for poor Jon Connington? For trying to reclaim his family’s castle and bring (in his mind) Rhaegar’s son to the throne? It will be a sad and unnecessary end for him…which is GRRM’s style.
      Did we get filming reports that suggested that Tyrion and Jorah would take the boat trip down the Sorrows? If so, it is possible that Jorah is infected with greyscale since Connington appears to have been eliminated from the show. This would touch on similar plot points: an exile from a prominent family in Westeros returning there with a Targaryen…and a disease that resembles dragonskin. Just a thought…

      I like this idea. Not only could Iain Glen effectively pull off a melancholy JonCon vibe, but he could quite possibly fill many of JonCon’s future plotpoints in WoW and beyond. As for disease acting as forms of punishment by the gods amongst other things, JonCon might being punished because he is, unknowingly, NOT bringing a real Targaeryen heir to the throne. His love for Rhaegar is sort of tragic irony then because he does not know he is being played by Varys and Illyrio. However, sickness as punishment might be too clichéd if not handled well, but sickness as a means of letting characters deal with their reality to allow them to develop and face some hard choices is better, like Dany’s confrontation with flux in Mereen.

      On a crackpottery note, I have always found Mel’s words interesting and somewhat related to greyscale (“waking Dragons from stone”). Or it could just refer to Dany 😉

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    166. mariamb: Maybe GRRM is using greyscale as punishment.

      Just to clarify: I don’t think that GRRM is having greyscale be a punishment from the gods. GRRM’s books are fundamentally amoral, it seems: to paraphrase Einstein, there is nothing divine about any of the moralities; they are human constructs only. Now, there are powers like the Trees and R’hllor: but it seems like most of the gods are imaginary only.

      However, as those people imagine gods but have no knowledge of things like bacteria or viruses, they invoke what they imagine to be real rather than what is. (You know, sort of like in Texas….)

      My real point is that disease is a good tool for doing a lot of different things to develop characters or to build worlds. That is an end in and of itself.

      Luka Nieto: Anyway, it’s not like most people pick up on the fact that Griff is gay, so… spoiler alert?

      Seriously? I mean, how much more obvious could GRRM have been? That written, yes, I could see people in Westeros believing that gods would curse gays with disease, just as backwards people today believe that. (God also uses hurricanes and earthquakes according to Fox “News”!)

      Now, obviously GRRM (who is god for all intents and purposes) is not going to do this; but that does not mean that he won’t have his characters believe that it’s happening.

      Hodor’s Bastard: I may actually be one of those deluded ones who think that GRRM may (possibly contractually) be saving a few things just for himself to tel

      Ah, but when they made the agreement to do the series, GRRM was certain that he’d have all 7 books done before the series ended. So, there would have been no need to include that in the contract. (Moreover, it would have leaked if it were true.) Moreover, GRRM would have felt no need to lie to them about what was coming. From what we were told, he discussed the unpublished character, plot and story arcs with B&W then (which included Dragons at that time, not just Winter & Spring). Martin was convinced at that time that Dragons would be out “next year” and that he’d get back to the 2-3 years per novel each. And that would have mean Spring this year or next.

      And, let’s face it: it is utterly ridiculous that GRRM has not been able to complete 2.5 books in 8 years. I’m sure that if you hopped into a time machine and gone back to 2007 to tell him that, he would have either laughed at you or gotten angry at you.

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    167. Tormund’s Woman,

      There is always a pot-luck element when it comes down to getting hard-to-contract diseases like leprosy, etc.. GRRM probably is using that as a model for this. Virulence and contagiousness are two fundamentally different things, after all.

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    168. Morna the Witch: Or it could just refer to Dany

      Yes, it seems that all of Mel’s prophecy refers to Daeny. Like all prophecy, it is cryptic and it is ironic. Her interpretations require only a little stretching: but nevertheless a little stretching.

      However, Melissandre does not know that someone born at Dragonstone hatched three petrified dragon eggs while sacrificing the body of a king. When she learns this, well, the palm-shaped bruise from the forehead slap could be a permanent scar!

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    169. mariamb,

      I always read it as a possible clue that Tyrion is Aerys’ son. In a later chapter, Dany walks around amongst the Pale Mare victims and says that she doesn’t have to worry because Targaryens never contract the illnesses that afflict everyone else. Maybe I’m seeing something that’s not there, though, so who knows?

      Also, I do think that Val’s freak-out about Greyscale is about setting it up in Jon Connington’s story rather than at the Wall. The wildlings probably don’t have the treatment options that the rest of Westeros has, so greyscale is probably much more fatal for children north of the Wall.

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    170. Hodor’s Bastard:
      I may actually be one of those deluded ones who think that GRRM may (possibly contractually) be saving a few things just for himself to tell.

      No network would ever agree to that, and GRRM wouldn’t have thought it necessary when he signed the contract.

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    171. Arthur,

      Personally, I really really like Veep and Silicon Valley and I can’t wait for them to come back. I also enjoy The Leftovers and love how ANGRY it makes people.

      And as other have said, they will have more shows. They haven’t just stoped making then because GoT is a hit.

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    172. I highly doubt the show will kill off major characters that have yet to die in the books this season. And the ones that do die will be more “major” minor people. A la Jojen or Pyp. So nothing too extreme.

