Maisie Williams discusses fame, foibles and season 6: “[Arya] gets broken down totally”

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Photo: InStyle

Maisie Williams spoke to InStyle magazine about life as a teenaged actress and her similarities with Arya, and then offered some foreboding hints about Arya’s storyline next season at a Game of Thrones press launch.

During her interview with the InStyle, Williams discussed dealing with fans at inopportune moments, balancing her public and private life and, of course, her character, Arya. When asked about a personality trait that helps her play the fan-favorite Stark, Maisie replied:

“I’ve never said this in an interview before, but yeah, I have a temper. And I hate it! But that’s what worked with [playing] Arya. I know what it’s like to be really mad!”

At the press launch of the Game of Thrones season 5 DVD boxset, Williams spoke about Arya’s journey over the course of the series and offered some, admittedly bleak, hints as to what we can expect next season 6.

“Every season with Arya adds a different layer, I feel,” she said. “With season five and going into season six, it’s kind of like they’re stripping those away. Although she turns a lot darker, a lot of it is actually what’s underneath, and they’re stripping away the emotion now. It was so interesting reading season five and thinking ‘this is not the girl I’ve auditioned for, at all’.”

“Going into season six, she gets broken down totally. We see her at the lowest point we’ve ever seen her. This time it’s nothing to do with a family member being killed, it’s something purely about herself.

“I love that side of it, and I think this new series, we definitely see a new crack in her. There’s a moment where you question whether she’s going to get back up or keep fighting.”

228 responses

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    1. I’m guessing that Arya comes to terms with the fact that she, herself, should have received the punishment dealt to Mycah, the butcher’s boy.

      Indeed, she is the one who hit Joffrey; and if the punishment for hitting Joffrey is death, then she, by rights, should be dead. However, she’s a highborn girl, and Mycah was not highborn. Furthermore, her father was friends with the King.

      The first time a child comes to terms with the stories(fairytales) their parents tell, and learn that the world doesn’t work that way…learns that people don’t always succeed when they work hard, and there is justice for some people and not others… That could certainly break her down.

      She may discover she has other culpability..

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    2. Anon,

      You could be onto something.

      If she starts having wolf dreams, of course that would make her reflect back on the last time she saw Nymeria, and with that has the realization, no matter how vile Joffrey was, she held some responsibility for what happened that day, which would include not only the death of the Butcher’s Boy, her friend, but also the death of Lady.

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    3. That photo is pretty amazing. The “New Romantics” look, the ruffled jacket, the super intense eyebrows, the white owl…makes me think of the film Labyrinth.

      A lot of fashion shoots and stylists have been riffing on Bowie’s more iconic looks since he passed. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the intention here.

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    4. Damn Maisie on fire.

      Jon will not be rezzed until mid season I think because HBO sends screeners to a lot of media and they will not spoil it like that. Definitely not happening in the premiere because of all the red carpets and parties and first screenings.

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    5. I really am expecting a Phoenix motif this year. Arya, Daeny, Jon, Sansa, Bran and Tyrion all look like they will be arising from figurative ashes. (And, no, I don’t think that Jon will arise from literal ashes!) We might also see it with Theon and Jaime, and maybe even Cersei.

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    6. ladywolfsbane:
      Ho-damn just look at her… and what kind of owl is that, it’s like a barn owl but not…

      I don’t think that any other species besides barn owls and great grey owls have that pronounced dish-shaped face. It’s probably a juvenile barn owl, which would explain it being less stocky than we’re used to seeing.

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    7. I wonder if they’ll still include the Dareon storyline in the show somehow. Would be one hell of a scene, but I guess he’s too minor of a character. Still, I’d love Maisie to play that scene

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    8. I can see with Arya being blind she’s off to do more killings but this time she won’t know or be able to see who she’s killing (could be the innocent) and this plays on her mind. But eventually she reaches a point where the blindness allows her to kill people without emotion and the attachment (complete opposite to the dissection of Meryn Trant).

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    9. Aryamad: Also I really hope they give Arya a wolf dream in s06.

      As do I, but I am hoping that they bring Nymmeria back into the the show this year. However, if they are not, then they should not start the wolf dreams until the season where Nymmeria is coming back: arbitrary wolf-dreams with no payoff would just irritate the audience.

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    10. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Did she though? She was just and honest, her actions were not responsible for Joffrey’s sociopathic tendencies, nor Sansa’s rose colored glasses.
      If anything, I would think that she is only more resentful towards the GoT, and the way it is played; thus furthering her desire for justice, hopefully including Nymeria.

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    11. Jack Bauer 24,

      Really? You think when the writers were writing the scripts, the press screenings, many months away, influenced them to make such a drastic decision that could possibly upset Jon’s entire narrative? I mean, it’s possible they’ll hold off on Jon’s resurrection until mid-season, but only if it works within the story. The press screenings won’t influence that decision.

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    12. Dwm: She was just and honest, her actions were not responsible for Joffrey’s sociopathic tendencies, nor Sansa’s rose colored glasses.

      You’re absolutely right, and I’m not blaming Arya, but I think in a really low moment, she could wonder if she carries some blame. I’m also just “thinking out loud” about different things Maise could have meant, with a side-order of it somehow being connected to Nymeria, ’cause, well, Nymeria!!!

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    13. Nymeria Warrior Queen: I think in a really low moment, she could wonder if she carries some blame.

      Sorry, I hit post, got sidetracked, and didn’t get this in near in time to add it to my above post…

      For example, she could wonder if she hadn’t tried to stop Joffrey from hurting Micah (when Joffrey was cutting his face), would both Micah and Lady still be alive? What if cutting his face was really all Joffrey would have done? No, that’s not saying what Joffrey did was in any way acceptable, but Arya stepping in and trying to defend her friend is what led to everything else.

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    14. Wimsey,

      Yeah I was thinking that too. I had almost written in my post that I highly doubt they’ll introduce Arya wolf dreams this upcoming season if they do it at all. But hopefully Nymeria will be back eventually!!

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    15. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      In season 1, she does talk to her father about it, claiming that it’s her fault that Micah died, because it was her idea to practice sword play. Edward, understandable, told her that the blame lies elsewhere and that it isn’t her fault.

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    16. How about they show us the house with the red door so we can FINALLY SETTLE ON THE LOCATION OF WHERE IT IS! George could also do i would probably prefer reading it from him but hey i won’t complain.

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    17. Firannion,

      I will agree. Juvenile and stuffed barn owl 🙂

      Wimsey,

      Oh, the wolf dreams would be spectacular… I think that’s the one simple thing that would bring me joy this season. But if it doesn’t happen this season while she’s missing another sense, it never will…

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    18. Look at her. Maisie is officially no longer a child star. Time for my fad flame to fan out and disperse into the winds.

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    19. Aryamad:
      Some of those pictures in the article are a hoot.

      Also I really hope they give Arya a wolf dream in s06.

      IKR? I thought that this outfit above was the white ravioli one from before with a jacket added, but I now that I can see in the full picture of the outfit above that this one is even whiter than white ravioli and a dress.

      All of the frigging owls and the crab just hanging about are completely and inappropriately hilarious, but the best part is the OMGWTFBIGASSBOW!

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    20. Aryamad:
      Some of those pictures in the article are a hoot.

      I know, right? I thought that this outfit above was the white ravioli one from her Twitter pics, with a jacket added, but now that I can see in the full picture of this outfit just before the white ravioli, I see the difference.

      All of the frigging owls and the turkey and the crab just hanging about are completely and inappropriately hilarious, but the best part is the OMGWTFBIGASSBOW!

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    21. Joh:
      That photo is pretty amazing. The “New Romantics” look, the ruffled jacket, the super intense eyebrows, the white owl…makes me think of the film Labyrinth.

      A lot of fashion shoots and stylists have been riffing on Bowie’s more iconic looks since he passed. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the intention here.

      The Thin White Stark? Next up is that ginger Sophie Turner doing an “Alayne Sane” shoot! I like it. (Come to think of it- maybe that was the inspiration for Tyrion’s scar)

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    22. I, too, would love to see a wolf dream, but don’t hold out much hope for it this season.

      Wow…I’ve just had a thought (no, not my first, smart a$$es):
      What if Blind Beth is given the task to kill a certain young Westerosi man without getting his given name, but the name that others might call him–a king’s bastard! What if she has to kill Gendry and doesn’t know it until the deed is done? THAT would be heartbreaking and a payoff for the romantic vibes that they put out back in S2. Whatever it is, our poor little Arya was just born to suffer. 🙁

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    23. The GameOfThrones youtube channel just uploaded two videos about…..Season 1.
      Flay me harder.

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    24. ladywolfsbane: I think that’s the one simple thing that would bring me joy this season. But if it doesn’t happen this season while she’s missing another sense, it never will…

      I would tend to agree: it’s this year or never. Still, my bet is that they will use Arya’s blindness to reintroduce Nymeria to the audience. It has been 5 years since the audience saw Nymeria, so that will have to be done. The suggestion that more than one person has made that part of why they flip-flopped the book sequences and put Arya’s blindness now instead of last season is that this lets them use the blindness to segue in the warging, and then that will segue in Nymeria.

      If I recall, then there were reports of Arya filming in areas used for the Riverlands. If true, that means one of two things, one of which bodes well for Nymeria returning, and the other of which demands it: either Arya returns herself to the Riverlands (which bodes well for seeing Nymeria again), or Arya is seeing herself in the Riverlands by seeing them through Nymeria’s eyes (at which point we will be beyond boding; er, is that a thing?).

      Ashara D: What if Blind Beth is given the task to kill a certain young Westerosi man without getting his given name, but the name that others might call him–a king’s bastard!

      I thought that what information we had about Arya’s plotline this year suggests that she is not going to be on good terms with the Faceless Men this year. Weren’t there scenes with the Waif trying to kill Arya? If so, then I doubt that Arya will be taking on contracts for them! (I’m seeing her more as the amateur assassin: she’ll kill for her own ends rather than for someone elses!)

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    25. Joh: A lot of fashion shoots and stylists have been riffing on Bowie’s more iconic looks since he passed.

      Well, Bowie only had about 20 of those…..

      😀

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    26. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Anon,

      You could be onto something.

      Blaming Arya for Mycah and Lady’s death is ridiculous. She was a child trying to protect her friend. A lot of folks rightly explain away Sansa’s choices with her naive outlook that’s based on what she’s been taught. It’s the same for Arya. She was a naive kid who thought protecting the innocent was the duty of the highborn. Not to mention she already wrongfully blamed herself for what happened and Ned assured her that she wasn’t to blame. So it’s not like that could be something that would need to come up again at this late date.

      Really though, the characters to blame for Mycah and Lady’s deaths are Joffrey, Cersei, Robert, and the Hound. Blaming the children for this is foolishness.

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    27. Jaime might hear a wolf howling on his way to Riverrun if he can stop thinking about Brienne, I mean, Cersei. He might overhear talk in the Frey camp about dangerous wolves in the area.

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    28. Wimsey,

      In regards to reports about Maisie filming in areas used for riverlands I think there were also reports about dog handlers with a number of huskie/wolf like dogs spotted in the area at the time. Although it was a case of”a friend of a friend told me…” A woman is hoping

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    29. ladywolfsbane: ,

      Oh, the wolf dreams would be spectacular… I think that’s the one simple thing that would bring me joy this season. But if it doesn’t happen this season while she’s missing another sense, it never will…

      Yeah, to be honest to me the wolf dreams would probably be the only thing I’ll enjoy about Arya’s arc in season 6. After the spectacular failure of her season 5 storyline, I don’t trust the writers at all anymore. They made such a mess of the Faceless Men mythology that I’m just not interested in seeing how they fuck it up further.

