Iwan Rheon and Liam Cunningham talk Bastard Bowl, compare it to a Hollywood blockbuster

RamsayBOB Iwan Rheon talks about the parallels between Ramsay Bolton and Jon Snow and Liam Cunningham promises the Battle of the Bastards will be “magnificent.”


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Iwan Rheon said that he’s wanted Jon Snow (one of the characters he originally auditioned to play) and Ramsay Bolton to meet for years.

“[Jon’s] the antithesis of Ramsay,” he said, “They’re almost a yin and a yang. They both come from such a similar place yet they’re so different. And even though they’re enemies, they’ve both risen so far as bastards, which is almost incomprehensible, and now they’re both here facing each other. They couldn’t be any more different, yet more similar.”

Rheon will finally be getting his wish next episode when the two northern bastards clash in the highly-anticipated Bastard Bowl, an event that Liam Cunningham described to The Hollywood Reporter as “possibly … the most talked about episode of the entire story, of any season.

“I can’t tell you the air of expectation I have on this. I have every confidence that it’s going to be as magnificent as what I saw being filmed.”

Cunningham said that shooting the battle was “tough” with “plenty of pain and misery” but admitted that that’s to be expected when filming something on this scale.

He recalled episode director, Miguel Sapochnik and other higher-ups presenting him with the pre-viz and storyboards for the battle late last summer. “I remember when they showed it to us, it was like a Hollywood blockbuster. It was something you would expect from a $200 million movie … In my opinion, Miguel, David and Dan have exceeded what I saw on the pre-viz.”

Though Cunningham couldn’t say too much about what actually happens in the battle, he said he chose not to watch some of the stunts performed by the “extraordinary” horsemen because he “wanted to see the finished product unspoiled. I know a couple of things that they were up to, and what I was being told about was jaw-dropping stuff.”

On a thematic level, Cunningham described the battle as a culmination for Davos, a man who’s always striven to do what’s moral.

“We’re severely outnumbered. In a sense, it’s a suicide mission, at least on paper. But it has to be done. You can almost say it’s a catchphrase for Davos: “We have to do the right thing.” His character has lived that way throughout the entire show. In a sense, certainly for this season, it culminates in what we’re going to see on Sunday. It’s difficult to put into words what this is going to be like.”

Cunningham can’t stress the size and scale of Bastard Bowl enough and he applauds HBO and showrunners, David Benioff and D.B Weiss, for not coasting on the show’s success and taking the easy road.

“They’ve pushed the bounds of television on this, not just the show,” he said. “All praise to HBO for backing them both financially and artistically on this. David and Dan are not making it easy on themselves, and HBO is not making it easy on themselves. When they see it, nobody will think that they sat back and said, “Let’s just enjoy the success.”

201 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Ho-HYPE

      *sidenote*
      STILL having issues with this server on multiple computers, especially Google Chrome. Hope this can get fixed once it’s not GoT season!

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    2. I never like when actors who play really good characters on an episode as brutal as this one is about to be do the promotional stuff. Always worries me they won’t make it all the way through. I may not like Ramsay, but I love the character if that makes sense. Show is much better with Liam and Iwan in it.

      Yes, I am hoping both make it through the episode alive. I’d much rather see Ramsay rot in a cell for the next two seasons than die. Iwan’s a good actor and like I said before, the show is much better with him in it than without.

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    3. Can I just sleep the next 48 hours so I can see this amazing -ness…its soo hard to wait!!!!

      … am I remembering correctly..wasnt it down to Ian and Kit for Jon, and they brought him back as Ramsay because he made such a good impression?

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    4. ManderlyPieCompany:
      I never like when actors who play really good characters on an episode as brutal as this one is about to be do the promotional stuff. Always worries me they won’t make it all the way through. I may not like Ramsay, but I love the character if that makes sense. Show is much better with Liam and Iwan in it.

      Yes, I am hoping both make it through the episode alive. I’d much rather see Ramsay rot in a cell for the next two seasons than die. Iwan’s a good actor and like I said before, the show is much better with him in it than without.

      ManderlyPieCompany:
      I never like when actors who play really good characters on an episode as brutal as this one is about to be do the promotional stuff. Always worries me they won’t make it all the way through. I may not like Ramsay, but I love the character if that makes sense. Show is much better with Liam and Iwan in it.

      Yes, I am hoping both make it through the episode alive. I’d much rather see Ramsay rot in a cell for the next two seasons than die. Iwan’s a good actor and like I said before, the show is much better with him in it than without.

      So sorry, but I would scream like a banshee if Ramsay lived through this season. I can’t stand the sight of his face for one more second. I literally turn my head when he is on my screen. Ramsay must be flayed. NO EXCEPTIONS!

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    5. So “culminates” says to me that BoB will be Davos’s final scenes. Am I reading that wrong?

      His character has lived that way throughout the entire show. In a sense, certainly for this season, it culminates in what we’re going to see on Sunday. –Liam

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    6. moonlightof1982,

      Yeah, he’s got to die.

      If only so that we don’t end up with tinfoil hat speculation for the remaining couple of seasons that he’ll somehow escape and end up on the Iron Throne or team up with the White Walkers or such like.

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    7. SansaStar,

      All we can hope for is that they aren’t over-hyping. We should all try to temper our expectations honestly, haha.

      In the early days, the production team and the showrunners were very modest. They told us Season 3 would be great and would include a show-defining moment, but they didn’t go overboard on the hype. They let their work speak for itself. Same on the first two seasons. Since Season 4, they’ve been going way too far in terms of how much they hype things up.

      Lucky for them, it’s usually warranted, but there have been a couple instances when it wasn’t quite so warranted.

      All I can say is that I will try to keep my expectations reasonable, and hopefully I’ll be blown away.

      I don’t want all this hype to make people think they’re going to see the best hour of anything ever put to screen if that isn’t indeed the case.

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    8. “Though Cunningham couldn’t say too much about what actually happens in the battle,…”

      The very fact he’s splashed everywhere in the media in the run up to, and during this season, is evidence enough of what Davos’ fate will be. This media saturation is an indirect spoiler in itself if you ask me.

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    9. Rhaenys Stark,

      I can’t imagine them both surviving. As sad as I would be to see either of them go, I can’t help but feel it needs to happen. For Jon’s two best and most loyal “lieutenants” to come out unscathed would be too good to be true on a show like GoT.

      Here’s a daunting thought : perhaps Ramsay will take it upon himself to rid the Onion Knight of his remaining fingers :'(

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    10. I don’t think Davos is croaking. Going by the previews, he’s going to find out the truth about Shireen’s demise. I doubt he’ll die with that plot armor on.

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    11. Ginevra,
      Apollo,

      I have a very bad feeling about Davos, especially after this comment from Liam:

      On a thematic level, Cunningham described the battle as a culmination for Davos, a man who’s always striven to do what’s moral.

      mau,
      I really want to believe you. Not ready to lose Davos yet.

      This will be a stressful episode, to say the least.

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    12. mau,

      Given the fact that you’ve said on previous threads that you read the spoilers, I have a sneaking suspicion that you just spoiled Davos’ fate for us. Thanks for that. If you could avoid doing such things in the future, it would be much appreciated.

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    13. Morgoth:
      I don’t think Davos is croaking. Going by the previews, he’s going to find out the truth about Shireen’s demise. I doubt he’ll die with that plot armor on.

      What plot armour does this provide him though? He’ll have a face off with Mel on Sunday but other than that I can’t see what purpose he will serve going forward. The North will bow to Jon I’d say so he’s not needed to petition on his behalf.

      Besides, with so many major characters in one place, and with the shorter seasons to come, it’s clear that many extraneous characters need to go… As painful as that’ll be for the viewers but let’s be realistic- it’s GOT. We know the game by now.

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    14. Yeah. The word culmination is kind of worrying. It can be taken different ways of course. But still it scares me with regard to Davos.

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    15. mau,

      There are actually spoilers about Tormund but I’m not sure if they’re legit. Anyway, we’ll know soon enough.

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    16. Besides hodor (summer?), I can’t think of any other characters “we like” (the good guys) that have died this season .. ? Right ?

      Oh man. Tissues please

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    17. Markus Stark,

      I am sure when she uses “I’m sure’ she does not mean that she knows this as a fact.

      I don’t remember how often I said to my then young daughter, when there was am argument with one of her friends ‘I’m sure she did not mean it’; even though I did not know this as a fact. Just to make her feel better. You folks need to stop reading into things.

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    18. Dee Stark:
      Besides hodor (summer?), I can’t think of any other characters “we like” (the good guys) that have died this season .. ? Right ?

      Oh man. Tissues please

      Exactly! There’s a staggering degree of complacency here over our beloved characters mortality, despite 6 years of experience.

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    19. Dee Stark:
      Besides hodor (summer?), I can’t think of any other characters “we like” (the good guys) that have died this season .. ? Right ?

      Oh man. Tissues please

      You stop it right there Missy; this will be a no tissue episode, dang it. All the people we come to love will be just fine…ladida…no excuse me while I go run through the meadow and frolic with unicorns and dance with fairies…

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    20. “On a thematic level, Cunningham described the battle as a culmination for Davos, a man who’s always striven to do what’s moral.”

      Maybe Liam was talking about what he does to Mel when he finds out what she did to Shireen.

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    21. Apollo: What plot armour does this provide him though? He’ll have a face off with Mel on Sunday but other than that I can’t see what purpose he will serve going forward. The North will bow to Jon I’d say so he’s not needed to petition on his behalf.

      Besides, with so many major characters in one place, and with the shorter seasons to come, it’s clear that many extraneous characters need to go.

      Well, like I said, I’m kind of concerned about what his fate will be. But taking the optimistic view, we know Melissandre has seen herself walking the battlements of Winterfell with the Bolton banners coming down. I’m hoping maybe his confrontation with her will be then.

      And I think that even with a victory there will still be some diplomatic work to be done. Especially if the victory comes as a result of the late intervention of the Knights of the Vale. If that’s the case then either 1) they’re not likely to stay around in
      Winterfell long term or 2) They will be used in a not so positive way (for the Starks) by Littlefinger.

      In either case I think Jon/Sansa will be able to use someone with Davos’ skill set. The posting about next season casting news might support this. If the 16 year old girl is indeed an Alys Karstarak type character, then there will be alliances and marriages to forge even after this week’s battle. Plus I don’t think we’re going to get 2 seasons (even if they are 2 shortened seasons or 1 split one) of All White Walkers all the time. Those guys make great bogeymen but they haven’t been known to talk at all that I can see and so might not make for the best characters for a long term storyline.

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    22. Rhaenys Stark,

      True, but those weren’t really “loved” characters. Their deaths didn’t punch us in the heart and rip out our souls, in the manner of watching the death of Oberyn Martell or any number of Starks. The Oberyn death still gives me chills – I haven’t been able rewatch it again (always skip that part). I hate watching the Ned Stark execution, Jon stabbing or Red Wedding, too – it’s still too soon 🙂

      So I think it’s true we haven’t had a gut-wrenching death this season…..who would people least like to see killed in Episode 9 or 10? Whose death would upset you the most?

      For me, it would probably be Jon or Arya, but I’m 99% sure they’re safe for now, so the one I’m most worried about is Davos. Huge battle, and it just feels like we’re going to lose someone we don’t want to lose….if not Davos, maybe Tormund, but I feel like they need to keep him around if the Wildlings are still going to be a ‘thing’ – he’s the face of the Wildlings at this point. Davos seems more expendable, in terms of the overall story. I hope not, though…..Davos is one of the few decent and honest people in Westeros.

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    23. Bob Warren:
      Markus Stark,

      Everyone who has read the spoilers should probably restrict themselves to saying “Hodor” at this point.

      Well, anyone who has read the leaks should certainly restrict any discussion of them to the forums and leave them off threads where people see things under spoiler code and think they’re book spoilers, or information gleaned from filming earlier in the year… Please!!!

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    24. Dolorous Methuselah:
      .Plus I don’t think we’re going to get 2 seasons (even if they are 2 shortened seasons or 1 split one) of All White Walkers all the time.