      That being said, unless Winds of Winter comes out before season 6, this will most likely be the last season I’ll watch on tv. I’d much rather get that initial impact from the books as opposed to the show. So I might be taking a rather long hiatus from the show after this year.

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    173. mariamb,

      I was under the impression that JonCon was already suffering from the disease. It’s possible that Tyrion hasn’t shown symptoms yet.

      And … whatever.

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    174. Tormund’s Woman,
      mariamb,

      Jon-Con got it and Tyrion didn’t because drowning protects you/cures you from grayscale. The GREY-JOYS invented a whole religion based on that. Look at their name, their “drowned god” rituals. They’ve survived greyscale in the past quite well… if Tyrion gets greyscale, I’ll be super angry, ruins my theory!

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    175. The Bastard:
      Congrats to Headey.As for GRRM, there are 3 huge red flags here:

      1) George seems bitter that the show is passing his writing pace.He knows who dies this season on television.As a result, he is coming very close to the line of spoiling the show.I have predicted in the past that he will actually spoil parts of the end story as “revenge” for the show passing him.Over the last year he has continued to get closer and closer to this tactic.

      2) From the article: “Yeah, it’s the hottest show on TV now, but will it be the hottest show on TV two years from now? Hot shows come and go and television changes, and I’ve lived through that before. I certainly hope that we get to tell the entire story. Because whatever happens with the show I’m going to finish the books, it will be seven books.”It’s almost as if he wishes the show would fail so the books can finish first.That is the subtext of what I get here.

      3) And the show is ending after 7 seasons.He needs to come to terms with this.He is either in denial or just so made about it that he will continue to say there is enough content for 9 seasons.Personally, I want the show to end after 7 seasons.If it goes on too long it would hurt the quality. The main story lines need to end in a reasonable time.

      LOL! This is some serious lunatic analysis.

      Anyway, congrats to Lena and Pedro.

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    176. Sean C.: No network would ever agree to that, and GRRM wouldn’t have thought it necessary when he signed the contract.

      Yes…and I apologize for troubling you to repeat that message to me every month or so. We do end up here often, don’t we?

      I believe modern contracts are inherently flexible with incomplete products/deliverables, with many clauses, incentives and penalties. When he signed the contract in 2007, GRRM had completed only one tome in 7 years. 8 years later, conjectures or not, only one another tome has been completed. When he signed, GRRM had lawyers to protect him too. Whatever its original content or intent, the complex deal has changed in these past 8 years…possibly allowing GRRM and D&D to mature their version of the tale independently.

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    177. mariamb,

      What I don’t get is why you think that this character needs to be punished. When in the books do we every see their are any non-human powers that deal out punishments in any way, anyway?

      (Sorry, could’t resist the last phrasing.)

      At any rate, I almost regret using this as an example! I was merely trying to point out to both ends of the argument that this was neither a waste nor a Chekhovian gun.

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    178. Wimsey,

      They may not have deeper knowledge than those based upon their experiences, but that doesn’t make the knowledge any less important. They remember how to kill the wights. The Night’s Watch know because it was in a book. The Wildlings know the CotF still exist, and some may have even interacted with them, and who knows what knowledge they gained. I don’t think we know whether or not they know about obsidian. They could, but don’t have access to it. Unless I’m getting the show confused with the books, the Night’s Watch only found out by “accident.” They didn’t know what it was for when they found it. The Wildlings knew about the

      horn

      . They seem to be more in touch with and knowledgeable of elements of the “old world,” even if most of it is through their experience, with things that could help them survive, versus the fate of the Southerners, who, maybe just because of lack of exposure, have lost some of the knowledge altogether, and much of what knowledge remains is relegated to the position of lore in books mostly only available to those in the Citadel and various Maesters.

      It’s just my opinion, and it could certainly be wrong, but I’m stickin’ to it. 🙂

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    179. These are the characters I suspect will die this season (I could be forgetting some):

      Jon Snow (sort of)
      Janos Slynt
      Maester Aemon
      Rattleshirt
      Grand Maester Pycelle
      Kevan Lannister
      The High Septon
      Meryn Trant
      Bronn 🙁
      Robin Arryn
      Grey Worm
      Hizdahr Zo Loraq
      Myranda
      Olyvar

      (this doesn’t include characters who have yet to be introduced)

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    180. Hodor’s Bastard: I believe modern contracts are inherently flexible with incomplete products/deliverables, with many clauses, incentives and penalties.

      That is rarely true. Most contracts are pretty specific about what is to be delivered.

      When there is flexibility, then it comes on the other end. That is, someone buys (say) the rights to the Harry Potter series, and then makes films with the names of those books but with completely different stories. The second two films of the Bourne trilogy are examples of that: they use the titles, but the plots and stories are completely different. (I, Robot is another recent example: although that was a weird case where they wound up with the rights to the title, but not to the story; how those got separated, I’ll never understand.) In that case, it was not possible: Rowling had specific language put into the contracts that the films had to be based on her books, and that they could only do material from those books. Because it tends to really irk authors when the rights to their works are used to make completely different movies, it is much more probable that GRRM got something akin to what Rowling got in the contracts: the product had to be based on his books.