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    30. Maisie will be 19 for season 7 and this really fits her character in the Mercy excerpt from Winds of Winter. In Mercy the feel of Arya is that of young woman. A wiser and maturing girl. It is funny that it seems so natural on the show where it has occurred de facto. It is the 5 year gap that GRRM wanted, the books have kind of had difficulty with that timeline.

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    31. Wimsey,

      Whew! I’d forgotten about that little filming tidbit. I’ll be glad to see Nymeria regardless of whether it is via warging or in the “flesh.”

      It would be nice to get poor Gendry out of that boat, though. 😉

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    32. Not a huge fan of Arya’s storyline, book or show, post-red wedding. For me it’s just too…. silly. The thought of a season of Arya being “broken down” does nothing for me. The quicker she gets back involved in the thick of things in Westeros the better.

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    33. It’s quite odd that the more – quite frankly – disturbing GRRM has made Arya’s character the more popular she seems to become. Turning from plucky survivor to cold-blooded revenge obsessed assassin. I can’t help thinking that GRRMs aim is to keep pushing that until we have to seriously question whether we actually want Arya to live.

      I think she may be lined up for something very impactful but not in a positive way, that she may end up doing something that will actually be harmful to another character who is seen as being on the good side and maybe terrible for Westeros. I don’t think a redemptive arc is the path GRRM has set out, it just seem too obvious for such a deviously creative mind. I think she will take what she has learned from the FM but go rogue and independent because she just can’t be “no-one” and Arya Stark is an identity she will never shake off (which was surely set up by the inability to completely dispose of Needle).

      That said, she is still my favourite character! I hope to see wolf dreams this season 🙂

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    34. Nymeria Warrior Queen: From your lips (fingers…whatever) to the Old God’s ears!!!

      I really miss the wolves, it was great is season 1 when they were all around. Now I’m very frightened that Ghost might die and I would very much want to see Nymeria, Summer and Shaggydog.

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    35. Anon:
      I’m guessing that Arya comes to terms with the fact that she, herself, should have received the punishment dealt to Mycah, the butcher’s boy.

      Indeed, she is the one who hit Joffrey; and if the punishment for hitting Joffrey is death, then she, by rights, should be dead.However, she’s a highborn girl, and Mycah was not highborn.Furthermore, her father was friends with the King.

      The first time a child comes to terms with the stories(fairytales) their parents tell, and learn that the world doesn’t work that way…learns that people don’t always succeed when they work hard, and there is justice for some people and not others…That could certainly break her down.

      She may discover she has other culpability..

      You don’t know what are you talking about. She was the daughter of the king in the north… there was in her home and the guy was not a king, plus she only tried to defend her friend. The punishment is not death. The boy was killed only because they lied that he attacked joffrey…. if joffrey attacked the boy and the boy defended himself by hitting joffrey they couldn’t kill him. Westeros doesn’t do slaves and the boy had the right to defend itself even if it was the prince. But they lied and said that the boy was the one who attacked.

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    36. Ginevra,

      I dislike the ravioli dress, but the others are great and the owls are adorable. I started loving them while reading Harry Potter. Maisie becomes more and more dear to me.

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    37. Maelina: Yeah, to be honest to me the wolf dreams would probably be the only thing I’ll enjoy about Arya’s arc in season 6. After the spectacular failure of her season 5 storyline, I don’t trust the writers at all anymore. They made such a mess of the Faceless Men mythology that I’m just not interested in seeing how they fuck it up further.

      Well, to be honest, her book storyline isn’t particulary good either and it really dragged too much. At lest she killed ser Meryn on TV instead of some nobody in the books.

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    38. Tyrion the Myrions,

      Oh right, I’ve been away for a while, so I forgot that it’s not acceptable to express a negative opinion on the show here. My bad. But seriously, are there really people who think Arya’s storyline was well-written and made sense last season?

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    39. Ser Not Appearing In This Series,

      I have the same view on her storyline, but I think people (myself included) will always love Arya for the innocence she somehow preserves after all she has seen, experienced and done. It’s the purity of her heart, ability to love her family and friends, stong ties to her never lost identity that make her a great character; Maisie’s talent and personal qualities add a huge bonus. But I’m preaching to the choir, because you like her yourself. I think that what’s so fascinating with Martin’s grey characters is that they can be loved even if they are flawed heroes/ heroines. Or because of that.

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    40. Lord Parramandas,

      I disagree, but then again Arya is my favourite character and I love her Braavos storyline in the books. It might be boring to people who aren’t particularly interested in her, and that’s fine. But at least what happens in the House of Black and White makes sense in the books. In the show the FM just wash bodies and trick people into committing suicide while abusing acolytes for not figuring out what they’re supposed to do without any instructions or guidance. While ignoring their questions and bitch-facing them. I could go on and on about the holes in the logic of the Braavos storyline, but as I was already told, people don’t want to hear them here.

      About Arya killing a nobody in the books: GRRM made her kill Dareon, a Night’s Watch deserter, because having her take on the responsibility of the last surviving Stark makes her remember who she is and what she loves. It connected her to Jon, the person closest to her. It’s all about her identity.

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    41. Maelina,

      I enjoyed Show!Arya in season 5. Given that they have to condense or remove some aspects of the story for time ( e.g. Dareon ) and that having Arya as CotC wander the streets of Braavos as she does for two moons would not have been very alluring television ( reference the moans over “floor-sweeping”).

      Arya has just 5 chapters in FeastDance and some readers certainly didn’t enjoy those, so whatever the showrunners do, adapt or not adapt, some will be disappointed/irritated either way.

      I’m looking forward to seeing how the Blind Beth / Izembaro section plays out, and will reserve final judgement until then.

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    42. Maelina,

      ”I did not like Arya’s story this season, because of X” this is criticism.

      After the spectacular failure of her season 5 storyline, I don’t trust the writers at all anymore. They made such a mess of the Faceless Men mythology that I’m just not interested in seeing how they fuck it up further.

      This is simply a rant that does not belong here. There are other places for this kind of things.

      And yes. There are people who liked Arya’s story and think that it made perfect sense.

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    43. Joh:
      That photo is pretty amazing. The “New Romantics” look, the ruffled jacket, the super intense eyebrows, the white owl…makes me think of the film Labyrinth.

      I just wish they hadn’t gone so intense on photoshop though. It ruins it all, for me.

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    44. Wimsey,

      Yup to everything. The perfect warging reintroduction, and another chance for isolated characters to interact. I mean nothing wrong with “Cat of the Canals” it would be great… but filming with cats? outdoors? Near water? I know zero about filming but that would no doubt be worse than wrangling wolves!

      To be even more demanding I want rather specifically Arya running in the woods as Nymeria with a pack of normal wolves. She will be seeing something to connect/further the riverlands plot (and to establish/remind us where Nymeria is) while we’re at it…. Brienne? Jaime? Pod? Brienne defending/talking “Nymeria” down from killing Pod? Oooo… potential insight into Ayra’s rising bloodlust… 🙂

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    45. Maelina,

      Arya’s storyline is suitable for the books with all that internal monologue and world-building. But internal monologue simply cannot be adapted to the screen and books 4 and 5 are in no form as well, that’s why the storyline had to be completely rewritten. In the books, there was also a poisoned well inside the House of Black and White. Arya was also beaten for lies, even for biting her lip. She also had to wash bodies. And there was simply no time to include Dareon.

      Her TV storyline still followed the books: She arrived at House of Black and White, she had to get rid of her things (except Needle), she worked as a servant (washing bodies), she was led into the hall of the faces, she sold oysters as Lanna (Cat of the canals) while given an assigment to assassinate Thin man, she violated the code by killing ser Meryn (Dareon/Raff in the books) and for that, she became blind. The events were switched around a bit, the Kindly man was replaced by Jaqen H’Ghar and the Waif was changed into Faceless person with more hostile attitude towards Arya.

      So tell me, why exactly was her storyline such a failure?

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    46. Shy Lady Dragon,

      I do love Maisie, especially her social media presence. And owls, especially Hedwig. But I’m not big on fashion, especially staged, pretentious, over the top fashion that is fifty levels beyond natural.

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    47. Ginevra:
      Shy Lady Dragon,

      I do love Maisie, especially her social media presence. And owls, especially Hedwig. But I’m not big on fashion, especially staged, pretentious, over the top fashion that is fifty levels beyond natural.

      Do you mean you wouldn’t wear those clothes in everyday, normal life? I’m shocked at your conservatism 😉

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    48. Ginevra,

      I don’t follow fashion and I’m not knowledgeable in fashion designers’ work, but I really enjoy it when actors I like are the models. I know about biking only what I hear from my brother, but it was a pleasure to see Nikolaj in these mountain biking photos.
      I like Maisie as a model because those photos show another facet of hers, even if I prefer the young actress and wise teenager facets. I also like Gwendoline when she wears those excentric dresses, she looks so different from Brienne.
      Those stylish outfits are only for stage imo, I see them as another form of art. In my daily life I wear trousers, shirts, ponchos, jackets, comfortable shoes.

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    49. Late to the party as always, but here are some thoughts:
      1. First, we now know that Arya will have an arc this season. That’s pretty cool – some of us were wondering if it would be the case.
      2. Second, we know that the lowest point of this arc will be her ‘being broken’. Otoh (filming spoilers)

      we know she returns to Westeros

      at the end of the season. So, it’s likely that the arc will involve her being broken, and then remembering her true identity as a Stark. Perhaps the lowest point is when she’s on the verge of actually drinking the FM ‘No One’ koolaid?
      3. There are two possible things that can make her switch back: one is (book spoiler)

      warging

      and the other is (book/filming spoiler)

      the play where she does Sansa

      . The former MAY happen this season. The latter WILL. Given that the true consequences of the former will really come next season, I’m more inclined towards the latter.
      4. Coincidentally, as I have mentioned earlier, this is also the season where (filming spoiler)

      Sansa learns the value of killing and warfare

      . As I have pointed out, this means

      the sisters getting to know each other’s viewpoints

      . My speculation is that they share an endgame, so this is cool with me.
      5. Anyone else think that

      Arya returns to Westeros

      because she learns that Sansa is back in Winterfell?

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    50. Maelina:
      Tyrion the Myrions,

      Oh right, I’ve been away for a while, so I forgot that it’s not acceptable to express a negative opinion on the show here. My bad. But seriously, are there really people who think Arya’s storyline was well-written and made sense last season?

      Me. I thought it was brilliant.

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    51. Yaga,

      I like your speculation. Just read an article about the relation between Jon and Sansa and how Sansa shifts gradually from summer child/groomed for courtlife/south to longing for Winterfell/drawing strengh from the cold/getting to know what being a bastard feels like/north. Obviously the show cut the whole Alayne thing short, so I would like it if we got some sort of mirroring with the sisters.

      That said, (filmimg spoilers)

      IIRC there was an actress cast to play Sansa in the play and I think it was said by L7R back then that Arya would not take part as an actress but watch the play from afar.

      http://lossietereinos.com/un-teatro-en-braavos-el-papel-de-ian-mcshane-y-el-pasado-de-hodor/

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    52. Mihnea,

      Lord Parramandas,
      Ok, let me list my criticisms, sorry that this will be a very long post (I hope this won’t get stuck in moderation).

      To begin with, I have a problem with the way Arya doesn’t get into the HoBaW right away, but needs to somehow prove she deserves it. Total waste of screentime, but also completely against what the FM stand for. Anyone can get into the House whenever they want. And exactly why did the FM decide to let Arya in after turning her down?

      In the books the House is a place of safety for Arya. This is very important, because she hasn’t been safe since Ned died. Arya is actually happy for the first time in ages. The show turned HoBaW into a cold, miserable tomb. Why is everyone so hostile towards Arya in the temple? And why doesn’t anyone talk to her? It’s like they want her to fail at her training. In the books everyone at the House was supportive of Arya’s education, because why wouldn’t they be? Arya was actually taught things unlike in the show, where she is expected to just magically know everything. I don’t understand why the Waif had to be portrayed as Arya’s adversary. I get that there needs to be conflict in the story, but that is what Arya’s difficulties in becoming no one are for.