      I agree. I don’t think that the Wall will fall this season.

        Quote  Reply

    25. mau,

      Alright then, my bad. I assumed you knew it all. There are in fact a few people who have claimed to know for certain what happens to Tormund and Davos, so that’s why I was quick to jump on it. My apologies.

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    26. newbietothegame,

      I don’t know why you assume I was reading anything into the phrase “I’m sure”. I was not.

      Obviously, I’m aware that people use that phrase to reassure others of something, even if they themselves don’t know it for a fact.

      The reason I said that was because Mau has mentioned reading spoilers for the last two episodes, so I took the comment about Davos’ fate as a potential spoiler for that reason.

        Quote  Reply

    27. newbietothegame,

      I’ve decided to take the really pessimistic approach that all the characters I don’t want to die will, in fact, die. That way, when at least one of them survives, I’ll be happy-ish.

        Quote  Reply

    28. mau,

      I agree. Culminate .. more in the sense of reach a climax or an apex … the battle will bring together everything that Davos has learned over his life … but not necessarily end his life.

        Quote  Reply

    29. I have to admit, given that the entire season so far didn’t leave a lasting impression on me, I’m going into this with abated expectations.

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    30. Dolorous Methuselah,

      Why would there be two seasons entirely of WWs even if the wall were to fall in S6? I’ve never understood that argument.

      We only have 13 hours left in S7/8 with many many characters and several separate stories building to the endgame. The WWs need only appear once or twice in S7 to be impactful…hell we’ve only seen them once this season.

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    31. Ginevra,
      The Hollywood Reporter article does say that he serves as Lord Snow’s
      faithful lieutenant in BOTH the battle against the Boltons and the greater war still to come.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      newbietothegame,

      I’ve decided to take the really pessimistic approach that all the characters I don’t want to die will, in fact, die.That way, when at least one of them survives, I’ll be happy-ish.

      I wish I could do that. I should have taken Monday off. I don’t think I will be able to sleep after watching episode 9. I will be either completely hyped (Hell Yeah euphoria) or I will be extremely sad. If the latter should apply at least there are folks here I can commiserate with.

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    33. Morgoth:
      I don’t think Davos is croaking. Going by the previews, he’s going to find out the truth about Shireen’s demise. I doubt he’ll die with that plot armor on.

      And then do what with that information? Kill Mel? That would neither be in character or just. He suspects it anyway, and what does it really matter how she died?

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    34. Apollo: What plot armour does this provide him though? He’ll have a face off with Mel on Sunday but other than that I can’t see what purpose he will serve going forward. The North will bow to Jon I’d say so he’s not needed to petition on his behalf.

      Whatever kind of confrontation he’ll have with Melisandre (either a verbal one, or a violent one), I’m sure it’ll happen after the battle.

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    35. Chad Brick: And then do what with that information? Kill Mel? That would neither be in character or just. He suspects it anyway, and what does it really matter how she died?

      Well, he was really fond of Shireen so killing Mel in a fit of rage isn’t that far fetched. But I do agree that wouldn’t be very Davos-like.
      I think they’ll have a confrontation and it’d be kinda out of place in the episode, so…

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    36. The acting this season, as in every season, has been very, very good. However, the writing and directing (i think because they don’t have blueprint to work off of) has been incredibly disappointing. That said, I’m still hopeful for the Bastard Bowl, but don’t expect the writing, directing, scope, scale, and sheer epicness to come close to matching Theoden’s charge of the Rohirrim against Sauron’s forces at Minas Tirith. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Tgi-j56ueU

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    37. Head’s up!

      Be careful over on the casting thread for season 7. Geek Furious decided to post something from a potential leak about the end of this season, and while he did put it under spoiler coding, the ensuing conversation makes it pretty clear what’s under the coding (yes, I had a little conniption over it).

      Grrrrrrr.

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    38. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Thanks for the heads up.
      I definitely may avoid the comments here until after the finale airs. It’s getting way too dicey, and I’ve already been spoiled on several major plot points from next two episodes, despite my best efforts. It’s so incredibly annoying.

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    39. My Davos can’t die and Jon needs a win rant.

      It feels like his story just started imo–Davos is needed for what comes after this battle. It’s not just because I love him…though I do. Jon needs his guidance and help and they can’t take everything away from Jon all the time-I mean I get suffering builds character but give him a break. And by break I mean don’t kill Davos or Tormund.

      Example of why Jon needs a win: Everyone says his story parallels Dany’s-and it does in most ways EXCEPT-While she gets masses of people carrying her on their shoulders and or kneeling at her feet, he is constantly under scrutiny or being attacked by zombies. While she gets a loyal crew-Missy, Greyworm, Jorah etc who would drop and die for her in a heartbeat–he gets “For the Watch” and “Can I go to Oldtown-because books and sex” (note: love Sam and I don’t blame him but that’s basically what he said in the show)
      I’m not saying Dany didn’t lose her husband, trek through the desert or have warlocks after her for a second-she’s had obstacles-but she also had dragons and Jorah at her side at all times. Bloodriders and Unsullied. Barristan F-ing Selmy and Tyrion. A sexy boy toy who also happens to lead the Second Sons.

      He doesn’t have to walk naked in the snow being hailed the Northern messiah or anything (though I wouldn’t turn that down) Just an actual win.
      Just once.

      (note: Wall wasn’t a win because Ygritte died and then he was going to sacrifice his life to stop Mance from attacking again until Stannis showed up/and Hardhome was barely escaping with a few Wildlings after giving the Night King more dead for his army)

      Can you tell I’m nervous about this epic battle coming up? I’m done now. Sorry. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    40. Markus Stark,

      You’re welcome, and, yeah, I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to have to do the same as you. I don’t want to, ’cause I love this place, but I don’t want any information from potential leaks. As hard as the staff here tries, it’s impossible for them to catch everything, at least quickly enough no one sees them (not to mention, it’s completely unfair, imo, they should have to constantly police this place like that). The worst part is, that particular person should know better. He does know better, he just doesn’t give a shit.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Thanks and I agree! I was spoiled by that post as well. It happens every year. I click into a spoiler thinking that I’m going to read something about the books and oops…no, its about the upcoming episode.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      If you ask me You are over reacting IMO.. it was merely a speculation based on the spoiler we do not know it will happen that way..

      And regarding the topic that was being discussed i dont think there is one person in the fandom who is not aware of that theory.

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    43. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      newbietothegame,

      I’ve decided to take the really pessimistic approach that all the characters I don’t want to die will, in fact, die.That way, when at least one of them survives, I’ll be happy-ish.

      I could take almost anyone in the show dying except for Arya. Sure, I’d be very upset to lose many others (Brienne, Davos, Tormund, The Hound, most Starks) but she’s my one “can’t die” character. I think D&D and GRRM agree with me 😉

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    44. RG,

      Not every story is going to be mirror image of another story .

      For instance how many father figures have Jon had compared to dany ..

      Dany’s story is of a conqueror who unites the culturally different people under her .

        Quote  Reply

    45. dragonbringer,

      To be fair, you’re really one of the first at this – even when people are covering their spoilers, you always respond without covering your response!! And those responses make it very clear what you’re talking about.

      Just try to have a little regard and decency. It’s really annoying to act like discussing leaks is some god given right on a forum where it EXPLICITLY says to cover your spoilers. And the other people, who haven’t read some illegal leaks, are overreacting.

        Quote  Reply

    46. mariamb:
      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Thanks and I agree! I was spoiled by that post as well. It happens every year. I click into a spoiler thinking that I’m going to read something about the books and oops…no, its about the upcoming episode.

      In all fairness the guy covered the relevant parts with spoiler code on his post. If others didn’t, then blame them by all means.

      And whilst the first sentence referencing info from the potential leaks is uncovered, that should be more than enough warning not to click any further. “Leak” is clearly from a forthcoming episode, not the books, as we all know very well by now.

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    47. Guys I’m starting to think there’s NO ONE on the crosses that we know.

      Has it ever been said that the people burning on the crosses are important? I can’t remember, I just know who Sue said it WASN’T.

      In their current state, those bodies wouldn’t be recognizable to anyone. I think it’s more about the visual impact – ie we’ll do this to you – than anyone specific.

      Really, who could it be?

      1) Tormud/Davos/Mel are all there

      2) Osha? Did Sansa and Jon ever even interact with her to care that she’s burning on a cross? Not to be crude, but if they think Rickon is alive to begin the battle, do they care that his Wildling companion, who they never knew, is burning?

      3) Edd/Nights Watch – no way is the show somehow going to pretend that Ramsay snuck up to the Wall, murdered the Nights Watch and left the Wall totally unmanned, and then came back – showing it all off screen? Not happening

      4) Brienne/Pod – again, Brienne’s story isn’t going to end up this way.

      I really don’t think it’s anyone important….

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    48. Nadia,

      Lol ..
      I hardly discuss about spoilers.

      It was speculation and so I didn’t see the need to cover it up…
      It may happen that way or it may not happen that way..
      And I was answering what will happen if it happened that way..

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    49. dragonbringer,

      Whether everyone in the fandom had heard of that theory, or not, is beside the point. There was a discussion about how certain things would play out in that episode, and the person who made the post that started the conversation had said last week he’d read leaks from the rest of the season.

      Apollo,

      I didn’t click on it, though, but by virtue of what others started saying, I figured out pretty quickly what must be under there.

      Everyone has been asked, over and over, to relegate discussion from any possible leak to the Forums. The person who made the initial post knows that.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Looking back at that thread he mentions specifically that if the leaks are correct and then goes on to discuss about it inside the spoiler tag ..
      So seems only I was the one who wasn’t using spoiler tag…
      So its my mistake more than his and I apologize for that if I ended up spoiling anything..

      But I still can’t think of anyone who doesnt know about that scene happening ..is it really spoiler though ..

        Quote  Reply

    51. mariamb,

      It may be necessary to have multiple spoiler tags. One for the books, one for filming news, and one for script/episode leaks. Don’t know how technically feasible that is though, could be hard to implement.

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    52. Chad Brick: And then do what with that information? Kill Mel? That would neither be in character or just. He suspects it anyway, and what does it really matter how she died?

      What does it matter how she died?!
      He will see it as the Red Woman finally manipulated Stanis to the point that he sacrificed his own daughter. Davis was the only one who visited Shireen when she was locked away due to her greyscale. He will lose any remaining respect for Stanis and he WILL blame Mel.

      It was clear he was considering killing Mel in “The North Remembers” (way back in E1 of S2) before she could have such strong influence but then watched a maester die from poison that she drank like water.

      Then in “Valar Dohaeris” (E1 of S4) he actually TRIES to kill her after she “taunts” him about the death of his son by wildfire at Blackwater.

      I don’t think he will kill her here at the end of S6 but it’s selective memory to call it out of character if he did.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Markus Stark,

      One can just mention one of the following before using a spoiler tag ..

      “In the books “before using a book spoiler.

      “Based on filming ” for a filming spoiler

      ” according to the leaks or spoiler ” for any leaks of episodes.

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    54. dragonbringer,

      I appreciate that, and I’m sorry I’m being so aggressive with my language, at least toward you. Quite frankly, it was much more about the guy who made the initial post not caring we’ve all been told to keep that sort of thing in the forums. I went off on the same guy last week for being an asshole about dropping hints about leaks…and, believe it, or not, I don’t like melting down. In fact, I’m always a bit embarrassed when I do.
      Anyway, the fact you even took the time to go back and read the thread and evaluate what you said says a lot about you (good stuff), so thank you for that. 🙂

      Everyone have a good night, and remember…

      “Leak” is a 4-letter word!!!

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    55. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Well thank you ..i can relate to the what you said about melting down ..it’s exactly how I feel sometimes after most of dany discussions…
      Different breaking points for different people ..

      Speaking of good night .
      Its Saturday morning for me and I have to check my calender to make sure of that because there was no thread about promo discussion for coming episode ..are we not getting that thread which we usually get ..
      I guess one can only discuss the episode and promo so many times without getting bored.

