Mark Gatiss confirms he won’t be in season 6; plus, a casting update!


In Season 4’s “The Laws of Gods and Men”

Game of Thrones guest star Mark Gatiss talks to Entertainment Weekly this week in a new interview about the possibility of his return as Tycho Nestoris, the Iron Banker. The British actor has popped up in two episodes, one each in the past two seasons, and was last seen suffering Mace Tyrell’s singing in Braavos. He now confirms that he will not appear in season 6.

As for the future?

“I have hopes,” Gatiss tells EW. “I had dinner with Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff] when we were in Croatia filming last year and I made what I thought was a very cogent pitch to be the last character alive in the whole saga. There should be a crane shot, everybody’s dead except me. Because, clearly, the only person who can survive is the bank.”

The showrunners greeted his suggestion with a smile, and according to Gatiss, “[P]robably made a note to organize my imminent death.”

With Stannis’s disastrous end, there is the question of the outstanding loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos, who always collect. Davos made the pitch, and he’s still alive. Will Tycho and the Iron Bank eventually come calling? Or with Stannis’s death, will the show consider that matter settled?

We have a casting update today, thanks to info from WotW reader John. There will be spoilers with speculation beyond this point!

rhalkoBack in October, we reported that Maltese actor Andrei Claude was joining the cast of Game of Thrones in season 6 in an unknown Dothraki role. In early November, we learned that he was filming in Belfast, along with several other new Dothraki actors, and that there was an an alarming incident involving fire on the set.

Around the same time, a fragment of a season 6 script leaked online after we discovered a photograph of it posted on Instagram by actor Elie Haddad. In the script, a group of Dothraki men appear to joke crudely about Daenerys. Some of the dialogue and names were very difficult to read, however.

A reader tipped us off that Claude’s Spotlight CV has been updated to include his role – he’ll be playing a character named Khal Rhalko. Daniel Sackheim, who is helming episodes 3 and 4 of the new season, is listed as his director. Sackheim was present during Dothraki shooting in Almería, Spain.

Looking back now at the leaked script portion, we can see that it says “Rhalko” above the line of dialogue, “I’d like to know what a Khaleesi tastes like.”

During the incident in November, our sources told us Claude caught on fire during the filming of a scene. Luckily, he wasn’t hurt due to the quick-acting GoT team. We’re wondering if Daenerys uses a little firepower to take care of a dangerous situation immediately after this page we’re seeing here. We do know from older spoilers from filming in Almería that there will be burning. It’s just the exact circumstances that are still up in the air and the question of how many characters will be involved.

78 responses

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    1. I was hoping Tycho would have a run-in with Arya since they’re both in Braavos. Hope the show still depicts a meeting between Arya and


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    2. With filming drawing to a close, I was reviewing the casting notes for roles identified as filming in December, just to get a sense of what’s happening now and in the near future:

      – The unidentified lord, supposedly the best remaining uncast part when advertised back in September, filming the first two weeks of December (so should be wrapping this week).

      – The “captain of the tower”, filming last week. Possibly related to the above.

      – The Northern lords speculated to be Manderly and Cerwyn, filming on December 16th. Given that we have an exact date, it will be interesting to see what indications we get as to who is in town then.

      – The casting for a brown-eyed baby, filming on the 17th.

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    3. Sword of the Morning,

      It’s probably not going to happen.

      I would love to see Arya meeting with Sam and something must trigger her to return to Westeros. Maybe wolf dream or something. We know that Arya will be later in the season in Riverlands.

      Wonder about a brown-eyed baby. Who that might be. Easiest choice would be certain character with brown eyes and it’s actually pretty impotant plot twist. It might be for some different purposes and it’s not toj related. Dothraki or something in the North?

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    4. Sword of the Morning:
      I was hoping Tycho would have a run-in with Arya since they’re both in Braavos. Hope the show still depicts a meeting between Arya and

      I think

      Sam will already be at Oldtown /Horn Hill

      when new season starts and Arya will be part of Izembaro’s group, no longer selling oysters. So the meeting between them is probably unlikely.

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    5. Sean C.,

      If we knew which main actors were filming these 2 weeks, we might get an idea which storyline the first two characters are part of. But I don’t think we have had any report about this?

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    6. ghost of winterfell,

      Not much, other than that Carice (this was autocorrected to “avarice” on my first try) was in town at one point.