      I was ecstatic that Tom Wlaschiha was back, but in the end he wasn’t given much to do, really. He’s basically there just to make the ”climax” of the storyline in 510 shocking. Which, by the way, no one I know who hasn’t read the books understood at all.
      Every Arya scene in 510 was baffling. Arya’s decision to steal a face from the Hall was idiotic. And how on earth could the FM afford to kill a fully trained Faceless Man just because a stupid acolyte made a mistake? Why not just kill the Thin Man next day? Or Arya? It was done for shock value, much like Arya being able to steal and put on a face and the FM being able to wear living people’s faces. More importantly, an important and exciting moment in Arya’s training happened off screen when the applying of the face was left out. What did she learn in the temple to be able to use the faces, anyway? What did she actually learn in s5? She can’t lie, obviously. She doesn’t speak Braavosi. She can’t kill people without making a mess of it (like really, she was about to kill the Thin Man by poisoning his sea food in front of everyone, with her own face on?).

      About Arya being punished by blindness in the books: Arya chooses every night to drink the poison that makes her blind. It’s not a punishment, it’s an exercise that helps her to learn to use her senses.

      So, these are the problems that I recall right now. There’s probably more, but I haven’t watched the season in a while. Arya getting to Braavos to learn how to be a Faceless Man has been where her whole storyline has been heading toward since season 1, so seeing D&D turn the training into incoherent mess is really sad. I can only hope that they are somehow able to save it in season 6.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Here is the IMDB board troll thread about the trailer coming out today, on the 27th. Even if the spoilers in the following messages are made up, they are made up with some information of the upcoming season and thus are a little bit spoilery. So beware, and don’t read if you haven’t followed S6 speculation and have no knowledge of the remaining book story lines.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944947/board/thread/253455824

      Remember, he will bump the thread after the trailer comes out to prove he was right. I’m not holding my breath, but you never know with these trolls about if someone is actually providing genuine spoilers 😀

        Quote  Reply

    54. Yaga,

      *breaks through Wall* “ohhhhhh, yeah!”

      Bad 80’s jokes aside, I like your ideas, and it puts my mind to rest that we actually will see Arya

      in Westeros. I had worried it would only be in a wolf dream,

      but the logical resolution to an arc of remembering her name is indeed what you’ve speculated. I also like the parallels you draw between the sisters.

      There also seems to be a theme of ‘remembering one’s name’ among several characters. Tyrion, Theon, Sansa (to a certain extent, certainly), Dany, and Arya are all going to have to remember who they are in order to unlock their superpowers. 🙂

      *leaves to go drink some Koolaid*

        Quote  Reply

    55. I maintain that no one other than Bran will ever have wolf dreams in the show, and that the plays mocking her family (and maybe some news) will be Arya’s primary impetus to return to Westeros.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Maelina,

      So basically, your criticism is just nitpicking, because it is not the same as in the books. For me, her TV storyline made sense on its own, not to mention that it was more entertaining to watch.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Ser Low-Res:
      Here is the IMDB board troll thread about the trailer coming out today, on the 27th. Even if the spoilers in the following messages are made up, they are made up with some information of the upcoming season and thus are a little bit spoilery. So beware, and don’t read if you haven’t followed S6 speculation and have no knowledge of the remaining book story lines.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944947/board/thread/253455824

      Remember, he will bump the thread after the trailer comes out to prove he was right.I’m not holding my breath, but you never know with these trolls about if someone is actually providing genuine spoilers

      It’s fake. It’s clear just from this:

      “The introduction of a new character, a pirate from the Iron Islands who holds a meeting with the nobels of the Island. He is proclaimed their new king, as the old one has apparently been dead for quite some time (only a decaying body, washing up on shore, is shown of this character).”

      We’ve seen Balon alive and well in the promotional pictures. We’ll see him alive, not already dead.

      Also, Jaime leading the Tyrells to free Margaery and Loras is from episode 6, not from the first 3 episodes. Exactly the same thing goes for the Tower of Joy flashback, which he wouldn’t have seen if he has only watched the first three episodes. Also, we know Ned is played by a younger actor, not Sean Bean.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Maelina:

      About Arya being punished by blindness in the books: Arya chooses every night to drink the poison that makes her blind. It’s not a punishment, it’s an exercise that helps her to learn to use her senses.

      Not in my version of the book! She drinks it once, without any knowledge of its effect until she wakes up the next morning, in the first instance she has no clue apart from the milk tasting burnt and bitter.

      AFFC: Cat of The Canals: final paragraphs

      Now in the show they may well go on to show Arya taking the drink willingly as she does in “The Blind Girl” for penance or whatever reason but we don’t know yet. Why not just wait and see where it goes?

      The essence of the book story and show story is the same:

      She thinks she is ready to be a FM – she isn’t
      She is poor at lying and hiding her true feelings from the KM/Jaqen
      She has difficulty putting aside Arya Stark for No-one
      She can’t put aside her revenge mission instead of killing only for contract

        Quote  Reply

    59. Maelina,

      Of it’s completely okay to have a negative opinion about a storyline. I loved Arya in season 5. I think they took their time and felt the sweeping/body-washing were appropriately drawn out for it to have an impact. I can’t see how they made a med of it, since to me it was very close to the book. My only complaint was their version of The Waif. She was much more mysterious in the books and not nearly as overly antagonistic. Other than that, the whole atmosphere of the house of black and White was extremely well done in my opinion. They included the main beats of the story, the different alters, the people coming to die, the ‘hard work’ aspect, the Hall of faces and the oyster cart. Most brilliant was Aryas struggle with the loss og identity, which Williams played perfectly (the scene with needle on the harbour is one of her best performances in the show). Finally, the change-up of Raff to Meryn was a great choice and the scene felt cathartic while also being utterly disturbing. Trant went from being just a random face to now standing one of the shows many great minor villains. Ian Beatty did an awsome job (that slow sigh before the spanking ritual was truly frightening). So yeah, a really good arc for arya, in my opinion. I Think many people feel that way, but I could be wrong.

        Quote  Reply

    60. FreeParking,

      It depends on how important Arya’s warging will become for the over arching story and if the show can work around it, but I must admit that, sadly, I’m not really expecting another warging Stark (although IIRC Rickon had Wolf dreams early on in the show…). Also I can’t help but think that Maisie would have teased the warging somehow. It would be a huge thing!

      On another note, I’m quite excited for the play and its impact on Arya. Do we know what will be shown?

      If we see theater!Tyrion and theater!Joffrey ravish and torture theater!Sansa, maybe that would be a reason for Arya to go wild with rage and decide to go back as Arya Stark to kill them all. The only thing is, wouldn’t she take a ship directly to King’s Landing?

      Or maybe the play shows theater!Sansa kill Joffrey with poison and vanish as a winged wolf and Arya is totally embarassed that Sansa had a major kill while she herself only offed Meryn fucking Trant. So she decides to go back and win the game of „I killed more people who decimated our family than you!“. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    61. Wylie,
      OK, this weakens my case a bit – she won’t be literally

      (actually figuratively) getting in Sansa’s skin

      – but the main point, I think, still stands. 🙂

      you snow nothing,
      I think what you have just noted chimes in with Wimsey‘s phoenix idea. The last season was a season of failures – Jon, Cersei, Jaime, Sansa, Arya, Dany, Brienne by half, also Stannis/Mel (in their case, VERY fatal). This season seems up for many of these characters (and I’m looking forward to what ‘up’ will mean for Cersei, because it’s sure to be horrible and we’ve had relatively little information how her arc will finish this year).

      FreeParking,
      As long as we’re getting the

      Wolf Pack

      next year, I’m curiously fine with it. Robb didn’t get any onscreen

      dreams

      either, but he was still able to command Grey Wind.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Lord Parramandas,

      And that’s the point. TV and literature are two different mediums. What might make for an entertaining story in a novel might not translate directly to a TV show.

      All the detail and narrative that can be shovelled into a book of potentially unlimited length won’t necessarily fit into, or be compatible with, a finite TV show that also needs to keep a certain pace and captivation.

      And, of course, TV shows will appeal to a different or broader audience than a novel might, and need to keep that audience engaged and watching in order for the show to remain on the air.

      Having Arya turn up at the House of Black & White, be immediately let in, get on like a house on fire with everybody there, learn Braavosi, kill a random character and accidentally/deliberately go blind doesn’t necessarily make for an engaging arc in a TV show.

      I think Maelin’s comment that…

      Arya getting to Braavos to learn how to be a Faceless Man has been where her whole storyline has been heading toward since season 1…

      …sums up the whole problem.

      For non book readers Arya reaching the House of Black & White and learning to become a Faceless Man is not the expected or awaited culmination of her story so far. It is just another stage of her many adventures on her quest for revenge.

      And while book readers might be delighted with her arrival there and the events of that portion of her book arc being played out, the producers have to give the average TV viewer a reason to engage with that story.

      That means conflict, that means deceit, that means uncertainty, that means twists in the story, that means maintaining her revenge narrative and interacting with familiar characters…

        Quote  Reply

    63. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Lord Parramandas,
      …And while book readers might be delighted with her arrival there and the events of that portion of her book arc being played out, the producers have to give the average TV viewer a reason to engage with that story.

      That means conflict, that means deceit, that means uncertainty, that means twists in the story, that means maintaining her revenge narrative and interacting with familiar characters…

      Good stuff. I enjoy the book chapters and I enjoy thinking about how they would look if they were adapted 100% faithfully, but you have to be realistic about these things.

        Quote  Reply

    64. All roads lead to Westeros. Don’t shoot me but I am not a fan of the goings on in Essos. I just endlessly hope for characters like Ayra, Tyrion, Jorah and Dany to get back over to the seven kingdoms as that’s what it’s all about fundamentally. I do enjoy all the story arcs but underneath it all, I just feel it’s in Westeros that it matters.

      And who the hell wastes time inventing fake spoilers. There are some seriously needy people in this world!

        Quote  Reply

    65. FreeParking:

      But the trouble has never been Arya’s desire to return home or to reunite with her family. At least 80% of her story has been about trying to get home, trying to get to her family, trying to form a pack, and keep hold of her sense of self. The problem is actually having the ability to return home or to get to her family. If Arya has her way, she would have gone to the Wall to be with Jon at the end of S4. But instead, she was only given the option to go to Braavos.

      So I don’t get why acting in a play about KL politics or finding out news will suddenly transport her back to Westeros. What Arya needs is a means of transportation. Maybe if Sam gets to Braavos on his way to Old Town, she can try to hitch a ride with him.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Shy Lady Dragon,

      They don’t anthropomorphize the wolves in the show, so what connects you to them? They aren’t pets to the Stark kids. They don’t roll over to have their bellies scratched or beg for scraps.

      What connects you to the wolves?

        Quote  Reply

    67. The HBO schedule is updated through 4/9, which means that in 2 weeks on March 13th, it’ll be updated through 4/24, which means…

      We should hopefully have the premiere episode title then 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    68. Wylie:
      FreeParking,

      If we see theater!Tyrion and theater!Joffrey ravish and torture theater!Sansa, maybe that would be a reason for Arya to go wild with rage and decide to go back as Arya Stark to kill them all. The only thing is, wouldn’t she take a ship directly to King’s Landing?

      This sums up what’s wrong with the “Arya’s all about vengeance” thing. If commenters here were right and revenge was what she was all about, then yes, absolutely. She would head straight for KL to go on a killing spree. The End.

      But thankfully it’s not. When Arya gets back to Westeros, her main goal would be the North and her family or the Riverlands so she can pick up Nymeria and co. before heading north. But the last few seasons have shown that Arya trying to get home or to the fam isn’t a guarantee she’ll get to them. She’ll probably get sidetracked again…. Or Bran will put her on a mission for something else that’s vital to the main story.