        Quote  Reply

    56. dragonbringer,

      Of course, you’re absolutely right, but sadly very few people do that. They usually don’t preface their comments with anything, and so when you see a spoiler-tagged comment you just see a big grey blob, and it’s up to you to decide whether you’re willing to take the risk of reading it, knowing full well that it may be a leak and not a book spoiler.

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    57. Markus Stark:
      Rhaenys Stark,

      I can’t imagine them both surviving. As sad as I would be to see either of them go, I can’t help but feel it needs to happen. For Jon’s two best and most loyal “lieutenants” to come out unscathed would be too good to be true on a show like GoT.

      Here’s a daunting thought : perhaps Ramsay will take it upon himself to rid the Onion Knight of his remaining fingers :'(

      I’m guessing there will be one big death for the good guys (and I don’t count Rickon as a character we’ve invested enough time in to count). That leaves Jon, Sansa, Davos, Tormund, Wun Wun, or Melisandre. I think we can take Jon off the table. There was some speculation that it’s Sansa, but I seriously doubt D&D would finally give her character some fight, just to kill her off the same season. The blow back they would get from the SJW would be fierce (and likely deserved). Also, as far as I know, Sophie hasn’t booked another job this summer. Melisandre is a possibility, but her proximity to the battle is questionable right now. My guess it will be Tormund and Wun Wun.

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    58. Chad Brick: And then do what with that information? Kill Mel? That would neither be in character or just. He suspects it anyway, and what does it really matter how she died?

      Maybe Shireen’s death won’t be in vain? Perhaps Davos discovers something of value while near her pyre? An inspiring idea comes to mind, maybe? I doubt he’ll seek “revenge” upon Mel but maybe Shireen can inspire him from the grave, R’hllor willing….

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    59. Rhaenys Stark,
      Book based spec

      Davos is attached to Rickon as Tormund is attached to Hardhome. Smalljon controls Rickon. Hardhome already passed. Imo Davos dies valiantly and Tormund heroically. Both tragic??

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    60. Bob Warren: Whose death would upset you the most?

      No question it’s Arya for me. She was my favorite as I read the books and continues to be in the show, especially with how perfect Maisie was/is for the part.

      It feels like a guarantee that we’ll lose some more of the main characters by the series finale. I think Jon, Daenerys and Tyrion are close to a sure thing to make it to the last couple of episodes if not through to the end so I kind of cross them off the list of consideration. For me Arya is right there with them followed by Sansa and Bran. Of those it would bother me the least to lose Sansa.

      I believe the rest of the characters are in more danger, more expendable for the causes of those six above.
      – Cersei is toast at some point, no doubt.
      – Jaime’s story looks like one that could lead him to a death doing something very honorable, perhaps in an effort to save a certain lady from Tarth.
      – Everyone else could die at any time. A few probably have a stronger chance to make it through, like Sam or even Theon for instance. Jorah might even have a better chance than some.

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    61. SansaStar:
      This is the most hype I’ve ever read about an episode.

      Fans are expecting to enjoy the most ever so far. A counter theme is:
      If D&D did not expend so much energy making episodes that top previous episodes, they could have enough energy to make more story telling episodes for more years, and render more of the books.

      I would prefer that more of the story makes it to the screen, instead of fewer episodes, truncated story, stunning epicness, and rush to early conclusion. It seems that D&D are throwing down the gauntlet to their competitors, and saying, “Top that, if you can, but you can’t.” Of course, if some showrunner picks up the gage, as in Sir Penrose’s challenge to Stannis, we can rush to view that effort. And rate it here.

        Quote  Reply

    62. I can’t see Team Stark going through a “suicide mission” without losing at least one important character. Rickon may get burned but he’s not really an important character. So I see at least one of Tormund or Davos dying, with Tormund being more likely. If Brienne or the BwB make it in time, Brienne or The Hound would be possibilities. Maybe even Sansa or Mel, although I think that would be unlikely. Jon is pretty much zero chance.

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    63. Rygritte:
      The only thing he’ll discover is two burnt stags.

      Sadly, yes.

      However….
      Shireen the Grey(scale) may be dead
      but Shireen the White may return!
      🙂

        Quote  Reply

    64. SansaStar,

      Wishing they’d dial the hype back. There’s a point where hype inflates expectations to unreasonable levels. I’d rather they said it’s pretty good but you’ll have to be the judge,

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    65. Ravyn,

      But who takes over as the wildlng leader? Is it Jon? There’s no one else but TGB & WW at the moment – and while WW is awe inspiring he’s not much for conversation or strategy. Unless of course Sansa teaches him the common tongue and he falls in love with her and is as it were slain.

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    66. Ravyn,

      I agree. Plus Sansa definitely has a lot of story left, in my opinion, it wouldn’t make narrative sense for her to die at this point, and especially not because of Ramsay or his forces.

      As for Melisandre, I believe she is guaranteed to survive this season, as she tells Arya in season 3 episode 6 that they will meet again. I doubt D&D would have written that interaction into the script if it were a throwaway line.

        Quote  Reply

    67. moonlightof1982,

      Haha! Yeah he’s gotta go! If he doesn’t die I will be screaming with you!

      I’m fearing for Davos, Tormund, and Wun Wun. I have a feeling they might make it out alive though. *crosses fingers*

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    68. hexonx,

      Melisandre still has to meet Arya again though (Mel says this in episode 6 of season 3). This was set up a while back, and that interaction isn’t from the books, so I really doubt D&D would have included it if it were a throwaway line.

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    69. Marlana: Fans are expecting to enjoy the most ever so far.A counter theme is:
      If D&D did not expend so much energy making episodes that top previous episodes, they could have enough energy to make more story telling episodes for more years, and render more of the books.

      I would prefer that more of the story makes it to the screen, instead of fewer episodes, truncated story, stunning epicness, and rush to early conclusion.It seems that D&D are throwing down the gauntlet to their competitors, and saying, “Top that, if you can, but you can’t.”Of course, if some showrunner picks up the gage, as in Sir Penrose’s challenge to Stannis, we can rush to view that effort.And rate it here.

      I was thinking the same thing. It seems to me that they have these amazing sets…why not just film more “conversation and interaction” between the characters? They could do more episodes with extended scenes including additional dialogue, say 14 or 16.

      We could have had more answers regarding the mystery of the Faceless Men revealed thru additional dialogue with Jaqen. How many are there? Is Jaqen the only boot camp sergeant or was it his turn in the rotation to train the new recruits. And what is their code? Do they only take hits for evil people, or will they kill innocents for hire? I had to go to Wiki for vague answers to this question.

      More conversations between Dani and her new Dothraki horde would have provided us with more information regarding the Dothraki reaction to her hostile takeover. Did the Dosh Kaleen leave or stay behind? Do the Dothraki fear her or respect her? Are the other men okay with following a woman? Did she establish new rules, like no sexual harassment or raping allowed?

      I would have loved more conversations between Tyrion and Varys, Cersei and small council, and Jon and EVERYONE. The fandom was so hyped to see the other characters’ reactions to Jon’s resurrection. It would have been fun to see Jon walk up to the ice cell full of mutineers and see their initial reaction to Jon standing in front of them. Jon: Hey Bitches, how you like me now? Thorne: WTF? Ollie: *startled face instead of stink eye*

      And I really would have loved for them to address Jon’s defection from the Night’s Watch. It would have been great to see him explain this to one of the Northern lords, especially the sassy tween at Bear Island.

      It seems like we are getting 5 minutes here, 8 minutes there. I don’t remember past seasons jumping around quite so much and leaving me wanting more dialogue between the characters. I think I’m really wishing for MORE of those scenes where the actors can really dig in, like Tyrion’s trial, Catlyn’s desperation, anger, and then ultimate hopelessness at the Red Wedding, and Jamie’s bath time chat with Brienne at Harrenhall. Speaking of which, Nikolaj is a stand out for me this season. He hasn’t shined like this since Season 4. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some great stuff this year. I’m just wishing we had more than 10 episodes total. So many great characters, so little time for them all. It’s just flying by so fast!

      Best part about doing more dialogue, no CGI required! Actors are in costume on set, cameras are rolling, just have them talk more. A few more hours in the editing room and Bob’s your uncle.

      That said, I’ll take what I can get, every little tidbit. Love this show! And I love being a part of a wonderful fandom. So glad I found this site.

      And I agree with the other Ramin fans out there. I can’t wait for the season 6 score to be released.

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    70. I have a very complex anchestry; and in one of my home countries, people say “when you hear there are a lot of cherries, bring a small basket with you”. With all this advertising and hype, I am beginning to worry that we are building so much expectation that we will get disapponted.
      I really hope it will not be that way.

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    71. The Molehill who Rides: What does it matter how she died?!
      He will see it as the Red Woman finally manipulated Stanis to the point that he sacrificed his own daughter. Davis was the only one who visited Shireen when she was locked away due to her greyscale. He will lose any remaining respect for Stanis and he WILL blame Mel.

      It was clear he was considering killing Mel in “The North Remembers” (way back in E1 of S2) before she could have such strong influence but then watched a maester die from poison that she drank like water.

      Then in “Valar Dohaeris” (E1 of S4) he actually TRIES to kill her after she “taunts” him about the death of his son by wildfire at Blackwater.

      I don’t think he will kill her here at the end of S6 but it’s selective memory to call it out of character if he did.

      Blame Mel for what? The choice was burn one, or all freeze to death. Stannis made the right call, no matter how much you hate him for it. His subsequent choice to press hopelessly forward was inhumane and stupid, but that was on him and him alone.

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    72. Lady Snow,

      Yes, Lady Snow. They have amassed huge performing forces, staffs, sets, costumes, actors, etc, and choose to apply all that to untopable episodes.

      Explaining it all with interactions among the actors would deepen the story. But no. Epic has to be redefined every episode. No wonder they are tired. They can’t top themselves any more, so they are taking their ball and going home.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Lady Snow,

      Couldn’t agree more… Although I really enjoy the show, it gets me frustrated. Please guys, show us some dialogue+character development… (Tyrion making bad jokes does not count).

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    74. tiny direwolf:
      Davos needs to be at the great battle against the White Walkers.

      ^This

      If anyone could negotiate with the Night’s King, it’s most definitely Ser Davos Seaworth.

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    75. Lady Snow,

      There are definitely many unanswered questions about Dany’s takeover of the Dothraki.
      Are they going to permanently move to Westeros ? If not, will they return to the Dothraki Sea after Dany takes the Iron Throne ? Who will lead them in that case ?

      Another issue is who exactly is going to Westeros with her ? Every single living Dothraki ? Only the men ? What about the women, children and old folk ? Can the elderly even make the voyage ?

      What happened to Vaes Dothrak ? Is anyone still living there ? Do they ever intend to return ? What about slavery ? The Dothraki take all sorts of slaves. Presumably Dany would outlaw this.

      What about the thousands of people that are already enslaved by the various Dothraki hordes ? Vaes Dothrak is supposed to be populated by many of these slaves. Did Dany suddenly release them all after she took over ? Did no one object to this ?

      Would 100’000 people be okay with her new world order ? Would every single one of them really accept a foreign woman coming in and killing all their Khals, only to essentially force them to abandon their culture and their way of life ?

      And as you say, there is the issue of the Dosh Khaleen, and the issue of rape. Did she outlaw it ? How does she intend to enforce her new rules ?

      Before someone snidely remarks to me that this show is about Westeros and not the Dothraki, as though I wasn’t aware of that, I would just like to clarify that I don’t expect the show to go into much detail about these issues. Two or three brief scenes addressing some of these concerns would have sufficed, and they easily could have had them in episode 6 or episode 7. To me it adds greatly to the show’s sense of realism, which is one of the things the show has always had going for it compared to other fantasy.
      It makes the experience more immersive, and the story more interesting.

      Last season’s story in Meereen was far more interesting to me, because it actually dealt with the nitty-gritty of ruling a city and trying to impose your way of life on another culture. The dilemna with Mossador, the great scenes with Hizdahr, and the debates regarding the fighting pits were all important to convey how difficult it is to change a society.