      I’d like to know if John Bradley was in town, because I’ve been speculating that the non-Northern lord is Leyton Hightower.

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    7. It’s strange we won’t see Mace interact with him further. We’ll probably get a line of dialogue about how unsuccessful the negotiations went, and perhaps how he is afraid to or must travel immediately because of the death of his bodyguard.

      Who will be attending the play that Arya is in? Won’t it have to be someone Arya wants to kill? Without Trant, I wonder if Arya is just simply sent there to kill Mace? (By the Iron Bank, I guess.)

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    8. Sean C.,

      Harington was seen in town the first week of December, per Twitter. There are links to some of those tweets in the comments for Sue’s article about the Melisandre scene they were shooting at the Wall last week. I don’t know if he’s still there though.

      I guess he could be shooting with Carice but there was nothing from the L7R source that indicated Kit was filming with her, just Liam Cunningham. Guess we’ll see if he’s still there this week or in the coming weeks.

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    9. Ok, so the crude scene is in e3 or e4. And we won’t see the bank now…

      and with Arya leaving Braavos, we probably won’t see them in the future, either?

      …unless they decide to fund Dany, too. ?

      E: ohgod to see that banker scared shitless of a dragon…

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    10. Felt Pelt,

      *Season 6 filming spoilers below*

      I don’t think Mace will be at the play. We know that he returns to King’s Landing, and Olenna viciously upbraids him for going off to do Cersei’s dirty work while Margaery and Loras were being imprisoned. Mace then joins Jaime and the Tyrell soldiers in marching on the Sept of Baelor (wearing a delightfully ridiculous feather atop his helm, I might add). That sequence that happens in Episode 6. We also know that Arya’s subplot with the theater troupe will probably take place in the middle of the season, since Arya is still blind in the first few episodes and gets chased by the Waif in either Episode 7 or Episode 8 (the actors involved in the play are apparently going to be in three episodes). So whoever Arya is sent to kill, it won’t be Mace. He’ll live to sing and charmingly bumble his way back across the Narrow Sea.
      It will be interesting to see who, if anyone, Arya is tasked with assassinating at the play. So far, the only non-performer that we know is involved in that sequence is a “Smart Male Theatergoer” who has one line. Other characters, like the “Sublime Courtesan” might fit, but that’s just speculation.

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    11. Felt Pelt,

      Doubt it.

      The season will start many days (even weeks) later, when Mace is already in King’s Landing and the debt has been successfully renegociated. It even looks like they arrived to a satisfactory agreement in Dance of Dragons.
      Why does Arya need to kill anyone? She could just be watching a street theatre play.

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    12. I don’t understand what the point of Arya meeting Sam would be. He doesn’t really have any info that could possibly be relevant for Arya. She already knows Jon is at the Wall and could learn of him being the new LC from just about anyone in the world. Sam doesn’t even know all that much. He doesn’t know about the Sansa – Ramsay marriage (IIRC), he doesn’t know about Jon’s death and he probably won’t learn about his resurrection anytime soon. If Arya needs to learn that info, she could get it from pretty much anyone.
      Her motivation to go back to Westeros seems to be sufficiently covered by the fallout with the FM and the Waif trying to kill her, so that can’t be it, either.

      As for the Iron Bank, I guess we could’ve had a scene with Tychos and Mace, but Mace reporting the (probably not so good) results back to Kevan or Cersei is really all that’s needed. After that, the Iron Bank doesn’t seem set up to play a large part. Next in line of the contenders for the Iron Throne is Dany, and she sure won’t be paying the debt the usurpers have amounted – nor do I think the Iron Bank would have the galls to even ask her about it (unless they want a visit from the dragons). And she seems to have plenty enough gold from her conquests in Slaver’s Bay, so she won’t need a loan for herself.

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    13. Jared,

      I doubt Arya will be trusted with another assassination so soon after butchering the last one. But they might send her on a spying mission, either against a specific target or just to generally keep her eyes open. Or rather ears, as she’s currently blind…
      That assignment could easily bring her in contact with the theater troupe (which doesn’t have to be related to any FM business), whether she’s interacting with them or just silently sitting among the audience.

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    14. Niall:
      Isn’t that a really stupid line? Most khals have a khaleesi.

      Wasn’t Drogo something like 30 in the books and I don’t recall us hearing that he was married before.

      Edit: Mihnea beat me harder than Ramsay beat Theon.