      I think that the biggest flaw in your premises is that GRRM himself “knew” that he wouldn’t be done with the books by now. To the contrary, I’m sure that he thought that he would be. It was never supposed to be an issue. Indeed, look at what we’ve seen from him: essentially pleading with the universe for them to make time for him to finish! These are not the actions or words of a man who has had a secret ending hidden up his sleeve. (Of course, this also ignores the fact that B&W are heavily steeped in the story: a couple of plot outlines completely inconsistent with the first four stories would be a huge red flag! And I really don’t think that GRRM had a convenient pair of decoy stories that followed naturally from the first four….)

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    181. Wimsey,

      Relax. I don’t think that the character needs to be punished. Apologies if my intent wasn’t clear. I understand what you were referencing. I did not equate greyscale with punishment from the gods. I just mentioned that it was an interesting concept.

      I do think that greyscale is in the story for a reason and I think that reason lies more with Connington than with Shireen. As I said above, I don’t believe that we will see a Grey Plague. If the filming reports of Tyrion and Jorah in the Sorrows proves to be true, then having Jorah fulfilling Connington’s role could be a possibility.

      Cumsprite,

      is that correct? Did Connington have greyscale before pulling Tyrion out of the water? And yes, it is possible that Tyrion hasn’t shown symptoms.

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    182. Nymeria Warrior Queen: They remember how to kill the wights.

      Right: because they’ve learned from experience. The NW figured out how to do it pretty quickly, too. There is no reason to think that it was any different for the Wildlings.

      Nymeria Warrior Queen: The Wildlings know the CotF still exist, and some may have even interacted with them, and who knows what knowledge they gained.

      The Wildlings do not seem to know much about the Children: Osha has heard of them, but then so has Bran from old Nan’s stories. Old Nan didn’t come across as Citadel trained, so that suggests that the folklore not much worse south of the wall. Indeed, given how many stories Bran knows, it seems that he learned more “traditionally” than Osha did if she has only heard of them. Insofar as the books indicate, the people of Westeros actually know a lot more about the Children than the Wildlings do.

      Nymeria Warrior Queen: I don’t think we know whether or not they know about obsidian. They could, but don’t have access to it. Unless I’m getting the show confused with the books, the Night’s Watch only found out by “accident.”

      Yes, the Night’s Watch learned by accident. However, there is no indication that Mance Rayder knows about this. There must be obsidian in the area: the Children used to give the Night’s Watch a lot of it. After all, there are mountains in the region, and where you have mountains, you are bound to have obsidian veins. However, the Wildlings, Giants, etc. are so powerless against the WW that they are actually able to unite and flee. Their sole defense seems to be fire. That they never discuss obsidian or that it’s never revealed that the Wildlings highly value it, GRRM has not provided us what he should have done if he wanted us to think that Wildlings knew this trick.

      Nymeria Warrior Queen: the fate of the Southerners, who, maybe just because of lack of exposure, have lost some of the knowledge altogether

      And that is the key: the Westerosi and the Essosi have had a lot of exposure to greyscale, and probably more than have the Wildlings given the situation on the Rhoyne. Maesters and their equivalents in Essos have had ample time to study this. Now, granted, their techniques are not exactly scientific: but when they have access to things, then they certainly are going to know a lot more about them than the Wildlings are.

      Instead, I would look at this as simply a means that GRRM used to develop Wildling cultures. Like many similar cultures in our worlds used to be, Wildling cultures are hard ones, and they cannot afford to let the weak drag down the rest of them. Promulgating a belief that grayscale is more dangerous than it is (and, again, if it were at all infectious, then the Westerosi and [especially] Essosi would have learned that a long time ago) would be a good way for Wildlings to feel a little less awful about having to abandoned greyscale victims. The Westerosi and Essosi know all about plagues, but they’ve never suffered a greyscale one. That tells us all we need to know.

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    183. mariamb: Relax. I don’t think that the character needs to be punished.

      Good! That would have been disturbing.

      On a related note,

      no, there is no indication that Connington had the disease before rescuing Tyrion. Connington’s symptoms are at the initial stages, basically at the ones for which Tyrion is on guard. Connington also attributes it to saving the dwarf and regrets it: however, Tyrion had just saved Aegon, and even in the heat of the moment, Connington was not so cold-blooded.

      It will be interesting to see if he has it in Season 6, or if they bother with that. There are many ways in which a man can be racing against a clock, after all. They could use “consumption” or something else; or they might even go that route. We’ll see in 14-17 months, I expect.

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    184. Wimsey,

      [sigh]
      Your insights regarding GRRM’s anxious tap-dancing recently may have some relevance but we know nothing of his contract with HBO & his publisher (or if they are intertwined). I’m not giving up until the fat man sings.

      —-

      And greyscale does matter (book only). He won’t neglect it.

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    185. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Well, let’s put it this way. I’ve heard of the Rowling scenario. I never have heard about a scenario like you propose. I have to agree with others: I don’t think that there is anyway that HBO signs off on that deal.

      Here is the other thing. Do you really think that, in 2007, GRRM thought that he would not have the series completed by 2017? If the answer is “no,” then isn’t the whole idea that he planted a false story on them based on false premise?

      (His contract with his publisher almost certainly is not intertwined in any way, although there must have been some signings off between the two: my understanding is that publishing firms and movie/TV studios do that all the time to clarify the obvious rights of both parties. That certainly makes sense.)

      As for Greyscale, if GRRM does nothing with it, then he will not have neglected it. This really looks like a Mt. Molehill to me!