      Her takeover of the Dothraki has been far too easy, and her story far too light this year. She has faced no adversity whatsoever since she burned those Khals, and she was never in any real jeopardy anyway. To me at least, it has been very difficult to believe in or care about her story this year, as it has seemed like a very simplistic and unrealistic portrayal of what should be an exceptionally daunting task.

      I actually enjoyed the scene at the end of “Blood of my Blood”, unlike many people here, because I was far more willing to believe that seeing Dany’s might as she rode a dragon would convince them to fight for her than I was able to buy the idea that they would all robotically bow down to her after she burned down their sacred temple thereby killing all their leaders.

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    76. Lady Snow,

      The show runners have repeatedly been saying for a long time now that it’s impossible for them to do more than 10 episodes. I am not sure that big battles is the only reason for this. Filming of this series happens across multiple countries and locations, involving close to what, around 50 actors at least, plus hundreds of crew members and multiple units. Which has to happen in a span of 6 months.
      And besides, if the battles they do show turn out to be mediocre due to lack of time and budget, people would start complaining about that too. I feel it’s the more serious fans who like to see more conversation driven storylines. When we do get such character driven episodes, the more casual fans, who are in the majority start complaining that they were filler, boring episodes. Just look at the fan reaction for episodes 6 and 7. It’s pretty difficult to keep everybody happy I guess.
      Still, I agree this season has had issues. For some reason almost all the storylines feel shortchanged, Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Arya, where there are too many gaps that needed to be filled. Is it because the number of storylines this season has increased? The only storyline which has got a lot of screen time without much happening there is KL. so many of the scenes there seem repetitive. Maybe some of that screen time could have been given to other storylines to flesh them out more? I dunno.
      Anyway, inspite of some shortcomings, I still love the show. And I do believe the writers are doing the best they can.

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    77. Bob Warren,

      Really Hodor was about as big emotionally as they could go. The show runners have tried but the sheer sprawl have made viewers like myself not care as much about the characters. Grey characters like Tywin and Cersei from past seasons are gone. It’s more black and white even when not trying to be as you can’t spend enough time with each.

      Really Arya and maybe Sansa are the only ones that would be a true gut punch. Davos will be close but only because he has carried on and been what Stannis should have been (at least in the show)

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    78. ghost of winterfell,

      I agree, all the stories have suffered from lack of development, aside from KL which has been full of repetitive scenes, as you said. What they accomplished in 7 episodes could easily have been done in 4 or 5 with some more effective/economical storytelling.

      But aside from that, the big three (Jon, Tyrion, Dany) definitely seem to have suffered in terms of character development, and some aspects of their plots should have been fleshed out more.

      I also think it would have been good to have a bit more Bran, a bit more Sam, and frankly a lot more Euron. So many characters have sat out multiple episodes this season, often in a row. I mean Ramsay hasn’t been seen since episode 4, Rickon hasn’t been seen since episode 3, and the battle is coming up ! It’s a little crazy to think that basically most of these storylines got half a season’s worth of story, rather than a full arc.

      I mean Bran’s arc was basically half a season, so was Dany’s arc with the Dothraki, and then suddenly the back half of the season started focusing on different stories that weren’t the focus of the first 5 episodes, like the Riverlands, the Hound, etc…, and other stories like the Greyjoys and Bran got far less to do in these last few weeks.

      It’s a strange season, structurally speaking.

      There have definitely been more locations and storylines over the course of this season than ever before.

      However, regarding the fans, I really don’t think the show should cater to the lowest common denominator, or to the most casual fans, regardless of whether they are in the majority. The show should aim for quality storytelling above anything else, just like they did in the first couple of seasons. Those seasons had lower ratings, but that was mostly because far fewer people knew about the show. At the end of the day, the early seasons are the ones that got the viewers hooked, serious and casual fans alike, and most casual fans actually don’t like the recent seasons as much.

      Quality storytelling is what will make the show go down in history not only as a commercial success, not only as a worldwide phenomenon, but also as a truly good story. Shows like “The Wire” are now being recognized posthumously as terrific shows, and developing a cult following, because despite the low ratings they received, people recognize good storytelling when they see it.

      Another show that will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest of all time, and will probably develop somewhat of a following after it ends as well, is “The Americans”. It has terribly low ratings, because it is a very serious character driven drama, but the quality of the writing, the dialogue, the acting, the directing, everything, is as good as can be. And it is perfect for binge-watching, just like GoT is.
      These are the shows that will stand the test of time. Big ratings don’t guarantee having a legacy as a great story, and I’m sure we can think of a certain zombie drama airing on AMC that fits the description of a monster in the ratings that will without a doubt be retrospectively regarded as a very average story.

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    79. Clob: Bob Warren: Whose death would upset you the most?

      No question it’s Arya for me. She was my favorite as I read the books and continues to be in the show, especially with how perfect Maisie was/is for the part.

      Me too, unless her death was the most noble sacrifice in terms of the main story (think Nissa Nissa) – which would still be upsetting but at least it would cement a heroic Jeanne d’Arc type status for Arya!

      As for this episode, I’m less interested in the battle itself than the outcomes. We are going to lose some characters for sure but I hope that it will drive the story forward for the real crux of the matter.

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    80. Marlana:
      Lady Snow,

      Yes, Lady Snow.They have amassed huge performing forces, staffs, sets, costumes, actors, etc, and choose to apply all that to untopable episodes.

      Explaining it all with interactions among the actors would deepen the story. But no.Epic has to be redefined every episode.No wonder they are tired.They can’t top themselves any more, so they are taking their ball and going home.

      Well, wasn’t that the intention from the beginning? This wasn’t supposed to be an ongoing, character and psychology based serial, which could drive for 20+ seasons, but limited duration series, both the books and TV. In a limited duration series, you always get to The Third Act, eventually, and we are there now.

      When GRRM signed for ASOIAF, he was supposed to work on a three novel series. It grew into seven novels, and might still grow into eight, if ever finished, but still, structurally, you can see GRRM’s background as a drama writer shining through it. The story is very much built on acts, even if they intervene, to a point, in this story, because of multiple POVs.

      First act ended with Northern Rebellion surpressed, Dany taking Mereen and Jon Snow becoming Lord Commander of The Night’s Watch. Second act ended with Jon Snow being stabbed and Dany lost without her Dragons on Dothraki Sea, and, when it comes to minor storylines (which everything not involving main story involving White Walkers in The North and B-story involving Dany in Essos are), Myrcella dying on Jaime’s arms. In screenwriting, this is also what’s known as “Dark Night of The Soul”, a moment when all seems lost.

      So, we are now in The Third Act – and Season 6 of the initially intended seven. The Third Act is supposed to bring storylines to an end. And generally speaking, there’s much less space for what’s viewed as “character development” in The Third Act. In a fundamentally action based story, such as ASOIAF/GOT, one shouldn’t expect too much of character development/dialogue here. Third act is where things are wrapped up.

      So, while I truly love psychological aspects in this story – Kissed by Fire still is my favorite episode of the series, over Hardhome or very touching moments we’ve had this season -, I wasn’t expecting to see too many of them anymore, after “For The Watch”. I could see this happening, after they dropped or abridged so many storylines already. And while some storylines that remain seem weaker than others, I see the weakness was there even before this season. For instance, they had to rearrange some Mereen and Braavos material in order to make Season 5 at least somehow working television, and much of the AFTC and ADWAD material that just isn’t good television, was delayed to this season. Changes to Sansa storyline were heartbreaking, but truly drove the story forward.

      Overall, since I have expected the story to be working within certain guidelines of classic drama and thus, popular fiction, I have very few complaints for this season. There have been several top notch episodes, and I’m fully expecting BOTB to live up to the “hype”. Season Finale should be very good too, although maybe not all storylines that have been built up will have a resolution quite yet.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Markus Stark,

      The earlier seasons seem much better and more balanced, imo, because the number of characters were less in a limited number of locations, in a tighter story. Look at the number of characters who were based in KL, no wonder we got wonderful interactions between them. Besides you had Arya interacting with Tywin, Jaime with Catelyn/ Robb etc. Only Jon and Dany had their own separate storylines. As this world expanded and all these characters started diverging, it became more difficult to do them justice without an increase in the number of episodes per season, which they say is impossible to do.
      But I am hopeful things get better next season as storylines will converge in a big way. Let’s see.

      Agree with what you say about the Americans. I love that show 🙂 .

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    82. Missing an important part of the interview with Liam

      I would be very, very surprised if Mr. Harington isn’t taking up a statue at the end of this. The amount of stuff I saw Kit doing out there… I think he’s blossomed from a young man into this fantastic character that he’s playing in this. I said it to him at the time, that his work is beautifully subtle on this. I’ve watched him from viewing him, and also working with him on this season, just blossoming as an actor… It’s going to be jaw-dropping.

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    83. Markus Stark,

      Just because you want them to cater to you and the things you like, doesn’t make it ”good storytelling”.

      Just like if they cater to the casual viewer, doesn’t make it ”bad storytelling”.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Markus Stark,

      Some of the issues you have with GOT now are explained in my post above. For instance, the fact they spend so little time with one particular storyline at the time this season, is due to the story having entered The Third Act now. Another thing I must strech out, when talking about storytelling, is that even if they contain some elements of more psychologically driven “High” cultural products, ASOIAF and GOT are essentially Genre products. They work within Genre Literature and Television guidelines, in show’s case much more than some clearly character driven shows like “The Wire”, “Sopranos” or “Mad Men“, in the book case much more than certain psychological thrillers and sci-fi stories I’ve read (I’m not a big fantasy fan, generally speaking). But as Genre product, they are up there with The Best. In a genre product, good storytelling is, essentially, arranging pre existing building blocks in a way the story seems fresh and unique.

      This is something both ASOIAF and GOT are doing incredibly well, besides the high quality of GRRM’s writing (the guy does know how to write, in the pure level of syntax too, something most genre writers aren’t particularly good at) and TV production value.

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    85. Marlana,

      If they took 3 years to adapt AFFC/ADWD word by word, it would have been the end of the show.

      You like it or not, a story needs a climax on TV, a strong one preferably, those books lack those.
      You need battles or RW moments. People wouldn’t have turned to watch the Show to see people talk for 15 houres nor would they have turned to watch to see 5 houres of Arriane and Quentyn.

      You couldn’t go 1-2 years without Tyrion and Dany. Hell not from a storytelling perspective but from a contract one, they might risk loosing Peter and/or Emillia…etc.

      You can’t have Brienne travel for 10 episodes, doing nothing. You can’t have Jon count beef and cheese for 10 episodes.

      You can’t ignore fan-favourite characters to focus 6 houres on Dorne/Ironborn.
      You can’t throw a new ”protagonist”, he’s a joke who’ll die anyway, in your 6th season and have him do what everyone wanted Dany to do for the last 5 years.

      You can’t have Tyrion wandering around tertiary characters and not even meet Dany.
      The entire Sansa in the Vale story, would simply not work on TV at all.

      They would need to quadruple their budget, for casting, locations, directors, filming crew…etc. They don’t work for free, for boring story without pay-off.
      They would have commit suicide had they adapted AFFC/ADWD over more then 1 year.

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    86. I have little hope for this battle. They are all hyping it up and the way last episode fell flat I’m going in with an open mind for whatever they do.

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    87. Beer Island:
      I have little hope for this battle. They are all hyping it up and the way last episode fell flat I’m going in with an open mind for whatever they do.

      they are hyping it up too much since the beginning, now people expect so much and if it turns out to be predictable, people will probably more or less be dissappointed.

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    88. Mihnea:
      Marlana,

      If they took 3 years to adapt AFFC/ADWD word by word, it would have been the end of the show.

      You like it or not, a story needs a climax on TV, a strong one preferably, those books lack those.
      You need battles or RW moments. People wouldn’t have turned to watch the Show to see people talk for 15 houres nor would they have turned to watch to see 5 houres of Arriane and Quentyn.

      You couldn’t go 1-2 years without Tyrion and Dany. Hell not from a storytelling perspective but from a contract one, they might risk loosing Peter and/or Emillia…etc.