        Quote  Reply

    69. SJones,

      Arya has not been looking for a way to go home ever since she has arrived in Braavos. She has been treating the House of Black and White as her home. Even in the books when she hears about her brother becoming Lord Commander, she doesn’t look for a way to get to him. She needs a push to go back.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Oops, I quoted one person too many, so my comment is awaiting moderation above. I mostly agreed with the people who agreed with me, with some minor comments, FWIW.

      Since that time…

      SJones: This sums up what’s wrong with the “Arya’s all about vengeance” thing. If commenters here were right and revenge was what she was all about, then yes, absolutely. She would head straight for KL to go on a killing spree. The End.

      But thankfully it’s not.

      Eeh, the consensus is that she’ll try to do in the Freys next season, isn’t she? Maybe, like Wylie said, after she hears that Sansa was the one responsible for Joffrey – didn’t she drop him from her list somewhere on the way? So she must be aware that he’s dead – she’ll decide to go for numbers. I mean, who’s still on her list at all that she knows is alive? Only Cersei and Walder Frey, correct?

      Of course, Sansa will see her Freys and raise her Roose and Ramsay, heh. And maybe Littlefinger? Although I’d really prefer it if they shared him, like good sisters…

        Quote  Reply

    71. SJones: What Arya needs is a means of transportation.

      What Arya needs is a motivation to chose to go back to Westeros over her training as a faceless which is a big decision because she probably risks a lethal punishment for it. It’s not a mere question of needing a means of transportation. That’s not in tune with the story and would be quite trivial. The desire to return to Westeros must come from within the character and the question I was pondering was what would motivate Arya at this point to chose to go back.

      I was just playing around with ideas because someone else brought up the play. So the idea was that the play could impact her emotionally.
      Sorry that my silly speculations upset you so much. What do you propose instead?

        Quote  Reply

    72. Mihnea,

      Yeah. I thought maybe he would do something like last year and read a chapter from a POV whose story is changed in the show or something. Oh well, nevermind… With the show premiere just around the corner, I’m totally fine 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    73. FreeParking:
      SJones,

      Not true. When Arya is in Braavos she does look for a way to get home. When Sam and Daeron come, she plans to ask Daeron to let her come with them when they return to the Wall. You know, so she can finally get back to Jon. But then she finds out that he’s planning on deserting. Then Ned Stark’s teachings on deserters kick in from there. Sam leaves too quickly for her to ask him and he’s not going in the right direction anyway.

      Arya’s stays with the FM because she’s a kid whose been on the run for several books and seasons with no home, very little shelter, very little food, and not much protection. The FM feed her, gave her a room with a bed, clothes, and safety. They’re also teaching her things that she thinks she needs to know even though she’s rejecting their major principles in giving up the self.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Yaga:
      Eeh, the consensus is that she’ll try to do in the Freys next season, isn’t she? Maybe, like Wylie said, after she hears that Sansa was the one responsible for Joffrey – didn’t she drop him from her list somewhere on the way? So she must be aware that he’s dead – she’ll decide to go for numbers. I mean, who’s still on her list at all that she knows is alive? Only Cersei and Walder Frey, correct?

      Something being the consensus in a fan discussion doesn’t make it valid, nor does it trump the narrative. Too much emphasis is put on that list, which is a coping mechanism for a child whose seen and endured too much and is trying to latch onto some form of control even if it’s just whispering names. One of the reasons fans are so shocked by a lot of the twists in the series is because they keep taking everything at surface value and applying the conventions of stereotypical stories to this one. Analyzing the series that way is missing the broader picture. Arya’s here for way more than just that list.

      Wylie: What Arya needs is a motivation to chose to go back to Westeros over her training as a faceless which is a big decision because she probably risks a lethal punishment for it. It’s not a mere question of needing a means of transportation. That’s not in tune with the story and would be quite trivial. The desire to return to Westeros must come from within the character and the question I was pondering was what would motivate Arya at this point to chose to go back.

      I was just playing around with ideas because someone else brought up the play. So the idea was that the play could impact her emotionally.
      Sorry that my silly speculations upset you so much. What do you propose instead?

      I do get what you’re saying. Transportation seems trivial in the grand scheme of things. But this is a story that focuses on hard realities. If you look at Arya’s overall struggle, a big part of it is transportation. She’s walking most of the time and never reaches places in time to get what she wants. If motivation were the only issue, she would’ve gotten to the Wall or Winterfell in S2 or gotten to Riverrun or the Twins in S3 or she would’ve gotten to the Wall at the end of S4. Now she’s got an ocean between her and where she wants to get. It’s not like she can steal a ship and head to the Wall on her own even if she did find out about Jon’s death. Though finding out about that seems like something that would keep her in Essos, in my eyes.

      My theory is that Arya will communicate with Bran while warging at some point in TWOW and maybe S6. The show might have him be the one to trigger her abilities since they haven’t been used in the show thus far. From there, the story could go anywhere from Bran trying to guide her to him or maybe sending her to find Dany and more importantly the dragons they’ll need against the White Walkers. A major discussion point is what will motivate Arya back to Westeros, but an issue I’ve been wondering about is what will bring Dany to the North and the big fight. Having Arya and Bran link up with her or her dragons in some way could be it.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Wylie: The desire to return to Westeros must come from within the character and the question I was pondering was what would motivate Arya at this point to chose to go back.

      There are many possibilities. One obvious one is news from Westeros about which we know nothing because even though it’s already 2016, we still have not read Winds of Winter. Another possibility is that Arya will start to link to Nymeria again, and something through that will result in her deciding to return. Yet another possibility is that something to do with Daeny’s trek westward will inspire Arya to head home.

      And, of course, there are lots and lots of possibilities besides these! However, coming up with an acceptable reason for Arya to return home should be about as difficult as coming up with an acceptable way for Daeny’s dragons to escape.

      Maelina: I don’t understand why the Waif had to be portrayed as Arya’s adversary. I get that there needs to be conflict in the story, but that is what Arya’s difficulties in becoming no one are for.

      Stories need parallels. Jon had Thorne and others telling him that he was not fit to command at the Wall. Daeny had the Meerenese nobles telling her that she was not fit to command their city. Sansa and Theon had Ramsay telling them both that they were not fit to be human. Tyrion has himself questioning whether he was fit for anything anymore. And in a sense, all of the adversaries had a point: the lead in question had agendas that the adversary considers betrayal. Arya needed some analog of those to impede her child->adult transition, and someone to emphasize that Arya was not willing to totally abandon Arya Stark.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Anon,

      Arya isn’t Sansa…
      She knows fairytales are stupid stories.

      And if you’ve read the books, you know Arya is wise beyond her age. She has common sense and ‘street smarts’, and she has seen enough to know that people get hurt/killed in ways they don’t deserve, all the time.

        Quote  Reply

    77. SJones,
      That list is no longer just a coping device, though. She has already crossed some names off it – Raff and Meryn on the show, Raff in the books. This may propel her to seek out, more purposefully this time, another. It’s pretty much the serial killer growth pattern, isn’t it? The first kill is often by accident. The next are not.

      Although, back to my original post, I do think that the first thing that will send her back to Westeros will be learning that Sansa is back in Winterfell – ergo, news of her family. She will then stop in the Riverlands.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Yaga: It’s pretty much the serial killer growth pattern, isn’t it? The first kill is often by accident. The next are not.

      I do not think that Arya is going to be killing many people without having a distinct grudge against him/her. Indeed, I think that this will be the cause of her falling out with the Faceless Men: they will want her to kill impersonally and dispassionately; she is going to want to kill Arya Stark’s enemies.

      My bet is that this is going to be her primary contribution to this year’s story. Daeny probably is going to have to convince Dothraki that she should not be in widow’s prison. Jon probably is going to be on the lam as a traitor to the Realm and to the Watch. Tyrion probably is going to be trying to oversee a foreign city in the name of a hated outsider. Sansa is going to be on the run from Ramsay and probably is going to have difficulty finding supporters owing to fear of the Boltons, the fact she’s a woman and possibly a Wildling invasion led by her bastard brother.

      For Arya, the analog to these parallels might well be the Faceless Men, who will want only No-One and not Arya Stark in their ranks. The issue of Arya using her skills to advance her agendas instead of the Many-Faced god’s agendas might well be the center-point.

      Yaga:I do think that the first thing that will send her back to Westeros will be learning that Sansa is back in Winterfell – ergo, news of her family.

      Possibly, but how would such news reach her? From what little we’ve gleaned, these sorts of goings ons do not get much report in Essos: yes, it’s well known that Westeros is in a state of civil war, but the Essosi seem to have little knowledge of or interest in what happens in Westeros. Given that the north is portrayed as very isolated within Westeros itself, it does not seem that “Stark” or “Winterfell” would or should mean much to people in Braavos.

        Quote  Reply

    79. What I’m eagerly awaiting is not just the release of the trailer but also episode titles. The first 4 episode titles of s5 were revealed on march 6th with april 12th being the premiere date. I hope that within two weeks we’ll get a few of them.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      Jon’s face is the first face on the left. It goes: Jon,Dany,Sansa,Robb.

      This depends on the width of your screen where small screens would cut Jon off. You can make the page smaller on a PC by doing “CTRL” and “-” at the same time, a couple of times, and then everything should fit on the screen. “CTRL” and “+” will return it to large.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Yaga:
      SJones,
      That list is no longer just a coping device, though. She has already crossed some names off it – Raff and Meryn on the show, Raff in the books. This may propel her to seek out, more purposefully this time, another. It’s pretty much the serial killer growth pattern, isn’t it? The first kill is often by accident. The next are not.

      Although, back to my original post, I do think that the first thing that will send her back to Westeros will be learning that Sansa is back in Winterfell – ergo, news of her family. She will then stop in the Riverlands.

      Notice how Arya didn’t seek out any of the names she’s crossed off her list. Of the two she’s crossed off, she’s happened upon them. Raff/Meryn were both put in her way in order to show that despite the FM teachings, Arya is still Arya, not about crossing off a list of minor or supporting characters. That was the point of her line that she’s Arya Stark while the abusive pedophile she killed was “no one.” With only two books left and a lot of resolution to cover, I doubt she’ll be wasted on going after unimportant people who could just as easily die in winter or by other means. Arya will have bigger issues to deal with.

      I don’t see how there’s any connection to a serial killer here. Arya’s list is a coping mechanism and about wanting to enforce the values of justice that were instilled in her growing up. I’m not saying it’s badass or good that a kid’s going through this and feels that she needs to reestablish justice in the world. Martin intended to Arya to be much older at this point and I wish she was. In that respect, the show’s pace is good. I’m more comfortable with teen!Arya executing a pedophile than 11/12 year old Arya.

        Quote  Reply

    82. phantomstrife:
      What I’m eagerly awaiting is not just the release of the trailer but also episode titles. The first 4 episode titles of s5 were revealed on march 6th with april 12th being the premiere date. I hope that within two weeks we’ll get a few of them.

      The HBO schedule is updated through 4/9, which means that in 2 weeks on March 13th, it’ll be updated through 4/24, which means…

      We should hopefully have the premiere episode title then

        Quote  Reply

    83. I’m doing a rewatch (I’ve seen Seasons 1-3 only once), and Arya really is great in Season 2. Her scenes with Tywin are some of the best of the entire show.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Jack Bauer 24,

      I’m counting on it, and maybe in the following week we’ll get a couple more. I’m so interested in the way they named the eps. I can imagine they’re quite ambiguous.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Jack Bauer 24: Her scenes with Tywin are some of the best of the entire show.

      heh, a friend of mine said that he’d recently re-read the 2nd book, and he had forgotten that those parts were not in the book: he felt that it was missing something as a result! Those were some excellent scenes.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Here is the banner I see when I make the browser fill my super wide screen. But as I make my screen really small, it becomes the banner that Jack showed. The picture itself seems to be right-justified while the clock is centered.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Joffrey’s Cunt:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      So that’s why.