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    15. Good points, all. Maybe Arya hides out from Jaqen there, or is just sent for more experience in inhabiting other identities. I don’t get the sense Cersei, Frey or Melisandre are going to Braavos anytime soon so if there’s a target it must be a generic one.

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    16. HalfMan: Well it happens in the books…so who knows

      Can you clarify? Regarding the books….

      Tycho-Arya meeting: No such thing ever happened
      Arya-Sam meeting: Yes, CotC (Arya) saves Sam from some thugs, discovers he is from the NW and tells him of Dareon’s excesses, but no formalities are exchanged.

      I doubt a meet between Arya and Sam will occur in S6, but we do know from AFfC that the FM (via faux Pate) are highly interested in the info and ongoing activity at Oldtown/Citadel.

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    17. Niall:
      Isn’t that a really stupid line? Most khals have a khaleesi.

      My thoughts exactly!!

      On another subject, why do so many of you guys (and ladies,of course) want Arya to meet Sam? I can’t see the connection there. And why insist on someone’s getting murdered at the theatre? No that I would object any of this, I just wonder.

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    18. Arya and Sam should meet so both would have an interaction with a major character this season. And they could be together when they hear of Jon’s death (I do not expect him back for a while) so it would be more emotional. Maybe it would be a big coincidence but interesting storytelling.

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    19. Dame Pasty,

      Well, I kind of figured out the reasons by reading other posts… Thanks for trying to protect my ignorance Dame Pasty! ?
      What is good with me is that although I get spoiled a lot around here, not being a reader and all, I am such an absent-minded person I almost immediately forget the spoilers I read! Blessed are the forgetful….

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    20. Sou,

      It’s pretty safe to assume that if something is wrapped in spoiler tags, it came from the books and has not yet been depicted on screen.

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    21. Chinoiserie,

      Sam will hear it in Oldtown. I don’t think Sam and Arya need to be together in the moment they’ll hear about his death or maybe they will skip this. At least Sam should hear it. It’s better for them to go straight to Odltown and meet Sam’s family before that. Thorne and co will for sure send out ravens.

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    22. I could have sworn the season five finale included Mace coming out of negotations proclaiming them a success before Meryn heads off to the whorehouse with Arya stalking him. It seemed to me the Iron Bank already decided to back Tommen again, unless they’re just completely playing Mace. At this point, though, House Tyrell seems like the safest bet left.

      I did figure they’d come asking about the money to Davos at some point, though. I’d imagine much of it hasn’t even been spent, which raises the question of where Stannis kept it. There’s no way he paid all those sellswords in full in advance and they obviously aren’t getting their remaining pay after abandoning him.

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    23. Iron Bank always collect on any loan! They will be back, probably in the books only. Perhaps the show won’t deal with any aftermath. Who would they go to? Who’s left on Dragonstone?

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    24. Sean C.,

      I can’t remember a single casting call being confirmed for Oldtown, or even a possibility. Really wonder how much of that storyline we will be seeing next season. Maybe Sam reaches there only after leaving Gilly at Horn Hill? That would mean near end of the season.

      Sophie Turner this week and Kit Harington last, these two have yet to be spotted in the same week. So its still unclear when Sansa and Jon will meet next season.

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    25. Wilber’s Forza Danza: Iron Bank always
      collect on any loan! They will be back, probably in the books only. Perhaps the show won’t deal with any aftermath. Who would they go to? Who’s left on Dragonstone?

      It would be odd for the Iron Bank to not appear in the show anymore, considering, using a phrase that’s become popular at this site, that gun was hung long ago and stroked grandly and lovingly several times, particularly last year with Mace’s visit to Bravos.

      Tywin and Cersei discussed it at length a few seasons back, when Tywin told her that the Crown and the Lannisters were deep in debt to the Iron Bank, that the Lannister gold mines had been played out, and that the Iron Bank ALWAYS collected their debts.

      Then in a different season, Stannis and Davos go for a loan, and we learned even more about how the IB works. Early in Season 5 we learn that the bank is calling in payment of a large percentage of King’s Landing debt, which prompted Cersei to send Mace to renegotiate. That’s a lot of stroking with no payoff in sight. I was expecting that thing to pop far in Season 6.