      You can’t have Brienne travel for 10 episodes, doing nothing. You can’t have Jon count beef and cheese for 10 episodes.

      You can’t ignore fan-favourite characters to focus 6 houres on Dorne/Ironborn.
      You can’t throw a new ”protagonist”, he’s a joke who’ll die anyway, in your 6th season and have him do what everyone wanted Dany to do for the last 5 years.

      You can’t have Tyrion wandering around tertiary characters and not even meet Dany.
      The entire Sansa in the Vale story, would simply not work on TV at all.

      They would need to quadruple their budget, for casting, locations, directors, filming crew…etc. They don’t work for free, for boring story without pay-off.
      They would have commit suicide had they adapted AFFC/ADWD over more then 1 year.

      If there is one thing you can count on around here, it is Mihnea jumping in to refute arguments that no one is making (and then pretending to ignore who refutes such silliness).

      No one believes the books should be adapted word for word. That doesn’t imply the argument can’t be made that the show would be better if it weren’t drifting from LotR to Hobbit in its style of adaptation.

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    89. Chad Brick,

      They won Emmy’s, HBO is more pleased then ever, the ratings are the best we ever had, we no longer saw the big drop in mid season. Even last episode is rated at around 8, 8.5, as far as I remember 8 is still considered ”good”.

      Did the show loose some fans, sure. It will loose more. From book-readers, to those who like world-building to those who liked the political side of the story better…etc.
      A insignifiant number. A acceptable loss, compared to what would have happened had they done what some here suggested.

      Don’t bother replying, I won’t come here for the next 2 days.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Chad Brick,

      Yeah I disagree. You can adapt whatever you want. People sit and watch soap operas religiously for years and they have no action. I rather see what actually happen to the martells then what D&D did. No one told them they could not have actors/ skip a season. They chose that. And oh you couldn’t have Sansa in the Vale? Why not, stuff happened there. People try to convince themselves after the show had done it, like there is no other way. That’s not true. No one knows how the other way would work ou . And btw, a lot of people are tired of Dany’s repetitive lines. She may well have done with a season out. She had time to go film the Terminator none the less

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    91. Mihnea:
      Chad Brick,

      They won Emmy’s, HBO is more pleased then ever, the ratings are the best we ever had, we no longer saw the big drop in mid season. Even last episode is rated at around 8, 8.5, as far as I remember 8 is still considered ”good”.

      Did the show loose some fans, sure. It will loose more. From book-readers, to those who like world-building to those who liked the political side of the story better…etc.
      A insignifiant number. A acceptable loss, compared to what would have happened had they done what some here suggested.

      Don’t bother replying, I won’t come here for the next 2 days.

      And if you type “Best fantasy novels of all time” into Google, ASOIAF comes up as #2, which is the highest rank available because LotR effectively founded the genre. Yet you continually trash the books, despite all the evidence that they are great (including the fact that the TV adaptation is doing well!).

      Now let’s get down to to business. Will you admit that some of the show plots, especially over the last two seasons, were illogical, sloppy, and overly reliant on fantasy/literally tropes in ways that the nearest book plots were not?

      Perhaps you’d like to explain, for example, why the seething mad Sand Snakes were so hot for revenge back in E01 that they’d engage in dual kinslaying of their perfectly kind relatives, yet then proceeded to sit on their cute little tushes for seven episodes and counting, doing nothing? At that point, why not just keep Doran’s slow-burn plot?

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    92. OMG, the hype could hardly be stronger than it already is ! D&D really put all the elements in place to make the greatest hour of television possible (among other things by putting Miguel Sapochnik as the director for this episode).

      Yep, seeing Liam Cuningham doing so much of the promo since the beginnning for the promo makes me worry a lot as well. It reminds a lot of Harrison Ford’s omnipresence in Star Wars 7’s promotional “campaign” 🙁
      I really hope though Davos will make it to the end of this season at least.
      Jon needs Davos at his side when the real war begins.
      If I had to bet which one is going to bite the dust between Davos and Tormund, I would put my money on Tormund :/

      “They’ve pushed the bounds of television on this, not just the show,” he said. “All praise to HBO for backing them both financially and artistically on this. David and Dan are not making it easy on themselves, and HBO is not making it easy on themselves. When they see it, nobody will think that they sat back and said, “Let’s just enjoy the success.”

      When I hear all the complaints about how much the show has been a total let down since season 5, about the “fact” that D&D became lazy in terms of writing (which has really been the case with Arya’s storyline in episode 7, that’s true), are just rushing through the end of the series and just don’t care that much about the story and its characters, I would want Liam Cunningham say a simple fact to all the book purists and other whiners and complainers such as the one he stated in this interview.
      A lot of people don’t realize how much we’re lucky to have D&D and their team working on this show and adapating GRRM’s masterpiece. The show could have been MUCH MUCH more worse than it is, to say the least. And given the fact that GOT is at least since season 4 the most successful show ever and given the fact that they don’t need to prove themselves to the audience, HBO and D&D could have done what most showrunners would have done : rest on its laurels and just enjoy the success and the money the show is bringing them.
      But they didn’t, they don’t and they never will. Not so long ago, D&D were just like us, fans who are amazed and awed and so much enthusiastic about the great, non-manichean, storytelling and the so much detailed, complex and fascinating world and characters GRRM has created. D&D care as much (if not more) as you do about A Song of Ice and Fire and always intended and will keep trying to do justice to GRRM’s work.

      They did make mistakes in terms of writing (ever since season 2 actually because there is not much to be said against their adptation of GOT, given the fact it was the easiest book to adapt) , there’s no denying it. But I am so grateful that people like D&D who love and care so much about GRRM’s masterpiece still put so much effort in doing this show and we should all be grateful even if we don’t agree with certain choices D&D have made because there won’t be another adaptation on tv of a book series like A Song of Ice and Fire. There probably won’t be a show like GOT so now and then, just enjoy the show, enjoy how the story unfolds and how the characters we all love or love to hate evolve (for better or worse).

      That’s it. That’s all I wanted to say and all I always wanted to say about D&D’s work. Now, I’m out. See you on Sunday, when we wil all witness probably one of the best episodes the show has ever made.

      P.S: I beg your pardon if my english might be a little “off” sometimes. French is my mother tongue so my english is not quite fluent.

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    93. Chad Brick,

      I don’t think that the show is perfect at the moment (I never did) but I agree with Mihnea that almost neither of the storylines from books 4 and 5 would work well on TV. You said that the quality dropped like “LOTR to Hobbit” (BTW these are not character-driven stories and I like them equally ) but when books 4 and 5 were released, it was widely accepted by many fans that GRRM”s quality of writing has declined as well. And more times I read those two, the more I agree with them. Watching season 5 and 6, I don’t think there was a single storyline I enjoyed more in the books (even Dorne, which I disliked on TV but utterly despised in the books).

      Take for example KL in season 6 which is one of my least favorite storylines this season and I’m sure you don’t enjoy it either (Forgive me if I am wrong). But to think about, that’s exactly the style books 4 and 5 are written – a long slow build-up with no climax or significant events. And considering that several proclaimed season 5 to be “too slow” even though the books were really condensed and almost no big moments were cut out, I wonder what would be their reaction if the books were accurately adapted.

      Say what you want about the quality but from what I’ve seen in TWOW chapters, I think people are expecting too much from GRRM and I’m sure that several would be dissapointed by the resolution, calling it “predictable” and “anti-climatic”. Resolution is actually the phase where “the twists are done, the knots have to be untangled and loose ends tied up”.

      And before Markus proclaims me a bully, this is just my opinion!

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    94. Dee Stark:
      Besides hodor (summer?), I can’t think of any other characters “we like” (the good guys) that have died this season .. ? Right ?

      Oh man. Tissues please

      Rhaenys Stark:
      Dee Stark,

      Septon Ray was good… And Osha… And Fat Walda, the baby Bolton and Doran Martell ?

      Lady Crane. I loved her.

      This article gives the following “betting odds” percentage chances of dying:

      Ghost – 50%
      Wun Wun – 30%
      Tormund – 90 fucking %

      Of course, I’m not sure how much I trust the writing of this article:

      But most fans, she admits, expect Snow to ultimately win out, leaving him free to face the far more dangerous White Walkers.

      I definitely expect a Snow to win: the problem is which one. #onceasnowalwaysasnowonceabastard

      Rebecca Hawkes in the Daily Telegraph says she is rooting for a Bolton triumph. “Ramsay is playful, with a great sense of humour – and he’s fold of animals,” she says.

      Seriously? Playful. Yes. In a flay-you-alive way.

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    95. Beer Island,

      The show would be dead if they had adapted the last two books faithfully and not doing that is the best decision they have ever made.Also listen to this controversial opinion lol season 5 is better than those two books combined and it’s even better on rewatch

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    96. Dee Stark:
      Lord Parramandas,

      That doesn’t sound bully like at all… Lol

      How did your exam go

      I haven’t got the results yet but I don’t have the best feeling about it. I think I will have to take it again on 5. July. But again, I had so many exams in one week and I did not have enough time to properly study for it, so I think it would go much better on second time, especially considering that I already passed the hardest one.

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    97. Dee Stark,

      Wow, wow, wow, it’s soooooo nice of you to say so (even though I think it’s overstated) 🙂
      I’m doing an English degree for 2 years now and I hope I will get to improve my english even more !

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    98. I’m still getting over my bummed-out-ness from dickhead Tommen stamping a big ol’ POSTPONED all over Cleganebowl.

      In general, “No One” was one of the less enjoyable episodes this season, which was crazy to me considering last year’s Episode 8.

      Now it wasn’t a “bad” episode in and of itself, but the Arya stuff between eps 7 and 8 just makes NO sense to me… even less so than the scant few other things I’ve grumbled about this season. E.g., I can believe that the Sand Snakes are such stupid assholes that they’d laugh about killing their charming cousin, but it’s much harder to believe that Arya is the only person in the world immune to getting stabbed in the guts. Even like 100 years ago a bad stomach wound meant death, period, and there has been no previous indication that medicine in the GoT world is at that stage (Zombiemountain aside, of course.)

      Why do I mention all of this? For perspective. Because BASTARDBOWL is going to be so fuckin sweet I honestly don’t even care about the Arya weirdness or the no-Cleganebowl-this-season right now. It’s extremely rare for me to preemptively decide that I love an episode of any show based on promo materials, but I think it’s a safe bet today.

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    99. ghost of winterfell:
      Lady Snow,

      The show runners have repeatedly been saying for a long time now that it’s impossible for them to do more than 10 episodes. I am not sure that big battles is the only reason for this. Filming of this series happens across multiple countries and locations, involving close to what, around 50 actors at least, plus hundreds of crew members and multiple units. Which has to happen in a span of 6 months.
      And besides, if the battles they do show turn out to be mediocre due to lack of time and budget, people would start complaining about that too. I feel it’s the more serious fans who like to see more conversation driven storylines. When we do get such character driven episodes, the more casual fans, who are in the majority start complaining that they were filler, boring episodes. Just look at the fan reaction for episodes 6 and 7. It’s pretty difficult to keep everybody happy I guess.
      Still, I agree this season has had issues. For some reason almost all the storylines feel shortchanged, Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Arya, where there are too many gaps that needed to be filled. Is it because the number of storylines this season has increased? The only storyline which has got a lot of screen time without much happening there is KL. so many of the scenes there seem repetitive. Maybe some of that screen time could have been given to other storylines to flesh them out more? I dunno.
      Anyway, inspite of some shortcomings, I still love the show. And I do believe the writers are doing the best they can.

      They desperately need to spend more time on the writing aspect of show-making, now that we’re past being able to rely on the books for dialogue material. That would have fixed the bad dialogue, the missing dialogue, the holes in the Arya storyline, the magically apparating snakes, and a host of other issues. But I get that D&D are only two. And even with BC, they can’t do miracles. They need more writers. I wish they’d ask Tycho (Mark Gatiss) or someone equally awesome to come on board as part of the writing team. Maybe they need three of four brilliant folks.