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    186. mariamb,

      I have enjoyed following the discussion (except for the awful implication that there could be gay punishment for JonCon) but my basic stance is that, per conservation of story, the show won’t have the Griffs, hence no “active” greyscale. And there is no Val to emphasize the danger of passive greyscale in Shireen. The only greyscale vector still in play is Tyrion & Jorah going through the Sorrows. Maybe Jorah gets it there and plays the fateful JonCon role in S5….which furthers our speculations that Jorah is doomed this season.

      Of course, with the books, GRRM could explore greyscale to an amazing, relevant effect….but oh well….

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    187. Wimsey:

      Here is the other thing. Do you really think that, in 2007, GRRM thought that he would not have the series completed by 2017? If the answer is “no,” then isn’t the whole idea that he planted a false story on them based on false premise?

      I simply will wager that they have a contractual answer for both “Yes” and “No” scenarios, with plenty of clauses. I find it amazing and troubling that folks aren’t assuming that the contract has not changed since the original signing. When GRRM delivers his ADoS manuscript to Random House in 2025, I’m sure HBO (after making $5billion on GoT and merchandising and broadcasting live from the moon) will care deeply regarding how Arya is saved in her dying moments by Nymeria and LS. I’m sure they will say “But Arya was supposed to die!!! Let’s sue!” :/

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    188. Hodor’s Bastard: I find it amazing and troubling that folks aren’t assuming that the contract has not changed since the original signing.

      Why would it have? Changing contracts is non-trivial, and it is hard to do without garnering attention.

      The biggest reason why I am so skeptical of your hope is that I’ve never heard of it happening before. We’ve heard of cases where the author gets no assurance that his/her work will be the actual source for the movie or TV series. And we’ve heard of cases where the author gets it in writing that the adaptation must be based on his/her work. I have never heard of a case where the author sells his work but then does not actually have to give it to them. This seems like a real “I hope this might happen, so let’s assume that it’s a viable option” model to me.

      (As for myself, I never bet on things that have never happened before. It’s sort of in keeping with my picture….)

      Hodor’s Bastard: my basic stance is that, per conservation of story, the show won’t have the Griffs, hence no “active” greyscale.

      Why don’t you think that the Griffs will be in the show? Granted, it is a small sample size, but so far characters have appeared on the show once they became relevant to the plot and story being told that season. That would be next year for the Griffs, as they certainly will be very relevant to the plot and probably the impetus for the story in Winter.

      At any rate, there are two possibilities: the show will and will not include them. Both possibilities make the same prediction about Season 5: they won’t be in that.

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    189. Pau: Nice one..so he still meets with D&D and Bryan to prepare future seasons, in this case season 6? So much for the stupid conspiranoic ideas of him sabotaging the show, eh The Bastard?

      Why are people so intent on having D&D and Martin hate each other??

      Because people love drama 😀

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    190. Al Swearengen,

      I’ll allow you that pleasure if you set objective standards for “ruin in a spectacular fashion” in advance – a Metacritic or end-of-season ratings measure, for instance. It won’t do to come on here and say “see, it sucked, I told you so”, which you’re very obviously going to do regardless what happens.

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    191. Wimsey: .I have never heard of a case where the author sells his work but then does not actually have to give it to them.

      I don’t believe I ever implied that…although if you add “on time” to your statement, we may be in the same ballpark. My GoT/ASoI&F contractual issue is very simple. GRRM will probably give detailed, awkward guidance during planning and scripting of the remaining seasons in order to help complete the series by 2017…but if the book(s) aren’t done well before then, and GRRM decides to alter things, post-2017, in order to set the stage for an 8th book about undead Arya’s adventures at the Twins, undead Sansa cooking lemonFrey pies with Manderly, and undead Jon finding love with the Night’s King & Queen, what then? WILL THE WORLD END AS WE KNOW IT? The contract will simply say “Fuck your bonus, you sorry sod, just give us what you got.”

      ——-

      Why don’t you think that the Griffs will be in the show?

      Because I simply don’t want to agree with you. 🙂 Seriously, I want the Griffs as much as you do but their “complexity of existence” is too much for the show, imho. They must be discussed and introduced in S5 (Act II – AFfC/ADwD) first, unless the showrunners believe that S6 is the end of Act II (unlikely), for all hell to break loose in Act III. And then there is the following:

      – Does the “dragon has three heads” prophesy (Dany-Aegon-Jon) really matter for the show?
      – Is what Varys says to Tyrion in the trailer true or is it another red herring? Methinks he is being straight with Tyrion.
      – Tyrion & Jorah go through the Sorrows…what if Jorah gets infected with greyscale? That speaks volumes.
      – No uncovering of the Griff truth by Tyrion? Who will uncover it? Doran? Hotah? Jaime? Kevin/Pycelle?
      – No word of the Golden Co. amassing at Volantis, or their Blackfyre cause (discussed in KL). Will the show support another sellsword army other those amassing in Meereen?
      – Will the show really support two large scale invasions from the east?
      – Given PoVs cut like Arianne, Vic/Aeron, and other supporting characters like SB, CH, LS, Penny and Euron dismissed easily, it seems the same fate is likely for JonCon & Aegon/fAegon
      – Does Yoda’s “There is another…” have any relevance here? Too similar?
      – Will Aegon’s presence belittle the RV’s efforts to defend Tyrion and Elia/Aegon/Rhaenys from a show perspective?