      Last week I posted a something about the Iron Bank popping up again big time. I hope my fellow posters who already read it will forgive my posting a little bit of it again: Think about those Bravosi bankers. They did strike a deal with Mace to renegotiate the loans to Kings Landing and
      the Lannisters/Baratheons, based on Marge being queen, and on the strength of the output of food and goods from Highgarden. We know the deal was favorable, because Mace came out singing opera. If bankers have told you to go fuck yourself, you don’t come out singing.

      I’ve been wondering ever since Stannis’ death how the bankers were going to be brought back into the picture. They must be highly annoyed at the losses they took with Stannis. ….they may call in all debts, foreclose on Kings Landing, maybe even on Casterly Rock. Oh, the Baratheon debt tallied up during Robert’s reign and to Stannis? Then they will take Dragonstone as payment for that. (and all that Dragon glass. What will be the price for Dragonglass when the kingdom starts clamoring for it, do you think?)

      See, lots of reasons for the Bankers to show up in 6, especially since they’ve been in almost every other season. It would be a curiously “unshot” gun if nothing further happens with the Bank in any other season.

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    26. Thronetender: They must be highly annoyed at the losses they took with Stannis. ….they may call in all debts, foreclose on Kings Landing, maybe even on Casterly Rock.

      I suspect that the Bank has to act in a much more subtle manner. They do not have an army, at least insofar as we can see. Instead, they seem to operate as a sort of non-evil Koch Brothers: they financially support rivals until they get someone in power who returns their investment with interest.

      So, what I would expect them to do instead is support Daeny in some way, particularly if she offers to make good on the debts of the Crown and Stannis. They might provide the gold for ships, or the ships themselves, or something like that. Or they might toss in financial support to her supporters in Essos against her rivals. Really, there is any number of things that they might do. But Daeny would be a very useful piece for her: she would be a figurative and literal queen rather than just a pawn.

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    27. Sue the Fury:
      The fact that Sou is asking these questions tells you how important it is to cover everything.

      Don’t worry Sue, I am pretty confident that people who haven’t read the books and keep hunging around here either want to be spoiled or have the memory of a goldfish, like myself, and know for sure that until April they will have forgotten 98% of what they read here.
      The only time I really objected to getting spoiled was concerning season’s 5 grand finale. In Greece we get to watch the episodes a couple of weeks after they air in the US (time to put some subtitles on, etc), so having been told that the season’s finale has a very unexpected end, I really tried hard not to find out before watching. So I stopped reading or hearing anything related to GoT, stayed out of the social media, etc.
      And then one day I am reading this article on the debt negociations last summer, and there it is written something like “well, let’s hope that our Minister of Finance knows what he is doing and will not end up like Jon Snow, stabbed in the gut and left to die on the snow by his comrades”. I was FURIOUS!!!!

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    28. Thronetender,
      Yeah, on closer consideration, I agree that the IB is a gun that should not go unshot.

      My guess right now really is that Dany will meet them next year and force them to forfeit the loan (or otherwise arrange for some sort of an equivalent of a controlled bankruptcy). That’s when we will know that GOT is a fantasy.

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    29. People are talking about a probable meeting between Sam and Arya……that will be cool…but i want Sam to go to Mereen…i think there could be rumors flying around Oldtown about dany and her dragons and he could be like…..” gilly , if dragons are real they are key to defeating the white walkers ”
      gilly : ” what about afterwards.. what if they burn us all…. what if they are worse than the white walkers?”
      sam ( frowny face) :” i dont know ..i mean they cant be worse then the white walkers”

      and i want arya to meet hot pie….

      and walder frey

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    30. Yaga: That’s when we will know that GOT is a fantasy.

      Hah! A fantasy indeed! Like politicians and fiscal promises.

      I believe that the FM and the IB have a deep-rooted understanding and a business history as well.

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    31. Wimsey: I suspect that the Bank has to act in a much more subtle manner. They do not have an army, at least insofar as we can see.

      Probably not a marching, weaponized army, but certainly they would have foreclosure agents who would travel with armed men ready to back them in case those being foreclosed upon would object. I don’t know, that would mean a lot of extra cast in the show.

      But I was quite surprised at this article saying that Gatkiss wouldn’t be appearing AT ALL in S6. ( I did think his casting as Tycho was so amazingly perfect – I loved watching him staring down his nose at Stannis, with that “I just sucked a lemon and I liked it” pucker of his mouth. He had that same pained expression while watching Mace sing.)