      Ginevra: On a mobile device (right?), I doubt you’ll be able to see more, but you could try pinching inward to make smaller.I don’t get the banner on my phone.

      Thanks for the tips. The countdown doesn’t show on my phone either.

      phantomstrife:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I’m counting on it, and maybe in the following week we’ll get a couple more. I’m so interested in the way they named the eps. I can imagine they’re quite ambiguous.

      Hopefully. We might get the episode titles before the trailer this year lol. I remember we didn’t get the last 2 episode titles last year until right before they aired. It was the end of May.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Ginevra: On a mobile device (right?), I doubt you’ll be able to see more, but you could try pinching inward to make smaller.I don’t get the banner on my phone.

      Thanks for the tip. I don’t get the countdown on my phone either.

        Quote  Reply

    89. phantomstrife:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I’m counting on it, and maybe in the following week we’ll get a couple more. I’m so interested in the way they named the eps. I can imagine they’re quite ambiguous.

      Hopefully. We might get the episode titles before the trailer this year lol. I remember we didn’t get the last 2 episode titles last year until right before they aired. It was the end of May.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Wimsey,
      See my longpost above (my first in the thread).

      SJones,
      I think you misunderstood me. I did not say that Arya will start to killing people randomly. I only meant that her previous successes in getting people off her list may induce her to seek out the next once she reliably has an opportunity to do so – and drew parallel to how serial killers often come across their first victim by accident, and then continue more purposefully.

      Also,
      “With only two books left and a lot of resolution to cover, I doubt she’ll be wasted on going after unimportant people who could just as easily die in winter or by other means. Arya will have bigger issues to deal with.”

      Well, I don’t know about the books, but given that in the show, she has only two names on her list reliably remaining (Walder and Cersei), I think that it’s pretty much guaranteed that crossing off one of these names will be one of the season climaxes. Some people theorise this will happen this season – I think it will be the next, given that she’s in Braavos almost the entire season (and apparently has an arc of becoming broken and then, presumably, unbroken). This will leave one entire season for the ‘reuniting with the family/bittersweet end’ stuff.

      You can’t introduce such a Chekhov’s gun as that list and not have Arya cross at least one important name off it. Especially if, once you arrive at the correct location, you also get a Chekhov’s gun how to do it in style.

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    91. Jack Bauer 24:
      The HBO schedule is updated through 4/9, which means that in 2 weeks on March 13th, it’ll be updated through 4/24, which means…

      We should hopefully have the premiere episode title then

      By the look of things, we might have the titles of the first few episodes before an actual trailer…if we ever get a trailer this year, that is.

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    92. SJones: Something being the consensus in a fan discussion doesn’t make it valid, nor does it trump the narrative. Too much emphasis is put on that list, which is a coping mechanism for a child whose seen and endured too much and is trying to latch onto some form of control even if it’s just whispering names. One of the reasons fans are so shocked by a lot of the twists in the series is because they keep taking everything at surface value and applying the conventions of stereotypical stories to this one. Analyzing the series that way is missing the broader picture. Arya’s here for way more than just that list.

      I agree. If Arya just whacks everyone on her list, it will be unsatisfying. I would much prefer that she either comes to a point where she has to renounce finishing her list, or her attempt to do so, successful or otherwise, backfires on her.

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    93. Yaga:
      Wimsey,
      See my longpost above (my first in the thread).

      SJones,
      I think you misunderstood me. I did not say that Arya will start to killing people randomly. I only meant that her previous successes in getting people off her list may induce her to seek out the next once she reliably has an opportunity to do so – and drew parallel to how serial killers often come across their first victim by accident, and then continue more purposefully.

      Also,
      “With only two books left and a lot of resolution to cover, I doubt she’ll be wasted on going after unimportant people who could just as easily die in winter or by other means. Arya will have bigger issues to deal with.”

      Well, I don’t know about the books, but given that in the show, she has only two names on her list reliably remaining (Walder and Cersei), I think that it’s pretty much guaranteed that crossing off one of these names will be one of the season climaxes. Some people theorise this will happen this season – I think it will be the next, given that she’s in Braavos almost the entire season (and apparently has an arc of becoming broken and then, presumably, unbroken). This will leave one entire season for the ‘reuniting with the family/bittersweet end’ stuff.

      You can’t introduce such a Chekhov’s gun as that list and not have Arya cross at least one important name off it. Especially if, once you arrive at the correct location, you also get a Chekhov’s gun how to do it in style.

      As far as the show is concerned, you could be right. Since they added Walder Frey to Arya’s list, maybe they do intend to have her kill him. In the novels, she doesn’t list him or any Frey because she doesn’t know the names of those involved, which is important to note because it shows she’s not on blind killing spree. But with the TV show, since it’s going to be eight seasons instead of seven, I could see D&D having Arya take a detour from her actual story to take out Walder Frey while she’s in the Riverlands to pick up Nymeria. I could even see them having her go after Cersei with this extra season. In the books, Jaime will probably kill Cersei because of the prophecy. But that part of the prophecy isn’t in the show, meaning Cersei’s fate could be anything in this universe. And wouldn’t it be ironic if the real threat that Cersei’s concerned about isn’t Margaery and Tyrion, but the young Lyanna-look-alike she’s already written off as dead? Not really ideal in my view, but I could see them going there to cater to the “psycho killa Arya is so badass!!!11!!” side of the fandom.

      I can see what you’re saying about killing becoming easier after the first. None of the many other characters who kill in this series (Jon, Robb, Ned, Dany, Jaime, Tyrion, Cersei, etc) are perturbed by it. It seems to be a reflection of their values as a society. Killing enemies, criminals, or those who are a threat is a way of life for these characters. Even the characters who don’t actively kill or arrange for deaths are pretty comfortable with it.

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    94. SJones,

      Not really ideal in my view, I could see them going there to cater to the “psycho killa Arya is so badass!!!11!!” side of the fandom.

      Walder Frey would be an acceptable kill for Arya as far as I’m concerned. She was there at the Twins and saw what they did to Robb so she’s got more reason than any of the other characters to put a knife in his heart.

      Also, he’s unlikely to leave the Twins so there’s less scope for any of the other characters to kill him or for him to die in battle. Whereas Arya could get close to him, similar to how she got close to Tywin, especially given his liking for young girls.

      Killing Cersei, however, like you say would be too obviously a service to those who want Arya to be a badass avenging angel.

      Cersei is too big a character, her story has encompassed too much of the show and she has wronged too many characters for her death to come at the hands of Arya, as far as I’m concerned.

      There has to be a bigger meaning, symbolism and spectacle to Cersei’s death.

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    95. SJones: As far as the show is concerned, you could be right. Since they added Walder Frey to Arya’s list, maybe they do intend to have her kill him. In the novels, she doesn’t list him or any Frey because she doesn’t know the names of those involved, which is important to note because it shows she’s not on blind killing spree.

      Ehh, honestly, I think this will also happen in the novels, I just don’t want to talk about them because Martin no longer writes book-long arcs, so the arc argument does not apply. But I think it will happen.

      As for the lack of a name… I think that it’s just a matter of Martin carefully selecting a young handsome son of a noble house with a great lineage, having him take a voyage to Braavos (as the POV of, let’s say, five chapters, three of which will be devoted to food and/or seasickness); then having him mention Walder’s name off-handedly in a conversation Arya overhears– and then, immediately afterwards, I dunno, choking on an unfresh oyster, or something, while the hypothetical reader throws the book across the room. You can’t say this is entirely out of the realm of possibilities. 😀

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    96. Yaga: You can’t introduce such a Chekhov’s gun as that list and not have Arya cross at least one important name off it. Especially if, once you arrive at the correct location, you also get a Chekhov’s gun how to do it in style.

      Oh, that list definitely has a gun or two on it. It probably also has some wall – we’ve already seen people on her list get crossed out by others – but that’s fine, too.

      GRRM referred to Nymeria as a giant wolfpack hung on the wall that needs to be fired! Of course, just because the book fires the gun, it does not mean that the show will: in particular, I can see large wolf-packs being a tough production. Still, one can hope. (I’m not sure why I am hoping for this, other than I like the idea of a lot of wolves eating a lot of Freys and Lannisters!)

      Yaga: You can’t say this is entirely out of the realm of possibilities.

      lol…. Well, it probably is for one and one reason only: GRRM has said that there are not going to be anymore new POV characters of prominence. We might get a few one-off 3rd party PoVs to develop a main character from the outside (like Melisandre’s Dragons’ chapter), but that will be about it.

      Still, I suppose that one chapter will be all that it takes.

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    97. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: Cersei is too big a character, her story has encompassed too much of the show and she has wronged too many characters for her death to come at the hands of Arya, as far as I’m concerned.

      Yeah, for some reason Cersei just shouts “siblicide” to me. I have no idea why….. 😀

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    98. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      SJones,

      Walder Frey would be an acceptable kill for Arya as far as I’m concerned. She was there at the Twins and saw what they did to Robb so she’s got more reason than any of the other characters to put a knife in his heart.

      Also, he’s unlikely to leave the Twins so there’s less scope for any of the other characters to kill him or for him to die in battle. Whereas Arya could get close to him, similar to how she got close to Tywin, especially given his liking for young girls.

      I’d be comfortable with her killing Walder too. Ideally, it would be great if D&D set it up to connect with the Northern story somehow. Like maybe she hears that the Freys are sending men north to help Boltons against the Starks and then infiltrates the Twins in order to take Walder out. That would kill two birds with one stone since she would get justice for her mom and brother and at least slow down any aid to the Boltons.

      But then, I have my doubts about Arya leaving Braavos by the end of this season at the soonest given the info that’s come out. So I’m not sure how plausible that is.

      Killing Cersei, however, like you say would be too obviously a service to those who want Arya to be a badass avenging angel.

      Cersei is too big a character, her story has encompassed too much of the show and she has wronged too many characters for her death to come at the hands of Arya, as far as I’m concerned.

      There has to be a bigger meaning, symbolism and spectacle to Cersei’s death.

      Agreed. I’m really not sure where the show’s going with Cersei’s narrative. They’ve made her much more sympathetic in some ways even though as you point out, she’s made enemies aplenty. I do wonder if her end will be surviving everything but being completely powerless while everyone she loves is dead, partly because of her choices.

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    99. Ginevra:
      Here is the banner I see when I make the browser fill my super wide screen.But as I make my screen really small, it becomes the banner that Jack showed.The picture itself seems to be right-justified while the clock is centered.

      I see it now when I flip my tablet sideways 🙂

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    100. Wimsey:
      GRRM referred to Nymeria as a giant wolfpack hung on the wall that needs to be fired!Of course, just because the book fires the gun, it does not mean that the show will: in particular, I can see large wolf-packs being a tough production.Still, one can hope.(I’m not sure why I am hoping for this, other than I like the idea of a lot of wolves eating a lot of Freys and Lannisters!)

      I’d like a gun that shoots giant direwolves, that’s for sure.

      I feel like this may be the CGI task that’s been written in the scripts to happen for several seasons, and subsequently cut, but that they’re finally doing this year. Hopefully you know to what I’m referring; it was posted here a while ago. Nothing else that I can think of fits the bill, and a scene with Nymeria would be exactly what Arya would need to remember her name. *fingers crossed*

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    101. you snow nothing: I’d like a gun that shoots giant direwolves, that’s for sure.

      I feel like this may be the CGI task that’s been written in the scripts to happen for several seasons, and subsequently cut, but that they’re finally doing this year. Hopefully you know to what I’m referring; it was posted here a while ago. Nothing else that I can think of fits the bill, and a scene with Nymeria would be exactly what Arya would need to remember her name.*fingers crossed*

      White Walkers riding giant ice spiders is the VFX i think they were referring too.