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    100. Lord Parramandas,

      Its easy to say a storyline suck in the book when the story in the show has elapsed the book. I hate every change they have made except Sansa’s. The book got slow because after the massive conflicts of book 1-3, 4 and 5 were the aftermath, the consequences, the survival and the rebound of the characters. And the repercussions was characters scattered all over the world. The next two books will surely pick back up. Martin did himself injustice by taking forever to write the next two books and we would be having a total different convo if we were discussing this with all the books completed.

      I love the show, I mean there is nothing better on TV but when people act like its better than the books. Its laughable. And its such a cheap argument when people tell people who point things out, “don’t watch the show then”. Its like someone telling you not to read the book then. You can do damn well what you please. That’s why its a forum, discussions.

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    101. Beer Island:
      Lord Parramandas,

      The next two books will surely pick back up.

      They won’t. Did you read 11 chapters from TWOW? Almost every chapter is slow paced just like the last two books.

      GRRM lost this story and there is no way that he can save his books from disaster.

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    102. mau,

      DEFINITELY agree ! Especially season 2 because actually there were no really great episodes or any episodes that particularly stood out apart from “Blackwater” and “Valar Morghulis” and there were a few major storylines that dragged out a little bit and weren’t really interesting (Jon’s and Dany’s storylines), which is why season 2 is my least favorite of the show.

      Season 3 however, was much more steady and more balanced and had a few particularly strong episodes apart from episode 9 : “And Now his Watch Is Ended”, “Kissed by Fire” and “Second Sons”, to mention just a few.
      But there were at least 4 very long set-up episodes (“Valar Dohaeris”, “Dark Wings, Dark Words”, “The Climb” and “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”) that affected the pace of the season.

      So actually, I would say season 6 is much more balanced and steady-paced than season 2 or 3 even if some parts were a bit rushed.

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    103. mau: GRRM lost this story and there is no way that he can save his books from disaster

      Well, of course, GRRM was about to reveal all the major plot points through the TWOW chapters he released !!! If GRRM lost his story and there’s no way his books can be saved from disaster, then the show is doomed as well.

      What gives you the right to assert such things ? Are you David Benioff or D.B. Weiss and so you know how the last 2 books will unfold ? That would explain why you’re so certain about GRRM dnot knowing anymore where his story and his characters are headed. GRRM knows EXACLY how his story will end, he knows what to do with his characters and that is the case for YEARS and nothing is going to change that.
      (but well of course GRRM takes all the time he needs to put down on paper what he has planned and has on his mind for AGES.)

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    104. Beronn Stark,

      Yes. S3 was better, but there were still pacing problem. I remember that many show fans find that season very boring until E4, and then again after E5.

      For me S2 and S3 were the least favorite seasons. I enjoyed them very much, because I binge-watched them, but I believe it was very frustrating to watch them regularly.

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    105. Beronn Stark: Well, of course, GRRM was about to reveal all the major plot points through the TWOW chapters he released !!! /blockquote>

      I’m not speaking about big events. He spends 2 chapters on Arriane traveling. That is not a good sign. And how many chapters we had in Meereen that were just a set up? A set up chapters from Tyrion, Selmy and Vic. It is too much.

      If GRRM lost his story and there’s no way his books can be saved from disaster, then the show is doomed as well.

      I didn’t say that GRRM doesn’t know anymore where his story and his characters are headed. I thing that he knows, but he doesn’t know how to do that.

      The show is not doomed because the most problematic storylines from the books like Dorne, Iron Islands and Essos will be resolved this season.

      In S7 and S8 things will be much easier for them.

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    106. Beer Island,

      If there are such things as “show apologists”, there are also “book apologists”. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but you clearly proved it with stating that “the books are always better” is a fact, not an opinion. You liked the books more and I liked the show more. Fine, we have different opinions. But do not present them as facts!

      Beronn Stark,

      If GRRM knows the ending, that doesn’t mean he has the middle section “under control”. I think he stated that by himself, that he had real trouble with books 4 and 5, especially getting certain characters to certain places. While I don’t completely agree with Mau, I think he actually lost control of the middle section at some point and now he is trying to fix it up.

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    107. mau,

      Well that’s your opinion and I respect it 😉
      But I carried Season 3 in my heart when it was airing and I still carry it in my heart as my favorite Game Of Thrones Season EVER (after Season 4) :3 <3 ^^

      mau: I’m not speaking abuot big events. He spend 2 chapter on Arriane traveling. That is not a good sign. And how many chapters we had in Meereen that were just a set up? A set up chapters from Tyrion, Selmy and Vic. It is too much.

      mau: I didn’t say that GRRM doesn’t know anymore where his story and his characters are headed. I thing that he knows, but he doesn’t know how to do that.

      The show is not doomed because the most problematic storylines from the books like Dorne, Iron Islands and Essos will be resolved this season.

      In S7 and S8 things will be much easier for them.

      Well, here you do have a point. But we don’t know how long TWOW is gonna be. It’s gonna be at least as huge as ASOS. So, TWOW’s first chapters will surely be rather slow in order to tie some loose ends and to make the transition between book 4/book 5 and book 6 but I’m sure it will not fail to exceed our expectations, surprise us and blow our minds (even if the show is going to spoil it for the most part).

      No, I think he knows exactly how to do that and that’s why he needed books of transition like AFFC and ADWD, in order to make his story whole, set up the pieces that will lead to the outcomes and unwindings of the last 2 books and create a coherent link between “Phase” 1 (AGOT, ACOK, ASOS) and “Phase” 2 (TWOW, ADOS).

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    108. mau,

      I did not feel that about S3. Almost all the episodes were well done with some all timers like”kissed by fire” and “now his watch is ended” other than the ep9. S2 had weak arcs for Jon and Dany, which affected the season, but overall the story still felt more cohesive, imo, and the characters arcs went from start to finish more naturally, without any gaps in them, which is my one issue with S6.
      I still loved this season, there were many all time awesome moments, like Hodor’s end, Jon-Sansa meeting, Dany in ep 4, and I know I will be cheering wildly when the Starks take back Winterfell. Yet when I look at individual arcs, I feel many of them require more fleshing out.

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    109. Beronn Stark,

      If he really did know exactly how to do that he wouldn’t struggle so much with his books after ASOS.

      AFFC and ADWD had too many pages to be just a transitional period. They had almost as many pages as the first 3 books.

      It would be like if D&D spend 3 seasons after S4 for AFFC and ADWD. And ironically GRRM wanted exactly that.

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    110. ghost of winterfell:
      mau,

      I did not feel that about S3. Almost all the episodes were well done with some all timers like”kissed by fire” and “now his watch is ended” other than the ep9.

      And that’s it. E4, E5 and E9 were loved by the audience and everything else has been just meh for many people. You could go and read reactions form show-only watchers to S3.

      S2 had weak arcs for Jon and Dany, which affected the season, but overall the story still felt more cohesive, imo, and the characters arcs went from start to finish more naturally, without any gaps in them, which is my one issue with S6.

      I don’t think that the character arcs went from start to finish more naturally. They went very slowly.

      And I don’t think that things were more fleshed out in S2. You just had book knowledge. For example big plot point in S2 was Myrcella and Dorne, but without the books you wouldn’t be able understand that whole situation.

      So Tyrion said that they want to rebel? Why? And why they accepted that marriage proposal? And what happened after that? And why didn’t Robb make a pact with them if they hate the Lannisters?

      So, soyou see, there are many gaps in every season, but in S1-5 you were able to fill them with a book knowledge.

      I was show watcher in S2 and for me that came out of nowhere. I didn’t even know that Dorne exists.

      There are many similar examples.

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    111. mau:

      The show is not doomed because the most problematic storylines from the books like Dorne, Iron Islands and Essos will be resolved this season.

      In S7 and S8 things will be mucheasier for them.

      You seem to have priorities mixed up, I think.

      Does simply finishing a plot more mean to you than how it gets finished? For instance, its most likely Braavos storyline was concluded last episode in the show. Did you honestly like the show’s take on Arya and the FM? Or the fact that its done and Arya can move back to Westeros is all that matters?

      GRRM might drag it for 10 chapters but does that matter if the story is making sense at the end?

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    112. BranTheBlessed,

      We don’t know how GRRM will conclude that storyline. He didn’t conclude many things in ASOIF, so I don’t know how good he is at conclusions.

      Arya’s storyline in the first 5 seasons was always close to the books. I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar happens in TWOW.

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    113. BranTheBlessed,

      Well, as a matter of fact, I DID really enjoy “the show’s take on Arya and the FM”.
      Even if I’m disappointed that the way they portrayed the Faceless Me on the show is much less mysterious, fascinating and mystical (even if I loved the atmosphere and ambiance they managed to install, especially in season 5), I think they nailed most of the scenes in Braavos and in the House of Black and White (except for the ridiculous, absurd, out of character scene we had in episode 7).

      I think that whether it is on the show or in the books, the whole point of Arya’s braavosi storyline, apart from learning advanced killing skills and develop her senses, is purely to develop Arya’s character. All along, it was meant to make Arya realize that she can never be no one. At the end of “No One”, Arya realizes fo the first time since the end of season 1 that she can’t run away from what she really is deep down and from her home.

      Since her father is dead she was forced to flee and to endorse other identities (and so, never being herself really). She ended up being so used to this that she thought it was the only way for her to live. But when she entered the House of Black and White and began her training, she realized that on the long run, the only person she can ever be is herself and that no matter how many guides and mentors she met (Yoren, Jaqen, The Brotherhood, The Hound, the Faceless Men, Lady Crane and most of them ended up being killed), the only way she can survive is by herself, as a lone wolf (until she eventually finally get back with her wolf pack). She realized this and knew it all along but she tried to lie to herself, to bury her head in the sand about this and in some ways she convinced herself that her lies were true.
      But, at the end of episode 6 and in episode 8, she finally understands this and becomes finally true to herself after so many years.

      The fist thing she was told by the Faceless Man who trained her during 2 seasons was “You have verywhere else to go”. And he was right and he knew from the start that Arya did NOT belong to the Faceless Man and through her training he made her understand who she really is and what she has to do with the gifts the Many-Faced god and the Faceless Man have given her.

      So don’t act as if no one liked Arya’s storyline in season 5 and 6. Actually some people do, and more than you think.

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    114. mau:
      BranTheBlessed,

      We don’t know how GRRM will conclude that storyline. He didn’t conclude many things in ASOIF, so I don’t know how good he is at conclusions.

      Arya’s storyline in the first 5 seasons was always close to the books. I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar happens in TWOW.

      Yeah, she’ll obviously leave the FM in the books too but I’m talking about the differences in how they arrive at that conclusion. D&D oversimplified the plot to some sort of personal vendetta between the Waif and Arya. You only need to see how the Waif is portrayed in the books to believe that GRRM’s take will be more detailed and thus have fewer holes. I’m hoping so, at least.

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    115. Lord Parramandas,

      GRRM may have stretched certain plots a bit but whatever the show tried to do were always I’ll thought out and done for simple Hollywood dramatic effect. The book is the source material…….and like I said how can we he here comparing the books and the show when the show has elapsed the book plot. You can say Sansa’s story is boring in the book but there are only minor changes and what if she meets Lady Stone heart in the books instead of going north. It will change opinions about her arc. So like I said how can you say the show is better when we don’t actually know a lot of what will happen in the books yet?!

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    116. ygritte:
      Lady Snow,

      Agree with everything you stated there Lady Snow. Btw I’ve never heard this saying before …”and Bob’s your uncle” It’s funny ?

      One of my besties is from England, so I’ve picked up quite a bit of English slang. Bob’s your uncle=And there you have it! I love English slang. Lots of other cute sayings: bathroom=the loo, diapers=nappies, I could go on all day.

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    117. mau: We don’t know how GRRM will conclude that storyline. He didn’t conclude many things in ASOIF, so I don’t know how good he is at conclusions.

      Speaking of concluding storylines and revealing mysteries referred to many times in ASoIaF, IMO conclusions and reveals would be welcome sprinkled throughout the narrative instead of withheld until it is not possible to care any more.