      Considering all the instances of the Iron Bank either being mentioned or actually shown, using precious lines of dialogue and precious minutes of screen time, and considering GRRM’s mention of wanting to include “tax policies” and financial dealings in the story, I felt sure the Bankers would be big players in the coming seasons. It’s not like D&D to use those minutes or to set up those situations without some sort of payoff, is it?

      I figured the Bank deal with Mace came out satisfactorily based on several set-ups we were given. We saw Tycho asking Stannis what sort of manufacturing and/or farming was produced from Dragonstone, so we know those abilities were important to the Bank in considering loans. We also heard Olenna mention, more than once, how much King’s Landing depended on all the food and goods manufactured in Highgarden. We saw how giddy Mace was at his daughter being Queen. I assumed that Mace was successful in renegotiating based on Margaery’s position and based on his personal assurance that Highgarden had the collateral to back the loans. They even used the line about the wine for Tycho to show Highgarden’s production abilities. Hence, Mace singing in the courtyard.

      So, if Tycho Nestoris/Gatkiss isn’t in S6, I’m pretty certain he and his sour expression will be back in a big way in following seasons. Otherwise, what was all the set-up for?

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    32. Thronetender: armed men ready to back them in case those being foreclosed upon would object. I don’t know, that would mean a lot of extra cast in the show.

      You need an army to take Casterly Rock or anything else A “hit squad” cannot collect on debts from the Lannisters, Tyrells, Targaryens, etc. Moreover, it is just as much about the books as the show: the show will probably have the bank do what the book does, after all.

      Now, I agree with you completely that the Iron Bank is very much a Chekhovian Gun. However, the key thing to ask next is: with which protagonist will they be interacting? My guess is that it will be one of the primary ones. The book has minor interactions with Jon that were cut from the show: and it is difficult to envision them amounting to much in the book. Arya is in Braavos: but it is difficult to envision how they would use her in any way that is not completely arbitrary (e.g., she just happens to be the assassin that they pick to do something in Westeros: but Arya has to go back to Westeros under her own volition).

      So, really, that leaves Daeny as the most obvious choice. The Bank can provide her (or her agents, such as Tyrion) with resources: and she in return can offer sureties of treating the Baratheon debts as Westerosi debts. That would be a major firing of the Bank gun.

      Yaga: My guess right now really is that Dany will meet them next year and force them to forfeit the loan (or otherwise arrange for some sort of an equivalent of a controlled bankruptcy). That’s when we will know that GOT is a fantasy.

      Hodors Bastard: I believe that the FM and the IB have a deep-rooted understanding and a business history as well.

      heh, it is less what the Faceless Men and Iron Bank know than what GRRM knows! Martin is pretty savvy about history in general. So, we can look to the Bank to do something historically realistic when it comes to what GRRM (and B&W) have them do.

      To that end, I doubt that Daeny will somehow “break” them: that would be an arbitrary excursion that furthers no ends. Instead, we should expect something typical of GRRM when he is on his game: Daeny will be forced to make some compromise with herself in order to achieve the greater goal. It would be pretty galling for her to repay Baratheon debts: but, on the other hand, that would show that she is the True Queen of Westeros, and it also might get the Bank to deliver something that she can use (e.g., ships, funds, dragon treats, foot rubs, etc.).

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    33. Wimsey,

      I’m wondering what does a dragon treat look like? I mean, we know they enjoy Meereenese masters and children shepherds and they occasionally snack on Astaporean slavers. What would be the little treat which would convey the meaning “good boy”? And BTW, are those dragons boys or girls? Wimsey, as far as I remember you’re a biologist, enlighten me, please!

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    34. Nymeria Warrior Queen: Well, hey, if I’m alone in quitting the show because Cumsprite confirmed he will not be appearing in season 6, so be it.

      ps – In case you missed it, it was a joke.

      Hey, I will join that mutiny with you. No Cumsprite and I’m out, what’s the point!! (some peeps take things too seriously) 🙂

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    35. Shy Lady Dragon: what does a dragon treat look like?

      I will happily watch you attempt to train D, R and V to sit, stay and come, regardless of the treat that you use. Maybe they are genetically programmed to only respond to High Valyrian commands? You try first….

      (Quentin should have used better treats…like a tasty sand snake)

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    36. Wimsey,
      Actually, about Martin’s knowledge….

      The oldest banks in the world, in the sense that we think of them now, were actually charitable institutions created partly through the influence of the Catholic Church so that poor Christians could borrow money at low interest without having to go to Jewish usurers. Honest. They were called ‘monte di pieta’ – ‘mounts of piety’.