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    102. Chad Brick: I agree. If Arya just whacks everyone on her list, it will be unsatisfying. I would much prefer that she either comes to a point where she has to renounce finishing her list, or her attempt to do so, successful or otherwise, backfires on her.

      I’m with you on this. To me, simply pursuing revenge for revenge’s sake is a trite, overdone character arc, and I believe that GRRM has been quoted to the effect that it’s not what he’s after.

      I expect that Arya will go after at least one more person on her list, once she gets back to Westeros – and the showrunners will probably make it Walder Frey, as fan service, even if George doesn’t. The Late Lord Frey’s ripe for another marriage to an underage girl, so my guess is that Arya will disguise herself as his next bride and kill him on their wedding night.

      But one revenge killing after another will not be satisfying, ultimately, either to the audience or to the character herself. Her arc needs some sort of peak catharsis that enables Arya to reclaim her humanity and her Starkness, and maybe go on to lead some semblance of a normal life if she survives to the end of the war.

      My thinking is that the event that could make her lose her compulsion to kill would be giving her undead mother the Gift of Mercy, so that both can be at rest. I picture that as an act of love and the last time that Arya would ever feel the need to kill – the vengefulness would just sort of drain out of her after that; it would seem meaningless.

      The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that this is Arya’s ultimate ‘date with destiny’ in the books. GRRM has indicated that LSH has some important role left to play in his narrative; ‘curing’ Arya of the last vestiges of being No One could be it. And such a scenario would certainly meet the criterion of a ‘bittersweet’ ending for Arya’s arc. (I wouldn’t mind too much if she were reunited with Gendry again soon afterwards, though – as long as I’m spinning fanfic here.)

      I have no idea what D & D will decide to do, if GRRM goes that route. But if LSH pops up this season, I’d bet money that Arya is the reason.

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    103. you snow nothing: Nothing else that I can think of fits the bill, and a scene with Nymeria would be exactly what Arya would need to remember her name. *fingers crossed*

      Jack Bauer 24: White Walkers riding giant ice spiders is the VFX i think they were referring too.

      The wolf-pack is much more probable than the Ice Spiders for two reasons. One, the wolf-pack has been in the books adapted up to this point, whereas the Ice Spiders have not. Thus, they clearly have passed up on the wolf-pack in scenes that would have been other CGI-light or even CGI-less. Two, they had the opportunity to use Ice Spiders at Hardhome, but they passed on it for whatever reasons. Given how much they had to CGI there, clearly CGI was not the issue.

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    104. Firannion: Her arc needs some sort of peak catharsis that enables Arya to reclaim her humanity and her Starkness, and maybe go on to lead some semblance of a normal life if she survives to the end of the war

      The blindness was/will be a catharsis, just as the assassination attempts, slavery, cripplings and bad marriages were/will be.

      As for Arya living some semblance of a normal life after the war, I suspect that GRRM is shooting for an ending where the biggest challenge for the survivors after the war is going to be living with themselves.

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    105. Dwm:
      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Did she though?She was just and honest, her actions were not responsible for Joffrey’s sociopathic tendencies, nor Sansa’s rose colored glasses.
      If anything, I would think that she is only more resentful towards the GoT, and the way it is played; thus furthering her desire for justice, hopefully including Nymeria.

      Sansa’s rose color glasses had nothing to do with this particular incident; a number of things happened here:
      1st.

      in book Joffry scorns Sansa’s asking him if it’s wise not to bring Sandor an adult may have been helpful

      2. The wine mad joffry more dickish then normal and had to prove something by beating on a commoner.
      3. Sansa did have her dream date spoiled but truth be told if they both listen to her, which we know they were deft to, maybe she could have talked him down like she did in the camp, but once Arya struck prince dickish what ever small hope or flicker there was went poof!

      The death of Micah falls on: Joff,Cersei, Arya and the Hound ( he could have easily told her he didn’t find the boy).
      Lady or a wolf would have died that night, but Sansa being put in a bad situation tried to play the middle and got burnt, she may have had a chance if she told the King but she didn’t so she and Arya share that blame along with Cersei and Robert ( he could have order the wolves back to Winterfell) for giving in to his wife.

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    106. grailking: The death of Micah falls on: Joff,Cersei, Arya and the Hound ( he could have easily told her he didn’t find the boy).

      Micah’s death is on Joffery and the Hound. Those were the only two who deliberately chose to endanger Micah. Arya is just as culpable in Micah’s death as you would be if you invited a friend over to your place, but he/she was killed by a drunk driver on the way: your friend’s death is on the drunk, not on you, even if you are the reason why your friend was on the road when he/she was. (By the same token, you do not get credit for saving his/her life is your friend makes it to your place alive and fortuitously is not home when a meteorite hits it.)

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    107. SJones,

      Can’t blame Robert for Micah’s death I think Cersei had it done behind his back, the Hound I gave some blame to only because one, it was his duty to obey but two he could have easily let the boy go and not say anything.
      Arya I also gave some blame because if we can’t absolve Sansa from her naiveness for looking pass Cersei after what happened to Lady or disobeying her father to go say goodbye to Joff only to be taken by Cersei then we truly can’t give Arya a pass either.
      Neither one of these girls are to blame at the level of the adults but they both have at least single digit percentage of blame for their part.

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    108. Matthew The Dragon knight:
      so does anyone know the specific day the first episode title of season 6 gets announced ?

      The Season 6 premiere will be listed on the HBO schedule on March 13th. Whether it lists the episode name or just says “51”, I’m not sure.

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    109. Wimsey,

      I put my say in below your reply, but above this one.
      I stand by what I said Arya has some blame, her reason noble but her action was rash as is her nature.
      She has blame.

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    110. grailking: She has blame.

      No-one is ethically culpable for the choices of others. As nothing that Arya did or chose to do should have endangered Micah’s life, whereas Joffery and the Hound deliberately chose to endanger Micah’s life, that leaves Arya blameless.

      Now, your rebuttal is going to be something along the lines that Arya precipitated this by antagonizing Joffery. That is irrelevant: Arya could not have anticipated Joffery’s response: remember that Joffery had been on (relatively) good behavior while a guest at Winterfell: the astute reader or viewer would have guessed that he was an unpleasant individual at this point, but just what a psychopath he really is had not yet been revealed to us or to Arya. Moreover, remember that had Arya not intervened, then Joffery would have badly hurt or even killed Micah then and there: and Arya had absolutely zero control over the fact that her sister and Joffery wandered into the region where she and Micah were playing.

      Blame people who choose to hurt others, not those who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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    111. If you type Vinyl into the search bar on the HBO schedule, it ends up showing the S1 finale, which airs on April 17. So I’m pretty sure the Game of Thrones S6 premiere will show up next Sunday, March 6. We might not get an episode title then, probably just a placeholder runtime and rating, but hopefully there’s something.

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    112. Welp, 27th passed, no trailer came out. If the IMDB troll is a dedicated one, he’ll start telling people that he got the date wrong and then that it was postponed 😀

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    113. Wimsey: No-one is ethically culpable for the choices of others.As nothing that Arya did or chose to do should have endangered Micah’s life, whereas Joffery and the Hound deliberately chose to endanger Micah’s life, that leaves Arya blameless.

      Now, your rebuttal is going to be something along the lines that Arya precipitated this by antagonizing Joffery.That is irrelevant: Arya could not have anticipatedJoffery’s response: remember that Joffery had been on (relatively) good behavior while a guest at Winterfell: the astute reader or viewer would have guessed that he was an unpleasant individual at this point, but just what a psychopath he really is had not yet been revealed to us or to Arya.Moreover, remember that had Arya not intervened, then Joffery would have badly hurt or even killed Micah then and there: and Arya had absolutely zero control over the fact that her sister and Joffery wandered into the region where she and Micah were playing.

      Blame people who choose to hurt others, not those who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      She has a certain amount of blame, if she didn’t hit the Prince which is a crime in that world Micah had a chance to live small as it was.
      tweo in book she knew Joffry was a dick remember her and Jon watching him and commenting.
      3. GRRM said himself each Stark has some blame for what happened to their house, he did not say or excuse Arya and as I said both girls did naive things and someone else got hurt for their actions.

      Jack Bauer 24: http://i.imgur.com/yp4VPbs.jpg

      That’s what I see.

      You have your zoom on try ctrl plus – a couple of times
      Someone may already told you this, since I came late.

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    114. grailking,

      Hitting the prince is a crime, but it is a crime where punishment should go to the individual who committed it. Arya knew hitting Joffrey was wrong, which is why she hid in the woods for days before she was found, but she only feared for herself, logically assuming she would be the one punished for her actions. She had no way of knowing that Joffrey would take his anger out on Micah, fabricating a story in which Micah joined in on the beating.

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    115. King Robert said it best… their kids, kids fight (or something to that affect) Hitting a noble is punishable by death, but only if the King demands it, he could easily dismiss it… which Robert did. He understood what Joffrey was like and that they were both kids (12 and 9?) and that there was no need to escalate the problem just to prove a point by executing a 9 year old… killing kids wasn’t the intent of the law – it was to prevent actual ‘intent’ to harm or kill the royal family, if that were true, Tyrion should have been executed each time he struck Joffrey too. There are some situations that you just don’t ‘enforce’ the law because it isn’t necessary.

      The laws aren’t concrete, the King or even the Lords in their own territories have a final say – which can often depend on the individual circumstances.

      Micah died because Cersei knew Robert would see it this way and she sent the Hound and Jamie to find and kill them both (Arya too) before Robert’s or Ned’s men – which wanted them found and brought back alive. Micah wasn’t as lucky as Arya.

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    116. I have been onboard the hopeful idea that Arya’s blinding leads to wolf dreams and eventually to warging much like Bran in his coma, since they left her blind to end S5. Regarding the motivating factor for Arya’s

      return west

      – there are many possibilities. Will it be

      a wolf dream involving some specific visions? I don’t believe wolf dreams alone will suffice- she would have to have some specific images via Nymeria. Will it be Arya’s role in/exposure to the play? Will she hear about Sansa and/or Jon in the North?
      I have a feeling it will be some combination of these experiences, culminating with whatever sparks her fight with the Waif that we know about from filming spoilers. I wonder if Jaqen H’gar will have already set out on a certain mission at the time this happens.

      I am hopeful for wolf dreams, and maybe a quick shot or two in the riverlands- I like the idea somebody had above of Frey/Lannister soldiers reporting the pack- but I don’t think we’ll see much wolf pack vfx/cgi until a big battle necessitates it, and not until after Arya has reestablished herself in westeros and learned how to warg- S7 and/or S8. And this is all assuming the show goes there at all…

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    117. Firannion,
      She’d be pursuing revenge in part for her family’s sake, though. If a wolf pack descends on the Twins, tales of Stark revenge will be heard for ages. Few will dare to cross them. The future of the family will be secure.

      e: it’s the exact reason why the Rains of Castamere and the Red Wedding had to be so… complete.

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    118. Young Dragon:
      grailking,

      Hitting the prince is a crime, but it is a crime where punishment should go to the individual who committed it. Arya knew hitting Joffrey was wrong, which is why she hid in the woods for days before she was found, but she only feared for herself, logically assuming she would be the one punished for her actions. She had no way of knowing that Joffrey would take his anger out on Micah, fabricating a story in which Micah joined in on the beating.

      Also, they wanted them dead and not brought back alive to tell their side of the story. Everyone could tell the Joffrey was lying (Renly even laughed at his story) and Sansa’s weak ‘I don’t remember anything’ didn’t help either sell it either.

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    119. i thought only a handful off ppl knew that tyrion had “found favour” with the mother of dragons b4 season 5 ended…yet varys seemed to know he had indeed…”found favour” with her….surely it cant be that hard to guess who one of vary’s little birds are in mereen right? why isnt that a topic?