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    192. Cumsprite:
      Larin,

      Hello, friend. How about a drink?

      Speaking of drinks ….

      In the books when Bran is seeing the past and the sacrafice infront of the heart tree he can taste the blood.

      But as one os Stannis´s knights said “what kind of gods (trees) allow themselves to be pissed upon by dogs”.

      Does that mean Bran can taste the piss of every dog that ever took a leak by a heart tree?
      Maybe the constant taste of piss in his mouth will help turn him into a villan of the story. What are your toughts on this never discussed topic?

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    193. Wimsey,

      OK, I’ll remove the word “theory” and go with wild speculation? It doesn’t matter how old the religion is – that family practiced it more devoutly than other Grey King descendants during an outbreak, and others didn’t hence their sub-name. Greyscale comes from cold wet climates. “Stone men” give it. Waking the stone dragon could have a really strange payoff…

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    194. mariamb,

      I was laughing at religious fundamentalists, not gay people. I thought that was clear. But I don’t blame you for assuming otherwise. After all, you don’t know me. Still, I apologize for giving offense. Or, well, maybe you thought it was in bad taste because you’re a religious fundamentalist. Then… I won’t apologize for not being hateful towards perfectly normal people.

      Wimsey,

      Well, I shouldn’t have said that most people don’t realize it. It may be confirmation bias playing its tricks —whenever I see someone on reddit or somewhere else who is utterly shocked by that fact (or even keeps denying it), it really stays in my mind, more than the hundreds of people I’ve read who did get it. As for those few who don’t… there’s plenty of people who are essentially trained to not notice that kind of thing. “Oh, no, they’re just friends.”

      Recently, The Legend of Korra ended with Korra and Asami, two of the female leads, going into a vacation together, looking lovingly at each other while holding hands, which is what the producrs could get away with in an American kids’ network like Nickolodeon. I kid you not, many people kept saying “They’re just friends!” or admitted it was a romantic climax but said there was “no lead up to it.” The producers had to confirm it for those few people, and said something that may apply here: they were watching the show and that relationship in particular through heteronormative lens. The fact that someone is heterosexual is a given; and hey, if a woman dates a man, it means they’re heterosexual, no chance of any other possibility (bisexual erasure is a real thing in media —you’re either gay or hetero, and if you’re not “you gotta choose”.)

      Anyway, given the things I’ve seen in reaction to The Legend of Korra, the fact that some people don’t realize Griff is gay doesn’t surprise me. Yes, even though he talks about Rhaegar’s beautiful visage every time he thinks about him.

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    195. Al Swearengen,
      Sergei Walankov,

      Oh, I’d love that!

      Please, please, Al Swearengen, agree to this or any other method you please, but do it in advance. Instead of coming after the season airs and just saying “See? It sucked!”, establish some parameters in advance: will you include the opinion of the audience? What about the overall opinion of critics? If the only parameter is that you come here and claim it sucked just as you predicted, why should we care?

      Hodor’s Bastard,

      “Is what Varys says to Tyrion in the trailer true or is it another red herring? Methinks he is being straight with Tyrion.”

      As I see it, it doesn’t matter whether Varys was being sincere or not.

      Make no mistake, I agree with you: I’m sure Aegon is gone. However, even if he wasn’t cut, that scene would play out exactly the same way. The scene in the books is very similar, only with Illyrio instead of Varys. Remember, he sends Tyrion to Daenerys, with Aegon, not TO Aegon. Illyrio’s plan is for Tyrion to assist Daenerys, and for Aegon to marry Daenerys. She is still on Varys’s and Illyrio’s plans in the books, except only as Aegon’s wife and the mother of those dragons, not as their primary Targaryen Dragon. When Illyrio tells Tyrion about Daenerys and helping her, he isn’t lying to him. He’s omitting a whole lot of the truth, granted, which is a type of dishonesty —but what he tells him isn’t a lie.

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    196. Twilite:
      Pau,

      No, what D&D have said in public is not irrelevant, since we’re talking about D&D’s opinions. What possible reason would they have to say “7 seasons for sure” in public, then say “9 or more seasons” to GRRM of all people? Not to mention that there’s no way in hell that 9 seasons or more would seriously ever be on the table. GRRM is either delusional or bullshitting.

      You didn’t read what I said, I said that I think D&D have told Martin the truth. So if they know it’s going to be 7 seasons for sure like you say (btw, have they really said that? I mean the “for sure” part. I’ve been disconnected for a few months of the “meta”…I know the first years they talked about 80 hours, 8 seasons blablabla, and they later changed to 7 seasons. But never heard the “for sure” part. And noone really knows why that change, if it’s for real or a HBO tàctic to renegotiate the contracts, if it’s D&D decission or HBO’s, etc… ) then they have told Martin just that, and if they are still not sure they also have told Martin.

      Moreover, Martin have not said “9 or more”. He said 7, 8 or 9. Why do you make stuff up? Is hard to maintain a serious discussion like this.