      The oldest surviving bank in the world – the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena – originated as a mount of piety. Google it or read the Wikipedia page. Really. In a sense, for some people (like me!), it’s fascinating.

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    37. Hodors Bastard,

      🙂 Which Sand Snake would you use like dragon treat? Poor girls, they seemed confuse, manipulated and missing their daddy… There are enough horrible characters in GOT to choose from! Maybe Ramsay tastes good for the dragons. And what about some religious fanatics salad?

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    38. Daughter of Winter:
      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Seriously? of course i realized that you were joking, anyway i’m so sorry if you felt insulted ser/lady.

      Thank you for the sincere apology. I’m so glad you were able to grasp that the silliness of my response to you indicated I was insulted. lol

      JCDavis: Hey, I will join that mutiny with you.No Cumsprite and I’m out, what’s the point!!(some peeps take things too seriously)

      Despite my insistence I would boycott the show if there was no Ser Pounce last season (and don’t even get me started on Lady Whiskers!!!), I tried to let it go and continue on. This, however, is too much. It crosses the line, and I refuse to put up with it!!! 🙂

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    39. Shy Lady Dragon: Which Sand Snake would you use like dragon treat?

      I don’t know how Sullied you are, but I have high hopes for the SS in TWoW

      as they travel to KL, immerse themselves fAegon’s force at Storms End, chase Darkstar and monitor Sam in Oldtown

      but their slapstick show counterparts are suitable dragon fodder. 🙂

      But yes, you are correct. There are many more sour folk in Westeros who are ripe for D, R and V’s barbeque, including many undead.

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    40. Hodors Bastard,

      Not Sullied enough until TWOW and ADOS are finally published! I’m chasing spoilers all the time, but thank you for your care to not unwillingly spoil a fellow fan. Indeed, those girls are meant to do a lot of things, they’d better stay out of the dragons’ menu. Now that you reminded me all the good staff we’re waiting for I can hardly wait till April… because I’m afraid we should prepare for a long wait until we got next book. And so our watch begins!

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    41. Daughter of Winter,

      If you weren’t being sarcastic, then I genuinely apologize for the sarcasm in my last post. I don’t get how my silly response could be interpreted as me being upset, but I’ll just chalk that up to miscommunication. It happens sometimes when tone of voice and/or facial expression isn’t part of the equation. It’s no biggie…and I appreciate your comments, as well. 🙂

      Oh, and if you’d like to join the “No Cumsprite in Season 6 = Boycott” movement, you’d be more than welcome. Heehee.

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    42. Jack Bauer 24:
      42 articles last month and only 18 this month?

      I don’t see the issue…20 articles by the 11th of the month extrapolates out to 56 articles for the month. The average for the past 16 months at WotW is 62.5 articles per month. So, compared to the slow holiday season last year (Nov: 25, Dec: 45), WotW is actually very busy. 🙂

      (Sue is not allowed to take a break for Xmas either)

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    43. Shy Lady Dragon: I’m wondering what does a dragon treat look like?

      I envisioned a chocolate easter bunny stuffed with jalapenos as I was typing it.

      Shy Lady Dragon: Wimsey, as far as I remember you’re a biologist, enlighten me, please!

      heh, I do real biology, not cryptozoology! 😀

      Hodors Bastard: (Quentin should have used better treats…like a tasty sand snake)

      Just as long as he tossed his wretched sister onto the dessert menu first!

      Daughter of Winter,
      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      *sniff* I feel like we’ve really broken down some barriers and made some progress today.

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    44. Shy Lady Dragon,

      As far as we know they only eat enjoy sheeps …drogon have eaten horses too …
      They dont have any interest in humans except if u count the dead stormcrows heads and dead people flung in the air …

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    45. Wimsey: You need an army to take Casterly Rock or anything
      else A “hit squad” cannot collect on debts from the Lannisters, Tyrells, Targaryens, etc.

      Ah, but Dragonstone’s army is currently, um … indisposed. THAT could be taken fairly easily, no? Although, I see your point about them pitting one debtor against another. It’s perfectly logical, thoroughly effective and probably
      gives Tycho Nestoris a thrill to be both the power behind the throne and a vicarious participant in the upheaval. And, after all, keeping a standing army is such messy, time consuming business. Let someone else do that work.