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    120. Alex G,

      No, I really don’t think so. A well crafted trailer is too powerful of a marketing tool to just disregard. I want to believe that they’re waiting for some of the CGI heavy sequences to be ready, so that they can totally blow our minds 🙂

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    121. For those of those looking for a Pilou Asbek preview and a bit more James Cosmo might be interested in a new three part BBC horror / comedy mini series called Stag. First episode on iPlayer.

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    122. Yaga:
      Firannion,
      She’d be pursuing revenge in part for her family’s sake, though. If a wolf pack descends on the Twins, tales of Stark revenge will be heard for ages. Few will dare to cross them. The future of the family will be secure.

      e: it’s the exact reason why the Rains of Castamere and the Red Wedding had to be so… complete.

      That’s a beautiful image – gory and horrific, but beautiful. The Rat King story has set us up for an epic Frey comeuppance, something well beyond Frey pie. A total Frey annihilation by wolves would be epic, for sure, especially given the lengths that Filch – err, Walder – has gone through to secure his line and his name.

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    123. King of Winter:
      If you type Vinyl into the search bar on the HBO schedule, it ends up showing the S1 finale, which airs on April 17. So I’m pretty sure the Game of Thrones S6 premiere will show up next Sunday, March 6. We might not get an episode title then, probably just a placeholder runtime and rating, but hopefully there’s something.

      I don’t see that. If you scroll through the schedule it goes up to Sunday, April 10th.

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    124. Ghost’s Lunch: Hopefully JS too if/when he is resurrected has Warg abilities too

      That will depend entirely on whether warging is important to Jon in the future. So far, Book!Jon has stubbornly refused to develop warging. I really doubt that either Book!Jon or Show!Jon is going to be that much different after he revives. Jon will be hardened by the cruel lessons he has learned, such as that some people cannot or will not put aside past enmities in face of a greater threat. This will make him either more reluctant or more determined to try to please everyone. However, it’s not obvious why that would lessen his resistance to consciously warging.

      thornofhighgarden: Anyone who saw him seated next to her at Daznak’s pit would probably be able to figure that out, no?

      Well, Tyrion is very short! Seriously, you are correct. Also, Tyrion was one of the “small council” at the end sorting out what to do after Daeny’s literal and figurative flight. That, too, would become widely known in a hurry by the people who care.

      At any rate, nothing on the show indicated that Tyrion having found favor with Daeny was any big secret. With things like this, unless it is shown to be a secret, then we are to assume that it is fairly public knowledge.

      grailking: She has a certain amount of blame, if she didn’t hit the Prince which is a crime in that world Micah had a chance to live small as it was.

      So, Arya is to blame for defending Micah? She should have just let Micah take punishment for a non-crime? This is classic “blame the defender” mentality, which is just as pernicious as “blame the victim.” Defenders are not to blame for the reprisals of oppressors against the oppressed: the oppressors are solely to blame for all of the oppression.

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    125. Wylie: A well crafted trailer is too powerful of a marketing tool to just disregard.

      I’ve posted this dozens of times, but I’m sure that I will post it a dozen more times, so…. The same thing came up with the third Lord of the Rings movies. Tolkien fans were very upset that the trailer was so late in coming out, that the trailer was quite short, and that there was only one of them. They warned that the film was going to do poorly because there was no “hype” around it this time. However, at the same time marketing articles discussed exactly why this was: after two such hugely popular films, the only thing New Line needed to do was tell people when the film opened because there simply was no marketing in the world that could match the first two films.

      The marketers were right and the Tolkien fans were wrong. (Of course, Tolkien fans went about 0 for 7267386 in all of their predictions about what would hurt or help the films, so maybe this doesn’t mean much! 😀 )

      The upshot? If HBO wants to find some way to again increase the audience for Thrones, then what HBO needs to encourage people to binge-watch the first 5 seasons. New viewers watching those and getting hooked will provide any new audience. However, the best trailer in the world will not get people who have not been watching those seasons to suddenly tune into the show: at this point, HBO is trying to get the “trailer immune” audience to tune into the show.

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    126. Ghost’s Lunch,

      Arya will need it as Nymeria with her pack could play a big role in the show and for sure in the books. Jon not so much(in the books he possibly warged into Ghost unlike show). Maybe in the end it might be just be Bran’s thing in the show, as in the books it’s clearly important to all three of them. Mind you that that they might just save money for dragons instead of direwolves.

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    127. Wimsey,

      That’s an interesting anecdote and if there had not been a trailer at all for Return of the King, you’d have a point, but they did release a trailer and so will HBO, IMO.

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    128. Wylie

      My point is not that there will not be a trailer, but that there will not be a big investment in trailers. They also are not going to be waiting for spectacular CGI.

      Instead, expect the trailer to do little more than remind people that a show with 5 prior seasons that they enjoyed is coming back.

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    129. Geralt of Rivia,

      The issue will be whether Nymeria is important this season. The show has taken the approach of introducing major characters and plot elements in the season they become important. This just reflects a difference between general viewers and fans: fans feel that TV and film series should introduce characters and plot elements in films or seasons before they become important; general viewers feel that these should be introduced in the particular season/film that they become important.

        Quote  Reply

    130. Yaga:
      Firannion,
      She’d be pursuing revenge in part for her family’s sake, though. If a wolf pack descends on the Twins, tales of Stark revenge will be heard for ages. Few will dare to cross them. The future of the family will be secure.

      e: it’s the exact reason why the Rains of Castamere and the Red Wedding had to be so… complete.

      I appreciate the parallel you draw, and it would be neat if GRRM has a song for the bards to sing for the Starks at the end that is their own “Rains of Castamere.”

      But bear in mind that GRRM is an old hippie, from the generation whose moral compass was largely shaped by our opposition to the Vietnam War, and having grown up listening to Martin Luther King. Although the author’s vision as articulated in ASoIaF is dark, I think that the final denouement of the book series will reflect his antiwar values. After all that work that he has put into it, I just can’t see him wanting the “takeaway” message to be: The family/kingdom/country that best obliterates its enemies is the one that “wins.”

      Based on what I’ve read of his personal politics and philosophies, GRRM is well aware that payback for wrongs done just leads to more payback, generation after generation; that’s how feuds escalate into wars and genocides. So unless he’s after the nihilistic irony of the Starks simply taking the place of the Lannisters as the bullies of Westeros in the end – which I find difficult to believe – I think that we will have to see at least some of our “good guys” like Arya transcending the urge for vengeance.

      Whether the showrunners adhere to that more thoughtful vision or just pander to TV audiences’ lust for massive Stark payback, of course, is still a matter of conjecture.

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    131. Wimsey: f HBO wants to find some way to again increase the audience for Thrones, then what HBO needs to encourage people to binge-watch the first 5 seasons. New viewers watching those and getting hooked will provide any new audience.

      I hope this means that HBO will provide plenty of opportunities to rewatch past seasons in the final weeks leading up to the S6 premiere (besides on a tiny device screen on HBO Go). Maybe they need to start up a new channel dedicated to “all GoT, all the time”!

        Quote  Reply

    132. Firannion: I hope this means that HBO will provide plenty of opportunities to rewatch past seasons in the final weeks leading up to the S6 premiere (besides on a tiny device screen on HBO Go).Maybe they need to start up a new channel dedicated to “all GoT, all the time”!

      You can watch HBO GO on pretty much any device. The app is on my PlayStation 4, which is hooked up to my 32″ TV, so it is definitely not limited to “small screens”. I’m currently doing a rewatch using GO and I’m on 303.

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    133. Jack Bauer 24: You can watch HBO GO on pretty much any device. The app is on my PlayStation 4, which is hooked up to my 32″ TV, so it is definitely not limited to “small screens”. I’m currently doing a rewatch using GO and I’m on 303.

      I don’t have any gaming gadgets that hook up to TV, and no desire to spend money (or time) on any. All I have are an iPhone and a crappy Verizon tablet with so little memory that I have to delete apps every time one needs an update, so HBO GO got trashed months ago.

        Quote  Reply

    134. Firannion,

      Every single season of GoT is and has been available on my tv on On Demand (at least for HBO subscribers) for quite a long time, since before last season started airing, at least, and as season 5 aired, they just added those episodes. I’m not sure if that’s only on Comcast, or not. I’m not even sure if that’s the case for Comcast subscribers nationwide, I only know any time I please, I can watch any episode from any season right on my good ol’ tv.

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    135. Firannion,

      I always felt the best Stark payback was to show everyone of their enemies, we still stand and gain the lands by mostly outplaying them, not by outright murder, but the new crop of Starks won’t put honor so much in the forefront of how they operate.

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    136. Firannion: Based on what I’ve read of his personal politics and philosophies, GRRM is well aware that payback for wrongs done just leads to more payback, generation after generation; that’s how feuds escalate into wars and genocides.

      That written, GRRM also knows that there is no “Instant Karma” (to cite another hippy who unfortunately did not get the chance to grow old). Jon and Daeny, and to lesser extents Tyrion and Arya all get punished brutally for good deeds, and trying to walk the fine line when one or more factions hate another faction that they equate “kindness” with “treason” is (and almost certainly will continue to be) a major issue for the main characters.

      Nymeria Warrior Queen: Every single season of GoT is and has been available on my tv on On Demand (at least for HBO subscribers) for quite a long time, since before last season started airing, at least, and as season 5 aired, they just added those episodes.

      HBO also has offered free weekends of HBOGo or HBONow or HBOWhatever a couple of times in the last few months. They push their big series when advertising this, such as Thrones. Their hope has been that new viewers will binge-watch established series like Thrones and then pony up for the subscriptions for the new seasons of those series.

      Things like that are going to do a lot more to increase viewership than will fancy trailers at this point: really, trailers are just “preaching to the converted” as the old saying goes.

      Firannion: I hope this means that HBO will provide plenty of opportunities to rewatch past seasons in the final weeks leading up to the S6 premiere (besides on a tiny device screen on HBO Go).

      We watch HBOGo on our 12 meter TV screen! (OK, it is not 12 meters, but it’s big.) Even if you get HBO Go only through a table, tablets can be connected to TVs via wifi or bluetooth, or even USB chords. We get it through Apple TV ourselves, but if that is buggy, then we just use our iPads.

      (Remember when you used to have to get up and touch the TV to change the channel? Neither does anybody else! 😀 )

        Quote  Reply

    137. Yaga,

      It’s pretty much the serial killer growth pattern, isn’t it? The first kill is often by accident.

      ..Often by accident? What percentage of studied serial killers kill first by accident?

        Quote  Reply

    138. Speaking of CGI and the trailer, filming ended 2 1/2 months ago and the premiere is in 8 weeks (yes 8 weeks :)), so I think they would have enough CGI in place for a 2 minute trailer. All of the heavy CGI probably for episodes 9 and 10 won’t be featured in the trailer anyway.

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    139. Young Dragon,

      She had no way of knowing that Joffrey would take his anger out on Micah, fabricating a story in which Micah joined in on the beating.

      What she(Arya) didn’t know was that someone else would die for her crime. That is what’s been eating away at her little soul all this time.

      Arya accuses The Hound of murder, but he tells her that if she’s the one who hit Joffrey, then by rights, he should have run HER down instead of Mycah. She blames him again for not saving her family at The Twins when there was nothing he could do. There was something she could have done, she could have not bungled stealing Tywin’s letter at Harrenhal. She could have asked Jaqen to kill Tywin earlier…using her three names more wisely.

      But, she’s just a traumatized kid in full blown hysteria. She does have a better developed morality than Sansa, though.

      It all illustrates the futility of revenge – especially for the Starks. They are to blame, or partly to blame, for much of what happens to them. Who can they take revenge against?

        Quote  Reply

    140. Firannion:
      Whether the showrunners adhere to that more thoughtful vision or just pander to TV audiences’ lust for massive Stark payback, of course, is still a matter of conjecture.