      So possible scenarios:

      1- HBO wants 7, D&D want 7, it’s going to be 7, Martin knows, yet he said 7,8 or 9. Why? Because:
      a) they told him not to confirm for sure that is going to be 7, or
      b) He wants more so he’s saying “look, if the show sucks at the end it’s their fault, it needs 8 at least”

      2- HBO wants 8, D&D want 7, it’s going to be 7 or 8, Martin knows, yet he said 7,8 or 9. Why? Because:
      a) It’s the truth

      3- HBO wants 7, D&D want 8, it’s going to be 7 or 8, Martin knows, yet he said 7,8 or 9. Why? Because:
      a) It’s the truth

      4- HBO wants 7-8, depending on many factors (like the sallaries etc), D&D want 7-8, depending on many factors (like more money, etc), it’s going to be 7-8, Martin knows, yet he said 7,8 or 9. Why? Because:
      a) It’s the truth

      I’m inclined to believe it’s number 4 (after all, only sure thing in life is death), but if someone else knows for sure please enlighten me. Otherwise it’s all just speculation…like mine 😉

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    197. Hodor’s Bastard,

      Excellent post about the Griffs. I tend to agree – their existence may be too complex for the show. I want them in the story, too, but I think that S6 may be too late to introduce them to the general viewer. And yes, I say that knowing that someone will point out that D&D don’t introduce characters until they need them.

      If – as you say – Varys is being straight with Tyrion, then it is unlikely that the Griffs show up. That’s when I gave up hope for them. I also don’t think that the “dragon has three heads” prophecy will impact the show. Of course, S5 may still surprise us. If there is mention early on of a baby’s head being smashed beyond recognition, then maybe there is still a chance for our Griffs.

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    198. Pau: You didn’t read what I said, I said that I think D&Dhave told Martin the truth. So if they know it’s going to be 7 seasons for sure like you say(btw, have they really said that? I mean the “for sure” part. I’ve been disconnected for a few months of the “meta”…I know the first years they talked about 80 hours, 8 seasons blablabla, and they later changed to 7 seasons. But never heard the “for sure” part. And noone really knows why that change, if it’s for real or a HBO tàctic to renegotiate the contracts, if it’s D&D decission or HBO’s, etc… ) then they have told Martin just that, and if they are still not sure they also have told Martin.

      Moreover, Martin have not said “9 or more”. He said 7, 8 or 9. Why do you make stuff up? Is hard to maintain a serious discussion like this.

      So possible scenarios:

      1- HBO wants 7, D&D want 7, it’s going to be 7, Martin knows, yet he said 7,8 or 9. Why? Because:
      a) they told him not to confirm for sure that is going to be 7, or
      b) He wants more so he’s saying “look, if the show sucks at the end it’s their fault, it needs 8 at least”

      2- HBO wants 8, D&D want 7, it’s going to be 7 or 8, Martin knows, yet he said 7,8 or 9. Why? Because:
      a) It’s the truth

      3- HBO wants 7, D&D want 8, it’s going to be 7 or 8, Martin knows, yet he said 7,8 or 9. Why? Because:
      a) It’s the truth

      4- HBO wants 7-8, depending on many factors (like the sallaries etc), D&D want 7-8, depending on many factors (like more money, etc), it’s going to be 7-8, Martin knows, yet he said 7,8 or 9. Why? Because:
      a) It’s the truth

      I’m inclined to believe it’s number 4 (after all, only sure thing in life is death), but if someone else knows for sure please enlighten me. Otherwise it’s all just speculation…like mine

      Or imagine this supermegafantasy scenario:

      GRRM iz a lazy writer who didn´t finish the books in time.

      D&D do not want to devote a decade of their life waiting for the lazy bastard to finish his work (and thats IF he ever does ….)

      HBO is for the simplest of the options.

      So 7 seasons it is.

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    199. Hoyti Von Totiy: Or imagine this supermegafantasy scenario:

      GRRM iz a lazy writer who didn´t finish the books in time.

      D&D do not want to devote a decade of their life waiting for the lazy bastard to finish his work (and thats IF he ever does ….)

      HBO is for the simplest of the options.

      So 7 seasons it is.

      Occam’s Razor !

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    200. Hodor’s Bastard: They must be discussed and introduced in S5 (Act II – AFfC/ADwD) first, unless the showrunners believe that S6 is the end of Act II (unlikely), for all hell to break loose in Act III. And then there is the following:

      Harry Potter fans said the same thing characters first appearing in Book X and becoming important in Book X+1. However, the film series worked fine introducing them in Film X+1. The GoT series has had similar experiences. It comes to the same thing: important plot and story elements for Season X+1 do not need to be introduced in Season X if they serve no purpose in Season X: in fact, it is counter-productive to do so. (That could cause the Shark Jumping that Al Swearington forecasts every season!)

      As for “all hell breaking out,” I am pretty sure that will be the crux of the story in Winter, and the crux of “Act III” (although we really are on Act V)! If nothing else, then remember that this is TV: and that means that you need different tools to capture the feelings of the lead characters. In the books, this is going to be a complete surprise to all of the characters in Westeros, and most of the characters in Essos. So, keep it a surprise, and the show will better capture the feelings of the characters.

      Moreover, the question is: what else do they do? We almost certainly are looking at:

      Aegon’s invasion coupled with Cersei’s foibles causing drastic realignment of the remaining houses of Westeros, and also inducing Daeny to return to Westeros. Daeny & Aegon will get along initially, but it’s clear that Daeny will not submit to Aegon: and that means that people who support Targaryens are going to have to choose between them. As I’ve noted before, we can expect the Stark sisters to end up on different sides (with Rickon on a third side).