      What we have now in the books are so many unraveled threads, inconclusive let downs, missing characters, misty legends, contradictory viewpoints, and especially lacking reveals that it will take most of volume 8 to address those issues, if addressed.

      In its haste to finish, lately the show has provided reveals at breakneck speed. The reveals are welcome, however overdue.

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    118. Sou:
      Lady Snow,

      Couldn’t agree more… Although I really enjoy the show, it gets me frustrated. Please guys, show us some dialogue+character development… (Tyrion making bad jokes does not count).

      I think we just love the show and want more of it!

      Markus Stark:
      Lady Snow,

      There are definitely many unanswered questions about Dany’s takeover of the Dothraki.
      Are they going to permanently move to Westeros ? If not, will they return to the Dothraki Sea after Dany takes the Iron Throne ? Who will lead them in that case ?

      Another issue is who exactly is going to Westeros with her ? Every single living Dothraki ? Only the men ? What about the women, children and old folk ? Can the elderly even make the voyage ?

      What happened to Vaes Dothrak ? Is anyone still living there ? Do they ever intend to return ? What about slavery ? The Dothraki take all sorts of slaves. Presumably Dany would outlaw this.

      What about the thousands of people that are already enslaved by the various Dothraki hordes ? Vaes Dothrak is supposed to be populated by many of these slaves. Did Dany suddenly release them all after she took over ? Did no one object to this ?

      Would 100’000 people be okay with her new world order ? Would every single one of them really accept a foreign woman coming in and killing all their Khals, only to essentially force them to abandon their culture and their way of life ?

      And as you say, there is the issue of the Dosh Khaleen, and the issue of rape. Did she outlaw it ? How does she intend to enforce her new rules ?

      Before someone snidely remarks to me that this show is about Westeros and not the Dothraki, as though I wasn’t aware of that, I would just like to clarify that I don’t expect the show to go into much detail about these issues. Two or three brief scenes addressing some of these concerns would have sufficed, and they easily could have had them in episode 6 or episode 7. To me it adds greatly to the show’s sense of realism, which is one of the things the show has always had going for it compared to other fantasy.
      It makes the experience more immersive, and the story more interesting.

      Last season’s story in Meereen was far more interesting to me, because it actually dealt with the nitty-gritty of ruling a city and trying to impose your way of life on another culture. The dilemna with Mossador, the great scenes with Hizdahr, and the debates regarding the fighting pits were all important to convey how difficult it is to change a society.

      Her takeover of the Dothraki has been far too easy, and her story far too light this year. She has faced no adversity whatsoever since she burned those Khals, and she was never in any real jeopardy anyway. To me at least, it has been very difficult to believe in or care about her story this year, as it has seemed like a very simplistic and unrealistic portrayal of what should be an exceptionally daunting task.

      I actually enjoyed the scene at the end of “Blood of my Blood”, unlike many people here, because I was far more willing to believe that seeing Dany’s might as she rode a dragon would convince them to fight for her than I was able to buy the idea that they would all robotically bow down to her after she burned down their sacred temple thereby killing all their leaders.

      I enjoyed Blood of my Blood as well. I love the dragons, and am always so hopeful to have them appear on the show. I can’t wait to see all 3 in action together. And I’m not picky about CGI. I mean, I still put Clash of the Titans in the DVD player every once in a while. Worst special fx ever, but a fun movie. I’m not that picky really. And I agree with all your comments. So many questions! I just wish they had the additional time and help and budget to just give us more, that’s all. Otherwise, the show is amazing, why else would we all be here with one another chatting about such a phenomenal tv event? Because we are invested and truly care about the story.

      ghost of winterfell:
      Lady Snow,

      The show runners have repeatedly been saying for a long time now that it’s impossible for them to do more than 10 episodes. I am not sure that big battles is the only reason for this. Filming of this series happens across multiple countries and locations, involving close to what, around 50 actors at least, plus hundreds of crew members and multiple units. Which has to happen in a span of 6 months.
      And besides, if the battles they do show turn out to be mediocre due to lack of time and budget, people would start complaining about that too. I feel it’s the more serious fans who like to see more conversation driven storylines. When we do get such character driven episodes, the more casual fans, who are in the majority start complaining that they were filler, boring episodes. Just look at the fan reaction for episodes 6 and 7. It’s pretty difficult to keep everybody happy I guess.
      Still, I agree this season has had issues. For some reason almost all the storylines feel shortchanged, Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Arya, where there are too many gaps that needed to be filled. Is it because the number of storylines this season has increased? The only storyline which has got a lot of screen time without much happening there is KL. so many of the scenes there seem repetitive. Maybe some of that screen time could have been given to other storylines to flesh them out more? I dunno.
      Anyway, inspite of some shortcomings, I still love the show. And I do believe the writers are doing the best they can.

      Agreed, and I think they are giving us some quality and fun entertainment with the time and resources that they have.

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    119. BranTheBlessed,

      Yes, the Waif won’t have a personal vendetta against Arya, but Arya fucked up things in her TWOW chapter. We will see the consequences. But maybe some other FM can chase her and his face could end up in the HoBaW.

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    120. Beer Island:

      GRRM may have stretched certain plots a bit but whatever the show tried to do were always Ill thought out and done for simple Hollywood dramatic effect.

      Whenever D&D Hollywoodized the story, it became much less. Condensing and simplifying usually worked, but bringing in Hollywood style mocked the rest of the work. IMO it insulted the viewers.

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    121. Ginevra: They desperately need to spend more time on the writing aspect of show-making, now that we’re past being able to rely on the books for dialogue material.That would have fixed the bad dialogue, the missing dialogue, the holes in the Arya storyline, the magically apparating snakes, and a host of other issues.But I get that D&D are only two.And even with BC, they can’t do miracles.They need more writers.

      When I see the videos of how they make GoT with so many departments and department heads, this huge staff, I wonder why they didn’t just hire a few more writers to handle that big job.

      The hard work of designing the stories, validating the continuity, and writing the scripts could benefit from writing teamwork.

      Other efforts have writing teams. What’s holding them back?

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    122. Marlana,

      I agree, seems like they could benefit some from more resources on the writing front- at least to keep continuity from one season to the next. But I suspect they keep the writing team tight in an effort to minimize deviations and maintain greater control over where the story goes, and streamline the whole process.

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    123. Marlana,

      But it is not that simple.

      The problem is how it all fits together. It is hard to get new people who haven’t been there from the beginning.

      For example writers like Vanessa Taylor wrote the worst episodes of the show.

      There is no much space for creativity. The plot is already set in stone. The most difficult task for them is how to connect point A and B, not how to create a story.

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    124. Beer Island,

      Look I really don’t have time to argue with you. I’m perfectly aware that season 6 went beyond the books and I never said a word about it being better in the books, because the books don’t exist and I sincerely doubt they will ever be completed. It was season 5 which I enjoyed far more than last two books. And as it concerns Sansa, even if she meets LS (which I absolutely despise in the books), nothing will ever top her reunion with Jon from my perspective and if it happens in the books I will always remember that it was the show, which first included the scene and not the books. Adaptation was never my main criteria for TV show. Entertainment and performance play much bigger factor in my ratings.

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    125. Lord Parramandas,

      Yes. And her scenes with Theon in S5 and S6 and Brienne in E1 were more powerful than anything that happened to her after ASOS.

      And her scene with LF in E5 this season was one of the best scenes she had with him.

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    126. Rygritte,

      I’m sorry to hear the site is still wonky for you. It’s back to almost normal for me, except I have to re-enter my SN and email almost every time I make a post. I hope it eventually gets back to normal for you, too.
      In the interim, here’s the link to the season 7 casting thread. Also, have you signed up for email notices of new articles? If you do, maybe it will work for you to follow the link contained within each article, and get to information that way.

      http://watchersonthewall.com/game-thrones-season-7-casting-begun/

      Ginevra: That’s a grand idea, Dolorous Nym.

      Ahahahahahahahaha…

      That just gave me the best laugh.
      Thanks!

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    127. Lord Parramandas:
      Beer Island,

      If there are such things as “show apologists”, there are also “book apologists”. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but you clearly proved it with stating that “the books are always better” is a fact, not an opinion. You liked the books more and I liked the show more. Fine, we have different opinions. But do not present them as facts!

      Beronn Stark,

      If GRRM knows the ending, that doesn’t mean he has the middle section “under control”. I think he stated that by himself, that he had real trouble with books 4 and 5, especially getting certain characters to certain places. While I don’t completely agree with Mau, I think he actually lost control of the middle section at some point and now he is trying to fix it up.

      “Better” is obviously a matter of opinion, but I don’t think one can argue that the books are not far deeper, intricate, and consistent – and that for many people, this is their source of love for the books.

      The show has repeatedly sacrificed plot intricacies, moral complexity, and and logical consistency for expediency and TV-style drama, and sometimes fallen very flat in doing so. This is not demanded by the medium, however. Plenty of shows can avoid plot holes and maintain complexity at levels higher than what we are getting now.

      Some people around here like to throw around a GRRM quote about the number of children Scarlet O’Hara had, books vs movie. But you you should know the answer without even watching or looking it up: she had more children in the books. As is almost always the case, the movie simplified things. When adapting one of the most complex series ever written, maintaining that complexity is part of the process. Dumb it down too much, and you are losing a key aspect of the story.

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    128. mau,

      What I had in mind was not more writers pulling in all directions to be so-called creative, it was writers to do the work given all the defined elements particular to GoT. Writing within the parameters of GoT is not easy, and I wondered if writers could take some work off the shoulders of D&D. Delegating writing chores is moot now that D&D have hard-coded the concluding seasons.

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    129. Marlana: Delegating writing chores is moot now that D&D have hard-coded the concluding seasons.

      That is far from true. They still have to present story and plot cohesively and coherently.

      Chad Brick: When adapting one of the most complex series ever written, maintaining that complexity is part of the process. Dumb it down too much, and you are losing a key aspect of the story.

      But they are not “dumbing it down”: they are make the storytelling more coherent. The books (particularly the last two) have a lot of gratuitous world-building that not only fails to contribute to the story, but actually waters it down or even distracts from it. The type of audience watching this sort of show has little tolerance for this sort of thing: and what the series has succeeded in doing is making the presentation up to the standards of the sort of people who watch these sorts of cable TV series.

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    130. Chad Brick,

      Yes, Chad Brick. It’s the dumbing down and Hollywooding up for no good reason that distresses readers, not the condensing, adapting, reassigning, jet-packing and other necessary processes that are used to render 5 and a fraction books into about 60 shows.

      I am interested to know why show fans defend dumbing down and Hollywooding up, inaccurately suggesting that book fans just don’t get what it takes to adapt books to TV.

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    131. Marlana,

      I could, of course, be wrong here, and if so, my apologies, but you seem to think those who love the show can’t possibly love the books, and those who love the books can’t love the show. This site demonstrates that isn’t the case, at all. There are plenty here who love both. They feel there are some elements of the story that are better in the books, and some elements of the story that are better in the show. The same is the case with characters. Some characters are more compelling in the books than they are on the show, and conversely, some characters are more compelling the the show than they are in the books.

      Oftentimes, at least in my experience, the observation about those dedicated to things happening the exact way they do in the books, or that this or that book-character must appear, lest the story be diminished, not understanding the nature of adaptation is because quite often it appears the main complaint is, “it didn’t happen that way in the books.” Imo, the books are not without fault, just as the show is not without fault. You contention things are “dumbed down” and “hollywooded up” is simply your opinion. No, you are not the only one to hold that opinion, nevertheless, it is still just an opinion. They are purely subjective views, just as those on the proverbial other side of the fence’s views are purely subjective.

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    132. Marlana: I am interested to know why show fans defend dumbing down and Hollywooding up, inaccurately suggesting that book fans just don’t get what it takes to adapt books to TV.