      While I understand your general gist, I think I resent your usage of the words ‘thoughtful’ or ‘pander’, and your implicit assumption that not agreeing with what you clearly see is the ‘correct’ way for Arya’s story to end is somehow… I dunno, immoral? It’s a story we’re dealing with here. The actions, and, more importantly, the consequences, are not real, but entirely down to the discretion of the author. If you prefer non-revenge, that’s your choice – but spare me the pretense that you’re somehow a more ‘thoughtful’ person because of your preference, and that going down the revenge path would be ‘pandering’.

        Quote  Reply

    141. Ser Not Appearing In This Series,

      It’s quite odd that the more – quite frankly – disturbing GRRM has made Arya’s character the more popular she seems to become. Turning from plucky survivor to cold-blooded revenge obsessed assassin.

      Arya is like modern kids who are traumatized in some way – they run away from home, are abused, have mental health problems, or become homeless – and wind up on the streets to be taken advantage of. Some are turned into prostitutes, some turn into Cartel assassins… I don’t think anyone really blames Arya for going off the rails.

      The Hound tried to find her a safe home, but all her adult relatives are dead. Anyway, I take Maisie’s talk with a grain of salt. She can’t reveal details, and what she’s said is just vague enough to invite everyone to speculate.

        Quote  Reply

    142. grailking,

      3. GRRM said himself each Stark has some blame for what happened to their house, he did not say or excuse Arya and as I said both girls did naive things and someone else got hurt for their actions.

      That’s interesting. That was my sense also. Maybe I SHOULD start reading George’s blog.

      It’s shocking to me how incompetent the elder Starks were. They were introduced as the happy, healthy family….next thing I know, the father is chopping off a boy’s head while his sons watch. That’s when I knew they were no “good guys”. The Starks had power and position, but they might not have earned it. In other words, Nedd was a hacker-slasher turned incompetent bureaucrat.

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    143. Firannion: I don’t have any gaming gadgets that hook up to TV, and no desire to spend money (or time) on any.All I have are an iPhone and a crappy Verizon tablet with so little memory that I have to delete apps every time one needs an update, so HBO GO got trashed months ago.

      You may not want this, either, but Roku used to be available for as little as $30 although now it looks like $50 is the minimum, and it can give your television WiFi (if you don’t already have it) and streaming capabilities for HBO Now and Netflix.

        Quote  Reply

    144. Anon,
      You made me Google this, and now I’m probably on all the watch lists, and I still don’t have the exact percentage. ?It’s just something I once heard in a forensics class – serial killers usually start on their path by fantasising. Then, by trying out, testing their fantasy. The inner taboo against killing humans is very strong, see? So they often aren’t ‘full in’ at that point. They just… test, and sometimes the test goes far enough. Or, conversely, something real accidentally happens that enables their fantasy – that woman does go home alone; that hitchhiker waves them down. And that starts them on their path.

      While googling, I found that someone named Peter Vronsky wrote a LOT of books about serial killers, I’d you are interested in the topic. ?

        Quote  Reply

    145. Yaga,

      Thank you!!

      I’m always bothered by her passive aggressiveness, but I don’t want too derail the thread, and frankly I don’t have the necessary patience too do it.

      Good to see someone point it

        Quote  Reply

    146. Yaga,

      Yaga: While I understand your general gist, I think I resent your usage of the words ‘thoughtful’ or ‘pander’, and your implicit assumption that not agreeing with what you clearly see is the ‘correct’ way for Arya’s story to end is somehow… I dunno, immoral? It’s a story we’re dealing with here. The actions, and, more importantly, the consequences, are not real, but entirely down to the discretion of the author. If you prefer non-revenge, that’s your choice – but spare me the pretense that you’re somehow a more ‘thoughtful’ person because of your preference, and that going down the revenge path would be ‘pandering’.

      You’re right, this is fiction, not religion or a cult.

      Here’s the thing that makes ME uncomfortable about revenge: The ones who seek it are victims. I begin to wonder why is Arya a victim? Why was her parents victims?

      No parent ever tells their child that they’re, essentially, incompetent. Instead, they tell their children things like: I wake up scared and I go to bed scared. Nedd never tells his children that he’s rash and reckless. He just chops a kid’s head off in front of them for running away because he’s terrified. My point is, the Starks lied to their children; they lied to themselves, and that’s why they’re victims.

      It’s not revenge, but the truth that will set Arya free. That’s how I see it.

        Quote  Reply

    147. Yaga: While I understand your general gist, I think I resent your usage of the words ‘thoughtful’ or ‘pander’, and your implicit assumption that not agreeing with what you clearly see is the ‘correct’ way for Arya’s story to end is somehow… I dunno, immoral? It’s a story we’re dealing with here. The actions, and, more importantly, the consequences, are not real, but entirely down to the discretion of the author. If you prefer non-revenge, that’s your choice – but spare me the pretense that you’re somehow a more ‘thoughtful’ person because of your preference, and that going down the revenge path would be ‘pandering’.

      I’m sorry if my choice of words came off as condescending. The concept that ethics can evolve beyond eye-for-an-eye justice is not merely my personal ‘preference,’ however; nor did I make it up. It is more than two millennia old and has been ascribed to the Buddha and Jesus of Nazareth, among others. And it has provoked plenty of philosophical analysis over those many centuries, much of which has led to the conclusion that retribution by itself does little to resolve human conflict, and in many if not most cases exacerbates it.

      Yes, ASoIaF/GoT is just a story (looking like two stories at this point). But to me, a story that culminates in epic revenge may offer a momentary sense of satisfaction, but does not give the viewer much to chew over afterwards. And that kind of ending has been done a gazillion times before. I’m hoping for much more from this complex tale. Your mileage may vary.

        Quote  Reply

    148. Yaga,

      Yaga:
      Anon,
      You made me Google this, and now I’m probably on all the watch lists, and I still don’t have the exact percentage. It’s just something I once heard in a forensics class – serial killers usually start on their path by fantasising. Then, by trying out, testing their fantasy. The inner taboo against killing humans is very strong, see? So they often aren’t ‘full in’ at that point. They just… test, and sometimes the test goes far enough. Or, conversely, something real accidentally happens that enables their fantasy – that woman does go home alone; that hitchhiker waves them down. And that starts them on their path.

      While googling,I found that someone named Peter Vronsky wrote a LOT of books about serial killers, I’d you are interested in the topic.

      I will check out Peter Vronsky.

      I thought they killed mostly out of rage/pleasure, and was eager to hear what you knew. I didn’t mean to put you on the spot.

        Quote  Reply

    149. Firannion,
      Yeah – sorry if I came off as aggressive, it took me a lot to phrase this post and I still don’t know if I got it right.

      My position is mostly that
      a. I don’t apply TV show morality to life, and don’t need a TV show to teach it to me (or, for that matter, a series of fantasy books);
      b. at this point in literary history, ALL endings have been done. ‘Epic revenge’; ‘epic revenge, but leaves the protagonist hollow’; ‘epic revenge leads to more revenge and renews the circle of violence’; ‘withdrawing from revenge (healthy choice)’; ‘withdrawing from revenge leaves matters open’.

      So, because I don’t get my morality lessons from TV, and, as far as I’m concerned, all the resolution choices have been covered, I see all these resolution choices to be equally valid – and then, there is no reason for me not to prefer the most *stylish* one. Revenge is a dish best served cold, after all, and this one will have been stewing for *seven years* (well, maybe six, depending on how you count). And a revenge of the Starks by wolves? That’s dank.

      So, that’s my position.

        Quote  Reply

    150. Yaga:
      Firannion,
      Yeah – sorry if I came off as aggressive, it took me a lot to phrase this post and I still don’t know if I got it right.

      My position is mostly that
      a. I don’t apply TV show morality to life, and don’t need a TV show to teach it to me (or, for that matter, a series of fantasy books);
      b. at this point in literary history, ALL endings have been done. ‘Epic revenge’; ‘epic revenge, but leaves the protagonist hollow’; ‘epic revenge leads to more revenge and renews the circle of violence’; ‘withdrawing from revenge (healthy choice)’; ‘withdrawing from revenge leaves matters open’.

      So, because I don’t get my morality lessons from TV, and, as far as I’m concerned, all the resolution choices have been covered, I see all these resolution choices to be equally valid – and then, there is no reason for me not to prefer the most *stylish* one. Revenge is a dish best served cold, after all, and this one will have been stewing for *seven years* (well, maybe six, depending on how you count). And a revenge of the Starks by wolves? That’s dank.

      So, that’s my position.

      An entirely valid position. I was just trying to articulate why the “just revenge” option does not satisfy me. In my view, storytelling functions on multiple levels. Its primary purpose is, of course, to entertain; and sometimes that’s enough. But I also feel that storytellers “should” (less than “must,” but more than “may”) also use their artistic gifts to do a bit of consciousness-raising of their audiences as well, preferably in a subtle rather than a heavy-handed way.

      The greatest literature, I think, wrestles with big philosophical questions as well as telling a cracking good story; and maybe that’s a lot to expect from the fantasy genre. But the fantasy artists who do try to tackle that challenge, like Tolkien and Philip Pullman, get a lot of respect from me. (Some, like C. S. Lewis, go overboard with the preachiness, I’ll grant – though I still think the Narnia books will endure as classics.) Because ASoIaF is such an epic-scale creation, representing decades of thought and effort, I don’t think that it’s too much to expect that it will leave us with philosophical food for thought, in addition to being a great yarn.

      That being said, I don’t claim that I’m “above” doing a fist-pump if Nymeria’s pack makes a feast of Freys. I just want that not to be the end-beat of Arya’s character evolution.

        Quote  Reply

    151. Anon,

      GRRM himself has used the “child soldier” analogy which I think sums it up best in a nutshell.

      As for Arya’s revenge plot, it’s clearly important to her arc (or else why make such a big thing of the list) but I just think that’s too narrow a track for GRRMs mind as a be all and end all. I’m sure he has something else up his sleeves…

        Quote  Reply

    152. Firannion,
      1. I dunno. I have come to realise that most of the time Martin tries for profound, he comes off as irritating to me. Especially since if I want to read about ‘profound’, I just need to go to the news section. From the Syrian war and mass shootings to people changing their lives in a positive way – this feels authentic and relevant to me. A generic ‘revenge is bad’ from a fantasy series no longer does. Especially since while it may be true on a societal level, it often isn’t on a personal one, and this is the one we’re dealing with here. As a trauma victim, one of the most powerful positive experiences of my life was seeing my tormentors again – brought to heel and destroyed. I would have killed them, obviously, if I could, as well.

      2. If you want a positive ending for character evolution, that’s what Season 8 would be for, wouldn’t it?

        Quote  Reply

    153. Yaga: 2. If you want a positive ending for character evolution, that’s what Season 8 would be for, wouldn’t it?

      Of course. I wasn’t expecting that to happen this season. Arya has some killing left to do.

        Quote  Reply

    154. Ser Not Appearing In This Series,

      As for Arya’s revenge plot, it’s clearly important to her arc (or else why make such a big thing of the list) but I just think that’s too narrow a track for GRRMs mind as a be all and end all. I’m sure he has something else up his sleeves…

      I think the list was Yoren’s well-meaning but bad advice. Arya asked him how he dealt with the awful things he’s seen and he told her that story about getting revenge on the boy who killed his brother. I think it’s all Arya has. Perhaps if she’d gotten better advice, she would have taken it.

        Quote  Reply

    155. Jack Bauer 24,

      HBO are not sending out Press Screeners for season 6, mostly because of the leaks last year; so your logic about that impacting plot-lines for the upcoming season does not apply. Not that I have seen evidence of media releases effecting previous seasons; they are just trying to clamp down on security for this season.

      http://www.ew.com/article/2016/03/02/game-thrones-season-6-review-screeners

      http://comicbook.com/2016/03/02/hbo-will-not-send-game-of-thrones-season-6-press-screeners/

        Quote  Reply

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