      This is going to affect all of the protagonists, and (to overuse my metaphor from above) I am pretty sure that this will be the sand grain around which the pearl of story and main plots form for Winter. And, no, this isn’t ” complicated”: it really is quite simple, as it will all stem from one thing.

      That also goes back to my question: what else are they going to do? The remaining plot lines in Westeros will have run their course: basically, it’s a dead horse that doesn’t need to be kicked anymore and that involves only some of the lead characters. Moreover, they need something that will create story from “should I do X or Y” indecision for the lead characters: and Westeros is in denouement phases, not create new crisis phase.

      The only two alternatives I can envision are: 1) cut straight to the White Walker conflict (which presumably will introduce it’s own “on who’s side am I?” crises); or, 2) introduce some other “bombshell” out of the blue to keep things from stagnating before the climax. But why invent a bombshell when GRRM already has provided one?

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    201. Darjan: They did seem awfully close in pictures. Probably because they’re both quirky and eccentric, flirty thespians.

      Been an actor for about ten years now and that’s an extremely accurate hypothesis. There is an enormous amount of flirting that goes on. It’s great fun.

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    202. mariamb: nd yes, I say that knowing that someone will point out that D&D don’t introduce characters until they need them.

      No good TV or film series producers do that. I think that part of this reflects that general viewers react opposite of fans in many things. Let’s say that you have an adapted murder series in which the killer was an incidental character in earlier books. Introducing the murderer in the final episode of the Season is “too late.”

      On the other hand, general viewers definitely have a “too early” (which I think that fans do not). They do not call it “too early”: instead, they have “that was a waste of time.” So, giving scenes to Season 8’s murder in Season 7 that don’t add anything to Season 7’s tory and plot is a bad thing. This is not new: when Chekhov wrote his famous lines, he was essentially referring to this.

      Instead, the General Audience is a proverbial Goldilocks: the end of the Season 8 is too late, Season 7 is too early, but the beginning of that Season 8 is Just Right….. (sigh) Fans, on the other hand, wanted that character in Season 7.

      The other thing that fans forget is that successful, long-running TV shows almost always have cast coming and going, even in the later seasons. TV shows that do not do this stagnate: it just becomes more of the same, more of the same. A pre-existing fan base does not exempt a show from this: TV SERIES X will stagnate if Season 6 is just more of Season 5: it needs new characters and new plot threads every year. The only exception that we ever see to this rule is the much ballyhooed “Final Season”: then it becomes expected that we’ll just see everyone who ever has been on the show marched through at one point or another!

      The upshot? Season 6 is too early to stop introducing new characters and new plot threads. Every season is, until HBO waves the “Series Finale Season” flag. (And that probably will be Year 7, no matter how much GRRM hopes.)

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    203. Wimsey:

      The upshot?Season 6 is too early to stop introducing new characters and new plot threads.Every season is, until HBO waves the “Series Finale Season” flag.(And that probably will be Year 7, no matter how much GRRM hopes.)

      Then we will have to agree to disagree. I think that S6 may be too late to introduce certain new characters. Of course, that’s just my opinion and, like yours, is not necessarily right or wrong.

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    204. mariamb,

      Well, I can restate it. History shows that it’s a bad idea for TV series to stop introducing new characters and new plot threads before the final season. Again, don’t think of the show like you are a fan. Instead, think of it like you would think of other shows that you watch: because that is what the vast majority of HBO viewers are doing.

      (As for “opinion,” this is not a statement about my tastes: instead, it’s an opinion based on what correlates with successful TV series over the last 20 years. As a “fanboy,” I would have no problems with YG in this year; but I probably would have enjoyed seeing Tom Bombadil in the Lord of the Rings, which should pretty much discredit my taste as any sort of barometer for the general audience! But my opinion is that Bombadil was a good cut: I know perfectly well that what I enjoy/disliked and what the Rank & File HBO Subscriber enjoy/dislike are not identical.)

      I will add that this is not a game without risk: TV shows that fail to bring in new characters and new plot lines face death by stagnation; however, if the new characters and new plot lines are not popular, then the show can lose popularity. Long-running successful shows these days are those that manage to make popular changes to cast and plot lines.

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    205. Luka Nieto: However, even if he wasn’t cut, that scene would play out exactly the same way. The scene in the books is very similar, only with Illyrio instead of Varys. Remember, he sends Tyrion to Daenerys, with Aegon, not TO Aegon

      Thx for your response, LN.

      Where we seem to differ is in V & Ill’s intents regarding Tyrion. I may be flawed, but my interpretation of the book sequence was that V & Ill were very devious about sending the doomed, depressed, hunted, hot-potato Tyrion south with the Griffs. Although they may have wanted T to discover their calculated invasion plan with the Griffs all along, they never intended for T to make it to Volantis, where the amassed Golden Co awaited. They knew nothing about Dany’s situation…she was never to meet Aegon. They lied about Dany’s migration plans to Tyrion. Aegon/fAegon was their Targ all along. Tyrion was led by Haldon directly into Jorah’s lap (a former Varys’ little bird) before Volantis, and hence discarded from V & Ill’s concerns. Did T’s discussions with Aegon/fAegon matter or did his thoughts simply supplement/bolster a preconceived plan?