      Because it is not entirely inaccurate. The issue instead is that all series such as this have a cadre of fans who are uninterested in the actual story(ies). Instead, they are instead interested in world-building and plot-for-the-sake-of-plot. This is not unique to Thrones fandom: Tolkien fandom, Harry Potter fandom, Dune fandom, Doctor Who fandom, Star Wars Fandom, Star Trek fandom, etc., all have these sorts of fans.

      Indeed, for a very long time, “fans” have had the reputation for being unable to see the forest for the trees: and it is taken as a general truth by most people that if an adaptation or a new series is actually any good, then the “hardcore” fans will hate it: and if the hardcores like it, then it will not be good. (The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films helped cement that in the minds of the public.) But what is inaccurate is that all fans are like that. I, for one, am a “fan,” but I am perfectly able to distinguish story from plot, and I really do not give two figs for world-building or continuity or any of the other things that some fans. And what also is accurate is that all of the people who view Thrones/Potter/Rings/Who/Trek as a “history” with “canon” rather than a story are fans. That is the difference between saying that there are many species of birds with black individuals and that all crows are black birds.

      This is the dichotomy. There are book fans who recognize that this is a series of stories about individuals recognizing inherent conflicts in themselves that unite to a larger story about perservering damned -if-you-do, damned-if-you-do-not scenarios. And there are book fans who view this is a history of Westeros. Whenever “Hollywood” adapts, it is adapting the story, not the plot. If it does it correctly, then it turns a great white shark into a T. rex. But if it documents a shark, then it gives us a dead fish corpse. Those of us who like the books as a Top-of-the-Chain Predator like the series. Those of us who like the books for being a fish wonder why this series has legs, feathers and bemoan the lack of gills.

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    133. Lord Parramandas,

      I don’t think anything you’ve said here makes you a bully, and I agree with much of what you said as well.

      What I call “bullying” is when some people (and I believe you did it a couple times on other threads) call others “trolls” or “haters” just because they criticize the show. Even when they are clearly just expressing an opinion, oftentimes in a perfectly civil manner. That is the type of behavior I referred to as “bullying”.

      If I recall correctly, this was done a few days ago to a user named Al Swearengen, and I think you called him a troll because according to you he “never has anything positive to say about the show”. It struck me that first of all that wasn’t true, and secondly nobody has any obligation to say anything positive about the show if they don’t see anything positive in it.

      I personally think there is still a lot to love in the show, despite it’s flaws, but if someone wants to express their view that the show has gone completely downhill, I’m not going to call them a troll just because I disagree.

      Finally, expressing your own opinion in a polite way as you just did is clearly not “bullying”, and I never would have suggested something like that, with or without your disclaimer.

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    134. Dee Stark,

      With all due respect, that’s an absurd thing to say.

      I don’t understand why some people think it’s not allowed to watch the show, love the show, but still think it has some flaws that merit being discussed. I mean seriously, why are the only options to “accept it or stop watching” ?

      Can I not say “I liked this episode less than last week’s because Arya’s story made no sense to me” ? Can I not say “I love this season overall but I’ve been disappointed with Tyrion’s characterization this year” ? Can I not say “I’m disappointed with how they’ve handled Jon’s character this year but I’m still super excited for Bastardbowl” ?

      Why do you think we aren’t allowed to have our opinions and express both praise and criticism ?

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    135. Chad Brick,

      Refuting arguments nobody is making because he has no response to the ones that are actually being made is the name of the game for our friend Mihnea.

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    136. Mihnea,

      I thought you didn’t want us to respond to each other anymore ? Or were you simply ordering me to stop responding to you while reserving the right to send me nonsensical and inane replies whenever it tickles your fancy ?

      “Just because you want them to cater to you and the things you like, doesn’t make it ”good storytelling””.

      I obviously don’t want them to cater to me personally, I want them to focus on good quality storytelling, which is something they used to do far more than they do now. I’ll remind you that everyone, even casual fans, got hooked on the first season of this show, because it was a good story with great dialogue and complex characters.

      More people watch the show now, but ratings don’t equal quality. “The Walking Dead” has huge ratings, it doesn’t mean it’s a brilliant story. Many people who watch every week recognize it’s many flaws.
      “The Americans” has low ratings, but it is unquestionably a terrific story, just like “The Wire” was, despite it’s ratings that were also not great.
      Getting an Emmy doesn’t equal quality either.

      “Just like if they cater to the casual viewer, doesn’t make it ”bad storytelling””.
      Not necessarily, but in this case, yes, catering to the lowest common denominator definitely did lead to a loss of quality in the storytelling.

      The most casual fans don’t understand the story or the characters in the same way that more serious fans do. That’s why they are called casual. Because much of the depth is lost on them. They aren’t even capable of identifying what made the show so great in the first place. Now it’s very obviously lost on you, that what made the show great was precisely it’s depth and the complexity of the story and characters, as well as it’s desire to avoid tropes and clichés.

      When you remove those things, you may still be left with a good show, but you’ve lost what made it so special.
      If the complexity of the story is what lends it it’s power, but you fear the complexity will be too much to handle for the casual fan, so you remove it, then you by definition are removing the story’s power and impact. That would qualify as bad storytelling.

      Just like Jon being almost the exact same person he was before the stabbing, except that he’s lost a little confidence and is marginally more brooding, clearly makes his death pretty silly in terms of character development.
      And even some casual fans have noticed this. Jon’s death will have lost almost all it’s impact upon re-watch, because it had very few consequences. It allowed him to leave the Watch, and that’s pretty much it.

      Now you may not like Lady Stoneheart, I personally didn’t think she would be a good fit for the show either, but you can’t deny that GRRM does a brilliant job at showing us how different Cat is. She is essentially no longer the same character, and this emphasizes how much the Red Wedding (and her unnatural resurrection) affected her and traumatized her.

      Jon is still the same old Jon.

      Tyrion is an even more egregious case, because not only is he doing pretty well despite killing Tywin and Shae, but his character has lost all depth this year and has just become a poor caricature of his former self. Tyrion is no longer the cynical, witty, and intelligent man we fell in love with. He is now a clown, who specializes in being awkward, making bad jokes, and mocking eunuchs.
      None of this is necessary, D&D just do it because they aren’t as good at writing Tyrion as GRRM is. This should be no surprise, since GRRM did create the character after all, and the Tyrion we got in earlier seasons is the one people fell in love with, not this poor imitation.

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    137. Markus Stark: Tyrion is an even more egregious case, because not only is he doing pretty well despite killing Tywin and Shae, but his character has lost all depth this year and has just become a poor caricature of his former self. Tyrion is no longer the cynical, witty, and intelligent man we fell in love with.

      But that is really very far from the case. Yes, Tyrion is making jokes: but that’s because he’s in a completely awkward and despairing situation. If anything, that only highlights his with and intelligence: after all, that is what smart people do in awkward and/or despairing situations. And, let’s face it: his 7-year plan was a very clever idea that went to the heart of this year’s story: the price of making sides.

      Markus Stark: The most casual fans don’t understand the story or the characters in the same way that more serious fans do. That’s why they are called casual.

      This, too, is far from the case. This is a “forest for the trees” situation: and the “serious” fans are much more apt to lose the forest of story for the trees of narrative detail than are more casual viewers. This is not just true of Thrones: it’s true of any series with hardcore fans. If GRRM ever finishes the book series, then we almost certainly will see (just as we did with the Harry Potter series) that the casual readers will better anticipate the conclusion than will a lot of the hardcore fans. The “why” is quite simple: too many hardcore fans make mountains out of molehills, and dismiss proper literary technique as “obvious.” (Of course, most of it is a good deal less obvious if you spend zero time discussing the books or show with people on the Internet: i.e., the amount of time that 99% of the viewers & readers spend!)

      Again, we simply have to look at how other fans have reacted to adaptations. How many Tolkien fans complained about how bad those movies supposedly were, when they did a very good job of adapting the story of preserving & restoring natural order that Tolkien wrote? (Albeit, not the story about death and immortality that he felt he had written!) And many of those same fans insisted that we could “never really know” what the story was about because Tolkien was dead: never minding that: 1) if you cannot tell what the story is 2/3rds of the way through a book, then the writing is awful, and, 2) Tolkien did explain it in his letters.

      To be brutally honest, at this point I think that the show is doing a better job of telling the stories than GRRM’s last two books have. And I do fear that Winter is going to be another muddled mess: the story about the personal costs of creating sides might well get drowned out in extraneous PoV narratives for faux protagonists and too many “side trips” to show us things that GRRM has imagined just because, well, he imagined it and wants us to read about it.

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    138. Markus Stark:

      even casual fans, got hooked on the first season of this show, because it was a good story with great dialogue and complex characters.

      But the first season was almost an exact “port” of the first book. All the best dialogue was lifted from the page and reenacted on screen, unaltered from the original written version. Any writing awards should have been for “adapted screenplay”. Then the books began to meander more and more and so did the show and they often took different paths.

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    139. Wimsey: But that is really very far from the case.Yes, Tyrion is making jokes: but that’s because he’s in a completely awkward and despairing situation.If anything, that only highlights his with and intelligence: after all, that is what smart people do in awkward and/or despairing situations.And, let’s face it: his 7-year plan was a very clever idea that went to the heart of this year’s story: the price of making sides.

      This, too, is far from the case.This is a “forest for the trees” situation: and the “serious” fans are much more apt to lose the forest of story for the trees of narrative detail than are more casual viewers.This is not just true of Thrones: it’s true of any series with hardcore fans.If GRRM ever finishes the book series, then we almost certainly will see (just as we did with the Harry Potter series) that the casual readers will better anticipate the conclusion than will a lot of the hardcore fans.The “why” is quite simple: too many hardcore fans make mountains out of molehills, and dismiss proper literary technique as “obvious.”(Of course, most of it is a good deal less obvious if you spend zero time discussing the books or show with people on the Internet: i.e., the amount of time that 99% of the viewers & readers spend!)

      Again, we simply have to look at how other fans have reacted to adaptations.How many Tolkien fans complained about how bad those movies supposedly were, when they did a very good job of adapting the story of preserving & restoring natural order that Tolkien wrote?(Albeit, not the story about death and immortality that he felt he had written!)And many of those same fans insisted that we could “never really know” what the story was about because Tolkien was dead: never minding that: 1) if you cannot tell what the story is 2/3rds of the way through a book, then the writing is awful, and, 2) Tolkien did explain it in his letters.

      To be brutally honest, at this point I think that the show is doing a better job of telling the stories than GRRM’s last two books have.And I do fear that Winter is going to be another muddled mess: the story about the personal costs of creating sides might well get drowned out in extraneous PoV narratives for faux protagonists and too many “side trips” to show us things that GRRM has imagined just because, well, he imagined it and wants us to read about it.

      I disagree, Whimsey. I’ve hiked this world from one end to the other. You know what? All forests look pretty much the same from a few hundred meters away, with only a handful of generic archetypes covering all of them. Same with stories – zoom out even a little bit, and you realize there are only a few of them, repeated endlessly.

      Even if D&D are telling the same “story”…which doesn’t appear to always be the case…it is irrelevant. It is the sophistication of the plot, characters, and to a lesser degree settings that sets ASOIAF apart. GRRM has not reinvented the wheel. At its core, his set of interlocking stories is the same as many others, and not interesting on its own.

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    140. Markus Stark,

      Oh, it’s you again. If I touch Al Swearengen a bit, his comment back then was extremely provocative (Iron Islands = Dorne 2.0), like he wanted to get attacked by show fans. In fact, he repost his old comment from another Euron article. I’m not sure if you have read my response to you back then, but I said that I have no problem with constructive criticism (such as yours for example) but that was definitely not the case with Al. I usually ignore his comments with (desperately trying to ignore this comment) but last time I really got a feeling that Al writes that kind of comments for the sake of spreading negativity over the site and I don’t understand how could you have defended him last time. And if I am honest, your comment to me wasn’t particulary respectful either, calling me “hypocritical son of a gun and a bully”, putting me into a category of “THE SHOW IS PERFECT! How dare you say anything negative!” and even implicity making fun of me in book readers recap. If I was that kind of a person, do you think I would bother writing my reviews and rating all the episodes?

        Quote  Reply

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