      The thing I’m worried about is that all this upheaval is somehow going to be to Littlefinger’s benefit. We know his feelings about chaos being a ladder. If he somehow hears before the IB does about Dragon glass being WW kryptonite, which he might during his trips through the north and the Vale, he’s going to approach the Bank about “taking Dragonstone off their hands.”

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    46. Thronetender: Ah, but Dragonstone’s army is currently, um … indisposed. THAT could be taken fairly easily, no?

      No, it really could not be. Stannis stands attainted by the Crown, and as far as Tommen’s government is concerned, Dragonstone is now property of the Crown. Stannis’ debts mean nothing to them, and the Iron Bank sending any armed force to Storms End (or any other part of Westeros) would be nothing less than an invasion. They do not owe the bank Stannis’ debts, after all: and the IB probably would not want Tommen’s government to learn that they had loaned a huge sum of money to a rebel. (Plus, in the books

      there are forces loyal to the Crown, or at least to the Tyrells, at Storms End, although less than there were.)

      Now, it is a little different in the books: there,

      after Cersei idiotically tells teh Iron Bank that the Crown is withholding payments on loans indefinitely, the Iron Bank actively seeks out Stannis to offer him support on the condition that Stannis repay his brother’s (and his faux nephews’) debts once Stannis takes the throne. But this is another reason to doubt that anything like this will happen in the show: not only do the books show that the IB works very differently, but they provide zero setup for Bank pursuing Stannis’ debts. After all, he’s basically their hired agent.

      As for LF finding out this stuff, I do not see how he could do so. Nobody in the North or the Vale knows this type of stuff, and even if LF hears stories about creatures from legend returning, he certainly would not them seriously. After all, inventing that sort of story for political gain is exactly the sort of thing that he would do: although he probably would chose a less implausible lie. Again, a key thing to consider is that

      nobody is going to take the White Walker stories seriously: they will view it as either a joke, or a rather blatant cover story to justify allowing the Wildlings to invade Westeros.

      As for the IB, I would bet that they will probably not learn of these things until after Daeny has secured Westeros. They might not be very relevant at that point: my guess is that the Bank gun will be fired by then.

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    47. Wimsey: Now, it is a little different in the books: there,

      Wow, I would say so. What you said in the spoiler about the IB and Stannis is a game-changer in my mind. That makes it a whole different story, and gives me some perspective on why the book-reader Stannis fans were so sure of a Stannis victory and so upset over Shireen and his ultimate defeat in the show. Not that I wasn’t upset about Shireen; that was a horrid development.

      It makes me understand more, too, about why you are so adamant about the IB finding someone to back to take out their defaultors, if that’s a word. In the book, they’ve already done just that. I see now.

      Wow, what a different story … instead of Stannis and Davos having to do a song and dance, almost begging for the money, as shown in the show, they were sought out by the Bankers, encouraged by them. That in itself would be a strong incentive to go up against Cersei/Joff. Add Melisandre’s influence to that mix, and book Stannis would seem to have the momentum to be unstoppable.

      It really will be interesting to hear how Stannis is handled in the books. If the show gives the same outcome as they have heard the books are going to, only via a different route, then Stannis is cooked anyway. How GRRM will do that is anybody’s guess.

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    48. Thronetender,

      I actually prefer what the show did: Davos is supposed to be a protagonist, and it’s better if a protagonist starts the ball rolling. When people call things in stories “arbitrary,” then they are referring to situations where this is not the case. What the book does really is a bit Deus ex Machina, at least from the perspective of one side: all of a sudden people turn up with $$$$! Of course, it actually is a reaction to a protagonist’s decision who never is in that part of the narrative: however, the show decided to make that protagonist just a little less idiotic (actually, a lot less idiotic) than the book counterpart.

      Oh, and I put the IB stuff in spoilers there just because, well, it is a “game changer”: it occurred to me that your ideas were not implausible given what is on the show, but definitely not possible given what is in the books. This is a case where combining the show and the books actually is much more informative than either is individually.

      As for Stannis’ fate in the books, well we probably know it already: however, there still are some book-fans that dispute that! (GRRM aligns the plots so that they match a story’s arc rather than the timeline underlying the narrative: that results in chapters in Dragons that still are in Stannis’ “future” relative to the first Winter chapters with him; well, actually, other characters’ futures because Stannis is not a protagonist in the books and he is there only when in the presence of Davos, Jon or one of two other characters that he will never encounter on the show.)

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