      I guess my basic difference in opinion with you is that I thought Varys & Ill lied about Dany to Tyrion in the book, whereas they will tell the truth about Dany to Tyrion in the show. Dany is their Targ in the show.

      mariamb,

      Thx! I do hope to be surprised as well. 🙂

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    206. Wimsey,

      It is all in the execution. Oberyn’s introduction demonstrated that a new character – and a new story line – can invigorate a show. There is a lot to come yet in S6 and S7, most of which is unknown to book readers. New characters can enhance or confuse. It’s really a roll of the dice and we aren’t the ones playing the game.

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    207. mariamb: New characters can enhance or confuse. It’s really a roll of the dice and we aren’t the ones playing the game.

      Correct! However, what it really is is the Red Queen: running to stay in place. If you do not add new characters, then the show will stagnate slip. If you add new characters and they work, then the show will tread water or even rise a little. If you add new characters and they flop, then the show will really slide.

      History goes to those who take chances. B&W have the chance to be remembered for an incredible TV series. That will involve a few risks between now and the end: I think that they will go for it. You are absolutely right that it’s in the introduction. And so far, they have done very good jobs of introducing new characters. It is not quite a die-roll, either: what they know is that they can do it well.

      Hodor’s Bastard,
      I never had the impression that:

      Varys & Illyrio never intended for Tyrion to make it to Volantis. On the contrary, I think that they viewed him as a useful source of knowledge and a possible figurehead for their plans. I do not think that they lied about Daeny’s migration plans, either: I doubt that they learned that they were mistaken any earlier than the Golden Company did. They simply guessed wrong about what she would do. As we learn, the two have had their plans undermined by that nasty “free will” of other people before!

      At any rate, it seems really implausible that the plan was to have Tyrion dumped on Jorah: they would have no way of knowing exactly where Mormont was or where Haldon would go to meet his contacts. Varys does very well at learning things given the limited communication capacities of his time: but a lot happens that he doesn’t learn any earlier than other people, it seems.

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    208. Wimsey:
      And so far, they have done very good jobs of introducing new characters.It is not quite a die-roll, either: what they know is that they can do it well.

      We agree!!! They have done an excellent job of introducing new characters to date. However, time (or lack of) is the great enemy of this show. Whether they can continue to introduce new characters with only 20 hours left remains to be seen. Their track record says “yes” but it depends on what is still to come.

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    209. Wimsey,

      Yeah…like I mentiond to LN, it was an read-only interpretation that I had of the sequence since 2011, which I am now able to revisit with more “perspectives”. I never trusted Varys and Illyrio with a member of the recent usurper party. I can accept either interpretation..but the show seems to want to direct us specifically regarding V’s intent.

      (still want to be surprised)

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    210. The Sleeper has Awakened…as a Watcher on the Wall. I can dig it.

      First, congratulations to Lena on the upcoming bundle or joy.
      Second, I too do not accept this tinfoil hat conspiracy theory that GRRM is trying to undermine D & D’s work. I sense a slight disgruntlement in the realization that his story may be told before he can finish it. A frisson of passive-agreesiveness in his vague announcements seems to support the claims of people who buy into this supposed animosity.

      As for the deaths we will encounter this season, I suspect that characters who can have arcs that can be passed on to another character will be the first to go; their respective arcs and traits can either be merged with an existing or new character in the upcoming seasons.

      My prediction for character deaths this year:
      Definite:

      [Kevan Lannister
      Pycelle
      Meryn Trant
      Janos Slynt
      “Jon Snow”
      Alister Thorne
      Ser Barristan Selmy
      Myranda
      Yezzan
      Hizdahr
      Balon Greyjoy

      Maybe:
      Jaime
      Brienne
      Bronn
      Loras
      Jorah
      Ellaria or one of the Sand Snakes]

      Also regarding the paternity of Lena’s baby…isn’t Pedro Pascal happily married to Sarah Paulson?

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    211. Uh you may want to delete my comment. It’s not allowing me to utilize the spoiler function. So look away UnSullied lest ye be spoilt!

      Something tells me this site isn’t 100% iphone friendly.

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    212. Wimsey,

      We obviously have very, very different views on what the Wildlings do and don’t know, and what value that knowledge may or may not have. That’s fine, and points to one of the things I love about this story, in general: people can read the same thing and have quite differing views. Maybe you’re correct, and maybe I’m correct, or maybe it is somewhere in between. Time will tell. 🙂

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    213. A couple thoughts:

      1) GRRM is slow. So, so, so slow. (I waited 4 years for AFFC, and 5 years for ADWD. We’ve been waiting 4 years for TWoW and I’m not holding my breath).

      2) I’ve known, since Season 1, that the show would pass the books. But now I’m actually wondering if the show will be finished before GRRM even publishes Winds of Winter!

      3) It’s pretty crazy that the show might be finished in just TWO YEARS! For those of us like myself, who have been following the development of GoT for 6 or 7 years (on the old site), the thought of the show being over in 2 short years is crazy!

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    214. Lex: 3) It’s pretty crazy that the show might be finished in just TWO YEARS! For those of us like myself, who have been following the development of GoT for 6 or 7 years (on the old site), the thought of the show being over in 2 short years is crazy!

      I absolutely agree. Time flies like a dragon on basilisk venom.

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    215. Arthur,

      Well, when the Soprano’s ended there was a void for a few years with some decent but not great shows tonfill the void (Deadwood, Rome, etc.). HBO will do something, it just may take some time. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.

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